Russian Hackers Are Fiendishly Smart. Good Thing For America They’re So Stupid.

Uncle Volodya says, "Falsehood is often rocked by truth, but she soon outgrows her cradle and discards her nurse.”

Uncle Volodya says, “Falsehood is often rocked by truth, but she soon outgrows her cradle and discards her nurse.”

Every fleeting thought is a pearl
And beautiful people stampede to the doorway
of the funniest fucker in the world

They’re here to help you
Satisfy your desire
There’s a bright future for all you professional liars

– “How To Be Dumb”; Elvis Costello

I know, I know: it’s hard to believe The Wall Street Journal (which I like to refer to, for childish reasons of my own – because that’s just the way I roll – as The Wall Street Urinal) would publish a story gratuitously critical of Russia. But on October 28th, 2014, a day which will live in infamy, I’m afraid that’s exactly what they did. For shame, Wall Street Urinal (thanks for the tip, Cartman).

Hacking Trail Leads to Russia, Experts Say“. Mmmmm… I’m sure we’re going to want to look at that claim in some detail – but first, let’s talk a little bit about experts, because it is a timely discussion topic which has come up on a couple of occasions already, and it needs a bigger forum. Quite simply, we have arrived at a period in the history of our joint existence on the big blue marble when Mr. Hankey The Christmas Poo could be an expert whose opinion was eagerly sought by journalists, if only he had a laptop, knew how to find the Google search screen, had an opposable thumb and didn’t wear mittens all the time. H.L. Mencken, who had a considerable amount to say on the preoccupation of the American people with elevating to iconic status those who are most like themselves, must be beaming beatifically from his grave. “A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin“, said he. More touchingly – and he could turn his hand to romantic and touching, for he was among the most capable writers of his generation or any other – “If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.” My own favourite, which for some reason always makes me think of Alexey Navalny; “An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it makes a better soup.”

But the one for which he is best known, and which is the most widely quoted – “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

We’re a little too late to mark the arrival of that glorious moment – by about 13 years – but this phenomenon had a much wider application that just the office of president. Simply put, almost nobody who speaks English as their mother tongue has any regard any more for expertise earned through a lifetime of practice in one’s craft. No; the west – or at least its voice, the western press, is gaga for “reality journalists” like Brown Moses, the Englishman and life-sized dildo who leapt from obscure failed administrative drone at a nonprofit to “one of the world’s foremost weapons experts” in less than a year. Or Rami Abdelrahman, the one-man-show who is The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights, which he runs out of his Coventry home with a laptop and a couple of cell phones. The United Nations consults him, and regularly and uncritically reports his casualty figures in the Syria conflict without checking anything, although he gets his numbers direct from Syrian activists with a vested interest in pumping up the body count so NATO will intervene, in horror. He and Brown Moses share several things in common – neither has any training at all in their present “field of expertise”, neither completed post-secondary education and both broadcast a narrative that has western governments liking the cut of their jib. In Mr. Abdulrahman’s case (actually his name is Osama Sulieman, just as Brown Moses’ name is actually Eliot Higgins), he is subsidized by the European Union.

Anyway, before we range too far afield to find our way back, let’s look at the Wall Street Journal article. Just keep in the back of your mind that the “experts” who say the trail leads straight back to the Russian government might well be a couple of college dropouts who spend the rest of their time playing World Of Warcraft.

Security wizards FireEye, a cybersecurity firm based in California, discovered “a sophisticated cyberweapon, able to evade detection and hop between computers walled off from the Internet” in a U.S. system. This brilliant piece of sleuthware, we further learn, “was programmed on Russian-language machines and built during working hours in Moscow.”

Stupid, stupid Russians. They went to all the trouble to bore and stroke that baby until it was humming with super-secret code power, and then pointed a trail right back to the Rodina by writing their code in Cyrillic. And, moreover, betrayed themselves even more convincingly by writing all this code during working hours in Moscow. Or Aman, Jordan, which shares the same time. Or Baghdad. Or Damascus, or Dar es Salaam. Djibouti. Nairobi. Simferopol. Or perhaps the code was written by somebody outside working hours. Is there some evidence that compelled investigators to think the work of writing spy code has to be done between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM?

