More felonies committed by the American Espionage Spies (leakers)


"(CNN)Russian government officials discussed having potentially "derogatory" information about then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and some of his top aides in conversations intercepted by US intelligence during the 2016 election, according to two former intelligence officials and a congressional source.

One source described the information as financial in nature and said the discussion centered on whether the Russians had leverage over Trump's inner circle. The source said the intercepted communications suggested to US intelligence that Russians believed "they had the ability to influence the administration through the derogatory information.""  CNN (Dana Bash reporting)
"… two former intelligence officials and a congressional source."  What do you think?  Would their initials be JB, JC and AS?  What do you think?  Do you think these "Russian government officials" were discussing such matters on unencrypted, open circuits?  No?  Well, if these intercepts and decrypts were of classified, secret Russian communications traffic, then the leaker spies have disclosed SCI COMINT.  But I suppose they are above the law.  "The source said the intercepted communications suggested to US intelligence."  That means that the US spies were above the working level in the US IC. 
I will say nothing of the role played by CNN in this betrayal of the United States.  By long standing legal precedent journalistic projects are immune from prosecution for disclosing government secrets, but I am filled with a great contempt for them. 
Are the principal spies acting alone?  I would think not.  The government has many seditionists within it.


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57 Responses to More felonies committed by the American Espionage Spies (leakers)

  1. b says:

    That JC guy just made quite interesting remarks in an NBC interview.
    “If you put that in context with everything else we knew the Jews were doing and just the historical practices of the Jews, who typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Jewish technique.”
    Isn’t that some deeply fascist stuff to say?

  2. bks says:

    There comes a time when the public should be informed. POTUS committing treason is one of those times.

  3. turcopolier says:

    You have no evidence whatever of any treasonous behavior on Trump’s part. This is mere slander. You are an obvious political troll. pl

  4. Freudenschade says:

    “ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam”
    We know your opinion of the leakers, but what about their substance?

  5. bks says:

    Excommunicate me if you must, but Kushner asking to use encrypted communications from the Russian embassy is the very definition of treason.

  6. Jack says:

    Clearly you are a political partisan. And in your hatred of Trump quite willing to sell out the US.
    The only evidence of treason is by two former intelligence officials and a congressional source, who have leaked the ability of the US to decrypt secure communication of the Russians. Maybe they’ll get the noose if such crimes are ever prosecuted.

  7. lucopter says:

    Sedition is the right word. We are witnessing the overthrow of POTUS by bunch treacherous bastards.
    Short of a civil war, is there legal/political way to stop these guys? Would it help if Trump calls for a million man march in DC?

  8. turcopolier says:

    Their substance is nothing, less than nothing. For foreign governments to wish to find ways to influence an American Administration s completely normal. Do you not think our NATO allies have the same conversations as well as our lovely Israeli friends. What do you think ambassadors do for a living? They advise on how to affect hat? As or Kushner’s commo proposal, it was a stupid idea but hardly treasonous. you have to remember that the Trump people were not yet the US government. pl

  9. mauisurfer says:

    worth noting
    jfk opened a back channel to Khrushchev after he was elected and before he was sworn in as president

  10. steve says:

    “By long standing legal precedent journalistic projects are immune from prosecution for disclosing government secrets”
    I don’t especially want the press to have to censor what they publish. As long as it is not something which will obviously place people in jeopardy, they should publish. It should be the job of those in charge in the government to keep stuff from leaking to begin with.

  11. plantman says:

    bks says…
    Excommunicate me if you must, but Kushner asking to use encrypted communications from the Russian embassy is the very definition of treason.”
    Treason??? Even the lowly NY Times disagrees with your extremist analysis. Here’s an excerpt from today’s paper:
    “responding to questions from The Times about the meetings with Mr. Kislyak and Mr. Gorkov, Ms. Hicks said the meetings were part of an effort by Mr. Kushner to improve relations between the United States and Russia, and to identify areas of possible cooperation….
    But the Trump transition was unique in its unwillingness to use the government’s communications lines and briefing material for its dealings with many foreign governments, partly because of concern that Obama administration officials might be monitoring the calls….
    So the Trump people figured out what any sentient being has known from the very beginning, that the crooked Obama team and their allies in the IC were sweeping up all their communications to derail their political agenda which involved normalizing relations with Russia.
    Is that what you call “treason”???

  12. sid_finster says:

    Explain how. Do you even know what treason is?

  13. iowa steve says:

    Why do we assume the “leaked information” is true and not something entirely made up by the “sources” and handed to the always credulous media?

  14. ISL says:

    b, JC claims “Russia is not our friend.” Could he really be so naive as to believe that nations have friends? One could argue more damage has been done to US security by some of our “friends” than our “enemies”- for example, its unclear how NK has hurt US security to date.

  15. different clue says:

    First of all, Kushner supposedly “ASKED” to do this, not actually “DID” this. Would “ASKING” to do this be just as treasonous an act as if he had “DONE” this? If so, that brings me to . . .
    Second of all, the Overt Act which must be witnessed by 2 people at the same time . . . must be in direct assistance to an overt enemy declared to be in a State of War against America. Did this Overt Act, if indeed it was one, seek to render assistance to an Overt Enemy in a State of War against America? No. Because Russia is not an Overt Enemy in any Declared State of War.
    Now . . . is Russia a “covert enemy”? Or maybe just a “covert adversary”? Maybe so. In which case, broadcasting to the world including most of all to Russia itself that we can decrypt their most sensitive strongestly-encrypted communications destroys our ability to do that decrypting. And THAT is a highly anti-American thing to have done.

