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How the Kushner Story Hurts U.S. Intelligence

The media story about Jared Kushner’s approach to Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak to create a back channel is breaking two ways and along predictable political lines. Kushner’s supporters in the administration are stating that Donald Trump’s son-in-law did nothing wrong, arguing that establishing an alternative channel to foreign governments and other interested parties is not that unusual. In fact, such connections can prove useful in establishing common ground on some issues.

Democrats and most of the media are arguing otherwise, some based on the somewhat unsustainable view that anything that is not completely transparent having to do with the Russian “enemy” is intrinsically wrong. Others have also been noting that part of the arrangement proposed by Kushner apparently involved using Russian diplomatic communications channels to exchange information and views. If true, this is a bizarre twist to the tale, as it would permit Moscow to control the narrative and its pace to suit its own interests.

If Kushner actually suggested Russian communications to avoid using U.S. government or commercially available resources, he will have considerable explaining to do. And certainly some of the onus regarding what took place must fall on General Michael Flynn, who was reportedly at the meeting with Kislyak and should have known better than to accept using a foreign country’s communications system.

There have inevitably been suggestions that Kushner at a minimum should lose his security clearance immediately and therefore his access to classified information. But that view fails to appreciate that the clearances are a presidential prerogative and can be changed or reinstated by President Trump as he sees fit. One source observes [1] that “In fact, the security clearance system itself is an expression of presidential authority. Its scope and operation are defined in an executive order (EO 12968 [2]), and its terms can be modified by the President at will.”

So it is likely that the Kushner story will become just another part of the endless special counsel investigation into the Trump administration’s alleged Russian links. Yet the real story should be the “leak” that revealed the details of the Kushner proposal. The leaker, whoever he was, provided highly classified and very restricted access information to the media; it indicated that the Kushner discussions with the Russians took place in Trump Tower and that a report on the proposal was then relayed back to Moscow using Russian diplomatic communications, which were intercepted, decrypted, and retained by the National Security Agency (NSA).

It is generally believed, correctly, that the NSA intercepts nearly all diplomatic communications originating from embassies in Washington, which is not to say that it is always successful at decrypting them. Decryption requires an enormous expenditure of time, money, and effort. It is almost always limited to communications of countries that are considered to be adversaries—which these days would include Russia, China, and Iran—or potential sources of information on transnational issues like terrorism or drug trafficking. And even when there is a major effort, the attempt to crack the encryption sometimes fails, particularly when one is dealing with a sophisticated opponent.

It is clear from the Kushner leaker’s tale that the Russians were confident that their diplomatic communications were secure. But the NSA had actually broken them and was reading their messages. Now that the Russians know that their communications are not secure, they will take necessary steps to tighten up their procedures and protocols, which means that the United States government will no longer be able to read their message traffic and will start all over with having to break into the new system. This reality will be enormously costly both to Russia and the U.S., and it will mean that a major intelligence advantage that Washington possessed will no longer be viable.

However one feels about the paranoid and reactionary post-9/11 level of global spying carried out by the NSA and other U.S. intelligence agencies, being able to read an adversary’s mail provides a huge advantage if one wants to avoid surprises and mitigate factors that could result in unnecessary conflict. And, to be completely fair, it also gives one an advantage if you are planning on mischief yourself and want to know how an opponent will react. Either way, that ability would have been one of the crown jewels of the intelligence community—and losing that advantage over Russia is an enormous, self-inflicted intelligence failure. Yet the media has chosen to ignore that real disaster because they want the story to be Kushner and Trump, not the leaker who has done tremendous damage to the nation’s intelligence collection capability.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

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44 Comments To "How the Kushner Story Hurts U.S. Intelligence"

#1 Comment By Uzback On May 29, 2017 @ 12:37 pm

Wait, you are telling me that Russian diplomats are being spied upon and they are just now learning this? My oh my! This is such amazing news.

Next you will tell me that Russia spies on our diplomats in Moscow! That cannot be!

If only Jared Kushner knew all of this, then maybe he shouldn’t have you know talked to Russian operatives and made high level agreements without the US public knowing about them.

No, no no. To Mr. Giraldi, the fact that we know a crime may have been committed is vastly worse than the crime itself as long as it relates to defending Trump.

