I originally started following Tesla as I felt it was a structurally unprofitable business nearing a cash crunch as hundreds of competing products were about to enter the market.
As I’ve studied Tesla more closely, I’ve come to realize that Elon Musk appears to be running a Ponzi Scheme disguised as an auto-manufacturer; where he has to keep unveiling new products, many of which will never come to market, in order to raise new capital (equity/debt/customer deposits) to keep the scheme alive. The question has always been; when will Tesla collapse?
Tesla’s Bullshit Conversion Cycle is the key financial metric underlying this scheme (from @ProphetTesla)
As part of my research on Tesla, I decided to read Bad Blood by John Carreyrou, the journalist who first uncovered the Theranos fraud. It is the story of how Elizabeth Holmes created Theranos and then lurched between publicity events in order to raise additional capital and keep the fraud going, despite the fact that the technology did not work. The key lesson from Theranos for determining when a fraud will implode is that there are always idiots willing to put fresh money into a well marketed fraud - so you need a catalyst for when the funding dries up.
The other salient fact was that most senior employees actually knew that something wasn’t quite right, but feared losing their jobs or getting sued if they did anything about it. Therefore, employee turnover was off the charts but no one was willing to risk their career by saying anything publicly. However, when Theranos started risking customers’ lives, the secret got out pretty fast. This is because most people are inherently ethical - especially when they know that their employer is doing something immoral, like releasing flawed lab results to sick patients. Eventually, some employees felt compelled to become whistle-blowers and started to reach out to journalists and regulators. This started a cascading event.
First, one intrepid journalist took the career risk to write about the Theranos fraud. Then other whistle-blowers felt emboldened to step forward and contact this first journalist, as they also wanted their story told - especially as they had already reached out to government regulators who were too scared to investigate a politically powerful company.
Once a few good articles had been written about Theranos, the dam broke open and the feeding frenzy began. Other journalists, smelling page-clicks rapidly descend on Theranos; more workers spoke out, more incriminating evidence came to light and then there was a sense of voter outrage. Finally, the regulators who were first contacted by the whistle-blowers many months previously, felt compelled to act - at which point the fraud collapsed and the money spigot shut off.
Executives Fleeing Tesla Is A True Bull Market “Up And To The Right”
We’ve already seen the mass exodus of senior Tesla executives. When they say they “want to spend time with their family,” it really means they “want to spend less time in prison.” Next, we have the first whistle-blowers—there will be MANY more. Currently there are at least 3 different ones feeding information to journalists. Using past frauds as a guide, once we get to this point of the media cycle, the fraud usually unravels pretty fast. Given the perilous state of Tesla’s finances, they are in urgent need of new capital. The question is; who would want to invest new capital when Tesla is now admitting to knowingly selling cars without testing the brakes in order to hit some arbitrary one week production target? When a company admits that it will sacrifice vehicle quality and even risk killing its customers to win a twitter feud and start a short squeeze, regulators must step in. The question is; what else has Tesla done illegally to hit its targets? We know that Tesla long ago passed over the ethical threshold of selling faulty products that have killed people—what other allegations will soon come to light? Elon Musk demanded that Tesla stop testing brakes on June 26. Doug Field, chief engineer, resigned on June 27. Is this a coincidence? Of course not—Doug Field doesn’t want to be responsible for killing people. I think Tuesday’s article will speed up the pace of Tesla’s bankruptcy quite dramatically and I purchased some shorter dated puts after reading it.
Tesla is the fluke stock-promote that found a way to address society’s fascination with ‘green technology’ and the ‘next Steve Jobs.’ Elon Musk eagerly stepped into the role of mad scientist and investors gave him a free pass. It now increasingly seems that everything he’s done for the past few years was simply designed to keep the share price up, keep the dream alive and raise more capital - as opposed to creating shareholder value. Along the way, customer safety has been ignored in order to hit production targets and appease the stock market. In addition to not testing brakes, a recent whistle-blower has accused Tesla of installing over 700 dangerously defective batteries into Model 3 vehicles.
