First among unequals.


The news is replete today with PM Teresa May's well phrased outrage over the same US government leaks to the press that have outraged President Trump.  In this case it is likely IMO that some group like NYPD under Mayor Blasio's influence leaked to the NY Times.

Let us be clear about the possibility that UK intelligence (MI-5, MI-6 and the military) or police intelligence will stop cooperating with the US IC.   The possibility is ZERO.  I know as much as anyone of the nature of the relationships of the US IC and its allies as anyone.  The US contribution to all of these is somewhere between 80% and 95%.  These folks have very little real collection and analytic capabilities.  We give them everything and they cannot give us much of anything because they have nothing.   There are exceptions.  The US IC and the British "old boys club" are welded at the hip.  Our thing grew from their thing in WW2.  Before that our war plans were based on the idea of the British Empire as the enemy.  The US IC and that of the UK are virtually the same thing in the SIGINT field and James Bond fantasies aside, no one has trusted MI-6 since Philby.  Israel/US intelligence relations are overwhelmingly conducted on the basis of the Israeli attitude of "what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine as well."  The French have excellent HUMINT in their former empire but aside from their excellent soldierly qualities the rest is not much.  All the rest of US intel liaison relationships across the world is mostly a matter of diplomacy. 

I am so tired of the mendacious BS.  pl

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28 Responses to First among unequals.

  1. Heros says:

    What about Judge Neopalitano’s claim that Obama had MI6 spy on the Trump team during the elections? Is this just MI6 filtering the same stream of data as the NSA except without FISA? Or did they have their own sources?

  2. mauisurfer says:

    Your remark about de Blasio and NYPD is very interesting.
    In my experience the NYPD is not actually under de Blasio at all, it has done everything against him and nothing for him, and for good reason: de Blasio has the temerity to speak of NYPD’s blatantly illegal conduct (as determined by actual courts in repeated lawsuits). So if NYPD is leaking, it is not because de Blasio initiated it. On the other hand, former mayor Rudy Guiliani is very much loved by many in NYPD. Not going to say anymore about Rudy here, not the place for it.

  3. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Not on the subject on intelligence-sharing,
    but on the subject of the leaking, is:
    “A Special Prosecutor for Criminal Leaks”
    by Patrick Buchanan, 2017-05-22
    The following is an excerpt (with some added emphasis) from that column:
    Who is the real threat to the national security?
    Is it President Trump
    who shared with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
    the intelligence that ISIS was developing laptop bombs to put aboard airliners?
    Or is it The Washington Post
    that ferreted out and published this code-word intelligence,
    and splashed the details on its front page,
    alerting the world, and ISIS, to what we knew.

    Those who leaked this to hurt Trump,
    and those who published this in the belief it would hurt Trump,
    sees themselves as the “Resistance” —
    like the French Resistance to Vichy in World War II.
    The adversary press asserts in its actions
    a right to collude with and shelter
    disloyal and dishonorable officials who violate our laws
    by leaking secrets that they are sworn to protect.
    Why do these officials become criminals,
    and why do the mainstream media protect them?
    Because this seedy bargain is the best way
    to advance their common interests.

    The media get the stolen goods to damage Trump.
    Anti-Trump officials get their egos massaged, their agendas advanced
    and their identities protected.
    This is the corrupt bargain the Beltway press has on offer.
    For the media, bringing down Trump is also good for business.
    TV ratings of anti-Trump media are soaring.
    The “failing New York Times” has seen a surge in circulation.
    The Pulitzers are beckoning.
    And bringing down a president is exhilarating.
    As Ben Bradlee reportedly said during the Iran-Contra scandal that was wounding President Reagan,
    “We haven’t had this much fun since Watergate.”

  4. Godfree Roberts says:

    Sounds about right.
    Does anyone have first-hand information about China’s intel agencies? OR links to same?
    I’m writing a book about current Chinese capabilities and it would be great to have a solid paragraph about it.
    Thanks in advance for leads and suggestions..

  5. J says:

    So what has happened to the French regarding their HUMINT ‘at home’, based on recent events?

  6. sid_finster says:

    I thought that the principal value of MI6 was to spy on persons that the FBI wasn’t allowed to legally?

  7. Charles Michael says:

    Good morning,
    The said BS has already been terminated but is still front page in the MSM.
    a very usefull distraction, IMO, from the disclosure of the Bomber antecedent and his father long and wellknown record in Lybia and Syria.
    Many thanks to you Colonel Lang.

