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NeoMcCartyism as a smoke screen to hide the crisis of neoliberalism

Election of Trump is the sign of crisis of neoliberal ideology and decadence of US elite; warmongering neocon Hillary was the establishment candidate that was rejected by votes and which represented a grave threat to the US national security

A case study of state-fuelled paranoia designed to provide a smoke screen over crisis of neoliberalism in the USA which led to Trump victory.

News Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Links Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Nation under attack meme Steele dossier Putin-did-it fiasco
Fake news hysteria in US MSM as a method of suppressing dissent against neoliberalism and militarism Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war Media as a weapon of mass deception MSM as fake news industry US and British media are servants of security apparatus Anti Trump Hysteria in MSM Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections? Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool
Pathological Russophobia of the US elite National Security State The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies How FBI swiped under the carpet Hillary Clinton email scandal Trump vs. Deep State Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections Color revolutions "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Conspiracy theory label as a subtle form of censorship Brennan elections machinations Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Two Party System as polyarchy Frustrated underachievers
Conversion of Democratic Party into War Party and Hillary Clinton policy toward Russia History of American False Flag Operations Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism New American Militarism FBI Mayberry Machiavellians PeterStrzok and Strzok-gate Andrew McCabe James Comey role in preventing election of Sanders
Machiavellism Mayberry Machiavellians Neocons Credibility Scam Doublespeak Leo Straus as the godfather of neocons Demonization of Putin Cold War II Predator state Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Diplomacy by deception Obama: a yet another Neocon Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

Introduction

  It is impossible to overstate the stakes involved in the latest controversy over Russia. They involve trillions of dollars in warfare largess to the tens of thousands of bureaucratic warfare-state parasites who are sucking the lifeblood out of the American people.

Jacob G. Hornberger, December 15, 2016

We must remember that in time of war what is said on the enemy’s side of the front is always propaganda, and what is said on our side of the front is truth and righteousness, the cause of humanity and a crusade for peace.

Walter Lippmann

"Trump is somewhat less thrilled with tilting with Russia for the American empire which is as moral as Nero's Rome." And that annoys neocons, including a part of CIA, Pentagon, and a large part of State Department. Dumping Kristol's PNAC crowd will definitely strengthen the republic. But it is not an easy teas as all those national security parasites are well entrenched in Washington, DC. The classic question is "Who, whom ?" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who,_whom%3F

Economist's View   comment

"... The American public is now experiencing mass paranoia that is called Russia-gate. Obnoxious and dangerous as this officially encouraged madness may be, it is, alas, nothing new. As from 9/11, the same kind of group hypnosis was administered from the Nation's Capital on the body politic to serve the then agenda of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, turning back civil liberties that had accrued over generations without so much as a whimper from Congress, our political elites and the country at large. ..."

Gilbert Doctorow

 

While there might be better labels, we will call this new Anti-Russian hysteria neo-McCarthyism, because it is pretty diligent replication of "Red Scare" (which BTW lasted a decade)  in which Communist agents are replaced with "Russian agents" who are everywhere. It might well be a symptom of the USA society getting  a dangerous political auto-immune disease.

This new McCarthyism-style campaign against Russia symbolizes the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA.  A strong and confident ruling class welcomes criticism and is ready to brush it all off with a smile and a shrug. When they start running scared and pretending that the level of dissent is the work of "foreign enemies", well, this is a sign of decadence of elite and profound weakness of neoliberal ideology.  As Professor Cohen noted this is a real threat to the USA national security:

This is unprecedented, preposterous, and dangerous, potentially more so than even Joe McCarthy's search for "Communist" connections. It would suggest, for example, that scores of American corporations doing business in Russia today are engaged in criminal enterprise.

More to the point, advisers to U.S. policy-makers and even media commentators on Russia must have many and various contacts with Russia if they are to understand anything about the dynamics of Kremlin policy-making. I myself, to take an individual example, was an adviser to two (unsuccessful) presidential campaigns, which considered my wide-ranging and longstanding "contacts" with Russia to be an important credential, as did the one sitting president whom I advised.

To suggest that such contacts are in any way criminal is to slur hundreds of reputations and to leave U.S. policy-makers with advisers laden with ideology and no actual expertise. It is also to suggest that any quest for better relations with Russia, or détente, is somehow suspicious, illegitimate, or impossible, as expressed recently by Andrew Weiss in The Wall Street Journal and by The Washington Post , in an editorial . This is one reason why I have, in a previous commentary , argued that Russia-gate and its promoters have become the gravest threat to American national security.

This is  the sign the  US elite is losing the battle of ideas can't find solutions to the US problems. All that really stands between them and a social revolution is a thin veneer of 'authority' and status (as well as 18 intelligence agencies), and that's really not enough anymore. So fueling paranoia is a defensive  move, that allow to shift the focus to "external enemy" and rally the nation under the flag.

Samuel Johnson saying  "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. " can be modified to "McCarthyism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

That why the Russian threat argument is not only popular, but became one of the main "themes" within the MSM and the American political establishment. This witch  hunt is encouraged by foreign governments who, for reasons of self-interest, want to see Washington embroiled in the confrontation (Israel as well as Polish, Baltic and Ukrainian nationalists comes to mind). The result is the construction of the new peril, a process similar to re-construction (actually more realistic, as technology of propaganda improved since 50th) of Red Menace.

This process which  we will call neo-McCarthyism has its own logic and rules.  Red scare was actually greatly beneficial to the USA in 50th as along with crushing of dissent it helped to kept cannibalistic instinct of the US elite in check.  The fear of the USSR prevented looting of middle class  till 1980th. In other word the mere existence of the USSR on the world scene suppressed cannibalistic instinct of the US elite for more than a half the century. That why the post-war period as a the real gold-age period for the US middle class an population in general.  Cannibalistic instincts of the US elite returned only after the collapse of the USSR.  Fueled by ascendance of neoliberalism.

The analogy of "Russiagate" with McCarthy witch hunt in very strong indeed but is incomplete. Here in addition to the attempt to crush the opposition to neoliberal globalization painting tit as Russian stooges and suppress disappointment with neoliberalism by rallying that nation around the flag, there is a distinct smell of color revolution against President Trump.  There are several facts which suggest that employees of CIA, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sympathetic to the neoliberal/globalist wing of Democrat Party (Clinton wing), used the power of their offices and (with the assistance of foreign nationals) tried to influence the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton, first to exonerate her and then obtain information to prevent the election of Donald Trump, to collect "insurance" -- compromising materials on him in case he win, and  after his surprise win, to provide a basis for his impeachment and removal from the Office by forcing on his  administration the Special Prosecutor.

Like in any color revolution the hysteria in MSM plays very important role in demonizing Russian and by extension the current administration. Similar to "Red Menace" witch hunt  opposing to neoliberalism ideas are perceived as a cancer spreading around the globe, undermining the legitimacy of Western values and political systems.  That's why we see frantic attempt to raise anti-Russian sentiments in the USA to this level of nation-wide paranoia ("Russians under  every bed" level) too. To fake it as the "battle of ideas (BTW Russia is just another neoliberal state; it just wants to be less dependent for Washington, not a pitiful vassal like Western Europeans countries) and make it "strategic" confrontation. Russian policies are distorted to the level which make them a caricature completely detached  from the reality. And the assumption the the US President can unilaterally change the USA foreign policy actually is an insult to intelligence.

Under the cover of this hysteria Washington is trying to adopt a long term diplomatic and military strategy of containing Russia; to forge new alliances which might slow down or prevent ascendance of the economic block of Russia and China (with Iran, turkey and India as possible members). And like in  in Orwell 1984 novel to prepare the American people for a never ending struggle of "good and evil".

Neo-McCarthyism undermines the USA security

The problem with the USA neoliberal elite  and neoliberal MSM is that the last thing US neoliberals are interested in  is how the world outside the bubble of "full spectrum dominance" they inhabit after 1980 operates, and their absolutely contempt for 'deplorables', be they Russian, British, Arab or American. This can lead to political misjudgements like invasion of Libya,  and support of jihadists to partition Syria. 

The whole situation with Russia, including but not limited her economy, history, military, culture etc., is not known to those people. And this represent a strong empirical evidence of a complete professional inadequacy of most people populating this neoliberal/neocon  "full spectrum dominance" bubble. Which makes them a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards selling the security of the USA and  balancing on the edge of nuclear war for 20 silver coins for themselves and their  families. Many of the them look like (and most probably are) little men, drunkards, henpecked husbands, or civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives or present to be a stong men in the yeys of thier  mistresses.  Do you think they sit like monks balancing right against wrong in such tricky subject as relations with Russia ? No. Thier approach is simplistick and wrong "Russia is an aurotirarisnce state" so  "Carnage should be destroyed." And they are playing this game for their petty and selfish motive.  Steele dossier attests that in the USA there is a fully formed and influences caste of "national security parasites." The caste that is deeply interested in keeping the heat in Russiagate as it brings them money, influence as well as personal security in their lucrative positions in State Department,  US papers or TV channels at the expense of security of the USA as a country.

The US and British neoliberal MSM now have fallen below any journalistic standard. It is prudent to view them as evil propaganda tools used by rogue elements in the US and British intelligence agencies. They do not have their own opinions. Puppets. All of them.  And as somebody aptly said those overzealous "journalists" like Rachel Madcow  or "analysts" like Max Boot "should be demoted to painting houses, instead of painting Russia black".

That might be just my old age problem, that  that's how I see it ;-)

And as far as I cal tell most of those people are badly educated  by  European standards (I am not talking about worthless formal degrees they hold), they are deeply provincial, and often clueless Mayberry Machiavellians. They actually enjoy their "confirmation bias"  toward Russia (which to me is a modern form of anti-Semitism, displacement of hatred to Jews if you wish, which is so common among Irish Catholics ;-). In a simple human terms I would call them ignorant snobs. That is why this neoliberal academic-political-media "environment" prefers openly anti-Russian "sources" because those "sources" reiterate to them what they want to hear to start with. Thus is classic "Chalabi Moment" reproduced with a quite different, nuclear armed  country and as such much more dangerous.

In case of Iraq it was and  still is a tragedy (that cost life of million or more of Iraqis), but at least the world is relatively safe. With Russia, as I stated many times for years -- they simply have no idea what they are dealing with.  Those guy know how to fight. But they are  briefed by "sources" such as Russian fugitives in London (who buy this way their non-extradition to Russia for their crimes) and are happy to get the confirmation of their biases.  Also they have information form fringe urban Russian fifth column, especially feminists and lesbians (Masha Gessen is a good example here; although even she has now reservations about Russiagate) 

Again, the level of "Russian Studies" in the Anglophone world in general and in the USA in particular is appalling. And this dismal level represents a  "clear and present danger"  since removes or misinterprets crucial information about the only nation in the world which can completely annihilate the USA. And dramatically increases the  danger of a disastrous military confrontation which can easily slide into full scale nuclear war. they are constantly baiting and humiliating Russia, which so far (to be fare to Putin) did not bite the bait. But a more stupid and more nationalistic person can come to power after Putin, kind of Russian Trump.   And then what ?

I would say that US military brass on average is much better aware of Russia and not only in purely military terms.  Current trends in the USA foreign policy (and they are not new) are so  worrisome that, paradoxically, the US military are my only hope.

Some notes on history of the present Neo-McCarthysim compaign

The key reason for this propaganda campaign is that Putin stance on international relations (multi-polar world) is in conflict that neoliberals/neocons idea of the USA full spectrum domination. Also the alliance of China  and Russia represents  geo-political thereat to the neoliberal empire led by USA. And Russia is a weaker link is this fledging alliance with stronger and more numerous fifth column (which in China is much weaker outside Hong Cong). Also Russia is less nationalistic then China and has traditionally strong pro-Europeian faction of the elite which can be used as the fifth column. So logically this is a country which can be attached first. 

Subduing, of better, dismembering of Russia, also cuts an important source of hydrocarbons to China and fully encircles China. And  the idea to appropriate Russian hydrocarbons was the idea fix of the Us neoliberal elite since Clinton. And during "Drunken Yeltsin" presidency they almost succeeded (Khodorkovsky was on the wedge of selling his holdings to the USA when he was arrested), but them this success was partially reversed with the ascendance of Putin. So this McCarthyism campaign and Putin demonization has a stamp on it "Nothing personal, only business."

The problem with such a policy which is consistent for all administration starting with Bush II (probably the first in a long string of former CIA operatives who became the USA presidents) is that Russia is a nuclear armed state and such tactics literally means balancing on the edge of nuclear war. 

The campaign started in late 2013 and early 2014 around the time of Sochi Olympics. After Maydan color revolution in Ukraine Russia was hit with sanctions for not obeying Washington dictat and geo-political interests. But that was only a start. At this time full scale campaign for demonization of President Putin and  successfully associating him with the word "thug" started . In three year this campaign brought pretty amazing result:  over 80% of population is now completely brainwashed and view Putin as evil kleptocrat, who should be deposed by all means possible. While in reality he is just a very moderate Russian nationalist and  pretty talented and reserved politician  who avoids open confrontation with the USA despite constant and un-relenting bating.  This demonization of Putin is one of the most visible successes of neo-McCarthyism campaign in the USA and GB (to lesser extent in France and Germany, as well) 

The next wave stated in 2016. First with the accusation that Kremlin  hacked Hillary Clinton bathroom  server and then it  reached full speed with the attempt to blame DNC hacks on Russians (which now looks like false flag operation by Crowdstrike to to present internal leak as a Russian hack)

The third wave which reached really hysterical pitch started with the election of Trump as "insurance policy" to prevent his cabinet from implementing any measure that can hurt neoliberal globalization and neocon foreign policy.

They are constantly developing new containment policies, new doctrines. The side effect of all this frantic activities is feeding of MIC as well as a group of people, who we call "national security parasites".  This new cadre of Russophobes are recruited mostly from neocons ( "dirty scoundrels of Washington" ) and neoliberal (Clinton) wing of Democratic  Party. There is also a large strata of politicians, who more than willing to exploit this opportunity to feed military industrial complex, such as Senator McCain.  In any case they now constitute the dominant faction of the US elite and dominate the USA foreign policy. So this is another iteration of "Carnage needs to be destroyed" hysteria with a specific for Washington set of cheerleaders and "experts."

Since around  late November 2017 there is some oppostion to this neo-McCarthyism wave. Opposition is much weaker and compaign still proceed at full speed, but certain  elements of Republican Party now oppose this witch hunt, if for purely partisan reasons. And that was clearly demonstrated by recent hearings of the Capitol Hill, especially Rosenstein testimony  before  House Judiciary Committee called over concern about possible bias of Mueller investigation (surprise, surprise).

Who was behind ne "Red Perl" hysteria

The central role in the creation of the new "Red  peril" is played by US intelligence agencies. They word using time tested patterns of war propaganda. Demonization of the enemy is the task number one in this  game. The fueling of this hysteria  usually starts with mysterious "sources" and unnamed "intelligence officials" who leak information, float trial balloons, and warn about the coming threat. Their information is then augmented by colorful intelligence reports that finger exotic cybersecurity threats and retired CIA brass like Michael Morell, John O. Brennan, supported by several other figures from the US intelligence community like old Cold War warrior James Clapper and  neocons in Pentagon such as Ashton Carter (neocons were extremely well represented in Obama administration, starting with Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State):

3 Dec 2014 18:41
Ashton Carter was one of the most extreme of the neocon hawks in the upper levels of the Bush Admin. His specific assignment was to ensure there could never be a "peer competitor" by throwing money at the bleeding cutting edge of weapons technology.

Along the way, he was one of only two senior people openly advocated for a pre-emptive attack on N. Korea. Even Bush thought that was too much, and even Cheney did not support it, but Carter pushed it. One can wonder how a neocon, wife of a leading neocon, came to be in charge in Ukraine, to declaim "f-the-EU" and boast of spending billions to promote this second color revolution, giving cookies to open Nazis along the way.

However, now with Carter we see that the neocons have captured the policy part of the Obama Admin -- it wasn't an accident, it was design that we did that, and now will go back into Iraq, attack Syria, and attack Iran.

Anti-Russia stories are instantly get the front coverage in NYT, WaPo and other prominent neoliberal publications as well as neoliberal channels sympathetic to Democrats (CNN, MSNBC, CBS). Journalists then search for the people named by those leaks. This part of media (which remains under control of 5 corporation and CIA) forms an informal coalition with the sources within the US intelligence agances and plays important role in fueling color revolution against President Trump.

This process actually was very similar to creation of Green Peril  after the collapse of the USSR, which proved to be self-fulfilling prophecy and culminated in 9/11 (see, for example, https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/green-peril-creating-islamic-fundamentalist-threat The "Green Peril": Creating the Islamic Fundamentalist Threat By Leon T. Hadar August 27, 1992)

In addition, think tanks launch another "frontal propaganda attack" producing all kind of position papers, op-ed pieces, interviews, and such which adds momentum to the official spin. Their publication is followed by congressional hearings, policy conferences, and public press briefings. A governmental policy debate ensues, producing studies, working papers, and eventually doctrines and policies that become part of the media's spin. The new villain is now ready to be integrated into the popular culture to help to mobilize public support for a new crusade. In the case of the Russian threat this process has been under way for more then a year. The current anti-Russian witch hunt in the media was started by Hillary campaign in early 2016 as a smoke screen to shadow weakness of their candidate.

The Democratic Party nomenklatura is embarked on a massive media campaign to divert and reframe the election issues away from the economic and inequality concerns expressed by the Sanders campaign. No to "break up the banks", no to "free public college", no to "Medicare for all", no campaign funding reform. Now it reached the intensity of a new "Red Scare" hysteria of McCarthyism years. What is interesting is the propaganda behaves exactly like brainwashing in high demand cult -- they do not care if it is true of not -- they just force feed you with it until you internalize it (which is the definition of being brainwashed). 

MSM role in the witch hunt

Official narrative dominates MSM and is endlessly repeated (http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/13/why-ridiculous-official-propaganda-still-works/):

The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an “official narrative” that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense, or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. Its factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between “the truth” as defined by the ruling classes and any other “truth” that contradicts their narrative.

The current “Russian hacking” hysteria is a perfect example of how this works. No one aside from total morons actually believes this official narrative (the substance of which is beyond ridiculous), not even the stooges selling it to us. This, however, is not a problem, because it isn’t intended to be believed … it is intended to be accepted and repeated, more or less like religious dogma.

If Russian hackers did not exist, it would be necessary for the CIA to invent them via some kind of false operation.  As long as the neoliberal empire's geopolitical agenda of putting Russia in its place is thereby advanced, the truth of the allegations is irrelevant. And they skillfully played the fact that nobody wants any foreign power influencing a US election. But along with Russia there were definitely other players with strong interest in particular outcome and wast capabilities in this area. For example, Israel, GB, KSA, Iran, China, Pakistan, and India. To name just a few. They probably should be investigated with the same vigor (How the Israel Lobby Works - The Unz Review):

norman ravitch June 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm GMT
The unholy alliance of Evangelicals and Zionists dominates our foreign policy in the Middle East. The first group has fantastic notions from the Books of Revelations and Daniel about the coming war between good and evil. The second group, whose ideology is based on integral nationalism which easily metasthesizes into Fascism, cares nothing about US interests.

It is not the first time that groups in American favor anti-American policies in favor of another country; think only of pro-IRA politicians in the Northeast, beginning with Congressman Peter King. But it is time to reject the irrationality of Evangelicals and Zionists and strive for an American foreign policy. Israel should be no more no less important to us than, say, Finland.

laurais says: June 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm GMT

We hear constantly of the power of the so-called Jewish Lobby, but no one ever explains how and why the Lobby has dome to have such power.

If this Lobby weren’t useful to interests that transcend and ultimately have little to do with Jewish/Israeli interests, few politicians would pay the Lobby any mind. Geopolitically, Israel is a useful tool of global elites. If the Israeli government were to make serious peace overtures to the Palestinian factions and if these factions were to respond favorably, any peace effort would be nipped in the bud by those who have a strong interest in keeping these entities from cooperating with one another. Many Israelis know this. In fact, their alternative media shout it from the rooftops.

How the Israel Lobby Works | Council for the National Interest says: June 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm GMT 

[…] The major organizations that comprise the Israel Lobby are well known: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and Christians United For Israel (CUFI). All are well known, benefiting from large budgets and staffs. They are extremely effective, having excellent access to politicians and the media to promote their points of view, and are, as a group, regular visitors to the White House. AIPAC is without doubt the most powerful lobby in the United States that is focused on a foreign policy issue. […] 

Painting Russia as the principal US enemy was a typical neoliberal elites trick that help them to push for the New World Order

Painting Russia as the principal US enemy was a typical neoliberal elites trick that help them to push for the New World Order (the US led global neoliberal empire, which is way resembles the dream of Trotsky about "World Revolution" which would create "World Communist State"). And it is not the first time they use intelligence agencies as their propaganda machine. The fake news chant is just an addition to the anti-Russian BS. The goal like with original McCarthyism is to delegitimize any voice other than neocon war mongers (original McCarthyism also probably served as a smoke screen to hide large influx of specialists from Nazi Germany in the US. switch the public attention to "communists infiltrators"; communism as an ideology was dead after 1945, when soviet solders saw the standard of living of common folks in "capitalist" Central and Western Europe; it took another 45 years for it to collapse this quasi-religious society aka theocrathy called the USSR ). 

Yellowcake was probably the most well know recent case of fake news propagated by US government, the company of mass disinformation of American people for nefarious ends.  If involved  a prominent US neocon Michael Ledeen (the author of Ledeen doctrine "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business"):

Yellowcake forgery allegations[edit]

Main article: Niger uranium forgeries

According to a September 2004 article by Joshua Micah Marshall, Laura Rozen, and Paul Glastris in Washington Monthly:[10]

"The first meeting occurred in Rome in December, 2001. It included Franklin, Rhode, and another American, the neoconservative writer and operative Michael Ledeen, who organized the meeting. (According to UPI, Ledeen was then working for Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith as a consultant.) Also in attendance was Ghorbanifar and a number of other Iranians."
... ... ...
Regarding the "pre-emptive" invasion of Iraq, in 2002 Ledeen criticized the views of former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, writing:[12]
He fears that if we attack Iraq "I think we could have an explosion in the Middle East. It could turn the whole region into a cauldron and destroy the War on Terror."
One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please. If ever there were a region that richly deserved being cauldronized, it is the Middle East today. If we wage the war effectively, we will bring down the terror regimes in Iraq, Iran, and Syria, and either bring down the Saudi monarchy or force it to abandon its global assembly line to indoctrinate young terrorists.
That's our mission in the war against terror.

This whole "Russian hacking" storyline looks so infantile that it is demeaning to the dignity of the United States.  If would be especially funny if this Russiagate operation was hatched in CIA, or Israel or some other state, as a false flag. another question here is: "Is the United States the victim of an unprovoked cyber and media attack by Russia, or are the chickens coming home to roost after Washington’s own promotion of such activity worldwide?" What was the role of the USA in Russia presidential elections of 2011-2012 after which Ambassador McFaul left the country and NED was expelled?

Field Marshall Montgomery said that the first rule of war is "Don't march on Moscow". But those who rule America ignore the wise. Russia is a peaceful and friendly nation, but its elite does although converted to neoliberalism does not want vassal status (and Russia briefly was the vassal of the USA  under Yeltsin.)

We had the Russian hacking accusations for for over a year ( stemming mainly from Hillary campaign operatives),  but in 2017 they reached fervent pitch.  The globalists and Democratic Party nomenklatura launched massive media campaign to divert and reframe the election issues to save Clinton clan skin after election fiasco. This campaign is designed to distract the population and specifically democratic electorate away from the economic and inequality concerns expressed by the Sanders campaign and prevent shedding Clinton nomenklarura to the dustbin of history. Clinton clan want to preserver their power over Democratic Party at all costs, even war with Russia is a the right price for them. 

During Hillary campaign those accusations served as a shrewd deflection maneuver which helped to swipe her "private email server" and "DNC corruption scandal" under the carpet. "Look, its Russians, who brought you those news. They are evil. Dismiss them" was the message.

Now this is amplified by the reaction of neocon lobby and other "national security parasites" (the  fastest growing part of the US military industrial complex with annual budget over 66 billions) to the new, less comfortable for them, political reality. In which some of their current lucrative positions in national security establishment and as MIC lobbyists might no longer be available.  thee are jointed the gorwing part of the US elite which directly depends on the existence of global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  The fear (proved to be unfounded, like it was the case with Obama ;-) initially was that this "change we can believe in", if implemented by Trump, also signifies career end of many prominent neocons such as Victoria Nuland in State Department, or Ashton B. Carter  in Pentagon.

In both cases this is a smoke screen to distract voters from the real problems facing the neoliberalism in USA and the rejection of neoliberal globalization by the US population. The rejection of Hillary is tied to the fact that the American people are finally becoming sick and tired of rampant militarism (aka New American Militarism, as Professor Bacevich called it) with the costs in people lives and treasure.  In this sense for some in Washington, the new Cold War looks like a viable solution of problems that the USA faces now. Nothing personal, just business, Mr. Putin (The Unz Review):

In our recent history, however, the most dangerous moment of all may have been one of next to no fears, only of expectations for the glories of an all-American world. I’m thinking of the years TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich, author of America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History, returns to today, the ones after the Berlin Wall was first breeched and the Soviet Union, that “evil empire” of Cold War fame, simply vanished, leaving behind only… well, us.

That was the moment when the political and intellectual elite who had fought the Cold War and the corporate elite, including the warrior corporations of the military-industrial complex who had risen to power and fortune inside it, were suddenly staggered to discover that there seemed to be no one left to oppose them, nothing to stop them from doing their damnedest.

They no longer support the neocon attempt to create global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  They want to solve domestic problems first and especially the problem of unemployment, which became rampant under neoliberalism. While "Obama recovery created some jobs", it produced mostly McJobs in the service sector as well as "perma-temp" --  contractor jobs without benefits and health insurance within the USA, while continuing shipping previous highly paid permanent jobs to other countries. this is how IT was outsourced (with disastrous results, which are swiped under the carpet as the top brass does not care about negative consequences,  as long as annual bonuses increase or at least stay the same). 

The USA needs to find the way out of the hole, which neoliberals dug for the majority of the US population

The real problem that the country faces is that neoliberalism (aka Trotskyism for the rich) after around 40 years of world dominance, like Bolshevism previously,  had run its course. Ideology was discredited by events of 2008 but neoliberal state is still strong (but without viable ideology it is like a zombie, equally bloodthirsty and dangerous).

The USA needs to find the way out of the hole, which neoliberals dug for the majority of the US population.  the election of Trump signifies among other thing, that people reject status quo.  May we need be to restore major parts of New Deal (neo New Deal).   After 2008, neoliberal rationality is suspect and there is a strong blowback against continuation of neoliberal globalization which demonstrated itself in Brexitelection of Trump, and Renzi defeat in Italian referendum, which is huge win for EuroSkeptics.  This disillusionment with the neoliberalism is very deep for at least lower 80% of the US population.

There is no realistic way to establish where hacks came from after the fact, unless NSA did it when the hack occurred due to multiple levels of indirection via zombie computers in various countries. There are botnets, which are definitely assessable to many hackers with thousands, if not millions of computers in them.

All those insinuations that are published are really low level rumors reflecting the agenda of interested parties, as well as attempts to deceive gullible public. They do not look convincing and many security professionals provided devastating critique of their content and implied methodology (mainly IP space based).

Unless you understand that there is a larger agenda behind all this propaganda campaign, this level of concentration of MSM hype on Russians looks strange,  as if other pretty capable players (including some agencies in the USA and Israel, the supposed countries of origin for Flame and Stuxnet).

Moreover Hillary (and, especially, Bill) did not inspire much love in a lot of people, including probably some people within NSA. 

Also the hypothesis that this is a hack, not a leak is rather weak and was refute by research by Intelligence  professionals for sanity.  The death of one of DNC staffer also was pretty suspicious and might be connected with the case. There was no open investigation whether the death was connected with the leaks of DNC emails to Wikileaks, but Seth Rich was definitely was in position to be a source the leak.

The fact the DNC computer security level (like Hillary personal email server) was dismal is well established -- they simply did not pay the necessary amount of money to people and for the equipment to create a secure (even by weak standards of NIST guidelines)  infrastructure for running the campaign. They were operating mostly as a regular non-profit IT-wise. And that's while spending over billion bucks on Hillary campaign. If someone is that stupid, he/she needs to face consequences.

And if you can't prove something it is better to shut up, not to incite anti-Russian hysteria to shade unpleasant facts revealed, Among them the fact that DNC was a part of Hillary campaign and essentially had thrown Sanders under the bus.

And BTW the US government did tried to interfere in Russian Presidential election in 2011-2012. At least one US NGO (National Endowment for Democracy - NED ) was kicked out the country after the elections exactly for this activity.

McCarthyism as political auto-immune disease

Each state has the right to defend itself from attempt to destabilize it, especially by external forces, which can guide internal fifth column (in case of neoliberal it is neoliberal fifth column and the type of government destabilization used is known as color revolutions). In a typical color revolution scenario their are set of efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the government.  The USA was one of the first recognizing this threat at time fascism was such a danger, with enacting Sedition act and Foreign Agents Registration Act.

But like with human body sometime immune system starts to dysfunction. That's why we have allergies and auto-immune diseases. In those case the immune system attacks and kills healthy cells.  I view McCarthyism as modern political auto-immune disease.  In no way a skeptical view of the US neoliberal society and critique of neoliberalism, even a sharp one,  is equivalent to pro-Russian propaganda. 

Also Russia as a target is suspect, unless we subscribe to neocon agenda.  Russia is just another Westernized neoliberal society.  They watch the same Hollywood junk and US citizens ;-).  Major western propaganda channels like BCC are freely available in Russia for anybody to view. They are not jammed, like in days of the USSR (which actually only increased their popularity).  Unlike KSA they do not behead over 100 people a year and prohibit woman to drive. And KSA is considered to be an ally. 

All it does is weakly resist attempts to convert it into Washington vassal. In no way it challenges neoliberalism as a social system. Putin brought Russia in WTO and Medvedev government is hell-bent of privatization of state assets. The fact that they do not want to feed NYC financial sharks is of secondary importance.

Rumors as improvised news and a symptom of loss of trust in establishment and official communication channels

Fake news is modern day rumors spread via Internet. The rise of rumors (aka "improvised news") signify a dramatic fall in the trust to the establishment and official channel of distribution of information. This phenomenon is well known for anybody who studying Brezhnev's rule in the USSR.   Tamotsu Shibutani pioneered the study of this sociological phenomenon in his book Improvised News A Sociological Study of Rumor - Tamotsu Shibutani (1966).  Here is the TOC:

1. ALTERNATIVE CONCEPTIONS OF RUMOR I

2. THE FAILURE OF FORMAL NEWS CHANNELS 31

3. PROBLEM-SOLVING THROUGH DELIBERATION 63

4. SUGGESTIBILITY AND BEHAVIORAL CONTAGION 95

5. THE FORMATION OF POPULAR BELIEFS

6. A SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY OF RUMOR

7. THE POLITICAL MANIPULATION OF RUMOR

Later this pioneering study was continued in a (much weaker) book The Global Grapevine: Why Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration, and Trade Matter by By Gary Alan Fine, Bill Ellis (2010)

Far from mere idle tales, rumors are a valuable window into our anxieties and fears. Rumors let us talk as a community about some very inflammatory issues--issues that may be embarrassing or disturbing to discuss-allowing us to act as if we are talking about real events, not personal beliefs. We can air our hidden fears and desires without claiming these attitudes as our own.

Contemporary rumors can provide us with important information about the fears and pressures of globalization that the US population now experiences. According to Fine&Ellix there are several connected with neoliberal globalization themes that emerge over and over again:

I would add to it persistent rumors about sexual perversion of the elite, including pedophilia (for example, "pizzagate").  Rumors, which in view of existing conviction in "Lolita express" case, are not completely without substance.

Various rumors tell us how Americans react to perceived global threats, how much they trust their own government (9/11 and especially the sub-story of  "Collapse of Building 7" are pretty telling examples here), how they interpret covert CIA actions that became known (Operation Mockingbird, JFK assasination) and deception that cost the US so dearly (Iraq WMD scare). And most importantly how they interpret decimation of the "New Deal" and the new, much less charitable to lower 90% of population neoliberal society in which they are now forced to live. As "New Deal" society is almost completely dismantled with Medicare and Social Security being two major leftovers, which are under attack from neoliberals and constant attempts to privatize them.

In their book authors argue that rumors also reflect our anxieties and fears about contact with foreign cultures -- whether we believe foreign competition to be poisoning the domestic economy or that foreign immigration to be eroding American values. That's why immigration theme was so hot in the recent Presidential elections.

The dramatic collapse of Hillary Clinton campaign that had led to the election of Trump led to attempt to erect a post-election smokescreen of this historic defeat of neoliberal establishment candidate supported by the leadership both parties in Congress and all major MSM.  And instead of analyzing the problems facing the US society, the problems which led to the election of Trump, Democrats and Obama administration decided to play  "Russians are coming" smoke screen.  

With the concentration of DNC leak and Podesta email hack (the latter is due to the blunder, committed by Podesta  himself, who make a blunder and essentially provided his password to attackers on the plate. In reality, the real issue with DNC leaks is the fact that Sanders campaign was sabotaged by crooks in DNC. 

Those who wipe up anti-Russian hysteria should probably reread materials of Church commission and history of interference of the US intelligence agencies into the domestic politics. They might also and ask themselves a simple question:  "Do they have any moral right to to be sp indignant about supposed (not proved, but supposed)  foreign interference in the US elections, if such an interference is the cornerstone of the US foreign policy?"

Those who wipe up Russian hacking hysteria should probably reread materials of Church commission and history of interference of the US intelligence agencies into the domestic politics, including, but not limited to JFK assassination  

While Russia represents an obstacle on the path of establishing global neoliberal empire led by the USA, it is not a threat. Unlike the USSR it just another neoliberal society and Putin can be  viewed as "soft globalist", not as isolationalist. He does want to work with Western nation, but on more equal terms then the USA and EU prefer.  He does not want Russia to became EU protectorate, or the USA vassal (as it was under drunkard Yeltsin). The latter is unacceptable for the US neoliberal elite which is hell-bent on world domination.  Many positions in the Russian government  are occupied by staunch, even by the USA standard, neoliberals, determined to conduct the privatizing of government property and government companies, cutting social services to the bones, and generally adhering to the postulates of Washington consensus as much as Chicago boys in the past.

Relations with Russia deteriorated after the USA launched in best Trotskyites style of (World Communist Revolution) the "Great World Neoliberal Revolution", a series of  "color revolutions" (starting with attack on Serbia) initiating "regime change" for  "not neoliberal enough" governments of countries with natural resources, or of some geopolitical value. All this under the smoke screen promoting the democracy, as it it exist in the USA (which became a typical oligarchic republic (a democracy but only for the top 1% or 10%, who are the only one able to select the candidate from two major parties), with two party system undistinguishable in its major aspects from Soviet one party system; see  Two Party System as Polyarchy )   Also it is not clear why Russia would prefer Trump to Hillary. They definitely have a lot of dirt of Hillary, and, especially, Clinton Foundation,  probably much more then on Trump. Here is one post that addresses this issues (Economist's View What’s Behind a Rise in Ethnic Nationalism Maybe the Economy, Oct 14, 2016):

likbez -> pgl... , Friday, October 14, 2016 at 07:43 PM
Paradoxically Pravda in old times did have real insights into the US political system and for this reason was widely read by specialists. Especially materials published by the Institute of the USA and Canada -- a powerful Russian think tank somewhat similar to the Council on Foreign Relations.

As for your remark I think for many people in the USA Russophobia is just displaced Anti-Semitism.

JohnH remark is actually very apt and you should not "misunderestimate" the level of understanding of the US political system by Russians. They did learn a lot about machinations of the neoliberal foreign policy, especially about so called "color revolutions."

Hillary&Obama has had a bloody nose when they tried to stage a "color revolution" in 2011-2012 in Russia (so called "white revolution). A typical US citizen probably never heard about it or heard only about "Pussy riot", Navalny and couple of other minor figures. At the end poor ambassador Michael McFaul was recalled. NED was expelled. Of course Russia is just a pale shadow of the USSR power-wise, so Obama later put her on sanctions using MH17 incident as a pretext with no chances of retaliation. They also successfully implemented regime change in Ukraine -- blooding Putin nose in return.

But I actually disagree with JohnH. First of all Putin does not need to interfere in a way like the USA did [in Russian Presidential elections] in 2011-2012. It would be a waist of resources as both candidates are probably equally bad for Russia (and it is the "deep state" which actually dictate the US foreign policy, not POTUS.)

The US political system is already the can of worms and the deterioration of neoliberal society this time created almost revolutionary situation in Marxists terms, when Repug elite was not able to control the nomination. Democratic establishment still did OK and managed to squash the rebellion, but here the level of degeneration demonstrated itself in the selection of the candidate.

Taking into account the level of dysfunction of the US political system, I am not so sure the Trump is preferable to Hillary for Russians. I would say he is more unpredictable and more dangerous. The main danger of Hillary is Syria war escalation, but the same is true for Trump who can turn into the second John McCain on a dime.

Also the difference between two should not be exaggerated. Both are puppets of the forces the brought them to the current level and in their POTUS role will need to be subservient to the "deep state". Or at least to take into account its existence and power. And that makes them more of prisoners of the position they want so much.

Trump probably to lesser extent then Hillary, but he also can't ignore the deep state. Both require the support of Republican Congress for major legislative initiatives. And it would be very hostile to Hillary. Which is a major advantage for Russians, as this excludes the possibility of some very stupid moves.

Again, IMHO in no way any of them will control the US foreign policy. In this area the deep state is in charge since Allen Dulles and those who try to deviate too much might end as badly as JFK. I think Obama understood this very well and did not try to rock the boat. And there are people who will promptly explain this to Trump in a way that he understands.

In other words, neither of them will escape the limit on their power that "deep state" enforces. And that virtually guarantee the continuity of the foreign policy, with just slight tactical variations.

So why Russians should prefer one to another? You can elect a dog as POTUS and the foreign policy of the USA will be virtually the same as with Hillary or Trump.

In internal policy Trump looks more dangerous and more willing to experiment, while Hillary is definitely a "status quo" candidate. The last thing Russians needs is the US stock market crush. So from the point of internal economic policy Hillary is also preferable.

A lot of pundits stress the danger of war with Russia, and that might be true as women in high political position try to outdo men in hawkishness. But here Hillary jingoism probably will be tightly controlled by the "deep state". Hillary definitely tried to be "More Catholic then the Pope" in this area while being the Secretary of State. That did not end well for her and she might learn the lesson.

But if you think about the amount of "compromat" (Russian term ;-) on Hillary and Bill that Russians may well already collected, in "normal circumstances" she might be a preferable counterpart for Russians. As in "devil that we know". Both Lavrov and Putin met Hillary. Medvedev was burned by Hillary. Taking into account the level of greed Hillary displayed during her career, I would be worried what Russians have on her , as well as on Bill "transgressions" and RICO-style actions of Clinton Foundation.

And taking into account the level of disgust amount the government officials with Hillary (and this is not limited to Secret Service) , new leaks are quite possible, which might further complicate her position as POTUS.

In worst case, the first year (or two) leaks will continue. Especially if damaging DNC leaks were the work of some disgruntled person within the USA intelligence and not of some foreign hacker group. That might be a plus for Russians as such a constant distraction might limit her possibility to make some stupid move in Syria. Or not.

As you know personal emails boxes for all major Web mail providers are just one click away for NSA analysts. So "Snowden II" hypothesis might have the right to exist.

Also it is quite probably that impeachment process for Hillary will start soon after her election. In the House Republicans have enough votes to try it. That also might be a plus for s for both Russia and China. Trump is extremely jingoistic as for Iran, and that might be another area were Hillary is preferable to Russians and Chinese over Trump.

Also do not discount her health problems. She does have some serious neurological disease, which eventually might kill her. How fast she will deteriorate is not known but in a year or two the current symptoms might become more pronounced. If Bill have STD (and sometime he looks like a person with HIV; http://joeforamerica.com/2016/07/bill-clinton-aids/) that further complicates that picture (this is just a rumor, but he really looks bad).

I think that all those factors make her an equal, or even preferable candidate for such states as Russia and China.

This is the situation of "king is naked" -- the state that teaches other countries about democracy has a completely corrupted election process within each party, like a typical banana republic. That what  Wikileak revelations proved. In his post Is Russia our enemy?  Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets) aptly stated:

The Democratic Party convention and the media are full of the assumption that Russia is the enemy of the United States.  What is the basis for that assumption?

The Obama Administration is apparently committed to a pre-emptive assertion that Russia is a world class committed enemy of the United States. The Borgist media fully support that.

We should all sober up.

The anti-Russian theme has  been such an most important in Hillary presidential campaign that the subsequent full-scale anti-Russian hysteria after her defeat is not surprising. 
Hillary always preferred to join ranks with neocons, military-industrial complex and plain-vanilla Russophobes (katehon.com, Jul 28. 2016) and neocon are afraid of losing some power and lucrative, well paid positions. Look how easily Robert Kagan defected to Democratic Party. Several important US Departments such as Department of State, Department of Defense, and CIA are staffed mainly with neocons:. They will fight the idea of normalization of relations with Russia until better end:

Speaking at a press conference in Florida, Trump called on Russia to hand over the 30,000 emails "missing" from the Hillary Clinton's email server in the US. Their absence is a clear sign that Clinton destroyed evidence proving that she used her personal e-mail server to send sensitive information. Democrats immediately accused Trump of pandering to Russian hackers, although in reality the multi-billionaire rhetorically hinted that the data that Clinton hid from the American investigation is in the hands of foreign intelligence services. So, Clinton is a possible target for blackmail.

Trump's statement that he is ready to discuss the status of Crimea and the removal of anti-Russian sanctions caused even more noise. This view is not accepted either in the Democrat or in the Republican mainstream. Trump also said that Vladimir Putin does not respect Clinton and Obama, while Trump himself hopes to find a common language with him. Trump appreciates Putin's leadership and believes that the US must work together with Russia to deal with common threats, particularly against Islamic extremism.
Hide The establishment's tantrum

Both Democrats and Republicans are taking aim at Trump. The vice-presidential candidate, Mike Pence, made threats to Russia. The head of the Republican majority in Congress, Paul Ryan, became somewhat hysterical. He said that Putin is "a thug and should stay out of these elections."

It is Putin personally, and the Russian security services, who are accused of leaking correspondences of top employees of the National Committee of the Democratic Party. This unverified story united part of the Republicans and all of the Democrats, including the Clinton and Barack Obama themselves. Trump supporters note that the Russian threat is used to divert attention from the content of these letters. And these show the fraud carried out during the primaries which favored Hillary Clinton.
Hide The pro-American candidate

The "Russian scandal" demonstrates that on the one hand the thesis of the normalization of relations with Russia, despite the propaganda, is becoming popular in US society. It is unlikely that Donald Trump has made campaign statements that are not designed to gain the support of the public in this election. On the other hand - Trump - a hard realist, like Putin, is not pro-Russian, but a pro-American politician, and therefore the improvement of relations with Russia in his eyes corresponds to the US's national interests. Trump has never to date done anything that would not be to his advantage. Sometimes he even said he would order US fighter jets to engage with Russian ones, and declared he would have a hard stance in relations with Russia.

Another thing is that his understanding of US national interests is fundamentally different from the dominant American globalist elite consensus. For Trump, the US should not be the source of a global liberal remaking of the world, but a national power, which optimizes its position just as efficiently as any commercial project. And in terms of optimizing the position of the United States, he says there should be a normal American interaction with Putin and Russia in the field of combating terrorism and preventing the sliding of the two countries into a global war. He claims this is to be the priority instead of issues relating to the promotion of democracy and the so-called fight against "authoritarian regimes".
 

While Congress now is trying to create "ministry of Truth", the fearmonring that the US MSM are now propagating is a variation of the well known McCarthyism theme  "The Russians are Coming".  And can be legitimately called Neo-McCartyism.  Here is nice satire on the topic (washingtonsblog.com):

MC: President Putin, did the Russian government hack the DNC email server and then publically release those emails through Wikileaks the day before the Democratic convention?

Putin: Yes.

MC: Yes! Are you serious?

Putin: I’m quite serious.

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

Putin: Your question should be what took Russia so long. The US oligarchs and their minions surround us with military bases and nuclear missiles, damage our trade to Europe, and seek to destabilize our domestic politics.  These emails are nothing in the big picture. But they’re sort of funny, don’t you agree?

MC: I’m not sure that funny is the right word.  What do you mean by that?

Putin:   You’ve got Hillary Clinton running as a strong and independent woman. Of course, nobody would know who she is had she not married Bill Clinton. She’s not independent. Quite the contrary. She had to marry a philandering redneck to get to where she is. When it comes to strength, I can say only this. How strong can you be if you have to cheat and create a rigged game to win the nomination?

MC: Anything else about your leak to cheer us up?

Putin: This situation is the epitome of ironic humor. After the emails were released, the focus was all on DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. That’s fine for now but what happens when people start asking why Wasserman-Schultz had the DNC screw Sanders and boost Hillary? Did she just wake up one day and decide this on her own?. Not likely. She was and remains Hillary’s agent.   It will take people a while to arrive that answer. When enough people hear about Wasserman-Schultz’s key role in the Clinton campaign, everything will be clear.   It’s adios Hillary. That inevitable conclusion, by the way, is the reason the DNC made such a big deal about Russia hacking the DNC.  That was diversion one right out of the gate.

DNC hack or DNC leak ?

As for DNC hack (or was it a leak ?) there is no realistic way to establish where hacks came from after the fact. All those insinuations that are published are really low level crap, attempts to deceive gullible public. I do not understand this level of concentration of MSM hype on Russians, as if other pretty capable players (including some in the USA) do not exist and do not have any motivation to look closely into DNC files. Hillary (and, especially, Bill) did not inspire much love in a lot of people.

Also the hypothesis that this is a hack, not a leak is rather weak. The death of one of DNC staffer was pretty suspicious and might be connected with the case.

likbez said in reply to im1dc... , December 18, 2016 at 07:15 PM

Can you please explain to me why you are thinking that this was a hack, not a leak by an insider?

One DNC staffer, 27-year-old Seth Rich, the DNC’s director of voter expansion, was killed around this time in pretty strange circumstances. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/07/12/democratic-national-committee-staffer-shot-and-killed-in-washington.html

Former British Ambassador and current Wikileaks operative Craig Murray recently said he has met the person who leaked DNC and Clinton campaign emails, and they aren’t Russian.

http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/bombshell-wikileaks-figure-says-insider-russia-hack/

Or it can come from a dissident within the US agency that did have access to all emails.

Do you remember such a person as Edward Snowden ? It might be very educational for you to read his opinion about this case:

While he is highly critical of Wikileaks, he suggests that without NSA coming forward with hard data obtained via special program that uncover multiple levels of indirection, those charges are just propaganda and insinuations. And BTW after the fact it is usually impossible to discover who obtained the information, as they use multiple levels of indirection and Russia might be just one of those indirection levels. Use of Russian IP-space or Russian IPS might be just an attempt to create a false trail and to implicate a wrong party.

As in any complex case you should not jump to conclusions so easily.

The fact the DNS computer security level (like Hillary personal email server) was dismal is well established -- they simply did not pay the necessary amount of money to people and for the equipment to created a viable (according to NIST guidelines) secure infrastructure for running the campaign. They were operating mostly as a non-profit IT-wise. And that's while spending  over billion bucks on Hillary campaign. If somebody is that stupid, he/she needs to face consequences.

And if you can't prove something it is better to shut up, not to incite anti-Russian hysteria to hide under this smokescreen very unpleasant facts revealed -- that DNC was a part of Hillary campaign and essentially had thrown Sanders under the bus.

And BTW the US government did tried to interfere in Russian Presidential election in 2011-2012. At least one US NGO was kicked out the country after the elections exactly for this.

DNC and Clinton pushed the Russian card very hard in anticipation of further stories and revelations of corruption, money laundering, etc.  See DNC emails leak

Technical analysis of this "hack" (which can well be, and probably is a "leak") provided by MSM is by-and-large idiotic, entry level nonsense. The fact that hacking case are complex and fuzzy makes them perfect smokescreen -- powerful tools for deflecting attention from a read content of messages revealed as well as the most plausible source to Russians. Such scapegoating achieve two goals: unite the population swiping important differences under the carpet and an accepting inferior candidate in the name of "unity" in the face of powerful and ruthless enemy, and deflecting unpleased questions revealed by email as enemy propaganda.

BTW stories about Russian codepage used, ec are very suspect. In such cases the originator might deside to use to provide a direct the investigation in the wrong direction. also many countries on the globe such as Germany, Israel, GB and USA has a large Russian speaking population, that is well represented in IT industry (and by extension in corresponding part of three letter agencies).

When the USA (or Israel) opened this can of worm with Stixnet (discovered around mid 2010) and Flame (discovered around 2012), they did not expect a powerful blowback. Now it start coming: those days it is simply impossible to secure "normal" Microsoft-based IT system against any sophisticated adversary.  Not very difficult, but impossible.

To say nothing about stock systems that DNC and Hillary used (as if they have not money to harden them to the level recommended by at least NIST guidelines). They also did not have adequate intrusion alarm system and restricted IP space for clients (client of such systems should exist only on VPN).

