Minority Report: Putin’s Programma Destabilizatsii Began Much Earlier

[NB: Note the byline, thanks. / ~Rayne]

By now you should have read Marcy’s post, The Guardian “Scoop” Would Shift the Timeline and Bureaucracy of the Known 2016 Russian Operation which compares much of The Guardian’s article to known details leading up and into 2016 election.

The primary problem with the material journalists Harding, Borger and Sabbagh obtained is the new timeline it offers as well as its attempt to limit Russian interference in the election to a narrow window. In my opinion there are at least two more critical problem.

The reported description of Trump as “impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex” is problematic. This implies with treatment — like ADD medications and psychotherapy — Trump might be able overcome this challenge. But far too many professionals in psychology and psychiatry have already indicated Trump is a narcissist; this is not a treatable mental illness but a personality disorder. There’s limited treatment for this which may or may not work, including talk therapy. Such therapy poses an inherent national security risk.

Should Trump suffer from dementia worsening with age, his disorder will only worsen, his increasing boldness, meanness, and disinhibition making him even more unfit for any public office. He should never have access to the power of the executive office again.

But that’s one reason why the subtle disinformation has been planted. If Putin’s goal is to destabilize the U.S. and make it both ungovernable and unable to focus its collective will, encouraging the U.S.’s right-wing to reseat Trump under the misguided belief he will improve over time serves his purpose.

The second problem with The Guardian’s report and the underlying materials is that it treats the 2016 election interference to seat Trump as discrete, an end in itself, when the truth is that it was a single project inside a larger framework — a program of destabilization which predates Trump’s candidacy for presidency in 2015.

You’ll recall the case of three Russian spies arrested in January 2015, a date which in itself may not suggest there was a longer destabilization program, only spying. Even the role of former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page in the three spies case is not a solid indicator of a longer program.

In the indictment of the spies, however, there was a bit of recorded conversation which has troubled me since I first read it, which I noted in early 2017 when revisiting the three spies case:

“And then Putin even tried to justify that they weren’t even tasked to work, they were sleeper cells in case of martial law,” Victor Podobnyy remarked in a conversation about the Illegals Program sleeper cells. What did he mean by, “in case of martial law”? Is this a continuing concern with regard to any remaining undetected sleeper cells?

Emphasis mine, and on the part which has haunted me.

Was the January 6 insurrection always part of the end goal along with the continuing obstruction by the now thoroughly compromised Republican Party? Was Trump supposed to have invoked the Insurrection Act and martial law with it as part of a longer destabilization program?

That same program, then, would have extended beyond 2015, before the FBI began surveillance of the three spies, before one of the three spies, Evgeny Buryakov, began work in New York City.

The program would have predated the expulsion of the identified Illegals Program sleeper cells in June 2010, if the intent was to use them during civil strife in the U.S. resulting in martial law.

The presence of some of the Illegals Program spies pre-dated Putin’s ascension to Russia’s presidency in December 1999 and his role as Director of the Federal Security Service from 1998-1999, but it’s not clear whether Putin co-opted the program to plan for destabilization, or if the program had always been intended for destabilization but thwarted in 2010.

What’s clear, though, is that the U.S. paid little heed to Putin’s preparedness for conditions in the U.S. leading to martial law, going back at least as far as 2010.

The Illegals Program revealed to the American public the presence of sleeper cells. The general public has assumed all sleeper cells were rolled up in 2010; the use of the program as fiction fodder in cable network series The Americans marginalizes sleeper cells as entertainment. There’s nowhere near the level of concern about white persons with Russian accents as there is about Asian Americans of any heritage, the latter becoming the subject of hate crimes while the presence of Russians and Russian Americans is treated as no big deal. How would Florida’s Sunny Isles municipality function without the presence of Russian and Russian Americans’ money, after all?

This is part of the same umbrella program of destabilization: Putin knows the U.S. has a deep schism which goes to its foundation and he’s placed pressure on it to force it to open more widely. We know this from the documented efforts of Russia’s Internet Research Agency in 2016. Racist Americans have been encouraged to focus on an “Other” with the help of Trump whose repeated remarks about the “China flu.” With this redirection of attention, it’s too easy for any other remaining or new sleeper cells to be created undetected.

