The madness of J. Comey, Director of Matters 4

Is James Comey, the head of the FBI, mentally unstable?

Judge Andrew Napolitano has compiled a record of Comey’s actions over the last nine months or so; actions that display such wild irrationality that our suspicion of derangement seems justified.

In 2015, a committee of the House of Representatives that was investigating the deaths of four Americans at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, learned that the State Department had no copies of any emails sent or received by Clinton during her four years as secretary of state. When committee investigators pursued this – at the same time that attorneys involved with civil lawsuits brought against the State Department seeking the Clinton emails were pursuing it – it was revealed that Clinton had used her own home servers for her emails and bypassed the State Department servers.

Because many of her emails obviously contained government secrets and because the removal of government secrets to any non-secure venue constitutes espionage, the House Select Committee on Benghazi sent a criminal referral to the Department of Justice, which passed it on to the FBI. A congressionally issued criminal referral means that some members of Congress who have seen some evidence think that some crime may have been committed. The DOJ is free to reject the referral, yet it accepted this one.

It directed the FBI to investigate the facts in the referral and to refer to the investigation as a “matter,” not as a criminal investigation. The FBI cringed a bit, but Director James Comey followed orders and used the word “matter”.

So Comey followed an order that was out of the ordinary. Why? 

Was he protecting Hillary Clinton?

This led to some agents mockingly referring to him as the director of the Federal Bureau of Matters. It would not be the last time agents mocked or derided him in the Clinton investigation.

He should not have referred to it by any name, because under DOJ and FBI regulations, the existence of an FBI investigation should not be revealed publicly unless and until it results in some public courtroom activity, such as the release of an indictment. These rules and procedures have been in place for generations to protect those never charged. Because of the role that the FBI has played in our law enforcement history — articulated in books and movies and manifested in our culture — many folks assume that if a person is being investigated by the FBI, she must have done something wrong.

In early July 2016, Clinton was personally interviewed in secret for about four hours by a team of FBI agents who had been working on her case for a year. During that interview, she professed great memory loss and blamed it on a head injury she said she had suffered in her Washington, D.C., home. Some of the agents who interrogated her disbelieved her testimony about the injury and, over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, asked Comey for permission to subpoena her medical records.

When Comey denied his agents the permission they sought, some of them attempted to obtain the records from the intelligence community. Because Clinton’s medical records had been digitally recorded by her physicians and because the FBI agents knew that the National Security Agency has digital copies of all keystrokes on all computers used in the U.S. since 2005, they sought Clinton’s records from their NSA colleagues. Lying to the FBI is a felony, and these agents believed they had just witnessed a series of lies.

But  he did not want her statements to be verified. Why? Was he protecting her?

When Comey learned what his creative agents were up to, he jumped the gun by holding a news conference on July 5, 2016, during which he announced that the FBI was recommending to the DOJ that it not seek Clinton’s indictment because “no reasonable prosecutor” would take the case. He then did the unthinkable. He outlined all of the damning evidence of guilt that the FBI had amassed against her.

He held a news conference in which he “outlined all of the damning evidence against her”. 

That is to say, he explained why she should be indicted.

So he wasn’t protecting her. 

But he was. He would not recommend to the Department of Justice that she be indicted.

This double-edged sword – we won’t charge her, but we have much evidence of her guilt – was unprecedented and unheard of in the midst of a presidential election campaign. Both Republicans and Democrats found some joy in Comey’s words. Yet his many agents who believed that Clinton was guilty of both espionage and lying were furious — furious that Comey had revealed so much, furious that he had demeaned their work, furious that he had stopped an investigation before it was completed.

While all this was going on, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton’s closest aide, Huma Abedin, was being investigated for using a computer to send sexually explicit materials to a minor. When the FBI asked for his computer — he had shared it with his wife — he surrendered it. When FBI agents examined the Weiner/Abedin laptop, they found about 650,000 stored emails, many from Clinton to Abedin, that they thought they had not seen before.

