Exposed – MILITARY EXERCISE SHCHIT-88 INFORMATION SUMMARY NO. 1 AS OF 0800 2 JUNE 1988

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[letterhead] General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces

SECRET

Copy Nº 4

Exercise

[Original Polish receipt and

declassification stamps]

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Revealed – MILITARY EXERCISE SHCHIT-88 INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY NO. 1 AS OF 0800 2 JUNE 1988

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[letterhead] General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces

   TOP SECRET

Copy Nº 4

Exercise

[Original Polish receipt and

declassification stamps]

INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY

Nº 1

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MILITARY EXERCISE SHCHIT-88 INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY NO. 2 FOR THE PERIOD 0800 2 JUNE TO 1900 6 JUNE 1988

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[letterhead] General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces

TOP SECRET

Copy Nº 4

Exercise

[Original Polish receipt and

declassification stamps]

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INFORMATION ON THE ORDER OF IMPLEMENTING MILITARY TECHNICAL COOPERATION OF THE USSR WITH FOREIGN COUNTRIES

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On the order of implementing military technical cooperation of the USSR with foreign countries

1.Decisions on questions of military technical cooperation of the Soviet Union and foreign countries are made by the USSR Council of Ministers after approval by the CPSU Central Committee.

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LETTER FROM STALIN TO CDE. G. APRESOV, CONSUL GENERAL IN URUMQI

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7 Atrocities Soviet Dictator Joseph Stalin Committed | HowStuffWorksCde. APRESOV!

Sheng Shicai’s letter made a depressing impression on our comrades. Only a provocateur or an hopeless “leftist” having no idea about Marxism could have written it. What could have happened that Sheng, having such an adviser as you, could have written us (me, Molotov, and Voroshilov) such a letter?

We are sending Sheng a suitable letter, but Cde. Svanidze will pass you a copy of our reply.

You should explain to Sheng the meaning of our reply and take steps so that the instructions given in our reply are followed.

I warn that if our instructions are not taken into consideration we will be forced to deny aid to Sheng.

The charter of the Union is not bad, but paragraph five about “equal rights” for women is not suitable for Xinjiang conditions and should be discarded.

Greetings!

I. STALIN.

27 July 1934

[a handwritten version of the above follows]

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LETTER OF GOVERNOR SHICAI SHENG TO CDES. STALIN, MOLOTOV, AND VOROSHILOV

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Sheng Shicai - Wikiwand

CREATOR
SHENG, SHICAI, 1897-1970

SUBJECTS DISCUSSED
Molotov, Vyacheslav M.
Stalin, Joseph, 1879-1953
China–Politics and government–1912-1949
Communism–History–China
Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu (China)–History
Sheng, Shicai, 1897-1970
Voroshilov, Kliment Efremovich, 1881-1969
China (Republic)–Foreign relations–Soviet Union
More …
LOCATIONS DISCUSSED
Soviet Union
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

Archive.

I. Stalin

Top Secret

Translation from Chinese

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MEMORANDUM FROM GENERAL VASILII CHUIKOV, PAVEL YUDIN, AND IVAN IL’ICHEV TO GEORGII MALENKOV CRITICALLY ASSESSING THE SITUATION IN THE GDR

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Georgy Malenkov: what “heir” of Stalin went to Church – The Global Domain  News

Malenkov

MAY 18, 1953
MEMORANDUM FROM GENERAL VASILII CHUIKOV, PAVEL YUDIN, AND IVAN IL’ICHEV TO GEORGII MALENKOV CRITICALLY ASSESSING THE SITUATION IN THE GDR

SECRET
Copy No.

Soviet Control Commission in Germany

18 May 1953
pg. 00195

In the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

to Comrade G.M. Malenkov

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2020 Global Terrorism Index: Deaths From Psychological Oppression Arrive At Five-Year Low, However New Dangers Arise

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Global Terrorism Index (GTI) – Arise News

All around the world, passings from psychological warfare succumbed to the fifth successive year in 2019, to 13,826 — a 15 percent decline from the earlier year. In North America, Western Europe and Oceania, extreme right assaults have expanded by 250 percent since 2014 – they are higher now than whenever over the most recent fifty years. 63 nations recorded in any event one demise from psychological oppression, the most reduced number since 2013. The worldwide financial effect of psychological oppression was $16.4 billion of every 2019, an abatement of 25 percent from the earlier year. IS’s focal point of gravity moves to sub-Saharan Africa with absolute passings by IS in the district expanding by 67 percent. IS and their members were likewise liable for assaults in 27 nations in 2019.