#2 Comment By Howard On May 29, 2017 @ 12:43 pm

“But the NSA had actually broken them and was reading their messages.” Well, *maybe*. There are, of course, a number of alternative possibilities. The information might be intercepted BEFORE it is encrypted, either through technological means or because the Russians have a leak of their own. Or it could be that the alleged NSA discoveries are in fact plausible inventions. Let’s face it: the only information we have access to must come from one of several highly untrustworthy sources. None of these sources consider providing the truth to the American public to be central to their mission. The best we can do is to create Just-So stories that seem to fit the claims made by these untrustworthy sources.

#3 Comment By Lefty On May 29, 2017 @ 1:14 pm

Mr. Giraldi,
Your thread unravels if it was the Russians who leaked the intelligence. After all, as an operation to discredit the president and his chief advisor, it was flawless.
In this reading Jared stepped into the trap neatly set for him. He provided the powder and the fuse, leaving it to the Russians to light it off when they pleased.
And I guess this doesn’t make Flynn’s failure to protect Jared and his extensive contacts with the Russians look any better.

#4 Comment By Hanna Khayyat On May 29, 2017 @ 1:25 pm

Call the plumbers at once!

#5 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 29, 2017 @ 2:07 pm

“Democrats and most of the media are arguing otherwise, some based on the somewhat unsustainable view that anything that is not completely transparent having to do with the Russian “enemy” is intrinsically wrong.”

Nothing like having to wade through the double standard of those with power, but not much in the way of integrity because the alternative is just too damaging to their cause or agenda.

Of course it makes some sense to have back channels, and not only with Russia. It’s vital because of just this kind of hysteria. But none of what is being reported much in the news is the issue. There is one agenda. And that is to remove this admin. That’s it. And the more noise to that end creates the smoke for which there must be a “gun.”

There are some issues for which the data is readily available. One can discuss historical events and by and large the data sets are handy dandy to obtain. I have learned long ago, not to dismiss conspiracy theories out right. but when they are intricate as 9/11, terrorists behind every Bush, or that this admin. engaged in sabotaging the elections with Russians, etc. you will need a little more than coincidences or happenstance.

And by sabotage, I mean engaged in some kind of illegal activity. Not merely that the this admin. has an agenda that challenges the previous admin. The same crowd that is decrying a challenges to intellectual expertise or knowledge are the same people making the argument that a case exists against the WH based on pure speculations and coincidence.

Sure, the spinning regarding Mr. Kushner hurt US intel as described, would the damage was only technocratic. It would be be thin if the leaks were actually blowing the lid off of illegal activity. But thus far, it has merely been to assuage the hurt feelings concerning an election.

I am curious has the FBI had access to the DNC computers systems top to bottom yet.

#6 Comment By balconesfault On May 29, 2017 @ 2:10 pm

I’m assuming that with the chumminess of the Trump Administration with the Russians, that if the Kremlin didn’t know prior to the inauguration that we could decrypt their secure communications … they already knew well in advance of this leak.

That’s not to say that the leak is a sign of a healthy relationship between our intelligence community and the President. Clearly it’s not. And it seems destined to just keep getting worse on a weekly basis.

But for a second, back to the Kushner story. Is there any serious observer who doesn’t at least suspect that the whole point of the proposed backchannel was to create a space for negotiating loan terms, real estate deals, etc for the Kushner-Trump empire without the prying eyes of our intelligence community tracking any quid pro quo?

#7 Comment By Kurt Gayle On May 29, 2017 @ 3:14 pm

Philip Giraldi: “Kushner’s supporters in the administration are stating that Donald Trump’s son-in-law did nothing wrong, arguing that establishing an alternative channel to foreign governments and other interested parties is not that unusual. In fact, such connections can prove useful in establishing common ground on some issues.”

Philip Giraldi is right. Take for example the negotiations to end the war in Vietnam. In August 1969 — with the public Vietnam peace negotiations deadlocked in Paris — President Richard Nixon ordered Henry Kissinger, his National Security Advisor, to begin secret one-on-one meetings with Le Duc Tho, a member of North Vietnamese politburo. The secret negotiations continued for four years until a major breakthrough was reached on October 8, 1972 – at which time Le Duc Tho and Henry Kissinger reached an agreement to end the conflict. Two months later, on January 27, 1973, the Paris Peace Accords were signed. All of the major, substantive negotiations had been carried out in secret. For their work in the secret negotiations Le Duc Tho and Henry Kissinger were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

#8 Comment By Ray Woodcock On May 29, 2017 @ 3:24 pm

Giraldi makes a good point. But the problem would not have existed without the prior behavior of these members of the Trump team. Ultimately, these are among the predictable and unpredictable consequences of the initial malfeasance.

