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9/11 – A Cheap Magic Trick

How false flag attacks are manufactured by the world's elite.

by Justin Raimondo
February 09, 2018

The Deep State spying scandal rolls on, with more details coming out daily. Here’s a few of the most shocking developments so far:

There was a second “dirty dossier” authored by the worst sleazebag in the Clinton camp, sent directly to the US State Department and from there via a convoluted route to the FBI. The dossier is said to be even sleazier than the Christopher Steele one. This was what went into the application to the FISA court to spy on the Trump campaign.
Michael Isikoff, former journalist, now just a receptacle for Deep State propaganda, was working with the DNC against Trump: his Yahoo piece was cited by the Obama administration in their application to spy on the Trump campaign.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has issued a criminal referral to the Justice Department against “former” MI6 agent Christopher Steele for lying to the Committee under oath.:

“It appears the FBI relied on admittedly uncorroborated information, funded by and obtained for Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign, in order to conduct surveillance of an associate of the opposing presidential candidate. It did so based on Mr. Steele’s personal credibility and presumably having faith in his process of obtaining the information. But there is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility.”

The Grassley-Grahama (Judiciary Committee) memo corroborates and expands on the Nunes memo, showing that the FBI lied to the FISA court, fed false information to the court, and exposes Rep. Adam Schiff as a serial liar.
Found among the FBI coup plotters’ text messages: we must prepare talking points for then FBI-Director James Comey because President Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing.” So the criminality goes straight up to the White House.

What’s interesting, in a disgusting way, is the reaction of the “left” and some “libertarians” to this truly scary development – the use of the Surveillance State to spy on and frame up political opponents. Listen to this podcast conducted by The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill, who openly disdains the idea that anything untoward or illegal was going on with this kind of surveillance: he is joined by Julian Sanchez, the Cato Institute’s “privacy” expert, who openly justifies the surveillance of “suspicious” Carter Page and tells us that there was basically nothing wrong with the Obama administration spying on the Trump campaign.

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Since Petrarch arrived from Avignon in 1341 to sing its praises, Rome in the Western mind has represented the ultimate threshold, the ultimate shrine

By Pepe Escobar
January 27, 2018

Italy will hold a general election on March 4. For the West, that’s quite momentous; voters deciding who rules in Rome will not only affect the third-largest economy in the eurozone but the full euro spectrum.

Italy’s debt is 130% of gross domestic product – the second-highest in the eurozone after Greece. Non-performing bank loans in Italy are the stuff of legend. The economy will grow by only 1.3% in 2018 – nearly half the European Union average (2.1%).

The political landscape reveals an unsavory triad. The center-left includes the Democratic Party of former prime minister Matteo Renzi – the Italian Tony Blair. Then there’s the largely discredited Five Star movement. And finally the center-right, with former prime minister Silvio “Bunga Bunga” Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party as a partner to the viscerally anti-immigration Northern League. This is the alliance that stands a strong chance of winning. But still they would need to form a coalition to govern.

Both Five Star and the Northern League want to hold a referendum on Italy’s membership in the euro in case member states cannot increase public spending. Berlusconi’s Forza Italia is even spinning the possibility of a parallel currency. The whole debate in Rome revolves on how to escape the trap of low growth and high unemployment.

This assortment of ills may look like Rome once again offering a living metaphor for the decline of the West. Alternatively, it might also offer a promise of renewal. In search of answers, I looked back in time and set off to the Forum for a walking conversation with the ruins of Rome.

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911 Blogger
Feb. 4, 2018

Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz had a crucial role to play in the military’s response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and yet he did nothing to help protect his country until the attacks were over and it was too late for him to make a difference to the outcome of the crisis.

As the second-highest-ranking official in the Department of Defense, Wolfowitz surely had critical duties to perform and should have promptly taken action when America came under attack. Furthermore, since he was at the Pentagon when the attacks occurred, he was in a good location to help the military respond to them. And yet he appears to have reacted to the catastrophic events with indifference.

He continued with a previously scheduled meeting after he learned about the crashes at the World Trade Center. Even when the Pentagon was attacked, 34 minutes after the second crash at the World Trade Center occurred, he initially made no effort to help the military respond to the crisis, even though more attacks could have been imminent, which he should have been trying to prevent.

