The clumsy hand

A former CIA operations officer with thirty years of experience in the conduct of intelligence operations in the Middle East, South Asia and Europe reviews the recent IG report:

As I read through the recently released IG report for the second time, as someone with a great deal of experience in military and intelligence matters, I see that hand everywhere.

Per the IG report, a single report is delivered to the FBI in the summer of 2016.  It concerns a meeting between a cooperative contact of a foreign intelligence service and a junior level employee of the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos.  The report relates what are frankly very amorphous comments by Papadopoulos concerning the Russian government and its alleged possession of information on Hillary Clinton.

On any other day this report would command no attention whatsoever.  The source in question has no track record of any kind with the FBI. Papadopoulos has been employed by the Trump campaign for perhaps 90 days at this point, and there is no reason to believe he has contacts of significance in the Kremlin.

Not on this occasion.  This one report from a foreign intelligence service goes directly to the top of the FBI.  The Director himself, James Comey is briefed.  A full investigation is launched.  Multiple confidential human sources are tasked.  Wiretaps are ordered.  A task force is organized. Crossfire Hurricane is born.

There is a problem, though.  This hand, perhaps because it is controlled by individuals who have made their bones riding desks in Washington, DC and not in the field running actual operations, is clumsy.  The information regarding Papadopoulos provided the needed pretext to start an investigation, but most of the people who will now form the investigative team are not in on the plot.  They will have to be led to the pre-ordained conclusion, so that it appears that they did so without outside interference.

And these investigators have a pesky habit of actually doing their jobs.

Read the whole thing. This is very, very far from over.


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