Saturday, November 09, 2019

A fake Sean Hannity could help us solve one of the great mysteries of Trumpworld

(Readers, please pass along this post. I really think I'm on to something here.)

The Stone case has sparked a fierce twitter war, with both the Republicans and the BernieBros making strenuous efforts to miss the point. Here's an example that caught Marcy's attention...
Gadfly comedian Randy Credico, hilariously the key figure in the prosecution's case against Roger Stone, testified yesterday that he was NOT a back channel to WikiLeaks for Stone, and that when he speculated to Stone about forthcoming WL releases, it was not based on inside info
These idiots think that Credico's denial exonerates Stone. In fact, it condemns him. Marcy's response:
The denialists wallowing in all their ignorant glory that they don't understand this case.
There are tons of reporters who laid this out the other day, it's not just me. But you might start by reading the indictment. But the entire POINT is that Stone felt the need for a cover story and he used Credico for it, as he has done in the past.
I'd wager that 95 percent of Stone's defenders on Twitter, Breitbart and InfoWars couldn't tell you what the guy is being tried for. In a sense -- that is, in a legal sense -- it doesn't matter if Stone had a backchannel or not.

Here's the indictment. He's not being tried for working with Assange. He is being tried for lying under oath about important matters, and for what may be the most audacious exercise in witness tampering since the heyday of John Gotti. And on those charges, his guilt is -- well, I don't want to say "indisputable," because we haven't seen the defense yet. But his lawyer won't have an easy time countering the evidence we've seen so far.

That said: I think Stone did have a backchannel, of sorts. And I think that this backchannel -- which obviously was not Randy Credico -- is the key to a much larger Trumpworld mystery.

And before you say it: No, I don't think that the backchannel was Jerome Corsi. Corsi may have played a role in this matter, but not that role. Both sides in the Stone trial seem wary of bringing up Corsi because the guy is just so damned goofy.

Nevertheless, I am positive that a backchannel existed. That it exists (present tense).

The Trumpers and BernieBros who say otherwise are blinding themselves to the evidence.

I'm not just talking about Stone's own Wikileaks prognostications during the campaign, which can be explained away only if you perform certain mental gymnastics. I'm also talking about the emails and texts that Stone tried to hide.

Let's look at the indictment. To help you understand what follows, here's a brief guide: Organization 1 is Wikileaks, the head of Organization 1 is Julian Assange (who is also the "friend in London"), and the Trump campaign official is, we now know, Steve Bannon.
In or around October 2016, STONE made statements about Organization 1’s future releases, including statements similar to those that Person 2 made to him. For example:

a. On or about October 3, 2016, STONE wrote to a supporter involved with the Trump Campaign, “Spoke to my friend in London last night. The payload is still coming.”

b. Also on or about October 3, 2016, STONE received an email from a reporter who had connections to a high-ranking Trump Campaign official that asked, “[the head of Organization 1] – what’s he got? Hope it’s good.” STONE responded in part, “It is. I’d tell [the high-ranking Trump Campaign official] but he doesn’t call me back.”

c. On or about October 4, 2016, the head of Organization 1 held a press conference but did not release any new materials pertaining to the Clinton Campaign. Shortly afterwards, STONE received an email from the high-ranking Trump Campaign official asking about the status of future releases by Organization 1. STONE answered that the head of Organization 1 had a “[s]erious security concern” but that Organization 1 would release “a load every week going forward.”

d. Later that day, on or about October 4, 2016, the supporter involved with the Trump Campaign asked STONE via text message if he had “hear[d] anymore from London.” STONE replied, “Yes - want to talk on a secure line - got Whatsapp?”

STONE subsequently told the supporter that more material would be released and that it would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign.
Did you see it? Again:
On or about October 3, 2016, STONE wrote to a supporter involved with the Trump
Campaign, “Spoke to my friend in London last night. The payload is still coming.”
If you think that Roger Stone said these things just because he's a self-aggrandizing blowhard, you're nuttier than a jar of Peter Pan.

Yes, he's a show-off. But he wasn't playing to the public here; these messages are behind-the-scenes stuff. He was interacting with significant people.

