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25 March 2017


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The days when the data bandwidth of voice was larger than other the other data being transmitted is long gone. Currently, voice bandwidth is quite a small portion and shares the same paths in the major optical trunks.

English Outsider

Edward Amame - thanks for your reply - and for being kind enough not to point out that my argument was morally dubious.

Probably because my moral sense has been blunted by the stream of English politicians who sell themselves to the highest bidder after the obligatory qualifying period spent messing up the country. And is it true that Mrs Merkel started off with no more than a Lada and a fridge and is now worth many millions of Euros? I don't know. I'm not sure about the Lada.

But it was never remarked upon much. Bit of muttering here and there but it wasn't done to point it out. Then along comes Donald Trump and announces to the entire planet that he bribes politicians because that's the only way to get building permits.

2016 was that sort of year. It was the year that talking openly about the verboten came to politics. Sanders and Trump freely talking about the cronies, with a little bit of help from Jimmy Carter as I remember. Common sense on outsourcing - finally. Immigration. Cheap labour. Suddenly millions of people were finding that things they had only been able to talk about in private, or in various ineffectual little cliques, had become mainstream topics. And finding that millions of other people felt the same way on these subjects that they did.

That's a lot of genies that aren't going to go back in the bottle, ever. Thank you, D Trump. He's not going to be able to do half the things he's promised - reading the Colonel's site there seem to be quite a few of his opponents blocking him in various ways - but he's let some serious daylight into politics. With any luck he might be able to prevent your country falling to bits as well, though I'm not ready to put money on that yet.

Then it's announced to us by all who oppose him that he's a wheeler and dealer. Damn. I never thought of that. I thought all New York developers and builders were plaster saints. I'd no idea the construction industry was bent. I'd never realised that behind all those projects were financial deals that would make even Bernie Madoff open his eyes.

Mr Amame - the whole lot of them are bent as hell. You know that. I know that. Allow me please the illusion that one of the poachers has turned gamekeeper.


The Latest: US claims Tabqa dam is not in danger of bursting



Thank you David and TTG

It is clear that there's more than meets the eye here. The IC and the promoters of the Russians have "influenced" the election on Trump's behalf don't have their story all put together. That then has to be compounded by the fact that the NY Times, WaPo, BBC and Guardian among others in the Fourth Estate have a history of carrying water for Borgist interests. And President Trump is not gonna help clarify matters by declassifying all the actual "evidence " the IC claim they have. Consequently this is another one where conspiracy theories will dominate and fill the echo chamber with whatever angle fits one's predisposition.

An important point however is on a broader more strategic perspective. And that is since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the commencement of western hegemony over global affairs, we have had a period where international law, norms and rules of behavior and the use of multi-lateral institutions to foster a rules based framework have been discarded. Instead, great instability has been created by the mindless and senseless use of power just to demonstrate hubris with no advantage obtained. OTOH, forcing Russia & China to create alternatives to challenge western hegemony that is devolving the global framework into chaos and anarchy. What is even more insidious IMO is the growing totalitarianism in the US political and governmental ethos. I don't know where this leads to but we can't debate the issues when sophistry and technicalities prevail. How can we discuss the looming issues of immense financial leverage, unsustainable health care cost growth, the massive implications of unfunded liabilities in public pensions, among other hugely contentious issues that require significant pain to bring under control? It seems that we no longer have the will to face up to issues and prefer to bury our heads in the sand.

Edward Amame


That sounds about right. Napolitano's mortal sin was to preface his so-called scoop with "Fox News is reporting that..." That apparently didn't go down well with Chris Wallace and the news division.



Thanks for the post. Although I was accused of being a CIA agent half a century ago by my students, the only contact I ever had with the intelligence community is right here. We, outsiders, need these knowledgeable posts.

Some things are obvious. Corporate media is going after Donald Trump. General Michael Flynn was removed as National Security Advisor due to a leak of a classified “wiretap” on the Russian Ambassador. A new Cold War has started with Russia. Rex Tillerson stated that US troops would be engaged in a permanent occupation of Iraq. Democrats are out of power due to throwing working Americans under the bus but are blaming Russian hacking instead. The Republicans are split into four or more incompatible ideologies (tribalists, evangelists, know-nothings, corporate toadies and the power-hungry).

The real question for Americans is how to keep their government functioning long enough to restore a social democracy that works for the people without igniting another civil war.


