Seth Rich

The Black Flag Cafe is the place travelers come to share stories and advice. Moderated by Robert Young Pelton the author of The World's Most Dangerous Places.

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:14 am

Those pesky Russians again.
Very Funny stuff. Best entertainment we can hope for for our tax dollar. The Italians still get a better deal I think..

CIA denies report over mystery Russian who promised Trump info

Washington (AFP) - The CIA on Saturday categorically denied reports that it was fleeced by a mystery Russian who promised compromising information on US President Donald Trump.

The secretive agency rarely issues any kind of comment, but came out to deny the report in The New York Times and a similar one in The Intercept, an online journal focusing on national security issues.

"The fictional story that CIA was bilked out of $100,000 is patently false," the Central Intelligence Agency said in a statement sent to AFP.

"The people swindled here were James Risen and Matt Rosenberg," the CIA said, referring to Times reporter Rosenberg, who wrote the story, and Risen, a former Times reporter who authored The Intercept's article.

Both reports appeared on Friday.

The president tweeted approvingly that The Times article shows a need to "drain the swamp" in Washington.

In a story worthy of a John le Carre novel that included secret USB-drive handovers in a small Berlin bar and coded messages delivered over the National Security Agency's Twitter account, CIA agents spent much of last year trying to buy back from the Russians hacking programs stolen from the NSA, the Times reported.

The seller, who was not identified but had suspected links to both cyber criminals and Russian intelligence, tantalized the US spies with an offer of the NSA hacking tools that had been advertised for sale online by a group called the Shadow Brokers.

Some of the tools, developed by the NSA to break into the computers of US rivals, were used by other hackers last year to crack or infect computer systems around the world. The Times described the Americans as "desperate" to get the tools back.

Reached through a chain of intermediaries, the seller reportedly wanted $1 million after quickly dropping his opening demand of about $10 million.

The $100,000 was an initial payment by US agents still dubious he really had what he was promising.

In its report, the Times cited US and European intelligence officials, the Russian, and communications the newspaper reviewed.

The seller also repeatedly pressed US agents with offers of compromising materials, or kompromat, on Trump, the Times said.

- 'Off the books' -

But an investigation was already under way in Washington on possible links between Moscow and Trump's 2016 election campaign, and the US agents reportedly did not want to get involved in anything that smelled of the politics back home.

US intelligence officials say that Russia interfered with the election to help elect Trump, and that it continues to use disinformation to sow confusion in the American political system.

The Intercept reported that the "off-the-books communications channel" with Russia created rifts in the CIA. The agency is led by Trump loyalist Mike Pompeo, but many of its staffers are still smarting over Trump's repeated harsh comments about the intelligence community's role in the Russia meddling investigation.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is probing the possible links between Trump's presidential campaign and Moscow, as well as possible obstruction of justice.

Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu said in a tweet Friday that Risen's article "suggests the CIA Director fears getting information damaging to @realDonaldTrump that is being offered by Russians."

If that's true, Lieu said, "the CIA Director needs to explain his actions to Congress. He took an oath to the Constitution, not to Trump."

Trump on Saturday referred favorably to the Times article about the Russian who "sold phony secrets on 'Trump' to the US," and noted the operative reportedly had drastically lowered his original price.

"I hope people are now seeing and understanding what is going on here. It is all now starting to come out -- DRAIN THE SWAMP!" he tweeted, in a reference to what he sees as a need for reform.

Trump has frequently criticized the Times, which has published numerous investigative reports about him and his administration, calling it a "failing" newspaper providing "fake news."

Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion with Russia.

The Times reported that, in the end, the deal with the Russian broke down last month as the Russian failed to come up with any of the sought-after NSA materials, and the Trump-related material was either already known or untrustworthy.

The Russian was told by the Americans to leave Western Europe and not return, according to the Times. ... 49595.html

(I found the audio of Schiff's conversation with the Russians really funny. The "Odessa" Ref , and .. "Uncle Mischa", really got me laughing. And, maybe the best stuff I've heard since Carlin: "And I also would like to advise you when you or your colleagues will meet with Mr Trump I advise you to tell him first part of the password, 'The weather is good on Deribasivska,' and look at how his face will change color." The audio can be found on a number of web sites.) kd

LISTEN To Adam Schiff Get Pranked on Trump Dirt By Russian Comics

Big League Politics | 2018-02-06T17:17:49+00:00

Democratic House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff was pranked by a pair of Russian comedians shopping fake dirt on President Donald Trump.

The existence of the audiotape, broken by The Atlantic and presented below, proves Schiff’s hunger for anti-Trump material that he could use in his investigations.

Comedians Vovan and Lexus, posing as Ukrainian politicians, offered Schiff naked pictures of Trump, and spun a fable about Trump’s supposed interactions with Russian celebrities.

“Okay. And so Putin was made aware of the availability of the compromising material?” Schiff asked.

Schiff asked if information could be turned over to his committee and to the FBI that could corroborate the claims.

Schiff clearly fell for the subterfuge, pledging to “have my staff follow up to get spellings” of names and locations.

“Obviously we would welcome a chance to get copies of those recordings,” Schiff said.

