Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 06, 2018

Trump Circles Hired Israeli Spy Company 'Black Cube' To Dig Up Dirt on Iran Deal Negotiators

Updated below

Someone tipped off the Observer, the Guardian's Sunday edition, about an attempt of Donald Trump flunkies to find dirt about the people who negotiated the nuclear deal (JCPOA) with Iran. An Israeli spy company was hired to set up traps. One of the victims describes how that happened. The modus operandi seems similar to one described in another dirty story which surfaced about a year ago. The company, not named by the Observer, in question is Black Cube.


The Observer: Revealed: Trump team hired spy firm for ‘dirty ops’ on Iran arms deal

Aides to Donald Trump, the US president, hired an Israeli private intelligence agency to orchestrate a “dirty ops” campaign against key individuals from the Obama administration who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal, the Observer can reveal.

People in the Trump camp contacted private investigators in May last year to “get dirt” on Ben Rhodes, who had been one of Barack Obama’s top national security advisers, and Colin Kahl, deputy assistant to Obama, as part of an elaborate attempt to discredit the deal.
Sources said that officials linked to Trump’s team contacted investigators days after Trump visited Tel Aviv a year ago, his first foreign tour as US president.

According to incendiary documents seen by the Observer, investigators contracted by the private intelligence agency were told to dig into the personal lives and political careers of Rhodes, a former deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, and Kahl, a national security adviser to the former vice-president Joe Biden. Among other things they were looking at personal relationships, any involvement with Iran-friendly lobbyists, and if they had benefited personally or politically from the peace deal.
Both Rhodes and Kahl said they had no idea of the campaign against them.

The last sentence no longer holds. Colin Kahl now remembers that something fishy was going on:

Colin Kahl @ColinKahl - 5:33 UTC - 6 May 2018

According to this story, in May of last year, Team Trump asked an Israeli intel firm to dig up dirt on me as part of an effort to discredit the Iran deal. Tonight, as my wife read this story, that date triggered a very creepy memory. …

Last year, my wife was serving on the fundraising committee of my daughter's public charter school in DC. One day, out of the blue, she received an email from someone claiming to represent a socially responsible private equity firm in the UK.

This "UK person" said "she" was flying to DC soon and wanted to have coffee with my wife to discuss the possibility of including my daughter's school in their educational fund network.

This was not a generic "Nigerian prince" scam. This person had all sorts of specific information on my wife's volunteer duties at an obscure DC elementary school.

There was a website for the firm (which no longer exists, by the way), but it had no depth to it, and there was no detailed information about the "UK person" who reached out to my wife.

My wife shared the email with me and a few people we know in both the finance and education fields. All agreed that the entire scenario seemed implausible and seemed like an approach by a foreign intelligence entity.

To test the implausibility, my wife kept trying to encourage the "UK person" over email to meet with other school fundraising officers & leadership while "she" was in DC, providing relevant contact info. But the "UK person" kept insisting that "she" had to meet with my wife.

At that point, my wife stopped corresponding. This all happened in late May and early June of last year.

The way the operation was run against Colin Kahl sounds familiar. I remembered reading about a similar attempt a while ago and, after some searching, dug up this New Yorker story from last November:

In the fall of 2016, Harvey Weinstein set out to suppress allegations that he had sexually harassed or assaulted numerous women. He began to hire private security agencies to collect information on the women and the journalists trying to expose the allegations. According to dozens of pages of documents, and seven people directly involved in the effort, the firms that Weinstein hired included Kroll, which is one of the world’s largest corporate-intelligence companies, and Black Cube, an enterprise run largely by former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies. Black Cube, which has branches in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris, offers its clients the skills of operatives “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units,” according to its literature.

Two private investigators from Black Cube, using false identities, met with the actress Rose McGowan, who eventually publicly accused Weinstein of rape, to extract information from her. One of the investigators pretended to be a women’s-rights advocate and secretly recorded at least four meetings with McGowan.

In both cases we see a 'private' Israeli spy company, with deep government connections and operating from London, which uses false identities and meets its targets under false pretense. I bet a cup of coffee that Black Cube is the company behind the attempts to spy on the JCPOA negotiators. The company is notorious for such dirty work.

Compare this from Colin Kahl above:

One day, out of the blue, [my wife] received an email from someone claiming to represent a socially responsible private equity firm in the UK. This "UK person" said "she" was flying to DC soon and wanted to have coffee with my wife to discuss the possibility of including my daughter's school in their educational fund network.

