Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 27, 2019

Judge Identifies CIA Related Man Who Led The Raid On North Korea's Embassy In Spain

A Spanish judge released new information about a raid on the embassy of North Korea in Spain. The leader of the raid was a shady U.S. 'activist' who earlier reports from Spain associated with the CIA.

On March 13 the Spanish newspaper El Pais Spain reported that Spanish authorities identified two CIA related persons who took part in a raid of the North Korean embassy in Madrid. The raid happened on February 22, a few days before the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi, and seemed designed to influence that event. We asked Who Ordered The CIA To Assault North Korea's Embassy In Spain?

The embassy raid was no normal thievery. There were eight people in the embassy when it was raided at 3:00 PM local time. They were bound, bags were put over their heads and some were interrogated. The thieves left with computer hardware and the cellphones of the personnel.

The Spanish version of the El Pais piece included this detail (machine translated):

After analyzing the recordings of the security cameras in the area, questioning the hostages and analyzing the diplomatic vehicles used in the flight, it has been possible to identify some of the assailants. Although the majority were Koreans, at least two of them have been recognized by the Spanish information services for their links with the American CIA.
The indications that point to the US espionage service, in probable cooperation with that of South Korea, are so strong that Spanish interlocutors have contacted the CIA to ask for explanations. The response was negative, but "unconvincing", according to Government sources.

Two days after the El Pais report the Washington Post national security reporter claimed that the raid was done by a shady group of allegedly North Korean revolutionaries. The report was based on anonymous sources and a 'former' CIA analyst. The group was identified as Cheollima Civil Defense or Free Jaseon.

As the group and its website had all the signs of a CIA regime change front Moon of Alabama headlined:

    CIA Blames Its Proxy For Its Raid On North Korea's Embassy In Spain 

We also noted that the British Sun related the group to the South Korean spy service which is essentially a subsidiary of the CIA.

Yesterday a Spanish judge lifted the seal of the case and issued arrest warrants against two of the people involved in the raid:

De la Mata identified citizens of Mexico, the United States and South Korea as the main suspects being investigated on charges that include of causing injuries, making threats and burglary. He named Adrian Hong Chang, a Mexican citizen living in the United States, as the break-in’s leader.

Hong Chang flew to the U.S. on Feb. 23, got in touch with the FBI and offered to share material and videos with federal investigators, according to the court report.
While in Madrid, Hong Chang also applied for a new passport at the Mexican Embassy, the investigation found, and used the name “Oswaldo Trump” to register in the Uber ride-hailing app.
Others identified as part of the assailants’ group were Sam Ryu, from the U.S., and Woo Ran Lee, a South Korean citizen. Their whereabouts and their hometowns weren’t immediately known. None of the suspects were thought to be still in Spain, the judge wrote.

The New York Times adds:

Mr. Hong Chang left for Lisbon and then boarded a plane to Newark Liberty International Airport, where he landed on Feb. 23, according to Judge de la Mata. He said that Mr. Hong Chang got in touch with the F.B.I. and offered to share “audiovisual material” obtained during the embassy attack.

On March 20 the Cheollima Civil Defense group uploaded a new short video to its Youtube channel. It says "Recently, on our homeland's soil .." and then shows a man, face hidden, taking pictures of the deceased North Korean rulers Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il off a wall and smashing them on the floor. Embassy grounds are considered to be territory of the country they represent. It is likely that the video "on our homeland's soil" was made during the raid on the North Korean embassy in Spain.

After the Spanish judge's report appeared, the Cheollima entity published a Facts about Madrid pamphlet that confirmed its role and its contact with the FBI. It claims to feel betrayed:

No information about Madrid was shared with any parties with the expectation of any benefit or money in exchange. The organization shared certain information of enormous potential value with the FBI in the United States, under mutually agreed terms of confidentiality. This information was shared voluntarily and on their request, not our own. Those terms appear to have been broken.

Some time later, some journalists began writing speculative stories about the incident in Madrid, and the identities or affiliations of those involved, citing US government sources. That information was leaked to the media was a profound betrayal of trust. We ourselves never spoke to the media or shared any information with them.

We did not begin this work without full knowledge of the risks we bear. Freedom has already been paid with the blood of families and colleagues. Some of us will be imprisoned, tortured or killed in the course of this fight. But to share information that may help identify any of us who take risks to protect others is to aid and abet the regime in Pyongyang. The leaks and breaches of trust were abhorrent acts pursued in the name of political expediency, in service to a regime who has tortured and killed millions.

The person identified as leader of the raiding party, Adrian Hong Chang, is a known anti-North Korea activist. He usually goes under the name Adrian Hong, not Hong Chang as the AP and NYT reports claim:

Hong was the co-founder and Executive Director of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), an international NGO devoted to human rights in North Korea. In May 2006, LINK helped arrange the first asylum to be given to North Korean refugees by the US.

Hong was arrested and deported from China for his efforts to help North Korean refugees living in the country illegally.
In 2009, Hong was selected as a TED fellow and an Arnold Wolfers Fellow at Yale University.

Adrian Hong Chang via TED

A 2007 UN Human Rights Council paper (pdf) lists Hong as a member of Freedom House, a neo-conservative infested influence organization largely funded by the U.S. State Department.

Over the years Adrian Hong wrote several op-eds for U.S. outlets. A 2011 piece in Foreign Policy calls for violent regime change:

The time to topple the criminal government in Pyongyang is now. Here's how to do it.

The very progress of our global civilization is for naught if we continue to let the very idea of North Korea exist. North Korea is not a failed state, with warlords fighting for land and treasure. Its atrocities do not stem from factional fighting, crimes of passion, or mob violence. It is on another level entirely — a staggering system entirely built and mastered for the express purpose of propagating human suffering and ensuring the continued exploitation of the people so that the very few can benefit.

