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How does the objective truth get disclosed in an environment of extreme deceit by so many parties?
How to trust western intelligence when they have such a long and sordid track record of deceit, lies and propaganda? At the same time there is such a long history of Russian and Chinese intelligence and information operations against the west.
Then there is the nexus among the highest levels of US law enforcement and intelligence as well as political elites in both parties and key individuals in the media complex.
We are living in a hall of mirrors and it seems the trend is towards confirmation bias in information consumption.
Excellent post, especially the debunking of the ‘Gerasimov doctrine’ which I always thought was more hand-waving and Russian mind-reading.
It's important to realize that there are a number of people in the infosec community who have biases against Russia, just as there are in the general population. Then there are more cautious people, who recognize the difficulty in attributing a hack to any specific person absent solid, incontrovertible, non-circumstantial and non-spoofable (and preferably offline) evidence.
Tait doesn't appear to be one of the latter. Thomas Rid would be another. There are others.
Jeffrey Carr is one of the latter, and his familiarity with intelligence matters is clear from his organization of the annual "Suits and Spooks" Conference. I believe he was the first to raise questions about the DNC hack which didn't pass his smell test.
There are also a number of companies in infosec who rely on latching onto a particular strain of hacker, the more publicly exploitable for PR purposes the better, as a means of keeping the company name in front of potential high-profile and highly billable clients. CrowdStrike and its Russia obsession isn't the only one that's been tagged with that propensity.
Mandiant could be referred to as the "Chinese, all the time" company, for example. Richard Bejtlich was at Fireeye and the became Chief Security Officer when they acquired Mandiant. He spent quite a bit of effort on his blog warning about the Chinese military buildup as a huge threat to the US. He's former USAF so perhaps that's not surprising.
Bottom line: Confirmation bias is a real thing.
One quick way to know their bias is the AC test. Google their name plus "Atlantic Council". Ridd fails badly.
Glad David's comment has been reproduced as a post in its own right, this is a critically important topic.
IMO Matt Tait plays the role of midwife in this conspiracy. His Twitter thread of June 15th 2016 mentions several "opsec fail"s in respect of 'Russian' metadata which, as you say, were then picked up by Ars Technica & others. So the meme was born. A key claim is that an error message in Cyrillic script appeared because one of the leaked docs was converted to pdf before being sent to Gawker - one of 2 press outlets to get a preview before Guccifer 2.0 published the docs on his blog. Adam Carter (@with_integrity), at http://g-2.space/ citing theforensicator (link below) says this is not true and that the error message in Cyrillic can only be generated via some technical contortions with the explicit intention of doing so.
I would challenge anyone reading Adam Carter's work to conclude that the G2 persona is anything other than misdirection specifically designed to point to Russia. The indictment itself has zero new evidence that can be analyzed and I suspect all the GRU detail is aimed at giving it the appearance of authenticity - even when subject to scrutiny by the IC itself. I think John Helmer is closest to the truth when he says: "...it may be a signal that US cyber agents can fabricate Russian tracks to deceive other US cyber agents; Mueller too."
The Comey, Brennan, Mueller claim - indeed a central one upon which the recent indictment rests- that Guccifer 2.0 was a Russian State agent that hacked the DNC- was discredited and put to rest last year by the forensics conducted by Bill Binney and his colleagues. The Guccifer 2.0 metadata was analyzed for its transmission speed, and based on the internet speeds to and from numerous test locations abroad and in the U.S., it was determined to have been impossible for the so-called Guccifer 2.0 to have hacked the DNC computers over the internet. The transmission speed however did correspond to the speed of the transfer to a thumb drive. Additionally, it was found that the data had been manipulated and split into two parts to simulate a July and a September transfer, when in fact the parts merge perfectly as single file, and where, according to Binney, the probability of the split being a coincidence would be 100 to the 50th power.
As for the crude trace fingerprints (e.g. the referencing of Dzerzinsky), one of the Wikileaks data dumps (Vault 7 Marble) during a period when Assange was negotiating with the Administration - there were two at the time (Vault 7 Marble and Vault 7 Grasshopper), the release of which apparently enraged Mike Pompeo- was designed to obfuscate, fabricate and frame countries such as Russia, Iran or North Korea by pretending to be the target country, including in the use of target's alphabet and language.
