Top FBI Attorney Provided ‘Explosive’ Testimony Regarding Trump-Russia Probe

On a day that saw the latest nonsensical claims from the UK government about Russian government culpability for the Skripal assassination attempt back in March, we came across a story which shows how the other great “It’s The Russians fabricated narrative is falling apart.

While NATO governments were getting their knickers in a right old twist about the discovery of some Russian citizens found in possession of laptop computers, smartphones

The Russians are alleged to have launched a cyber attack on the headquarters of global chemical weapons watchdog OPCW while it was investigating the Salisbury spy poisoning, the British and Dutch security services have revealed. No evidence has been offered to link the action to the Skripal case.

Authorities in the Netherlands have named four GRU operatives who, it is claimed, travelled to Amsterdam and attempted to hack into the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons network directly.

The four men – named as Alexei Moronets, Evgeni Serebriakov, Oleg Sotnikov and Alexei Minin – flew from Moscow to Amsterdam on April 10 on official passports, where they were met by a Russian embassy official.

Three days later, they parked in a rental car outside a hotel near the OPCW building, with specialist technical equipment in the back of the vehicle designed to hack into the watchdog’s network.

If you are quite web savvy you might, as I have, understand how ludicrous it would be to try to hack the OPCW network while sitting outside in a car, with all your hacking equipment visible to passing pedestrians. And can we believe the Russians would expect an organisation like OPCW would have omitted to secure their Wi Fi network?

Well if you have believed all or any of the story about the Russians hacking the US election systems to hand the presidency to Trump, you are probably naive enough to believe this latest shite.

Meanwhile in America …

from The Daily Caller

A former top lawyer at the FBI provided “explosive” testimony to Congress on Wednesday regarding the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation, lawmakers said. James Baker, who served as the FBI’s general counsel until May, told Congress that a previously unidentified source provided information to the FBI for its investigation, which began on July 31, 2016.

“During the time that the FBI was putting — that [the Department of Justice] and FBI were putting together the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act surveillance warrant] during the time prior to the election — there was another source giving information directly to the FBI, which we found the source to be pretty explosive,” Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan said after a hearing, according to Fox News.

As the FBI’s top attorney, Baker was directly involved in handling applications for the FISA warrants granted against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Baker was interviewed behind closed doors as part of a congressional task force’s investigation into the FBI’s possible abuse of the FISA process. Republican lawmakers have expressed concerns that the Page FISAs relied heavily on the unverified Steele dossier.

The document, which was funded by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, was cited extensively in the FBI’s applications to spy on Page.

“Some of the things that were shared were explosive in nature,” North Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Meadows told Fox regarding Baker’s interview. “This witness confirmed that things were done in an abnormal fashion. That’s extremely troubling.”

 

(RELATED: Undercover FBI Sources Taped Trump Campaign)

 

Britain Should Be Facing Global Outrage Over Skripal Saga, Not Russia

Some people may believe it is mere coincidence that in the week The UK, France and the USA (the FUKUS axis) discussed plans for appropriate measures, which would involve bombs and possibly a military incursion, in retaliation for a chemical weapon attack in Syria that has not taken place yet, the increasingly ludicrous story of the assassination attempt on former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia has come to the top of the news again.

Obviously the fires of Russophobia need to be stoked to get voters in any of the nations involved in the frustrated bit to overthrow the Assad government in Syria on board for a military intervention that could easily escalate into armed conflict between the western power and Russia, which will likely be supported by Iran and China.

Last week’s  announcement by the British government that two named Russian suspects were being sought in connection with the alleged poisoning of a former Russian spy turned double agent, who after his release from prison in an exchange deal between the US and Russia may have been involved in private intelligence work for some very dodgy characters is more absurd drama in a long-running tawdry saga.


