News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

US political establishment's desire to get to the bottom of Russian meddling is probably less than you imagine. It would expose that they and their Intel pals fell for routine Russian disinformation-Wall St. Journal

Jan. 12, 2017, "Justice department to review FBI's conduct in Clinton email inquiry," Guardian UK, Oliver Laughland

"Jerry Nadler, a senior Democratic member of the House judiciary committee and one of the most prominent voices calling for an independent investigation of Comey’s conduct, welcomed the announcement. You can’t have the FBI or a prosecuting agency interfering with the election and he [Comey] most certainly did. He should have been fired for that on the spot,Nadler told the Guardian in an interview."...

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June 9, 2017, "Why Trump Wins," Wall St. Journal, Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.

"Will Robert Mueller investigate intelligence agencies for playing in domestic politics?"

"Ex-FBI chief James Comey played well to the audience he cares about in Thursday’s hearing, the media and bicoastal elites. Donald Trump may well have scored a win among the audience he cares about, Trump’s America. 

Much was made of Mr. Comey saying he didn’t trust Mr. Trump not to “lie” about what transpired in their private meetings. Yet despite our president’s dubious relation with veracity, Mr. Trump was shown to be the source of important truths. Mr. Comey had indeed told him he was not under personal investigation in the Russia “collusion” matter. As Sen. Marco Rubio, not a big Trump fan, noted, this fact was remarkable for also being widely known among Senate colleagues and yet the one fact that never leaked to the media.... 

As a rule, when there is no evidence of a particular act, the FBI does not investigate. The FBI is investigating now only because Democrats and Trump opponents so filled the airwaves with unsubstantiated speculation.

Now here’s a secret: Most Democrats understand the hunt will come a cropper. If a Trump associate brushed shoulders with a Russian-looking individual on the way to the men’s room, it has leaked. The U.S. government sucks up and archives vast gobs of communication data.

Yet the earnestly desired evidence of collusion has not materialized, so Democrats have turned instead to charging “obstruction of justice,” with many already baying for impeachment.

Here’s another secret: Such “process” crimes don’t impress voters when there is no underlying crime....

The Washington Post and CNN reported late last month that the single most shattering series of events for the Hillary Clinton campaign—the events that began with FBI chief Comey’s intervention in the race—were partly influenced by planted Russian fake intelligence.

Likewise the dossier of repulsive Trump allegations, assembled by a retired British spy supposedly tapping his Russian intelligence sources, also appears to have been a Russian plant and yet may have played a role in justifying the Obama administration’s decision to launch an intelligence investigation of the Trump campaign....

To the extent the fruitless hunt for collusion has been promoted by planted Russian intelligence, Russian fiddling is playing a bigger role in shaping our politics today than it did during the campaign.

By the way, we’re not alleging supercompetence on Russia’s part. Planting fake information is routine intelligence work. The World War II battle of Midway was won partly with fake information about water filtration on Midway Island.

Mr. Comey ducked questions on these subjects, saying he would address them only in classified briefings. President Obama’s former national intelligence director, James Clapper, in Australia this week gave a speech that again put the question of Trump collusion, for which he admitted he had no evidence, at the center of investigation despite the multifarious ways Russia meddled for which there’s actually evidence.

No surprise here: The FBI, CIA and NSA are eager to pose as scrupulous, disinterested arbiters of Russian meddling. They are not eager to be seen as victims and patsies of Russian meddling. To use Mr. Comey’s phrase, the performance of our national intelligence directorate is the one rock that hasn’t been turned over. 

So here’s a question for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, a former FBI chief himself. Will he accept the current framing that his Russia investigation is about everything except whether his former agency was semi-wittingly duped into some of its interventions by Kremlin danglings—there’s nothing to see here, move along.

Or will he have the courage to ask the requisite questions the FBI, CIA and NSA don’t want asked about their own, perhaps, gullibility and overeagerness to play in domestic politics because of their dislike of Mr. Trump?

Washington’s desire to get to the bottom of Russian meddling is probably less than you imagine. If not, the places to start are the Trump dossier and the role of Russian disinformation in promoting Mr. Comey’s intervention in the Hillary Clinton email matter."


"Appeared in the June 10, 2017, print edition."





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