“Spy chief trashes leaks, assures Trump of loyalty” Politico


"The U.S. director of national intelligence extended an olive branch of sorts to Donald Trump late Wednesday — denouncing media leaks, casting skepticism on reports that Russia has compromising material on the president-elect, and assuring Trump that America's spies stand ready to serve him.

In a statement, James Clapper said he had spoken Wednesday evening with Trump, days after the spy chief and some of his counterparts met with the incoming president to discuss the U.S. intelligence community's assessment that Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 election, possibly to help him win. 

On Tuesday, CNN, BuzzFeed and other media outlets reported that the intelligence officials had told Trump about an unsubstantiated private report that detailed how Russia's government allegedly had salacious information about him. BuzzFeed published the apparent dossier, which Trump has denounced as false.

"I expressed my profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press, and we both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security," Clapper said of the information that has come out since last week's intelligence briefing."  Politico


I can hear it now.  "I told Brennan we should not get involved but he wouldn't listen."

(irony alert) Jimmy Clapper is GOOD, one of the best.  My hat is off to him.

It sounds like Obama held out on him in the end for something he wanted, and that was enough … 

Chapeau!  pl


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91 Responses to “Spy chief trashes leaks, assures Trump of loyalty” Politico

  1. Willybilly says:

    Too little, much too late. The US IC has become the laughing stock of the world. No chiefs, simply Indians and subservient shafts!

  2. Tyler says:

    Brennan as crypto-Muslim would explain a lot of this.

  3. Sam Peralta says:

    He’s not trying to keep his job. That’s already been assigned to Dan Coats.
    He’s just a perfect example of a weasel apparatchik. He would have done very well in the Soviet Kremlin as he has done in the DC Kremlin that is perfectly mirroring Soviet times.
    Col. Lang is tipping his hat to a master of bureaucratic games. That’s his skill. Not intelligence gathering and analysis. Not the national security of the US. He’ll perjure, lie, kiss ass, backstab and do everything that weasel bureaucrats do so well. He’s just like another weasel, George Tenet of slamdunk fame.

  4. Sam Peralta says:

    Col. Lang
    How are Dan Coats & Mike Pompeo who are cut of the same cloth gonna work in this situation of tension and subterfuge with Trump surely on the warpath? Are they gonna snooker Trump to get him to back the party line?
    What do you think Clapper, Brennan and Comey were expecting to accomplish by getting so deeply involved?

  5. johnf says:

    Forgive me if someone has already posted this.
    James Clapper is not the only individual seeking forgiveness of Trump according to Politico, President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine is also desperately trying to climb back on board the good ship Trump, saying he has no knowledge of any Ukrainian/Democrat joint black ops to tie Trump to Putin.
    It is a surprisingly detailed article, going into the Chaputas and their antics in great depth, and it is the first time I have seen this stuff aired in the MSM.
    Also on the Christopher Steele (British “intelligence” officer/professional smear merchant) affair, there’s a long article on what is known about him at:
    What is fascinating about it is the campaigns he’s previously been involved in. “Steele worked with former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who was fatally poisoned with polonium-210 in 2006 in London,” and, “According to Reuters, Steele was looking into corruption allegations surrounding the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Moscow”, both of which, without any evidence, I’ve always assumed were British Intelligence operations to smear Putin and reignite the Cold War.
    According to the article it was Steele who personally delivered the report to McCain in a Washington Park – I’m surprised Steele and McCain and Craig Murray and the Wikileaks leaker didnt all collide each other on these le Carre-like assignations.

  6. shanks says:

    It’s one thing to try to delegitimize your opponent politically and using media and another to use Gov. resources of the ‘black ops’ and 3 letter agencies kind to front that dossier.
    Not only do the agencies look like chumps, their future prez is going to look at them with a jaundiced eye on their intel input and KNOW that they might try this schtick again to hustle to take some action based on faulty stuff
    A lot of political appointees to these agencies will probably need to go, quickly, if only to prevent institutional damage

  7. b says:

    Two issues of interest:
    – There are TWO investigation of stuff related to Russia
    One is about alleged payments of Russian banks to U.S. people near Trump. This is the one that led FBI try to get a FISA court decision which was twice rejected and then narrowly signed by a new judge in October. The tip for this comes from “the Intel service of a Baltic State” according to BBC
    This is the relevant BBC link that details the issue by their Washington correspondent Paul Wood:
    Trump ‘compromising’ claims: How and why did we get here?
    It is unclear in most reports to which issue (banking bribes or 35 pages?) Clapper and others refer.
    – There is the 35 pages stuff which is just bullshit as anyone knowing Russia a bit knows.
    An unredacted(!) version was leaked to Buzzfeed which is different from the redacted versions other media received. This is why Trump thinks the CIA or FBI leaked it.
    See Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/11/trump-russia-report-opposition-research-john-mccain
    The content of the 35 pages is probably from Ukraine. Christopher Steeele, the MI-6 dude who wrote it, had to rely on some dodgy “Russian” sources as he can not travel to Russia himself.

  8. GarrettK says:

    Yeah, Clapper, the former Booz Allen exec who, while he was head of NGA in late 2003, said there was satellite image proof that Iraq had moved its WMD into Syria. If that’s what counts as good in government work, then these guys will have a hard time living up to the standards of a Manhattan billionaire business titan who is used to rock solid information when clashing with other billionaire business titans in a zero sum game.

