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America Will Always Lose Russia’s Tit-for-Tat Spy Games

Еще немного “шпионских” страстей.

A recent BuzzFeed article outlined behind-the-scenes efforts by Russian and American diplomats to end the tit-for-tat expulsion of embassy personnel between the two sides. Reports say American officials are reacting positively to Moscow’s signals to end the feud and are looking to “turn the page” and improve relations.

While nobody should be against efforts to improve relations, let’s not fool ourselves as to who came out ahead in this contest. “Ending the feud” is exactly what the Russians want — because they won. The United States lost far more from the expulsions than Russia, and, worse, it acceded to a long-sought-after and long-rejected Russian demand that all interactions conform to the practice of parity. In fact, there’s a pattern that I observed during my years in the CIA: In 2016 — as in 2001, 1994, and 1986 — the United States tried to punish Russia but mishandled the effort, eventually cried uncle, and left Russia in a better position than when it started.

Let’s recap the most recent effort to “punish” Russia.

As we now know, Russia utilized a multipronged attack to destabilize our democratic system and damage our leadership abroad during the 2016 presidential election. We are learning more every day about the scale and audaciousness of the trespass, and it continues to disrupt our political process. Denis McDonough, former President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, characterized the effort as an attack on the “heart of our system.” Some observers have even called it the “crime of the century,” and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner described his efforts to uncover the attack as “very well … the most important thing I do in my public life.”

What consequences did the Kremlin face for its brazen assault on our system?

Following a flurry of expulsions, both sides have settled on a position as outlined in an Aug. 31 State Department statement, titled “Achieving Parity in Diplomatic Missions,” that seeks to lock in the status quo and focus on efforts to improve relations.

Our mission in Moscow housed almost 1,800 people in 2006 but now has only 455. President Barack Obama cut Russia’s missions in the United States from 490 to 455. Since Russia refuses to hire Americans to work in its diplomatic facilities, the most powerful country in the world has fewer Americans in Russia than Russia has diplomats in the United States. Russia also maintains more diplomatic missions in the United States. Further, Russia finally achieved a long-sought demand that the two sides treat all interactions through the prism of reciprocity. All previous U.S. administrations have rejected this effort as part of Russia’s effort to force the United States and other interlocutors to accept a world of coequal spheres of influence.

That is, we lost.
Continue reading “America Will Always Lose Russia’s Tit-for-Tat Spy Games” →

The C.I.A.’s Fake News Campaign

Статья из газеты, которая сама вложила огромный вклад в распространение “фейковых” новостей.

Russia’s crafty campaign to hack the 2016 election may seem unprecedented, but in a way it’s not. Sure, secret agents and front groups have hacked email systems, dumped documents on WikiLeaks, paid an army of internet trolls and spent thousands buying political ads on social media. It all seems new because the technologies are new. But it’s not the first time a government tried to mess with our heads by manipulating our media.

In fact, for more than two decades during the Cold War, the public was bombarded by an enormous publicity campaign to shape American views of Russia and its foreign policy. Advertisements appeared on every TV network, on radio stations across the country and in hundreds of newspapers. The campaign may have been the largest and most consistent source of political advertising in American history. And it was orchestrated by a big, powerful intelligence service: the Central Intelligence Agency.

It all began as a cover story. As the Cold War was getting underway, the C.I.A. wanted to take the fight into Russia’s backyard. So, in 1950, it created Radio Free Europe, a government-sponsored broadcasting station. Ostensibly, it provided unbiased news for Eastern Europeans, but in fact the agency used it to wage a subversive campaign to weaken Communist governments behind the Iron Curtain.

But how to hide the agency’s hand? How to account for the millions of C.I.A. dollars pouring into the broadcasting station? Simple: pretend that ordinary Americans are paying the bills.

The C.I.A.’s freewheeling spymaster, Frank Wisner, created a well-heeled and well-connected front group, the National Committee for a Free Europe. Each year it ran an enormous fund-raising campaign called the Crusade for Freedom (later renamed the Radio Free Europe Fund) that implored Americans to donate “freedom dollars” to combat Kremlin lies, complete with annual appeals resembling a hybrid of World War II war bond campaigns and contemporary NPR pledge drives.

Every president from Harry Truman to Richard Nixon endorsed the campaign. So did hundreds of governors, mayors, celebrities, editors and executives. Entertainers like Ronald Reagan, Rock Hudson, Jerry Lewis and the Kingston Trio pleaded for donations on radio and television. The Hollywood producers Darryl Zanuck and Cecil B. DeMille amplified those messages, as did powerful media figures like Bill Paley, the president of CBS; C. D. Jackson, the publisher of Fortune; and the media mogul Henry Luce. Even newspaper delivery boys played a part, soliciting donations from subscribers on their paper routes.

Then there was the Ad Council, the same industry organization that turned Smokey Bear into a cultural icon. The council sponsored the crusade as a public service, arranging for broadcasters to run ads without charge. The Ad Council’s sponsorship translated into as much as $2 billion worth of free advertising over the campaign’s history, in 2017 dollars.

The message was simple: Russia was aggressive; Communism was awful. The enemy couldn’t be trusted. Typical ads conveyed a brutalized vision of life behind the Iron Curtain: “a strip of Communist-controlled hell-on-earth,” one read. Donating a few bucks would save Czechs, Poles, Hungarians and others from this tyranny. Many thousands of Americans took the bait. They dutifully wrote checks to Radio Free Europe, and their contributions were magnified by gifts from many of the country’s biggest corporations, yielding, on average, about $1 million annually.

It wasn’t enough: The donations barely covered the cost of running the “fund-raising drives,” to say nothing of Radio Free Europe’s $30 million annual budgets. But that wasn’t the point.