It is a moral obligation of the highest order that the international community intervene. What can be done, we must do — and now is the time.

Foreign Policy and other outlets introduce Adrian Hong as "Managing Director of Pegasus Strategies LLC". There are several companies under that name but none that seems to be related to Adrian Hong.

Cheollima, as the Adrian Hong's related regime change entity calls itself, is a mythical winged horse in Asian folklore. Pegasus is a winged horse in Greek mythology.

A 2016 San Diego Union Tribune piece introduces him as:

Hong, a San Diego native, is president of the Joseon Institute, an independent think tank undertaking policy-relevant research and planning in preparation for dramatic change on the Korean peninsula. He was imprisoned in China in 2006 for helping North Korean refugees escape.

At one point the Cheollima Civil Defense Group renamed itself to "Free Joseon". The Joseon dynasty ruled Korea from 1392 to 1897. It went down when Japan tried to gain control of the country which it achieved a few years later.

The Joseon Institute in New York(?) is preparing for regime change in North Korea:

The Joseon Institute draws on on cutting-edge research from the Korean Peninsula and the region, as well as international best practices and learnings from other sudden transitions in the past century, successful and failed, to best prepare for a new North Korea. A core team of scholars and staff in New York City works with a wide-network of world-class scholars, resident and non-resident fellows, policymakers, practitioners, researchers and volunteer collaborators around the world.

While much of the effort remains highly sensitive, the resulting research, blueprints and action plans will be provided to key government stakeholders invested in the future of the Korean Peninsula. Full cooperation, information sharing and assistance will be offered by the Joseon Institute to whatever entity is presiding over change.

While the Union Tribune introduces Adrian Hong as "president of Joseon Institute", the 'Institute's website says that the 'Leadership' of the group is "To be announced." Its 'Senior Fellows' and 'Fellows' are "Undisclosed." The site lists twelve 'Planning Commissions' and four 'Task Forces' but zero content or persons related to them. It lists more than 23 'currently available positions' but seems to have hired no one. The two 'Events' listed at the site are from 2015. It says that Facebook hosted an event on April 1 2015 in New York about Education In A New North Korea. The 'Event Overview' lists a "Introduction to the Joseon Institute - Adrian Hong". There is no evidence that the event took place. The latest 'News' item on the site is an August 10, 2017 Update From The Joseon Institute with lots of claims of work done but zero content or links that provide evidence of such work.

The board of advisors of the Joseon Institute consists of a former prime minister of Libya who was "elected" after the murder of Muhammad Ghaddafi, a former prime minister of Mongolia, and the conservative Member of the British Parliament Fiona Bruce. A 2011 Financial Times piece - Christian Tories rewrite party doctrine - associates Fiona Bruce with evangelical Christians. Evangelicals are involved in "rescuing" North Korean defectors in China, something that Cheollima entity and Adrian Wong also claim to have done.

One wonders if any of these persons know of the high honor bestowed on them by being named as advisor to the empty hull of a regime change 'Institute'.

The other persons involved in the raid, Woo Ram Lee and Sam Ryu, are unlike Adrian Hong not easily identifiable.

The case of Adrian Hong and the raid on the embassy in Madrid will likely escalate. The Washington Post notes that the Spanish judge seeks their extradition from the United States to Spain where they will face up to 28 years in prison.

The NYT adds that the group has evidently prepared for a legal fight:

Lee Wolosky, a former national security and State Department official in several American administrations, said he had been retained as legal counsel by the group, which he said was called the Provisional Government of Free Joseon, or Cheollima Civil Defense.

Wolosky is a high caliber lawyer who for many years served on the National Security Council. As private lawyer he was involved in several legal cases related to 'national security'. He at least once used a variant of graymailing, 'a defensive tactic in an espionage trial whereby the accused threatens to reveal secret information unless the charges are dropped':

Wolosky has led or co-led some of the firm's high-profile matters in recent years, including [...] Restis v United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), a precedent-setting private defamation case in which the United States Government asserted the state secrets privilege, resulting in a victory for Wolosky's client UANI.

Should Wolosky defend Adrian Hong in a legal fight against the Spanish extradition request he might threaten to reveal secrets the U.S. would not like to have published. The case would then be put down.

Hiring Wolosky must be expensive.

Adrian Hong and the Cheollima group, if it exists at all, have no apparent sources of income. One wonders through which routes the U.S. and/or South Korean secret services finance this game.

Posted by b on March 27, 2019 at 18:21 UTC | Permalink


b wrote; "While in Madrid, Hong Chang also applied for a new passport at the Mexican Embassy, the investigation found, and used the name “Oswaldo Trump” to register in the Uber ride-hailing app."

Geez, proof history is sometimes funnier than fiction.

And this from the article;" a staggering system entirely built and mastered for the express purpose of propagating human suffering and ensuring the continued exploitation of the people so that the very few can benefit."

There are those that would say, instead of a description of the DPRK, this could apply to the U$A's corporate empire..

Posted by: ben | Mar 27 2019 18:49 utc | 1

Here is a look at what one former American president had to say about trusting his own intelligence network:

With the technological changes in the world since this president's assessment of the U.S. intelligence community, it is not terribly surprising that there are elements that are seeking regime change around the world.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Mar 27 2019 18:51 utc | 2

Pegasus, hmm, where else have I heard that name recently? NSO? Just a coincidence I'm sure.

Thank you b.

Posted by: mourning dove | Mar 27 2019 18:54 utc | 3

@mourning dove


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 27 2019 19:35 utc | 4

Very good bit of information.

Totally plausible.

Just what might have been the aims of doing this?

