In the preceding post, I predicted that Michael Flynn would weather his crisis.
Errrrr... Ummm.... Well....
So much for my tiny reputation as a prophet. My usual tactic is bet on the worst possible outcome in any given situation. If that strategy has finally failed -- good
. The great thing about habitually predicting a horrible outcome is that when you're wrong, you feel terrific.
Flynn was forced to exit because the spooks eavesdropped on his chats with the Russians. They have him dead to rights
; I presume that a truly delightful transcript has been floating around. The Trumpers could not get out of this one by screaming "FAKE NEWS!"
Hell, we all knew that there must have been communication between Moscow and Team Trump when Trump -- ever the blabbermouth -- offered those heavy-handed congratulations to Putin for his measured response to Obama's sanctions. Donnie always
reveals more than he intends; that's his fatal flaw.
Question: Why did nine intelligence community sources wait until very recent times to tell the WP about Flynn's damning communications? They knew much earlier.
Now let's take the story further.
If the former head of the DIA practiced such lousy tradecraft in his communications with the Russians, then we may presume that others on Trump's team were just as careless. Take, for example, Boris Epshteyn, identified by one of my readers as a source for the Orbis dossier (and by the way, that dossier looks better and better with each passing day). If
my reader's identification is correct -- and I suspect that this "guess" was something more than a guess -- the NSA probably listened in on his Russian phone frolics.
I'm starting to wonder: What did Obama know and when did he know it?
Did he allow
Trump to become president? If so, why?
Maybe Obama was not among those in the know. Maybe the intelligence community learned about what Trump was up to and decided not to tell the president. Why would they keep mum? Who made that decision?
Regrets? He's had a few. Foreign Policy
says Putin is starting to have second thoughts about Trump. That note has been sounded before -- in fact, it is sounded in the Orbis dossier.
The dossier reveals that, after Trump behaved in such an inane fashion following the Democratic National Convention, some on Team Putin decided that Der Donald was unreliable, so they weighed their options vis-a-vis Hillary. The only real dirt that the Russians had on her was the fact that her stated positions often conflicted with what she would say in behind the scenes. (File that one under D for "Duh." The same is true for nearly all politicians on that level.) The dossier hints that she was potentially amenable to a rapprochement with Russia.
Of course, there's a world of difference between "potentially amenable to a rapprochement with Russia" and "Hurrah! We have a puppet in the White House!" Putin went for the latter -- and now he's sorry. Or so says Foreign Policy.
That FP story is pretty damned important. Since you have to sign in to read it, I'll give you the most interesting bits:
Now that Trump is in power, political elites in Moscow have stopped cheering. They recognize that Russia’s position has become abruptly and agonizingly complex.
It’s true that Trump’s accession opens up the possibility of “normalizing” Russia’s relations with the West, beginning with a reduction or even elimination of sanctions. It also validates many of Russia’s ideological criticisms of the liberal order and may perhaps foreshadow policy reversals that Moscow has long hoped for: from Washington’s disengagement from the Ukraine crisis to its dissolution of the Cold War Western alliance. Russians also celebrate Trump’s unfiltered stream-of-consciousness diatribes as signaling a welcome end to America’s hypocrisy and condescension.
But Trump’s revolution is also ushering in a period of turmoil and uncertainty, including the likelihood of self-defeating trade wars. Still traumatized by the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia’s present leadership has no appetite for global instability.
With Trump in the White House, moreover, Putin has lost his monopoly over geopolitical unpredictability. The Kremlin’s ability to shock the world by taking the initiative and trashing ordinary international rules and customs has allowed Russia to play an oversized international role and to punch above its weight. Putin now has to share the capacity to keep the world off balance with a new American president vastly more powerful than himself. More world leaders are watching anxiously to discover what Trump will do next than are worrying about what Putin will do next. Meanwhile, using anti-Americanism as an ideological crutch has become much more dubious now that the American electorate has chosen as their president a man publicly derided as “Putin’s puppet.”
What the Kremlin fears most today is that Trump may be ousted or even killed.
(Emphasis added.) Woah.
To the best of my recollection, that's the first time anyone has mentioned the possibility of a presidential assassination in such a mainstream venue. Let's not kid ourselves: Neither "the Kremlin" nor FP is talking about a lone nut scenario. This article is saying that the Kremlin fears that American spooks will finally decide that enough is enough.