VIPs has written numerous articles on this in Consortium News. See also the report by Patrick Lawrence Smith in The Nation at: https://www.thenation.com/a.... (It was apparently so hot at the time- and disputed by several other VIPs members- that The Nation sought an independent assessment by third party, though those comments were easily addressed and dismissed in seriatim by Binney in an annex to the article.)
Binney has explained his forensic analysis and conclusions at numerous forums, and in a sit-down with Secretary Pompeo in October, 2017- though Mueller, the FBI, and mainstream and some of the alternative press seem either deaf, dumb and blind to it all, or interested in discrediting the study. The irony is, I'd venture to guess, that Binney, with his 40 years of experience, including as Technical Director and technical guru at the NSA, is, even in retirement, more sophisticated in these matters than any one at the Agency, or the FBI, or CIA, or certainly, the Congressional Intelligence Committees. So, it is astounding that any or all of them could have, but did not, invite him to testify as an expert.
Moreover, the NSA has a record of every transmission, and also would have it on backup files. And, the FBI has been sitting on Seth Rich's computer and his communications with Wikileaks, and presumably has a report that it has not released. And of course, as Trump asked in his press conference, where's the DNC server, any or all of which would put this question to rest.
A recent interview with Binney can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/wat....
Hopefully, Trump will get the message and get the job done.
The last clause of the first paragraph should have said: "according to Binney, the probability of the split being a coincidence would be one over 100 to the 50th power
More evidence for the at least passive complicity of GCHQ – for which Matt Tait used to work, and which Robert Hannigan used to run – in corrupt ‘information operations’ comes in a report yesterday on CNN.
(See https://edition.cnn.com/201... )
‘Police have identified two suspects in the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Thursday.
‘The pair left the UK in the wake of the attack on what is believed to have been a commercial flight, the source added.
‘Their departure was revealed in a coded Russian message to Moscow sent after the attack, which was intercepted by a British base in Cyprus, the source said. The British government blames the Skripals’ poisoning on Russia.’
The base in question is high up in the Troodos mountains, and is formally run by the RAF but actually a key resource for both GCHQ and NSA in monitoring communications over a wide area. According to an internal document from the former organisation, it has ‘long been regarded as a ‘Jewel in the Crown’ by NSA as it offers unique access to the Levant, North Africa, and Turkey’.
(See https://theintercept.com/20... .)
That the quote comes a report in ‘The Intercept’ in January 2016 revealing that one of the uses of the Troodos facility is to intercept live video feeds from Israeli drones and fighter jets brings out how paradoxical the world is. For it also appears to have emerged as an important resource in ‘information operations’ in support of ‘Borgist’ agendas.
The claim about intercepts incriminating the Russians over the Salisbury incident was first made in a piece by Marco Giannangeli in the Daily Express on 9 April, which followed up the claims which Colonel de Bretton-Gordon had been instrumental in disseminating, and was then widely picked up by the MSM.
(See https://www.express.co.uk/n... .)
It was headlined: ‘REVEALED: The bombshell Russian message intercepted on DAY of Skripal poisonings,’ and opened: ‘AN ELECTRONIC message to Moscow sent on the day former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent in Salisbury included the phrase “the package has been delivered”.’
Supposedly, this ‘prompted a young Flight Lieutenant to recall a separate message that had been intercepted and discounted on the previous day.’ The messages were ‘understood to have formed “just one part” of the intelligence packet which later allowed Prime Minister Theresa May to state it was “highly likely” that Russia was behind the attacks.’
As it happens, the same writer – Marco Giannangeli – had disseminated a parallel piece of palpable fiction on 1 September 2013, in the ‘Sunday Express’, in relation to the Ghouta ‘false flag.’
This one was headlined, even more melodramatically, ‘Senior Syrian military chiefs tell captain: fire chemicals or be shot; BRITISH intelligence chiefs have intercepted radio messages in which senior Syrian military chiefs are heard ordering the use of chemical weapons.’
Part of the story of how bogus claims about ‘smoking gun’ evidence from ‘SIGINT’ were used to support the attempt to use the Ghouta ‘false flag’ to inveigle the British and Americans into destroying the Syrian government was told in my SST post on the incident. However, to mix metaphors, I only scratched the surface of a can of worms.
In a report on the ‘Daily Caller’ site on 29 August 2013, Kenneth Timmerman claimed that the sequence had started with an actual intercept by Unit 8200 – the Israeli equivalent of GCHQ and NSA.