Rather than silently examine the laptop, Comey again violated DOJ and FBI regulations by announcing publicly the discovery of the laptop and revealing that his team suspected that it contained hundreds of thousands of Clinton emails; and he announced the reopening of the Clinton investigation. This announcement was made two weeks before Election Day and was greeted by the Trump campaign with great glee.

The glee was premature. Just as Comey’s public statements were.

But he wasn’t protecting Hillary.

No wait – he was.

Having again done something dramatic that was “unprecedented and unheard of in the midst of a presidential election campaign”, again rousing expectations that the great intelligence-gathering bureau was about to reveal that it had found evidence of Hillary Clinton’s turpitude and criminality, he let the big balloon he had sent up drop to an empty shred:

A week later, Comey announced that the laptop was fruitless, and the investigation was closed, again.

At about the same time that the House Benghazi Committee sent its criminal referral to the DOJ, American and British intelligence became interested in a potential [alleged] connection between the Trump presidential campaign and intelligence agents of the Russian government. This interest resulted in the now infamous year-plus-long electronic surveillance of Trump and many of his associates and colleagues. This also produced a criminal referral from the intelligence community to the DOJ, which sent it to the FBI.

This referral and the existence of this investigation was kept – quite properly – from the press and the public. When Comey was asked about it, he – quite properly – declined to answer. When he was asked under oath whether he knew of any surveillance of Trump before Trump became president, Comey denied that he knew of it.

But he must have known of it. Why did he deny it? Keeping quiet about it is one thing – proper, as Napolitano says – but outright denying it is another.

What was going on with the FBI?

How could Comey justify the public revelation of a criminal investigation and a summary of evidence of guilt about one candidate for president and remain silent about the existence of a criminal investigation of the campaign of another?

He might do it because he wanted to damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

But if he’d wanted to damage her campaign, he could have done it much more effectively by recommending her indictment, justified by all the reasons he himself had outlined.

How could he deny knowledge of surveillance that was well-known in the intelligence community, even among his own agents?

Why would the FBI director inject his agents, who have prided themselves on professional political neutrality, into a bitterly contested campaign having been warned it might affect the outcome? Why did he reject the law’s just commands of silence in favor of putting his thumb on political scales?

What but derangement can explain it? Is the answer to all these questions that James Comey is mad?

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Update May 2, 2017.

Cliff  Kincaid writes at Canada Free Press:

FBI Director James Comey has been caught going around to secret Congressional briefings in recent weeks touting the lurid fake “Trump dossier”.  He has been claiming that it is a major foundation of the FBI’s investigation of purported Russian collusion with Trump to interfere in the election — months after the FBI had already assessed the “dossier” as non-credible.

Comey seems not to grasp the nature of the damage he’s inflicting on the Bureau and its reputation for efficient information-gathering and law enforcement. He is lost in a “wilderness of mirrors”, to use intelligence jargon popularized by the CIA’s legendary anti-communist mole-hunter James Jesus Angleton.

This “Trump dossier” is the controversial document supposedly composed by “ex” British MI6 agent Christopher Steele through the group known as Fusion GPS. Paid for by still-unidentified Hillary Clinton supporters, it was “opposition research” against then-candidate, now President, Donald Trump.

Fusion GPS has been revealed to be a Russian lobby firm

The House and Senate Intelligence committees have been investigating the wrong alleged scandal. It’s not Trump and his associates who should be under scrutiny; it’s Hillary Clinton and her paid operatives — and their ties to Russia. …

In view of reports that the FBI relied on the discredited “dossier” to justify getting a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrant against one-time Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning issued a statement demanding that Comey either step down or be fired. …

Comey’s conduct is almost as bizarre as the wild charges in the “Trump dossier”. In fact, he has been promoting the “Trump dossier” even as his own FBI and the rest of the Intelligence Community (IC) have been “distancing themselves from it” …

Comey must go. …

Comey has become a major embarrassment to the FBI.

