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Thread: Ex-FBI Director Mueller appointed DOJ Special Counsel

  1. #976
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    and the people who made up their minds at the last minute leaned heavily towards Trump.

    i think you give far too much credit to the undecided (or, for that matter, the decided). Russian trolls on Twitter impersonating conservative figures were re-tweeted literally millions of times, and even set up Trump rallies from their troll factory in St Petersburg!
    Again, I remind you that everyone, including Trump and Putin, expected Clinton to win. They deemed their operation a failure. The fact that Trump won does not changed the fact they have FAILED operationally.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    bottom-line is that a hostile power interfered with the US election. the Republican Senate Majority leader flatly denied a WH request for a strong bipartisan statement against this during the election. the Republican candidate was aware of his campaign's on-going connections with the Russians and publicly welcomes further interference even if there was no actual coordination.
    So what's new? France's ABC campaign. Belgium wanted to charge GW Bush with Crimes Against Humanity. Isreal's blatant Jewish lobby.

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    Again, I remind you that everyone, including Trump and Putin, expected Clinton to win. They deemed their operation a failure.
    when did Putin deem his operation a failure? just because it looked like Clinton was going to win doesn't mean Putin's efforts were a failure; at the minimum, he caused a significant amount of friction and increased partisanship in the US. the whole troll farm thing was very low-cost.

    that's the reality of current day Great Power competition. competitive actions can simply be to raise costs for adversaries; it's not Phase III war-fighting.

    BTW, I do agree with you that Putin was being over-clever in his actions. yeah, he introduced a significant amount of friction into the US system and even got the Presidential candidate that he favored...but this type of Pearl Harbor can only happen once, and he pissed off a LOT of Americans in doing so. on the contrary, i say his actions were an operational success, strategic failure.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    when did Putin deem his operation a failure? just because it looked like Clinton was going to win doesn't mean Putin's efforts were a failure;
    When none of the polls even suggest that Trump was anywhere close to winning. When you're losing every battle that you're fighting, it would be clear that your operation ain't going the way you thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    at the minimum, he caused a significant amount of friction and increased partisanship in the US. the whole troll farm thing was very low-cost.
    Sure, when Putin's OPSEC was compromised, not that there was much effort to secure OPSEC. However, allowing your OPSEC to be compromised has never been a very good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    that's the reality of current day Great Power competition. competitive actions can simply be to raise costs for adversaries; it's not Phase III war-fighting.
    Rule #1 of intel war, only let your enemy know what you want them to know which is what I found the Steele Dossier to be suscipicous. Steele, alledgely got the info from Russian spy masters, former or otherwise. If true, those spy masters are dead ... unless Putin wanted Steele to know.

    In this case, when you're losing poll after poll, letting Western spooks learning of your operational techniques, compromising OPSEC and SIGSEC was an intel disaster.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    BTW, I do agree with you that Putin was being over-clever in his actions. yeah, he introduced a significant amount of friction into the US system and even got the Presidential candidate that he favored...but this type of Pearl Harbor can only happen once, and he pissed off a LOT of Americans in doing so. on the contrary, i say his actions were an operational success, strategic failure.
    It will happen again. Pearl Harbour did not prevent 11 September. Just that it won't be Putin doing the attack.
    Last edited by WABs_OOE; 19 Apr 19, at 16:31.

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    While I doubt we can objectively know how many people voted for Trumpkin based on the Muscovite hacks and social media campaigns I seem to recall that the election was decided by something like 77,000 votes in various States. Considering that Muscovite campaign reached 10s of millions of voters - I remember seeing myself a headline that the Pope endorsed Trumpkin which was evidently BS - I do not think anyone can safely say that Trumpkin would not have won if had not been the Muscovite help.

    On the tapes by the way I found this;

    Name:  D4ckGyUWkAILdo7.jpg
Views: 108
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    I think overall it is pretty clear that due to the DoJ policy of not charging a sitting President Mueller, acting as a DoJ employee, felt obliged to follow this policy and pass the Obstruction of Justice charges - which he gives lots of evidence of attempts to do - over to Congress. If it had not been a sitting President the chances are anyone trying to obstruct justice in the same way would be in the slammer, just by DoJ policy Mueller did not feel empowered to do so.

    On the 'collusion' it specifically says they did not consider collusion as such as it is not a term used in the relevant criminal statutes. They set a very high bar on proving conspiracy though by 'coordination' namely some written or recorded evidence; they were not willing to infer it despite acknowledging that both the campaign and the Muscovites both knew they wanted the same result. For me that is weak to say the least; Trump Jnr was in direct contact with Wikileaks as was Oliver Stone, Manafort and 'Kostya from the GRU', Papadapalous and Mifsud, hell Kushner wanted a secret back channel via the Muscovite Embassy, the changes to the manifesto relating to Ukraine on the eve of the Convention, Prince in the Seychelles, the Trump Tower meeting about "adoption"... I mean if really cannot infer any possibility that they may be coordination from all the evidence then it may well be wrong to infer the existence of gravity from the fact that things normally drop down without momentum. To require some written or recorded evidence of this conspiracy and coordination may be necessary for a legal case to be proved beyond doubt but is not so in the laws of physics so Mueller has set a higher bar on proving this than a scientist would require.

