Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 10, 2019

Obama And Brennan Burned A Very Useful Spy And Now CNN Outs Him

A sensational CNN story claimed yesterday that Trump caused the extraction of a U.S. spy from Moscow. The story was false but had the effect of outing the spy and where he now lives:

In a previously undisclosed secret mission in 2017, the United States successfully extracted from Russia one of its highest-level covert sources inside the Russian government, multiple Trump administration officials with direct knowledge told CNN.

A person directly involved in the discussions said that the removal of the Russian was driven, in part, by concerns that President Donald Trump and his administration repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy.

The decision to carry out the extraction occurred soon after a May 2017 meeting in the Oval Office in which Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. The intelligence, concerning ISIS in Syria, had been provided by Israel.

A New York Times opinion writer swallowed the above story and used it to write a piece about Trump's alleged untrustworthiness. Then her own paper debunked the CNN claim.

The story sounded dubious to me and I voiced doubt about it at Patrick Lang's site.

The CNN report allowed others to identify the spy. An aide to President Putin's foreign policy advisor had vanished around the time CNN described. The Russian Kommersant identified him and found the place where he now lives (machine translated):

Oleg Smolenkov, an employee of the presidential administration, who left for vacation in Montenegro with his family in June 2017 and disappeared without a trace there.
...
Kommersant managed to find data on where Oleg Smolenkov and his family can now be. The Washington Post website contains information on the sale of real estate on June 5, 2018, in the Stafford (Virginia) city, worth about $ 925 thousand, by certain Oleg and Antonina Smolenkovs.

Note that the wife of Oleg Smolenkov is called Antonina. The Daily Storm reported that she also worked in the government apparatus.

Photos of the mansion inside and out are on the site of one of the local real estate agencies. Its area is about 760 square meters. meters. The house stands on a plot of 1.2 hectares. The mansion has six bedrooms and six bathrooms.


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That is quite a palace paid for with U.S. taxpayer money.

A search for Smolenskov's name turns up the property records that show that he and his wife bought Lot 28 at 270800 Hunters Pond in Stafford Virginia.


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(Note: The joint revocable trust in the above is a legal construct for married couples to avoid probate. It does not change the real ownership.)

NBCNEWS tried to doorstep Smolenskov:

Yet the former Russian government official, who had a job with access to secrets, was living openly under his true name.

An NBC News correspondent went to the man’s house in the Washington area and rang the doorbell. Five minutes later, two young men in an SUV came racing up the street and parked immediately adjacent to the correspondent’s car.

The Washington Post and the New York Times debunk the CNN claim that extradition was caused by Trump's behavior.  The Post writes:

U.S. officials had been concerned that Russian sources could be at risk of exposure as early as the fall of 2016, when the Obama administration first confirmed that Russia had stolen and publicly disclosed emails from the Democratic National Committee and the account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.

The Times detailed:

[W]hen intelligence officials revealed the severity of Russia’s election interference with unusual detail later that year, the news media picked up on details about the C.I.A.’s Kremlin sources.

C.I.A. officials worried about safety made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia. The situation grew more tense when the informant at first refused, citing family concerns — prompting consternation at C.I.A. headquarters and sowing doubts among some American counterintelligence officials about the informant’s trustworthiness. But the C.I.A. pressed again months later after more media inquiries. This time, the informant agreed.
...
Some operatives had other reasons to suspect the source could be a double agent, according to two former officials, but they declined to explain further.

Russian RIA news agency says that the Kremlin admits that Smolenskov worked there but claims that he was fired several years ago without providing a date (machine translation):

Spokesman for Vladimir Putin Dmitry Peskov said that Smolenkov worked in the presidential administration, but was fired several years ago. In addition, his position did not provide for direct contacts with the head of state.

The Kremlin did not respond to clarifying questions. "Naturally, it is simply impossible to provide all the information about the employees of the presidential administration," Peskov explained.

The U.S. spy, or maybe Russian-U.S. double agent, was outed by the Obama administration and its intelligence chief John Brennan when they provided details to the public that could only have come from someone near Russia's president.

Nothing in the above proves that the information the spy provided to the CIA was true. It might have been just as false as the fairytales in the infamous Steele dossier that alleged a Trump-Russia connection and was later debunked by the Mueller investigation.

The spy is said to have been recruited more than 10 years ago when he worked at the Russian embassy in Washington DC. The CIA got lucky that he ended up in the Kremlin. He must have been extremely helpful with a number of issues. Moreover he still had a Kremlin career before him and might have become even more useful. To burn such an important human source is unforgivable. However it was the Obama administration and the CIA chief who allowed the leaks when they planted the 'Russiagate' story and made his extradition necessary.

It was also 'officials' who have now provided the information that led to his outing.

Why the CIA would allow such a spy, once extradited, to live under his real name is beyond me. Does it have no interest in protecting him?

Posted by b on September 10, 2019 at 17:38 UTC | Permalink

Comments

US media is about to gin up a campaign featuring him and his new book as they have with a long line of Russian defectors given asylum in NoVa.

