World watch – Friday

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For posting on events, news, opinions and anything of interest from around the world.

15 Comments

  1. Missy

     /  February 16, 2018

    There was a story on the radio this morning that is rather concerning if true.

    It has been alleged that Jeremy Corbyn was targeted and vetted by Czech intelligence agents in 1986, and met one at least three times – twice in the commons. The agent in questions was also believed to be working for the Soviet Union as at that time Czechoslovakia was a puppet state of the Soviet Union.

    Corbyn has been mentioned as a source and agent in Czech intelligence reports. An expert from the Oxford Intelligence Group says that the reports show that Corbyn was targeted by Czech agents, and possibly the Soviet Union. Corbyn was allegedly sought out as it was believed he was well informed about persons who are in contact with anti communist agencies, most likely politicians working with MI5 and MI6.

    A spokesman for Corbyn said he met a diplomat, but never knowingly talked to a spy. If Corbyn’s denial is true then it shows an incredible amount of naivety on his part that he did not consider that a diplomat from a hostile nation might be a spy. It also shows bad judgement to have met with a diplomat from and Eastern European country at the height of the Cold War, especially a diplomat from a country that was a Soviet puppet state.

    Corbyn can ask for all archival material held on him be released by the former Czech Intelligence Service.

    Whilst I believe that it is possible (and likely) that Corbyn wasn’t aware that the diplomat he met with was a foreign intelligence agent, I do think it was naïve that he would not consider the likelihood of the diplomat was a foreign agent.

    • Missy

       /  February 16, 2018

      To the three downtickers thanks, I am so glad to see you disapproving of Corbyn having met with a Czech intelligence agent. It is a concerning thing indeed. I will watch with interest how this story develops.

    • Blazer

       /  February 16, 2018

      ‘the likelihood of the diplomat was a foreign agent.’…hey Missy ..it could be worse…National fast tracks that type…into Parliament ..here…no muckin ..around.

    • duperez

       /  February 16, 2018

      “I believe that it is possible (and likely) that Corbyn wasn’t aware that the diplomat he met with was a foreign intelligence agent, I do think it was naïve that he would not consider the likelihood of the diplomat was a foreign agent.”

      That logic would have every politician in the UK (and here too) considering that every diplomat they meet, and every person I suppose, could be a foreign agent.

      Image 32 years down the track from today, someone in these columns commenting that a leading politician should have considered that the MP Jian Yang they’d had meetings with, should have considered the likelihood that he was a foreign agent.

      I didn’t downtick but can imagine why someone would do so.

      • Missy

         /  February 16, 2018

        “That logic would have every politician in the UK (and here too) considering that every diplomat they meet, and every person I suppose, could be a foreign agent.”

        I am looking at it in the context of the time. During the cold war most of the top ranking diplomats from Russia and its puppet states were intelligence agents, it is well known that many trained in NZ during the Cold War being placed in the Embassies as attaches and diplomats. Spies in the Cold War were everywhere, and Corbyn was a backbench opposition MP with socialist anti west views. If he truly was not spying for Russia, then he should have had enough sense to consider the position of a back bench MP with known sympathies to the Communist regimes meeting a diplomat from a puppet state of the Soviet Union, he should also have been aware that there was a high likelihood that the diplomat was a spy – especially considering their conversations revolved around anti communist agencies & individuals in the UK according to the reports that cite the Czech Stasi documents.

        “Image 32 years down the track from today, someone in these columns commenting that a leading politician should have considered that the MP Jian Yang they’d had meetings with, should have considered the likelihood that he was a foreign agent.”

        I honestly think that anyone dealing with Jian Yang should seriously consider the possibility and take precautions when discussing sensitive matters with him. Especially in light of what has come out about his past. In fact I would suggest that all members of Government dealing with any Chinese official should consider that and take the relevant precautions. And Corbyn isn’t just a leading politician, he is the leader of the opposition and PM in waiting.

        What many seem to miss with this story about Corbyn – whether through blind adoration, stupidity, or naivety, is that this fits a pattern for Corbyn of what some consider anti British sympathies, but worse this could make him vulnerable in the future, especially if he becomes PM. Knowingly or not if information was passed on to this agent about individuals with ties to the intelligence service in Britain – or allies – and this is not made public, and Corbyn becomes PM, it then becomes information that has the possibility of being used for Blackmail, putting Corbyn in a vulnerable position in the future. Some might just brush it aside as not being of importance, but it could be huge, especially now as Russia increases its presence – and some say aggression – towards the west. The Czech’s will have passed the file to the KGB, and they keep everything, note everything, and the FSB won’t be above using the information for their own purpose.

