Tag Archives: Sean Smith

It’s a bulletpoint

We all have these days. We have moments where we are confronted with superiors (or bosses) who seem to be able to do anything based on a one page memo that is drenched in bullet-points. It was an almost Neanderthal moment in management when those (getting tertiary education) were all brought up with the belief system that a memo is one page (which I can partially agree with), yet that memo should merely consist bullet-points that bring the goods.

I always thought of that part as an absolute load of bollocks. I can agree that sometimes luck works in our favour and that is exactly what happens, they are however rare. You see, the bullet-point might be correct to some extent, but you can only see part of the view with bullet-points. An actual tactical or strategic business setting is properly set in a SWOT analyses. If it is a serious action, that is what you need, because the boss requires the opportunity, yet he must also know the threat and the weakness. Some decisions are merely based on the balance of merits; do the strengths and opportunity outweigh the weakness and threat? That is the game we face in most business ventures and as they move forward. The Netflix balance, the ‘Nine+Fairfax=NEC’ setting, the setting that we saw in Natixis, Ubisoft and Verizon. The last one is apparently not focussing on big Mergers, that is, until we get the allegedly implied news in upcoming October, when in the black out period of Verizon Hans Vestberg will make an interesting announcement. This is not merely about the ‘fast-growing global market‘, this will be about the upper hand and those with the data will have the upper hand, plain and simple.

So when we go back to 2018, where the state of the union treated us to ‘President Trump claiming the military defeat of ISIS‘, yes, also I have a bridge to sell you, nice view of the Tower of London, going cheap! In that same setting we see the New Yorker giving us: “Trump was holding a press conference, a few blocks away, with the Presidents of the three Baltic states. He was visibly angry when asked about Syria. “I want to get out,” he said, his voice rising. “I want to bring our troops back home. I want to start rebuilding our nation. We will have, as of three months ago, spent seven trillion dollars in the Middle East over the last seventeen years. We get nothing—nothing out of it, nothing.” He called it “a horrible thing.”“, here I have to say that he was not entirely incorrect. There is no return on investment. In a war against terrorists, unless you are willing to become, or unleash the monsters, any fight against monsters is a cost, and will remain a cost; there will be no return on investment.

Unless you are willing to properly strike back, this fight will go on and on. The events in the New Yorker were in April 2018, three months after the so proclaimed not really existing victory. The New Yorker brought the news one day after Haaretz gave us: ‘Trump’s White House Says Military Mission to Eradicate ISIS in Syria ‘Coming to Rapid End’‘, a rapid end and not in a good way. Haaretz also emphasises on “Trump said Tuesday that he expects to decide “very quickly” whether to remove U.S. troops from war-torn Syria, saying their primary mission was to defeat the Islamic State group and “we’ve almost completed that task.” Trump’s national security team is advising against a hasty withdrawal even as he makes his preference clear: “I want to get out.”“. that was the setting in April, now a mere 84 days later we are treated (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/25/dozens-dead-suicide-attack-syria-sweida-isis) to ‘Surprise Isis attacks leave more than 200 dead in south-west Syria‘, several credit cards will not charge interest the first 90 days, not ISIS, the interest was served quick, to the point and basically deadly precise. The by-line giving us ‘Suicide bombers strike targets in Sweida city and launch simultaneous raids on nearby villages‘. That is the setting less than 24 hours ago and the directness of the attacks imply that we will see more over the next 4 days. This is not a quick hit and run, this is a message to President Trump that his Trumpet is false and full of lies.

As we are confronted with “The militants are also believed to have kidnapped dozens of people and taken them back to their hideouts. Local sources said the attacks began almost simultaneously in the early hours of Wednesday, between 3.50am and 4.30am“, we see a setting of coordination, creativity and direct action. Not merely proving that the State of the Union setting was wrong, it is a setting that implies that a lot more resources are required. In addition, it also proves that we need to shift gears and reactivate the monsters that can take care of business. This is not the theater of Chicago windy city makers; this is the battleground of people like Academi and the Wagner group. Yes, there is a case where it might be better that the actual governmental military organisations do the work, but it seems that America did not have the stomach for it, the Europeans and NATO are locked in everlasting debates and Israel is eager to stop it all, but that means a direct was with Syria, which it prefers not to be in. So there are not too many options at present. Even as the media at large is setting the stage on a Putin-Trump option, we see in equal measure on how Assad won and Trump is fine with that. We get loads of writing, but none of it reflects a solution and with all the papers all printing the same photo, all claiming a death count that is somewhere between 200-220 we are told that the count is high, yet they do not give us that this happened 35 Km from Jordan, 90 Km from Damascus and 90 Km from Israel. I think that the message from ISIS is clear. There is an issue; ISIS is still a player in the region and yes, from all we can tell ISIS with this one act melvined President Trump pretty much on the spot.

