“Anatoly, you will not believe what the idiots proposed to me!” (Dramatization)


"Jared Kushner and Russia’s ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, son-in-law and confidant to then-President-elect Trump, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications.

The meeting also was attended by Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser."  Washpost


 So, what is revealed in this Washpost story?

1.  US SIGINT successfully intercepts and decrypts what must surely be encrypted Russian diplomatic communications.  You may think it is obvious that this is true but it is not obvious.  Governments always want to believe that their own communications are secured by systems that prevent penetration and decryption by their international adversaries.  A great deal of time and effort are expended on maintaining that illusion.  This story states above the fold, right corner that US officials who either produced the report of the intercept or received the report of this successful intercept outside the IC in State, Defense, the NSC, etc. informed the Washington Post of the frailty of Russian diplomatic communications.  I was once a fixture in the world of Special Security.  It was a basic belief in this field that a breach of security like this one reported in the Washpost would result in a massive effort by the penetrated party to change and improve communications systems.  Translation – US SIGINT might have to start all over again in the process of breaking into those communications.

2.  Jared Kushner does not seem to have understood the possibility that US SIGINT would intercept and decrypt any line of communications he managed to establish through Russian diplomatic facilities.  Conclusion -  He was a very ignorant fellow in such matters.

3.  LTG (ret.) Flynn was present at the meeting.  Flynn is a career intelligence officer who had been Director of DIA.  Surely, HE, knew better but evidently said nothing to Kushner like – Hey, dummy rich kid – you can't do something so stupid!  But, on the other hand, maybe it was Flynn's idea!  Yes!  I will bet that is the truth.  Flynn probably wanted to talk to the Russian generals privately.  Another dummy heard from!

4. US officials, evidently properly cleared, chose to violate their oath of clearance access to reveal one of the Crown Jewels of US intelligence from a sense of pique or frustrated revolutionary zeal.  These people can be IC officials or more likely they are cleared individual recipients who work in non-IC parts of the government.  IMO they deserve hanging.

Was Kislyak "taken aback" by the proposal.?  This was so brainless an idea that I would think that was true.  pl   


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122 Responses to “Anatoly, you will not believe what the idiots proposed to me!” (Dramatization)

  1. The NYT story seemed to me to make the role of Flynn more evident. I believe, as you state in your point 3, that it was Flynn’s idea. Flynn clearly has a paranoid view of the acronym agencies, but apparently not sufficiently paranoid, if he thought he could get away with this.
    Purely speculating, I suppose that, from the point of view of the people revealing this information, the end of removing Trump justifies the means. They must believe that it is very important to remove Trump. Possibly they are right.

  2. Eric Newhill says:

    Will the fake news ever cease?

  3. bks says:

    And this all occurred just three weeks after after Trump/Russia connections had been above the fold (e.g. press aide Hope Hicks denied all connections on 11 November 2016).

  4. b says:

    This is a breach of sources and methods by the Washington Post informers. Another happened along the recent alleged sharing of Israeli intelligence.
    I would not exclude though that the breach was not a real breach. The Russian ambo is a professional player. Some maskirovka may be part of this.
    What is the most important though is that the media and IC try to fabricate a scandal out of contacts between presidential advisors and foreign diplomats.
    It is the constitutional prerogative of the president to set and do foreign policy as he sees fit. His advisors acted in his name when they contacted Russian diplomats to set up a communication backchannel. Advisors of former presidents have done the same in such cases. It is nether a scandal nor a crime.
    The real scandal are these leaks and the interference by the Intelligence Community and its puppets into the president’s constitutional prerogative.

  5. Fellow Traveler says:

    When was the Rogers’ brouhaha about talking to Trump? I’ll presume before this allegation so the timing would be interesting. Maybe the Admiral was trying to give the POTUS-elect a shot-across-the-bow, that irked the admin and sonny went looking for out-of-band options while Trump emoted about Obama bugging his bedposts.

  6. Norbert M Salamon says:

    It appears, Colonel, that the enemy of the USA is not situated in Moscow [or Beijing] but rather in Washington’s bottomless bureaucracy. Aside from the above it is the sole prerogative of the President to run foreign affairs according to the US Constitution, thus what he [or his agent]does in this field is not reviewable by Congress, except if the measure needs funding, then Congress may have input. [or am I wrong?]

  7. Fredw says:

    Agreed in general. But this leak strikes me as so enormous that I immediately began speculating that someone is trying to panic the Russians using information obtained from some other source. On the other hand, you seem to imply that successful interception of communications is common and to be expected. I don’t know what to think. I am floored.

  8. Ghostship says:

    US SIGINT successfully intercepts and decrypts what must surely be encrypted Russian diplomatic communications.
    Maybe they’re the communications the Russian aren’t bothered about or even want the U.S. IC to intercept and decrypt. In this case the information is not sensitive as far as the Russians are concerned but it being made public demonstrates there are major problems somewhere in the U.S. government, and I’m assessing probably the State Department.

  9. Andy says:

    As a retired intel weenie myself, this infuriates me. It’s a similar situation to the reaction to Pres. Trump telling the Russians about the ISIS intel on the laptop-airline threat. Trump gave no details to the Russians, but provocateurs with clearances and access sought to damage him by leaking all the details, all while claiming the leaks were because they were outraged by Trump’s disclosure – a completely illogical and BS excuse. So now any ISIS CI personnel have a lot more information they can use to root out the source(s).
    Even as an intel guy I realize that leaks are sometimes necessary and inevitable in a free society, but these recent actions are unjustified and were carried out for the sole purpose of court intrigue/beltway partisan politics.

  10. Jack says:

    This was exactly my feeling on reading the WaPo story. There should no longer be any doubt the extent the NeverTrumpers in the media and upper echelons of government will go to take him down. No national security secret is sacrosanct enough for these people. What makes them so desperate? Or has the level of callousness reached such a level that any and all of them believe they can act with impunity? The NeverTrumpers should recognize the genie is now out the bottle and every future president will be subject to the whims of this unaccountable fifth column.
    IMO, Pat Buchanan has been spot on in his recent notes. His suggestion that President Trump appoint a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute the leakers is necessary to combat this war of innuendo. And second, who is gonna be next after the Confederate leaders in the cross-hairs of the PC crowd? The respect for both sides in our civil war is being thrown away by denigrating the southern leadership while absolving the Unionists of their rape & pillage.

  11. r whitman says:

    Could any part of this Washington Post story be Russian disinformation??

  12. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I might be talking nonsense out of ignorance, but I was curious…
    Assuming that the US SIGINT did not break the Russian diplomatic encryption, the contents of Russian diplomatic messages would still be secret.
    If the contents of Russian diplomatic messages are still secret, but there are leaks in the US press alleging what their contents are, the only way for the Russians to show what’s “really” going on is to show their hand and reveal the secret contents of their communications, along with some kind of proof that they are not just making stuff up for the show-and-tell.
    This seems to me, an admittedly an ignoramus to this sort of stuff, like a sting operation of sorts, to either embarrass Trump in a manner that proof to the contrary cannot be produced (easily), or to force the Russians to reveal potentially secret information (possibly along with clues that would ease the process of breaking their encryption). Other than the reports by US intel folks, we don’t have means to verify what was actually in Sislyak’s reports in the end. The seemingly obvious (and intended) implication, though, is that Trump, or at least, his trusted advisors, are either foolish or Russian stooges (or both)–both popular narratives for months now.

  13. FB Ali says:

    The US Deep State is leaking like a sieve in its hunger to destroy Trump and his presidency. As you point out, it doesn’t seem to care how much collateral damage its own secrets suffer in the process.
    The US MSM is party to this frenzy of destruction. Both seem not to care how much damage this is doing to the United States.
    The world watches in wonder and bemusement at this spectacle. Russia and China probably cannot believe their good fortune in having their main adversary/competitor thus publicly commit harakiri.

