Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 16, 2018

White House: "Iraq Has Anthrax Virus" "Russia Launched NotPetya"

Late last night the White House accused the Russian military of having launched the destructive "NotPetya" malware which in June 2017 hit many global companies:

Statement from the Press Secretary

In June 2017, the Russian military launched the most destructive and costly cyber-attack in history.

The attack, dubbed “NotPetya,” quickly spread worldwide, causing billions of dollars in damage across Europe, Asia, and the Americas. It was part of the Kremlin’s ongoing effort to destabilize Ukraine and demonstrates ever more clearly Russia’s involvement in the ongoing conflict. This was also a reckless and indiscriminate cyber-attack that will be met with international consequences.

The statement has the same quality as earlier statements about Spain sinking the Maine or about Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction had.

Neither the U.S. nor anyone else has presented ANY evidence of ANY Russian involvement in the creation or distribution of the NotPetya malware. The U.S. is simply asserting this while presenting nothing to back it up.

There is, in general, no attribution possible for any such cyber attack. As John McAfee, founder of an anti-virus firm, said:

“When the FBI or when any other agency says the Russians did it or the Chinese did something or the Iranians did something – that's a fallacy,” said McAfee.
Any hacker capable of breaking into something is extraordinarily capable of hiding their tracks. If I were the Chinese and I wanted to make it look like the Russians did it I would use Russian language within the code. “I would use Russian techniques of breaking into organisations so there is simply no way to assign a source for any attack – this is a fallacy.”
I can promise you – if it looks like the Russians did it, then I can guarantee you it was not the Russians.”

I agree with McAfee's statement. The CIA must likewise agree. Wikileaks has released a number of CIA cyber tools it had obtained. These included software specifically designed to create false attributions:

The CIA's Remote Devices Branch's UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques 'stolen' from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.

With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the "fingerprints" of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.

Nearly all "attributes" used for attributing a cyber attack can be easily faked to accuse a party not involved in the attack.

The British National Cyber Security Center, part of the British computer spying organisation GCHQ, also claims that the Russian military is "almost certainly" responsible for the NotPetya attack. Canada and the Australians also chipped in.

But note - these are NOT independent sources. They are, together with New Zealand, part of the of the "Five Eyes" spying alliance. From NSA files released by Edward Snowden we know that the Five Eyes are practically led by the U.S. National Security Agency:

One internal document quotes the head of the NSA, Lieutenant General Keith Alexander, on a visit to Menwith Hill in June 2008, asking: "Why can't we collect all the signals all the time? Sounds like a good summer project for Menwith."

Menwith Hill is a Royal Airforce spying station and part of the GCHQ infrastructure. That the head of the NSA can assign "summer projects" to it shows where the real power lies.

The Russian government strongly rejects the accusations.

NotPetya was a destructive virus that masked as ransomware. It was based on attacking tools which originally had been developed by the NSA but were later anonymously published by someone calling himself Shadow-Broker. One of several attack vectors NotPetya used was the update mechanism of some tax accounting software which is common in Ukraine and Russia. But the attack soon spread globally:

The attack hit Ukraine central bank, government computers, airports, the Kiev metro, the state power distributor Ukrenergo, Chernobyl’s radiation monitoring system, and other machines in the country. It also affected Russian oil giant Rosneft, DLA Piper law firm, U.S. biopharmaceutical giant Merck, British advertiser WPP, and Danish shipping and energy company Maersk, among others.

The biggest damaged through NotPetya occurred at the Danish shipping company Maersk which had to completely reboot its entire infrastructure and lost some $250-300 million due to the attack.

The question one must always ask when such accusations are made is: Why would the accused do this?

In January the U.S. attribution claims about the NotPetya malware were prelaunched through the Washington Post:

The CIA has attributed to Russian military hackers a cyberattack that crippled computers in Ukraine last year, an effort to disrupt that country’s financial system amid its ongoing war with separatists loyal to the Kremlin.
The GRU military spy agency created NotPetya, the CIA concluded with “high confidence” in November, according to classified reports cited by U.S. intelligence officials.
The hackers worked for the military spy service’s GTsST, or Main Center for Special Technology, the CIA reported. That unit is highly involved in the GRU’s cyberattack program, including the enabling of influence operations.

What could have been the motive of the "Russian military" to release a (badly written) malware that destroys computer-files of random companies all over the world including at the all important Russian oil-giant Rosneft. To assume that Ukraine's financial system was the target is almost certainly wrong. There is also no evidence that this was the case. Ukraine's Central Bank was just one of thousands of victims of the attack.

Only some 50% of the affected companies were in Ukraine. Most of them were not financial firms. The attack was initiated through an update mechanism of an accounting software that is also used in Russia. That original attack vector was probably chosen simply because it was easy to use. The accounting software company had a lousy security protection. The first infected computers then applied a different mechanism to spread the malware to other machines. The attack was launched on a Ukrainian national holiday which is not optimal if one wants to spread it as wide as possible throughout the Ukraine.

That the Ukraine and Russia were hit first by the malware was also likely just a time-of-day question. The timeline shows that the U.S. and most of western-Europe were still asleep when the virus started to proliferate. The anti-virus organizations, the Russian company Kaspersky among them, took only a few hours to diagnose the attacking software. A solution to prevent further damage was found within some twelve hours. By the time the U.S. working day started anti-virus companies were already releasing advise and protective code against it. If the attack had not been stopped by protective software it would have effected many more computers. Most of these would not have been in the Ukraine.

The U.S. attribution of the NotPetya attack to some Russian organization is extremely doubtful. In general a certain attribution of any such cyber attack is impossible. It is easy for any sophisticated virus writer to modify the code so that it looks as if it was written by some third party. The CIA even develops tools to do exactly that.

The attacking software seemed to be of relatively low quality. It was a badly designed mishmash created from earlier known malware and spy tools. It was not confined to a certain country or target. It can at best be described as an act of random vandalism on a global scale. There is no discernible motive for any Russian state organizations to release such nonsense.

In 2009 Russia offered an international treaty to prohibit cyber attacks. It was the U.S. under Obama which rejected it as "unnecessary" while it was expanding its own attack capabilities.

The U.S. government has launched a Cold War 2.0 against Russia. The motive for that seems to be mostly monetary. Hunting a few 'terrorists' does not justify big military budgets, opposing a nuclear power does.

The now released accusations against Russia have as much foundation in reality as the claims of alleged Iraqi WMDs. We can only hope that these new accusations will have less severe consequences.

Posted by b on February 16, 2018 at 9:30 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Trump has made a fool of himself by agreeing to be the mouth for some looney security briefing. Why the White House releasing this? why not the NSA or some slightly distant body so the president can be kept clear of blowback if the accusation is proven to be wrong (as it has and was at the time of its spread). A gullible fool is spouting at the behest of the five anuses. They certainly aren't eyes with that sh!t coming out.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 16 2018 9:53 utc | 1

Some of the smartest hackers I seen are Russians, although a lot of kids will just do it for kicks, professionals would have a target rather than random targets that can back fire aka how the US does things as we seen off their Iranian attack.

Kaspersky being the best of the best, Kremlin would know and would make great effort to make sure they stay as far away from them as possible. To give it a fighting chance. That Kaspersky found it so fast shows it was not Russian. Since you want them to be last on the list to know about it. Kaspersky for some strange reason also works with their partners in the US/UK etc sharing information. So Russians themselves would work to defeat a Russian attack even if its made. Which any smart cookie would say is self defeating and they would not waste the effort to try.

Posted by: igybundy | Feb 16 2018 10:44 utc | 2

Could the attack have been co-ordinated by parties in different countries but in the same time zone or in neighbouring time zones, with one or two of these being the same time zones that European Russia is in?

