A Comment on the Trump Dossier

Imagine that you are someone in the CIA, concerned about the future of America. You have this Russian dossier on Donald Trump, which you have some evidence might be true. The smartest thing you can do is to leak it to the public. By doing so, you are eliminating any leverage Russia has over Trump and probably reducing the effectiveness of any other blackmail material any government might have on Trump. I believe you do this regardless of whether you ultimately believe the document's findings or not, and regardless of whether you support or oppose Trump. It's simple game-theory.

This document is particularly safe to release. Because it's not a classified report of the CIA, leaking it is not a crime. And you release it now, before Trump becomes president, because doing so afterwards becomes much more dangerous.

MODERATION NOTE: Please keep comments focused on this particular point. More general comments, especially uncivil comments, will be deleted.

Posted on January 13, 2017 at 11:58 AM • 185 Comments

Comments

MalcolmJanuary 13, 2017 12:08 PM

It's the "which you have some evidence might be true" part that is sketchy. Releasing a report that is entirely fictitious damages the integrity of the intelligence agencies, and does nothing to eliminate foreign influence. Someone should have done just a bit of homework before leaking this report.

PeteyJanuary 13, 2017 12:09 PM

What you have stated is one possible reason... The "patriot" doing the right thing angle.

My opinion is that it was released by the intelligence community to add more fuel to the fire to tarnish Trump and his team. The intelligence community is freaking out right now because they know the house cleaning is coming.


uh, MikeJanuary 13, 2017 12:10 PM

Trump has invented political teflon.

We've heard his sordid story all along the way of the 2016 election, from start to finish.

He'll cry crocodile tears and then go back to his own misinformation campaign.

NTSH, MA.

JackJanuary 13, 2017 12:12 PM

Only if the stuff is actually disclosed, not some vague "somebody knows something about something."

What you're supporting could be used against ANYONE for any reason no matter what.

But I guess that's what you want.

Erik HooverJanuary 13, 2017 12:12 PM

My biggest reservation about this line of thought is that it is unnecessary and indirectly supports the idea that the IC is to blame.

The dossier was in circulation. People have been talking about it since October. It is not useful to invoke the CIA or any other TLA to explain the release. It was not "theirs" to leak.

GeorgeJanuary 13, 2017 12:15 PM

Yea, that is one of the most charitable scenarios I have heard. And I've got a bridge in Brooklyn. Our spy agencies have jumped the shark to the detriment of this country. They are at the point where they feel they can do anything to anyone and see vast swaths of the American public as the enemy.

NickJanuary 13, 2017 12:17 PM

Same as with the democrats leak.

Take any murder case. Wife found dead. Is the prime suspect the husband or another countries security services?

Leak of emails? Foreign countries' security services, or an inside angry at what is going on?

ughJanuary 13, 2017 12:17 PM

@Malcolm
Releasing a report that is entirely fictitious

So you are saying this one is "entirely fictitious"? And what proof is there for that? Because Trump says so or something like that?

Anyway in the case of Trump the issue is that this kind of report can cause a scandal...and a sufficient amount of scandals can eventually lead to the "crying wolf syndrome" or in other words that people start ignoring them.

The Trump fan club certainly would love that outcome.

TatütataJanuary 13, 2017 12:24 PM

Soviet intelligence tried the honeypot trick on French writer Romain Gary when he was the Ambassador to an eastern European country (Romania?). IIRC, he scoffed at his would-be blackmailers, and requested extra copies of the pictures to show off.

If the Trump story is true, then does this mean that the Moscow Ritz was already riddled with bugs as Obama slept in it?

In any case, the story sounds in character. If Chauncey Gardiner really was a "germaphobe", he would be living a recluse like Howard Hughes did, and the world would be a slightly less awful place.

Charles R. SmithJanuary 13, 2017 12:25 PM

I see nothing but harm done here. The CIA leaks have also included phone intercepts involving incoming administration members, giving away details of NSA assets and operations. The leaks also included intercepts of Russian leadership communications, something that is clearly inside the code word world of Top Secret. While the dossier is a slimy gutter spy novel the other CIA leaks damage national security, threaten valuable assets and render useless some of our most important means of collection - all to score a few political points.

Desmond BrennanJanuary 13, 2017 12:29 PM

The CNN report was that the "Gang of 8" were briefed that Russia believes it has kompromat on PEOTUS trump.

Comey personally briefed Trump.

The IC would not do such based off a single mere dossier

John Schindler is worth following closely https://mobile.twitter.com/20committee

And here http://observer.com/2017/01/donald-trump-press-conference-prague-michael-cohen/#.WHhcJ9a7HUc.twitter

That Trump is suggesting a sea change on US policy towards Putin, is undeniable

That his close aides, Carter Page, Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort have had irregular contact with the Kremlin is also an established fact

That Trump likes groping, racial slurs, agressive commercial deals ...is something from his own mouth

His reaction...terming the US IC Nazis ...is interesting

Martin SJanuary 13, 2017 12:30 PM

There's a piece missing from this analysis. In, say, 18 months, midterms looming, things are getting a bit tight, Trump is no longer riding whatever honeymoon he might be right now (for once, not being president yet, he hasn't actually screwed up anything major yet) and the Russians want him to do something -- look the other way in eastern Ukraine or even Estonia or whatever. Is the threat of the releasing the HD Dolby Surround video of him in all his glory enjoying a golden shower in a hotel room (the exact situation he'd spend some days in January 2016 vehemently denying had ever taken place) suddenly not going to have any real effect?

MBJanuary 13, 2017 12:30 PM

Personally, I hate the idea of Trump as president.

That said, this is potentially damning information about our soon-to-be Commander in Chief. If the public interest and security is not immediately in danger, the documents should be reviewed for validity and determine what the best course of action is. Releasing into the wild will mean media outlets running with it in any direction they see fit, which only helps obfuscate the truth.

MalcolmJanuary 13, 2017 12:30 PM

@ugh

The story in question was published months ago on 4chan, word for word, as fan fiction. Use a search engine and you can see the original post there. Yes, it was entirely fictitious, produced by someone pretending to be anti-Trump, with the aim of discrediting whatever news outlet that chose to publish it. I doubt the author ever dreamed that the CIA would pick it up. It was the greatest troll I have ever seen.

xizzhuJanuary 13, 2017 12:32 PM

Seriously, if this leak is to inform the public, aren't Russian hackers doing a much better job? The leaked DNC emails are TRUE, and it obviously discloses lots of scandals and dirty deals behind the scene. Also, DNC leaks eliminate all potential leverage whoever might have over Hillary Clinton, and that's done before election.

YepJanuary 13, 2017 12:37 PM

Yep, just like the Ashley Madison hack. The best thing that happened for the organizations was when the data was outed. No more blackmail potential.

ChadJanuary 13, 2017 12:41 PM

So, assuming the premise is true. That makes Trump allegations either showmanship or insight?

JordanJanuary 13, 2017 12:42 PM

What are the chances the unintended C-Span stream of Russia Today is linked with the Trump dossier?


Let's take a second and assume the recent unverified Trump allegations are in someway true, being that Trump had some sort of involvement or communication with Russia during the election.

Theory 1

If you think about it - as far reaching as the Trump allegations are, what other reaction would someone in a presidential position have other than to deny the information, attempt to deflate the public stirring by discrediting the news agencies that reported it and hope the relationship stays cozy with those who possess it.

If this were the case, and Russia felt he may go back on his word since he's publicly stated Russia was behind the DNC hacks... what better way to send a message than to display the capability of streaming any content they wish over a US cable network....especially if that content were to be "compromising" in nature. This could be a way of Russia flexing its muscle at Trump.


Theory 2

All the "compromising" Trump allegations are false and was simply a political stunt, in addition someone with the technical capability decided to capitalize on the entire event and stream Russia Today over a US channel (C-Span) with the intent of generating additional public "hype" over the entire situation.


Theory 3

Allegations are False. C-Span screwed up their "routing" at a really good time. Life only consists of flowers and butterflies.

CallMeLateForSupperJanuary 13, 2017 12:44 PM

@Bruce
Mebbe. Mebbe not. I think not.

My impression of the "report" was that its smell rivaled that of Vietnamese "fish sauce"... which is awful. A pile of steaming fluff and not a shred of evidence. The fact that IC says the Russian sources are consistent with (whatever) ain't worth a plugged nickle. So, complying with my one and only New Years resolution, I immediately consigned the story to a virtual black hole.

Where's the proof? Oh... no proof? None?? Then buzz off! While I do prefer to stay up on news, "truthy" stuff and claims unsupported by evidence are just not worth my time.

AJanuary 13, 2017 12:48 PM

@Martin S Is the threat of the releasing the HD Dolby Surround video of him

How do we know it's him? There is currently playing in theatres right now (in IMAX and 3D) a film starring Peter Cushing, who died twenty years before the film was made and who doesn't look a day over the 63 he was when the original Star Wars was filmed.

Sure, some people have griped about the quality of the CGI, but do you really think it would be that hard to convincingly fake such blackmail footage?

Even if the footage were real, how do you prove it in this age of convincing CGI, especially when there'll be plenty of people willing to believe it's fake. It's not like there's a dress they can DNA test...

Trump SupporterJanuary 13, 2017 12:54 PM

I generally agree with the idea that leaking it now (vs before the election) is a way to diminish any leverage Russia might have on Trump.

However I have two objections as to the way it was done:

- First, the notion that there is evidence that "some evidence might be true" is a fantasy. Some basic stuff must be correct, like that Trump was in Russia for the Miss Universe contest. However the most damaging stuff has been shown to be false without any doubt. First, Michael Cohen was never in Prague during the alleged dates. Post the leak some have clarified that the Michael Cohen hinted in the report was a different one; still there is only one Michael Cohen that matters in Trump's inner circle and that's this one https://twitter.com/MichaelCohen212 . This is the one the report wanted to taint. Then there is the "golden shower" baloney. Anybody who knows a germaphobe knows that the last thing such a person will do is to expose himself to contracting STDs from prostitutes. Trump has a well known record as a germaphobe that was know well before the election.

- Second, there was all sorts of crazy stuff circulating in similar circles about Obama's romantic life that had similar credibility and it was never included in one such report or leaked to the press.

So the clear double standard by the intelligence community is there for everybody to see and Trump is right in calling them on that publicly. Unless they pay a price they will continue to play games with our duly elected representatives. As Glenn Greenwald has been reminding lately, one would have only hoped that the Bush administration had been equally skeptic of the intelligence community in the lead up to the Iraq war. The Iraq fiasco, and consequential development like ISIS, would have been completely avoided.

So bravo to President Elect Trump for taking on these people.

wiredogJanuary 13, 2017 12:57 PM

The BBC has an interesting and informative take on this.

Note that the thing published on 4chan happened well after this dossier started circulating. The dossier was apparently compiled for Republicans during the primaries, last spring.

Steven C. ButtgereitJanuary 13, 2017 1:09 PM

What you say is plausible, but not the only possible explanation (which may be the problem with such a tactic). Let's say you opened your article with:

"Imagine that you are someone in the CIA, concerned about what a Trump Presidency means to the future of America."

I'm not sure that the sequence of events that follows would be so different. You give de facto public legitimacy to a report which may or may not be based in fact, you undermine the incoming President before he holds any real power: any later retaliatory action by the President just looks political. I agree with you, especially if there is/had been truth the report... you'd want to defuse it somehow before Trump takes office. What's unclear is if leaking it IS the smartest thing to do is leak it to the public: probably better than nothing but:

Now we have an agency which is definitionally organized to behave in a fashion contrary to most of our founding values appearing to actively undermine the Constitutionally elected leadership of the country. To my mind that's actually more concerning than a foreign adversary being able to blackmail the President (not that such a thing is good either).

WaelJanuary 13, 2017 1:22 PM

It's simple game-theory.

Anything but simple. It's mostly probabilistic. We don't know truth from falsehood any more.The effort to extract valid information requires full time investigation. It's most likely a deliberate tactic to obscure strategic directions. If this were a game of chess, one would be dealing with an opponent whose moves are something like: perhaps I castled or maybe I under-promoted a pawn to a knight. Maybe I captured your bishop with a king... your move!

My move? Perhaps I gave you a checkmate :/)

Trump SupporterJanuary 13, 2017 1:22 PM

Also, those willing to give the CIA the benefit of the doubt should remember that it is the same agency behind these,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKUltra

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_torture_and_prisoner_abuse

There is something within the culture of the CIA that is extremely creepy and disloyal.

Most people who have seen organizations grow from a few people to thousands of people acknowledge that the DNA of said organizations is set by the founding team. It's the reason for example why Apple is a paranoid organization whereas Google favors openness and sharing within the constrains that Google has to make money out of its trade secrets.

The CIA is a rotten organization. I am not saying they don't do any good (although it would be best if it were to be dismantled and started anew) but before taking seriously anything they say, there is a very high burden of proof they need to meet.

David LeppikJanuary 13, 2017 1:24 PM

I hardly think that the dossier, if it is accurate and complete, significantly mitigates the potential for blackmail. It's one thing to claim that something embarrassing happened; it's entirely different to have video footage.

We saw this throughout the Trump campaign. There were plenty of claims and allegations of misogyny. None of them stuck like the ones on video.

Another thing to consider is that what Trump considers embarrassing may be different from what people would consider shameful. He revels in things that most politicians wouldn't touch. It could be that video evidence of extramarital affairs wouldn't phase him, but he can't stand things that discredit his children or undermine his tough image. If there were two opposing parties which both had equal capacity to blackmail him, (e.g. if Russia and an anti-Trump spy agency both had access to the same data) but only one understood what makes him tick, only that one would have leverage over him.

TõnisJanuary 13, 2017 1:25 PM

"The intelligence community is freaking out right now because they know the house cleaning is coming."

@Petey, let's hope so. When I see who he has been appointing, CFR members, etc., my every day cynicism remains unwavering.

albertJanuary 13, 2017 1:28 PM

Well, here we go again. If the document comes from the CIA, it'll have zero credibility. If comes out anonymously, it'll have zero credibility. If it comes from the MSM, it'll have zero credibility.

