Why Do People Apologize For Russia?

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Re: Why Do People Apologize For Russia?

Postby stickdog99 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:52 pm

JackRiddler » 15 Sep 2019 20:56 wrote:No those words are Felshtinsky's and from the article you posted. He is the author of the 9/99 book and documentary, with Litvinenko as co-author by the way, and funded by Heritage, but nevertheless work I found solid.

Anyway, plenty have always believed the 9/99 operation was an FSB job, including me as it unfolded and ever since. Since the FSB actions were tantamount to confession. I once talked to Felshtinsky about maybe bringing him to NY as a speaker at a 9/11 research event, on the basis of "see, these things do happen," but it was pretty clear he'd never go for it once he figured out it would be a 9/11 research event, so I didn't follow up.

9/99 tells you Putin's a bad dude with a bad crew capable of bad things, which, duh, and that the post-KGB state was ready to do some pretty fucking inexcusable drastic shit to avoid the collapse (or, possibly, a legit democracy) that might follow on the Yeltsin disaster. But it doesn't tell you anything necessarily about Georgia, the Ukraine war, the Western #Russiagate fantasia, the Skripals, or or or... my feeling is, however, it probably tells you a lot about the fate of Litvinenko.

9/99 was 9/11 without the Hollywood blockbuster special effects. The plots of both of these spectacles were equally unbelievable, but 9/99 had direct-to-video Stephen Seagal production values.
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Re: Why Do People Apologize For Russia?

Postby Belligerent Savant » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:16 pm


The OP thread title is crap. False premise from the f'ing start.

No one here "apologizes" for Russia, FFS.

Calling out "Russiagate" as an outright farce from the onset does not equate to "apologizing" for f'ing Russia.

Same goes for the Syria debacle. Identifying the White Helmets as a sheer/blatant propaganda project does not equate to justifying acts against humanity that may be tied to Russia (or any entity, for that matter).

Putin being a criminal places him on par with any leader of a superpower. This goes without saying.

One can loathe the tactics of Putin AND a past/current/future U.S. President (or, perhaps more precisely, the underlying machinations that spits forth such figureheads) AND clear examples of bullshit narratives (e.g. 'Russiagate', etc.). None of these sentiments are mutually exclusive, but rather, are consistent with the understanding that any/all National* Power Structures are lying to their People the majority of the time, especially with regards to matters of economic/domestic/international importance.

By all means, proceed with furthering the farce if it helps one sleep better at night. The lies we tell ourselves and all that.

(The above ramble is a rumination on the overarching theme of this thread, not the content on this page specifically, to be clear)

*Using the term 'National' is overly simplistic, and speaks only to the overt optics. These power structures often 'partner' with each other to meet certain overarching agendas; many if not most of the 'players' carrying out objectives may not even be aware of this, let alone the average plebe. Others here in RI and elsewhere have referenced these 'partnerships' in far more detail and erudition.
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Re: Why Do People Apologize For Russia?

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:08 pm

there was a time when a not so nice Russian OP was perfectly fine and one person's objection to a particular OP was not a basis for not being needed or allowed

what took you so long to object anyway it's been around for 6 years?

Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:31 pm

Lugovoi: I will never stand trial in Britain for Litvinenko
Postby Jeff » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:47 pm

UK Spy chief in coma as doctors battle mystery illness
Postby Jeff » Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:51 pm

'Fear of the super-rich Russian fugitives'
Postby Jeff » Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:28 am

Litvinenko poisoning suspect a hero in Russia
Postby Jeff » Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:29 pm

RAF scrambles to intercept Russian bombers
Postby Jeff » Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:07 pm

Expert on Russian intel shot at DC home
Postby Jeff » Sat Mar 03, 2007 7:43 pm

"The Kremlin Pedophile"
Postby Jeff » Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:00 am

What is Russia Today All About?

Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium link
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Re: Why Do People Apologize For Russia?

Postby Belligerent Savant » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:22 pm


Yet again, you reply with either a misunderstanding, or an intentional misrepresentation, of my point.

All those OPs were well before the farcical 'Russia'-themed escapades of the last ~2yrs, and are wholly unrelated to the core of my point.

Also, I'm compelled to state the following, given your general M.O.: the mere act of Jeff posting a thread topic (or typing a string of words), by itself, does not make such content beyond reproach.

You seem to reference his name, and words, as if he is a demigod among mere mortals; he is -- as I'm sure he'd readily acknowledge -- a mere human, and as a human, is not without error, however rare such occasions may be.
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Re: Why Do People Apologize For Russia?

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:26 pm

I reference him because he set the rules, RI members have the right to name their OP without your approval, I guess you mis understood my point, compelling as it was :)

what is the deal with objecting to someone's thread title anyway? It's the author prerogative

Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:31 pm

It's been 6 years what took you so long? 6 years it's kinda baked, do you want to go back, rename OPs now because times have changed?

like that M.O spatter ....cute, the effect is overwhelming

yeah Jeff is a demigod ......BTW

reproach away
over and out :partydance:
Last edited by seemslikeadream on Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why Do People Apologize For Russia?

Postby JackRiddler » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:56 pm

Nah, he's not a demigod. Here, "he" is just a strawman being abused as an excuse. The real one, over on FB, basically aligns with me on everything. (No kidding!) On #Russiagate, of course, he's 100-percent, and pretty much the same regarding all the usual Western imperialist projects.

Of course, all of those threads by Jeff were supposed to be about Russia, and none of them were about implying unspecified "people" (on this board and not Russians, presumably) were "apologiz[ing] for Russia." That's just straight-up inviting corporate liberal talking points against anyone who doesn't 100 percent follow the State Department line on reality.
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Re: Why Do People Apologize For Russia?

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:59 pm

there is that one Russia OP rule and title regulation

I never said Jeff agreed with what I post. He said I could post what I wanted. I just follow his few simple rules which to some seem to be ever expanding.

your interpretation of why I posted those links is incorrect

demigod = owner of Rigorous Intitution

demigod = a man who is greatly admired or respected.

