Saturday, April 15, 2017


As I've been saying for months now, the Twitter feeds I follow are consistently ahead of the news (read over my shoulder via this public list...or, if pressed for time, scan my Twitter "likes", which I'm offering as a trail of breadcrumbs). Recent mainstream reports like this are no surprise to those of us who've been following things closely.

Mainstream news, of course, has a higher burden of proof than someone yakking on Twitter, and properly so. But while most yakkers are useless, those with deep ties to American intelligence, like John Schindler, are another thing entirely. He and the others in my list are drawing connections and pointing out patterns, applying great intelligence and experience. And they've been wrong about very little.

It's abundantly clear that we're in a full-scale intelligence war with Russia, and have been for some time, and Trump and an eye-popping proportion of his team are in the thick of it. And it wasn't just about the election. So where is the conclusive proof? Where are the prosecutions? The problem is that the key evidence is top-secret.

Our intelligence community (and the agencies of our allies) have known about this for quite some time, but what they know is classified. That's why mainstream press has lagged (reporters are working their asses off to independently confirm, via publicly available methods, solid stories they've known about for months). Prosecution's even harder. Even downright treasonous behavior can be difficult to prosecute because classified evidence can't be introduced at trial without burning sources and methods. Some truly despicable characters in our country's history have walked free because of this problem.

So that's why you're not hearing conclusive proof, and that's why people aren't being arrested, despite solid assurances from intelligence agencies (Obama, fwiw, knew all about it, but was apparently confident Clinton would win without his sticking his neck out). The world's counter-intelligence community is on the verge of a collective stroke, knowing what they know while the bad guys remain in place.

It's my nature to spurn conspiracy theories. And, post-McCarthy, anti-Russian paranoia and witch-hunting pushes strong buttons. But I'm forced to accept that the Russians have been engaged in impressive, wide-ranging actions with shocking results. I'm even coming around to the intelligence community's view on Snowden (public antagonism to the NSA - and intelligence community, generally - created by Snowden's actions have has had the opposite effect of increasing government transparency, plus they've clouded the ability of our intelligence people to warn us about situations like the current one; it's superb cover, really).

If, like me, you're unaccustomed to parsing the convolutions of disinformation deviousness, it's time to get up to speed. Russian intelligence agents have certain obscure, but highly-developed, tactics for screwing with people - and groups of people. Read this explainer, which helps cut through some of the (deliberately and painstakingly sown) confusion.

And if you can make the effort to read through this important Twitter thread, strewn with acronyms and potboiler-ish suspicion and counter-suspicion, you'll take away a deeper understanding of how confusion can be sown on a grand scale...and weaponized. The goal isn't just one thing (though Putin would love to lose those sanctions). Plain, random confusion is a potent tool for weakening a society - and associations with allies. Russian disinformation campaigns always play both sides, just to sow chaos and doubt. In other words, the Russian agents aren't just the people spouting pro-Russia agendas. Our president, for example, just apparently gave Putin a black eye by creating some potholes in an airstrip in Syria, even offering a "Take that!" to the Russian leader afterwards, but only a simpleton would conclude that he's switched sides. Look for more "Take that!" (he's not a puppet; you're the puppet!).

I've created a new blog "label", Trump/Russia, which links to my previous postings on the topic.

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