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Thu, 24 May 2018
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Stefan Halper: The FBI Informant who spied on Trump Campaign also oversaw a CIA spying operation in the 1980 election

Stefan Halper
An extremely strange episode that has engulfed official Washington over the last two weeks came to a truly bizarre conclusion on Friday night. And it revolves around a long-time, highly sketchy CIA operative, Stefan Halper.

Four decades ago, Halper was responsible for a long-forgotten spying scandal involving the 1980 election, in which the Reagan campaign - using CIA officials managed by Halper, reportedly under the direction of former CIA Director and then-Vice-Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush - got caught running a spying operation from inside the Carter administration. The plot involved CIA operatives passing classified information about Carter's foreign policy to Reagan campaign officials in order to ensure the Reagan campaign knew of any foreign policy decisions that Carter was considering.

Over the past several weeks, House Republicans have been claiming that the FBI during the 2016 election used an operative to spy on the Trump campaign, and they triggered outrage within the FBI by trying to learn his identity. The controversy escalated when President Trump joined the fray on Friday morning. "Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president," Trump tweeted, adding: "It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a "hot" Fake News story. If true - all time biggest political scandal!"

Comment: See also:


Giuliani: Mueller probe into Trump obstruction to end by Sept 1

© The Telegraph
President Donald Trump
Special counsel Robert Mueller will conclude his probe into claims US President Donald Trump obstructed the Russia investigation by the beginning of September, according to the president's personal attorney Rudolph Giuliani.

Giuliani told the New York Times that Mueller shared a copy of his timeline as both sides continue to negotiate the terms of a possible interview between Trump and the special counsel. The attorney, and former mayor of New York, said he feared a delay in wrapping up the investigation would cast a cloud over the midterm elections in November.

"You don't want another repeat of the 2016 election where you get contrary reports at the end and you don't know how it affected the election," Mr. Giuliani told the paper, citing then-FBI chief James Comey's decision to reopen the Hillary Clinton email investigation days before the polls opened in the US presidential election.

The obstruction charge arises from claims made by Comey who said Trump asked him to end an investigation into then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Trump's official explanation for firing Comey invoked a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein accusing the FBI director of misconduct in the 2016 investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server use.

Comment: There is a lot of time between now and then...so, Mr. President, save that applause.

Russian Flag

Bypass US sanctions, counter China, why Modi's agenda-less Putin meeting is more than chit-chat

© Wu Hong/Reuters
Russian President Putin • Chinese President Xi • Indian Prime Minister Modi
Narendra Modi arrives in Sochi for an "agenda-less" meeting with Vladimir Putin, but there won't be time for chit-chat: the two must save key arms deals left up in the air by US sanctions, and find common ground on China.

"This is a very different kind of meeting. Normally, we have a system of annual bilateral summits, that are very structured, where you negotiate and you come out with documents, contracts and joint statements," said Pankaj Saran, India's ambassador in Moscow, ahead of his prime minister's arrival in the Black Sea resort on Monday afternoon.

Instead, says Saran, the one-day visit, planned in short order after Putin won March's election for his fourth term, and conducted without honor guards, official dinners and other accoutrements, will be a chance for the two leaders to develop "personal chemistry, build up their relationship" and "discuss issues important to their own countries."

Comment: India has a fickle nature, ready to switch sides whenever it suits its needs.
See also:

Snakes in Suits

DOJ to investigate Trump campaign infiltration by FBI

© Unknown
President Donald Trump
The Department of Justice has formally requested a review into possible abuses of the surveillance application process amid claims the FBI "infiltrated" the President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.

The news comes just hours after Trump demanded that the DOJ investigate claims that federal authorities surveilled his campaign for political purposes. Writing on Twitter, the president said he also wanted to know if any "demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration."

The department asked the inspector general to liaise with federal prosecutors to bring charges against FBI personnel found guilty of criminal conduct while investigating allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"The Department has asked the Inspector General to expand the ongoing review of the FISA application process to include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election," a statement from DOJ spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores read.

Comment: As Russiagate has become a cul-de-sac leading nowhere, the investigation may finally be turning the corner...onto another very long and complicated street.

See also:


Reagan aides describe Stefan Halper's operation to spy on Jimmy Carter

Stefan Halper
An operation to collect inside information on Carter Administration foreign policy was run in Ronald Reagan's campaign headquarters in the 1980 Presidential campaign, according to present and former Reagan Administration officials.

Those sources said they did not know exactly what information the operation produced or whether it was anything beyond the usual grab bag of rumors and published news reports. But they said it involved a number of retired Central Intelligence Agency officials and was highly secretive.

The sources identified Stefan A. Halper, a campaign aide involved in providing 24-hour news updates and policy ideas to the traveling Reagan party, as the person in charge. Mr. Halper, until recently deputy director of the State Department's Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs and now chairman of the Palmer National Bank in Washington, was out of town today and could not be reached. But Ray S. Cline, his father-in-law, a former senior Central Intelligence official, rejected the account as a ''romantic fallacy.''

Comment: Stefan Halper has not changed his job as a spying mole for the last 35 years, apparently: Can we call him a Deep State operative now?

See also:

Iran would not be a problem without Reagan's treason

Arrow Up

MI6 setups lead to Trump campaign advisors' indictments and the war on Trump

Page Halper Popodopoulos
© The National Herald, Institute of World Politics, Unknown
Carter Page • Stefan Halper • George Papadopoulos
In the months leading up to the 2016 election, British intelligence made strenuous efforts to cultivate Trump advisors, and set up circumstances in which they could appear to have Russian connections, the Daily Caller's Chuck Ross shows in a lengthy article today.

