First, we need to update the preceding post, which discussed the bizarre controversy arising from that FBI "secret society" text -- the one which drove so many rightwingers crazy (or, rather, crazier). I argued that the wording must have been a gag, since members of actual, real-world secret societies have never seriously used the term "secret society" to describe their little clubs.
My post attracted some commentary which proved even more interesting than usual.
Terry Melanson, esteemed author of Perfectibilists (one of the few trustworthy sources about the historical Illuminati), wrote in to report that, in at least one document, the Illuminists did refer to their organization as a "secret society." This information is contained in a very recent book that Melanson brought to my attention, and which I've not yet read.
Reader b also reminded me of a group called the Cambridge Apostles (little-known to most Americans), whose members have jocularly used the term "secret society" to describe themselves. The Apostles play a role in the literature surrounding Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and other British turncoats of the Cold War era. Further studies of this group may prove rewarding, since Cambridge exists at the current intersection of the Russian and British intelligence services. That intersection has a name: Cambridge Analytica.
Over the course of a few months, they saw how the Russians penetrated several U.S. institutions, including the State Department, the White House, and the DNC. On all these occasions, the Dutch alerted the U.S. intelligence services, Dutch tv programme Nieuwsuur and de Volkskrant, a prominent newspaper in The Netherlands, jointly report on Thursday.
Not only had Dutch intelligence penetrated the computer network of the hackers, they also managed to hack a security camera in the corridor. This allowed them to see exactly who entered the hacking room. Information about these individuals was shared with the US intelligence services. Dutch intelligence services consider Cozy Bear an extension of the SVR, the Russian foreign intelligence service, which is firmly controlled by President Putin.
Getting that security camera feed was a master stroke. Facial recognition software should have allowed the Dutch to match faces to known Russian operatives.
Loveliest of all: Our Dutch friends have shared all the relevant information with Robert Mueller.
The Trump/Putin conspiracy has compromised many aspects of American and British intelligence: Michael Flynn ran the DIA, and Cambridge Analytica is largely staffed by MI6 agents. Fortunately, the Russians haven't been able to upend the entire West.
Last Sunday on Dutch television programme College Tour, Rob Bertholee, head of AIVD, said that he had no doubt that the Kremlin was directly responsible for the Russian cyber campaign against U.S. government agencies.
As of now, the AIVD hackers do not seem to have access to Cozy Bear any longer. Sources suggest that the openness of US intelligence sources, who in 2017 praised the help of a Western ally in news stories, may have ruined their operation. The openness caused great anger in The Hague and Zoetermeer.
Damn. I remember that story. At the time, everyone presumed that the "ally" was the UK. The Dutch were not yet on our radar.
In the future, a historian specializing in the Trump era may produce a book titled How the Dutch Saved Civilization.
We are told that the Dutch will no longer share intelligence with the United States. Nevertheless, the Trump cultists remain firm in their inane delusion that Trump has restored America's standing in the world. If Trump told his followers that a banjo is a Stradivarius, they'd believe him.
Late breaking news. Damn, but the lightning keeps striking and striking! While I was writing the above paragraphs, important revelations hit us.
Trump did try to fire Mueller -- way back in June. Why didn't he go through with it? Because White House counsel Don McGahn refused to carry out the task. As an excuse for the firing, Trump had hoped to claim that there was a "conflict of interest" involving golf. Yes: Freakin' golf. I'm not kidding.
Can Mueller use an attempt to fire Mueller as proof of obstruction? I think he can. The prosecutor may now be close enough to the hole to sink the ball with one easy putt.
Interesting question: Where did the NYT get this story? The article references "current and former senior White House officials" interviewed by Mueller. It seems likely that McGahn himself is one of these personages; if not McGahn, then a close associate.
Could Bannon be the "former" official? I hope I hope I hope.
(Update: I just saw video of Anthony Scaramucci -- the Mooch -- responding to this story. He, too, suspects Bannon. Thanks, Mooch!)
