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my hair is on fire!

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by thegary, Mar 19, 2022.

  1. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
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    rent free
     
  2. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
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  3. astros123

    astros123 Member

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    You're nothing but a troll who's a useful microphone for right wing propoganda. Hope you know that
     
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  4. London'sBurning

    London'sBurning Contributing Member

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  5. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
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    rent free
     
  6. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
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    you'll like this one. solid analysis.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2023/05/the-cias-bud-light-moment/

    The CIA’s Bud Light Moment
    Or something far worse
    By
    PETER THEROUX
    May 30, 2023 6:30 AM

    Americans have every reason to be angry about the successive revelations concerning the notorious 51 former intelligence officials behind 2020’s “Russian disinformation” letter, a statement shepherded by three former CIA directors and drafted by former acting CIA director Michael Morell. The letter assessed that the damning emails on Hunter Biden’s laptop were not actual evidence of Biden family corruption, but a Russian information operation to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election in Donald Trump’s favor. That assessment has long since been thoroughly debunked, not least by Biden fils himself.

    Congress revealed in mid-May that, far from being the work of astute intelligence professionals acting as concerned citizens, the letter was suborned by Antony Blinken, at the time working for the Biden campaign. Blinken nudged Morell to draft the letter, and Morell was quick to enlist former CIA director John Brennan and others. This was itself a covert action to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election in Joe Biden’s favor.

    Next we learned that a serving CIA officer, whose job was to review the letter for publication, used his or her position to promote the letter to gain the signature of former officers. Kimberley Strassel noted in the Wall Street Journal:

    That a CIA official was using government time and resources to scheme with outside partisans to assist in Mr. Biden’s victory is worthy of termination. Consider, too, that this CIA official was better placed to know that there was no truth to the letter’s assertion. That very day, then-DNI John Ratcliffe—privy to all—had publicly said the intel community had nothing to support the claim that the laptop was “disinformation.”

    The shady behavior of the 51 former officers did not end there. While Twitter and Facebook censored the New York Post’s laptop scoop, media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, and the Washington Post breathlessly reported the preposterous letter as factual. None of the signatories tried to correct them. In March 2022, after the laptop had been confirmed to be genuine and the emails the work of Hunter Biden and not the Russians, the New York Post reached out to the 51 to ask for comment. Did they “feel any regret for their actions”?

    Along with Morell, nearly all of them, including the three former directors — Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta, and Brennan — failed to respond. (You have to give Hayden a pass, because he has not been the same since his stroke in 2019.) Testy former director of national intelligence James Clapper responded, “Yes, I stand by the statement made AT THE TIME, and would call attention to the fifth paragraph.” (We’ll come to his prized fifth paragraph in a moment.) Andrew Liepman, former deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), offered a feckless “As far as I know I do [feel regret or stand by the statement? It’s unclear] but I’m kind of busy right now.” David Priess, an intelligence officer under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, had “no further comment.” Emile Nakhleh, former senior intelligence officer, was at least firm that “I still stand by that letter,” though his comment that “I have not seen any information since then that would alter the decision behind signing the letter” means he was either strenuously avoiding the news or telling a hilarious lie.

    Hiding under their beds or lying — those were the two types of response.

    Now, let’s have a look at the letter’s fifth paragraph:

    We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails, provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement—just that our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.

    It doesn’t take an especially inquiring or analytic mind to wonder: Why wasn’t this the first paragraph? Or even the only paragraph? The rest of the letter is vague, irrelevant, and contrary to every rule of analytic tradecraft.

    “Tell me what you know, tell me what you don’t know, and only then tell me what you think,” was Colin Powell’s famous rule for his intelligence briefers. The first four paragraphs of the letter are a bloviating prologue attesting to what they know: that they are a community of deeply concerned experts who love America more than Russia. The fourth paragraph closes with the statement that the emergence of the emails “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian disinformation operation.”

    So much for the intelligence community (IC) rule known as “BLUF” — that you put the “bottom line up front.” In other words, why was the topic sentence not the first sentence in the first paragraph? Because then they would have had to identify what in fact those “classic earmarks” — note the wording, which Congress discovered was Clapper’s own: not some but “all the classic earmarks” — were, as applied to the laptop and its contents.

