Tag Archives: Moscow

Two unrelated issues

OK, today is not the day to piss off Alexander Bortnikov, I wanted to do that just to celebrate his 11th anniversary of him being the Director of the FSB, as such my sense of humour demands that I would put a whoopi cushion on his car seat, alas, I could not get close, someone decided to try a novel approach to the concept of Suicide by Cop (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/19/moscow-shooting-russia-people-shot-dead-intelligence-agency), instead of pushing the buttons of a militia officer, we see the apparant acts of a looney tunes person who decided to fire on the reception of Federal Security Service, that is an act that will get you killed and he did. Now, let’s be clear, there is a reason to bring this up. You see there is one building in Moscow (basically in the entire CCCP), where the most vile, the most feared and the most despicable member of any Russian criminal organisation takes a detour, it is the Lubyanka building, the headquarters of the FSB in Moscow. Consider some Bratva captain, 120 Kg of muscles, fearless and life ignoring person ends up shaking and like a little girl that is crying, the cause would be one building in Russia that does that. So when a person comes around shooting at its reception, I tend to call that a novel way to invite Suicide by Cop and I cannot fathom the desperation from life that a person has to pull that off (there are 999 other ways to go with 99.99999% certainty and most of them are 100% less painful and scary), optionaly as distractions go, it is perhaps the worst one yet. 

Oh, and there is not some special required form of data intelligence required, we could argue that the fear for that building is handed to any Russian citizen when they start school, so for the life of me I can not figure out why someone would be this stupid, it is like grabbing a bucket of water from the Volga in Saratov and personally dumping the bucket in he Caspian Sea, not only meaningless, but you end up being alive at the end of that journey, attacking the FSB building with anything less than an entire army and your chances to survive become a whole lot less certain. Yet in all that, the fact that the attack made several newsgroups is important, you see, the news never sleeps, yet they do get to filter what we hear. 

From the Israeli news desk

The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/19/israeli-spyware-allegedly-used-to-target-pakistani-officials-phones) (as well as Israeli Newspapers, give us ‘Israeli spyware allegedly used to target Pakistani officials’ phones‘, with the byline ‘NSO Group malware may have been used to access WhatsApp messages for ‘state-on-state’ espionage’, news that made a lot less newspapers on a global scale, is that not weird? Now, I am not stating whether there is validity, I am not stating on behalf of the NSO Group that it is false, yet this private firm founded by Niv Carmi, Omri Lavie and Shalev Hulio is showing to be an expert company in acquiring information. The papers need to guard their words and I get that, yet when we see anonymous sources and “those who could have been compromised” I feel like I am in a play that I have seen before. The more important part is “All the suspected intrusions exploited a vulnerability in WhatsApp software that potentially allowed the users of the malware to access messages and data on the targets’ phones“, yet it seems that there is not really that much taste for the weakness of the makers, is there?

When get the optional state where we see “The lawsuit claimed intended targets included “attorneys, journalists, human rights activists, political dissidents, diplomats, and other senior foreign government officials”” and in that state I would make the demand ‘can we see those names please?‘ Yet it is a personal demand that will not be answered, there is too much doubt on the who did what and who wanted to know. I have a little more faith in “NSO has said it will vigorously contest the claim and has insisted that its technology is only used by law enforcement agencies around the world to snare criminals, terrorists and paedophiles“, you see that is a business approach to intelligence that brings money on the table and Yes, there is a chance that someone wanted to know more about certain Pakistani, yet that list given by Facebook is just a little too weird, yet the names might brighten up the need for it, and as we are treated to “The alleged targeting of Pakistani officials gives a first insight into how NSO’s signature “Pegasus” spyware could have been used for “state-on-state” espionage“, it is the difference of stance, the state of ‘alleged‘ that brings the doubt. In the article I do not disagree with “This kind of spyware is marketed as designed for criminal investigations. But the open secret is that it also winds up being used for political surveillance and government-on-government spying” for that we need to say that John Scott-Railton is seemingly completely correct, yet in all this, we see and identify a timeline and it becomes more and more apparent that not only did other interest groups (CIA, FBI, MI-5, MI-6, DGSE, et al) need this weakness, we see a longer timeline and we wonder what WhatsApp and Facebook have done about it so far. More important, why would any official use something like WhatsApp? I mean for private use, yes, yet for their business phone? It is the application of Common Cyber Sense that is lacking here and to give all that data to Facebook (WhatsApp) is calling some parts into question. CBS News gave the people in 2018 ‘WhatsApp co-founder: “I sold my users’ privacy” to Facebook‘, I get it! Cambridge Analytica changed a lot, but so it would have changed a lot for state players, as such the act of pushing for WhatsApp in government and secure conversations, it does not make sense. CBS also gave us in 2018 “U.S. intelligence agencies have said that Russian actors used Facebook and Instagram to wage a campaign of disinformation in the election” and if WhatsApp and Facebook are owned by the same person we see the even larger lack of Common Cyber Sense. WhatsApp has been the name in Scandals in 2017 and 2018 as well, so when the needed question ‘Why is a state player using WhatsApp in the age of Common Cyber Sense?‘ comes out, we see that the bulk of people, hacktivists and journalists have not asked this question, just like the weird part where we all look at the attack on Lubyanka, and no one looks beyond a certain point. 

