The Deep State And The Donald, Part 3

By our lights, the Great Disrupter is the gift that never stops giving. He is bringing the Deep State out of hiding and into open assault on what remains of American democracy. There is no telling the outcome, of course, but there was no stopping the Deep State, either, until the Donald stumbled into battle with the real ruling forces of the Imperial City.

Indeed, owing to honest but naïve utterances during the campaign about deal-making with Putin, the obsolesce of NATO and the stupidity of trying to fight both ISIS and Assad in Syria at the same time, the Donald brought down upon his head the wrath of the Deep State like no other time in American history.

Those single-sentence campaign talking points---along with a quaint rhetorical flourish about America First---were not rooted in any profound or consistent diagnosis of Washington's failing global Imperium. Yet by happenstance or otherwise they did cut to the quick of it.

After all, if like candidate Trump you eschew regime change in the middle east, recognize that Crimea was an integral part of Russia for 200 years and none of Washington's business and that Putin is not evil incarnate but just the autocratic head of a pipsqueak state that is no threat whatsoever to the American homeland, you puncture the very raison d'etre  for Washington's vast $700 billion war machine and its far-flung Imperial deployments and outposts all around the globe.

The truth is, America has no heavily militarized industrial state enemies left on the planet. Russia is a glorified hydrocarbon province with a few nickel mines, 100 million acres of wheat fields, an aging, shrinking, Vodka-favoring work force and a pint-sized GDP the size of the New York metro area.

Its capacity to launch an invasion of the New Jersey shores depends upon a single 45 year-old smoke-belching aircraft carrier now bottled up in the Mediterranean Sea by the US Naval and missile armada. And its 1,000-odd deployable nuclear warheads are pinned down by a US retaliatory nuclear force that literally would turn every Russian city into a parking lot. Besides, Putin is the Cool Hand Luke of today's international arena, not a suicidal maniac.

Likewise, China is a vast house of economic cards swollen by a $30 trillion explosion of state credit that has created the most unstable and unsustainable Ponzi in recorded history. Beijing does not need the 7th Fleet to keep it contained within the borders of the Middle Kingdom; it is stuck like a tar baby to a mutant domestic economy that will ultimately implode upon the heads of a regime that thinks building sand bars in the South China Sea is a sign of military vigor.

And self-evidently, Washington's imperial adventures cannot end jihadist terrorism; these destructive interventions created, enabled and armed it in the first place. The way to stop blowback is to stop bombing, droning, invading and occupying the already demolished cities and towns of the Middle East---many of which have been "liberated" by Washington more than once (e.g. Mosul).

In short, whether out of guile, naiveté or inordinate confidence in his own deal-making powers, the Donald threatened to expose that the Empire was naked. In turn, that elicited from the Deep State a blatant effort to stop his candidacy before November 8 and destroy his Presidency thereafter.

Chart: U.S. Military Personnel Deployments by Country

The Deep State's campaign to purge the Donald from even the simulacrum of democratic governance that prevails in Washington is the real source of the Russia-gate madness now loose upon the land.

It got going for real last July when Wikileaks published 44,000 emails from the DNC's servers which revealed an industrial washer-load of intra-party dirty laundry, but exactly nothing about national security or a threat to the integrity of the US election process.

Since then, however, it has become exhibit #1 with respect to the Kremlin's alleged nefarious meddling in America's governance. And that meme is claimed to be the "high confidence" assessment of Washington's entire 17-agency intelligence community (IC).

By your way, that's the same IC which concluded with “high confidence” that Iraq was “expanding its chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs" in 2002, and which since then has been rewarded for its acuity with a resource explosion which now amounts to a $75 billion annual budget and more than a million workers directly or through contractors.

That's right. Washington's IC budget is nearly double the $47 billion Putin spends on his entire military---including fuel, spare parts, soldier pay, R&D, weapons procurement and operational maintenance. The Deep State puts more resources into cyber-hackers than Russia spends on military attackers.

So here's a newsflash with respect to the DNC "hack" which was almost certainly a "leak" from a disgruntled DNC staffer.  Neither the FBI nor any of the other gaggle of IC agencies has ever even examined the computers which were allegedly hacked.

Worse still, the investigatory "no show" with respect to the DNC hack is not an exception. There has been no hard evidence from the IC, either----only surmise, assessment and accusations----on the Podesta emails published by Wikileaks in October.

Moreover, this is a story of the dog which didn't bark if there ever was one. If either the DNC or Podesta emails were hacked as alleged, NSA would have the digital logs because its bulk collection operation scoops up everything that passes through the internet---even the work of hackers and cyber-terrorists.

So if the evidence exists, NSA is sitting on it. Moreover, the unstated implication that these digital logs have not been transcribed and released to the American public on the grounds that "sources and methods" might be compromised is rank nonsense.

NSA's digital gumshoes can't be captured or shot for espionage by our alleged enemies; they are silicon, not carbon, based units.

The only theoretical risk to the latter---that is, to HUMINT (human intelligence) assets---has nothing to do with this matter. After all, no one has alleged that some modern-day equivalent of Elizabeth and Phillip of the "Americans" broke into Podesta's computer in the wee hours of the night last spring on the sage guess that his password was "password"; and that the US spooks who were tailing them might have their identities disclosed if the evidence was made public.

In fact, the only plausible source of evidence on the supposed Russian hackers---NSA's bulk collection of every email and cell phone call and message---has been known to the entire world after Edward Snowden's disclosures of June 2013. So absolutely nothing is being safeguarded by the IC's failure to declassify the evidence and expose the proof.