It seems possible that at least one of these parties might be based in Ukraine. For Ukrainian-based pro-Maidan cyber-hackers to release the virus on a Ukrainian public holiday, when most major public and private institutions and businesses are closed, but Russian ones are not, would make sense. Another party could be based in a different country with sophisticated cyber-technology and experience in creating and spreading cyber-viruses that is in the same time zone as Ukraine. Israel comes to mind.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 16 2018 10:55 utc | 3

I don't believe anything will come of it. I see these accusations as petty attempts to get under Russia's skin. Frankly, I can't see anybody believing the crap that comes out of Washington's mouth, especially after what Snowden/Wikileaks has revealed to the public.

Posted by: Ian | Feb 16 2018 11:11 utc | 4

These Russians are so badass!
I'm beginning to wish to be a Russian. :)

Posted by: Me | Feb 16 2018 11:30 utc | 5

"Some of the smartest hackers I seen are Russians, ....."

I am curious where have you seen them?

Second thing which I've never understood about hacking is, why all this noise about it. It is like a pc and network infrastructures are like holly grail and untouchable. The fetishization of this particular technology which comes from the west is unbearable, it is like the life on earth depend on it. Than can not be further from the truth. The US behaves as the owner and guardian of the IT sector, and they handsomely profited from it.

If someone leave its nodes exposed or on the Internet than it is their fault, why not hack it. To hell with them. If someone leave sensitive documents on server than again that's the owner problem, and so on. It is not a bigger crime than "regular" spying activity.

The Russian hacking is beyond the point. Two big powers, capitalist countries with almost identical political structure are competing in the world arena. One of them in decline big time, the second one resurgent but stagnant in development and to gain wider influence. The USA is clearly unable to bribe (as used to) Russia although countries such North Korea still suffer from their collusion in the Security council.

Hacking someone's IT infrastructure is mature skill and there is nothing new in it so just like everything else everything the US and its organs are saying is plain lie. Now, the problem is that after a lie follow some kind of coercion. It that doesn't work - if you are small and defenseless country - than they will kill you.

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 16 2018 11:35 utc | 6

There are at least two tactics in cyberwarfare (which this is).
First, to attack and destroy infrastructure of an enemy or opponent or resistant vassal.
Second, to place blame on others for the use of cyber as a weapon.

The US is at cyber war with Russia and China. This is not Cold War.
Neither was Stuxnet. That was cyber war on Iran. It got out beyond Iran because its careless design sought Seimens equipment everywhere on the Internet. It went to many other countries far beyond Iran and attacked the equipment there.

This malware was not well-designed either. It may have been meant for Russian targets. Rosneft is a huge economic target.

But this campaign using NotPetya had the value of being a Tactic #1 attack + #2 failure against Russia. The CIA got to blame Russia even though the intended damage was quickly reversed by Kaspersky. The irony is they attacked a nation with the best resources to combat and defend against the weapon they used.

But make no mistake, the CyperWars are well underway. The US is sloppy, just like all their Hegemon efforts are seriously flawed in classic terms of execution. The Russians are far more elegant with cyber, as anyone who knows their software experts or products over the years.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Feb 16 2018 11:49 utc | 7

"But make no mistake, the CyperWars are well underway."

I doubt, I doubt very much. If there is a one than it is manufactured.

No vital and nationally sensitive or strategic IT nodes are exposed to the public net. All this is bizarre and narrative created by the Deep State for idiots. Probably ~60% of drugs infested Amerikkans do no care. The rest: are somewhat interested. We can argue whether for domestic (in the light of another shooting, if true) or international purposes (Syria, Iraq, Iran), or both.

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 16 2018 12:01 utc | 8

The Class War is the Marx's term that is taboo and forbidden in capitalist's world everywhere and in particular in the US where is social oppression and inequality is the greatest in the world by far.

Maintain all kind of spins and propaganda along with political oppression i.e. help of political police the American version of the Nazi's Gestapo is crucial for the ruling class and regime.

While the looting of the drugged and non-drugged Americans continue unabated.

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 16 2018 12:14 utc | 9

I would say that only 10% of the Amerikkans have clue what's hacking about, and very small percentage understand in technical terms and details. Sadly, it is NOT important and even more important those question should not be asked! Questioning the highest authority is no, no. The more convoluted the better.

Now when the statement is out of the WH we might except refined follow up by the National Security organs, TNYT, TWP, etc. An intended audience are

It is very good that you posted that photo of Collin Powell in the context of the article. It says it a lot, if not all.

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 16 2018 12:33 utc | 10

In a Euromaidan Press article dated November 2nd, 2016, the hackers state enthusiastically “Ukrainian hackers have a rather high level of work. So the help of the USA… I don’t know, why would we need it? We have all the talent and special means for this. And I don’t think that the USA or any NATO country would make such sharp movements in international politics.”

From: Untying PropOrNot: Who They Are … and a Look at 2017’s Biggest Fake News Story

Posted by: integer | Feb 16 2018 13:02 utc | 11

On the Tucker Carlson Show an FBI agent defended the fact that they could not identify the school shooter, prior to the event, even after he was reported, because his one post did not identify himself explicitly. Also, the threat was not enough to open an investigation.

So now the same group of people claim the ability to discover that people are 'Russian Trolls' from a specific building in St. Petersburg simply based on the content of purely political posts to facebook and twitter.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Feb 16 2018 13:15 utc | 12

By following, little bit, the US National Security operation called Cryptocurrency (ies), allegedly based in South Korea and Japan I noticed numbers of hacking of the companies' web sites that are in this, let-call-it-business.

The most famous hacking was one of Mt.Gox (Japan based) one, where the French nationals was the business' principal. A money never was recovered, and hacker is still unknown!? I guess the place of business and the CEO meant (all US' client states) to give legitimacy to cryptocurrency and lure fools into buying the "fog". But where did "investors" money goes? Not to brilliant Russians...and how could that be? There is a lot of money in game, real money.

Is the National Security State agencies has transfered looting from the domestic soil to international one with help of the virtual reality. No trace of hackers, none!?

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 16 2018 13:23 utc | 13

I use the term The US National Security State (or Deep State) and its apparatus as synonymous to the Nazi Reich Main Security Office. Both of them, while differ in the methods and size, the goals and objectives are the same.

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 16 2018 14:06 utc | 14

Having just had a quick look into the NotPetya attack, it appears to have began on the morning of the day before Ukraine's Constitution Day, and originated from the update server of a Ukrainian tax accounting program called MeDoc. I expect this was another Ukrainian false flag; a cyber warfare version of MH17. Sharp movements in international politics indeed.

Posted by: integer | Feb 16 2018 14:12 utc | 15

integer | Feb 16, 2018 9:12:50 AM | 15

Meaning what? A client state was forced into this in order (to blame Russkies) to get another tranches of loan from the IMF?

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 16 2018 14:23 utc | 16

Well that may mean that, under the new dictact (now the Unites States will not just use its nuclear weapons as a response if the other party used them; now the United States has declared that it will use nuclear weapons if, say, there should be a virus attack on its networks), that the United States is about to declare war on Russia and proceed to nuke it.

Posted by: susetta | Feb 16 2018 14:53 utc | 17

@susetta 17
the United States is about to declare war on Russia and proceed to nuke it

Which country strikes first is not entirely relevant, since MAD still applies as a deterrent to a first strike. Mutual assured destruction or mutually assured destruction (MAD) is a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy in which a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by two or more opposing sides would cause the complete annihilation of both the attacker and the defender. MAD has been effective since 1945 and should continue to be.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 16 2018 16:21 utc | 18

We do not need proof. The statement that Russia created and released the virus will simply be repeated and repeated until it becomes as accepted truth. There will be a few feeble efforts at evidence initially, but those will be dropped soon and it will be a simple course of simply repeating the lie until it becomes true.

