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Thursday, May 11, 2017

What if the lizard does NOT come...?

John Schindler of the 20committee -- which, I remind you, is an ever-so-clever reference to the double-cross committee of spy lore (XX=20) -- seems to think that something big will happen tomorrow.

By "tomorrow" I mean today, for this post will be published after midnight.
I've received a briefing from a senior intel official who's worked #KremlinGate from the beginning. I'll share the findings ASAP. Big stuff.
The Lizard is coming.

Like I promised.

We've seen too much of this, and we've seen it on both sides: Throughout the 2016 campaign, prominent voices on the right kept promising major, major stuff that would hit "tomorrow" or the day after. In their world, Alt Rightists kept expecting some major breakthrough that would force an end to Hillary's campaign and result in her being frog-marched off to the Big House.

Tomorrow. The breakthrough was always scheduled to hit tomorrow. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Didn't happen.

More recently, on the other side of the political aisle, the spooks-against-Trump led a lot of people to believe that Donnie's presidency would end before the 100 day mark. That, too, did not happen.

Yet we keep scrambling after every crumb of hope offered by the anti-Trump twitterers. Let's admit it: We have become the gambler who suspects that the game is rigged but can't walk away from the table because it's the only game in town.

Louise Mensch -- God, I don't trust her! God, she turns me on! -- assures us:
Rosenstein good
McCabe good
Don't listen to naysayers
Comey made contingency plans with both men
Trump trolls want you hate them #TeamDeza
This claim re: McCabe is very dubious. Rosenstein? Well, I noted with some interest this WP article:
Rosenstein threatened to resign after the narrative emerging from the White House on Tuesday evening cast him as a prime mover of the decision to fire Comey and that the president acted only on his recommendation, said the person close to the White House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
On initial scan, this seems convincing, so let's give Rosenstein the benefit of the doubt -- for now. But if he decides to stand in the way of a special prosecutor, then we'll hand him the black hat and glue it to his scalp.

For what it's worth, Mensch also says that arrests could come tomorrow.
Two separate sources with links to the intelligence community say that the first arrests in the criminal and counter-intelligence probe will shortly take place, possibly as soon as Thursday, May 11th.
Yeah, but. If one of those sources is Schindler and the other is The Jester, then all we have here is a Twitter circle-jerk.
Senator Markey announced on CNN that a Grand Jury had been empaneled in New York and cited this blog. I referred to a probably linked document from the Southern District of New York in my last piece, which reported as fact that no fewer than six separate FISA warrants had been issued in the Trump-Russia probe, but I am able to report tonight as fact both that my own sources, who are independent of Mr. Taylor’s sources, confirm multiple sealed indictments delivered at State Grand Jury level in the Southern District of New York, and that intelligence sources also believe that the first arrests in Trump Russia will shortly be announced and may come as quickly as tomorrow.

For the sake of clarity, I still cannot report anything further than a probability on the linking of a civil document in the New York case to the indictments that have been obtained in New York under RICO. People familiar with the matter speculate that General Flynn may be among the first people arrested but they do not confirm the news.
Claude Taylor is also singing that familiar song: "Something's coming/I don't know what it is/But it is/Gonna be great!" He also makes a point first aired in these humble pages:
Source: Comey's firing timed to coincide with his trip to Los Angeles in order to gain immediate access to Comey's computer systems/files.
I had no sources, just a smidgen of common sense. Or paranoia. Take your pick.

Common sense also tells me that Comey may not have prepared for this eventuality, even though many people presume that he must have done. Here are three reasons why I disagree with this presumption: 1) Comey seemed genuinely shocked to learn of his firing. 2) When it comes to computer stuff, nobody ever backs things up the way they should. 3) If an FBI Director were to place classified info on a USB stick -- well, that raises all sorts of ethical/legal questions, dunnit?

Let's say he does have a USB stick full of juiciness. Just how would Comey make use of that data?

As you ponder that, ponder this: Access to Comey's computers would give Team Trump a pretty good idea as to the length and the breadth of what the Bureau knows. Who, exactly, would have gone through Comey's computer? Obviously, there must be Trump loyalists within the Bureau.

The new FBI Director will probably come from that group. I'm guessing that the nod will go to one of Rudy Giuliani's boys out of NY.

Let us return to the main theme of this post: Something's Coming. Another singer of that song is Malcolm Nance (who doesn't always get along with Mensch, btw). When writer Xeni Jardin tweeted "I'd lay money on extremely dark, damning Trump content hitting sunlight soon," Nance responded:
Concur. My guess is it will originate in Europe & be irrefutable. Standby.
Note that Nance's prophecy does not really align with what we hear from Schindler and others. Which is it going to be: An arrest in America or a data-blast out of Europe? The answer to that question will tell us which of the "spooks against Trump" is the truly wired-in.