Jeff is still the owner of this site, correct?


Exclusive: Russia carried out a 'stunning' breach of FBI communications system, escalating the spy game on U.S. soil
Zach Dorfman, Jenna McLaughlin and Sean D. Naylor

On Dec. 29, 2016, the Obama administration announced that it was giving nearly three dozen Russian diplomats just 72 hours to leave the United States and was seizing two rural East Coast estates owned by the Russian government. As the Russians burned papers and scrambled to pack their bags, the Kremlin protested the treatment of its diplomats, and denied that those compounds — sometimes known as the “dachas” — were anything more than vacation spots for their personnel.

The Obama administration’s public rationale for the expulsions and closures — the harshest U.S. diplomatic reprisals taken against Russia in several decades — was to retaliate for Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. But there was another critical, and secret, reason why those locations and diplomats were targeted.

Both compounds, and at least some of the expelled diplomats, played key roles in a brazen Russian counterintelligence operation that stretched from the Bay Area to the heart of the nation’s capital, according to former U.S. officials. The operation, which targeted FBI communications, hampered the bureau’s ability to track Russian spies on U.S. soil at a time of increasing tension with Moscow, forced the FBI and CIA to cease contact with some of their Russian assets, and prompted tighter security procedures at key U.S. national security facilities in the Washington area and elsewhere, according to former U.S. officials. It even raised concerns among some U.S. officials about a Russian mole within the U.S. intelligence community.

“It was a very broad effort to try and penetrate our most sensitive operations,” said a former senior CIA official.

American officials discovered that the Russians had dramatically improved their ability to decrypt certain types of secure communications and had successfully tracked devices used by elite FBI surveillance teams. Officials also feared that the Russians may have devised other ways to monitor U.S. intelligence communications, including hacking into computers not connected to the internet. Senior FBI and CIA officials briefed congressional leaders on these issues as part of a wide-ranging examination on Capitol Hill of U.S. counterintelligence vulnerabilities.

These compromises, the full gravity of which became clear to U.S. officials in 2012, gave Russian spies in American cities including Washington, New York and San Francisco key insights into the location of undercover FBI surveillance teams, and likely the actual substance of FBI communications, according to former officials. They provided the Russians opportunities to potentially shake off FBI surveillance and communicate with sensitive human sources, check on remote recording devices and even gather intelligence on their FBI pursuers, the former officials said.

“When we found out about this, the light bulb went on — that this could be why we haven’t seen [certain types of] activity” from known Russian spies in the United States, said a former senior intelligence official.

The compromise of FBI systems occurred not long after the White House’s 2010 decision to arrest and expose a group of “illegals” – Russian operatives embedded in American society under deep non-official cover – and reflected a resurgence of Russian espionage. Just a few months after the illegals pleaded guilty in July 2010, the FBI opened a new investigation into a group of New York-based undercover Russian intelligence officers. These Russian spies, the FBI discovered, were attempting to recruit a ring of U.S. assets — including Carter Page, an American businessman who would later act as an unpaid foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The breaches also spoke to larger challenges faced by U.S. intelligence agencies in guarding the nation’s secrets, an issue highlighted by recent revelations, first published by CNN, that the CIA was forced to extract a key Russian asset and bring him to the U.S. in 2017. The asset was reportedly critical to the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russian President Vladimir Putin had personally directed the interference in the 2016 presidential election in support of Donald Trump.

Yahoo spoke about these previously unreported technical breaches and the larger government debates surrounding U.S. policies toward Russia with more than 50 current and former intelligence and national security officials, most of whom requested anonymity to discuss sensitive operations and internal discussions. While the officials expressed a variety of views on what went wrong with U.S.-Russian relations, some said the United States at times neglected to appreciate the espionage challenge from Moscow, and paid a significant price for a failure to prioritize technical threats.

“When I was in office, the counterintelligence business was … focused entirely on its core concern, which is insider threats, and in particular mole hunting,” said Joel Brenner, the head of U.S. counterintelligence and strategy from 2006 to 2009. “This is, in fact, the core risk and it’s right that it should be the focus. But we were neither organized nor resourced to deal with counterintelligence in networks, technical networks, electronic networks.”

The discovery of Russia’s newfound capacity to crack certain types of encryption was particularly unnerving, according to former U.S. officials.

“Anytime you find out that an adversary has these capabilities, it sets off a ripple effect,” said a former senior national security official. “The Russians are able to extract every capability from any given technology. ... They are singularly dangerous in this area.”

The FBI’s discovery of these compromises took place on the heels of what many hoped would be a breakthrough between Washington and Moscow — the Obama administration’s 2009 “reset” initiative, which sought to improve U.S.-Russia relations. Despite what seemed to be some initial progress, the reset soon went awry.

In September 2011, Vladimir Putin announced the launch of his third presidential campaign, only to be confronted during the following months by tens of thousands of protesters accusing him of electoral fraud. Putin, a former intelligence officer, publicly accused then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of fomenting the unrest.

It was around this time that Putin’s spies in the United States, operating under diplomatic cover, achieved what a former senior intelligence official called a “stunning” technical breakthrough, demonstrating their relentless focus on the country they’ve long considered their primary adversary.

That effort compromised the encrypted radio systems used by the FBI’s mobile surveillance teams, which track the movements of Russian spies on American soil, according to more than half a dozen former senior intelligence and national security officials. Around the same time, Russian spies also compromised the FBI teams’ backup communications systems — cellphones outfitted with “push-to-talk” walkie-talkie capabilities. “This was something we took extremely seriously,” said a former senior counterintelligence official.

The Russian operation went beyond tracking the communications devices used by FBI surveillance teams, according to four former senior officials. Working out of secret “listening posts” housed in Russian diplomatic and other government-controlled facilities, the Russians were able to intercept, record and eventually crack the codes to FBI radio communications.

