The Novi Chuckle Question: Mr. Putin, are those Dumb Blonds, I mean Dumb Bonds, yours or some other guy’s? People want to know! – 10:31 AM 10/6/2018 | Vladimir Putin’s bungling spies outed 300 Russian agents because their Lada was registered to top-secret cyber HQ

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The Novi Chuckle Question: 

Mr. Putin, are those Dumb Blonds, I mean Dumb Bonds, yours or some other guy’s? People want to know!

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

Vladimir Putin’s bungling spies outed 300 Russian agents because their Lada was registered to top-secret cyber HQ

Поздравление с Днём учителя • Президент России
The coordinated witch-hunts do not solve the problems, the coordinated communications do. The pervasive, constantly present, the distinguishing, the defining, the hallmark feature of the recent operations is this “ham-handedness”. – M.N. – 6:08 AM 10/6/2018 | Global Security News
Семен Слепаков рассказал кто и почему удалил его скандальный клип о геях из ГРУ – О Солсберецком шпиле – отравление Скрипаля – новости шоу-бизнеса
Госпогранслужба подтвердила возможное участие Чепиги в событиях на Майдане
The Nazi Downstairs: A Jewish Woman’s Tale of Hiding in Her Home
West Accuses Russian Spy Agency of Scores of Attacks
The Kavanaugh hearing seems designed to fail.
Germany demands that Russia halt campaign of cyberattacks
germany spies – Google Search
чем кумушек считать трудиться – Google Search
Germany warns Russia over cyberattacks | News | DW
Iz ziz what the Demiurge and hiz New Abwehr want? Iz ziz what ziz Hullabaloo iz about? | “Russian spies are outed, but will heads roll in Moscow?” – from KPAX.com. – 6:57 PM 10/5/2018 | Russia News
Russian spies are outed, but will heads roll in Moscow?
Hospitalized Russian Spy Linked to Russia-UK Spy Wars
Probable Western Responsibility for Skripal Poisoning
total, ripe Russian Radish – Google Search
“Novichok” Postcard и “тотальная Русская Редиска: и не отгрызёшь, и не разгрызёшь… Тако, Ма…” | Russia News
Ex-MI5 Officer Sheds Light on ‘Narrative’ Behind Book on Skripal
“Novichok” Postcard – 2:00 PM 10/5/2018 | Global Security News
Three Lights Amber Alert: Operation “Novichok”! “Ukraine and her Intelligence Services (“Малой, The Junior, Der Jünger”) are finally kidnapped by the New Abwehr”, says the Demiurge. Малого украли! Call 9/11! | Russia News
Investigate what is and not what pleases! – 7:42 AM 10/5/2018 | Russia News
investigate what is and not what pleases – Google Search
The New Abwehr’s Set-up! | FBI News Review
The five key steps to catching the hapless, beer-guzzling GRU spies who now face global humiliation
Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Vladimir Putin’s bungling spies outed 300 Russian agents because their Lada was registered to top-secret cyber HQ
 

mikenova shared this story from The Sun.

Поздравление с Днём учителя • Президент России
 

mikenova shared this story .

События

Поздравление с Днём учителя

Владимир Путин поздравил всех российских учителей с Днём учителя.

09:40

В поздравлении, в частности, говорится:

«Нелёгкий, но благородный и востребованный труд учителя и наставника во все времена пользовался в нашей стране особым почётом. Именно от вас, вашей мудрости, терпения, самоотдачи во многом зависит личностное и профессиональное становление подрастающего поколения, активная общественная и жизненная позиция юных граждан.

Государство и впредь будет делать всё для повышения статуса учителя, укрепления социальных гарантий тех, кто трудится в сфере образования – ключевой для будущего России».

The coordinated witch-hunts do not solve the problems, the coordinated communications do. The pervasive, constantly present, the distinguishing, the defining, the hallmark feature of the recent operations is this “ham-handedness”. – M.N. – 6:08 AM 10/6/2018 | Global Security News
 

mikenova shared this story from Global Security News.

The coordinated witch-hunts do not solve the problems, the coordinated communications do. The pervasive, constantly present, the distinguishing, the defining, the hallmark feature of the recent operations is this “ham-handedness”. – M.N. – 6:08 AM 10/6/2018

“The ham-handed attempted break-in — involving hacking equipment in the trunk of a car and a trail of physical and virtual clues — was the most stunning operation revealed Thursday. It was so obvious, in fact, that it almost looked like the Russians didn’t care about getting caught…

What Dutch authorities found seemed to be the work of an amateur. A taxi receipt in the pocket of one of the agents showed he had hired a cab to take him from a street next to GRU headquarters to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. A laptop found with the team appeared to tie them to other alleged GRU hacks.” 

M.N.: This “ham-handedness”, the deliberate, demonstrative sloppiness, as if it were the invitation to be discovered, is the pervasive, constantly present, the distinguishing, the defining, the hallmark feature of ALL recent operations, including, very much so, the Operation Trump. This feature has to be addressed and investigated thoroughly, it might contain one of the main clues. It might indicate the possible set-up or the number of other explanations, which have to be explored. 

The “Russianness”, the Russian ethnic origins and the history of the service in the military or the GRU of the implied, suspected operators does not mean at all that they work for the GRU presently, or that their acts were authorised, approved, or specifically planned by the GRU. Importantly, they might have been selected by the third party (which I call the New Abwehr, under its leader, the Demiurge), and specifically for these traits: “Russianness” and the history of the GRU service. These suspects might be the completely unwitting semi-professional actors acting as the cover for the true designers. GRU is the very sophisticated and experienced, highly professional intelligence service, just like her counterparts, and they have their own professional ways of doing things without being ostentatious, also just like the others. 

However, everything is possible, and the version of the “face value”, “what you see is what you get” is legitimate and has to be investigated first of all, despite the lack of the credibility factor. 

My respectful recommendation to Gen. Gerasimov and Gen. Korobov is to try to reach out to their colleagues and to discuss these issues frankly and openly, in their broad range and in all the possible depth. The similar respectful recommendation to their colleagues, Gen. Dunford and Gen. Ashley, is to have these discussions and to try to make them productive. GRU is often compared with CIA, although nominally its counterpart is DIA. These interventions have to be approved on the highest levels, of course. 

By the way, I think that the non-travel sanctions specifically against Korobov and the others in this circle, who are not involved in commercial activities, are counterproductive and should be waved or cancelled. People need to travel, to meet, and to talk; and the present crisis is the result of the insufficient communications, not their abundance. 

Technically, it is also easier to keep track of them when they travel freely rather than clandestinely, which they do anyway. 

The coordinated witch-hunts do not solve the problems, the coordinated communications do. 

“Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov of Russia said in a statement that the U.S. is taking a “dangerous path” by “deliberately inciting tensions in relations between the nuclear powers,” adding that Washington’s European allies should also think about it.” 

Mr. Ryabkov, stop your nuclear dingle-dangle. You sound more like a fire-setter than a firefighter or diplomat. Do not threaten the others yourself, you sound excessively defensive. Try to comprehend, to truly understand the situation, and to find the ways of resolving it on the basis of this understanding. 

The delusional-grandiose attempts on Mr. Skripal’s part to influence the personnel policies of the GRU; as his revenge (if they exist), should also be considered as a factor, although, obviously, it will be left without any consequences. 

Mr. Skripal himself appears to be the highly intriguing, mysterious, complex person who might also contain many hidden clues. 

Michael Novakhov

10.6.18

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
West Accuses Russian Spy Agency of Scores of Attacks
The Kavanaugh hearing seems designed to fail.
Germany demands that Russia halt campaign of cyberattacks
germany spies – Google Search
чем кумушек считать трудиться – Google Search
Germany warns Russia over cyberattacks | News | DW
Iz ziz what the Demiurge and hiz New Abwehr want? Iz ziz what ziz Hullabaloo iz about? | “Russian spies are outed, but will heads roll in Moscow?” – from KPAX.com. – 6:57 PM 10/5/2018 | Russia News
Russian spies are outed, but will heads roll in Moscow?
Hospitalized Russian Spy Linked to Russia-UK Spy Wars
Probable Western Responsibility for Skripal Poisoning
total, ripe Russian Radish – Google Search
“Novichok” Postcard и “тотальная Русская Редиска: и не отгрызёшь, и не разгрызёшь… Тако, Ма…” | Russia News
Ex-MI5 Officer Sheds Light on ‘Narrative’ Behind Book on Skripal
“Novichok” Postcard – 2:00 PM 10/5/2018 | Global Security News
Three Lights Amber Alert: Operation “Novichok”! “Ukraine and her Intelligence Services (“Малой, The Junior, Der Jünger”) are finally kidnapped by the New Abwehr”, says the Demiurge. Малого украли! Call 9/11! | Russia News
Investigate what is and not what pleases! – 7:42 AM 10/5/2018 | Russia News
investigate what is and not what pleases – Google Search
The New Abwehr’s Set-up! | FBI News Review
The five key steps to catching the hapless, beer-guzzling GRU spies who now face global humiliation
The Salisbury Connections – 10.4.18 | Global Security News
german defense minister wants nuclear weapons – Google Search
german defense minister wants nuclear weapons – Google Search
german defense minister wants nuclear weapons – Google Search
german defense minister wants nuclear weapons – Google Search
Why Germany Is Talking About Getting Its Own Nuclear Weapons
Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
West Accuses Russian Spy Agency of Scores of Attacks
mikenova shared this story .

LONDON — The West unleashed an onslaught of new evidence and indictments Thursday accusing Russian military spies of hacking so widespread that it seemed to target anyone, anywhere who investigates Moscow’s involvement in an array of criminal activities — including doping, poisoning and the downing of a plane.

Russia defiantly denied the charges, neither humbled nor embarrassed by the exceptional revelations on one of the most high-tension days in East-West relations in years. Moscow lashed back with allegations that the Pentagon runs a clandestine U.S. biological weapons program involving toxic mosquitoes, ticks and more.

The nucleus of Thursday’s drama was Russia’s military intelligence agency known as the GRU, increasingly the embodiment of Russian meddling abroad.

In the last 24 hours: U.S. authorities charged seven officers from the GRU with hacking international agencies; British and Australian authorities accused the GRU of a devastating 2017 cyberattack on Ukraine, the email leaks that rocked the U.S. 2016 election and other damaging hacks; And Dutch officials alleged that GRU agents tried and failed to hack into the world’s chemical weapons watchdog, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The ham-handed attempted break-in — involving hacking equipment in the trunk of a car and a trail of physical and virtual clues — was the most stunning operation revealed Thursday. It was so obvious, in fact, that it almost looked like the Russians didn’t care about getting caught.

“Basically, the Russians got caught with their equipment, people who were doing it, and they have got to pay the piper. They are going to have to be held to account,” U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said in Brussels, where he was meeting with NATO allies.

Mattis said the West has “a wide variety of responses” available.

Britain’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Wilson, said the GRU would no longer be allowed to act with impunity.

Calling Russia a “pariah state,” British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Where Russia acts in an indiscriminate and reckless way, where they have done in terms of these cyberattacks, we will be exposing them.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov of Russia said in a statement that the U.S. is taking a “dangerous path” by “deliberately inciting tensions in relations between the nuclear powers,” adding that Washington’s European allies should also think about it.

While the accusations expose how much damage Russia can do in foreign lands, through remote hacking and on-site infiltration — they also expose how little Western countries can do to stop it.

Russia is already under EU and U.S. sanctions, and dozens of GRU agents and alleged Russian trolls have already been indicted by the U.S but will likely never be handed over to face American justice.

Still, to the Western public, Thursday may have been a pivotal day, with accusations so extensive, and the chorus of condemnation so loud, that it left little doubt of massive Russian wrongdoing. A wealth of surveillance footage released by Western intelligence agencies was quickly and overwhelmingly confirmed by independent reporting.

The litany of accusations of GRU malfeasance began overnight, when British and Australian authorities accused the Russian agency of being behind the catastrophic 2017 cyberattack in Ukraine. The malicious software outbreak knocked out ATMs, gas stations, pharmacies and hospitals and, according to a secret White House assessment recently cited by Wired, caused $10 billion in damage worldwide.

The British and Australians also linked the GRU to other hacks, including the Democratic Party email leaks and online cyber propaganda that sowed havoc before Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election.

Later Thursday, Dutch defense officials released photos and a timeline of GRU agents’ botched attempt to break into the chemical weapons watchdog using Wi-Fi hacking equipment hidden in a car parked outside a nearby Marriott Hotel. The OPCW was investigating a nerve agent attack on a former GRU spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in Salisbury, England, that Britain has blamed on the Russian government. Moscow vehemently denies involvement.

Photographs released by the Dutch Ministry of Defense showed a trunk loaded with a computer, battery, a bulky white transformer and a hidden antenna; officials said the equipment was operational when Dutch counterintelligence interrupted the operation.

What Dutch authorities found seemed to be the work of an amateur. A taxi receipt in the pocket of one of the agents showed he had hired a cab to take him from a street next to GRU headquarters to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. A laptop found with the team appeared to tie them to other alleged GRU hacks.

The men were expelled instead of arrested, because they were traveling on diplomatic passports.

The Dutch also accused the GRU of trying to hack investigators examining the 2014 downing of a Malaysian Airlines jetliner over eastern Ukraine that killed all 298 people on board. A Dutch-led team says it has strong evidence the missile that brought the plane down came from a Russia-based military unit. Russia has denied the charge.

Later Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department charged seven GRU officers — including the four caught in The Hague — in an international hacking rampage that targeted more than 250 athletes, a Pennsylvania-based nuclear energy company, a Swiss chemical laboratory and the OPCW.

The indictment said the GRU targets had publicly supported a ban on Russian athletes in international sports competitions and because they had condemned what they called a state-sponsored doping program by Russia.

U.S. prosecutors said the Russians also targeted a Pennsylvania-based nuclear energy company and the OPCW.

The seven were identified as: Aleksei Morenets, 41; Evgenii Serebriakov, 37; Ivan Yermakov, 32; Artem Malyshev, 30; and Dmitriy Badin, 27; who were each assigned to Military Unit 26165, and Oleg Sotnikov, 46, and Alexey Minin, 46, who were also GRU officers.

The U.S. indictment says the hacking was often conducted remotely. If that wasn’t successful, the hackers would conduct “on-site” or “close access” hacking operations, with trained GRU members traveling with sophisticated equipment to target their victims through Wi-Fi networks.

The World Anti-Doping Agency, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the Canadian anti-doping agency were all identified by the U.S. indictment against the Russians.

WADA said the alleged hackers “sought to violate athletes’ rights by exposing personal and private data — often then modifying them — and ultimately undermine the work of WADA and its partners in the protection of clean sport.”

Travis Tygart, the CEO of the U.S. anti-doping agency and a prominent critic of Russian athletes’ drug use, says “a system that was abusing its own athletes with an institutionalized doping program has now been indicted for perpetrating cyberattacks on innocent athletes from around the world.”

Russia denied everything.

Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of Russian parliament, said the accusations were fake and intended to “delegitimize” a resurgent Russia. The West has picked up the GRU as “a modern analogue of the KGB which served as a bugaboo for people in the West during the Cold War,” he said.

Russia countered with accusations of their own: The Defense Ministry unveiled complex allegations that the U.S. has a clandestine biological weapons lab in the country of Georgia as part of a network of labs on the edges of Russia and China that flout international rules.

Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon called the accusations “an invention” and “obvious attempts to divert attention from Russia’s bad behavior on many fronts.”

The Associated Press, meanwhile, independently corroborated information that matches details for two of the alleged Russian agents named by the Dutch authorities.

An online car registration database in Russia showed that Aleksei Morenets, whose full name and date of birth are the same as one of the expelled Russians, sold his car in 2004, listing the Moscow address where the Defense Ministry’s Military University is based.

Alexey Minin, another Russian whose full name and date of birth match the Dutch details, had several cars, including an Alfa Romeo, that were registered and sold at the address where the Defense Ministry’s GRU school is located. In some of the filings, Minin listed the official military unit number of the GRU school as his home address.

___

Balsamo reported from Washington and Casert from Brussels. Raphael Satter in London, Nataliya Vasilyeva and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow, Lorne Cook in Brussels and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed.

The Kavanaugh hearing seems designed to fail.
mikenova shared this story from The New Republic.
Семен Слепаков рассказал кто и почему удалил его скандальный клип о геях из ГРУ – О Солсберецком шпиле – отравление Скрипаля – новости шоу-бизнеса
 

mikenova shared this story .

Популярный российский комик и певец Семен Слепаков объяснил, почему из YouTube удалили его скандальное видео с песней “О Солсберецком шпиле”, которую он посвятил агентам ГРУ и отравителям Скрипаля.

Артист объяснил, что ролик о Руслане Боширове и Александре Петрове был незаконченной рабочей версией, которая просочилась в сеть через друзей. Об этом он написал на своей странице в Instagram, но вскоре удалил свой пост, сообщила Lenta.Ru.

По словам Слепакова, он накануне отправил друзьям закрытую ссылку, чтобы те оценили еще не вышедший клип, не публикуя его в открытом доступе. Кто именно слил композицию, он не знает.

“Это был мой рабочий материал. Незаконченный. В открытом доступе песни никогда не было. Через кого-то (он теперь, конечно, не признается) произошла утечка. Я попросил техподдержку удалить ссылку, чтобы остановить этот процесс, но все уже расползлось”, – отметил Семен, добавив, что компания “Газпром-медиа”, которую ранее заподозрили в требовании удалить видео, не при делах.

“Ролик удаляли по моей просьбе, как мою авторскую собственность”, – уточнил шоумен.

Также отметим, что завершать и выкладывать клип на своем канале Слепаков не планирует, поскольку его вариация уже распространилась в сети.

Видео с песней Слепакова об отравителях Скрипаля удалено из сети

2/2

Как сообщал OBOZREVATEL, Сергея Скрипаля и его дочь отравили в Британии 4 марта нервно-паралитическим веществом “Новичок”. Официальный Лондон заявил, что за этим стоит Москва. Несмотря на то, что Скрипалей удалось спасти, инцидент спровоцировал международный скандал – многие страны мира начали высылку российских дипломатов.

Полиция Великобритании восстановила последовательность событий в день отравления. В преступлении подозревают россиян Руслана Боширова и Александра Петрова, которых камеры видеонаблюдения зафиксировали недалеко от дома Скрипалей в день покушения.

Позже они дали публичное интервью, в котором рассказали, что приезжали в Солсбери для осмотра достопримечательностей. А визит в этот город им якобы посоветовали друзья. Журналисты проанализировали рассказ Петрова и Боширова и нашли доказательства его лживости.

Госпогранслужба подтвердила возможное участие Чепиги в событиях на Майдане
 

mikenova shared this story from GuildHall.

Подразделение полковника спецназа ГРУ РФ Анатолия Чепиги во время Революции Достоинства могло находится в Киеве и принимать активное участие в эскалации событий на Майдане.

Об этом Guildhall сообщил собственный источник вГосударственной пограничной службе Украины.

«В Государственной пограничной службе, к сожалению, нет прямых доказательств пребывания полковника спецназа ГРУ РФ Анатолия Чепиги в Украине во время событий Революции Достоинства», — сообщили в ГПСУ.