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WORKING NOTES FROM THE SESSION OF THE CPSU CC PRESIDIUM ON 4 NOVEMBER 1956 – HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION

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Nikita Khrushchev at the 20th Congress of the CPSU (1956) - CVCE Website

Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium on 4 November 1956
(Re: Protocol No. 51)

Those Taking Part: Bulganin, Voroshilov,Kaganovich, Malenkov, Molotov, Pervukhin, Saburov, Suslov, Khrushchev, Zhukov, Shepilov, Furtseva, Pospelov.

On the Operations and Situation in Hungary(1)
Cde. Kaganovich’s ciphered cable from
Cde. Malinin at Cde. Khrushchev (4 XI).(2)

1) Bring back Cdes. Mikoyan and Brezhnev.
2) Provide assistance to Hungary.(3)
3) More actively take part in the assistance to Egypt.(4)

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WORKING NOTES FROM THE SESSION OF THE CPSU CC PRESIDIUM ON 30 OCTOBER 1956 – CHINESE COMRADES

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(Re: Point 1 of Protocol No. 49)(2)
Those Taking Part: Bulganin, Voroshilov, Molotov, Kaganovich, Saburov, Brezhnev, Zhukov, Shepilov, Shvernik, Furtseva, Pospelov

On the Situation in Hungary
Information from Cdes. Mikoyan and Serov is read aloud.(3)

Cde. Zhukov provides information about the concentration of mil.-transport aircraft in the Vienna region.(4) Nagy is playing a double game (in Malinin’s opinion). Cde. Konev is to be sent to Budapest.(5)

On Discussions with the Chinese comrades. (6)
(Khrushchev)

We should adopt a declaration today on the withdrawal of troops from the countries of people’s democracy (and consider these matters at a session of the Warsaw Pact), taking account of the views of the countries in which our troops are based. The entire CPC CC Politburo supports this position. One document for the Hungarians, and another for the participants of the Warsaw Pact. On Rokossowski—I said to Gomulka that this matter is for you (the Poles) to decide.(7)

Cde. Bulganin—The Chinese cdes. have an incorrect impression of our relations with the countries of people’s democracy. On our appeal to the Hungarians—we should prepare it. A declaration should be prepared.

Cde. Molotov—Today an appeal must be written to the Hungarian people so that they promptly enter into negotiations about the withdrawal of troops. There is the Warsaw Pact. This must be considered with other countries. On the view of the Chinese comrades—they suggest that relations with the countries of the socialist camp be built on the principles of Pancha Shila.(8) Relations along interstate lines are on one basis and interparty relations on another.

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LETTER, DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF SECURITY COLONEL CHARLES SPRY TO PRIME MINISTER ROBERT MENZIES

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MEDIA OPENER: Charles Spry - He was Australia's master spy, the brilliant  head of ASIO who hated communists

Spry, the director of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), apologizes for the arrest of KGB defector Vladimir Petrov, who was under ASIO protection when he left a safehouse and got into an argument while drunk.

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ABOUT THE LAST OPERATION/ OPERATIONAL MISSION OF COMRADE [REDACTED]

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Schah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi | corona

About the last operation/ operational mission of comrade [redacted]

Between 1979 and 1981 comrade [redacted] was stationed as a resident in Teheran.

In 1981 the Soviet- Iranian relations heated up (Mass persecutions, arrests and executions of operatives of the Tudeh- Party; temporary occupation of the UdSSR- Embassy by the revolutionary- guards, mysterious disappearance (probably treason) of the soviet counselor [redacted]).

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GDR-IRAN EXCHANGE OF OPINIONS

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1979 hatte der Iran einen blutigen Machtwechsel erlebt. Die Islamische  Revolution zwang Schah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

1. GDR-Iran Exchange of Opinions

On February 12, 1981, a government delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran was staying in the GDR under the leadership of the Minister of Education, Dr. Mohammed Javad Bahonar. He indicated to Comrade Oskar Fischer that his goal was find out the GDR’s position toward Iran’s Islamic revolution, the Iraqi invasion of Iran, and the preparedness of the GDR for further cooperation between the two countries.

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE ACTIVITY OF LEFTIST ORGANIZATIONS IN IRAN

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Classic-Numismatik-Artefakten-Fabiano -  www.classic-numismatik-fabia-artefakten.ch

[Letterhead: Ministry for State Security]

Strictly Secret
Return requested

Berlin, the 4th of May, 1981
30.4

5 pages

6th Copy

No. 198/81

Information

about

the activity of leftist organizations in Iran

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INFORMATION [ABOUT] ACTIVITIES OF COUNTERREVOLUTIONARY IRANIAN FORCES IN CONNECTION WITH THE AMERICAN AND WEST GERMAN SECRET SERVICE

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Mohammad Reza Pahlavi - DER SPIEGEL

Main Department XX
Strictly Secret

Berlin, 7.7.1981
8 copies

Information

[about]

Activities of counterrevolutionary Iranian forces in connection with the American and West German secret service

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ON THE REPORT FROM INFORMAL COLLABORATOR (IC) “REZA” FROM 26.7.78

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DOCUMENT SUMMARY
Report from informal collaborator on personal conflicts among Tudeh Party leaders in Leipzig.