(See http://dailycaller.com/2013... .)
Claiming to base his account on Western intelligence sources, he suggested that:
‘According to these officers, who served in top positions in the United States, Britain, France, Israel, and Jordan, a Syrian military communication intercepted by Israel’s famed Unit 8200 electronic intelligence outfit has been doctored so that it leads a reader to just the opposite conclusion reached by the original report.’
While I am not in a position to establish whether his claim is or is not accurate, an AP report on the same day quoted ‘U.S. intelligence officials’ explaining that ‘an intercept of Syrian military officials discussing the strike was among low-level staff, with no direct evidence tying the attack back to an Assad insider or even a senior Syrian commander’.
(See https://www.salon.com/2013/... )
Meanwhile, Timmerman’s claim that ‘The doctored report was picked up on Israel’s Channel 2 TV on Aug. 24, then by Focus magazine in Germany, the Times of Israel, and eventually by The Cable in Washington, DC’ is supported by links to the relevant stories, which say what he claims they say.
Moreover, it seems clear that the 1 September 2013 report was an attempt to counter a – somewhat devastating – critique made in a 31 August post entitled ‘The Troodos Conundrum’ by the former British Ambassador Craig Murray, who had been closely involved with the facility during his time at the Foreign Office (and has written invaluable material on the Salisbury incident.)
(See https://www.craigmurray.org... .)
Precisely because of the closeness of the GCHQ/NSA collaboration, Murray brought out, there was indeed a major problem explaining why claims about ‘SIGINT’ had been central to the case made in the ‘Government Assessment’ released by the White House on 30 August 2013, but not even mentioned in the Joint Intelligence Community ‘Assessment’ produced two days before.
The answer, Murray suggested, was that the ‘intelligence’ came from Mossad, and so would not have been automatically shared with the British. But, given the superior capabilities of Troodos, if Mossad had it, the British should have also. So his claims ‘meshed’ with those by Timmerman and the AP, and the ‘Express’ report looks like a lame attempt at a cover-up.
Again however, one finds the world is a paradoxical place. As I noted in my SST post, detailed demolitions of the claims about ‘SIGINT’ in relation to Ghouta were provided both Seymour Hersh, in the ‘Whose sarin?’ article, and also on the ‘Who Attacked Ghouta?’ site masterminded by one ‘sasa wawa.’
Later, it became clear that this was likely to be the Israeli technology entrepreneur Saar Wilf, a former employee of Unit 8200. So this may – or may not – be an indication of deep divisions within Israeli intelligence.
Between 18 March and 31 April, a fascinating series of posts on the Salisbury incident appeared on the ‘Vineyard of the Saker’ blog. The author, who used the name ‘sushi’, was a self-professed IT professsional, who had however obviously acquired an extensive familiarity with ‘chemical forensics’ and appeared to have some experience of ‘SIGINT.’
(See https://thesaker.is/tag/sushi/ .)
In a 14 April post, ‘sushi’ produced a dismissal of the claims about ‘SIGINT’ implicating the Russians over the Salisbury incident quite as contemptuous as that which ‘sasa wawa’ had produced in relation to the claims about it incriminating the Syrian government over Ghouta.
Pointing to the implausibility of the story disseminated by the ‘Express’, he remarked that:
‘It is doubted that any message traffic is processed on Cyprus. It is more likely that the entire take is transmitted back to GCHQ in Cheltenham via a fibre optic link. There exabytes of take are processed, not by a bored flight lieutenant, but by banks of high speed computers.
‘Clearly someone in Cheltenham has committed a programming error. Anyone with any knowledge of secret communications knows that the code phrase used to confirm a murder in Salisbury is “small pizza, no anchovies.” ‘
Interestingly, another paper in the ‘Express’ group made a parallel claim in relation to the Khan Sheikhoun incident to that about the Ghouta incident, but the story was not picked up and may indeed have been suppressed.
On 9 April, the paper published a report headlined ‘Brit spies’ lead role in Syrian air strikes; RAF BASE IS ‘WEAPON.’ This claimed that ‘within an hour of the airstrike’, Troodos had intercepted communications revealing that nerve gas had been used, and had been delivered by jets from the Syrian Arab Air Force’s Shayrat Air Base.
