No Minister

Discretion is the better part of valour

with 22 comments

“Joshua son of Nun sent two spies out from Shittim secretly with orders to reconnoitre the country. The two men came to Jericho and went to the house of a prostitute named Rahab..”

Discretion is certainly a quality prized by both the first and the second oldest professions in the world.

Nobody who uses either of these services wants that fact broadcast across the community, and both the provider and the user understand the mutual protection provided, even in these days of legal prostitution and advertising thereof.

Speaking of the CIA and its friends, they’ve been leaking to their favoured MSM sources, starting with the NYT, that they’ve provided intelligence to the Ukrainians that has enabled them to:

  1. Kill some of Moscow’s generals,
  2. Down a plane carrying Russian soldiers (at the start of the war near Kyiv International Airport)
  3. Sink one of Putin’s warships (the Moskva)

Now I doubt that anybody, least of all the Russian FSB and GRU, has ever doubted that US intelligence has been helping the Ukrainians from day one and earlier, using satellite and drone observation, plus signals intelligence of all types. And I don’t have a problem with that because I want Putin to lose.

But it’s long been understood that all this is done on the down low. Aside from anything else you don’t want to show your cards to the enemy as to how you’re getting all this information. Let them guess. And in this case you also don’t want to start a larger war by pushing the Russians to start taking more direct actions against specific US intelligence platforms and generally pushing Putin into a corner he can’t get out of. For once I’ll quote the Democrat-supporting moron NYT opinionater, Tom Friedman:

“Boasting about killing his generals and sinking his ships, or falling in love with Ukraine in ways that will get us enmeshed there forever, is the height of folly.”

Which leads into one of those classic spycraft, “you know that I know that you know…” things. Surely the US intelligence agencies are not so stupid as to run such risks, in which case the question is why they would be blabbing about this.

The rather frightening theory I have is that elements of US intelligence have concluded that since the Russian military has proven to be a bit of a paper tiger and Putin has been revealed as not so smart as was claimed, that the US can start rubbing his nose in this stuff; “Yeah, we did all this! Watcha gonna do tough guy? Huh? Huh?”

Before anybody says that the CIA and company could not be that arrogant, hubristic and stupid let me remind you of the rather long list of hubristic failures they’ve had over the decades, from missing the fall of the Shah of Iran, to missing the fall of the Warsaw Pact and then the USSR, to the 9/11 attacks and Iraqi WMD’s. Yes, they’ve had spectacular successes, including greatly contributing to the fall of the USSR. But there’s enough failure and mistakes in that history to put the brakes on when it comes to confronting a nuclear power, one still with some 6000 warheads.

Incidentally that second claim about the downed transport plane is likely to be bullshit, as detailed here in Red State where the reporter (a former US Army officer) tears it apart and wonders why the CIA is trying to take credit for something that does not appear to have happened. The details of the claim are fascinating in themselves, like no wreckage spotted for such a shoot down; but in light of the other stuff about killing Russian Generals and the Moskva it’s this I find fascinating:

The lead reporter on the story was the Intelligence Community’s and FusionGPS’s go-to guy, Ken Delanian. Delanian is basically a stenographer for the IC who, in the past, has submitted his reporting to the CIA for pre-publication review and correction. The story goes on to sing the praises of the intelligence community’s work in keeping Ukraine in the fight.

Why did the IC “officials” who fed stuff to Delanian push this story out, and why Delanian and his co-authors didn’t attempt a fact check?

Actually he answered that question with that earlier paragraph. He goes on to point out that the sources probably have little to do with with Ukraine and are just passing along water cooler gossip.

But that’s still rather reckless in this situation. Another writer points out that the Pentagon is pushing back on such claims, and that this leads to a speculation only a little less worse than the deliberate goading of Putin:

Now, however, identifiable Pentagon officials—people with names, like, “John Kirby”—are walking back the claims of the anonymous “senior American officials” and “US officials”.

That the US government is so divided on the core issue of war or peace with a nuclear power is disturbing in and of itself. That one faction in the government is attempting to go over the heads of the Pentagon on the issue of a war of choice adds to the concern. The fact that the sources are identified so vaguely is further cause for concern, since it suggests a lack of military expertise. That this semi-public debate is taking place with essentially no significant input from the one constitutional institution of the American republic which has the authority to declare a war—the legislative branch—or meaningful public debate should raise our concerns to the level of alarm.