CREATOR
GERMANY (EAST). MINISTRY FOR STATE SECURITY (STASI)

SUBJECTS DISCUSSED
People’s Party of Iran (Tudeh)
LOCATIONS DISCUSSED
East Germany
Iran

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STASI REPORT ON WEST GERMAN GOVERNMENT’S ATTITUDE TO RADIO FREE EUROPE AND RADIO LIBERTY

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CITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD

Ministry of state security
Berlin, 23 September 1970

No. 993/70

According to a reliable source, the attitude of the Federal Government towards the afore-mentioned stations was described by leading SPD officials at the beginning of September 1970 as follows:

The attacks by the Soviet Union, the GDR and some other socialist countries against the activities of the stations are harsh, and they could call into question the Olympic Games. The Federal Government is aware from various, not just official, sources that some of the socialist countries are relatively serious in their threat to boycott the Olympic Games in Munich if the stations do not terminate their activities.

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STASI REPORT ON MEETINGS WITH THE KGB, 30 NOVEMBER-1 DECEMBER 1964

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Meetings between KGB Chairman Semichastny and East German Minister for State Security Mielke. Topics of discussion include Lyndon B. Johnson’s recent election in the United States, Khrushchev’s ouster from the Kremlin, Sino-Soviet relation, and Khrushchev’s son-in-law Alexei Adzhubei.

CREATORS
GERMANY (EAST). MINISTRY FOR STATE SECURITY (STASI)

MIELKE, ERICH

SEMICHASTNY, V.

WOLF, MARKUS

SUBJECTS DISCUSSED
Nuclear weapons–China
European Economic Community
National liberation movements–Africa
Germany (East). Ministry for State Security (Stasi)
Soviet Union. Committee for State Security (KGB)

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‘BRIEF ASSESSMENT OF THE INVESTIGATION RESULTS ACHIEVED IN 1961 IN WORK ON CRIMES OF ESPIONAGE’

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Assessment by the Stasi of the espionage of the main Western secret services in East Germany based on its investigation of cases of spying in 1961.

CREATOR
GERMANY (EAST). MINISTRY FOR STATE SECURITY (STASI)

SUBJECTS DISCUSSED
Berlin (Germany)–International status
Espionage, American
Berlin Crisis, 1961
Espionage, French
Espionage, German

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EAST GERMAN MINISTRY OF STATE SECURITY, ‘NEW METHODS OF OPERATION OF WESTERN SECRET SERVICES

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Assessment by the Stasi of changes to operations made by the main Western secret services in response to Khrushchev’s November 1958 diplomatic note to the United States, Britain, and France demanding an end to the occupation of West Berlin.

CREATOR
GERMANY (EAST). MINISTRY FOR STATE SECURITY (STASI)

SUBJECTS DISCUSSED
Berlin (Germany)–International status
Espionage, American
Berlin Crisis, 1961
Espionage, French
Espionage, German

Main Department IX/1

New methods of operation of Western secret services

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Two Face America: 73 Million Trump Party Apparatchiks Guarantee Turmoil Over The Coming Years

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Two Face America: 73 Million Trump Party Apparatchiks Guarantee Turmoil Over the Coming Years
by John Stanton

It is happening here.
The soul of America is like the character Two Face in the Batman movie series.
One defeat of the Party of Trump and its 73 million apparatchiks is not enough. In Trump, the United States has bred its own dictator in waiting and he’s got an army of servile apostles willing to fight and die for him. Vigilance by his opponents has never been more important.
“This Fuhrer dictatorship could produce only lackeys and profiteers of the most reactionary and aggressive part of German imperialist reaction. Its Germanic democracy reared the repulsive type of a human breed that was boundlessly servile to men of higher rank and just as boundlessly cruelly tyrannical towards men below it.” The Destruction of Reason, Georg Lukacs
Incumbent President Donald Trump now owns the Republican Party, lock, stock and barrel. With 73 million restless apparatchiks clearly beholden to the cult of Trump, will it be long before the Republican Party gets rebranded as the Trump National Party; or, perhaps, the MAGA Party
(Make America Great Again)? Maybe Trump sells-off his faltering real estate empire and creates a media conglomerate—consisting of television, radio,and the Internet/WWW—that spews out divisive, fascist, ultraconservative fare 24 hours a day, 7 days week. Trump Media would
absorb the National Review, New York Post and similar conservative publications/websites.
Sky’s the limit for Trump: His 73 million followers include an increasing number of Blacks and Latinos who appear to revere him for his apparent strength, tough talk and sense of honor.
According to Fortune Magazine, “As Trump once put it: ‘Real power is fear. It’s all about strength. Never show weakness. You’ve always got to be strong. Don’t be bullied. There is no choice.’”