(See https://twitter.com/EmpireE... .)
However, I would not like members of this ‘Committee of Correspondence’ to take away the impression that this is purely a one-way traffic, with villainous Machiavellian Brits corrupting innocent Americans.
Among the fanfare of disinformation which heralded the opening of Sir Robert Owen’s farce of an Inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko in January 2016, a key role was played by a barrage of reports with titles like ‘Alexander Litvinenko inquiry: NSA intercepts provide "proof" Russia ordered London murder.’ (‘You scratch my back, I scratch yours.)
(See https://www.independent.co.... .)
It then becomes interesting to look at the profile of Robert Hannigan published on the site of the ‘Royal United Services Institute’, after he became a ‘Senior Associate Fellow’ of that organisation last January, a year following his surprise resignation from GCHQ.
(See https://rusi.org/RobertHann... )
Quite clearly, this man must know where a lot of skeletons are buried, and have had a hand in burying some of them. People of this kind have a very great deal to lose, should the escalatory processes involved in the contest between Trump and the ‘Deep State’ in the United States cause such skeletons to start falling out of cupboards. Some of them could be at serious risk of doing the ‘perp walk’ – and should be.
I was drafting a response to the comment by ‘Barbara Ann’ – thanks for the link to the recent posts by Adam Carter – before going out. Returning and reading some very interesting comments, I think what I wanted to say has more general relevance.
One reason I am reading so much into ‘this Dzerzhinsky thing’ is the body of accumulating evidence that people like Tait are part of a system of networks which combine sanctimoniousness, corruption and stupidity in about equal measures. So some more examples may be to the point.
Different cases in which I have taken an interest come together in a post by Tait on the ‘Lawfare’ site on 13 March, entitled ‘U.K. Prime Minister's Speech on the Russian Poisoning of Sergei Skripal: Decoding the Signals.’
(See https://www.lawfareblog.com... .)
In support of the claim that in accusing Russia of a pioneering act of chemical terrorism Theresa May was relying upon accurate analysis from the ‘U.K. intelligence community’, Tait wrote that:
‘May then explained that Skripal was poisoned by a “military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia … one of a group of nerve agents known as ‘Novichok.’” She is laying out the basic groundwork for the government’s attribution to a nation state and, more specifically, Russia. At Porton Down, the U.K. has one of the world’s best forensic labs for analyzing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. With the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, this lab not only established that Polonium-210 was used but also which reactor in Russia it came from.’
In the event, as is by now well know, Boris Johnson’s claim that Porton Down scientists had told him that the agent which poisoned the Skripals came from Russia was specifically repudiated by the head of that organisation, Gary Aitkenhead, on 3 April. Our Foreign Secretary told a flagrant lie, and was exposed.
As I have shown in previous posts on this site, the ‘Inquiry’ conducted by Sir Robert Owen into the death of Litvinenko was patently corrupt. Moreover, it seems highly likely that, in fabricating ‘evidence’ to cover up what actually happened, Christopher Steele was doing a ‘dry-run’ for the fabrication of material in the dossier published by ‘BuzzFeed.’
In fact, however, Owen’s report made quite clear that the role of Porton Down was marginal. Furthermore, ‘Scientist A1’ from the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston quite specifically rejected the claim that ‘impurity profiling’ made it possible to establish that the source of the polonium was the Avangard facility at Sarov, her arguments being accepted by Owen. Either Tait has not bothered to read the report or very much of the coverage, or he is lying.
(For the report, see http://webarchive.nationala... . For some of the mass of evidence which Owen chose to ignore, see my discussions at http://turcopolier.typepad.... ; http://turcopolier.typepad....
What Porton Down did do was to use ‘impurity profiling’, which can produce ‘spectra’ identifying even the tiniest traces of substances, to frustrate the attempt to use the ‘false flag’ attack at Ghouta on 21 August 2013 to inveigle the American and British governments into destroying the Assad ‘régime’ and handing the country over to jihadists.
It may well be that this display of competence and integrity led to a ‘clampdown’ at the organisation, which encouraged Boris Johnson to believe he could get away with lying about what its scientists told him.
(See my defence and development of the crucial reporting by Seymour Hersh, at http://turcopolier.typepad.... .)
A general pattern which emerges is that the same small group of ‘disinformation peddlers’ resurfaces in different contexts – and the pattern whereby ‘private security companies’ are used to create a spurious impression of independence also recurs.