Then there’s “The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022”, which is being touted as a way of expediting the delivery of weapons and munitions to Ukraine. Lend-Lease? I don’t object to the actions but the choice of name, with its quite deliberate echo of World War II history, is another marker of Washington arrogance and hubris, on both the Democrat and GOP sides.

And that’s apart from the $40 billion Ukraine aid bill passed by the House, amazingly an increase from the $33 billion requested by Biden, so you know how hot a bipartisan Congress is for this stuff, even when it contains shit like this:

  • $54 million goes to the Center for Disease Control.
  • $67 million is given to the DOJ for salaries and expenses.
  • $110 million is marked for embassy security in other countries
  • $4 billion is delegated to Joe Biden for “foreign military assistance” with essentially no stipulations.
  • $17.6 billion goes to the Department of Defense for stuff that may or may not have anything to do with Ukraine.

Chip Roy of Texas summed it up very well.

None of this is smart, from the leaks to the spending, all of which may be nudging the US to something more than a proxy war, which is why it’s even led to speculation about other reasons that may lie behind all this:

Abraham Lincoln arrested opposition journalists and publishers during the War between the States.  WWI saw the passage of the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918, the latter of which absolutely infringed upon freedom of speech.  And Franklin Roosevelt is notorious for having interned U.S. citizens of Japanese and also of German descent and for persecuting some Italian-heritage Americans.

Civil rights’ trampling would surely be worse under a major-war scenario today.  Not only are we much farther down the rabbit hole of moral nihilism and wanton constitutional trespass, but Americans who even question our Ukraine policy are already labeled “stooges of Putin.”  Moreover, Democrats have already made crystal-clear what they want: complete power — by any means necessary.

I don’t think the Democrats are either smart enough or courageous enough to pull that off.

Lastly from the world of Smart People In Charge, I’ll leave you with this video of some Ukrainian “soldier” supposedly doing a training video on how to operate a mortar. It’s not just the Russian military that have training problems. Here’s the snapshot from near the end in case you don’t want to watch two minutes of video.

I’ve never fired a mortar or even been near one, but I’ve watched enough war movies to know that that is not the end you stick in the mortar tube first.

22 Responses

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  1. “The first casualty of war is the truth” trite but true.

    The video of the Ukrainian with the morter real or fake? You be the judge, but I know what I think

    But how to make sense of this proxy war the USA is fighting with Russia or is Russia the real target?

    Maybe the real target is Europe and Germany in particular – which is maybe why the Brits are so hawkish

    You see the sanctions thing hurts Europeans far more than it hurts Russians – in fact the Russian Ruble is the best performing currency in the world right now…

    …While German industry requires cheap Russian energy and raw materials along with Russian markets to prosper

    The funny thing is while that morter video is probably fake is serves as a brilliant metaphor for the sanctions regime the West is imposing on Russia

    Andrei

    May 16, 2022 at 2:44 pm

    • … while that morter video is probably fake…

      It seems realistic enough with that explosion at the end, and although as I said in the post I find it hard to believe anybody could be that ignorant, the fact is that there are a lot of idiots around.

      Besides, if it’s fake why would the Ukrainians do so and then put it up (live stream captured by somebody else?) or are you suggesting the Russians faked this? That last also seems unlikely as there surely would be more effective propaganda items to work on.

      Tom Hunter

      May 16, 2022 at 3:03 pm

      • You know Tom it is a very human thing to do but in this post you are guilty of suspending your skepticism and without any critical thought accepting things as being true because you want them to be true

        But that is just engaging in wishful thinking

        Here is a question for you

        If Russia is really getting her arse handed to her on a plate in Ukraine then why does the American Taxpayer need to put an additional $40 Billion into the project? For context that is about ten times New Zealand’s annual military budget

        And why did Lloyd J. Austin III phone Sergei Shoigu phone Shoigu and beg him for a cease fire in a call that lasted over 70 minutes

        And why is the EU giving the Ukraine Government $15 billion to keep it afloat just for the next three months?

        There is no doubt that there are elements within the US foreign policy establishment that desire to get NATO engaged in Ukraine – this is insanity but the Neocons are insane and that is why these stories are being leaked to the NYT and you even admit in the post that at least some of these stories are BS

        We ;living in a world on the verge of collapse, there are already food riots in several countries, inflation is through the roof and the crazies have taken charge in Washington DC after a regime change operation that installed a corrupt old man in the White house with his understudy being a scatterbrained woman with zero talent for anything other than looking foolish

        In the real world Russia is slowly and methodically securing the Donbass while annihilating the Ukrainian army in the process and there is a lot of butthurt in Washington DC and London as they go about it.