  9. So have I got this right? A dossier on Trump was compiled as part of the Republican campaign to prevent his nomination. Work on the dossier continued and it then became part of the Democratic campaign against him. The dossier then became part of the post-election campaign against Trump.
    Nothing out of the way so far, not for modern politics, except that it will be an interesting footnote in American political history. The dossier wasn’t used during the Presidential election campaign, not publicly; it wasn’t a convincing piece of research and public release would have brought more ridicule on those who released it than it would have damaged Trump. Had it been released just a day or two before the election though, enough voters might have believed it to make the risk of ridicule worthwhile – a sort of last minute Hail Mary that might just have brought the Democrats victory. But at that time it wasn’t thought the Democrats needed a Hail Mary so the dossier remained limited circulation. A day or so back I heard one of the Clinton election team lamenting that the dossier hadn’t been used at the right time and reflected that had it been, we might now be looking at a President-elect Clinton. As it is, the dossier remains just a footnote.
    Not quite a footnote. The dossier seems to have got mixed up with a herculean effort on the part of the American Intelligence services to prove that the Russians are spying on America. And that they’d prefer to see Trump as President and have done what they can to ensure that outcome. That’s the bit I don’t understand. I thought we already knew that everyone spies on everyone else, We certainly know that countries interfere in each other’s elections: it’s not so long ago that President Obama was earnestly telling us in England not to vote for Brexit, and if that’s not interference, though of course welcome interference given the outcome, I don’t know what is.
    So put it all together and it’s obvious that Trump’s a Russian agent. Or members of his team are. Or something. I can understand that bit. Another Hail Mary, but this time for real.
    Very much for real. I’ve just been listening to the eight o’clock news this morning and hearing what the BBC has made of it all. Very clever – if you like that sort of clever – and quite damning for Trump. When you’re listening, as opposed to reading, the mind skates over all the carefully phrased qualifications and seizes on the “facts”. The automatic assumption is that there’s no smoke without fire and the BBC wouldn’t be giving so much attention to the matter unless there really was something in it.
    That’s the purpose of these “intelligence reports” that are being so carefully analysed at present. They’re not intended to convince people who have a background in such work. They’re concocted to get allegations out into the open. Once that’s done the media can be trusted to make suitable use of them, and listening to the use the BBC has just made of them I’d say those “intelligence reports” serve their purpose well.
    But you can’t make bricks entirely without straw and reading Patrick Bahzad on this site it’s clear that the source of some of that straw is identifiable:- “What CNN alluded to is actually a dossier containing 17 short “intelligence reports” drafted between June and December 2016 by a private intelligence company headed by a former (anonymous) MI6 officer with – allegedly – extensive sources and networks in Russia and Eastern Europe. The various reports contain extremely serious allegations, based on anonymous HUMINT sources and – possibly – various SIGINT intercepts, although the reports do not state this clearly. In other words, this “dossier” is the work of a nameless former intelligence officer who quotes anonymous sources.”
    It seems that this former MI6 officer has now been named, so even in this largely fact-free zone there’s that much to go on: one of our lot’s got himself mixed up in all this. It leads to the question that has been in my mind since this blew up. As I have said before, it’s scarcely possible that a former British Intelligence agent has been running around loose on the American political scene, and using his network of contacts and sources to concoct reports about an American Presidential candidate, without that being known to his previous employers. So who in London authorised it?

  10. Pundita says:

    [dry chuckle]

  11. JohnH says:

    This is a huge embarrassment to Democrats, the mainstream media, and those intelligence officials who have been piling on Trump. It hurts their
    credibility with the public, which was already under a cloud of doubt.
    In the end their ham fisted only makes Trump stronger, enhancing his creds and his narrative of ‘they’re out to get me.’ What a ham fisted campaign!
    If they want to get Trump, it should not be on trumped up charges. With a smidgeon of patience, real opportunities to get him should arise…

  12. johnf says:

    In addition to Christopher Steele, “ex”SIS, the Daily Mail is now suggesting that a senior British Diplomat, an ex Ambassador to Russia, was involved in DODGY DOSSIER II. They name the Ambassador as being the currently extremely delicately positioned Sir Tim Barrow. “Delicately positioned” because the previous Ambassador to Europe having just flounced out because he is a Remainer, reliable old Barrow was wheeled only a couple of weeks ago to fill his place.
    All sorts of stresslines and faults within the British power structure are being revealed by this Dossier. SIS I suspect are straight-down-the-line globalists/anti-Assadists/Clintonistas as are the British Establishment, but the fact Trump takes office in a few days is meaning they are radically having to reposition themselves. Steele and his neo-Cold War antics are suddenly proving to be extremely embarassing to the government. This is made worse by the statement of Nigel Farage – Theresa May’s major political opponent and friend of Trump – stating that Steele should be given no cover whatsoever by the government. He’s on his own. “Realist” Tory MPs are lining up behind him. Farage said the government should make it very plain to Trump that they had nothing to do with this.
    And a further twist. On the Beeb’s lunchtime news show, Frank Gardiner, their longterm Security correspondent (almost certainly an SIS asset) was suggesting that the original Dossier written by Steele contained none of the dodginess of that made public. No bad spelling, no ludicrous scenarios. In other words, it woz the Yanks wot rewrit it. Wriggle, wriggle.
    The BBC’s coverage was also fascinating. It seemed in full row back mode. It was suggested that the dossier was almost certainly dodgy. A lot of time was spent talking to the Russians and interviewing ordinary Russians in the street – all of whom had pithy views on the subject.
    I suspect a lot of the cheer leaders for this most recent madness are getting cold feet and withdrawing at speed. A bridge too far. The rebellion, at least on this side of the Atlantic, could be over.

  13. turcopolier says:

    English Outsider
    “Nothing out of the way so far, not for modern politics, except that it will be an interesting footnote in American political history.” Well … when Mr. Jefferson, the Grand High Virginian wuz prez, he wuz regularly attacked in the yankee press for his relationship with Sally Hemings, the fine lady of color who bore him several children and who ran Monticello (the household). Does that count as a precedent? She was his deceased wife’s half sister. Hefreed her and a couple of his sons in his will and they lived in Charlottesville, VA where the census classified them as white. pl

  14. turcopolier says:

    Having functioned in the upper echelons of both business and intelligence, IMO Clapper is fit only for boot-licking when dealing with someone like Trump and Trump will use him for that. pl

  15. TV says:

    Same-o, same-o…
    The CIA and FBI continue to embarrasingly display their gross incompetence.
    These agencies need to be shut down and replaced – with all NEW people, preferably adults.
    There is overwhelming dishonesty and ineptness – all of these wannabe James Bonds running around playing spy vs. spy.

  16. The Beaver says:

    More on the travails of the ex-MI^ agent:
    Steele was initially hired by FusionGPS, a Washington, DC-based political research firm, to investigate Trump on behalf of unidentified Republicans who wanted to stop Trump’s bid for the GOP nomination. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that Steele was initially hired by Jeb Bush, one of Trump’s 16 opponents in the 2016 Republican primary. It was not immediately possible to verify the BBC’s report.
    He was kept on assignment by FusionGPS after Trump won the nomination and his information was circulated to Democratic Party figures and members of the media.
    Steele’s dealings with the FBI on Trump, initially with the senior agent who had started the FIFA probe and then moved to a post in Europe, began in July. However, Steele cut off contact with the FBI about a month before the Nov. 8 election because he was frustrated by the bureau’s slow progress.