As I bring out in my piece on Ghouta, two figures who were critical in shaping the ‘narrative’ acccording to which Syrian government responsibility for the atrocity had been conclusively proved, were Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, formerly the former commanding officer of the UK Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regiment, and also NATO’s Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion, and Dan Kaszeta.
Immediately after the story of the poisoning of the Skripals on 4 March broke, the same duo reappeared, and have been as critical to shaping the ‘narrative’ about the later incident as they were to that about the former.
(For the piece by Kaszeta on ‘Bellingcat’ which introduced the ‘Novichok’ theme four days later, see https://www.bellingcat.com/... .)
This makes it particular interesting to look at the website of Kaszeta’s consultancy, ‘Strongpoint Security Limited’, in conjunction with the ‘Companies House’ documentation on the company.
(See http://strongpointsecurity.... ; https://beta.companieshouse... .)
One would have thought from the website that his company was a small, but hardly insignificant, player, in the field of ‘physical and operational security.’ As it happens, having filed ‘Total exemption small company accounts’ since its incorporation in May 2011, last December it filed ‘Micro company accounts’ for the year to 31 May 2017.
With a turnover of £20,000, staff costs of a bit more than half of that, and a profit of £394, we can see that although unlike Matt Tait’s, Kaszeta’s company did trade, if indeed it was his sole source of income, this pivotal figure in Anglo-American ‘disinformation operations’ was living on something less than $15,000 a year, at current exchange rates. (Pull the other one, as we say in Britain.)
This is all the more ironic, as the website brings out quite how critical a figure Kaszeta has been in obscuring the truth. From the bio he gives, we learn that having started as a Chemical Officer in the U.S. Army, he worked for 12 years in the White House, dealing with CBRN matters, before moving to Britain in 2008.
Among the articles to which he links on the site, we see his response in ‘NOW Lebanon’ in December 2013 to Hersh’s original ‘Whose sarin?’ piece on Ghouta, -- in which Kaszeta first introduced the famous ‘hexamine hypothesis.’
This – patently preposterous – suggestion that the presence of a single ‘impurity’ is a ‘smoking gun’ incriminating the Syrian government has echoed on into the clearly corrupt OPCW documents purporting to demonstrate that it was responsible for the 4 April 2017 Khan Sheikhoun attack.
Of some interest in understanding where Kaszeta he is coming from is what he describes as his ‘oldest (and most footnoted on Wikipedia)’ piece, which is an article published in 1988 on a site called ‘Lituanus’, on ‘Lithuanian Resistance to Foreign Occupation 1940-52.’
(See http://www.lituanus.org/198... .)
As to Colonel de Bretton-Gordon, it is of interest to look at the attempt to ‘finger’ the GRU over the Skripal poisoning published under the title ‘UK Poisoning Inquiry turns to Russian Agency in Mueller Indictments’ in the ‘New York Times’ last Sunday, and the response by the Russian Embassy in London to a question about it.
(See https://www.nytimes.com/201... ; https://www.rusemb.org.uk/f... .)
The response objects that ‘while the British authorities keep concealing all information concerning the investigation into the Salisbury incident, the newspaper has quoted “one former US official familiar with the inquiry”.’
It also asserts that that crucial evidence which has not been made available to the Russians – and here, as with Ghouta and Khan Sheikhoun, the results of ‘impurity profiling’ are critical – appears to have been shared not just with inappropriate Americans, but with all kinds of others.
And indeed, the Embassy is quite right in suggesting that the claim made by the supposed creator of ‘Novichok’, Vladimir Uglev, to the BBC in April about ‘all the spectrum data I was sent recently’ has neither been confirmed nor denied. This seems a general pattern – the ‘spectra’ which may actually be able to provide definitive answers to questions of responsibility are only provided to people who can be relied upon to give the ‘right’ answers.
The Embassy response also quite fairly refers to a report in the ‘Times’ also in April, about the ‘intelligence’ which had been ‘used to persuade world leaders that Moscow was behind the poisoning’ and that the ‘Novichok’ had been manufactured at the Shikhany facility at in southwest Russia, which stated that de Bretton-Gordon, ‘who had seen the intelligence, called it very compelling.’ He has a long history of lying about CW in Syria – so is obviously the right person to lie about them in the UK.