Some of the clandestine eavesdropping annexes were staffed by the wives of Russian intelligence officers, said a former senior intelligence official. That operation was part of a larger sustained, deliberate Russian campaign targeting secret U.S. government communications throughout the United States, according to former officials.

The two Russian government compounds in Maryland and New York closed in 2016 played a role in the operation, according to three former officials. They were “basically being used as signals intelligence facilities,” said one former senior national security official.

Russian spies also deployed “mobile listening posts.” Some Russian intelligence officers, carrying signals intelligence gear, would walk near FBI surveillance teams. Others drove vans full of listening equipment aimed at intercepting FBI teams’ communications. For the Russians, the operation was “amazingly low risk in an angering way,” said a former senior intelligence official.

The FBI teams were using relatively lightweight radios with limited range, according to former officials. These low-tech devices allowed the teams to move quickly and discreetly while tracking their targets, which would have been more difficult with clunkier but more secure technology, a former official said. But the outdated radios left the teams’ communications vulnerable to the Russians. “The amount of security you employ is the inverse of being able to do things with flexibility, agility and at scale,” said the former official.

A former senior counterintelligence official blamed the compromises on a “hodgepodge of systems” ineffective beyond the line of sight. “The infrastructure that was supposed to be built, they never followed up, or gave us the money for it,” said the former official. “The intelligence community has never gotten an integrated system.”

The limitations of the radio technology, said the former senior officials, led the FBI’s surveillance personnel to communicate on the backup systems.

“Eventually they switched to push-to-talk cellphones,” said a former counterintelligence executive. “The tech guys would get upset by that, because if they could intercept radio, they might be able to intercept telephones.”

That is indeed what happened. Those devices were then identified and compromised by Russian intelligence operatives. (A number of other countries’ surveillance teams — including those from hostile services — also transitioned from using radios to cellphones during this time, noted another former official.)

U.S. intelligence officials were uncertain whether the Russians were able to unscramble the FBI conversations in real time. But even the ability to decrypt them later would have given the Russians critical insights into FBI surveillance practices, including “call signs and locations, team composition and tactics,” said a former intelligence official.

U.S. officials were also unsure about how long the Russians had been able to decipher FBI communications before the bureau realized what was happening. “There was a gap between when they were really onto us, and when we got onto them,” said a former senior intelligence official.

Even after they understood that the Russians had compromised the FBI teams’ radios, U.S. counterintelligence officials could not agree on how they had done it. “The intel reporting was they did break our codes or got their hands on a radio and figured it out,” said a former senior intelligence official. “Either way, they decrypted our comms.”

Officials also cautioned, however, that the Russians could only crack moderately encrypted communications, not the strongest types of encryption used by the U.S. government for its most sensitive transmissions. It was nonetheless “an incredible intelligence success” for the Russians, said the former senior official.

While the Russians may have developed this capability by themselves, senior counterintelligence officials also feared that someone from within the U.S. government — a Russian mole — may have helped them, said former officials. “You’re wondering, ‘If this is true, and they can do this, is this because someone on the inside has given them that information?’’ said another former senior intelligence official.

Russia has a clear interest in concealing how it gets its information, further muddying the waters. According to a former senior CIA officer who served in Moscow, the Russians would often try to disguise a human source as a technical penetration. Ultimately, officials were unable to pinpoint exactly how the Russians pulled off the compromise of the FBI’s systems.

Mark Kelton, who served as the chief of counterintelligence at the CIA until he retired in 2015, declined to discuss specific Russian operations, but he told Yahoo News that “the Russians are a professionally proficient adversary who have historically penetrated every American institution worth penetrating.”

This remains a core worry for U.S. spy hunters. The number of ongoing espionage investigations into U.S. government personnel — at the CIA, the FBI and elsewhere — including those potentially recruited by Russia, “is not a little, it’s a lot,” said another former senior counterintelligence official.

Once the compromises of FBI communications devices were confirmed, U.S. officials scrambled to minimize the exposure of mobile surveillance team operations, quickly putting countermeasures in place, according to former senior officials. There was a “huge concern” about protecting the identities of the individuals on the teams — an elite, secret group — said the former senior counterintelligence official. U.S. officials also conducted a damage assessment and repeatedly briefed select White House officials and members of Congress about the compromise.

After the FBI discovered that its surveillance teams’ cellphones had been compromised, they were forced to switch back to encrypted radios, purchasing different models, according to two former officials. “It was an expensive venture,” said one former counterintelligence official.

But the spying successes went both ways. The U.S. intelligence community collected its own inside information to conclude that the damage from the compromises had been limited, partly due to the Russians’ efforts to keep their intelligence coup secret, according to a former senior intelligence official. “The Russians were reticent to take steps [that might reveal] that they’d figured it out,” the former senior official said.

Even so, the costs to U.S. intelligence were significant. Spooked by the discovery that its surveillance teams’ communications had been compromised, the FBI worried that some of its assets had been blown, said two former senior intelligence officials. The bureau consequently cut off contact with some of its Russian sources, according to one of those officials.

At the time of the compromise, some of the FBI’s other Russian assets stopped cooperating with their American handlers. “There were a couple instances where a recruited person had said, ‘I can’t meet you anymore,’” said a former senior intelligence official. In a damage assessment conducted around 2012, U.S. intelligence officials concluded the events may have been linked.

The impact was not limited to the FBI. Alerted by the bureau to concerns surrounding Russia’s enhanced interception capabilities, the CIA also ceased certain types of communications with sources abroad, according to a former senior CIA official. The agency “had to resort to a whole series of steps” to ensure the Russians weren’t able to eavesdrop on CIA communications, the former senior official said. There was a “strong hint” that these newly discovered code-breaking capabilities by Russia were also being used abroad, said another former senior intelligence official.

