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12 November 2017

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TonyL

PT,

I don't think you have helped your argument with that "brain freeze" stuff. I respected both TTG and you, who have apparently worked in intelligence for many years. You both have a reasonable thesis, so the discussion has been helping us to understand, and draw our own conclusion.

J

Colonel, PT,

Putin it appears was still in the KGB when he entered Russian politics, not the official line where he quit the KGB to go into politics. If this is true, then his ascent into Russian politics was a KGB orchestration aka a new KGB post for Putin. And while he was in his international relations posting, was it for spying/recruiting spies/reconnaissance on the student body, like he did when he had the KGB post in Dresden? If so, then Putin's position in the Leningrad government was in fact a KGB posting. Something interesting from the Moscow Times review of a book by one of his KGB colleagues a Vladimir Usoitsev (which has since been scrubbed from the Moscow Times site) that Putin's former KGB colleague Usoltev suggested that Putin was working for Mayor Sobchak as a KGB officer on a special mission. So in essence a KGB operative was taking operational control over the city government of Leningrad, whereupon the city reverted to its old name of St. Petersburg.

What was interesting it that it appears that Sobchak did not sign any document unless it was previously signatured by Putin. Doesn't history denote also that during Putin's tenure the city became known as the crime capital of Russia. Russian journo Masha Gessen describes Putin as the godfather of the mafia clan who by 2007 had amassed a personal fortune estimated to be $40 Billion with a B.

Now to Putin's relationship with Kissinger, Kissinger was one of those who created the BRICS. So here we have Nixon's Sec-O-State and the leader of the Kremlin schmoozing, wherein their relationship goes into the personal/and financial realm. Putin in a short time span of 3 1/2 years came from an unknown to the Presidency of Russia. Such speed takes powerful forces (globalists like Kissinger for one?) working in the background arranging such. And we have individuals playing his opponents in the public realm who also worked behind the scenes in placing Putin into the Presidency. Playing scapegoat with a hidden purpose. While FSB head Putin purged everyone who wasn't part of his goodfellas and put the goodfellas in FSB positions of power.

Researching continues.......

TonyL

Hi Eric,

You are not qualified to judge TTG or PT about intelligence matters. I would like to hear their arguments.

Whatever you argue for is just a layman's opinion.

Grazhdanochka

While I flirt between the Extremes of both Lamenting and Laughing at the Insanity and Schizophrenia this Election has brought out from varied Camps,
I did think of something... IF you asked me to suggest what Russian Government has done *IF* it has done anything - I would suggest relatively simple Idea to Hypothesize.... While far fetched it does not require much of the Assumptions many other Theories do.

Let us look at US-Russian Relations from say 2003 when the first real Indications that Russia under Putin was not simply going to consent to everything as dictated to it by Washington.... Prior this while Russia had Issues with certain Policy - (ABM Treaty for one) it was not exactly out against Washington. We can push the Clock Forward 10 Years through increased frustration from Moscow over Kosovo, NATO Expansion, Georgia, Syria, Libya etc and we get to Maidan - A matter most close to Russian State Interests demonstrates most decisively for Policy Makers and to most all Russians that Relations with the USA are unlikely to change as the Image held of us is fixed Culturally for many be they Media, Politicians, Security Services etc.

Move the Clock forward to the US Election Cycle, we see a Candidate in Donald Trump whom unlike most all others - IS suggesting the Desire and Possibility of working together rather than necessarily against Russia.

There is certain Advantages to be said for different Candidates - Clinton by this Point had been Secretary of State Prior, while alarmingly Hawkish she demonstrated no real Competency for the Task and can be considered - A Known Quantity....

Trump - Somewhat Unpredictable and relatively unknown Quantity as we have seen since the Primaries. But he does speak positively of Relations with Russia.

Now it is important to Note - For Russians this has been Aspect that at Times has made Democrats seem less Trust Worthy than Republicans - As while both often seemingly act the same - Republicans make fewer Pretenses...
This Factor coupled with a Feeling of somewhat unreliable US Policy Making (Look at the Negotiations after the ABM Treaty for a Joint Shield that the US slowly walked away from) means that no matter who won the Election there would be Number of those in Russian Ministries whom simply would not rely on their Rhetoric to mean improved Relations.

