Friday, April 20, 2018

Starbucks, and all those staged events and phony outrage

It is becoming more obvious that progressives are staging events.
Sometimes events are so poorly choreographed that it is obvious to all but the most obtuse that everything was staged.  This was the case at Starbucks, where two black men were arrested "for sitting in the coffee house waiting for a business colleague."  That's right.  They were arrested for sitting.  Now is the time for the gnashing of teeth, the rending or garments, and the banging of spoons on high chairs.  The police report must read "Offense: sitting."  This is a great opportunity for the socially enlightened to demonstrate their breathtaking virtue.  Break out the pink hats and get ready to howl at the moon.
What would reasonable people do if they were waiting to meet someone in a restaurant?  Even reasonable people who don't like Starbucks would purchase a small drink.  What would reasonable people do if they were asked to leave?  They would leave and wait for their friend outside.  What would reasonable people do if they were asked to leave by the police?  It is not necessary to answer that question.  The police reportedly asked them to leave three times.  Now it is believed that white people can sit in Starbucks indefinitely without being asked to leave.  If they are asked to leave, they don't have to.  If the police arrive and ask them to leave three times, they can ignore the police, and the police will go away.  It's white privilege, you know.
The timing of this incident could not have been better.  Andrew Yaffe, the alleged real estate developer the pair were waiting for, arrived shortly after the police began cuffing the pair.  Does Malissa dePino, the camerawoman, know Yaffe?  That would not be surprising.  The only improvement in this scenario would be if the pair were divinity students.
Businesses need to make a profit.  Starbucks wants more than that.  The CEO of Starbucks wants to be loved.  Starbucks CEOs have been seeking this love for years.  First they wanted their employees to engage their customers on race.  Next they proclaimed their love of "refugees."  Their search has been a failure.  Now they will publicize that their restrooms are open to the nonpaying public as well as their seating.  Why pay for the internet?  Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson announced, "Creating an environment that is both safe and welcoming for everyone is paramount for every store."
Johnson will find that his policies do not work.  The city of San Francisco is realizing that its compassion has a price: disturbing surveys find trash, needles, feces littering streets of San Francisco.  There are barbarians out there who will not only not clean up after themselves, but actually vandalize Starbucks restrooms. 
The mainstream media have done their best to portray this as a case of 21st-century racism.  The Daily Kos reported, "The trauma of arrest was followed by isolation and imprisonment."  According to Time magazine, the pair were "afraid for their lives."  Robinson said he thought about his loved ones, and Nelson wondered if he'd make it home alive.  The AP reported, "The black men arrived a few minutes early.  Three police officers showed up not long after."  In other words, they were not there long before the police were called.  According to the AP, they were there for only a few minutes when the police were called.  The black police commissioner, Richard Ross, naturally defended his men, claiming that "Nelson and Robinson were disrespectful to his officers."
In addition to the trauma, Donte Robinson appears to be racked with guilt.  He wondered what he might have done to bring this on himself and his "brother."  "I'm trying to think of something I did wrong, to put not just me but my brother, my lifelong friend ... in this situation."  In spite of the trauma and the guilt, they seem to be doing well.  They are all smiles as they pose for a portrait in their attorney's office. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Where is the Intelligence in the Intelligence Community

Perhaps one of the most disappointing revelations about the current intelligence community (IC) kerfuffle is the remarkable lack of intelligence in the higher echelons of the intelligence community.   These people have attended charm schools where they have been told they are the crème de la crème.  They believe this.  They should not.  If you overestimate your abilities and underestimate those of your opponent you will be in for some surprises.  The supposedly dimwitted Donald Trump has run rings around these geniuses in the government and media.

One of their biggest mistakes was to rely one the Steele “dossier.”  Perhaps as an inside joke it was classified “Confidential/Sensitive Source.”  If one hundred veteran intelligence officers who have seen more than ten thousand classified documents each were polled and asked if they had ever seen such a classification they would all answer no.  That would be over one million documents.  There is no such animal.  Also this “dossier” suggests that one of its sources is within Putin’s inner circle.  If the Russians did not believe that this was a joke Putin would be short one close confident.  The IC is behind the times.  The internet gives thousands of people with expertise in various areas access to the documents used to make bogus charges.  Dan Rather discovered this when he attempted to pass off bogus letters about George W. Bush’s military service.

