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Simplicius
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Colonel Lang, Very sad news, but wholly understandable given the open nature of your unique blog. There reaches a point where the wisdom of the crowd becomes the insanity of the group. Your pearls of wisdom have been greatly appreciated by this swine nonetheless. Perhaps you will consider an invitation only membership on your new blog - allowing comments only from those who know how to hit the nail on the head. As this is my last change to comment, I'd just like to express my gratitude to yourself, your guest authors and other contributors for some fascinating insights. SST is a rare thing indeed and I consider it an privilege to have been able to make a small contribution myself. Very best wishes for the future, sir. 8261 C422 4BFA 018D 65CF CEA8 9457 1E0B CBDB 9931
Sir, I am sure you are right, but if it is not the redacted names of GRU personnel that provides this insight, would you mind pointing us simpler folk to the 'tell' in this particular report that gives the game away re GRU's comms being compromised - is it mere reference to the fact that it was a GRU operation? Thanks.
TTG, The report describes Malicious VB macros & PowerShell - this is amateurs' night. Frankly the GRU should be embarrassed at the exposure of their use of such antediluvian methods. What is unfortunately rather more convincing is the obvious redaction of named individuals in the GRU from the document. I guess this is what pl refers to in concluding that their internal comms are compromised. Winner clearly didn't see or care about that small detail. She bears no comparison with Snowden, who at least had the good sense to move to Moscow. Dr. George W. Oprisko also makes a good point in his comment above. Modern strong encryption techniques likely mean we have their secret keys in order to read encrypted traffic - i.e. NSA are inside the Ruskies' machines. If GRU still use Windows/Intel, or other technologies connected with the US, they are greater fools than we give them credit for. Not for much longer I suspect; we could be headed for an intelligence Dark Age.
Sir, Many past Presidents (including the last one) clearly felt their role was to provide moral leadership to the World & directed the US to act selflessly to promote what they considered to be the summum bonum. Humanity has undoubtedly been the better for it in aggregate, despite the somewhat schizophrenic nature of US foreign policy. Elements in the USG clearly are selfish & rapacious, but when these elements took over foreign policy in 2003 everything changed. Iraq destroyed so much of the goodwill the US had previously enjoyed that it is natural that some view US history through this lens. Many of America's "enemies" just feel let down and want their great friend back. I count myself among these. But for now the moral high ground is vacant and the current Administration seems even to deny it's very existence.
The fact that Trump's World view is essentially Hobbesian should not be news to anyone except the purest of snowflakes. However, the schoolboy 'you are either with us or against us' tone of the piece does appear to me to be somewhat self-defeating. There is a new kid on the block and this crass ally bullying comes across as ever-so-slightly desperate. McMaster and Cohn want to be friends only with "those societies that share our interests" (America First, presumably - so rather few, I guess). And notice "interests" not "values". Yes, removing the veneer of moral leadership and replacing it with explicitly transnational terms of partnership is going to change things. Former allies may now calculate that either 1) they need to go it alone (Germany) or 2) if forced to choose, they are better off throwing it their lot with China (ASEAN countries & maybe Japan). Either way I find it hard to see how articulating this ethos in such a way will ultimately "...extend American influence around the World", I'd expect it to do the exact opposite. But, I agree, it will probably be a hit with the good people of Plainfield, CT.
Ooops, late to the party. My very best wishes on your birthday Colonel. I discovered SST late too, but the enormous importance of SST and the rare qualities of it's host are already obvious to me. May you enjoy this one and many more, sir.
Our traditional beliefs about privacy and the requirement for a warrant before authorities can poke around in your personal affairs are no longer valid. Putting aside the media's agenda for a moment, I'd argue that the reason this stuff is no longer as newsworthy is that people just don't care. Snowden oddly contributed in a way I think. Now that people see (or imagine) the omnipotence of the NSA, they assume their entire digital existence is already available to their government (certainly those in the US & we inhabitants of Airstrip One). MRW says people his/her age don't give a shit. Well just ponder how much less the Millennials care. My kids don't think twice about allowing large parts of their lives to be permanently owned by various social media companies. Most folk now presume that these companies' servers are either made available to, or have been backdoored by, the NSA. When I asked my doctor recently if he could encrypt mail to me I got the response "no, why?" and also "no one has ever asked before". When I encounter a website that blanket blocks Tor and ask them if they would consider using a 'prove you are human' device instead, I get a similar response. Why should I care who records my IP? The State is not interested in it's citizens' privacy and it seems more and more that the citizens (present company probably excluded) largely aren't either. It takes a brave few, like Phil Zimmerman, to provide the necessary tools - but is public key encryption taught in school? No, you have to educate yourself and that takes effort - far easier to not bother. Perhaps when people start to see their entry visas declined because of some rash tweet (or God forbid, SST comment) they may start to care. In the meantime I'll be making sure my kids are aware of the implications of 'total surveillance' and read that most foresighted of British authors - who saw it all coming back in 1949.
Mr Armstrong, Sadly this will not be news to any Brits. We had the whole 'dodgy dossier' episode in the lead up to the Iraq war which 'sexed up' intelligence to suit the agenda of Blair & his cabal. The Chilcot report acknowledged that known uncertainties had been 'spun' and that untrustworthy source intelligence had been presented as factual beyond doubt. The rot is so deep that ex-MI6 staff now apparently produce the pre-sexed up stuff to order. They call it 'Business Intelligence' I believe.
EO - an excellent piece We pretend that the tragedy of Manchester has no relation to our contribution to the tragedy in the Middle East Today Jeremy Corbyn dared to say otherwise and was predictably attacked by establishment figures. Here is what the British Defense Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said on Channel 4 News (beats BBC hands down IMHO): "There is no correlation here between foreign policy and this appalling act of terrorism" However, the fact is Corbyn spoke, got air time and at least one TV news anchor actually put this point to Fallon with some balance (not a thing Corbyn's views get a lot of). The IRA's campaign ultimately led to the Good Friday Agreement. In reality they bombed the British government to the negotiating table. The Islamists cannot bomb us to the negotiating table, but they may eventually succeed in changing the narrative, if the cost is sufficient. Brits do not need to sit by and wait for this outcome. Spread the word, get people to read SST and similar outlets for 'what is really going on'. Start your own blog even - and don't waste your time on the Tylers. Brexit and Trump were 'impossible', there is hope if we collectively make it happen.