        And there are some very, very nasty things coming to light in Ukraine involving the extreme malfeasance of the American Government and elites.

        Very nasty things indeed

        Andrei

        May 16, 2022 at 5:58 pm

      • You know Tom it is a very human thing to do but in this post you are guilty of suspending your skepticism and without any critical thought accepting things as being true because you want them to be true

        And you Andrei? No suspension of scepticism and lack of critical thinking when it comes to Mother Russia and Vlad The Invader?

        Perhaps you’d like to argue against specific points instead of just labelling everything as fake news, from video of Russian trucks rolling along on flat tyres to beaten up Russian Army recruits to shot-down Russian fighters with Garman GPS units clamped to the windows. That last hardly a surprise after Russian pilots tweeted such photos out themselves in 2015 over Russia

        Having to use such commercial, designed-for-ground-use navigation units in fighters was pretty sad even in 2015. To find it still going on in 2022. Sheesh.

        Tom Hunter

        May 16, 2022 at 6:38 pm

      • LOL Tom – you see a Ukrainian sourced video on Twitter and take it to be gospel truth

        As for GPS this might come as a huge surprise you to you but Russia actually has its very own GPS system called ГЛОНАСС.

        How the hell do you think Russia can conduct precision missile strikes if they are dependant on the US GPS system?

        Do you seriously think the Russia would use the American GPS system in military applications?

        This is confirming what I was saying in my initial comment – you uncritically accept obvious garbage as the unbridled truth if it confirms your biases

        Andrei

        May 16, 2022 at 7:55 pm

      • How the hell do you think Russia can conduct precision missile strikes if they are dependant on the US GPS system?

        Do you seriously think that Russia would use the American GPS system in military applications?

        Those 2015 photos were not propaganda but simply an unwitting revelation by a Russian air crew, and I would think the reason is that Russia can afford it’s own precision navigation/targeting systems only for more expensive missiles, leaving the aircrews to struggle along as best they can.

        After all, what reason can you think of for Russian aircrew having such units in their military planes – aside from the usual claim that it’s all just CIA propaganda or faked photos? I don’t recall that was the claim when the pictures first surfaced in 2015.

        Tom Hunter

        May 16, 2022 at 8:11 pm

      • Those 2015 photos were not propaganda but simply an unwitting revelation by a Russian air crew, and I would think the reason is that Russia can afford it’s own precision navigation/targeting systems only for more expensive missiles, leaving the aircrews to struggle along as best they can.

        GPS receivers are not the expensive part of the system Tom, the satellites are – you can buy a fifty dollar cell phone with a GPS chip in for goodness sakes

        The USA, Russia and China all have their own GPS systems, they have civillian bands and a military bands so that in times of conflict the civillian band can be shut down rendering off the shelf GPS units useless – you are seriously nuts if you think Russian military aircraft are using off the shelf made in China , American Garman consumer GPS devices for their navigation

        Andrei

        May 16, 2022 at 8:34 pm

      • Another view

        Andrei

        May 16, 2022 at 9:04 pm

    • Oh Andre you really are a chump.

      Of course the West is keeping Ukraine afloat… politically and militarily.

      But in 1941 to 1945 it paid the West to keep Russia afloat against the Germans. Do you really think Russia won the war against Germany alone? The West poured vast amounts of money and guns, logistics into Russia so that Russia could slaughter its own population in vast numbers, as well as the Germans.

      Like the Ukraine War Russian tactics were primitive, even naïve in WW2.

      You see Russia has a long history of “having its arse handed to it on a plate”
      Poland 1920’s
      The Finnish Winter War
      Poland 1941
      Ukraine 1941 /42
      Afghanistan
      Chechnya
      Ukraine again 2022

      I bet the Poles and the Finns would just love to hand Russia its arse again, and drive all the way to Moscow

      I guess the big house in Karori, Wellington, pays you by the line, as your analysis, like Russian fighting tactics, is of very low quality Andre!

      Do you even know why the Russians are using cell phones to communicate…no you dont , because the Russian Tac net, with encryption doesnt work because they cant get a signal.

      rossco

      May 16, 2022 at 7:45 pm

      • I guess the big house in Karori, Wellington, pays you by the line,

        To be fair to Andrei I’m familiar with his comments for more than a decade now. In fact here he is in 2007 defending GW Bush:

        Then the peace loving people of Iraq can return to harmless activities like kite flying and forget all their aquired knowledge on the manufacture and delivery of more sophisticated chemical weapons.

