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Demonization of Putin

Unending series of neoliberal MSM witch hunt and false flag operations by Western intelligence agencies
designed to weaken and discredit Russian leader

Reuters/David W Cerny

PseudoScience > Who Rules America > Pathological Russophobia of the US elite

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Europe has manufactured an artificial "Russian enemy"
 in order to create an artificial "European identity"

Guy Mettan

Demonization of Putin is integral part of policy of the US and British elite toward Russia, designed to weaken, and, if possible, dismember the Russian state. It is also an instrument of increasing national unity by creating a demonized external enemy.

Russophobia of the US elite should be understood in the context of Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism as Russia represent an obstacle for complete domination of the globe by the US neoliberal empire. Nothing personal here, just business. Recent statements by Putin made at Valday club in Sochi (October 24, 2014) also do not produce any love to Putin from the global and first of all the USA neoliberal elite as well as London-based financial oligarchy. Not accidentally for both the US and GB elite Putin is a "Great Satan".

Like anti-Semitism, Russophobia is based on standard mechanism of Demonization (Wikipedia):

In colloquial usage, the term demonization is used metaphorically to refer to propaganda directed on delitimization of particular individual or group.

Delegitimization is the psychological process which undermines or marginalizes an individual or entity by presenting value judgments as facts which are construed to devalue legitimacy. The ultimate goal of justifying harm or war.

The concept applies to a wide spectrum of social contexts but generally means categorization of individual or groups into extreme social categories which are ultimately excluded from society. Delegitimization provides the moral and the discursive basis to harm the delegitimized group, even in the most inhumane ways.

It is related to stereotyping in a sense that it leads to prejudice when people emotionally react to the name of the person, ascribe evil intention and characteristic to the person or group without evaluating objective evidence.

As always in such cases three-letter agencies are in the vanguard of such complains (Is the CIA Running a Defamation Campaign Against Putin - Russia Insider)

A major topic in the Russian media is mystification with how Putin is portrayed in the Western media. Wildly popular at home, and seen as a decent, modest, an admirable person, and Russians don't understand how there can be such a disconnect with Western impressions.

Recently, leading Russian commentators and politicians have been suggesting that this can only be explained by a deliberate campaign to defame Putin, by governments or other groups.

Yesterday, at a briefing to foreign journalists, Sergey Ivanov, Putin's chief of staff, arguably the 2nd most powerful man in Russia, spoke of an "information war" consisting of "personal attacks" on Putin.

The western media hit a new low...
>The day before another member of Putin's inner circle, Vyasheslav Volodin, made similar remarks, telling foreign journalists "an attack on Putin is an attack on Russia."

The logic, they argue, is that by defaming the leader of a country, you weaken his power domestically by undermining popular support for him, and internationally, by rallying popular opinion to support policies against that country. The ultimate goal, they argue, is to weaken the country itself. They also talk about regime change.

They argue that if one looks at the facts, that there is evidence of ongoing character assassination which cannot be explained by a vague popular zeitgeist in the West, but is more likely the result of a dedicated effort to introduce this defamation into the news flow.

Newsweek has been one of the most virulent Putin-bashers for years

The issue of manipulation of news by intelligence services has been in the news recently with revelations that the CIA and German Secret Service (GSS) have long-running programs to influence how media executives and top journalists convey and interpret the news, including direct cash payments.

Here are some examples they point to:

RI sat down with The Saker, a leading analyst of Russia in international affairs, and asked him what he thinks:

So, is there any credence to this line of thinking, or is this conspiracy theorists running wild?

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the US is waging a major psyop war against Russia, although not a shooting war, for now, and that what we are seeing is a targeted campaign to discredit Putin and achieve "regime change" in Russia or, should that fail, at the very least "regime weakening" and "Russia weakening".

And the Economist has been the very worst of them all...

So this is a US government program?

Yes, Putin is absolutely hated by certain factions in the US government two main reasons:

1. He partially, but not fully, restored Russia's sovereignty which under Gorbachev and Yeltsin had been totally lost … Russia then was a US colony like Ukraine is today … and,

2. He dared to openly defy the USA and its civilizational model.

… a free and sovereign Russia is perceived by the US "deep state" as an existential threat which has to be crushed. … this is a full-scale political assault on Russia and Putin personally.

So what the Russians are saying, that the constant personal attacks against Putin in the global media are partly the result of deliberate efforts by US intelligence services, … basically, planted stories…

Yes, absolutely

It seems like “Operation Mockingbird” all over again… Are you aware of other instances aimed at Putin?

(Editors Note: Operation Mockingbird was a CIA program started in the 1950s to influence the US media, which was gradually exposed by investigative journalists starting in the late 60s, culminating in sensational televised congressional hearings in 1975 which shocked the nation, forcing the program’s termination. Critics maintain that the same tactics have continued since, under different programs. Wikipedia)

Yes, of course. Since this defamation has very little traction with the Russian public … Putin's popularity is higher than ever before .., there is an organized campaign to convince them that Putin is "selling out" Novorussia, that he is a puppet of oligarchs who are making deals with Ukrainian oligarchs to back-stab the Novorussian resistance…

… So far, Putin's policies in the Ukraine have enjoyed very strong support from the Russian people who still oppose an overt military intervention…

… but if Kiev attacks Novorussia again - which appears very likely - and if such an attack is successful - which is less likely but always possible - then Putin will be blamed for having given the Ukrainians the time to regroup and reorganize.

Warm and fuzzy...

So you are saying that if the Ukrainian military strengthens its position enough to deliver a serious blow to the East Ukrainians, the US can use this as a method to strike at Putin’s support base…

Yes, that’s right ... there are a lot of "fake patriots" in Russia and abroad who will reject any negotiated solution and who will present any compromise as a "betrayal". They are the "useful idiots" used by western special services to smear and undermine Putin.

Is it limited to government special ops, or are there other groups who might have an interest in doing this?

Yes, well here is something that most people in the west don’t appreciate… there is a major behind-the scenes struggle among Russian elites between what I call the "Eurasian Sovereignists" (basically, those who support Putin) and what I call the "Atlantic Integrationists" (those whom Putin refers to as the "5th column).

The western media talks about this as the struggle between Russian liberals and conservatives, reformers and reactionaries, right?

Well its sort of like that, but not exactly…

The former see Russia's future in the Russian North and East and want to turn Russia towards Asia, Latin America and the rest of the world, while the latter want Russia to become part of the "North Atlantic" power configuration.

The Atlantic Integrationists are now too weak to openly challenge Putin - whose real power base is his immense popular support - but they are quietly sabotaging his efforts to reform Russia while supporting anti-Putin campaigns.

Regarding the revelations of CIA activities in Germany, do you think this is going on in other countries, in the US?

I am sure that this is happening in most countries worldwide. The very nature of the modern corporate media is such that it makes journalists corrupt.

As the French philosopher Alain Soral says "nowadays a reporter is either unemployed or a prostitute". There are, of course, a few exceptions, but by and large this is true.

This is not to say that most journalists are on the take. In the West this is mostly done in a more subtle way - by making it clear which ideas do or do not pass the editorial control, by lavishly rewarding those journalists who 'get it' and by quietly turning away those who don't.

If a journalist or reporter commits the crime of "crimethink" he or she will be sidelined and soon out of work.

There is no real pluralism in the West where the boundaries of what can be said or not are very strictly fixed.

Ok, but is it like what has been revealed in Germany, …similar specific operational programs in France, the UK, Italy, Latin America, etc.

Yes, one has to assume so – it is in their interests to have them and there is no reason for them not to.

As for the CIA, it de-facto controls enough of the corporate media to "set the tone". As somebody who in the past used to read the Soviet press for a living, I can sincerely say that it was far more honest and more pluralistic than the press in the USA or EU today.

Joseph Goebbels or Edward Bernays could not have imagined the degree of sophistication of modern propaganda machines.

If the US is doing it, can't one assume other governments are too? Are the Russians doing it against western leaders?

I think that all governments try to do that kind of stuff. However, what makes the US so unique it a combination of truly phenomenal arrogance and multi-billion dollar budgets.

The US "deep state" owns the western corporate media which is by far the most powerful media on the planet. Most governments can only do that inside their own country ... to smear a political opponent or discredit a public figure, but they simply do not have the resources to mount an international strategic psyop campaign. This is something only the US can do.

So foreign governments are at a great disadvantage in this arena vis-a-vis the US?

Absolutely.

Quotes from Putin speech and answers to the questions at the meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club

 


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[Jun 15, 2019] In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen NSA Tool Wreaks Havoc by Nicole Perlroth and Scott Shane

The idea that NonPetya was developed using NSA exploit EternalBlu is most probably false
Notable quotes:
"... Some F.B.I. and Homeland Security officials, speaking privately, said more accountability at the N.S.A. was needed. A former F.B.I. official likened the situation to a government failing to lock up a warehouse of automatic weapons. ..."
"... "I disagree completely," said Tom Burt, the corporate vice president of consumer trust, insisting that cyberweapons could not be compared to pickup trucks. "These exploits are developed and kept secret by governments for the express purpose of using them as weapons or espionage tools. They're inherently dangerous. When someone takes that, they're not strapping a bomb to it. It's already a bomb." ..."
"... Brad Smith, Microsoft's president, has called for a "Digital Geneva Convention" to govern cyberspace, including a pledge by governments to report vulnerabilities to vendors, rather than keeping them secret to exploit for espionage or attacks. ..."
May 25, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

For nearly three weeks, Baltimore has struggled with a cyberattack by digital extortionists that has frozen thousands of computers, shut down email and disrupted real estate sales, water bills, health alerts and many other services.

But here is what frustrated city employees and residents do not know: A key component of the malware that cybercriminals used in the attack was developed at taxpayer expense a short drive down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at the National Security Agency, according to security experts briefed on the case.

Since 2017, when the N.S.A. lost control of the tool , EternalBlue, it has been picked up by state hackers in North Korea, Russia and, more recently, China, to cut a path of destruction around the world, leaving billions of dollars in damage. But over the past year, the cyberweapon has boomeranged back and is now showing up in the N.S.A.'s own backyard.

It is not just in Baltimore. Security experts say EternalBlue attacks have reached a high , and cybercriminals are zeroing in on vulnerable American towns and cities, from Pennsylvania to Texas, paralyzing local governments and driving up costs. Advertisement

The N.S.A. connection to the attacks on American cities has not been previously reported, in part because the agency has refused to discuss or even acknowledge the loss of its cyberweapon, dumped online in April 2017 by a still-unidentified group calling itself the Shadow Brokers . Years later, the agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation still do not know whether the Shadow Brokers are foreign spies or disgruntled insiders.

Thomas Rid, a cybersecurity expert at Johns Hopkins University, called the Shadow Brokers episode "the most destructive and costly N.S.A. breach in history," more damaging than the better-known leak in 2013 from Edward Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.

"The government has refused to take responsibility, or even to answer the most basic questions," Mr. Rid said. "Congressional oversight appears to be failing. The American people deserve an answer."

The N.S.A. and F.B.I. declined to comment.

Since that leak, foreign intelligence agencies and rogue actors have used EternalBlue to spread malware that has paralyzed hospitals, airports, rail and shipping operators, A.T.M.s and factories that produce critical vaccines. Now the tool is hitting the United States where it is most vulnerable, in local governments with aging digital infrastructure and fewer resources to defend themselves.

On May 7, city workers in Baltimore had their computers frozen by hackers. Officials have refused to pay the $100,000 ransom. Credit .

Image
On May 7, city workers in Baltimore had their computers frozen by hackers. Officials have refused to pay the $100,000 ransom. Credit .

Before it leaked, EternalBlue was one of the most useful exploits in the N.S.A.'s cyberarsenal. According to three former N.S.A. operators who spoke on the condition of anonymity, analysts spent almost a year finding a flaw in Microsoft's software and writing the code to target it. Initially, they referred to it as EternalBluescreen because it often crashed computers -- a risk that could tip off their targets. But it went on to become a reliable tool used in countless intelligence-gathering and counterterrorism missions. Advertisement

EternalBlue was so valuable, former N.S.A. employees said, that the agency never seriously considered alerting Microsoft about the vulnerabilities, and held on to it for more than five years before the breach forced its hand.

The Baltimore attack , on May 7, was a classic ransomware assault. City workers' screens suddenly locked, and a message in flawed English demanded about $100,000 in Bitcoin to free their files: "We've watching you for days," said the message, obtained by The Baltimore Sun . "We won't talk more, all we know is MONEY! Hurry up!"

Today, Baltimore remains handicapped as city officials refuse to pay, though workarounds have restored some services. Without EternalBlue, the damage would not have been so vast, experts said. The tool exploits a vulnerability in unpatched software that allows hackers to spread their malware faster and farther than they otherwise could.

North Korea was the first nation to co-opt the tool, for an attack in 2017 -- called WannaCry -- that paralyzed the British health care system, German railroads and some 200,000 organizations around the world. Next was Russia, which used the weapon in an attack -- called NotPetya -- that was aimed at Ukraine but spread across major companies doing business in the country. The assault cost FedEx more than $400 million and Merck, the pharmaceutical giant, $670 million.

The damage didn't stop there. In the past year, the same Russian hackers who targeted the 2016 American presidential election used EternalBlue to compromise hotel Wi-Fi networks. Iranian hackers have used it to spread ransomware and hack airlines in the Middle East, according to researchers at the security firms Symantec and FireEye.

"It's incredible that a tool which was used by intelligence services is now publicly available and so widely used," said Vikram Thakur, Symantec's director of security response. Sign Up for The Daily Newsletter

Every Friday, get an exclusive look at how one of the week's biggest news stories on "The Daily" podcast came together.

One month before the Shadow Brokers began dumping the agency's tools online in 2017, the N.S.A. -- aware of the breach -- reached out to Microsoft and other tech companies to inform them of their software flaws. Microsoft released a patch, but hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide remain unprotected. Microsoft employees reviewing malware data at the company's offices in Redmond, Wash. EternalBlue exploits a flaw in unpatched Microsoft software.

Hackers seem to have found a sweet spot in Baltimore, Allentown, Pa., San Antonio and other local, American governments, where public employees oversee tangled networks that often use out-of-date software. Last July, the Department of Homeland Security issued a dire warning that state and local governments were getting hit by particularly destructive malware that now, security researchers say, has started relying on EternalBlue to spread.

Microsoft, which tracks the use of EternalBlue, would not name the cities and towns affected, citing customer privacy. But other experts briefed on the attacks in Baltimore, Allentown and San Antonio confirmed the hackers used EternalBlue. Security responders said they were seeing EternalBlue pop up in attacks almost every day.

Amit Serper, head of security research at Cybereason, said his firm had responded to EternalBlue attacks at three different American universities, and found vulnerable servers in major cities like Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.

The costs can be hard for local governments to bear. The Allentown attack, in February last year, disrupted city services for weeks and cost about $1 million to remedy -- plus another $420,000 a year for new defenses, said Matthew Leibert, the city's chief information officer.

He described the package of dangerous computer code that hit Allentown as "commodity malware," sold on the dark web and used by criminals who don't have specific targets in mind. "There are warehouses of kids overseas firing off phishing emails," Mr. Leibert said, like thugs shooting military-grade weapons at random targets. Advertisement

The malware that hit San Antonio last September infected a computer inside Bexar County sheriff's office and tried to spread across the network using EternalBlue, according to two people briefed on the attack.

This past week, researchers at the security firm Palo Alto Networks discovered that a Chinese state group, Emissary Panda, had hacked into Middle Eastern governments using EternalBlue.

"You can't hope that once the initial wave of attacks is over, it will go away," said Jen Miller-Osborn, a deputy director of threat intelligence at Palo Alto Networks. "We expect EternalBlue will be used almost forever, because if attackers find a system that isn't patched, it is so useful." Adm. Michael S. Rogers, who led the N.S.A. during the leak, has said the agency should not be blamed for the trail of damage. Credit Erin Schaff for The New York Times

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Until a decade or so ago, the most powerful cyberweapons belonged almost exclusively to intelligence agencies -- N.S.A. officials used the term "NOBUS," for "nobody but us," for vulnerabilities only the agency had the sophistication to exploit. But that advantage has hugely eroded, not only because of the leaks, but because anyone can grab a cyberweapon's code once it's used in the wild.

Some F.B.I. and Homeland Security officials, speaking privately, said more accountability at the N.S.A. was needed. A former F.B.I. official likened the situation to a government failing to lock up a warehouse of automatic weapons.

In an interview in March, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, who was director of the N.S.A. during the Shadow Brokers leak, suggested in unusually candid remarks that the agency should not be blamed for the long trail of damage. Advertisement

"If Toyota makes pickup trucks and someone takes a pickup truck, welds an explosive device onto the front, crashes it through a perimeter and into a crowd of people, is that Toyota's responsibility?" he asked. "The N.S.A. wrote an exploit that was never designed to do what was done."

At Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Wash., where thousands of security engineers have found themselves on the front lines of these attacks, executives reject that analogy.

"I disagree completely," said Tom Burt, the corporate vice president of consumer trust, insisting that cyberweapons could not be compared to pickup trucks. "These exploits are developed and kept secret by governments for the express purpose of using them as weapons or espionage tools. They're inherently dangerous. When someone takes that, they're not strapping a bomb to it. It's already a bomb."

Brad Smith, Microsoft's president, has called for a "Digital Geneva Convention" to govern cyberspace, including a pledge by governments to report vulnerabilities to vendors, rather than keeping them secret to exploit for espionage or attacks.

Last year, Microsoft, along with Google and Facebook, joined 50 countries in signing on to a similar call by French President Emmanuel Macron -- the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace -- to end "malicious cyber activities in peacetime."

Notably absent from the signatories were the world's most aggressive cyberactors: China, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Russia -- and the United States.

[Jun 15, 2019] Two filthy NYT neocons try to provoke Russia to attack the USA power grid

Looks like NYT provocation. Coordinated with whom? With Brennan and his cabal?
I wonder what will be reaction of Russian authorities and military intelligence on reading this stupid provocation. Hopefully they will not overreact.
Notable quotes:
"... I think they're revealing it because it may be for Russian ears, but not necessarily true or as good as stated. Misinformation abounds, especially when they're letting the press in. Mass destruction anyone? In Reply to Socrates ..."
"... While Obama and Trump are obviously different in some ways, this article reveals yet another continuity between their administrations. Burgeoning attacks on a foreign country's power grid, and little need for prior approval and oversight. ..."
"... Given the timing and the decision to talk about something so classified just now, I take this to be a threat aimed at Iran. "General Nakasone had been deeply involved in designing an operation code-named Nitro Zeus that amounted to a war plan to unplug Iran if the United States entered into hostilities with the country." The leak is an escalation, a threat. ..."
"... This will not end well. The unspoken assumption behind this issue is that the US assumes it must have dominance in all relations to other countries, and that moral outrage for such acts do not apply to us, because we are the "good guys" of course. ..."
"... It's always the big-mouth in the bar that starts the bar fight, then he sneaks out the side door while the rest of us get hit with beer bottles. ..."
"... What about attaching a price to the US's misdeeds, there are plenty of them, Iraq, and all the other US forced regime changes or attempted regime change as in Syria and Venezuela. ..."
"... Giving the military the authority to decide if and when a cyber attack occurs seems unconstitutional. And it seems very dangerous. Just because the actions originate on computer networks doesn't mean it's not violence against a foreign power. Even though everyone is dancing around the issue, a cyber attack is an act of war. Congress is supposed to make decisions on attacks by the military. It seems very Dr. Strangelove-like to me. Very risky giving a military commander the authority to start a war. ..."
"... Of course, the problem with all these "implants" and zero-day exploits is that once they are out there, they are readily deconstructed, repurposed, and turned back to bite us in new form, as has already happened on numerous occasions. ..."
"... To this day you have people believing that it was okay to not only finance the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, but indoctrinate their children to be war fighters. There's nothing to be proud about this "moral" leadership. ..."
"... Sure, the US can install malware deep inside Russia's grid. But that doesn't mean that the American cyberwar gambit is effective. And it doesn't mean that the US has the capacity to prevent Russia from using malware to inflict even deeper damage on the American grid. ..."
"... To understand exactly who is probably getting the better of who in this conflict, we need to ask ourselves what motivates Russia and America to fight this conflict. The answer doesn't bode well for Americans. Russia, which has been on the defensive since the fall of the USSR three decades ago, is fighting to protect its sovereignty against American encroachment. ..."
"... We could have mandated IPV6 with its better security model twenty years ago. We could encourage end-to-end encryption to secure networks. We could have directed the NSA and other security agencies to search out and fix bugs in software libraries instead of building backdoors that are now open to everyone. Instead everything gets converted to a weapon. Fear reigns supreme. Then we go to war and the merchants of death make huge profits ..."
"... The U.S. escalates cyber attacks on Russia's power grid. However, the Pentagon [and NSA] will not brief Trump because he might "countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials" as he did before with the Russians. Folks, we're running an unchecked cyber war against a global nuclear power without the involvement of POTUS who isn't interested, doesn't care, and is too busy complaining about CNN on Twitter. We are a banana republic and no one is minding the store ..."
"... I just don't get it. The New York Times publishing what surely must be classified information about a secret incursion by the U.S. government into the Russian power grid! And Julian Assange is criminally charged for doing the same thing? ..."
"... The US is certainly a very offensive country. The US Is considered The Exceptional World Leader. I don't know if the world can survive such leadership. The US is going to drown in its military superiority, and settle into a state of violent mediocrity with a poorly educated, somewhat unhealthy citizenry with loads of of weaponry, poor mental health and lots of drug addiction and a country with the world's highest rate of incarceration and lousy infrastructure. ..."
"... And for all of those who are blaming Russia, kindly remember how the U.S. started all this with the creation and deployment of Stuxnet against Iran. ..."
"... This reminds me of the Cold War. We were sold a bill of goods about Russia's capacity to harm us when, we the US was actually the aggressor, JFK sold this under the brand of "Missile Gap". The United States is, as usual, the aggressor here. The US Empire wants to control the world. Any independent nation will be considered a threat and not be tolerated. This demonization of Russia is an embarrassment and worse, is extremely dangerous, The Russian bear is not to be trifled with, despite American fantasies. ..."
"... The world needs a Cyber Geneva Convention. Immediately if not years ago. All the tunnel vision patriotic cheering in these comments is very alarming. Think about where Cyber War could go, what it could do, who it would harm. ..."
"... This is the path to the military itself becoming a danger to the state through ill-considered unilateral action. ..."
"... "Defend forward?" A new entry in the Newspeak dictionary... We are partying like it's 1984. ..."
"... "Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction..." So the commander of United States Cyber Command, Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, decided to undertake an overt act of war and not tell his Commander in Chief because he thought he might disagree? If true, Trump should fire this guy tomorrow, if not court-martial him for insubordination. ..."
"... Something's wrong with this article. A newspaper is telling the world that the US is messing around with Russia's power grid? Shouldn't this be super confidential? Basically now Russians are allowed to re tagliate in any way for what the USA is doing. What would be the reaction of the US if the situation was reversed? A bunch of blackouts in NYC, Chicago, San Francisco and the Russians saying "we did it"? Our military would bomb them right away! ..."
"... GREAT ! A military junta within the Trump regime...what could go wrong. ..."
"... There is a real danger in deploying cyber-mines in adversary systems. All code can be broken and used in retaliation. Even so-called "encapsulated" code can be disassembled. STUXNET was disassembled and repurposed as ransom-ware. ..."
Jun 15, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Bruce Rozenblit Kansas City, MO 11h ago

This is very disturbing and it threatens the security of the entire planet. Cyber warfare is cheap. As this technology continues to develop, no nation, no industry, no utility will be safe. Just as many nations want the bomb, many will want this capability and they don't have to spend much to have it. The economic and human costs of disrupting power flows could be huge. This isn't a video game. It is real warfare. We should be extremely cautious with the application of these cyber tools. Do we want to live in a world where nation states are actively trying to cripple any infrastructure they can get at? Talk about the war of all against all. It is also very troubling that organizations within our government can carry out these incursions without specific orders from the top of our command structures. We can't have the dept. of this or that conducting assaults on other nations on their own. Everyone can see where that aircraft carrier is, but no one can see that malware hiding in a water treatment center. These weapons cause us to lose our ability of command and control. That's the real danger here, loss of command and control. We already have president who has command but no control. We don't need a dozen agencies with the same problem.
alanore or 9h ago
@TMah

I think they're revealing it because it may be for Russian ears, but not necessarily true or as good as stated. Misinformation abounds, especially when they're letting the press in. Mass destruction anyone? In Reply to Socrates

Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ 8h ago
@Marcus Aurelius

"the action inside the Russian electric grid appears to have been conducted under little-noticed new legal authorities, slipped into the military authorization bill passed by Congress last summer. " That bipartisan bill, now law, is known as "H.R.5515 - The John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019", was reluctantly signed by Donald Trump; he hated the law because it was named after an American patriot and hero that he hated.

JDM South Bend, IN June 15
While Obama and Trump are obviously different in some ways, this article reveals yet another continuity between their administrations. Burgeoning attacks on a foreign country's power grid, and little need for prior approval and oversight.
David G. Wisconsin 11h ago
How did we ever survive for half a century without putting our power grid on the internet? Get our power back off the internet, create some extra jobs to do what computers do now, raise prices a couple of percent to cover the new employees, and avoid the worry about hacking the grid. 2 Replies
Mark Thomason Clawson, MI 6h ago
Given the timing and the decision to talk about something so classified just now, I take this to be a threat aimed at Iran. "General Nakasone had been deeply involved in designing an operation code-named Nitro Zeus that amounted to a war plan to unplug Iran if the United States entered into hostilities with the country." The leak is an escalation, a threat.
William Wroblicka Northampton, MA 4h ago
It seems to be common knowledge that our country's electric grid has been infiltrated by the Russians. What I don't understand, given this situation, is why the compromised systems can't be purged of any malware that might be present and the security holes that allowed it to be installed in the first place patched.

Retail software companies (e.g., Microsoft) are finding security vulnerabilities in and releasing updates to their products all the time. What's so different about industrial software systems?

Scott Newton San Francisco , Ca 6h ago
This will not end well. The unspoken assumption behind this issue is that the US assumes it must have dominance in all relations to other countries, and that moral outrage for such acts do not apply to us, because we are the "good guys" of course. Almost anything that another country can be accused of (interfering in elections, cyber-espionage, stealing trade secrets and technology) is something almost surely done by the US first to others. I applaud the NYT for reporting this, but reporters should question the reasoning behind it a bit more. 1 Reply
itsmildeyes philadelphia 8h ago
It's always the big-mouth in the bar that starts the bar fight, then he sneaks out the side door while the rest of us get hit with beer bottles. Sure wish the bouncer had stopped DJT and his entourage at the door.
CK Rye 11h ago
@Socrates - But keep in mind: just any blue will NOT do. Reject Neoliberals without hesitation! In

Reply to Mauichuck

KC Okla 4h ago
They're what? My son graduated in 2002 and we've been at war or trying to start one ever since. Can we not do anything but build weapons of death and destruction and look for ways to put them to use? This war thing is getting out of control.
Lucy Cooke California 8h ago
@GV

What about attaching a price to the US's misdeeds, there are plenty of them, Iraq, and all the other US forced regime changes or attempted regime change as in Syria and Venezuela.

The US has wrecked lots of countries with its superior military and awesome financial clout. The US is going to drown in its military superiority, and settle into a state of violent mediocrity with a poorly educated, somewhat unhealthy citizenry with loads of of weaponry, poor mental health and lots of drug addiction and a country with the world's highest rate of incarceration and lousy infrastructure.

If the US would just drown quickly, before it destroys the livability of the world, perhaps Europe, Russia and China could cooperate enough to save the world.

Michael Chicago 11h ago
Giving the military the authority to decide if and when a cyber attack occurs seems unconstitutional. And it seems very dangerous. Just because the actions originate on computer networks doesn't mean it's not violence against a foreign power. Even though everyone is dancing around the issue, a cyber attack is an act of war. Congress is supposed to make decisions on attacks by the military. It seems very Dr. Strangelove-like to me. Very risky giving a military commander the authority to start a war. 1 Reply
LiorSamson Mass 6h ago
Of course, the problem with all these "implants" and zero-day exploits is that once they are out there, they are readily deconstructed, repurposed, and turned back to bite us in new form, as has already happened on numerous occasions.

Those of us in the cybersecurity community have been sounding the alarm for more than a decade, whether in professional papers, the general press, or in fictionalized accounts. With escalation, we are virtually inviting the Russians to mount counterattacks, the cost of which could be incalculable. Our natural gas transmission network may be even more vulnerable than our power grid, as an industry insider confessed to me prompting the writing of Gasline in 2013. Of course, now we have Trump on the trigger and...

Clearwater Oregon June 15
I can't wait until this US president is gone so that our future Executive branch can directly and positively (not out of self interest or hind-covering denial) get back to the the table with Russia and bring about real change on both sides. If we don't, one has to assume that all types of cold war warfare can lead to a thermonuclear exchange.

That has always been the potential endgame since 1948. Did you think that was no longer possible after 1991? You, like myself, were being naive. I think it's more possible now than ever before. For we have two authoritarians, each carrying a football named, Doom. 1 Reply

Viv . 11h ago
@William Romp In the abstract, of course people hold positive views of their "enemy" nations. In practice, it is not at all true. You don't need to travel to Russia to find Russians who have been victims of American xenophobia and bigotry. They're right there in America. Americans has never really held to "moral" standards of war. To this day you have people believing that dropping atomic bombs on civilians was the right thing to do because it "minimized" loss of life. This is absurd.

To this day you have people believing that it was okay to not only finance the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, but indoctrinate their children to be war fighters. There's nothing to be proud about this "moral" leadership. In Reply to Viv

Ted McGuire 3h ago
Sure, the US can install malware deep inside Russia's grid. But that doesn't mean that the American cyberwar gambit is effective. And it doesn't mean that the US has the capacity to prevent Russia from using malware to inflict even deeper damage on the American grid.

To understand exactly who is probably getting the better of who in this conflict, we need to ask ourselves what motivates Russia and America to fight this conflict. The answer doesn't bode well for Americans. Russia, which has been on the defensive since the fall of the USSR three decades ago, is fighting to protect its sovereignty against American encroachment.

The US, meanwhile, isn't fighting because it has to. America is fighting Russia simply to aggrandize its own power, and to expand its influence over world affairs. In my opinion, Russia is the power that has greater motivation to win this fight. For this reason, any American effort to defeat Russia by using cyberwarfare is likely to trigger a devastating Russian response. The US should quit while it's ahead. 1 Reply

rbitset Palo Alto 4h ago
Reagan talked about a missile shield, a Star Wars defense, that would make nuclear weapons obsolete. Almost 40 years later we know that was a pipe dream. But we can be safe in cyberspace. Many of the tools are there. A few more might need to be invented. What stands in the way? A U.S. government that wants, claims to need, to spy on everyone including its citizens stands in the way. Businesses that want to vacuum up and sell everyone's information stand in the way. Hardware companies that want to lease you a networked service instead of a stand alone device stand in the way.

We could have mandated IPV6 with its better security model twenty years ago. We could encourage end-to-end encryption to secure networks. We could have directed the NSA and other security agencies to search out and fix bugs in software libraries instead of building backdoors that are now open to everyone. Instead everything gets converted to a weapon. Fear reigns supreme. Then we go to war and the merchants of death make huge profits.

Bruce1253 San Diego 8h ago
@B. Rothman Micro grids would be helpful, yes, but what about large businesses? Say the ones who make the fuel for your home furnace, or that power the compressors for your natural gas? Or that power the giant freezers at the plant that makes your french fries? My point is that we are really interconnected, and vulnerable to attacks as described in this article. This is the kind of thing that gives the cyber security pro at you local utility nightmares. We are balanced on a ball. In Reply to Eric Peterson
Dave Madison. WI 11h ago
@M. Casey - Here we go with "timidity" and Obama. At the time, and in keeping with the strategy to withhold knowledge of our cyber reach into their systems, Obama's decision probably made sense. Such a thoughtful approach would have benefited us in the phony, "Weapons of Mass Destruction" war against Iraq, which cost thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. Such a thoughtful approach, which is anathema to chest-pounding chickenhawks, would have also been useful in Vietnam. And the Falklands. And Beirut. And Cuba and... In Reply to JM
Pelasgus Earth 5h ago
Electricity generation and reticulation worked perfectly satisfactorily before the internet, so why does it need to be connected to the internet? The obvious solution to attacks on systems is to cut the internet out of the equation. 2 Replies
Barbara SC 8h ago
@Bruce1253 I have lived through hurricanes that caused power outages for a week or more. Puerto Ricans can tell us just what it's like right now, given the damage they experienced recently. Our forebears lived without power for centuries. We would survive, but we wouldn't enjoy it. In Reply to Larry L
Mark Kinsler Lancaster, Ohio USA 2h ago
Some thoughts from an obsolete old power engineer:

(1) For the most part our power grid can be run by people at the substations and generating plants. There are always manual overrides--to wit: big levers with handles that actuate big switches. This is not a new development, for the systems were initially designed for manual operation. The digital relays were added later.

(2) The whole business makes power guys cringe, for they've been trained to keep the system going. But if necessary, every section of the power grid can be brought back to life by the employees.

(3) No public utility can operate reliably in a war or anywhere else that's lacking basic civil behavior. I'm surprised that cell phones have done so well in combat zones, for they rely on cables to link the towers.