Look at the lengths he went to in his efforts to engineer a cover up.

Stone is probably going to go to prison for lying to investigators. He threatened Randy Credico -- and threatened his freakin' dog -- because Credico wouldn't go along with a "backchannel" cover story that Stone had concocted. You don't concoct a cover story unless you have something to cover -- and that "something" must be pretty damned important.

Stone lied to investigators, endangered his freedom and incurred great expense. Would he do all that just to protect a figment of his imagination? Stone's a weird guy, but not that weird. Not even a French surrealist would have risked so much in the service of the absurd.

Yet that is the theory being offered by Stone's defenders (at least by the few who understand what he is being tried for).

No, this backchannel business is real. It is serious. It points to a hidden truth that goes beyond Stone and beyond Wikileaks.

I think that Stone's own words here offer us a glimpse into that truth:
“Spoke to my friend in London last night. The payload is still coming.”
“Yes - want to talk on a secure line - got Whatsapp?”
Take him at his word and suddenly the mist clears.

He spoke to Assange directly via a secure communications system.

That system was not necessarily Whatsapp. I repeated that reference to Whatsapp simply to demonstrate that Assange, Stone and company were security conscious, though perhaps not so much as they should have been.

Stone used a direct method of communication. Sure, there may have been a backchannel of sorts at the very beginning: Perhaps an Assange associate contacted Corsi and said "Julian would like to speak to someone on the Trump campaign." But eventually, these guys found a way to talk to each other.

You're probably wondering: Why does the headline for this post name-drop Sean Hannity?

I confess that I didn't read this story when it first came out in January, 2018. I did catch the headline, which made me smirk...
Julian Assange Offered Hannity Impersonator ‘News’ About Top Democrat
...but I ignored the text, mostly because I'd rather not think about Sean Hannity any more than I have to. Stupid move, that. That article turns out to be important.

Y'see, there was a brief time when Sean Hannity rather mysteriously left Twitter. I don't know why and I don't care; his disappearance is not germane to this story. What is germane is this: Dell Gilliam, a woman in Texas, felt possessed by the spirit of Puck -- so she created a fake Twitter account in the name of "@SeanHannity__" with two underscores. It was a joke. She admitted that the account was unreal in a parenthetical comment nestled in the bio.

But Julian Assange didn't read that parenthetical comment.

Thinking that he was talking to the real Sean Hannity, Assange messaged Gilliam, offering to relay some dirt on Democratic Senator Mark Warner. Here's the key part:
“You can send me messages on other channels,” said Assange, the second reference to “other channels” he made since their conversation began.
That message proves that Assange had come up with a way to talk to important people directly, free of any worries about eavesdroppers. (Hannity is important.)

If Assange could chat with Hannity, he could chat with Stone. With...anyone.

The phrase "other channels" probably refers to something more formidable than Whatsapp, although Whatsapp does have good encryption. We must presume that Hannity and Assange set up these "other channels" on a previous occasion. Or...

(and this is the really intriguing possibility)

...Assange knew that all Trump insiders had access to this very secure communications system.

That ultra-secure communications system would the Big Damn Secret behind Russiagate, Ukrainegate, the whole damned thing. It's the Trumpworld version of Enigma. That's what Roger Stone is trying to protect.

Trump himself must use this system. No, I'm not saying that Trump and Assange have chatted with each other. Maybe they did; maybe they didn't. What I'm positing is this: During the campaign, Trump and key members of his team discussed sensitive, shady, quasi-legal and downright illegal matters using this very secure means of communication. (If you like colorful names, you could call this system Trumpworld Enigma.)

That's not such a wild theory, is it? We're not talking about anything terribly unlikely, are we?

I mean, think of the expertise available to Trump. Parscale. Cambridge Analytica. Black Cube. Lots of spooky guys with spooky know-how.

Assange's people have expert knowledge in this area. They know how to talk to a source while playing dodgeball with the spooks.

I'm sure that, somewhere in that milieu, there were and are guys capable of coming up with a truly private "Fuck the NSA" method of communication, perhaps voice communication. Using this method, Trump could speak freely to Putin. Manafort could speak freely to Kilimnick. Stone could speak freely to Assange.