Their confidential report is due to be released Tuesday, so I guess we’ll have to wait to find out. Oh, wait – no, we won’t, because they told the Wall Street Journal (the world’s biggest fucking blabbermouths), and they posted a link to it. They’re calling this mysterious group “APT-28”. Because “Dirty Moskali Masterminded By Putin”, while it looked great on the cover, cost more to print – and we all have to think about costs these days – and sort of lacked the techno-wallop they were looking for.

I don’t want to spoil the report for you, because it is a ripping read, but I have to say up front that a lot of the circumstantial evidence which causes FireEye to blame this snooping on Russia is summed up in an assessment by one of their managers – a former Russia analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense, by a wonderful coincidence: ” “Who else benefits from this? It just looks so much like something that comes from Russia that we can’t avoid the conclusion.

I see. Well, by God, that is evidence, no denying that. It just looks like Russia. Probably because they were stupid enough to code in Cyrillic, even though almost everyone codes in English regardless where they’re from because almost all programming languages are in English, because most popular frameworks and third-party extension are written in English, because Cyrillic characters are not allowed when naming many functions and variables, and….gee, I’m sure there was something else….oh, yeah: and because using Cyrillic would be a dead giveaway that the source was Russian, and it would be indescribably stupid to write a brilliant code that it would take a top-notch security hired gun to find, and then leave the root code in Cyrillic. The article is at pains to imply the Russians are the world’s most clever hackers. Sure hope they don’t find out how stupid it is to write their code in Russian, or they might really start achieving some success.

But this sneaky program was written during working hours in Moscow, and the mainframeinformation it sought to exploit would only be of interest to the Russian government; that’s how FireEye broke the whole thing wide open, and they’ve been onto the Russians for seven years, ever since they prefaced their invasion of Georgia with a cyber-attack on Georgia’s systems, and ultimately made Saakashvili eat his tie.

Hey, I can think of somebody else who is interested in as much information as it can get on U.S. governmental inner workings, policymaking and current financial situation. Israel. And what do you know? Jerusalem is only an hour off of Moscow time. I’m not suggesting it must have been Israel instead of Russia – perish the thought. But I hope I have adequately expressed my contempt for the doughheaded theory that it must have been Moscow because sneaky writers of dirty code adhere to regular office hours. Just sayin’.

Incidentally, the United States Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) has never been enforced against Israel,  and in 2012 an amendment was introduced which (paraphrased) reads “The Attorney General may, by regulation, provide for the exemption..[if the AG] determines that such registration…is not necessary…” 

After all, Israel has a long and colourful history of spying on the United States. In the early 80’s the FBI investigated AIPAC  for long-running espionage and theft of government documents relating to the United States – Israel Free Trade Pact: because Israel had a purloined copy of the USA’s negotiating positions, the story goes, the USA was unable to exploit anything to its advantage because the Israelis already knew what the Americans would concede under pressure: “A quarter-century after the tainted negotiations led to passage of the US-Israel preferential trade pact, it remains the most unfavourable of all U.S. bilateral trade agreements, producing chronic deficits, lack of U.S. market access to Israel and ongoing theft of U.S. intellectual property.

Defense department stuff? Sure, they were interested in that, too. In 2005 Larry Franklin, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman were indicted in Virginia for passing classified documents to a foreign power (Israel, although they danced around who it was by referring to it as simply “a Middle Eastern Country”) which were tremendously useful to Israel in its attempts to maneuver the USA into war with Iran on its behalf. Franklin plead guilty and received a 12-year prison sentence which was later – incredibly – reduced to 100 hours of community service and 10 months in a halfway house. All charges against Rosen and Weissman, lobbyists for AIPAC, were dropped in 2009. The United States government claimed it did not want classified material revealed at trial. So dangerous, not to put too fine a point on it, that it was better to let the criminals who had given that classified information to a foreign power go free without punishment than to risk Americans learning it who had no need to know.

