For those paying attention, Russia has become considerably more forceful in the last six years. From military intervention in Ukraine over control of the Crimea peninsula, to substantial increases in air platform surveillance and military flights around Japan, to incursions into northwestern U.S. and Canadian air defense zones, to submarine and spy ship activities off the eastern and gulf coasts of the U.S., suspected computer system hacking of major American banks and maybe even the shoot down of a Malaysian passenger plane, Vladimir Putin has the Russian bear roaring for all to hear.
Putin is a devout nationalist who pines for the glory days of the Soviet Empire and all the muscle and influence that once made it a great super-power. His attempts to regain what he believes Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin threw away have been documented and discussed almost to exhaustion, but this latest show of force has more ominous tones than merely the flexing of renewed confidence.
Remember that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a retired Lt. Colonel in the infamous KGB where he initially served in the Second Chief Directorate (counter-intelligence). He spent the bulk of his career in The First Chief Directorate, the organization responsible for foreign operations and intelligence collection activities by the training and management of the covert agents, intelligence collection management, and the collection of political, scientific and technical intelligence.
It is, then, no coincidence that Putin’s push comes following Edward Snowden’s theft of terabytes of data from the National Security Agency (NSA) and his flight to and residence in Russia. Snowden’s cover has been that he is a whistleblower inspired by conscience to reveal NSA surveillance of American citizens. Despite the massive amount of information Snowden stole, that which he uses to justify his actions amount to a miniscule portion of the total take. So what else did he take that he has not shared with the world? And who else has it?
The Japanese Defense Ministry says instances of Russian bomber and spy sorties near and sometimes within Japan’s air defense zone has “more than doubled” only six months after Snowden arrived in Moscow. Actual incursions into the zone jumped by 70%.
Is Russia afraid of Japan? Is it worried that Japanese forces are gathering in Hokkaido to launch an attack on Kamchatka? Of course not. What the Russian military is doing is testing; not aircraft and ships, but intelligence collection capabilities.
In the flights near Japan, Russian bombers intentionally lit up Japanese and American defense detection and tracking capabilities. The surveillance aircraft and their ground control and support units are monitoring fighter scrambles and testing Command and Control Communications (C3), radar, telemetry, Japan Air Self Defense Force/U.S. Pacific Air Force interaction, scramble codes, communications frequencies and even satellite coverage and accuracy. In doing so, Russia can better assess their own ability to operate in an intelligence collection-rich environment and do so near their own border. But it is likely that Russia is doing more than just tweaking responses. They may well be testing new capabilities.
By the end of the Soviet Union, the military was a sad and antiquated shell of the forces that shadowed the world in Cold War brinkmanship. As Putin’s military machine grows, he wants to make sure it is as modern and efficient as any in the world. He also needs to make it as obscure and unreadable to U.S. monitoring, collection and analysis.
Using information gathered by Edward Snowden, the new Russian military will improve its own intelligence expertise and develop counter-measures to neutralize those of the United States and his other perceived challengers.
Snowden did not create Putin’s bravado nor did he embolden the Russian president’s resolve. Nonetheless, the intelligence Edward Snowden gave Vladimir Putin has and will enhance Russia’s ability to create a more powerful and confident adversary for the West. With the top secret information he now holds, Putin hold the world hostage as he recreates the Evil Empire.
That will be Edward Snowden’s true legacy.Don't forget to Like The Washington Sentinel on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our friends at The Republican Legion.
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The Speaker and the Ayatollah: Kindred Spirits
There are some stunning, but not surprising, similarities between two of Donald Trump’s (and America’s) greatest enemies – Iran and the Democratic Party. Not only do they hate the President of the United States, they have both tried to take him down and both have failed miserably. (more…)
Sec. of State Pompeo Says Trump Admin. Forced to Clean Up Obama’s ‘Iran Mess’
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration is working to recover from the “mess” the Obama administration created in Iran.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Sunday morning shows that the Trump administration is working hard to recover from the “mess” the Obama administration created in Iran.
Pompeo told the host of ABC’s This Week that the Trump administration has inherited the worst of all worlds in Iran.
During the Sunday broadcast, host George Stephanopoulos asked Pompeo if Trump intended to seek congressional authorization for any further military action in Iran.
Stephanopoulos then went to a video clip of former Vice-President Joe Biden attacking Trump for his missile strike on Iranian terror general Qassem Suleimani.
“I’m going to make it clear. President Trump has no authority to take us to a military conflict with Iran, period,” Biden said on the clip. “The bottom line is any further action against Iran requires congressional authorization.”
This is all untrue, of course.
But Stephanopoulos then pressed Pompeo on the possibility of the Trump administration going to Congress for permission to launch any other attacks on Iran.
In reply, Pompeo lashed out at Biden.
“Boy, it’s really something to hear the vice-president from the previous administration be critical of this administration’s policy of Iran,” Pompeo said. “We’re having to clean up their mess, George. We’ll do everything required under the law to bring us into compliance with all the relevant constitutional legal provisions with respect to our duties to the legislative branch.”
