Should Dr. Evelyn Farkas be charged with espionage?


This woman is a former sub-cabinet political appointee in the Obama Administration's DoD where she dealt with Russian policy matters.  At some point in the recent past she was de-briefed (cut off) from access to the various kinds of compartmented information she had been given as a requirement of her job.  When that occurred she signed some papers in which she accepted the responsibility to protect the secrecy of that information.

She has recently been on a number of MSNBC shows freely telling people of the extent and success of present and ongoing US SIGINT (COMINT) operations against Russia.  She stated on global TV last night and this morning that the US has "very good intelligence on Russia," and that the US successfully intercepts Russian diplomatic communications to include the encrypted telephone communications of Russian diplomats to include the ambassador to the US. 

She has stated freely on TV that she and a group of associates from the Obama Administration went to congressional staffers who did not have access to these COMINT products and urged them to seek to gain access to them.  This is in basic contradiction to the elementary principle in government security that access to particular products should be dictated from above based on necessity rather than sought from below.  In fact an expressed desire to gain greater access is usually something that arouses suspicion about an individual.

It is likely that her disclosure has damaged NSA and FBI success in the COMINT operations that she has compromised to the Russians.  pl

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63 Responses to Should Dr. Evelyn Farkas be charged with espionage?

  1. LondonBob says:

    Trump really needs to make an example of some people pour encourager les autres. Very disappointed I haven’t heard more about the FBI investigation in to the Clintons.

  2. The Wikipedia entry looks accurate to me!

  3. Ghostship says:

    “She stated on global TV last night and this morning that the US has “very good intelligence on Russia,” and that the US successfully intercepts Russian diplomatic communications to include the encrypted telephone communications of Russian diplomats to include the ambassador to the US.”
    Given past history, I reckon that the Russians understand this and act accordingly. Is US intelligence on Russia any good? What is made public and the public pronouncements of people with access to it suggests not.
    Vox has an interview with her:
    Glenn Greenwald mentions her in passing:

  4. Agreed — she breached the classified information non-disclosure agreement (SF-312). The fact that we collect COMINT is not news; but the means, specific targets, degree of success and content thereof is classified — at least it used to be.

  5. She’s only a felon if she is charged and convicted of a felony. To get there, we’d have to see the specific charges. I’m sure an overzealous prosecutor could gin up something if that’s desired. Does this have anything to do with yesterday’s NYT story on “Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking?”

  6. Fred says:

    This explains the Establishment going after Sessions, they sure don’t want any Trump appointee doing an investigation.

  7. JMH says:

    Her Dad fled Hungary in ’56. There appears to be a coterie of these women with a serious historical ax to grind, and they do it through their careerism in journalism, national security ect..

  8. turcopolier says:

    “Overzealous?” It appears that you have not seen her admissions on television. She has confessed on TV to disclosing compartmented SIGINT and material that should be labeled HVCCO. pl

  9. Allen Thomson says:

    >US successfully intercepts Russian diplomatic communications to include the encrypted telephone communications of Russian diplomats to include the ambassador to the US.
    Intercepting communications per se might be useful from a traffic analysis point of view. Decrypting them and reading the contents would be a Really Big Deal, the disclosure of which would be extremely regrettable. Even if the means of decryption were just stolen key or operator error, it would be a shame to motivate the Russians to find and fix it. If (and I doubt this) it’s actually a successful cryptographic attack on a high-level system, that would be of major, widespread and enduring importance and would motivate a lot of rethinking in the crypto world.

  10. asx says:

    Foggy Bottom seems a private club for Central/Eastern European emigres/descendants. That can explain the bulk of Russophobia which is baseline and institutional. Hopefully the budget cuts are directed to resolve this and we get diplomats who bat for America first.
    The Commerce Dept. having a higher budget can ensure peace and stability. Anyone remember the 50+ peace seeking diplomats who egged Obama to go on the warpath? I am still very greatful that he did not take the bait even enduring the insults.
    Now that we know regime change can happen anywhere, even in DC, it is bad policy to let diplomats with history in a region to shape policy for that region. A fifth generation Iowan or Tennessean is likely to be more even keeled and effective than a diplomat with specialized knowledge nursing some historical grievance. People whose raison d’etre is to destroy country X or country Y do not make the best diplomats.
    Now this is outright speculation. Who else benefits from this Russophobia? The Chinese for whom globalisation has not only created trade surpluses and advanced technology, but more vitally all the jobs which have allowed stability. It makes a good investment for them, and they get the added bonus of keeping Russia and her natural resources in their orbit.
    The Russian card is the only one now in play to cripple the Trump administration and halt this phase of de-globalisation. I suspect Madam Secretary and The Americans will have the best ratings next season.