#9 Comment By delia ruhe On May 29, 2017 @ 3:24 pm

“…countries that are considered to be [US] adversaries—which these days would include Russia, China, and Iran…”

The very countries Washington should be cultivating, not demonizing. But this kind of irrational behaviour is to be expected of an empire in irreversible decline. Sad.

#10 Comment By Conewago On May 29, 2017 @ 3:41 pm

Well, it’s okay, right? We don’t have to worry about Russia, since it’s a Christian nation, right? That’s what all of the fully devoted Trumpists on the blogs say. The idea that Russia is a serious threat to American interests is just a neo-con plot! That’s what the die hards say, together with their even kookier friends on the Alt Right.

Russia is a Christian nation. Bent on spreading its charitable and pious Russian culture to such barbarous, unchristian lands as, uh, Ukraine.

Just ask all of those aborted Russian babies and the 2 million Muslims who celebrated Ramadan in Moscow in 2015 along with such noted friends of Christendom as Erdogan and Abbas.

By the way, let’s ask the Crimeans, who now suffer through gas and food shortages they never dealt with under Ukrainian power, what they think.

Shame on every single conservative who continues to fail to demand accountability from Donald Trump and his ignorant, arrogant New York banker cronies.

#11 Comment By Moira Jacobs On May 29, 2017 @ 3:43 pm

I’d like to better understand why there is so little reporting about the USA’s other “enemy”, namely China. Isn’t it a bit too convenient for China that our liberal left wing media (namely network TV, NYT, WP and CNN) and the Democratic “resistance” have spent over 6 months of our country’s valuable time obsessing over Russia? Could the Chinese possibly have some play behind all of this? Why is there no reporting on the massive amounts of cash the Chinese funneled to Hillary Clinton’s campaign?

Why don’t Americans have a much more honest and open debate on how there may be a very big conflict of interest between our government treasury’s indebtedness to China and what that means for our government, economy and social fabric?

It seems rather too convenient for China that this much bigger relationship has little or no coverage or discussion while our country overly obsesses over the Russians. In fact, Russia’s GDP, and its share of holding US treasury bonds, is minuscule compared to China.

Clearly the USA would always be better off, as would the rest of the world, if we had good and constructive relationships with both Russia and China. It’s also in our best interest if both Russia and China are healthy, productive and successful societies. Yet at the same time we’d be naieve and reckless to think both relationships don’t require constant work, assessment and viligance. Certainly with China we have allowed them far too much advantage over our country at our own expense for many decades now, too much advantage over our interests than is responsible foreign policy.

As for the overall issue of Russia meddling in our 2016 election. Talk about being naieve! Where have these people been living for the past 50 or 60 years? I fear many of them writing and reporting the dribble that is the “Russia story” weren’t even born by 1970 to remember first hand the full Cold War story.

This all reminds me of the famous Casablanca quote: “I am shocked- shocked- to find that gambling is going on in here!”

Quick history lesson for them: first, did they ever hear the expression that espionage is the second oldest profession? The US, Russia, China, and any other country with enough resources, have been spying on each other for decades. The Russians, back in the USSR days, actively tried to meddle in our elections as we did their satellite states. In those days they didn’t really have true elections in our sense of the word so instead we resorted to purer and various sophisticated techno and human spying. Some may remember the SDS, the activist student group of the 1960s, which included involvement from Communist front groups partly funded by the USSR. Point is the attempt to meddle in US politics is ongoing in every period of history. It’s not to belittle any current day attempts, and clearly we need to remain vigilant, but there is a seemingly wider and manipulative angle to our main stream media’s obsession with the Russia story.

Perhaps the average American citizen ought to simply be reminded to remain vigilant and educated enough to understand what it means when someone is trying to “sell them a bridge in Brooklyn.” This includes being a fully aware thinking human able to prevent being manipulated in their decision process by Facebook for everything from buying a car, seeking medical treatment to voting.

As for an updated and responsible US foreign policy, the solution must be renewed commitment to fully understanding, assessing and supporting US interests with a pragmatic foreign policy that is at once assertive but not reckless. It seems to date our President Trump is capable of doing this if he weren’t being attacked by his own countrymen and country women who only see fit to “resist” and “obstruct” at the expense of our country’s national security.

