So much is going on! Stone, Nunberg, Russian escorts, Q-anon, the poisoned spy in the UK...
We have a lot of catching up to do, don't we? Let's go as rapidly as possible -- and when possible, let's try to add something new to the stories that everyone is talking about.
Why Nunberg matters. A day after the Nunberg meltdown, many voiced regrets: Should the media have given so much airtime to such an obviously troubled man?
Yes. It's clear now that what bothered Nunberg was the prospect of aiding the investigation of his friend and mentor Roger Stone. It is clear now that Stone lied -- at least to some extent -- about his dealings with Assange. I strongly suspect that it will be established that Stone had foreknowledge of the DNC hack.
If and when that comes out, Trump's only defense will be: "Roger who?"
Everyone knows that Stone and Trump have been bestest buds for ages. Indeed, Stone may be Trump's truest friend. However, at the beginning of the campaign, Trump and Stone staged a loud tiff, and Stone officially severed ties with the Trump effort. Few believe that this row was what it seemed.
One of Stone's rules: "Always use a cut-out."
Stone, in this instance, may have functioned as his own cut-out. The staged falling-out was meant to allow Stone to scurry about doing dirty tricks -- and if ever he was discovered, the mud splattered on Stone's bespoke suit would not have sullied Trump. Because they had fallen out. Because Stone was a lone wolf and an independent operator. Supposedly.
However: Nunberg's communications with Stone could establish that Stone was part of Team Trump all along.
I've never been among those who dismissed Stone as a mere showboater and talk-talk-talker. Neither would I necessarily take the man at his word when he claims that he has never broken the law.
Nunberg complained that Trump (an "idiot") has screwed over Roger Stone. Nunberg would not have said such a thing unless he had previously heard that very claim, or something like it, made by Stone himself. Although Stone issued a response to Nunberg, he did not deny this specific Nunberg remark.
Perhaps Stone really has broken with Trump by this point. If so, the break must have occurred recently, well after Trump took the oath of office.
Perhaps Stone now wants to flip.
Stone is close to Alex Jones. If Stone flips, how will Little Alex cover the event?
Another question: How can we be certain that Nunberg will comply with the subpoena fully? I could hand over a list of emails from 2015 and say it was complete, but only my email provider would know for sure. In the case of Hillary Clinton's email server, the FBI examined the physical devices.
Nastya Rybka. I'm so glad that people are starting to take this story seriously. For the latest, go here and here and here.
The 25-minute video embedded above -- a superb, fast-moving production with very good subtitles -- is mandatory viewing. Your host is Alexei Navalny, Russian lawyer, activist, and leader of the Progress Party. The video has been officially forbidden in Russia.
As you watch, recall that Paul Manafort did what he did because he was trying to "get whole" with Oleg Deripaska. We still don't know exactly how Manafort got in so deep with Deripaska. One of the stories I've heard is that Deripaska involved himself in a business venture at Manafort's urging, and that Manafort got the blame when the whole thing went bust. (I don't know if this is true; just passing it along.)
Let's try to take this story further.
First and foremost: Allow me to make an obvious and discomforting observation that everyone else has avoided. Rybka looks young. She could pass for underaged now. It is possible that, not long ago, she could have successfully claimed to be fifteen, fourteen -- hell, maybe as young as twelve -- even though she was actually older.
By her own admission, she was not just an escort: She was bribery-bait. It's easy to visualize a situation in which she seduces a VIP who, on the following morning, gets the bad news: "You know that girl you were with last night? She may have told you that she was nineteen, but she's really fourteen. We have video."
"Rybka" is a nomme-de-l'amour; the word means "little fish." The choice of this pseudonym may offer a clue. If you've read your Tacitus, you may recall that the Emperor Tiberius owned a pleasure palace, where he kept a beautiful swimming pool. This pool came stocked with "little fishes" -- children required to service the emperor and his guests.
So I think Rybka's job was to play younger than she really was. She would seem persuasively underaged when it came time to strike fear into a politician's heart.
The elements outlined in the above video -- Russians, gangsters, yachts, underaged prostitutes, kompromat -- have all appeared in previous Cannonfire stories. You will recall this bit, quoted from a book called Deep Capture:
One of Bayrock’s co-founders was Tevfik Arif. In 2011, Arif was arrested in Turkey after Turkish commandos raided a party that Arif was holding on a yacht that had once belonged to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey’s founding president. Arif, a native of Kazakhstan, was arrested along with a small harem of prostitutes and some unnamed government officials from Central Asia. (It is unclear why the commandos raided the yacht; the media has reported that Arif was charged only with illegally hiring prostitutes, a crime that does not usually result in commando raids).
Arif and Trump are connected. This fact has been established beyond rational debate.