  11. pl,
    You’re right. I don’t see anything broadcast over cable or fiber. If I can’t get it at the far reaches of the digital TV signal from the DC area, I don’t see it. There’s plenty available to keep me entertained. And I’m perfectly content with the situation.
    From what you and others have said here, Farkas has done the near equivalent of giving away the Ultra secrets. We should definitely see a prosecution if that’s the case.

  12. Harper says:

    Farkas was Victoria Nuland’s “twin” at the Defense Department. She came into DOD in 2010, and from 2012-2015 she was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia. She was hardline backer of the Maidan coup, and pressed afterwards for the Ukraine Armed Forces to get US military supplies, including anti-tank weapons. Hungarian background, fanatically anti-Russia, she quit the Obama Administration over Obama’s softness on Russia after Crimea. She was one of those bureaucratic neocon fanatics who were all over the Obama Administration at powerful second-tier positions. She is now on a jihad against Trump over the mere prospect of improving relations with Russia, and Col. Lang is right that she should be investigated for possible leaks damaging to US national security.

  13. MRW says:

    I thought Greenwald skewered her.

  14. turcopolier says:

    I am going to change the title. you are right. she has not been charged or tried. I watched the DoJ and CIA behind them try and convict Jeffrey Sterling with 12 counts of espionage, misuse of classified information and associated crimes. there was not a shred of material evidence that the government could produce against him. he was convicted entirely on circumstantial evidence and only received a shortened sentence because a deal was reached to avoid testimony in mitigation. So much for American justice… This woman has confessed with pride on TV. pl

  15. b says:

    Farkas is part of a campaign Obama ordered up after Trump was elected.
    Read this NYT piece and disregard the “well intended” fluff:
    In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.
    The intend was to sabotage the “detente with Russia” policies Trump had announced and for which he was elected into office. Potential blackmail information was collected, skewed analysis cooked up and lowered in classification to distribute it widely and to have it leaked. The facts behind it were classified higher than necessary to prevent distribution and leakage and debunking of the slandered analysis.
    This was a systematic effort not unlike those of J.E. Hoover. Farkas is obviously a piece of that campaign.
    The campaign was successful. Flynn got fired and now a Russia hawk gets installed in the NSC. Session is next of simply doing his job as Senator and incoming administration official.
    What do the Democrats expect will happen to them when Trump uses these instruments?

  16. TV says:

    She’s a Democrat.
    Who would prosecute her?
    The “career” (Democrats) people in the Justice Dept.?
    Snowden let loose a dam and the head of security at NSA didn’t lose his job.
    “Secrets” and “security” have become bad joke punchlines in the government.
    More swamp that needs draining.

  17. turcopolier says:

    I agree. As Harper wrote a while back there is a campaign underway to unseat a constitutionally elected president. There is a distinction to be made between the larger “campaign” in which evidently the IC seniors (whoever they are) elicited the British “dossier,” which was probably over-classified as you say, and on the other hand this woman’s deliberate disclosure on the MSM of information so highly and rightfully classified and compartmented that I would not have had it when I was in the “bidness.” I had access to 50 compartments above Top Secret when I retired from government. She obviously is carrying a cross that excuses her from her oath concerning US COMINT successes against other countries whether friendd or foe. pl

  18. Babak Makkinejad says:

    In Europe, they are now using the same tactics against Le Pen as those that the ruling party in Singapore has practiced to silence the undesirables.
    Evidently, Freedom of Expression no longer exists in Europe – excepting insulting Islam and the Prophet.

  19. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I am reminded of a younger version of Hot-Lips…

  20. VietnamVet says:

    Evelyn Farkas, Victoria Nuland and Chrystia Freeland are members of an influential cadre of the credentialed globalists who are the first and second generation offspring of Eastern Europeans who still carry a hardwired ethnic hatred of Russians. They have managed to restart the Cold War 2.0. Add in the pressure from the intelligence community, military contractors and corporate media and it appears that Donald Trump has been neutered. If he stops talking about trade deals, it is all over. If that is the case, there are two options; restart the Anti-War Movement and do a clean sweep of Congress or kiss your ass goodbye.

  21. Babak Makkinejad says:

    He owes nothing to anyone and he could have discarded the Syrian and Ukrainian polices of the United States by now.
    Yet he has chosen to continue those policies in the hope of getting a better deal – Heaven only knows when.
    In my opinion, he has lost the opportunity of a reset with Russia and picked a quarrel with Iran for nothing.
    He already has failed on both and I do not think he can right himself in regards to the Iran and Russia; they were his to lose and he has accomplished that all by himself.
    May be he can do better domestically but Fortune, like women, smiles on bold men and not men who are going to wait until 2018 to do something.