By the way: Just in case you were in any doubt, Jake Tapper says...
There are two reasons why President Donald Trump fired James Comey, according to a source close to the now-former FBI director:

1. Comey never provided the President with any assurance of personal loyalty.

2. The fact that the FBI's investigation into possible Trump team collusion with Russia in the 2016 election was accelerating.
Moreover, the letter the President wrote to Comey firing him includes zero references to the Clinton investigation and one big one about the Russia investigation.
At least one reader has noted that Trump's dismissal note does not mention Russia by name. Technically, that is true. But I tend to believe that reports that Trump has been singularly fixated on "Kremlingate" in recent weeks. Tapper's "source close to" Comey may well be Comey himself, in which case the above-listed reasons 1 and 2 both fall under the heading "speculation." I'd call it reasonable speculation.

Added note: Folks, you have no idea how much of my romantic history is summed up by these ten horrifying words: "God, I don't trust her! God, she turns me on!"
What if this blog were the source of Mensch's note that Comey was fired while in California in order to access his computer?
That's better than "I didn't trust her, and she didn't turn me on, so what the fuck have I been doing?" :)

William Davies in the New York Times is pushing the idea of a one-party state in Britain. I wonder whether the realisation of that idea might be the intended purpose of next month's general election.

(The stated reasons for calling it are clearly fake. Recap: those reasons were that Theresa May wanted to avoid problems with the SNP and the House of Lords, and that she didn't want to hold a general election in the period when Brexit negotiations are reaching their most critical moment. The whole of that is cock. Her government already had a majority; the SNP will still have a sizeable representation in the House of Commons after the election; a general election has no effect on the House of Lords; and Brexit negotiations will culminate in around two years' time, which would have been a whole year before the next scheduled election.)

The French presidential election marked a new departure, even if I expected another candidate to win. What is new is that a guy has taken the presidency who wasn't standing for any of the existing political parties or factions. It seems likely that François Hollande was moved out of the picture to make way for him. We may well soon see a "president's party" sweep control of the national assembly.

Says Davies: "The Conservatives are being presented as a new type of 'people’s party,' under which everyone can huddle to stay safe from the multiple storms that are brewing. Mrs. May and her party are treating this election as too important to be reduced to political divides."

Sure, if you're in the chattering classes that may be how it seems. What's actually happening is that an effort is being made to destroy the Labour Party - and also, it seems, UKIP.

There is also probably massive poll-fiddling. There is no way that one can theorise election-focused psychological warfare and leave the polling agencies out of it.

Doubtless there will be huge vote-fiddling too. A large group of Tory MPs were told yesterday that no charges would be pressed against them for election fraud.

A majority of Labour MPs have turned against Jeremy Corbyn. Focusing on what? Military spending, that's what - nuclear weapons. An enhanced capability to destroy cities in foreign countries and to incinerate millions of their civilian inhabitants.

They are basically the Social Democratic Party mark 2. It is interesting that the pro-US faction that set up the SDP in 1983 similarly used "defence" as their main issue. That time, and thanks to the SDP, the Tories won an enormous majority of seats. Yet Labour not only stayed the second party by both vote share and Commons seats; they and the Liberal-SDP alliance together actually won a majority of votes.

This time? I can't see why those who are calling the shots in Britain would even want the Labour Party to stay in existence as a major party. UKIP is a shambles. And PW techniques may soon also be used to crush the Liberal Democrats.

On the left wing of the Labour party, "Momentum" is probably spooked up to the nines too. Interestingly, that "movement" is based around one man. I wonder whether they had the same advisers as Emmanuel Macron? Certainly both shout out to "youth" - albeit to different factions of it.
Comey is locked out of his own building, office, desk and computer so Trump via his minions can basically scavenge, access, and delete classified intel? Is that legal? What is the checks and balance for a president who wants to stifle an investigation by firing the person in charge of the investigation? Has this happened before?
The Daily Mail, after referring to how Labour wants to hit "workers on more than £80,000 a year" (sic) in order to "splurge" money on health, education, and pensions, outdoes itself by boasting between the lines that the leak of the Labour manifesto was the work of MI5 burglars.

No Watergate here!
About Mensch:
I know what you mean about the righ wingers love of predicting hugely damaging revelations that never arrive. Safire in the Times during the Bill Clinton years.

But today, so many bombshells. A Senator stating that he thinks that the CIA Director was dishonest in his testimony before the committee. Etc.

But 2 concerning Trump:

Letting Tass into the oval office constituted a bad security breach, from Lawrence O'Donnell.

Paul Manafort did not retroactively register as a foreign agent, leaving him with a legal liability. Who could he roll over on?

Both of these newly revealed problems for Trump trace back to Putin. And Putin is lizard-like.

Not trying to stretch here, just wondering.

What would happen should Trump prove to be no longer useful to Putin?
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