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Topic: Intel Matters (Read 131815 times)
McCarthy/NRO: Of Course Russia Meddles in Our Elections
Reply #500 on:
December 14, 2016, 09:02:58 PM »
it gets even worse
Reply #501 on:
December 14, 2016, 09:35:38 PM »
The DNC Hack
Reply #502 on:
December 15, 2016, 09:25:13 AM »
Cyber: the DNC Hack
The DNC maintains a creepily-lighted shrine with their locked Watergate file cabinet and their unsecured, formerly internet-connected server. Not the same thing, genius.
There’s been a lot of noise about the Russians and the DNC hack — mostly, it’s Democrats and the press (but we repeat ourselves) trying to delegitimize the incoming administration, and mostly, it’s been conducted through the F-6 sources of press reports with anonymous sole sources, like the Washington Post report that the Post and its political fellow travelers call “the CIA report,” while actually it’s a sole anonymous source telling the Post what the CIA supposedly said. (The Post, you may remember, used a [probably nonexistent] sole anonymous source, without plausible access to tell the story of “Jessica Lynch, Amazon woman.” The author of that piece, Dana Priest, has never admitted fabricating the story but never produced a source, either, leading to the inescapable conclusion that Priest fabricated the story. She has never been held accountable).
An interesting dynamic happened in 2015. The FBI warned both parties that they were under attack. According to then-RNC head Reince Priebus on Meet The Democratic Press, the RNC then invited the FBI to work with its own geeks to secure the RNC servers, and the Republicans were not hacked.
According to the Times, the Democrats dumped the FBI call to a low-ranking, unskilled contractor — then they left him on his own to handle it. They left their server unsecure. Result, compromise.
When Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation called the Democratic National Committee in September 2015 to pass along some troubling news about its computer network, he was transferred, naturally, to the help desk.
His message was brief, if alarming. At least one computer system belonging to the D.N.C. had been compromised by hackers federal investigators had named “the Dukes,” a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government.
Yared Tamene, the tech-support contractor at the D.N.C. who fielded the call, was no expert in cyberattacks.
OK, so what did he do, like a good DC Millennial? You got it, he googled, and then resumed slacking off.
His first moves were to check Google for “the Dukes” and conduct a cursory search of the D.N.C. computer system logs to look for hints of such a cyberintrusion.
No, serious slacking off.
By his own account, he did not look too hard even after Special Agent Hawkins called back repeatedly over the next several weeks — in part because he wasn’t certain the caller was a real F.B.I. agent and not an impostor.
“Like, how do I, like, know you’re a like real FBI agent, doooood? Thats what I tell girls in bars myself.” Again, this loser is supposedly their cyber-D contractor. You know how to find out if somebody’s really from FBI? Ask for a meeting at the Field Office. Hey, even if you’re a plush-bottomed cyber Weeble unwilling to leave your Aeron chair, you can ask them to send you something from fbi.gov, and then check the headers to see if the address is forged. (If you don’t know how to forge a header and how to spot a forged header, you have no business within grenade range of a mail server).
From there, the Times story collapses into, mostly, the same unsourced stuff in the Post stories. If these guys make something up and repeat it to each other, they call that “corroboration.” That’s not how intelligence works.
It does come back to the tale of the incompetent Tamene and his incompetent 30-something supervisor, Andrew Brown. Tamene ran some over the counter tools — the DNC was not running an IDS, Intrusion Detection System — and thereafter decided that the FBI guy was a phony, lacking Tamene’s great wealth of knowledge, and wrote a couple of CYA memos, and quit taking calls.
Mr. Tamene’s initial scan of the D.N.C. system — using his less-than-optimal tools and incomplete targeting information from the F.B.I. — found nothing. So when Special Agent Hawkins called repeatedly in October, leaving voice mail messages for Mr. Tamene, urging him to call back, “I did not return his calls, as I had nothing to report,” Mr. Tamene explained in his memo.
In November, Special Agent Hawkins called with more ominous news. A D.N.C. computer was “calling home, where home meant Russia,” Mr. Tamene’s memo says, referring to software sending information to Moscow. “SA Hawkins added that the F.B.I. thinks that this calling home behavior could be the result of a state-sponsored attack.”