The NYT? Gee, who'd have thought:) I love this, right in the middle of the article:

"...
Got a confidential news tip? The New York Times would like to hear from readers who want to share messages and materials with our journalists.
..."

In other words, anybody got any more dirt on Trump?

They don't even bother with subtlety any more, they just come out, guns blazing.


Give it a rest, @Bruce. The MSM and their political lackeys stepped on their own feet, and now it's payback time. They have lost any shred of respectability they may have had, and are now running on empty. (the IC lost that a long time ago).

Turnabout is fair play, I agree. Just look at Slick Willie. The Republicans hated Clinton, perhaps even more than they hated Obama. And they gave him hell. The problem for you guys is that Trump may be even slipperier than Bill.

On a less serious side, I don't believe I've ever seen a MODERATION NOTE before. Expecting some blowback? Hope I didn't disappoint.

This article has -absolutely nothing- to do with cybersecurity, so please, in the future, mark your political rants with 'MODERATION NOTE', so I won't bother reading them.
. .. . .. --- ....

milkshakenJanuary 13, 2017 1:32 PM

Greenwald and others offered few more mundane explanations: Infighting between CIA and ODNI, retaliation of outgoing Obama administration officials against Trump, bitchy-minded gossip about mysterious 'Russian' dossier and the like.

I would like to imagine a Mads Mikkelsen lookalike deep within CIA who decides (based on the game theory) the optimal leak timing but that is not how the deep state bureaucracy operates.

Trump SupporterJanuary 13, 2017 1:59 PM

@albert

Bruce outed himself as a Democratic hack in his now infamous blog about his plan for the next 4 years. What is surprising is that he keeps doubling down to make sure there is no doubt where his political leanings are as if by doing so what he writes when it comes to computer security would have more credibility. He is actually getting the opposite effect, namely, to have people doubt whether any of the recommendations he has given were in fact motivated by side knowledge that favored the policies of the Obama administration.

@milkshaken

Given the history of the CIA, and the childish behavior displayed by the Obama administration -remember that famous "biggest bunch of cry babies Chris Wallace had ever seen" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h81ilnkROZo - Occam's razor makes would makes us believe that your explanation is the most likely one.

CallMeLateForSupperJanuary 13, 2017 2:11 PM

@albert
"I don't believe I've ever seen a MODERATION NOTE before...."

Me too, neither. :-)
Matter of fact, at the time I began my post (above), there was no MODERATION NOTE on this thread. Only after I hit Submit and the page reloaded did it appear...

Playing devil's advocate, the reason for Bruce doing that *could* be that, for a week or two now, (too large) a number of threads here turned into disgraceful food fights and the NOTE was meant to nip that in the bud. In those cases I kept glancing at my browser bar to remind myself what the danged thread was supposed to be about!

I have no patience with food fights, truthiness, conspiracy theories, hate fests nor baseless stories (to name just a few offenders). I just stayed the h--l out of the comments. Any of you who noticed that I was off the radar for a while lately, you now know why.

RobJanuary 13, 2017 2:14 PM

Unfortunately the system we have chosen for the security of our nation is dependent on secrecy. Secrecy in its very nature requires ceaseless conscious focus and trust. Secrecy is vulnerable therefore to the same, adversarial focus and disloyalty. There is no way around it and I hope someday we can abandon this unsustainable method of security. Ego has deluded us to choose secrecy for survival instead of faith in truth. Truth will manifest eventually regardless of our actions.

David SmithJanuary 13, 2017 3:07 PM

The presupposition of nobility on the part of the postulated CIA employee would have to include his or her expectation of criminal and civil penalties and a steadfast determination to not permit him or herself to become a cause celebre for any political position or to profit in any way from his or her notoriety.

A tall order for an individual with the psychological makeup to take such a weighty act entirely upon him or herself.

One might also say that it suggests a rather low opinion of the CIA's selection and training procedures.

ChrisJanuary 13, 2017 3:07 PM

I don't believe this is true, but hypothetically - if you're Russia, wanting to influence the President's actions - and the report is true - the smartest thing would be to see it is released in this way. The important things are that, it describes a specific incident, is released publicly, and before the inauguration.

Under this scenario, the president-elect sees this report, and can deny it in public and in private, but a specific incident is detailed, so is positive that people know, and doesn't know if additional proof exists. His every action potentially is influenced. The blackmail threat never has to be made and isn't restricted to any single decision.

In the movie Nixon, Nixon called this (referring to Hoover - or maybe it was Dick Helms) - he's letting me know he has weight on me.

DanielJanuary 13, 2017 3:12 PM

I 100% concur with @Bruce. This is a point I have made in recent days on other forums: how do you blackmail someone with public information?! So all these press stories about the information making Trump "vulnerable to blackmail" are fake news bullshit.

The interesting aspect to me, that is not getting talked about, is that this dossier would be easily subject to a lawsuit for "false light" defamation. This is true even though Trump is a public figure because there is a plausible case this report was released with "reckless disregard" for the truth.

In other words, while I agree with Bruce's point about what is good for the country there is good reason why many other media outlets took a pass before Buzzfeed did it. It would not shock me at all if Trump sues.

Clive RobinsonJanuary 13, 2017 3:18 PM

@ Bruce,

The smartest thing you can do is to leak it to the public.

But if what has been reported is true the CIA did not leak it.

As far as I can tell from UK news reporting the author of the report posted it to a number of US MSM organisations two or three weeks ago. They treated it with a great deal of suspicion and did not publish it as they could not verify anything in the thirty five closely typed pages.

What the CIA did was "give it credence" by letting it be known it had briefed both the President and President elect on it. Thus a couple of outlets --who should have known better-- decided that was sufficient verification that there was maybe some truth in it, so they published.

As for the author he has gone into hiding, apparently his neighbours were asked to look after his cat and his office has not seen or heard from him, which as he is a founder of it is worthy if a lifted eye brow.

So his cover is compleatly blown which means he can not do his job any longer, and his company is probably going to go up in smoke unless they dump him hard. Atleast on of his ex-colleagues has commented on his early departure from MI6/SiS with the assesment that "He lacked emotional intelligence". Which most people hear can read between the lines.

The other thing is the Russian's know who he is, he had Diplomatic Status in Russia thus he could never have gone back even as a tourist without being watched or detained.

Thus his thirty five closely typed page report is not in any way "Firsthand knowledge" further as I've pointed out a couple of times recently agents do what they do for MICE[1] reasons, this means by default they are untrustworthy, and probably stringing people along for ego or money reasons, thus they are going to tell you what they think you want to hear. You need a high level of emotional intelligence to sort fact from fiction and then verify it, and you need to know the agent first hand (something investicative journalists tell you about their sources if you ask).

It would appear that the author got told what he wanted to hear and put it in a report that he double sold to both sides (Republicans and Democrats) and when that did not got what he wanted he posted it out to US MSM organisations (effectively committing "career suicide").

Personaly I wouldn't bother reading the report, it's only going to give people "conformation bias" in their own world view and belief systems. So they will all wave it around and cry out "see the evil" or similar. Though some will be referring to their dislike of Trump, whilst others referring to their dislike of the CIA etc etc etc.

Me I'm going to get a fresh bowl of popcorn and enjoy the show ;-)

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motives_for_spying

brianJanuary 13, 2017 3:27 PM

Time and again we have seen where blackmail fails when the horrible truth is simply made public. Beyond the simple yet succinct point of this being good game theory, the interesting thing is the idea being put forth that "The story in question was published months ago on 4chan, word for word, as fan fiction...".
If this is true, then the hall of fame for trolls just inducted a new member. If not, then the hall of fame for trolls just inducted a different new member.

ab praeceptisJanuary 13, 2017 3:30 PM

Chris

if you're Russia, wanting to influence the President's actions - and the report is true - the smartest thing would be to see it is released in this way.

No. Rule #1: Understand your opponent, understand how he ticks and works.

The us-americans make the grave error to ignore that rule over and over again. Yes, quite probably some us-american leaders would think like you say - but: Russia is Russia and not the star spangled country.

That whole thing basically translates to playing a (illegal) game with a bet in it. That is **not** how the Kreml ticks.

The Kremls way is to professionally prepare for the worst reasonably probable outcome. So the Kreml prepared for killary clinton. Simple as that. They simply don't have any reason to influence your elections. They do, however - and almost nobody sees that in your country - have quite some reasons to *not* interfere in any way whatsoever in your election. Those reasons boil down to Russia having invested *a lot* in co-building a new world-order or, more precisely, to unwind the grossly illegal bending of international politics done by the star spangled nation.

Interfering in the election would destroy all of those efforts and Russia's credibility on the international stage.

The Kreml absolutely certainly does and did **not** interfere with the star spangled election circus. It had no motive, no need, and way to much to loose.

Sure, the Russians don't particularly like killary clinton (who the hell does?) but neither she nor the star spangled nation are of great concern to Russia. Not any more. Putin already has won, he already has what he wanted.

That was seen clearly in Syria where washington did everything they could - including criminal actions - to hamper and subdue Russia. They lousily failed. The clear winner there is Russia and washington is all but out of the game.

Plus: If *all* star spangled intelligence agencies tried really, really hard to show evidence for Russia having interfered in the elections and lousily failed then it seems very reasonable to assume that there was no case in the first place.

GrauhutJanuary 13, 2017 3:36 PM

@Bruce

There is no "Russian Dossier", this is some pre election smearing payed for by Jeb Bush Fans and then reused by anonymous Dems.

"The provenance of the dossier lies with a Washington-based opposition research firm, Fusion GPS, led by former journalists skilled in digging up secrets on public figures. The company was employed in September 2015 by one of Trump’s Republican detractors to look into his dealings. According to the BBC, an outside group supporting then presidential candidate Jeb Bush was the main client initially, followed by an anonymous Democratic donor."

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/12/donald-trump-russia-dossier-what-happens-next


And the hole p** story in it is just an echo of a /pol-tard joke. :)

https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/5n8yd9/when_you_never_verify_anything_because_youre_fake/

TrentJanuary 13, 2017 3:46 PM

A couple of observations:

1/ Imagine being a Russian hacker tasked with helping hack the DNC. Imagine your boss says "hey, are we going to hack the RNC too?" If your answer isn't at least "sure, why not?" then maybe you're not imagining hard enough.

2/ If you're going to leak a blackmail file like this, you'll add things that are worse than anything on the list that are demonstrably false. Even if some of the bad things do turn out to be true, hey, at least the worst things were proven false, no big deal, right?

3/ Intelligence agencies *want* to be publicly underestimated. It's much easier to get away with denying stuff if noone thinks you're good enough to pull it off.

4/ Apparently if an IC ever needs a cover story for an upcoming op, all they have to do is post fanfic of their plan on 4chan a month beforehand and that's enough to discredit news reports of whatever they eventually do. Remember that a presupposition of our actual situation is that there does exist a sophisticated deliberate "fake news" mechanism so crazy stuff like this *is* on the table.

5/ The *really* weird thing for me is Trump siding with Russia instead of the US intelligence agencies and news organizations. Trump isn't playing the game of "the CIA found this thing which we know is all empty falsehoods, let us laugh at this clearly hilarious Russian fiction". Instead Trump is being confrontational with *US* media and IC like he's being personally attacked, or as if he's concerned the attacks have weight, or if he's feeling betrayed and genuinely thought that Putin was a good friend. So I don't know what is with Trump's response.

(I hope (5) wasn't too general / off topic. If it is can you mod out just that one number? Wait, @Desmond Brennan has already opened that line so it's apparently okay?)

BrianJanuary 13, 2017 4:29 PM

I see no reason to believe the intelligence community was involved, at all. This “dossier” was privately constructed, privately shopped around, and privately published. “There is a ‘dossier’ floating around claiming Russia has the goods on Trump” is a legitimate thing to bring up at a security briefing. The existence of the documents is not a secret and a reasonable thing to publicly acknowledge (by mentioning their mention in a briefing), just as the existence of competitors is a reasonable thing for a company to acknowledge.

The only indication that there is any connection between this document dump and the intelligence community is that Trump is claiming a connection. Trump claims many things; some small fraction of his claims are even true. I find the particular claim under discussion here, that the intelligence community had something to do with these documents or the timing of their publication, more than somewhat questionable.

Ross SniderJanuary 13, 2017 4:34 PM

Another theory.

The intelligence community and media industry that contracts with them both understand that they've lost the credibility war due to leaked documents, and that whistle-blowing and leaked documents in the future pose very serious threats to both of their functioning.

The solution is to govern leaks and whistle-blower, inventing them and contracting with media to cover the stories. Mixing questionable and credible fake leaks and fake dissidents damages the reputation among the public regarding leaks as a class of information - similar to how MKUltra and other CIA programs had in the past been successfully obscured by fake information circulated by the CIA about mind control, alien technology and other such things.

This allows the media industry to deniably claim that they _do_ cover leaks and whistle-blowers, while avoiding actually covering the damaging ones. And for people who become confused about which leaks are real/fake the questions starts to look a lot more like "should I ask Fox or MSNBC?" than "should I read the leaks myself or go to alternative media?"

From a game theory perspective tilting at Donald Trump makes a lot of sense. Either he's brought down entirely and someone from the established political class takes over, president elect Trump loses credibility to reverse the intelligence community commitment to war against Russia in the eyes of a public who see it as scandalous, or a public immune response to continuous fake leaks makes the future Trump Administration immune from scandal - in which the National Security and war cabinet are able to pursue many of the policies that Trump did discuss, such as expanding the torture program.

This is a win, win, win matrix. If I were an intelligence community that viewed the mass of American people as enemies at worst and at best useful idiots with pitchforks, this line of reasoning makes perfect sense.

Clive RobinsonJanuary 13, 2017 4:39 PM

@ Albert,

th regards the New York Times, you might want to look up who ownes it and who has been bying it up where they get their money from (hint Mexico / communications, suspected of cartel involvment).

Oh and also have a look at the history of it's current CEO Mark Thompson and his history at the UK's BBC (it's not particularly edifying).

Whilst it may have pulled quite a few Pulitzer's, the quality of it's journalism is "fading to yellow" these days. There have been mutterings in the industry reported in other places that it's not doing the things it should be doing in terms of fact checking etc before publishing, with apparently some thinking it's got the equivalent of "Click-Bait Fever Rush" from Mark Thompson.

