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21 July 2017

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Fred

ISD,

Antitrust laws should be enforced and not just in regards to amazon. BTW The wapo was bought by an LLC not Amazon. I dont hnow what the ownership relationship is now.

optimax

The Russian/Trump team leaks are coming out in dribbles. Either it's an enlarged prostate or it is a centrally organized effort involving a group of individuals intent on mucking up Trumps ability to succeed in his agenda for rapproachment with Russia and strengthen the Democrats at the midterm. Even the number of Ruskies meeting the Kush has been gradually increased though the number to the leaker has always been known. Much of it is innuendo, hearsay and disinformation. The timing is meant for maximum impact. I'm not an expert but this sounds like what TTG calls reflexive control.

There wasn't this media coverage or congressional concern after the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections even though there were questions of internal vote manipulation: back doors on Diebold machines, ballot stuffing and not enough voting stations in Democratic precincts.

LondonBob

Richard Baris sees the polling industry is still churning out fake polls on Trump's approval levels, they haven't adjusted their methodology at all. The DC GOP remain Trump's biggest problem, they really don't get it and how that plays out in 2018 will be interesting, they, not Trump, are the drag at the polling station. The US economy is in a soft patch at the moment but looks strong for 2018. Trump will need to harm his internal GOP rivals whilst strengthening his own. Nice that McCain is out of the picture, have read that Flake looks very vulnerable in the primary. I guess try to primary one or two and campaign to personally bring a few candidates over the line. On the plus side I do get the impression Trump has realised his enemies can never be placated and will now fight.

LondonBob

Sessions can unrecuse himself if Mueller veers away from his remit. I believe Trump can fire Mueller any time if he so wishes, if needs be using the obvious conflict of interest he has. Best to frame that first by hinting you might fire corrupt Mueller, conflicts of interest etc. first, and also if Mueller wanders off reservation then you would be more justified in firing him. Maybe so far Mueller is doing a fair job, no matter how questionable and bizarre Rosentein's decision to appoint a special counselor was.

Eric Newhill

Richard,
You're allowing TTG - and by extension, the Borg - to frame the agenda. That is the mistake that Trump has been making too.

Some possible little Russian influence? Who cares? We have many politicians - Clintons among them - directly taking money from any number of foreign governments (including Russians) and then actually doing the bidding of the foreigners. Ok? That money they take is also used to influence elections.

The tunnel vision on the Russian influence is deliberately set up by Trump's enemies. They are expecting everyone to get so caught up in it that they can't see the forest for the artificial tree that has been placed in front of them.

There are many unsavory things in the forest. Much more in the world than Russia. Trump needs to use his declassification powers to start looking at other (non-Russian) trees. Make an example out of a few enemies. The rest will find Jesus immediately.

When Col Lang and I suggested this approach, TTG tried to bring it right back to Russia; saying maybe the intel on Russia wouldn't be favorable to Trump. See the trick?

optimax

I should add that I think more intelligence information besides the Steele Dossier was spread among the WH Obama/Clinton operatives. That makes it harder to pinpoint the leaker but because the information is spaced in a timely manner, it points to a controlling authority.

A.I.Schmelzer

My understanding of the game rules for internal Russian power plays is that leaking real Russian secrets (and this was a sources and methods leak) is disqualifying, and that the leakers factions will be punished severely and swiftly.

And I mean, being able to read Russian diplomatic cables to Smolenski Ploschad would be a pretty major thing to have, and thus a huge thing to burn.
Adding yet another scandal to Trump simply is not a good reason to burn such an asset, even for a thorough never Trumper.