Some of these cells may not need to be Russians any longer. They can be loosely organized anarchic groups which are united by their preference for white supremacy and theocratic government. They could include peripherally-connected but influential individuals like David Duke who moved to Russia and lived there for a handful of years, to return to the U.S. to foment more racist tension.

Duke moved to Moscow in 1999 — the same year Putin was FSB Director. Did Duke have an invitation?

Does Putin’s Programma destabilizatsii go back that far?

I won’t even go into the much larger possibility that the umbrella destabilization program was meant to end NATO — which may mean Brexit was not a proof-of-concept linked to the interference in the 2016 election by the use of Cambridge Analytica/SCL, but wholly meant to work hand-in-glove to sustain an attack on NATO.

If this is the case, of course Putin would want to wall off interference into the 2016 election as a discrete, isolated event. Why would NATO continue to tolerate multiple sustained attacks using hybrid warfare on its member nations jointly and separately and not invoke Article 5?

79 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Interesting how the Russians passed a federal law in 2010 allowing a star chamber established to “formulate state policy on security matters” — the same year the Illegals were traded for spies including Sergei Skripal.

  2. P J Evans says:

    It’s certainly possible it goes back, in one or another form, to 1999 or earlier. It could be a continuation of stuff going on during the Cold War – that never really ended, on either side, at that level. Adjust stuff as needed, and keep going.

    • Summertime Blues says:

      Interesting article: https://medium.com/@abbievansickle/timeline-of-trumps-relationship-to-russia-5e78c7e7f480
      See November 9th, 2013, there are some interesting interactions between Trump, his cronies and Russia as well as inflows of Russian investment on other dates.

      It’s interesting there hasn’t been any mention of money laundering in the current investigations given his past history: https://www.fincen.gov/news/news-releases/fincen-fines-trump-taj-mahal-casino-resort-10-million-significant-and-long

      • Rayne says:

        Interesting timing; Trump meeting with Putin-friendlies mere weeks and days after polling in Ukraine shows younger people support stronger ties with EU, and three weeks before Euromaidan protests break out in Ukraine.

        • Rayne says:

          Buchanan has been a contributor along with Ann Coulter at some puny outlet called Taki’s Magazine. It’s like a boneyard for racist paleoconservatives. No surprise at all he was winking at Putin.

    • subtropolis says:

      Yes, of course, it goes back to the Cold War. Originally, Soviet sleeper agents were distinct from the “illegals”, which are distinct again from the spooks affiliated with diplomatic corps. The latter are generally known to the FBI, while the illegals strive to stay undercover whilst running agents. But they cannot be certain that they will always remain unnoticed. For that reason, the Russians would maintain sleepers whose mission was to do nothing whatsoever until such time that conflict with the US was deemed inevitable. (Think DEFCON 3.) At that point, they’d dig up their transmitters, call in, and await further instructions. Generally, their missions would involve sabotage of key infrastructure.

      In later years, perhaps due to a desire for a more immediate return on investment, the mission of the sleepers was modified to include attempts to insinuate themselves into institutions and the lives of people who might be “going places”. As such, they became more like the illegals, although they were generally not themselves running agents. These are some of the people who were rolled up in 2010. That they had been rumbled shows why the original “sleeper” status was such a good idea. The decision to make use of these assets led to their being uncovered.

      I don’t buy this notion that the events of Jan. 6 suggest the purpose of the Russian sleepers (or even the illegals). Although their mission has evolved over the past several decades, they are nonetheless distinct from those various domestic antigovernment actors whom the Russians have been supporting. Besides, I think that the suggestion that the Russians were directly involved with that coup attempt is just as wrong as the Puppet McConnell narrative. However, the current upheaval in the US is certainly something that the Russians have been striving towards. As such, their support for a Humpty Dumpty, along with smaller efforts with the antigovernment types, has paid off for them in spectacular fashion.

  3. milestogo says:

    Rayne, a bit off topic but your Sunny Isles Beach reference brought back memories. I lived there from 2011 to 2014. It’s a haven for (suspicious) money escaping from Russia and Latin America. The children’s playgrounds were socialization central and given my not so common ability to speak passable Russian and Spanish, I learned a lot about the people and their world. Coincidentally it was also the time I briefly got mixed up with the Trump family Mara-Lago scene until I ghosted them due to my corruption Spidey sense. In that short period I learned a lot that informs me to this day about a group that constantly seems on the take. I can’t remember meeting a single person in that circle that actually made their money due to, say, real work/accomplishment.