Remember that we live in the period when developed by NSA and probably their foreign "friends" Flame and Stixnet worm are part of the recorded history of malware.  And  technologies used in them are well studied by all major world three letter agencies. They means that  methods of this level of complexity became a part of their workbook.  And the response to their devilishness they generated even more devilish methods of attack of any IT infrastructure based on Microsoft technologies, to say nothing about such low hanging fruit as stock Microsoft software installation with semi-competent IT staff using Microsoft Exchange based email system on public network: (naked capitalism):

However, in this short post I want to focus on a much narrower question: Can we ever know who hacked the DNC email? Because if we can't, then clearly we can't know the Russians did. And so I want to hoist this by alert reader JacobiteInTraining from comments :

Yup, as a former server admin it is patently absurd to attribute a hack to anyone in particular until a substantial amount of forensic work has been done. (read, poring over multiple internal log files…gathering yet more log files of yet more internal devices, poring over them, then – once the request hops out of your org – requesting logfiles from remote entities, poring over *those* log files, requesting further log files from yet more upstream entities, wash rinse repeat ad infinitum).

For example, at its simplest, I would expect a middling-competency hacker to find an open wifi hub across town to connect to, then VPN to server in, say, Tonga, then VPN from there to another box in Sweden, then connect to a PC previously compromised in Iowa, then VPN to yet another anonymous cloud server in Latvia, and (assuming the mountain dew is running low, gotta get cracking) then RDP to the target server and grab as many docs as possible. RAR those up and encrypt them, FTP them to a compromised media server in South Korea, email them from there to someones gmail account previously hacked, xfer them to a P2P file sharing app, and then finally access them later from a completely different set of servers.

In many cases where I did this sort of analysis I still ended up with a complete dead end: some sysadmins at remote companies or orgs would be sympathetic and give me actual related log files. Others would be sympathetic but would not give files, and instead do their own analysis to give me tips. Many never responded, and most IPs ended up at unknown (compromised) personal PCs, or devices where the owner could not be found anyway.

If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence you might get lucky – but that demographic mostly points back to script kiddies and/or criminal dweebs – i.e., rather then just surreptitiously exfiltrating the goods they instead left messages or altered things that seemed to indicate their own backgrounds or prejudices, or left a message that was more easily 'traced'. If, of course, you took that evidence at face value and it was not itself an attempt at obfuscation.

Short of a state actor such as an NSA who captures it ALL anyway, and/or can access any log files at any public or private network at its own whim – its completely silly to attribute a hack to anyone at this point.

So, I guess I am reduced to LOL OMG WTF its fer the LULZ!!!!!

And :

Just to clarify on the "…If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence…" – this is basically what I have seen reported as 'evidence' pointing to Russia: the Cyrillic keyboard signature, the 'appeared to cease work on Russian holidays' stuff, and the association with 'known Russian hacking groups'.

That's great and all, but in past work I am sure my own 'research' could easily have gotten me 'associated' with known hacking groups. Presumably various 'sophisticated' methods and tools get you closer to possible suspects…but that kind of stuff is cycled and recycled throughout the community worldwide – as soon as anything like that is known and published, any reasonably competent hacker (or org of hackers) is learning how to do the same thing and incorporating such things into their own methods. (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery)

I guess I have a lot more respect for the kinds of people I expect to be getting a paycheck from foreign Intelligence agencies then to believe that they would leave such obvious clues behind 'accidentally'. But if we are going to be starting wars over this stuff w/Russia, or China, I guess I would hope the adults in the room don't go all apesh*t and start chanting COMMIES, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!, etc. before the ink is dry on the 'crime'.

The whole episode reminds me of the Sony hack , for which Obama also blamed a demonized foreign power. Interestingly - to beg the question here - the blaming was also based on a foreign character set in the data (though Hangul, not Korean). Look! A clue!

JacobiteInTraining's methodology also reminds me of NC's coverage of Grexit. Symbol manipulators - like those in the Democrat-leaning creative class - often believe that real economy systems are as easy to manipulate as symbol systems are. In Greece, for example, it really was a difficult technical challenge for Greece to reintroduce the drachma, especially given the time-frame, as contributor Clive remorselessly showed. Similarly, it's really not credible to hire a consultant and get a hacking report with a turnaround time of less than a week, even leaving aside the idea that the DNC just might have hired a consultant that would give them the result they wanted (because who among us, etc.) What JacobiteInTraining shows us is that computer forensics is laborious, takes time, and is very unlikely to yield results suitable for framing in the narratives proffered by the political class. Of course, that does confirm all my priors!

Readers, thoughts?

Update Addition by Yves:

Another reader, Hacker, observed (emphasis original):

There is a problem with those who argue that these are sophisticated Nation State attackers and then point to the most basic circumstantial evidence to support their case. I'd bet that, among others, the Israelis have hacked some Russian servers to launch attacks from and have some of their workers on a Russian holiday schedule. Those things have been written about in attack analysis so much over the last 15-20 years that they'd be stupid not to.

Now, I'm not saying the Israelis did it. I'm saying that the evidence provided so far by those arguing it is Russia is so flaky as to prove that the Russia accusers are blinded or corrupted by their own political agenda.

Update [Yves, courtesy Richard Smith] 7:45 AM. Another Medium piece by Jeffrey Carr, Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach Runaway Train? who has been fact-checking this story and comes away Not Happy. For instance:

Thomas Rid wrote:

One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings: a reused command-and-control address - 176.31.112[.]10 - that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC's servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate.

This paragraph sounds quite damning if you take it at face value, but if you invest a little time into checking the source material, its carefully constructed narrative falls apart.

Problem #1: The IP address 176.31.112[.]10 used in the Bundestag breach as a Command and Control server has never been connected to the Russian intelligence services. In fact, Claudio Guarnieri , a highly regarded security researcher, whose technical analysis was referenced by Rid, stated that "no evidence allows to tie the attacks to governments of any particular country."

Mind you, he has two additional problems with that claim alone. This piece is a must read if you want to dig further into this topic.

NOTES

[1] More than a talking point but, really, less than a narrative. It's like we need a new word for these bite-sized, meme-ready, disposable, "throw 'em against the wall and see if they stick" stories; mini-narrative, or narrativelette, perhaps. "All the crunch of a real narrative, but none of the nutrition!"

[2] This post is not about today's Trump moral panic, where the political class is frothing and stamping about The Donald's humorous (or ballbusting, take your pick) statement that he "hoped" the Russians had hacked the 30,000 emails that Clinton supposedly deleted from the email server she privatized in her public capacity as Secretary of State before handing the whole flaming and steaming mess over to investigators. First, who cares? Those emails are all about yoga lessons and Chelsea's wedding. Right? Second, Clinton didn't secure the server for three months. What did she expect? Third, Trump's suggestion is just dumb; the NSA has to have that data, so just ask them? Finally, to be fair, Trump shouldn't have uttered the word "Russia." He should have said "Liechtenstein," or "Tonga," because it's hard to believe that there's a country too small to hack as fat a target as Clinton presented; Trump was being inflammatory. Points off. Bad show.

Pavel , July 28, 2016 at 4:01 am

For those interested, the excellent interviewer Scott Horton just spoke with Jeffrey Carr, an IT security expert about all this. It's about 30 mins:

Jeffrey Carr, a cyber intelligence expert and CEO of Taia Global, Inc., discusses his fact-checking of Josh Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo article that claims a close alliance between Trump and Putin; and why the individuals blaming Russia for the DNC email hack are more motivated by politics than solid evidence.

–The Scott Horton Show: 7/25/16 Jeffrey Carr

Carr makes the point that even supposed clues about Russian involvement ("the default language is Cyrillic!") are meaningless as all these could be spoofed by another party.

Separately it just shows again Team Clinton's (and DNC's) political deviousness and expertise how they –with the full support of the MSM of course –have managed to deflect the discussion to Trump and Russia from how the DNC subverted US democracy.

pretzelattack , July 28, 2016 at 4:15 am

and again, we see the cavalier attitude about national security from the clinton camp, aggravating the already tense relationship with russia over this bullshit, all to avoid some political disadvantage. clinton doesn't care if russia gets the nuclear launch codes seemingly, but impact her chances to win the race and it's all guns firing.

dk , July 28, 2016 at 4:59 am

"… all these could be spoofed by another party."

Well yeah, and I could be a bot, how do you know I'm not?

Absent any other evidence to work with, I can accept it as credible that a clumsy Russian or Baltic user posted viewed and saved docs instead of the originals; par for the course in public and private bureaucracies the world over. It would have been useful to see the original Properties metadata; instead we get crapped up copies. That only tells me the poster is something of a lightweight, and it at least somewhat suggests that these docs passed through multiple hands.

But that doesn't mean A) the original penetration occurred under state control (or even in Russia proper), much less B) that Putin Himself ordered the hack attempts, which is the searing retinal afterimage that the the media name-dropping and photo-illustrating conflation produces.

Unspoofed, the Cyrillic fingerprints still do not closely constrain conclusion to A, and even less to B.

Another name for the trick DNC used is "Catch a chief" -- a deflection of attention from their own criminal behaviour. But they should now be really afraid about what can come next from Wikileaks or elsewhere. I don't think Hillary was capable to understand how easy it is to find corruption, especially when there's a email trail.  And this lack of understanding is a typical feature of a sociopath (http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/could-hillary-clinton-be-a-sociopath/ ). As Guardian reported (The Guardian) Clinton campaign also tried old "dog eat my homework" trick blaming everything on Putin and trying to ignore the content of them and the dirty laundry they expose:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 presidential election, saying its hackers stole Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and released them to foment disunity in the party and aid Donald Trump.

Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said on Sunday that “experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, [and are] releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump”.

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails are being released on the eve of our convention here,” he told CNN’s State of the Union, alluding to the party’s four-day exercise in unification which is set to take place this week in Philadelphia.

“This isn’t my assertion,” Mook said. “This is what experts are telling us.”

In a statement, the Clinton campaign repeated the accusation: “This is further evidence the Russian government is trying to influence the outcome of the election.”

Classic scapegoating. As Guardian commenter noted "Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? "As life exceeds satire, one can Wikileaks later produced large parts of Hillary's Wall Street speeches, following the appeal from Trump.

In any case a major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like behaviors like a Mafioso clan, and when caught red handed start to deflect attention via corrupt and subservant MSM, changing focus into Russia and Putin instead. Great journalism!" The Guardian

 atopic 

I find very I interesting that, somehow, the initial DNC leak story failed to make a headline position (a day late, at that) on the Guardian, but now that it's blown up on other channels, the DNC's ridiculous conspiracy theory/distraction attempt gets top billing here. Ridiculous.

Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? A major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like, and somehow we're talking about Putin instead. Great journalism.

 
Chanze Jennings ->  atopic

The Guardian has sunk to a new low and has entirely no shame. It's a sad day for journalism when Twitter has more integrity than most news outlets. And they wonder why newspapers are going the way of the Dodo. Remember when real journalists presented stories with little bias and tried hard to stick to the facts?

BTW there are some real experts on this and they have a different opinion. Check comments for the blog post: 

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/07/nsa-whistleblower-not-so-fast-on-claims-russia-behind-dnc-email-hack.html

Corrupt to the core MSM ignore the event and try to distract readers with scapegoating nonsense

ABC and CNN during this Presidential compaisn were essentially the DNC propaganda wing. They and most other MSM were trying to reshape this mess to reduce the amount of damage.  Stephanopolis worked for Bill Clinton. And donated $75,000 to Hillary's campaign. And now he is trying to paint Trump as having ties to the Putin regime.

They try do not touch Hillary connections with Saudi, revive email scandal, touch Clinton cash scandal,  etc. They really behave like they are part of Clinton campaign. And readers noticed that as is evident from comments (The 4 Most Damaging Emails From the DNC WikiLeaks Dump - ABC News):

Kintbury  -> Mr. Fusion 21 hours ago

You are going to have to do a heck of a lot better than that. A Saudi Prince has admitted to funding a large portion of Hillary's campaign. That is a tie. All the money she took from those countries while benefiting them as Secretary of State is a tie.

Know Mei > deanbob
"Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do," Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Oh, believe me, Debbie, the American people know what the Democratic Party and the Republican Party does. Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate. However, business as usual did not work well for the Republican Party elitists this primary season. Donald Trump beat the Republican Party elitists at their game. Bernie Sanders attempted to do the same to the Democratic Party.
Alti  -> ADLives 2 days ago

I think they are being short-sighted. Trump will in all likelihood win now and I don't see him sticking to the script. The media has completely betrayed the American public on this story. From Facebook and Twitter blocking and deleting stories re: same initially - to now with the non-articles we are getting from the big news agencies. Finding decent, honest news coverage shouldn't be so hard. see more

William Carr > Know Mei •

“Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate”

America needs international monitors to oversee our elections

In reality Wikileaks exposed the blatant corruption of the primary process for voters. The elephant was in the room, but the real situation with Democratic Party primary process is now  suppressed.

What the USA really needs is international observers on the next Presidential elections. Instead the US Congress adopted  S. 3274 “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act”  which essentially create the US variant of the USSR "Ministry of Propaganda and Agitation". As if NED, USAID, State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the Center for Independent Private Enterprise (CIPE), and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity ("Solidarity Center") are not enough (Soft Power Democracy-Promotion and U.S. NGOs - Council on Foreign Relations)

That suggests that the US lawmakers at last realized that promoted by them color revolution techniques practiced by the USA on xUSSR and other countries may come home  to roost but reacted to this threat the way that bureaucracy typically react to such things -- creating a new organization (in this case the USSR style Ministry of Propaganda and Agitation)  that should address this issue:

114th CONGRESS
2d Session S. 3274

To counter foreign disinformation and propaganda, and for other purposes. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES July 14, 2016 Mr. Portman (for himself and Mr. Murphy) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations A BILL To counter foreign disinformation and propaganda, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,  

SECTION 1. Short title. 

This Act may be cited as the “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act”.

SEC. 2. Center for information analysis and response.

(a) Establishment.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response (in this section referred to as the “Center”). The purposes of the Center are— (1) to coordinate the sharing among government agencies of information on foreign government information warfare efforts, including information provided by recipients of information access fund grants awarded using funds made available under subsection (e) and from other sources, subject to the appropriate classification guidelines;

(2) to establish a process for integrating information on foreign propaganda and disinformation efforts into national strategy; and

(3) to develop, plan, and synchronize interagency activities to expose and counter foreign information operations directed against United States national security interests and advance narratives that support United States allies and interests.

(b) Functions.—The Center shall carry out the following functions:

(1) Integrating interagency efforts to track and evaluate counterfactual narratives abroad that threaten the national security interests of the United States and United States allies, subject to appropriate regulations governing the dissemination of classified information and programs.

(2) Analyzing relevant information from United States Government agencies, allied nations, think-tanks, academic institutions, civil society groups, and other nongovernmental organizations.

(3) Developing and disseminating thematic narratives and analysis to counter propaganda and disinformation directed at United States allies and partners in order to safeguard United States allies and interests.

(4) Identifying current and emerging trends in foreign propaganda and disinformation, including the use of print, broadcast, online and social media, support for third-party outlets such as think tanks, political parties, and nongovernmental organizations, in order to coordinate and shape the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures to expose and refute foreign misinformation and disinformation and proactively promote fact-based narratives and policies to audiences outside the United States.

(5) Facilitating the use of a wide range of information-related technologies and techniques to counter foreign disinformation by sharing expertise among agencies, seeking expertise from external sources, and implementing best practices.

(6) Identifying gaps in United States capabilities in areas relevant to the Center’s mission and recommending necessary enhancements or changes.

(7) Identifying the countries and populations most susceptible to foreign government propaganda and disinformation.

(8) Administering and expending funds made available pursuant to subsection (e).

(9) Coordinating with allied and partner nations, particularly those frequently targeted by foreign disinformation operations, and international organizations and entities such as the NATO Center of Excellence on Strategic Communications, the European Endowment for Democracy, and the European External Action Service Task Force on Strategic Communications, in order to amplify the Center’s efforts and avoid duplication.

(c) Interagency manager.— (1) IN GENERAL.—The President is authorized to designate an official of the United States Government to lead an interagency team and to manage the Center. The President shall delegate to the manager of the Center responsibility for and presumptive authority to direct and coordinate the activities and operations of all departments, agencies, and elements of the United States Government in so far as their support is required to ensure the successful implementation of a strategy approved by the President for accomplishing the mission. The official so designated shall be serving in a position in the executive branch by appointment, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

(2) INTERAGENCY STEERING COMMITTEE.—

(A) COMPOSITION.—The Interagency Manager shall establish a Steering Committee composed of senior representatives of agencies relevant to the Center’s mission to provide advice to the Manager on the operations and strategic orientation of the Center and to ensure adequate support for the Center. The Steering Committee shall include one senior representative designated by each of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and the Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors .

(B) MEETINGS.—The Interagency Steering Committee shall meet not less than every 3 months.

(C) PARTICIPATION AND INDEPENDENCE.—The Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall not compromise the journalistic freedom or integrity of relevant media organizations. Other Federal agencies may be invited to participate in the Center and Steering Committee at the discretion of the Interagency Manager.

(3) SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITY AND AUTHORITY.—

(A) LIMITATION ON SCOPE.—The delegated responsibility and authority provided pursuant to paragraph (1) may not extend beyond the requirements for successful implementation of the mission and strategy described in that paragraph.

(B) APPEAL OF EXECUTION OF ACTIVITIES.—The head of any department, agency, or other element of the United States Government may appeal to the President a requirement or direction by the official designated pursuant to paragraph (1) for activities otherwise in support of the mission and strategy described in that paragraph if such head determines that there is a compelling case that executing such activities would do undue harm to other missions of national importance to the United States.

(4) TARGETED FOREIGN AUDIENCES.— (A) IN GENERAL.—The activities under this subsection of the Center described in paragraph (1) shall be done only with the intent to influence foreign audiences. No funds for the activities of the team under this section may be used with the intent to influence public opinion in the United States.

(B) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this subsection may be construed to prohibit the team described in paragraph (1) from engaging in any form of communication or medium, either directly or indirectly, or coordinating with any other department or agency of the United States Government, a State government, or any other public or private organization or institution because a United States domestic audience is or may be thereby exposed to activities or communications of the team under this subsection, or based on a presumption of such exposure.

(d) Staff.— (1) COMPENSATION.—The President may fix the compensation of the manager of the Center and other personnel without regard to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates, except that the rate of pay for the executive director and other personnel may not exceed the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of that title.

(2) DETAIL OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.—Any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the Center without reimbursement, and such detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.

(3) PROCUREMENT OF TEMPORARY AND INTERMITTENT SERVICES.—The President may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates for individuals which do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of that title.

(e) Funds.—Of amounts authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2017 for the Department of Defense and identified as undistributed fuel cost savings, up to $250,000,000 may be available for purposes of carrying out this section and the grant program established under section 3. Once obligated, such funds shall remain available for such purposes until expended.

SEC. 3. Information access funds.

(a) Grants and contracts of financial support.—The Center may provide grants or contracts of financial support to civil society groups, journalists, nongovernmental organizations, federally funded research and development centers, private companies, or academic institutions for the following purposes: (1) To support local independent media who are best placed to refute foreign disinformation and manipulation in their own communities.

(2) To collect and store examples in print, online, and social media of disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda directed at the United States and its allies and partners.

(3) To analyze tactics, techniques, and procedures of foreign government information warfare with respect to disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda.

(4) To support efforts by the Center to counter efforts by foreign governments to use disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda to influence the policies and social and political stability of the United States and United States allies and partners.

(b) Funding availability and limitations.—All organizations that apply to receive funds under this section must undergo a vetting process in accordance with the relevant existing regulations to ensure their bona fides, capability, and experience, and their compatibility with United States interests and objectives.

SEC. 4. Inclusion in Department of State education and cultural exchange programs of foreign students and community leaders from countries and populations susceptible to foreign manipulation. The President shall ensure that when the Secretary of State is selecting participants for United States educational and cultural exchange programs, the Secretary of State gives special consideration to students and community leaders from populations and countries the Secretary deems vulnerable to foreign propaganda and disinformation campaigns.

SEC. 5. Reports.

(a) In general.—Not later than one year after the establishment of the Center, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report evaluating the success of the Center in fulfilling the purposes for which it was authorized and outlining steps to improve any areas of deficiency.

(b) Appropriate congressional committees defined.—In this section, the term “appropriate congressional committees” means— (1) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and

(2) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland Security, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

SEC. 6. Termination of center and steering committee. The Center for Information Analysis and Response and the interagency team established under section 2(c) shall terminate 15 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 7. Rule of construction regarding relationship to intelligence authorities and activities. Nothing in this Act shall be construed as superseding or modifying any existing authorities governing the collection, sharing, and implementation of intelligence programs and activities or existing regulations governing the sharing of classified information and programs.


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[Oct 21, 2018] Live Putin attends Valdai Club plenary session

Oct 21, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the 15th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi on Thursday, October 18.

The Valdai Discussion Club, established in 2004, has become an internationally recognised platform for interaction between leading world experts and Russian scholars, politicians and government officials.

[Oct 21, 2018] Putin lays down the law to the Davos crowd at this year's Valdai conference: There is a limit to your provocations and attempts to undermine Russia. So don't cross that line

Notable quotes:
"... The Davos Crowd ..."
"... It's not that Putin's stance was any different than in the past. Russia will strike back at an aggressor under any circumstance where the future of Russia is at stake. It was his assurance that in doing so 1) it would be just and righteous "dying like martyrs" and 2) so swift and brutal the aggressors would "die like dogs" bereft of the chance to ask for salvation. ..."
"... Notice how there have been no attacks or even harsh language coming out of Israel or the U.S. in the past few weeks. The failure of the British/French/Israeli operation to sucker Trump into an invasion of Syria is now complete. ..."
"... Putin wasn't boasting or grandstanding about Russia's hypersonic weapons capability. He told everyone they are deployed. He did this to shut up the U.S. neoconservative chattering class who he rightly says whisper in President Trump's ear that they can win a nuclear conflict with Russia. ..."
"... They are insane. And you have to treat them that way. ..."
Oct 21, 2018 | www.sott.net

Every year Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the Valdai Economic Forum. And each year his talk is important. Putin isn't one to mince words on important issues.

With tensions between Russia and the West reaching Cold War levels, Valdai represented the first time we've heard Putin speak in a long-form discussion since Helsinki and the events thereafter - IL-20, Khashoggi, etc.

So, this talk is worth everyone's time. And when I say everyone's I mean every single person who could be affected by the breakdown of the U.S. political system and how that spills over onto Russia's shores.

In other words, pretty much everyone on the planet.

Because what Putin did at Valdai was to lay down the new rules of conduct in geopolitical affairs. He put the U.S. and European oligarchs I call The Davos Crowd on notice.

There is a limit to your provocations and attempts to undermine Russia. So don't cross that line.

Peace Through Strength

The big quote from his talk is the one everyone is focusing on, and rightly so, Russia's policy about using nuclear weapons.

It's not that Putin's stance was any different than in the past. Russia will strike back at an aggressor under any circumstance where the future of Russia is at stake. It was his assurance that in doing so 1) it would be just and righteous "dying like martyrs" and 2) so swift and brutal the aggressors would "die like dogs" bereft of the chance to ask for salvation.


Those are strong words. They are the words of a meek man. And the word meek, as Jordan Peterson reminds us, describes someone who has weapons, knows how to use them and keeps them sheathed until they have no other option.

The reaction from the audience (see video above) was nervous laughter, but I don't think Putin was having one over on anyone.

He was serious. This is the very definition of meek.

It is really no different than the attitude of Secretary of Defense James Mattis who said, "I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f$*k with me, I'll kill you all."

Men like this are not to be tested too hard. And Putin's response to the shooting down of the IL-20 plane and its crew was to cross a bunch of diplomatic lines by handing out S-300s to Syria and erecting a de facto no-fly zone over Western Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Notice how there have been no attacks or even harsh language coming out of Israel or the U.S. in the past few weeks. The failure of the British/French/Israeli operation to sucker Trump into an invasion of Syria is now complete.

And I'm convinced that Nikki Haley paid the price.

All of this highlights the major theme that came out of Putin's comments.

Strength through resolve. Resolve comes as a consequence of defending culture.

Putin wasn't boasting or grandstanding about Russia's hypersonic weapons capability. He told everyone they are deployed. He did this to shut up the U.S. neoconservative chattering class who he rightly says whisper in President Trump's ear that they can win a nuclear conflict with Russia.

They are insane. And you have to treat them that way.

Culture First

Putin sees himself, quite rightly, as the custodian of the Russian people and, as such, the Russian state as the reflection of Russian culture. If you are going to have a state and someone is going to be the head of it, this is the attitude that you want from that person.

In his dialogue with an Orthodox priest Putin wholeheartedly agreed with the idea that "the state cannot dictate culture" but rather, at best, be the facilitator of it through its applications of law.

In a back and forth with a very enthusiastic Russian dairy farmer, who was quite proud of his cheese, Putin reminded the man that while he loved sanctions (from European competition) protecting his business today he should not get used to them. They will be removed at some point and the farmer would have to stand on his own wits to survive in the international market.

Putin understands that subsidies breed sloth. That was a message he made loud and clear.

It's why when the sanctions first went into effect in 2014 over the reunification of Crimea and during the Ruble crisis Putin shifted state subsidies away from the petroleum sector which had thrived and gotten soft during years of $100+/bbl oil and shifted that money to agriculture.

The fruits of that successful policy shift he confronted head on at Valdai. Russia's food production across all sectors is flourishing thanks to a cheap ruble, which the U.S. keeps beating down via sanctions, and the Russian state getting out of the way of investment.

At the time he incurred the wrath of Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and Putin ignored him, much to everyone's surprise. The message was clear, we'll help you out of your current troubles but it's time to do business differently. Because it was Rosneft that needed the biggest bailouts in late 2014/early 2015 having tens of billions in dollar-denominated debt which couldn't be rolled over thanks to the sanctions.

The Limits of Empire

Ultimately, Putin looked resigned, if confused, to the insanity emanating from U.S. policy. But it's obvious to him that Russia cannot get caught up in the tit-for-tat nuisances put up to derail Russia's future.

He mentioned the Empire loses its way because it believed itself invulnerable or as my dad used to say about certain athletes, "He reads his own press clippings too much."

There is a solipsism that infects dominant societies which creates the kind of over-reactions we're witnessing today. Power is slipping away from the U.S. and Trump is both helping the process along while also trying to preserve the core of what's left.

And no interaction during Putin's talk was more indicative of his view of the U.S. empire than his interaction with a Japanese delegate who asked him about signing a peace treaty with Japan.

And Putin's answer was clear. It's Japan's pride and political entanglements that preclude this from happening. Signing the peace treaty is not necessary to solving ownership of the Kuril Islands. Russia and Japan are both diminished by having this obstacle in the way.

The issue can resolve itself after the peace treaty is signed. The current state of things is silly and anachronistic and keep the divide between Russians and Japanese from healing. Create trust through agreement then move forward.

That's what is happening between Russia and Egypt and that is why Putin is winning the diplomatic war.

And it's why Trump is losing the diplomatic war. Putin knows where Trump is. He was there himself seventeen years ago, except an order of magnitude worse. The problems Trump is facing are the same problems Putin faced, corruption, venality, treason all contributing to a collapse in societal and cultural institutions.

Putin knows the U.S. is at a crossroads, and he's made his peace with whatever comes next. The question is have we?

[Oct 21, 2018] Russian Deputy FM Ludicrous 'meddling' charges an excuse for more sanctions and to play 'Russia card' ahead of midterm elections

Oct 21, 2018 | www.sott.net

Washington is concocting ludicrous charges against a Russian national for alleged election meddling merely to find reasons for new sanctions and to play the 'Russia card' ahead of the midterms, a top Kremlin official has warned.

The US is bringing up "ludicrous accusations" with a "laughable 'body of proof'" simply to slap Moscow with a new round of sanctions, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in a statement on Saturday. He added that "certain" US politicians hope to use charges against Russia to gain the upper hand in "interparty brawls" ahead of the midterm elections, slated for November 6.

Ryabkov made his remarks after the US Department of Justice officially leveled charges against Russian national Elena Khusyaynova, who allegedly served as the chief accountant for 'Project Lakhta.' The officials suspect her of handling the funds used to pay online trolls for posting comments to "sow discord in the US political system," and to "undermine faith" in US democracy. These alleged activities were part of what Washington calls Russian strategic efforts to meddle in the 2016 US presidential race and as well as the upcoming midterms.

... ... ...

Russian official Ryabkov dismissed the charges as "flagrant lies" and yet another element of the "shameful slanderous campaign" unleashed by Washington against Moscow.

"The US clearly overestimates its capabilities," the deputy foreign minister said.

"While exhibiting hostility towards Russia and looking down on the whole world, they will only meet tougher pushback."

[Oct 21, 2018] FBI Admits It Used Multiple Spies To Infiltrate Trump Campaign

So intelligence agencies are now charged with protection of elections from undesirable candidates; looks like a feature of neofascism...
Notable quotes:
"... The Department of Justice admitted in a Friday court filing that the FBI used more than one "Confidential Human Source," (also known as informants, or spies ) to infiltrate the Trump campaign through former adviser Carter Page, reports the Daily Caller ..."
"... Included in Hardy's declaration is an acknowledgement that the FBI's spies were in addition to the UK's Christopher Steele - a former MI6 operative who assembled the controversial and largely unproven "Steel Dossier" which the DOJ/FBI used to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Page. ..."
"... In addition to Steele, the FBI also employed 73-year-old University of Cambridge professor Stefan Halper, a US citizen, political veteran and longtime US Intelligence asset enlisted by the FBI to befriend and spy on three members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 US election . Halper received over $1 million in contracts from the Pentagon during the Obama years, however nearly half of that coincided with the 2016 US election. ..."
"... In short, the FBI's acknowledgement that they used multiple spies reinforces Stone's assertion that he was targeted by one. ..."
"... Stefan Halper's infiltration of the Trump campaign corresponds with the two of the four targets of the FBI's Operation Crossfire Hurricane - in which the agency sent former counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and others to a London meeting in the Summer of 2016 with former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer - who says Papadopoulos drunkenly admitted to knowing that the Russians had Hillary Clinton's emails. ..."
"... Interestingly Downer - the source of the Papadopoulos intel, and Halper - who conned Papadopoulos months later, are linked through UK-based Haklyut & Co. an opposition research and intelligence firm similar to Fusion GPS - founded by three former British intelligence operatives in 1995 to provide the kind of otherwise inaccessible research for which select governments and Fortune 500 corporations pay huge sums ..."
"... Downer - a good friend of the Clintons, has been on their advisory board for a decade, while Halper is connected to Hakluyt through Director of U.S. operations Jonathan Clarke, with whom he has co-authored two books. (h/t themarketswork.com ) ..."
Oct 20, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The Department of Justice admitted in a Friday court filing that the FBI used more than one "Confidential Human Source," (also known as informants, or spies ) to infiltrate the Trump campaign through former adviser Carter Page, reports the Daily Caller .

"The FBI has protected information that would identify the identities of other confidential sources who provided information or intelligence to the FBI" as well as "information provided by those sources," wrote David M. Hardy, the head of the FBI's Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS), in court papers submitted Friday.

Hardy and Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys submitted the filings in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit for the FBI's four applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Page. The DOJ released heavily redacted copies of the four FISA warrant applications on June 20, but USA Today reporter Brad Heath has sued for full copies of the documents. - Daily Caller

Included in Hardy's declaration is an acknowledgement that the FBI's spies were in addition to the UK's Christopher Steele - a former MI6 operative who assembled the controversial and largely unproven "Steel Dossier" which the DOJ/FBI used to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Page.

The DOJ says it redacted information in order to protect the identity of their confidential sources, which "includes nonpublic information about and provided by Christopher Steele," reads the filing, " as well as information about and provided by other confidential sources , all of whom were provided express assurances of confidentiality."

Government lawyers said the payment information is being withheld because disclosing specific payment amounts and dates could "suggest the relative volume of information provided by a particular CHS. " That disclosure could potentially tip the source's targets off and allow them to "take countermeasures, destroy or fabricate evidence, or otherwise act in a way to thwart the FBI's activities." - Daily Caller

Steele, referred to as Source #1, met with several DOJ / FBI officials during the 2016 campaign, including husband and wife team Bruce and Nellie Ohr. Bruce was the #4 official at the DOJ, while his CIA-linked wife Nellie was hired by Fusion GPS - who also employed Steele, in the anti-Trump opposition research / counterintelligence effort funded by Trump's opponents, Hillary Clinton and the DNC.

In addition to Steele, the FBI also employed 73-year-old University of Cambridge professor Stefan Halper, a US citizen, political veteran and longtime US Intelligence asset enlisted by the FBI to befriend and spy on three members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 US election . Halper received over $1 million in contracts from the Pentagon during the Obama years, however nearly half of that coincided with the 2016 US election.

Stefan Halper

Halper's involvement first came to light after the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross reported on his involvement with Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, another Trump campaign aide. Ross's reporting was confirmed by the NYT and WaPo .

In June, Trump campaign aides Roger Stone and Michael Caputo claimed that a meeting Stone took in late May, 2016 with a Russian appears to have been an " FBI sting operation " in hindsight, following bombshell reports in May that the DOJ/FBI used a longtime FBI/CIA asset, Cambridge professor Stefan Halper, to perform espionage on the Trump campaign.

Roger Stone

When Stone arrived at the restaurant in Sunny Isles, he said, Greenberg was wearing a Make America Great Again T-shirt and hat. On his phone, Greenberg pulled up a photo of himself with Trump at a rally, Stone said. - WaPo

The meeting went nowhere - ending after Stone told Greenberg " You don't understand Donald Trump... He doesn't pay for anything ." The Post independently confirmed this account with Greenberg.

After the meeting, Stone received a text message from Caputo - a Trump campaign communications official who arranged the meeting after Greenberg approached Caputo's Russian-immigrant business partner.

" How crazy is the Russian? " Caputo wrote according to a text message reviewed by The Post. Noting that Greenberg wanted "big" money, Stone replied: "waste of time." - WaPo

In short, the FBI's acknowledgement that they used multiple spies reinforces Stone's assertion that he was targeted by one.

Further down the rabbit hole

Stefan Halper's infiltration of the Trump campaign corresponds with the two of the four targets of the FBI's Operation Crossfire Hurricane - in which the agency sent former counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and others to a London meeting in the Summer of 2016 with former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer - who says Papadopoulos drunkenly admitted to knowing that the Russians had Hillary Clinton's emails.

Interestingly Downer - the source of the Papadopoulos intel, and Halper - who conned Papadopoulos months later, are linked through UK-based Haklyut & Co. an opposition research and intelligence firm similar to Fusion GPS - founded by three former British intelligence operatives in 1995 to provide the kind of otherwise inaccessible research for which select governments and Fortune 500 corporations pay huge sums .

Alexander Downer

Downer - a good friend of the Clintons, has been on their advisory board for a decade, while Halper is connected to Hakluyt through Director of U.S. operations Jonathan Clarke, with whom he has co-authored two books. (h/t themarketswork.com )

Alexander Downer, the Australian High Commissioner to the U.K. Downer said that in May 2016, Papadopoulos told him during a conversation in London about Russians having Clinton emails.

That information was passed to other Australian government officials before making its way to U.S. officials. FBI agents flew to London a day after "Crossfire Hurricane" started in order to interview Downer.

It is still not known what Downer says about his interaction with Papadopoulos, which TheDCNF is told occurred around May 10, 2016.

Also interesting via Lifezette - " Downer is not the only Clinton fan in Hakluyt. Federal contribution records show several of the firm's U.S. representatives made large contributions to two of Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign organizations ."

Halper contacted Papadopoulos on September 2, 2016 according to The Caller - flying him out to London to work on a policy paper on energy issues in Turkey, Cyprus and Israel - for which he was ultimately paid $3,000. Papadopoulos met Halper several times during his stay, "having dinner one night at the Travellers Club, and Old London gentleman's club frequented by international diplomats."

They were accompanied by Halper's assistant, a Turkish woman named Azra Turk. Sources familiar with Papadopoulos's claims about his trip say Turk flirted with him during their encounters and later on in email exchanges .

...

Emails were also brought up during Papadopoulos's meetings with Halper , though not by the Trump associate, according to sources familiar with his version of events. T he sources say that during conversation, Halper randomly brought up Russians and emails. Papadopoulos has told people close to him that he grew suspicious of Halper because of the remark. - Daily Caller

Meanwhile, Halper targeted Carter Page two days after Page returned from a trip to Moscow.

Page's visit to Moscow, where he spoke at the New Economic School on July 8, 2016, is said to have piqued the FBI's interest even further . Page and Halper spoke on the sidelines of an election-themed symposium held at Cambridge days later. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6 and a close colleague of Halper's, spoke at the event.

...

Page would enter the media spotlight in September 2016 after Yahoo! News reported that the FBI was investigating whether he met with two Kremlin insiders during that Moscow trip.

It would later be revealed that the Yahoo! article was based on unverified information from Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the dossier regarding the Trump campaign . Steele's report, which was funded by Democrats, also claimed Page worked with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on the collusion conspiracy. - Daily Caller

A third target of Halper's was Trump campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis, whose name was revealed by the Washington Post on Friday.

In late August 2016, the professor reached out to Clovis, asking if they could meet somewhere in the Washington area, according to Clovis's attorney, Victoria Toensing.

"He said he wanted to be helpful to the campaign" and lend the Trump team his foreign-policy experience, Toensing said.

Clovis, an Iowa political figure and former Air Force officer, met the source and chatted briefly with him over coffee, on either Aug. 31 or Sept. 1, at a hotel cafe in Crystal City, she said. Most of the discussion involved him asking Clovis his views on China.

"It was two academics discussing China," Toensing said. " Russia never came up. " - WaPo

Meanwhile, Bruce Ohr is still employed by the Department of Justice, and Fusion GPS continues its hunt for Trump dirt after having partnered with former Feinstein aide and ex-FBI counterintelligence agent, Dan Jones.

It's been nearly three years since an army of professional spies was unleashed on Trump - and he's still the President, Steele and Downer notwithstanding.

[Oct 21, 2018] What this accusation boils down to is saying that the Russian firm's deception is "proof" that they thought they were violating US law, and that this intention to break a non-existent law constitutes a framework under which they can be convicted of breaking a non-existent law. The crazy never stops.

Oct 21, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Old Poor Richard , 1 hour ago link

"Made up a crime to fit the facts they have" is a normal mode of operation for federal prosecutors. Hopefully the judge throws out all charges, but unlikely to have a broader impact on non-stop fabrications by US attorneys.

What this accusation boils down to is saying that the Russian firm's deception is "proof" that they thought they were violating US law, and that this intention to break a non-existent law constitutes a framework under which they can be convicted of breaking a non-existent law. The crazy never stops. Mueller and his minions should be disbarred.

Reaper , 2 hours ago link

Neo-American Law Rules: You're guilty of intent to commit the crime, rather than committing the crime.

KJWqonfo7 , 42 minutes ago link

It's called a thought crime, it's been around liberal circuits for years.

SirBarksAlot , 3 hours ago link

Wouldn't this set a dangerous precedent, if the judge ruled in favor of the government?

How many people have websites under fake names?

I guess they couldn't prove that they affected the outcome of the election, so they went for conspiracy instead.

DjangoCat , 1 hour ago link

Why is there any requirement to identify oneself beyond an alias, unless there are obligations of debt involved. Even there, the LLC places a barrier between an individual and the creditor.

I post with a pseudonym. My pseudonymous identity bears responsibility for its own reputation.

Algo Rhythm , 4 hours ago link

All of the clandestine branches of the Administrative State suck and need to be ended.

pparalegal , 4 hours ago link

ELECTION MEDDLING (as defined by Mueller and Kravis): every VPN blogger and/or user with more than one GMail account.

But NOT multi-million dollar foreign "contributions" to the Clinton Foundation. That have dried up since November of 2016. Oh no, nothing meddling about over there.

Scipio Africanuz , 5 hours ago link

By participation, do they mean like polls that consistently show the USA as the greatest impediment to global peace and tranquility? Or the numerous opinion sharers that the US government is depraved? Or like the kind of participation of Victoria "**** the EU" Nuland? Or like the Western sponsored Jihadi headchoppers hired to interfere in Syrian elections? Or like the US military fueled aggression against Yemeni sovereignty? Or like the US/Clinton sponsored destabilization of Libyan democracy? Or like the Obama/US sponsored destabilization of Egypt? Or like the US/Western sponsored failed coup in Turkey?

Or most crucially, the US/neoconservative never ending direct interference in internal Russian affairs?

These need to be clarified so folks can understand what meddling/interference/intervention means. It's not enough to point fingers, when worse activities have been, are being carried out by the pointers. Any society that abandons basic ethics, is one destined for the scrap heap of history.

Americans have forgotten what it means to be Americans, and this desperate gambit by the DOJ highlights viscerally, that the American system of government, one based on ethical values, is no more! It demonstrates the fragility of the system.

God alone knows if salvage is possible now, the USA has in the blink of an eye, become the erstwhile USSR, overly sensitive to the unworkability of its sociopolitical system. It is the end game of unsustainable imperium.

Live and learn folks, live and learn!...

hooligan2009 , 5 hours ago link

the law is straightforward.

a crime is committed. you define the crime, outline the harm and damage and seek out those that have perpetrated the crime.

you disclose your evidence, the accused is allowed to present an alibi.

a jury works out if the accused is guilty. a judge determines a sentence if guilt for a crime is proven.. based on evidence and argument.

in this case, no crime has been committed, no evidence of a crime has been presented and no trial can move forward.

those fabricating evidence and a crime are guilty of that.

**** or get off the pot!

PeterLong , 6 hours ago link

"Rather, the allegation is that the company knowingly engaged in deceptive acts that precluded the FEC, or the Justice Department, from ascertaining whether they had broken the law. - Bloomberg " I didn't know Prof. Irwin Corey worked for the US Attorney's office. By this explanation whether you break a law or not you can be guilty of precluding these agencies from determining that you did not break a law, even if whatever you did to prevent such determination was not illegal.

TGF Texas , 6 hours ago link

I hate to be cynical, but...

didn't the Judge in Manaforts trial do something similar when he called out the Mueller team on their motivation's for bringing Manafort up on old charges the DOJ had previously declined to prosecute him on?

Joshua2415 , 2 hours ago link

The difference is that Manafort actually did break a genuine law.

Moribundus , 7 hours ago link

Amerika is 180 degree turn from my logic. Mueler presented fake evidence and fabricated Lockerbie trial. He was working with Steele.

So this is great guy to head FBI and bull sheet Russia medling. In normal country, guy like Mueler is so discredired that can be hapi to have county investigator job, not government job

G-R-U-N-T , 8 hours ago link

LOL, Mueller's investigation is fucked. Indeed, they are going to have to bring forth the evidence via discovery.

It will come to light they manufactured a crime without the evidence. Also, if they don't drop the case they're running the risk of exposing even more crimes they committed.

This is where the American people should rise up and repeal prosecutorial immunity and make the real criminal's pay the price for manufacturing crime's! Care to speculate how many prosecutor's wouldn't even touch a potential criminal with doubt of innocence, if indeed prosecutors were held accountable for their own crimes???

Like I've said, people have NO idea how raunchy and corrupt this manufactured Mueller investigation is, once the unredacted FISA warrant and 302's are released, the people will realize both the seditious and traitorous behavior that went on in the ObamaSpy ring to frame Trump!

[Oct 21, 2018] Judge Orders Mueller To Prove Russian Company Meddled In Election

Oct 20, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
A Washington federal judge on Thursday ordered special counsel Robert Mueller's team to clarify election meddling claims lodged against a Russian company operated by Yevgeny Prigozhin, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Bloomberg .

Concord Management and Consulting, LLC. - one of three businesses indicted by Mueller in February along with 13 individuals for election meddling, surprised the special counsel in April when they actually showed up in court to fight the charges. Mueller's team tried to delay Concord from entering the case, arguing that thee Russian company not been properly served, however Judge Dabney Friedrich denied the request - effectively telling prosecutors ' well, they're here .'

Concord was accused in the indictment of supporting the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian 'troll farm' accused of trying to influence the 2016 US election.

On Thursday, Judge Freidrich asked Mueller's prosecutors if she should assume they aren't accusing Concord of violating US laws applicable to election expenditures and failure to register as a foreign agent.

Concord has asked Dabney to throw out the charges - claiming that Mueller's office fabricated a crime, and that there is no law against interfering in elections.

According to the judge's request for clarification, the Justice Department has argued that it doesn't have to show that Concord had a legal duty to report its expenditures to the Federal Election Commission . Rather, the allegation is that the company knowingly engaged in deceptive acts that precluded the FEC, or the Justice Department, from ascertaining whether they had broken the law. - Bloomberg

On Monday, Friedrich raised questions over whether the special counsel's office could prove a key element of their case - saying that it was "hard to see" how allegations of Russian influence were intended to interfere with US government operations vs. simply "confusing voters," reports law.com .

During a 90-minute hearing, Friedrich questioned prosecutor Jonathan Kravis about how the government would be able to show the Russian defendants were aware of the Justice Department and FEC's functions and then deliberately sought to skirt them.

" You still have to show knowledge of the agencies and what they do. How do you do that? " Friedrich asked.

Kravis, a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, argued that the government needed only to show that Concord Management and the other defendants were generally aware that the U.S. government "regulates and monitors" foreign participation in American politics . That awareness, Kravis said, could be inferred from the Russians' alleged creation of fake social media accounts that appeared to be run by U.S. citizens and "computer infrastructure" intended to mask the Russian origin of the influence operation.

" That is deception that is directed at a higher level ," Kravis said. Kravis appeared in court with Michael Dreeben , a top Justice Department appellate lawyer on detail to the special counsel's office. - law.com

Concord pleaded not guilty in May. Their attorney, Eric Dubelier - a partner at Reed Smith, has described the election meddling charges as "make believe," arguing on Monday that Mueller's indictment against Concord "doesn't charge a crime."

"There is no statute of interfering with an election. There just isn't," said Dubelier, who added that Mueller's office alleged a "made-up crime to fit the facts they have."

Dubelier added that the case against Concord Management is the first in US history "where anyone has ever been charged with defrauding the Justice Department" through their failure to register under FARA .

[Oct 21, 2018] Where is Sergei Skripalt by Rob Slane

Oct 18, 2018 | www.sott.net

The Blogmire
According to an article in The Mail , the mother of Sergei Skripal, Yelena, has not heard from her son since the incident on 4th March , and the last time she heard from her granddaughter, Yulia, was on 24th July:

"Recalling her phone conversation with Yulia, Yelena told the Daily Mirror : 'The last time I ­actually spoke to Yulia was on the 24th of July on my 90th birthday. She rang - it was unexpected but it was so lovely to hear from her. She called and was actually with Sergei. She told me: "I'm with daddy he is beside me but he can't speak as he has a pain in his throat". She said he had been in some pain.'"
This is interesting for a number of reasons.

Firstly, we know that during the conversation on 24th July, according to a number of reports (for example here ), Yulia told her grandmother that the reason Sergei was unable to speak was because his voice was still weak due to a tracheostomy :

"Babushka, happy birthday, everything is fine, everything is perfect. I am in London with papa. He can't speak because he's got a tracheostomy, that pipe, which will be taken off in three days. Now when he speaks with that pipe, his voice is first of all very weak and secondly, he makes quite a lot of wheeze. So babushka with your poor hearing you would really struggle to understand him. He'll call after the tracheostomy is off. "
This was almost 3 months ago. So the tracheostomy was preventing Sergei from speaking; but it was coming off in three days; yet nearly 3 months later and still no call from Sergei? Is that not very odd? Indeed, especially given that Yelena states in the interview that she and Sergei used to speak every week .

Secondly, the call on 24th July is itself very odd. Notice that Yulia uses the phrases "everything is fine, everything is perfect." These are basically the same sorts of phrases that she repeated over and over in her call with her cousin Viktoria on 5th April :

"Everything is ok, everything is fine."

"Everything is fine, but we'll see how it goes, we'll decide later. You know what the situation is here. Everything is fine, everything is solvable, everyone is recovering and is alive."

"Everything is ok. He is resting now, having a nap. Everyone's health is fine, there are no irreparable things. I will be discharged soon. Everything is ok."

She seems very keen - some would say overly keen - to emphasise that everything is fine and okay and perfect etc. To me it sounds unnatural and forced. What do you think?

But more than this, imagine yourself in the same situation. Your father is next to you. He can speak, but not very well, and so can't communicate through the phone to his mother. What would you do? Well, I know what I would do. I would relay speech from the one to the other. "He says he's getting better and misses you very much grandma." "She says she loves you, dad." Isn't that what normal people would do in such circumstances?

But instead, Yulia speaks in a way that doesn't fill me with too much certainty that he was actually in the room with her. It's all very medical and somewhat officious. And even if his voice was a bit wheezy and hard to understand, his ears were okay, weren't they? Couldn't Yulia have held the phone to her dad's ear so he could hear his mother speak to him? Again, that would be what a normal person would do in such circumstances, wouldn't it? But of course they don't do normal in SkripalWorld.

Thirdly, we have to reckon with the fact that since that call, in which Yulia indicated that Sergei would call in as little as three days, there has been no communication at all . Not with grandma. Not with Viktoria. Not with anyone (apparently even Mark Urban got the cold shoulder).

Actually, that's not quite the case. We don't really have to reckon with this because the heroic journalism of The Mail gives us the answer. In the same piece that it mentioned a call between Yulia and her grandma, in which Sergei was apparently sat right next to Yulia, we get this:

"Since that solitary phone conversation, she [Yelena] has not heard from her the two targeted relatives as any contact could lead Russian forces to the pair."
Remarkable, isn't it? So according to The Mail , the reason that Sergei Skripal cannot call his mother, is because Russian forces might be able to trace his whereabouts and order a hit on him. Another one, apparently. And yet in the very same piece they report on Yulia Skripal calling her grandmother on 24th July, with Sergei Skripal at her side. See? It's obvious, isn't it?