The system is no doubt a bit cumbersome, which is why they don't use it all the time. If outsiders knew about this "Fuck the NSA" system -- if they knew where to look for it -- the whole thing could fall apart.

Why else would Stone do what he's doing? Credico was not the backchannel, and neither was Corsi. Stone himself was the backchannel, linking Trump to Assange.

One of Stone's rules is "Always use a cut-out." In this case, he was the cut-out.

You may say: "Nice theory, but it's just a theory." But which makes more sense: The theory that Stone would go to jail to protect a figment of his imagination, or the theory that Stone would go to jail to protect the secret communications system described above?

On a lighter note: A couple of my readers believe that Roger Stone (who fancies himself a fashion expert) dresses more somberly when his case isn't going well. This WP story discusses his outfits in court.
He likes a glen plaid and a pinstripe, but he spent the first week of his trial mostly rotating from charcoal gray to dove gray to banker ink.
For Stone, that's dour -- although dour looks better on him than his usual. Much of the time, he dresses like Beetlejuice. But he has to lose those goofy round glasses, which make him look more like Little Orphan Annie. John Lennon and Daredevil's Charlie Cox could pull off round glasses because genetics gave them the right head shape. Round glasses don't belong on a round head.

James Spader in The Blacklist has amazing glasses. That's what a round-faced guy should wear.

Me? I wear aviator sunglassess from the dollar store. Not bad, actually. Better than the "Little Orphan Annie" look.


maz said...

I doubt there's any need to use a system more secure than WhatsApp -- and we know Stone had access to it. If the NSA/CIA *do* have a window into it, they don't want you to know, so anything discovered through it that couldn't be parallel constructed would be suppressed: It wouldn't be worth burning the ability...

Anonymous said...

Robert Mercer, among many others, was granted a US patent for a secret method of communication. The phrase “secret sharing” was used in its description.That sounds more literary than it is; secret sharing refers to breaking a message up into many parts and distributing it among many partners or channels. If I knew more about the current state of encrypted communication I would have tried to dig specifically into that story.

Back during the 2016 campaign period, it was observed that Mercer’s yacht would be seen docked in the same harbor as the yacht of the oligarch Rybolovlev. Perhaps similarly, Trump’s jet would be seen at various airports at the same time as a jet, tail insignia M-KATE, belonging to oligarch Rybolovlev. It was my speculation at the time that there was some low power wifi-like connection being made. Not possible to believe that method could support voice. But it would be completely invisible to the NSA.

Of course, I can’t locate a link to the patent story at the moment.
Link on the jet and yacht set:

Anonymous said...

Link to the Mercer, et al patent:

Stephen Morgan said...

Craig Murray just put an interview with Randy Credico on his website.

maz said...

If someone manages to tie the Olsen twins into this, I quit...

b said...

WhatsApp is owned by Facebook which has never not been friendly with, and which was funded in the early days by, the CIA. Are you guys crazy talking about WhatsApp having good encryption and possibly but only possibly having a window that the CIA or NSA can peek into? The US crypto-state can look into its own communications system that it so kindly makes available to the world for "free".

Joseph Cannon said...

b, I didn't want to get into a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of Whatsapp. I have not used it, and have not even researched it very far, although I have read that its encryption is good.

I hope you didn't misunderstand me, because I was quite clear. I said I did NOT think that the system in question was Whatsapp.

I am very intrigued by the reference to Mercer's system. Thanks, Anonymous! Comments like that are the reason I write.

maz said...


I'm not claiming there's no window into WhatsApp; I'm claiming there's little chance of a window into Stone worrying about having to use any encryption stronger than that offered by WhatsApp -- which we know he used -- because he can be confident any evidence exposed only by revealing the window would be suppressed. Even if Stone had assumed his communications were being monitored, he wouldn't care: If Clinton had won, he knew her administration would never burn that intelligence source, especially not to reveal a failed attempt to influence the election; if Trump won, the whole effort would remain secret. His only mistake was to underestimate the sheer, jaw-dropping stupidity of the president*.