You read it here first folks! Of course it was also on YouTube and I gather that Larry Johnson, who is ex-CIA, was interviewed by Russia Today on March 6th, but I think that I was the first journalist, print or online, to break the story that Barack Obama had sanctioned a wire-tap of Donald Trump’s phones during the 2016 election campaign.
Dramatic confirmation of last week’s reporting came mid-week from the respected legal commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano on Fox News. Although Fox executives, presumably under pressure, tried to row back on the story, it’s out, big time.
No fewer than three separate US intelligence sources confirmed the GCHQ tap on Donald Trump to Judge Napolitano, to whom a copy of this column is being copied as a courtesy.
I can confirm that the learned judge and I have never met. I do however have great respect for his integrity, a quality not possessed in abundance by senior GCHQ management, no offense intended. The judge and I did not speak before he confirmed the scandal, the biggest in America since Watergate and the biggest in Britain since Marconi, on air.
Each of his three intel sources appear to be American.
There is no need for the White House to back down, let alone apologise for getting it right, as that idiot, no offense intended, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, the fatuous National Security Adviser, has been demanding.
With the utmost respect, Sir Mark’s impertinence knows no bounds. So far as I know he did not get clearance from the Prime Minister before his silly conversation with his opposite number in Washington, General McMaster, who least knows a bit about national security. (Sir Mark has never served a day in uniform.)
Sir Mark, an unelected bureaucrat, who is so lacking in intelligence with respect that he actually believes in the United Nations (so I gather – I hope that I am not doing the poor man an injustice), thankfully has already been booted out. A rather more serious figure, Mark Sedwill, who is much closer to MI5, takes over in a few weeks.
Neither Sir Mark nor the GCHQ management team enjoy democratic legitimacy. They are mere bureaucratic appointees. They had no business whatsoever trying to slap down an American president, let alone one as astute as Donald Trump, with respect, who correctly appreciated that the tap on his phone lines had been placed by GCHQ.
It is quite normal by the way for allied intelligence agencies to get around legal restrictions in their home countries in this way. It’s called a back-to-back. GCHQ regularly monitors the communications of US citizens, just as NSA regularly helps us out by monitoring Bad Guys over here when we can’t get a warrant from our hopelessly compromised judiciary.
There are however three key differences between GCHQ and NSA, apart from the fact that NSA are much nicer and far less snooty:
(1) The NSA understands that the role of intelligence agencies in a democracy is to speak truth to the elected power, not suppress it.
(2) The NSA leadership is mostly military or ex-military and the agency operates to the far higher ethical standards of the US military. GCHQ is a civilian agency and was long ago dragged down to the ethical standards of the Home Civil Service, who are practised and fluent liars, no offense intended, and
(3) NSA suffers far less than GCHQ from German penetration. GCHQ has been badly penetrated by Germany’s GO2, to the point where during the war in Afghanistan the Intelligence Corps had to risk lives in order to get vital intelligence out of the ‘donut’, the O-shaped building near Cheltenham which is GCHQ’s headquarters. (The nickname for their HQ is appropriate, since almost all GCHQ intelligence summaries have holes in them – oddly enough, although the catering there is quite good, there aren’t actually that many varieties of donut on offer, apparently.)(I’m hearing there are serious supply issues with raspberry-flavored donuts, e.g.).
Confirmation from GCHQ
Every good cop knows the value of a confession, even Thames Valley Police, although in Thames Valley they tend to write the confessions themselves. Any intelligence insider with a brain (and, as I am wont to say, trying to do intelligence work without a brain is harder than running a marathon without legs) will have appreciated that GCHQ’s hysterical response to the Fox News story amounted to a confession that it was true.
Had GCHQ maintained a dignified silence, and left it to the Foreign Secretary to make a statement if so advised, some might have doubted the learned judge’s sources. As it is, all Cheltenham are left with is wreckage. The British and American people now know that GCHQ agreed at the indirect request of the Obama Administration to tap Donald Trump’s phones during the 2016 presidential race in order to help the Democratic candidate, Senator Clinton.