Posted by: Ezerak | Sep 10 2019 18:01 utc | 1

Pat Lang has this interesting take:

All

And then there is the possibility that CIA extracted a minor source to divert attention from someone or someones who remain(s) in place. The open purchase of a house in the outer suburbs of Washington by the extracted would seem to support the possibility that this is all a diversion. The narrative continues that "a former senior intelligence official" told Sciutto, an Obama man, at CNN of all this. Clapper is "a former senior intelligence official" and a CNN "contributor" (employee) is he not? He is dumb enough to have had this story planted on him.


Double games, triple games ... Spies are so confusing ...

Posted by: b | Sep 10 2019 18:01 utc | 2

thanks b... i agree about your comment on pls comment - double / triple and etc games can be played with spies... what seems clear to me is that some in the cia-msm want to frame trump.. this one feel apart fairly quickly... the frame up of russia over skripal has never been addressed by the usa.. in fact, most folks - using ew as an example - are still drinking the russia done it koolaid 24/7..

Posted by: james | Sep 10 2019 18:14 utc | 3

So, this fully-spun story, apparently a mix of fact and fiction, arises at this moment to prop up the Russia-leaked-email hoax?

If that's the case, does that mean this story's "authors" release it now to keep at least part of the Russia hoax alive as the Flynn case plods toward charges being dropped or because the Concord case is turning into a cluster f? Maybe someone is worried about the DNC-insider-leaked-email story breaking out? We need to talk about Rich?

Funny about Lang and his crew. So much practical experience and yet they would make an interesting case study of extreme psychological compartmentalization as a means of denial.

Posted by: casey | Sep 10 2019 18:18 utc | 4

Lucky Oleg & Antonina. In Oz a 760 square metre house used be known as having an area of 81 squares (8,172 square feet. In well-maintained condition such a 3-storey house anywhere in Oz would cost between A$2.5 million and A$3.5 million. Being in AmeriKKA Oleg's house probably has a basement too. That's another $150,000 minimum if it's damp-proof and ventilated.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 10 2019 18:19 utc | 5

Nice networking by 4 BigLie Media outlets to make certain Russia knows where this man and his family reside. Maybe it's for an Outlaw US Empire sequel to MI-6's Novochock BigLie to be sprung as the election heats up. If I were the Smolenskovs, I'd demand an immediate identity change, sell ASAP and move to Idaho.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 10 2019 18:24 utc | 6

If Skripal could live safely under his own name I guess this guy could too. It just makes it easier for the US to get him in their own time.

I don't really see this guy served any purpose until he was outed. Just a late effort to pretend that Russiagate had any credibility.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Sep 10 2019 18:31 utc | 7

I wish that there was a resident Russian on this site, as there is on Craig Murray’s.

That person could then tell me if I am wrong in supposing that a senior Chekist would never, as a question of policy, have been allowed a passport for foreign travel for him and his family.

Posted by: Montreal | Sep 10 2019 18:32 utc | 8

If Oleg Smolenkov reported allegedly “valuable” insider information about Russia's interference in US elections, as they say first hand, then why did Mueller’s investigation fail?

Posted by: Sergei | Sep 10 2019 18:33 utc | 9

WAS SMOLENKOV A SOURCE FOR THE STEELE DOSSIER?

The New York Times story resurrects the Russia collusion hoax. This time the proof comes from Oleg Smolenkov. The story is identical to what the Steele dossier claimed: Putin personally directed a campaign to interfere in the US presidential elections.

Every part of Steele narrative has already been shown to be a hoax and a fabrication. What proves that the Steele dossier is a work of fiction is that it is written from a fly-on-the-wall point of view. Only a person who was sitting in the same room with Putin when he had secret meetings could have written it. So how many moles did the West have sitting on Putin's desk? It seems like the CIA mole and Steele's secret source are one and the same source. But if Oleg Smolenkov was CIA's most tightly guarded secret, how did the information end up in Steele's dossier?

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 10 2019 18:57 utc | 10

Larry Johnson just posted about this on SST, and his take seems much more plausible: Desperation on the part of Clapper and his cabal as the chickens are coming home to roost. This story is chock full of holes, and the media hackery is disintegrating under its own weight.

Posted by: Roy G | Sep 10 2019 19:10 utc | 11

> Obama administration .... Russia had stolen .... Democratic National Committee and ..... John Podesta.

So we have to allege that Podesta's laptop between naked underage girls photos had list of CIA secret agents in Russian government? What else rid it contain and where did Podesta stole those lists?

Same question about Paki-managed DNC server. Was managing CIA agents in foreign governments outsourced to DNC or what?

"Once in the lifetime of yer townfolk! F..en circus! Imbecile clowns! Degenerate tamers! Deformed strongmen! Dysfunctional acrobats! Don't miss out!"

Posted by: Arioch | Sep 10 2019 19:19 utc | 12

Perhaps someone should advise Smolenskov to stay away from park benches after eating seafood and to not touch doorknob's etc.

Posted by: Qua | Sep 10 2019 19:21 utc | 13

Speaking of outed Spy's...
"Undercover" — Valerie Plame for Congress

"When elephants fight, it's the grass that suffers"

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 10 2019 19:24 utc | 14

@2
Diversion is one of the three possibilities that I can think of:

1) clan wars within US special services, particularly in view of the 2020 elections.