  14. turcopolier says:

    FB Ali
    The term “Deep State” implies a bureaucratic conspiracy. IMO that is very unlikely. If there is a conspiracy against trump it is among the Democratic holdovers among presidential appointees. A number of them have the access required to receive such documents. pl

  15. DMC says:

    So, doesn’t this confirm Trumps’s assertion that the Obama administration was “bugging” him? Or will they claim to have been bugging the Russians when Trump’s people showed up?

  16. turcopolier says:

    An unnecessarily complex fantasy. By far the most likely explanation is the disclosure of successful US SIGINT. That is NSA’s principal business and they are the best in the world at it. pl

  17. turcopolier says:

    You are conflating very different things. Surveillance ops against Trump may have taken place but the intercept and decryption of the Russian (or any other) ambassador would be a routine task that NSA does every day. pl

  18. Sam Peralta says:

    Col. Lang
    This leak that we can decrypt Russian secure diplomatic communications proves that those intent on bringing down Trump, hate him more than the purported enemy Russia.
    It seems rather apparent that the memes of “Russia brazenly interfered in our pure American democracy” and “Trump team meeting with Russian officials had sinister motives” are just cynical sticks to beat Trump with. Actors within our federal government are quite happy destroying our SIGINT advantage if that means they can take down Trump.
    Isn’t it revealing that the WaPo, Times, CNN, NBC hysteria is all about the request for private communication channels between Trump transition and the Russians and not about the leak that the NSA broke Russian secure communications?

  19. turcopolier says:

    r Whitman
    Why would you think that? Is it because the MSM keeps using the phrase probably to protect the leakers? This intercept is entirely within the normal mission of NSA. We want to know what they say to each other as the Russians want to know what we say to each other. This is the normal business of the game of nations. pl

  20. turcopolier says:

    Sam Peralta
    At last! someone who understands the level of intelligence disaster involved in this. pl

  21. turcopolier says:

    Oh, bull shit! the Russian ambassador’s communications home would have been in either encrypted voice or text. You, too, have seen too many movies. pl

  22. Thomas says:

    “What makes them so desperate?”
    The cover-up of MH-17 and the consequences of the truth being revealed in the public eye.
    Must maintain Cold War 2.0!

  23. turcopolier says:

    It is IMO much more likely that the spy (leaker) is a presidential appointee who is a holdover from the BHO Administration rather than a professional employees of the IC. You greatly over estimate the power of the IC. Normally, the political appointees manipulate the IC people and not the other way around. I would point to people like Evelyn Farkas who several times said on TV that she and a group of Democrats have banded together to screw Trump by using their access to government information. As for Maskirovka, what advantage would the Russians see in inventing a story like this? pl

  24. turcopolier says:

    Eric Newhill
    IMO this is not fake news. It is a massive violation of the US espionage laws. pl

  25. Ghostship says:

    Their food sections are all rather good.

  26. bks says:

    There is no conspiracy. Trump is not fit for the office. He is now in zugzwang because if he throws anyone out of the inner circle they will reveal the level of ineptitude, and if he brings anyone in from outside, they will find out about it. His sons, who are supposed to be running his business interests at arm’s length, invited themselves to a GOP high-level strategy meeting; the emoluments clause be damned.

  27. J says:

    Time for a music break from the boneheadness of both Flynn and Kushner.
    Here for your viewing pleasure:
    Султан-Ураган и Мурат Тхагалегов На дискотеку

  28. Barbara Ann says:


    This story states above the fold, right corner that US officials who either produced the report of the intercept or received the report of this successful intercept outside the IC in State, Defense, the NSC, etc. informed the Washington Post of the frailty of Russian diplomatic communications

    Para. 2: “…according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials.” – is that the part to which you refer?
    If your premise is right; that the leak exposes the fact that Russian diplomatic communications are insecure, this would appear to make what Snowden did look like a minor transgression. It would also appear to indicate that the leaker considers Trump a greater risk to national security that Russia. This rather ironically somewhat undermines the whole ‘links to Russia’ thing.
    Crown Jewels of this magnitude must be a very closely guarded secret – i.e. very few people in the IC community and even fewer outside would be aware of the fact that Russian diplomatic encryption has been compromised. Intel reports produced using such sensitive source data must go to great lengths to disguise the nature of that source. Surely only the POTUS and a handful of other very senior officials would have access to raw decrypted intercepts. If this part of the WaPo article is to be believed then, the leaker would seem to be among a very rarefied group.

  29. Decameron says:

    You can’t make this up! Colonel, you truly captured
    the essence of the Kushner-Flynn meeting with the Russians.
    In the tradition of Groucho’s Freedonia, Chaplin’s Great
    Dictator, Boris and Natasha,and Alfred E. Newman. But it
    really happened.

  30. Eric Newhill says:

    Ok then. I thought you were being tongue in cheek b/c it would represent such a massive violation of US espionage rules that it couldn’t possibly be actually happening.
    So you’re serious. Trump needs to get to the bottom of this and start heads rolling and fast. Heads rolling includes firings and prosecutions where applicable. He’s supposed to be the consummate businessman. If someone in my department (fortune 500 company) released confidential corporate info to the press, financial or market details, there would be a serious cleaning of house. Examples would be made. It would be ugly, but understood as totally necessary. That Trump has not begun this process is very disconcerting.

  31. FB Ali says:

    Col Lang,
    You obviously know more about such matters than I do.
    However, it seems to me that actions are being taken by a number of persons, all aimed at bringing down the Trump presidency (without, of course, any obvious collusion between them).
    The motivation behind this could be either or both of the following:
    – Because his victory was based on the mobilisation of ordinary Americans (who are normally not part of the political process). The political energisation of this bloc threatens established politicians and political parties, and their allies in the military-intelligence-industrial-media complex (which, I think, you refer to as the Borg).
    – Because he advocated policies that would end the Cold War being waged by the Borg against Russia (policies that benefit the Borg, and enable parts of it to acquire both power and resources).
    It seems to me that both of these are in play. Which implies that both the Democratic establishment as well as (at least, some) members of the Borg are behind this vicious campaign. I have no proof whether there is any overt collusion between (though it would surprise me if at least some individuals among the two groups did not consult together).

  32. Bill Herschel says:

    There was a leak. Somebody is playing double. I would be absolutely amazed if US intelligence can decrypt messages by the Russian Ambassador.
    And, I would be a trillion more amazed if anyone would reveal this to the newspapers.
    b is right. There is nothing here. Kushner was well within his rights. It’s all utter nonsense.
    Trump will not be impeached. It’s all about the midterms, which might though I think not deliver a House majority ot the Democrats. But there will be no impeachment. President Pence? Don’t hold your breath.

  33. Bill Herschel says:

    The advantage would be for the story to fold like a two dollar suitcase in the courts. I.e. no wrong-doing.

  34. Cold War Zoomie says:

    Venona is a bit of history that is relevant:

  35. Freudenschade says:

    Perhaps this is an attempt to get the Russians to change their current system in the hopes that they will introduce a vulnerability. If so, the signal has been sent several times. This is far from the first supposed leak that revealed our ability to intercept Russian communications. Is this one worse than the last few times (recall the intercepts where Kislyak supposedly bragged about being able to use Flynn to influence Trump)? Time will tell if these are bonafide leaks or if someone in the IC is playing the long game against the Russians.