ScullyJanuary 13, 2017 4:46 PM

Does it change what you do if rather believing or knowing that the Russians have information they could blackmail Trump with, you believe or know that they are already blackmailing him?

RhysJanuary 13, 2017 4:56 PM

I really think speculative scenarios, especially in this highly emotive (not particularly rational), time to be not very constructive. In fact, I put them in the same cowardly saboteur category as rumors and the more modern- false news.

How about a little sense of perspective for a second? What really are the security issues, or is this just about the dysfunction of vanity.

What percentage of US Presidents didn't have some scandalous or salacious past history? And how did that affect our governance? Didn't J. Edgar Hoover not parlay his access to such information to his benefit? In a government of checks and balances, is this imbalance of access represent an impedance to the execution of governance?

There used to be an idiom that goes..."better the devil you know (than the devil you don't)". Anthropomorphic projection is a tool for teaching children. Not a stage of adult understanding. At some point we all have to take the world as it is, not as it ought to be. (Who ever decides "ought to be".)

So why should any unit of Government have access to information, even if scandalous, to the exclusion of the other branches? Why does an executive agency, let alone member of that agency, have exclusive authority to disclose or not? You assert it is not illegal- which even if it were true, there is a fiduciary (trust) duty that is violated.

We, the people, hire a soul to do a job for us. Not a saint. Not a divine spirit. Whether a President or as an analyst, our founding fathers agreed that man (species) was corrupt, and that the rule of law- executed through a system of checks and balance would mitigate the weakness and err. Should we not be concerned with security of our system more than the vanity of its members?

Ross SniderJanuary 13, 2017 5:12 PM

I remember when there were rumors that Trump was a Democratic Party member plant attempting to ruin the RNC and its debates.

PeteJanuary 13, 2017 5:13 PM

I read about half the "report" and skimmed the rest. Yawn.

Have a hard time believing even 10% of it is true. Most isn't even about Mr. Trump. Some of the "facts" should be easy enough to check - like his lawyer being in Prague or not. Never saw anything anywhere with said YES or NO to that question. CZ intelligence says they don't have any evidence he was there.
http://www.rferl.org/a/czech-intelligence-trump-lawyer-prague-meeting/28226228.html

The idea of leaking it for the good of the country does make sense.

Beth RyanJanuary 13, 2017 5:15 PM

I agree, putting the dossier out there was a good idea. He should also release his tax returns , it would leave him less vulnerable to allegations.

stevens37January 13, 2017 5:17 PM

Yes it was really good.

Buzzfeeds, CNN and other lefty propaganda sites lost completely the credibility.

rJanuary 13, 2017 5:18 PM

By doing so, you are eliminating any leverage Russia has over Trump and probably reducing the effectiveness of any other blackmail material any government might have on Trump.

I don't agree with this, I think this report if true will put fear into his mind more than ever - it serves as a reminder that the FSB may have video or more. Deny Deny Deny true or not I don't think it's going to diminish any hold they may or may not have over him at all.

Besides, I'm more interested in the non-trump things in that report.

rJanuary 13, 2017 5:25 PM

Maybe somebody should start a bitcoin auction a la Shadow Brokers to test the waters of his composure, he might have a breakdown with enough pressure. If anyone has a hundred thousand or so in bitcoin they could run it through a mixer to make it look like bids.

rJanuary 13, 2017 5:29 PM

It would certain be a usable vector for phishing/exploitation, expect it in the near future imb.

Be aware.

rJanuary 13, 2017 5:31 PM

Russian spammer's had better get on it, cuz it would be great deniability to be exploiting any weakness in his trust of non-disclosure.

BadtuxJanuary 13, 2017 5:35 PM

A retired NSA spook of my acquaintance made a similar comment -- that the release of this information now pretty much immunizes Trump against any attempt by the Russians to blackmail him with it in the future.

As others have noted, this information wasn't gathered by the CIA or NSA. My guess is that they've verified enough of it to feel confident in it, but releasing it sans that verification is not illegal (since it wasn't generated by the government), and likely enough to immunize Trump. Not that Buzzfeed got the information from the CIA, necessarily. Mother Jones had it months before the election, for example, and didn't do anything with it because they couldn't verify it. What Buzzfeed may have gotten from someone within the CIA was, "yes, we're investigating this, and we think some of the information is credible." Buzzfeed being Buzzfeed, that would have been enough to make them run with it.

As far as the conspiracy theories about the CIA/FBI/etc. conspiring against Trump etc., I don't think so. If they had been doing that, they would have released information prior to the election, not after the election. In fact this information does appear to have been available to them prior to the election, the FBI was already investigating, Mother Jones already had the actual file, etc. If Trump does a purge of the intelligence community, as seems likely, it will be more because he wants to put reliable apparatchiks in charge for fear of a coup when he starts doing things that are blatantly illegal, not because they're actually conspiring against him. Same reason he's forcibly retiring the National Guard general appointed by Bush who is in charge of the D.C. National Guard, he wants his own person in that position.

rJanuary 13, 2017 5:49 PM

@Badtux,

You mean like he plans to do with Ambassadors 'stat' ?

I find it odd he knew who he wanted to install inbetween us and other countries much more readily than he did his own multiple orifices, err offices.

GreenSquirrelJanuary 13, 2017 6:11 PM

Disclaimer: I do not believe this claim of compromising material is true. I believe it is more likely that circular reporting has fed in from the rumour mill.

The BBC have an interesting article on the subject: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38589427 which has some interesting quotes:

I {Journo writing the article} know this because the Washington political research company that commissioned his report showed it to me during the final week of the election campaign. The BBC decided not to use it then, for the very good reason that without seeing the tape - if it exists - we could not know if the claims were true.

At leas this adds weight to it predating 4CHAN.

And the former MI6 agent is not the only source for the claim about Russian kompromat on the president-elect. Back in August, a retired spy told me he had been informed of its existence by "the head of an East European intelligence agency". Later, I used an intermediary to pass some questions to active duty CIA officers dealing with the case file - they would not speak to me directly. I got a message back that there was "more than one tape", "audio and video", on "more than one date", in "more than one place" - in the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow and also in St Petersburg - and that the material was "of a sexual nature".

However, for me the greatest evidence that it doesnt exist is here:

Before the election, Larry Flynt, publisher of the pornographic magazine Hustler, put up a million dollars for incriminating tape of Mr Trump. Penthouse has now followed with its own offer of a million dollars for the Ritz-Carlton tape (if it exists).

If I was an FSB officer and the tape existed, there would be a good chance I'd be looking to move to somewhere nice and sunny where I could spend my new found riches (and at least delay the assassination squads...)

rJanuary 13, 2017 6:20 PM

@GreenSquirrel,

A mature disinformation campaign would've realized before hand that "golden shower" is code for something else, the golden shower video may not exist - it doesn't mean there isn't something else with that constructed as a reminder to avoid any anal retentive leakage.

Robert.WalterJanuary 13, 2017 6:21 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if Trump and co helped finance this report, filled with both true and with outrageously ridiculous stuff, so they could ridicule it in its entirety hoping to diminish, marginalize and bury the true stuff.

rJanuary 13, 2017 6:25 PM

It's all a part of having an understanding with someone, make up a lie to cover up the truth for extorsion. Gives you alot more flexibility that direct hinting.

rJanuary 13, 2017 6:28 PM

To take up a reference point @Clive would take, is why tell your Russian employees the truth? You can still laugh about a video existing even if you feed them the wrong details, you can watermark your leaks pretty quickly too.

rspamdJanuary 13, 2017 6:31 PM

Then, when you DO release everything you've said looks to be accurate even the stuff that has no proof to begin with. Your standing has improved by strategically lying initially and then again strategically telling the truth later by offering proof.

Steve SJanuary 13, 2017 7:21 PM

You can't go wrong with Arthur Conan Doyle's. “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

Anyone that goes with the former demeans themselves.

Ross SniderJanuary 13, 2017 7:34 PM

It's interesting to compare this dossier to the DNC's opposition research on Donald Trump, which was everything they could collect as far as dirt (and comes in at over 200 pages).

http://thesmokinggun.com/sites/default/files/assets/djtdncgucc.pdf

I searched for Russia and actually found really wise, prescient quotes from Trump like "We Have To Do One Thing At A Time. We Can’t Be Fighting ISIS And Fighting Assad." - or "[Putin] is not representing us. He is representing Russia."

I searched for prostitutes, golden showers and other things and got nothing. The theory, I guess, at the time, was that he was a dunce rather than a mole.

It's well known that Trump wants warmer relations with Russia. The new dossier (probably faked) adds a different take on a similar theme to narrating that:

1. First Trump and Putin were best friends, but he had no diplomatic experience and Trump looked up to "autocrats".

2. Then Trump was a Russian agent.

3. Then Trump was unwittingly the benefit of Russian propaganda.

4. Then Trump was trading benefit with Russia for support and business contracts.

5. Now Trump was a five year project by Russia to cultivate a political pawn.

Anyway, there's a real and interesting affect of all of this: the allegations and conspiracy theories about Trump and his being a mole aren't really sticking except for those people who really need a reason to understand why he won. But the side affect is that Trump is actually losing his brand as a business magnate. People no longer think of him and his name that way.

squirelJanuary 13, 2017 7:38 PM

Seems to me I've now read in several news sources that the dossier and reports of kompromat were the "worst kept secret in Washington" and circulating widely amongst journalists prior to the election. The evstiges of the Bush campaign would've been aware as well as the Clinton campaign. Then it is hard to swallow that the Trump campaign and hence Trump himself would not have been also aware. The only thing that's changed since the leak is that Obama, Trump, LE and IC are now "officially" aware. I would further suspect with so many news organizations in possession that the leak didn't originate with the media, could be at the behest of IC, or the Clinton campaign.

Trump SupporterJanuary 13, 2017 8:29 PM

@stevens37

"Buzzfeeds, CNN and other lefty propaganda sites lost completely the credibility."

They didn't have any to begin with. It was particularly painful to watch CNN fall into pro-Obama Pravda territory, but that's what happened in 2008.

Before 2008, I used to get my news from CNN. While I acknowledged their slight liberal bias, I felt that up until that point they made a concerted effort to not appear partisan.

All that changed with Obama. I felt increasingly frustrated with the Obamagasms one could see day in, day out. I reluctantly switched a couple of times to Fox News to get a different perspective and I have never looked back. Not that Fox News is 100% objective, but their opinion show hosts don't hide their biases. On the other hand, their hard news people are the best in the business currently. Chris Wallace was the best moderator of all 4 debates during the general election by a huge margin. One would need to suspend his critical thinking to see Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz as anything but Democratic partisan hacks. How is that they were offered the opportunity to moderate a debate is beyond me.

In 2004, CBS retracted a story about Bush that had more basis than the "Trump dossier". Dan Rather's retirement probably happened sooner than he expected as a result of this episode.

Fast forward 12 years and CNN has engaged in a much worse exercise of journalist malpractice and what we see the liberal media do is to come together to defend CNN.

Times have indeed changed between 2004 and 2016. Does anybody need explanation as to why CNN is considered the least trusted among cable news channels? Boy, anybody watching MSNBC knows what he is getting. Same with Fox. But CNN is Fake News 24 hours a day. They pretend not to be partisan hacks but they are the biggest hacks there are in the news business.

paranoia destroys yaJanuary 13, 2017 8:44 PM

The Movie plot threat contest is getting harder to come up with a fictional story.

Clive RobinsonJanuary 13, 2017 8:52 PM

@ GreenSquirrel,

If I was an FSB officer and the tape existed, there would be a good chance I'd be looking to move to somewhere nice and sunny where I could spend my new found riches...

Now that is something we both can agree on ;-)

However a thought does occure...

There is a company in the West End of London that dors some real interesting things with old photograps and body doubles.

You might have seen an advert for a well known --in Britain-- chocolate bar --Galaxy-- which has Audrey Hepburn in the staring role. Appart from the body doubles legs you would think you were watching Audrey Hepburn.

With $1,000,000 up for grabs, some one else might produce a "Little Hands Video" as script out lined in the report...

Just a thought whilst I munch popcorn 0:)

TBH_CityJanuary 13, 2017 9:21 PM

The partisan nature of the allegations would seem to weaken the Democrat position in a time where things are becoming increasingly polarized. Initial balance may have favored Dems 70/30 by media, but fighting back has exposed those sources' hypocritical nature for mid/long term in a way that undermines lasting credibility

ScullyJanuary 13, 2017 9:43 PM

The ROI isn't there to do it for $1M. It cost a LOT more than that to make the 60 second Galaxy Ad and Framestore had to do a lot of work to make it look convincing. It's very difficult to get to the right side of the uncanny valley, and even more difficult to do it with a widely recognizable person. Worth checking out the 'making of' video if you can find it.

PJJanuary 14, 2017 4:08 AM

Does anyone doubt that Trump is a sleaze and a douche?

The guy who spent years on his birther conspiracy us now on the receiving end... of stories that may well be true and whose credibility hinges significantly on his track record. Would anyone believe it of Obama or Bush?

After his latest denial I HEARD him on the Howard Stern show telling someone he had to get over to Russia because "the girls there have no morals".

Oh? How does he know? His knowing laughs suggested first hand knowledge.

America's wee problem is not golden showers or whether the CIA is as bad now as it has been in the past. It's that a certifiable moron is about to become president, someone with a serious personality disorder and mental health issues. And, even more worrying, the Republicans are hell bent on putting the party before the country. They think they will be able control him even as he violates every rule and convention. They're in for a rude awakening.

There's clear evidence the Logan Act has been breached and of intense political partisanship in the intelligence community, and as of now it seems the GOP is willing to look the other way. We even see calls for restrictions on the press. These people are traitors intent on betraying the Constitution.

Who would have thought Snowden would be vindicated so quickly?

MarkJanuary 14, 2017 4:25 AM

I must say the last 12 months have been an absolute balls up with the Defence implementation of the 'Wassenaar Arrangement'

And at last, its being published in Volumes.

Cryptopocalypse NOW is the story behind the trials and tribulations encountered in creating "FooCrypt, A Tale of Cynical Cyclical Encryption." as told by a Convicted Hacker.