The next thing we need to consider is - What were the Experts on US Elections suggesting? Well pretty much through the entire Process (and increasingly so over the Race you had the Media, The Pollsters, the Political Elite, the Think Tanks all saying the same Mantra - Clinton will possibly win, probably win, definitely will win, she cannot lose.
Intelligence which often involves the simplest of things - Reading Foreign News Papers, Statements and things far less Glamorous than a Bond Lifestyle can see much of this and increasingly so....

Looking at this with all the Candidates the possible Conclusion may have been reached that - No Matter what Relations are unlikely to Improve... Both because Trumps Odds maybe considered lower than they proved to be and because all the other Candidates were relatively Hawkish - Ukraine, Syria etc..

So what is possible to do? Well in addition to simply gathering Information (And if you DID hack a Service or talk to Campaigners this can start as simply routine Information Gathering)
Why not feed the Frenzy? Especially after the first Accusations came out against Trump...

If Clinton or half the Candidates win, you are very likely not going to have better Relations anyway, and Trumps unlikely to win or if he does probably will not be able to change Bureaucratic Culture so why not give them exactly what they want?

There is saying - If you advance to quickly it is a Trap... Maybe so?
If Foreign Intelligence (Hmm Mr Steele as just a basic Example) starting asking his Russian Contacts about Trump, why not give them what they have an Appetite for? Why yes Mr Steele my Rumor has it there is this Tape and Trump is Compromised by Russian Government!!

Increase Contacts with Campaign Figures through unreliable, unprofessional "middle Men" that you would not really rely on were you actually colluding with someone you have Compromising Material on, Agree to set up 'Back Channels' that obviously were never going to be secure, leak certain Details even... Hell why not hack things (Voter Registration Services etc) that have NO real benefit in the Scheme of things but they give all the Fingerprints...

What this Theory and again - Fat Fetched though it may be is is that you give exactly that what is sought, in the end these Threads you are feeding do not really go anywhere and sound far more salacious than they actually are but given the Appetite from the Media, from Believers etc they will be consumed
and promoted... But No Sex Tape of Trump will ever come to Light to prove it, Nor is anything of Substance said in 'Secret Communiques'...

In doing so they offer multiple possible Outcomes:

A) Clinton Wins, she can blame Russia but whole Election is Tainted not only by leaked details of her Campaign Activity. Plus Interference was not enough to affect outcome - So not much of a Case..
Probably she will inherit a somewhat increased frustrated US Electorate as those Details have not gone away.. This acts as a limited Political Anchor Chain...

B) Trump wins, Relations Improve despite the Insinuations or Bureaucratic Inertia

C) Trump wins, Relations get worse - Trump faces Situation he does now where Political Issues at Home have somewhat Immobilized his Presidency and where any and all activity of the POTUS is Questioned...

In either Case RF continues to move forward in its Policies and really does not stand to lose a lot more than current Trends suggested anyway

In most all Outcomes it only further exasperates Division in the US as no strong basis for a Case is actually offered, not only does it make half the Political Figures look silly it further more allows Western Media to increasingly undermine itself through its own propensity for poor Reporting..

This Theory also gives each Nations Intelligence Community a Degree of Credit for Competency - Russias Plot does not have them being simulateously able of controlling entire US Democracy but competent enough to cause some Havok achieving Goals and know that likely outcome that Embassy Communications may be insecure for such a 'Plot' were it real..

US Agencies likewise do not need to be considered completely incompetent to somehow have been able to prevent this 'take over' of Democracy or miss that Russian Activity might be occurring - But also perhaps not so perfect to either realize its Intent or if realizing it - in cases happy to use it for own Purposes despite the questionable Ethics..

Of course the ultimate outcome of this Theory would be however - That the Resist Folks, all those most intent on stopping Russian Interference would in fact be the Pawns most responsible for creating it... Which would be unpalatable for many..

Anyway that was just one crazy Theory I figured to throw out there ))

Grazhdanochka

To some there is apparent Signs Putin is flirting increasingly with Idea of breaking away from our Soviet Past more and more (This has been long process) but now increasing more possible with the older Generations passing.. There is even a few who have Suggested that Sobchak (who has advocated the removal of Lenin among a few others) are simply acting as Lighting Rods for the Kremlin to see how theory of such things Resonate with People

Personally I could not care one bit about Lenins Tomb, I generally prefer not to disturb the Dead whoever they are and his Tomb has Queues extending outside Red Square so I guess good for a few Rubles more... But the Memorial is something I can get more further behind and I think younger Generations are far less encumbered in this Discussion that such will likely only grow more - The Powers that be certainly I think realise this

Ishmael Zechariah

J,
How long have you been following this site?
Ishmael Zechariah

SmoothieX12

it has only gotten worse the past 10-20 years..