To the above quotation, I added these words:
As we've seen below, the Israeli press reported that the prostitutes were underaged girls from Russia, who were being used to acquire blackmail on VIPs; they were working for Arif. This ties in with what we know about Mogilevich, who is said to run a large-scale prostitution ring, and who obtains kompromat on important people around the world.
It also inevitably reminds us of Trump's old pal Jeffrey Epstein, who also surrounded himself with underaged Russian girls. According to Virginia Roberts, these girls were also used to acquire kompromat on VIPs.
Since the source of Epstein's money remains mysterious, it is fair to speculate as to whether he has had financial dealings with Mogilevich's criminal empire. For all of his personal failings, Epstein is a brilliant man -- and the same can be said of Mogilevich. The two men would seem a natural fit for each other.
Now let's explore some very dangerous territory.
There is a certain extremely pro-Trump congressman whose disruptive tactics have made him despised by all Democrats. I won't mention his name here, but you should be able to guess. (Please: Let's have discretion in the comments.)
This congressman has made a hefty (for him) personal investment in a certain bibulous business located in his home state. For a brief period, some reporters looked into the possibility that this business had Russian ties -- an investigative avenue which turned out to be a blind alley.
However: A female employee of said bibulous business brought suit when she was asked to work a party on a large white yacht belonging to the business owner, a successful lawyer. What bothered this employee was the presence of prostitutes brought in to service the "VIPs" on board that yacht on that night.
The party occurred in San Francisco Bay. The employee (who is attractive) spent that night in fear that she might be taken for one of the prostitutes. (It wasn't as if she could simply walk off.)
She also said that some of the prostitutes clearly appeared to be underaged. My memory may be playing tricks here, but I recall that she said that these girls were of Eastern European origin.
I do not know how the lawsuit was adjudicated. The employee moved on to another job.
I looked (a bit) into the yacht. It's a huge damned boat. Too huge, I should think, to be owned by a lawyer, even a very successful lawyer. To put things into perspective, it's substantially larger than the ship featured in the video embedded above -- a ship which Russian magnate Oleg Deripaska considered his home away from home.
(The yacht that I'm talking about has nothing to do with the yacht owned by Attaturk, which is a much older vessel called the MV Savarona. After the prostitution scandal, that ship is now back in the hands of the Turkish government, and has served the needs of Prime Minister Erdogan.)
Although the party took place in the San Francisco area, the yacht is often found in the Mediterranean.
Was the much-despised congressman aboard that yacht? Well, he had invested heavily in the afore-mentioned bibulous business, so his presence at the party as a "VIP" certainly seems possible. The theory that this congress-critter opened himself up to kompromat would explain a lot.
Was our "little fish" present on that vessel? Was she previously a visitor to the Savarona? If not, does she know any of the girls who worked those...events?
(Again: I ask for discretion in the comments. Mentioning names may prove counter-productive, for reasons that should be obvious after a moment's thought.)
Q-anon (sometimes called Qanon). Not long ago, I spent a little time reading the cryptic claims made by Q or Q-anon, the source of the "Storm" conspiracy theory. All in all, this "Storm" nonsense is the most obvious, inane, over-the-top claptrap since the heyday of Milton "Bill" Cooper. The Q communications were designed for redneck researchers who will believe only what they want to believe, and who couldn't care less about evidence. As you might have guessed, there are the obligatory invocations of Gawd and Jayzuss Crass in every Q text.
The wording of these messages strikes me as a little "off." I suspect that there is more than one Q, and that the writers are not native English speakers. Russians? Perhaps -- but I lean toward the theory that the authors are German.
Consider the pseudonym: Q.
In New Testament studies, "Q" is used to represent the author of a now-lost document presumed to have served as a source for the synoptic gospels. The "Q theory" originated a little more than a century ago, when Germany led the field of historical research into the Bible. "Q" comes the German Quelle, which means "source."
And now we have another Q who claims to be the ultimate source for dirt on the Great Clinton Conspiracy. Does this Q also refer to the word Quelle?
The culprits may hail from the German right.
When "The Storm" first came to my attention, I wrote a post discussing my suspicion that a notorious forger and conspiracy-monger named "Gregory Douglas" may be involved. His real name seems to be Peter Stahl, and he definitely seems to be the kind of guy who thinks that the wrong side won World War II. As I said on a previous occasion: "These people live in a world best described as 'The Blacklist with brown shirts.'"
The poisoned spy case. Our UK correspondent b has covered this astonishing story in the comments. I should have written a post about this matter yesterday. In case you came in late, here are some basic facts via The Guardian:
The former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was deliberately poisoned with a nerve agent in a case that is now being treated as attempted murder, the police counter-terrorism chief has said.
Scotland Yard assistant chief commissioner Mark Rowley said the police officer who was first to the spot where Skripal was found in Salisbury on Sunday afternoon was “seriously ill” in hospital. His condition had deteriorated, Rowley said, adding: “Wiltshire police are providing full support to his family.”
