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Russiagate Part One: The Story That Everyone Missed

If there’s one guy that has flown under the radar when it comes to Russiagate, it’s Thor Halvorssen.  He’s a Venezuelan human rights activist and an associate of Bill Browder’s so that alone should tip you off that maybe there’s some shadiness involved here.  In 2013, Halvorssen invited Browder to speak at the Oslo Freedom Forum, they’ve both been crying about Russia for years, and back in April, Browder spoke at Halvorssen’s New York event, PutinCon. Other speakers at the event included journalist Luke Harding, former federal prosecutor Preet Bharara, and Alexei Navalny, a Russian activist supported by Russian oligarchs like Mikhail Khordorkovsky.  Khodorkovsky is the one who recently received Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya’s alleged emails which he then passed on to the U.S. media.

The other thing that Halvorssen and Browder have in common is an intense dislike of Glenn Simpson’s firm, Fusion GPS.  Browder’s disdain is obvious; in 2014, Fusion GPS was hired by a U.S. law firm representing Prevezon to look into Browder’s checkered background.  As for Halvorssen, most people aren’t even familiar with him let alone why he spoke out against the firm.  But it’s not just Halvorssen and Browder’s dislike for Fusion GPS that’s interesting.  It’s the convoluted ties they have to Russia, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and an elusive billionaire by the name of Christopher Chandler, that makes Russiagate all that more intriguing…and an obvious lie.

Most importantly, it should be noted that although the House Intelligence Committee report cleared President Trump of colluding with the Russian government, the report makes clear that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are still a target in the Russian collusion story.  With Assange being cut off from the world for over forty days now, it is imperative that we get to the bottom of Russiagate and those responsible for it.

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HALVORSSEN AND FUSION GPS

Thor Halvorssen

On July 26, 2017, Thor Halvorssen submitted testimony to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee stating that in 2012 he started investigating Venezuela’s state oil company (PDVSA) and associated companies for alleged corruption.  Instead of the story being exposed in the media, Halvorssen maintains that Fusion GPS was hired by one of the companies associated with PDVSA to “spike these stories.”  According to his statement, Derwick Associates hired Fusion GPS in 2014 to “ensure that the evidence of their crimes” was kept under wraps by employing such tactics as “smear campaigns, prepared dossiers containing false information,” and “slanderous news items.”  Halvorssen also testified that journalist Alek Boyd had his home broken into and photos of his daughters left behind with a note threatening to rape them.

So what did Fusion GPS’ CEO Glenn Simpson have to say about these outrageous allegations when he testified in front of both the House and Senate committees?

Nothing.  No one asked.

According to this thing we call the internet and more importantly, Alek Boyd’s personal blog, two years before Derwick Associates supposedly ever hired Fusion GPS, Boyd was already being publicly smeared.  In fact, it appears he only wrote about Fusion GPS once before 2017, and that was on August 27, 2014.  In that post he stated that “Venezuelan sources” said Peter Fritsch had joined Fusion GPS, a research firm that had been hired by Derwick Associates.  That was a year after Halvorssen invited Browder to speak at the Oslo forum and mere months after Baker Hostetler, an American law firm representing Prevezon, hired Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on him.

On November 11, 2014, Boyd wrote about the break-in at his home and the threats against his daughters but there’s no mention of Fusion GPS.  He did, however, mention Bill Browder,

“Only Tuesday last week I was at the Offshore Alert conference here in London, listening to Bill Browder explain how Sergei Magnitsky had taken the trouble to document every single thing the Russian State did to him, until his untimely assassination.  That eventually led to the Magnitsky Act.  Taking inspiration from him, I shall try to do the same…”

A year and a half later, on March 29, 2016, Boyd posted an open letter about Derwick Associates to Preet Bharara, because, yes, this is completely reminiscent of Bill Browder and the Prevezon case (minus the fact that this time Mr. Bharara set his sights on Venezuela’s largest state oil company, who likes to do business with Russia might I add, because that’s not obvious at all).

Boyd’s open letter stated that Derwick Associates was probably behind the break in at his home and the threats against his children.  He then went on to accuse the firm of using American lawyers to “stifle criticism into its affairs,” American banks to launder money, American politicians to spread lies, and American companies in “massive corruption” schemes.  Fusion GPS, however, the company that Thor Halvorssen alleged was responsible for smearing them, burying stories, and threatening Boyd’s daughters, is never mentioned in the letter nor in the links Boyd provided.

In fact, it seems that Boyd never mentioned Fusion GPS harassing him or his family until January 4, 2017, four days after Buzzfeed published Christopher Steele’s “dirty dossier.”

 

HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION

In 2005, Halvorssen founded a New York organization called the Human Rights Foundation and according to its website it’s a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that “promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.”  They also believe that all human beings have the “freedom from arbitrary detainment or exile,” so naturally I picked up the phone and asked them what they were doing to support Julian Assange.  Their response?  “We have nothing planned in the future.”  Of course they have nothing planned for the future because why would an organization that is literally called the Human Rights Foundation support someone like Julian Assange who has had his human rights violated for years?  Oh, the absurdity!

It’s also worth noting that Halvorssen didn’t think promoting Assange back in 2009 when he invited him to speak at the Oslo Freedom Forum was terribly absurd.  But I suppose in today’s political and social climate where the Russian bogeyman is lurking around every corner and the fact that Garry Kasparov, one of those rabidly anti-Assange types, chairs the foundation it’s hardly surprising they have “nothing planned.”