2) diversion (as suggested by col. Pat Lang)

3) preparation of the ground to make this guy a "sacrificial lamb" like Scripal, to avoid any new rapprochement between the US and Russia after the end of the Muller report.

(comment originally posted at http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2019/09/he-was-never-qualified-to-start-with.html#disqus_thread )

Posted by: Gigi | Sep 10 2019 19:26 utc | 15

@11 roy g.. this is what i said @3 "what seems clear to me is that some in the cia-msm want to frame trump.. this one feel apart fairly quickly..." for others who want to read larry johnsons latest at sst here...

@4 casey - last line.. ditto my thoughts..

Posted by: james | Sep 10 2019 19:35 utc | 16

Interesting Tweet thread by a Sean M Davis has 5 entries and almost 1000 retweets beginning with this:

"For those curious about what’s going on with this bizarre Russia 'spy' story: Burr/Durham know Steele was fed obvious disinformation, they know who originated it, they know who peddled it, and it’s just a matter of rounding up the whole network."

In his third entry, he poses the following question:

"So the only two unanswered questions about this particular pre-emptive leak campaign from the usual Russia hoax suspects are 1) why now, and 2) what specific event or official revelation are they trying to get ahead of?"

The easy answer is the story itself is enough of a distraction as the 1000 retweets show.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 10 2019 19:39 utc | 17

I tend to agree with Larry Johnson (at Pat Lang's) that this guy wasn't that useful back then. He might have become more useful, had he stayed at the Kremlin and rose further up the ladder, granted; or Obama's top guys assumed he wouldn't and it wasn't an issue to risk to burn him.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Sep 10 2019 19:44 utc | 18

Is someone brewing up some fresh Novichok nerve agent as we speak?

Don't touch those doorknobs, Oleg!

for future reference: this post was for amusement purposes only

Posted by: librul | Sep 10 2019 19:54 utc | 19

This whole story is entirely in the spirit of Hollywood comics.
I had a good laugh when I saw the news about the "valuable spy successfully extracted from Russia".

Here are some reasons why this is fake/disinformation:

1) The news was published by CNN.

I think there's no need to explain whether it is worth taking seriously the "sensations" published by news outlets with a reputation like CNN.

2) Sorry, but you must be a complete idiot (in the medical sense) to openly declare in the media that you had a "very valuable spy" in the immediate circle of the president of the Russian Federation (or any other country). Just because in this way you, by your own hands, are giving your opponent the reason to "strengthen control", conduct checks and identify those [other] people who might be able to work for you for a long time and be useful.

When this really takes place in real life (the presence of a spy of the highest rank, close to the head of state), then this becomes public only after many years/decades, when the 'Top Secret' stamp is removed from the documents, you know.

3) V.Putin is a former intelligence officer. To put it mildly, it is very naive to assume that the presence of an "American spy" (close to Putin) would not be known to a person with Putin's experience/knowledge/capacity.

4) To be a spy, a member of the inner circle of the President of Russia (or any other country) and not to be exposed, one need to have extraordinary abilities and competencies. This is the highest class. In recent years, it seems only the lazy one did not notice and did not note the monstrous degradation of the American political class. These people do not know how to behave in a civilized society, do not have the traditions and culture of diplomacy and communication. The situation is similar in the American defense industry.

With this level of decline in the competence of the American elite (political, military, etc.), to assume that they have such a ultra-high-class spy is at least very strange.

5) The fact that the "valuable spy" in the inner circle of the Russian president is pure CNN fiction is confirmed in practice. What I mean:

- If Smolenkov is really a “very valuable spy” and had access to “secrets,” it’s rather strange that he didn’t tell the CIA, for example, about the Crimean operation of the Russian Federation in 2014. Russia's actions then began for the United States (and not only for the United States, by the way) a complete surprise. This is some really strange "valuable spy" who did not know anything about the intentions and actions of the Russian leadership in the spring of 2014.

- If Smolenkov is really a “very valuable spy,” and had access to “secrets,” the fact that he knew nothing and did not tell the CIA about Russia's plans to launch the Syrian campaign in September 2015 looks unusually strange. Just to remind that the actions of Russia then became a complete surprise for the United States. They did not know anything about this and did not expect such a development of events. Within a month before the official start of the Syrian campaign, Russia transferred equipment and weapons to Syria. This remained a secret for all intelligence services in the world, no one noticed anything. Even Israel, located in close proximity to Syria, made a "discovery" about the presence of the Russian military there only 2 days before the start of Russia's actions in the SAR. A rather strange “valuable spy” who was completely ignorant of Russia's plans/actions in the Syrian direction.

- If Smolenkov is really a “very valuable spy” and had access to “secrets”, it is very strange that he did not know anything and did not inform the CIA about the development by Russia of the latest weapons presented by President Putin in the spring of 2018. The presentation of the latest models of Russian weapons was a real shock for the United States, and I remember that at first the Americans, smiling, called all this "cartoons." Now they no longer laugh. The development of these weapons was carried out for many years. It’s somehow strange that a “very valuable spy” never found out about it.

6) Serious Russian experts unequivocally spoke out that all this was fake and that Smolenkov certainly could not be a spy.

In particular, Armen Gasparyan, one of the leading Russian political scientists, historian, writer (incidentally, who wrote several books on intelligence), spoke quite fully about this in his recent commentary.