The second part of GCHQ’s effective confirmation of its criminality is that the denial mis-stated, no doubt deliberately, what Fox News and others were reporting. No one is saying that Barack Obama ordered the tap. That would indeed be nonsense – Obama would not have wanted his fingerprints anywhere near the request to GCHQ. As I reported last week, the tasking came out of the CIA, not the White House.
GCHQ also referred only to Judge Napolitano’s revelations on Fox. They monitor my weekly column on VT, as indeed they monitor all my communications, but they dared not refer to it.
The Resignation of the GCHQ Director
The MSM, not being terribly bright (the average journalist is no brighter than the average MP, sadly), are unable to connect dots. That is because connecting dots requires the drawing of inferences and the use of lateral thinking, each of which requires intelligence. There are no mainstream journalists of high intelligence working in the United Kingdom, indeed I am unaware of any in the United States either.
One dot I am looking at is the sudden and unexpected resignation, just after President Trump was inaugurated, of the GCHQ Director, Robert Hannigan. Why did Hannigan resign? He was useless, no offense intended, but all directors of GCHQ since that nice man, with respect, Sir Francis Richards, have been more or less useless.
I can assure my American readers that uselessness is no ground for resignation in the British Civil Service, indeed so far to the contrary it is normally ground for promotion.
It’s a matter for him, but I respectfully suggest that Robert Hannigan owes us a better explanation than the ‘family reasons’ guff that Cheltenham favored us with in January. So far as is known, Mr Hannigan has not in fact spent more time with his family since resigning, and there is no evidence in the public domain that any member of his family wanted him to.
Another dot folk may want to look at is the sudden expulsion from New Zealand of a CIA officer working with the Kiwis’ excellent GCSB, after he was involved in a violent confrontation with a GCSB officer on Sunday morning. This apparently took place at the CIA guy’s home in Lower Hutt, a rather nice part of the world, by the way. The efficient New Zealand Police have opened an investigation, which will get nowhere due to the national security complications.
Brennan, Comey and Heywood
The CIA Director, when the agency requested the tap on the Republican candidate’s cell-phone, home lines and direct dial line at Trump Tower in order to help the Democratic Candidate, was John Brennan, a man linked to the notorious Society of Jesus intelligence organisation.
As I explain in Spyhunter, the Jesuits also have a non-core religious function, in which they pretend to believe in God.
It is difficult to believe that CIA asked the MI6 Liaison Officer at Langley to pass on the interception tasking on Donald Trump to Vauxhall Cross, and in turn Cheltenham, without Brennan being aware. He has gone, thank God, but he may have questions to answer. They won’t come from either the House or Senate Intelligence Committees, neither of which would know an intelligent question if they trod in it, no offense intended.
James Comey was FBI Director when the bureau, outrageously, went to what they thought was a tame federal judge, to try and get a FISA warrant to help the Democratic Party win the election by tapping the phones of the
Republican candidate. That was bad enough, and on any view he will have to go, and go soon, but did he know that the transcripts of Donald Trump’s phone conversations were going to the White House? If he did, that puts him in an even more delicate position.
The criminally insane involvement of GCHQ in a bitterly-contested US presidential election campaign on behalf of the anti-British Democratic Party candidate had to have been cleared by the Cabinet Office, which in practice controls British intelligence agencies. (The Prime Minister merely fulfils a front office, PR role and is usually kept in the dark, indeed British Prime Ministers have been blundering about in the dark since Sir Winston Churchill, the last PM to have a sound grasp of intelligence matters.)
It is difficult to believe that the tapping of Donald Trump’s phones was not sanctioned by the Cabinet Secretary, the hated Sir Jeremy Heywood, no offense intended. Of course Sir Jeremy may have been on leave, or a decision may have been taken by MI6 and GCHQ to keep him out of the loop. It happened on his watch, however, and accordingly I respectfully invite Sir Jeremy to consider his position.
It would be a relief to see him go. Sir Jeremy is arguably the worst Cabinet Secretary since the notorious Sir Edward Bridges, the mass-murdering bastard who lied to Winston Churchill in order to help the Japanese sink HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse in December 1941. Tragically for the Allied cause, Sir Edward was not hanged in 1942.