Adolf Hitler Said That Too.

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EXPOSED – SOVIET PLAN TO ASSASSINATE TITO

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NKVD plan to assassinate Josip Broz Tito by a Soviet covert agent, codenamed “Max.” The plan envisions assassinating Tito during a private audience during Tito’s forthcoming visit to London, or at a diplomatic reception in Belgrade. This document was not dated.

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POLITISCHE MITVERANTWORTUNG DER SCHWEIZER BEHÖRDEN FÜR DIE AKTIVITÄTEN DER CRYPTO AG

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Die Geschäftsprüfungsdelegation (GPDel) hat ihren Inspektionsbericht zum Fall Crypto AG am 2. November 2020 verabschiedet. Laut den Abklärungen der GPDel war auch der Schweizer Nachrichtendienst Nutzniesser von der Operation der amerikanischen Dienste mit der Crypto AG. Diese Zusammenarbeit war grundsätzlich mit dem geltenden Recht vereinbar. Die GPDel erkennt eine politische Mitverantwortung der Schweizer Behörden für die Aktivitäten der Firma. Zudem untersuchte die GPDel die Sistierung der Generalausfuhrbewilligungen durch das Staatssekretariat für Wirtschaft (SECO) und deren Folgen.

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David Omand – How Spies Think – 10 Lessons in Intelligence – Part 8

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David Omand – Book Author

HOW SPIES THINK

Ten Lessons in Intelligence

THREE LESSONS IN MAKING INTELLIGENT USE OF INTELLIGENCE

8

Lesson 8: Imagine yourself in the shoes of the person on the other side

‘I think we can do business together’ was Margaret Thatcher’s comment to the media about Mikhail Gorbachev before her meeting with him in London in the summer of 1984 on his first visit to a Western capital. He was being tipped as the Politburo member most likely to take over as Soviet leader from the ailing Soviet General Secretary Chernenko. This invitation to London with his wife, Raisa (a telegenic figure totally unlike the spouses of previous Soviet leaders), was not just a result of Margaret Thatcher’s political intuition about the value of getting ahead of the changes taking place in the Soviet Union. It rested on the secret insights provided by a remarkable intelligence success, whose fruits were also being shared with President Reagan and a few key members of his administration. The case illustrates the strategic impact that well-timed secret intelligence can have on international relationships and negotiations.

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STALIN AND THE LEADERS OF THE SOCIALIST UNITY PARTY OF GERMANY, WILHELM PIECK AND OTTO GROTEWOHL

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Top Secret

Present: V. M. Molotov, A. A. Zhdanov, G. M. Malenkov, V. S. Semenov (SVAG [Soviet Military Administration in Germany]), and interpreters – G. Ya. Korotkevich and F. Elsner.

PIECK thanked I. V. Stalin for the welcome and also for the aid which the Soviet Military Administration in Germany gives the SED [Socialist Unity Party].

I. V. STALIN asks whether the Military Administration is actually giving aid or if this is a compliment.

PIECK and GROTEWOHL say that they are actually receiving aid.

STALIN, joking, asks again, does this mean that they don’t just oppress you, but also give aid?

PIECK, laughing, confirms [this]. Then he says that he will describe political issues and Grotewohl economic [ones]. In Pieck’s words, the exacerbation of the conflicts between the Allies on the issues of an imperialistic or democratic peace with Germany, the unity or dismemberment of Germany, and its democratic development or colonialization by means of the Marshall Plan are influencing the mood of the German people. These conflicts are not so clear to the broad masses but they are influencing the mood of the masses, especially in Berlin. The Western powers are trying to influence the population and direct it against the USSR, arousing hostility against communism which supposedly wants to crush [poglotit’] the people, take the Germans’ private property away from them, etc.

STALIN laughs.

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SED MEETING WITH STALIN – ORIGINAL DOCUMENT

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Meeting Friday, 1.31.1947, in Moscow, 9-12 in the Evening

Stalin, Marshal, Suslov, Semenov, Volkov —

Pieck, Grotewohl, Ulbricht, Fechner, Oelsner

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David Omand – How Spies Think – 10 Lessons In Intelligence – Part 7

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Lesson 5: It is our own demons that are most likely to mislead us

Well, you can kiss my ass in Macy’s window’ was the brutal one-line dismissal by Ava, the CIA’s Iraq Group Chief, of the over-reliance of US Biological Warfare (BW) expert analysts on a single human intelligence source on Saddam Hussein’s BW programmes, codenamed Curveball. When she challenged the experts’ faith in using information from that source, in her words, ‘they looked at me like pigs looking at a

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MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN ERICH HONECKER AND KIM IL SUNG

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North Korea cables reveal East Germany′s deep-rooted suspicion of Kim  regime | In Depth | DW | 08.02.2018

May 31, 1984
Memorandum of Conversation between Erich Honecker and Kim Il Sung

E. Honecker used the meeting to address some issues that could not be addressed in greater detail during the official talks on 30 May 1984 due to time constraints.

