Tuesday, March 21, 2017
In their sworn testimony to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, two of our nation's highest ranking security officials testified that
1) There were several investigations underway into links between the Donald Trump campaign and RIS efforts to disrupt the 2016 elections.
2) There was no evidence to support the idea that President Obama "wiretapped" the Trump campaign or Donald Trump's residence in 2016.
3) No laws were broken when the press reported on the "leaks". The "leakers" broke their oaths and committed illegal acts but the press did nothing illegal by printing that information.
A fourth and ominous statement from Dir. Comey was his refusal to comment on whether the FBI was investigating Donald Trump himself.
The most direct consequence of these public disclosures has been to completely kill any political maneuver room that the Trump administration had. Yesterday the GOP went to great lengths to defend the President, but they are pretty much out of gas. A few people like Gowdy and Nunes will carry on but the rest will slowly put significant distance between themselves and the Trump admin. The comfortable buffer of party support that every President enjoys is now completely absent for President Trump.
Gone too are the days of DJT tweeting freely. Serving officials of the NSA and FBI basically told the world that DJT lied when he claimed that President Obama had "wiretapped" him in 2016. This is a public slap in the face. It is likely that elements of the Trumper base will buy into a logic that serving intelligence community and law enforcement members in a conspiracy to undermine President Trump, but it is unlikely that this level of support is sustainable.
If President Trump tweets like this one more time, he may find himself facing libel charges in a court of law. That is will make an impeachment process inevitable. Given how much information is freely available on Trump Corporation taking money from foreign governments for "business reasons", an emoluments charge will be very easy to stick.
Clearly these events have unsettled the Trump WH and DJT's daughter Ivanka Trump has suddenly been given an office in the West Wing. There are third possible reasons for this,
1) The most obvious reason is that the NYC faction of the DJT machine (Ivanka, Jared, the Wall Streeters) feel that DJT needs to be "minded" by an adult at all times. DJT is clearly more at home golfing and saying stupid things to his buddies than he is running a nation, so Ivanka could serve as a good minder and possibly serve as a good barrier between President and his own bottomless pit of stupidity.
2) Another fairly obvious reason is that every White House that finds itself facing a criminal investigation feels the need to destroy evidence. The penalty usually associated with destroying evidence for smaller players is low - a few years in jail and the sentence is usually commuted by the president or his successor. There are not usual times, and none of the DJT Admin aides want to be the dude with the shredder, so a family member has to be tapped to take the fall.
3) As none of us has ever seen DJT's real health record, it is fair to surmise that there is likely something there he does not wish us to see. Given his immense propensity for projection, it is probably a terminal illness - something with a long latent stage, and with a significant impact on mental functioning. If that were true, then perhaps Ivanka would be the ideal caregiver for him. If rumors of a split with Melania are true, then it is only logical that the primary responsibility for such services would fall on Ivanka.
Unfortunately - regardless of the "why" placing Ivanka in the WH with a security clearance - ends the charade of a "Blind Trust" that was created in an elaborately staged press conference some weeks ago. The barrier to an impeachment under the Emoluments Clause is greatly lowered.
As this admin rattles from one problem to another, Vice President Pence waits.
Monday, March 20, 2017
The Daily Donald 3/20/2017We all know today will be quite interesting. The House committee on intelligence will meet and review evidence of Russian ties to the Trump regime. While not as powerful or important as the Senate Committee on Intelligence, we are seeing significant damage to the Trump admin even with this minimal level of scrutiny.
If DJT's admin was subject to the same level of investigation that HRC was during the "Benghazi" Affair or the BHO admin was over the "Birth Certificate" issue - the entire DJT Admin will collapse in microseconds. There is simply too much rotten wood in the DJT power structure - too many public associations with drug traffickers, money launderers, RU oligarchs, middle eastern dictators, and general scum to permit him a sure foothold on anything.