I suspect there will be many more allegations as whistle-blowers come out of the woodwork. It really is the Theranos of auto makers. I suspect it will all end soon. Theranos and Enron both collapsed within 90 days of the journalists getting up to speed. The reporters now know the right questions to ask and Tesla will be out of cash by the time they are all answered.
Stock Promotion In Overdrive Lately. What’s Elon Trying To Distract People From?
Besides, Elon Musk isn’t even all that innovative. Hitler already tried this same automotive customer deposit scam 80 years ago (From Wages of Destruction)
Disclosure: Long various put spreads and puts. Various strikes and expirations.
A lot of us would exhibit far more eccentricities if we didn’t have to go to work most days at a job where we can be fired. Those among us who need not work or have union jobs are free to let our personalities become ever more twisted as we age. Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher is an interesting exploration of the mind of a mid-50s man who is a member of the college professors’ union: the American Association of University Professors. A tenured English professor, he lets his mind run free in a series of letters of recommendation to various committees.
I was barred from that [diversity] committee myself; my filibuster last year (I argued that the arts are a form of diversity) was sadly characterized as “divisive.”
It is 2:00 p.m., tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and here in my office the snow is accreting in small picturesque clumps against the ill-fitting window, which rattles in its Dickensian casement. The other faculty, including Ms. Handel’s advisors, have retreated like whack-a-moles into obscure campus locales or left town on vacation. Divorced, somewhat recently spurned, and therefore doomed to spend the holiday with two vegetarians from the Classics Department, I was apparently the only living member of the faculty the unfortunate Ms. Handel was able to find. That said: her proposal—entirely outside my field—appears to have merit. In particular, her examination of inventive phrases related to issues of gender identity—though of no interest to me—is probably worth sharing with a collegiate audience.
Iris Temple has applied to your MFA program in fiction and has asked me to support, via this LOR, her application. I find this difficult to do, not because Ms. Temple is unqualified (she is a gifted and disciplined writer and has published several stories in appropriately obscure venues), but because your program at Torreforde State offers its graduate writers no funding or aid of any kind—an unconscionable act of piracy and a grotesque, systemic abuse of vulnerable students, to whom you extend the false hope that writing a $50,000 check to your institution will be the first step toward artistic success.
Alex Ruefle has prevailed upon me to support his teaching application to your department, which I gather is hiring adjunct faculty members exclusively, bypassing the tenure track with its attendant health benefits, job security, and salaries on which a human being might reasonably live. Perhaps your institution should cut to the chase and put its entire curriculum online, thereby sparing Ruefle the need to move to Lattimore, wherever that is. You could prop him up in a broom closet in his apartment, poke him with the butt end of a mop when you need him to cough up a lecture on Caribbean fiction or the passive voice, and then charge your students a thousand dollars each to correct the essays their classmates have downloaded from a website. Such is the future of education.
I assume he listed me as a reference because of the retirement and demise, respectively, of his two thesis advisors: it took Ruefle fourteen years to earn the doctorate. During that time he became a fixture here at Payne, beginning his studies as a vigorous man and, after marrying and acquiring multiple children, staggering across the PhD finish line in late middle age.
[recommending a former undergrad for an industry job] Belatedly it occurs to me that some members of your HR committee, a few skeptical souls, may be clutching a double strand of worry beads and wondering aloud about the practicality or usefulness of a degree in English rather than, let’s say, computers. Be reassured: the literature student has learned to inquire, to question, to interpret, to critique, to compare, to research, to argue, to sift, to analyze, to shape, to express. His intellect can be put to broad use. The computer major, by contrast, is a technician—a plumber clutching a single, albeit shining, box of tools.
Good luck to her and to all of us, Camilla—and congratulations on the tenure-track line. We aren’t hiring in the liberal arts at Payne, and as a result I fear we are the last remaining members of a dying profession. We who are senior and tenured are seated in the first car of a roller coaster with a broken track, and we’re scribbling and grading our way to the death fall at the top. The stately academic career featuring black-robed professors striding confidently across the campus square is already fading; and, though I’ve often railed against its eccentricities, I want to proclaim here that I believe our mission and our way of life to have been admirable and lovely, steeped with purpose and worth defending. But we are nearly at the tipping point, I suspect, and will soon be a thing of the past.
