Durham’s Nugget: An intelligence tale

How to bury a plan in three easy lessons.

In a quick-look treatment on 16 May, Lee Smith unerringly identified a central data point from John Durham’s special counsel report on the FBI’s conduct of Crossfire Hurricane.

That point is John Brennan’s handwritten record of having briefed President Obama and a group of administration seniors, on 3 August 2016, about “Russian intelligence” on Hillary Clinton’s operation to generate a fake narrative in which Russia colluded with Donald Trump.

Smith points out that James Comey was reportedly in attendance at that meeting.  That would mean Comey knew throughout the execution of Crossfire Hurricane that it was entirely possible much if not all of the supposed “evidence” of Russia-Trump collusion was coming from a campaign “oppo” effort mounted by Clinton.

Yet with this implication in throbbing neon in the special counsel investigation, Durham ultimately let Comey off the hook Continue reading “Durham’s Nugget: An intelligence tale”


The foreign intel angle on Spygate: What probably didn’t happen, and what probably did

A history of “knowing” things that never led anywhere.

This should more properly be titled “A slice of the foreign intel angle on Spygate,” because it’s not a comprehensive survey.  Such a survey would at a minimum have to include British, Australian, and Italian involvement in human intelligence (HUMINT) threads, among others.  The survey here isn’t that expansive.

Rather, it separates out a chunk of the purported information to date on one part of the larger story line.  The part in question is a combination of signals intelligence (SIGINT) and Russian intelligence, and in particular, U.S. and friendly intelligence on Russian intelligence.  The latter – or at least claims about the latter; i.e., claims about our intel on Russian intel – played a key role in perpetuating the Russiagate narrative when it was looking particularly seedy and ill-starred.

In retrospect, it appears skepticism about some claims of foreign-intel sourcing was always in order. Continue reading “The foreign intel angle on Spygate: What probably didn’t happen, and what probably did”

New FOIA release on Spygate: A brief fresh look at Comey and Ohr

The focus of hindsight.

The reflections here probably won’t be especially profound, but they will at least be brief.  That, at least, is the intention.

The Department of Justice has just released a new tranche of FOIA-requested documents relating to the conjoined dramas of Spygate and Russiagate.  The date of the document release is 30 November 2021; diligent Twitter user FOIA Fan (@15poundstogo) highlighted the release on Wednesday 8 December. Continue reading “New FOIA release on Spygate: A brief fresh look at Comey and Ohr”