There are some Democrats quoted by name, generally about the bad feelz that resulted when their misconduct, lying, or biting the hands that fed them got aired in public.
For the people whose emails were stolen, this new form of political sabotage has left a trail of shock and professional damage. Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and a key Clinton supporter, recalls walking into the busy Clinton transition offices, humiliated to see her face on television screens as punditsdiscussed a leaked email in which she had called Mrs. Clinton’s instincts “suboptimal.”
“It was just a sucker punch to the gut every day,” Ms. Tanden said. “It was the worst professional experience of my life.”
Well, you should probably either work for people you can say positive things about, or take care to stifle your impulses to criticize your lords and masters. Because anything put in writing is at the mercy of anyone who finds it. And anything put on an unsecured server — and from Hawkins’s phone call, the DNC knew they were unsecure, and they kept writing the sort of two-faced stuff they’re now angry about seeing in print.
Bear in mind that no fewer than five New York Times reporters were exposed in Wikileaks, coordinating their stories with the DNC or the Clinton campaign; and one non-Times hack, Glenn Thrush of Politico, who repeatedly gave Democrats the chance to shape his reporting, was hired as a Times hack as of this week. That’s what they’re looking for — partisan subservience. They seem to believe they have a right to collude, lie and slant their stories, and the people who exposed them (even if they’re Russians) are the only villains. Had the US lost the Cold War, every one of those would be licking the boots of their masters in the Soviet Ministry of Propaganda. If they didn’t aim higher than boots. (Hell, those who were old enough to be around pre-1991 probably spent the 70s and 80s doing it already).
A British associate of Julian Assange says that it was not a hack, it was two separate insider leaks. Reported at ZeroHedge:
Update: David Swanson interviewed [Briton Craig] Murray today, and obtained additional information. Specifically, Murray told Swanson that: (1) there were twoAmerican leakers … one for the emails of the Democratic National Committee and one for the emails of top Clinton aide John Podesta; (2) Murray met one of those leakers; and (3) both leakers are American insiders with the NSA and/or the DNC, with no known connections to Russia.
The US Intelligence services consider Assange to be under Russian control, so it’s anybody’s guess whether Murray’s statement is a Russian smokescreen, or absolute truth, and whether or not the leaker(s) exist. The effort to find them itself has risks — an organization can be rendered ineffective completely by a mole hunt. Where does security consciousness end, and paranoia begin? And don’t even paranoids have real enemies.
For your consideration: Russian cyber operators are laughing their asses off at the USA right now — whether or not they had anything to do with the hack, it’s a win for them.
Drain the Intelligence Swamp!
Reply #503 on:
December 15, 2016, 09:51:47 AM »
Drain the Intelligence Swamp!
By G. Murphy Donovan
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper appeared on Public Television shortly before the presidential election for an extended interview with Charlie Rose. Mister Rose, like many of his peers these days, swings between hard news at dusk and bimbo chat at dawn. Indeed, Charlie is the very model of a Beltway double-dipper, a celebrity groupie who feeds at public and commercial troughs, PBS and CBS.
On any given day, Rose might be seen giggling with celebrities in the morning and then lofting softballs to political touts in the evening. The Council on Foreign Relations was the venue for the recent Clapper show. “Impartial, non-profit” think tanks are often used to provide the appropriate gravitas to administration spin. The Clapper performance, just before the November election, seemed to be of a piece with several other Intelligence officials who campaigned against Donald Trump.
And the Clapper interview, like many administration dog-and-pony shows, was not about transparency or openness or even information per se. In another day, any public chat with an Intelligence official might have been relegated to the desinformatsiya file. Today, Intelligence officials like Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan play other, and some might say sinister, if not partisan roles.
Whether the subject is Islamism, Vladimir Putin, or fake news; the name of the game at the moment is overtly political. Call it spin control.
Clapper’s appearance on Public Television was a subtle version of partisan Intelligence spin. Michael Morell, former acting director of CIA and Michael Hayden, former director of NSA have been on the anti-Trump stump since the 2016 campaign began. Recall that Hayden (aka Elmer Fudd) presided over the worst warning failure in American history and that Morell was a principal in the Benghazi fiasco.