Why the CIA would allow such a spy, once extradited, to live under his real name is beyond me.

Because this man has nothing to do with "spies", "secrets" and "special services". He is an ordinary civilian, a former official from Russia. Many Russian ex- lives in abroad, including high-ranking persons. Smolenkov of course had no access to any "secrets", and had no access to entourage of the Russian president.

An attempt to present Smolenkov as a “valuable spy” from exactly the same series as the clumsy attempt by the British government to introduce two Russian civilians (Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov) as “GRU agents”.
It is hardly reasonable to take this seriously.

However, all this is just my personal opinion.

Posted by: alaff | Sep 10 2019 19:57 utc | 20

That's the end of Smolenkov's anonymous quiet comfortable lifesyle. It doesn't send out a very reassuring message - that the CIA can publicly expose someone it considers a very useful asset. There must be a good reason why they threw Smolenkov under the bus in that way.

Posted by: Brendan | Sep 10 2019 20:05 utc | 21

$925K for a 8k sqft house on 1.2 hectares? Sounds like a bargain. Not a very nice neighborhood, perhaps?

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Sep 10 2019 20:33 utc | 22

This guy could not possibly be what the CIS and media are presenting to be. Living under his own name in Virginia? Could it be any simpler to find him? The Russians do have search engines, too.
B may be right that this is a double or triple play, but find it hard to see the benefits to pretending to have had a deep mole in the Kremlin. I also find it implausible that any Russsian diplomat who has been stationed in DC would not be viewed as potentially compromised. It would be relatively simple to feed him bullshit and see what filters into DC.

Posted by: Sorghum | Sep 10 2019 20:52 utc | 23

Many thoughtful comments here. My take, as a fan of Le Carre and Mad Magazine's Spy vs Spy cartoon, is that USA's spy was discovered and turned. He was dismissed, employed somewhere close by, and fed chicken feed for his CIA masters. When they realized he was a failure, the CIA got him and his family out with the possible object of turning him into a propaganda subject. Of course he would have to die first, but CIA could make it look like the Russians did it.

Posted by: Margaret | Sep 10 2019 20:59 utc | 24

I'm generally interested in how spies are referred to in corporate media stories.

For instance, we were told constantly that Skirpal was a 'Russian Spy'. This ran contrary to the normal usage, which would have referred to a British Spy within the Russian government as a 'British Spy'. If that signaled a general change in language, then Solemenkov, would also be referred to as a Russian Spy and not as an American Spy. He shares with Skirpal having a Russian nationality, while he was spying for the Americans. Of course, when the propagandists are going for an emotional reaction, they can be relied on to use whichever helps tilt the story in their direction.

Posted by: Smiley | Sep 10 2019 21:05 utc | 25

Historically, spy agencies aren't really known for their great humanity in pulling out a spy who is in a useful position just because they fear for that spy's safety. The more common course of action for Spy Bosses is to keep the spy in place, keep pushing for more, more, more information from the spy, before perhaps holding a brief moment of silence over their spy ending up in prison.

Posted by: Smiley | Sep 10 2019 21:07 utc | 26

@karlof1 #6:

Maybe it's for an Outlaw US Empire sequel to MI-6's Novochock BigLie to be sprung as the election heats up.

That’s what I thought as well. Why would the MSM hype a spy other than establishing his persona in the public eye, to be followed by some event later? Either he’s a double agent and they will kill him and blame it on Russia, or he is not a double agent and they will use him to announce some “strong evidence” of Trump–Russia connection.

Posted by: S | Sep 10 2019 21:18 utc | 27

so when can we expect the US / Russia to finally save us all from ourselfs?

fuck are you guys not tired of this bullshit kabuki theatre that you get fed daily in order to keep you amused and busy?

Posted by: Sabine | Sep 10 2019 21:57 utc | 28

Part of the intention of this farce is to give the CIA and the CIA News Network (CNN) the opportunity to pretend that they are not knotted together like mating dogs (I leave it up to the reader to guess which one is the bitch).

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 10 2019 22:09 utc | 29

A theory:

1. Smolenkov was the source of the Steele Report, in other words he received a substantial payment to come up with fictional "dirt" on Trump.

2. With all the publicity about the Steele report, Brennan/Obama/etc. were scared (and with good reason) that the Russians would figure out that Smolenkov was the source and would then make a grand show of his confessing to how he had made everything up at the request of US/UK intelligence agencies.

3. Therefore he was extricated for a very good reason (if you are Obama/Brennan, that is).

4. His extrication is now being used as an anti-Trump weapon, but also as a pre-emptive measure to reduce the fallout if (or when) reports emege that Smolenkov was the source for Steele.

Posted by: Madeira | Sep 10 2019 22:11 utc | 30

Be interesting to know what was occurring if Smolenkov was the source for the Steele report.
Whatever information he was sending, that he just left on holidays makes me think Russian intel were on the ball and had started feeding him a bit of disinformation.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 10 2019 22:33 utc | 31

Sabine @28--

I don't expect the US--and by US I mean the Current Oligarchy--to save anyone, while Russia is very busy trying to save its current and future populace--the differences being quite extreme. Since the US isn't intent on saving anyone, it wants to ensure its populace thinks other governments act the same way toward their populaces so the US populace doesn't get any ideas about saving itself from its own viscous government. Busting that narrative is what keeps us busy--There IS an alternative.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 10 2019 22:35 utc | 32

From digging around on the property site (from the link).