JAS3rd Florida 11h ago
Overdue indeed. Unfortunately, if the U.S. doesn't do it, we would just disadvantage ourselves.
Aaron VanAlstine DuPont, WA 6h ago
The U.S. escalates cyber attacks on Russia's power grid. However, the Pentagon [and NSA] will not brief Trump because he might "countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials" as he did before with the Russians. Folks, we're running an unchecked cyber war against a global nuclear power without the involvement of POTUS who isn't interested, doesn't care, and is too busy complaining about CNN on Twitter. We are a banana republic and no one is minding the store
ldc Woodside, CA 7h ago
@Mark. Ok, but it is inconceivable that either the national security apparatus or his own advisors would have conspired to keep Obama in the dark because they didn't trust him. In Reply to Mark
Hardbop50 Ohio 4h ago
It's clear that most American, including many Times' readers don't understand Putin's strategy toward the U.S. and other democracies of western Europe. The real danger is his attack on our political system and democratic values. While an aggressive cyber defense and hardening of targets is important, cyber operations also need to undermine Russians' confidence in Putin and his government. There are plenty of ways to spread fake news and paranoia in Russia social and political media. The sanctions are our best "weapon". They hurt Russian economy and threaten wealthy oligarchs. If they didn't, why would Putin try so hard to squash them. Unfortunately, the President fails to enforce or expand them. Any guesses why he undermines sanctions?
Mike Ransmil San Bernardino June 15
that's not nice of the US.---disrupting Russia's power [grid]. They will not be happy about this. Donald can expect a phone call from Vladimir, expressing his displeasure!
Eugene NYC 6h ago
The problem, as usual is management. It is not possible underestimate management. Those of us on Long Island were without power after Sandy. In portions of The Rockaways, some 20' or more above sea level, National Grid turned off the power for 15 days. So we know what it is like to have no power. Having solar cells on the roof is no solution because LIPA / PSEG-LI REQUIRES the system to shut down if grid power drops!

But the real question must be, why is the electrical grid vulnerable? Do the control systems use PCs, or rock solid IBM z/OS architecture? Has any z/OS system ever been compromised? Why aren't individual electric systems designed to operate off the regional and therefore national grid in the event of a failure? And whatever happened to synchronous encrypted communication over secure leased lines? These problems are not difficult to solve. They only require a desire. Mr. Cuomo, are you listening?

Ross Stuart NYC 7h ago
I just don't get it. The New York Times publishing what surely must be classified information about a secret incursion by the U.S. government into the Russian power grid! And Julian Assange is criminally charged for doing the same thing? 2 Replies
Doremus Jessup On the move 8h ago
George Orwell would have a great time with all this.
Lucy Cooke California 11h ago
The US is certainly a very offensive country. The US Is considered The Exceptional World Leader. I don't know if the world can survive such leadership. The US is going to drown in its military superiority, and settle into a state of violent mediocrity with a poorly educated, somewhat unhealthy citizenry with loads of of weaponry, poor mental health and lots of drug addiction and a country with the world's highest rate of incarceration and lousy infrastructure.

If the US would just drown quickly, before it destroys the livability of the world, perhaps Europe, Russia and China could cooperate enough to save the world. Or, if enough citizens vote for Senator Bernie Sanders for President, the US could refresh its world leadership with a sane, even wise foreign policy and provide citizens with quality education for all, health care for all, better infrastructure, and, mostly, A FUTURE TO BELIEVE IN. 1 Reply

Mike Iker Mill Valley, CA 7h ago
It's been pointed out for years that our much higher level of internet control of our systems makes us more vulnerable to cyber attacks that Russia or China or Iran and certainly N. Korea. If this story is getting out, and based on the thesis that nothing happens by accident in the political world, the source must think that our defenses are strong enough to more than offset our inherent vulnerabilities. I hope that's true.
Roger Alaska June 15
The fact that we have implanted code is well-known, or at least should be. To say there has been only a handful of offensive operations is either purposely deceitful or shows the lack of access by the person quoted.
Lauren SW Virginia 6h ago
"Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction -- and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister." Sigh.... our prez. Our number one threat to National Security.
Charles M Saint John, NB, Canada 11h ago
@HonorB14U Always? Who went first into space? If you were a trained technical person in control systems you'd know the names of lots of Russians who made fundamental break-throughs in understanding - more Russian names than I can recall American names. In Reply to HonorB14U
free range upstate 6h ago
This mutual insanity results from the disease people all around the world suffer from: the nation-state. Nation-states, in their modern form only four hundred years old, have taken the world hostage through feverish calls to nationalism and patriotism, deliberately confusing in our minds cultural identity with the nation-state. But cultural identity is not dependent on the nation-state! Either we find a way to free our cultural identities from those in power or, if and when this insane posturing leads to war, we pay the ultimate price of losing our lives.
Woof NY 11h ago
@jrinsc Re to freeze Russian oligarchs out of their ill-gotten assets. London is where Russian oligarchs store their assets See link below No US government has taken on the "City" (UK equivalent of Wall Street) on that issue https://www.economist.com/leaders/2018/10/11/londons-financial-flows-are-polluted-by-laundered-money 16 Replies
Lawrence Colorado 4h ago
Upgrading the grid to be more resilient to hacking and also to better accommodate wind and solar would be a significant, smart, long term investment. It would improve something we all use that really needs improving. It would help reduce our carbon footprint. It would generate good jobs here in America. So instead the GOP spent a trillion dollars on tax breaks for very wealthy people which the corporate kind used mostly for stock buy backs.
Doug Karo Durham, NH 8h ago
If both countries didn't have stable geniuses in charge, I would be pretty worried. If the stability of one of the leaders was not the case, I would be even more worried.
Ron Vermont 11h ago
So all these attacks we're trading have all gone through proper quality control procedures to make sure they don't disrupt anything by accident? Not likely. And with the UK, China, North Korea and others all doing the same, both the large controlling computers and the small embedded control system components are going to start failing due to all the malware they're being asked to hold. Malware will attack expecting it is attacking clean manufacturer supplied software/firmware, but if someone else has already modified it, how will these systems react? This seems like a mutual game of Russian Roulette. Any time an opponent makes a mistake something will break somewhere.
maureen f. Albuquerque, NM 11h ago
The scariest thing about this escalation is that nobody really knows which country--the U.S., Russia, or China--has the best cyber-weapons and cyber-defenses until the cyber-war actually begins. And for all of those who are blaming Russia, kindly remember how the U.S. started all this with the creation and deployment of Stuxnet against Iran. 2 Replies
RL Groves Amherst, MA 2h ago
This reminds me of the Cold War. We were sold a bill of goods about Russia's capacity to harm us when, we the US was actually the aggressor, JFK sold this under the brand of "Missile Gap". The United States is, as usual, the aggressor here. The US Empire wants to control the world. Any independent nation will be considered a threat and not be tolerated. This demonization of Russia is an embarrassment and worse, is extremely dangerous, The Russian bear is not to be trifled with, despite American fantasies.
Floyd New Mexico 4h ago
Why would information of such intelligence operations be publically announced as it has? Baffling. 1 Reply
Ned OSJL 11h ago
The world needs a Cyber Geneva Convention. Immediately if not years ago. All the tunnel vision patriotic cheering in these comments is very alarming. Think about where Cyber War could go, what it could do, who it would harm.
Saba Albany June 15
@M Congress should be at the helm of formulating an overall policy. The power to make war has moved from Congress to the President, and some Presidents have had an attitude of leave it up to the generals. So, the departments have gained power in some cases. Rightfully, Congress should create defensive and offensive policy which the President should endorse and the Cabinet should carry out. In Reply to TJ
J. von Hettlingen Switzerland 6h ago
John Bolton has a long history as a Russia hawk. It seems he's now in involved in ramping up cyber attacks on Russia's power grid, sending the message "You will pay a price" for cyberoperations – like election interference – against the US. ...
James San Clemente, CA 8h ago
I can understand why the U.S. would want to have this capability and to let the Russians know about it for the purposes of deterrence, but still, the news fills me with dread. The U.S. power infrastructure is far from perfect, but as anyone who has lived and worked in Russia knows, their system is much less reliable and far more prone to breakdowns. In addition, for anyone who watched the recent HBO series "Chernobyl," the idea of messing with the power grid in Russia is a little alarming. Russia still operates several RBMK reactors, and although there are repeated assurances that they are safe now, I wouldn't want to put that theory to the test by fiddling with the system. I'm sure our guys are all well aware of this, but, just sayin'...
Joseph Los Angeles 7h ago
And we'd be the first to complain if they did this to us. How about if humans finally stopped behaving like vindictive petulant 8 year olds. We're all stuck on this rock, so get along!
JohnW13 California June 15
Perhaps the most disturbing reveal in this article is that Trump has delegated an undisclosed amount of authority to engage in offensive military action by launching a cyber attack, potentially amounting to an act of war, without direct presidential oversight and approval. Trump issued "National Security Presidential Memoranda 13, giving General Nakasone far more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without receiving presidential approval." 9 Replies
Eric Peterson Napa, CA. 8h ago
@B. Rothman Individual decentralization of your home or business or a factory when the grid power goes out would be a wise move for many. This would most likely be solar or wind and possibly a generator as well, all backed by a battery. The interesting part comes in when your system is connected with the power companies grid. Will it be interactive? If it is then if the power company is hacked you are also hacked. If your system only comes on when the grid power goes off you would not be connected to the power companies grid communication and therefor you would not be hacked. An independent distributed system would keep your power on. Only used when the grid power was off. You would not be able to send excess power to the grid or get paid for excess power from solar or wind. Think military base or critical infrastructure. If all critical systems are isolated they stand alone and cannot be taken down by cyber war fare. This is a redundant system but it does keep the power on when everything else goes down. The only way I can see around this is to be connected to the power grid on a two way communication that is secured and verified to be hack free at all times. Not likely in this day of cyber war. It may be possible to shut down communication to the grid as soon as power goes down, thus isolating the location from any further attack or control by the outside. Then get conformation that it was not an attack, just an ordinary power outage and then reconnect. Simple. In Reply to Eric Peterson
Jo Williams Keizer 11h ago
Power grids as legitimate targets. Affecting hospitals, schools, civilian homes. After 9/11 there was discussion as to whether the Geneva Conventions on war should be modified, and also discussions on designating captured terrorists as POWs or....enemy combatants. A follow up article on how these ...agreements on war....might cover cyber attacks, would be helpful. Shutting off the power to a hospital- or all the hospitals, doctor's offices, clinics in a major city- how many die? Nuclear power plants as targets? If its war, call it war. At least we possible victims will know we aren't just disposable pawns in cyber gamesmanship.
Michael Pittsburgh June 15
Until recently I would be concerned if our military was acting independently of presidential direction or oversight and if the president or presidential advisors were not kept informed of initiatives our military and security forces were undertaking against other nations. Now I am thankful for it. As for the U.S. embedding malware and other malicious software in Russian, Chinese, North Korean, Iranian, Saudi, Israeli, and other potentially hostile nation infrastructure systems, we should be prepared to send them all back to campfires and candles at a moment's notice.
Nick Wright Halifax, NS 6h ago
The article reveals that the military is withholding information from the president about actions it's taking against another country, because it doesn't trust him. Predictably in the current political climate, everyone focuses on what it says about President Trump and fails to consider what it says about the military; i.e., that it feels it has a mandate to decide, at its own discretion, what military action against other nations is in the country's best interests. The military didn't trust President Obama either -- to the extraordinary extent of public insubordination by its top leadership.

How do we know that it obeyed his directive not to wage cyberwarfare against Russia, or any other country? We now have no reason to believe that it did. It doesn't matter that the military distrusts the current and previous president for different reasons. It will defy a strong, competent president as easily as it will sideline a weak, incompetent president. This is the path to the military itself becoming a danger to the state through ill-considered unilateral action.

Meredith New York 8h ago
@Andrzej Warminski...they'd call it 'un-American' to freeze US oligarchs out of ill gotten assets. Russia has its oligarchs, we have ours. Ours get protection for spiraling profits and power by mega donations to the lawmakers we elect, and our own Supreme Court legalized this Constitutional 1st A -Free Speech. This obvious collusion of big money and politics is avoided in our news media, famous for it's 1st Amendment protections from censorship. Russia has it's state media, and we have ours. FOX news functions as the GOP state media, consulting with Trump, and broadcasting his messages daily. Then social media further amplifies this across the country. 16 Replies
R. Fenwick U.S. South 11h ago
@David G. Generally increased use of the internet in any industry is a way to cut labor costs. In the pre-internet days, grid workers were likely paid more in today's dollars and jobs were more plentiful. In Reply to R. Fenwick
Doug Marcum Oxford, Ohio 7h ago
"Defend forward?" A new entry in the Newspeak dictionary... We are partying like it's 1984.
B. Honest Puyallup WA 7h ago
@JohnW13 It bothers me the Most that Mr Bolton is in the line of command there, for some ungodly reason. He is the type that would have flown drones, himself, to do a false flag attack like that. That they were above waterline is telling. I wonder what Iran found when they took whatever it was that attached itself to that tanker. I am sure that will be interesting indeed. 9 Replies
Lawrence Linn Phoenix 4h ago
"Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction..." So the commander of United States Cyber Command, Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, decided to undertake an overt act of war and not tell his Commander in Chief because he thought he might disagree? If true, Trump should fire this guy tomorrow, if not court-martial him for insubordination.
AR San Francisco 8h ago
The Chinese! The Russians! They started it! Anyone who believes fairy tales from the Pentagon or Washington about this is a fool. Let's see at the end of the 'Cold War' Washington promised not expand NATO if the Russians et al handed over much of their nukes. They handed them over and Clinton, etc. marched NATO right up to the Russian border. George Kennan warned it was the greatest strategic error post WWII.

Who knows what nasty things Washington is really up to. Like the mysterious Venezuelan blackouts right at the height of their coup operation. Washington's unending saber-rattling and war mongering can never be trusted. What a horrifying thought that they would cut off heat and power to millions of Russian people in the winter. It will be ordinary people who pay the price on all sides.

Chris Rurally Isolated 1h ago
I have found that nobody listens to my critique of technology by which I state that 1) we no longer possess the skills that technology does for us, 2) our division of labor has become so extreme due to technological advancements that nobody really knows how to do anything but their one job, shopping and driving, and 3) should we lose power, we lose petroleum too, and without both we lose our society in just a few days. Food goes bad immediately, water pressure drops in cities precipitously, and people can't go to work, school or entertainment -- they can't do anything but wait for the power to come back on. But they don't wait, they loot, they attack, they scavenge, they make trouble. Anybody with a personal supply of food and water are targets. None of this is hyperbole or paranoia, yet those who make such slanders are driven by fearsome possibilities they NEVER want to face. Power outages would be akin to full-scale bombing of whole cities. The Defense Department knows this, but the citizenry does not.
Luca F Philadlphia 7h ago
Something's wrong with this article. A newspaper is telling the world that the US is messing around with Russia's power grid? Shouldn't this be super confidential? Basically now Russians are allowed to re tagliate in any way for what the USA is doing. What would be the reaction of the US if the situation was reversed? A bunch of blackouts in NYC, Chicago, San Francisco and the Russians saying "we did it"? Our military would bomb them right away!
Larry L Dallas, TX 8h ago
@Bruce1253, fragmented systems are inherently more resilient because one system going down does not mean everything else goes down. But having fragmented CONTROLS over INTERCONNECTED systems is more problematic. Lack of coordination will mean that if a problem occurs, there will be lack of oversight and will not be able to react quickly enough to contain the situation. As someone else also mentioned: old pre-Internet systems are actually far more secure because they are off the grid. Attempts by companies to make things more efficient (and profitable) actually makes them less secure. 9 Replies
polymath British Columbia 11h ago
"As Washington's strategy shifts to offense ..." What does the word "Washington" mean? It *used* to mean the U.S. gov't -- when it used to speak with more or less one voice. But it doesn't speak with one voice anymore. So, what does it mean now?
Bubba CA 2h ago
Here's the thing - if electricity goes out for any protracted time in the U.S., people will die. Many people, and quickly. The fragile veneer of social cohesion will be the first, and fatal, casualty.
dsbarclay Toronto 7h ago
If you are going to start covert operations that attack Russia's essential power grid, why brag about it? American geeks conducting cyber war can't keep a secret is one answer. Its certainly the wrong thing to do; it gives Putin more ammunition in his propaganda war against the West, and ensures he remain the 'savior' of mother Russia for the people.
HANK Newark, DE 8h ago
GREAT ! A military junta within the Trump regime...what could go wrong. I'm sure these attacks are devastating to Russian citizens, but how will it compare when the Russians are finally successful with similar attacks on us? They've already shown us what happens when they blow up and election.
Debbie Atlanta 6h ago
This brings to mind the devastating power outage in Venezuela recently. Maduro blamed the US for cyberattacking the grid. And others blamed the failing system itself. We may never know but the effects seen there are a sample of what could happen anywhere in the world with this new technology. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2019/03/09/could-venezuelas-power-outage-really-be-a-cyber-attack /
Lucy Cooke California 8h ago
@GV and, I suppose the way the game is played, Putin, and any other leader of a country who has suffered because of the US actions, and that list is long, should attach a price to our misdeeds. The word "price" always reminds me of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright saying, when asked about the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to US sanctions, "The price was worth it". With the US has The Exceptional World Leader, the world may not survive in a livable state. We need more Nelson Mandelas and Mikhail Gorbachevs. GV, do you know much Russian history? Putin's misdeeds are so minor compared to the killing of hundreds of thousands and wrecking of countries by the US... Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia 14 Replies
Vic Malen Offshore 2h ago
What is wrong with this law system? Open demand on attacking energy sources which could lead to casualties, property and environmental damage is an international criminal case and such officials must be investigated and charged immediately to avoid subsequent collateral effects.
Angelsea Maryland 4h ago
There is a real danger in deploying cyber-mines in adversary systems. All code can be broken and used in retaliation. Even so-called "encapsulated" code can be disassembled. STUXNET was disassembled and repurposed as ransom-ware. To be effective in Internet-connected systems, any attack-code must emulate "normal" behavior. To do this, publicly available programming code, such as, Java, Perl, etc., is used as components of the attack-code. Once the encapsulation of the code is broken, and it will be, the code can be reverse-engineered, defended against, and repurposed to use against us. CYBERCOM, tread lightly.
Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ 7h ago
@TMah Russian hackers are generally superior to American hackers. This won't end well. 9 Replies
markd michigan 8h ago
Is it just me or shouldn't this kind of program be, you know, black? Eyes only, top secret. The US would have a lot more to lose than Russia if we lost the East Coast for a few weeks. We don't stockpile transformers which are the backbones of the grid so if Russia overloaded a few thousand of them we'd be down for months. We shouldn't "overbound our steps" as Stan Laurel used to say. 1 Reply
Righty America 8h ago
@Bruce1253 exactly. We experienced the giant blackout of 2003. You really can't imagine how damaging this can be until you experience it. We lived somewhat near the interstate and hundreds of people had to pull off at our exit - they were low on gas, and there was no way to get gas. In the city, we know someone who was stuck in a subway under the East River for hours not even knowing what had happened, then had to crawl through dirty tunnels to get up to the streets. These are just the relatively minor things that happen in the first few hours. People were generally helpful, but I can't imagine that lasting over a few days. we don't need to be tested like this. We need to be protected. 9 Replies
Old Maywood Arlington, VA 8h ago
Think on this for just a bit... These authorities were delegated downwards and the plans are largely being kept from Trump because the military and other national security authorities don't trust him not to tell Russia about them. That's right, the military does not trust Trump not to tell Russia or "put Russia first." The good news is that as long as this story stays in the newspapers and not on TV, Trump will never know about it.
AR San Francisco 11h ago
Yes but is a useful narrative created by the Clinton campaign to justify their electoral debacle. It also serves as a useful tool to seek to deligitimize Trump (like the Republicans with Whitewater and 'birther' angles-- both parties equally rotten liars). What is most dangerous is the Democrats resurrection of McCarthyite and jingoistic denunciations of 'foreign' influences (like BLM), and calls for greater and greater censorship of the media and social media. While that seems attractive when applied to rightists, they are fools not to understand it will be enforced against the left first and foremost. In Reply to Dan K
Ed Watters San Francisco 2h ago
Yeah, and I'm pretty certain that Venezuela's accusations of US online attack on their power grid has merit.
sonnel Isla Vista, CA 7h ago
Oh great, American politicians who think power originates in the plug on the wall making decisions about things that neither their IQ nor their training allow them to understand. I can hear our President saying, "we just turned off power to the bad guys' houses and crime dens". Meanwhile, our top leaders will never report how many die in the hospitals or accidents that their messing with the power grids in other countries have caused. Just like... bombing Iraq. Collateral damage: out of sight, out of mind.
Marcus Aurelius Terra Incognita 11h ago
@Socrates As usual, the article read in its entirety tells a different story about what the President's involvement actually was and why presidential briefing wasn't required. "Mr. Trump issued new authorities to Cyber Command last summer, in a still-classified document known as National Security Presidential Memoranda 13, giving General Nakasone far more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without receiving presidential approval." And as to what the -- again, as usual, "anonymous") officials purportedly aside: "Because the new law defines the actions in cyberspace as akin to traditional military activity on the ground, in the air or at sea, no such briefing would be necessary, they added." In Reply to Mauichuck
Blank Venice 8h ago
@jrinsc Wisely our military and intelligence 'leaders' restrict information flow to Individual-1. He is very Kirkland Russian asset. Remember that he passed Top Secret information to Russians in the Oval Office as a Russian press entourage looked on. 16 Replies
A Goldstein Portland 8h ago
This is a new definition of war in the 21st century, cyber-war, and I suspect that most Americans, especially Trump supporters are nearly clueless about what is at stake. With Putin and other authoritarian rulers, we must put on display our capabilities in more than nuclear warheads and naval powers. I trust the U.S. intelligence agencies and military much more than the executive branch of government. This is not my preference but it reflects the unprecedented time in which we are living.
Frank Raleigh, NC 7h ago
From yesterdays article on US doing trying to start a war with Iran. That was regarding oil tankers that were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. Your editorial on that yesterday stated that we need to stay on top of this tanker violence because of: "American objectives in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere across the region." Those tankers are not American and the serial lying about the middle east and Russia and of course Venezuela are pathetic. All of this combined with climate change, world population growth and a news media that is only doing the "Manufacturing Consent" thing for the corporations including military industrial complex can only lead to world disaster. It is existential. Russia has been interfering with our military recently and that is another horrid example of why Donald Trump is the worst president we have ever had. A very dangerous man who surrounds himself with the most ignorant, hysterical, people who support the military industrial complex over anything else. Billions and billions of money is given to the military by the congress whenever they ask. We do not look for peace; we look to support the MIC at all costs and those COSTS ARE VERY, VERY HIGH AND GLOOMY. Attacking Russian power plants? Faking news for Venezuela and Iran? "American objectives in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere across the region?" Wake up folks. It's up to you; no one else can save us!
Susan Anderson Boston 8h ago
@jrinsc And, of course, Trump and Senate Republicans will reverse the freezing, as has been done in the past. 16 Replies
Raven Earth 2h ago
Imagine a world where one country tried to tell every other country in the world who to be friends with, who to trade with, who their rulers should be, what products they should buy and from whom, what laws they should pass, what meetings they should attend, how to live, etc, etc. And imagine this same world where the people who lived in this bully of a country thought they and their country had the God-given right to tell other people in other countries how to live. Sounds like some future dystopian hellscape, right? Surprise! It's not. This is 'Murica! in the 21st century on planet Earth.
Leslie Amherst 7h ago
How can we aggress in this manner and then be so indignant when it is done to us?? I hate this!! I don't want to be a citizen of a country that attacks others. I want peace! Defense is understandable; attack is not.
Aram Hollman Arlington, MA 2h ago
The newer and more digital a system is, the more vulnerable it is to hacking. The older and less digital it is, the less vulnerable. That probably makes us more vulnerable than Russia, but our somewhat obsolete infrastructure (the one we need to spend $1 trillion on) may be less vulnerable than expected due to its obsolescence. The inherent immorality of going after power plants, refineries, and other non-military targets is that the effects target civilians. The fact that one nation may have done so (Russia, to Ukraine's electricity during a winter) does not justify another nation doing the same.
J Denver 7h ago
This entire notification is a message for one person... Trump. This is the intelligence agencies using their newfound powers that lack White House oversight, to signal to the White House that the intelligence agencies are DEEP inside Russia's systems and that they will know if Trump shows up inside those systems during the next election cycle. They can't stop Russia from waging cyber war... and they can't stop Trump from welcoming help from or siding with Russia... but they can send a message that they will know if this administration "goes there"... again...
ebmem Memphis, TN 4h ago
@Stan Chaz MAD [mutual assured destruction] between Russia and the United States prevented nuclear devastation because both sides knew they couldn't win. We are in a different universe now. Russia, with its poor economy one fifth of the US is no longer a superpower, although it is rebuilding its network of client states [with some like Cuba and Venezuela dying on the vine, and other former satellites like Ukraine and Georgia resisting their reacquisition by Russia.] China is also a growing player, expanding its wealth an political and economic strength. Various quasi stateless terrorist groups can damage the US and not experience appropriate retaliation because they have no official governments or homelands to hold accountable. In Reply to Ron
LibertyLover California 8h ago
@David Henderson I would suggest going back and reading some of the material Edward Snowden revealed about the NSA. Those capabilities will be oriented toward this objective now rather than just conventional espionage. The expertise is second to none. For that matter, read the DOJ indictment of the 12 GRU officers who hacked the DNC. The amount of detail described there will make you understand their capabilities. It's as if they were in the room with them. 7 Replies
Bob M Whitestone, NY 7h ago
This is very concerning on why the Trump administration would disclose this to the public. What's their motive? More concerning is that Trump in his infinite wisdom had the idea of setting up a joint cyber security task force with none other than Russia. Weird.
Loyd Collins Laurens,SC 7h ago
@Telly55 And this from the article. Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction -- and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister. 4 Replies
WeHadAllBetterPayAttentionNow Southwest 11h ago
I am not so sure I believe much in this. Bragging about such a program would be counterproductive. Meanwhile, our Republican president and Senate continue to deny Russian interference in our elections and do nothing about it.
Chris San Francisco 7h ago
Anyone who thinks that our military is not constantly fighting our enemies doesn't know anything about the military. Some version of this kind of thing has been ongoing throughout history. They are very good at it, often the best in the world. That the US officials would reveal this information can be nothing but part of a strategy related to global objectives, including but not limited to Russia. The revelation itself can be considered a kind of weapon, though, of course, the general public is not privy to it's purpose. I trust the competence of our military almost completely, but I do not trust their ability to set national policy. They control some enormous hammers, and there are many things in the world that could look like a nail. The erosion of civilian oversight described in this article is terrifying. Unfortunately we're all getting used to that.
Dan K Louisville, CO 11h ago
@C.O. I would suggest that you read the Mueller Report. In Reply to Dan K
stan continople brooklyn 8h ago
If I was Russia, I'd demonstrate my prowess by making the NYC subway system run on time. That would cause absolute panic.
chambolle Bainbridge Island 7h ago
All of which begs the question, why on earth do we spend about $750 billion a year on military hardware and personnel, when our adversaries have learned to do as much damage as they want without firing a shell, torpedo or missile? And, it would appear -- and one would hope -- so can we. It cost Russia next to nothing to commence the unraveling of America's political system - a few hackers sitting in cubicles, each with a laptop and an internet connection accomplished that, with the help of Fox News, facebook, instagram, you tube and, above all, an uneducated, bible-thumping American populace uninterested in facts and seemingly incapable of rational thought.
Mike LaFleur Minneapolis, MN 7h ago
To whom it may concern: This article would be far more credible if it listed the names of the companies that make and sell the vulnerable power plant operating systems, transmission line management systems, and the power distribution systems. Which systems are vulnerable? Emerson's? ABB's? Siemens? Who's switch gear is vulnerable? Are they infiltrating the operating systems, the sensors, communications, the actuators, or maybe even the metering? Even the US electric grid is, for the most part, very unsophisticated. Grid operators have very limited visibility into what is happening on the grid. In most of the US, when there is a power outage, linemen are dispatched in trucks to visually look for downed wires with their eyes!!! No computers needed. Combine the fact that Trump shows no interest in fighting election interference with the improbability of vast penetration into the electric grid and all you have left is a paper tiger named John Bolton. This article is likely fake news. Mike
dominic KL 7h ago
I don't quite understand this, if US know that Russia is illegally hacking in to US power grids you either remove the malware or lodge a complaint with with the UN or whatever international authorities involved. If you hack back then you are no better then Russia.
Stuart Alaska 8h ago
@tim k If there was no such thing as global warming your point would be a cogent one. Unfortunately, we can't ignore that fact. 14 Replies
george coastline 7h ago
HOW TO WIN AN ELECTION WITHOUT STEALING ANY EMAILS 1 Restrict early voting in key swing states 2 Pass laws discouraging absentee ballots in those same states 3 On election day, turn off the power in the core of every large city where democrats usually win by large margins, heavily suppressing turnout 4 Count the ballots: Trump wins the state and is re-elected President.
HonorB14U Michigan 7h ago
America decides our wins and losses; not Russia! We decide how much we lose and what success we win on.
Michael Feeley Honolulu 4h ago
Maybe we could do something really useful and sabotage Facebook and Twitter. Now there's an idea that would improve the quality of life.
Michael Tyndall San Francisco 11h ago
My concern with US cyber warfare is the possibility the same code is turned around and used against us or our allies (I think we still have those outside outside our favored Sunni and right wing autocracies). The possibility of boomerang cyber mischief isn't confined to governments either. Remember the stolen NSA hacking tools that ended up on the dark web? Those have been turned against municipal governments and individuals in the form of ransom ware. Perhaps we can limit such risks by forming the most sophisticated cyber weapons as binary tools. Ones where the full capability isn't effective without two secret parts, only one part of which is installed in an adversary's infrastructure. But once fully deployed, there's still the risk the weapon is identified, preserved, and later redeployed against us. I think there are also ways for our adversaries to guard against erasure protocols within cyber weapons. Lastly, we still don't know if our president is a Russian asset. Maybe he just really likes murderous kleptocrats and autocrats like Putin, Kim, MBS, MBZ, and Duterte. Maybe he just has to talk privately with no one else from our side listening. Either way, none of our current top secrets or foreign intelligence assets may be safe while he's in office, or even after he leaves (unless he's in jail).
B. Honest Puyallup WA 8h ago
@maureen f. Israel released Stuxnet, just a minor correction there. That is actually more problem than had we done it, Israel is more unstable than we are, and that says something. In Reply to B. Honest
Jim Georgia 6h ago
What was published here is not classified and if you read the article, you will know that administration officials had no problem with the publication of this work. Assange, on the other hand, definitely published stolen classified information and may have solicited and facilitated its acquisition -- a crime. In Reply to Jim
Alex E elmont, ny 7h ago
I thought that Trump is a stooge of Putin, so, he won't take any action against Russia. This is the misinformation NY Times and other fake news have been telling Americans and the world. Now by releasing this classified information they are jeopardizing American National security. No wonder they are called enemies of the people. 2 Replies
Andy Salt Lake City, Utah 7h ago
Escalating attacks? Or informing Russia of their weaknesses? Cyber assault is inherently centered around stealth. Sounds to me like Trump is intentionally tipping our hand. A submarine isn't much use if you teach your enemy how to find it. The description presented here more closely resembles a joint exercise. However, the US is the only one providing intelligence. Surprise, surprise. Unilaterally providing intelligence to Putin no less.
J Darby Woodinville, WA 7h ago
Good news, I hope we're hitting the cyber bullies as hard or harder than they're hitting us. And it's wise to let trump in on as little as possible.
pb calif 8h ago
This sounds like a coverup story for Trump and the GOP. If it were true, it would have been classified. Gimme a break! Vote them out!
Jomo San Diego 8h ago
Just think what will happen when Russia plants malware into all our self-driving cars.
Mark Conway Naples FL 4h ago
I don't understand why Trump allows such threatening behavior toward one of his closest allies. Isn't he in control of his own government?
Frank Seattle 6h ago
US taxpayers still paying for government officials to create new malware that will eventually be turned against US taxpayers. Thanks "public servants".
Mary Lake Worth FL 7h ago
@M Trump has made unpresented changes much like a fascist dictator, which he wants to be. It's just a wing and a prayer that our government hasn't ceased to function effectively, due to long-standing norms and those who would resist his worst impulses. All Russia would need is another cosy private meeting with Trump to have him bragging about this new secret weapon to deliver all this for Comrad Putin to use on us. Flattery is the way to his heart and there goes everything that should be kept under wraps for security. 8 Replies
md green Topanga, Ca. 8h ago
@GV Couldn't agree more! And it would make the Straits of Hormuz attach a much different issue. What's it going to take to get this oil addicted country to switch to renewables? I guess we'll find out. 14 Replies
Rebel in Disguise TO, Canada 8h ago
This doesn't bode well for Putin's next job performance appraisal of the POTUS he worked so hard to put into power. Trump's been kept in the dark by Americans who aren't subservient to Putin.
New World NYC 8h ago
I keep 14 days worth of water, food, and candles in my apt. I live on the 12th floor and twice a week I use the stairs to get up to my apt. I also keep a shotgun and cash
David Oak Lawn 4h ago
You see how Donald Trump's Iran claims were eaten up by the mainstream media. Now you see how Trump is playing both sides. He claims he wants to be lenient with Russia (which is a fool's errand) but his administration is getting tougher with Russia. Trump is easy to manipulate because he is so beholden to so many interests. Sorry to say it, but this makes him an attractive candidate to powerful interests.
Tim Nelson Seattle 8h ago
The best defense is a good offense, and a vital part of this American offensive capability is to keep the details out of the hands of this president. I have long waited to hear of how we are actively and effectively responding to Russian aggression, but in this age of Trump I have feared his ability to undermine any steps on our part. Of course he is beholden to the regime that got him elected. It is essential to counter the aggression of authoritarian regimes like Putin's and just as important to rid America in 2020 of the authoritarian menace that is Donald Trump.
TTC USA 2h ago
I thought America was the country that always played by the rules, and we're upset because we've been taken advantage of for too long. But apparently we're attacking another nation's power grid. Hypocrites we are. It's better if we're just honest with ourselves. Admit that we spin facts to feed our narrative, to justify the damage we cause to other nations. Next nation to justify going to war with? China. Cause only we can be #1.
uga muga miami fl 4h ago
Finally something presidential about Trump. They say there's a lot of symbolism to the presidency and this piece reflects an instance where he's president in name only.
K. H. Boston 8h ago
GOOD! About time we started punching back. Russia is mistaken if it thinks it can wantonly interfere in other countries (Salisbury, 2016, etc.) without repercussion. Good job boys.
Duane McPherson Groveland, NY 7h ago
Well, if the US decides to engage in some covert cyber-warfare then we should be safe, because the NSA has some really powerful hacking tools. So I'm sleeping easy tonight. Oh, wait, you say those tools got misplaced and lost? Never mind then, just buy some candles for light and a Coleman stove to cook on. You'll be fine; it'll be fun, just like camping out. In your own kitchen.
T OC 4h ago
It is time to go on the offensive in this Cold War. We've been on the losing defensive side of this way too long.
shiningstars122 CT 11h ago
Its obvious that we need to protect our online infrastructure in ways we have never done before, which a majority of the US economy uses. If this is not the case I get nervous if we start kicking the hornets next and we are not fully prepared for the response. As a consumer I am very wary of buying and using " smart" products in my home. It is obvious that the private sector has not even fortified their own firewalls to protect themselves. Do you think that Alexsa or that new refrigerator will have the level of encryption and protection guess against even the most basic cyber attack. I think a parallel approach is to fortify our own network in ways that have not occurred before, but sadly too much of these illegal breaches are based on human error and when it comes to that one you will never be fully secure. It is clear the rules of engagement for cyber warfare need to be discussed and treaties need to be put in play to protect civilians, who sadly in warfare always pay the highest prices when our maligned leaders, like the one currently holding office, go off the deep end.
Easy Goer Louisiana 8h ago
@Bruce1253 Agree. However, imagine your life without any power, for good? Everyone involved, whether they be American, Russian, Chinese, Korean, etc. is playing a deadly chess game, and humanity are the pawns. 9 Replies
steve CT 7h ago
So now we are going to attack other countries power grids , to hurt citizens like it seems we did to Venezuela to try and install our puppet Gaido, because we want to control their oil the largest in the world. We did not like their election of President Maduro so we tried to overthrow him because he wasn't willing to be controlled, like the 73% of dictators around the world that are our allies that we sell arms too. We have never cared about other countries elections, I also wonder if our elections are rigged, with our electronic machines supplied by questionable corporations. Now we are blaming the Russian government for what a troll farm company did in Russia buying election ads for clickbait so they could profit. This sounds like the 1950's red scare. Russia should be our friend just like Iran, except we ally with countries like Saudi Arabia the largest financier of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and that spreads Wahhabism. This is all so our Military Industrial Complex can profit needing ever larger weapons systems. Peace is not profitable it seems for our Oligarchy.
Robert Richardson Halifax June 15
If the US is openly pursuing this course, and succeeds, I would expect Putin to hit back in kind, by shutting down the power grids of America's less prepared allies. Like Canada, where our aging power grid is already struggling, without being attacked. 1 Reply
PE Seattle 11h ago
I'm not sure we want to perpetuate this tactic as fair game in war. Do we want our power grid hacked? This puts regular people at risk of have no electricity, no heat, no AC. Our war is not with regular people. Our war is with oligarchs.
Marc Chicago 7h ago
"Under the law, those actions [cyber espionage against U.S. adversaries] can now be authorized by the defense secretary without special presidential approval." Because Donny would pick up the phone to tattle to his BFF Vlad.
New World NYC 4h ago
One day we're all gonna wake up and look at our bank statements, 401Ks and our Etrade accounts and see a $0.00 balance. Then what ?
stefanie santa fe nm 7h ago
I thought the stable genius did not reveal what he was doing in terms of attacking another country. And if his good bro, Putin, said nothing was going on, why is the US attacking Russia? (sarcasm).
John Grillo Edgewater, MD 8h ago
What an absurd, clearly unprecedented, and highly dangerous state this country is in when the Commander-in-Chief, as reported herein, cannot be trusted by our own military and intelligence leaders with probably compartmentalized, top secret classified information about our cyber warfare capabilities and plans against Russia for fear that he could very well compromise the operation. Isn't this yet another reason why Trump should be removed from office by impeachment? What his own Administration's national security people are saying is that their leader cannot be trusted with the most sensitive information held by the government. If this Fake President is a threat to the nation on a scale of that profound magnitude, he cannot and must not be allowed to remain in office. Congress, are you listening???
C. Gregory California 2h ago
"Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail..." Um, isn't it normal procedure to brief the president of the United States about major changes in military strategy like this? I mean, the president is supposedly "commander in chief." How about Congress, or at least the relevant Congressional committees? Are they being kept in the loop? Or are Bolton and Co. just winging it on their own? If so, that's quite disturbing.
rjh NY 4h ago
So if a Russian nuclear plant has a meltdown or other catastrophe, will they be justified in wondering if the US caused it? Also, the malware against Iran spread to other countries even thought that was not intended to do so.
saucier Pittsburgh 7h ago
Wasn't their just an excellent show on HBO that shows what happens when you mess with controlling power? No, not Game of Thrones. Chernobyl. Nuclear comprises 20% of Russia's electricity generation. Do we really want our fingerprints all over the crime scene should something go wrong? Can't we mess with computer controlled vodka distillation instead?
Norman McDougall Canada 8h ago
Let me understand this. The same USA that is outraged by Russian election hacking is simultaneously conducting cyber-attacks on Russian infrastructure? This situation would be merely ironic if it weren't so callously hypocritical.
just Robert North Carolina 8h ago
It would be nice to think that the self proclaimed 'genius Trump knows something about the cyber war we are fighting or at least trust the experts on the front lines of this war. As it is he looks into Putin's eyes and declares him without sin and denies that Russia used cyber space to hack our 2016 elections and even declares that this information can be used to help his campaign. He prevaricates a little, but we heard you the first time, Mr.Trump. Our intelligence agencies may be planting these bugs in the Russian electric grid, but what we need is a leader who has the intelligence and wisdom to guide its use.
larry dc 8h ago
So CyberCommand doesn't brief the President because (1) they don't think the law requires them to do so, (2) and they don't trust him with important information? This is deeply disturbing on multiple fronts.
Larry L Dallas, TX 7h ago
@Barbara, in the past, before urbanism, it was possible to survive because you could live off the land. This is not a possibility in the middle of NYC, DC or SF. 9 Replies
joshbarnes Honolulu, HI 8h ago
It will all end in tears, I know it.

