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12 December 2016

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Bobo

Whatever one may think regarding this concept of IW/IO and to what degree it was perpetrated or the degree of its results we as a country have some big problems.
1. A significant percentage of our population has not accepted the election results.
2. Our MSM has turned off the populace as to the objectiveness of these purveyors of news.
3. Our Intel Orgs are running around admitting they have been had versus their jobs in controlling this IO.
4. Our politicians are falling all over themselves believing this crap. A usual reaction.

Now the population of China and India is close to three billion, USA is 320 million, Russia is 143 million, Soviet Union was 293 million and North Korea is 24 million. We need to focus our future on China and India not the bogeymen of Russia and North Korea.
At least SST brings sanity to these issues.

The Twisted Genius

Ishmael Zechariah,

As for your first two questions, I doubt this can be proven in a court of law. As an intelligence professional, my criteria for proof is quite different from my criteria as a juror in a court of law. There are numerous things I have accepted as truth as an intelligence officer that could never be proved in court. This is one of those things.

Why should we believe what the government says about this or anything else? We shouldn't take anything a government says as gospel truth. That goes for corporations as well. Our own government and many corporations have been caught lying to us time after time. We must question them in all things. We should demand investigations and applaud the work of leakers and whistleblowers. In this matter, we have the investigations of private computer security firms to augment what the intelligence agencies release. I think a vigorous and contentious congressional investigation will reveal a lot.

As to your fears of the formation of "Ministry of Truth" offices, we should fight that tooth and nail. We can't depend on governments or corporations to give us the truth. We have to rip it from their grasp. We need more leakers and whistleblowers. We need representatives that push for open government and commercial disclosure laws. Although Jefferson never said it, I strongly believe in the sentiment often attributed to him, "An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people." We need locally owned newspapers and radio stations and be aware that the internet is at least 95% bullshit.

If we do all these things, elegant information operations will become extremely difficult to pull off. That would be a much better world. I hope all this helps put your mind at ease or even give you something to aspire to.

Cee

Bobo,

Like McConnell and Ryan who are supporting the CIA and do not support the Trump infrastructure stimulus package.
Hold tight.

wisedupearly

This is an instance of reflexive control by the Borg. Poorly secured email systems were accessed either externally or internally and material made public. Has any of the released material been proved counterfeit?
The released DP emails were far from earthshaking and can only imagine that the GOP stuff was so banal as to be of no use.
What is going on at the moment is a concerted campaign to distract the Democratic voters from the urgent need to cleanse the DP of the stench/corruption of Clinton. In the Borg's mind, Hillary must remain queen as she is a known and controllable entity.

The Twisted Genius

Lemur,

Yes, it is a delicious irony that the heart of this Russian information operation was whistleblowing in the public interest. I would like to see more leaking and whistleblowing covering the financial dealings and behind the scene conversations of the Kochs, Soros, Adelson, AIPAC, Monsanto and so many others. It would also have been nice to have Trumps financial books laid out. We still have no idea to who and how his business and financial holdings are connected.

shargash

His tax returns? Really? I think you misspoke. You must have meant his birth certificate.

ISL

TTG, I respect your instincts in these matters, but I just don't feel it.

My take is where it matters most, such as Russian actions in Syria or Ukraine, I have not seen any real change in the media coverage or public concern of Russian actions that are labeled universally until the Donald as "evil" by all but fringe politicos and media organs. If such efforts are information war they seem highly ineffective.

With regards to reducing faith in democracy, why would the Russian's even bother given how well our elite have been destroying any such basis for a belief. A recent academic study found almost zero relationship be public opinion and govt decisions I am recalling statistically insignificant). American's can figure this out based on their own ("lying?" eyes), so I do not see a cost benefit for Russia for seeking such a goal.

When someone argues to turn on a pump to help the tide come in, I say save the water (unless you need practice pumping)....

That said, that the Russian gov't tries and explains its position with the best possible spin is not news. Every nation does so, and should have the opportunity. Where I disagree is when a govt insists that only their spin should be available.

I found the Morgus article overall nebulous. But one thing I noted (that caused me to downgrade the article) is that early in the article, Morgus claimed the connection between hackers and the govt is documented, then in the last paragraph he notes: "with Russia’s still plausible deniability," How can they have any deniability if the connection between Russian hackers and the Russian govt is documented?

Meanwhile my recollection of the language the intelligence assessment used on the Russian Hacking matter was that it was consistent with behaviors, not documented. This makes me suspect Morgus is part of US information war.