  17. robt willmann says:

    Here is the statement of 11 January from Clapper about his conversation of the same day with Donald Trump–
    One interesting thing in it is: “We also discussed the private security company document, which was widely circulated in recent months among the media, members of Congress and Congressional staff even before the IC became aware of it.”
    Oh, really? The salacious document was “widely circulated” during “recent months” among the mass media, members of Congress and Congressional staff “before” the intelligence community “became aware of it”?
    So Clapper wants us to believe that with all the former (and current?) CIA people floating around in the staffs of members of Congress and around the mass media, that the “intelligence community” had not even heard of the document with its juicy contents before some very recent, unspecified date?
    Cut their budget.

  18. Bill Herschel says:

    She was, I believe, 14 when he started having sex with her.

  19. turcopolier says:

    Bill Herschel
    Prig. 14 has been for many years, in many states a marriageable age. pl

  20. Larry Kart says:

    Good to see you again ,Tyler — it’s been a while, no?

  21. FredW says:

    I don’t think Clapper is trying to get anybody to believe anything that he says. This is not an environment where people are likely to take anything at face value. What he wants is to present as non-threatening. Whether the lack of threat derives from perceptions of motivation or of ineptness is irrelevant.
    “When you attack the king, you HAVE to kill the king.” When you don’t have the goods, you go for bootlicking. when you do have the goods but are not prepared to use them, you go for bootlicking. When you don’t have anything but people think you might, you go for bootlicking and and a display of the most ridiculous version of “the goods” that you can come up with. Clapper may be the grandmaster of this, but I can’t envision ANY DNI taking a significantly different line. The goal is to not trigger a wholesale massacre. Whether that goal is achievable is not clear at this time.
    Is there anything to be learned from these reports that goes any deeper than that?

  22. Margaret Steinfels says:

    Amateur Observation: What if the CIA has the aforementioned tape, and now they can blackmail Trump?

  23. Old Microbiologist says:

    I think this is typical Washington. They went all in for Clinton and can’t seem to understand it is time to back off and apologize. A few sacrificial lambs must be slaughtered otherwise things are going to get really rough for the IC. They will be ignored and possible major re-organizations or large budget cuts in efforts to reduce budgets and force better performance through consolidation. Arguably we have too many disparate organizations working in parallel.
    To most Americans perception, every major terrorist act in the US has been missed completely. The ones (more than 50 now) proudly announced as successes have all been sting operations and many were not terrorists or even remotely thinking about it until enticed into it by the FBI. Then we have the gross failures such as missing the fall of the Soviet Union and the WMD in Iraq. There are many others but these are still fresh in the minds of average Americans who actually pay attention. Add in the recent leaks and it looks comically bad. It is so effective one might think this is in fact a real Russian operation to dismantle the IC and maybe the deep state.

  24. turcopolier says:

    Margaret Steinfels
    What if Lincoln was a secret Southern agent and his hidden diaries might be discovered? pl

  25. mike says:

    Why would the CIA leak the story? If they had wanted to leak it, then before November 8 would be the time, not January.
    Cui bono?
    McCain and the old lady from SC and other “never Trump” Republicans in Congress (or the Bush clan) benefit from this leak a lot more than the CIA.
    Russia benefits from sowing dissension. This puts the frosting on the cake for them by having the CIA being shown as incompetent, and they have now again defeated Clinton and Samantha P putting a stake in their heart. Plus it makes Trump a laughing stock internationally. 3rd world yellow press, blogs, and twitter feeds are already using the term “PEEOTUS”.

  26. turcopolier says:

    C’mon mike, pay attention. It is not “the CIA” who leaked. It is the Democratic Party people at the top of CIA. All the heads of the IC agencies are political. All. They lost. They did not expect to lose in October or until 8 November. pl

  27. Tyler says:

    Gracias. I’ve been on and off. Many exciting things going on in life right now.

  28. Tyler says:

    The media eviscerated itself last night, on live TV, pushing a report that included the fact that Trump enjoys watching anime while wearing adult sized footie pajamas. There is indeed truth in the adage about “whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad”.
    The media just handed Trump a combination club/get out of jail free card for at least the next four years, as all he has to do is say “Remember when they said…” to laughs and cheers. Trump handled the presser well last night, and punched back -hard-. You gotta wonder when the libel claims are gonna hit.

  29. kooshy says:

    Colonel my guess is, it was the WH who leaked this most recent 2pages, My guess is this whole think was pre planed as it unfolded by Obama administration, DNC and some RNC no Trump.

  30. Margaret Steinfels says:

    And you might write some more Civil War-era novels!

  31. ISL says:

    Tyler, very interesting point. Although I do not think the president could sue for libel, Trump Industries most certainly could….

  32. jonst says:

    Tyler, personally, I can think of no other time between say, post WWII, up until approx 2003, when a story claiming that a USA Presidential candidate would not go down in flames, instantly, by even a hint of being compromised by any Russian connection. The why’s and wherefore’s of it would not have mattered. The validity would not have mattered. Once the allegation/s were raised, end of campaign.
    That Americans went to the polls and elected Trump–and while the scurrilous ones are coming now, there was plenty of this Russian puppet stuff during the campaign–, period. From this I take it as proof positive–as if more was needed–the MSM has lost all credibility in the eyes of the American public. The gatekeepers have been ousted. And they deserved to be. This is a huge deal in my opinion.

  33. Stu Wood says:

    Secret backstabbing etc. during elections are not new. Just think of Halderman’s recently discovered notes about Nixon instructing him to sabotage the 68 election. Me thinks that probably rises to the level of treason.