It must be a very nice house. A 3-ish acre lot in that neighborhood has an assessment of $140k for the land. But the assessment for improvements for this house is over $900k while others in the neighborhood are more in the $600k range. I was looking at the aerial photos and trying to pick out what seem to be other nice houses, including ones with swimming pools which this one lacks, and which also have big garages (this one has 4 car garage apparently), but couldn't find a neighbor above an assessment in the $600k's.

The neighborhood as a whole has had its valuations decline in the 2018 biannual assessment. Not sure why, but maybe the neighborhood of 20 year old mansions isn't as hot as some newer developments. The last previous lowering of assessment values occurred during the Great-Not-A-Depression in the 2008 revaluations. Note, the land is not considered to have lower values, but all of the homes on the street have had the assessments of the improvements on the property lowered in the last reassessments.

Hard to tell much about the selling price from neighboring properties. Many of the neighbors bought their homes direct from the construction company back in the early years of the century. So not too many direct compares for homes bought in 2018.

Posted by: Smiley | Sep 10 2019 22:41 utc | 33

A point that appears to have missed by several is that an aide to an aide to the foreign minister is not likely to have access to Putin's super-top-secret plans to use a few thousand dollars worth of utube and twit ads to change the course of multi-billion dollar American election, nor would he have access to information that might be used to blackmail a potential foreign leader. Both would be closely held secrets and apparently way above his pay grade. Often the FM wouldn't know of either, and both operations would be compartmentalized into a close team Putin can trust.

The only way that he's the 'source' of the Steele fiction is if the whole thing was in the style of LeCarre's "The Tailor of Panama" where everyone is lying and inflating what they know and people at the top are paying out good money for this because it suits their little power games. But any Moscow tailor with a couple of important customers would be positioned to run that scam as well as an aide to an aide to a foreign minister.

My personal guess, he made his money by the more typical corruption in Russia, which means he was working for an oligarch. He lost his job, possibly during one of Putin's anti-corruption cleanup campaigns. He decided to move to DC with his oligarch money because he'd served 10 years in the embassy there and he liked the area. He is buying property in his own name because he's not part of any sort of witness/spy protection program and nobody in the USG is setting him up with a fake identity.

Posted by: Smiley | Sep 10 2019 22:54 utc | 34

Does anyone really believe that the Kremlin takes as the truth what they hear on CNN?

Posted by: Turner | Sep 10 2019 23:02 utc | 35

Smiley @33&34--

House likely bought by CIA and annual upkeep--taxes etc.--also paid by them.

MoA's investigators have fairly well established that Skripal was the most likely contributor to the Steele Dossier given the overall web of established connections--that was most certainly an MI-6 operation in league with DNC/HRC officials, not CIA, although CIA was involved in Russiagate Cover-up.

In examining Russia's foreign policy, where were the compromises generated by this alleged spy? Aside from the UNSC vote debacle on Libya, I see nothing but a string of successes, although the Ukraine Coup wasn't debauched. IMO, Outlaw US Empire policy toward Russia has failed spectacularly, and it is within the US government where I'd expect to find well placed spies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 10 2019 23:11 utc | 36

@35 turner.. no.. and no one here at moa believes anything out of the western msm either... see @ 29 william gruff comment for more meaningful lingo on the set up..

Posted by: james | Sep 10 2019 23:15 utc | 37

Does anyone really believe that the Kremlin takes as the truth what they hear on CNN?

ha! Emphatically, Yes, most Mericans, think they think that.. Because most Mericans think everyone but Merican's are stupid.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 10 2019 23:21 utc | 38

Here's a tough problem for a counter-intelligence agent. Find the source of info for a fictional report.

Normally, after a link, one avenue of investigation would be to check who had access to the leaked information. But, if the report is completely fictional, then there is no list of people who had access to information that didn't exist. Everyone or no one had equal access to the non-existent information. The Tailor of Moscow had the same access to the non-existent information as did Putin's closest personal aide. Who done it?

Posted by: Smiley | Sep 10 2019 23:21 utc | 39

Headline in le Figaro:

Ingérence russe :la CIA disposait d'une source haut-placée au Kremlin.
Russian collusion: CIA had high placed source at the Kremlin.

A lot of commentators see the incongruence of this title and make jokes about it.Really,when a superpower becomes a source of jokes and ridicule,than the end might be nigh.

Posted by: willie | Sep 10 2019 23:30 utc | 40

Evidence-free accusations of Russian meddling. Now with extra sauce.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

We don't really know WHY this spy was extracted. Anyone that believes that Russiagate was deliberately planned as part of the new Cold War is not surprised at yet another attempt to strengthen the nonexistent case for Russian meddling.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 11 2019 0:30 utc | 41

smiley @34 seems to have the most logical take on this.

Posted by: JasonT | Sep 11 2019 0:44 utc | 42

The first report in US Press about Putin personally involved was on Dec 14 2016.

Two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said.