(See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/... ; https://www.thetimes.co.uk/... .)
It thus becomes interesting to probe into what lies behind the opening of de Bretton-Gordon’s entry on the ‘Military Speakers’ website (‘Real Heroes; Real Stories.’) According to this, he is ‘Chief Operating Office of SecureBio Ltd a commercial company offering CBRN Resilience, consultancy and deployable capabilities.’
(See http://www.militaryspeakers... .)
From ‘Companies House’, we learn that the liquidation of ‘Secure Bio’, which started in in June 2015, was concluded in August last year. The really interesting thing about the records, however, is that at the time of the liquidation the company had very large debts, which were written off, of a kind and in a manner which suggested that de Bretton-Gordon’s activities may have been largely funded by loans from untraceable sources which were not meant to be repaid.
(See https://beta.companieshouse... – in particular the ‘Statement of affairs’ dated 30 June 2015.)
Actually, with the ‘NYT’ report we come full circle. Among those quoted is Mark Galeotti – apparently his admission that he had totally misrepresented the thinking of the Russian General Staff has not him made more cautious about making extravagant claims about its Main Intelligence Directorate (misreported as Main Directorate by the ‘NYT.’)
Also quoted are two figures who play key roles in Owen’s Report – the Soviet era-GRU defector ‘Viktor Suvorov’ (real name ‘Vladimir Rezun’) and the former KGB operative Yuri Shvets. Both of these feature prominently in the posts on the Litvinenko affair to which I have linked, and both were key members of the ‘information operations’ network centred around the late Boris Berezovsky. This now seems to have taken control of American policy, as of British.
The role of ‘Suvorov’/Rezun in attempting to defend the interpretations of Stalin’s policy put forward by MI6 in the run-up to the Second World War, and those asserted later by General Keitel, and the way he was demolished by the leading American historian of the War in the East, Colonel David Glantz, and the Israeli historian Gabriel Gorodetsky, is too large a subject to go into here.
(For a brief review, see https://networks.h-net.org/... .)
However, it provides further reason to wonder whether the misreadings of Stalin’s policy which caused MI6 to give advice to Chamberlain which helped destroy the last chances of preventing the Nazi-Soviet Pact, may still be the ‘house view’ of that organisation. It was, obviously, the Pact which spelled ‘curtains’ both for Poland and the Baltics.
There is a pattern of abuse of formerly well regarded institutions to achieve the propaganda aims of the Deep State establishment. The depths that were plumbed to push the Iraq WMD falsehoods are well known. Yet no one was held to account nor was there any honest accounting of the abuse. There have been pretenses like the Owen inquiry that you note.
We see the same situation of sweeping under the rug malfeasance and even outright criminality through obfuscation and obstruction in the case of the meddling in the 2016 election by top officials in intelligence and law enforcement. Clearly less and less people are buying what the Deep State sells despite their overwhelming control of the media channels.
It seems that we are marching towards a credibility crisis similar to what was experienced in the Soviet Union when no one trusted the contents in Pravda.
What is to be gained by the leadership in Britain in promoting these biological weapons cases since Litvinenko? In the US it is quite apparent that the Deep State have become extremely powerful and the likelihood that Trump recognizes that resistance is futile is very high. Schumer may be proven right that they have six ways from Sunday to make you kowtow to their dictats.
"Yet no one was held to account"That was one of the changes being hoped for when Obama was first elected. Instead we got little, except for things such as bailed out bankers and the IRS scandal which lasted until the end of his 2nd term. The panic from the left over the 2016 election issues the are still going on is that the expected candidate isn't in office and they are being exposed. Whether they get prosecuted is another story.
David: Due to the deep knowledge you exhibit in your remarks above, I would be very interested in your thoughts on the bookChurchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the Worldby Patrick Buchanan.Buchanan, of course, is best known as an American pundit, political aide to Nixon and others, and political candidate himself, but he also has done much historical research, as several of his books, including this one, attest.As I said, it would be most interesting to hear what you have to say about his ideas.The Wikipedia article linked to above gives a fair outline of them.
As may be apparent from the comment I have just posted, I have been tied up trying to keep up with the mass of evidence which has been coming into the public domain as a result of recent events, which time and again takes me back to unfinished business in relation to matters which have been discussed on SST in which I have taken an interest.