Not for the first time in this case, I'm left scratching my head and wondering whether the journalists who write this sort of thing believe their readers to be so dim that they won't notice statements in the same article that utterly refute one another, or whether the journalists themselves are so witless that they simply don't realise that they are contradicting themselves in the space of a few sentences. Any thoughts?

The fact is that Yulia has phoned her cousin Viktoria a number of times since the beginning of April, and in most, if not all of those calls, her father was said to be close by. She even did a little film for Reuters in May, with her father apparently in the same compound. Why were these allowed, since according to The Mail , it could have led Russian forces to the pair? Or are we to believe that Russian forces have only just developed the capability to trace phone calls since 24th July? Worse still, have British Security Services forgotten how to prevent phone calls being traced by other intelligence agencies since 24th July, not to mention also losing the ability to stop Russian forces from coming and getting them?

Or is it more likely that The Mail cannot be bothered to ask the obvious questions that stem from their own report. Such as:

1. Why is the apparent victim in this case, Sergei Skripal, who is under the protection of British (and possibly US) intelligence services, unable to phone his mother, whom he used to speak to on a weekly basis?

2. Does this constitute a violation of his human rights?

3. Given that he has had no contact with his mother since 4th March, how can we be sure that he is alive, and if he is, whether he is not being held against his will?

[Oct 20, 2018] I am most encouraged by the apparent Putin's realisation that the First Strike is possible now if not even likely. If the Russians expect an attack they are much less likely to be totally surprised, as usual. In fact, never in history was such attack by the West more likely than now, for various reasons which would take a while to explain.

Highly recommended!
Oct 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

Kiza says: October 20, 2018 at 9:13 am GMT 200 Words

Although it is almost off topic, I did find one point in Putin's Valdai speech quite telling. It was his point about the Russian automated system for detection and tracking of missile launches. Putin tried to boost the credibility of the Russian nuclear deterant by advertising this system for detecting the First Strike launches.

Although I do not believe that this system is as reliable as advertised, I am most encouraged by the apparent Putin's realisation that the First Strike is possible now if not even likely.

If the Russians expect an attack they are much less likely to be totally surprised, as usual. In fact, never in history was such attack by the West more likely than now, for various reasons which would take a while to explain.

I just hope that the Russian office corps is as prepared as Putin is to be productive martyrs (no more Arkhipovs please).

[Oct 20, 2018] Cloak and Dagger by Israel Shamir

Highly recommended!
UK politicians in Skripal story behaved by cheap clowns. Their story with door knob was pathetic. They tried to invent the legend with poisoning on the fly and that shows. There is definitely something else brewing here and Shamir proposed his version with Skripal double dealings or something along those line is quite plausible.
We will never know, but I think British discredited themselves for the whole world in this story. Trump was not better will using this tory to impose additional sanctions on Russia. This is just another proof that he is another neocon who during election campaign like Obama played the role of isolationalist and then appointed Haley to UN and hired Pompeo as his Secretary of state and Bolton as his security advisor -- a typical "bat and switch" operation in US politics.
Notable quotes:
"... Vrublevsky thinks that British intelligence convinced the GRU (probably we should say that GRU is not called GRU anymore but GU, the Chief Directorate of the General Staff, but it hardly matters) that Mr Skripal wanted to return home to Russia. Probably they were told that Mr Skripal intended to bring some valuable dowry with him, including Porton Down data and the secrets of the Golden Rain dossier. It is possible that Skripal had been played, too; perhaps he indeed wanted to go back to Russia, the country he missed badly. ..."
"... As we had learned from videos and stills published by the Brits, the two men had been carefully followed from the beginning to the end. Meanwhile, British intelligence staged a 'poisoning' of Skripal and his daughter, and the two agents quickly returned home. ..."
"... There is not a single man close to Russian intelligence who thinks that Skripal had actually been poisoned by the Russians. First, there was absolutely no reason to do it, and second, if the Russians would poison him, he would stay poisoned, like the Ukrainian Quisling Stepan Bandera was. ..."
"... However, by playing this card, the British secret service convinced the Foreign Office to expel all diplomats who had contacts and connection to the exposed GRU agents. The massive expulsion of 150 diplomats caused serious damage to the Russian secret services. ..."
"... Such a massive operation against Russian agents and their contacts could signal forthcoming war. In normal circumstances, states do not reveal their full knowledge of enemy agents. ..."
"... I do not know what is the truth. At this point I no longer care because we will never know but it will be the British version that will be the most popular. I like most people like good stories. Unfortunately for Russia the Brits have better script writers, director and actors. ..."
Oct 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

Vrublevsky thinks that British intelligence convinced the GRU (probably we should say that GRU is not called GRU anymore but GU, the Chief Directorate of the General Staff, but it hardly matters) that Mr Skripal wanted to return home to Russia. Probably they were told that Mr Skripal intended to bring some valuable dowry with him, including Porton Down data and the secrets of the Golden Rain dossier. It is possible that Skripal had been played, too; perhaps he indeed wanted to go back to Russia, the country he missed badly.

Two GRU agents, supposedly experts on extraction (they allegedly sneaked the Ukrainian president Yanukovych from Ukraine after the coup and saved him from lynching mob) were sent to Salisbury to test the ground and make preparations for Skripal's return. As we had learned from videos and stills published by the Brits, the two men had been carefully followed from the beginning to the end. Meanwhile, British intelligence staged a 'poisoning' of Skripal and his daughter, and the two agents quickly returned home.

There is not a single man close to Russian intelligence who thinks that Skripal had actually been poisoned by the Russians. First, there was absolutely no reason to do it, and second, if the Russians would poison him, he would stay poisoned, like the Ukrainian Quisling Stepan Bandera was.

However, by playing this card, the British secret service convinced the Foreign Office to expel all diplomats who had contacts and connection to the exposed GRU agents. The massive expulsion of 150 diplomats caused serious damage to the Russian secret services.

Still, the Russians had no clue how the West had learned identities of so many diplomats connected to GRU. They suspected that there was a mole, and a turncoat who delivered the stuff to the enemy.

That is why Vladimir Putin decided to dare them. As he knew that the two men identified by the British service had no connection to the alleged poisoning, he asked them to appear on the RT in an interview with Ms Simonyan. By acting as village hicks, they were supposed to provoke the enemy to disclose its source. The result was unexpected: instead of revealing the name of a turncoat, the Belling Cat, a site used by the Western Secret Services for intentional leaks, explained how the men were traced by using the stolen databases. Putin's plan misfired.

The Russian secret service is not dead. Intelligence services do suffer from enemy action from time to time: the Cambridge Five infiltrated the upper reaches of the MI-5 and delivered state secrets to Moscow for a long time, but the Intelligence Service survived. Le Carre's novels were based on such a defeat of the intelligence. However they have a way to recover. Identity of their top agents remain secret, and they are concealed from the enemy's eyes.

But in order to function properly, the Russians will have to clean their stables, remove their databases from the market place and keep its citizenry reasonably safe. Lax, and not-up-to-date agents do not apparently understand the degree the internet is being watched. Considering it should have been done twenty years ago, and meanwhile a new generation of Russians has came of age, perfectly prepared to sell whatever they can for cash, it is a formidable task.

There is an additional reason to worry. Such a massive operation against Russian agents and their contacts could signal forthcoming war. In normal circumstances, states do not reveal their full knowledge of enemy agents. It made president Putin worry; and he said this week: we'll go to heaven as martyrs, the attackers will die as sinners. In face of multiple and recent threats, this end of the world is quite possible.


utu , says: October 20, 2018 at 4:23 am GMT

Great story. If told many people would believe it. But now it is kind of late. So why it wasn't told within few days or weeks of Skripal affair? Why it is the British media that has initiative and Russian media is reactive and defensive? The story that Skripal wanted to return and that two agents were lured in there should have been told right away and that it turned out be MI5 provocation should have been insinuated. And the two agents should have been interviewed on Russian media. Instead we get defensive inept and indolent Russian reactions.

I do not know what is the truth. At this point I no longer care because we will never know but it will be the British version that will be the most popular. I like most people like good stories. Unfortunately for Russia the Brits have better script writers, director and actors.

jilles dykstra , says: October 20, 2018 at 7:25 am GMT
@utu " Instead we get defensive inept and indolent Russian reactions."
The reaction 'if we want to kill somebody that somebody does not survive' I cannot see as inept and indolent.
Malaysian Truther , says: October 20, 2018 at 8:24 am GMT
Excellent piece by Israel Shamir which I think gives the correct explanation of the Skripal poisoning. This was a classic fishing, 'click bait' operation which produced a very valuable haul for Western Intelligence. The only question is whether Skripal cooperated with it – which I think he did – not knowing that both he and his daughter were meant to die. Hence Putin's rage against Skripal a few weeks ago ( calling him a scumbag traitor etc, etc) after the Russian operatives were identified because retired agents are supposed to stay retired.

Russia made a very serious mistake with the RT interview with the 2 operatives. Better not to say anything if you can't give the whole story. The GU weren't happy to show their incompetence, but compounded the original mistake with obvious lying. That was a propaganda gift to the Western media and has helped convince original disbelievers of Russian perfidy.

Russia needs to step up its game especially in the media dept.

Tom Welsh , says: October 20, 2018 at 9:38 am GMT
"Unfortunately for Russia the Brits have better script writers, director and actors".

Maybe, if your taste runs to "Dr Who" or "Carry On Spying". That's about the level of the Skripal nonsense.

If it was meant for public consumption, the British government's opinion of the British people is much lower than mine.

jilles dykstra , says: October 20, 2018 at 10:33 am GMT
@Anatoly Karlin " British or American human capital, but there are certainly consummate professionals relative to what passes for today's Russian intelligence services. "

On what this 'certainly' is based, I see no argument whatsoever.
Already a long time ago, I must admit, the CIA director had to admit to senator Moynihan that he had lied about the CIA not laying mines in Havana harbour.
A professional in espionage does not get caught.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 'Secrecy', New Haven 1998
Anyone acquinted with Sept 11 understands that the USA's secret army, the CIA, was involved.
Another blunder.
As far as I know British secret services never get caught.
How clever the Russians are, suppose quite clever, I for one do not think that the stupid stories about for example Skripal have any truth in them.
Until now the asserted Russian meddling in USA elections have not been proved.
Do not know of anything credible that Russian intelligence people are said to have done.
But of course Russian intelligence does exist.

Fatima Manoubia , says: October 20, 2018 at 11:18 am GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

"A related problem is that since there is now a free market economy, with many more attractive career options for talented people, the high quality people go to work in other spheres, leaving the intelligence agencies with the dregs;" .

A direct result of erasing ideology so as to erase personality cult towards highly respected people in former USSR .When you have no ideology ( or worst, share ideology with your opponent, i.e free market .) all what you have, from values to secrets, from scientific human capital to secret service officials, are out there in the global market for possible selling to the best postor .this is the principle of capitalism .. after all, it is said, almost everybody has a price .The challenge is finding out where that little bunch who have not are ..Obviously, in this scenario, the one who has the printing machine has a "little" advantage How to overcome this would be part of "what is to be done" ..

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: October 20, 2018 at 12:07 pm GMT
If the Russians wanted to kill them they would be dead. Period. It is all FN hoax.
The latest English came up with was that poison was smeared on the door handle and that both touched the door handle. Give me a break. Such a idiocy. Just imagine the exit procedure where both are touching the door knob.
And than both Russians went to garbage dump carrying the little bottle and thru it there.
What an exemplary citizen neat behavior by Russians,
All English story is such a stupid idiocy that it turns my stomach.
All we like sheep , says: October 20, 2018 at 12:14 pm GMT

However, the presence of Russian spies in Salisbury can be explained by its nearness to Porton Down, the secret British chemical lab and factory for manufacturing chemical weapons applied by the White Helmets in Syria in their false-flag operation in Douma and other places. It is possible that a resident of Salisbury (Mr Skripal?) had delivered samples from Porton Down to the Russian intelligence agents. This makes much more sense than the dubious story of Russians trying to poison an old ex-spy who did his stretch in a Russian jail.

If Mr. Skripal has been poisoned by the stuff of which he himself took samples in Porton Down, this would run completely parallel to the earlier poisoning of Mr. Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko, who also became ill because of carrying poison (polonium) around.

Eagle Eye , says: October 20, 2018 at 12:54 pm GMT

If [Yulia Skripal] had not had the courage to make this call while slipping the observance of British intelligence, she would probably be dead by now.

Both Skripals are most likely DEAD, murdered by British "intelligence" services.

The formulaic and curiously uninterested treatment of the matter in the British media seems inconsistent with the Skripals still being alive.

The article above suggests that the Skripals were unwitting or witting participants in a sting to expose Russian intelligence agents. More importantly, Sergey Skripal appears to have had a role in the creation of the DNC's "dossier" to undermine the Trump presidencey.

Whatever the background, Sergey Skripal became privy to important secrets that the Brits and their seditious allies in the U.S. Deep State do not want exposed.

macilrae , says: October 20, 2018 at 2:38 pm GMT
In the Skripal case the British have not explained why, after claiming to have found the closest approach to a smoking gun in the form of traces of novichok in that hotel room, the hotel was not then immediately quarantined.

And assuredly, with Putin's name on the line, the Russians have to do a better job if they are to refute the standing accusations – the RT interview was something of a PR disaster.

The Belloncat data, although superficially convincing, could so easily have been faked by anybody with reasonable knowledge of Russian internet infrastructure and some proficiency in Photoshop.

CalDre , says: October 20, 2018 at 3:21 pm GMT
@utu

But now it is kind of late. So why it wasn't told within few days or weeks of Skripal affair?

It's still not being told – believe it or not, Israel Shamir is not Sergei Lavrov. I hypothesized to the same state of affairs in early September re: Skripals.

But I did not know about these massive intelligence security breaches in Russia. Wow, that's huge. Even though it's not clear to me how this indicates Putin's plan misfired. If anything he got exactly what he wanted: confirmation that the "West" had access to the entire passport database. Knowing what your enemy has in intelligence is a huge win, now they can work on correcting it (hard as it may be, it would be impossible without knowing).

CalDre , says: October 20, 2018 at 3:24 pm GMT
@macilrae You are right, it could have been faked, anything can be faked today, even a video of Putin speaking (search for "deep fakes" and watch the video at https://www.wsj.com/articles/deepfake-videos-are-ruining-lives-is-democracy-next-1539595787 ).

But the fact is Russia has not really disputed the results so I am fairly confident that not only was Belling Cat right, but Israel is right, and now we have the situation where Russia knows that Western intelligence has full access to Russia's passport database.

wayfarer , says: October 20, 2018 at 3:55 pm GMT
@Tyrion 2 Had some experiences with Chinese and Mossad spies, not to mention Russian Jewish hard-drug dealers.

Here are a few examples.

There was an AMES postdoc at UCSD, a Chinese applied-math brain who had a 10-plus female handler. She'd stop by occasionally to check up on him. He always get extremely anxious when she was around. Couldn't figure out if it was fear, sexual excitement, or a combination of both.

There was an old Chinese man and his foxy young female protege, who enjoyed filming U.S. military maneuvers along the San Diego coast. I observed their operation for days.

There was a swing-shift cleaning crew in a Southern California high-tech mfg facility that was all Chinese, in an area that typically employed Latin American crews. Its head honcho was a beautiful Chinese lady. They made it their job to sort through trash bins and save papers. The feds busted them.

As far as the Mossad, I spent two years on a rental property in SD county, which was occupied by them as well. Mostly Israeli kids using the property and a local Israeli-owned vegetarian restaurant as their "scorpion den." Got fairly familiar with some of their espionage work and methods.

I don't go looking for this stuff. I'm just able to recognize it. As an empath I can read people, quite well. It's a natural gift.

Can't stomach Israel's insensitive nature. That's why you'll typically find me pointing out their self-serving bullshit.

source: https://themindunleashed.com/2013/10/30-traits-of-empath.html

FB , says: October 20, 2018 at 4:13 pm GMT
This is a pretty good article but also falls on its face at the end

Mr Shamir's 'inside' information confirms my own take on Petrov and Boshirov which I published a few days after that RT interview with Ms Simonyan I wrote this on Col Lang's blog on Sept 14

'Yeah those two 'tourists' do look the part don't they I would say they are probably GRU or something similar but nobody 'poisoned' the Skripals that's total kabuki theater another Potemkin village production from the reality masters

Something is afoot here though perhaps these two were lured to Salisbury as part of a frame up plot, perhaps by Skripal himself or perhaps the Brits caught wind of their plans to visit [on some standard spying mission, certainly not assassination] and put in motion the elaborate hoax

Everybody there protested loudly including Andrey Martyanov [Smoothie] I also added this

' I disagree with everyone here it seems these guys aren't tourists but they also didn't try to kill anyone that's stupid

It's some sort of spy game

Here's one scenario double agent Skripal makes convincing noises about flipping back someone at GRU [or some similar outfit] sends these two to Salisbury to check it out a very stupid move which is why Putin is now miffed enough to display these guys publicly and their field career surely over also a slap in the face to the silly Limeys for playing dirty pool even in the cloak and dagger game there are unwritten rules '

This is now exactly the story that Mr Shamir is presenting here but he is a day late and a dollar short

I also don't agree with his take that this is all somehow a big loss for Russian intel the Brits are the ones who have painted themselves in a corner their Skripal story is a wet paper bag waiting to fall apart the fact that they lured the Russians to Salisbury, under whatever pretext, be it Skripal or Porton Down/white helmets etc was their only small tactical victory because they could then later expose those two after months of Russian denials in order to show the Russians were in fact somehow involved

But that exposure came months later all that time the Russians would have known that Boshirov and Petrov had been captured on candid camera and would have had time to work on their countermove

Mr Shamir writes this like the game is over that is ridiculous the Brits have no way out of the Skripal hoax there was never any poisoning the original diagnosis of the Skripals in the Salisbury hospital was opioid overdose that came out in the first BBC interview with the hospital staff months after the 'poisoning'

It was not until 48 hours after the Skripals were admitted to hospital and the convenient intervention of Porton Down that the medical diagnosis was 'changed' to nerve agent poisoning

BUT this is an unsustainable story that WILL FALL APART the simple reason is medical and chemical fact both nerve agents and agricultural pesticides are based on the exact same chemical compound organophosphates

It just so happens that organophsphate poisoning is 'one of the most common causes of poisoning worldwide '

'There are nearly 3 million poisonings per year resulting in two hundred thousand deaths.'

That is the simple reason why emergency doctors EVERYWHERE are trained to recognize and treat this kind of poisoning especially in rural, agricultural areas like Salisbury

That is why it took months for media to gain access to the medical staff at that hospital the British spooks needed to do a lot of 'persuading' with medical professionals that would have wanted no part in such trickery and fakery

But this is a ticking time bomb that is bound to blow up in the faces of the very stupid Brits

So yes they pulled off a minor coup in luring those two to Salisbury but the game is very very far from over

As for Skripal he is in on it for sure as I speculated in my original comment on the matter..the Russian intel services are perfectly aware of this, yet Mr Shamir's supposedly well connected source has zero knowledge of this which tells me this source is actually a useless clown who 'knows' exactly what an internet commenter [myself] already knew two months ago

PS the fact that the Brits supposedly have all kinds of database info on the Russian intel apparatus and personnel files etc doesn't mean anything the author is a making a big deal out of this, but his story lacks meat on its bones most 'intel' is open source material anyway

As for sensitive stuff that may have been 'sold' by 'corrupt' bureaucrats one must ask if such 'info' is actually real or a clever plant providing fake info is the oldest spy trick in the book and this article simply takes for granted that such a trick would not have been employed why not ?

CalDre , says: October 20, 2018 at 5:30 pm GMT
@FB How would a fake database leak include the real data on the two GRU agents that just happened to be sent to UK? Maybe it was to make the data leak seem real?

In spycraft it is always impossible to know how deep the deception goes. That's why the very article to which you are responding started with:

It is hard to evaluate the exact measure of things in the murky world of spies and counter-spies, but it appears that the Western spies have had extraordinary success in the subterranean battle.

An acknowledgement you stubbornly ignore.

M Edward , says: October 20, 2018 at 6:01 pm GMT
None of this matters.

All governments are corrupt and have no interest in the welfare of the native populations.

All this he said she said crap is irrelevant, in the end we all will end up under a totalitarian police state run out of Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem.

Cyrano , says: October 20, 2018 at 6:06 pm GMT
I think that a clear strategy by the western "intelligence" services is starting to emerge vis-a-vis the Russians. By accusing any Russian that they can get their hands on, of being a spy, they want to scare the ordinary Russians from visiting the west, so afterwards any Russian actually caught traveling to the west can be safely assumed to be a spy – since by the calculations of the clever western intelligence – only someone who is actually a spy while at the same time being Russian, would dare to travel to the west. How smart is that?

Joking aside, it really is becoming unsafe for Russian nationals to travel to the west. Even though the west reserves the generosity of calling somebody equal only for those that are from the 3rd world – Russians clearly don't deserve such generosity.

Despite this, exceptions can be made and some unfortunate Russian soul could be accused of being equal with those highly evolved westerners and against their will can be offered protection from Mother Russia.

Pretty much like it happened to Yulia Skripal. She was only visiting her gastarbeiter father in GB, who apparently expressed desire to return to Russia, against pretty much everybody's wishes, and all of a sudden Yulia Skripal found herself bestowed with the western generosity of being declared equal, and was disappeared from public eye in order to protect her from those with whom she is clearly not equal – the Russians.

Thank God at least MI-6 proved equal to the task and discovered her equalness in a nick of time and saved her. The moral of the story: Only democracy has the power to recognize who is equal and who is not. Then, on the other hand, capitalism can keep acquiring new monikers such as "democracy" – all they want, Russia still has better quality of equality, despite ditching socialism.

FB , says: October 20, 2018 at 6:24 pm GMT
@CalDre Yes I 'stubbornly' refuse to take at face value this silly statement

it appears that the Western spies have had extraordinary success in the subterranean battle.'

Because it's not backed up by anything other than hot air as for that supposed 'data' about Petrov and Boshirov that was put out by Bellingcat

Ie mickey mouse stuff as with everything these clowns do, it is meant only to bamboozle the most utterly stupid bipeds

A very nice clue is the fact that a Russian website called 'The Insider' is Bellingcat's acknowledged partner here

If you read the article in English they claim to have 'dug' up a lot of info from various sources such the central Russian resident database and passenger check in data for their flight to the UK

Big deal that Shamir is building a mountain out of a molehill is more than clear

In fact this entire Shamir tale appears to have one subtle purpose to publicize and glorify the Bellingcat outfit

which irredeemably lost any credibility a few weeks back when illiterate poofter Eliott Higgins refused a debate challenge by the distinguished MIT physicist and former presidential advisor Ted Postol actually calling Postol an 'idiot' a move that astounded even those willing to entertain Higgins on a semi-credible level

peterAUS , says: October 20, 2018 at 6:39 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin Be that as it may, the "Western side" had (publicly known) Aldrich, Hanssen and Benghazi fiasco.

Boils down to, from the comment below:

When you have no ideology ( or worst, share ideology with your opponent, i.e free market .) all what you have, from values to secrets, from scientific human capital to secret service officials, are out there in the global market for possible selling to the best postor .this is the principle of capitalism .. after all, it is said, almost everybody has a price..

and

Obviously, in this scenario, the one who has the printing machine has a "little" advantage.

And, on top of it, in West, since the fall of The Wall, we've been having "Cooking the Intelligence to Fit the Political Agenda".

Incompetence vs blatant lying?
What a choice.

Kubarking , says: October 20, 2018 at 6:43 pm GMT
This commenter begs to differ with M. Karlin's assessment (8) of the relative competence of Russian sovok and CIA. "consummate professionals relative to what passes for today's Russian intelligence services"? Mais non.

CIA always gets caught. All they do is step on their crank, again and again. They depend not on professionalism but on what Russ Baker describes as a strange mix of ruthlessness and ineptitude. Both stem from impunity in municipal law.

For example: CIA torture and coercive interference got comprehensively exposed, worldwide, in the '70s. What happened? Don Gregg gave the Church and Pike committees an ultimatum: Back off or it's martial law. CIA got busted again in the '80s for the criminal enterprises under the Iran/Contra rubric. By then CIA had installed Tom Polgar, Former Saigon Station Chief, as chief investigator for the cognizant Senate Select committee, and Polgar assured Gregg that his hearings would not be a repeat of the abortive Pike and Church flaps.

So CIA are clowns. They can afford to be clowns because they know they can get away with it. Getting away with it is their only skill, and the only skill they need.

The persistent category error at this site is failing to realize that CIA is the state. They rule the USA.

[Oct 19, 2018] You'll learn a great many things you didn't know before from Putin and Lavrov interviews. I certainly did!

Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ross , Oct 18, 2018 6:08:19 PM | link

@ben | Oct 18, 2018 5:09:50 PM | 40

If you are finding your way out of the dark forest of propaganda there are two speeches by Putin that I point people toward. First, at the Munich Security Conference in 2007. Video here : Transcript here

Second, at the UN General Assembly September 2015, Video here : Transcript here .

I fail to see how any rational person could disagree with the sentiments he expresses. Warning! You may become a Putin-bot!

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 8:40:07 PM | link

Lots of interviews: Putin, Medvedev, and Lavrov twice. The only two I haven't linked to are Lavrov's --done!

Putin's Valdai Club transcript isn't 100% complete yet, but the summary I linked to earlier @11 has the video. The Medvedev link's @21.

You'll learn a great many things you didn't know before from these interviews. I certainly did!

[Oct 19, 2018] Oh for the day when a western leader could speak with such intellectual rigour, such philosophical integrity and with such basic common sense. Russia has a giant, we have a bunch of pygmies

Notable quotes:
"... Russia does not have the concept of a preventive strike in its doctrine for using nuclear arms. We only consider using it in response. That means that we are prepared to use nuclear weapons only when we have hard facts that a potential aggressor is striking on Russia, on Russian territory with nuclear weapons. ..."
"... They tried to do the same by attacking South Ossetia. As a result of those criminal, basically, criminal actions, Georgia has lost significant territories -- as a result of Saakashvili's actions, this is the result of his work. It would be very sad if today's Ukrainian authorities would follow in his footsteps. ..."
Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 2:41:08 PM | link

CarlD@23--

One al-Masdar News item I tried to link was about Zionist jets testing the outer envelope of Syrian airspace earlier today. Clearly they think the Ukrainian S-300 they trained against differs little from the very upgraded versions employed in Syria, which are much closer to S-400 in most abilities other than missile performance. I wonder if the Zionist pilots will draw straws to see which one of them becomes the sacrificial lamb--perhaps it ought to fall to the top Zionist air force commander.

For all Aussie Barflies, Partisangirl posts an "Honest #australian government ad about anti-encryption laws," in which they are called "Ass Access." Excellent short vid that ought to catch fire before YouTube yanks it.

S , Oct 18, 2018 3:04:23 PM | link

RT has posted the full video of the annual Valdai Club meeting with Putin. This year they've ditched the traditional panel discussion in favor of Putin answering questions solo. For those MoA regulars who don't have the time to watch it, I've transcribed a few of Putin's answers that I found interesting.

Putin on Crimea school shooting

This is most likely a result of globalization, strange as that may sound. On social media, on the internet, we see entire communities created. It all started with the well-known tragic shootings in U.S. high schools, where young people who are mentally unstable create false idols, false heroes for themselves. And that means that all of us, not only in Russia, but globally, we don't react promptly to the changing realities around the Globe, we don't create content that would be helpful and interesting for young people, and so they have to grab this surrogate of heroic images, and that leads to tragedies like this one.

Putin on nuclear retaliation

In our concept of using nuclear weapons there is no such notion as a preventive strike. And I would like to request all those present here and all those who will be reporting on what I'm saying and analyzing every word I say or using what I say for their own narrative, please take note of this fact, that Russia does not have the concept of a preventive strike in its doctrine for using nuclear arms. We only consider using it in response. That means that we are prepared to use nuclear weapons only when we have hard facts that a potential aggressor is striking on Russia, on Russian territory with nuclear weapons.

Now, this is no secret, we have prepared an early warning system, we have created it and we keep improving it. This system analyzes globally, world-wide, where launches are being made, including oceanic surface, they identify where missiles are being launched from, secondly, their trajectory and the point of impact. All this is being identified and analyzed within seconds.

And so only if we identify through that system that missiles are being launched at us, only then will we deliver a retaliatory strike, a strike in response. Only when there are missiles airborne being launched at Russia.

Of course, that would lead to a global disaster, to a nuclear catastrophe, but Russia cannot become its instigator or initiator, because we don't have a preventive strike as part of our military doctrine. Of course, once someone has launched nuclear missiles at us, it would be maybe too late to stop them, but a potential aggressor should know that there would be a retaliation, and we will get to heaven as martyrs, and our enemies will simply simply die as dogs, because they won't even have time to redeem themselves (repent). (nervous laughter in the audience)

Putin on Ukraine

Currently, the Ukrainian regime is not merely deadlocking the situation. There're conducting an anti-state and anti-public policy, the same way it was done by Saakashvili in Georgia. They tried to do the same by attacking South Ossetia. As a result of those criminal, basically, criminal actions, Georgia has lost significant territories -- as a result of Saakashvili's actions, this is the result of his work. It would be very sad if today's Ukrainian authorities would follow in his footsteps.

I hope that that would not be the case. But what has happened over the past time in social sphere, in economics? What's happening there? What we see is de-industrialization of the Ukrainian economy. There's basically no investments coming. They're just talking about investments, but nothing is taking place in reality. How can you work with economy that is always shaken by some kinds of shocks or undermined by domestic political crises? There is also war hysteria. All things have been destroyed. Where is that ship-building industry that Ukraine was proud of? Where's the aircraft-building industry, which was created by the whole Soviet Union throughout decades? What about spaceship-building? It has also been lost. And the same goes for every part of Ukrainian pride of the past. And what's happening is what I have been saying. I'm just saying it outloud here, but I wanted to ask you a rhetorical question. Why did our Western partners need that, especially the previous leadership of European Commission? Why did they have to insist on such a hard choice, hard engagement of Ukraine in the European Association? What did that give to Ukraine? The open market? So they're asking for Ukraine to bring out round timber. But it's not Siberia -- three or four years of work, and they're going to destroy all of the forests. And now Western partners are asking for GMO products in agriculture. Then we will have to close borders, because GMO is prohibited in our country. Now they're going to take the black earth soil out of Ukraine. Therefore, I believe that today's policy of Ukrainian authorities is aimed at what, what are they trading in? They're trading in Russophobia and anti-Russian sentiments, there are no more goods there. And they're being forgiven for everything for that. Because the nightmare of our Western partners is that Russia and Ukraine are cooperating in any way, because they think there will be growing competition in the world as a result of such cooperation. But we don't a claim for that, we just wanted to have normal work. Why did they have to open up Ukrainian markets without giving anything in return? And demanding from the Ukrainian government, constantly, to raise the prices for (natural) gas. They understand that the purchasing power of the population is not so high, they used to gather just peanuts for the (natural) gas industry before (in utility payments), and now they're basically gathering nothing -- all benefits, all pensions are at zero. So we're gonna have to wait for the domestic political cycle to end, and I truly hope that with a new leadership of the country we'll be capable of building at least some kind of relations and agree on something. We are prepared for that and we want that.

Ross , Oct 18, 2018 3:19:17 PM | link
re Putin's comments @29

Oh for the day when a western leader could speak with such intellectual rigour, such philosophical integrity and with such basic common sense. Russia has a giant, we have a bunch of pygmies.

[Oct 19, 2018] Putin's remarks at Valdai Club

Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 12:12:47 PM | link

Recap of Putin's remarks at Valdai Club provided by Sputnik covers lots of ground. I'll post a link to the full transcript when I find it. Yes, he does comment on Khashoggi affair, which I'll post onto that thread. Haven't seen a recap of Lavrov's remarks yet.


karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 1:35:43 PM | link

It appears that links to al-Masdar News are now being blocked by TypePad where they weren't previously.

Medvedev interview transcript with Euronews TV shows he's learned a few pointers from Putin on not being cowed. He'll represent Russia at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). This Summit, which few have probably heard about, is mainly a talk-shop not a deal-making venue like the G-20, but Medvedev sees it as a useful forum. No, he wasn't asked about Khashoggi, but was queried about Skripal affair.

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 2:41:08 PM | link S , Oct 18, 2018 3:04:23 PM | link
RT has posted the full video of the annual Valdai Club meeting with Putin. This year they've ditched the traditional panel discussion in favor of Putin answering questions solo. For those MoA regulars who don't have the time to watch it, I've transcribed a few of Putin's answers that I found interesting.

Putin on Crimea school shooting

This is most likely a result of globalization, strange as that may sound. On social media, on the internet, we see entire communities created. It all started with the well-known tragic shootings in U.S. high schools, where young people who are mentally unstable create false idols, false heroes for themselves. And that means that all of us, not only in Russia, but globally, we don't react promptly to the changing realities around the Globe, we don't create content that would be helpful and interesting for young people, and so they have to grab this surrogate of heroic images, and that leads to tragedies like this one.

Putin on nuclear retaliation

In our concept of using nuclear weapons there is no such notion as a preventive strike. And I would like to request all those present here and all those who will be reporting on what I'm saying and analyzing every word I say or using what I say for their own narrative, please take note of this fact, that Russia does not have the concept of a preventive strike in its doctrine for using nuclear arms. We only consider using it in response. That means that we are prepared to use nuclear weapons only when we have hard facts that a potential aggressor is striking on Russia, on Russian territory with nuclear weapons. Now, this is no secret, we have prepared an early warning system, we have created it and we keep improving it. This system analyzes globally, world-wide, where launches are being made, including oceanic surface, they identify where missiles are being launched from, secondly, their trajectory and the point of impact. All this is being identified and analyzed within seconds. And so only if we identify through that system that missiles are being launched at us, only then will we deliver a retaliatory strike, a strike in response. Only when there are missiles airborne being launched at Russia. Of course, that would lead to a global disaster, to a nuclear catastrophe, but Russia cannot become its instigator or initiator, because we don't have a preventive strike as part of our military doctrine. Of course, once someone has launched nuclear missiles at us, it would be maybe too late to stop them, but a potential aggressor should know that there would be a retaliation, and we will get to heaven as martyrs, and our enemies will simply simply die as dogs, because they won't even have time to redeem themselves (repent). (nervous laughter in the audience)

Putin on Ukraine

Currently, the Ukrainian regime is not merely deadlocking the situation. There're conducting an anti-state and anti-public policy, the same way it was done by Saakashvili in Georgia. They tried to do the same by attacking South Ossetia. As a result of those criminal, basically, criminal actions, Georgia has lost significant territories -- as a result of Saakashvili's actions, this is the result of his work. It would be very sad if today's Ukrainian authorities would follow in his footsteps. I hope that that would not be the case. But what has happened over the past time in social sphere, in economics? What's happening there? What we see is de-industrialization of the Ukrainian economy. There's basically no investments coming. They're just talking about investments, but nothing is taking place in reality. How can you work with economy that is always shaken by some kinds of shocks or undermined by domestic political crises? There is also war hysteria. All things have been destroyed. Where is that ship-building industry that Ukraine was proud of? Where's the aircraft-building industry, which was created by the whole Soviet Union throughout decades? What about spaceship-building? It has also been lost. And the same goes for every part of Ukrainian pride of the past. And what's happening is what I have been saying. I'm just saying it outloud here, but I wanted to ask you a rhetorical question. Why did our Western partners need that, especially the previous leadership of European Commission? Why did they have to insist on such a hard choice, hard engagement of Ukraine in the European Association? What did that give to Ukraine? The open market? So they're asking for Ukraine to bring out round timber. But it's not Siberia -- three or four years of work, and they're going to destroy all of the forests. And now Western partners are asking for GMO products in agriculture. Then we will have to close borders, because GMO is prohibited in our country. Now they're going to take the black earth soil out of Ukraine. Therefore, I believe that today's policy of Ukrainian authorities is aimed at what, what are they trading in? They're trading in Russophobia and anti-Russian sentiments, there are no more goods there. And they're being forgiven for everything for that. Because the nightmare of our Western partners is that Russia and Ukraine are cooperating in any way, because they think there will be growing competition in the world as a result of such cooperation. But we don't a claim for that, we just wanted to have normal work. Why did they have to open up Ukrainian markets without giving anything in return? And demanding from the Ukrainian government, constantly, to raise the prices for (natural) gas. They understand that the purchasing power of the population is not so high, they used to gather just peanuts for the (natural) gas industry before (in utility payments), and now they're basically gathering nothing -- all benefits, all pensions are at zero. So we're gonna have to wait for the domestic political cycle to end, and I truly hope that with a new leadership of the country we'll be capable of building at least some kind of relations and agree on something. We are prepared for that and we want that.

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 3:35:12 PM | link
S @29--

Thanks for doing that work! Transcript at Kremlin website's still incomplete, containing probably half of entire program. As usual, much of importance was stated. Putin's matter-of-fact delivery regarding use of nuclear weapons and the nature of those who would launch a first strike was sobering. The question today's reversed: Do Americans love their children too? Unfortunately, given what's happening here domestically, the answer provided by DC Duopoly policy makers is NO, they don't give a damn about their kids or anyone else's!

[Oct 19, 2018] We make fake news by Maxim Kononenko

Notable quotes:
"... "The United States has that ability, with our Navy, to make sure the sea lanes are open, and, if necessary, to blockade ... to make sure that their energy does not go to market," ..."
Oct 04, 2018 | kononenkome.livejournal.com

The spoken word is known to be sticky. The quote tells us "Be careful with your words. Once they're said, they can only be forgiven, not forgotten." Especially when it is the word of some high-ranking official. For example, the US Ambassador to NATO, which the day before, according to Reuters, said the following, quoting the Agency: "If Russia does not stop the development of prohibited weapons systems, the US will consider destroying them before they work."

How can you not believe Reuters? Okay there some dubious sources like NYT or WaPo, but it's the most respectable news Agency in the world. The main provider of financial news on the planet -- the type of news for the reliability of which people pay serious money. Because they make important decisions on their basis.

And now the whole world is holding its breath. Especially as days earlier the USA Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke proudly declared that the USA can organize sea blockade of Russia (washingtonexaminer.com). "The United States has that ability, with our Navy, to make sure the sea lanes are open, and, if necessary, to blockade ... to make sure that their energy does not go to market," he said. To prevent the supply of Russian energy resources to the Middle East. It's so scary. The impression is that WWIII is coming as a bunch of crazy lunatics in the USA are hell-bent on destroying Russia.

Suddenly, the U.S. Ambassador to NATO, wrote on Twitter that she's not mean. And said only that if Russia will continue to develop their weapons, and the United States will also have to get the same weapons. And on careful reading of the transcript, it becomes clear that she really did not talk about any weapon destruction. But nobody checked.

And for some reason no onein MSM asked the question, and why supplies of Russian energy to the middle East that the Minister of internal Affairs of the United States trying to prevent are needed. Was he talking about gas supplies to Qatar? Or oil to Saudi Arabia? Or whether former Navy SEAL and Congressman Ryan Zinke drink or smoke something really strong.

No, nobody checked anything. Everyone just believed what the media gave us. Because not only is absolutely impossible not to believe Reuters. especially when the whole world is waiting for such fake news. Such news seems natural to the world in light of what is happening. Humanity is waiting for an aggravation, and the press gives mankind an exacerbation. Moreover, all know the fake news are distributed only by the Chinese and the Russians. And the free Western media cannot lie.

Science fiction, philosophers and futurologists have been trying for several decades to predict how the WWIII can begin. And now you and I know how it can start. It can start with the fact that some stupid or corrupt (or both )news agency decides to get more WEB traffic.

That's why probably the creator of WWW Tim Bernes Lee recently announced that he was going to produce alternative which will destroy this old WWW.

And may be for MSM just silence in case you are not sure, and avoiding excessive concern about profitability are somewhat safer. Actually safer for all of us, not just MSM.

[Oct 18, 2018] Treasury Official Arrested, Charged With Leaking Confidential Info On Ex-Trump Advisers; BuzzFeed Implicated

Oct 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Treasury Official Arrested, Charged With Leaking Confidential Info On Ex-Trump Advisers; BuzzFeed Implicated

by Tyler Durden Wed, 10/17/2018 - 16:22 1.3K SHARES

In the latest indication of the Trump administration's efforts to root out alleged leakers, a senior Treasury Department official working in the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN), Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, has been charged with leaking confidential financial reports to the media concerning former Trump campaign advisers Paul Manafort and Richard Gates, according to The Hill .

Prosecutors say that Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards , a senior adviser to FinCEN, photographed what are called suspicious activity reports, or SARs, and other sensitive government files and sent them to an unnamed reporter, in violation of U.S. law. - The Hill

Suspicious Activity Reports are filed by banks in order to confidentially notify law enforcement of potentially illegal financial transactions. The documents leaked by the Treasury official, which began last October, are reported to have been used as the basis for 12 news articles published by an unnamed organization.

While the news organization was not named in the complaint, it lists the headlines and other details of six BuzzFeed articles published between October 2017 to as recently as Monday which they allege were based on the leaks.

BuzzFeed reporters Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier are commonly listed on several of the articles referenced in the government's complaint. (examples here , here and here ).

Edwards has been charged with one count of unauthorized disclosures of SAR reports and one count of conspiracy to make unauthorized disclousres of SARs. She will be tried in the Southern District of New York, and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on both charges.

When she was arrested, Edwards was in possession of a flash drive which was allegedly used to save the unlawfully disclosed SARs, as well as a cell phone " containing numerous communications over an encrypted application in which she transmitted SARs and other sensitive government information to Reporter-1."

"We hope today's charges remind those in positions of trust within government agencies that the unlawful sharing of sensitive documents will not be tolerated and will be met with swift justice by this Office," said US Attorney Geoffrey Berman in a statement.

According to the criminal complaint, agents in the Treasury inspector general's office detected "a pattern" of unauthorized media disclosures of the sensitive financial files beginning in October 2017 and continuing for a year . The disclosures were related to matters being investigated either by special counsel Robert Mueller , the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York or the Justice Department's National Security Division.

They included leaks about suspicious transactions made by Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, and Gates, Manafort's longtime business partner who also served on the Trump campaign and the transition team. Both individuals were charged in connection with Mueller's Russia investigation last October with crimes stemming from their foreign lobbying activity. Both have since decided to plead guilty and cooperate with Mueller's probe. - The Hill

Could Manafort now make the case that unauthorized media leaks saturating national headlines baised the jury against him?

Edwards is also accused of leaking sensitive financial information regarding Russian national, Maria Butina, who was charged with acting as an unregistered agent of the Russian government.

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/391061819/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-LJB9WLnO3KUJYXPOAsFe&show_recommendations=true

The alleged leak announced Wednesday would be the second major suspected breach at FinCEN reported this year, after a federal law enforcement official told The New Yorker in May that he leaked SARs on a shell company set up by Michael Cohen , Trump's former attorney, after two similar bank records appeared to be missing from the FinCEN database. - The Hill

Edwards is also accused of sending the reproter internal FinCEN emails, investigative memos and intelligence assessments

[Oct 18, 2018] Skripal and Khashoggi West Manufactures Absurd Fantasy to Pin on Russia, Lets Saudi Get Away With Chopping up WaPo Journalist

Oct 18, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

Two disappearances, and two very different responses from Western governments, which illustrates their rank hypocrisy.

When former Russian spy Sergei Skripal went missing in England earlier this year, there was almost immediate punitive action by the British government and its NATO allies against Moscow. By contrast, Western governments are straining with restraint towards Saudi Arabia over the more shocking and provable case of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The outcry by Western governments and media over the Skripal affair was deafening and resulted in Britain, the US and some 28 other countries expelling dozens of Russian diplomats on the back of unsubstantiated British allegations that the Kremlin tried to assassinate an exiled spy with a deadly nerve agent. The Trump administration has further tightened sanctions citing the Skripal incident.

London's case against Moscow has been marked by wild speculation and ropey innuendo. No verifiable evidence of what actually happened to Sergei Skripal (67) and his daughter Yulia has been presented by the British authorities . Their claim that President Vladimir Putin sanctioned a hit squad armed with nerve poison relies on sheer conjecture.

All we know for sure is that the Skripals have been disappeared from public contact by the British authorities for more than seven months , since the mysterious incident of alleged poisoning in Salisbury on March 4.

Russian authorities and family relatives have been steadfastly refused any contact by London with the Skripal pair, despite more than 60 official requests from Moscow in accordance with international law and in spite of the fact that Yulia is a citizen of the Russian Federation with consular rights.

It is an outrage that based on such thin ice of "evidence", the British have built an edifice of censure against Moscow, rallying an international campaign of further sanctions and diplomatic expulsions.

Now contrast that strenuous reaction, indeed hyper over-reaction, with how Britain, the US, France, Canada and other Western governments are ever-so slowly responding to Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi case.

After nearly two weeks since Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, t he Saudi regime is this week finally admitting he was killed on their premises – albeit, they claim, in a "botched interrogation".

Turkish and American intelligence had earlier claimed that Khashoggi was tortured and murdered on the Saudi premises by a 15-member hit squad sent from Riyadh.

Even more grisly, it is claimed that Khashoggi's body was hacked up with a bone saw by the killers, his remains secreted out of the consulate building in boxes, and flown back to Saudi Arabia on board two private jets connected to the Saudi royal family.

What's more, the Turks and Americans claim that the whole barbaric plot to murder Khashoggi was on the orders of senior Saudi rulers, implicating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The latest twist out of Riyadh, is an attempt to scapegoat "rogue killers" and whitewash the House of Saudi from culpability.

The fact that 59-year-old Khashoggi was a legal US resident and a columnist for the Washington Post has no doubt given his case such prominent coverage in Western news media. Thousands of other victims of Saudi vengeance are routinely ignored in the West.

Nevertheless, despite the horrific and damning case against the Saudi monarchy, the response from the Trump administration, Britain and others has been abject.

President Trump has blustered that there "will be severe consequences" for the Saudi regime if it is proven culpable in the murder of Khashoggi. Trump quickly qualified, however, saying that billion-dollar arms deals with the oil-rich kingdom will not be cancelled. Now Trump appears to be joining in a cover-up by spinning the story that the Khashoggi killing was done by "rogue killers".

Britain, France and Germany this week issued a joint statement calling for "a credible investigation" into the disappearance. But other than "tough-sounding" rhetoric, n one of the European states have indicated any specific sanctions, such as weapons contracts being revoked or diplomatic expulsions.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was "concerned" by the gruesome claims about Khashoggi's killing, but he reiterated that Ottawa would not be scrapping a $15 billion sale of combat vehicles to Riyadh.

The Saudi rulers have even threatened retaliatory measures if sanctions are imposed by Western governments.

Saudi denials of official culpability seem to be a brazen flouting of all reason and circumstantial evidence that Khashoggi was indeed murdered in the consulate building on senior Saudi orders.

This week a glitzy international investor conference in Saudi Arabia is being boycotted by top business figures, including the World Bank chief, Jim Yong Kim, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Britain's venture capitalist Richard Branson. Global firms like Ford and Uber have pulled out, as have various media sponsors, such as CNN, the New York Times and Financial Times. Withdrawal from the event was in response to the Khashoggi affair.

A growing bipartisan chorus of US Senators, including Bob Corker, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and Chris Murphy, have called for the cancellation of American arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as well as for an overhaul of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Still, Trump has rebuffed calls for punitive response. He has said that American jobs and profits depend on the Saudi weapons market. Some 20 per cent of all US arms sales are estimated to go to the House of Saud.

The New York Times this week headlined: "In Trump's Saudi Bargain, the Bottom Line Proudly Stands Out".

The Trump White House will be represented at the investment conference in Saudi Arabia this week – dubbed "Davos in the Desert" by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. He said he was attending in spite of the grave allegations against the Saudi rulers.

Surely the point here is the unseemly indulgence by Western governments of Saudi Arabia and its so-called "reforming" Crown Prince. It is remarkable how much credulity Washington, London, Paris, Ottawa and others are affording the Saudi despots who, most likely, have been caught redhanded in a barbarous murder.

Yet, when it comes to Russia and outlandish, unproven claims that the Kremlin carried out a bizarre poison-assassination plot, all these same Western governments abandon all reason and decorum to pile sanctions on Russia based on lurid, hollow speculation. The blatant hypocrisy demolishes any pretense of integrity or principle.

Here is another connection between the Skripal and Khashoggi affairs. The Saudis no doubt took note of the way Britain's rulers have shown absolute disregard and contempt for international law in their de facto abduction of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. If the British can get away with that gross violation, then the Saudis probably thought that nobody would care too much if they disappeared Jamal Khashoggi.

Grotesquely, the way things are shaping up in terms of hypocritical lack of action by the Americans, British and others towards the Saudi despots, the latter might just get away with murder. Not so Russia. The Russians are not allowed to get away with even an absurd fantasy.


Source: Strategic Culture

[Oct 16, 2018] Stormy Daniels Lawsuit Dismissed, Trump Entitled To Legal Fees

Oct 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

A statement from Trump's legal team reads:

United States District Judge S. James Otero issued an order and ruling today dismissing Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against President Trump. The ruling also states that the President is entitled to an award of his attorneys' fees against Stormy Daniels. A copy of the ruling is attached. No amount of spin or commentary by Stormy Daniels or her lawyer, Mr. Avenatti, can truthfully characterize today's ruling in any way other than total victory for President Trump and total defeat for Stormy Daniels. The amount of the award for President Trump's attorneys' fees will be determined at a later date.

Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti responded to the dismissal, tweeting: "We will appeal the dismissal of the defamation cause of action and are confident in a reversal," while stating that Daniels' other claims against Trump and Cohen "proceed unaffected."

Re Judge's limited ruling: Daniels' other claims against Trump and Cohen proceed unaffected. Trump's contrary claims are as deceptive as his claims about the inauguration attendance.

We will appeal the dismissal of the defamation cause of action and are confident in a reversal.

-- Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) October 15, 2018

Last week Trump's legal team argued that it made no sense for them to keep fighting in court over a $130,000 hush payment received by Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, as she invalidated the non-disclosure agreement she signed with Trump's longtime fixer and lawyer, Michael Cohen.

The lawsuit is moot because Trump has consented that the agreement, as she has claimed, was never formed because he didn't sign it and he has agreed not to try to enforce it, Trump said in his court filing. The company created by Cohen to facilitate the non-disclosure agreement, which initially said Clifford faced more than $20 million in damages for talking, said in September that it wouldn't sue to enforce the deal. - Yahoo

Michael Avenatti's terrible October

This month has not treated Stormy's attorney well. Michael Avenatti went from Democrat darling during his representation of Daniels, to scapegoat over Justice Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court after he introduced an 11th hour claim by a woman who said Kavanaugh orchestrated gang-rape parties in the early 1980s - an allegation thought by many to have derailed otherwise legitimate claims against the Judge.

Less than two weeks later Avenatti came under fire after he launched a now-deleted fundraising page for Texas Democratic Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke.

In the fine print, O'Rourke supporters discovered that half the proceeds went to Avenatti's Fight PAC , which he formed a little over seven weeks ago .

Avenatti called the criticism "complete nonsense," noting that Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris "do the same thing." Perhaps sensing he'd made a huge mistake, Avenatti deleted the page - telling the Daily Beast in a text message: "It wasn't worth the nonsense that resulted from people that don't understand how common this is."

The question now is; after three strikes, is Avenatti out?

Read the full order here .


NiggaPleeze , 6 minutes ago link

The Creepy **** Lawyer gets to pay that.

Given his free $50 million in publicity, and the amount of GoFundMe he's gonna get or has gotten, I'd say "losing" is entirely in the eye of the beholder, lol.

Davidduke2000 , 47 minutes ago link

going after a sitting president was a stupid idea, now the entire money she raised will go to trump's lawyers.

bowie28 , 59 minutes ago link

Avenatti is the best thing that has happened to Trump.

It's almost like he is intentionally doing stupid and outrageous things to make the dems look even more unhinged than they are.

I wouldn't be surprised if we find he has been secretly working for Trump all along. Trump did run a reality show after all so that would be a great plot twist ;)

khakuda , 1 hour ago link

The best thing about Avenatti and the Clintons is that they won't stop until they bring the entire Democratic Party down. It reminds me of Anthony Weiner and Elliot Spitzer, scumbags who keep coming back and discredit the entire party because of their own glorious egos.

[Oct 15, 2018] Some say that declassifying the FBI documents related to "Russiagate" would expose "sources and methods". Others say that the documents are being kept secret to prevent the DOJ and FBI from major embarrassment. I say that both can be true

Notable quotes:
"... Not sure about that, as at least 2 crucial allies, the UK and Australia, were pressured by the Obama and Hillary camps to set this whole narrative off...and therefore does he seriously damage those international and key security countries with info or does he compromise to keep the peace? ..."
"... I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.... That's that the UK's GCHQ initiated spying on Popadolous and Trump Tower at the request of Obummer and/or Rice and/or Brennan, BEFORE the FBI/Comey said UNDER OATH that they started in May, and were denied a FISA warrant in June 2016.... that's why they needed the 'golden shower dossier.' ..."
Oct 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

this_circus_is_no_fun , 12 minutes ago link

Some say that declassifying the documents would expose " sources and methods ". Others say that the documents are being kept secret to prevent the DOJ and FBI from becoming embarrassed . I say that both can be true.

If the documents expose the liars and fabrications that went into the entire Russia Gate fraud, then declassifying the documents will indeed embarrass the DOJ and FBI by showing that their " sources " are liars and that their " methods " are fabrications.

See, everything always makes sense in the circus.

Paddyo2 , 37 minutes ago link

Either Trump is constantly threatened, boxed into a corner, or it IS ALL FOR SHOW!

The best example is now, Trump "walking back the release" because of Aussie and UK complicity. The threatened release of USA dirty laundry, of which there is plenty knowing how our CIA works. Or we are being played once more.

Frankly, I'm beyond sick of these walk backs! IG report! Rosenstein resigns! FISA Declas!!

I'm an independent voter. It's high time I WALK BACK my vote for all Republicans on November 6th UNLESS WE THE People that they represent get a FULL UNREDACTED FISA AND IG REPORT published .

Tell Trump and the Republican party . Protect NOT ONE Criminal. If UK or Aus threaten exposing spies or military secrets then threaten back with annihilation should they endanger Americans.

I'm fed up beyond return with Holder, Brennan et al.

Anunnaki , 30 minutes ago link

It is all for show.

Our elites don't put each other in jail. That is reserved for the Deplorables.

Remember what Trump said after the election, "The Clinton's are good people."

Bingo Hammer , 49 minutes ago link

Obama, Hillary and the DNC pressured the UK's M16 as the No.1 instigator via Steele, its lapdog Australia's intelligence service, then told Alexander Downer to forward "salted" info to US agencies...and 2.5 years later here we are

wolf pup , 35 minutes ago link

It's always something that causes The Never Ending Wait..

and it always makes decent sense in the short term (memory loss)..

and it always; and for years now, happens.

I can't buy that those involved are powerful, savvy, or more importantly, courageous enough to finally stand the hell UP to the powers that be bullshitting the Citizenry. It's clearly not the case.

And what does Sundance say of the MIA Sessions? Is he really wearing tights and cape under those rumpled wee suits of his, and just snarling to leap out, indictments in hand, to read off tens of thousands of the accused' names? "Stealth Jeff"; actor par excellence? Sessions as Hero? Any day now to be proved The Truth's Hitman?

A GOP-won Midterms would benefit from the declassification of criminal intent that supports the US President. -> Before the vote. Afterward, and if the vote gone badly, lol it'll be as useful as John Brennan's soul. And a "Mueller surprise"; if the declassification happened before the vote, would be tainted beyond its .. surprise.

So why the wait this time - again?

I'm sorry; I don't mean to come across rudely, but "hoping; forever" is exhausting, damaging to fact based living, induces apathy and entirely suits those who have so much to hide, and offers nothing to the targets involved; We, the People.

scraping_by , 1 hour ago link

The factions in the FBI/DOJ who want to keep the Russian collusion hoax going are the same ones who protected Hillary from the most outrageous violation of the espionage laws ever to bubble to the surface. Office politics in that axis are a lot like any other large company, with the exception of sending people to prison. So her supporters are still on the job.

The investigation never made first page news, living out here in the alternate press, and now that The Donald seems to walk back obvious Donaldesque moves, it might never come to light. Remember his campaign promise was to prosecute Sec. Clinton, and he settled for firing Comey. So they may get away with most of this yet.

Any time the US government cooperates with the British, we get stuck. The Austrailians are colonials and love it. So the paperwork for the Comey-McCabe-Rosenstien conspiracy might never be published.

tunetopper , 1 hour ago link

When the FBI wants a warrant, its presumed that they are not going to make an even-handed case to the FISA Court. All they have to do is deny that they had sufficient infomation to the contrary. Thats what makes this court an abomination to our freedom. This is why the US Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act are a bunch of crap. We are now finding out that intelligence services knew who concocted 911 (elements within the Saudi Govt along side the wealthy dissident near-royals ie. the Khashoggis and the Bin-Ladens, and possibly the Israelis knew too).

JethroBodien , 1 hour ago link

Everyone, none of this matters. Has everyone forgotten about 9/11 and the conspiracy perpetrated on the American people. Frankly all is not what it seems and most of what we are seeing is simply theatre for the masses.

Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it."

~ Woodrow Wilson (1856 – 1924), 28th President of the United States

"The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings...Our way of life is under attack. Those who make themselves our enemy are advancing around the globe...no war ever posed a greater threat to our security. If you are awaiting a finding of "clear and present danger," then I can only say that the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent...For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed."
― President John F. Kennedy

trutherator , 1 hour ago link

Remember? The FBI lovers email that said the president wants to "know everything"?

Start there. Did Congress ask either of them where they heard this, and how much of this treachery Obama was complicit in?

cheech_wizard , 1 hour ago link

Might I reference this:

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/07/24/clapper_obama_ordered_the_intelligence_assessment_that_resulted_in_mueller_investigation.html

Dornier27 , 2 hours ago link

Anyone else worried that the President keeps doing an about face or being unable or unwilling to deliver on important issues? Orders papers to be published unredacted then they are not? Hillary walking free. No Wall, no withdrawal from Afghanistan and now backtracking on punishing Saudi Arabia....

business as stusual , 1 hour ago link

Just like the rest, he is owned.

DjangoCat , 1 hour ago link

" and now backtracking on punishing Saudi Arabia.."

And you think the Russian's really poisoned the Skripals, or that Assad merrily gassed his own people just before entering peace talks, or that the White Helmet people being invited into Canada are not Al Nusra terrorists?

You had better be prepared to believe all that if you think the Saudis are stupid enough to dismember a Washington Post journalist in a Saudi consulate, and to let it be recorded to boot. How dumb can you get? But then, maybe I misjudge you. Maybe you do believe all that. Not me, pal.

PS For extra confirmation, just look at who has decided not to attend Davos in the Desert. Top of the list are the New Yawk banksters.

Bavarian , 1 hour ago link

You want to might ask yourself why the Post ran this story, employed the journalist and published that John Brennan demand that we "punish" Saudi Arabia. You might ask yourself why the NYT pushed the narrative that RR should be fired before mid-terms.

'Misunderstanding all you see' - John Lennon

Jim in MN , 2 hours ago link

Weiner laptop please. Now, please. thx

WorkingClassMan , 2 hours ago link

Domestic terrorists (the Federal Bureau of Intimidation) generally is dramatic.

bh2 , 3 hours ago link

Guess which specific portions of the released documents will be redacted "for national security reasons".

Hulk , 3 hours ago link

and while we are at it, declassify the whistleblower report generated by the William Binney complaint.

Then put Haydn's treasonous *** in jail too...

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

i watched a documentary about that. basically, binney was genius who created a genius system to find terrorists while maintaining the integrity of the constitution (and for relatively cheap cost!). The deep state was like "piss on that," spent 100x more money than they had to, and wiped their *** with the constitution.

Hulk , 3 hours ago link

dont forget that the FBI fabricated evidence about Binney and three of his colleagues.The criminal case against Binney and his colleagues was then thrown out of court once the fabrication was revealed. This out of control corruption has been going on a long time...

ardent , 3 hours ago link

It's obvious the FUNDAMENTALS of the conflict with Russia

have NOT changed one iota. Even with Trump.

lester1 , 3 hours ago link

FBI is a criminal racket!

And where the hell are the "honorable" FBI agents to blow the lid off all the corruption/ conspiracy against the President ??🤔

Totally_Disillusioned , 3 hours ago link

I've stated for months that rank and file are in the tank w/leadership corruption OR they have been threatened either with harm to themselves of family members if they didn't go along. However at this point, no whistleblowers proves the former.

DaBard51 , 3 hours ago link

Have they opened Weiner's laptop or found Hillary's laptop yet?

A trend... as reported by (!) CNN & NY Times (!)...

When nine hundred years old you become, look this good you will not.

Totally_Disillusioned , 3 hours ago link

Strzok testifed several CDs of ALL 680K emails that included crimes against children, classified info was handed over to Comey who merely placed them in his office. Comey has been gone for over six months, why have those CDs not been reviewed and acted on?

There are a LOT of dots and THEY count on YOU not connecting them. I keep a journal.

Everybodys All American , 3 hours ago link

Lets suppose its all true. Which we pretty much know if you have been paying attention that the FBI has gone rogue. Then what? Arrests? Mueller? I don't think that's even close to what is needed. We are talking major treason from multiple levels and people through out government.

hooligan2009 , 3 hours ago link

this:

" the DOJ would be allowed to review the documents first after two foreign allies asked him to keep them classified. "

refers to the British and Australian governments who would be embarassed because rogue agents wishing to arrange for the impeachment of Trump would be exposed.

as such, this would represent a threat to the apolitical use of five eyes security pact for intelligence purposes - a pact intended to detect and prevent EXTERNAL threats to the five eyes nations - rather than instigate POLITICAL control of INTERNAL affairs of the democratic functioning of five eyes countries.

treason and sedition has been exposed within the US - aided and abetted by drunks and sycophants in britain and australia,

Joe Davola , 3 hours ago link

My impression is that FIVE EYES exists so that the individual members can ask one of the other members to spy on their own people without violating constitutional limits on such activity.

Madcow , 3 hours ago link

In my humble opinion, politicians and government bureaucrats should be strictly prohibited from falsely accusing their ideological opponents of criminal activity and then manufacturing fake evidence to support those claims.

No amount of sanctimonious political-correctness justifies Authoritarian rule squarely in opposition to the US Constitution.

NoDebt , 3 hours ago link

"Americans will be "shocked" by the information behind the FISA redactions"

Not after waiting for this evidence for two ******* years. I'm worn out. Do something about it or **** off.

lester1 , 3 hours ago link

Trump caved and allowed the deep state members at the FBI to conceal the truth!

Think for yourself , 2 hours ago link

Exactly @NoDebt. Nearly every day or multiple times a day there's something huge that radically alters the narrative... people are worn out. This is so huge!

ypczh , 5 minutes ago link

Timing is everything and Trump knows it. All heads of the hydra must be cut off at the same time.

Bingo Hammer , 55 minutes ago link

Not sure about that, as at least 2 crucial allies, the UK and Australia, were pressured by the Obama and Hillary camps to set this whole narrative off...and therefore does he seriously damage those international and key security countries with info or does he compromise to keep the peace? Too much is at play here for Trump expose the truth

otschelnik , 3 hours ago link

I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.... That's that the UK's GCHQ initiated spying on Popadolous and Trump Tower at the request of Obummer and/or Rice and/or Brennan, BEFORE the FBI/Comey said UNDER OATH that they started in May, and were denied a FISA warrant in June 2016.... that's why they needed the 'golden shower dossier.' That's i-l-l-e-g-a-l.

Oh, and Brennan said he pushed the FBI to initiate an investigation but Nunes said there was no intelligence (EC) which they could base it on. It was a set-up from day 1.

[Oct 14, 2018] RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 11 OCTOBER 2018 by Patrick Armstrong

Oct 14, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

THE CONSPIRACY. Bit by bit, slowly (far too slowly) the story comes out . A DNC/FBI/CIA conspiracy to discredit Trump. I just read Shattered where it is stated that the Russia story was invented as the excuse for failure: but the book establishes that defeat was the consequence of never being able to articulate a reason to vote for her, a disorganized campaign and not observing the dissatisfaction that Sanders and Trump (and Bill Clinton) perceived. The Russia stuff is 1) a distraction from failure, 2) a hook on which to hang Trump and 3) propaganda for the "Mackinder war".

[Oct 14, 2018] I don't think Trump cared much about the Skripal case either. He imposed a few more sanctions under pressure from the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, GOP Rep. Ed Royce of California.

Notable quotes:
"... Any scenario is possible coming from the Saudis or the Anglo media. The Skripal has been a successful one. ..."
Oct 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

dh , Oct 12, 2018 5:02:06 PM | link

@81 I don't think Trump cared much about the Skripal case either.

He imposed a few more sanctions under pressure from the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, GOP Rep. Ed Royce of California.


Virgile , Oct 12, 2018 5:07:49 PM | link

@71 Activist potatoe

We are in "Pulp Fiction" aren't we? Any scenario is possible coming from the Saudis or the Anglo media. The Skripal has been a successful one.
Thanks for completing the scenario with your own ideas of the beheading of witnesses that you mistakenly attributed to me.

I would suppose that Saudis have something usually convincing to shut off talkative people, like they will shut off Trump or even the Turks: Money

Activist Potato , Oct 12, 2018 6:08:40 PM | link

... ... ...

The Skripal hoax grew legs I never imagined possible. If people did quietly question it, those people were deprived of a public counter-narrative in the mainstream Press to nurture their skepticism. This could cause a dimwit to renounce natural suspicion and a sharpie to know when to shut-up if he/she did not wish to be laughed at or worse.

They have so many of us dangling on a string. Thank b and others for MoA!


Den Lille Abe , Oct 12, 2018 10:10:26 PM | link
Cool down! We had TWO GRU murderers walk into Salisbury, with no CCCTV ecidense yet that they were near Skripal's house, and no evidence from his house , which surely must have under surveillance. Do you believe this? OK you believe the official story too.
And apart from that, Kashroggis probable demise is all cool, as he was a head chopping advocate, a Wahabistst. Fuck him . Wahabists go in Class on camps which has on the entrance "Arbeit mach frei" which of course is a general lie, but the whe get to kill them in a humanely way (see instruction manual from CiA)
Or you just shoot them in the chest, less smatter and more blood. Headshots are messy, stuff everywhere., sometimetimes, if you accidentially hit a weak point in the cranium , you have brains everywhere , dont wan't that.
Den Lille Abe , Oct 13, 2018 8:46:30 AM | link
As another poster commented, something is missing...
It is like a well choreograhped drame, Skripals were the same, this also is tooooo nice fitting together... Hmfr!
Qui bono? Who makes money on this? I certainly cannot answer that, but lets play safe : The Russians did it!
They beamed up Kasshoggi to their base on the dark side of the moon, the re killed him in civilized manner, fucking him to death with nice looking whores and spoonfeeding him Beluga caviar and interjected wit sips of Russian Starka. He was then made to mush and beamed back into the Saudi consulate making a real mess. Now poor headchop promoter is all over the place! He must love that up in his muslum heaven with 72 old hags. There is no martyrdom in being beamed to the moon and put through a garden shredder, that is nothing special.
So now the Saudi's has Khassoggi al over their faces (literally :)) and the Turks eye a new way to betray someone (Putin, wake up!!). Ever since democracy was bestowed on these people, they have made a mess of it.
Back in the day (when I was gung ho Army boy), it was OK for a Turk officer to shoot dead a couple of conscripts a year, no problemo, the sentries with weapons had no live rounds hi-hi. Turkey does not need a hard shove and it will crumble, and the Americans will intervene, unless Russia is first.
This game is about Turkey, and not goat herders in Saudi Sodoma. They have hardly oil left and the plebs are angry.
Robert Snefjella , Oct 13, 2018 8:50:46 AM | link
Trivia?

Jared Kushner's friendship/affair with previously merely progressive war criminal MBS, who has progressed to now also beinted tainted with responsibility for the lurid butchery of an offensive to MBS 'journalist' who was but days from marriage and the arms of his love, does not elevate Kushner's already dubious standing in some circles.

Kushner, he who on one memorable occasion chatted til the early hours of the morning, "cultivating a close friendship", with the mass murdering progressive MBS, who (thus inspired?; coincidentally?) to Trumpian applause arrested and shook down many members of his billionaire-cult family. But is this a busom buddy friendship born of equality, two young men with so much in common?

MBS has been quoted as saying he has "Kushner in my pocket". Hmmm.

And then there's NYT's Tom Friedman's gushing rhapsody in purple over MBS: "... a genuine reformer, mega-popular dude, and an all-around super awesome guy." Friedman's love was stoked over what he presumed was a lamb dinner, but in the light of further developments, we are not so sure....

mali , Oct 13, 2018 9:30:32 AM | link
Trump vows 'severe punishment' if Saudi Arabia is behind killing of WaPo journalist Khashoggi . However, Trump stressed that even if the journalist was killed at the hands of Riyadh, he still wouldn't end the arms deal between the two countries .
Noirette , Oct 13, 2018 9:53:35 AM | link
Reminded me of the Sultan Bin Turki affair.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultan_bin_Turki_II_bin_Abdulaziz_Al_Saud

He was most critical of the Saudi Royals and ;) 'pro-reform.' He was kidnapped in Geneva, apparently as carried out or 'allowed' for a good part by the Saudi Ambassador.

He was, allegedly, 'rendered' back to KSA, drugged and tortured. Five masked men knocked him unconscious, anesthetized him, taken him to a Boeing 747 waiting at the Geneva airport, and flew him to the Saudi capital Riyadh

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940427000348

In F, closer to the events: Celui-ci s'éclipse de la pièce et peu après, des hommes armés font irruption, frappent Sultan ben Turki, le menottent, lui font une injection et le transportent inconscient jusqu'à l'aéroport de Cointrin, où il est embarqué à bord d'un Boeing médical arrivé plusieurs jours auparavant et toujours prêt à décoller, selon le récit qu'il en a fait plus tard.

https://www.letemps.ch/monde/ne-prince-saoudien-exile-europe

Prison > house arrest, > once freed - he was allowed to go to Boston for medical treatment - he fled - back to Geneva! - and a court case took place (2016.) Pierre de Preux, a well known lawyer here, represented him. Imho the state prosecutor (= DA) was brave to take on this case. It was nevertheless shelved for lack of evidence.

Killing off critics / potential trouble makers / other / takes different forms in different régimes.

In the US for ex. no big show is made, and the death is classed as suicide, car accident, druggie death, mystery fall / drowning, etc. no matter how weird the circumstances. In other lands, it is deemed necessary to demonstrate the power of the Overlords, who can organise 15 ppl, a stark warning is projected.

Piotr Berman , Oct 13, 2018 10:40:02 AM | link
Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Oct 13, 2018 8:46:30 AM | 118

On one hand, the quantity of black flag incidents is increasing, and that leads to low quality at many occasions. Ukrainians in particular excel in making most laughable incidents and the British seem to be influenced. Babchenko was killed, his murder condemned by Her Majesty Foreign Office and then got resurected. Brits seem to liked that, as exemplified by heroics of Sir Gavin, the Lord Defender of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, Island of Man etc. etc.) on the frontline of the Free Ukraine.

On the other hand, were Saudis innocent they should have means of proving it. Consulates have security systems including cameras near the entry. While they are attacked less frequently than convenience stores, they have a better budget for such systems. Thus it should not be hard to show that either (a) Jamal Khashoggi actually did not enter KSA consulate in Istanbul on the day in question or (b) he entered and exited. Barring the use of hitherto unknown types of beam weapons, I would conclude that he entered and did not exit by normal means.

That said, there were no reports on beam weapons capable of transporting material objects. At worst, Russians could focus microwave weapons reducing people inside the consulate to incontinent cricket hearing idiots, enter through the underground and get out carrying whatever they please. KSA could be reluctant to release videos showing their people as they looked like idiots who just pissed into their pants and worse. This is what I can imagine on the basis of stories from American press that include at least two of "Russia, consulate/embassy, microwave weapons", usually all three. If we restrict ourself to more corroborated stories, Russians could drill holes and saturate the air with "military grade fentanyl" and eschew microwaves. But it would be easier if it was done by Turks with the help of Russian experts who botched something like that at least once, so they have data how to drill, spray and calculate the dosage.

Surely, one should not deprecate the ability of Turks to concoct tales. For example, a typical tale from Tales of 1001 Nights features a beautiful Turkish princess that falls from one misfortune to another at the hands of a trio of bad characters: a Jewish merchant, a Christian magician and a Kurdish leader of a band of robbers, only to be eventually rescued by a dashing young Muslim Arab, and we may have such a tale suitable altered for the occasion -- perhaps despicable Kurds will show up later.

But really, offering Starka to a prisoner? Because of long aging time and the demand, it is surprisingly hard to buy, and it is hard to tell if it is popular in Russia at all, Poland and the Baltics have more of Starka tradition.

[Oct 14, 2018] According to an article in the Duran Khashoggi was an agent in the employ of Riyadh and the CIA during the Soviet presence in Afghan

Notable quotes:
"... He is just an agent of one Saudii faction against the MBS faction, a faction just as evil. ..."
"... After Lebanese prime minister, Saad Hariri, was kidnapped and taken to Riyadh to be re-educated (tortured) Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia . Khashoggi continued with his columns criticizing the Saudi regime, attacking its campaign in Yemen on Al Jazeera. ..."
Oct 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pft , Oct 12, 2018 7:14:54 PM | link

According to an article in the Duran Khashoggi was an agent in the employ of Riyadh and the CIA during the Soviet presence in Afghanistan.

Turki bin Faisal Al-Saud was Khashoggi's political protector. Turki bin Faisal Al-Saud was at the center of relations between Washington and Saudi Arabia against the USSR while it was in Afghanistan using fighters who later became known as Al Qaeda - armed and trained by CIA:Pakistan and financed by the Saudis.

Faisal became the leader of Saudi intelligence. He was removed from his post on May 24, 2001, a few months before September 11, 2001 (convenient) .The connections he had with Osama bin Laden led him to being sued by relatives of 9/11 directed at him and other Saudi operatives.

In 2005, Turki bin Faisal was appointed Saudi ambassador to the US during the Bush administration, with Khashoggi accompanying him as a media advisor. During Turki bin Faisal's ambassadorship in Washington, Khashoggi assumed the position of head of press relations, coming into direct contact with major national and international organs of US media.

During the Obama administration, Khashoggi supported the Obama administrations strategy of color revolutions and the Arab Spring to extend US imperialist domination following the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan. He was most likely a CIA asset, perhaps also Saudi intelligence as well

When MBS became the strongman holding power in Saudi Arabia, he triggered a near war with Qatar with Trumps blessing, and was unhappy over the role of Al Jazeera, which often hosted Khashoggi and was increasingly critical of MBS.

So whatever the story is I am not losing any sleep over Khashoggi. He is just an agent of one Saudii faction against the MBS faction, a faction just as evil. Kind of like the pick between agents of the 2 factions duking it out in the US. Evil does vs Evil do. There are no white knights here.

After Lebanese prime minister, Saad Hariri, was kidnapped and taken to Riyadh to be re-educated (tortured) Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia . Khashoggi continued with his columns criticizing the Saudi regime, attacking its campaign in Yemen on Al Jazeera.


jiri , Oct 13, 2018 1:34:56 AM | link

This seems well co-ordinated.

The BBC, Guardian giving it lots of attention.

Even the UN Sec-Gen has statement on it.

A lot of attention compared to lots of deaths in Yemen, for example.

Something is afoot. But what?

teri , Oct 13, 2018 5:24:19 AM | link
What hypocrisy on display by the US. Unfuckingbelievable. Such concern for a journalist, such outrage!

There is currently a case working its way through the court system (here in the US) brought by two journalists, one of them an American, where they are pleading to have their names removed from the US "kill list". They say their inclusion on the list is erroneous, and ask that they be given a chance to show that they are not, in fact, terrorists before a drone blows them into pieces. They are represented by Reprieve lawyers, and they joined their two suits together as co-plainiffs, although it now appears that the foreign-born journalist was basically told by the judge he was shit out of luck, having "no standing", since he didn't sufficiently prove that he was on the list. (He had found his name listed as a "highest scoring target" on some of Edward Snowden's leaked NSA materials, but that was not enough "proof" for the judge.)

The American journalist is Bilal Kareem, and the other is a journalist from Pakistan named Ahmad Zaidan. BTW, both these men were originally targeted under the Obama administration, but their names remain on the list under Trump. And Trump has increased the use of these targeted drone killings by 4 to 5 times the number of Obama's, who himself had increased the assassination program 10 fold over Bush' numbers. Trump has also loosened the "rules" about where these drone killings can take place, and who can be targeted. US drone warfare has taken the lives of some 10,858 individuals since 2004, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ).

The Washington Post and the Middle East Monitor both have good stories about the case, but the best article by far is Matt Taibbi's article in Rolling Stone published on 19 July.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/how-to-survive-americas-kill-list-699334/

mali , Oct 13, 2018 8:46:22 AM | link
According to NYT , Khashoggi "had expressed concern to a friend on Monday that he could be kidnapped and returned to Saudi Arabia if he visited the consulate". He went in at 1:30pm , while his friend and fiancée were waiting outside till 9:00pm .

Isn't it a bit odd that his friend and fiancée, while fully aware the danger of him being kidnapped insider the consulate, waited for 7:30 hours before alerting Turkish authorities? Normally it takes 2 or 3 hours get a document, esp. already processed ones. Why didn't his friend and fiancée alert the Turkish police earlier? Esp. "he left his cellphone outside with Hatice, who had instructions to alert his friends if Mr. Khashoggi did not return".

Mr. Khashoggi's wife had remained in Saudi Arabia while he was no longer able to return freely. Their separation had led to a divorce, and he wanted to remarry to a Turkish woman.

Normally, you don't divorce your wife/husband because of one-year's separation. According to this NYT article, Khashogg divided his time between the Washington, D.C., London and Istanbul, how long did he come to know his fiancée? Isn't it a bit too rush/risky for a 59-year old man suddenly decided to divorce long-year wife and marry a new Turkish girl friend? Could it be a honey trap?

" Odd dates ?"

- Oct. 2, Khashoggi disappeared.

- Oct. 3, Trump told his supporters that Saudi could last two weeks without American support.

- Oct. 6, MbS said Suadi could survive 2000 years without US help .

- Now full-blown MSM storm, State Deparment is closely monitor the whole affair, Turkish government is feeding the media with all sorts of lurid details and claims. (Isn't it much easier and simpler just to kidnap/shot him on the streets of Istanbul or London than dismembering his body inside Istanbul consulate?)

Now Saudi is "willing to cooperate" with Turkey, American priest Brauson is set free, plus MbS now has probably to purchase tens of billions, if not hundreds of billions of US armaments. What a "coincident" win-win situation for Erdy and Trump.


Den Lille Abe , Oct 13, 2018 8:46:30 AM | link
As another poster commented, something is missing...
It is like a well choreograhped drame, Skripals were the same, this also is tooooo nice fitting together... Hmfr!
Qui bono? Who makes money on this? I certainly cannot answer that, but lets play safe : The Russians did it!
They beamed up Kasshoggi to their base on the dark side of the moon, the re killed him in civilized manner, fucking him to death with nice looking whores and spoonfeeding him Beluga caviar and interjected wit sips of Russian Starka. He was then made to mush and beamed back into the Saudi consulate making a real mess. Now poor headchop promoter is all over the place! He must love that up in his muslum heaven with 72 old hags. There is no martyrdom in being beamed to the moon and put through a garden shredder, that is nothing special.
So now the Saudi's has Khassoggi al over their faces (literally :)) and the Turks eye a new way to betray someone (Putin, wake up!!). Ever since democracy was bestowed on these people, they have made a mess of it.
Back in the day (when I was gung ho Army boy), it was OK for a Turk officer to shoot dead a couple of conscripts a year, no problemo, the sentries with weapons had no live rounds hi-hi. Turkey does not need a hard shove and it will crumble, and the Americans will intervene, unless Russia is first.
This game is about Turkey, and not goat herders in Saudi Sodoma. They have hardly oil left and the plebs are angry.

[Oct 12, 2018] 'Land of censorship home of the fake' Alternative voices on Facebook and Twitter's crackdown

Normal people do not browse Facebook, anyway.
Notable quotes:
"... "misleading users." ..."
"... Journalist Glenn Greenwald hit out at those on the left who cheered Facebook and Twitter's coordinated 'deplatforming' of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in August. "Those who demanded Facebook & other Silicon Valley giants censor political content...are finding that content that they themselves support & like end up being repressed," he wrote. "That's what has happened to every censorship advocate in history." ..."
"... "a wider war on dissident narratives in online media." ..."
"... "eyes and ears" ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | www.rt.com

Alternative voices online are incensed after Facebook and Twitter closed down hundreds of political media pages ahead of November's crucial midterm elections. Facebook says they broke its spam rules, they say it's censorship. Some 800 pages spanning the political spectrum, from left-leaning organizations like The Anti Media, to flag-waving opinion sites like Right Wing News and Nation in Distress, were shut down. Other pages banned include those belonging to police brutality watchdog groups Filming Cops and Policing the Police.

Even RT America's Rachel Blevins found her own page banned for posts that were allegedly "misleading users."

Journalist Glenn Greenwald hit out at those on the left who cheered Facebook and Twitter's coordinated 'deplatforming' of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in August. "Those who demanded Facebook & other Silicon Valley giants censor political content...are finding that content that they themselves support & like end up being repressed," he wrote. "That's what has happened to every censorship advocate in history."

In America, Conservatives were the first to complain about unfair treatment by left-leaning Silicon Valley tech giants. However, leftist sites have increasingly become targets in what Blumenthal calls "a wider war on dissident narratives in online media." In identifying enemies in this "war," Facebook has partnered up with the Digital Forensics Lab, an offshoot of NATO-sponsored think tank the Atlantic Council. The DFL has promised to be Facebook's "eyes and ears" in the fight against disinformation (read: alternative viewpoints).

[Oct 12, 2018] Father Dani l in Syria 'Fake News is Imposed With Great Enthusiasm in the West, While Channels of Truth Are Closed' by Bahar Azizi

Notable quotes:
"... Hand in Hand voor Syrië, ..."
"... The most flagrant case is Syria where a war was orchestrated by "proxy groups" by Western powers and the Petro monarchies of the Gulf States. Before the war, Syria was a country that could support itself in terms of food and industrialization with a well-developed population that enjoyed a modern health system. The "strategy of the chaos" imported hoards of mercenaries of which the Syrian government can hardly get rid of after 8 years of war (2011-2018). The imperialist intervention, meant to fight this state that refused to obey, has driven 5 million people from their homes" ..."
"... L'intervention and Libye, la pire erreur de ce début de siecle ..."
"... Propaganda Blitz. How the Corporate Media Distort Reality ..."
"... For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities of this dark world ... ..."
Oct 11, 2018 | www.sott.net
Living in Syria in the sixth-century Mar Yakub monastery in the city of Qara, 90 kilometers north of the capital Damascus, Flemish Father Daniël Maes has been a witness to the invasion of western-backed terrorists since the very beginning. To this day, he and his friends continue to support the Syrian people by not only helping them directly, but also by spreading the truth about what is truly going on in the country.

Each week, a newsletter written by Father Daniël is published, in which he describes his experiences and thoughts on the situation in Syria. With the help of much needed donations and NGOs such as Hand in Hand voor Syrië, Father Daniël and others have been working tirelessly with the Syrian people liberated from (formerly) terrorist-held areas.

Below, you can read his latest newsletter , as published on September 28th, 2018, and as translated by Sott.net:

Dear friends,

It seems unlikely that the planned military escalation by Western forces to protect the terrorists in Idlib and to risk a last chance to subvert Syria, will continue. The Abou al-Dohour safe zone basically ensures that citizens can escape the terrorist-controlled Idlib. This was largely guaranteed by the agreement between Russia and Turkey. And Putin seems determined to impose a no-fly zone over all of Syria! Well done. Meanwhile, the Syrians continue to work very diligently on the restoration of their country and society. After the fantastic course of the 60th annual fair last Friday, a 'marathon of peace' was organized to support those who work for the end of the war and the restoration of peace. This marathon was held in Hama, Homs, Lattakia, Tartous and Sweida.

At the same time, a limited bicycle race was organized in Damascus for 200 cyclists from the Ommayade mosque through the city.

In Qara there was one crossroad that was full of rubble for years. It was the place where the hardest fighting took place in 2013. Well, the debris is finally cleared up. And between the monastery and the Ante-Lebanon Mountains people have been working hard lately. The so-called Qara 4 gas source is now operational. It delivers 120,000 cubic meters of gas and 100 condensed barrels every day. We pray and hope that there will be a definitive end to this war and the Syrian people can fully develop their identity.

Father Daniël then goes on to sharing news about the community, his reflection on the root causes of the refugee problem, and a warning with regard to the "official fake news":
Preparation

We want to have a quiet retreat in the community and some preparation has been made for this. On Monday, we visited Sadad and the Syrian Orthodox community with some sisters and a guest, with whom we now maintain a close contact. We visited the "martyress" of the village again, the old woman, who was all alone, was left behind by terrorists to die but recovered. She received a shed that is now being converted into a two-room house, which she proudly showed us.

We prayed together in the church and visited a number of villagers. The pastor abou Michaiel and the Christians count on us that we also continue to help them financially. It is mainly about the purchase of material for the reconstruction, they will do the work themselves. Tuesday and Wednesday were still preparation days to start with a real quiet retreat for the whole community on Thursday. Hopefully more about that next time. So, you won't be getting a message about the war around us this time, we are committing to the struggle in ourselves right now.

Ministerial visit

This week we were again visited by the Minister of Supply together with his wife. They were with us before. He practically has the function of the patriarch Joseph in Egypt during the famine. He asked mother Agnes-Mariam to help find the means to offer more people work in agriculture so that they can provide themselves with their own food. In Aleppo we have been able to help 5,000 families. He also asked in India (mother Agnes-Mariam will briefly give a retreat in India) to find out whether material and prostheses can be shipped from there for disabled people.

From our monastery MSJM (Saint Jacques le Mutilé) about 1,000 people are now employed as paid workers in relief efforts throughout Syria. In the beginning we received a lot of opposition and suspicion. Meanwhile, there is a strong and good spirit with five responsible people, with mother Agnes-Mariam assuming the final responsibility. Now, big organizations are coming to us to work with us. However, the first and foremost impulse always starts with simple, sincere people who give their contribution with generosity. That is why we would like to express our sincere thanks to all our benefactors.

Our wars, our refugees

The continuing flow of refugees from the Middle East and Africa to Europe is a humanitarian drama for these people themselves and is also a threat to the countries in which they seek refuge. In this regard, two attitudes are mainly present. Some respond from a humanitarian point of view and want these people who are in need to be helped and taken care of. The others want to defend the identity of their country to for example prevent a Christian country from being flooded with Muslims who do not want to adapt and who create their own areas where the authentic population can not even visit.

However, what is missing too often is the question about the actual cause and background of the problem. When you return home and you see that the water is flowing out the front door, do you first look for buckets and mops to remove the water from your house? No. You first search for the cause of this flooding. And then you see, for example, that you have left the faucet of the sink open while the stopper was in. So the very first thing you do is close the tap.

There can be many causes that trigger a flow of refugees, but almost always they involve rich Western countries who want to master the resources of other countries. Under the pretext of "freedom and democracy" these countries are being disrupted, a change of government is being worked on, and puppets are being appointed to ensure the interests of the West.

" The most flagrant case is Syria where a war was orchestrated by "proxy groups" by Western powers and the Petro monarchies of the Gulf States. Before the war, Syria was a country that could support itself in terms of food and industrialization with a well-developed population that enjoyed a modern health system. The "strategy of the chaos" imported hoards of mercenaries of which the Syrian government can hardly get rid of after 8 years of war (2011-2018). The imperialist intervention, meant to fight this state that refused to obey, has driven 5 million people from their homes" . (Bruno Guigue, 23 september 2018: Link )

The US and the Western powers proclaim that they no longer have colonial policies, that they only want to ensure freedom and democracy, defend human rights and, finally, defend their own national security and interests. Those who claim their sovereignty must also recognize the sovereignty and interests of other countries. And that is precisely not the case. The military intervention by Western countries is not the solution, but the problem itself. It is the French troops in Mali, Niger (rich in uranium), Chad, Central African Republic that ensure that the countries remain dependent and poor.

It is NATO that destroyed Libya with active participation from Belgium and France. After the Belgian "aid" to Libya, there was hardly a bomb left in Belgium. No "mea culpa" came from any country for this total devastation (Jean-François Kahn, L'intervention and Libye, la pire erreur de ce début de siecle , Le Soir, 25/9/18; about this well-known French journalist see: Link ). The invasions of Somalia (1992), Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003) destroyed these countries. The aggression of Saudi Arabia with active support from the West against Yemen has killed 10,000 people since March 2005, causing a deadly cholera epidemic and famine for 8 million people.

Certainly, there are several causes of the refugee flow. However, the most important remains the neo-colonial domination of Western powers who shamelessly and with military force appropriate the richness of other countries. Subsequently, there is often a corrupt elite of the country itself who have allowed themselves to be bribed to betray their own people. Finally, there are Mafia bosses who set up an extremely lucrative business to get the refugees across. Let's stop whining about the shortage of mops, pullers, buckets, and turn off the tap. These are our wars and our aggression against other countries that are making people flee. If we want to assert our sovereignty, we must also respect the sovereignty of other countries and their interests.

Ready for the battle for your mind!

The spreading of false, incorrect or misleading information, 'fake news', is a problem. The European Union is working diligently on a strategy to combat this ailment. The East StratCom Task Force was already set up for this purpose in 2015. Certain guidelines have been developed and at the end of this year we can expect more concrete actions.

However, there's a catch. Let's make it clear immediately. We are getting more and more into a situation where fake news is imposed with great enthusiasm by government leaders, politicians, official statements, authoritative media and acclaimed journalists, who conceal reality, while the channels of honest researchers who bring the truth, are closed expertly. The justification is then: We must defend European values. That free speech and the obligation to tell the truth are also values, is then forgotten. Or real news and truthful reporting are condemned as being a "conspiracy theory". Or, as we now experience with the announcement of the criminal behavior of the Dutch government, which smoothly helps with the slaughter of innocent Syrian people, says that it should not come to light because it is a "state secret".

The example we know best is of course Syria. A very harmonious, prosperous and particularly safe (albeit imperfect) society with a President who is supported by broad sections of the population is suddenly presented as a terrible dictatorship with a gruesome dictator. The CIA provided an abundance of false photos, films, reports, books, testimonies of inhuman torture (the American prisons remain an inexhaustible source for this) that were spread throughout the West. And everyone (including our "conflict journalist"!) "knew", almost one day after another, how that terrible Syrian president strangled people all day, tortured them to death and carried out chemical attacks.

Something like that makes the blood of every right-minded person boil and that makes a heavy-handed military intervention more than justified. When someone dared to say that there was no "popular uprising" in Syria and certainly no "civil war", that Syria had not committed any chemical attacks at all, he was dismissed as unreliable, fake news. And so the US, Israel, NATO and allies could continue to send their most fanatical terrorists to destroy the country and take away oil, gas and sovereignty. In our own Flemish press I never read one balanced article about the situation in Syria.

In the end it is about the loss of credible journalism. For England, this is now greatly described by David Edwards and David Cromwell, Propaganda Blitz. How the Corporate Media Distort Reality , Pluto Press, 2018, foreword by John Pilger. They show how the liberal media give half-truths and whole lies or sometimes represent reality in reverse, in the service of large interest groups. And the writers of this work are not even journalists but a former professor and an oceanographer. It will become increasingly difficult to discover reality, but it is not impossible. The Australian journalist and founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, is now imprisoned at the Embassy of Venezuela in London but in reality deserves a monument to what he has made public. There are undoubtedly many more people than we suspect, who are aware of the prevalent lies.

Anyone who has any insight into the ever-recurring anti-Russia, anti-Iran, anti-China, anti-Brexit... hysteria on the one hand and on the other Western unlimited war propaganda, justified by the most unlikely pretext to dominate the rest of the world, will soon find more reliable sources. It is also necessary. " For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities of this dark world ... " (Ephesians 6, 12). And by our attitude, we are always either on the side of the murderers or on the side of the innocent victims. We are called to be people of peace and not silly servants of hatred and war, which we conveniently want to package in a message of peace.

Bahar Azizi

Bahar Azizi lives in Europe, holds an MA in psychology, is an instructor in Éiriú Eolas meditation , and is a keen animal lover. Bahar has been a contributing writer and editor at SOTT.net since 2012.

[Oct 12, 2018] The Shaky Case That Russia Manipulated Social Media to Tip the 2016 Election by Gareth Porter

Russians under each Facebook account
Oct 12, 2018 | original.antiwar.com
adopted false US personas online to get people to attend rallies and conduct other political activities. (An alternative explanation is that IRA is a purely commercial, and not political, operation.)

Whether those efforts even came close to swaying US voters in the 2016 presidential election, as Shane and Mazzetti claimed, is another matter.

Shane and Mazzetti might argue that they are merely citing figures published by the social media giants Facebook and Twitter, but they systematically failed to report the detailed explanations behind the gross figures used in each case, which falsified their significance.

Their most dramatic assertions came in reporting the alleged results of the IRA's efforts on Facebook. "Even by the vertiginous standards of social media," they wrote, "the reach of their effort was impressive: 2,700 fake Facebook accounts, 80,000 posts, many of them elaborate images with catchy slogans, and an eventual audience of 126 million Americans on Facebook alone."

Then, to dramatize that "eventual audience" figure, they observed, "That was not far short of the 137 million people who would vote in the 2016 presidential elections."

But as impressive as these figures may appear at first glance, they don't really indicate an effective attack on the US election process at all. In fact, without deeper inquiry into their meaning, those figures were grossly misleading.

A Theoretical Possibility

What Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch actually said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last October was quite different from what the Times reporters claimed. "Our best estimate is that approximately 126,000 million people may have been served one of these [IRA-generated] stories at some time during the two year period," Stretch said.

Stretch was expressing a theoretical possibility rather than an established accomplishment. Facebook was saying that it estimated 126 million Facebook members might have gotten at least one story from the IRA –- not over the ten week election period but over 194 weeks during the two years 2015 through 2017. That, figure, in turn, was based on the estimate that 29 million people might have gotten at least one story in their Facebook feed over that same two-year period and on the assumption that they shared it with others at a particular rate.

The first problem with citing those figures as evidence of impact on the 2016 election is that Facebook did not claim that all or even most of those 80,000 IRA posts were election–related. It offered no data on what proportion of the feeds to those 29 million people was, in fact, election-related. But Stretch did testify that IRA content over that two–year period represented just four thousandths (.0004) of the total content of Facebook newsfeeds.

Thus each piece of IRA content in a twitter feed was engulfed in 23,000 pieces of non-IRA content.

That is an extremely important finding, because, as Facebook's Vice President for News Feed, Adam Moseri, acknowledged in 2016 , Facebook subscribers actually read only about 10 percent of the stories Facebook puts in their News Feed every day. The means that very few of the IRA stories that actually make it into a subscriber's news feed on any given day are actually read.

Facebook did conduct research on what it calls "civic engagement" during the election period, and the researchers concluded that the "reach" of the content shared by what they called "fake amplifiers" was "marginal compared to the volume of civic content shared during the US elections." That reach, they said, was "statistically very small" in relation to "overall engagement on political issues."

Shane and Mazzaetti thus failed to report any of the several significant caveats and disclaimers from Facebook itself that make their claim that Russian election propaganda "reached" 126 million Americans extremely misleading.

Tiny IRA Twitter Footprint

Shane and Mazzetti's treatment of the role of Twitter in the alleged Russian involvement in the election focuses on 3,814 Twitter accounts said to be associated with the IRA, which supposedly "interacted with 1.4 million Americans." Although that number looks impressive without any further explanation, more disaggregated data provide a different picture: more than 90 percent of the Tweets from the IRA had nothing to do with the election, and those that did were infinitesimally few in relation to the entire Twitter stream relating to the 2016 campaign.

Twitter's own figures show that those 3,814 IRA-linked accounts posted 175,993 Tweets during the ten weeks of the election campaign, but that only 8.4 percent of the total number of IRA-generated Tweets were election-related.

Twitter estimated that those 15,000 IRA-related tweets represented less than .00008 (eight one hundred thousandths) of the estimated total of 189 million tweets that Twitter identified as election-related during the ten-week election campaign. Twitter has offered no estimate of how many Tweets, on average were in the daily twitter stream of those people notified by Twitter and what percentage of them were election-related Tweets from the IRA. Any such notification would certainly show, however, that the percentage was extremely small and that very few would have been read.

Research by Darren Linvill and Patrick Warren of Clemson University on 2.9 million Tweets from those same 3,814 IRA accounts over a two year period has revealed that nearly a third of its Tweets had normal commercial content or were not in English; another third were straight local newsfeeds from US localities or mostly non-political "hashtag games", and the final third were on "right" or "left" populist themes in US society.

Furthermore, there were more IRA Tweets on political themes in 2017 than there had been during the election year. As a graph of those tweets over time shows, those "right" and "left" Tweets peaked not during the election but during the summer of 2017.

The Mysterious 50,000 'Russia-Linked' Accounts

Twitter also determined that another 50,258 automated Twitter accounts that tweeted about the election were associated with Russia and that they have generated a total to 2.1 million Tweets – about one percent of the total number election-related tweets of during the period.

But despite media coverage of those Tweets suggesting that they originated with the Russian government, the evidence doesn't indicate that at all. Twitter's Sean Edgett told the Senate Intelligence Committee last November that Twitter had used an "expansive approach to defining what qualifies as a Russian-linked account". Twitter considered an account to be "Russian" if any of the following was found: it was created in Russia or if the user registered the account with a Russian phone carrier or a Russian email; the user's display name contains Cyrillic characters; the user frequently Tweets in Russian, or the user has logged in from any Russian IP address.

Edgett admitted in a statement in January, however, that there were limitations on its ability to determine the origins of the users of these accounts. And a past log-in from a Russian IP address does not mean the Russian government controls an account. Automated accounts have bought and sold for many years on a huge market, some of which is located in Russia. As Scott Shane reported in September 2017, a Russian website BuyAccs.com offers tens and even hundreds of thousands of Twitter accounts for bulk purchase.