Probably 90% of the American public today believes that Trump was elected because of Russian interference in the 2016 election, not limited to Clinton supporters, not limited to Trump haters, but now even including some people who support Trump. No evidence other than "high confidence thinking" by our intelligence agencies has ever been offered, and even that is no longer on the table. We now simply hear that "Russian interference is well accepted fact," or that "it has been proven over and over that..."

Posted by: Bill H | Feb 16 2018 16:39 utc | 19

"We can only hope that these new accusations will have less severe consequences."

The russophobic fake news push is not letting up and now the Trump administration has jumped on board. And on top of targeting Iran has also ramped up targeting China.

This is how the last Cold War ramped up. The public was softened up by the media to fear the USSR. It's a symptom of a disease in its psyche spreading throughout the West.

We see through this nonsense but I fear we underestimate the danger. This Cold War v2 is already much hotter then v1. The West is approaching the throat of the East (Russia, China, Iran, and others), and unfortunately for the world the West feels (it has limited capability to think) it must prevail over the East or faces extinction. And what does that suggest might happen?

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Feb 16 2018 16:59 utc | 20

CrowdStrike said Russians known as Fancy Bear hacked the DNC. U.S. Department of Homeland Security identified one of the "Russian" malware tools used and named it "Grizzly Steppe" or "PAS tool PHP web kit". Later it was also found to attack U.S. power utilities.

I tracked down the creator of the malware and found out that he was a 23-year old Ukrainian university student at the Poltava National Technical University.

Did a Ukrainian University Student Create Grizzly Steppe?

3) The profexer site presents a SSL certificate that identifies it as and gives an email address...

Almost a year later the New York Times reported the same story, but did not name the Ukrainian hacker.

In Ukraine, a Malware Expert Who Could Blow the Whistle on Russian Hacking

But while Profexer’s online persona vanished, a flesh-and-blood person has emerged: a fearful man who the Ukrainian police said turned himself in early this year, and has now become a witness for the F.B.I.

Mr. Gerashchenko described the author only in broad strokes, to protect his safety, as a young man from a provincial Ukrainian city. He confirmed that the author turned himself in to the police and was cooperating as a witness in the D.N.C. investigation. “He was a freelancer and now he is a valuable witness,” Mr. Gerashchenko said.

"Fancy Bear" is not the Russian military intelligence agency GRU or any other Russian government agency. It is simply a collection of hacking tools available online on Runet, the Russian language part of the Internet and the Russian language darknet.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Feb 16 2018 17:01 utc | 21

thanks b.. more of the same bullshit.. "The U.S. is simply asserting this while presenting nothing to back it up."

from b's post - "In 2009 Russia offered an international treaty to prohibit cyber attacks. It was the U.S. under Obama which rejected it as "unnecessary" while it was expanding its own attack capabilities."

this from the link in the above quote..

"The United States argues that a treaty is unnecessary. It instead advocates improved cooperation among international law-enforcement groups. If these groups cooperate to make cyberspace more secure against criminal intrusions, their work will also make cyberspace more secure against military campaigns, American officials say."

5 eyes is doing such a great job of being like some stupid chorus line in a bad movie... all of them are beholden to the usa and the usa, as noted above - doesn't need any proof... what does that say about the usa?

willful blindness...

Posted by: james | Feb 16 2018 17:04 utc | 22

"The term Runet was coined in Israel in the spring of 1997 by an Israeli resident and Russian-language speaker from Baku, Azerbaijan...."

I've stopped reading at this. It is just filthy lie created by amerkkans.

Posted by: Partisan | Feb 16 2018 17:08 utc | 23

A small cause for celebration here in the UK:

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Feb 16 2018 17:13 utc | 24

@24 shakesvshav - it's a good thing they weren't caught up in some allegation based in sweden which the swedes wanted to drop, but the uk/usa discouraged them from doing... i am thinking of julian assange here - stuck in the eqaudor embassy in the uk.. craig murray did a couple of articles on this the past few days which kind of makes one want to puke especially if one lives in the uk...

nice to see an opportunity for celebration come your way!

Posted by: james | Feb 16 2018 17:18 utc | 25

@integer 15 " I expect this was another Ukrainian false flag; a cyber warfare version of MH17"

Not as crazy as it sounds. Hell, the CIA and SBU literally share a building! And this code apparently does not have the hallmark elegance of Russian hackers. Why not get a good swipe at Russian businesses, while destroying enough data (evidence) in Ukraine to cover a multitude of sins (just like at least one of the ammo dump explosions is strongly suspected as having been intentionally set to cover up missing inventory which now no doubt resides in Syria). And then the icing on the cake is to get to blame Russia and try to bolster rapidly failing support for sanctions. A lot more plausible than a half-baked Russian attack.

Posted by: J Swift | Feb 16 2018 17:22 utc | 26

An admiral says;China will conflict the world.graun.Another day in paradise.

Posted by: dahoit | Feb 16 2018 18:04 utc | 27

ot - just in - "A US federal grand jury has indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities accused of interfering with US elections and political processes, according to the Special Counsel's office.

The indictment accuses the defendants of "supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump...and disparaging Hillary Clinton."

Posted by: james | Feb 16 2018 18:12 utc | 28

Just more "Russia did it" deflection, along with blaming all the ills in the corporate capitalist empire on immigrants, poor people, and folks of color, when the real problems are caused by the greedy and malignant uber wealthy, who make our foreign and domestic policies by buying politicians.

Posted by: ben | Feb 16 2018 18:33 utc | 29

Article dahoit @27 referred to is here
"The navy admiral nominated to be the next US ambassador to Australia has told Congress America must prepare for the possibility of war with China, and said it would rely on Australia to help uphold the international rules-based system in the Asia-Pacific."

Pentagon thinktank Rand has already planned the siege of China, which must take place within the next five years, otherwise china military will be to advanced for US to win in the Asia pacific.
PDF here. War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable

War, hot or cold, against China/Russia combined? Hard to see how long this new hot/cold war will run for, but I think when it is over the US will be broken.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 16 2018 18:45 utc | 30

BREAKING: Mueller indicts non-existent Internet Research Agency, also known as Putin's Troll Factory in Saint Petersburg.

Mueller Accuses Russians of Pro-Trump, Anti-Clinton Meddling - Bloomberg

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller unveiled the details of a widespread and coordinated campaign by Russians to influence the U.S. presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, delivering on his initial mandate by the Justice Department.

In an indictment disclosed in Washington on Friday, Mueller describes a sweeping, years-long, multimillion-dollar conspiracy by hundreds of Russians aimed at criticizing Hillary Clinton and supporting Senator Bernie Sanders and Trump. He charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities and accused them of defrauding the U.S. government by interfering with the political process.

The Internet Research Agency, a Russian organization, and the defendants began working in 2014 to interfere in U.S. elections, according to the indictment. They used false personas and social media while also staging political rallies and communicating with “unwitting individuals” associated with the Trump campaign, it said.

Click here to read the indictment in full.

The documents point to a broader conspiracy beyond the pages of the indictment, saying the grand jury has heard about other people with whom the Russians allegedly conspired in their efforts.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Feb 16 2018 19:36 utc | 31

The President of the U.S.A, Mr. Vacant? His name is everywhere. Virtually every foreign affairs department employes him.

On top of that the world is still waiting for Mr. Trump to appoint 57 ambassadors as well.

And yet we are talking about cyberattacks, Russia, NK, Iran and so on. They are foreign countries. You need staff to communicate with them. The US needs firewalls in the shape of human beings installed overseas. Mr. Vacant is knackered. Who is in charge of America? What's going on in America? Somebody is having them on, I'm telling you.

