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Putin-did-it fiasco: Russiagate as a repretition of Bush's WMD fiasco

Putin-did-it conspiracy theory has too many holes in it. "Russian Hackers" is a way of saying that Trump stole the election from Hillary.

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  The original falsehood behind the Iraq War was that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and intended to use them against America either directly or by giving them to al-Qaeda. The opening lie about the Ukraine crisis was that Russian President Vladimir Putin instigated the conflict as part of some Hitlerian plan to conquer much of Europe.

Yet, while the Hussein-WMD claim was hard for the common citizen to assess because it was supposedly supported by U.S. intelligence information that was kept secret, the Putin-Ukraine lie collapses under the most cursory examination based simply of what’s publicly known and what makes sense.

Robert Parry

The tempest over whether Russian state hackers were behind the WikiLeaks release of Democratic Party emails is really a battle for the narrative of the 2016 Presidential election. Just as Bush v Gore gave birth to the slogan of an illegitimate Bush presidency, so do the Democrats (and some Republican anti-Trumpists) want “Putin stole the election for his friend Trump” to be the narrative of the Trump Presidency.

With the Republicans in control of Congress and the Presidency, the Russian hacking story is the last weapon in the Democrats’ arsenal. They will pursue it with vigor.

The Battle Over Russian Hacking Is Over The Legitimacy Of The Trump Presidency

Hacking accusation is a perfect propaganda tool, because usually nothing can be proven as form the time operation was performed to the time it was detected most traces are gone. And indirect evidence such as IP from which the attack came, code style, code page of discovered malware code, etc can easily be faked. Also unscrupulous security firms, hungry for funding, serve as a powerful amplifier, predicting rich variety of  propaganda warmongering alarmist nonsense the initiators want for free.  As most of such firms depends on government funding in no way they can say: Obama administration is lying, even is they see blatant discrepancies in the evidence presented. But discrepancies or complete absence of evidence is not a barrier for launching powerful propaganda campaign, brainwashing public in anti-Russian paranoia in cane of Obama administration, anti-Russian campaign. Not that Russians are perfect, but this is a clear case of pot calling the kettle black. 

Hacking accusation is a perfect propaganda tool, because usually nothing can be proven as form the time operation was performed to the time it was detected most traces are gone. And indirect evidence such as IP from which the attack came, code style, code page of discovered malware code, etc can easily be faked.

When it is the USA or its allied did it in Iran with Flame and Stuxnet they were protected by the USA status of superpower. There were no UN resolution condemning the USA for such blatant disregard of international norms and unleashing  a new, more dangerous phase of cyber war.  Most methods used in those works are not entered the arsenal of state actors as well as regular criminals, especially those who specialize on banking fraud. 

Who would risk calling the USA government irresponsible and gangrenous cybercriminals. But other countries are a fair play and can be scapegoated any time it is convenient. And what is more dangerous cyber attacks are perfect for false flag operations.

My impression is that if there were attempts to hack US sites from Russian IP space some of them were a false flag operation. As one commenter noted: "The Ukrainian government have been trying to drive a wedge between the West and Russia for years for their own political advantage."

If so the agenda outside obvious attempt to poison US-Russian relations just before Trump assumes presidency coincide with internal need of neocon fifth column in Washington, DC.  Neocon in Washington are really afraid of losing their level of influence and their lucrative positions. And there is the whole colony of such "national security professionals" in Washington DC. For example,  what other employment Robert Kagan can find, if he can't do anything useful outside his favorite Russophobic agenda? He might well to became  unemployed along with his wife, who brought us the Ukrainian disaster.  So in way there is some kind of neocon coupe which is centered on undermining the legitimacy of Trump election (The Battle Over Russian Hacking Is Over The Legitimacy Of The Trump Presidency):

The tempest over whether Russian state hackers were behind the WikiLeaks release of Democratic Party emails is really a battle for the narrative of the 2016 Presidential election. Just as Bush v Gore gave birth to the slogan of an illegitimate Bush presidency, so do the Democrats (and some Republican anti-Trumpists) want “Putin stole the election for his friend Trump” to be the narrative of the Trump Presidency. With the Republicans in control of Congress and the Presidency, the Russian hacking story is the last weapon in the Democrats’ arsenal. They will pursue it with vigor. We need desperately to study Russian hybrid warfare, but not in a narrow political forum.