Posted by: JOHN CHUCKMAN | Mar 27 2019 20:46 utc | 5

Mourning dove @ 3 its all over the place.. have a look < 10,000 workers returned.Mar 26, 2019 · <=china v NK v Trump missile tested on November 29, 2017, The Chollima Statue s symbole of advance of Korean society at the speed of the Chollima Chollima is an important symbol in North Korea . It is used as the nickname of its national association football team .

Russia, China tells U.N. ...

NK embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 9, 2017. China repatriates "more than half ... defector activities reported.
Chonma-ho (Pegasus) NK Main Battle Tank factories (MBT) -

Kim's Visits Xi China 2019
The National Animal Of North Korea Is A Chollima (Like a ... < cars made in NK serve in china. exports to Pacific-Rim..

Posted by: snake | Mar 27 2019 20:47 utc | 6

Can't get much Cold War 1-like it appears. Points out the large faction with a large vested interest in keeping Cold War 1-like tensions alive and kicking. That the main basis for all that is centered within the Outlaw US Empire seems a given.

All too often it's easy to forget that it's not the USA's federal government that's evil; rather, it's those who use the government as a tool that are the evil doers.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 27 2019 20:55 utc | 7

Jackrabbit 😉

Snake, this is what I was referring to -

Posted by: mourning dove | Mar 27 2019 21:13 utc | 8

US has become the quintessential Banana Republic. You don’t like a policy, you can have it changed and/or derailed by hiring people to influence or stage events, i.e false flags. You dont like a senator or a representative’s stance on an issue, pay lobbyist to change his mind, or change him/her altogether.

The figurehead we call the president has no power whatsoever against the established scenario written for him. He follows it or he will be smeared, and maybe even eliminated.

Government of the thugs, by the thugs, for the thugs. That is what we have become. A hopeless society with nowhere to go for help. Garden of Eden not.

Posted by: Alpi57 | Mar 27 2019 21:17 utc | 9

Wolosky is also the former U.S. Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure. In that capacity he had to be very highly security cleared and able to deal in highly secret ways with foreign governments.

Thanks for your excellent work on this! The operation stinks heavily of CIA. Possibly you have an asset who went off
the reservation. But given the amount of people involved and the ease
by which they fly around, interact with FBI, etc., one can only assume they are officially sanctioned and protected. How long has Adrian Hong been working for the CIA, assuming he is in this instance?

Posted by: Jeff Kaye | Mar 27 2019 21:21 utc | 10

Well, it is pleasant to see how trustworthy and willing-to-cooperate the USA is while preparing for the next Kim--Trump meeting. One could not sell this plot line to to any publisher.

Posted by: jrkrideau | Mar 27 2019 21:24 utc | 11

It' being reported that Trump has told the Russians that they must get out of Venezuela and that all options are on the table.

This kind of dumb talk makes war much more likely.

Posted by: Tsar Nicholas | Mar 27 2019 21:35 utc | 12

Joseon is a direct reference to the last Korean monarchy. There is a powerful tradition of emperor worship in Korea. There's already enough of that revived by the Kims.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 27 2019 21:38 utc | 13

thanks b... this is quite fascinating... obviously it wouldn't work for south korea and north korea to work out a mutually favourable end to the division they have experienced thanks the usa.. no.. the usa has to ensure that they can't reunite, or only on the terms that the usa dictates..

the espionage on the north korean embassy looks like a real screw up on the usa's part... i am sure the usa will use every measure to shut it down, or claim ignorance.. that is what exceptional nations do.. see @12 for another fine example..

Posted by: james | Mar 27 2019 21:41 utc | 14

Come on, this must be the worst-executed 'raid' of the century.
It's like a public demonstration - they might as well have sprayed 'CIA was here' all over the building, as in 'Life of Brian'.

So there's two options: Either the operatives failed miserably, or it was purposefully obvious.
Take your pick.

Posted by: smuks | Mar 27 2019 21:42 utc | 15

smuks | Mar 27, 2019 5:42:12 PM | 15

“Purposefully obvious”. Just to show who is really in charge of our government and who the N. Koreans and other adversary should negotiate with.

When agreement reached, send the figurehead for the photo-op and the signatures.

Posted by: Alpi57 | Mar 27 2019 21:58 utc | 16

Wolosky has led or co-led some of the firm's high-profile matters in recent years, including [...] Restis v United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), a precedent-setting private defamation case in which the United States Government asserted the state secrets privilege, resulting in a victory for Wolosky's client UANI.

Insightfull readers might have quessed that UANI is a proxy of Israeli faction against Iran.
The Restis dude is Greek (he is jewish) shipping tycoon that used his bank to issue loans to Chinesse assets for buying Iranian oil for China, Obama let UANI off the hook to allegedly protect Israeli informants (within Iran, China, or the Greek banking system? ). He also holds (or used to) a big portion off assets of the second biggest rival FC 'Panathinaikos' to FC 'Olympiakos' of E.Marinakis who might be acting as lending a cover to CIA/Mossad in attacking Turkish/Iranian interests.
Welcome to the rabbithole...

Posted by: beware gift bearers | Mar 27 2019 22:15 utc | 17


China makes a declaration. Apparently it learned from its Syrian experience that staying silent isn't always productive, that there are times it's required to speak out:

"China: 'Latin America doesn't belong to any country and it is not anyone's backyard.'"

The Dragon has blown smoke into the face of the American Eagle.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 27 2019 22:52 utc | 18

Phrase 'Great Leap Forward' in internet searches is associated with the Chinese Space Programe.
Wiki links for the Chollima statue in NK link to refferences on 'Tulpar' which is another refference to mythical Pegasus flying creature but this time from ancient folklore of Kazakhstan, which as we all know housed former USSR's space programe.'Tulpar' is used as a name for one of the NSO Group spyware servers that were allegedly identified/uncovered by project 'Athena' on the internet.NSO a likely IDF cyberwar front civilian company associated with the Pegasus applications they developed, that were involved in spying at Khashogi whereabouts for Saudi and MbS.

