As news continues to break regarding
the malignant Mueller probe into the president, one particular, recurring thread has constantly caught my eye over the past two years: the abuse of our international intelligence relationships by the Obama Administration. These critical foundations of National Security were seemingly weaponized to dig up dirt on the then-Trump Campaign.
Whether it was the Estonians or the British it is clear, as reported by mainstream media, that partisan CIA Director John Brennan was all too happy to abuse his position and use relationships with friendly intelligence services (“liaison”) for partisan gain.
What is only slightly less amazing is that along with current reporting, most of these salient facts have been published over the past few years as they occurred in the mainstream media (MSM). With the exception of several excellent articles however, the MSM has, in fact, avoided tying these various elements together into one comprehensive Pulitzer Prize-level expose. The reason for this is simple: the complaint MSM does not want to be a party to the revelation of what is doubtless the Greatest American Political Scandal of our Times.
The “Spygate” Scandal towers over Watergate and others by an order of magnitude. After all, Watergate was a cover up of lying about a hotel room break-in and the stealing of a few files. The seeming crimes perpetrated under the corrupt Obama Administration involves the use of our own government against the People.
Our Intelligence Community (IC) was abused by miscreants within to target an individual. Is it such a leap to ponder if the IC can be directed to target a billionaire presidential candidate — what prevents them from doing it to any one of us?
The documents raising concern within the British government, of course, are those related to the seeming abuse of the FISA court system to direct U.S. government (USG) resources against the Trump Campaign. The very fact that Britain is officially “concerned” about Trump’s declassification of these documents makes it apparent that the British were involved in the same effort against the Trump Campaign... and it is not, as they claim, about “protecting sources and methods.”
I have already written about USG abuse of the FISA system, as well as the rampant politicization of our intel community which occurred in the Obama years — so the “new” revelation that Mi6 or GCHQ (British equivalent to NSA) were brought in by former CIA Director John Brennan to aid them in their efforts is sadly, not a great surprise.
Dan Bongino, in his excellent book "Spygate," lays out in detail the cabal of individuals and seemingly criminal activity involved — facts which should outrage every American regardless of party affiliation. What I will do below is highlight some key points in this travesty in which I have insight as a former CIA Station Chief.
1. Liaison Relationships — The Abuse Thereof. Having spent a great part of my career working bilaterally with a number of liaison services (Albanians, Moldovans, Azeris, et al.), we must understand that the U.S. is always the Big Kid on the Block. We have the ability, and critically, the money to fund the Joint Operations that are sought. Thus all foreign liaison services are junior partners — and that includes the British. Intel Officers have to be careful in dealing with “liaison” — they often have a different agenda, or conversely, try to please too much.
Now if you are a politically partisan CIA Director, who in the words of George Neumayr, ran the CIA “like a branch office of the Hillary campaign” this liaison dynamic is a dream come true.
All that a CIA Director need do is to make clear to the British — or the Estonians or any other service — that you are seeking some “intel” — in this case, dirt on a long-shot presidential candidate — and most Liaison Services will be happy to oblige. They will “create” a report, or round up a “usual suspect” in an attempt to please the CIA and keep the money flowing.
The beauty of this technique is that, in contrast to a CIA intel report, which would describe the quality of sourcing, a report from a Liaison Service is simply attributed to a Liaison Service — without a source evaluation. This hypothetical hearsay report now has the patina of official respectability, allowing an unscrupulous Director to tout to his Swamp cronies that Liaison reported through official channels an intercepted phone call suggesting Putin was pouring money into the Trump campaign.
This fictitious gallstone in the IC’s alimentary canal was likely the gift that kept on giving. British Mi6/GCHQ could then have been informed by the CIA Director (or his representative) that a “fellow Western Service” had reporting on Trump, and could themselves have been exhorted to follow up that lead with reporting of their own. As the “elite” of the British IC took as dim a view of Trump as many of our own government officials, Brennan and his cabal probably didn’t have to press that hard. After all, any smart person could see that Hillary will win in a landslide! Brennan and his confederates would then have the bonus of (Allied) SIGINT monitoring of an American citizen — without all of those pesky reporting requirements!
This illegal manipulation of the system was apparently not enough for Brennan, nor DNI Clapper, nor FBI Director Comey. Brennan also formed an Interagency Task Group to work the “problem” while Clapper and Brennan worked the HUMINT (spying) against the Trump Campaign.