  16. lucopter,
    Sedition isn’t any more correct than the foolish talk of treason. Those screaming the loudest about Trump’s supposed treason are seeking to used the existing structures of government and the Constitution to oust a sitting president and those around him. They are not trying to overthrow or destroy the government.
    Trump certainly could call for a million man march, but he better be certain he could generate crowds at least as big as the women’s march. Anything less would backfire.
    We may see something big happening on twitter soon. Trump’s two twitter accounts have gained over five million followers in the last three days. Most are empty bot accounts which have no activity. Accounts are being added at a hundred bots an hour. Many people are reporting their accounts are now following the Trump and related bot accounts without authorization. Some are unfollowing and blocking Trump only to have their accounts reconnecting to the Trump accounts. People are being advised to change their passwords and disable any twitter related apps. My guess is that some kind of shit is about to hit the fan.

  17. J says:

    Speaking of the treasonous shows, did you know that Morning Joe Scarborough and Mika are now engaged? Also, Mika’s daddy Zbigniew Brzezinski passed away 4 days ago.

  18. DrFrank says:

    I don’t see any evidence that Trump’s hold on the Presidency is in any real or imminent danger.
    The Russia scandal newsfeed is slowing him down a bit, which may not be a bad thing given his reputation for impetuous decision making, lose talk, arrogance when it comes to the details and a tendency to keep it in the family, or at least among loyalists. If the Dems think the Russia thing is going to win them control of the House, they need to think again, it seems to me.
    Coronel Lang, there are some things I really don’t understand. Perhaps you could explain:
    Could it really be a big secret that the IC is able to decrypt Russian communications? I would imagine there is a constant tug of war here: sometimes the US IC is able to do decode and sometimes not, as the systems on both sides are upgraded and changed periodically.
    What are the goals of those in the IC who are supposed to be sabotaging Trump? What exactly is it that they are trying to accomplish or prevent?
    What precisely are the two side of the controversy over what is the right stance toward Russia and for what reasons? The answer to this could include Syria as well as the Ukraine and NATO.
    What was Trump trying to achieve by visiting Saudi Arabia in the way he did and what is to be gained and by whom in making Iran the great enemy? Did he achieve it?
    Many thanks if you take a shot at it.

  19. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to All:
    The Eurasia Review has an OpEd by “Mina” with the headline: “Washington Post Exposed NSA’s Ability to Intercept Chatter from Russian Embassy.” It can be googled. Even has a photo of Jared.
    Mina refers to and relies on Col. Lang as an authority and notes his shock and outrage at this publishing of Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI). Mina states, among other things: “In other words, for the sake of causing some minor embarrassment to the President, the Washington Post struck a major blow against US intelligence.”

  20. Ghostship says:

    It’s far more likely that they’re just making this stuff up. Are they ever going to be required to repeat this stuff under oath or even produce evidence of their claims? I very much doubt it.

  21. fanto says:

    Recently you mentioned how tired you are of the ‘mendacious BS’. Be assured you are not alone with your fatigue. I am not only tired of it but also deeply shocked, to find myself 50 years later in my old age confronted again with such mendacious BS. In my youth under Soviet domination it was totally impossible to imagine that one day the ‘russki’ FM would make jokes about how the roles have reversed and the Pravda and Isviestia (‘no truth’ and ‘no news’) would have their imitators or heirs in USA. So, Colonel, do not get tired and have a beautiful, restful Birthday! ( and a glass of Champagne will do good ).

  22. Wunduk says:

    I vividly imagine Russian analysts now sifting through all Dec. 2016 communications for that remark: able to influence the Trump administration through publication of (financial) derogatory information. Not an easy task, but with the keyword ‘financial information’ they afterwards will know pretty clearly which frequency and encryption method is no longer good enough.
    Why would there be legal protection for the journalists for bloating out this capability, however indirectly, in the absence of a clear public requirement? If the publisher feels there was one they could easily explain it to a court, II assume. Is there not a code of conduct or legal responsibility of each publisher in the United States? And if not wouldn’t it be possible to use a copyright infringement law?

  23. Old Microbiologist says:

    It is interesting. I saw a clip from CNN yesterday (can’t find it now so probably erased from the internet) where they were trying to push a panel of (not-so) “average” Americans to agree with the premise of Russian tampering. To their credit these particular Americans questioned the entire premise and instead turned the tables on the American government questioning credibility of unnamed sources etc. as well as past misdeeds. I was pleasantly surprised at the intelligent answers given and the consternation of the interviewer. But, what is shocking to me were the written responses on the posting many of which were in the grain of “these Americans were treasonous and should be shot”. Probably many of the posts were bots but if this is true then the liberals are in deep trouble and in complete denial about what has been happening in the US and especially US foreign policy.
    What will be interesting is what the response is going to be when the illegal US base in Syria is attacked by the Syrian Army, perhaps today. This is a put up or shut up moment in history. The same thing is going to happen in North Korea soon. I also noticed a interesting lack of concern for Israel test firing an ICBM (a rogue nation with illegal nuclear weapons), yet we said nothing about it. Korea on the other hand, is the opposite, and we are coming close to war over the same thing.
    Regarding the leaks, I believe it is imperative for Trump to find them fast and perhaps maybe have a few shot as these are the real treasonous Americans. I also think he needs to go after Podesta, Soros, McCain et. al. in earnest and remove them from the board. He needs to get ahead of this and start removing obstacles. Playing nice isn’t working.