Nor was that the only instance. Johnathan Pollard, an analyst with U.S. Naval Intelligence Command, was convicted of spying for Israel and sentenced to life imprisonment. That sentence has waffled back and forth, largely due to intense efforts by agencies of the Israeli government to get  it commuted, and currently stands at release just about a year from now. Israel acknowledged that Pollard had spied for that country on its ally in a formal apology, and the Victim Impact Statement hints that the information which was passed endangered both American lives and the USA’s relations with its Arab allies. Details were never made public, and remain classified. However, as the referenced article points out, Israel today enjoys real-time intelligence sharing with the USA, so I guess spying on America is not really all that important after all – what’s FireEye ki-yiing about?

U.S. Navy submariner Ariel Weinmann was arrested and detained as a spy for Israel in 2006 when he reportedly deserted from his unit (USS ALBUQUERQUE) taking with him a laptop computer which held classified information. He was believed to have met with an agent of a foreign power in Vienna and in Mexico City. Initial reports said that power was Israel. Later, after the allies  had time to get their heads together and agree on a cover story, Time Magazine broke a story which put it out there, with no substantiation whatsoever, that the foreign power implicated had actually been – wait for it – Russia. He probably had just become confused because Jerusalem and Moscow have almost the same working hours. Weinmann is apparently not Jewish, by the way, the name is of German extraction, or so his father says. He was alleged, by his father, to have been upset because of the USA collecting intelligence information on its allies. So, if you’re still following the storyline, Weinmann – after a naval deployment to the Persian Gulf where the Navy upset him by collecting intelligence information on its allies – stole a laptop containing classified information which presumably proved his case, and disclosed that information to…Russia. Uh huh. A nation which is not only not an ally of the United States – pretty damned far from it, in fact – but one which has no serious naval profile in the Persian Gulf. I feel kind of like I’m running on a giant pretzel.

More recently, in May of this year, Newsweek announced despairingly that Israel will not stop spying on the USA, and the USA will not make them stop. In this article, which accuses Israel of constantly maneuvering to steal American technology and industrial secrets, Israel’s espionage activities are described as “unrivaled and unseemly”. Comically, Israeli Embassy spokesman Aaron Sagui retorted angrily, “Israel doesn’t conduct espionage operations in the United States, period. We condemn the fact that such outrageous, false allegations are being directed against Israel.” No word on whether his nose immediately grew so rapidly that it put the reporter’s eye out, because Israel has already admitted to and apologized for espionage activities in the United States before.

Which brings us back to FireEye, speaking of Pinocchio. FireEye, frankly, needs a big break. Its stock is sinking as other Threat Detection commercial security companies muscle in on the market, and in May was down 65% from a 52-week high, while investors were getting impatient to see some success.

A success like this one, in fact.

Let’s go back a minute to the giddy summary by the FireEye executive cited earlier. “Who else benefits from this? It just looks so much like something that comes from Russia that we can’t avoid the conclusion.

You know why the conclusion is unavoidable? Because the malicious code is specifically engineered to point in that direction. Who would do that? Russians who meant it to be undetectable?

You tell me.

 

 

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771 Responses to Russian Hackers Are Fiendishly Smart. Good Thing For America They’re So Stupid.

  1. marknesop says:

    Oh, dear: tears are rolling down lovely Anna’s rosy cheeks. Gazprom – under the direct prompting of The Evil One, it needs not be said – has Ecko Moskvy in its crosshairs, and has fired Alexander Plyushchev. Oh, the humanity! Now it looks as if this bastion of free speech will be no more!!

