“SEX, SEDUCTION, SUBVERSION: Trump, the Porn Star & the Dossier: Connecting the Dots”–Updated

Donq question / Flickr La actriz porno Stormy Daniels acusa...
Donq question / Flickr

– “At such a time I’ll loose my daughter to him.  Be you and I behind an arras then,/ Mark the encounter.  If he love her not/ And be not from his reason fall’n thereon,/ Let me be no assistant for a state…

– We will try it.”

(Hamlet, ActII, Scene2)

Even four centuries ago, Shakespeare understood the use an alluring woman can serve unscrupulous agents of the State, especially in gaining leverage over political adversaries.

(The Bard also clearly understood, in his depiction of Hamlet’s Uncle Claudius, how “Rotten [to] the State” a lying ruler [who literally kills by means of poison in the ear] is — but that is the subject of another entire piece.)

In the four months since I first submitted the piece below, we have learned that Trump, despite his earlier lies, did indeed spend at least one night in the Moscow Ritz Carlton, lending additional credibility to the Christopher Steele “pee tape” speculative intelligence.  Now, after yet another series of lies, Trump admits paying blackmail to the tune of $130,000. These additional data  points make it even more clear now than it was four months ago, that the significance of the “Stormy Daniels Matter”  does not reside in the Trump’s tawdry sexual misdeeds.  It rests, rather in its connection to the Russians, the Muller investigation — and the Subversion of the American Republic. Here is that original piece:

100 years ago an “exotic dancer” and infamous courtesan was employed by a shadowy intelligence agency to seduce a commander of one of the world’s most powerful armies — and heir to the throne of the German Empire. Had she succeeded, it would have undermined the war efforts of that empire, and destabilized and imperiled the national security of that era’s three greatest powers in the world. The historical link between Mata Hari and Stormy Daniels (in both cases, their “stage” names), separated as they are by a century, may seem tenuous, but examined closely it illuminates the real significance of the current affair.  On both occasions, it is not the woman, but rather the man involved who endangers his nation and its people.  Most importantly for National Security, it’s not just about sex & seduction — it’s about subversion.

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Mata Hari

In 1917, in the midst of World War I, the French Deuxieme Bureau (their CIA at the time) targeted Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany, heir to the German throne, a general commanding an army on the Western Front — and notorious womanizer, for Mata Hari’s intelligence operation. Based on the pattern of his past sexually promiscuous behavior, they were convinced that he could be “leveraged” into providing vital German state secrets and serving the French — even against his own national interest.

As it turned out, Mata Hari, as skilled as she was at her calling, was pitifully inept as a spy. She failed to bed the Crown Prince, and she provided no worthwhile intelligence to the French Deuxieme Bureau. Instead she sold the Germans gossip about the sex lives of the French politicians and generals, and wound up making her French handlers suspect that she had been turned into a double agent serving the Germans. The evidence was flimsy, but in the paranoid fog of war, it was enough to get her shot by a French firing squad.

Mata Hari would not be the last “temptress” to endanger the national security of a major world power.  In the early 1960’s, at the height of the Cold War with the Soviet Union (remember the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis), model and party girl, Christine Keeler, had simultaneous affairs with John Profumo, Great Britain’s Secretary of State for War and Yevgeny Ivanov putative Naval Attache at the Soviet embassy in London, but in reality an officer in the Soviet GRU (the Russian’s CIA/MI6 counterpart). When rumors of the twin affairs began to circulate, and it became clear that the national security of the UK had been compromised, Profumo vigorously denied the accusations on the floor of the British Parliament (which according to centuries of tradition, was considered ipso facto an absolute exoneration), and was backed up by the Conservative Prime Minister Harold MacMillan.  Even Miss Keeler’s story which she sold to a London scandal magazine, failed to shake the coverup. That might have concluded the controversy, but the Labour opposition’s MP George Wigg had conducted an investigation and compiled a damning dossier which notably included a documentation of Profumo’s pattern of past sexual indiscretions.  Faced with incontrovertible evidence, Profumo finally confessed.  To avoid a break in diplomatic relations, the Soviets recalled their spy Ivanov to Moscow. Prime Minister MacMillan took an extended “sick leave,” and, ultimately, in the face of the British public’s revulsion at the national security scandal, the Conservative government fell.