  4. Ruthie says:

    Putin’s destabilization efforts in Europe go beyond Brexit. The Catalán independence movement is another example that comes to mind, and if I recall French presidential elections as well. His goal may be as “simple” as as ending NATO, but I think a desire to weaken major world power centers is more likely. He could have authorized similar shenanigans in China and we’d probably never know.

    • Greenhouse says:

      Lol. Catalan independence predates the cold war by decades and has nothing whatsoever to do with Putin destabilization. Think Franco and the Spanish Civil War. Not just Calalunya but also the Basque country in Spain.

      • Greenhouse says:

        Incidentally, both Spanish regions would like to remain a part of the EU if granted independence.

        • subtropolis says:

          It’s akin to picking at scabs, rather than having inflicted the wound. It’s why the Russians support that Nazi shithead in France, and the northern separatists in Italy. And some of the separatists in the US, for that matter. Complaining that the Russians did not create these issues is missing the point.

      • Rayne says:

        Ditto the Scottish independence movement and the referendum in 2014. Our own Declaration of Independence may have been partially inspired by the Scots’ Declaration of Arbroath of 1320.

        What Russia has done, though, has been to increase long-lived tensions by way of trolling; they’ve used the same playbook repeatedly wherever known divisions exist in NATO countries.

        • Raven Eye says:

          No need to go through the effort of starting something from scratch if you can just leverage an existing movement/cause.

      • Ruthie says:

        I’ve been married to a Basque for nearly 30 years, so I know quite a lot about regional aspirations for independence within Spain, as it happens. And I don’t believe I implied Russian efforts were the sole cause, just that they spread disinformation to heighten the tensions. They were liberal in spreading their efforts far and wide.

  5. BobCon says:

    “The second problem with The Guardian’s report and the underlying materials is that it treats the 2016 election interference to seat Trump as discrete, an end in itself, when the truth is that it was a single project inside a larger framework — a program of destabilization which predates Trump’s candidacy for presidency in 2015.”

    I agree with this, and I think it’s critical to note that the larger framework included a lot of elements outside of Russian control. It’s critical to see it as an alliance with Putin as one of the ringleaders, rather than a purely Russian effort, much like the old Mafia families had carved up the US into territories but also negotiated joint enterprises, such as distribution of large drug shipments thoughout Northeastern territories.

    I’ve seen silly claims that McConnell blocked an effort by Obama to enlist Congressional leaders in an anti-Russian interference program because McConnell was somehow bought out or compromised by Putin. Likewise, that the Murdoch press collaborating with Russia is somehow driven by Kompromat.

    The truth is that McConnell, Murdoch and other ringleaders are in joint project that goes back for decades. I completely agree with faulting the way The Guardian’s report enables a minimization of Putin’s ongoing role in destabilizing Western democracy, including pushing Brexit and Trump.

    I also think The Guardian shifting the focus to a narrow effort by Putin serves the interests of a lot of other powerful people in dodging how they operate. I think when people offer up silly claims that McConnell is a Putin puppet, they help McConnell by missing a potentially bigger danger — that McConnell is a Russian ally with a common worldview.

    Puppets are relatively weak, while allies bring a lot more power to network arrangements. And furthermore, severing a direction connection between allies does nothing to stop both sides from continuing to pursue the same goal. Even if you somehow shamed Murdoch into firing anyone with any Russian connection, nothing would change Fox’s frenzy about destabilizing US democracy. Murdoch, Putin, McConnell, the Mercers, Thiel… they’re all threats in their own right.

    • Rayne says:

      “…they help McConnell by missing a potentially bigger danger — that McConnell is a Russian ally with a common worldview.”

      Yes, yes indeedy.

      Funny how the oligarchs supporting the US right-wing are so pasty in appearance.

    • Eureka says:

      That we’re so conditioned to miss these motives within our/other citizenry reminds me of something @gwensnyderPHL noted the other day via @Will_Bunch: ~ we pop-culturize the Manson family without much attention to their accelerationist/ race war goals.

      Struck me as a meaningful observation; the “crazy” [sensational(-ist) murdery mess] is what’s salient.