[Jun 15, 2019] U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia s Power Grid by David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth

Comments published by NYT draw a very sad picture of paranoid, brainwashed society. Very few critical comments (less then a dozen), while number of jingoistic and otherwise stupid comments is in the hundreds). This is very sad, if not tragic.
Petty CIA-controlled provocateurs from Grey Prostitute. Hacking national grid means war.. Bolton needs to be fired for jingoism and stupidity.
I am pretty sure that two of those warmongering neocons David E. Sanger Nicole Perlroth ( MadCow disease.
Do those two presstitutes and their handlers accurately calculated possible reaction from Moscow on such "revelations"?
From comments: "It is horrible to think that we have our of control counterintelligence agencies with their own agenda operating as independent forces capable of dragging the country into international conflict "
From comments: "Aggressive malware intrusions into foreign countries' sensitive (and sovereign) computer systems is now seen as a standard security procedure. "Gunboat diplomacy" is not an apt metaphor, as gunboats remained at discreet distances from borders. Our cyber policy is more akin to placing bombs in the public squares of foreign cities with threats to detonate. "
Notable quotes:
"... But in a public appearance on Tuesday, President Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was now taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort "to say to Russia, or anybody else that's engaged in cyberoperations against us, 'You will pay a price.'" ..."
"... Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place "implants" -- software code that can be used for surveillance or attack -- inside the Russian grid. ..."
"... Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction -- and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister. ..."
"... The intent of the operations was described in different ways by several current and former national security officials. Some called it "signaling" Russia, a sort of digital shot across the bow. Others said the moves were intended to position the United States to respond if Mr. Putin became more aggressive. ..."
"... Already, such attacks figure in the military plans of many nations. In a previous post, General Nakasone had been deeply involved in designing an operation code-named Nitro Zeus that amounted to a war plan to unplug Iran if the United States entered into hostilities with the country. ..."
"... How Mr. Putin's government is reacting to the more aggressive American posture described by Mr. Bolton is still unclear. "It's 21st-century gunboat diplomacy," said Robert M. Chesney, a law professor at the University of Texas, who has written extensively about the shifting legal basis for digital operations. "We're showing the adversary we can inflict serious costs without actually doing much. We used to park ships within sight of the shore. Now, perhaps, we get access to key systems like the electric grid." ..."
"... successful attack on Iranian centrifuges as one example ..."
"... Not willing to discuss it with the President but happy to chat about it with reporters..? ..."
"... This scenario sounds like something straight out of Dr, Strangelove. All sides and all actors need to realize that this is a no win game, with the very real possibility of serious harm to the lives and livelihoods of millions of people hanging in the balance. ..."
"... It's a macho power game that can easily escalate into unintended and out-of-control consequences. As with prior successful nuclear test ban negotiations & treaties we need to step back and consider what's truly in the long-term national interests of all concerned. The citizens of all the countries involved are not pawns to be played with like disposable chess pieces, in a power game with no real winners. ..."
"... This turn of events is truly disturbing, as it presents the seriousness, now, of how cyberwar is more likely a prelude to actual war ..."
"... Restated, the Commander In Chief is not briefed on military operations for fear of betrayal. I feel like I'm going nuts. Someone please tell me what is going on in this country! ..."
Jun 15, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

WASHINGTON -- The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia's electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said.

In interviews over the past three months, the officials described the previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia's grid and other targets as a classified companion to more publicly discussed action directed at Moscow's disinformation and hacking units around the 2018 midterm elections.

Advocates of the more aggressive strategy said it was long overdue, after years of public warnings from the Department of Homeland Security and the F.B.I. that Russia has inserted malware that could sabotage American power plants, oil and gas pipelines, or water supplies in any future conflict with the United States.

But it also carries significant risk of escalating the daily digital Cold War between Washington and Moscow. Advertisement

The administration declined to describe specific actions it was taking under the new authorities, which were granted separately by the White House and Congress last year to United States Cyber Command, the arm of the Pentagon that runs the military's offensive and defensive operations in the online world.

But in a public appearance on Tuesday, President Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was now taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort "to say to Russia, or anybody else that's engaged in cyberoperations against us, 'You will pay a price.'"

Power grids have been a low-intensity battleground for years. Since at least 2012, current and former officials say, the United States has put reconnaissance probes into the control systems of the Russian electric grid. But now the American strategy has shifted more toward offense, officials say, with the placement of potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before. It is intended partly as a warning, and partly to be poised to conduct cyberstrikes if a major conflict broke out between Washington and Moscow.

The commander of United States Cyber Command, Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, has been outspoken about the need to "defend forward" deep in an adversary's networks to demonstrate that the United States will respond to the barrage of online attacks aimed at it. President Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort to warn anybody "engaged in cyberoperations against us." Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

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President Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort to warn anybody "engaged in cyberoperations against us." Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

"They don't fear us," he told the Senate a year ago during his confirmation hearings.

But finding ways to calibrate those responses so that they deter attacks without inciting a dangerous escalation has been the source of constant debate.

Mr. Trump issued new authorities to Cyber Command last summer, in a still-classified document known as National Security Presidential Memoranda 13, giving General Nakasone far more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without receiving presidential approval.

But the action inside the Russian electric grid appears to have been conducted under little-noticed new legal authorities, slipped into the military authorization bill passed by Congress last summer. The measure approved the routine conduct of "clandestine military activity" in cyberspace, to "deter, safeguard or defend against attacks or malicious cyberactivities against the United States."

Under the law, those actions can now be authorized by the defense secretary without special presidential approval.

"It has gotten far, far more aggressive over the past year," one senior intelligence official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity but declining to discuss any specific classified programs. "We are doing things at a scale that we never contemplated a few years ago."

The critical question -- impossible to know without access to the classified details of the operation -- is how deep into the Russian grid the United States has bored. Only then will it be clear whether it would be possible to plunge Russia into darkness or cripple its military -- a question that may not be answerable until the code is activated. Sign Up for On Politics With Lisa Lerer

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Both General Nakasone and Mr. Bolton, through spokesmen, declined to answer questions about the incursions into Russia's grid. Officials at the National Security Council also declined to comment but said they had no national security concerns about the details of The New York Times's reporting about the targeting of the Russian grid, perhaps an indication that some of the intrusions were intended to be noticed by the Russians.

Speaking on Tuesday at a conference sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Bolton said: "We thought the response in cyberspace against electoral meddling was the highest priority last year, and so that's what we focused on. But we're now opening the aperture, broadening the areas we're prepared to act in."

He added, referring to nations targeted by American digital operations, "We will impose costs on you until you get the point." Gen. Paul Nakasone, the commander of United States Cyber Command, was given more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without obtaining presidential approval.

Gen. Paul Nakasone, the commander of United States Cyber Command, was given more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without obtaining presidential approval. Credit Erin Schaff for The New York Times

Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place "implants" -- software code that can be used for surveillance or attack -- inside the Russian grid.

Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction -- and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister.

Because the new law defines the actions in cyberspace as akin to traditional military activity on the ground, in the air or at sea, no such briefing would be necessary, they added.

The intent of the operations was described in different ways by several current and former national security officials. Some called it "signaling" Russia, a sort of digital shot across the bow. Others said the moves were intended to position the United States to respond if Mr. Putin became more aggressive.

So far, there is no evidence that the United States has actually turned off the power in any of the efforts to establish what American officials call a "persistent presence" inside Russian networks, just as the Russians have not turned off power in the United States. But the placement of malicious code inside both systems revives the question of whether a nation's power grid -- or other critical infrastructure that keeps homes, factories, and hospitals running -- constitutes a legitimate target for online attack.

Already, such attacks figure in the military plans of many nations. In a previous post, General Nakasone had been deeply involved in designing an operation code-named Nitro Zeus that amounted to a war plan to unplug Iran if the United States entered into hostilities with the country.

How Mr. Putin's government is reacting to the more aggressive American posture described by Mr. Bolton is still unclear. "It's 21st-century gunboat diplomacy," said Robert M. Chesney, a law professor at the University of Texas, who has written extensively about the shifting legal basis for digital operations. "We're showing the adversary we can inflict serious costs without actually doing much. We used to park ships within sight of the shore. Now, perhaps, we get access to key systems like the electric grid."

Russian intrusion on American infrastructure has been the background noise of superpower competition for more than a decade.

A successful Russian breach of the Pentagon's classified communications networks in 2008 prompted the creation of what has become Cyber Command. Under President Barack Obama, the attacks accelerated. But Mr. Obama was reluctant to respond to such aggression by Russia with counterattacks, partly for fear that the United States' infrastructure was more vulnerable than Moscow's and partly because intelligence officials worried that by responding in kind, the Pentagon would expose some of its best weaponry.

At the end of Mr. Obama's first term, government officials began uncovering a Russian hacking group, alternately known to private security researchers as Energetic Bear or Dragonfly. But the assumption was that the Russians were conducting surveillance, and would stop well short of actual disruption.

That assumption evaporated in 2014, two former officials said, when the same Russian hacking outfit compromised the software updates that reached into hundreds of systems that have access to the power switches.

"It was the first stage in long-term preparation for an attack," said John Hultquist, the director of intelligence analysis at FireEye, a security company that has tracked the group.

In December 2015, a Russian intelligence unit shut off power to hundreds of thousands of people in western Ukraine. The attack lasted only a few hours, but it was enough to sound alarms at the White House.

A team of American experts was dispatched to examine the damage, and concluded that one of the same Russian intelligence units that wreaked havoc in Ukraine had made significant inroads into the United States energy grid, according to officials and a homeland security advisory that was not published until December 2016. Advertisement

"That was the crossing of the Rubicon," said David J. Weinstein, who previously served at Cyber Command and is now chief security officer at Claroty, a security company that specializes in protecting critical infrastructure.

In late 2015, just as the breaches of the Democratic National Committee began, yet another Russian hacking unit began targeting critical American infrastructure, including the electricity grid and nuclear power plants. By 2016, the hackers were scrutinizing the systems that control the power switches at the plants. In 2012, the defense secretary at the time, Leon E. Panetta, was warned of Russia's online intrusions, but President Barack Obama was reluctant to respond to such aggression by Moscow with counterattacks. Credit Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

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In 2012, the defense secretary at the time, Leon E. Panetta, was warned of Russia's online intrusions, but President Barack Obama was reluctant to respond to such aggression by Moscow with counterattacks. Credit Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Until the last few months of the Obama administration, Cyber Command was largely limited to conducting surveillance operations inside Russia's networks. At a conference this year held by the Hewlett Foundation, Eric Rosenbach, a former chief of staff to the defense secretary and who is now at Harvard, cautioned that when it came to offensive operations "we don't do them that often." He added, "I can count on one hand, literally, the number of offensive operations that we did at the Department of Defense."

But after the election breaches and the power grid incursions, the Obama administration decided it had been too passive.

Mr. Obama secretly ordered some kind of message-sending action inside the Russian grid, the specifics of which have never become public. It is unclear whether much was accomplished.

"Offensive cyber is not this, like, magic cybernuke where you say, 'O.K., send in the aircraft and we drop the cybernuke over Russia tomorrow,'" Mr. Rosenbach said at the conference, declining to discuss specific operations.

After Mr. Trump's inauguration, Russian hackers kept escalating attacks.

Mr. Trump's initial cyberteam decided to be far more public in calling out Russian activity. In early 2018, it named Russia as the country responsible for " the most destructive cyberattack in human history ," which paralyzed much of Ukraine and affected American companies including Merck and FedEx.

When General Nakasone took over both Cyber Command and the N.S.A. a year ago, his staff was assessing Russian hackings on targets that included the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation , which runs a nuclear power plant near Burlington, Kan., as well as previously unreported attempts to infiltrate Nebraska Public Power District's Cooper Nuclear Station, near Brownville. The hackers got into communications networks, but never took over control systems.

In August, General Nakasone used the new authority granted to Cyber Command by the secret presidential directive to overwhelm the computer systems at Russia's Internet Research Agency -- the group at the heart of the hacking during the 2016 election in the United States. It was one of four operations his so-called Russia Small Group organized around the midterm elections. Officials have talked publicly about those, though they have provided few details.

But the recent actions by the United States against the Russian power grids, whether as signals or potential offensive weapons, appear to have been conducted under the new congressional authorities.

As it games out the 2020 elections, Cyber Command has looked at the possibility that Russia might try selective power blackouts in key states, some officials said. For that, they said, they need a deterrent.

In the past few months, Cyber Command's resolve has been tested. For the past year, energy companies in the United States and oil and gas operators across North America discovered their networks had been examined by the same Russian hackers who successfully dismantled the safety systems in 2017 at Petro Rabigh, a Saudi petrochemical plant and oil refinery.

The question now is whether placing the equivalent of land mines in a foreign power network is the right way to deter Russia. While it parallels Cold War nuclear strategy, it also enshrines power grids as a legitimate target.

"We might have to risk taking some broken bones of our own from a counterresponse, just to show the world we're not lying down and taking it," said Robert P. Silvers, a partner at the law firm Paul Hastings and former Obama administration official. "Sometimes you have to take a bloody nose to not take a bullet in the head down the road." David E. Sanger reported from Washington, and Nicole Perlroth from San Francisco


Bitsy Fort Collins, CO 6h ago Times Pick

See the Zero Days documentary, available on several streaming services, if you want to better understand this issue and its origins and early applications (successful attack on Iranian centrifuges as one example). This cat has been out of the bag for some time.
Dubliner Dublin 6h ago Times Pick
Not willing to discuss it with the President but happy to chat about it with reporters..? If the President didn't know about it he does now, so it's hardly a successful strategy. I would presume this is more a way to convince the public that something is being done. Whether there is reality behind it is a different issue.
Stan Chaz Brooklyn,New York 6h ago Times Pick
This scenario sounds like something straight out of Dr, Strangelove. All sides and all actors need to realize that this is a no win game, with the very real possibility of serious harm to the lives and livelihoods of millions of people hanging in the balance.

It's a macho power game that can easily escalate into unintended and out-of-control consequences. As with prior successful nuclear test ban negotiations & treaties we need to step back and consider what's truly in the long-term national interests of all concerned. The citizens of all the countries involved are not pawns to be played with like disposable chess pieces, in a power game with no real winners.

David Henderson Arlington, VA 6h ago Times Pick
On the cyber playing field, the U.S. has so far shown itself still in the minor leagues against other nations. If the U.S. is so bold as to reveal action against Russia's power grid, we'd be best advised to stock up on candles and batteries.
B. Rothman NYC 6h ago Times Pick
And here is yet another reason for the US to get off the use of public utilities alone for the production of electricity. A big goal for national security ought to be the decentralization of electrical production. Businesses and many individual households could do this and create a manufacturing boom at the same time. Too bad the guys in charge are so fixated on making energy money in way only.
newsmaned Carmel IN 6h ago Times Pick
What's most disturbing about this article is that Trump hasn't been told much about it, out of concern he could screw it up. It raises the question of how much the president is actually The President or just an obstacle to be managed while parts of the federal government are haring off on their own into uncharted waters.
TMah Salt Lake City 10h ago Times Pick
The US Military revealing that they have done this means that they believe that they have established superiority with this malware, and also the ability to re-establish it if needed. Else, why would they reveal it. If you think what a patchwork the controls on US Power systems, dams, and other key infrastructure are, Russia's must be in much worse shape. Their national systems are likely made up largely of outdated infrastructure, with controls that are a patchwork. Their economy is the size of Italy's, yet they funnel inordinate amounts of money to their armed forces, starving other areas. Their economy is based on petroleum and natural gas, using technology and expertise from European and American companies --just imagine what opportunities that provides.
Bruce1253 San Diego 10h ago Times Pick
We are extremely vulnerable here. The US power grid is made up of a series of local systems that are tied together with high voltage interconnects that allow power to be sent from one system to another to balance loads. Those interconnects are powered by a few, very few, specialized transformers.

These transformers are huge, expensive, and take a long time to build. Disruption of these transformers would have devastating consequences. Several years ago we got a taste of this in SoCal. There was a region wide power outage. The back up generators for business's promptly kicked in, no problem. The power outage lasted longer than their fuel supply, you could not drive to the gas station to get more fuel, all of SoCal was without power. One by one these businesses and other critical operations shutdown. Now try to imagine you life with no power at all for just a short time, say a week. . . .

Telly55 St Barbara 10h ago Times Pick
This turn of events is truly disturbing, as it presents the seriousness, now, of how cyberwar is more likely a prelude to actual war. But what it most alarming is that we have a President who cannot be trusted to honor the institutional frameworks around National Security and our own Intelligence Institutions and organization. It is the height of incredulity to know that his narcissism, coupled with his sense of authoritarian marriage to wealth and delusions of Royalty, is the weakest point, now, in our security as a nation. So--given these new developments: what about all those earlier attempt to create "back channels" with Russia???

Does Trump feign arrogance and disinterest in reading and keeping up on Security and Intelligence briefings--so that he can assimilate what he chooses to "hear/grasp" and then operate on such information as it might fit is grifter family's greed and faux aristocratic delusions? There is much to worry us--and it is worse than daily lies...

William Romp, Vermont | June 15

It is telling that the language of military "defense" has become indistinguishable from that of military offense. Aggressive malware intrusions into foreign countries' sensitive (and sovereign) computer systems is now seen as a standard security procedure. "Gunboat diplomacy" is not an apt metaphor, as gunboats remained at discreet distances from borders. Our cyber policy is more akin to placing bombs in the public squares of foreign cities with threats to detonate.

Absent in this discussion is the distinction between military targets of cyber warfare and civilian targets, if such distinctions remain. America prepares to unplug millions of Russian citizens, including the elderly and children, plus hospitals and other sensitive civilian infrastructure targets, in order to "inflict pain" (on foreign citizens) and "send a message" (to foreign politicians). The abandonment of moral principles formerly displayed by American institutions is striking.

The failure of leadership on all sides is even more striking. Having spent many months in Russia and China I can tell you (as can anyone who has travelled beyond the tourist destinations) that the people there hold largely positive feelings toward Americans and other foreigners. A small minority of xenophobes and racists dominate the leadership, as in America, and form foreign policies that are at odds with the citizenship, at odds with moral justice, and at odds with humanity.

Viv, .|10h ago

@William Romp

In the abstract, of course people hold positive views of their "enemy" nations. In practice, it is not at all true.

You don't need to travel to Russia to find Russians who have been victims of American xenophobia and bigotry. They're right there in America.

Americans has never really held to "moral" standards of war.

To this day you have people believing that dropping atomic bombs on civilians was the right thing to do because it "minimized" loss of life. This is absurd.

To this day you have people believing that it was okay to not only finance the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, but indoctrinate their children to be war fighters.

There's nothing to be proud about this "moral" leadership.

Tim Rutledge, California | June 15

Won't they just do the same to us? This is the strategy?

DaWill, 11 hours ago

"Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction - and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister."

Restated, the Commander In Chief is not briefed on military operations for fear of betrayal. I feel like I'm going nuts. Someone please tell me what is going on in this country!

Carlos Fiancé Oak Park, Il | June 15
I appreciate this article. The US media breathlessly report on Russia spending a few hundred thousand on Facebook, but rarely do they recount all the ways the US meddles with Russia, as well as a host of other countries. "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone", as Jesus (doubtfully) said.

Pete, CA|11h ago, @HonorB14U

Actually, everything you could think of in American 'technology' is the result of government, usually military, development projects. The internet and everything associated with it came out of DARPA. American advances in solid state integrated circuitry are the results of satellite, rocketry, i.e. military development.

Castanet, MD-DC-VA | June 15

Another theatre of war where Pandora's unintended consequences plays a major role. We hope the better angels will be able to keep the balance. And put the lid back on the box, and put the box away forever.

Norman, NYC|9h ago

@TMah

Outdated infrastructure is less vulnerable to cyberattacks. It's not connected to the internet. It's like the railroads in Atlas Shrugged. When the latest technology is left dysfunctional, you can go back to the manual controls.

If I was designing digital equipment that's so complicated it's essentially a black box and you can't understand what's going on inside, I'd design it with a fallback to simpler controls, even manual controls.

C.O., Germany|11h ago

For me it is really amazing that so many believe in the meddling of Russia in the US-election in 2016. I at least have never seen or read about concrete evidence that they did. What was apparent, however, was the misuse of social media like Facebook and Co in the election. They are open to everyone who can speak English, and everyone can use fake names. I am sure there were indeed waves of misinformation among voters in the US. But every reasonable person could have read American newspapers or watched American television to correct fake news if they pop up. In addition, I think that FoxNews, Trump's and Steve Bannon's disruptive and manipulative ideology and the massive campaign funds have been much more effective for Trump's victory. To blame it all on Russia is really too simple and in the end rather dangerous. To call for "persistent presence" inside Russian and its digital systems, as Bolton does, moreover shows that the US is not an innocent victim but up to the state of art. Frightening.

N. Smith, New York City|6h ago

It speaks volumes that Donald Trump was not informed and purposely kept out of the loop about these cyber operations against Russia's power grid.
But it's not surprising.

Especially when only a few days ago before walking it back, this President said that he'd have no problem taking advantage of any available information to undercut his opponent, obviously forgetting that Russia already took him up this invitation in the 2016 elections.

No doubt they're primed to do it again. Sooner or later Americans will come to the realization that Vladimir Putin is an ex-KGB operative who plans to restore Russia to its former Soviet glory. And the Cold War never ended.

Phil, Brooklyn | 4h ago

So your argument is that it's a good thing that the military is staging attacks against a nuclear power, basically without any oversight from any branch of government?

Paul, Virginia | June 15

The use of cyber attacks is another slippery road to actual shooting war. Some says that cyber warfare would deter or prevent nations from actually going to war with each other. This is wishful thinking for the national survival instinct would force a nation on the verge of being plunged into darkness and thus cyber defeat to resort to nuclear weapons or maximum conventional warfare which could easily lead to the use of nuclear weapons.
The world's leading powers should come together, discuss, and agree to a treaty outlawing the use of cyber attacks against other nations' power grids and other online systems essential for human welfare. The world cannot afford another arm race similar to the nuclear arm race after WW II that has since placed the survival of the human race on the vagaries of a few men.

Michael, Evanston, IL|June 15

@M. Casey Yes, and we have been doing it to them (and others) for some time. So it is a perfectly reasonable response to wonder if this won't simply escalate. And I hardly assume that this is a transparent process in which we will even know what is going on.

TPH, Colorado|11h ago

@David Henderson Actually, the US has been deeply involved in cyber-warfare for over nine years. In June 2010, the US attacked Iran with a cyber-attack and, together with Israel, completely took out the Iranian military nuclear facility in Natanz with the cyber-worm 'Stuxnet'. That attack destroyed over 1,000 nuclear centrifuges and pushed the Iranian nuclear program back by at least two years. The type of attacks on civilian power plants now being discussed would be a cakewalk in comparison. Nearly ten years of continuing development has taken place since -- not just in the US -- and the tech people working for and with the US government are some of the best in the world.

If the US has decided to start implanting the latest 2019 malware in the Russian power grid, they have a real reason for concern. It will be far more damaging and difficult to stop than anything the Russians have yet to develop.

[Jun 15, 2019] Is The US Preparing For War With Russia

Jun 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Leonid Salvin via Oriental Review,

The RAND Corporation recently published a document entitled Overextending and Unbalancing Russia. Assessing the Impact of Cost-Imposing Options . The study is the collective effort of experienced diplomats, including former Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and US Ambassador to the European Union James Dobbins; a professor (Brookings Institution, American Enterprise Institute, National Defence University) and military intelligence branched lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, Raphael Cohen; and seven other RAND researchers who specialise in international relations, the military industry, intelligence, politics, and technology.

It is a practical recommendation for how the US can use Russia's weakness and vulnerability to further limit its political and economic potential.

It is also a kind of summary of a much more extensive monograph of some 300-odd pages entitled Extending Russia. Competing from Advantageous Ground by the same authors.

So what, exactly, are these influential political analysts suggesting to the American establishment?

Their full spectrum of operations is divided into four sections – economic, geopolitical, ideological and informational, and military measures. It is clear that the experts approached the development of their strategy rationally by measuring the potential costs for the US itself.

The economic section consists of four options that Russia has already been directly affected by in previous years. The first of these is expanding the production and export of US energy resources, which would affect global prices and therefore limit Russia's profits. The second is strengthening sanctions, where the involvement of other countries in such a process is seen as essential. Next is helping Europe find new gas suppliers, including for LNG supplies. And, finally, encouraging migration from Russia to other countries, especially with regard to skilled workers and educated young people. It is assumed that the first three options would be the most beneficial to the US, although imposing deeper sanctions could bring certain risks.

In the section on geopolitical measures, the US experts propose six geopolitical scenarios aimed at weakening Russia. They don't just involve the Russian Federation, either, but neighbouring countries as well. Each scenario has certain risks, costs, and an expected impact.

According to the Americans, helping Ukraine by supplying the country with weapons would exploit Russia's greatest vulnerability . But any increase in the supply of US weapons and advice to Ukraine would need to be carefully calibrated in order to increase the costs to Russia of supporting its existing commitments without provoking a much wider conflict in which Russia, by reason of proximity, would have significant advantages.

Syrian Democratic Forces trainees, representing an equal number of Arab and Kurdish volunteers, stand in formation at their graduation ceremony in northern Syria, August 9, 2017.

This is the first option. The RAND experts believe that this will be the most beneficial, but that its possible realisation will also involve high risks.

The second option is to increase support to the Syrian rebels. This could jeopardise other US policy priorities, however, such as combating radical Islamic terrorism, and could destabilise the entire region even further. It might not even be possible, given the radicalisation, fragmentation, and decline of the Syrian opposition.

The RAND experts obviously understand all the possible dangers involved in this scenario, but, reading between the lines, it is easy to see that this option is basically implying the use of terrorist groups in the geopolitical interests of the US. There is nothing new about this method in and of itself, but it can be rather costly to implement and comes with considerable risks, and, in the best case scenario, the likelihood of success is moderate. It could also upset America's traditional allies, as happened during the Iraq invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

The third option is promoting liberalisation in Belarus. The authors admit that this is unlikely to succeed, however, and could provoke a strong response from Russia, which would lead to a general worsening of the security situation in Europe and be a setback for US policy. As with the first option, it comes with high risk, but the benefits could also be considerable. Needless to say that what is really being referred to here is a colour revolution in the Republic of Belarus. The country's leadership should pay attention to this recommendation by the RAND Corporation and ask the US diplomats in Minsk for comment.

Expanding ties in the South Caucasus, which competes economically with Russia, is the fourth option, but it would be difficult to implement because of geography and history.

