Thursday, September 19, 2019

The great guessing game

The game is afoot! We've learned more about that whistleblower complaint: It involves a very troubling promise made to a foreign leader. The promise was made during a phone call.
The fact that the complaint had been filed by an intelligence official was known, but the subject had been a closely guarded secret.

A whistleblower complaint by an intelligence official about a private presidential phone call would be an extraordinary development, likely without precedent in U.S. history.
Currently acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire is covering up for Trump, but the CIA's Inspector General seems to agree that whatever Trump promised was very troubling and deserves to be shared with the intelligence committees.

From what I've gathered while making the internet rounds, most people seem to think that the whistleblower was probably Principle Deputy Director of National Intelligence Susan Gordon, who briefly served as Acting DNI. Here's the Wiki rundown of what happened:
President Donald Trump announced on July 28, 2019, that he intended to nominate Republican congressman John Ratcliffe to replace Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence (DNI), but withdrew Ratcliffe from consideration five days later.[10][11] After Trump's announcement, it was not immediately clear if he would retain Gordon, who is widely respected throughout the government, as acting DNI during Ratcliffe's confirmation process, or if she would be retained in the agency upon Ratcliffe's confirmation. Two sources told CNN there was an active search underway and that Gordon was not considered likely to be retained because she "is viewed by some in the administration as someone who is not going to be the type of political loyalist Trump wants in that role."[12] Some Trump allies advised him Gordon was too close to former CIA director John Brennan, an outspoken Trump critic, an assertion Brennan dismissed.[13][14] One Democratic congressional official told NBC News, "if he appoints anyone other than Sue Gordon as acting DNI, the Senate will raise holy hell."[15] By law, the Principal Deputy succeeds the Director upon a vacancy, but on August 8, 2019 Trump announced Gordon was resigning and appointed the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Joseph Maguire as acting DNI.[16]
Here's one possible scenario: Gordon assured Trump that she would be a team player, but when she found out about it (whatever it is), she balked. Then she was "axed" to leave. That's when she filed her whistleblower complaint.

If she's the whistlebower, then you can expect the righties to make her the target of the mightiest propaganda effort yet: "She's funded by Soros! She's Hillary's lesbian lover! She once bought a pie at Comet Pizza! She's the secret daughter of Roman Polanski!"

(Hey, they succeeded in making Jim Comey out to be a Hillary acolyte, even though Comey insured Trump's victory by hiding the fact that Trump was under FBI investigation.)

Now, although the smart money is on Gordon, Rayne on Emptywheel has suggested that the whistleblower could actually be Mr. Mustache himself...
Bolton seems in a mood to burn it all down, ‘shanking’ POTUS during a Trumpists-dense luncheon on Wednesday.
You know...I can see that. John Bolton is that sort of fellow, isn't he? But if that's true, then we would see echoes of this internal fight occurring on the right side of the interwebs.

So much for part one of our guessing game: Who is the whistleblower? Question two: Who is the foreign leader? Question three: What was promised?

We know one thing for sure: This matter has to be pretty damned important. The law clearly states that a complaint must be about a matter of urgent danger -- it can't be a simple policy disagreement. This Marcy Wheeler twitter thread offers the two leading theories (as of this moment).
What if it was a promise from Trump to hand over the identities of U.S. intelligence assets inside Putin's government?
Yeah. There was that blown spy who had been close to Putin. That's the sort of, uh, "blow job" which is really, really likely to piss off many within the intelligence community. Remember that phone call between Putin and Trump which ostensibly concerned "Siberian fires" (ostensibly)? Kind of a strange thing for the two leaders to talk about...

But maybe this has more to do with Middle East intrigue...
I'd be more inclined to think it involved Spanky promising something to Al Thani of Qatar. Something, I suspect, that involves Saudi Arabia.
Another interesting idea, this. Maybe Trump knew from the start that the attack on the oil fields was a big fake. If Gordon is the whistleblower, maybe her complaint is the reason why that attack was not used as the pretext for a war with Iran. Conversely, if Bolton is the whistleblower, then obviously Trump must have said something injurious to Bolton's dreams of bellicosity.

And then there are those who think this is all about North Korea...
He promised Kim not to spy or make waves on that
Otto kid who they killed
Or, promised him the U.S. would pull its military from South Korea...
in exchange for a nuclear deal.

...a move that would throw our allies under the bus and potentially destabilize the entirety of East Asia.
Here's my idea: Perhaps the phone conversation involves election rigging. And perhaps the foreign leader was Bibi.

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