In my post of last week, I noted that the mainstream media had finally gotten on to an idea I’ve had for a year and some conservative bloggers have been bandying about for at least a few months: namely that the FBI had planted someone inside the Trump campaign no later than the Summer of 2016. Though Kim Strassel first broached the subject in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times has now taken the lead and tossed up the name of Stefan Halper, an American academic based in London.
That’s not who I had in mind as a “plant” though, based on interviews she’s given this week, it’s evidently who Strassel (and others) had in mind.
I’m sure they’re not wrong about Halper’s role–he’ll have one hell of a lawsuit if they are–but his role is not that of either a spy or an informant. He seems to be a cutout–someone not in the Trump campaign who the FBI and/or CIA could rely on to brace those who were.
Those who were included (but may not be limited to) Carter Page and George Papadopolous, two men who have been in the news quite a lot.
The lengths to which the media (across the board) and the usually more insightful online bloggers have gone to insist none of these were actual “informants” (including the Times, which specifically misused the term to make it seem like Halper is such when their own reporting insists he’s only a handler–someone who, at most, might gather information from an informant) is curious.
It’s been known for months that Carter Page was not only a known FBI asset, but was specifically helping them in a case that involved a Russian while he was “Volunteering” to be part of the Trump Campaign.
It is likely, however, that Page, who was part of Trump’s campaign, was not an “informant” either.
An informant would be someone who was inserted into the campaign for the purpose of uncovering evidence of illegal (or at least unethical) behavior, and reporting back to a prearranged handler.
From the reporting so far available, Halper was not that sort of handler.
He was the sort who arranged to have meetings with low level Trump operatives for the specific purpose of making them appear dirty because why else would they be meeting with the likes of him, a known go-between for both the FBI and the CIA?
If you’re having a little trouble following along, you’re not alone.
In all the sound and fury that’s been building for a year while Team Mueller and Team Trump stalked each other, I still haven’t seen one person suggest the obvious–that Carter Page was placed in the Trump campaign (by the FBI, though possibly at the CIA’s suggestion) not to be a classic informant, but to follow orders and meet with enough sketchy characters (Mr. Halper included) that the FBI could use his presence to get a FISA warrant on somebody–if necessary, him.
Since Page was in fact who they got the warrant on (in October, 2016, after failing to produce enough evidence even for a Star Chamber filled with their own hand-picked judges in June), the only other possibility is that the FBI went looking for someone–anyone–they could produce on the spot as a surveillance subject that would satisfy the court they were on to something…and just happened to find one of their own assets conveniently positioned right where they needed him to be!
Even I don’t think the FBI is so incompetent they’d leave something like that to chance.
Either way, it’s a good thing Donald Trump’s not Hitler.
Because if this clown car was all that was standing between us and the next Hitler, we’d all be better off shooting ourselves in the head while guns are still legal.
As it is, whether anyone goes to jail in the next year-and-a-half will depend on what it always depends on.
But you’re my readers, and a great deal smarter than the average bear–so you already knew that….