“We have all the authority we need to do what we’ve done to date,” Pompeo concluded. “We will continue to do things appropriately, lawfully, and constitutionally. George, we’ve been consistent about that. There’s no reason to expect we’d do anything different going forward.”
In any case, Joe Biden is a total hypocrite on the issue. He previously gave cover to Obama and claimed the president didn’t need congressional approval to bomb terrorists. In 2008, Biden said that Obama would have the authority to strike to thwart an “imminent attack” on the U.S.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.
Obama DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson Says Trump Had ‘Ample Domestic Legal Authority’ For Soleimani Strike, Didn’t Need Congressional Approval
Game over, Democrats.
This morning, Obama DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson obliterated Democrats’ talking points that Congress needed to approve the Soleimani strike.
“If you believe everything our government is saying about General Soleimani, he was a lawful military objective and the president, under his Constitutional authority as commander-in-chief, had ample domestic legal authority to take him out without additional Congressional authorization,” Johnson explained. “Whether he was a terrorist or a general in a military force that was engaged in armed attacks against our people, he was a lawful military objective.”
Since the United States carried out an airstrike last week that killed Iranian terrorist Qasem Soleimani, Democrats have repeatedly taken issue with the fact that the Trump administration didn’t ask for Congressional approval. President Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson completely debunked that notion during a Sunday morning interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.” More
Clearly, Jeh didn’t get the talking points memo.
— Roni Kay ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@Roni_K_Patriot) January 5, 2020
Jeh Johnson, DHS secretary under Barack Obama, said on “Meet the Press” this morning that President Trump had “ample domestic legal authority” to launch the attack on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and that he didn’t need “an additional congressional authorization.”
And this attack on Johnson is disgusting. They’re insinuating that since he’s on the board of Lockheed Martin he’ll personally profit from war with Iran? More
Probably the last time Secretary Johnson will be asked to be on the show. He didn’t say what they so desperately wanted to hear.
— GentlemanCPA (@CpaGentleman) January 5, 2020
In other words, the media and Democrats have been lying for the last three days about President Donald Trump’s authority to use military force.
Take that, @chuckschumer, @ewarren and anybody else who needs to be schooled on the authority of the Commander in Chief. Oh, btw, you congressional clowns did it when you gave him authority via legislation.
— Paul Stricker (@StrickTweet) January 5, 2020
Todd is disgusting. You could see in his demeanor and tone of voice. He had a “gotcha” all lined up about Pompeo calling Soleimani a terrorist (for some nefarious reason) and Jeh Johnson blew it up, denied him that moment.
— Patrice Couture (@penncouture) January 5, 2020
President Trump Explains His Decision To Strike Iran’s Qasem Soleimani
They attacked us and we responded. End of discussion.
President Trump ordered an airstrike in Baghdad that killed Major General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds military force and one of the most powerful figures in the Islamic Republic.
“General Qassem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more…but got caught! He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people, including the recent large number of PROTESTERS killed in Iran itself,” Trump tweeted. “While Iran will never be able to properly admit it, Soleimani was both hated and feared within the country.”
General Qassem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more…but got caught! He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people, including the recent large number….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2020
….of PROTESTERS killed in Iran itself. While Iran will never be able to properly admit it, Soleimani was both hated and feared within the country. They are not nearly as saddened as the leaders will let the outside world believe. He should have been taken out many years ago!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2020
President Donald Trump explained in a series of tweets Friday why the U.S. opted to strike top Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani, accusing the general of plotting to kill Americans.
The Pentagon confirmed Thursday night that the U.S. was behind a drone strike that killed Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force, in Iraq. The president had yet to personally speak about the news last night, instead opting to tweet an image of an American flag.
Unlike Barack Obama, Donald Trump was not afraid to pull the trigger and he wouldn’t be coddling Iran. It feels great to have a President who has the courage to take out our enemies and do what is best for our national security! And it is true, the people of Iran hate the leadership of their nation.
Many Presidents have had the opportunity to take out this monster and have declined.
After 40 years of being victimized by Iranian thuggery, violence and terrorism we FINALLY have a President who had the courage to crush the cockroach Soleimani.
Thank you Mr. President!
— David Wohl (@DavidWohl) January 3, 2020
OSINT: “We Are In Deep Trouble”
A friend, probably the foremost practitioner of open source intelligence (OSINT), has been developing his craft for over 40 years. He has created nearly 1,500 search engines to comb through the internet, including the Deep and Dark webs and millions of online resources resident OPENLY on networks around the world.
He does no hacking, trolling, phishing or engages in any illegal or even questionable practices or techniques to obtain data. Everything he collects is obtained from sources resident on open and active networks and without expectations of privacy.
Advanced software allows the machine translation of 85 languages and his team has developed extraordinary decryption programs. His programming expertise has created algorithms to conduct machine analysis and computations that turns data into knowledge.
He sent me the following. What he says is fascinating, educational and a little frightening. It is important – critical – to understand this information is neither classified nor obtained by classified intelligence techniques. And I agree with his conclusions.
I am sitting here looking at our OSINT analysis, simulations and forecasts — and realize that we are in deep trouble!