This view does not exonorte the NSO group, yet it is asking larger questions that take the group out of the field of vision and looks at the larger issues. More important the claim “While it is not clear who wanted to target Pakistani government officials, the details are likely to fuel speculation that India could have been using NSO technology for domestic and international surveillance“, you see pointing at their natural enemy is fun, however the fact that most European intelligence groups want to know about scores of Pakistani is also left off the table, in light of Pakistan and its Middle East connections, so are Israel and America, especially as America is losing foothold in the Middle East, finding any Russsian link to any Pakistani would be worth a lot to them, they lack all plenty of resources there.

You see, there is all the need for action when we see “The government of the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, is facing questions from human rights activists about whether it has bought NSO technology after it emerged that 121 WhatsApp users in India were allegedly targeted earlier this year” however everyone is overlooking ‘121‘ as a number. There are 400 million WhatsApp users in India, nobody would get to the 121 users in such a short time, the absence of ‘alleged‘ and optionally ‘so far 121 alleged users have been found‘ is a much larger issue that anyone realises. The fact that there are more questions popping up regarding the alleged NSO software is also overlooked. There is a much larger play in the field and it seems that certain people do not look towards certain players and the absence of Common Cyber Sense is just overwhelmingly staggering. It is almost like you are tired of life and decide to attack FSB headquarters with a gun. 

Yet in all this, the amount of users in Pakistan is also the part we need to look at, you cannot merely check in seconds, this is a not an on the fly solution, so there are all kinds of questions, especially with 1.5 billion users of that app, we see a lack of thoughts, questions and especially software engineers treating the software weakness and this has been going on for quite some time. the fact that the larger collection of media is not getting to this question is just allegedly largely insane. 

So as we consider “users in India were allegedly targeted earlier this year” we need to ask, how long until this glitch is fixed? The fact that certain glitches have been there since 2017 is a much larger concern, but the media does not stop at this point, does it? I reckon they are taking their time looking at the one suicidal person pointlessly attacking Lubyanka.

Two issues that might seem unrelated (and they are not), yet it tells a lot more about the media and state players than you should be comfortable with, feel free to WhatsApp that question to others, the state players will get to it eventually.

 

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That’s the way the money flows

The Independent had an interesting article 2 hours ago. The article (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/china-drones-spy-us-dhs-security-data-alert-a8922706.html). The title leaves little to the imagination with: ‘Chinese drones may be stealing sensitive information, DHS warns‘, after the Trump google play, after his refusal to submit to subpoena’s, after the anti Huawei activities that so far has never yielded any active evidence (the 8 year old case was settled within months are done with). Now we see: “Chinese-made drones in America may be sending sensitive data to their manufacturers back home where it can be accessed by the government, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has warned“, which might be a nightmare if it was not so hilarious. You see the next quote: “CNN, which obtained the internal alert, reported that the DHS fears drones will offer Chinese intelligence unfettered access to American data“, it comes across like we have a case where a CNN reporter has been hit by a silly stick and never recovered. Consider the drones we see, there is no space to have a dedicated hack system on board. Yes some can be done with a mobile, and there is plenty of space in that device, now consider the ‘sensitive’ data that needs to be found, the data needs to be connected to (and with all these faulty Cisco routers that is relatively easy at present), then a selection needs to be downloaded and that is merely for one place, one device. All this stops when any person uses common cyber sense. It is the revelation that we see next, that is the one that matters. With: “Though the alert didn’t name specific companies, the vast majority of drones used in the US and Canada are made by the Shenzen based Company, DJI, CNN reported” we see the part that matters. As drone services are up on an almost exponential growth as we see the push that got there. The news from November 2016 gave us: “Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited (Domino’s) and drone delivery partner Flirtey delivered the first order, a Peri-Peri Chicken Pizza, and a Chicken and Cranberry Pizza“. Consider the option to avoid traffic in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Pittsburgh, all places with massive congestion. Drones are the optionally the newest quick way to deliver food, Amazon needs, Walmart needs, all in growing need due to the events where retailers and shippers combine forces to avoid a few items, and with congestion set to zero, people will flock to that consideration. Now the operational part, it seems that DJI is ahead of the curve, another Chinese company decided to truly innovate and now that the push is there and America is bankrupt (as I personally see it) anything possible to avoid money going to China, America is taking a pot shot at that. So when we are also treated to: “A spokesman for DJI denied that any information was being transmitted to it from its drones, adding that the security of its technology has been independently verified by the US government.” I start wondering if DHS was able to do its job properly. Now let’s be clear, there is no doubt that ANY drone can be used for espionage, especially if it is quiet enough. Yet is that the issue for DJI, or is that an issue with the spy that utilises drone technology? Yet that is actually not the only side, on the other side we see mentioned: “Those concerns apply with equal force to certain Chinese-made (unmanned aircraft systems)-connected devices capable of collecting and transferring potentially revealing data about their operations and the individuals and entities operating them, as China imposes unusually stringent obligations on its citizens to support national intelligence activities,” Now, this part does make sense. It is the same as the Apple Fitbit, that due to its global nature started to hand out the jogging patterns of Special forces in the Middle East, so within 3 days several members of the two dozen operatives had a check on their calorie burning and health, whilst the mapping data showed the world where the CIA black site was (oh apologies, I meant to say a military specialist endeavouring location of an undetermined nature). The question becomes how was the ‘the security of its technology has been independently verified by the US government‘ achieved? Was that verification process competent, or perhaps slightly less so?