  24. MRW says:

    Kushner asking to use encrypted communications from the Russian embassy is the very definition of treason.
    Treason? You’re a nutcase.

  25. jonst says:

    Substantively, this (the entire ‘Russian Affair, or, employing the mating call of the asshole, RussiaGate, seems like mush, seasoned and spooned to the American Public with a whole lotta adjectives (like the guy above, “treasonous” and such), and sold as steak.

  26. scott douglas says:

    As I said to an astonished ‘liberal’ friend last week, forgoing fruitless confrontation with Russia is a Policy, not a Crime.
    A clearly and openly stated policy enunciated during the campaign in prime-time, on many a debate stage. The studied Clinton rebuttal? “You are Putin’s puppet!” This is still the only sound we hear from the ‘resistance’. No evidence.
    Now, six months on, to remind a fellow citizen of the results of the election is become nearly pointless. There is a sputtering madness gripping these deeply misguided partisan defenders of the foreign policy status quo that has become actually dangerous. I thought Trump should have made a number of publicly staged arrests, complete with a Marine detachment and cameras rolling, by now. But instead, Clapper and Brennan are themselves destroying the reputations of the institutions they supposedly cherish, and their compliant media megaphone, with their own ragged flailings.
    There will be no impeachment. Check the latest poll. Trump would win more handily today than after this Orwellian blitz has run on for over half a year.
    Madness! Of course, I aggressively snapped off the tube when Clapper appeared on PBS last night, so maybe I am becoming infected, too…

  27. Heros says:

    Although all the parasites in Washington love to give lip service to things like “the constitution” and “our freedom” their actions since 9/11, and even long before, are proof that this is merely gruel for the serfs. Most of those who started the treason and sedition are long dead or are on deaths door anyway. The toothpaste is already out of the tube.
    It is the lower echelons of the parasites deriving their livelihoods off of the state who cling to some kind of legitimacy from government in Washington. Just look at the way the Democrat statists reject and criticism of Hilary with or without proof.
    Those of us who have personally experienced the vengefulness and tyranny of the federal government have long given up hope of anything good coming out of that cesspool on the Potomac. We are merely watching the buzzards fighting over the remains of the carcass. There is no such thing as good buzzards or bad buzzards, so we expect nothing from them.

  28. Lars says:

    No doubt there is unprecedented leaking going on and the question is: Why? It appears that many in the government are appalled at decisions and maybe even more at how decisions are made. Then there is the problem with having a president who is increasingly being disrespected, which started while he was a candidate. You have to consider that many of his problems are self-inflicted.
    Having a beleaguered and weaker presidency is not a good thing. It is starting to resemble the late 60’s and early 70’s, which is the last time we had a seriously divided nation, with many lasting results and not all of them positive.
    It seems that we are inching towards some kind of constitutional crisis and that is not a good thing either.

  29. Freudenschade says:

    Ambassador Kislyak is certainly doing his job. My question wasn’t so much about the Russians but rather about the Americans. Is the sum total of the leaks — if true — of any concern to you?

  30. Matthew says:

    Col: The slander stems from the belief that the Establishment makes legitimate policy, and the Elected President must ask their permission.
    To me, this attitude is a wholesale rejection of our constitutional system.

  31. Matthew says:

    If the Russians really wanted to troll us, members of their embassy staff could hand out cookies to protesters in DC.

  32. turcopolier says:

    Aside frm the stupidity of wanting to run a back channel in a Russian diplomatic facility, no IMO the “revelations” amount to nothing. The release of the COMINT material to the media is a crime that should be punished with imprisonment. pl

  33. turcopolier says:

    “many in the government” IMO the US spies are either formers like JB, and JC or are politically appointed Obama holdovers. Career government people have it in their DNA NOT to destroy American intelligence capabilities by telling intelligence targets that we can read their traffic. pl

  34. Fluesterwitz says:

    That will teach me to read the comments before going to the poisoned source. You had me there.
    I suppose as ‘Russians’ really means ‘Commies’ anyway, it’s not really that bad. /s

  35. turcopolier says:

    “Could it really be a big secret that the IC is able to decrypt Russian communications?” Could it really have been a big secret that the British solved the Enigma cypher system? Yes, it was. Could it really have been a big secret that US Navy and US Army SIGINT people solved the Japanese diplomatic and naval cypher systems? Yes, it was. The Germans and the Japanese understood that it was theoretically possible for their systems to be solved but they did not believe that it could actually be done. As a result the German U Boat fleet was decimated through their position reporting and the Japanese lost four fleet carriers at Midway. If the Germans and Japanese had understood that their communications were compromised these benefits to the Allies would not have occurred. Traffic analysis (look it up)played a major role as well as cryptanalysis. The Russians now KNOW that a umber of their commo systems are compromised and they will go all out to replace these capabilities with others that we will work for years to penetrate. pl

  36. HDL says:

    Let’ be real careful bandying about words like “treason”. The Founders, themselves guilty of treason (in the Crown’s eyes), specifically defined what treason is. Treason is the only crime specified in the Constitution”
    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
    Article III | Constitution | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute
    There’s lots of other crimes committed by these miscreants and hanging is too good for them. Treason isn’t one of them.
    Excuse the pedantry.

  37. turcopolier says:

    You must be speaking of someone other than me. I have bee careful not to use the word. pl

  38. Fred says:

    Obama is now an ex-president. Better late than never though.