The fifth scenario is reducing Russia's influence in Central Asia, which could also prove difficult and disproportionately expensive for the US.

And the sixth, and final, scenario is organising an uprising in Transnistria and expelling Russian troops, which would be a blow to Russia's prestige. This could also have the opposite effect, however, since Moscow would save money, but it could well lead to additional costs for the US and its allies.

Muscovites protesting the war in Ukraine and Russia's support of separatism in the Crimea on the Circular Boulevards in Moscow on March 15, 2014

It should be noted that all six scenarios are aimed at Russia's neighbours. They are a kind of re-working of the old Anaconda strategy unleashed on Russia's borders.

The section on ideological and informational measures is aimed at the Russian Federation's domestic policies and is essentially interfering in the country's affairs. There are just four scenarios, but they speak for themselves: undermining faith in the electoral system; creating the idea that the political elite does not serve the interests of society; instigating protests and non-violent resistance; and undermining Russia's image abroad.

Tellingly, the proposed military measures against Russia have the largest number of options and are separated into three strategic areas – air, sea, and land.

It states that repositioning bombers to within striking distance of key Russian strategic targets would have a high likelihood of success and would undoubtedly attract Moscow's attention and cause unease. The costs and risks associated with this option would be fairly low, as long as the bombers are based out of range of most of Russia's ballistic and ground-based cruise missiles.

Marines assigned to the Thunderbolts of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 251 remove a training AGM-88 HARM from an F/A-18C Hornet on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).

Reposturing fighter jets so that they are closer to their targets than bombers. Although the RAND experts believe that such actions could worry Moscow more than the option with the bombers, the probability of success is low but the risks are high. Since each aircraft would have to fly several sorties during a conventional conflict because of low payload, there is a risk that they could be destroyed on the ground and their deployment airfields could be shut down early on.

Deploying additional tactical nuclear weapons to parts of Europe and Asia could increase Russia's worry, which could lead to a significant increase in investment in its air defences. In combination with the 'bomber' option, it has a high probability of success, but deploying a large number of these weapons could make Moscow react in ways that go against the interests of the US and its allies.

Repositioning US and allied ballistic missile defence systems to better deter Russian ballistic missiles would also make Moscow uneasy, but it would probably be the least effective option since Russia has plenty of missiles that could be used for any upgrades. US and allied targets would also remain at risk.

A U.S. sailor aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) fires a torpedo at a simulated target during Valiant Shield 2014 in the Pacific Ocean September 18, 2014.

The report also suggests developing new low-observable, long-range bombers or significantly increasing the number of those types that are already causing unease in Moscow. There is also mention of high numbers of autonomous or remotely piloted strike aircraft.

As the RAND experts point out, the key risk of these options is an arms race, which could lead to cost-imposing strategies directed against the United States. For example, investing in ballistic missile defence systems and space-based weapons would alarm Moscow, but Russia could defend itself against such developments by taking measures that would probably be considerably cheaper than the cost of these systems to the United States.

With regard to a maritime confrontation, RAND suggests increasing the presence of US and allied navies in those zones considered potentially dangerous because of Russia. It is probably safe to assume that this is referring to the Baltic Sea, the Arctic, and the Black Sea/Mediterranean Basin. The report also mentions increasing investment in research and developing new types of weapons that could strike Russian nuclear submarines. At the same time, it would be a good idea for the US itself to increase the fleet of submarines in its nuclear triad. And, finally, with regard to the Black Sea, the report suggests using NATO to develop an access denial strategy – probably through the deployment of long-range, anti-ship missiles – in order to increase Russia's defence spending in Crimea.

On land, the report's authors believe that there should be an increase in the number of European NATO troops deployed directly on the Russian border. They also emphasise the importance of increasing the size and scale of NATO exercises in Europe, which would send a clear signal to Russia. Another option is to develop intermediate-range missiles but not deploy them, which would force Russia to upgrade its missile programme (an additional cost). And, finally, the report suggests investing in new technologies (weapons based on new physical principles such as lasers) aimed at countering Russian air defence systems.

Exercise Artemis Strike was a German-led tactical live-fire exercise with live Patriot and Stinger missiles at the NATO Missile Firing Installation in Chania, Greece, from October 31 to November 9, 2017

As can be seen, all four sections are complementary in their diversity. The Pentagon has already been working on some innovations in the last few years as part of the Third Offset Strategy , while the current and new budget suggests that, one way or another, the US will continue to build up its military power.

Together with other advisory documents for high-level decision makers in the US, this report by RAND experts is evidence of a large-scale campaign being carried out against Russia. It is surprising, however, that all of the recommendations, especially those included in the military section, are virtually pointing to the preparation of a war with Russia. It calmly talks about what the US can do about existing arms limitation treaties, how to use NATO, and how to use Ukraine in the war with Russia, especially on land and in the Black Sea theatre of operations. There is no doubt that the recommendations themselves were passed on to US decision-making centres a long time before April 2019, when the monograph was published. All that remains is to monitor the implementation of these scenarios and take the appropriate countermeasures.

* * *

Full RAND brief below:

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/411164498/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&show_recommendations=false&access_key=key-W6qKRgl7gft0hGsjMjjG

[Jun 15, 2019] Why Didn't Mueller Investigate Seth Rich

Parteigenosse Mueller mission was to derail Trump. Investigation of real DNC scandal was outside of scope of this tool of the Deep State. From comments: "Mueller was brought in as the Cleaner! It is a massive cover-up for which most of those who are complicit should be behind bars! "
Mueller report was concocted with only goal: to sink Trump. Objective investigation of events was beyond the scope. Moreover it looks like Mueller investigators were instrumental in setting an entrapment for members of Trump team and as such might be criminally liable for this abuse of their status.
Images deleted.
Notable quotes:
"... No one knows who killed Rich in Washington, D.C., on July 10, 2016. All we know is that he was found at 4:19 a.m. in the Bloomingdale neighborhood "with apparent gunshot wound(s) to the back" according to the police report . Conscious and still breathing, he was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:57. ..."
"... Rich's mother, Mary, told local TV news that her son struggled with his assailants: "His hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything . They took his life for literally no reason. They didn't finish robbing him, they just took his life." ..."
"... But cops said shortly after the killing that they had no immediate indication that robbery was a motive. Despite his mother's report of two shots in the back, all the local medical examiner would say is that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the torso. According to Rich's brother, Aaron , Seth "was very aware, very talkative," when police found him lying on the pavement. Yet cops have refused to say if he described his assailant. A month later, they put out a statement that "there is no indication that Seth Rich's death is connected to his employment at the DNC," but refused to elaborate. ..."
"... all the Mueller report did was replace one conspiracy theory with another involving the Kremlin and its minions that is equally unconvincing. ..."
"... there's nothing in the Mueller report indicating that the special counselor independently reviewed the forensic evidence or questioned family members and friends. ..."
"... He certainly didn't interview Assange, the person in the best position to know who supplied the data, even though Craig Murray, the ex-British diplomat who serves as an unofficial WikiLeaks spokesman, says the WikiLeaks founder would have been "very willing to give evidence to Mueller" while holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, "which could have been done by video-link, by interview in the Embassy, or by written communication." ..."
"... This was as close as Assange could come to confirming that Rich was tied up with the leak without actually saying it. Hours later, WikiLeaks tweeted about the $20k reward. ..."
"... Four months after that, Craig Murray told the Libertarian Institute's Scott Horton: "Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that he [Rich] was the source of the leaks. What I'm saying is that it's probably not an unfair indication to draw that WikiLeaks believe[s] that he may have been killed by someone who thought he was the source of the leaks." (Quote begins at 11:20 .) ..."
"... But if speculation refuses to die, it's for a simple reason. If the DNC email disclosure was a hack, then Rich clearly had nothing to do with it, which means his death was no more than a robbery gone awry. But if it was a leak, then – based on broad hints dropped by Assange and Murray – it looks like the story could well be more complicated. This proves nothing in and of itself. But it guarantees that questions will grow as long as the Washington police make zero progress in its investigation and the Mueller report continues to fall apart. ..."
"... And that's just what's happening. Mueller's account of how Russian intelligence supposedly supplied WikiLeaks with stolen data makes no sense because, according to the report's chronology, the transfer left WikiLeaks with just four days to review some 28,000 emails and other electronic documents to make sure that they were genuine and unaltered – a clear impossibility. ..."
"... The FBI assessment that Paul Manafort associate Konstantin Kilimnik "has ties to Russian intelligence" – which Mueller cites (vol. 1, p. 133) in order to justify holding Manafort in solitary confinement during the Russia-gate investigation – is similarly disintegrating amid reports that Kilimnik actually served as an important State Department intelligence source. ..."
"... "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." Arthur Conan Doyle ..."
"... No need for arrests, extradition requests, or 17 espionage charges. A simple email phone call might just do the trick... It shows once again that Trump is a similar fascist as Hillary and the DNC! ..."
"... Why would an assassin leave him alive on the sidewalk? ..."
"... Today we've learned that the FBI didn't, inexplicably, go and grab the DNC server but also never even saw the report from Crowdstrike that was used as the basis for blaming everything on Russia. ..."
"... Of course, the FBI admitted that it never examined the DNC servers and just revealed in court that it never saw a detailed report from Crowdstrike showing that Russians hacked the server. That's why Mueller never investigated. He knew it was a lie but one the entire 3 years, Obama admin, Hillary, the DNC & corrupt cabal depend on maintaining. ..."
"... If you followed the story, the Rich family was very much doubted this was a random robbery until political operators had a long chat with them. Their stories changed and cooperation with the independent investigation ended. This neighborhood has cameras everywhere. Suddenly, none of them worked. ..."
"... Not only did the FBI never get the DNC server for forensic investigation, it turns out the FBI never even got a finalized report on "DNC hacking" from Crowdstrike. Every conclusion drawn by the various agencies within the Intelligence Community is based on a redacted copy of a draft report from Crowdstrike, and this report was never finalized from its draft form. And even the draft was never unredacted for the FBI. ..."
"... 'Why Didn't Mueller Investigate Seth Rich?' Occam's razor. Why would a paid lackey disobey direct orders by the chief architects of this Criminal Conspiracy and risk his own life in the process? It makes no sense on any level. ..."
Jun 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Daniel Lazare via ConsortiumNews.com,

The idea that the DNC email disclosures were produced by a hack - not a leak - makes less and less sense...

After bungling every last aspect of Russia-gate since the day the pseudo-scandal broke, the corporate press is now seizing on the Mueller report to shut down debate on one of the key questions still outstanding from the 2016 presidential election: the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.

No one knows who killed Rich in Washington, D.C., on July 10, 2016. All we know is that he was found at 4:19 a.m. in the Bloomingdale neighborhood "with apparent gunshot wound(s) to the back" according to the police report . Conscious and still breathing, he was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:57.

[ Image deleted ]
Slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. (LinkedIn)

Police have added to the confusion by releasing information only in the tiniest dribs and drabs. Rich's mother, Mary, told local TV news that her son struggled with his assailants: "His hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything . They took his life for literally no reason. They didn't finish robbing him, they just took his life."

But cops said shortly after the killing that they had no immediate indication that robbery was a motive. Despite his mother's report of two shots in the back, all the local medical examiner would say is that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the torso. According to Rich's brother, Aaron , Seth "was very aware, very talkative," when police found him lying on the pavement. Yet cops have refused to say if he described his assailant. A month later, they put out a statement that "there is no indication that Seth Rich's death is connected to his employment at the DNC," but refused to elaborate.

The result is a scattering of disconnected facts that can be used to support just about any theory from a random killing to a political assassination. Nonetheless, Robert Mueller is dead certain that the murder had nothing to do with the emails -- just as he was dead certain in 2003 that Iraq was bristling with weapons of mass destruction " pos[ing] a clear threat to our national security .

Scene of the crime. (YouTube)

Mueller's Theory About Assange 'Dissembling'

Mueller is equally positive that, merely by expressing concern that the murder may have had something to do with the release of thousands of DNC emails less than two weeks later, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was trying to protect the real source, which of course is Russia.

Here's how the Mueller report puts it:

"Beginning in the summer of 2016, Assange and WikiLeaks made a number of statements about Seth Rich, a former DNC staff member who was killed in July 2016. The statements about Rich implied falsely that he had been the source of the stolen DNC emails. On August 9, 2016, the @WikiLeaks Twitter accounted posted: 'ANNOUNCE: WikiLeaks has decided to issue a US$20k reward for information leading to conviction for the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.'

Likewise, on August 25, 2016, Assange was asked in an interview, 'Why are you so interested in Seth Rich's killer?' and responded, 'We're very interested in anything that might be a threat to alleged WikiLeaks sources.' The interviewer responded to Assange's statement by commenting, 'I know you don't want to reveal your source, but it certainly sounds like you're suggesting a man who leaked information to WikiLeaks was then murdered.'

Assange replied, 'If there's someone who's potentially connected to our publication, and that person has been murdered in suspicious, circumstances, it doesn't necessarily mean that the two are connected. But it is a very serious matter that type of allegation is very serious, as it's taken very seriously by us'" (vol. 1, pp. 48-49).

Mueller: Says Assange's real source was Russia. (All Your Breaking News Here via Flickr)

This is what the Mueller report calls "dissembling." The conclusion caused jubilation in corporate newsrooms where hostility to both Russia and WikiLeaks runs high. "The Seth Rich conspiracy theory needs to end now," declared Vox.com. "The special counsel's report confirmed this week that Seth Rich was not the source," said The New York Times . "The Mueller report might not end the debate over what President Donald Trump did," the Poynter Institute's Politifact added ,"but it has scuttled one conspiracy theory involving a murdered Democratic party staffer and WikiLeaks."

One Conspiracy Theory for Another

But all the Mueller report did was replace one conspiracy theory with another involving the Kremlin and its minions that is equally unconvincing.

Remarkably, there's nothing in the Mueller report indicating that the special counselor independently reviewed the forensic evidence or questioned family members and friends.

He certainly didn't interview Assange, the person in the best position to know who supplied the data, even though Craig Murray, the ex-British diplomat who serves as an unofficial WikiLeaks spokesman, says the WikiLeaks founder would have been "very willing to give evidence to Mueller" while holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, "which could have been done by video-link, by interview in the Embassy, or by written communication."

Bike rack and plaque outside DNC headquarters. (Johanna745, CC0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Murray says Mueller's team made no effort to contact him either even though he has publicly stated that he met clandestinely with an associate of the leaker near the American University campus in Washington.

Why not? Because Mueller didn't want anything that might disturb his a priori assumption that Russia is the guilty party. If he had bucked the intelligence community finding – set forth in a formal assessment in January 2017 – that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign aimed at undermining Hillary Clinton's candidacy -- it would have been front-page news since an anti-Trump press had already accepted the assessment as gospel. ButMueller is far too much of an establishmentarian to do anything so reckless.

So he selected evidence in support of the official theory that "[t]he Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion," as the report states on its very first page. And since Assange had consistently maintained that the data was the result of an inside leak rather than internal hack and that "[o]ur source is not the Russian government," he cherry picked evidence to show that Assange is a liar, not only about Russia but about Seth Rich.

Cryptic Exchange

It's a self-serving myth that corporate media have swallowed whole because it serves their interests too. One problem in exposing it, however, is Assange's pledge – intrinsic to the WikiLeaks mission – to safeguard the identities of whistleblowers who furnish it with information. The upshot has been a good deal of beating around the bush. A month after the murder, the WikiLeaks founder appeared on a Dutch program called "Nieuwsuur" and took part in a cryptic exchange with journalist Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal:

Assange during exchange with Rosenthal. (YouTube)

Assange: Whistle blowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. There's a 27-year-old – works for the DNC – who was shot in the back, murdered, just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington, so .

Rosenthal: That was just a robbery, I believe, wasn't it?

Assange: No, there's no finding, so –

Rosenthal: What are you suggesting?

Assange: I'm suggesting that our sources take risks, and they become concerned to see things occurring like that.

Rosenthal: But was he one of your sources then? I mean –

Assange: We don't comment about who our sources are.

Rosenthal: But why make the suggestion about a young guy being shot in the streets of Washington?

Assange: Because we have to understand how high the stakes are in the United States and that our sources, you know, face serious risks. That's why they come to us – so we can protect their anonymity.

Rosenthal: But it's quite something to suggest a murder. That's basically what you're doing.

This was as close as Assange could come to confirming that Rich was tied up with the leak without actually saying it. Hours later, WikiLeaks tweeted about the $20k reward.

Four months after that, Craig Murray told the Libertarian Institute's Scott Horton: "Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that he [Rich] was the source of the leaks. What I'm saying is that it's probably not an unfair indication to draw that WikiLeaks believe[s] that he may have been killed by someone who thought he was the source of the leaks." (Quote begins at 11:20 .)

Thanks to such foggy rhetoric, it was all but inevitable that conspiracy theories would ignite. Two months after the killing, an ultra-conservative talk-radio host named Jack Burkman – best known for organizing a protest campaign against the Dallas Cowboys' hiring of an openly gay football player named Michael Sam – approached members of the Rich family and offered to launch an investigation in their behalf.

The family said yes, but then backed off when Burkman grandly announced that the murder was a Kremlin hit. Things turned even more bizarre a year later when Kevin Doherty, an ex-Marine whom Burkman had hired to look into the case, lured his ex-boss to a Marriott hotel in Arlington, Virgina, where he shot him twice in the buttocks and then tried to run him down with a rented SUV. Doherty received a nine-year sentence last December.

The rightwing Washington Times meanwhile reported that WikiLeaks had paid Seth and Aaron Rich an undisclosed sum, a story it was forced to retract , and Fox News named Seth as the source as well. (A sympathetic judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Rich family on technical grounds.) But still the speculation bubbled on, with conservative nuts blaming everyone from ex-DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to acting DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, and Bill and Hillary themselves.

All of which plays into the hands of a corporate press happy to write off any and all suspicion as a product of alt-right paranoia.

But if speculation refuses to die, it's for a simple reason. If the DNC email disclosure was a hack, then Rich clearly had nothing to do with it, which means his death was no more than a robbery gone awry. But if it was a leak, then – based on broad hints dropped by Assange and Murray – it looks like the story could well be more complicated. This proves nothing in and of itself. But it guarantees that questions will grow as long as the Washington police make zero progress in its investigation and the Mueller report continues to fall apart.

And that's just what's happening. Mueller's account of how Russian intelligence supposedly supplied WikiLeaks with stolen data makes no sense because, according to the report's chronology, the transfer left WikiLeaks with just four days to review some 28,000 emails and other electronic documents to make sure that they were genuine and unaltered – a clear impossibility. (See " The 'Guccifer 2.0' Gaps in Mueller's Full Report ," April 18.)

The FBI assessment that Paul Manafort associate Konstantin Kilimnik "has ties to Russian intelligence" – which Mueller cites (vol. 1, p. 133) in order to justify holding Manafort in solitary confinement during the Russia-gate investigation – is similarly disintegrating amid reports that Kilimnik actually served as an important State Department intelligence source.

So the idea of a hack makes less and less sense and an inside leak seems more and more plausible, which is why questions about the Rich case will not go away.

Bottom line: you don't have to be a loony rightist to suspect that there is more to the murder than Robert Mueller would like us to believe.


Reaper , 6 minutes ago link

"Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." Arthur Conan Doyle

The FBI/Mueller/Comey are the Federal Key Stone Cops.

CanadaGoose , 8 minutes ago link

Mueller was brought in as the Cleaner! It is a massive cover-up for which most of those who are complicit should be behind bars!

Kotzbomber747 , 15 minutes ago link

Question: why is the Trump Administration still actively PERSECUTING Julian Assange?

"...Craig Murray, the ex-British diplomat who serves as an unofficial WikiLeaks spokesman, says the WikiLeaks founder would have been "very willing to give evidence to Mueller" while holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, "which could have been done by video-link, by interview in the Embassy, or by written communication."

No need for arrests, extradition requests, or 17 espionage charges. A simple email phone call might just do the trick... It shows once again that Trump is a similar fascist as Hillary and the DNC!

DaBard51 , 20 minutes ago link

Mueller: "The [Wikileaks] statements about Rich implied falsely that he had been the source of the stolen DNC emails."

For this assertion, what evidence did Mueller find?

<crickets>

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

mpcascio , 23 minutes ago link

I'm sure the Kenyan was deep in the mix.

847328_3527 , 16 minutes ago link

The best thing a person can do if anything happens to them is try to document it and send it to a friendly media outlet since the police and FBI may cover it up. Perhaps dump it directly on to the internet so at least some folks hear/see the truth before it all vanishes.

gay troll , 23 minutes ago link

Why would an assassin leave him alive on the sidewalk?

chunga , 22 minutes ago link

Why didn't the red team make him do it, or do it themselves?

Today we've learned that the FBI didn't, inexplicably, go and grab the DNC server but also never even saw the report from Crowdstrike that was used as the basis for blaming everything on Russia.

fackbankz , 19 minutes ago link

Mueller is a lifelong dirty cop and cover up artist. That's why.

fackbankz , 20 minutes ago link

The killers are most likely dead themselves.

neidermeyer , 14 minutes ago link

Guatemalans or MS-13 subcontractors to the CIA who would have been killed after the job.

SummerSausage , 23 minutes ago link

Of course, the FBI admitted that it never examined the DNC servers and just revealed in court that it never saw a detailed report from Crowdstrike showing that Russians hacked the server. That's why Mueller never investigated. He knew it was a lie but one the entire 3 years, Obama admin, Hillary, the DNC & corrupt cabal depend on maintaining.

curbjob , 32 minutes ago link

The author quotes Seth Rich's brother to support his theory.

According to Rich's brother, Aaron , Seth "was very aware, very talkative," when police found him lying on the pavement.

... but then fails to quote his brothers press statement ?

Which is:

The special counsel has now provided hard facts that demonstrate this conspiracy is false. I hope that the people who pushed, fueled, spread, ran headlines, articles, interviews, talk and opinion shows, or in any way used my family's tragedy to advance their political agendas -- despite our pleas that what they were saying was not based on any facts -- will take responsibility for the unimaginable pain they have caused us. We will continue to pursue justice for Seth's murderers, as well as those who used his murder to advance their personal or political agendas by advancing false conspiracy theories

Aaron Rich

SummerSausage , 29 minutes ago link

If you followed the story, the Rich family was very much doubted this was a random robbery until political operators had a long chat with them. Their stories changed and cooperation with the independent investigation ended. This neighborhood has cameras everywhere. Suddenly, none of them worked.

curbjob , 20 minutes ago link

So you're saying the family was coerced into changing their story?

MadelynMarie , 20 minutes ago link

yes, I thought the family spokesperson was from the DNC

pelican , 24 minutes ago link

Where was SA Peter Strzok when he was murdered? Just wondering

RiverDrifter , 4 minutes ago link

Feel like I'm reading a question from the future.....

navy62802 , 28 minutes ago link

Not only did the FBI never get the DNC server for forensic investigation, it turns out the FBI never even got a finalized report on "DNC hacking" from Crowdstrike. Every conclusion drawn by the various agencies within the Intelligence Community is based on a redacted copy of a draft report from Crowdstrike, and this report was never finalized from its draft form. And even the draft was never unredacted for the FBI.

The whole thing was a sham from the start, as many people suspected. The Mueller operation was never seeking to uncover truth; it was an impeachment investigation by any other name. Why Mueller didn't carry it over the goal line will forever remain a mystery to me.

SummerSausage , 22 minutes ago link

Yet that did not stop Mueller from a pre-dawn raid of Stone's house with 27 armed officers & CNN claiming he helped Wikileaks get the DNC emails from Russian hackers. It isn't stopping the corrupt cabal from prosecuting Stone & Assange for that continued lie.

Consuelo , 25 minutes ago link

'Why Didn't Mueller Investigate Seth Rich?' Occam's razor. Why would a paid lackey disobey direct orders by the chief architects of this Criminal Conspiracy and risk his own life in the process? It makes no sense on any level.

DudleyjouWrite , 26 minutes ago link

The many 'Mueller' questions: Whitey Bulger, Cause of death‎: ‎Blunt force trauma

Freddie , 26 minutes ago link

Funny how we hear about all the great whistle blower-leakers in Wastergate and the wonder cub reporters aka CI$$A shills like Woodward, Bernstein and Ben Bradley who were and are CI$$A puppets. Watergate was Deepstate Rockefellers/Rothschilds taking Nixon out for tariffs and ending the gravy train Vietnam war with endless opium and heroin.

But when you have Seth Rich murdered and Wiki Leaks saying he is the guy then "democracy dies in the darkness" with the fake *** USA news media aka Operation Mockingbird Wa Post, NY Times, AP and the rest.

joego1 , 29 minutes ago link

The FBI never saw the forensic report on DNC computer. https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/06/15/doj-admits-fbi-never-saw-crowdstrike-report-on-dnc-russian-hacking-claim/ They really really didn't want to know the truth.

chunga , 16 minutes ago link

The significance of that can't be overstated. The investigations that have been going on NON-STOP for three years are all fake and *everybody* in DC knows it.

MartinG , 26 minutes ago link

page 48 of the mueller report does mention seth rich as the source of the hack. As quoted by Julian Assange and Mueller casually mentioned that it's untrue with no further investigation.

[Jun 15, 2019] The queen of RussiaGate is going to be asking questions at the debates

MadCow disease of neoliberal MSM is spreading...
Jun 15, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

snoopydawg on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 5:01pm

@skod

So a flaming Russia conspiracist is going to moderate the first Democratic presidential debates. What a joke https://t.co/6QWPrS2cZk

-- Michael Tracey (@mtracey) June 11, 2019

Pluto's Republic on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 5:25pm
Scenes we'd like to see:

@snoopydawg

Anyone want to bet that she will ask someone a question about what they will do to keep Russia from interfering with the election again?

I would love to see that. All answers will be the wrong answer.

[Jun 14, 2019] This is Crystal Clear -- Find the Creator of the Guccifer 2.0 Hoax, and You Find the Murderer of Seth Rich by veganmark

Notable quotes:
"... Let's start with this very reasonable supposition: Guccifer 2.0 is an entity operating within US time zones who has gone out of his way to pose as a Russian hacker who was the source for the Wikileaks DNC/Podesta releases. ..."
"... villain du jour ..."
"... The subsequent mysterious death of Shawn Lucas by a weird drug cocktail might also be related. Shawn had been the process server for the class-action lawsuit against the DNC. According to Sy Hersh's FBI source, Seth indicated that he had allies who were aware of the drop box he was providing Wikileaks. It would have been necessary to eliminate these allies. Was Shawn one of these allies, and did the creator of G2.0 know this? Shawn, who was not known to be a drug user, died suddenly about a month after Seth. ..."
"... So who created G2.0? G2.0 appears to have worked in coordination with Crowdstrike. One day after Crowdstrike announced that the DNC had been hacked (with Russia the chief suspect) and that the hackers had grabbed a file of Trump Opposition Research, G2.0 makes his first public appearance, claiming to be the hacker, posting Trump Opposition Research -- and purposely leaving "Russian fingerprints" on the meta-data of his release. ..."
"... Crowdstrike was also in a position to concoct the "Russian hack" that they claimed to be investigating. Cyberanalysts have determined that two-thirds of the allegedly "Russian malware" which Crowdstrike "found" on the DNC servers had in fact been compiled subsequent to the date that Crowdstrike was brought in to investigate the "hack". In other words, there is reason to believe that Crowdstrike itself concocted this "hack" -- likely because they had been warned that Wikileaks was going to release leaked DNC emails. ..."
"... Also notable is the fact that Shawn Henry, co-founder of Crowdstrike, is a master of cyberfuckery. Prior to founding Crowdstrike, Henry served under Robert Mueller as head of FBI counterintelligence -- in which capacity he engaged in efforts to entrap and discredit Julian Assange. Indeed, others have suspected that Henry was behind G2.0, in light of the fact that G2.0's behavior was reminiscent of that of "Sabu" (Hector Monsignor), a hacker who, after secretly being arrested by the FBI during Henry's tenure there, worked under FBI direction to entrap other hackers. And the G2.0 hoax is clearly another - so far, highly successful - attempt to smear Assange. ..."
"... @The Voice In the Wilderness ..."
"... After the Popodouplous interview by Mark Steyn, there was clarity after following Russiagate since it really started before the election of 2016. The deep state actors were trying to setup some significant figure in the Trump as having ties with the Russian government. ..."
"... The irony is that we have McCarthyism once again and not one Russian is guilty of what they are being accused of. They were set up as the fall guys, and of course in the future nuclear war. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Let's start with this very reasonable supposition: Guccifer 2.0 is an entity operating within US time zones who has gone out of his way to pose as a Russian hacker who was the source for the Wikileaks DNC/Podesta releases. The notion that this absurdly preening entity is a GRU hacker is idiotic.

The Mueller report's tale of how G2.0 allegedly transferred the DNC emails to Wikileaks is absurd on its face -- which is to say, Mueller is acting as an accomplice to G2.0 in his fraud.

The evident purpose of the G2.0 fraud was to detract attention from the incriminating content of the DNC/Podesta releases, by blaming those releases on Russian government hackers operating in cahoots with Julian Assange. This accomplishes 3 goals dear to the hearts of the Deep State actors behind G2.0: minimizing the damage to Hillary's campaign inflicted by the released emails; smearing the reputation of Assange, who has made an unparalleled contribution to unmasking the egregious crimes of the Western Deep State; and further defaming "the Russians", the villain du jour which our Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think Tank* complex needs to justify the continuing rape of American taxpayers on behalf of our grotesque overspending on military hardware and our bloated global military empire.

But what was the evident fly-in-the-ointment for this brilliantly diabolic plan? The ACTUAL source of the Wikileaks releases could have blown it sky high. And if G2.0 and the Russian hacking tale had been unmasked prior to the election, the blowback on Hillary's campaign would have been enormous. Which is why the creators of G2.0 needed to eliminate the source.

There are a number of reasons to suspect that Seth Rich was the source, or a confederate of the source:

Hints dropped by Assange;

Award for info on Seth's killer offered by Wikileaks;

Wikileaks re-tweeting essays speculating that Seth was the leaker;

Craig Murray's repeated assurances that DNC/Podesta releases resulted from leaks, not hacks;

Kim Dotcom's claim that he helped Seth with the leak;

Sy Hersh's secretly recorded phone call in which he stated that a trusted source within the FBI claims to have seen an FBI memo describing an FBI analysis of Seth's laptop -- this revealed that Seth had offered to sell DNC emails to Wikileaks, and subsequently conveyed the docs to Wikileaks via drop box;

Claims by Ed Butowsky, Larry Johnson, and Bill Binney indicating that they have sources inside the intel community verifying that Seth was the leaker -- in conjunction with brother Aaron;

Jared Beck's claim that both Seth and Shawn Lucas were planning to testify in the class-action lawsuit against the DNC -- speaks to Seth's possible motive for leaking;

Claim by Rod Wheeler that, according to a source inside the DC police, the police have been ordered to "stand down" on the Seth Rich investigation;

Frenzied reaction of Donna Brazile on learning that Wheeler was investigating the Seth Rich murder - and her overt lie regarding her whereabouts on the morning of the murder.

https://caucus99percent.com/content/why-did-donna-lie-again

Some have speculated that, in line with an email by John Podesta, Seth was murdered "to make an example of him". I reject this explanation. They could have made an example by firing him and suing him. As it stands, no example was made, as the DNC claims that Russians, not Seth, were responsible for the Wikileaks DNC releases.

If the puppetmaster of G2.0 knew or believed that Seth was the leaker, Seth had to be murdered to insure success of the G2.0 hoax.

(The alternative is that G2.0 did not know that, and that Seth was beaten up and murdered in a robbery so "botched" that no valuables were taken. Yeah, right!)

The subsequent mysterious death of Shawn Lucas by a weird drug cocktail might also be related. Shawn had been the process server for the class-action lawsuit against the DNC. According to Sy Hersh's FBI source, Seth indicated that he had allies who were aware of the drop box he was providing Wikileaks. It would have been necessary to eliminate these allies. Was Shawn one of these allies, and did the creator of G2.0 know this? Shawn, who was not known to be a drug user, died suddenly about a month after Seth.

Curiously, the day after Seth died, and again the day after Shawn died, the DNC made payments of about $100K to Crowdstrike. Sheer coincidence? Maybe.

So who created G2.0? G2.0 appears to have worked in coordination with Crowdstrike. One day after Crowdstrike announced that the DNC had been hacked (with Russia the chief suspect) and that the hackers had grabbed a file of Trump Opposition Research, G2.0 makes his first public appearance, claiming to be the hacker, posting Trump Opposition Research -- and purposely leaving "Russian fingerprints" on the meta-data of his release. Unfortunately, this little dog-and-pony show turned out to be a screw-up, as it was subsequently revealed that (by the DNC itself!) that the Opposition Research document had been an attachment in Podesta's emails, and hadn't been hacked from the DNC. It is also notable that releasing Trump Opposition Research would do nothing to damage the chances of Hillary -- the alleged intent of the mythical Russian hackers. Indeed, nothing that G2.0 subsequently released was notably harmful to Hillary.

Crowdstrike was also in a position to concoct the "Russian hack" that they claimed to be investigating. Cyberanalysts have determined that two-thirds of the allegedly "Russian malware" which Crowdstrike "found" on the DNC servers had in fact been compiled subsequent to the date that Crowdstrike was brought in to investigate the "hack". In other words, there is reason to believe that Crowdstrike itself concocted this "hack" -- likely because they had been warned that Wikileaks was going to release leaked DNC emails.

https://caucus99percent.com/content/how-did-crowdstrikeguccifer-20-know-...