- Russia is now able to take over the Middle East and control a large percentage of the world´s known oil reserves
- Our analysis suggests that Russia will soon have a naval base in the Gulf.
- China is expanding rapidly in SE Asia
- North Korea continues to build missile and nuclear warheads
- Iran keeps on supporting terrorist groups
- The Taliban will soon control all of Afghanistan, and we have spent trillions of dollars and many lives for nothing
- ISIS are expanding in Asia and in Europe
- NATO no longer trusts us
- Many of our long term allies and friends are withdrawing their support due to our policies
- Our domestic political situation is a total mess. No one is running the country anymore
- Israel is feeling more and more isolated
- Russia is now on their way to claim a large portion of the North Pole with all of it´s mineral resources
- Venezuela is a mess, and we are not doing anything about it
- We have a potential nuclear conflict brewing in the Kashmir
- Russia and China are “taking over” African countries one by one, promising grand loans and support
- Russia, China, Iran et all are preparing to influence our 2020 elections
- We are heading for a global recession
All of above are pretty obvious to most of us, so why are we not doing anything about it? We are so busy mud-slinging in the swamp, that we are about to lose our standing as the greatest democracy on Earth. If we don´t support democracy around the World, democracy will die. That doesn´t mean that we have to play World Police either.
Last week I met a few good friends attending the AUSA in DC. Without exception, they had made the same observations.
My dear friend, I am really concerned for our country. Please tell me that what I am seeing is incorrect. If not, how can we help to prevent our great nation from becoming an isolated 2nd rate World Power??? What only takes a few months to lose will probably take decades to rebuild.
We have to be mature enough to disregard all partisan nonsense and look at what it best for our country!
(Republicans) are “losing” 3-4 states to the radical left, especially California and our weekend simulation now suggests that Mr. Trump will lose in 2020 – unless something is done.
UPDATE: “Whistleblower” or (Lousy) Spy Within?
UPDATE: Sources – unconfirmed – indicate the “whistleblower” held a clearance normally granted to support personnel who may come in contact with information of a higher classification level.
The Yankee White clearance, according to Wikipedia,
… is an administrative nickname for a background check given in the United States of America for Department of Defense personnel and contractor employees working with the President and Vice President. Obtaining such clearance requires, in part, a Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) which is conducted under the manuals of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Individuals having Yankee White clearances undergo extensive background investigation. The Yankee White clearance includes requirements of U.S. citizenship and unquestionable loyalty to the United States.
This suggests said “whistleblower” is not a career intelligence professional.
Also, not only was the complaint written by a group of people, as first reported here last week, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and others knew about the complaint at least two weeks BEFORE it was filed. This means there was collusion between the “whistleblower” and Congressionl Democrats and those Democrats withheld the information from their Republican counterparts.
What transpired in that time?
Was the “whistleblower” coached by Intelligence Committee members or staffers?
Was the complaint edited by Democrats?
Was CIA or Director of National Intelligence leadership, Inspectors General (IGs) General Counsels (GCs) or staffs aware of or complicit in a Democrat-only Congressional heads up? If so, why was there no equal notification to cleared Republicans on the Committee? If intelligence Community leadership did NOT know, why not?
Sources have confirmed that the individual who filed a “whistleblower” compliant against President Trump is currently under federal protection in a government safe house on the outskirts of Washington, DC.
Although the identity of the individual is known, releasing his/her identity would likely be a federal offense and could possibly put him/her in physical danger.
Nonetheless, the same sources note that the individual is very politically active, and (s)he appears to represent a similar conspiracy to that revealed within the FBI and the “Russian collusion” hoax.
Having experiences with intelligence agency IGs, I recognize the critical value of the IG process in calling out organizational misfeasance. IGs and their legal counterparts, the GC, walk a very sensitive path in mitigating personnel complaints. Normally, the role of the GC is to protect the organization from legal danger and, again from experience, they do so with hairtrigger sensitivity.
But, not only is the “whistleblower” complaint process vital to organizational integrity, it is also a perfect bureaucratic maneuver to embarrass, shame or falsely accuse. A finely crafted complaint with almost minimal validity might worm through the system. If the complainant is coached, however, as appears to be the case here – and especially given the high profile accused – his/her accusation would certainly be fast-tracked.
The accusations that prompted the “whistleblower” clearly do not merit the Congressoonal and legal scrutiny it has gotten. At best, the individual should have asked his agency’s GC if, (1) what (s)he was told about the Presidents call was accurate and (2) if, true, was what he said legally questionable?
Given what has been reported and information I have from other source(s) the “whistleblower” is a politically active, partisan Democrat employee of the Central Intelligence Agency. It is unacceptable – despicable – for an intelligence officer to use privileged information to promote personal political beliefs.
Interestingly, were this intelligence officer reporting on a foreign leader’s conversation, his/her summation would be diamissed as eexaggerated hearsay.
“Whistleblower” Complaint Written By Committee
It would be very unusual to see a complaint from an individual having been written by “a committee” before it is initially filed. This was a very organized and deliberate effort.
Document analysis (grammatic profiling) software has determined that the complaint submitted to Congress regarding a telephone conversation between President Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky was written by more than one person. (more…)
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