Given recent revelations over the past few weeks, it seemed like a good time check in on the various intrigues playing out in Washington. Like scorpions fighting to the death, the blows just keep coming as the dance of death comes to its inevitable conclusion. Either side is locked and loaded, with a clear idea of which pieces they would like to remove at this point.
As to those pieces, let us begin with a hot name of late: Stefan Halper. For those of you living deep in the astral plane for the past few weeks, here is the invaluable Glen Greenwald summing up the recent bombshell revelations concerning Halper:
"An extremely strange episode that has engulfed official Washington over the last two weeks came to a truly bizarre conclusion on Friday night. And it revolves around a long-time, highly sketchy CIA operative, Stefan Halper...
"Over the past several weeks, House Republicans have been claiming that the FBI during the 2016 election used an operative to spy on the Trump campaign, and they triggered outrage within the FBI by trying to learn his identity. The controversy escalated when President Trump joined the fray on Friday morning. 'Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president,' Trump tweeted, adding: 'It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a “hot” Fake News story. If true – all time biggest political scandal!'
"In response, the DOJ and the FBI’s various media spokespeople did not deny the core accusation, but quibbled with the language (the FBI used an 'informant,' not a 'spy'), and then began using increasingly strident language to warn that exposing his name would jeopardize his life and those of others, and also put American national security at grave risk. On May 8, the Washington Post described the informant as 'a top-secret intelligence source' and cited DOJ officials as arguing that disclosure of his name 'could risk lives by potentially exposing the source, a U.S. citizen who has provided intelligence to the CIA and FBI.'..
"But now, as a result of some very odd choices by the nation’s largest media outlets, everyone knows the name of the FBI’s informant: Stefan Halper. And Halper’s history is quite troubling, particularly his central role in the scandal in the 1980 election. Equally troubling are the DOJ and FBI’s highly inflammatory and, at best, misleading claims that they made to try to prevent Halper’s identity from being reported."I'll get to Halper's role in a previously little known 1980 election scandal in just a moment, but for the time being let's briefly consider Halper's rather spooky background: He first broke into government during the Nixon administration, serving as an Assistant Director in the Office of Management and Budget. From there he joined the office of the Chief of Staff in 1974 and remained there until 1977. During this time frame he served under three different Chiefs of Staff during Ford administration: Knight of Malta and Gladio operator General Alexander Haig (addressed before here), two time Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and finally future Vice-President Dick Cheney. Of course Rummy and Cheney would go on to play key roles in the Bush II administration. And wouldn't you know, Poppy Bush happened to be the Director of the CIA during Halper's time in the office of the Chief of Staff.
On the topic of the CIA its interesting to note that it was also around this time that Halper married the daughter of uber CIA mover and shacker Ray S. Cline. Regular readers of this website are no doubt aware of Cline, but for those of you just joining us: As was noted before here, Cline was a part of an extremely powerful clique of CIA officers who had served in China during the Second World for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS, the predecessor to the CIA). Known as the "China Cowboys," this network also included General John Singlaub, Mitchell WerBell III, E. Howard Hunt, Richard Helms, Paul Helliwell, among others. Helms would eventually become the Director of the CIA while Helliwell established a series of offshore banks used by he CIA for decades to launder drug money. E. Howard Hunt gained infamy as one of the Watergate "Plumbers" while WerBell, as noted before here, was a major arms trafficker for decades.
And Ray S. Cline was one of the chief figures of this network. For years he had pursued right wing causes across the globe, helping found the World Anti-Communist League, for many years the public face of international fascism (the WACL was explored in depth before here). A long time darling of the China Lobby, Cline also helped establish the Political Warfare Cadres Academy in Taiwan, for years a kind of Eastern School of the Americas. As was noted before here, he was also a backer of the Unification Church (which bankrolled much of the American Christian fundamentalist revival in the final decades of the twentieth century) and close to several members of Le Cercle, which in many ways was the Fascist International's answer to Bilderberg.
|Ray S. Cline|
Do keep all of this in mind dear reader as well shall be returning to this network in a moment when considering the broader implications of these revelations. For now, let us turn our attention to the spying operation Stefan Halper was involved in during the 1980 election and his later contacts in the Reagan administration.
