« Operation "Grand Dawn" Post 1 | Main | When Intelligence Isn't - By Patrick Armstrong »

27 May 2017

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Yeah, Right

"The rooms in question would be on upper floors. The building has massive 24/7 security systems and monitoring. Their are armed guards everywhere day and night."

I accept all of that.

And into "the rooms in question" walked at least three men.

Hold. That. Thought.

"The release of such highly classified material is the most likely answer to the puzzle of how the WP got Kizlyak's re[port."

There is a massive confirmation-bias built into that sentence.
Am I the only person who can see it?

1) I am not questioning that this meeting took place.
2) I am not questioning that the US IC knows what was said.

I am, however, pointing out that simply because (1) and (2) is true does not mean that US SIGINT is in possession of any decrypted "Kizlyak's reports" to Moscow.

After all, if the US IC knows what was said in that room then they know that:
a) Kizlyak would send off a report to Moscow, and
b) That report would contain his recollections of that meeting.

They can deduce both simply by assuming that Kizlyak is good at his job.

Now, back to that first quote.....

There is a huge Trump Tower with Upper Floor meeting rooms with very tight 24/7 security. And into one of those rooms walked at least three men: Kizlyak, Kushner and Flynn.

You say that there is no way to slip a bug into that meeting?

OK, I accept that and recant. Mea Culpa. Mea Culper. You are right, and I was wrong. There was no bug.

But....still...
Flynn was sacked from his job under very acrimonious circumstances.
Flynn is under a cloud of investigation and under intense pressure.

So here is Flynn, with his arse flappin' in the breeze.
And there was Flynn, a fly on the wall at that meeting.

Maybe it wasn't a bug in that room. Maybe it was Flynn who rolled over and hung his former employer out to dry, and the story about decrypted Ruskie diplomatic phones is just a bit of extra pot-stirring.

LeaNder

Pat, that wasn't 'my opinion' but an attempt to "decrypt"/interpret b's comment or one specific passage of it, in this case. Which, yes arguably, I shouldn't have attached to your response to b.

I am on my way out for a while, anyway. Which means too, I followed matters more superficially for a couple of days already. My excuses to everyone involved.

*******

Fact is, I was close to dropping my response to b, but then I stumbled across this in your response: "As for Maskirovka, what advantage would the Russians see in inventing a story like this? pl "

some of you are wasting time here by making up the most outlandish theories imaginable.

No 'outlandish theories' involved beyond wanting to understand what b meant, really. ... Besides, you can go back and check my comment during the election campaign around here, I was never a fan of "Russia-gate" as it surfaced already then. If I understand your anger at all ...

******

Looked at very, very superficially the most recent story in the series seems to be a variation of Clinton's private server theme. Yes, no doubt for the nitwit, non-expert on matters. Not a theorist, by the way. Nitwit watcher only. But interested in narratives.

But: How can I put this well and short enough....

a) Clinton's private server endangered at least the whatever level of secret content sent that way. If its main reason wasn't to hide almost everything else?

b) Jared Kustner, allegedly went even one step further, by intending to deliver information in a setting that wouldn't even leave a trace (or need a shredder after - the public wouldn't even know). In other words, he seemingly wanted to make sure no one could watch or check.

Room full of mirrors?

anonymous

I read that British and us forces have left al tanf.anyone have more to add.

turcopolier

Yeah, Right

Confirmation bias? Yes. I know what is most likely to have happened. pl

Fred

TTG,

The DNC lawyers have just argued in court that they don't need to have fair primary processes:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/dnc-argues-in-court-we-dont-owe-anyone-a-fair-primary-process/article/2621767

Back in 2008 one of Obama's intellectual mentors, the husband of Samantha Power, Cass Sunstein, was arguing that there should be agents provocateur in the election process:
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1084585##

Apparently the New Hope and Change world order was going to be perpetual. It seems we know where the "Resistance" gets it's intellectual foundations.

" Sunlight purifies all..." I would sure like to see some of that in action.

Sam Peralta

Flynn has got the entire investigative power of the US government on his ass. You think he's gonna trust some WaPo reporter? What you smoking?

BTW, Col. Lang has a track record of being consistently right on a number of issues with a written record on SST. If he's got a high confidence on something you can likely take that to the bank!