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Feb 16 2018 19:40 utc | 32

There indeed doesn't seem to be a motive to why the Russian authorities would launch a cyber attack that economically disrupts both itself, allies and other countries. Either the virus writers didn't care for a solution, hoped that a solution that never works might panic the victims even more so they make more cash transfers or enjoyed reaping money while seeing their victims suffer of something where there is no solution for. The last 2 reasons are short term because news that there is no solution for the ransomware will stop victims from making cash transfers. More convincing would be a cyber attack initiated by USA authorities that would hit already crumbling Ukraine businesses even further and create even more mistrust between Ukraine and Russia.

And the USA has indeed thoroughly developed means to falsely laying blame for cyber attacks it actually performs itself (next to it's proven credentials of falsely laying blame with chemical and terrorist attacks). On 31 March 2017:

WikiLeaks published hundreds of more files from the Vault 7 series today which, it claims, show how CIA can mask its hacking attacks to make it look like it came from other countries, including Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.

Dubbed "Marble," the part 3 of CIA files contains 676 source code files of a secret anti-forensic Marble Framework, which is basically an obfuscator or a packer used to hide the true source of CIA malware.

The CIA's Marble Framework tool includes a variety of different algorithm with foreign language text intentionally inserted into the malware source code to fool security analysts and falsely attribute attacks to the wrong nation.


The White House has condemned the revelations made by Wikileaks, saying that those responsible for leaking classified information from the agency should be held accountable by the law.

WikiLeaks Reveals 'Marble' Source Code that CIA Used to Frame Russia and China

The source code shows that Marble has test examples not just in English but also in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi. This would permit a forensic attribution double game, for example by pretending that the spoken language of the malware creator was not American English, but Chinese, but then showing attempts to conceal the use of Chinese, drawing forensic investigators even more strongly to the wrong conclusion, --- but there are other possibilities, such as hiding fake error messages.

WikiLeaks: Marble Framework

When the White House (doesn't matter who's ostensibly in charge) claims leaker's like Julian Assange should be accountable by the law, it of course means the malleable arbitrary law which none of the serpents in the White House, Langley, ... are accountable to.

Posted by: xor | Feb 16 2018 19:54 utc | 33

The common denominator of much of Western Russia reporting and of all Russian hoax stories is that they lack falsifiability. Something mysterious happened on the other side of the world in al-Qaeda or ISIS controlled areas. No eyewitnesses or photographs exist. All the participants were forbidden to carry cameras or mobile phones or to tell about it to anyone. Yet we know Russians did it. Or even worse, Putin personally ordered it!

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Feb 16 2018 20:12 utc | 34

So Mueller indict russians for... talking about the american election in russia? What farce have this become?

Posted by: Anon | Feb 16 2018 20:15 utc | 35

@33 xor.. excellent post.. thanks.. i really agree with you here - "More convincing would be a cyber attack initiated by USA authorities that would hit already crumbling Ukraine businesses even further and create even more mistrust between Ukraine and Russia."

and that is backed up by the wikileaks data you share, but - "none of the serpents in the White House, Langley, ... are accountable to.' ain't that the truth as well..

Posted by: james | Feb 16 2018 20:21 utc | 36

re:So Mueller indict russians for... talking about the american election in russia? What farce have this become? Posted by: Anon | Feb 16, 2018 3:15:09 PM | 35
Farce is certainly the operative word; two of the 13 Russians are the former head of Moscow Police and the other is a restaurateur friend of Putin.
And if there were " millions" spent then their is a financial paper trail certainly. Can't wait to see it...My favorite parts of this indictment: 1. Trump and his campaign are no longer involved, 2. the Russians did NOT influence the election, 3. they were supposedly advocating for Bernie as well as Trump.
Lastly,so much "news" in the last few days; we have a possible Florida false flag, Russia hacking the world and now this. What are we not meant to see?? My first thought is they are moving forward with the Syrian chemical attack psy op; next week perhaps?

Posted by: frances | Feb 16 2018 20:33 utc | 37


Yeah, apparentlty these Russians sought to expand the political commentary and voice support for candidates, how is this even illegal? Ridiculous but this will give the anti-russia actors 100% more fuel for decades to come. That Trump will even talk with Putin is out of the question by now unfortunately. WW3 just came closer sigh.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 16 2018 20:40 utc | 38

francis @37

One of the best bits about the indictement is the mention ;"arranging for a Real US person to stand in front of the White House in the district of Colombia with a sign that read; "Happy 55th birthday dear boss" (May 29, in 2016)" America must have trembled. (or maybe they were shaking with laughter?).

Posted by: stonebird | Feb 16 2018 20:49 utc | 39

People read these accusational headlines, probably just the headlines, and it acts as a virus and penetrates the membrane of the collective subconscious, without even a moments thought to question the assertion. In time, the virus breaks down the will of the rational consumer to weigh evidence fairly, though it is also aided by further bombardment of fake news, which increases the rate of infection. The virus then blossoms into a fairly beautiful and uniform flower with clean, geometric edges and universal appeal which catches the gaze of others and so is able to double the rate of infection from this secondary source. This flower, the Ruskiesdidittous, is the result of haphazard propogation, though its ability to survive and thrive is notable due to a carrier population already enfeebled by a diet of Dr. Pepper and a lack of discernible vegetables.

I tremble for my countrymen.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 16 2018 21:14 utc | 40

...adding to the remarks in #40...

The indictment includes charges not yet proven in a court of law, yet prominent Americans are treating the indictment as fact. from CNN:

>House Speaker Paul Ryan called the Russians' alleged actions "a conspiracy to subvert the process, and take aim at democracy itself." "We have known that Russians meddled in the election, but these indictments detail the extent of the subterfuge," Ryan said in a statement.

>Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement that given the indictments, Trump should "immediately" implement the Russia sanctions that Congress passed last summer to punish Moscow for its election meddling. "The administration needs to be far more vigilant in protecting the 2018 elections, and alert the American public any time the Russians attempt to interfere," Schumer said.

>House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that the indictments "make absolutely clear" that Russians tried to influence the presidential election to support Trump's campaign and continue to try to interfere with our elections. "We are on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections," the statement added. "There is no time to waste to defend the integrity of our elections and our democracy."

>Robby Mook, Clinton's former campaign manager, tweeted: "The intelligence community has repeatedly told us Russia meddled. Now criminal indictments from DOJ. We were attacked by a foreign adversary. Will our Congress and President stand strong and take action? Or let it happen again?"

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 16 2018 21:25 utc | 41

My rebuttal of Pelosi's statement @41--

There has never been any "integrity" in US elections, nor is there such a thing as "democracy" within the USA.

IMO, Congresscritters have never before looked and acted so damn stupid--clearly they are merely mutts being led by a leash and told to bray at a moon called Russia.

The Outlaw US Empire totally lacks integrity and clearly isn't a democracy; it is merely another of history's failed empires destroyed by its own hubris; it really needs to gouge its eyes out and wander in the forest until it dies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 16 2018 22:04 utc | 42

Scott Humor over on the Saker site has suggested that the Wagner thing is a Mossad op. It certainly has legs this one. Why would Russians call themselves Wagner? But for Israelis Wagner has the perfect anti-semitic meme, if I am using meme correctly…

Posted by: Lochearn | Feb 16 2018 22:12 utc | 43

Pelosi and camp finds dissent 'foreign'. they need some foreign place to lay the blame.

Posted by: foo | Feb 16 2018 22:25 utc | 44

There is a problem with Grand Juries:

>Though the grand jury has existed in the United States since the colonial period, and the FIFTH AMENDMENT to the U.S. Constitution requires its use in federal criminal proceedings, it has come under increasing attack. Critics charge that it no longer serves the functions the Framers intended, and therefore should be abolished. Defenders admit there may be some problems with it today, but contend that these can be remedied.

>In reviewing evidence of criminal wrongdoing, a grand jury is supposed to act as a shield against ill-conceived or malicious prosecutions. Yet critics charge that grand juries typically rubber-stamp the prosecution's moves, indicting anyone the prosecutor cares to bring before it.

