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If there's one thing we've learned in the Trump era, it's that accusations are confessions. If Rudy Giuliani calls FBI agents stormtroopers, you know there is some horrible Nazi shit going down in Trumpland. And if Trump accuses the Obama administration of "tapping his wires," you better believe his goons are out there spying on private citizens.


But before we go all the way down this rabbit hole to try to figure out what's going on here, let's remember that this is some DEEPLY FUCKED UP ANTI-DEMOCRATIC SHIT. And in any normal administration there would be congressional inquiries and a special counsel to get to the bottom of it.

Israel and Iran

Donald Trump ain't too deep. His reasons for hating the Iran nuclear agreement (JCPOA) are:

  1. Iran BAD
  2. Israel GOOD
  3. Obama STUPID
  4. A bunch of lies he saw on Fox

He wants to kill the JCPOA, and so do the Israelis. Someone hired the Israeli intelligence ops firm Black Cube to smear former Obama officials as a way to attack the JCPOA. The question is who, and can they be connected to the Trump Administration?

What the hell is Black Cube?

Black Cube is who you call when you have a lot of money, and you need serious muscle to learn everything there is to know about your enemies. The firm has investigated corrupt arbitration panels in Italy, bank fraud in Iceland, and fraudulent Taiwanese shipping judgements. It also sent an agent posing as a reporter to pump Rose McGowan for information about Harvey Weinstein.

This isn't some retired cop snapping photos of philandering husbands. Whoever hired these guys meant business.

Who did they target?

Saturday, the Guardian reported that "aides to Donald Trump" engaged Black Cube to dig up dirt on former Obama national security staffers Ben Rhodes and Colin Kahl, discrediting the JCPOA by claiming that Obama staffers pushed the deal because they stood to profit personally from its passage.

WHAT AIDES? Is the US government spending tax dollars to smear former government employees for doing their damn jobs? The Guardian quotes an anonymous source connecting the operation directly to Trump:

The idea was that people acting for Trump would discredit those who were pivotal in selling the deal, making it easier to pull out of it.

But Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker suggests that the firm was hired by an outside business entity.

One of the sources familiar with the effort told me that it was, in fact, part of Black Cube’s work for a private-sector client pursuing commercial interests related to sanctions on Iran.

For his part, Kahl seems astonished to have been targeted, telling Farrow,

“Why Ben and I? Why conjoin Ben and me?” Kahl asked. “Of all the other senior people in the White House, I’m least senior.”

Creepy Shit

Rhodes and Kahl's wives both appear to have been approached by a female Black Cube operative with a fake LinkedIn profile -- same photo, different names -- seeking a personal interview for suspicious reasons. Here's the thread on Kahl's wife, Rebecca Kahl.

Independent journalist Laura Rozen makes a strong case that the same woman who targeted Rose McGowan also approached Rebecca Kahl and Rhodes's wife, Ann Norris. In each case, the woman claimed a connection to Reuben Capital Partners, an apparently fictitious wealth-management firm in London.

Non-Denial Denial

And here's the response from the company itself.

UH HUH.

WHAT THE FUCK?

Yeah, we don't know either. If we had to bet, one of Trump's billionaire buddies who thinks Iran is an existential threat to Israel ponied up a few hundred thousand dollars for a longshot bid to sink the JCPOA by "proving" Obama staffers were dirty. (If you thought Donald Trump fronted the cash, please punch yourself and take your own lunch money.) But did they coordinate the attacks with the White House?

Laura Rozen points out that pro-Trump media was pushing the idea that Rhodes and Kahl were leaking classified information about the Trump administration last summer when Norris and Rebecca Kahl were approached by Black Cube's operative. And here's Sebastian Gorka, who was still a White House aide at the time, naming Kahl and Rhodes as leakers on Fox in May, 2017.

Coincidence? NOT BLOODY LIKELY.

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[The Guardian / The New Yorker]

Five Dollar Feminist

Your FDF lives in Baltimore under an assumed identity as an upstanding member of the PTA. Shhh, don't tell anyone she makes swears on the internet!

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