“I’ll be in touch with the FBI about this,” Schiff added. ... an-comics/


Mail Online | 2018-02-06T20:13:34+0000

Adam Schiff: Hi, how are you?

Caller: Hello Mr. Schiff, thank you for your time.

Schiff: Thank you, Chairman. I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you.

Caller: I know that you work for investigation regarding Trump and Russian government.

Schiff: Yes

Caller: We have some important information about it.

Schiff: And that is documented as well in materials you want to provide to us?

Caller: Yes. Could I explain you where we are?

Schiff: Yes of course. But again, I would caution that our Russian friends may be listening to the conversation so I wouldn't share anything over the phone that you wouldn't want them to hear.

Caller: No, I don't think that will impact on our investigation.

Schiff: Yes. Please, go ahead then.

Caller: In November 2013, Mr. Trump visited Moscow, it was competition Miss Universe. There he met with Russian journalist and celebrity Ksenia Sobchak.

Schiff: I'm sorry, can you explain that again? While he was in Moscow in November 2013 he met with a journalist?

Caller: Well, she's poor journalist. But anyway, she became famous because Putin is her godfather.

Schiff: Okay. Putin godfather, okay.

Caller: She also known as the person who provide support for oligarchs. She met with Trump and she brought him one of Russian girl celebrities, Olga Buzova, who's also known as person who's [unintelligible].

Schiff: Okay, and how do you spell her name?

Caller: Olga Buzova.

Schiff: So Olga Buzova is a friend of the reporter?

Caller: Yes, she's a friend of reporter and I think a special agent of Russia Secret Service Ksenia Sobchak.

Schiff: That Sobchak is or Olga is?

Caller: No, Sobchak is [unintelligible]

Schiff: Okay. So Buzova met with Trump in New York at some point after the 2013 Miss Universe.

Caller: Yes, absolutely. And she got compromising materials on Trump after their short relations.

Schiff: Okay. And what's the nature of the Kompromat?

Caller: Well, there were pictures of naked Trump.

Schiff: Okay. And so Putin was made aware of the availability of the comprising material?

Caller: Yes, of course. Buzova shared those materials with Sobchak and Sobchak shared those materials with Putin, because she's the goddaughter of Putin. And Putin decided to press Trump.

Schiff: And the materials you could provide to the committee or to the FBI, would they corroborate this allegation?

Caller: Sure, of course. When they were in Ukraine we got their conversation by the phone where they are discussing those compromising materials. We are ready to provide it.

Schiff: So you have recordings of both Sobchak and Buzova where they are discussing the compromising material on Trump?

Caller: Absolutely, and we also know who was a mediator between Trump and Russian government who met with ex-advisor of Trump, Mr. Flynn. It was Russian singer, very famous singer, Arkadiy Ukupnik, who met with Mr. Flynn on Brighton Beach in Brooklyn in special Russian café Langeron.

Schiff: What's that again?

Caller: Langeron.

Schiff: Langeron?

Caller: Yes, it's on Brighton Beach. It's a Russian district in Brooklyn.

Schiff: And do you know what was discussed?

Caller: They discussed many things. But the most interesting thing is they used a special password for their meetings. When they met each other they said 'The weather is good on Deribasivska.'

Schiff: The weather is good in – where?

Caller: 'The weather is good on Deribasivska.' That is the name of a street in Odessa. Did you hear?

Schiff: Yes, I did. So it's a street in Odessa?

Caller: Yes.

Schiff: And the code word is 'Weather is good on 'Zerabasta'?'

Caller: Deribasivskaya. Deribasivskaya.

Schiff: Okay. And I'll have my staff call up to get spellings and more details on this.

Caller: The next part of their password was, 'It rains again on Brighton Beach.'

Schiff: 'It rains again on Brighton Beach.'

Caller: Yes. On that meeting, Ukupnik told Flynn that all those compromising materials will never be released if Trump will cancel all the Russian sanctions.

Schiff: Okay. Well obviously we would welcome the chance to get copies of those recordings. So we will try to work with the FBI to figure out along with your staff how we can obtain copies of those.

Caller: Of course we will provide you all our copies of all our materials. But I also would like to let you know that Sobchak and Buzova will pretty soon visit our country and we could arrest them and deliver them to your embassy and we also could extradite them to your country and you can put them to your special jail Guantanamo.

Schiff: Well, I'll be in touch with the FBI about this. And we'll make arrangements with your staff. I think it probably would be best to provide these materials both to our committee and to the FBI. So we'll make arrangements between my staff and yours on how to facilitate that. And we'll also obviously let the FBI know about Buzova and Sobchak's plans to travel to Ukraine.

Caller: I also advise you to check all Sobchak's visits in the West because she was in the West very often and suggest you check what she did there actually. And I also would like to look at Russian café on Brighton Beach Langeron and especially on head of Russian Mafia Uncle Mischa.

Schiff: Uncle Mischa? In Brighton Beach?

Caller: Yes, he's the head of Russian mafia. And he's located on that restaurant on Brighton Beach.

Schiff: Okay.

Caller: I just want to advise you just to look at them, please.

Rep. Schiff: Alrighty. This was very helpful, I appreciate it. Anything else you wanted to add today?