With this from the Weinstein case as described in the New Yorker:

In May, 2017, McGowan received an e-mail from a literary agency introducing her to a woman who identified herself as Diana Filip, the deputy head of sustainable and responsible investments at Reuben Capital Partners, a London-based wealth-management firm. Filip told McGowan that she was launching an initiative to combat discrimination against women in the workplace ...

The same pattern is used: A surprise contact from London pretending to have money from some rich fund to disperse for a good cause the targeted person is known to support. The false person is persistently asking for a personal meeting. There are multiple additional details about the spies approach in both cases that look quite similar.

Black Cube claims to deliver "Creative Intelligence". But to use the same method and false story over and over is not creative at all. The company has had some press lately. The Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Whyle alleges that Black Cube was hired to hack the personal data of Nigerian President Buhari prior to his election to get access to his medical records and private emails. Cambridge Analytica also worked for the Trump campaign.

One wonders why the Observer did not name the Israeli spy company. One also wonders why the story is coming up now. Who leaked it? And is it true?

One of the Guardian/Observer authors of the story is Julian Borger who was long notorious for writing manipulating stories about Iran's nuclear program. Borger is pretty much in the anti-Trump camp and his 'official' sources are sometimes shady. His additional frame piece to the story above reveals nothing new. Who gave him the story? The British government which wants to keep the JCPOA alive?

Could someone have made up the whole story, modeled after the Weinstein case, in an attempt to discredit Trump and his planned termination of the JCPOA deal?

Then again - hiring 'former' spies to dig up dirt about people was actually a specialty of the Clinton campaign. It paid the 'former' British spy Christopher Steele to make up the "Dirty Dossier" about Trump.

It would be hypocritical to now condemn the Trump circles for doing similar stuff.

Update (May 7 12:30pm est):

An hour ago the New Yorker author who wrote the original Black Cube/Weinstein piece confirmed that Black Cube was indeed the company which targeted the Obama administration officials Colin Kahl and Ben Rhodes. Mr. Kahl points to several news-pieces in mid 2017 in which Trump administration officials blamed him and Mr. Rhodes for the Iran deal. It is unclear though how deep the current White House was involved in hiring the spy company. From the new New Yorker piece:

The Observer reported that aides of President Trump had hired Black Cube to run the operation in order to undermine the Iran deal, allegations that Black Cube denies. “The idea was that people acting for Trump would discredit those who were pivotal in selling the deal, making it easier to pull out of it,” a source told the Observer. One of the sources familiar with the effort told me that it was, in fact, part of Black Cube’s work for a private-sector client pursuing commercial interests related to sanctions on Iran. (A Trump Administration spokesperson declined to comment to the Observer on the allegations.)

It could of course be both. The Trump administration officials Sebastian Gorka and Steve Bannon pushed against the Iran deal and went to news outlets complaining about Kahl and Rhodes. The company denies that the White House hired it. While some private company, (uber-Zionist and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson?), may have paid Black Cube these efforts were likely coordinated. Another target was the pro-Iran deal lobbyist Trita Parsi. The Black Cube spies, and the Trump administration flunkies, insinuated that the Obama people pursued the Iran deal in exchange for personal financial gains. I do not believe that to be the case. But it is interesting that the Trump people can not think of other reasons for making such a strategic deal.

This is the kind of scandal the media will love to dig into. We can thus expect to hear much more about the case. Was a crime committed? I do not see such an angle yet but a good prosecutor may make the case.

Unlike the whole anti-Russia/anti-Trump campaign and investigation, which has no merit at all, this one would be on target. It was and is Israel that is the most influential foreign country in Washington DC and within the Trump administration. Any dirt coming up now will help to make that point more visible to the general public.

Posted by b on May 6, 2018 at 14:33 UTC | Permalink


"One also wonders why the story is coming up now."

There are lots of forces who want the JCPOA preserved, including, by the way, the British Government. And they have no love for Trump anyway.

Posted by: Observer | May 6 2018 14:50 utc | 1

This where one needs to be skeptical of all such Democratic and Republican operatives and their claims and practices. I suspect b is right on this one but all parties are dirty.

Posted by: worldblee | May 6 2018 14:52 utc | 2

Interesting posting b....thanks

Is this an example of the rabid dog eating its tail for its master?

Live by lies, die by lies

If only the West could take example from China on holding politicians accountable to the people.....Not Corrupt or Corrupt?