В то же время, источник подтвердил, что полковник Анатолий Чепига мог быть участником кровавых событий на Майдане, так как подразделения спецназа ГРУ РФ в период с января по февраль 2014 года находились в Украине и принимали активное участие в эскалации процессов Революции Достоинства.

«По нашей информации, подразделения российского спецназа с января по февраль (2014 года — ред.) находились в Киеве и проживали в отдельном доме на базе «Альфы». Полковник Анатолий Чепига, вероятно, был в их числе, но точно установить мы этого не можем, так как по указанию тогдашнего руководства страны, по прибытию, российские спецназовцы не проходили пограничного контроля, или каких-либо осмотров. Спецназ ГРУ РФ принимал активное участие в противоправных действиях против участников Революции, после чего, под видом украинских правоохранителей выехал на территорию Крыма», — сообщил источник в Госпогранслужбе Украины.

Напомним, ранее эту информацию в комментарии Guildhall подтвердил экс-руководитель Главного управления разведки Украины генерал-лейтенант Александр Скипальский.

The Nazi Downstairs: A Jewish Woman’s Tale of Hiding in Her Home
 

mikenova shared this story .

Elsa Koditschek was living in a prosperous section of Vienna, near the foothills of the Alps, when the Nazis, who had annexed Austria, confiscated her home in 1940. A German officer, a squad leader in the SS, soon moved in.

Mrs. Koditschek, a Jew, was allowed to stay on, in an upstairs apartment, a tenant in her own house for about a year, until a deportation edict arrived ordering her to a bleak, uncertain future in a Polish ghetto. She fled instead, leaving behind her life’s possessions including the only major artwork she had ever purchased, a landscape by Egon Schiele.

For years, she hid in the homes of non-Jewish friends, according to an account she gave in dozens of letters written during and after the war. But she was ultimately desperate enough to seek refuge in the house the Nazis had seized from her, sneaking back in to live there in secrecy and silence with an upstairs tenant.

From there, she spied on the SS officer, Herbert Gerbing, watching through a window as he sat in the garden with his family. Probably unbeknown to her, while she hid upstairs, he was helping with the deportation of Jews across Europe.

“Who would think I would find myself sharing a roof with an SS officer?” she wrote later in a letter to her son, Paul, who had moved to New York years earlier.

Mrs. Koditschek’s Schiele was ultimately sold during the war, while she struggled to survive, and it has been sold several times since.

But her letters, handwritten on onionskin and intact after having been carefully packed away in a relative’s basement, helped the Koditschek family and researchers at Sotheby’s piece together the provenance of the painting. So this fall in New York, when it goes up for auction with an estimated value of $12 million to $18 million, Mrs. Koditschek’s heirs will share in the proceeds with its current owners.

“It’s so unusual to have a victim of Nazi theft or expropriation who writes everything down,” Lucian Simmons, the worldwide head of restitution at Sotheby’s, said. “Usually you’re trying to join the dots, but the dots are far apart.”

Mentions of the Schiele painting in the letters buttressed the provenance research by Mr. Simmons, who had approached the family in 2014 after independently finding indications that it had lost an important painting during the war. What followed were several years of negotiation with the current owners of the Schiele, Europeans who had bought it in the 1950s, that led to an agreement that will govern the sale next month of the work, “City in Twilight (The Small City II)” painted in 1913.

“It’s an important painting with a wonderful revolutionary abstract form,” Mr. Simmons said.

Perhaps more remarkable than the painting is the tale that accompanies it: the account of woman made vagabond by the Nazis who ended up returning to the very house from which she had been evicted, and living out the war there, just feet above one of her persecutors. Mrs. Koditschek survived the war, and related her account in many letters to her son, who died in 1974. But he seldom discussed those experiences in any detail, so relatives have only recently begun to unravel Mrs. Koditschek’s history by sifting through the correspondence. (Sotheby’s provided translations of excerpts from the letters.)

Their tone deepens as events evolve, according to Sarah Whites-Koditschek, a great-granddaughter, and turns grim in 1941 when the deportation order arrives. At that point, Ms. Whites-Koditschek said, “She’s just writing about whether she can find any way to escape.”

Steven Luckert, a historian with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, said that Mrs. Koditschek’s experience stood out even among the startling tales of Jews who had lived through the war hiding in Nazi-occupied cities. “The fact that she was living in the same house as someone who was in charge of deportations makes it even more extraordinary,” he said.

Mrs. Koditschek, the widow of a banker, had sent her son and daughter away to safety before Europe became engulfed in war. But she stayed behind in Vienna, living in the three-story home her husband had built in 1911. She lived on the first floor, below her longtime tenant, Sylvia Kosminski, who was known as “Aunt Sylvia” though she was not a relative.

When the Nazi and his family took over the first floor, Mrs. Koditschek moved to the second to share quarters with Aunt Sylvia, bringing with her, the Koditschek family believes, the Schiele painting.

The letters do not indicate that Mrs. Koditschek was particularly fearful of the Nazi she was living with. He occasionally summoned her to explain how things in the house worked. She described his demeanor as civil, even after she received “an ominous card” directing her to show up at a school to be deported to German-occupied Poland. When she asked the officer if the trip could be delayed, he replied that it could not, she wrote. But he painted a glowing portrait of what life would be like in the Lodz ghetto and offered a word of advice, suggesting she bring a minimum of belongings.

“This was a kind thing for him to say,” Mrs. Koditschek wrote, “because the luggage of most Jews was robbed even before they arrived at their destination. Also of course their lives.”

It does not seem, based on her letters, that Mrs. Koditschek had an inkling of Mr. Gerbing’s larger role in the deportation of Jews. Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust remembrance center, describes him as a key player in executing those policies and said he “participated in raids and arrests, and was reported to have been exceedingly brutal, at one case causing grievous injuries to detainees.”

When Mrs. Koditschek fled, she lived with a family named Heinz and spent virtually all of her time indoors, often hiding for hours behind a cupboard inside their apartment. She passed the lonely hours by practicing her English or playing chess against herself.

But her life there was disrupted in 1943, Mrs. Koditschek wrote, when Mr. Heinz came home one day “under the escort of some strange men” who began searching the apartment. She slipped away though an open door.

“I must have been wearing a magic cap of invisibility because the plainclothes men did not notice me,” she wrote, adding that as she roamed the streets that night, “people stared at me as if I was a ghost from another time.”

Under cover of darkness Mrs. Koditschek met Aunt Sylvia, and they returned to her home, rushing inside, she said in a letter, “when the coast was all clear.” For the next two years she lived a clandestine life there, sleeping on a makeshift bed and hiding whenever the doorbell rang.

Mr. Gerbing was not often home, she wrote. Historians have recorded that he had a role in deportation efforts in Paris, Slovakia and Thessaloniki. When he was away, Mrs. Koditschek noticed, Jewish laborers, marked by badges, would carry the plunder of war — furniture, a piano, clothing — into her home. “Wherever he stays,” Mrs. Koditschek wrote, “in Greece, in France, in Slovakia, he sends big boxes back with goods from each country.”

“If there was something that had to be repaired in the house,” she wrote, “the Jews came again, and they also labored in the garden.”

As compelling as the letters are, they leave much unanswered. How did Mrs. Koditschek completely avoid notice? Was Aunt Sylvia Jewish, and if so, how did she escape persecution?

Still, Ted Koditschek, Mrs. Koditschek’s grandson and a history professor emeritus at the University of Missouri, said in an interview that the correspondence is an invaluable resource for the family. “It is like a Rosetta Stone for a small group of people,” he said, adding, “There are still many questions that are unanswered and will remain that way.”

Just when the Schiele was sold is unclear, though Sotheby’s said it seems to have happened between 1941 and 1943. One of Mrs. Koditschek’s letters describes how Aunt Sylvia, who had supplied her with food while she hid, arrived one day at the Heinz apartment to say that she too now needed money and wanted permission to sell “the pictures.”

In a letter after the war, Mrs. Koditschek wrote to her son: “Aunt Sylvia sold your microscope, as well as the Schiele and the two Rugendas,” adding “Aunt Sylvia was actually repaid her loans to me twice over.”

Sotheby’s, which will earn a commission on the sale of the painting, has negotiated several similar deals between the heirs of Jews who lost art during the Holocaust and the current owners of paintings, solutions often meant to address complicated issues of ownership, ethics and international law. The auction house did not identify the current owners of the Schiele, who wanted to remain anonymous.

Mrs. Koditschek was still in her house in 1944 when the Allies bombed Vienna and in 1945 when she heard rumors that Mr. Gerbing had been killed by a mob in Prague. He never returned from that trip and the Russian army entered Vienna that year, ransacking her house, she wrote, as they passed.

Eventually, Mrs. Koditschek made her way to safety in Bern, Switzerland, where she died in 1961.

Mrs. Koditschek’s instincts about Poland probably saved her life, said Ms. Whites-Koditschek who believes her great-grandmother had somehow figured out what was happening to those people who were deported to the Lodz ghetto. “She must have heard what was happening there through her community,” she said.

Indeed, most of the Jews who lived or were shipped to Lodz went to death camps before the close of the war. By the time the Russians entered, a prewar Jewish population of about 250,000 had been reduced to fewer than 1,000.

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West Accuses Russian Spy Agency of Scores of Attacks
 

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LONDON — The West unleashed an onslaught of new evidence and indictments Thursday accusing Russian military spies of hacking so widespread that it seemed to target anyone, anywhere who investigates Moscow’s involvement in an array of criminal activities — including doping, poisoning and the downing of a plane.

Russia defiantly denied the charges, neither humbled nor embarrassed by the exceptional revelations on one of the most high-tension days in East-West relations in years. Moscow lashed back with allegations that the Pentagon runs a clandestine U.S. biological weapons program involving toxic mosquitoes, ticks and more.

The nucleus of Thursday’s drama was Russia’s military intelligence agency known as the GRU, increasingly the embodiment of Russian meddling abroad.

In the last 24 hours: U.S. authorities charged seven officers from the GRU with hacking international agencies; British and Australian authorities accused the GRU of a devastating 2017 cyberattack on Ukraine, the email leaks that rocked the U.S. 2016 election and other damaging hacks; And Dutch officials alleged that GRU agents tried and failed to hack into the world’s chemical weapons watchdog, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The ham-handed attempted break-in — involving hacking equipment in the trunk of a car and a trail of physical and virtual clues — was the most stunning operation revealed Thursday. It was so obvious, in fact, that it almost looked like the Russians didn’t care about getting caught.

“Basically, the Russians got caught with their equipment, people who were doing it, and they have got to pay the piper. They are going to have to be held to account,” U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said in Brussels, where he was meeting with NATO allies.

Mattis said the West has “a wide variety of responses” available.

Britain’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Wilson, said the GRU would no longer be allowed to act with impunity.

Calling Russia a “pariah state,” British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Where Russia acts in an indiscriminate and reckless way, where they have done in terms of these cyberattacks, we will be exposing them.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov of Russia said in a statement that the U.S. is taking a “dangerous path” by “deliberately inciting tensions in relations between the nuclear powers,” adding that Washington’s European allies should also think about it.

While the accusations expose how much damage Russia can do in foreign lands, through remote hacking and on-site infiltration — they also expose how little Western countries can do to stop it.

Russia is already under EU and U.S. sanctions, and dozens of GRU agents and alleged Russian trolls have already been indicted by the U.S but will likely never be handed over to face American justice.

Still, to the Western public, Thursday may have been a pivotal day, with accusations so extensive, and the chorus of condemnation so loud, that it left little doubt of massive Russian wrongdoing. A wealth of surveillance footage released by Western intelligence agencies was quickly and overwhelmingly confirmed by independent reporting.

The litany of accusations of GRU malfeasance began overnight, when British and Australian authorities accused the Russian agency of being behind the catastrophic 2017 cyberattack in Ukraine. The malicious software outbreak knocked out ATMs, gas stations, pharmacies and hospitals and, according to a secret White House assessment recently cited by Wired, caused $10 billion in damage worldwide.

The British and Australians also linked the GRU to other hacks, including the Democratic Party email leaks and online cyber propaganda that sowed havoc before Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election.

Later Thursday, Dutch defense officials released photos and a timeline of GRU agents’ botched attempt to break into the chemical weapons watchdog using Wi-Fi hacking equipment hidden in a car parked outside a nearby Marriott Hotel. The OPCW was investigating a nerve agent attack on a former GRU spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in Salisbury, England, that Britain has blamed on the Russian government. Moscow vehemently denies involvement.

Photographs released by the Dutch Ministry of Defense showed a trunk loaded with a computer, battery, a bulky white transformer and a hidden antenna; officials said the equipment was operational when Dutch counterintelligence interrupted the operation.

What Dutch authorities found seemed to be the work of an amateur. A taxi receipt in the pocket of one of the agents showed he had hired a cab to take him from a street next to GRU headquarters to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. A laptop found with the team appeared to tie them to other alleged GRU hacks.

The men were expelled instead of arrested, because they were traveling on diplomatic passports.

The Dutch also accused the GRU of trying to hack investigators examining the 2014 downing of a Malaysian Airlines jetliner over eastern Ukraine that killed all 298 people on board. A Dutch-led team says it has strong evidence the missile that brought the plane down came from a Russia-based military unit. Russia has denied the charge.

Later Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department charged seven GRU officers — including the four caught in The Hague — in an international hacking rampage that targeted more than 250 athletes, a Pennsylvania-based nuclear energy company, a Swiss chemical laboratory and the OPCW.

The indictment said the GRU targets had publicly supported a ban on Russian athletes in international sports competitions and because they had condemned what they called a state-sponsored doping program by Russia.

U.S. prosecutors said the Russians also targeted a Pennsylvania-based nuclear energy company and the OPCW.

The seven were identified as: Aleksei Morenets, 41; Evgenii Serebriakov, 37; Ivan Yermakov, 32; Artem Malyshev, 30; and Dmitriy Badin, 27; who were each assigned to Military Unit 26165, and Oleg Sotnikov, 46, and Alexey Minin, 46, who were also GRU officers.

The U.S. indictment says the hacking was often conducted remotely. If that wasn’t successful, the hackers would conduct “on-site” or “close access” hacking operations, with trained GRU members traveling with sophisticated equipment to target their victims through Wi-Fi networks.

The World Anti-Doping Agency, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the Canadian anti-doping agency were all identified by the U.S. indictment against the Russians.

WADA said the alleged hackers “sought to violate athletes’ rights by exposing personal and private data — often then modifying them — and ultimately undermine the work of WADA and its partners in the protection of clean sport.”

Travis Tygart, the CEO of the U.S. anti-doping agency and a prominent critic of Russian athletes’ drug use, says “a system that was abusing its own athletes with an institutionalized doping program has now been indicted for perpetrating cyberattacks on innocent athletes from around the world.”

Russia denied everything.

Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of Russian parliament, said the accusations were fake and intended to “delegitimize” a resurgent Russia. The West has picked up the GRU as “a modern analogue of the KGB which served as a bugaboo for people in the West during the Cold War,” he said.

Russia countered with accusations of their own: The Defense Ministry unveiled complex allegations that the U.S. has a clandestine biological weapons lab in the country of Georgia as part of a network of labs on the edges of Russia and China that flout international rules.

Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon called the accusations “an invention” and “obvious attempts to divert attention from Russia’s bad behavior on many fronts.”

The Associated Press, meanwhile, independently corroborated information that matches details for two of the alleged Russian agents named by the Dutch authorities.

An online car registration database in Russia showed that Aleksei Morenets, whose full name and date of birth are the same as one of the expelled Russians, sold his car in 2004, listing the Moscow address where the Defense Ministry’s Military University is based.

Alexey Minin, another Russian whose full name and date of birth match the Dutch details, had several cars, including an Alfa Romeo, that were registered and sold at the address where the Defense Ministry’s GRU school is located. In some of the filings, Minin listed the official military unit number of the GRU school as his home address.

___

Balsamo reported from Washington and Casert from Brussels. Raphael Satter in London, Nataliya Vasilyeva and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow, Lorne Cook in Brussels and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed.

The Kavanaugh hearing seems designed to fail.
 

mikenova shared this story from The New Republic.

On Thursday morning, the Department of Justice announced it was charging seven Russian intelligence agents—employed by the Russian Central Intelligence Agency equivalent, commonly known as the GRU—with hacking. The move came hot on the heels of British and Dutch officials accusing GRU agents of hacking investigations looking into chemical weapons attacks in Syria and the 2014 downing of an airliner over Eastern Ukraine.

The same morning, Bloomberg published a blockbuster report alleging that Chinese spies had pulled off a far-reaching hardware hack using microchips planted on the motherboards made by a company called Supermicro, which ended up being used by more than thirty firms. Bloomberg describes the hack as “the most significant supply chain attack known to have been carried out against American companies.”

Taken together, the three news stories illustrate that cyber-war is now a major battlefront between great powers.

In a press statement, the Department of Justice claimed that “beginning in or around December 2014 and continuing until at least May 2018, the conspiracy conducted persistent and sophisticated computer intrusions affecting U.S. persons, corporate entities, international organizations, and their respective employees located around the world, based on their strategic interest to the Russian government.”

Three of the seven Russian intelligence agents charged by the Department of Justice  were also charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for alleged hacking as part of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

At a NATO meeting in Brussels, British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson condemned alleged Russian cyber attacks on Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which Dutch officials claimed took place in April and were disrupted. Holland has expelled four Russian intelligence officers allegedly involved in the attack.

“This is not the actions of a great power,” Williamson said. “This is the actions of a pariah state, and we will continue working with allies to isolate them; make them understand they cannot continue to conduct themselves in such a way.”

The Bloomberg story on Chinese microchips shows that Russia is not the only cyber-war threat. As Bloomberg reports, when Amazon investigated servers sold to them by Elemental Technologies, which used the serves of Supermicro, they made a startling discovery: “Nested on the servers’ motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn’t part of the boards’ original design. Amazon reported the discovery to U.S. authorities, sending a shudder through the intelligence community. Elemental’s servers could be found in Department of Defense data centers, the CIA’s drone operations, and the onboard networks of Navy warships. And Elemental was just one of hundreds of Supermicro customers.”

Germany demands that Russia halt campaign of cyberattacks
 

mikenova shared this story from Yaron Steinbuch – New York Post.

Germany on Friday joined other Western countries in blaming Russia for engaging in a global campaign of cyber attacks against political institutions, businesses, media outlets and sports organizations.

“We have full confidence in the assessment of the British and Dutch authorities. The (German) government is also almost certain that the Russian GRU secret service is behind the APT28 campaign,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

Advanced Persistent Threat 28 is another name used to describe the Sofacy or Fancy Bear hacking group.

Seibert said Germany believes successful attacks “could directly threaten free society, public safety and in principle our democracy” — and urged Moscow “to meet its responsibilities and cease such actions.”

Russia denies any involvement in the worldwide attacks.

On Thursday, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt accused Russia’s military intelligence agency GRU of carrying out various “reckless and indiscriminate” high-profile online attacks, according to Agence France-Presse.

Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre has “high confidence” that the GRU “almost certainly” targeted the US Democratic Party ahead of the 2016 presidential election, as well as last year’s attempted hacking of the World Anti-Doping Agency in Switzerland official said.

“This pattern of behavior demonstrates (the GRU’s) desire to operate without regard to international law or established norms and to do so with a feeling of impunity and without consequences,” Hunt said.

“Our message is clear: together with our allies, we will expose and respond to the GRU’s attempts to undermine international stability.”

In addition to APT28, Britain said the GRU was associated with several other hackers, including Pawnstorm, Sednit, CyberCaliphate, Cyber Berkut and Voodoo Bear, Reuters reported.

Australia joined Britain in its accusations, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne calling Russian online meddling “unacceptable.”

The Kremlin rejected the accusations that Russian spies were behind the cyber attacks.

“It’s some kind of a diabolical perfume cocktail (of allegations),” Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters, TASS reported.

The latest allegations came a day after seven GRU officers were charged with carrying out an international hacking campaign on agencies and organizations that were investigating the country’s athlete doping program and the poisoning of a former KGB agent in Britain.

According to an indictment filed in Pennsylvania, the suspects conducted the cyber-attacks from 2014 through May using malware, spearfishing techniques and other high-tech weapons to steal information that was then circulated online.

Three of the seven had been indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors for hacking into the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election.

With Post wires

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Чем кумушек считать трудиться, / Не лучше ль на себя, кума, оборотиться? Чем кумушек считать трудиться, / Не лучше ль на себя, кума, оборотиться? Из басни «Зеркало и Обезьяна» (1815) И. А. Крылова (1769—1844). Энциклопедический словарь крылатых слов и выражений.

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Germany warns Russia over cyberattacks | News | DW
 

mikenova shared this story .

The German government on Friday called on Russia to desist from carrying out cyberattacks in other countries, adding its voice to those of Britain and the Netherlands.

“We sharply condemn such attacks on international organizations and institutions of our allies and call on Russia to meet its responsibility and cease such actions,” government Spokesman Steffen Seibert said in Berlin.

He said that Germany, like Britain, believed that the Russian military intelligence agency GRU was, “with almost absolute certainty,” behind the APT28 cyberespionage campaign, which attacked a number of targets worldwide, including the German Bundestag and government data network. 

If such attacks were successful, Seibert said, they could directly threaten public security and “in principle also our democracy,” making it imperative that Germany ensured it was ready and able to take action in the digital sphere.

He emphasized the importance of working together with other states to defend against such attacks.

Read more: Cybersecurity: Why it’s ‘hard to protect yourself’ online

Growing evidence

On Thursday, the Netherlands and Britain went public with accusations that Russia was trying to damage Western democracies through cyberattacks. Among other things, Dutch authorities said they had prevented an attack by Russian hackers on The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in April.

Niederlande PK zu Russische Cyber-Spione des Landes verwiesen (picture-alliance/AP Photo/Dutch Defense Ministry)The Netherlands expelled four Russians it accused of trying to hack into the OPCW network

The OPCW, the UN’s chemical weapon’s watchdog, has been involved in investigations into the attempted killing of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal using the nerve agent Novichok and into alleged chemical attacks in Douma, Syria, by the Russia-backed Syrian regime.

Germany’s accusations come as evidence mounts of a worldwide cyber campaign targeting Western institutions launched by Russia. The US Justice Department announced after Thursday’s revelations that it had charged seven Russian military intelligence offices with hacking organizations including anti-doping agencies.

Russia has been revealed to have long run a state-sponsored athlete doping program, leading to several of its sportspeople being banned from participating in international events.

Moscow has denounced the allegations as products of “fantasy.”

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Iz ziz what the Demiurge and hiz New Abwehr want? Iz ziz what ziz Hullabaloo iz about? | “Russian spies are outed, but will heads roll in Moscow?” – from KPAX.com. – 6:57 PM 10/5/2018 | Russia News
 

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mikenova shared this story from <a href=”http://KPAX.com” rel=”nofollow”>KPAX.com</a>.

It looked like a spy agency’s worst nightmare: The unmasking of several agents, and the disclosure of sloppy tradecraft in what appeared to be a bungled intelligence operation.

But heads have yet to roll — at least not publicly — at the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency.

On Thursday, Western governments mounted a coordinated effort to unmask what they claimed were “brazen” efforts by GRU agents to sow chaos on foreign soil.

In a briefing Thursday, the Dutch government said it had foiled a “close-access hack operation” by the GRU aimed at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the world’s chemical-weapons watchdog. The Dutch claimed that the four alleged agents planned to travel next to an OPCW-accredited laboratory in Switzerland, but did not get there because their operation was intercepted.

That same day, Britain accused the GRU of carrying out a worldwide campaign of “malicious” cyberattacks, and the US Justice Department announced criminal charges against seven GRU officers, accusing them of involvement in an effort to deflect attention from Russia’s state-sponsored sports doping program.

Russian spies are outed, but will heads roll in Moscow?
 

mikenova shared this story from KPAX.com.

It looked like a spy agency’s worst nightmare: The unmasking of several agents, and the disclosure of sloppy tradecraft in what appeared to be a bungled intelligence operation.

But heads have yet to roll — at least not publicly — at the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency.

On Thursday, Western governments mounted a coordinated effort to unmask what they claimed were “brazen” efforts by GRU agents to sow chaos on foreign soil.

In a briefing Thursday, the Dutch government said it had foiled a “close-access hack operation” by the GRU aimed at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the world’s chemical-weapons watchdog. The Dutch claimed that the four alleged agents planned to travel next to an OPCW-accredited laboratory in Switzerland, but did not get there because their operation was intercepted.

That same day, Britain accused the GRU of carrying out a worldwide campaign of “malicious” cyberattacks, and the US Justice Department announced criminal charges against seven GRU officers, accusing them of involvement in an effort to deflect attention from Russia’s state-sponsored sports doping program.

The coordinated information dump revealed what appeared to be an embarrassing security breach for the GRU. Details in the Dutch briefing were particularly tantalizing: The head of Dutch counterintelligence named four alleged Russian GRU officers, noting that two of them had consecutive passport numbers, a potential red flag for intelligence agencies.

And then there was the taxi receipt: When detained, one of the alleged agents had a receipt for a trip to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport from Nesvizkhskiy Pereulok, a road bordering what Dutch counterintelligence said was a GRU facility.

The owner of the cab company confirmed to CNN that the receipt was authentic, but added that the driver couldn’t recall whether any of the men named were indeed the passengers. Such details provided fodder for online sleuths, and raised questions among some observers about the GRU’s level of professionalism.

Digital footprints

Unlike Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the two Russians named by the UK as the suspects in the nerve agent attack earlier this year in Salisbury, England, the four men named by the Dutch on Thursday left more digital traces.

The Moscow Times even reported that Yevgeny Serebryakov, one of the Russian men accused of the attempted OPCW hack, appeared to be a participant in a Moscow amateur soccer league.

So how big a scandal is this in Russia, and how will it play? The case of Petrov and Boshirov proves instructive.

In early September, British authorities released the names of the two men, saying they were GRU agents traveling under aliases. Following the release of those names, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the two men as “civilians,” and encouraged them to come forward.

The following day, Russia’s state-owned RT aired an interview with the two men, who admitted traveling to Salisbury but denied working for the GRU. That prompted insinuations and jokes on Russian media about the sexual orientation of “Boshirov” and “Petrov” as well as their fondness for Gothic spires.

The RT interview was a weapon of mass distraction, turning the Salisbury poisoning into fodder for memes. But the information war continued: After the RT interview aired, the UK investigative website Bellingcat claimed to have identified “Boshirov” as a GRU colonel.

In the coming days, no doubt, we’ll learn more about the identities of the supposed GRU agents. But the Russian response has been to double down on accusations of “fake news.”

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova called the UK allegations a “hellish perfume mix,” saying, “The rich imagination of our UK colleagues truly knows no limits. Who comes up with this?”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov played the same note on Friday. Western governments, he said, were driven by “hysteria” and “spy phobia” after the US, the Netherlands and Britain publicly unmasked the alleged Russian intelligence agents.

To be sure, the latest round of spy wars has not been consequence-free for Russia. The US and its allies expelled dozens of Russian diplomats in the wake of the Salisbury poisoning, and the fears of Russian meddling persist: US lawmakers are considering new sanctions to punish Russia over its interference in US elections.

Hospitalized Russian Spy Linked to Russia-UK Spy Wars
 

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Probable Western Responsibility for Skripal Poisoning
 

mikenova shared this story from Craig Murray.

UPDATE: Stupidly I had forgotten this vital confirmation from Channel 4 News (serial rebel Alex Thomson) of the D Notice in place on mention of Pablo Miller.

Back then I did not realise what I now know, that the person being protected was Pablo Miller, colleague in both MI6 then Orbis Intelligence of Christopher Steele, author of the fabrications of the Trump/Russia golden shower dossier. That the government’s very first act on the poisoning was to ban all media mention of Pablo Miller makes it extremely probable that this whole incident is related to the Trump dossier and that Skripal had worked on it, as I immediately suspected. The most probable cause is that Skripal – who you should remember had traded the names of Russian agents to Britain for cash – had worked on the dossier with Miller but was threatening to expose its lies for cash.

ORIGINAL POST: This comment from Clive Ponting, doyen of British whistleblowers, appeared on my website and he has now given me permission to republish it under his full name:

I have been reading the blogs for some time but this is my first post. Like Craig I was a senior civil servant but in the ministry of defence not the fco. I had plenty of dealings with all three intelligence agencies. It seems to me that the reason none of the MSM are doing any investigating/reporting of the Salisbury affair, apart from official handouts, is that the government have slapped a D-Notice over the whole incident and it is not possible to report that a notice has been issued.
Here is another theory as to what happened. The Russians pardoned Skripal and allowed him to leave (spy agencies have an understanding that agents will always be swapped after an interval – it’s the only protection they have and helps recruitment). In the UK Skripal would have been thoroughly debriefed by MI6 and MI5 (his ex-handler lives near Salisbury). If at some point they discovered that Skripal was giving them false information, perhaps he was told to do so by the FSB as a condition of his release, lives may have been endangered/lost. If he also was also involved in the ‘golden showers’ dossier then elements in the US would have a reason to act as well. The whole incident was an inside job not to kill him, hence the use of BZ, but to give him a warning and a punishment. The whole thing is being treated as though the authorities know exactly what went on but have to cover it up.

Addendum

I meant to add that the policeman who ‘just happened’ to be around was almost certainly the special branch ‘minder’ who was keeping Yulia under surveillance. The media are not allowed to mention the existence of a D notice.

Those of us who have been in the belly of the beast and have worked closely with the intelligence services, really do know what they and the British government are capable of. They are not “white knights”.

I would add it has been very plain from day one that there is a D notice on Pablo Miller.

total, ripe Russian Radish – Google Search
 

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“Novichok” Postcard и “тотальная Русская Редиска: и не отгрызёшь, и не разгрызёшь… Тако, Ма…” | Russia News
 

mikenova shared this story from Russia News.

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“Novichok” Postcard: Note the three steady amber lights: this is the highest  degree of the child kidnapping alert. The “Bosh” and his “Pet”, behind the “rov” – moat, marked by the flag with their mixed colors, in the neo-auburn field of the old cemetery, called the Central Europe. 

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They kidnapped the Junior!

Малого украли! Call 9/11!

Three Lights Amber Alert: Operation “Novichok”!

By Michael Novakhov – 1o.5.18

“Ukraine and her Intelligence Services (“Малой, The Junior, Der Jünger”) are finally kidnapped by the New Abwehr”, says the Demiurge. 

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Перед началом встречи с группой воспитанников российского образовательного центра «Сириус» и одарённых детей из Индии.

Mr. (Emperor) Pu: “Не Малого, а Малую украли! Вроде той вот что позади меня (Nice Abwehr Girl!). И это давно уже не новость, так что звонить и не кому. А я бы им и вабще бы не позвонил, такой Бардак!
И Барак – Бардак, и Бардак – Барак! Одним словом, полный красный бурак!
Что я сказал: “Бурак” или “Дурак”, а то я уже сам не помню… 
Вы там всё правильно записывайте, чтобы не было ошибок в истории. В нашей истории болезни, так сказать. Или в болезне нашей истории. Я уже совсем запутался, но только вы это не записывайте. В истории тоже должны остаться свои белые пятна, хоть для какой-то чистоты.
И Бардак, и Бурак, и Дурак, и всё остальное. И не Бурак даже, а тотальная Русская Редиска: и не отгрызёшь, и не разгрызёшь… Тако, Ма…” 
As recorded by Mike Nova on 10.5.18 
Ex-MI5 Officer Sheds Light on ‘Narrative’ Behind Book on Skripal
 

mikenova shared this story from Sputnik International – Breaking News & Analysis – Radio, Photos, Videos, Infographics.

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The Russian embassy in London believes a book by a BBC editor about former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal based on last year’s interviews is used in lieu of his testimony on the events of last March. Annie Machon, former MI5 Intelligence Officer has discussed ‘The Skripal Files’ by Mark Urban with Sputnik.

Sputnik: What do you think about a possible connection between Mark Urban, Pablo Miller and Sergei Skripal?

Annie Machon: I think there’s a likelihood there would be a connection between Mark Urban, Pablo Miller and Skripal. And also the fact that Miller was being named in the press in the immediate aftermath of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal way back at the beginning of March and then it was censored from the media under the D-notice system. And yes, people who serve together in the military and in intelligence often carry on communication, contacts, that sort of thing. And particularly, if you’re someone who is working as a journalist for the BBC, you want to keep any connections you still have within that world in order to get some stories and in order to verify stories.

READ MORE: Skripal Refused to Move to US Under New Identity, New Book Claims

Sputnik: Is there more to Mark Urban’s role than simply a BBC journalist?

© AP Photo / Misha Japaridze

Annie Machon:

 So I don’t think Mark Urban has made much of a secret about the fact that he started his career in military intelligence, certainly in the army, and he has gone on to be become a very respected BBC journalist with very good connections to the intelligence agencies and has broken a number of quite hard-hitting stories against these intelligence agencies over the last couple of decades. But yes, he does have very good access to them; they would see him as a useful conduit to put out stories and spin stories and massage what goes out in the media coming out of the intelligence agencies. It’s a sort of two-way process which is good for the journalists but also good for the intelligence agencies as they might get some good coverage. Having said that, Mark has broken a number of stories which have been quite antagonistic to the intelligence agencies too. So I think perhaps he just got lucky here. He might have an old contact who might have put him in contact with Sergei Skripal. He got some interviews which have allowed him to produce a book about a man who is world famous now because of the attack he was subjected to earlier this year.

READ MORE: Putin: Skripal Not Rights Defender, But ‘Traitor’ and ‘Scumbag’ (VIDEO)

Sputnik: What the purpose would be for Mark Urban to produce this book at the current time?

Annie Machon: I think it’s confirming the narrative that has been evolving ever since the attack happened in March in Salisbury. And a lot of information has been coming out now which seems to indicate that it must be the Russians, it certainly was these two people that have been identified by intelligence agencies, and yet we still have no hard evidence. Now people will turn round and say ‘well, you won’t get hard evidence because it’s intelligence’ but in this case, it was a police investigation and they have had months to carry out a forensic investigation. And the fact that both the Skripals have now disappeared and not allowed to make public statements  — apart from that very regimented interview that Yulia did a couple of months ago – I think tells its own tale. I am getting increasingly concerned about how the narrative, which is mainly based on a lot of speculation, mainly coming out of conspiracy websites like Bellingcat is now being, sort of, ossified into ‘this must have happened, this is real, true fact’ rather than just speculation because it’s damaging at a very sensitive time the relations between Britain and Russia.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik’s position.

“Novichok” Postcard – 2:00 PM 10/5/2018 | Global Security News
 

mikenova shared this story from Global Security News.

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“Novichok” Postcard: Note the three steady amber lights: this is the highest  degree of the child kidnapping alert. The “Bosh” and his “Pet”, behind the “rov” – moat, marked by the flag with their mixed colors, in the neo-auburn field of the old cemetery, called the Central Europe. 

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Малого украли! Call 9/11!

Three Lights Amber Alert: Operation “Novichok”!

By Michael Novakhov – 1o.5.18

Ukraine and her Intelligence Services (“Малой, The Junior, Der Jünger”) are finally kidnapped by the New Abwehr, says the Demiurge. 

_______________________

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Three Lights Amber Alert: Operation “Novichok”! “Ukraine and her Intelligence Services (“Малой, The Junior, Der Jünger”) are finally kidnapped by the New Abwehr”, says the Demiurge. Малого украли! Call 9/11! | Russia News
 

mikenova shared this story from Russia News.

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By Michael Novakhov – 1o.5.18

Малого украли! Call 9/11!

Three Lights Amber Alert: Operation “Novichok”!

Ukraine and her Intelligence Services (“Малой, The Junior, Der Jünger”) are finally kidnapped by the New Abwehr, says the Demiurge.

germany ukraine relations – Google Search

Note the three steady amber lights: this is the highest  degree of the child kidnapping alert.

“Ukraine and her Intelligence Services (Малой, The Junior, Der Jünger) are finally kidnapped by the New Abwehr”, says the Demiurge. 

Ukraine was called “Malorossiya”: a small, “junior” Russia. 

Mr. Skripal called the Ukranians “the  herd of sheep” in need of a Shepard. His opinions, kept warm for the upcoming book ordered by the Demiurge, were sent to the Ukranians for the review and rebuttal, and the rebuttal they did, under the wise guidance of the New Abwehr. 

“Choke”, they said to Skripal. “Nova Rossiya” spells “Novi Chok”, they said. “And now you will or will not know, who really did it”, said the Chechens. 

“I know everything”, said the Demiurge. “Because I arrange everything.” 

Well, we should not assassinate Junior any further, there is a much more interesting issue and the set of questions on the horizon. 

Are there any adults in this room? Or no one has any shame left, after all these shamings? Or did everything become so mixed and so intermixed that it simply does not matter much?

“Very controlling, German-Jewish way of running the people’s lives”,  thought Mike Nova. “Abwehr was a very Jewish Lady, after all… With the somewhat suspicious Habsburg Jaw…” 

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Are Germany and Russia friends?