3. Can you think of any reasons why the Pentalion Corporation should not hire the applicant? Yes. Pentalion is a subsidiary of Koron Chemical, a government contractor known to be a major producer of weaponry used overseas. I would not wish any current or former student to be employed by Pentalion; once its leadership masters the basics of punctuation, it should be closed down.
April 16, 2010 Office of Mental Health and Wellness Intervention Team Attention: Suzanne Gross, MSW, LP
Dear Ms. Gross, Having disposed of the budding psychopath, Mr. Wyatt Innes, I am sending to your office with this letter in hand a human bath of tears named Ida Lin-Smith, who tells me she called your office for an appointment and was turned away. I did not inquire as to her malady, but a simple glance in her direction suffices to inform me that she requires attention. Please offer her something more lasting and substantial than guided breathing or twenty minutes with a golden retriever.
This is an innovative form for a novel and it works pretty well considering that we have access to only one character. If you liked Confederacy of Dunces you’ll probably like it (Ignatius J. Reilly had his mom to support him so he was also able to let his personality develop fully).
There have been other times in modern American history when the left has resorted to physical intimidation and violence, but I believe that what is coming is going to far surpass anything that we have ever experienced before. Of course not everyone agrees with me.
On Monday I authored a piece about the “civil war” that is rapidly approaching, and there were some that loudly criticized me for it. They insisted that we didn’t have anything to worry about from the left and that I was blowing things out of proportion. As you read the rest of this article, I hope that everyone will start to see that I am not exaggerating the threat one bit.
And what we should all be able to agree on is that the radical left is super energized right now. Just look at what happened on Tuesday. 28-year-old radical socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez absolutely crushed 10-term congressman Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary in New York. She was outspent 18 to 1, and in normal times something like that would never happen.
But these aren’t normal times.
While many on the right are in a deep state of slumber, the radical left is seething with anger. Many of them truly believe that Donald Trump is the closest thing to Hitler that America has ever seen, and they also believe that anyone that supports Donald Trump is essentially a modern-day Nazi.
And if you take that line of thinking to the rational conclusion, any form of resistance against Nazi tyranny is justified, including the use of violence.
For a few moments I would like to examine an article that a progressive writer named Hamilton Nolan authored for Splinter entitled “This Is Just The Beginning”. In his piece, he posed an ominous question to those of us that are conservatives…
Do you think that being asked to leave a restaurant, or having your meal interrupted, or being called by the public is bad? My fascism-enabling friends, this is only the beginning.
It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to figure out what he means by that.
The U.S. had thousands of domestic bombingsper year in the early 1970s. This is what happens when citizens decide en masse that their political system is corrupt, racist, and unresponsive. The people out of power have only just begun to flex their dissatisfaction. The day will come, sooner that you all think, when Trump administration officials will look back fondly on the time when all they had to worry about was getting hollered at at a Mexican restaurant.
For those of you that still don’t get it, he is openly telling us that domestic terrorism is coming to U.S. cities.
There are many on the left that actually crave a violent revolution, and they look back on Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground as inspiration. The following comes from Art Moore…
In the years 1971 and 1972 alone, according to the FBI, more than 2,000 bombs were planted throughout the United States by domestic terrorist groups. Among the chief culprits was the Weather Underground, led by Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dorn, who hosted a fundraiser at their home to launch Barack Obama’s political career. Among the Weather Underground’s targets were the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol.
Hamilton Nolan is not just some crank. He has actually written an article for the New York Times, and he is quite popular in leftist circles.
In his piece for Splinter he was quite careful not to call for bombings himself, but at the conclusion of his article he did state that it was time to “start fighting” Trump and to begin treating members of the Trump administration as “criminals”…
Stop working for this man. Stop enabling him. Stop assisting him. Start fighting him. The people who are responsible for what is happening are not going to get out of this with their happy wealthy respectable lives unscathed. This is a country that locks poor people in cages for decades for trying to make $20. This is a country that is “tough on crime.” Remember? And the ones who make the laws are not going to like what happens when America starts to regard them as the criminals.