        On the other hand it just could be the presence of American troops in Iraq is the reason that this attack, bad as it is, was relatively impotent.

        After all when Saddam Hussein was king the Iraqi’s were able to launch devastating chemical attacks against civilians with impunity.

        But of course in the ‘through the looking glass world” of the left that atrocity, if admitted at all, is somehow blamed on the west and America in particular.

        But much has changed in the years since then.

        Tom Hunter

        May 16, 2022 at 8:04 pm

      • LOL another who is disconnected from reality

        Andrei

        May 16, 2022 at 8:07 pm

      • ??????

        Seriously, you’re going to have to explain that one to me. I have no idea what the hell you mean by LOL another who is disconnected from reality? That Chechen fighter in the video? If so, why? Isn’t he fighting for your guy?

        Tom Hunter

        May 16, 2022 at 9:47 pm

    • Still banging on about the Super Smart “fix-in-place” operation the Russian Army pulled by withdrawing from their Kyiv advance (yeah – that’s now quite deliberate on my part Andrei) and from around Kharkiv.

      I sense a Tui advertisement on the wing.

      Tom Hunter

      May 16, 2022 at 10:02 pm

  2. The sheer arrogance of the DOJ when the Hillary campaign dissolved in failure and here where you document grade 1 stupid in the intelligence (oxymoron and ordinary moron alerts) communities in their now being revealed daily inane attempts to take down an elected POTUS and collude with anti Republican media to further that cause, there are any number of cretins who think they are wearing a cloak of immunity to protect them from repercussions. Why would it ever occur that they might be being treasonous.

    Gravedodger

    May 16, 2022 at 2:44 pm

  3. For a change, this is an item by Tom that I agree with.
    In my view the event(s) to wait for will be the Ukrainian offensive to remove the Russian Army from the “land bridge” between Crimea and the Donbas. This will determine the outcome of the war. The Russian Army has already shown that they can’t break out of the Donbas. However they seem to be able to defend the area they have occupied since 2014. The “land bridge” is different. The Russians have only occupied it for 3 months. Maybe that is enough.
    If the Ukrainians succeed in their offensive, Russia may settle for recognition of the Donbas and Crimea. If the Russians break the offensive, Ukraine will ultimately have to accept the land bridge.
    There will be no serious peace negotiations until this issue, the Ukrainian offensive, is resolved one way or another. So no serious negotiations until September at the earliest.

    waynemapp

    May 16, 2022 at 9:38 pm

    • … the event(s) to wait for will be the Ukrainian offensive to remove the Russian Army from the “land bridge” between Crimea and the Donbas. This will determine the outcome of the war.

      I agree, and I very much want to see the Ukrainians succeed, but as poor as the Russian Army has been on offence, defence is a different matter.

      Tom Hunter

      May 16, 2022 at 9:54 pm

  4. Andrei is right in saying that the fist casualty in war is truth and in that context I am somewhat skeptical of anything purporting to come from the CIA. But I have much greater faith in UK sourced intelligence. CGHQ Cheltnam along with British Military Intelligence are adept at real time monitoring and analysis of Russian tactical communications in the Ukraine. I therefore place some store in the report by the UK Milinstry of Defence that Russia may have lost up to one third of the ground forces it committed in their invasion of the Ukraine.

    One thing for sure … Russia ain’t saying and never will.

    The Veteran

    May 16, 2022 at 9:42 pm

  5. Since Andrei has put up a couple of YouTube analysis – interesting BTW even if I don’t agree with them – I guess I may as well throw a couple out there that have trended on the Tube, much to the surprise of the Aussie analyst who just does this shit out of autistic obsession.

    “Who is winning?” – Mythbusting the Ukraine-Russia war
    …. and…
    The Price of War – Can Russia afford a long conflict?

    Both an hour long but very good.

    Tom Hunter

    May 16, 2022 at 10:11 pm

    • “Opinions are like arseholes….” to quote an old aphorism Tom – why the opinion of an Australian video gamer on a geopolitical struggle is worth of expending two hours upon I might need some more convincing.

      What I don’t get is why you are so emotionally invested in this, which you personalize to Vladimir Putin, he has to be put in his place you seem to feel. – an upstart Orthodox Slav who has got too big for his boots and blocked the USA from doing to Syria what they did to Libya

      You sneer at the concept of feints and blocking campaigns as though such things have not been part of the art of war since time immemorial – fair enough, Opinions are like ….