Interesting times indeed....

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 6 2018 15:00 utc | 3

I don't know too much about this story, but the fact that it comes from the Observer and is prefaced by the words "reveal" I instinctly have my doubts about it.

Posted by: john wilson | May 6 2018 15:06 utc | 4

General Thomas W. Kelly said of the IDF they are "arrogant little bastards who wouldn't last ten minutes on a European battlefield". And the same applies to Mossad, etc. Once upon a time it might have been capable but now they can't even murder a Palestinian in the Gulf without the entire team being identified by the local police, the local police for fuck's sake. Just goes to show that Trump might really be a moron if he hired washed-out Mossad operatives to do his dirty work.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | May 6 2018 15:49 utc | 5

It's no stretch of the imagination to think Trump and Clinton hired shady "intelligence-gathering companies" to dig up dirt on each other. The only interesting question, as b asks, is 'why now'?
To that end, as always, follow the money. The Iran deal benefits not only Iran but the multinational corporations that are getting windfall deals out of Tehran coming in it if the cold. This is simply an attempt to make Trump's axing of the deal look as shortsighted and childish as it is.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | May 6 2018 15:53 utc | 6

Can I get some Black Cubes for my Blackwater?

Posted by: fast freddy | May 6 2018 15:54 utc | 7

Take out the grains of salt .....
But it would be no surprise that an Israeli firm wanted to help dig dirt to help scuttle the JCPOA deal with Iran.

Posted by: Curtis | May 6 2018 16:12 utc | 8

Zerohedge on UK PM: Theresa May's lies

Posted by: Charly | May 6 2018 16:17 utc | 9

The UK, Israel, and Saudi Arabia are pulling strings in the US.
This MoA report doesn't surprise me.
It's all I expect from the vile elites in the West.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | May 6 2018 16:25 utc | 10

Apparently, there're limits to what the Zionist Lobby can accomplish, which is a god thing! Using washed-up spies/cops to dig up dirt on political opponents and other dirty deeds has a long history within the Outlaw US Empire beginning in 1850 with the advent of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, now simply Pinkerton; so, what Trump, Clinton, DRC, RNC have done recently isn't anything new. Indeed, it seems getting the dirt's much easier given the ability to hack electronic communications.

Ultimately, we'll soon see what's deemed more important to Trump--Keeping the EU reigned in by not finishing reneging on JCPOA or appeasing the Zionists by refusing to remain a party to it. I surely hope it's the former.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 6 2018 16:31 utc | 11

Somebody may be trying to undermine Trump's JCPOA plans with this revelation. He couldn't do a better job of alienating Europeans than he just did with his gun control lecture.

Posted by: dh | May 6 2018 16:41 utc | 12

There are also the murky ties between Black Cube and Cambridge Analytica. The more recent ties were alleged by the CA whstleblower Wylie who said : "the company utilized the services of an Israeli private intelligence firm, Black Cube." apparently to hack the personal data of Nigerian President Buhari prior to his election.

Prior to that Black Cube also has a history with CA's parent company SCL Group. SCL's largest shareholder, Vincent Tchenguiz, had hired Black Cube to assist in dealing with the consequences of the bankruptcy Kaupthing Bank, a major Icelandic bank which went under during the financial crisis.

Vincent Tchenguiz settles Black Cube legal dispute

Vincent and his brother, Robert Tchenguiz, had been among the biggest borrowers from Kaupthing and, with the help of Black Cube, they fought a series of disputes over what loan collateral they should surrender to the bank's administrators.


Black Cube also helped successfully demonstrate that a Serious Fraud Office corruption case – examining the brothers' relationship with former senior Kaupthing bankers – was flawed and that grounds for suspecting Vincent Tchenguiz were entirely misunderstood and baseless.
The investigation into the brothers, as well as former Kaupthing bankers, was dropped last year and Vincent and Robert Tchenguiz are seeking £300m in damages from UK taxpayers.

Prior to the financial crisis Kaupthing and other Icelandic banks were notorious as 'cleaning' operations for Russian oligarchic 'hot' money, especially funds related to the russo-jewish mafia. Tchenguiz, an Iranian jew, appears to have been a beneficiary of this 'hot money. (as was Donald Trump). As the following article shows both SCL and Tchenguiz have an interesting history with both Russia and especially Ukraine.