Page on this site | Salisbury Poisoning 2018 News Review from mikenova (8 sites) – Headlines

Salisbury Poisoning 2018 News Review from mikenova (15 sites)
Sergei Skripal – Google News: Salisbury church hosts ‘From Russia With Love’ concert months after Sergei Skripal nerve agent attack – The Independent
salisbury poisoning – Google News: Salisbury Case ‘Problem’ for UK Intelligence, ‘The Skripal Files’ Author Says – Sputnik International
Sergei Skripal – Google News: Salisbury Case ‘Problem’ for UK Intelligence, ‘The Skripal Files’ Author Says – Sputnik International
salisbury novichok – Google News: Vladmir Putin’s bungling spies branded ‘dumb Bonds’ after botched bid to sabotage Salisbury Novichok probe – The Sun
Novichok Signatures – Google News: Caught red handed: The five key steps to catching the hapless, beer-guzzling GRU spies who now face global … – Daily Mail
Germany AND Novichok – Google News: Vladmir Putin’s bungling spies branded ‘dumb Bonds’ after botched bid to sabotage Salisbury Novichok probe – The Sun
Salisbury Poisoning – Russia News: “Novi Chok” Update In Tweets – 4:58 PM 10/4/2018
Skripal – Russia News: “Novi Chok” Update In Tweets – 4:58 PM 10/4/2018
Salisbury Poisoning – FBI News Review: “Novi Chok” Update – 4:50 PM 10/4/2018
Global Security News: The Salisbury Connections – 4:18 PM 10/4/2018
Novichok Signatures – Google News: Kavanaugh’s strategy pays off as reaction to FBI probe breaks down along partisan lines. – The New Republic
Salisbury Poisoning – Russia News: Skripal – Poteyev Connection | Boshirov-Chepiga Ukrainian Intelligence Services Connections – 1:06 PM 10/4/2018
Salisbury Poisoning News Updates – FBI News Review: Germany BND Novichok Connections – 12:56 PM 10/4/2018
salisbury novichok – Google News: West vows to fight back as Russian spies caught hacking Novichok probe – The Sun
Global Security News: The Salisbury Connections – 10.4.18
Salisbury Poisoning – Global Security News: The Salisbury Connections – 10.4.18
salisbury novichok – Google News: Russian spies ‘tried to hack’ chemical watchdog probing Novichok attack – Salisbury Journal
Sergei Skripal – Google News: Putin calls poisoned ex-spy Skripal a ‘scumbag’ and ‘traitor’ – The Globe and Mail
Sergei Skripal – Google News: Russia’s GRU Targeted Chemical-Weapons Watchdog, MH17 Probe, Dutch Officials Say – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
salisbury poisoning – Google News: Russia Attempted to Hack UN Probe of Salisbury Spy Poisoning – Bloomberg
salisbury poisoning – Google News: Russia Attempted to Hack UN Probe of Salisbury Spy Poisoning – Bloomberg

Аваков заявил о причастности «отравителя Скрипаля» к бегству Януковича :: Политика :: РБК
mikenova shared this story .

Глава украинского МВД Арсен Аваков передал своему британскому коллеге информацию о причастности полковника российской разведки Анатолия Чепиги к событиям 2014 года на Украине. Эту версию накануне озвучил журналист Сергей Канев

Арсен Аваков (Фото: Сергий Харченко / Zuma / ТАСС)

Глава МВД Украины Арсен Аваков на встрече с британским коллегой Беном Уоллесом подтвердил, что Киев считает одного из подозреваемых в участии в отравлении Сергея Скрипаля причастным к бегству Януковича из страны в 2014 году. Об этом говорится в пресс-релизе МВД Украины по итогам переговоров двух стран.

Abwehr The Demiurge – YT Playlist | Related Videos Review – Page 

Abwehr “The Demiurge”

Operations “Trump Card”, “Call 9/11”, and “MuckCart-hy” – By Michael Novakhov

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Saved Stories – Posts on G+: Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks: Angela Merkel admits mistakes in row over spy chief | News | DW
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Investigate what is and not what pleases! – 7:42 AM 10/5/2018 | Russia News
 

mikenova shared this story from Russia News.

Investigate what is and not what pleases!

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“Investigate what is and not what pleases!” – Goethe

“A scrap of paper found by Dutch investigators shows that Russian spy Alexei Morenetz, 41, paid 842 roubles, or £9.60, to travel the 20 miles from the city’s Nesvizhskiy Pereulok street to Sheremetyevo Airport, just north of the capital…”

It is extremely rare, practically nonexistent, that someone pay for the cab ride in Moscow by charging the credit card, with the receipt that so conveniently popped up later. 

“After landing in Amsterdam, the group bought equipment that would later be used in their hacking attempts.

Receipts show that at 4.14pm they spent almost £200 on batteries and power supplies that would later be used to run laptops and mobiles used in the hack attempt.”

The similar comment regarding them buying the spying equipment in Amsterdam by charging the credit card and also keeping the receipt that also so conveniently for the investigators, popped up later, after they were apprehended. 

This indicates, that most likely it is the set-up by the New Abwehr to mislead the investigation.

No one concerned about being discreet (the least for the spies) would pay for anything by the credit card. This was done deliberately and on purpose: to leave the footprints which could be easily identified later.

2. 

“Investigators found the issue numbers on the passports belonging to Morenetz and Serebriakov were sequential – suggesting they were printed at exactly the same time…”

The sequential passport numbers is the more interesting issue. Most likely, the Russian passports issuing and printing system were supplied to the Russians by their German friends who retained the degree of the cyber control over this system and the ability to spy on it and/or to manipulate it. They also use the abundance of the German agents on the all levels of the Russian Government and the Security organisations to get, to plant, to set up, etc., etc., anything they want.

The Bellingcat report also looks like the New Abwehr set-up, it looks like it is based entirely on the masterminds’ (the New Abwehr’s) deliberate leak.

Their “facial recognition research” is not convincing at all, it will not withstand the simple and regular scientific scrutiny, it is just the phony-baloney.

3.

The pitch and intensity of this “anti-Russian spying campaign” reminds of another, well masked, New Abwehr’s propaganda campaigns: the McCarthyism. The pungent scent of the Witch-hunt and the public duping on a massive scale, the hallmark of the Abwehr’s operations.

I am very, very far from being “pro-Russian, pro-Putin, or pro-GRU”. But fair is fair and the truth is the truth; and there is no need for the misleading, distracting, and self-defeating witch-hunts. You always pay for them dearly later.

“Investigate what is, not what pleases!”

The crude and primitive character, the “half-heartedness” of these set-ups might indicate that the New Abwehr wants to be discovered. They want to be recognized, and, possibly, accepted. It also indicates that they run on empty, they exhausted their supply of ideas and techniques inherited from the petite Admiral Canaris.

I also have to say that Kremlin is rather inept in defending itself. Ms. Zakharova makes you cringe and gives you the bad case of irresistible muscles twitches, scratching, and vomiting; and the others are not much better. Maybe, she, the Novichok, transmits her stuff telepathically, on a distance.

Wo da u zink?!

Michael Novakhov

10.5.18

Link:

Novichok Signatures – Google News: Caught red handed: The five key steps to catching the hapless, beer-guzzling GRU spies who now face global … – Daily Mail

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______________________________

Fell free to reprint and copy, free of charge. M.N.

_______________________________

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The New Abwehr’s Set-up! | FBI News Review
 

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It is extremely rare, practically nonexistent, that someone pay for the cab ride in Moscow by charging the credit card, with the receipt that so conveniently popped up later.  The similar comment regarding them buying the spying equipment in Amsterdam by charging the credit card and also keeping the receipt that also so conveniently for the investigators, popped up later, after they were apprehended. This indicates, that most likely it is the set-up by the New Abwehr to mislead the investigation.  Michael Novakhov – 5:46 AM 10/5/2018

“The following day, one of his GRU colleagues jumped in a taxi outside a GRU barracks in Moscow and headed towards the airport.

A scrap of paper found by Dutch investigators shows that Russian spy Alexei Morenetz, 41, paid 842 roubles, or £9.60, to travel the 20 miles from the city’s Nesvizhskiy Pereulok street to Sheremetyevo Airport, just north of the capital… 

Investigators found the issue numbers on the passports belonging to Morenetz and Serebriakov were sequential – suggesting they were printed at exactly the same time… 

After landing in Amsterdam, the group bought equipment that would later be used in their hacking attempts.

Receipts show that at 4.14pm they spent almost £200 on batteries and power supplies that would later be used to run laptops and mobiles used in the hack attempt.”

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
The five key steps to catching the hapless, beer-guzzling GRU spies who now face global humiliation
mikenova shared this story from News | Mail Online.

Michael Novakhov comments: 

1.

It is extremely rare, practically nonexistent, that someone pay for the cab ride in Moscow by charging the credit card, with the receipt that so conveniently popped up later. 

The similar comment regarding them buying the spying equipment in Amsterdam by charging the credit card and also keeping the receipt that also so conveniently for the investigators, popped up later, after they were apprehended. 

This indicates, that most likely it is the set-up by the New Abwehr to mislead the investigation. 

No one concerned about being discreet (the least for the spies) would pay  for anything by the credit card. This was done deliberately and on purpose: to leave the footprints which could be easily identified later. 

2.

The sequential passport numbers is the more interesting issue. Most likely, the Russian passports issuing and printing system were supplied to the Russians by their German friends who retained the degree of the cyber control over this system and the ability to spy on it and/or to manipulate it. They also use the abundance of the German agents on the all levels of the Russian Government and the Security organisations to get, to plant, to set up, etc., etc., anything they want. 

Michael Novakhov

10.5.18

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks 

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
The five key steps to catching the hapless, beer-guzzling GRU spies who now face global humiliation
The Salisbury Connections – 10.4.18 | Global Security News
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The five key steps to catching the hapless, beer-guzzling GRU spies who now face global humiliation
mikenova shared this story from News | Mail Online.

Strolling through an airport in Amsterdam, these four Russian agents would soon be caught red-handed carrying out a botched cyber-attack.

Yesterday they faced global humiliation as the authorities exposed their failed attempt to hack into the chemical weapons watchdog which was investigating the Salisbury poisonings.

A devastating trail of evidence shows how Moscow’s team of spies from the GRU military intelligence service – operating under the name Sandworm – attempted to use a rig of computers, antennae and phones hidden in the boot of a rented car to gain access to the organisation’s IT systems.

Yesterday, in an unprecedented step, Dutch authorities produced a dossier of evidence showing how the spies tried to launch a ‘close-access’ cyber-attack from a street in The Hague.

It was in April this year – little more than a month after the Salisbury attacks – that the bungling GRU squad attempted to infiltrate the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Dutch city.

Here, we detail how the unit was caught-red handed attempting to carry out the brazen cyber-attack.

The five key steps to catching the hapless, beer-guzzling GRU spies who now face global humiliation
 

mikenova shared this story from News | Mail Online.

Strolling through an airport in Amsterdam, these four Russian agents would soon be caught red-handed carrying out a botched cyber-attack.

Yesterday they faced global humiliation as the authorities exposed their failed attempt to hack into the chemical weapons watchdog which was investigating the Salisbury poisonings.

A devastating trail of evidence shows how Moscow’s team of spies from the GRU military intelligence service – operating under the name Sandworm – attempted to use a rig of computers, antennae and phones hidden in the boot of a rented car to gain access to the organisation’s IT systems.

Yesterday, in an unprecedented step, Dutch authorities produced a dossier of evidence showing how the spies tried to launch a ‘close-access’ cyber-attack from a street in The Hague.

It was in April this year – little more than a month after the Salisbury attacks – that the bungling GRU squad attempted to infiltrate the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Dutch city.

Here, we detail how the unit was caught-red handed attempting to carry out the brazen cyber-attack.

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1. PLANNING IN MOSCOW

At 7.09am on the morning of April 9, Russian GRU agent Yevgeny Serebriakov, 37, opened up his laptop and began to Google the acronym ‘OPCW’.

At that time, the OPCW was conducting an investigation into the use of novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on March 4.

It was also examining an alleged chemical attack by Syria’s Russian-backed military in Douma.

Serebriakov’s searches took him to Google Maps and to the headquarters of the OPCW in The Hague.

The following day, one of his GRU colleagues jumped in a taxi outside a GRU barracks in Moscow and headed towards the airport.

A scrap of paper found by Dutch investigators shows that Russian spy Alexei Morenetz, 41, paid 842 roubles, or £9.60, to travel the 20 miles from the city’s Nesvizhskiy Pereulok street to Sheremetyevo Airport, just north of the capital.

The receipt carries Morenetz’s name and signature and is dated April 10, the same day the unit arrived in Amsterdam.

The day before, one of the four hackers had activated a brand new Sony Xperia mobile phone. Data shows that when it was switched on, it connected to the nearest mobile mast, located just a few streets away from the same GRU barracks.

Last night it emerged that Morenetz is registered at an address in Moscow known to be a Russian military intelligence base. The specific address is believed to be home to Military Unit 26165, a unit of the GRU military intelligence service. Another of the Russians, Alexei Minin, also has an address related to the Russian military. He is registered as living at a building on Narodnogo Opolcheniya street in Moscow. This is the legal address of the military academy run by the Russian defence ministry.

Dutch authorities released images of four Russian agents who tried to hack into the global chemical weapons watchdog at the time of the investigation into the Salisbury novichok attack. CCTV shows them when they were kicked out of the Netherlands
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Dutch authorities released images of four Russian agents who tried to hack into the global chemical weapons watchdog at the time of the investigation into the Salisbury novichok attack. CCTV shows them when they were kicked out of the Netherlands

2.FLYING TO AMSTERDAM

The four-strong GRU unit flew into Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on April 10 using diplomatic passports.

They were met by an official from the Russian Embassy, who was captured on CCTV escorting the group through the arrivals hall.

Passport details show the hackers travelled under the names of Morenetz, 41, and Serebriakov, 37, who were described by Dutch officials as ‘cyber operators’.

The other two men, thought to be ‘supporting agents’, were named as Oleg Sotnikov, 46, and Alexei Minin, 46.

Investigators found the issue numbers on the passports belonging to Morenetz and Serebriakov were sequential – suggesting they were printed at exactly the same time.

Russian cyber attack on OPCW is ‘reckless’: Jim Mattis

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The boot of a car filled with hacking equipment in the Citroen rental car which was being used by the four Russian officers
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The boot of a car filled with hacking equipment in the Citroen rental car which was being used by the four Russian officers

After landing in Amsterdam, the group bought equipment that would later be used in their hacking attempts.

Receipts show that at 4.14pm they spent almost £200 on batteries and power supplies that would later be used to run laptops and mobiles used in the hack attempt.

The following day, on April 11, Sotnikov and Minin hired a non-descript dark grey Citroen C3 from a local car rental company. They then began a reconnaissance mission around the OPCW.

Pictures found on Minin’s camera phone show how they checked out the location, with pictures also showing various views of the Marriott Hotel, where they stayed, which is conveniently located next door to the OPCW building.

3.THE BRAZEN HACK

On Friday, April 13, the unit carefully parked their Citroen C3 hire car on the road closest to the OPCW headquarters.

They carried out what is known as a ‘close-access’ cyber-hack. This type of infiltration must be done in close physical proximity to the target network.

It can involve tricking legitimate users of the network to log in to a fake system, or it can involve looking for unsecured laptops using the network that they can compromise and gain access to. The hackers had already failed to infiltrate the OPCW using so-called ‘remote spear phishing’ techniques from Russia. This involves sending targeted individuals emails which attempt to trick them into giving away sensitive information, or which download malware to their computer.

UK ambassador to Netherlands on alleged Russian cyberattack on OPCW

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4. A DRAMATIC ARREST

As the four spies stood next to their car parked up near the OPCW, Dutch counter-intelligence services, who had been monitoring their activities, swooped.

In a panic, one of the GRU agents threw his phone to the ground to smash it and destroy any evidence it contained.

But the Dutch investigators opened the boot of the car to discover the unit’s mobile hacking kit. This contained a battery, transformer and a laptop connected to a smartphone and an antenna pointed towards the OPCW building. Another antenna, on the car’s parcel shelf, had been hastily coved by a black overcoat.

The Dutch officers began to undercover a host of other evidence which would tie them not only to this hacking plot but to others round the world.

The four were carrying at least ten other mobile phones and more than £33,000 in cash – 20,000 in euros and 20,000 in US dollars.

They also had with them a plastic bag filled with empty Heineken beer cans and soft drink bottles, which they appeared to have taken from their hotel room. ‘They were clearly not here on holiday,’ the head of the Dutch intelligence service joked yesterday.

The hackers were escorted back to the airport and expelled from The Netherlands. They returned to Moscow.

British Government officials yesterday said it was for the Dutch to explain why the suspects had not been arrested.

Investigators later discovered the four had been planning to travel by train to the OPCW laboratory in Spiez in Switzerland. Tickets carrying the names of all four agents show they had planned to depart on April 17 and head to the Swiss capital Bern via Basel.

5. THEY’D DONE IT BEFORE

This was not the first time the agents had travelled to Switzerland. Intelligence collected from a laptop belonging to one of the GRU officers held in The Hague shows it had connected to wifi at the Alpha Palmiers Hotel in Lausanne in September 2016.

At that time, a conference of the World Anti-Doping Agency was taking place.

It had banned Russian athletes from competing amid a state-sponsored doping scandal.

The conference was also attended by officials from the International Olympic Committee and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, who found themselves victim of a cyber-attack.

One official had their laptop compromised by ‘APT28’ malware, which then spread to the Canadian Centre’s systems. Hackers also compromised the IP addresses of the International Olympic Committee.

The laptop belonging to Serebriakov, which was seized during the Dutch operation, revealed he had carried out ‘malign activity’ in Malaysia.

During that operation, the GRU attempted to collect information about the fate of Malaysian airlines flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine in July 2014 by a missile that belonged to a Russian military unit.

Hacking attempts targeted the Malaysian government and institutions including the Attorney General’s office and the Royal Malaysian Police.

The findings of the Dutch intelligence agencies were swiftly shared with British allies.

The GRU spies were found to be being part of what the Russian military refer to as Unit 26165, or GRU 85 Main Special Service Centre.

The unit is home to the Russian military’s best mathematical minds and is believed to have run the hacking campaign that sought to influence the 2016 US presidential election.