Sam Peralta

TTG

"..until we understand the full scope of the Russian info op."

If you had to speculate, what would be the extent of this info op by the Russians? Since Clapper & Brennan and the breathless MSM have this incredible campaign of innuendo, I am curious what this info op could possibly be. Have the Russians executed such an info op anywhere else that we could look to get a sense?

"The Trump/RNC ground game was way more sophisticated and far reaching than anyone gives them credit for."

I don't believe they had much of a GOTV campaign, compared to Hillary's. They just didn't have the staffing to organize and execute folks with iPads knocking on doors in the neighborhoods.

"It was an information operation (like all political campaigns) worthy of anything the Russians could have developed. It certainly wasn’t just a get out the vote campaign. It was also a suppress/discourage the vote campaign."

They did have a small operation in San Antonio managed by Jared Kushner staffed with Silicon Valley social media folks put together by Peter Thiel that tested and targeted messaging and were able to monitor enthusiasm that informed where Trump held his rallies. This enthusiasm differential led to many more rallies by Trump. But, one can argue this enthusiasm was directly linked to Trump running an outsider campaign and politically active voters preference for the anti-establishment candidate. Recall the voter enthusiasm for Obama vs McCain, when Obama ran to change the system - close Guantanamo, end the wars, etc. Note that Hillary was backed big by the Silicon Valley establishment - Eric Schmidt & Google as well as Sheryl Sandberg & Facebook among others. Voter suppression tactics are also not new. Every election we have stories of robocalls and other communication methods targeting some voters that they can't vote without IDs or their polling station has changed among ways to suppress votes. Both parties engage in this.

I'm with Jack, that the simplest explanation is that Hillary was an uninspiring candidate. She couldn't get many Democrats enthused, let alone independent voters in the crucial states in the mid-west where the election was decided.

IMO, the character of the election would have been very different if the Democrats had nominated Sanders. He had the enthusiasm factor on his side and a similar message against free trade and useless wars that would have competed well with Trump in the mid-west. Remember that Sanders defeated Hillary in the Michigan primary.

The crux of the issue is that the Democrat establishment don't want to accept responsibility that they are Borgist to the core and will do everything to prevent a real outsider from getting their party nomination. At best they'll nominate a faux outsider like Obama.


Dr.Puck

The block of Trump voters that was unusual in that they were not Republicans or GOP-leaning independents, would constitute a small, albeit decisive, percentage of Trump's total vote. Why such a small bloc should prove threatening to elites that enjoy the support of much larger groups of supporters is not obvious to me.

Of course this is mooted now by President Trump's facile willingness to throw that bloc under the bus in his administration staffed partly with Wall Street titans and lobbyists, and, with a healthcare plan designed to hammer white older supporters in the purple swing states and red south. It appears Trump was just kidding about bringing back the middle class, and providing all Americans with cheaper, better, lower out-of-the-pocket healthcare.

As far as point number two goes, the reply to anybody who thinks Russia might be converted to a friend rather than a foe has to begin with:

"Perhaps the USA should target their nuclear deterrent at someone else, and, perhaps the Russians could do the same."

Dr.Puck

Thanks TTG. The full scale, scope and story of Trump's campaign has to do with a small group of savvy operators who understood the memetics, social media multipliers, and the electoral college. imo

This strategy was nothing Trump knew much of anything about himself. He knew that Make America Great Again was far superior to Make America Clinton Again.

One not often mentioned key was over-confidence on the Clinton side that tended to bias their outlook in favor of turnout, and, women voters. (This explains the wasted time and resources spent on trying to to sway educated GOP women voters.) By election day this may have kept a non-trivial amount of voters home because they thought she was going to win in landslide against Trump.

As far as Russia goes, it would be hard to extract the influence of their op as a factor in exit polling data, so as to learn what quantifiable influence on vote casting the op caused.

Nevertheless, without knowing anything about the information in intercepts, or knowing the forensics of memes and click bait and social media buys, there remain shady possibilities given the timeline of contacts between Trump campaign and transition persons and Russia, the false swearings of Sessions, Flynn, Kushner, others, in security clearance interviews and docs, and, the murky shape of financing of various Trump and Kushner projects prior to the campaign season and election night.

