by Bill Van Auken from WSWS (archived from 2018)
The naming of Stefan Halper as the individual sent by the FBI to spy
on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election campaign has further
inflamed the political warfare raging within the US state apparatus and
political establishment. Halper is a long-time CIA asset with deep ties
to US and British intelligence.
Published reports that the FBI had used a confidential informant to
gather information on the Trump campaign led US President Donald Trump
to announce via Twitter on Sunday, “I hereby demand, and will do so
officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or
not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for
Political Purposes, and if any such demands or requests were made by
people within the Obama Administration!”
Repeating his denunciation of the year-old probe by Robert Mueller,
the special counsel who is investigating alleged Russian interference in
the 2016 election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign, as a
“witch hunt,” Trump declared last week that the report of FBI spying on
his campaign was a political scandal “bigger than Watergate."
The identification of Halper—who was implicated as the leading figure
in a conspiracy by intelligence agents to subvert then-President Jimmy
Carter’s re-election campaign in 1980—as the covert FBI spy has been the
subject of a heated debate in Washington and the media.
Both the New York Times and the Washington Post,
the two papers of record for the US political establishment, have
studiously observed the demands of the FBI to conceal Halper’s identity.
The Post reported that it was concealing the identity of the
spy from the American people because of “warnings from US intelligence
officials that exposing him could endanger him or his contacts.”…
Democrats have rallied behind the FBI’s defiance of congressional
oversight. Leading Democrats have rushed to the defense of the
intelligence agencies, denouncing Trump and Nunes for allegedly placing
US security at risk.
Senator Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence
panel, appeared on the CBS News program “Face the Nation” Sunday—well
after Halper’s identity as the FBI covert agent had already been
revealed by a number of publications—to threaten that “when individuals
want to try to reveal classified information about the identity of an
FBI or CIA source, that is against the law.”...
[read more here]