Mockingbirds of the Deep State

Commentary

From attorney Sidney Powell’s Michael Flynn filing on Oct. 24:

“The defense has requested the phone records of James Clapper to confirm his contacts with Washington Post reporter [David] Ignatius—especially on January 10, 2017, when Clapper told Ignatius in words to the effect of ‘take the kill shot on Flynn.'”

If this order sounds like something out of the criminal underworld, welcome to the deep state, which isn’t too deep anymore, writhing and flexing in plain sight.

While Clapper was allegedly targeting retired Lt. Gen. Flynn secretly through Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, we know he was also targeting President Donald Trump by secretly leaking the Steele dossier to CNN’s Jake Tapper. It’s this mantle of secrecy that taints so much of what we read and hear.

Democracy doesn’t die in darkness, journalism does. “Intelligence sources say …” whatever they want you to say.

True to his dishonest form, Clapper bald-faced lied about this leak to CNN, which would later become his employer, while under oath to Congress. But no worries, not for Clapper anyway. Clearly above the law, Clapper has never been, and never will be prosecuted for perjury before Congress. Roger Stone, on the other hand, not so much.

Notice through all of this poisonous fog that U.S. journalism has become merely a cloaking conduit for the so-called Intelligence Community. There are no boundaries to “anonymous sources,” nor any limits on their power in information warfare.

I was particularly struck by this terrifying mechanism of public control while listening to an interview with Russian-born Svetlana Lokhova, a British espionage historian. She’s currently suing FBI/CIA informant Stefan Halper and the parent companies of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and MSNBC for more than $25 million in punitive damages for their defamation of her good name in a series of baseless reports, seeded by Halper, the FBI, and others, that accused her of seducing Flynn on behalf of Russian intelligence. To call this a reckless disregard for the truth is gross understatement. It’s the weaponization of “intelligence” in the form of “free press”-disseminated disinformation.

Her revelations are startling. According to the logic of Lokhova’s extremely compelling brief, the anti-Trump conspirators (my term) moved on Flynn and concocted a romantic connection to Lokhova as a means of creating “Russian collusion” on the Trump team in the wake of Flynn’s abrupt departure from the Trump White House in February 2017.

To that end, Lokhova’s brief alleges that Halper enlisted espionage historian Christopher Andrew, a colleague of Halper’s at Cambridge, in an “intelligence seminar,” which also included Christopher Steele’s former MI6 boss, Sir Richard Dearlove.

Christopher Andrew?

Andrew is, without doubt, the most eminent historian of the British secret services and Soviet espionage in the UK, and for decades has been granted special access to closed archives and defectors by the state. Andrew was also a mentor, co-author, and longstanding friend of Lokhova, a graduate student at Cambridge at this time.

Long story short, Lokhova’s suit sets forth a sequence of malicious steps leading to Andrew publishing a slanderous article about Flynn and the unnamed Lokhova in The Sunday Times of London on Feb. 19, 2017: “Impulsive General Misha Shoots Himself in the Foot.”

The article is demonstrably false. The Lokhova brief states: “Andrew refused to correct the Andrew Article. He later falsely claimed that the Article was written to head off ‘fake news’ stories. In truth, Andrew wrote and published the Andrew Article in concert with Halper as part of the conspiracy to defame and smear Lokhova and to connect General Flynn to a Russian.”

In other words, Lokhova’s brief states that Andrew, British doyen of the espionage historians, wrote the article as part of a disinformation operation to smear Flynn and, by extension, Trump with nonexistent Russian links.

Given Andrew’s work in the archives of intelligence, where the raw history of the Soviet art of disinformation lies, his involvement in an intelligence operation as a vector of disinformation himself comes as a special kind of shock. How could this be?

Did his British intelligence masters call in a chit for his many years of special access to secret files? Maybe this, too, is the case with Ignatius, who ostensibly covers intelligence as a journalist. If the Flynn brief is correct, Ignatius also is regarded as a servant, or colleague, perhaps, by the so-called Intelligence Community.

In her interview, Lokhova revealed that she asked Andrew to withdraw the article. He replied to her that he could not, “that he was under a lot of pressure but he wouldn’t specify what it was.”

It’s unlikely we’ll discover who that someone powerful is. However, we can already see that we are living in a “free society” in which our channels of information are poisoned by secret state actors.

Diana West is an award-winning journalist and author, whose latest book is “The Red Thread: A Search for Ideological Drivers Inside the Anti-Trump Conspiracy.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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