The CIA has long been wary of Russian spies’ eavesdropping efforts outside of the United States, especially near U.S. diplomatic facilities. U.S. officials have observed Russian technical officers repeatedly walking close to those compounds with packages in their hands, or wearing backpacks, or pushing strollers, or driving by in vehicles — all attempts, U.S. officials believe, to collect information on the different signals emanating from the facilities. While the tools used by the Russians for these activities were “a bit antiquated,” said a former senior CIA official, they were still a “constant concern.”

It’s not unusual for intelligence officers operating from diplomatic facilities, including the United States’s own operatives, to try and intercept the communications of the host nation. “You had to find ways to attack their surveillance,” said Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, former head of counterintelligence at the Department of Energy and a former CIA officer who first served in Moscow in the 1980s. “The Russians do everything in the U.S. that we did in Moscow.”

Indeed, the focus on cracking radio communications was no different.

“We put extraordinary effort into intercepting and monitoring the FSB surveillance radio networks for the purpose of understanding whether our officers were under surveillance or not,” said another former senior CIA officer who also served in Moscow.

The discovery of the Russians’ new code-breaking capabilities came at a time when gathering intelligence on Russia and its leaders’ intentions was of particular importance to the U.S. government. U.S. national security officials working on Russia at the time received rigorous security training on how to keep their digital devices secure, according to two former senior officials. One former U.S. official recalled how during the negotiations surrounding the reset, NSC officials, partially tongue in cheek, “would sometimes say things on the phone hoping [they] were communicating things to the Russians.”

According to a former CIA official and a former national security official, the CIA’s analysts often disagreed about how committed Russia was to negotiations during the attempted reset and how far Putin would go to achieve his strategic aims, divergences that confused the White House and senior policy makers.

“It caused a really big rift within the [National Security Council] on how seriously they took analysis from the agency,” said the former CIA official. Senior administration leaders “went along with” some of the more optimistic analysis on the future of U.S.-Russia relations “in the hopes that this would work out,” the official continued.

Those disagreements were part of a “reset hangover” that persisted, at least for some inside the administration, until the 2016 election meddling, according to a former senior national security official. Those officials clung to the hope that Washington and Moscow could cooperate on key issues, despite aggressive Russian actions ranging from the invasion of Ukraine to its spying efforts.

“We didn’t understand that they were at political war with us already in the second term once Putin was reelected and Obama himself was reelected,” said Evelyn Farkas, the former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia during the Obama administration.

As high-level hopes for the U.S.-Russia “reset” withered, concerns about the threat of Russian spying made their way to Capitol Hill. Top officials at the FBI and CIA briefed key members of Congress on counterintelligence issues related to Russia, according to current and former U.S. officials. These included briefings on the radio compromises, said two former senior officials.

Mike Rogers, a former Republican lawmaker from Michigan who chaired the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 2011 to 2015, alluded to counterintelligence concerns at a conference earlier this year in Washington, D.C.

One of those concerns was a massive intelligence failure related to the secret internet-based communications system the CIA used to communicate with agents. The extent of that failure, first reported publicly by Yahoo News in 2018, got the attention of Congress earlier.

But the problems were broader than that issue, according to Rogers.

“Our counterintelligence operations needed some adjustments,” said Rogers, adding that he and his Democratic counterpart from Maryland, Dutch Ruppersberger, requested regular briefings on the subject from agency representatives. “We started out monthly until we just wore them out, then we did it quarterly to try to make sure that we had the right resources and the right focus for the entire community on counter[intelligence].”

Rogers later told Yahoo News that his request for the briefings had been prompted by “suspected penetrations, both physical and technical, which is the role of those [Russian and Chinese] intelligence services,” but declined to be more specific.

The former committee chairman said he wanted the intelligence community to make counterintelligence a higher priority. “Counterintelligence was always looked at as the crazy uncle at the party,” he said. “I wanted to raise it up and give it a robust importance.”

The briefings, which primarily involved counterintelligence officials from the FBI and CIA and were limited to the committee leadership and staff directors, led to “some useful inquiries to help focus the intelligence community,” Rogers said. The leaders of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence were also included in some of the inquiries, according to Rogers and a current U.S. government official.

Spokespeople for the current House and Senate intelligence committees did not respond to a request for comment. The FBI and CIA declined to comment. The Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. did not respond to a request for comment.

The briefings were designed to “get the counterintelligence house in order,” said Jamil Jaffer, senior counsel at the House intelligence committee from 2011 to 2013, and to ensure that Congress and the intelligence agencies were “on the same page” when it came to such matters. “There were some concerns about what the agencies were doing, there were some concerns about what Congress knew, and all of these issues, of course, had China-Russia implications.”

Rogers and Jaffer declined to provide further details about what specific counterintelligence issues the committee was addressing, but other former officials indicated that worries weren’t limited to the compromise of FBI radio systems. Senior U.S. officials were contemplating an even more disturbing possibility: that the Russians had found a way to penetrate the communications of the U.S. intelligence community’s most sensitive buildings in and around Washington, D.C.

Suspected Russian intelligence officers were seen conspicuously loitering along the road that runs alongside the CIA’s headquarters, according to former senior intelligence officials. “Russian diplomats would be sitting on Route 123, sometimes in cars with diplomatic plates, other times not,” a former senior intelligence executive said. “We thought, they’re out doing something. It’s not just taking down license plates; those guys are interrogating the system.”

Though this behavior dated back at least to the mid-2000s, former officials said those activities persisted simultaneously with the compromise of the FBI’s communication system. And these were not the only instances of Russian intelligence operatives staking out locations with a line of sight to CIA headquarters. They were “fixated on being in neighborhoods” that gave them exposure to Langley, said a former senior official.

Over time, U.S. intelligence officials became increasingly concerned that Russian spies might be attempting to intercept communications from key U.S. intelligence facilities, including the CIA and FBI headquarters. No one knew if the Russians had actually succeeded.