Yet everyone’s question will be how to counter this and deal with ISIS. From my point of view we see a setting that cannot be resolved the way it has been, it requires a different scope of activities and a very different level of investigation and intelligence analyses. That evidence is seen in the way the surprise attack went through and pretty much every part of it was a success (form the ISIS point of view), giving is to wonder how incomplete the current level of intelligence data is to begin with. We were aware that there is too much intelligence ego in Syria (or Iraq for that matter). Even now, in the last few months as sources go out and admit (or proclaim) intelligence failures in Israel, the US, NATO et al. Even as the Syrian nuclear reactor is the most visible one, the quality of the workers gathering the data, often in am allegedly precarious double agent setting tend to be not the greatest sources of intelligence. A less reliable source is seen in open source intelligence where we can get a taste of some things happening, but for the most the reliability is too low to be of operational use, even after the facts deeper digging tends to show issues that after the fact seemingly it could only have contributed towards failure, not towards success.

Iran is the second setting where some go from the balance of probability in a algorithm setting that dictates the tactical push forward, yet the people involved tend to forget the oldest IT setting in any data analytical collective where the protocols of GIGO are in effect, a given law that dates back to 1982 when I was in the Middle East for my own adventure. I always see (or better stated I have seen too often) that the officer’s response of GIGO would be: ‘some of it can be used‘, yet the setting Garbage In Garbage Out is merely the setting that as Garbage was accepted, all data involved becomes tainted, or is tainted. Those who bring you ‘some of it can be used‘, tend to rely on the creation of truths by aggregating false flags. So the setting where: ‘he never relies on computers’, we get ‘must create notes on their intelligence’. The one setting where he does not use computers because the person was dyslexic was overlooked. Aggregated data can be useful against the singular observation in a timeline, it gives the unit against the volume, but if one false flag was false, the others lose value and the column setting is no longer reliable. GIGO is devastatingly simple and pretty much always a given truth (or is that a confirmed non-false?), yes, I am at times that funny.

this now takes us to a setting almost three weeks ago in the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2018/07/09/russia-and-the-u-s-have-common-interests-in-syria-but-it-may-not-matter), where we see: “Last week, national security adviser John Bolton said that the meeting could offer a “larger negotiation on helping to get Iranian forces out of Syria” and that an agreement could be “a significant step forward” for U.S. interests in the Middle East“, it is a statement that I cannot agree with. You see, even as Iran in Syria is an issue for Russia, it is not the same where Iran is an American problem, pure and simple. Russia has a setting where it wants to waste as much of the resources that NATO and America have, plain and simple. There is plenty of data proving that. I have nothing against John Bolton, I do not know the man, but I know he has been out of ‘circulation’ for almost 12 years. He is however not that devious. He sails a straight course (a commendable setting), in this he was always against the Iranian deal, he has been advocating regime change for both Iran and North Korea. It does not matter whether he is neoconservative, pro-American, or a nationalist. The settings that are clearly out and visible is that he has placed his country before his personal interests again and again and that is always a good thing (a lesson Democrats should learn at some point), yet when we look at Politico (at https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/25/bolton-cabinet-meetings-mattis-pompeo-trump-740429), he is also doing something dangerous. It is seen in part with: ‘Cabinet chiefs feel shut out of Bolton’s ‘efficient’ policy process‘, followed by “Defense Secretary James Mattis has gone so far as to draft a letter requesting the national security adviser hold more gatherings of agency and department chiefs“, this is followed by ““He doesn’t want to ‘meeting’ an issue to death,” said one White House official. “He wants to make the bureaucratic process more efficient so that decisions can be made at the principals level.” But across the U.S. national security establishment, there’s a growing sense of a breakdown in the policy process since Bolton took over the National Security Council on April 9“. From where I am sitting, it creates a different friction. The different stations always had their own way of registering intelligence and it is in the misinterpretation of each of the used Thesaurus, that is where the data gap is starting to form, an international data point is not seen the same by the NSA, DIA and CIA. This gets me to my party favourite, what is another word for ‘Thesaurus‘? It is funny when you think of it, because as there is no synchronicity between Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA Gina Cheri Haspel and National Security Advisor John Bolton, they only think there is synchronised thinking (they nearly always do). So now we have the hats of the big cheeses in a similar direction, but not in the same direction, it gives us the issue that there are losses, losses in intelligence, losses in data and losses in translations, and lets not forget an overall loss of quality. That tends to be a much larger problem, and that problem will hit the desk of Director of the FBI Christopher Wray a little sooner than he bargained for. It also sets a very dangerous precedent. You see, it is mishaps like this that caused the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. I see it as a setting where people that need to act are getting more than one version because of the lacking intelligence cohesion, which was never great to begin with is now in a setting of decay. I get where John Bolton is at, but the red tape has one setting which is intelligence quality, that is now too in a stage where the Dodo went. You see, the politico quote ‘cutting unnecessary bureaucratic red tape, pushing the nitty-gritty discussions to lower levels‘ shows the foundation of a good thing, but pushing certain issues to a lower level also means that the accountability and responsibility is brought down, whilst at the same stage, the essential lack of security clearance at that level also stops optional security leaks and as such some information will not be available at lower levels. So if ISIS decides to become surprisingly creative again and we see in a future news setting that they decided to visit Al-Umawyeen St, Amman, Jordan, We will see an entirely new escalation, one that President Trump cannot walk away from, in equal measure, if the changes by John Bolton enabled that scenario, we will see another setting where a National Security Advisor will immediately go into retirement and focus on his family life (the present assigned young-ling is 69 after all, so that excuse will be readily accepted).