Yes, it did. In fact, it is much worse than it seems, especially military aspect of the matter.

jpb

"Brain freeze" is the vernacular for amygdala hijack...."Part of the thalamus's stimuli goes directly to the amygdala, while other parts are sent to the neocortex or "thinking brain". If the amygdala perceives a match to the stimulus, i.e., if the record of experiences in the hippocampus tells the amygdala that it is a fight, flight or freeze situation, then the amygdala triggers the HPA (hypothalmic-pituitary-adrenal) axis and hijacks the rational brain. This emotional brain activity processes information milliseconds earlier than the rational brain, so in case of a match, the amygdala acts before any possible direction from the neocortex can be received. If, however, the amygdala does not find any match to the stimulus received with its recorded threatening situations, then it acts according to the directions received from the neocortex. When the amygdala perceives a threat, it can lead that person to react irrationally and destructively.[3]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amygdala_hijack

This is the mechanism of PSYOP inducing a reality bubble incidentally or intentionally. We observe this phenomenon in fear based cultures such as Israelis or Eastern European's irrationally reacting to decades old or even generations old painful events or narratives. Fear and pain are powerful inhibitions to rational assessment of the real world. I know these things, and yet I am troubled by the amygdala hijack of my rational faculty without careful reflection.

The old aphorism "count to ten, before you speak', is good advice.

LeaNder

Anna, I was in babbling mode yesterday.

Should not CrowdStrike' Aleprovich be investigated for anti-American activity, such as the willing incitement of hostilities between two nuclear powers by producing and publicizing the fraudulent "analysis" of important data?

Lock Alperovich up? On what basic charge? Incitement? Anti-American activity?

I am no expert on the topic. Meaning I only glimpsed the surface of the 'science of attribution' in the larger security sector. But while they no doubt may make mistakes, connect the wrong dots in the heat of matters, are heavily limited in a private contract, there may be solid reasons behind the more general 'science' of attribution in the larger professional community to consider a state actor versus a purely criminal network. ...

In the field of information the two fields tend to merge somewhat anyway. Put another way, there is more complex relationship between the two.

We long passed the age of purely mischievous script kiddies a long time ago.

LeaNder

Smoothie, I understand the military aspect is what brought you here. I recall one clash in the larger SST community concerning past matters.

But considering this:

This, by definition, requires unified government

What does this mean? Or what's on the top of your head here? Past, present, future wise?

JT McPhee

There are a lot of people "involved in intelligence matters" who are no doubt subject-matter experts in the postholes they occupy or occupied within the "intelligence community" (community being a singularly unfortunate choice to describe what apparently really goes on behind all the fog and fraud and deniability).

Lots of those people "involved in intelligence" have for generations busily sought to "influence" and shape the awareness and activities of not only USians but people all over the world, and their governments and other institutions too -- academia, religious, etc. At home we got various CIA and other "intelligence operations," designed to "influence public opinion" with carrots and sticks of many sorts, including heavy injections of "fear, uncertainty and doubt" into public discourse across all media. Same thing for more global activities. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_influence_on_public_opinion (not the strongest citation but there's a whole literature on this, some linked within the wiki piece.)

Propaganda and espionage are ancient arts, of course. Always, there are studious efforts to update the techniques and "bring them into the __th century," e.g., http://indianstrategicknowledgeonline.com/web/perception%20mgt.pdf No doubt the bookshelves of "intelligence community professionals" are full of many more on the subject.

So there is this cast (and caste?) of "intelligence professionals," whose toolboxes are full of gadgets and playbooks on how to deceive and obfuscate and manipulate and destabilize, ostensibly "in service to the nation." In prosecution of "national objectives," that are pretty much straight imperial and corporate advantage and, in the current dream language of our rulers, "full spectrum dominance." There is lots of occasionally visible internal rivalry and shenanigans and incompetence within the "intelligence community," e.g., in the runup to 9/11, and from what I understand, that has been the case since people started sedentary agriculture and built walls to protect the granaries.

