The story of a “Russian spy” being exfiltrated from Russia over U.S. intelligence concerns about excessive media reporting on the Russian Conspiracy-Collusion. Reporting that was driven by those same intelligence leaks is, well, sketchy as heck. However, at the 30,000 ft level there is a picture providing obvious possibilities.
First, the tenuous reporting from CNN, where they attempt to paint Donald Trump into the spy narrative, is transparently political opportunism by narrative engineer Jim Sciutto and the anti-Trump brigade. You know Sciutto’s efforts are bad when even the Washington Post and New York Times undercut the CNN script. The exfiltration had nothing to do with President-elect Trump, or President Trump.
The part where the story becomes interesting is: (A) the timing; and (B) that DC journalists know who the “spy” is. Indeed the claimed “spy” and his family have been living under his real name in Washington DC. This fact doesn’t fit the outline of a retracted spy living in an era of imminent danger.
Heck, it doesn’t take more than a few minutes on the internet to discover who this “spy” might be. Obviously, if the media know all about him; well, that speaks volumes.
So what is the likely scenario here?
The timing of this story reeks of self-interest when overlaid with known collaboration between the Obama intelligence apparatus -specifically John Brennan- and the media who sold the Russia narrative based on leaks from Brennan (CIA), Clapper (DNI), Comey & McCabe et al (FBI).
The timing appears directly connected to the ongoing review of the Russia Investigation origin, background and predicate from U.S. Attorney John Durham.
According to NBC:
A former senior Russian official is living in the Washington area under U.S. government protection, current and former government officials tell NBC News.
NBC News is withholding the man’s name and other key details at the request of U.S. officials, who say reporting the information could endanger his life.
Yet the former Russian government official, who had a job with access to secrets, was living openly under his true name. (link)
Accepting the reality of the NBC reporting, this was not some deep agent close to Vladimir Putin etc. etc. Instead this has all the appearances (and indeed open descriptions) of a mid-level Russian official, who was a useful tool for John Brennan to establish the false-story of the “Russian Collusion-Conspiracy” narrative.
A character with just enough meat on the proverbial spy-bone to give credence to stories constructed by U.S. officials –who needed some basis in fact– to support leak information to allied media, who were selling the vast Russian conspiracy in 2016 and 2017.
When the U.S. intelligence apparatus (John Brennan) sold a story that a Russian spy was providing direct information about Putin instructing Russian operatives to interfere in the U.S. election; and that narrative was used by the same intelligence apparatus (Brennan) to build the Intelligence Community Assessment therein; the identified spy would be at risk from the fictitious story itself.
To wit…. An oblivious Russian mid-level official, named Oleg Smolenkov, was painted by the U.S. intelligence apparatus (Brennan) in 2016, as a character in a conspiracy plot, in order to claim something entirely fictitious. Why? Simply because an illusion was needed to prop up a political story in DC, and Brennan painted Oleg Smolenkov as the IC source.
Is it a surprise the unwitting Smolenkov, a man who held far less value than was being directly attributed to him, would not want to upend his life in Russia just to prop-up a constructed political narrative useful for John Brennan and the anti-Trump alliance (which includes Fusion-GPS).
Now does this makes sense:
(New York Times) […] As American officials began to realize that Russia was trying to sabotage the 2016 presidential election, the informant became one of the C.I.A.’s most important — and highly protected — assets. But when intelligence officials revealed the severity of Russia’s election interference with unusual detail later that year, the news media picked up on details about the C.I.A.’s Kremlin sources.
C.I.A. officials worried about safety made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia. The situation grew more tense when the informant at first refused, citing family concerns — prompting consternation at C.I.A. headquarters. (more)
Brennan: “C’mon Oleg, we’re going to paint you as the building block for our entire Russia conspiracy narrative, if you don’t leave… and as we make the claims even more substantial (Intelligence Community Assessment), it’s going to look bad for you… it would help us if you played the role. What’s it gonna take?”
[…] But the C.I.A. pressed again months later after more media inquiries. This time, the informant agreed.
The move brought to an end the career of one of the C.I.A.’s most important sources. (NYT Link)
Uh huh…. so important the “spy” relocated to Washington DC and kept his same name while “hiding” in plain sight?
Sketchy?…. well, actually no. A more apropos word would be ‘ridiculous’.
I think Mollie Hemingway is correct here:
MSN NEWS – The CIA Russian spy drama currently gripping Washington has taken a new turn as Russian media reported that a suspected US mole inside the Kremlin was a member of Vladimir Putin’s administration who disappeared in 2017 and was initially thought to have been murdered.
The Russian language news site Daily Storm reported in September 2017 that Smolenkov, who had once worked in the Russian embassy in Washington, had not been seen since he went on holiday with his wife and three children to Montenegro in June of that year. The Russian authorities first investigated the disappearance as a possible murder but then became convinced that Smolenkov was still alive and living abroad.
Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, confirmed the man, Oleg Smolenkov, had worked for the Kremlin but played down his importance, insisting he was a low-level employee who had been fired two years ago. (more)