If our media spent as much time on exploring the myriad issues of the US-China relationship, as they have so far on Russia, we’d have a more holistic view of the myriad of challenges our USA faces today. China’s quest for economic domination if left unchecked, China’s spying, computer hacking and meddling with hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in our 2016 election, all point to far bigger issues that need resolution than the Russian oligarchs and Putin.

Is there a Communist Chinese connection we are all missing, as perhaps was their intention? I’m only suggesting it’s worthy of investigation too, as much as the Russian investigation. Does everyone even remember the Chinese are a Communist nation, and what that means?

Finally, we should all remember what the highly effective and evil Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels said: “The best propaganda is that which, as it were, works invisibly, penetrates the whole of life without the public having any knowledge of the propagandistic initiative.”

#12 Comment By Scott On May 29, 2017 @ 5:07 pm

Very interesting and important point, not covered anywhere else.

#13 Comment By ed parolini On May 29, 2017 @ 5:58 pm

So, you’re guessing that the Russians didn’t leak it?

#14 Comment By The Colonel On May 29, 2017 @ 6:41 pm

there is no democracy in the dark.

#15 Comment By mojrim On May 29, 2017 @ 7:12 pm

You’re right to a point, Mr Giraldi, but we both know you’ve over-stated your case. Crypto is a constant game of back-and-forth, with all parties knowing that any advance, offensive or defensive, has a limited lifespan. The Russians, like everyone else including us, are constantly working on the next generation of code and code-breaking for this reason.

Yes, it was blown, but nothing is permanent in this game and intelligence must be revealed to be used.

#16 Comment By MM On May 29, 2017 @ 11:23 pm

I’m pleased to see that this vociferous condemnation by the press at large is totally consistent with their coverage the Obama administration when back channel communications with Cuba, Iran, and the Taliban, all very friendly governments, were revealed. Not to mention the “inducements” (i.e. cash payments) to at least on of these very friendly governments, for lord knows what…

#17 Comment By Adriana I Pena On May 29, 2017 @ 11:38 pm

Yes, Kissinger engaged in direct contact with the North Vietnamese.

But he did not ask the North Vietnamese to set up the communication channel. He had recourse to the US intelligence services, who warned him of when he might inadvertently say too much.

And Kissinger had no business deals with the North Vietnamese

The problem is not the existence of the back channel, but who he asked to establish it.

#18 Comment By Joe the Plutocrat On May 30, 2017 @ 12:34 am

We all know there is an ‘over/under’ or constantly moving betting line when it comes to geopolitical moves/tactics in general and geopolitical intelligence moves/tactics in particular. A candidate (and his/her surrogates) can Tweet or ‘spin’ Tweets, pivot, re-shape narratives, or whatever news cycle-speak/phrasing you choose to use. Words like “back-channel” and “collusion” can be real news or fake news, and they can be used by the WaPo, NYT, CNN, Fox News, and TAC to further or argue from either side of the ‘line’ serves their interests. But Russian intelligence (and US Intelligence) play for real. It’s not about speaking to the base, or Electoral College math and battleground states. It’s REAL. Ergo, to throw a 36 year-old goofball into the mix, simply because he married your daughter, is the very definition of stupidity and arrogance. Unlike real estate (casinos in Atlantic City, 666 5th Avenue, The Plaza Hotel), you cannot ‘renegotiate’ the terms of a failed loan or a an ill-advised deal. There is no ‘upside’ to bankruptcy when dealing with Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, et al. There is no tax benefit for the next 20 years when you lose $1 billion dollars (of borrowed money). Omitting or “forgetting” to note contacts with foreign nationals on Security Clearance/Background check paperwork, interviews, and in the case of the Attorney General; sworn testimony before the Senate at his confirmation hearing, matters. The 45th POTUS, Kushner, Flynn, Sessions, Page, Manafort; regardless of motive (greed, ignorance, malfeasance, or a genuine desire to establish a better relationship with Russia) had to know they are targets for aggressive, professional intelligence operatives. It is depressingly ironic this story only has two explanations; ignorance/stupidity or greed/arrogance. Neither helps make America great. As such, it is a “the lesser of two evils” (ignorance or malfeasance). Talk about bringing a knife to a gun fight.

#19 Comment By landersen On May 30, 2017 @ 2:25 am

Frankly, I am far more concerned about his ‘negotiation’ of weapons/arms deal within the White House as well as leveraging his personal ties to increase foreign investment into Kushner real estate trusts.