So the shorting of the memo’s relying on bullet points, whilst setting the strategic placement of people to be placed at the point of a bullet is not so far-fetched, is it? Even as we will soon see that this gets paraded as a once off event, a rare option where ISIS got lucky. Remember that this was not merely an explosion. It was that, in addition the abduction of people and activities in other places as well that it all went down at the SAME TIME. It was not merely coordination; it required funds, facilitation of events and goods that were available at the right time. Should you consider my folly (never a bad thing to do), consider the one setting that we did not get to see in the news. The distance from the Zaatari Refugee camp to Al-Umawyeen St, Amman, Jordan is a mere 60,224 metres; I have actually walked that distance, so when we consider the dangers in place and we accept that there are ISIS sympathisers in Zaatari (we do not know how many), the one issue that the US cannot allow for is any more miscommunication between intelligence operations. On the plus side, if it does happen, Hollywood can do another movie, John Krasinsky was awesome in the Benghazi story, and he could prepare his Jordanian language skills if he reprises his role at: The Markaz, Arts Center for the Greater Middle East 1626 N. Wilcox Ave, Suite 702 Los Angeles, CA 90028.

You see there is something in this setting for everyone, whilst me successfully avoiding bullet points until the very end, how crazy was that?

#BulletPointsAreAlwaysInaccurate

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, Military, Politics

As messages pass by

There has been a lot of throwing regarding e-mails in the 11th hour of the campaign. As elections are officially about to start, the need to get them out in favour of the Republican side seems to be clear. Yet, in all this there is an equal worry why the Democrats have let this get so out of hand.

For those who do not keep up to date with the daily need of any Clinton e-mail, let’s mull this over, so that the sequential parts will be a lot easier to understand. For the most, part of the history (at http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/29/the-history-of-the-clinton-email-controversy.html) will give you part of the goods, but it is still a little short.

You see, this all goes back to 2012, when the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Sharia started a coordinated attack against two US government facilities in Benghazi, Libya. It resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith. It was the New York Daily News that reported on State Department officials who were criticized for denying requests for additional security at the consulate prior to the attack. In her role as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton subsequently took responsibility for the security lapses. So, that should have been the end of it, should it not? The basic premise is that mistakes will happen, it is really not great when lives are lost, but it is a danger many foreign dignitaries in conflict places face.

Although, at this point, one valid question becomes debatable: ‘Should any elected official making such a lapse of security be regarded as a possible president of the United States?’