Btw. is it possible that Kisylaks ciphers actually werent intercepted and that the US IC is trying to lead the Russians on a wild goose chase hunting to vulnerabilities in their encryption systems which actually do not exist?

turcopolier

Schmelzer

This is obviously NOT a leak within the Russian system. The only way the leakers to the NY Times could have obtained the content of Kizliak's communications home is by a successful NSA intercept and de-cryptian of Russian diplomatic communications. The Russian government know that and they know what their communications traffic was and wasn't. Therefor there is no way that they do not know of the success of the intercept. That being the case they will have been busy changing their systems. pl

The Twisted Genius

pl,

A lot of these intercepts may not require the breaking of encryption. It could be exploiting SS7 flaws that have been around all phone systems for years. These flaws have also been exploited for years. This is how Nuland's "F the EU" conversation was recorded. It's possible, though not in all cases, that a conversation could be recorded before it enters the encryption system or app. Or if one has his smart phone in his pocket when talking in a meeting or over an encrypted system, recording of the conversation is quite possible.

turcopolier

TTG

A Russian ambassador in DC would be told not to use a cell phone to call home with content like this. The fabled FSB people n the embassy, true to their KGB heritage would have done that. I would bet a month's pay that these intercepts were on encrypted embassy resident systems. I realize that you only raised the POSSIBILITY that he was on a commercial cell phone. Would Russian intelligence have been on commercial cell phones in the earlier citations of intercepts? pl

Eric Newhill

Sir,
Is it a possibility that the WaPo is exaggerating the content of the intercept? If so, perhaps the communication was so banal that it actually was over a cell phone.

Is another reasonable possibility that the WaPo or the alleged leaker is simply lying and there is no such intercepted communication?


turcopolier

Eric Newhill

You all miss the point. The Russian government knows whether or not these communications intercepts which supposedly included not only Russian diplomatic communications but other Russian government communications actually occurred. With the assertion having been made in the press, there will have been damage assessment investigations. I participated in many, including the one on Pollard. Has the Russian government denied there having been such intercepts? pl

Sam Peralta

Col. Lang

Why aren't Brennan and Clapper not arrested for espionage?

In your experience, if anyone else had informed the "enemy", at least as Clapper claims Russia to be, that we had successfully intercepted and decrypted their secure communications, what would have been the reaction of the AG & counter-intelligence law enforcement?

turcopolier

Sam Peralta

Contrary to what you might expect, the decision to proceed to prosecution is often political. IMO someone in the Justice Department or in Mueller's team has been dragging his feet on this. Politically appointed holdovers? I don'r know. pl

The Twisted Genius

pl,

SS7 predates cell phones. It's used on all publicly switched networks such as the lines used by STU-III phones. Once the signals are encrypted, they're pretty solid. I just don't know if the signal from the caller's mouth to the handset to the encryption chips is as secure. The fault lies in the hardware and software rather than in the encryption algorithm. OTOH if you're on a secure STU-III call, carrying your cellphone in your pocket defeats the whole effort. In that case, the fault lies in the careless nut holding the handset.

turcopolier

TTG

So you can imagine a scenario in which Kizliak or the Russian spooks were sitting at the Russian equivalent of a STU-III (presume there are newer ones now) with a cell phone in their pocket while talking. pl

Eric Newhill

Sir,
I understand that the Russians will be doing damage assessments based on what was said in the US press.

I was thinking more along the lines that the WaPo is lying or greatly exaggerating. The Russians assess that no secure transmissions were compromised. Nothing to worry about.

Would they really then come out and make a statement that the WaPo story is false? If they did, would we even hear about it?

If they did, wouldn't that smack of more Putin support of Trump?

Seems to me that Trump should be down at the NSA ordering these intercepts to be produced so that he can see them (assuming they really exist). If they don't, blast the WaPo for fake news. If they do, drag all those who had access in front of an inquiry and find out who needs to be hung.

I'm sure I'm missing something important here because this just seems pretty darn simple and I'm amazed it is being done - or is it?

The Twisted Genius

pl,

I'm sure doing that is as much against their policies as it is against ours. However, I could see an ambassador getting sloppy before any young SVR officer. My real concern is the effectiveness of a digital phone, even a STU-III or equivalent, over lines that still rely on SS7. After years of working with this stuff and the techno-spooks, I don't trust a single damned piece of digital technology.

Eric Newhill

Sir,
I am slow on the uptake. I see what you are saying.

The US is doing damage assessment too.

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