  36. You’re right, Colonel Lang. This appears to be a massive intelligence loss. Somebody sacrificed a rook rather than a pawn. Does that somebody think this is worth the sacrifice? Perhaps. Here’s a theory for you. A conspiracy theory if you like. This isn’t about Trump, the Trumps or Hillary’s sour grapes. It’s about a well executed, far ranging Russian info op that aimed to influence our electoral process in which the Trump camp and the RNC played an active and willing part. It’s the second part of this theory that is of real concern. A second story came out today. This is about an RNC operative in Florida admitting that he asked for and obtained detailed Democratic electorate data from Guccifer 2.0 that he used for micro-targetting prior to the November election. This cuts across several conspiracy theories flying around the internet.
    As you all know, I am fairly confident that the well executed, far ranging Russian info op did occur. This confidence is based more on my up close and personal experience with Russian info ops over many years. I don’t begrudge the Russians for their demonstrated skill. I don’t expect others without this experience to accept this based on the evidence put out there up to now. Jeffery Carr is right in being highly skeptical of the publicly available digital forensic evidence used to “prove” Russian government attribution of the DNC, DCCC and Podesta hacks. There’s a lot more to this than digital forensics. Bruce Schneier touches on this. I never expected detailed evidence, like HUMINT, to ever be available. IMO, it shouldn’t be.
    I do think the big data analysis techniques, micro-targetting and micro-propaganda techniques will forever be part of all future election cycles. That’s just progress in the art and science of marketing. Connect those techniques with the vast quantities of detailed personal information collected and sold by private industry and we’re in for something special. Jonathan Albright, a researcher of news and journalism, is doing some interesting research in this area. Here’s a sample.
    Now back to the second part of my conspiracy theory. If the RNC, many powerful Republican officials and the Trump machine served as active participants in this Russian info op, we have a serious problem. The FBI and the IC would see this as an unprecedented hostile penetration of our system. This isn’t just a lone penetration like Ames, Hanssen or Montes. Once the FBI was on them, they couldn’t fight back. In this case, the reins of national power rest in the hands of those the FBI are investigating. They can most definitely fight back. That’s the purpose of the Bannon war room. Perhaps in this case the FBI and IC may be willing to sacrifice a rook and more in order to capture the king.
    OTOH, it could all turn out to be just as loopy a conspiracy theory as the fake moon landing. I’m not willing to bet on that though.

  37. turcopolier says:

    Bill Herschel
    “I would be absolutely amazed if US intelligence can decrypt messages by the Russian Ambassador” Well, good. It is intended that you should be amazed. pl

  38. Emad says:

    There could be a twist here that makes things worse for the U.S. IC.
    The story focuses on Kislyak’s report to Moscow. If someone from GRU or SVR had been present in the meetings with Flynn and Kushner or were briefed on them, they’d have sent their own reports back to higher.
    In that case Russians wouldn’t know whose comms were compromised, so they would have to assume everyone’s, hardening their comms procedures, equipment and so forth, in effect neutralizing zero-hour vulnerabilities in their systems.

  39. steve says:

    Agreed. I don’t think that impeachment has ever been possible or a real goal. The next election is what is important. Just like the GOP kept Benghazi alive for 4 years, we can expect the Dems to keep this active until at least the mid-terms, if not the next general. Precedent has been set.

  40. Jack says:

    TTG, Sir
    Micro-targeting by consumer products marketers and advertisers has been going on for at least a decade now. Political campaigns have been equally sophisticated for some time. Hillary’s campaign with over a billion raised directly and through surrogates was extremely well funded and sophisticated. Substantially more than Trump’s campaign. Let’s not forget the continuous media stories of the disarray in Trump’s campaign. He changed his campaign team twice! And clearly the RNC was not behind him at the same level as it was with Romney.
    Now, let us assume for the purpose of discussion that the Russians hacked the DNC’s and Podesta’s emails. In this case they only disclosed the truth. Nothing fabricated. How exactly do you believe they changed the outcome of the election in Trump’s favor?
    Isn’t it plausible that this is all sour grapes that Trump won unexpectedly despite the best efforts of the establishment?

  41. Henshaw says:

    Agree. Unless there has been a major breakdown in US sigint procedures, it seems very unlikely that acknowledgement of cracking of high-level Russian crypto system would be released so casually. More likely that Russians intentionally sent it through a less secure/known compromised channel.

  42. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    A few questions not necessarily in logical order:
    1-Did the RNC support Trump without qualification during the election cycle in the USA? Do they do so now?
    2-Do you think it was the Russians or a disgruntled Sanders supporter who supplied the DNC correspondence to Wikileaks?
    2-b:Who killed that fellow? SMERSH?
    3-Did Ms. Clinton violate security rules by using unprotected servers?
    4-Do you consider Salon.com a reliable source? Does their reporting of the Syria story stand up to scrutiny?
    I am willing to bet that what we are observing is a BORG operation-not a Russian one. Let us pick reasonable stakes/time-frame and we can shake on it.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  43. Sharac says:

    Security is in layers and i’m pretty sure that Russians are well aware of true capabilities of NSA or at least a little paranoid of what those MIGHT be. As such they will probably employ various levels of security with most extreme being probably classic messengers getting their information in “silent rooms” and delivering them in person to Moscow. It just might be that they considered this a “petty” matter not worth some extra hassle as they’ve probably assumed that everyone on Trumps team will be monitored and main locations such as Trump tower definitely not secured (aka “bugged from basement to the roof”). Also what better for Russia than US having non shooting civil war (with sad prospect of it becoming shooting if libtards continue with their nonsense) and much of its assets looking internally.
    Good thing coming from all that is that at least 60-70% of decent Americans whom still trusted the system will see that political system is completely broken and that change through political means is impossible.

  44. Fred says:

    Thanks goodness no Democrats got involved with the Russians, well other than by giving half-million dollar speeches. Perhaps it was another state actor, like Pakistan, who penetrated them. Maybe they were pissed off their guest, Osama, got knocked of by BHO while you know who was SOS. “f you prick us do we not bleed? ….And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?”
    For example it seems someone may have infiltrated the legislative branch’s IT as well:
    Apparently she of the “rigged primary” (Debbie Wasserman Schultz) isn’t too happy her “lost” electronics wasn’t returned by the Capital Hill Police
    Now one has to wonder why the words “hacking” or “bleach bit” weren’t used by either party in the video provided by wsb radio?
    “Once the FBI was on them, they couldn’t fight back.” You mean they couldn’t have their spouse sit down to chat about the grandchildren with the Attorney General?
    As to micro-targeting of voters, that has been around a long time. The first exposure I had to the idea was Tom Loftus’ book “The Art of Legislative Politics”. The electronic era was well represented by Mark Grebner:

  45. Fredw says:

    Once I start thinking about other interested actors as sources, I have to ask this question about the state of modern cryptography: Would there be value in feeding a number of known texts through the Russian communications? It seems probably to me that the agencies would have other means of knowing the contents of these communications. Could that be used to deduce the encryption?

  46. turcopolier says:

    Several commenters have put forward the notion that “some other source of information” (other than SIGINT) could have been the source of the material that the US internal spies (leakers)gave to the Washington Post. Well, the number of possibilities for collection means seems limited to me. In the intelligence world the number of black programs and SAPs is endless and one never knows what one does not know, but, the basic possibilities are: SIGINT intercept and decryption (this achievement would be a major asset of the US IC), one or more HUMINT assets in the Russian system (another major asset or assets), one or more electronic listening devices in the Russian embassy (yet another major asset) However you want to look at this the American internal spy or spies gave away information that directly implies the existence of these US intelligence assets. It is to be expected that the Russians will hunt for and correct these vulnerabilities. Get it? pl

  47. Yeah, Right says:

    Colonel, isn’t there another possibility: the information was obtained via a bug placed inside Trump Tower, thereby allowing someone to listen in on that conversation between Kushner, Flynn and Kislyak?
    The leak of that information could then be used to embarrass Team Trump, and the “news” about the information being obtained from decrypted Russian communications may simply be a cover story intended to disguise the illegal method used to obtain it.
    After all, which is more difficult:
    a) decrypting secure diplomatic communications
    b) sneaking into Trump Tower and planting a bug
    Just a thought…..

  48. Eric Newhill says:

    I see no reason the RNC would have to go to Guccifer2 or Russians for the data. All of that is readily available from certain vendors in the US. These vendors seem to me to be fairly unscrupulous and highly profit oriented. They’d sell their own mother for a few bucks, IMO.
    Even if the companies refused to sell DNC specific data to the RNC, these companies are populated with highly skilled, but hungry, tech workers from India and Pakistan that have access to probably just about everything (I know because I have hired some of these guys fresh off these projects myself and I like talking to them about their experience, especially after getting a few drinks into them). Some of them would steal and sell data and reports. Guccifer2 seems totally unnecessary.
    But mostly it’s all available from the vendors themselves.