Astonishingly, Wolfowitz has claimed that when he felt the Pentagon shake and heard a thud when it was hit, he did not realize an attack had taken place there. Instead, he said, he thought there had been an earthquake.

He only became involved in the military’s response to the crisis when, after initially being evacuated from the building, he went to the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center (NMCC). But it appears that by the time he reached the center the attacks would have ended and so any actions he took would have been inconsequential.

The indifference exhibited by the deputy secretary of defense when he learned of the attacks and his failure to take action when he should have been doing everything in his power to help protect America are quite chilling. And yet Wolfowitz has never had to explain his lack of response to the crisis on September 11. We therefore now need to look closely at his actions that day and contemplate why he behaved as he did.

It is plausible that Wolfowitz’s inaction was simply due to incompetence. However, statements Wolfowitz made in the years following 9/11 indicate that he actually felt the attacks were beneficial for the United States. We surely must consider, therefore, the disturbing possibility that he may have known in advance what was going to happen on September 11 and wanted the attacks to succeed. Consequently, when the attacks occurred, he deliberately avoided doing anything that might help stop them before all the intended targets were hit.


Paul Wolfowitz was attending a meeting in Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s private dining room at the Pentagon when the attacks began on September 11. The meeting, which had commenced at 8:00 a.m., was attended by a number of members of Congress and various military officials, and was intended to discuss defense budget proposals. [1]

Shortly before it ended, Rumsfeld was given a note, which informed him that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. (This plane was American Airlines Flight 11, which hit the North Tower at 8:46 a.m.) Rumsfeld has commented that he assumed at the time that the incident was an accident. [2] Therefore, the secretary of defense and those with him “went on with our breakfast.” [3]

None of the meeting’s participants appear to have diverted from their schedules after the meeting ended, at around 9:00 a.m. “We all went on with the day’s business,” Secretary of the Army Thomas White recalled. [4] “We all proceeded back to our offices,” Vice Admiral Edmund Giambastiani Jr., Rumsfeld’s senior military assistant, said. [5]

Wolfowitz went to his office, just a short walk away from Rumsfeld’s office, where he was due to attend a routine meeting. It is unclear whether he was alerted to what had happened in New York during the meeting in Rumsfeld’s private dining room. He was certainly informed about the incident, though, after he entered his office. Someone there mentioned that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. The television was turned on and, Wolfowitz described, those in the office “started seeing the scenes of what was taking place up in New York.” [6]

Even though the cause of the crash was unclear at that time, we might reasonably expect Wolfowitz to have taken a close interest in what had happened right away. While the crash may have turned out to have been an accident, he surely should have considered it possible that the incident was a terrorist attack and have acted accordingly.

In fact, Victoria Clarke, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, noted, “Even in the accidental crash scenario, the military might be involved in some way.” [7] And yet the deputy secretary of defense made no attempt to take action in response to the crash. “Like so many other people, I didn’t quite believe what was really happening,” he has remarked. [8]


Wolfowitz and those with him then saw the second hijacked plane, United Airlines Flight 175, crashing into the South Tower of the World Trade Center live on television, at 9:03 a.m. “We started seeing the shots of the second plane hitting,” Wolfowitz recalled.

It was then clear that America was under attack. And yet Wolfowitz still did nothing in response to the crisis. “I sat here thinking that something terrible was going on in New York,” he recalled. “But,” he commented, “it was up there, not here.” He therefore continued his meeting as if nothing unusual had happened. “There didn’t seem to be much to do about it immediately and we went on with whatever the meeting was,” he said. Wolfowitz and those with him apparently carried on with the meeting until 9:37 a.m., when the Pentagon was attacked.

Although his office was on the opposite side of the Pentagon to where the attack occurred, the deputy secretary of defense felt the building shake when it was hit and, he recalled, heard “a dull, thud-like noise.” And yet Wolfowitz has claimed that, despite presumably having realized earlier on that America was under attack, it did not occur to him that the noise and the shaking were the result of the Pentagon being struck. Remarkably, he said, he initially thought they were caused by an earthquake. “I didn’t put two and two together,” he commented. “My first reaction was an earthquake,” he said.