What if the CIA decides to party like it's 1963? What happens to Russia then?
Last time a "lone nut" took out a president, the CIA's head of counterintelligence tried very hard to pin the blame on Moscow
(By the way, if Donald Trump really wants to upset "the Deep State," he can release this document
and a few more like it. Smoking gun stuff, if you know the context.)
Let us return to the FP piece:
His ouster, Kremlin insiders argue, is bound to unleash a virulent and bipartisan anti-Russian campaign in Washington. Oddly, therefore, Putin has become a hostage to Trump’s survival and success. This has seriously restricted Russia’s geopolitical options. The Kremlin is perfectly aware that Democrats want to use Russia to discredit and possibly impeach Trump while Republican elites want to use Russia to deflate and discipline Trump. The Russian government fears not only Trump’s downfall, of course, but also the possibility that he could opportunistically switch to a tough anti-Moscow line in order to make peace with hawkish Republican leaders in Congress.
, Vladimir! You should have thought of all that beforehand
. Honestly, Mr. Putin, I was under the impression that you Russians were really good at chess. Don't you know that you have to think five or six moves ahead?
What is especially dangerous from the Kremlin’s perspective is that certain nationalistic circles in Russia are falling in love with Trump’s insurrectionary approach. In January, for the first time since Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012, Putin was not the most frequently cited name in the Russian media; Trump was. And although most of Trump’s Russian admirers, such as Alexander Dugin, are loyal to Putin personally, they also dream of purging the globalist elites who occupy the rooms adjoining their president’s.
"Globalist elites": That's code for "powerful Jews." I had heard that Dugin and Putin fell out. Maybe that rift was bogus, like the fake Trump/Stone spat. Whatever.
It is becoming clear that both Trump and Putin are replaceable players in an even larger game -- an international fascist movement of which Aleksandr Dugin may be considered the Chief Philosopher. As they say of Hydra in Marvel comics: "Cut off one head and two more shall take its place."
I've been catching up with MSNBC's coverage. Looks like there is a transcript
of Flynn's conversations with Sergey Kislyak; I have little doubt that it will pop up online soon. One question keeps coming up: How could Flynn not
have known that his little chats were being intercepted? The guy was head of the DIA. How dense could he be
Here's a possibility: Maybe Flynn and Kislyak thought
that they were using a secure method of communication, and maybe they were wrong. There are rumors that the NSA no longer considers Tor much of an obstacle. Or -- who knows? -- maybe both of the rooms in which the two men sat were physically
bugged. Maybe the two transcripts have been edited together, thereby conveying the impression that the NSA intercepted a digital communication.
It is even being reported that Flynn talked not just to Kislyak but also Putin himself
. It also seems very likely that Sally Yates was fired
because she offered a warning about all of this.
I just saw Brian Williams talk to a reporter -- I forget his name -- who indicated that Flynn is but Step One, and that we will probably soon have more. Names were mentioned: Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and even (YES!!
) Roger Stone.
Please please please please
let there be a transcript of Roger Stone cutting slimeball deals with the Russians. Please please please please
let it be the case that Alex Jones has been palling around with a traitor.
happens, dear friends, then I -- even I, agnostic that I am, cynic that I am -- will go to church for the first time since boyhood and offer tearful, grateful Hosannas to the All-Highest. And I promise not to duck out until someone asks for money.
Team Clinton's response to all of this is pretty funny
. They're making Pizzagate jokes.
Tonight's revelations (by which I mean those which preceded Michael Flynn's resignation) make it even more clear that there is much more going on out of view than we realize.
The role of Russia in the 2016 election and the President's relationship to Russia has been the un-ignorable question hanging over President Trump for months. Flynn's resignation does not come close to resolving it. It is highly likely that the Flynn/Russia channel was authorized by the President himself. There's much more to come.
In other words, Trump could be on his way out, and it could happen with surprising rapidity. Let's have no more dissing of the Orbis dossier; it has been and will be justified and verified. Even on that very first day, as I was putting the thing through OCR, I sent this text message to my ladyfirend: "If this is real, no way Trump survives it."
real. We are all living in a story about an MI6 agent who saves the world. Somewhere in heaven, Ian Fleming is smiling.