Putin's objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a "vendetta" against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to "split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn't depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore," the official said.


https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-officials-putin-personally-involved-u-s-election-hack-n696146

Notice the source is spies working for US Allies

Remember that the NSA did not sign off on the Russian interference/hacking because they were concerned that too much critical info rested on intelligence from a single foreign country.

Sergei Skripal was not just an turncoat for UK he also worked for Estonian intelligence. It seems to me the poisoning fits better as an Estonian job, to keep relations in Europe with Russia in very bad shape. It's easy to say that the Russians wouldn't be so incompetent, also goes for the UK, which could have come up with something more compelling if they pre planned it as false flag.

Notice how we have some sources saying concern grew after the Trump Putin meeting, where supposedly Trump gave Isreali intelligence to Putin on Syria, I think they were concerned Trump would have no problem revealing a spy for another government, much like he was free with foreign intelligence.

I don't think the exfiltration was the real source but someone to sacrifice, to protect the real source, who is working for Estonian intelligence. To me this seems like it is possibly Anton Vaino, Chief of Staff of the Kremlin since August 2016, Deputy Chief of Staff of Kremlin before that. This is not to say his info is accurate, but is in line with the foreign policy of Estonia to alienate everyone with Russia.

Posted by: GoldmanKropotkin | Sep 11 2019 0:47 utc | 43

Just out of curiousity, if what has been reported is true then what reason would Mueller have to exclude this from his report?

The dude is proof of the Russia-did-it!! narrative. Check.

The dude has already been extracted. Check.

The Russians must have already noticed that he has done a runner. Check.

What would stop Mueller from producing a one-paragraph report that starts with: "we know the following to be true because for the last decade everything that Putin did was being relayed to us by an aide to the foreign policy advisor to the Kremlin, since extracted and now living in the USA".

I mean, bit of a slam-dunk, don't you think?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 11 2019 0:57 utc | 44

I call it a red herring, and I bet this sucker has been fully set up. Publicly listed address and all the indicators are that he is held in reserve to throw to the dogs whenever the action gets too close to the mongrel perpetrators.

Joe Mifsud and Claire Smith of MI6, Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, especially FBI special agent Joseph Pientka plus that BIG shot FBI agent (who's name I forget) are the names to remember. Why aren't Misud and Smith extradited to face inquiry?

So what is emerging? is Mueller due in court to prosecute the Russian ad agency that has fully shirt fronted him? Is Flynn business about to upend a steaming pot of turds over Mueller and other heads. Is Seth Rich about to be posthumously knighted by some New York monarch for his role in smashing the HRC cart in public? Or is Julian Assange about to be put through more torture for being a journalist and publisher?

This poor Russian sod is a patsy for the vicious deep state game that now needs to prey on him and deliver his carcass to the howling mob and so distract them again. This Friday's quiet press releases might hold a clue.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 11 2019 3:00 utc | 45

plausible

maybe

where is the diversion.. lots of activity in Afghanistan and Golan today..
Turkey is moving into N. Syria.. Venezuela.. where is the diversion/

Posted by: snake | Sep 11 2019 3:47 utc | 46

This guy will probably be making the rounds on CNN and cable news promoting the Steele dossier and the Russian collusion hoax as its complete disintegration is now fully evident. Offer up some turds on a plate, dress it up with a pinch a parsley and the truth will be avoided.

The whole 2 year media storm of lies on Russian collusion will be avoided by offering up another turd on a plate. This guy will pull down a few million and the media will never admit their false reporting.

Posted by: dltravers | Sep 11 2019 3:51 utc | 47

It would seem that a great deal has certainly changed at the CIA since 2003 when Valerie Plame was revealed as a spy by a newspaper journalist who was given the information about her during a phone conversation with someone close to the White House at the time, apparently to punish her ambassador husband Joseph Wilson for going to Niger to verify if that country had exported uranium to Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Then there was shock and anger at the time that the cover of a CIA operative had been blown.

Now the CIA doesn't even bother to give Smolenkov and his family new identities and biographies to explain their living in Washington DC, and even co-operates with the outgoing Obama administration in 2016 in risking the exposure of one of its own to try to stop Donald Trump from ensconcing himself in the White House.

Something certainly has changed in the culture of the CIA: while it was always a political animal, it is becoming an extremely ideological one as well.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 11 2019 4:54 utc | 48

The idea that this could be a fake spy is interesting.

Sabine wrote:

fuck are you guys not tired of this bullshit kabuki theatre that you get fed daily in order to keep you amused and busy?

Only speaking for myself I ignore almost all of it (and actively treat it as propaganda, deception, and manipulation) and take a lot of breaks. I test the waters (or sewage) from time to time but I don't expect much and have no right to expect anything either.

However despite such sentiments the last decade seems like it has been an improvement although too many people (and probably me as well) are searching for "replacements" to failures when maybe there shouldn't be any: any false choice requires at least two wrong answers but there could be any number.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 11 2019 5:40 utc | 49

In Bulgaria is a spy scandal too.
Reschetnikov is banned for ten years to visit Bulgaria. A reporter from NYT has tried to interview him before steps are take in Bulgaria to investigate the case. The officials say the Russians wanted to divert Bulgaria to the asia-project and that money-laundering was used to finance subversive activities. The case started on 9.09 2019. Today the parliament heard the statements of the agencies. Nothing new they sayed

Posted by: az | Sep 11 2019 9:16 utc | 50

I think the Nato-gang want to have a military war in the black sea. Turkey did not close the Bosporus for the Russians, so they lost the war in Syria.