"Halper, working with long-time CIA official Robert Gambino as part of an intelligence network put together by William Casey in the 1979-80 Reagan campaign, had obtained and passed along 'nonpublic' information from within the Carter camp, some of which was used to brief Ronald Reagan for his debates with Carter... Halper is also on the board of the National Bank of Northern Virginia. The bank's lawyer is J. Curtis Herge, the attorney for the Contra organization, the Nicaraguan Resistance Education Foundation, a Moon organization, the American Freedom Coalition, Western Goals, and other far-right entities. Another board member is Christopher Lehman, brother of former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman. Christopher served as Reagan's special assistant for national security affairs through September 1985, during which time he worked on convert funding for the contras."
(The "Terrorism" Industry, Edward Herman & Gerry O'Sullivan, pg. 276 n56)As was noted before here, the WACL played a key role in the Contra networks of the 1980s that were used to bring the Cold War to an end in a most grizzly fashion. Given Cline's presence as Halper's father-in-law during this time, its hardly surprising that Halper himself would be plugged into this network.
What's more interesting, however, is how this dovetails with the connections of Trump's political mentor, the infamous McCarthy-ite attorney Roy Cohn. As was noted before here, Cohn was a friend of future CIA director William Casey, reputed to be a key figure in the Carter spying operation. And Roy Cohn was a key figure in the Western Goals Foundation, a far right private intelligence network that apparently shared an attorney with the Northern Bank of Virginia, which Halper was a board member of. And Halper is also reportedly a longtime friend of Trump campaign chairman and Cohn protege Paul Manafort.
Very little information is available concerning Gambino. He does not appear to have headed the OS until the mid-1970s, well after the heyday of ARTICHOKE and CHAOS. Still, the OS often promoted within and it is certainly possible he had spent many years there before being appointed director.
Finally, towards the late 1980s, Halper became involved with a little remarked upon but extremely power think tank known as the United States Global Strategy Council (USGSC). As was noted before here, the USGSC was also deeply plugged into the international right while also being at forefront of the emerging concept of a Global War on Terror. Both Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were also members of the USGSC and as such many of its concepts appear to have go on to heavily influence the Bush II administration. But even more ominously, the USGSC also appears to have been involved with various "Continuity of Government" (COG) operations, which many researchers have long linked with the US shadow government. This topic was addressed before here.
|a publication by the USGSC|
Thus, to sum things up in brief, Halper is an extremely well connected and longtime fixture of the international right with connections to the highest levels and blackest projects of the deep state.
"U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed a key assistant of long-time Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone, two people with knowledge of the matter said, the latest sign that Mueller's investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election is increasingly focusing on Stone...
"The subpoena handed to Kakanis is the latest development suggesting that Stone, an early Trump backer whose reputation as an aggressive political operative dates back to the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, is being looked at by Mueller.
"Reuters reported earlier this week that FBI agents working for Mueller delivered two subpoenas to Jason Sullivan, a social media and Twitter expert who worked for Stone during the 2016 campaign, and that agents told him Mueller's team wanted to question him about Stone and WikiLeaks.
"Some of Stone's comments during the elections have prompted questions from investigators in Congress, and others, about whether he had advance knowledge of the Democratic Party material allegedly hacked by Russian intelligence and sent to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who published it...
"Other Trump associates who have been questioned by Mueller, including former campaign advisors Sam Nunberg and Michael Caputo, have also been asked about Stone and WikiLeaks.
" 'They asked me about Roger’s businesses – who he worked with prior to the 2016 election. They asked me about Roger’s tax returns,' Nunberg said in a phone interview earlier this week, adding that he believed Mueller was stepping outside his mandate in casting such a wide net around Stone's activities."And again this week the Wall Street Journal also reported that Stone had sought information on Clinton from Assange. Clearly, the ground is being laid for a full court press on Stone, and this should hardly be surprising to regular readers of this blog.
You see Stone like Paul Manafort, another target Mueller has pursued like a rabid dog, is another longtime associate of Roy Cohn. As was noted before here, there has been much compelling evidence that has emerged over the years indicating the Cohn was deeply immersed in sexual blackmail operations for decades and that many of his acolytes followed in his footsteps. Roger Stone, for instance, is the individual who exposed former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's use of an escort service and there is strong evidence that Stone is also behind the recent exposure of the NXIVM cult widely linked to sexual slavery and generous contributions to the Clinton campaign.
Granted I'm kind of crazy, but it sure seems like the real objective of Mueller's probe is not to find Russian collusion, but to take out many of Cohn's old associates backing Trump who may be sitting on a treasure trove of blackmail material that could bring down the whole house of cards.
