The Intel Community Lie About Russian Meddling by Publius Tacitus


Americans tend to be a trusting lot. When they hear a high level government official, like former Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper, state that Russia’s Vladimir ordered and monitored a Russian cyber attack on the 2016 Presidential election, those trusting souls believe him. For experienced intelligence professionals, who know how the process of gathering and analyzing intelligence works, they detect a troubling omission in Clapper’s presentation and, upon examining the so-called “Intelligence Community Assessment,” discover that document is a deceptive fraud. It lacks actual evidence that Putin and the Russians did what they are accused of doing. More troubling—and this is inside baseball—is the fact that two critical members of the Intelligence Community—the DIA and State INR—were not asked to coordinate/clear on the assessment. 


You should not feel stupid if you do not understand or appreciate the last point. That is something only people who actually have produced a Community Assessment would understand. I need to take you behind the scenes and ensure you understand what is intelligence and how analysts assess and process that intelligence. Once you understand that then you will be able to see the flaws and inadequacies in the report released by Jim Clapper in January 2017.


The first thing you need to understand is the meaning of the term, the “Intelligence Community” aka IC. Comedians are not far off the mark in touting this phrase as the original oxymoron. On paper the IC currently is comprised of 17 agencies/departments:


  1. Air Force Intelligence, 
  2. Army Intelligence, 
  3. Central Intelligence Agency aka CIA, 
  4. Coast Guard Intelligence, 
  5. Defense Intelligence Agency aka DIA, 
  6. Energy Department aka DOE, 
  7. Homeland Security Department, 
  8. State Department aka INR, 
  9. Treasury Department, 
  10. Drug Enforcement Administration aka DEA, 
  11. Federal Bureau of Investigation aka FBI, 
  12. Marine Corps Intelligence, 
  13. National Geospatial Intelligence Agency aka NGIA or NGA, 
  14. National Reconnaissance Office aka NRO, 
  15. National Security Agency aka NSA, 
  16. Navy Intelligence 
  17. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence.


But not all of these are “national security” agencies—i.e., those that collect raw intelligence, which subsequently is packaged and distributed to other agencies on a need to know basis. Only six of these agencies take an active role in collecting raw foreign intelligence. The remainder are consumers of that intelligence product. In other words, the information does not originate with them. They are like a subscriber to the New York Times. They get the paper everyday and, based upon what they read, decide what is going on in their particular world. The gatherers of intelligence are:


  • The CIA collects and disseminates intelligence from human sources, i.e., foreigners who have been recruited to spy for us.
  • The DIA collects and disseminates intelligence on the activities and composition of foreign militaries and rely primarily on human sources but also collect documentary material.
  • The State Department messages between the Secretary of State and the our embassies constitutes the intelligence reviewed and analyzed by other agencies. 
  • NGIA collects collects, analyzes, and distributes geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) in support of national security. NGA was known as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) until 2003. In other words, maps and photographs.
  • NRO designs, builds, and operates the reconnaissance satellites of the U.S. federal government, and provides satellite intelligence to several government agencies, particularly signals intelligence (SIGINT) to the NSA, imagery intelligence (IMINT) to the NGA, and measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT) to the DIA.
  • NSA analyzes signal intelligence, including phone conversations and emails.


Nine of the other agencies/departments are consumers. They do not collect and package original info. They are the passive recipients. The analysts in those agencies will base their conclusions on information generated by other agencies, principally the CIA and the NSA. 


The astute among you, I am sure, will insist my list is deficient and will ask, “What about the FBI and DEA?” It is true that those two organizations produce a type of human intelligence—i.e., they recruit informants and those informants provide those agencies with information that the average person understandably would categorize as “intelligence.” But there is an important difference between human intelligence collected by the CIA and the human source intelligence gathered by the FBI or the DEA. The latter two are law enforcement agencies. No one from the CIA or the NSA has the power to arrest someone. The FBI and the DEA do. 


Their authority as law enforcement agents, however, comes with limitations, especially in collecting so-called intelligence. The FBI and the DEA face egal constraints on what information they can collect and store. The FBI cannot decide on its own that skinheads represent a threat and then start gathering information identifying skinhead leaders. There has to be an allegation of criminal activity. When such “human” information is being gathered under the umbrella of law enforcement authorities, it is being handled as potential evidence that may be used to prosecute someone. This means that such information cannot be shared with anyone else, especially intelligence agencies like the CIA and the NSA.


The “17th” member of the IC is the Director of National Intelligence aka DNI. This agency was created in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks for the ostensible purpose of coordinating the activities and products of the IC. In theory it is the organization that is supposed to coordinate what the IC collects and the products the IC produces. Most objective observers would concede that the DNI has been a miserable failure and nothing more than a bureaucratic boondoggle.


An important, but little understood point, is that these agencies each have a different focus. They are not looking at the same things. In fact, most are highly specialized and narrowly focused. Take the Coast Guard, for instance. Their intelligence operations primarily hone in on maritime threats and activities in U.S. territorial waters, such as narcotic interdictions. They are not responsible for monitoring what the Russians are doing in the Black Sea and they have no significant expertise in the cyber activities of the Russian Army military intelligence organization aka the GRU.


In looking back at the events of 2016 surrounding the U.S. Presidential campaign, most people will recall that Hillary Clinton, along with several high level Obama national security officials,  pushed the lie that the U.S. Intelligence agreed that Russia had unleashed a cyber war on the United States. The initial lie came from DNI Jim Clapper and Homeland Security Chief, Jeb Johnson, who released the following memo to the press on 7 October 2016:


"The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow—the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities."


This was a deliberate deceptive message. It implied that the all 16 intelligence agencies agreed with the premise and “evidence of Russian meddling. Yet not a single bit of proof was offered. More telling was the absence of any written document issued from the Office of the DNI that detailed the supposed intel backing up this judgment. Notice the weasel language in this release:


“The USIC is confident . . .”

“We believe . . .”


If there was actual evidence/intelligence, such as an intercepted conversation between Vladimir Putin and a subordinate ordering them to hack the DNC or even a human source report claiming such an activity, then it would have and should have been referenced in the Clapper/Johnson document. It was not because such intel did not exist.


Hillary Clinton helped perpetuate this myth during the late October debate with Donald Trump, when she declared as fact that:


"We have 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election," Clinton said. "I find that deeply disturbing.”


What is shocking is that there was so little pushback to this nonsense. Hardly anyone asked why would the DEA, Coast Guard, the Marines or DOE have any technical expertise to make a judgment about Russian hacking of U.S. election systems.  And no one of any importance asked the obvious—where was the written memo or National Intelligence Estimate laying out what the IC supposedly knew and believed? There was nothing.


It is natural for the average American citizen to believe that something given the imprimatur of the Intelligence Community must reflect solid intelligence and real expertise. Expertise is supposed to be the cornerstone of intelligence analysis and the coordination that occurs within the IC. That means that only those analysts (and the agencies they represent) will be asked to contribute or comment on a particular intelligence issue. When it comes to the question of whether Russia had launched a full out cyber attack on the Democrats and the U.S. electoral system, only analysts from agencies with access to the intelligence and the expertise to analyze that intelligence would be asked to write or contribute to an intelligence memorandum. 


Who would that be? The answer is simple—the CIA, the DIA, the NSA, State INR and the FBI. (One could make the case that there are some analysts within Homeland Security that might have expertise, but they would not necessarily have access to the classified information produced by the CIA or the NSA.) The task of figuring out what the Russians were doing and planned to do fell to five agencies and only three of the five (the CIA, the DIA and NSA) would have had the ability to collect intelligence that could inform the work of analysts.


Before I can explain to you how an analyst work this issue it is essential for you to understand  the type of  intelligence that would be required to “prove” Russian meddling. There are four possible sources—1) a human source who had direct access to the Russians who directed the operation or carried it out; 2) a signal intercept of a conversation or cyber activity that was traced to Russian operatives; 3) a document that discloses the plan or activity observed; or 4) forensic evidence from the computer network that allegedly was attacked.


Getting human source intel is primarily the job of CIA. It also is possible that the DIA or the FBI had human sources that could have contributed relevant intelligence. 


Signal intercepts are collected and analyzed by the NSA. 


Documentary evidence, which normally is obtained from a human source but can also be picked up by NSA intercepts or even an old-fashioned theft.


Finally there is the forensic evidence. In the case of Russian meddling there is no forensic evidence available to  the IC because the Democratic National Committee did not permit the FBI to investigate and examine the computers and the network that was allegedly attacked.


What Do Analysts Do?


Whenever there is a “judgment” or “consensus” claimed on behalf to the IC, it means that one or more analysts have written a document that details the evidence and presents conclusions based on that evidence. On a daily basis the average analyst confronts a flood of classified information (normally referred to as “cables” or “messages”). When I was on the job in the 1980s I had to wade through more than 1200 messages—i.e., human source reports from the CIA, State Department messages with embassies around the world, NSA intercepts, DIA reports from their officers based overseas (most in US embassies) and open source press reports. Today, thanks to the internet, the average analyst must scan through upwards of 3000 messages. It is humanly impossible.


The basic job of an analyst is to collect as much relevant information as possible on the subject or topic that is their responsibility. There are analysts at the CIA, the NSA, the DIA and State INR that have the job of knowing about Russian cyber activity and capabilities. That is certain. But we are not talking about hundreds of people. 


Let us move from the hypothetical to the actual. In January of 2017, DNI Jim Clapper release a report entitled, Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections(please see here). In subsequent testimony before the Congress, Clapper claimed that he handpicked two dozen analysts to draft the document. That is not likely. There may have been as many as two dozen analysts who read the final document and commented on it, but there would never be that many involved in in drafting such a document. In any event, only analysts from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI were involved :


This report includes an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and The National Security Agency (NSA), which draws on intelligence information collected and disseminated by those three agencies. 


Limiting the drafting and clearance on this document to only the CIA, the NSA and the FBI is highly unusual because one of the key analytical conclusions in the document identifies the Russian military intelligence organization, the GRU, as one of the perpetrators of the cyber attack. DIA’s analysts are experts on the GRU and there also are analysts in State Department’s Bureau of INR who should have been consulted. Instead, they were excluded.


Here is how the process should have worked in producing this document: 


  1. One or more analysts are asked to do a preliminary draft. It is customary in such a document for the analyst to cite specific intelligence, using phrases such as: “According to a reliable source of proven access,” when citing a CIA document or “According to an intercept of a conversation between knowledgeable sources with access,” when referencing something collected by the NSA. The analyst does more than repeat what is claimed in the intel reports, he or she also has the job of explaining what these facts mean or do not mean. 


  1. There always is an analyst leading the effort who has the job of integrating the contributions of the other analysts into a coherent document. Once the document is completed in draft it is handed over to Branch Chief and then Division Chief for editing. We do not know who had the lead, but it was either the FBI, the CIA or the NSA.


  1. At the same time the document is being edited at originating agency, it is supposed to be sent to the other clearing agencies, i.e. those agencies that either provided the intelligence cited in the draft (i.e., CIA, NSA, DIA, or State) or that have expertise on the subject. As noted previously, it is highly unusual to exclude the DIA and INR.


  1. Once all the relevant agencies clear on the content of the document, it is sent into the bowels of the DNI where it is put into final form. 


That is how the process is supposed to work. But the document produced in January 2017 was not a genuine work reflecting the views of the “Intelligence Community.” It only represented the supposed thinking (and I use that term generously) of CIA, NSA and FBI analysts. In other words, only three of 16 agencies cleared on the document that presented four conclusions:


  • Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations.


  • We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. 


  • We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. 


  • We assess Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the US presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against US allies and their election processes.


Sounds pretty ominous, but the language used tells a different story. The conclusions are based on assumptions and judgments. There was nor is any actual evidence from intelligence sources showing that Vladimir Putin ordered up anything or that his government preferred Trump over Clinton.


How do I know this? If such evidence existed—either documentary or human source or signal intercept—it would have been cited in this document. Not only that. Such evidence would have corroborated the claims presented in the Steele dossier. But such evidence was not forthcoming. If it had existed than Jim Comey could have claimed in his June 2017 testimony before Congress that the parts of the “Dossier” had been verified. He did not do so. Testifying under oath Comey described the “Dossier” as “salacious and unverified.”


It is genuinely shocking that DNI Jim Clapper, with the acquiescence of the CIA, the FBI and NSA, would produce a document devoid of any solid intelligence. There is a way to publicly release sensitive intelligence without comprising a the original source. But such sourcing is absent in this document.