It's all a ruse to distract from the fact that there isn't any evidence that it was the Russians. To the contrary, according to former British ambassador and now Julian Assange associate, Craig Murray, the DNC gossip and skullduggery file was handed-off to him not via an encrypted transmission surreptitiously snatched from the DNC servers, but in what amounted to an envelope containing a thumb drive delivered by a guy reading a newspaper on a DC park bench!

And that's where it gets curiouser and curiouser. As we indicated above, the DNC computers have never been examined by the FBI. The whole investigation was outsourced to an outfit called "CrowdStrike" which has a $200,000 per year contract with the DNC and is a "burn-baby" (i.e. unprofitable) start-up funded by the Deep State's chief collaborators----that is, the always honest folks at Google.

A Daniel Lazare reports in a piece, (reposted here tomorrow), here is what actually happened:

When DNC officials discovered that their computers had been compromised, they did what anyone in such a situation would do: they called their lawyer, in this case a former federal prosecutor and cybercrime specialist named Michael Sussmann.

Sussman, in turn, called an old friend named Shawn Henry, former head of the FBI’s cyber division and now president of an Irvine, California, cyber-security firm known as CrowdStrike. Henry contacted his chief technical officer, Russian-born Dimitri Alperovitch, who sent over a team of investigators. Within the day, the CrowdStrike team concluded that the intruders were Russian government operatives.

Like any enterprise, CrowdStrike is in the business of convincing potential customers to purchase its services. Hence it had an incentive to blame the email loss on a dark and spooky Kremlin conspiracy rather than something more mundane such as an internal leak.

As an ex-Soviet who emigrated to America as a teenager, moreover, Alperovitch was particularly inclined to blame Russia first. As he once told a reporter: “A lot of people who are born here don’t appreciate the freedoms we have, the opportunities we have, because they’ve never had it any other way. I have.”

Since then, Alperovitch has joined forces with the Atlantic Council, a hawkish Washington think tank funded by the U.S. State Department, NATO, Ukrainian exiles, Persian Gulf oil exporters, and U.S. arms manufacturers, all with interests hostile to a sensible and constructive approach to U.S.-Russian relations.

Indeed, the Atlantic Council has been a spark-plug powering the New Cold War with Russia and maintains close ties with Clinton and her supporters. In 2013, it gave her its “distinguished leadership award,” and in 2015 it recruited her to give a major address kicking off its “Latin American women’s leadership initiative.”

The Atlantic Council also chose ex-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a major Clinton ally, to head a Mideast study group that echoed Clinton’s call for a Syrian “no-fly zone, “a proposal that would almost certainly lead to a direct U.S.-Russian military clash.

So the Russophobic Clinton camp hired Russophobic Dimitri Alperovitch, both linked via the Russophobic Atlantic Council, to find out who hacked the DNC. To absolutely no one’s surprise, they decided that Russia was it.

So not only is the whole hacking story essentially a glorified piece of opposition research peddled by the DNC and its affiliates, contractors and bag-carriers in the mainstream media, but whatever odds and sots of forensic evidence that may exist, were undoubtedly manufactured by the Deep State itself.

That's right. Owing to the latest Wikileaks disclosures of March 2017 via a trove of leaked CIA documents it calls "Vault 7", it now appears that all of the other dubious IC's claims and "assessments" about Russian hacking have been ash-canned.

That is, Vault 7 suggests the CIA has the ability to manufacture and deposit electronic trails to “misdirect attribution” by leaving false cyber fingerprints. Using a library of foreign malware and hacking tools, the CIA can plant Russian, Chinese, Iranian or other hackers’ fingerprints to make the hackers appear to be from one of those countries----even as they do the job from the comfort of their offices in Langley, VA.

Needless to say, that explains how the alleged Russian hackers, who CrowdStrike described as ultra-sophisticated and diabolical, could be so "clumsy" as to leave obvious and damning fingerprints on their work, such as the underlying Cyrillic letters, the Russian email addresses and even an alias name that was the founder of the Soviet intelligence service 100 years ago .

So it is probable that the Russians were "clumsy" because they weren't actually "Russians". They were undoubtedly CIA operatives from the Center for Cyber Intelligence.

Indeed, as one independent cyber-security expert, Jeffrey Carr, put with respect to these apparently planted telltales signs, such as the reference to Felix E. Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet Cheka,

OK. Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix’s name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker. Someone clearly had a wicked sense of humor.”

That gets us to the heart of the matter, which we will address in Part 4. The Donald's impetuous, undisciplined, impulsive tweeting has set the Deep State on its heels, and has opened up fissures and conflicts within the IC that will soon come oozing and erupting to the daylight of public knowledge.

The resulting beltway brawl will result in absolute paralysis and dysfunction in Washington soon---if it has not arrived already.

At length, the Donald could well end up victim to the Deep State forces his candidacy and election have unleashed. But this fate may also provide the American polity one last chance to reclaim its own democratic sovereignty.

But regardless of the outcome, the one thing that won't happen is the Trump Stimulus.

As Russia-gate cranks to a fever-pitch of hysteria, Washington is out of business and Wall Street is home alone.

David Stockman's Contra Corner is the only place where mainstream delusions and cant about the Warfare State, the Bailout State, Bubble Finance and Beltway Banditry are ripped, refuted and rebuked. Subscribe now to receive David Stockman’s latest posts by email each day as well as his model portfolio, Lee Adler’s Daily Data Dive and David’s personally curated insights and analysis from leading contrarian thinkers.