Tag Archives: russia

Hidden but important truths from the presidential debate

Summary: The last debate was mostly chaff, like the campaign mostly entertaining demonstrations of the obvious. But there were moments revealing deep truths about our government and us. They were, of course, ignored. Here is the story of one such moment, a statement by Hillary Clinton that is rich with useful insights — if we dig into it.

“Fire destroys all sophistry, that is deceit; and maintains truth alone, that is gold.”
— Leonardo da Vinci, from his Notebooks. A bad solution for political structures built on lies.


More essential insights from Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept: “In the Democratic Echo Chamber, Inconvenient Truths Are Recast as Putin Plots”…

“Donald Trump, for reasons I’ve repeatedly pointed out, is an extremist, despicable, and dangerous candidate, and his almost-certain humiliating defeat is less than a month away. So I realize there is little appetite in certain circles for critiques of any of the tawdry and sometimes fraudulent journalistic claims and tactics being deployed to further that goal. In the face of an abusive, misogynistic, bigoted, scary, lawless authoritarian, what’s a little journalistic fraud or constant fearmongering about subversive Kremlin agents between friends if it helps to stop him?

“But come January, Democrats will continue to be the dominant political faction in the U.S. — more so than ever — and the tactics they are now embracing will endure past the election, making them worthy of scrutiny. Those tactics now most prominently include dismissing away any facts or documents that reflect negatively on their leaders as fake, and strongly insinuating that anyone who questions or opposes those leaders is a stooge or agent of the Kremlin, tasked with a subversive and dangerously un-American mission on behalf of hostile actors in Moscow.

“To see how extreme and damaging this behavior has become, let’s just quickly examine two utterly false claims that Democrats over the past four days — led by party-loyal journalists — have disseminated and induced thousands of people, if not more, to believe. …”

Both are straightforward lies by Team Hillary about the Wikileak emails of John Podesta, propagated by good liberals and her loyal journalists — allowing them to ignore the emails’ damaging content. His conclusion is spot-on.

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Is Trump a tool of Putin? See the story & the debunking.

Summary: Another day, another smear about Trump. Our elites are desperate to suppress debate about the issues raised by Trump, hence the focus by political leaders and journalists on personalities, sound bites, and smears. Such as Trump, the tool of Putin!

The solution to the disturbing issues raised by Trump in Campaign 2016

Political Mud

The Left continues their attempts to prevent discussion of the issues raised by Trump (e.g., populism, immigration, globalization). The near-tie with Clinton in the polls show that so far their smears have failed (e.g., Trump as Hilter), so they have become more desperate. Yesterday’s post examined claims that Donald Trump has a perverted attraction to Ivanka. Here is another of their “throw smears on the wall and see what sticks”: “Trump & Putin. Yes, It’s Really A Thing” by Josh Marshal at Talking Points Memo. It’s gotten attention on the Left. Excerpt…

“At a minimum, Trump appears to have a deep financial dependence on Russian money from persons close to Putin. And this is matched to a conspicuous solicitousness to Russian foreign policy interests where they come into conflict with US policies which go back decades through administrations of both parties. There is also something between a non-trivial and a substantial amount of evidence suggesting Putin-backed financial support for Trump or a non-tacit alliance between the two men.”

It was immediately shown to be bogus: “Fact-Checking That ‘Trump & Putin’ Thing” by Jeffrey Carr — Excerpt…

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The US & Russia: Cyber-cooperation against common foes

Summary: Two experts, Emilio Iasiello (cybersecurity) and Matt Epstein (Russia) analyze a rare bit of good news about global security. Despite the powerful political forces in both nations benefiting from the revived cold war, Obama and Putin have sought common cause in the face of the great 21st century challenge of cybersecurity. Note the bias. They mention Russia’s cyberstrikes, but omits mention the US and Israel launched Stuxnet — the cyberwar Pearl Harbor.  {1st of 2 posts today.}

Obama and Putin agree

The U.S. and Russia Re-Engage in Cyber Cooperation

By Emilio Iasiello and Matthew Epstein
Posted at Dead Drop (of the LookingGlass Cyber Threat Intelligence Group)
18 April 2016. Posted with his gracious permission.

In late March 2016, the governments of the Russian Federation and the United States agreed to resume their discussions on cyber security cooperation, progress that had been threatened after the commencement of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014, and western imposition of sanctions against Russia.  As part of this re-engagement to be held in Geneva this week, the two governments intend on accelerating the agreements in cyber defense first set forth in their 2013 talks.  Following up on this, in April, Russia reached out to the United States for additional assistance in combating Internet crimes, although no details have been offered as of this writing.