Add to that the problem of his debilitating narcissism, his behavior with Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Kenny proved that he is incapable of interacting with equals in a mature fashion. The entire performance left one with the impression of a schizophrenic WH policy staff coupled with a leader who didn't know how anything actually worked.
As some of you may have heard RU is activating its spearheads. We don't know if this is real world or drill. If we had clear intelligence on how well the mud-season was affecting the routes parallel to the axis of these maneuvers we might have a sense of what the RU intentions are but at this time that intelligence is not available to the public. I estimate that forces in the Baltics, Scandinavia and Ukraine can be relied on to hold major nodes for a period of 48 hours at maximum. This timescale will shrink dramatically if RuAF achieves air superiority. Beyond that the USAF will have to step in to restore the balance of terror.
Everyone anticipates that DPRK will demonstrate a version of the Ulam-Teller design with LiD fusion fuel and an enriched Uranium tamper. This would allow them to achieve a yield in the 100 kT range and put MT level yields within their reach. They would also be in possession of extremely proliferation sensitive information that would make it impossible to avoid negotiating with them. Could a position of advantage be attained by quick military maneuver at this time? perhaps something that douses the test itself? - Maybe - but that is a lot to orchestrate in a very short time and it is very high on details. Details is something DJT doesn't do well in general - less so when he is looking at the prospect of jail time over ties to Russian criminals. That may explain Secy. Tillerson's reticence to take the press along and why the dinner meeting with SoKo was called off. A military option would require a SoKo approval which would require a discussion of details and Secy Tillerson was not prepared for that. IMHO - that's why the SoKo acidly remarked that he was "fatigued" and couldn't make the dinner.
This leaves us with the House Committee hearings today. I think we will see more information about the nature of ties between Alfa Bank and the Trump organization. It would interesting to see if the IC thinks a subterranean communication protocol like Iodine was used. It is likely that any text transmitted over this channel was encoded with an OTP. And if one wants to transmit an OTP, the best place to do it via brush pass. If your yacht passes an RU oligarch's yacht close enough, you can pass an OTP between the two via a short range low power protocol like BT3 or BT4. Using that OTP and the Iodine tunnel protocol, you would get end-to-end encryption. As long as the entire exercise was placed on servers separated from the main players, you would have a semblance of deniability.
The mere existence of this covert communication route or even the existence of encrypted communications between between the RIS and the DJT Campaign staff is not sufficient to guarantee that a treason charge will stick. Until the exact content of the communications and their true interpretation is known - we will not be able to say for certain that DJT conspired with the RIS to influence the election. I suspect this is the bottom we will be able to reach with the investigation.
It is possible that associates of DJT like Secy Sessions, Carter Page, Mike Flynn, Roger Stone, Sean Hannity, Paul Manafort, Corey Lewandowski etc... would end up being sent to jail for their role in facilitating such communication, but it is unlikely a charge of treason would stick to DJT. It is possible that one or all of these people could turn against DJT and turn state witness in exchange for reduced sentences, but that is a distant possibility at this time. In any case if they entertain such notions, RIS would put them to sleep. In the worst case scenario, DJT would resign from office in exchange for an end to scrutiny.
Against that background, one sees the simple outlines of the basic Democratic Party strategy. The party cannot really believe that it will successfully impeach or convict DJT on a charge of treason. It may be able to do that on the "Emoluments Clause", but the GOP will stand in the way of that. From a strategic perspective, we must also realize two things.
1) By impeaching DJT, the Democratic Party will essentially allow the GOP plan of riding DJT's coat-tails into power to succeed.
2) Trumpers who enjoyed the benefits of Democratic Party's governance during the BHO period and then spat on its face by voting for Trump, will face no consequences for their actions.