    Or it does if you like to overreract and put on a little spinning-your-head-all-the-way-around-and-puking-green-stuff show for your western red-meat audience, as lovely Anna and Jamie Kirchik are fond of doing from the pages of The Daily Beast.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/11/07/putin-is-killing-echo-of-moscow-russia-s-last-independent-radio-station.html#

    Totally unsurprisingly, although the Gazprom board who owns the station flipped off Plyushchev for an “insensitive tweet” about the death of Ivanov’s eldest son (what he actually said was “Do you consider the death of Ivanov’s son, who ran down and killed an old woman and sued her son-in-law, as proof that God exists?”, and he was so courageous in his convictions about the terrible justice of it all that he deleted it later), whose picture leads off the article? You guessed it – Vladimir Putin, who simultaneously runs Russia, Gazprom, Rosneft, Gunvor, the FSB, Every TV Station, the Korean Salad Bar in Vladivostok, Dynamo, Aeroflot and now Ecko Moskvy.

  2. Warren says:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/vladimir-putin/11213255/Vladimir-Putin-says-there-was-nothing-wrong-with-Soviet-Unions-pact-with-Adolf-Hitlers-Nazi-Germany.html

    The censorship in the Telegraph comments section is incredible – I posted a link to Grover Furr’s article on the Soviet “invasion” of Poland.

    http://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/research/mlg09/did_ussr_invade_poland.html

    Apparently this is too controversial and the Telegraph Moderators have put my post on hold.

    • ThatJ says:

      The users commenting in this Telegraph article are not the usual Telegraph readers, of this I’m sure. The comments bashing UKIP are getting a lot of thumb-ups, whereas in reality, the Telegraph readership is very much pro-UKIP.

      I think that the “Hitler=Putin” association brought the multicultists, gays, pro-American Trotskyites who support the West’s imperialism in order to spread their successful revolution in the US to the rest of the world, Ukie diaspora, aging “conservative” Cold Warriors, etc, en masse after the story was linked in their dwelling places.

  3. ThatJ says:

    Russia Nears Completion Of Second “Holy Grail” Gas Deal With China

    Six months ago, something few had expected would take place in 2014, or even in the coming years, happened: under Western pressure and out of a desire to diversify away from an increasingly hostile European market, Russia signed the so-called “Holy Grail” gas deal with China, pivoting away from the west and toward with Beijing.

    As part of the deal, the two nations reached a $400 billion agreement to construct the Power of Siberia pipeline, which will deliver 38 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas to China. The compromise was a lower price than Gazprom would have otherwise hoped for, however in taking a cue right out of Amazon, “Russia would make up in volume what it lost in price.” This eastern route will connect Russia’s Kovykta and Chaynda fields with China, where recoverable resources are estimated at about 3 trillion cubic meters.

    And then today, with little fanfare, Russia’s president Putin – whose economy is said to be reeling as a result of a plunging currency, paradoxically something Japan would love to be able to achieve on such short notice – told the media ahead of his visit to the Asia Pacific Economic Conference on November 9-11, that Moscow and Beijing have agreed many of the aspects of a second gas pipeline to China, the so-called western route, or as some already are calling it, the “second holy grail.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-07/russia-nears-completion-second-holy-grail-gas-deal-china

    France Stinks… Literally

    Having promised that he would not run again if unemployment rates remain high, French President Francois Hollande faces not just record low approval ratings but feces-flinging-farmers. In a show of protest against expressing their anger at collapsing prices (due in part to sanctions against Russia), increased environmental regulations, cheap imports, and high costs, thousands took to the streets, dumping pumpkins, potatoes, and carrots, burning cars, flinging apples, and spraying shit all over a government building in Toulouse. The French are not amused…

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-07/france-stinks-literally

    Ron Paul Says: Watch The Petrodollar

    The chaos that one day will ensue from our 35-year experiment with worldwide fiat money will require a return to money of real value. We will know that day is approaching when oil-producing countries demand gold, or its equivalent, for their oil rather than dollars or euros. The sooner the better.—Ron Paul

    Dr. Paul is referring to the petrodollar system, one of the main pillars that’s been holding up the US dollar’s status as the world’s premier reserve currency since the breakdown of Bretton Woods.