  8. johnf says:

    Well, that didn’t take long:
    “UK police resume intelligence sharing with US after receiving assurances”
    The spat was not only a chance by your Borg to undermine Trump but also a chance for our Borg Queen to display to the British electorate that having played footsie with the unpopular Trump in the Rose Garden, she’s also capable of standing up to him.
    Incidentally, re the election, the post-Manchester fall out, which was presumed to favour only the “strong” Theresa May, is now swinging round on her disastrous cutting of the police and counter-terrorism forces while she was Home Secretary and the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s linking of domestic terrorism to our disastrous foreign policy in the Middle East – which he has always opposed.

  9. robt willmann says:

    Back in 2012 when Mitt Romney was the presidential candidate of the Republican Party and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie got publicity as a possible vice presidential running mate, and gave a speech at the convention, my sainted mother and I said that if Chris Christie and MSNBC television person Rachel Maddow went out to dinner, and a person went along with them, that person would not be able to get a word in edge-wise!
    Maddow remains on television, and yesterday (25 May), presented a textbook example of propaganda so brazen that Edward Bernays would be green with envy. The topic was the Trump campaign and the Russians–
    Fortunately, you only have to watch the first few minutes of the video. At about 35 seconds in, Maddow says that there are two things we know for sure that the FBI is investigating, because the FBI has said so publicly. And there is a third thing that “we believe” the FBI is investigating but “we don’t actually know for sure”. You can see what is coming.
    The FBI’s public statement is made by former FBI director James Comey, who says in the video, “I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm, that the FBI, as part of our counter-intelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election …” and, “… any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”
    Maddow does not say and emphasize that Comey says the investigation is a counter-intelligence one, which is a different thing from a criminal investigation. But much worse is the big smear, beginning at 2 minutes, 34 seconds in. There is another matter that is “widely believed”, Maddow says, to also be the subject of an FBI investigation, but “we don’t know for sure”. They “may” be also looking into the issue of obstruction of justice. She says, “we believe” the Justice Department may be investigating that through their office of Inspector General, “but that is not confirmed”. Then, “we also believe” that the Robert Mueller-led investigation “may include obstruction of justice issues”.
    There it is. As has been recently discussed on this site, the idea of obstruction of justice is likely to be one of the main issues promoted to try to push down or remove the Trump administration.
    There is one bit of good news. Former senator Joe Lieberman has dropped out of consideration to be FBI director–

  10. I just wanted to note that the same thing happened after the 2008 (IIRC) bombings of the London subway.
    It’s fairly clear that the problem here is the FBI, which has a long history of aggressive plays to the press, because we only see these leaks when the intel is public enough to involve the denizens of the J. Edgar Hoover building.
    I agree that the Brits have generally made an empty threat though.

  11. Barbara Ann says:

    I find some irony in Trump’s speeches re US taxpayers’ unfair subsidy of NATO.
    He is oddly silent on the US being perfectly happy for it’s IC, armed forces and foreign policy to be put freely at the disposal of a single, small ME country. That country also being in receipt of generous funding paid for by the same US taxpayers, of course.
    ‘Zionist Occupied Government’ has unfortunate anti-Semitic baggage. This is a shame, as it otherwise seems a perfectly label for what you describe here and elsewhere.

  12. anonymous says:

    Birds of feather flock together

  13. turcopolier says:

    Barbara Ann
    I am rather careful about my Zionismus language. I have searched the SST archive and find only one use of the phrase “Zionist Occupied Government” and that was not made by me. It was used by someone called John Adamson in a comment in April, 2014. pl

  14. turcopolier says:

    Robert Willman
    The Left is deliberately trying to obscure the difference between a CI investigation and a criminal investigation. In some cases they will lie to your face or just start screaming at you. pl

  15. turcopolier says:

    MI-5 or properly the “Security Service” is the UK counterpart of the FBI, not MI-6, properly the “Secret Intelligence Service.” pl

  16. Barbara Ann says:

    A wise decision IMO, at odds with the the likes of Andrei Raevsky. Despite the conditional reference I fully expect my username to have been duly recorded.