In 2013, Russia and the United States had come to consensus on certain areas designed to increase transparency and reduce misunderstanding that could inadvertently impact relations between the two governments, and in turn, build greater trust and foster better cooperation in cyberspace.  These areas include:

  • Facilitating closer working relationship between national computer emergency response teams.
  • Using the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers to quickly and reliably contact the appropriate authorities to reduce misperception and escalation due to cyber-related incidents; however, early indications are that national centers specifically created to address the reduction of IT threats will be established for this purpose. These centers have already been using during Russian preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Creating a direct White House-Kremlin hotline to directly manage a crisis as a result of a cyber incident.

Russia has a similar plan already in place with China, a signed pact in which both governments have agreed not to carry cyber attacks against each other, as well to jointly prevent the use of technology for terrorist purposes and interference in internal affairs that might destabilize internal political and socio-economical situations of both countries.  The pact solidifies both governments’ views as to their perceptions of the threats in the digital domain to their respective national interests, which are in contrast and serve as a counterbalance to the U.S.’ as well as several other Western nations, positions.

While it’s highly unlikely that the Russian/U.S. talks will address the same issues as covered in the China pact, it is nonetheless a positive development in continued confidence-building measures between the two cyber powers, particularly given the tenuousness of the current geopolitical climate.

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Stratfor: Cracks appear in Putin’s Kremlin as the stress on Russia grows

Summary: We tend to see the complex politics of America but assume Putin rules a simple autocracy. Here Stratfor describes the fragile Russian state, under incredible pressure from the collapse of oil prices — while a struggle appears to have begun to control its future.


The Kremlin’s Cracks Are All-Too Familiar

Stratfor, 27 February 2016


February 27 marks the anniversary of the assassination of Russian opposition heavyweight Boris Nemtsov. His killing sparked two weeks of intrigue in Russia’s top political circles, laying bare previously obscured Kremlin infighting and putting President Vladimir Putin’s continued control in question. The dispute, which went far beyond the death of one opposition leader or even broad factional competition, was in fact a struggle over who controls Russia’s future. In this it mirrored a three-year period of division in the early 1920s that ended in a leadership transition and set the trajectory of the Soviet Union.


Struggles among the Kremlin elite are as old as the fortified stone citadel itself. The name Kremlin literally means “fortress inside a city,” a potent metaphor for the murky elite power struggles at the heart of Russia’s bustling government system. For the past decade, the Putin government has been divided into four camps: the powerful Federal Security Services (FSB), the so-called liberal reformists, the hawkish non-FSB security circles and a circle of those who are loyal to Putin alone.

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The hidden truth about Putin’s threat to nuke Turkey in Syria

Summary: Are there any limits to our gullibility? Why have clickbait and wild rumors come to dominate the news? A hot new story raises these questions. A possible answer reveals much about America and the decay of our democracy. {Second of two posts today.}

Ignorance is a choice

A source close to Russian President Vladimir Putin told me that the Russians have warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Moscow is prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons if necessary to save their troops in the face of a Turkish-Saudi onslaught. Since Turkey is a member of NATO, any such conflict could quickly escalate into a full-scale nuclear confrontation.

— From Robert Parry’s “Risking Nuclear War for Al Qaeda?” in Consortium News. Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the AP and Newsweek, and wrote Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq (2005) and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’ (1999).

It is an exciting story, and might even be true. Bu why would anybody take it seriously with such weak sourcing? We would, in an America where the Outer Party (its managers and professional) read for entertainment, not entertainment.  Zero Hedge, Pat Lang, Naked Capitalism and many others uncritically repeated this story.

I’ve been reporting on this kind of fun rumor since the FM website was created. Cable Cut Fever grips the conspiracy-hungry fringes of the web (resolved here), Robert Fisk’s story about a conspiracy to wreck the US dollarAmerica’s biological attack on the Ukraine arm, The North Pole is now a lake! (Are you afraid yet?), and the secret reason why The Government Stopped Reporting Lake Mead Water Levels. Even better are the recurring stories, such as the countless false rumors from Debkafile, Electromagnetic Pulse Weapons will kill us soon stories, plus the  annual Iran will have the bomb in 5 years stories.

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