>Those who favor ABOLITION of the grand jury argue that the domination of the prosecutor has led to a passivity that destroys the legitimacy of the grand jury concept. Most grand jurors have little background in law and must rely on the prosecutor to educate them about the applicable law and help them apply the law. In addition, at the federal level, there are very complex criminal laws, like the RACKETEER Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute. Even lawyers find many of these laws difficult to fathom, yet grand jurors are expected to understand them and apply them to intricate fact situations. Not surprisingly, charge the critics, the grand jury tends to follow the prosecution's advice.. . .here

Probably in this case the jurors were given the "trust us, we know and have decided" treatment that has worked so well on many other people who should know better, and probably do, but they have been corrupted too. Without a trial, we'll never get the truth, but that's nothing new.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 16 2018 23:03 utc | 45

I like the comparison with the Powell vial lie b

I am now convinced that the preparations being made are for the US to declare bankruptcy as the alternative to nuclear war. I assume that the elite have been preparing since 2008 and have positioned their assets around the world as best they can.

We will have the best circus of bankruptcy court that "money" can buy and us pond scum will not be at the table.

Will the no birth control for us and genocide for you religion continue? It seems like the events are taking on a frantic tone so maybe a watershed event is close.....or whatever it takes to brainwash the masses into compliance.

America has become a shameful excuse for world leadership. Now representing the worst of human treatment toward each other instead of representations of our best sharing and cooperation toward advancement of our species.

Make finance a public utility instead of the lifeblood for the vampires of private finance that own our money system currently.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 16 2018 23:08 utc | 46

The United States, which has interfered in the domestic affairs of nearly every country on the planet, including not only elections but armed attacks, government overthrows and assassinations, was terribly hurt by some Facebook ads placed by people who conspired to defraud this helpless government. The horrors!

from the indictment

From in or around 2014 to the present, in the Dustrict of Columbia and elsewhere, Defendants, together with others known and unknown to the grand Jury, knowingly and intentionally conspired to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of State in administering federal requirements for disclosure of foreign involvement in certain domestic activities. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 16 2018 23:18 utc | 47

Peter A U 30
There is no appetite on the part of the Australian people for any form of war with China . It would essentially be a war over trade and development for U S interests - not Australias .
The anti Chinese propaganda in Australia is intense but much of it is indirectly controlled from the U S .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Feb 16 2018 23:20 utc | 48

"I am now convinced that the preparations being made are for the US to declare bankruptcy as the alternative to nuclear war."
Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 16, 2018 6:08:38 PM | 46
There is an excellent video online done by a Univeristy's Business School PhD who with a group of students audited the publicly available US Budget records of its payments to several, but not all military. I believe he audited the payments and records of the Navy and US Army.
He found massive amounts of money being transferred to them that were not only not included in the Fed budget for the year but were payments made with absolutely no documentation, nothing. One item in particular was an 800 million dollar payment for nothing.
He brought these discrepancies to the attention of the Budget Office. He received no response, however the public records he and his team had audited? They disappeared from the Budget Office website.
What did he and his team estimate the total real debt of all of the US Military to be? Ready?? 41 Trillion since 1998.
So yes, I think there is a deliberate, planned effort well underway to bankrupt the US. I think it it will happen during Trump's presidency and, as was done in and to Greece, the IMF and World Bank will come to "help" and the US will be, as Greece before it, stripped of all pensions, social programs, all publicly held assets will be sold and the 2050 plan of splitting the US into regions may be put into effect.
We are in very, very serious trouble. I remember a question asked of Mao, what did he think of the US and he replied, "It is too soon to tell." He was right.
Thank you to Annon 38 and Stonebird 39 for their replies to my earlier post. And thank you b for your thoughtful, reasoned posts.

Posted by: frances | Feb 16 2018 23:26 utc | 49

In follow on to my 49 post: here is a link (below) about the study. Their initial work found 21 trillion missing, there is further work done by his team and associates that estimate the amount "missing" in the budget to be 41 trillion since 1998.

Posted by: frances | Feb 17 2018 0:34 utc | 50

Way OT here, but want to put this down after hearing a report from one of the Pacifica Radio stations KPFA (Berkeley). The story was about the seed bank that was located in Aleppo, Syria -- here is some background to this seed bank.

The main thrust of the KPFA story is that after the "rebels" conquered Aleppo a few years ago one of the "rebel" commanders, who was a Syrian farmer in an earlier life, realized the importance of this seed bank and insured its safety during the period of the Takfiri occupation. This commander, then saved this seed bank after the Syrian Army reconquered that region by moving the bank to Lebanon. That is the story sent out by Pacifica. Takfiri rebels protect the seed bank. Then they save it by sending it back to Lebanon. Oh, so evil Assad -- trying to destroy Syria's agricultural history.

That is the gist of the story as I recall it. KPFA at one time was one of the best radio stations in this country. It began in the early 1950s and I first started listening to it in the mid 1960s. It is now part of the anti-Assad, Russophobia and anti-Trump movement. So sad to see this change.

Posted by: ToivoS | Feb 17 2018 0:41 utc | 51

Don Bacon @ 45

I agree with what you say.

However, a little known fact of grand jury proceedings is that the grand jury has an absolute right to proceed independently of the prosecutor. Grand juries have on occasion--at least at the state level--told the prosecutor to take a hike and have hired their own attorney and have begun independent investigations outside of those sought by the prosecution. Some have even turned the tables and investigated the prosecutor.

Theoretically, the prosecutor is not the centerpiece of the system, the grand jury is. The prosecutor's role is to provide legal assistance. Indictments are brought in the name of the grand jury, not the prosecutor.

And of course, I recognize that in reality this is all nice-sounding stuff that is rarely if ever actually practiced, so I post this purely for informational purposes.

Posted by: sleepy | Feb 17 2018 0:44 utc | 52

Off-Guardian doing another “Comment Set Free” on the Guardian’s coverage of the Mueller indictment

Posted by: Neve | Feb 17 2018 1:52 utc | 53


Mueller's indictment rests on the false claim that the suspended 'Russia-connected' Twitter and Facebook accounts were controlled by a non-existent company and 13 Russian individuals in Saint Petersburg. The only thing that connects the anonymous U.S. accounts to Russia or the hoax "Internet Research Agency" is that they may have used some Russian VPN service to hide their identities from NSA and FBI spies.

Twitter and Facebook self suspended the accounts based on some connection to Russia, including use of Russian IP addresses or Cyrillic letters in administrator names. They had no way of knowing if all accounts were controlled from a single "troll factory" or if that troll factory was operated by a company named "Internet Research Agency". (If they had such information, they would have said so.)

The whole thing is hoax. It is impossible for Russians to impersonate American internet personalities, when they are unable to speak up in English under their own names. Russia does not have the people and skills needed to maintain English language accounts that would influence and resonate among the American audience and electorate - yet alone do this at a minimum wage in a "troll factory" sweatshop.

I personally know almost all pro-Russian English-speakers that have an influence on English language alternative and social media. None of them are Russians. If they ever were, they emigrated decades ago. There is no one that can translate Russian talking points from Russian society and media into the English speaking wold.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Feb 17 2018 2:46 utc | 54

I must say Garrie's Russiagate analysis is the best I've read; and as a person born within the Outlaw US Empire, it makes me sick while I nod my head in agreement. Sure, I can quibble with Garrie's interpretation of US History, but not with his analysis of recent US political history. I hope barflies can find 15 minutes or so to read his writing.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17 2018 3:18 utc | 55

The bullshit indictment against a mob of nondescript Russians appears to have come outta nowhere with little of the carefully planted 'leaks' DoJ favours to give resonance to their deceits until one examines the contemporaneous media environment.
It seems that this nonsense was hurried out in an attempt to break the news-cycle of the latest school shooting where surfacing evidence of fbi incompetence has led florida's duckshoving governor to demand fbi director Christopher Wray's immediate resignation.