I hazard that this ‘communications’ episode is an example of him emulating his father in law’s behavioural instinct to not trust those who have not proven their loyalty coinciding with the headiness of ‘power.’

#20 Comment By John S On May 30, 2017 @ 7:40 am

I fail to see how a leak about treacherous behavior is worse than the treacherous behavior itself.

#21 Comment By midcan5 On May 30, 2017 @ 7:54 am

Come on people, this was a real estate deal, hasn’t anyone figured it all out yet? Donald and Jared are real estate speculators, look only on what nations they favor and then think why. America has its first real estate presidency, thank goodness we bought Alaska when we did. james

#22 Comment By JLF On May 30, 2017 @ 9:07 am

Does anyone have a plausible explanation of why Kushner would want/need a backchannel communication that passes the Occam Razor test other than the one that balconesfault @ 2:10 suggests? Whether before or after the inauguration, Trump (and Kushner) needed to discuss the money both need for their businesses and to keep that discussion (with its quid pro quos) out of sight from any American eyes. It’s the elephant in the room no one wants to see (for equally obvious reasons.)

#23 Comment By Ollie On May 30, 2017 @ 9:47 am

Consider the outrageous possibility that Mr. Trump may have sold the independence of his country to Russia. Consider that parts of the sale may have included ceeding the Crimea and perhaps all of Ukraine, undermining NATO and destabilizing the European Union. Consider that due to ineptitude and attendant publicity it becomes difficult for Mr. Trump to deliver as quickly as expected. Consider that to deflect attention from what may be a grievous crime Mr. Trump has to stall on delivering his side of the bargain and even reverse his public position on NATO and other matters. Consider that as a reminder that delivery is really expected Russia makes sure its submarine is spotted off Massachusetts instead of placing a horse head on the Lincoln bed. Consider that to show just how serious the Russian Federation is about debt collection it exposes a trusted Trump advisor in a clandestine communication scheme that may have been about assuring the Federation that delivery would still be made though delayed. Consider that smart Russians knew that the proposed scheme was crazy and would be uncovered and so they uncovered it and sacrificed the trusted Trump advisor to show just how far they would go in pressing the contract.

Given the hallmark chaos of the Trump White House and it shifting wind postures on so many issues, fertile minds will speculate. Only facts and truth will foreclose speculation.

We need to know whether or not Donald J Trump sold the independence of his country to Russia. His bizarre devotion to Vladimir Putin is just plain suspicious. Special Counsel Mueller has an important and difficult job. Let him do it.

#24 Comment By Michael On May 30, 2017 @ 10:31 am

Creating a “back channel” that allows communications away from the eyes and ears of our Deep State is a threat. Imagine the awful day when Big Brother no longer knows all it needs to know about everyone it needs to know about.

#25 Comment By MEOW On May 30, 2017 @ 10:43 am

When I look at this young and relatively inexperienced real estate adviser in chief talking to seasoned U.S. military people, I wonder what must be running through their minds. Prince Harry and Prince Andrew at least fought in wars on behalf of their country; what has this designated prince of the Trump realm done to earn this immense responsibilty to make decisons of life and death for our service people? Trump could have done better and earned the respect of his countrymen. Marrying the boss’s daughter is just not sufficient resume.

#26 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 30, 2017 @ 10:57 am

“No, no no. To Mr. Giraldi, the fact that we know a crime may have been committed is vastly worse than the crime itself as long as it relates to defending Trump.”

I just don’t buy any of this. As someone who supports the WH, I can state that there have been plenty of critiques of the the Pres’s stated advocacy, especially the direction.

And nothing coming out of the these leaks points to a crime. This has not been whistle-blowing. And I would generally oppose such methods as careless.
——————–

“By the way, let’s ask the Crimeans, who now suffer through gas and food shortages they never dealt with under Ukrainian power, what they think.

Shame on every single conservative who continues to fail to demand accountability from Donald Trump and his ignorant, arrogant New York banker cronies.”

I would like to know just how conservatives have failed to hold this Pres. accountable. First he is not a conservative. Second, he never intended to govern as a conservative. He has some positions that I as a conservative endorse, but that is not the same thing as “being” a conservative.

As for the starving in the Ukraine, in Yemen, in Syria.

1. The US is not responsible to the war that broke out in Yemen. We can take a small hi for Al Queda and a hit for creating the environment. But the war in Yemen is a direct result of revolt to topple the previous government. And those issues of tension to cause existed before the US supported the Saudis attempt to restore the previous order or someone they like better. Civil wars breed starving people, disease and chaos. One can challenge the support for the Saudi effort. But the situation existed before this WH tenure.