“The question was whether they had capabilities to penetrate our comms at Langley,” said a former senior CIA official. In the absence of any proof that that was the case, the working theory was that the Russian activities were provocations designed to sow uncertainty within the CIA. “We came to the conclusion that they were trying to get into our heads,” the former senior official said.

A major concern was that Russian spies with physical proximity to sensitive U.S. buildings might be exfiltrating pilfered data that had “jumped the air gap,” i.e., that the Russians were collecting information from a breach of computers not connected to the Internet, said former officials.

One factor behind U.S. intelligence officials’ fears was simple: The CIA had already figured out how to perform similar operations themselves, according to a former senior CIA officer directly familiar with the matter. “We felt it was pretty revolutionary stuff at the time,” the former CIA officer said. “It allowed us to do some extraordinary things.”

While no one definitively concluded that the Russians had actually succeeded in penetrating Langley’s communications, those fears, combined in part with the breach of the bureau’s encrypted radio system, drove an effort by U.S. intelligence officials around 2012 to fortify sensitive Washington-area government buildings against potential Russian snooping, according to four former officials.

At key government facilities in the Washington area, entire floors were converted to sensitive compartmented information facilities, or SCIFs. These are specially protected areas designed to be impenetrable to hostile signals intelligence gathering.

The normal assumption was that work done in a SCIF would be secure, but doubts arose about the safety of even those rooms. “The security guys would say, your windows are ‘tempested’”—that is, protected against the interception of emissions radiating from electronic equipment in the building —“you’re in a SCIF, it’s fine,” a former senior counterintelligence executive recalled. “The question was, ‘Is it true?’”

Increasingly, U.S. officials began to fear it was not.

New security practices were instituted in sensitive government facilities like the FBI and CIA headquarters, according to former officials. “It required many procedural changes on our part to make sure we were not susceptible to penetrations,” said a former senior CIA official. These included basic steps such as moving communication away from windows and changing encryption codes more frequently, as well as more expensive adjustments, said four former officials.

Revelations about the Russian compromise of the radio systems, recalled a former senior intelligence official, “kick-started the money flowing” to upgrade security.

While the breaches of the FBI communications systems appeared to finally spur Congress and the intelligence agencies to adopt steps to counter increasingly sophisticated Russian eavesdropping, it took the Putin-directed interference in the 2016 election to get the White House to expel at least some of those officials deemed responsible for the breaches, and to shut down the facilities that enabled them.

Even then, the decision was controversial. Some in Washington worried about retribution by the Russians and exposure of American intelligence operations, according to a former senior U.S. national security official directly involved in the discussions. The FBI consistently supported expulsions, said another former national security official.

More than two years later, the Russian diplomatic compounds used in the FBI communications compromises remain shuttered. The U.S. government has prevented many of the Russian spies expelled by the United States from returning, according to national security experts and senior foreign intelligence officials. “They are slowly creeping back in, but [the] FBI makes it hard,” said a senior foreign intelligence official. “The old guard is basically screwed. They need to bring in a whole new generation.”

In the meantime, those familiar with Russian operations warn that the threat from Moscow is far from over. “Make no mistake, we’re in an intelligence war with the Russians, every bit as dangerous as the Cold War,” said a former senior intelligence officer. “They’re trying all the time ... and we caught them from time to time,” he said. Of course, he added, “you don’t know what you don’t know.”

That’s the same message that special counsel Robert Mueller tried to convey during the highly contentious hearings to discuss his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. “They are doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign,” Mueller told lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee about covert Russian involvement in U.S. politics.

But a number of observers believe Mueller’s message about the threat from Russia was largely lost amid a partisan battle on Capitol Hill over President Trump.

During his Washington conference appearance earlier this year, Rogers, the former chair of the House Intelligence Committee, also lamented that the current politicized state of the intelligence committees would make spy agencies more hesitant to admit their failures.

“They're not going to call you to say, 'I screwed up.' They're going to say, 'God, I hope they don't find that,’” he said. “That's what's going to happen. I'll guarantee it's happening today.”
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Re: Why Do People Apologize For Russia?

Postby Belligerent Savant » Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:38 am

JackRiddler » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:56 pm wrote:Nah, he's not a demigod. Here, "he" is just a strawman being abused as an excuse. The real one, over on FB, basically aligns with me on everything. (No kidding!) On #Russiagate, of course, he's 100-percent, and pretty much the same regarding all the usual Western imperialist projects.

Of course, all of those threads by Jeff were supposed to be about Russia, and none of them were about implying unspecified "people" (on this board and not Russians, presumably) were "apologiz[ing] for Russia." That's just straight-up inviting corporate liberal talking points against anyone who doesn't 100 percent follow the State Department line on reality.


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Re: Why Do People Apologize For Russia?

Postby Grizzly » Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:07 am

If Barthes can forgive me, “What the public wants is the image of passion Justice, not passion Justice itself.”
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Re: Why Do People Apologize For Russia?

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:07 am

a misunderstanding, or an intentional misrepresentation of my post

underlined and in red for emphasis

trump is blaming Iran for bombing Saudi Arabia

which has nothing to do with Russia but is way more important than this discussion so I am going back to my ONE trump thread

underlined for emphasis
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Re: Why Do People Apologize For Russia?

Postby Grizzly » Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:11 am

The Spy Who Failed
https://consortiumnews.com/2019/09/14/t ... ho-failed/

But you know, they'll get their war anyway because Dems like Slad and others think the Dems will save us and would rather look at ANYTHING besides they're own flaws and SEE WHY THEY LOST.
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Re: Why Do People Apologize For Russia?