Tidewater

Tidewater says to Kooshy,

In Virginia the thirteen members of the Electoral College are required to have previously submitted notarized oaths that they will abide by the election results. They are sworn. It seems to me that it would make for an immediate perjury prosecution if any elector should refuse to accept the legitimacy of the election. And if there is a criminal indictment against an elector, then surely said elector can be replaced before the full electoral college meets in January. I think, but have not of course done the workup on it, that there is machinery in place for the immediate replacement of electors who betray their trust in many states. I think there are more checks and balances in the electoral college than have been generally noted in the media. I would be amazed to find out that there is any possibility of a problem in Virginia. It is a great honor earned by many years of service to one's political party to become an elector. But if an elector wants to play games and screw it up, he or she can go to jail. And be replaced.

turcopolier

All

IMO a "coup" in the electoral college would lead to civil war. pl

crf

*The Newspapers in the US are dying. Internet killed a lot of their ad revenue. Their circulation is down. Their content isn't excellent (though I'd argue against it being worse than in years gone by).
*The Major Network's news programs are declining in quality and viewership.
*America's congress deliberately degraded PBS, which could have been a bulwark against the decline in network or cable TV news.

The wolf stalks the very young and the old, sick or lame.

Here are some cheap and easy solutions:
* Refundable family tax credit for one or two newspaper subscriptions.
* Get congress and FCC interested in the quality of TV news.
* Fund PBS more fully, especially for national/international news.

Fred

TTG,

"Specific persons or particular social groups can serve as disinformation targets. The purpose of a disinformation campaign is to influence the consciousness and mind of man." "In Russia "America" today, where there is an unstable public-political and socio-economic situation, the entire population could serve as the target of influence for an enemy campaign." .....

"The authorities in Moscow "the Establishment" recognize this and are trying to gain control over a most dangerous situation in their view. Clearly, the management of information is essential to their maintenance of stability. ...."

I believe that is why we have such a sustained anti-Trump log-rolling effort going on. But then perhaps the cultural Marxists in our universities and the press really are Russian operatives, or at least useful idiots. On the other hand the pending loss of influence, funding, access, and prestige by academia and the media may be a big indicator as to the cause of their desperate effort to label millions of Americans as "alt-right", misogynistic, sexist, white supremacists or just plain racist. Thank goodness we have Twitter and Facebook shadow-banning wrong-thought, groups boycotting Breitbart advertisers and the SPLC providing America's one trusted source for "hate speech", "hate groups" and "hate symbols". I'd hate to be exposed to ideas and opinions that might cause me to have to think for myself.

Farooq

TTG,
I am increasingly reading about the use of so called social media trolls by Russians. I disagree with the use of term troll, which sounds too unsophisticated. In my opinion the most effective component of their information operation is a sophisticated character that appeared on internet scene rather recently and has very distinct profile. I affectionately call it "cyber Vlad".

1) Immigrant to USA ( in some cases Europe).

2) Has an immigration back story in turmoil resulting from the break up of former USSR

3) Technical background. Very analytical, well read and data oriented in online exchanges

4) Has a very good grasp on the nature of american national psyche (what you term as fault lines). Excellent use of memes that Americans have themselves created to insult and discredit each other.

5) Constant valorization of Russian tradition, culture, history, hagiographical portrayal of Putin and highlighting American/western decline with contempt and ridicule. Portrayal of American decline is done in such stark terms that it has made me wonder if i am living in the same place or it is some other America being referred to. This is the oddest part for me as it doesn't make sense for someone, so well read and otherwise intelligent, who took refuge from a decaying country and hasn't decided to go back yet, engaging in such nationalistic chauvinism. Radical muslims perhaps do that, but then these cyber Vlads are no low IQ buffoons.

Just to clarify on #5, i am not trying to say that there is nothing in Russian tradition, culture and history to admire or if Putin is not an intelligent, patriotic and shrewd leader. But the extremes that are taken in such characterizations make them look like perception shaping messages. The corollary to this messaging is the fact that these memes and arguments have now been adopted by American themselves.

Recently one of these cyber Vlads made aliyah to Russia. I left a comment on his blog if he is going to give up the US citizenship and my comment disappeared :D

All that said and done, i wholeheartedly agree with last paragraph
in your reply to Valissa. There are deep cracks in American society and any national entity worth its salt playing the game of international relations will seek to exploit them for its' interests.

I think we will soon see emergence of cyber uncle Chins and there will be plenty of Americans to carry their water as long as they get to rail and rage against the system and other Americans they disagree with, instead of talking to each other. Going from one extreme to another seems to be an american national habit that is ripe for IO exploitation and if Israelis can do it, Gulfies can do it, Russians can do it, so will Chinese and others.


phodges

Trump benefited from an information operation all right...but it emanated from our own deep state.

The Elite are far from unified right now...witness U.S. troops fighting on 3 different sides in Syria.

Let's just hope the fighting stays abroad.