2. The US is responsible for Libya and Syria and we should cease and desist without delay.

3. I don’t know how many starving Crimeans there are and the Ukraine is not annexed. But sadly and once again, the US is up to her neck in creating that environment. We and the Europeans, fostered a revolution, supported a revolution. We did so without the slightest intention of supporting a backlash. We have been however eager to supply weapons systems, which would have required US personnel, and most likely ended with US deaths hence required action. But that was more in a greater attempt to buffet the Russian more than support the Ukrainians. All because the Russians were in a better position to supply oil at lower costs than the EU.

I am deeply pained by the starving. But I am not inclined to support the Us getting embroiled deeper into conflicts and dynamics we don’t understand and control even less. The solutions to all of these conflicts that would be called winning to our stead on the ground requires boots. And one must learn from example, a short term win with a long time loss as in Iraq and is occurring in Afghanistan is no win at all.

As for my faith, what little is not consumed by bitterness, sure, I’d like the res to com out and promote celibacy, chastity and abstinence as worthy principles and practice.
_________

“Yes, it was blown, but nothing is permanent in this game and intelligence must be revealed to be used.”

No. You only blow your cover for some greater advantage. This blown technique, advances the US position, not one step further. No. It is an utter failure. The development and reconstitution of surveillance takes no small effort. And once it becomes unraveled, you have lost ground. Losing ground to no advantage is a poor strategic position. Doing so merely as gaming to make members of your own team appear criminal when they are not — fool hardy.

#27 Comment By RinTX On May 30, 2017 @ 11:00 am

From what I understand, the discussions between Kushner and the Russian Ambassador took place back in December. Assuming the leak came from US Intelligence, not the Russians as others have speculated, I wonder why this story is being leaked by the US Intelligence Community now, 6 months after the fact.

Here is one possible scenario that comes to mind:

The Russians found out through some other means that their communications were compromised. They then changed their methods, channels, encryption, etc. as probably happens fairly regularly in this intelligence cat & mouse game. Once that happens, and the US Intelligence advantage over the Russians is lost anyway, US Intelligence now has nothing further to lose and has an opportunity to damage Kushner through leaking the information.

Now, that’s just one possibility of many. However, I think its a more likely scenario than that a member of the US Intelligence Community was so undisciplined and wanted to hurt Kushner so badly that they would blow an advantage like that over the Russians.

#28 Comment By Tom S On May 30, 2017 @ 12:59 pm

Kurt Gayle might also want to mention candidate Nixon’s “back channel” to South Vietnam’s President Thieu, which convinced him to stonewall the existing peace negotiations in Paris, thus denying the Johnson administration and candidate Humphrey a possible diplomatic victory. President Johnson considered Nixon’s actions “treasonous,” but failed to make a campaign issue of it. Too bad.

#29 Comment By Brian W On May 30, 2017 @ 2:46 pm

People actually believe the CIA Mockingbird media?

January 16, 2017 DoD Cybersecurity Discipline Implementation Plan

As part of the Campaign, this Implementation Plan is grouped into four Lines of Effort. The requirements within each Line of Effort represent a prioritization of all existing DoD cybersecurity requirements. Each Line of Effort focuses on a different aspect of cybersecurity defense-in-depth that is being exploited by our adversaries to gain access to DoD information networks.

[3]

#30 Comment By Moi On May 30, 2017 @ 3:39 pm

Good thing that when it comes to Israel we don’t need backdoor channels.

#31 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 30, 2017 @ 3:46 pm

“Kurt Gayle might also want to mention candidate Nixon’s “back channel” to South Vietnam’s President Thieu, which convinced him to stonewall the existing peace negotiations in Paris . . .”

Ummm, Nope.

This is a manufactured tale. In fact the women whom served a the intermediary has stated, I have already included her comments in previous posts that Pres. as it turned out intended to win the Vietnam conflicted. Pres. Johnson’s position was no different. What Pres Nixon intended was o prosecute the war differently. He definitely intended to end it. But that end did not include hampering peace talks.

If I recall, the record is that the North Vietnamese actually stalled discussions. They were losing on the ground, repeatedly and in huge numbers. But they believed that they were winning the propaganda war in the US. The longer they could hold on they believed the greater the opposition in the US would grow.