I am not stating my verdict in either direction; yet the entire Huawei mess, as well as the DJI setting implies that the growth industries are shunned from America, mainly because it is not an American industry. Yet in all this, the forget that places like the EU and India are large enough to go forward with both players and truly grow further, whilst the downturn and the economic lag that the US is creating will merely grow the loss of momentum and the recession it will fuel in other ways. I would consider that the setback that Google is trying to create will have larger repercussions down the road. As larger Data vendors will now optionally choose the Chinese side, they will grow market share. You see no matter how it is sliced, all this is data based and data can only grow if there is usage. So when people remain with Huawei as their phone keeps on working, we see that there is a larger concern soon enough. At some point people will stop trusting Samsung, Google and Apple phones, which works out nicely for several players (Microsoft actually more than most), what do you think happens when the larger share of 14.7% of a global market changes to player three and not use Google apps to some degree? Google momentum relies on non-stop data and usage, when a third of the 60% that these three cover stops, do you think that this has no impact for Google?

The same applies to drones. You see intelligence makes the drone and as it grows its market share and the collected data of drone usage is set, the innovation of DJI grows faster. It is the difference between generation now and generation 2022, DJI will grow and can grow in several directions, yet the entire the setting of ‘data theft’ we see that there is a lack of ‘what’ data. What data is collected, the flight path? Well, I think we all need to know in 2023 what flight path was taken for the delivery of 342,450 pizza’s delivered per hour, is it not? It is not that Google Map has that data, and within a building in New York, is there truly a clear sign in the drone itself who exactly the merchandise was for, or was that on the box (instead of the drone). Now, there is no denying that some of that data would optionally be accessible to the Chinese government? Yet what data, what level of data? Do you think that they have time for the hundreds of drones and the data whilst they can monitor 20,000 times that data with a spy satellite (and an additional truckload of data that the drone never had in the first place?

It is when I see ‘unfettered access to American data‘ where the questions become pressing. It is like watching Colin Powell coming into a non-disclosed location with his silver briefcase and in the end the lack of WMD’s, are we going in that direction again? when I see ‘unfettered access to American data‘, it is at that moment I see the optional comparison (an extreme lose comparison mind you) with the innocent preachers daughter who did the naughty thing to 30% of the boys coming to Sunday sermon, having attempted things I cannot even rent on adult video. It is the CNN article (at https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/20/politics/dhs-chinese-drone-warning/index.html) that gives additional rise to concerns. When you see: “Users are warned to “be cautious when purchasing” drones from China, and to take precautionary steps like turning off the device’s internet connection and removing secure digital cards. The alert also warns users to “understand how to properly operate and limit your device’s access to networks” to avoid “theft of information.”” It seems to me that there are dozens of ways to get this data, a drone seems like an expensive long way round-trip to get to that data, whilst more can be accessed in several other ways and it is the speculation through ‘device’s internet connection‘, so when we see one of these devices (at https://www.dji.com/au/phantom-4-pro-v2/info#specs), we are treated to: “The new Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 features an OcuSync HD transmission system, which supports automatic dual-frequency band switching and connects to DJI Goggles wirelessly“, where did the internet come in? Yes there is an app, to get a live view from the drone, so what ‘unfettered access to American data‘ could there be that Google Maps at present does not have in more detail?

It is the next part that is the actual ace. When we see: “DJI, which reported $2.7 billion in revenue in 2017, is best known for its popular Phantom drone. Introduced in 2013, the drone is the top-selling commercial drone on the market“, information the Independent did not give us, that is the actual stage as I personally see it. It was $2.7 billion in 2017, there is no doubt that when drone delivery truly takes off, at that point revenue that sits between $15 and $27 billion is not unrealistic, the dire need to avoid congestion on a global scale will drive it and that is before you realise the non-US benefits in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Athens, Moscow. At that point you will see stronger growth and I haven’t even looked at the opportunities in a place like Mumbai, Tokyo, Delhi, Bangkok, Rio, Buenos Aires and Sydney yet. Everything leaves me with the impression that this is not about security, it is about money. That fact can be proven when you realise that everyone remains silent on the 29 new vulnerabilities that Cisco reported merely a month ago. How many Cisco router stories have come from that non-technologically refined White House, where they are currently optionally limited by “Cisco routers, including ones that can be found in malls, large companies or government institutions, are flawed in a way that allows hackers to steal all of the data flowing through them“, the cybersecurity company Red Baron handed out that issue to the media last week, so who picked up on that danger to ‘unfettered access to American data‘? And when you consider ‘it allows potential malicious actors to bypass the router’s security feature, Trust Anchor. This feature has been standard in Cisco’s routers since 2013‘, when we realise that Cisco is a household name on a global scale (especially when connected to the internet), the entire Cisco matter seems to be at least 15,000 times worse than any DJI drone ever could be, and the fact that DHS remains silent on that gives (again, as I personally see it) is added proof that this is merely about the money and the fact that US companies are losing markets on a global scale.