  22. JMH says:

    OK but it’s better than lobbing H-bombs into mother Russia and remaking Top Gun over Syria.

  23. J says:

    Sheez louize.

  24. kooshy says:

    I agree, IMO is now all uphill climb on foreign policy for him, he thought since he has both houses of congress, and he can mobilize his supporters it would be easy to implement policy, he/we didn’t know, more than having the congress or street support, he needs to have the support of IC and its media arm WP.
    They did him in, relatively in short period, successfully. They got his pro detente NSA, and now they neutered his AG so they can go after him in their own seating.

  25. Cortes says:

    If he were doing nothing, I cannot understand why people like Dr Farkas would be spouting off in the media. It may be hubris, crowing over “victory”, of course, in which case the President has ample powers to deploy in making examples. The “noise ” from offstage could be evidence that changes are already being ordered and implemented and that yesterday’s divas have been well and truly “written out” of future participation in the management of state affairs. “Twist a pig’s ear and listen to it squeal” is a line I recall from a Coen Brothers movie “Miller’s Crossing “. The squealing phase has a bit to go yet, probably.

  26. Tyler says:

    If you two are going to put on zipper masks and take turns flogging each other do it where we can’t see it, thanks.

  27. Wunduk says:

    The picture helped me to remember better the 2009 elections in Afghanistan. In order to provide the military surge and COIN with a “more legitimate” political leadership, the United States had pushed for the elections to be monitored by the maximum of observer groups, based on the assumption that more observers would increase enthusiasm, transparency and therefore legitimacy. Not that this would have made ever sense, but it brought Ms. Farkas to the country.
    She was with the International Republican Institute’s observation mission and was commenting on the Internet almost every day. IRI had already monitored the 2004 and 2005 elections in Afghanistan, was widely seen by Afghans as being affiliated with the Republican party, therefore counted in the tribe of President Bush. IRI had pushed in these days for Karzai’s election with a positive neutrality stance. Not surprisingly Dr. Farkas was lionized immediately by the Palace that had gotten very insecure about Obama. She was very closely supported by young freshly shaven Popalzais in sharkskin suits and pointy leather shoes. I also first thought at the time that she was a Republican.
    But then there were her views – a complete change from the set we had become used to in the distant days of Zal. I remember her loudly calling for a replacement of Karzai, without saying it should be Dr. Abdullah, implying the idea of a UN-run administration through a super-envoy like Bosnia Herzegovina had experienced it. Including partition, hitting the family business of the Karzais and things like that.
    Of course a lot of this was parrotting what more senior and official people had already floated before. So one might think what this was worth coming from an American NGO election observer. There’s books written on how this was all official policy coming from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
    The Afghans – I think – took her on a different note. The young Popalzais carried her views back to the Palace and fed it there into the family circle. Karzai also saw any publication in the internet as an official position (how can they allow this to be written if it’s not their policy?). He sometimes played the card of misunderstanding just for avoiding to say he did not like what he heard. But he also has shown a propensity for taking such semi-public statements as more indicative of policies than official declarations. Coming from what they perceived to be a Republican institution, I believe this strengthened Karzai’s antipathy against all Americans, and he went to shop for other protectors, including to where he had never looked before.
    It’s ironic that with her Hungarian-American baggage she might have been one among the many Americans who pushed Karzai on the path to Moscow.
    Would it be correct to assume that her post in 2010 in DoD was a reward?

  28. Pat Shields says:

    Seriously? It seems like this information could be gathered from a public source, any source dealing with intercepted communications and eavesdropping (just google this). Is it simply due to her position, or former position, and her ability to know this and confirm successful interception? I’m sure there are Alex Jones guests who have obsessively researched publicly available information and put together some theories which might be accurate. E.g., the CIA and the government secretly tap into traffic cameras and monitor license plates and use facial recognition to monitor pedestrians. What if there’s a secret program like this. And some spook sees this on an Internet forum or Alex Jones and says, “He, how did he learn that? We have a mole!”

