Saturday, February 10, 2018

Dave Martin: The Nunes Memo and Vince Foster




The memorandum prepared by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes contains a couple of names that are very familiar to those of us who have followed the cover-up in the case of the death of Deputy White House Counsel Vincent W. Foster, Jr., from its beginning.  Here are the key passages:
                                               
         The Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23, 2016, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. This article does not corroborate the [Christopher] Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News. The Page FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo News. Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News—and several other outlets—in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS. Perkins Coie was aware of Steele’s initial media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in Washington DC in 2016 with Steele and Fusion GPS where this matter was discussed.

  ----

         Steele was suspended and then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations—an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an October 30, 2016, Mother Jones article by David Corn.  Steele should have been terminated for his previous undisclosed contacts with Yahoo and other outlets in September—before the Page application was submitted to the FISC in October—but Steele improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about those contacts.

What is revealed here is that the (former?) British intelligence agent, Steele, is as thick as thieves with a couple of intelligence assets in the American news media, Michael Isikoff and David Corn.  You may search their names on my home page to see the full ugly picture of their KGB-like activities while they play the role of journalists, but we will hit some of the highlights for you here.

Michael Isikoff


One of the quotations at the top of “The Press and the Death of Vincent Foster” is from Isikoff in the August 15, 1993, Washington Post:

Foster's attempt to seek legal help is described in more than 200 pages of Park Police and FBI reports into his death that have not yet been publicly released. ...those reports leave no doubt that Foster was suffering from a worsening depression....

In other words, the FBI had used Isikoff as a conduit for what they wanted the American people to believe was the cause of death, giving him the privilege of viewing the evidence, which they denied to the public.  He duly delivered for them.  It is very similar to how they used his work to hoodwink the FISA court.  Here’s my description of Isikoff in the referenced article:

          Michael Isikoff of first The Washington Post and then with the Post Corporation's Newsweek magazine may be described as the lead mainstream reporter on the Foster case. Five days before this article appeared there had been the above-mentioned joint news conference [announcing the suicide conclusion]. The gathered journalists had not been told on what basis murder had been ruled out and no written substantiation for the suicide conclusion had been released. Furthermore, no indication was given of when or if any report would be released. Journalists were told simply that they could file Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for any supporting documentation should they wish to see it.

America's news organs demonstrated total satisfaction with this conclusion announced as though by imperial decree. They did not clamor for a report substantiating the conclusion. They did not even report the fact that the Park Police and the FBI offered no real substantiation for their suicide conclusion and that there was no public report or any prospects for one in the foreseeable future. Rather, here we have The Post in its first Sunday edition after the official announcement telling us that reports that neither they (ostensibly) nor we have been able to see leave "no doubt" about a key disputed question in the case. This is press dereliction of responsibility to the public of the highest order.

Isikoff was the reporter of the news on Wednesday, July 28, 1993, eight days after Foster’s body was discovered in Fort Marcy Park in McLean, Virginia, that a note had been found in Foster’s office with the names of some psychiatrists on it.  Two days later, he was the co-writer with the late Ann Devroy of a much longer article that said that the note with the psychiatrists names on it had been found by police searching Foster’s car, and to this day neither Isikoff nor the The Post has given any explanation for why the change in the supposed discovery location.  When you’re making a story up, I suppose it doesn’t really make any difference.  But speaking of making things up, that Isikoff and Devroy article also had this big-time whopper:

Police who arrived at Foster's house the night of the death were turned away after being told Lisa Foster and family members were too distraught to talk. Investigators were not allowed to interview her until yesterday. "That was a matter between her lawyers and the police," [White House spokesman David] Gergen said, and the White House "had no role in it."

The article is still up online, and you can read it here.  I write about all of it in the first installment of “America’s Dreyfus Affair: The Case of the Death of Vincent Foster.” Not only was Gergen lying about the police being turned away from the Foster house that night, butIsikoff and the folks at The Post had to have known that it was a lie.  It came to light about a year later when the Park Police testified before a Senate committee that they were not only not turned away, but they interviewed Lisa and other family members at length, and The Post’s reporter, Walter Pincus, had written much earlier that he was also at the Foster house that night, while neglecting to mention that the police were also there.

Isikoff was later treated as something of a white knight by the press for leaking the Monica Lewinsky story to the up-and-coming Matt Drudge when his then Newsweek bosses supposedly wouldn’t let him publish it in the magazine.  In reality, what was going on was that the Lewinsky story was being hyped as a distraction away from the Foster case, while Drudge was built up as a legitimate source of alternative news.  As a bonus, Starr was made to appear to be a conservative zealot out to get the Clintons so that when his drawn-out whitewash of the Foster murder was eventually published, it would be more readily believed.  “Even Kenneth Starr concluded that it was a suicide.”