That simple fact should tell you all you need to know. The Intelligence Community was used as a tool to misinform the public and persuade them that Russia was guilty of something they did not do. That lie remains unchallenged.

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145 Responses to The Intel Community Lie About Russian Meddling by Publius Tacitus

  1. turcopolier says:

    “Most objective observers would concede that the DNI has been a miserable failure and nothing more than a bureaucratic boondoggle.” Actually the main achievement of the creation of the DNI function was the separation of the functions of head of the IC and head of the CIA. When those were combined in one person the CIA used that to screw the rest of the community, especially DIA (aka the real enemy in CIA eyes)by manipulating chairmanship of the community for CIA’s advantage. pl

  2. LeaNder says:

    Good summary argument, PT. Thanks. Helpful reminder.
    But, makes me feel uncomfortable. Cynical scenario. I’d prefer them to be both drivers and driven, somehow stumbling into the chronology of events. They didn’t hack the DNC, after all. Crowdstrike? Steele? …
    But yes, all the 17 agencies Clinton alluded to in her 3rd encounter with Trump was a startling experience:

  3. turcopolier says:

    One other point on which Tacitus and I differ is the quality of the analysts in the “minors.” the “bigs” often recruit analysts from the “minors” so they can’t be all that bad. And the analysts in all these agencies receive much the same data feed electronically every day. There are exceptions to this but it is generally true. I, too, read hundreds of documents every day to keep up with the knowledge base of the analysts whom I interrogated continuously. “How do you know that?” would have been typical. pl

  4. Flavius says:

    Well done.
    “The Intelligence Community was used as a tool to misinform the public and persuade them that Russia was guilty of something they did not do. That lie remains unchallenged.'”
    Yes it was and so remains the lie unchallenged.
    Conjectural garbage appears first to have been washed through the FBI, headquarters no less, then probably it picked up a Triple A rating at the CIA, and then when the garbage got to Clapper, it was bombs away – we experts all agree. There were leaks, but they weren’t sufficient to satisfy Steele so he just delivered the garbage whole to the Media in order to make it a sure thing. The garbage was placed securely out there in the public domain with a Triple A rating because the FBI wouldn’t concern itself with garbage, would it?
    Contrast this trajectory with what the Russian policy establishment did when it concluded that the US had done something in the Ukraine that Russia found significantly actionable: it released the taped evidence of Nuland and our Ambassador finishing off the coup.
    The whole sequence reminds me in some ways of the sub prime mortgage bond fiasco: garbage risk progressively bundled, repackaged, rebranded and resold by big name institutions that should have known better.
    I have only two questions: was it misfeasance, malfeasance, or some ugly combination of the two? And are they going to get away with it?

  5. Re this: ” In the case of Russian meddling there is no forensic evidence available to the IC because the Democratic National Committee did not permit the FBI to investigate and examine the computers and the network that was allegedly attacked.”
    To be precise, CrowdStrike did provide the FBI with allegedly “certified true images” of the DNC servers allegedly involved in the alleged “hack.” They also allegedly provided these images to FireEye and Mandiant, IIRC.
    All three allegedly examined those images and concurred with CrowdStrike’s analysis.
    Of course, given the CrowdStrike itself is a massively compromised organization due to its founder and CEO, those “certified true images” are themselves tainted evidence.
    In addition, regardless of whether the images were true or not, the evidence allegedly contained therein is painfully inadequate to confirm that APT28 or APT29 were involved, nor that the Russian government was involved, or even that there was a real hack involved, and even less evidence that any emails that might have been exfiltrated were given to Wikileaks as opposed to another leak such as that alleged by Sy Hersh to have been done by Seth Rich.
    The “assessment” that Putin ordered any of this is pure mind-reading and can be utterly dismissed absent any of the other evidence Publius points out as necessary.
    The same applies to any “estimate” that the Russian government preferred Trump or wished to denigrate Clinton. Based on what I read in pro-Russian news outlets, Russian officials took great pains to not pick sides and Putin’s comments were similarly very restrained. The main quote from Putin about Trump that emerged was mistranslated as approval whereas it was more an observation of Trump’s personality. At no time did Putin ever say he favored Trump over Clinton, even though that was a likely probability given Clinton’s “Hitler” comparison.
    As an aside, I also recommend Scott Ritter’s trashing of the ICA. Ritter is familiar with intelligence estimates and their reliability based on his previous service as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq and in Russia implementing arms control treaties.
    Exposing The Man Behind The Curtain
    Throwing a Curveball at ‘Intelligence Community Consensus’ on Russia
    His analysis of the NSA document leaked by NSA contractor Reality Winner which supposedly supported the Russia theory is also relevant.
    Leaked NSA Report Is Short on Facts, Proves Little in ‘Russiagate’ Case

  6. scott s. says:

    As I read this, I take it to be a description of “national” or strategic-level intel. Certainly there is lots of dedicated intel collection and analysis going on at the tactical level by the other agencies listed. There could be interface between tactical collection and national sources, which I assume is why the “other” agencies get asked for comment.

  7. turcopolier says:

    These are ALL national intelligence organizations. Tactical intelligence exists WITHIN the operational forces. Tactical intelligence is funded from the operating budgets of the armed forces. (TIARA funds)The IC is funded under several “programs” of PPBS. Tactical intelligence is a recipient of the work product of these agencies. The 17 are statutory member of the national IC. pl

  8. pl and all,
    I can vouch for the improvement made by the creation of the DNI, especially for DIA. Prior to its creation, the coordination process for intelligence operations was merely a euphemism for begging for permission. The DNI changed all that. The process became a true coordination process, much to the chagrin of the CIA. In addition to the DNI, the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence (USDI) became more involved in the process adding more weight to the DIA position. Additionally, protocols were established for DOD/DIA to conduct purely military operations with a deconfliction process rather than a coordination process. That may sound like a small thing, but it was a profound development.

  9. JW says:

    A good summary, but a moot point would be whether Hillary Clinton, despite being a lawyer, would ever have understood it sufficiently to actually make sensible use of it.
    Naturally someone will now question if Trump would understand it, and I suggest he would.

  10. JW says:

    Steele ? Does ‘Steele’ actually exist ?

  11. Green Zone Café says:

    The “17 intelligence agencies” statement was undoubtedly hype, but it’s old news now.
    The reasonable position now is to wait and see what facts Mueller reveals. All else is partisan spinning, by all sides.

  12. ann says:

    This is a wonderful explanation of the intelligence community. And I thank you for the explanation. My interpretation is: In 1990 +- Bush 41 sold us the 1st Iraq war using fudged intelligence, then Bush 43 sold us the second Iraq war using fabricated intelligence. And now the Obama Administration tried to sell us fake intelligence in regard to Russia in order to get Clinton elected. However inadequate my summary is it looks like the Democrats are less skilled in propaganda than the Repubs. And what else is the difference?

  13. Fred says:

    Pointing out that the legal basis for the entire Mueller dog and pony show was based on a fraud, well lets not do that; We should by all means just sit back and let the narrative unfold as those who are trying to unseat the elected president continue unopposed to craft public opinion, just in time for mid-term elections.

  14. johnf says:

    Previous posts on the poisoning of Colonel Skripal, the ex-FSB double agent, have been on the Alistair Crooke thread, but it seems worth continuing in this thread.
    The latest claim (behind a paywall) is in the Daily Telegraph that Colonel Skripal was close to an unnamed member of the consultancy which Christopher Steele is a member of.
    Personally I think this whole story (which has dominated the British press and media for the last three days) is a false flag, borrowing much of its narrative line from the Litvinenko poisoning (in which Steele was also heavily involved). As the plot line gradually unwinds, it seems to be tying in more and more with Russiagate across the ocean.
    Colonel Skripal was recruited in Estonia by MI6.
    (David Habbakuk’s opinion on this farrago would be greatly appreciated)

  15. Mueller has had 18 months and has proceeded to reveal exactly nothing related to either Trump “collusion” with Russia nor Russia as a state actually doing anything remotely described as “meddling.”
    His expected indictment of some Russians for the DNC hack is going to be more of the same in all likelihood. I predict there will be next to zero evidence produced either that the Russians named are in fact members of APT28 or APT29 or that they had any direct connection with either the alleged DNC hack or Wikileaks or the Russian government.
    It’s a witch hunt, nothing more. People holding their breath for the “slam dunk” are going to pass out soon if they haven’t already.

  16. blue peacock says:

    GZC #12
    Mueller is investigating some aspects.
    But there is another aspect – the conspiracy inside law enforcement and the IC. That is also being investigated. There are Congressional committees in particular Nunes, Goodlatte and Grassley. Then there is the DOJ IG. And today AG Sessions confirms there is a DOJ prosecutor outside Washington investigating.
    IMO, the conspiracy is significantly larger in scale and scope than anything the Russians did.
    Yes, indeed we’ll have to wait and see what facts Mueller reveals. But also what facts these other investigations reveal.

  17. Thank you for setting out the geography and workings of this complex world.
    Might I ask how liaison with other Intelligence Communities fits in? Is intelligence information from non-US sources such as UK intelligence sources subject to the same process of verification and evaluation?
    I ask because of the passage in your article –
    “But such evidence (corroborating the Steele dossier) was not forthcoming. If it had existed than Jim Comey could have claimed in his June 2017 testimony before Congress that the parts of the “Dossier” had been verified. He did not do so. Testifying under oath Comey described the “Dossier” as “salacious and unverified.” ”
    Does this leave room for the assertion that although the “Dossier” was unverified in the US it was accepted as good information because it had been verified by UK Intelligence or by persons warranted by the UK?
    In other words, was UK Intelligence, or an ex-UK intelligence officer, used to get material through the US evaluation process, material that would not have got through that US evaluation process had it originated within the US itself?

  18. Green Zone Café says:

    As I’ve said before, “probable cause” is a low and flexible standard. Mueller’s investigation has more than enough evidence in the public record to justify its existence.
    I’m pretty cynical and don’t follow this obsessively, but there’s a lot of “smoke.”
    Papadapoulos’s drunken statements to the Australian ambassador and his other activities meeting with a Russian agent, the hacking of Podesta, Roger Stone’s statements and activities, the St. Petersburg troll farm and false flag activities in the USA, the “baby adoption” meeting with Don, Jr. and Russians, Eric Prince’s activities and trip to the Seychelles, Manafort’s connections with the Russian government and his money laundering, Trump’s previous business dealings with the Russians including possible loans, Flynn’s activities.
    Even if some of these things have innocent explanations, taken together this is a large amount of circumstantial evidence justifying a full investigation.
    Finally, the continual effort to attack Mueller and the investigation, imply there’s no probable cause, or that evidence was illegally obtained, in order to justify firing Mueller is another tell that something serious might have happened and some people are sweating their future freedom and wealth.

  19. turcopolier says:

    ” … was UK Intelligence, or an ex-UK intelligence officer, used to get material through the US evaluation process, material that would not have got through that US evaluation process had it originated within the US itself?” I would say yes and especially yes if the contact for this piece of data was conducted at the highest level withing the context of the already tight liaison between the US IC and Mi-6/GCHQ. PT may think differently. pl

  20. turcopolier says:

    A lot of smoke? Only if you wish to place a negative value on everything the Trump people did or were. pl

  21. jsn says:

    The CIA appears to be trying to right the wrongs done them with the creation of the DNI:

  22. Green Zone Café says:

    Colonel, there’s need for anyone to make sweeping statements about “everything the Trump people did.” Maybe the tariffs are good. By all means, build the Wall.
    But enough of these guys – Manafort, Page, Papadapoulos, Eric Prince, Stone, Flynn – are clowns or worse, and have connections to Russia or Assange.
    There’s probable cause to investigate. The important thing is that the investigation not be terminated a la Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre or other brute force authority.
    Mueller will produce the facts, or not.

