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12 November 2017

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The Twisted Genius

Publius Tacitus,

I think you're conflating an Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) with a National Intelligence Assessment (NIE). The ICA of 6 January 2017 clearly states it was produced and coordinated by CIA,NSA and FBI. That is where the expertise in this subject lies. The DIA effort in this field is dwarfed by those three and the State effort is practically nonexistent. Through recent reorganizations DHS is also becoming a major player in cyber analysis and investigation. I would never expect the traditional 17 intelligence agencies to produce such a document as this ICA. What would the Coast Guard contribute?

Having said that, you are right about the absurdity of the many claims made about the 17 agencies. It's just flat wrong. However, I don't see why acknowledging the existence of a Russian influence operation, and a substantial one at that, must lead to war. This was as natural as governments spying on each other. Any government not trying to influence other governments to make decisions favorable to their interests would be negligent and incompetent. Those in high dungeon over this Russian IO and are calling for Putin's head are wrong. They should be called out on their unnecessary hysteria. But those who deny the Russians would ever do something like this and believe is a benevolent saint with only our best interests at heart are also wrong. Putin is only concerned about Russia's best interests. Our interests often coincide and we should continue to cooperate when they do. There's no reason we can't work together while telling Putin we know what you did... you got us good this time... it's not going to happen again, mudak.

Publius Tacitus

You don't know what you are talking about when it comes to how the intel community works and how a "Community Assessment", regardless of whether it is an NIE, a PBD, an intel memorandum, is produced. When a product on Russian hacking, with the GRU as the alleged perpetrator, is produced, excluding DIA is both insane and a sign of incompetence. DIA knows more about GRU than CIA and NSA combined.

Fred

TTG,

Which other governments interfered with our election in 2016?

per

"But those who deny the Russians would ever do something like this and believe is a benevolent saint with only our best interests at heart are also wrong. Putin is only concerned about Russia's best interests."

Granted that Russia only cares about Russia, was it in Russia's best interest to meddle? It seems that Russia shot itself in the foot big time. In return for some petty, clumsy meddling that did not affect anything, they got sanctions and massive anti-Russian hysteria in return. On the other hand, the meddling greatly benefited Russia's enemies. Is Putin stupid?

In the realm of world politics, what is Russia trying to achieve? The grand strategy is to promote the Old World Order: the Westphalian system/International Law, the idea that states are sovereign and equal irrespective of regime and that they do not meddle in the internal affairs of one another. This is in contrast to the New World Order/American Exceptionalism: the idea that USA and its allies are the final victors of world history, with a god-given right to meddle in the internal affairs of other states in the name of democracy. This conflict is something that is very dear to Putin: it is a constant theme in his speeches. It is the cornerstone of Russian diplomacy. Russian meddling in US elections therefore undercuts Russia's own grand strategy.

On a tactical level, Russia seeks cooperation with the West. In Syria, Russia has eagerly tried to establish military cooperation with the US. In the Ukraine, Russia has been seeking cooperation with West European governments for a political solution. Again, meddling in elections undercuts these efforts.

So the idea of Russian meddling does not pass the Cui Bono-test. Who benefits from Russian meddling? Russia's enemies.

outthere

#1 = Israel

outthere

Just ask Senator Charles Percy

robt willmann

The CNN television network on its Sunday, 12 November show, "State of the Union", had former CIA director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on in a segment of around 17 minutes. They continued to push the narrative that Russia interfered in the presidential election, and obviously were there because earlier president Trump said around some reporters that they and former FBI director James Comey were "political hacks"--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl5H5oGhJBc

On a different subject, the death on 4 June of Army Special Forces Sergeant Logan Melgar in the company of two Navy Seals in Mali, Africa has resulted in suspicion that he was killed by the Seal Team 6 members. A 29 October 2017 article in the New York Times raised the issue, and a story from the Daily Beast website of 12 November raises the possibility that Sgt. Melgar had discovered that the Seals may have been pocketing money from their informant fund--

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/29/us/politics/navy-seals-team-6-strangle-green-beret-mali.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0

https://www.thedailybeast.com/green-beret-discovered-seals-illicit-cash-then-he-was-killed

Mathiasalexander

Is there any reliable information about how many members of the general public believe these lies and falsehoods?

Dubhaltach

What's the fuss about? Even if the allegations were true - which I find dubious at best, so what? Governments try to influence each other in ways favourable to their interests. The hysteria that we're witnessing is more a combination of Russophobia and American exceptionalism than anything else.

Sauce goose, gander.

Ingolf Eide

Nicely put. That's been my working premise throughout. As you say, from Russia's point of view, the risk/reward was just terrible.

Tel

I agree with you PT, this whole "Russia hacking" thing is a crock. It started right after the election when they needed a convenient excuse, and instead of evidence they give us brutal repetition. However I think there's a little bit missing from the story.

