Thursday, April 9, 2020

Russiagate Sputters Along

But some still cracks the viral haze. From Christian Datoc at Da Caller, Senior Intel Officials Criticize Adam Schiff’s Letter To Director Richard Grenell, Pressing Him Over ODNI Personnel Changes
“The [ODNI] staffers are so sick and tired of [Schiff] politicizing the intelligence community for his own gain,” the official told Daily Caller. “Notice how he sent the letter to the media before he sent it to ODNI.”

A second intelligence official declined to directly comment on Schiff’s letter but told Daily Caller that the Senate Intelligence Committee had not told Grenell and ODNI to refrain from making any personnel decisions, despite some media reports.
Nevertheless, Schiff plans to investigate Trump firing intel watchdog (Psul Goldberg, News Thud). WuFlu has been stealing all his attention.

Via Wombat's In The Mailbox: 04.08.20 Adam Mill at AmGreat calls Michael Atkinson The Inspector Who Never Inspected Anything
Here’s a simple question to ask anyone outraged over the recent firing of Michael Atkinson, the former inspector general for the intelligence community: Can you identify a single instance of a report or letter in which Atkinson exposed intelligence community misconduct to the public? After searching the inspector general’s website, I was unable to do so.

Atkinson was an inspector general in name only. After two years, there’s no evidence that he lifted a finger to root out misconduct within the U.S. intelligence community. He’s the inspector who never inspected anything.

Atkinson’s only public sponsorship of a whistleblower was the infamous Ukraine whistleblower who whinged over the president’s foreign policy choices. The Federalist’s Margot Cleveland made an excellent argument for why Atkinson deserved to be fired for the way he handled that complaint. In contrast to Atkinson’s passivity, the Justice Department’s inspector general, a real inspector general, files countless reports auditing the sprawling bureaucracy under his watch.

The intelligence community has a history of compromising its overseers. Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, hasn’t held a single hearing over the intelligence community’s rampant and illegal domestic spying. Instead, Schiff has used his position to coordinate political attacks on President Trump.

The intelligence community long ago disabled its inspector general. First, it gutted the inspector general position. Then it installed Atkinson, who is one of its own, a swamp creature, so he could use the office as a base of operations in the campaign to resist or unseat a duly elected president. . . .
 Just The News, FISA Fallout: Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe FBI breaks law when spying, and one-third believe in unicorns.
'It's also important to note how widespread this belief has become,' Rasmussen said. 'The distrust comes from 66% of men and 64% of women; 72% of Republicans, 62% of Democrats; and 61% of Independents; 72% of black voters, 70% of Hispanics, and 63% of whites.'
. . .
"The question wording was very strong," Rasmussen said. "We included the phrase 'routinely breaks the law' and also 'illegally spies.' In so doing, we made clear that we weren't asking if mistakes were occasionally made or if some rogue agents periodically crossed the line. That 65% of voters find such behavior is likely and routine is a stunning indictment of the FBI."
Emmett Tyrell Jr holds out for the great white hope, Durham’s On the Way - The investigation that will push coronavirus aside. Will Georgia and I have to start betting on the color of his tie in the daily briefing?
Durham’s inquiries have, as the Washington Examiner put it, “increased the strain between DOJ [Department of Justice] investigators and spy officials, with one intelligence official who helped compile the 2017 assessment saying neither Brennan nor anyone else involved interfered politically and the 2004 law reforming the intelligence community worked the way it should.”

Well, I am not so sure. From the stories in the Journal and the Examiner, it looks to me like there is disagreement within the inter-agency taskforce as to how much confidence it has in the 2017 assessments of Russian involvement in the 2016 election. Some participants say there is “high confidence.” Others, namely at NSA, say there is only “moderate confidence” in how actively Vladimir Putin tried to help Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. Durham is looking into this controversy and into other matters. He is investigating Brennan’s relationship with the Steele dossier. Was it used in the 2017 assessment? Did former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe insist on the dossier being part of the assessment? If so, why? And most importantly, did Brennan dissemble about its use?

I had been led to believe that Durham’s investigations would be wrapping up by now. Over three years ago, Neumayr and I had fingered Brennan as the chief culprit behind the plot to implicate Donald Trump in a phony collusion with Putin to steal the election from Hillary. With the rise of the coronavirus scare and the government’s shutdown of the economy, it seemed to me that the investigation of Brennan and his gang was going to disappear. Now with the Wall Street Journal’s piece last week and the Washington Examiner’s follow-up on it, I am full of hope. The attorney general is reportedly in favor of rendering his conclusions by the summer. Last month he said in an interview that Durham is “making good progress on a lot of fronts.” Certainly as of today there is plenty of activity from Durham and his team.
 Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and links.

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