  23. turcopolier says:

    The wrongs done them? I hope that was irony. pl

  24. turcopolier says:

    Was it Hitler or Stalin who said “show me the man and I will find his crime?” As I have said before, Trumps greatest vulnerability lies in his previous business life as an entrepreneurial hustler. If he is anything like the many like him whom I observed in my ten business years, then he has cut corners legally somewhere in international business. they pretty much all do that. Kooshy, a successful businessman confirmed that here a while back. These other guys were all business hustlers including Flynn and their activities have made them vulnerable to Mueller. IMO you have to ask yourself how much you want to be governed by political hacks and how much by hustlers. pl

  25. turcopolier says:

    hy this socialist pub would fing it surprising that former public servants seek elected office is a mystery to me. BTW, in re all the discussion here of the IC, there are many levels in these essentially hierarchical structures and one’s knowledge of them is conditioned by the perspective from which you viewed them. pl

  26. DH says:

    Re ‘baby adoption’ meeting between Trump, Jr. and Veselnitskaya, I recall a comment here linking to an article speculating the email initiating the meeting originated in Europe, was sent by the playboy son of a European diplomat, and contained words to trip data-gathering monitors which would have enabled a FISA request to have Trump, Jr. come under surveillance.
    Also, the Seymour Hersh tape certainly seems authentic as far as Seth Rich being implicated in the DNC dump.

  27. GZC,
    Are you really this obtuse?
    You insist (I guess you rely on MSNBC as your fact source) that Manafort, Page, etc. all “have connections to Russia or Assange.” You are using smear and guilt by association. Flynn’s so-called connection to Russia was that he accepted an invite to deliver a speech at an RT sponsored event and was paid. So what? Nothing wrong with that. Just ask Bill Clinton. Or perhaps you are referring to the fact that Flynn also spoke to the Russian Ambassador to the US after the election in his capacity as designated National Security Advisor. Zero justification for investigation.
    Stone? He left the campaign before there had even been a primary and only had text exchanges with Assange.
    Your blind hatred of Trump makes you incapable of thinking logically.

  28. Fred says:

    Using the same legal logic there is “probable cause” for the FBI to investigate every member of the House and Senate as well because they have all have met some guy who is connected to somebody who is corrupt, a foreign agent, or some other kind of crook or some drunk in a bar is saying they have. The only people above reproach are the senior agents committing adultery; failing to inform thier bosses of conflicts of interests due to thier wives working for the very people who are witnesses in the investigation they are conducting; or are omitting important facts from submissions to court for warrants. Even mentioning those is just further evidence that something really did happen. I for one don’t want the professional bureaucracy running the candidate selection process in the Republic or keeping the elected representatives “in line” by making “some people sweat their future freedom and wealth”. But that statement alone would make me a suspect too.

  29. jsn says:

    The most sarcastic irony was intended.
    This is what the real left looks like, its very different from Clintonite Liberals, not that I agree with their ideological program, though I believe parts have their place.
    Liberals have, I believe, jumped the shark:
    If the get their way with the new McCarthyism, the implications for dissent, left or right, seem to me to be about the same:

  30. jsn says:

    And to your second comment, yes I agree about the complexity of institutions and how situationally constrained individual experiences are, if that was the point.
    I’ll also concede my brief comments generalize very broadly, but it’s hard to frame things more specific comments without direct knowledge, such as the invaluable correspondents here. I try to avoid confirmation bias by reading broadly and try to provide outside perspectives. My apologies if they’re too far outside.
    I suppose it would be interesting to see a side by side comparison of how many former IC self affiliated with which party in choosing to run. I’m just guessing but I’ll bet there’s more CIA in the D column and more DIA among the Rs.

  31. PT and all,
    More material on the British end of the conspiracy.
    Commenting on an earlier piece by PT, I suggested that a key piece of evidence pointing to ‘Guccifer 2.0’ being a fake personality created by the conspirators in their attempt to disguise the fact that the materials from the DNC published by ‘WikiLeaks’ were obtained by a leak rather than a hack had to do with the involvement of the former GCHQ person Matt Tait.
    (See .)
    To recapitulate: Back in June 2016, hard on the heels of the claim by Dmitri Alperovitch of ‘CrowdStrike’ to have identified clinching evidence making the GRU prime suspects, Tait announced that, although initially unconvinced, he had found a ‘smoking gun’ in the ‘metadata’ of the documents released by ‘Guccifer 2.0.’
    A key part of this was the use by someone modifying a document of ‘Felix Edmundovich’ – the name and patronymic of Dzerzhinsky, the Lithuanian-Polish noble who created the Soviet secret police.
    As I noted, Tait was generally identified as a former GCHQ employee who now ran a consultancy called ‘Capital Alpha Security.’ However, checking Companies House records revealed that he had filed ‘dormant accounts’ for the company. So it looks as though the company was simply a ‘front’, designed to fool ‘useful idiots’ into believing he was an objective analyst.
    As I also noted in those comments, Tait writes the ‘Lawfare’ blog, one of whose founders, Benjamin Wittes, looks as though he may himself have been involved in the conspiracy up to the hilt. Furthermore, a secure income now appears to have been provided to replace that from the non-existent consultancy, in the shape of a position at the ‘Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law’, run by Robert Chesney, a co-founder with Wittes of ‘Lawfare.’
    A crucial part of the story, however, is that the notion of GRU responsibility for the supposed ‘hacks’ appears to be part of a wider ‘narrative’ about the supposed ‘Gerasimov Doctrine.’ From the ‘View from Langley’ provided to Bret Stephens by CIA Director Mike Pompeo at the ‘Aspen Security Forum’ last July:
    ‘I hearken back to something called the Gerasimov doctrine from the early 70s, he’s now the head of the – I’m a Cold War guy, forgive me if I mention Soviet Union. He’s now the head of the Russian army and his idea was that you can win wars without firing a single shot or with firing very few shots in ways that are decidedly not militaristic, and that’s what’s happened. What changes is the costs; to effectuate change through cyber and through RT and Sputnik, their news outlets, and through other soft means; has just really been lowered, right. It used to be it was expensive to run an ad on a television station now you simply go online and propagate your message. And so they have they have found an effective tool, an easy way to go reach into our systems, and into our culture to achieve the outcomes they are looking for.’
    (See .)
    What has however become clear in recent days is that the ‘Gerasimov Doctrine’ was not invented by its supposed author, but by a British academic, Mark Galeotti, who has now confessed – although in a way clearly designed to maintain as much of the ‘narrative’ as possible.
    Three days ago, an article by Galleoti appeared in ‘Foreign Policy’ entitled ‘I’m Sorry for Creating the “Gerasimov Doctrine”: I was the first to write about Russia’s infamous high-tech military strategy. One small problem: it doesn’t exist.’
    (See .)
    A key paragraph:
    ‘Gerasimov was actually talking about how the Kremlin understands what happened in the “Arab Spring” uprisings, the “color revolutions” against pro-Moscow regimes in Russia’s neighborhood, and in due course Ukraine’s “Maidan” revolt. The Russians honestly – however wrongly – believe that these were not genuine protests against brutal and corrupt governments, but regime changes orchestrated in Washington, or rather, Langley. This wasn’t a “doctrine” as the Russians understand it, for future adventures abroad: Gerasimov was trying to work out how to fight, not promote, such uprisings at home.’
    The translation of the original article by Gerasimov with annotations by Galeotti which provoked the whole hysteria turns out to be a classic example of what I am inclined to term ‘bad Straussianism.’
    (See .)
    What Strauss would have called the ‘exoteric’ meaning of the article quite clearly has to do with defensive strategies aimed at combatting the kind of Western ‘régime change’ projects about which people like those who write for ‘Lawfare’ are so enthusiastic. But Galeotti tells us that this is, at least partially, a cover for an ‘esoteric’ meaning, which has to do with offensive actions in Ukraine and similar places.
    Having now read the text of the article, I can see a peculiar irony in it. In a section entitled ‘You Can’t Generate Ideas On Command’, Gerasimov suggests that ‘The state of Russian military science today cannot be compared with the flowering of military-theoretical thought in our country on the eve of World War II.’
    According to the ‘exoteric’ meaning of the article, it is not possible to blame anyone in particular for this situation. But Gerasimov goes on on to remark that, while at the time of that flowering there were ‘no people with higher degrees’ or ‘academic schools or departments’, there were ‘extraordinary personalities with brilliant ideas’, who he terms ‘fanatics in the best sense of the word.’
    Again, Galeotti discounts the suggestion that nobody is to blame, assuming an ‘esoteric meaning’, and remarking: ‘Ouch. Who is he slapping here?’
    Actually, Gerasimov refers by name to two, utterly different figures, who certainly were ‘extraordinarily personalities with brilliant ideas.’
    If Pompeo had even the highly amateurish grasp of the history of debates among Soviet military theorists that I have managed to acquire he would be aware that one of the things which was actually happening in the ‘Seventies was the rediscovery of the ideas of Alexander Svechin.
    Confirming my sense that this has continued on, Gerasimov ends by using Svechin to point up an intractable problem: it can be extraordinarily difficult to anticipate the conditions of a war, and crucial not to impose a standardised template likely to be inappropriate, but one has to make some kinds of prediction in order to plan.
    Immediately after the passage which Galeotti interprets as a dig at some colleague, Gerasimov elaborates his reference to ‘extraordinary people with brilliant ideas’ by referring to an anticipation of a future war, which proved prescient, from a very different figure to Svechin:
    ‘People like, for instance, Georgy Isserson, who, despite the views he formed in the prewar years, published the book “New Forms Of Combat.” In it, this Soviet military theoretician predicted: “War in general is not declared. It simply begins with already developed military forces. Mobilization and concentration is not part of the period after the onset of the state of war as was the case in 1914 but rather, unnoticed, proceeds long before that.” The fate of this “prophet of the Fatherland” unfolded tragically. Our country paid in great quantities of blood for not listening to the conclusions of this professor of the General Staff Academy.’
    Unlike Svechin, whom I have read, I was unfamiliar with Isserson. A quick Google search, however, unearthed a mass of material in American sources – including, by good fortune, an online text of a 2010 study by Dr Richard Harrison entitled ‘Architect of Soviet Victory in World War II: The Life and Theories of G.S. Isserson’, and a presentation summarising the volume.
    Ironically, Svechin and Isserson were on opposite sides of fundamental divides. So the former, an ethnic Russian from Odessa, was one of the ‘genstabisty’, the former Tsarist General Staff officers who sided with the Bolsheviks and played a critical role in teaching the Red Army how to fight. Meanwhile Isserson was a very different product of the ‘borderlands’ – the son of a Jewish doctor, brought up in Kaunas, with a German Jewish mother from what was then Königsberg, giving him an easy facility with German-language sources.
    The originator of the crucial concept of ‘operational’ art – the notion that in modern industrial war, the ability to handle a level intermediate between strategy and tactics was critical to success – was actually Svechin.
    Developing the ambivalence of Clausewitz, however, he stressed that both the offensive and the defensive had their places, and that the key to success was to know which was appropriate when and also to be able rapidly to change from one to the other. His genuflections to Marxist-Leninist dogma, moreover, were not such as to take in any of Dzerzhinsky’s people.
    By contrast, Isserson was unambiguously committed to the offensive strand in the Clausewitzian tradition, and a Bolshevik ‘true believer’ (although he married the daughter of a dispossessed ethnically Russian merchant, who had their daughter baptised without his knowledge.)
    As Harrison brings out, Isserson’s working through of the problems of offensive ‘operational art’ would be critical to the eventual success of the Red Army against Hitler. However, the specific text to which he refers was, ironically, a warning of precisely one of the problems implicit in the single-minded reliance on the offensive: the possibility that one could be left with no good options confronting an antagonist similarly oriented – as turned out to be the case.
    As Gerasimov intimates, while unlike Svechin, executed in 1938, Isserson survived the Stalin years, he was another of the victims of Dzerzhinsky’s heirs. Arrested shortly before his warnings were vindicated by the German attack on 22 June 1941, he would spend the war in the Gulag and only return to normal life after Stalin’s death.
    So I think that the actual text of Gerasimov’s article reinforces a point I have made previously. The ‘evidence’ identified by Tait is indeed a ‘smoking gun.’ But it emphatically does not point towards the GRU.
    Meanwhile, another moral of the tale is that Americans really should stop being taken in by charlatan Brits like Galeotti, Tait, and Steele.

  32. LeaNder says:

    love this coinage Flavius:
    Yes it was and so remains the lie unchallenged
    a lie “circumstantial”?