"FooCrypt, A Tale of Cynical Cyclical Encryption." is aimed at hardening several commonly used Symmetric Open Source Encryption methods so that they are hardened to a standard that is commonly termed 'QUANTUM ENCRYPTION'.

"FooCrypt, A Tale of Cynical Cyclical Encryption." is currently under export control by the Australian Department of Defence Defence Export Controls Office due to the listing of Cryptology as a ‘Dual Use’ Technology as per the ‘Wassenaar Arrangement’

https://itunes.apple.com/au/author/mark-a.-lane/id1100062966?mt=11

Offical Images :

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GreenSquirrelJanuary 14, 2017 4:40 AM

@clive

With $1,000,000 up for grabs, some one else might produce a "Little Hands Video" as script out lined in the report...

I like the way you think..... :-)

Especially as you could probably get $1m from Penthouse, Hustler and many more organisations......

I am genuinely surprised this hasn't already happened (given how quick porn parodies of Sarah Palin came out).

Wendy M. GrossmanJanuary 14, 2017 5:11 AM

I had the same thought you did, Bruce. But I'm really dismayed by the way some of the people who were so angry about Trump's lack of interest in facts have seized upon this report, apparently not caring if it's true as long as it makes Trump look bad.

wg

The Flower of MarxismJanuary 14, 2017 5:47 AM

"which you have some evidence might be true."

Or it could be someone taking the piss.

Ben NautyJanuary 14, 2017 6:43 AM

Text from the leaked document:

"the Rosneft President (CEO) had raised with PAGE the issues of future bilateral energy cooperation and prospects for an associated move to lift Ukraine-related western sanctions against Russia."

Trump stated yesterday that he is "open to discussion of lifting sanctions against Russia." Bilateral energy cooperation coming after an inauguration to you soon.
Personally, I don't care if Trump is into golden showers or not, but he most certainly cares if you care because it could damage his inflated & delicate ego, thus making him easy to manage/manipulate/control. Openness to discussion of lifting sanctions being most current example.

Jillian EnglandJanuary 14, 2017 7:42 AM

Paid trash, no verification, full of false "facts". It's a particular type of pornograpy literature that gives some perverts a thrill. Of course it has to be released and diseminated as far as possible to give its author the thrill and adrenaline rush they were seeking.

Exactly the same type of trash as the recent Podesta "pizza-gate" child sex trafficking leaks.

It is a lie and slander.

Pete AustinJanuary 14, 2017 7:45 AM

Is this just about Trump, perhaps because you don't like him, or Russia because you don't like that particular country? Or are you really saying the following? If so, I think the implications would be horrific in preventing anyone sane from going into politics.

"Imagine that you are someone in the CIA, concerned about the future of America. You have this dossier on any American Public Figure which you don't know is true or 100% bullshit. The smartest thing you can do is to leak it to the public."

TatütataJanuary 14, 2017 8:10 AM

Could this release, wherever it came from, and regardless of its authenticity, be the IS's equivalent of a horse head in your bed?

The NSA can't program DJT in its selectors as he is a US citizen allegedly born in the US.

But all of his foreign contacts are fair game... That 50G$ apparatus must have something in its bag.

And pursuant the recent EO, this information the NSA can now share its dope with all to come.

You might be allergic to the term "intelligence" in all of its acceptations, but we have the goods on you.

The PEOTUS can place all of his pawns at the heads of the TLAs, but who knows what stay-behind cells there are down in the hierarchy.

(Wasn't it the kind of stuff that the Church committee wanted to put an end to 40 years ago?)

Dirk PraetJanuary 14, 2017 8:25 AM

@ Bruce

The smartest thing you can do is to leak it to the public. By doing so, you are eliminating any leverage Russia has over Trump and probably reducing the effectiveness of any other blackmail material any government might have on Trump.

I'm not sure I agree with that. Whilst the IC (for once) has done nothing but their job in bringing the existence and contents of that report to the attention of both current and future POTUS, I really don't see the added value of its leaking to and publication by major news outlets. Such completely unsubstantiated rumours do nothing but further confuse, polarize and divide the American public. Trump supporters will see it as just another vicious attack on their protector of the working class, his opponents see more confirmation that the man is a complete liability and us here in the rest of the world cannot but roll our eyes and munch on popcorn at the sorry sight of the total freak show US politics, both foreign and domestic, have become.

I don't think it immunizes Trump from any future blackmail or incriminations. At best, it raises the bar for the required burden of proof. Which is actually a good thing. I'm pretty tired of being force-fed lines like "chief of - insert TLA - asserts that ..." or "an anonymous official has confirmed that...".

@ Wendy M. Grossman

I'm really dismayed by the way some of the people who were so angry about Trump's lack of interest in facts have seized upon this report, apparently not caring if it's true as long as it makes Trump look bad.

Some would call it a taste of your own medicine, others a boomerang effect. The Murdoch Empire has been lowering the standards for Anglo-Saxon journalism and news reporting for years, and almost to Soviet Union-like levels. The way Trump and the Brexiteers went about facts for Oxford Dictionaries even made "post-truth" the word of the year in 2016.

There's a good reason most games have rules, and the simple fact is that as soon as one party starts cheating, it's just a matter of time before all others chime in.

@ Clive, @ GreenSquirrel

If I was an FSB officer and the tape existed, there would be a good chance I'd be looking to move to somewhere nice and sunny where I could spend my new found riches (and at least delay the assassination squads...)

A million bucks gets you nowhere these days. It's probably not even enough to buy that mansion of your dreams. What we need is some serious crowdfunding here.

@ Ross Snider

I searched for Russia and actually found really wise, prescient quotes from Trump like "We Have To Do One Thing At A Time. We Can’t Be Fighting ISIS And Fighting Assad."

That's actually common sense devoid of any underlying political or other agenda.

Trump Supporter January 14, 2017 9:23 AM

You want to understand the real reason Trump won?

Watch the final 2 minute ad of his campaign,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vST61W4bGm8

Which itself is a 2 min version of a longer version that had been put together -like a month earlier- by people claiming to be affiliated with Anonymous.

The original 5 min video is harder to found now, but Anonymous Official glued it together with another 5 min to produce this longer 10 min version,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG4GdIs0rbM

In short, if you watch the first 5 min of the above video, you'll see what was circulating in the social networks throughout October. The Trump team liked it and made it into its own ad.

Trump election was the result of a bottom up movement our country hasn't seen in a very long time. Some compare it to the Reagan Revolution but I think this is bigger. After all, Reagan ended up having the support of the Republican establishment once he was nominated and relied on such establishment throughout his presidency. Trump is pretty much his own man and his movement is truly bottom up.

When I think about where the United States was headed had Hillary Clinton won and when I see the enthusiasm that Trump unleashed first among his primary voters, then among his general election voters, I think that our country is truly blessed to have had somebody like him, who doesn't owe anything to anyone, ready to step up for pure love of country.

There are many people like me who voted for Trump and won't say it publicly. The sooner the mainstream media and the Democrats accept this, the better will be for our country. Trump doesn't need the mainstream media to enact his agenda and mobilize his people. We also need a robust Democratic Party that can serve as an effective opposition to Trump. But the Democratic Party has first to accept that it had become a party of snobs disconnected from the reality of the average American and that's the real reason they lost the election. Everything else, including the fake controversy surrounding this dossier, is a red herring intended for internal consumption among said snobs.

Snorgling WaspJanuary 14, 2017 9:27 AM

When Bush orchestrated the "leak" of his fake National Guard records he effectively killed that line of inquiry.

Politics & Espionage today is very far from the public facing effects, it a smokescreen with deep, deliberate impacts.

The Trump "leak" is to discredit legitimate inquiries into ties to Russia. Even if a few of the facts are correct - if Cohen had met with Russians on a different day and a different place... enough are wrong to allow deniability and anyone prompted to investigate for the fully factual result would face dismissal of the whole line.

If you played CLUE and weren't exactly correct the first time, nobody takes you seriously by the final round. Spoiler... there still was a murder!

Ivan DurakovJanuary 14, 2017 10:36 AM

Already demonstrated to be fiction created by a Demshevik troll. Its embrace is rooted entirely in wishful thinking by sore losers.

SteveBJanuary 14, 2017 10:45 AM

This has been proven to be "fake news". Just as publishing a leak to prevent compromise of a POTUS before inauguration is arguably socially responsible, it's also socially responsible for a blogger of your stature to retract your post on this "fake news" item and say, like ALL media should say, "Yeah, I was duped like CNN, this story is fake." But you tweet the fake news again.

At the risk of getting this comment deleted, #SheLostGetOverIt.

Steve In Reno

Ross SniderJanuary 14, 2017 11:04 AM

@Dirk Praet

"That's actually common sense devoid of any underlying political or other agenda."

I would tend to agree.

But then I look at the public dialogue and statements made by other officials, both within and outside the campaign season.

This last part is what I indeed by this: his comments stood out against the lack of wisdom and common sense in these regards, and did not particularly align him with Russia - though at the time the rhetoric was made to seem so.

My InfoJanuary 14, 2017 11:22 AM

the explosive details — unsubstantiated accounts of frolics with prostitutes

*** Yawn! *** (I'm bored with this article already.)

Mr. Trump denounced the unproven claims Wednesday as a fabrication, a Nazi-style smear concocted by “sick people.”

In a newspaper article, the correct style is "Trump" without the "Mr.," reason being that every time there is a "Mr." there is a "Ms.," and they go together in a cheap hotel room not worthy of the eponymous Tower. Furthermore, the "Mr." is sexist and bad style to gloat over the victory over Clinton, the female candidate in this race. "Hillary" vs. "The Donald," in case it is necessary to become first-name familiar. "Sick people?" Sure, nothing but typical yellow journalism.

It has further undermined his relationship with the intelligence agencies and cast a shadow over the new administration.

The American people in general are just as sick of being stalked and spied upon by these intelligence agencies, which are sadly lacking in intelligence. "Cast a shadow? Over Trump's administration?" Hardly.

soothsayerJanuary 14, 2017 11:24 AM

This is a shallow game theory analysis -- largely because Bruce seems to be trying to justify the absurd proposition with mental contortions of the highest order of glibness.

1. You don't have a Russian Dossier, you have report of an Englishman saying Russians have "this dossier".

2. Trump has seen most of his laundry (dirty and otherwise) aired -- he doesn't care -- people who voted for him don't care (and wouldn't have cared if it came before election) - so how does this make American weak or strong.

I would submit that this was "leaked" because these yahoos's were peed off that Trump doesn't care! so they did it out of frustration and not of some higher motive that Bruce is assigning them to.


3. If this analysis is to be held, then CIA/FBI/MI6 should ALWAYS release EVERYTHING they get on politicians; i.e. Tony Blair having sex with Wendy Murdouch, Quid-Pro-wHo's of of Clinton foundation, Hillary's dosage of Comuadin (I am sure they have it) .. Billy Bubba's p-size and the bend angle that court determined was enough to cause him to be debarred .. .. and every kinky, criminal detail of every politician.

Let everything be in the open and let everything be seen and be known about all these people and no one will be embarrassed over it -- that will make this whole world better place to live.

There is only one flaw in this argument .. doing this would largely make CIA/FBI superfluous -- so why should they do it?

AndyJanuary 14, 2017 12:46 PM

@all
Bruce hasn't replied to you bait attacks, about left or right, maybe he's given a opinion that might have more depth and asking it in return.

The only accurate information about a person is your own thoughts about yourself.

But like @ab said it went from one extreme to the next, from technical to social

albertJanuary 14, 2017 12:54 PM

@Trump Supporter,
I don't think Bruce is a "Democratic hack". He's a liberal academic and, as far as I know, respected in the computer security community. He hasn't achieved Rock-Star Status, like Neil DeGrasse Tyson, for example, but that's not a good thing in the cybersecurity world. The problem is, unlike 'pure' science, cybersecurity intersects the media, politics, business, and national security. Anyone is bound to be affected when they have to work underneath the rocks, where all those creepy-crawly things lurk and hide.

Regarding Trump, I believe a lot of folks jumped the gun on prejudging him. His team is a lot smarter than most folks think. They played the election like a fiddle. Let's wait a few months and see what happens.

@Clive,
Carlos Slim has 17% of Class A shares, which have much less influence that the Class B (private) shares. (See wiki) You probably know more about Mark Thompson than I. In any case, the Grey Lady, jaundice notwithstanding, knows what side of her bread is buttered.
. .. . .. --- ....

Trump SupporterJanuary 14, 2017 1:17 PM

@Andy

"Bruce hasn't replied to you bait attacks, about left or right, maybe he's given a opinion that might have more depth and asking it in return."

Or maybe Bruce is relying the talking points of an intelligence community he sees sympathetic to his liberal causes, thus my accusation that he is a partisan hack. Without further evidence to back the claims included in the report, all opinions are equally valid with respect to the motivations behind the leak. What we have known since Buzzfeed published the dossier is more indicative of an orchestrated smear campaign against Trump -by either the former KGB or even Putin himself feeding false information to Chris Steele into which the FBI/CIA bought into because it confirmed their own prejudices against Trump- than anything resembling reality.

@albert

"Regarding Trump, I believe a lot of folks jumped the gun on prejudging him. His team is a lot smarter than most folks think. They played the election like a fiddle. Let's wait a few months and see what happens."

Trump has put together the smartest and most qualified team the US government has had since at least the Ronald Reagan era. Here is how I see things: G W Bush put in said positions Republican cronies. People who were in the waiting to take jobs in the next Republican administration. Obama got similar people from the Democratic cronies club plus academics who had zero experience with the real world and high powered lawyers. Anybody who has had the bad luck to have to deal with lawyers knows how things usually end up when these people come into the picture: not good.

Then there is Trump. It is a true "Dream Team" in terms of brains, real world experience and qualifications. The feeling that I get from Trump's team is that they are doing the US government a favor not the other way around. Take Rex Tillerson for example. He gave up a CEO job at one of the largest and most profitable companies in the planet -and the comfortable life that comes with that- to put his brains at the service of the United States foreign policy. Obviously, our enemies are terrified. And so are the do nothing Washington politicians and bureaucrats who prefer a puppet they can easily manipulate with their petty requests.