  49. LeaNder says:

    I was a bit puzzled, admittedly. But close to posting this as reply to b.
    I would not exclude though that the breach was not a real breach. The Russian ambo is a professional player. Some maskirovka may be part of this.
    Are you suggesting, however indirectly, the Russians helped out the Trump government by feeding a false info into the US media stream? with the knowledge it would lead nowhere but distract attention for a while?

  50. James F says:

    Spaseba –

  51. turcopolier says:

    You, too, have read too many spy novels and seen too many movies. some of you are wasting time here by making up the most outlandish theories imaginable. I consider this to be a place for serious thought, not the kind of nonsense that some of you indulge in. You are not the worst. pl

  52. turcopolier says:

    Yeah, Right
    I remember you. you have an IP address in New South Wales and an Israeli suffix on your E-mail. Interesting. I know. I know there are all kinds of explanations for that kind of thing but it still interests me. 1. The WP story says that it is based on Kizlyak’s report to Moscow. BTW, the notion that he would report home on an unsecured phone line concerning a meeting like this is laughable except to the more ludicrous conspiracy fans. 2. A US government entity that desired to bug Trump Tower would require a FISA or other court warrant to do a “black bag job” legally. I have seen no evidence that this happened. 3. A private group? Who would that be and of course it would be a crime. pl

  53. Cold War Zoomie says:

    “…this would appear to make what Snowden did look like a minor transgression.”
    Not even close.
    “Crown Jewels of this magnitude must be a very closely guarded secret…”
    Yes and no. Reports are shared, not raw intercepts (typically not, but who knows?). The “gist” of the collection point was likely in the report(s) mentioned in the article, but not the details that are more tightly controlled.

  54. J says:

    Here’s one of my favorites that comes from a historical perspective, it is sung by Полина Гагарина regarding the Battle for Sevastopol where Людмила Павличенко garnered 309 kills. At the White House Людмила was asked by Eleanor Roosevelt that she had eliminated 309 men, Людмила replied she eliminated 309 Fascists.
    Полина Гагарина – Кукушка (OST Битва за Севастополь)

  55. Cold War Zoomie says:

    This line from the article intrigues me the most “…according to U.S. officials *briefed* on intelligence reports.”
    Lots of people can read lots of reports. But who gets briefed? Hmmmm.

  56. Jack,
    Sure sophisticated data operations have been around for a while. I remember the praises sung about the Obama operation and how the RNC could not compete with what the Democrats had at that time. It’s only reasonable to expect the RNC machine would catch up and surpass what the complacent DNC had at that time. Advances in AI abilities to find meaning in larger and larger mountains of disparate data has made these operations much more effective. What the Trump team developed on their own with Cambridge Analytica and others combined with what the RNC had developed put the DNC effort to shame in 2016.

  57. Eric Newhill,
    I also don’t see the need for the RNC to go to Guccifer 2.0 for the data, but several RNC operatives freely admitted they did just that. I was surprised to find this was first reported in December 2016. I guess everyone missed it at that time.

  58. dilbert dogbert says:

    Read this and rethink that he was victorious based on mobilizing the ordinary:
    There were good reasons back in 1787 but are those reasons still valid today?

  59. Yeah, Right says:

    “The WP story says that it is based on Kizlyak’s report to Moscow.”
    True, that is how the WaPo reports the story.
    But consider this: if… somebody… bugged Trump Tower then they will know two things with certainty:
    1) What Was Said between Kushner and Kizlyak
    2) Kizlyak will report to Moscow on What Was Said.
    Those… buggers… don’t need to decrypt (or even intercept) any communication between Kizlyak and Moscow, they need only assume that Kizlyak will faithfully do his job in order to deduce that such a communication would be sent.
    So their bugging of that room in Trump Tower is a twofer:
    1) they can leak the conversation to embarrass Trump
    2) they can embarrass the Russians by insinuating that their encrypted communications system is compromised.
    “A US government entity that desired to bug Trump Tower would require a FISA or other court warrant to do a “black bag job” legally”
    Agreed, if they wanted to do this legally.
    I believe that Richard Nixon never asked for a court warrant to break into the Watergate Tower.
    But in that case absence of evidence turned out not to be evidence of absence – he simply did it anyway, and hang the legal niceties.

  60. turcopolier says:

    Yeah Right
    So, your theory is that the Obama Administration ordered an illegal surreptitious physical bugging of Trump Tower in order to know what the Trumpies were talking about. Well, that is what Trump claims as well. pl

  61. turcopolier says:

    Dilbert D
    FB Ali is Canadian. He has nothing to do with our constitution. I am bored with the endless bitching about the constitution. the truth is that there is no actual way available to change the constitution in any important way. pl

  62. Fred says:

    Of course they wouldn’t need a hacker for voter data. The point you miss is that the RNC was supporting whom prior to Trump? Cruz, Rubio, Kaisich and the rest; not least being the great Jeb! Bush – I think he blew through $130,000,000 before becoming loser # twelve. The RNC establishment dislikes Trump almost as much as the Democrats.

  63. turcopolier says:

    As a former DIO for the ME and S Asia and SSO det. commander long ago I assure you that some SIGINT reports are disseminated in “raw” form to recipients who are not analysts. pl

  64. Jack says:

    How did the Russians change the outcome of our election?
    I haven’t read any plausible explanation. All I’ve seen is they apparently hacked the DNC and Podesta’s emails and disclosed the truth via Wikileaks. Brennan claims “brazen interference” but does not provide any details. He however provides plenty of innuendo by saying “everyone knows”. No. Many people don’t know what exactly Brennan means by “the Russians brazenly interfered”. Of course, he also says he has no evidence of “collusion” between the Russians and Trump’s team.
    Recall that Team Trump were being ridiculed in the media because they did not have a Get Out The Vote operation of any significance. That Hillary had Ground Game v2.0 compared to even Obama. Trump spent a quarter of what she spent. She had way more ads on than he did. He however had way more well attended rallies. Hillary just couldn’t get enough to show up at her rallies indicating a lack of enthusiasm.
    Occams Razor in this case is that enough typically Democrat voters in Michigan and Pennsylvania rejected Hillary and her status quo establishment message. And they were not sufficiently swayed with her theme of being the first woman President. They instead were willing to give Trump and his America First message a chance.
    IMO, the establishment were truly shocked on election night. They went from Trump’s bumbling campaign with all the “serious” pundits all claiming certainty of Hillary’s electoral college win to hysteria. First it was the pathetic, she won the popular vote so the electoral college should change the vote of their states. Then rather than accept defeat graciously and accept responsibility for nominating a poor candidate it became the Russians stole the election 24×7. How can this end well? Haven’t we set the precedent that the next President will also face a campaign of de-legitimization? Maybe not the MSM if it is a Borgista.

  65. turcopolier says:

    “How did the Russians change the outcome of our election?” IMO they did not. pl

  66. Larry Kart says:

    Are you saying that a new constitutional convention itself is highly unlikely, or that if there is one that it won’t/can’t “change the constitution in any important way”?
    If the former happens, and the article below (one of several I’ve read on the subject) suggests how it could, why could a new constitutional convention not then change the constitution in any number of important ways? Are you speaking of structural/legal barriers to such developments or political ones (or both) or something else that I’m not thinking of? I’m not trolling here, just asking for reassurance.

  67. TV says:

    Between Trump and his “dumbest guys in the room” courtiers and the “dedicated brave” professionals (actually traitors) in the IC divulging real and madeup secrets, is there at least ONE adult inside the beltway?
    And the FBI: looking into Trump-Russia for 10 months,nothing to show for it and meanwhile the torrential disclosure of really sensitive secrets continues unabated.
    Federal Bureau of Incompetence.