Clapper suggests that the world of Intelligence is binary, a world of secrets and mysteries. Secrets are the knowable unknowns and mysteries are the secrets that might never be known, or at least not until disaster strikes. The Saudi kamikaze air force takes a bow here.
Alas, the “wilderness” of mirrors has other dimensions that Clapper didn’t mention. The third dimension of Intelligence “knowns” is those that are engineered for budget or policy reasons. The Putin bogeyman or the Russian phantasm might be examples.
The fourth dimension of Intelligence is things that are known, yet so toxic that they are minimized, ignored, or dismissed. The Shia and Sunni Islamist threats are the premier examples of fourth dimension threats where books are regularly cooked to a fare-thee-well.
A fifth dimension is public relations, facts or fictions that might be spun to some institutional or regime advantage. Leon Trotsky, and later Goebbels, would have called the “fifth” dimension of Intelligence indoctrination or propaganda. If “fake news” is a problem in America, the US Intelligence Community could be its poster child.
Intelligence is a perennial lamb to the policy lion; indeed the Executive Branch is shepherd to the 16-agency Intelligence flock. The institutional product of Intelligence today is not objective or impartial truth so much as a version of reality helpful to politicians.
Truth in analysis, especially, is an avatar of truth in politics and journalism. Candor is inversely proportionate to the discomfort or pain truth might inflict. Bad news is never good news in politics.
Policy does not relish contradictions, either. If a spook or analyst raises too many problems, he becomes the problem. The tragic case of FBI agent/analyst John O’Neill is instructive. State Department knives made short work of O’Neill (see Barbara Bodine) and any aggressive pursuit of the USS Cole malefactors. Ironically, O’Neill subsequently died at ground zero during the Saudi 9/11 suicide attack.
Yemen is still burning. Libya and Benghazi are just echoes of the Aden Harbor fiasco, humiliations when inept cookie pushers called the shots.
Clapper also failed to tell Charlie Rose that Intelligence is both defense and offense. Collection and analysis are defensive functions. Espionage and propaganda are offensive functions. Of the four, three are immoral if not illegal; if not at home, then somewhere.
Intelligence officers, operational or analytical, are accomplished liars. It’s what they do. It’s what they get paid to do. Jim Clapper, John Brennan, Michael Morell, and Michael Hayden are no exceptions.
And propaganda, in all countries, has domestic and foreign consumers. When Jim Clapper talks to CPB about “speaking truth to power,” truth and power have very narrow definitions. Truth is usually whatever confirms that which a policymaker already believes. Power is a politician with enough juice to give an agent or analyst another line of work.
Some spooks never get to come in from the cold.
Indeed, to understand any public pronouncements from the refractive world of Intelligence, the listener must know a little about the speaker and a lot about what isn’t said.
James Clapper is an example, known to select apostles simply as “JC.” Clapper comes from the nerd cloister in the Intelligence Community. He has a technology and collection background. Unlike, John Brennan at CIA, Clapper probably cares little about operations, espionage, or analysis. Worldview matters nonetheless.
Small wonder then that the DNI believes that the “cyber” threat ranks number one among Intelligence concerns. Moscow ranks second in the threat pantheon, followed by a litany of what JC likes to call “nefarious characters;” the Chinese, North Koreans, and a host undifferentiated culprits like terrorists, extremists, and criminals. The “environment” is also big on the nefarious list according to Clapper. The DNI is happy to indict the Russians and climate; but words like Islam, Mohammed, Muslim, Islamist, or Islamofascism seldom cross his lips.
To be fair, Intelligence is largely an echo of all things politically correct. Religious cults that chop off heads, abuse women, or molest children in the name of a “great” religion might transcend deplorable. However, when such heinous crimes are admitted in the name of Islam, Mohamed becomes an unmentionable. It’s a little like discussing Hitler without mentioning Germans or discussing Quisling without mentioning Norwegians.
In any case, if the kinetic threat is to be ignored, it helps to have default or surrogate threats, especially if you’re justifying a deficit DOD budget. Vladimir Putin takes a bow here.
Of all the things that 16 intelligence agencies do, threat analysis is probably the shabbiest product. Indeed, intelligence “analysis” is a deductive, not an inductive process. Analysis seldom begins with a blank slate. The drill begins with existing policy and all the embedded assumptions that politics brings to the table. To be a successful intelligence or national security analyst today, two assumptions are etched in stone.