It is very ironic this is 2017, the hundredth anniversary of the Soviet Revolution. We might have our own American revolution albeit on a more peaceful way.

Dirk PraetJanuary 14, 2017 1:48 PM

@ Trump Supporter

Trump election was the result of a bottom up movement our country hasn't seen in a very long time.

No it isn't. It's the result of large parts of the population having been left behind by a political and financial elite - democrats and republicans alike - that only care about themselves and for all practical purposes are perceived to be above the law. It was just a matter of time before an ambitious salesman seized the opportunity to capitalise on that discontent by telling people whatever they wanted to hear, irrespective of it being fact or fiction.

Us in Europe already have some relevant experience with similar figures like your Trump: the Le Pen's in France, Orban in Hungary, Wilders and Fortuyn in The Netherlands, Farage and Johnson in the UK, Norbert Hofer in Austria. I could go on. They all share a similar discourse that is a combination of nationalism, protectionism, xenophobia and authoritarianism traditionally associated with the far-right of the political spectrum. Another thing they have in common is that they hardly ever rise from the ranks of the commoners they claim to represent, but almost invariably are establishment figures themselves whose outspoken opinions are just too toxic for them to thrive in more traditional political environments.

The question you really should be asking yourself is to which extent it makes any sense at all that a real-estate billionaire living in a golden palace and surrounding himself with peers only can actually be the champion of the man in the streets he pretends to be. However much I hate to rain on your parade, he has no previous record whatsoever that would even remotely justify such an assumption. Quite frankly, it doesn't even pass the smelling test and I'm afraid you're in for a very cold shower.

@ albert

They played the election like a fiddle. Let's wait a few months and see what happens

Trump and his team did not win the election. The Republicans and the Democrats lost it. And they only have themselves to blame for it.

Adam MacwoodJanuary 14, 2017 1:53 PM

Up until the threat of a white supremacist Republican extremist actually getting sworn in to the Office of the President became a serious threat, refraining from releasing the documents was the right thing to do, it was only after it was confirmed that the threat of this Wall Street far right wing hate-driven, hate-motivated baboon became certain that the documents were released.

So the source, the ex-British intelligence officer who compiled the report and, presumably, ensured it would get wide coverage in the world *after* the threat became an inescapable reality did the right thing, release after the election was the *correct* thing to do.

I mention it because if the documents were released as a warring Wall Street Plutocrat's political ploy to stop the white supremacist's chances of being elected, they would have been released prior to the election, not on the even of the swearing-in rituals.

Clive RobinsonJanuary 14, 2017 3:19 PM

@ My Info,

Fee, fie, foe, fum.

In the rhyme it says,

    Fee, fie, foe, fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman.

Apparently the author of the report has "gone to ground" as UK Tory MP's are "baying for blood" over the report. They claim he has severely damaged any chance of UK PM Theresa May MP, forming links with Pres-Elect Donald Trump, which would be critical in the UK Brexit from the EU.

It's interesting to read in the Independent article linked to above by @Britt to read that the author and his actual paymaster, both carried on working on this long after the money stopped.

This does not sound like the work of an analyst, they have to be detached to avoide cognative bias. The author and his paymaster, both sound very very far from detached, they appear to have the equivalent of "Missionary Zeal" bordering on fanaticism.

The fact that this is now quite brightly litt by the MSM Lime Light, does not bode well for their futures. Remember Donald Trump could use the UK Courts for "defamation" or as the author "Published" much much worse, he could find himself and his company having all assets seized and pushed into bankruptc/insolvency.

Some media outlets have suggested that Donald is already starting to go after the NYT.

@ Albert,

Although Carlos Slim only has ~17% of the A shares, you also need to remember he got half of them via a deal with a loan to the NYT holding company, that has the majority of the B shares. He had, and in effect still has a "Sword of Damocles" over the holding company. At the very least if they don't follow his council he could dump his shares and bring the value of the NYT crashing, which has knock on effects.

As for Mark Thompson there are many at the BBC and also those who are no longer employed by the BBC praying that the NYT board has "A night of the long knives" on him, due to the amount of trouble and distress caused during his very less than stellar performance at the BBC.

Trump SupporterJanuary 14, 2017 3:19 PM

@Dirk Praet

I am not into conspiracy theories, sorry. Your analysis is partly right, partly seriously misguided.

The part I agree with you is this,

"large parts of the population having been left behind by a political and financial elite - democrats and republicans alike - that only care about themselves and for all practical purposes are perceived to be above the law"

But that does not in any way nullify what I said. The beauty of the American system, as explained in detail in Federalist paper 10, is that when a given faction, like the aforementioned, takes too much power at the expense of inflicting pain to other factions, those other factions have the power to fight back. Trump was just the right messenger, but he is conveying the hopes and aspirations of millions of Americans who have been left behind by the elite that imposed things like NAFTA and a de-facto open borders policy to supply cheap labor.

The rest of what you say is simply conspiratorial nonsense. Trump has been saying the same things for a long time, as Hillary Clinton noticed during one of the debates. Here is his famous 1987 ad https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2015-07/10/17/enhanced/webdr02/enhanced-12123-1436563120-13.png .

It's only now that the damage inflicted by the forces denounced by Trump in 1987 has reached critical mass in society. Meanwhile, the elites were happy to believe that the unemployment rate went down to 5% thanks to high quality employment -as if the record number not in the labor force and the number of people on food stamps didn't tell a different story.

I am very happy that Trump won the election. In the long run, his will be seen as one of the most consequential presidencies -for the better- in US history.

With respect to your analogies to other European leaders, you making them just shows you know very little about European politics. The proverbial using a map of New York to get by Chicago.

Dirk PraetJanuary 14, 2017 4:02 PM

@ Trump Supporter

With respect to your analogies to other European leaders, you making them just shows you know very little about European politics.

Please be so kind as to enlighten me on what's wrong with my analogy. I always love to hear from a US expert on European politics.

Clive RobinsonJanuary 14, 2017 4:25 PM

@ Trump Supporter,

smear campaign against Trump -by either the former KGB or even Putin himself feeding false information to Chris Steele into which the FBI/CIA bought into because it confirmed their own prejudices against Trump- than anything resembling reality.

It's probably not Putin or KGB/FSB pushing false info as an active policy. Firstly it would not be in their interest to do so if they wanted leverage. Secondly if the alledged APT-Russia-wikileaks is true as the "Russia Inside" claimers suggest, you have an apparent contradiction in behaviour.

However you need to think about the author himself and his actions. It's been reported that he used to be a UK MI6/SiS Case Officer/Analyst under Diplomatic cover as part of the UK Mission in Moscow. Further that he developed a series of contacts etc whilst there.

As an ex-spook with no Diplomatic cover he cannot go into Russia for his own safety. Thus it has been reported he used intermediaries who were payed, as where probably the informants.

As I've already noted agents/informants are doing so for one of the MICE reasons. As for the intermediaries they are in effect "contractors" who get payed by result. Thus there is very much likely to be a case of "When you pay for what you get, you get what you pay for". After all the author would not have ways to check what he was paying for. Thus Money and or Ego in either the informants or intermediaries may well have sold him a pup.

The reports author appears to have taken what he was being told at face value, as after getting frustrated at a lack of action by the FBI he "published" the report, which realy was not a wise thing to do. Thus quite a few MSM organisations got a copy of the report and as they could no more verify the report's contents any more than the author or US IC, they likewise did nothing with the report.

And that is how it would probably have stayed, if the CIA had not let it be known that both the Obama, Trump and the Group of 8 had been briefed on the report.

It appears the NYT assumed that ment the report's contents had be verified by the US IC, thus they reported on it, and Buzzfeed made their copy available to all. Thus the brown stuff hit the fan and various others "jumped on the band waggon". Subsiquently it has been found that some of the report details are either false or to ludicrous to believe, and the rest remain neither verified or disproved.

Personaly I think Donald Trump played his response the wrong way, instead of indignation/outrage, he should have treated it all as a huge joke by reading bits out and hamming it up, and in the process made those pushing the report into a laughingstock.

Personaly the contents of the report are of nrar zero ibterest to me, however what is, is how the US MSM are repeating the same mistakes as they have befor. It's almost as though they are trying to double down so they don't have to face upto the fact they called the election wrong for weeks before hand... It all makes fascinating if lurid entertainment, after all you would not could not put such a plot line in a book or other work of fiction, nobody would believe it.

Trump SupporterJanuary 14, 2017 4:39 PM

@Dirk Praet

I've lived in several European countries, in France in particular. It is human nature to seek to fit how other societies work into our understanding of how our society works. Nothing wrong about that. I know pretty well the French case, less so the others, but the commonality of European countries is a shared history of conflict in which each of them, at different times, has sought to impose its ways on others. The XIX-the century saw the emergence of ethnic nationalism, something that is completely alien to the American ethos, even when slavery and segregation were legal. For example, today's Americans of German, Irish, Italian or Polish descent pass for "whites" even though the original American whites were Anglo-Saxon whites. In the American tradition, those accepting as theirs the mainstream culture derived from American Protestantism are as "American" as everybody else. Not so in Europe where people are very "ancestor pedigree aware"

Of course, the maximum expression of "ethic nationalism" was Nazi Germany's attempt to purge its society of non-Aryan elements. But you have seen similar instincts elsewhere. The former Yugoslavia felt prey to similar tensions between people of Serbian ethnicity and the rest.

Let's begin with the most obvious difference. Donald Trump was the candidate elected by the voters of one of the two mainstream American parties. In fact, he got the record number of votes during the Republican primary. He also got large margins in states where primary voters are mostly so called "moderate Republicans" such as New York or Connecticut. Then, in the general election, despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, he got more popular votes than any other Republican candidate for president in history, surpassing by almost one million votes G W Bush's record in 2004.

All this to say that Donald Trump emerged from the mainstream of American politics, not from the fringes. He has a very particular personality, etc, but his politics are mainstream. Ideologically he has ideas that have been traditionally embraced by the Republican Party -such us the preference for original-ism when it comes to judicial philosophy- but also ideas who are traditionally associated with the Democratic Party such as a worry for the effect that trade deals have had on the working class or the notion that people who cannot afford health insurance should have access to critical healthcare.

Marine Le Pen, to speak of the case I know best, on the other hand is the candidate of the French National Front. The National Front has been a fringe party for years in France that has defended a racist and xenophobic vision of France. His founder, Marine Le Pen's father Jean Marie Le Pen, once said that the French soccer team was made of of "foreigners" in clear reference to the French players who weren't white. Marine Le Pen has sought to soften the party's image by distancing herself from her father's most xenophobic rhetoric -in fact she even expelled him from the party- but the DNA of the National Front remains a xenophobic one.

While there is a grain of truth in the notion that the forces fostering the raise of Marine Le Pen are similar to the forces that fueled Trump to win the Republican primary, the two candidates cannot be more different in their vision for their respective countries. For all his bravado, the vision of America that Trump defends is race-blind (which is not the same as multicultural), in the traditional American sense: it doesn't matter where you come from -ie, your race, ethnicity, or religion doesn't matter- it matters where you are going -ie, that you embrace the American ideal of individual freedom and free enterprise. The second part is what multiculturalists dislike. Multiculturalists are happy with the existence of ethnic ghettos where people with similar ethnicity live in isolation of mainstream America: case in point Miami, where the majority of its population are Spanish speakers.

Austria and Hungary are similar cases to the French one. Not so the UK. Nigel Farage's message has never been xenophobic, rather, anti-EU and pro Britain.

You might have noticed that while Trump has happy to be seen with Nigel Farage in the aftermath of his victory, he has not similarly embraced Marine Le Pen, to the point that he refused to meet with her when she showed up at Trump Tower this week. There is a reason why. These two European leaders might been pushed by similar forces, but their political visions could not be more different.

Clive RobinsonJanuary 14, 2017 4:44 PM

@ Dirk Praet,

Trump and his team did not win the election. The Republicans and the Democrats lost it. And they only have themselves to blame for it.

Yup both the Republicans and Democrats lost the election, and they will probably lose a lot more during his term as president. But the real potential losers are the "elites", which is going to make things quite interesting to observe.

What puzzles me is that Donald Trump is clearly not a Republican in the traditional or even more modern sense, so why is it Europeans pointing this out to those in the US?

dugooJanuary 14, 2017 5:04 PM

one reason why an intelligence agency might leak this file could be to elicit participants' reactions. maybe FSB blurts something out? maybe the Wise Mr Trump blurts something out? a team of good behavioral analysts looking at the way he reacted might be able to figure out whether the blackmail happened or not. looking at trump's reactions, the tone of his tweets, the body language after the leak, i would now be more inclined to think that there was a blackmail than i was before the leak.

DaveJanuary 14, 2017 5:06 PM

You have to be a bit careful about this stuff. The stream of (dis)information pouring out of Russia might be pure gold for some, but for others it feels like they're being showered with body waste.

mozJanuary 14, 2017 5:16 PM

The Guardian said that they had this document since last summer but none of the interesting facts were verifiable, except that some of the facts were verified as wrong. This was apparently widely distributed, probably with the hope someone could verify it.

Anyway, the CIA doesn't need to leak it. They just need one person with contact with a journalist to mention that they heard someone thinks it's true.

Finally, belief in Trump is something which will be solid almost no matter what until one single emotional video showing him doing something. The Russians either release the actual video or they don't. If they do, this discussion having happened may make the video more interesting because Trump lied about it. If the Russians don't have the video then nobody cares. If they don't care about accusations he's raped people they don't care about unconfirmed accusations he had some weird sex.

Trump SupporterJanuary 14, 2017 5:24 PM

@Clive Robinson

I will definitely agree with this,

"Yup both the Republicans and Democrats lost the election, and they will probably lose a lot more during his term as president. But the real potential losers are the "elites", which is going to make things quite interesting to observe."

We are going to have 4 fascinating years ahead of us -likely 8 since unless Trump does something extraordinary, incumbent presidents are hard to beat, specially incumbents that follow a president of the opposite party.

On the report issue, I don't really know what is the actual truth behind it. What we currently know seems straight out of a bad John Le Carré novel.