    The dithering fifth paragraph is the classic earmark of the amateur. Neither profiles in courage nor Einsteins were our 51 formers: Their letter had to be vague and contradictory so they could have it both ways — preposterous as analysis, but a nice feat of propaganda.

    Since nearly half of the signatories grew up in the analytic line of the business, and several boast of having been high-level briefers (Morell, Priess, Timothy Kilbourn, Pam Purcilly, David Terry, and Kristin Wood), let’s look at the basic elements of what’s expected of agency analysts.

    What is the intelligence question you are answering? This would have been: Is the Hunter Biden laptop, and/or its contents, genuine, or is it an embellished or wholly fabricated Russian product? Answering that would have entailed tracing the physical origin and chain of custody of the laptop, and citing examples of emails that appear to be hacked, manipulated, or made up.

    BLUF. State your analytic conclusion clearly and follow it directly with your strongest supporting data. If you judge that Moscow hacked the laptop, cite examples of material on the laptop that you assess to be phony and compare them to genuine emails. State why they are implausible or inconsistent with the facts of Hunter Biden’s business dealings or communications. Instead, the letter cites historical instances of Russian misbehavior that have no immediate bearing. A GS-11 analyst’s branch chief would throw this back in his face with a terse “Try harder” or “Not threshold!”

    Sourcing. This is a basic rule that you do not base an assessment on a single source, unless it is threat reporting. Careful analysis will cite multiple corroborating sources — one term of art is “a body of reporting.” The letter cites zero sources. It makes references to Russian intentions to meddle but does not cite a single detail from any of the emails.

    Collection gaps. This is the humbling “tell me what you don’t know” part of the Powell rule. “Diplomatic and media reporting suggest a coup might be imminent in Country X, but we lack insight into the plans and intentions of senior military officers. Similarly, overhead [satellite] collection and HUMINT reporting, as of X date, have turned up no indications that the army’s order of battle has changed.”

    Collection posture. This is how you assure your boss that you have a plan to fill those collection gaps. “We’re tracking vernacular open-source media and social-network platforms in Country X . . .”

    Avoid weasel words. The 51 formers trample this rule by resorting to “perhaps” and “suspicious” (not in any analyst’s vocabulary) and combining illogic with a lack of evidence.

    more

     
  7. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
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    conclusion:

    When analysts are dealing with troubling levels of uncertainty, they have many tools to keep them honest, among them devil’s advocacy, analysis of competing hypotheses, and the time-honored “key assumptions check”: What assumptions are we making and what are they based on? Which ones must we keep or throw out? For example, what challenges the assumption that the emails are genuine? And if it is established that Hunter’s emails were not his but were hacked or created to make the Bidens look bad, do we have a basis for identifying the Russians as the culprits? Could there be any other explanation?

    Of course, intelligence officers who aren’t trying to be honest wouldn’t make use of those tools.

    Most basic is that the 51 formers, had they been following logic and impulses toward honesty, would have asked, What does Hunter Biden himself say? The 51 formers were not a staff of paleontologists examining a prehistoric fossil or dinosaur footprint but Washington creatures faced with a living, breathing, Washington princeling. But of course Hunter was hiding under the bed with the rest of them, never denying that the emails were his, but only after the election owning up to them.

    And then there is the sacred — read, pretentious and overused — IC principle of “telling truth to power.” This is the most abysmal aspect of the letter, because the 51 formers were telling lies to the powerless — the American public — to protect the powerful. Here is where they crossed the line. This was collusion among the ruling party, the intelligence community, and the media to influence domestic politics — a common thing in third-world dictatorships, but something of an innovation in the United States.

    Remember that a putative CIA attempt to influence a foreign country’s internal politics or succession — including an enemy country’s domestic politics — would be a grave ethical and legal matter requiring the attorney general’s approval and a presidential finding. Morell, Brennan, Clapper, and their sordid crew had no qualms about using their spook credentials to distort U.S. politics.