Trump Declassifies highly sensitive intel for political purposes. I can see the Washington Post headline now!


@ David Habakkuk,......your theory would explain why the young DNC alleged leaker was murdered; he could have destroyed the Russian hacking meme by confessing to be the source of Wikileaks information.

The Twisted Genius

David Habakkuk,

Under your premise the DNC discovered their info was leaked in June 2016 and, in less than a month, devised and put in motion a deception plan involving the FBI, CIA, NSA, GCHQ, at least four computer security firms and Lord knows who else. That a deception plan of this intricacy and with this many moving parts would survive this long without a leak or slip up is just inconceivable. I've been involved in national deception planning so, unlike Vizzini, I do know that word means what I think it means.

That doesn't mean that some of this DNC info was leaked by an insider in addition to the hacking of the DNC, DCCC and the Podesta Gmail account. The account provided by Craig Murray sounds reasonable, but it could also be a piece of deception. As a deception operation, that would be much easier to pull off than the a fake DNC hack story. In either case, I hope that theory is also investigated.

I don't find the timeline of the DNC hack and when the DNC, Crowdstrike and FBI discovered it odd at all. The DNC is a private organization. It would be unusual for the FBI to get involved right away. Normally the FBI doesn't get involved at all with these kinds of hacks even if they want to. It's always been that way. I offer the following two Wired accounts of two very different hacks as examples of how these investigations happen. You may consider the one about the DNC hack to be a total fiction. I don't. A third paper by the computer security company F-Secure lays out the digital history of the group known as The Dukes AKA APT29 or CozyBear. This study illustrates the long and detailed history some of these groups have left behind. These histories are key to determining attribution.

It will be months or longer before we know the truth of the hacks and the Russian info op. That is what I'm interested in finding out, especially the full extent of the info op. I think we need that information before we can determine if there is anything to the purported Trump-Russia connection. And we certainly can't determine if this info op had any real effect on our election until we understand the operation itself. We may never be able to do that, but at least we can better learn how to counter such things in the future.


"i once suggested to him that Huma Abedin was probably a Saudi asset if not part of Saudi Intelligence and he flew off the handle."

That's a very serious charge. Did you have any evidence?


Hi Helen
I wonder if Navalny has vowed to "Make Russia Great Again"?



Putin already accomplished that.

Hood Canal Gardner

VietnamVet .. fair enough. This related to your "the real question..." A Sean McGlynn (30 Mar issue) posted his take on Tim Wood's Mar 2 LBR "Eat Your Spinach" muse-review. He ended his letter with a reference to something called Thucydides Trap. Me to myself "why is this guy digging-up Thucydides?" Maybe:

The Real Thucydides Trap: Will Red and Blue America Go To War?


Peter AU

I do not agree with US long term occupation of Iraq and Syria. But also I see what is happening against Trump.
WaPo had an article on casualties of US air strikes on Mosul.
The quoted NGO was airwars.com. On looking up their site I find airwars.com is sponsored solely by Soros.
I do think the US is not as concerned about "collateral damage" as it should be, but it is very clear that Soros is turning his propaganda machine away from Russia, and fully focussing it on Trump.



To the above you can add the odd coincidence of the Chief of GCHQ two days before Mrs Theresa May goes to see Mr Trump.

This career civil servant at the apex of his career and halfway through his term at GCHQ decides he needs to spend more time with his kids, so he quits.

David Habakkuk


Unlike you, I have not been involved in deception planning. For my sins, I have got drawn into to trying to make sense of three deception operations, or sets of them.

The first were those designed to inveigle us into war in Iraq, and then cover up how this was done – in which MI6 played a crucial role.

The second were the ‘information operations’ in which the late Alexander Litvinenko was a key player, in which both MI6 and also elements in America intelligence were involved up to the hilt, and those that were then practised to cover up how he died.

(In both cases, these involved flagrant disinformation being put out both on the Western and Russian sides.)

The third were the ‘information operations’ designed to inveigle us into toppling Assad by staging ‘false flags’ to demonstrate that he had crossed Obama’s ‘red line’, culminating with the Ghouta sarin atrocity, and the subsequent operations designed to cover up what had happened.

As someone who once operated as a conventional television and current affairs person, using ‘sources’, I was very strongly impressed, when I began to look at the Iraq War ‘information operations’, by how much could be done by amateur journalists practising among other things what one might call ‘discrepancy analysis.’