  39. All,
    By contrast to the conversations between Kushner and Kislyak, it seems to me possible that the offence here may simply be fabrication of non-existent conversations.
    Having stated that ‘the FBI would not comment on whether any of the claims discussed in the intercepts have been verified’, the CNN report continues:
    ‘But US counterintelligence investigators were already looking into the Russian claims during the summer of 2016, before the public became aware of similar claims in a dossier created for political opponents of Trump by a former British spy. The former spy, Christopher Steele, shared some of those findings with the FBI during the summer of 2016.
    ‘CNN has not been able to verify the allegations about the derogatory information in the dossier, but current and former US officials say some of the Russia-to-Russia conversations in the dossier have been corroborated.’
    A number of points.
    1. There is ample evidence that in his time as a ‘former British spy’ Steele pedalled the most outrageous disinformation against leaders MI6 wanted to target. Also, it is material that he is patently not very competent at ‘information operations’ – the claims he and his associates feed to the media keep changing.
    This is not noticed only because, for a variety of reasons, contemporary journalists are happy to act as stenographers for the spooks (however corrupt and incompetent these demonstrably are.) This applies equally, whether the journalists come from the ‘right’ or the ‘left’.
    When the story of Steele’s involvement with the BuzzFeed dossier first broke in January, the – traditionally right-wing – ‘Telegraph’ reported that he had been case officer for the late Alexander Litvinenko. However, when he emerged out of hiding in March, the – traditionally left-wing – ‘Guardian’ reported that:
    ‘Several of the lurid stories about him that have appeared in the press have been wrong, said friends. The stories include claims that Steele met Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian dissident who was murdered in 2006 with a radioactive cup of tea, probably on Putin’s orders.
    ‘As head of MI6’s Russia desk, Steele led the inquiry into Litvinenko’s polonium poisoning, quickly concluding that this was a Russian state plot. He did not meet Litvinenko and was not his case officer, friends said.’
    (See ; .)
    2. If Steele and his associates got leery about drawing attention to his involvement with Litvinenko, they had good reason.
    According to the ‘Vanity Fair’ report linked to in the CNN story, Steele was head of the MI6 Russia Desk from 2004 to 2009. We know that Litvinenko became an MI6 agent prior to 2004, Steele would have had overall charge of his activities when he was disseminating disinformation designed to show, among other things, that the notorious Ukrainian mobster Semyon Mogilevich, while acting as an agent for the FSB and under Putin’s personal ‘krysha’, had been attempted to secure a ‘mini nuclear bomb’ for Al Qaeda.
    Among many other accusations his agent was disseminating was the claim that Romano Prodi was a KGB/FSB agent. (Time was when this might have worried the ‘Guardian’ – not now.)
    I produced evidence on the ‘mini nuclear bomb’ claim – only a fragment of a mass of material I brought to the attention of Sir Robert Owen, and most of which he suppressed in his report – in comments Colonel Lang posted on SST after that report was published.
    (See .)
    3. According to the interviews supposedly recorded with Litvinenko by Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt, presented in evidence to Owen, and taken at face value by him, Steele’s ignorance of his agent’s activities was quite phenomenal.
    What we are asked to believe is that, immediately following his drinking tea with the dastardly Kremlin agents Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun on 1 November, Litvinenko suspected they had tried to poison him. What we are also asked to believe is that MI6 knew nothing of this until Litvinenko told Hyatt to ‘phone his ‘handler’, ‘Martin’ on 20 November.
    From the account by Luke Harding of the ‘Guardian’:
    ‘The interview abruptly stops. It’s 5.16pm. Hyatt dials the long telephone number, reaches “Martin”, and tells him that Litvinenko is gravely ill in hospital, the victim of an apparent poisoning by two mysterious Russians.
    ‘It appears to be the first time that MI6 – an organisation famed for its professionalism – learns of Litvinenko’s plight.’
    (See .)
    4. So Litvinenko was screaming out that Putin had tried to kill him, and Steele didn’t know anything about it? If you believe that, you will believe anything.
    The interviews are, transparently, forged, and anyone who thinks that MI6 deserves to be ‘famed for its professionalism’ is either simply ignorant, or a fool or a knave. (With Harding, it’s probably all three together.)
    What was actually happening was that Steele and his associates were first trying to keep the whole story of the poisoning under wraps, and then going round in circles trying to find a reasonably convincing means of obscuring the truth. (So too were those in the know in Russian intelligence.)
    For the way in which Steele and his minions could not get their accounts of the vehicle(s) by which Litvinenko travelled into London on the day he was supposedly murdered straight, and many other contradictions, see the SST post to which I have linked.
    5. What then happens if you look at the BuzzFeed dossier against this background?
    What we know is that the latest date on the materials from the DNC which WikiLeaks started publishing on 22 July 2016 is 25 May 2016. We also know that James Comey never got the FBI to look at the DNC servers. Instead he relied upon what is – frankly – a heap of old garbage supplied by Dmitri Alperovitch of ‘Crowdstrike’, starting I think on 15 June.
    How can anyone defend this privatisation of a key investigative task? It should be quite sufficient grounds for sacking Comey.
    6. On 20 June 2016, if the dossier is to be believed, Christopher Steele was ready with the first installment of his heap of garbage. Unfortunately, it seems that he and Alperovitch did not coordinate their stories – as their accounts of the hacking are totally contradictory.
    7. Moreover, the BuzzFeed dossier has now produced three separate lawsuits. The most recent, filed on 26 May, is by Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan of ‘Alfa Group’. As the summons notes, the name is spelt incorrectly in the dossier as ‘Alpha Group’.
    But hell, you don’t really expect the head of MI6’s Russia Desk to be familiar with the names of one of the most prominent Russian business empires, do you? (If they have an ‘America desk’, its head probably writes that Bill Gates founded ‘Mikrosoft’.)
    8. Previously, actions were brought by the internet entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev – again misspelled, as Gubarov – and his company XBT Holdings against BuzzFeed in Florida and Steele in London. To anyone familiar with the history of Litvinenko’s claims, what the BuzzFeed dossier claims about Gubarev looks like vintage Steele:
    ‘[redacted] reported that over the period March-September 2016 a company called XBT/Webzilla and its affiliates had been using botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct “altering operations” against the Democratic Party leadership. Entities linked to one Alexei GUBAROV [sic] were involved and he and another hacking expert, both recruited under duress by the FSB, Seva KAPSUGOVICH, were significant players in this operation. In Prague, COHEN agreed contingency plans for various scenarios to protect the operations, but in particular what was to be done in the event that Hillary CLINTON won the presidency. It was important in this event that all cash payments owed were made quickly and discreetly and that cyber and that cyber and other operators were stood down / able to go effectively to ground to cover their traces.’
    9. On 27 March, lawyers for Gubarev filed a response to BuzzFeed’s motion to dismiss, entitled ‘Six Ways Buzzfeed Has Misled the Court (Number Two Will Amaze You) … and a Picture of a Kitten.’ It is entertaining. In the event, the judge ruled in Gubarev’s favour.
    (See .)
    10. On 4 April, Steele’s lawyers filed his defence in the London suit.
    (See .
    A point of interest in Steele’s accounts of his relation with the American company Fusion is summarised in the ‘Guardian’ account:
    ‘The document said that he passed the memos to Fusion on the understanding that Fusion would not disclose the material to any third parties without the approval of Steele and Orbis. They did agree to Fusion providing a copy to Senator John McCain after the veteran Republican had been told about the existence of Steele’s research by Sir Andrew Wood, a former UK ambassador to Moscow and an Orbis associate, at a conference in Canada on 8 November.’
    The suggestion that Wood had been involved with Steele’s company Orbis for a long time tends to strengthen the impression that its supposedly independent status acted as cover for projects championed by influential circles in the British ‘sistema’ – and that these were intimately involved in the campaign against Trump.
    11. On the role of disingenuous claims about ‘SIGINT’ in ‘information operations’, it may be worth looking back at the all-out propaganda offensive that heralded the opening of Owen’s travesty of an inquiry. A report in ‘The American Interest’ was headlined: ‘NSA Proves Russia Behind Litvinenko’s Murder.’
    (See .)
    At a time when claims made by Steele may be subjected to rather more rigorous scrutiny in the courts than that provided by Owen and his team, and where a collapse in his credibility threatens to have large knock-on effects, it would not be surprising is, as it were, people in the NSA were once again prepared to be cooperative in maintaining his fictions.