As a former Station Chief accustomed to working with the legal hurdles of my profession (and there are many), I can assure you that this alone breaks every ethical rule (and likely law) that I was taught over my 18-year career. I suppose laws and rules are for only the “little people” of the IC to follow…
Partisanship also ensured that the FBI would accept the discredited, amateurish Steele Dossier paid for by the DNC, and give the Swamp another intel bullet point that could be leaked by the press to damage Candidate Trump.
The Dossier, after all, will sound more official as an FBI report than as a DNC partisan hit piece it really was…
2. The “Sources and Methods” Canard
Having worked highly sensitive field operations against Russia and Iran (amongst others) for a decade, I am well aware of the necessity to protect “Sources and Methods.” Protection of my own personally recruited sources was the difference between their life and death (or at least imprisonment). I can also say, however, that this “protection” is one of the most abused characteristics of our (or any other) intelligence agency. This chestnut has allowed individuals/services to duck accountability the world over.
I totally reject Britain’s contention that President Trump’s declassification of FISA-related and other documents are going to compromise “sources and methods.” For one thing, the “methods” part doesn’t fly — everyone who watches TV understands many of the capabilities of ELINT (Electronic Intelligence), tracking/recording of cell phones, or HUMINT (Human intelligence) — and there is nothing “exotic” about this Operation that would be exposed in a declassification — no Keyhole-Invading drones or Remote Viewing.
As far as the “Sources” part of “Sources and Methods,” there is no chance that Trump’s possible declassification is going to reveal CIA/Mi6 Kremlin sources that will then be hunted down. While such things do occur due to compromises, such as in China during Brennan’s failed tenure. This potential “danger” does not exist should declassification occur.
Why? Because all persons involved in this matter are based in either the U.S. or the UK. The lack of any true “collusion” evidence has meant that virtually all the participant’s names have already been leaked — like Stefan Harper or the unlucky Papadopoulis — all in a seeming attempt to defame the president. Might some Russian “sources” be revealed by a Trump declassification? No — because if Russians are named, they will not be CIA/Mi6 assets, just foreign citizens electronically intercepted because they talk too much on their cellphones. Putin has not yet had anyone executed for that “crime.”
We already know that the totally discredited (by Steele himself!) Steele Dossier involved only “overt” Russian official sources — sources that I have said before were providing feed information to Steele according to a script written by Putin or his circle. Very likely that FISA declassification would be more of the same. So there are really no “Sources and Methods” to protect — it’s just an excuse to avoid the truth.
The individuals who would be "compromised" by a Trump declassification would be the occupants of the Clown Car we have gotten to know and love — government officials such as Clapper, Comey, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, UN Ambassador Samantha Power, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, amongst others.
Let’s not forget the overpaid (by the FBI) British academic Stefan Halper. Not only has he already been outed, but he is now the most famous blown FBI source ever. I bet, though, that Halper will still be kept on the payroll in some capacity, for to even hint that Harper is a waste of the taxpayer’s money will likely lose you your security clearance.
3. What the British (and the Swamp) Really Fears
What British leadership and the D.C. Swamp really fear is not the revelation of clandestine “sources and methods,” but the revelation of their own actions to weaponize the intelligence community and the machinations of government to discredit and destroy the Trump Campaign — and later, the Administration. Keeping these documents secret is the only defense all the conspirators have at this point. Revelation of the sum total of their illegal activities will/should result in criminal trials, on this side of the Atlantic, lasting for several years.
Across the Pond, Theresa May’s government likely fears declassification will result in another torpedo to her currently sinking government. The British public will not be pleased to find that CIA Director Brennan possibly used the venerated Mi6/GCHQ as cheap cutouts to derail the Trump Administration. Not especially enhancing to our “Special Relationship,” Old Boy!
4. What Needs to Be Done
The FISA documents now transcend simple National Security — they now have everything to do with the preservation of our Republic and our Constitutional Freedoms — and the revelation of those reprobates who seemingly broke their oath to that document and betrayed everything that they stand for.
As a Station Chief, I am convinced that its release will have no impact on our Intelligence Collection abilities — and as U.S. Citizens and Taxpayers, we have a right to understand how our government has been weaponized against the People. We regular folks out here in Realville want accountability and Justice.
There is no question that the president should release the FISA documents.
Scott Uehlinger is a retired CIA Station Chief and Naval Officer. A Russian speaker, he spent 12 years of his career abroad in the former Soviet Union. In addition to teaching at NYU, he is a frequent Newsmax TV and Fox Business TV commentator, and has a weekly podcast, "the Station Chief," that can be found on iTunes or at www.thestationchief.com. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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