Moving the hot potato, intelligence and counter-intelligence to avoid getting blame / backlash. Chaos in medialand.
Pointing fingers to the other guy, across the Atlantic, Eastern-Europe, Ukrainian hand …
Shortly after leaving the Journal Glenn Simpson co-founded SNS Global and used his talents to help Sheikh Khalid bin Saqr Al Qasimi regain his position as the ruler of an emirate of the United Arab Emirates (Ras al-Khaimah, the nothernmost emirate).
Sheikh Khalid had served his father 37 years in government. But he led protests against the U.S. invasion of Iraq where, according to The New York Times, he burned an American flag. (Some accounts say he was present while a flag was burned.) He also reportedly allowed the local radio station to broadcast [cached] anti-American propaganda.
Since some U.S. soldiers waging Operation Iraqi Freedom operated from the UAE, the move led his father to strip him of any role in the government and instead place his younger brother, Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi, in line for the throne.
A few years later, Sheikh Khalid decided to hire U.S. and British opposition research firms – including SNS Global – to wage a PR war against his brother. Mideastern media called this “a bloodless coup.”
○ Death of Gulf emirate ruler Sheikh Saqr prompts fight over succession | The Guardian – Oct. 2010 |
○ UAE: Saud Bin Saqr – A Sheikh like no other?
Sheikh Khalid’s PR campaign claimed that he was a secular pro-Western ruler who believed in womens’ rights, and that under his brother the emirate had become a close ally of Iran and a staging ground for terrorism.
SNS was a subcontractor to California Strategies, another opposition research firm run by hardball Democratic strategist Chris Lehane, a former Clinton White House aide who handled Bill’s “bimbo eruptions” and later insinuated that the Monica Lewinsky affair was part of a vast right-wing conspiracy.
As Lehane’s partner, SNS pocketed $40,000, and Simpson personally registered as a lobbyist for a foreign agent in October 2009, although he said this was done merely out of an abundance of caution.
Smearing a traditional marriage supporter on “Obama’s Enemies List”
According to Glenn Simpson’s LinkedIn page, he left SNS Global in December 2010 and co-founded Fusion GPS, becoming its CEO the next month.
Although its website [Exp. 23 Dec. 2017 – registrar blocked] provides virtually no information about its functions, it lists “strategic intelligence” and touts an experience in “politics.” “That’s a polite way of saying ‘opposition research’,” wrote Kim Strassel at the Wall Street Journal.
Simpson refused to say who paid him to target VanderSloot’s personal life but defended his firm’s actions, saying, Frank VanderSloot is “a legitimate subject of public records research” because of “his own record on gay issues.”
The Obama administration then subjected VanderSloot to three audits in four months – two from the IRS and one from the Department of Labor. He had never been audited before.
FUSION-GPS WebArchive cached page in year 2011
- Glenn R. Simpson [pdf – Vandersloot defamation lawsuit against Mother Jones]
- Peter R. Fritsch
- Benjamin S. Schmidt, now managing director at The Camstoll Group
Glenn R. Simpson is FUSION‘s President and Managing Partner. Simpson has over 20 years of experience in research and investigations, including 14 years with The Wall Street Journal as the Washington bureau’s lead investigative reporter. Since entering the commercial intelligence field in early 2009, he has managed complex projects in the US, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Simpson specializes in the banking and securities sectors. He is a seasoned expert on the relationship between government and business and in particular in financial regulation, and is well known in the capital’s financial policymaking, regulatory and enforcement communities. For his articles in The Wall Street Journal and more recently for private clients, he has analyzed numerous multinational corporations including difficult international subjects such as banks in the Middle East. He is well versed in the arcana of tax havens, offshore banking, and securities and accounting fraud. He is also in expert in political influence and is widely known among Washington’s top lobbyists, lawyers, journalists and lawmakers.
