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This article appears in the February 8, 2019 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.


The Roger Stone Case and the 2019 ‘Worldwide Threat Assessment’

[Print version of this article]

Feb. 1—On January 25, a pre-dawn raid, conducted by more than twenty FBI agents—brandishing heavy weaponry and wearing body armor—was carried out against long-time Donald Trump ally Roger Stone. Let us be very clear—this action was, and is, intended to send a chilling message to anyone wishing to speak out for or defend President Donald Trump. The threat is clear: “If you persist in defending Trump, you may yourself become a target of an out-of-control special counsel.”

While the use of such heavy-handed tactics might be justified in dealing with a notorious terrorist, a violent narcotics trafficker, or a murderous psychopath, in this case the militarized raid was deployed against a well-known, successful political consultant, who played a leading role in helping Trump win the 2016 election. Stone was charged in a seven-count indictment with such crimes as “lying to Congress.” Robert Mueller’s team chose this terror tactic to further intimidate him, after more than nearly two years of leaks and innuendo, as part of a campaign to harass and bankrupt Stone, hoping it would cause him to “flip,” to bear false witness against Trump, to protect himself and his family.

One of Stone’s attorneys pointed out that Mueller’s show of force against Stone, which was captured by a CNN camera crew that claimed it just happened to be on the scene, due to a “hunch” that something might happen, was completely unnecessary. Usually, in such cases, a call is made to the target’s attorney, and arrangements are made to surrender one’s self to authorities. Harvard Law Professor Ronald Sullivan, who headed the Public Defender’s Office in Washington, D.C., told the Washington Post that “all citizens should be concerned” about Mueller’s tactics, as he found it “extraordinarily odd that they didn’t allow” Stone to surrender.

Prominent civil liberties attorney Alan Dershowitz commented that, like most of Mueller’s indictments, Stone has been accused of so-called “process crimes.” The charges have nothing to do with the purpose of the investigation which, as initially defined by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, was to determine if there had been collusion by Trump or members of his campaign with Russian nationals, who they charged with meddling in the election. Dershowitz has pointed out that the majority of the crimes alleged by Mueller’s team to have been committed by Trump officials, concern events after the election, and in response to the investigation. Dershowitz added that the purpose of the indictment of Stone “was to get [Stone] to cooperate against Trump.” The charges against Stone were generated, in part, from Mueller’s thuggish practice of intimidating people—in this case Randy Credico and Dr. Jerome Corsi, former associates of Stone—to turn them against the targeted person.

Left to right: White House/Pete Souza; FBI; LBJ Library/Jay Godwin
Left to right: John Brennan; Robert Mueller; James Clapper

It must also be pointedly asked: If lying to Congress is such a heinous crime, deserving of such harsh treatment, why has the FBI ignored blatant lies told to Congress by former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper about the extent of NSA spying; or former CIA Director John Brennan on CIA torture; or Robert Mueller himself, when he was FBI Director, who was accused by former Senator Bob Graham of engaging in “aggressive deception” to cover up for Saudi terror cells operating on American soil responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks?

Publicly, Mueller alleges that he is operating on the hypothesis—one that was first put forward by British intelligence officials and picked up by Obama intelligence operatives Brennan, Clapper and Comey, and then pursued by various corrupt officials of the FBI and the Justice Department (DOJ)—that Stone provided the Trump campaign with advance notice of the WikiLeaks dump of incriminating Clinton campaign documents. In doing so, they assert that Stone may have been the link between Trump and the Russians who, according to the Mueller narrative, acted under Putin’s direction to hack the documents and make them available, to aid Trump’s campaign. In the absence of any hard evidence of either “meddling” or “collusion” to prove any of this, Mueller is using “process” indictments to build a case against Trump. Roger Stone continues to insist that he had no advance knowledge of the source or the content of the WikiLeaks disclosures, and will not lie to implicate Trump.

The Real Issue Behind Russiagate

As investigative researcher Barbara Boyd has demonstrated in her three-part series on the London intelligence operation behind Russiagate, the legal and political vendetta against Trump has never been about “Russian meddling” or “Trump collusion.” The 2016 election of Donald Trump flowed from pent-up anger in the population about being lied to by the Bush and Obama administrations, anger about costly and useless wars they conducted based on lies, and trillions of dollars of financial swindles in which the government protected and rewarded the swindlers, at the expense of the citizenry. Trump said he would end the endless wars, reverse the free trade agreements which have accelerated deindustrialization of the United States, and stop bailing out speculators. He also pledged to seek cooperative agreements with Russia and China, a decisive break with the provocative policies of the previous administrations and those supported by Hillary Clinton. A Trump presidency was seen, correctly, as a threat to the Old Paradigm of geopolitical conflict designed to benefit the City of London and its Wall Street and Brussels allies.

Even before Trump was elected, the prospect that he might do what he said led to the launching of the “Trump is Putin’s puppet” narrative against him. His initial successful summits with Xi Jinping, President Putin, and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un drove the British geopoliticians into an hysterical flight forward. The military-style deployment in the raid against Roger Stone shows the lengths they are prepared to go, to remove Trump. Stone’s biggest crime, in their eyes, is that he has refused to be intimidated, that he has continued not only to vociferously defend Trump against Russiagate charges, while exposing the corruption of his enemies, but he has openly organized to build support for Trump’s efforts to establish peaceful cooperative relations with Russia and China.
Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats delivers opening statement to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the 2019 “Worldwide Threat Assessment.”