Deep rabbithole alright...

Posted by: beware gift bearers | Mar 27 2019 22:55 utc | 19

The whole affair is beginning to look as if whoever carried out the raid misunderstood something or the raid did not succeed in the way its perpetrators or their sponsors had hoped for. So Adrian Hong is being put out to dry and to take the whole blame instead of part of the blame. Perhaps he was even set up.

Juan Guaido must beware, as his use-by date must be fast approaching, that he might also be set up for another provocation (which he is expected to carry out) in or near Venezuela which might not end well for him.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 27 2019 23:40 utc | 20

@Alpi57 16

There've been competing factions in DC for a long time. It's not surprising that when one tries to negotiate, the other looks for ways to sabotage this. Reminds me of the Klingons. (Same goes for Israel.)

It's another reminder that there's no 'good' and 'bad' countries, not even 'national strategies' - there's usually a variety of currents in a capital's political circles.

@james 14

I agree about the reunification, but once the US is too busy at home, it can (will) happen.
But I really don't think the operation's a screw-up. It's too screwed up for that.

@karlof 18 - thanks for the link, interesting.
In Syria, China couldn't be too outspoken since that would have alienated the Saudis. Beijing wants the entire Middle East, not just one of the 'sides'. In Venezuela, no such ambiguity is needed.

Posted by: smuks | Mar 28 2019 0:38 utc | 21

@21 smuks... thanks.. i think we view it differently.. here is from one of b's links above.. clearly they hadn't anticipated the women jumping out of a window... i think it is sloppy work on the part of the cia myself... it happens..

"Spanish police learned about the break-in after the wife of an embassy employee escaped by jumping from a window. When officers went to check on the situation, Hong Chang allegedly greeted them at the door and pretended to be a diplomatic official, the investigation found.

He sent the officers away with assurances everything was fine, paving the way for the invading group to make a getaway in the embassy’s cars.

A police investigator with knowledge of the case told the AP that “this attack, whatever it is, would have gone unnoticed if it wasn’t for the woman who escaped.”

Posted by: james | Mar 28 2019 0:42 utc | 22

Juan Guaido must beware, as his use-by date must be fast approaching, that he might also be set up for another provocation (which he is expected to carry out) in or near Venezuela which might not end well for him.
Posted by: Jen | Mar 27, 2019 7:40:18 PM | 20

There was an anecdote about an actual professor of logic. While he sat in a streetcar, a woman asked him "How many stops from here to the Central Station"? "Three", replied professor. When the streetcar stopped again, the woman asked "so now only two stops?" "No, four", replied professor. The expiration date of Juan Guaido is further and further away.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 28 2019 1:00 utc | 23

the sarcastian tribes of syriana have blonde hairs and blues eyes some even looked like brad pitts and matt demon.
also many russians have blondes as well
this seems like a classic animal assad putin suckers punch tug and then a reacharound
after salsbury fair poison mass murders,brexit vote rig and usa electing frauds we cannot trust russians ever again to do the right things anymore already

Posted by: sven | Mar 28 2019 1:05 utc | 24


Bolton made me say it!...nyuk-nyuk-nyuk-nyuk!😜

So who's twisting Trump's arm???

GOOD! Maybe now the hypocrisy will finally end around here.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 28 2019 1:48 utc | 25

I agree with smucks on the issue of the raid. It's too screwed up to be a screw up. Securing the area and the hostages is really really basic stuff. To screw that up is very hard to imagine. I think that it sends a message to the world that the US is going to do whatever, wherever, whenever. That seems to be the only clear message coming from Washington anymore.

Posted by: mourning dove | Mar 28 2019 1:55 utc | 26

Oh and Trump added: ...all options open.



Posted by: Circe | Mar 28 2019 2:09 utc | 27

@4 Jackrabbit

Pegasus is how the Israelis helped MbS get rid of Khashoggi, cause the Israelis more than anyone (maybe second to Trump!) have an interest in helping the Wahhabi monarch survive.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 28 2019 2:23 utc | 28

@ Circe with the links to the Trump threat to Russia about Venezuela assistance....thanks

A guy (me) takes a few days off and the world goes to hell.....interesting to come back to this escalation of geo-politics.

I read somewhere skimming to try and catch up that China has publicly said that the US should not rule Latin America or such wording.

When does the fun start?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 28 2019 2:25 utc | 29

And this from the article;" a staggering system entirely built and mastered for the express purpose of propagating human suffering and ensuring the continued exploitation of the people so that the very few can benefit."
There are those that would say, instead of a description of the DPRK, this could apply to the U$A's corporate empire..
Posted by: ben | Mar 27, 2019 2:49:02 PM | 1

It's also a very snug fit with "Israel" - hardly surprising considering the organisation is a neocon rats nest.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 28 2019 2:39 utc | 30

Hong Chang, Juan Guaido Why do these guys all look like pretty boy millennials? Building heroes for their revolutions? It looks like counter foreign policy run by Captain Kangaroo (Bolton). Sort of like a G Gordon Liddy type operation from the '70's. If it was not so destructive it would be funny.