  17. turcopolier says:

    DGSE and the military are at their best in the lands of their former empire. their IMO misguided policy of welcoming massive immigration from those same lands has undermined government control of the population to such an extent that CI and CT targets far outnumber surveillance capabilities. pl

  18. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Col. Lang, Barbara Ann,
    There is a quote often attributed to Voltaire that seems quite relevant to this issue:
    “To determine the true rulers of any society, all you must do is ask yourself this question: Who is it that I am not permitted to criticize?”
    But in his own time, when the master/servant dynamic was otherwise, Voltaire did not feel himself thus constrained. For example, there is this:
    Tous les autres peuples ont commis des crimes, les Juifs sont les seuls qui s’en soient vantés. Ils sont tous nés avec la rage du fanatisme dans le cœur, comme les Bretons et les Germains naissent avec des cheveux blonds. Je ne serais point étonné que cette nation ne fût un jour funeste au genre humain.
    All of the other people have committed crimes, the Jews are the only ones who have boasted about committing them. They are, all of them, born with raging fanaticism in their hearts, just as the Bretons and the Germans are born with blond hair. I would not be in the least bit surprised if these people would not some day become deadly to the human race.
    Lettres de Memmius a Cicéron (1771)
    Yowtch. AIPAC would collectively be having a stroke were this to be said by anyone today.
    And what he had to say about Islam is even more dismissive. Actually, in general, he didn’t have a whole lot of use for the Abrahamic religions, his own culture’s Christianity emphatically not being excluded from critique. He seems to have had a soft spot for the Quakers, however. (Vide, “The History of the Quakers” in The Works of Voltaire (1762), Vol 13, as translated by Tobias George Smollett, Thomas Francklin, et al., later published as “The Religion of the Quakers”, in The Works of Voltaire: A Contemporary Version with Notes (1901), Vol. 39, as modernized by William F. Fleming)
    With your indulgence, a quote from Voltaire’s work:
    “The Quakers suffered several persecutions under Charles II; not upon a religious account, but for refusing to pay the tithes, for “theeing” and “thouing” the magistrates, and for refusing to take the oaths enacted by the laws.
    At length Robert Barclay, a native of Scotland, presented to the king, in 1675, his “Apology for the Quakers”; a work as well drawn up as the subject could possibly admit. The dedication to Charles II, instead of being filled with mean, flattering encomiums, abounds with bold truths and the wisest counsels. “Thou hast tasted,” says he to the king, at the close of his “Epistle Dedicatory,” “of prosperity and adversity: thou hast been driven out of the country over which thou now reignest, and from the throne on which thou sittest: thou hast groaned beneath the yoke of oppression; therefore hast thou reason to know how hateful the oppressor is both to God and man. If, after all these warnings and advertisements, thou dost not turn unto the Lord, with all thy heart; but forget Him who remembered thee in thy distress, and give thyself up to follow lust and vanity, surely great will be thy guilt, and bitter thy condemnation. Instead of listening to the flatterers about thee, hearken only to the voice that is within thee, which never flatters. I am thy faithful friend and servant, Robert Barclay.”
    The most surprising circumstance is that this letter, though written by an obscure person, was so happy in its effect as to put a stop to the persecution.”
    Well, Robert Barclay was apparently a cat not afeared to look at the King. To Charles’ credit, he was apparently pricked in his conscience by this rebuke on his governance of a land so recently violently disturbed by religious hatreds, and he acted to dampen the incipient fires of intolerance. Would that this example were more widely to be emulated.
    I was a student at Haverford College, historically a Quaker school, although I am not myself a member of the Society of Friends. One could do worse, though, as William Penn’s example – as that of King Charles II related above – serves to testify.
    What a better world this could be were it not for the mendacity you so abominate. Thanks to you and all of the other members of the Committee for shining light into the darkness. The light abides, and the darkness shall not prevail against it.

  19. kooshy says:

    FM Zarif oped in NYT regarding ME arm sales, Terrorism
    “Beautiful Military Equipment’ Can’t Buy Middle East Peace

  20. Les says:

    The Spectator implicated MI5 for using radical clerics to recruit fighters for the wars.
    It should’ve been obvious to many since the individuals were allowed to freely travel between their home countries in Europe and the war zones.

  21. Emad says:

    How do you rate BND? It’s my understanding that it has great HUMINT capabilities in Eastern and Central Europe and in Iran.

  22. Thank you, sir, for a most diverting and informative post.

  23. Cee says:

    No mention of Seth Rich?
    Russia, Russia by the 7 million salary pencil neck

  24. Cee says:

    How much time do you think we have in the US before the ones allowed to return here act?

  25. Babak Makkinejad says:

    So, even the great Voltaire could not rid of himself of this obsession with Jews.

  26. LeaNder says:

    So, even the great Voltaire could not rid of himself of this obsession with Jews.
    Babak, the ‘epigones’ the follow-up-Monotheists (if I may, never mind religious precursors, … Zarathustra/Ahura Mazda, Echnaton …) may have comparative problems.
    If their religious update is valid, the earlier ones should join their ranks and convert. Shouldn’t they?
    Luther may be a good case to prove my basic hypothesis. Initially not so fond of contemporary and earlier takes, or what we nowadays call religious antisemitism, he rigidly shifted after he discovered never mind his religous-update these obstinates didn’t want to join his camp. Now if they didn’t want to get under the protective collective ethical coat? What could this possibly mean?
    No doubt, Voltaire liked Zarathustra… On the other hand to us “Western” outsiders the Muslim family dispute affair is a rather cryptic matter.

