Archive for the ‘Active Measures’ Category
I have been in a funk of late. Since the election I have been less and less inclined to write anything and when I have of late I have only seen it stolen by politico hacks and taken in directions that lean to the more salacious. Now as I sit here this last week seeing the headlines as leaks keep dripping out from the IC and elsewhere on the Putin/Money/Russia connections for several of Trumps inner circle I feel some perspective is in order. Many of the pundits and journalists are holding court on TV and on radio asking why Putin may have done all this and the answers have been been interesting and somewhat consistent. Those in the know, those who have lived in Russia or have studied the country and the leader have given a pretty good assessment of his mindset and his brand of nationalism. One of them today actually called Putin’s Russia “Neo Soviet” which I would agree with very much. He of course was relating that comment to the state media there and the propaganda control that Putin has over it as well as the methodology updates given to it.
I myself was there in Germany when the wall fell (got a piece here somewhere in the bat cave) and I had been to Russia briefly so I have a taste of what it was like then. I have also spent a lot of time reading the history of the era as well as having lived through it so all of this new “Cold War” talk makes me feel at home again and at the same time rather twitchy about the whole deal. Suffice to say though, the cold war never really ended with Putin’s ascension to power after Yeltsin, perestroika, and Glastnost. Those who have not been paying attention, and those who fail to read about history need to open a book now and get a sense of what is playing out here today on the geopolitical sphere. This is an incredibly scary time with Trump in the White House and Bannon working the levers of power behind him. With that admonishment, I will ponder the angles here and maybe you all might get something out of it.
Assets and Useful Idiots
As the leaks keep coming out we are seeing more accusations of players within the Trump team of their having meetings with certain “intelligence” officials from Russia. That we have not heard names is vexing but here is another fun fact that will make it even more problematic. The salient fact is that many within the halls of power in the Putin kleptocracy also have intelligence backgrounds and this is something that Putin put into play himself by hiring on people that he could notionally trust or, more to the point, control. So when someone from Trumps team met with a Russian that they “thought” was just a business man or woman, may have in fact not only been a business person but also an asset for Putin and his services (GRU/SVR/FSB) So some of these people might be classified as “useful idiots” and by the vary nature of their so called communications or meetings, might have been unwitting assets for Putin’s Russia.
On the flip side of this there may be room for some of these players to have had “kompromat” used against them to make them more pliant to become an asset. This type of allegation has been made at least on Trump from the notes put together by Christopher Steele, the former MI6 case officer who has since gone underground after his notes were printed by Buzzfeed. Currently though, no one has come forth with a leak of intelligence saying that any of the six or so people around Trump (as of today) had been compromised by Russia. That is not to say that they haven’t been and one has to take this into account in trying to understand what may have played out with these contacts and meetings alleged to have been carried out as a means to an end.
Money: If these meetings took place the likely aegis behind this for many seems to be money in some way. Better relations with Russia, being in the inner circle of Trump should he win, would grant much more opportunity to make money right?
Access: Access to anyone within the inner circle of Trump would be something any country, person, or business would seek to curry right? In the case of the Russians desiring this access would be on the face of it the same. Additionally the access would also perhaps allow for chances of further access and kompromat too. This all would lead to the last point.
Control: Whether or not you have kompromat on the players and ultimately access to Trump (if there is no direct kompromat on him to start) then you are in a position to control your asset that is close to the president. Perhaps with this control you could seek means to affect policy, certainly with that conduit you would have a window into the inner workings of the highest office in the US so that is not bad too.
In all, these contacts with Russian case agents or assets of the Putin regime constitute a real problem for the US and as such they should be looked into fully to determine if there has been compromise to anyone near the president if not the president himself as some are claiming. Even had we not had all the hacking and active measures that we know happened in the run up to the election, I for one would be asking questions if my IC had information they were willing to commit to paper about connections between senior people in the campaign and Russian’s period. Now that all of this is coming out, it is kind of hard for me to countenance the Republicans resistance so far in calling for a fuller investigation of these reports. It seems partisan politics outweighs good conscience these days.
My final thoughts on the likelihood that there are Russian assets within the ranks of the inner circle at the White House is that on some levels these people, if they have been meeting with the Russians all this time, were talking about the campaign as well as what future state there would be regarding Russia and the US in a Trump administration. Whether or not there was kompromat or not, even at the lowest level the consciences of these people must have had the moral compass working enough to know that they were being used and or were part and party to manipulation. In as much as the players so far have been fired from the campaign before the election as well as lied to the VP and then tossed out (Flynn) concerning their connections to Russia and Russian assets of the intelligence community to me, kind of says a lot.
They know they were wrong. Enough to lie about it in order to hope to skate on this.
