Kazakhstan, we’ve gotten to know ye a little better

Say, whose cover-up is this, anyway?

Technically, what we’ve gotten to know better is the interaction of outside players with systemic Kazakh corruption, especially as it relates to Spygate in the U.S.  But work with me, people.

Most recently, the January 2022 flare-up in Kazakhstan brought to the fore a piece of information reported by the Daily Mail and NY Post in October 2020:  that Hunter Biden had business dealings with Kazakh oligarchs while his father was vice president, and the Big Guy was photographed being in on it. Continue reading “Kazakhstan, we’ve gotten to know ye a little better”

New FOIA release on Spygate: A brief fresh look at Comey and Ohr

The focus of hindsight.

The reflections here probably won’t be especially profound, but they will at least be brief.  That, at least, is the intention.

The Department of Justice has just released a new tranche of FOIA-requested documents relating to the conjoined dramas of Spygate and Russiagate.  The date of the document release is 30 November 2021; diligent Twitter user FOIA Fan (@15poundstogo) highlighted the release on Wednesday 8 December. Continue reading “New FOIA release on Spygate: A brief fresh look at Comey and Ohr”

The importance of background, and Danchenko’s primary Russian sub-source

A key to the thematic history behind Spygate.

In the TOC Ready Room preview for this article, I alluded to the principal point of highlighting the information in it.  That point is that Spygate was not a pick-up-game reaction to events in 2016.  In terms of involvement by the Obama federal agencies and Hillary Clinton’s network, evidence of connections to prior motives and preparation abounds.

Examples include Alexandra Chalupa and a cast of Obama officials already seeking Ukrainian cooperation on a Manafort-focused narrative in January 2016, before Manafort joined the Trump campaign and before the first primary election had been held.  If this was about impugning Manafort, why?  By 2019 we could see that getting ahead of any bad news about Biden was an obvious motive – but was it a priority at that point, considering Biden wasn’t running in 2016?  Did Republicans in general know enough about the Biden shenanigans to create a pervasive problem for Hillary and other Democrats that year?

Something other than narrowly-focused, proximate reactions seems to have been going on. Continue reading “The importance of background, and Danchenko’s primary Russian sub-source”

TOC Ready Room 11 Nov 2021: Ukraine and security; mock-ups in Chinese desert; preview of Danchenko meditation

What’s wrong and right with the world.

These will be drive-bys only, but it’s time for an update, whether updates are polished and ready or not.

Being left for later treatment are such equally urgent matters as the Biden administration’s weird posture on Iranian sanctions violations, which seems to have involved a most peculiar encounter in late October.

The “Ukraine and security” topic was prompted by a segment on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox Wednesday evening.  I rarely catch Carlson, but happened to see it on 10 November in its 8 PM slot, and was kind of mesmerized by the quality of the interview with Ohio Republican Congressman Mike Turner. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 11 Nov 2021: Ukraine and security; mock-ups in Chinese desert; preview of Danchenko meditation”

A curious development in 2015 related to Sussmann indictment and Alfa Bank saga

As so often: Interesting timing.

A story from September 2014 carried by ZDNet was recirculated on Twitter a few days ago.  The story, by Zack Whittaker for Zero Day, was about “Trusted Third Party” companies, which provide legal compliance services for Internet and communications service providers presented with surveillance subpoenas from law enforcement agencies.

The fundamental basis for this model of compliance operations goes back to the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) of 1994.  CALEA was implemented before most instant communications over the Internet – things like text messaging and voice-over-IP – existed, and after 9/11 was updated (in 2004) to keep up with technology and the new imperative for security-focused surveillance.

There are a lot of details to master for a full understanding of what CALEA does, and I recommend starting with Whittaker’s article and perusing this summary and FAQ posted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

For our purposes, here’s a short summary of what matters. Continue reading “A curious development in 2015 related to Sussmann indictment and Alfa Bank saga”