It ever pains me that so much false information clouds the issue of Vietnam. So many have been convinced of some moral failing that they Vietnam now serves as some kind of harbinger for current events. But very little of the Vietnam story relates to events of today regarding regime change.

If anything the kind of hysterics being engaged by the resistance movement whatever that is; removing Pres Trump’s admin, hijacking educational environments, shouting down or otherwise engaging violence o stop discussion, the ever so helpful character assassination, etc. are more reflective of the tactics used to subvert the democratic process in the name of protecting it. The storming of court rooms, educational facilities, academic conferences shouting down, violent disruption is not a new gig for liberals.

Nor is the practice of extended investigations that veer off topic into jurisdictions the investigations were intended to go. The only difference is that the democrats and some republicans are able to link everything to national security and ‘communist plots” be that the rose by any other name.

#32 Comment By Dave skerry On May 30, 2017 @ 4:07 pm

Is it a greater offense to point-out wrongdoing than to be guilty of it?

#33 Comment By Martha Dogood On May 30, 2017 @ 5:51 pm

Meow,

Completely agree with your comments on JK. PDJT could have done much better for the country than to anoint his SIL as a prince. We have so much other talent.

I greatly appreciate this original column and the many thoughtful comments. I was a big PDJT supporter yet becoming very disappointed quickly. The window of opportunity for tax reform and fixing health care mess is fast closing. His various missteps, offensive behavior and over reliance on Bannon and JK, all of this is not getting him where he needs to be.

I thought he was smarter and like Reagan was going to hire top talent to execute the program. He had many other options to deal with this insane Russia story as well, which is so far completely out of control gossip and innuendo peddled by the MSM. Yet PDJT has only added more fuel to this fire rather than stay focused on the job at hand. Forcing everyone to stay focused on the agenda would have been far more effective push back on this “story.” He is innocent until proven guilty.

In corporate tech world, whenever the politics or gossip hounds started, many of us who knew to keep heads down, do your job, work hard, we survived and moved the ship forward. PDJT seems to allow himself to get embroiled and off task regularly.

All very disappointing so far, but at least we got Gorsuch.

#34 Comment By Uzback On May 30, 2017 @ 6:22 pm

EliteCommInc

As someone who supports Trump. I have a very simple question.

Where are his tax returns? Do you support transparency of his financial dealings considering that he is in an elected office and we are his employers.

#35 Comment By SonofMog On May 30, 2017 @ 9:59 pm

This is truly pathetic. “Don’t bust us, otherwise people will find stuff out.” Yes, we should tolerate reason in order to preserve secrecy. How patriotic of you. Never say anything again.

#36 Comment By Tom S On May 31, 2017 @ 10:00 am

Elite Comminc:

I will plead guilty to asserting that Nixon did this as opposed to Nixon may have attempted to do this. I also recognize that many factors were at work that could have affected the success or failure of the talks. However, candidate Nixon’s back channel was not “fake news.”

[4]

You may believe that the New York Times is a purveyor of “fake news,” but that is your problem, not mine.

#37 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 31, 2017 @ 12:29 pm

“You may believe that the New York Times is a purveyor of “fake news,” but that is your problem, not mine.’

uhhhh, at the risk of sounding utterly bewildered. I have no idea what you mean by fake news. The story that Pres Nixon attempted to stall the peace process is only new if you are a youngster, no intended insult. The story is not fake. But it is wrong. I has been rebutted by the Vietnamese woman who was to be one of the envoys.

This is an old argument, it’s new even for Pres Nixon’s time. There have been accusation of electioneering tampering by various parties. It is is news, but like lots of news a deeper look into the players and events usualy gets on cloer to te reality. It’s akin, to the CIA overthrough the Iranian government. Uhhh, no, the evidence suggests that the CIA had little impact, though they supported the coup. However, it has been convenient for the Iranians to make that press and for many in this country to use it to assail US foreign policy. All news, but wholly inaccurate or containing tid bits of truth with an overall distortion of what that those tid bits actually mean. Context matters.

It is news. Several mainstream papers have reported on it. But their reports are not an accurate description of events. And like so many advocacies concerning Vietnam — “hogwash.”

Next you’ll be telling the US invaded Vietnam to capture the rice paddies for corporate america.