SCL Group’s Eurasian Vacation

Posted by: pantaraxia | May 6 2018 17:06 utc | 13

The minds at the Guardian probably self-imploded over the dilemma to report on a story that hurts Trump and yet helps Iran and hurts Israel. B, I too made the Weinstein link just before you mentioned it in the analysis. But perhaps you are too charitable in your reading of the phrase "Creative Intelligence, " which in reality if not intention probably means "Intelligence That We Make Up". But I agree that the exact parallels between the services purportedly offered the clients Weinstein and Trump suggests that Black Cube is not very creative in creating the intelligence that it makes up. They need to watch more network dramatic serials, clearly.

Posted by: WJ | May 6 2018 17:31 utc | 14

One wonders why the Observer did not name the Israeli spy company.
The Observer/Guardian have always been very delicate about Israel. No criticism, no comments below the line. They used to have a hasbarist moderator, who'd strike out any comments criticising Israel, but things have relaxed since then, and then they changed policy and simply don't open up such articles for comments. But nevertheless they are still the most even-handed mainstream rag in the UK. There isn't better, for all the criticisms one makes.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 6 2018 18:13 utc | 15

good post b... your question "Could someone have made up the whole story, modeled after the Weinstein case, in an attempt to discredit Trump and his planned termination of the JCPOA deal?" why of course!! this appears to be more like propaganda opt to smear trump.. of course nothing is ever as it appears.. techniques like this can be used on pretty well anyone, without knowing much of the basis for any of it.. but i trust the israelis do have a hand in it.. that much i do trust!!

Posted by: james | May 6 2018 18:18 utc | 16

Black Cube is presumably a false front company of Mossad the way Orbis is a false front company for MI6 and the way the CIA has had lots of false front companies. I doubt if a Mossad false front company would need to be hired by Trump people before working to sabotage the deal with Iran. By the way, I presume Jared Kushner was the Trump person making a deal with Black Cube.

Posted by: lysias | May 6 2018 18:22 utc | 17

b and pantaraxia @13,

On March 23, just a few days before Ecuador shut off Assange from having any access to the outside world, he was interviewed pubby the journalist Stefania Maurizi for La Repubblica. The same day that interview was published, on March 28, was the day all lines of Assange's communication were cut off by the embassy.


In the interview, Assange comments on Cambridge Analytica and his desire to testify about Wikileaks' history with and knowledge of them, and then goes on to say that their parent company, SCL, is really the more interesting and important entity and suggests that perhaps the UK Parliament would not be happy to learn everything that he has to say about them.

Greenwald and others later reported that it was a string ofAssange's comments on Catalonia that precipitated Ecuador's further isolation of him on March 28. (WSWS has reported, more plausibly, that Assange's isolation is more directly related to developments in Ecuador's domestic political situation.) But I have always thought that what has become more or less the official account offered by Greenwald and others is actually not that persuasive if you look at the timeline of events. To me, the timing and contents of Assange's interview on March 23 and its publication and Assange's silencing on March 28 suggest that the reason for the crackdown was to be found in the contents of that interview, and particular those parts of the interview wherein Assange can be heard playfully insinuating his possession of some deep dirt on SCL.

That SCL, through Cambrige Analytica, has these ties to Black Cube as you both point out reminded me of my earlier musings on this point and so I thought I'd throw them out there to see if anyone thinks there is anything to them.

Posted by: WJ | May 6 2018 18:24 utc | 18

Sorry about the bizarre typos in prior comment. Phone typing.

Posted by: WJ | May 6 2018 18:26 utc | 19

Isn't this the same group Harvey Weinstein hired to pre-empt denunciations?

Posted by: Paul | May 6 2018 18:51 utc | 20

@18 wj... i agree with your take on the timing of assange being completely shut down... he has something on scl - the parent company of cambridge analytics.. scl goes to the very top of the british establishment/deep state... they wanted to shut assange down completely..

this from march 27th -

Posted by: james | May 6 2018 18:55 utc | 21

16 James - Nothing is as first it seems, which could be called the opposite of Occam's Razor.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | May 6 2018 18:58 utc | 22

The Guardian must be under new management. Behold a lengthy article on the elusive Alexander Nix and Cambridge Analytica....

"Last week Cambridge Analytica portrayed itself as a victim – a victim of unwarranted press attention that had driven away customers. It had been the subject of “numerous unfounded accusations” and “vilified for activities”, it claimed. From a firm that drew on its parent company SCL’s 30 years of expertise in military psychological operations, one would expect nothing less. And, in some respects, the Observer’s battle royale with Cambridge Analytica is a microcosm of everything that has happened to the news and information landscape over the past two years."