    That leaves us asking why they did it, and whether they thought they could get away with it. Answer the first question by considering the MICE rule for why people spy — money, ideology, compromise, or ego. I think three of these apply — money, ideology, and ego. After clandestine careers on the federal pay scale, the sketchier former spooks crave publicity, commentator gigs on CNN, and book contracts, for the visibility and (finally!) big money. Ideologically, most of the 51 are Democrats who openly loathed Trump. The vast majority of ex-spooks, of course, stay out of politics and hang up the phone on journalists.

    Ego also answers the question as to whether they thought they could get away with it — yes. The Arab proverb tells us that the blind man goes up and sh**s on his roof and he thinks no one sees him.

    Related: Did the 51 formers turn into manipulative, partisan hacks for a brief moment in the fall of 2020, or were they career-long hacks protected by secrecy? Only Clapper and Morell have left reputational paper trails. And Brennan, in his awful memoir, Undaunted, was unintentionally self-revealing. The work is a self-portrait of anger, partisanship, bad judgment, spite, recurring financial vulnerabilities, and, notably or not, a deep attachment to Saudi Arabian patronage. That the author is unaware of embarrassing himself appears to derive from ego.

    In the end, taxpayers might hope that this is merely a Bud Light moment, where one silly publicity stunt damaged a brand but in survivable fashion. The canniness and dishonesty of the letter, however, give one pause.

    Here’s the thing. Managers at the CIA, with careers behind them as analysts, targeters, ops officers, or support officers, must be keenly aware of the morale issue. The media don’t get them, don’t like them, and love to sensationalize them. A counternarcotics ops officer penetrates a drug cartel to spy on it and disrupt it, but when this leaks to the press it gets spun as the CIA in bed with drug lords. They use safe and legal enhanced-interrogation techniques against senior al-Qaeda detainees, and the media accuse them of torture. They advise their people to ignore the lies, develop thick skins, and stay focused on the mission.

    What probably makes that an uphill mission right now is that, while the drugs and torture stories were media lies, the Blinken-Morell-Brennan scandal is factual. Can the director of the CIA assert moral clarity and reassure the workforce that the agency is what we want it to be without denouncing the letter? This matters not just for morale but for retention and recruitment.

    After all, on May 12, 2023, CIA director William Burns found the time to write a discursive open email to former agency employees titled “Continuing Efforts to Address Sexual Harassment and Assault.” (“Colleagues—I know that our alumni remain interested in and concerned about developments at the Agency . . .”). Will he send a letter acknowledging, and distancing the agency from, the present scandal? So far, he has not done so.

    I’m interested in and concerned about sexual harassment at the CIA, which I hope affects only the tiniest fraction of the workforce, and I’m glad it’s being addressed. Disinformation and election-meddling, meanwhile, affect all Americans, whether conducted by Vladimir Putin and Alexander Bortnikov, or by Tony Blinken and Mike Morell.

    PETER THEROUX is a translator and writer in suburban Los Angeles. After more than 20 years in the U.S. government, he was awarded the Career Intelligence Medal.
     
  8. astros123

    astros123 Member

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    I would rather rip my eyeballs out using a plastic spoon before I read any of your OPeds that you post. Nobody reads the trash you post after you've been wrong for 50+ pages. You're nothing other than a troll
     
  9. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
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    your loss
     
  10. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Ehh I wouldn't rely on this.

    A lot of those that are convicted of murder without a body have confessed to the crime at some point in time or have committed other murders in the past.

    It can certainly happen - but it is fairly rare outside of serial killers.

    People are convicted of crimes based on circumstantial evidence, but it usually has to be pretty overwhelming.
     
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  11. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
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    I get that. The original claim was about requiring "hard proof." That's the point of responding with the 'trout in the milk' trope.
     
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  12. Nook

    Nook Member

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    "In a letter to a federal watchdog agency this month, attorneys for Shapley said he first raised concerns about “irregularities” in how the Justice Department was handling the case in the summer of 2020 during the Trump administration. Shapley said he continued to air his concerns about the case in the following years under the Biden administration."

    This is really interesting and hasn't really been discussed enough.

    What does this really mean?

