Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Oh My, My - This Is Juicy

Did Obama leave a minefield for the Trump administration/junta, one sown with Trump's own mines?

The New York Times reports that Obama officials in the final days before the new president took over took all the intelligence they had on Trump and Russia and distributed it to several federal agencies.

American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence. Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Mr. Trump’s associates.

Then and now, Mr. Trump has denied that his campaign had any contact with Russian officials, and at one point he openly suggested that American spy agencies had cooked up intelligence suggesting that the Russian government had tried to meddle in the presidential election. Mr. Trump has accused the Obama administration of hyping the Russia story line as a way to discredit his new administration.

At the Obama White House, Mr. Trump’s statements stoked fears among some that intelligence could be covered up or destroyed — or its sources exposed — once power changed hands. What followed was a push to preserve the intelligence that underscored the deep anxiety with which the White House and American intelligence agencies had come to view the threat from Moscow.

White House spokesman, Sean Spicer, apparently imagining that the Great Orange Bloat had defeated Obama instead of Hillary Clinton responded. “The only new piece of information that has come to light is that political appointees in the Obama administration have sought to create a false narrative to make an excuse for their own defeat in the election. There continues to be no there, there.”

Seeding the Minefield

As Inauguration Day approached, Obama White House officials grew convinced that the intelligence was damning and that they needed to ensure that as many people as possible inside government could see it, even if people without security clearances could not. Some officials began asking specific questions at intelligence briefings, knowing the answers would be archived and could be easily unearthed by investigators — including the Senate Intelligence Committee, which in early January announced an inquiry into Russian efforts to influence the election.

At intelligence agencies, there was a push to process as much raw intelligence as possible into analyses, and to keep the reports at a relatively low level of classification to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government — and, in some cases, among European allies. This allowed the upload of as much intelligence as possible to Intellipedia, a secret wiki used by American intelligence analysts to share information.

No Wonder Trump Has Lost His Mind over Leaks

Trump and, by now, his inner circle know what's in those intelligence reports and analyses and they must know this stuff has been so widely circulated to prevent them from burying it. When they tried to get the FBI and the CIA to announce there was nothing to these reports it was an act of desperation by Trump and his minions. It sent Trump flying off the handle, issuing angry rebukes to his own intelligence community but, even if they wanted to help him, their hands are tied by how broadly the intelligence has been circulated and the fear that, if they did try to suppress it, the information would be leaked.


Anonymous said...

There's a good article in the WaPo about Jeff Sessions' involvement with the Russian ambassador during the election campaign. It looks like Sessions may have perjured himself during his confirmation hearing. However, he may be able to dance around the wording of the questions he was asked, just like Lyin' Brian did when he was asked about money from KH Schreiber.


John's Aghast said...

Is Herr Schreiber still in the slammer?

Anonymous said...

Tax evasion conviction in Germany[edit]
After Schreiber's arrival in Germany, a German court in Augsburg took control of the proceedings and announced that it would hear only charges that he evaded income tax on C$45.6-million earned from negotiating the sale of helicopters, aircraft, and armaments.[32] In May 2010, the court found Schreiber to be guilty of tax evasion of €7.3 million, and sentenced him to eight years in prison.[33]

This decision has been overthrown by a German court on September 6, 2011.[34]

On retrial in 2013, Schreiber was sentenced to six and a half years in prison, but the sentence is being served through house arrest on health grounds.[35]


The Mound of Sound said...

Hi, Cap. Yeah, I read the article. It sounds to me as though Sessions lied under oath and could face at least one perjury charge. I wonder what it must be like for the Obama crew to be watching this all unfold. The Giant Orange Demagogue is probably bordering on apoplexy. To Trump, being caught out on a lie, even perjury, is an affront to his swollen ego.

The Mound of Sound said...

Thanks for the update on Karl Heinz, TB. Like John, I've been wondering about his status.

John B. said...

The last I heard of him, Schreiber was said to be living out his sentence in his mother-in-law's house. That would have been a couple of years ago. By now he may have done his time.

the salamander said...

.. there are several scenarios floating out there.. and like a 3 stage rocket.. General Trump of the 30 Day Rid of ISIL "secret, very secret plan" may implode or fail to unfold prior to achieving stable 4 yesr orbit..

1 - Tax returns? Lied relentlessly about releasing them. If and when they leak out in dribs and drabs, FOI's, via remote media analysis, they will be either mindblowing.. or worse - ie Trump as indebted over-leveraged fraud & loan markers held by obscure Chines and Russian entities.

2 - Conflicts of Interests? Lies, defies, blusters, refuses.. appoints his children. (he caught me by suprise with his/Bannon's pre-emptive attack uppn the Joint Chiefs of Staff.. and Security Council.. Did not think he could get away with that)

3 - Russia.. oh yes.. Russia.. that rattling chain, and runaway boat anchor - See points #1 and #2

4 - The Donald/Bannon hard-on to match Stephen Harper's assaults & insults on any level of Environmental Protection legislation. Its 'open season' guns a blazin.. kill any impediment to resource extraction, related extreme pollution, any level of protest. Its go for broke sellout to Big Energy. Dump any toxins in any body of water or runoff with Zero Oversight. Oh, Protected Species? They are near the bullseye

Runaway government with majority control.. completely insanely.. out of control.. possibly beyond control..

Dana said...

This will all come to nothing. Not because there's nothing there but because the majorities in both Houses will see to it that it doesn't. Paul is already saying he doesn't think there's even a reason for Sessions to recuse himself. The news media, having discovered that when Trump speaks slowly and in a slightly lower register, the orange gasbag can be preznichul after all will fart away at moonbeams for a while longer and then they'll get on with the most important job they have - seeing to it that nothing irremediably stains the office or the system.

Nothing much will really change until the USD collapses and then there'll probably be some war-war. Cue Slim Pickens.

Northern PoV said...

Rick Salutin wrote a great piece about how lying-Brian embarrasses us at least once a decade.

I had some affection for the little German fellow, KH Schreiber - he was so much more human than the bloated ex-PM.

The fact that Brian is a locked-in member of the political and business elite tells us a lot about their ethics eh?

And the fact that he's selfie-boy's goto on Trump tells us a lot about selfie-boy.

The Mound of Sound said...

Sal, I hope you're right about Trump's tax returns. The more he's pressed to release them the worse he'll look for refusing.

There's that waft of nostalgia, early 70s style - the resignation of Spiro Agnew, Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers,CREEP and Mitchell, Watergate and the downfall of so many, especially Nixon. Boy they were sure brought down, like bricks in a crumbling wall.

Still it took the better part of two years for that to ripen. Trump's fiasco has only been stewing for a few months. We shall see.

The Mound of Sound said...

Dana, I do hope you're wrong. Then again, it was a matter of hours after you posted your comment that Sessions became ensnarled.

The Mound of Sound said...

NPoV, I missed that. What's the connection between Justin, Mulroney and Trump?