Dutch government says it disrupted Russian hack attempt

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Intelligence Analysis is an Interpretation. And the “Interpretation is merely logical reasoning.” – 5:22 AM 8/7/2018 | Intelligence Analysis as Interpretation – GS | The Hermeneutics of Intelligence Analysis – GS

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Intelligence Analysis is an Interpretation. And the “Interpretation is merely logical reasoning.” M.N. – 5:22 AM 8/7/2018

Hermeneutics – Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeneutics 

Archaeology – Archaeology. In archaeologyhermeneutics means the interpretation and understanding of material through analysis of possible meanings and social uses. Proponents argue that interpretation of artifacts is unavoidably hermeneutic because we cannot know for certain the meaning behind them. | Hermeneutic circle · ‎Double hermeneutic · ‎Exegesis · ‎Biblical hermeneutics

M.N.: The same can be said about the “message aspects” of any crime in general, about the specific “performance crimes”, and especially about the political crimes and the intelligence operations: the “interpretation of artifacts [or what was left on a surface – M.N.] is unavoidably hermeneutic [interpretative – M.N.] because we cannot know for certain the meaning behind them”, and we can only hypothesize and to interpret these “artifacts” until we arrive on the firmer ground of facts and proofs. 
4:11 AM 8/6/2018
In Political Criminology, Media Coverage and the Internet Research are the “text” of the Investigative Hermeneutics, just like the Bible is the text of the religious Hermeneutics, “artefacts” are the “text” of the archaeological Hermeneutics, etc. 
______________________________

hermeneutics definition

_____________________________________
“See The Big Picture, Sir! 
Truth is God, and God is Truth;
_______________________________________
Image result for joseph the interpreter of dreams
“5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.” 
___________________________
    M.N.: The Russian and the Israeli, and also the Russian-Jewish Mafia connections and the roles in the Operations “Trump” and “9/11” are quite obvious. The German Connections are hidden deeply, and they are the puppet master who runs the show. This is the traditional masterful use of covers by the German Intelligence. Therefore their role should be investigated with the archaeological brush. The legal proofs might never be found but should be searched for persistently and in extra and the utmost depth. If you do not want to be fooled.
    See also: hermeneutic analysis in archaeology – GS | 4:42 PM 7/28/2018

Hermeneutics – Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeneutics 

Archaeology – Archaeology. In archaeologyhermeneutics means the interpretation and understanding of material through analysis of possible meanings and social uses. Proponents argue that interpretation of artifacts is unavoidably hermeneutic because we cannot know for certain the meaning behind them. | Hermeneutic circle · ‎Double hermeneutic · ‎Exegesis · ‎Biblical hermeneutics

M.N.: The same can be said about the “message aspects” of any crime in general, about the specific “performance crimes”, and especially about the political crimes and the intelligence operations: the “interpretation of artifacts [or what was left on a surface – M.N.] is unavoidably hermeneutic [interpretative – M.N.] because we cannot know for certain the meaning behind them”, and we can only hypothesize and to interpret these “artifacts” until we arrive on the firmer ground of facts and proofs. 
4:11 AM 8/6/2018
In Political Criminology, Media Coverage and the Internet Research are the “text” of the Investigative Hermeneutics, just like the Bible is the text of the religious Hermeneutics, “artefacts” are the “text” of the archaeological Hermeneutics, etc. 

12:58 PM 7/25/2018

M.N.: If the “German Hypothesis” (or more exactly, “The German-Russian-Israeli Hypothesis”, in order of “authorship rank and significance”), of the “Operations Trump and 9/11” (and those in-between, known and unknown) is properly investigated, and proves to be true, at least in part; it will have the most profound implications and impacts on practically “everything”. 

_______________________

The Demiurge

Operations “Trump” And “9/11”

hermeneutics definition

Proverbs 1:5-6 King James Version (KJV)
5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. 

_________________________

Image result for stalin as demiurge

stalin as demiurge – Google Search

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2:20 PM 7/24/2018 – Nobody knows anything – Washington Post

Russian President Vladimir Putin and ex-German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder 

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks Want to be a pundit, Jim Comey? Be careful what you wish for. – The Washington Post Nobody knows anything – Washington Post alfred gusenbauer manafort – Google Search romano prodi hapsburg group – Google Search Trump Draws Attention to Controversial Role of Putin-Friendly Former German Chancellor manafort hapsburg group – Google Search European Ex-Officials Deny Being Paid by Manafort to Lobby for Ukraine konstantin k…

“He’s making us dance and he’s enjoying every minute of it. It makes him feel important.” – Tyler Drumheller of CIA, thinking about Ernst Uhrlau, from the book “Curveball”, by Bob Drogin 

7.28.18 – “These two countries are working together, and they’re working against the United States.” | Germany and Russia’s Secret War Against America – YouTube Video and other articles – 

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Germany and Russia’s Secret War Against America – YouTube
mikenova shared this story .

Germany and Russia’s Secret War Against America

The Real Russia Collusion Scandal and a New Idea for the German Army | theTrumpet.com

Michael Novakhov@mikenov

German meddling in US politics and Trump foreign policy triggers sharp rebuke from GOP Senators

German interference in the U.S. political system as means of countering President Trump’s foreign policy agenda has sparked sharp criticism from Republican senators. – foxnews.com

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12:46 PM 12/17/2017 – Putin should be forever grateful to the CIA, for whatever he has to be grateful to them… – “Putin asked Trump to pass along his gratitude to the CIA” 

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Putin should be forever grateful to the CIA, for whatever he has to be grateful to them… – “Putin asked Trump to pass along his gratitude to the CIA” 

Michael Novakhov

12.17.17 

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Putin phoned Trump to thank him for CIA intel that foiled a planned terrorist attack in Russia, the Kremlin says

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Gregg Jarrett: FBI Has Become “America’s Secret Police,” Mueller Using FBI As “Political Weapon” – RealClearPolitics

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RealClearPolitics
Gregg Jarrett: FBI Has Become “America’s Secret Police,” Mueller Using FBI As “Political Weapon”
RealClearPolitics
FOX News’ Gregg Jarrett on Wednesday night said the Federal Bureau of Investigation has become “America’s secret police” and that special counsel Robert Mueller is using the government entity as a “political weapon.” “The FBI is a shadow government now 
Fox legal analyst Jarrett: Mueller investigation ‘illegitimate and corrupt’The Hill
Fox News’s Gregg Jarrett Goes Full-Conspiracist on Mueller: ‘KGB That Comes For You in the Dark of Night’Mediaite
Top Fox News analyst goes off in wild segment about Russia, calls the FBI America’s ‘secret police’ and like ‘the Business Insiderall 5 news articles »

Family Security Matters

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FBI: American Gestapo

by LAWRENCE SELLIN, PHDDecember 16, 2017Any government agency with law enforcement and surveillance authority that uses those powers for political purposes is the definition of a secret police, no better than the Nazi Gestapo or the Soviet KGB.

There is indeed probable cause to conclude, meaning indictable offenses, that employees of the Department of Justice and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sympathetic to the Democrat Party, used the power of their offices and with the assistance of foreign nationals to influence the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton, first to exonerate her and then obtain information to prevent the election of Donald Trump or to provide a basis for his impeachment should he win.

It is also abundantly clear from the Congressional investigations involving the Department of Justice and the FBI that those institutions of government are protecting themselves at the expense of transparency and accountability to the American people.

In other words, the government employees involved consider the survival of the Deep State more important than the survival of the Constitution. That is the definition of tyranny.

Here is a summary of the apparent sequence of events based on the revelations so far. There may be more damning evidence yet to be disclosed.

–        The Democrats hired Fusion GPS to find dirt on Donald Trump.

–        Fusion GPS hired former British MI6 agent in Moscow, Christopher Steele, to canvass and very likely pay his Russian contacts, some of whom may be present or former members of Russian intelligence, for negative information about Trump.

–        Steele creates the “Trump dossier” and distributes it either directly or indirectly to media outlets and to politicians like Senator John McCain (R-AZ).

–        The FBI obtains the “Trump dossier,” but inexplicably or perhaps intentionally does not check the veracity of any of Steele’s assertions.

–        The FBI uses the “Trump dossier” to apply to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to obtain warrantless authorization to conduct surveillance on Trump and his associates.

–        It now appears that Christopher Steele might have been, at some point, on the FBI payroll, and, by extension, the Russians.

The use of an un-vetted document from dubious Russian sources as a basis for unwarranted surveillance of American citizens, ultimately for political purposes, renders the entire Mueller investigation a farce and could provide exculpatory evidence to vacate the guilty plea of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. It is a verdict many believe was based on improperly-obtained information as part of an overall effort by politically-motivated federal employees to manipulate the results of the 2016 election.

The conditions that led to the election of Donald Trump as President remain. They bear repeating.

The federal government and the media are, as institutions, hopelessly corrupt and, although we have elections, we no longer have representative government.

There is a Cold Civil War underway in the United States to determine who should control the federal government. It is not a contest between the Democrat and Republican policies, but a battle between the entrenched power of the bipartisan political establishment, the Deep State, versus the freedom and well-being of the American people. It is a conflict between those who want to adhere to the Constitution and the rule of law and a ruling elite, who wish to continue the practices of political expediency and crony capitalism for the purposes of personal power and profit.

Americans now believe that we are no longer citizens of a republic, but subjects of an elected aristocracy, composed of a self-absorbed and self-perpetuating permanent political class, which serves its own interests and those of its international financiers, not those of the American people.

Three years before the start of the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln said a government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free – that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Likewise, a government separated from the people cannot stand.

The American Revolution, a war to free ourselves from foreign tyranny, lasted eight years.

The Second American Revolution, a battle to root out the corruption and despotism of the Deep State will take longer, but equally necessary.

Enjoying your FSM article? The Family Security Foundation is a non-profit and we keep bringing you articles because of donors’ generous contributions. Your year-end tax-free contribution allows <a href=”http://FamilySecurityMatters.org” rel=”nofollow”>FamilySecurityMatters.org</a> to continue to be your go to site for National Security issues!  Ready to support FSM? Click here.

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FBI: American Gestapo – Family Security Matters

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FBI: American Gestapo
Family Security Matters
There is indeed probable cause to conclude, meaning indictable offenses, that employees of the Department of Justice and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sympathetic to the Democrat Party, used the power of their offices and with the  

10:40 AM 12/16/2017 – What is good for the FBI and its employees is not necessarily good for America! 

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M.N.: This graph below, from the cited article, is meaningless and misleading, just as the article itself: the overall “ideological orientation” (rated as the “conservative” for the FBI, with the score of about +1,5 on the -2 to +2 scale), in no way can be the predictor or correlate of the behaviors and actions, including … Continue reading “10:40 AM 12/16/2017 – What is good for the FBI and its employees is not necessarily good for America! “

WSJ: There’s Mounting Evidence of 2016 Election Meddling Coming From the FBI – Townhall

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Townhall
WSJ: There’s Mounting Evidence of 2016 Election Meddling Coming From the FBI
Townhall
There is something rotten at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I mean all of this is just absurd. We have two FBI agents texting one another, one of which is having an extramarital affair with the other, cryptically talking about “insurance” against and more »

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President Trump claims the FBI is tainted and its reputation in tatters. This graph shows he’s wrong. – Washington Post

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Washington Post
President Trump claims the FBI is tainted and its reputation in tatters. This graph shows he’s wrong.
Washington Post
The former FBI director James BComey and current FBI director Christopher A. Wray have both previously donated to Republicans. All agencies this size include employees who donate to Democrats and others who donate to Republicans — donations that are 
President Trump’s speech at the FBI Academy was recklessThe Hill
White House: FBI records show ‘extreme bias’ against TrumpWashington Times
Andrew C. McCarthy: Mueller needs to make a changeWinston-Salem Journal
Week Facts –Fox News
all 593 news articles »

Former FBI official: Comey let politics creep into process

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From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 05:24

Former FBI deputy assistant director Danny Coulson speaks out about allegations of bias within the FBI on ‘The Story.’

Former agent agrees with Trump that FBI is in ‘tatters’

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From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 06:08

Former FBI official Kevin Brock weighs in on ‘Fox News @ Night.’

Fox’s Lou Dobbs: “We have the most corrupt” FBI and DOJ in our country’s history investigating Trump – Media Matters for America

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Media Matters for America
Fox’s Lou Dobbs: “We have the most corrupt” FBI and DOJ in our country’s history investigating Trump
Media Matters for America
Louie, some things you might have either missed or simply ignored in your false claim that the “FBI and DOJ are corrupt.” An agent and a lawyer were exchanging text messages which expressed their political opinions – that is not a crime. They are still and more »

British Intervention Into 2016 US Election – Executive Intelligence Review (EIR)

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British Intervention Into 2016 US Election
Executive Intelligence Review (EIR)
According to Luke Harding, author of Collusion, Simpson specialized as a journalist on the intersection between organized crime and the Russian state. • According to Harding, Steele and Simpson knew the same FBI agents, shared expertise on Russia, and  

Sessions Says Bias Concerns About FBI Are Being Taken Seriously

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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Signed in as mikenova

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The Latest: Trump slams investigators at ‘disgraceful’ FBI

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s visit to the FBI (all times local):

8:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump has unleashed a blistering attack on the FBI’s leadership.

He is denouncing the bureau for its handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, calling it “really disgraceful.”

Trump says “you have a lot of very angry people that are seeing it.”

The president’s broadside appears to reflect his anger over revelations that senior FBI officials exchanged anti-Trump and pro-Clinton text messages while working on last year’s Clinton probe and during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump associates colluded with Russian officials in the 2016 election.

Trump laced into the bureau as he was departing for its training academy in Virginia, where he lavished praise on graduates of a weeks-long FBI National Academy program for law enforcement leaders from around the country.

See How Virtual Reality Is Being Used in HospitalsPaid Content by CIT Group

See How Virtual Reality Is Being Used in Hospitals

__

3:45 p.m.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is distancing himself from President Donald Trump’s criticism of the FBI. Sessions says he does not share the view that the FBI “is not functioning at a high level all over the country.”

Sessions, speaking Friday at a news conference about the Justice Department’s crime-fighting efforts, said the FBI is “fulfilling a fabulously important role working to fight against violent crime.” But he stopped short of saying whether he agrees with Trump that the reputation of the agency is “in tatters.”

Trump again blasted FBI leadership Friday even as he praised state and local officers.

Sessions says it’s noteworthy that Trump expressed support for law enforcement in a speech at the FBI’s National Academy. The program is for law enforcement leaders from around the country, not FBI agents.

___

11:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump is calling for the death penalty for anyone convicted of killing a police officer.

Trump, while speaking at the FBI National Academy in Virginia on Friday, pledged to support law enforcement officers and condemned those who attack them.

During the presidential campaign, Trump pledged to sign an executive order as president that would demand capital punishment for cop killers.

He has yet to do so.

The president was warmly received by the crowd of local law enforcement officers who cheered his calls for a crackdown on gangs and an end to chain migration.

The president painted a dark picture of a nation under siege by crime, at one moment wondering aloud “What the hell is going on in Chicago?”

The crowd laughed.

___

10:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump is addressing a graduating class of law enforcement officers at the FBI National Academy.

Trump on Friday praised the academy, a 10-week professional course of study for U.S. and international law enforcement officers.

Trump, a frequent FBI critic, promised that as president he will be “more loyal than anyone else could be” to the police.

He honored the graduates for completing the rigorous training, saying the “elite training will help save lives.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray says Trump is the first president to address a graduating class at the FBI training center in Quantico, Virginia since Richard Nixon.

__

9:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump says “it’s a shame what’s happened” with the FBI, calling its handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation “really disgraceful.”

Speaking to reporters as he departs for a speech at the FBI training academy in Quantico, Va., Trump promises that “we’re going to rebuild the FBI.”

Trump alluded to newly revealed edits to former FBI Director James Comey’s 2016 statement on the Clinton probe: “It is very sad when you look at those documents, how they’ve done that is really, really disgraceful, and you have a lot of really angry people who are seeing it.”

Trump reiterated that “there was no collusion” between his campaign and the Russian government, adding the recent revelations prove his claim that the Clinton investigation was “rigged.”

___

7:53 a.m.

The White House says newly-revealed FBI records show there is “extreme bias” against President Donald Trump among senior leadership at the FBI.

Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley tells Fox News Channel that edits to former FBI Director James Comey’s statement on Hillary Clinton’s private email server and text messages from a top agent critical of Trump are “deeply troubling.”

“There is extreme bias against this president with high-up members of the team there at the FBI who were investigating Hillary Clinton at the time,” Gidley charges, as special counsel Robert Mueller pushes on with a probe of possible Trump campaign ties to Russia. Gidley says Trump maintains confidence in the FBI’s rank-and-file the Justice Department.

Trump is scheduled to attend an FBI National Academy graduation service later Friday.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Trump praises police after blasting ‘sad,’ ‘disgraceful’ FBI

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump heaped praise on law enforcement while decrying anti-police sentiment in a speech to FBI academy graduates on Friday not long after he lamented the agency’s “sad” and “disgraceful” state.

In remarks to the FBI National Academy that also touched on immigration and violent crime, Trump called himself a “true friend and loyal champion” of police while noting that members of law enforcement “rarely get the recognition” they deserve.

“We will protect those who protect us,” the president said, adding that those accused of killing police officers “should get the death penalty.”

“Anti-police sentiment is wrong and it’s dangerous, and we will not stand for it,” he said.

Trump to FBI academy grads: I’m a ‘true friend and loyal champion’ to police 0:49

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An hour earlier, speaking to reporters on the White House lawn on his way to talk to graduates of the academy in Quantico, Virginia, Trump said: “It’s a shame what’s happened with the FBI, but we’re going to rebuild the FBI. It’ll be bigger and better than ever.”

Referencing the 90 pages of newly released messages, many critical of the president, between an FBI lawyer and an agent later assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, Trump called it “sad when you look at those documents and how they’ve done that is really, really disgraceful and you have a lot of very angry people that are seeing it.”

In his speech, the president also made a pitch for cracking down on immigration and stepped up his attacks on the visa lottery system and chain migration, which his administration has called on Congress to end in the wake of recent terror attacks in New York City.

He also painted an inaccurate picture, however, of a system that invites the “worst people,” insinuating that names were put “in a bin” and chosen out at random. (Actually, visa lottery applicants must meet eligibility requirements to enter the program, and applicants are vetted through strict State Department processes.)

“Congratulations, you’re going to the United States!” Trump said. “What a system.”

Promises of an immigration crackdown spurred applause from the law enforcement crowd as Trump went on to issue a new message to members of the MS13 gang Friday. “We will find you, we will arrest you, we will jail you, we will throw you the hell out of the country,” he said.

But the last option was the one preferred by the president, he said, because in jail “we have to take care of them — who the hell wants to take care of them?”

The “jail stuff,” Trump said over laughter from the crowd, “is wonderful, but we have to pay for them right?”

The FBI’s website describes the National Academy as a 10-week “professional course of study for U.S. and international law enforcement managers nominated by their agency heads because of demonstrated leadership qualities.”

Trump tweeted this month that the FBI’s “reputation is in tatters,” prompting FBI staffers — including Trump’s own pick to head the agency after he fired former director James Comey — to defend it against the president’s assertions.

“The FBI that I see is tens of thousands of agents and analysts and staff working their tails off to keep Americans safe from the next terrorist attack, gang violence, child predators, spies from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran,” FBI director Christopher Wray said last week during an appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.

During a passionate, two-minute-long defense, Wray described the FBI as “respected and appreciated by our partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement, in the intelligence community, and by our foreign counterparts in both law enforcement and national security in something like 200 countries around the globe.”

Sessions: DOJ will ‘take seriously’ Trump’s concerns about FBI 2:34

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Later on Friday, in response to questions from reporters, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he did not agree with Trump’s dim assessment of the FBI.

“Well, I don’t share the view that the FBI is not functioning at a high level,” Sessions said during a press conference announcing new anti-violent crime initiatives. “In my view, the FBI has huge national security requirements, it’s also fulfilling a fabulously important role in helping fight against violent crime, also.”

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Republican Trey Gowdy suggests deputy FBI director will be ousted soon

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Trey GowdyRep. Trey Gowdy. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

  • Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy suggested that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe will be forced out at the top law enforcement agency as soon as next week.
  • Gowdy argued that newly released FBI records reveal political bias against President Donald Trump — and in favor of Hillary Clinton — at the highest levels of the FBI.

Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, suggested in a Friday interview that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe will be forced out at the top law enforcement agency as soon as next week.

Gowdy argued that newly released FBI records reveal political bias against President Donald Trump — and in favor of Hillary Clinton — at the highest levels of the FBI. Gowdy said that McCabe will likely be pushed out of the agency as a result of the perceived bias.