PT: "We are infested by a malevolent collection of beliefs."

Firstly, don't forget the deep and prescient words of DJ 900 Foot Jesus: "Truth. Is. Out of style."

Secondly, it's a social thing. By buying into the Russia narrative, you demonstrate your cred as anti-Trump. Now I'm not saying that it's impossible that some trivial amount of money might have got through from the Kremlin by indirect means and purchased a handful of irrelevant Facebook advertisements for Black Lives Matter. That's entirely possible, but to believe that there was top level control which actually swung the outcome of the US election, is ultimately just a way of saying that Trump didn't win it by his own campaigning. It's an excuse to make the losers feel better.

Hey look Dems, Hillary was a poor choice of candidate, and blatantly cheating in the Dem Primary was a poor strategy when the Bernie-bros were hoping for some kind of integrity. If you don't learn from this, you can never move on. Bernie supporters stayed home on principle after getting burned; Trump won the election.

JohnB

PT Is right when he says that he can’t sleep at night.

The danger of Nuclear Armageddon is nearer to us than at any time than 1962. Even in the 1980s you always felt that the calmer heads were in the WH than they are today.

The atmosphere both sides of the Atlantic is very poisonous towards any rapprochement with Russia. During the depths of the Cold War the hope of better relations between the West and the Soviet Union was something that we could strive towards.

I really don’t see anyway forward here until Putin has been removed or we have a global war which there will be no winners. I fear relations will continue on this trajectory until they reach their logical conclusion.

I think Trump wanted better relations with the Russia but he was never going to be able to achieve that goal given the dominance of Neo-Cons & Liberal Interventionists in foreign and security policy formulation. Now all he can do is to be swept along by events that he has no real control over.

Did Russia meddle, interfere or try to influence the US election? I think they would have been stupid not to influence to be honest. The prospect of a HC win would have propelled us closer to the end game. No Fly Zones in Syria would have been attempted and we can all speculate where that would have led too.

The US/UK/France & Israel and Russia/Soviet Union have all tried to influence elections since WWII to enhance their FP objectives. They will continue to do so, Did the Russian attempts, which seem fairly low key, have any influence on the election result? For me, no they didn’t! Was the Brexit Referendum in the UK influenced by ‘so called’ Russian meddling? Once again a big NO but can be used as convenient excuse to ignore the real reasons why results went the way they did.

On a final note - Unlike during the Cold War there is a much bigger consensus among politicians of left & right and opinion former's that Russia is bad, that Putin is the devil incarnate. Look at the furore over here last week when Alex Salmond announced he was having a show on RT. Crazy stuff indeed!

Why is Russia seen as such a threat? It can’t be to do with economics as Russia is a capitalist country, there are no difference with the West on that. Is it Russia standing in the way of Western hegemony? This partly explains the hostility. However, I think it goes even deeper than that. Russia offers a potential model for Europe that the Liberals in particular are scared of. What is driving the liberal or ‘so called’ progressive opinion is Russia’s opposition to the identity/cultural agenda. Russia offers conservatism and tradition and a break on globalization which the Liberals fear could gain a major foothold among Europe’s populations.

I am probably on the left compared to most correspondents on here but I have to say that the only critique to the group think around FP and Security policy in the US seems to be coming from the traditional conservatives.

From my experience in the UK there is no critique at all. Granted Jeremy Corbyn offers some hope but in reality even if he was to come to office he would be neutered by his own MP' - in the same way that Trump has been - as the majority of Labour MP's are in the Liberal Interventionist camp.

So what we have is unholy coalition of Liberals & Neo-Cons in regard to Russia which I can't see changing in a generation.

J

Spying, Espionage, Propaganda, Information operations (I/O) all seem to have a grip on mankind that won't quit.

So long as there is Big Money to be made spreading the false narrative, things like the fake news and falser Russian dossier type thing-a-mabobs will continue unabated.

There is money to be made spreading the inflated Ruskie threat, just ask Clapper and DHS. It's called big budgets or a huge hog feeding trough.

J

Colonel, TTG,

FYI: Info coming to light regarding the Navy SEALs murder of a Green Beret at a Embassy in Africa. Seems he discovered their ill gotten lure.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/green-beret-discovered-seals-illicit-cash-then-he-was-killed

elev8

There is a serious semantic problem here. The term "meddling" is either meaningless or unwarranted. There are well-financed propaganda efforts undertaken by both Russia and the US.
"Cyber" operations are similarly nothing where there would seem to be a large disparity between the two sides. The claims regarding the DNC emails, however, appear to be unsubstantiated and even wrong.
I would like to draw attention to Australian economist Steve Keen's recent unapologetic explanation of why he goes on "Russia Today". The gist of it is that, while RFERL once made it possible to source news from other than the poisoned Soviet wells, now media conformity in the West has reached such levels that RT occasionally serves as a useful antidote to the output of the consent-manufacturing industries this side of the once iron-made curtain that is hopefully not going to come down again.