  68. TV says:

    And Hillary, and the accompanying Clinton crime family, was fit?

  69. Barbara Ann says:

    OK not even close to making Snowden’s revelations look minor – have you a better comparison of scale? Thanks.

  70. turcopolier says:

    As I wrote, IMO it is more likely to be political appointees from the BHO world who are still in government who are doing the leaking. They have just as much access depending on their job. Think Evelyn Farkas and her like. pl

  71. turcopolier says:

    Larry Kart
    IMO there might be a constitutional convention but the changes that the big population state centralizing nationalists want like 2 senators a state and the electoral college would never get enough state ratifications to be enacted. The present constitution was created precisely to protect the rights of the small population states. pl

  72. Stephanie says:

    No, Trump didn’t give the Russians the guy’s name, rank, and serial number, but he gave them enough information that it would be much easier for them to track down the source. Of course, once Trump blurts out something classified while bragging about the quality of his intel, it’s no longer classified, so no (legal) problems there. However, the intel also wasn’t ours to divulge, which is also not illegal because of where he’s sitting, but is also not good procedure, as I understand it.
    Trump’s White House is indeed rife with intrigue, but in large part because Trump wants it that way and sees conflict and competition among his aides as beneficial – which it can be, up to a point, but Trump’s people have gone well beyond that point. Leaks are an inevitable result of cultivating such an environment (and they are hard to stop even in a smoothly-running White House like his predecessor’s — and the harsh measures the Obama Administration took against leakers, measures without recent precedent). He’s not on a TV show any more and perhaps now that fact is sinking in.

  73. turcopolier says:

    “the guy’s name, rank, and serial number, but he gave them enough information that it would be much easier for them to track down the source.” The source was a government, not an individual. pl

  74. TV says:

    Since you’re a veteran of that world, I defer to you veteraness, but what is Pompeo doing at CIA?
    And why isn’t Sessions cleaning out the rats’s nest at the DOJ and FBI?
    I know that you don’t know, but the lack of action by the responsible officials is worsening this whole mess.
    Politicians (Sessions, Pompeo)- talkers not doers.
    And Trump???
    Instead of kicking these guys asses to fix it, he’s tweeting and throwing tantrums.

  75. turcopolier says:

    Don’t bullshit me. You have never deferred to me on anything. Pompaio and Sessions are not IC professionals. They are more of the same politically appointed trash as the ones left behind from the Democrats. Trump evidently doesn’t know his ass from a hot rock. The number of people with access to whatever kind of US classified information involved here must be quite small. it should be easy to catch the bastards. pl

  76. different clue says:

    Larry Kart,
    I don’t know enough to guess how likely or unlikely another Constitutional Convention would ever be. But I fear that if we had one, it would “run away”. And a Runaway ConCon might burn the Constitution into ash and then busy itself making little mud pies with the ashes.

  77. Larry Kart says:

    I’m not thinking of what the centralizing nationalists might want; they are, I believe, not among those in favor of a new constitutional convention because they fear the changes it might bring. Rather, I’m thinking of changes to the constitution via a new constitutional convention like a balanced budget amendment or attempts to regulate various so-called social issues. Is it not the case that support for a new constitutional convention comes almost exclusively from the Right, which hopes to thus bring to pass changes in the constitution like the ones I just mentioned?

  78. J says:

    Here’s a DTIC public released student research report from 1981 Garmisch regarding маскировка:

  79. turcopolier says:

    I ran a year long study of maskirovka in DIA. pl

  80. different clue says:

    To suspect that Trump is not fit for office is not to retro-decide that Clinton would have been fit for office after all.
    My low opinion of many aspects of Trump does not elevate my opinion-after-the-fact of Clinton. Nor does it make me wish in hindsight that I had voted for Clinton after all. I always considered Trump a dangerous risk worth running to avoid the certain danger of a President Clinton.
    And so it might well seem for bks.

  81. Eric Newhill says:

    Good point. I don’t see where any of these people are saying they did it on Trump’s behalf.
    I begin to think that Guccifer2 in a US person.
    I begin to think that this is all a US operation.
    I will sorely disappointed if Trump doesn’t clean these people up and out. Maybe even one car accidents are in order for some of them.

  82. Keith Harbaugh says:


    US officials, evidently properly cleared,
    chose to violate their oath of clearance access to reveal
    one of the Crown Jewels of US intelligence

    If the WaPo story is true, then that is a very true statement.
    If those individuals are found,
    the death penalty, preferably by firing squad,
    would be the appropriate punishment.

  83. Cold War Zoomie says:

    “…some SIGINT reports are disseminated in “raw” form to recipients who are not analysts.”
    Thanks for the clarification. That’s a side of “production” I didn’t know, as usual. Back to minding the cogs in the machine.

  84. Keith Harbaugh says:

    TTG, I am starting to wonder if some Americans are not part of
    the “far ranging Russian info op” you hypothesize.
    Specifically, consider the first few paragraphs (above the section header) of
    “The ‘Soft Coup’ of Russia-gate” by Robert Parry
    where Parry seems to think worrying about Russian attempts to bug the Oval Office is laughable.
    Parry compares worrying about such things to vintage-1960 comedies and satires:

    One could picture Boris and Natasha,
    the evil spies in the Bullwinkle cartoons,
    disguised as photographers
    slipping listening devices between the cushions of the sofas.
    Or we could hear how Russians are again threatening to “impurify all of our precious bodily fluids,”
    as “Dr. Strangelove” character, Gen. Jack D. Ripper,
    warned us in the 1964 movie.

    I am willing to believe that the USG/MSM stories about, say,
    the supposed chemical weapon attack in Syria
    are spin to promote the interests of Israel,
    but I am not willing to dismiss very proper concerns about Russian intelligence efforts.
    For those totally naïve about such things, see
    Why would Parry dismiss such concerns?
    That part of his article is clearly consistent with known Russian interests.

  85. SAC Brat says:

    Too weird, what a coincidence. I ran across that video two days ago while looking for the soundtracks for the Russian films Brother and Brother 2. “When passing through Passport control (in the United States), look confident and smile. They like that.”
    Like Audie Murphy and many others, Lyudmila Pavlichenko was probably too real for film.
    A lot of Russian films are becoming available on the internet. Some films are a bit over the top (which country isn’t filled to the tonsils with patriotic pom-poms and have a case of frog-butt?) but some give a perspective that was airbrushed out in the west for a long time.
    I am not implying I like the Russians, but I think it is important to get into other peoples heads and see what they are seeing. Why not?

  86. Yeah, Right says:

    No, I didn’t say that.
    I said that I agreed that any “black bag job” on Trump Tower done under the authorization of a FISA or other court warrant would be legal.
    What I pointed out (correctly) is that the absence of such a FISA warrant doesn’t not mean that Trump Tower has not been bugged, and I brought up the instance of Tricky Dickie’s plumbers to illustrate that point.
    This is my theory: there is no reason to believe the claim that this intel was obtained by decrypting the communications between Moscow and its ambassador in Washington.
    There is good reason to doubt that claim i.e. if it were true then this would itself constitute a major breach of “sources and methods”.
    So my theory is that this part of the story is false, in which case the intel had to have be obtained in some other manner.
    As in: someone had a bug in that room.
    I’m not saying that Obama ordered such a bugging.
    I’m not saying that the US IC put such a bug in there.
    All I’m suggesting is that the source of this intel was a bug in that room, and it went from there to WaPo via Person Or Persons Unknown.