David Habakkuk

Eric Newhill,

The suggestion that ‘Guccifer 2.0’ was linked to Russian intelligence originally came from ‘CrowdStrike’ and Dmitri Alperovitch. One can think of few better reasons for suspecting that – whatever his nationality – he was part of a Western-orchestrated ‘information operation’.

On the credentials of ‘CrowdStrike’ and Alperovitch, and the corruption of the cybersecurity industry, see a piece posted on 8 May by Jeffrey Carr entitled ‘Cyber Intelligence and the Imaginary Other’. In general, Edward Luttwak is not a favourite person of mine, but the remarks Carr quotes from him about the very serious dangers of dealing with other countries on the basis of what you want to believe are to the point.

When you have a situation where people like Alperovitch can make very large sums of money by telling people what they want to hear, this makes it all too easy for people in positions of power and influence to lock themselves in a bubble.

As Carr argues – assembling a mass of supporting evidence:

‘Crowdstrike’s “Danger Close: Fancy Bear Tracking of Ukrainian Field Artillery Units” is a perfect example of performing cyber attribution with zero ground truth and, as Luttwak described, creating an imaginary “other” rather than making the effort to actually speak with people who know the facts on the ground.’

(See https://medium.com/@jeffreycarr/cyber-intelligence-and-the-imaginary-other-acb340e8d87f .)

After ‘CrowdStrike’ made the initial link to the FSB and more particularly the GRU, the suggestion was made that the identification of the initials of Dzerzhinsky in the material from ‘Guccifer 2.0’ pointed unambiguously to a Russian origin. So according to Thomas Rid, of King’s College, London:

‘The metadata in the leaked documents are perhaps most revealing: one dumped document was modified using Russian language settings, by a user named “Феликс Эдмундович,” a code name referring to the founder of the Soviet Secret Police, the Cheka, memorialised in a 15-ton iron statue in front of the old KGB headquarters during Soviet times.

In a piece entitled ‘Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach RunawayTrain?’, Carr treated the suggestion with the contempt it – amply – deserves:

‘OK. Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix’s name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker. Someone clearly had a wicked sense of humor.’

(See https://medium.com/@jeffreycarr/can-facts-slow-the-dnc-breach-runaway-train-lets-try-14040ac68a55 .)

For another good account of the history, including a recollection of Alperovitch as a bit-part-player in the campaign to suggest a massive Russian cyber-offensive against Georgia at the time of the 2008 war, see a piece posted in March by Yasha Levine, entitled ‘From Russia, with Panic’, at https://thebaffler.com/salvos/from-russia-with-panic-levine .nt.

Lefty

Col, Thank you for your straight up assessment. The damage seems likely profound. I do not understand why we have not seen any leakers strung up from trees on the White House grounds as examples. I can only assume Trump has not been competent to identify them.

History, as usual, provides lessons. In the early '50s NSA gave a demonstration of systems that broke Soviet cryp systems to a select group that included both domestic and our "allies". The next day the Soviets ceased using those systems, and according to someone who was there "We never got back in". His awareness extended for another couple of decades. Philby turned out to be the rat.

My flag is up today especially in remembrance of those who have died in service to our country.

Valissa

WaPo published another story on the Kushner situation which is more favorable to the WH.

Homeland security chief defends Kushner’s alleged proposal for ‘back channel’ to the Russians as ‘a good thing’ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/05/28/homeland-security-chief-defends-kushners-alleged-back-channel-to-the-russians-its-a-good-thing/
Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, the lone administration official to speak out publicly about reports that Jared Kushner sought a back channel to communicate with the Russian government, defended the move, saying it was a “good thing” for the U.S. government.

“It’s both normal, in my opinion, and acceptable,” Kelly said of the reports that Kushner made the request for a secret communications channel to the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition. “ Any way that you can communicate with people, particularly organizations that are maybe not particularly friendly to us is a good thing.”

Kelly made the comments on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” and he reiterated them in two other appearances on Sunday-morning news broadcasts.
Kelly rejected the idea that such a back channel of communication with Russian officials would be damaging to U.S. security interests.

... Kelly said that if such a line of communication was set up, the critical thing would have been for Kushner and other transition officials to understand that the information provided by the Russians might be intentionally false. “They may be working you,” he said.

