by Clarice Feldman
The Steele Dossier -- the gift that keeps on giving.
The Internet is full of information, some of it not well researched or considered, but every now and then a star appears on the horizon. To my mind the new star is Yaacov Apelbaum, who, using his considerable technical skills, has produced a masterpiece of well-documented analysis underscoring the nonsensical and partisan nature of the Mueller operation. He compares this effort by the anti-Trumpers to the plot line of the Dreyfus affair, where falsified evidence and suppressed evidence led to Captain Alfred Dreyfus’s conviction for treason.
It’s lengthy and detailed and on a lovely Sunday in summer you may not want to study it completely, but if this subject is of interest to you, I strongly suggest you bookmark the article and study it at your leisure. I cannot do it justice in any summary, but I’ll try to hit the main points.
He concludes, after a long, substantive, technologically adept investigation:
The real dossier story is not the scandalous insinuations that it makes, but rather it’s the funding sources, the teams that worked on it, and its compilation and distribution channels. At peak capacity, the dossier team must have consisted of at least 25 individuals who worked on it for over 6-12 months. Assuming a modest $200 per hour rate per person, some first/business class travel and accommodations, media, consulting, IT, and legal services, this project most have cost an upwards of 5-10 million dollars. According to Simpson’s testimony and documents, Fusion GPS was only paid about a million dollars by the DNC and Clinton campaign, which begs the questions of what was Hakluyt’s [Ed: another private UK intelligence operation closely connected to Hillary Clinton] cut and where did the rest of the money go?
For today’s purposes, I will simply note the highlights, but the article really deserves the attention of readers, investigators, and reporters. Using open source intelligence materials, he’s pinpointed the source(s) of the deeply flawed Steele Dossier, which formed the basis for the FISA warrants used by the FBI and Department of Justice to gather intelligence on the President and his associates.
He details the organization and staffing of GPS Fusion and reports:
The political makeup of the team was exclusively democratic with many of the employees and interns having a strong political connection to the Clinton or Obama administrations. Jason Raymond, the Research Director, came from John Kerry’s press office and was affiliated with USAID; Laura Seago, a senior analyst, came from the Brennan Center for Justice and was also affiliated with USAID …the senior management had a documented history of misconduct and ethical-related issues. Glenn Simpson has a Profane Cursing and Public Intoxication conviction; Jason Felch, a former reporter and the managing partner of the LA office, was fired from the LA Times for deceitful reporting. He was also cheating on his wife on multiple occasions with his Occidental College investigative source.
As for the main author of the dossier, Christopher Steele, Apelbaum details his MI6 background and his connection along with fellow MI6-retiree Chris Burrows and Nicholas Butcher to other outfits after his cover was blown as a British spy. Also contributing to the Dossier was Nellie Hauke Ohr, wife of Bruce Ohr, and a British-French national, Edward Emil Baumgartner, who also has his own private intelligence consulting business in the UK,
Using a variety of methods and tools which he describes, Apelbaum has shown the interconnections between media figures and the dossier authors.
His research indicates:
The [Dossier] network graph analysis indicates that the fellowship of the dossier is a close-knit group; everyone knew each other long before embarking on the quest to find the alleged Russian collusion. All of the project key players are related through marriage, family relations, or work affiliations. [Snip] this team collaborated in various member configurations on many other ‘dossier projects’ and utilized the same collection methods, materials, resources, political network, and publication channels.
He has a detailed chart of the Dossier participants.
And he documents their work with intelligence operatives inside and outside U.S. channels. For example:
Halper, Clarke, Downer, Smith, Dearlove, Crawford, Lobban, MI6, LAD, and Hakluyt LinkageSteele worked with the FBI as early as 2010 on the FIFA investigation. In 2016, he met them several times including at two meetings with agent Michael Gaeta, a leading FBI ‘Russia corruption expert’, in Rome and in London to discuss the dossier. Gaeta coordinated and got clearance for these meetings from Victoria Nuland at the State Department. Gaeta was the FBI case officer in Europe and controlled Orbis, Stefan Halper, and the Hakluyt dossier assets. [snip] Baumgartner, Nellie Ohr, Bruce Ohr, and David Kramer are all Harvard alumni. Nellie Ohr knew Stefan Halper since at least 2000. Nellie Ohr also worked in the MITRE Corporation with Halper’s son Marin Halper for six years from 2002-2008.