As for funding, the foundation has received money from DNC Treasurer Andrew Tobia, Google’s Sergey Brin, and OpenRussia, a Navalny-Khodorkovsky organization that once seated Henry Kissinger and Jacob Rothschild on its board; Khodorkovsky also has long-standing ties with George Soros.  Bill Browder has also given money to the foundation (naturally) as has Garry Kasparov’s Foundation for Democracy and Peter Thiel, the founder of Palantir.  Yup, Palantir.

The foundation wasn’t joking when it said that it’s a nonpartisan organization but for the sake of Russiagate one has to understand that the Russian narrative isn’t just about the left taking down Donald Trump or the Deep State taking out Julian Assange.  It’s also about a group of businessmen who want to put the screws to Putin for clamping down on their illegal schemes during the 1990s and early 2000s.  This includes Browder, Khodorkovsky, and George Soros.

 

RUSSIAN TIES AND RUSSIAN SPIES

Clockwise: Bukovsky, Goldfarb (center), Zakayev,  Litvinenko, Berezovsky

Vladimir Bukovsky, a Russian dissident who sits on the International Council of Halvorssen’s Human Rights Foundation, was a close friend of Alexander Litvinenko’s before he died.  Litvinenko’s circle also included Boris Berezovsky, Alexander Goldfarb, Vyacheslav Zharko, and Akhmed Zakayev, most of whom have received asylum in the U.K.  In the 1990s, Boris Berezovsky worked with Mikhail Khodorkovsky and George Soros’ International Science Foundation which was headed by Alexander Goldfarb for almost ten years.  He was also involved in money laundering millions of dollars through the Bank of New York and the Republic Bank of New York which was owned by Bill Browder’s now deceased partner, Edmond Safra.

After he became Deputy Secretary in charge of Chechnya in 1996, Berezovsky (along with the CIA) funded Chechen separatists like Akhmed Zakayev, another close friend of Litivenko and the former foreign minister of the Ichkerian government under Aslan Maskhadov.  If you’ve read any of my earlier posts about the Boston bombing like the “Silver Spring Ties” or “Who is Misha” series you know that the U.S. was close with Aslan Maskhadov’s government and that they worked hand in hand with people who knew and/or were well associated with the Tsarnaev family.

In fact, Akhmed Zakayev’s bodyguard, Musa Khadzhimuradov, was a close friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev.  He’s also the cousin of Max Mazaev, the father of Baudy Mazaev—a close friend of Jahar Tsarnaev.  What’s more, five days after the Boston bombing Thor Halvorssen published an article in which he stated that the “legitimate government of Chechnya” is headed by Akhmed Zakayev.  I can almost smell the coup now.

George Soros, Boris Saltykov, Boris Berezovsky

Then there’s the whole Russian spy thing.  In 2002, Vyacheslav Zharko says he was introduced to Alexander Litvinenko who at the time was “living under the protection of his friend, the tycoon and prominent Kremlin critic Boris Berezovksy” in London.  In 2003, it was Litvinenko and Berezovsky that introduced him to M16 agent Pablo Miller.  According to Zharko,

“This is a long story [of recruitment] and Berezovsky along with the late Litvinenko played the lead roles in it.”

“Alexander [Litvinenko] introduced me in turn to a certain Martin Flint, who said he was representing business circles.  Then, I got acquainted with two more people, who offered me to render them consulting services.  They were interested in political and economic situation in Russia.”

He went on to say that Britain paid him 2000 euros a month for information which he gathered from “various Internet sources.”

Back in 2007, it was reported that Pablo Miller also recruited recently “poisoned” Sergei Skripal, a former Russian colonel who was convicted in Russia for working with M16 as early as 1995.  In 2015, Miller appeared on the Queen’s 2015 birthday honors list and was described as a first secretary at the U.K.’s Foreign Office.  Miller is now a senior analyst at Christopher Steele’s company, Orbis Intelligence.

As if things can’t get any shadier, Craig Murray, a former British diplomat, noted,

“…right from the start, the [U.K.] government blocked the media from mentioning Pablo Miller, and put out denials that this [Skripal poisoning] has anything to do with Christopher Steele and Orbis, including lying that Miller had never been connected to Orbis…”

Steele, an ex-M16 spy who ran M16’s Russia desk between 2006 – 2009, is the one who compiled the Trump dossier.  After the Skripal poisoning, Valter Litvinenko, Alexander’s father, publicly denounced Britain’s long-standing theory that Andrey Lugovoy, a former KGB officer, poisoned his son.  He now believes that his son was poisoned by Alexander Goldfarb, “who was part of the inner circle of Russian tycoon Boris Berezovksy.”  Don’t forget that a member of Thor Halvorssen’s Human Rights Foundation was also part of that circle.

 

MOVING PICTURE INSTITUTE

In 2005, Halvorssen founded the Moving Picture Institute because he believed “that stories can change the world.”  Rob Pfaltzgraff is listed as the institute’s president and it would be interesting if someone could link him to this Rob Pfaltzgraff (Jr.), a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, President of the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis and a former member of the International Security Advisory Board of the U.S. State Department.

But familial guessing aside, what stands out the most about Halvorssen’s movie production company is the fact that Rebekah Mercer sits on the institute’s board of trustees.  Or did.  Four days ago.  On May 4, 2018, I saved the page below at archive.org; it was the first time that the page had been archived.  As of yesterday, May 7, 2018, she was scrubbed from the website.

Weird?  Definitely.  But as much as I enjoy feeding my paranoia I’d much rather thank the Moving Picture Institute for taking the intrigue factor up a notch because Rebekah Mercer, obviously, takes us straight to Cambridge Analytica.  Stay tuned, Mr. Halvorssen…

 

See next: “Russiagate Part Two:  Malta

 

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