“I’ll be a little bit surprised if he’s still an employee of the FBI this time next week,” Gowdy told Fox News of McCabe, adding that he would be “shocked” if McCabe testifies before the House next week.

The Washington Post reported last week that Gowdy settled a $150,000 veteran discrimination and retaliation claim from a former aide, who was fired in 2015 from the House Benghazi committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. The aide alleged that he was wrongfully terminated in part for his unwillingness to engage in what he believed was a partisan investigation into Hillary Clinton’s time as US secretary of state.

Attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators have escalated sharply in recent weeks, culminating in a partisan haranguing of the FBI director last week over the perceived missteps of his predecessor.

Conservative and far-right media outlets, already skeptical of Mueller’s probe into President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, grew louder in their calls for FBI Director Chris Wray to either clean house or for Mueller to resign. It came after news that two special counsel investigators at one point exhibited perceived political bias.

Trump again characterized the criminal justice system as “rigged” during a rally in Florida on Friday, echoing comments he made last weekend following former national security Michael Flynn’s guilty plea as part of Mueller’s probe.

President Donald Trump lamented the state of the FBI, the nation’s top law-enforcement agency, shortly before delivering a speech at an FBI graduation ceremony on Friday in Quantico, Virginia.

“It’s a shame what’s happened with the FBI, but we’re going to rebuild the FBI. It’ll be bigger and better than ever,” Trump told reporters before boarding Virginia-bound Marine One on Friday morning.

The president also recently described the country’s top law-enforcement agency as “in tatters,” but a White House spokesman said on Friday that Trump had “full faith and confidence” in the rank-and-file members of the Department of Justice and the FBI.

Also on Friday morning, Hogan Gidley, the White House’s deputy press secretary, said that recently released FBI records showed “extreme bias” against Trump among leadership at the FBI.

Recently disclosed text messages between two FBI agents assigned to the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign included a reference to Trump as an “idiot.” Both agents are no longer involved in the Russia investigation. Other records revealed edits made to soften the statement of James Comey, then the FBI director, concerning the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

Gidley called the records “eye-opening” and “deeply troubling.”

“There is extreme bias against this president with high-up members of the team there at the FBI who were investigating Hillary Clinton at the time,” Gidley told “Fox & Friends” on Friday morning.

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Facebook admits it poses mental health risk – but says using site more can help – The Guardian

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The Guardian
Facebook admits it poses mental health risk – but says using site more can help
The Guardian
Facebook has repeatedly been accused of spreading Russian propaganda and fake news, providing a platform and network for white supremacists, enabling hate speech and offensive ads and censoring critics of oppressive governments. The company’s CEO, Mark and more »

Saved Stories – 1. FBI: 8:10 AM 12/15/2017 – “FBI” stands for “FOOLS, BUNGLERS, IDIOTS”. And how about it? 

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Saved Stories Saved Stories – None FBI stands for FOOLS, BUNGLERS, IDIOTS. And how about it? 7:12 AM 12/15/2017 After Months Of Withering Criticism, Trump Prepares To Visit FBI NPR Republicans are worried about the integrity of Mueller’s team. That’s overblown. – Washington Post Mueller needs to make a change – Washington Post Justice Department … Continue reading “8:10 AM 12/15/2017 – “FBI” stands for “FOOLS, BUNGLERS, IDIOTS”. And how about it?”

 Saved Stories – 1. FBI

GOP lawmaker claims FBI purged training documents. Here’s what we found

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Did the Barack Obama administration ditch FBI material used to train counterterrorism agents?

At a House committee hearing on worldwide terror threats, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., claimed the former administration purged information that could “allow us to see in totality the threat that faces America.”

“Just curious if you can tell me if the FBI has taken any steps to reverse the previous administration’s purge of training courses and information about Islamism, jihad, Sharia, and the Muslim Brotherhood,” Perry asked FBI director Christopher Wray at the Nov. 30 hearing.

Wray said he was not aware of efforts to purge training material.

“They were purged in the last administration,” Perry told him.

Is that true?

Perry’s office did not respond to our requests for information. We found the FBI did rescind training material during the Obama administration — but it was less than 1 percent of 160,000 pages of training documents that were found to contain information that was factually inaccurate, imprecise or used stereotypes.

The review came after media reports show that training material included claims identifying “mainstream” American Muslims as “likely to be terrorist sympathizers.”

The Arab American Institute said the documents “crudely” depicted Arab Americans and American Muslims “as threatening, irrational, or otherwise abnormal.”

Here’s what we know about the FBI’s review and rescinded documents.

Reports of anti-Muslim training material

Wired in July 2011 reported that part of a January 2009 presentation for new FBI recruits said that Islam “transforms (a) country’s culture into 7th-century Arabian ways.”

Additional Wired reporting in September 2011 found that during a training session at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., agents were told that “mainstream” American Muslims were “likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a ‘cult leader’; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a ‘funding mechanism for combat’.” A chart in the presentation contended that the more “devout” Muslims are, the likelier they are to be violent, Wired reported.

The FBI distanced itself from the messages in the training.

It told Wired that the presentation had a disclaimer saying the views expressed were of the author and “do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. government.” An FBI press release issued a day after Wired’s report said the training segment was presented only one time and quickly discontinued.

At a November 2011 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asked then-Attorney General Eric Holder about the training material, presenting among examples a claim that ‘‘the Arabic mind is swayed more by ideas than facts.”

“It is regrettable that that information was, in fact, a part of a training program,” Holder said, adding that there was an ongoing review of training material “to ensure that that kind of misinformation” was not being used, because it could undermine and negatively impact outreach efforts.

The FBI reviewed 160,000 pages of material and eventually removed hundreds of pages from its training. Less than 1 percent of the material reviewed had “factually inaccurate or imprecise information or used stereotypes,” the FBI told Wired in February 2012.

March 2012 letter from Durbin to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller expressed disappointment that the FBI would not produce a written report on the material deemed inappropriate, and that it would not be publicly shared or given to Congress. Durbin’s letter said FBI briefers shared copies of “a handful” of the material with Senate Judiciary Committee staff, but were not allowed to keep the copies.

The FBI did not confirm to PolitiFact if it eliminated such material, but referred us to public source material and 2012 congressional testimony.

At a May 2012 House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the FBI, Mueller said 876 inappropriate training documents had been removed after a review of 160,000 documents and over 1,000 videos, but did not specify what the material said.

Judicial Watch, a conservative group that litigates on public corruption and other issues, said documents it obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit showed that reasons cited for the removal of material included: “Article is highly inflammatory and inaccurately argues the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization,” and “author seems to conflate ‘Islamic Militancy’ with ‘terrorism’ and needs to define the difference and use it in their analysis.”

“The excised material included references linking the Muslim Brotherhood to terrorism, tying al Qaeda to the 1993 World Trade Center and Khobar Towers bombings, and suggesting that ‘young male immigrants of Middle Eastern appearance … may fit the terrorist profile best’,” Judicial Watch said.

Our ruling

Perry said the Obama administration purged “training courses and information about Islamism, jihad, Sharia, and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The FBI removed nearly 900 training documents containing information that was inaccurate, imprecise or depicted stereotypes, after a review of 160,000 pages and more than 1,000 videos. The review came after 2011 media reports about training material portraying Muslims stereotypically and prone to violence.

Though the FBI did not publicly disclose the material it rescinded, Judicial Watch said that through a lawsuit for information, it found that removed material included references to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Perry’s statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details or takes things out of context. We rate it Half True.

Scott Perry

Representative

Says the Obama administration purged “training courses and information about Islamism, jihad, Sharia, and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

in a House committee hearing – Thursday, November 30, 2017

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Trump says Americans are ‘very, very angry’ at FBI before he pledges his support – Los Angeles Times

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Los Angeles Times
Trump says Americans are ‘very, very angry’ at FBI before he pledges his support
Los Angeles Times
A White House spokesman reinforced criticism of the FBI earlier Friday, telling Fox News that the texts are signs the FBI has an “extreme bias” against Trump. “It is troubling, deeply troubling, that the revelations have now come to light that there is 
White House: FBI has ‘extreme bias’ against TrumpThe Hill
WHITE HOUSE: New FBI records show ‘extreme bias’ against TrumpBusiness Insider
BREAKING: The FBI Has Released New Info About Loretta Lynch’s Tarmac Meeting With Bill ClintonTownhall
Fox News –The Week Magazine –MSNBC
all 199 news articles »

Sessions says FBI ‘functioning at a high level’ after Trump criticism

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the FBI’s work Friday hours after President Trump said its reputation was ‘in tatters’.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the FBI Friday, hours after President Donald Trump ripped the bureau’s leadership and suggested that its reputation was “in tatters.”

“I don’t share the view that the FBI is not functioning at a high level all over the country,” said Sessions, who added, “… In my view, the FBI has huge national security requirements but it’s also fulfilling a fabulously important role working to fight against violent crime.”

Sessions also praised Trump for speaking to graduates of a weeks-long FBI National Academy program for law enforcement leaders from around the country, calling it “the first time a president in 47 years has spoken to the FBI[‘s] … graduating police academy class.”

“He made clear that he supports them 100 percent in their activities and that we are going to be a law enforcement administration that helps the law enforcement be successful,” said Sessions.

As Trump departed the White House for the speech in Virginia, he said, “It’s a shame what’s happened with the FBI,” an apparent reference to revelations that senior bureau officials exchanged anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton text messages while working on last year’s Clinton probe and during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump associates colluded with Russian officials in the 2016 election.

“We’re going to rebuild the FBI, it’ll be bigger and better than ever,” Trump went on, “but it is very sad when you look at those documents, and how they’ve done that is really, really disgraceful, and you have a lot of very angry people that are seeing it.”

Also Friday, White House Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told Fox News that edits to former FBI Director James Comey’s statement on Clinton’s private email server and anti-Trump texts from a top agent were “deeply troubling.”

“There is extreme bias against this president with high-up members of the team there at the FBI who were investigating Hillary Clinton at the time,” Gidley charged, as Mueller pushes on with a probe of possible Trump campaign ties to Russia. Gidley says Trump maintains confidence in the FBI’s rank-and-file.

Sessions had previously drawn the wrath of Trump for recusing himself from overseeing Mueller’s investigation over questions about his own contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Court rules against FBI in reporter impersonation document fight

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A federal appeals court has sided with reporters in a court fight over documents that began after an FBI agent pretended to be an Associated Press journalist while investigating bomb threats at a Washington state high school.

     

The Trump-Putin War on American Intelligence Is in Overdrive

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In my last column, I criticized the anti-Trump “resistance” for its excessive zeal in exposing Russian espionage, observing that counterintelligence work driven by politics and emotion rather than facts and discipline is bound to go wrong. At worst, we run the risk of a new wave of McCarthyism, with meandering witch-hunts for Kremlin agents (most of them imaginary) instead of serious counterspy efforts.

What’s interesting is that the “resistance” is a movement of the Left and its adherents, with few exceptions, are recent fans of counterespionage. Their interest in Russian spying is driven by Donald Trump and is as intense as it is new. Their enthusiasm for unmasking traitors customarily outpaces their understanding of real-world intelligence operations.

It’s difficult to miss that these are the same people who mocked Mitt Romney only five years ago when the Republican nominee for president presciently opined that Russia constituted our main geopolitical foe—a suggestion that was mocked as old-think by President Barack Obama and his followers.

Moreover, the Left was hardly brimming with anti-Kremlin zeal back in the 1970s and 1980s, when it was mainly the Right, aided by a few stodgy old Democratic Cold Warriors, that signaled the alarm about Soviet espionage and propaganda as a threat to our country and the West. Indeed, for many on the Left, the notion that Moscow was aggressively spying on us was a notion deserving of derision.

How times change. Now the Left is on the enthusiastic hunt for Russian agents, while the Right has transformed itself seemingly overnight from a Romneyian skepticism about the Kremlin to indifference to the threat at best, and at worst a strange and unsettling affection for Vladimir Putin. President Donald Trump is the Republicans’ biggest Kremlin fan, and his reticence to hear anything bad about Russia extends to any classified White House discussions about Kremlin interference in our 2016 election. As a bombshell new report in the Washington Post explains, the president’s Intelligence Community briefers customarily avoid anything to do with Russia in their daily briefing to the commander-in-chief altogether, lest they upset him by saying something bad about Putin.

Read the rest at The Observer …

Filed under: CounterintelligenceEspionageHistoryUSG  

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Trump and Putin Are Attack American Intelligence, FBI

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President Donald Trump on the South Lawn of the White House on December 15, 2017. Alex Wong/Getty Images

In my last column, I criticized the anti-Trump “resistance” for its excessive zeal in exposing Russian espionage, observing that counterintelligence work driven by politics and emotion rather than facts and discipline is bound to go wrong. At worst, we run the risk of a new wave of McCarthyism, with meandering witch-hunts for Kremlin agents (most of them imaginary) instead of serious counterspy efforts.

What’s interesting is that the “resistance” is a movement of the Left and its adherents, with few exceptions, are recent fans of counterespionage. Their interest in Russian spying is driven by Donald Trump and is as intense as it is new. Their enthusiasm for unmasking traitors customarily outpaces their understanding of real-world intelligence operations.

It’s difficult to miss that these are the same people who mocked Mitt Romney only five years ago when the Republican nominee for president presciently opined that Russia constituted our main geopolitical foe—a suggestion that was mocked as old-think by President Barack Obama and his followers.

Moreover, the Left was hardly brimming with anti-Kremlin zeal back in the 1970s and 1980s, when it was mainly the Right, aided by a few stodgy old Democratic Cold Warriors, that signaled the alarm about Soviet espionage and propaganda as a threat to our country and the West. Indeed, for many on the Left, the notion that Moscow was aggressively spying on us was a notion deserving of derision.

How times change. Now the Left is on the enthusiastic hunt for Russian agents, while the Right has transformed itself seemingly overnight from a Romneyian skepticism about the Kremlin to indifference to the threat at best, and at worst a strange and unsettling affection for Vladimir Putin. President Donald Trump is the Republicans’ biggest Kremlin fan, and his reticence to hear anything bad about Russia extends to any classified White House discussions about Kremlin interference in our 2016 election. As a bombshell new report in the Washington Post explains, the president’s Intelligence Community briefers customarily avoid anything to do with Russia in their daily briefing to the commander-in-chief altogether, lest they upset him by saying something bad about Putin.

As if that weren’t bad enough, Team Trump has now taken to direct public attacks on our Intelligence Community in a desperate effort to stave off the results of the investigation of the president’s ties to Moscow that’s being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. President Trump’s lawyers misinformedhim that the Russia investigation would wrap up by the end of 2017, without grave damage to the White House. That was patently false, as demonstrated by recent indictments and plea deals by major members of Team Trump, not to mention the prospect of more indictments soon—perhaps of people even closer to the president.

With his presidency and more on the line, Donald Trump is in the fight of his life, and it’s no coincidence that his media mouthpieces are hurling everything they can at the people who are investigating him—above all Mueller and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Attacks on Mueller are now routine, with torrents of unsubstantiated allegations of his alleged bias against President Trump. According to the Fox News version of reality, Mueller, a Republican, has surrounded himself with partisan Democrats who are out to sink Team Trump, evidence be damned.

A scandal has emerged over private text messages sent last year between Peter Strzok, a top FBI counterintelligence official, and his mistress. These texts showed Strzok to be notably anti-Trump, privately—as, let it be said, were virtually all IC personnel in 2016 who were acquainted with the modus operandi of Russian intelligence, since they understood that Trump’s Kremlin ties were problematic at best—and as a result Mueller removed him from the special counsel investigation.

This event has been turned into a cause célèbre by Trump fans, notwithstanding the administration’s alleged hatred for leaks, with the implication that the FBI is tainted. Indeed, the president’s media allies are portraying our nation’s top law enforcement agency as a rogue outfit and worse. Fox News has led this charge, naturally, and last week Fox stalwart Gregg Jarrett, in an appearance on the vehemently pro-Trump Sean Hannity show, which parrots Kremlin lies, went full tinfoil, in a monologue worthy of Alex Jones:

Mueller has been using the FBI as a political weapon. The FBI has become America’s secret police. Secret surveillance, wiretapping, intimidation, harassment and threats. It’s like the old KGB that comes for you in the dark of night, banging through your door.

Not to be outdone, this week on Fox News, Tom Fitton, the head of Judicial Watch, a right-wing lobbying group, called for the Bureau’s dissolution:

I think the FBI’s been compromised. Forget about shutting down Mr. Mueller. Do we need to shut down the FBI because it was turned into a KGB-type operation by the Obama administration?

Let’s be clear here. Jarrett and Fitton—with no pushback from Fox hosts—publicly compared the FBI to the Soviet secret police, which murdered millions of innocents, ran the GULAG, and served as the enforcer of Red terror for 74 years. The KGB was one of the nastiest, most blood-drenched organizations in human history. It was judge, jury, and executioner for the Bolsheviks. The rational mind has difficulty seeing how the FBI, a law-based police force held to account by Congressional oversight, is “like the KGB” unless facts simply don’t matter anymore.

Apparently, they don’t matter to Team Trump, since their fact-free war on the FBI and more broadly the IC shows no signs of abating. Of course, there’s nothing new about attacking American counterintelligence, seeking to delegitimize it by any means possible. Throughout the last Cold War, Soviet mouthpieces and allies portrayed U.S. efforts to detect and deter Communist espionage as illegitimate, sneaky, and somehow just not right.

Hence, we have countless media depictions, beginning in the 1960s, of Western (especially American) counterintelligence as inherently suspicious, paranoid and malevolent, when not merely risible. Such characterizations served to delegitimize U.S. efforts to stymie Soviet espionage and propaganda, and none can deny they were effective. The chronic American weakness in counterintelligence has many causes, but popular distaste for their work thanks to such scurrilous media depictions is surely a factor.

The Kremlin went further, employing Active Measures on a regular basis to smear American counterintelligence, fabricating evidence such as faked “official” documents to present our counterspies in a dismal light. For decades, the FBI, America’s lead counterintelligence agency, was a special target of KGB disinformation, never more than when it was headed by J. Edgar Hoover, the eccentric yet gifted man who led the Bureau for a half-century until 1972.

As revealed by KGB archives after the Cold War, Soviet spies targeted Hoover for public harassment, and it worked. To this day, some Americans whisper sordid allegations about Hoover’s personal life: for instance, that he was secretly a flamboyant homosexual, even attending parties wearing a dress with a feather boa like an “old flapper.” Few know that these stories were ginned up by KGB disinformation specialists in Moscow and have no basis in fact. Combined with Kremlin lies that alleged the FBI was secretly behind everything from right-wing domestic terrorism to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy—the latter was another spectacularly successful Chekist Active Measure—this dirty campaign did enduring damage to the public reputation of the Bureau and its leadership.

These lies were parroted by too many Americans, mainly on the Left, until they became cosmically true due to constant repetition. They live on today despite their thorough debunking. Something similar is happening now on the Right. To protect Donald Trump from the Russia investigation, which the president has repeatedly insisted is a “hoax” and “fake news,” his defenders are spinning their own hoaxes and fake news in a sordid fashion, taking aim at core institutions of our Republic.