Posted by: dh | May 6 2018 19:04 utc | 23

This story is quite "Israeli." They like to gloat, prematurely.
The decision to adopt the pseudonym Diana Filip was unlikely to be accidental. Filip/fillip has a very specific meaning...
noun: fillip;
1. something which acts as a stimulus or boost to an activity.

There's a Black Cube in Saudi Barbaria which pilgrims visit. Given the contempt "Israelis" hold for Humanity as a whole, and arabs in particular, one shouldn't dismiss the likelihood that Black Cube is another "Israeli" in-joke/gloat.

Imo, Trump's ditching of the Iran deal is a heavy-handed way of driving a wedge through and between the Christian Colonials and "Israel". The ensuing insults and invective have the potential to be spectacularly entertaining, and revealing. I suspect that everyone is getting sick of having to make excuses for "Israel's" bloodlust.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 6 2018 19:04 utc | 24

here is another link to support the one @21.. same guy, written march 20th..

Posted by: james | May 6 2018 19:06 utc | 25

Craig Murray did a piece on his Web site on SCL after the scandal about Cambridge Analytica broke.

Posted by: lysias | May 6 2018 19:07 utc | 26

@22 bart... i guess.. i have never properly understood that term occams razor.. i just read about it again.. i mostly think it is worth questioning everything that is given at face value...

take the story @23 dh links to.. in it, there is very little discussion of the parent group - scl.. it is mostly focused on cambridge analytics and facebook... were they to discuss the parent company scl, they might run into problems... why is it the whole article doesn't question the role that parent company to cambridge analytics has played in all this and the fact scl is not being shut down??

Posted by: james | May 6 2018 19:16 utc | 27

here is a link to the craig murray march 22nd article that @26 lysias points out..

Posted by: james | May 6 2018 19:18 utc | 28

@27 I don't know why SCL gets a pass james. But Facebook shareholders will be relieved to know that in spite of all these shenanigans users remain loyal. Or they just don't care.

"Some 64% percent said they used Facebook at least once a day, down slightly from the 68% recorded in a similar poll in late March, soon after the Cambridge Analytica story broke.

Asked if they were aware of their current privacy settings, 74% of Facebook users said they were, and 78% said they knew how to change them. Among Twitter users, this was 55% and 58%, while for Instagram users, it was 60% and 65%."

Posted by: dh | May 6 2018 19:25 utc | 29

Of course the Guardian piece on Cambridge Analytics as well as most of the others are paradigmatic examples of limited hangout operations. By focusing attention and analysis on CA, even as a company of SCL, you are actually distracting attention from the larger entity and pretending as though the CA-Facebook-Gvt consulting scandal is the *real* scandal, when in fact those operations had been designed from the beginning, as had CA, to create plausible deniability for the SCL enterprise, the operational scope and details of which are still relatively unknown, if the identity of the owners and interests behind them are not.

Posted by: WJ | May 6 2018 19:47 utc | 30

@30 dh.. the main thing is that scl getting a pass in the uk press also lends support to the idea of @18 wj, which i was supporting in all of this...

as for people participating in social networks, i suspect that won't change quickly... all of these outlets are still fairly fresh.. people have to know anything off a computer connection is subject to invasion of privacy, and that includes anything on cell phones too... what i think the real question is now, is how important is privacy to our society and culture in the age of technology? at present it seems like 'not a lot'... it is not that people have something to hide, it is that collecting info is creepy.. google is especially guilty of this... but unlike facebook, they are getting a pass for some reason.. i guess they are more deeply embedded in the deep state..

Posted by: james | May 6 2018 20:12 utc | 31

@31 wj... should have hit the refresh button to see your post, before i posted @32...

yes - fully agree with you... these are the distractions pushed as the main story line, to obscure what needs to be the main story line here - scl and it's long standing connections to the uk establishment and the role they are playing in all of this.. britian could care less about democracy with regard to elections and all else but there is amazing silence on this topic from the msm... look over here at what russia is doing - another ongoing distraction meant to keep the focus away from just how manipulated the world is circa 2018..

Posted by: james | May 6 2018 20:15 utc | 32

That Guardian article.