Russians are bad. Muslims are good.
Simplistic as it sounds, any analysis that contradicts these team Obama bedrock policy maxims today is a dead letter. Putin and the Kremlin are the tar and feathers of modern American politics for both sides of the political aisle. A casual observer only has to look at Russophobic smear tactics in the 2016 presidential campaign to appreciate these phenomena. In contrast, at least five barbaric Muslim small wars proceeded apace during the campaign season with hardly a policy tweet or a ripple above the fold.
Indeed, Clapper endorses “long war” speculations, administration euphemisms for jihad that suggest that terror and Muslim small wars will be a permanent feature of American futures.
There is some comfort to be had with Jim Clapper compared to Michael Morell, Michael Hayden, and John Brennan. Recall that Brennan was the CIA chef who originally cooked the Islamic books while at the White House.
Mike Hayden presided over 9/11, the worst Intelligence failure in American history. He was promoted after the Saudi attack on 9/11. And recall that Morell was the ephemeral CIA director who presided over the Libya/Benghazi fiasco. Brennan now runs CIA. Hayden and Morell are prominent media front-runners for the political left and “Clinton Inc.”
If Intelligence meddling in American elections and politics is a fact, it’s a Washington, not a Moscow fact.
The tone for any administration is set at the top. The president-elect needs to send an unambiguous message to the righteous Right and the radical Left midst the national security elites, the same message that he so successfully communicated to voters. The name of the game is change, especially, one might suggest, for Intelligence and military policy and praxis.
It seems that General Mike Flynn will be on the "A" team, as national security advisor. Flynn is the kind of veteran who could make a difference in the Intelligence, military, and national security arenas.
Mister Trump doesn't need legislation or even a "100 days" to reorient the focus and direction of abysmal foreign/military/Intelligence policy vectors. He just needs to build a new and candid national security crew, a new leadership culture.
Trump supporters should welcome the so-called “bi-partisan” investigation of Kremlin meddling in US elections. In the process, such an inquiry might vet any CIA as well as FSB tampering. Indeed, taxpayers would surely appreciate an airing of all those black operations that underwrite failed regime changes and “humanitarian” intervention fiascos.
Withal, a lynch mob of senators led by extremist wing nuts like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Chuck Schumer, is hardly impartial. All three were toxic critics of Trump the candidate as they are now hostile to Trump the president-elect.
Regime change and election tampering now seem to be a domestic conspiracies.
If you threw a rock from the Mall in Washington in any direction, that stone couldn’t fly for thirty miles without hitting a liberal bureaucrat. The federal work force is not Trump country. The District of Columbia and Maryland/Virginia bedroom communities voted monolithically for the Clinton left. Beltway apparatchiks, including the Intelligence Community and contractors, are the “crooked” establishment that Trump ran against.
Any inquiry led by Trump haters in the Senate or the IC has little to do with Putin and everything to do with discrediting the “wisdom of crowds,” the 2016 presidential election, the Electoral College, and Donald Trump.
So let the Intelligence Community bloodlettings begin anyway. Truth and sunshine are the best antiseptics, sure to provoke lethal blowback and more than a measure of poetic justice. Trump is a street fighter who relishes a good donnybrook.
The unofficial signal for change on any captain's halyard is a flag with a broom. The message is crystal clear.
All hands on deck for a "clean sweep!"
G. Murphy Donovan was the former Director of Research and Russian (nee Soviet) studies at USAF Intelligence when James Clapper was the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence.
CIA tells NBC Putin personally involved
Reply #504 on:
December 16, 2016, 04:02:09 AM »
Yes it is NBC, but worth the reading in order to see what the CIA's play is:
RNC foiled Russki hackers
Reply #505 on:
December 16, 2016, 04:06:10 AM »
The Nation: Why are the Media taking the CIA's claims at face value?
Reply #506 on:
December 17, 2016, 06:52:11 PM »
WSJ: The Fable of Edward Snowden
Reply #507 on:
January 02, 2017, 01:18:53 PM »
The Fable of Edward Snowden
As he seeks a pardon, the NSA thief has told multiple lies about what he stole and his dealings with Russian intelligence.