  87. turcopolier says:

    Yeah, right
    You should copyright that fantasy. A problem with your plot is that you don’t actually have any real knowledge of how intelligence works in the US. pl

  88. turcopolier says:

    Keith Harbaugh
    “I am not willing to dismiss very proper concerns about Russian intelligence efforts. For those totally naïve about such things, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thing_(listening_device) Why would Parry dismiss such concerns? That part of his article is clearly consistent with known Russian interests.” Parry thinks it is bullshit because he is a grownup and can see that the Russian government of today is not the USSR. It has equities and they would be endangered by screwing around like that. pl

  89. turcopolier says:

    I mentioned to SWMBO that you evidently think me gullible and deceived by Russian maskirovka. She thinks that is funny having lived with me for 53 years and watched me operate against the Soviets. As I recall you were in OSI. CI people see a wilderness of mirrors everywhere. It is the James Jesus Angleton Syndrome. pl

  90. SAC Brat says:

    I feel sympathetic to the Russians. To observe all of what is happening in the US must be like being in a tree stand on a nature preserve and seeing a troop of monkeys come across a case of grenades and other armaments nearby. As a retired US Air Force engineer at church a few weeks ago said to me, “Why can’t we have a Lavrov?”
    Since one of the simplified explanations for the dissolution of the Soviet Union was that the populace lost faith in the elites and the news organs if the US had adults around they may want to figure out how to steer away from those rocks. Hell, if we asked nice, maybe some folks from outside the US could give some useful advise.
    To paraphrase an old joke, no news and no truth.

  91. Jack,
    I see no evidence that the Russians changed the outcome of the election. We cannot attempt to answer that question until we understand the full scope of the Russian info op. IMO Hillary lost that election because of her stale and outmoded ideas, most notably her fatally flawed foreign policies. I think her much vaunted ground game was equally outmoded. The Trump/RNC ground game was way more sophisticated and far reaching than anyone gives them credit for. It was an information operation (like all political campaigns) worthy of anything the Russians could have developed. It certainly wasn’t just a get out the vote campaign. It was also a suppress/discourage the vote campaign. Whether the Trump/RNC info op was executed in collusion with the Russian info op is what the current investigation seeks to discover.

  92. Fred,
    I remember the stories about the Clintons being deeply involved with the Chinese during the Clinton administration. That was treasonous and scandalous at the time. And Big Grandma was supposed to be bought and paid for by the Saudis just last year. The DNC purposefully built a notably undemocratic primary process with a superdelegate system to guarantee the primacy of the smoke filled back room. They did that because they admired the past orderliness of the RNC process. What an unmitigated disaster that turned out to be. All this sordidness cannot be used to justify RNC and Trump team sordidness. Sunlight purifies all… although all those in power seem to abhor the sunlight like Nosferatu.

  93. Ishmael,
    “1-Did the RNC support Trump without qualification during the election cycle in the USA? Do they do so now?”
    Even though the RNC hated Trump for a long time, they came to embrace him and are now tied to the same mast as he is.
    “2-Do you think it was the Russians or a disgruntled Sanders supporter who supplied the DNC correspondence to Wikileaks?”
    I think the Russians did it. It’s also possible that some insider leaked info, too. Why dismiss any possible theory?
    “2-b:Who killed that fellow? SMERSH?”
    I haven’t the slightest idea. His is just one of 93 unsolved murders in DC from 2016. The official poster for his investigation identifies the three detectives working the case and has a number for passing on any information to help the case, even anonymous information.
    “3-Did Ms. Clinton violate security rules by using unprotected servers?”
    She sure did. She and others also violated security policies by passing classified info over that server.
    “4-Do you consider Salon.com a reliable source? Does their reporting of the Syria story stand up to scrutiny?”
    Sure. It’s not without it weaknesses and biases, but I find it a reasonable info source among others. This particular story was first reported by the NYT in December 2016 and by the WSJ recently. The Salon piece is just based on the WSJ reporting. Their Syria reporting doesn’t seem half bad baed on this list.
    Ishmael, I’m not a betting man. However, I’d be curious to see a theory laid out as to how the BORG orchestrated all this. They’re certainly spinning it all to serve its own purposes, but that far different from orchestrating the whole thing.

  94. Procopius says:

    Looking at Flynn’s bad choices, I find myself wondering if he had a minor stroke or some other slight brain trauma. Like Dr. Ben Carson. A few years ago both men were considered brilliant in their fields. Now I don’t know about Dr. Carson — perhaps it’s common for surgeons to have gifted hands and no mental accomplishments. In the case of LTG Flynn, though, something seems to have changed about the time he was appointed DNI director. He seems to have taken offense, for example, at being reminded that he was required by law, after his retirement, to get permission from the Secretary of the Army to accept money or gifts from foreign employers.
    I agree that the people who decide to burn assets as in this case must believe it is more important to remove Trump, but I don’t know their reasons for thinking so. I think Pence will be at least an order of magnitude worse. I can’t even begin to imagine if Pence gets removed, too, how much worse Paul Ryan would be.

  95. Stephanie says:

    I was being flippant, and didn’t mean to suggest that. My apologies and thank you for clarifying.

  96. Procopius says:

    But why do you think the Russians are a threat to the suspected source within ISIS? It wasn’t the Russians who released the information publicly, and I am doubtful that the channel the information came through was throug Israel. Since the paymaster of ISIS is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, they are much more likely to have that information, and I don’t think it’s in their interests to have ISIS succeed in blowing up airliners. By the way, I also think Obama’s whimsical imposition of sanctions was terrible policy.

  97. Procopius says:

    If you read Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent, you can get a clearer idea of how this works. Judge Gary used to invite all the owners of steel companies to join in a “little dinner” at his home, where the conversation would include discussions of what a good price level for steel the following week would be. The Supreme Court decided some years later that the tobacco companies didn’t need to actually meet to reach consensus on what their prices should be. Newspaper publishers and senior editors don’t actually have a committee that reaches consensus and hands orders down, they all have similar experience and backgrounds, they have lunch together, they often do each other favors, they talk, they know what each other’s opinions are. The “Deep State” is the same. Back in the ’50s we referred to them as The Eastern Establishment, the descendants of the New England aristocracy who had a generations-long tradition of “public service,” i.e. running the government the way they thought it should be run. John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles were from that milieu.
    I strongly agree, though, that much of the current hysteria is largely being driven by the Democratic scammers and highly paid “consultants” who are trying to hold on to the money and power they get from their positions.

  98. Linda says:

    He wasn’t president when the meetings took place

  99. Yeah, Right says:

    “A problem with your plot is that you don’t actually have any real knowledge of how intelligence works in the US.”
    True enough, I do not have first-hand knowledge of how intelligence works in the USA.
    But I will point out that everyone here is (quite correctly) utterly aghast at the notion that a US official would reveal to the Washington Post that Russian diplomatic communications are being decrypted.
    Indeed, it is such an unbelievable thing for a US official to do that I really don’t understand why anyone would blithely accept that If He Said So Then That Must Be How It Happened.
    Why, exactly, is it “fantasy” to suggest that a competent US official would attempt to disguise how the intel was obtained?
    Wouldn’t that be standard practice for “how intelligence works in the US”?

  100. turcopolier says:

    Yeah Right
    Trump Tower is in mid-town Manhattan, a huge building. The rooms in question would be on upper floors. The building has massive 24/7 security systems and monitoring. Their are armed guards everywhere day and night. The release of such highly classified material is the most likely answer to the puzzle of how the WP got Kizlyak’s re[port. pl

  101. Yeah, Right says:

    “The rooms in question would be on upper floors. The building has massive 24/7 security systems and monitoring. Their are armed guards everywhere day and night.”
    I accept all of that.
    And into “the rooms in question” walked at least three men.
    Hold. That. Thought.
    “The release of such highly classified material is the most likely answer to the puzzle of how the WP got Kizlyak’s re[port.”
    There is a massive confirmation-bias built into that sentence.
    Am I the only person who can see it?
    1) I am not questioning that this meeting took place.
    2) I am not questioning that the US IC knows what was said.
    I am, however, pointing out that simply because (1) and (2) is true does not mean that US SIGINT is in possession of any decrypted “Kizlyak’s reports” to Moscow.
    After all, if the US IC knows what was said in that room then they know that:
    a) Kizlyak would send off a report to Moscow, and
    b) That report would contain his recollections of that meeting.
    They can deduce both simply by assuming that Kizlyak is good at his job.
    Now, back to that first quote…..
    There is a huge Trump Tower with Upper Floor meeting rooms with very tight 24/7 security. And into one of those rooms walked at least three men: Kizlyak, Kushner and Flynn.
    You say that there is no way to slip a bug into that meeting?
    OK, I accept that and recant. Mea Culpa. Mea Culper. You are right, and I was wrong. There was no bug.
    Flynn was sacked from his job under very acrimonious circumstances.
    Flynn is under a cloud of investigation and under intense pressure.
    So here is Flynn, with his arse flappin’ in the breeze.
    And there was Flynn, a fly on the wall at that meeting.
    Maybe it wasn’t a bug in that room. Maybe it was Flynn who rolled over and hung his former employer out to dry, and the story about decrypted Ruskie diplomatic phones is just a bit of extra pot-stirring.