  33. outthere says:

    Stephen F. Cohen:
    does Putin really believe Washington will “listen now”? He may still have some “illusions,” but we should have none. In recent years, there has been ample evidence that US policy-makers and, equally important, mainstream media commentators do not bother to read what Putin says, or at least not more than snatches from click-bait wire-service reports. Still worse, Putin and “Putin’s Russia” have been so demonized that it is hard to imagine any leading American political figures or editorial commentators responding positively to what is plainly his hope for a new beginning in US-Russian relations. If nothing else, strategic parity always also meant political parity—recognizing that Soviet Russia, like the United States, had legitimate national interests abroad. The years of American vilifying Putin and Russia are essentially an assertion that neither has any such legitimacy. And making matters worse, there are the still unproven allegations of “Russiagate” collusion. Even if President Trump understands, or is made to understand, the new—possibly historic—overture represented by Putin’s speech, would the “Kremlin puppet” allegations made daily against him permit him to seize this opportunity? Indeed, do the promoters of “Russiagate” care?
    more here:

  34. Sid Finster says:

    “We don’t have the evidence yet because Mueller hasn’t found it yet!” is a classic argument from ignorance, in that is assumes without evidence (there’s that pesky word again!) that there is something to be found.
    That said, I have no doubt that Mueller will find *something*, simply because an aggressive and determined prosecutor can always find *something*, especially if the target is engaged in higher level business or politics. A form unfiled, an irregularity in an official document, and overly optimistic tax position.
    If nothing else works, there’s always the good old standby of asking question after question until the target makes a statement that can be construed as perjury or lying to investigators.

  35. Sid Finster says:

    So “six degrees of separation” is cause to investigate?
    I’ve talked to a Russian, does that make me a potential criminal?

  36. Sarah B says:

    My perspective, after reading that linked article by the WSWS, is that both, the IC and the DoD, are trying to take over the whole US political spectrum, in fact, militarising de facto the US political life….
    Now, tell me that this is not an intend by the MIC ( where all the former IC or DoD people finally end when they leave official possitions )to take over the government ( if more was needed after what has happened with Trump´s ) to gurarantee their profit rate in a moment where everything is crimbling….
    Btw, have you read the recently released paper, “WorldWide Threat Asessment of the US Intelligence Community” by Daniel R. Coats ( DNI )? You smell fear from the four corners….do not you?

  37. Barbara Ann says:

    Those immortal words are attributed to Lavrentiy Beria, Colonel and you are not the first to draw the comparison re Mueller’s investigation.
    For those who do not know Beria was head of the NKVD under Stalin.

  38. Barbara Ann says:

    Only if you were discussing BDS.

  39. Sarah B says:

    Here is the paper in question I am mentioning above:—Unclassified-SSCI.pdf
    Some neutral analyst is saying that from 28 pages, 24 are dedicated to Russia and China, then Iran and NK, in this order…and that it is an official recognition of the new multipolar order….

  40. Peter VE says:

    The BBC reported this morning that a police officer who was amongst the earliest responders to the “nerve gas” poisoning of Col. Skripal is also being treated for symptoms. How was it that many “White Helmets” who were filmed where the sarin gas was dropped on Khan Sheikhoun last April suffered no symptoms?

  41. Jack says:

    That’s a good way to present it political hacks vs hustlers.
    The fact is Flynn has pled guilty to perjury. Nothing else like collusion with the Russians. And his sentencing is on hold now as the judge has ordered Mueller to hand over any exculpatory evidence. Clearly something is going on his case for the judge to do that.
    Manafort has been indicted for money laundering, wire fraud, etc for activities well before the election campaign.
    Sure, it is good that these corrupt individuals should be investigated and prosecuted. However, this corruption is widespread in DC. How come none of these cheering Mueller on to destroy Trump care about all the foreign money flowing to K Street? Why aren’t they calling for investigations of the Clinton Foundation or the Podesta brothers where probable cause exist of foreign money and influence? What about Ben Cardin and all those recipients of foreign zionist money and influence? It would be nice if there were wide ranging investigations on all those engaged in foreign influence peddling. But it seems many just want a witch hunt to hobble Trump. It’s going to be very difficult to get the Senate to convict him for obstruction of justice or tax evasion or some charge like that.

  42. Dave says:

    All these wild-eyed, right-wing conspiracy theories don’t change the fact that Putin meddled in our election.
    National Security Advisor, General McMaster says that the fact of Russian meddling is “incontrovertible.” Considering that he has access to information than none of us do, I believe him.

  43. A.Pols says:

    I think it was Lavrenti Beria, but we all know how quotes get attributed to all kinds of people.. Maybe it was Hoover (joking)

  44. The select group of several dozen analysts from CIA, NSA and FBI who produced the January 2017 ICA are very likely the same group of analysts assembled by Brenner in August 2016 to form a task force examining “L’Affaire Russe” at the same time Brennan brought that closely held report to Obama of Putin’s specific instructions on an operation to damage Clinton and help Trump. I’ve seen these interagency task forces set up several times to address particular info ops or cyberattack issues. Access to the work of these task forces was usually heavily restricted. I don’t know if this kind of thing has become more prevalent throughout the IC.
    I am also puzzled by the absence of DIA in the mix. When I was still working, there were a few DIA analysts who were acknowledged throughout the IC as subject matter experts and analytical leaders in this field. On the operational side, there was never great enthusiasm for things cyber or info ops. There were only a few lonely voices in the darkness. Meanwhile, CIA, FBI and NSA embraced the field wholeheartedly. Perhaps those DIA analytical experts retired or moved on to CYBERCOM, NSA or CIA’s Information Operations Center.

  45. LeaNder says:

    I predict there will be next to zero evidence produced either that the Russians named are in fact members of APT28 or APT29 …
    Richard, over here the type of software is categorized under Advanced Persistent Threat, and beyond that specifically labeled the “Sofacy Group”. … I seem to prefer the more neutral description ‘Advanced Persistent Threat’ by Kaspersky. Yes, they seem to be suspicious lately in the US. But I am a rather constant consumer, never mind the occasional troubles over the years.
    APT: Helps to not get confused by all the respective naming patterns in the economic field over national borders. APT 1 to 29 …? Strictly, What’s the precise history of the ‘Bear’ label and or the specific, I assume, group of APT? …
    Kasperky pdf-file – whodunnit?
    Ever used a datebase checking a file online? Would have made you aware of the multitude of naming patterns.
    More ad-hoc concerning one item in your argument above. To what extend does a standard back-up system leave relevant forensic traces? Beyond the respective image in the present? Do you know?
    Admittedly, I have no knowledge about matters beyond purely private struggles. But yes, they seemed enough to get a vague glimpse of categories in the field of attribution. Regarding suspected state actors vs the larger cybercrime scene that is.

  46. Dave, bullshit. How about some actual evidence?

  47. Flavius says:

    It will be interesting to see why the interviewing FBI Agents to whom Flynn has admitted to the Mueller Op telling a lie, or lies, did not avail Flynn the opportunity of the ‘lie circumstantial.” From what I think I know about the case, the answers to the questions put to Flynn were already known to the Agents from wire overhears; and their substance did not constitute a crime in any case. Why would not the Agents interviewing Flynn have said “If you’re telling me this, we have reason to think that you’re mistaken?” If I’m correct in my understanding, in my opinion, the Agents conducted themselves in a very chickenshit fashion and I would suspect an Agenda was in play.
    Making a more general observation regarding the Mueller Op, it seems to me that not the least reprehensible effect of its existence is that de facto it has usurped the authority of the White House and the State Department to conduct Foreign Policy vis a vis Russia. For example, I doubt very much whether Mueller cleared his ridiculous indictment relating to the Russian troll farm, a requirement that at one time would have been SOP for any FBI Office or USAtty Office bringing an indictment of this kind. And even if Mueller did, what would, what could the WH or State response have been given the mishapen political climate and the track record of outrageous leaking that so far have gone on without consequence to the leaker.
    So the net effect is that Mueller’s office is conducting our Russian foreign policy. Authority without either responsibility or expertise is not a desirable thing when it comes to forging correct relations with a nuclear power.

  48. LeaNder says:

    Even mentioning those is just further evidence that something really did happen.
    I appreciate you are riding our partially shared hobby horse, Fred. 😉
    But admittedly this reminds me of something that felt like a debate-shift, I may be no doubt misguided here. Nitwit! In other words I may well have some type of ideological-knot in the relevant section dealing with memory in my brain as long-term undisciplined observer of SST.
    But back on topic: the argument seemed to be that “important facts” were omitted. In other words vs earlier times were are now centrally dealing with omission as evidence. No?

  49. Dave says:

    Ask National Security Advisor General McMaster.
    Even Trump now says Putin meddled.
    What more evidence do you need

  50. Dave says:

    General McMaster has seen the evidence and says the fact of Russian meddling can no longer be credibly denied.
    That doesn’t stop the right-wing extremists from spinning fairy tales.

  51. turcopolier says:

    It is politically necessary for Trump to say that. Tell me, what is meant by “Russian meddling”in this statement by McMaster? pl

  52. Dave says:

    Russian meddling is hacking our election systems.
    The right wing (re: Hannity and Limbaugh) have been trying mightily to discredit this investigation by smearing Mueller’s reputation, even though he is a conservative republican.
    They are doing this so that if Mueller’s report is damning, they can call it a “witch hunt.”
    I would think that if Trump is innocent, he would cooperate with this investigation fully.
    You are insinuating that McMaster is a liar even though he has access to information that you don’t.

  53. Just because trump is stupid is not an excuse for you. You accept a lie without one shred of actual evidence. You are a lemming

  54. Fred says:

    “omission as evidence. ” Incorrect. Among the omissions was the fact that the dossier was paid for by a political campaign and that the wife of a senior DOJ lawyer’s wife was working for Fusion GPS. Then there’s the rest of the political motivations left out.

  55. Fred says:

    Putin hired Facebook. That company seems to do well helping out foreign governments.

  56. Linda says:

    If you have seen the classified information that would be necessary to back up your conclusions, it should not be discussed in this forum. As you are well aware sources and methods cannot be made public so I fail to see how you believe this should have been publically done. Having said that, I pretty much agree with your conclusion except for the indication that the analysts lied.

  57. turcopolier says:

    What does “hacking our elections” mean? Does it means breaking into voting systems and changing the outcome by altering votes? Or does it mean information operations to change US voters’ minds about for whom they would vote? If the latter you must know that we (the US) have done this many times in foreign elections, including Russian elections, Israeli elections, Italian elections, German elections, etc., or perhaps you think that a different criterion should be applied to people who are not American. As for McMasters, I am unimpressed with him. He displays all the symptoms of Russophobia. He has special information? Information can be interpreted many ways depending on one’s purpose. pl

  58. turcopolier says:

    PT does not have access to the classified information underlying but your argument that “As you are well aware sources and methods cannot be made public so I fail to see how you believe this should have been publicly done.” doesn’t hold water for me since I have seen sources and methods disclosed by the government of the US many times when it felt that necessary. One example that I have mentioned before was that of the trial of Jeffrey Sterling (merlin) for which I was an expert witness and adviser to the federal court for four years. In that one the CIA and DoJ forced the court to allow them to de-classify the CIA DO’s operational files on the case and read them into the record in open court. I had read all these files when they were classified at the SCI level. IMO the perpetrators in the Steel Memo case are and were merely hiding behind claims of sources and methods protection in order to protect themselve. pl

  59. JamesT says:

    I continue to learn things around here that I could never learn anywhere else. It is a privilege to read the Colonel, TTG, and Publius Tacitus.

  60. turcopolier says:

    If you use denigrating language like “wild eyed” to attack your interlocutors you will not be welcome here. pl

  61. LeaNder says:

    Mueller cleared his ridiculous indictment relating to the Russian troll farm, a requirement that at one time would have been SOP for any FBI Office or USAtty Office bringing an indictment of this kind.
    Not aware of this. Can you help me out?
    No doubt vaguely familiar with public lore, in limited ways. As always.

  62. Sid Finster says:

    So now we are supposed to believe unquestioningly the word of torturers, perjurers and entrapment artists, all talking about alleged evidence that we are not allowed to see?
    Did you learn nothing from the “Iraqi WMD” fiasco or the “ZOMG! Assad gassed his own peoples ZOMG!” debacle?
    Funny how in each of these instances, the intelligence community’s lies just happened to coincide with the agenda of empire.

  63. LeaNder says:

    Ok, true. I forgot ‘Steele’* was used as ‘evidence’.
    Strictly, Pat may have helped me out considering my ‘felt’ “debate-shift”. Indirectly. I do recall, I hesitated to try to clarify matters for myself.
    * …

  64. m says:

    Depends on what crime the “hack” committed. Fudging on taxes or cutting corners? Big whoop. Laundering $500 mil for a buddy of Vlad’s? Now you got my attention and should have the voters’ attention.
    This is a political process in the end game. Clinton lied about sex in the oval Office and was tried for it. Why don’t we exercise patience in the process and see if this President should be tried?