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:13 am

please do not make generalizations about me.....thank you

aren't you all in for Tulsi? She's a Democrat I believe or do you know something I don't?

trump administeration says nuclear war is winnable!

you posted that link twice in just a couple moments ...is there a reason for that double post?

from now on could you please post the source for your links so I don't mistakingly click on something I really don't want to...the last one was pretty ugly and deleted I believe ...... a warning would be helpful

antisemitism is never ok here

you know what in 14 years I have never been told by a mod that a link I posted here is banned but you are free to be as righteous as you want towards me
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Re: Why Do People Apologize For Russia?

Postby Belligerent Savant » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:58 pm


Re: Oleg Smolenkov -

See below overview, posted in another thread.
(At least one other Smolenkov-related story was pasted in another Russia/Trump-related thread as well, though it was not an editorial, but rather a standard copy/paste from a mainstream source):

Belligerent Savant » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:02 pm wrote:.


https://taibbi.substack.com/p/latest-ru ... looks-like

Latest Russian spy story looks like another elaborate media deception

The tale of Oleg Smolenkov is just the latest load of high-level BS dumped on us by intelligence agencies


The cable networks, along with the New York Times and Washington Post increasingly act like house organs of the government, and in particular the intelligence agencies.

An episode this week involving a tale of a would-be American spy “exfiltrated” from Russia solidifies this impression. Seldom has a news story been more transparently fraudulent.

The story was broken by CNN Monday, September 9th, under the headline, “Exclusive: US extracted top spy from inside Russia in 2017”:

In a previously undisclosed secret mission in 2017, the United States successfully extracted from Russia one of its highest-level covert sources inside the Russian government, multiple Trump administration officials with direct knowledge told CNN.

CNN’s lede relayed multiple key pieces of information, not one of which was really emphasized in the main of its unconfirmable story:

- America not only had a spy inside Russia’s government, it had multiple spies, with the subject of this particular piece being merely one of America’s “highest level” sources

- The “extraction” was completed “successfully”

- The sources are “multiple Trump administration officials”

The story told us our spy agencies successfully penetrated Russian government at the highest levels (although apparently not well enough to foresee or forestall the election interference campaign the same agencies spent the last three years howling about).

We were also told the agencies saved an invaluable human source back in 2017, and that the story came from inside the Trump administration. But the big sell came in the second and third paragraphs (emphasis mine):

The decision to carry out the extraction occurred soon after a May 2017 meeting in the Oval Office in which Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. The intelligence, concerning ISIS in Syria, had been provided by Israel.

The disclosure to the Russians by the President, though not about the Russian spy specifically, prompted intelligence officials to renew earlier discussions about the potential risk of exposure…

So great was this spy of ours, we were told, that he had “access to Putin” and “could even provide images of documents on the Russian leader’s desk.” This was “according to CNN’s sources,” an interesting attribution given passages like this:

The source was considered the highest-level source for the US inside the Kremlin, high up in the national security infrastructure, according to the source familiar with the matter and a former senior intelligence official.

It’s a characteristic of third world countries to have the intelligence world and the media be intertwined enough that it’s not always clear whether the reporters and the reported-about are the same people. When you turn on the TV in Banana Republics, you’re never sure which group is talking to you.

We’re now in that same paradigm in America. CNN has hired nearly a dozen former intelligence or counterintelligence officials as analysts in the last few years. Their big get was former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, but they also now have former deputy FBI chief Andrew McCabe, former FBI counsel James Baker, and multiple former CIA, NSA, and NSC officials.

Meanwhile, former CIA director John Brennan has an MSNBC/NBC gig, as does former CIA and DOD chief of staff Jeremy Bash, and several other ex-spooks. The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, who doubles as the CEO of one of America’s largest intelligence contractors.

This odious situation is similar to 2003-2004, when cable networks were tossing contributor deals to every ex-general and ex-spook they could find while they were reporting on the Iraq invasion. At one point, FAIR.org found that 52 percent of the sources in network newscasts were current or former government officials.

The numbers now aren’t quite that skewed, but CNN and MSNBC both employ former senior intelligence officials who comment upon stories in which they had direct involvement, especially the Russia investigation.

The CNN piece about the exfiltrated spy quotes a “former senior intelligence official,” a ubiquitous character that has become modern America’s version of the Guy Fawkes mask. I asked the network what their position was on whether or not they felt obligated to make a disclosure when (or if) a source was one of their own employees. They haven’t responded.

Within hours after the CNN report broke, the New York Times had a triple-bylined piece out entitled, “C.I.A. Informant Extracted From Russia Had Sent Secrets to U.S. for Decades.” Written by three of their top national security writers, Adam Goldman, Julian Barnes and David Sanger, the story repeated the CNN information, but with a crucial difference:

C.I.A. officials worried about safety made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia. The situation grew more tense when the informant at first refused, citing family concerns…

CNN reported (and continues to report) that the “decision” to remove the spy came “soon after a May 2017 meeting.” The Times, based on interviews with its own batch of “current and former officials,” insisted the “arduous decision” came in “late 2016.” The Times noted the source “at first refused” to be extracted, explaining the delay in his removal.

How to understand all of this? A Washington Post story by Shane Harris and Ellen Nakashima released at 6:06 the next morning, “U.S. got key asset out of Russia following election hacking,” came up with the final formula. To see the complex, absurd rhetorical construction in full, one unfortunately has to quote at length:

In 2017, the United States extracted from Russia an important CIA source…

The exfiltration took place sometime after an Oval Office meeting in May 2017, when President Trump revealed highly classified counterterrorism information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador...

That disclosure alarmed U.S. national security officials, but it was not the reason for the decision to remove the CIA asset, who had provided information to the United States for more than a decade, according to the current and former officials.

The old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials used the tagline, “You got your chocolate in my peanut butter.” This Post story is, “You got your 2016 decision in my 2017 exfiltration!”

The paper brazenly fuses two unconnected narratives, telling us that a spy who had provided valuable information in 2016 was extracted in early 2017, after the Trump-Lavrov meeting. While that sequence may be chronologically correct, the story’s own authors say the Trump-Lavrov meeting was “not the reason” for the exfiltration. So why mention it? Moreover, who was this person, and what was the real reason his removal from Russia was necessary?