One of the reasons the Russians knew it was a joke is because they have read the creator’s email.  The leadership of the intelligence community should know how vulnerable electronic communications are.   Even burner phones are not 100% secure. Yet they continually used them to communicate with each other concerning illegal activities.  Foreign intelligence services spend billions of dollars collecting intelligence on electronic communications.  If the intelligence community refuses to provide Congressional committees with these communications, perhaps the chairmen of these committees should request copies from the Russians, Israelis, or the North Koreans.  They could also check with Kane Gamble, an autistic 15 year old who redirected James Clapper’s phone calls to the Free Palestine Movement.  He also hacked several others in the IC.  Congressional committees have been waiting for several months for the IC to release over a million documents.  They could release those document in less than 16 days if they use the same technique used with the Wiener emails.  650,000 emails were cleared in 8 days. Although President Trump claimed, “You can’t review 650,000 new emails in eight days,” the FBI proved him wrong. 

These leaders also appear totally clueless when it comes to the political beliefs of their coworkers and subordinates.  Robert Mueller had no idea that Peter Strzok was extremely hostile toward Trump.  When he proved to be an embarrassment he was quietly removed from the team.  Is it an accident that Mueller’s entire team is composed of Clinton supporters?   James Comey claimed, “I never heard anyone on our team — not one — take a position that seemed driven by their personal political motivations. And more than that: I never heard an argument or observation I thought came from a political bias. Never.”  Christopher Wray was asked by Senator Heinrich “So you haven't seen any evidence of some sort of inherent political bias in the agency?”  Wray replied “No.”  If these leaders are not lying, the have no business in the IC or any other field that requires intelligence. 

James Comey wrote a book about his experiences in the FBI.  It is unnecessary to point out just how stupid that move was.  Needless to say he will regret this move which is probably the stupidest thing he has ever dome.  Because of the depths of the corruption in the IC Comey had to be less than forthcoming and lacked candor in his report.  In the plain English that President Trump speaks and most American understand: he LIED.  These lies will come back to bight him er . . . someplace. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Washington Post Outlook Criticism of Diana West

March 16, 2018 Mark Kramer, director of Cold War studies at Harvard University, published an article in Washington Post’s Outlook entitled “Five myths about espionage.”  MYTH NO. 5 is “Espionage mostly aims to sway the policies of hostile powers.”  Kramer writes:
       A surprisingly common misconception about spies is that they set out to change policy in the countries where they operate. A book published in 2013 , for example, alleged that Stalin’s spies in the 1940s had effectively “occupied” the United States and guided the policies of the Roosevelt administration.  [This is a reference to Diana West’s book, American Betrayal.]  But the dominant purpose of intelligence agencies is to gather information about foreign countries, especially hostile ones. The intelligence services of the major powers also engage in covert operations, subversion, and the spreading of propaganda and disinformation, but the largest share by far of their personnel and resources goes toward the collection of secret information through human and technical espionage and the subsequent analysis of that information.  This was just as true of the Soviet Union in the 1930s and ’40s as it is of the United States today. Declassified Soviet intelligence documents confirm that the chief task of the hundreds of Americans who were recruited by Stalin’s intelligence agencies was to obtain secret information and pass it on to Moscow. Influencing policy was rarely, if ever, their main goal — indeed, it was discouraged if it would raise red flags and thereby endanger access to classified materials.