It is therefore much more efficient for the Democratic Party to simply push this impeachment and RIS narrative (as supported by facts - ofcourse) to a place where it generates the maximal amount of friction in the GOP+Trump machine. The prevalence of such friction will slow down some of the genocidal agendas of Bannon et al,, but more importantly it will create enough leverage to permit Democratic senators and congressmen to insert earmarks inside major bills that deflect the blow of collective DJT+GOP stupidity on to the very voters that brought them into power. This way only those people who actually wanted Trump to be president will suffer the consequences of his rule. Trumpers alone will face the consequences of their insanity.
Should Trumpers want to return to the fold of sanity - the path will be quite steep. They will have to visibly and verifiably renounce all hatred of HRC and BHO. Since that hatred has been a staple of their existence, it will be quite hard for them to do so. But should they make this transition, one can work on ways to elect the right people in 2018.
Clearly Trumpers do not have to do this - they can keep voting for DJT and the GOP and live out the rest of their lives (which may be quite short due to a total cessation of welfare & entitlement spending in GOP controlled states) in the twisted vindication that comes from holding on to their bizarre ideas about HRC and BHO.
What applies to Trumpers - applies equally well to Berniecrats. They too should be made to realize the extraordinary price that accompanies stupidity.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
A brief summary of the situation at this time.It is obvious to everyone that there is a catastrophic amount of debt that has built up in the US economy. The total government debt alone is far in excess of what can be serviced without serious cut backs in government spending. So far financial eclipses that have loomed have been avoided by raising the debt limit and borrowing from the Federal Reserve, but with interest rates rising that measure will not offer as much relief as one might think.
There are no visible alternatives to cuts in entitlement spending. The vast bulk of the boomer dominated workforce is not in a position to accept this demand for productivity. Most boomers are in their productive twilight, they cannot acquire new skills. They also cannot remain economically viable for much longer: even if they successfully remain employed, the rising health costs associated with an aging workforce will ultimately produce a decline in their net productivity.
One could get into the weeds of this and try to figure out how much debt is internal to the country and how much is external but quite frankly I fear that picture may be misleading as the two debts are linked. The mantra of "forgive internal" and "repay (or "forget") external" is not actionable - as the two debts aren't necessarily separable.
There are few a big picture workarounds - each comes with caveats.
- By careful automation, one could theoretically reduce the skill gap in the workforce. This works up to a point beyond which the robot is way cheaper to own and operate than the human workers.
- Another solution would be to import labor from foreign lands and fill the ranks of the middle aged with more taxpayers. This works up to a point where the immigrants drop the price of labor to a point where the native labor is no longer profitably employed. That is the point at which the nativists gain ground and incite violence.
- Assets can be sold to foreign buyers at a premium and with that one can hope to reduce the debt. This comes with other problems as the foreign sources can be contaminated with conflict capital flow which are very corrosive to our economy*.
The following are non-solutions - the create far more problems than they claim to solve
- Stopping immigration - this cuts out the supply of cheap labor and over-inflates the labor price to the point where no productivity is sustainable. Given that there are cheap labor markets world wide - the companies elect to move/outsource.
- Adding Tariffs - If you tariff imports - your exports are taxed via reciprocity. If your primary exports are agricultural (like the US right now or India was right after independence) - a reciprocal tariff will kill your food production Famines become endemic and people die in large numbers.
- Burning down the system - This is like cutting off your testicles to spite your enemies. The system is what redistributes wealth imperfectly. If you burn it down - you shut down the redistribution mechanism. Disparity rises - the rich get richer, the middle class gets poorer and the poor die. You have to be pretty sociopathic to actually want that.
As things are right now - the US, EU and UK are on the crazy train to complete self-destruction. Between the Trumpers (who were seduced by DJT's fake promises) and the Berniecrats who seem to want to destroy the system - well because... - one cannot see a clear horizon to anything.
There is high likelihood of the US going into default on its debt. We are falling down a very deep and dark hole and there is no clarity on where the bottom is.
