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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/8/22

Lies About Russia Still Matter - a Lot

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Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook recently admitted under oath that prior to the 2016 election Mrs. Clinton personally approved feeding the media a bogus story that Donald Trump had a back channel to Alfa Bank in Moscow.

The online magazine Slate obliged on Oct. 31, 2016, a week before the election, with the desired story. As soon as the story appeared, Clinton tweeted about it, and posted a news release that said, "This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump's ties to Russia." (For more detail, see CNN's: Hillary Clinton personally approved plan to share Trump-Russia allegation with the press in 2016, campaign manager says.)

As the Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal put it after Mook spilled the beans in federal court:

The Russia-Trump collusion narrative of 2016 and beyond was a dirty trick for the ages, and now we know it came from the top - candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton - " while this news is hardly a surprise, it's still bracing to find her fingerprints on the political weapon.

I hope that those not satisfied with the generally sparse corporate coverage accorded the blatant "October Surprise" of Alfa Bank/Trump will be helped by what follows:

Lawyer David Sussmann, who was a key player in concocting the Alfa Bank-Trump legend, was on trial last week. He had been indicted for telling the FBI - orally and in writing, "he was not working for any client while he peddled the Alfa Bank fable".

But Sussmann had been billing the Clinton campaign for his work on this. As for the FBI, it seems virtually certain that the Bureau was no more "shocked" at Sussmann's lie than Casablanca's Capt. Renault was at learning of "the gambling going on in here." Despite these curiosities and the preponderance of evidence, a Washington, D.C., jury returned an innocent verdict (an outcome hardly unexpected, given the jury pool in Washington, where Clinton got 90 percent of the vote).

Was Special Prosecutor John Durham oblivious to the likely outcome? Or is there "method in his madness"? I think the latter. Other evidence revealed at the Sussmann trial have left deep dents in the body armor that, thus far, has protected Hillary Clinton. True, there have been some serious chips, but no evidence quite as granular as what Mook reveals.

Thankful for Small Favors

We need to be grateful for small favors. It seems that many malefactors still fear that by lying under oath they risk ending up in prison. That applies, in my view, to functionaries like Robbie Mook.

It also applies to co-conspirators like Shawn Henry, the head of the cyber-sleuth-firm CrowdStrike, who promoted the fiction of Russian "hacking" - that is, until he was put under oath. For reasons that FBI Director James Comey never persuasively explained, he chose to defer to CrowdStrike to investigate THE cause celebre - the one that launched Russia-gate - the famous "Russian hack" of the DNC emails eventually published by WikiLeaks. Sen. John McCain called it an "act of war" by the Russians.

Sean Henry, in closed-door sworn testimony to the House Intelligence Committee on Dec. 5, 2017, admitted that there is no technical evidence that the DNC emails were hacked by Russia or anyone else. Henry testified: "We didn't have a sensor in place that saw data leave. We said that the data left based on the "circumstantial evidence". Circumstantial = consistent with what Russia (and others) do.

Inadvertently highlighting the tenuous underpinning for CrowdStrike's "belief" that Russia hacked the DNC emails, Henry added: "There are other nation-states that collect this type of intelligence for sure, but the - what we would call the tactics and techniques were consistent with what we'd seen associated with the Russian state."

In answer to a question, Henry then delivered this classic:

"Sir, I was just trying to be factually accurate, that we didn't see the data leave, but we believe it left, based on what we saw."

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Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for 27 years, and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). His (more...)
 
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