Skripal assassination suspects (they could be anybody) Picture: 247enquirer.com

As in all previous developments in this case, no verifiable evidence that these two ordinary looking men work for the Russian secret service, or even that they are Russian. News of their involvement has been presented, with more lurid innuendo against the Russian state and the usual refusal by the British authorities to abide by any due process and international norms of diplomacy. It is all scurrilous sound and fury aimed at smearing Russia.

This week, Britain’s Metropolitan Police released video shots of the alleged assassains, purporting to show them, each alone, walking down a corridor at London’s Gatwick airport on March 2.They were not together but according to the timestamp on the CCTV still has arrived  in the exact same spot at the exact same time. When sharp eyed bloggers and alt_media journalists pointed this out, the government quickly claimed there are parallel corridors. That’s possible, but to be at the same point, marching in lockstep, not even a a yard apart should stretch our credulity.

Call me a conspiracy theorist if you like, but consider this thought from the conspiracy theorist in chief:

skripals-pair-image

Other video shots produced as evidence of their involvement show the same men walking the streets of a town that might be Salisbury. There’s no reason to believe it isn’t, but with no distinguishing landmarksthe street could be almost anywhere.


Still from I?TV news via The Daily Mail online

On March 3, the day before former Russian Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were apparently stricken with a powerful nerve agent. The two would-be assassins then allegedly flew back to Moscow from London late on March 4.

One of the most preposterous claim made by British security services, is that traces of the Novichok nerve agent used to poison the Skripals were found in the London hotel room where the alleged Kremlin agents stayed. The incompetence of these two supposedly highly trained super assassins is beyond belief . If the official narrative is correct, they seem to have spilled this stuff everywhere they went. Yet, we are told, it is one of the most potent nerve agents known and contact with a miniscule amount can be fatal. Leaving aside the potency of Novichok which seems to be in some doubt, it is amazing that of the five people affected by the poison as the Russian assassins splashed it about randomly throughout southern England, the two who have died were not the targets of this clowninsh operation.

More realistically clumsy, however, is the attempt by the British to lay an incriminating trail and now to name and blame two Russians who we are told were back in Russia or at least on their way back when the first victims were affected by the poison.

Former British ambassador Craig Murray and other astute observers have noted that the latest video shots released by Britain’s counter-terrorism police are highly questionable. The images could have been easily fabricated with modern digital methods. They are not evidence of anything. Yet, suspiciously, the British authorities are in unseemly haste to make their sensational charges of Russian state culpability.

The day after the Met police announcement implicating the two Russian culprits, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May stood up in front of her parliament and claimed that the two individuals were members of Russian military intelligence, the GRU. Rather predicably the Russian government denied ever having heard of them. UK government Home Office security  minister, Ben Wallace, then accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of having personal responsibility for ordering the alleged assassination plot although there is no evidence for that and at a time of heightened tensions such outbursts are never going to be helpful.

Then on Thursday Britain summoned a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to reiterate its claims against Russia without providing any further substantiating details to back up the sensational accusations which are based on the belief that creating a bogeyman will swing public opinion in favour of military action against. The credulous British news media have obedienly pimped up the accusations giving the claims a veneer of credibility, holding the warmongers and military – industrial complex salesmen in government to account over the numerous irregularities in this narrative.

Vasily Nebenzia, Russia’s envoy to the United Nations commented that the whole aim of  Britain’s accusations is to whip up more anti-Russian feeling in the international community. As envoy Nebenzia pointed out, it is entirely unreasonable for the British prime minister to make the categorical claim that the two allegedly Russian men in the video shots released this week are members of the GRU? Typically, she made the claim without providing any substantiating information as she has previously accused Russia of hostile acts without citing any evidence.

The British government is also teetering on political implosion from the Brexit debacle and growing public contempt for Prime minister May’s amateurish incompetence and lack of leadership qualities.

This was the same kind of plucking from thin air that Theresa May performed only days after the Skripals were apparently poisoned in Salisbury on March 4. Again, back then, May stood in front of parliament and dramatically accused Russia of a state-sponsored assassination attempt. The British authorities have cast, and continue to cast, a verdict without any legal case. That verdict relies entirely on Russophobia and prejudice of Russian malfeasance.