    Want to know when the fiat US dollar will collapse? Watch the petrodollar system and the factors affecting it. This is critically important, because once the dollar loses its coveted reserve status, the consequences will be dire for Americans.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-06/ron-paul-says-watch-petrodollar

    Man Buys Foreclosed Home, Finds Corpse Inside

    Every now and then a person comes along who completely redefines the concept of “buying sight unseen.” That someone is longtime Cape Coral resident William Wilson who, at a foreclosure auction on Monday, purchased the house on SE 19th Lane with rusted iron gates on each window and every entrance. Four dead-bolts were chained at the front door. He paid $96,000.

    So far so good. He arrived the next morning to evaluate his purchase, trim the hedges and mow the lawn. What he found inside was a body (and another case of immaculate bank due diligence).

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-06/man-buys-foreclosed-home-finds-corpse-inside

    While Brussels Burns In “Anti-Austerity” Riots, Here Is The Real Reason For Europe’s Depression

    Riot police clashed with demonstrators in the Belgian capital of Brussels on Thursday amid a massive protest against government plans to reform the country’s welfare system. This comes on the heels of violent French, Italian, and Spanish youth protests in recent weeks as the citizens of the non-Germanic European Union decry the ‘austerity’ they have been crushed by. What is odd, though, is externally, there has been ‘no’ austerity with debt loads rising for all these nations and debt/GDP at record highs for most. So where is the disconnect between a people under increasing financial pressure and a sovereign issuing more and more debt at will? The Telegraph has the stunning answer: an audit, published this morning, found that £109 billion out of a total of £117 billion spent by the EU in 2013 was “affected by material error”. Brussels accounts have not been given the all clear for 19 years running. In other words, Brussels ’embezzles’ billions of euros per year, and blames it on austerity. Is it any wonder, Europe is burning?

    This is what happens… More than 100,000 marched through Brussels today…

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-06/while-brussels-burns-anti-austerity-riots-here-real-reason-europes-depression

    • marknesop says:

      Interesting times, my friends. The world might really be changing this time. And it looks like a lot of people in Europe are going to get hurt. Not the right ones, either, as usual.

  4. ThatJ says:

    Putin Signs Secret Pact To Crush NATO

    Back on September 11 and 12, there was a summit meeting in a city that involved an organization that most Americans have never heard of. Mainstream media coverage was all but nonexistent.

    The place was Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, a country few Westerners could correctly place on a map.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-07/putin-signs-secret-pact-crush-nato

    The Ukraine Who Cried Wolf: Kiev Reports 32 Russian Tanks Cross Border, Market Completely Ignores

    Forget Baghdad Bob. Meet Luhansk Lysenko, the spokesman of the Ukraine military, and the guy who every single day floods whatever wires still care with the daily report of fighting, military invasions, and Russian troops entering the country, aka the proverbial boy who cried wolf.

    There was a time when the merest hint of Russia military activity at the Ukraine border would do the unthinkable: challenged central planners and send stocks lower. Who can forget the market drubbing when the Russian humanitarian convoy was going to enter east Ukraine and allegedly carry a DIY army?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-07/ukraine-who-cried-wolf-kiev-reports-32-russian-tanks-cross-border-market-completely-

    Bloomberg: EU Dream Ebbs Amid Weak Growth, Putin’s Jets, 25 Years After Wall Came Down

    Europe’s post-Cold War order is fraying and there’s no consensus over how to stitch it back together.

    Some blame the European debt crisis for exposing the folly of the drive for economic unification. Some point to Vladimir Putin for redrawing the map by force and sending his warplanes to buzz NATO borders. For others, the vision of a peaceful, post-national Europe died off with the World War II generation.

    The makers of European memory will ponder those questions this weekend, marking on Sunday the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the ensuing euro-euphoria. The lessons of the intervening quarter-century are more sobering.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-06/eu-dream-unravels-as-putin-jets-defy-end-of-berlin-wall.html

    Bloomberg: Ukraine Cease-Fire Evaporates as Government Says 200 Rebels Dead

    Ukraine’s military said it killed as many as 200 rebels in an attack in Donetsk, inflicting the biggest blow from either side in the conflict in more than two months and removing pretense that a Sept. 5 truce is holding.