  34. Fred says:

    As 2020 Presidential Candidate Senator Cory Booker and other Democrats pointed out when questioning AG Nominee Senator Sessions, the AG needs to enforces every law. It has been over 1,300 days since Attorney General Janet Lynch and her Predecessor Eric Holder refused to prosecute the IRS commissioner for illegal conduct. I’m sure Lois Lerner is relieved. I doubt, however, that all the executives at the firm that ultimately owns BuzzFeed will be:
    I sure hope some Senator, or the AG, is willing to ask Comcast director Mr. Gerald Hassel – the CEO of The Bank of New York Mellon Corp, if the Comcast/Buzzfeed standards of journalism are the same standards of quality he expects from employees at BNYM? If not what’s he done about it? And btw does your bank have any dealings in that country that tried to hack our elections? Is Putin your friend, etc., etc.
    Then maybe some Senator, like the future presidential candidate from New Jersey, can ask Comcast board member Mr. Rodgers, Independent Director of NIKE and a trustee of UC Berkeley, if his expectation of quality from Comcast/buzzfeed reporters is the same as he expects from NIKE and how many Russians does NIKE have on the payroll including all those rich athletes that are friend of Putin… BTW, how much money did Comcast/NBC make in Russia covering the Sochi Olympics? Don’t you know the Russians tried to subvert our elections? Just how much money did Comcast/NBC pay the Russians and did they use that money to hack our election? Whose side are you on? After all that maybe some new people at the SEC will start asking well paid American Executives why they are directing their corporations to invest in all those countries our President elect can’t own investments in. Like the one that tried to hack our election.
    Fun Times are ahead.

  35. Croesus says:

    How do the Democratic party operatives at top of CIA (DPO-C) square “Russia threw the election to Trump” with Democratic party operatives at top of Democratic party who argue, “Hillary won the popular vote?”
    Does that make the DPO-C scheme even more detached from reality?

  36. turcopolier says:

    stu wood
    “et tu Brute?” You do acknowledge that you are a Democratic partisan and operative? pl

  37. turcopolier says:

    Margaret Steinfels
    No. pl

  38. Stu Wood says:

    If you mean an operative as in voter, yes. I would be interested in your view of Nixon’s actions as you had much more in the game in 68 then me. I was stationed in England during that time keeping the Russians from the their shores. I know you served at least one tour in Viet Nam and probably several.

  39. FourthAndLong says:

    All in service of Vlad’s master plan. Not only breaking up NATO and EU. But why not drive a wedge in the “Special Relationship” as well?

  40. turcopolier says:

    stu wood
    Several. Two full tours and three TDYs. Were you in the JIC at Molesworth? That was a Clapper project, that and the one in Hawaii. He told me he did that so that he would not have to do strategic analysis in DIA. I told him that he was statutorily required tp do strategic analysis as a member of the NFIB (NIE process). We have history. He took slots out of DIA to do that. Nixon, sorry but I thought he was justly on the road to impeachment and conviction. I am a strict constructionist, but I was just out of VN for the last time and snowbirding at U.NH as an ROTC instructor while waiting for my staff college class to start. I told the kids that they were safe and that we would not fire another shot for a while. pl

  41. robt willmann says:

    The fun just keeps happening, accidentally or on purpose. This afternoon, while the C-Span 1 television network was broadcasting live from the U.S. House of Representatives, it was suddenly interrupted by a broadcast feed of RT, the Russia Today television network, for about 10 minutes!

  42. FredW says:

    It doesn’t matter. “Remember when..” never works. People won’t remember anything older than a week. Accountability only happens when something is repeated so many times that people stop identifying with the perpetrator.

  43. FourthAndLong says:

    Same conclusion reached here this morning. Countless people are now toast given these most recent releases. Even if the material used to smear someone is worthless garbage, they have nonetheless found themselves, as have others, fouled and reeking with noxious odors.

  44. Dunno. His master plan at the moment is probably getting through the next few days, judging from the NATO forces homing in on Kaliningrad. All I know about the intelligence world so familiar to the Colonel and to the habitues of this site, or more probably all I don’t know, is derived from a long ago reading of the English Cold War novelist John le Carre. I do sometimes wonder if that’s as far as MI6 has got as well.

  45. FredW says:

    Now we may be getting somewhere. Are the agency heads really that political in a party sense? You have known such people, and I have not? I may learn something from you. Are they really so wrapped up in party political rivalries (as opposed to agency politics) as to drop trash like this into the mix? That would also indicate a level of incompetence that seems implausible. But I have not known these people up close.
    These leaks are so lame and so ill-timed that I have assumed they were meant to be so. That they indicate jockeying for position by (slightly) lower level people who expect to still be there. The story is too weak to possibly have much short term effect. Therefore it must be intended for longer term effects. Possibly just poisoning the atmosphere, “getting it out” to simmer for later use. Possibly to discredit a story that was already simmering.
    I don’t know. Am I crediting the agency lifers with too much sophistication and organization?

  46. Cee says:

    Col. Lang,
    LOL. I have issues with the age too…16 from what I read. She didn’t have a choice.
    My great-grandmother was in that same situation. She had 4 daughters by an Alabama sheriff and was told if she tried to marry he would kill her and the man.
    I also haven’t seen that now movie about the interracial marriage because that girl was 14.

  47. Tyler says:

    Here’s excerpts from the “dossier”.
    All related to /pol/ memes. If you really believe Ukrainian hackers IDK what to tell you.

  48. turcopolier says:

    “and I have not?” Have you or have you not? These people at the very top of the IC are not usually “political” in the sense of ideology. their only ideology is self-service. The people below them? You really don’t know anything about how this works, do you? The SES level below the grandees have no ability to do anything external to the agency without running it through the boss. The SESs would leak to the press? Only a renegade pirate like me would do that. pl

  49. Thirdeye says:

    “And a further twist. On the Beeb’s lunchtime news show, Frank Gardiner, their longterm Security correspondent (almost certainly an SIS asset) was suggesting that the original Dossier written by Steele contained none of the dodginess of that made public. No bad spelling, no ludicrous scenarios. In other words, it woz the Yanks wot rewrit it. Wriggle, wriggle.”
    Gardiner is probably right. The Buzzfeed stuff has all the signs of being a hoax passed off as from the dossier. The reference to Trump watching anime in the company of Russian whores is a hint as to who the source of the hoax might be.

  50. Thirdeye says:

    The extension of childhood beyond 14 is a recent phenomenon. Young males were apprenticed out at 14 in the colonial era. Jerry Lee Lewis legally married his 14 year old cousin.