I am merely phrasing the question, it is not an answer pushing you into the direction of the Yes or No answer. What followed was a media rush towards the semantics of ‘Act of Terror‘ versus ‘Act of Terrorism‘. I am calling this an issue of semantics as in the end Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens ended up being equally dead, so in that regard there was no impact. Just as many have seen, but perhaps not realised that syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer claimed that a State Department e-mail, which passed along a report from Embassy Tripoli that Ansar al-Sharia had claimed responsibility for the attack on Facebook and Twitter was evidence that the White House knew of terrorist connections to the attack almost immediately. Charles Krauthammer stated, “This is really a journalistic scandal. I mean, the fact there was not a word about any of this in the New York Times or the Washington Post today.” This comes from the 23rd October 2012. The issue now is that there are layers of issues not dealt with. Consider this part and also consider the Senate Hearing Response by Hillary Clinton “With all due respect, the fact is, we had four dead Americans! Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans?! What difference, at this point, does it make?!“, which is only part of the response, yet the response in the hours before the attack would have been important, especially as the movie linked to all this ‘Innocence of Muslims‘, a movie by an Egyptian born Coptic Christian, an anti-Islamic movie with the intent to denigrate Islam’s prophet, Muhammad. Was there really no clue that this would have repercussions? In addition, Anti-Islamic content had been added in post-production by dubbing, without the actors’ knowledge (source: Christian Science Monitor). What is interesting is that Sarah Abdurrahman states “If you watch closely, you can see that when the actors are reading parts of the script that do not contain Islam-specific language, the audio from the sound stage is used (the audio that was recorded as the actors were simultaneously being filmed). But anytime the actors are referring to something specific to the religion (the Prophet Muhammed, the Quran, etc.) the audio recorded during filming is replaced with a poorly executed post-production dub. And if you look EVEN closer, you can see that the actors’ mouths are saying something other than what the dub is saying.“, this is important because it clearly implies an attack on religious values, one that the Muslim community values above all others. Now we cannot expect that the internet is policed to a certain extent, yet in light of the trailer, was there really no one who asked ‘could this get out of hand?‘, whilst in the other direction, the fact that the trailer had been online for almost 50 days, were there no danger flags at all? So on a September 11th day, was there no perception at all that there could be a dangerous situation? In addition there was a PDF (at http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo33519/Flashing%20Red-HSGAC%20Special%20Report%20final.pdf), where the Regional Security Officer in Libya compiled a list of 234 security incidents in Libya between June 2011 and July 2012, 50 of which took place in Benghazi.

  1. America and American interests were (regardless of reason) under direct terrorist attack.
  2. The State Department should have increased security on several levels
  3. It gives another view to the Senate hearing in light of certain facts (January 23rd 2013)
  4. The United States Senate Committee On Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs paper from December 2012 shows that additional security would have been essential.

Now, why is this so important during an election? For the most, we could call trivialise all this in regards to ‘administrative failure‘, which will happen, even as we all realise that lives were lost, it gives weight to the response that Hillary Clinton gave. As she stated “It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again” as well as “The Intelligence Community has a process, I understand, going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out”, which now makes the second one a killer to say the least.

This is now part of the problem!

You see, the email controversy is not just that mails were missing, it became publicly known that Hillary Clinton, as she served as the United States Secretary of State, had used her family’s private email server for official communications, instead of the State Department email accounts maintained on federal servers. So certain triggers could have been missed and an issue of reporting now exists. In addition, the mere notion that thousands of emails that would later be marked classified by the State Department retroactively had been on other servers is also a clear case for response. This now gets us to Bill O’Reilly (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCYma3zZf7U), who now informs us on two sides that matter. At 2:11 we see the ‘accountability of people in power‘, which is an issue at any given day, yet there might be a clear explanation, yet the implied issues as seen gives us that there has been a level of miscommunication going all the way to the Oval Office, which is now a really big issue. In that regard, the Clinton campaign is getting cut all over the place, in addition, at 4:16, there is now the implied issue that FBI director James Comey was either not aware or covered up the private email issues as they were missing from the summation of the case.

Now, after all the grief that FBI director James Comey is now receiving. In addition, Nevada Democrat Senator Harry Reid gives us ‘James Comey may have broken law‘, is that so Harry? The trouble with Harry is that he doesn’t seem to mention on how private email servers and not the State.gov servers were used. Can we all agree that this might be the bigger issue, for more than one reason? The fact that impeachment could be due to all or any crime that abuses office powers, we could surmise that there is an optional case of perjury. If proven, we can avoid the entire election. That is not, as Harry Reid states ‘interference in an election‘, but the investigation of possible criminal acts. On one side, if this goes up after the elections and should Hillary Clinton win, than it is a first in history that both members of a family, both in a position of presidential powers gets impeached for ‘Perjury and obstruction of justice’, which is at his mere age of 76 still an interesting event to personally witness. Harry gets enthusiastic in his speech as given on the Huffington Post. You see he states “letting her GOP opponent get away with breaking the law“, which is interesting as the system does not seem to make a criminal ineligible for running for office. It mentions that you need to be an American and once elected you cannot run a second time for president (re-election does not apply), so a one term president cannot be a president again. When we look at the Constitution, Article 2, we get an interesting side. Section 4 gives us: “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours“, this implies that a felon can legally become president of the United States, practically that is a lot less certain.