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February 7, 2018
Paul Craig Roberts

9/11 was the neoconservatives’ “New Pearl Harbor,” the excuse the neoconservatives said they needed to launch Washington’s invasions of the Middle East. As General Wesley Clark told us, the plan was seven countries in five years. The plan had nothing to do with “weapons of mass destruction,” Osama bin Laden, “bringing democracy to dictatorships,” “liberating women,” “Assad’s use of chemical weapons,” “Iranian nukes,” or any of the blatant lies concocted by the neoconservatives and fed to an obedient presstitute media and accepted by a gullible public.

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill Reminds Us That the Invasion of Iraq Was on the Menu 8 Months Prior to 9/11, the Alleged Excuse for the Invasion. From a review of Suskind’s book:

The book, “The Price of Loyalty”, written by former Wall Street Journal reporter Ron Suskind, is an alarming insider account of the way the Bush White House is run, based on a series of interviews with former administration officials, most notably [former Treasury Secretary Paul] O’Neill, who got the axe a little over a year ago because of his opposition to Bush’s policy on tax-cuts. In the book, O’Neill raises some harsh criticisms of the Bush administration. Among his most powerful charges is a claim that the Bush administration was planning to invade Iraq within days of taking office.

Appearing in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday night to promote Suskind’s book, O’Neill sharply criticized the Bush administration:
“O’Neill says that the president did not make decisions in a methodical way: there was no free-flow of ideas or open debate. At cabinet meetings, he says the president was ‘like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people. There is no discernible connection,’ forcing top officials to act ‘on little more than hunches about what the president might think.’

… And what happened at President Bush’s very first National Security Council meeting is one of O’Neill’s most startling revelations. ‘From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go,’ says O’Neill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic ‘A’ 10 days after the inauguration – eight months before Sept. 11.

… ‘It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying ‘Go find me a way to do this,’’ says O’Neill. ‘For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap.’”

Less than 24 hours after O’Neill made his critical remarks on CBS, the Treasury Department said it is looking into how a Treasury document marked “secret” came to appear on the show. Although Treasury officials have been very careful not to use the word “investigation”, the quick move looks like retaliation. Treasury spokesman Rob Nichols said the department’s request for a probe should not be viewed as a way to strike back at O’Neill. “This is standard operating procedure,” he said. Still, the fact that the administration was so quick in calling for a probe into the matter is in odd contrast with the slow pace another investigation — the one into who outed former ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife Valerie Plame as a CIA operative.

5 Feb, 2018 19:00

Former CIA Director John Brennan has been hired as a paid contributor by NBC and MSNBC, the media company announced. He led the agency from 2013 to early 2017, under President Barack Obama.

Brennan’s appointment comes amid the outcry over the memorandum released by House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-California) alleging impropriety by the FBI and DOJ while investigating claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

That Brennan previously lied to an NBC journalist about the CIA’s attempts to thwart a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into the agency’s use of torture was apparently no deterrent to his appointment.

The ex-CIA chief made his first appearance in his new role as a senior national security and intelligence analyst on ‘Meet the Press’ Sunday, and promptly took the opportunity to accuse Nunes of being “exceptionally partisan” and abusing his role to protect Trump.

Brennan said Devin Nunes has “abused the office of the chairmanship” to protect Trump and that blocking Democrats from releasing their own memo is “appalling”.

I had many fights with Congressional Dems over the years on national security matters. But I never witnessed the type of reckless partisan behavior I am now seeing from Nunes and House Republicans. Absence of moral and ethical leadership in WH is fueling this government crisis.
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) February 1, 2018

Brennan was nominated CIA director by Obama in 2013 and served until Trump took office in January 2017. In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, he has maintained that Russia “brazenly interfered” in the 2016 elections, offering no evidence to support his allegations.

The irony of Brennan’s new post was not lost on journalist and The Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald, who pointed out that it was a “little strange” for the network to constantly denounce RT and Fox as “state TV” and then hire CIA Directors & Generals as your “news analysts”?

The presence of former military and intelligence officials in newsrooms was once thought controversial. In 2008, the New York Times wrote an investigative analysis outlining the George W. Bush administration’s use of military analysts to shape terrorism coverage.

Internal Pentagon documents referred to them as “message force multipliers” or “surrogates” who could be counted on to deliver administration “themes and messages” to millions of Americans “in the form of their own opinions.”

The largest contingent of analysts were affiliated with Fox News, followed by NBC and CNN, the investigation found.

