Kremlin Sources Go Quiet Leaving CIA in the Dark About Putin’s Plans for Midterms

The title comes from another bit of satirical self-parody from the NYT.com, August 24; Alex Jones don’t got nothin’ on these dudes, Barnes and Rosenberg:

“WASHINGTON — In 2016, American intelligence agencies delivered urgent and explicit warnings about Russia’s intentions to try to tip the American presidential election — and a detailed assessment of the operation afterward — thanks in large part to informants close to President Vladimir V. Putin and in the Kremlin who provided crucial details.

But two years later, the vital Kremlin informants have largely gone silent, leaving the C.I.A. and other spy agencies in the dark about precisely what Mr. Putin’s intentions are for November’s midterm elections, according to American officials familiar with the intelligence.

The officials do not believe the sources have been compromised or killed. Instead, they have concluded they have gone to ground amid more aggressive counterintelligence by Moscow, including efforts to kill spies, like the poisoning in March in Britain of a former Russian intelligence officer that utilized a rare Russian-made nerve agent.

Current and former officials also said the expulsion of American intelligence officers from Moscow has hurt collection efforts. And officials also raised the possibility that the outing of an F.B.I. informant under scrutiny by the House intelligence committee — an examination encouraged by President Trump — has had a chilling effect on intelligence collection.”

But in case ‘The officials do not believe the sources have been compromised or killed’ was a bit too mmmm…opaque as to what the reading public should really believe, Barnes & Nobel offer this visual ‘clue’.

Emergency crews investigate the site where Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found poisoned in Britain.

“C.I.A. informants in Russia are believed to be underground, fearing aggressive campaigns by Moscow to hunt spies. The United States continues to intercept Russian communication, and the flow of that intelligence remains strong, said current and former officials. And Russian informants could still meet their C.I.A. handlers outside Russia, further from Moscow’s counterintelligence apparatus.”

Then Brennan, Coats, Brennan…

Mr. Putin has also said he is intent on killing so-called traitors, comments he made just ahead of the high-profile assassination attempt of the former Russian intelligence officer, Sergei V. Skripal.”  [snip]

“Former C.I.A. officials said Mr. Putin has made plain to his counterintelligence forces his antipathy, and desire to eliminate, to so-called traitors who provide information to the West. In public comments in 2010, Mr. Putin made menacing comments about former agents who worked for Western intelligence, although he publicly disavowed assassination.

“The Russians are very focused and upset,” Mr. Sipher said. “They have shown they are willing to kill sources.”

Informants close to Putin are very rare, according to current and former officials. The United States, in recent years, has had only a few, and at times been reliant on only one or two for the most important insights on Mr. Putin, according to former officials. If those people go silent for their own protection, it can make it very hard for the agency to look inside Moscow.”

I’d found the Times piece at an ever more gruesome librul website I admit I’d joined at the urging of a few friends after Josh Marshall had shut down the readers diaries at TPM.  Except for two or three denizens there (who are called ‘trolls’) they all share the usual common denominators on the importance of Russiagate, Dictator Thug Putin owns Trump, McCain was a saint, Assange is a treasonous pedophile, White Helmets rock!, and so on.  There’s an extensive ‘In the News’ column on the right sidebar, and for the most part, they celebrate and comment on those links and stories, WaPo and NYT in the main.  I’d clipped some of the agitprop from the Times dreck to use sometime, but lo and behold, I was tickled to see yesterday that my favorite Putin Apologist had weighed in on it yesterday.

‘Vital’ US moles in the Kremlin go missing! – by Stephen Cohen, 30 Aug, 2018, RT, originally at the Nation

Now I’ll say straightaway that Cohen hadn’t thought that the above NYT ‘news’ was as funny as I had, but he makes a decent point as to his reasoning.  After noting that Russiagate drowning out all other far more significant news concerning Amerika’s place in the world over the past two years, he brings examples, such as:

“French President Emmanuel Macron declared  “Europe can no longer rely on the United States to provide its security,” calling for instead a broader kind of security “and particularly doing it in cooperation with Russia.” About the same time, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin met to expand and solidify an essential energy partnership by agreeing to complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia, despite US attempts to abort it. Earlier, on August 22, the Afghan Taliban announced it would attend its first ever major peace conference – in Moscow, without US participation.”