Were they plotting a soft coup of the US?
No. I don’t believe that really.
Where does that lead me? Well, that leads me to believe that there is room for investigation into this as well as room to question just how much connection Trump has to Russia as well. This plays to the whole money angle too. I am willing to bet he has a lot of Russian money and monies that came from intricate shell corporations that bespeak international players in the intelligence and crime worlds. Does this mean though that I think trump was a cutout Russian asset set to run for the White House?
I just think that he was the quintessential “useful idiot” who had needs that Russia was willing to fill because they could use him. It was just added bonus that he had said he would run for office so many times over the years. This was a bid to hedge the Russian intelligence communities and Putin’s bets …And boy did it pay off. Though now that chicken is coming home to roost and Putin ain’t so happy anymore.
Right, so what were the goals with the active measures that Russia took against the election? Well, for that you have to look into how Putin thinks and boiled down, what Putin wants is to put Russia back into the seat of power it had both pre and during (a hybrid) the Soviet era. At the core Putin is a control freak and likes an ordered universe that he can control. So, when the Clinton’s were pissing him off by pushing the boundaries of Russia with NATO as well as what Putin saw as provocateur-ism in the Arab Spring and Maidan, well, he got pissed off. Ultimately then Putin sought to stop the momentum that the US may have fomented elsewhere in the world and would have continued doing had it not been for the new autocratic and nationalist notions that Trump has for the US in his administration. Though it is thought that Putin did not think Trump had a chance to win (someday we will have the conversation again about hacking the vote, but not now) it would have served Putin’s raison d’être to cause as much static and instability as he could in our system to benefit him.
The hacks on the DNC were just one level of play that we saw because it was blasted out by Wikileaks. The successions of leaks, trolls, fake news, and the like caused a firestorm within the political system and the country. It exacerbated the problems already in situ with Tea Parties and the like and opened it all up to a coup of a sort for the Alex Jones’ of the world. If Putin had had a real sense of the outcome I think he may have peddled back a bit on the active measures because now in Russia no one talks about Trump anymore… Per order of Putin. You see, Trump is no longer an asset anymore …He has become an unstable liability. This is what happens when you elect someone like Trump and now we have to live with it for at least 4 years barring some spectacular flame out and impeachment.
Anyway, back to the goals here. I personally agree with the sowing of doubt and static to cause malaise theory that has been put forth. I also think that Putin is shrewd enough to have contingencies in mind. So if Trump had won he would have someone in office that he knew he could easily goad and or control with social engineering. By this I mean that there may in fact be kompromat on Trump and both these guys know it. Trump, may have money deals in Russia he would like to hide (those pesky IRS files) as well as having some low level compromising video of golden showers. Maybe there is just video of him (real or maybe edited) to make it look like Trump had a good time with the worlds best low class hookers in St. Petersburg! I guess time will tell but all of these things together and or apart could make Trump more maleable to sway from Russia right? All in all, this was well played by Russia and worked I think beyond their expectations. Frankly I think it is now bordering on complete blowback because Trump is so inconsistent and reactive that were he cornered he might become a little too random for the order loving Putin.
There is a win though for Putin that he will continue to play out in other elections. All of the movements toward nationalism in the US and other countries will free him up to act and attempt to get his Tsarist/Soviet greatness back. He will continue to push the borders in Ukraine and other places until he has more control over them and in the end, expands Russia back to what it was. This is his aegis, his love, and his end all be all.
Greatness in the eyes of his people.
So where is all this heading? Well, I think that Putin will continue his conquest and games unfettered while the US is in the hands of Trump. The inward looking nature of what Trump seems to be putting out there will allow for Putin to do his thing and if there is compromise on the part of this administration it will be used to profit Putin. If the IC and Justice cannot make a solid case that there was collusion on the part of Trumps minions, then the balls are all in Putin’s favor and he will use them to the max …Provided he can actually control Trump with some modicum. If however, the IC and Justice come up with the goods though, we are about to be in the middle of an ever bigger shit storm than Watergate and Nixon frankly.
Imagine the fallout should the goods be presented that Trump in fact did have kompromat on him and acted as an agent of Russia? Imagine if he is just found to have been played by Russia and his people around him were tools of that manipulation? Both scenarios lead to a Putin win in that Trump and the US will be in turmoil and encased in political amber. All of this bodes ill for the country and our politics. It really was just a matter of time though in my opinion, after all, we did have the notion back in the day with the Manchurian Candidate but this …Wow. My only hope is that the partisanship can be breached long enough to get at the truth … But I don’t have too much hope on that unless it is forced on them by the FBI.
in the meantime… smoke em if you got em kids. It’s gonna be a bad time.