0:00 / 0:00
Opinion Journal Video: Investigative Journalist Edward Jay Epstein on why the American spy doesn’t deserve a presidential pardon. Photo: Reuters
By Edward Jay Epstein
Updated Dec. 30, 2016 10:21 p.m. ET
Of all the lies that Edward Snowden has told since his massive theft of secrets from the National Security Agency and his journey to Russia via Hong Kong in 2013, none is more provocative than the claim that he never intended to engage in espionage, and was only a “whistleblower” seeking to expose the overreach of NSA’s information gathering. With the clock ticking on Mr. Snowden’s chance of a pardon, now is a good time to review what we have learned about his real mission.
Mr. Snowden’s theft of America’s most closely guarded communication secrets occurred in May 2013, according to the criminal complaint filed against him by federal prosecutors the following month. At the time Mr. Snowden was a 29-year-old technologist working as an analyst-in-training for the consulting firm of Booz Allen Hamilton at the regional base of the National Security Agency (NSA) in Oahu, Hawaii. On May 20, only some six weeks after his job there began, he failed to show up for work, emailing his supervisor that he was at the hospital being tested for epilepsy.
This excuse was untrue. Mr. Snowden was not even in Hawaii. He was in Hong Kong. He had flown there with a cache of secret data that he had stolen from the NSA.
This was not the only lie Mr. Snowden told. As became clear during my investigation over the past three years, nearly every element of the narrative Mr. Snowden has provided, which reached its final iteration in Oliver Stone’s 2016 movie, “Snowden,” is demonstrably false.
This narrative began soon after Mr. Snowden arrived in Hong Kong, where he arranged to meet with Laura Poitras, a Berlin-based documentary filmmaker, and Glenn Greenwald, a Brazil-based blogger for the Guardian. Both journalists were longtime critics of NSA surveillance with whom Mr. Snowden (under the alias Citizen Four) had been in contact for four months.
To provide them with scoops discrediting NSA operations, Mr. Snowden culled several thousand documents out of his huge cache of stolen material, including two explosive documents he asked them to use in their initial stories. One was the now-famous secret order from America’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court requiring Verizon to turn over to the NSA its billing records for its phone users in the U.S. The other was an NSA slide presentation detailing its ability to intercept communications of non-American users of the internet via a joint program with the FBI code-named Prism.
These documents were published in 2013 on June 5 and 6, followed by a video in which he identified himself as the leaker and a whistleblower.
At the heart of Mr. Snowden’s narrative was his claim that while he may have incidentally “touched” other data in his search of NSA files, he took only documents that exposed the malfeasance of the NSA and gave all of them to journalists.
Yet even as Mr. Snowden’s narrative was taking hold in the public realm, a secret damage assessment done by the NSA and Pentagon told a very different story. According to a unanimous report declassified on Dec. 22 by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the investigation showed that Mr. Snowden had “removed” (not merely touched) 1.5 million documents. That huge number was based on, among other evidence, electronic logs that recorded the selection, copying and moving of documents.
The number of purloined documents is more than what NSA officials were willing to say in 2013 about the removal of data, possibly because the House committee had the benefit of the Pentagon’s more-extensive investigation. But even just taking into account the material that Mr. Snowden handed over to journalists, the December House report concluded that he compromised “secrets that protect American troops overseas and secrets that provide vital defenses against terrorists and nation-states.” These were, the report said, “merely the tip of the iceberg.”
The Pentagon’s investigation during 2013 and 2014 employed hundreds of military-intelligence officers, working around the clock, to review all 1.5 million documents. Most had nothing to do with domestic surveillance or whistle blowing. They were mainly military secrets, as Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the House Armed Services Committee on March 6, 2014.
It was not the quantity of Mr. Snowden’s theft but the quality that was most telling. Mr. Snowden’s theft put documents at risk that could reveal the NSA’s Level 3 tool kit—a reference to documents containing the NSA’s most-important sources and methods. Since the agency was created in 1952, Russia and other adversary nations had been trying to penetrate its Level-3 secrets without great success.