      And yet you know so little of Russia and Russkiy Mir that you do not instantly recognize Ramzan Kadyrov nor grasp what he is saying – that was from the Sun and they published to troll the shrinking violets of the West who get the vapours when confronted by an Alpha Male who calls it like he sees it or triggered as is a common expression in the lands ruled by silly women and metrosexual men with soft pink puffy hands and Max Factor complexions

      I put it there to troll; Rossco who listed a series of conflicts where Russia was supposedly defeated though Russia ultimately prevailed all of those with the exception of Afghanistan that being a Soviet conflict of course which took place just before its demise = I wonder what that portends for the USA who were engaged in there for three times as long as the Soviets and had a somewhat more embarrassing exit, an omen perchance?

      So why are you so invested in Ukraine and not South Sudan, say or Yemen

      Its not for “Freedom and Democracy™” because neither have really existed in those lands since independence

      It is the most corrupt country in Europe and has been for 30 years – and since the American engineered putsch in 2014 it is the go to place for US politicians to launder their money – its been a gold mine for a plethora of the scions of political families – and I think you kind of know this

      Is that why it is so important to you? Are you worried that that Hunter Biden will not be able to maintain his cocaine habit should Putin prevail;?

      Seriously why is it so important to you that cities like Sevastopol where standard Russian is the vernacular and a Statue of Catherine the Great is a center piece should come under the auspices of people who have outlawed the Russian Language in public discourse , persecute the Russian Orthodox Church and pay homage to Stepan Bandera a notorious Nazi collaborator

      Andrei

      May 16, 2022 at 11:47 pm

      • why the opinion of an Australian video gamer on a geopolitical struggle is worth of expending two hours upon I might need some more convincing.

        Funny you should say that for I had a similar feeling as I watched the video you linked, The New Atlas

        Nevertheless, I watched it all.

        What I don’t get is why you are so emotionally invested in this,

        And again. You? In your case it is blood and soil. In my case it is my heritage that cries out out against tyranny, which Putin, despite all his false garb of attending to the church, exemplifies in his KGB best. He is a total and utter POS who has betrayed Russia and sent more of her sons into the soil. One might as well ask as to why, in my own lifetime, I despised Pol Pot, Mugabe, Mao, Salassie, Lumumba, Hoxha, Ceaușescu, and a host of other assholes.

        … an upstart Orthodox Slav…

        Spare me the racial bullshit you have occasionally unloaded on this blog in recent weeks. You sound like a pathetic Leftist in the middle of losign an argument.

        … and they published to troll the shrinking violets of the West who get the vapours when confronted by an Alpha Male who calls it like he sees it or triggered as is a common expression in the lands ruled by silly women and metrosexual men with soft pink puffy hands and Max Factor complexions….

        I confess that I have only known one homosexual who served with the military – US as it happens. Damned good sniper as his comrades informed me, though he once told me, despite his kinks, that he would have not enjoyed dedovshchina.

        So why are you so invested in Ukraine and not South Sudan, say or Yemen

        This reminds me of one of the Leftist trolls who once infested this blog, screaming about why I no longer wrote much about Venezuela. To which I could only respond that there comes a point where the issue is decided and there is no further point in commenting, aside from the occasional regret at what could have been….

        .. It is the most corrupt country in Europe and has been for 30 years…

        More corrupt than what your little hero has built? Unlike his nation Ukraine has positive possibilities in its future. The fact that a TV clown was elected President I regard as a great sign is such, even as you regard it as a literal joke.

        Is that why it is so important to you? Are you worried that that Hunter Biden will not be able to maintain his cocaine habit should Putin prevail?

        Possibly your most pathetic barb, even as a trolling comment . You should have saved that for Wayne Mapp, since he still believes.

        As to the last of your comment, that’s just simple-minded “Anti-Nazi” propaganda, product of the Kremlin and utterly unworthy of a response beyond saying that it is sinister piffle.

        Tom Hunter

        May 16, 2022 at 11:50 pm

      • Yes but it is less than six minutes Tom and Brian Berletic is ex military (US Marines) so he has walked the walk, rather than just played Call of Duty” on his mama’s couch

        Andrei

        May 17, 2022 at 12:05 am

  6. … and Brian Berletic is ex military (US Marines)…

    And Red State’s Streiff, who I quoted in this post is a Former infantry officer, CGSC grad and Army Operations Center alumnus.

    Tom Hunter

    May 17, 2022 at 12:35 am


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