Noting that a lesser piece of ‘news’ was reported in the WaPo in Dc. 2017, which he’d found inplausible for the same reasons he’d found previously found Christopher Steele’s “Dossier,” also purportedly based on “Kremlin sources,” implausible, he writes that the Times piece has newer and larger implications.

“If US intelligence really had such a priceless asset in Putin’s office – the Post report implied only one, the Times writes of more than one – imagine what they could reveal about Enemy No. 1 Putin’s intentions abroad and at home, perhaps daily – why would any American intel official disclose this information to any media at the risk of being charged with a treasonous capital offense? And now more than once? Or, since “the Kremlin” closely monitors US media, at the risk of having the no less treasonous Russian informants identified and severely punished? Presumably this is why the Times’ leakers insist that the “silent” moles are still alive, though how they know we are not told. All of this is even more implausible. Certainly, the Times article asks no critical questions.

But why leak the mole story again, and now? Stripped of extraneous financial improprieties, failures to register as foreign lobbyists, tacky lifestyles, and sex having nothing to do with Russia, the gravamen of the Russiagate narrative remains what it has always been: Putin ordered Russian operatives to “meddle” in the US 2016 presidential election in order to put Donald Trump in the White House, and Putin is now plotting to “attack” the November congressional elections in order to get a Congress he wants. The more Robert Mueller and his supporting media investigates, the less evidence actually turns up, and when it seemingly does, it has to be considerably massaged or misrepresented.”  [snip]

“The pretext of the Times story is that Putin is preparing an attack on the upcoming November elections, but the once-“vital,” now-silent moles are not providing the “crucial details.” Even if the story is entirely bogus, consider the damage it is doing. Russiagate allegations have already de-legitimized a presidential election, and a presidency, in the minds of many Americans. The Times’ updated, expanded version may do the same to congressional elections and the next Congress. If so, there is an “attack on American democracy” – not by Putin or Trump but by whoever godfathered and repeatedly inflated Russiagate.

As I have argued previously, such evidence that exists points to John Brennan and James Clapper, President Obama’s head of the CIA and director of national intelligence respectively, even though attention has been focused on the FBI. Indeed, the Times story reminds us of how central “intelligence” actors have been in this saga. Arguably, Russiagate has brought us to the worst American political crisis since the Civil War and the most dangerous relations with Russia in history. Until Brennan, Clapper, and their closest collaborators are required to testify under oath about the real origins of Russiagate, these crises will grow.”

In a somewhat similar vein, Facebook and the Atlantic Council (“ serial war criminal Henry Kissinger, Former CIA Heads Michael Hayden and Michael Morrell, and George Bush’s chief of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, among a whole list of horrors”) have decided that former Ambassador Craig Murray is a Russian Bot.

And in case you’re interested, ‘How the Department of Homeland Security Created a Deceptive Tale of Russia Hacking US Voter Sites’, Gareth Porter, consortium news, Aug. 28, 2018, a teaser, but it’s extremely long as in 2L4Me.

“But the real story behind that narrative, recounted here for the first time, reveals that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created and nurtured an account that was grossly and deliberately deceptive

DHS compiled an intelligence report suggesting hackers linked to the Russian government could have targeted voter-related websites in many states and then leaked a sensational story of Russian attacks on those sites without the qualifications that would have revealed a different story. When state election officials began asking questions, they discovered that the DHS claims were false and, in at least one case, laughable.

The National Security Agency and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigating team have also claimed evidence that Russian military intelligence was behind election infrastructure hacking, but on closer examination, those claims turn out to be speculative and misleading as well. Mueller’s indictment of 12 GRU military intelligence officers does not cite any violations of U.S. election laws though it claims Russia interfered with the 2016 election.”

(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

9 responses to “Kremlin Sources Go Quiet Leaving CIA in the Dark About Putin’s Plans for Midterms

  1. just in the nick of time, by golly! the final solution:

  2. I really tried hard to find something to say about this subject, notwithstanding the importance of its even being a subject, but the very best I can do is recommend Ralph Nader’s litany of 15 things that Democrats can do [and I would add will most certainly do] to lose during the midterms. His piece can be found both at commondreams.org and counterpunch.

