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12 November 2017


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The Twisted Genius

David Habakkuk,

You're right. I still believe Alperovitch is a generally reliable source despite the retraction he was forced to make concerning the effectiveness of that Ukrainian artillery app malware. I also consider Shawn Henry of CrowdStrike to be reliable, largely based on my experiences with him at the FBI. A new source I found is Robert Johnston who worked for CrowdStrike under Henry at the time. His story has only recently been made public. I find it compelling and convincing. Since I doubt Johnston has any ties to Cambridge University, I would be interested in hearing your reasons for discounting his story.


As for Steele and anything out of the DNC, I don't rely on their accounts in forming my opinion on this subject. And most statements out of the FBI and DOJ require viewing them with a jaundiced eye. As for MI6, I don't pay much attention to them, either.

David Habakkuk


I regret to have to say this, but I no longer trust you. It seems to me you are a naturally decent, honourable and courageous man, but I also think you are a traumatised Lithuanian – for very understandable reasons – and my confidence in your ability impartially to assess any evidence regarding matters to do with Russia is zilch.

Just a brief excursus to clarify. Last year, my wife and I met up in Vienna with the lady who was my mother’s au pair when I was a small child. (She was in Munster when it was bombed, my parents met in South-East London during the blitz. We talked about it.)

Her son’s second wife, like my sister in law, is from Galicia. After his disastrous first marriage, she has made him really happy. Her father was deported to Russia for ten years after Galicia was reincorporated into Soviet Ukraine.

I really like her. But I know that there is no point in expecting that she will have any understanding whatsoever of the ways in which very many people in Crimea and the Donbass feel, any more than there is of expecting that many people there would have any understanding of how she feels.

In the same way, your comments on the NATO production about the ‘Forest Brothers’ made it absolutely clear to me that your views on any matters to do with Russia are not reliable. The point is not that the – patently visceral – responses from people like Zahkarova, Rogozhin, and – in particular – Joseph Kobzon to the video are necessarily any more guides to any kind of absolute truth than yours. (You might listen to Kobzon performing ‘Zhuravli’ at the 2015 ‘Victory Day’ concert.)

It is simply that some people can escape from the traumas of the past, and others can’t. From what I can see – and I do not like saying this – I do not think you can.



non-European immigrants, "pre-Americans", have made thier native lands shining examples for the world to emulate. That's why everyone is heading to Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Venezuala, India. etc.

The Twisted Genius


My collection team along with the analysts and IO operators we worked with never produced work product or finished intelligence. That was the realm of the DI analysts as it always was. My only connection to that process was the granting of release of LIMDIS or ORCON information reports for use in the analysts' finished products. I was allowed to review the draft of these products, but only as a courtesy. I had no editorial control.

The embedding of collectors and analysts into operational units became a major feature of DIA in Afghanistan and Iraq and every other place our troops were fighting. It lead to the emphasis on "actionable intelligence" over finished intelligence product. This process preceded Clapper at DNI and, I have heard, only accelerated under Flynn at DIA. AFAIK, the DI within DIA is still independent of the DO and produces its own work product. I'm not sure about recent reorganizations at CIA. I would think their attempts to fully integrate the DO and DI would lead to a weakening of the DI and their analytical independence.

The Twisted Genius

David Habakkuk,

That's your prerogative. Perhaps deep down I am still a traumatized Lithuanian. However, if you look back on my contributions to SST, you will see I've been a cheerleader for Novorossiya and the reintegration of Crimea back into Russia. I've also been complimentary and supportive of Russian actions in Syria. I've even been complimentary of Russian skills at IO and definitely consider their current theoretical framework (reflexive control) for IO far superior to ours. I fail to see how this marks me as an emotionally crippled Russophobe. Outside of these contributions, I'm quite fond of all manner of Russian culture, although, if given the opportunity to confront the NKVD and MVD troops or the Communist officials that sought to eradicate my family, I'd gladly kill them.

Yes, my Lithuanian connection definitely led me to swell with pride at the "Forest Brothers" NATO propaganda video. I was also surprised at the visceral reaction to that video by Russian media and government officials. Putin has done very well in owning Russian history, the good and the bad. I don't understand how the Soviet treatment of the Baltics can be defended.



Thanks for the clarification. pl



I should add that you are a highly valued guest author here and friend and I hope you will stick with us. Opinions can vary among colleagues. pl

The Twisted Genius


I remain your friend and brother in arms. I truly enjoy the spirited give and take with fellow correspondents. It's how we all grow. Echo chambers rot the mind. Of course I'll stick with SST.


I can do without their arguments. Arguments are not evidence. IMO the REAL influence campaign is home grown and it is ongoing. The Uniparty sees people like Trump as a danger that must be crushed.

Publius Tacitus

You realize, don't you, that the CIA and NSA and the FBI completely missed the fact that the Russians allegedly launched some massive meddling campaign. Only one of two possible conclusions--1) our intel community was, once again, completely asleep at the switch or 2) it never happened as subsequently explained.
The truth of the matter is the latter.

Babak Makkinejad

Oh yes, and the Ghetto and the NAZIs and the Fascists were paradigmatic examples of Liberalism, Tolerance, Liberty, Motherhood, American Pie.

As is said in Persian; "Why go so far?" - Detroit is an splendid example of the Western Diocletian Civilization at its finest.

And today, is not the political posture of the West the primary threat to the continued existence of the Human Race?

I think it will be a good idea to climb down from your high horse - in reality, only a goat-on-steroids.

Keith Harbaugh

Pardon me for this duplicate comment,
but I think this comment really is highly relevant to the post above.
For future reference, I hope the moderator(s) will allow it here,
as well as at
http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/12/your-trump-dossier-cheat-sheet-by-publius-tacitus.html#comment-6a00d8341c72e153ef01b8d2c83201970c .

WaPo on Friday published a really massive (four broadsheet pages) attempt to influence American opinion on Trump and Russia:

"Doubting the intelligence, Trump pursues Putin
and leaves a Russian threat unchecked"

By Greg Miller, Greg Jaffe and Philip Rucker
Washington Post, online 2017-12-14, in the print edition of 2017-12-15

PT and others: If you have the time and interest,
I think it would be valuable to do some inspection for bias
in this story.
I don't have the expertise to do that myself,
but think it would be valuable for some to do so.

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