The question you raise is a very important one, but requires consideration, and I will try to come back to it and say something reasonably sensible in the none-too-distant future.
David, I totally understand and agree with your prioritization. Yes, there really is a torrent of current issues coming to the fore.
When (if?) a more appropriate time comes for discussing the issues of the 1930s, please let me sharpen what prompted my query to you. It was in particular your statement"the misreadings of Stalin’s policy which caused MI6 to give advice to Chamberlain which helped destroy the last chances of preventing the Nazi-Soviet Pact".That is a facet of what Buchanan discussed.
BTW, if I might summarize Buchanan's argument:
Buchanan feels Britain should have stayed out of both World Wars.He feels that a German victory over France and Russia in WW1 would not have been such an awful thing as often depicted,and in 1939,he thinks the British guarantee to defend Poland against Germany's demands regarding the Danzig corridor was a terrible mistake.Germany's demands for access to Danzig were not unreasonable.And a war between Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany might have left both tyrannies weakened, while sparing the Western democracies.It's an interesting theory, anyhow.
I think Matt Tait, David Habakkuk and many others are reading far more into this Dzerzinsky thing than what it warrants. The government dependent ID cards used by my family while I was working as a clandestine case officer overseas were signed by Robert Ludlum. Intelligence officers often have an odd sense of humor.
On a different note, I fully endorse David Habakkuk's recommendation of the writings of Bartles, McDermott and many others at the Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth. They are top notch. I learned a lot from Tim Thomas many years ago.
I agree that taken by itself, the Dzerzinsky thing would be an anomaly only and could be dismissed as "black humor" of a kind often found in hackers.
However, taken with all the other evidence produced by Adam Carter, it becomes much more obviously an attempt to support a false flag "Russian hacker" narrative that otherwise is porous.
I believe there is a phrase going something like "an attempt to add verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative."
McDermott, while no doubt a capable observer, made a huge mistake with his 2010 review of Serdyukov's "reforms", especially when assessing a transition to a brigade structure as Russian Armed Forces' transition to a Netcentric Warfare. In reality this transition (fast reversed to division structure, especially in Western and Southern Districts in 2013) was basic and unscrupulous parroting of the US doctrines, which are barely applicable in Russian conditions. So, it is impossible to overlook that snafu on his part. It is especially strange since the discussion on this issue in Russia was enormously heated and highly public.
Thanks. Your informed, first-hand views are most appreciated.
I don't really care about your critique of academics but with regard to the "Godfather" trilogy you are quite wrong. I have never met an American who saw it as other than an entertainment. The thematic material may have some deep significance to people of Italian descent but that is about it. I have met more fascination with the films on the the part of Europeans than ever in America. The majority of Americans are ignorant of the outside world. They do not watch the news. They have never been abroad or if they have as a once in a lifetime experience they were herded around in tour groups, much as ordinary Russians are and were. They have been indoctrinated from childhood with the idea of the "city on a hill," the last best hope of mankind. Now they are told they are exceptional, much as the Brits thought they were exceptional in the empire and the Russians as they overran the Muslim peoples of the empire. No. It is not the Godfather series that has made this attitude. It is all the self glorifying people like the Mathers, Lincoln, T Roosevelt, Reagan, etc. who did this. what is your excuse for having produced the worst butcher in human history?
I think you must be thinking of my observations regarding Godfather Trilogy. The phrase, "make him an offer that he cannot refuse", just like "round up the usual suspects" earlier, has made it into popular culture because it expresses some underlying attitude.
You may recall the famous Kissinger interview in early 1970s when he described how Americans live by the Myth of the Lonely Cowboy, another mythos for another time.
I thought behind all those you mentioned was Yankee Puritanism. Once the Old South was destroyed the only check on them was removed and they proceeded to rebuild the United States into their own image.
When the Monarchy was overthrown in Iran, hezbollahis proceeded to rule the roost, since, courtesy of the Shah of Iran, all non-religious opposition had already been destroyed.
Did you ever meet Rudy Giuliani? He regards the Godfather as a lot more than entertainment.
He is of Italian descent.
