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May 20, 2018

Trump: I'm Ordering the DOJ to Investigate Whether Obama Ordered Spying for Political Purposes

Greenwald notes, as many others have, that the DOJ is simultaneously leaking all the biographical details needed to identify Stefan Halper, while claiming that it would endanger his life to identify him:

Last night, both the Washington Post and New York Times -- whose reporters, like pretty much everyone in Washington, knew exactly who the FBI informant is -- published articles that, while deferring to the FBI's demands by not naming him, provided so many details about him that it made it extremely easy to know exactly who it is. The NYT described the FBI informant as "an American academic who teaches in Britain" and who "made contact late that summer with” George Papadopoulos and "also met repeatedly in the ensuing months with the other aide, Carter Page." The Post similarly called him "a retired American professor" who met with Page "at a symposium about the White House race held at a British university."

In contrast to the picture purposely painted by the DOJ and its allies that this informant was some of sort super-secret, high-level, covert intelligence asset, the NYT described him as what he actually is: "the informant is well known in Washington circles, having served in previous Republican administrations and as a source of information for the C.I.A. in past years."

Despite how "well known" he is in Washington, and despite publishing so many details about him that anyone with Google would be able to instantly know his name, the Post and the NYT nonetheless bizarrely refused to identity him, with the Post justifying its decision that it "is not reporting his name following warnings from U.S. intelligence officials that exposing him could endanger him or his contacts." The NYT was less melodramatic about it, citing a general policy: the NYT "has learned the source"s identity but typically does not name informants to preserve their safety," it said.

In other words, both the NYT and the Post chose to provide so many details about the FBI informant that everyone would know exactly who it was, while coyly pretending that they were obeying FBI demands not to name him. How does that make sense? Either these newspapers believe the FBI's grave warnings that national security and lives would be endangered if it were known who they used as their informant (in which case those papers should not publish any details that would make his exposure likely), or they believe that the FBI (as usual) was just invoking false national security justifications to hide information it unjustly wants to keep from the public (in which case the newspapers should name him).

Update: The left's new rules, as summarized by Adirondack Patriot:

It's all academic because this is how the left thinks:

1. It is illegal to defeat a Democrat.

2. Anything we do to stop an illegal act is legal and a morally necessary.

3. The only way a Democrat can lose is if someone (in this case, Donald Trump) did something illegal, such as collude with Russians, because no Republican is qualified to legally defeat a Democrat.

4. Everything we do to stop Trump is legal, regardless of the law.

Ben Shapiro, Deep State Defender.

Correction: Red-faced embarrassment -- I got the timeline screwed up here myself. I conflated Misfud's mention of the emails with Halper's (Halper's mention was several months later).

The timeline goes something like this:

April 2016: MISFUD, not Halper, mentions the Russians hacking the emails to Papadoplous

May 2016: Papadoplous mentions this to Downer (the Australian diplomat)

September 2016: Halper asks Papadopolous about the emails (Papadopolous says he doesn't know anything)

I confused the dates and who it was (Misfud, Halper) doing the talking.

I still don't see how mentioning the emails to anyone could be grounds to begin an investigation -- everyone was speculating about the idea that Russians had the emails for months; it was one of the reasons people said Clinton should be indicted -- and I'd like Ben Shapiro to explain that to me.

If talking about the Russians having Hillary's emails is grounds for an official counterintelligence investigation, then the NSA should have been monitoring me and this blog as well. And pretty much everyone I knew.

Who knows, maybe they were/are.

But my jibe about the timeline was all wrong. I'm the one who had to do more research into the specific timeline here.

I also suspect that when all is done we'll find out that Misfud was actually involved in this "investigation," but that's not in evidence yet. It's just my private supposition.

Oh: The FBI has repeatedly lied about the origins of this "investigation." First it was sparked by the Steele Dossier. When the highly dubious and partisan nature of the document was revealed, they edited their story to claim it all originated with this Papadopolous mention of the emails to Downer.

With the FBI and DOJ crabwalking and changing their stories, why should anyone have any faith in their current claims?

Who can say what the FBI's current claim actually is? Have they made an official statement, or does it continue to be put out via not-under-oath leaks to the media?

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posted by Ace of Spades at 02:25 PM

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