Yet it was precisely these secrets that Mr. Snowden changed jobs to steal. In an interview in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post on June 15, 2013, he said he sought to work on a Booz Allen contract at the CIA, even at a cut in pay, because it gave him access to secret lists of computers that the NSA was tapping into around the world.
He evidently succeeded. In a 2014 interview with Vanity Fair, Richard Ledgett, the NSA executive who headed the damage-assessment team, described one lengthy document taken by Mr. Snowden that, if it fell into the wrong hands, would provide a “road map” to what targets abroad the NSA was, and was not, covering. It contained the requests made by the 17 U.S. services in the so-called Intelligence Community for NSA interceptions abroad.
On June 23, less than two weeks after Mr. Snowden released the video that helped present his narrative, he left Hong Kong and flew to Moscow, where he received protection by the Russian government. In much of the media coverage that followed, the ultimate destination of these stolen secrets was fogged over—if not totally obscured from the public—by the unverified claims that Mr. Snowden was spoon feeding to handpicked journalists.
In his narrative, Mr. Snowden always claims that he was a conscientious “whistleblower” who turned over all the stolen NSA material to journalists in Hong Kong. He has insisted he had no intention of defecting to Russia but was on his way to Latin America when he was trapped in Russia by the U.S. government in an attempt to demonize him.
For example, in October 2014, he told the editor of the Nation, “I’m in exile. My government revoked my passport intentionally to leave me exiled” and “chose to keep me in Russia.” According to Mr. Snowden, the U.S. government accomplished this entrapment by suspending his passport while he was in midair after he departed Hong Kong on June 23, thus forcing him into the hands of President Vladimir Putin’s regime.
None of this is true. The State Department invalidated Mr. Snowden’s passport while he was still in Hong Kong, not after he left for Moscow on June 23. The “Consul General-Hong Kong confirmed that Hong Kong authorities were notified that Mr. Snowden’s passport was revoked June 22,” according to the State Department’s senior watch officer, as reported by ABC news on June 23, 2013.
Mr. Snowden could not have been unaware of the government’s pursuit of him, since the criminal complaint against him, which was filed June 14, had been headline news in Hong Kong. That the U.S. acted against him while he was still in Hong Kong is of great importance to the timeline because it points to the direct involvement of Aeroflot, an airline which the Russian government effectively controls. Aeroflot bypassed its normal procedures to allow Mr. Snowden to board the Moscow flight—even though he had neither a valid passport nor a Russian visa, as his newly assigned lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said at a press conference in Russia on July 12, 2013.
By falsely claiming his passport was invalidated after the plane departed Hong Kong—instead of before he left—Mr. Snowden hoped to conceal this extraordinary waiver. The Russian government further revealed its helping hand, judging by a report in Russia’s Izvestia newspaper when, on arrival, Mr. Snowden was taken off the plane by a security team in a “special operation.”
Nor was it any kind of accident. Vladimir Putin personally authorized this assistance after Mr. Snowden met with Russian officials in Hong Kong, as Mr. Putin admitted in a televised press conference on Sept. 2, 2013.
To provide a smokescreen for Mr. Snowden’s escape from Hong Kong, WikiLeaks (an organization that the Obama administration asserted to be a tool of Russian intelligence after the hacking of Democratic Party leaders’ email in 2016) booked a dozen or more diversionary flight reservations to other destinations for Mr. Snowden.
WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange also dispatched Sarah Harrison, his deputy at WikiLeaks, to fly to Hong Kong to pay Mr. Snowden’s expenses and escort him to Moscow. In short, Mr. Snowden’s arrival in Moscow was neither accidental nor the work of the U.S. government.
Mr. Snowden’s own narrative asserts that he came to Russia not only empty-handed but without access to any of the stolen material. He wrote in Vanity Fair in 2014 that he had destroyed all of it before arriving in Moscow—the very data that he went to such lengths to steal a few weeks earlier in Hawaii.
As it turns out, this claim is also untrue. It is belied by two Kremlin insiders who were in a position to know what Mr. Snowden actually brought with him to Moscow. One of them, Frants Klintsevich, was the first deputy chairman of the defense and security committee of the Duma (Russia’s parliament) at the time of Mr. Snowden’s defection. “Let’s be frank,” Mr. Klintsevich said in a taped interview with NPR in June 2016, “Mr. Snowden did share intelligence. This is what security services do.”