Black Cube (Do these people read nothing but John Buchan) wouldn't need to do a Nigerian Prince act to get information about Mr Kahl. Just buy it from someone who has access to all the data about us that's collected. There's bound to be a lively trade in spare data that Big Brother doesn't need. The cloak and dagger stuff will be just a cover, deliberately clumsy, in case someone happens to wonder how the data came to hand.

On the other hand lets not get too fanciful. Sometimes a Nigerian Prince is just a Nigerian Prince.

Posted by: English Outsider | May 6 2018 20:19 utc | 33

@32 I think social media is mainly a generational thing. Most young people seem oblivious to the privacy issue and there are always new ones being born.

I suspect too that quite a few of them aspire to working for Google, facebook et al.

Shareholders concentrate on the next earnings report.

Posted by: dh | May 6 2018 20:22 utc | 34

The observer/guardian newspapers are not even handed. They are soft propaganda rags owned by a secret Trust. The tone is comfortable and they (only just) avoid the sreaching level of brow beating and trite BS emanating from other rags. These days the look, sound, and smell like Soros directed propaganda. They employ intellectually dishonest 'journalists' and tightly control public access.

The guardian was demolished by the dark side for publishing wikileaks and Edward Snowden. They were grossly humiliated and cowed and at this time, I believe, the Guardian Trust was conquered by new money.

The black cube story is likely real for its time but now a red herring and that clapped out organisation is likely just an empty shell having served it purpose. SCL/Cambridge Analytica and Orbis are the main game. Their relationship with the Skripals (under a D notice) is what is most interesting but so far obscured.

Posted by: flamingo | May 6 2018 20:38 utc | 35

@35 i see angry arab has a post from friday related to google..
"Friday, May 04, 2018
Google and this blog
Every day I receive a note (warning?) that this blog has violated the rules of Google. I don't get to see how I suddenly started to violate those rules. Someone (I accuse the Israeli government) is targeting my FB and blog daily."

only a matter of time before moa gets the notice too...snoop dog google is on top of matters...

Posted by: james | May 6 2018 20:56 utc | 36

There must be a lot of pressure in the US business community regarding the possible US pullout of the JCPOA. The uncertainty is resulting in Iran making deals with Russia and China. Iran just made a deal to buy Sukhoi passenger jets. Boeing I would think is not amused, nor Airbus.

Posted by: Tom | May 6 2018 21:48 utc | 37

37 - We seem to be part way down the slippery slope for FB and others to be controlling information for readers who get their information from smart phones rather than newspapers and TV. The latter two are already tainted.

His reference to Google must mean that reposting via the forwarding icons to the right of his name are not passing through Gmail and G+ censors. "First do no harm", eh?

Posted by: Bart Hansen | May 6 2018 22:44 utc | 38

15;guardian is about the only rag in britain who is correct?goddamn.The only thing good is the nature photos.

Posted by: dahoit | May 6 2018 22:46 utc | 39

WJ @18, b

The story reminds me of the fake online dating service set up as a sting to entrap Assange with pedophilia charges.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 6 2018 23:13 utc | 40

FOX and CNN, et al, have been on a tear saying that John Kerry is a traitor for conducting 'secret diplomacy' to keep the JCPOA alive.

I wonder if this is part of that campaign. Another word for 'secret diplomacy' is 'lobbying'. It is no secret that John Kerry is a private citizen and has no influence with the Trump Administration. I'm used to idiots like the over exposed Sebastian Gorka spreading his lies but even Michelle Malkin, who usually talks about illegal immigration, jumped on the bandwagon. I do envy Michelle Malkin's husband, she always gets that insane, fiery look in her eyes, must be a volcano in the sack (sorry about the panting, love Asian women).

The accusations against Kerry are vague and I expect that they are misleading, just a blurb that he 'met with Zarif' as if that alone makes him a traitor. So what if Kerry and Moniz want to go on the talk show circuit and correct the misinformation being spread by 99% of the MSM, think tanks, and Bibi's flunkies.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | May 6 2018 23:21 utc | 41

Re The Guardian/ Observer: they are probably the worst examples of state propaganda in the UK right now, trading on their reputation for being liberal and open minded.
Jonathan Cook used to work for The Guardian:

Posted by: bevin | May 7 2018 0:02 utc | 42

lets accept Black Cube have been up to mischief.
If it were Trump directly behind this, he or his team would have to be pretty sloppy to let it get known who the Clack cube client is. And it implies a proactive Trump managed White House quite different to what I see.
On the other hand if it were anyone else paying for the investigation (and there are plenty of potentials in Washington or jerusalem) then you can guarantee they would make sure responsibility fell on someone else - Trump is the perfect patsy for this.