Ingolf


I don't doubt Russia's capacity or willingness to use tactics as per these two articles if it served a larger purpose but struggle to see any strategic logic. If anything, the old maxim "Never interfere with your enemy when he is making a mistake" seems more applicable.

Even that may be a little cute. Under Putin, Russia has clearly and consistently said that what it desires is international stability and cooperation based on respect for sovereignty, international law, and institutions like the UN. Presuming that desire is genuine (and I haven't seen anything that suggests otherwise), wouldn't white-anting the foundations of western societies be counter-productive? Even worse, were any such activities proven it would be a massive own goal.

For the moment at least, everything Russia is trying to achieve looks easily defensible and part of a coherent strategic vision. In such a situation, aren't the only info ops that make sense ones trying to promulgate the truth?

James Doleman

"All

IMO a "coup" in the electoral college would lead to civil war. pl

Surely only possible if the armed forces split?

ked

I don't think it's a question of either coup or no coup. If one considers the Election of 1876
{ https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1876 },
which was a mess in the manner it dragged-on & morphed, ending in a deal accepted by all, I think a non-insurrection-triggering outcome wherein Trump is not chosen prez is possible. What is unlikely is that enough Faithless Electors (or True Patriots... whatever) will make the leap to unleash an uncertain Constitutional sequence of processes. I do kinda like the idea of the SCOTUS (& an even number of them, at that!) being faced with the decision to intercede in a Crisis because... because... who else can be trusted, but themselves?

turcopolier

ked

"I think a non-insurrection-triggering outcome wherein Trump is not chosen prez is possible" I do not. You are playing with fire. This is not 1876. pl

turcopolier

James Doleman

And why would they not? A great many of them are deplorables. pl

Eric Newhill

TTG,
WTF? Over.

With respect, this is absolutely unconvincing techno BS jargon sprinkled bull dung. The links are more info ops than what they claim the Russians did, as far as I can see. But then it's pretty easy to make claims as long as you're real vague and hint at something sinister, which is kind of at the heart of what these ops are, which points back to the writers of the articles more than to the Russians.

But I'm all ears.

The Russians did what exactly?

Show me.

Please be specific.

Thank you

Jack

TTG, Sir

Where is all this propaganda leading to? State actors, big media organizations, big government and big business are all manipulating the public with various kinds of information operations. When government officials routinely lie even under oath, when the rule of law doesn't apply to the political and financial elite, when big media are no longer reporting reality but active participants in shaping opinions - how can there be any trust? What happens when all trust is lost and we can't believe anything being reported? Where are our high information load societies heading when propaganda permeates every information channel?

FSorce

Really? Really?? I've heard people say this crap-- at the ordinary-man level-- but do you REALLY believe it? A conman? A bullshit artist? Decades as a Manhattan billionaire real estate developer whom the NY Post said was responsible for the revitalization of Manhattan ("How Donald Trump helped save New York City" http://nypost.com/2016/02/07/how-donald-trump-helped-save-new-york-city/). A guy who had the all-time best-selling business book. A guy who had a top-rated reality TV show for a decade. A guy who for decades made billion-dollar business deals with the mega-titans of finance and industry and who supported his candidacy for President (Carl Icahn, John A. Paulson, Andy Beal, et al.). If someone really believes Trump is a conman, then he or she has to accept that the most savvy billionaire business titans, who've done business with Trump for decades, are mere naive chumps. Kind of hard to swallow.

Jack

All

Its really interesting that the same folks who were up in arms when Trump was unwilling to categorically accept the result of the election are now coming up with all kinds of conspiracy theories to attempt a "coup". I see all the Hillbots expecting a Hail Mary pass that will lead to the Borg Queen becoming POTUS.

Unfortunately for them the American voter chose to elect Trump on the basis of the rules in our Constitution. Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as POTUS on January 20th. Suck it up and live with it. Next time don't try to rig your primary expecting that the Borgist can run over the opposition.

The Twisted Genius

Eric Newhill,

I'm not going to write a dissertation about all the techno BS jargon that supports the premise that Russian hackers took the DNC and Podesta files, posed as Guccifer 2.0 and leaked files to Wikileaks and DCLeaks, also connected to Russia and the DNC hackers. That information is open source. You can research it yourself, if you're truly interested.

Historical information on how the Russians do these things is based on my first hand experience. I cannot and will not divulge that specific information.

You can believe me or not. That is your prerogative.

Kathy

Most, if not all, billionaires are conmen or worse. Icahn et al. Merely recognize a kindred spirits.

The Twisted Genius

Jack,

Yes, this propaganda is pervasive with no sign of getting any better. That's why we have to read voraciously, including viewpoints we don't agree with. Then we have to think critically and, as RT says, question more. If we just accept what is put out by the sources we are comfortable with, we become easily led gullible morons.

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