  65. m says:

    I ain’t a lawyer but don’t prosecutors hold their cards (evidence) close to their chests until the court has a criminal charge and sets a date for discovery?

  66. Linda,
    You betray your ignorance on this subject. You clearly have not understood nor comprehended what I have written. So i will put it in CAPS for you. Please read slowly.
    GOT IT. And don’t come back with nonsense that the sources are so sensitive that they cannot be disclose. News flash genius–the very fact that Clapper put out this piece of dreck would have exposed the sources if they existed (but they do not). In any event, there would be reference to sources that provided the evidence that such activity took place at the direction of Putin.

  67. J says:

    The granddaddy of them all is #16, and what have they contributed?

  68. I’m eagerly awaiting your thoughts on the Skripal poisoning. I’m sure I’m not alone in the hope that you will write on it.

  69. Publius Tacitus,
    I notice other Intelligence Community Assessments also use the term “we assess” liberally. For example, the 2018 Worldwide Threat Assessment and the 2012 ICA on Global Water Security use the “we assess” phrase throughout the documents. I hazard to guess that is why they call these things assessments.
    The 2017 ICA on Russian Interference released to the public clearly states: “This report is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment. This document’s conclusions are identical to the highly classified assessment, but this document does not include the full supporting information, including specific intelligence on key elements of the influence campaign. Given the redactions, we made minor edits purely for readability and flow.”
    I would hazard another guess that those minor edits for readability and flow are the reason that specific intelligence reports and sources, which were left out of the unclassified ICA, are not cited in that ICA.

  70. Dave,
    As far as I know, no one has reliably claimed that election systems, as in vote tallies, were ever breached. No votes were changed after they were cast. The integrity of our election system and the 2016 election itself was maintained. Having said that, there is plenty of evidence of Russian meddling as an influence op. I suggest you and others take a gander at the research of someone going by the handle of @UsHadrons and several others. They are compiling a collection of FaceBook, twitter and other media postings that emanated from the IRA and other Russian sources. The breadth of these postings is quite wide and supports the assessment that enhancing the divides that already existed in US society was a primary Russian goal.
    I pointed this stuff out to Eric Newhill a while back in one of our conversations. He jokingly noted that he may have assisted in spreading a few of these memes. I bet a lot of people will recognize some of the stuff in this collection. That’s nothing. Recently we all learned that Michael Moore did a lot more than unwittingly repost a Russian meme. He took part in a NYC protest march organized and pushed by Russians. This stuff is open source proof of Russian meddling.

  71. TTG
    Nice try, but that is bullshit just because recent assessments come out with sloppy language is no excuse. Go back and look at the assessment was done for iraq to justify the war in 2003. Many sources cited because it was considered something Required to justify going to war. As we have been told by many in the media that the Russians meddling was worse or as bad as the attack on Pearl Harbor and 9-11. With something so serious do you want to argue that they would downplay the sourcing?

  72. TTG
    You are too smart to pretend to be such a dummy. Are you really trying to argue that Vladimir Putin is doing something so new and so different from what was done by the Soviets for the last 70 years? Seriously? And you ignore all of the battling with United States has done brushes internal elections?
    You want to pretend that some Russian should’ve been indicted by Mueller with no evidence whatsoever of a link to the Russian government posting on Facebook represent a threat to our system? Are you really that naïve

  73. Dave says:

    I am continually perplexed by the hard right’s mantra that this investigation is a “witch hunt.” The republicans control all branches of government. So who exactly is leading this “witch hunt?”
    Another line they like to use is that they just can’t except that Trump won. I have never talked to anyone that believes that. Though Hillary won in a three-million vote landslide, Trump won fair and square.
    The hard right, i.e., the Sean Hannity’s and Rush Limbaugh’s and their ilk are the only ones pushing this phony narrative. One need look no further than the way they are eating their own in their smear campaign against Muller’s reputation.
    And finally the bogus “where’s the evidence?” We know but a tiny sliver of the evidence that Mueller has. We will have to stay tuned for that.
    I would think that any patriotic American would support this investigation, and let the chips fall where they may.

  74. LeaNder says:

    Ok, the debate-shift for me happened in your last article, Publius Tacitus. Was that a political/strategic shift? No shift at all?
    There you wrote in comment #8:
    [The Democrats] knew for CERTAIN that Russia was meddling, but did not want to make this public because it would show that Donald Trump was right.
    In the CNN, August 3, 2016, article you link to, Trump refers to the recent (2016) DNC leaks. The leaks no doubt suggested a rigged candidate selection process. That was his reality anchor anyway, he then moved on to suggest the whole election would be rigged. Does that mean, he knew the Russians would be meddling? That feels like a tremendous debate shift in the pro-Trump-support camp.
    No doubt the leaks were pretty much from the start associated with the Russian interference. But that’s definitively not what he has in mind here. …
    Did you seriously mean to suggest that Trump knew Russia was meddling all along? From that point in time on? Already then he knew as much as Democrats knew? Seriously? It feels up to this article the Trump-support-camp would have argued the Russian interference is Fake News. No?
    The Old Microbiologist, a strong Trump supporter, suggested during the election debate in 2016 here on SST that the Democrats would be rigging the election. Was that inspired by that Trump statement, I wonder now.

  75. Publius Tacitus,
    Surely you don’t buy into that “worse than Pearl Harbor act of war” crap. Shit posting and hacking is not and never will be an act of war. The Russian IO, in it’s entirety was no more an international aggression than RFE/RL. I would describe it as RFE/RL meets Madison Avenue and Silicon Valley. It was brilliantly planned and executed. The word I first used was elegant when I first wrote about reflexive control over a year ago. At that time I even saluted VV Putin in all his magnificent bastardness. I sincerely doubt many in the IC saw this Russian meddling as a reason to start rolling tanks or lobbing nukes either. Certainly Obama didn’t think this was worthy of a war. Needing a response, yes, but worthy of starting a war, no.
    And now concerning the unemotional use of “we assess” in the 2017 ICA rather than the breathless declarations made in the 2002 NIE used to justify the Bush/Cheney war on Iraq, there was no need for that emphatic, no going back language used to justify the Iraq War. That assessment was heavily politicized and became more definitive in its declarations as it made its way up the IC and White House ladder. It was also heavily redacted to remove the qualifiers and caveats expressed by the original writers of that NIE. It’s purpose was to start a war. That declassified NIE wasn’t released until 2014. Perhaps in ten years or so, we’ll see the full declassified version of the now classified 2017 ICA.

  76. J says:

    One of Mueller’s ‘cooperating witnesses’ George Nader was arrested for child pornography in 1985

  77. Green Zone Café says:

    I think there should be an investigation of any use of surveillance assets against Trump people without a warrant. Any “unmasking” done for political purposes by Banshee Power, Rice et al should be prosecuted.
    The texts between the cheating FBI guy and the cheating DOJ lawyer: so what? Government employees are allowed to have private opinions. Please don’t moralize about “adultery” with Stormy Daniels out there. Show me manipulation of evidence by them.
    It’s possible underlings like Manafort and Stone did, and Trump didn’t know.
    Just the Podesta email story. Was he hacked by “Fancy Bear” Russians? I don’t know, I don’t have the evidence. It’s classified. It allows for endless speculation and refutation. Is there a nexus between Wikileaks and the Russians?
    What Papadapoulos said to the Australian ambassador. Don, Jr’s interest in getting help from the Russians. Trump’s business dealings in Russia. Cohen’s bagman trips. Manafort’s backchannels to Russia.
    Comey thought these facts were sufficient to investigate further. Jeff Sessions, a Trump loyalist, agreed to recuse himself and have the Special Counsel appointed.
    I suspect Carter Page is fully cooperating – his communications were the original target but he’s still free. They are twisting Manafort now, he’ll either talk or get 30 years in prison.
    Again, Mueller may be an establishment tool, but he will have to produce facts sufficient to obtain convictions, either in federal court, or the Senate in an impeachment trial.
    I don’t hate Trump. I donated to his campaign and would have voted for him but I was in Kanchanaburi at the time. But there are too many facts to ignore.
    Obviously there are competing information operations campaigns. The attempt to discredit the investigation is one of them.

  78. Tidewater says:

    “Permission to Board. We’ve boarded.”
    Now these are the laws of the Coast Guard
    Learn them that ye may be wise.
    When inspecting a citizen’s boat
    there is ever a chance to surprise.
    Perchance a lamp wick short-trimmed,
    or a kapok vest gone rotten.
    Lo! The anchor light is too dim!
    There is always something forgotten.
    Check signals of visual distress (oft seen in the citizen’s face).
    Good are the hoses, the Halon FE, even the paddles and oar?
    Are the decks or the bilges a mess?
    What inspector cannot search more?
    Now this is our ancient decree.
    If the thing’s still afloat,
    and we find it out there on the sea,
    and it looks like a yacht,
    or a brigantine, schooner, or barge–
    all that matters not!
    Just show us your boat.
    We can always show you the charge.

  79. likbez says:

    Is it so difficult to understand that there are strong incentives to create the “Russia Threat” to hide the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA. The current can of political worms and infighting in Washington, DC between POTUS and intelligence agencies factions supporting anti-trump color revolution clearly demonstrate that this crisis is systemic in nature. In this sense, we can talk about the transformation of the US political system into something new.
    One feature of this new system is that the US foreign policy now is influenced, if not controlled by intelligence agencies. The latter also proved to be capable of acting as the kingmakers in the US Presidential elections (this time with side effects: derailing Sanders eventually led to the election of Trump; that’s why efforts to depose Trump commenced immediately.)
    A large part of the US elite is willing to create the situation of balancing on the edge of nuclear war because it allows them to swipe the dirt under the carpet and unite the nation on bogus premises, suppressing the crisis of confidence in the neoliberal elite. Neo-McCarthyism witch hunt serves exactly this purpose.
    Also now it is clear that the intelligence agencies and Pentagon, play active, and maybe even decisive part in determining the US foreign policy, US population and elected POTUS be damned.
    Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and his staff showed this new arrangement in Syria in July 2017. And the fact that he was not fired on the spot might well signify the change in political power between the “deep state” and the “surface state”. With the latter one step closer to being just a Potemkin Village.

  80. likbez says:

    The texts between the cheating FBI guy and the cheating DOJ lawyer: so what? Government employees are allowed to have private opinions. Please don’t moralize about “adultery” with Stormy Daniels out there. Show me manipulation of evidence by them.

    It is always funny to see how people like monkeys simply close their ears and eyes when they do not what to see something. Only a blind and deaf person can claim what you just claimed. Or extremely partisan which is that same thing. So I have no illusions as for my ability to change your point of view.
    But for other. less prejudiced people, this comment might be a useful reminder of the facts on the ground.
    And no Strzok texts is not a private matter (outside depicting the level of his stupidity and recklessness
    (on all levels: technical, security and political) and infatuation with Liza Page).
    It is a strong evidence of the bias of the lead investigator in Emailgate. About which we now known enough to say that it was clearly an indictable behavior of Clinton and her close circle (including a provable obstruction of justice change)
    As such it is admissible to court.
    Treatment of “private email server” case by FBI is despicable on IT level and on security level. In this case Hillary and her close circle clearly demonstrated not only utter stupidity and almost sociopathic level of entitlement, but also criminal negligence. The change which was suppressed with the participation of Strzok.
    The resulting exoneration of Hillary Clinton and the close circle of her associates (with grants of immunity for each) destroyed the chance for Sanders to became the Presidential candidate from the Democratic Party and as such represent a provable instance of interference of intelligence agencies into the USA election process.
    Mistreatment of the DNC “hack” (actually a leak, not a hack) evidence is another. This is definitely more complex issue than the “Emailgate”. And much less is known about it. But based on evidence available it more and more smells as the “false flag” operation.
    FBI use of Steele dossier materials as evidence to institute surveillance of Trump in which Strzok was an important player is another one. If this was not a manipulation of evidence by him, then I do not know what is.

  81. b says:

    A new dimension in the whole affair opened with the poisoning of a British-Russian double agent in Salisbury, England.
    The agent had deep relations with Chris Steele who made up the ‘dossier’ about Trump for the Clinton campaign.
    The British government is trying to put the public poisoning on Russia but that claim does not pass the smell test.