No sooner had Britain unleashed its latest allegations, than a joint statement was released by the United States, Canada, Germany and France supporting the British claims. All this comes at a time when it is widely known the Assad government, backed by Russia and Iran, is preparing an all – out assault on Syria’s Idlib province, the last stronghold of the various Islamic extremist groups that with the backing of the USA’s Obama administration, (Trump ordered the US to cease funding and supplying arms to the rebels,) the EU, NATO and Saudi Arabia, have been trying to overthrow Assad for four years.  As I reported in mid August the Russian government predicted a false flag chemical weapon incident was being prepared to justify military intervention to prevent the final defeat of Islamic State.

Britain is now, stupidly, calling for more punitive economic sanctions against Moscow as it did earlier this year when the Skripals apparently fell ill on a park bench in Salisbury, a quiet Cathedral city in southern England. Russian diplomats have  now been expelled from twenty eight nations over earlier and similarly unsubstantiated claims about Russian malfeasance. More sanctions are likely, with the intended effect of framing Russia as a pariah state only resulting in economically harming EU and NATO members that trade with Russia more that Russia itself.

The timing of this latest development in the Skripal saga is probably significant. As reported in my opening paragraphs, the US, Britain and France are threatening to launch military strikes on Syria just as the Syrian army and its Russian ally move to defeat the last-remaining stronghold of weatern-backed terror groups formed to effect regime change in that country.

The defeat of IS would bring to an ignominious end the  criminal war against the Assad government in Damascus, a war which, according to very real evidence available in the public domain, was intended to impose a puppet regime in Damascus and facilitate the building of oil and gas pipelines from Saudi Arabia and the gulf states to the Easter Mediterranean, thus undermining Russia’s oil and gas trade with Europe.

Last month Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel held a productive, cordial summit with President Putin near Berlin, where the two leaders appeared to solidify a rapprochement over a crucial energy project between Russia the European Union. This news was not well received in Washington or Riyadh where the US government fears moves to dump the US dollar as global reserve currency, while the Saudis sense their ability to control the global trade in oil slipping away.

RELATED POSTS:

Police can’t say Skripal & Amesbury cases linked, or that those responsible will be caught

Police can’t say Skripal & Amesbury cases linked, or that those responsible will be caught

queen-elizabeth-gardens-1080x583
Queen Elizabeth Garden in Salisbury, where the Skripals fed the ducks while
The head of Britain’s counter-terrorism operations, Neil Basu, has said the agency cannot positively link the poisoning in Salisbury, Wiltshire, of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia to the more recent poisoning of the late Dawn Sturgess and her partner Charlie Rowley in the same town with an as yet unspecified nerve agent. Nor can they guarantee authorities will catch those responsible for the nerve agent poisoning of the Skripals and Dawn Sturgess,

Basu, who heads Counter Terrorism Policing nationally, told residents of Amesbury he would “love to be able to say that we have identified and caught the people responsible and how we are certain there are no traces of nerve agent left anywhere in Wiltshire, but the brutal reality is that I cannot offer you any reassurance or guarantee at this time.”

Sturgess and Charlie Rowley reportedly fell ill after coming into contact with Novichok on June 30, and Sturgess died days later. This is the same nerve agent believed to have poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March. Public Health England have repeatedly said there is no wider threat to the public arising from the Skripal case.

We can perhaps believe the latter assurance as well respected chemists have confirmed that Novichok, the nerve agent generally agreed to have been used in the bid to assassinate the Skripals would decompose if exposed to the environment for three months. The rest of the official narrative however was always as full of holes as a bagel bakery.