Given the great loss of life, the avoidable surrender of Singapore which followed the loss of Force Z and the immense damage to British prestige, Sir Edward could not have been heard to complain had he been subjected to special measures under an Act of Attainder and hung, drawn and quartered. Few traitors in British history have more richly deserved to be castrated, disembowelled and dismembered, nicely of course.
Being the coward that he was however, Sir Edward probably would have complained, always assuming that he did not die of sheer terror whilst being dragged to the scaffold. Next week I’ll let you know what I really think of the bastard – I apologise for being so pusillanimous and ambiguous. It’s high time I got off that fence.
The Plot to Assassinate President Trump and Vice-President Pence
It is now clear that the DVD did have a plan to assassinate the President-elect and the Vice-President-elect before Mike Pence was sworn in. They needed both together, which would have been difficult during the Transition. Thankfully this evil plot was frustrated, but who in CIA, GCHQ and MI6 knew about it? Each of the three agencies seems to have been operating on the assumption that Donald Trump would not be sworn in. Now that he is President of the United States they are in Big Trouble.
Where To Now?
There is no point waiting for the outcome of the House and Senate Intelligence Committee enquiries. Neither committee, no offense intended, could investigate its way out of a paper bag. Their conclusions will be dictated to them by the CIA in the usual way – neither committee contains a member capable of independent thought, except possibly on a golf course, assuming that their caddy was indisposed.
It’s a matter for them, of course, but my respectful recommendation to the White House, to whom I am sending a courtesy copy of this column, is to stand their ground and continue to hammer both GCHQ and Sir Mark Lyall Grant. Each deserves a good smack, no offense intended. Indeed, I hope that the White House will widen its attack. We desperately need a clear-out of the deadwood in the Cabinet Office and at GCHQ. Whilst Grant is on his way out, he could always be stripped of his knighthood and pension.
There is no reason at all why the Justice Department, under the able leadership of Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, could not request the extradition to the US of implicated members of the senior management team at GCHQ, a number of whom could usefully benefit from a spell in a federal super-max facility. If the Justice Department find themselves short of evidence and can’t get any of the suspects to strike a plea bargain, they could always consider water-boarding, which has proved its usefulness time and again in the Global War on Terror.
Where is the Evidence?
Inside GCHQ and the NSA of course! Just as every good cop knows the value of a confession, so every good cop knows they’ve made a good arrest when the suspect or his lawyer asks “where is your evidence?”
The politicians and MSM journalists wasting the White House’s time by asking for the evidence are intelligence illiterates. If they knew anything about the world of intelligence they would know that raw data nearly always stays inside the agencies. Only intelligence, i.e. knowledge, leaks out. I have been shown raw data, such as bank tear-off sheets, but I’ve never been allowed to take away copies.
The McCann kidnap case was exceptional. The life of a little girl was at stake and the Good Guys passed key satellite imagery to me, prompting GCHQ to try and get me arrested by Thames Valley Police, via the Cabinet Office. Since the imagery didn’t come from a British satellite, or out of GCHQ, they were wasting their time. And no, I haven’t forgotten GCHQ’s role in getting Madeleine McCann murdered, the poor little thing.
I am aware that that nice man, with respect, Sir Malcolm Rifkind KCMG QC, to whom I have copied this column as a courtesy, has also raised the same question in the UK. However Sir Malcolm, nice chap that he is, is not only a former Foreign Secretary, he was also Chairman of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee. He could scarcely be expected to know anything about intelligence, indeed it would be unfair, with respect, to ask for it.
The Assassination of Dr Gareth Williams
This may be a convenient moment to remind readers of two other huge scandals involving GCHQ in recent years, which will be sorted if we bring GCHQ under sensible military control. The first was the role of GCHQ senior management in covering up the assassination of Dr Gareth Williams, a brilliant, gay, GCHQ officer. Gareth was murdered by GO2 agents (Brits working for the Jerries) in Pimlico, London, in August 2010.
He had been working the GCHQ/NSA end of an operation in which I was involved, as I had done the original analysis that GCHQ were withholding critical satellite intelligence of Taliban terrorist mining of convoy routes in Afghanistan from the Army.
There’s a lot of open country in Afghanistan, and the NRO’s birds were picking up the planting of roadside IEDs in time to save lives.