  82. blue peacock says:

    It will be nearly 2 years since Comey began the investigation to answer your question. Nothing yet!
    OTOH, it has been proven that the Clinton campaign did solicit help from the Russians. The Fusion GPS/Steele dossier that they funded and contracted for is a product of that collaboration. You’re OK with that? Because if you are, then it reeks of hypocrisy in your concern about “Don, Jr’s interest in getting help from the Russians”.

  83. Fred says:

    “Government employees are allowed to have private opinions.” Do I need to lawyer up to talk to Meuller because I am expressing my opinion in public? Is it okay for me to talk to Russians? I did have a Russian take a picture of me in Paris in May of 2011, hope that wasn’t illegal. How about talking with the Russian Ambassador to the United States, or is that only bad if I am a member of the Senate, that breing the reason “Trump Loyalist” Senator Sessions recused himself?
    Moralizing? I don’t care who the head of FBI Counter Intellegence is fornicating with. I am concerned about his judgement in the performance of his professional duties. Stormy Daniels? So a professional whore whose career in XXX is over is now making a complaint? Good thing it wasn’t Haven Monahan, look what she managed to do to UVA. Too bad Trump no longer has friends in Hollywood or they could send him a string of big boobed bimbos like the women of #metoo did for Harvey Weinstein for twenty years. Fine by me as long as the rest of the economy rolls right along. Even foreign policy looks pretty good right now.
    “”Obviously there are competing information operations campaigns. The attempt to discredit the investigation is one of them.”
    There’s a giant campaign to smear anyone who disagrees with what is happening with investigation after months as well. Such as pointing out the lack of “facts sufficient to obtain convictions” in relation to the reason Meuller was hired to begin with. That’s not “information operations” that is a standard political tactic of the American left.

  84. Dave says:

    That is looking more and more to be the case.
    Keep in mind that Mueller is sitting on a mountain of evidence which is added to daily.
    We know but a very small amount of the evidence that Mueller has. Stay tuned…

  85. Eric Newhill says:

    You have contracted a very bad case of TDS. However, IMO, Col. Lang is correct. In lieu of actual “collusion” during or subsequent to the election, they will get Trump on something – anything – he did that can be construed as illegal and it will most likely be something that occurred prior to his candidacy. To keep some veneer of respectability to the Mueller investigation, Russia or a Russian will probably be at least tangentially involved.
    Then the republic will be finished off for good. Only people with TDS will celebrate the announcement and the ensuing impeachment hearings. The rest of us will see that Trump is accused of doing nothing that everyone in Washington and in business hasn’t done; especially with the fact of the Clintons hanging over the political scene like a stale fart. Trust in our civil processes will drop to 0. The country will be irreparably divided and it will not survive. Civil war will be a very real possibility, IMO.
    All for what?

  86. turcopolier says:

    in other words you know of no proof as yet but are hopeful. TDS. pl

  87. ToivoS says:

    Exactly right. Of course the effort to unseat the president is most certainly a political movement (“partisan squabbling”) that is true by definition. Those sanctimonious twits that keep insisting that it is only Mueller who is qualified to determine the truth here have their own political agenda.

  88. TTG,
    Thanks for conceding that the claim of Russian meddling was not a Pearl Harbor or 911 event. But Clapper and Brennan don’t share your grasp on reality. They pushed a lie and trumped up the claim that the Russians were doing something unprecedented in their long history of espionage and active measures against us.
    I have written more than 100 pieces for the PDB in my career. An abnormally high amount but I was in the forefront of one of the top national security issues of the day. I have written the type of document we are talking about. So I’m not speaking theoretically. If you have actual intelligence that proves (or at least strongly implicates) Putin ordered and then carried out the kind of operation claimed in the bogus IC Assessment, then you absolutely would use OTHER language than “WE ASSESS.” We assess is a belief. It has nothing to do with actual fact.
    That is the reality.

  89. kemerd says:

    do you realize that the post starts with:

    Americans tend to be a trusting lot. When they hear a high level government official, like former Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper, state that Russia’s Vladimir ordered and monitored a Russian cyber attack on the 2016 Presidential election, those trusting souls believe him


  90. jld says:

    If Mueller is sitting on a mountain of evidence how do you know it’s a “mountain” and that it “is added to daily”?
    Are you his secretary or something?

  91. Dave
    You are sadly delusional. Who is this magical witness to all of this alleged kanoodeling with the Rooskies?

  92. turcopolier says:

    “Dave” is one of a number recent trollers here of a new type. In the beginning I had foul mouthed people who screamed filth. Then we had the Israeli foreign ministry “artistic” trollers who do a long preparatory wind up followed by a sharp, hopefully wounding attack. Now we have the Fatima Macarena type who come at you challenging everything you are, might have been and could conceivably have thought true. I have deleted half a dozen of this creep’s more offensive proposed comment today. Evidently there is something in the water in Puget Sound. pl .

  93. Jack says:

    “..the Fatima Macarena type..”. Loved this. You sure have a sense of humor.

  94. Jack says:

    TTG #74
    If Vladimir Putin’s cyber intelligence team influenced the American voter sufficiently to hand Trump the election victory as you believe by trolling American digital media platforms, then hat’s off to them. They sure outsmarted Eric Schmidt and Sheryl Sandberg who were active advisors, financiers and brought to bear their Internet savvy, knowhow and people to the Clinton campaign.

  95. Mark Logan says:

    Re: Puget sound waters, mysteries there be. Our salmon are SHRINKING!!!
    The horror…the horror….

  96. Jack says:

    The CIA Democrats hoping to win the House for Nancy Pelosi.
    Hattip to Julian Assange for tweeting this story.

  97. JW says:

    And in addition to the entire non-Fox media industry, who’s performance in supporting Clinton was comparable to that demented shrieking woman who presents TV news in DPRK.

  98. turcopolier says:

    Mark Logan
    So long as the Puget Sound shrinking salmon thing does not hurt the sasquatch up on Vancouver Island I can live with it. pl

  99. Fred says:

    The feminist fish are simply refusing to have anything to do with the masculine typse. Then there are the soy-boy salmon, they’re spending too much time with the transgender fish to figure out how to get the plumbing working right. I think we need an intervention, to save the whales.

  100. Jack
    reference your comment at #100
    Where do you get the notion that I ever believed the Russian IO was effective? Not only did I never claim that, but I specifically said that determining the effectiveness of that campaign would be well-nigh impossible. You’re making things up to justify your preferred narrative of Russia being the land of unicorns and glitter and Trump is the blue faery. The truth will probably be found to be somewhere between the wildest conspiracy theories of both sides.
    And the Russians definitely had a better handle on the use of social media in an election campaign, as did Brad Parscale’s digital effort. The DNC’s effort was woefully outclassed and outdated. That was their own fault. They even turned down FaceBook’s offer of assistance.

  101. Fred says:

    You only have white people and black people on your side of the wall? You need some Diversity! Better open that door a little wider. Lovely singer, thanks for sharing.

  102. mikee says:

    Wheels falling off bus!
    “Russiagate is a disinformation op by rogue US Intelligence using US media. @LeeSmithDC @ThadMcCotter ”
    Two part podcast of show aired 3/08/17

  103. mikee says:

    Above link points to different content.
    Here is the story in Tablet on which the podcast is based.
    Who Believes in Russiagate?
    Knowledgeable reporters on the left and right are frightened by the spread of an elite conspiracy theory among American media

  104. Duck1 says:

    Well, it seems we have a smoking gun, accidentally discharged, no one was present, the gun fired blanks, people lied about where they were having drinks when this occurred, the investigation indicts people not under their jurisdiction, the liars are being bankrupted for representing the Ukies, not the right Ukies, of course. Damned shame people can’t just break the law and repent. Nobody expected the inquisition.

  105. Publius Tacitus,
    Reference your comment at #94
    Conceding? When did I ever claim Russian meddling was an act of war? Granted there are far too many in DC who do consider this an act of war, including McCain. However Clapper, Hayden and, as far as I can tell, Brennan never claimed it to be an act of war. It’s not the IC calling for war, it’s the politicians. The IC has been seeing this kind of thing happening in the digital world for twenty years and recognized Russia’s 2016 IO campaign as just the latest advancement in that struggle.
    I don’t doubt your experience in analytical writing. However, that writing style has changed since your time. That 2017 ICA includes an explanation of how that language changed over the last ten years.

  106. TTG,
    Is Eric Holder good enough for you?
    “Former attorney general Eric Holder on Tuesday compared Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.”
    Yes. I’m glad you made it clear that you did not buy into this horseshit. However, you have far too much experience to push the meme that Russia did something extraordinary or unusual in 2016. Russian and Soviet IO operations–both overt and covert–have been around for 80 years. WTF!!!!
    And changes to the writing style (which I still have access to) reflects sloppy thinking and piss poor leadership. I’m not interested in your opinion if I am asking you a question, “WHAT DOES THE INTELLIGENCE TELL US?”
    You are flat out wrong in insisting that language such as “WE ASSESS” means the same thing as “WE HAVE MULTIPLE SOURCES THAT INDICATE.”
    You clearly have never actually written anything approaching what this kind of paper is. I have.

  107. Jack says:

    TTG #110
    What exactly is your position with respect to the Russians, the Trump campaign and the elections? I am confused by your many comments on this general topic. Is your position that the Russians ran a social media trolling operation but it had no impact on the election or it is too hard to know what impact it had?
    I’m no intelligence agency operative like you were. All I see as a lay person is all kinds of charges from Brennan, Clapper. et al and a hysterical media and it is not clear what the real allegations are, let alone the evidence. What did the Russians do? And how does it compare to what Israel, Britain, the Saudis and others do to influence our elections?
    Col. Lang has noted that our IC do try to influence elections in other countries including Russia. Do we use other methods compared to what the Russians allegedly used in ours?
    What is your position on the Clinton funded Steele dossier and the role of Fusion GPS in paying Russian sources for dirt on Trump and then laundering the dossier content to media outlets and law enforcement to obtain surveillance warrants on Trump campaign?
    My impression right now is that the Russians and many others including domestic interest groups did some trolling as it is so easy. Consequently the noise in the media channel is so high to render any thing useless. The trolling is much less influential than the big money from Israeli & Saudi interests to directly buy access to and influence key people in power.

  108. Publius Tacitus,
    Eric Holder is not the IC. He’s just one among many politicians who have waived the bloody shirt over this. Those within the IC going back for fifteen years or so know this is not the boldest thing the Russians have done in the digital realm. The 2016 IO effort, however, was extraordinary in its brilliant and elegant exploitation of modern social media, AI and human behavior. It follows from past Soviet and Russian efforts in information confrontation, but this was impressive in its ingenuity.
    We’ll just have to disagree about current estimative language. I’ve provided input and review of DIA analytical products going to the White House only about a dozen times within the last ten years. Those products used the “we assess” and “our judgement is” while citing specific multiple HUMINT and SIGINT sources. It’s just the way they write now.

  109. Tidewater says:

    So you’re Irish? Galician? Bagpipes? I heard a man playing the bagpipe at a small train station going up to Santiago de Campostella many years ago. But I have never seen bagpipes incorporated into modern concert (rock) music! Do you like bagpipes?
    Thank you for your videos.
    Che was basically Irish, wasn’t he?

  110. TTG,
    Shame on you. Eric Holder, as Attorney General, sat on the NSC and the FBI, which is part of the IC, was under his control. So don’t pretend that he is just some hack politician. That is total Bullshit.
    And you cite the Russian IO effort as “brilliant.” Please, astound us with your explanation of this brilliance. The only Russians indicted by Mueller had no connection with the Russian Government. Is this the kind of sharp, hard hitting analysis you did while on the job? What a joke.
    I would also note that the analysis you cite, by your own admission, may have used sloppy language like, WE ASSESS, but also included, and I’m quoting you, “CITING MULTIPLE HUMINT AND SIGINT SOURCES.”
    The Clapper crap offered up to the American people does not cite a single source. Not ONE!!
    I know from a friend still on the inside that the reason no sources were cited is because THERE ARE NO SOURCES. We’re dealing with an intelligence community acting without intelligence.

  111. Jack,
    You may be a “lay person” but your instincts are spot on. Excellent questions. I can’t wait to see if TTG has the stones to answer.

  112. jld says:

    Show off!