Caller: Well I hope that my information will be useful for you and your committee. And I also would like to advise you when you or your colleagues will meet with Mr Trump I advise you to tell him first part of the password, 'The weather is good on Deribasivska,' and look at how his face will change color.

Schiff: And so those passwords were used with Mr. Trump?

Caller: Yes, of course.

Rep. Schiff: Okay. Well thank you very much. We will be back in touch with you through our staff to make arrangements to obtain these materials for our committee and the FBI. I appreciate you reaching out to us.

Caller: Well let's be in touch and wait for your response from FBI.

Schiff: Excellent. I'll have them follow up as soon as possible, and I thank you again. Goodbye.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd ... p-pic.html
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:23 am

Operation Ivy Bells

tallman | Mon Jun 09 2003 at 2:06:40

A U.S. Navy and NSA plot to bug Soviet underwater communications cables in the Sea of Okhotsk. Submarines periodically serviced the device and recovered tapes from it, providing U.S. Intelligence with tons of valuable data. One intelligence officersecond-oldest profession

Targeting Communications
Underwater cables play a dominant role in international telecommunications since they offer a much larger capacity than the limited bandwidth available for space systems. Soviet defense officials insisted on constant reports from the field, but to transmit that information safely over the air would require a painstaking and intensive encryption effort. Submarine cables also appear to be intrinsically secure because of the nature of the ocean environment. Or, so the Soviets thought.

Captain James F. Bradley knew this, and thus surmised that there would be a communications cable system running from the Soviet Union's missile submarine base at Petropavlovsk (located on the KamchatkaPeninsula, northeast of Japan) under the Sea of Okhotsk to join land cables going to Pacific Fleet headquarters near Vladivostok (north of Japan) and then on to Moscow.

In late 1970, sitting in his Pentagon office at 3 a.m., Bradley could just imagine the intelligence windfall that would occur if one of his subs was able to find the underwater communications cable and tap it. It would provide a window to the heart and soul of Soviet leaders, including technical analysis free from propaganda, reports on the abilities and problems with Soviet submarines, tactical patrol plans, and maybe even assessments of ICBM test flights that were known to occur in the area (and which the U.S. knew frustratingly little about).

There were a few tiny little problems with Bradley's grand plan, of course. To start, Bradley had no proof that this cable even existed at all, and even if he did there was no way to really tell where it lay beneath the 611,000-square-mile expanse of the Okhotsk. He couldn't very comfortably justify the risk of sending a U.S. submarine into Soviet waters (if the sub got caught, the Soviets would probably see the intrusion as an act of piracy, and try to sink or destroy her, forcing a dangerous international incident) on a hunch that a cable, which couldn't be more than 5 inches wide, might be somewhere in the general area.

Sitting in his office at 3 a.m., Bradley cleared his mind of the stress and obligations of the business of Naval intelligence, thought back to his childhood, and came up with a solution so simple and strange that it might just be true. He remembered the riverboat rides along the Mississippi that his mother used to take him on in the 1930s. He grew up on riverboats, passing the time with the steamer captains in the pilothouse. From there he had a clear view of the river, and he could see a series of signs placed discreetly along the shore. Most of these signs marked mileage and locationphone or utility cable in the shallows. Bradley snapped back to reality, and wondered to himself: Could what was true of the Mississippi also be true of the Okhotsk? This was how his sub would find the cable!

Funding and Politics
The idea of tapping Soviet underwater communications was nothing new. Bradley and his team had been dreaming up these types of operations for years, but the technology to do so was only just becoming available (this included not only deep sea diving, but also the physical ability to tap the lines without being detected). If he wanted this to succeed, he would need to secure funding and political support. Bradley had earned the respect and trust of most of the field personnel, so it wouldn't be hard to field a crew for the daring mission (indeed, the daring of the cable-tapping mission would make it easier to sell). Garnering Washington's support would be a little trickier. The very idea of the cable-tapping mission was still a shaky one, so it wasn't easy. In the end, Bradley was able to meet with Henry Kissinger and his top deputy, General Alexander Haig, and won approval for the mission.

USS Halibut and the First Mission
The mission wasn't explicitly planned to find a submarine cable, but rather, to find and recover pieces of a new and deadly Soviet ship-to-ship missile, known to be tested in the Okhotsk. The ship chosen to carry out the mission was the USS Halibut, a truly goofyhumpBat CaveFish) and a huge Univac computer (a rarity at the time).

Halibut and its Fish had enjoyed a moderate degree of success (and its share of frustrations), which allowed Bradley to again refit it for the cable-tapping operation. This new refit added yet another ugly hump to the boat, a secret and crucial piece of equipment that was so well hidden that the Navy proudly advertised its presence. In fact, the media even praised the Navy for relaxing the secrets surrounding Halibut. The extra hump was a deep-submergence rescue vehicle (DSRV) - at least, that's what it looked like. In reality, the hump wasn't a DSRV at all, but a divers' decompression and lockout chamber that was welded to the hull.