What I find exasperating from Bruce is that after having said that his infamous blog on his plan for the next for years would be his last on non computer security issues, he keeps giving us stuff to talk about that has nothing to do with computer security and that only serves to confirm his liberal bias.

As @albert pointed out, computer security is not like the hard sciences with a clear right/wrong answer. The key in computer security is whom you trust on everything from authentication, to identity to which algorithms/policies are secure.

Bruce is increasingly coming across as the mouthpiece of the US government security agencies. This calls into question the credibility of his recommendations from a pure technical point of view. He might be being played by these agencies in a disinformation campaign orchestrated against Trump. As I said, without hard evidence, all opinions are wroth the same. A simple "trust me" doesn't work.

rJanuary 14, 2017 5:28 PM

@Trump Supporter,

We, you, me, his public eat it up.

We enjoy it, we enjoy the freedom and we enjoy the nurturing environment.

Right?

;-)

It's likely a good outlet and there can be some outrageous statements and positions along the way.

Trump SupporterJanuary 14, 2017 5:42 PM

@r

Here is the thing. I cried on election night. In the days leading to November 8th I had accepted the likely Clinton victory. I thought this good country of us had been lost to the same globalization forces that have doomed the European Union countries -that European Union most Britons voted to distance themselves from.

When you look at the European Union, all you see is a good idea having gone terribly wrong. The top-down quasi-Communist management of the Eurozone has resulted in massive poverty in several of its constituents, with its populations having little to nothing to say on policies that impact their daily lives. Sure, they can travel around without passports, but what's that good for if your don't have enough income to pay your basic needs. It's the classical European tale of a system that works great for the elites who can afford to spend one weekend in Paris and another in Berlin but that has decimated those who do not belong to said elite.

The Bush and Obama administrations had set the US in a similar path -while Obama accelerated the trend, things began to go south with Bush. Had Clinton won, there might not have been a way back.

The American experiment has always been one in which people are free to pursue their dreams. The government was designed to be of the people, for the people and by the people, not the other way around. We came close to lose American exceptionalism for good.

Go Trump!!

Trump SupporterJanuary 14, 2017 5:46 PM

@Grauhut

If you liked that one, you should watch the predecessor by Anonymous. I found a video with the original cut here,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAjQbUcvh80

The true original is no longer available. That video was circulating in social media in October while the mainstream/fake media was worried about red herrings.

When I saw the 2 min cut from the Trump campaign I said to myself WOW, this is a true bottom up movement!

rJanuary 14, 2017 5:59 PM

@Trump Supporter,

We see it everywhere humans have or want control, it's called botchulism and it spreads like the plague. I am glad things turned out positive for somebody, I don't care really either way I just don't trust the guy.

It's as simple as that, but! Who CAN YOU trust these days?

rJanuary 14, 2017 6:07 PM

@Trump Supporter,

Actually, I have a snippet for you.

Did you know that 90% of people are born, live, and die within a 50 miles radius?

I'm not sure if it only applies to the United States, but that's something I've been telling people as a 'nudge' for a long time I forget where I saw it.

Even if it's disinformation, it's most certainly non-malicious when you look at the motives behind sharing it.

Trump SupporterJanuary 14, 2017 6:28 PM

@r

I didn't know that somebody had actually made a study about the distance to mom in the United States. Still, I think that the United States is more measured than other older countries. For example, in Italy you find the well known phenomenon known as mammoni:

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/mammoni-the-mamas-boys-of-italy/

Most people about the DC area don't care about DC internal stuff. It's only when their nonsense affects the bottom line of ordinary Americans that they do. That's what happened with Trump in 2016.

rJanuary 14, 2017 6:47 PM

It's rooted in census data I believe, take a look at some of the stuff here:

https://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/acsbr10-07.pdf

It's scary stuff, thankfully I think alot within the IT/IS community are exempt but I don't think alot of people realize this stuff.

There are real upward mobility problems for people, some of it is education. Some of it is jobs, it's pretty crazy but then I wonder what population exchange rates were for cromagnun man.

rJanuary 14, 2017 6:56 PM

In some places it's housing, London I imagine qualifies so should SF. There are people out there right now making $150k a year and shirking the concept of home ownership.

ADHD may have been responsible for migration and other things, so there's lots of curious stuff out there involving today's societies.

Full disclosure: I didn't know there was a study about distance to mom either, I google'd "people born live and die in a radius" and those popped up.

And it definately is related to upward mobility if anyone want's to try and bury that point because being restricted to areas means that a person is largely isolated to a certain economy and income strata.

/fin

rJanuary 14, 2017 7:02 PM

@JG4,

Still impressed by 10k a month? Income like that can be done by autonomous drones.

rJanuary 14, 2017 7:10 PM

The internet is really shaking things up, advertising and software along with it. It's still the golden era for ingenuity.

Just watch your backs, like somebody told me there's more than just GRU NSA and FBI on this site.

;-)

GrauhutJanuary 14, 2017 7:18 PM

@Trump Supporter: "...a true bottom up movement!"

Sorry, i am long time short in fanboydom, we will have to wait and see if he walks the walk... :)

Dirk PraetJanuary 14, 2017 7:29 PM

@ Trump Supporter

All this to say that Donald Trump emerged from the mainstream of American politics, not from the fringes.

Err, no. Trump, a man who had never held any political office before, was reluctantly co-opted by the GOP establishment because his threat of going solo would have destroyed the Republican party and assured defeat to whatever Democratic opponent. He never was their preferred candidate and pretty much no one either supported him or expected him to win. I think it's more correct to say that he actually hijacked an existing political party instead of emerging out of it.

... ideas who are traditionally associated with the Democratic Party such as a worry for the effect that trade deals have had on the working class or the notion that people who cannot afford health insurance should have access to critical healthcare.

Economic protectionism as opposed to trade agreements is in fact generally associated with traditional capitalists seeking to protect their monopolies. I also don't see how revoking an existing healthcare system without any alternative even drawn up is going to benefit millions of Americans who previously didn't have healthcare because they couldn't afford it.

For all his bravado, the vision of America that Trump defends is race-blind

I'm sorry, but the man has insulted on record pretty much every ethnic minority there is. What exactly is not xenophobic or even downright racist about suggesting an immigration ban for Muslims, or deporting millions of Mexicans and building a wall the adjacent country is even supposed to pay for?

Nigel Farage's message has never been xenophobic, rather, anti-EU and pro Britain.

One of the main points of the Brexit campaign was the massive import of cheap continental labour into the UK, which Farage consistently depicted as an invasion of foreigners taking away British jobs. Although the practice of social dumping is a serious problem that has caused massively underestimated discontent, Farage & co. did vilify an entire group of people that had legally entered the country. Ever since Brexit, there has been a dramatic increase in xenophobic and racist incidents by folks who felt entirely legitimised by Farage's self-serving rhetoric against EU-immigrants.

And as so often seen with loudmouth populists, neither him or Johnson had any plan what to do next. Farage immediately quit as UKIP leader and Johnson made an utter fool of himself by telling the press it was now up to the government to deal with the new situation. Daffyd Camoron, as promised, resigned in disbelief and disgust.

These two European leaders might been pushed by similar forces, but their political visions could not be more different.

Absolutely not. Despite the ongoing animosity between those two, there is not a hair's breadth of difference between UKIP and FN on topics like the EU and immigration. Marine Le Pen unfortunately (for her) carries with her the sins of the father and a party name that is still widely associated with neo-nazis. And that's the real reason neither Trump or Farage want to be seen with her, not because of her actual political agenda.

Trump SupporterJanuary 14, 2017 8:13 PM

@Dirk Praet

I don't think you understand American politics. Trump's election as the nominee for President by the Republican Party is the very reason we have primary elections to begin with. Until the beginning of the XX-th century, American political parties picked their candidates the European way: party bosses were the ones making the choice. Primaries were introduced as a way to take the power away from party bosses. Ironically, that's the very reason primaries are now popping up in Europe. The "bosses pick the candidate" tends to produce insider candidates disconnected from the reality of ordinary citizens. Over time, there have been several several cases that this process has produced candidates who were not the party's insiders top choice. Barack Obama for example became the candidate of the Democrat Party in 2008 even though the party establishment preferred Hillary Clinton early in the primary process. Ronald Reagan was the Republican candidate in 1980 even though the party elites then preferred George H W Bush. It is true that Trump hasn't held elected office before, but that doesn't mean the primary process is not working as it is intended to. In addition, it is one thing for a candidate to co-opt a primary, quite another for this candidate to win a national election. If you believe the MSM propaganda, you'd have to believe that 46% of the American people voted knowingly for a xenophobe, misogynistic president. It doesn't fly. The American people is smarter than that.

As to the discussion about the repeal of Obamacare, again, you don't understand American society. Prior to Obamacare, 85% of Americans were covered in one way or another with plans that met their needs. While there existed the problem of the 15% uninsured, the other 85% were mostly happy with what they had. Obamacare altered the healthcare market in ways that disrupted the healthcare of the 85% who already had healthcare. These 85% had access to the same top notch facilities where the wealthy go to get treated. That has been an American tradition for a long time. Obamacare is making middle class and low income Americans increasingly more dependent on low quality healthcare.

On a personal note, my employer had to adapt its healthcare plans to the Obamacare requirements and I ended with less choice and plans that cost me more money out of pocket without me benefiting much.

Also, prior to Obamacare, insurance companies offered "catastrophic plans" in the individual market targeted at healthy individuals who wanted to be covered in case of something bad happening to them but who rarely used medical services otherwise. And so on.

Obamacare has insured at most 7% of the population among those who were not previously insured. In exchange the insurance market of the other 85% has been seriously disrupted and you still have 8% of the population uninsured. Hardly a great outcome. Repealing Obamacare and figuring out an alternative for people who lack insurance is a great idea. The alternative is what happens in Europe: a two tier system: saturated socialized medicine for most people and great healthcare for those who can afford private insurance. Again, European elitism might be great in Europe, but it doesn't fly well over here.

Trump's vision is race-blind. What he said about deporting illegal Mexican immigrants who happen to be criminals and restricting immigration from countries like Syria is just common sense. The real tragedy is that the political leaders who preceded him were fine with open borders that created hardships for their fellow citizens via the lower wages that result from flooding the market with cheap labor or were happy with admitting without vetting people like the San Bernardino shooter's wife or the Time Square bomber. Trump might have used colorful language to announce his proposals, but those who voted form him - which doesn't include those in the American mainstream media- understood very well what he meant.

With respect to the Farage/Le Pen discussion, I stand with what I said. The DNA in organizations is set by the founding team. If Marine Le Pen wants to leave behind the Front National's neo-Nazi origins, she has it easy: create a new party from scratch for which she can set the economic populist message of her choice. The fact that she is not doing that and that she prefers to put a softer tone to the existing Front National speaks volumes. I am happy Trump has refused Marine Le Pen's advances.

Bauke Jan DoumaJanuary 14, 2017 9:06 PM

Yes, and that is the bleeding obvious. Id est, common knowledge.

And for that reason, chances that the report is true and correct do not
rise or fall one single fraction of an iota of any percentage point.

Restricting oneself strictly (hard as it is) within the confines of this
discussion, it is yet odd that the 'revelation' came this late. The
proper time for its publication would have been well before the elections.
In other words, its time is peculiar.

Within the confines of this discussion, that should make one highly
suspicious of anyone who advances the point that started this discussion
as an indicator of the report's verity -- though that point, as stated,
is valid.

But that which is valid, common knowledge, and the bleeding obvious, it
seems to me, are essential, not to be missed elements of the framework any deceiver would
erect in trying to concoct a false story. That in itself is a truism.

ATJanuary 14, 2017 9:52 PM

Trump is mostly blackmail-proof at this point, after all the scandals in the election cycle. I don't think that the "Russian" dossier made any difference one way or another.

Dirk PraetJanuary 15, 2017 5:05 AM

@ Trump Supporter

None of your returns refute anything I threw back at you. Any which way you turn it, Trump did not rise out of the ranks of the GOP, he usurpated them. There currently is no alternative for repealing and replacing Obamacare, irrespective of it being broken or not. No political analyst even questions that there is little to no difference in the overall programs of parties like UKIP, FN, FPÖ, VVD, AFD, SVP, Vlaams Belang etc. And despite the usual damage-control efforts to narrow it down to "criminal elements only", the man's statements on Mexicans and Muslims left exactly nothing to anyone's imagination: these people do not belong here.

You know very little about European politics ... I don't think you understand American politics ... you don't understand American society.

Since obviously I have no clue what I'm talking about, I see no reason to continue this discussion. It's another common trademark of populists and authoritarians: everyone with a dissenting opinion by definition is an idiot who belongs either in jail or in a nut house.

(Background choir: "Lock her up! Lock her up!)

@ Moderator

My apologies for taking the bait and straying off-topic despite the moderation note.

Trump SupporterJanuary 15, 2017 7:41 AM

@Dirk Praet

"Since obviously I have no clue what I'm talking about, I see no reason to continue this discussion. It's another common trademark of populists and authoritarians: everyone with a dissenting opinion by definition is an idiot who belongs either in jail or in a nut house."

It is obvious that you don't have the slightest clue of what you are talking about, particularly when it comes to American politics.

A common thread I saw during my stays in Europe among many Europeans was a fake sense of superiority based on believing that mindlessly repeating factoids that they learn through the biased press coverage of their respective countries' media or Hollywood movies is equivalent to having the kind of knowledge about American society that can only come from having been on the ground for a long period of time. When I pointed out to these Europeans details and nuances about our system that didn't fit their preconceived stereotypes, their response was almost universal and similar to what you did here: play the victim or appeal to cliches.

So yeah, you are clueless. I wouldn't say you should stop posting here -that's the moderator prerogative- but you should expect to be challenged when you post nonsense.

Gerard van VoorenJanuary 15, 2017 8:41 AM

@ Petter,

Every one knows what Trump is and what he have done. Thats no secret.
People is staring themselves blind on the content instead of the larger picture.

I usually say it a bit different but it's roughly the same:

Don't listen to what they ramble about but look at what they do!

Dirk PraetJanuary 15, 2017 9:19 AM

@ Trump Supporter

From my knowledge of French society, your comments now make perfect sense.