So far, Nolan’s piece has been read more than 798,000 times.
And of course Nolan is far from alone. This week radical leftists all over the country have been circulating a video on social media that seems to imply that Trump supporters should be gunned down at restaurants.
If this kind of hatred continues to be spewed relentlessly, it is only a matter of time before widespread violence breaks out.
Sadly, progressive leaders just continue to get more and more heated with their rhetoric. For example, Michael Moore just compared Donald Trump to a rapist and his supporters to accomplices to rape…
Grabien News reported filmmaker and frequent MSNBC guest Michael Moore likened Trump voters to accomplices to rape.
“If you hold down the woman while the rapist is raping her, and you didn’t rape her — are you a rapist?”
Moore added: “Anybody who enables, anybody who votes for and supports a racist is a racist. You are culpable, white America, I’m sorry.”
If you don’t believe that chaos is coming to the streets of America, just go hang out in places where radical leftists talk with one another on the Internet.
They are quite clear on what is ahead if they can’t take back control of America at the voting box, and it isn’t pretty.
And to a certain extent it has already started. In a recent article, Kevin McCulloughsummarized just a few of the things that we have seen happen in recent days…
Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was literally shouted at until she left a dinner at an eatery near the White House. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders just Friday evening was told she would not be served (nor her family) at the Red Hen eatery of the Shenandoah Valley in Lexington, Virginia. She was told she was refused service was because she works for the President. Secretary Nielsen has had additional groups camped outside her house playing loud speakers, disturbing the peace of she and her neighbors. Entitled leftist celebrities like Robert De Niro bogart awards shows encouraging viewers to sexually violate the President. Washed up former TV stars like Tom Arnold claim they will harass the First Lady at her son’s school. And true Hollywood losers like Peter Fonda claim that Sarah Sanders’ as well as Melania Trump’s children should literally be raped by pedophiles and sex traffickers.
Arrests were made as hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday ahead of a planned visit by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Twenty-five people were taken into custody after the peaceful organized protest was declared an unlawful assembly by Los Angeles police. Clergy were seen among those being arrested.
Crowds holding signs were given a five-minute warning to disperse by LAPD before the arrests took place, according to authorities.
All it is going to take is one large trigger event to set this country ablaze from coast to coast.
Anger and frustration are already at unprecedented levels, and this is happening even though the economy is performing relatively well.
Imagine if it wasn’t.
The Republican Party has just released a new video entitled “Unhinged”, and I recommend that you take a few moments to watch it. If the radical left is this crazed now, what are they going to be like once things really start to go bad in this country?
For now, many on the right are ignoring this growing threat on the left, but I believe that is a huge mistake.
Chaos is coming to the streets of America, and it is going to be here a lot sooner than many conservatives would dare to imagine.
Humans are naturally inclined to think towards the future. We find ourselves wondering about the next steps in our lives, imaging the potential consequences of advances today, even fictionalizing them to their most extreme forms as a sort of sandbox for possible futures.
Scientists might be one of the few groups to actively suppress that desire to predict the future. Conservative and data-driven by nature, they might be uncomfortable making guesses about the future because that requires a leap of faith. Even if there’s a lot of data to support a prediction, there are also infinite variables that can change the ultimate outcome in the interim. Trying to predict what the world will be like in a century doesn’t do much to improve it today; if scientists are going to be wrong, they’d rather do it constructively.
Indeed, the world has changed a lot in the past 100 years. In 1918, much of the world was embroiled in the first World War. 1918 was also the year the influenza pandemic began to rage, ultimately claiming somewhere between 20-40 million lives — more than the war during which it took place. Congress established time zones, including Daylight Saving Time, and the first stamp for U.S. airmail was issued.
Looking back, it’s clear that we’ve made remarkable strides. Today, it’s rare to die from the flu, or from a slew of other communicable diseases that were once fatal (such as smallpox, which was eradicated in 1977). That’s mostly due to the advent of prevention tactics such as vaccines, and treatments like antibiotics.