A.I.Schmelzer

Is it possible that the DIA was like "Lol nope, not going to sign that. Any other military intel agency excluding the GRU is going to relentlessly make fun of us forever if we do that. GRU meanwhile would be really insulted."

I mean, this was crowdstrike alleging that a supposed User Name of Felix Edmundovich means that it was the GRU, and well, I would expect the DIA to know how "fond" the GRU is of the Cheka in general and the Chekas founder in particular.

After all, the "bad blood" between the FBI and the CIA is pretty tame compared to the real blood between GRU and any Cheka successor.

The Twisted Genius

Fred,

I don't know if any other government tried to directly influence that election, but I would include Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in the list of countries making major efforts in influencing our government's decisions.

The Twisted Genius

per,

Russia does not want to see a unified US government with a unified populace espousing the "New World Order/American Exceptionalism" you wrote about. It is in their interest to prevent that. They sought a weakened Clinton presidency presiding over a divided United States or something other than the "New World Order/American Exceptionalism" that Clinton espoused. They got that. Whether their influence op had anything to do with that outcome is another question. From their point of view, I think it was worth the effort.

Terry

It is established that the Russians did not change a single vote and did not change the outcome of the election. The "meddling" claim is based on the idea that the Russians provided access to ideas, memes, and information (leaked emails) outside the mainstream US media narrative. At the heart of this idea is that US voters are largely simplistic, easily swayed stooges that must be protected from outside ideas. This is staggeringly un-American and yet also ironically being proven true by how easily the "Russia did it" narrative and other lies have been sold. Science is proving that higher brain functions, including analytic and moral functions, are reduced when people are in a group. This effect is strongest where people are physically together (lynch mobs, flash mobs, sporting events) but also works whenever people become strongly identified with a group. Just threaten the group and you get useful idiots.

The Twisted Genius

Publius Tacitus,

I've been involved in this field from the earliest days of MOONLIGHT MAZE until 2009. I represented Defense HUMINT during those early NIC-sponsored community meetings regarding MOONLIGHT MAZE. I worked closely with various NSA, CIA and FBI offices during that time and worked with the DIA analysts more than my own Defense HUMINT chain of command during many of those years. In that time, I've seen how intelligence products in this field evolved from the standard intelligence product. I've seen DIA-NSA products and FBI-NSA products. I'm not at all surprised that this is a CIA-NSA-FBI product.

rms

The big counter argument here seems bureaucratic, that these intelligence views and reports are not as uniform as presen ted ? This seems like small potatoes to me. As a technical person familiar with social media platforms, My own eyes saw this large coordinated 1) disinformation campaign, 2) persuasion campaign, in real time which worked. This was a new thing - but it seems have had a devastating effect on the reasoning power of a large swath of other wise intelligent seeming people, like many of posters on this blog, for instance.

Its just dead obvious that Trump is unfit for, well really, most any situation I can think of. Anyone who thinks otherwise, well your judgement is compromised. As this comment is critical, I expect it will disappear.

ex-PFC Chuck
"But those who deny the Russians would ever do something like this and believe is a benevolent saint with only our best interests at heart are also wrong. Putin is only concerned about Russia's best interests."
I agree. And based on what the two candidates were saying during the campaign Putin would have been in breach of his duty therein if he had not directed the Russian government to attempt to influence the outcome in Trump's favor. Of course the Borg finally got to him after a few months in office. Whether by blackmail, pointed references to President Kennedy's misfortune or whatever, we'll probably never know.
Publius Tacitus

Really impressed with your experience. You clearly learned nothing from it. The point of my piece, which appears to escape your "twisted genius" mind, is that Jim Clapper, from the very beginning, was claiming the conclusion of Russia hacking the DNC as a CONCLUSION OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. That is bullshit and if you were being honest you would acknowledge that. Instead, you are being intellectually dishonest in my view.
If it was truly a judgment of the intelligence community then DIA and State INR would have been in on contributing a clearance. The process of interagency clearance was ignored in this case. Your refusal to acknowledge that fact makes your opinion in this matter useless as far as I am concerned.


blue peacock

PT,

Despite the hysteria on Russia, DJT noted this in a tweet.

When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. There always playing politics - bad for our country. I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/929503641014112256

Does this look like a POTUS that will order attacks on Russia, despite the belligerence of the intelligence agencies?

J

Colonel,

The Russians are testing a man portable thermobaric.

I'm sure several of our assets are monitoring this one closely.

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