    I suppose one interpretation could be that those in positions of extreme power within the US government put politics aside and protect each other at all costs out of a fear that they could be exposed next. This could possibly explain why investigations historically concerning the upper reaches of government have been so limited at the highest levels.

    Another possibility is that Shapley is just mistaken - or that his opinions deviate from the norm. The basis for this argument would be that there is no reason for the Trump administration to slow walk it if the goal is bring Hunter to justice. However, even this theory can bleed into the theory that all of Washington is corrupt to some degree at the top, and the Trump administration slow-walked it because the ultimate goal was not to get Hunter Biden in trouble, but to let the Democrats know if his family goes down - he can take down some of the Biden's.

    FWIW I don't trust Hunter Biden at all.... just like I don't really trust the family around Trump or others in Washington.

    Did Hunter do something illegal and of significance AND can they prove it? I have no idea.
     
  13. astros123

    astros123 Member

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    Hey Nook. Any reason why Shapley refuses to talk to the democratic senate about their probe? Kinda weird how you don't mention that point in your post ?

    Weird how he's only talking to one political party huh

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...lower-gary-shapley-hunter-biden-b2346365.html
     
  14. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    Here for you Os Trig when you miss this type of analysis since I know you want to be fair and unbiased

     
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  15. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
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    thanks for the heads up. here's the full text

    https://nypost.com/2023/05/29/new-m...-hunter-as-he-flails-over-scandalous-reports/

    Bidens offer ‘safe harbor’ to Hunter as he flails over scandalous reports, new messages show
    By Jonathan Turley
    May 29, 2023 10:47pm Updated

    In 2018, Hunter Biden’s world was collapsing.

    The New York Times had run a story on one of his shady deals with the Chinese and his father, then vice president, was pulled into the vortex.

    It appears that Hunter was in a free fall and his uncle Jim Biden reached out in newly discovered messages to offer him a “safe harbor.”

    The exchange is an insight into the train wreck of the life of the scion of one of the most powerful families in the country.

    However, it is also insight into a world of influence peddling where millions of dollars simply evaporated into the coffers of the Biden family.

    On their face, the messages seem to contradict public statements from President Biden on the foreign influence-peddling that used to fund Hunter’s drug-infused, self-destructive lifestyle.

    The Times story caused panic in the Biden family.

    Despite a largely supportive media, the Bidens have long been known for influence-peddling.

    Jim Biden has been repeatedly criticized for marketing his access to his brother in pitches to clients.

    Hunter knew that the Times story was only the tip of an iceberg.

    There were deals all over the world with foreign figures worth millions and some of these figures had close ties to foreign intelligence or regimes.

    As revealed recently by the House Oversight Committee, the Bidens constructed a labyrinth of corporations and accounts to transfer millions from these deals to various Biden family members, including grandchildren.

    Free fall
    Nevertheless, Joe Biden repeatedly claimed as a presidential candidate and as president that he had no knowledge of any foreign dealings of his son.

    Those denials now appear patently false.

    Hunter’s abandoned laptop includes pictures and appointments of Hunter’s foreign business associates with Joe Biden.

    It also includes a recording concerning a Times report on Dec. 12, 2018, detailing Hunter’s dealings with Ye Jianming, the head of CEFC China Energy Company.

    Ye would later be arrested for corruption.

    As Biden associates pushed the Times to change aspects of the story, Joe Biden called to report on the results.

    In his message, Biden ends his call to Hunter with the statement, “I think you’re clear.

    “And anyway, if you get a chance, give me a call, I love you.”

    The new messages indicate that the Bidens were worried that Hunter was in a free fall as these dealings were becoming known and revenue was declining.

    Jim Biden appears to be rushing to get Hunter to work on the problem with the family.

    He assures him that they can find him “a safe harbor” and that “I can work with you[r] father alone!”

    The messages may refer to the fact that Hunter’s past complaint was that he was giving as much as half of his proceeds to his father and was now facing towering financial demands.

    He appears to have cut off the family.

    That is a dangerous development for a man who had a long struggle with drugs and alcohol.