  40. Thomas says:

    “No doubt there is unprecedented leaking going on and the question is: Why?”
    Public revelation that those previously in charge were giving aid and comfort to the enemy (Manpads to Al Qadea. etc. etc.) of the United States for the benefit of another foreign entity. So that entity is having its agents pull out the stops to keep the truth in a dark musty corner.

  41. HDL says:

    Certainly not you, sir.

  42. J says:

    These journos sure know how to wreck a battlefield don’t they.

  43. David Habakkuk wrote:
    “We also know that James Comey never got the FBI to look at the DNC servers. Instead he relied upon what is – frankly – a heap of old garbage supplied by Dmitri Alperovitch of ‘Crowdstrike’, starting I think on 15 June. How can anyone defend this privatisation of a key investigative task?”
    I admire your thoroughness and detailed analyses, often excruciatingly detailed, but I take serious issue with this particular statement. I’m afraid you and many others are not at all familiar with how the world of cyber analysis works. Most of the attacks that require analysis and mitigation occur on IT systems belonging to non-governmental entities. These private entities are usually loathe to even admit that they have been hacked. They rely on other private entities like CrowdStrike, Mandiant and McAfee to mitigate these attacks and keep that information out of the press and out of the hands of government. The NDAs covering these relationships are draconian. This has always been the case. Given this environment , IT security companies like CrowdStrike, Mandiant and McAfee have a wider and more in-depth knowledge of worldwide cyber threats than even our NSA.
    The FBI and NSA are well aware of this reality and often rely on these private IT security companies for their extended expertise. In 2011 the NSA turned to McAfee for assistance in dealing with a massive intrusion into the networks of several major defense contractors and the compromise of a security technology that was vital to systems in the DOD, IC and the rest of the government. Dmitri Alperovitch was a vital part of that McAfee team. That private security team was instrumental in mitigating the threat and identifying a nation-state actor as the source of that threat. This happens time after time, but we will seldom hear of it. And when we do, we never get the full story or all the evidence. This community is unusually adept in the art of STFU. That and the NDAs are truly draconian.
    The FBI has several programs designed to entice private companies to share information about cyber intrusions with the government. I am familiar with one that has a good track record of success. The National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance (NCFTA) is a non-profit corporation founded in 2002 in Pittsburgh, PA. It is the brain child of a particularly enlightened FBI Special Agent. He explained the delicate relationships he developed with private companies based on mutual trust. There was never any Fed flashing of badges and demands for cooperation. That approach is always counterproductive. But this is a small effort given the size of the FBI and the magnitude of the cyber intrusion problem.
    This is the world I worked in for a decade. And this is why I find your question of “how anyone defend this privatisation of a key investigative task?” to be so off the mark.