    • G2Geek says:

      Re. this: ‘I think when people offer up silly claims that McConnell is a Putin puppet, they help McConnell by missing a potentially bigger danger — that McConnell is a Russian ally with a common worldview. ‘ and ‘Murdoch, Putin, McConnell, the Mercers, Thiel… they’re all threats in their own right.’

      Yes to that. And it’s highly convergent with some of what I’ve been thinking lately.

      As Americans we (still) tend to think that there’s a common American ideology, that goes roughly like this, with relatively mild variations from left to right: Representative democracy, liberty, equality, and justice for all, rule of law, and lightly-regulated free market capitalism. And we see competing national ideologies as Other, e.g. Russian oligarchical kleptocracy is seen as ‘un-American.’

      We tend to think that Americans who appear to embrace oligarchical kleptocracy and similar ideologies we identify as ‘foreign,’ are likely under the influence of competing or hostile nations, e.g. Moscow Mitch ‘must necessarily be’ a Putin puppet (asset), or at least a Putin pet (useful idiot).

      However, that framing may be _not even wrong_.

      It may be that what we’re seeing is an indigenous form of oligarchical kleptocracy or overt fascism (per David Frum) or similar, that is, as you said, allied with hostile foreign actors, as _peers_ or near-peers with a _common worldview_.

      Recently I’ve taken to referring to one of the variants of this, in another forum where rhetorical flourishes are expected, as ‘plantation feudalism with chattel slavery and no legal age of consent.’ I was surprised when an analyst I deeply respect, the results of whose work you have seen in the news, said ‘yep, you got it.’

      Another variant, as most of us well know, is Dominionism, the extreme religious-right ideology of overt hard theocracy, first promulgated by Rousas Rushdoony.

      I’m still working out these ideas and their ramifications, but what they point to has become one of my current ‘going hypotheses’, below. Strictly speaking this is _not_ a hypothesis in the scientific sense, of a straightforward and limited statement that is specific and operational and testable. It’s more like a collection of propositions under an umbrella, or perhaps a scattery mess of half-baked ideas seeking coherence;-). But anyway…

      – The ‘American ideology’ of representative democracy etc. is no longer a nearly-universal consensus of Americans, with reasonable left-to-right variations.

      – A contending ideology has developed a significant plurality following of between 20 – 30% of the American electorate. It is essentially an indigenous ideology though with foreign influences and alliances.

      – The contending ideology is fundamentally authoritarian. It holds that strongman rule is preferable to representative democracy, that individuals and particularly ‘groups’ are fundamentally unequal and should be treated as such in terms of their liberties and their standing under the law, that obedience to the law is optional for ‘superior’ groups, that violence is acceptable for enforcing strongman rule and inequality, etc. etc.

      – This ideology is not identical with racism, but rather that racism is a component or subtype of it, and/or a feed-forward into it.

      – This ideology is ‘normally distributed’ with respect to demographics, such that there are adherents of it in every identifiable demographic group. (This might account for Black and Brown voters for Trump in 2020, after his racism and fascist leanings were indisputable.)

      – Conventional ‘policy-oriented’ approaches to political debate and campaigning entirely miss the existence and implications of this ideology.

      – This ideology represents a deep existential threat to American representative democracy, and a major existential threat to our national security.

      In short it’s home-grown, it’s growing at home, it’s the ideology of about 1/4 of American voters, and it’s an existential threat to representative democracy and national security.

      OK, y’all feel free to poke holes in that and tell me where I’m mistaken and what I’m missing. Seriously: it’s more important to comport with reality than to ‘be right,’ so go at it, I’m all ears.

      • Bytowner says:

        I would argue that such ideology has been present for centuries, and that it is an ongoing existential threat to the national security interests of multiple nations, and to international security in general.

      • Hika says:

        Bob Altemeyer’s work on authoritarian psychology [freely available online with help from a search engine of your choice] suggests that about a quarter to a third of all people are inherently authoritarian in outlook, regardless of nationalities. A proportion of people will always prefer the relative simplicity of imposed “Law’n’Order” where every body “knows their place” to the seeming confusion and messiness of democratically negotiated outcomes. So the proportion of Americans who prefer the latest incarnation of the US Republican Party is no surprise. Knowing this, the long task of those fighting the good fight in the public square is to marginalize them so they are not able to set policy for the rest of society. That can only be done by ensuring that enough of the two-thirds to three-quarters of people who aren’t authoritarian by nature have the means to elect governments that don’t do authoritarianism. Thus, your republic hangs by the threads of the voting rights arguments.

