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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/4/19

Trump, Kushner, and Barr putting 'intelligence sources' lives in jeopardy

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Wayne Madsen
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Under Trump's direction Attorney General William Barr has launched an investigation of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence operations
Under Trump's direction Attorney General William Barr has launched an investigation of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence operations
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U.S. and allied intelligence agencies are concerned that Donald Trump and his closest White House advisers, including his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have and are revealing sensitive diplomatic and intelligence information gleaned by U.S. intelligence personnel from foreign sources to hostile parties.

The most immediate concern expressed by intelligence personnel is what Trump may have communicated to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un about information passed to Trump, via interlocutors like U.S. nuclear negotiator Stephen Biegun, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by North Korean officials. Last June, North Korean chief diplomat Kim Yong Chol visited the White House for talks with Trump and other administration officials.

The South Korean press is reporting that following the failed Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi in February, Kim Yong Chol was arrested and sent to a labor camp in Jagang Province near the Chinese border. North Korea's official Workers' Party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, recently reported that Kim Yong Chol was one of a number of "two-faced" officials now facing the "stern judgment of the revolution." What has alarmed Central Intelligence Agency analysts is what the North Korean paper also wrote, "It is an anti-Party, anti-revolutionary act to pretend to be revering the leader in front of him when you actually dream of something else." That is being assessed as something said by Kim Yong Chol and other North Korean officials in diplomatic confidence to Trump, Bolton, and others that made its way back to Kim Jong Un.

Whatever the fate of Kim Yong Chol pales in comparison to what reportedly happened to North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator, Kim Hyok Chol. He was reportedly executed, along with four of his Foreign Ministry subordinates, at Mirim Airport in Pyongyang in March, on charges of "spying" for the United States.

Also reportedly imprisoned in the Jagang labor camp with Kim Yong Chol was Kim Song Hye, the diplomat charged with preparing the Singapore and Hanoi summits, and Sin Hye Yong, Kim's interpreter in private discussions with Trump. Sin Hye Yong was accused by Kim Jong Un with making critical interpretation errors in the Hanoi summit, prior to Trump's walking out. Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un's younger sister, who often accompanies him in summit meetings, also appears to have been affected by the purge in Pyongyang.

On February 22, 2019, ten men, said to be members of two shadowy North Korean exile groups, called the Cheollima Civil Defense Group and the Provisional Government of Free Joseon, invaded the North Korean embassy outside of Madrid, Spain. They held the North Korean staff hostage until they obtained computer disks and cell phones holding information on North Korea's former ambassador to Spain, who just so happened to be Kim Hyok Chol, executed in Pyongyang a few weeks after the embassy invasion.

Spain's National Intelligence Center (CNI) and the National Police Corps' General Commissariat of Information (CGI) confirmed that two of the embassy invaders were linked to the Central Intelligence Agency, including the leader of the embassy attackers, Adrian Hong Chang, aka Adrian Hong. Hong is a Mexican citizen who has permanent residency status in the United States. Hong's goal is to overthrow the North Korean government and his two groups are linked to the neoconservative Freedom House organization and the Israeli Mossad front group, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), both based in New York. Law enforcement investigators discovered that when Hong was in Mexico City applying for a new passport, his Uber profile was in the name of "Oswaldo Trump."

Hong is also believed to have relied on the use of the Israeli cell phone spying program, Pegasus, marketed by Israel's NSO Group Technologies, which is now being used by the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to track dissidents. One such Saudi dissident was Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was being tracked by Saudi intelligence agents prior to his grisly murder and dismemberment at the Saudi Consulate General in Istanbul last October.

According to author Michael Wolff's new book, Siege, Kushner, who is close to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), is reported to have dismissed Khashoggi's murder by saying, "This guy was the link between certain factions in the royal family and Osama. We know that. A journalist? Come on. This was a terrorist masquerading as a journalist." There is no evidence that Khashoggi served as any sort of official link between the House of Saud and Osama Bin Laden or Al Qaeda, however, there is ample evidence that Saudi King Salman, MbS's father, helped finance Bin Laden and Al Qaeda while he was the Governor of Riyadh province.

During World War II, U.S. and allied armed forces cautioned troops and sailors to refrain from discussing classified matters, especially convoy information, in public with the simple motto, "Loose Lips Sink Ships." If Trump, during his off-the-record meetings with Kim Jong Un in Singapore last year and in Hanoi this February, revealed to the North Korean leader any information passed to U.S. officials in diplomatic confidence by North Korean negotiators and such a disclosure resulted in the deaths of the North Korean officials, Trump may be guilty of subversion and espionage, capital crimes punishable by life imprisonment or death. The same goes for Kushner, if he disclosed, as various news reports indicate, top secret compartmented CIA and National Security Agency information on human and signals intelligence surveillance of anti-MbS dissidents within Saudi Arabia and abroad.

Under Trump's direction, Attorney General William Barr has launched an investigation of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence operations in 2016 directed against foreign interference in the U.S. presidential campaign. Trump has publicly stated that the targets of his ire are the United Kingdom and Australia and the roles they played in passing intelligence on Russian interference in the election to the FBI and CIA.

Barr is playing a dangerous game in launching a criminal probe of the former Australian ambassador to London and longest-serving foreign minister, Alexander Downer, and what he reportedly passed to U.S. intelligence, via Australian ambassador to Washington Joe Hockey, about what a drunken Trump aide, George Papadopoulos conveyed to him in May 2016 about "thousands" of Hillary Clinton emails obtained by Russian intelligence. In addition, Barr is intent on uncovering the intelligence links between former British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) agent Christopher Steele and an MI6 source said to be within Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle in the Kremlin.

Barr is also determined to discover the role of Elizabeth Dibble, the deputy chief of mission (DCM) in the U.S. embassy in London, in the passing to Washington of Papadopoulos's revelations to Downer and Hockey. DCMs in diplomatic posts like London are often filled by dual-hatted CIA officers under official State Department cover. Barr also wants exposed the role Dr. Stephen Halper, an old Iran-Contra CIA hand and current Cambridge University professor, played in the FBI's Operation CROSSFIRE HURRICANE, the bureau's investigation of foreign interference in the 2016 election. Also, of interest to Barr and the Trump entourage is the role Dr. Joseph Mifsud, a rather shadowy Maltese academic tied to some fraudulent schemes, played in CROSSFIRE HURRICANE. Trump lawyer Rudolph Giuliani, in April of this year, exposed Mifsud as a "Maltese counter-intelligence guy." The Maltese Security Services have been involved in several joint intelligence operations with MI6 and Mifsud fits the traditional model of a double or triple agent.

Barr's witch hunt intended on punishing U.S. and allied intelligence agencies is also focused on Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and communications intercepts it first obtained on Trump campaign and Trump Organization officials' interactions with foreign intelligence agents in 2015, just after Trump announced his candidacy. Barr is also focused on intercepts fed to GCHQ by Dutch, French, German, Polish, and Estonian intelligence agencies. Trump has also stated he wants links between the Clinton campaign and the then-Ukrainian government of former president Petro Poroshenko exposed.

Trump, Kushner, and Barr are playing the kind of game that often ends up in the compromise and deaths of human intelligence sources, as well as agents responsible for overseeing sensitive intelligence-gathering methods. If what has happened to North Korea's diplomatic negotiating team and Jamal Khashoggi is any indication, Trump's, Kushner's, and Barr's blood sport of exposing intelligence sources may have only just begun.

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