In other words Trump and co aren't smart enough to do this, anyone else is slick enough to make sure the finger is pointed at Trump. Trump - the new Russia.

Posted by: michael d | May 7 2018 0:03 utc | 43

@39 bart.. i had heard putting those fb, and etc icons on your webpage was going down a slippery slope.. you are probably right about that.. as soon as you want to take advantage of others sharing your post on google or where ever, you have to go thru the censure police at google and everywhere else... sad, but tru..

Posted by: james | May 7 2018 1:58 utc | 44

Posted by: Bart Hansen | May 6, 2018 6:44:47 PM | 39

Nope, The Angry Arab website is actually hosted by Google (they own blogspot). He is not alone in reporting such notices; it seems to happen more and more on Facecrap.

This social media buttons make it more easy for tracking by the usual suspects.

Posted by: Philippe | May 7 2018 3:06 utc | 45

Ghost Ship. Agreed. The IOF has been punching so far below their weight class for so long, I doubt they could handle a real military threat. And they’re cowards. Look how quickly they “cut and run” as soon as they start transporting body bags from Gaza or Lebanon.

Typical bullies.

The Israeli Secret Intelligence Services, on the other hand, have gotten away with so many obvious and heinous operations (largely due to compliant media and “allies,” not their stealth) that they seem to feel themselves invulnerable. Cockiness is inevitably a path to devastation.

Posted by: Daniel | May 7 2018 3:18 utc | 46

One must be skceptical of this. It is the halmarc of Republican parties.

Posted by: jxf5525 | May 7 2018 3:37 utc | 47

WJ. I concur on The Guardian CA “expose” being a limited hangout, and would add that Glenn Greenwald and The Intercept are becoming more and more obviously controlled opposition at best, and straight up propaganda more often than not. They’ve even gone on the attack for Empire by setting up two sources who FBI busted. Greenwald’s exclamation that Assad has “gassed his own people” multiple times, framed that he was anti-“intervention” anyway was outrageous. Like, how did he expect his fans react when said intervention occurred days later? They either cheered attacking “animal Assad” or at best figured he sort of deserved it.

And finally, I’d put this Observer story into that same “basket of deplorable” disinformation pieces. As noted above, Israel wouldn’t need Trump to seek excuses to deep six the Iran deal. In fact, no plausible excuse is even needed.

The agreement designed in the poison pill that the US can decertify at any time for most any reason. HRC even mentioned that during the campaign, when she promised NuttyYahoo to work together to decide when and why to nix the deal. And she specified that doing so would permit a “military response.”

Posted by: Daniel | May 7 2018 3:44 utc | 48

@46 philippe.. thanks for that.. google owns blogspot.. angry arab runs on blogspot...

i can never figure out why i have my own website - for music and it is not beholden to any of these quirks.. why do so many bloggers not have their own website? pat lang, b, angry arab, etc. etc.?? why run thru someone elses platform? i am a bit mystified, and i am generally a computer luddite..

Posted by: james | May 7 2018 3:52 utc | 49

Once again, there are (too) many posts playing into the fiction that we have two competing political parties in the USofA.

It used to be that they at least largely served different monied interests, but since the Clintons and Obama, they all suck at the same teats. They just split the Wall Street and MIC take. We just replaced President "all of the above energy policy" who opened the Arctic refuge to Shell Oil TWICE and quietly granted more deepwater oil drilling rigs than any other President for the one who openly OK'd more coastal offshore drilling.

Tell me again what are the substantive differences between Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban.

Posted by: Daniel | May 7 2018 4:01 utc | 50

Truthstream Media posted a great little video about Facebook. Two FB mucky-mucks seem to be on mea culpa tours bemoaning the horrors they've unleashed.

Posted by: Daniel | May 7 2018 4:11 utc | 51

"US Interventions in Latin America Continue and Intensify"

"Most US citizens don't realize it, but the US government has continued and even intensified its regime change agenda in Latin America and successfully helped reverse the so-called "pink tide" of left-of-center governments over the past ten years, says CEPR's Mark Weisbrot"

Full article from TRNN:

Posted by: ben | May 7 2018 4:17 utc | 52

@ 50 said:"Once again, there are (too) many posts playing into the fiction that we have two competing political parties in the USofA."