In the fall of 1971, Halibut set out on its new mission. It took nearly a month to even reach the Okhotsk, and several hours to get inside the sea. The way in was shallow and narrow, but Halibut's crew managed. They were in. Still, they took elaborate precautions to make sure they weren't being followed, and they were careful not to expose themselves on the surface for too long.

After about a week of searching, they found it. The Russianvideo feed from the Fish as they navigated the murky waters. Several hours later, they found what looked like a bump in the sand. After closer examination, they were convinced they had found the cable.

A diving crew was readied in the fake DSRV, and sent out with the tapping device. The device was about 3 feet long, and it contained a recorder filled with big rolls of tape. It worked through induction, so there was no need to cut into the cable (risking an electrical short from the seeping seawater). They remained there for some time, collecting an adequate sample of Soviet voice and data transmissions. Eventually the diving crew returned and the Halibut set off for a Soviet test range to look for those ship-to-ship missiles.

Though it sounds tedious and difficult, the mission went unbelievably smoothly. The Halibut had enjoyed some moderate success in the past, but it was also rife with frustrations and failures. The Fish that had worked so well in finding the cable, were much more painful on previous missions, their towing lines constantly getting snagged or cut, and their picture was infamously poor. In fact, the mission went so well that Halibut was able to go to a Soviet test range to look for pieces of the new missile (which made use of a new kind of infraredguidance system that the U.S. wasn't able to counter). Other spy subs were able to locate where the tests occurred, but only the Halibut could send divers out to retrieve the pieces, which they did.

Upon their return, the tapes from the cable tap were immediately transported to the National Security Agency complex at Fort Meade. This is where some of the nation's top mathematicians and scientists worked to break Soviet codes. There were also thousands of Russian linguists and analysts looking over decoded communications. They immediately got to work on the tapes from the cable tap.

Meanwhile, the missile fragments that were recovered from the Soviet test range were also being analyzed. They never did manage to find the new infrared guidance system (it was assumed that the devices must not have survived impact), but they did find other crucial parts of the Soviet missile, giving U.S. engineers some help in building a countermeasure.

Eventually, word came from the NSA that Bradley's guess had been correct. The recordings were pure military gold: conversations between the submarine base and high level Soviet Navy officials, some of them unencrypted or coded only in simplistic ways. Nothing like this existed in U.S. intelligence. For the first time ever, the U.S. was getting a look at the Soviet Navy's fears and frustrations, its assessments of its own successes and failures, and its intentions. Not only that, but the potential for the tap had yet to be fully realized. The first tap was merely a test, conducted over only a few days worth of communications.

Next Steps
The next step was clear. Bradley wanted to tap as many of the lines as possible, and he wanted a device that could record for several months at a time. Halibut would place the tap one year, then retrieve the tap the next year. Bell Laboratories developed a new recorder for Bradley's mission. Nearly 20 feet long and more than 3 feet wide, it weighed about 6 tons and utilized a form of nuclear power. Leaving the device behind was risky, so Bradley's group wrote up some highly classified papers that argued that the use of an induction device was legal.

At this point, Bradley was able to secure a more formal declaration of political support from Washington, and the Halibut was off again. Halibut was again successful, though she was beginning to show signs of her age.

The intelligence gained from the recordings was invaluable. No human agent or standard spyIvy Bells

Indeed, the Okhotsk operations were so successful that the Navy later took the opportunity to tap underwater communications cables in the Barents sea, gaining even more crucial insight into the Soviet Navy. Such a tap was not possible with the Halibut, she was too old and too noisy, and though her special modifications got the job done, they were far from ideal. The Barents wasn't as desolate as Okhotsk, and it was difficult water to navigate. The USS Parche

All throughout the 1970s, the cable tapping operations in the Okhotsk continued. The Halibut's replacement, the USS Seawolf, handled the job until the early 1980s, when she was actually detected limping back home after sustaining some damage in an accident caused by bad weather and some equipment failures. The boat had actually fallen onto the sea's floor, landing right on top of the communications wire. She was able to make it back home, but satellites uncovered evidence that the Soviets had found the cable tap in Okhotsk. Nobody knew how, of course. The operation may have been compromised by Seawolf's drop onto the cable or by a mole within the crew, or, as unthinkable as it might be, among the few intelligence officers who knew about the taps in the first place.

As time passed, and all the available intelligence was gathered and analyzed, it became clear that the Seawolf's misadventures didn't line up with other intelligence reports. At the time, it had been easy to blame Seawolf and her crew for compromising the operation - after all, she had slammed several tons of steel down on the Soviet cable. But the facts didn't line up. The Soviet survey team that found the cable taps was well on its way even before Seawolf fell on the cable. Some U.S. investigators thought that the search for the cable taps looked deliberate. Too deliberate. The Soviets must have been tipped off by a spy in U.S. intelligence. Rich Haver, a civilian Naval intelligence department head, wrote a report dated January 30, 1982 which suggested this, but the report, which was only seen by a few, was readily dismissed and his warnings were given little thought. Haver didn't have much traction when it came to possible intelligence leaks, as he had already tried to convince admirals to investigate a possible communications leak in the late 1970s.

