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13 July 2017


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Sam Peralta

"Ritter’s critique is not substantive."


His critique is about process or lack thereof of intelligence analysis which is very substantive. His main point being, that instead of ordering a NIE, and having the IC dig into it and prepare a considered analysis & judgment, as would or should have been done on any important national security & intelligence matter, John Brennan usurped that role and created a team that he chose and directed. Was this team similar to Cheney/Rumsfeld's OSP? Can we trust Brennan? That is a serious critique IMO, which TTG reinforces with his question of "red or expert"?

My question to you, if this is as serious a charge as Brennan, Clapper, Obama, et al make it out to be, why wasn't a NIE ordered?

The Twisted Genius


You're wrong about the Steele dossier being the sensitive foreign intelligence. Even Ritter says differently.

"CIA Director John Brennan gained access to a sensitive intelligence report from a foreign intelligence service. This service claimed to have technically penetrated the inner circle of Russian leadership to the extent that it could give voice to the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin as he articulated Russia’s objectives regarding the 2016 U.S. Presidential election—to defeat Hillary Clinton and help elect Donald Trump"

The Steele dossier was floating around in the open among journalists before the election. McCain later obtained a copy and passed it directly to Comey. It doesn't come close to a technical penetration of Putin's inner circle. Do you truly think Brennan would treat that dossier with the sensitivity as outlined in the WaPo article?

The Twisted Genius

Sam Peralta,

I don't think the full extent of the Russian info op is understood to the degree necessary to produce a good NIE. Nor am I sure such an NIE would be declassified, although I think this is too important not to be made available to all. The closest thing to an NIE mentioning the Russian IO is the May 2017 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the USIC. Daniel Coates presented this to the SSCI stating it was a consensus assessment of the entire IC. It has this to say about the Russian cyber threat.

"Russia is a full-scope cyber actor that will remain a major threat to US Government, military, diplomatic, commercial, and critical infrastructure. Moscow has a highly advanced offensive cyber program, and in recent years, the Kremlin has assumed a more aggressive cyber posture. This aggressiveness was evident in Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 US election, and we assess that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized the 2016 US election-focused data thefts and disclosures, based on the scope and sensitivity of the targets."

I do want to know if the IC's top analysts worked on the initial report rather than political hacks. Given the small size of qualified analysts, I would think some enterprising investigative reporter would be able to find out if the pros were involved or not without leaking classified information.

Babak Makkinejad

Cheka was acting, I believe, on direct orders from Lenin. There were to be no member of the Royal Family left that could be used by the Whites as the basis of a nascent legitimate authority to that of the Reds.

Babak Makkinejad

There has been repeated assertions, on this forum and elsewhere, that foreign intelligence agencies within the Western Fortress are completely and thorougly reliant on the capabilities of US in such aread as signsl intelligence, remote sensing etc.
Since you are excluing UK, that only leaved Germany and France as possible candidates. Rather unp. unpersuasive.

Babak Makkinejad

In case of the Cultural Revolution, the difference can best be understood as one between Fantasists and Empiricists.


"At noon on 17 July, Cheka officer Pyotr Startsev and a few Bolshevik workers came to the school. They took from the prisoners whatever money they had left and announced that they would be transferred that night to the Upper Siniachikhensky factory compound. The Red Army guards were told to leave and Cheka men replaced them. That night the prisoners were awakened and driven in carts on a road leading to the village of Siniachikha, some 18 kilometres (11 miles) from Alapayevsk where there was an abandoned iron mine with a pit 20 metres (66 feet) deep. Here they halted. The Cheka beat all the prisoners before throwing their victims into this pit, Elisabeth being the first. Hand grenades were then hurled down the shaft, but only one victim, Fyodor Remez, died as a result of the grenades.

According to the personal account of Vasily Ryabov, one of the killers, Elisabeth and the others survived the initial fall into the mine, prompting Ryabov to toss in a grenade after them. Following the explosion, he claimed to have heard Elisabeth and the others singing an Orthodox hymn from the bottom of the shaft.[5] Unnerved, Ryabov threw down a second grenade, but the singing continued. Finally a large quantity of brushwood was shoved into the opening and set alight, upon which Ryabov posted a guard over the site and departed."

At least the Cheka could have shown the moral courage to properly execute them.

Interesting date, July 17th, for their murderous eff up.

Babak Makkinejad

Light & Truth:
I think the worst offense has been this anti-Shia posture of the Western Fortress; such things take a life of their own and are very difficult to alter later.
The sight.of Trump in Saudi Arabia, comitting himself & US to an anti-Shia posture - together with so many Sunni Muslim leaders, was truly a deplorable spectacle to anyone who wants to avoid a religious war



To explain, a "substantive" critique deals with the actual matter at hand. It deals with the facts about the accusation itself, not about the course of the investigation. I'm pointing out that Ritter's critique misunderstands the resources available for the process he recommends, and in the mismatch, finds causation. I find this kind of argumentation misleading. You shouldn't come to conclusions about facts based on your expectations of process, not least because people will not always act according to your expectations.

In addition, Ritter compares this investigation to a process we all know went awry. This is a loaded comparison that should be disregarded by anyone trying to figure out what's real and fake behind what's been said.


Here, here,

I could not agree more wholeheartedly.

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