Friday, September 13, 2019

CNN's spy exfiltration story was a Second Russia Hoax - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

Literally, a piece of Sciutto.

Less than a day and half after it appeared, CNN's "exclusive" report by Jim Sciutto that worries over President Trump's handling of classified information led the CIA to exfiltrate "one of [the CIA's] highest level sources" from Russia has been shown to be a hoax. Literally, a piece of Sciutto. As phony as the allegation that President Trump hired Russian hookers to urinate on a Moscow hotel room mattress just because President Obama once supposedly slept on it. Or that the man whose aggressive development of American fracking has devastated the pricing of Putin's sole money-making exports — oil and gas — is somehow in his pocket.

The phoniness of this CNN report did not take long to become apparent.

Even the Trump-hating New York Times reported that the decision to remove the agent was made before Trump took office:
C.I.A. officials worried about safety made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia.
And what caused the worries over his safety? Why, not President Trump, but rather his nemesis, the mainstream media, which were vigorously publicizing information that the Russian official supposedly supplied to the CIA about Russian interference in our 2016 election:
[W]hen intelligence officials revealed the severity of Russia's election interference with unusual detail later that year, the news media picked up on details about the C.I.A.'s Kremlin sources.
So, the agent in question was a source used by the Russia hoaxers to support the allegations in the Steele dossier. And his safety was the last thing on the mind of President Obama*, as Lew Jan Olawski reports in The Federalist:
President Obama compromised this source even further, right before Trump's inauguration. Obama authorized the public release and declassification of a report by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) alluding to this source's placement in the Russian government. The New York Times cites the public release of the DNI report as another reason for extracting the source.
The DNI report incredibly claimed President Trump was Russian President Vladimir Putin's favored candidate in the United States presidential election. It said Mr. Putin was, in part, motivated by a "grudge" against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton "for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him."
In publishing those claims, intelligence officials publicly revealed they were privy to Putin's private motivations and policy process. This implied they either had a mole in Putin's inner circle or else were eavesdropping on Putin's most sensitive discussions. Such a revelation would have been clever if it were false because this could cause Putin to distrust, investigate, or even purge members of his inner circle.
But now it appears the leak was true. Intelligence officials spoiled a bona fide top-level intelligence source operating inside an adversary foreign government just to damage their own American president and government.
Yet another layer of hoax has become clear. The identity of this supposedly top-level agent spirited out of Russia has not been much of a secret at all. He is living in Fairfax, Virginia, a D.C. suburb, under his own name, Oleg Smolenkov. So open was his life in the United States that NBC sent a reporter to his house, all the while gushing about the danger to this secret agent.

Why would a truly important defector who had provided important inside information on Putin's Russia buy a house in his own name in a D.C. suburb? Only if he had nothing to fear from Putin. And why might he have had nothing to fear? Is it unreasonable to suspect that he was part of a disinformation campaign? One that the Kremlin instituted to sow dissension among Americans? One that worked, and generated the Mueller probe, for instance?

Something worth looking into is CIA chief John Brennan's reported secret trip to Moscow in March 2016.

High-ranking Russian officials claim that CIA director John Brennan visited Moscow on March 14 to meet with Russia's federal intelligence agency. A CIA spokesman allegedly clarified that the meeting had nothing to do with Russia's withdrawal from Syria.
"It's no secret that Brennan was here," claimed Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov. "But he didn't visit the Foreign Ministry. I know for sure that he met with the Federal Security Service (the successor agency to the Soviet KGB), and someone else."
Joe diGenova and Alan Dershowitz discussed the incident last night with Laura Ingraham. The very well connected diGenova thinks Brennan was behind the second Russia Hoax as much as he was behind the first.

The first Russia Hoax has turned out to be an exploding cigar for its perpetrators. The second one also may end up damaging its creators.

Corrected brain freeze typo, having mistakenly written Trump instead of Obama.

Thomas Lifson


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