  27. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I have had close Zoroastrian friends and have studied that religion a bit.
    If I were a Zoroastrian – which I am not – I would have argued thus:
    “It is a truly laughable spectacle when followers of those religions that followed Din Behi, put on that air of having finally arrived at the final religious Truth available to Man. And all concur in condemning the Din Behi as being obsolete or irrelevant.
    They could not be further from Truth for all they have they owe to Din Behi.
    They all seem to have conveniently forgotten how much of their religious ideas and ideals are re-packaged from Din Behi – some would say pirated. Jewish women light up candles, a perfectly understandable ritual from the point of view of Din Behi, they owe their salvation in the Old Testament to the Great King – a Zoroastrian- the theme of Light permeates the New Testament as well as that Jesus was greeted at birth by the three Mages – from Persian Mogh, and the Quran states: “God is the Light of Heaven and Earth…” and Salman the Pak was a close Companion of Mohammad. And then there is that entire set of ideas of another world (Heaven) that follows death. All from Din Behi.
    The Blessed Zoroaster received his Revelation 8600 years ago; in the language of secularist, “He intuited the deep moral structure of the Universe.” He was the first prophet, the first holy warrior, the first evangelist and the first prophet to be martyred in the path of righteousness.
    Din Behi is the least crisis-ridden religion extant today and the most rational one. To wit:
    There is no problem of Theodicy in it; the Wise Lord, El Senor de Luz, has created this Universe to entrap those of his own potentialities that men perceive of as Evil – to be followed by another creation.
    This Universe is the Dominion of War; Man has been created to aid the Wise Lord – Al Hakim – in waging this cosmic struggle. In fact, all men who were ever to be born and to live, had already sworn to do so before this Universe was created. The war continues and like all wars, men die and no one escapes the battle field.
    Every human soul has sworn to dutifully carry out the orders of the High Command, even when they do not make sense. In the Story of Job, in the Old Testament as well as in the Quran, one is left to understand that one has to endure the capricious will of a mad god. From the point of view of the Din Behi, the truth of the story is quite evident, however. The Wise Lord is not Mad; like in any war, the High Command makes decisions and issues orders that are often not understood by the rank and file soldiers but are dictated by the military logic or strategic goals. As sworn soldiers, one has to salute the proverbial flag and carry on. Others may only hope that the High Command will not cause them to be in a fubar situation later.
    When this Cosmic struggle is one and the potentiality of Evil has been completely exhausted and entrapped in this Universe, the Wise Lord will be creating a new universe in which there will be no disease, no old age, no hunger, and no thirst and no death. All men will be resurrected and given new incorruptible bodies.
    It is heart-warming as a Zoroastrian to look at the account of the Resurrection in the Old Testament when the Disciples meet the Resurrected Jesus and could not recognize him. That story confirms the Truths of the Din Behi; Jesus was resurrected and given a new incorruptible body (the reason for the Disciples not being able to recognize him) which, also by a short implication, meant that the Cosmic struggle has been won already – in a sort of meta-Time or Divine Time – and the new Incorruptible Creation has already been completed and is populated.
    God forbid that the adherents of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam practice some humility – which they themselves so much promote – and admit that they are off-shoots of the True Religion and, furthermore, that they have, at times, hopelessly garbled up this most Rational Religion’s deep understandings of insight.
    At least, in the Quran, Din Behi is honorably mentioned; not so in the Old Testament or the New Testament where it is not at all present. One has to ask: This Great King, the Liberator of Jews, a man of God, what was his religion? And those 3 mages who greeted Jesus; what was their religion? It is far too much, I suppose, for them to admit that Din Behi predated them and their own religious message is at times amplified, and at other times, a garbled up re-telling of the Revelations of the Blessed Zoroaster.
    That our numbers are now small does not diminish the validity of Din Behi and that their numbers are enormous make their ideas – which have so much tied men into knots – more valid. No matter; in contemporary Iran, the ancient symbols of Din Behi are present again, its famous spiritual exercise is inscribed everywhere, and one would hope that the essential Rationalism of Din Behi would come to influence human being again in due course. ”
    At any rate, that is how I would have argued if I were a Zoroastrian.

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