Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein have more in
common than anyone realized
Donald Trump – and by extension, his media surrogates, fake news Trumpropaganda websites and his minor legion of followers, speak interminably about the nebulous “Deep State” – an alleged cabal of U.S. intelligence operatives and agencies, imagined to be marshaling efforts to destroy Donald Trump’s presidency.
It might be argued that Donald Trump is his own deep state in that regard. No one has laid more land mines to destroy his term in office than Trump. And remarkably, details are emerging about an operation that could legitimately termed a deep state enterprise. That entity?
So, what is Black Cube? Black Cube is a private covert operations instrumentality that was founded by former Israeli Mossad, Aman and Shin Bet intelligence agents. It’s website summarizes itself as “a select group of elite Israeli intelligence community who specializes in tailored solutions to complex business and litigation challenges.”
If a description could be more opaque and subject to various interpretations, it is hard to imagine. But a clue to what the name Black Cube is indirectly telegraphing, is the concept of “black operations” or “black ops”. What are “black ops”? Wiki summarizes it as:
A black operation (or black ops) is a covert operation by a government, a government agency, or a military organization. This can include activities by private companies or groups. Key features of a black operation are that it is secret and it is not attributable to the organization carrying it out. The main difference between a black operation and one that is merely secret is that a black operation involves a significant degree of deception, to conceal who is behind it or to make it appear that some other entity is responsible (“false flag” operations).
As we will see, the activities of Black Cube with respect to Harvey Weinstein’s and the Trump organization’s interests, fall somewhat short of the ideal components described above.
Black Cube commenced operations in 2010, led by Avi Yanus and Dan Zorella. Probably the most apt outline of what Black Cube does, comes from Romania’s opposite number to the FBI – the Direction for the Investigation of Organised Criminal Infractions and Terrorism (DIICOT). DIICOT said this in a press release explaining the reasons behind the arrest of a couple of Black Cube operatives in Romania:
“In March 2016, Dan Zorella and Avi Yanus […], who had management roles at an Israeli company, Black Cube, with offices both in Tel Aviv/Israel and in London/UK, together with several other employees of the firm, including the defendants Weiner Ron and Geclowicz David, initiated and constituted a criminal group with the purpose of committing several crimes, i.e. harassment and digital crimes, such as making multiple threatening telephone calls meant to inspire fear, as well as phishing attacks meant to steal login credentials and, later on, to compromise e-mail accounts. These activities were followed by the violation of the secret of correspondence via the unlawful copying and transfer of these accounts’ content. The objective of the group’s criminal activity was to compromise the image of the DNA chief prosecutor in Romania by trying to find “activities of corruption.””
The old game of “Smear The Victim” – Weinstein unleashes the dogs
In the context of Harvey Weinstein, the mega entertainment mogul whose career careened off a cliff when revelations of his serial sexual misconduct surfaced in the media, Black Cube is said to have been employed in an effort to discredit not only his accusers, but journalists covering the story as well.
Ronan Farrow, co-recipient of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize award, was the journalist who broke the story in the New Yorker.
One of the targets of Black Cube’s intrusive probes apparently designed to silence both critics and victims, was an actress that has reported that Weinstein raped her.
Rose McGowan received communications from, for instance, an agent posing as a women’s rights advocate and engaged McGowan in pointed conversations and surreptitiously recorded them.
That operative was also posing as a victim of Weinstein to attempt to extract the names of other women who may have been speaking about Weinstein with journalists.
The Trump – Black Cube connection
On the Trump side of Black Cube’s intel exploits, it is emerging that Black Cube was partnering with Trump Inc., in a counter-offensive to the Mueller investigation by attempting to discredit former Obama administration officials who participated in negotiations that led to the Iran Nuclear Agreement – which was just officially scuttled yesterday by Trump.
Mr. Farrow, writing in the New Yorker reports that Black Cube, “compiled a list of more than thirty reporters who it believed were in touch with Obama Administration officials, annotated with instructions about how to seek negative information.”
The Guardian UK’s online news page, the Observer, disclosed information indicating that Trump associates engaged Black Cube for the purpose of “getting dirt” on the aforementioned former Obama administration officials – the motive being that information uncovered could be used to justify Trump’s cancellation of the 5 nation Iran nuclear agreement.
Among the targets that have been identified so far, are Colin Kahl, one of Barack Obama’s deputy assistants and Ben Rhodes, a member of Obama’s national security advisory team.
The Observer’s contacts detailed that the engagement with Black Cube was initiated by the Trump operatives during the same time period that Trump as president was visiting Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump reiterated a pledge to Netanyahu that he would see to it that Iran, under his administration, would never acquire nuclear weapons.
Those familiar with the strategy, tell the Observer that discrediting the Obama officials involved in the negotiation of the nuclear pact, would give Trump cover to do what he did yesterday – announce an executive order to withdraw from the deal.
Reporters at the Observer were shown documents that confirm the operation. It constituted a virtual political proctology exam, involving any contacts the targeted individual may have had with journalists, the men’s personal relationships and their finances.
An intel agent from Black Cube, posing as a journalist – a standard tactic, contacted an author familiar with Rhodes and Kahl. Trita Parsi said that the telephone interviews began with more general questions and then drilled down aggressively to matters Parsi found alarming. “then he started asking about personal financial interests, and that was more unusual. He was pushing very, very hard,” Mr. Parsi said.
What is not presently known is the ultimate extent of this campaign of intrusion and how many more Obama administration officials might have been subjected to it. In any event, reaction has been strong. Former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, stated:
“These are extraordinary and appalling allegations but which also illustrate a high level of desperation by Trump and [the Israeli prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu, not so much to discredit the deal but to undermine those around it.”
One of the men who was the focus of the probe, Colin Kahl, reacted to the news with this tweet:
Trump administration eyed for effort to smear Obama Iran deal proponents.
Watch it. https://t.co/1WJwjPhrnV
— Colin Kahl (@ColinKahl) May 8, 2018
The White House has declined to comment on the allegations in Mr. Farrow’s report, or that of the Observer. Black Cube, for its part, limited its response to this statement:
“Black Cube has no relation whatsoever to the Trump administration, to Trump aides, to anyone close to the administration or to the Iran Nuclear deal. Anyone who claims otherwise is misleading their readers and viewers.”
I’ll leave it to National Compass readers to judge the authenticity and truthfulness of that statement.