But what kind of court of law would even take seriously an article in the press, especially one in Yahoo News?  How about one that includes a judge who was an active participant in the Foster cover-up?  We are talking about John D. Bates, one of two members of Kenneth Starr’s team whom President George W. Bush appointed as federal judges.  The other was Brett Kavanaugh, who took over as lead investigator for the conscience smitten Miguel Rodriguez, who resigned in disgust. One can’t help but believe that the primary qualification for the federal bench that both men exhibited was that they had shown that they would go along with the cover-up of a crime of the most heinous sort.  In 2006, Chief Justice John Roberts appointed Bates to be a member of the FISA court.  That is not to say that he was responsible for allowing the surveillance of Carter Page, heavily based upon a spurious dossier and a news report, but with him as an example, we see what sort of people are likely to be making such decisions.

David Corn

David Corn played a far less prominent role in the Foster-case cover-up than did Isikoff, but it was in my covering of the case that I first encountered him.  I explain it in my article, “How to Become a ‘Made Man’ in the Media,’ in which Corn plays one of the two title characters:

I first became aware of Corn when we both attended a press conference in Washington, DC, in the spring of 1995 in which Christopher Ruddy announced the findings of three investigators that tended to support Ruddy’s theory that Foster had not died at the place where the body had been found.  Ruddy’s loudest and most aggressive antagonist at that news conference was Corn, then working for The Nation magazine.  

I have since come to realize that the scene I witnessed there was nothing more than a show, with Ruddy playing the rightist and Corn the leftist.  The “investigation” that Ruddy was touting, I have since figured out, was little more than a charade, as I explain briefly in the recent article, “Latest Foster Cover-Up Book Not Completely Worthless.”  Corn’s objections, as I recall, did not address the real weaknesses in what Ruddy was reporting, but simply amounted to the usual “conspiracy theory” denunciation. 

Corn has continued to play his role of leftist Clinton-couple defender, as we see in his Mother Jones article of a year ago, “Here Come the Crazy Clinton Conspiracies of the 1990s.”

Actually, at that 1995 press conference, Ruddyborn in 1965, was more at the stage of his career for the spook-vetting process than was Corn.  Corn was already 36 years old and had written the book Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA’s Crusades.  Kevin Barrett’s assessment of Corn and that book is summed up in this passage:

Corn is obviously CIA all the way—otherwise why would he cover up Shackley’s connection to the JFK assassination? Why would he write an exhaustive “biography” of Shackley that omitted Shackley’s extensive links to CIA drug running? And most important of all, why would Corn be working overtime against 9/11 truth?

I had long since arrived at a similar evaluation of Corn, as we can see in my 1998 article, “Rotten Goulden/Corn,” in which I pair him with the obvious CIA journalist, Joseph Goulden.  In sum, if there is any such thing as a journalist who works for the CIA—and if there has ever been any such thing as Operation Mockingbird—then surely Corn is one of them.

A further indication of the fact that Isikoff and Corn work for the same central employer of journalists is that they even collaborated on a book, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War.  Reading this customer review of the book by one R. Heubel, one gathers that it is as phony as the New York Times review of it:

I see this is a best-selling book by two prominent journalists. It is shocking, then, that there is no mention in the book of either the "Downing Street Memo" from July 2002 which documents the fact that Bush, at least as far back is middle of 2002 (and many contend even earlier - when the Bushies came into office in January 2001 - wanting war with Iraq), had decided to go to war with the small details like the "cause" or "justification" for the war to be left up to the spin-meisters and Karl Rove.

Neither is the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) mentioned in the book. The PNAC is the Neo-Con, war-mongering think-tank which had advocated war with Iraq as far back as 1997-98.

It is sad that the Mainstream Media and the journalistic establishment have almost completely ignored the Downing Street Memo and the Project for a New American Century in their coverage and analysis of the Iraq war and the Bush administration. An even better book in this regard is 
Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans--Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild [by Greg Palast].