  102. LeaNder says:

    Pat, that wasn’t ‘my opinion’ but an attempt to “decrypt”/interpret b’s comment or one specific passage of it, in this case. Which, yes arguably, I shouldn’t have attached to your response to b.
    I am on my way out for a while, anyway. Which means too, I followed matters more superficially for a couple of days already. My excuses to everyone involved.
    Fact is, I was close to dropping my response to b, but then I stumbled across this in your response: “As for Maskirovka, what advantage would the Russians see in inventing a story like this? pl ”
    some of you are wasting time here by making up the most outlandish theories imaginable.
    No ‘outlandish theories’ involved beyond wanting to understand what b meant, really. … Besides, you can go back and check my comment during the election campaign around here, I was never a fan of “Russia-gate” as it surfaced already then. If I understand your anger at all …
    Looked at very, very superficially the most recent story in the series seems to be a variation of Clinton’s private server theme. Yes, no doubt for the nitwit, non-expert on matters. Not a theorist, by the way. Nitwit watcher only. But interested in narratives.
    But: How can I put this well and short enough….
    a) Clinton’s private server endangered at least the whatever level of secret content sent that way. If its main reason wasn’t to hide almost everything else?
    b) Jared Kustner, allegedly went even one step further, by intending to deliver information in a setting that wouldn’t even leave a trace (or need a shredder after – the public wouldn’t even know). In other words, he seemingly wanted to make sure no one could watch or check.
    Room full of mirrors?

  103. anonymous says:

    I read that British and us forces have left al tanf.anyone have more to add.

  104. turcopolier says:

    Yeah, Right
    Confirmation bias? Yes. I know what is most likely to have happened. pl

  105. Fred says:

    The DNC lawyers have just argued in court that they don’t need to have fair primary processes:
    Back in 2008 one of Obama’s intellectual mentors, the husband of Samantha Power, Cass Sunstein, was arguing that there should be agents provocateur in the election process:
    Apparently the New Hope and Change world order was going to be perpetual. It seems we know where the “Resistance” gets it’s intellectual foundations.
    ” Sunlight purifies all…” I would sure like to see some of that in action.

  106. Sam Peralta says:

    Flynn has got the entire investigative power of the US government on his ass. You think he’s gonna trust some WaPo reporter? What you smoking?
    BTW, Col. Lang has a track record of being consistently right on a number of issues with a written record on SST. If he’s got a high confidence on something you can likely take that to the bank!

  107. Sam Peralta says:

    “..until we understand the full scope of the Russian info op.”
    If you had to speculate, what would be the extent of this info op by the Russians? Since Clapper & Brennan and the breathless MSM have this incredible campaign of innuendo, I am curious what this info op could possibly be. Have the Russians executed such an info op anywhere else that we could look to get a sense?
    “The Trump/RNC ground game was way more sophisticated and far reaching than anyone gives them credit for.”
    I don’t believe they had much of a GOTV campaign, compared to Hillary’s. They just didn’t have the staffing to organize and execute folks with iPads knocking on doors in the neighborhoods.
    “It was an information operation (like all political campaigns) worthy of anything the Russians could have developed. It certainly wasn’t just a get out the vote campaign. It was also a suppress/discourage the vote campaign.”
    They did have a small operation in San Antonio managed by Jared Kushner staffed with Silicon Valley social media folks put together by Peter Thiel that tested and targeted messaging and were able to monitor enthusiasm that informed where Trump held his rallies. This enthusiasm differential led to many more rallies by Trump. But, one can argue this enthusiasm was directly linked to Trump running an outsider campaign and politically active voters preference for the anti-establishment candidate. Recall the voter enthusiasm for Obama vs McCain, when Obama ran to change the system – close Guantanamo, end the wars, etc. Note that Hillary was backed big by the Silicon Valley establishment – Eric Schmidt & Google as well as Sheryl Sandberg & Facebook among others. Voter suppression tactics are also not new. Every election we have stories of robocalls and other communication methods targeting some voters that they can’t vote without IDs or their polling station has changed among ways to suppress votes. Both parties engage in this.
    I’m with Jack, that the simplest explanation is that Hillary was an uninspiring candidate. She couldn’t get many Democrats enthused, let alone independent voters in the crucial states in the mid-west where the election was decided.
    IMO, the character of the election would have been very different if the Democrats had nominated Sanders. He had the enthusiasm factor on his side and a similar message against free trade and useless wars that would have competed well with Trump in the mid-west. Remember that Sanders defeated Hillary in the Michigan primary.
    The crux of the issue is that the Democrat establishment don’t want to accept responsibility that they are Borgist to the core and will do everything to prevent a real outsider from getting their party nomination. At best they’ll nominate a faux outsider like Obama.

  108. Dr.Puck says:

    The block of Trump voters that was unusual in that they were not Republicans or GOP-leaning independents, would constitute a small, albeit decisive, percentage of Trump’s total vote. Why such a small bloc should prove threatening to elites that enjoy the support of much larger groups of supporters is not obvious to me.
    Of course this is mooted now by President Trump’s facile willingness to throw that bloc under the bus in his administration staffed partly with Wall Street titans and lobbyists, and, with a healthcare plan designed to hammer white older supporters in the purple swing states and red south. It appears Trump was just kidding about bringing back the middle class, and providing all Americans with cheaper, better, lower out-of-the-pocket healthcare.
    As far as point number two goes, the reply to anybody who thinks Russia might be converted to a friend rather than a foe has to begin with:
    “Perhaps the USA should target their nuclear deterrent at someone else, and, perhaps the Russians could do the same.”

  109. Dr.Puck says:

    Thanks TTG. The full scale, scope and story of Trump’s campaign has to do with a small group of savvy operators who understood the memetics, social media multipliers, and the electoral college. imo
    This strategy was nothing Trump knew much of anything about himself. He knew that Make America Great Again was far superior to Make America Clinton Again.
    One not often mentioned key was over-confidence on the Clinton side that tended to bias their outlook in favor of turnout, and, women voters. (This explains the wasted time and resources spent on trying to to sway educated GOP women voters.) By election day this may have kept a non-trivial amount of voters home because they thought she was going to win in landslide against Trump.
    As far as Russia goes, it would be hard to extract the influence of their op as a factor in exit polling data, so as to learn what quantifiable influence on vote casting the op caused.
    Nevertheless, without knowing anything about the information in intercepts, or knowing the forensics of memes and click bait and social media buys, there remain shady possibilities given the timeline of contacts between Trump campaign and transition persons and Russia, the false swearings of Sessions, Flynn, Kushner, others, in security clearance interviews and docs, and, the murky shape of financing of various Trump and Kushner projects prior to the campaign season and election night.