The operation, which involved the secreting of SATINT out of Cheltenham on memory sticks, using a protocol designed by the NSA to get around GCHQ’s rather minimal security measures and handed over to Gareth, who was taking point with Meade, was a great success. Worried by the decline in British casualties in Afghanistan, and desperate to aid the Taliban, GO2 assigned two death squads to take down the UK end of the operation.
One of these death squads murdered Matthew Johnson, a courageous member of the cleaning team at Cheltenham, whose body was dumped into a canal. Gloucestershire Police and the local coroner, with respect, were way out of their depth and the murder was treated as an accident, allowing Matthew Johnson’s killers to get away scot-free.
The second death squad, a four-man team, assassinated Gareth in a safe-house in Pimlico and dumped his body in a bag. Sadly, the address was known to MI5, which was then heavily penetrated by GO2. I warned the lead detective on the murder inquiry, DCI Jackie Sebire, a nice lady, in 2010 that Gareth had been in possession of critical SATINT on memory sticks.
The coroner confirmed that Gareth had been murdered, but once again the German death squad got away scot-free. The Cabinet Office ordered the Met to muddy the waters by suggesting, in effect, that Gareth had murdered himself, then locked himself in a bag after he was dead and then thrown away the key. (A second key had been placed under his body, but very obviously it had not been used to lock the bag.) There has since been a pathetic attempt to blame the Russian SVR, who are nice people, who don’t go around London murdering British intelligence officers. Only the Germans do that.
The German Eavesdropping Operation in London
The second scandal is less well-known, indeed unless you’ve read Spyhunter you would be unlikely to be aware of it. Apart from readers of Spyhunter, only intelligence insiders with deep access are aware that our community partner, the Hun, maintains an electronic eavesdropping center in London, which takes a covert feed from GCHQ via fiber optic cable.
This center, run under the cover of a German electronics company, taps the phones of all British MPs, peers, Circuit and High Court judges, senior police officers and senior civil servants. This provides a wealth of blackmail material, which is the key to German influence in London and Edinburgh.
Amongst the material held by this center is evidence of the role of several key players in the SNP, a regional separatist party in the UK founded by the Abwehr in 1934 as part of a long-term German plan to break up the UK, in the Dunblane School Massacre in 1997.
That was a terrible incident in which a GO2 pedophile operative, Thomas Hamilton, went beserk and murdered 16 young school-children and one of their teachers, before being murdered himself by the police in order to avoid an embarrassing trial, which might have destroyed the SNP. Hamilton had been permitted access to firearms by GO2 assets in Scotland Central Police, a corrupt force which has since been abolished.
Both the eavesdropping center and GCHQ also have details of the offshore funding of the SNP from Frankfurt, using German-controlled private placements of capital. If passed to the Prime Minister this intelligence would have a devastating impact and would almost certainly frustrate Germany’s plan to break up the UK in retaliation for leaving the German-controlled EU and set up a corrupt, German puppet state in Scotland.
These other scandals help explain Cheltenham’s panicked response to Judge Napolitano’s revelations on Fox News. Not the least reason for GCHQ and German panic is the fact that a few years ago I was spotted having a quiet word in Whitehall with a signals intelligence 2-star, who it is known is my favored candidate to be the new GCHQ Director.
If Signals Intelligence were to take over GCHQ its ethical standards would be brought up to the NSA’s standards, critical SIGINT would reach the Armed Forces again in time for them to act on it and the Joint Intelligence Committee and the Prime Minister would start to see serious, hard intel out of Cheltenham instead of the junk they’ve been fed since 1945. The hard-working men and women of GCHQ would finally be able to make the contribution to the national security interest their endeavors and intelligence deserve. At the moment, they are lions led by donkeys, rather like the England cricket team was over the winter.
Chuck Berry (1926-2017)
I was deeply saddened to learn last night of the untimely death (he was only 90) of Chuck Berry. I never knew him, and I wasn’t a paid-up member of his fan club, but like almost all people of my generation I have enjoyed listening to his music for decades.
Chuck Berry was the greatest song-writer in Rock’n’Roll history. He was by all accounts a lovely man. He was also a supremely talented musician. His achievements will long live on. Songs written by Chuck Berry will still be being played and sung centuries from now. He was good.
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.