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Dear Readers: This is one of the most important articles I have written, along with this one: If the Russiagate conspiracy against Trump and American democracy goes unpunished, accountable government in the United States will cease to exist. US security agencies have long been involved in coups against foreign governments. Now they are involved in one against America. There is great danger that Republicans are so worshipful of “national security” and so determined to protect the reputation of the US government that they will give a pass to the high officials who participated in a conspiracy against the United States. As for President Trump, he lacks a government that he can count on and is threatened by the military/security complex. The conspiracy could easily be whitewashed as merely a case of the FBI and DOJ not following proper procedures, with the media’s participation in the conspiracy being dismissed with mea culpas of “sloppy reporting.”

Will The Conspiracy Against Trump and American Democracy Go Unpunished?

by Paul Craig Roberts
February 5, 2018

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” – Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

The American people do not realize the seriousness of the Russiagate conspiracy against them and President Trump. Polls indicate that a large majority of the public do not believe that Trump conspired with Putin to steal the presidential election, and are tired of hearing the media prostitutes repeat the absurd story day after day. On its face the story makes no sense whatsoever. Moreover, the leaked emails are real, not fabricated. The emails show exactly what Hillary and the DNC did. The public knows that these transgressions were pushed out of news sight by the false story of a Trump/Putin conspiracy. The fact that the entirety of the US print and TV media served in a highly partisan political way to bury a true and disturbing story with a fake news story—Russiagate—is one reason some polls show that only 6% of Americans trust the mainstream media. All polls show that large majorities of independents, Republicans, and youth distrust the mainstream media. In some polls about half of Democrats trust the media, and that is because the media is servant to Democratic Party interests.

Russiagate is a dagger aimed at the heart of American governmental institutions. A conspiracy involving top officials of the Obama Department of Justice, FBI, and other “security” agencies was formed together with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, the purpose of which was to defeat Trump in the presidential election and, failing that, to remove Trump from office or to discredit him to the point that he would be reduced to a mere figurehead. This conspiracy has the full backing of the entirely of the mainstream media.

In other words, it was a coup not only against Donald Trump but also against American democracy and the outcome of a presidential election.

There is no doubt whatsoever about this. The facts are publicly available in the declassified Top Secret Memorandum Opinion and Order of the FISA Court— and in the declassified report from the House Intelligence Committee—given by the presstitutes the misleading name of the “Nunes Memo,” as if it is Nunes’ personal opinion and not the findings of months of work by an oversight committee of Congress— .

All of this information has been posted on my website for some time. If you have difficulty following my explanation, former US Attorney Joe DiGenova explains the felony actions by the FBI and Obama Justice (sic) Department here:

Briefly, the National Security Agency discovered that the FBI and DOJ were abusing the surveillance system. As a favor of one security agency to another, NSA Director Adm. Rogers permitted the FBI and DOJ to rush to the FISA Court and confess their transgressions before the NSA informed the Court. The FBI and DOJ pretended that their deception of the Court in order to obtain surveillance warrants for highly partisan political purposes was not due to their intent but to procedural mistakes. The FBI and DOJ told the Court that they were tightening up procedures so that this would not happen again. The FISA Court Memorandum and Order clearly states:

“On October 24, 2016, the government orally apprised the Court of significant non-compliance with the NSA’s minimization procedures involving queries of data acquired under Section 702 using U.S. person identifiers. The full scope of non-compliant querying practices had not been previously disclosed to the Court.”

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by William J. Astore and Tom Engelhardt
February 05, 2018
Originally posted at TomDispatch

The groundwork is already laid for America’s next war(s) in the Middle East and, in the process, one of the last relatively undamaged areas of Syria (at least before the Turkish military began to pound it with air strikes and artillery, then moving in tanks) is about to be added to the rubble of the region. The damage that began with the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 could now spread to yet another country, Turkey, already filled with Syrian refugees but relatively unscathed so far. At the moment, an autocratic Turkish president, angry over American backing for Kurdish forces in northern Syria and jockeying for popularity in his own country, is potentially repeating on a small scale the American blunder of 2003. He’s blithely invading Kurdish-controlled parts of northern Syria, assuming that all will go splendidly, while President Trump’s military finds itself, as it has so many times in these years, between a rock and a hard place.