I could set the stage by singing ‘All ‘Bout the money‘ by Meja and ‘That’s the way the money goes‘ by M, but then, I realise that people would most likely pay me serious money not to sing (my voice is actually that bad).

That’s the way the money flows, specifically at present in a direction that the US is for the foreseeable future most displeased about.

 

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War and its monger

You might have heard the expression ‘drumroll please’, it is not new and often it is done to emphasize a twist a good thing or something unexpected. This is not the case here, this is the drumroll to emphasize that my ‘I told you so’ and ‘for the love of all bullies’. A stage that is anything but positive. A stage that Iran has pushed again and again and now that the pot is getting to the boiling pot, we see: “Iran is not seeking war, the leader of the country’s elite Revolutionary Guards said Sunday“, to which the proper western response is: ‘In a pigs eye perhaps!‘. In addition we see: “The difference between us and them is that they are afraid of war and don’t have the will for it,” Major General Hossein Salami said, as quoted by local news agency Fars.” Well, that remains to be seen, doesn’t it? There has been overwhelming evidence that Iran directly and indirectly (via Hezbollah) equipped Houthi forces with missiles that were fired into Saudi Arabia; missiles that, according to several experts, could not have been made by known Yemeni manufacturing locations. We have the will for war and ending Iran as a nation is actually what we are hoping for, but as the Iranian forces acted like the Jackal forces that they are as they hid behind the skirts of Hezbollah, that is the impact of a proxy war and we need to consider that we need to stand with Saudi Arabia, and we need to be fast and clear about it.

Turkey

Iran’s largest and perhaps only true ally is Turkey. This is an issue on two fronts. Turkey is messing with EU settings and trying to grease the Gravy train wheels to get a more positive response on their actions (presumed). What is actually more pressing is that Turkey is showing to be the turncoat that they have been for close to 16 years. The evidence for that (apart from the 9/11 blackmail attempt) is that the Deutsche Welle (at https://www.dw.com/en/turkey-to-produce-new-s-500-missile-system-with-russia/a-48792240) is one of several sources confirming ‘Turkey to produce new S-500 missile system with Russia‘, so the recipient of the new F-35, is building Russian missiles? This is (on the side) evidence that the stupid Americans are not about national security and that the entire Google-Huawei issue is only about money and economic fear (aka their Blacklist, my ass).

The fact that the quote merely is seen as: “The move is likely to further strain Turkey’s relations with the United States“, merely strained? If it was an actual issue, the US would have broken off all connection with turkey months ago, this is about a bankrupt nation trying to influence the limits of loss against China and as Turkey and Iran are tightening bonds, these S-500 become a direct threat to the safety and security of Saudi Arabia, implying that it would optionally need to place a huge Patriot missile defence order as soon as possible, it also implies that any act from the Houthi forces means that a powerful military act is required. No matter what the size of Saudi Arabia is, a war on two fronts is not a good thing. Not with the Size of the Saudi forces are at present. So they should try and test the Naval sinking solution I designed whilst having a sandwich some months ago, and sing “لقد رأيت سفينة جميلة تقع في قاع البحر ، وسهند اسمها” (translated: ‘I saw a pretty ship lying at the bottom of the sea, and its name is Sahand‘) when the task is done (preferably whilst the Sahand is sinking). It is time that the bully tactics of Iran meet the resolve of all others to tell them that there is only so much BS that we accept from some of these non-politicians. I intentionally added the word ‘جميلة‘ (pretty) as this is the one word that does not apply to the the USS Zumwalt (fair is fair).

So even as (long term implied) the F-35 equipment is halted form the US for now, the US in in a financial caper where they might not be able to afford not to deliver, whether they get paid is off course another matter, and even if they get paid, it is not a given that the FSB is funding part of that deal, it is just too easy a way to get your fingers on non developed nextgen technology.

Back to the Saudi Arabia – Iran match

Even as we see: “The attack came two days after four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Iran has denied it was behind the attacks which come as Washington and the Islamic republic spar over sanctions and the US military presence in the region, raising concerns about a potential US-Iran conflict“, I remain in doubt. Yes, Iran is the most likely perpetrator, but it is not a given, Iran has played its proxy war with decent competency, as such it is not a given that it is Iran directly, yet I do believe that Iran has its fingers in this indirectly. Hezbollah has had access to the Iranian-made Shahed-129 UAV for almost two years now, as such whether it is Hezbollah, or Houthi trained forces, these two are Iranian driven proxy parties and even if the evidence is found that either of these two were directly involved, the fingers of Iran and most likely the fingers of Major General Hossein Salami, the fact that he is the Aerospace Force of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution is likely to be written off as a coincidence by a few newspapers.