  113. johnf says:

    What I find particularly interesting about this article is how Lee Smith traces the origins of the link up between reporters and the IC in Washington which led in time to Russia-gate”
    “With the rise of the internet and social media, and the resulting collapse of print advertising, it was no longer necessary for the media to mass so close to New York City ad firms. Surviving old-media outlets and their new-media cousins moved much of their operations to Washington, which offered one-stop shopping for “national” stories. Having insulated itself from the 2008 economic collapse, the capital thrived. Ambitious and inexperienced young journalists flocked to where the jobs were, staffing startup news and social media operations—which were often simply partisan war rooms that produced and solicited opposition research—just in time to cover Obama’s historic presidency.
    For those like Gessen, Cohen, Lears, and others on the left who don’t understand how and when American journalists got in bed with the country’s spies, it started several years before Trump or Russiagate. It was while reporting on the Obama administration that the press came to rely on the White House’s political operatives, including intelligence officials, for sources and stories about American foreign policy.”
    In other words it was the lies which were needed to cover Obama (and Clinton’s) campaigns in Libya and Syria which first led to the fateful marriage between reporters and the IC. They became one and the same lie machine that has produced Russia-gate.

  114. J says:

    Colonel, PT, TTG,
    So to the bottom line, how does one clean house and get the IC back on track with doing what the American Citizenry are paying them for, the protection of the Nation, not political intrigues.
    Why Trump didn’t/doesn’t shut down well over half of them, consolidating their resources under DIA’s control, I’ll never understand.
    The CIA has violated their charter, shut them down.
    The Office of Naval Intelligence is too ingrained IMO with what is referred to as the ‘Deep State’, shut them down.
    NSA uses USSID18 as their toilet paper, shut them down.

  115. turcopolier says:

    It does seem to be true that DIA was not involved in a lot of these shenanigans because they wouldn’t play ball. pl

  116. LeaNder says:

    TTG, I was puzzled by that, close to ask PT. But I tried to put myself on babbling alert:
    And now concerning the unemotional use of “we assess” in the 2017 ICA rather than the breathless declarations made in the 2002 NIE used to justify the Bush/Cheney war on Iraq, there was no need for that emphatic,
    Would it make sense to go back and look into references to that event in this comment section? Would it help to find out why it surfaced in PT’s response? Did comments come from sections that PT may have feel are antagonist, or belong to the “Cultural Marxist” camp?
    Anyway, I should walk around my neighborhood more. Yesterday i discovered a new restaurant in what earlier was a small computer shop, good to know it’s gone, selling organic burgers noe. They call themselves “Marx and Engels, the Burger Society.” …
    But, be so kind and help me out:RFE/RL????

  117. Fred says:

    Jack @102,
    So the Democrats, not having any elected officials in the district willing to run for congress against an incumbent have let the DNC – you know, the people that rigged the presidential primary – pick someone they deem worthy to run for Michigan’s 8th congressional district. A person who spent decades out of the district, the latter part of that in D.C.? But she’s a woman! Yeah, who could have seen that coming. There are two things in her favor – one is that her opponent is Mike Bishop, the second is that the establishment will spend money on her early.
    The Democratic party as an organization tried this at least once before in Michigan, back in 2006. The democratic candidate wasn’t a career DC establishment person though it did force a very expensive and nasty campaign that the demcorats lost badly. This year it looks to be a campaign that repeats the methods of the professional political science playbook as taught on college campuses across the country.

  118. Lefty says:

    johnf @125
    It goes back further, much further, than Obama. A simple example from this millennium is the decision of the US media after 9/11 that they needed to be loyal supporters of the Gov’t and country. Their abandonment of an adversarial press role and embrace of patriotic stenography was a profound change and a perfect vehicle for IC propaganda. Think WMDs as the easiest example.
    You can go back to the prior millennium (at least to the ’30s) chasing leaks and their publication in Washington. D.C. is a small town in many ways, and the association between spooks and the press is frequent and sometimes casual. The Times and WSJ may have had a corner on the financial markets in NYC, but the Wash Post has been the historic conduit for Federal leaks and axe grinding. That has been and is thoroughly bi-partisan.
    The idea that it arose with Obama/Clinton over Libya/Syria is risible.

  119. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Castros are Galicians.

  120. J says:

    If it were up to me, I would be indicting and trying a number of personas within the IC for their Sedition, and upon their convictions, park their asses in permanent cells at Gitmo.
    Sedition by members of the IC is a bigger enemy to our nation than Al-Qaeda/ISIS ever thought about. The Sedition shadow government enemy within needs to be dealt with in harsh terms.

  121. fanto says:

    your professed ancestry along with bag pipes ,are common to several celtic tribes, look up Wiki – in case you were not aware of that, Tidewater does not need to make connection to Irish for that.ämme

  122. JW says:

    Also hats off to the thirteen Russians, including the chef, who appeared to have countered the near hysterical continuous support for Clinton that was provided by the print and electronic media.

  123. JW says:

    Re #127; ‘It does seem to be true that DIA was not involved in a lot of these shenanigans because they wouldn’t play ball. pl’
    Unless those who were included had clear unique interests that lead to their participation, I’d suggest that there was a range of enthusiasm across the list, and that the inclusion of some was after much internal dissent and negotiation which may limit their participation in the future shenanigans which are sure to occur.

  124. Anna says:

    There is something very curious re the alleged Russian success at dividing and influencing American electorate: No one has suggested the ways to alleviate the fragility of the US system that, allegedly, folded due to the “elegant” comments and posts on social media. How come that Russians were so elegantly successful with so few evidence to show: “Facebook: Russians spent $100,000 on ads during 2016 election”
    “…56 percent of the “ad impressions” (the number of times someone actually saw the ad) were after the US presidential election on November. … 10 million Americans saw the ads, but if only 44 percent of the impressions came before the election then that means only 4.4 million Americans saw the ads before the election…
    — Should we cry or laugh over the stats? Russians spent $100,000 on ads during 2016 election. Compare to this: “Hillary Clinton spent almost $1.2 billion on her campaign. She spent $172 million on the primary season alone, or 1,720 times as much as the IRA did over a two-year period.”
    An impossible proposition for “Dave” and like: Perhaps the US just elected Donald Trump all by itself.
    How about the US heath (un)care system, student debt, national debt, unjust wars…. What if the US electorate is not blind and deaf and has a common sense to see the corruption-eaten governing system? What if the system has been generating the division and discontent by itself? For instance:

  125. Anna says:

    “Russian influence” via Tel Aviv.
    “Israel is in the process of plunging America into a war with Iran that could destroy what’s left of the Middle East and ignite a third world war, warned Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell… Wilkerson explained that Israel is headed toward “a massive confrontation with the various powers arrayed against it, a confrontation that will suck America in and perhaps terminate the experiment that is Israel and do irreparable damage to the empire that America has become.” … One of the principal antagonists begging for a war with Iran that Wilkerson identified was none other than Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Russian-born Defense Minister.”
    —What would “Dave” say?

  126. Tidewater says:

    You know you just might be a redneck… When your last words are: “Watch this!”
    “My name is Bocephus.”
    The Gallego band was not at all familiar. What they accomplished was remarkable. It was beautiful. The flute music was also very Irish. Of course, that may be their thing… They also had a tremendous dignity. There really must be something to this Celto-Iberian thing.
    Santiago de Compostella is not spelled the way I spelled it. It was still something for me when I heard that bagpipe music.

  127. Jack, you took the time to formulate some well expressed observations and questions in your comment at #118. I’ll offer you answers in the same vein. It’s best to start with my words from December 2016.
    “As many of you know, I am convinced that all this was the result of a well planned and executed information operation undertaken by the Russian government. I’ve spent a decade working in and around this type of thing and can recognize an elegant information operation when I see one. And elegant it was. No drone assassinations. No extrajudicial kidnappings and imprisonments. No arming of terrorists. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, you magnificent bastard, I salute you.”
    “What I don’t know is the true objective of this operation. Was it to defeat Clinton and elect Trump? Was it to destroy confidence and increase doubt in our political system and/or media? Perhaps it was it something else altogether. One’s answers to these questions seems totally dependent on one’s political inclinations. Since there are so many other factors that brought about our present situation, I doubt we’ll ever know the true motives behind this information operation. Nor will we know its true effectiveness or ineffectiveness. But one thing I can assure all of you, it’s happening, baby.”
    Since I penned those words, some of those unknowns have been filled in. I am generally in agreement with the January 2017 ICA concerning the objectives of the Russian operation. Judging by the collection of media coming from the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and other Russian sources assembled by @UsHadrons and other researchers, I feel the primary Russian goal was to exacerbate the divisions that already exist in our society and undermine our faith in the electoral process and public institutions, no matter who won the election. They did not want to see a Clinton administration with anything resembling a popular mandate. I also think they were happy to see a weakened and divided America under a Trump administration. I do not think the Russians see Trump as their man.
    This Russian IO was comprised of several well integrated sub-operations. Russian hackers obtained data from the DNC, the DCCC and Podesta’s Gmail account. There was nothing especially alarming in that. Russian and Chinese hackers have been looting our government, contractor and private institution information systems for two decades. The connection between those hackers and their governments is well established in the IC. I helped establish that fact by penetrating those connections. In this case, the contents of those hacks were publicly exposed to specifically damage Clinton’s campaign and to exacerbate societal divisions. This tactic isn’t new, either. They’ve done the same thing to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
    The main operation in this Russian IO campaign was the use of digital media in a broad perception management or influence effort… this includes the “shit posting of dank memes” ostensibly produced by native US partisan groups. The planting of fake articles and organizing of actual protests were also part of this operation. This was aided by AI assisted analysis of big data and micro-targeting… techniques borrowed from the best of the advertising world. It took full advantage of the power and algorithmic quirks of platforms like FaceBook, twitter and Snapchat. None of that was illegal as far as I know. It may have violated the terms of service of those platforms, but perhaps not. All this was done on the cheap. It was far cheaper than the ham handed, five billion dollar over ten year effort to change the Ukrainian government that Nuland publicly touted. And unlike our Ukrainian meddling, the Russian meddling was bloodless.
    Did this broad influence operation affect the outcome of the election? I don’t know. As I said last year, I don’t think this can be measured or isolated from all other factors that affected the vote. Clinton’s campaign and message was uninspiring to say the least. Brad Parscale made the same smart use of modern media platforms, AI assisted message construction and micro-targeting as the Russians. Both operations were aimed at voter suppression as well as getting out the vote. But I see no proof that these digital operations were coordinated. I am curious to see what comes of Mueller’s investigation of the Alfa Bank – Trump Tower – Spectrum Health server connections. Those connections were the subject of an approved FISA collection operation. There have been some interesting speculation on what that traffic meant. However, it’s just unproven speculation at this time.
    So, was it effective? Practitioners of these influence techniques since the days of Vance Packard’s “Hidden Persuaders” swear it works. Advertisers and political campaigners spend millions on the believe that it works. Based on this, but without any measurements or means to obtain those measurements, I do think this aspect of the Russian IO campaign was effective, even if it did not change the outcome of the election.
    I also want to add that there is zero evidence of any vote tampering. Without that, the integrity of our electoral system was maintained. The election was valid. Trump is President of the US. Any claim to the contrary is just silly… unless you want to claim that Charlton Heston is still your president.
    Did Trump or anyone in the Trump campaign know what the Russians were doing or did anyone knowingly participate in a “conspiracy against the United States” with the Russians? I never considered that question a year ago. Hell, a year ago Trump swore neither he or anyone in his campaign had any meetings or dealings with Russians. In the light of those denials, the Buzzfeed publication of the Steele dossier looked like pure bullshit. Too bad those blanket denials didn’t age well. Trump and his cronies are their own worst enemies with those early denials as they were easily proved wrong. Yes they dealt with Russians. So what. Granted some of those dealings may be sketchy. Some of them may even be illegal, but that’s not very likely to be conspiracy against the United States. I have little doubt Russian Intelligence targeted some of these dudes, just like they targeted Carter Page. It’s not a crime to be targeted by a foreign intelligence service.
    The Steele dossier was a series of raw intelligence reports from second and third hand sources. If Steele didn’t have an established track record of reporting reliably in the past, I doubt the FBI would have taken any of it seriously. The public, on the other hand, lapped it up without question, especially the pee pee tape. That particular report strikes me as a piece of folklore gossip among the hotel staff. However, given the recent information about the Playboy bunny and the porn star, who knows. As far as I can tell, Fusion GPS never paid Steele’s sources since Steele didn’t pay his sources either. Also, Fusion GPS was not too enthusiastic about Steele’s passing his reports directly to the FBI. The Fusion GPS role in the relationship between Steele and the FBI is minimal at best. Steele has maintained one of his sources was a member of Trump’s campaign staff. I would think that source was identified to the FBI and was critical to the asset validation process.
    You are quite right in noting that interfering in foreign elections is widely practiced. According to Wikipedia, the US and USSR/Russia interfered in 117 foreign elections from 1946 to 2000. The US was responsible for interfering more than twice as often as the USSR/Russia. We are clearly not standing on any moral high ground. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore the most recent Russian targeting of our election. We should be given a full explanation of what was done and ensure steps are taken to prevent a reoccurrence in future election. Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules have to catch up with advances in media. A lot of those “dank memes” would lose their effectiveness if they were marked “content created by the Internet Research Agency of Saint Petersburg, Russia.”
    I am hoping that a full investigation of this Russian IO campaign will breath life into a fuller investigation of interference in our political process by other countries and entities like Israel and AIPAC. FARA and charges of conspiracy against the US could be powerful weapons against such interference if the DOJ can be empowered into actually using those tools. It’s a long shot, but if we can’t see this investigation through, the chances of addressing all other outside influences on our system are nil.