Declassified documents reveal that almost from the start, the C.I.A. saw that it could exploit the fund-raising campaign as a conduit for domestic propaganda. It was a way to rally public support for the Cold War by dramatizing Communist repression and stoking fears of a worldwide menace. The plight of Eastern Europe brought moral clarity to the Cold War, and it cemented the region as a vital national interest in American domestic politics.

Its impact outlived the campaign itself. Even though the pleas for donations ended in 1971, when the C.I.A. was exposed and stopped funding the station, they cemented anti-Communist hostility that animated conservative opposition to détente in the 1970s. It provided the leitmotif for Reagan’s denunciations of the “evil empire” in the 1980s. One can even hear echoes in Donald Trump’s recent speech to the United Nations: His long digression on the evils of socialism seems drawn from the heated rhetoric of ads gone by.

So, too, does our post-truth media environment carry voices from this past. The crusade blasted all information from enemy sources as lies and deceit — fake news, we could say. This counter-propaganda sought to inoculate the public from being receptive to anything said by the other side. It’s a tactic we’ve seen play out in real time on the president’s Twitter feed.

And almost certainly, Radio Free Europe itself — which continues to operate out of its headquarters in Prague — has shaped Vladimir Putin’s worldview. Russia has long tried to claim Eastern Europe as its sphere of influence. Moscow hated the station for its meddling. As a K.G.B. officer, Mr. Putin no doubt spent many hours fretting over its activities in the Soviet bloc. It was a major irritant. He may even see the 2016 election hack as a way to even the score. If so, it’s payback indeed.

Отсюда.

Здесь, перевод на русский.

Что делает ЦРУ…

Утешает только то, что доклад этот рассекретил Сенат США.

Обнародованные во вторник документы содержат краткий итог сенатского расследования, а также взгляды республиканского меньшинства и отдельно – сенатора-демократа Джея Рокфеллера. Республиканцы не согласились с жесткими заключениями своих коллег-демократов.

Последние во главе с сенатором от штата Калифорния Дайан Файнстайн предъявили в общей сложности 20 претензий к применению ЦРУ «усиленных мер допроса» (эвфемистическое выражение, означающее пытки). Ведомство упрекнули в том, что эти меры оказались неэффективны для сбора информации. Кроме того, ЦРУ раскритиковали за то, что оно в своих отчетах для Белого дома, Конгресса, Совета национальной безопасности вводило эти органы в заблуждение о действенности этих способов. От проверяющих скрывалась и степень воздействия на заключенных. Доклад Сената оценил их количество за все время действия программ ЦРУ (с конца 2001 по начало 2009 годов) по «усиленным мерам допроса» в 119 человек. При этом 26 человек были задержаны по ошибке.

От внимания сенаторов не скрылись и другие нелицеприятные подробности. Например, выяснилось, что сами методы психологического и физического воздействия на заключенных, были разработаны психологами, ранее сотрудничавшими со Школой выживания в чрезвычайных условиях ВВС США (U.S. Air Force Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape school). У них не было никакого опыта ведения допроса или знаний об «Аль-Каиде». В 2005 году эти два психолога, чьи имена не приводятся, создали частную компанию, которой ЦРУ и передала на аутсорсинг ведение силовых допросов. Уже в 2006 году ЦРУ заключило с этой компании контрактов на общую сумму в $180 млн, а до 2009 года она заработала $81 млн.

Общий ущерб от программ «усиленных мер допросов» сенаторы оценили минимум в $300 млн без учета расходов на персонал. ЦРУ выделяло миллионы долларов наличных средств иностранным правительствам, чтобы организовывать на их территории «центры содержания» (де-факто – тайные тюрьмы ЦРУ).

Полностью, — здесь.

Если кому интересно, то это — здесь. В PDF формате.

“Засвеченный” разведчик

Большой скандал

Как-то неудачно, организаторы визита Обамы в Афганистан, “засветили” главного разведчика (шпиона) spy в Афганистане.

Его имя оказалось в списке, который был распространен “Белым Домом” среди 6 000 журналистов.

(CNN) — The White House accidentally revealed the name of the CIA’s top intelligence official in Afghanistan to some 6,000 journalists.
The person was included on a list of people attending a military briefing for President Barack Obama during his surprise visit to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan on Sunday.
It’s common for such lists to be given to the media, but names of intelligence officials are almost always not provided. In this case, the individual’s name was listed next to the title, “Chief of Station.”
Obama: ‘Al Qaeda is on its heels’
The print pool reporter — a journalist allowed access to or information about an event who relays it to the rest of the media — copied and pasted the list that was provided by the White House.
Print pool reports are then distributed by the White House press office, which does not edit them, to a large list of media.
In this case, the same reporter, who works for the Washington Post, noticed the unusual entry after the list was distributed and then checked it out with officials.
The White House followed up and distributed a shorter list from a different reporter that did not include the station chief’s name.
A station chief heads the CIA’s office in a foreign country, establishing a relationship with its host intelligence service and overseeing agency activities.
The identity of station chiefs, like most CIA officers, are rarely disclosed to protect them and their ability to operate secretly.
Given the potentially dangerous nature of the situation, CNN has not broadcast or published online the name of the official.
In the most recent case before this one, the Bush administration infamously leaked the name of former CIA officer Valerie Plame to a journalist in 2003.
Plame tweeted on Monday that the White House’s mistake this past weekend is “astonishing.”
Top U.S. spy pulled from Pakistan after terror threats

Отсюда.

Пишут, что подобное в США, в последний раз случилось в 2003-ем году. При Администрации Буша, которая тогда “засветила”, теперь уже бывшую Валери Плэйм (Valerie Plame)

Теперь журналисты гадают, что же случится дальше с этим работником ЦРУ. Конец-ли это его карьере или нет?!