The uses of false intelligence 1

The scurrilous “intelligence” dossier on President-elect Donald Trump, claiming that he did disgusting, low, disreputable things on a visit to Russia (which he never made) –  the alleged antics being on film and in the possession of Russian snoop officials, so the Putin government has a hold on him forever (and that’s why Putin wanted Trump to win the election and therefore wrecked poor Hillary’s otherwise perfect campaign) – was concocted by an erstwhile MI6 agent, now having even more fun running his very own espionage company. His name is Christopher Steele.

He has been accused of lying! And he feels so got-at that he’s gone into hiding.

Which is – we are to understand – awfully unfair, because, you see, the information in the dossier never was intended to be TRUE. Good grief! TRUE? When was “intelligence” ever intended or expected to be TRUE?

A corrective to so naive an expectation comes from an article by Tom Burgis in the Financial Times of January 14, 2017. We quote from the print version:

[Intelligence agents] argue that the rush to shoot the messenger [Christopher Steele] represents a misunderstanding of what intelligence is, whether amassed by state agencies or private companies. It does not deal in true or false, they say, but in shades of confidence in sources. “When you are in the corporate intelligence world, everyone knows that, in every report you get, not everything is true,” says a British investigator who knows Mr Steele.

So in every report you get, there are falsehoods. In every report you get, everything may be false, nothing true. There is no way of knowing.

Now you’ve been educated, now you know that trade secret, how do you feel about your country’s intelligence services? Confident in them? Safer?

No intelligence service detected signs that the 9/11 terrorists attacks on New York and the Pentagon were coming. Nor subsequent mass killings by Muslim terrorists in the US, Britain, France, Germany, and Spain.

However, US intelligence has uncovered many violent plots and prevented them. They have found, or stumbled upon, the truth very often. So it is possible for them to find out what is really happening, has really happened, is going to happen. They surely  do strive for accurate information. They are a vital part of the defense of the nation. They cannot take that responsibility as lightly as the colleagues of Christopher Steele insouciantly brag that they do.

The important point about the dossier on Donald Trump in Russia is that it was a work of pure fiction, of cruel malice, of witless irresponsibility. It was extremely unintelligent.

And the chiefs of the US intelligence services knew that it was all those things. Yet they “leaked” the tainting lies to media hostile to the president-elect. That is distressing and horrible to contemplate.  

We expect President Trump’s appointees to the headship of the intelligence services – in which many persons of integrity do labor for the truth –  to be better and to do better.

Posted under Britain, Defense, Ethics, France, Germany, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Russia, Spain, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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Who are the news fakers? 2

CNN is “fake news”, Trump said, and BuzzFeed “is a failing pile of garbage”.

Right!  President-elect Trump says it as it is. (That’s why he’s been elected president.)

Here’s the story as Cliff Kincaid tells it at GOPUSA, somewhat shortened:

On Tuesday, January 10, … the CIA used CNN to air unsubstantiated …

And completely false … 

… charges against [President-elect] Trump.

CNN didn’t delineate the bizarre sexual nature of those charges; that was left to a left-wing “news” organization by the name of BuzzFeed, which posted 35 pages of scurrilous lies and defamation.

Demonstrating the sad state of ethical standards at CNN, Wolf Blitzer hyped the story into “breaking news”, when the allegations had been circulating for months, and Jake Tapper was brought on the air, “joining me with a major story we’re following right now.” Blitzer emphasized, “We’re breaking this story.” It was the beginning of CNN regurgitating what President-elect Trump called “fake news”. 

What followed was a low point in Tapper’s career, as he willingly participated in a ginned-up controversy using anonymous sources to report on “information” about Trump that started falling apart shortly after CNN aired its “breaking news”.

“That’s right, Wolf, a CNN exclusive,” said Tapper, apparently unaware that he was recycling a document that had been passed around for months. It was CNN, which uses former CIA official Michael Morell as an on-air contributor, that ran with it. Morell has worked for Beacon Global Strategies, a firm founded by former Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines, since November 2013.

Trying to distance himself from the controversy, Morell went on CNN to refer to some of the information as “unverified” in the “private document”.