    I also note another whole area of the investigation that is missing, which is certainly not in the initial wording of Mueller's instruction but may have been added, is Trumpkin's financial indebtedness to the Kremlin and what hold they may have over him in this regard. Perhaps a subpoena for his tax returns may shed some light on this but I think it goes way back... Remember Trumpkin first went to Moscow at the invitation of the then Soviet Ambassador. The Czech Chekist's of the time were in touch with the Pater of his first Wife and so he became of interest. Small wonder then that the Kremlin backed a long cultivated asset when he ran for President and wished to discuss sanctions.

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    When none of the polls even suggest that Trump was anywhere close to winning. When you're losing every battle that you're fighting, it would be clear that your operation ain't going the way you thought.
    as i said, i don't think Putin thinks of this type of competitive action in those terms. this isn't a warfight where you find, fix, kill. this is political warfare...and Putin is a spook. Putin seeks paralysis of the US political system to give him a free hand in his near-abroad. he doesn't need to -cause- it, he merely has to contribute to it. by those standards, the cheap operation would have been a success even had Clinton won.

    Sure, when Putin's OPSEC was compromised, not that there was much effort to secure OPSEC. However, allowing your OPSEC to be compromised has never been a very good idea.
    trade-offs. you expect tools to be revealed when you use them. the US government had a recent similar debate about how we use our cyberwarfare tools. if we go on the offensive, we will have some of our tools compromised for future use. however, if the expected gains outweigh these costs, then so be it.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/23/u...r-command.html

    the Russians obviously assessed that their expected gains from this offensive political-cyber operation would outweigh the US knowledge of their TTPs. there was some modicum of success in the US disruption of Russian plans to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections, but I suspect the quiet is more due to the Russians developing new TTPs and saving them for the 2020 Presidential elections instead.

    In this case, when you're losing poll after poll, letting Western spooks learning of your operational techniques, compromising OPSEC and SIGSEC was an intel disaster.
    this is a long game. if Russian involvement was such a disaster, then the Russians wouldn't touch that stove again.

    however, all indications are that they're planning to interfere once again. this shows that they felt the costs to be acceptable.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    as i said, i don't think Putin thinks of this type of competitive action in those terms. this isn't a warfight where you find, fix, kill. this is political warfare...and Putin is a spook. Putin seeks paralysis of the US political system to give him a free hand in his near-abroad. he doesn't need to -cause- it, he merely has to contribute to it. by those standards, the cheap operation would have been a success even had Clinton won.
    But that was not the operational intent. Again, everyone expected Clinton to win and had she won, while there might have been a Mueller, there would not have been a Trump throwing tantrums causing poltical mayhem. The current results was not planned and was not foreseen by Putin. Just because it happened does not make Putin a strategic fortune teller.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    trade-offs. you expect tools to be revealed when you use them. the US government had a recent similar debate about how we use our cyberwarfare tools. if we go on the offensive, we will have some of our tools compromised for future use. however, if the expected gains outweigh these costs, then so be it.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/23/u...r-command.html

    the Russians obviously assessed that their expected gains from this offensive political-cyber operation would outweigh the US knowledge of their TTPs. there was some modicum of success in the US disruption of Russian plans to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections, but I suspect the quiet is more due to the Russians developing new TTPs and saving them for the 2020 Presidential elections instead.
    This is from a 20/20 hindsight and they took advantage of it. It does not reduce their disaster one single bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    this is a long game. if Russian involvement was such a disaster, then the Russians wouldn't touch that stove again.

    however, all indications are that they're planning to interfere once again. this shows that they felt the costs to be acceptable.
    What stove? I remind you how this all started. Some stupid idiot answered the wrong email, something that has been going on for over 20 years and will go on for the next 20 years. All the Russians did was to air the DNC's dirty laundry.

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    But that was not the operational intent. Again, everyone expected Clinton to win and had she won, while there might have been a Mueller, there would not have been a Trump throwing tantrums causing poltical mayhem. The current results was not planned and was not foreseen by Putin. Just because it happened does not make Putin a strategic fortune teller.
    how do you know Putin's operational intent? all the analysis done says that Putin wanted to hurt Clinton, support Trump. he accomplished both. none of the analysis has said that Putin's only objective or measure of success was Trump's election victory. which makes sense, because he was working under the assumption-- as we all were-- that Trump was an unelectable underdog.

    if Trump was seen as unelectable, why would Putin's measure of success be to pull off the impossible?