Describing the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter Yulia, as a major incident, Rowley said scientists had identified the substance used. He refused to reveal what the specific poison was.
It appears to be a nerve toxin, like sarin.
An unidentified man and a woman spotted strolling in the alleyway close to the bench where Skripal was poisoned are likely to be of intense police interest. The woman has blond hair and was holding a large scarlet bag. CCTV captured them around the time Skripal collapsed.
The man appears much thinner than Skripal, who was recorded on CCTV on 27 February, buying milk and lottery scratchcards from a local shop, Bargain Stop.
In 2006, a Russian court convicted Mr. Skripal, a former colonel in Russia’s military intelligence, of selling secrets to the British. In 2010, he was released from prison and sent to Britain as part of an exchange of imprisoned spies.
Skripal's family deny he was ever a British asset. They must surely have a view on who jacketed him as one and why.
It seems to be a risky job, being a member of Mr Skripal's family.
"Col Skripal last called his mother, who is very ill, two weeks ago. He reportedly sounded optimistic, though members family say he was very vigilant all the time because after the 2010 spy swap, he believed the Russian special services could come after him at any time."
Why is his address available at 192.com then?
More from b:
The British media are unlikely to be able to keep to the line that the weapon used against Skripal and his daughter was Fentanyl, the strong synthetic opiate. I imagine a D Notice has been sent out to stop unwanted speculation about what weapon was used, but still, the Fentanyl line is unlikely to hold. You don't need guys in chemical warfare and radiation suits, complete with gas masks over their faces and oxygen tanks on their backs (as the photographs show) for that. Fentanyl is handled by nurses every day.
This could have been a chemical weapon, or it could have been polonium. Just think of the propaganda effect of polonium.
MI6 have taken a major hit. If they can't recruit foreign sources, they are fucked. Never mind that they can tell the British mainstream audience that the guy was a "Russian former spy" etc., which works well with the 90% of the population who can only "take away" one or two phrases from any news item - and in this case the main words they will hear are "Russian" and "spy".
A far more important market for MI6 is comprised of potential and existing recruits from foreign countries. The message to them is that MI6 either could not or would not, and in any case DID not, protect one of its own informants - so why the fuck should any foreigner want to work for the bastards? This is going to play extremely badly among non-British men and women over the world who work for MI6 or who might work for MI6, who dream of the day when things will get too hot for them and their ultra-trustworthy handlers will sort them out a house in the Home Counties and, if they're important enough, a place at a private boarding school and then at Oxford and Cambridge for their brat.
I was right: British police have now revealed that the weapon used in Salisbury was a nerve agent. As far as I know, they have not been any more specific than that.
I doubt it is a coincidence that the announcement came only hours after the US government stated that the murder of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un's brother in Malaysia was also effected using a nerve agent, specified in that case as VX.
VX, by the way, was a British invention.
I wouldn't be surprised if a North Korean connection develops in connection with Salibury, but we shall see.
By having the British media refer to the "Russian spy case" etc., MI6 are trying to limit the damage to their reputation, even if among potential and actual sources they are surely pissing into the wind. They want to imply that Sergei Skripal was working for Russia all along (a triple agent), somehow betrayed his hosts, was involved in some other dirty business, or was a total fucking nutcase who wouldn't know "security" if it booted him up the arse (which since he worked as a colonel in the GRU is unlikely to be true). Of course there is also the bigger market of the British sheeple here, but MI6 will be most concerned about one of their own major markets, probably the most important of all: sources. If sources can't trust their handlers, then an agency like MI6 is fucked - even among many whom they recruit using blackmail. (And even those whom they do recruit by blackmail, they'll often butter up and wine and dine and "protect" afterwards for obvious reasons.)
In other words, they want the message to go out as follows: "Sure, we didn't protect him, but he turned dirty on us, so we didn't want to. Anybody who doesn't turn dirty on us, we'll protect as if they were our own mother, forever and a day."
Another point: if Yulia Skripal is a Russian citizen and not a British one, she has a right to contact the Russian consulate.
Has she asked to? Is she being allowed to? Has she asked for asylum instead? Is she conscious?
If journalists didn't publish whatever shit they're told to publish, and if they had enquiring minds instead of solid cocaine in their turdy heads, these are some of the questions they would ask.
There's more! Ye gods, so much is going on! I've covered only half of the topics I had hoped to discuss, but the above shall have to suffice for now. Coming up: I should have some bombshell new information concerning the Eric Prince connection. It's an incredibly complex affair which even the most seasoned Russiagate aficionados may have a hard time following. I'll try to offer a comprehensible version of the tale.
Wasn't Eric Prince once connected to some sort of child abuse? Was he related to Mary Kay LeTourneau?
