There was once a time, not that long ago, when the mainstream left was highly critical of the CIA, and scrutiny of dubious claims by U.S. intelligence was a common occurrence. Of course all of that changed when those same intelligence agencies were weaponized to target a political enemy that was also the enemy of the left, namely Donald Trump.
Now, in the era of modern political narratives, no intelligence claim against the Trump administration is too outlandish. Regardless of dubious sourcing, it’s all pushed as fact so long as the target of the claim is President Donald Trump.
As a result it is not a surprise how targeted weaponization became the cornerstone of the Russian narrative, and sketchy intelligence claims of Russian involvement in elections became the mortar that binds the bricks. The end product is tenuous at best; and if anyone starts to scrutinize the instability of the construct they too become a target.
Last year U.S. Attorney John Durham and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr were reported to be spending time on a narrowed focus looking carefully at CIA activity in the 2016 presidential election. That CIA activity is directly related to the construction of the December 2016 Joint Analysis Report (JAR), and January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA). Both constructs are so critical to the Russia narrative that anyone who dare question the information becomes an immediate risk and target.
Using information from U.K. media, and looking closer at yesterday’s New York Times report about investigations of the CIA, in this outline we will explain where corrupt U.S. and U.K. interests merge; what specific action was taken, & why the mortar is crumbling.
2019 – “One British official with knowledge of Barr’s wish list presented to London commented that “it is like nothing we have come across before, they are basically asking, in quite robust terms, for help in doing a hatchet job on their own intelligence services””. (Link)
The U.K. Independent ran the above quote last year based on British intelligence officials who were concerned about scrutiny on their aligned activity with the U.S. CIA during the 2016 election. More recently, yesterday the New York Times ran an article breathless with concern about DOJ inquiry and Attorney John Durham questioning the CIA directly.
2020 […] The Justice Department has declined to talk about Mr. Durham’s work in meaningful detail, but he has been said to be interested in how the intelligence community came up with its analytical judgments — including its assessment that Russia was not merely sowing discord, but specifically sought to help Mr. Trump defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
[…] The analysts could have been engaged in standard bureaucratic behavior like obeying the filtering process or hoarding sensitive information. Or perhaps they were trying to cover something up. The questions asked by Mr. Durham and his team suggest they are looking for any potential basis to support making the latter reading, officials said.
[…] Mr. Durham has interviewed F.B.I. officials and agents who worked on the bureau’s Russia investigation, called Crossfire Hurricane, and for the special counsel who took over the inquiry, Robert S. Mueller III. They have also interviewed C.I.A. analysts.
Mr. Durham and his team also interviewed around a half-dozen current and former officials and analysts at the National Security Agency, including its former director, the retired Adm. Michael S. Rogers, last summer and again last fall. The Intercept first reported the interviews of Admiral Rogers.
But Mr. Durham has not interviewed the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, his onetime deputy Andrew G. McCabe or Mr. Brennan. Mr. Durham has requested Mr. Brennan’s emails, call logs and other documents from the C.I.A. to learn what he told other officials, including Mr. Comey, about his and the C.I.A.’s views of a notorious dossier of assertions about Russia and Trump associates. (NYT Link)
It is important to remember how critical the Russian interference narrative is to the activity that took place in 2016. If you take away the mortar, the building collapses. If the concrete evidence is not there to support the intelligence claims of 2016/2017, then all justification for the downstream “investigations” is lost.
Without the Russia narrative, those who weaponized intelligence for political surveillance are naked to the world. The Russia narrative is essential for their justification of everything. In a world with a functioning media the high importance of a key detail would mean even more scrutiny on that detail was warranted. Alas, in the world of orange-man-bad, the concept of a functioning media is as visible as a rotary phone.
The two-year investigation that generated the Weissmann/Mueller report contains claims that Russia hacked the DNC servers as the central element to the Russia interference narrative in the 2016 U.S. election. This claim is perhaps the sketchiest.
It is also important to remember just how extensive the operations of the CIA were in 2016; because it is within the network of foreign and domestic operations where FBI Agent Peter Strzok is noted as a bridge between the CIA and FBI operations.