    Accusing Russia of sending dozens of tanks and other military vehicles across its border yesterday into separatist-held areas in eastern Ukraine, military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Ukraine’s army was preparing for “an adequate reaction.” Lysenko said artillery strikes had killed the rebels and destroyed tanks and other armored vehicles after Ukrainian forces took fire at the Donetsk airport, where they have faced almost daily attacks.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-07/ukraine-lurches-back-toward-open-war-on-east-fighting.html

    QE is Not Coming to Europe… and the ECB is Out of Ammo

    In the Summer of 2012, European Central Bank (ECB) President stated that the ECB was committed to doing “whatever it takes” to save the Euro and the EU.

    Since that time, the ECB has cut interest rates even below zero (yes, the EU now has negative interest rates) and has implemented a large-scale asset purchase program.

    All of these efforts have failed to kickstart the EU economy. Italy is back in recession for the third time since 2008. Germany’s economy contracted in the second quarter of 2014 and will likely be in recession before the first quarter of 2015. France has registered zero growth for six months now.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-06/qe-not-coming-europe%E2%80%A6-and-ecb-out-ammo

  5. marknesop says:

    Those kindhearted souls who inquired after the health of Colliemum will be pleased to hear she is fine, just a little under the weather but nothing life-threatening, and she expects to be back soon. She thanks everyone for their kind concern. Good news indeed.

  6. Moscow Exile says:

    How about this story as an example Western media propagandistic filth?

    In my opinion, as such it takes some beating.

    Ukraine crisis: Russian tanks threaten fragile ceasefire, says President Poroshenko

    Under the photograph it reads:

    Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko fears the worst after claiming there has been a major movement of military hardware into his country.

    And the photograph?

    Left click it, and there you should see under a blown up image of the same picture the following:

    Families, teachers and schoolmates of 18-year-old Andrei Yeliseyev and 14-year-old Daniil Kuznetsov pray during a mourning ceremony in an Orthodox church in Donetsk.

    Killed by whom and under whose direction?

    Further on in that article Saakashvili gets a mention: he says Russsia is going to invade Georgia.

    • marknesop says:

      Ha, ha!!! I love Saakashvili. He can’t get past “Vladimir Putin wants to recreate the Soviet Union”, like a windup monkey that can only clash its cymbals together in response. Don’t worry, Mikey – it’s all just “part of the democratic transformation” – remember that?

      There’s a great example of what you can become if you are rated as “bright and ambitious” by western analysts and have the benefit of a Columbia education. Supposedly speaks, what, five languages – and cannot grasp what he purports to be his core value.

  7. Moscow Exile says:

    And in this morning’s Telegraph the lead Ukraine story is about the Russian “invasion”, or what a Kiev spokesman describes as such:

    Ukraine claimed on Friday that 32 tanks, 16 howitzer cannons and 30 trucks of troops and equipment had crossed from Russia into Ukrainian territory held by Moscow-backed rebels.

    The column of vehicles crossed into Luhansk region on Thursday and headed towards the city of Krasnyi Luch, Colonel Andriy Lysenko, a military spokesman, told reporters at a briefing in Kiev.

    A separate column of trucks, including three mobile radar units, passed into Ukraine via the border town of Izvaryne, he said.

    It was not possible to independently verify the claims, which were made as fighting continued in the region, despite a two-month-old ceasefire.

    No mention of this, however:

    US, NATO say no evidence of new ‘Russian invasion’ of Ukraine

    Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby also could not confirm the reports.

    “I don’t have any independent operational reporting that would be able to confirm that report that these formations have crossed the border,” Kirby said.

    One should take into account, of course, that RT is a “Kremlin Mouthpiece” and cannot be trusted whatsoever.

    So how about the veracity of these headlines then:

    Pentagon: No Evidence of Russia’s Alleged Incursion into Ukraine

    (Nope, that’s from Iran!)

    Pentagon, NATO Say No Evidence Of New ‘Russian Invasion’ Of Ukraine

    (Are you serious? That’s from Serbia.)