Yep, and the only party is the party of big organized money.

Posted by: ben | May 7 2018 4:21 utc | 53

@49 james,

Usually, because web site management and administration can be time-consuming and specialized, and hosting can require a great share of hardware resources, all of which are even more so when dynamic content such as blog comments, and/or scaling beyond a single machine are required.

Posted by: Jonathan | May 7 2018 7:21 utc | 54

re 40 Dahoit

15;guardian is about the only rag in britain who is correct?goddamn.
It always amazes me how people never read the comments they take the time to refute.

I never understand why people get their knickers in a twist about the Guardian (sorry if that's too dialectical). Sure they have some dreadful propaganda, and they've bent the knee to the state. But it's Churchill's bon mot, today repeated by Foreign Secretary Johnson, in his failed attempt to get Trump to stay in the Iran agreement (I say supposedly failed because Johnson is well known for his diplomatic incompetence, and he's probably doing it deliberately, pretending to discourage Trump, while actually egging him on). Democracy is the worst of political systems except for all the rest. That's true of the Guardian: it's appalling but the rest are worse. Of course it's true everywhere, we are entering a fascistic period where there's corporate lock-step between governments and media. The Guardian/Observer is just mildly more liberal than the pack, and liberal media are very hard to find these days.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 7 2018 9:28 utc | 55

As someone said elsewhere John Kerry a traitor, or violated the Logan Act which no one in 200 yrs has been prosecuted for. As they say Sen McStain always turns up shortly before a coup. Would love it if he McStain was arrested! The world won't miss him in fact rejoice a evil shit is soon to be gone!

Posted by: col from oz | May 7 2018 12:23 utc | 56

Recently I became aware of the idea to make finance a public utility. Someone named Leo Panitch has posts on the subject on the The Real News and Joe Stiglitz has also talked about it.

One of Obama's great errors when taking office was not temporarily nationalizing the large financial institutions while slowly breaking them up. I believe Sweden did this to some extent during banking troubles in the 90s.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | May 7 2018 15:35 utc | 57

@54 jonathan.. thanks.. i am sure there are some reasons for it, i just don't fully understand it.. actually the website i run - i have a few friends that are very helpful in supporting me in running it.. it runs off drupal 7 which is a type of format that i understand in a simplistic way.. having a blog with ongoing comments like b's here, might be a lot more complicated.. in the case of angry arab - i think he would be better having this typepad set up, but maybe he doesn't want to leave the google blogspot site he has grown accustomed to..

Posted by: james | May 7 2018 15:57 utc | 58

Seemingly,Black Cube does not deny the investigation, just that the funders (likely well-concealed) are "Trump lackies" .... so over to Farrell and the New Yorker ....

The Guardian could not independently verify the claims against the Tel Aviv-based company made by Kahl and the New Yorker.

A source close to Black Cube said the investigation in question was not political but linked to one of its private sector clients, in relation to an alleged breach of Iran sanctions by a competitor

Black Cube, which says it is staffed by “veterans from the Israeli elite intelligence units”, apologised in November after it was reported that the firm had helped Harvey Weinstein gather information on women accusing him of sexual harassment and assault.

This has an odd, hard to pinpoint Iran/Contra twist to it ... I hope it somehow produces the final nail in Bibi's coffin, and brings down many stallwarts. Surprisingly (or not) Juan Cole is already calling it treason. Hope some other brave journalists and publishers take up the story ... I suspect very deep-pocket libel / slander suits once folks get named.

Posted by: susan sunflower | May 7 2018 18:54 utc | 59

It matters not; trump will do as trump will do. we should all get reddy for wwiii im afraid now.

Posted by: jxf5505 | May 7 2018 23:08 utc | 60

- It was not Trump but one of his flunkies that came up with this idea/scam.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 8 2018 0:06 utc | 61

" Then again - hiring 'former' spies to dig up dirt about people was actually a specialty of the Clinton campaign. It paid the 'former' British spy Christopher Steele to make up the "Dirty Dossier" about Trump.

It would be hypocritical to now condemn the Trump circles for doing similar stuff. "

Those who condemned the DirtyDossier attack on trump could condemn this without hypocrisy. However, if they did NOT condemn this 'IranDossier' project, that might constitute hypocrisy.

Posted by: anon | May 8 2018 7:08 utc | 62

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Posted by: Theresa Addison | May 20 2018 3:10 utc | 63

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