On Tuesday, September 10th, the Russian newspaper Kommersant* disclosed the name of the spy. They identified him as a mid-level Foreign Ministry official named Oleg Smolenkov.

Was Smolenkov a “very valuable agent”? Maybe, but Kommersant – amusingly, playing the same role as transparent mouthpiece for security organs – said no. They quoted a Russian foreign ministry official saying, “Let the CIA prove this.” As to Trump disclosing secrets to Lavrov in that meeting, the official told the Russian paper, “CNN never before thought up such nonsense,” adding that it was “pure paranoia.”

Kommersant further related that Russians instituted a murder case over the disappearance of Smolenkov and his family in 2017.

Disappear, however, Smolenkov did not. He went from Russia to Montenegro in 2017, then ended up in Virginia, where he and his family bought a house in Stafford, Virginia in January of 2019, in his own name! This is the same person about whom the Times this past Monday wrote:

The person’s life remains in danger, current and former officials said, pointing to Moscow’s attempts last year to assassinate Sergei V. Skripal, a former Russian intelligence official who moved to Britain as part of a high-profile spy exchange in 2010…

Smolenkov was so afraid for his safety, he put his family in a house the FSB could see by clicking on Realtor.com! That’s “tradecraft” for you.

To recap: U.S. officials decided to exfiltrate a spy capable of transmitting pictures from Vladimir Putin’s desk (why are we telling audiences this, by the way?) because… why? Although all three of the initial major American news stories about this referenced Trump’s May 2017 meeting with Sergei Lavrov, the actual reason was buried in the text of all three pieces:

In the Times:

But former intelligence officials said there was no public evidence that Mr. Trump directly endangered the source, and other current American officials insisted that media scrutiny of the agency’s sources alone was the impetus for the extraction.

The Post:

In January 2017, the Obama administration published a detailed assessment that unambiguously laid the blame on the Kremlin…

“It’s quite likely,” the official continued, “that the U.S. intelligence community would already be taking a hard look at extracting any U.S. assets who would have been subject to increased levels of scrutiny” after the assessment’s publication.


A US official said before the secret operation there was media speculation about the existence of such a covert source, and such coverage or public speculation poses risks to the safety of anyone a foreign government suspects may be involved. This official did not identify any public reporting to that effect at the time of this decision and CNN could not find any related reference in media reports.

That last passage by CNN, in which the network claimed it could not find “any related reference” to a secret source in media reports, is laughable.

Unnamed “senior intelligence officials” spent much of the early months of the Trump administration bragging their faces off about their supposed penetration of the Kremlin. Many of their leaks were designed to throw shade on the new pompadour-in-chief, casting him as a Putin puppet. A January 5, 2017 piece in the Washington Post is a classic example:

Senior officials in the Russian government celebrated Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton as a geopolitical win for Moscow, according to U.S. officials who said that American intelligence agencies intercepted communications in the aftermath of the election in which Russian officials congratulated themselves on the outcome.

We’re constantly told the intelligence agencies can’t reveal classified details out of fear of disclosing “sources and methods,” but this story revealed a very specific capability. If that “Russians celebrating Trump’s win” tale came from a person, it wouldn’t be long before the source’s head would be found in Park Sokolniki.

A more revealing Washington Post piece came in June, 2017. It was called “Obama’s Secret Struggle to Punish Russia for Putin’s Election Assault.” In that article, we’re told at length about how Brennan secured a “feat of espionage,” obtaining sourcing “deep within the Russian government” that provided him, Brennan, with insights into Russian’s electoral interference campaign.

Brennan, the Post said, considered the source’s intel so valuable that he reportedly hand-delivered its “eyes only” bombshell contents directly to Barack Obama in summer of 2016. This was before the story was told to the whole world less than a year later.

In that Post article, it was revealed that the October 2016 assessment of Russia’s role in an electoral interference campaign initially was directly tied to Putin, but Putin’s name was removed because it might “endanger intelligence sources and methods.”

Taken in sum, all of these facts suggest it wasn’t at all Donald Trump’s meeting with Sergei Lavrov that necessitated the “exfiltration.

(Side note: many of these spy stories are larded with Tom Clancy-style verbiage to make the reader feel sexier and more in the know. The CNN story, for instance, ludicrously told us that a covert source was also “known as an asset.” Derp – thanks!).

What is this all really about? We have an idea only because Brennan and Clapper aren’t the only ex-spooks pipelining info to friendlies in the media.

As noted by former CIA analyst Ray McGovern and others, Attorney General William Barr earlier this year directed the Justice Department and former Connecticut Attorney General John Durham to investigate the intelligence agencies. In June, the New York Times wrote:

Mr. Barr has been interested in how the C.I.A. drew its conclusions about Russia’s election sabotage, particularly the judgment that Mr. Putin ordered that operatives help Mr. Trump by discrediting his opponent, Hillary Clinton, according to current and former American officials.

The Times quoted former CIA officials who expressed “anxiety” about this inquiry:

While the Justice Department review is not a criminal inquiry, it has provoked anxiety in the ranks of the C.I.A., according to former officials. Senior agency officials have questioned why the C.I.A.’s analytical work should be subjected to a federal prosecutor’s scrutiny.

We know, because it was bragged about at length in hagiographic portrayals in papers like the Washington Post, that John Brennan was the source of the conclusion that Putin directed the interference. We were even told that the determination of Putin’s involvement was too dangerous to publish in late 2016, because it would compromise Brennan’s magical Kremlin mole.

Now, suddenly, we’re treated to a series of stories that try to assert that the mole was removed either completely or in part because of Trump.

Maybe there’s an element of truth there. But it’s astonishing that none of the major news outlets bothered, even as an insincere gesture to convention, to address this story’s obvious counter-narrative.