* Conflict capital (or "money with menaces") usually is laundered with costs that are barely below the rate of legally moving regular capital. Since the capital is collected by a "aggressive capitalists" - their notion of a rate of return is quite absurd and disconnected from any economic realities. Financial advisers who deal with such capital often can't tell their clients that they lost money on a high risk investment so if you allow conflict capital into your economy - you are risking a major backflow of white capital along the conflict money channels., This can easily sluice the wealth from your country. This is what the DJT Admin is putting the US at risk of. No one in their right mindwants to the see the entire US stock market robbed blind to pay off Putin and friends! - and yet that is where DJT, Bannon and Co are leading us.
The Daily Donald 3/15/2017Yesterday Pres. Donald Trump's IRS returns for 2005 were "leaked". Based on what is in the return and the WH pre-release statement, it is fair to conclude that Pres. Donald Trump "leaked" this himself. Given that the House intelligence committee is due to meet on the issue of Russian links to his Administration, it is likely that DJT felt the need to put something that cast him in a positive light. It is unclear why he is going through the motions of making it look like he didn't release this information himself, but it is quite baffling to see him first tweet that the returns are genuine and then to claim that they are fake news in a sequence of tweets that leaves most people including his own staff baffled.
The House committee itself seems to have publicly admitted that the whole accusation DJT laid on Pres Obama's door about "wiretapping" was not backed by any evidence. Since there are at least two FISA warrants at play against Russian targets with close ties to Donald Trump, this wild "wiretapping" allegation can be interpreted as judicial obstruction. That is a felony charge which Donald can be impeached upon. The thought of this is putting President Trump under great strain. As the strain accelerates so do the reports of fear among the White House staff. I guess his staff know that unlike him - they enjoy no immunity or pardon from Soon-to-Be President Pence.
The dumpster fire also appears to have gained some. Anbang visibly paid off the Kushner family and China suddenly became much more friendly towards President Donald Trump. That is an odd thing for China to be doing, after all candidate Trump did advocate a trade war with China. That said Pres. Trump did kill the Trans Pacific Pact which China didn't like - so I assume that Anbang's generous offer to the Kushners is China's way of saying "Thank You". Under normal circumstances these people would be facing jail time, but we don't live in normal times.
As things stand State, Justice, DHS and most of the NSCS are almost completely emptied out. The usual watchdogs that keep an eye on illegal behavior in the stock market have been rendered completely silent by President Trump's policy of fire-but-not-replace. The EPA and other agencies that could mount a serious challenge to Steve Bannon's limitless expansion of power have been dismantled. It will not be long before this plague reaches the DoE, and the DoD as Trump begins to decline into a mixture of senility and paranoia. I don't know how long Gen. McMaster will last as NSA, he has had his first open feud with Bannon. If you thought Steve Bannon couldn't possibly be do so much damage - well think again.
NY-USAA Preet Bharara has been fired. Just when he started an inquiry into the illegal actions of Rupert Murdoch's Fox News corporation. Apparently he was also beginning an investigation into stuff that could be interpreted as Emoluments. Obviously he became a threat to President Trump and that meant he had to go.
In other entertaining news, Wikileaks (as it unsurprisingly turns out) is hosted in Russia by an associate of President Putin. This development has left the usual "IC accountability" crowd in a bit of a pickle. Glenn Greenwald and other are now quick to try and dismiss the entire "hosted in Russia" business as being a case of hype. They still want to cling to the idea that by bringing Snowden's exploits to light, they weren't somehow amplifying a Russian agenda. Well that is going to be difficult given how much proximity there is in the public imagination between Russia, Wikileaks and Snowden.
A related issue is the behavior of the Berniecrats (or the "Almost Trump Supporters"). Berniecrats (as many will candidly admit) didn't turn up to vote against Trump. They were a small but vocal minority who preferred to waste their votes on upstanding (and clapping for Putin) candidates like Jill Stein. This is a wonderful group of people who appear to operate on a simple calculation - the system must be destroyed - Hillary has been destroyed, and Trump will do exactly that as he attempts line his own pockets. These folks never take responsibility for anything. Mostly millennials - these great folk capture the same toxic combination of ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and mental disorganization so popular among the Boomer generation. Like the Boomers they don't want to be on the hook for all the debt created so far. So destroying the system is the only way to get clear of that debt - or so they believe.
