You Have to Hand It to Hillary – the Girl Can Smear

With the help of the DNC (broke, but forking over millions to this end), Hillary pulled off what Kimberly Strassel rightly calls “one of the dirtiest tricks in U.S. political history." She hired a smear outfit (Fusion, headed by Glenn Simpson) which put together ludicrous claims, leaked them to willing press cohorts, including David Corn at Mother Jones, hired Christopher Steele (GPS) to concoct a fairytale about Donald J Trump and had Steele give the Dossier to the FBI in July 2016. Then press megaphone Michael Isikoff at Yahoo News -- obviously tipped off by Steele -- reported, “U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump advisor and Kremlin.”

Having generated this nonsense, handed it off to the FBI, and shared the news of that handoff to Isikoff, Hillary “jumped all over it, spinning its own oppo research as a government investigation into Mr. Trump.” She and her surrogates hit the airwaves with it:

To that point, it is fair to ask if the entire Trump-Russia narrative -- which has played a central role in our political discourse for a year, and is now resulting in a special counsel issuing unrelated indictments -- is based on nothing more than a political smear document. Is there any reason to believe the FBI was probing a Trump-Russia angle before the dossier? Is there any collusion allegation that doesn’t come in some form from the dossier?

The idea that the federal government and a special counsel were mobilized -- that American citizens were monitored and continue to be investigated -- based on a campaign-funded hit document is extraordinary. Especially given that to this day no one has publicly produced a single piece of evidence to support any of the dossier’s substantive allegations about Trump team members. 

It’s not the first time GPS’s Glenn Simpson served as a conduit for fake news from foreign sources. Nor the first time he enlisted leftist allies in his smears. In 2007 and 2008, while still acting as an investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal, he smeared Alexander Mirtchev, his corporation, and others, claiming that they provided “murky services… to dictators and oligarchs from the post-Soviet states, including the Kazakh first family” based on accusations from two brothers, Devincci and Issam Hourani, who claimed they had done so. An outfit titling itself Project on Government Oversight (POGO) funded by a variety of foundations, including George Soros’ Open Society, the Living Fund of the (far left laundering outfit) Tides Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the pro Iran (former roost of Valerie Plame) Ploughshares Fund, followed up in 2011, demanding that Eric Holder investigate whether members of Congress received money to alter perceptions of Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev. As a basis for POGO’s claim, they relied heavily on five articles published in 2007 and 2008 and co-authored by Glenn Simpson, then with the Wall Street Journal.

When Mirtchev -- doubtless after an expensive legal battle to clear his name -- finally got his day in court, the Hourani accounts were dismissed with prejudice, the court finding that “The campaign and court case were predicated on forgeries and fabrications, exposed by leading international expert document examiners. The Court of Appeals sustained the dismissal of these bogus claims.”

Though it’s less well known, Simpson’s GPS was also trying to play both sides of the street in furtherance -- whether they knew it or not -- of a Russian plan to confuse the electorate and create havoc. GPS had prepared a second dossier targeting donors to the Clinton Foundation.

The Kremlin hoped to undermine the United States government regardless of which party won. Fusion GPS, the research firm commissioned by the Clinton campaign to compile the so-called Trump dossier, is also responsible for a second dossier -- the information that Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya provided to top Trump-campaign officials in June 2016. The second dossier reportedly alleged financial misconduct by major contributors to the Clinton Global Initiative, a project of the Clinton Foundation. [snip]

For all the talk about “Trump collusion with Russia,” it seems increasingly clear that the Kremlin, as is its wont, hoped to undermine the United States government regardless of which party won the White House in 2016. Wittingly or not, Fusion GPS helped the Putin regime play both sides.

Still, Simpson’s shoddy work and known reputation as a smear merchant did not give the press pause to carry the Russian Collusion flag Hillary placed in their hands. Worse, it caused James Comey, Rod Rosenstein, and Robert Mueller to tie it into what Conrad Black rightly calls “a Gordian knot of absurdity.”

