It’s really easy go off course quickly in an investigation of you don’t set the right focus – and it’s especially easy to lose focus by getting diverted by the wrong words. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I think that certain of the current Russian investigations are being undermined by people tossing around the term “collusion”. Basically collusion implies conspiracy and it also implies secret agreements, and knowledge of cooperation in illegal or deceitful activities.
While it’s not impossible that Donald Trump or certain of his associates knowingly conspired with individuals working for or in league with Russian intelligence – or even Putin’s personal financial/governance network – that might have had nothing to do with the 2016 election at all, relating to contacts which began much earlier. You can imagine a dialog about making it easier to do business if American foreign policy was more positive towards Russia, or later on putting it in terms of pragmatism and the removal of certain sanctions. And Manafort worked as a consultant for individuals wishing to shape the Ukrainian elections, it’s almost impossible to think that similar discussions of American politics and popular opinions never came up.
Beyond that, if the Russian FSB were involved – along with experienced Russian political action and psyops officers – you can imagine the verbiage in any dialog would have become quite convoluted. Reportedly Putin is a master of the same techniques used by Cold War era CIA directors who got people to conduct operations up to and including assassination without ever giving a specific verbal order, much less putting it in writing. The people who work for Putin have become very good “guessers”, the ones who didn’t fell out of power, lost their positions or are no longer with us.
What the FBI and Congressional committees should be focused on is Russian covert political action, exposing current practices and waking everyone up to the fact that it never stopped at the end of the Cold War and restarted with a vengeance circa 2008. If “collusion” falls out of the investigation, people need to go to jail but that’s a secondary issue. If not, it will just show that the Russian practices are far more effective and far more dangerous.
So what does that have to do with “cover-up”, well recently I got into a dialog with a fellow researcher on the use of that term. Traditionally it’s been applied to the JFK assassination in terms of an operation carried out after the murder to cover up a conspiracy. Peter Dale Scott brought forth the concept of a two phase operation, Phase 1 involving a plan to blame the act on Castro/Cuba and Phase 2 to cover up the evidence of a conspiracy and substitute a lone nut. The interesting thing is that many researchers have the same plotters involved in both phases…which makes absolutely no sense (to me at least). And I think the use of the word “cover-up” really defocuses our research and investigation – since it also implies the people who doing it actually have some idea what they are covering-up and continued to work for decades to suppress that knowledge.
As a counter I would offer an alternative – a three stage scenario in which first the plotters attempt to shape the assassination in order to point towards Castro, using Oswald’s prior associations as a tool. To some extent that worked, you can see it in some newspaper headlines the next morning. That was followed by a bandwagon effect with Cuban exiles jumping in and trying to enhance that story line in the days and weeks that followed. So for simplicities sake let’s just call the first phase the “plot”.
And then, as my friend Bill Kelly writes, there was the second phase, which followed a “tipping point”. That point can actually be identified, it’s the point at which LBJ calls Hoover that evening and asks him to take over the investigation and at the same time has Cliff Carter calling key people in Dallas and Texas and ordering them to shut up about conspiracy, change their legal charges on Oswald and just focus on Oswald as a lone nut. Now DPD was slow to get that storyline, they kept investigating and pulling people in all night – but then they were just behind the curve. What Johnson chose to do, for whatever reason, was to abort any investigation of conspiracy, not cover it up per se but simply abort it ever being developed – or at least officially documented. Which correctly let to a raft of suspicions and a descent by all parties involved into phase 3 – denial.
Perhaps there are better words but I’m stuck with Plot/Abort/Denial…surely somebody must have a better suggestion. Think about it…