I, actually, never stated that God Father influenced anyone, I just stated that I find it unappealing. In fact, I stated that I don't know what is the scale of this influence. Her is my response to Babak:
"I am not sure what is the scale of this influence--I personally don't find Godfather appealing in any sense, but what is ultimately true is the fact of American political class and, indeed, very many of those males being absolutely unaware of the nature and application of military power."
they were herded around in tour groups, much as ordinary Russians are and were
Ordinary Russians travel in groups, in person--anyway they want. There are group tours, millions of Russians travel not in groups. I know, I periodically fly with them.
TTG,You want us to believe that the GRU are so sloppy and so inexperienced that they would launch a hack on the DNC and not take every measure to ensure there was no link whatsoever to anything Russian? Any former intel officer worth a damn knows that an operation to disrupt the election in a country the size of the United States would start with a risk/reward assessment, would require a team of at least 100 persons and would not be writing any code that could in any way be traced to Russia.
Horseshit! Less than a year earlier than the DNC hack, the SVR Cozy Bear hackers took on the State Department and JCS systems and loudly fought tooth and nail against the NSA, CYBERCOM and FBI defenders for 24 hours. This was uncharacteristic of past Russian hacks where they really were ghosts, but times change and so does methodology. The GRU was sloppy, but they were not inexperienced. They got what they needed.
The Russians didn't disrupt the election. They merely sought to influence the election by leveraging existing faults in our electorate. Nothing novel or risky about the objective, but the plan was ingenious and the execution superb. I'm surprised the DNC hack would involve as many as 12 GRU officers. My team had several active operations against Russia, China and other targets and we never numbered more than 12.
One of the problems with attribution in these hacking cases is that it is not clear who did them. Especially in an environment where the attribution can be faked.
Wikileaks has released source code of CIA tools that can mislead investigators of cyber attacks.
Great piece as usual, David.Now I don't know nothing about nothing, but I have to say that it seems like the Russians are the most bumbling incompetents ever. So bad, that maybe we shouldn't even be too worried about them. First, when they want to kill dissidents, they can't just shoot them in the ear, throw them off the balcony or hit them with a truck. Instead, they have to nail them with a traceable radioactive pellet or use a signature super deadly bio warfare agent easily traced back to Russia; except the super deadly bio warfare agent isn't even all that deadly. It only kills 25% of the time. They hack into a major foreign power's election process and leave their cyber finger prints all over the hack so they can be caught and have sanctions placed on them and all manner of other negative consequences arise (no cost/benefit or risk/reward analysis performed during planning?). At the same time they create social media propaganda that is supposed to sway voters that looks like the product of a bunch of low budget stoned high school kids. Russians have no trade craft? They're just stupid? I don't get it. Nor do a lot of stinky gun and Bible clutching deplorables.
Unfortunately, the original author of this claptrap, Mark Galeotti, who, I regret to say, is, like Tait, British, has now recanted and confessed.
Doctrine-mongering and repeating birth of new faux-academic "entities", such as a "hybrid war" (any war is hybrid by definition), is a distinct feature of the Western "political science-military history" establishment. Galeotti, who for some strange reason passes as Russia "expert" is a perfect example of such "expertise" and doctrine-mongering. Military professionals largely met this "hybrid warfare" BS with disdain.
I have to say that the more I look into this whole Russiagate affair, which is mostly in the minds of democrats (and a few republicans) and the MSM, the more it seems that there is indeed a foreign conspiracy to meddle in the internal affairs of the US (and in the presidential elections) but the meddling entity is not Russia. It is the British!
So many (ex-) MI6 operators (Steele, Tait, etc) involved in the story. It is interesting that the media don't question the intense involvement of the British in all this. And of course, the British haven't been laggards in adding fuel to the fire by the whole novichok hoax.
This needs to be looked at in more detail by the alternative media and well informed commentators like the host of this site.
you are getting closer to home.keep scratching because under the surface you will find a scrap of paper with word "aequilibrium 04"
Long time reader and first time commenter.
Thank you, Colonel Lang and David Habakkuk.
It's interesting that DH mentions Sir Richard Dearlove. He's a former intelligence official and leading light in the Brexiteer movement.
His son Mark headed the EMEA capital markets business and Asia Pacific investment bank at Barclays. Having presided over markets at Barclays in London and chaired the wholesale markets committee at the British Bankers' Association, the trade body responsible for Li(e)bor, Dearlove was quietly promoted to a position in Asia when the scandal broke. He has never been questioned about his role in the scandal.
Are we responsible for our idiot children? I am not a Dearlove fan.