The pace at which technology is evolving can feel dizzying at times, but it’s not likely to slow down anytime soon. Here are some of the ways we suspect the technology of today will shape the world in the century to come...
Quantum Computing Will Come Of Age
As the internet transformed society over the past few decades,quantum computing will forever alter our view of the world and our place in it. It will give us the capacity to process more data about ourselves, the planet we live on, and the universe than has ever before been possible.
No one is totally sure yet what we’ll do with that data. We’ll likely find some answers to longstanding questions about physics and the universe, but it’s also likely there are answers to be found that we don’t even have the ability to fathom.
We’ll Zoom Around Our Revamped Cities in Autonomous Cars
Image: Morgan Stanley Research
The world of 2118 will have improved infrastructure and better ways of getting around. Our automobiles are becoming smarter and greener; by 2118, there’s a good chance that electric cars will be able to drive themselves, along with those most in need. The current consensus in the automotive industry is that fully autonomous vehicles are still theoretical at best (and may not be possible at all), but Tesla alone aims to achieve so-called level 5 autonomy — a world in which our cars would drive us — by about 2019.
In the decades to come, technology that’s changing our homes, our devices, and our vehicles is also going to change our lives in other major ways. Artificial intelligence (AI) will almost certainly automate some jobs, particularly those that rely on assembly lines or data collection. To offset the unemployment of human workers that would result from automation, some nations may adopt a universal basic income (UBI), a system which regularly pays citizens a small stipend with no requirement to work.
In some fields, such as medicine, robots probably won’t completely replace humans. The more likely scenario, some experts predict, is that AI will continue to augment the work experience for humans — even augmenting us physically. AI technology has already been paired with wearable exoskeletons, giving factory workers superhuman strength — perfect for those whose jobs require heavy lifting, which could increase their risk of job-related accident or injury.
3D Printing the World
3D printers are already being used in labs around the world and, increasingly, by consumers. While the printers may be costly up front, they are often seen as a long-term investment, since they can often print their own replacement parts.
As 3D printers become capable of printing everything from viable organsto buildings, we’ll likely find use for them in different aspects of our lives, as well as many different fields of industry.
Medicine Gets a High-Tech Upgrade
New procedures, aided by technological advances, are poised to transform medicine. Using a precision medicine approach (which uses a patient’s genetic data, lifestyle, and environmental surroundings to inform treatment), scientists are developing treatments for cancer that are tailored to an individual patient’s genes.
Oncology is not the only area with potentially life-saving (or in some cases, life-giving) applications; the evolution of reproductive medicine has already begun right before our very eyes. In 2017, researchers grew lamb fetuses in what could be the first prototype of an artificial womb, one woman gave birth after a uterus transplant for the first time, and another to a baby that began as an embryo frozen 24 years ago. The much-hyped gene editing technology CRISPR could mean that by 2118, many genetic diseases could become a thing of the past: scientists used CRISPR to edit the gene for a fatal blood disorder out of human embryos. Stem cells continue to prove useful for developing novel treatments, even for conditions that were once believed to be untreatable.
A century from now, major diseases such as cancer, immune and inflammatory disorders, and genetic conditions “will very likely be long gone by either prevention or effective therapy,” Phil Gold, a professor at the McGill University Clinical Research Centre, told Futurism.
But that’s not to say we’ll live in a future of perfect health — external factors, from global warming to infectious diseases and even warfare, could depress the life expectancy of people in 2118.
Earth is in the midst of a climate crisis that will not improve without deliberate and sustained action.
Over the past few decades, that progress has been slow. When it was developed in 2015, the Paris Climate Agreement aimed to limit global warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius). Recent research from the University College of London revealed that we could have a 66 percent chance of hitting the 1.5-degree C target in 2100 — but we’d need to limit our carbon pollution to 240 billion tons to pull it off. Hopefully we will be able to quit our carbon habit over a longer period of time instead of making drastic cuts immediately, which would not be an easy feat to achieve in either the technical or political sense.
