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Category Archives: Intelligence

CIA Argues The Public Can’t See Classified Information It Has Already Given To Favored Reporters, by Will Racke

It’s kind of a tricky argument: that classified material the CIA has leaked to the press should nevertheless stay classified and out of public view. From Will Racke at dailycaller.com:

Intelligence officials can selectively release classified information to trusted journalists while withholding the same information from other citizens who request it through open records laws, CIA lawyers argued Wednesday.

In a motion filed in New York federal court, the CIA claimed that limited disclosures to reporters do not waive national security exemptions to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Intelligence and law enforcement agencies frequently deny records requests on the basis of protecting sensitive national security information, one of nine exemptions written into the federal FOIA law.

The case stems from lawsuit against the CIA by New York-based independent journalist Adam Johnson, who had used FOIA to obtain emails between the agency’s public information office and selected reporters from the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and The New York Times. The emails the CIA provided to Johnson were redacted, leading him to question why he was not allowed to see the same information that had been given to uncleared reporters.

Johnson challenged the redaction in court, arguing that the CIA, once it has selectively disclosed information to uncleared reporters, cannot claim the same information is protected by a FOIA exemption.

The judge in the case appeared to find Johnson’ argument compelling. In a court order last month, Chief Judge Colleen McMahon of the Southern District of New York said FOIA laws do not authorize limited disclosure, to favored journalists or otherwise.

“In this case, CIA voluntarily disclosed to outsiders information that it had a perfect right to keep private,” she wrote. “There is absolutely no statutory provision that authorizes limited disclosure of otherwise classified information to anyone, including ‘trusted reporters,’ for any purpose, including the protection of CIA sources and methods that might otherwise be outed.

McMahon also said it didn’t matter if the journalists in question published the information they received, only if the CIA waived its right to deny the information.

“The fact that the reporters might not have printed what was disclosed to them has no logical or legal impact on the waiver analysis, because the only fact relevant to waiver analysis is: Did the CIA do something that worked a waiver of a right it otherwise had?” she wrote, asking CIA lawyers to come up with a stronger defense for non-disclosure.

To continue reading: CIA Argues The Public Can’t See Classified Information It Has Already Given To Favored Reporters

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Christopher Steele: The Real Foreign Influence in the 2016 Election?, by Peter Van Buren

How an intelligence disinformation campaign works. From Peter Van Buren at theamericanconservative.com:

His dossier was more than opposition research, it was part of a full-spectrum information operation.

Christopher Steele (Screen grab/CBSN)

Leaving aside the validity of what has become known as the “Steele dossier,” it’s important to look at how Christopher Steele was able to guarantee that the information in it would play a significant and ongoing role in American politics.

Steele, who is British, did far more than simply provide opposition research to the Democratic National Committee. He was able to make sure it reached the most influential people possible in politics, media and government to shape and influence the growing narrative of the 2016 presidential election. In other words, as a skilled professional intelligence officer, Steele ran a full-spectrum information operation against the United States. One could even call it information warfare.

This is what separates his work creating the dossier  (which a decent journalist with friends in Russia could have done) from his work insinuating the dossier into the highest reaches of American government and political society. For that, you need a real pro, an intelligence officer with decades of experience running just that kind of operation. Looking for foreign interference in the 2016 election? Let’s take a closer look at Christopher Steele.

Steele’s skill is revealed by the now familiar Nunes and Grassley memos, which show he used the same set of information in the dossier to create a collaboration loop, every intelligence officer’s dream, which is his own planted information used to surreptitiously confirm itself, right up to the point where the target country’s own intelligence service re-purposed it as evidence in the FISA (Foreign Intelligence  Surveillance Act) court.

Steele admits he briefed journalists off-the-record starting in summer and autumn 2016. His most significant hit came when in September 2016, journalist Michael Isikoff broke the story of Trump associate Carter Page’s alleged connections to Russia. Isikoff did not cite the dossier or Steele as sources, and in fact denied they were when questioned.

 

To continue reading: Christopher Steele: The Real Foreign Influence in the 2016 Election?

Is John Brennan the Mastermind Behind Russiagate? by Mike Whitney

John Brennan, the former director of the CIA, may have got the ball rolling on Russiagate. From Mike Whitney at unz.com:

The report (“The Dossier”) that claims that Donald Trump colluded with Russia, was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.

The company that claims that Russia hacked DNC computer servers, was paid by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.

The FBI’s counterintelligence probe into Trump’s alleged connections to Russia was launched on the basis of information gathered from a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.