At the time, there was a great deal of political wrangling between the Soviets and the U.S. The Soviets were deploying their nuclear subs to the Arctic, a brilliant move that could give them a slight edge in the nuclear balance. During this time (and indeed, all throughout the cable tapping operations) the recordings brought back from the Barents helped in convincing U.S. officials that the Soviet move to the Arctic and other Naval moves were not signs of aggression.

By March of 1985, when Konstantin Chernenko died and the more tolerant Mikhail Gorbachev was appointed, tensions were no longer quite so high. Gorbachev seemed more willing to negotiate and consider major changes. Despite the progress being made on these fronts, U.S. authorities made some startling discoveries that underscored that the days of the old-style cold warriors and spies were not over.

In May of 1985, John A. Walker Jr. was arrested. Walker was a retired Navy submariner and communications specialist, and he had given all sorts of Naval communications secrets to the Soviets. He continued his espionage even after he retired, recruiting his brother and son, among others. He was only caught because his ex-wife turned him in when he tried to recruit their daughter.

In July, a high-ranking KGBVitaly Yurchenko, the defecting KGB agent offered up evidence of the Navy's second spy. The evidence was sparse, but it was enough. Ronald W. Pelton, a former NSA employee, was arrested on November 25, 1985. Among the intelligence he had offered the Soviets was information regarding a certain top-secret cable tapping operation in the Sea of Okhotsk.

Pelton had sold out the Okhotsk taps for $35,000.

Recent Activity
Cable tapping operations continued throughout the 1980s. After the unsettling news of the two spies in 1985, there were a lot of questions being asked by Congress and the media. The Navy managed to keep the focus away from the USS Parche and the the tapping operations in the Barents and other places.

As you might be able to figure out, the Navy has not exactly been forthcoming when it comes to its precious cable tapping operations. Much of what is known has come out only after the Soviet Union fell, and its not exactly clear just how much surveillance went on during the 1990s, though it is suspected that President Clinton agreed to continue the special projects submarine spy program, albeit with less of a focus on Russia. Parche came back from extensive overhauls in the mid 90s and is suspected to have continued its cable tapping operations. It is scheduled to be retired sometime in 2003, when it will be replaced by the USS Jimmy Carter, which has been undergoing a refitting of its own so that she can carry Parche's unique gear. - These locations are just rough approximations that I derived from looking at a map, just to give you an idea of where it was that I was talking about.
- I can't decide whether or not to be comforted or creeped out by the fact that there are people that are so dedicated to this country that they spend their twilight hours in the Pentagon dreaming up new and wierd ways to spy on our enemies. But that's another discussion for another node.
- Pelton was attempting to mask his bankruptcy and sold one of our nation's most important secrets for $35,000. U.S. cable tapping operations took years of research, millions of dollars in investments in technology, and risked our submariners' lives. Of course, Soviets had a somewhat more restrictive society, so a simple human spy might not have been as easy for us to find as it was for them (not to mention the fact that Aldrich Ames would later sell out all of our Soviet spies), but its worth noting that this is an example of the U.S. reliance on technology. Its an amazing feat and the research and technology were not exclusive to the cable tapping operations, to be sure, but the simple Soviet spy rings provide an interesting contrast. Sources:
90% of the above information was gleened from the book Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage, edited by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew. Its an excellent book, with much more than just cable-tapping information (though there is also a lot more on cable tapping there as well). I found out about the book from some History Channel program that featured the Ivy Bells story...
The following are some online sources: ... bells.html ... f_ivybells ... 61219.html

Special thanks to Professor Pi and Caknuck of the Typo Death Squad for pointing out my many typos.
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:28 am

Operation Ivy Bells | Sunday, September 12, 2010

Both the United States and the former Soviet Union ran numerous aggressive Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) operations against each other during the Cold War era. A most spectacular one was operation Ivy Bells, a top secret joint operation between the US Navy, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA). Ivy Bells enables the eavesdropping on high level communications of the Soviet Pacific Fleet.

Communications cables were, and still are, an interesting target for intelligence agencies. The 1953 Berlin Tunnel operation is a well known example of the tapping of a land cable. Especially in the pre-satellite era, undersea cables were the only method of high-volume communications between continents or islands. In the early 1970's, the US discovered the existence of such an undersea cable in the Sea of Okhotsk, in the north-east of the Soviet Union.

The cable connected the Soviet naval submarine base in Kamchatsky, north-east of the Kuril Islands, with Vladivostok Fleet headquarters in the south-west. Both bases played an important role in the Soviet Pacific Fleet communications. Although a very attractive intelligence target, the Sea of Okhotsk was Soviet territorial waters, forbidden for foreign ships and heavily protected. The Soviets also carried out many surface and subsurface naval exercises in these waters. An attractive target but far from friendly enviroment.

Despite the high risks to a SIGINT operation in that area, US intelligence could not pass this opportunity and started a most complex top secret operation to tap into the Okhotsk cable. In October 1971, the nuclear submarine USS Halibut (SSGN-587) entered the Sea of Okhotsk in search of the cable. Saturation divers with special rebreather equipment eventually found the cable at a depth of 400 feet (120 m) and installed a 3 feet (1 m) long tapping device, which was wrapped around the cable to register the signals by induction. This avoided the need for piercing trough the cable.