The end result of their efforts will be a massive conflict that corrodes the power of the establishment - leaving the door open for the Berniecrats to seize power and then burn what is left of the nation to the ground. They have been successful in this agenda so far. Now their approach is to offer token support to the Russian backed Wikileaks platform in the hope that it further hobbles the USIC and degrades its ability to rein Trump's destructive behavior. If your only agenda is "destroying the system" I guess you can make it work.
Which brings me back to the other thing that is all set to destroy the country - TrumpCare. Everyone (including Trump himself) feel the proposal is not going to get them where he wants to go. There is an attempt by Trumpers to call it "Obamacare 2.0" but that name isn't sticking. Current estimate of the people that will lose coverage is 24 million by one estimate. The Trump WH has taken to discrediting its own CBO estimates in an effort to mask their utter embarrassment in this fiasco.
So the remains of the day are - we are one tiny step closer to the collapse of the national government. Both Trumpers and Berniecrats feel they will gain liberation from their debts in this climate, but neither gets where this is really going to lead. As both depend on Obamacare and Medicare for actual survival, I feel a Trump engineered collapse of the state will produce a very different outcome than what either desires.
I don't expect either group to take responsibility for its actions, the Trumpers are too old and beyond caring and the Berniecrats are a alternative reality unto themselves.
Thursday, March 09, 2017
The Daily Donald 3/9/2017Yesterday we saw more links emerge between the DJTC and various FSB associates.
1) Roger Stone appears to have been in contact with Guccifer 2.0. Guccifer was one of the entities involves in DC Leaks, a platform that released all manner of material inimical to HRC Campaign. Guccifer is suspected of bring an RIS/GRU front operation.
2) Paul Manafort was apparently investigated for his contacts with Konstantin Kilimnik. It seems that Kilimnik was instrumental in editing the GOP party foreign policy document to exclude arms aid to Ukraine.
A detailed timeline of key events is also available at this site. And Pro Publica has a list of people on DJT's "Landing Teams" - all sorts of conflicts of interest here.
As questions about the "Wire Tapping" allegation that DJT made swirl, we are treated to a series of discussions about how DJT made the tweets in the morning and then had misgivings about them by the time he was done with his morning golf game. He then went around asking if a private investigator could be hired to substantiate his claim. He may be on to something, I think the private investigators that Mr. Trump hired to look into Mr. Obama's birth certificate issue in Hawaii might be in the market for new employment.
One interesting line of questions is emerging around the exact nature of the FISC warrant the DOJ obtained on October 15th. The presence of FinCEN (US Treasury) on the investigation suggest that the target was a banking entity. In the public domain, there are two candidates for such a target - Alfa Bank and Bank of Cyprus. Both have been associated with all manner of financial involvement in RU flight capital. A dark horse candidate is Deutsche Bank but we don't know who the FISC warrant targeted yet.
On the TrumpCare front, we are seeing serious pushback from major conservative voting groups. As GOP tries to shove TrumpCare down America's collective throats, it seems like they don't care about the next election at all. Do they know something we all don't? Has the next election been cancelled? Is DJT going to be president for eternity? Is this the last congress/senate election in history? Is our nation so bankrupt that it doesn't matter whether we have Obamacare/TrumpCare we are not going to be able to pay for it?
Far as I understand the GOP, it seems to think of the election as a joke. It has successfully gerrymandered (thru redistricting and voter discrimination) a political enclave in the Midwest and it has a revolving door policy for lobbyists and government officials. Between these two supports, the legislators can basically sit around in their offices and smoke crack all day long and do no work. Come election a small fragment of the impoverished voters in their enclaves will come forward to vote them back into power. They don't have have a long term, because as long as their voters stay stupid (which they will for an eternity) there is no one else to vote for.