The surveillance of a Trump campaign member (Carter Page) was approved by a FISA court on the basis of information from a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.

The Intelligence Community Analysis or ICA was (largely or partially) based on information from a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign. (more on this below)

The information that was leaked to the media alleging Russia hacking or collusion can be traced back to claims that were made in a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.

The entire Russia-gate investigation rests on the “unverified and salacious” information from a dossier that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton Campaign. Here’s how Stephen Cohen sums it up in a recent article at The Nation:

“Steele’s dossier… was the foundational document of the Russiagate narrative…from the time its installments began to be leaked to the American media in the summer of 2016, to the US “Intelligence Community Assessment” of January 2017….the dossier and subsequent ICA report remain the underlying sources for proponents of the Russiagate narrative of “Trump-Putin collision.” (“Russia gate or Intel-gate?”, The Nation)

There’s just one problem with Cohen’s statement, we don’t really know the extent to which the dossier was used in the creation of the Intelligence Community Assessment. (The ICA was the IC’s flagship analysis that was supposed to provide ironclad proof of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.) According to some reports, the contribution was significant. Check out this excerpt from an article at Business Insider:

“Intelligence officials purposefully omitted the dossier from the public intelligence report they released in January about Russia’s election interference because they didn’t want to reveal which details they had corroborated, according to CNN.” (“Mueller reportedly interviewed the author of the Trump-Russia dossier — here’s what it alleges, and how it aligned with reality”, Business Insider)

Bottom line: Despite the denials of former-CIA Director John Brennan, the dossier may have been used in the ICA.

To continue reading: Is John Brennan the Mastermind Behind Russiagate?

Declassified Grassley Document Confirms FISA Memo’s Explosive Claims, by Tyler Durden

Now Senate Republicans are chiming in: a declassified memo from the Senate Judiciary Committee supports the House Intelligence Committee’s memo, and has some new allegations as well. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

  • A declassified document from the Senate Judiciary Committee confirms that the FBI “relied heavily” on an unverified dossier in order to obtain FISA surveillance warrants on one-time Trump advisor Carter Page
  • Unredacted portions of the document reveal the FBI’s extensive involvement with the creator of the dossier, former UK spy Christopher Steele
  • Despite Steele lying to the FBI which led to the agency ending their relationship, they still used his unverified memo and vouched for his reputation to obtain the FISA warrants
  • The unredacted memo clarifies that the FBI notified the FISA court of the dossier’s political origins “to a vaguely limited extent”
  • The FBI has withheld the notes from their meetings with Steele
  • Steele received information for an unpublished second dossier from the Obama State Department led by John Kerry at the time
  • Much of the information in this “Grassley Memo” matches with the contents of the “Nunes Memo” released by the House Intelligence Committee last Friday.

A largely unredacted version of a criminal referral made against Fusion GPS operative Christopher Steele reveals several new bombshells, and confirms that the FBI heavily relied on an unverified dossier created by the former UK spy – along with a Yahoo News article which used Steele’s information, to obtain a FISA surveillance warrant on one-time Trump advisor Carter Page.

The previously redacted sections of the document notably covered up the FBI’s extensive working relationship with Steele – who was paid $168,000 to create the dossier used in the FISA applications. The fact that he was considered reliable was used as an argument to the FISA court to make up for the fact that the underlying dossier was unverified.

To continue reading: Declassified Grassley Document Confirms FISA Memo’s Explosive Claims

 

America: A Military Nation, by Jacob G. Hornberger

How fitting that President Trump wants to hold a military parade. From Jacob G. Hornberger at The Future of Freedom Foundation, fff.org:

Americans like to think of their country as different from those run by military regimes. They are only fooling themselves. Ever since the federal government was converted into a national-security state after World War II (without a constitutional amendment authorizing the conversion), it has been the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA that have run the government, just like in countries governed by military dictatorships.

Oh sure, the façade is maintained — the façade that is ingrained in all of us in civics or government classes in high school and college: that the federal government is composed of three co-equal, independent branches that are in charge of the government.

But just a façade. It’s fake. It’s a lie.

It’s true that the federal government used to consist of three branches. But that quaint notion disintegrated when the federal government was converted to what is known as a “national-security state” after World War II. Even though it was done without a constitutional amendment, that conversion effectively added a fourth branch of government to the federal government — the national-security branch, which consists of the NSA, the CIA, and the Pentagon.