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Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference – Full Mueller Report

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https://cryptome.org/2020/11/Mueller-Report-Reprocessed.pdf

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David Omand – How Spies Think – 10 Lessons in Intelligence – Part 6

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4

Lesson 4: Strategic notice We do not have to be so surprised by surprise

Early in the blustery spring morning of 14 April 2010 an Icelandic volcano with a near unpronounceable name (Eyjafjallajökull) exploded, throwing a cloud of fine ash high into the sky. The debris was quickly swept south-east by the regular jet stream of wind across the Atlantic until the skies above Northern Europe were filled with ash. Deep under the Icelandic ice-sheet melt water from the heat of the magma had flowed into the site of the eruption, rapidly cooling the lava and causing the debris to be rich in corrosive glass particles. These are known to pose a potential hazard if ingested by aircraft jet engines. The next day alarmed air traffic authorities decided they had to play it safe since no one had prescribed in advance specific particle sizes and levels below which engines were considered not to be at risk and thus safe to fly. They closed airspace over Europe and grounded all civil aviation in the biggest shut-down since the Second World War.1

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David Omand – How Spies Think – 10 Lessons In Intelligence – Part 5

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Lesson 3: Estimations Predictions need an explanatory model as well as sufficient data

In mid-August 1968, I was driving an elderly Land Rover with friends from university along the Hungarian side of the border with Czechoslovakia on the first stage of an expedition to eastern Turkey. To our surprise we found ourselves having to dodge in and out of the tank transporters of a Soviet armoured column crawling along the border. We did not realize – and nor did the Joint Intelligence Committee in London – that those tank crews already had orders to cross the border and invade Czechoslovakia as part of a twin strategy of intimidation and deception being employed by Yuri Andropov, then KGB chairman, to undermine the reform-minded government in Prague led by Alexander Dubček.1

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List Of Crimes For Which Medvedev And Putin Cannot Be Tried

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A bill on guarantees of the immunity of the former president was submitted to the State Duma. It will bring the federal law into line with the latest version of the Russian Constitution (adopted by a vote in the summer of 2020). The document not only complicates the procedure for depriving the former president of immunity, but also actually allows the former head of state to commit some crimes after his resignation.

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David Omand – How Spies Think – 10 Lessons in Intelligence – Part 4

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Lesson 2: Explanation Facts need explaining

Belgrade, Sunday, 23 July 1995. It was getting dark when our military aircraft landed on an airfield just outside the Serbian capital. We were met by armed Serbian security officers and quickly hustled into cars, watched over cautiously by a diplomat from the British Embassy. After what seemed an endless drive into the country we arrived at a government guest house. Our mission was to deliver in person an ultimatum to its occupant, General Ratko Mladić, the commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, the man who

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David Omand – How Spies Think – 10 Lessons In Intelligence – Part 3

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STASI-AGENTS IN DISGUISE

Part One

AN ANALYST SEES: FOUR LESSONS IN ORDERING OUR THOUGHTS

1

Lesson 1: Situational awareness Our knowledge of the world is always fragmentary and incomplete, and is sometimes wrong

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Die Miesen Tricks Der Stasi-Agenten – Die Romeo-Falle

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Während des kalten Krieges versuchte das Ministerium für Staatssicherheit über viele Wege an geheime Informationen und Dokumente zu gelangen. Ein Mittel waren sogenannte “Romeo-Agenten”. Diese Männer wurden von der Stasi, teilweise bereits während des Studiums, angeworben und hatten es auf die Büroleiterinnen von Ministerien und Botschaften in Westdeutschland abgesehen. Sie verführten die jungen Frauen und nutzten deren Vertrauen gnadenlos aus. Mit welchen Tricks die Stasi noch gearbeitet hat, erfahrt Ihr in der Doku “Die Krake – Die Geschichte der Stasi”: https://www.zdf.de/dokumentation/zdf-…

Special Correspondent Andrey Pertsev Answers All Of Your Questions About Russia’s Presidential Executive Office

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In Russia, everybody is utilized to the reality the administration’s situation on intense political, social, and even social issues doesn’t originate from the offices that should be liable for these undertakings. The Kremlin consistently has the final word. Intermittently this doesn’t mean President Vladimir Putin himself, yet rather agents from his Presidential Executive Office. To get a more full comprehension of what Putin’s organization does, we asked “Meduza” political journalist Andrey Pertsev to separate the what precisely the Presidential Executive Office is, the extent of its formal (and casual) obligations, and the constraints of its impact over what occurs in Russia.