The signals were recorded on tapes that were recovered on a regular basis. To its surprise, NSA discovered that the Soviets felt so confident about the security of the undersea cable that the majority of the communications were unencrypted. Needles to say that the gained intelligence was invaluable. Due to its success, Bell Laboratories was asked to develop a new tapping device that could capture more lines simultaneously from the cable and could record for several months.

The new ingenious tap, which was installed the next year, measured 20 feet (6 m), weighed 6 tons and had a nuclear electrical power source. Each month, the USS Halibut divers retrieved the recording tapes and installed new ones. Back in the US, the tapes were analysed by the NSA and processed for further use in the intelligence community. It proved to be a spectacular intelligence coup. The tapes provided a front seat view on Soviet naval operations.

Operation Ivy Bells's success lead to further operations to install more advanced tapping devices onto other Soviet undersea cables across the world. Several other submarines were brought into the operation to install taps and retrieve recordings. The operation lasted for a decade, until surveillance satellites showed several Soviet war ships on top of the Okhotsk tap. A US submarine later discovered that the tapping device had disappeared. As it turned out in 1985, the top secret operation was betrayed in 1981 by Ronald Pelton, a former NSA employee. Nonetheless, US intelligence retrieved an enormous quantity of military information during the ten years of tapping the undersea cables, giving them an important lead in the Cold War.

More about Operation Ivy Bells on Special Operations Com and on Everything2 ... ybells.jpg ... bells.html
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:43 am

Secrets haunt the still-classified Operation Ivy Bells, a daring Cold War wiretapping operation conducted 400 feet underwater.

Matt Blitz

Popular Mechanics

It's the summer of 1972 and the U.S. is in the middle of pulling off the most daring, covert, and dangerous operation of the Cold War. Only a few months before, the signing of SALT I (Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty) limited the number of nuclear missiles of the world's two largest superpowers. Yet even with this well-publicized US/Soviet détente in place, a submerged American submarine rests mere miles from the Russian coastline.

At the bottom of the Sea of Okhotsk, the U.S. nuclear submarine Halibut silently listens to the secret conversations of the Soviet Union. With the Kremlin completely unaware, Navy divers emerge from a hidden compartment (referred to as the "Bat Cave") and walk along the bottom of the sea in complete darkness, wiretapping the Soviet's underwater communications line.

America wiretapped this particular Soviet communications cable for maybe a decade or more—and many details remain classified. It was the U.S.'s most ambitious wiretapping operation, until this point, in its entire history. This was Operation Ivy Bells.

Battle Plans and Mistresses

Down below the sea surface, the intel is flooding in. With the divers' taps in place, American communication techs onboard the Halibut gather a wide range of intelligence, from operational tactics to Soviet commanders' conversations with their mistresses. But up on the sea surface, a storm is brewing.

As the angry sea rocks the sub, the still-working divers are trapped outside the vessel in the murky cold water. Then, with a loud snap, the steel anchor lines break free. The Halibut drifts upwards, in danger of exposing itself to the enemy.

"If (they) had gotten caught, [they] had every reason to belief that [the Soviets] would have blown [them] away," says Sherry Sontag, who co-wrote the 1998 book Blind Man's Bluff.

Quickly, Captain John McNish makes a rather unconventional decision: to flood the sub. In a matter of seconds, the Halibut plops back down into the sea bottom's sandy muck. The divers scramble back into their decompression chamber (used toprevent the "bends") and an international crisis is averted—at least temporarily.

Days later and after the storm subsides, the Halibut finally emerges from its watery depths. The mission is a resounding success, and the sub is returning home with tapes of recorded Soviet Union voices discussing the secrets of a superpower. As W. Craig Reed wrote in his book Red November, it was like the U.S. placing "a glass against the Soviet Union's wall to hear their every word."

What Lies Beneath

This sub mission was one of several that made up the still-classified Operation Ivy Bells. It's not exactly a secret that the U.S. and USSR launched a silent intelligence war, one that lasted for decades and likely continues to this day, even after the fall of the Soviet Union. What made Operation Ivy Bells so unprecedented is the literal depths to which the U.S. government would go to spy on its Cold War rival.

According to Sontag's book, it was Captain James Bradley who first considered the possibility of an underwater wiretapping operation. A World War II and Vietnam War vet who had commanded ships in the heat of the battle, Bradley knew how to operate in close proximity to the enemy. In 1966, he became the undersea warfare director in the Office of Naval Intelligence, where he came up with the idea that forever shifted the Cold War in America's favor.

In 1968, Bradley devised and led a mission that sent the Halibut into the Pacific in search of the Soviet sub K-129, lost due to an internal explosion during a routine patrol. The Soviets' searched for months with little success, but they were missing an invaluable ally that aided the American quest: "the fish."

Built by Westinghouse Electric at an estimated cost of $5 million each, this was a two-ton underwater camera mounted inside a mini-sub, deployed while remaining tethered to the Halibut. The fish hovered just above the ocean floor taking pictures. "It was kinda like a sophisticated vacuum cleaner for your pool," Reed told Popular Mechanics.