So here we get the trouble with Harry. You see, until the election it is the premise of conviction, if Hillary Clinton gets prosecuted and convicted regarding the Benghazi mails after a successful election, she would be impeached. It is a possible and practical solution, but it isn’t likely and in addition initially James Comey made a notification of events. In light of the Washington Post (as well as the Guardian) we see “Their decision partly reflected the institutional power of the FBI director, Comey’s personality and the political realities they were facing, according to current and former Justice Officials. In this case, officials said Comey put the department in an untenable position by informing them that he was sending a letter to Congress because he had an obligation to lawmakers or they would feel misled“, is this separation of powers at its finest, or is this a mere loophole? We need to see this in contrast to another quote in the same article. Here we see: “At the July news conference, Comey announced that the FBI had completed its investigation of Clinton’s private email server while she was secretary of state. Comey said he was recommending to the Justice Department that Clinton not be charged, but he added that Clinton and her colleagues had been “extremely careless” in their handling of classified information.”” So it was after July that things escalated. The part that we see ‘when Harry met Hillary’ is that the path that is taken is odd to say the least. The mention by James Comey ‘in an unrelated case‘ as well as the fact that when this all happened Hillary Clinton should have had a cleaning pass on a very high level. That never happened, for the most it is an actual consideration exactly HOW Anthony Weiner got these mails to say the least. Consider that he left congress in June 2011, a little more than two months before it all happened. So how and exactly why was he kept in the loop? If the facts are correct, we are now facing a case where Hillary Clinton mailed classified materials to an outsider. A part that leads to even more questions when we see “FBI director James Comey revealed the existence of the emails, which law-enforcement sources said were linked to Weiner’s estranged wife, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin“, which now gets the Clintons in even more hot water. It came from a private server, it went to the top aide and she was using the laptop of resigned congressman Anthony Weiner, now it seems that the mails were meant for his wife, did she not have her own laptop (at http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/30/fbi-obtains-warrant-for-newly-discovered-emails-in-clinton-probe–as-reid-accuses-comey-of-hatch-act-violation.html)?

From my view, the fact that classified materials went via unqualified sources to a device owned by a person who’s is no longer in office. It seems that Harry is spinning his way through legal mentions whilst ignoring transgressions of classified communications. So, Harry needs to be careful on whacking the paint brush around. In the end, there is of course a chance that it will influence the election, but we could in equal margins consider that the Clintons, due to careless ignoring mails in the field, the entire mess ended up hurting themselves again.

It is because the clarity of what actually happened is out there is missing, is exactly why this is now coming to blows now. As for the mention of ‘Reid Accuses Comey of Hatch Act Violation‘, we should in equal measure consider that this is not an act where we see ‘political activity’, this is an FBI director who is now looking into possible criminal negligence and the fact that classified materials were on a laptop not owned for the person who the intended mail was, in addition, it belonged to a person no longer in office, so those conditions could well spell more mess as former Hillary Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills and another top aide had “some” classified material on laptops they turned over to the bureau in its probe of Clinton’s private server use as secretary of state. Through her own statements, we saw that she was unaware what classified meant, she did not use the proper protocols on sending classified, secret and more than 20 top secret emails. So as we see Senator Harry Reid go all up in arms, we need to consider one additional quote from the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/comey-gives-in-to-shameful-partisanship/2016/10/30/c31c714a-9ed8-11e6-8d63-3e0a660f1f04_story.html). “The evidence suggests that FBI Director James B. Comey is a decent man. The evidence also suggests that he has been intimidated by pressure from Republicans in Congress whose interest is not in justice but in destroying Hillary Clinton“, that seems to be the driving force here. It is my personal belief that this is what happened and this is why the initial mail was so vague. If I resort to calling a spade a spade then I would state: “Yo Harry, we know that you are stupid, but you are not stupid. You know what I am saying?” Instead of lashing out to the Republicans in congress, instead of looking why the massive level of ignorance from a former Secretary of State wasn’t properly cleaned up the moment it was a clear visibility issue, we will get to the direct consequence of dropping the ball on the bottom of the 9th when you are down 4 points and this is the last play. It could cost you the game and that is exactly what could happen at this point. When you trace all this information back you get to the clear understanding that WikiLeaks doesn’t need to find whistle-blowers, with the cyber negligence we see at present, Congress could in theory be supplying WikiLeaks with Top Secret information for decades to come (dramatically over-sized speculation). Perhaps Congress could take a moment to send an unclassified email to Maj Gen William T. Lord (you know the dude in charge of the Air Force Cyber Units) requesting a highly needed presentation on ‘Common Cyber Sense‘, it seems that a sizeable population on Capitol Hill is in dire need of one. #JustSaying

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Military, Politics