Twitter also observed that "a high concentration of automated engagement and content originated from data centers and users accessing Twitter via Virtual Private Networks ("VPNs") and proxy servers," which served to mask the geographical origin of the tweet. And that practice was not limited to the 50,000 accounts in question. Twitter found that locations of nearly 12 percent of the Tweets generated during the election period were masked because of use of such networks and servers.

Twitter identified over half of the Tweets, coming from about half of the 50,000 accounts as being automated, and the data reported on activity on those 50,000 accounts in question indicates that both the Trump and Clinton campaigns were using the automated accounts in question. The roughly 23,000 automated accounts were the source of 1.34 million Tweets, which represented .63 percent of the total election-related Tweets. But the entire 50,000 accounts produced about 1 percent of total election-related tweets.

Hillary Clinton got .55 percent of her total retweets from the 50,000 automated accounts Twitter calls "Russia-linked" and .62 percent of her "likes" from them. Those percentages are close to the percentage of total election-related Tweets generated by those same automated accounts. That suggests that her campaign had roughly the same proportion of automated accounts among the 50,000 accounts as it did in the rest of the accounts during the campaign.

Trump, on the other hand, got 1.8 percent of this total "likes" and 4.25 percent of his total Retweets for the whole election period from those accounts, indicating his campaign was more invested in the automated accounts that were the source of two-thirds of the Tweets in those 50,000 "Russia-linked" accounts.

The idea promoted by Shane and Mazzetti that the Russian government seriously threatened to determine the winner of the election does not hold up when the larger social media context is examined more closely. Contrary to what the Times' reporters and the corporate media in general would have us believe, the Russian private sector effort accounted for a minuscule proportion of the election-related output of social media. The threat to the US political system in general and its electoral system in particular is not Russian influence; it's in part a mainstream news media that has lost perspective on the truth.

Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan. His new book is Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare . He can be contacted at porter.gareth50@gmail.com . Reprinted from Consortium News with the author's permission.

[Oct 12, 2018] Sic Semper Tyrannis RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 11 OCTOBER 2018 by Patrick Armstrong

Notable quotes:
"... its russia and chinas job to assist america to reach the acceptance stage as peacefully as possible while allowing as much face saving as possible for washington and their ruling class. at the end of the day everyone wants to go on living. the next 15 years ought to be quite exciting. ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

SKRIPALMANIA. Has now been completely outsourced to Bellingcat . Which tells the discerning observer two things: 1) there is no evidence 2) the truth is probably the opposite. (And for those of you who take Bellingcat seriously: become discerning .)


Araminta Smade , 16 hours ago

SKRIPALMANIA. Has now been completely outsourced to Bellingcat. Which tells the discerning observer two things: 1) there is no evidence 2) the truth is probably the opposite. (And for those of you who take Bellingcat seriously: become discerning.)

To those of you who are like myself deeply sceptical about this story can I recommend this article in the UK Independent newspaper.

We should be asking for answers about the Skripals and Bellingcat – and not just from Russia. Mary Dejevsky.

https://www.independent.co....

Snow Flake -> Araminta Smade , 5 hours ago
It has transatlantic connections.

Higgins has entered the polite academic space both in the Uk and the US in lightening speed. And as a result of that got special attention by media. Not only that, but in the US he additionally joined an important cog of the EU-US think thank world. The Atlantic Council made him a non-resident "Senior Fellow". As expert in digital forensics, open source and the future of Europe.

When the huge open source "gold rush" caught my attention in the early post 9/11 years, all the excited members I witnessed more close up were quite system conform. That was after the Iraq war intelligence expertise. That's why it made me wonder. Thus,the story of Eliot Higgins seems no outlier from my rather limited perspective.

And yes, I am with Paul Robinson, who a while ago noticed the same contradictions as Mary Dejevsky. On one hand the Russians seem to be omnipotent, on the other they have all these bungling secret service members that are so easy to out. But notice not by a bunch of laymen, but by a crowd led by a serious senior expert and academic. ;)

Peddling Certainty:

https://irrussianality.word...

Snow Flake -> Araminta Smade , 5 hours ago
It has transatlantic connections.

Higgins has entered the polite academic space both in the Uk and the US in lightening speed. And as a result of that got special attention by media. Not only that, but in the US he additionally joined an important cog of the EU-US think thank world. The Atlantic Council made him a non-resident "Senior Fellow". As expert in digital forensics, open source and the future of Europe.

When the huge open source "gold rush" caught my attention in the early post 9/11 years, all the excited members I witnessed more close up were quite system conform. That was after the Iraq war intelligence expertise. That's why it made me wonder. Thus,the story of Eliot Higgins seems no outlier from my rather limited perspective.

And yes, I am with Paul Robinson, who a while ago noticed the same contradictions as Mary Dejevsky. On one hand the Russians seem to be omnipotent, on the other they have all these bungling secret service members that are so easy to out. But notice not by a bunch of laymen, but by a crowd led by a serious senior expert and academic. ;)

Peddling Certainty:

https://irrussianality.word...

FB -> Snow Flake , an hour ago
I think some people here are actually taking Eliott Higgins far too seriously...he is still an uneducated underwear salesman...and acts like it...case in point his recent twitter outburst at Ted Postol, calling him an 'idiot'...that just shows what a substance free clown this guy is...

I briefly looked at that blog article linked to by snowflake and it is basically verbal diarrhea...bottom line is that Higgins and that Bellincat 'outfit' are best simply ignored...not worth the time or mental bandwidth to even think about...

smoothieX12 . -> Snow Flake , 2 hours ago
Atlantic Council has a very great Ph.D consultant, and strategists' strategist and tacticians' tactician, Dr. Blank. He, of all places, taught in US Army War College. He taught, of course, about Russia, since he has Ph.D in Soviet/Russian "history" or whatever passes as such in US "Russian Studies" field.

http://www.wikistrat.com/ex...

His strategic concepts are so devoid of even basic high school level knowledge of Russia (and her geography, BTW) that one is forced to ask how is it even possible to have this kind of "experts"? Among many outlandish ideas Dr. Blank proposed in his academic career dedicated to fighting evil Russians was to send US Navy to the Azov Sea to demonstrate the US Naval might.

http://www.atlanticcouncil....

This was one of the most profound facepalm moments of my life--I mean it. Not only Dr. Blank has no clue about Russia, he also has no clue about US Navy. Yet, he is an expert, alright.

TTG , 19 hours ago
You left the best part out of that State Department policy statement. He announced a new position, the Senior Advisor for Russian Malign Activities and Trends or SARMAT for short. That's straight out of the axis of evil mindset. How can we have a sober and productive policy towards Russia with crap like this?
PRC90 -> TTG , 8 hours ago
I thought that was from Duffleblog but you're right: https://www.state.gov/p/eur...
Third para from the bottom. Part of that $380 million must be Bellingcat's budget.
Timothy Hagios -> TTG , 9 hours ago
I can't wait to see what awful person is selected for this role. Also, Sarmat is also the name for Russia's newest ICBM, which makes one wonder what was on the back of their minds when they came up with this one.
ted richard , 4 hours ago
washingtons foreign policy visa vie russia and china is as yet unable to reach the psychological stage of sublimation. frustrated, angry and demoralised that they can not militarily atttack russia once and for all putting paid ....to who is the biggest dog in the yard...... american elites lash out ineffectually using various media, economic and financial games to assuage their inability to get their way.

each iteration of this plan becomes weaker and less effective than the previous one leading to more rage at being thwarted.

where the current crop of american ruling elites are concerned we are talking about 2 factors.... a profound lack of a really good cosmopolitan education and a near total lack of appreciation for how weak the american industrial base has become the past 30 years (you can not intimidate powerful nations if your military technology is 1 or more generations BEHIND)

an apt understanding of washingtons dilemma is best grasped reading the kubler-ross stages of grieving over a dying loved one. in this case the dying loved one is american exceptionalism and the l godlike power that goes with it for the 1/100 or 1%.

its russia and chinas job to assist america to reach the acceptance stage as peacefully as possible while allowing as much face saving as possible for washington and their ruling class. at the end of the day everyone wants to go on living. the next 15 years ought to be quite exciting.

[Oct 12, 2018] Christ was crucified because of the Russians. GRU and Putin conspired to poison him at the Last Supper. The actual death on the Cross was staged to cover the poisoning.

Notable quotes:
"... Bellingcat is due with the official report shortly. Stay tuned. ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Red Ryder , Oct 11, 2018 5:13:17 PM | link

Christ was crucified because of the Russians. GRU and Putin conspired to poison him at the Last Supper. The actual death on the Cross was staged to cover the poisoning.

"Highly Likely" Iran had a hand in it also. Judas was a 'Persian', of course, and would have been a Shiite if he hadn't been suicidal and lived another 800 years or so.

Bellingcat is due with the official report shortly. Stay tuned.

[Oct 12, 2018] The Boy Who Cried "Bear!!": a Norwegian Folk Tale

Notable quotes:
"... Remember that back in 2002 it was discovered that the US bugged the 767 of then Chinese Premier Jian Xiao-Ping. ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al October 4, 2018 at 9:06 am

The OPCW, like the Council of Europe, the OSCE, WADA and others have become deeply partizan and anti-Russian organizations since the 1990s. A handful of members put out a 'report' on whatever and claim that they have 'evidence' which they should be trusted on rather than provide. The rest of them go along with it. The only reason that makes sense for the attempted 'hack' on the OPCW is that Russia is being denied access to information. The argument, like everything else bullshit from the West is ' You don't show the evidence to the arsonist ' , sic MH17 because it has already been judged and found guilty.

So far WADA had to row back because of the Schimdt Report (which the media of course did not report) and all the reinstated athletes, Russia has suspended payments and may well pull out of the CoE because is it sick and tired of being bombarded with bs at every meeting as if medieval Bear baiting has returned in a modern form (it has).

All these organizations are destroying themselves. If anything all this shows how weak the West's soft power has become that they need to throw everything including the kitchen sink at Russia. They don't like resistance, let alone pushback. They're more careful about China of course and as we saw recently in the South Pacific the Chinese simply won't be cowed or intimidated.

As for the allegations about China, we'll most of us have followed the Snowden revelations about the USA and its Five Eyes global surveillance and infiltration, so its no surprise that China has been running its own operations. It's what countries do, though apparently they're not supposed to. Remember that back in 2002 it was discovered that the US bugged the 767 of then Chinese Premier Jian Xiao-Ping. * I think that all this reporting is a sign of desperation by the powers that be because all else has failed so far and they need to keep the narrative going.

By wrapping it all up together with a pretty pink bow it is to make it ' undeniable ' in the eyes of people who should know better.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1382116/China-finds-spy-bugs-in-Jiangs-Boeing-jet.html

et Al October 4, 2018 at 9:13 am
The temptation by Russia will be to publicly burn western spies in Russia, but it is just another in a long line of provocations to get Russia to respond angrily and make a big mistake. I can imagine RT being banned and other measures if things start to spiral.

This whole G(R)U story was ready to go at an appropriate moment, and I suspect one of the factors was Putin's recent comments about Skripal that had captured the world media's ear. By piling their report on shortly afterwards, they hope to hijack and amplify their narrative.

But, it's words, not meaningful actions. Either they will try and use this to kick off a whole new level of sanctions that they haven't before (high value, sensitive stuff like aerospace, tech etc.). It is possible the timing of this is a last ditch effort to try and get U-rope on board to stop NordSteam II or anything they think they can squeeze through. It's weakness through desperation and also to divert from their failures elsewhere.

et Al October 5, 2018 at 6:26 am
Or burn western spies in other countries that are far less friendly

It is interesting that one of the groups doxxing Russian 'spies' claim to be volunteers and patriots. No-one believes that in the slightest apart from morons. Like BellEnd cat, the number of cut-outs/plausible denial groups has mushroomed and ebb and flow with need. The volunteer claim is no protection.

James lake October 4, 2018 at 7:45 am
This all seems to coordinated distractions from domestic politics in the UK and the USA

Why are th Dutch going along with this nonsense?

kirill October 4, 2018 at 7:51 am
How can you ask such a question. Holland is a US vassal and the US uses its vassals to give its actions legitimacy by claiming that there is an "international" reaction to "Russian aggression". This is why the US always attacks countries around the world as part of some BS coalition of its own vassals. It is claiming its aggression is actually justified international action.
et Al October 4, 2018 at 8:48 am
The Dutch recently signed a big order to have 28 of their AH-64D Apache's 'upgraded' to the 'E' model which is really a re-manufactue and upgrade (from sand and heavy use in helping the US bomb tribesmen far away), & their Patriots to be modernized too.
moscowexile October 4, 2018 at 8:33 am
Because the so called chemical weapons watchdog, which the British government has recently made judge, jury and exucationer as regards all incidences of alleged uses of chemical agents as a weapon, namely it can now accuse and condemn whom it thinks are perpetrators of such chemical attacks, is based in The Hague, where the wicked Russians have allegedly been hacking etc. and, in general, up to their vile and nefarious deeds, as is, of course, in their nature of doing things, because they are vile barbarians, subhuman even
Moscow Exile October 4, 2018 at 9:51 am
I forget where I picked the following up ( from some Russian blog, because it is a translation). I saved it but forget to put in the source:

September 14, 2018
THE DUBIOUS ROLE OF THE OPCW
(OPCW NEVER uses the word "Novichok")
Even those people who are skeptical about what the British government says (and rightly so) tend to accept the „Novichok"-Psyop after they read that "OPCW confirms Novichok nerve agent in Amesbury". But if you actually read what the (summary) of the OPCW says, you will find the following:

"The team requested and received vials of biomedical samples COLLECTED BY THE BRITISH AUTHORITIES for delivery to the OPCW laboratory and subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories for purposes of comparison and in order to verify the analysis conducted by the United Kingdom. (S 1671, Paragraph 6.)

This VIOLATES THEIR OWN RULES about ensuring a forensic "chain of custody" because they did not take bio-samples THEMSELVES but accepted the (2nd-hand) material that the 'authorities" had given them.

Regarding the "Premier Jour" perfume-story the OPCW has this to say:

"During the second deployment [6 weeks after Sturgess fell ill] the team collected a sample of the contents of a small bottle that the police had seized as a suspect item from the house of Charles Rowley in Amesbury" (P. 9)

In paragraph 10 they confirm that the results of the subsequent analysis "show that the sample consists of a toxic chemical at a concentration of 97-98% therefore considered to be "of high purity". (If Charly had got this on his skin he would not have survived )

Again, the chain of custody is non-existent: The OPCW did NOT collect the glass-vial in Rowley's flat, and could not verify its condition at the end of June, but they accepted what "the authorities" had told them about it and examined a sample of its content. There was plenty of time to tamper with the bottle before the OPCW arrived in Salisbury (so malfeasance cannot be ruled out).

(BTW, Sometimes you don't see the wood for the trees: WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would transport a deadly nerve-agent in a GLASS-BOTTLE??????)

Again they accepted material from the British authorities (as if they were incapable of any deception )
What former (Iraq) weapons-inspector Scott Ritter wrote about the OPCW „fact-finding" mission in Syria is also to a certain extent relevant in the Skripal-Saga:

"The problem, however, is that the OPCW is in no position to make the claim it did. One of the essential aspects of the kind of forensic investigation carried out by organizations such as the OPCW -- namely the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of a crime -- is the concept of "chain of custody" of any samples that are being evaluated. This requires a seamless transition from the collection of the samples in question, the process of which must be recorded and witnessed, the sealing of the samples, the documentation of the samples, the escorted transportation of the samples to the laboratory, the confirmation and breaking of the seals under supervision, and the subsequent processing of the samples, all under supervision of the OPCW. Anything less than this means the integrity of the sample has been compromised -- in short, there is no sample."
(Article: Ex-weapons-inspector: Trump's Sarin Claims built on „Lie" by Scott Ritter)

Here, Ritter was referring the fact that the OPCW was not able to actually visit the (terrorist-controlled) "crime-scene" in Khan Sheikhoun but instead went to Turkey (!) where they accepted testimonies and material given to them by the White Helmets and other artificial "NGOs" ("highly likely" paid and organized by MI6, DGSE and the CIA). There they were able to observe autopsies of the 3 alleged victims of the poison-gas attack.

"An NGO had delivered the bodies to the hospitals, though OPCW will not publicly comment on the identity of the NGO. Samples from the bodies were provided to two separate laboratories, which independently confirmed indications of sarin or sarin-like substances.

In criminal proceedings, though, which are similar to the process followed by the UN in determining a war crime, it is a fundamental principle that ALL EVIDENCE be under the control of investigators AT ALL TIMES. That didn't happen in this case."

By the way, the OPCW-FFM in Syria (regarding the Douma-incident) was led by two BRITISH "experts":
The work of the fact finding mission [FFM] was criticized by the Russian Permanent Representative to the OPCW who complained on 14 April 2017 that:

"Under the mandate defined for [the FFM], its membership should be approved by the Syrian government, and it should be balanced. For some time, these provisions were observed somewhat, but then the mission was split into two groups. One [Team Bravo], led by Steven Wallis from Britain, works in contact with the Syrian government, while the other one [Team Alpha], headed by his fellow countryman Leonard Phillips, deals with the claims filed by the Syrian armed opposition. THIS LATTER GROUP IS WORKING COMPLETELY NON-TRANSPARENTLY. ITS MEMBERSHIP IS CLASSIFIED, AND NO ONE KNOWS WHERE IT GOES OR HOW IT OPERATES. They are allegedly using the same methodology as Steven Wallis' group, but they are clearly working mostly remotely, relying on the internet and the fabrications provided by Syrian opposition NGOs, and never go to Syria. At least, we are not aware of a single such trip".

But the unspeakable "journalists" of the MSM (and RT is not much better the interview with the suspects is a joke ) do not bother with such complicated details. They just write "OPCW confirms use of Sarin" in Khan Sheikhoun (and "Novichok" in Salisbury) and ignore all contradicting evidence and the MOTIVE the UK gov has for demonizing Russia (spoiling their dirty game in Syria and "Sykes-Picot №2") so one can only agree with this comment:

"Professional journalism is now a wasteland. There is no public exposure of what we all know has happened and the threat it represents to us all . They have been disloyal to us, so we owe them no respect in return".

And finally – on the implied higher "morality" of UK politics:

The ECJ has just recently found that the UK's mass surveillance programmes, revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, did "not meet the 'quality of law' requirement" and were "incapable of limiting 'interference' to what is 'necessary in a democratic society'"'.(P.387 of the judgement: Case of Big Brother Watch & others vs .UK)

Mark Chapman October 4, 2018 at 11:51 am
The British evidently thought also about the lunacy of transporting a nerve agent in sufficient quantity to kill dozens if not hundreds in a glass bottle; that's why Hamish de Beegee chimed in with his article about how the FSB and the Kremlin had invested months of work and thousands of pounds developing a ceramic bottle which looked just like the real thing, but which you could stand a Volkswagen on top of. That's why I pointed out that they had already used the excuse that it broke to establish how Rowley was exposed.
Jen October 4, 2018 at 2:49 pm
I suspect The Netherlands are being targeted because among other things the International Court of Crimes and the International Court of Justice are based in The Hague. There may be other reasons as well: the Dutch must have a fair few skeletons in their collective closet and the US could very well target one of these and bring the entire wardrobe crashing down and exposing all its sordid secrets. One of these bone-shakers is that The Netherlands is a major corporate tax haven and as such competes with Britain and the US.
http://www.nomoretax.eu/netherlands-tax-haven/

[Oct 12, 2018] OPSW VIOLATES THEIR OWN RULES about ensuring a forensic "chain of custody" because they did not take bio-samples THEMSELVES but accepted the (2nd-hand) material that the 'authorities" had given them.

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile October 4, 2018 at 9:51 am

I forget where I picked the following up ( from some Russian blog, because it is a translation). I saved it but forget to put in the source:

September 14, 2018
THE DUBIOUS ROLE OF THE OPCW
(OPCW NEVER uses the word "Novichok")
Even those people who are skeptical about what the British government says (and rightly so) tend to accept the „Novichok"-Psyop after they read that "OPCW confirms Novichok nerve agent in Amesbury". But if you actually read what the (summary) of the OPCW says, you will find the following:

"The team requested and received vials of biomedical samples COLLECTED BY THE BRITISH AUTHORITIES for delivery to the OPCW laboratory and subsequent analysis by OPCW designated laboratories for purposes of comparison and in order to verify the analysis conducted by the United Kingdom. (S 1671, Paragraph 6.)

This VIOLATES THEIR OWN RULES about ensuring a forensic "chain of custody" because they did not take bio-samples THEMSELVES but accepted the (2nd-hand) material that the 'authorities" had given them.

Regarding the "Premier Jour" perfume-story the OPCW has this to say:

"During the second deployment [6 weeks after Sturgess fell ill] the team collected a sample of the contents of a small bottle that the police had seized as a suspect item from the house of Charles Rowley in Amesbury" (P. 9)

In paragraph 10 they confirm that the results of the subsequent analysis "show that the sample consists of a toxic chemical at a concentration of 97-98% therefore considered to be "of high purity". (If Charly had got this on his skin he would not have survived )

Again, the chain of custody is non-existent: The OPCW did NOT collect the glass-vial in Rowley's flat, and could not verify its condition at the end of June, but they accepted what "the authorities" had told them about it and examined a sample of its content. There was plenty of time to tamper with the bottle before the OPCW arrived in Salisbury (so malfeasance cannot be ruled out).

(BTW, Sometimes you don't see the wood for the trees: WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would transport a deadly nerve-agent in a GLASS-BOTTLE??????)

Again they accepted material from the British authorities (as if they were incapable of any deception )
What former (Iraq) weapons-inspector Scott Ritter wrote about the OPCW „fact-finding" mission in Syria is also to a certain extent relevant in the Skripal-Saga:

"The problem, however, is that the OPCW is in no position to make the claim it did. One of the essential aspects of the kind of forensic investigation carried out by organizations such as the OPCW -- namely the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of a crime -- is the concept of "chain of custody" of any samples that are being evaluated. This requires a seamless transition from the collection of the samples in question, the process of which must be recorded and witnessed, the sealing of the samples, the documentation of the samples, the escorted transportation of the samples to the laboratory, the confirmation and breaking of the seals under supervision, and the subsequent processing of the samples, all under supervision of the OPCW. Anything less than this means the integrity of the sample has been compromised -- in short, there is no sample."
(Article: Ex-weapons-inspector: Trump's Sarin Claims built on „Lie" by Scott Ritter)

Here, Ritter was referring the fact that the OPCW was not able to actually visit the (terrorist-controlled) "crime-scene" in Khan Sheikhoun but instead went to Turkey (!) where they accepted testimonies and material given to them by the White Helmets and other artificial "NGOs" ("highly likely" paid and organized by MI6, DGSE and the CIA). There they were able to observe autopsies of the 3 alleged victims of the poison-gas attack.

"An NGO had delivered the bodies to the hospitals, though OPCW will not publicly comment on the identity of the NGO. Samples from the bodies were provided to two separate laboratories, which independently confirmed indications of sarin or sarin-like substances.

In criminal proceedings, though, which are similar to the process followed by the UN in determining a war crime, it is a fundamental principle that ALL EVIDENCE be under the control of investigators AT ALL TIMES. That didn't happen in this case."

By the way, the OPCW-FFM in Syria (regarding the Douma-incident) was led by two BRITISH "experts":
The work of the fact finding mission [FFM] was criticized by the Russian Permanent Representative to the OPCW who complained on 14 April 2017 that:

"Under the mandate defined for [the FFM], its membership should be approved by the Syrian government, and it should be balanced. For some time, these provisions were observed somewhat, but then the mission was split into two groups. One [Team Bravo], led by Steven Wallis from Britain, works in contact with the Syrian government, while the other one [Team Alpha], headed by his fellow countryman Leonard Phillips, deals with the claims filed by the Syrian armed opposition. THIS LATTER GROUP IS WORKING COMPLETELY NON-TRANSPARENTLY. ITS MEMBERSHIP IS CLASSIFIED, AND NO ONE KNOWS WHERE IT GOES OR HOW IT OPERATES. They are allegedly using the same methodology as Steven Wallis' group, but they are clearly working mostly remotely, relying on the internet and the fabrications provided by Syrian opposition NGOs, and never go to Syria. At least, we are not aware of a single such trip".

But the unspeakable "journalists" of the MSM (and RT is not much better the interview with the suspects is a joke ) do not bother with such complicated details. They just write "OPCW confirms use of Sarin" in Khan Sheikhoun (and "Novichok" in Salisbury) and ignore all contradicting evidence and the MOTIVE the UK gov has for demonizing Russia (spoiling their dirty game in Syria and "Sykes-Picot №2") so one can only agree with this comment:

"Professional journalism is now a wasteland. There is no public exposure of what we all know has happened and the threat it represents to us all . They have been disloyal to us, so we owe them no respect in return".

And finally – on the implied higher "morality" of UK politics:

The ECJ has just recently found that the UK's mass surveillance programmes, revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, did "not meet the 'quality of law' requirement" and were "incapable of limiting 'interference' to what is 'necessary in a democratic society'"'.(P.387 of the judgement: Case of Big Brother Watch & others vs .UK)

Mark Chapman October 4, 2018 at 11:51 am
The British evidently thought also about the lunacy of transporting a nerve agent in sufficient quantity to kill dozens if not hundreds in a glass bottle; that's why Hamish de Beegee chimed in with his article about how the FSB and the Kremlin had invested months of work and thousands of pounds developing a ceramic bottle which looked just like the real thing, but which you could stand a Volkswagen on top of. That's why I pointed out that they had already used the excuse that it broke to establish how Rowley was exposed.
Aule Valar October 4, 2018 at 10:55 am
US forces out head of OPCW: https://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/23/world/us-forces-out-head-of-chemical-arms-agency.html

That's an actual title in NYT, they are not even hiding.

Step 1: give OPCW expanded powers
Step 2: install a US-friendly head of agency
Step 3: we shall see.

Mark Chapman October 4, 2018 at 11:56 am
Explosive. Nobody but Americans can be trusted to run international institutions, especially when they are bought and paid for by the USA. Hey, that'd be a good job for Travis Tygart. He has been chafing lately about the limits of his power to get at Russia from USADA.

The pace of events seems to be taking on momentum, as if it is leading up to something, and there's that kind of stillness in the air, while sounds seem far away and tinny, like just before a big storm breaks.

et Al October 4, 2018 at 12:38 pm
They're going for broke. Trans: going until it is broken.
Aule Valar October 4, 2018 at 3:36 pm
I must apologize for not noticing that the article is from 2002. Sorry.

Still, it does show how much more pull US has in those supposedly indpendent agencies than everyone else.

Mark Chapman October 4, 2018 at 10:41 pm
I didn't notice either. It felt so current, considering the ongoing situation.

[Oct 12, 2018] Jeez, those NATo propagandists are tough!

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile October 10, 2018 at 5:59 am

Reporting it like it is

Alexander Mishkin, the second man accused of involvement in the Skripal assassination plot, was likely to have been sent on the mission because he was a trained doctor capable of providing an antidote in case the novichok attack went wrong, according to security sources.

Dr Mishkin, like the GRU colleague who travelled with him to Salisbury, was made a 'Hero of the Russian Federation' with Vladimir Putin personally presenting him with the award, according to the investigative website Bellingcat.

Second Skripal suspect likely sent to Salisbury to administer novichok antidote, security sources say
'We know that novichok exposure needs immediate antidote so it makes eminent sense to have a military doctor, who is also a trained GRU operative, who can play his part in the operation'

Mark Chapman October 10, 2018 at 8:36 am
The 'antidote' to nerve-agent exposure is atropine, which is broadly marketed to world defense forces in an auto-injector. Your medical expertise in dispensing it is to remove the protective cap, and strike it against your thigh in the muscle, point-first – the internal spring does the rest, right through your clothing. We used to practice it regularly in NBCD training, except the fluid in training injectors is just water. Some crybaby pointed out the needle might pick up a fragment of cloth on its way in, and cause an infection, so we stopped doing it with real needles, and now you just get a thump against your leg from the spring.

https://chemm.nlm.nih.gov/antidote_nerveagents.htm

Military forces are also trained to administer atropine to stricken comrades who were overcome before they could react. Just be sure to give him his own atropine and not yours, and push the needle through his pocket-flap afterward and then bend it over, so that anyone happening on the scene after you have left will know he has already been given atropine and not administer another dose. Atropine overdose causes its own set of problems.

I think it's pretty clear that it does not 'make eminent sense' to have a 'qualified military doctor along in case something went wrong with the Novichok', since anyone can administer Atropine and there is an enormous worldwide base of soldiers and ex-soldiers who could do it as well as anyone else. Horseshit piled on top of horseshit.

kirill October 10, 2018 at 8:23 pm
For some bizarre reason this UK fairy tale requires many Russians. One isn't enough to smear some alleged top secret nerve agent on a door knob (at least in one of the dozens of contradictory theories spewed by Scotland Yard). Wearing gloves (e.g. store bought nitrile ones which would stop this poison, unlike latex ones) is clearly considered too much intellectual effort for Russian untermenschen and they need a doctor to tag along. This fictional doctor claim is patently absurd. A doctor without hospital facilities is nothing but a paramedic and as you rightly describe no such person is needed to administer atropine.

The average media sap in the UK and NATzO apparently can't be bothered to do any thinking. The best assassination plot would involve only a single agent and not a handful. Even freaking video games have the lone assassin meme repeated. One agent could also have a well established cover story. A gang of assassins would essentially be evidence against itself. A whole specially designed bottle of nerve agent is ridiculous and unnecessary. And having it disposed of in a way that it can be found by some homeless junkies is simply not credible. Don't they have sewer grates in the UK?

[Oct 12, 2018] if Russia is so incompetent- why are they deemed a threat? Why is NATO beating the war drums about such a country?

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

James lake October 5, 2018 at 4:07 am

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/05/string-of-own-goals-by-russian-gru-spies-reveals-new-trend-of-sloppiness

The secretive, daring GRU seems to have lost its way in the age of internet search

//if Russia is so incompetent- why are they deemed a threat?
//Why is NATO beating the war drums about such a country?

Moscow Exile October 5, 2018 at 4:15 am
Because it is dangerous in its incompetence?
yalensis October 5, 2018 at 1:48 pm
There is nothing more dangerous than a monkey armed with a hand grenade(?)
kirill October 5, 2018 at 6:02 am
As pointed out elsewhere there is no such agency called the GRU. Like there is no agency called the KGB. This in itself demonstrates that NATzO is spreading pure propaganda.
Mark Chapman October 5, 2018 at 9:14 am
It's probably not sloppiness, per se; it's more that Britain has reached a new level of dazzling investigative brilliance, so that normal GRU tradecraft can no longer withstand its piercing eye.

[Oct 11, 2018] Bellingcat has passed the CIA, MI5, Scotland Yard and the FBI and never looked back.

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile October 8, 2018 at 7:40 pm

Bellingcat exclusive!!!!!

Second Skripal Poisoning Suspect Identified as Dr. Alexander Mishkin

Gosh!

Moscow Exile October 8, 2018 at 7:41 pm
Bum link again!

Second Skripal Poisoning Suspect Identified as Dr. Alexander Mishkin

Mark Chapman October 8, 2018 at 8:02 pm
Where would we be without solid, honest citizen journalism like this? Bellingcat has passed the CIA, MI5, Scotland Yard and the FBI and never looked back. In fact, we have not heard Peep One from any of them since Bellingcat burst on the scene, and the British press goes straight to print from its reports, to hell with waiting for informed comment from the intelligence services or law enforcement.

Come to think about it, what are their countries paying them for?

Cortes October 8, 2018 at 11:15 pm
I'm looking forward to the first Bellingcat spin-offs.

Eliot Higgins – Special Invesigator featuring Tom Cruise and introducing Sparky his lovable mongrel dog which miraculously survived the Salisbury Novichok Massacre and can sniff out GRU agents a mile away.

Jen October 9, 2018 at 8:35 pm
How Sparky the lovable mongrel dog survived the Salisbury Novichok Massacre:

https://avatars.mds.yandex.net/get-pdb/881477/505e84f8-9835-4ab0-9a12-1d7ea375c032/orig

His weaknesses are sniffing power pylons and swallowing batteries.

Cortes October 9, 2018 at 11:41 pm
Excellent!
Moscow Exile October 9, 2018 at 3:08 am
And following temporary employment reviewing orders at a Leicester UK women's underwear manufacturer, the unemployed Higgins then "dispensed with looking for another job so that he could devote himself to blogging full-time" and has now pogressed to being a senior fellow in the "Digital Forensic Research Laboratory" and the "Future Europe Initiative", projects run by the Washington, D.C based "think tank" the "Atlantic Council".


Higgins hard at work researching

A "kept man"? His wife must bring home the bacon then.

Well, she would if she were not a Turk.

The then 32-year-old Higgins started blogging about the civil war in Syria from his home as Brown Moses: "He had no formal intelligence training or security clearance that gave him access to classified documents. He could not speak or read Arabic. He had never set foot in the Middle East, unless you count the time he changed planes in Dubai en route to Manila, or his trip to visit his in-laws in Turkey".

As far as I am aware, he still has no credentials for his chosen field, albeit he is now a "fellow" of this and that. He has also since bursting into the bloggosphere considerably put on weight:

Higgins belongs to an obsessive coterie of self-appointed military intelligence experts who use social media to piece together critical details of faraway conflicts, often well ahead of seasoned professionals. Frequently self-taught and operating far outside the military-industrial complex, these amateur analysts have honed a novel set of sleuthing skills that fuse old-fashioned detective work with new sources of intelligence generated by cell phone cameras and spread by social networks. Syria's war, widely considered the most documented conflict in history, has turned social media into a weapon of mass detection -- critical both for fighters on the ground and for faraway observers trying to make sense of the conflict.

The mind boggles: he and his fellow "amateur analysts" are often well ahead of seasoned professionals. Frequently self-taught and operating far outside the military-industrial complex !!!

See: Inside The One-Man Intelligence Unit That Exposed The Secrets And Atrocities Of Syria's War , by Bianca Boscar.

Bianca Bosker is the Executive Tech Editor of the Huffington Post.

Well who'd a-thowt!

Moscow Exile October 9, 2018 at 3:11 am
And Higgins is also an unabashed liar:

Eliot Higgins,: "I've not received funding from NED. Stop reading conspiracy websites"

Also Eliot Higgins "Bellingcat has received money from NED"

#BellingCrap #lieslieslies #UnderwearSalesman #CarpetSlippers pic.twitter.com/VvciGlaTtw

-- Emma (@emmadefano1) September 29, 2018

Mark Chapman October 9, 2018 at 3:29 pm
Once upon a time, nobody would dare to do what they are doing because of the danger of a ruinous lawsuit. But so long as he continues accusing the right people, the west will safeguard him from that as best it can. Maybe that's the way to go. They've left themselves without a retreat, saying this and that are 'confirmed'. Sue the outfit.
Jen October 8, 2018 at 9:05 pm
Bum link again? well it's Bellingcrap, what else could it be but a bum link?
Moscow Exile October 9, 2018 at 12:43 am
And now avidly reported by the British government organ, the "independent", non-Westminster-contolled BBC:

Skripal attack: Second Russian Salisbury suspect named

At least the BBC labels "Dr. Mishkin" as a "suspect"..

Moscow Exile October 9, 2018 at 1:06 am
Note how Bellingtwat states that it has "conclusively" established the real identity of Petrov on evidence gleaned from "multiple open sources" and "testimony from people familiar with the person" in question.

How do they do this?

First to the post again and well ahead of all the Western intelligence agencies, which are obviously understaffed with incompetents and not in possession of state-of-the-art means of gathering intelligence such as . errrr, Facebook?

Moscow Exile October 9, 2018 at 1:10 am

Moscow Exile October 9, 2018 at 1:41 am

I'm sick of Western European shite in general.

A few days ago, that lying old slag May appeared on stage at the Conservative Party annual conference with Abba's "Dancing Queen" playing in the bacground. May appeared to be trying to dance to the Abba hit. What a cupid old stunt!

And yesterday at an EUSSR Brussels conference, EU chief-executive and piss-artist Juncker appears to have been possibly trying to take the piss out of that old, lying bag May's gyrations:

Mark Chapman October 9, 2018 at 3:25 pm
Dear God. She gives new meaning to 'wooden', and makes Pinocchio look like he was made of quicksilver.
Mark Chapman October 9, 2018 at 3:09 am
Yes, their resources really do beat all, don't they? Able to trawl through Russians' private records at will, even those ominously marked, "Not for public release". But then, they have lots of willing helpers inside Russia, which the western intelligence agencies officially have not. Makes you wonder how Russia can miss catching them, innit, considering the intertubes are strictly controlled in Russia and all their intelligence transactions are in the public domain? I mean, with their troll farms and all their snoopy organizations?
Jen October 9, 2018 at 3:46 am
Bellingcrap could have just mentioned its sources during the course of its article instead of proclaiming that it's going to detail in another post to be supposedly published today (9 October 2018) the methodology it and The Insider Russia used and the information trail established. Perhaps a sign that Bellingcrap is starting to feel some pressure to lift its game to a level acceptable to its masters at The Atlantic Council?
kirill October 9, 2018 at 8:16 pm
I guess the belled cat thinks he's immune from some "GRU" hit. LOL.
et Al October 9, 2018 at 2:32 am
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. BellEndCat can only manage the former. Still, it's good enough for the BBC who this morning spoke to a (former?) Georgian minister who was saying that if the West was united and stopped Russia from invading Georgia in 2008, then Ukraine, Crimea, Skripals etc. wouldn't have happened, followed by BBC correspondent Norton who said that 'was about right'.
cartman October 9, 2018 at 10:14 am
Don't forget that Bellingcat is linked to the Stasi:

Forgot about this: Der Spiegel outed Bellingcat analyst as former full-time Stasi goon. https://t.co/kfB69NuQ6N

-- Yasha Levine (@yashalevine) October 9, 2018

[Oct 11, 2018] US military program could be seen as bioweapon: Using the US's own definitions that it has used to place sanctions on other countries, this is clearly a dual-use technology, i.e. civilian with military applications

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al October 5, 2018 at 4:18 am

crAP via Antiwar.com: Scientists: US military program could be seen as bioweapon
https://apnews.com/8ed74d87df524ab580d7fbd3b845d0c6/Scientists:-US-military-program-could-be-seen-as-bioweapon

A research arm of the U.S. military is exploring the possibility of deploying insects to make plants more resilient by altering their genes. Some experts say the work may be seen as a potential biological weapon.

In an opinion paper published Thursday in the journal Science, the authors say the U.S. needs to provide greater justification for the peace-time purpose of its Insect Allies project to avoid being perceived as hostile to other countries. Other experts expressed ethical and security concerns with the research, which seeks to transmit protective traits to crops already growing in the field .
####

The rest at the link.

Using the US's own definitions that it has used to place sanctions on other countries, this is clearly a dual-use technology, i.e. civilian with military applications (which is just about the same as any fancy satellited up in space etc.). Conclusion? The US must sanction itself!

kirill October 5, 2018 at 5:59 am
The US has been using insects as bioweapons for decades (including attacking Cuba and the USSR). The current development program is using this insect research as a cover. Its real function is to develop targeted genetic weapons designed to exterminate ethic groups. These weapons are beyond any "mass destruction" and are pure genocide devices. Anyone who thinks that this sort of research is unlikely is a retard without a clue. There is a reason why certain US companies were buying up Russian human bio-waste (e.g. amputated limbs, cadavers).

If anyone thinks that the US will care about collateral damage to neighbouring Slavic countries, then they are full on retarded as well. In 1990 Americans could not tell the difference between Ukrainians and Russians (and even Chechens). Now for purely political reasons they pretend to see every microscopic difference. The US has no love for Poland, Ukraine, or any other new Europe country. They are merely cannon fodder for its imperial ambitions. The hate that Poles and other Slavic states have for Russia is pathological. Poland is basically a German branch plant economy. Tell me why Poland should have more love for Germany than for Russia? And don't invoke communism since Russians were not privileged compared to Poles before 1991. It was, in fact, the other way around.

Mark Chapman October 5, 2018 at 9:22 am
The US is always asking to be trusted with some fearsome new capability, on the grounds that its values are a fail-safe – it is so innately good that it could never use such capabilities for evil. And it seems obsessed with modifications to achieve super-plants so that one potato will feed a family of eight, and suchlike – what's wrong with food the way nature intended it to be?

If you would decide whether a technology or process should be viewed as a threat, just imagine it was announced by Russia. The USA would scream its head off.

I can't help noticing as well that some of its changes seem geared toward not having to do anything about global warming, continuing to rely on a petroleum-dominated energy policy and so forth, by engineering a food supply that will flourish through as changing environment. If it is successful in that aim it is assured global domination, as the food supply of other countries could vanish if the country did not sign on to the US technology agenda. America would not have to threaten anyone's crops with secret-agent bugs. It could just go on as it is doing, and continue to contribute to global warming.

[Oct 11, 2018] Telegraph propaganda honchos as " "Highly likely" jerks

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

moscowexile

October 10, 2018 at 6:20 pm
A suspected third member of the Kremlin hit squad behind the Salisbury nerve agent attack has been named, according to a respected Russian news website.

Sergey Fedotov, 45, travelled to the UK on the same day as the two assassins already charged by British authorities – and boarded the same flight home.

The Telegraph had previously reported the existence of a third member of the Russian intelligence hit squad and a trawl of flight records by the Fontanka news agency matched it to Fedotov.

According to Fontanka, Fedotov flew to the UK on a passport whose number differs by only a few digits from those used by the two GRU military intelligence agents officially wanted for the nerve agent attack.

It is almost certain Fedotov is not the passenger's real name but an alias. No traces of Sergei Fedotov have been found in documentary databases or on social media. He has no property, vehicles or telephone numbers registered to his name in Russia, according to Fontanka.

Telegraph

No "alleged"in "Kremlin hit squad behind the Salisbury nerve agent attack but It is almost certain Fedotov is not the passenger's real name but an alias.

Highly likely indeed!

[Oct 10, 2018] The Lies of our (Financial) Times by James Petras

Notable quotes:
"... The leading financial publications have misled their political and investor subscribers of emerging crises and military defeats which have precipitated catastrophic political and economic losses. ..."
"... Financial Times (FT) ..."
"... In this essay we will proceed by outlining the larger political context that sets the framework for the transformation of the FT ..."
"... The language of the FT ..."
"... The unanimity of the liberal and rightwing publications in support of western imperialism precluded any understanding of the enormous political and economic costs which ensued. ..."
"... When it became evident that US-NATO wars did not lead to happy endings but turned into prolonged insurgencies, or when western clients turned into corrupt tyrants, the FT ..."
"... The militarization of the FT ..."
"... Financial Times ..."
Oct 03, 2018 | www.unz.com
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Introduction

The leading financial publications have misled their political and investor subscribers of emerging crises and military defeats which have precipitated catastrophic political and economic losses.

The most egregious example is the Financial Times (FT) a publication which is widely read by the business and financial elite.

In this essay we will proceed by outlining the larger political context that sets the framework for the transformation of the FT from a relatively objective purveyor of world news into a propagator of wars and failed economic policies.

In part two we will discuss several case studies which illustrate the dramatic shifts from a prudent business publication to a rabid military advocate, from a well-researched analyst of economic policies to an ideologue of the worst speculative investors.

The decay of the quality of its reportage is accompanied by the bastardization of language. Concepts are distorted; meanings are emptied of their cognitive sense; and vitriol covers crimes and misdemeanors.

We will conclude by discussing how and why the 'respectable' media have affected real world political and market outcomes for citizens and investors.

Political and Economic Context

The decay of the FT cannot be separated from the global political and economic transformations in which it publishes and circulates. The demise of the Soviet Union, the pillage of Russia's economy throughout the 1990's and the US declaration of a unipolar world were celebrated by the FT as great success stories for 'western values'. The US and EU annexation of Eastern Europe, the Balkan and Baltic states led to the deep corruption and decay of journalistic narratives.

The FT willing embraced every violation of the Gorbachev-Reagan agreements and NATO's march to the borders of Russia. The militarization of US foreign policy was accompanied by the FT conversion to a military interpreter of what it dubbed the 'transition to democratization'.

The language of the FT reportage combined democratic rhetoric with an embrace of military practices. This became the hallmark for all future coverage and editorializing. The FT military policies extended from Europe to the Middle East, the Caucasus, North Africa and the Gulf States.

The FT joined the yellow press in describing military power grabs, including the overthrow of political adversaries, as 'transitions to democracy' and the creation of 'open societies'.

The unanimity of the liberal and rightwing publications in support of western imperialism precluded any understanding of the enormous political and economic costs which ensued.

To protect itself from its most egregious ideological foibles, the FT included 'insurance clauses', to cover for catastrophic authoritarian outcomes. For example they advised western political leaders to promote military interventions and, by the way ,with 'democratic transitions'.

When it became evident that US-NATO wars did not lead to happy endings but turned into prolonged insurgencies, or when western clients turned into corrupt tyrants, the FT claimed that this was not what they meant by a 'democratic transition' – this was not their version of "free markets and free votes".

The Financial and Military Times (?)

The militarization of the FT led it to embrace a military definition of political reality. The human and especially the economic costs, the lost markets, investments and resources were subordinated to the military outcomes of 'wars against terrorism' and 'Russian authoritarianism'.

Each and every Financial Times report and editorial promoting western military interventions over the past two decades resulted in large scale, long-term economic losses.

The FT supported the US war against Iraq which led to the ending of important billion-dollar oil deals (oil for food) signed off with President Saddam Hussein. The subsequent US occupation precluded a subsequent revival of the oil industry. The US appointed client regime pillaged the multi-billion dollar reconstruction programs – costing US and EU taxpayers and depriving Iraqis of basic necessities.

Insurgent militias, including ISIS, gained control over half the country and precluded the entry of any new investment.

The US and FT backed western client regimes organized rigged election outcomes and looted the treasury of oil revenues, arousing the wrath of the population lacking electricity, potable water and other necessities.

The FT backed war, occupation and control of Iraq was an unmitigated disaster.

Similar outcomes resulted from the FT support for the invasions of Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

For example the FT propagated the story that the Taliban was providing sanctuary for bin Laden's planning the terror assault in the US (9/11).

In fact, the Afghan leaders offered to turn over the US suspect, if they were offered evidence. Washington rejected the offer, invaded Kabul and the FT joined the chorus backing the so-called 'war on terrorism which led to an unending, one trillion-dollar war.

Libya signed off to a disarmament and multi-billion-dollar oil agreement with the US in 2003. In 2011 the US and its western allies bombed Libya, murdered Gadhafi, totally destroyed civil society and undermined the US/EU oil agreements. The FT backed the war but decried the outcome. The FT followed a familiar ploy; promoting military invasions and then, after the fact, criticizing the economic disasters.

The FT led the media charge in favor of the western proxy war against Syria: savaging the legitimate government and praising the mercenary terrorists, which it dubbed 'rebels' and 'militants' – dubious terms for US and EU financed operatives.

Millions of refugees, resulting from western wars in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq fled to Europe seeking refuge. FT described the imperial holocaust – the 'dilemmas of Europe'. The FT bemoaned the rise of the anti-immigrant parties but never assumed responsibility for the wars which forced the millions to flee to the west.

The FT columnists prattle about 'western values' and criticize the 'far right' but abjured any sustained attack of Israel's daily massacre of Palestinians. Instead readers get a dose of weekly puff pieces concerning Israeli politics with nary a mention of Zionist power over US foreign policy.

FT: Sanctions, Plots and Crises: Russia, China and Iran

The FT like all the prestigious media propaganda sheets have taken a leading role in US conflicts with Russia, China and Iran.

For years the scribes in the FT stable have discovered (or invented) "crises" in China's economy- always claiming it was on the verge of an economic doomsday. Contrary to the FT, China has been growing at four times the rate of the US; ignoring the critics it built a global infrastructure system instead of the multi-wars backed by the journalist war mongers.

When China innovates, the FT harps on techno theft – ignoring US economic decline.

The FT boasts it writes "without fear and without favor" which translates into serving imperial powers voluntarily.

When the US sanctions China we are told by the FT that Washington is correcting China's abusive statist policies. Because China does not impose military outposts to match the eight hundred US military bases on five continents, the FT invents what it calls 'debt colonialism" apparently describing Beijing's financing large-scale productive infrastructure projects.

The perverse logic of the FT extends to Russia. To cover up for the US financed coup in the Ukraine it converted a separatist movement in Donbass into a Russian land grab. In the same way a free election in Crimea is described as Kremlin annexation.

The FT provides the language of the declining western imperial empires.

Independent, democratic Russia, free of western pillage and electoral meddling is labelled "authoritarian"; social welfare which serves to decrease inequality is denigrated as 'populism' -- linked to the far right. Without evidence or independent verification, the FT fabricates Putinesque poison plots in England and Bashar Assad poison gas conspiracies in Syria.

Conclusion

The FT has chosen to adopt a military line which has led to a long series of financially disastrous wars. The FT support of sanctions has cost oil companies billions of dollars, euros and pounds. The sanctions, it backed, have broken global networks.

The FT has adopted ideological postures that threaten supply chains between the West, China, Iran and Russia. The FT writes in many tongues but it has failed to inform its financial readers that it bears some responsibility for markets which are under siege.

There is unquestionably a need to overhaul the name and purpose of the FT. One journalist who was close to the editors suggests it should be called the "Military Times" – the voice of a declining empire.


Walter Duranty , says: October 5, 2018 at 6:03 pm GMT

War is a proven money maker. Obscene profits are to be made which outshine the death and destruction.
Carlton Meyer , says: Website October 5, 2018 at 7:51 pm GMT
I read the weekly British "Economist" for years, which is a well known international news magazine. It has good stories and insight, but they are always pro-war and pro-empire, and in recent years push open borders. I tired of supporting this propaganda and canceled by subscription four years ago.