Regarding Skripal, the obvious question is why now? Living peacefully in Britain for several years, and now suddenly poisoned, allegedly. And only a few miles from Porton Down, home of Britain's chemical weapons stockpile, and likely to best place to find people who know how to treat such attacks.
Joseph wrote "I've never been among those who dismissed Stone as a mere showboater and talk-talk-talker. Neither would I necessarily take the man at his word when he claims that he has never broken the law."
Talk about a 180 degree reversal, are you afraid of a reprisal from some nefarious element connected to Stone? You were the one blowing smoke Stone's way long before the mainstream media was.
My theory is the NRA is deeply entrenched with Russia. Russia wants America armed. The incredibly fast response by the Alabama legislature against Delta Airlines after Delta rescinded the NRA's discount, it was just done too fast and with too much precision. Russian freaked at the thought of higher costs for air travel they surreptitiously fund, gor the word out to the NRA, and they in turn contacted their own compromised Republicans, that's my theory. I wonder how many Republican politicians are compromised by Russian methods via the NRA.
I've not reversed, Alessandro. I think you misunderstood. And I think your misunderstanding resulted from the fact that I used too many negations in those sentences. Things got confusing.
The fault is entirely mine.
I tried to write a very long piece in under an hour, in order to get all my thoughts down while they were fresh in my head. Perhaps I didn't express myself well. To be honest, my writing rarely pleases me until after I've polished a post for another hour or two. Or three.
Anyways, you have my apologies if things were unclear.
I think I understood what you wrote. You associated yourself with a group sentiment about Stone that you have never belonged to, then stated you were not part of that group. To someone like myself who knows how loudly you warned about Stone before most anyone else did, it is a jaw dropping association / dis association to make.
Your sentence would work as is if you posted a link to your best Stone column that you wrote that came out before the mass media and the FBI started sniffing around him.
On a separate note, you might have left out a word after describing Rybka's age?
"Regarding Skripal, the obvious question is why now?"
The Feds seem to be on a roll, gathering cooperative informants and witnesses in the Trump treason case. Undoubtedly many more people hold relevant information and are considering offering their help to Mueller's team.
Well, Vladmir just announced that Russia is still in the game... and he offered a not so subtle reminder that the Russians play by their own rules. Maybe some of those informants/witnesses are now thinking that it's best to just lay low and keep quiet?
posted by Anonymous : 7:40 PM
Apparently there have been a number of assassinations of Russian nationals in the UK that remain unsolved. One reason given is nobody wants to jeopardize the large amounts of Russian mob money flowing through London banks.
posted by Mr Mike : 9:57 PM
I'm drawing a blank on the rat fucker congress member. Three come to mind an alleged cow molester, a car thief, and a goober with a pointy head or a really bad wig.Two West Coast one East Coast.
posted by Mr Mike : 10:06 PM
Um, the yacht in question is actually a 57' Carver Voyager -- probably in the Carver 560 series. I think you may have been confused by the owners of said yacht *also* occasionally hosting a Mediterranean 'super-yacht' cruise aboard a much larger vessel. These latter cruises are in conjunction with a bibulous company they own in Spain.
I've not been able to identify who the party was for. The yacht's owners regularly make its use available as a prize for charity auctions. (Wonder if that will continue under the new tax laws?) The event to which the auction's winners allegedly brought prostitutes almost certainly had nothing to do with the bibulous company itself, let alone their Congressional investor....
posted by maz : 11:47 PM
It has been reported, although I'm not sure of the source, that our poisoned Russian was working with Steele. That would also, in spy terms, make him fair game.
And among other news; Putin personally intervened to nix Romney as Trump's new Secretary Of State, and told Donald to select Rex Tillerson instead. I remember reading from several sources at the time, that Tillerson was recommended to Trump by Condi Rice. So who started that story?
posted by Anonymous : 2:01 PM
There is an interesting detail in the video -- Victoria Nuland raped by Russian sailors. When you look at the Neocons, or any other ideologue who seem to have an agenda different then a simple agenda in line with the average American interests, I often wonder what makes a person this way??? Imagine living on a fishing boat and being raped. It's not like you can run away. You're stuck there for days. And yet this person rises to the top of American diplomacy in areas of USA/Russian relations. Do you think this could color her thinking? Now it could be that this is a false story, but I sort of doubt it, given the low key context that it is repeated between two very powerful Russians who aren't likely to be trying to indoctrinate each other. But here is another interesting thing--- Victoria was allegedly a camp counselor at a Russian summer camp in 1982, two years before the Russian trawler incident. I find it odd that someone would be a camp counselor during that phase of the cold war, and furthermore, if you believe the internet she was throwing food on the ground to watch the Ukrainian kids pick it up and eat it. What kind of sick twisted girl is this? And at a such a young age. Was she being groomed back then to be a Neocon?