In addition to his long tenure in Washington, Simpson was stationed for three years in Brussels. There he developed strong knowledge of European business practices and structures as well as many contacts in the corporate world and media. His recent research work includes a matter resulting in a significant win for a major government contractor, the exposure of political corruption in Latin America and the exposure of a case of securities fraud in the UK. In December 2010, his nearly two-year investigation of a prominent family ended in a favorable client verdict worth over $70 million.
Simpson is a recipient of numerous awards for his articles, speaks frequently in academic fora and has appeared on many broadcast news programs including CNN, Nightline, Jim Lehrer NewsHour and the BBC. He is the co-author (with Larry J. Sabato) of the book, Dirty Little Secrets: The Persistence of Corruption in American Politics (Times Books/Random House, 1996).
- h/t Marie3
[Update-1 :: ] From NY Times article:
The story began in September 2015, when a wealthy Republican donor who strongly opposed Mr. Trump put up the money to hire a Washington research firm run by former journalists, Fusion GPS, to compile a dossier about the real estate magnate’s past scandals and weaknesses, according to a person familiar with the effort. The person described the opposition research work on condition of anonymity, citing the volatile nature of the story and the likelihood of future legal disputes. The identity of the donor is unclear …
The story explicitly states ‘a wealthy Republican donor’.
Now if you scroll to the bottom of this article to ‘read more’:
Out of the three links listed, two refer to Paul Singer, who happens to be a ’wealthy Republican donor’ and much, much more. Why the links to him as he is not even mentioned in the preceding article? Singer, amongst his other sleazy dealings, (Singer actually gives sleazy a bad name) is the patron saint of Marco Rubio. He is one of the backroom boys par excellence. Without trying to be hyperbolic Rubio is literally Singer’s sock puppet.(ex: unabashed enthusiasm for Israel – Singer is an ardent zionist) Further to this Singer was one of the prime movers behind ‘Never Trump’ Republicans. His use of firms such as Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on competitors (and worse) is just another day at the office for Singer. (re: the Argentina debt crisis where President Kirchner was repeatedly smeared, lost an election, and Singer walked away with over $3 billion in profit on bonds he bought for a few cents on the dollar)
Note: Rubio dropped out of Republican race on March 15, 2016.
h/t :: @MofA Posted by pantaraxia | Jan 14, 2017 5:46:05 PM | 208
Continued nelow the fold …
BBC reporter Paul Wood said during a radio interview that the dossier was prepared by the former spy who was “working first for a super PAC supporting Jeb Bush.” Wood, a highly regarded veteran reporter, repeated the Bush link in an article at the BBC and in another piece at The Spectator (both have since been corrected).
Reuters picked up the claim, and it has since spread to other outlets and on social media.
But Bush allies are strongly denying that the former Florida governor had any ties to the project. “[Right to Rise] has no connection with this, and to the best of my knowledge neither do any of our donors,” Mike Murphy, a seasoned Republican consultant, told TheDC through email.
Iraq arrest warrant for two British Agents (SAS) ¶ J’Accuse Iran of IED Bomb Terror
Paul Woods was a BBC reporter during the Iraq War reporting the Basra incident
[Warning: BBC News is a propaganda outlet for the British government, HQ in Downing Street – Oui :-)]
The Rogue US/UK Intelligence Community
An axe to grind with Vladimir Putin, both Simpson and Steele felt they were doing important work, now in late stage not getting paid by a client. Why not hand reports in a dossier over to a known anti-Putin extremist like John McCain, a friend of Russia’s Boris Yeltsin when the state’s assets were stolen by the happy few oligarchs, pushing the Russian people beyond poverty. The US Intelligence Community did the rest to get the “vetted” summary published by the friendly media.
After Donald Trump emerged as the presumptive nominee in the spring, the Republican interest in financing the effort ended. But Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton were very interested, and Fusion GPS kept doing the same deep dives, but on behalf of new clients.