    • subtropolis says:

      “… it treats the 2016 election interference to seat Trump as discrete, an end in itself …”

      Except it doesn’t, so this particular complaint doesn’t explain why the document is either fake or disinformation.

  6. Rugger9 says:

    The Spetsnaz were also known for embedding sleeper cells, and we have our most recent examples in the so-called “little green men” of the Ukraine annexation.

    No question this is about destabilization, and FWIW Faux News, OANN, Newsmax, all of Rupert’s rags should join the GQP in the dock for foisting this on America. This attempt by Putin’s Russia to put a fence on their official involvement is a crock. They’ve been at this for a very long time, i.e. even as Soviets.

    So, the useful question is: what is the news this shiny object report was intended to hide? The timing is not an accident and Putin’s Russia does not have leaks like this at the top Kremlin level especially after DJT burned all of our sources in the Kremlin (adding to the stars on the wall at CIA). While there may be some truth embedded in this report, the dig needs to be for what it is masking.

    It’s a lulu, whatever it is.

    • Fraud Guy says:

      So if intelligence agencies knew of this leak months ago, but it is finally getting public now, was it timed for the earlier or current release date, or is that immaterial?

      • Rayne says:

        That’s more than one issue. Just because western intelligence agencies knew of the “leak” material doesn’t mean a western-friendly source provided access to Guardian’s reporters. Who provided access? What was their motivation?

    • jo6pac says:

      The little green men in the Ukraine were high trained Russia troops that there to guard the navel base.

    • JVO says:

      Wouldn’t an official proclamation or order of the state really be a “reward” for a job well done. It officially acknowledges and sanctions the conduct as state-backed. Isn’t Putin the guy who doesn’t pay his bill until the job is completed and he still wants you around!?

  7. Silly but True says:

    Would a malignant narcissist Trump, cured of malignant narcissism, be a good or bad thing? Would cured Trump, rather than becoming a rehabilitated sociable personality could just as likely emerge as a closeted but high-functioning antisocial sociopath, but for extent of any dementia.

    • Rayne says:

      Stop it. Seriously. Knock it the fuck off. You’re promulgating the false idea that Trump can improve which is what Putin wants. Trump cannot be cured. There is no cure for personality disorders like narcissism.

      Get that through your head or take your bullshit elsewhere.

    • Leoghann says:

      What Rayne said. Honestly. Your hypothetical is exactly like asking if someone suffering from advanced, metastatic cancer, once cured, would be in (closeted) perfect health, or would be suffering from even further-advanced, metastatic cancer. Both alternatives are equally divorced from reality.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Except for the part where Trump’s malignant narcissism can’t be “cured,” not at all, never. As Rayne keeps saying.

    • MissingGeorgeCarlin says:

      Thank you for making me laugh hysterically! I heard my first DJT joke when I was visiting my brother in NY in 1989.

      I now have over 5 yrs of studying this creature. The notion this 75 yr old mentally ill, charlatan-con man, bigot, narcissistic, pathological lying, career criminal murderer could be “cured” or “rehabilitated” is of course utterly ridiculous.

      He’s never apologized sincerely once in his life. He sent army of Q-tards into the Capitol in a coup attempt. His hands are blood-soaked from the incompetent Covid-19 response.

      You’re talking about a thing that comes as close to sheer evil as exists in a human being. There is no reform of something like this.

      That tens of millions of people support him makes me question why I continue to live in the USA, a country full of people completely detached from reality.

  8. WilliamOckham says:

    One way to think about Putin’s goals with respect to Trump and destabilization of the U.S. is to imagine that he’s trying to turn Trump into our Yeltsin.

  9. skua says:

    “Some of these cells may not need to be Russians any longer. They can be loosely organized anarchic groups which are united by their preference for white supremacy and theocratic government.”

    If I was playing Putin’s part then some of those anarchic groups would present as leftist. And the violence they used would be carefully titrated and carefully targeted at RW militias. With such groups I think I could have oatkp-types reacting and creating mass casualty events if I required.

      • skua says:

        I don’t know much about Portland but the little I know doesn’t match with the possibility of leftist-presenting, Putin-biddable militia.

