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Scoop of the Year: Proof of a Collusion

theweek.com

The post you are about to read—friends and foes, left and right—is a bit unusual. Unusual for this blog; unusual for this blogger; and unusual for you the reader. If you will join me for the ride, however, I believe you’ll be rewarded handsomely. And in the most unusual of ways. But first, let’s start with the word ‘scoop,’ which among other meanings and usage, is described in the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary simply as “information especially of immediate interest.” For the purpose of our post here, at this time, this description will suffice. As for how convincing a case I’ll be making, and how newsworthy it’ll turn out to be, you’ll be the judge.

You may ask yourself also: What business does this blog have—a blog dedicated normally to the politics and culture of Israel, America, American Jews, and the interaction between these three entities—to the question of a possible ‘collusion’ between the Trump campaign and presidency, and Putin’s Russia? Well… let me tell you. Because it all starts with a new book, written by a well-known Israeli investigative journalist, Ronen Bergman, titled ‘Rise and Kill First, The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations.’ The book is getting rave reviews for its “authoritative and exhaustive history of Israel’s targeted killings of its enemies, the most robust streamlined assassination machine in history,” (Washington Post, January 26), and asks “at what point does violence in the name of self-defense become an end in itself, so addictive to its practitioners… that it undermines the very values it is meant to preserve?” And yet, though this book is serving as our springboard here, it—and the important questions it raises—is not really our business today.

What our business is, here and now, concerning an interview given by the book’s author—who’s highly regarded for his deep knowledge and inside sources of Israeli intelligence—to the NPR program ‘Fresh Air with Terry Gross,’ on January 31. And especially a segment, an exchange towards the end of that most interesting interview (conducted that day by Dave Davies), which is very much related to the question we are probing today, and which is also, to my mind, the business of every person living and working in this land. For that purpose, since you might have missed that interview (which you can probably still find on the NPR website), here’s a short transcript of part of it—limited and condensed (not altered though) to the crux of the matter at hand—as related to our investigation:

Bergman: “… a group of American intelligent officers, in a regular meeting with their Israeli counterparts, just before Trump was elected, and before the inauguration, they suggested that the Israelis stop giving sensitive materiel to the White House. They said we are afraid that Trump or someone of his people under leverage from the Russians, they might give sensitive information to the Russians, who in their term will give that to Iran… And the Israelis were shocked… that the Americans will say something of that kind about their chief in command, about their president… Few months after that, it turned out that all the predictions that the American have made to the Israelis as warnings… everything came to be true! And President Trump apparently gave secret information, and I know the nature of that information: it is indeed delicate, and very, very secret.”

Davies: “… You know of specific information that the U.S. shared with the Russians that is not being revealed publicly and that you are not revealing publicly?”

Bergman: “The nature of the information that President Trump revealed to Foreign Minister Lavrov is of the most secretive nature. And that information could jeopardize modus operandi of Israeli Intelligence.”

Davies: “You are referring to something we don’t yet know?

Bergman: “Most of it we don’t yet know.”

Well, if that’s not a collusion, I don’t know what a collusion is. If that interview is not a proof of it, then I don’t know what proof is. Or what kind of proof is still needed. Worst of all: If that’s not an admission of the leverage the Russians have had, and are probably still having, on President Trump—”under leverage from the Russians,” Bergman said—then I don’t know what leverage is. And therefore, as in the beginning, I will resort again to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, which defines ‘collusion’ as a “secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose.” I’m not a legal expert, far from it, but for our purpose here, exposing the possibility, if not the certainty of collusion—and conspiracy, complicity, involvement, agreement, knowledge, all words associated with collusion—this will do. And the rest is history.

* The “Leave a Comment” link is the last tag below, in blue.

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3 Responses

  1. 2 more points;

    1) Toobins story is cohesive and fits the larger narrative. He omits one allegation. Apparently Trumps long-time security guy was in Moscow for the pageant and, by one report, was approached by one of the Russians connected with the pageant who asked whether Trump would be interested in having some “girls” sent to his room. Trumps security guy said “No” but went to his own room shortly thereafter. Trumps security guy left the White House not long after this story broke. Who knows what happened later?

    2) Shortly after Trump Tower was completed in 83-84 he was selling a condo to a Russian buyer who wanted 1 condo and was able to pay in cash/wire transfer. Trump spent some time with this guy and not long after sold him 4 more condos for cash/wire transfer. That sale was apparently the “eye-opener” for Trumps future dealings.

    There are of course many more linkages as we will see. The domestic problem is that Trump has many near-fanatical supporters in the US who also happen to love AR-15, 100 round clips and the like. I think/hope people understand Trump needs to be encircled and dealt with slowly to erode that base support.

  2. Here is the missing piece of the puzzle.

    Manafort worked for Russian interests, Oleg Deripasku, from 2006 to collapse of Yanukovich regime in Ukraine in 2014 and was paid about $75 million for that work.

    Manafort had borrowed money from Oleg and was being sued in Cayman Islands for that money in fall of 2015. Manafort and Gates were desperate to raise money to clear this debt and committed numerous frauds on banks to get large loans in late 2015 and early 2016. Muellers charges cover these bank frauds.

    In about Feb. of 2016 Manafort offered to work for Trump for free. Why would Trump even consider Manafort whose history was fairly well known? Could it be that Russians told Manafort about Trumps laundering of hot Russian money, which goes back to 1984 via sales of condos in Trump Tower, and carried on non-stop for 30 plus years? Did Manafort then tell Trump in a 1 on 1 meeting that Russians had all this evidence but he, Manafort , could hold it back only if Trump made Manafort his campaign manager?

    The Russian legal pressure to sue Manafort stopped abruptly the moment Manafort became head of the Trump campaign.

    There is no other explanation for why Trump would select Manafort for Campaign chair that fits the facts we now know from 1984 to this very day. This scenario also fits the most probable motivations of all parties for everything we have seen since the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013.

    Your thoughts?

    • It makes sense within the larger picture. Jeffrey Toobin had an excellent article about Trump and the ‘Miss Universe connection’ in last week New Yorker.

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