He establishes Hillary Clinton's close associate Sidney Blumenthal’s connections to and contacts with media, which promoted the dossier charges. Glenn Simpson’s wife, Mary Jacoby, also had extensive contacts with key figures in the media and federal apparatus., including Blumenthal, with whom she had worked at Salon.
Two months before the Dossier was released, Jacoby spent several hours in the White House with five people (Apelbaum identifies them) all of whom were related to the dossier team.
Key figures in Democratic circles, detailed by the author, were heavily involved in promoting Ukrainian interests here. Also passing around unverified dirt was Strobe Talbott, who handed off Cody Shearer’s trash dossier (he’s Shearer’s brother in law, a former deputy Secretary of State for Bill Clinton and the husband of Brooke Shearer known to have dug up dirt against Bill Clinton’s accusers.)
He notes the continued mischaracterizations in the FISA warrant application of Steele’s motivation and role in an earlier FIFA investigation, for which Steele himself did no investigative work but merely repackaged work done by others but was paid $270,000 by the FBI. This is critical because in the application, these omissions undercut the credibility of the work on which the application was based.
In fact, in producing the Dossier, Steele had no direct contacts inside Russia. He relied on “[Nellie] Ohr, Baumgartner, and Ukrainian sources to generate his so-called ‘raw intelligence’.”
Almost from the start, the Dossier operatives, through their friends, were feeding tidbits of this unverified nonsense to willing accomplices in the New YorkTimes, the Washington Post, Yahoo! News, MSNBC, The New Yorker, and CNN.”
As for the many ways the dossier was spread to the press -- not only were people like Baumgartner and Steele posting about it.
One thing worth noting is that just like in the case of the core dossier network, many of these ‘receptive’ reporters such, David Corn, Joe Palazzolo, David Cay Johnston, Scott Dworkin and Evan Perez (images 32-33) had long incestuous relationships with Fusion GPS and it’s team members. [snip]Moreover, [Evan] Perez’s, [Jake] Tapper’s, [Jim] Sciutto’s, and [Carl] Bernstein’s tweets [snip] strongly suggest that they also had early and direct access to the dossier team and were actively distributing its content as it was being written.”
Fusion appears, in fact, to have paid reporters five-digit figures in three cases. We still don’t know which publications or reporters were on the take.
Molly Hemingway's tweet is on point:
Some media fell hook, line and sinker for the Clinton/DNC information campaign -- CNN, WP, NYT, NBC among them. They are understandably embarrassed to cover the real story. But they should. Better late than never.12:06 PM - 11 Aug 2018
As for Nellie Ohr’s ham radio license, he reveals that it only allowed her to operate in a 10-mile radius and was obviously designed to preclude NSA from recording her contacts over the phone or internet. The range of her operations was sufficient to allow her to communicate with all the offices of the federal government located in downtown D.C. And she could extend its reach up to 20 miles if she needed to.
Once you see the vast network of Democratic operatives, officials, former officials, media, foreign intelligence operatives, and former operatives involved in this Big Lie and how they used it to spy on the opposition and tar and beset the President you can only wish that the reports that he’s about to declassify what so far has remained obscured, especially the FISA warrant applications, comes to pass sooner, rather than later.
Chairman Bob Goodlatte of the House Judiciary Committee reportedly is subpoenaing Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, and GPS cofounder Glenn Simpson, as well as former FBI and DOJ officials including Jim Baker, Jonathan Moffa, and George Tosca.
If the Department of Justice balks at permitting the testimony of those still in its employ, Rod Rosenstein should be forced to give an open explanation of why this cover-up is continuing. If it’s to hide malfeasance and incompetence in the agency, as it appears to be, the President should and likely will declassify and release it all. This game has gone on too long.
Indeed, the majority of Americans want this Mueller dog and pony show (now floundering in yet another court in the Manafort “non-collusion” case) over.
The longer this goes on, the more the FBI suffers public disaffection.
Donald J. Trump
Verified account @realDonaldTrumpWill the FBI ever recover it’s once stellar reputation, so badly damaged by Comey, McCabe, Peter S and his lover, the lovely Lisa Page, and other top officials now dismissed or fired? So many of the great men and women of the FBI have been hurt by these clowns and losers!
It’s impossible for me not to agree with the President’s sentiments.
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