In the context of the above, it should come as no surprise that former NSA Micheal Flynn has registered as a lobbyist for Turkey after unofficially lobbying for them for a much longer time.
In somewhat positive news, I feel the Vault7 Wikileaks event marks the USICs first real victory in the battle against RIS cyber aggression. I had almost muted Wikileaks last week after their announced Vault7 but then I was persuaded by others to stay tuned. I am glad I listened because I got to see the cyber equivalent of the Battle of the Coral Sea. The RIS overplayed its hand when it attempted to use parts of the Vault7 release to blame the CIA for the DNC hack. This led the grand narrative put out by the RIS to snap in half and gave the USIC the "in" they were waiting for. Well played USIC!! Go Team!!
Prior to this mistake the RIS narrative had been that the DNC hacks were unrelated to RU posture. But when they alleged that it was done by the CIA and that the CIA had outed itself in Vault7, the narrative broke. Why would the CIA hack the DNC, leak emails to Wikileaks, get Donald Trump election, get him praised in Putin controlled RU TV channels, and then leak its own tools to Wikileaks? Why would Wikileaks (ostensibly a CIA front) which heavily redacted Vault7, highlight the CIA Umbrage program which showed that the CIA appropriates RIS malware for deniable attacks?
This was a major strategic fail for RIS. They are not in a position of major vulnerability, as the USIC can now use Vault7 to launch aggressive investigations of RIS moles. And the RIS just lost its Wikileaks "Pocket Aircraft Carrier", its "Battleships" - Roger Stone Jr, Milo Y, Zerohedge, and a whole host of other support vessels on Twitter and Facebook. The USIC may be badly dented due to the loss of the CIAs offensive codes but RIS will not have to think several times over before launching another major cyber assault.
All in all - it was a good day for the USIC even if it didn't appear that way in the news.
Wednesday, March 08, 2017
The Daily Donald 3/8/2017This is a series of posts where I hope to record the astounding developments of the day. As things sink into lows I considered unimaginable, I hope this will serve as a chronicle of my journey through these troubling times.
While the President's accusations of "wire tapping", the IC's denials, and the subsequent release of Vault7 from Wikileaks continue to distract the TV pundits, news of the scandal exposed this week in Baku continues to spread in whispers. The inexplicable behavior of the DJT Corporation in Baku is growing in visibility and this is again opening the DJT Administration up to questions about violating US laws.
Of particular interest now are petitions filed by the Democratic Coalition Against Trump before the DHS/CBP which allege that Ivanka Trump violated the US Sanctions against Iran by shipping her clothing products from China to the US on a Iranian flagged vessel. Taken in conjunction with DJTs involvement with the Azeri Minister Mammadov and his links to Iran - this is starting to look real bad.
A natural question at this point is whether the DJTC was paid any money by the IRGC to denounce the US-Iran JCPOA? It is well known in most places that the IRGC was not happy with the JCPOA and felt that it diluted the IRGCs supremacy inside Iran. Was the Azeri infrastructure deal merely a way to pour money into the DJTC? Surely a matter to be investigated?
For a guy who can't wait to "Ban Muslims" and spouts so much blood libel against Islam, DJT seems to have a lot of Muslim business partners who pay him way more than he deserves in so many deals. He even has businesses in Saudi Arabia and Qatar where customers routinely overpay for stuff. But somehow his supporters still believe that Hillary was the Saudi-Qatari backed candidate and Obama was the "founder of ISIS". At some point a question is going to be asked by these people that he isn't going to like.
In terms of its promises, the DJT Admin is keen to see a quick repeal of Obamacare. The GOP has put together a package that is more suited to its own instincts but it worries that the plan will be seen as being too much of a tax cut on the rich. Somehow the prospect of an ill-thought out plan raising health care costs on the elderly and the poor doesn't bother them as much. This last part is odd considering that the older white folks are usually the GOPs vote bank. You would never shop your own supporters unless you felt you weren't going to ever face an election again. Does the GOP know something the rest of us don't?