  51. Thirdeye says:

    You mean the Russians gave it to them?

  52. FredW says:

    No, I really don’t know any detail about how the agencies operate. I got a look at army side of the IC 45 years ago in Vietnam and have avoided it ever since. Thank you for the insight.
    Oh. The question mark was a typo. Sorry about that.
    Self-service is what I would expect, actually. But I don’t see how anybody’s career will be helped by a fiasco like this.

  53. Tyler,
    I’m sure that image was straight out of /pol/memes, but it was not part of the 35 page “dossier” revealed by BuzzFeed. Now I know why twitter lit up the other night with #goldenshower. That was the only thing in the entire report that would appeal to our mischievous puerile side. The rest is rather boring accounts of unsubstantiated political intrigue. I think if BuzzFeed left out those two paragraphs, nobody would have paid it any attention. I’m sure 4Chan has come up with some more made up gems to further discredit the “dossier.”
    We gotta find a subject here we can agree on. Have you been doing any plinking with that Mosin-Nagant of yours? I remember when the local Roses department store in Fredericksburg was selling them for thirty bucks each.

  54. Stu Wood says:

    You have an interesting background. I was aircraft maintenance/support while in England at RAF Upper Heyford which was near Oxford. I think I was over there the same time as Bill Clinton but can’t say as I ever ran into him at a pub. Liked the beer and other attributes of England. The only background in intel that I have is aircraft maintenance and logistics for RC-135 aircraft, most notably at Shemya AFB, AK (the next to last Aleutian Island). Yes, I can tell by your comments that you know personally know Clapper.

  55. J says:

    Have you been keeping up with the hearing of incoming Trump Cabinet, namely the incoming SecOState Rex Tillerson.
    Is his sudden ‘hawkish’ demeanor that for a broadway play (hearings), or is he really hawkish towards NATO and Russia?
    Here is a Russian take on Rex Tillerson:

  56. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Re: “Jimmy Clapper is GOOD, one of the best. My hat is off to him.”
    Col., If I recall correctly sometime back your opinion of Clapper was not nearly this positive, but that was before he was elevated to his current, exalted position. What facts led to your changed views?
    PS: I hope you’re feeling better.

  57. VietnamVet says:

    Thanks for everyone’s expertise. If there was a Moscow video file, it would have been released by now. Donald Trump took hits that would have knocked out a regular politician. Just as the bi-coastal elite cannot conceive of their complicity in the higher death rate of mid-America; they are convinced of Hillary Clinton’s electoral victory. They have not accepted the Trump Presidency. The bipartisan war supporters will crucify any reconciliation with Russia. The sloppy intelligence briefing and attached dossier indicate both incompetence and corruption. The Intelligence Community may really not know what is going on. In my dark mornings, I am sure that the disaster capitalists are intent on making Mike Pence the next President and Hillary Clinton the coalition VP. Then the looting of the remaining remnants of western middle class wealth can really start.

  58. turcopolier says:

    ex-PFC Chuck
    How long have you been here and you still do not understand irony? You must be an engineer. pl

  59. turcopolier says:

    I choose to believe that a lot of what is being said is just to get confirmed. pl

  60. turcopolier says:

    stu wood
    “You have an interesting background” “A kind of life …” If you think I am unfairly name dropping, that is unfortunate, but amusing. pl

  61. mike says:

    Colonel – You are suspicious, and rightly so. I am too, but in a different direction. I do not see those Democratic Party operatives you speak of at the top of the IC. Perhaps you mean the deputies? That is General Mattis’ beef as Trump’s transition team is putting in political hacks as his deputies without consulting him. Some of the heads of the IC listed below may well be brown-nosers, slick bureaucrats, or modern day Courtney Massengales. But that makes it even more unlikely that they would be the leaker. And I do not see any political operatives among them.
    Clapper is publicly apolitical. He has an Air Force background and if you dig deep enough I would surmise his sympathies are with the GOP. John Brennan was a career man at the CIA, he was promoted under Reagan and both papa and junior Bush as well as Dems. Rogers at NSA is a career Navy man. Trump interviewed him for a job. I doubt seriously that he is a Democratic Party operative. Cardillo at NGA is a longtime Imagery Analyst, starting in 83 under Reagan. He has thrived at DIA and NGA under both Republican and Democratic admins. Sapp at NRO was originally appointed to NRO as a Deputy Director by Junior Bush. She is a former AF officer and a beancounter and took over from Carlson when he jumped to the board at Lockheed Martin. INR at State is run by Dan Smith, a career diplomat. By the way, he also taught Political Science at the Air Force Academy. No way he is a party operative. Steven Black at the DOE’s OICI is career Air Force, and he was first brought into DOE by Junior Bush. Stewart at DIA is a career Marine. He is black so perhaps his sympathies lay with Obama. But no way he could be considered a party operative. Homeland Security Office of Intel & Analysis is run by a retired Air Force Brigadier. FBI’s Intel Branch is headed up by Eric Velez-Villar who was appointed by Robert Mueller, a Bush appointee. And Velez-Villar was a career FBI man and not an outside operative. Szubin at TFI in Treasury is a candidate for you. He is a lawyer who clerked for a Bill Clinton appointed judge. But on the other hand he has been in Treasury for over ten years, first brought in by junior Bush. As for INSCOM and its counterparts ONI, MCIA, AFIC (or whatever it is called now), and CGI; I do not believe any of the heads of those outfits are political appointees.
    I vote for a politician on either the Senate or House Intel Committee. Rubio, McCain and Ryan all have bad blood with Trump, but I admit it could just as well be Feinstein or Schumer. Hasn’t Feinstein been accused of leaking stuff previously.

  62. turcopolier says:

    I don’t believe I called them operatives, merely self serving supremely successful political bureaucrats. That is how they got appointed to the very highest positions over all their fellows. Their ambition comes before all else. As a Democrat you want to believe that their scheming against Trump is not that and is merely an honest expression of their patriotism. You don’t know anyone at that level. They are just schemers who are trapped in their association with the party that lost. pl

  63. bernard says:

    I dont know, maybe the claims of the demise of the MSM are overstated.
    Down here in Australia, MSM people have been conducting a truly astounding discussion of these global issues.
    (you have to watch it to the end).