Since the inauguration, the Trump White House has howled gigantic curses at the alleged “deep state,”another figment of the fervent imagination of the InfoWars and Fox News set, and they’ve now taken direct aim at the FBI. The Bureau will survive this unpleasant episode, but its reputation is being damaged by allies of their boss, our president, who are acting in concert with the FBI’s old enemies in Moscow. Why the Russians seek to dismantle American counterintelligence, their main enemy in the SpyWar, is no mystery. Why our president does, however, is a deeply troubling question that gets at the heart of the rot in Washington right now.

John Schindler is a security expert and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer. A specialist in espionage and terrorism, he’s also been a Navy officer and a War College professor. He’s published four books and is on Twitter at @20committee. 

The Trump-Putin War on American Intelligence Is in Overdrive

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Collusion Doesn’t Have to be Criminal to be an Ongoing Threat

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During the hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday, some members of the House Judiciary Committee did not try to conceal their attempt to discredit and derail Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. The way that the Russia investigation has been framed has made it easy for them to do that: Its legitimacy appears to rest on finding a smoking gun of criminality – a simple yes or no on whether any of the cast of characters in this saga commited a serious federal offence.

But making this merely about the bright line between illegality (criminality) and legality means that most Americans are missing what is right under our noses. To wit, there is no question that Russia made multiple, unprecedented attempts to penetrate a U.S. presidential campaign, that its approaches were not rebuffed, and that its contacts were sensitive enough that everyone, to a person, has concealed them. These facts might never be adjudicated inside a courtroom – they may not even be illegal – but they present a clear and present national security threat that we cannot ignore. We write here to broaden the public understanding of that security threat, and to underscore why the principal part of Mueller’s investigation—which is a counterintelligence probe not a criminal one—is performing a vital role for our country.

Assets: Tools In A Toolbox

Russia’s intelligence services, like any intelligence service worth its salt, aims to recruit a variety of assets (a.k.a. sources). Assets are a spy’s version of a “toolbox.” Different intelligence operations require different tools, so spies target a wide range of potential assets who vary according to their skills, access, and how they can be utilized. How witting they are of their role and how much control the foreign intelligence service (FIS) has over them will often depend on how far the asset will have to go to serve the FIS’s purpose.

It’s useful to think of recruitment – the process of getting an asset to work on behalf of an intelligence service – in dating terms. Let’s say a guy spots a girl he’d be interested in dating. The first thing he does is assess if she might be interested in dating him, too. To save himself potential embarrassment, he might send a friend over to the girl first, to see how she feels. If she shows interest, then the guy will officially ask her out. Of course, he doesn’t propose marriage on the first date: there is a period of courtship. It might be slow, it might be fast, but if all goes well and it’s a good match, the marriage proposal is the ultimate step. When it happens, it probably won’t come as a surprise; in fact, in the spy context, it might not have to be stated out loud at all.

In the world of espionage, the “dating” ritual might look something like this: An intelligence officer (IO) spots a target of interest, likely based on their access to information or resources of value. To assess that person’s willingness to cooperate, the IO gives the target a task to test their reaction. Usually this will be something easy, but slightly unethical – like, say, asking a political candidate’s team to meet with people who offer (potentially stolen) dirt on the opposing candidate. As protection, the IO might send someone else on his behalf, known as a “cutout,” to set up this type of meeting – this ensures plausible deniability in the event that the meeting goes south. But if the target performs the task as desired, they have shown a willingness to “cross the line,” even if they haven’t done so yet. (And even if nothing of value is handed over in that initial meeting.)

From there, the IO has a “hook” to meet with the target again, and then again. Each time, the IO will slowly ask for more, ratcheting up the risk each time – but always offering enough of an incentive to make it worthwhile for the target to accept. As the tasks requested of the target become dicier, the IO will begin taking the relationship underground. By the time the IO asks the target to do something clearly illegal, not only has the relationship become clandestine, but the IO has collected a whole string of compromising actions the target has performed along the way but probably shouldn’t have – and now the IO has leverage over the target.

In short, the key to recruitment is time and subtlety. An intelligence officer doesn’t make a target compromise himself in one fell swoop.  Rather, it happens incrimentally  with each small act that “crosses the line” giving the intelligence officer a bit more control. Before the target knows it, the IO has made the target into an asset.

A Russian Courtship

From an intelligence standpoint, the numerous Russian approaches to the Trump campaign look like a textbook recruitment effort. Campaign officials were an attractive target for Russian intelligence, of course. They provided a chance to catapult Russian influence into the Oval Office, and to obtain the Holy Grail: to manipulate a sitting presidential administration to act in a way that is favorable to Russia. (And even if their candidate did not make it into the White House, they would have a grip on him and some of his most powerful associates for years to come.)

But this ambitious goal would not have been foreseeable at the beginning of Russia’s operation. After all, Trump and many of his associates were already on Russia’s radar screen well before he was running for president. This isn’t because Russian intelligence services are geniuses who maneuvered a grand scheme into place. Rather, it is because Russia’s intelligence services, like all intelligence services, are always on the lookout for new assets to add to their toolbox that could be useful in the future. An obvious target would be a wealthy business person interested in working on projects in Russia, or places like Ukraine, or benefiting from Russian investments. By the time a pie-in-the-sky opportunity like a presidential election came along, much of the groundwork for further outreach would already be in place.

The sheer number of Russia’s attempted contacts with the highest level of a U.S. presidential campaign and then transition team is mind-boggling. They employed Ambassador Sergei Kislyak to engage members of Trump’s team, like Jeff Sessions, Michael Flynn, and Jared Kushner. They put the head of a Kremlin-linked bank under U.S. sanctions in front of Kushner. They used Trump business partners to arrange a meeting between a Russian lawyer and others (including with ties to Russian intelligence) with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Kushner. They used the National Rifle Association to get another Russian banker close to Putin, Alexander Torshin, in front of Trump Jr. They approached George Papadopolous through a Russian professor in an effort to set up a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin (and who also gave information that the Kremlin had dirt on Clinton). They got Carter Page to provide one of their intelligence officers with industry documents and invited him to Moscow and elsewhere for meetings. They used Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to keep pressure on Manafort, who was already being paid by Russian intelligence. They partnered with WikiLeaks which contacted Trump Jr. They feted Mike Flynn at a gala for Russia Today and paid him.

And those are only the contacts we know about; U.S. and European intelligence communities probably know about others. But this list is enough to show that the Russian effort to influence the Trump team involved multiple players, some covert and some less so. The Russians might not have directly orchestrated all of the approaches – in some cases, they may have simply exploited existing relationships – but all of the contacts were useful to them and would have most likely been reported back to the Kremlin in some form.

The context of the approaches also reveals that Russian intelligence agencies were working along multiple fronts. We can imagine cyber thieves collecting DNC e-mails, a domestic counterintelligence service providing potential dirt on and assessments of Trump surrogates’ escapades in Moscow, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs leveraging unwitting but pliable contacts, and the SVR—Russia’s external intelligence agency, akin to the CIA—recruiting potential agents-of-influence in and around the campaign itself. Each avenue provided an angle that Russian intelligence could exploit as needed.

The Pattern of Deception

By accepting certain meetings, members of the Trump team communicated that they were indeed interested in having a relationship. They welcomed the prospect of receiving stolen material on their opponent, and even sought it out. Nevertheless, to date, there is no indication that Russia’s efforts proceeded beyond the initial stages. It’s possible, then, that Russia’s efforts to infiltrate the Trump campaign went nowhere.

Here’s where the deception on the part of Trump and his team is telling. Trump and his crew never, not once, considered reporting Russian approaches to their campaign, even after law enforcement and intelligence officials made it public that Russia had attempted to interfere with the election. Rather, at every turn, they encouraged unethical behavior and misled the American people, Congress, and even the FBI, claiming repeatedly they had nothing to do with Russia or Russians – even as evidence continues to surface that reveals otherwise.

Further, since taking office, the Trump administration has strenuously resisted taking any action against Russia for its attack on our democratic process. In fact, the President continues to call the intelligence community’s assessment a “hoax” and has taken no meaningful steps to protect against further interference in the future. President Trump even went as far as trying to return Russia’s spy compounds which were confiscated by the Obama administration as a part of its sanctions. Even after Congress passed a bill reinforcing sanctions against Russia this past August, the Trump administration has yet to enforce them.

This inexplicable policy position, combined with the administration’s pattern of deception, suggests two explanations (which are not mutually exclusive): The first is that Russia’s relationship with at least some members of the campaign did proceed, and involved ethically or legally questionable activities that the campaign needs to conceal. Second, it may be that members of the Trump campaign have engaged in problematic activities known to Russia – related or unrelated to the election itself – which Russia now holds as a sword of Damocles over them. Either way, it strongly suggests that Russia could have leverage over those who are now in charge of protecting the United States, rendering them unable to act solely in the interest of our country.

Is Collusion a Crime?

Most of the things intelligence officers and assets do—particularly during the process of recruiting someone—aren’t necessarily illegal. In the context of the Russia investigation, First Amendment concerns and the powers afforded to the office of the President make it especially difficult to pin down a crime. For instance, frequently meeting a known intelligence officer, while certainly unwise, is not itself a crime. Neither is it clear that listening to what information a foreigner may have to offer a campaign crosses the tripwire of campaign finance laws. And given the president’s almost unfettered discretion in the area of foreign affairs, disputing his decision to remove or not enforce sanctions wanders into a constitutional thicket.

This isn’t to say that Mueller won’t find evidence of criminal acts in his investigation. Based on the indictments and plea deals we’ve seen so far, it’s clear that at least some of the people associated with the Trump campaign have committed crimes. But the U.S. criminal code is narrow: It encompasses specific activities like computer hacking, or money laundering, or lying to federal agents. Mueller will also proceed cautiously, only bringing charges where both the law and evidence are extraordinarily clear. What becomes public through the criminal justice system, then, will only be a sliver of what actually took place between Russia and the Trump campaign behind the scenes.

The only crime that might reveal a larger effort is conspiracy, which is an agreement among two or more people to commit a crime. But it’s unlikely that there would be evidence of an explicit quid pro quo in the intelligence world. This is because intelligence operations are “compartmentalized”—that is, each asset only knows their own role, but not necessarily to what extent others might be involved – so no one asset would understand or know the full breadth of an entire operation. And since the recruitment process typically happens with a wink and a nod, rather with a brute insistence on favors, the trail of evidence needed to prove conspiracy (as well as an underlying crime) may be sparse.

But the truth is that “collusion” with the Kremlin doesn’t have to be criminal to be dangerous. If the Trump campaign received offers of assistance from Russia, and they did nothing to discourage that help (or even encouraged it), they are indebted to a foreign adversary whose national interests are opposed to those of the United States. You can be sure that at some point, Putin will come to collect, if he has not done so already – and when it comes to protecting our democracy the administration will be a puppet of a foreign adversary, not our country’s first line of defense. While the potential criminal aspects of this case need to be investigated, we need to take a good look at what we already know. The national security threat is staring us right in the face.

(Photo Credit: BPA via Getty Images)
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2:13 PM 12/15/2017 – President Donald Trump said that there was tremendous anger over the FBI’s disgraceful behavior

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M.N.: And this is absolutely correct and the truth, regardless of his own problems. But it is more than that: the FBI’s behavior is not just “disgraceful”, it is plainly and overtly CRIMINAL in many instances, about which we simply do not know or do not know enough, and in various areas. We do have to … Continue reading “2:13 PM 12/15/2017 – President Donald Trump said that there was tremendous anger over the FBI’s disgraceful behavior”

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10:07 AM 10/24/2017 – This is the attempt to control and manage the electoral system, not just to undermine trust in it. – M.N. – 10.24.17

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This is the attempt to control and manage the electoral system, not just to undermine trust in it. – M.N. – 10.24.17

Russian “troll farms” on U.S. soil – Google Search

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Story image for Russian “troll farms” on U.S. soil from Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

The Early Edition: October 24, 2017

Just Security1 hour ago
The U.S. military did not call for support from French forces for about an …. Russian “troll farms” were partly located on U.S. soil, Katie Zavadski, …
Story image for Russian “troll farms” on U.S. soil from Daily Beast

Dems to Election Commission: Make Facebook Stop Foreign Trolls

Daily BeastSep 20, 2017
… Congressional Democrats urged the FEC to impose new rules on Facebook to work to stop Russiaand other countries from influencing U.S. …
Story image for Russian “troll farms” on U.S. soil from European Council on Foreign Relations

Controlling Chaos: How Russia manages its political war in Europe

European Council on Foreign RelationsSep 1, 2017
Russia carries out and encourages ‘active measures’ in Europe to destabilise ….. the much-mythologised but nonetheless real ‘troll farms‘ such as the infamous … Putin’s disingenuous claim that the US electoral hack could have been ….. soil and also to arrange the quiet return to Moscow of three Russian …
Story image for Russian “troll farms” on U.S. soil from EW.com

Steve Bannon uses 60 Minutes to declare war on everyone (besides …

<a href=”http://EW.com” rel=”nofollow”>EW.com</a>Sep 11, 2017
Why, Rose inquired, hasn’t Trump been harsher on Russia? … But the view of American history that Bannon espoused on 60 Minutes was …
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Russia’s Cyber Warfare Has Bigger Aims Than Electing Donald Trump

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Russia is meddling in the U.S. presidential election. From the email hack of the Democratic National Convention in July to the cyberattacks on Hillary Clinton’s campaign and recent reports of hacks at The New York Times and other media organizations, evidence is mounting that Moscow has launched a sophisticated effort to interfere with and disrupt the November elections.

But not for the reasons you might think. At first glance, it looks like Russia favors Donald Trump and wants to undermine Clinton. And why not? Trump is certainly the pro-Kremlin candidate. He has nice things to say about Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, and even said he would be “looking into” recognizing Crimea as part of Russia. It would be easy to conclude, as some commentators have, that Putin wants to see Trump in the White House.

However, the truth isn’t quite that simple. As tempting as it is to see Russia as a partisan player on Trump’s side, the Kremlin’s goal isn’t to see a particular candidate win. The goal is much more insidious: to undermine American confidence in our political system. That is, the Kremlin’s real target is liberal democracy itself.

Whether Trump realizes it or not, he is nothing to Putin but a useful idiot in this larger effort.

Russian Cyberattacks Follow A Certain Ruthless Logic

To understand Russia’s long game, consider its methods. On Monday, Yahoo News reported the FBI discovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases, in Arizona and Illinois. The hacks prompted the FBI’s Cyber Division to issue a “flash” alert to state election officials across the country, warning them to enhance the security of their computer systems. Federal officials believe hackers managed to download the personal data of some 200,000 Illinois voters and introduce malicious software into Arizona’s voter registration system.

As with other high-profile cyberattacks this summer, this one shows signs of Russian state-sponsorship. According to Yahoo News, the FBI alert included eight IP addresses that were the source of the two attacks, and one of those addresses has surfaced before in Russian criminal underground hacker forums.

Just like the DNC and Clinton hacks, official sources confirmed this latest hack was authentic. Whatever emails or documents the Russians release through Wikileaks or other channels, everyone will know the leaked information is legitimate, not fabricated. The next logical step for Russians, having established the veracity of the information they leak, will be to introduce false and misleading information.

Disinformation Is A Weapon Of War

Injecting disinformation into the news cycle is a well-established tactic of Russian influence operations, hearkening back to Cold War programs the Soviets called “active measures,” in which secret agents would plant false news stories in the Western press. Disinformation of this kind has long been an important aspect of Russian military doctrine, the idea being that it’s easier, and cheaper, to persuade Russia’s enemies than to kill them. The difference now is that technology makes it possible to coordinate false information and flood news cycles and social media networks in ways that were impossible during the Cold War.

On Sunday, The New York Times published a detailed account of Russia’s sprawling and highly sophisticated disinformation campaigns underway across the globe. During recent public debates in Sweden about entering a military partnership with NATO, for example, social media was inundated with false information about what the partnership would entail, including wild claims that NATO would stockpile secret nuclear weapons on Swedish soil and it would have the authority to attack Russia from Sweden without the government’s approval.

None of it was true, but the sheer volume of social media echoing these claims was enough for them to seep into the mainstream news cycle. According to the Times report, when Sweden Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist traveled the country to promote the NATO pact, he repeatedly faced questions about the false claims.

Something similar happened during the recent coup attempt in Turkey, with a flood of Twitter posts claiming the U.S. airbase at Incirlik had been surrounded by thousands of armed police. The story didn’t gain the same traction as the anti-NATO narrative did in Sweden, but it demonstrates the extent to which Moscow is willing to employ Twitter trolls in coordination with official news channels like <a href=”http://RT.com” rel=”nofollow”>RT.com</a> and Sputnik, the two main state-controlled media outlets that publish in English, to advance false storylines and distorted information.

Soviet ‘Active Measures’ Are Back

Here in the United States, something similar has been underway for months, with suspiciously coordinated social media trolls shilling for Trump on Twitter, amplifying his anti-NATO and anti-Ukraine pronouncements. It took the mainstream media a while to catch on to this—conservative writers like Erick Erickson were writing about pro-Trump Russian troll farms back in April—but now it’s undeniable that Moscow is working on multiple fronts to disrupt our elections and give credence to Trump’s repeated claims that the election, like the entire politic system, is “rigged.”

The Russians have chosen their moment well. American confidence in public institutions is languishing at historic lows, while the vast majority of Americans report anger and frustration at the federal government. That lack of trust has helped propel Trump, a political outsider, to the top of the Republican Party ticket. It fueled the insurgent campaign of Bernie Sanders. Now Moscow is exploiting it in the service of a grand strategy, with far greater implications than a single U.S. presidential election.

After all, if Putin can convince Americans that liberal democracy is nothing but a sham, he will accomplish what no leader of the Soviet Union ever could. Decades after we thought it was over, Russia will have finally won the Cold War.

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Russian Propaganda Traced Back to Staten Island, New York

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Russia’s propaganda campaign targeting Americans was hosted, at least in part, on American soil.

A company owned by a man on Staten Island, New York, provided internet infrastructure services to DoNotShoot.Us, a Kremlin propaganda site that pretended to be a voice for victims of police shootings, a Daily Beast investigation has found.

Every website needs to be “hosted”—given an Internet Protocol address and space on a physical computer—in order to be publicly viewed. DoNotShoot.Us is a website run out of the Kremlin-backed “Russian troll farm,” according to two sources familiar with the website, both of whom independently identified it to The Daily Beast as a Russian propaganda account. It was hosted on a server with the IP address 107.181.161.172.

That IP address was owned by Greenfloid LLC, a company registered to New Yorker Sergey Kashyrin and two others. Other Russian propaganda sites, like BlackMattersUs.com, were also hosted on servers with IP addresses owned by Greenfloid. The company’s ties to Russian propaganda sites were first reported by ThinkProgress.