In the U.S., one of the biggest carbon contributors in the world, some fear we’re not doing our part. In June, President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. In an interview with Futurism last year, Al Gore said the Trump administration’s environmental policies are “reckless and indefensible.”
But he is not devoid of hope. Gore told Futurism that he believes in the strength of the grassroots movement toward a more sustainable future, and that “we can and will win” the fight if we stay committed to the cause.
If humanity wants to remain on Earth, it’s a cause worth fighting for. We are beyond the point of preventing it from happening, but we can take steps to slow it down.
Humans Will Explore Our Solar System and Beyond
Although we’ve made monumental progress since 1918, we are still endlessly fascinated (and vaguely terrified) by the prospect of what might exist in space. Over the next century, perhaps nothing will thrill, challenge, and transform humanity more than the advances we make in space exploration.
Big-idea people, from Elon Musk to Donald Trump, are loudly planning to send humans to Mars and beyond, potentially setting up colonies on the Red Planet in the next century. One hundred years is not a long time to prepare for such a move, however, especially when we’re still not that sure what our living situation would be on Mars. While terraforming may allow us to adapt the planet to better suit our needs, we still have to get there first.
First, we’ll catch a better glimpse of distant celestial bodies through increasingly powerful infrared telescopes here on Earth. As space travel becomes more affordable (and even a tourist destination), we’ll be able to use what we see from down here on Earth to traverse the universe. The biggest question is, what — or who — might we meet when we do?
“By the year 2118, extraterrestrial life won’t be news but historical fact,” Jaymie Matthews, astrophysicist and professor at the University of British Columbia, told Futurism. “What’s harder to predict is how humanity will respond, and adapt, to knowing we are not alone in the Universe. Will it make us humbler? (“We are one of many.”) More arrogant? (“We are the peak of evolution in the Galaxy.”) More fearful? (“Microbes are just the tip of the alien iceberg. And Earth is the Titanic!”) Or will it help us to better understand and appreciate our own origins?”
A recent article by George Neumayr in The American Spectatorprovides an excellent forensic dig into the earliest stages of the US Intelligence Community's surveillance of people in Trump's orbit - and makes clear something that many pointing to a politicized "witch hunt" have long suspected; the Obama DOJ/FBI began looking into "Trumpworld" and the Russians long before the official timeline would suggest.
Moreover, the operation was conducted in close coordination with foreign counterparts, primarily the United Kingdom and Australia, but primarily the former.
All of this raises plenty of questions, but one conclusion about this epic fiasco requires no spying: the fingerprints of the British are all over it. -American Spectator
Here is George Neumayer explaining, how the "roots of Obamagate become clearer" originally published in The American Spectator.
* * *
Even before the first Republican primary, a London-to-Langley spy ring had begun to form against Donald Trump. British spies sent to CIA director John Brennan in late 2015 alleged intelligence on contacts between Trumpworld and the Russians, according to the Guardian.
Here’s the crucial paragraph in the story:
GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added.
Notice it doesn’t say the “Trump campaign” but “figures connected to Trump.” One of those figures was Michael Flynn, who didn’t join the campaign until February 2016. But Brennan and British intelligence had already started spying on him, drawing upon sham intelligence from Stefan Halper, a long-in-the-tooth CIA asset teaching at Cambridge University whom Brennan and Jim Comey would later send to infiltrate the Trump campaign’s ranks.
It appears that Halper had won Brennan’s confidence with a false report about Flynn in 2014 — a reported sighting of Flynn at Cambridge University talking too cozily with a Russian historian. Halper had passed this absurdly simpleminded tattle to a British spy who in turn gave it to Brennan, as one can deduce from this euphemistic account in the New York Times about Halper as the “informant”:
The informant also had contacts with Mr. Flynn, the retired Army general who was Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser. The two met in February 2014, when Mr. Flynn was running the Defense Intelligence Agency and attended the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar, an academic forum for former spies and researchers that meets a few times a year.