Less than a week after the raid at Stone’s home, the coup plotters escalated against Trump’s policies, with the January 29 release of the 2019 “Worldwide Threat Assessment.” Incredibly, this latest round of sabotage came from officials within the Executive Branch of the government. The presentations by Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, CIA Director Gina Haspel, and FBI Director Christopher Wray before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence were sharply negative about Trump’s diplomatic initiatives, criticizing both his policies and the results of those policies. For example, Coats and Haspel contradicted Trump’s statement that a breakthrough is possible during an upcoming summit with North Korea’s Kim, saying that North Korea has no intention of giving up its nuclear weapons. They criticized Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria, insisting that ISIS still has thousands of fighters in Syria and Iraq, who would take advantage of a U.S. withdrawal, adding that they are planning to strike in the U.S., which will be made vulnerable by Trump’s actions.

What we are witnessing is warfare within our government institutions, with the British-directed war-hawks focusing their attacks on Trump’s efforts to improve relations with Russia and China, nations who they insist represent the greatest threat to U.S. national security. Wray, for example, asserted that “the Chinese counter-intelligence threat is more deep, more diverse, more vexing, more challenging, more comprehensive and more concerning than any counter-intelligence threat that I can think of.” Coats warned that the commitment of Russia and China to their own sovereign development, and to sharing that development through the Belt and Road Initiative, when combined with the general advances in new technologies being developed and applied internationally, threatens the post-World War II geopolitical system established under Churchill and British direction after the death of Franklin Roosevelt. In other words, they concur with the British House of Lords that the greatest threat to the West is the breaking of the “Special Relationship” between Britain and the U.S., which is at the heart of the crumbling post-Cold War liberal order.

In an obvious sign that the “Worldwide Threat Assessment” was written to defend the collapsing neoliberal global system, it launches an absurd attack on China’s Belt-and-Road Initiative, stating that China, “through its Belt and Road Initiative, is seeking to assert China’s model of authoritarian capitalism as an alternative—and implicitly superior—development path abroad.”

White House/Tia Dufour
President Trump, meeting with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, other officials and members of the trade delegations in the House Oval Office on January 31, 2019.

Among the threats identified in the 42-page report is the charge that both Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin “view strong indigenous science and technology capabilities as key to their country’s sovereignty, economic outlook, and national power.” President Trump, however, in his UN General Assembly address last September, stated that he does not consider other nations’ pursuit of their national interests a threat, but something which they should do. “The Worldwide Threat Assessment,” together with the testimony of these three leaders of the intelligence community, demonstrate that at least these individuals—and likely others within the intelligence community—are determined to thwart Trump’s peace initiatives.

Trump, who has worked closely with Xi Jinping in achieving progress with North Korea, and is hoping for a broad trade deal with China before a March 1 deadline, was less than pleased with the fulminations of his intelligence staffers. He tweeted that they are “naive.” He cited progress versus ISIS in Syria, said negotiations toward a peace agreement in Afghanistan are “proceeding well . . . after 18 years of fighting,” and that the “North Korea relationship is the best it has ever been with the U.S.” Asked if he has confidence in Haspel and Coats to give him good advice, he said bluntly, “No, I disagree with certain things they said. I think I’m right. Time will prove me right, probably.”

Yet the “chicken hawks” in both parties rallied to defend the attacks on Trump. Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, called on the intelligence officials to “stage an intervention” with Trump, adding that Trump’s comments were “extraordinarily inappropriate and will undermine public confidence in the U.S. government’s efforts to protect our national security.” He said that Coats, Haspel and Wray should “insist on an immediate meeting . . . to educate him” about why he is mistaken. Among Republicans, Senate Majority Whip John Thune praised Coats, and Sen. Mitt Romney said he has “full confidence in our intelligence community.”

Office of the President of Russia
Meng Wanzhou, CEO of Huawei, in 2014.

Targeting China

As Trump fends off attacks from his national security team, corrupt elements in the Department of Justice and State Department have carried out another assault on his diplomatic efforts. While his trade negotiators are meeting in Washington with top Chinese officials, and a meeting is scheduled between Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who leads the Chinese delegation, two separate indictments were handed down, one in Seattle and one in Brooklyn, both against China’s Huawei telecommunications conglomerate. The indictments—which include a total of 23 counts, ranging from alleged theft of robotic technology filed in Seattle, to violating sanctions against Iran and bank fraud in Brooklyn—follow the December 1, 2018 arrest of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, Canada.

The line against Huawei is that it is acting as an “arm of the Chinese state,” and its devices could be used for spying. Again, there is cross-party neo-con support for the attack on this successful tech firm. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, declared that Chinese telecom companies “represent a fundamental risk to American national security.” Anti-Trump Republican Senator Ben Sasse said that Americans are “grateful” for the arrest of Meng and praised the DOJ for its actions in pursuing her arrest and extradition.

GCHQ © Crown Copyright 2016
Robert Hannigan, former director, GCHQ.

In this assault on Huawei, once again, the British hand is present. The current targeting of Huawei was triggered by an investigation launched by Britain’s National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), a branch of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). It was GCHQ which first called attention to what it described as suspicious Russian cyber activity related to the 2016 election, and GCHQ Director Robert Hannigan came to the U.S. to present the “evidence” to the CIA’s John Brennan. It was during Hannigan’s tenure at GCHQ (2014-2017) that the NCSC was established.

Further, the attacks on Huawei follow a pattern of British operations against the efforts of Trump to work with China. His first meeting with Xi on April 7, 2017 occurred as British and French leaders joined with his national security team in demanding a strike against Syria, allegedly for Syria’s use of chemical weapons. The arrest of Meng last December coincided with Trump’s summit with Xi at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, and this latest attack on Huawei occurs as the pivotal U.S.-China trade negotiations are underway. Trump has said that negotiators should separate the Huawei legal assault from the trade talks, and reports are that the talks are progressing well. Still, the timing of the legal assault against Huawei again shows that the anti-Trump coup plotters will continue with their reckless drive to disrupt his diplomacy, in defense of their dying order, even if it means war.

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