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 28 2019 2:59 utc | 31

@29 psycohistorian

The U.S. is trying to pressure and trick China into doing business with Guaido and his representatives. So far China has resisted and is in Russia and Venezuela's corner, refusing a visa to Guaido's rep who was set to attend the IDB meeting in China. China has also joined Russia in vetoing a U.S. resolution on Venezuela at the U.N. and supported Russia's resolution instead. China has also offered Maduro help with Venezuela's electrical grid and supports Russian troops in Venezuela. China should stick with this support, because the U.S. is trying to separate China and Russia on the issue of Venezuela by any means. If China succumbs it will end up limited in its non-compromised oil import options and if tensions were to escalate in future between the U.S. and China over Taiwan or South China Seas or another reason, the U.S. using its oil producing vassals would be able to turn off the spigot on China. Already China has narrow non-compromised options. China likes to sit on the fence, but if the U.S. wins on Venezuela and heads its own oil cartel then it'll be game over China.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 28 2019 3:40 utc | 32

Judging by the expression on Trump's face on the occasion of his first visit to the CIA as POTUS, I'm betting that the Mossad-infested CIA's days are numbered.
I'm also confidant that Trump isn't happy about US Politics being dominated by the pro-"Israel" Lobby and M-IC shareholders Lobby.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 28 2019 4:07 utc | 33

@ Circe with the response about China and Venezuela...OT...OT...OT

This is related in the sense of it being more an example of end game strategies like the Spain raid of this posting/thread

I agree that China and Russia in combination are key to responding to this aggression by the US. I am not surprised by China's entry into this battle, rather than say Syria, because it more clearly represents the social organizational structure conflicts that China has with the US.

China and Venezuela are both trying to use forms of socialism that represent challenges to the private finance controlled Western system. China also has a significant amount of loans invested in Venezuela and so this adds to them holding their position.

We are approaching the historical inflection point that Trump has been steering the world towards. The elite of the West are instantiating a level of geo-political crisis within which they hope to forge a new world "playing field" that keeps some remnants of the West of old after the world Debtapoclypse is sorted out.

What will the public be told about what really happens behind the scenes?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 28 2019 4:29 utc | 34

Circe @32

Chinese development finance often delivers a corruption-filled sugar high to the economy, followed by a nasty financial (and sometimes political) hangover.”

What that article is saying is that China is trying to do what the World Bank and the IMF has been doing since the end of World War II to maintain the West's old colonies at arms length. That is one of the cruxes of what is going on. China is challenging the old colonial order using tried and true western tactics.

Trump came in gunning for China with a trade war and worked to pick off their old ally North Korea at the same time offering them the riches of the West. Whomever is planning all of this is using every trick in the book short of a shooting war to win against Iran and North Korea as well as preserve and expand the Empires domains. In the end they will obtain Venezuela, they appear to have dented China economically. They are turning the screws on Iran and North Korea as well as continuing to expand NATO into the heart of Russia.

It would not be beyond their means to try to cut off oil to China at some point in the future. A war against Iran tying up the Gulf would go a long way to achieve those ends. The hearts and minds in the US are no where near ready for that since all the propaganda has been focused on Russia. Four more years of Trump and we may have that war.

Trump appears to have brought in a sinister group that has grand ambitions and I think the core is tied to our great ally in the Mideast. It is quite a spectacle and it cannot end well for the planet. Cutting off essential resources to superpowers always leads to massive global war.

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 28 2019 4:40 utc | 35

We are approaching the historical inflection point that Trump has been steering the world towards. The elite of the West are instantiating a level of geo-political crisis within which they hope to forge a new world "playing field" that keeps some remnants of the West of old after the world Debtapoclypse is sorted out.

What will the public be told about what really happens behind the scenes?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 28, 2019 12:29:40 AM | 34

I usually interpret facts differently. Number one, "forging a new world that keeps some remnants of the West..." does not sound plausible, instead I see probing and pushing the envelope on what they can get away with WITHOUT ANY THOUGHTFUL LONG TERM PERSPECTIVE. And what USA can get away with is piracy. Declare sanctions, confiscate a few billions, then go after banks etc. that belong to supine vassals and collect more. In some sense, the money involved are sufficiently big to ruin affected countries (not EU vassals who can afford more) but for USA, it is a rather small fraction of the military budget, so the imperial operation is a net loss. But how immensely satisfying it is! We are kicking ass! We are number one! And the vassals are "on the winning team" that right now piles upon Venezuela.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 28 2019 4:54 utc | 36

Guaido has had a lot of money and effort put into him, does he think that those "investors" are forgiving? He would be a perfect burning effigy, a victim of Maduro.

Has it occurred to anyone that Muller did not need to exonerate Trump. A quintessential corrupt policeman, with a strong track-record of creating crimes of those his masters want destroyed, Muller could have packed up a few false accusations without blinking or could have just made an open-ended report. But it appears that Trump has proven himself as a pliable servant of the Deep State. Trump has drained a small patch of the swamp, just enough to build a hotel for Ivanka and Jared. Comparing with the Jussie Smollett crime case, which appears to have been dropped to protect the leaders in DNC, Michelle Obama and Soros, whilst the Rome is burning we have two groups of minions viciously fighting each other for the good graces of the Western Deep State/Israel, which team oppresses and lies better. It is a competition between the employees. The agent-of-change, swamp-drainer Trump reminds so much of Obama.

It has been quite a while since any worthwhile regime-change op worked, low value Macedonia and Armenia excluded. Korea and Venezuela are two worthwhile targets but not going well. Both appear poorly thought-out with a stench of a desperate grab for resources and markets to extend the rotten and collapsing system. Threatening Russia regarding Venezuela is a comedy with a terribly tragic ending. As most pessimists were predicting for the Syrian situation, the US Empire will not just fade out, it will go out in blazing fireworks of nuclear weapons. The deeper US sinks, the more chance it will launch.

PS. After a two-year asymptotic approach and lots of media sewage, Trump ended up in the same position that Hillary would have been on day one: we can bring any weapons, including nuclear, into your front yard, but Get Out!!!, everything is on the table if you try to defend in our back yard those we want to crush!

Posted by: Kiza | Mar 28 2019 5:43 utc | 37


That's exactly how I see it. However, I'm still hoping it doesn't work out that way. Besides Russia getting in the way and pre-empting a takeover, something unforeseen, like a massive market crash could mess with their plans. Trump is pushing his luck. He could unwittingly trigger something like that. 4 more years on this course won't end well. Either it's a market crash or war. No good will come of this. So maybe the best that can happen is for Russia to put the kabosh on their plans.