A new development has only added to the confusion:

According to Rob Sloane in The Blogmire.com on 28th March, an article appeared in the Sun, which talked about a 12-year-old boy from Salisbury, Aiden Cooper, who was apparently in a park with his parents, when he saw the Skripals and went over to them to feed the ducks:

“A schoolboy told yesterday how he was caught up in the poison spy drama after assassination target Sergei Skripal gave him bread to feed ducks. Aiden Cooper, 12, was playing in a park with pals when they saw Skripal and daughter Yulia beside a stream. They were handed bread and are among the last people to have had contact with the retired ­Russian military intellig­ence colonel, now fighting for his life.

It is usual when citing The Currant Bun (for U.S. readers that’s rhyming slang,) to have a truckload of salt handy as every other word needs to be taken with a large pinch of the stuff, but in this case not only is there no reason why the people quoted in the article, would make up such stories. In any case, the story was repeated in a number of other outlets (The MirrorThe Mail and Metro for instance) and parts of it at least have been confirmed by police when they were questioned on the story, although they did not volunteer the information in the aftermath of the incident when the media and establishment were focused on blaming The Russians.

The interesting thing about The Mirror, The Mail and Metro pieces is that they are all vague about a quite crucial detail. The Mirror and The Mail both tell us that the incident took place “near the Avon Playground”. And Metro tells us that the incident took place at “Riverside Park”. The Avon Playground mentioned by The Mirror and The Mail is next to the Avon River, and it is also about 50 yards or so from the bench where the Skripals were found (as an aside, this is not the same Avon as runs through Stratford-upon-Avon. Avon is a Celtic word meaning river and there are several river Avons in modern Britain). As for Riverside Park mentioned by Metro, no such named park exists in Salisbury although there is a Queen Elizabeth Garden which is a park on the riverside and is where Dawn Sturgess is alleged to have picked up a syringe part filled with an unknown substance. But the important point is that from the details given in these articles most people would assume that the duck-feeding incident took place in the same park as the bench on which the Skripals were found.

Yet all three of these media outlets are wrong, and in a way that may well be very significant. Turning back to the report in The Sun, we find that it is by far the most detailed of all the reports on the duck incident. In fact, it appeared three days after the others appeared, with The Sun sending a reporter to interview the boy and his parents. From that and from independent reports supplied by people living in Salisbury, we learn that Queen Elizabeth Garden is on the other side of town from locations linked to the Skripal case and the police timeline for the incident does not mention the Russians having been there at all. Yet if police officers managed to contact Aidan cooper’s parents from a photo taken in the park they must have known both he and the Skripals were there.

All this does not by any means prove that Russian agents were not involved in the first poisoning, but it does reveal that a lot of the evidence used to support the government’s accusations was unreliable if not totally fabricated.

So what is going on? Is there any link between the incidents? Do the police or security services have any idea what really happened, let alone who might be responsible? The more we learn about this case the more questions it throws up.

Swiss lab says ‘BZ toxin’ used in Salisbury, not produced in Russia, was in US & UK service

The substance used on Sergei Skripal was an agent called BZ, according to Swiss state Spiez lab, according to a leaked report. The toxin was never produced in Russia, but was in service in the US, UK, and other NATO states, the report is rumoured to reveal.

Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with an incapacitating toxin known as 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate or BZ,  German business news site DW reports, citing the results of the examination conducted by a Swiss chemical lab that worked with the samples that London handed over to the Organisation for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

The Swiss chemical lab that worked with the samples that London handed over to the Organisation for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW), found that Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with an incapacitating toxin known as 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate or BZ.

The Swiss center sent the results to the OPCW.

However, the UN chemical watchdog limited itself only to confirming the formula of the substance used to poison the Skripals in its final report without mentioning anything about the other facts presented in the Swiss document, the Russian foreign minister added.

He went on to say that Moscow would ask the OPCW about its decision to not include any other information provided by the Swiss in its report.

On a side note, the Swiss lab is also an internationally recognized center of excellence in the field of the nuclear, biological, and chemical protection and is one of the five centers permanently authorized by the OPCW.

 

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