    Pentagon Says No Evidence Of Alleged Russian Military Incursion Into Ukraine

    (Mmmmmmm – I dunno. International Business Times?….Maybe.)

    Well how about this one then:

    Department of Defense Press Briefing by Rear Adm. Kirby in the Pentagon Briefing Room

    Q: And can I ask you a quick follow-up about Russia?

    REAR ADM. KIRBY: Sure.

    Q: Since the Ukrainian government is saying that Russia has sent dozens of tanks into eastern Ukraine. So have we been able to confirm that? Have we seen any evidence that that’s happening and do we have a response?

    ADM. KIRBY: No, I don’t have any independent operational reporting that would be able to confirm that report that these formations have crossed the border. What we do see is a continued presence of significantly capable and ready battalion tactical groups, Russian battalion tactical groups, right across that border. And they’re close.

    And they are very capable. And they are doing nothing to decrease the tension in the region. So, not helpful. Continue to say that it’s not been helpful. But I have no independent operational reporting that tells me they’ve crossed the border.

    Straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were.

    Do the Telegraph and the Independent and the Grauniad editors – to say nothing of the BBC news editorship – really know nothing of this?

    Is that why the invasion story is still up there in this morning’s editions?

    Just wondering.

    • marknesop says:

      While there might be a slight scent on the wind that the west is realizing it went too far, that the swift economic ruin it forecast for Russia is not taking place and a massive trade realignment is taking place in its stead, while there might be the slightest acknowledgement that the audience has begun to notice the clumsiness of the magic tricks performed at State Department briefings, the press is as usual the slowest to react, just as it is the quickest to react to further alarums and excursions fomented by the Ukie Panic Cell. Unfortunately, there will be no pillorying of the press afterward for its perfiidy – the people will just blink and move on as they always do. The only major differences will be economic, and by God I hope they hold for a generation at least. There has to be some punishment.

  8. ThatJ says:

    Bezler was removed by the Kremlin from his position as a commander of the Gorlovka militia. Like Strelkov before him, I think he was forced to resign — and let’s be sincere, they may not share the Kremlin’s views but they obey the orders from the Russian security apparatus, to which they belong. The word going around is that “Brain” will be the next.

    I’m not saying that this is good or bad. We have to wait for the big picture to emerge.

  9. ThatJ says:

    Greenspan’s Stunning Admission: “Gold Is Currency; No Fiat Currency, Including the Dollar, Can Match It”

    For some reason, the Council of Foreign Relations, where ex-Fed-Chief Alan Greenspan spoke last week, decided the following discussion should be left out of the official transcript. We can perhaps understand why… as Gillian Tett concludes, “comments like that will be turning you into a rock star amongst the gold bug community.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-07/greenspans-stunning-admission-gold-currency-no-fiat-currency-including-dollar-can-ma

    About America’s Sudden Fascination With Hiring Young Women

    Yesterday, when we presented what we thought at the time was “The Strangest Number In Today’s Jobs Report” namely the near record surge in workers aged 16-24, which amounted to 528K, or the vast majority of job additions in the month of October…

    … we may have been a bit premature.

    As it turns out breaking down the job surge from September to October by gender provides an even more peculiar result then an age distribution. Because as the chart below shows, of the 416K jobs added in the 20 and over category, a meager 10% of these went to men: some 90%, or 370,000, went to women! Men aged 20 and over were the recipients of a paltry 48,000 jobs, or 10% of the total increase.

    So how does one explain America’s sudden surge in hiring women, and not just any women, but mostly young ones (because we know from yesterday that the bulk of hiring was in the young, 16-24 age group).

    Well, as we also showed yesterday, the ongoing record hiring of bartenders and waiters may have something to do with it.