A concerned citizen, trying to participate in the kayfabe of democracy as wisely as possible and to vote responsibly, tries to make sense of all the competing messaging and claims that get fed into his or her awareness in a manipulated flood. And also incorporate, in personal "estimates," as much of the history of large and tiny deceptions, and all the other stuff that "the intelligence community" and the rest of the visible stuff that military-security apparatus has done or failed at, as he or she can accommodate in memory. Good thing, I guess, for the movers and shakers who drive "policies" and "operations," that most of us can be driven to accept the manufactured consensus that our owners present to us.

So to me, a claim of "long experience in the intelligence community" is as much an impeachment as a credit.

But of course my personal sense of the value of such claims counts for diddly-squat, in the large context and contest of powers and principalities. It is nice to have a range of claims of expertise and claims of informed insider knowledge of how things are (supposed to be) done inside the panopticon and the quarters of the manipulators. Sorting what's true and real, in context and meaningful, from the rest, when there is so much untruth and fog generated and propagated by so many crafty and intelligent people, is a nice invitation (as likely intended) to just giving in to a sense of futility. To just go with the flow of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, to just continue to labor to earn just enough to survive on while generating the profits and extracting the resources that keep the privileged living so very large, and live in fear that some whim or miscalculation by the insiders might sweep it all away.

One other pet peeve: "national actors" get reified so glibly: "Russia wants," "the US plans" and so forth. Which parts of these vast collections of moving parts are the speaker talking about, when making such generalizations? I know it's part of the lexicon, but still, when claims of accurately spotlighting strategies and tactics and policy goals are made, how about a little detail from those making the assertions?

Eric Newhill

TonyL,
Ultimately, one or way or the other, this issue - like the election itself (and all elections) - will be settled by laymen; hopefully clear headed thinking ones. We are still a constitutional republic as far as I know. The will of the people applied via the structure of law set forth in the Constitution still counts - above all else.

If the trump administration is going to be "brought down" due to collusion with Russians or we are going to go to war with a potentially valuable - and certainly lethal - ally, then three things are going to have to happen that haven't yet (a year + into this thing) or there will be total hell to pay. Those three things are;
1. Solid evidence produced that Russia (btw,the actual govt and not some hackers that happen to be Russian) invaded the DNC's systems and/or invaded other online sources with pro-Trump and/or anti-Clinton political material. 2 Solid evidence produced that the cyber invasions actually had an impact on the election. 3. Solid evidence produced that Trump was working with the Russians to implement these cyber invasions.

I have no doubt that sneaky cyber footprints of Russian origin can be found all over the internet. For example, Russian sources have most infamously infiltrated porn sites and have become a vector of viruses from those points of contact. That's entirely different from saying that I voted for Trump because Russia influenced my thinking with something or another that they placed on my searches or on my facebook feed (of which there is no evidence produced to date). The latter is rather insulting. It implies that Trump voters are mindless idiots. Even that doesn't pass the sniff test. If we are so mindless, why didn't the massive amounts of influence material that the Clinton campaign spent untold $millions on cause me to vote for her?

I have listed in my previous comment just a few of the topics that caused me to vote Trump. I know a lot of Trump supporters. Their list of topics is similar to mine. We don't like the "PC culture", we don't like all the immigration, especially the illegal type, we are sick of foreign wars that achieve nothing of value to the US. We don't like pampered asshole athletes taking a knee when the national anthem plays. We want a business friendly economy. On every point it is an issue that has been brewing in the US for years. It isn't something new that we just read about on the internet in 2016. The sniff test is important because the layman public is what counts; not some just-trust-us govt agent or agency lurking around in the background.

Maybe TTG truly is aware of some little thing here or there that the Russians did. Laymen don't care. That would be geekish making of mountains out of mole hills. We all know that, if true, it pales in comparison to what, say, George Soros has done on the left. US laymen are sick of the hypocrisy that always favors the leftists. Where is the investigation of Soros and his Clinton connection? We know Soros is funding Antifa and BLM riots. God only knows which politicians he owns in addition to the Clintons.

The "hacking" of the DNC server also doesn't pass the sniff test. It's not - as TTG asserts - we are so naïve to believe Russia would never do such a thing. It's that the evidence for it having happened is scant and somewhat tortured. PT disputes what TTG offers up. As does a group of retired intel experts. So that "evidence" isn't convincing to experts. Which bolsters the layman's perspective that if the Russians "did it", then there should be strong evidence that leads to strong consensus among intel experts. There isn't. Julian Assange says the "hack" didn't come from the Russians. Assange has not been asked to testify. Even laymen know that Clapper can't be trusted because he has lied to our faces before (as well as Congress').