This is in the spirit of what Winston Smith does in Orwell’s 1984 – identifying changes in what officials claim by a careful analysis of ‘open source’ material, and working back from that to what they are trying to hide.

There was a blogger using the name ‘eriposte’ whose abilities to compare and collate different accounts were truly awesome – and inspirational.

In relation to Ghouta, a virtuoso display of quite how much an analysis of ‘open source’ material can achieve was provided by the ‘crowdsourced’ investigation opened up not long after the incident on on the ‘Who Attacked Ghouta?’ site by one ‘sasa wawa.’

(See http://whoghouta.blogspot.co.uk/ .)

Ironically, after what is clearly a systematised version of the material was recycled on a site entitled ‘Rootclaim’, opened up by an Israeli technology entrepreneur called Saar Wilf late last year, that investigation appears in a new light.

(See https://www.rootclaim.com/claims/who-carried-out-the-chemical-attack-in-ghouta-on-august-21-2013-8394 .)

A quick ‘open source’ check reveals that Wilf is a former employee of Unit 8200, and – whether or not he is ‘sasa wawa’ – rereading the ‘Who Attacked Ghouta?’ discussion of the 30 August 2013 ‘Government Assessment’ it is clearly the work of an experienced ‘SIGINT’ professional.

(See http://whoghouta.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/the-us-intelligence-assessment_19.html .)

One of the things that discussion establishes is that there was clearly a deliberate attempt to fake the ‘SIGINT’ results. In this, Unit 8200 were clearly actively complicit, NSA must have been at the very least passively complicit, as Craig Murray suggested at the time, and there is other evidence that GCHQ were at least passively complicit. So, these people are not to be trusted one iota and also have strong motives to cover things up.

What ‘Rootclaim’ attempts to practise is ‘Bayesian analysis’. The technicalities are beyond me, but the broad principle of assessing the probability of an hypothesis by an analysis of that of hypotheses on which its truth or falsity is dependent seems helpful.

That said, it leaves out the fact that changes in the evaluation of one hypothesis can change not simply the answers to others, but the hypotheses one needs to test. (Also, it is an open question how far it is helpful to put one’s evaluation of the plausibility of hypotheses in percentage terms.)

However, taking a leaf out of the 'Rootclaim' book may actually help make clear how astonishing way in which your responses really have blown a large whole in my analytical framework. We are told by the ‘NYT’, ‘Guardian’, and Comey that at some point months before April 2016 – either in autumn 2015 or August – American and British intelligence agencies were aware of attempts by the Russians to hack the DNC.

Having assumed at least a vestigial degree of competence in these organisations, I would naturally have assigned a high degree of probability to the conclusion that they would have informed the DNC, and ensured that its servers were checked by their own experts.

Indeed, given that GCHQ, NSA and FBI all supposedly knew, in which case MI6 and the CIA could have been expected to know, in the terms used by ‘Rootclaim’, I think I would have put the probability rather higher than that which that site attaches to Ghouta being a ‘false flag’ – 92.3%.

If I am to accept what you now tell me, in any analysis involving American and British intelligence services, in any question where their competence is a relevant variable, I have to revise the probability of their knowing what they are doing down to say, 5%. (An exception of course is the DIA.)

As to the dating, conjecturally, I suggested that the DNC might have discovered that the information had been leaked in early to mid-June 2016.

However, nothing in my hypothesis depends on this. It would have been possible that they had made the discovery at the time ‘CrowdStrike’ was supposedly called in, in April, and that the ‘information operation’ had taken weeks in the preparation.

As ‘Walrus’ notes, my hypothesis would provide an explanation of why Seth Rich was murdered, if he was. Unfortunately, I have not had time to look at the evidence about his death, which took place on 10 June. Evidence in affairs of this kind is notoriously difficult to analyse – as the cases of Dr David Kelly and Boris Berezovsky illustrate.

So I simply do not know where on a scale from say, 10% to 90% the possibility that what Assange has hinted – that Rich was murdered because he leaked information – should be rated on the basis of currently available evidence.

However, if – purely for the sake of argument – one hypothesises that he was, and worked back over the timescale required to decide he should be assassinated, organise a hitman, work out the details of the operation, etc it could coincide nicely with the timescale required to organise an ‘information operation’ involving ‘CrowdStrike.’

