10 June 2018

Israeli operation, Russian one - or both?


Frankly, this meme I have chosen for the masthead of the post isn't even especially funny. But the subject of the post isn't especially funny either. Weird will be the most fitting adjective, but judge for yourself.

The article in question this time is titled: How Russiagate Became Israelgate, with a subtitle It’s not about Vladimir Putin anymore. And it opens a view on a new direction in the ever expanding scope of the Mueller team's activities.

To forewarn you: the article is a morass of incomprehensible charges, suspicions and claims - even if you go to the links offered in it. Measure the worth of this priceless WaPo starter, for instance:
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III last summer threatened to charge George Papadopoulos, a former campaign adviser to President Trump, with acting as an unregistered agent of Israel, Papadopoulos’s wife said Tuesday.

Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos, an Italian lawyer who married Papadopoulos in March, said the special prosecutor’s office claimed to have evidence that Papadopoulos had worked on behalf of Israel without registering as a foreign agent while he was serving as an energy consultant before he joined the Trump campaign.
So the man was working as an "energy consultant" (whatever it means) for someone in Israel - this before he joined the Trump campaign. Is it in any way or manner relevant to a possible collusion with Moscow, Jerusalem or anyone else? You tell me. And check also this:
In October 2015, Papadopoulos wrote a column for the Israeli publication Haaretz entitled “Natural Gas Isn’t Just about Israel.”
Wow, seriously? Don't you feel the hairy tentacle of Mossad in this act? Or in this one:
During those years, he became acquainted with Eli Groner, who has served since 2015 as a top aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
That sulphurous smell of collusion indeed.

The hilarity of the whole brouhaha is summarized by a quote from a former National Security Agency analyst John Schindler:
Schindler quotes a colleague from the US intelligence community who wonders, “What if the real secret of the Trump campaign isn’t that it’s a Kremlin operation, rather an Israeli operation masquerading as a Russian one?”
Because, you know, of the eternal "cui bono" question, answered by the same "analyst":
“Trump has gone whole-hog for the Israeli right-wing,” writes the former American spy. “The recent move of our embassy to Jerusalem, long desired by the Israeli Right, is merely the most prominent of Trump’s gifts to his pal Bibi and his ruling Likud party.”
If I had a dollar for every time a raving conspiracy nutcase uses the "cui bono" test, which test in every such case invariably pointing to his/her chosen culprit, of course... But in this case we are ostensibly dealing with a high level expert.

One item, though, is to be concerned about, if true:
Some conservative journalists have argued that Mueller appears to have a problem with Israel.
As an example, the article describes two clumsy attempts, not of a counter-spying investigation by the illustrious FBI, but of crude entrapment. Which attempts are clearly based on the so much non-politically correct and maligned ethnic profiling.
According to the 2009 Post article, “Franklin was apparently sent out by his FBI handlers to tempt Jews. He tried Adam Ciralsky at CBS News, who had once sued the CIA for anti-Semitism, and Richard Perle, who was on his way to vacation in France, as well as Pentagon employees who had done nothing more than work with Franklin. All turned down the offer of information.”
All that during the Mueller's years as a head honcho.

And this is a man who already spend an year digging in many possible directions. Of course, it will be stupid of me to prejudge the final outcome - if and when it comes, but the further this process expands, the more it smells - of bumbling, incompetence and failure to find real meat.

Says the author of the article:
It’s difficult to imagine that many of the prominent figures on the left and the Never Trump right who have seen the Russiagate conspiracy as a useful instrument to weaken or corral Trump will be eager to push a narrative about clandestine Jewish control of American politics.
I would dare disagree with this statement. Not difficult at all, unfortunately.

***

As for John Schindler, "former National Security Agency analyst", with some murky bio episodes: his pedigree and his way of thinking are weirdly similar to that of another person, one Wayne Madsen, who bills himself as "communications security analyst with the National Security Agency in the 1980s, and an intelligence officer in the US Navy". Mr Madsen entertained me several times, and his mastery in finding connections between people and events that will seem impossible to a normal person is second to none. Worth your time to compare, and to enjoy.