It bears repeating that the latest dated DNC email which Wikileaks published was written on April 25th -- several weeks after Crowdstrike had been brought in to investigate the alleged hack. Anti-hacking programs do not stop leaks .

Also notable is the fact that Shawn Henry, co-founder of Crowdstrike, is a master of cyberfuckery. Prior to founding Crowdstrike, Henry served under Robert Mueller as head of FBI counterintelligence -- in which capacity he engaged in efforts to entrap and discredit Julian Assange. Indeed, others have suspected that Henry was behind G2.0, in light of the fact that G2.0's behavior was reminiscent of that of "Sabu" (Hector Monsignor), a hacker who, after secretly being arrested by the FBI during Henry's tenure there, worked under FBI direction to entrap other hackers. And the G2.0 hoax is clearly another - so far, highly successful - attempt to smear Assange.

https://caucus99percent.com/content/shawn-henry-crowdstrike-was-fingered...

Whether or not Crowdstrike concocted G2.0, we need to find out who did -- the answer should be highly pertinent to unraveling Seth's murder.

And let's bear in mind that the creator of G2.0 has also played an integral role in concocting a Second Cold War with Russia - luring an entire generation of "leftists" into hating both Russia and Wikileaks, on completely spurious grounds. The evil of that is HUGE.

*Ray McGovern's brilliant formulation.


Linda Wood on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 2:56pm

I think your assertiveness

about hammering on these points is productive of narrowing in on the truth, whatever it may be. That's my awkward way of saying that you're not just on to something but that your precision, where you're hammering, is getting to the truth. I say that as a person who isn't convinced that Seth Rich was the DNC leaker, but who thinks he may have been murdered because he was a potential witness in a DNC voter suppression lawsuit , which amounts to the same thing really.

The strength of your outlook for me is that you emphasize the stupidity of the G2.0 revelations, the stupidity of Russian cyber-fingerprints, the vapidity of the released Opposition Research, and the timeliness of this junk evidence. It matches in tone and stupidity the evidence used to convince the American people that Saddam gave the anthrax to Mohamed Atta in Prague. Turns out Atta was not in Prague, turns out the anthrax was not Saddam's, but ours, turns out the Vice President of the United States lied about it on camera. Doesn't matter. Once the scene of the transfer to Atta was fixed in the minds of some American people, even if just a few Americans half believed it, the narrative was written.

The other strength of your essay for me is your hammering on Seth Rich's murder as eliminating a possible contradiction of the Russia narrative. The death of his associate Lucas only adds to that possibility. Clearly Seth Rich's murder was timely and important. It could very well have been a random street crime, but why he was out on the street in the middle of the night just before the filing of a lawsuit that could have involved him and the DNC is worth asking. The problem is that the media, and as far as we can tell, our government, are not asking.

I just want to thank you again for focusing on the weak points of the narrative. Each time you do, I think you bring us closer to the truth.

Here is a good report on the false evidence generated on the anthrax attack.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BP2G-cejYhI

The Voice In th... on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 5:30pm
Murder seems to follow Her Highness around, doesn't it?

up 11 users have voted.

Bob In Portland on Wed, 06/12/2019 - 2:30pm
@The Voice In the Wilderness Yes, but I'd suggest it's

@The Voice In the Wilderness

Yes, but I'd suggest it's because she's lived a career in the Deep State. Hilz never really was a Dem. She was an undercover Republican/CIA when she started out. In 1968 she started the year as a volunteer for Clean Gene McCarthy, the "anti-Vietnam" Dem candidate who went on to endorse Ronald Reagan.

She then went to the the Republican convention in Miami, then spent that summer as an intern for House Republicans, where she wrote a speech about Vietnam for Representative Melvin Laird. Melvin Laird was Nixon's Secretary of Defense, who oversaw a lot of the bludgeoning of Southeast Asia.

So when she was anti-war with McCarthy was she really anti-war (subsequently there have been stories about how infiltrated McCarthy's '68 campaign was riddled with CIA infiltrators), or was she pro-war, writing speeches for Mel Laird? I suggest she never gave a shit about all those napalmed deplorables in Southeast Asia. It was a pose. I'd don't think that Bill was anti-war either. Like a lot of future politicians he didn't want his ass shot there.

She and Bill worked their way up the ladder among CIA-owned politicians. Ultimately, they were in place to deliver the Democratic Party to the Agency.

[comment:body]

MrWebster on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 9:04pm
The unwilling patsy are the Russians

After the Popodouplous interview by Mark Steyn, there was clarity after following Russiagate since it really started before the election of 2016. The deep state actors were trying to setup some significant figure in the Trump as having ties with the Russian government.

This include Flynn, the meeting at Trump Towers, and Popodouplos. So many details now fall in place like the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Fusion after the Trump Tower meeting. Say what?

Or just bullshit like US intelligence found out GRU agents were doing the hacking because some GRU master computer jock forgot to login into his VPN. G2 does seem to be an invention.

The irony is that we have McCarthyism once again and not one Russian is guilty of what they are being accused of. They were set up as the fall guys, and of course in the future nuclear war.

As for Seth Rich all I can speculate is that he was involved somehow. And if his murder was not random, he was about to blow apart the entire conspiracy to such a level, action had to be taken against him.

[Jun 14, 2019] 'Make Russia Prostrate Again' Is the Only Thing US Democrats and Republicans Can Agree on

Jun 14, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Despite the deep schism that separates America's deranged political duopoly, they do share a common foreign policy pet project, and that is to prevent Russia from ever shining again on the global stage in all fields of endeavor.

One of Donald Trump's main pledges on the 2016 campaign trail was to rekindle the dying embers of US-Russia relations, which had been undergoing a mini Ice Age under Barack Obama, his ballyhooed 'reset' notwithstanding. But before Trump was ever put to the test of romancing Russia, he was sidelined by one of the most malicious political stunts of the modern age.

It is only necessary to recall the 2016 Winter of Our Discontent when the Democratic leader sent 35 Russian diplomats and their families packing just before New Year's Eve in retaliation for Russia's alleged involvement in hacking the Democratic National Committee's computers. Before Trump ascended the throne, those unfounded claims lit the fuse on 'Russiagate,' the debacle which continues to undermine not just US-Russia relations, but the entire US political system.

Yet would things have turned out any differently between Washington and Moscow had the Democrats graciously accepted defeat in 2016 without feeling the need to blame remote Russia? I am not sure.

Today, observers reason that the US Republicans have no choice but to 'get tough' on Russia in an effort to dispel Democrat-generated rumors of excessive coziness with the Kremlin. Last year, for example, Trump bested Obama on the Russia front when he expelled 60 Russian diplomats in response to an alleged assassination attempt on former British spy, Sergey Skripal; an astonishing move on the part of the US conservative, but with so much riding on the line was it really a surprise?

And what was it exactly that was 'riding on the line'? Aside from good relations between the world's two premier nuclear powers, not to mention thwarting nuclear Armageddon as Prime Minister Theresa May very unwisely issued an ultimatum to Russia over the matter, there is the question of hundreds of billions of dollars of business contracts – from gas supplies to military hardware. Tycoon Trump would sooner win over European gas supplies than the plains of Central Asia, for example, the geopolitical lynchpin so dear to the hearts of US policymakers, like the late Zbigniew Brzezinski. This is where so many people misread Donald Trump: His heart and mind is devoted to the business deals, not the military steals. But that doesn't necessarily make his moves are any less dangerous.

From President Trump's perspective, Russia is a 500-pound cigar-chomping guy at the negotiating table with an ego and stature equal to his own that must be vanquished lest The Deal be lost and he – Donald J. Trump, CEO and Founder of The Trump Organization – look like a second-rate negotiator and fraud. Similar to the methods a belligerent globalist, Trump the inveterate businessman will do anything to achieve leverage in the pursuit of profit.

This is where Trump was only too happy to oblige the British with their extremely suspect Skripal story because vilifying the Russians, once again, would give the US an upper hand in stealing business away from Moscow, most notably in the realm of European gas supplies. Presently, the Trump administration is trying hard to halt progress on Nord Stream 2, an ambitious 11 billion euro ($12.4 billion) project to construct a gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.

Speaking from Kiev this week, US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Washington, once again endorsing the spirit of free competition and enterprise, was preparing to introduce sanctions on foreign companies involved in the project.

But that's just the beginning.

To show how low the Americans would stoop to get a piece of this lucrative European market, which the Russian's have been dutifully supplying for many decades, they've gone for some dramatic rebranding , calling LNG supplies "freedom gas." You know, the byproduct of 'freedom fries.'

"Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America's allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy," said US Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes.

Dmitry Peskov, official spokesman of the Russian president, scoffed at such cynical attempts by Washington to strong-arm nations into accepting its preferred version of the 'free market.'

"Instead of fair competition they prefer to act like in Wild West times," Peskov told RT's Sophie Shevardnadze ahead of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). "They just show the gun and say that no, you guys here in Europe, you are going to buy our natural gas and we don't care that it is at least 30% more expensive than the gas coming from the Russians. This is the case."

Perhaps nowhere else is this effort to 'control the market' more evident than in the realm of military spending, and particularly among NATO states. Currently, European countries spend some $240 billion annually on military weapons and forces, while Russia spends just $66 billion each year. Yet for businessmen like Trump, that is not good enough. Employing the vacuous claim of an 'aggressive Russia,' Trump is passing around the proverbial hat, demanding that NATO members contribute an ever-higher amount of their GDP to military spending. At the same, the eastern border with Russia has become militarized like never before.

Here there is striking convergence on the part of the Democrats and Republicans when it comes to Russia. The Democrats under Barack Obama, accepting the baton passed to them by the Bush administration, dropped a US-made missile defense system in Romania, a stone's throw from the Russian border. Obama's assurances that the Russians would be allowed to participate in the project were casually forgotten. But the Russians, who know a thing or two about military strategy, did not forget. Last year, Vladimir Putin unveiled a number of daunting military breakthroughs, including hypersonic weapons, which the Russian leader explained were developed with the sole purpose of striking a strategic balance between the two nuclear superpowers. And if the world needs more of anything these days, it is certainly balance.

With such ploys in mind, it is easy to see why Moscow has little cause for celebration with either a Democrat or Republican in the White House. Both political parties have long viewed Russia not as a potential partner that could lend tremendous assistance in resolving some of the planet's most intractable problems, but rather as some Cold War foe that needs vilified and vanquished. Of course there is good reason for this decades-long duplicity. The double-pronged attack by the Democrats and Republicans allows Washington to continue to make strategic inroads against Russia, as well as China, while filling the corporate coffers at the same time. It is an age-old strategy – albeit a foolhardy one in an age of nuclear weapons – which is doomed to ultimate failure, if not disaster, if left unchecked. The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Tags: NATO Perry Russia Trump US

[Jun 14, 2019] By this stage I wonder if all Skripals neighbours aren't all "ex" spooks

Jun 14, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Cortes June 9, 2019 at 11:24 pm

A real shame that Dr David Kelly took his own life. I'm sure he'd have been able to shed light on the latest news from Wiltshire:

https://www.rt.com/uk/461463-novichok-bb-skripal-house/

By this stage I wonder if all the neighbours aren't all "ex" spooks from hither and yon. Who else would tolerate the nonsense they've been subjected to without reaching out to their learned friends? Good luck with putting a house on the market with that circus going on.

Moscow Exile June 10, 2019 at 3:29 am
Such stringent measures would surely not be taken by HM govt and British security if they had no evidence that those evil Russians had attempted to kill the Skripals with Novichok.

Stands ter reason, don't it?

Mark Chapman June 10, 2019 at 8:15 am
The whole premise just becomes more and more ridiculous – the house is now completely shrouded in tarpaulins, the roof has been removed, it has undergone extensive 'decontamination' – all, all of it obviously for show, for the yokels, because for weeks afterward police personnel guarded the residence while standing just feet away from the door handle which was supposedly the locus of infection. No chemical-warfare protection whatsoever was apparent; they didn't even wear gloves unless it was cold.

They might at least have made up some story that the Deadly Door Handle had been replaced, or even the entire door. Because everyone who went in or out of that house, and there must have been many, touched that door handle, at least some of them with their bare hand. And what ever became of the intrepid detective, Nick what's-his-name? Wasn't the state going to buy his home as well, even though he had scarcely been in it and had gone more or less straight to the hospital after being 'infected'? Only to make a miraculous and complete recovery in days, and then drop off the public radar?

Stupidity abounds. Yet the press just can't let it go, and let it mercifully drop out of sight. It would just be too embarrassing to tacitly admit the British government made it up from start to finish, the entire operation. If the Skripals actually were poisoned with something, and not just acting a role for the British government, then that part must have been HM-government-supplied as well, because nobody who has any experience with police procedure is going to believe they had a culprit and a complete history of the crime in only a couple of hours after its discovery, and a foreign state was responsible.

Murdock June 11, 2019 at 8:14 am
I don't want to be an alarmist but if I had to guess I would say our good friend Officer Nick is probably partying it up with Sergei, Yulia, and their pets in Hades.
Mark Chapman June 11, 2019 at 8:43 am
You never know. He sort of dropped out of the public eye, and of all of them he seemed to be the one whose story would be picked apart first, although all of them were improbable. And I'm sure many, many were interested in interviewing him and questioning him further.

He was released from hospital with no apparent ill effects more than a year ago, on March 23rd, 2018. According to the Telegraph , here,

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/15/police-officer-nick-bailey-returns-active-duty-10-months-salisbury/

he returned to active duty the beginning of 2019, but the story has his Chief confirming this, it is not Bailey himself. That same story remembers that Dawn Sturgess "fell ill in Amesbury months after the incident and died in hospital in July after coming into contact with a perfume bottle believed to have been used in the attack on the Skripals and then discarded." But the perfume bottle described as having been 'used in the attack on the Skripals' was brand-new and still in its store packaging, not to any appearance unusual except for that weird plastic aerator fastened to the bottle. Which, now that I think of it, was supposed to have been not attached to the bottle at all; Charlie Rowley's tale was that he broke the bottle trying to get the applicator on it, which is how he was exposed. But he still gave it to his paramour as a gift, and she was still apparently able to use it to spray herself.

Anyway, so far as I can make out, DS Nick Bailey returned to duty with his former police department last winter, and since then not a peep has been heard from him. The Skripals are still incognito, and Sergei has never been seen again since going into hospital.

Bailey's parents apparently threw a wobbler when the Beeb decided to run a two-part television drama on the attacks, which would doubtless reinforce and reconfirm the government line although it is meant to showcase the quiet courage and resourcefulness of 'ordinary heroes'.

https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/17673661.parents-of-ds-nick-bailey-hit-out-at-bbc-over-novichok-drama/

No statement from Bailey himself. Meanwhile, he is scheduled to lead off a charity walk for the local hospital on July 7th. So we will see.

https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/17697751.detective-sergeant-nick-bailey-to-start-stars-appeal-walk-for-wards/

[Jun 14, 2019] Molly McKew, the information-warfare goddess

Jun 14, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

The Mueller Report, recently released, tried its best to imply that there was collusion even as it stated baldly that the investigation had yielded no evidence of collusion. But what struck me with the most force was the manner in which the Democrats – and the entire crowd which has so much invested in having had an illegitimate president foisted upon them by the Godless Russians – simply shook its head, took a deep breath and went right on blathering the same lunatic narrative. The Russians interfered with our democracy. Nothing is safe. Russia is the enemy of democracy, and will not suffer a democracy to live. Get the kids and pack up enough food for traveling, Mabel; we're headed for the mountains – it's "Red Dawn", babycakes.

Amazing as it will sound, America has learned nothing.

Part of it, of course, is America's belief in its own omnipotence; if something came out differently from the way it was planned to come out, then America was tricked. Hoodwinked, by unscrupulous actors. It cannot be that America is subject to the same vagaries and pressures and caprices as the rest of the world; America decides, and so it shall be. Part of it is the diligent pick-and-shovel work that America's political forces do to preserve that illusion; that America is an unstoppable force, so much more than just a big rich country.

So, the premise endures. Russian trolls, acting on the personal orders of Vladimir Putin, generated a storm of hateful social-media messages on race relations in America, in a coordinated strike which included Russian release of Hillary Clinton's personal emails, and America faltered. It scratched its head in doubt, and Donald Trump slipped past the worthy – and oh, so wronged – Mrs. Clinton to seize the presidency with his soiled hands.

Matt Taibbi did some excellent work on the subject , which I admit grudgingly, as I hoped to get something out on America's inability to learn from its mistakes before the heavyweights. Taibbi's writing will make you wonder whether you should laugh or cry, as you wonder how an influential country could survive the embarrassment of the past couple of years, encapsulated by a journalistic mantra which holds that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Russia is guilty as sin, and you can take that to the bank, so the very fact that Mueller will not leak any proof to us must mean that his findings are so devastating, so jaw-dropping, so "shut up !!" that they would break the media. The one possibility which was not considered a possibility at all was that there was nothing, and that the accusations had been fabrication and desperate damage control from the first.

But the frustrated narrative of Russian collusion is the only component which has been discredited to the point that Democrats and Russophobes of all political persuasions must admit there is no happy ending to the promise that Donald Trump was going to be fired so high he would need to go on oxygen. Mueller – probably deliberately – continued to hint that Russia had 'meddled' in the 2016 election, and that the effect had been important enough that democracy is under attack. No longer listening to anyone outside the party-faithful echo chamber, the Democrats now insist that US Attorney-General William Barr resign , for 'misleading the American people about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia".

"Barr's news conference ultimately did nothing to help Trump, because the public has eyes. Americans could read the damning evidence of obstruction of justice and communications with Russians for themselves and make their own judgements."

Democrats continue to try to make up in volume and intensity for the fact that there is no evidence at all of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, nor of obstruction of justice by Trump. The Republicans shout that the Democrats are on a senseless witch hunt, that the report makes clear there was no collusion between Trump and the Russians but are perfectly happy to agree that Russia meddled in the election. For his part, Mueller is happy to drop hints that both obstruction and collusion probably took place – he just couldn't find any proof.

All are loony. Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election at all, at least no further than Europe did. A lengthy list of European political leaders and former leaders publicly expressed their support for Mrs. Clinton's election to the office of President of the United States. In 2008, just one is recorded as having done so ; Mona Sahlin, leader of Sweden's Social Democrats. Interestingly, in the same list of endorsements of Mrs. Clinton in 2008 – right after "Adult Entertainment Artists" – is this one: under "Well-Known Individuals", "Businessman and television personality, Future Presidential Candidate & Rival for the United States presidential election 2016, future President of the United States Donald Trump" .

There's gratitude for you.

The Presidents of Taiwan, Chile, France and Ukraine, the former Presidents of Mexico, France, Kosovo and Ecuador, the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, France, Italy, New Zealand and Sweden and former Prime Ministers of Sweden, the UK, Canada, Australia and France all openly expressed their hope that Mrs. Clinton would be elected President of the United States. None of this was considered meddling. I don't recall any official endorsement from Russia, although the international English-speaking media helpfully informed us that Putin hoped Trump would win, because he felt Trump would be more approachable for concessions and because he disliked Mrs. Clinton. When Trump did win, despite wrong guesses by just about every political analyst on the planet, it was considered 'additional evidence' that meddling had taken place, instigated by you-know-who.

Perhaps, in highlighting just how stupid America is making itself look with this painfully stubborn insistence that Russia rolled it in 2016, it would be useful to take another look at what American partisans claimed to already know, and could prove as easily as demonstrating that if you put your hand on a hot stove, you will burn it.

One of my favourite American partisans is the Duchess of Displacement, the Baroness of Bulk, Molly McKew . We took a look at her work a long time ago , on the old blog – just before Trump commenced his term, in fact – or perhaps I should say his first term, since the barking madness of the political landscape in today's America makes it entirely possible he will serve a second, unbelievable as that may sound. In that article, we closed out like this; "Look, we're getting close to the end of this, and it's time for plain speaking. Americans are confused and don't know fact from fiction because their own government feeds them bullshit with a side of spin day in, day out, and you're part of it. There was no Russian interference in the American elections, and you know it." My take on what happened has not changed a bit.

McKew is still regarded – highly, I should imagine, by her feeble-minded peers – as an 'information-warfare expert'. Hardly amazing that she sees information-warfare attacks everywhere. Here's what she claimed to know about Russian election interference and general friggin' in the riggin', a little over a year ago. She bases her conclusions on Mueller's Grand Jury indictment, which was issued more than a year in advance of his report – an indictment in which Mueller claimed the Defendants (a variety of Russian advertising and research agencies operating both in Russia and the United States) " knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury) to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016."

You know the old quote about how easy it is to get a Grand Jury to indict someone or something.

Something McKew claims is now – meaning as of early 2018 – "undeniable" is that Russia had, and has "a broad, sophisticated system that can influence American opinion, which cost tens of millions of dollars spent over several years to build." She must be talking about RT , although I suggest her cost estimate is a little low. RT, which the west considers a 'propaganda network', cost $30 million to set up, in 2005. Its operating costs now are in the hundreds of millions annually, although 80% of the costs are incurred outside Russia, paying for partner networks who distribute its channels.

We kind of have to give her that one, because it is true that RT's coverage is often at odds with the bullshit du jour that CNN and NBC and FOX are spreading. Bullshit, for example, like CNN's non-stop yammering about the collusion that Mueller could find no evidence ever occurred, and said so. Bullshit like NBC News anchor Brian Williams' recollections about his helicopter being shot down in Iraq – echoes of Hillary 'sniper fire' Clinton – , which never happened . Williams is not a nobody; he was the nation's longest-serving and top-rated news anchor.

I submit, however, that the American people are not subjected to RT's 'propaganda and disinformation' about American propaganda and disinformation against their will; there is a button on the remote called "On/Off" that will free the American enslaved from malign Kremlin influence. Alternatively, they can switch to another channel. I would just point out, though, that if they switch to a popular US news channel, they are very likely to be listening to a broadcast which has been curated by its corporate owners, and who " are unlikely to report news that is broadly hostile to corporate capitalism and the American elite ." That's according to a report entitled "Corporate Control of the Media" (in the USA), printed in 2009.

Warming to her subject, McKew goes on to claim "The Russian efforts described in the indictment focused on establishing deep, authenticated, long-term identities for individuals and groups within specific communities. This was underlaid by the establishment of servers and VPNs based in the US to mask the location of the individuals involved. US-based email accounts linked to fake or stolen US identity documents (driver licenses, social security numbers, and more) were used to back the online identities. These identities were also used to launder payments through PayPal and cryptocurrency accounts. All of this deception was designed to make it appear that these activities were being carried out by Americans."

This might be a good point at which to suggest there is every reason to believe 'these activities' were carried out by Americans. Americans working for national intelligence agencies.

In March 2017, The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima had an article published which was entitled "WikiLeaks' latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations." It detailed, among other things, a cyber tool called "Marble Framework" . This could be used, it was claimed, to re-assign attribution of material posted on the internet so that it appeared, for forensic purposes, to have originated from a different source. Test samples, it was reported, were included in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi.

The report which encouraged President Trump to ask his CIA Director – Mike Pompeo, at the time, who is currently the National Security Advisor – what he knew about this was co-authored by Skip Folden, who for 25 years was the IT Program Manager for IBM. I think it is safe to say he has some credibility in the field of cyber-forensics. The authors of the report contended that the 'hack' of the DNC's server was not actually a hack at all, but the at-source copying of data directly from the server using a storage device, probably a thumb drive. The data transfer rate, the authors claimed, was far too rapid to have occurred over the internet.

Since then I have seen a couple of 'rebuttals' which claimed that under certain conditions – like if nobody else was using the internet during that time – such copying from a remote source was possible. I never saw anything like proof. Like someone demonstrating how it could be done. Much like the old 'clean pee swap' the completely-discredited McLaren Report claimed the Russians performed on athletes' urine samples; he claimed to know how it was done, but never demonstrated it, and appeared to be unable to do so, as it would have strongly supported his allegations.

Having taken us such an eye-blurring distance on the blarney rollercoaster, Molly at last falls apart. "So anyone trying to tell you there was little impact on political views from the tools the Russians used doesn't know. Because none of us knows. No one has looked . Social media companies don't want us to know, and they obfuscate and drag their feet rather than disclosing information. The analytical tools to quantify the impact don't readily exist. But we know what we see, and what we heard -- and the narratives pushed by the Russian information operation made it to all of our ears and eyes" , she tells us.

So if you saw advertising by Black Lives Matter, or perhaps some other civil-rights organization, pushing a false narrative that blacks are second-class citizens in their own country, then you were exposed to Kremlin propaganda. And it affected how you voted, if you're an American. How much? Nobody knows. What everybody does know, or should, is that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, although not the determinate vote in the electoral college – quite a trick for the Russians to manage.

Let's summarize. Americans were supposedly pushed into voting for Donald Trump by the misuse of stolen data which was all true. The DNC did conspire to rig the primary so that Clinton was the Democratic candidate rather than Bernie Sanders; the Chair of the DNC resigned in disgrace because of the revelations which came to light. Her replacement, Donna Brazile, admitted to having fed the primary debate questions to Clinton in advance , giving her an advantage over Sanders, who was unaware of them as he should have been. At its very core, the Democratic party is as corrupt as the Nigerian prince who keeps e-mailing me to help him hide his ill-gotten fortune. American intelligence and technical professionals with no discernible benefit in making their country look bad insist that no hacking of the DNC's server took place, and that the stolen information which kicked the Democrats' feet out from under them on the eve of the election was not hacked, but stolen by direct physical transfer from the server using a portable storage device. Wikileaks insisted the information it released did not come from the Russians. The serving American intelligence services at the time of the 2016 election had a secret program which was capable of mimicking the origin of posted information on social media so that forensic investigation would find traces of Russian authorship, or other non-American authorship. The CIA has vigorously denied any involvement whatsoever in various international events at the time they occurred, only to admit much later – when it would be pointless to punish it – that they did in fact play an influential role. Data from 2014 established that at that time, 27% of black Americans lived below the poverty line , compared with 11% of all Americans; 38% of black children lived in poverty compared with 22% of all American children. I have seen no compelling evidence that this situation has improved. According to the perfidious Kremlin mouthpiece RT, citing American sources, American blacks are incarcerated at a rate six times as high as the national average .

Molly McKew, the information-warfare goddess, tells us that it is 'undeniable' that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, by making Americans doubt the integrity of their political candidates. In the case of the Democrats – which is by no means intended to spare the Republicans – they were demonstrated by their own repeatedly-verified and admitted shenanigans to understand 'integrity' about as well as the average crab fisherman understands how to calculate the mass of the sun. Everything they were accused of doing, they did. Candidate Hillary Clinton unambiguously lied – as she has done on other occasions – about the security classification of her 'private' emails and completely fabricated consent of the State Department for her to maintain a private email server for the sending and receiving of official message traffic. America does have an uneven scale of justice, law enforcement and standard of living based on race. There is no proof at all which has so far been made public that any of those situations were reported, compelled, exacerbated or invented by Russia, or by anyone from Russia. According to persistent revelations from Kiev, the American Democratic party energetically sought dirt on candidate Trump from Ukrainian sources , not Russian. McKew closes her soliloquy on election interference by maintaining that while it is undeniable that Russian interference occurred, nobody knows the extent to which it influenced the vote, which resulted in a popular win for the candidate who lost the election.

Let me posit another reality. Russia played no part at all in the outcome of the 2016 election, although it certainly was a surprise to most. There is no proof even offered that there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials of any description, and no proof which could not have been fabricated that any coherent social-media campaign originating with Russian operatives took place, or that any such imaginary social-media campaign had anything to do with Trump's victory. The Democrats, by sticking to their ridiculous and incredible narrative of Russian masterminds warping American democracy, are setting themselves up for having their headlights sucked out again by the passing Trump juggernaut in the next election, when they will be totally out of excuses if they do not wake up and do some serious retrenching.

But we are probably going to have to wait for history to teach that lesson to Americans.

[Jun 14, 2019] With Russiagate, we Soviet immigrants were finally forced to reckon with the bigotry of America's elite

Highly recommended!
Jun 14, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al June 8, 2019 at 1:35 am

More good stuff at the link, inc.

Facebook's new public policy manager for Ukraine is nationalist hawk who volunteered with fascist party during US-backed coup

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/06/04/facebook-public-policy-manager-ukraine-kateryna-kruk/

&

With Russiagate, we Soviet immigrants were finally forced to reckon with the bigotry of America's elite

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/05/28/with-russiagate-we-soviet-immigrants-were-finally-forced-to-reckon-with-the-bigotry-of-americas-elite/

We never knew what it was like to have the country's media and political class brand people like us a possible threat. Until now.

By Yasha Levine

Mark Chapman June 8, 2019 at 10:38 am
You can adopt a lot of things about society as given; people will always defend those they know against those they don't. They will always defend their own even when they suspect or even know they are in the wrong. People will mostly help those who are in trouble if it costs them little or nothing to lend their support. And so on – people are mostly predictable as examples of collective will.

And people will often champion the elevation to positions of power of radicals, so long as that person's radical beliefs and policies further their own aims. Going beyond requires that we examine that society for cynicism and naivete. A naive society assumes that once the radical's aims have been achieved – in this case, the joining of the European Union and NATO by Ukraine – the radical will be satisfied, and will become a peaceful and productive servant of freedom and democracy rather than a fierce adherent to his or her own radical policies, but now within European society, where they might not be so welcome. The cynic assumes the radical will be used as long as he or she is useful to reaching the goals the cynics have set for the country, and then shunted aside or otherwise marginalized if he or she is no longer useful.

Which is it, do you think? I vote for cynicism, and I base that judgment on how smoothly the west transitioned from Nadya Savchenko the heroic martyr to Nadya Savchenko the radical anarchist who wanted to blow up the Rada.

moscowexile June 8, 2019 at 8:49 pm
Wonder if Yasha Levine has ever thought of discussing the points he raises in his above linked article with his erstwhile and also present-day fellow country persons Maria Gessen and Yulia "I-can-pronounce-Шереметьево" Ioffe?

[I absolutely refuse to call Gessen "Masha" (Molly)! She's not my pal!]

yalensis June 9, 2019 at 5:26 am
Yasha should not kvetch so much, the current anti-Russian witch hunt won't reach the likes of him. I know some Jewish Russian émigré families in the U.S., they can still skate by on their former "victimhood": They were required to whine about Soviet anti-Semitism, now all that is needed is a supplementary "I hate Putin, Yankee Doodle Dandy", and they're good to go.

These are the ones I actually despise the most, because they are ungrateful wretches. The Soviet Union saved their collective asses from Hitler, and look how they repayed the debt
I don't begrudge them emigrating to the U.S. if they did so for career reasons, maybe they could find better job opportunities, better conditions to raise their kids, etc. They could do that, but nobody really forced them to slime their former country as viciously as they did. And taught their kids to hate everything Russian. Ingrates!

[Jun 13, 2019] A loyal servant of empire -- Crowdstrike CEO -- is well-rewarded for his role in creating Russiagate hysteria by Caitlin Johnstone

Notable quotes:
"... Never mind that to this day the DNC servers have not been examined by the FBI, nor indeed were they examined by the Special Counsel of Robert " Iraq has WMD " Mueller, preferring instead to go with the analyses of this extremely shady outfit with extensive and well-documented ties with the oligarchic leaders of the US-centralized empire. ..."
"... When the Romanian REAL Guccifer got Podesta password (password) by phishing, exposing his pizza and walnut sauce perversions, the US had him jailed. When WikiLeaks made a DNC dump, CrowdStrike concocted Guccifer 2.0, then more leaks Fancy Bear, and more leaks Cozy Bear. All these CrowdStrike fabrications used CIA Vault 7 fingerprints to frame Russia. It is time to execute our ruling demonic warlords. ..."
Jun 13, 2019 | caitlinjohnstone.com

A new article by Forbes reports that the CEO of Crowdstrike, the extremely shady cybersecurity corporation which was foundational in the construction of the official CIA/CNN Russian hacking narrative, is now a billionaire. George Kurtz ascended to the billionaire rankings on the back of soaring stocks immediately after the company went public, carried no doubt on the winds of the international fame it gained from its central protagonistic role in the most well-known hacking news story of all time.

A loyal servant of empire well-rewarded. Never mind that US government insiders like Hillary Clinton had been prepping for escalations against Russia well in advance of the 2016 elections, and that their preexisting agendas to shove a geostrategic obstacle off the world stage benefitted from the hacking narrative as much as George Kurtz did.

Never mind that Crowdstrike is tied to the NATO narrative management firm known as the Atlantic Council, which receives funding from the US government, the EU, NATO, Gulf states and powerful international oligarchs. Never mind either that Crowdstrike was financed with a whopping $100 million from Google , which has had a cozy relationship with US intelligence agencies since its very inception .

Never mind that to this day the DNC servers have not been examined by the FBI, nor indeed were they examined by the Special Counsel of Robert " Iraq has WMD " Mueller, preferring instead to go with the analyses of this extremely shady outfit with extensive and well-documented ties with the oligarchic leaders of the US-centralized empire.

Also never mind that the Crowdstrike analyst who led forensics on those DNC servers had in fact worked for and was promoted by Robert Mueller while the two were in the FBI.

The CEO of the Atlantic Council-tied Crowdstrike, which formed the foundation of the official CIA/CNN Russian hacking narrative, is now a billionaire. I'm telling you, the real underlying currency of this world is narrative and the ability to control it. https://t.co/XsBCvkIDzJ -- Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) June 12, 2019
As I never tire of saying, the real underlying currency in our world is not gold, nor bureaucratic fiat, nor even raw military might.

The real underlying currency of our world is narrative, and the ability to control it.

As soon as you really grok this dynamic, you start noticing it everywhere.

