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US leaks of classified intelligence about Manchester terror attack strain US relations with allies

A few weeks ago, shortly after US President Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in the Oval Office of the White House, the Washington Post ran a story about how Trump supposedly leaked classified intelligence about an ISIS plot to use laptops to bring down civilian airplanes during this meeting to Lavrov.

Supposedly the leak compromised intelligence information provided to the US by a third country, potentially damaging the US’s intelligence relationship with that country.

In response to that story I pointed out that Trump had actually compromised nothing, and that the intelligence information was not compromised by Trump during his private meeting with Lavrov but by the Washington Post and the intelligence sources which had provided it with the story, which by publicising the incident informed the Russians, the third country, ISIS and the whole world of it.

Indeed on the strength of the Washington Post story Petri Krohn writing for The Duran effortlessly did what every intelligence analyst around the world would have been able to do, which is join up the dots, identifying the third country as Israel, which apparently has a mole in Raqqa at the very highest level of the ISIS leadership.

This is now being reported all over the world – including in the Israeli media – and there is now widespread media commentary about it.

The story of the Israeli mole within ISIS may be true, in which case it is overwhelmingly likely that ISIS has identified him by now, in which case he is almost certainly already dead, having probably been tortured by ISIS before they killed him.  In that case the Washington Post and the intelligence sources who gave it the story have his blood on their hands.

I would however refer to this comment of Petri Krohn’s, which makes a point which I find at least interesting, and which certainly repays further investigation

But is the Israeli agent actually a mole?

mole would by definition be someone trying to undermine ISIS. Israeli policy seems to be the opposite, using ISIS in its war against the Syrian state. There has been much speculation about Israeli-ISIS cooperation, but little concrete facts. But if one considers the hysteria surrounding the alleged leak and takes at face value every statement in the newspaper of record, far reaching speculation becomes possible.

The Washington Post suggests that the source embedded in ISIS is actually working against Russia and its ally Syria. Why else would Russia want to identify or disrupt it?

“Officials said the capability could be useful for other purposes, possibly providing intelligence on Russia’s presence in Syria. Moscow would be keenly interested in identifying that source and perhaps disrupting it”.

If I may speculate about the true secret behind the WaPo story, it is this: ISIS military activity is lead by Israeli military advisors. It would be natural for them to report on real threats to Israeli and US security. Leaking such information will not expose them as Israeli agents, but will put a strain on ISIS-Israel relations.

I understand this is pure speculation, but why – if Russia and the West are actually on the same side on the war on ISIS – does the possibility of cooperation with Russia raise such hysteria?

Putting all this aside, the media today in Britain is full of stories of British outrage at the leak to the New York Times of classified information relevant to the British investigation into the ISIS terror attack in Manchester.

It seems this information was not intended for publication and the British authorities believe – whether rightly or wrongly – that its publication will compromise their investigation and their attempt to track down and destroy the ISISI terrorist cell which is now admitted to exist and which was behind the Manchester attack.

What the pathologically anti Trump media in Britain and elsewhere are not saying is that whoever was responsible for the leak of this information to the New York Times, it cannot have been Donald Trump, and the leak cannot have happened at his instigation or with his agreement.

Quite apart from the fact that it is doubtful that Trump – currently on his travels in the Middle East and Europe – has seen this information, it beggars belief that he would leak or authorise the leak of any classified intelligence information to the New York Times, with which he has an ongoing feud over the Russiagate allegations, and which he regularly calls a ‘fake news’ outlet.

That means that the leak must have been the work of someone else, almost certainly from within the same community of officials within the US intelligence community who have spent the last couple of months feverishly leaking to the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN against Donald Trump.

Obviously this particular leak did not target Donald Trump.  What it shows is that the result of months of leaking of classified intended to damage Donald Trump is that a culture of leaking has taken hold, with the result that certain US intelligence officials now take a completely reckless approach to their handling of classified information, even when it is provided by US allies.

That is what the leaking of the classified information about the supposed Israeli mole to the Washington Post showed, and it has just been shown again by the leaking of classified information about the British investigation into the ISIS terror attack in Manchester to the New York Times.

In fact we can take this one step further.  The investigation into the ISIS terrorist cell in Britain is being led by the British police, and it seems it was they who shared the information about the investigation which has just been leaked with the US.  It seems that the British police are so upset by the leak that they are refusing to share more information about the investigation unless they are given firm assurances that it will not be leaked again.

The partner police agency in the US to the British police is of course the FBI, and it is likely that the US agency with which the British police shared information about their investigation would have been the FBI.  That points to the FBI as the likely source of the leak.

One of the key facts which caused relations between Donald Trump and former FBI Director Comey to collapse was Comey’s resistance to Trump’s repeated requests for an investigation of the leaks of classified information which have been going on ever since he was elected President.  This despite the fact that each and every one of these leaks is a crime in itself, whilst after 10 months of investigation the Russiagate investigation over which Comey has been presiding has failed to uncover a single one.

The Washington Post story about the supposed Israeli mole, and the New York Times story about the British anti ISIS investigation, show the disastrous results of Comey’s refusal to take Trump’s repeated requests for an investigation of the leaks seriously.

The leaks have now damaged US relations with its two closest allies, Israel and Britain.  Meanwhile there are good reasons to think that the latest leak came from within the FBI, pointing to a culture of sharing classified information with the media having taken hold within the FBI itself.

Meanwhile the Washington Post and the New York Times – glorying in what they ridiculously call a “golden age of journalism” – are colluding in a process which is not only destabilising the political situation within the US itself, but which is now also compromising the US’s relations with its allies.

It is to these lengths that the Russiagate mania has brought the US.  One wonders how much more damage will have to be done before responsible people in the US finally recognise this, and before this ridiculous affair is finally brought to a stop.

What do you think?

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