Our allegiance is essential now, it is essential to step up against Iran. Not only because it is the right thing to do, the fact that this act would scare Turkey into making some very clear life changing choices would be essential, when they learn that Russia is not paying their bills, when they realise that Russian oil is not free, at that point will they need to seek a resolution that will not end them, taking Iran out of the equation is therefore an essential push for all people concerned. So as Al Jazeera (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/saudi-arabia-seeks-avert-war-ready-respond-force-190519055552084.html) gave us: “Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has dismissed the possibility of war erupting, saying Tehran did not want conflict and no country had the “illusion it can confront Iran”.” He better change the tone he has when the people stand firm with Saudi Arabia on this. We have to agree with Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi state minister of foreign affairs when we see: ““We want peace and stability in the region but we will not sit on our hands in light of the continuing Iranian attack,”al-Jubeir said. “The ball is in Iran’s court and it is up to Iran to determine what its fate will be.”” In light of the actions against Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia has shown restrained, we can argue that there is indeed a case where Saudi Arabia is avoiding war to the largest degree because Iran is no small opponent and it will be capable of launching barrage after barrage at Riyadh, that is why getting the patriots there will be one of the most important actions.

When we look into history we see the same thing happen again, and if we sign up for Saudi Arabia we might have to, because we did not accept the Germans moving into Poland in 1939, we should equally not allow Iran to continue on the path it is currently on. There is also other news, but it is not direct or clear. The news (at https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201905201075144170-yemen-houthi-plan-attack-saudi-targets/) is only two hours old. Even as we see the headline: ‘Yemeni Houthis Plan to Attack Some 300 Targets in Saudi Arabia, UAE – Reports‘, we need to realise that Sputnik News is a Russian government held media outlet. So is this their way to support Iran? Even as we see the origin pointed at the UAE through ‘local media reported on Sunday‘, we need to be cautious on the quality of this news. When we realise the stage of the player (the Houthi forces), they lack the setting of “Yemeni Shia Houthi rebels are going to attack some 300 critical infrastructure facilities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates“, most of the UAE is out of their reach making part and even as I stated: “One source gives an implied presence of Hezbollah in Shinas (Oman), yet there is zero reliability as well as the fact that any attack would have required different tools as well as location does not add up” (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/05/15/the-political-winds/) almost a week ago, I still have not seen anything reliable making that a truth, because that would put the UAE directly in harm’s way. The entire Sputnik News setting can only hold water if Houthi forces get direct access to all the Hezbollah and Iranian resources available, hence the question mark! That is perhaps the only part that gives it optional value intelligence wise and there is not level of confirmation at present. All this relies on what the actual UAE source was and Sputnik News was adamant in not giving that part up, so is the Russian government handing out support against Iran or baiting the Saudi government to act prematurely, neither option sounds good to me, no matter how we slice it, but as we see the ‘news’ I had to include it, if only to emphasize certain governments needing to set the stage and the media is still the best way to do this to us.

The Endgame (not a Marvel movie)

I personally believe that Iran is willing to skate at the edge of war, not actively seeking one. Their goal is to show how impotent (opposing important) US politics and policies have become. It partially had to as the Trump administration is tightening the pressure on Iran. As it is achieving some goals (just ask Huawei and the Chinese government) Iran is openly trying to oppose it through its two puppets Houthi forces and Hezbollah. In this Turkey is still a trump card (pun intended) but as they are becoming the buddy of Moscow, Iran realises that whatever Turkey does will be vetted by Russia for more than one reason, in this we need to see the escalations and I feel certain that Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi state minister of foreign affairs realises this too, but in the end there are a growing amount of nations that are willing to create an alliance with Saudi Arabia, it is sad that the foremost reason will be what they stand to gain through economic options with Saudi Arabia against the ethical need to oppose Iran, but that is a conversation for another day.

 

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How Americans lose wars

There is a clear setting of war; the Americans have their articles of war in this. Yet is that enough?

Some stare at Article 10 of this, which gives us:

Every non-commissioned officer or soldier, who shall himself in the service of the United States, shall, at the time of his so enlisting, or within six days afterward have the Articles for the government of the armies of the United States read to him, and shall, by the officer who enlisted him, or by the commanding officer of the troop or company into which he was enlisted, be taken before the next justice of the peace, or chief magistrate of any city or town corporate, not being an officer of the army or where recourse cannot be had to the civil magistrate, before the judge advocate, and in his presence shall take the following oath or affirmation: “I, A.B., do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) that I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever, and observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the Rules and Articles for the government of the armies of the United States.” Which justice, magistrate or judge advocate is to give to the officer a certificate, signifying that the man enlisted did take the said oath or affirmation. (* By Section 111 of Chapter 42 August 3, 1861, the oath of enlistment and re-enlistment may be administered by any commissioned officer of the army.)

Yet is that enough?