Apparently not only was the fbi

"warned about Nikolas Cruz in September of last year after he commented on YouTube bragging that he was going to become a “professional school shooter.” However, despite Cruz posting under his own name, the agency said they couldn’t identify the user who made the threat, according to Robert Lasky, the FBI agent in charge of the Miami division."

it gets worse

"“On January 5, 2018, a person close to Nikolas Cruz contacted the FBI’s Public Access Line (PAL) tipline to report concerns about him. The caller provided information about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.

“Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life. The information then should have been forwarded to the FBI Miami Field Office, where appropriate investigative steps would have been taken."

What the fuck has the florida governor been smoking? He is a professional vote touting politician and must know that the fbi isn't tasked with protecting innocents. If it was the Sackler family would have been locked up 20 years ago. No, the fbi's chief function is to frame innocents, especially innocent unwhite practitioners of Islam in their ongoing effort to provide 'substance' to the deceits propounded daily by politicians and the 'news' media.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 17 2018 4:01 utc | 56

The U.S. is no stranger to interfering in the elections of other countries

The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it's done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University. That number doesn't include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn't like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 17 2018 4:01 utc | 57

@frances # 49
I remember a question asked of Mao,
what did he think of the US and he replied,
"It is too soon to tell." He was right.

Ghandi was allegedly once asked what he
thought about Western Civilization.
He responded with:

"I believe that would be a good thing."

Sadly though, it surpasses the masses'
capacity to fathom the degree of degression
that is perpetrated on Western societies
by the hands of the trillionaire/billionaire
class through their unsuspecting, willful
obedient servants at all levels of the
regime's interfaces with the formerly
called 'public'.
Recent experiences with botched up paperwork
that cost me a lot of money and caused
tremendous distress, were commented with:
"Oh, yes, I see. That's really bad. But there
is nothing I can do."

If anything, all this is reminiscent of George
Orwell's description of the 'machine'. It no
longer answers to anybody, rejects any form of
responsibility and liability, catering exclusively
to the aforementioned hyper rich class.

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Feb 17 2018 4:10 utc | 58

nottheonly1 @58

During Richard Nixon's visit to Beijing in 1972, the Chinese premier, Zhou Enlai, was asked about the impact of the French Revolution. Zhou famously commented that it was 'too early to say'. The witticism quickly became a way of emphasising the Chinese ability to take the long view in history.

There is some debate whether he was thinking of 1789, or the more recent 1968 disturbances in France.

Posted by: zakukommander | Feb 17 2018 4:21 utc | 59

nottheonly1 | Feb 16, 2018 11:10:10 PM | 58
Remember this:

The future is a boot smashing a human face forever. George Orwell 1984

Posted by: V. Arnold | Feb 17 2018 4:25 utc | 60

@ karlof1 with the Garrie article link...thanks

Let me quote his Russia section
Back to Russia

In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan called the USSR an “evil empire” and today’s Russia is referred to in even more insulting terms by members of both major American parties. Yet, how was it that Russia turned the United States into a country where the rich rule and in spite of elections, end up ruling in the same way as their opponents from other political parties?

The answer is that Russia has had no impact on this. It is for this reason that a federal indictment against 13 Russian citizens (none of whom are related to the Russian government) on charges that they sought to influence American democracy through fraud, is a farce. How can one use fraud to influence something which itself is fraudulent? If American elections are shams where two wealthy individuals battle over personal differences only to then enact the same policies as their predecessors, how can this be called a legitimately representative system in any way?

Trump's appeal is to the Faith Breathers of our world, religious and otherwise of faith over reason. Just like those religious folks get followers to believe they have the way, Apprentice plutocrat Trump is playing the patriarchy and religious strings loudly.

As I see fellow Americans start to wake up I only hope the elite don't manage to take the intertubes away from those looking for truth outside the MSM propaganda firehoses before enough are awakened.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 17 2018 4:31 utc | 61

I believe Mao spoke about the 1789 revolution.
The results are still out...

The boot in the face of humanity is leaving
bad scar tissue. Will humanity be able to
rid itself of the boot - attempting to put
some makeup to cover the obvious abuse, or
keep staring into the mirror, stating:
"Shit. I need to get out of this."?

Finally, I will believe that people wake
up, when they step on their spiPhones
and spin their bodies like Derwishes.

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Feb 17 2018 5:12 utc | 62

nottheonly1 | Feb 17, 2018 12:12:15 AM | 62

That, or forever war, or both.
I think our future is our past.
True mirrors are not made of glass; they don't exist outside ourselves...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Feb 17 2018 5:56 utc | 63

In the indictment, one example is cited...
"b. For example, on or about May 29, 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators, through an ORGANIZATION-controlled social media account, arranged for a real U.S. person to stand in front of the White House in the District of Columbia under false pretenses to hold a sign that read "Happy 55th Birthday Dear Boss." Defendants and their co-conspirators informed the real U.S. person that the sign was for someone who "is a leader here and our boss ... our funder." PRIGOZHIN's Russian passport identifies his date of birth as June 1, 1961."
Paragraph 12 b of the indictment at this link. russia/553601/

Poor fucker couldn't even get the date right. Or perhaps the sign referred to somebody else... like John Franklin Kennedy, whose birthday fell on 29 may.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 17 2018 6:10 utc | 64

So any yank that reveres pre-hegemon US is a fuckin Russian? By driving them mad like this, the god of mammon must surely be pissed off with the neo-cons.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 17 2018 6:13 utc | 65

Peter AU 1 | Feb 17, 2018 1:13:32 AM | 65

I'm curious; when was the U.S. not a hegemon?

Posted by: V. Arnold | Feb 17 2018 6:51 utc | 66

V. Arnold
Prior to WWII. Then it was just a very aggressive regional power.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 17 2018 6:59 utc | 67

V. Arnold
But I have noticed that a number of US commenters on these blogs look back on the killing of JFK as a change of era.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 17 2018 7:01 utc | 68

63 "I think our future is our past."
Our character, as humans.
Copy paste..
"As the great parliamentarian Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” In 1968"

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 17 2018 7:10 utc | 69

Peter AU 1 | Feb 17, 2018 2:01:56 AM | 68
But I have noticed that a number of US commenters on these blogs look back on the killing of JFK as a change of era.

I tend towards that pov; for myself, it marked the emergence of the deep state into, if not the open, then a surfacing of types.

As to US hegemon; it can be traced back beyond WWI; say the landing of the pilgrims in 1620.
The history of the U.S., followed from there, is an unbroken pattern of behavior to this very day. Hegemons, after all, have to start somewhere.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Feb 17 2018 7:11 utc | 70

The US seems to have arrived at where it is due to its culture rather than a plan from the beginning. A natural progression of its aggressive pre WWII culture

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 17 2018 7:44 utc | 71

V. Arnold, and Peter AU 1

Possibly pre Monroe Doctrine. Assuming you discount the indiginous population for no good reason.

Posted by: Blue | Feb 17 2018 7:45 utc | 72

With the fall of Singapore, the reigns of empire were simply dumped in the US lap. The black sheep of Rule Britannica's progeny.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 17 2018 7:47 utc | 73

@ Partisan

Ukraine's future, as seen by Poroshenko and the Social-National Assembly, was dependent on receiving military aid from the US in order to wipe out Novorossiya. This military aid was dependent on Clinton winning the 2016 US election. Once Trump won the election, Ukraine needed to find a way to rally support from the international community, and international condemnation of Russia amounts to international support for those who are (supposedly) being attacked by Russia. Hence it is highly likely, in my opinion at least, that the NotPetya cyber attack was a Ukrainian false flag operation designed specifically to further damage Russia's international relations.