Juries are typically made up of laymen.Voting is done by laymen. That is the US system.

TTG doesn't need to convince PT, though I enjoy learning from their interactions. TTG needs to convince laymen like. So far he is an abject failure in that regard.

J

Colonel, PT, TTG,

Speaking of Russian I/0 ops, let's turn to the channel Russian Television America (RT America for short).

I personally like RT because I can get tidbits there I can't get from U.S 'fake news' sites like CNN/ABC/CBS/NBC/MSNBC/Fox. All of which when one takes three steps back they're all I/O of one or several U.S. Government agencies.

Anyways getting back to RT America, seems that because of DOJ digging, the 'sole employee' and 'manager' of RT America was forced to file as a foreign agent (if we could only be so lucky regarding forcing Israel's 5th column operating inside the U.S. to register themselves as foreign agents). Seems that this sole employee/manager of RT America garners a salary of $670k annual, but in just the two months of August and September of this year spent $6.6 Million. Mikhail Solodovnikov, the general director and sole employee of T & R Productions LLC. Mikhail doesn't specify who gives him money in Russia. The U.S. unit RT is registered in the U.S. as T & R Productions LLC and is subordinated to the Russian non-profit organization ANO TV News, which in 2017 received almost 19 billion rubles (just under $320 Million) from the Russian budget. RT stated that the Russian Federation "largely finances ANO" TV-news ", but that RT does not know "who" regulates, owns, manages, controls or sponsors "this NGO".

Remember how Putin and the Duma have been wailing and are now restricting U.S. NGOs operating inside Russia. Hmmm......

Anyways back to it....RT sayz it received $350 thousand at the end of October from Russia.

Mikhail Solodovnikov has been the director of information broadcasting at RT America since 2012. Before that, he was a correspondent for the Rossiya TV channel in D.C. for 6 years. (Sounds like an SVR posting to me)

When asked about the political component of their work, the RT channel replied that its task is "to inform, not to influence."

And now we know that that RT was forced (by DOJ circumstance) to register as a foreign agent.

Currently, the Russian government is working on a framework of a symmetrical response wherein a bill that will oblige foreign medias, to register as foreign agents. Plans are underway in the Duma to adopt this law in record time.

SmoothieX12

What does this mean?

A unity in stating and conducting a policy--any policy. From developing military and trade doctrines to foreign policy. Currently this is not existent in the US government, especially foreign policy which is nothing more than several groups fighting for influence and each having own, often irreconcilably contradictory, views and interests. Enough to take a look at AIPAC and the way neocons and lib. interventionists dominate US foreign policy. Well, they dominate also a domestic agenda too--enough to look at this anti-Russian hysteria. This is not the government one can negotiate anything with. What's the point?

J

PT,

65 years is a youngster. Just think, your mind still believes that you're 16, while your mind wants to write checks your body isn't quite sure it can cash.

Ain't life grand. :)

David Habakkuk

J,

I really would not believe everything you read in the ‘Moscow Times’ – still less, claims by Masha Gessen. If you want to understand why Russian ‘liberals’ have minimal support among their fellow-countrymen, I would recommend a piece she wrote in the ‘New York Times’ in July 2015, entitled ‘What the Russians Crave: Cheese’: it gives the phrase ‘cheese-eating surrender monkey’ a wholly new meaning.

(See https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/05/opinion/sunday/what-the-russians-crave-cheese.html .)

This is actually a key reason why Western élites consistently misread Russia: that they take a tiny minority of ‘Westernised’ people who despise their fellow-countrymen and are generally distrusted if not loathed by them as representative. (So Julia Ioffe, who is as silly as Gessen, was treated as an authority at the Aspen Security Forum.)

As to the KGB, the notion that by the end of the Soviet period it represented some kind of unitary cohesive force is patent nonsense. The erosion of the system’s traditional ideological foundations meant that the whole Soviet ‘counterintelligence state’ was by then a weird combination of very different kinds of people and very different kinds of ideas – ranging from some of the most despicable human types to some rather admirable ones.