    That made me rework your heading a bit to read “Democratic party sources go quiet, leaving voters in the dark about whether to exercise their Constitutional right at all ever again if those 15 things (and each is packed with every issue we all feel deeply about) are as we know they will be, negatively adhered to.”

    Never mind. It’s way too wordy a headline ever to be considered worthy of attention. I’ll just say, Bravo Ralph – you even got paper ballots in there; you got everything in there. Bravo.

    • I think I will vote. I’ll write you in, Ralph. In every box.

    • well, here’s the CP link.

      while i’m not a fan of sarcasm/sardonic tone, i suppose it comes naturally to him now as he’s aging, looks to be in very poor health, and rather out of gas. many of his 15 do have merit, but i have to say that he hails from a mythical time when Ds were still pretending to be The Party of the People.

      i suppose #2 depressed me the most:
      ‘2. Overlook what Trump’s henchmen are specifically doing to cause more deaths, injuries, and disease. Ignore this administration’s efforts to scuttle health and safety standards; stop law enforcement against corporate outlaws who pollute the environment, marketplace, and workplace; take federal cops off the Wall Street crime beat that is eating into your savings, while speculating with your pensions and mutual funds. Avoid all the above, while you’re dialing for dollars for your campaign coffers.’

      in what mythical past did Ds in power ever use their law enforcement power to prosecute fraud (save for wm. black’s time), corruption, malfeasance, etc. as in: when were the cops ever on the beat? perhaps some of his consumer product exposés led to prosecutions, jailings, but cynically, i’d guess just fines, civil suit pay-offs… but perhaps his work was what led to the CFSB? does it do anything? they sure dinnae give the head cheese job to liz warren as expected.

      but i am glad he chose to use the qualifier “more” in his ‘death injuries and disease’ clause. i do like that he pays attention to the ‘costs of empire’, as he acknowledges the endless wars are authored by both parties, but no on fire: stop war! close 900 bases globally! stop creating enemies who will come for us one day! but then he’s wanting more DSA dems to ‘reform the party’, ‘supporting the insurgency’ of fake lefties ‘photogenic’ salazar and ocasio, but of course the bern is a militarist and zionist, and ocasio has back-tracked on every item in her platform, even ‘abolish ICE’. the salazar woman: oh, my do the tankies on twitter have a field day deconstructing her fake bio and white-washed history, including photos of her w/ the IDF.

      but not a word demanding absolute whistle-blower protection, safety for assange and others, which of course is at ground zero of russiagate. sigh. ‘putin hacked the dnc and podesta emails, thus the election for trump, the traitor assange helped and ‘mueller is closing in on indicting him’ (i thought they’d already done so). not a word about dismantling the intellegince agencies, either. guess that was a long-forgotten D platform, lol. please feel free to call me too cynical to live by now; i likely am. also: his #9 and #14 were inscrutable to me, perhaps not to others.

      but gawd’s blood: mr wd told me this a.m. that there’s a woman D running against tea-party scott tipton (cortez, 3rd CD)…will i actually fill out a ballot to vote for her sigh unseen? right now imagining picking up a pen to do so makes me weary, just imagining it. i’d say sorry for this comment, as i know how much you value ralph nader, but not speaking my mind and heart would…bother my conscience more.

      so nice to see you, stranger. all blessings upon you and yours, and hopefully some rain rain rain rain, beautiful rain.

      on later edit: examples:

  3. I can’t let go of the notion that R-G is but one in a series of the forever-going psychological manipulations for the all-important yet yawn-worthy purpose of making people believe that RUSSIA!!!!!11 ‘s further funneling of the funneled two choices means that the distinction between those two choices are not moot. At any rate, even if it is not such, the effect is much the same.

  4. i love: “further funneling of the funneled two choices…”, but as far as ‘election tampering’, that’s all the Ds seem to have now to distinguish themselves from those Evil Rs: could we call it a ‘dangerous distraction to news of an actually changing world’ as cohen has?

    how many still refuse to call out obomba’s fascism, yet are eager to apply that sobriquet to the trumpeter in tweet? but russia gate writ large is also about this empire sensing that its hegemony (even w/ nato, the cia, the stifling of sites and social networking accounts that aren’t ‘faith promoting’), an the proxy wars russia’s involved with (Evil iran as well), sure does make a more potent boiling caldron of disinformation, doesn’t it?