On a personal note: I think the term “fake news’ is meant to indicate something that did not happen and was fabricated. I n this instance, Pres Nixon did have a small cadre of Vietnamese he intended to use to engage in talks, but they soon discovered, what he advocated was that the R. of South Vietnam, the fledgling democracy that it was defend itself, because he intended to win the war and would prosecute the matter more vigor. Did he use the Vietnam issue to his advantage — well, that’s not the same as thwarting peace as so many attempt describe the matter.

I rarely if ever have used the term “fake news” Note; I am a conservative that doesn’t mean I am a mouthpiece for Fox News.

#38 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 31, 2017 @ 1:22 pm

Here’s a great article in the same vane,

[5]

It is based on speculation, I would encourage you examine the record of Vietnam Cease fires since the 1950’s and how many times the North violated them. South Vietnam had every reason, on their own to distrust the North Claims to a cease fire.

Import note: ho Chi Mien was not in control of the military wing of the north Vietnam. He preferred peace from the beginning he knew that militarily they would lose of the US entered the war. But the military wing won the argument, so war ensued.

This has only come light recently because Vietnam does not freely allow access to their historical records. And guys like me probably don’t help, using that info. in commentary. North Vietnam was only going to prevented by force.

#39 Comment By VikingLs On May 31, 2017 @ 1:43 pm

@EliteCommInc

What people who talk about the starving Crimeans aren’t mentioning is that it’s the Ukrainians that are starving them. It’s very “baby, why you let the Russians make me hit you?”

#40 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 31, 2017 @ 4:55 pm

“What people who talk about the starving Crimeans aren’t mentioning is that it’s the Ukrainians that are starving them. It’s very “baby, why you let the Russians make me hit you?”

If accurate, that is a very sad to me. I have understood the Ukrainians I have known to be very kind and fair minded. We constantly open so many issues we neither know or understand in oter countries.

But it does bolster the concerns that violence would have been pressed in the Crimean.
________________

“https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/02/us/politics/nixon-tried-to-spoil-johnsons-vietnam-peace-talks-in-68-notes-show.html?_r=0”

Read the notes and them red them fully, it’s clear the issue is not thwarting peace, but in to selling out S. Vietnam. Hence the press, not to give up, that Pres Nixon would not compromise on S, Vietnamese democracy.

All of the contention about Pres Nixon sabotaging a possible peace plan is based on the notes, which don’t indicate that. And the speculative frustration of Nixon and his aides to the bock by S. Vietnam.
——

Pres Nixon’s big mistakes:

He should have let the investigation go

Allowed those caught breaking and entering to deal with the case as it was a minor misdemeanor

Never taken us off the gold standard

declassified all WH tapings which would have put conversations of Wh meetings into their proper human perspectives.

There was little he could do assuage the overwrought temper tantrum anger over Vietnam, which started long before his arrival.

#41 Comment By MEOW On May 31, 2017 @ 5:01 pm

Is Hans Christen Andersen still the managing editor of the NYT?

#42 Comment By EliteCommInc. On June 1, 2017 @ 12:18 am

“Where are his tax returns? Do you support transparency of his financial dealings considering that he is in an elected office and we are his employers.”

I will do you one or several better. no one and i mean no one employed by the government especially those elected into office should be permitted to have stocks and bods, serve on the boards of any financial institution or similar such organization.

Once elected any and all associations, gifts, of any kind, to include travel expeditions should be funded by any private citizen or corporation.

No who served in the Us military above the commissioned rank of LtCol and or noncommissioned rank of E-8 should be permitted to work for any military related development organization in anyway related to the MIC, for five years after their device is ended.

Tax returns are never a matter of public record unless on demand of warrant or an individuals permission.

No one should be expected to divulge their private records without their consent, unless they serve as public servants or served with warrant, etc.

#43 Comment By EliteCommInc. On June 1, 2017 @ 1:18 pm

couple of corrections: excuse me.

Once elected any and all associations, gifts, of any kind, to include travel expeditions should not be funded by any private citizen or corporation.
———-

No who served in the Us military above the commissioned rank of LtCol and or noncommissioned rank of E-8 should be permitted to work for any military related development organization in anyway related to the MIC, for five years after their service is ended.

No one should be expected to divulge their private records without their consent, unless they serve as public servants or served with warrant, etc. And then only those financial records related to public service.

#44 Comment By mickey vee On June 4, 2017 @ 2:58 am

The dumpster trumpster was very clever in having his son in law Jared be the fall guy. Why not? Promises and false hopes for future advancement. The showman is more than happy to sacrifice even those most valued in his campaign to reach absolute power. Jared will pay the price for being a loyal supporter.