Following Gorbachev’s January 1986 nuclear abolition proposal, Anatoly Chernyaev – who not long after, at the instigation of Georgiy Arbatov, would become foreign adviser to the General Secretary – wrote the following in his diary:

‘Gorbachev’s statement. It seems he really decided to end the arms race at all costs. He is going for that very “risk,” in which he has boldly recognized the absence of risk, because no one will attack us even if we disarm totally. And in order to revive the country and set it on a steady track, it is necessary to free it from the burden of the arms race, which is depleting more than just economics. My God! How lucky we are that in the PB there was a man – Andropov – who showed some truly “authoritative” wisdom, who discovered Gorbachev and pulled him out of the provinces! ... And him personally: while there are, I think, 95 regions and oblasts in the USSR. And then he stuck him to Brezhnev!’

(See https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB220/Chernyaev_1986.pdf .)

So, a frontal attack on the institutions and assumptions of the ‘Brezhnevite’ Soviet Union was actually in the process of being mounted by a Communist Party ‘apparatchik’ who had been plucked out of obscurity by the former head of the KGB.

One really could not make sense of this process within the familiar categories of Western interpretation – from which, I add, I myself started. Attempting to do so meant that, as the whole process of ‘glasnost’ and ‘perestroika’ unfolded, the intelligence bureaucracies in the United States and Britain were totally convinced that this was simply an exercise in ‘reflexive control’ – to use TTG’s phrase.

In relation to Putin’s rise to power, by the time he was appointed Prime Minister by Yeltsin in August 1999, people of with Masha Gessen’s views and mentality had successfully reduced the former Soviet Union to a state where a disintegration of a larger part of Eurasia into criminalised anarchy, from which recovery would have been very difficult, was extremely likely.

This would have been a disaster not just for the people involved, but for ourselves. As recent history in the Middle East has amply demonstrated, chaos in apparently distant parts can feed back into our own more comfortable parts of the world in very dangerous ways.

What however this also meant was that a group of former KGB people could emerge as a kind of ‘third force’. In essence, they could broker a ramshackle kind of ‘social contract’, in which the oligarchs could retain their ill-gotten gains (obtained courtesy of Larry Summers, et al) in return for surrendering political power, while the mass of people would have some kind of protection against the oligarchs.

Ideologically, Putin moved towards a Russian tradition of ‘liberal conservatism.’ Adherents of this tradition were not necessarily in any way hostile to democracy as such. They simply believed – as Western ‘republican’ thinkers have traditionally done – that there were preconditions for its successful realisation, and that they were absent in Russia.

Clearly, Putin started out as an admirer of American democracy. If his view has changed, this is in large measure because of the patent inability of Western élites to cope intelligently with the problems facing them. A political system which puts Vladimir Putin, Sergei Lavrov, Michael Fallon and Nikolai Patrushev in charge is hardly self-evidently a worse bet than one which puts, for instance, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Michael and Alex Younger at the helm.

It is a mark of the intellectual, and moral, bankruptcy of our élites that, rather than trying to comprehend the backlash which their own actions have done so much to provoke, they prefer – in good Stalinist-style – to blame it on malign external influences: in this case, Russian ‘reflexive control.’

Unfortunately, in the United States very many of those ‘making the running’ are former victims of the Russian and Soviet states and their descendants, who appear largely incapable of seeing contemporary Russia except through a distorting lens of apparently ineradicable trauma. In Britain we have some of this, but a lot more good old-fashioned indigenous Russophobia.

Babak Makkinejad

That is why I am championing emigration of all nations, ethnic groups, religious groups with their mutual antipathies to extra-solar planets. These groups could then live in splendid isolation from one another to their hearts' content.

Personally, I think that very many would not take that offer; I mean, what good does it do for Group X if their despised Group Y is not nearby to make them feel superior and their life bearable?

And then there is also this: let us say that there would a planet called "Azat Gard" - for a certain Middle Eastern ethnic group - which one visits after 100 years; to find it mired in the worst form of antiquated tribalism, with technology at the level of Iron Age - pregnant women often dying at child bed, majority of children dead before age 5, but they would proud, ah so so proud, of their tricolor flag.

Publius Tacitus

Your commentary is magnificent and instructive. Thanks for taking the time to write with such erudition. Too bad TTG seems incapable or unwilling to follow your example.

LeaNder

What's the point?

Not sure, what it is, consider it babbling mode.

Unfortunately, I gave up my Russian language lessons, admittedly since I deeply detested my then prof ...