Posted by: integer | Feb 17 2018 8:05 utc | 74

Peter AU

"So any yank that reveres pre-hegemon US is a fuckin Russian? By driving them mad like this, the god of mammon must surely be pissed off with the neo-cons."

Actually ANY man in this world that criticize the hegemon politicians like Clinton could be indicted by the US. That is what just happend. Think of that.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 17 2018 8:09 utc | 75

Blue | Feb 17, 2018 2:45:37 AM | 72

That's why I date it as 1620; the indiginious population counts for a lot...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Feb 17 2018 8:12 utc | 76

Peter AU 1 | Feb 17, 2018 2:47:56 AM | 73

You make it sound so passive; it was anything but.

Peter AU 1 | Feb 17, 2018 2:44:26 AM | 71

Oh, I have little doubt it was planned; the proclivity towards violence just helped it along.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Feb 17 2018 8:17 utc | 77

Anon 75
I have thought of that. It has been happening for some time. What is happening now is perhaps new, but also goes back to the days in the US of McCarthyism. That was one extreme vs the other. Collective/great leap forward style communism vs extreme capitalism.
Now the US have no opposite extreme to fight against. China is communist in government structure only and Russia is totally pragmatic rather than bounded by ideology.
Nowadays, of the world powers, it is only the US that is bounded by ideology.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 17 2018 8:27 utc | 78

Posted by: Peter AU
Posted by: V. Arnold | Feb 17, 2018 2:11:50 AM | 70

I've tended to believe that the englander empire and the amerikan empire are an evolution rather than two separate entities.
As V. Arnold opines amerika has been moving towards here and now from the moment those loony toons god botherers rocked up to Virginia. Amerika was the ideal opportunity for the greedies to get the model for world domination right, do it by exerting control over the population at the start of it all. Wipe out the indigenous population, use slaves to do the heavy lifting while indoctrinating the bourgeoisie into freedom through work nonsense from the get go.

Anecdotal evidence is meaningless but when I consider the mindset of my forebears and why they moved to Aotearoa it gives some insight as they came out from about 1850 onwards after having made a conscious decision to spend quite a lot more on a passage than getting to amerika would cost, yet they knew they could never become the 19th century version of global billionaire - the country was too small and its likely population insufficient to make success on such a scale possible.
The same is true of many migrants who picked Australia, although in some cases that choice was influenced by a belief that Australia would become like amerika, it was as large as amerika, and likely full of the same opportunities for resource exploitation I have sometimes wondered if that is one of the causes of the rather pronounced dichotomy running through Australian culture. That is most people went there for a 'better life' but one that wasn't as cruelly focused on material gain, however, some particularly those in lowly but ambitious to move up, positions of power, desires were rather different. This has led to conflicts as far back as the the 1850 rebellion at Eureka Stockade. When the 'normals' seeking a better life without extremes in either behaviour or material gain took on the grasping bureaucrats of the Ballarat goldfields.

amerikans Australians and kiwis all originated from the same basic western european stock but until the 'global village' - exacerbated by the 'net, had markedly different ambitions for their society.
The demarcation is lessening as each year passes now, of course that is true of everyone on this planet. Obviously there is no hard and fast rule many didn't get to pick where they moved to as family, personal and legal committments far removed from the determination or lack of it to make a buck, decided where to go as well.

Stil back to the original issue which is the somewhat unusual way that global control was hand-balled from england to amerika. I am unaware of any other instance where a power hand-off has seemed so bloodless - from the point of those holding the power, of course the oppressed got to spill lots of blood, but unusually the elites in power didn't even try to draw each others' blood during the changeover.
What was with that? If it wasn't collusion how else can it be explained?

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 17 2018 8:37 utc | 79

Blue 72
Here in Australia we also wiped out most of the indigenous population who populated this uninhabited land. The offspring of Britannica were a savage lot. The Maoris gave as good as they got so the brits signed a treaty. In the early days, bounties were paid on Tasmanian blackfella's. Like now in places, a bounty is paid on a dingo scalp (I don't have an issue with the bounty on dingoes in the regions where they are paid).

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 17 2018 8:41 utc | 80

Debsisdead | Feb 17, 2018 3:37:56 AM | 79

An evolution, or perhaps father handing power to son would be correct.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 17 2018 9:03 utc | 81

Debsisdead @79: re: bloodless handover

I wouldn't call it collusion.   TPTB from the Old World had an exit plan to relocate to America should matters take a turn for the worse, which it did.   After the smoke cleared and dust settled, only the US and Soviet Union were left standing with a military of significance.   Anyone that tried to resist TPTB had to make a choice, the US or SU.   Then there is the economic side to it as well.   Could both North Korea and Syria be the "Suez Crisis" for the US?

Posted by: Ian | Feb 17 2018 9:12 utc | 82

Ian 82
US entered WWII as a regional power and exited it holding 75% of the worlds wealth.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 17 2018 9:33 utc | 83

Not connected to this article, or is it ?
Reports surface that the FBI indeed were alerted to recent school shooter. This is the umpteenth time they fail to avert domestic violence/terrorism, even when alerted to it.
What is going on here ? It is a slow dismantling of American democracy, trust in institutions that should have been above.
Finding a perpetrator or an enemy is necessary, Russia is at hand, always Russia, revoking the past fears of the former USSR. The US is in dire need of another war. Soon.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Feb 17 2018 10:10 utc | 84

Den Lille Abe | Feb 17, 2018 5:10:28 AM | 84

The U.S. of America is what I call a Potemkin Democracy; behind the facade is the truth. The Military Industrial Complex; there is no, and hasn't been a democracy for some time now; years at least; possibly decades (5+).
November 22, 1963 omes to mind. Think about it...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Feb 17 2018 10:36 utc | 85

Peter AU

Indeed, China is almost hailed today even though its "evil communists" is in charge, but I guess its just a matter of time before the media, western politicians jump on that too, sigh.

This hysteria on Russia seems to be worse than McCartyhism, history repeats itself and no one seems to care. Thats what demonization of russians, or rather, any dissent leads to.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 17 2018 10:41 utc | 86

Australia constitutionally has the monarch of England as head of state. Well fuck me, the queen of England, Elton john now rules oz. Nah cant be. US has its dick so far up the oz politicians arse, they can't do anything else.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 17 2018 10:48 utc | 87

Hysteria keeps on,

Social Media Giants Vow to Cooperate Closely With US Authorities in Russiagate

This will blow up i the western world where Twitter/Facebook work with western intelligence to spy and idict people, how many years before you will be in jail for spreading dissent?

Posted by: Anon | Feb 17 2018 10:54 utc | 88

Anon 88
Well why not direct the link direct to sputnik rather than some junk website. You another of these clowns shivering in their boots over fear of the US empire?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 17 2018 11:06 utc | 89

Dem Rep Nadler: Russian Election Attack ‘Equivalent’ to Pearl Harbor

Posted by: Anon | Feb 17 2018 12:45 utc | 90

Nowadays, of the world powers, it is only the US that is bounded by ideology.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 17, 2018 3:27:55 AM | 78

USA, American meida and majority of Americans are the most ideology-trenched lot in the world when compared to the rest of the world.