According to people familiar with Mr. Flynn’s visit to the intelligence seminar, the source was alarmed by the general’s apparent closeness with a Russian woman who was also in attendance. The concern was strong enough that it prompted another person to pass on a warning to the American authorities that Mr. Flynn could be compromised by Russian intelligence, according to two people familiar with the matter [italics added].
Again, that’s early 2014 and a file on Flynn is already sitting on Brennan’s desk. In 2015, as word of Flynn’s interest in the Trump campaign spreads, the London-to-Langley spy ring fattens the file with more alarmist dreck — that Flynn had gone to a Russian Television gala and so forth. By February 2016, when it is reported that he has joined the Trump campaign as an adviser, the spy ring moves into more concerted action.
It had also extended its radar to Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Paul Manafort. Peter Strzok, the FBI’s liaison to Brennan, could have already clued Brennan in to Page and Manafort (both were already known to the FBI from previous cases), but Brennan needed British intelligence for Papadopoulos and it delivered. Either through human or electronic intelligence (or both), it reported back to Brennan the young campaign volunteer’s meetings in Italy and London with Professor Joseph Mifsud, whose simultaneous ties to British intelligence and Russia are well known.
The stench of entrapment that hangs over this part of the story is unmistakable, and the spy ring’s treatment of Papadopoulos looks flat out cruel. Every figure who plays a key role in tripping him up — Mifsud, the Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, and Stefan Halper — has ties to British intelligence.
David Ignatius, who is the Washington Post’s stenographer for John Brennan, dropped a wonderful crumb in his passive-aggressive column about Stefan Halper this week — “Stefan Halper is just another middleman.” A middleman between whom? The answer is British intelligence and Brennan/Comey. As if to punctuate this point, Ignatius — after belittling Halper as a gossipy academic who is no “James Bond,” a sign that his handlers will burn him and profess ignorance of his entrapping methods (when this happens, remember Comey’s “tightly regulated” tweet) — turns to a “former British intelligence officer” to vouch for Halper’s credibility. This unnamed former British intelligence officer adopts a very knowing, almost proprietary, tone, as if to acknowledge that the spying on the Trump campaign was a British-American venture from the start. Ignatius writes, “A former British intelligence officer who knows Halper well describes him as ‘an intensely loyal and trusted U.S. citizen [who was] asked by the Bureau to look into some disconcerting contacts’ between Russians and Americans.”
“Intensely loyal and trusted,” “asked by the Bureau” — how would he know? These are the insiderish phrases of a handler or fellow member of the ring.
The size of the London-Langley spy ring isn’t known but its existence is no longer in doubt. In light of it, Obama State Department official Evelyn Farkas’s bragging bears reexamination. It is obvious that gossip about the transatlantic ring had spilled out to State Department circles and other Obama orbits, generating chatter even from a relatively minor figure like Farkas (who may have just been repeating what she had heard at a cocktail party after she left the administration):
I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior people who left. So it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy, and that the Trump folks if they found out how we knew what we knew about the Trump folks, the Trump staff’s dealings with Russians, that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence. So I became very worried because not enough was coming out into the open and I knew there was more.
Whispers of the ring’s work had picked up by the time Brennan had formed his “inter-agency taskforce” at Langley and Comey’s official probe began. Brennan was presiding over a “turf-crossing operation that could feed the White House information,” as revealingly put by Michael Isikoff and David Corn in Russian Roulette. The operation also crossed an ocean, placing a central scene of the spying in London as the ring oafishly built its file.
What started in late 2015 with promise ended in panic, with British sources for the alleged Trump-Russia collusion going silent or mysteriously disappearing. A few days after Trump’s inauguration, the director of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, abruptly resigned, prompting the Guardian to wonder if the sudden resignation was related to “British concerns over shared intelligence with the US.” All of this raises plenty of questions, but one conclusion about this epic fiasco requires no spying: the fingerprints of the British are all over it.
Splain, Lucy, why this is called Obamagate and not Deepstategate? Guess I have to finish Russian Roulette, which many writers it seems have been reading serially and 'discovering' new facts that are two plus years old.
Don't get me wrong; I have been working hard to keep my dogs out of this fight. Just saying. For a friend. You know??