When all is said and done, Mueller doesn't have to prove anything, he just has to bog Manafort and Stone down in bogus allegations that will require costly legal representation. Rather than face financial ruin over legal fees, they may opt to make plea deals to minor charges that will provide great headlines but little in terms establishing Russian collision.
But only if the other side isn't swept up in its own legal nightmare in the interm.
"When the scandal first broke in 1983, the UPI suggested that Halper’s handler for this operation was Reagan’s Vice Presidential candidate, George H.W. Bush, who had been the CIA Director and worked there with Halper’s father-in-law, former CIA Deputy Director Ray Cline, who worked on Bush’s 1980 presidential campaign before Bush ultimately became Reagan’s Vice President...
"Halper, through his CIA work, has extensive ties to the Bush family...."
In point of fact, Halper's outing over the 1980 election flap appears to have been driven by conservatives in the Reagan administration seeking to drive out another close Bush alley brought into said administration by Poppy. Continuing with Greenwald:
"It was not until several years after Reagan’s victory over Carter did this scandal emerge. It was leaked by right-wing officials inside the Reagan administration who wanted to undermine officials they regarded as too moderate, including then White House Chief of Staff James Baker, who was a Bush loyalist."Is history now repeating itself?
While the conservative media has been falling over itself trying to depict Halper as a diehard Hillary backer, the reality is that he is a lifelong Republican with a decades spanning association with the Bush family.
Interestingly, Halper appears to have made advances towards the Trump campaign only after the Orange One had bested Jeb Bush in the Republican primary. And of course there have been longstanding allegations that Jeb Bush backers were who initially hired Fusion GPS to dig for dirt in the Trump campaign. Eventually the sponsorship was taken over by the Democrats, producing the infamous Steele dossier.
But this is only one possibility, and it leaves much to be desired. In point of fact, there's a lot that feels off about this revelation. For one, there's the uncomfortable fact that Halper was all but outed by pure establishment mouth pieces. Again, the great Glenn Greenwald notes:
"Last night, both the Washington Post and New York Times – whose reporters, like pretty much everyone in Washington, knew exactly who the FBI informant is – published articles that, while deferring to the FBI’s demands by not naming him, provided so many details about him that it made it extremely easy to know exactly who it is. The NYT described the FBI informant as 'an American academic who teaches in Britain' and who 'made contact late that summer with' George Papadopoulos and 'also met repeatedly in the ensuing months with the other aide, Carter Page.' The Post similarly called him 'a retired American professor' who met with Page 'at a symposium about the White House race held at a British university.'..
"In other words, both the NYT and the Post chose to provide so many details about the FBI informant that everyone would know exactly who it was, while coyly pretending that they were obeying FBI demands not to name him. How does that make sense? Either these newspapers believe the FBI’s grave warnings that national security and lives would be endangered if it were known who they used as their informant (in which case those papers should not publish any details that would make his exposure likely), or they believe that the FBI (as usual) was just invoking false national security justifications to hide information it unjustly wants to keep from the public (in which case the newspapers should name him)."But if the FBI was invoking false national security justifications, then why give so much detail about Halper to either publication in the first place? It seems clear someone wanted Halper outed, this much is clear.
But beyond the fashion in which Halper was outed, his reported actions while informing on the Trump campaign border on the absurd, from a potentially half-baked effort to ensnare George Papadopoulos in a honey trap to his endorsement of Clinton while supposedly assisting the Trump campaign.
Clearly, the Trump campaign had to have known about Halper's relationship with the Bush family, as well as his espionage efforts on their behalf during the 1980 election. Couple this with Halper's bizarre behavior while assisting the Trump team, and one is left having to do some incredible mental gymnastics to not believe they knew something was amiss with Halper.
Unless Halper's clownish efforts at spying were themselves an act. Are we really to believe that a man with a decades spanning association with the CIA would actually openly endorse Hillary Clinton while trying to infiltrate the Trump campaign?
What if Halpar was in fact a double agent? The possibility clearly exists that, upon being approached by the FBI to infiltrate the Trump campaign Halper, a longtime backer of the far right, reported this to his longtime friend Paul Manafort or someone else in the Trump campaign, then preceded to launch a faux infiltration effort that would leave extensive evidence in its wake.
And now this evidence is coming to light, potentially dealing a death blow to the Mueller probe just as it is targeting one of Trump's key allies, Roger Stone. Certainly this all seems a little to coincidental. And with the I shall sign off for now dear readers.