You see, this article was the first one that came to mind when I was confronted with the Washington Post who gives us (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/former-special-forces-soldier-once-lauded-as-a-hero-faces-murder-charge/2018/12/13/bb4a11ee-ff10-11e8-ad40-cdfd0e0dd65a_story.html) the headline ‘Former Special Forces soldier, once lauded as a hero, faces murder charge‘. Here we see the mention of U.S Army Capt. Mathew Golsteyn. The article gives us in several cases “the suspected bomb maker“. The question is not merely regarding that captain, it is regarding the political cloud over a theatre of war. When we are confronted with: “The suspected bomb maker was not on a list of targets that U.S. forces had been cleared to kill, according to Army documents” when we place this next to “found materials needed to make bombs like the one that had killed the Marines. Golsteyn said that they brought the suspected bomb maker back to their base“. When we see the clear state where US troops are in a stage with an enemy of their nation and forces, we get to go to the articles of war “I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever“, from my point of view, a point of view shared by many, we get the condition that a bomb maker is that, we also get that this was a clear enemy, even if there is a setting of “was not on a list of targets that U.S. forces had been cleared to kill“, we have the clear setting of an enemy and when the strategical status changes where the existence of the bomb maker can upset a much larger territorial field, it is my personal belief that killing the target is not merely warranted, it had become essential. One would expect that an Army Captain has the rank to clearly set that field. We might argue that optionally that those who managed the “list of targets” could have been inadvertently asleep at the wheel.

It also makes me oppose the state of “demonstrating conduct unbecoming of an officer“, if anything he showed the balls (an element most flaccid US politicians are lacking) to do something essential. In this war, we have been confronted with a shifting of values by the enemies attacking America and as such, other considerations should be made in all this.

It becomes merely an administrative exercise when we were offered “found materials needed to make bombs like the one that had killed the Marines”, which alone would have been sufficient to take actions that might have resulted in enemy fatalities, optionally disregarding the circumstance.

When we are confronted with this stage we see the setting on why American forces might end up losing. I do not argue that there has been a clear path of transgressions by others as we are exposed to: “another officer, former 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, who was convicted of second-degree murder in 2013 for ordering his soldiers to open fire on village elders in Afghanistan who were approaching his unit while they were on patrol. Several member of Lorance’s platoon testified against him after being offered immunity.” In the case of Army Captain Mathew L. Golsteyn we see a very different stage and here we see a failing; a failing by the army, a failing by the American politicians and the quote by Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R.-Calif.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee giving us: “Matt Golsteyn is an American hero. Matt Golsteyn does for the American people what we ask him to do, and the Army is screwing him again, and they ought to be embarrassed“, which seems to fit the bill in all this.

We also see another part; at the end of the linked article we are given: “A senior Army official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case, said a request for information on the Army’s handling of the case has been filed with the Defense Department Inspector General. Until that is resolved, the official said, the case is on hold“. I can only partially accept that. From my point of view a clear documented path should be presented to the people showing what the soldiers fighting for America have to go through. When I see “the Army’s handling of the case“, I see the need that there needs to be more clarity for these people in war time conditions and whilst in a stage where they can be part of a live fire exercise at any given moment. As I have the ability to kill anything within 800 meters (with the proper rifle), considering the damage I could do, knowing that there were plenty of people in Afghanistan imparting such damage on American troops, does the Pentagon or the political engine have any clue that any holier than though stage is not merely dangerous, it has the danger of losing an enormous amount of additional troops killed by leaving them in such a dangerous stage of uncertainty?

There is every case for the prosecution of former 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, yet is there any clear stage of transgression against then Army Captain Mathew L. Golsteyn? The fact that this entire matter has been going on for 5 years gives clear voice that some people are seeking something else; that conclusion comes to me when I see that the finding in 2014 was that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute. Yet that too leaves us with questions. Because we need to recognise the difference between ‘insufficient evidence to prosecute‘ versus ‘cleared as no wrongdoing was found‘.

We might be able to agree that the stage of Army Captain Mathew L. Golsteyn is one that required scrutiny, yet the fact that the finding of 2014 should have been accepted (even though I have an optional issue regarding the stripping of his Silver Star, however as I am unaware of the findings or the reasons on exactly why he was stripped, we need to keep that part in the air. If we consider the phrase ‘conduct unbecoming an officer’ we need to consider that “He launched an 80-man mission to hunt the shooter down, slogging through a muddy field under fire to help a wounded Afghan soldier“. One case is not another and in this the uncertainty that American troops are implied to be exposed to is also a much more dangerous setting, not merely in morale, but in the dangerous stage that until clear documented orders are given to soldiers on a battlefield, they might not act in fear of prosecution and that is deadly dangerous, which is a clear setting of defeat!

When we see in the official document: “CPT GOLSTEYN related he trusted Mr. [REDACTED]’s intelligence and had always given him credible information which saved lives and prevented attacks“, my mind would have been made up and clear. So whoever has been stretching and reactivating this investigation for 5 years needs to (in my most diplomatic posture and voice): “Fuck off and become a barber, hairdresser or taxi driver“, so there!

I admit that I might spend a day checking the validity of the report, yet it took 10 seconds to make up my mind in all this. War is war, it does not change; it does not compromise or play nice. For a lot of people the contemplation of wars changed. It was initially on the 9th of August 2001 at a place called Sbarro in Jerusalem. A month later we got two buildings in New York on September 11th (you might remember that) as well as the earlier bombings on four apartment blocks in the Russian cities of Buynaksk, Moscow and Volgodonsk between September 4th and September 16th 1999. It changed the stage of war. It was an intentional war against civilians, a war that should have been made unacceptable from day one.