  64. mike says:

    “As a Democrat you want to believe that their scheming against Trump is not that and is merely an honest expression of their patriotism.”
    That is not what I believe, and not what I said.
    I agreed with you that some of them (or pehaps even many) are ambitious bureaucrats and arse-kissers. That in itself is reason for them NOT to be the leak. I will look elsewhere. Do you think that Senators and Congressmen of either party are more honest and more patriotic and less self-serving than the Directors of the Intel Community? I do not.

  65. hans says:

    My grandfather’s great uncle, Evar was with Sherman starting at Atlanta. Evar had been hired as a a substitute in ’63 or early ’64 when he stepped off the boat from Norway and he sent the $300 to family in Wisconsin.
    Evar was an iron monger and repaired broken artillery. Evar lived until 1951 or ’52 and I can remember him at grandpa’s dinner table telling stories of what it was like (“horses ain’t bad when you run out of cows”) and he was seriously wounded by a sniper. Carried the bullet in his hip for the rest of his life; caused him to limp severely. After dinner the men would go to grandpa’s woodworking shop behind the house and drink grandpa’s homemade wine and tell stories. Besidies Evar, there was Uncle Roy, who was in Manila w Dewey. Uncle Arnie who was with the Army in the Dakotas in the ’90s and then in Cuba, Uncle Art who was with the Seabees in the Solomons and quite a few others …. what stand out now 65+ year later, was how adamant Evar as about “we let ’em up too easy” and, paraphrasing, ‘Billy said we should drive ’em into the sea and be dome with it.’

  66. different clue says:

    The DemParty operatives are claiming that Hillary winning the popular vote makes her the moral winner of the election and Trump is only technically elected because of the anachronistic Electoral College. The “Putin diddit” crowd are claiming that the leaks removed just enough voters from Clinton’s totals in just enough states that their Electoral College votes failed to go the way they were morally obligated to go. The overwhelming majority of those “majority popular votes for Clinton” were from the single state of California. If California’s voters had preferred Clinton over Trump by only 10,000 votes or so, Clinton would still have won the California Electoral Votes, but she would not have a “majority of the popular votes”. Not without those 2 million more California votes than what she needed to win California.
    The people saying “Clinton got the most popular votes” and “Putin diddit” are often the same people.

  67. Old Microbiologist says:

    Very good analysis. Thanks. I lean towards a concerted effort between all of the politicians you mentioned. Trump can cut off NED and USAID at the knees through changing funding priorities thus neutering McCain. In the end it is all about dollars and power.

  68. johnf says:

    Firstly, it now appears, according to the BBC (Fake News alert) that the ex-British Ambassador to Moscow was in fact Sir Andrew Wood, who was approached in November 2016 by John McCain who questioned the veracity of the report. The ex-Ambassador assured him Steele was a striaght kinda guy.
    The article also reveals that Steele was hired by the Britain’s World Cup bidding team to try and win the World Cup for Britain in 2018. Instead it went to the favoured RUSSIA. This was immediately followed by huge accusations from Britain of bribery – all large nations bidding for the World Cup bribe members of FIFA for their nation to win. An “investigation” by Murdoch’s Sunday Times, who were aware of Steel’s role, has led to turmoil in the ranks of FIFA – but not a withdrawal of the award to Russia.
    (I presume something similar is going on in all the accusations of Russian drug taking in the Olympics. Surely every nation uses drugs).
    In many ways, just as in the Trump dossier, these smear tactics are deeply counter-productive. Britain has always been very unpopular in FIFA – a body which has every footballing nation as a member, even Israel and North Korea! We are renowned for our arrogance – we invented the game – and our appalling performances on the pitch.
    I know you Americans don’t understand it. but the World Cup is the most massive event in the world. It probably does almost as much for world cohesion on a popular level as the UN. Its a sort of Catholic Church at play. Britain, since its attempt to destabilize FIFA over its Russian decision, is now mud. We talk of breaking off from the corrupt FIFA and setting up our own Western European Cup. A sort of football NATO. To which FIFA’s response is “Good!”
    Thank God these lunatics appear to be self-exploding. At least they’ve learnt something from the jihadis.

  69. Stu Wood says:

    No, I think you clearly state your reasons why you disagree with Clapper.

  70. turcopolier says:

    Once again you have mischaracterized my response to you. My statement had to do with the people at the very top of the agencies. Brennan, Clapper, Comey and Rogers. These people, whether or not they presently or formerly wore the uniform are political figures. That is how they got these jobs. As political figures they will be replaced with the change of administration and they know that they must retreat into the world of boards, think-tanks and TV wonkery. They have zero chance of a government future except for Clapper who might be thrown a bone on something like the PFIAB as a reward for groveling before the throne. The SES appointees just below them are also of necessity adherent to the cause of the party in power and it does not matter much if these SESs were politically appointed or career people. Until the moment the current administration leaves office the SESs are under the thumb of those at the head of the agency. At the moment of transition these SESs will become the servants of the new administration. Elections matter in the US. Did you not see Mattis yesterday when he meekly accepted the notion of women serving in all positions in the military. He was facing Gillibrand who without that acceptance will vote against him. The SESs in the IC, especially the really senior ones, face the same reality of power every day, not just at confirmation hearings, and conform to the bosses’ position. Are members of Congress good people? Some are. Some are ignorant, venal people, but that does not matter. They have a constitutional office and duties to perform. pl

  71. trinlae says:

    3rd world “yellow press” (print?) has been too preoccupied with Modi’s black money shake down (even if the informal economy got thrashed too as collateral damage) and in that world, business titans are the big power players watched more than politicians. Trump fits that slot easily. Ma’s alibaba visit to nyc and nasdaq performance is watched but there are secondary effects like journos in 3rd world emulating the fake news fall out dynamics.
    To the extent 3rd world cares about Trump aside from his business prowess, he is probably regarded as more of a Berlusconi than a Mussolini. Hotel trysts fit in that narrative without eye blinks and at least in Asian 3rd world, public etiquette standards preclude salacious details reverberating in the top down echo chambers.
    3rd world gets lots of support from ADB and BRICS so while neolib money (laundering) vectors no doubt will get some paper pushers in capitals to reorganize their desks, i wouldn’t expect to see too many echoing the chicken little memes, although that chorus was chiming the CF tunes loudly before November.