Russian political columnists regularly allude to the “Kremlin” as shorthand for the Presidential Executive Office of Russia (additionally alluded to as the Presidential Administration of Russia, which in Russian is abbreviated to the abbreviation “AP”). The Moscow Kremlin turned into the official home of the nation’s top authority very quickly after the October Revolution in 1917. What’s more, the Russian Federation proceeded with this convention after the Soviet Union fell; the Kremlin Senate houses Russian President Vladimir Putin’s office.

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Participants Of Thousands Of Actions Burn French Flags And Portraits Of Macron

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In Islamic countries, protests continue against the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which Muslims consider blasphemous, and statements by French President Emmanuel Macron. Demonstrations are taking place in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey and other places. Protesters are calling for a boycott of French goods, seeking an apology from the French authorities and demanding an end to Islamophobia.

“Violent Protests Are a Neo-Nazi Fever Dream Come True” – By Rita Katz

It’s hard not to feel disheartened as national divisions turn increasingly deadly.

For months, we have been seeing armed citizens patrolling streets alongside militarized police forces, demonstrations devolving into bloody brawls between protesters and counter-protesters. But for one manipulative and malicious community, it’s exactly what they’ve been hoping to see. 

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Professor Sir David Omand: How Spies Think – 10 Lessons In Intelligence – Video

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The forty-second Strand Group, joined by Professor Sir David Omand as he discusses his new book: ‘How Spies Think – 10 Lessons in Intelligence’.

David Omand – How Spies Think – 10 Lessons in Intelligence

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Sir David Omand, Former Director of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)



Contents

Introduction. Why we need these lessons in seeking independence of mind, honesty and integrity

PART ONE: AN ANALYST SEES: FOUR LESSONS IN ORDERING OUR THOUGHTS

Lesson 1: Situational awareness. Our knowledge of the world is always fragmentary and incomplete, and is sometimes wrong Lesson 2: Explanation. Facts need explaining

Lesson 3: Estimations. Predictions need an explanatory model as well as sufficient data

Lesson 4: Strategic notice. We do not have to be so surprised by surprise

PART TWO: THREE LESSONS IN CHECKING OUR REASONING

Lesson 5: It is our own demons that are most likely to mislead us

Lesson 6: We are all susceptible to obsessive states of mind Lesson 7: Seeing is not always believing: beware manipulation, deception and faking

PART THREE: THREE LESSONS IN MAKING INTELLIGENT USE OF INTELLIGENCE

Lesson 8: Imagine yourself in the shoes of the person on the other side

Lesson 9: Trustworthiness creates lasting partnerships

Lesson 10: Subversion and sedition are now digital

PART FOUR

A final lesson in optimism

Acknowledgements

Notes and further reading

Index

About the Author

David Omand was the first UK Security and Intelligence Coordinator, responsible to the Prime Minister for the professional health of the intelligence community, national counter-terrorism strategy and ‘homeland security’. He served for seven years on the Joint Intelligence Committee. He was Permanent Secretary of the Home Office from 1997 to 2000, and before that Director of GCHQ.

For Keir, Robert, Beatrice and Ada, in the hope that

you will grow up in a better world

Introduction

Why we need these lessons in seeking independence of mind, honesty and integrity

Westminster, March 1982. ‘This is very serious, isn’t it?’ said Margaret Thatcher. She frowned and looked up from the intelligence reports I had handed her. ‘Yes, Prime Minister,’ I replied, ‘this intelligence can only be read one way: the Argentine Junta are in the final stages of preparing to invade the Falkland Islands, very likely this coming Saturday.’

It was the afternoon of Wednesday, 31 March 1982.

I was the Principal Private Secretary to the Defence Secretary, John Nott. We were in his room in the House of Commons drafting a speech when an officer from the Defence Intelligence Staff rushed down Whitehall with a locked pouch containing several distinctive folders. I knew immediately from the red diagonal crosses on their dark covers that they contained top secret material with its own special codeword (UMBRA), denoting that they came from the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

The folders contained decrypted intercepts of Argentine naval communications. The messages showed that an Argentine submarine had been deployed on covert reconnaissance around the Falklands capital, Port Stanley, and that the Argentine Fleet, which had been on exercises, was reassembling. A further intercept referred to a task force said to be due to arrive at an unstated destination in the early hours of Friday, 2 April. From their analysis of the coordinates of the naval vessels, GCHQ had concluded

that its destination could only be Port Stanley.1

John Nott and I looked at each other with but one thought, loss of the Falkland Islands would bring a major existential crisis for the government

of Margaret Thatcher: the Prime Minister must be told at once. We hurried down the Commons corridor to her room and burst in on her.