George Kurtz is one clear example today of narrative control's central role in the maintenance and expansion of existing power structures, as well as an illustration of how the empire is wired to reward those who advance pro-empire narratives and punish those who damage them...

... ... ...

Joseph Olson / June 13, 2019
When the Romanian REAL Guccifer got Podesta password (password) by phishing, exposing his pizza and walnut sauce perversions, the US had him jailed. When WikiLeaks made a DNC dump, CrowdStrike concocted Guccifer 2.0, then more leaks Fancy Bear, and more leaks Cozy Bear. All these CrowdStrike fabrications used CIA Vault 7 fingerprints to frame Russia. It is time to execute our ruling demonic warlords.

[Jun 13, 2019] Our Famously Free Press and Madcow disease

Jun 13, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Our Famously Free...

"MSNBC and New York Times at odds over reporter appearances on Maddow" [ CNN ]. "New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet and MSNBC president Phil Griffin met last week amid tensions between their two news organizations. But the lengthy lunch did not resolve the issues at hand, according to four sources with knowledge of the sit-down. The executives remain at an impasse. The specific issue is about television appearances by Times reporters on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show .

The dust-up dates back to May 30, when Vanity Fair caused a ruckus by reporting that Times management wants reporters to 'steer clear of any cable-news shows that the masthead perceives as too partisan.' 'The Rachel Maddow Show' is evidently one of those shows [ incroyable! ] -- and Maddow is not happy about it.

The prime time host prides herself on her support for newspaper journalists Complicating matters further: Numerous Times reporters are also paid contributors to MSNBC and CNN. For example, Matthew Rosenberg and Mark Mazzetti of The Times, who are also paid by CNN, have both appeared on 'CNN Tonight' in recent days. CNN declined to comment on the booking relationship with The Times."

• It's impossible for me to understand how the beacons of integrity at the Times could appear in a cesspit like The Rachel Maddow Show. T

These are strange times.

[Jun 11, 2019] Rachel Maddow Is Among the Moderators of the First Democratic Debate

So Russiagater was not fired. Madcow was promoted to more freely spead her "Madcow desease" (Neo-McCarthysim actually) into unsuspecting public ...
Notable quotes:
"... Almost none of the "celebrity" tv journalists have earned one sniff of their regard by having a sufficient amount of smarts, insight, and humility it requires to deliver the news. Especially in trying times like these. ..."
"... She's a borderline conspiracy theorist and more of a star than a newswoman. ..."
"... In what alternate universe does Maddow even have a hint of non-bias? She is not a journalist. ..."
"... maddow is all about opinion, hers, and the one given out to msm by the dem party everyday. aka : the meme of the day. maddow is an partisan idiot. always was, always will be ..."
Jun 11, 2019 | www.thecut.com

On Tuesday, NBC announced that its lineup of moderators will include Rachel Maddow of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show , Lester Holt of NBC Nightly News and Dateline NBC, José Diaz-Balart of Noticias Telemundo and NBC Nightly News Saturday , Savannah Guthrie of Today , and Chuck Todd of Meet the Press .

... ... ...

UltraViolet Action co-founder and executive director Shaunna Thomas praised the moderator decision to the Cut. "NBC's decision to ensure that four out of the five moderators for the first Democratic presidential primary debate are women or people of color is a huge win for representation at the debates and a welcome change from the status quo," Thomas said in a statement. She also stated that she hopes other networks follow suit.

Cags

Almost none of the "celebrity" tv journalists have earned one sniff of their regard by having a sufficient amount of smarts, insight, and humility it requires to deliver the news. Especially in trying times like these.

joaniesausquoi, 3 hours ago

Whattya got against Rachel, Cags?

Cags, 2 hours ago

She's a borderline conspiracy theorist and more of a star than a newswoman.

Daxter , 6 hours ago (Edited)

In what alternate universe does Maddow even have a hint of non-bias? She is not a journalist.

Having Rachel Maddow moderate is like having Sean Hannity moderate.

indigo710, 5 hours ago

maddow is all about opinion, hers, and the one given out to msm by the dem party everyday. aka : the meme of the day. maddow is an partisan idiot. always was, always will be . "lawer" is spelled "lawyer".

[Jun 11, 2019] Madcow will one of Democratic debates moderator

that's a real insult. Madcow is probably the worst person to sk any question you can imagine... she is kind of female McCarthy re-incarnation -- crazy Russiagater...
Jun 11, 2019 | www.thecut.com

Daxster 6 hours ago

Why have any moderators? They should have an auctioneer instead. He'll quickly determine who is willing to offer us the biggest bribes with our own money, in exchange for a vote.

And we'll learn how many different ways can one say "FREE! FREE! FREE!" 5 hours ago

XXX:

"The questions will be available for a small fee?"
DJT

Daxster, 5 hours ago

What's Donna Brazile selling over in the corner?

[Jun 11, 2019] Luke Harding is back with one of his bullshit exclusives in the Guardian.

This is "Integrity Initiative" at work...
Jun 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Ghost Ship , Jun 11, 2019 11:01:51 AM | 134
That arsehole Luke Harding is back with one of his bullshit exclusives in the Guardian .
Leaked documents reveal Russian effort to exert influence in Africa
Exclusive: Kremlin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin leading push to turn continent into strategic hub, documents show
by Luke Harding and Jason Burke
The only thing you really need to know about the exposé:
The leaked documents were obtained by the Dossier Center, an investigative unit based in London. The centre is funded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Russian businessman and exiled Kremlin critic.
The Guardian obviously has no shame for publishing such an article but then it has never explained the claims of Manafort meeting with Assange in the Ecuadorean embassy. As for the article, my reaction was "so fucking what?".

The British French and Americans have fucked up large parts of Africa while the Soviet Union/Russia was indirectly responsible for eradicating that cancerous growth, the apartheid state of South Africa, a single act that was better than all the good things that the United Kingdom, France and the United States have ever done in Africa

[Jun 10, 2019] The Arrival of the Anti-Christ, Delayed by Israel Shamir

Notable quotes:
"... It appears Israelis had tempted the Russians into the ambitious meeting by promising to take the US sanctions off Russian back. It is doubtful Israel can deliver on such a promise to start with. Putin is a very experienced statesman, and he won't accept a US promise in lieu of full delivery. Not after the Hanoi failure of Trump-Kim talks, and not before that, either. Anyway, Putin would like to be un-sanctioned, but not at the price the US asks. ..."
"... "Look, here's what I believe. It becomes obvious when you think about it. Judging by NATO's estimates, there won't be a large European war until about 2025. And by 2025, Ukraine, being a large anti-Russian foothold, will evolve into something that will begin dragging us into trouble, connected with various matters including transfer of power. It's not a coincidence that some of our neighbors are getting rid of the Russian inscriptions on their money in 2024. We see that and we should be ready. From where we get the approximate schedule of our actions." ..."
"... " Undoubtedly, the issue of de-Americanization of Europe is critical. There's no Soviet border anymore. I said that yesterday. And there's no line dividing Germany. We must get rid of it up to the Atlantic Ocean. The elimination of either the American presence or the NATO bloc in general. ..."
Jun 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

Last week, at 'Russian Davos', St Petersburg Economic Forum, President Putin reiterated the main points of his memorable Munich Speech . He voiced seven complaints leaving no doubt he is unhappy with American heavy-handedness, with the US attempts to weaponise the dollar, Google, Facebook and knowhow as in case of Huawei. "States that previously advocated the principles of freedom of trade, fair and open competition, started speaking the language of trade wars and sanctions, blatant economic raiding, arm twisting, intimidation, eliminating competitors by so-called non-market methods," – he said. This is not the language of a man who waits for a cue to join the US entourage.

Still, there are other, less pleasant signs.

The 'Russian Bolton', Mr Eugene Satanovsky, the head of pro-Israeli think tank, a former head of a Zionist Jewish body and a frequent commentator on Russian TV had been appointed an adviser to the Russian Defence Minister Mr Sergey Shoygu. His nomination came directly from Kremlin and surprised the ministry officials. A prominent Russian churchman, Fr Chaplin, expressed his satisfaction with Israeli control of Jerusalem, in a column in the Nezavisimaya Gazeta . At the same time, the Russian S-300 did not respond to Israeli bombing runs in Syria.

It appears Israelis had tempted the Russians into the ambitious meeting by promising to take the US sanctions off Russian back. It is doubtful Israel can deliver on such a promise to start with. Putin is a very experienced statesman, and he won't accept a US promise in lieu of full delivery. Not after the Hanoi failure of Trump-Kim talks, and not before that, either. Anyway, Putin would like to be un-sanctioned, but not at the price the US asks.

Israelis want to neutralise Iran, as the Islamic Republic is the only remaining defender of the al-Aqsa Mosque. Amman, ar-Riyad and other Arab capitals will not fight Israel, if Netanyahu were to destroy the Mosque. The Palestinians will fight, but they have no weapons. The last Jewish victim of a Palestinian attack had been wounded by scissors. Iran has weapons and cares for the Mosque. Can Netanyahu convince Putin to neutralise Iran, or pressure Iran to stay away from Palestine? It would be a major feat worthy of a magician.

And now we come to the important point. Instead of receiving two superpower envoys in splendour as [almost] the King of Jews, Bibi Netanyahu will meet them as the head of a transitional government facing new elections and a possible trial. In such a status, it is hard to convince your banker to give you a loan to buy a new car, let alone convincing Putin to switch alliance and Trump to deny Christ.

In the same time, the baby-faced son-in-law Kushner had planned to execute his (and Trump's) Deal of the Century. Even an impregnable Trump and unassailable Netanyahu would have a great difficulty to make this trick. Trump facing impeachment and Bibi facing elections and police investigation have no chance. Probably it is good, too. Russia and China decided to stay away. Mahmud Abbas, the PNA President, refused it, too, and this fraud's flop will preclude Palestine from being sanctioned.

The intended deal had not been officially disclosed; all we have is a leak in a newspaper close to Bibi Netanyahu and financed by Sheldon Adelson, saying it was leaked from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Bear with me, gentle reader, and suspend your disbelieve! Though this piece of daydreaming looks like a project written by high school kids during summer vacation time, it is not particularly good-natured.

It says the US will kill (that's right, k_i_l_l) Palestinian leaders that won't accept it, but before, it will sanction Palestine to death and forbid all its allies to buy, sell, and donate or anything to Palestinians.

The deal envisages a permanently disarmed Palestinian entity that will pay Israel for its "protection". All Jewish settlements remain inviolable, and are considered a part of Israel. Israel will control every arrival and departure from the entity called "New Palestine". Jerusalem stays Jewish. Gaza will be connected to the West Bank by 30 km long bridge under Israeli control. This bridge will be paid for by China. Desalination plant for Gaza will be paid by Japan. If not for the threat to kill the disobedient Arabs, it would be plainly preposterous. So the demise of this bizarre 'deal' is not to be regretted.

President Trump understood that with Bibi facing trial and re-election there is no chance to advance on this project – or any other project. "Israel is all messed up in their election," Trump told reporters. "They have to get their act together." "Bibi got elected and now they have to go through the process again? We're not happy about that," Trump said .

Thus, the two great plans of Bibi: the trilateral meeting in Jerusalem and Deal of the Century went down when Bibi failed to form a government.


AnonStarter , says: June 9, 2019 at 5:14 am GMT

It says the US will kill (that's right, k_i_l_l) Palestinian leaders that won't accept it, but before, it will sanction Palestine to death and forbid all its allies to buy, sell, and donate or anything to Palestinians.

The deal envisages a permanently disarmed Palestinian entity that will pay Israel for its "protection". All Jewish settlements remain inviolable, and are considered a part of Israel. Israel will control every arrival and departure from the entity called "New Palestine". Jerusalem stays Jewish. Gaza will be connected to the West Bank by 30 km long bridge under Israeli control.

And so we've leaders that we deserve,
dumbed-down goybeans, ready to serve,
boiled in the same old kettle of fish,
cooked to perfection, a vomitous dish.

Colin Wright , says: Website June 9, 2019 at 6:18 am GMT
' They say Lieberman did it following wily Putin's orders. Putin was not keen to be pushed by Netanyahu and Trump to act against Iran; he didn't want to quarrel with these two leaders either. He activated Lieberman and torpedoed the new Netanyahu's government '

There's a theory that Russia has something on Lieberman; that willingly or unwillingly, he's effectively a Russian agent.

Digital Samizdat , says: June 9, 2019 at 6:57 am GMT

The deal envisages a permanently disarmed Palestinian entity that will pay Israel for its "protection". All Jewish settlements remain inviolable, and are considered a part of Israel. Israel will control every arrival and departure from the entity called "New Palestine". Jerusalem stays Jewish. Gaza will be connected to the West Bank by 30 km long bridge under Israeli control. This bridge will be paid for by China. Desalination plant for Gaza will be paid by Japan.

This is just hilarious. Did Kushner and Bolton think this one up with after an all-week meth-binge together?

'Hey, Beavis! Let's get the Palestinians to officially surrender and the Chinese and Japanese to pay for it. Heh, heh, heh!'

swamped , says: June 9, 2019 at 8:17 am GMT
"The 'Russian Bolton', Mr Eugene Satanovsky .... outlined in a media interview a few short weeks ago, where he asserted:

"Look, here's what I believe. It becomes obvious when you think about it. Judging by NATO's estimates, there won't be a large European war until about 2025. And by 2025, Ukraine, being a large anti-Russian foothold, will evolve into something that will begin dragging us into trouble, connected with various matters including transfer of power. It's not a coincidence that some of our neighbors are getting rid of the Russian inscriptions on their money in 2024. We see that and we should be ready. From where we get the approximate schedule of our actions."

" Undoubtedly, the issue of de-Americanization of Europe is critical. There's no Soviet border anymore. I said that yesterday. And there's no line dividing Germany. We must get rid of it up to the Atlantic Ocean. The elimination of either the American presence or the NATO bloc in general.

I'm talking about any forms of elimination, not just peaceful methods and negotiations. The issue remains."

" America will pay with its territory, its military facilities, and it will be lucky if not with its civilian population, for any anti-Russian activities in Europe. If America doesn't realize that, then you should replace the idiots that run your country. They'll bury it. We're talking on the eve of that. Can't you see that? Don't you realize that?"

What delay, the Satanic Anti-Christ has arrived (one of them, anyway).

TimeTraveller , says: June 9, 2019 at 9:03 am GMT

This unprecedented meeting was supposed to become Netanyahu's great achievement, crowning his nth re-election and confirming his international status.

It's really Russia's great achievement. They are supposed to be a failed state.

Alfred Barnes , says: June 9, 2019 at 10:56 am GMT
@sarz It seems he's spent considerable time on Trade and Immigration issues. Russiagate was a hoax from the outset, and considerable resources are being expended in an effort to deal with the criminal conduct of the previous administration. Jared has been given credit for some accomplishments, nothing extraordinary. Most Americans see him and Ivanka for what they are, an indulgement of The Donald, and as long as he keeps delivering for the American People, he will have their forbearance.

To claim Trump is a top Jew, is just a fabrication of what you want to believe. Jews aren't cause of the woes of the world, the Devil is. Swiss templars control the world's finances. The rothies are but one of their client banks, which includes the houses of saxe-coburg and saad, bolsheviks, chicoms, the vatican, and the deep state. Did I leave anything out?

Trump and the nationalist backlash against immigration in the EU and elsewhere are a pause in the banking cabals march to globalism. What is needed is a debt reset. There will be a reset of the global financial system, what remains to be seen is what takes it's place.

joeshittheragman , says: June 9, 2019 at 12:44 pm GMT
The jews are not a religion or a nationality. They are, and always have been a corporation of swindlers – nothing more. They always have a back door escape route for when the Gentiles finally wake up and tire of their constant cheating and overall immoral behavior.
Johnny Walker Read , says: June 9, 2019 at 1:01 pm GMT
What is important here is the what(Bibi and company's evil plans have been sidelined-for now). The who and the how is less important, but thanks to Israel Shamir for informing as it is good to know.

I'll bet John Hagee and his CUFI crowd are wiping their tears on their prayer shawls. LOL

[Jun 09, 2019] The looming 100-year US-China conflict by Martin Wolf

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Across-the-board rivalry with China is becoming an organising principle of US economic, foreign and security policies. ..."
"... An effort to halt China's economic and technological rise is almost certain to fail. Worse, it will foment deep hostility in the Chinese people. In the long run, the demands of an increasingly prosperous and well-educated people for control over their lives might still win out. But that is far less likely if China's natural rise is threatened. ..."
"... The tragedy in what is now happening is that the administration is simultaneously launching a conflict between the two powers, attacking its allies and destroying the institutions of the postwar US-led order. ..."
Jun 04, 2019 | archive.fo
The disappearance of the Soviet Union left a big hole. The "war on terror" was an inadequate replacement. But China ticks all boxes. For the US, it can be the ideological, military and economic enemy many need. Here at last is a worthwhile opponent. That was the main conclusion I drew from this year's Bilderberg meetings.

Across-the-board rivalry with China is becoming an organising principle of US economic, foreign and security policies.

Whether it is Donald Trump's organizing principle is less important. The US president has the gut instincts of a nationalist and protectionist. Others provide both framework and details. The aim is US domination. The means is control over China, or separation from China.

Anybody who believes a rules-based multilateral order, our globalised economy, or even harmonious international relations, are likely to survive this conflict is deluded. The astonishing white paper on the trade conflict , published on Sunday by China, is proof. The -- to me, depressing -- fact is that on many points Chinese positions are right.

The US focus on bilateral imbalances is economically illiterate. The view that theft of intellectual property has caused huge damage to the US is questionable . The proposition that China has grossly violated its commitments under its 2001 accession agreement to the World Trade Organization is hugely exaggerated.

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

Accusing China of cheating is hypocritical when almost all trade policy actions taken by the Trump administration are in breach of WTO rules, a fact implicitly conceded by its determination to destroy the dispute settlement system .

The US negotiating position vis-à-vis China is that "might makes right". This is particularly true of insisting that the Chinese accept the US role as judge, jury and executioner of the agreement .

A dispute over the terms of market opening or protection of intellectual property might be settled with careful negotiation. Such a settlement might even help China, since it would lighten the heavy hand of the state and promote market-oriented reform.

But the issues are now too vexed for such a resolution. This is partly because of the bitter breakdown in negotiation. It is still more because the US debate is increasingly over whether integration with China's state-led economy is desirable. The fear over Huawei focuses on national security and technological autonomy.

[Neo]liberal commerce is increasingly seen as "trading with the enemy".

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

A framing of relations with China as one of zero-sum conflict is emerging. Recent remarks by Kiron Skinner, the US state department's policy planning director (a job once held by cold war strategist George Kennan) are revealing. Rivalry with Beijing, she suggested at a forum organised by New America , is "a fight with a really different civilisation and a different ideology, and the United States hasn't had that before".

She added that this would be "the first time that we will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian". The war with Japan is forgotten.

But the big point is her framing of this as a civilizational and racial war and so as an insoluble conflict. This cannot be accidental. She is also still in her job. Others present the conflict as one over ideology and power.

Those emphasising the former point to President Xi Jinping's Marxist rhetoric and the reinforced role of the Communist party . Those emphasising the latter point to China's rising economic might. Both perspectives suggest perpetual conflict.

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

This is the most important geopolitical development of our era. Not least, it will increasingly force everybody else to take sides or fight hard for neutrality. But it is not only important. It is dangerous. It risks turning a manageable, albeit vexed, relationship into all-embracing conflict, for no good reason. China's ideology is not a threat to liberal democracy in the way the Soviet Union's was. Rightwing demagogues are far more dangerous.

An effort to halt China's economic and technological rise is almost certain to fail. Worse, it will foment deep hostility in the Chinese people. In the long run, the demands of an increasingly prosperous and well-educated people for control over their lives might still win out. But that is far less likely if China's natural rise is threatened.

Moreover, the rise of China is not an important cause of western malaise. That reflects far more the indifference and incompetence of domestic elites. What is seen as theft of intellectual property reflects, in large part, the inevitable attempt of a rising economy to master the technologies of the day. Above all, an attempt to preserve the domination of 4 per cent of humanity over the rest is illegitimate.

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

This certainly does not mean accepting everything China does or says. On the contrary, the best way for the west to deal with China is to insist on the abiding values of freedom, democracy, rules-based multilateralism and global co-operation. These ideas made many around the globe supporters of the US in the past.

They still captivate many Chinese people today. It is quite possible to uphold these ideas, indeed insist upon them far more strongly, while co-operating with a rising China where that is essential, as over protecting the natural environment, commerce and peace.

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

A blend of competition with co-operation is the right way forward. Such an approach to managing China's rise must include co-operating closely with like-minded allies and treating China with respect.

The tragedy in what is now happening is that the administration is simultaneously launching a conflict between the two powers, attacking its allies and destroying the institutions of the postwar US-led order.

Today's attack on China is the wrong war, fought in the wrong way, on the wrong terrain. Alas, this is where we now are.

martin.wolf@ft.com

[Jun 08, 2019] Seems few within TrumpCo are capable to thinking strategically

Jun 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jun 7, 2019 4:38:28 PM | 59

Meanwhile in other NATO related news :

"U.S Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan says. There is a bipartisan plan in Congress to impose sanctions on Turkey under the Anti-Enemies Act of America if Turkey gets the S400 deal."

Will Trump be smart enough to veto this bill, or is he ready to accept the loss of Turkey as a NATO member and all the NATO bases it contains? Seems few within TrumpCo are capable to thinking strategically, when they think at all.

[Jun 08, 2019] China-Russia Partnership Threatens US Global Hegemony

Treatment of Putin as pariah is closely connected with the attempt to isolate and weaken Russia. It is the part of the same strategy.
Notable quotes:
"... It seems to me the underlying issue here is is the U.S. oligarchy–and that's not monolithic by any means. There's very different interests within the most powerful circles, economic circles in the United States. ..."
"... So I think the Americans are, you might call it, ostrich-like. They don't think this challenge is going to be for real. ..."
"... The richest family in America, the WalMart Waltons, made most of their fortune as agents of communist China. They are allies of thé Chinese in destroying US productive capacity and impoverishing her workers. ..."
"... Richard Nixon must be rolling in his grave! Isn't this precisely why he 'went to China' and then worked out a détente with Russia? In order to prevent the US from having to fight both parties at once? Whose bright idea was this dual-containment strategy? ..."
"... Obama's. The pivot to Asia (which was code for China) combined with pressing Russia in Ukraine and Syria, along with the various sanctions was on his watch. In the end, Obama was a President who put the Libya intervention to a vote of his advisers instead of taking responsibility to make an informed position, right or wrong. ..."
Jun 08, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay.

Big power rivalry is heading into very dangerous waters. The rise of China as an economic and military superpower is threatening the global hegemony of the United States. Russia has been pushed into an increasingly tighter relationship with China to balance the attempts by the West to isolate it. President Trump, representing the most aggressive sections of American capital, is responding with a trade war, and an unparalleled massive peacetime military budget that was justified by his Secretary of Defense Shanahan with three words: China, China, and China. Christine Lagarde, the IMF's managing director, said in a briefing note that taxing all trade between the world's two largest economies would cause some $455 billion in gross domestic product to evaporate. The report said this would be a loss larger than South Africa's entire economy.

In a recent meeting between Russia's President Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, apparently the 29th such meeting in the last few years, it was announced with the two leaders looking on that the Chinese tech company Huawei has struck a deal to build Russia's first 5G wireless network. This is the same company that Trump has banned from developing the 5G network in the United States, and is pushing Europe to do the same.

This is clearly just the early stages of what is already the defining big power contention of the 21st century. When the two countries should be focused on the climate crisis, it's looking more like the years before World War I. Of course, there were no nuclear weapons in 1914.

Now joining us to discuss the Chinese, Russian, and American rivalry is Rob Johnson. Rob is the president of the Institute on New Economic Thinking. He was formerly a banking associate of George Soros, and he's now leading the Commission on Global Economic Transformation, a project of INET, co-chaired by Nobel Prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and Mike Spence. Thanks for joining us, Rob.

ROB JOHNSON: Pleasure.

PAUL JAY: So just how dangerous is this trade war? When you listen to the, sort of the business media, it goes anywhere from, well, they're all going to sort it out at a meeting in June, to this is just the beginning of something that's going to get extremely messy.

ROB JOHNSON: I would say we can't know whether things will be what you might call mended back together, or whether we're opening a very, very big and contentious hole in the design of the world system. I was recently at a conference run by a man named John Mallery at MIT, which was an outstanding collection of people from intellectual property rights, trade representatives, artificial intelligence, machine learning experts, and from the intelligence community.

... ... ...

PAUL JAY: It seems to me the underlying issue here is is the U.S. oligarchy–and that's not monolithic by any means. There's very different interests within the most powerful circles, economic circles in the United States. But are they willing to accept this is going to be a multi-superpower world, certainly at the very least China and the United States? I would say within a few decades it's not out of the question a country like India might even enter those kinds of circles, when you start having populations of a billion and you start having this technological evolution that's taking place in China. But there certainly seems to be circles within United States that do not accept the idea that this will be anything but a single-superpower world, and they're trying to do something about it.

ROB JOHNSON:

...And so this is a hard game. And the Chinese, circa 2001, were supposed to fall into line. They were supposed to become part of our trading system. And that's not–that's not the case. And with the advent of digital commerce, with the announcement of China 2025, they are replacing, what I'll call, as they move up the value chain, the more complex activities. They're not falling into line in a U.S.-led system where they make Nike tennis shoes or assemble iPhones with low-cost labor or low environmental protections. They're not moving into what I'll call changing their comparative advantage, because it's not based on what's buried in the ground. It's based on human capital and evolution and training and R&D.

The other final thing where I think the United States has some real concern is we have been talking about how the government doesn't play a role. We've been cutting government support to things like basic science very drastically over the last 20 years as a percentage of GDP.

The Chinese ultimately will have a population four to five times the size of America's. They continue to develop their science budgets. And what you might call the locus of innovation may shift from the United States in places like Silicon Valley to a place like Shenzhen in China.

So I think the Americans are, you might call it, ostrich-like. They don't think this challenge is going to be for real.

PAUL JAY: The global trading system, as you said, led by the United States, and also in practice, is the various countries, part of it, play to some extent a subordinate role within that system. And China is clearly positioning itself to be a direct competitor in many markets. In Latin America and other places China has actually supplanted the United States as the major trading partner. It's a fact of life. This is–I don't see how this is going to change. But the way Trump's approaching this, the trade war and such, it's all being done in the name of being good for American workers. It's being–it's all about American jobs. Is it?

ROB JOHNSON: Well, this is my biggest concern. You hit the nail on the head, as far as I see. The problems were originally that American-based multinational corporations, and for that matter multinational corporations in Western Europe, moved in with foreign direct investment in China, and then sold things back to the United States, whether through Toys R Us, or Wal-Mart, or other things; consumer products or telephones. And that system imposed a real adjustment on a very large portion of the American workforce. So firms didn't go out of business, they responded by automating. But the pressure on labor intensive activity, the downward pressure on wages, is very real. But what a Chinese leader would tell you, and I go over there two, three times a year to meet with them, yes, those adjustments took place. But the responsibility to alleviate that suffering belongs with the American government. The transfers that–what I'll say, leaving orthodox economists probably said free trade is great, because you can compensate people and nobody's worse off and some people are better off. The problem is we don't have a political economy in America that's set up to make those transfers. So the losers lose bad and the winners lobby to get their own taxes cut and keep their money offshore.

... ... ...

PAUL JAY: And one of the sort of not real secrets, but sort of a dirty secret, because people don't talk about it very much, is one of the things that in fact has been subsidizing American workers as their jobs flee, both through going to China and such, and also through automation, has been such incredibly cheap products coming from China. I mean, you go to Wal-Mart and you can buy, you know, a dozen socks for, like, $3. That's a kind of subsidy from cheap Asian labor for American workers which, one, the tariffs are going to eliminate, and two, in the long term, American workers are going to be replaced by automation and they're going to lose the cheap products from China.

ROB JOHNSON: Yes. Well, what I would say is cheap products from China are fine as long as you have a trust fund. If you don't have a trust fund they can be as cheap as whatever; making zero income you still can't buy them. And I think in the United States what I've talked about transfers was income support and retraining support for people to evolve as, you might all it, the shock of the development of China reoriented the pattern of trade.

... ... ...

ObjectiveFunction , June 8, 2019 at 5:06 am

Good thoughtful points raised in the discussion here, but they largely center around the decline of the US-centered unipolar system. On the other hand, the conversation pretty much completely begs the question re the headline topic: "China-Russia-partnership-threatens-US-global-hegemony". That pretty much drops off the agenda after the first few paragraphs.

So Huawei is building a 5G network in Russia. So what? Does that arrest Russia's resource curse? aging population? underemployment and brain drain? public health and ecological crises? Or merely bind China closer to the resource-rich Siberian lands it missed the chance to claim and settle due to Western interference, starting in the 18th century? (part of that 'deep wounding' that's supposed to excuse all Chinese behaviour today, I suppose)

Also:

I would say we can't know whether things will be what you might call mended back together, or whether we're opening a very, very big and contentious hole in the design of the world system.

I find myself asking: should such a 'hole' be 'mended' at all? Should there still be a 'hegemon that provides global public goods'?

(huge Kindleberger fanboi since uni, btw)

Ignacio , June 8, 2019 at 6:08 am

Competition, threaten, hegemony, military. Stupidity comes back if it ever was gone

Divadab , June 8, 2019 at 6:14 am

The richest family in America, the WalMart Waltons, made most of their fortune as agents of communist China. They are allies of thé Chinese in destroying US productive capacity and impoverishing her workers.

With a traitorous ruling class such as this it is no wonder the US is in decline. And note Hillary Clinton was on the WalMart board for many years, aiding and abetting the sellout of American workers in favor of foreigners. The party of American workers has been utterly corrupted by these lying scum.

Seamus Padraig , June 8, 2019 at 7:19 am

Richard Nixon must be rolling in his grave! Isn't this precisely why he 'went to China' and then worked out a détente with Russia? In order to prevent the US from having to fight both parties at once? Whose bright idea was this dual-containment strategy?

NotTimothyGeithner , June 8, 2019 at 8:40 am

Obama's. The pivot to Asia (which was code for China) combined with pressing Russia in Ukraine and Syria, along with the various sanctions was on his watch. In the end, Obama was a President who put the Libya intervention to a vote of his advisers instead of taking responsibility to make an informed position, right or wrong.

The Rev Kev , June 8, 2019 at 8:44 am

You know, it was not all that long ago that there was talk among some elites about the US going into partnership with China in running the world. No, seriously.

This was back during the Bush era and was referred to as the G-2 or Chimerica. Washington would provide the all the strategic planning and China would provide the financial resources and maybe their military manpower as well where needed. Between the two of them nobody would be able to resist their power.

Not Russia, not the EU – nobody. Zbigniew Brzezinski was all for it but that was just because he was evil. The historian Niall Ferguson was also all for it which shows just how good a historian he is. And now look where we are-

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

[Jun 07, 2019] US 7th Fleet Cruiser Ignores Rules At Sea - Nearly Collides With Russian Destroyer

From Moon of Alabama comments: "Somehow I do not believe the Ruskies allow idiots to con their warships...but about the US navy, well..." ... "In the larger sense, both the captains were behaving irresponsibly if they were not under orders to manufacture this sort of thing." ... "Ultimately, these games of chicken have been going on since, at least, the cold war."
"why hasn't the Navy made any mention beyond saying it was in the process of recovering it's helo, which was clearly in a stand-off position filming the entire event" ... "Given that the USS Chancellorsville is part of a carrier group as the Russian version says, and the fact that the US constantly lies... most likely the Russian version is what happened. The US ship broke of the carrier group which was travelling parallel and turned onto a collision course with the Russian ship."
This is most likely why the US ship turned to intercept the Russian anti submarine ship.
Jun 07, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Michael Weddington , Jun 7, 2019 11:46:11 AM | 10

The US is an exceptional country and takes exception to the law of the sea.

John Smith , Jun 7, 2019 11:47:50 AM | 11

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Jun 7, 2019 11:46:11 AM | 10

The US is an exceptional country and takes exception to the law of the sea.
---------------------

The law of the sea only?

b4real | Jun 7, 2019 8:23:41 PM | 84

OK, I'll post it then....


This is the transcript of a radio conversation of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995. Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-10-95.

Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.

Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.

Americans: This is the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States' Atlantic fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers and numerous support vessels. I demand that YOU change your course 15 degrees north, that's one five degrees north, or countermeasures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.

Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call.


b4real

[Jun 07, 2019] Plutocracy needs Neo-McCarthysim to survive

Jun 07, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

Demonizing Workers and the Left

Capitalists, with media in tow, demonized communists and anarchists. The Alien Registration Act of 1940 aimed to preserve the status quo. Japanese-Americans were interred. Communists were targeted.

The FBI was involved. Edgar Hoover had leftists monitored and surveilled by tactics including wiretaps and break-ins. The anti-leftism was so extreme that a section of corporate America supported fascism. The fascists supported Nazi Germany in WWII. 1

Post-WWII the top income tax rate was 91% until 1964. One-third of workers belonged to a union. From 1940 to 1967 real wages doubled. Living standards doubled.

However, the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 would attack workers, banning many types of strikes, closed union shops, union political contributions, communists and radicals in union leadership, and the compelled payment of union dues. The Supreme Court upheld Taft-Hartley, and it remains in force today.

