The following excerpt is from "Nellie Ohr, Woman in the Middle."
Remember when the Soviet Union “vanished” in 1991? So, too, all of the experts told us, did its nasty communist strategies to destroy the United States and control the world. How marvelous it was, then, that Russia stopped running its Soviet-era intelligence armies and terror networks against us — except, of course, for CIA officer Aldrich Ames, who was arrested in 1994, three years after the “end” of the USSR, while working for a “defunct” KGB. Then there was Soviet-Russian spymaster Sergei Tretyakov, busily orchestrating old-time subversion against us until his defection in 2000. Oh, and don’t forget the FBI’s Robert Hanssen, dead-dropping away for the Kremlin until his shock-arrest in 2001. And what about FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko (poisoned in 2006 by polonium almost certainly on Putin’s orders) and his 2005 claims that Russian intelligence trained Ayman al-Zawaheri in 1998, before Zawaheri penetrated and later became head of Al Qaeda by 2011? And what about the East coast “illegals” network of fake Americans, arrested and quickly deported in 2010 so as not to short- circuit Obama’s Russian “reset”?
Good thing that was nearly 20 years after Communist Russia nose-dived into history’s dust heap, otherwise the “new” Kremlin might still be trying to subvert us…
But not just via Facebook and other social media hoaxes, which Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now, in all seriousness, bringing to book. As a chronicler of Kremlin influence operations in Washington, I, by rights, should be thrilled the U.S. government is finally “discovering” that such influence operations even exist after a century of denial, but a grotesque fraud is apparent.
Consider an earlier case with eerie parallels. As FBI Director (2001-2013), Robert Mueller presided over the Bureau’s decade-long counterintelligence operation known as “Ghost Stories,” which targeted the deep-cover ring of Russian “illegals” mentioned above. In June 2010, the FBI netted this ring of covert Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) operatives, which was successfully boring into elite circles, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s — and then sent them packing ASAP to Mother Russia.
Why? All of the available evidence strongly suggests that this painstaking FBI work of a decade was thrown away to protect Hillary Clinton, the once and future presidential candidate, who was at risk of being compromised. As FBI counterintelligence chief Frank Figliuzzi put it: “We were becoming very concerned they were getting close enough to a sitting US cabinet member that we thought we could no longer allow this to continue.”
Never one to save the republic instead of herself, Hillary Clinton “worked feverishly” to get these Russian agents deported before they could be adequately debriefed or otherwise exploited, as J. Michael Waller writes. Remember, June 2010 was a busy month for the Clintons: Rosatom was initiating its purchase of Uranium One; Bill Clinton was pocketing $500,000 from that KGB-linked Moscow bank, Renaissance Capital, which was “talking up” Uranium One shares (even as $145 million was sloshing into the Clinton Foundation); President Obama was pushing for Russian membership in the World Trade Organization, and all the “reset” rest. The exposure of a highly trained network of SVR operatives targeting Hillary Clinton among others could not have been more inconvenient. How do you say, “Get them out of here on the double” in Russian?
Looking back, I don’t recall FBI Director Mueller in a lather over this Russian “meddling,” or “influence” on the Obama administration. Last time I looked, he did not resign from his FBI directorship in protest of this crude administration cover-up, either. Maybe he was too busy hiding evidence from Congress of the so-called Mikerin probe, the investigation into a Russian bribery scheme to control an American uranium trucking firm, even as U.S. lawmakers were examining the proposed sale of Uranium One to the Russian government.
Thus, in FBI Director Mueller’s treatment of the Russian espionage ring in we see a funhouse-mirror-image of Special Counsel Mueller’s Russian social media indictments. In 2010, without a single indictment or anything comparable, Mueller’s FBI did its part in deporting from American soil a network of high-value SVR operatives for political reasons; in 2018, without any expectation of prosecution, Mueller’s Special Counsel office indicted a network of Russian Internet hooligans on Russian soil, also for political reasons.
In both cases, it is our national security that suffers while Mueller’s political masters benefit. In 2010, they wanted Obama-Clinton protected from real Russian exposure; in 2018 they want Trump destroyed by concocted Russian exposure.
Read the rest here.