As to the notion that such an operation survived without a ‘leak or slip up.’ The ‘information operations’ designed to cover-up how Litvinenko died – on both sides – have survived with barely a ‘leak’ from that day to this. The one crucial ‘leak’ of which I am aware has been known to, and deliberately suppressed by, the BBC, the ‘Financial Times’, Sir Robert Owen and his team, among others.

As to the number of ‘slip ups’ in the Litvinenko mystery, they have been legion, but nobody in the MSM notices. This is of some relevance to current arguments, given that Christopher Steele, who allegedly produced the dossier published by ‘BuzzFeed’, is supposed to have handled the investigation into Litvinenko’s death – although earlier suggestions he was the latter’s ‘case officer’ have been repudiated.

This may be of some relevance to the fact that, as I pointed out, the dossier directly contradicts the ‘CrowdStrike’ version – and is a mass of contradictions. As I noted, the first memorandum, which contains ‘information’ which looks patently fraudulent, is dated 20 June – which again would tie in with the hypothesis of an ‘information operation’ supposed to be co-ordinated with that of which the ‘CrowdStrike’ dossier was a part.

Actually however, the second memorandum, which deals with the hacking issue, is dated 26 July – though it claims to refer to conversations in June. It is a puzzling document, because no attempt is made to evaluate the claims made by ‘informants’.

But, interestingly, they directly contradict ‘CrowdStrike’, saying that the FSB leads and that there has been ‘limited success’ in attacking ‘top foreign targets’. Later memoranda add fresh contradictions, right up to the claims about XBT and Gubarev, in relation to which Steele has been sued.

Despite all this, we were informed by the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam Schiff, that Steele is ‘reportedly held in high regard by U.S. intelligence’.

Yet another ‘slip up’. As you will doubtless have seen, both the International Institute for Strategic Studies and a range of sources on the Ukrainian government side have repudiated key elements of Alperovitch’s attempt to bolster his case about ‘Fancy Bear’ by suggesting that the Russian military hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app.

(There is a detailed account in a recent piece on VOA, at http://www.voanews.com/a/crowdstrike-comey-russia-hack-dnc-clinton-trump/3776067.html .)

As to GCHQ. In a piece just posted on the ‘American Conservative’ site, under the title ‘Russiagate’s Unasked Questions’ – note the title, ‘Unasked’ not ‘Unanswered’ – Philip Giraldi notes that the organisation’s denial did not address the point at issue.

(See https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-many-questions-not-asked-on-russiagate/ .)

It read:

‘Recent allegations made by media commentator judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct wiretapping against the then president-elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.’

But Napolitano never suggested that that GCHQ either were asked to conduct wiretapping, or in fact did so. What he suggested was that the organisation has access to material collected by the NSA, so it could be obtained through them, without leaving a trail. This would be a very natural way of minimising the possibility of a ‘leak’.

As Giraldi also notes, picking up a point originally made by Scott Ritter:

‘GCHQ would have had considerable information on Trump and it certainly ought to have enjoyed particularly good access to the phone calls made by Flynn from the Dominican Republic on networks used by Cable and Wire, a British company.’

Again, however, the denial by GCHQ would not naturally be construed as covering this kind of activity.

Whether the organisation did not address the matters at issue is the result of intellectual sloppiness, or deliberate evasiveness, I cannot say.

For my own part, there are not many things about this affair which I feel justified, as yet, in moving up to what one might call the 100% probability category. And indeed, what I would very much like to see is a proper inquiry.

However, British experience does not make me optimistic, to put it mildly.

A familiar trick here is to find either the right kind of judge – Lord Hutton or Sir Robert Owen – or the right kind of civil servant – Lord Butler or Sir John Chilcot.

They can then be expected to apply whatever degree of ‘whitewash’ is judged appropriate to the activities of the government and the intelligence agencies at the time.

An unfortunate change, which I do not quite understand, is at the time of the Hutton Inquiry, there will still MSM journalists who wanted, as it were, to clean off the whitewash. Today, such willingness is largely conspicuous by its absence. ‘Minitrue’ has been fully absorbed by ‘Miniluv’.


Certainly not my area of expertise but the author seems to have a good idea of what they are talking about.


The DNC hack story could be even thinner than is thought. Impressive how this entire story has been constructed on little to no facts, an impressive display as to how the media, with a little of the right encouragement, can create a story out of thin air. The big lie in technique in action.



former CIA agent admits Trump wiretapping likely true.

it used to be that if you said the government was watching you and listening to you, people said you were nuts and wearing a tin foil hat. Now it seems as if it is true. Does anyone know just how wide spread the listening is? Should the average citizen now start using some kind of code to communicate?
Isn't it sad how the actions of some government agencies make the public lose faith in all of the government?



this does not look good.
s lot of threats going on in the ME.