In June, the tenor of the effort suddenly changed. The Washington Post reported that the Democratic National Committee had been hacked, apparently by Russian government agents, and a mysterious figure calling himself “Guccifer 2.0” began to publish the stolen documents online.
Glenn Simpson hired Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with whom he had worked before. Steele, in his early 50s, had served undercover in Moscow in the early 1990s and later was the top expert on Russia at the London headquarters of Britain’s spy service, MI6. When he stepped down in 2009, he started his own commercial intelligence firm, Orbis Business Intelligence.
The former journalist and the former spy, according to people who know them, had similarly dark views of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, a former K.G.B. officer, and the varied tactics he and his intelligence operatives used to smear, blackmail or bribe their targets.
As a former spy who had carried out espionage inside Russia, Steele was in no position to travel to Moscow to study Donald Trump’s connections there. Instead, he hired native Russian speakers to call informants inside Russia and made surreptitious contact with his own connections in the country as well.
Chris Steele wrote up his findings in a series of memos, each a few pages long, that he began to deliver to Fusion GPS in June and continued at least until December. By then, the election was over, and neither Steele nor Simpson was being paid by a client, but they did not stop what they believed to be very important work. (Simpson declined to comment for this article, and Steele did not immediately reply to a request for comment.)
Donald Trump’s upcoming inauguration as the next president of the United States is causing Israeli intelligence officials to lose sleep as well. Discussions held in closed forums recently raised fears of a leakage of Israeli intelligence top-classified information, clandestine modus oprandi and sources.
These fears, which began upon Trump’s election, grew stronger following a meeting held recently between Israeli and American intelligence officials (the date of the meeting is not mentioned to protect the sources of the report). During the meeting, according to the Israelis who participated in it, their American colleagues voiced despair over Trump’s election, as he often lashes out at the American intelligence community. The American officials also told the Israelis that the National Security Agency (NSA) had “highly credible information” that Russia’s intelligence agencies, the FSB and GRU, were responsible for hacking the Democratic Party (DNC) servers during the elections and leaking sensitive information to WikiLeaks, which hurt Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The American officials further added that they believed Russia President Vladimir Putin had “leverages of pressure” over Trump – but did not elaborate. They were apparently referring to what was published Wednesday about embarrassing information collected by the Russian intelligence in a bid to blackmail the president-elect.
The Americans implied that their Israeli colleagues should “be careful” as of January 20, Trump’s inauguration date, when transferring intelligence information to the White House and to the National Security Council (NSC), which is subject to the president. According to the Israelis who were present in the meeting, the Americans recommended that until it is made clear that Trump is not inappropriately connected to Russia and is not being extorted – Israel should avoid revealing sensitive sources to administration officials for fear the information would reach the Iranians.
If Israel’s secrets are indeed not kept confidential, this is a serious danger to the state’s national security: Since the early 2000s, the cooperation between the Israel and US intelligence communities has been intensified. It was led by the head of the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate (AMAN) at the time, Aharon Ze’evi Farkash (who even received a citation from the NSA Chief General Michael Hayden), late Mossad chief Meir Dagan and his successor, Tamir Pardo, who served earlier as the commander of one of the secret operational units that cooperated with the Americans.
The decision of a top intelligence official to brief Congress on the existence of unverified potentially compromising information on President-elect Donald Trump made it nearly certain the information would ultimately get out, critics say.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper [spineless] has said he does not believe the intelligence community leaked compromising information about President-elect Donald Trump – even as he justified sharing the information a wider pool of elected officials who might ultimately spill the beans.
Clapper issued an unusual statement defending the decision to share the existence of potentially compromising information on Trump withe the ‘gang of eight’ – top intelligence leaders on Capitol Hill – after Trump fingered the intelligence community as the possible culprit.
- ○ James Clapper lied to Congress about NSA and should be fired | WaPo – Jan. 2014 |
○ Just in Time for Trump, the NSA Loosens Its Privacy Rules | Wired |
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