  72. turcopolier says:

    One of my great grandfathers was an infantry company first sergeant in the 5th Wisconsin, “the Bloody Fifth.” There were several other Yankee soldiers in the family back then, but he has always interested me because my dear old dad talked about him a lot. He hated the Johnnies, as he called them, hated them to his dying day and he died old. Some hatreds never die. You seem to relish the devastation your somewhat distant relative wrought on Georgia. pl

  73. trinlae says:

    One advantage of the retirement of Potus is we will finally be able to let go of the “11-dimension chess” memes, (unless he is exponentially more skilled than we think).
    Going by past trends, if there was a Obama plot then it was likely hatched on Wall St.
    Let’s just put it this way: very few people in Harvard Law School or Harvard Business School or even the Kennedy School for that matter know how to do calculus, let alone teach it. This is very much less the case in the universities of Delhi, Beiing, and Moscow!

  74. trinlae says:

    Ask Victoria Nuland, she should know the answer to that one!

  75. trinlae says:

    As the old saying goes, “all roads lead to Damascus!”

  76. mike says:

    Colonel –
    We heard completely different things on the Mattis confirmation. He never accepted that notion, and there was nothing meek about his answer. He knew going in that Gillibrand had already vowed to vote against his waiver.

  77. turcopolier says:

    I happen to agree with Mattis that women do not belong in the combat arms but if he knew for sure that she would vote against him why not defy her on this. BTW I would like to see her participate in putting up a wet GP medium tent or break track on a tank. I looked at one of my earlier comment in which “operatives” appeared and have changed the word to “people.” pl

  78. mike says:

    Colonel –
    I happen to agree with both you and Mattis re: women in combat arms. I believe Mattis shut Gillibrand down without open defiance, a skill that Trump should learn.
    I was more interested in Tillerson’s answer to Senator Merkely. Apparently he wants to provide the Saudis with more help in bombing Yemen.

  79. kooshy says:

    Mike, IMO it was Obama’s WH who leaked the 2 pages was handed over to DT. IMO, the risk of getting exposed for everybody else (appointed or elected) at this time, just 2 days before President elect becomes POTUS is too high to do this leak, since IMO soon he will find out who did the leak.

  80. All,
    It seems that British ‘securocrats’ are getting themselves into something of a muddle on the subject of Christopher Steele and the Trump dossier.
    A report in yesterday’s ‘Guardian’, by Nick Hopkins and Luke Harding, was headlined ‘Donald Trump dossier: intelligence sources vouch for author’s credibility: Ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele, named as writer of Donald Trump memo, is “highly regarded professional.”’
    (See https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/12/intelligence-sources-vouch-credibility-donald-trump-russia-dossier-author .)
    An interesting paragraph:
    ‘Over a career that spanned more than 20 years, Steele performed a series of roles, but always appeared to be drawn back to Russia; he was, sources say, head of MI6’s Russia desk. When the agency was plunged into panic over the poisoning of its agent Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, the then chief, Sir John Scarlett, needed a trusted senior officer to plot a way through the minefield ahead – so he turned to Steele. It was Steele, sources say, who correctly and quickly realised that Litvinenko’s death was a Russian state “hit”.’
    It appears likely that Steele was Litvinenko’s ‘handler’, who was codenamed ‘Martin’ in accounts presented to Sir Robert Owen’s inquiry.
    There is an interesting contrast between this account and that given by Luke Harding of the interviews supposedly recorded by Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt of Scotland Yard shortly before Litvinenko’s death on 23 November 2006.
    If these are to be believed, immediately following his drinking green tea with his supposed assassins, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun, in the Pine Bar of the Millennium Hotel on 1 November 2006, Litvinenko concluded that he was likely to have been the victim of an assassination attempt.
    However, according to the interviews, up until 20 November, not only was MI6 not ‘plunged into panic’, nobody there was even aware that there was anything wrong with Litvinenko.
    From the summary of the transcripts by Luke Harding:
    ‘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.’
    (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/19/alexander-litvinenko-the-man-who-solved-his-own-murder )
    If an MI6 agent is in acute pain, and the victim of a poisoning attempt, one might think that one of the first things that he – or his wife – would do would be to contact his ‘handler’. One might also think that Scotland Yard would not conduct its first interview with on 18 November.
    So, what are we supposed to think happened? Perhaps, when he was crying out in pain and desperate to see his attackers caught, Litvinenko said – or no, Steele is a busy man, we wouldn’t want to bother him really, would we? But then, apparently the wife of the ‘handler’ died of cirrhosis in 2009. So perhaps he was on a bender, and only sobered up after a week or so.
    The whole story about ‘Martin’ only being told on 20 November is quite patently a fabrication, which implies that the interviews were forged. As Sir Robert Owen must know this, he is a crooked judge.
    The glaringly obvious explanation is that MI6 were indeed ‘plunged into panic’, not on 20 November, but very soon after the Pine Bar meeting, when they discovered that Litvinenko had ingested polonium. Of course, this implies that whole notion that he believed he had been deliberately poisoned in the Pine Bar is absolute hokum.
    So Litvinenko’s death was not a Russian state ‘hit’ at all. It was the result of competing intelligence agencies pushing ‘information operations’ too far, and things running out of control. When it became clear that this had led to a container of polonium being opened in a central London hotel bar in ‘happy hour’, everyone involved wanted to hide what had happened.
    Rather than being ignorant, Sir John Scarlett, Christopher Steele and the lot of them were running around like headless chickens, trying to work out how to cover up what they had been doing. At the moment, some of them having got themselves into more hot water, the ‘securocrats’ in London seem to be once again running around like headless chickens, uncertain whether to try to justify Steele or distance themselves from him.
    The actual truth is that he was part of a gang of dirty disinformation peddlers, who were attempting régime change in Russia, and some of whom subsequently appear to have turned their attention to trying to destroy Trump. As often, ‘information operations’ are conducted transnationally. Those against Putin, including the attempt to produce ‘evidence’ demonstrating that he had attempted to supply Al Qaeda with a ‘suitcase nuke’, clearly involved people in Washington, as well as London.
    Given the revelation that the former British Ambassador to Moscow, Sir Andrew Wood, was involved with John McCain in transmitting Steele’s ‘dossier’ to James Comey after Trump’s victory, it is very much an open question how far the involvement in this operation on both sides of the Atlantic goes. The use of sources outside the United States to give a spurious plausibility to ‘information operations’ is, of course, hardly new.
    (On Wood’s role, see the ‘Independent’ report, at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-russia-dossier-leak-sir-andrew-wood-john-mccain-british-ambassador-spy-a7524931.html .)
    What is beyond belief disgusting about these people is that they still feel themselves entitled to a high moral tone. So Sir Andrew Wood tells the ‘Independent’ that he and McCain ‘spoke about the kind of activities the Russians can be engaged in.’ Perhaps they should have talked about ‘the kind of activities the British can be engaged in.’
    As to Luke Harding’s notion of MI6 as ‘famed for its professionalism’ is a bad joke. The organisation is both utterly incompetent and corrupt.
    The way things are going, I think I may end up writing a sequel to the ‘Smiley’ sequence, in which, very very occasionally, Karla has a tiny twinge of conscience, but Smiley himself is an absolute and unmitigated villain, as well as a dolt.

