The best spy stories are usually complicated. So, for example, you have the spy story of Richard Case Nagell, sent by the Russians to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Nagell had been a secret agent with U.S. Military Intelligence. But then he became a double agent who secretly worked for the Russians. Except Nagell may have been a triple agent whom the Russians thought they had turned but really Nagell had out-foxed the Russkies. 
Also complicated is the burgeoning spy story labeled “Memo-gate”: British spy Christopher Steele worked with veteran CIA officer Hillary Clinton to confabulate a legend about Russian enemies who so dreaded a Hillary Clinton presidency that they would stop at nothing to prevent it.
At that’s just the first chapter in the amazing spy tale!
In subsequent chapters there are two lovebirds, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Their love knows no bounds and they passionately communicate with each other even while they are on-duty at the FBI. Then there is an FBI Director, James Comey, who is kind of like the Agent Walter Skinner to Strzok and Page cast as Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Behind the scenes, looking like the cat who swallowed the canary, is Attorney General Jeff Sessions. If Sessions smoked, he would be the cigarette smoking man.
And I am trying to make some sense out of all this in a brief blog entry! You can see what I am up against.
Big news now is the texting revelations between the two lovebirds and how it appears that President Barack Obama had attempted to pull the blindfold off of Lady Justice.
But what gets me is the Grassley-Graham Memo. A link to it has been found, if you care to read it yourself. There are redactions in this version, so I’m not sure if it is the original or the later less-redacted version.
Was it the Russians who fed information to British spy Christopher Steele? That is what had been supposed. But now, the Grassley-Graham Memo is saying it was not the Russians but people associated with Bill and Hillary Clinton who were Steele’s secret sources. 
There has been some speculation that one of Steele’s secret sources may have been Sidney Blumenthal, a former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and employee of the Clinton Foundation and a long-time close confidant of Hillary Clinton. 
And where does Yahoo News fit in? Were they one of the “cut-outs”? (In espionage parlance, a cut-out is a mutually trusted intermediary, method or channel of communication that facilitates the exchange of information between agents. ) According to the Grassley/Graham memo, one month before an initial FISA surveillance application Yahoo News published an article that was later used to corroborate the Christopher Steele information.  So the cut-out, Yahoo News, knowing only the source and destination of the information but not the identities of espionage cell members, is like the “dead drop” and only sees Spy #1 (the source) dropping the information and then Spy #2 arrives and uses the Yahoo report to corroborate Steele’s information. But Yahoo News does not know that it has been callously used!
Getting back to Richard Case Nagell, the triple agent, in 1962 he worked for California’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). But ABC was being used as a front for the CIA. In fact, Nagell worked for CIA, and ABC was just his cover. Simultaneously, Nagel was being used by Military Intelligence to chaperone high-ranking Japanese visitors to the United States. It may be that Nagell was being sheep dipped, establishing credentials as part of his legend.  A “legend” establishes a cover for “unconventional operations.” Cover is almost always necessary for the protection of conspiracy and conspirators as they organize for action. 
That is how deep it goes in the latest spy story coming out of Washington, DC. The best spy stories are usually complicated, and this season’s Memo-Gate is no exception.
——- Sources ——-
 The Man Who Knew Too Much, by Dick Russell. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1992.
 “The Plot Thickens: Grassley-Graham Letter Sheds New Light on Steele Dossier, Nunes Memo”, by John G. Malcolm. The Daily Signal, February 7, 2018. http://dailysignal.com/2018/02/07/the-plot-thickens-grassley-graham-letter-sheds-new-light-on-steele-dossier-nunes-memo/
 “Cut-out (espionage)”, Wikipedia, Feb. 8, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cut-out_(espionage)
 “Cover in Unconventional Operations”, by Harvey B. McCadden. CIA Library (online). https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol5no3/html/v05i3a02p_0001.htm