The film also examines McCarthyism, a witch hunt against communists or communist-leaning types, as a psychological attack against Americans. No one was safe. Blacklisting was in vogue and among the first blacklisted were the so-called Hollywood 10 for either communist sympathies or refusal to aid Congress' House Un-American Activities Committee investigations into the Communist party or having fought for the rights of Blacks and workers. The list expanded much past 10. One celebrity given in-depth prominence in Subterranean Fire was singer Paul Robeson who refused to back down before Congress, stated he was for Negro and worker rights, and accused Congress of neo-fascism.

McCarthyism hit hysterical heights as exemplified by Texas proposing the death penalty for communist membership and Indiana calling for the banning of Robin Hood.

McCarthyism was foiled when it bit off more than it could chew. When McCarthyism took on the establishment, in particular the military, its impetus ground to an inglorious halt. The Alien Registration Act was ruled unconstitutional, and the First Amendment right to political beliefs was upheld.

Subterranean Fire notes that the damage to the labor movement was already done. A permanent war economy was established: overtly through the military and covertly through the CIA. Come 2001, union membership had dropped to 13.5%. Radicals were disconnected from their communities; union democracy was subverted by a top-down leadership which avoided the tactic of striking for collective bargaining; the court system was heavily backlogged with labor-management issues, which usually were ruled in favor of management.

Some outcomes noted in the film,

In the early 21st century, Americans took on the dubious distinction of working more hours than any other country .

There is no single county in America where a minimum wage earner can support a family.

The Rise

Grotesque income and wealth disparity signifies the current state of neoliberalism. Yet Subterranean Fire finds glimmers of change for working men and women.

Despite relating the historical trampling of the working class, the film concludes on a sanguine note. Union strength appears to be on the rebound with solidarity being a linchpin. Labor strikes were on the upswing in the US, with teachers leading the way. Fast-food workers are fighting for a decent wage. Labor, which has seen real wages stagnate in the age of neoliberalism, is fighting back worldwide. Autoworkers in Matamoros, Mexico are striking and colleagues in Detroit, Michigan have expressed support for their sisters and brothers. The Gilet Jaunes in France have been joined by labor. A huge general strike took place in India. The uptick of resistance was not just pro-labor but anti-global warming in Manchester, UK; Tokyo, Japan; Cape Town, South Africa; Helsinki, Finland; Genoa, Italy; and, Nelson, Aotearoa (New Zealand).

All this, however, must be considered through the lens of the current political context. A virulent anti-socialist president and his hawkish administration occupy the White House in Washington. Despite the nationwide strike actions, the right-wing BJP and prime minister Narendra Modi won a recent huge re-election in India. The purportedly centrist Liberal Party in Canada, rhetoric aside, has been, in large part, in virtual lockstep with the US administration. 2

The Importance of Metanoia Films

Today, people with access to the internet have little excuse for continuing to depend on state-corporate media sources. Why would anyone willingly subject himself to disinformation and propaganda? Not too mention paying for access to such unreliable information and the soul-sapping advertisements that accompany it.

It is important that we be cognizant of the search engine manipulations of Google, the biased opinions parlayed by moneyed corporate media, and the censorship of social media data-mining sites. The corporate-state media nexus wants to limit and shape what we know. The current war on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange is proof positive of this. Assange and WikiLeaks exposed horrific war crimes. It is a no-brainer that a person should be congratulated for bringing such evil perpetrated by the state to the public awareness. Instead the establishment seeks to destroy WikiLeaks, the publisher Assange, and Chelsea Manning who is accused of providing the information to WikiLeaks.

Given the corporate-state power structure's ideological opposition to WikiLeaks and freedom on information as well as the preponderance of disinformation that emanates from monopoly media, it seems eminently responsible that people seek out credible independent sources of information. Metanoia Films stands out as a credible source.

There are plenty of independent news and information sites that provide analysis that treat the reader/viewer with respect by substantiating information provided in reports and articles with evidence, logic, and even morality. The reader/viewer who seeks veracity has an obligation to consider the facts, sources, and reasoning offered and arrive at her own conclusions.

Metanoia documentaries lay out a historical context that helps us understand how we arrived at the state of affairs we find ourselves in today. It is an understanding that is crucial to come up with solutions for a world in which far too many languish in poverty, suffer in war zones, and are degraded by the cruelties of inequality. It is an understanding that is crucial for communicating, planning, and organizing the establishment of new societies in which all may flourish and of which all may be proud.

Independent media is meant for independent thinkers and those who aspire to a better world. Watch Plutocracy V: Subterranean Fire and the first four parts in the Plutocracy series and become informed. Kim Petersen is a former co-editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be reached at: kimohp@gmail.com . Twitter: @kimpetersen . Read other articles by Kim .

This article was posted on Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 at 9:41pm and is filed under Anarchism , Communism/Marxism/Maoism , Film , Film Review , Labor , Poverty , Racism , Unions .

[Jun 06, 2019] Odd NYT 'Correction' Exculpates British Government And CIA From Manipulating Trump Over Skripal Novichok Incident

Notable quotes:
"... Julian E. Barnes is obviously a long-term intelligence asset and his stories are not based on independent research but are just a repetition of the yarn that the CIA want to spin. Julian E. Barnes and the CIA obviously think Americans and other westerners are DAF. ..."
"... And should we be surprised that such false information about Gina Haspel and Donald Trump puts Trump in a bad light and somehow humanises a CIA director with a reputation for torturing prisoners? ..."
"... A week or 3 ago, a Barnes co-reported "article" flat out stated that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. This was done by pretending to quote someone in the the US Defense establishment as saying "we believe Iran will redouble its work on nuclear weapons". ..."
"... Julian Barnes is a well established liar. Sort of akin to Judith Miller and Michael Gordon. ..."
"... Now the Washington post's narrative is quite colorful too. So Trump really was concerned how many Russians Germany or France expelled? Why was he angry? The vassals did not follow his example as they should have? ..."
"... The CIA and MI6 boys must have blanked out to let this one slip through the cracks. We pay them billions to run false flag and cover-up operations. This makes those of us that believe their lying narratives look stupid. I guess we need to add more billions to their annual budgets. ..."
"... More believable that Julian Barnes performs no cross-referencing and zero research. Investigative reporting (or asking questions) is not the job of the modern MSM stenographer. His job - pushing the war machine agenda. He simply writes that which he is instructed to write. Probably emails all of his articles to his CIA liason for approval prior to publication. ..."
"... In the Skripnal psyop one can readily assess that the only truly "dead ducks" are the MSM journalists and the Western politicians who peddled this incredible slapstick nonsense story in order to further the "demonization of Russia" narrative of Western oligarchy. That these same media "dead ducks" appear to have not even the very slightest interest whatsoever in the current whereabouts or safety of said Skripnals speaks volumes about the true nature of this intelligence operation. ..."
"... both versions of the story expose Gina as a untrustworthy ratfucker ..."
"... At the moment the UK is run by MI6 which sees itself as the real political directorate of the CIA and the Deep State in the US. It seriously believes that it is on the verge of establishing global hegemony. ..."
"... Please note, everyone, that not all of these sad excuses for "journalists" are on the CIA payroll. In fact, very few of them are. Most work with the CIA out of warped senses of patriotism and duty to the empire. Most would never think of themselves as intelligence agency assets, and no small number of them probably think their relationships with the CIA are unique. They think that they are special and that their contacts on the inside at the CIA are unusual. Few would guess that they are just another propaganda mule in the CIA's stable, and that friendly guy who "leaks" to them is actually their handler; their "operator" in spook-speak. ..."
"... CIA did not control many of the Vietnam era journalists that had their pieces printed in mainstream media of the day. Not many left now and perhaps since the nineties they could no longer get their articles published. Regan brought in perception management which eventually brought all MSM 100% under US -CIA control. ..."
"... If you're a CIA guy, you get the editor and the ombudsman on the payroll and he will make certain that the desired propaganda gets published. If he's a Zionist, he's on the same page from the start, anyway. ..."
"... What a strange construction. Doesn't the CIA have PR staff? A decent PR team would review every item referencing their boss and issue clarifications and/or demand corrections immediately. There should have been no need for Julian E. Barnes to figure anything out as the CIA should have pointed out his mistake very quickly. This explanation/exculpation is utter bullshit! ..."
"... I doubt that Trump asked questions about how those ducks and kids were doing. More likely that MI5 was annoyed that they were exposed as the providers of the duck snuff pictures, and put pressure on the NY Times. ..."
"... Those who advocated the strong response to Russia are the intellectual authors of "Russia Gate" to thwart detente with Russia. ..."
Jun 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

A piece in the New York Times showed how in March 2018 Trump was manipulated by the CIA and MI6 into expelling 60 Russian diplomats. Eight weeks after it was published the New York Times 'corrects' that narrative and exculpates the CIA and MI6 of that manipulation. Its explanation for the correction makes little sense.

On April 16 the New York Times published a report by Julian E. Barnes and Adam Goldman about the relation between CIA Director Gina Haspal and President Donald Trump.

Gina Haspel Relies on Spy Skills to Connect With Trump. He Doesn't Always Listen.

The piece described a scene in the White House shortly after the contentious Skripal/Novichok incident in Britain. It originally said (emphasis added):

During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia's attack.

Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

The 60 Russian diplomats were expelled on March 26 2018. Other countries only expelled a handful of diplomats over the Skripal incident. On April 15 2018 the Washington Post reported that Trump was furious about this:

The next day, when the expulsions were announced publicly, Trump erupted, officials said. To his shock and dismay, France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials -- far fewer than the 60 his administration had decided on. The President, who seemed to believe that other individual countries would largely equal the United States, was furious that his administration was being portrayed in the media as taking by far the toughest stance on Russia.
...
Growing angrier, Trump insisted that his aides had misled him about the magnitude of the expulsions. 'There were curse words,' the official said, 'a lot of curse words.

In that context the 2019 NYT report about Haspel showing Trump dead duck pictures provided by the Brits made sense. Trump was, as he himself claimed, manipulated into the large expulsion.

The NYT report created some waves. On April 18 2019 the Guardian headlined:

No children or ducks harmed by novichok, say health officials
Wiltshire council clarification follows claims Donald Trump was shown images to contrary

The report of the dead duck pictures in the New York Times was a problem for the CIA and the British government. Not only did it say that they manipulated Trump by providing him with false pictures, but the non-dead ducks also demonstrated that the official narrative of the allegedly poisoning of the Skripals has some huge holes. As Rob Slane of the BlogMire noted :

In addition to the extraordinary nature of this revelation, there is also a huge irony here. Along with many others, I have long felt that the duck feed is one of the many achilles heels of the whole story we've been presented with about what happened in Salisbury on 4th March 2018. And the reason for this is precisely because if it were true, there would indeed have been dead ducks and sick children .

According to the official story, Mr Skripal and his daughter became contaminated with "Novichok" by touching the handle of his front door at some point between 13:00 and 13:30 that afternoon. A few minutes later (13:45), they were filmed on CCTV camera feeding ducks, and handing bread to three local boys, one of whom ate a piece . After this they went to Zizzis, where they apparently so contaminated the table they sat at, that it had to be incinerated.

You see the problem? According to the official story, ducks should have died. According to the official story children should have become contaminated and ended up in hospital. Yet as it happens, no ducks died, and no boys got sick (all that happened was that the boys' parents were contacted two weeks later by police, the boys were sent for tests, and they were given the all clear).

After the NYT story was published the CIA and the British government had to remove the problematic narrative from the record. Yesterday they finally succeeded. Nearly eight weeks after the original publishing of the White House scene the NYT recanted and issued a correction (emphasis. added):

Correction: June 5, 2019

An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the photos that Gina Haspel showed to President Trump during a discussion about responding to the nerve agent attack in Britain on a former Russian intelligence officer. Ms. Haspel displayed pictures illustrating the consequences of nerve agent attacks, not images specific to the chemical attack in Britain. This correction was delayed because of the time needed for research.

The original paragraphs quoted above were changed into this:

During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel tried to demonstrate the dangers of using a nerve agent like Novichok in a populated area. Ms. Haspel showed pictures from other nerve agent attacks that showed their effects on people.

The British government had told Trump administration officials about early intelligence reports that said children were sickened and ducks were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

The information was based on early reporting, and Trump administration officials had requested more details about the children and ducks, a person familiar with the intelligence said, though Ms. Haspel did not present that information to the president. After this article was published, local health officials in Britain said that no children were harmed.

So instead of pictures of dead ducks in Salisbury the CIA director showed pictures of some random dead ducks or hospitalized children or whatever to illustrate the effects consequences of nerve agent incidents?

That the children were taken to hospital but unharmed was already reported in British media on March 24 2018, before the Russian diplomats were expelled, not only after the NYT piece was published in April 2019.

Yesterday the author of the NYT piece, Julian E. Barnes, turned to Twitter to issue a lengthy 'apology':

Julian E. Barnes @julianbarnes - 14:52 utc - 5 Jun 2019

I made a significant error in my April 16 profile of Gina Haspel. It took a while to figure out where I went wrong. Here is the correction: 1/9

[...]

The intelligence about the ducks and children were based on an early intelligence report, according to people familiar with the matter. The intelligence was presented to the US in an effort to share all that was known, not to deceive the Trump administration. 7/9

This correction was delayed because conducting the research to figure out what I got wrong, how I got it wrong and what was the correct information took time. 8/9

I regret the error and offer my apology. I strive to get information right the first time. That is what subscribers pay for. But when I get something wrong, I fix it. 9/9

Barnes covers national security and intelligence issues for the Times Washington bureau. His job depends on good access to 'sources' in those circles.

It is remarkable that the CIA spokesperson never came out to deny the original NYT report. There was zero visible push back against its narrative. It is also remarkable that the correction comes just as Trump is on a state visit in Britain.

The original report was sourced on 'people briefed on the conversation'. The corrected version is also based on 'people briefed on the conversation' but adds 'a person familiar with the intelligence'. Do the originally cited 'people' now tell a different story? Are we to trust a single 'person familiar with the intelligence' more than those multiple 'people'? What kind of 'research' did the reporter do to correct what he then and now claims was told to him by 'people'? Why did this 'research' take eight weeks?

That the 'paper of the record' now corrects said 'record' solves a big problem for Gina Haspel, the CIA/MI6 and the British government. They can no longer be accused of manipulating Trump (even as we can be quite sure that such manipulations happen all the time).

In the end it is for the reader to decide if the original report makes more sense than the corrected one.

---
This is a Moon of Alabama fundraising week. Please consider to support our work .

Posted by b on June 6, 2019 at 06:12 AM | Permalink


ADKC , Jun 6, 2019 7:14:50 AM | 2
Julian E. Barnes is obviously a long-term intelligence asset and his stories are not based on independent research but are just a repetition of the yarn that the CIA want to spin. Julian E. Barnes and the CIA obviously think Americans and other westerners are DAF.
John Doe , Jun 6, 2019 7:26:00 AM | 3
Rob Slane, June 5, 2019: The New York Times Tries to Get Itself Out of the Duckgate Hole Using a Spade
Jen , Jun 6, 2019 7:32:17 AM | 4
Surely the time and effort Julian Barnes needed to check what information he had got wrong and how he got it wrong should not have been as major as he makes out. Animals dying and children falling sick to a toxin that could have killed them are incidents that should have stuck out like sore thumbs and warranted careful checks with different and independent sources before reporting that Gina Haspel apparently showed the US President pictures of dead ducks and sick boys in Salisbury.

No wonder Barnes got such a roasting on Twitter after making his abject apology.

And should we be surprised that such false information about Gina Haspel and Donald Trump puts Trump in a bad light and somehow humanises a CIA director with a reputation for torturing prisoners?

John Smith , Jun 6, 2019 7:48:46 AM | 6
J'Accuse News @NewsAccuse:

During years I researched articles published in @nytimes we fact-checked BEFORE publication. Here it comes AFTER bloggers, officials et al point out fatal flaws. That no children were poisoned, and no ducks killed, by #novichok in #Salisbury + was known in Spring 2018. #propaganda

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D8WfKNPUwAAGGWT.jpg

Jay , Jun 6, 2019 8:37:49 AM | 8
A week or 3 ago, a Barnes co-reported "article" flat out stated that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. This was done by pretending to quote someone in the the US Defense establishment as saying "we believe Iran will redouble its work on nuclear weapons".

Except in the Barnes construction it wasn't a quotation, or anything like a phrasing that made clear that the Pentagon source was guessing, not stating, that Iran has a nuclear weapons program.

This was NOT corrected.

Eric Schmitt was the other NY Times "reporter" who signed the article.

Here's the article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/13/world/middleeast/us-military-plans-iran.html

And here's what the two liars reported, pretending that an Iranian nuclear weapons program is a real thing, first paragraph:

"Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated
military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the
Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on
nuclear weapons, administration officials said."

So Julian Barnes is a well established liar. Sort of akin to Judith Miller and Michael Gordon.

ger , Jun 6, 2019 8:44:10 AM | 9
Barnes provides the truth then provides a lie about the truth....par for the course at NYT. (Remember Judith Miller?) A fake news organization spreading fake news with revised fake news.
joanna , Jun 6, 2019 9:01:26 AM | 10
can't really get excited by the fact that not everything in this type of creative writing is taken serious. Did anyone expect otherwise?

During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia's attack.

It's pretty obvious that his/their narrative necessarily must be cobbled together by a lot of sources. Some by phone. Those may not even share the same idea what image of the president or Haspel they should convey. I always wonder with this type of newspaper reporting. Maybe both writers should write novels.

Now the Washington post's narrative is quite colorful too. So Trump really was concerned how many Russians Germany or France expelled? Why was he angry? The vassals did not follow his example as they should have?

SharonM , Jun 6, 2019 9:08:20 AM | 11
Superb analysis! Been coming here for 11 years now, and I just have to say that "b" is the best propaganda analyst in the English language. He is the sturdiest anchor in these stormy seas:)
AriusArmenian , Jun 6, 2019 9:42:07 AM | 12
The CIA and MI6 boys must have blanked out to let this one slip through the cracks. We pay them billions to run false flag and cover-up operations. This makes those of us that believe their lying narratives look stupid. I guess we need to add more billions to their annual budgets.

Sarcasm is just about the last pleasure one can get from watching the horrific antics of these morons.

fastfreddy , Jun 6, 2019 10:07:19 AM | 13
More believable that Julian Barnes performs no cross-referencing and zero research. Investigative reporting (or asking questions) is not the job of the modern MSM stenographer. His job - pushing the war machine agenda. He simply writes that which he is instructed to write. Probably emails all of his articles to his CIA liason for approval prior to publication.

Perhaps, the liason can see what this fool types in real time. Who knows?

As the story of the dead ducks and sick children unraveled and fell apart, a sloppy patch up had to be made. Now its fixed. Like a Boeing 737 MAX.

librul , Jun 6, 2019 10:09:17 AM | 14
BoTh vErSioNs of the story (I checked with the "Wayback Machine") still include this paragraph (6th paragraph of story):

Unusually for a president, Mr. Trump has publicly rejected not
only intelligence agencies' analysis, but also the facts they have gathered.
And that has created a perilous situation for the C.I.A.

As usual for the NYT, they did not publicly reject the intelligence agencies' analysis, but also the facts they had gathered. That, of course, would have created a perilous situation for the NYT.

Gary Weglarz , Jun 6, 2019 10:30:32 AM | 16
As the saying goes: "if it looks like a false-flag, walks like a false-flag, and talks like a false-flag, it just might be a "duck."

In the Skripnal psyop one can readily assess that the only truly "dead ducks" are the MSM journalists and the Western politicians who peddled this incredible slapstick nonsense story in order to further the "demonization of Russia" narrative of Western oligarchy. That these same media "dead ducks" appear to have not even the very slightest interest whatsoever in the current whereabouts or safety of said Skripnals speaks volumes about the true nature of this intelligence operation.

Harry Law , Jun 6, 2019 10:36:53 AM | 17
"I made a significant error in my April 16 profile of Gina Haspel. It took a while to figure out where I went wrong". It was only when I found the horses head next to me in bed when I woke up, that I realized what a stupid mistake I had made.
aspnaz , Jun 6, 2019 11:04:23 AM | 20
Gina Haspel has to be as dumb and incompetent as I suspected: someone is paying good money to make her look like an ordinary sociopath, not a depraved tart who sucked cock to climb to the head of the organisation.
Noirette , Jun 6, 2019 11:31:31 AM | 22
Slane is ++ on the Skirpals. One 'fact' that emerged early on, made public by Slane, is that the proposed 'official' time-line ( > press, Gvmt between the lines) of the Skripal movements - trivial as in a town, drinkies, lunch, feeding ducks, etc. -- was never reported correctly, obfuscated.

Idk the reasons, but it is a vital point.
___________________________________

Trump, we see, is treated like the zombie public, flashed random photos, sold tearful narratives about babies, children, recall incubator babies, horrific bio-weapons threats...

The PTB loathes him, Pres. are supposed to be complicit like Obama - or at least keep their resistance toned down, be ready to compromise. .. Obama objected to, and refused to act on, at least two engineered / fake Syria chem. 'attacks.' (Just looked on Goog and can't find links to support.)

The only EU figure who stated there is no evidence that the Russkies novichoked Sergei and Yulia was Macron, afaik. He didn't get the memo in time (the Elysée is inefficient, lots of screw-ups there) but soon caught up! and expelled the minimum. -- I have heard, hush hush, one in F was a receptionist - gofer (an excellent + extremely highly paid position) who is now at the Emb. in Washington! Most likely merely emblematic story (see telephone game) .. but telling.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 6, 2019 11:52:33 AM | 24
I like this story. It makes Trump look like a naif which wouldn't bother President Teflon in the least. On the other hand, both versions of the story expose Gina as a untrustworthy ratfucker. I'm hoping she said "cross my heart and hope to die" when he queried her advice...
Zachary Smith , Jun 6, 2019 12:01:15 PM | 25
@ Jay | Jun 6, 2019 8:37:49 AM @8
So Julian Barnes is a well established liar.

I'm glad I checked to see if anyone had mentioned this hack's article about Russia restarting nuclear testing. Using his name as one search item I tried a number of current issues. Like the fellows at local intersections holding up signs "will work for money", Barnes might as well have a tattoo saying "I'll write anything if the price is right. That it took so long to come up with a half-assed "explanation" shows he's not the brightest bulb in the lamp. I suppose people whose jobs consist of slightly re-writing Deep State dictation don't have to be especially clever.

PrairieBear , Jun 6, 2019 12:25:01 PM | 26
That "apology" by Barnes is completely nonsensical. How would you know that there was something wrong with your story, that there was an error in it, without knowing what it was? If the CIA, various bloggers, commenters, etc., alerted him to the errors, it's unlikely they would say, "There's something wrong in this story but I'm not going to say what it is. You'll have to re-research they whole thing to figure it out." I don't think that's how people usually point out errors.
bevin , Jun 6, 2019 12:34:34 PM | 27
"Which narrative is unraveling and which is gathering momentum?"psychohistorian@19

One thing that seems to be unravelling is the tight political cartel that controls Foreign Policy in the UK.

If it does unravel and Labour turns to an independent foreign policy while it reverses the disaster of 'austerity' and neo-liberalism, cases such as that of Assange and the Skripal affair, both products of extremists within the Establishment who regard themselves as privileged members of the DC Beltway, are going to be re-opened.

At the moment the UK is run by MI6 which sees itself as the real political directorate of the CIA and the Deep State in the US. It seriously believes that it is on the verge of establishing global hegemony. And this at a time when the UK is falling apart and its population teeters on the brink of economic disaster. It has fallen into this delusion over the years as it has been able to offer the CIA services which it is afraid to initiate itself. Hence, most recently, the entire Russiagate nonsense which has British fingerprints all over it. Hence too the new aggressiveness in DC towards Assange. Hence the disappearance, without explanation, of the Skripals.
goldhoarder , Jun 6, 2019 12:44:22 PM | 28
Julian Barnes is like Winston Smith without the intellectual curiosity. He quote happily goes about his work. lol. What is the matter with you people? You are supposed to embrace the new narrative!

From wikidpeida... A memory hole is any mechanism for the alteration or disappearance of inconvenient or embarrassing documents, photographs, transcripts or other records, such as from a website or other archive, particularly as part of an attempt to give the impression that something never happened.[1][2] The concept was first popularized by George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, where the Party's Ministry of Truth systematically re-created all potentially embarrassing historical documents, in effect, re-writing all of history to match the often-changing state propaganda. These changes were complete and undetectable.

frances , Jun 6, 2019 12:48:13 PM | 30
I think the"Why now?" answer was Trump is in the UK and asking questions, lots of questions, can't have that.
james , Jun 6, 2019 12:49:34 PM | 31
@37 bevin... maybe they will do with assange what they have done with the skripals... the uk is more then pathetic at this point in time.. craig murray had more to say on the assange case yesterday - A Swedish Court Injects Some Sense
bjd , Jun 6, 2019 1:32:38 PM | 32
Julian E. Barnes' humble confession (a self-incrimination) sounds like one made in a Gulag.
failure of imaginati , Jun 6, 2019 2:23:10 PM | 35
Further down the memory hole is the side tale of the daughter of Brutish Army Chief Nurse helping Skirpals and getting an award without contaminating the news. Was the girl's father Pablo Miller,(of Orbis Dossier MFG) and a pal of Skirpal? There's debunk in their poor narrative. The public has a photogenic memory.
lysias , Jun 6, 2019 2:28:23 PM | 36
Speaking of MI6, Julian Barnes is a very English-looking name. Do we know anything about his biography?
tuyzentfloot , Jun 6, 2019 2:56:36 PM | 37
There are 2 Julian Barneses (at the very least!), one is an English writer, the other has mostly been writing for the WSJ ( https://www.wsj.com/news/author/julian-e.-barnes) but since recently again for the NYTimes .
fastfreddy , Jun 6, 2019 3:10:32 PM | 38
30

Trump is a drug-addled, brain-damaged, hollowed-out shell of the dull con man he once was.

But, he perceives himself to be a brilliant mastermind - a stable genius. So, he might indeed, be prone to making inquiries (generally these would induce the toadies around him to stifle their laughter).

It makes sense that he might ask, while in GB, about the Skirpal incident, since he pulled 60 people from their posts and he remembered the fantasy he was lead to believe about sick children and dead ducks.

The fact that he overreacted without sufficient evidence, may have inspired a tiny amount of self-reflection simply because it may have embarrassed him to have been caught on his back foot. He was lead to believe that his contemporaries intended to react in equal measure. They did not. Therefore - he was "fooled" or tricked.

This is the only way to embarrass the buffoon. That is to have someone fool him personally. And to make him look stupid.

He doesn't mind that he is a fat oaf, a greed head and a pig, but that is the stuff of his own doing. He is comfortable in this. Money is the end-all, etc.

He bought Mar A Lago, making it his own club, because the Palm Beach Club and its elite snobs would not let him join.

Trump was betrayed by Gina Haskell, the CIA and the NYT.

What is he gonna do about it?

joebattista , Jun 6, 2019 3:22:02 PM | 40
All of Western media has been compromised by the CIA and friends since at least the 50s. Remember what late CIA director William Casey said in 1981; "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the US public believes is false".
They 'CIA' controls every talking head you can name. Believe no one. Sad isn't it.
William Gruff , Jun 6, 2019 3:56:52 PM | 41
Please note, everyone, that not all of these sad excuses for "journalists" are on the CIA payroll. In fact, very few of them are. Most work with the CIA out of warped senses of patriotism and duty to the empire. Most would never think of themselves as intelligence agency assets, and no small number of them probably think their relationships with the CIA are unique. They think that they are special and that their contacts on the inside at the CIA are unusual. Few would guess that they are just another propaganda mule in the CIA's stable, and that friendly guy who "leaks" to them is actually their handler; their "operator" in spook-speak.

Of course, there is also the incentive provided by just having to take the story their CIA "friend" gives them, edit it a little to fit their employer's style guidelines, and then submit it as their own. A whole day's worth of work and they can have it finished in half an hour. What's not to like about that?

Peter AU 1 , Jun 6, 2019 4:11:22 PM | 42
40

CIA did not control many of the Vietnam era journalists that had their pieces printed in mainstream media of the day. Not many left now and perhaps since the nineties they could no longer get their articles published. Regan brought in perception management which eventually brought all MSM 100% under US -CIA control.

fastfreddy , Jun 6, 2019 4:45:29 PM | 43
41

If you're a CIA guy, you get the editor and the ombudsman on the payroll and he will make certain that the desired propaganda gets published. If he's a Zionist, he's on the same page from the start, anyway.

The self-important "journalists" are controlled and in fact, they are flattered by their special relationships with informants and the owner/managers. After one has sucked his or her way to the upper level, kissing up and kicking down... Laziness is a bonus.

Jay , Jun 6, 2019 4:47:28 PM | 44
@Zachary Smith:

Barnes' CV has US News and World Report on it. That's big spewer of lies, especially over the last 25 years.

Ghost Ship , Jun 6, 2019 5:35:07 PM | 46
I made a significant error in my April 16 profile of Gina Haspel. It took a while to figure out where I went wrong.

What a strange construction. Doesn't the CIA have PR staff? A decent PR team would review every item referencing their boss and issue clarifications and/or demand corrections immediately. There should have been no need for Julian E. Barnes to figure anything out as the CIA should have pointed out his mistake very quickly. This explanation/exculpation is utter bullshit!

wagelaborer , Jun 6, 2019 5:40:19 PM | 47
Every day when I turn on my computer, I am enticed with offers to "see how the Brady Bunch kids look today" or "what do the stars of the 80s look like today?". Apparently, there is quite a demand for updates on celebrities and their current well being. So why would Julian Barnes do an article about the Skirpals without showing us how they look today? And just where are they living? Enquiring minds want to know!

I doubt that Trump asked questions about how those ducks and kids were doing. More likely that MI5 was annoyed that they were exposed as the providers of the duck snuff pictures, and put pressure on the NY Times.

Featherless , Jun 6, 2019 5:49:29 PM | 48
Whatever happened with the Skripals since ? It's like they fell off the face of the planet.
John Sanguinetti , Jun 6, 2019 6:37:46 PM | 50
Could this be referred to as a good old fashioned SNAFU ?
Jen , Jun 6, 2019 6:44:26 PM | 51
SteveK9 @ 49:

Using ducks is easier. Gina Haspel could always ask one of the bottom-feeding subordinates to nip down the road to one of those Chinese BBQ shops and photograph the display of roast ducks hanging in the shop window . The photos can be uploaded and altered to remove the background of the chef and the cashier and then the actual ducks can be altered or colored appropriately before the pictures are sent to Haspel. Anyone looking at the altered pictures would never guess their actual provenance.

:-)

I'm not sure where Haspel can find hippos or any other large animals that might topple on top of someone (with dire consequences) were s/he to apply a whiff of nerve agent.

Jen , Jun 6, 2019 6:49:22 PM | 52
SteveK9 @ 49:

Oops the link @ 51 isn't working so I'd better link to this instead.

El Cid , Jun 6, 2019 8:10:06 PM | 53
Those who advocated the strong response to Russia are the intellectual authors of "Russia Gate" to thwart detente with Russia.
uncle tungsten , Jun 6, 2019 8:12:21 PM | 54
Thanks b for a good laugh at Barnes and Goldman's expense. I note Goldman is silent and I guess that is because he would likely get his apology wrong and contradict Barnes BS.

[Jun 04, 2019] According to Breitbart s John Nolte, CNN s primetime ratings suffered a 16% collapse in May MSNBC s top conspiracy theorist Rachel Maddow has lost 500,000 viewers who realized life is too short for her bullshit

Notable quotes:
"... And as Nolte concludes, " Maddow is damaged goods, damaged beyond repair, a fool and a liar exposed beyond redemption. " ..."
Jun 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

CNN, Maddow Ratings In Absolute Freefall After Russia Narrative Collapses

by Tyler Durden Tue, 06/04/2019 - 18:25 0 SHARES Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print Ratings for the anti-Trump media have taken an absolute nosedive ever since the Mueller report dispelled their multi-year narrative that President Trump is a Kremlin agent.

According to Breitbart 's John Nolte, CNN's primetime ratings suffered a 16% collapse in May - luring just 761,000 members of the resistance and captive airport audiences alike. Overall, the network's total day viewers dropped to just 559,000.

As Nolte points out, "Fox News earned three times as many primetime viewers (2.34 million) and more than twice as many total day viewers (1.34 million). What's more, when compared to this same month last year, Fox lost none of its primetime viewers and only four percent of its total day viewers."

Do you have any idea just how low 761,000 primetime viewers is ?

How does a nationally known brand like CNN, a brand that is decades old, only manage to attract 761,000 viewers throughout a gonzo news month in a country of over 300 million?

But his is just how far over the cliff CNN has gone CNN has lost almost all of its viewers, all of its moral authority, and every bit of trust it once had . Over the past six years, as soon as Jeff Zucker took over, CNN got every major national story exactly wrong, including

And in every one of those cases, CNN got it deliberately wrong because CNN is nothing less than a hysterical propaganda outlet, a fire hose of hate , violence , and lies - Breitbart

In a separate Tuesday article , Nolte notes that MSNBC' s top conspiracy theorist Rachel Maddow has lost 500,000 viewers who realized life is too short for her bullshit .

During the first quarter of 2019, prior to the release of the Mueller Report (which debunked the media's Russia Collusion Hoax and proved Trump did not obstruct justice), Maddow averaged 3.1 million nightly viewers. Last month, after the release of the Mueller Report (which debunked the media's Russia Collusion Hoax and proved Trump did not obstruct justice), she averaged only 2.6 million viewers. - Breitbart

In other words, networks which bet the farm on the Mueller report finding collusion have lost all credibility and are now suffering financially. Those such as Fox News 's Sean Hannity - who has consistently been right about the Russia hoax , are experiencing a surge in viewership .

