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17 August 2014

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shege

Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

david

To me the interesting question is why this was made public. Presumably someone thought something would be accomplished by leaking the information.

turcopolier

david

Somebody just pissed off, that is what it usually is. pl

John

Someone could also be appalled at the lack of security and the general sloppiness of State Department communication protocols and decided to mess with them a little.
They might have even considered it doing a favor.
All sorts of games going on behind the scenes.
After Vickie Nuland's "fuck the europeans" outing this past spring, one would think the State Dep would have given out a multibillion dollar comm security contract. I wonder which crony got it.

turcopolier

John

No! No! this is the normal conduct of international relations and you "go for " your allies first. pl

Matthew

Col: I'm waiting for some AIPAC stalwart to advance a "Do Not Spy on Israel" bill. Followed by an "Add Bibi to the Chain of Command" bill.

David Habakkuk

Colonel Lang,

'After some doubts the US "adopted" Gehlen and his group and started using them against the Soviets. That seems a sound decision to me.'

I would happily take intelligence from almost any source which was in a position to provide it, and obviously people who had been fighting the Red Army for four years knew a hell of a lot about that organisation.

However, people who are in a position to provide intelligence often have their own hidden agendas, and may also have good grounds to tell you what they think you want to hear.

By 1950, U.S. estimates of Soviet nuclear and also critically conventional strength had lost contact with reality. As regards nuclear strength, the notion that because the Soviets had tested an atomic device in August the previous year they had operational weapons turned out to be quite wrong. They did not acquire such weapons until – if I recall right – 1953 or 1954.

As to conventional strength, in an exchange in 1980 about the key NSC 68 paper of April 1950, its principal mastermind, Paul Nitze, wrote that:

'Later, the intelligence people would state that of their estimated 175 Soviet divisions, one third were at full strength, one third were at partial strength, and the final third were cadres.'

Certainly, the Soviets could have remobilised much more rapidly than the Americans, as Nitze very fairly pointed out. However, the notion that they had already done so – had put the Red Army on a wartime footing – was nonsense, providing a radically false view both of Soviet capabilities and intentions.

And the notion set forth in NSC 68 that even after an American nuclear attack 'the Kremlin would be capable of using the forces it controls to establish hegemony over the majority or all of Eurasia' bore no relationship to at all to reality.

It has been suggested that such overestimates reflected an uncritical acceptance of questionable claims from Gehlen and his people. How far this is accurate I do not know.

turcopolier

David Habakkuk

The only thing I ever did with Soviets is recruit them. the one exception to that would be my interesting official relationship with the Soviet airborne advisers in Yemen. Intelligence analysis is supposed to be based on good judgment in comparing different pieces of information from different sources. If the USG accepted untrue information from the BND, well, that is probably because the pols on our side wanted to believe it. pl

Valissa

Stories like this always remind me of the classic Spy vs Spy cartoon strips http://www.spyvsspyhq.com/history.html

Here's a good one http://www.spyvsspyhq.com/spy309.jpg

turcopolier

Valissa

Ah! You don't understand! Ze Tchermans were filled with righteous indignation and admonitions that we Americans should behave like adults. Now, they are strangely silent. pl

confusedponderer

What? Who?

Valissa

Oh, I do understand that quite well, PL... it's typical political "sturm and drang" :)

Since such spying is normal, I had assumed the real reason the Germans protested so loudly was that it was their way of letting "the world" know they are tired of being pushed around by the US in terms of finance and foreign policy. Since they are still being obedient to the US in these areas it's hard to take them seriously.

The Beaver

Colonel

Now the Turks are giving them the same type of treatment ( how dare you treat a NATO ally this way)

stickler

As I recall reading somewhere a few years ago, Gehlen's organization was an iffy bet by US intelligence. The Soviets had thoroughly penetrated FHO (Fremde Heere Ost) even before 1945, and the value of the intelligence FHO generated during the war was poor. They totally failed to predict Operation Bagration in 1944, for example. After the war, most of the operatives they sent to Eastern Europe, as well as the stay-behind agents they tried to use, were either already being run by the NKVD or were quickly arrested and liquidated.

Gehlen promised US intelligence a lot, and delivered not quite a lot. Though he got a few of his friends out of war crimes trials and into gainful employment by the West German government. Was that his real goal, I wonder? Probably not an either-or proposition, as much as typical of so many of the Cold War deals we made with the Devil.

charly

There is a difference. It sounds like Kerry and Clinton were bycatch while Merkel was the target

turcopolier

charly

Absolutely not! This is a normal function of any country that possesses a capable SIGINT service. you are just trying to screw the US. pl

Peter C

Brimmer must not have attended history class to understand what running off the functioning parts of governance does to a modern state.

turcopolier

Peter C
"Brimmer must not have attended history class to understand what running off the functioning parts of governance does to a modern state." Who is "Brimmer?" Maybe you should re-write this comment to make it comprehensible. pl

charly

There is a difference from a German perspective and not from an American.

turcopolier

charly

Apparently the German perspective is one divorced from the reality of real world governments and a long history of close cooperation between the BND and NSA in exactly the kind of activities that you Germans find so terrible.. NATO has long outlived its usefulness. We should withdraw from Europe and leave you in the earthly paradise that you seem to yearn for and free of our evil acts. pl

Valissa

Respectfully, PL... NATO may have outlived it's original purpose, but that large bureaucracy serves as an effective power tool for the US empire. How else for Pax Americana to keep the European countries as vassals?

Personally I would love for the US to withdraw from NATO and see what happens... but the kind of people who run the US empire undoubtedly see the situation differently.

turcopolier

valissa

I am quite aware of the motivations of those who wish to keep NATO alive. nevertheless, IMO it should be abolished, the US should withdraw its remaining forces from Europe and the Europeens should fend for themselves. pl

Valissa

You know, PL... the US withdrawing from NATO would make for a great plot for a future oriented alternative history. I'm thinking of Philip K. Dick's wonderful book The Man in the High Castle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_in_the_High_Castle in this regard.

Of course, to do this plot properly, IMO, the EU should disband... every country for themselves once again. Wonder how long that would last?

Peter C

Pat Lang
Sorry for the miss spelling.
"Lewis Paul Bremer III (born September 30, 1941) better known as Paul Bremer, is an American diplomat. He is most notable for leading the occupational authority of Iraq following the 2003 invasion by the United States. He served in this capacity from May 11, 2003 until June 28, 2004, serving as head of state of the internationally recognized government of Iraq."

Bremer must not have attended history class to understand what running off the functioning parts of governance does to a modern state. Bremer is well educated and comes from a learned family.

charly

I'm not talking about how the real world functions but from a political perspective

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