FBI Cover-Up

One other important player in the cover-up of the Foster murder is on display in the Nunes memo, and that is the FBI itself.  The story that the fake conservative critic, Christopher Ruddy, pedaled, and the one that you see on display in the first two of a three-video collection here, is that the FBI was kept out of the Foster investigation and that the Park Police bungled it because of their incompetence.  The title of the third video, though, says it all, “The Vince Foster Cover-up: The FBI and the Press.” That video is showcased at fbicover-up.com,where one will discover that the same FBI agents were involved in every so-called “investigation,” from the one by the Park Police, right through those by Robert Fiske and Kenneth Starr.  It was an FBI cover-up all the way, abetted by the press, not unlike countless scandals before and since, from the JFK assassination to TWA 800 to 9/11 to the Boston Marathon bombing, and on and on.  One might just as well call cover-ups of the malfeasance of the Deep State the primary function of the FBI.  We should hardly be surprised, then, to find them up to their eyeballs in the latest high-level rottenness.  The only surprising thing is that someone in the Congress has shown the backbone to begin to call them out over it.  It also makes one wonder whether Isikoff and Corn are working for the CIA or the FBI, or if it matters.

David Martin
February 5, 2018

Addendum



Another media/Deep State figure involved at the ground floors of the Foster cover-up has emerged in the wake of a criminal referral related to the FISA-warrant scandal by Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham.  According to Grassley and Graham, someone connected to the U.S. State Department was involved in the supplying of spurious Russia-connected information on Trump.  After Rep. Trey Gowdy characterized the person to Martha MacCallum of Fox News, MacCallum guessed, “Sidney Blumenthal?”

“That’d be really warm.  You’re warm.  Yeah,” responded Gowdy

According to Judicial WatchBlumenthatl is also connected to a second dubious dossier that repeats many of the unverified claims in the Steele dossier.

A good summation of Blumenthal’s role in the Foster cover-up, and much more, is to be found in my 2015 article, “Sidney Blumenthal, Vince Foster, and the Deep State.”  Here is an excerpt:

[As Washington correspondent for The New Yorker], Blumenthal did not write critically of the Clinton scandals, but he did indeed report on perhaps the biggest controversy of all, if his writing on the matter can properly be called reporting.  It was that writing, in fact, that first brought him to my attention.  The following passage is from my first installment of “America’s Dreyfus Affair: The Case of the Death of Vincent Foster”: 

[Walter] Pincus's theme of [Vincent] Foster as fragile victim of the merciless press was picked up on by Sidney Blumenthal in his August 9 [1993] New Yorker article: 
Foster sought perspective through a number of conversations with Walter Pincus, a reporter for the Washington Post, whose wife is from Little Rock. "He couldn't understand why the press was the way it was," Pincus said. "It was a sense that people would print something that was wrong, and that other people would repeat it. I'd say, 'Youcan't let the press get your goat; you have to go on. This is how the game is played.' He'd say, 'Fine.' " 

The article is titled simply “The Suicide,” and it can most fairly be described as a very vigorous sales job for the notion that Deputy White House Counsel Vincent W. Foster, Jr. committed suicide because this experienced courtroom litigator couldn’t take the public scrutiny of his new job in Washington.  While masquerading as an objective journalist, Blumenthal, it is clear, was already doing the work for which he would be openly paid within the year when he went to work for the White House; he was acting as a shill for the Clintons.

Foster’s body had been discovered at an obscure Civil War relic named Fort Marcy Park off the George Washington Parkway on the Virginia side of the Potomac River late in the day on July 20.  The nearest federal facility to it is the CIA headquarters complex perhaps a mile away as the crow flies, a fact never mentioned in the press.  I had lived in Fairfax County, where the park is located, since 1982 and I had never heard of it.  Foster, who had only been in town a few months living in Georgetown, had reported for work as usual on that Tuesday and was reported to have had a cheeseburger for lunch at his desk.  Then, according to the known narrative at the time, he had left the office and wasn’t seen again until his body was discovered around 6 pm in a remote spot in this remote park that there was no record of his having previously visited.

It is quite obvious that Blumenthal hadn’t bothered to check out the park and the unlikely spot where they tell us Foster chose to blow his brains out with an untraceable nondescript .38 caliber revolver made up of the parts of two guns, because he wrote in his New Yorker piece that the park overlooks the Potomac River.  It does not.  It’s somewhat near the river, but you can’t see it from there.  Chain Bridge Road runs between the park and the river, and you can’t see the river from that road either until you get near to the Potomac-crossing bridge that gives the road its name, a bit further to the south.

It would appear that practically the entire stable of Deep State media hacks who served the Clintons so well in the past have been trotted out in the effort to bring down Donald Trump.

David Martin
February 7, 2018

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