    Hunter blew through a fortune on narcotics and women, including allegations that he may have used a shared credit card with his father to pay off prostitutes.

    Both Joe and Jim Biden were reaching out to Hunter to assure him that he was in the “clear” and that there was a “safe harbor.”

    However, Jim pushed him to remain in contact and in the fold: “I cannot find you, believe it or not, I have been looking. I [have] driven by Hallie’s, you fathers. Called texted you. … I want to help all the deals are still alive.”

    Putting aside the genuine desire to protect a family member with a history of drug abuse, the unpredictable Hunter also represented a threat to the entire family.

    A panicked Hunter threatened more than family harmony.

    There were millions that were being generated in countries like Ukraine, Romania, Russia and China.

    The messages show that Hunter was spinning out of control and needed money fast — a lot of money.

    He told Jim Biden that he could not even afford “food and gas,” including his monthly alimony to his ex-wife Kathleen Buhle.

    He relays how President Biden was told that he “was in a real danger zone.”

    Classic corruption
    These messages highlight another inconvenient fact: Hunter was hardly a figure who generated confidence or cash.

    In 2018, he was an utter mess at the very time that foreign figures were funneling money to him.

    He was clearly noncommunicative with his family and still gushing money.

    He had previously complained that the Russians had blackmail material on him. He was a danger not just to himself.

    In his later book, Hunter admits that he was a crack addict and alcoholic: “Drinking a quart of vodka a day by yourself in a room is absolutely, completely debilitating” as well as “smoking crack around the clock.”

    Given these admissions, why were so many foreign figures rushing to give this human wrecking ball millions?

    He not only lacked expertise in areas like energy or mining, but he was barely able to function, according to his own account.

    The answer seems abundantly clear.

    This was classic corruption.

    Indeed, influence-peddling has long been the favorite form of corruption in Washington.

    Yet these latest messages add a particularly sad element to this scandal.

    Joe and Jim Biden were propping up a man who was barely able to function.

    However, Hunter was still the conduit for alleged millions in foreign money.

    He was the firebreak between the money and any scandal.

    This was made evident in a recent and rare sit-down interview; MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle delicately broached the scandals involving Hunter by emphasizing that it is a “personal” matter and assuring the president (and the viewers) that the still-unknown charges involve “no ties to you.”

    Hunter increasingly looks like the designated defendant of the Bidens — the sin-eater who may have to take one for the team in the form of a couple of tax charges.

    Yet even now, to use Jim Biden’s words, “This can work.”

    Hunter’s new “safe harbor” may be a limited indictment that conspicuously avoided charges as an unregistered agent.

    Likewise, Attorney General Merrick Garland has seen to that by steadfastly refusing to appoint a special counsel despite references to the president getting a proposed cut of these deals and instructions to use code names for him like the “Big Guy” to conceal his role.

    Most recently, an IRS whistleblower came forward to accuse the Justice Department of interfering with the tax investigation of Hunter by “slow walking” the investigation and making a series of decisions that worked to his advantage.

    As made clear by Jim Biden, there is always a plan in the Biden family.

    Back in 2018, he assured his nephew that “as usual just need several months of [your father’s] help for this to work.

    “Let’s talk about it. It makes perfect sense to me.”

    In the meantime, the message from Uncle Jim likely remains: “Stay calm and carry on.”
     
  16. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

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    Says the guy with multiple posts a page in a 50+ page thread...

    lol
     
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  17. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    Yes some might want that…

    however as an unbiased “balls and strikes” guy that you claim to be, you also should want to clarify that Joe Biden wasn’t the Vice President in 2018.

    Unless you believe that false information should be allowed if it’s Jonathan Turley writing it.

    I’ll take your silence on the matter and post as an endorsement of false information from Turley.
     
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  18. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
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    I provided the full text from Turley, "the thing speaks for itself."
     
  19. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    So you admit to believing that Joe Biden was Vice President in 2018. Cool. I’ll take that into consideration next time I want to read any of the opinions that you spam here daily.
     
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  20. astros123

    astros123 Member

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    Fixed. Quit believing he just calls balls and strikes. He's a right wing hack
     

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