I'm Flemish, mate. Look up the difference some time. You've just outed yourself as a true Trump man: incapable of civil discourse, utter loathing of other people's opinions and a total disregard for well-documented facts. And it took only little effort to smoke that out. That's sayonara to you on this here forum.

@ Wael

I saw it flying by 8-)

Trump SupporterJanuary 15, 2017 9:31 AM

@Dirk Praet

What was common knowledge in France about Belgian people didn't discriminate between Flemish and Walloons. It must be a Belgian thing to make a point about the difference French people see between Flemish and Walloons. That you believe the French believe this is just confirmation of what I learned!

Go Trump baby, go Trump!

albertJanuary 15, 2017 1:22 PM

@Dirk,
"...Trump and his team did not win the election. The Republicans and the Democrats lost it. And they only have themselves to blame for it..."

Trump ran as a -Republican- and he won, with little help from the Republican Elite . And the Republican Elite are now running the country; they didn't lose anything. The Democrats are the losers, and they will continue to lose. The asshats who run the MSM threw away their candidate for a few bucks, and now they have the gall to complain about it. They can go to hell, AFAIC.

Sadly, the sheeple who buy into this phoney political theater don't even realize what's happening to them.

Interesting times ahead.

@Clive,
That 17% -might- be serious if dumped on the market. Of course, it's better to have board control, or B stock. And it's never good to deal with drug cartels, in any capacity.

BTW, tell Mark Thompson to get a shave. The two-day beard is for young, handsome Hollywood types, not old, bald CEOs. A nice shirt and tie wouldn't hurt, either:) Of course, if he's looking for the homeless crack-head look, he's nailed it!

. .. . .. --- ....

rJanuary 15, 2017 2:37 PM

@MK II,

Not a single NSA operator, FBI Special Agent, or CIA analyst died – or had their life placed in danger – because of the alleged Russian cyber activity, or the investigations carried out by American intelligence and law enforcement officials and agencies in response to the same. Conflation and exaggeration, however, have been the hallmark of the Obama administration’s response to allegations of Russian interference in the presidential election process.

I don't know if we know that, or if it's true going forward this is still a very much open conversation. The same goes for the Snowden disclosures honestly speaking, the only time we really learn anything is from leaks and leakers.

Other than that, all we have to look at is some sort of seemingly highly successful glass houses and parking structures.

What I want to know, are those buildings nothing more than inflatable balloons? If they aren't now, what about in the near future with self driving cars? Could national security interests inflate that much as to create more false store fronts?

fsf, cute.

rJanuary 15, 2017 2:40 PM

@Mk II,

To make my point clear, we still don't know squat about the crazy tinfoil hat theory behind the DNC first year cadet being gunned down in DC now do we?

Or do we/I/you?

rJanuary 15, 2017 2:45 PM

Pinning the workload involved in this apparent campaign on someone other than yourself doubles the workload involved at the minimum, plus you should figure in duration as part of the time domain all the way back to at least 1998?

There's readily more room for bad opsec than a successful falsification from someone like Israel or the UK.

It could be a recruitment ploy parallel to the populist co-opting via Trump, I'm just more keen to believe in this case I suppose.

The link to the 300+ "Russian" IPs being tor exit nodes is of interest I'll note however.

Clive RobinsonJanuary 15, 2017 2:52 PM

@ Albert,

Of course, if he's looking for the homeless crack-head look, he's nailed it!

+1 :-)

Joe StalinJanuary 15, 2017 4:07 PM

Suppose you are in the CIA and leak this 35 page fake news pee story? Ha.

No, it was shopped around for months to the public by those that paid an x-MI6 political oppo-researcher "Christopher Steele" to write it and David Corn published it months ago in Mother Jones minus the pee.

Sen. McCain gave it to the "17 Intel" groups, just like "CurveBall" & Co. shopped WMD/Al-Qaeda in Iraq propaganda for years until the neo-con Bush Leaguers came into power and shoved it down our throats as the official government line. So now they shove this anti-Russia line through the usual govt. approved channels in the main stream media, we will get the next official line of propaganda in a week when Trump takes over and then down the memory hole with this line.

What would be interesting is if someone in one of the "17 Intel" agencies got a whole bunch of documents on how the "17" are breaking the law and...

Oh, yeah, his name was Snowden or was it Assange, or Gucci 2.0 or Manning or the next real whistle blower and when the "17" get their hands on 'em, boy are they gonna be sorry.

And that is how we know what is real news and what is fake news.

JG4January 15, 2017 4:44 PM


@r

10 large doesn't go very far, not like the good old days. The idea that I could make three times as much crafting fake news, presumbly in less time and effort, is appealing.

It seems like my comment with the npr link got deleted twice, but I noticed that Drone posted it in December. Usually the moderator puts in a nice note mentioning how the link or comments were abusive when they delete something.

I posted it with a link about the drone war and a crazy meme. At least two times and possibly three. I'd like to know what I did wrong so that I can avoid future offenses.

I'll try posting it again and see if it disappears without a trace again.

Guy MaconJanuary 15, 2017 5:47 PM

"What I would say is that if there is private information that someone is blackmailing a public figure and the public figure or someone takes it to the intelligence agencies, you would think it would be private. And really, this is so important that I think whoever leaked it should be prosecuted. Someone should go to jail. If this was an intelligence agency head that talked to the media, they should go to jail. If this was part of the Obama administration, they should go to jail. The reason is you don’t want your public figures succumbing to blackmail. Now he’s saying the information is false and I have to rely on his word on that. But the thing is is, let’s say any public official is being blackmailed. What do they tell you to do? You’re supposed to go to the FBI and give them the information.But if you can’t trust the FBI to keep it secret and the FBI is going to tell the press what someone is blackmailing you about, what will happen is it will lead to a situation where where public figures may be more liable to be extorted or to be blackmailed. This is a very serious thing."

--US Senator Rand Paul

(Quote starts at 7:40, ends at 8:32, further comments by Sen Paul on the subject from 8:47 to 9:34)

Guy MaconJanuary 15, 2017 5:48 PM

"What I would say is that if there is private information that someone is blackmailing a public figure and the public figure or someone takes it to the intelligence agencies, you would think it would be private. And really, this is so important that I think whoever leaked it should be prosecuted. Someone should go to jail. If this was an intelligence agency head that talked to the media, they should go to jail. If this was part of the Obama administration, they should go to jail. The reason is you don’t want your public figures succumbing to blackmail. Now he’s saying the information is false and I have to rely on his word on that. But the thing is is, let’s say any public official is being blackmailed. What do they tell you to do? You’re supposed to go to the FBI and give them the information.But if you can’t trust the FBI to keep it secret and the FBI is going to tell the press what someone is blackmailing you about, what will happen is it will lead to a situation where where public figures may be more liable to be extorted or to be blackmailed. This is a very serious thing."
--US Senator Rand Paul https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGCCMjVy6Bg (Quote starts at 7:40, ends at 8:32, further comments by Sen Paul on the subject from 8:47 to 9:34)

MichaelJanuary 15, 2017 6:18 PM

I would agree with Craig Murray's last paragraph: this is not good for blackmail.
- Hi, Don, that's Vlad from Moscow. Remember Alla and Vera, the call girls from Ritz Carlton? The video is so good, and the sanctions are so bad for business...
- Vlad, you are disappointing me, and I thought you are very smart. Go ahead, air the damn thing on RT, ya know what will happen? Lot of hot air, envy of Viagra addicted liberals and not much more. STFU, Vlad, and do not make me furious, for you will regret it. Heck, I will slap some more sanctions today as a punishment for disappointing me.

ModeratorJanuary 15, 2017 6:19 PM

@Trump Supporter: Your relentless soapboxing and ethnic stereotyping aren't welcome here. Please leave and don't come back.

Dirk PraetJanuary 15, 2017 6:25 PM

@ albert

And the Republican Elite are now running the country; they didn't lose anything.

That's only partially true. While the Democrats indeed lost everything, the GOP only managed to secure the legislative branch while losing the executive to Trump. In addition, the tweeter in chief is going to be able to appoint at least one new judge to SCOTUS, filling the vacancy left by Antonin Scalia and with two more judges (Ginsburg and Kennedy) currently over 80.

I'm very curious how Ryan and McConnell will manage their troops the moment Trump's executive will start translating some of their more controversial campaign issues into legislative initiatives not all of which will go down equally well with establishment Republicans both in the House and in the Senate (52/48 majority only). The worst case scenario for both Trump and the GOP being the opening of a rift between pro- and anti-Trump Republicans in either house.

So while technically you're correct, in practice it will for now be the Trumpeteers running the country.

Wolfgang MünchauJanuary 15, 2017 7:04 PM

A warning for the losers of the liberal elite

If you have two strong arguments, the surest way to lose a debate is to add a third one. The superfluous argument of our time is, more often than not, the finger-wagging warning of economic doom.
Sample the FT’s top stories for a week

Starting this week, we need to get our heads around the possibility that US President-elect Donald Trump is simultaneously reprehensible and economically successful — at least for some time. The instinct has often been to conflate political decency and economic efficiency because this is what has been done for such a long time. Fortuitously, our open, liberal systems also happened to be the most efficient. They even produced an acceptable distribution of income until about 10 years ago. Yet the period from 1989 to 2007 was exceptional — history is littered with economically successful dictators and economically disastrous liberal democrats.

You may be in Davos this week, seeking reaffirmation of your deeply held beliefs when you pontificate about the future of the universe. Or you may be on Facebook or Twitter, expressing your fury about where the world is headed. My advice is to narrow your focus. Brexit is terrible because it deprives young Britons of the right to choose where to live, study and work. It deprives them of a European identity many believed they possessed forever.

If this is what upset you about the Leave vote, then you were insane to allow your political campaign to be hijacked by lobbyists who kept whining about the loss of the single European passport for banks. This is the superfluous argument that lost the Brexit referendum. Keep making that same mistake in the battles that loom in 2017 and the populists will win everywhere.

Brexit has been a particularly bitter experience. Not only were the economic forecasts electorally disastrous, but some of them were wrong. It was gracious of Andy Haldane, Bank of England chief economist, to admit the limitations of economic forecasting. But he is an exception. I know economists who now say that Brexit will cause a recession this year, having failed to produce one in 2016.

One of the many factors the forecasters have failed sufficiently to consider is the global environment. A Brexit-induced sterling crash could in theory have turned out to be dangerous. But this is not the 1970s. We are living in an age of excess global liquidity, which renders a fall in sterling self-limiting. Asian investors, for example, are streaming into the top of the London property market, where they find deflated prices, which they pay with a devalued currency.

The truth is that our ability to forecast the future beyond the current quarter is limited. We certainly cannot forecast the economic impact of a complex political event, such as Brexit or the election of a new US president. Too many future unforeseen events will intrude.

We cannot translate the result of an opinion poll into an election probability, either. People keep asking me to tell them the probability of Marine Le Pen, the far-right National Front leader, winning the French presidency. The problem is that the election campaign has not even started. The correct answer about the probability of a Le Pen victory is that I do not have the foggiest. Nor does anyone else.

The curse of our time is fake maths. Think of it as fake news for numerically literate intellectuals

The curse of our time is fake maths. Think of it as fake news for numerically literate intellectuals: it is the abuse of statistics and economic models to peddle one’s own political prejudice. More often than not, there is a kernel of truth in those forecasts, as there was in the BoE’s prediction of what could happen after Brexit. The fakeness of the maths lies in an exaggerated inference. Economic models have their uses, as do opinion polls. They provide information to policymakers and markets. But nobody can see through the fog of the future.

Fake maths has given us, the liberal establishment, the illusion of certainty. Once the illusion crumbles, we are left with an uncomfortable question: is it possible that some populist demagogues will end up producing better economic policy than our friends in Davos? Take Italy as an example. The euro has been a disaster for the economy. If a populist were to win the Italian election, force a euro exit and default on foreign investors, is it not at least possible they would spur a genuine economic recovery? I do not know the answer; I know for sure that the present regime will not.

The populists could succeed simply by undoing the mistakes of the present regime. They will not succeed in the long run. But they may succeed before they fail. The political and economic regime change we are undergoing constitutes the most serious assault on our values I can remember. We would be foolish to deny that it could just be possible, from the perspective of the median voter, that the odious populists are getting the economy right when the liberal elite did not.

munchau@eurointelligence.com

rJanuary 15, 2017 7:16 PM

@Trump Supporter, Dirk Praet, mod, all

Personally, I don't think Dirk is narrow minded at all for broadcasting his reservations. Nor Clive. And as such they should recognize that some of us are also concerned about a (maybe unprovoked) landgrab. Europe didn't agree what Germany was going to do in the run-up to WWII it's nothing new as TS said, but honestly I think we've come to expect that. If they don't care about Poland when they start lamenting "Georgia" that's on them yet again.

If it never materializes GOOD, but ask yourself: what does this tell China? North Korea? Iran?

We, as American's don't have clean hands completely either - and they're completely in their right (and rights) to say that.

rmJanuary 15, 2017 7:32 PM

@JG4,

It is appealing, and that's why you see people spamming phishing conspiring to create clickbait in every form. A large % of the advertising industry just looks the other way, some of it is directly financed by malware and fraud some of it is indirectly/accidentally financed through things like fraudulent ads.

I conspire to create clickbait, but it's legitimate DIY/work-from-home (educational) stuff. Of all the crazy thing's Rudy Guiliani has ever said one of the more sensible things was telling people to become Plumbers and Pipe Fitters due to the required education level starting out and the relatively high level of pay.

One can mix it up, the more you diversify and the better you get the more you can make even in the honest zones but people don't care and they just want to sell drugs or break into gamers or people with btc.

Also, the other day somebody posted a link to emptywheel's assessment - on that page there was a crosslinked article scolding people "if you can't live in MI with $74k a year there's something wrong with you."

The psycho down the road from me bought her house free-and-clear for $5k, my neighbor just sold theirs for $54k to get out of the mortgage - I bought mine for $1300.

In detroit, houses can be had for $1-$500. If simple survival is eating at you come to my little pocket of the world and be a part of the revival.

It can go a very long way, education and awareness are just roadblocks for people.