On March 29, 2018 Diana West responded in the American Spectator after her comments were rejected by the Post. 
        Removing a few blinders from the Washington Post’s “Outlook.”
On March 18, 2018, the Washington Post Outlook section categorized KGB influence operations and my book, American Betrayal, both as “myth.” In response, I sent in the following essay, which Outlook has turned down.
I am the author of that unnamed “book written in 2013” whose research and argumentation, anchored in nearly 1,000 endnotes, were labeled a “myth” by Mark Kramer (“Five Myths about Espionage,” Outlook, March 18, 2018).
Here’s how Kramer made his case in “Myth No. 5”:
A surprisingly common misconception about spies is that they set out to change policy in the countries where they operate. A book published in 2013, for example, alleged that Stalin’s spies in the 1940s had effectively “occupied” the United States and guided the policies of the Roosevelt administration.
Since Kramer forgot to mention it, the title of that “book published in 2013” is: American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character (St. Martin’s Press). On page 68, I set out to describe the impact of the secret honeycombing of the halls of power and influence in New Deal/wartime Washington, D.C. by an intelligence army of covert agents and communists under Kremlin discipline — more than 500 have now been identified — and came up with “for all intents and purposes occupied.”
A goodly number of these secret agents, of whom Alger Hiss is only the most famous, reached senior policy-making positions in the FDR administration. In Kramer’s telling, however, all they really did as they inched closer and closer to the Secretary of the Treasury or State or the President was filch classified documents. Questions concerning whether/how these secret agents and ideological communists influenced the direction of U.S. policy- and even war-making to the Kremlin’s advantage — questions my book explores — are to be dismissed as what Kramer describes as a “surprisingly common misperception.”
Given that Kramer wrote an op-ed last year about the long history of “Moscow’s active measures to influence U.S. politics and undermine U.S. foreign policy,” perhaps it is his own recent Outlook statement that is surprising; however, it is no myth.
That there exist “spies” — better known as agents of influence, for example — who seek to “change,” or, more realistically, influence policy-making and other activities of rival nations is a fact. It is an especially salient fact in the case of the fronts, networks and sophisticated campaigns of deception directed by the KGB, and overseen, at least in the post-Stalin era, as renowned Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky reminds us, by the Central Committee of the Communist Party in Moscow. Lest there be any confusion, this has been going on for one hundred years — not only in “the 1940s.” My own book aside, I am afraid that when Mark Kramer, as director of Cold War Studies at Harvard, dismisses all of this and more as “myth,” it is akin to the Army Corps of Engineers dismissing as “myth” the presence of water in the Mississippi River.
The late Soviet expert Joseph D. Douglass, Jr. put it this way: “The Soviets live and breathe deception. You cannot understand what they are doing without understanding this. Indeed, you can’t even begin to understand communism without understanding deception, which is very rarely mentioned in textbooks on communism.”
I am guessing deception is very rarely mentioned in textbooks on espionage that Professor Kramer assigns in his “Cold War Studies” courses. What follows, then, is a chance for him to bone up.
The late intelligence expert Herbert Romerstein, also a seasoned congressional investigator, could not have expressed it more simply. In the first sentences of his 1991 monograph, titled, non-mythologically, “Soviet Agents of Influence,” he wrote:
An intelligence service has two main functions in a target country. One is to collect information from either classified or unclassified sources. The second is to influence the situation in that country.
Ex-Communist and ex-Soviet-agent Whittaker Chambers knew all about that effort to “influence the situation” from the Other Side. In his real-life experience, influence was paramount. A courier for the Communist Underground in New Deal Washington, Chambers served as a Soviet military intelligence operative until 1939 when he broke with the movement. Later, working with the FBI and then Congress, he would become the 20th century’s most famous public witness to Soviet espionage and American treason. In what Mark Kramer would probably call “a book published in 1952,” a.k.a. Witness, Chambers explained:
That power to influence policy has always been the ultimate purpose of the Communist Party’s infiltration. It was much more dangerous, and, as events have proved, much more difficult to detect, than espionage [stealing secrets], which beside it is trivial, though the two go hand and hand.
There is nothing magical, let alone mythical, about any of this.
Hope Hale Davis was a lesser-known member of the evolving communist underground Chambers worked with in D.C. In 1994, Davis, a lifelong Woman of the Left, published her memoir of the period, Great Day Coming. From the book jacket: “As underground members their job was to infiltrate high policy-making levels of government…” (Many of their doings in situ are also set forth in a book published in 2012, Stalin’s Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt’s Government by M. Stanton Evans and Herbert Romerstein.)