While the covert mission to dredge up K-129 called Project Azorian was only a partial success, it proved the fish could capture images even in the dark waters of the ocean floor. But the Halibut and the fish's next mission would be much more complicated—and dangerous.

Bradley believed an unencrypted telephone line connected Petropavlovsk's submarine base (near the tip of Kamchatka peninsula) to Russia's mainland, likely running under the Sea of Okhotsk. Soviet cryptographers were notoriously backlogged and military officers needed fast communication between the Kremlin and Russia's most important naval base. So, Bradley theorized, the Soviet's solution was to deposit a communications line so deep underwater and close to Russia's shoreline that no one could access it.

Or so they thought.

The Challenges Ahead—and Below

Three obstacles stood in Bradley's way. First, the search area needed to be significantly narrowed to have any chance of finding the cables in 611,200 square miles of water. According to legend, the solution came to Bradley one morning in his Pentagon office. Daydreaming about his boyhood spent on the Mississippi River, Bradley remembered that there were signs near the shorelines warning boaters not to anchor due to utility lines at the bottom of the river. He realized that if there were location signs like this in America, there surely would be in Russia as well.

He was absolutely right. When the Halibut moved into the Sea of Okhotsk, they scanned the Siberian coast and found warning signs dotting its northernmost half, telling fisherman to avoid particular areas.

"The Soviets weren't trying to hide (the cables)," says Sontag, "They had no idea we could get that close...that we could send divers walking on the bottom that deep...or that we had the technology to tap it. No one had conceived anything like this before."

Within days, the Navy had found what they'd been looking for. Next, they needed to figure out how divers were going to go and stay that deep underwater for the several hours needed to complete the wiretapping. The answer was helium. Since the late 1950s, Navy Captain George F. Bond had been developing new methods, techniques, and gases that would allow divers to go deeper and stay submerged for longer. While his infamous Sealab project was shut down after the death of a diver, Bond proved that certain gas mixes could work.

We land mammals breathe in a cocktail of gases every day that is around 80 percent nitrogen and 20 percent oxygen, with a few other garnishes thrown in. When these gasses are compressed by water pressure, it causes nitrogen to build up in the blood. This can be an extremely dangerous condition for humans that can result in nitrogen narcosis or decompression sickness, a fatal embolism if the diver does not decompress properly while ascending. So instead, Ivy Bells substituted nitrogen for helium. Helium has a lower molecular weight than nitrogen and leaves human tissue more rapidly, making it perfect for a diving technique known as saturation diving.

With the search completed and the human element solved, the last complication involved the mechanics of the tap itself. To avoid shorting out the cable (and alarming the Soviets), the divers couldn't just open it up. Instead, the wiretap had to work through induction. The divers would need to place the tap by wrapping a connector around the comm line and then feed it into a three-foot-long reel-to-reel tape recorder.

The big technological problem wasn't pulling the signal out from the cable but separating the channels so someone could understand it. Running through that one cable was perhaps up to a dozen different lines, all with Soviet voices chattering away. As Reeds puts it, it was a "gargled cacophony" and nearly impossible to gather any real intelligence. For this reason, the first mission failed. "It was trial and error," says Reed, "When they first got the signals in, it was a mess."

But as the mission moved forward, the communication technicians jerry-rigged equipment that separated signals and drew out particular voices. Exactly what and how they did it remains a mystery as parts of Ivy Bells remains classified.

"These guys were the original makers... they were making it up as they went along," says Sontag regarding the operation's communication technicians. "No one else was doing underwater cable tapping. This was all brand new."

40 Years a Secret

Now retired, David LeJeune was a Navy saturation diver who participated in several later missions. Although he was unable to answer many questions, he says that the information that he and his fellow divers uncovered led to the successful completion of the SALT II talks, which was eventually signed in 1979 and restricted each country's nuclear delivery systems.

LeJeune also says the tech and gear they were using was cutting edge. "We were using technology that is so far advanced from the civilian community that the public doesn't know that capability even exists."

For a decade, the U.S. wiretapped this comm line at the bottom of the Sea of Okhotsk. The Halibut and other subs would venture into the Sea of Okhotsk a couple of times a year, picking up the tap and replacing it with a new and often more advanced one. It was an intelligence gold mine, consistently providing the U.S. with invaluable information.

"We didn't know... how much we were frightening (the Soviets)... until we listened to these tapes," says Sontag, "Very quickly, we pulled back from the brink. And this had a lot to do with it.... I think finding this information turned out to be the thing that let the Cold War end."

But in 1980, a former NSA employee named Ronald Peltonwalked into the Soviet Embassy in Washington D.C., and for $35,000, divulged the inner workings of Ivy Bells. With that, the operation abruptly ended—or so it was claimed.

Over three decades later, this type of wiretapping is thought to be largely obsolete. Thanks to the digital age, there are far more efficient, easier, and less risky ways to spy on someone's comms. However, these types of underwater cables still exist and are of great importance. As the New York Times reported in 2015, there are continued fears that these cables could be cut, effectively halting communications across the globe.

But, even though this type of surveillance may be old fashioned, Reed thinks it's possibly still happening today. "Submarines absolutely still have the capability to do these kind of missions and there are personnel that are still trained on how to do these missions," says Reed. "Whether or not those missions are still underway, that would be considered classified."