The addition of that fourth branch fundamentally altered the original three-branch concept, especially because the fourth branch quickly became the most powerful branch. The reason is because ultimately government is force, and the fourth branch is where the most force was concentrated within the new, altered governmental structure.

As law professor Michael Glennon has pointed out in his book National Security and Double Government, the result is a federal government in which the military, the CIA, and the NSA are in charge. They are the ones actually calling the shots. But they permit the other three branches to maintain the façade that they are in charge, including periodically going along with decisions in the other three branches to keep Americans thinking that everything is the same as it always has been.

To continue reading: America: A Military Nation

‘News Directly From the CIA’: Ex-Director Brennan Hired by NBC, from RT News

This just makes it official: mainstream media is a shill for the intelligence agencies. Now NBC is providing former CIA director John Brennan a retirement sinecure. From RT News via lewrockwell.com:

Former CIA Director John Brennan has been hired as a paid contributor by NBC and MSNBC, the media company announced. He led the agency from 2013 to early 2017, under President Barack Obama.

Brennan’s appointment comes amid the outcry over the memorandum released by House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-California) alleging impropriety by the FBI and DOJ while investigating claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

That Brennan previously lied to an NBC journalist about the CIA’s attempts to thwart a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into the agency’s use of torture was apparently no deterrent to his appointment.

NEW: Former Director is now a senior national security and intelligence analyst for and . He will first appear on with this Sunday. (First in PM: )

The ex-CIA chief made his first appearance in his new role as a senior national security and intelligence analyst on ‘Meet the Press’ Sunday, and promptly took the opportunity to accuse Nunes of being “exceptionally partisan” and abusing his role to protect Trump.

WATCH: Former CIA Director John Brennan on NBC says Devin Nunes has “abused the office of the chairmanship” to protect Trump and that blocking Democrats from releasing their own memo is “appalling”

I had many fights with Congressional Dems over the years on national security matters. But I never witnessed the type of reckless partisan behavior I am now seeing from Nunes and House Republicans. Absence of moral and ethical leadership in WH is fueling this government crisis. https://twitter.com/repadamschiff/status/958869046568669185 

Brennan was nominated CIA director by Obama in 2013 and served until Trump took office in January 2017. In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, he has maintained that Russia “brazenly interfered” in the 2016 elections, offering no evidence to support his allegations.

The irony of Brennan’s new post was not lost on journalist and The Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald, who pointed out that it was a “little strange” for the network to constantly denounce RT and Fox as “state TV” and then hire CIA Directors & Generals as your “news analysts”?

To continue reading: ‘News Directly From the CIA’: Ex-Director Brennan Hired by NBC

Groundhog Day: Shadows Seen as the Hits Keep on Coming, by Uncola

The Deep State and the media are waging war on Trump, and the first casuality of war is the truth. From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

The ideological war between the opposing forces of globalization and constitutional nationalism continues to escalate.  Specifically, in the United States, the battle lines were recently redefined by the four-page House Intelligence Committee memo that was unveiled on Groundhog’s Day, February 2, 2018. History repeated, once again, as groundhogs exited their holes all over America, squinted into the sunlight, and saw shadows of ever-expanding government corruption.

The memo, in essence, transmuted the alleged conspiracy of Donald Trump’s and Russia’s overturning of the 2016 Presidential Election into actual collusion between former president Obama’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DoJ), with Hillary Clinton’s Campaignand the Democratic National Committee (DNC), to illegally preempt said election. The revelations from the Groundhog Day Memo describe specific actions (and omissions) committed by officials in the Obama administration that have resulted in the illicit subversion of Donald J. Trump, the constitutionally elected President of the United States.

Stated in simpler terms, the Groundhog Day Memo has transitioned the Russiagate investigation into Obamagate.

As expected, members of the unelected administrative deep state, the military industrial complex, the corporate mainstream media, Democratic Party hacks, Senator John McCain, and the liberal political punditry from coast-to-coast, have chosen to double-down on their collective obfuscation and outright lies.

The American Leftists are not concerned about the illegal omissions of material facts by top FBI and DoJ officials in their pursuit of a FISA warrant on low-hanging fruit, Carter Page, who was involved with Trump’s campaign in 2016.  They see no problem with high-ranking justice department official Bruce Ohr’s secret collaboration with his wife Nellie, who worked for Fusion GPS, the firm behind the now infamous Russian Dossier against Trump.  The very same dossier that was funded by Hillary Clinton and the DNC which, according to the memo, was cited as the reason for the surveillance warrant on Page.

To continue reading: Groundhog Day: Shadows Seen as the Hits Keep on Coming

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