Unz.com and Antiwar.com are better, and free!

dearieme , says: October 6, 2018 at 10:58 am GMT
We used to take the FT on a Saturday. We gave it up not on the grounds of its politics – we hardly glanced at that sort of pish anyway – but because of the decline in the standard of its Arts coverage. That was so sudden that I imagine that it corresponded to a change in the editor of the section.

Otherwise – well what do you expect? I no longer watch the TV news or listen to the radio. We haven't taken the local rag for years. We take a national morning paper during the week only on my wife's insistence. We've given up the magazines we've taken in the past, including the Economist. The last magazine we took – second-hand, as it happens – was Quadrant, an Aussie publication. It was rather good. We stopped it only because our supply dried up.

Craig Nelsen , says: Website October 7, 2018 at 1:57 am GMT
I know this is going to sound crazy, but that sounds just like the track record for the New York Times . Come to think of it, the Washington Post as well. Wow, what are the odds? Sounds like collusion.
kiers , says: October 7, 2018 at 3:30 am GMT
You can not
hope to bribe or twist,
Thank God!
the British Journalist,
but seeing what the man will do
Unbribed,
there's no reason to.
tiny Tim , says: October 7, 2018 at 10:13 am GMT
It would be of interest to see who owns FP and the Economist, I would expect Jewish.
lulu , says: October 7, 2018 at 1:01 pm GMT
@Walter Duranty

War is a proven money maker.

Spot on! Tha's why every entity (media, academia, mic, banks, etc. ) would bend over to money.

lulu , says: October 7, 2018 at 1:20 pm GMT
@tiny Tim FT is now owned by Japanese media group Nikkei Inc. , which bought Financial Times from Pearson for £844m ($1.32 billion). Take a look of current Editor Lionel Barber cv:

Lionel Barber, 52, is the editor of the Financial Times. He has lived in Washington, Brussels, London and New York during his 20-year career at the publication, covering the end of the Cold War, the first Gulf War and several US presidential campaigns. He also briefed George W Bush ahead of his first visit to Europe as president.

He surely belongs to the insider club: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/lionel-barber-my-life-in-media-768671.html .

Econimst, according to wiki:

Peason PLC held a 50% shareholding via The Financial Times Limited until August 2015; at that time Pearson sold their share in the Economist. The Agnelli family's Exor paid £287m to raise their stake from 4.7% to 43.4% , while the Economist paid £182m for the balance of 5.04m shares which will be distributed to current shareholders. Aside from the Agnelli family, smaller shareholders in the company include Cadbury, Rothschild, Schroder, Layton and other family interests as well as a number of staff and former staff shareholders.

[Oct 09, 2018] US Russia Sanctions Are 'A Colossal Strategic Mistake', Putin Warns

Oct 09, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Washington of making a "colossal" but "typical" mistake by exploiting the dominance of the dollar by levying economic sanctions against regimes that don't bow to its whims.

"It seems to me that our American partners make a colossal strategic mistake," Putin said.

"This is a typical mistake of any empire," Putin said, explaining that the US is ignoring the consequences of its actions because its economy is strong and the dollar's hegemonic grasp on global markets remains intact. However "the consequences come sooner or later."

These remarks echoed a sentiment expressed by Putin back in May, when he said that Russia can no longer trust the US dollar because of America's decisions to impose unilateral sanctions and violate WTO rules.

... ... ...

With the possibility of being cut off from the dollar system looming, a plan prepared by Andrei Kostin, the head of Russian bank VTB, is being embraced by much of the Russian establishment. Kostin's plan would facilitate the conversion of dollar settlements into other currencies which would help wean Russian industries off the dollar. And it already has the backing of Russia's finance ministry, central bank and Putin.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin is also working on deals with major trading partners to accept the Russian ruble for imports and exports.

In a sign that a united front is forming to help undermine the dollar, Russia's efforts have been readily embraced by China and Turkey, which is unsurprising, given their increasingly fraught relationships with the US. During joint military exercises in Vladivostok last month, Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that their countries would work together to counter US tariffs and sanctions.

"More and more countries, not only in the east but also in Europe, are beginning to think about how to minimise dependence on the US dollar," said Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin's spokesperson. "And they suddenly realise that a) it is possible, b) it needs to be done and c) you can save yourself if you do it sooner."

[Oct 09, 2018] Some suggest that the British find it useful to paint an ongoing story for the public of Russian depravity and duplicity. If that were the case, why paint Russia as the gang that couldn't shoot straight - too inept to constitute a serious threat?

Notable quotes:
"... As many, including Murray have pointed out, the story the UK is telling displays none of the tradecraft that one would expect from a sophisticated intelligence service. ..."
Oct 09, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

smoke , 9 hours ago

So little about the mutating, public narrative makes sense, including motive, whether Russian or British. Some suggest that the British find it useful to paint an ongoing story for the public of Russian depravity and duplicity. If that were the case, why paint Russia as the gang that couldn't shoot straight - too inept to constitute a serious threat?

As many, including Murray have pointed out, the story the UK is telling displays none of the tradecraft that one would expect from a sophisticated intelligence service.

[Oct 09, 2018] The Skripals Are an MI6 Hoax - 'Not Worthy of Ladies' Detective Novels' - Israeli Expert Demolishes UK Case

Highly recommended!
Oct 09, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Very convincing. This Israeli expert blows up the UK's narrative in a few well-chosen one-liners.

"If the GRU acted, both the killers and the other participants in the operation would come to the UK on the passports of other countries that have visa-free relations with it. Here, two alleged GRU officers go to the embassy, ​​leave their fingerprints there, get a visa, stop at the hotel, pass under all the cells. This you will not find even in ladies' detective novels."

An Israeli expert on international terrorism, writer Alexander Brass, shared his view on the case of the Skripals poisoning in Salisbury. Brass draws parallels between the work of the special services of Israel and Russia – he believes that if to compare the British version with the practice of the special agents, then the absurdity becomes obvious.

"Alexander, so what, in your opinion, happened in Salisbury?"

-There was a rough provocation by the British special services. In my opinion, this is obvious.

"There's a lot of stupidity on stupidity." The story with Petrov and Boshirov does not hold up any professional peer review. According to the Brits, the Skripals were poisoned by GRU agents (this is what the department is called, although this is now the Main Directorate of the RF General Staff).

I want to explain how the special services work. If you need someone to eliminate, then this is a very serious operation, which is being prepared for a long time. A very significant material and human resource is allocated. We are talking about dozens of employees. On the territory of this state, an "advanced command post" is being created.

In the operation, a technical support group, a logistic group, a cover group, an external surveillance group and a group of performers are involved.

The performers themselves appear at the very last moment. They do not go anywhere, lighting up on cameras, do not use public transport, but move on rented cars, which they do not rent themselves. And the more they will not stop in hotels, but will live on safe houses provided by the logistics group.

Such groups do not come under the passport of their country, do not go to the embassy for obtaining a visa, leaving fingerprints. This is complete nonsense. Professionals do not work that way.

If the GRU acted, both the killers and the other participants in the operation would come to the UK on the passports of other countries that have visa-free relations with it. Here, two alleged GRU officers go to the embassy, ​​leave their fingerprints there, get a visa, stop at the hotel, pass under all the cells. This you will not find even in ladies' detective novels.

[Oct 08, 2018] The Final Truth of Russia-gate by Justin Raimondo

Notable quotes:
"... As the hoax unravels, the real story of "foreign collusion" comes out ..."
"... This entire episode has Her Majesty's Secret Service's fingerprints all over it. Steele's key role is plain enough: here was a British spook who was not only hired by the Clinton campaign to dig up dirt on Trump but was unusually passionate about his work – almost as if he'd have done it for free. And then there was the earliest approach to the Trump campaign, made by Cambridge professor and longtime spook Stefan Halper to Carter Page. And then there's the mysterious alleged "link" to Russian intelligence, Professor Joseph Mifsud, whose murky British-based thinktank managed to operate openly despite later claims it was a Russian covert operation. ..."
"... It was Mifsud who orchestrated the Russia-gate hoax, first suggesting that the Russians had Hillary Clinton's emails, and then disappearing into thin air as soon as the story he had planted percolated into plain view. Some "Russian agent"! ..."
"... Trump's decision to walk back his announcement that the key Russia-gate intelligence would be declassified tells us almost as much as if he'd tweeted it out, unredacted. For what it tells us is that public knowledge of the contents would constitute a major break in relations with at least one key ally. ..."
"... So here we have it at last, the final truth of Russia-gate: yes, there was indeed foreign collusion in the 2016 election, but it came from the opposite direction than the media are telling us. We weren't attacked by Russia: a few thousand dollars in Facebook ads that nobody saw did not put Trump in the White House. Our democratic process was undermined, not by the supposedly omnipotent Vladimir Putin but by the intelligence agencies of some of our more beloved "allies." We were attacked by a tag -team, both foreign and domestic, intent on ousting a democratically-elected President by any means necessary. ..."
"... When those subsidies, subventions, and special privileges are threatened, as they are by the nationalist cheapskate Trump, who would gladly demolish the whole decrepit, dated, and dangerous cold war architecture with a wave of his hand. A US President who puts America first? They can't allow it. ..."
"... The global Establishment has risen up against the People. ..."
Oct 08, 2018 | original.antiwar.com

As the hoax unravels, the real story of "foreign collusion" comes out

The conspiracy to overthrow a sitting US President extends far beyond our own "Deep State." As I've been saying in this space for quite some time, it's been an international team effort from the beginning. Setting aside the British origins of the obscene "dossier" compiled by "ex"-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, we now have further confirmation of foreign involvement in President Trump's decision to delay (perhaps indefinitely) the declassification of key Russia-gate documents. While US intelligence officials were expected to oppose the move, "Trump was also swayed by foreign allies, including Britain, in deciding to reverse course, these people said. It wasn't immediately clear what other governments may have raised concerns to the White House."

But of course the Washington Post knows perfectly well which other governments would have reason to raise "concerns" to the White House. It's clear from the public record that the following "allies" have rendered the "Resistance" essential assistance at one time or another:

This is part of the price we pay for our vaunted "empire," and the "liberal international order" the striped-pants set is so on about. As that grizzled old "isolationist" prophet, Garet Garrett, described the insignia of empire at the dawn of the cold war:

"There is yet another sign that defines itself gradually. When it is clearly defined it may be already too late to do anything about it. That is to say, a time comes when Empire finds itself –

"A prisoner of history.

"The history of a Republic is its own history . A Republic may change its course, or reverse it, and that will be its own business., But the history of Empire is a world history, and belongs to many people."

A Republic may restrain itself, wrote Garrett, but "Empire must put forth its power" – on whose behalf? There are many claimants whose wealth, position, and prestige depend on the Imperial largesse. When that claim is threatened, the "satellites" turn against their protector. This is what the Russia-gate covert action -- carried out by coordinated action of our "allies" – is all about. We now have clear evidence of just how far our "client" states are willing go to ensure that the American gravy train of free goodies continues to flow.

Trump's decision to walk back his announcement that the key Russia-gate intelligence would be declassified tells us almost as much as if he'd tweeted it out, unredacted. For what it tells us is that public knowledge of the contents would constitute a major break in relations with at least one key ally.

So here we have it at last, the final truth of Russia-gate: yes, there was indeed foreign collusion in the 2016 election, but it came from the opposite direction than the media are telling us. We weren't attacked by Russia: a few thousand dollars in Facebook ads that nobody saw did not put Trump in the White House. Our democratic process was undermined, not by the supposedly omnipotent Vladimir Putin but by the intelligence agencies of some of our more beloved "allies." We were attacked by a tag -team, both foreign and domestic, intent on ousting a democratically-elected President by any means necessary.

Here is the final irrefutable argument against America as the "world leader," designated champion of the "liberal international order" – we become, as Garrett noted, a prisoner of history. Indeed, we are no longer entitled to write our own history, but must endure the lobbying and aggressive interventions of our ungrateful and spiteful "allies," whose welfare states could not exist without generous US "defense" subsidies.

When those subsidies, subventions, and special privileges are threatened, as they are by the nationalist cheapskate Trump, who would gladly demolish the whole decrepit, dated, and dangerous cold war architecture with a wave of his hand. A US President who puts America first? They can't allow it.

And that's really the essence of the fight, the issue that will determine the woof and warp of American politics in the new millennium. The global Establishment has risen up against the People. There's no telling what the outcome will be, but one thing I know for sure: I know what side I'm on. Do you?

[Oct 08, 2018] The Holes in the Official Skripal Story by Craig Murray

British intelligence services have a lot of things to explain now. But who will ask them ?
Notable quotes:
"... The nub of the British government's approach has been the shocking willingness of the corporate and state media to parrot repeatedly the lie that the nerve agent was Russian made, even after Porton Down said they could not tell where it was made and the OPCW confirmed that finding. ..."
"... What is certainly untrue is that only Russia has a motive. The obvious motive is to attempt to blame and discredit Russia. Those who might wish to do this include Ukraine and Georgia, with both of which Russia is in territorial dispute, and those states and jihadist groups with which Russia is in conflict in Syria. The NATO military industrial complex also obviously has a plain motive for fueling tension with Russia. ..."
"... There is of course the possibility that Skripal was attacked by a private gangster interest with which he was in conflict, or that the attack was linked to Skripal's MI6 handler Pablo Miller's work on the Orbis/Steele Russiagate dossier on Donald Trump. ..."
"... Plainly, the British governments statements that only Russia had the means and only Russia had the motive, are massive lies on both counts. ..."
"... Yet no motive has been adduced for an attack on Yulia or why they would attack while Yulia was visiting – they could have painted his doorknob with less fear of discovery anytime he was alone ..."
"... The incompetence of the assassination beggars belief when compared to British claims of a long term production and training programme. The Russians built the heart of the International Space Station. ..."
"... With Skripal being resettled by MI6, and a former intelligence officer himself, it beggars belief that MI6 did not fit, as standard, some basic security including a security camera on his house. ..."
"... Why did they both touch the outside doorknob in exiting and closing the door? Why did the novichok act so very slowly, with evidently no feeling of ill health for at least five hours, and then how did it strike both down absolutely simultaneously, so that neither can call for help, despite their being different sexes, weights, ages, metabolisms and receiving random completely uncontrolled doses. The odds of that happening are virtually nil. And why was the nerve agent ultimately ineffective? ..."
"... Why was the Detective Sergeant affected and nobody else who attended the house, or the scene where the Skripals were found? Why was Bailey only lightly affected by this extremely deadly substance, of which a tiny amount can kill? ..."
"... I am, with a few simple questions, demolishing what is the most ludicrous conspiracy theory I have ever heard – the Salisbury conspiracy theory being put forward by the British government and its corporate lackies. ..."
"... During a visit to Salisbury and Amesbury, the UK home secretary said: "We don't want to jump to conclusions." but they sure were with the first poisoning. Time will tell. ..."
Oct 08, 2018 | southfront.org

Craig Murray: "The Holes in the Official Skripal Story"

... ... ...

" The nub of the British government's approach has been the shocking willingness of the corporate and state media to parrot repeatedly the lie that the nerve agent was Russian made, even after Porton Down said they could not tell where it was made and the OPCW confirmed that finding. In fact, while the Soviet Union did develop the "novichok" class of nerve agents, the programme involved scientists from all over the Soviet Union, especially Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia, as I myself learnt when I visited the newly decommissioned Nukus testing facility in Uzbekistan in 2002.

Furthermore, it was the USA who decommissioned the facility and removed equipment back to the United States. At least two key scientists from the programme moved to the United States. Formulae for several novichok have been published for over a decade. The USA, UK and Iran have definitely synthesised a number of novichok formulae and almost certainly others have done so too. Dozens of states have the ability to produce novichok, as do many sophisticated non-state actors.

As for motive, the Russian motive might be revenge, but whether that really outweighs the international opprobrium incurred just ahead of the World Cup, in which so much prestige has been invested, is unclear." Craig Murray

What is certainly untrue is that only Russia has a motive. The obvious motive is to attempt to blame and discredit Russia. Those who might wish to do this include Ukraine and Georgia, with both of which Russia is in territorial dispute, and those states and jihadist groups with which Russia is in conflict in Syria. The NATO military industrial complex also obviously has a plain motive for fueling tension with Russia.

There is of course the possibility that Skripal was attacked by a private gangster interest with which he was in conflict, or that the attack was linked to Skripal's MI6 handler Pablo Miller's work on the Orbis/Steele Russiagate dossier on Donald Trump.

Plainly, the British governments statements that only Russia had the means and only Russia had the motive, are massive lies on both counts.

The Russians had been tapping the phone of Yulia Skripal. They decided to attack Sergei Skripal while his daughter was visiting from Moscow.

In an effort to shore up the government narrative, at the time of the Amesbury attack the security services put out through Pablo Miller's long term friend, the BBC's Mark Urban, that the Russians "may have been" tapping Yulia Skripal's phone, and the claim that this was strong evidence that the Russians had indeed been behind the attack.

But think this through. If that were true, then the Russians deliberately attacked at a time when Yulia was in the UK rather than when Sergei was alone. Yet no motive has been adduced for an attack on Yulia or why they would attack while Yulia was visiting – they could have painted his doorknob with less fear of discovery anytime he was alone. Furthermore, it is pretty natural that Russian intelligence would tap the phone of Yulia, and of Sergei if they could. The family of double agents are normal targets. I have no doubt in the least, from decades of experience as a British diplomat, that GCHQ have been tapping Yulia's phone. Indeed, if tapping of phones is seriously put forward as evidence of intent to murder, the British government must be very murderous indeed.

Their trained assassin(s) painted a novichok on the doorknob of the Skripal house in the suburbs of Salisbury. Either before or after the attack, they entered a public place in the centre of Salisbury and left a sealed container of the novichok there.

The incompetence of the assassination beggars belief when compared to British claims of a long term production and training programme. The Russians built the heart of the International Space Station. They can kill an old bloke in Salisbury. Why did the Russians not know that the dose from the door handle was not fatal? Why would trained assassins leave crucial evidence lying around in a public place in Salisbury? Why would they be conducting any part of the operation with the novichok in a public area in central Salisbury?

Why did nobody see them painting the doorknob? This must have involved wearing protective gear, which would look out of place in a Salisbury suburb. With Skripal being resettled by MI6, and a former intelligence officer himself, it beggars belief that MI6 did not fit, as standard, some basic security including a security camera on his house.

The Skripals both touched the doorknob and both functioned perfectly normally for at least five hours, even able to eat and drink heartily. Then they were simultaneously and instantaneously struck down by the nerve agent, at a spot in the city centre coincidentally close to where the assassins left a sealed container of the novichok lying around. Even though the nerve agent was eight times more deadly than Sarin or VX, it did not kill the Skripals because it had been on the doorknob and affected by rain.

Why did they both touch the outside doorknob in exiting and closing the door? Why did the novichok act so very slowly, with evidently no feeling of ill health for at least five hours, and then how did it strike both down absolutely simultaneously, so that neither can call for help, despite their being different sexes, weights, ages, metabolisms and receiving random completely uncontrolled doses. The odds of that happening are virtually nil. And why was the nerve agent ultimately ineffective?

Detective Sergeant Bailey attended the Skripal house and was also poisoned by the doorknob, but more lightly. None of the other police who attended the house were affected.

Why was the Detective Sergeant affected and nobody else who attended the house, or the scene where the Skripals were found? Why was Bailey only lightly affected by this extremely deadly substance, of which a tiny amount can kill?

Four months later, Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were rooting about in public parks, possibly looking for cigarette butts, and accidentally came into contact with the sealed container of a novichok. They were poisoned and Dawn Sturgess subsequently died.

If the nerve agent had survived four months because it was in a sealed container, why has this sealed container now mysteriously disappeared again? If Rowley and Sturgess had direct contact straight from the container, why did they not both die quickly? Why had four months searching of Salisbury and a massive police, security service and military operation not found this container, if Rowley and Sturgess could?

I am, with a few simple questions, demolishing what is the most ludicrous conspiracy theory I have ever heard – the Salisbury conspiracy theory being put forward by the British government and its corporate lackies.

My next post will consider some more plausible explanations of this affair.

South Front: Craig Murray The Holes in the Official Skripal Story


RamboDave 3 months ago ,

Has anyone considered if Rowley and Sturgess might in fact be the actual ones that put the novichok on the Skripal's doorknob four months ago? Perhaps paid to do so by Israel or Ukraine?

ruca RamboDave 3 months ago ,

I don't believe that it ever was novichok. All BS from a British hag

Douglas Houck 3 months ago ,

From yesterday's Guardian:

"Searches began on 6 July of Rowley's home and it was not until Wednesday (11th) that the bottle was discovered by officers, who were battling searing sunshine and protective suits to stop them being exposed to the lethal toxin." "...As a precaution Public Health England continues to advise the public not to pick up any strange items such as syringes, needles, cosmetics or similar objects made of materials such as metal, plastic or glass."

Obviously, the bottle was not simply lying around in plain sight. Would appear to be drug related? Strange. Would be nice if the British were more forthcoming. Another interesting bit is why are the British now, not jumping to conclusions?

"Sajid Javid has said there are no plans to impose fresh sanctions on Russia following the latest nerve agent poisoning in Wiltshire.

During a visit to Salisbury and Amesbury, the UK home secretary said: "We don't want to jump to conclusions." but they sure were with the first poisoning. Time will tell.

AM Hants Douglas Houck 3 months ago ,

They are now saying it looked like a bottle of perfume. The story just gets weirder.

Novichok nerve agent that killed a mother-of-three in Salisbury was in a PERFUME bottle she may have sprayed herself with, her poisoned lover's brother reveals
Charlie Rowley, 45, was left fighting for his life after he was exposed to Novichok
His partner Dawn Sturgess, 44, died after she was poisoned by the nerve agent
Matthew Rowley said the poison was in a perfume bottle his brother picked up ... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...

So how did the homeless woman's partner come into contact with, but, nobody else? How long does Novochok last, once made up? Hours or months?

Douglas Houck AM Hants 3 months ago ,

Bases on VX (the most similar nerve agent to Novochok) it would last days, except if kept sealed.

It's beginning to look like someone from Porton Down is the source, unless the perfume bottle was used to transport the Novochok into the country and then tossed.

The key is the bottle.

AM Hants Douglas Houck 3 months ago ,

Wonder if the junkies were the source?

albanaich@gmail.com 3 months ago ,

The fundamental flaw in the reasoning of this article is that it assumes the poisoning was meant to be kept secret. If you are going to poison someone with Polonium or Novichuk you are sending a distinct message about where the poison came from.

You could kill someone with alflatoxin and no one would know. There a loads of ways a state player can kill people in an untraceable way,

So the purpose of the poisoning was to send a message - not to eliminate a threat,

Once you see that as the purpose of the poisoning, the question becomes is who wants to tell the world that they can kill at long range and little detection with sophisticated neurochemical weapons. . . .

[Oct 08, 2018] Wilderness of mirrors MI6, the Cold War, spies and traitors from Gordievsky to Skripal by George Galloway

Notable quotes:
"... But Britain recruited Skripal in 1996 when not only was the Soviet Union dead but Russia was ruled by the West's performing bear Boris Yeltsin. And during his presidency, Russia was passed-out on the floor with everyone picking its pockets. ..."
"... What could possibly go wrong? ..."
Oct 03, 2018 | www.rt.com

That the USSR was an existential threat to Western capitalism and colonialism and war – of one kind or another – between these two camps was logical and inevitable. But the Soviet Union is 30 years dead.

Indeed, Gordievsky through Macintyre can – if he's telling the truth – claim that he helped bring about the (brief) end of history and the "final" victory. His claimed role in the rise and rise of Gorbachev's relationship with Mrs Thatcher and, by extension, President Reagan certainly hastened the downfall of the USSR.

But Britain recruited Skripal in 1996 when not only was the Soviet Union dead but Russia was ruled by the West's performing bear Boris Yeltsin. And during his presidency, Russia was passed-out on the floor with everyone picking its pockets.

Why was Britain still fighting the Cold War against Russia in 1996, and why is it still fighting the Cold War against Russia now?

Just this week, the rather effete British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson – a former fireplace salesman – said he was sending 800 shivering British soldiers to the Arctic to be ready to fight Russia there. Amidst the snow. And the ice.

As both Napoleon and Hitler must have said: " What could possibly go wrong? "

George Galloway was a member of the British Parliament for nearly 30 years. He presents TV and radio shows (including on RT). He is a film-maker, writer and a renowned orator.

[Oct 08, 2018] British intelligence now officially a by-word for organized crime by John Wight

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... And what about the possibility of MI5's involvement in, dare we use the term, false flag operations? ..."
"... As someone who abhors the premise of conspiracy theory on principle, the fact that more and more are turning to its warm embrace as an intellectual reflex against what is politely described as the 'official narrative' of events, well this is no surprise when we learn of the egregious machinations of Western intelligence agencies such as Britain's MI5. ..."
"... If any such investigation is to be taken seriously, however, it must include in its remit the power to investigate all possible links between Britain's intelligence community and organisations such as, let's see, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group ? ..."
"... The deafening UK mainstream media and political class silence over the trail connecting 2017 Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi and MI6, Britain's foreign intelligence agency, leaves a lingering stench of intrigue that will not out. The work of investigative journalist Mark Curtis on this sordid relationship is unsurpassed. ..."
"... "The evidence suggests that the barbaric Manchester bombing, which killed 22 innocent people on May 22nd, is a case of blowback on British citizens arising at least partly from the overt and covert actions of British governments." ..."
"... "The evidence points to the LIFG being seen by the UK as a proxy militia to promote its foreign policy objectives. Whitehall also saw Qatar as a proxy to provide boots on the ground in Libya in 2011, even as it empowered hardline Islamist groups." ..."
"... "Both David Cameron, then Prime Minister, and Theresa May – who was Home Secretary in 2011 when Libyan radicals were encouraged to fight Qadafi [Muammar Gaddafi] – clearly have serious questions to answer. We believe an independent public enquiry is urgently needed." ..."
"... In words that echo down to us from ancient Rome, the poet Juvenal taunts our complacency with a question most simple and pertinent: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" Who will guard the guards themselves? ..."
Oct 08, 2018 | www.rt.com

8 Oct, 2018

An intelligence service given free rein to commit 'serious crimes' in its own country is an intelligence service that is the enemy of its people. The quite astounding revelation that Britain's domestic intelligence service, MI5, has enjoyed this very freedom for decades has only just been made public at a special tribunal in London, set up to investigate the country's intelligence services at the behest of a coalition of human rights groups, alleging a pattern of illegality up to and including collusion in murder.

The hitherto MI5 covert policy sanctioning its agents to commit and/or solicit serious crimes, as and when adjudged provident, is known as the Third Direction. This codename has been crafted, it would appear, by someone with a penchant for all things James Bond within an agency whose average operative is more likely to be 5'6" and balding with a paunch and bad teeth than any kind of lantern-jawed 007.

The Pat Finucane Centre , one of the aforementioned human rights groups involved in bringing about this tribunal investigation (Investigatory Powers Tribunal, to give it its Sunday name) into the nefarious activities of Britain's domestic intelligence agency, issued a damning statement in response to the further revelation that former Prime Minister David Cameron introduced oversight guidelines with regard to the MI5 covert third direction policy back in 2012.

Cameron's decision to do so, the group claims, was far from nobly taken:

"It can be no coincidence that Prime Minister David Cameron issued new guidelines, however flawed, on oversight of MI5 just two weeks before publication of the De Silva report into the murder of Pat Finucane. The PM was clearly alive to the alarming evidence which was about to emerge of the involvement of the Security Service in the murder. To date no-one within a state agency has been held accountable. The latest revelations make the case for an independent inquiry all the more compelling."

Pat Finucane, a Belfast Catholic, plied his trade as a human rights lawyer at a time when the right to be fully human was denied the minority Catholic community of the small and enduring outpost of British colonialism in the north east corner of Ireland, otherwise known as Northern Ireland. He was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries in 1989, back when the decades-long conflict euphemistically referred to as the Troubles still raged, claiming victims both innocent and not on all sides.

Unlike the vast majority of those killed and murdered in the course of this brutal conflict, Finucane's murder sparked a long and hard fought struggle for justice by surviving family members, friends and campaigners. They allege – rather convincingly, it should be said – that it was carried out with the active collusion of MI5.

Stepping back and casting a wider view over this terrain, the criminal activities of Britain's intelligence services constitute more than enough material for a book of considerable heft. How fortunate then that just such a book has already been written.

In his 'Dead Men Talking: Collusion, Cover Up and Murder in Northern Ireland's Dirty War', author Nicholas Davies "provides information on a number of the killings [during the Troubles], which were authorized at the highest level of MI5 and the British government."

But over and above the crimes of MI5 in Ireland, what else have those doughty defenders of the realm been up to over the years? After all, what is the use of having a license to engage in serious criminal activity, including murder and, presumably, torture, if you're not prepared to use (abuse) it? It begs the question of how many high profile deaths attributed to suicide, natural causes, and accident down through the years have been the fruits of MI5 at work?

And what about the possibility of MI5's involvement in, dare we use the term, false flag operations?

As someone who abhors the premise of conspiracy theory on principle, the fact that more and more are turning to its warm embrace as an intellectual reflex against what is politely described as the 'official narrative' of events, well this is no surprise when we learn of the egregious machinations of Western intelligence agencies such as Britain's MI5.

What we are bound to state, doing so without fear of contradiction, is this particular revelation opens up a veritable Pandora's Box of grim possibilities when it comes to the potential crimes committed by Britain's domestic intelligence agency, ensuring that a full and vigorous investigation and public inquiry is now both necessary and urgent.

If any such investigation is to be taken seriously, however, it must include in its remit the power to investigate all possible links between Britain's intelligence community and organisations such as, let's see, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group ?

The deafening UK mainstream media and political class silence over the trail connecting 2017 Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi and MI6, Britain's foreign intelligence agency, leaves a lingering stench of intrigue that will not out. The work of investigative journalist Mark Curtis on this sordid relationship is unsurpassed.

As Curtis writes,

"The evidence suggests that the barbaric Manchester bombing, which killed 22 innocent people on May 22nd, is a case of blowback on British citizens arising at least partly from the overt and covert actions of British governments."

In the same report he arrives at a conclusion both damning and chilling:

"The evidence points to the LIFG being seen by the UK as a proxy militia to promote its foreign policy objectives. Whitehall also saw Qatar as a proxy to provide boots on the ground in Libya in 2011, even as it empowered hardline Islamist groups."

Finally: "Both David Cameron, then Prime Minister, and Theresa May – who was Home Secretary in 2011 when Libyan radicals were encouraged to fight Qadafi [Muammar Gaddafi] – clearly have serious questions to answer. We believe an independent public enquiry is urgently needed."

In words that echo down to us from ancient Rome, the poet Juvenal taunts our complacency with a question most simple and pertinent: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" Who will guard the guards themselves?

Edward R Murrow puts it rather more bluntly: "A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves."

Sooner or later, people in Britain are going to have to wake up to who the real enemy is.

Read more

John Wight has written for a variety of newspapers and websites, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal.

[Oct 08, 2018] Hacking and Propaganda by Marcus Ranum

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There has been an ongoing campaign on the part of the US, to get out the idea that China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have massive armies of hackers that are constantly looking to steal American secrets. The absurdity of the US' claims is pretty obvious. As I pointed out in my book The Myth of Homeland Security ..."
"... "The Great US/China Cyberwar of 2010" is one cyberwar that didn't happen, but was presaged with a run-up of lots of claims that the Chinese were hacking all over the place. I'm perfectly willing to accept the possibility that there was Chinese hacking activity, but in the industry there was no indication of an additional level of attack or significance. ..."
"... One thing that did ..."
"... US ideology is that "we don't start wars" -- it's always looking for an excuse to go to war under the rubric of self-defense, so I see these sorts of claims as justification in advance for unilateral action. I also see it as a sign of weakness; if the US were truly the superpower it claims it is, it would simply accept its imperial mantle and stop bothering to try to justify anything. I'm afraid we may be getting close to that point. ..."
"... My assumption has always been that the US is projecting its own actions on other nations. At the time when the US was talking the loudest about Chinese cyberwar, the US and Israel had launched STUXNET against the Iranian enrichment plant at Natanz, and the breeder reactor at Bushehr (which happens to be just outside of a large city; the attack took some of its control systems and backup generators offline). Attacks on nuclear power facilities are a war crime under international humanitarian law, which framework the US is signatory to but has not committed to actually follow. This sort of activity happens at the same time that the US distributes talking-points to the media about the danger of Russian hackers crashing the US power grid. I don't think we can psychoanalyze an entire government and I think psychoanalysis is mostly nonsense -- but it's tempting to accuse the US of "projection." ..."
"... All of this stuff happens against the backdrop of Klein, Binney, Snowden, and the Vault 7 revelations, as well as solid attribution identifying the NSA as "equation group" and linking the code-tree of NSA-developed malware to STUXNET, FLAME, and DUQU. ..."
"... the US has even admitted to deploying STUXNET -- Obama bragged about it. When Snowden's revelations outlined how the NSA had eavesdropped on Angela Merkel's cellphone, the Germans expressed shock and Barack Obama remarkably truthfully said "that's how these things are done" and blew the whole thing off by saying that the NSA wasn't eavesdropping on Merkel any more. [ bbc ] ..."
"... It's hard to keep score because everything is pretty vague, but it sounds like the US has been dramatically out-spending and out-acting the other nations that it accuses of being prepared for cyberwar. ..."
"... it's hard not to see the US is prepared for cyberwar, when both the NSA and the CIA leak massive collections of advanced tools. ..."
"... My observation is that the NSA and CIA have been horribly sloppy and have clearly spent a gigantic amount of money preparing to compromise both foreign and domestic systems -- that's bad enough. With friends like the NSA and CIA, who needs Russians and Chinese? ..."
"... The Russian and Chinese efforts are relatively tiny compared to the massive efforts the US expends tens of billions of dollars on. The US spends about $50bn on its intelligence agencies, while the entire Russian Department of Defense budget is about $90bn (China is around $139bn) -- maybe the Russians and Chinese have such a small footprint because they are much smaller operations? ..."
"... That brings us to the recent kerfuffle about taps on the Supermicro motherboards. That's not unbelievable at all -- not in a world where we discover that Intel has built a parallel management CPU into every CPU since 2008, and that there is solid indications that other processors have similar backdoors. ..."
"... There are probably so many backdoors in our systems that it's a miracle it works at all. ..."
"... So, with respect to "propaganda" I would say that the US intelligence community has been consistently pushing a propaganda agenda against the US government, and the citizens in order to justify its actions and defend its budget. ..."
"... What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes. ..."
"... Funny how those obsessed with "false flag" operations work so hard to invite more of same. ..."
Oct 07, 2018 | freethoughtblogs.com

Bob Moore asks me to comment on an article about propaganda and security/intelligence. [ article ] This is going to be a mixture of opinion and references to facts; I'll try to be clear which is which.

Yesterday several NATO countries ran a concerted propaganda campaign against Russia. The context for it was a NATO summit in which the U.S. presses for an intensified cyberwar against NATO's preferred enemy.

On the same day another coordinated campaign targeted China. It is aimed against China's development of computer chip manufacturing further up the value chain. Related to this is U.S. pressure on Taiwan, a leading chip manufacturer, to cut its ties with its big motherland.

It is true that the US periodically makes a big push regarding "messaging" about hacking. Whether or not it constitutes a "propaganda campaign" depends on how we choose to interpret things and the labels we attach to them -- "propaganda campaign" has a lot of negative connotations and one person's "outreach effort" is an other's "propaganda." An ultra-nationalist or an authoritarian submissive who takes the government's word for anything would call it "outreach."

There has been an ongoing campaign on the part of the US, to get out the idea that China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have massive armies of hackers that are constantly looking to steal American secrets. The absurdity of the US' claims is pretty obvious. As I pointed out in my book The Myth of Homeland Security (2004) [ wc ] claims such as that the Chinese had "40,000 highly trained hackers" are flat-out absurd and ignore the reality of hacking; that's four army corps. Hackers don't engage in "human wave" attacks.

"The Great US/China Cyberwar of 2010" is one cyberwar that didn't happen, but was presaged with a run-up of lots of claims that the Chinese were hacking all over the place. I'm perfectly willing to accept the possibility that there was Chinese hacking activity, but in the industry there was no indication of an additional level of attack or significance.

One thing that did happen in 2010 around the same time as the nonexistent cyberwar was China and Russia proposed trilateral talks with the US to attempt to define appropriate limits on state-sponsored hacking. The US flatly rejected the proposal, but there was virtually no coverage of that in the US media at the time. The UN also called for a cyberwar treaty framework, and the effort was killed by the US. [ wired ] What's fascinating and incomprehensible to me is that, whenever the US feels that its ability to claim pre-emptive cyberwar is challenged, it responds with a wave of claims about Chinese (or Russian or North Korean) cyberwar aggression.

John Negroponte, former director of US intelligence, said intelligence agencies in the major powers would be the first to "express reservations" about such an accord.

US ideology is that "we don't start wars" -- it's always looking for an excuse to go to war under the rubric of self-defense, so I see these sorts of claims as justification in advance for unilateral action. I also see it as a sign of weakness; if the US were truly the superpower it claims it is, it would simply accept its imperial mantle and stop bothering to try to justify anything. I'm afraid we may be getting close to that point.

My assumption has always been that the US is projecting its own actions on other nations. At the time when the US was talking the loudest about Chinese cyberwar, the US and Israel had launched STUXNET against the Iranian enrichment plant at Natanz, and the breeder reactor at Bushehr (which happens to be just outside of a large city; the attack took some of its control systems and backup generators offline). Attacks on nuclear power facilities are a war crime under international humanitarian law, which framework the US is signatory to but has not committed to actually follow. This sort of activity happens at the same time that the US distributes talking-points to the media about the danger of Russian hackers crashing the US power grid. I don't think we can psychoanalyze an entire government and I think psychoanalysis is mostly nonsense -- but it's tempting to accuse the US of "projection."

The anti-Russian campaign is about alleged Russian spying, hacking and influence operations. Britain and the Netherland took the lead. Britain accused Russia's military intelligence service (GRU) of spying attempts against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague and Switzerland, of spying attempts against the British Foreign Office, of influence campaigns related to European and the U.S. elections, and of hacking the international doping agency WADA. British media willingly helped to exaggerate the claims: [ ]

The Netherland [sic] for its part released a flurry of information about the alleged spying attempts against the OPCW in The Hague. It claims that four GRU agents traveled to The Hague on official Russian diplomatic passports to sniff out the WiFi network of the OPCW. (WiFi networks are notoriously easy to hack. If the OPCW is indeed using such it should not be trusted with any security relevant issues.) The Russian officials were allegedly very secretive, even cleaning out their own hotel trash, while they, at the same, time carried laptops with private data and even taxi receipts showing their travel from a GRU headquarter in Moscow to the airport. Like in the Skripal/Novichok saga the Russian spies are, at the same time, portrayed as supervillains and hapless amateurs. Real spies are neither.

The U.S. Justice Department added to the onslaught by issuing new indictments (pdf) against alleged GRU agents dubiously connected to several alleged hacking incidents . As none of those Russians will ever stand in front of a U.S. court the broad allegations will never be tested.

There's a lot there, and I think the interpretation is a bit over-wrought, but it's mostly accurate. The US and the UK (and other NATO allies, as necessary) clearly coordinate when it comes to talking points. Claims of Chinese cyberwar in the US press will be followed by claims in the UK and Australian press, as well. My suspicion is that this is not the US Government and UK Government coordinating a story -- it's the intelligence agencies doing it. My opinion is that the intelligence services are fairly close to a "deep state" -- the CIA and NSA are completely out of control and the CIA has gone far toward building its own military, while the NSA has implemented completely unrestricted surveillance worldwide.

All of this stuff happens against the backdrop of Klein, Binney, Snowden, and the Vault 7 revelations, as well as solid attribution identifying the NSA as "equation group" and linking the code-tree of NSA-developed malware to STUXNET, FLAME, and DUQU. While the attribution that "Fancy Bear is the GRU" has been made and is probably fairly solid, the attribution of NSA malware and CIA malware is rock solid; the US has even admitted to deploying STUXNET -- Obama bragged about it. When Snowden's revelations outlined how the NSA had eavesdropped on Angela Merkel's cellphone, the Germans expressed shock and Barack Obama remarkably truthfully said "that's how these things are done" and blew the whole thing off by saying that the NSA wasn't eavesdropping on Merkel any more. [ bbc ]

It's hard to keep score because everything is pretty vague, but it sounds like the US has been dramatically out-spending and out-acting the other nations that it accuses of being prepared for cyberwar. I tend to be extremely skeptical of US claims because: bomber gap, missile gap, gulf of Tonkin, Iraq WMD, Afghanistan, Libya and every other aggressive attack by the US which was blamed on its target. The reason I assume the US is the most aggressive actor in cyberspace is because the US has done a terrible job of protecting its tool-sets and operational security: it's hard not to see the US is prepared for cyberwar, when both the NSA and the CIA leak massive collections of advanced tools.

Meanwhile, where are the leaks of Russian and Chinese tools? They have been few and far between, if there have been any at all. Does this mean that the Russians and Chinese have amazingly superior tradecraft, if not tools? I don't know. My observation is that the NSA and CIA have been horribly sloppy and have clearly spent a gigantic amount of money preparing to compromise both foreign and domestic systems -- that's bad enough. With friends like the NSA and CIA, who needs Russians and Chinese?

The article does not have great depth to its understanding of the situation, I'm afraid. So it comes off as a bit heavy on the recent news while ignoring the long-term trends. For example:

The allegations of Chinese supply chain attacks are of course just as hypocritical as the allegations against Russia. The very first know case of computer related supply chain manipulation goes back to 1982 :

A CIA operation to sabotage Soviet industry by duping Moscow into stealing booby-trapped software was spectacularly successful when it triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian gas pipeline, it emerged yesterday.

I wrote a piece about the "Farewell Dossier" in 2004. [ mjr ] Re-reading it, it comes off as skeptical but waffly. I think that it's self-promotion by the CIA and exaggerates considerably ("look how clever we are!") at a time when the CIA was suffering an attention and credibility deficit after its shitshow performance under George Tenet. But the first known cases of computer related supply chain manipulation go back to the 70s and 80s -- the NSA even compromised Crypto AG's Hagelin M-209 system (a mechanical ciphering machine) in order to read global communications encrypted with that product. You can imagine Crypto AG's surprise when the Iranian secret police arrested one of their sales reps for selling backdoor'd crypto -- the NSA had never told them about the backdoor, naturally. The CIA was also on record for producing Xerox machines destined for the USSR, which had recorders built into them So, while the article is portraying the historical sweep of NSA dirty tricks, they're only looking at the recent ones. Remember: the NSA also weakened the elliptic curve crypto library in RSA's Bsafe implementation, paying RSADSI $13 million to accept their tweaked code.

Why haven't we been hearing about the Chinese and Russians doing that sort of thing? There are four options:

  1. The Russians and Chinese are doing it, they're just so darned good nobody has caught them until just recently.
  2. The Russians and Chinese simply resort to using existing tools developed by the hacking/cybercrime community and rely on great operational security rather than fancy tools.
  3. The Russian and Chinese efforts are relatively tiny compared to the massive efforts the US expends tens of billions of dollars on. The US spends about $50bn on its intelligence agencies, while the entire Russian Department of Defense budget is about $90bn (China is around $139bn) -- maybe the Russians and Chinese have such a small footprint because they are much smaller operations?
  4. Something else.

That brings us to the recent kerfuffle about taps on the Supermicro motherboards. That's not unbelievable at all -- not in a world where we discover that Intel has built a parallel management CPU into every CPU since 2008, and that there is solid indications that other processors have similar backdoors.

Was the Intel IME a "backdoor" or just "a bad idea"? Well, that's tricky. Let me put my tinfoil hat on: making a backdoor look like a sloppily developed product feature would be the competent way to write a backdoor. Making it as sneaky as the backdoor in the Via is unnecessary -- incompetence is eminently believable.

&

(kaspersky)

I believe all of these stories (including the Supermicro) are the tip of a great big, ugly iceberg. The intelligence community has long known that software-only solutions are too mutable, and are easy to decompile and figure out. They have wanted to be in the BIOS of systems -- on the motherboard -- for a long time. If you go back to 2014, we have disclosures about the NSA malware that hides in hard drive BIOS: [ vice ] [ vice ] That appears to have been in progress around 2000/2001.

Of note, the group recovered two modules belonging to EquationDrug and GrayFish that were used to reprogram hard drives to give the attackers persistent control over a target machine. These modules can target practically every hard drive manufacturer and brand on the market, including Seagate, Western Digital, Samsung, Toshiba, Corsair, Hitachi and more. Such attacks have traditionally been difficult to pull off, given the risk in modifying hard drive software, which may explain why Kaspersky could only identify a handful of very specific targets against which the attack was used, where the risk was worth the reward.

But Equation Group's malware platforms have other tricks, too. GrayFish, for example, also has the ability to install itself into computer's boot record -- software that loads even before the operating system itself -- and stores all of its data inside a portion of the operating system called the registry, where configuration data is normally stored.

EquationDrug was designed for use on older Windows operating systems, and "some of the plugins were designed originally for use on Windows 95/98/ME" -- versions of Windows so old that they offer a good indication of the Equation Group's age.

This is not a very good example of how to establish a "malware gap" since it just makes the NSA look like they are incapable of keeping a secret. If you want an idea how bad it is, Kaspersky labs' analysis of the NSA's toolchain is a good example of how to do attribution correctly. Unfortunately for the US agenda, that solid attribution points toward Fort Meade in Maryland. [kaspersky]

Let me be clear: I think we are fucked every which way from the start. With backdoors in the BIOS, backdoors on the CPU, and wireless cellular-spectrum backdoors, there are probably backdoors in the GPUs and the physical network controllers, as well. Maybe the backdoors in the GPU come from the GRU and maybe the backdoors in the hard drives come from NSA, but who cares? The upshot is that all of our systems are so heinously compromised that they can only be considered marginally reliable. It is, literally, not your computer: it's theirs. They'll let you use it so long as your information is interesting to them.

Do I believe the Chinese are capable of doing such a thing? Of course. Is the GRU? Probably. Mossad? Sure. NSA? Well-documented attribution points toward NSA. Your computer is a free-fire zone. It has been since the mid 1990s, when the NSA was told "no" on the Clipper chip and decided to come up with its own Plan B, C, D, and E. Then, the CIA came up with theirs. Etc. There are probably so many backdoors in our systems that it's a miracle it works at all.

From my 2012 RSA conference lecture "Cyberwar, you're doing it wrong."

The problem is that playing in this space is the purview of governments. Nobody in the cybercrime or hacking world need tools like these. The intelligence operatives have huge budgets, compared to a typical company's security budget, and it's unreasonable to expect any business to invest such a level of effort on defending itself. So what should companies do? They should do exactly what they are doing: expect the government to deal with it; that's what governments are for. The problem with that strategy is that their government isn't on their side, either! It's Hobbes' playground.

In case you think I am engaging in hyperbole, I assure you I am not. If you want another example of the lengths (and willingness to bypass the law) "they" are willing to go, consider 'stingrays' that are in operation in every major US city and outside of every interesting hotel and high tech park. Those devices are not passive -- they actively inject themselves into the call set-up between your phone and your carrier -- your data goes through the stingray, or it doesn't go at all. If there are multiple stingrays, then your latency goes through the roof. "They" don't care. Are the stingrays NSA, FBI, CIA, Mossad, GRU, or PLA? Probably a bit of all of the above depending on where and when.

Whenever the US gets caught with its pants down around its ankles, it blames the Chinese or the Russians because they have done a good job of building the idea that the most serious hackers on the planet at the Chinese. I don't believe that we're seeing complex propaganda campaigns that are tied to specific incidents -- I think we see ongoing organic propaganda campaigns that all serve the same end: protect the agencies, protect their budgets, justify their existence, and downplay their incompetence.

So, with respect to "propaganda" I would say that the US intelligence community has been consistently pushing a propaganda agenda against the US government, and the citizens in order to justify its actions and defend its budget.

The government also engages in propaganda, and is influenced by the intelligence community's propaganda as well. And the propaganda campaigns work because everyone involved assumes, "well, given what the NSA has been able to do, I should assume the Chinese can do likewise." That's a perfectly reasonable assumption and I think it's probably true that the Chinese have capabilities. The situation is what Chuck Spinney calls "A self-licking ice cream cone" -- it's a justifying structure that makes participation in endless aggression seem like a sensible thing to do. And, when there's inevitably a disaster, it's going to be like a cyber-9/11 and will serve as a justification for even more unrestrained aggression.


Want to see what it looks like? A thousand thanks to Commentariat member [redacted] for this link. If you don't like video, there's an article here. [ toms ]

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_eSAF_qT_FY

Is this an NSA backdoor, or normal incompetence? Is Intel Management Engine an NSA-inspired backdoor, or did some system engineers at Intel think that was a good idea? There are other scary indications of embedded compromise: the CIA's Vault7 archive included code that appeared to be intended to embed in the firmware of "smart" flatscreen TVs. That would make every LG flat panel in every hotel room, a listening device just waiting to be turned on.

We know the Chinese didn't do that particular bug but why wouldn't they do something similar, in something else? China is the world's oldest mature culture -- they literally wrote the book on strategy -- Americans acting as though it's a great surprise to learn that the Chinese are not stupid, it's just the parochialism of a 250 year-old culture looking at a 3,000 year-old culture and saying "wow, you guys haven't been asleep at the switch after all!"