    What stove? I remind you how this all started. Some stupid idiot answered the wrong email, something that has been going on for over 20 years and will go on for the next 20 years. All the Russians did was to air the DNC's dirty laundry.
    your argument seems to be that the Russian election interference was an expensive mess with little to show for exposing operational methods, etc. if that were the case, why would the Russians want to try this again? moreover, you're underestimating the extent of what Russia did. that's not "all" the Russians did, although that by itself is bad enough.

    as Mueller notes, it was "sweeping and systematic", everything from Wikileaks to the troll farms to hacking Florida ballot machines.

    Putin is not a strategic fortune teller. i completely agree. i think strategically this interference will hurt him more in the long run.

    i disagree with the idea that the election interference was an "operational disaster". i think it was a low-cost operational success...just like 9-11 and Pearl Harbor.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    One should also look at how the Muscovites saw it: When the election results became clear they were announced in the Duma (the Muscovite Parliament) and everyone applauded. One message home from the US announced "Putin won" (https://www.thedailybeast.com/russia...you?ref=author), "Trumpnash" or 'Trump is ours' was a celebratory saying. They won, the US - the devil and 'great enemy' - lost is how it was portrayed there so as is normal pls all hail Vova etc... "No no, really nothing to do me with me" says Putin winking.

    At the very least they knew they had stuff on Trumpkin from old and new to compromise him. He watered down the manifesto and the day that he asked for Moscow to get the emails they hacked into the DNC. Enough said. Impeach him and lock him up.
    Last edited by snapper; 19 Apr 19, at 22:24.

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    how do you know Putin's operational intent?
    Once engaged, any operational plan is obvious. As you stated, to boost Trump and to hurt Clinton.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    all the analysis done says that Putin wanted to hurt Clinton, support Trump. he accomplished both. none of the analysis has said that Putin's only objective or measure of success

    if Trump was seen as unelectable, why would Putin's measure of success be to pull off the impossible?
    was Trump's election victory. which makes sense, because he was working under the assumption-- as we all were-- that Trump was an unelectable underdog.
    But that was not his nor Russian doing. It was Clinton misreading the electorate. The effect Putin had was to put it mildly neglible.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    your argument seems to be that the Russian election interference was an expensive mess with little to show for exposing operational methods, etc. if that were the case, why would the Russians want to try this again? moreover, you're underestimating the extent of what Russia did. that's not "all" the Russians did, although that by itself is bad enough.

    as Mueller notes, it was "sweeping and systematic", everything from Wikileaks to the troll farms to hacking Florida ballot machines.
    The hacking is normal spook stuff and will continue no matter what with or without an election. That is to be expected but you're over-estimating their impact. A few tweets and instagrams backed by an umpteem number of troll farms ain't even close to the effects the $billions spending lobbys enjoy. Not by a long shot.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    i disagree with the idea that the election interference was an "operational disaster". i think it was a low-cost operational success...just like 9-11 and Pearl Harbor.
    Trump and Clinton is an American self inflicted wound. Putin's finger poking has zero to do with it.

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    The effect Putin had was to put it mildly neglible.
    The hacking is normal spook stuff and will continue no matter what with or without an election. That is to be expected but you're over-estimating their impact. A few tweets and instagrams backed by an umpteem number of troll farms ain't even close to the effects the $billions spending lobbys enjoy. Not by a long shot.
    these are simply not the conclusions of the US intel agencies and now the Mueller Report.

    ODNI report:

    Russia’s effort to influence the 2016 US presidential election represented a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations aimed at US elections.
    We assess the Russian intelligence services would have seen their election influence campaign as at least a qualified success because of their perceived ability to impact public discussion.
    Putin’s public views of the disclosures suggest the Kremlin and the intelligence services will continue to consider using cyber-enabled
    disclosure operations because of their belief that these can accomplish Russian goals relatively easily without significant damage to Russian interests.
    Mueller report:

    By the end of the 2016 U.S. election, the IRA had the ability to reach millions of U.S .
    persons through their social media accounts . Multiple IRA-controlled Facebook groups and
    Instagram accounts had hundreds of thousands of U.S. participants. IRA-controlled Twitter
    accounts separately had tens of thousands of followers , including multiple U.S. political figures
    who retweeted IRA-created content... Facebook estimated the IRA reached as many as
    126 million persons through its Facebook accounts.
    and of course, that doesn't touch on the hacking, the leaking, the involvement of the GRU, the influence effort on the Trump campaign, etc.

    as Mueller said, these are "sweeping and systematic" efforts.

    in any case, whatever -we- think of its efficacy, Putin thinks it was worth it and will try again. i certainly don't want the US to find out the hard way...again...of the effectiveness of Russian interference.
    Last edited by astralis; 20 Apr 19, at 05:22.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    how do you know Putin's operational intent? all the analysis done says that Putin wanted to hurt Clinton, support Trump. he accomplished both. none of the analysis has said that Putin's only objective or measure of success was Trump's election victory. which makes sense, because he was working under the assumption-- as we all were-- that Trump was an unelectable underdog.

    if Trump was seen as unelectable, why would Putin's measure of success be to pull off the impossible?
    I haven't read the Mueller report yet, and it may be awhile before I do. I'm aware of some of the broad strokes. But I have read the exchange between you and the Colonel these last couple of pages.