Ever heard of Stephan S. Stepanovich Sulakhin? Recently met him and his mathematical cum social science theory on Arte (French/German channel). Here is the French link:

https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/058227-046-A/square-idee/

SmoothieX12

I tried to listen and watch the piece but it is very difficult to try to listen to Russian overdubbed by French and then English in French. I gave up, but from the video intro I saw--seems to be same ol' narrative in the West about Russia, which has no relation to reality on the ground.

David Habakkuk

PT,

Thanks for the kind words.

On the previous thread, I attempted to point out to TTG what I think is crucial – the links between what Alperovitch initially claimed, the intervention of the former GCHQ operative Matt Tait, who introduced ‘Felix Edmundovich’, and the dating given for the first memorandum in the dossier attributed to Christopher Steele.

The response from TTG was ‘I think you are far too fixated on Alperovich as a reason to discount the idea of a Russian hack of the DNC servers.’ This did not address the questions I raised. It reminded me of trying to argue with Marxists when I was young. Mostly, the only interest was in ascertaining the reasons why they were so determined to cling to patently absurd beliefs.

It was clear that TTG had absolutely no interest in the unresolved problems relating to the role of GCHQ and MI6. As it happens, some of these seem to have passed more intellectually curious observers by.

For example, in his defence against the lawsuit brought by Aleksej Gubarev, Steele has tried to ‘wriggle out’ by claiming that there was a duty of confidentiality on the part of Fusion GPS which they violated. When probed on this claim by Gubarev’s lawyers, he responded by claiming that a ‘written non-disclosure agreement’ had been concluded in January 2010.

It is interesting that a single agreement is supposed to have had force continuing for years. It is also interesting that it was said to relate to work conducted by Fusion for Steele, not the other way around.

There are a whole series of puzzles about Fusion, which in turn bring one back to the puzzles around Browder and the Magnitsky affair.

The Twisted Genius

Fred,

Yes, I would call that Fox speech as influential. The use of the phrase "build bridges, not walls" is certainly catchy. His call for Pan-American cooperation probably would influence Mexican-Americans. I would think it would also appeal to Canadian-Americans. That even appeals to me. I would prefer that than our constant meddling in the Mideast, Asia and Europe.

SmoothieX12

Ideologically, Putin moved towards a Russian tradition of ‘liberal conservatism.’ Adherents of this tradition were not necessarily in any way hostile to democracy as such.

Economically he pursues a hybrid economy which still maintains a firm state control over strategic resources and industries--this remains a desire of overwhelming majority of Russians. It is also the only way to mitigate the issue of 1990s robbery of Russia through privatization. One of the interesting moments which escapes many Western observers is a very significant fact of first meeting of Putin in the capacity of newly elected President of Russia with media in 2000. His meeting was with Alexandr Prokhanov chief-editor of Zavtra newspaper and Chikin--Sovetskay Rossia. Only them. Both newspapers of openly, let's put it this way--Soviet (not Communist) leaning.

The Twisted Genius

Publius Tacitus,

Why would I claim any of this to be Russian misdeeds? Espionage, including cyber-espionage is an accepted government function. Sure it's illegal if caught on foreign soil, but it's not illegal in itself. Hell, I made a good living at it and I don't consider my life a series of misdeeds. I don't consider a Russian influence operation against the US as a misdeed, either. Nor is it an act of war. It's a tool of statecraft just like espionage.

I could offer first hand evidence of the successful implementation of a coordinated Russian cyber-espionage and influence operation. Unfortunately that would quickly lead to a gaggle of FBI special agents on my porch. I've signed those secrecy agreements like many of us here have. So I can't offer proof of that any more than I can offer definitive proof of Russian "interference" in the 2016 election cycle. The unclassified ICA says basically the same thing. It was based on intelligence information collected and disseminated by CIA, NSA and FBI, but that information was not included in the unclassified ICA. So we're left with bits and pieces to form our own conclusions.

One of my conclusions is that many do not want any Russian activities concerning our 2016 election to be investigated or made public because it damages Trump and those around him even if there was absolutely no collusion between Russia and Trump. I prefer a policy of sunlight and firmly believe the United States and the American people can handle it.

blue peacock

David Habakkuk

I find your posts very informative and thought provoking. I second Publius Tacitus that they not only are erudite but prompts much thinking. Thank you!

Have you thought about how western groupthink has evolved to this rather untenable position and where it may lead to?

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