    Or rather, now that we know the gender of the job additions, waitresses.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-08/about-americas-sudden-fascination-hiring-young-women

  10. ThatJ says:

    German Editor Turned CIA Whistleblower: “Democracy in Germany Is Merely an Illusion”

    “Not even a complete idiot could have been oblivious to the Americans’ one-sided anti-Moscow propaganda after the crash of flight MH17”

    “[My house has been] raided six times under the pretext that I was betraying state secrets. These types of scare tactics are typical of banana republics”

    “The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung informed me in writing that they will file court charges against me”

    “Any deviation from mainstream opinion is harshly suppressed”

    “Perhaps it would be worth it for me to fly to Moscow like Edward Snowden and ask for asylum there”

    Udo Ulfkotte, former editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and author of the best selling tell-all “Bought Journalists,” has once again spoken out in this fascinating, probing interview with VZ.ru. We have covered Udo’s shocking revelations about CIA and German Secret Service control of the German media extensively.

    In his latest interview, Ulfkotte tells of how his home has been repeatedly raided by the German Department of State Security, and describes his own country as a “banana republic.” He claims that the desire of ambitious journalists for fame and fortune now indirectly controls what the media prints, and that “one wrong sentence and your career as a celebrity journalist is over. Everyone knows it. And everyone’s in on it.” Recent legal action against Ulfkotte could “destroy” him, as he contemplates fleeing the country.

    http://russia-insider.com/en/germany_media_watch/2014/11/08/12-35-23pm/german_editor_turned_cia_whistleblower_democracy_germany

    NYTimes: Ukraine Conflict Exposes Country’s Identity Crisis, Deep Russian Roots

    Despite widespread hatred of Russia in West Ukraine, the two countries share intimate historical and cultural ties

    Ukrainians take pride in the giant of Russian literature, Mikhail Bulgakov, a native of Kiev — even as they ban a TV series made after his book as “Russian propaganda”

    Ukrainians have long endured a tormented relationship with the novelist Mikhail Bulgakov — a native son who extolled this city’s beauty even while mocking the very idea of a Ukraine independent from Russia.

    “We call him the Great Kiev Citizen,” said the director of the Bulgakov museum here, Ludmila V. Gubiauri. Yet she helped bring about the recent, extraordinary government decision to ban as “Russian propaganda” a new mini-series of “The White Guard,” his most important work set in Kiev.

    While some Ukrainians are implacably hostile toward Russia, many others are experiencing an identity crisis kindled by the confrontation with Moscow, and the contradiction embodied by Mr. Bulgakov reflects their inner turmoil.

    Even among those Ukrainians pleased with the current turn to the West, many are grappling with the almost inconceivable idea that Russia has become a mortal enemy, forcing Ukrainians to draw a line between themselves and what has long been their cultural motherland.

    “I considered myself part of the Russian culture — my mother is Russian, my father is Ukrainian,” said Aleksey Ryabchyn, a young economist and journalist from Donetsk who is running for Parliament. “I have lots of Russian friends; I like books in Russian; I speak Russian at home. So I am asking myself, ‘Who am I?’ ”

    http://russia-insider.com/en/ukraine_culture_society/2014/11/08/11-47-40am/ukraine_conflict_exposes_countrys_identity_crisis_deep

    American Voters Have No Appetite for Confrontation with Russia

    The overwhelming majority of American voters ignored Ukraine and Russia at this week’s midterm Congressional elections, telling the winning candidates and the pollsters they have no interest in hostilities with Russia. There’s already too many problems at home

    From Arseny Yatseniuk’s point of view, the US election results could not have been worse for the not-Ukrainian-prime-minister-yet. For Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian president defeated when a minority of Ukrainians went to their ballot boxes on October 26, the US outcome is no better.

    This is because exit polls are reporting the overwhelming majority of American voters to have ignored Ukraine and Russia at this week’s midterm Congressional elections, telling the winning candidates and the pollsters they have no appetite for confrontation with the Kremlin.

    That also means no mandate from US voters for the new Congress to spend cash in Kiev to save Ukrainians from the cold weather and the economy ruined by civil war. For most Americans, according to the polls, the cold and failing economy they are afraid of are at home.

    http://russia-insider.com/en/politics_ukraine_opinion/2014/11/08/11-41-09am/american_voters_have_no_appetite_confrontation_russia

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