The web services company owns under 250 IP addresses, some of which resolve to Russian propaganda sites and other fake news operations. Others are sites that could not be hosted at other providers, like “xxxrape.net.” There’s also a Russian trinket site called “soviet-power.com.” (The IP address that pointed to DoNotShoot.Us now resolves to a botnet and phishing operation, and is currently owned by Total Server Solutions LLC.)

The use of a tiny, no-questions-asked hosting company run by a man living in New York shows the Kremlin-backed troll farm’s brazen use of Americans and American companies to conduct its disinformation campaign.

Over the past two months, Russia’s efforts to integrate Americans and U.S. communities into its vast propaganda campaigns has become clearer, as social media companies began shuttering accounts originating from Russia’s Internet Research Agency, or troll farm.

In September, The Daily Beast discovered that one of the troll accounts, “Being Patriotic,” organized 17 in-person rallies for Donald Trump on one day in Florida alone. Last week, BuzzFeed reported that unwitting Americans were used to amplify Russian social media accounts pretending to be a Black Lives Matter offshoot.

Now, it appears Russia’s influence campaign attempted to host that campaign within the United States.

DoNotShoot.Us purported to be a collection of stories about “outrageous police misconducts [sic], really valuable ones, but underrepresented by mass media” in an effort to to “improve the situation in the U.S.”

The site served as a de facto database of shootings by police across the U.S, with each entry accompanied by anti-police invective. (An entry for the assault of a man named Ross Flynn lists the “reported reason” for the incident as “resisting and evading arrest”—and the “real reason” as “cops don’t treat detained people as humans.”)

The site also features a list of petitions (No. 2 on the most popular list: “Stop Police Violence Against Pit Bulls, Justice For Mr. Brown”) and an archive of graphic videos that have since been pulled from the web.

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Greenfloid also hosted BlackMattersUs.com and other sites designed to impersonate African-American activists that have been identified as Russian troll accounts by independent Russian news agency RBC. BlackMattersUs.com claimed it was a “nonprofit news outlet” for the “African-American community in America,” but often used its page to smear Hillary Clinton and push Kremlin talking points.

While hosted in America, content for the sites was generated by paid staffers in St. Petersburg.

Former FBI agent Clint Watts, an expert on Russia’s propaganda campaign, said the Kremlin’s use of an American host is true to form.

“All of these placements are designed to create anonymity around the source and make it look authentic—like there’s real, grassroots support around the world for these interests,” Watts told The Daily Beast.

“You don’t want these to trace back to Russia, so you pick a believable community closest to your target. It’s not necessarily that they’re directed Russian agents, but they can go through Russian communities—witting or unwitting—outside of Russia.”

Quiet Neighborhood, Nasty Material

Sergey Kashyrin now lives in a quiet Staten Island neighborhood of bungalows, semi-detached homes, and cracked sidewalks just a few blocks from Midland beach. It is still reeling from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. When a reporter visited Monday morning, Kashyrin’s street was blocked off by road work signs and mud-caked tire tracks traced the roads. On nearly every block, construction crews were still at work repairing boarded up homes amid tall marsh grasses towering in overgrown yards.

In business filings, Kashyrin and the two other registrants of Greenfloid LLC all gave their address as a well-kept beige semi-detached house in the middle of a quiet block. It has a lush and green backyard, with a greenhouse and coop, and tall plants that peek out of the front-facing windows. The house, if not the block, seems to have avoided much of the devastation; across the street are wild lots where other homes once stood. Kashyrin wasn’t home, and a woman suggested a reporter call him.

Reached by phone, Kashyrin gave a string of answers, many of them contradictory. He initially said he didn’t want to talk about Greenfloid LLC. Then he said he was available to talk, and said that Greenfloid is part of the fight against Russian propaganda—nevermind the fact that his company hosted it.

Kashyrin next pivoted to say his service didn’t consciously provide hosting to the Russian trolls—despite evidence to the contrary—but instead unknowingly rented them virtual servers that they used to funnel traffic to a different hosting company in Russia. He declined to name the company. “We were not hosting those websites. The guys bought virtual servers, and they put the proxy,” Kashyrin said. “It just redirected to the original site in Russia.”

Such an arrangement would have the same effect as hosting, while slowing the troll websites and consuming needless bandwidth. But it’s conceivable the Russians used such a scheme to make it easier to quickly relocate the sites without having to copy their contents. It’s largely a distinction without a difference—Kashyrin’s firm was still serving the Russian propaganda through its servers and internet, even if the images and text were ultimately held in Russia as Kashyrin claims.

When asked why the company hosts so many fake news sites, often angled toward Russian interests, Kashyrin said that there are likely simply many customers “from there who are doing that.”

‘It’s Funny, Having Russian Propaganda’

One thing that’s clear, however: Greenfloid is more than just a stand-alone firm. Greenfloid is listed on the site of its Kharkiv, Ukraine-based parent company ITL as its North American division, and a number listed for Greenfloid dials into a Russian-language menu for ITL.

This isn’t the first time ITL has been called out over allegations its servers were used to host sites run by the Russian troll factory. It also hosted the website Whoiswhos.me, which revealed the identities and personal information of Russian opposition bloggers.

A number of Russian bloggers and activists had their names, photos, and personal information revealed on WhoisWhos. At least seven of them were physically assaulted, and some had their cars burned, the Russian news site Fontanka said in June 2016.

ITL was alerted and the site was taken offline, Fontanka reported. (Kashyrin said it was around the same time that Greenfloid banned proxies, disassociating itself from the two Russian sites. He declined to provide a link to the proxy ban policy because “it’s too late today.”) ITL also took down a separatenews site, registered at the same time as WhoisWhos, that reported on the Russian-backed war in Ukraine from a pro-Russian perspective. Fontanka said its investigation strongly suggested the sites were linked to the Russian troll factory because of the similarities, in style and content, to sites run by the group.

Russian hackers are also apparently happy with ITL’s service. On one popular Russian crime forum, a user wrote that ITL’s support team “does not ask anything,” and that users can pay in anonymous Bitcoin currency.

All the companies link back to Dmitry Deineka, a Ukrainian national who lives in the country’s second-largest city, Kharkiv.

“I’m sorry, but we don’t give out information about our clients, that violates the NDA and company rules,” Deineka wrote to The Daily Beast by email. He denied that a “Russian troll factory” was among their clients.

Kashyrin added that intellectuals in Kharkiv, especially the IT crowd, dislike Putin and would not support his agenda.

“We never support Russian propaganda, because the headquarters of our company is in Ukraine,” he added.

But the explanation is hardly iron-clad. Residents of Kharkiv are predominantly Russian-speaking, and the city has been symbolically important to the Russian-backed separatist movement.

So Kashyrin pivoted again.

“It’s fun[ny], having Russian propaganda using Ukrainian company,” Kashyrin said, despite his claim moments earlier that he would never host Moscow’s agitprop. “It might be the reason these guys choose our company as the provider.”

ITL, an acronym that has different meanings including Integrated Technology Laboratory, is also registered as an LLC in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In emails to The Daily Beast, Deineka compared his company’s services to those of Amazon, “only much smaller,” and said he couldn’t confirm whether it was used to host BlackMattersUS or DoNotShoot.Us even if he wanted to.

Deineka reiterated that he does not have the troll factory or its aliases listed among his clients. “If that name was in a client’s profile, we would have immediately denied him services,” Deineka said.

“Let me try to explain the technical question,” Deineka wrote. “We are not hosting providers who put sites up. We provide VDS (virtual dedicated server) services and can’t check, without interrupting our client’s server operations, what the user does.

“The user can host sites, can use the VDS as a proxy-server, and so on,” Deineka added. “We’re like Amazon WS (Web Services), only significantly smaller. We rent servers, we don’t host sites.”

Amazon Web Services does, in fact, allow customers to host websites, and ITL’s website says it offers “convenient and fast hosting for sites.”

‘Now I’ve Got My Face Plastered on the Site!’

BlackMattersUs.com, which was hosted by Greenfloid, was revealed to be a Russian troll site earlier this month by the independent Russian news organization RBC. It sometimes posted content supplied by social media followers like Porsche Kelly, a poet who emailed them her poem after following BlackMattersUS on Instagram.

She was surprised when told by a reporter last week that the site was operated by Russian trolls. An editor had promptly responded to her email, saying the site was always happy to share “thoughtful and powerful messages.”

“And now I’ve got my face plastered on the site!” Kelly said.

Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter have suspended social media pages related to the site.

But Greenfloid’s business continues. The most popular sites hosted by the companies are two MP3 downloading destinations and Bible.ru, which is a link to annotated bibles in Russian.

—with additional reporting by Joseph Cox

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Just Security: The Early Edition: October 24, 2017

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Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.

NIGER

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford provided further details about the Oct. 4 attack in Niger on U.S. Special Forces members yesterday, revising the timeline of the attack and the response, and raising questions about the U.S. operation and its support structures. Ben Kesling reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. military did not call for support from French forces for about an hour after the attack took place and it took the French another hour for their fighter jets to arrive. Dan Lamothe reports at the Washington Post, setting out other issues that have created questions, including the length of time it took to recover the body of Sgt. La David Johnson.

“We owe the families as much information as we can find out about what happened, and we owe the American people an explanation,” Gen. Dunford said yesterday, pledging to be forthcoming about information amid a perception that the Department of Defense needs to do better to inform Congress about the incident. Rebecca Kheel reports at the Hill.

The soldiers were ambushed by terrorists tipped off by residents sympathetic to local Islamic State affiliates, according to three U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter, Gen. Dunford did not address the emerging theory when briefing reporters yesterday. Courtney Kube, Carol E. Lee and Ken Dilanian report at NBC News.

Congress must have an updated authorization for the use of military force, Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain (R-Ariz.) said yesterday, telling reporters that he has been working with Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) on a proposal, McCain also telling reporters that congress expects “more information” about the Niger attack. Elana Schor and Connor O’Brien report at POLITICO.

The Oct. 4 ambush draws attention to the U.S.’s role in Niger and other African countries, and prompted questions about authorization for military action, the U.S.’s impact in the fight against jihadist insurgency in the Sahel region and the Trump administration’s Africa policy. Ishaan Tharoor provides an analysis at the Washington Post.

The potential for the U.S. military to become entrenched in Niger and the Sahel region may mirror U.S. involvement in the Middle East; to help avoid a quagmire the U.S. should devise a strategy that understands the dynamics of power and the grievances that allow terrorist groups to thrive. Max Bearak writes at the Washington Post.

SYRIA

The final phase of the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria is in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour where the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (S.D.F.) and Russia- and Iran-backed Syrian government forces are fighting based on competing agendas and civilians are fleeing the city of Deir al-Zour. Nick Paton Walsh, Salma Abdelaziz and Naz Sayed report at the CNN.

The U.S.-led coalition today denied striking Deir al-Zour city after the Syrian army accused the coalition jets of killing civilians yesterday, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 22 people were killed but it was unclear who was responsible. Reuters reports.

A mass killing of civilians in the Syrian town of Qarytayan in Homs province was carried out by retreating Islamic State militants as they were driven out by pro-government forces, Syrian state media reported yesterday, demonstrating the terrorist group’s ability to inflict damage and harm civilians even as it loses most of its territory. Anne Barnard reports at the New York Times.

Less than five percent of Syria remains under the control of the Islamic State group, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said yesterday, the AP reports.

Turkey’s military operation in the northwest Idlib province has largely been completed, the Turkish President Reçep Tayyip Erdoğan said today, Reuters reporting.

The U.N. Security Council is scheduled to vote today on extending the work of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (J.I.M.) looking at responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria, the U.N.-sponsored resolution has the strong support of U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, however the Russian ambassador has criticized the investigation. Edith M. Lederer reports at the AP.

The pro-Syrian government forces’ siege of the capital of Damascus and its surrounding suburbs has worsened the humanitarian crisis, leading to children dying of malnourishment. Raja Abdulrahim reports at the Wall Street Journal.

Israel’s military activity in Syria has happened sporadically and is thought to be as a consequence of stray fire landing in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, despite the exchange of fire, the possibility of a major escalation between Israel and Syria is unlikely. Zena Tahhan provides an analysis of Israel’s involvement at Al Jazeera.

The Free Syrian Army rebels have credited Iran for the success of the President Bashar al-Assad’s army, and Iran has been expanding its influence in Syria to serve its socioeconomic ambitions. Ali Younes and Shafik Mandhai explain at Al Jazeera.

What has the U.S. campaign against the Islamic State group accomplished and what does their impending defeat mean for the future? Stephen M. Walt provides an analysis at Foreign Policy.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out seven airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on October 22. Separately, partner forces conducted three strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]

IRAQ

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson received a chilly reception on his visit to Iraq to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi yesterday, Tillerson having made unfortunate comments about Iranian-backed militia members of the Population Mobilization Forces (P.M.F.) on Sunday, mistakenly stating that the militia are Iranian when they are Iraqi. Gardiner Harris reports at the New York Times.

The P.M.F. “should be encouraged because they will be the hope of the country and the region,” Abadi’s office said yesterday, the BBC reports.

“We have friends in Baghdad and friends in Erbil and we encourage all parties to enter into discussion,” Tillerson said yesterday, referring to the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government (K.R.G.) of Erbil and urging dialogue between the two U.S. allies who have been at loggerheads since last month’s controversial Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum. Jonathan Landay and Maher Chmaytelli report at Reuters.

The K.R.G. accused Iraqi federal forces of launching an attack south of a Kurdish oil export pipeline today toward the border with Turkey, the Baghdad government responded that “there are no clashes” taking place, Reuters reporting.

“We call on the Iraqi government to immediately cease its military aggression and withdraw from all territories,” the Kurdistan Region Security Council said yesterday, expressing concern about the “dangerous deployment” of Iraqi federal forces near the border of the Kurdish region. Al Jazeerareports.

AFGHANISTAN

The U.S. is looking to engage with the more “moderate voices” among the Taliban who “do not want to continue to fight forever,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said yesterday during an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, stating that the fight against the Taliban must continue but there would be a place for the Taliban in government if they renounce terrorism and violence and commit to a “stable and prosperous Afghanistan.” Rebecca Kheel reports at the Hill.

“If America genuinely wants a peaceful settlement of the crisis then it needs to pull out its troops and end the occupation,” the Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Majid said yesterday in response to Tillerson’s suggestion that some Taliban fighters would be willing to give up fighting. Antonio Olivo and Carole Morello report at the Washington Post.

Pakistan’s cooperation is essential for defeating the Taliban, Tillerson said yesterday, saying that the U.S. has made “some very specific requests to Pakistan” to curb support for the militant group. Paul Sonne and Craig Nelson report at the Wall Street Journal.

A feature on the notorious former al-Qaeda and Taliban ally Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who has returned to Kabul to call for unity, is provided by Sune Engel Rasmussen at the Guardian.

NORTH KOREA

The threat posed by North Korea has reached “an unprecedented, critical and imminent level,” Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told his U.S. and South Korean counterparts yesterday at a tripartite meeting, reiterating Japan’s support for the U.S. position that “all options are on the table” to deal with the Pyongyang regime. Gordon Lubold reports at the Wall Street Journal.

President Trump will urge Chinese President Xi Jinping to fully implement U.N. Security Council resolutions against North Korea when he visits China next month, a senior White House official said yesterday. Steve Holland and Matt Spetalnick report at Reuters.

The U.S., South Korea and Japan began a two-day missile tracking drill today off the coasts of South Korea and Japan to prepare for any nuclear or missile threats from North Korea. Reuters reports.

Trump should “lower the volume of rhetoric” on North Korea, the former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said yesterday, saying that the administration should “focus on developing both our strength and capacity in the region,” Ellen Mitchell reporting at the Hill.

Trump has been boosted by Abe’s decisive re-election as Abe has been a strong ally of Trump and supports his aggressive approach to North Korea. James Griffiths explains at CNN.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been aided by Chinese President Xi Jinping and the North Korean threat in his mission to change Japan’s pacifist constitution and Abe’s efforts to bolster Japan’s defense capabilities “are moderate and long overdue.” The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.

SOUTH SUDAN

The U.S. would continue to send aid to South Sudan despite the civil war and concerns about human rights abuses, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said yesterday, warning that South Sudan could become a breeding ground for extremism. The AP reports.

The Trump administration faces a difficult task dealing with the civil war in South Sudan, Kevin Sieff and Anne Gearan provide context to the conflict and the U.S.’s role at the Washington Post.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FOREIGN POLICY

The U.S. would consider imposing targeted sanctions on those responsible for violence against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority, the State Department said yesterday, Reuters reporting.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ trip to the Philippines today comes at an opportune time due to the recent defeat of Islamic State affiliates in the Philippine city of Marawi with the help from the U.S. military, however it also poses challenges as the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has embarked on a campaign to cultivate ties with Russia and China. Phil Stewart and Manuel Mogato explain at Reuters.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

Russia’s state R.T. news outlet has utilized social media to distribute content, and the news organization – which has been labeled “the Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet” by federal intelligence officials – has had an extensive reach and its relationship with YouTube is drawing closer scrutiny as part of the investigation into Russian interference in U.S. politics. Daisuke Wakabayashi and Nicholas Confessore report at the New York Times.

Trump’s personal lawyer and associate Michael Cohen is scheduled to appear before the House Intelligence Committee today in a private session as part of the committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. NBC News reports.

Russian “troll farms” were partly located on U.S. soil, Katie Zavadski, Ben Collins, Kevin Poulsen and Spencer Ackerman reveal at The Daily Beast.

The efficacy of Facebook’s fact-checking should be questioned and “we should be cautious about placing too much trust in a private algorithm,” Brendan Nyhan writes at the New York Times.

SGT. BOWE BERGDAHL

Trump’s comments about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who walked off his military base in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured by the Taliban soon after, has delayed sentencing proceedings, the president having made disparaging remarks about the sergeant. Morgan Radford and Corky Siemaszko report at NBC News.

The military judge presiding over Bergdahl’s sentencing yesterday expressed concern about perception of fairness in light of the president’s comments, Jonathan Drew reports at the AP.

A summary of Bergdahl’s circumstances and the legal battles over his case and sentencing is provided by Richard A. Oppel Jr. at the New York Times.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

Several U.S. government employees will be sent back to their posts in Venezuela after they were withdrawn in July amid unrest and anti-government protests, the AP reports.

The 2015 Iran nuclear deal would survive in spite of the U.S. decision not to certify Iran’s compliance with the agreement, the U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said yesterday, Reuters reporting.  

The Gulf crisis “could see more complications,” Kuwait’s ruler Sheikh Sabad Al Ahmad Al Sabah warned today, saying that the crisis – which began on June 5 when Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Egypt and Bahrain isolated Qatar due to its alleged support for terrorism and ties to Iran – will have “a negative effect regionally and internationally.” The AP reports.

The founder of Kaspersky Lab Eugene Kaspersky has ruled out moving the cybersecurity firm away from Russia to temper U.S. concerns about the software being used for Russian espionage, Kaspersky saying yesterday that he could not change his origin or his company’s foundation. Joe Uchill reports at the Hill.

China’s President Xi Jinping has been elevated to the level of Chairman Mao Zedong, representing Xi’s tight grip on power and unassailable position in the Communist Party hierarchy. The BBC reports.

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