©2018 Hearst Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. ... retapping/ ... ater-21370
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:02 am

Answering the question I asked last year:
This is easy to understand, even for the math challenged.

Good question - How fast are you moving through the universe right now?

by Marshall Brain



Chances are that you are sitting in a chair right now, so it seems like you are stationary. But in fact you are moving through the universe at a tremendous speed at this very moment. Let's take a look at where all that motion is coming from.

The first thing to consider is the earth's rotation. The earth is 24,900 miles in circumference at the equator, or 40,000 kilometers. The earth takes 24 hours to make one rotation. So:

24,900 / 24 = 1,037 MPH or 1,666 KPH

As you move toward the poles that number decreases. At the north pole the speed is zero and you are simply rotating in place at one rotation every 24 hours. So let's assume you are sitting somewhere in South Florida moving at about 1,000 miles per hour or 1,610 KPH.

The Earth is also making one orbit around the sun every year. That sounds like a long time, but the orbit is huge. The Earth is roughly 93 million miles (150 million km) away from the sun, giving its orbit a circumference of 584 million miles (942 million km). That works out to 66,666 MPH or 107,000 KPH.

If you are on the side of the planet where the planet's rotation is moving in the same direction as the orbital direction, these two speeds add together. If you are on the opposite side, they subtract. We are trying to calculate a maximum speed, so we will be adding.

Our solar system itself is also moving in an orbit around the galactic core. The solar system is something like 25,000 light years away from the center of the galaxy, and the galaxy makes one rotation every 250 million years or so. That gives the solar system a speed of something like 420,000 MPH or 675,000 KPH.

And then the galaxy itself is moving. According to this page:

So there is speculation that the galaxy is moving through the universe at a speed of 1,000 km/s, which means 3,600,000 KPH or 2,237,000 MPH.

Adding it all up, you get:

1000 + 66,666 + 420,000 + 2,237,000 = 2,724,666 MPH


1,610 + 107,000 + 675,000 + 3,600,000 = 4,383,610 KPH

In other words, you are hurling through space at 2.7 million MPH (4.4 million KPH) even though it feels like you are sitting still. ... ht-now.htm

Mach only applies in a fluid.. so only on earth
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:58 pm

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:10 pm

My favorite Russian humor web site:
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:57 am

Just in case this story goes away..
The source is in question.

‘He was definitely not the only shooter’

Shepard Ambellas

Intellihub | 2018-02-15T09:53:12+00:00

PARKLAND, Fla. (INTELLIHUB) Stoneman High School student and Valentine’s Day shooting survivor Alexa Miednik told a reporter that she spoke with the alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz in the hallway just after shots rang out at the other end of the building and said she knows that there was definitely another shooter.

It appears that the mainstream media and authorities have been actively covering up the fact that at least one other shooter was on the ground at the school Wednesday.

The young lady said that she had just gotten back to her classroom after a bathroom break and was knocking on the classroom door when the fire bell rang which prompted the school’s principal to come over the loudspeaker and announce the evacuation.

“[…] the fire alarm went off and the principal came on the speaker and just said ‘everyone needs to evacuate right now,'” she explained. “As I was going down the stairs I heard a couple of shots fired.”

“Everyone was freaking out saying it was a gun, then, as we were walking, the whole class together, I was actually speaking to the suspect, Nikolas Cruz” Miednik maintained as she physically motioned her fingers to form air quotes around the word “suspect.”

The student confirmed that she was, in fact, speaking to Cruz in the hallway as they were making their way to the building’s exit along with others and admits that Cruz was “trouble in middle school.”

Astonishingly, while the two were conversing in the hallway before making their exit, Miednik said she jokingly told Cruz: “I’m surprised you weren’t the one that did it.”

According to the young lady Cruz then replied: “Huh?” [dumbfounded look]

When asked if she was scared, Miednik replied: “No not at the moment because there was obviously, definitely, another shooter involved.”

He was “definitely not” the only shooter, she said. “When shots were fired I saw him [right] after the fact, so, and the shots were coming from the other part of the building so there definitely had to be at least two shooters involved.”

Miednik did not see any wounded students.

Additionally, it was reported by the father of a student who attends the school that both a fire drill and an active shooter drill were scheduled for Wednesday.

©2018. INTELLIHUB.COM. All Rights Reserved. ... l-student/


Eyewitness says she heard shots fired down hall while talking to suspect!

Kit Daniels
Feb. 15, 2018

Eyewitness Alexa Miednik, who believes there was a second shooter, said she was WALKING with accused suspect Nikolas Cruz (who the media previous spelled as Nicolas) after she heard shots being fired – and told Cruz she was glad “it wasn’t him” who was doing the shooting at the school in Florida:

"As I was going down the stairs I heard a couple of shots fired, everyone was freaking out – there was a gun, and as we were walking – the whole class together – I actually was speaking to the “suspect” [she even did air quotes] and as I was speaking with him, he seemed very… I don’t know what the word is I want to say… but he was very troubled in middle school and I joked to him about it and said “I’m surprised you weren’t the one who did it.”

Video: ... sacre.html
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