Russia Collusion Hoax Was Far Worse Than Watergate

Former Rolling Stone Editor Details the Top Conspirators Who Escaped Accountability in the Russian Collusion Hoax; By Matt Vespa, Feb 16, 2024 on 

Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi, and Alex Gutentag have done an excellent job reporting on the new trove of documents and reports concerning how the intelligence community ran an illegal spy operation against the Trump team that pre-dates the FBI’s counterintelligence probe, which began in the summer of 2016.

Obama’s CIA was the starting quarterback in this scheme, getting the intelligence services of our allies involved while targeting 26 individuals with ties to the former president to be placed under surveillance illegally.

They did a deep-dive into how the CIA, run by then-Director John Brennan, cooked the intelligence in their 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment, blocked other agencies with differing opinions from offering their input, and rehashed some of the worst habits that led this nation into a lengthy war in Iraq in 2003, except this is much worse.

Matt Taibbi wrote on his Substack about how the two incidents caused irreparable harm, how Democrats should be horrified by the latest revelations despite Trump being the victim, and how this Russian collusion hoax is worse than Watergate.

The former Rolling Stone editor, who has been a collusion skeptic since day one, went into detail about the serial intelligence failures in the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate that was used as a primer to invade Iraq during the Bush presidency.

In that situation, our allies also botched their reports, with the British exposed as sexing up their weapons of mass destruction portions.

It wasn’t until 2015 that the whole operation was exposed, showing multiple times that the IC cooked the books to make the case for war.

Taibbi noted that this isn’t a partisan issue—it’s just pure corruption among people in the shadows whom we trust to protect us asymmetrically.

Instead, they didn’t like a presidential candidate and executed an elaborate, complex, and unlawful operation to hamstring Trump.

The first problem was that evidence pointed to the Russians wanting Hillary Clinton to win the presidential election in 2016, which gutted the core of the spook community’s collusion narrative.

Brennan then handpicked his lackeys, used selective intelligence that only bolstered his bias, excluded others, and dismissed the State Department and the Defense Intelligence Agency’s findings entirely since they weren’t sold on the Kremlin-Trump ties. Two senior CIA officials involved in Russia operations were also put on mute.

And the National Security Agency remained skeptical of the collusion ties. Only three of the 17 agencies that form our intelligence community agreed with the CIA’s conclusion that Russia initiated operations to ensure a Trump win.

It’s the same play, but with a different cast, and like the 2002 NIE, it has caused immense damage to the country through distrust of the media and institutions and increased levels of partisanship. Then again, with these actions, the media and the intelligence community have earned the ire of American conservatives.

It’s worse than Watergate, but Taibbi notes why it hasn’t reached such levels of media attention for obvious reasons.

He also listed the top players in the collusion hoax who escaped accountability entirely, some of which are guiding American national security policy today, which should be much to our horror.

The last time we let “sexed up” intelligence guide policy, we were led to war in Iraq. The 2017 Intelligence Com…

Only two things keep this week’s damning portrait of political spying and whitewashed intelligence from the 2015-2016 campaign cycle from being thought of as a Watergate-style scandal (or worse, given how many institutions and senior officials were involved). One, the victim is Donald Trump.

The other is timing. Perpetrators had a long head start on PR, pumping out leaks that drove a coverup narrative before the inexperienced Trump team even knew they were dealing with a dirty tricks campaign.

Thanks to an accomplice press, deceptions were allowed to percolate in some cases for years, effectively “pre-bunking” mainstream audiences against revelations of corruption.

The difference between Watergate and Russiagate is that Watergate was run by a private cadre of Richard Nixon dingbats who were paid on the sly out of Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) and had to commit a “third-rate burglary” to bug the offices of the Democratic National Committee.

In Russiagate, the bugging and spying was done with approval of whole institutions, including the CIA, FBI, and the intelligence services of numerous foreign allies, most notably Britain’s GCHQ.

In fact, the worst activity was only pulled off when senior officials in bureaucracies like the Department of Justice overrode objections of rule-following subordinates.

The informants used to set up Trump associates like George Papadopoulos and Carter Page for surveillance were extravagantly compensated, by a combination of the Hillary Clinton campaign, the FBI, and the Department of Defense.

It was “state-sponsored oppo research, at penthouse prices,” as one intelligence source put it.

If the public had first learned this backstory — which by now can be pieced together with ease through public documents — it would almost certainly have been a major scandal in the other direction.

But because these institutions involved were able to engage in so much proactive leaking, and block or delay the release of the classified true story, they were able to create the false narrative without facing consequences.

…the intelligence community has suffered no consequences for a range of misdeeds, from the misuse of FISA authority to the manufacture of intelligence for a crucial Assessment.

This matters because many who were involved the first time are positioned in the 2024 election season for new forms of mischief, from within government and without.

Marc Elias, the Clinton campaign lawyer who hired Steele, is a key player in the filing of lawsuits targeting opponents of Joe Biden, doing everything from trying to redraw Wisconsin’s electoral map to preparing technical challenges for third-party candidates.

Jake Sullivan, who as Clinton’s national security aide tweeted fake news about Trump’s supposed secret ties with Russia, is Biden’s National Security Adviser.

Christopher Wray was Director of the FBI when the FISA mess was exposed, fired no one, and is still Director.

Former Acting National Security Director of the Justice Department Mary McCord, who approved the Page FISA, was recently reported to be part of a “loose-knit” group exchanging ideas about how to “foil any efforts to expand presidential power” should Trump be re-elected. She also served on the FSIA court advisory panel, despite her role in the Page fiasco.

Halper has never been forced to answer public questions.

Brennan, Clapper, and other key players are television analysts, and most of the media players who pumped up this story are still on the air, a concern given that the Russiagate mutiny was in significant part a media operation.

If you’re not convinced by the new reports, if you think all of this is partisan nonsense, that’s okay. We can agree that we should all want to see the remaining classified documents, so we can clear the air. We can’t afford to wait twelve years, like we did with WMDs.

These folks don’t care; if they get away with it, they’ll do it again. They might already be plotting, and if this shoddy collusion hoax couldn’t stop the Trump train from getting back on the tracks—Trump is going to be the 2024 nominee and could beat a memory-deficient Biden—then Lord knows what they have up their sleeves.

Disgraced former deputy director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, had a chilling quote regarding the illegal FISA spy warrant issued for Carter Page, a Trump campaign official.

“We can’t pull any punches, and we’ve got to do it…let the chips fall where they may,” he said to Stuart Evans, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the National Security Division at the DOJ.

Taibbi noted how Evans was probably the only person who opposed the illegal spying operation into Trump’s campaign. The quote above was reportedly uttered when McCabe was forced to move to shut Evans down regarding the noise he was making.

Shred the Constitution and “let the chips fall where they may.” I know we have to rebuild the country Biden has destroyed if Trump wins, but revenge is warranted he

re—and everyone across multiple departments should be targeted.

The people shouldn’t be afraid of their government, it’s the government who should be afraid of its people. We need to return to that principle.

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