WIRED on cyberspace treaties [ wired ]

Comments
  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    October 6, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes.

    Funny how those obsessed with "false flag" operations work so hard to invite more of same.

  2. Marcus Ranum says

    October 6, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Pierce R. Butler@#1:
    What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes.

    Yes. Since 2001, as far as most of us can tell, federal cybersecurity spend has been 80% offense, 20% defense. And a lot of the offensive spend has been aimed at We, The People.

  3. Cat Mara says

    October 6, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Your mention of Operation Sundevil and Kevin Mitnick in a previous post made me think that maybe the reason we haven't seen the kind of leaks from the Russian and Chinese hacking operations that we've seem from the NSA is that they're running a "Kevin Mitnick style" operation; that is, relying less on technical solutions and using instead old-fashioned "social engineering" and other low-tech forms of espionage (like running troll farms on social media). I mean, I've seen interviews with retired US intelligence people since the 90s complain that since the late 1980s, the intelligence agencies have been crippled by management in love with hi-tech "SIGINT" solutions to problems that never deliver and neglecting old-fashioned "HUMINT" intelligence-gathering.

    The thing is, Kevin Mitnick got away with a lot of what he did because people didn't take security seriously then, and still don't. On a similar nostalgia vibe, I remember reading an article by Keith Bostic (one of the researchers who helped in the analysis of the Morris worm that took down a significant chunk of the Internet back in 1988) where he did a follow-up a year or so afterwards and some depressing number of organisations that had been hit by it still hadn't patched the holes that had let the worm infect them in the first place.

  4. Marcus Ranum says

    October 6, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Cat Mara@#3:
    Your mention of Operation Sundevil and Kevin Mitnick in a previous post made me think that maybe the reason we haven't seen the kind of leaks from the Russian and Chinese hacking operations that we've seem from the NSA is that they're running a "Kevin Mitnick style" operation; that is, relying less on technical solutions and using instead old-fashioned "social engineering" and other low-tech forms of espionage (like running troll farms on social media).

    I think that's right, to a high degree. What if Edward Snowden was an agent provocateur instead of a well-meaning naive kid? A tremendous amount of damage could be done, as well as stealing the US' expensive toys. The Russians have been very good at doing exactly that sort of operation, since WWII. The Chinese are, if anything, more subtle than the Russians.

    The Chinese attitude, as expressed to me by someone who might be a credible source is, "why are you picking a fight with us? We don't care, you're too far away for us to threaten you, we both have loads of our own fish to fry. To them, the US is young, hyperactive, and stupid.

    The FBI is not competent, at all, against old-school humint intelligence-gathering. Compared to the US' cyber-toys, the old ways are probably more efficient and cost effective. China's intelligence community is also much more team-oriented than the CIA/NSA; they're actually a disciplined operation under the strategic control of policy-makers. That, by the way, is why Russians and Chinese stare in amazement when Americans ask things like "Do you think Putin knew about this?" What a stupid question! It's an autocracy; they don't have intelligence operatives just going an deciding "it's a nice day to go to England with some Novichok." The entire American attitude toward espionage lacks maturity.

    On a similar nostalgia vibe, I remember reading an article by Keith Bostic (one of the researchers who helped in the analysis of the Morris worm that took down a significant chunk of the Internet back in 1988) where he did a follow-up a year or so afterwards and some depressing number of organisations that had been hit by it still hadn't patched the holes that had let the worm infect them in the first place.

    That as an exciting time. We were downstream from University of Maryland, which got hit pretty badly. Pete Cottrel and Chris Torek from UMD were also in on Bostic's dissection. We were doing uucp over TCP for our email (that changed pretty soon after the worm) and our uucp queue blew up. I cured the worm with a reboot into single-user mode and a quick 'rm -f' in the uucp queue.

  5. Bob Moore says

    October 7, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Thanks. I appreciate your measured analysis and the making explicit of the bottom line: " agencies, protect their budgets, justify their existence, and downplay their incompetence."

[Oct 07, 2018] Everything Is A Hoax by Paul Craig Roberts

Notable quotes:
"... Bush and Cheney: How They Runed America and the World ..."
Oct 07, 2018 | www.unz.com

An Israeli expert on terrorism and covert assassination procedures explains that the alleged Russian GRU attack on the Skripals with a supposedly deadly nerve agent is a completely obvious hoax to anyone who knows anything at all. https://russia-insider.com/en/skripals-are-mi6-hoax-not-worthy-ladies-detective-novels-israeli-expert-demolishes-uk-case/ri24912

The official story, says the expert, is "stupidity on stupidity."

I agree with him.

The question is: Why did the British government think that they could get away with such an obvious hoax? The answer is that the people in Western countries don't know anything about anything. They live in a world in which their reality is a product of the propaganda fed to them by "news organizations" and Hollywood movies. They only receive controlled explanations. Therefore, they know nothing about how anything really functions. Read the account by the Israeli expert to understand the vast difference between the British government's hoax and the reality of how an assassination is conducted.

The Israeli expert got me to wondering why the British government thought anyone would fall for such a transparently false story. Having just read David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth's new book, 9/11 Unmasked , and David Ray Griffin's 2017 book, Bush and Cheney: How They Runed America and the World , the answer became obvious. The British government had watched the idiot Western populations fall for the official 9/11 conspiracy story in which a few Saudi Arabians, who could not fly airplanes and without the support of any intelligence agency, caused the entire security apparatus ot the United States to fail utterly, and no one was held responsible for the total failure. The British government concluded that anyone who could possibly believe such an obviously false story would believe anything.

I remember coming to that conclusion years ago before the official conspiracy theory in the 9/11 Commission Report was blown to pieces by thousands of scientists, structural engineers, high-rise architects, military and civilian pilots, first responders on the scene, and a large number of former high government officials both in the US and abroad.

At first I did not connect the zionist neoconservatives' plot, outlined in their public writings (for example, Norman Podhorttz in Commentary ) to destroy 7 Middle Eastern countries in five years (also described by General Wesley Clark) and their statement that they needed a "new Pearl Harbor" to implement their plan, with the attack on the World Trade Center. But as I watched the twin towers blow up floor by floor it was completely obvious that these were not builldings falling down due to asymetrical structural damage and limited, low temperature office fires that probably did not even warm the massive steel structure to the point of being warm to the touch. When you watch the videos you see buildings blowing up. It is as clear as day. You see each floor blow. You see steel beams and other debris fly out the sides as projectiles. It is amazing that any human is so completely stupid as to think what he is seeing with his own eyes are buildings falling down from structural damage. But it required many years before half of the American people realized that the official account was pure bullshit.

Today polls indicate that a majority of people do not believe the official 9/11 propaganda any more than they believe the Warren Commission Report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the alleged Gulf of Tonkin attack, or the report from Admiral McCain (father of John) erasing Israel's responsibility for the destruction of the USS Liberty and its crew during LBJ's administration, or that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, or Iran had nukes, or the many lies about about Syria, Libya's Gaddafi, or Somalia, or Yemen, or the "Russian invasion of Georgia," the "Russian invasion of Ukraine." But at each time the idiot population, no matter how many times they had learned that the governments lied to them initially believed the next lie, thereby permitting the lie to become fact. Thus, the idiot Western populations created their own world of controlled explanations.

Only a deranged person could believe anything any Western government says. But the Western world has a huge number of deranged people. There are plenty of them to validate the next official lie. The ignorant fools make it possible for Western governments to continue their policy of lies that are driving the world to extinction in a war with Russia and China.

Perhaps I am being too hard on the insouciant Western populations. Ron Unz is no moron. Yet he accepted the transparently false 9/11 story until he started to pay attention. Once he paid attention, he realized it was false. http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-911-conspiracy-theories/

Like myself, Ron Unz has noticed that the 9/11 Truth movement has succeeded in totally discrediting the official 9/11 story. But the unanswered question remains: Who did it?

Unz says it was Israel, not Bush & Cheney. This is also the position of Christopher Bollyn. It seems certain that Israel was involved. We have the fact of the Mossad agents caught celebrating as they filmed the collalpse of the WTC towers. Obviously, they knew in advance and were set up ready to film. Later they were shown on Israeli TV where they stated that they had been sent to film the destruction of the buildings.

We also have the fact of the large profits made by someone that the US government continues to protect on shorting the stock of the airlines, the planes of which were allegely hijacked.

In other words, the 9/11 attack was known in advance, as was the destruction of WTC building 7 as evidenced by the BBC reporter standing in front of the still standing building accouncing its destruction about a half hour before it occurred.

Unz and Bollyn's case against Israel is powerful. I agree with Unz that George W. Bush was not part of the plot. If he had been, he would have been on the scene directing America's heroic response to the first, and only, terrorist attack on America. lnstead, Bush was moved out of the way, and kept out of the way, while Cheney handled the situation.

I understand what Unz is doing by focusing attention on the main beneficiary of the hoax 9/11 story. However Cheney and his corporation, Halliburton, also benefitted. Halliburton received large municifient US government contracts for services in Afghanistan and Iraq. Cheney, as David Ray Griffen proves, achieved his aim of elevating the executive branch above the US Constitution and statutory US law.

Moreover, it was impossible for Mossad to pull off such an attack without high level support in the US government. Only a US official could have ordered the numerous simulations of the attack underway in order to confuse the air traffic controllers and the US Air Force.

I understand what Unz is doing by focusing attention on the main beneficiary of the hoax 9/11 story. However Cheney and his corporation, Halliburton, also benefitted. Halliburton received large municifient US government contracts for services in Afghanistan and Iraq. Cheney, as David Ray Griffen proves, achieved his aim of elevating the executive branch above the US Constitution and statutory US law.

Moreover, it was impossible for Mossad to pull off such an attack without high level support in the US government. Only a US official could have ordered the numerous simulations of the attack underway in order to confuse the air traffic controllers and the US Air Force.

The Israeli government could not have ordered the destruction of the crime scene, opposed by the New York fire marshall as a felony. This required US government authority. The steel beams, which showed all sorts of distortions that could only have been caused by nano-thermite were quickly sent to Asia for reprocessing. The intense fires and molten rubble in the buildings' remains six weeks after their collapse never received an official explanation. To this day, no one has explained how low-temperature, smothered office fires that burned for one hour or less melted or weakened massive steel beams and produced molten steel six weeks afterward.

Unz is correct that Israel made out like a bandit. Israel as a result of 9/11 got rid of half of the constraints on its expansion. Only Syria and Iran remain, and the Trump regime is pushing hard for Israel, even against Russia, a government that at its will can completely destroy the United States and Israel, something that much of the world wishes would happen.

Unz is correct that right now the totally evil and corrupt US and Israeli governments have the entire world on the path to extinction. However, he omits American responsibility, that of the evil Dick Cheney, the Zionist neconservatives who are Israel's Fifth Column in America, and the utter insouciance of the American people who do not show enough intelligence or awareness to warrant their survival.

[Oct 06, 2018] Scientists Raise Alarm Over U.S. Bio-Weapon Programs

Notable quotes:
"... Last week the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the U.S. of illegal biological weapon research in the Tbilisi laboratory : ..."
"... The documents record the deaths of 73 people over a short period of time, indicating a test of "a highly toxic chemical or biological agents with high lethality rate," said Igor Kirillov, commander of the Russian military branch responsible for defending troops from radiological, chemical and biological weapons. ..."
"... The U.S. rejects the claims but it does not explain the documents , what kind of research is done near Tbilisi, and the unusual secrecy and security around the laboratory. ..."
"... It is not only the Russians and Georgians who are concerned about secret U.S. biological warfare research. German and French scientists recently raised alarm over another dubious Pentagon research project. ..."
Oct 06, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Yonatan , Oct 6, 2018 10:22:53 AM | link

Recent evidence about deadly tests of biological substances in Tbilisi, Georgia raised alarm about U.S. biological weapon research in foreign countries. European scientist are extremely concerned about a dubious research program, financed by the Pentagon, that seems designed to spread diseases to crops, animals and people abroad. The creation of such weapons and of special ways to distribute them is prohibited under national and international law.

The U.S. is running biological weapon research across the globe :

Bio warfare scientists using diplomatic cover test man-made viruses at Pentagon bio laboratories in 25 countries across the world. These US bio-laboratories are funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under a $ 2.1 billion military program– Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), and are located in former Soviet Union countries such as Georgia and Ukraine, the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa.

Until the mid nineteen-seventies the U.S. military tested biological warfare weapons on U.S. people , sometimes over large areas and on specific races. After a Congress investigation revealed the wide ranging program such testing was moved abroad.

Private companies use U.S. government controlled laboratories in foreign countries for secret biological research under contract of the U.S. military, the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security. Last month the Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva reported of one of these U.S. controlled bio-laboratories:

The US Embassy to Tbilisi transports frozen human blood and pathogens as diplomatic cargo for a secret US military program. Internal documents, implicating US diplomats in the transportation of and experimenting on pathogens under diplomatic cover were leaked to me by Georgian insiders. According to these documents, Pentagon scientists have been deployed to the Republic of Georgia and have been given diplomatic immunity to research deadly diseases and biting insects at the Lugar Center – the Pentagon biolaboratory in Georgia's capital Tbilisi.

Al Mayadeen TV broadcasted a video reportage about the laboratory and its deadly effects on Georgian 'patients'.

Last week the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the U.S. of illegal biological weapon research in the Tbilisi laboratory :

The question of what really might have taken place at the secretive US-sponsored research facility hosted by Russia's southern neighbor was raised by the Russian military on Thursday after they studied files published online by a former Georgian minister.

The documents record the deaths of 73 people over a short period of time, indicating a test of "a highly toxic chemical or biological agents with high lethality rate," said Igor Kirillov, commander of the Russian military branch responsible for defending troops from radiological, chemical and biological weapons.

The U.S. rejects the claims but it does not explain the documents , what kind of research is done near Tbilisi, and the unusual secrecy and security around the laboratory.

It is not only the Russians and Georgians who are concerned about secret U.S. biological warfare research. German and French scientists recently raised alarm over another dubious Pentagon research project.


by MPG/D.Duneka - bigger

In October 2016 the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced a new project called Insect Allies :

A new DARPA program is poised to provide an alternative to traditional agricultural threat response, using targeted gene therapy to protect mature plants within a single growing season. DARPA proposes to leverage a natural and very efficient two-step delivery system to transfer modified genes to plants: insect vectors and the plant viruses they transmit. In the process, DARPA aims to transform certain insect pests into "Insect Allies," the name of the new effort.

The scenario DARPA describes is quite complicate. If a crop, for example maize, were widely infected with some illness, a virus would be manipulated and applied to the crop. The itself genetically modified virus would genetically modify the crop to 'cure' the illness. Infected insects would be used to distribute the viruses across the fields.

The program is run by the Biological Technologies Office (BTO) of DARPA. It does not come cheap. At least $27 million have been committed to it. If the discussed program were for purely agricultural purposes why would the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is part of the Pentagon, propose and finance such research?

Scientist from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön, Germany, and the Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier, France, along with legal scholars from the University of Freiburg point out that the method DARPA wants to apply makes little sense for the stated agricultural purposes.

The eminent U.S. magazine Science published their work. The scientists ask if the project is Agricultural research, or a new bioweapon system?

[A]n ongoing research program funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) aims to disperse infectious genetically modified viruses that have been engineered to edit crop chromosomes directly in fields.
...
In the context of the stated aims of the DARPA program, it is our opinion that the knowledge to be gained from this program appears very limited in its capacity to enhance U.S. agriculture or respond to national emergencies (in either the short or long term). Furthermore, there has been an absence of adequate discussion regarding the major practical and regulatory impediments toward realizing the projected agricultural benefits. As a result, the program may be widely perceived as an effort to develop biological agents for hostile purposes and their means of delivery , which -- if true -- would constitute a breach of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).

It its response to the Science paper DARPA again insists that the program is for purely agricultural purpose. But the response does not answer the questions the scientists put up.

The mechanism of spreading infectious genetically modified viruses to genetically modify and 'heal' plants in the fields is itself full of problems and dangers. To use insects for distributing such viruses borders on insane.

If one has access to the targeted crop fields and if one has a genetically modified virus to influence the plants why would one use insects to distribute it? Why not use the well known targeted process of spraying the affected fields, just like it is widely done today? Only when one does not have access to the fields, when these are situated in a foreign country the U.S. has no access to, does it make sense to use insects for such purposes.

The idea that the real (and illegal) purpose of such U.S. research is biological warfare is not far fetched at all.

During the Korea War the U.S. dropped infected insects and rodents over north Korea and China to infect people with deadly diseases. Various pathogens, including anthrax, were used against the civilian population. During the Vietnam war the U.S. sprayed thousand of square miles with poisonous defoliants. It tested biological weapons on the people of Hawaii, Alaska, Maryland, Florida, Canada and Britain. In 2002 weaponized anthrax spores from the U.S. biological warfare laboratory in Fort Derrick were used to scare U.S. politicians into agreeing to the Patriot Act. At least five people were killed. And why is the U.S. Air Force looking for synovial tissue and RNA samples collected specifically from Caucasian people in Russia?

Biological warfare programs are extremely dangerous. Not only to 'the enemy' but to ones own population. Infectious diseases and pathogens can spread around the globe within a few days. Genetic modifications can have unpredictable secondary effects. Viruses can jump over the species barrier. These are the sound reasons why such weapons, and research into using them, are prohibited.

The U.S. government should follow the law and stop all such programs. Even if only in the self interest of protecting its very own people.

Posted by b on October 6, 2018 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

Comments A picture speaks a thoudsand words. There are 49 bio-weapons research labs in 6 countries in close proximity to Russia.

https://cont.ws/uploads/pic/2018/10/1538709227_349754.jpg

The UK Porton Down labs are also involved in this process. They have conducted experiments on the general public travelling on the London Underground. More recently, they have received a nice £47 million funding boost for all their good work on the Skripal case.

"Biological warfare programs are extremely dangerous. Not only to 'the enemy' but to ones own population."

This may explain the US BW research program interest in genetic material of RUssians. They may hope to produce some kind of narrowly targetted (in theory) pathogen. Given the ethnic diversity of the Russian Federation, Russian-ness is largely cultural rather than genetic. Genetic effects would only likely to succeed in populations with a narrow genetic spread.


BM , Oct 6, 2018 11:00:10 AM | link

The sickness of these people knows no limits. The Nazis and the wartime Japanises were teddy bears by comparison.
psychohistorian , Oct 6, 2018 11:02:29 AM | link
@ b who ended with:
"
The U.S. government should follow the law and stop all such programs. Even if only in the self interest of protecting its very own people.
"
Your assumption is that the US government has the best interests of its citizens in mind. We know the US government is under the control of the global elite and yes, they do not have the best interests of global humanity at heart.

Western humans are being controlled by a parasite class that has historically operated in this manner. It is only with the advent of the intertubes that information is shared widely enough for these patterns of control to become clear. The mindset behind this control seems to be monotheism with the center held by private finance. Monotheism was perverted enough in in 1054 to insure that nowhere in Europe is the Crab Nebula supernova that was visible for 23 days and nights in the sky documented. This is a perverted mindset that denies reality so thoroughly, eh?

The spawn of the monotheistic elite continue to act as though they really are better than the rest of humanity and deserve to rule over everyone. They are having their position challenged and seem to have no moral center other than to themselves.

My only positive point to this situation is that it clearly brings out the entitled from under their rocks to push their bias. IF Western society cannot stand up and say that we don't want to live like this, then I suspect our extinction is closer than many think

BM , Oct 6, 2018 11:17:33 AM | link
B: ... To use insects for distributing such viruses borders on insane .

If one has access to the targeted crop fields and if one has a genetically modified virus to influence the plants why would one use insects to distribute it? Why not use the well known targeted process of spraying the affected fields, just like it is widely done today? Only when one does not have access to the fields, when these are situated in a foreign country the U.S. has no access to, does it make sense to use insects for such purposes.

It does NOT border on insanity, B, there is nothing remotely borderline about it. It is insane, full stop. (Borderline insanity means it is on the border, could be on either side).

Why not spray the fields? The compellingly obvious - and necessarily intended - feature of the insects is their ability to spread out of control.

BM , Oct 6, 2018 11:27:04 AM | link
Maybe this is one of the clues to the complex and so multifaceted Skripal saga - the British know the Russians had leads and would bring out this news, and were desperately trying to destroy their credibility in advance.
BM , Oct 6, 2018 11:46:36 AM | link
B/Psychohistorian

"The U.S. government should follow the law and stop all such programs. Even if only in the self interest of protecting its very own people."

Your assumption is that the US government has the best interests of its citizens in mind. We know the US government is under the control of the global elite and yes, they do not have the best interests of global humanity at heart.

Further than that - the elite expressly desire to reduce the global population - including the US population - to a tiny fraction of what it is at present.

As for the "law", well we see what is happening these days: Russiagate-FBI-DoJ criminality, US using terrorism as foreign policy, rapidly multiplying false flags, using sanctions to ban legtimate trade of competitors, Bolton's threats to ICC, threats to blockade Russia, ficticious sovereignty claims such as right to inspect Russian/Chinese ports and right to build bases in Syria ...

"LAW" is rapidly evaporating away - very soon it will not exist at all, in the West.
That appears to be a specific intention, and ties in with the mindless skripal fantasy/Syria chemical weapons fantasy/virtual reality/"we create our own reality" bullshit.

[B: My appologies for the string of short posts, it was not intentional as such!]

CD Waller , Oct 6, 2018 12:02:40 PM | link
The latest rash of hacking accusations against Russia appears timed to distract the public from this highly disturbing information.
One way or another, the old white men who are the self appointed ruling elite week appear determined to turn the planet into a monstrous, king sized Jonestown.
SlapHappy , Oct 6, 2018 12:11:34 PM | link
If you ask me, allowing our Ministry of War to be housed in a building that's shaped like a Satanic pentagram might not be the best idea.
ben , Oct 6, 2018 12:51:07 PM | link
Thanks b, for broaching this subject. Here is a video on this subject, posted by, I believe
Mark2, earlier last week.

http://dilyana.bg/diplomatic-viruses/

If this doesn't convince anyone of the depravity of empire, nothing will.

These are so truly sick MFers

ben , Oct 6, 2018 12:56:17 PM | link
PS- High five and a shout out to Anya, a poster here, for the contributions made for the same subject.

Hope my memory is correct, if not, apologies...

John Merryman. , Oct 6, 2018 12:58:12 PM | link
Psycho,
Which gets to the logical flaw in monotheism. A spiritual absolute would be the essence of sentience from which life rises, not an ideal of wisdom and judgement from which humanity fell. More the new born babe, than the wise old man. It is just that for social control, it makes more sense to idolize wisdom over passion.
The deeper issue is that Western culture is ideals based, rather balance based, like Eastern culture. The basis of civilization is story telling and the most memorable and repeated stories are those with a focus, moral lesson and compelling narrative. So it becomes assumed there must be some goal, destination, or ideal state to which we strive, even if it's just the bottom line. Rather than to be in balance with nature and the community, absorbing and radiating the energy of the present.
Which also goes to the nature of time. As we have this narrative thought process, being mobile organisms, processing our motion, we think of time as a vector from past to future, but the reality is change turning future to past. Potential>actual>residual. There is only this state of dynamic energy and thermodynamics is a more elemental aspect of it than time. Expansion/consolidation.
Mark2 , Oct 6, 2018 1:02:02 PM | link
Thank you 'b' this subject is guaranteed to give us all nightmares on its own, but added in to the rest of the bigger equation ! We run out of strong enough words to do it justice ! It's to much for one to bare. We need to share this burden or we will go under.
This kind of depravity has always been there in mankind -- - napalm,agent orange, white phosphorus the human imagination is vast ! But now they have the power, technology, resources opatunity and motivation, that is new !
We here at present can spread this story as much as we possibly can ! Far and wide.

[Oct 05, 2018] Opinion Russian Meddling Is a Symptom, Not the Disease - The New York Times

Oct 05, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

Given the credible evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, it's only natural that Americans are concerned about the possibility of further foreign interference, especially as the midterms draw closer.

But I worry that we're focusing too much on the foreign part of the problem -- in which social media accounts and pages controlled by overseas "troll factories" post false and divisive material -- and not enough on how our own domestic political polarization feeds into the basic business model of companies like Facebook and YouTube.

It's this interaction -- both aspects of which are homegrown -- that fosters the dissemination of false and divisive material, and this will persist as a major problem even in the absence of concerted foreign efforts.

Consider some telling exchanges from this year's Senate hearings involving high-level executives from Facebook and Twitter. (Google, which owns YouTube, didn't bother sending a comparable representative.) In April, Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat of California, pressed Facebook's chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, on how much money the company had made by ads placed by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll factory. Mr. Zuckerberg replied that it was about $100,000 -- a negligible amount of money for the company.

Advertisement

Last month, Ms. Harris further grilled Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, on this point, demanding to know how much inauthentic Russian content was on Facebook. Ms. Sandberg had her sound bite ready, saying that "any amount is too much," but she ultimately threw out an estimate of .004 percent, another negligible amount.

The exchange made for good viewing: a senator asking tough questions, chastised executives being forced to put exact numbers on the table. But the truth is that paid Russian content was almost certainly immaterial to Facebook's revenue -- and the .004 percent figure, though almost certainly rhetorical, does capture the relative insignificance of the paid Russian presence on Facebook.

Contrast this, however, with another question from Ms. Harris, in which she asked Ms. Sandberg how Facebook can "reconcile an incentive to create and increase your user engagement when the content that generates a lot of engagement is often inflammatory and hateful." That astute question Ms. Sandberg completely sidestepped, which was no surprise: No statistic can paper over the fact that this is a real problem.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have business models that thrive on the outrageous, the incendiary and the eye-catching, because such content generates "engagement" and captures our attention, which the platforms then sell to advertisers, paired with extensive data on users that allow advertisers (and propagandists) to "microtarget" us at an individual level.

Traditional media outlets, of course, are frequently also cynical manipulators of sensationalistic content, but social media is better able to weaponize it. Algorithms can measure what content best "engages" each user and can target him or her individually in a way that the sleaziest editor of a broadcast medium could only dream of.

... ... ...

It is understandable that legislators and the public are concerned about other countries meddling in our elections. But foreign meddling is to our politics what a fever is to tuberculosis: a mere symptom of a deeper problem. To heal, we need the correct diagnosis followed by action that treats the underlying diseases. The closer our legislators look at our own domestic politics as well as Silicon Valley's business model, the better the answers they will find.

Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) is an associate professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, the author of "Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest" and a contributing opinion writer.

[Oct 05, 2018] Wilderness of mirrors MI6, the Cold War, spies and traitors from Gordievsky to Skripal -- RT Op-ed

Notable quotes:
"... What could possibly go wrong? ..."
Oct 05, 2018 | www.rt.com

Which brings me to the Skripal affair.

That the USSR was an existential threat to Western capitalism and colonialism and war – of one kind or another – between these two camps was logical and inevitable. But the Soviet Union is 30 years dead.

Indeed, Gordievsky through Macintyre can – if he's telling the truth – claim that he helped bring about the (brief) end of history and the "final" victory. His claimed role in the rise and rise of Gorbachev's relationship with Mrs Thatcher and, by extension, President Reagan certainly hastened the downfall of the USSR.

But Britain recruited Skripal in 1996 when not only was the Soviet Union dead but Russia was ruled by the West's performing bear Boris Yeltsin. And during his presidency, Russia was passed-out on the floor with everyone picking its pockets.

Why was Britain still fighting the Cold War against Russia in 1996, and why is it still fighting the Cold War against Russia now?

Just this week, the rather effete British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson – a former fireplace salesman – said he was sending 800 shivering British soldiers to the Arctic to be ready to fight Russia there. Amidst the snow. And the ice.

As both Napoleon and Hitler must have said: " What could possibly go wrong? "

[Oct 05, 2018] Mueller now need to obey the roles of pre-trial discovery

Notable quotes:
"... A few months ago, a dozen Russian individuals were charged with cyber-crime offenses that Mueller knew would never be tested at trial b/c the charged individuals would never be extradited. However, the indictment included charges against two Russian corporations that cleverly hired American lawyers to appear on their behalf, and enter pleas of Not Guilty. ..."
"... This tactic should have set the pre-trial discovery process to begin, causing Mueller to be obliged to turn over evidence supporting the charges as well as any exculpatory information favoring the accused corporations. ..."
Oct 05, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

chet380 , Oct 5, 2018 1:37:53 PM | link

A few months ago, a dozen Russian individuals were charged with cyber-crime offenses that Mueller knew would never be tested at trial b/c the charged individuals would never be extradited. However, the indictment included charges against two Russian corporations that cleverly hired American lawyers to appear on their behalf, and enter pleas of Not Guilty.

This tactic should have set the pre-trial discovery process to begin, causing Mueller to be obliged to turn over evidence supporting the charges as well as any exculpatory information favoring the accused corporations.

As any reference to this case can't seem to be found, can anyone help with info as to the present status of the case?

[Oct 05, 2018] Putin take on Skripal false flag operation by UK: Nobody wanted to poison This Skripal is a traitor, as I said. He was caught and punished. He spent a total of five years in prison. We released him. That's it. He left. He continued to cooperate with and consult some security services. So what?

Oct 05, 2018 | en.kremlin.ru

Ryan Chilcote: Since you brought up the subject of sanctions, as you know after the Skripal poisoning, Russia is facing even more of them, perhaps as soon as November. What is Russia prepared to do to change the trajectory of relations with the United States and the West?

Vladimir Putin : We are not the ones introducing these sanctions against the United States or the West. We are just responding to their actions, and we do this in very restrained, careful steps so as not to cause harm, primarily to ourselves. And we will continue to do so.

As regards the Skripals and all that, this latest spy scandal is being artificially inflated. I have seen some media outlets and your colleagues push the idea that Skripal is almost a human rights activist. But he is just a spy, a traitor to the motherland. There is such a term, a 'traitor to the motherland,' and that's what he is.

Imagine you are a citizen of a country, and suddenly somebody comes along who betrays your country. How would you, or anybody present here, a representative of any country, feel about such a person? He is scum, that's all. But a whole information campaign has been deployed around it.

I think it will come to an end, I hope it will, and the sooner the better. We have repeatedly told our colleagues to show us the documents. We will see what can be done and conduct an investigation.

We probably have an agreement with the UK on assistance in criminal cases that outlines the procedure. Well, submit the documents to the Prosecutor General's Office as required. We will see what actually happened there.

The fuss between security services did not start yesterday. As you know, espionage, just like prostitution, is one of the most 'important' jobs in the world. So what? Nobody shut it down and nobody can shut it down yet.

Ryan Chilcote : Espionage aside, I think there are two other issues. One is the use of chemical weapons, and let's not forget that in addition to the Skripal family being affected in that attack, there was also a homeless person who was killed when they came in contact with the nerve agent Novichok.

Vladimir Putin: Listen, since we are talking about poisoning Skripal, are you saying that we also poisoned a homeless person there? Sometimes I look at what is happening around this case and it amazes me. Some guys came to England and started poisoning homeless people. Such nonsense. What is this all about? Are they working for cleaning services? Nobody wanted to poison This Skripal is a traitor, as I said. He was caught and punished. He spent a total of five years in prison. We released him. That's it. He left. He continued to cooperate with and consult some security services. So what? What are we talking about right now? Oil, gas or espionage? What is your question?

Let's move on to the other oldest profession and discuss the latest developments in that business. (Laughter.)

[Oct 05, 2018] MI5 can authorise agents to commit crimes, tribunal told . Maybe the UK should be sanctioned.

Oct 05, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Fran , Oct 5, 2018 2:01:34 PM | link

Funny how lowkey this topic is handled. It appeard in The Times. As the Times article is behind a paywall. I am linking to the Irish Times: MI5 can authorise agents to commit crimes, tribunal told . Maybe the UK should be sanctioned.

Makes my fantasy go a little wild and wonder if there might be any connection to Skripal.

[Oct 05, 2018] What I want and I am completely serious is that this nightmare about Russia's alleged interference with some election campaign in the United States ends. I want the United States, the American elite, the US elite to calm down and clear up their own mess and restore a certain balance of common sense and national interests, just like in the oil market

Oct 05, 2018 | en.kremlin.ru

Vladimir Putin: What I want – and I am completely serious – is that this nightmare about Russia's alleged interference with some election campaign in the United States ends. I want the United States, the American elite, the US elite to calm down and clear up their own mess and restore a certain balance of common sense and national interests, just like in the oil market. I want the domestic political squabbles in the United States to stop ruining Russia-US relations and adversely affecting the situation in the world.

[Oct 05, 2018] Of course the USA and coalition of imbeciles are busy projecting onto Russia and China what they themselves are guilty of

Notable quotes:
"... I think its far more likely that a friendly foreign intelligence agency or the US had something to do with it. ..."
Oct 05, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

james , Oct 5, 2018 3:44:18 PM | link

thanks b.. excellent information and insights as usual..

of course the USA and coalition of imbeciles are busy projecting onto Russia and China what they themselves are guilty of.. the use of propaganda has gone into overdrive and is now an accepted policy of the west.. screw facts.. who needs facts when you have a war to pursue... and that is just what it looks like to me, as there is no end in sight to any of this western madness...

the financial sanctions have not worked.. that much is clear.. another approach via propaganda is to be the new regular feature.. claim all sorts of lies and supposition on russia, china, iran, north korea, venezuela or any country that dares to get out of line with the official ''coalition'' and you will be targeted with propaganda and or worse..

Pft , Oct 5, 2018 5:36:22 PM | link
UncleTungsten@42

Companies in China, including foreign firms, are required by law to establish a party organization within their organization and party members head the mandatory unions in every company. Indeed some of the designers are no doubt party members. Significant pressure can be exerted on companies in China by the party, even foreign companies , especially with but not limited to Joint ventures.

In any other country your skepticism is warranted. Not China.

That said, given how little attention the Bloomberg story received yesterday by MSM web sites (havent checked today) beyond a denial story by msnbc I think its far more likely that a friendly foreign intelligence agency or the US had something to do with it. Blame China not Israel or CIA/NSA

But I doubt we will ever know

[Oct 05, 2018] How The U.S. Runs Public Relations Campaigns - Trump Style - Against Russia And China

Notable quotes:
"... I agree with Hoarsewhisperer that the elite are showing desperation but look at the sheer volume of BS they can spew out that is all over the map. ..."
"... The ... West is doubling down on Psychological Projection . Works like a charm with most peoples in the affected areas. ..."
"... A few months ago, a dozen Russian individuals were charged with cyber-crime offenses that Mueller knew would never be tested at trial b/c the charged individuals would never be extradited. However, the indictment included charges against two Russian corporations that cleverly hired American lawyers to appear on their behalf, and enter pleas of Not Guilty. ..."
"... This tactic should have set the pre-trial discovery process to begin, causing Mueller to be obliged to turn over evidence supporting the charges as well as any exculpatory information favoring the accused corporations. ..."
"... Russia has tried to negotiate with the US to avoid cyberspace being turned into another area of conflict. The US has rebuffed these requests. Likely too much money to be made by the MIC in another theater of warfare with that extortion racket called NATO and too much promise of the NSA scooping up even more data and adding it to the data already collected by the 5 eyes. ..."
"... Didn't WikiLeaks disclosed the fact that NSA can disguise any hack to look like some other actor was the culprit? All this shouting that Russia and China did these terrible deeds is to hide the fact that the west does this all the time as disclosed by WikiLeaks? And the Germans complaining? I hope they have improved security for the Chancellor's phone. Russia is a member of OPWC. Why do they have to sit out in cars in the parking lot of OPCW headquarters to hack into OPCW? Why not from the comfort of their office in the building. What is of more importance to me is an upcoming vote in the OPCW about investigation reports laying blame in the future. That will be a game changer in the false flag chemical attack be it Syria or the UK. currently reports don't lay blame. ..."
"... Going by the squealing noises coming out of the US and loyal vassals, the yanks are probably just pissed that they can't get into Russia or China's secure communications. ..."
Oct 05, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Yesterday several NATO countries ran a concerted propaganda campaign against Russia. The context for it was a NATO summit in which the U.S. presses for an intensified cyberwar against NATO's preferred enemy.

On the same day another coordinated campaign targeted China. It is aimed against China's development of computer chip manufacturing further up the value chain. Related to this is U.S. pressure on Taiwan, a leading chip manufacturer, to cut its ties with its big motherland.

The anti-Russian campaign is about alleged Russian spying, hacking and influence operations. Britain and the Netherland took the lead. Britain accused Russia's military intelligence service (GRU) of spying attempts against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague and Switzerland, of spying attempts against the British Foreign Office, of influence campaigns related to European and the U.S. elections, and of hacking the international doping agency WADA. British media willingly helped to exaggerate the claims:

The Foreign Office attributed six specific attacks to GRU-backed hackers and identified 12 hacking group code names as fronts for the GRU – Fancy Bear, Voodoo Bear, APT28, Sofacy, Pawnstorm, Sednit, CyberCaliphate, Cyber Berku, BlackEnergy Actors, STRONTIUM, Tsar Team and Sandworm."

The "hacking group code names" the Guardian tries to sell to its readers do not refer to hacking groups but to certain cyberattack methods . Once such a method is known it can be used by any competent group and individual. Attributing such an attack is nearly impossible. Moreover Fancybear, ATP28, Pawn Storm, Sofacy Group, Sednit and Strontium are just different names for one and the same well known method . The other names listed refer to old groups and tools related to criminal hackers. Blackenergy has been used by cybercriminals since 2007. It is alleged that a pro-Russian group named Sandworm used it in Ukraine, but the evidence for that is dubious at best. To throw out such a list of code names without any differentiation reeks of a Fear-Uncertainty-Doubt (FUD) campaign designed to dis-inform and scare the public.

The Netherland for its part released a flurry of information about the alleged spying attempts against the OPCW in The Hague. It claims that four GRU agents traveled to The Hague on official Russian diplomatic passports to sniff out the WiFi network of the OPCW. (WiFi networks are notoriously easy to hack. If the OPCW is indeed using such it should not be trusted with any security relevant issues.) The Russian officials were allegedly very secretive, even cleaning out their own hotel trash, while they, at the same, time carried laptops with private data and even taxi receipts showing their travel from a GRU headquarter in Moscow to the airport. Like in the Skripal/Novichok saga the Russian spies are, at the same time, portrayed as supervillains and hapless amateurs. Real spies are neither.

The U.S. Justice Department added to the onslaught by issuing new indictments (pdf) against alleged GRU agents dubiously connected to several alleged hacking incidents . As none of those Russians will ever stand in front of a U.S. court the broad allegations will never be tested.

The anti-Russian campaign came just in time for yesterday's NATO Defense Minister meeting at which the U.S. 'offered' to use its malicious cyber tools under NATO disguise:

Katie Wheelbarger, the principal deputy assistant defense secretary for international security affairs, said the U.S. is committing to use offensive and defensive cyber operations for NATO allies, but America will maintain control over its own personnel and capabilities.

If the European NATO allies, under pressure of the propaganda onslaught, agree to that, the obvious results will be more U.S. control over its allies' networks and citizens as well as more threats against Russia:

NATO's chief vowed on Thursday to strengthen the alliance's defenses against attacks on computer networks that Britain said are directed by Russian military intelligence, also calling on Russia to stop its "reckless" behavior.

The allegations against Russia over nefarious spying operations and sockpuppet campaigns are highly hypocritical . The immense scale of U.S. and British spying revealed by Edward Snowden and through the Wikileaks Vault 7 leak of CIA hacking tools is well known. The Pentagon runs large social media manipulation campaigns. The British GHCQ hacked Belgium's largest telco network to spy on the data of the many international organizations in Brussels.

International organizations like the OPCW have long been the target of U.S. spies and operations. The U.S. National Security Service (NSA) regularly hacked the OPCW since at least September 2000 :

According to last week's Shadow Brokers leak, the NSA compromised a DNS server of the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in September 2000, two years after the Iraq Liberation Act and Operation Desert Fox, but before the Bush election.

It was the U.S. which in 2002 forced out the head of the OPCW because he did not agree to propagandizing imaginary Iraqi chemical weapons:

José M. Bustani, a Brazilian diplomat who was unanimously re-elected last year as the director general of the 145-nation Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, was voted out of office today after refusing repeated demands by the United States that he step down because of his "management style." No successor has been selected.

The U.S. arranged the vote against Bustani by threatening to leave the OPCW. Day's earlier 'Yosemite Sam' John Bolton, now Trump's National Security Advisor, threatened to hurt José Bustani's children to press him to resign:

"I got a phone call from John Bolton – it was first time I had contact with him – and he said he had instructions to tell me that I have to resign from the organization, and I asked him why," Bustani told RT. "He said that [my] management style was not agreeable to Washington."
...
Bustani said he "owed nothing" to the US, pointing out that he was appointed by all OPCW member states. Striking a more sinister tone, Bolton said: "OK, so there will be retaliation. Prepare to accept the consequences. We know where your kids are. "

According to Bustani, two of his children were in New York at the time, and his daughter was in London.

Russia's government will need decades of hard work to reach the scale of U.S./UK hypocrisy, hacking and lying.


The propaganda rush against Russia came on the same day as a similar campaign was launched against China. A well timed Bloomberg story, which had been in the works for over a year, claimed that Chinese companies manipulated hardware they manufactured for the U.S. company SuperMicro. The hardware was then sold to Apple, Amazon and others for their cloud server businesses.

The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies :

Nested on the servers' motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn't part of the boards' original design.

Both Apple and Amazon denied the story with very strong statements . The Bloomberg tale has immense problems. It is for one completely based on anonymous sources, most of them U.S. government officials:

The companies' denials are countered by six current and former senior national security officials, who -- in conversations that began during the Obama administration and continued under the Trump administration -- detailed the discovery of the chips and the government's investigation.

The way the alleged manipulation is described to function is theoretical possible , but not plausible . In my learned opinion one would need multiple manipulations, not just one tiny chip, to achieve the described results. Even reliably U.S. friendly cyberhawks are unconvinced of the story's veracity. It is especially curious that such server boards are still in use in security relevant U.S. government operations:

Assuming the Bloomberg story is accurate, that means that the US intelligence community, during a period spanning two administrations, saw a foreign threat and allowed that threat to infiltrate the US military. If the story is untrue, or incorrect on its technical merits, then it would make sense that Supermicro gear is being used by the US military.

There might be financial motives behind the story:

Bloomberg reporters receive bonuses based indirectly on how much they shift markets with their reporting. This story undoubtedly did that.

When the story came out SuperMicro's stock price crashed from $21.40 to below $9.00 per share. It now trades at $12.60:

The story might be a cover-up for a NSA hack that was accidentally detected. Most likely it is exaggerated half truth, based on an old event , to deter the 'western' industry from sourcing anything from producers in China.

This would be consistent with other such U.S. moves against China which coincidentally (not) happened on the same day the Bloomberg story was launched.

One is a very hawkish speech U.S. Vice President Pence held yesterday :

Vice President Mike Pence accused China on Thursday of trying to undermine President Donald Trump as the administration deploys tough new rhetoric over Chinese trade, economic and foreign policies.
...
Sounding the alarm, Pence warned other nations to be wary of doing business with China, condemning the Asian country's "debt diplomacy" that allows it to draw developing nations into its orbit.

Pence also warned American businesses to be vigilant against Chinese efforts to leverage access to their markets to modify corporate behavior to their liking.

Another move is a new Pentagon report warning against the purchase of Chinese equipment and launched via Reuters in support of the campaign:

China represents a "significant and growing risk" to the supply of materials vital to the U.S. military, according to a new Pentagon-led report that seeks to mend weaknesses in core U.S. industries vital to national security.

The nearly 150-page report, seen by Reuters on Thursday ahead of its formal release Friday, concluded there are nearly 300 vulnerabilities that could affect critical materials and components essential to the U.S. military.
...
"A key finding of this report is that China represents a significant and growing risk to the supply of materials and technologies deemed strategic and critical to U.S. national security," the report said.

The Bloomberg story, the Pence speech and the Pentagon report 'leak' on the same day seem designed to scare everyone away from using Chinese equipment or China manufactured parts within there supply chain.

The allegations of Chinese supply chain attacks are of course just as hypocritical as the allegations against Russia. The very first know case of computer related supply chain manipulation goes back to 1982 :

A CIA operation to sabotage Soviet industry by duping Moscow into stealing booby-trapped software was spectacularly successful when it triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian gas pipeline, it emerged yesterday.
...
Mr Reed writes that the software "was programmed to reset pump speeds and valve settings to produce pressures far beyond those acceptable to pipeline joints and welds".

Wikileaks list 27 cases of U.S. supply chain manipulation of computer hardware and software. A search for "supply chain" in the Snowden archives shows 18 documents describing such 'projects'.


The U.S. government under Trump - and with John Bolton in a leading position - copied Trump's brutal campaign style and uses it as an instrument in its foreign policy. Trump's victory in the 2016 election proves that such campaigns are highly successful, even when the elements they are build of are dubious or untrue. In their scale and coordination the current campaigns are comparable to the 2002 run-up for the war on Iraq.

Then, as during the Trump election campaign and as now, the media are crucial to the public effect these campaigns have. Will they attempt to take the stories the campaigns are made of apart? Will they set them into the larger context of global U.S. spying and manipulation? Will they explain the real purpose of these campaigns?

Don't bet on it.

Posted by b on October 5, 2018 at 08:27 AM


Timothy Hagios , Oct 5, 2018 8:52:41 AM | link

IMO the US Government's propaganda is structured to along the lines of a fantasy novel. The propaganda is designed to convince the public of two inherently contradictory ideas:

1) that the country is surrounded on vast sides by vast hostile empires that threaten everything we hold dear and

2) despite these dire threats, the country cannot really be harmed because of "our freedoms."

Like with a fantasy novel, the reader gets all the thrills of an epic battle while being certain that the evil empires will never triumph. An attractive form of propaganda, to be certain.

Steve , Oct 5, 2018 12:09:45 PM | link
Well, so far the propaganda is having very minor effect on the ordinary people. If you read the comment section of most of the corporate media you will see that people are just not buying the BS.
Hausmeister , Oct 5, 2018 12:22:26 PM | link
Steve | Oct 5, 2018 12:09:45 PM | 16

Indifference of the ordinary people does not mean much. Just that there is such indifference. The arguments against that claimed Chinese hardware hack are meta-arguments.

Hoarsewhisperer , Oct 5, 2018 12:25:28 PM | link
...
Got to wonder what the end game is here. WW3? Or up they expecting the Russian people to come begging for an end to sanctions?
Posted by: dh | Oct 5, 2018 11:49:07 AM | 11

Good question.

It's not WWIII. Putin has already said that if WWIII goes Nuclear, survival will be a lottery. Imo the Christian Colonial West, hypnotised by 30 years of its own bs and busily patting itself on the back and performing Victory Laps on the world stage, has been caught napping (asleep at the wheel) and now needs time to ponder the downside.

Hoarsewhisperer , Oct 5, 2018 12:48:30 PM | link
Imo this latest drivel-fest stems from the fact that Russia is now/again militarily unassailable. That doesn't mean that Russia can't be attacked but it does mean that anyone who tries it will wish they hadn't.

And it's driving the defunct Masters Of The Universe insaner.

psychohistorian , Oct 5, 2018 1:08:44 PM | link
Excellent journalism b....thanks

I agree with Hoarsewhisperer that the elite are showing desperation but look at the sheer volume of BS they can spew out that is all over the map.

The Supreme Court justice debacle is another example of so riling up the forces around the sex issue so that the rest of his moral standing that effects all of us is ignored.....the sex issue is marginalized and pop goes the weasel onto the Supreme Court to bring the US closer to feudalism.

notheonly1 , Oct 5, 2018 1:09:01 PM | link
The ... West is doubling down on Psychological Projection . Works like a charm with most peoples in the affected areas.

Although it is practically a symptom of a deeper sitting mental illness, it is still treated as some sort of cavalier's delinquency. Like it is to be expected that the rulers of said West resort to this kind of projection.

The only interesting part though - one that is next to never really understood by the gullible masses - is the Projection part of it. Because it means nothing else than the fact that the projector is the one who is perpetrating the crimes and malevolent activities it accuses the 'enemy'/opposing side of.

The West is mentally ill. Nothing new, the Eastern sages pointed to that a long time ago. Very much like the Native American Indians were flabbergasted by the moronity and cruelty the invaders displayed. The one that has adhered to my memory like fusion is: Only paleface would set a river on fire.

Last but not least, Nazi is as Nazi does. As can be verified perusing the story of this Nazi that never had to fear repercussions for his crimes against humanity. For the simple reason that the U.S. protected him to gain his knowledge about advanced biological and chemical warfare. The Nazi was Kurt Blome .

b , Oct 5, 2018 1:09:38 PM | link
@CE - There is no problem with the logo on the server side and with the clients I use. Suggestion: clear your cache.
AntiSpin , Oct 5, 2018 1:20:00 PM | link
And that's not all . . .

In early morning broadcasts yesterday, BBC and NPR accused China and Russia of projecting positive images of their countries, and of acting in accordance with their national interests.

I am so proud that my own country – USA – would never do either one of those things!

denk , Oct 5, 2018 1:33:47 PM | link
"On the same day another coordinated campaign targeted China. It is aimed against China's development of computer chip manufacturing further up the value chain. Related to this is U.S. pressure on Taiwan, a leading chip manufacturer, to cut its ties with its big motherland."