North Korea will not give up the nukes, and it can't continue with blistering sanctions. Trump will get frustrated because he can't get his way and give in to his loud-mouth impulses and tweet tirades. China has to step up and take the pressure off North Korea.


Trump did not give in to the deep state, and Mueller put the decision in the hand of his boss, Barr, chosen by Trump. Trump was gunning for Venezuela and Iran from day one. He wanted the U.S. to take over Iraq's oil, and since that didn't happen, he's going for the other two. Trump knows that whoever rules oil output rules the world and he wants it all. He's a greedy, power-driven bastard. The only positive is that he's not that young and maybe the KFC will get him first.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 28 2019 6:03 utc | 38

Thanks b another good one and thanks mourning dove and jackrabbit for a great peek at NSO and Pegasus.

Putin and his preemptive block on venezuela is new. Perhaps the attack on the eastern orthodox church and the wholesale theft of its properties in Ukraine was a final step too far for the neo pirates of the west. Perhaps this one stupid move has switched the dynamics.

Trump like Bill and Hillary is a gouger, an opportunist thief so trawljng for cash from the Saudis and the descendents of the North Korean royals is his game. He and his entire family team is a thief so he is just in for his turn and he has no concern for the human cost.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 28 2019 7:16 utc | 39

The US State Security services are simply distancing themselves from their own raid party in Madrid. "See? We're not the same, we're even squabbling among each other." Standard plausible deniability.

More piquant for me is the role of the Spanish. Their police gets alerted to an active emergency at the DPRK Embassy; when they arrive at the scene, a random dude at the door basically tells them to stay out of it and immediately they go "Oh that's alright then", and back off. My reading is that the Spanish govt is making some noise for domestic consumption ("we have to be seen to be doing something"), while making sure not to step on the toes of the CIA, which would end badly for them. No arrests, no perps suspected to remain in-country--nothing to see here folks, move along.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Mar 28 2019 8:02 utc | 40

@ Ma Laoshi 40

Their police gets alerted to an active emergency at the DPRK Embassy; when they arrive at the scene, a random dude at the door basically tells them to stay out of it and immediately they go "Oh that's alright then", and back off.

That's usually how it works. Without the sounds of a full-scale battle or the man at the door covered in blood and carrying machine gun there is little or nothing the police can do.

They get false alarms all the time plus the embassy is diplomatic property. They cannot enter without permission.

Posted by: jrkrideau | Mar 28 2019 12:44 utc | 41

I am almost sure I saw the name Pegasus (a Greek myth. animal, the winged horse, and also a constellation), I saw the name 'Pegasus' fly by when I was looking over some of the Integrity Initiative dumps, I believe. I cannot confirm that at the moment.

Posted by: bjd | Mar 28 2019 13:07 utc | 42

All of it is yet another non-ideological reason to support North Korea and an independent South Korea, the normalization of relations between them as well as the world at large, and perhaps also future gradual unification if both agree to it and can achieve it in a sensible manner where they can backtrack on details and practical solutions if something didn't work as expected.

Korea, Russia, and China are preparing the path for this and in their own weird, counterintuitive, selfdestructive, and selfdefeating way the US is too with clowns like Adrian and the candid camera girls.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Mar 28 2019 13:33 utc | 43

Their police gets alerted to an active emergency at the DPRK Embassy; when they arrive at the scene, a random dude at the door basically tells them to stay out of it and immediately they go "Oh that's alright then", and back off.

That's usually how it works. Without the sounds of a full-scale battle or the man at the door covered in blood and carrying machine gun there is little or nothing the police can do.

They get false alarms all the time plus the embassy is diplomatic property. They cannot enter without permission.

Posted by: jrkrideau | Mar 28, 2019 8:44:35 AM | 41

The police came because they had a witness, the woman who fled. At the very least, they could ask the "random dude" to show some documentation about his identity, and a Mexican passport with US permanent resident stamp could raise a whiff of suspicion, wouldn't it? Similarly a North Korean passport with a photo that does not match. Moreover, diplomatic personnel has to be registered, so the police could call headquarters and ask to check.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 28 2019 14:27 utc | 44

Moreover, diplomatic personnel has to be registered, so the police could call headquarters and ask to check.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 28, 2019 10:27:17 AM | 44

On the second thought, this is perhaps what happened, and the Spanish in charge decided against capturing the assailants. However, investigation of crimes is quite independent in Spain, the prosecutors have title of "judges" unlike hierarchically dependent prosecutors in most countries. I am not sure if the matter has any political weight in Spain, but the national dignity is definitely hurt.

The story about free-lancer being "betrayed by FBI" seems like a cover story. Let's see if this Adrian will get deported to Mexico for criminal behavior.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 28 2019 14:39 utc | 45

Ma Laoshi @ 40, Piotr Berman @44
Great points. Definitely looks like some higher ups in the Madrid police hamstrung the rebounding officers 'just enough' to allow a get away.
Shouldn't be too surprising. The Spanish monarchy and government are firmly under Washington's thumb. The Spanish judiciary on the other hand has had streaks of brilliant independence in going after crimes of the empire. Personally I chalk this up to the majority of the (now older) population who witnessed first hand the brutality of the 'Western' world via Franco, how he was coddled and allowed his dictatorship, then given no Truth and Reconciliation-esc closure when he fell. It is still illegal to investigate any crimes during that period.
The Madrid police also have a history of shady higher-ups. There was a dramatized movie about the real events of a journalist who went undercover to expose a neo-Nazi movement, still strong and quasi- underground operating in Madrid, that included leaders in the police force that was swept under the rug. Diario de un Eskin (diary of a skinhead)

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Mar 28 2019 15:09 utc | 46


They certainly would have needed permission from a higher authority to enter the premises, regardless of what they saw/ heard at the door.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Mar 28 2019 15:12 utc | 47

Adrian's problem is easily solved. He should declare himself vice president of Venezuela and ask Guiado for diplomatic immunity.