Kelly said he was not sure whether the reports that Kushner had proposed using Russian diplomatic facilities for such communications were true. But he said that as long as the information was shared with the U.S. government, it didn't represent a problem.
----------------

Of course this story is not getting near the airplay that the negative version has been getting.

different clue

Fred,

Well . . . that's what this Bitter Berner lawsuit hopes to achieve. Also, they hope to get the Court to FORCE the DNC to give back all the donations-money it raised from Hopeful Berners under the false pretense of holding a fair and balanced Primary.

If the Bitter Berners can win their suit, and win every appeal, the DNC may be hazzing a sad biggly.

Freudenschade

Col.,

Trump Tower has been around a while. I once went to a March Madness party in a condo on the 55th floor. I know there are units higher up as well. If it was built like most steel girder buildings, information security probably wasn't a big concern. You could probably snake a cable right next to Trump's bedroom back in 1983.

I'm sure they've locked down things a bit tighter now that he's the president, but there's 35+ years of crap in the walls, with minimal security pre 2001.

Ishmael Zechariah

TTG,

Thanks for the detailed response. I cannot come up w/ a theory on "how the BORG orchestrated all this", and I do not believe such a theory is needed. My reasoning is as follows: For whatever reason the US Borg (containing both democratic and republican deep-state statists) is afraid of Trump and some members of his team. Initially this group thought that they had the election in the bag- the tricks they tried during Trump's candidacy is a matter of open record. Thanks to a few people who leaked electronic documents, and due to the hubris of their anointed SJW, the Borg lost. Now they are scared. This could be due to potential exposure of some significant malfeasance of theirs, or due to pending failure of their gambits being executed in Ukraine, Syria, Yemen and other places. Thus they are doing their utmost to derail Trump-and he is doing his level best to help them. I consider the whole issue a very shallow soap opera- not a sophisticated intelligence operation. Unfortunately this farce can have grave consequences for the World.

Pax.

Ishmael Zechariah

The Twisted Genius

Sam Peralta,

As I've said many times, I have a lot of first hand experience dealing with Soviet and Russian information warfare and their much more subtle understanding of cybernetics and reflexive control. To give examples of Russia's expertise in this field, I'd have to go through DOD review/clearance procedures. I have no desire to do that. Perhaps one day some of this stuff will be released. Until then, we'll both have to be content with our preconceived notions. Perhaps we can agree that the Russians, like the Soviets before them, are not ten feet tall. However, they are six foot four, full of muscle and smart as a whip in this field. I don't begrudge them for their expertise.

anonymous

yeah right.good point.fits with my theory.controlling the flow of information in both directions will change facts on the ground.if comey was bugging trump tower then that's why trump fired him.if the Russian angle was misinformation put out by trump to trap whoever was bugging trump then that was game over.that meeting of trump with lavrov in the white house said it all.the whole Russian thing is trump trap......nice word trump trap

J

Something most probably aren't aware of is of her 309 kills, 36 were Fascist snipers who some were no doubt shot through their own sights.

LondonBob

Didn't the CIA do an internal inquiry into Angleton, with the conclusion being there was a high probability Angleton himself was a double agent, something he was so fond of accusing others of being? John Le Carre wrote a nice article on the paranoia and confusion of his former profession.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/donotmigrate/3561321/John-le-Carre-the-spies-who-lost-it.html

I would hope the public having seen Steele's puerile dossier, and the various intelligence failings of recent years, are a lot more skeptical theses days.

LeaNder

Ishmael, basically I applaud TTG's efforts here.

For the very simple reason he maintains a rather rational position against a wave of people like me, who take a more spontaneous decision while looking into matters. Result: this looks more like politics with something that has the feel and touch of aligned forensic sycophants, who may align since they have to defend their/their companies reputation towards costumers in the process.

To be honest, obviously always as the nitwit I am, I am not sure it needed the BORG to create the counterforces against Trump during the election. Media too. Apparently the Fox owner was one over, to look at media from the perspective of the power to dictate content.

Ishmael Zechariah

LeaNder,
I cannot decipher/decode your note above. Rest assured that I consider TTG an honorable, patriotic, wise officer of the USA and truly like his writings. I just disagree w/ him on a few issues.
Ishmael Zechariah

Fred

Anonymous,

Or he could have fired him for the reasons stated in the assistant AG'so letter.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28            
Blog powered by Typepad