    In the following - I'm playing the devil's advocate somewhat. The scenario presumes that the goal was not a Trump presidency.

    Perhaps the goal in the meddling (to use the popular parlance) was to see a scandal-ridden, tainted Clinton presidency. Trump, having lost the 2016 election, would, with a strong popular base of support, cry about a "stolen victory", with a substantial portion of the American population believing this. Trump effectively becomes a mega-Alex Jones type figure, with an audience and impact a thousand times or more greater than Alex Jones, subscribing to his conspiracy theories and rants, sowing division in the American population and creating political paralysis.

    Russian cyber-intelligence and disinformation operations, and propaganda efforts against Clinton and the Democrats would have continued with the same or increased intensity seen during the 2016 Presidential campaign throughout the Clinton presidency, continuing to dump more material to feed the political paralysis and conspiracy theories, with Trump being a "useful idiot", so to speak, on a massive scale.

    Just a thought.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 20 Apr 19, at 06:24.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    these are simply not the conclusions of the

    US intel agencies
    and now the Mueller Report.
    "Qualified sucess" - standard spook CYA.

    So what? This is the same thing as the printing press. It's called the Freedom of Expression and it's something we have to deal with. These things are no different than the KKK reading Mein Kempth or SJWs reading the Little Red Book. The Russians exploited the policies and algorithms of open public social media platforms not under any government control. The people they reach are free to read the message and then decide what to do. That's the way it is supposed to be.

    None of this changes the fact that Hillary was expected to win and then proceeded to lose by ignoring key states electoral votes. If anything, Hillary still won the popular vote by a million votes. More than proof enough that the Kremlin's op was a disaster.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    and of course, that doesn't touch on the hacking, the leaking, the involvement of the GRU, the influence effort on the Trump campaign, etc.

    as Mueller said, these are "sweeping and systematic" efforts.
    Of course they are. It's a Russian intel op but does not change the fact blaming Moscow for Clinton's loss is a cop out.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    in any case, whatever -we- think of its efficacy, Putin thinks it was worth it and will try again. i certainly don't want the US to find out the hard way...again...of the effectiveness of Russian interference.
    Oh he already did try again - in Europe and it failed even bigger there, FACEBOOK and TWITTER already changed their policies and algorithms but considering that spam still gets through, I have little confidence in stopping the Russians.

    Still, these are elections. It is the Candidate's job to get his/her message through to the voters, not the spook's job to decide what messages the electorate gets to hear, especially on open public platforms not controlled by government.
    Last edited by WABs_OOE; 20 Apr 19, at 15:04.

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post

    and I note the report mentions, yet again, Russian official sanction to not just hit Clinton but to actively support Trump.
    so what?

    whats your point here?

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    so what?

    whats your point here?
    if you recall, for the longest time the GOP talking points-- which was repeated frequently in this forum-- was that Russian election interference was not in favor of one candidate or another, but just to generally sow chaos in the US electoral system. (if said interference actually happened at all, that is.)

    implication being, any time the Dems talked about Russian interference in supporting Trump, the Dems were carrying out the Russian agenda.

    so after the original US intel agency assessment came out, saying precisely that Russia actively supported Trump, there was another bout here of "US intel agencies = deep state supporting Clinton". as late as July 2018-- more than a year after the ODNI assessment in Jan 2017-- only 32% of Republicans thought that Russia had interfered.

    Mueller's assessment is another nail in that particular coffin, that's all.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    You know what I find morbidly amusing?

    I recall that in 2012, Mitt Romney identified Russia as the biggest geopolitical threat to the United States

    Obama sneered at this, saying "The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, The Cold War's been over for 20 years."

    Conservatives jeered right back at Obama, especially just a few short years later, when Russia invaded and annexed Crimea, proving Romney right.

    A few years later, Russia launches an operation to subvert the Presidential Election, in favor of Trump or at the very least, to the detriment of Hilary Clinton.

    And now here we are, in 2019, the Trump Family having been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt of jumping into bed with the biggest geopolitical threat to the United States, commercially and politically, for their own enrichment and advantage.

    And Trump's Kool-Aid drinking supporters have absolutely no problem with it at all.

    You fucking hypocrites. How do you sleep at night? How do you look at yourselves in the fucking mirror?
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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