  44. Jack says:

    TTG, Sir
    The Twitter bot anarchy on Trump’s feed is all par for the course in this period of incredible developments in software. The rapid iteration cycle is moving even faster than even experts can comprehend.
    Hillary right on cue is now claiming that a thousand Russian agents on Facebook and bots on Twitter upended her “sure thing” campaign. Pathetic!
    She raised over a billion dollars. Why didn’t she hire 10,000 Indians and Chinese click fraudsters and all those snowflake kids to swamp social media? IMO, this entitled mindset is exactly why voters in Michigan and Pennsylvania rejected her for even Trump.
    Political campaigns have always been a blood sport. As they say, all’s fair in love and war.

  45. Jack says:

    If it is all made up, then what would you call propagating false information by high national intelligence officials in collusion with national media to take down a legitimate POTUS?

  46. Gordon Wilson says:

    Colonel I have refrained from any posting anywhere for any reason for months, but since the discussion seems to turn to decryption so often I thought you might be interested in knowing about network management systems built into Intel and AMD based machines for years,

    Hardware-based management does not depend on the presence of an OS or locally installed management agent. Hardware-based management has been available on Intel/AMD based computers in the past, but it has largely been limited to auto-configuration using DHCP or BOOTP for dynamic IP address allocation and diskless workstations, as well as wake-on-LAN (WOL) for remotely powering on systems.[6] AMT is not intended to be used by itself; it is intended to be used with a software management application.[1] It gives a management application (and thus, the system administrator who uses it) access to the PC down the wire, in order to remotely do tasks that are difficult or sometimes impossible when working on a PC that does not have remote functionalities built into it.[1][3][7]

    Intel has confirmed a Remote Elevation of Privilege bug (CVE-2017-5689) in its Management Technology, on 1 May 2017.[12] Every Intel platform with either Intel Standard Manageability, Active Management Technology, or Small Business Technology, from Nehalem in 2008 to Kaby Lake in 2017 has a remotely exploitable security hole in the IME (Intel Management Engine).[13][14]

    I think our second O in OODA is getting fuzzed if we don’t consider some of the observations found in “Powershift” by Toffler as well.
    The point being is that many Intel and AMD based computers can and have been owned by various governments and groups for years, and at this level have access to any information on these machines before the encryption software is launched to encrypt any communications.
    If this known software management tool is already on board, then extrapolation Toffler’s chipping warning to unannounced or unauthorized by various actors, one begins to see where various nation states have gone back to typewriters for highly sensitive information, or are building their own chip foundries, and writing their own operating systems and TCP/IP protocols, and since these things are known knowns, one would not be too far fetched in assuming the nation state level players are communicating over something entirely different than you and I are using. How that impacts the current news cycle, and your interpretation of those events, I leave to your good judgment.
    I would urge all of my fellow Americans, especially those with a megaphone, to also take care that we are not the subject of the idiom divide and conquer instead of its’ master. To that end I think the concept of information overload induced by the internet may in fact be part of the increasing polarization and information bubbles we see forming with liberals and conservatives. This too fuzzes the second O in OODA and warps the D and thus the A, IMHO.

  47. Ingolf Eide says:

    This serial leaking is the most visible sign of a deeper battle between the foreign policy “establishment” and Trump. While much discussed here, the causes and potential consequences of this crucially important showdown are rarely touched on in the mainstream media; they’re far too caught up in the hue and cry of the chase.
    “Security Breach – Trump’s tussle with the bureaucratic state”, Michael J Glennon’s article in the latest Harper’s, is an exception:
    “Many never-Trumpers in both parties now regard the security bureaucracy as their last, best hope. Following the Washington Post’s disclosure on December 9 that the CIA believed Russia had intervened in the election to help Trump, the agency overnight became the great darling of many Trump critics. They urged it to share its secrets with the Electoral College with the goal of preventing the president-elect from taking office. Trump was “being really dumb” by feuding with the CIA, according to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” Francis Fukuyama hoped that “America’s enormous bureaucracy” would restrain Trump. Bill Kristol proclaimed he would “prefer the deep state to the Trump state.” And The New Yorker assured readers that the intelligence community’s managers were likely to challenge Trump before Congress, which was as it should be: “This is just the sort of thing we want to see happening” as part of “the fabled ‘checks and balances’ in the U.S. system.”
    This sudden embrace of the security agencies as the republic’s last line of defence is of course constitutional nonsense as well as being remarkably shortsighted, potentially suicidally so. Glennon again:
    “But consider the price of victory if the security directorate were somehow to establish itself as a check on those presidential policies — or officials — that it happened to dislike. To formally charge the bureaucracy with providing a check on the president, Congress, or the courts would represent an entirely new form of government, a system in which institutionalized bureaucratic autocracy displaces democratic accountability.”
    Glennon thinks Trump may surprise those who “blithely assume that the security bureaucracy will fight him to the death”. As he says “it has never faced the raw hostility of an all out frontal assault from the White House.” Indeed his greater concern is that should Trump go all in to quell this rebellion, “splintered and demoralised factions within the bureaucracy could actually support – not oppose – many potential Trump initiatives, such as stepped-up drone strikes, cyber attacks, covert action, immigration bands, and mass surveillance.” From where things stand right now, that seems like a good problem to have.
    In any event, it’s mildly encouraging to see some discussion of the broader principles. I still think Trump has much to gain from putting these matters firmly within this larger framework and hammering it hard at every level.