In other news, it seem the NRA met with the Russians and then donated a $30M to the DJTC. The NRA meetings took place at the same time as the Jill Stein, Micheal Flynn and Vladimir Putin dinner. One wonders where this thread will lead.
Tuesday, March 07, 2017
Gaming this out with reasonable assumptionsAt the topmost level, we see two outcomes
1) DJT survives a challenge to his political power - DJT weathers the adverse political climate and survives exposure of his RU ties. The opposition cannot mount a credible legal challenge to his continuation either because they are unable to find enough evidence or because he is able to counteract their initiatives through political action.
2) DJT does not survive a challenge to his political power - DJT admin's political side crumbles and he is unable to prevent an impeachment proceeding. The motion to impeach carries and he ends up out of power, possibly facing a criminal prosecution. It is likely that after he is prosecuted and sentenced, he will be pardoned by President Pence/McConnell/Ryan depending on how many others this takes down with it.
If we work forwards from either outcome we see economic instability and serious social chaos as peer competitor factions battle for control over various economic crumbs. We see at least two contested elections and a "Lost Decade".
Going backwards, in both outcomes we see major legislative deadlock as pro-Trump and anti-Trump factions duke it out over the impeachment process. We see an Iran-Contra type black hole which spirals pulling more and more government organs into its orbit. With major government organs entering failure more, we will see sudden market shifts and irrational behavior.
The two outcomes described above seem degenerate and the only point of split of between them is the success of DJTs counteractive measures.
The biggest counteraction measure is "Truth Dominance" - a measure which allows DJT at least for a short period of time to become the sole arbiter of "Truth". If this is measure is successfully deployed then DJT will control the information cycle - essentially enabling him to convince his targets that "everything isn't as bad as it is made to seem" or "I am the victim here" etc... Obviously the loyalists will always converge to those positions (that BTW is a good way to find loyalists) but the others will not do so without "Truth Dominance". (A fact that will be visible in subtle trends in open source polling data.)
To this end, RIS backed leaks and agitprop campaigns will go a long way in discrediting traditional information sources such as the major news media, USIC, judiciary etc... If Cambridge Analytica style digital opinion modification techniques are used - then one could supplement the effectiveness of RIS information dominance operations.
It is unlikely that this counteraction measure will survive contact with the reality of evidence emerging against him. As his position weakens, he is basically dropping deep into the RIS' debt and there is a limit to how far the RIS can extend itself to protect him. If overt RIS interference is visible, then that will be fatal to his political survival.
From the RIS perspective, this is now a major recovery operation. Unless they do whatever it takes to keep him in place at least until their own tracks are covered, they will be doubly hit - they'll take a hit from the collapse in the US market (where a lot of RU conflict capital is invested) and they will take a hit from the public exposure of their support ops. It will be a repeat of the carnage they saw after the fall of the USSR and this time around there will be nowhere to move the monies to.
As support operations are launched via usual channels, the likelihood of something stupid happening - a wrinkle in the tradecraft, a slip-up in OPSEC, or a tiny little crack in the mirror will increase. Mistakes after all are made when people are in a hurry.
The failed attempt to deploy the "Tapping" balloon is an example of what happens when an OP is launched without sufficient prior preparation and conditioning. The appearance of a very convenient Vault 7 release from Wikileaks is also illuminating. Wonder what errors lie in that deployment? - perhaps accidentally compromise the source of the vault itself? perhaps the agency was clever enough to imprinted with unique text patterns and typos in specific copies of the documents? old school but it works.
Who know what exactly lies ahead but it isn't going to be pretty.
Monday, March 06, 2017
Threads in the DJT storyAs with all things, we have only tantalizing hints about the underlying story here, and absent a major investigation - it is unlikely we will find incontrovertible proof of anything. It is also true that in the current atmosphere of partisanship it is unclear if we will have the courage to accept the truth once we find it.
