Category Archives: CIA

Russian Bounty Hunters in Afghanistan

Russian bounty hunter
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The last big bounty scandal in the news involved the New Orleans Saints. But there are no saints in this story. The NYT reported that Russian President Putin paid the Taliban to kill American soldiers. A WSJ editorial questioned the need for bounties, considering the Taliban already whacks Americans for the religious thrill of it. But considering Putin’s record killing journalists in his own country it sounds plausible.

And inquiring minds want to know what Trump did about it. Nothing. Though he did kill a couple hundred Russians in Syria in 2018, but that was before the story broke.

Or maybe 1980s are calling to get back their Stinger missiles that President Reagan gave to the Taliban to shoot down Russian helicopters.

Anyway, Catherine Herridge at CBS says the CIA and NSA are split on the bounty story, and the president claims he was never briefed.

What the Heck is Unmasking Anyway?

unmasking, michael flynn
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What the heck is unmasking anyway?

Our government spies on foreigners all the time but not its own citizens –theoretically. So while eavesdropping on a Russian ambassador is ok, it’s not ok to spy on the guy at the other end of the call, if he’s an American citizen. So, in order to protect that guy, his information is “masked.” (Bokbluster was on this in 2017)

As it happens, the guy on the other end of Russian Ambassador Kislyak’s call was Trump’s incoming Trump National Security advisor Michael Flynn. And it turns out, dozens of members of the Obama administration, including Joe Biden, unmasked him.

FBI Goal Questioning Michael Flynn

FBI goal, get truth, get him to lie
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What was the FBI’s goal when it questioned Michael Flynn? Was it to get the truth or to get him to lie? That’s what Counter Intelligence head Bill Priestap asked in a memo:

“What is our goal? Truth and admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” This may have expressed an honest question over the motivation behind this targeting of Flynn, a decision for which Comey later publicly took credit when he had told an audience that he decided he could “get away” with sending “a couple guys over” to the White House to set up Flynn and make the case.

Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Law Professor – The Hill

Update: Justice Department drops the case against Flynn.

Weaponizing the Justice Department

weaponizing the Justice Department, Trump, Barr, Comey, FISA, Dosier,
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President Trump is weaponizing the Justice Department. At least that’s what former insiders told Rachel Maddow.

And they thought Trump was a Russian asset. So the FBI used a phony dossier to get FISA court approval to spy on the 2016 Trump campaign. But when Special Counsel Mueller investigated Russian Collusion for 2 1/2 yers he came up empty handed.

Weaponizing Wing Man

So now AG Barr is investigating the investigators. And President Obama’s “wing man” Eric Holder calls that “unprecedented” behavior.

Cold Blooded Politics

cold blooded politics

Click the bloody hand to enlarge the image.

It looks like Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman knew about the Kashoggi murder. The CIA says he ordered it. But President Trump says, “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t.”

Trump has MBS’s back because the Saudis buy a lot of stuff from us. He bragged that he did “$450 billion in commercial deals” on his trip to Saudi Arabia.

Cold Blooded Politics

WSJ editors think Trump is crass. But they also thinks the Saudis are important allies in a “dangerous war against Middle Eastern terror supported by the mullahs in Iran.” The editorial page calls it “Trump’s Crude Realpolitik.”

And the barbaric murder of a journalist is crude. But not as crude as 3,000 murders on 9/11. Columnist Holman Jenkins claims the 15 Saudi hijackers may have had the support of members of the royal family:

If Saudi royals crave an airing of this dirty laundry, they know what to do: Keep MBS in power. Undoubtably among the interested would be the 9/11 families who managed to win, over President Obama’s veto, sweeping bipartisan support for their lawsuit to hold the Saudi government accountable for the murder of their loved ones on 9/11.

If the Saudis think President Trump can (or wants to ) protect MBS against all that would follow, they should think again.

Update 11/28: The Washington Post’s David Ignatius says there’s a power struggle going on within the royal family. And he has an interesting story about captive family member Turki bin Abdullah and “his closest adviser, Saudi businessman Tarek Obaid.” Obaid is hiding out in Switzerland and may have barely escaped the same fate as Kashoggi. Obaid says, “There was clear abuse of power by incompetent thugs, but I don’t believe that the crown prince’s instructions were for these events to play out as they did.”