Posted by: az | Sep 11 2019 9:20 utc | 51

Sounds fishy, the whole thing. Of course, when everyone is lying about everything while they are pretending to fight with each other, it may well get a bit convoluted. CIA outing thrir own dude on their own propaganda outlet is quite strange though. Also, their dude just trotting about using his real name (in a publicly listed mansion no less),... ehh... Who knows...

Posted by: Josh | Sep 11 2019 10:53 utc | 52

Of course, they could be trying to 'put him on the spot' to use him for yet another propaganda push (whether he wants to play along, or not). But, again, the whole thing seems a bit strange.

Posted by: Josh | Sep 11 2019 11:05 utc | 53

i would caution people here on patrick lang’s views on this issue. remember he is an existensialist american “patriot” who stop at nothing and will approve of any warcrime to held up the mighty american empire. Look at patrick lang’s history , he is ex intelligence and thus never left the “services” even when he is “retired”.

Pat lang’s hate toward those who criticize american empire is legendary.. just look at his own comments on SST.

another one to watch is patrick lang’s friend called TTG which also US intelligence and it is not unknown for this guy to post or inject nonsense narrative on SST especially on intelligence matters concerning russia.

The posts that seems clean of US narrative lies seem to come from Publius Tacitus and Walrus. But then again never take off your mandatory antipropaganda shield especially on SST owned by ex spook who love the american empire and military trashing of the world

Posted by: milomilo | Sep 11 2019 11:30 utc | 54

The following rumor (through sputniknews.com) is sort of educational even if it should turn out to not be true (its Boolean value is essentially irrelevant which is interesting as a separate matter as well): Trump mistrusts spies etc.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 11 2019 12:34 utc | 55

Sabine - are you guys not tired of this bullshit kabuli theatre

No, we are tirelessly...chasing our own tails...endlessly drinking one exclusive flavour of koolaid...The Infotainment Sickness Unto Death...

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 11 2019 12:41 utc | 56

@Jen, 48

It wasn't just shock. Scooter Libby, Cheney's (?) Chief of Staff, broke a federal law when he exposed Valerie Palme as a CIA operative. He served part of a prison sentence for this. Joseph Wilson verified that Saddam Hussein did not buy yellow cake. After his report was ignored, he wrote an article about his findings. I remember reading it in the International Herald Tribune. It put the WMD narrative in doubt.

Posted by: cirsium | Sep 11 2019 14:25 utc | 57

Well, I just think Putin had more important things to think about than the charade
that is now the US electoral process. Probably he felt (I'm guessing of course) that the whole Russiagate scenario was a desperate move to throw a curtain over the demise of American democracy that served his, Putin's, purposes very well because it kept the idiots busy while he shored up the badly leaking ship of his own state.

And I go with Smiley@34 - no spy of even mediocre caliber would agree to being placed in such an exposed position under his own name, for crying out loud!

This was a guy who had big money stashed away, wanted to be in a place where rich guys are held in high esteem, planned his exit from a no-longer-friendly-to-rich-folk environment (if you had money in Russia these days, you should use it for the good of the country).

It doesn't make sense that he would leave himself exposed if either in Russia or in the US he had undercover connections of this sort. Just doesn't make sense. But that he was the best the US operatives could come up with right now simply speaks to further deterioration of US ability to field persuasive stories.

And this gave me some amusement:

Putin's objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a "vendetta" against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to "split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn't depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore," the official said. [Quote from Goldman Kropotkin@43]

Putin hasn't had to worry about vendettas or showing corruption in American politics. Take a reliable poll. Who in the US thinks our politics ISN'T corrupt?

Posted by: juliania | Sep 11 2019 14:57 utc | 58

We didn't need Putin, mastermind though he is, to 'create an image' of American unreliability. Was it Putin who reneged on so many treaties? Was it Putin who antagonized the Koreas? Was it Putin who set up the trade war with China? Was it Putin who threatened and sanctioned Russia, Iran, Venezuela?

We, our leaders, masterminded it all. Sorry, Mr. Putin - you lose that enviable title. We own it.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 11 2019 15:11 utc | 59

What can the Russians do to get ahead of the narrative on the likely impending demise of Smolenkov by novichok or polonium poisoning?

I know some here might say "Everyone would know it is a false flag if Smolenkov gets assassinated!" and that is certainly true if by "everyone" one means the regular readers here and at a few other analysis sites that are not controlled by the empire. The concern is about the three hundred million other Americans who are at least partially captured by the false narratives pumped out non-stop from their Plato's Cave displays. Is there anything that the Russians can do now to inoculate some Americans against the hard sell they will be facing when the corporate mass media (Mighty Wurlitzer) cranks up the multi-channel marketing campaign for the United States' own Skripal farce?

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 11 2019 15:50 utc | 60

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 11 2019 15:50 utc | 61

Your "Plato's Cave" displays analogy for TV and online MSM faces is outstanding!!!!!