    arrgh, i actually read some of gareth porter’s DHS essay, and the fakery he’d discovered is epic, and depressing as all giddy-up. and lol, i think he er…dissed the intercept’s (accidentaal?) crap analysis of some documents to boot. ;-)

  5. i peeked into the aforementioned ‘dagblog’ site and found this great…psyop-ed:

    Putin Is Sneaking Up on Europe From the South; The Kremlin understands that the best way to undermine the West is through its soft underbelly—the Middle East’, August 31, 2018, FP magazine

    “Perhaps Russian President Vladimir Putin is a student of history, or maybe he likes maps, but whatever his hobby, he seems to understand geography quite well. The character of Moscow’s influence differs greatly from the old Soviet days when it was collecting client states (except for Russia’s ongoing deployment of force in Syria). But it has been effective—or effective enough—in drawing important allies away from the United States while presenting Russia as a competent, nonideological partner that shares interests with the regional players. Therein lies the central logic to Russia’s Middle East-Europe strategy: establish influence at Washington’s expense, weakening the U.S. position in the region, and in the process apply pressure on Europe via its weak underbelly—in this case to the south and southeast of the European Union.

    Draw a line on a map from Moscow to Damascus and from the Syrian capital to Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Everyone knows what happened in Syria: The Russians entered the conflict there to save an ally and have helped him prosecute a war that has produced millions of refugees, many of whom have made their way to Europe and left others banging on its gates. The effects on European politics have been profound, galvanizing a populist, nativist, and pro-Russian right at the expense of Europe’s postwar liberal consensus. While Syria is a well-known story, only a few in Washington seem to have noticed that since 2017, Russia has reportedly invested $4 billion in the Kurdish oil and gas sector. From Erbil extends the line of Russian influence and power to the east from Iraqi Kurdistan to Iran.

    That Moscow-Damascus-Erbil-Tehran line represents an important axis of Russian influence. But other Russia-dominated geographic lines are even more relevant for Europe.”

    power-mad revanchist Putin; shame on him!

    • you mean there’s oil in those regions we are fighting over? gtfoh.

      do we ever fight over anything else? almost 100 years ago, fighting over Baku’s oilfields:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Baku#Battle

      maybe FP is shocked that Russia is investing money in countries they bomb? instead of just destroying them & then blaming the natives for not being ready for democracy.

      “Draw a line on a map from Moscow to Damascus and from the Syrian capital to Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.” sorry. my education in the US school system did not prepare me to be able to do this.

      • lol, thank for both the history lesson and most esp. this:

        ““Draw a line on a map from Moscow to Damascus and from the Syrian capital to Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.” sorry. my education in the US school system did not prepare me to be able to do this.”

        just checked into the accursed dagblog in case a former friend to whom i might have asked a Q (in cognito) or two had commented, but no. but they had this uproariously great piece ‘in the news’:

        ‘The Hidden Russian Hand Behind Germany’s Violent Right-Wing Riots
        By John R. Schindler • 08/30/18
        “While Germany’s right-wing surge is genuine, it bears noting that the Kremlin has aided the AfD’s rise. Russian state media regularly pushes lurid stories about migrant crime in Germany, to the benefit of the far right, embellishing such accounts and even inventing them out of whole cloth for political effect, while the AfD’s cozy relationship with Russia is no secret. Russian financial support for the party has included flying some of its leaders to Moscow on a private jet paid for by the Kremlin. In return, the AfD praises President Vladimir Putin and displays a regard for Moscow’s perspective that is strong even for Germany, where Russlandversteher (“Russia-understanders”) are found on all points of the political spectrum.

        Russian intelligence has connections to right-wing hooligans in several European countries, Germany included. As I reported two years ago, there are detectable connections between Kremlin military intelligence, known as GRU, and football hooligans in Western Europe. Russia has forged ties to right-wing hooligans under the guise of sport solidarity, while some of Moscow’s violence-prone professional superfans, called ultras, are known GRU operatives.”

        http://observer.com/2018/08/is-vladimir-putin-behind-right-wing-riots-in-chemnitz-germany/

        coming momentarily if all goes well: thug modi’s india via arundhati roy.
        stay safe out there; we’ve had killer hail big as quarters lately, smashed a lot of the garden plants soundly. yes, plenty’s left, but still…

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