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Christine Keeler

The lesson of the Profumo Scandal was the same as it was in both the Mata Hari affair four decades earlier and the Stormy Daniels affair five decades later: it was not the woman involved, but rather the man who endangered his country. His past pattern of sexually promiscuous behavior made him vulnerable to being “leveraged” by a dangerous adversary into putting the national security of his own country at risk.  It has never been just about sex & seduction— it has always been about subversion.

In the century since Mata Hari, and the five decades since Christine Keeler, intelligence agencies throughout the world have developed and refined the fine art of spy craft. In the same way that the Wright Brothers might not imagine the Space Shuttle, nor Alexander Graham Bell ever imagine an iPhone or the internet, Major General Vernon Kell, who in 1909 founded the British Secret Service (the forebearer of MI5 & MI6), could not possibly conceive of spy satellites. So much would be unrecognizable to him today, and he might well be dumbfounded by all the technology that today’s CIA, MI6, and the Russian GRU have at their disposal.  But one section of Christopher Steele’s Dossier would make perfect sense to him: the “salacious” section on the Russian GRU employing prostitutes to ensnare Donald Trump. He would recognize immediately a central guiding truth for all spy agencies: it is never just about sex and seduction — it is always about subversion. What the Russians understood was that it was not about the women involved, but rather the man — Donald Trump whose past pattern of sexually promiscuous behavior (which he has bragged about openly for years) made him vulnerable to being “leveraged” into serving a dangerous adversary’s interests.

That central, eternal truth connects the dots that link Trump, Stormy Daniels, and Christopher Steele’s Dossier. Americans may be titillated by Daniels’ salacious account in a check stand scandal mag. And indeed the Russian spy masters devoutly pray that the American public focuses all its prurient attention on the sex and seduction she depicts. At the moment, their prayers seem to be answered.

At the moment….  But while “the wheels of Justice grind exceedingly slow, they grind exceedingly fine.” It is not the prurient voyeuristic interest of the American public that matters here; it is the professionally trained interest of former Counter-spy Master Robert Mueller that matters. He knows what we must come to learn.  It is the lesson that will ultimately bring down Donald Trump: it is never the sex and seduction — it is always the subversion.

[Postscript: In the original piece one reader thought I was arguing that “women are better suited” to lead countries, and men are morally bankrupt. I am not sure how he drew this inference. However, as I said then:

“I did not intend to imply that “women are better suited” to lead countries, nor that men are morally bankrupt. I was trying to say intelligence agencies have historically targeted certain individuals because those individuals have displayed a pattern of past sexual behavior that can be leveraged in future operations to subvert a country’s national security. Thus, they are interested in when such past behavior comes to light — as was the case with Crown Prince Wilhelm, John Profumo and our current  President. That the Stormy Daniels affair occurred in the past, along with other trysts that Trump bragged about may have led the GRU to target him, just as their knowledge of Profumo’s sexual past made him a target, and the French Deuxieme Bureau to target (unsuccessfully, it is true) the Crown Prince. Such patterns go to support possibility that Steele’s source material about Trump’s alleged Moscow hotel escapades may be more than salacious gossip. The fact that Trump and/or his surrogates essentially paid blackmail to at least two woman, also supports the notion that Russian intelligence thought he could be leveraged.

If the case against Trump collusion with the Russians is to be convincingly made, it rests upon two pillars: that his past behavior made him a vulnerable target; and that he could be blackmailed as a result of that behavior. It seems to me the the Stormy Daniels affair’s significance rests in how clearly those two pillars are revealed.”

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1 Comment on "“SEX, SEDUCTION, SUBVERSION: Trump, the Porn Star & the Dossier: Connecting the Dots”–Updated"

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samtam
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samtam

The key to Profumo’s resignation from the government was that he lied to the House of Commons. Lying to the House of Commons was and still is considered a heinous act. Lying in American politics today is quite normal, and as we now know by tally, a very regular activity of the president of the USA.