  110. Eric Newhill,
    The suggestion that ‘Guccifer 2.0’ was linked to Russian intelligence originally came from ‘CrowdStrike’ and Dmitri Alperovitch. One can think of few better reasons for suspecting that – whatever his nationality – he was part of a Western-orchestrated ‘information operation’.
    On the credentials of ‘CrowdStrike’ and Alperovitch, and the corruption of the cybersecurity industry, see a piece posted on 8 May by Jeffrey Carr entitled ‘Cyber Intelligence and the Imaginary Other’. In general, Edward Luttwak is not a favourite person of mine, but the remarks Carr quotes from him about the very serious dangers of dealing with other countries on the basis of what you want to believe are to the point.
    When you have a situation where people like Alperovitch can make very large sums of money by telling people what they want to hear, this makes it all too easy for people in positions of power and influence to lock themselves in a bubble.
    As Carr argues – assembling a mass of supporting evidence:
    ‘Crowdstrike’s “Danger Close: Fancy Bear Tracking of Ukrainian Field Artillery Units” is a perfect example of performing cyber attribution with zero ground truth and, as Luttwak described, creating an imaginary “other” rather than making the effort to actually speak with people who know the facts on the ground.’
    (See https://medium.com/@jeffreycarr/cyber-intelligence-and-the-imaginary-other-acb340e8d87f .)
    After ‘CrowdStrike’ made the initial link to the FSB and more particularly the GRU, the suggestion was made that the identification of the initials of Dzerzhinsky in the material from ‘Guccifer 2.0’ pointed unambiguously to a Russian origin. So according to Thomas Rid, of King’s College, London:
    ‘The metadata in the leaked documents are perhaps most revealing: one dumped document was modified using Russian language settings, by a user named “Феликс Эдмундович,” a code name referring to the founder of the Soviet Secret Police, the Cheka, memorialised in a 15-ton iron statue in front of the old KGB headquarters during Soviet times.
    In a piece entitled ‘Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach RunawayTrain?’, Carr treated the suggestion with the contempt it – amply – deserves:
    ‘OK. Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix’s name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker. Someone clearly had a wicked sense of humor.’
    (See https://medium.com/@jeffreycarr/can-facts-slow-the-dnc-breach-runaway-train-lets-try-14040ac68a55 .)
    For another good account of the history, including a recollection of Alperovitch as a bit-part-player in the campaign to suggest a massive Russian cyber-offensive against Georgia at the time of the 2008 war, see a piece posted in March by Yasha Levine, entitled ‘From Russia, with Panic’, at https://thebaffler.com/salvos/from-russia-with-panic-levine .nt.

  111. Lefty says:

    Col, Thank you for your straight up assessment. The damage seems likely profound. I do not understand why we have not seen any leakers strung up from trees on the White House grounds as examples. I can only assume Trump has not been competent to identify them.
    History, as usual, provides lessons. In the early ’50s NSA gave a demonstration of systems that broke Soviet cryp systems to a select group that included both domestic and our “allies”. The next day the Soviets ceased using those systems, and according to someone who was there “We never got back in”. His awareness extended for another couple of decades. Philby turned out to be the rat.
    My flag is up today especially in remembrance of those who have died in service to our country.

  112. Valissa says:

    WaPo published another story on the Kushner situation which is more favorable to the WH.
    Homeland security chief defends Kushner’s alleged proposal for ‘back channel’ to the Russians as ‘a good thing’ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/05/28/homeland-security-chief-defends-kushners-alleged-back-channel-to-the-russians-its-a-good-thing/
    Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, the lone administration official to speak out publicly about reports that Jared Kushner sought a back channel to communicate with the Russian government, defended the move, saying it was a “good thing” for the U.S. government.
    “It’s both normal, in my opinion, and acceptable,” Kelly said of the reports that Kushner made the request for a secret communications channel to the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition. “ Any way that you can communicate with people, particularly organizations that are maybe not particularly friendly to us is a good thing.”
    Kelly made the comments on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” and he reiterated them in two other appearances on Sunday-morning news broadcasts.
    Kelly rejected the idea that such a back channel of communication with Russian officials would be damaging to U.S. security interests.
    … Kelly said that if such a line of communication was set up, the critical thing would have been for Kushner and other transition officials to understand that the information provided by the Russians might be intentionally false. “They may be working you,” he said.
    Kelly said he was not sure whether the reports that Kushner had proposed using Russian diplomatic facilities for such communications were true. But he said that as long as the information was shared with the U.S. government, it didn’t represent a problem.
    Of course this story is not getting near the airplay that the negative version has been getting.

  113. different clue says:

    Well . . . that’s what this Bitter Berner lawsuit hopes to achieve. Also, they hope to get the Court to FORCE the DNC to give back all the donations-money it raised from Hopeful Berners under the false pretense of holding a fair and balanced Primary.
    If the Bitter Berners can win their suit, and win every appeal, the DNC may be hazzing a sad biggly.

  114. Freudenschade says:

    Trump Tower has been around a while. I once went to a March Madness party in a condo on the 55th floor. I know there are units higher up as well. If it was built like most steel girder buildings, information security probably wasn’t a big concern. You could probably snake a cable right next to Trump’s bedroom back in 1983.
    I’m sure they’ve locked down things a bit tighter now that he’s the president, but there’s 35+ years of crap in the walls, with minimal security pre 2001.

  115. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Thanks for the detailed response. I cannot come up w/ a theory on “how the BORG orchestrated all this”, and I do not believe such a theory is needed. My reasoning is as follows: For whatever reason the US Borg (containing both democratic and republican deep-state statists) is afraid of Trump and some members of his team. Initially this group thought that they had the election in the bag- the tricks they tried during Trump’s candidacy is a matter of open record. Thanks to a few people who leaked electronic documents, and due to the hubris of their anointed SJW, the Borg lost. Now they are scared. This could be due to potential exposure of some significant malfeasance of theirs, or due to pending failure of their gambits being executed in Ukraine, Syria, Yemen and other places. Thus they are doing their utmost to derail Trump-and he is doing his level best to help them. I consider the whole issue a very shallow soap opera- not a sophisticated intelligence operation. Unfortunately this farce can have grave consequences for the World.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  116. Sam Peralta,
    As I’ve said many times, I have a lot of first hand experience dealing with Soviet and Russian information warfare and their much more subtle understanding of cybernetics and reflexive control. To give examples of Russia’s expertise in this field, I’d have to go through DOD review/clearance procedures. I have no desire to do that. Perhaps one day some of this stuff will be released. Until then, we’ll both have to be content with our preconceived notions. Perhaps we can agree that the Russians, like the Soviets before them, are not ten feet tall. However, they are six foot four, full of muscle and smart as a whip in this field. I don’t begrudge them for their expertise.

  117. anonymous says:

    yeah right.good point.fits with my theory.controlling the flow of information in both directions will change facts on the ground.if comey was bugging trump tower then that’s why trump fired him.if the Russian angle was misinformation put out by trump to trap whoever was bugging trump then that was game over.that meeting of trump with lavrov in the white house said it all.the whole Russian thing is trump trap……nice word trump trap

  118. J says:

    Something most probably aren’t aware of is of her 309 kills, 36 were Fascist snipers who some were no doubt shot through their own sights.

  119. LondonBob says:

    Didn’t the CIA do an internal inquiry into Angleton, with the conclusion being there was a high probability Angleton himself was a double agent, something he was so fond of accusing others of being? John Le Carre wrote a nice article on the paranoia and confusion of his former profession.
    I would hope the public having seen Steele’s puerile dossier, and the various intelligence failings of recent years, are a lot more skeptical theses days.

  120. LeaNder says:

    Ishmael, basically I applaud TTG’s efforts here.
    For the very simple reason he maintains a rather rational position against a wave of people like me, who take a more spontaneous decision while looking into matters. Result: this looks more like politics with something that has the feel and touch of aligned forensic sycophants, who may align since they have to defend their/their companies reputation towards costumers in the process.
    To be honest, obviously always as the nitwit I am, I am not sure it needed the BORG to create the counterforces against Trump during the election. Media too. Apparently the Fox owner was one over, to look at media from the perspective of the power to dictate content.

  121. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    I cannot decipher/decode your note above. Rest assured that I consider TTG an honorable, patriotic, wise officer of the USA and truly like his writings. I just disagree w/ him on a few issues.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  122. Fred says:

    Or he could have fired him for the reasons stated in the assistant AG’so letter.

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