If the mole was even that important, which I’m not convinced of – as McGovern told me this week, “They make stuff up all the time” – it seems more than possible we lost this “asset” because our intelligence chiefs felt it necessary to spend late 2016 and early 2017 spilling details about our capabilities in the news media.

This story wasn’t leaked to tell the public an important story about a lost source in the Kremlin, but more likely as damage control, to work the refs as investigators examine the origins of the election interference tale.

In 2017-2018, the likes of Brennan and Clapper were regularly feeding bombshell news stories to major papers and TV stations, usually as unnamed sources. The ostensible subject of these tales was usually Russian interference or collusion, but the subtext was a squalid power struggle between the enforcement bureaucracy and its loathed new executive, Trump.

After this “exfiltration story” broke, Esquire columnist Charlie Pierce, a colleague with whom I’ve sadly disagreed about this Russia business, wrote a poignant piece called “The Spies Are Acting as a Check on Our Elected Leaders. This Is Neither Healthy Nor Sustainable.”

In it, Charlie said something out loud that few have been willing to say out loud:

My guess is that the leak of this remarkable story came from somewhere in the bowels of the intelligence community…

The intelligence community is engaged in a cold war of information against the elected political leadership of the country, and a lot of us are finding ourselves on its side. This is neither healthy nor sustainable.

I personally don’t see myself as being on either side of this Cold War, but his point is true. He’s thinking about the country, but there’s the more immediate question of our business. A situation where the newspapers and airwaves are not for relaying facts but for firing sorties in an internecine power struggle really is unsustainable.

It won’t be long before audiences realize they’re not reading true news stories but what the Russians call versii, or “versions.” Whether it’s the pro-Trump wasteland of Fox or the Brennan-Clapper government-in-exile we see on MSNBC and CNN and in the Washington Post, the news has become two different nations, both intensely self-interested, neither honest. If this continues, it won’t be long before we’re filling overcoats and bird cages with things we used to read.

* Full disclosure: I wrote for Kommersant a few times in 2003-2004, in an unsuccessful effort to try to write humorously about American politics for Russians.

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Re: Why Do People Apologize For Russia?

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:48 pm

if I were asked advice in changing the title of this thread the one word I would replace is Russia with Putin, that's only if I were asked by the author for my opinion

A Putin opponent about to be hit by a police raid at his high-rise apartment flew his hard drives to safety with a drone
Sergey Boyko Russia drone raidA still from a YouTube video of Sergey Boyko flying his hard drives to safety.Sergey Boyko/YouTube
An opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin used a drone to fly his hard drives to safety shortly before police raided his high-rise apartment on Thursday.
Sergey Boyko, a mayoral candidate from Novosibirsk, posted a video to YouTube of him operating his drone out of a window while police amassed outside his door.
The Kremlin raided some 200 homes and offices, across 41 cities, belonging to associates of prominent Putin critic Alexei Navalny and his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FKB).
The Kremlin opened a money-laundering investigation into the FKB on the same day pro-Putin candidates lost ground in nationwide elections.
Navalny said Putin is "upset and is stomping his feet" after the election losses.

A critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin used a drone to fly his hard drives out of his high-rise apartment shortly before police raided his home.

A video posted to YouTube shows Sergey Boyko operating the drone as police try to enter his apartment in the city of Novosibirsk, Siberia, to confiscate his electronics around 10 a.m. Thursday local time.

Boyko is an ally of Alexei Navalny, Putin's most vehement critic whose Anti-Corruption Foundation (FKB) was placed under investigation for money laundering on Sunday. He came third in the mayoral race in Novosibirsk last Sunday.
The video shows Boyko remotely flying the drone out of his window - it's too far to see what it's carrying - before putting down the controller in the kitchen.

He then answers his front door, where loud banging can be heard.

"Some people are pushing the door to the apartment," Boyko tweeted on Thursday morning, around the same time the video was taken.
Sergey Boyko raidFootage broadcast by independent media outlet Romb showing a police raid on activists on Thursday.Romb
Boyko's apartment was one of 200 houses and offices linked to Navalny's foundation across 41 cities on Thursday, according to Navalny.
The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation - Russia's federal anti-corruption agency - warned last Sunday: "Searches are being carried out at a number of FBK employees' residences, the organization's office, and other locations."

The raids on FBK-linked venues led to "a dozen laptops, hard drives, flash drives, phones, bank cards, and even smart watches" being taken, with some staff members having their bank accounts blocked since, according to a statement posted to Boyko's website.

On Friday, Boyko wrote on Russian social-media site VK that his brother Vadim's house was raided at 7 a.m. that morning, even though "he is not involved in politics and yesterday's drone didn't fly to him."

Boyko did not say where the drone or his hard drives went.
FILE PHOTO: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks with journalists after he was released from a detention centre in Moscow, Russia August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Evgenia NovozheninaRussian opposition leader Navalny speaks with journalists outside a detention centre in MoscowReuters
The raids on Navalny's allies came on the same day pro-Putin candidates lost ground in nationwide elections last Sunday.

Putin is "upset and is stomping his feet," Navalny said, after the pro-Putin Russia party lost 30% of its seats in the Moscow city assembly last Sunday.
The party won a vast majority across the rest of Russia, however, according to Reuters.

Read more: Spies living openly after defecting from Russia happens 'far more often than people would think,' intelligence sources say

https://www.businessinsider.in/a-putin- ... 114553.cms
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Re: Why Do People Apologize For Russia?

Postby Grizzly » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:15 am

antisemitism is never ok here

I REALLY don't appreciate your nasty accusations, that I posted something antisemitic, and you use the opportunity to sew doubt. That move was uncalled for and deliberately deceitful. In one short sentence I've just lost ALL respect for you.You and your Russia obsessive Dem rah rah bullshit goes on my foe list.

After the many years of being here myself, I have never put anyone on ignore. But here we are. Liar.
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