That said - this is what the story is sounding like so far. And since everything is about the tone of the story as opposed to the factual content these days - the mere allusion of fact is infinitely more powerful than fact itself.
As things stand - there appear to be two branched threads in the DJT Saga.
The main thread reads something like this.
1) xKGB folks like Putin etc... sucked wealth out of the collapsing USSR and funneled it in to the American/Western stock market using intermediaries like the DJT corporation. The money grew in the Western stock market, and using some of the returns moved via banks of convenience in Bahamas, Cypress etc.., Putin was able to make himself Emperor of Russia. The ROI was good, and the good times rolled in Moscow.
2) As the price of oil fell, the financial leg of the Grand Duchy of Moscow crumbled. Putin needed to pull money out of the US stock market (prices need to be high) and shore up his shaky throne. So he secretly offered his old contact DJT political support for taking off sanctions and allowing Exxon to funnel about $0.5 T into the RU economy. With Putin's help and his extremely divisive campaign DJT won the election but due to poor OpSec in DJTC and RIS- exposure occurred and DJT failed to deliver his end of the bargain.
3) This left Putin in a difficult position. DJTs behavior was seen as an echo of his untrustworthy past. Fears that DJT might literally or figuratively nuke RU interests grew and that increased the instability of Putin's throne. A troop mobilization created as a show of strength now leans closer to a real shooting war which no one in RU has the stomach for.
This brings me to the second thread that we are now seeing emerging in the Sessions saga.
In pt 2. indicated earlier, Putin offered the support of his immense cyber forces to help DJT with the election.
At least one part of this was a strategy of deliberately hacking the DNC and selectively releasing emails from HRC Campaign officials. The hope appears to have been to wean away democratic leaning progressives.
The exact mechanics of this process required that the Russian hacking efforts were mated to deep knowledge of the DNC political machine. Such knowledge existed only in the GOP. This is where Sessions came in. It appears some kind of information sharing agreement between RIS cyber forces and GOP dirty tricks people came into being after the meeting between Amb Kislyak and Sen. Sessions. At a deeper level a connection was established between the RU backed Assange Organization (i.e. Wikileaks) and DJT campaign. The bridge appears to have been Rudy Giuliani/Roger Stone Jr, Felix Sater and Julian Assange. It appears Assange was connected to APT28/Fancy Bear, APT29/Cozy Bear and some other hackers. Another line appears to run via DJT lawyer Micheal Cohen, thru his now dead relative and Felix Sater to someone close to Putin himself. A separate line ran via Carter Page to Rosneft leadership.
A separate part of this strategy involved data mining and social media based targeting for an anti-GOTV campaign. This was run out of Cambridge Analytica, Brietbart (which seems to be the main data nexus) and various other "news sites". Some of these appear to have been run by GOP dirty tricks people but the Russians actually appear to have financed the big data end. A lot of questions are being asked about the human links between Robert Mercer's organizations and Russian Oligarchs. I fear we will learn more unpleasant things about this in the days to come.
A third thread runs via Micheal Flynn and Jared Kushner. We have only seen a grazing coverage of this in various media sources and again I expect this to become newsy as days go on.
For its part the DJT Admin is struggling to control the narrative on anything. The climate of partisanship and divisive behavior that they fostered to ensure DJT was elected president is backfiring. DJT is now locked in a open war with the media and he spends half his physical resources on combating the "Media". That does not leave time for basic cabinet level functions and it is unclear how long he will be able to physically withstand this level of stress.
The entire stock market is rising on one premise that DJT will soon announce meaningful economic packages that permit greater economic growth. This is happening despite the fact that the Fed is set to raise interest rates again, and every analyst worth their salt is pointing to large PE ratios and repeated shorts being positioned in the futures market.
As DJT's star fades, the market crash of the century draws nearer.