First in line is Prof. Stefan K. Halper, a foreign policy expert with ties to both the CIA and MI6, who invited Trump endorser George Papadopoulos to London in September 2016. There, Halper offered to pay Papadopoulos $3,000 to write a policy paper on Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, and the Leviathan natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea.

Halper, 73, who is British, is a veteran of three Republican administrations (meddling in American politics is nothing new for him), and also met with two other Trump campaign advisors. Halper, Ross reports, is a close associate of Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of Britain's foreign intelligence agency, MI6.

When Papadopoulos arrived in London for their meeting, Halper asked him if he knew about "hacking the emails from Russia," to which Papadopoulos replied he did not, Ross reports. Halper had offered him the $3,000 for the policy paper, with all expenses paid.

Halper also invited a second Trump campaign aide, foreign policy advisor Carter Page, to attend a July 2016 symposium at Cambridge University in Britain, regarding the upcoming U.S. election.

Comment: The third contact was Clovis, see below.

According to the New York Post:
The professor (Halper) met with Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis in late August, offering his services as a foreign-policy adviser, The Washington Post reported Friday, without naming the academic. Clovis did not see the conversation as suspicious, his attorney told the paper - but is now "unsettled" that "the professor" never mentioned he'd struck up a relationship with Page.

The Department of Defense's Office of Net Assessment - a shadowy think tank that reports directly to the secretary of defense - paid Halper $282,000 in 2016 and $129,000 in 2017.
See also: Russiagate twist: Professor Stefan Halper, who spied for the CIA in the 80s, was sent by FBI to spy on Trump campaign


Japan and the EU notify WTO of retaliatory measures to combat US metal tariffs

Trump over rift
© The Atlantic
Japan and the European Union have notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) that they are ready to implement an array of retaliatory measures against Washington in response to tariffs on steel and aluminum imports imposed by US President Donald Trump on Tokyo and the European bloc.

"We plan to decide appropriately, considering the impact on Japanese companies as well as related US measures," the Japanese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday. However, it stopped short of indicating when Tokyo might take action.

The statement also said that the WTO had been informed that Japan had the right to implement tariffs on American goods worth 50 billion yen ($451 million), which would be the equivalent value to duties quite recently imposed by Washington on Japanese metal products.

Tokyo has not yet lodged an official complaint with the intergovernmental organization, but it is gesturing that it could impose the counter-measures if it does not obtain the tariff exemptions it has been seeking from the US.

For its part, the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, has already prepared a list of American products, including peanut butter, motorcycles and denim jeans, which could get extra import duties.

Comment: It is hard to believe tariffs on aluminum and steel would spark a 'deep global recession'. But if one is in the works, Trump will receive the lion's portion of the blame.

See also:


The secret meeting between FBI and Alexander Downer

© AP
The meeting took place 100 days before Donald Trump was elected. Trump accuses Comey of leaking classified documents

One hundred days before the US election, two FBI agents went on a secret mission. And it could badly damage Australia's relationship with Donald Trump.

Alexander Downer sat down for an interview with two FBI agents in London in 2016 to discuss potential Russian meddling in the US presidential election, a sensational report alleges.

The revelation the Australian government broke with diplomatic protocol and allowed Mr Downer, then Australia's high commissioner to the United Kingdom, to be interviewed by the FBI could damage Australia's recently repaired relationship with US President Donald Trump.

The New York Times first revealed late last year it was at a boozy night in May 2016, at London's Kensington Wine Rooms, that Mr Trump's then foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos told Mr Downer Russia had dirt on Mr Trump's political rival Hillary Clinton.

Comment: See also:

Arrow Up

New kingmaker: Iraq's anti-American, nationalistic cleric is big parliamentary winner

Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr
© Alaa al-Marjani / Reuters
Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr
A Shia cleric with strong anti-American views is poised to become kingmaker in Iraq. Muqtada al-Sadr's coalition emerged victorious in parliamentary elections, signaling a resurgence in Iraqi nationalism, analysts told RT.

Al-Sadr's Sairoon Alliance capitalized on widespread anger over foreign influence and unchecked corruption in Iraq, securing a surprise victory over Iran-backed Shia militia chief Hadi al-Amiri's Fatah (Conquest) Coalition, and US-backed Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's Nasr (Victory) Coalition.

Anti-America (and corruption) crusader?

The prominent Shia cleric is an outspoken critic of US military presence in Iraq, even leading two revolts against American-led forces after their 2003 invasion. At the same time, al-Sadr is also opposed to Iranian influence in Iraq. His ability to appeal to Iraqis' sense of nationalism seems to be the main driving force behind his coalition's unexpected parliamentary victory.

Comment: Given the outcome, Iran, the US and the Kurds are all losers.


Marines get new information warfare leader, Maj. Gen. Lori Reynolds

Maj. Gen. Lori Reynolds
© Daniel Woolfolk/Staff
Maj. Gen. Lori Reynolds, speaking above at the 16th Annual C4ISRNET conference May 3, 2017, has been nominated to serve as the next deputy commandant for information.
Maj. Gen. Lori Reynolds has been nominated for a third star and to serve as the recently established deputy commandant for information, according to a May 18 announcement from the Department of Defense.

Reynolds, who currently heads Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command, will succeed Lt. Gen. Daniel O'Donohue, who is moving to the joint staff. The Defense Department has not yet announced a replacement for Reynolds at Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command.

The Marines established this new position, the deputy commandant for information, in summer 2017 to better compete in a 21st century world, aligning all information-related capability under a single entity. This includes cyber, signals intelligence and electronic warfare, among others.