  81. Jack says:

    Thanks David.
    It seems the Borg on both sides of the Atlantic are deeply involved in many information operations. Some, like the take down of Trump during the election campaign, clearly did not work. They may be concerned that all their entanglements and deception operations may be brought to light after Trump gets his hands on the levers of power. But Trump has also nominated many Borgists.
    There’s no doubt something sinister going on.

  82. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Curiously, most of my friends and acquaintances regard me as one of the most ironical people they know. But like everyone else, once in a while I misinterpret something, especially when I have nothing to go on but the written word. As for education, I earned a BA from a medium size, Midwestern liberal arts college with majors in Physics and Philosophy. I also studied at a protestant seminary for a year before deciding that that career path wasn’t for me. I have been a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers for over forty years. In the early 1970s my then employer asked me to represent the company’s interests on an IEEE-sponsored committee that was charged with formulating ANSI standards pertaining to the automation and control of electric utility substations, which was one of our major markets. Since IEEE membership was required for participation, I joined and have been a member ever since. My positions during the first half of my career were in marketing, sales and product management roles for NYSE listed firms. During the latter half I was with a small consulting firm whose niche was to help utility companies intelligently buy the kinds of equipment and software that my previous employers were selling to them.

  83. turcopolier says:

    ex PFC Chuck
    Sorry. I should stop being ironic but I naturally think that way and express myself accordingly. It has caused me a lot of trouble. pl

  84. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Hillary Clinton 8,021,534
    Donald Trump 4,196,371
    A difference of ~3.8M
    I.e., take away California and Trump won the popular vote.

  85. Sir Andrew Wood on BBC Radio 4 at 7.50 this morning. Starts at 1hr 51 on the link.

  86. turcopolier says:

    David Habakkuk
    I find the notion of a “plot” between MI-6 and the IC barons to be “appealing” esthetically, probably too appealing. This makes sense to me with Clapper (never a dependable ally)trying to hedge his bets. presumably may’s government would have been needed for approval? There is a heavy handed effort over here to de-legitimize Trump. I just heard Congressman John Lewis say that Trump was not legitimately elected. pl

  87. divadab says:

    IN Quebec until as recently as the seventies, native people were officially referred to as “sauvages” and the legal age of marriage was 12 for women and 14 for men – “le revanche des berceaus” meant keeping the birthrate up. The church gave medals to mothers of over 15 children – I knew a girl in my youth who was the 18th of nineteen children and while this was a high number in a particular town, it was not at all uncommon.
    And boys were apprenticed as young as nine in rural communities. A nine-year old is perfectly capable of good work. I was driving a tractor at 10 and a car at 12 – I look at some of the pampered and nerfed youth of today and weep for my weakened society.

  88. The Beaver says:

    We are back circa 2002/2003 with the Italian Letter and Yellow Cake from the SIS building

  89. Mark Logan says:

    Seems clear Clapper slipped it into the briefing for precisely the effect it got. Sneaky bugger! Perhaps…it is unwise to mess with short timers…as retaliation for the public humiliation Trump laid on them for saying things he didn’t like. Or perhaps it was a practical demonstration of fake news being a sword with two edges…a message for Flynn??
    At any rate I enjoyed the irony of Trump vehemently denouncing “fake news”. May his staff take note.

  90. hans says:

    Col. Relished, as only a 6 year old can. But awestruck, mostly. Part of my family went to Eagle Lake, Texas instead of the north woods, so I had kin on that side too. Evar never said Rebs or Johnnies – he always said Traitors, with a capital T. Almost spit it out.
    Two WW1 vets were often there, and a few others. Grandpa would have these steak fries, or fish fries depending on what was at hand, every couple of months until he died in ’60.
    Once we all went to a cantonment of the 8th Wisconsin one miserable 100 degree day in July and I got to see what a 3 inch rifle could do to an outhouse at 1,000 yards followed up by some fire from an 8 inch mortar. Between the screaming of the rifle and the thump-roar of the mortar my imagination filled in the details. My home town is only ten square blocks; about an afternoon of such fire would pretty much erase it
    The 1st war vets, Charlie Steffens and Bill Schilling had both been gassed and wounded – Charlie looked like someone had parted his hair with an axe and Bill was missing an ear. Sy Lange, who was my Russian teacher, had burn scars on his arms and shoulders that looked like heavy rope. Sy was a German tank commander in Ukraine.
    By the time Bill brought out his schnapps and Sy got his cognac open and grandpa put another log in the pot bellied stove the air was getting pretty blue. Uncle Art drove a D6 cat out in the islands, building airstrips, and his cat was armored up with steel plate cuz of snipers. One time there was a nest of Japanese that wouldn’t surrender and he’d tell about
    how he buried ’em alive, screaming, grinding back and forth until there was no more sound. Art was the roughest, toughest sonofabitch you’d never ever want to piss off, and there he’d sit, tears running down his face. Then Sy would hand him the cognac. And then it would be quiet, for a long time, and we’d listen to the wood hiss and crackle in the stove.
    Never heard anyone call these guys heroes – and they’d of snorted if anyone had. But they were to me. And I think of them often and feel privileged to have their memories.

  91. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    No offense.

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