But the damage had already been done, and Morell knew it. CNN had manufactured a controversy over Trump yet again

Ironically, CNN is a “partner” in an effort known as the First Draft Coalition that is dedicated “to improving practices in the ethical sourcing, verification and reporting of stories that emerge online”.

Sure it is. It’s the ethical way. Same way Saudi Arabia heads a Human Rights agency of the UN.

“CNN has learned that the nation’s top intelligence officials gave information to President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama last week about claims of Russian efforts to compromise President-elect Trump,” said Tapper. “The information was provided as part of last week’s classified intelligence briefings regarding Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 U.S. elections.”

Trying to pump up the “claims”, Jim Sciutto, Chief National Security Correspondent for CNN, said, “To be clear, this has been an enormous team effort by my colleagues here and others at CNN.”

A team effort to verify what? It looks like they were handed a 35-page document from the CIA and decided to publicize it. They failed to reveal the details precisely because they could not verify the document.

Sciutto said, “Multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN that classified documents on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election presented last week to President Obama and to President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.” …

Later, Tapper said the charges were “uncorroborated as of now”, indicating that they might be confirmed by somebody at some time in the future. There was “no proof” of the claims but “confidence by intelligence officials that the Russians are claiming this”.  …

CNN was reporting “news”, since a two-page CIA summary of this dirt was attached to a classified CIA report on Russian hacking and election influence that was given to Trump … But it was “fake” in the sense that CNN had no way of knowing if the charges had been completely made up.

On this basis, the story could and should have turned against the Intelligence Community, with reporters asking why unverified information had been used against Trump and whether this was retaliation for his criticism [of the “Intelligence Community”]. But this course of action by CNN would make it impossible for CNN reporters to go back to these same sources for scurrilous information and false charges in the future. This fact makes it abundantly clear that the news organization was being used by anonymous sources in the Intelligence Community, most likely the CIA.

Since CNN likes anonymous sources, I will use one of my own. “This is a classic CIA blackmail operation where the CIA under Director John Brennan uses someone else’s dirt for the blackmail, and postures themselves as ‘innocent’ in presenting it to Trump,” one observer of the Intelligence Community told me. This is certainly the real story — that an intelligence agency run by Obama’s CIA director would use an American television network to attack the President-elect with scurrilous and unsubstantiated charges.

Is America a constitutional republic ruled by the people through their elected representatives? Or do the intelligence agencies rule America and try to blackmail our leaders?

The President-elect said it would be “a tremendous blot” on the record of the Intelligence Community if they did in fact release the document to the media. At another point, he said, “I think it was disgraceful, disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false” get released in that fashion to CNN and BuzzFeed.

CNN is “fake news”, Trump said, and BuzzFeed “is a failing pile of garbage”. 

The intelligence chiefs are being unintelligent. The media people who are continuing to malign and antagonize President-elect Trump are being foolish.

Thing is, “gentlemen” and “ladies” of the fourth estate, if you like your toadying you can keep your toadying – only change the object of it from crushed Clinton to triumphant Trump. It’s the smart thing to do. If you can’t change your nature, change your idol. Serve your own interest. Be nice where the power lies.

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Post Script: Republican Senator John McCain, who has great guts but little brain, has admitted it was he who gave the FBI the fake dossier that smeared Donald Trump.

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Post Post Script: Newsmax reports that Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer posted in Britain’s Moscow embassy in 1990, is the author of the controversial dossier on President-elect Donald Trump. Hnow runs the private Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd. in London. He reportedly prepared the dossier on Trump at the request of Republicans running against him in the presidential primaries and later by the Hillary Clinton campaign. It was  obtained by a former British ambassador, who forwarded it to Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain last year, who passed it along to the FBI.  Steele, fearing anger over the matter by Russia, has fled his London home. Though he is no longer a British agent and compiled the dossier for his private company, the U.K. government was nonetheless concerned the matter could damage relations with the incoming administration, and British security services attempted to block news agencies from reporting Steele’s name.