The last assessment she had received from the UK Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) had told her that Argentina did not want to use force to secure its claim to the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. However, the JIC had warned that if there was highly provocative action by the British towards Argentine nationals, who had landed illegally on the British South Atlantic island of South Georgia, then the Junta might use this as a pretext for action. Since the UK had no intention of provoking the Junta, the assessment was wrongly interpreted in Whitehall as reassuring. That made the fresh intelligence reports all the more dramatic. It was the first indication that the Argentine Junta was ready to use force to impose its claim.

The importance for us of being able to reason

The shock of seeing the nation suddenly pitched into the Falklands crisis is still deeply etched in my memory. It demonstrated to me the impact that errors in thinking can have. This is as true for all life as it is for national statecraft. My objective in writing this book therefore is an ambitious one: I want to empower people to make better decisions by learning how intelligence analysts think. I will provide lessons from our past to show how we can know more, explain more and anticipate more about what we face in the extraordinary age we now live in.

There are important life lessons in seeing how intelligence analysts reason. By learning what intelligence analysts do when they tackle problems, by observing them in real cases from recent history, we will learn how they order their thoughts and how they distinguish the likely from the unlikely and thus make better judgements. We will learn how to test alternative explanations methodically and judge how far we need to change our minds as new information arrives. Sound thinkers try to understand how their unconscious feelings as individuals, as members of a group and within an institution might affect their judgement. We will also see how we can fall victim to conspiracy thinking and how we can be taken in by deliberate deception.

We all face decisions and choices, at home, at work, at play. Today we have less and less time to make up our minds than ever before. We are in the digital age, bombarded with contradictory, false and confusing information from more sources than ever. Information is all around us and we feel compelled to respond at its speed. There are influential forces at play ranged against us pushing specific messages and opinions through social media. Overwhelmed by all this information, are we less, or more, ignorant than in previous times? Today more than ever, we need those lessons from the past.

Looking over the shoulder of an intelligence analyst

Over the centuries, generals naturally learned the advantage that intelligence can bring. Governments today deliberately equip themselves with specialist agencies to access and analyse information that can help

them make better decisions.2 Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) runs human agents overseas. The Security Service (MI5) and its law enforcement partners investigate domestic threats and conduct surveillance on suspects. The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) intercepts communications and gathers digital intelligence. The armed forces conduct their share of intelligence gathering in their operations overseas (including photographic intelligence from satellites and drones). It is the job of the intelligence analyst to fit all the resulting pieces together. They then produce assessments that aim to reduce the ignorance of the decisionmakers. They find out what is happening, they explain why it is

happening and they outline how things might develop.3

The more we understand about the decisions we have to take, the less likely it is that we will duck them, make bad choices or be seriously surprised. Much of what we need can come from sources that are open to anyone, provided sufficient care is taken to apply critical reasoning to them.

Reducing the ignorance of the decisionmaker does not necessarily mean simplifying. Often the intelligence assessment has to warn that the situation is more complicated than they had previously thought, that the motives of an adversary are to be feared and that a situation may develop in a bad way. But it is better to know than not. Harbouring illusions on such matters leads to poor, or even disastrous, decisions. The task of the intelligence officer is

to tell it as it is to government. When you make decisions, it is up to you todo the same to yourself.

The work of intelligence officers involves stealing the secrets of the dictators, terrorists and criminals who mean us harm. This is done using human sources or technical means to intrude into the privacy of personal correspondence or conversations. We therefore give our intelligence officers a licence to operate by ethical standards different from those we would hope to see applied in everyday life, justified by the reduction in harm to the

public they can achieve.4 Authoritarian states may well feel that they can dispense with such considerations and encourage their officers to do whatever they consider necessary, regardless of law or ethics, to achieve the objectives they have been set. For the democracies such behaviours would quickly undermine confidence in both government and intelligence services. Consequently, intelligence work is carefully regulated under domestic law to ensure it remains necessary and proportionate. I should therefore be clear. This book does not teach you how to spy on others, nor should it encourage you to do so. I want, however, to show that there are lessons from the thinking behind secret intelligence from which we can all benefit. This book is a guide to thinking straight, not a manual for bad behaviour.