And as Nolte concludes, " Maddow is damaged goods, damaged beyond repair, a fool and a liar exposed beyond redemption. "

[Jun 03, 2019] More Evidence of the Russian Meddling Lie by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... So there was about a year between the FBI's first notification of some potential problems with the DNC network and then that information getting on -- getting on Wikileaks. . ..."
"... Ten months? So the FBI notified the DNC of the hack and it was not until 10 months later that you had any details about what was actually going on forensically on their network? ..."
"... Whoa!!! How did the FBI know that the DNC was "hacked" in August 2015? The FBI does not have a "Hacking Monitor" team that sits around identifying attempted hacks within the United States. There are only a few possibilities that would account for the FBI's knowledge of this alleged event: ..."
"... The FBI had an informant who was connected to the hacker. ..."
"... The FBI had an informant inside the DNC that alerted them to the hack. ..."
"... The FBI had an active counter intelligence investigation of the person/group that was conducting this hack. ..."
"... Regardless of how the FBI learned of the August 2015 hack, the natural and unanswered question is why did the FBI not act to warn the DNC and to pursue the person or entity responsible for the hack? ..."
"... Given that Comey admitted that the FBI did not have forensic access to any of the DNC computers or network, how could Comey know that the same person/entity was responsible for the unspecified activities in August 2015? ..."
Jun 03, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The American public, with the enthusiastic support of most of the media, have been sold a big lie about Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election. As I have noted in previous pieces, there was nothing new nor special nor unique about Russian espionage activities inside the United States, including information and computer network operations, in 2016. Russian espionage and covert action against the United States has been a matter of fact since 1919. And the United States has been similarly engaged in such activities inside Russia.

What made 2016 unique and dangerous is that US law enforcement and intelligence agencies decide to use the ruse of Russia as a weapon to attack the candidacy and then the Presidency of Donald Trump. This attack entailed creating evidence that Trump was soliciting Russian assistance and the creation of the myth that Russia hacked the DNC. Anyone who challenges this lie is branded immediately as a Russian stooge and puppet of Putin.

We have very specific evidence regarding the fraud perpetrated about the so-called "hacking" of the DNC. Bill Binney and I have posted two pieces--one showing that the forensic evidence in the metadata of the DNC documents posted at Wikileaks could not have transferred over the internet and one showing that Guccifer 2.0 was the creation of some person or entity other than Russia.

There is another piece of public evidence that provides circumstantial evidence that the intelligence community case against Russia with respect to the allegation of extraordinary meddling is a fabrication. I am referring to the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment-- Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections .

I want to focus on one of the more important Key Judgements:

We assess with high confidence that Russian military intelligence (General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU) used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets and relayed material to WikiLeaks.

It is natural and understandable to assume that this judgment is based on real intelligence held in classified channels. But it is not. Bill Binney and I have shown that Guccifer 2.0 was a fabrication. But we also have the testimony of NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers and FBI Director Jim Comey on the "evidence" underlying the so-called hack. This key judgment was based on unverified and uncorroborated information provided by CrowdStrike.

Three months after the ICA was published, Rogers and Comey testified before the House Intelligence Committee. They were asked specifically about the proof that the DNC was hacked by the Russians. Here is the key part of that testimony:

HURD: So there was about a year between the FBI's first notification of some potential problems with the DNC network and then that information getting on -- getting on Wikileaks.

COMEY: Yes, sir.

HURD: Have you been able to -- when did the DNC provide access for -- to the FBI for your technical folks to review what happened?

COMEY: Well we never got direct access to the machines themselves. The DNC in the spring of 2016 hired a firm that ultimately shared with us their forensics from their review of the system.

HURD: Director Rogers, did the NSA ever get access to the DNC hardware?

ROGERS: The NSA didn't ask for access. That's not in our job...

HURD: Good copy. So director FBI notified the DNC early, before any information was put on Wikileaks and when -- you have still been -- never been given access to any of the technical or the physical machines that were -- that were hacked by the Russians.

COMEY: That's correct although we got the forensics from the pros that they hired which -- again, best practice is always to get access to the machines themselves, but this -- my folks tell me was an appropriate substitute.

HURD: The -- at what point did the company and the DNC use -- share that forensic information to you?

COMEY: I don't remember for sure. I think June. I could be wrong about that. . . .

HURD: So -- so that was -- how long after the first notification of -- that the FBI did of the DNC?

COMEY: Ten months.

HURD: Ten months? So the FBI notified the DNC of the hack and it was not until 10 months later that you had any details about what was actually going on forensically on their network?

COMEY: That's correct, assuming I have the dates about right. But it was -- it was some months later.

Neither the FBI nor the NSA got "direct access to the machines". Their words, not mine.

And where did the forensic data come from? CrowdStrike.

So much for the intelligence community relying on real intelligence. They were given information from a cyber security firm that waited at least 5 weeks before allegedly taking steps to disconnect the DNC computers from the infected network.

Even in an unclassified setting, Admiral Rogers and Director Comey could have stated that they had other information from intelligence sources that corroborated the CrowdStrike findings. They did not testify to this. This is more than curious, it is a tacit admission that they were relying on information from a firm hired by the Democrats and the law firm working for Hillary Clinton. This is not an independent, reliable source of information.

This fact alone does not prove the lie. But when considered as part of the entire evidence available, including the metadata from the documents posted at Wikileaks, the case for fabrication grows.

UPDATE--Thanks to "H" for spotting the obvious. I missed this completely but "H" is quite correct that this statement by Comey raises more disturbing questions. Let's go to the transcript:

HURD: Copy, I apologize. Director Comey, when was the first time the FBI notified the DNC of the hack? Roughly.

COMEY: I think august of 2015.

HURD: And was that prior to information being leaked to -- being sent on -- put on WikiLeaks?

COMEY: Yes the -- the first Russian directed releases where middle of June of the next year by D.C. leaks and this Guccifer 2.0 persona and then that was followed by Wikileaks. So about a year. A little less than a year really.

HURD: So there was about a year between the FBI's first notification of some potential problems with the DNC network and then that information getting on -- getting on Wikileaks. . . .

HURD: So -- so that was -- how long after the first notification of -- that the FBI did of the DNC?

COMEY: Ten months.

HURD: Ten months? So the FBI notified the DNC of the hack and it was not until 10 months later that you had any details about what was actually going on forensically on their network?

COMEY: That's correct, assuming I have the dates about right. But it was -- it was some months later.

HURD: Knowing what we know now, would the FBI have done anything different in trying to notify the DNC of what happened?

COMEY: Oh Sure.

HURD: What -- what -- what measures would you have done differently?

COMEY: We'd have set up a much larger flare. Yeah we'd have just kept banging and banging on the door, knowing what I know now. We made extensive efforts to notify, we'd have -- I might have walked over there myself, knowing what I know now. But I think the efforts we made, that are agents made were reasonable at the time.

Whoa!!! How did the FBI know that the DNC was "hacked" in August 2015? The FBI does not have a "Hacking Monitor" team that sits around identifying attempted hacks within the United States. There are only a few possibilities that would account for the FBI's knowledge of this alleged event:

  1. The FBI had an informant who was connected to the hacker.
  2. The FBI had an informant inside the DNC that alerted them to the hack.
  3. The FBI had an active counter intelligence investigation of the person/group that was conducting this hack.

Regardless of how the FBI learned of the August 2015 hack, the natural and unanswered question is why did the FBI not act to warn the DNC and to pursue the person or entity responsible for the hack? Moreover, how did the FBI know that the person/entity doing the hack of the DNC in August 2015 was the same one responsible for the May 2016 "theft" of emails? Given that Comey admitted that the FBI did not have forensic access to any of the DNC computers or network, how could Comey know that the same person/entity was responsible for the unspecified activities in August 2015?


Ligurio , 03 June 2019 at 08:03 AM

I am wondering what Larry Johnson and others make of this recent analysis by b at Moon of Alabama: to wit, that there is an existing log of communications between Obama administration and Putin government the publication of which would clearly exculpate Russia from these accusations?

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/05/trump-administration-withholds-information-that-could-debunk-russian-interference-claims.html

This information would seem to corroborate and help explain the utterly ridiculous chain-of-evidence collapse and timeline at the basis of Comey's "investigation" of the DNC leak.

JJackson , 03 June 2019 at 10:03 AM

I read some of the McCabe testimony and recall an interchange in which he said the FBI was determined to get hold of two laptops (which had been used to sort the emails into those deemed relevant to the investigation, and those not) and that the FBI would not close the investigation until they had. It came up as an example of FBI/DoJ differences - FBI wanting to subpoena the Doj preferring to negotiate for access - in the end they did get the units by negotiation. What I did not see (I did not read all of it) was any mention of efforts to get the servers.
My question to all is has anyone else seen anything on attempts to get the servers or, if none, why the same effort had not been made?

h , 03 June 2019 at 11:10 AM

Here's a question that seemingly goes unanswered when anyone writes about the hack of the DNC servers - How did the FBI even know the DNC servers had been compromised in the first place? How did they know to warn them?

The DNC is a private corporation NOT a government entity. Are all registered political corporations tethered to a governmental system by law or by contract that the FBI is monitoring? If so, what is that system and why?

If not, then how did the FBI even know their system was compromised?

The reading public is left to assume a lot in how the FBI even knew to warn them a full 10 months before the FBI's vendor, Crowdstrike, released its hack report.

Larry, can you or Bill answer this question? If they have a contract of some sort for monitoring the corporate political parties great. It'd be nice to know. But if they don't, then how in the world did they know to warn them?

Larry Johnson -> h ... , 03 June 2019 at 12:03 PM

I'm not sure I have an answer. You ask an excellent question. Let me give it some thought. I think you are on to another part of the lie.

joanna -> Larry Johnson ... , 03 June 2019 at 01:07 PM

Larry, would you along the lines give some thought to the argument, considering time frames between FBI alert as published and discovery. Ideally what additional "IT intelligence" may have resulted from cutting servers and whatever connected periphery, at, at what point in time?, off and analyze it.

JJ may want to know.

h , 03 June 2019 at 12:36 PM

Funny that! I can't imagine the DNC, let alone any other private entity, permitting the FBI to monitor their systems daily activity 365 days out of the year. If they do, well, how stupid of them. If they don't then indeed St Comey may have told the biggest lie of them all. Crazy.

I sincerely look forward to reading what you learn.

You're doing great work here and I thank the good Colonel for hosting you.

akaPatience , 03 June 2019 at 12:36 PM

At this point I wonder if it's even true that the DNC was hacked in August, 2015. Could a false accusation have been planted to serve as a component of the plan to subvert Trump's candidacy/presidency?

The DNC/Clinton campaign's "Pied Piper" strategy to promote Trump, Cruz and Carson (thinking either of them would be the easiest for her to defeat) was launched in April, 2015 . Cruz announced in March, 2015. Carson in May, 2015. Trump announced in June 2015. How did the DNC/Clinton camp even know Carson would be a candidate a month before his announcement, or that Trump would be a candidate 2 months before he announced?

I hope AG Barr and US Att'y. Durham are digging deeply.

[Jun 03, 2019] MH17 attribution to Russia now looks like a classic false flag operation by Western intelligence services

Jun 03, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

I'd have to go with Zuesse's conclusion.

Have brought up Gabbard's sticking with the lies and false narratives regarding Russia and Ukraine, clearly one of her blind spots in her "antiwar" political campaign, that along with the massive and unrelenting war OF terror. That letter is a rather disgusting display of imperialist obfuscation by the duopoly political parties, fully supporting the lies about Maduro and what's happening in VS and in effect providing cover for future actions. You can't claim to be against military action while also lying about the reasons. Of course they can, that's how they prep the public for imperial advances. up 4 users have voted.


wendy davis on Sun, 06/02/2019 - 4:10pm

i'm not positive that

@Big Al

i totally endorse zuesse's theory, but oh my, he'd brought in a lot of moving parts at the time. paranoid conspiracy theory or 'coincidence theory', as some brilliant mofo used to ask. (i'l think of his name later.) the russian defense ministry's contentions are in conflict with zuesse's (buk missiles v. another jet with missiles), but i sure as hell know that the dutch report decision in advance was bullshit. i'd think that one would have to be willfully blind to accept it at face value, esp. if any of them like gabbard were on the defense and intel committees at the time. same with madurro's venezuela, to pretend that it's not mainly the egregious sanctions and blockades that are responsible for the estimated 40,000 citizens who've died for lack of medicines and food. and now their CLAP food delivery system is under attack...again.

i get that the intel they're fed is rubbish, but they all have the duty to look further than what lies they're spoon fed. CEPR has been incredibly valuable a resource for one, and it's pretty mainstream.

but he's right about one thing: yanukovitch was overthrown due to his refusal to sign the EU association memo, and when Imperialists speak of how 'russia stole crimea', or refuse to see why the separatists in the donbass formed their own independent nation-states, it's utter hypocrisy.

thanks for reading and commenting, big al.

oh, and do you know if tulsi's FP is still at her house.gov site? i looked at all her press releases that were dated after that offensive letter, but i'd found nothing new.

Big Al on Sun, 06/02/2019 - 4:55pm
Ya, I never got into it much.

@wendy davis I mean, there's the establishment/government narrative and there's the truth, that's about all I need to know. It's like that saying "trust, but verify". I say fuck that, "don't trust, and verify that".
I don't know about Gabbard's FP, she's done some housecleaning and avoided certain things since becoming the CFR's choice for 2024. Again, I've already done enough research, what, for over 3 years now?, to see what she's all about, something I failed to do in 2007/8 regarding Obama. Lo and behold, all the clues were there just waiting to be uncovered, but I wasn't in the same place as now.

Pluto's Republic on Sun, 06/02/2019 - 10:43pm
I believe the answer was best documented

@wendy davis

...by the Russians, who were not allowed to participate in the Dutch investigation. The information and data was presented to the Dutch and to the Western media in September 2018. Everything one could hope to see in physical evidence is here. There is additional evidence not in this article that adds to the details and forensics presented here.

https://www.rt.com/news/438596-mh17-downing-russian-briefing/

This information was not published in the West or in the Vassal State of Netherlands. The US possesses satellite photos of the incident. But it has classified those photos and refuses to release them.

As for means, motive and opportunity:

• MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, not over Russia.
• It was shot down with a missile owned by Ukraine, not by Russia.
• It had propaganda value for Ukraine and its CIA masters, none for
• The missile was fired from territory controlled by the neo nazi Kiev regime.

But the best evidence of what took place, as far as I'm concerned, is right here:

Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, falling in the rebel-held part of the country. The crash claimed the lives of 283 passengers and 15 crew members, most of them Dutch nationals. Russia was blamed by Western media in the first days after the tragedy, even before any evidence had been collected on the ground.

wendy davis on Mon, 06/03/2019 - 8:57am
excellent,

@Pluto's Republic

and thank you. your memory is prodigious, and having the 2018 RT news is srsly helpful, as is your M,M, & O formula. blame first, then fail to allow russia (and malaysia) to be able to run investigations. good to know as well that the malaysian minister knew of the serial numbers and that ukraine owned the missiles.

eric zuesse had said that even dutch journalists were raising havoc with the JIT back in the day. but just think what this false blame resulting in mega-sanctions began, then onto the skripals, russia-gate in many guises, and tra la la.

mr. wd laughed this mornin' and said he wishes he had a choice to vote for sergei lavrov for prez; i second that!

dunno if the EU still wants a compact with ukraine, but NATO sure wants the neo-nazi nation as a member. ping: if i have the energy and time, i'll try to find in zuesse's tome admissions by snipers in 2014, as well.

Lookout on Sun, 06/02/2019 - 5:03pm
Tulsi's issue page....

...is here -
https://www.tulsigabbard.org/

Must admit I didn't hunt down her Ukraine position, but my personal take is Obummer and the CIA set out to foment problems and managed to get a fascists regime elected in order to oppose Russia. The new Ukrainian president may take things in a more pro-Russia direction?

wendy davis on Sun, 06/02/2019 - 6:01pm
ach; not at her house.gov

@Lookout

site, at her election site. well, check out Russia , for now. and i do thank you; i was lookin' in all the wrong places. ; )i'll check out more soon as i have time, but zounds: russia: crimea, the nation's interference in our election, wooof. of course jill stein raised boatloads of bucks for recounts in three states on the basis of russian interference, later 'foreign interference' against the wishes of the green party board and her own running mate, so...there's that, but it was just a dodge against trump winning, not hillary. sorry, tulsi.

wendy davis on Mon, 06/03/2019 - 9:09am
my apologies

@Lookout

for being in such a hurry i hadn't even registered your speculation about zelenskiy, but nah, he wants crimea and the donbass self-declared republics that Putin stole from him...back. he's being lauded and applauded for 'standing up to KGB Putin'. ; )

and the IMF's bailin' em out again so they have enough to pay their NATO dues and join the EU. (just saw that tryin' to remember how to sorta spell the comic's name.)

jim p on Sun, 06/02/2019 - 7:32pm
The pilot's body, iirc,

maybe it was passengers', was returned to Malaysia ... but in a sealed coffin, that even family members were refused to open.

At the time an OSCE member was the first to arrive at the crash site. Some 20 minutes after the downing. The photos taken by him, or so it was attributed, showed round holes (not shrapnel) shot in the pilot area. Sorry I don't have any links handy on either of these, but I'm pretty sure this is correct.

wendy davis on Sun, 06/02/2019 - 8:29pm
thank you;

@jim p

as i understand it, the hole size was not in contention. but weather it had been the pilot or a passenger: '...but in a sealed coffin, that even family members were refused to open.'

is that perhaps a malaysian custom? is the truth out there somewhere?

jim p on Mon, 06/03/2019 - 12:17pm
The family was furious

@wendy davis and the government protested. The holes in the photo were in the cockpit and looked perfectly round.

wendy davis on Mon, 06/03/2019 - 12:31pm
as pluto &

@jim p

eric zuesse remind us, the holes in the cockpit were likely from machine guns on the ukrainian fighter jet sent to make sure the ukie buk missiles had (omg) killed the plane, which if i'm getting it right (a big IF) was changing direction as it went down. my apologies for not getting all the moving parts and claims right on this thread.

but the 21st century wire shows charts and evidence that the flight crew was ordered to change course by the air traffic control tower (as per the later censored bbc plus recordings).

Pluto's Republic on Sun, 06/02/2019 - 11:20pm
Many believed that a Ukraine fighter jet

@jim p

...was involved in the downing of MH17, which was the opinion of many aviation experts and others, who found bullet holes in the cockpit, wings, and fuselage. This in addition to Buk damage.

Recordings were captured by multiple sources of a frightened and stressed Ukrainian pilot, who radioed, "I shot the wrong plane!" He sounded as if he was commanded to shoot down a military target plane and was misled into shooting a passenger jet. That pilot, named Voloshyn, later committed suicide.

The typical recollection of the incident is:

A fighter was also sent up to 'make sure' the target plane was shot down. If I remember rightly, the plane was hit, but was still flying and it began to turn back. If the plane story (which I tend to believe) is true, it's at that point that the fighter jet opened fire on the cockpit and wings.

That would also account for Buk damage to the Boeing, as well as fighter machine gun damage to the cockpit.

You can find many references to this incident along with transcripts of the conversation between the fighter pilot and the ground base.

wendy davis on Mon, 06/03/2019 - 8:54am
that theory

@Pluto's Republic

certainly covers all the bases, doesn't it? good on ya, again, upside-down pluto.

wendy davis on Mon, 06/03/2019 - 12:40pm
i never found zuesse's

video confessions from the snipers at maidan (i assume ukrainians firing on protestors in front of the trades union building that was eventually...burned to the ground.

but this?

"For instance, Moscow said a theory was never tested that the airliner could have been downed by a fighter jet spotted by Russian radar stations near flight MH17. The theory was later proven false by the discovery of debris from the Buk rocket.

Though Russia doesn't possess those black boxes ( which, by chance, were handed by the pro-Russian separatists to the Malaysian Government's representative, and yet that Government handed them to Netherland's Government instead of to Russia's -- apparently trusting Netherlands more than trusting Russia or even themselves), Russia does possess, and publicly reveals, evidence that's conclusive on its own; and it is 100% consistent with Haisenko's reconstruction of the event, regardless whether a Buk was involved or not."

one of his links went to ' MH17 Verdict: Real Evidence Points to US-Kiev Cover-up of Failed False Flag ' July 25, 2014 , 21stcenturywire.com

"As MH17 moved into Ukrainian air space, it was moved by ATC Kiev approximately 200 miles north – putting it on a new course, heading directly into a war zone, a well-known dangerous area by now – one that's hosted a number of downed military craft over the previous 3 weeks. Robert Mark, a commercial pilot and editor of Aviation International News Safety magazine, confirmed that most Malaysia Airlines flights from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur would normally travel along a route significantly further south than the route MH17 was diverted onto.

Data on all airline flight records can be found here. The BBC reported on July 17th: " Ukraine's SBU security service has confiscated recordings of conversations between Ukrainian air traffic control officers and the crew of the doomed airliner, a source in Kiev has told Interfax news agency."

a great (and lengthy) collaborative investigation by 21st century wire. thanks, obomba, thanks, tulsi, thanks Pierre and vickie nuland. and even the new guy can't control his neo-nazis. but then again, at least yulia tymoshenko didn't win.

but NATO will add them to the roster soon, which is one of the reasons that the atlantic council had recommended him: to root out poroshenko's oligarchs' corruption.

wendy davis on Mon, 06/03/2019 - 5:20pm
no date given, but:
wendy davis on Mon, 06/03/2019 - 5:13pm
i found it,

but i almost wish i hadn't it's sooooo long and full of twists and turns, news reports, videos, but in general the theme is that mikhail saakashvilli hired them, then stiffed them.

' The "Snipers' Massacre" in Kiev -- Another False Flag? ', January 13, 2015 , granvillepost.com, eric zuesse

you may remember him best john Mccains buddy: 'today we are all georgians'? like ahmed chalabi, he's the proverbial bad penny who keeps returning in whatever guise needed (after expulsions), and the big news this week is that zelenskiy's reinstated his ukrainian citizenship after promising to give up his former ambitions and work with the new prez.

good gawd all-friday.

[Jun 02, 2019] Prospects for the emergence of a real opposition in Russia by The Saker

Notable quotes:
"... Second, it is equally obvious that the pension reform is profoundly unpopular and that Putin's personal credibility has never recovered from this political fiasco. ..."
May 30, 2019 | www.unz.com

As predicted, Putin's popularity takes a nosedive.

This fact is not often discussed in the West, but the popularity of Vladimir Putin is in decline and has been so ever since, following his reelection, he kept more or less the same (already unpopular) government while that government very clumsily attempted to "sneak by" undetected a pension reform. Now the latest numbers are in , and they are not good: only 31.7% of Russians trust Vladimir Putin, that is his worst score in 13 years! His score last year was 47.4% (by the way, Shoigu got only 14.8%, Lavrov got 13%, and Medvedev got 7.6%. These are terrible scores by any measure!)

I have been warning about this for a while now (see here , here , here , here , here , here and here ), and we now can try to understand what happened.

These are the faces most Russians are fed-up with

First, it is obvious that millions of Russians (including yours truly) were deeply disappointed that Putin did not substantially reorganize the Russian government following his triumphant reelection last year. Putin himself is on record saying two things about that: first, that he is generally happy with the performance of the government and, second, that he needs an experienced team to implement his very ambitious reform program (more about that in a moment).

Second, it is equally obvious that the pension reform is profoundly unpopular and that Putin's personal credibility has never recovered from this political fiasco.

Third, and this is the most overlooked and yet most interesting development – there is a real opposition gradually emerging in Russia. What do I mean by "real"? First, I mean not a "pretend opposition" as we see in the Russian Duma (which is a glorified rubber-stamping parliament). Second, I mean a patriotic opposition which is neither financed nor controlled by Mr. Soros nor the CIA nor any of their innumerable offshoots. The problem is that this opposition has many severe problems and that it completely fails to present an alternative to the current "Putinocracy."

Here we need to state something significant: Putin is indeed a "liberal," at least in terms of economic policies. When he says that he is happy ("on the whole") with the performance of the Medvedev government, it is because he probably is. Furthermore, while Putin apparently likes to listen to folks like Glaziev, he is clearly wary of implementing the more "social" (or even "socialist") measures advocated by Glaziev and his supporters.

But if Putin is a liberal, is there really a 5 th column acting behind the scenes?

This being said, it would be wrong to jump to the primitive conclusion that there is no 5th column (or no "Atlantic Integrationists") in the Kremlin or in the Staraya Square . In fact, it would be impossible for such a 5th column not to exist. How do we know that? For three very basic reasons

Putin's 2007 " Munich speech " should have acted like an urgent wake-up call to the leaders of the West, but they lacked the brains and courage to listen to what Putin was saying. The same thing happened during Putin's 2015 speech at the UNGA . To his internal Russian audience, Putin bluntly said, when asked if the West was trying to "humiliate" Russia: " They do not want to humiliate us, they want to subdue us, solve their problems at our expense ." Personally, I believe that Putin, as any other officer of the First Main Directorate (foreign intelligence) of the KGB always understood that the West was a mortal enemy of Russia and that this has been true for at least 1000 years. Thus I think that it would be naive to believe that Putin ever "trusted" the West. But did he deliberately give that impression for as long as it could serve his purposes? Yes, absolutely. Now, this period is clearly over.

The one thing which the Russian 5th column cannot really be is any type of "opposition." First, the 5th column is internal to the Kremlin, to the Presidential Administration, to the "United Russia" party and to all the other centers of power in Russia. This forces the opposition to pretend loyalty to Putin while sabotaging every effort at re-sovereignizing Russia (admittedly a tough task since Russia has been ruled by foreign elites since at least the times of Peter I).

I am often asked why Russia Today and Sputnik publish what can only be called "trash" or even anti-religious propaganda on their websites. The answer is simple: there are plenty of folks at RT and Sputnik (especially in the teams operating their websites as opposed to the actual broadcasts) who are pure products of the AngloZionist worldview and who love some sleazy sex story almost as much as they love to bash or ridicule the Orthodox church. While there are plenty of terrific people in both of these media, there are also plenty who secretly would love Russia to return to the 1990s or become a kind of "Poland" east of the Ukraine. This is also why these outlets make a strenuous effort not to discuss the Israel lobby in the West (not only the USA), but they also stay away from any discussion of 9/11. I know for a fact that any mention of the real events of 9/11 is strictly forbidden by some "bigshot" editors in Moscow as my own interviews were censored that way.

One word of caution here: there are millions of Russians abroad, and many of them are what are now called " вырусь " (vy-roos') in Russia: folks who might speak Russian, and even visit Russia from time to time, but who have completely lost their "Russian-ness" and whose worldview does not extend beyond wishing that Russia was more like the US or Germany. They think of Russia as "rashka," and they absolutely hate any genuine manifestation of Russian culture, spirituality, traditions or religion. Some of them will join the Alt-Right movement and pretend that the racist categories and ideology used by this movement have some traction in Russia (they don't). Some will try to impersonate Orthodox Christians. In truth – they are still a pure product of the AngloZionst Empire. Some of them have clearly found gainful employment in the Russian media where they keep a vigilant watch for any signs that the ideological dogma of the West (we all know what they are) are being debunked by Russian patriots. These "vyroos" are yet another manifestation of the Russian 5 th column.

What about the official opposition to Putin?

Ukie Defense Minister Poltorak photoshops himself before an exploding Kremlin Tower. This is the kind of nonsense that gets even Duma members angry.

Then there is the "official" Duma opposition, which is more or less a joke. Some Russian MPs are better than others, but even the comparatively better ones are entirely unable to present a real challenge to the Russian government (we saw that painfully illustrated by the Duma vote on the pension reform).

As for the ordinary people, most of them probably still trust Putin in foreign policy issues, but many are also getting genuinely fed-up with an arrogant and condescending ruling elite which couldn't care less about the plight of regular people and who live in an ivory tower of wealth, arrogance and power.

There is also a gradual realization that Putin in generally being "too soft" on the Empire and not proactive enough in defense of Novorussia against the Ukronazi junta in Kiev. Sadly, I have to agree with them. Yes, there has been some progress: the Russian ban on exporting energy to the Ukraine and the deliverance of Russian passports to the people of Novorussia. Furthermore, the Kremlin has expressed precisely zero approval of Zelenskii's election and, apparently, this was the correct move since even though the policies of Poroshenko were categorically rejected by an absolute majority of the Ukrainian people, all the signs are that Zelenskii has already wholly caved to the demands of the "collective West". Unless this trend towards "more of the same, only worse" is reversed, it is likely that the popular pressure in Russia to be far more proactive against the regime in Kiev will only increase. In recent months the Duma has been under pressure from the public to take a more forceful reaction to the events in the Ukraine, and this has had some, albeit limited, effect: the totally lame Duma has now become a little bit less lame, but not by much.

So what is this new opposition to Putin?

How our power structure is organized: This is the Kremlin. Putin is there. He issues decrees and ensures that the Constitution is upheld; This is the Government building. Medvedev is there and he loots the budget of our country; This is the Duma, Volodin is there and he adopts anti-popular laws; This is the Federation Council, Matvienko and she approves anti-popular laws..

The distinguishing characteristic of this new opposition to Putin is that it sees itself as the truly patriotic segment of Russian society. These are folks who blame Putin for being weak, indecisive and corrupt (including personally). They believe that Putin sits on the top of an oligarchic pyramid which only pays lip service to Russian national interests, but which in reality is interested only in wealth, power and influence. Frankly, much of their argumentation about Putin's alleged corruption is based on a mix of disinformation and personal hatred for Putin himself. In contrast, however, their arguments that Putin is too weak or indecisive are based on a completely rational and fact based analysis of the events which have marked Putin's presidency. After all, the man has been in power for 20 years or so, he has enjoyed tremendous bureaucratic power and the full support of the vast majority of the population. How then can he (or his supporters) blame it all on a "bad system" or the power of a 5 th column whose existence some don't believe in in the first place?

On the right is a typical opposition "Internet poster".

While I personally don't agree with this point of view, I have to recognize that it is not self-evidently absurd or solely based on propaganda. In other words, they do have a point, and much of their criticism is valid.

Alas, much of it is not, and that mix loses a lot in credibility when 50% of it is fact-based and logical, and 50% is not.

What is even worse is that these patriots regularly find themselves in the same camp as the Soros/CIA -funded folks whom the patriots claim to hate, but whose arguments they often recycle (about the personal corruption of Putin, for example).

The other major weakness of this new opposition is that it lacks any kind of leader. This is why I did not bother listing the names of the main representatives of this opposition: for most of those who will read this article, these names will mean nothing.

Finally, this new patriotic opposition seems to lack an original worldview: much of their argumentation boils down to "it was better in the Soviet era" (they typically tend to overlook how bad things indeed were, at least since the 1980s!).

So where do we go from here? Will Russia ever have a real, vibrant, opposition?

My short personal answer is, yes, Russia will have such an opposition. Here is why:

I hope that the newly emerging "patriotic" opposition will focus its wrath not on Putin as a person, but on the mistakes of the Russian government wherever they happen: President, Prime Minister, Minister or below – it should not matter. If the opposition succeeds in focusing on issues rather than venting its rage against specific individuals, then real changes become possible, including personnel changes.

The latest opinion polls show that all the members of the government are suffering from falling ratings, not just the Atlantic Integrationists. If this trend maintains itself, the Eurasian Sovereignists will have a powerful incentive to cut their ties with the Atlantic Integrationists. Who knows, maybe Medvedev and the so-called "economic block of the government" will be shown to the door? If not, then the plunge in the polls will most likely continue, and social unrest becomes a real possibility.


JOHN CHUCKMAN , says: Website May 30, 2019 at 7:13 am GMT

Talk about trash, this article is it.

Just full of unsupported assertions and with an overall lack of understanding about how countries, especially big ones, really work.

Citing some polling on individual figures is meaningless without context and without any details about the nature of the poll. Faked and/or incompetent polling happens regularly in the West."Push"polls are a constant gimmick used in the Western press to give authority to assertions.

Any poll which shows Shoigu getting only 14.8%, Lavrov getting 13%, is highly suspect on its face. These are genuinely super-capable individuals in their jobs, quite beyond any norms for performance.

When something smells as bad as this article, sharp reader knows something is going on beyond the mere speculations of an amateur affairs analyst.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website May 30, 2019 at 2:12 pm GMT

A non-event, same ol', same ol'. Here is an original with Putin's approval rating–65.8%:

https://wciom.ru/index.php?id=236&uid=9707

Показатель одобрения деятельности Президента стабилен и находится в рамках сформировавшегося коридора: по среднему значению с 13 по 19 мая он составил 65,8%.

1. I wrote about this once:

https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2019/03/south-front-say-what-ii.html .

2. Svobodnaya Pressa (SP) is not exactly unbiased (or competent) source. Enough to take a look at such odious figures as Boldyrev hanging out there as a "columnist";

3. Russia's so called opposition (mainly left) committed suicide when went with Grudinin. In general, they don't have anyone of required scale and competence to even approach a vicinity of Putin.

In many respects, SP's commentaries are merely a tempest in the cup.

Rob435 , says: May 30, 2019 at 2:55 pm GMT

I suspect if they distrust Putin the diabolical skripal RT interview with the "Russian Tourists" may have something to do with it.

Tens of Millions of Russians were ready to believe the false flag CIA / M16 setup explanation, then suddenly two idiots popup, on national tv who just scream military / security looking men to say they were there just to check out the cathedral spire of course!

I mean what a shot in the foot who authorised that interview to happen?

Digital Samizdat , says: