Dec 31, 2010
There can be no other conclusion: Viktor Yanukovich, the president of Ukraine, served the commercial interests of an oligarch with whom he has close ties -- at the expense of his own country. And, in doing so, he also did Moscow a favor.
And we learn from WikiL that V. Putin "the richest man in Europe" probably has billions stashed in CH.
Other classified cables referred repeatedly to the "secretive Swiss-based oil trading firm Gunvor" as an alleged source of Putin's undisclosed wealth. The US ambassador in Moscow, John Beyrle, described the company as being closely connected to the Kremlin, and said its "secretive ownership is rumoured to include prime minister Putin".
See M1 tweet of 2:07 AM Dec 13th.
It was out there for anybody to see, yet nobody but us called it.
There is nothing better than the SMC-op. Others may compete, but nobody does what we do. Really.
They love us. (Ho, ho, ho).
Dec 28, 2010
Kinda funny. When groups of adversaries band together to combat a common enemy, that is pretty much the textbook definition of the shit hitting the fan for somebody.
In the US military's reckoning then, it was a measure of desperation when the Western allies joined with the USSR to fight Hitler. Musta heralded sure victory for the Nazis.
From tomorrow's print NYT:
Rival militant organizations on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border have increasingly been teaming up in deadly raids, in what military and intelligence officials say is the insurgents’ latest attempt to regain the initiative after months of withering attacks from American and allied forces.
The Punjabi groups, many of which were created by Pakistani intelligence to fight India’s interests in Kashmir, now appear to be teaming up with Pashtun groups like the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban to fight their creators, the Pakistani intelligence and security services.
Dec 17, 2010
I think the preponderance of the evidence would strongly lead in only one direction.
The admin goes to great effort to paint Afghanistan as manageable.
The CIA has definitely been saying that the shit is not going well in Afghanistan.
Not to mention what they must be saying about our slow-motion nightmare (not WikiL silly), Pakistan.
PS: I forgot to mention that WaPo had a whole series of pieces starting a week or so ago saying that things in Afghanistan can be handled. The narrative was carefully handled in Washington.
Nov 19, 2010
Greetings old Thai hands! You've probably seen this:
But on Tuesday it appeared that Thailand had whisked Mr. Bout to the airport without informing the Russians.
“This information did not arrive at the embassy officially,” the chief of the Russian Embassy’s consular service, Andrei Dvornikov, told the Interfax news agency. “There were neither notes nor telephone calls.”
Mr. Bout’s Thai lawyer said that the Thai authorities had not informed him; Mr. Bout’s wife, Alla; or the Russian Embassy in Bangkok about the move.
Pretty good service from the locals there. I'm sure you'll agree, however, an op like this - in which a sensitive-type Russkie is handed over to the US while keeping the Russian govt in the dark - requires a level of pull in both DC and Bangkok that probably exceeds that of DEA.
Bout apparently felt safe everywhere outside USA (though he should have known about our client states, like Thailand). Kinda' cool that Ivan got no notice. Spookishly choreographed.
Nov 11, 2010
Nov 6, 2010
Long-suffering friends of this shack might have deduced by now that we're not particularly adverse to renditions per se. In fact, we find them kinda' sexy. But we find ourselves quite the squeamish pussies when torture comes into play. POTUS 41 weeped when he indulged in comparative (vis-à-vis. 43) prisoner-treatment reflections. Oh well, old men are known to suffer from affect-incontinence.
Still & yet, we come upon ourselves startle-flinchy cringing at the thought that there might be more -- and recent at that -- Arars in the pipeline.
Quite the pity we're such hyper-sensitive f*gs.
We can't say more than this but give us a few months and, well....
Sep 17, 2010
I'm sure you all b fully aware of this matter, but sending it along anyway, from an issuance o' Pravda on da' Potomac born a few foggy bottom'd morns ago - Drug used to treat PTSD raises questions:
It's unclear how many soldiers have died while taking Seroquel, or if the drug definitely contributed to the deaths. White has confirmed at least a half-dozen deaths among soldiers on Seroquel, and he thinks there may be many others.
[...Not just X, but there are studies getting approved involving more heavy stuff like ***-25 and ketamine.]
Sounds like VA et al ain't big on the personnel-intensive "sometimes you must go out of your mind to come to your senses" method of treatment. Yeah, well...
The Defense Department is attempting to buy the entire first printing - 10,000 copies - of a memoir by a controversial former Defense Intelligence Agency officer so that the book can be destroyed, according to military and other sources.
Reminds me of when Allen Dulles went to Bennett Cerf (head of Random House) and offered to have CIA buy up all the copies of "The Invisible Government" (an expose by David Wise).
Cerf said yes, and named a juicy price for the entire printing.
Then he told Dulles that he intended to publish a second and third edition and as many copies as the public desired.
Nobody ever learns (or remembers) anything in government.
Addendum: Just read the NYT version of my anecdote, says it was John McCone who met with the authors.
This could be true.
But I stand my ground, it was Dulles -- who in retirement could be counted on (see Warren Comm.) -- who met with publisher Bennett Cerf, and was treated to his riposte.
(Post was written ages ago and slated for release during such relevant age. Me laziest of buggers)
Aug 12, 2010
Farting around a lot over at Twitter, much to the detriment of gratuitous postings here. The blog ain't dead but it's a dirty job getting on top of all the internal coup d'etats under pOtus. W/O the perusual & lazy inside track, we prefer to stick to BS chatter. Twitter fits the bill meat in ball.
Feel amply obliged to join the non-graphic frivolties of MB2MB.
Jun 8, 2010
No frickin' way.
This is disinfo.
A former CIA officer who managed intelligence reports on Saudi Arabia has sent an uncleared manuscript to congressional offices claiming that China supplied nuclear missiles to the kingdom early in the George W. Bush administration.
“I believe the People’s Republic of China delivered a turn-key nuclear ballistic missile system to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the course of several years beginning no later than December 2003,” writes Jonathan Scherck in a self-published book, “Patriot Lost,” which he provided to SpyTalk on Monday.
He also e-mailed copies to the offices of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), ranking Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.Scherck, who became convinced that the White House was covering up the China-Saudi nuclear connection so as not to damage relations with a major U.S. ally and oil supplier, said he formed his conclusions while reading intelligence reports from Riyadh during his 18 months on “the Saudi account” in the Near East Division between 2005 and 2007, as well as talking with other CIA personnel in contact with the Bush White House
Apr 17, 2010
This is exactly what one lone analyst has been saying ever since the Bush administration began getting its panties all bunched up about the threat of Iran developing a nuclear weapon.
Right down to the "rational actor" argument.Every effort should be made to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but failing that, the world could live with a nuclear-armed regime in Tehran, a recently retired commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East said Monday.John Abizaid, the retired Army general who headed Central Command for nearly four years, said he was confident that if Iran gained nuclear arms, the United States could deter it from using them.
"Iran is not a suicide nation," he said. "I mean, they may have some people in charge that don't appear to be rational, but I doubt that the Iranians intend to attack us with a nuclear weapon."
The Iranians are aware, he said, that the United States has a far superior military capability.
"I believe that we have the power to deter Iran, should it become nuclear," he said, referring to the theory that Iran would not risk a catastrophic retaliatory strike by using a nuclear weapon against the United States.
"There are ways to live with a nuclear Iran," Abizaid said in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank. "Let's face it, we lived with a nuclear Soviet Union, we've lived with a nuclear China, and we're living with (other) nuclear powers as well."
Those cousins keep delivering. Particularly interesting is their application of the dominant Strategic PSYOP on the home pitch. Leave it to the Brits (and Krauts for that matter) to (dare) think/work outside the box. Matrix-muddying dissonance out - Shuttle-PSYOP up!
Jacked & Hacked BBC (London) 2 April 2010 (H/T R. Sense)
Their faces etched from years of conflict in the war-torn deserts of Helmand Province, four senior Islamic scholars step into a pod on the London Eye.
As the giant wheel turns they stare in silence at the city spread beneath them; the River Thames, the Houses of Parliament and miles beyond.
It is their first time ever in Britain. As they soak up the sights, they know this visit is about much more than tourism.
It marks a new initiative in British government strategy; the recognition that military progress in southern Afghanistan will not hold unless international forces also win the battle for hearts and minds.
In the intense propaganda war on the ground, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office now hopes to improve communication with ordinary Afghans by targeting their religious leaders.Jacked & Hacked BBC (London) 10 March 2010
There was a man from the other side of the world telling an audience that included Parliamentarians and other government officials what they had been wanting to hear. A clear, concise and quotable denouncement of al-Qaeda's worldview.
Canada-based Dr Qadri spoke for more than an hour on his reasons why the Koran forbids the murder and mayhem of suicide bombings.
"This fatwa is an absolute condemnation of terrorism. Without any excuse, without any pretext, without any exceptions, without creating any ways of justification," he said.
"This condemnation is in its totality, in its comprehensiveness, its absoluteness, a total condemnation of every act of terrorism in every form which is being committed or has been committed wrongly in the name of Islam."
Dr Qadri is a classically-trained Islamic scholar and his organisation, Minhaj ul-Quran International, has spent 30 years building a strong following in Pakistan.
Apr 12, 2010
SOME 300 journalists and other staff at IslamOnline, a popular website on Muslim affairs, have been staging a three-week sit-in that has captivated Arab media. Broadcasting it live over the internet, they have been getting support from prominent intellectuals and ordinary fans alike. Every turn of the affair is assiduously shared on Twitter. Their ordeal has been described as a battle for the soul of Islam.
That is an exaggeration. At a less spiritual level, IslamOnline’s mostly Egyptian staff has been wrestling for control of the website with its Qatari owner, the al-Balagh Cultural Society, which is based in Doha, Qatar’s capital, and wants to cut jobs in Cairo and move some of its editorial offices back home. The Cairo staff claim that this is a ploy to take the website in a more conservative direction. The managers in Doha counter that IslamOnline has become too parochially Egyptian and has been straying from its mission to reach out to all Muslims.
But this labour dispute also reflects an Arab cold war that pits Egypt against more radical states. Qatari-owned media such as al-Jazeera and IslamOnline have relentlessly criticised Egypt in recent years, notably for its complicity in Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Some suspect that toning down IslamOnline’s news coverage by reining in its staff, some of whom are close to the Muslim Brothers, who in turn are close to the Islamist Hamas movement that controls Gaza, is a Qatari gesture to Egypt’s government. Others point to longstanding rivalry between Saudis and Qataris, who, it is mooted, may be eager to reduce the influence of a Saudi company that has been helping to run the Cairo website.
IslamOnline began in 1997 as a student project at the University of Qatar with cash from Sheikha Mozah, an enterprising wife of Qatar’s emir, and with an endorsement from the prominent and sometimes controversial Egyptian-born scholar, Yusuf al-Qaradawi. At IslamOnline’s launch, speaking on his extremely popular al-Jazeera religious talk-show, “Sharia and Life”, Mr Qaradawi said its mission to guide Muslims is “the jihad of our era.”
On the whole, this jihad has been a soft one. IslamOnline has to some extent been a lifestyle publication, focusing on how to mix modern life and religion. It offers religious advice without fire and brimstone, tackling sensitive topics such as sexuality conservatively but straightforwardly. Bettina Graf, who writes about the media in the Muslim world, calls it “moralist-conservative and missionary, though not dogmatic.” But it was also, in the words of Khaled Hamza, a reform-minded Muslim Brother, a place were “great intellectual battles” were waged over the future of Islamism, mostly influenced by Mr Qaradawi’s wasatiyyah (centrist) current.
Mr Qaradawi, 84, is sometimes said to be the most influential living Sunni Muslim scholar. He has stirred controversy in the West for endorsing suicide bombings in certain circumstances and for his homophobic views, and has been banned from Britain and the United States. For siding with his Egyptian compatriots against the Qatari management, he has lost his chairmanship of al-Balagh. Some see this as a fall from grace, and wonder if Qatar, which has hosted him for most of his adult life, will now freeze him out. His ideas, notably for tackling Sunni angst over the erosion of traditional religious authority and his attempt to counter millennial strands of Islamism [26-page pdf] with a conservative reformism, may have lost a resounding voice if he is now kept off IslamOnline.
Apr 10, 2010
Before things get completely out of hand, it's time to examine what is happening in American society today. [...] It goes beyond Joe Stack and his plane flying into a building housing the IRS in Austin Texas.
Clearly, we have entered a new era in American society. Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post makes the point that the Hutaree cannot be "Christian" because of their intent to murder.
The arrests of members of a Michigan-based "Christian" militia group should convince doubters that there is good reason to worry about right-wing, anti-government extremism -- and potential violence -- in the Age of Obama. I put the word Christian in quotes because anyone who plots to assassinate law enforcement officers, as a federal indictment alleges members of the Hutaree militia did, is no follower of Christ.But the Hutaree aren't the full story. According to Professor Jeff Addicott, director of the Center for Terrorism Law at the St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio, this marks a significant change in the landscape of domestic terrorism. It has been nearly fifteen years since the attacks on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.
"This is the first far right wing, anti-government terrorism case since the 1990s. That's at least 15 years," Addicott said.One of the important questions is whether the Hutaree are a radical right wing militia, a conservative Christian movement or a group of "citizens" calling for change in America? Of course when Brittany Bryant , who is engaged to David Stone Jr., son of the Hutaree's leader , one of the Hutarees arrested in Michigan says, "that if group members had had plans for violence, they would have done it already" it places a cloud of the ominous onto the situation. After all, the Hutaree are accused of threatening use IEDs to kill local law enforcement officers. Like the lady said, they were harmless:
Going after a group like the Hutaree can be dangerous, ABC News consultant and former FBI agent Brad Garrett said. "This crowd tends to be heavily armed and they are all conspiracy theorists that the government is trying to take over," he said. "And so you have to be very careful and cautious when starting arresting people like this because you can walk right into an ambush."Of course, then you need to consider the Guardian of the Free Republics, a group that compares themselves somehow to Gandhi and mailed ominous letters to governors. They actually sent letters to over 30 governors that in essence told them to "Straighten up and fly right" and without specifically threatening them, the letters clearly concern the F.B.I. who believe that the letters could prompt violence.
The FBI is warning police across the country that an anti-government group's call to remove governors from office could provoke violence. The group called the Guardians of the Free Republics wants to "restore America" by peacefully dismantling parts of the government, according to its Web site. It sent letters to governors demanding they leave office or be removed.It is pretty hard to misconstrue the intent of "leave office or be removed."
And finally, we are faced with the threats made against Congressman Eric Cantor by Norman LeBoon who has already been declared incompetent to stand trial.
Threats against Congressmen, White supremacists, "constitutionalists," tax protesters and religious soldiers determined to kill people to uphold "Christian" values. We have a problem. Indeed, this is as Eugene Robinson wrote, "The Age of Obama." But it is more than that because some of this has been building for some time. There is high unemployment, while others find themselves following the rules and paying their bills, yet watch as people who are defaulting on their mortgages and facing foreclosure are being bailed out. We are even about two weeks away from the airing of a news special by MSNBC's "The McVeigh Tapes: Confessions of an American Terrorist."
-A Hacked & Jacked Jay Fraser @ ThreatsWatch,Org
Apr 8, 2010
This Friday's edition of Whiskey Break!™ was brought to this fair clan by an intrepid though mysterious fellow who shall remain unnamed yet much appreciated.
OPERATION: BIG MACK ATTACK
DATE: 2009:09:23T00:00:00.000 UTC-01:00:00H
CARGO: CLASSIFIED, "EYES ONLY"
Mackmyra is Sweden's first and fine entry into the single malt brewing regime. A golden nectar that oil-slips 'cross tongue; the liquid, languid and wan, verily wafts through thorax. A trail of chest warmth lingers as if to reassure.
So, yeah. Pretty good stuff. We here at Whiskey Break!™ were in firm agreement. Perhaps lacking the depth of flavor of a healthy Scotch, the finish of this single malt is superb.
And then one day, the depth will come. After all, the Swedes only started distilling whiskey in 1999. One wonders what wonders are too follow. Naturally, the Whiskey Break!™ had to make the trek back to Sweden, and take up arms to those Swedes! Damn you! How do you get this good, this fast?!
Apr 7, 2010
Dude seems to realize where the money is these days.
IT is not often that you see an old comrade in arms of Osama bin Laden hoisting the American flag outside his home.
Yet there on the videotape was Tareq al-Fadhli, the hero of jihadist campaigns in Afghanistan and South Yemen, raising Old Glory in the courtyard of his house, not far from here, earlier this month. As the tape continues, Mr. Fadhli can be seen standing solemnly at attention, dressed in a khaki shirt and a cloth headdress, as “The Star-Spangled Banner” blasts from a sound system nearby.
Apr 6, 2010
You've probably already seen this piece in this AM's NYT, and some of the info is old news (the Canucks uncovering the purloining of the Dalai Lama emails), but this bit is good stuff.
Spying on Computer Spies Traces Data Theft to China
The Canadian researchers stressed that while the new spy ring focused primarily on India, there were clear international ramifications. Mr. Rohozinski noted that civilians working for NATO and the reconstruction mission in Afghanistan usually traveled through India and that Indian government computers that issued visas had been compromised in both Kandahar and Kabul in Afghanistan.
Apr 5, 2010
Remember this story from last month?
U.S. Is Reining In Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan
Now we know why. U.S. Admits Role in Killing of Afghan Women
The first story even included the cover story that is exposed as BS in the second article.
Clusterfucks all around. (Not to mention an IO nightmare).
Don't worry--history will prove us right. ( I hear Middle Kingdom chuckles as I type. Damn longer-view slopes)
Mar 28, 2010
The proposed PR strategies focus on pressure points that have been identified within these countries.
For France it is the sympathy of the public for Afghan refugees and women.
For Germany it is the fear of the consequences of defeat (drugs, more refugees, terrorism) as well as for Germany’s standing in NATO. The memo is a recipe for the targeted [shaping] of public opinion in two NATO ally countries, written by the CIA.
Mar 21, 2010
Just came upon this: ‘Sinister’ German Spy Plan Aimed at Hedge Funds, Analysts Say.
You probably have seen this report already, but if not, you may get a kick out of it. The piece also mentions Spain's national security concerns about economic "attacks" on them by speculators (which we intended to touch on in a recently neglected posting - see below).
We've always been under the impression that economic intel gathering was more common in Europe than elsewhere. We're pretty sure that it is, and it is the target here that makes this newsworthy.
Oh - and here's that related post we prepared but forgot to publish.
A Media Plot against Madrid?: Spanish Intelligence Reportedly Probing 'Attacks' on Economy
Madrid is rushing to calm concerns that Spain could be the next Greece. Now, there are reports that the country's intelligence agency is looking into whether the Anglo-Saxon media has sought to undermine confidence in the Spanish economy.
Methinks it is the Japs that really have grounds for this suspicion. (And originating from culprits other than the media.)
Jan 30, 2010
You may/should have already seen this, but the NYT has gotten copies of AMB Eikenberry's cables* to State complaining about McChrystal's COIN plan. From that morning's paper.
In November 2009, Karl W. Eikenberry, the United States ambassador to Afghanistan and retired Army lieutenant general, sent two classified cables to his superiors in which he offered his assessment of the proposed U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. While the broad outlines of Mr. Eikenberry's cables were leaked soon after he sent them, the complete cables, obtained recently by The New York Times, show just how strongly the current ambassador feels about President Hamid Karzai and the Afghan government, the state of its military, and the chances that a troop buildup will actually hurt the war effort by making the Karzai government too dependent on the United States.
Story: U.S. Envoy’s Cables Show Concerns on Afghan War Plans
*The cables: Ambassador Eikenberry's Cables on U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan
Jan 5, 2010
In this morning's Health section of the NYT, page one features a M.D.'s critique of the FDR death theory (melanoma) that we discussed recently.
When President Franklin D. Roosevelt died unexpectedly on April 12, 1945, in Warm Springs, Ga., the White House lost no time announcing a cause of death.
The 63-year-old president, the shocked and grieving nation was told, had died of cerebral hemorrhage. (“Last Words,” read a front-page headline in The New York Times: “ ‘I Have a Terrific Headache.’ ”)
That Roosevelt died of a stroke is undisputed. But what caused it is a medical mystery that has persisted to this day, a mystery heightened by the secrecy in which he, his aides and his doctors always insisted on shrouding his health.
Now a new book — “F.D.R.’s Deadly Secret,” by a neurologist, Dr. Steven Lomazow, and a journalist, Eric Fettmann (PublicAffairs) — revives an intriguing theory.
Look closely at Roosevelt’s portraits over his 12-year presidency. In his first two terms, there is a dark spot over his left eyebrow. It seems to grow and then mysteriously vanishes sometime around 1940, leaving a small scar.
Was the spot a harmless mole? Or a cancerous melanoma that spread to contribute to, or even cause, his death? Melanomas, after all, are known for causing strokes from bleeding when they spread to the brain.
This hypothesis is not new. In 1979, Dr. Harry S. Goldsmith, then a surgeon at Dartmouth, wrote a widely publicized medical journal article focusing attention on the possibility that the spot was a melanoma. (I wrote an article about it at the time.) In 2007, after more medical sleuthing, Dr. Goldsmith published a book, “A Conspiracy of Silence” (iUniverse), fleshing out the theory.
What is different in the new book is the categorical claim that the killer was melanoma that “metastasized to his brain, causing the growing tumor that would take Roosevelt’s life a mere six weeks later.”
But no matter how confidently the authors may assert it, the claim is still speculation — unproved and far from convincing.
Roosevelt’s death was shocking in part because the White House and his doctors had kept secret how sick he was. For example, though it was widely known that he had developed polio in 1921 at age 39, he and his aides disguised the fact that he could not walk unaided and used heavy metal braces to stand on paralyzed, withered legs. He used a wheelchair and demanded that photographers not show his disabilities.
His terminal illness came during wartime, and in an era when leaders’ health and other personal matters were considered strictly private.
More at the NYT