Nor does thinking straight mean emotionless, bloodless calculation. ‘Negative capability’ was how the poet John Keats described the writer’s ability to pursue a vision of artistic beauty even when it led to uncertainty, confusion and intellectual doubt. For analytic thinkers the equivalent ability is tolerating the pain and confusion of not knowing, rather than imposing ready-made or omnipotent certainties on ambiguous situations or emotional challenges. To think clearly we must have a scientific, evidence-based approach which nevertheless holds a space for the ‘negative capability’

needed to retain an open mind.5

Intelligence analysts like to look ahead, but they do not pretend to be soothsayers. There are always going to be surprise outcomes, however hard we try to forecast events. The winner of the Grand National or the Indy 500 cannot be known in advance. Nor does the favourite with the crowds always come out in front. Events sometimes combine in ways that seem destined to confound us. Importantly, risks can also provide opportunities if we can use intelligence to position ourselves to take advantage of them.

Who am I to say this?

Intelligence agencies prefer to keep quiet about successes so that they can repeat them, but failures can become very public. I have included examples of both, together with a few glimpses from my own experience – one that spans the startling development of the digital world. It is sobering to recall that in my first paid job, in 1965, in the mathematics department of an engineering company in Glasgow, we learned to write machine code for the early computers then available using five-character punched paper tape for the input. Today, the mobile device in my pocket has immediate access to more processing power than there was then in the whole of Europe. This digitization of our lives brings us huge benefits. But it is also fraught with dangers, as we will examine in Chapter 10.

In 1969, fresh out of Cambridge, I joined GCHQ, the British signals intelligence and communications security agency, and learned of their pioneering work applying mathematics and computing to intelligence. I gave up my plans to pursue a doctorate in (very) theoretical economics, and the lure of an offer to become an economic adviser in HM Treasury. I chose instead a career in public service that would take me into the worlds of intelligence, defence, foreign affairs and security. In the Ministry of Defence (MOD), as a policy official, I used intelligence to craft advice for ministers and the Chiefs of Staff. I had three tours in the Private Office of the Secretary of State for Defence (serving six of them, from Lord Carrington in 1973 to John Nott in 1981) and saw the heavy burden of decisionmaking in crisis that rests at the political level. I saw how valuable good intelligence can be, and the problems its absence causes. When I was working as the UK Defence Counsellor in NATO Brussels it was clear how intelligence was shaping arms control and foreign policy. And as the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Policy in the MOD I was an avid senior customer for operational intelligence on the crisis in the former Yugoslavia. In that role I became a member of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), the most senior intelligence assessment body in the UK, on which I served for a total of seven years.

When I left the MOD to go back to GCHQ as its Director in the mid-1990s, computing was transforming the ability to process, store and retrieve data at scale. I still recall the engineers reporting triumphantly to me that they had achieved for the first time stable storage of a terabyte of rapidly accessible data memory – a big step then although my small laptop today

has half as much again. Even more significantly, the Internet had arrived as an essential working domain for professionals, with the World Wide Web gaining in popularity and Microsoft’s new Hotmail service making email a fast and reliable form of communication. We knew digital technology would eventually penetrate into every aspect of our lives and that

organizations like GCHQ would have to change radically to cope.6 The pace of digital change has been faster than predicted. Then, smartphones had not been invented and nor of course had Facebook,

Twitter, YouTube and all the other social media platforms and apps that go with them. What would become Google was at that point a research project at Stanford. Within this small part of my working lifetime, I saw those revolutionary developments, and much more, come to dominate our world. In less than twenty years, our choices in economic, social and cultural life have become dependent on accessing networked digital technology and learning to live safely with it. There is no way back.

When I was unexpectedly appointed Permanent Secretary of the Home Office in 1997, it brought close contact with MI5 and Scotland Yard. Their use of intelligence was in investigations to identify and disrupt domestic threats, including terrorist and organized crime groups. It was in that period that the Home Office drew up the Human Rights Act and legislation to regulate and oversee investigatory powers to ensure a continual balancing act between our fundamental rights to life and security and the right to privacy for our personal and family life. My career as a Permanent Secretary continued with three years in the Cabinet Office after 9/11 as the first UK Security and Intelligence Coordinator. In that post, rejoining the JIC, I had responsibility for ensuring the health of the British intelligence community and for drawing up the first UK counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST, still in force in 2020 as I write.

I offer you in this book my choice of lessons drawn from the world of secret intelligence both from the inside and from the perspective of the policymaker as a user of intelligence. I have learned the hard way that intelligence is difficult to come by, and is always fragmentary and incomplete, and is sometimes wrong. But used consistently and with understanding of its limitations, I know it shifts the odds in the nation’s favour. The same is true for you.

 

 

Belarusian Specialists Open Criminal Argument

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The Belarusian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal body of evidence against 231 members engaged with a show that occurred in Minsk on Sunday, November 1. The Investigative Committee’s site indicated that every one of the 231 individuals are viewed as suspects for the situation, which was opened under the article on “Sorting out and planning activities that terribly disregard public request” — a criminal offense deserving of as long as three years in jail.

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