... I saw something on PBS last month about a lawncare co in Lansing, MI that was utilizing the gig economy to gain their fortune and foothold. In all honesty, I'm not sure if they Bernie's and Trump's aren't full of themselves about this not being the land of opportunity still. People just have to wake up.

@Dirk,

Haha thanks for the gif.


@Guy Macon,

Then Rand Paul and I largely agree.

he who controls the spiceJanuary 15, 2017 8:02 PM

humanity is screwed

It will become more and more difficult to prove that you are really you and you are not what's contained in that file.

It can happen to anyone. It can happen to you.

rmJanuary 15, 2017 8:02 PM

If you don't think you can make it on 10k then they've got you like I said: "we LOVE negative balances."

Think about it, how does giving the banks a big middle finger sound when instead of paying for a mortgage you can help support a local economy of drywallers painters framers and flatworkers? We have even legalized medical usage of herbs appropriately enough. It shouldn't be a hard decision for someone in this digital world and you'd reap all the benefits of moving to an area that has a diverse makeup like Europe. If you're a conservative and don't like the city so what? There's wide open spaces in my part of the country and you're never more than 80 miles from a major body of water. Global warming? Pffft, we'll be Florida in a couple more years 'come on in.

Greeks, Polish, Irish, Arabs, Africans.

Every last one of us American in value.

rmJanuary 15, 2017 8:07 PM

German's in Frankenmuth, we've got Amish up north.

You just can't beat it, you can give up and lose hope - but you can't beat it.

TJJanuary 16, 2017 2:12 PM

I'm not a fan of the socialist welfare state or the stop lying about the bias you act on sides of the modern American conflict, but where can we read the one on Obama?

I kind of see some evidence of the whole establishment thing here since all the top news mediums are running attack articles at six-hour intervals and you have pretty much 98% of the government publicly and logistically attacking Trump even pushing strong for unprecedented acts in the US election to over-throw a president elect..

Again.. I only see the "left" as a PC version of the "right", so I have no dog in the fight..

Dan HJanuary 17, 2017 6:43 AM

Much ado about nothing.

Hillary Clinton was a huge target too. Don't forget that her unsecured email server was hacked by foreign governments, and it is suspected that her off-the-shelf Blackberry she used on her first Asian trip was hacked by China.

Don't forget the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative. Which by the way, the CGI is closing up shop because the Clinton's no longer have any political clout and donations have dried up. Clearly this was a setup where the Clinton's were giving favors for money. Pay-for-play. That wasn't a huge concern?

Trump is boorish, but Bill Clinton was/is just as reprehensible. The left only gave Bill a pass for the same behavior as Trump because it was a Clinton.

So I don't believe the Russians have anything more compromising about Trump than the Clinton's. Uranium One anybody?

AnuraJanuary 17, 2017 10:05 AM

@Dan H

Baseless accusations based on rumors, speculation, and cherry picked email and you will cheer at the loss of hundreds of millions in charitable spending. Republicans spent a decade running a propaganda war against Americans because the people won't vote correctly when given all the facts (and even then, voter suppression facilitated by fabricating an enemy is necessary), while telling Americans that they need to give more money to the rich so that they will be kind and generous enough to create jobs, while telling Democrats they want to create a nanny state for providing healthcare. It's amazing how easy people are to manipulate when they are consumed by hatred; it's amazing how easy it is to make people hate with just a little bit of misinformation.

Seriously, absolutely nothing you can say about the Democrats compares to the level of corruption of the Republicans who have been concerned only with taking power for 8 years - so concerned that they ran an investigation solely for the purpose of smearing their enemy. That's pretty much the worst kind of corruption imaginable, but the useful idiots cheered it all the way while screaming "Freedom". Nothing but traitorous, corrupt pigs running our country thanks to the useful idiots like you believing everything they tell you - it must be true, because it's Clinton! And it's Clinton, so Trump must be better - despite, you know, actual evidence of being a criminal and indisputable proof that he doesn't give a shit about anyone but himself. The propaganda is turning your mind into jelly.

Dan HJanuary 17, 2017 10:09 AM

@Anura

The moderator mentioned to keep it civil, which you've already broken by using personal attacks.

AnuraJanuary 17, 2017 10:33 AM

@Dan H

Republicans have spent the last 8 years telling me how much I hate America, so sorry if I get a little peeved when they conspire to destroy freedom and democracy in this country for the benefit of the rich, while half the country cheers them on because they have nothing but hatred and contempt for anyone who would disagree with them.

So yes, I've tried to be civil for years, dismissing your kind as just a fringe element of conspiracy theorists - complacent pawns who have spent 8 years telling me how horrible I am and how liberals are weak and ignorant of how the world works, while complaining about how liberals look down on them - who have now shown that they are a much bigger force. Your willingness to hate and believe everything right wing media says has me scared - scared because we are two steps away from complete suppression of any free media, and anyone who would speak out against the government or corporations, and that puts my life in danger - I'm scared because I know you would support it every step of the way as long as right wing propaganda puts the right spin on it.

At the same time, Republicans have literally done everything they can to prevent anyone from getting help, saying that the free market will take care of everything, which they are now considering infrastructure spending to boost the economy the second Obama leaves office. I'm sorry, that's an actual war - the attempt to harm the economy, without concern for the harm and deaths they caused, in order to coerce Americans into voting Republican. That the right supported that tells me there are no limitations to what you will support. I have no more patience for those who would so willingly throw away any instance of freedom or democracy just because of a little hatred.

rJanuary 17, 2017 6:48 PM

@Guy Macon,

To elaborate more, I think I largely agree with the stance of someone needing to be prosecuted I'm just not sure of whom. I find it very suspicious that the FBI did not have any interest in letting the DNC or RNC know about their systems in a timely fashion. Is there a reason? Had there been previous communication with someone like say the DHS over some sort of honey pot, did somebody merely drop the ball? Was this a willful act of misconduct?

Misconduct or not, is or was there a reason we are not being told? Is it something to do with HRC or something more along the lines of what we're reading about en Trump?

I find it very suspicious, very curious, very odd. I'm not really concerned about how the republicans are handling this, kind've like Anura I've come to expect this from the group that normally benefits from my vote - it's most certainly not all of them but there is within reason an identifiable group that is maligned to the people as a whole. I would expect of the Republicans to care more about the country than some special interest, unlike the democrats.

Deregulation is one thing, removing earned protections is another - but if they have more faith in Ma Bell who am I to question?

There's a multitude of issues, we've been trying to ask Mum but she's not telling and that's to be largely expected. The only thing I can hope is that our previous discussions will remain on hiatus for the meantime and that the people behind the wheel get a safe driver discount from state farm.

Just like any road, there's alot more on it than just you and me at any point in time.

A skeptic is one thing, a well-documented denier is another.

I am not, Donald Trump.

rJanuary 17, 2017 6:55 PM

This is apparently, who we are all up against as a country and as a planet. If the allegations are true we still have a very long road to liberation, and that scares me - it should scare you.

Who's in your wallet?

rJanuary 17, 2017 6:59 PM

If HRC want's to run she may not be so defunct after all, if what we're seeing is true than we can call it world capitalists vs the people round 2.

I'll buy season pass front row seats for the toppling of that establishment any day of the week.

And that's full of hope.

rJanuary 17, 2017 7:45 PM

It's a thin line he is going to have to walk, he's got 2 years to do nearly whatever he wants before things become a little less secure for him or maybe a little more. It's quite the tightrope he's going to have to traverse for himself and his appointees at this point so let's give him a fair shot and see if he falls with no safety net.

What do they call it when Mossad does it again?

WaelJanuary 17, 2017 7:50 PM

@r, eagle-eyed folks,

I need another pair of eyes on this. Don't they look close enough for a game of 'spot the difference'?

So I was thinking which movies to watch this year, and for some reason I thought of 'Planet of the Apes'. So far so good? Sweet! I looked at this wiki page and something struck me. See that picture? Doesn't it look like a hybrid George W. Bush / Trump?

Am I losing my pattern detection touch, or do you see some resemblance?

rJanuary 17, 2017 8:17 PM

@Wael,

I'm already disgusted, he's even got the look.

Like he knows we're talking about him right this very moment, it's creepy.

rmJanuary 17, 2017 8:35 PM

I mean come on guys, if the report is true - then the real reason behind the Donald's blatent throttling of Republican genitalia is to satisfy some sort of dark sacrosanct fetish he has with his ballsack and the whitehouse.

We already know he marries Russian women because they have absolute -zero- morals, these are public statements.

WaelJanuary 17, 2017 9:45 PM

@r,

Who's in your wallet?

A couple of Lincolns and a Jackson. Who's provisioned on your NFC tap and pay device?

ab praeceptisJanuary 18, 2017 1:32 AM

And once more Bruce Schneier happily joins the smearing games.

He does that by elevating the dirt to a pseudo-neutral perspective. The wording "The smartest thing you can do is to leak it to the public." suggests that there was some halfway credible information in the first place and that the cia had to "help" the president-elect and to protect him from evil Russia blackmailing him.

Let me offer another perspective: The cia wanted, wanted, wanted to smear Trump. Not having anything they invented the "Moscow dossier". Then they "leaked" the dossier, i.e. they spread their slf-made dirt in a "typical intelligence agency" way so as to add some flavour and credibility to it - while at the same time being legally quite well covered.

But there is more of Bruce Schneier (again) showing his being strongly biased:

This document is particularly safe to release. Because it's not a classified report of the CIA, leaking it is not a crime.

Wrong. I don't know the english term but if you say bad things about someone, things that can be reasonably assumed to harm the victims reputation and honour, then you *do* commit a crime.
And it was stupid on top of it as it will be Mr. Trump who very soon will be the boss of the boss of cia. Plus, he can turn that attack against cia in more than one way. Example: "I'm deeply concerned that the cia a) obviously needs help in their job desperately enough to use the work of freelancers, and b) they they use people who are obviously well connected with and possibly part of russian intelligence".

It's about time to pay back the cia thugs.

Clive RobinsonJanuary 18, 2017 3:27 AM

@ ab praeceptis,

Wrong. I don't know the english term but if you say bad things about someone, things that can be reasonably assumed to harm the victims reputation and honour, then you *do* commit a crime.

There are three, slander (said), lible (written) and the more general defamation. However when dealing with "National Interest" certain people have a protected status, which arises from the more general rules of Courts where testimony under oath is in effectively protected.

The trick we are seeing hear is that the FBI and US IC passed on the existance of the report as a National Security issue. In effect simply stating "there is this you need to be aware of". They can thus happily deny any wrongdoing.

The two MSM outlets, can sort of get away with it by claiming the actions of bringing the report to the attention of both the President and President elect made it "of national interest" and they would likely win a case if brought against them. They can also get away with publishing the contents as the author of the report had in effect "published" the report and it was circulated and commented upon publicaly it fell into the catagory of public knowledge.

Thus the person who cops the lot legaly is the author for in effect publishing what even he must know can not be substantiated. Worse Donald Trump could use the English Courts, in which case the author is very much likely to become bankrupt and have no future career (not that he did after effectively "outing" himself).

This leaves the two companies involved, the one that took the money from both Republicans and Democrats, and the company the author helped found. Their best tactic would be to decry the authors behaviour at breaching confidentiality and thoroughly disowning him respectively, and lawyer up. Of the two the US company has considerably more culpability as both the company owner and the author carried on "digging for dirt" long after all payments had stopped. Thus an argument for malicious behaviour would be easier to establish.

The real question left however is how the author came about the information. It is reasonable to assume he did not go to Russia and talk to the informants/agents thus he would have used intermediaries. Those intermediaries would very probably be known to both the UK and US IC. Thus an argument could be made that under the MICE principles they could have been fed the information they passed onto the author from other ICs than Russian.

So yes the CIA could have set the author up. Further atleast one of the authors previous colleagues said the author "lacked emotional intelligence" which would mean he would be a candidate for "Patsy".

The question now is what happens to the author. Traditionaly patsies don't have great life expectancy as they make an inconvenient focal point for those seeking information. Which might explain why the author has disappeared.

rJanuary 18, 2017 4:30 AM

Know what I just thought of?

This one's funny, this could be the retaliation to 'fake news'.

The jokes on you.

rmJanuary 18, 2017 4:52 AM

@Wael,

I don't do NFC, I think I told you in the past that I know a guy who buries his money right?

Why one would do that to the USD is beyond me. (I suppose he claims at least, but he's independently wealthy/self-employed/small business owner/skilled trades) So I accept it prima facie ? He could be another self-identifying borderline survivalist like me.

Also, one of the largest inspirations during my childhood was my kindergarden teacher - you wouldn't find a single tv in her house. I'm nowhere near that (traditionally) radical and I'm media poisoned but it shifts perspective a hair I believe.

There's a guy named Bill, not Clinton. He writes letters to everyone, occasionally knocks on doors. He's always asking for money. That's who I was concerned about with the "Who's in your wallet?"

21st Century Debtor Society. It's a chroot jail for your free time.

rJanuary 18, 2017 4:56 AM

@Tyler Durdin, (CC: All)

The things you own, end up owning you.

Keep that in mind when you quote the enposter.

Dan HJanuary 18, 2017 7:55 AM

@Anura

You're a troll. Only a moron wouldn't realize that Hillaryous Clinton has been compromised using an unsecured email server with beyond top secret information. Not to mention her illegal pay-for-play scheme that has come crashing down because she can't sell political influence any longer.

C U AnonJanuary 18, 2017 7:59 AM

@ rm,

Also, one of the largest inspirations during my childhood was my kindergarden teacher

Hmm that story or very similar has poped up on this blog befor... IIRC under a different handle.

Dirk PraetJanuary 18, 2017 8:48 AM

@ Anura, @ Dan H

You're a troll...

Now, now, children. There's ample reason to find egregious fault with both candidates, but can we please not let it get in the way of civil discourse?

WaelJanuary 18, 2017 9:37 AM

@rm,

And I heard of a person who doesn't exist on paper! No driver's license, no bank accounts, apartment under his name, or a phone (landline or mobile.) etc... He still is able to live. As far as the government is concerned, he doesn't exist.

Comments on this entry have been closed.

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