        Though while considering this issue I realised that as Putin I would have many years ago recognised the benefits available from having a detailed knowledge of, and ready access to the trim-tabs of (gained by infiltration), the armed RW militias of the USA.
        Having seen the ill-preparedness for 1/6 by intelligence services I’m now wondering if the risks of foreign input into RW militias had been recognised long term or whether this was yet another blind spot.

    • Rayne says:

      Yes — also interesting Dugin’s work was published the same year as Zbigniew Brzezinski’s The Grand Chessboard.

      The critical weak spots in Putin’s attempt to realize Dugin’s agenda are a reliance on corruption and on a fossil fuel economy. If demand for fossil fuels cratered, he would lose substantial leverage. I’ve suspected the P5+1 JCPOA and the return of Iran’s oil to the market accelerated Putin’s intentions because the drop in oil prices which followed may have cost Russia as much as a trillion USD in revenues.

      ADDER: I also wonder how much China’s Belt and Road initiative has affected Putin’s plans.

  10. Eureka says:

    Wow, Rayne: well that part about sleeper cells in case of martial law which haunted you then, now makes me think of the welcome cultivation of one General and Keyword Whisperer — aka noted “martial law” advocate — Michael Flynn. He and his Jr. were public speakers of the nuttiest active measures from jump, like the latter w/ pizzagate, IIRC the twitter milieu.

    “Martial law” — or comfort with it as a concept via familiarity/bandying about — becomes just another active measure in the drip pan.

    As far as public figures go (and as constrained, perhaps, by official gov role or investigations or legal obligations) the Flynns seem ahead of the Q curve.

    Adding: can’t let the notion of ongoing sleeper cells go without mentioning the ones literally growing (up) right now, via American citizenship secured via birth tourism.

      • subtropolis says:

        Sure, in a bid to postpone the election until never. That had nothing to do with the Russians, other than they must have been thrilled at how quickly the empire was falling apart.

    • Dutch Louis says:

      Questions from an outsider:
      Was there a plan to base the 1/6 insurrection on martial law?
      Was the explosion of the pipe bombs meant to be the trigger to invoke martial law?
      Would the explosions have been the sign for the militias to transport their weapons from their hotel’s and use them in and around the Capitol?
      Was the further participation of the militia’s canceled at around 16.00 hour after it had become clear that martial law would not be invoked?
      Or are these questions just the skeleton of a fairy tale the militias wanted to believe?

      • subtropolis says:

        Probably yes to all of that, though Russian sleeper agents had nothing at all to do with it. The Russians certainly have been working to destabilize the US, but Humpty Dumpty’s big swing-and-a-miss was a purely domestic production, imho. The Russians have their fingers in a lot of things but they aren’t pulling all of the strings.

  11. joel fisher says:

    Reminds me of Mia Farrow in “Rosemary’s Baby” when she wakes up and exclaims, “This is no dream this is really happening.” Keep waking us up, Rayne.

  12. Yancy says:

    “Hi Don if your father ‘loses’ we think it is much more interesting if he DOES NOT conceed [sic] and spends time CHALLENGING the media and other types of rigging that occurred—as he has implied that he might do.” WikiLeaks continued: “The discussion can be transformative as it exposes media corruption, primary corruption, PAC corruption, etc.”

    First thing I thought of when I saw the reference to martial law. (WikiLeaks DM to Don Jr.)


  13. harpie says:

    The conversation:

    [p9] April 25, 2013: The Illegals Program
    27. On or about April 25, 2013, IGOR SPORYSHEV and VICTOR PODOBNYY, the defendants, discussed the use of nontraditional cover for Russian intelligence officers and, in particular, the Illegals program that ended with the arrest of 10 SVR agents in July 2010, as discussed above:

    […] VP: Look, in the States even the S couldn’t do anything. They caught ten of them. And you remember what they were charged with: illegal cashing [of the money] the Center sent, that’s all! And then Putin even tried to justify that they weren’t even tasked to work, they were sleeper cells in case of martial law. They weren’t doing shit here, you understand. Maybe they had a directive not to do anything, if they were here 10 years or whatever . . . they were in the States in the sleeper mode only. […]

    28. […] PODOBNYY first noted that “Directorate S” is the only division of the SVR responsible for nontraditional espionage, including programs like the Illegals program and SVR agents operating under defendant. […]

    • subtropolis says:

      After they’d been caught, Putin had attempted to convince the US that they were merely sleepers — “that they weren’t even tasked to work“ — to minimize the seriousness of their presence in the US. Please see my comment upthread, which discusses the differences between sleepers, illegals, and the spooks based within diplomatic missions.