From my personal point of view, the direct killing of a terrorist should be unconditional and non-prosecutable. We might argue that not all those wearing explosive vests do so of their own accord, yet at that point we need to avoid optional additional deaths a kill shot might be required. Yes, at that point we need to investigate if avoiding collateral damage can be proven to have been avoided and that is exactly what then Captain Golsteyn did.

I think that the US (as well as other nations) has ventured too much towards the facilitation of terrorists with the visible exception of France who knows just what to do with those unpleasant individuals (aka ‘fuckers’).

I also found the additional information (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/05/19/see-document-excerpts-in-the-armys-war-crimes-case-against-a-green-beret-war-hero/) interesting here is the additional: “In December 2011, a special agent contacted Bing West, a bestselling author who spent time with Golsteyn’s unit around the time of the alleged killing. He said he wouldn’t assist investigators unless he was subpoenaed, and had never seen them do anything inappropriate.” This too is interesting for a few reasons. There is ample evidence that the media and the news steered around the events to the largest degree, those without knowledge, voices and with degrees in journalism have millions of words on Jamal Khashoggi, even if there is no evidence, yet when it comes to the work and dedication of Golsteyn, they all remain silent, this too is a level of hypocrisy I find hard to swallow. I do not run away from the issue and my findings on what I have been able to ascertain. So when I see ‘leaked report’ I have questions, questions that those leakers will not like (like the need for their identity) and the need to hold these people to account or their actions. So when I am treated to “Golsteyn “was not remorseful as he had solid intelligence and his actions protected the safety of his fellow teammates,” it said“, I merely see it as the required consequence of war. I also feel the need to make clear to feel my urge to make the not entirely proven claim that most likely someone at the CIA leaked it, to state to Director Gina Haspel (who was not in charge at that point): “Gina clean up your house, or I will do it for you and I won’t be nice about it!

OK, that was a little over the top, yet am I wrong? We see all kinds of leaked reports left right and centre, yet when it comes to Jamal Khashoggi we get no leaked tapes, we get no leaked reports or photographs, we merely get 57,000,000 search results, most of them misinformation, repeated unsubstantiated rumours and debatable facts that are anything but confirmed facts. When we look for Matt Golsteyn, we merely see less than 190,000 results and most repeat each other and also hiding behind “suspected Taliban bomb maker” (which is not completely unacceptable) , so how much effort did Sam’s uncle show to check the validity of that part and the parts found? It seems to me that a mere confirmation of that would have resulted in a dismissal of all charges, or am I making the challenge too simple for the Pentagon (and/or) the CIA?

Before you all consider that it was a complex issue, I can give you the rough estimated 98.43356% certainty that it was not rocket science. We now see that President Trump is looking into the matter and that is a good thing, although in opposition, I personally believe that it should never have reached his desk, it should have been solved within the Pentagon walls in 2014, and it did (the outcome remaining partially debatable as I personally see it).

In the end, this is merely one case and there have been plenty, I will also admit that in many cases the US did not show to have its finest hour or that the actions of a few have been acceptable, yet in the case of then Captain Golsteyn, I would have done the same thing again, and again and again, no matter how the aftermath outcome was. The now Major Golsteyn response: “he couldn’t have lived with himself if [the suspected bomb maker] killed another Soldier or Marine“, he had the proper mindset to keep himself and his brothers in arms away from harm. So let us all hope that the House Armed Services Committee has more people like Duncan D. Hunter and less people who go ‘miaow’ day and night, because as I see it the people of a feline distinction will cower when it comes to the light of day and plead for a compromising solution with whomever achieves victory over America and in light of certain events that is not an unrealistic future that America is moving towards.

When we see people like Maria Butina having (via the NRA) sway over politicians and attempting to set an alleged Russian agenda, allegedly advocating the needs of Alexander Torshin, how much more important is it now to set the stage for a strong and committed defence force (and optional a strong intelligence force). Do you really think that the events surrounding Matt Golsteyn will get America there?

I very much doubt it!

 

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Puppet on a string

It is 1967; Sandie Shaw wins the Eurovision Song festival with a happy go lucky song that even today could stay in the mind of those who hear the song. It is one of these timeless songs that can echo in our minds. She wins the day after Israel shows that Russian design requires an update, the final score, Russian MIG 0 versus Israeli Mirage 7 (a design they would later borrow to make the Mirage 5). Gaza gets occupied, Moshe Dayan becomes minister of defence and shows his opponents that one good eye is all one needs to have, which is a lesson his opponents would learn the hard way. It is the year that Benjamin Netanyahu joins the IDF (he currently has a non-IDF desk job).

Just who’s pulling the strings
I’m all tied up to you
But where’s it leading me to?

Elements of the song have become a reality!