I'm still betting that Trump will indeed fire Mueller, and damn the consequences. Why do I think that way? Because I think that Trump is guilty as sin: Guilty of obstruction, guilty of conspiracy, guilty of breaking the emoluments clause, guilty of campaign violations, guilty of money laundering, and, most of all, guilty of treason. Treason is a death penalty offense.
Trump will soon have no choice but to fire Mueller. God help us all.
Most nations make it a point no too (openly) interfere in other countries elections other than to call they be fair and above board. The Dutch might have found ties between Trump and Moscow early on giving U.S. intelligence a quiet heads up and the real reason for the FISA warrants on Trump. This blows one more hole in Trumptoady Devin Nunes' claim the unverified Steele dossier was used to procure a warrent(s). Hopefully on of the domestic news services airs that clip.
posted by Mr Mike : 8:19 AM
On twitter there's a good deal of chatter that the NYT had this story about Trump's demand to fire Mueller in June and that they sat on it. Strangely, April Ryan reported in real time about the panic in the WH because of this dismissal push from the Trumpster. The only additional info is apparently McGhan threatening to resign. And then all this stupidity from Nunes and his Secret Society has been swirling around this week.
The big story is the Dutch story, the fact that the Dutch hacked into the Russian system, were able to take audio and visual evidence of the whole Cosy Bear operation. And gave the US a heads up, long before the 2016 election.
Things are starting to move very fast. And it's getting really ugly.
posted by Anonymous : 11:51 AM
Why didn't Obama act on the intelligence?
posted by Corby : 12:01 PM
Anon: It's even better than that. Maggie Haberman says one of the reasons it took so long to break the story is, I kid you not, “I’m a little surprised at how effective people in the White House were at lying to us...”
Nemdam. Yes, I read the same quote. Astounding, no? There's a group online that's done an extensive expose' on Haberman. You've probably read the report which shows the ties/connections between Haberman's family and Donald Trump. This is a case of PR gussied up as journalism. Haberman's faux shock at the level of WH lying is laughable.
Today's distraction is a story from 2008 about HRC's campaign failing to fire a supporter accused of sexual harassment. The Me Too people are all over it and the cable shows are leading with the narrative: 'An Explosive Story."
Really? Another bright shiny object to mesmerize the gullible. Meanwhile the Dutch story is a 3-alarm fire.
posted by Anonymous : 1:18 PM
Anon: Yup, read the Haberman expose. She's straight from the world of high level NYC PR. It makes sense why her reporting is more PR than journalism.
I've disagreed with Joseph that the #MeToo movement is ultimately a bad thing because it will only harm Democrats and ultimately women. But now I'm starting to reconsider with this new HRC story. Are we supposed to believe it's a coincidence that it came out in the same 24 hours that the following stories happened?
1) Dutch intel reveals how they knew about Russian hacking of the US election 2) Trump tried to fire Mueller 3) The RNC Financial Chair and mega donor was engaging in his own Weinstein-like behavior
But here's a 10 year old HRC virtual non-story that all the media outlets are reporting on nonstop. Like all Clinton stories, the headline and media noise are way out of proportion to the actual offense which is that HRC disciplined but didn't fire someone for sexual harassment. Which ironically enough is consistent with how she views sexual misconduct in that she thinks it's a serious issue that deserves punishment but not necessarily termination. Agree or disagree, but if you view how Hillary deals with sexual misconduct throughout her career she's quite consistent.
posted by nemdam : 5:01 PM
@Peggysue /@1:18 I agree with all of your comments! Would you mind posting link to the online group investigating the "HandMag's Tale"? Thanks!
posted by Kathleen : 5:39 PM
The site is at:
Starts with background on a particular time-slot for the NYT's less than stellar reporting (the Stalin purges/famine) and the Haberman expose' starts at the bottom of page 2 of the report.