Posted by: dh | Mar 28 2019 15:12 utc | 48

So if this Hong Chang character goes by the name of "Oswaldo Trump", I guess the other guy's name would have to be "Lee Harvey Donald"?

Thanks, B, much obliged! German media won't touch this, for obvious reasons I think.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Mar 28 2019 15:23 utc | 49

Surprise surprise.

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Mar 28 2019 15:56 utc | 50

DPRK is often accused of enslaving its populace. Picture of actual Concentration Camp within Outlaw US Empire shows it's guilty of multiple crimes against humanity. And this pen isn't the only one. Multiply it by ten or so just for incarcerated children.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 28 2019 16:53 utc | 51

I'm curious to find out if any readers have further comments about the choice of name "Free Joseon." In Bruce Cumings short 2004 book North Korea: Another Country he mentioned that slavery was practiced by Koreans for centuries. (I mention this only because it was the first I had heard of it.) I believe it coincided, at the least the end of slavery, with the end of the Joseon dynasty. The term "free" seems particularly ironic in this case. I have yet to learn more about this history, and wonder if anyone might comment on what the invocation of Joseon means, especially related to the history of slavery in Korea.

Posted by: Peter L. | Mar 28 2019 16:55 utc | 52

Addition to my 51--

AOC tweeted about the picture and the resulting thread is rather revealing if not revolting. Government immorality and injustice is supported by public immorality and applause for injustices. Remember, the great majority of people using Twitter aren't poor or working class. What you read are middle and upperclass sentiments.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 28 2019 17:30 utc | 53

@ 51 & 53; Thanks for those k1. Sicking, how these pictures never seem to make it to the MSM TV "news"...

Posted by: ben | Mar 28 2019 17:42 utc | 54

2Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Mar 28, 2019 11:09:49 AM | 46

population who witnessed first hand the brutality of the 'Western' world via Franco, how he was coddled and allowed his dictatorship, then given no Truth and Reconciliation-esc closure when he fell.

Indeed, with the proviso that Franco did not fall, but died in bed....of old age.., after 40 years of harsh fascist dictatorship where nobody dared to move in Spain nor rise its head to the risk of being shooted at sunrise and left in any ditch, parties and unions were forbidden in Spain, as well as media except for those belonging to "El Movimiento" ( note the shameful and totally undisguised repetition of Bannon´s movement´s name today with the same undisguised goal...), along with languages and expressions of any of the multicultural peoples who populate Spain since pre-history ( most probably before anybody else...) to the shame and total exposure of the "indispensable nation" allegedly champion on bringing in democracy and freedom to the peoples of the world...which had four military bases in Spain since 1953...along with his inseparable partner the UK which had as well sovereignity over Gibraltar....

Posted by: Sasha | Mar 28 2019 20:18 utc | 55

@Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 28, 2019 12:53:41 PM | 51

Yeah, one wonders why we do not hear ever about the "Rukban Civil Defense" group or "Free Rukban" movement and none of these send in any military command into the Rukban refugee camp to "free" thousands of Syrian civilians still being kept hostage there by ISIS terrorists along with his masters in the US Army/CIA when almost all Syrian territory has been liberated by the SAA and allies and the rest of the Sirian people who flew are able to return to their lands and homes....

Posted by: Sasha | Mar 28 2019 20:26 utc | 56

That there is a network of fascists in Spain who could well be being "reinforced" or "awakened" any time it is necessary to do it is clear when one recalls another dark episodes implying a certain Spanish "deep state", like several terrorists attacks which were blamed on ETA, like death of President Admirall Carrero Blanco on 20th December 1973, and the same terrorist attacks of 11th March 2004 in Atocha, the former performed through construction of a tunel which lasted weeks with the consequent noise implied, in a place too close to the US Embassy ( and thus CIA station in Spain...) to not be noticed...and the use of such ammount of explosives ( three full antitank charges equivalent to 50kg TNT, the explosion was so violent that opened a large crater in the asphalt and the car, a Dodge 3700 GT of almost 1800 kilos, flew through the air and fell on the roof of the Casa Profesa, Jesuit Order venue, attached to the church where he had attended mass moments before ), the latter, the second largest terrorist attack in Europe after Lockerbie 1988, blamed as well on ETA but later disclosed having being perpetrated by Al Qaeda to influence the coming general elections which would be celebrated in three days and whose lie disclosure costed the PP government losing the elections...

Sources in the USSR pointed at a CIA autorship of the attack on Carrero Blanco alleging that Carrero Blanco opposed Spain´s entry into NATO...

From Spanish Wiki....( translation ):

(...)The Director General of Security, Eduardo Blanco Rodríguez, later acknowledged that the assassination was a "masterstroke". Until that moment, the security forces and the secret services - mainly the newly created SECED - had acted behind the back of one another, without clear coordination between them. From that moment the security forces became aware of the serious problem that ETA terrorism began to pose for the Franco regime. That was a phenomenon they had not faced before. Eduardo Blanco would be removed from his post and replaced by the military Francisco Dueñas Gavilán. It was not the case of the Minister of the Interior and direct responsible for the safety of Carrero Blanco, who succeeded him as head of the government.(...)

(...)A few hours after the attack, US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who had just been in Madrid the day before and had met with Carrero Blanco, sent a telegram to Foreign Minister Laureano López Rodó in which he lamented the "tragic loss to Spain and for the Western world", adding that "my consternation is so much greater after the pleasant and interesting interview I had with him yesterday". Two days later he sent him a letter describing the attack as "absurd and brutal". López Rodó replied: "I understand the sentiments expressed in this message because I was a witness during the last interview the president held with a foreign minister of the stream of sympathy that was established between you and your mutual understanding in the international problems that confront us"(...)