The more you read about the issues in that year, the more the clear impression is that the pre-1967 borders were not just dangerous, returning to them might ‘inspire’ elements from neighbouring countries to take advantage of these borderlines to truly start a horror offensive against the state of Israel. How can we allow this with our eyes wide open? Was one failed attempt (Germany’s European tour 1939-1945) not enough?

If we take a look at the promise, stated to have been made by the USA (at http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/07/20/u-s-promised-israels-pre-1967-borders-as-basis-for-peace-negotiations-palestinian-officials-say/) to have been anything but unrealistic? How we saw the news last year on the ‘promise‘ of a peaceful tomorrow by State Secretary John Kerry. How could such a thought be entertained? The quote “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to resume peace talks with Israel only after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gave him a letter guaranteeing that the basis of the negotiations will be Israel’s pre-1967 borders, two senior Palestinian officials said Saturday“, it makes perfect sense that President Abbas wanted to talk, but with Palestine having absolutely ZERO control over Hamas, how could Israel see this in any way then the intent of them becoming the proverbial lamb that is getting guided to the slaughter table? In hindsight, we all see and many admit that Israel made mistakes in 1967, yet overall, if you have read my blogs, where I actually suggested that Sinai returns to Israeli hands, returning the Sinai to Egypt, was perhaps a mistake.

Please understand that this is NOT against Egypt, taking them out of the equation as Sinai escalates might actually be good for Egypt in the long run. Egypt is dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda (or ISIS as this extreme Islamic arm tends to call themselves at present) is growing its presence in the Sinai, becoming a possible threat, not just against Israel, but it will also leave both Jordan and Egypt more vulnerable. This would allow for the Al Qaeda/ISIS trench, giving them a direct route of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Sinai and Egypt. Such a route would enable Hamas in ways nobody wants and the threat to both Qatar as well as Saudi Arabia would become direct and perhaps even imminent to some extent.

So, why is this scenario ignored? I am not stating that there should not be a cease fire in Gaza, but the elements in play, as well as several refusals from Hamas, the constant attacks into Israel with well over 1300 missiles in 2013 (I keep on mentioning this as the cost goes into the many millions), which also seems ignored. Consider this incomplete quote “Out of the 1.7 million Palestinians living in Gaza, 54% are food insecure including 428,000 children. Israel’s illegal blockade has led to a massive shortage of building materials….” really? So how are they paying for all these missiles? If there was only food going through them tunnels, Israel would not be all up in arms, would they?

So when we look at the CNN interview where we read this “CNN’s ‘New Day’ asked chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat what the purpose of the tunnels were. ‘I know the situation is so much complex — I am not saying I know the picture as a whole,’ he responded. But, he said, ‘Gaza is now like a burning building. We need to get the people out, and then we need to extinguish the fire, and then we sit down and talk’” (at http://edition.cnn.com/2014/07/28/world/meast/mideast-crisis/index.html?hpt=hp_inthenews)

So the question did not get answered. In my view, Hamas has never honoured a ceasefire and any ceasefire ‘agreed’ upon seems to have been to overcome moments of low amounts of ammunition. Many of the players connected to this game have had enough and the US seems to be running out of coin and economic options, as well as increasing threats from a village east of Munich (Moscow, in case you were wondering).

I have been making light of certain moments, it is not stress or fear. I am just hoping that meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin where I tell them “pull my finger“, they will laugh and perhaps consider solutions out of the box, because as we all bicker over issues that are truly real, we seem to ignore the quickly growing sphere of influence ISIS seems to have, the events of the last two weeks clearly prove this. If we are to continue on any path where the State of Israel remains as a nation of commerce, as well as a future truce in that region, then we alas must accept that this cannot happen as long as Hamas remains. It is here where I personally disagree with the views of Lt. General Michael Flynn (Director of the DIA, at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/27/us-mideast-gaza-usa-hamas-idUSKBN0FW01F20140727).

There is enough information that the People in Gaza are tired of Hamas, Hamas who indiscriminately executed innocent Palestinians, because they weren’t shouting anti-Israel slogans loud enough. If Hamas is gone, providing Israel is then willing to sit down with the Palestinians in Gaza, there is enough information to stop the growth of ISIS in that region, providing Egypt can stop the Muslim Brotherhood members from converting to ISIS members, because that would not be good for the people of Egypt, not for its economy or the leaders of Egypt for now. Flynn’s remarks were published and stated seem incomplete to me. It is unlikely that he would spill the beans in public, but we should consider not just the ISIS visibility as it has been happening, but the speed it happened at, with the materials they seem to control. There is enough information to consider additional dangerous extremism as they become the fuse for Jordan. After that Israel will be adjacent to two ISIS strongholds, forcing Israel clearly into a corner. This is why the approach to Hamas as the General states it seems wrong to me, if they wait, Israel will be caught in a virtual vice between Hamas and ISIS. The better course of action in my book is to deal with Hamas now, and allow the Palestinians in Gaza stop the growth of ISIS, which would be more than a great bargaining chip for Gaza, it might be a first piece of evidence that Gaza is no longer the threat it was in 1967. That might be a true first step in creating a lasting peace.
Too bad Hamas was not willing to consider peace.

Tik Tok!

 

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