Thanks for that

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 11 2019 17:26 utc | 61

"Why the CIA would allow such a spy, once extradited, to live under his real name is beyond me."

So he can be Skripal'd at a convenient time?

Posted by: Yonatan | Sep 11 2019 22:11 utc | 62

Cirsium @ 57:

Yes, I'm aware that publicly revealing a CIA operative's identity is a federal crime in the US. Scooter Libby had indeed been Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff and Assistant to President George W Bush at the time.

Following that logic, the CIA under John Brennan should have known that by co-operating with the Obama govt in creating and planting the Russiagate hoax, and allowing public leakages of information that could only have come from a CIA operative hidden in the Kremlin (and thus exposing that person's identity not only to the public but to Kremlin officials, and risking his safety and that of his family), it was breaking or at the very least bending the law.

That is why I consider that, between 2003 and 2016, something has changed in the CIA, that it is now risking its own employees' lives (and their families' lives, to say nothing of the lives of people cultivated by CIA operatives overseas) to play politics and get rid of Donald Trump as President. One can consider Oleg Smolenkov to be a CIA employee in this respect.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 11 2019 22:18 utc | 63

If Smolenkov was living in the open in Virginia, it is simply not credible that Russia did not already know of his whereabouts. CNN didn't out anybody. The real question is why this arrangement has been accepted both by Russia and the U.S. and by Smolenkov himself.

Posted by: Rob | Sep 12 2019 4:00 utc | 64

What Spy? Kremlin Mocks Aide Recruited by C.I.A. as a Boozy Nobody (a title in NYT today)

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 12 2019 15:40 utc | 65

the informant’s trustworthiness.

DEJA TRIX PART QUAD...

Morons, this is worse than torture.. Ofcourse the information was fake since Russia was not the one who leaked the information no matter which informant told the CIA it was.. But that would make the CIA case worker look like a moron, which it usually is to begin with.. Just like all the other fake info they passed along about WMD's and drugs and chemical weapons etc etc etc.... Does anyone with brains expect real intel by offering bribes and a mansion? The last real intel the US got was from the guy worked at the soviet blue print archive who passed along all the high tech secrets.. He did that not for money but for vengeance..


Posted by: Igor Bundy | Sep 12 2019 19:18 utc | 66

I am with alaff... If there is a spy close to Putin, it is because Putin wants him there. Putin also has morals and ethics and would not jeopardize the rule of law. Imagine the guy working to create an international alliance based on trust and equality acting like an amerikan... This does not mean that Putin might not feed a false narrative into known spies to pass on. This was verified as part of their Game theory.. From what I have seen, rather than do under handed things, Putin puts in place contingencies.. He did not have to violate INF treaty.. But but redesigning heavier range engines into longer range engines would be how he would go about doing it. But then again he dont even have to do that since ship based missiles have that range anyway.. From his interaction with snowden and his comments, he does think snowden is a NSA spy.. Which means Putin would not accept secret counter intel from the US to be valid for anything. He has enough experience to know the US passed fake intel to make the soviets run around in circles.. Other than to check out its validity, nothing would be based on what was got from such sources. Especially not activating a virus or some kind..

Putin and Assad, 2 people I follow closely but do not understand in the sense of comparing them with anyone else.. Because there are no others like them.. I understand the Iranians and Israeli's and most everyone else easily.. But these 2 people have never betrayed the trust of taking the short cut as a means to an end. It drives not just me, but many of us nuts!!!!


Posted by: Igor Bundy | Sep 12 2019 19:36 utc | 67

Those Iraqi-US dual nationals who work with the US intelligence service in Iraq provided false security information to local agents who believed their communication system was protected.

This is how one of the leading US agents, Brigadier General Mahmoud al-Fallahi, commander of Anbar Army and responsible for the borders with Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, was caught while passing on sensitive and compromising information to the CIA in Iraq. Al-Fallahi has the names of many Iraqi officers who are willing to collaborate to overthrow the Iraqi government and eliminate Hashd al-Shaabi, the main obstacle to US plans in Iraq, according to sources within the Iraqi government.

https://ahtribune.com/world/north-africa-south-west-asia/3293-iran-declares-war-on-the-us-in-iraq.html

Posted by: Igor Bundy | Sep 12 2019 22:06 utc | 68

Matt Taibbi weighs in:

Latest Russian spy story looks like another elaborate media deception
https://taibbi.substack.com/p/latest-russian-spy-story-looks-like

I'd say looks like just another attempt to push several narratives at once:

1) Russia bad - just in general.
2) Trump bad - leaks to Russia because he's a Russian agent - or just stupid - or both - they'll let you decide.
3) This is more proof Russia interfered in the elections.

In other words, just another CIA misinformation operation.

As Taibbi points out, the US mainstream media today is just as much an asset of the state as Pravda was back in the Soviet days. He lists all the ex-spooks who are serving as the main information sources and commentators on all the major networks.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 14 2019 18:34 utc | 69

Re: Yonatan @62

"So he can be Skripal'd at a convenient time?"

Someone else thinks so too:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/09/16/explaining-cias-agent-smolenkov/

Posted by: Yonatan | Sep 16 2019 18:46 utc | 70

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