The U.S. has approximately 2,000 troops in northern Syria and, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson only recently announced, they are slated to stay there not just until the last ISIS fighter is wiped off the face of the Earth, but possibly until the end of time (a decision for which the Trump administration naturally has no congressional sanction). Washington’s latest stated goal: to support Kurdish fighters in the region and play a role in undermining both Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria and its Iranian backers. (Good luck with that!) Those troops now find themselves caught between NATO ally Turkey (which has let Washington use a key military base against ISIS) and American-trained and -armed leftist Syrian Kurds, who have done most of the hard fighting (and dying) against the Islamic State “caliphate.” The Turks, who consider those Kurds “terrorists” (and backers of longtime Kurdish insurgents in Turkey), are angrily demanding that all U.S. troops immediately and unconditionally leave the Kurdish-controlled Syrian city of Manbij before they move in militarily (a demand already rejected by the head of U.S. Central Command). And oh, yes, the remnants of ISIS, driven back and no longer a “caliphate” or much of anything else, are still fighting.

So much for Donald Trump’s “victory” in Syria. While no one can possibly know what will come of all this, as with so much else in American war-making over these last 17 years, it’s reasonable to assume that it won’t be good, or peaceable, or end particularly well, or possibly at all. Count on one thing: you won’t soon read about an American military unchallenged and victorious in a Syria brought to order. Quite the opposite: if recent years are any indication, the damage will only spread, more civilians will die, more homes will be destroyed, more populations will be uprooted, and embittered locals, angry at the U.S. among other participants in this mayhem, will be primed to join yet newer terror groups.

TomDispatch regular and retired Air Force lieutenant colonel William Astore looks at this now eerily familiar process of American war-making, twenty-first-century style, and suggests what kinds of damage it’s already done, not just in distant lands, but here at home and what we, the people (formerly, “We, the People”), might consider doing about it. ~ Tom

Our Enemy, Ourselves
Ten Commonsense Suggestions for Making Peace, Not War

By William J. Astore

Whether the rationale is the need to wage a war on terror involving 76 countries or renewed preparations for a struggle against peer competitors Russia and China (as Defense Secretary James Mattis suggested recently while introducing America’s new National Defense Strategy), the U.S. military is engaged globally. A network of 800 military bases spread across 172 countries helps enable its wars and interventions. By the count of the Pentagon, at the end of the last fiscal year about 291,000 personnel (including reserves and Department of Defense civilians) were deployed in 183 countries worldwide, which is the functional definition of a military uncontained. Lady Liberty may temporarily close when the U.S. government grinds to a halt, but the country’s foreign military commitments, especially its wars, just keep humming along.

As a student of history, I was warned to avoid the notion of inevitability. Still, given such data points and others like them, is there anything more predictable in this country’s future than incessant warfare without a true victory in sight? Indeed, the last clear-cut American victory, the last true “mission accomplished” moment in a war of any significance, came in 1945 with the end of World War II.

Yet the lack of clear victories since then seems to faze no one in Washington. In this century, presidents have regularly boasted that the U.S. military is the finest fighting force in human history, while no less regularly demanding that the most powerful military in today’s world be “rebuilt” and funded at ever more staggering levels. Indeed, while on the campaign trail, Donald Trump promised he’d invest so much in the military that it would become “so big and so strong and so great, and it will be so powerful that I don’t think we’re ever going to have to use it.”

As soon as he took office, however, he promptly appointed a set of generals to key positions in his government, stored the mothballs, and went back to war. Here, then, is a brief rundown of the first year of his presidency in war terms.

In 2017, Afghanistan saw a mini-surge of roughly 4,000 additional U.S. troops (with more to come), a major spike in air strikes, and an onslaught of munitions of all sorts, including MOAB (the mother of all bombs), the never-before-used largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal, as well as precision weapons fired by B-52s against suspected Taliban drug laboratories. By the Air Force’s own count, 4,361 weapons were “released” in Afghanistan in 2017 compared to 1,337 in 2016. Despite this commitment of warriors and weapons, the Afghan war remains – according to American commanders putting the best possible light on the situation – “stalemated,” with that country’s capital Kabul currently under siege.

How about Operation Inherent Resolve against the Islamic State? U.S.-led coalition forces have launched more than 10,000 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since Donald Trump became president, unleashing 39,577 weapons in 2017. (The figure for 2016 was 30,743.) The “caliphate” is now gone and ISIS deflated but not defeated, since you can’t extinguish an ideology solely with bombs. Meanwhile, along the Syrian-Turkish border a new conflict seems to be heating up between American-backed Kurdish forces and NATO ally Turkey.