Gen William Looney, first gulf war.... "If they turn on their radars we're going to blow up their goddamn SAMs [surface-to-air missiles]. They know we own their country. We own their airspace We dictate the way they live and talk. And that's what's great about America right now. It's a good thing, especially when there's a lot of oil out there we need. [1]"

------------------------------------------------------

Trump the anti establishment maverick...

We'r a rule based system, Here'r the rules. We decide..... who'r terrorists, who'r 'freedom fighters. Whats a fair election, whats a farce. Whats a genocide, whats legit police action. Whats R2p, whats unprovoked aggression. Who can do biz with whom. Who's the right man for your prez. We own you. MAGA.

[1]
I dont like to use wiki but that's the only place I could retrieve this quote, they'r wiping the net clean, even images, videos.

Better be mentally prep for the day you wake up in the morning and cant find MOA,

Anya , Oct 5, 2018 1:37:06 PM | link
Back to sanctioning Russian under the flimsy pretext of Skripals' poisoning. The US has been poisoning Georgians (some died) and this is well documented. Are the UK prudes ready to sanction the US for the crime?

http://dilyana.bg/us-diplomats-involved-in-trafficking-of-human-blood-and-pathogens-for-secret-military-program/

"The US Embassy to Tbilisi transports frozen human blood and pathogens as diplomatic cargo for a secret US military program. Pentagon scientists have been deployed to the Republic of Georgia and have been given diplomatic immunity to research deadly diseases and biting insects at the Lugar Center – the Pentagon biolaboratory in Georgia's capital Tbilisi.

The Pentagon projects involving ticks coincided with an inexplicable outbreak of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) which is caused by infection through a tick-borne virus. In 2014 34 people became infected (amongst which a 4-year old child). A total of 60 cases with 9 fatalities have been registered in Georgia since 2009."

The above is an honest journalism and not some presstituting production by the eunuchs Luke Harding and George Monbiot. And don't forget Luke & George's comrade-in-arms, the "phenomenal expert" Eliot Higgins (a former salesman of ladies underwear and college dropout) who has zero training in engineering, chemistry, physics, mathematics, ballistics, foreign languages, biology, history and basically in any field of research. Zero. This is why Higgins is the best expert at the the ziocon Atlantic Council made of the scoundrels of the same caliber.

"This is a man who, with his agency Bellingcat, will absolutely always back the position of western governments, and powerful western organisations."

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2016/02/28/eliot-higgins-of-bellingcat-who-is-he-everything-you-need-to-know/

chet380 , Oct 5, 2018 1:37:53 PM | link
A few months ago, a dozen Russian individuals were charged with cyber-crime offenses that Mueller knew would never be tested at trial b/c the charged individuals would never be extradited. However, the indictment included charges against two Russian corporations that cleverly hired American lawyers to appear on their behalf, and enter pleas of Not Guilty.

This tactic should have set the pre-trial discovery process to begin, causing Mueller to be obliged to turn over evidence supporting the charges as well as any exculpatory information favoring the accused corporations.

As any reference to this case can't seem to be found, can anyone help with info as to the present status of the case?

Fran , Oct 5, 2018 2:01:34 PM | link
Funny how lowkey this topic is handled. It appeard in The Times. As the Times article is behind a paywall. I am linking to the Irish Times: MI5 can authorise agents to commit crimes, tribunal told . Maybe the UK should be sanctioned.

Makes my fantasy go a little wild and wonder if there might be any connection to Skripal.

Noirette , Oct 5, 2018 2:11:45 PM | link
For those who missed May's latest Brexit speech (which had zero content), here she is jiving to Dancing Queen by Abba for her glorified entrance. No need to make caricatures, she does it herself. Free of charge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbCDFNRA-Wo&frags=pl%2Cwn

The USA + GB have become totally unhinged. Seeking a 'safe' enemy *without* - as the Deplorables or Brexiteers *within* don't hit the spot, for many reasons - .. to explain and cover up Hillary's loss and the ugly Brexit mess with its clueless posturing pols, is one thing.

To continue to provoke Russia and China, particularly Russia, in this way is now skirting with danger beyond the .. ? Containable, ignorable, what ..?

Plus, the MSM, lousy as it is and was, has spinned off into even further mad realms, seemingly forced into a hyper, over-blown anti-Russian hysteria. Often far more strongly so than the pols. / others they seemingly quote.

This is all becoming seriously alarming. I'm getting very bad feelings.

karlof1 , Oct 5, 2018 2:22:25 PM | link
Seems like another episode of False Friday to bury all the crap made public during the week while pushing other news aside. Much of it's recycled crap from Obama's term and just as false.
Tent-A-Cles , Oct 5, 2018 3:03:03 PM | link
During the Cold War, the West contolled some 2/3 of the global economy.

If they again bring a "Free World" protective curtain down around themselves in defensive retrenchment, what percent would they control now? Which countries would be guaranteed to be inside the tent pissing out, and which would be outide the tent pissing in? And who would be non-aligned (with the exception of their military purchases.)

Pakistan, India, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Africa, etc. -- Where would the dominos fall? Is this what they are trying to accomplish? If you are not with us, you are against us, as the ever eloquent G. W. Shrub might have said. Any predictions?

james , Oct 5, 2018 3:44:18 PM | link
thanks b.. excellent information and insights as usual..

of course the USA and coalition of imbeciles are busy projecting onto Russia and China what they themselves are guilty of.. the use of propaganda has gone into overdrive and is now an accepted policy of the west.. screw facts.. who needs facts when you have a war to pursue... and that is just what it looks like to me, as there is no end in sight to any of this western madness...

the financial sanctions have not worked.. that much is clear.. another approach via propaganda is to be the new regular feature.. claim all sorts of lies and supposition on russia, china, iran, north korea, venezuela or any country that dares to get out of line with the official ''coalition'' and you will be targeted with propaganda and or worse..

is there a way to create an alternative internet??

Peter AU 1 , Oct 5, 2018 4:05:02 PM | link
Looking around the MSM, MH17 also comes into it. Dutch are accusing Russia of trying to hack the MH17 sham investigation. This propaganda attack comes only a week or two after Russia tracked the missile parts numbers, supplied by JIT, through records which led to Ukraine.
Tom , Oct 5, 2018 4:19:51 PM | link
Russia has tried to negotiate with the US to avoid cyberspace being turned into another area of conflict. The US has rebuffed these requests. Likely too much money to be made by the MIC in another theater of warfare with that extortion racket called NATO and too much promise of the NSA scooping up even more data and adding it to the data already collected by the 5 eyes.

Canada is being pressured into not buying Chinese for its military civilian hardware. Scare the politicians into buying US goods that have a backdoor for the CIA to use. Canada shouldn't complain. The Canadian government hacked into the Brazilian government computers for the benefit of Canadian mining interests.

Didn't WikiLeaks disclosed the fact that NSA can disguise any hack to look like some other actor was the culprit? All this shouting that Russia and China did these terrible deeds is to hide the fact that the west does this all the time as disclosed by WikiLeaks? And the Germans complaining? I hope they have improved security for the Chancellor's phone. Russia is a member of OPWC. Why do they have to sit out in cars in the parking lot of OPCW headquarters to hack into OPCW? Why not from the comfort of their office in the building. What is of more importance to me is an upcoming vote in the OPCW about investigation reports laying blame in the future. That will be a game changer in the false flag chemical attack be it Syria or the UK. currently reports don't lay blame.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/10/03/us-responsible-cyberspace-becoming-war-domain-instead-of-area-cooperation.html

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/arctic-patrol-ships-chinese-content-1.4849562

Jen , Oct 5, 2018 5:14:15 PM | link
Timothy Hagios @ 1:

An element of the Skripal poisoning saga in Britain (the Novichok) was lifted from the TV series "Strikeback" screening in the country in November 2017 and February 2018. I have seen something on the Internet (but can't find the link) that said the subplot with the abandoned perfume bottle that contained poison was also taken from a TV show.

Prepare to be unsurprised then when the people who write propaganda for The Powers That Should Not Be turn out to be the same people who write scripts for Hollywood films and TV shows. A lot of these people also write novels or teach creative writing courses.

We really do seem to be living in a society where mythology and fantasy are becoming more prominent than facts and analysis in decision-making.

Virgile , Oct 5, 2018 5:16:34 PM | link
Wherever it is the Russian government responsible or not, the UK and the Nederlands are admitting that they are impotent in front of attacks in the cyberworld. That wifi can be sniffed so easily at international organizations show total irresponsibility. These cyberattacks are simply humiliating for these countries as it shows that despite their military power, they are highly vulnerable. To dispel the humiliation, they respond aggressively by accusing countries, not to individuals, and they accuse the current boogeyman, Russia.

Maybe NATO's budget should be cut down on murdering weapons and allocate to Cyber Defense as this seems to become the new way of war.
In view of the lack of proper cyber defense worldwidee, anybody, any country can hack and play around with others. I would be surprised if Israel, the USA and the UK China are not stiffing in other countries organizations. They have not been found because they are the 'good' sniffers while Russia, Iran, China are the "bad' sniffers

Cold war is on with new technology, It is time for countries to realize that.

Considering what the military war has cost in money, death toll and destruction, maybe cold war would be less costly in human toll.

Peter AU 1 , Oct 5, 2018 8:01:47 PM | link
China has set up quantum internet via optic fiber linking a number of government departments.

Going by the squealing noises coming out of the US and loyal vassals, the yanks are probably just pissed that they can't get into Russia or China's secure communications.

[Oct 05, 2018] The USA + GB have become totally unhinged.

Oct 05, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Noirette , Oct 5, 2018 2:11:45 PM | link

For those who missed May's latest Brexit speech (which had zero content), here she is jiving to Dancing Queen by Abba for her glorified entrance. No need to make caricatures, she does it herself. Free of charge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbCDFNRA-Wo&frags=pl%2Cwn

The USA + GB have become totally unhinged. Seeking a 'safe' enemy *without* - as the Deplorables or Brexiteers *within* don't hit the spot, for many reasons - .. to explain and cover up Hillary's loss and the ugly Brexit mess with its clueless posturing pols, is one thing.

To continue to provoke Russia and China, particularly Russia, in this way is now skirting with danger beyond the .. ? Containable, ignorable, what ..?

Plus, the MSM, lousy as it is and was, has spinned off into even further mad realms, seemingly forced into a hyper, over-blown anti-Russian hysteria. Often far more strongly so than the pols. / others they seemingly quote.

This is all becoming seriously alarming. I'm getting very bad feelings.

[Oct 05, 2018] How the Russia Spin Got So Much Torque by Norman Solomon

Notable quotes:
"... Shattered ..."
"... Yet last year, notably without success, the Clinton campaign devoted plenty of its messaging to the Trump-Russia theme. As the "Shattered" book notes, "Hillary would raise the issue herself repeatedly in debates" with Trump. For example, in one of those debates she said: "We have seventeen – seventeen ..."
"... In early spring, the former communications director of the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, Jennifer Palmieri, summed up the post-election approach neatly in a Washington Post ..."
"... The inability of top Clinton operatives to identify with the non-wealthy is so tenacious that they still want to assume "the public will be with us" the more they talk about Russia Russia Russia. Imagine sitting at a kitchen table with average-income voters who are worried sick about their financial futures – and explaining to them that the biggest threat they face is from the Kremlin rather than from US government policies that benefit the rich and corporate America at their expense ..."
"... One of the most promising progressives to arrive in Congress this year, Rep. Jamie Raskin from the Maryland suburbs of D.C., promptly drank what might be called the "Klinton Kremlin Kool-Aid." His official website features an article about a town-hall meeting that quotes him describing Trump as a "hoax perpetrated by the Russians on the United States of America. ..."
"... Like hundreds of other Democrats on Capitol Hill, Raskin is on message with talking points from the party leadership. That came across in an email that he recently sent to supporters for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser. It said: "We pull the curtain back further each day on the Russian Connection, forcing National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to resign, Attorney General Sessions to recuse, and America to reflect on who's calling the shots in Washington. ..."
A new book about Hillary Clinton's last campaign for president – Shattered , by journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes – has gotten a lot of publicity since it appeared two weeks ago. But major media have ignored a revealing passage near the end of the book.

Soon after Clinton's defeat, top strategists decided where to place the blame. "Within 24 hours of her concession speech," the authors report, campaign manager Robby Mook and campaign chair John Podesta "assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument."

Six months later, that centerpiece of the argument is rampant – with claims often lurching from unsubstantiated overreach to outright demagoguery.

A lavishly-funded example is the "Moscow Project," a mega-spin effort that surfaced in midwinter as a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It's led by Neera Tanden, a self-described "loyal soldier" for Clinton who also runs the Center for American Progress (where she succeeded Podesta as president). The Center's board includes several billionaires.

The "Moscow Project" is expressly inclined to go over the top, aiming to help normalize ultra-partisan conjectures as supposedly factual. And so, the homepage of the "Moscow Project" prominently declares: "Given Trump's obedience to Vladimir Putin and the deep ties between his advisers and the Kremlin, Russia's actions are a significant and ongoing cause for concern."

Let's freeze-frame how that sentence begins: "Given Trump's obedience to Vladimir Putin." It's a jaw-dropping claim; a preposterous smear.

Echoes of such tactics can be heard from many Democrats in Congress and from allied media. Along the way, no outlet has been more in sync than MSNBC, and no one on the network has been more promotional of the Russia-runs-Trump meme than Rachel Maddow, tirelessly promoting the line and sometimes connecting dots in Glenn Beck fashion to the point of journalistic malpractice.

Yet last year, notably without success, the Clinton campaign devoted plenty of its messaging to the Trump-Russia theme. As the "Shattered" book notes, "Hillary would raise the issue herself repeatedly in debates" with Trump. For example, in one of those debates she said: "We have seventeen – seventeen – intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election ."

After Trump's election triumph, the top tier of Clinton strategists quickly moved to seize as much of the narrative as they could, surely mindful of what George Orwell observed: "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." After all, they hardly wanted the public discourse to dwell on Clinton's lack of voter appeal because of her deep ties to Wall Street. Political recriminations would be much better focused on the Russian government.

In early spring, the former communications director of the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, Jennifer Palmieri, summed up the post-election approach neatly in a Washington Post opinion article : "If we make plain that what Russia has done is nothing less than an attack on our republic, the public will be with us. And the more we talk about it, the more they'll be with us."

The inability of top Clinton operatives to identify with the non-wealthy is so tenacious that they still want to assume "the public will be with us" the more they talk about Russia Russia Russia. Imagine sitting at a kitchen table with average-income voters who are worried sick about their financial futures – and explaining to them that the biggest threat they face is from the Kremlin rather than from US government policies that benefit the rich and corporate America at their expense.

Tone deaf hardly describes the severe political impairment of those who insist that denouncing Russia will be key to the Democratic Party's political fortunes in 2018 and 2020. But the top-down pressure for conformity among elected Democrats is enormous and effective.

One of the most promising progressives to arrive in Congress this year, Rep. Jamie Raskin from the Maryland suburbs of D.C., promptly drank what might be called the "Klinton Kremlin Kool-Aid." His official website features an article about a town-hall meeting that quotes him describing Trump as a "hoax perpetrated by the Russians on the United States of America. "

Like hundreds of other Democrats on Capitol Hill, Raskin is on message with talking points from the party leadership. That came across in an email that he recently sent to supporters for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser. It said: "We pull the curtain back further each day on the Russian Connection, forcing National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to resign, Attorney General Sessions to recuse, and America to reflect on who's calling the shots in Washington. "

You might think that Wall Street, big banks, hugely funded lobbyists, fat-check campaign contributors, the fossil fuel industry, insurance companies, military contractors and the like are calling the shots in Washington. Maybe you didn't get the memo.

Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy . His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death .

[Oct 04, 2018] Despicable fear mongering by Bloomberg

Notable quotes:
"... Plus according to Microsemi's own website, all military and aerospace qualified versions of their parts are still made in the USA. So this "researcher" used commercial parts, which depending on the price point can be made in the plant in Shanghai or in the USA at Microsemi's own will. ..."
"... The "researcher" and the person who wrote the article need to spend some time reading more before talking. ..."
"... You clearly have NOT used a FPGA or similar. First the ProASIC3 the article focuses on is the CHEAPEST product in the product line (some of that model line reach down to below a dollar each). But beyond that ... Devices are SECURED by processes, such as blowing the JTAG fuses in the device which makes them operation only, and unreadable. They are secureable, if you follow the proper processes and methods laid out by the manufacturer of the specific chip. ..."
"... Just because a "research paper" claims there is other then standard methods of JTAG built into the JTAG doesn't mean that the device doesn't secure as it should, nor does it mean this researcher who is trying to peddle his own product is anything but biased in this situation. ..."
"... You do know that the Mossad has been caught stealing and collecting American Top Secrets. ..."
"... The original article is here. [cam.ac.uk] It refers to an Actel ProAsic3 chip, which is an FPGA with internal EEPROM to store the configuration. ..."
"... With regard to reprogramming the chip remotely or by the FPGA itself via the JTAG port: A secure system is one that can't reprogram itself. ..."
"... When I was designing VMEbus computer boards for a military subcontractor many years ago, every board had a JTAG connector that required the use of another computer with a special cable plugged into the board to perform reprogramming of the FPGAs. None of this update-by-remote-control crap. ..."
"... It seems that People's Republic of China has been misidentified with Taiwan (Republic of China). ..."
"... Either the claims will be backed up by independently reproduced tests or they won't. But, given his apparent track record in this area and the obvious scrutiny this would bring, Skorobogatov must have been sure of his results before announcing this. ..."
"... Where was this undocumented feature/bug designed in? I see plenty of "I hate China" posts, it would be quite hilarious if the fedgov talked the US mfgr into adding this backdoor, then the Chinese built it as designed. Perhaps the plan all along was to blame the Chinese if they're caught. ..."
"... These are not military chips. They are FPGAs that happen to be used occasionally for military apps. Most of them are sold for other, more commercially exploitable purposes. ..."
"... The page with a link to the final paper actually does mention China. However, it's an American design from a US company. I suspect we will find the backdoor was in the original plans. It will be interesting to see however. ..."
Oct 04, 2018 | it.slashdot.org

Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) , Tuesday May 29, 2012 @12:17AM ( #40139317 ) Journal

It's a scam !! ( Score: 5 , Informative)

http://erratasec.blogspot.com/2012/05/bogus-story-no-chinese-backdoor-in.html [blogspot.com]

Bogus story: no Chinese backdoor in military chip
"Today's big news is that researchers have found proof of Chinese manufacturers putting backdoors in American chips that the military uses. This is false. While they did find a backdoor in a popular FPGA chip, there is no evidence the Chinese put it there, or even that it was intentionally malicious.

Furthermore, the Actel ProAsic3 FPGA chip isn't fabricated in China at all !!

jhoegl ( 638955 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @01:30PM ( #40136003 )
Fear mongering ( Score: 5 , Insightful)

It sells...

khasim ( 1285 ) writes: < brandioch.conner@gmail.com > on Monday May 28, 2012 @01:48PM ( #40136097 )
Particularly in a press release like that. ( Score: 5 , Insightful)

That entire article reads more like a press release with FUD than anything with any facts.

Which chip?
Which manufacturer?
Which US customer?

No facts and LOTS of claims. It's pure FUD.

(Not that this might not be a real concern. But the first step is getting past the FUD and marketing materials and getting to the real facts.)

ArsenneLupin ( 766289 ) , Tuesday May 29, 2012 @01:11AM ( #40139489 )
Re:Particularly in a press release like that. ( Score: 5 , Informative)

A quick google showed that that this is indeed the chip, but the claims are "slightly" overblown [blogspot.com]

Anonymous Coward , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:14PM ( #40136273 )
Most likely inserted by Microsemi/Actel not fab ( Score: 5 , Informative)

1) Read the paper http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~sps32/Silicon_scan_draft.pdf
2) This is talking about FPGAs designed by Microsemi/Actel.
3) The article focuses on the ProAsic3 chips but says all the Microsemi/Actel chips tested had the same backdoor including but not limited to Igloo, Fusion and Smartfusion.
4) FPGAs give JTAG access to their internals for programming and debugging but many of the access methods are proprietary and undocumented. (security through obscurity)
5) Most FPGAs have features that attempt to prevent reverse engineering by disabling the ability to read out critical stuff.
6) These chips have a secret passphrase (security through obscurity again) that allows you to read out the stuff that was supposed to be protected.
7) These researchers came up with a new way of analyzing the chip (pipeline emission analysis) to discover the secret passphrase. More conventional analysis (differential power analysis) was not sensitive enough to reveal it.

This sounds a lot (speculation on my part) like a deliberate backdoor put in for debug purposes, security through obscurity at it's best. It doesn't sound like something secret added by the chip fab company, although time will tell. Just as embedded controller companies have gotten into trouble putting hidden logins into their code thinking they're making the right tradeoff between convenience and security, this hardware company seems to have done the same.

Someone forgot to tell the marketing droids though and they made up a bunch of stuff about how the h/w was super secure.

JimCanuck ( 2474366 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @04:45PM ( #40137217 )
Re:Most likely inserted by Microsemi/Actel not fab ( Score: 5 , Interesting)

I don't think anyone fully understands JTAG, there are a lot of different versions of it mashed together on the typical hardware IC. Regardless if its a FPGA, microcontroller or otherwise. The so called "back door" can only be accessed through the JTAG port as well, so unless the military installed a JTAG bridge to communicate to the outside world and left it there, well then the "backdoor" is rather useless.

Something that can also be completely disabled by setting the right fuse inside the chip itself to disable all JTAG connections. Something that is considered standard practice on IC's with a JTAG port available once assembled into their final product and programmed.

Plus according to Microsemi's own website, all military and aerospace qualified versions of their parts are still made in the USA. So this "researcher" used commercial parts, which depending on the price point can be made in the plant in Shanghai or in the USA at Microsemi's own will.

The "researcher" and the person who wrote the article need to spend some time reading more before talking.

emt377 ( 610337 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @07:02PM ( #40137873 )
Re:Most likely inserted by Microsemi/Actel not fab ( Score: 4 , Insightful)
The so called "back door" can only be accessed through the JTAG port as well, so unless the military installed a JTAG bridge to communicate to the outside world and left it there, well then the "backdoor" is rather useless.

With pin access to the FPGA it's trivial to hook it up, no bridges or transceivers needed. If it's a BGA then get a breakout/riser board that provides pin access. This is off-the-shelf stuff. This means if the Chinese military gets their hands on the hardware they can reverse engineer it. They won't have to lean very hard on the manufacturer for them to cough up every last detail. In China you just don't say no to such requests if you know what's good for you and your business.

JimCanuck ( 2474366 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @11:05PM ( #40139083 )
Re:Most likely inserted by Microsemi/Actel not fab ( Score: 4 , Interesting)
Not being readable even when someone has the device in hand is exactly what these secure FPGAs are meant to protect against!

It's not a non-issue. It's a complete failure of a product to provide any advantages over non-secure equivalents.

You clearly have NOT used a FPGA or similar. First the ProASIC3 the article focuses on is the CHEAPEST product in the product line (some of that model line reach down to below a dollar each). But beyond that ... Devices are SECURED by processes, such as blowing the JTAG fuses in the device which makes them operation only, and unreadable. They are secureable, if you follow the proper processes and methods laid out by the manufacturer of the specific chip.

Just because a "research paper" claims there is other then standard methods of JTAG built into the JTAG doesn't mean that the device doesn't secure as it should, nor does it mean this researcher who is trying to peddle his own product is anything but biased in this situation.

nospam007 ( 722110 ) * , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:39PM ( #40136445 )
Re:What did the military expect? ( Score: 4 , Interesting)

"Even if this case turns out to be a false alarm, allowing a nation that you repeatedly refer to as a 'near-peer competitor' to build parts of your high-tech weaponry is idiotic."

Not to mention the non-backdoor ones.

'Bogus electronic parts from China have infiltrated critical U.S. defense systems and equipment, including Navy helicopters and a commonly used Air Force cargo aircraft, a new report says.'

http://articles.dailypress.com/2012-05-23/news/dp-nws-counterfeit-chinese-parts-20120523_1_fake-chinese-parts-counterfeit-parts-air-force-c-130j [dailypress.com]

0123456 ( 636235 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:04PM ( #40136219 )
Re:Should only buy military components from allies ( Score: 3 , Funny)
The US military should have a strict policy of only buying military parts from sovereign, free, democratic countries with a long history of friendship, such as Israel, Canada, Europe, Japan and South Korea.

Didn't the US and UK governments sell crypto equipment they knew they could break to their 'allies' during the Cold War?

tlhIngan ( 30335 ) writes: < slashdot@[ ]f.net ['wor' in gap] > on Monday May 28, 2012 @03:30PM ( #40136781 )
Re:Should only buy military components from allies ( Score: 5 , Insightful)
Second problem.... 20 years ago the DOD had their own processor manufacturing facilities, IC chips, etc. They were shut down in favor of commercial equipment because some idiot decided it was better to have an easier time buying replacement parts at Radioshack than buying quality military-grade components that could last in austere environments. (Yes, speaking from experience). Servers and workstations used to be built from the ground up at places like Tobyhanna Army Depot. Now, servers and workstations are bought from Dell.

Fabs are expensive. The latest generation nodes cost billions of dollars to set up and billions more to run. If they aren't cranking chips out 24/7, they're literally costing money. Yes, I know it's hte military, but I'm sure people have a hard time justifying $10B every few years just to fab a few chips. One of the biggest developments in the 90s was the development of foundries that let anyone with a few tens of millions get in the game of producing chips rather than requiring billions in startup costs. Hence the startup of tons of fabless companies selling chips.

OK, another option is to buy a cheap obsolete fab and make chips that way - much cheaper to run, but we're also talking maybe 10+ year old technology, at which point the chips are going to be slower and take more power.

Also, building your own computer from the ground up is expensive - either you buy the designs of your servers from say, Intel, or design your own. If you buy it, it'll be expensive and probably require your fab to be upgraded (or you get stuck with an old design - e.g., Pentium (the original) - which Intel bought back from the DoD because the DoD had been debugging it over the decade). If you went with the older cheaper fab, the design has to be modified to support that technology (you cannot just take a design and run with it - you have to adapt your chip to the foundry you use).

If you roll your own, that becomes a support nightmare because now no one knows the system.

And on the taxpayer side - I'm sure everyone will question why you're spending billions running a fab that's only used at 10% capacity - unless you want the DoD getting into the foundry business with its own issues.

Or, why is the military spending so much money designing and running its own computer architecture and support services when they could buy much cheaper machines from Dell and run Linux on them?

Hell, even if the DoD had budget for that, some bean counter will probably do the same so they can save money from one side and use it to buy more fighter jets or something.

30+ years ago, defense spending on electronics formed a huge part of the overall electronics spending. These days, defense spending is but a small fraction - it's far more lucrative to go after the consumer market than the military - they just don't have the economic clout they once had. End result is the military is forced to buy COTS ICs, or face stuff like a $0.50 chip costing easily $50 or more for same just because the military is a bit-player for semiconductors

__aaltlg1547 ( 2541114 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:29PM ( #40136361 )
Re:Should only buy military components from allies ( Score: 2 )

Anybody remember Jonathan Pollard?

Genda ( 560240 ) writes: < <ten.tog> <ta> <teiram> > on Monday May 28, 2012 @03:46PM ( #40136857 ) Journal
Re:Should only buy military components from allies ( Score: 2 )

You do know that the Mossad has been caught stealing and collecting American Top Secrets. In fact most of the nations above save perhaps Canada have at one time or another been caught either spying on us, or performing dirty deeds cheap against America's best interest. I'd say for the really classified stuff, like the internal security devices that monitor everything else... homegrown only thanks, and add that any enterprising person who's looking to get paid twice by screwing with the hardware or selling secrets to certified unfriendlies get's to cools their heels for VERY LONG TIME.

NixieBunny ( 859050 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @01:34PM ( #40136025 ) Homepage
The actual article ( Score: 5 , Informative)

The original article is here. [cam.ac.uk] It refers to an Actel ProAsic3 chip, which is an FPGA with internal EEPROM to store the configuration.

Anonymous Coward , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:09PM ( #40136249 )
Re:The actual article ( Score: 5 , Interesting)

From your much more useful link,

We investigated the PA3 backdoor problem through Internet searches, software and hardware analysis and found that this particular backdoor is not a result of any mistake or an innocent bug, but is instead a deliberately inserted and well thought-through backdoor that is crafted into, and part of, the PA3 security system. We analysed other Microsemi/Actel products and found they all have the same deliberate backdoor. Those products include, but are not limited to: Igloo, Fusion and Smartfusion.
we have found that the PA3 is used in military products such as weapons, guidance, flight control, networking and communications. In industry it is used in nuclear power plants, power distribution, aerospace, aviation, public transport and automotive products. This permits a new and disturbing possibility of a large scale Stuxnet-type attack via a network or the Internet on the silicon itself. If the key is known, commands can be embedded into a worm to scan for JTAG, then to attack and reprogram the firmware remotely.

emphasis mine. Key is retrieved using the backdoor. Frankly, if this is true, Microsemi/Actel should get complete ban from all government contracts, including using their chips in any item build for use by the government.

NixieBunny ( 859050 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:44PM ( #40136487 ) Homepage
Re:The actual article ( Score: 3 )

I would not be surprised if it's a factory backdoor that's included in all their products, but is not documented and is assumed to not be a problem because it's not documented.

With regard to reprogramming the chip remotely or by the FPGA itself via the JTAG port: A secure system is one that can't reprogram itself.

When I was designing VMEbus computer boards for a military subcontractor many years ago, every board had a JTAG connector that required the use of another computer with a special cable plugged into the board to perform reprogramming of the FPGAs. None of this update-by-remote-control crap.

Blackman-Turkey ( 1115185 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:19PM ( #40136305 )
Re:The actual article ( Score: 3 , Informative)

No source approved [dla.mil] for Microsemi (Actel) qualified chips in China. If you use non-approved sources then, well, shit happens (although how this HW backdoor would be exploited is kind of unclear).

It seems that People's Republic of China has been misidentified with Taiwan (Republic of China).

6031769 ( 829845 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @01:35PM ( #40136031 ) Homepage Journal
Wait and see ( Score: 5 , Informative)

Either the claims will be backed up by independently reproduced tests or they won't. But, given his apparent track record in this area and the obvious scrutiny this would bring, Skorobogatov must have been sure of his results before announcing this.

Here's his publications list from his University home page, FWIW: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~sps32/#Publications [cam.ac.uk]

Anonymous Coward , Monday May 28, 2012 @01:36PM ( #40136039 )
samzenpus will be looking for a new job soon ( Score: 3 , Funny)
Even though this story has been blowing-up on Twitter, there are a few caveats. The backdoor doesn't seem to have been confirmed by anyone else, Skorobogatov is a little short on details, and he is trying to sell the scanning technology used to uncover the vulnerability.

Hey hey HEY! You stop that right this INSTANT, samzenpus! This is Slashdot! We'll have none of your "actual investigative research" nonsense around here! Fear mongering to sell ad space, mister, and that's ALL! Now get back to work! We need more fluffy space-filling articles like that one about the minor holiday labeling bug Microsoft had in the UK! That's what we want to see more of!

laing ( 303349 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:08PM ( #40136243 )
Requires Physical Access ( Score: 5 , Informative)

The back-door described in the white paper requires access to the JTAG (1149.1) interface to exploit. Most deployed systems do not provide an active external interface for JTAG. With physical access to a "secure" system based upon these parts, the techniques described in the white paper allow for a total compromise of all IP within. Without physical access, very little can be done to compromise systems based upon these parts.

vlm ( 69642 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @03:34PM ( #40136807 )
Where was it designed in? ( Score: 3 )

Where was this undocumented feature/bug designed in? I see plenty of "I hate China" posts, it would be quite hilarious if the fedgov talked the US mfgr into adding this backdoor, then the Chinese built it as designed. Perhaps the plan all along was to blame the Chinese if they're caught.

These are not military chips. They are FPGAs that happen to be used occasionally for military apps. Most of them are sold for other, more commercially exploitable purposes.

time961 ( 618278 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @03:51PM ( #40136887 )
Big risk is to "secret sauce" for comms & cryp ( Score: 5 , Informative)

This is a physical-access backdoor. You have to have your hands on the hardware to be able to use JTAG. It's not a "remote kill switch" driven by a magic data trigger, it's a mechanism that requires use of a special connector on the circuit board to connect to a dedicated JTAG port that is simply neither used nor accessible in anything resembling normal operation.

That said, it's still pretty bad, because hardware does occasionally end up in the hands of unfriendlies (e.g., crashed drones). FPGAs like these are often used to run classified software radio algorithms with anti-jam and anti-interception goals, or to run classified cryptographic algorithms. If those algorithms can be extracted from otherwise-dead and disassembled equipment, that would be bad--the manufacturer's claim that the FPGA bitstream can't be extracted might be part of the system's security certification assumptions. If that claim is false, and no other counter-measures are place, that could be pretty bad.

Surreptitiously modifying a system in place through the JTAG port is possible, but less of a threat: the adversary would have to get access to the system and then return it without anyone noticing. Also, a backdoor inserted that way would have to co-exist peacefully with all the other functions of the FPGA, a significant challenge both from an intellectual standpoint and from a size/timing standpoint--the FPGA may just not have enough spare capacity or spare cycles. They tend to be packed pretty full, 'coz they're expensive and you want to use all the capacity you have available to do clever stuff.

Fnord666 ( 889225 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @09:16PM ( #40138557 ) Journal
Re:Big risk is to "secret sauce" for comms & c ( Score: 4 , Insightful)
This is a physical-access backdoor. You have to have your hands on the hardware to be able to use JTAG. It's not a "remote kill switch" driven by a magic data trigger, it's a mechanism that requires use of a special connector on the circuit board to connect to a dedicated JTAG port that is simply neither used nor accessible in anything resembling normal operation.

Surreptitiously modifying a system in place through the JTAG port is possible, but less of a threat: the adversary would have to get access to the system and then return it without anyone noticing.

As someone else mentioned in another post, physical access can be a bit of a misnomer. Technically all that is required is for a computer to be connected via the JTAG interface in order to exploit this. This might be a diagnostic computer for example. If that diagnostic computer were to be infected with a targeted payload, there is your physical access.

nurb432 ( 527695 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:43PM ( #40136477 ) Homepage Journal
Re:Is it called JTAG? ( Score: 2 )

I agree it most likely wasn't malicious, but its more than careless, its irresponsible, especially when dealing with military contracts.

rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @03:22PM ( #40136743 )
Re:No China link yet, probably a US backdoor ( Score: 2 )
There is no China link to the backdoor yet.

The page with a link to the final paper actually does mention China. However, it's an American design from a US company. I suspect we will find the backdoor was in the original plans. It will be interesting to see however.

[Oct 04, 2018] Bloomberg is spreading malicious propaganda trying to blame China for modifying hardware with some additional ships

Kind of Chinagate, but China means her Taivan and the design is US-based. Completely false malicious rumors -- propaganda attack on China. The goal is clearly to discredit Chinese hardware manufactures by spreading technical innuendo. In other words this is a kick below the belt.
Bloomberg jerks are just feeding hacker paranoia.
First of all this is not easy to do, secondly this is a useless exercise, as you need access to TCP/IP stack of the computer to transmit information. Software Trojans is much more productive area for such activities.
Oct 04, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Today, Bloomberg BusinessWeek published a story claiming that AWS was aware of modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in Elemental Media's hardware at the time Amazon acquired Elemental in 2015, and that Amazon was aware of modified hardware or chips in AWS's China Region.

As we shared with Bloomberg BusinessWeek multiple times over the last couple months, this is untrue. At no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in any Elemental or Amazon systems. Nor have we engaged in an investigation with the government.

There are so many inaccuracies in ‎this article as it relates to Amazon that they're hard to count. We will name only a few of them here. First, when Amazon was considering acquiring Elemental, we did a lot of due diligence with our own security team, and also commissioned a single external security company to do a security assessment for us as well. That report did not identify any issues with modified chips or hardware. As is typical with most of these audits, it offered some recommended areas to remediate, and we fixed all critical issues before the acquisition closed. This was the sole external security report commissioned. Bloomberg has admittedly never seen our commissioned security report nor any other (and refused to share any details of any purported other report with us).

The article also claims that after learning of hardware modifications and malicious chips in Elemental servers, we conducted a network-wide audit of SuperMicro motherboards and discovered the malicious chips in a Beijing data center. This claim is similarly untrue. The first and most obvious reason is that we never found modified hardware or malicious chips in Elemental servers. Aside from that, we never found modified hardware or malicious chips in servers in any of our data centers. And, this notion that we sold off the hardware and datacenter in China to our partner Sinnet because we wanted to rid ourselves of SuperMicro servers is absurd. Sinnet had been running these data centers since we ‎launched in China, they owned these data centers from the start, and the hardware we "sold" to them was a transfer-of-assets agreement mandated by new China regulations for non-Chinese cloud providers to continue to operate in China.

Amazon employs stringent security standards across our supply chain – investigating all hardware and software prior to going into production and performing regular security audits internally and with our supply chain partners. We further strengthen our security posture by implementing our own hardware designs for critical components such as processors, servers, storage systems, and networking equipment.

Security will always be our top priority. AWS is trusted by many of the world's most risk-sensitive organizations precisely because we have demonstrated this unwavering commitment to putting their security above all else. We are constantly vigilant about potential threats to our customers, and we take swift and decisive action to address them whenever they are identified.

– Steve Schmidt, Chief Information Security Officer

Trumptards are IDIOTs


CashMcCall , 5 hours ago

TRUMPTARDS have an enormous amount of surplus time on their hands to forward their Harry Potter Styled Conspiracies.

APPLE AND AMAZON DENIED THE STORY. STORY OVER... GET IT CREEPY?

CashMcCall , 5 hours ago

While TRUMPTARDS were posting their Conspiracy Theories and the "TrumpEXPERTS" were embellishing the ridiculous story with their lavish accounts of chip bug design, I was enjoying a Bloomberg windfall.

Having confirmed early that the story was False since AMAZON and APPLE BOTH DENIED IT... and their stock was not moving, I turned to Supermicro which was plunging and down over 50%. I checked the options, and noted they were soft, so I put in bids for long shares and filled blocks at 9 from two accounts.

The moronic TRUMPTARD Conspiracy posts continued, Supermicro is now up over 13.

That is the difference between having a brain in your head or having TRUMPTARD **** FOR BRAINS...

Urban Roman , 5 hours ago

On second thought, this story is just ********. Note that the BBG story never mentions the backdoors that were talked about for over a decade, nor did they mention Mr. Snowden's revelation that those backdoors do exist, and are being used, by the surveillance state.

Since the Chinese factories are manufacturing these things, they'd have all the specs and the blobs and whatever else they need, and would never require a super-secret hardware chip like this. Maybe this MITM chip exists, and maybe it doesn't. But there's nothing to keep China from using the ME on any recent Intel chip, or the equivalent on any recent AMD chip, anywhere.

The purpose of this article is to scare you away from using Huawei or ZTE for anything, and my guess is that it is because those companies did not include these now-standard backdoors in their equipment. Maybe they included Chinese backdoors instead, but again, they wouldn't need a tiny piece of hardware for this MITM attack, since modern processors are all defective by design.

Chairman , 5 hours ago

I think I will start implementing this as an interview question. If a job candidate is stupid enough to believe this **** then they will not work for me.

DisorderlyConduct , 4 hours ago

Well, hmmm, could be. To update a PCB is actually really poor work. I would freak my biscuits if I received one of my PCBs with strange pads, traces or parts.

To substitute a part is craftier. To change the content of a part is harder, and nigh impossible to detect without xray.

Even craftier is to change VHDL code in an OTP chip or an ASIC. The package and internal structure is the same but the fuses would be burned different. No one would likely detect this unless they were specifically looking for it.

Kendle C , 5 hours ago

Well written propaganda fails to prove claims. Everybody in networking and IT knows that switches and routers have access to root, built in, often required by government, backdoors. Scripts are no big thing often used to speed up updates, backups, and troubleshooting. So when western manufacturers began shoveling their work to Taiwan and China, with them they sent millions of text files, including instructions for backdoor access, the means and technology (to do what this **** article is claiming) to modify the design, even classes with default password and bypass operations for future techs. We were shoveling hand over foot designs as fast as we could...all for the almighty dollar while stiffing American workers. So you might say greed trumped security and that fault lies with us. So stuff this cobbled together propaganda piece, warmongering ****.

AllBentOutOfShape , 5 hours ago

ZH has definitely been co-oped. This is just the latest propaganda ******** article of the week they've come out with. I'm seeing more and more articles sourced from well known propaganda outlets in recent months.

skunzie , 6 hours ago

Reminds me of how the US pulled off covert espionage of the Russians in the 70's using Xerox copiers. The CIA inserted trained Xerox copy repairmen to handle repairs on balky copiers in Russian embassies, etc. When a machine was down the technician inserted altered motherboards which would transmit future copies directly to the CIA. This is a cautionary tale for companies to cover their achilles heel (weakest point) as that is generally the easiest way to infiltrate the unsuspecting company.

PrivetHedge , 6 hours ago

What another huge load of bollocks from our pharisee master morons.

I guess they think we're as stupid as they are.

CashMcCall , 6 hours ago

But but but the story came from one of the chosen money changers Bloomberg... everyone knows a *** would never lie or print a false story at the market open

smacker , 7 hours ago

With all the existing ***** chips and backdoors on our computers and smartphones planted by the CIA, NSA, M$, Goolag & friends, and now this chip supposedly from China, it won't be long before there's no space left in RAM and on mobos for the chips that actually make the device do what we bought it to do.

Stinkbug 1 , 7 hours ago

this was going on 20 years ago when it was discovered that digital picture frames from china were collecting passwords and sending them back. it was just a test, so didn't get much press.

now they have the kinks worked out, and are ready for the coup de grace.

I Write Code , 7 hours ago

https://www.reddit.com/r/news/comments/9lac9k/china_used_a_tiny_chip_in_a_hack_that_infiltrated/?st=JMUNFMRR&sh=10c388fb

ChecksandBalances , 7 hours ago

This story seemed to die. Did anyone find anything indicating someone on our side has actually got a look at the malicious chip, assuming it exists? Technical blogs have nothing, only news rags like NewsMaxx. If 30 companies had these chips surely someone has one. This might be one huge fake news story. Why Bloomberg would publish it is kind of odd.

FedPool , 7 hours ago

Probably a limited evaluation operation to gauge the population's appetite for war. Pentagram market research. They're probably hitting all of the comment sections around the web as we speak. Don't forget to wave 'hi'.

Heya warmongers. No, we don't want a war yet, k thanks.

underlying , 7 hours ago

Since were on the topic let's take a look at the scope hacking tools known to the general public known prior to the Supermicro Server Motherboard Hardware Exploit; (P.S. What the **** do you expect when you have Chinese state owned enterprises, at minimum quasi state owned enterprises in special economic development zones controlled by the Chinese communist party, building motherboards?)

Snowden NSA Leaks published in the gaurdian/intercept

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/the-nsa-files

Wikileaks Vault 7 etc....

https://wikileaks.org/vault7/

Spector/Meltdown vulnerability exploits

https://leeneubecker.com/grc-releases-test-tool-spectre-and-meltdown-vulnerabilities/

Random list compiled by TC bitches

https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/09/names-and-definitions-of-leaked-cia-hacking-tools/

This does not include the private/corporate sector hacking pen testing resources and suites which are abundant and easily available to **** up the competition in their own right.

i.e., https://gbhackers.com/hacking-tools-list/

Urban Roman , 5 hours ago

Exactly. Why would they ever need a super-micro-man-in-the-middle-chip?

Maybe this 'chip' serves some niche in their spycraft, but the article in the keypost ignores a herd of elephants swept under the carpet, and concentrates on a literal speck of dust.

Moribundus , 8 hours ago

A US-funded biomedical laboratory in Georgia may have conducted bioweapons research under the guise of a drug test, which claimed the lives of at least 73 subjects...new documents "allow us to take a fresh look" at outbreaks of African swine fever in southern Russia in 2007-2018, which "spread from the territory of Georgia into the Russian Federation, European nations and China. The infection strain in the samples collected from animals killed by the disease in those nations was identical to the Georgia-2007 strain." https://www.rt.com/news/440309-us-georgia-toxic-bioweapon-test/

Dr. Acula , 8 hours ago

"In a Senate testimony this past February, six major US intelligence heads warned that American citizens shouldn't use Huawei and ZTE products and services." - https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/2/17310870/pentagon-ban-huawei-zte-phones-retail-stores-military-bases

Are these the same intelligence agencies that complain about Russian collusion and cover up 9/11 and pizzagate?

[Oct 04, 2018] US Sanctions Against Russia Are A Colossal Strategic Mistake, Putin Warns

Oct 04, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

US Sanctions Against Russia Are "A Colossal Strategic Mistake", Putin Warns

by Tyler Durden Thu, 10/04/2018 - 07:20 3 SHARES

As Russia is preparing plans to wean its banking system off the dollar, advancing a trend of de-dollarization among the US's largest economic and geopolitical rivals, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Washington of making a "colossal" but "typical" mistake by exploiting the dominance of the dollar by levying economic sanctions against regimes that don't bow to its whims.

"It seems to me that our American partners make a colossal strategic mistake," Putin said.

"This is a typical mistake of any empire," Putin said, explaining that the US is ignoring the consequences of its actions because its economy is strong and the dollar's hegemonic grasp on global markets remains intact. However "the consequences come sooner or later."

These remarks echoed a sentiment expressed by Putin back in May, when he said that Russia can no longer trust the US dollar because of America's decisions to impose unilateral sanctions and violate WTO rules.

While Putin's criticisms are hardly new, these latest remarks happen to follow a report in the Financial Times, published Tuesday night, detailing Russia's efforts to wean its economy off of the dollar. The upshot is that while de-dollarization may be painful, it is, ultimately doable.

The US imposed another round of sanctions against Russia over the summer in response to the poisoning of former double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, and the US Senate is considering measures that would effectively cut Russia's biggest banks off from the dollar and largely exclude Moscow from foreign debt markets.

With the possibility of being cut off from the dollar system looming, a plan prepared by Andrei Kostin, the head of Russian bank VTB, is being embraced by much of the Russian establishment. Kostin's plan would facilitate the conversion of dollar settlements into other currencies which would help wean Russian industries off the dollar. And it already has the backing of Russia's finance ministry, central bank and Putin.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin is also working on deals with major trading partners to accept the Russian ruble for imports and exports.

In a sign that a united front is forming to help undermine the dollar, Russia's efforts have been readily embraced by China and Turkey, which is unsurprising, given their increasingly fraught relationships with the US. During joint military exercises in Vladivostok last month, Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that their countries would work together to counter US tariffs and sanctions.

"More and more countries, not only in the east but also in Europe, are beginning to think about how to minimise dependence on the US dollar," said Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin's spokesperson. "And they suddenly realise that a) it is possible, b) it needs to be done and c) you can save yourself if you do it sooner."

Still, there's no question that US sanctions have damaged Russia's currency and contributed to a rise in borrowing costs. And whether Russia - which relies heavily on energy exports - can convince buyers of its oil and natural gas to accept payment in rubles remains an open question. Increased trade with China and other Asian countries has helped reduce Russia's dependence on the dollar. But the greenback still accounted for 68% of Russia's payment inflow.

But, as Putin has repeatedly warned, that won't stop them from trying. The fact is that Russia is a major exporter, with a trade surplus of $115 billion last year. As the FT pointed out, Russia's metals, grain, oil and gas are consumed around the world - even in the west, despite the tensions surrounding Russia's alleged involvement in the Skripal poisoning and its annexation of Crimea.

To be sure, abandoning the dollar as the currency of choice for oil-related payments would be no easy feat. But China has already taken the first step and show that it can be done by launching a yuan-denominated futures contract that trades in Shanghai - striking the most significant blow to date against the petrodollar's previously unchallenged dominance.

That should embolden Putin to continue with his experiment - not that the US is leaving him much choice.

[Oct 04, 2018] Top FBI Lawyer Flips Russia Probe Was Handled In Abnormal Fashion And Rife With Political Bias

Notable quotes:
"... James Baker, a former top FBI lawyer, told congressional investigators on Wednesday that the Russia probe was handled in an "abnormal fashion" and was rife with "political bias" according to Fox News , citing two Republican lawmakers present for the closed-door deposition. ..."
"... Lawmakers did not provide any specifics about the interview, citing a confidentiality agreement signed with Baker and his attorneys, however they said that he was cooperative and forthcoming about the beginnings of the Russia probe in 2016, as well as the FISA surveillance warrant application to spy on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. ..."
"... According to Fox , Baker "is at the heart of surveillance abuse allegations, and his deposition lays the groundwork for next week's planned closed-door interview with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein." ..."
Oct 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

James Baker, a former top FBI lawyer, told congressional investigators on Wednesday that the Russia probe was handled in an "abnormal fashion" and was rife with "political bias" according to Fox News , citing two Republican lawmakers present for the closed-door deposition.

"Some of the things that were shared were explosive in nature," Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told Fox News. "This witness confirmed that things were done in an abnormal fashion. That's extremely troubling."

Meadows claimed the "abnormal" handling of the probe into alleged coordination between Russian officials and the Trump presidential campaign was "a reflection of inherent bias that seems to be evident in certain circles." The FBI agent who opened the Russia case, Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page and others sent politically charged texts, and have since left the bureau. - Fox News

Baker, who worked closely with former FBI Director James Comey, left the bureau earlier this year.

Lawmakers did not provide any specifics about the interview, citing a confidentiality agreement signed with Baker and his attorneys, however they said that he was cooperative and forthcoming about the beginnings of the Russia probe in 2016, as well as the FISA surveillance