  128. LeaNder,
    Reference your comment at #128
    RFE/RL is Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

  129. Anna,
    Reference your comment at #138
    You and the Face Book lawyers are trying to minimize the Russian effort. Paid ads are the bulk of the content. Fake FaceBook pages, twitter accounts, web sites and contributed articles, all posting prolifically are what made up the bulk of the persuasion campaign. Here’s a sampling.

  130. Anna, I meant to say FaceBook ads were NOT the bulk of the content.

  131. Tidewater says:

    “As far as I can tell, Fusion GPS never paid Steele’s sources since Steele didn’t pay his sources either.” According to the Jane Mayer’s New Yorker article (March 12, 2018)– “Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Trump Dossier–How the ex-spy tried to warn the world about Trump’s ties to Russia”, Steele and his partner Christopher Burrows did indeed pay their sources, which I would have expected, by the way. (Of course, one needs to take Burrows’ statements with a grain of salt.)
    “Burrows said that although the company has fewer than ten full-time employees, “we’re a small group but we manage an enormous ship.” To serve its clients, Orbis employs dozens of confidential “collectors” around the world, whom it pays as contract associates. Some of the collectors are private investigators at smaller firms; others are investigative reporters or highly placed experts in strategically useful jobs. Depending on the task and the length of engagement, the fee for collectors can be as much as two thousand dollars a day. The collectors harvest intelligence from a much larger network of unpaid sources, some of whom don’t even realize they are being treated as informants. These sources occasionally receive favors–such as help in getting their children into Western schools–but money doesn’t change hands, because it could risk violating laws against, say, bribing government officials or insider trading. Paying sources might also encourage them to embellish.”
    Also: referring to your comment that “the Steele dossier was a series of raw intelligence reports from second and third hand sources.” Rowan Scarborough, writing for the Washington Times on Wednesday, December 20, 2017, (“Faced with libel lawsuit, dossier drafter Christopher Steele hedges on linking Trump to Russia.”), evaluates the dossier as the court might see it. “Now that Mr. Steele must defend those charges in a London courtroom, his confidence level has shifted down several notches.
    “In the dossier, he stated without reservation that an “extensive conspiracy between Trump’s campaign team and the Kremlin existed.
    “He wrote that Mr. Trump, as a hotel builder and entrepreneur, engaged in an eight–year partnership with Russian intelligence dating back long before his presidential campaign, during which both sides traded information.”
    Steele’s answer through his attorney to the legal team of Aleksej Gubarev about the charges of “collusion” (and by the way, there is no such charge in the Federal Code) was that the intelligence he had gathered was “limited.” The question of coordination of Trump’s team and the Russian government officials was described thus: “The briefings involved the disclosure of limited intelligence regarding indications of Russian interference in the U.S. election process and the possible coordination of the Trump campaign team and Russian government officials.”
    Steele, the paid F.B.I. source, stated that he briefed some six different news organizations, among them the New Yorker! This is prior to the information being released.
    Steele said that he told the journalists that they could not quote his research. The information that he provided would not be published or attributed. The December memorandum was not verified. It was merely “raw intelligence.” It merited further study. He never authorized the disclosure of his memos.
    As I see it, this conflicts considerably with what first came out. I think you can fairly say that Steele has changed his story.
    The lawsuit is about Steele’s sources making accusations that Gubarev’s company, XBT Holdings, had hacked the Democratic computers in 2016 with spyware and porn. The assessment of damages to XBT Holdings has been estimated at between sixty million and one hundred and seventy million dollars by damages expert Jeff Anderson. Anderson previously provided estimates of damages done to Hulk Hogan by Gawker. Gawker went bankrupt and Hogan was awarded thirty-one millions dollars from liquidation assets in December of 2016.
    I think Gubarev could end up owning Buzzfeed. It is my understanding that Steele has already folded Orbis. The company no longer exists.

  132. Tidewater says:

    It looks like Chawton Holdings is simply a second company established by Steele and his partners. I am wrong that Orbis has been shut down. Orbis Business Intelligence continues to be an ongoing enterprise based in London.
    Chawton is a reference to the red-brick house on her brother’s estate in Hampshire (now a museum) where Jane Austen lived from 1809-1817 and wrote some of her finest works. I cannot help thinking that Chawton must be some kind of a backup when it all comes down on Orbis.

  133. turcopolier says:

    roy greene
    Well, good buddy, they were bidness hustlers lookin’ to make a buck or two in Russia and such folk lie about the hustle. pl

  134. turcopolier says:

    roy greene
    I did and will continue to do so if you attempt to post hostile left wing propaganda. pl

  135. turcopolier says:

    roy greene
    Correction. I had not deleted it. i had not gotten around to looking at it, but now I have deleted it. pl

  136. Binky Koch says:

    Because the first thing intelligence agencies should do is spill the beans to some retired army web blogger. Nothing is more important for intelligence agencies than to assert their credibility by telling the world what they know and how they know it. I’m sure there would be no repercussions from that.

  137. turcopolier says:

    Binky koch
    I am not Publius Tacitus. pl

  138. Tidewater says:

    Isn’t that exactly what happened? Except that the bloggers came later. Some of these retired (or not retired) intelligence professionals could ‘read’ the language, understand it, become alarmed, and begin to speak out, true to their oath, like… why… like old Romans! 🙂 They deserve your Thanks and not your Bitter.
    But it began with Buzzfeed, didn’t it? Surely Steele would know that all his American masters needed him for, were going to use him and his shabby ‘dossier’ for, was three or four FISA warrants. Didn’t someone clue him in? And how could he not understand that it had to be used discreetly and then be made to disappear into an archive of secret discards? How did it come to pass that Steele would want so much more? I think there is room to use one’s imagination here. Had someone gotten to Christopher Steele? Someone who made him think he was an historically important figure, a man in the very pivot of history? Does Steele need psychiatric evaluation? Is he some kind of paranoid? Was he somehow depressed that his entire career had been a kind of a waste? Everything he did raises the question, WHY? Was there some Russian Svengali? A woman? Seriously. He seems to have lost faith in, or to have not even perceived that he was an important part of a smoothly running conspiracy at the highest levels.

  139. Tomonthebeach says:

    Sorry, not buying any of it, although comments suggest that many readers are practically drunk on this hypothesis. Yes, it sucks that top officials presented no tangible proof. It also sucks that a lot of analysis is statistically far over the heads of the average graduate student, much less Joe Sixpack, Billy the Gamer, and Alex Jones – much less POTUS.
    There is also the reasonable concern that such proof might compromise intelligence sources – as in get them arrested or worse. No fun in that. Then there is the messy business of network analysis which often is undermined at some point before reaching a doorstep in Muskva. But, will people be convinced if 85% land on doorsteps somewhere in Russia or near Russian front businesses globally? Even Judge Jeannie would have no problem in raising doubts.
    Finally, there is the logic test. If the USA has been for decades meddling in elections, overthrowing governments like (idunno, Iran, Iraq, Libya, El Salvador, Nicaragua,…), and has been using radio (RFE) and the internet to create confusion or counter propaganda, would it be rational to assume Russia does not engage in such behaviors? Of course not. As for election meddling by anybody, there is ample information in the mainstream media showing how vulnerable the US electronic election systems are at the state level. Yes, the technology exists to have made Trump the winner in California – but nobody would swallow that, and questions would be raised. Ohio, Pennsylvania? Slamdunk.
    So, you spin a great yarn, but it does not even weave into mittens. Why is my government lying to me, in order to create tensions with Russia? The only beneficiary of that would be outfits like Northrop Grumman and Electric Boat (GD). I doubt that they have as much influence at CIA as they do at DOD.

  140. Jack says:

    TTG #138
    Thank you for your considered response to my questions. As I said I know nothing about intelligence operations. My observations and questions are based on looking at these issues with a common sense lens.
    First, the media efforts in the last election encompassed many channels. There were the networks, cable channels, print media, digital media including social media, paid and unpaid media, GOTV operations, polling, endorsements, yard signs, bumper stickers and so on. There was enormous funding by both major party campaigns and the parties themselves, minor candidates, PACs and other special interest groups. All attempting to influence the American voters each with their own prejudice. In this mix was the Russian information operations along with operations of other foreign entities including the Israelis, Saudis, Chinese etc. By and large the vast majority of these influence operations were against candidate Trump including pretty much the majority of the GOP establishment. We could literally count on one hand the number of top Republicans who openly campaigned for Trump. In this overall context with so much noise in the media channels it would be hard to believe that the Russian information operations could move the needle.
    Second, even if one accepts that the Russianso hacked Podesta’s and the DNC emails they did not disclose anything false. The veracity of those emails have not been disputed. One could say they provided valuable information to the American voter by exposing the truth.
    Third, the Steele dossier is much more murkier and raises many questions. The Clinton campaign contracted Fusion GPS, who in turn contracted Steele. That’s the easy part. Then there is the role of Nellie Ohr who was hired by Fusion GPS and her husband DOJ official Bruce Ohr, who has now been stripped of his former high positions. Then there is the role played by the dossier in obtaining a FISA warrant on Carter Page and the corroboration of the Yahoo story based on a briefing by Steele in the FISA application. Then there is the Russia collusion investigation launched by Comey with FBI Ci agent Peter Strzok. These series of intelligence reports as you characterize elements of the dossier were prepared by whom? Who were the sources and were they paid and by whom? We don’t know the answers to how this dossier was put together, who wrote what element. who and how was it disseminated and to whom? How did the recipients use it? At this point much of it is conjecture. Mueller likely is not looking into it. Maybe the DOJ IG is?

  141. Procopius says:

    There is no way Trump is going to be convicted, and only a small chance he would even be impeached, even if the Democrats manage to get a majority in the House of Representatives next year (well, the election is this year, but they won’t take office until January). Even if the House impeaches him, there is not the remotest chance of getting 67 Senators to vote for conviction. I cannot believe any serious viewer of the political scene thinks otherwise, so any claim that this is their goal is either delusion or a lie covering up some more reprehensible motive.

  142. Tom,
    You put your finger on the key issue–Information operations to influence elections have been employed by both the Soviets (now the Russians) and the United States for at least 75 years. Nothing new there. My fundamental point with respect to the 2016 election is the claim that the Russians were doing something new and unusual and more effective. That is a load of crap.
    We should all be alarmed by the anti-Russian propaganda effort that has been unleashed on the American public over the last 24 months. We have not seen something like this since the McCarthy era. One of the key areas of our anger is Russia’s successful intervention in Syria. Russia has been consistent in its opposition to radical Islam. The United States? Not so much.

  143. blue peacock says:

    PT & TTG
    An important question to ask in the context of the ICA is, can Clapper & Brennan be trusted?
    We know that Clapper is a known perjurer. Is he the leaker that got the Steele dossier rolling in the media to create the media hysteria on “Russia collusion”?
    AG Sessions has claimed that they have 27 leak investigations on going. In some of these leaks only a handful of people at the very highest levels could be the possible leaker(s).
    Does anyone believe that either Clapper or Brennan will be charged and prosecuted for felony violations?

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