        • Blazer

           /  February 16, 2018

          ‘I honestly think that anyone dealing with Jian Yang should seriously consider the possibility and take precautions when discussing sensitive matters with him. ‘…you do know National super charged him into Parliament,I take…it.

      • Missy

         /  February 16, 2018

        “I didn’t downtick but can imagine why someone would do so.”

        The person(s) who downticked are either Corbyn fans and don’t like anything negative said about him (and they claim it isn’t a cult – the Corbynistas behaviour is worse than North Koreans at times for their adoration and denial), or they just want to downtick anything I say.

        Whichever to be honest I don’t care, but it is fun to call them out now and then, a bit like poking a sleeping tiger to see if it will bite. 😀

  2. Gezza

     /  February 16, 2018

    Just shown live on Al Jazeera TV.

    Trump addressess the nation following the Parkland School Shooting.

    The Consoler-in-Chief sticks to the script. Focuses on law enforcement & mental health. Sadly, & predictably, avoids the elephant in the room – gun control.

  3. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 16, 2018

    This reminds me of how Nunes deliberately manipulated things to mislead the readers of his memo:

    During a closed-door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee that lasted nearly four hours, Bannon refused to answer any questions beyond 25 that had been pre-screened by the White House, senior Republican and Democratic committee members said. Rep. Adam Schiff, the committee’s top Democrat, suggested those questions were so narrowly drawn that they appeared intended to mislead lawmakers.

    “There were questions along the lines of ‘Did you ever meet with X?’ And because the question had been written by the White House the answer was invariably ‘No,'” Schiff said. “When we asked the question, ‘Did you talk with ‘X?,’ the answer was yes.”

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/15/steve-bannon-scripted-questions-russia-probe-414755?lo=ap_b1

  4. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 16, 2018

    Who will Gates flip on?

    https://www.vox.com/2018/2/15/16955292/rick-gates-plea-deal

    in particular Mueller’s “team had prepared superseding indictments that would add to or replace the original charges against both Manafort and Gates”.

  5. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 16, 2018

    And then there’s this little thing emerging overnight:

    trump’s “coffee boy” Papadopoulos held high level talks with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London just weeks before the US presidential election.

    “This is a strange development on a number of levels: why were senior FCO officials meeting with someone whom the current American President has described as a ‘low level volunteer’; and how on earth these senior FCO officials thought it appropriate to discuss Brexit with someone who’s primary role seems to have been facilitating contact between Trump Tower and the Kremlin?”

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/brexitinc/jenna-corderoy-peter-geoghegan/uk-diplomats-met-talked-brexit-with-trump-aide-linked-to

    Go down that rabbit-hole and look at their investigations into Brexit Funding. Lo’ and behold, up comes the Mercer name, the Saudis and miscellaneous connections to the Kremlin.

    That облако hanging over the White House just gets bigger and darker each new day.

  6. High Flying Duck

     /  February 16, 2018

    Here is a good analysis of how the Russia Collusion story was amplified by an echo chamber from one faulty source:

    “Half the country wants to know why the press won’t cover the growing scandal now implicating the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice, and threatening to reach the State Department, Central Intelligence Agency, and perhaps even the Obama White House.

    After all, the release last week of a less-redacted version of Sens. Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham’s January 4 letter showed that the FBI secured a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to search the communications of a Trump campaign adviser based on a piece of opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The Fourth Amendment rights of an American citizen were violated to allow one political party to spy on another.”

    “Many have noted the absurdity that the FISA warrant on Page was chiefly based, according to a House intelligence committee memo, on the dossier and Michael Isikoff’s September 23, 2016 news story also based on the dossier. But much of the Russiagate campaign was conducted in this circular manner. Steele and Simpson built an echo chamber with their opposition research, parts of the law enforcement and intelligence communities, and the press all reinforcing one another. Plant an item in the open air and watch it grow—like Page’s role in the Trump campaign.

    Why else was Foer or anyone so interested in Page? Why was Page’s Moscow speech so closely watched and widely covered? According to the Washington Post, Page “chided” American policymakers for an “often-hypocritical focus on democratization, inequality, corruption and regime change” in its dealings with Russia, China, and Central Asia.

    As peculiar as it may have sounded for a graduate of the Naval Academy to cast a skeptical eye on American exceptionalism, Page’s speech could hardly have struck the policy establishment as shocking, or even novel. They’d been hearing versions of it for the last eight years from the president of the United States.

    In President Obama’s first speech before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), on September 23, 2009, he insisted that no country, least of all America, has the right to tell other countries how to organize their political lives. “

    http://thefederalist.com/2018/02/15/media-stopped-reporting-russia-collusion-story-helped-create/#.WoXHk6TQXJZ.twitter