The Washington Post’s “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House” cites unnamed sources “briefed on the matter” that "intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman."  The Post article cites an unnamed senior U.S. official that the "consensus view" of the intelligence committee is that Russia's goal was to get Trump elected.

President-elect Donald Trump's transition team has challenged the credibility of the CIA’s secret assessment: "These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction…The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and 'Make America Great Again.'"

The third player in this drama, Vladimir Putin, has remained consistent in his denials. In an interview carried by his foreign propaganda arm, RT, Putin declared:

“I wouldn’t know anything about it [hacked emails]. You know, there are so many hackers today and they work with such finesse, planting a trail where and when they need. Not even their own trail but masquerade their actions as those of other hackers acting from other territories, nations. It’s difficult to trace, if even possible. Anyway, we certainly don’t do such things on the state level.”

Putin’s press secretary denied Russian interference in the US election: “Russia will never intervene in the internal affairs, much less electoral process of other countries. Moscow scrupulously avoids any actions or words that could be regarded as direct or indirect interference in an electoral process.”

... ... ...

Trump has resisted pressure to agree that Russia was behind the hacks and was trying to get him elected. Instead, Trump has stated that “once they hack if you don't catch them in the act you're not going to catch them. They have no idea if it's Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place. I mean, they have no idea.” Trump’s political instincts are again serving him well. If he were to endorse the leaked intelligence community’s “high level of confidence” not only in the hacking but also in its intent, he would be signing on to the illegitimate President narrative the Democrats are pushing.

Here Ukrainians would be very convenient tools for  Putin-did-it agenda, especially during post election Monday morning quarterbacking. 200PM Water Cooler 12-30-2016 naked capitalism

UPDATE “With Russia sanctions move, Obama leaves Trump with tough choices” [Japan Times].

FWIW, I view Obama’s moves as half-hearted, particularly given that Clintonites regard Trump as a witting agent of Putin (that is, a traitor (hence, should be prevented from taking office on January 20 by any means necessary)). If Obama wanted to send a strong signal, he wouldn’t be closing down Russian compounds that have been around 44 years, he’d be recalling our Ambassador from Moscow.

I think he’s out to make life hard for Trump, and to get the Clintonites — and The Blob — off his back, and not much more.

We’ll see what the long-promised report shows, but my guess is that there will be no exposed evidence, and no named sources. That is, Obama’s case will be even worse than the case Bush put together to justify the Iraq War, which at least had the status of a National Intelligence Estimate and the benefit of an inter-agency process that produced dissent (in the form of footnotes).

... ... ...

“By all accounts, Bill and Hillary Clinton never had any such qualms, and now their quarter-century project to build a mutual buy-one, get-one-free Clinton dynasty has ended in her defeat, and their joint departure from the center of the national political stage they had hoped to occupy for another eight years. Their exit amounts to a finale not just for themselves, but for Clintonism as a working political ideology and electoral strategy” [Politico]. If this article, and Yglesias’s “Smoking Rubble” piece in Vox, are indicative of the political class hive mind, whatever the Clintonites are ginning up with their Russian War Scare isn’t going to work (ergo, Trump will take the oath of office on January 20.)

Yes, in a way Obama’s case is even worse than the case Bush put together to justify the Iraq War, which at least had the status of a National Intelligence Estimate and the benefit of an inter-agency process that produced dissent (in the form of footnotes).


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[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] 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 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 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 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] 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 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 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.

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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 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