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By Greg Hunter
January 31, 2018 In

Financial writer Bill Holter thinks revelations from the so-called Washington D.C. swamp are going to intensify in 2018. Holter explains, “I would call what’s coming a tsunami of truth. . . . I think it’s going to affect the mood of the country. It is going to enrage some people. I think it will scare some people. It will definitely affect capital flows. There is a debate about arresting people and perp walks, whether that would be good or bad for confidence. It’s my opinion it would initially be bad for confidence because there are so many people (that would be criminally charged) it would blow their minds. It’s beyond anything that they even thought of. So, I think confidence would initially break, but longer term, it is good for confidence because it will be a sign that the rule of law is coming back to the United States.”

Holter contends the politics of crooked Washington D.C. have a negative effect on the U.S. dollar. Holter says, “One reason I think the dollars has been weak since the beginning of 2017 is there were an awful lot of truth bombs that hit last year. There is more truth with this four page memo from Congress that was just voted to be released. Foreigners are looking at the dollar with high skepticism because all of this ‘truth’ points to a very crooked, fraudulent and corrupt nation. Do you really want your assets in that system and denominated in that currency? I think the answer is no, and that’s one of the reasons you are seeing the huge devaluation of the dollar. . . . In 2017, my theme was that was the year of the truth bomb, and in 2018, I believe the theme will end up being the year that truth finally mattered.”

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By Joe Concha
The Hill

CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd warned that President Trump is agitating the government, saying during a Thursday afternoon interview with CNN anchor Jake Tapper that the U.S. government “is going to kill this guy.”

Mudd, who served as deputy director to former FBI Director Robert Mueller, said Trump’s defense of Russian President Vladimir Putin has compelled federal employees “at Langley, Foggy Bottom, CIA and State” to try to take Trump down.

“Let me give you one bottom line as a former government official. Government is going to kill this guy,” Mudd, a staunch critic of Trump, said on “The Lead.”

“He defends Vladimir Putin. There are State Department and CIA officers coming home, and at Langley and Foggy Bottom, CIA and State, they’re saying, ‘This is how you defend us?’ ” he continued.

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The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has done its duty by releasing this memo.

by Daniel McCarthy
February 2, 2018
The National Interest

In the midst of the 2016 election, bad actors at the Justice Department tried to turn the FBI into the police arm of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). That’s the bottom line of the January 18 House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence memo released today. The document reveals that a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) was led, or misled, into authorizing spying on Carter Page, a Trump campaign volunteer, on the basis of information provided by Christopher Steele, a British spy-for-hire working for the opposition research firm Fusion GPS—which was itself ultimately working for the DNC.

FBI and Justice Department officials failed to reveal this context to the FISC, according to the memo, “even though it was known by DOJ at the time that political actors were involved in the Steele dossier.” James Comey and Andrew McCabe, then the FBI’s director and deputy director, were among the officials who signed requests for authorization and renewal of surveillance of Page. Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein, both deputy attorneys general at the time, also signed requests.

The memo also reveals that the innuendo Steele promoted on behalf of the DNC became a hall of mirrors, in which one set of claims was echoed and amplified by strategic media leaks that were based on the very same source of misinformation: Steele himself. To corroborate information about Page that Steele had given to the FBI, the request for authority to spy on Page relied on a second source, a September 23, 2016 Yahoo News story by Michael Isikoff. But as the House committee’s memo reports, “This article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News.” Steele was eventually “suspended and then terminated as an FBI source” because he disclosed his contacts with the FBI to another journalist, David Corn of the left-leaning Mother Jones. No doubt Steele’s talk about his role as an FBI informant added an aura of authority to the tales he shopped around.

Were the FBI and Justice Department officials in question simply negligent in failing to inform the FISC about the partisan background to the claims Steele was making? The memo reveals that “before and after Steele was terminated as a source” by the FBI, he was in contact with then–Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, “a senior DOJ official who worked closely with Deputy Attorneys General Yates and later Rosenstein.” Steele told Ohr that he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” As it happens, Ohr’s wife was an employee of Fusion GPS and working on anti-Trump opposition research for the firm, research also ultimately paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign. “The Ohrs’ relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the FISC,” the memo relates.

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