  29. turcopolier says:

    Pat Shields
    The fact that a reasonable person could deduce that the US intercepts foreign diplomatic communications is utterly irrelevant to the case in which this person who had specific access to the products of these intercepts disclosed their existence and the level of success of the US effort. There is a whole structure of personnel and offices, oaths and criminal penalties that exits to prevent what Farkas has done. pl

  30. jonst says:

    No, Babak, respectfully, disagree with you, it was far, far, too soon, tactically speaking. He would have opened himself up to serious allegations, and not just from his enemies that he was moving far too quickly, and absent a -full- National Security Team in place. Even types well disposed to Trump, and to different policies, would have had to acknowledge the legitimacy of those kinds of complaints. Till the team was in place. And they had been to few rodeos, met a few leaders.
    He has now gone out of his way, to reject Bolton, who I strongly suspected injected himself, along with his allies into ‘consideration’ for three positions now. Only to be unceremoniously dismissed. THAT tells me something about his *inclinations*, re Syria and the Ukraine. And perhaps Russia.
    Turning around policies like the Syrian, and Ukrainian ones, and the Iranian one, for that matter, take years. It took 5 years, and events, for Nixon to put his China policy in place. And then it took Carter to formalize relations. Things take a long time in DC. Short of a Pearl Harbour or 9/11.

  31. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes, let us hear now from the let us cut our noses to spite our faces.

  32. Babak Makkinejad says:

    So he is not suicidal and has some rationality? Is that it?

  33. F5F5F5 says:

    From what I understand, the French government is using the judicial system to eliminate the main opponents of candidate Manuel Macron, who is the protege of president Hollande.
    Conservative candidate Fillon is also being indicted over his wife’s fictitious employment as a parliamentary assistant.
    The remaining opposition is socialist Benoit Hamon, proponent of a universal basic income that would be financed via a tax on robots, and Melenchon, a former party-line communist who reinvented himself as a populist.
    Le Pen is nowhere near Trump or Farage in terms of ideology. Her roots (i.e. her own father) are in French far-right catholic nationalism, but her rhetoric and policies are socialistic.

  34. Jackrabbit says:

    Sessions too-quick recusal wasn’t helpful. He should’ve fought back so that his side of the story was told.

  35. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your comments.
    And you might be right.
    My own thinking in this regards was that events in Ukraine and in Syria could be moving more quickly than anticipated by any and all governments – thus eliminating deals that are possible in 2017 if one waits around for 2018.
    Specifically, one of People’s Republics in Ukraine could escalate, or the Maidan Crowd could miscaluclate, and very quickly Kharkov would be in the rebel hands.

  36. Babak Makkinejad says:

    So, qualitatively, is this much different than the Iranian Guardian Council disqualifying candidates for office?
    Really, the Communists should have applied these dirty tricks in USSR and Eastern Europe; they would have still been in power.
    Truly deplorable.

  37. JMH says:

    Yes, nor is Hillary willfully suicidal, just susceptible to the idiocy of suggestions that Russia would back down in its own back yard if only the US demonstrated the “appropriate firmness”. Fortunately, someone like McMaster knows that he would not back down to anybody’s “appropriate firmness” so why would the other guy (IMO).

  38. How many SIGNET intelligence violations have been successfully prosecuted?

  39. Exactly HOW IS Signet covered in the 1918 Espionage Act?

  40. aleksandar says:

    Beside the problem of exposing SIGNIT capabilities, Mrs Farkas statement show that the US clearly and willingly breach essentials Vienna convention provisions ( art 27 ).
    Could be embarrassing.

  41. Cee says:

    She needs to be called what she is. A terrorist supporter.
    Farkas suggests arming the Syrian opposition, the loose coalition that includes the Al-Nusra front, which is part of Al Qaeda, the same folks who attacked New York on September 11, 2001.

  42. Lefty says:

    Thank you. That is about as clearly framed as it could be. Farkas appears to meet a higher standard of wrongdoing than the punitive and vindictive Espionage Act prosecutions the Obama administration pursued.

  43. Thomas says:

    “Farkas appears to meet a higher standard of wrongdoing…”
    Being that the lady worked on the Ukrainian portfolio at State, the coverup of flight MH-17 would be enough to put her away. Knowing your guilt, why would any other law breaking matter in the frenzied attempt to save oneself?
    The usual subversives are in scorched earth mode because a truce with Russia will bring the truth into the light and their involvement in other nefarious deeds to the public conscience. Which is why I understand their reactions in trying to create another Cold War with the desired goal to keep it all a secret.

  44. Cee says:

    Col Lang,
    Please comment on the FISA requests
    The Guardian has learned that the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court over the summer in order to monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials. The Fisa court turned down the application asking FBI counter-intelligence investigators to narrow its focus.