When my kids were little and did that kind of thing we called it a tantrum. Fortunately they did not have a nationwide echo chamber to reinforce their behavior.

My brother in law has advocated a Constitutional amendment and a new election because his candidate lost. THE RUSSIANS you know. When I volunteered that he was pretty far out in the ozone, SWMBO "suggested" I shouldn't talk to him anymore. I agreed.

Third in the line of succession is Orrin Hatch. That would just fix everything up hunky dory, or not.


I was not sure my post would show. It seems to take a while.


re "1. ... Part of that is sending (CIA asset) Gülen back to Turkey"

If that happened, Gülen would immadiately be arrested, mistreated in jail, had to face a clownery trial in a pro-Erdogan court and perhaps end up as the first executed guy in Turkey in late times.

When Erdogan blathers about reintroducing death penalty for nothing or everything he means just that. He routinely blathers about wanting death penalty again asap ...

That is, he blathers that only whenever he doesn't accuse Netherlands and Germany of being nazis for impertinently daring to disagree with him, and even worse, for impertinently daring to say so aloud ... just like good turkish media they rather should applause Erdogan.

Perhaps Erdogan just simply doesn't care about becoming a EU member anymore, playing the ball to the Turkish people, to the extent their views still play a sort of a matter. Some sorry reality in Ankara:

Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey may hold a second referendum on whether to continue with European Union accession.


What a brilliant idea! The not (yet?) closed, utterly uncritical, utterly incorruptable and utterly reliable Turkish media will make sure turks know precisely what Erogan wants them to believe.

If Erdogan goes on like he blathers, or does - after arresting 160.000, building new jails and closing 150 tv studions and newspapers ... then he and turkey will pay an unpleasant price: For starters, turkey currently faces a significant loss in income from tourists who prefer to go elsewhere. If Erdogan keeps at it, it'll become worse.

My brother is a journalist, and once he was sent to a journalist journey to turkey. He meant that they were controlled and watched all the time by turkish cops and state folks, to make sure these reporters c/wouldn't speak with 'wrong persons' (i.e. critical persons). Folks they were supposed to talk to had been prepared and were ... reliable. Being left alone or going somewhere alone was impossible. Speaks for itself.

And yet these clowns in turke brazenly dare to speak of 'right to free speech' for their pro-Erdogan propagandists sent to Netherlands or Germany (and demand that everyone else shuts up) - it's hard to top that cynicism and impertinence...

That Erdogan sent the turkish army to syria and north iraq, after by and large firing or arresting what it had as competent officers, also speaks for itself.

I saw pictures from north Iraq, with an unarmoured turkish cross country vehicle, with a load of soldiers on its back. As if playing a sniper target, amongst the troops there was an NBC recce dude, in protection suit, with a gas mask in face and some detecting device in his hands.

I was an NBC recce troop leader in the army at the time the US removed their C weapons from germany. I had a quasi suicidist trooper flirting with disaster. Among his follies was that he liked to remove the filter from his gas mask ... because it made breathing ... easier. That cunning move also made sure he was puking like a rex when tested with tear gas in a test shelter. He was surprised about that, which strongly suggests that didn't quite get what gas or a gas mask was about.

Anyway, we were teached that reconaissance folks CAMOUFLAGE AND HIDE, that they PREFER ARMOUR where they can have it, that C stuff is ALWAYS vicious and brutal (our suicide trooper believed there was good (= makes you happy) gas (US, UK, France, West Germany) and evil (= makes you sick) gas (Rusia, DDR etc pp) etc. pp.

So, what to do when the turkish recce dude finds C stuff - will they piss it away? And, short of left competent officers, who's leading the troops in combat? Some preacher? Erdogan himself? ... good grief, or rather, "So sad ..."


cyber attacks on our Federal Bank by North Korea? talking about it on Fox now. took money from one country. Makes our banking system look unsafe.
anybody know any thing about this?



Wikileaks states that the emails it released on 22 July 2016 https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/ cover the period from January 2015 to 25 May 2016. I think we can assume that they took their mail server offline or secured it as soon as they discovered that it was compromised by a hack or an insider leak.



this could get really dangerous

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