The other insider was Anatoly Kucherena, a well-connected Moscow lawyer and Mr. Putin’s friend. Mr. Kucherena served as the intermediary between Mr. Snowden and Russian authorities. On Sept. 23, 2013, Mr. Kucherena gave a long interview to Sophie Shevardnadze, a journalist for Russia Today television.
When Ms. Shevardnadze directly asked him if Mr. Snowden had given all the documents he had taken from the NSA to journalists in Hong Kong, Mr. Kucherena said Mr. Snowden had only given “some” of the NSA’s documents in his possession to journalists in Hong Kong. “So he [Mr. Snowden] does have some materials that haven’t been made public yet?” Ms. Shevardnadze asked. “Certainly,” Mr. Kucherena answered.
This disclosure filled in a crucial piece of the puzzle. It explained why NSA documents that Mr. Snowden had copied, but had not given to the journalists in Hong Kong—such as the embarrassing revelation about the NSA targeting the cellphone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel—continued to surface after Mr. Snowden arrived in Moscow, along with NSA documents released via WikiLeaks.
As this was a critical discrepancy in Mr. Snowden’s narrative, I went to Moscow in October 2015 to see Mr. Kucherena. During our conversation, Mr. Kucherena confirmed that his interview with Ms. Shevardnadze was accurate, and that Mr. Snowden had brought secret material with him to Moscow.
Mr. Snowden’s narrative also includes the assertion that he was neither debriefed by nor even met with any Russian government official after he arrived in Moscow. This part of the narrative runs counter to findings of U.S. intelligence. According to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence report, Mr. Snowden, since he arrived in Moscow, “has had, and continues to have, contact with Russian intelligence services.” This finding is consistent with Russian debriefing practices, as described by the ex-KGB officers with whom I spoke in Moscow
Mr. Snowden also publicly claimed in Moscow in December 2013 to have secrets in his head, including “access to every target, every active operation. Full lists of them.” Could Mr. Snowden’s Russian hosts ignore such an opportunity after Mr. Putin had authorized his exfiltration to Moscow? Mr. Snowden, with no exit options, was in the palm of their hands. Under such circumstances, as Mr. Klintsevich pointed out in his June NPR interview: “If there’s a possibility to get information, they [the Russian intelligence services] will get it.”
The transfer of state secrets from Mr. Snowden to Russia did not occur in a vacuum. The intelligence war did not end with the termination of the Cold War; it shifted to cyberspace. Even if Russia could not match the NSA’s state-of-the-art sensors, computers and productive partnerships with the cipher services of Britain, Israel, Germany and other allies, it could nullify the U.S. agency’s edge by obtaining its sources and methods from even a single contractor with access to Level 3 documents.
Russian intelligence uses a single umbrella term to cover anyone who delivers it secret intelligence. Whether a person acted out of idealistic motives, sold information for money or remained clueless of the role he or she played in the transfer of secrets—the provider of secret data is considered an “espionage source.” By any measure, it is a job description that fits Mr. Snowden.
Mr. Epstein’s book, “How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft,” will be published by Knopf in January.
CATO: US meddling in foreign elections
Reply #508 on:
January 08, 2017, 01:27:19 PM »
Why did NBC get intel before Trump?
Reply #509 on:
January 09, 2017, 12:01:29 PM »
Re: Intel Matters
Reply #510 on:
January 17, 2017, 11:47:49 AM »
He voted for Communist candidate in 1980:
Driector of CIA emails hacked:
Brennan , "we don't steal secrets"
Re: Intel Matters
Reply #511 on:
January 17, 2017, 12:34:36 PM »
Re: Intel Matters
Reply #512 on:
January 17, 2017, 02:17:48 PM »
In quoting Mike Morell it would have been appropriate to mention his role in the Benghazi talking points, and in the vigor of his advocacy for Hillary for President, etc.
Re: Intel Matters
Reply #513 on:
January 17, 2017, 02:48:00 PM »
Quote from: Crafty_Dog on January 17, 2017, 02:17:48 PM
In quoting Mike Morell it would have been appropriate to mention his role in the Benghazi talking points, and in the vigor of his advocacy for Hillary for President, etc.
And his book:
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