      The short version is that sleepers traditionally did nothing at all until WW3 was about to break out. Illegals take the risk of running agents, though under cover ostensibly unknown to the FBI, unlike those working out of embassies and consulates. In recent decades, the Russians chose to hybridize their sleepers, who’d been otherwise living their lives uneventfully with a transmitter buried in the back garden. Although still not tasked with running agents, they were instructed to infiltrate themselves into western power structures, through employment or social connections. So, they remained “sleepers” after a fashion, though they were certainly “working” — just that it remained long-term espionage, so to speak. Putin was attempting to make them out to be (mostly inconsequential) sleepers of the olden days, though by then the jig was very much up.

      The individuals in that recorded conversation were merely discussing how Putin had “tried to justify“ why the ten were no big deal. It seems that these two spooks were even uncertain as to what their long-term mission was.

      The point is that the “sleepers” had nothing at all with destabilization efforts in the US. They are distinct from the kinds of domestic shitbags whom Russia has been supporting towards that end. The speculation in this post is a misunderstanding of both their mission, and a reading of this conversation.

  14. klynn says:

    This is a great post; especially paired with Marcy’s piece regarding the Guardian dupe-scoop. I think both of you are quite correct. I hope you and Marcy consider expanding the look at this timeline. Honestly, it is vital considering what is attempting to be done looking at the Guardian dupe.

    I would be willing to be a part of a crowdsourcing research effort to build a larger timeline. Some of the comments here begin to build the larger timeline.

    SPLC has a few items worth looking at regarding the D. Duke timeline.

  15. harpie says:

    Is there a general problem with comments on this post today…or is it just my comments?

    added…or it looks like maybe it’s just something about the particular comment I’m trying to post?

    • Rayne says:

      I can’t tell what the problem might be, harpie. I thought it was related to posting a link, then maybe hypersensitive setting around a keyword, but you had one really harmless comment without either which was stuck in the bin. I have to think there’s either a network or other problem causing a general problem, sorry about that.

        • Rayne says:

          Yeah, I see you tried several times to get through, thanks anyhow. I’m not seeing anybody else having the same problem today. If you haven’t already cleared your browser’s cache I’d do that, or try a different browser, or try using a private window in the same browser to see if that works. ~fingers crossed~

          In the mean time I’m going to check to see if there’s anything weird about your IP address but on the face of it I just don’t see it being the issue.

    • harpie says:

      This is what I was trying to add yesterday:

      For some reason, the year 2013 made me think of Congressional mid-term elections [don’t ask me why! lol] …and that, in this context made me think of Dana Rohrabacher.

      In 2012, the FBI warned Rohrabacher that Rohrabacher’s support for Russia’s interests was allowing Russia to cultivate him for its purposes.

    • harpie says:

      I just tried to post what I tried to post yesterday, and it again did not post. Here it is without the link:

      For some reason, the year 2013 made me think of Congressional mid-term elections [don’t ask me why! lol] …and that, in this context made me think of Dana Rohrabacher.

      In 2012, the FBI warned Rohrabacher that Rohrabacher’s support for Russia’s interests was allowing Russia to cultivate him for its purposes.

    • harpie says:

      What I had to say yesterday is just not making it through [I tried two variations just now] …that’s really not such a loss to the world! :-) Can’t figure out what about it was the problem though….I’ll switch to another topic. Thanks for putting up with me!

  16. Tom says:

    Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world where the worst thing that Donald Trump had ever done was star in a pee tape? My guess is that even if a Trump pee tape were released in IMAX 3-D it wouldn’t make any difference to his supporters. Most would denounce it as a fake–whether it was or not–while even those who accepted it as genuine would figure it was no bigly deal. After all, what’s a li’l ol’ pee tape when you’ve abused your Presidential authority to undermine your own system of government and lead an armed insurrection to overturn a lawful federal election?

    • skua says:

      Yep. If W. had kept on whorin’ and snortin’, if Pol Pot had continued into the RCC, and A.H.
      kept painting (though leaving his neice alone), and 45 had opened a watersports hotel casino in Vegas then the world would likely be a happier and safer place.

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