Davis recounts a “special meeting” of the “comrades” — all federal employees in a secret sub-cell of the larger underground apparatus — called “to deal with” the shocking news of the show trials of the so-called Old Bolsheviks, i.e., Stalin’s blood purges.
Vic announced that Steve had meant to come to Washington but the repercussions from the news were keeping him at headquarters.
“Vic” is Soviet agent Victor Perlo, who, as key defector Elizabeth Bentley revealed, later ran his own ring (the Perlo group); “Steve” is the notorious Comintern spymaster better known as “J. Peters,” the link between the American underground and the Soviet secret police.
Peters, born Sandor Goldberger, was also Whittaker Chambers’ Soviet control officer. Chambers, too, describes Peters’ occasional visits to underground gatherings in Witness: “He lectured them on Communist theory and Leninist organization and advised them on general and specific policy problems. For several of them were so placed in the New Deal agencies (notably Alger Hiss, Nathan Witt, John Abt and Lee Pressman) that they were in a position to influence policy on several levels.”
Davis’s memory is concordant. The cell meeting she describes was called for Soviet intelligence boss Peters to “emphasize that the success of the Popular Front depended on our correcting the widespread misunderstanding of the Moscow show trials.” (Emphasis added.)
They were told to prepare to answer any doubt. Second, we must not expose ourselves as Party members. We groaned, knowing the problem this raised. Even answering at all, John said, marked you as a Communist. Yet he knew he had to take the chance. The trials had all but undone a year’s work on his chief, whom he had been allowed to try to recruit. (Emphasis added.)
That last bit is darkly fascinating. “John” is all but certainly John Abt, later chief counsel for the Communist Party USA. During the Moscow show trials (1936-1938), Abt had two notable “chiefs” whom he might well have been “allowed to try to recruit.” One was a U.S. Senate Chairman, the other the Attorney General.
Whatever the identity of “John” and his “chief,” subject for a year to the ministrations of communist recruitment, the questions themselves attune us to the painstaking, long-range practice of such operations. Decades later, in the hands of Stanislav Levchenko, KGB defector and master-practitioner of influence operations, they were aptly likened to courtship.
But “myth”?
Looking back on the bureaucratic heights key members of his underground apparatus had scaled by the 1940s, Chambers would write:
In a situation with few parallels in history, the agents of an enemy power were in a position to do much more than purloin documents. They were in a position to influence the nation’s foreign policy in the interests of the nation’s chief enemy, and not only on exceptional occasions, like Yalta (where Hiss’s role, while presumably important is still ill-defined) or through the Morgenthau Plan for the destruction of Germany (which is generally credited to [Harry Dexter] White), but in what must have been the staggering sum of day-to-day decisions.
Far from being imaginary, such infiltration and subversion would remain, and still remains, a dire national security threat. In 1982 congressional hearings on Soviet Active Measures, John McMahon, Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, explained why:
You can never overestimate the impact of an agent of influence. If you have an individual who is an adviser to a minister or a president, or if you have a minister himself as your agent of influence, you can do a tremendous amount in a country as far as actives measures are concerned. It is the most insidious, pernicious thing to deal with as far as a countermeasure is concerned.
Just don’t expect college credit at Harvard for bringing any of this up in class.
Curiously, Kramer goes on to acknowledge in passing the sort of influence operations he is simultaneously dismissing as myth before returning to his main point:
But the largest share by far of their personnel and resources goes toward the collection of secret information through human and technical espionage and the subsequent analysis of that information. This was just as true of the Soviet Union in the 1930s and ’40s as it is of the United States today. Influencing policy was rarely, if ever, their main goal — indeed, it was discouraged if it would raise red flags and thereby endanger access to classified materials.
Saying so doesn’t make it so.

My Response

No one has documented Soviet “active measures” better than Diana West. For this she has been slandered unmercifully. When apparently well respected experts maintain a position that is obviously false there is a serious problem. Kramer may be the director of Cold War Studies at Harvard but he is not of the stature of Harvey Klehr or John Hayes who hold similar views. He is more like Professor Jeffrey K. Olick of the University of Virginia who teaches his students and the readers of his book, In the House of the Hangman, that "Harry Dexter White, was accused in 1948 by Joseph McCarthy's House Un-American Affairs Committee [HUAC] of being a Soviet agent." This factoid was repeated on the air by “historian” Bill O’Reilly. The world we live in today was largely shaped by Soviet agents of influence in the Roosevelt administration. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were founded by Soviet agent of influence Harry Dexter White. He was also the author of the Morgenthau Plan and played a significant role in the creation of the UN. White recruited hundreds of federal employees. Most of the Communists were removed but many of the progressives remained to shape the federal bureaucracy to this day. The Post has used its most effective defense of their position. They refused to print the response of the person they attacked.