Other "confusing" episodes which happened amongst wide presence and tight control of US in Spain include the 23rd February 1981 intend of military coup d´etat on transiton government....

That these episodes were performed to reinforce the government at that time, or as a warning against any intend of sovereign action/decission, remains in the blurred fields of this kind of "operations". At the same time, due the current awareness of US´s use of international terrorism to achieve its goals in foreign policy, collaboration and sharing of interests with national or international terrorist organinzations can not be discarded...But, clearly, to me, nothing of this could had happened without US blessing or US willing negligence, as well as the same Franco´s dictatorship....

Posted by: Sasha | Mar 28 2019 21:34 utc | 57

On stay-behind networks....More "strange" things which happen under the very US noses....

In the wake of the New Zealand mosque attack links have emerged between the shooter and a Ukrainian ultra-nationalist, white supremacist paramilitary organisation called the Azov Battalion. The shooter’s manifesto alleges that he visited the country during his many travels abroad, and the flak jacket he wore during the assault featured a symbol commonly used by the Azov Battalion.

His transnational ties go beyond Ukraine, however, as he claimed he was in touch with Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist, and he took trips throughout Europe, including the Balkans, visiting sites that symbolised historical battles between Christians and Muslims.

In the video of his attack, he was heard listening to a song that glorified Bosnian-Serb war criminal Radovan Karadzic, and his gun bore racist messages and the names of white supremacists from around the world.

The Azov Battalion is emerging as a critical node in the transnational right-wing violent extremist (RWE) network. This group maintains its own “Western Outreach Office” to help recruit and attract foreign fighters that travel to train and connect with people from like-minded violent organisations from across the globe.

Operatives from the outreach office travel around Europe to promote the organisation and proselytise its mission of white supremacy. In July 2018, German-language fliers were distributed among the visitors at a right-wing rock festival in the German state of Thuringia, inviting them to be part of the Azov battalion: “join the ranks of the best” to “save Europe from extinction”.

It has also established youth camps, sporting recreation centres, lecture halls, and far-right education programmes, including some that teach military tactics and far-right ideology to children as young as nine years old. This aggressive approach to networking serves one of the Azov Battalion’s overarching objectives – transforming areas under its control in Ukraine into the primary hub for transnational white supremacy.

It is now evident that RWE networks are also highly active in recruiting fighters from around the world to their cause, with the Azov Battalion and other ultranationalist organisations playing a significant role in the globalisation of RWE violence.

Indeed, the Azov Battalion is forging links with RWE groups, hosting visits from ultranationalist organisations such as members of the Rise Above Movement (RAM) from the United States and National Action from Britain, among other white supremacists from around the world.

FBI: Neo-Nazi Militia Trained by US Military in Ukraine Now Training US White Supremacists

According to a recent FBI indictment, several American white supremacists were allegedly radicalized by and received training from Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which receives funding from the current government of Ukraine as well as the U.S. government. The group has also received weapons from the Israeli government.(...)

(...)Originally a paramilitary group of right-wing Ukrainian nationalists linked to the country’s Social-National Party, Azov Battalion has since become incorporated into Ukraine’s Interior Ministry as a component of the country’s National Guard. In addition, the group’s founder Andrey Bilitsky, is currently a member of Ukraine’s parliament. Bilitsky once said that “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival.”

Despite the merging of Azov Battalion with the Ukrainian government, the U.S has long continued to support Ukraine’s military with hundreds of millions of dollars in “security, programmatic, and technical assistance,” largely in the name of combatting “Russian aggression.”

This military aid has repeatedly found its way to the Azov Battalion. Indeed, the cooperation between the U.S. military and Azov Battalion has been reported on several occasions since 2015 such as when an Azov Battalion member told the Daily Beast in 2015 about “his battalion’s experience with U.S. trainers and U.S. volunteers quite fondly, even mentioning U.S. volunteers engineers and medics that are still currently assisting them.”(...)

Posted by: Sasha | Mar 28 2019 22:43 utc | 58

t has been quite a while since any worthwhile regime-change op worked, low value Macedonia and Armenia excluded.
Posted by: Kiza | Mar 28, 2019 1:43:14 AM | 37

Macedonia seems to be a "gain", but Armenia is a more complicated case. Armenia has no conflicts with Russia and a large dependency on both Russia and Iran, while having "difficult" relationship with Azerbaijan and Turkey. Georgia is also a neighbor, but unreliable. I did not see much signs of pro-Western reorientation of Armenia and a number of signs that the new government wishes to cooperate with Russia and Iran as before. Armenia has little choice on that. Consider Armenia sending aid to Syria, something that the current government continues. It was not stressed, but I think that this is aid to Armenian community in Syria, e.g. there is Armenian quarter in Aleppo that suffered during the recent war. Syrian Armenians supported the government and served in SAA with distinction etc. Lebanese Armenians seem to support Resistance. And there is a large and loyal Armenian community in Iran.

Lastly, Armenians interacted with Jews for ca. 2500 years and apparently, no love is lost there. To Orthodox Jews, Armenians = Amelek. Spitting at Armenians seems to be an Israeli custom, if deprecated by authorities. Armenian quarter of Jerusalem has a lot of grievances with the Israeli authorities. That has to inhibit a joyous embrace of USA. On the other hand, the existence of prosperous Armenian diaspora in USA insulates that country from sanctions, well. most of the time.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 28 2019 22:47 utc | 59

@59, re:Armenia. Spot on.

Posted by: dilijan | Mar 29 2019 0:30 utc | 60

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