  48. bernard says:

    Col Lang:
    Let me see if I have got this straight. It sounds like an enigma variation.
    Some damned traitors in Washington have just told the Russians that their top secret communications have been cracked. Its a bit like the BBC telling the Germans that their enigma machine/ code has been cracked.
    As a result, the Russians/ Germans are now going all out to change their encryption codes/ procedures.
    Is this what you are saying or am I overstating/ dramatizing the matter?

  49. turcopolier says:

    You have it right. I would add that today’s electronic cipher gear is much more sophisticated than in the era of Enigma and therefore the loss is so much greater. pl

  50. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I had watched an analogous phenomenon in post-Revolutionary Iran; the competing political cliques and bands often leaking this or that information in order to harm their political opponents; always being oblivious to the wider damage to the national interests.
    Evidently, that sort of extreme parochialism is not confined to Thrid World countries.

  51. TTG,
    I will apologise – up to a point – for the fact that my analyses are often ‘excruciatingly detailed.’
    There is however one good reason for this, as well as some bad ones.
    Over the years, it has become clear to me that, in many ‘information operations’, it is convenient for people in the United States to have key parts run out of Britain. So it becomes important to try to provide to Americans the detailed information which might enable them to expose the pernicious effect ‘loops of lies’ running between Washington and London may have on the politics of both countries.
    As to ‘CrowdStrike’. A rather important point is that this was not a private contractor chosen by the FBI – but one brought in by the DNC. As a central question was whether what was at issue was a leak or a hack, and if it was the former that organisation had every reason to want to cover it up, even leaving out all other matters, ‘CrowdStrike’ should not have been accepted as objective by the FBI.
    Then, however, look at the sequence – which brings up the question of British involvement.
    When he pointed to ‘Fancy Bear’ and ‘Cozy Bear’ as having been responsible for hacking the DNC on 16 June 2016, Alperovitch explained that ‘their tradecraft is superb, operational security second to none etc etc.’ He went on at length about how virtuoso they were supposed to be – confronted by Moriarty-figures like this, only sleuths with Sherlock Holmes-like powers like himself could expect to cope.
    It was on the following day that a site called ‘Ars Tecnica’ published the revelations which appeared to indicate that, in fact, the hackers had clumsily left indications pointing unambiguously to a Russian origin – most notably, the Christian name and patronymic of Dzerzhinsky.
    These had, apparently, been ‘teased out of the documents and noted on Twitter by an independent security researcher who goes by the handle PwnAllTheThings.’ This, it turned out, was a certain Mark Tait.
    On 28 July, Tait produced a post on the ‘Lawfare’ site, entitled ‘On the Need for Official Attribution of Russia’s DNC Hack.’
    (See .)
    The bio accompanying the article reads:
    ‘Matt Tait is the CEO and founder of Capital Alpha Security, a UK based security consultancy which focuses on research into software vulnerabilities, exploit mitigations and applied cryptography. Prior to founding Capital Alpha Security, Tait worked for Google Project Zero, was a principal security consultant for iSEC Partners, and NGS Secure, and worked as an information security specialist for GCHQ.’
    Note that: ‘worked as an information security specialist for GCHQ.’
    The story Tait tells reads to me, as classic ‘information operations’ – how initially he did not believe the ‘CrowdStrike’ revelations, and then was converted after the document dump by ‘Guccifer 2.0’ – and the damning evidence of the ‘Felix Edmundovich’.
    Of this he writes:
    ‘It’s an operational security failure by a group whose malware was riddled with other basic operational security failures. While amusing at first, the hackers’ attempts to address it in future leaks was so overt and ham-fisted that it just served to highlight the initial error.’
    Perhaps Tait and Alperovitch should get together and try and get their story straight. What are the FSB and in particular GRU hackers supposed to be – criminal masterminds, or incompetent petty thieves who even Inspector Lestrade could expose in twenty-minutes?
    And then Tait also mentions Thomas Rid, of King’s College.
    In the ‘information operations’ designed to allow the American, and British, governments, to hand Syria over to the jihadists, and empower people wearing lightly modified versions of the ‘Black Sun’ and ‘Wolfsangel’ symbols in Ukraine, Eliot Higgins, who first ran the ‘Brown Moses Blog’, and now runs ‘Bellingcat’, has played a crucial role.
    As you will have seen, Professor Theodore Postol of MIT is back trying to scotch the latest ‘Bellingcat’ lies.
    If you do a few quick Google searches, you will find that Higgins is a ‘Nonresident Senior Fellow, Digital Forensic Research Lab, Future Europe Initiative’ at the Atlantic Council . You will also find that Dmitri Alperovitch is ‘Nonresident Senior Fellow, Cyber Statecraft Initiative’ at the Atlantic Council.
    You will also find that Higgins is ‘Visiting Research Associate’ at the ‘Centre for Science and Security Studies’ at King’s College, London. If you google Thomas Rid, you will find that he is ‘Professor of Security Studies’ in the ‘Department of War Studies’ at the same institution.
    Among the sources of funding which Higgins has acknowledged is Google – for whom, apparently, Mark Tait worked, after leaving GCHQ.
    And then, on top of all this, we have the appearance of Christopher Steele in a key role in the ‘information operations’ intended to establish that the WikiLeaks material originated from Russian hacking, rather than an internal leak.
    As I have been ‘excrucriatingly detailed’ enough for one post, I will not go into my encounters with Sir Lawrence Freedman, who was instrumental in shaping the War Studies Department at King’s, and also in persuading that dolt Tony Blair that it was a good idea to invade Iraq – and was then appointed to the Chilcot Inquiry team. Suffice it to say that I know that he is simply a different version of idiot.
    Nor will I revisit what I have already said about Steele.
    But really, if citizens of the United States are prepared to see someone corrupt former employees of British intelligence like Tait and Steele play a major role in the attempted reversal of the results of a Presidential election, then on your own heads be it.
    What did Franklin say: ‘A republic, if you can keep it.’