  45. turcopolier says:

    If you wish to believe that the FBI decided on its own to ask the court for wiretap warrants for Trump campaign staffers, feel free to do so. pl

  46. turcopolier says:

    Just to review, neither the FBI nor the DoJ are in any sense “independent” of the White House. They are subordinate elements of the Executive Branch of the federal government. The EB is commanded by the president of the United States. If Obama (or any president) wants someone wiretapped domestically all that is needed is a behind the scenes phone call or personal meeting with a malleable person (most) at DoJ. This person then sends a similar FBI person to the FISA court for a warrant. This special court has been carefully staffed with hyper ambitious judges who rarely decline a warrant request. pl

  47. LeaNder says:

    I would assume this is somewhat related to European law post WWII, which no doubt can theoretically be used as political instrument. … Remember BB, Brigid Bardot? She surfaces in this short Wiki entry too. …
    Basically, there is a bigger political fight going on over on my side of the Rhine, or over there, if you prefer nevertheless.
    Thus I wouldn’t give up hope, in your case, that Europe will return to its proper national size within your larger (national? boundaries) within your Diocletian line. 😉

  48. pl,
    Before 9/11, the FBI considered going to the FISA court for a warrant similar to going to a dentist for a root canal. I witnessed the long saga of the FBI’s efforts to get a warrant in support of the MOONLIGHT MAZE investigation. It was long and excruciating and the FBI was under constant pressure from the head of a joint IC/LE task force cobbled together to deal with the issue. This TF reported directly to the White House. That didn’t make the FBI’s attempts to get this warrant any easier. Now the FISA court looks to be very close to a rubber stamp operation to be abused by LE and the EB.
    I wonder if this alleged wiretap was related to the connections between a Trump Tower server and Alfa Bank in Moscow.

  49. turcopolier says:

    Present day FISA court judges are selected for their ambition for the appellate bench or other goodies. I know several having testified in their day job courts. pl

  50. Cee says:

    Col. Lang,
    I’ve recently read that the judges were appointed by Clinton and the decision to grant the warrant was made after Clinton met Loretta Lynch to discuss their grandchildren. Cough.
    What really makes me furious is that the warrant to monitor 911 plotter Zachariah Moussaoui wasn’t granted.
    Oh, our girl Farkas was on a network AGAIN.

  51. different clue says:

    Babak Makkinejad,
    Well . . . its better than what Clinton offered. And nowadays, that may have to be enough.

  52. She hints that Trump did something hideous as regards Russian, but doesn’t say what. Isn’t that akin to asking your friend in public, “So when did you stop cheating on your wife?”

  53. bob says:

    How is she not immediately ushered into the FBI – questioned and charged? I would be thrown in jail within hours if I had done this at NSA, during my tenure.

  54. Maquis says:

    Yes, she signed the document, but it’s almost just window dressing. Anyone with a Security Clearance at any level already knows they can never divulge secrets or methodology. These forms at the end of employment, at least in the military, started up basically as a reminder, due, evidently, to lots of stupid folks like this particular woman destroying untold numbers of operations and literally compromising not only our intelligence methods, but our international relations. Is she trying to poison President Trump’s ability to work with Russia? She IS on tbe Atlantic Council, with the overarching objective to get us into a shooting war over Ukraine. She is digging heself a very deep hole.

  55. How did they get to conclude that sensitive research?

  56. patrick says:

    Keep following the researcher

  57. patrick says:

    God bless the American

  58. turcopolier says:

    Patrick Farkas is not all that big a fish. If you want to post comments on SST they must be more substantial. pl

  59. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Evelyn Farkas was one of six women selected by Politico to discuss the prevalence of sexual harassment against (civilian) women working in national security:
    “Sexism on America’s Front Lines”
    interview by Susan B. Glasser with Loren DeJonge Schulman, Julie Smith, Kathleen Hicks, Laura Rosenberger, Mieke Eoyang, and Evelyn Farkas
    Politico, 2017-11-06
    Since several at SST served in the Special Forces,
    they might find the following excerpt from the article of interest:

    Schulman: I remember starting at the Pentagon 10 years ago and so many of the stories that we’ve heard about, about men saying wildly inappropriate things or in my case, the Special Forces men kind of changing clothes in the middle of the office and walking around in their underwear or talking about developing a calendar of sexy women in the office. I thought that was just a cost of doing business in the Pentagon when I was 24, 25 years old. And I remember my female colleagues and I sort of laughed about it uncomfortably, but we were never at a point where I think any of us said, “We should say something about this or we should do something about this.”
    And the few times we ever did, we were effectively laughed out of the room, like, “This is just what Special Forces guys are like. Come on. Get over it. You’re lucky that they haven’t done worse than that.”

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