Claim that would-be key Russiagate figure Konstantin Kilimnik is a longtime American informant might be a game-changing story – in a country with a real press corps
Matt, any advice on how a concerned citizen can obtain accurate reporting of current events. I hate to sound like a 4th grader, but I’m looking for facts not bull shit from a propaganda machine for any political team
It's a failed state department and intelligence coup.
There is no nice way to say it. the press was complicit, repeating "leaked" information from FBI sources.
Leaked implies an accidental release of info. This was deliberate.
I'm telling you... the political power in this country was too busy stuffing it's faces in the greedy trough to be manning the helm, and while they were asleep at the wheel, dreaming about god-knows-what decadence the human mind can dream of, Trump hijacked their own propaganda arm and played them all.
Now, look at the shit we have to deal with.
Most people are "just OK" with a corrupted political system that they know is bought and paid for, so long as the cart stays upright. The cart is precariously sitting atop a heap of crap though, and the pinnacle is too narrow to support it.
It's coming down eventually.
"There are two big possibilities: either Solomon’s report is wrong somehow, and the nature of Kilimnik’s relationship with the United States government has been misrepresented, or he’s right and this tale at the “heart” of the Mueller probe has been over-spun in an Everest of misleading news reports. " Gee, it's so hard to think of which to put my money on, given that Downer turned out to be a friend of the resistance, Vesselnitskaya is a business partner of Glenn Simpson, and on and on.... it's hard to shock me given everything we've seen over the past 2-3 years, but it just keeps unfolding better and better.
The funniest part is how everything Trump and Nunes were decried as being untouchables for saying turns out to be true eventually. Yet so many people still hold the same opinion of Nunes because they were fed that opinion and are parrots. If you look back, the guy did nothing but help paint a transparent picture.
Matt Taibbi wrote: "We’ve gotten to the point where news editors and producers are more like film continuity editors — worried about maintaining literary consistency in coverage"
Example from today's news...
NY Times headline: "Mexico Agreed to Take Border Actions Months Before Trump Announced Tariff Deal"
First sentence: "The deal to avert tariffs that President Trump announced with great fanfare on Friday night CONSISTS LARGELY OF [emphasis mine] actions that Mexico had already promised to take in prior discussions with the United States over the past several months, according to officials from both countries who are familiar with the negotiations."
In this case, the continuity was: Trump's tariff idea did nothing, did nothing, did nothing, just like we have been telling you would happen. The NYT/CNN/et al can't admit that the "consists largely of" points didn't require the arm-twisting; it was the OTHER points.
Do they think people can't see through this? Do they think lawyers and computer programmers are just going to gloss over "largely consists of"? The job of copy editor sure has devolved in that past few decades.
Suggested (perhaps too clunky title): "Not Even a -Gate"
"What’s amazing about Konstantin Kilimnik—the supposed Russian meddling link between Trump/Manafort and the Kremlin—is that spent nearly a decade in Moscow working for @IRIglobal, USG-funded regime change/foreign meddling op.
From 1995 to 2005, he was an *American agent.*"
5:01 PM - 11 Jan 2019
Matt, aren’t you seriously considering returning to Russia as an immigrant. You’re surely entitled to asylum as a persecuted real journalist
I am so grateful to you for this considered and thoughtful essay on the Kilimnik story.
Great post here Taibbi. I never cease to be amazed at the details you recall from other reporting on this, or ability to outline them in a cohesive way. You must have a little corkboard with strings flying everywhere, don't you?
FWIW, Larry Johnson of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) had a post about how Solomon may have fumbled what Klimnick's role was as an "source" of the State Department. (You'll this it is not written as a defense of the Mueller Report.)
' Konstantin Kilimnik was not a special State Department source. He was a routine contact. Solomon is correct is pointing out that the Mueller team portrays contacts with Kilimnik as nefarious and potentially illegal. That is just another example of the fraud and shoddiness that is the Mueller Report.
A genuine Foreign Service Officer aka FSO (i.e., someone who has taken passed the Foreign Service exams and been appointed to the State Departmnet) serving in a U.S. Embassies overseas do not recruit nor run "confidential" human sources. That is the work of the CIA and the DIA. Foreign Service Officers meet with foreign citizens and they do so without having training in conducting clandestine meetings and using clandestine methods to communicate.
Almost all meetings between a FAO and a foreign "source" occur at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate or at some public diplomatic function, such as a reception. The FSO does not set up "secret" meetings.
Solomon is skirting the real story--there was nothing unusual or out of the ordinary about Kilimnik communicating with a U.S. Embassy official. There also was nothing wrong about Kilimnik communicating with Manafort and passing along information received from Manafort. Manafort was not dealing in classified information or intel that was proprietary to the U.S. Government. Nor was he getting paid by the Russians (though that would not have been illegal either) to collect U.S. intelligence.
Foreign Service Officer Kasanof did what any state department officer working in the Political Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kiev would do--he obtained non-classified information form Ukrainians with access to information and key personnel and communicated that back to main State. Normal work for real U.S. diplomats.
The real heart of the matter is that the Kilimnik/Kasanof communications were ignored by Mueller. Nothing that Paul Manafort was passing on to Kilimnik was illegal or inappropriate.
Solomon wastes a lot of ink trying to paint Kilimnik as some sort of super secret "State Department source." Talking to a person like Kilimnik is routine and quite normal for a FSO working out of the U.S. Embassy in Kiev. Their reports on a conversation with Kilimnik would be classified as either Confidential or Secret. A really sensitive contact (and Kilimnik was not that) would get an additional caveat, such as EXDIS, which would limit distribution inside State Department. Kilimnik is really not that special. He had no formal position with the Ukrainian Government and only was offering his own well-informed opinion. That kind of information does not qualify as "sensitive" intelligence. '
I have previously made similar comments in Matt's substack here about Solomon's reporting. One, that it needs to be read as potentially biased or a bit overwrought. Two, that it is nonetheless credible, sources tend to be accurately quoted and treated, and facts tend to be facts. Third, that it's complete bullshit that the rest of the staff on the Hill not agreeing politically with what Solomon's stories show should mean that they force his stories to be treated not as journalism but as freaking op-eds. And that's at the Hill, which still has a lot of credibility overall. It's a sad state of affairs!
Check out the Hill's other Ukraine stories by Solomon, including direct video interviews of Ukrainian sources - you can't spin those, and it's eye-opening stuff.