No one seems to have noticed that the Democrats are now making unctuous noises about the inviolability of a process that has disintegrated into utter nonsense. According to the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Steele dossier is the only possible evidence of Trump-Russian collusion, and we now know that it was composed of unsubstantiated allegations by unaccountable sources in and around the Kremlin, paid through intermediaries engaged by a retired British spy and paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee through the sleazy political dirty-tricks provider Fusion GPS. We also know that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, and the deputy attorney general who engaged him, Rod Rosenstein, were, as FBI director and U.S. attorney for Maryland, the prosecutors of the Russian representatives who offered improper incentives to secure Russian acquisitions of substantial American uranium interests, but did not bother the Clintons or Clinton Foundation, which contemporaneously were generously paid by those who favored that transaction, at a time when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s approval was required under national-security legislation. We also now know it is likely that the Steele dossier was used as the excuse for surveillance of the Trump campaign and transition activities in the Trump Tower in New York by the Obama administration, which had appointed Mr. Mueller and Mr. Rosenstein to their former FBI and Justice Department positions. And [snip] we now know that his protégé and successor at the FBI, James Comey, caused the appointment of his friend Mueller by Rosenstein (who had recommended that Comey be fired), by leaking to the New York Times a memo to himself (Comey) of contested accuracy and ownership [snip] And finally, in this Alice in Wonderland sequence, Comey confirmed to the Senate Intelligence Committee that he had assured President Trump three times, starting on January 27, ten weeks after the FBI took over the Steele dossier from the failed Clinton campaign, that Mr. Trump was not a suspect of any wrongdoing. The burning question is why this unutterable nonsense continues, and the Trumpophobic media respectabilize the (Hillary) Clinton view that paying for the Steele dossier was just a normal attempt to get “campaign information.” [snip] If this all sounds like the Hound of the Baskervilles chasing its tail, that is because it is that and more: The hound has caught its own tail and devoured itself from behind to the point that it has become a deformed biped.

Read it all, and tell me why Black isn’t absolutely correct to tag this “bunk, rubbish, a Babylonian ziggurat of pompous and officious suppositions and confections that, when explained in its correct sequence… no sane person could take seriously.”

Of course, it should be shut down. It’s a disgrace and an embarrassment that our top legal officials and intelligence operations could be so stupid or corrupt.

We’ve grown to expect that of the press, of course, and Justin Raimondo reminds us how stubbornly they cling to the Russian collusion horse puckey; in particular, he notes the hysterical press insistence that the DNC was hacked by Russia:

This is what I love about the presidency of Donald J. Trump -- this news story: “CIA director met with DNC Hack Conspiracy Theorist at Trump’s Urging.” Isn’t it magical how a 40-year veteran of the National Security Agency, formerly head of its World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group, a whistle-blower who exposed Agency abuses long before Edward Snowden hit puberty, can be reduced to a mere “conspiracy theorist” at a headline-writers’ whim?

The media is aghast at this intrusion of a competing conspiracy theory into the “Russia-gate” debate: there’s only room enough for the Official Story, which is that Russian state actors were deployed to capture the DNC/Podesta communications and hand them over to WikiLeaks. No evidence has ever been provided by the US government or its corporate contractors to make a convincing case for this scenario. Indeed, there’s been lots of talk about Russian “bots” somehow hypnotizing the US voting population into pushing the lever for Trump, but very little “forensic” evidence that shows a Russian handprint on the WikiLeaks materials.

Binney and a growing number of technical co-thinkers are challenging the Official Story by revealing that internal evidence points to the fact that the data was physically downloaded onto a handheld device of some kind. There was no “hack” of the DNC: an insider copied the files and handed them over, probably on a thumb drive. 

Now I don’t know whether this theory is correct, or if it will be later disproved when new evidence comes in. Yet I think you’ll notice the hysterical tone that Binney’s appearance on the scene has provoked from the President’s enemies: isn’t it just a bit over the top to call a longtime NSA employee with a distinguished service record a “conspiracy theorist”? Well, no, not when it’s a matter of religious dogma that must be defended at all costs: the DNC “hack” couldn’t have been an inside job because that would undermine the public pronouncements of every Democratic party official since Election Day, 2016.

In any event, things continue to move along. Simpson has finally agreed to testify to Congress -- albeit it on the dossier and in closed hearings.

And his effort to keep from turning over to Congress the bank records, which seem likely to disclose the names of journalists whom his outfit Fusion paid, has hit a bump as far as he is concerned. The Obama-appointed judge who was handling the bank records case has been removed -- perhaps because her law firm represented Huma Abedin and other Democratic insiders and a new judge appointed to hear it;

If you, like me, prefer to remember the day when Americans were smarter and more resourceful than to be taken in by this foolishness, I draw your attention to an obituary in this week’s New York Times.

It’s about Irv Refkin, from my hometown, Milwaukee. When he was 3 or 4 his immigrant parents died in an auto accident and he spent the next 10 years in a German Lutheran orphanage where he learned to speak German. Through a series of mix-ups while in the U.S. Army, he was mistaken for a Canadian and flown to Britain, “before the United States army knew he was missing, he had parachuted into occupied France.” He carried out three missions for the British and when the U.S. entered the war he worked for the O.S.S. as a “saboteur, assassin and courier behind enemy lines.”

It’s good to remember that once upon a time in a country called the USA we had people with enough courage and wit to know how to do the right thing. 

Correction: name corrected to Irv Refkin