  52. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think there is no other way than investigating things in great details – into the weeds, so to speak – in this case as many others.
    One used to be able to rely upon the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Des Moines Register, the Boston Globe, and the Chicago Tribune for that; also, all of that has disappeared over the last 20 years or so.
    NPR was very good, almost as good as the old BBC, before Reagan gutted it and it never recovered.
    Byzantine bureaucracy had a lot of influence on policy.

  53. Thomas says:

    “This sudden embrace of the security agencies as the republic’s last line of defence is of course constitutional nonsense as well as being remarkably shortsighted, potentially suicidally so.”
    They are using this not for defence of the republic, but for sparing these usurping subversives from just punishment.

  54. Jack,
    I think we’re pretty much in agreement here. All elections from this point on are going to be full on info ops using every psychological and technological trick in the book. This is why I think we should study what the Russians did in 2016 in detail. I’d like the electorate to be as aware of all these info op/marketing techniques as possible. Then we should study what the Trump and Clinton campaigns did and didn’t do. What we’ll find it the Clinton and the DNC ran a coal powered campaign while Trump and the RNC ran a turbo-diesel campaign and the Russians ran a nuclear campaign. It just happened that Trump, the RNC and the Russians were eventually working towards the same goal – defeat Clinton. That doesn’t necessarily mean there was any collusion or witting cooperation between Trump and the Russians.
    This certainly isn’t the whole story. Clinton stood for staying the course, more of the same with a strong possibility of a hot war with Russia thrown in as a bonus. Trump stood for trying something else. Given the strikingly divided nature of the electorate, that kind of battle of ideas is a 50-50 proposition at best. There was no sure thing.

  55. Fred says:

    There are quite a few other state and non-state actors involved also.

  56. Jack says:

    TTG, Sir
    “All elections from this point on are going to be full on info ops using every psychological and technological trick in the book.”
    Weren’t political campaigns always attempts at persuasion and dissuasion? There’s just more tools available now and people are more connected and acquire information from a larger number of sources.
    It’s not Trump’s & the Russians fault that Hillary ran a “coal-powered campaign”. She had all the money and the same tools that at least Trump had. Bottom line is she didn’t execute well and consequently didn’t bring home the bacon. No different than two teams playing in a championship game, where the winner typically executes better.
    Also, didn’t the Brits, French, Israelis, Chinese, and Saudis get involved too? You can’t blame anyone from trying their darndest to not have the US arrow on their back. After all, many have an existential interest, considering the track record of the US in mindlessly intervening in the internal affairs of sovereign nations.
    The real insidious aspect is the post-election info op by elements in our IC and it seems from David Habbakuk’s posts the British IC, as well as the MSM. This has some serious traitorous behavior that if not nipped now will morph into something even more dangerous. IMO, when the immense power of the national security apparatus gets subverted to overturn a legitimate democratic process, we’ve crossed the threshold to totalitarianism.

  57. David Habakkuk,
    No need for any apologies. It was a tongue-in-cheek observation, not a complaint. As far as Alperovitch and CrowdStrike goes, I think we can all benefit from more excruciating details than you have provided. Dimitri is one of those Russians who learned how to code on a blackboard rather than on a keyboard. I’ve had up close and personal relationships with a number of these types. The best of the Russian hackers came from this group. These old school hackers do recognize the virtuosity in a piece of code and can wax poetic about it. It’s just their nature. On the other hand, there are very few hackers of this caliber still in the hacking business today. Most are now one step away from script kiddies. That is the bulk of the patriotic Russian hackers who Putin referred to today as possibly involved in the election hacking. I have personally witnessed this methodology of guiding an army of non-governmental patriotic hackers to achieve governmental objectives on several occasions.
    The FBI called on Dimitri to help guide one of their premier long term undercover cyber operations. In 2005 he worked with SA Keith Mularski establishing the very successful Dark Net operation. Keith, who I know well, thinks very highly of Dimitri. Throughout his career he specialized in threat intelligence. He had several years of experience tracking Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear intrusions before he began the DNC investigation. In all situations I know where attribution is made, a multi-year investigation is part of the process. Researchers like Jeff Carr are right to point out that attribution from a single intrusion is damned near impossible. I also doubt CrowdStrike hung their claim of attribution on the Dzerzhinsky thing. These are the types of things Dimitri coached Keith to avoid in the Dark Net operation. This is why the NSA called on him and McAfee to assist in some of their investigations.
    You are right in pointing out that it was the DNC who chose CrowdStrike rather than the FBI. However, this is how these investigations always work. The client decides who does the investigation and when that investigation is released to the FBI (if at all). The head of the CrowdStrike team that did the on site investigation at the DNC was Shawn Henry, the former head of the FBI Cyber Division. I’m fairly certain the FBI was quite satisfied with who did the investigation.

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