Posted by: mali | Feb 17 2018 13:43 utc | 91

If anyone has any doubts of the effect of chronic public stress positioning and propaganda, look to Rodham and McCain's Libyan War, then transfer of heavy arms and covert funds to al Nusra, the Caliph and I$I$ in Syria, the New American Century Oil Crusades, and the utter and breathless stupidity of American knuckledraggers marching off to die in the Great Sandbox, so billionaire Globalists can snigger on Business Insider that the 'Russians did it's: Russian military contractors reportedly tried to test the US military in Syria — but they got whooped

Posted by: Chipnik | Feb 17 2018 16:32 utc | 92

re: Americans are the most ideology-trenched lot in the world
We attended a bluegrass festival on a recent weekend, as we often do. It included an increasingly common request: "All veterans please stand." And on this occasion the bandleader went further than most. "Thank you for your service, you have preserved our freedom". . .that's normal, and then the kicker: "Without your service we wouldn't be able to enjoy bluegrass festivals." (The bandleader had advised us earlier that he is a "duly elected sheriff.")
That's what makes America special.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 17 2018 16:33 utc | 93

You Aussies better fasten your seat belts because Harry Harris will be coming your way.
from The Australian

Donald Trump has formally endorsed the the head of US Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris, as the next US ambassador to Australia. The move is likely to anger Beijing, given Admiral Harris’s hawkish views on China, but it will be seen as a coup by the Turnbull government to have such a well qualified and senior former US military officer in the role at a time of growing strategic uncertainty in the region.

"Well qualified" . . .that's a good one. Well qualified at covering up and sucking up, that is, but not at diplomacy at all. Trumbull wants more strategic uncertainty, he will have it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 17 2018 16:42 utc | 94

85 and 93
After the 2008 illegal fraudulent synthetic CDO gambling blowup that destroyed the home equity of 100,000,000 Americans and crashed the economy, I got called in on Xmas Eve during a blizzard, 3 hours each way on crowded public transport, to get pink-slipped, no parachute.

Left for Asia-Pacific construction work, 5 years OCONUS, lost the family and home, and came back to live in a inner city flop house under Trump. I'm doing well, all things considered, but the DIFFERENCE in just that missing decade! The USA that I knew is gone. The number of homeless is staggering. There are still 100,000,000 upside down homes in receivership, and after sitting there for a decade, most are barely habitable. Rents start at $1,500, so all of the fixed income seniors are bunkered down, being riffed out by higher sales taxes, gasoline taxes, property taxes and food price hikes.

I keep wondering, living in my $750 16 sq m flop, should I hang on, or flee back to SE Asia, but my friends back there tell me the Chinese hot money condos are rising like death mushrooms, and traffic has ground to an absolute halt.

The legacy of that great 2008 Wall Street debacle, and Paulson's Big Lie about tanks in the street, the legacy of TARP TBTF may be, under Trump, the Hot Money president, the final pitch into Deep Police State, not just in USA, but for much of the world.

And it all began with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Bankster Coup of 1999, then the Patriotic Act Police State Coup of 2001. From that moment, we should have all fled for other homes, like Europe before the Nazis. But people being people, hung on. God, imagine the poor Ukranians, and the dual-Israeli Coup, privatizing all the farmlands and heavy industries with IMF/WB loans, and $50B that McCain and Kerry-John simply looted from the US Treasury.

And now the New Cold War. Breathtaking!

Posted by: Chipnik | Feb 17 2018 16:54 utc | 95

It's an excellent discussion in this thread, thanks to all. I greatly appreciate the perspectives on the imperial succession, and the long-ago plans for the New World.


@95 Chipnik

That's been the question for many I think: where to go to get out of this collapsing house of cards? And when? And why not long ago when the getting was good?


@55 karlof1

I'm impressed by what Garrie has become in the last year. He's amazingly prolific, and totally on fire. Some of his analyses are pure diamonds for clarity and knowledge. Having said that, I find some of his viewpoints a little over-assertive.

But I appreciate that he took the trouble to illustrate what a US democracy - if it should ever exist - would look like:

Imagine a real US democracy

If the US was a real democracy there would be between 10-20 major Presidential candidates who would not be allowed to use any private money on their campaigns. Each would have similarly styled websites and printed literature defining their policies and biography and each would be given the same amount of air time both individual and during debates.

The entire process would take three months which in an age of 24 hour media is more than enough time to become familiar with the personalities and positions involved.

If no candidate received over 50% of all votes during the first round of voting, subsequent rounds would be held, just as they are in countries like France….and Russia. If at any point in the career of a President, the people wanted to remove him, they could do so via popular referendum. Furthermore, all major issues, including and especially the deployment of troops to a war, would have to be decided via popular referendum, thus limiting the role of any would-be President. If anyone thinks this would cost too much, just consider the cost of war.

- Russia Continues To Be Blamed For The Fact That Most Americans Are Too Stupid To Realise The Only Thing Perfect About Their System Is That It’s Perfectly Rigged

I'm glad the thinking was done here. Somehow one has to hold on to thoughts and frameworks of how life could be organized - and yes, even with money as a public utility regulated by law - even as one surveys the disasters that greed and all the other poisoned ways of thinking have created in this world.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 17 2018 17:18 utc | 96


As a OCONUS Fed contractorvduring the last decade, I can attest with direct personal knowledge that all Pentagon civilians and military PII was hacked successfully in 2012. All of it. Pentagon advised 'Get Equifax'. Everyone duly gave All their PII to Equifax. Again, in 2013, all military contractor account, contracts and banking information was hacked. All of it, Boeing to Bubbah. Pentagon advised, 'Get Equifax'. This time, I didn't. I closed my Equifax account and shut down my contracting firm. Total wipe.

Thank God I did. The Equifax hack may, if fully disclosed, be the largest hack in US history AND it included every military and civilianbemployee of Pentagon AND all their contractors (except we lucky few).

The Pentagon is losing $10B's out the back door. They blew through their 2017 budget in only 7 months. Congress met in emergency session and gave them $54B patch. Now for 2018, the Pentagon budget is boosted +15% and they're demanding many $10aNd more for 2019. They can't find the hack. They can't stop the bleedout. They gave never been audited. They have no stop-loss in place. Https:// is the log of the Titanic

Pentagon and Health & Human Services bid for the same Fed $s, so this massive breach at Pentagon will be bled out of Health & Human Services in big $50B gulps, a TBTF TARP 2.

The effect of these twin TARPS is the greatest transfer of public wealth into private coffers in human history, and there is no crash-cart, no triage, no emergency surgery. Trump is the jackals and hyenas ripping at the bleeding, still alive writhing body of America.

And all we get from the 5th Column is: 'Russian military contractors reportedly tried to test the US military in Syria — but they got whooped!" WINNING!

Posted by: Chipnik | Feb 17 2018 17:21 utc | 97

One way to look at it would be that the Massively Sanitized Media is trying to reclaim its control over the masses. Said masses were unforgivably disobedient when they voted for Donald instead of Hillary, which was the opposite of what the MSM had instructed them to do. The masses needed to be broken, and brought back under the Yoke. So, to demonstrate that they are still in control, the MSM is trying to cram the absurdities of "Russia is Evil" and "Trump is Complicit" down their throats. These serfs must be put back in their place.

Posted by: blues | Feb 17 2018 18:05 utc | 98

==> Grieved | 12:18:11 PM | 96

"If the US was a real democracy there would be between 10-20 major Presidential candidates who would not be allowed to use any private money on their campaigns." -- Grieved

I address this in enormous detail at:

The Center for Election Science

Just look at the three "blues" entrees, and perhaps also the one by "wolftune".

Posted by: blues | Feb 17 2018 18:14 utc | 99

@55 karlof1... i will take a look at the article.. thanks!

@74 integer... that is what it looks like to me as well.. thanks...

@ debsisdead and others on the topic of - uk to usa hand over.. you guys forgot to include canada as one of the little poodles in that movement.. at any rate - interesting fact - the boe - bank of england essentially helped establish the federal reserve... the financial connection between these 2 banks was already in place.. the financial connections between the 2 countries is very deep.. essentially the uk and the usa are tied at the hip.. perhaps it isn't so much about the countries, as about who controls the money and what they want to do on the world stage... there is never a war that the usa didn't want, that the uk wouldn't immediately rubber stamp.. australia, new zealand and canada - are all just little poodles in this whole uk/usa mess as i see it..

Posted by: james | Feb 17 2018 18:15 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.