Saturday, May 28, 2016

Espionage and the Start of the Korean War

For John, BLUFI always wonder why we focus on Hitler and the Nazis, when Stalin is more recent and killed more people.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Blog site We Are The Mighty we have "This US Army sergeant started the Korean War by selling out to the Soviets".  The author is Mr Blake Stilwell and the dateline is 24 May 2016.

Here is how it starts out:

For more than 60 years, only seven people on Earth knew that the Soviets broke U.S. military and diplomatic ciphers.  One of those people was former KGB Berlin bureau chief and master Soviet spy Sergei Kondrashev.  Kondrashev and his peers searched desperately for American code clerks as they came and went from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.  The KGB knew next to nothing about American ciphers, the code room in the embassy, or even the personnel who worked there. That changed in the early days of the Cold War.

Tennent Bagley was a CIA agent working around Eastern Europe, including Berlin.  In the early 1990’s, after the fall of the Soviet Union, he was to be featured on a German television show to discuss Cold War intelligence with former KGB agents.  In preparation for the show, he met Kondrashev, his direct KGB counterpart . Kondrashev told Bagley things that the CIA never knew, including the story of “Jack,” a U.S. Army Sergeant who single-handedly sparked off the Korean War.

In 1949, the memory of World War II and the existential threat to Russia was still fresh in the mind of Soviet Premiere Joseph Stalin.  Tensions with the U.S. were higher than at any time in recent memory.  The Soviet Union needed a way to predict American behavior.

They thought they lucked out when Sgt. James “Mac” MacMillan, a U.S. Army code clerk in the U.S. embassy in Moscow, began dating a Soviet national, nicknamed “Valya.”  Kondrashev was the intelligence agent assigned to Mac.  He persuaded Mac to give him any details of the code room and of anything else he knew.  In exchange, the KGB offered to set him and Valya up with an apartment in Moscow and money to start their lives.

It was only a few weeks after their first meeting that Mac defected to the Soviet Union.  Kondrashev soon learned Mac’s knowledge of the American codes was limited and the Russians were no closer to breaking the codes.

The Russians watched the U.S. embassy intently.  Based on the information provided by Mac, they knew what the code clerks looked like, but after Mac’s defection, the Americans were on alert.  The KGB’s got lucky again when agents reported an Army clerk visiting a local apartment, staying long into the night, and then returning to the embassy a few nights a week.

This is a sad situation.  But, the "honey pot" is a typical part of spy craft.  On the other hand, the Army Specialist formerly known as Bradley Manning gave up our secrets without such inducements.  We do provide young men and women with a lot of important information and expect them to take good care of it.  Almost all of them do an excellent job.  They are very careful of our nation's secrets.

However, there is another lesson to be learned here.  You think you have a conduit to what the other side is thinking, but that doesn't mean the other side might not turn on a dime.  In this case Uncle Joe (Stalin) was being cautious, but then learned that the US didn't much care about Korea, so he sanctioned the Kim Il-sung invasion of South Korea in 1950.  Then that terrible Harry Truman decided South Korea was important.  The rest is history.

Regards  —  Cliff

Kim Family In NYC

For John, BLUFThere are a lot of Kims in the world, but only one Kim Jung-un.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The secret life of Kim Jong Un's aunt, who has lived in the U.S. since 1998

This Washington Post article is by Reporter Anna Fifield.
NEW YORK — Wandering through Times Square, past the Naked Cowboy and the Elmos and the ticket touts, she could be any immigrant trying to live the American Dream.

A 60-year-old Korean woman with a soft perm and conservative clothes, she's taking a weekend off from pressing shirts and hemming pants at the dry-cleaning business she runs with her husband.

But she's not just any immigrant. She's an aunt to Kim Jong Un, the young North Korean leader who has threatened to wipe out New York with a hydrogen bomb.

They sound like great citizens and we should be glad they are here amongst us.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Chinese Economy

For John, BLUFThey don't know which way to go, which is almost as bad as going the wrong way.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is a headline from yesterday's Business Insider:

It sounds like a dispute is taking place at the highest levels of China's government — and it could have big implications for the economy

A dispute at the top of China’s government may signal a policy shift ahead. But until that becomes clear, the main risks are policy paralysis in the world’s second-largest economy and heightened uncertainty about growth.

For the third time in the last year, the People’s Daily, China’s authoritative Communist newspaper, published an interview with an unnamed official who said policy change was necessary to avoid a financial crisis and recession.

This time, the official interviewed—identified only as “an authoritative person”—said China can’t rely on debt-driven stimulus to restore its economic health.

I think it is at the point that Professor Paul Krugman should call the Chinese Embassy.

Either way, we in the rest of the world should consider what happens if the Chinese Economy implodes.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Donald and Islam

For John, BLUFHere is a different spin on Mr Trump and Islam in the Middle East.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Over at PJ Media Author Roger Simon gives us "Trump, Ryan and the Islam Problem".

I love the picture.  It is The Donald reading Submission, by Michel Houellebecq.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, May 27, 2016

Doctoring the News

For John, BLUFThis tends to be an indictment of the whole gang. City Life aside.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Katie Couric Decried ‘Edited’ Planned Parenthood Footage, Then Doctored A Gun Owner Interview

Here is the sub-headline:
When the Planned Parenthood videos broke, Katie Couric jumped on the campaign to discredit them as 'edited.'  Her new gun control documentary is inexcusable.
This is from The Federalist, by Ms Mollie Hemingway.

The lede:

A new Katie Couric documentary advocating gun control was deceptively edited to make Second Amendment supporters look foolish, audio released by the supporters shows.
As Professor Reynolds says, Democrat operatives with bylines.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Pauline Kael Lives

For John, BLUFThey live in a bubble.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is a great lead in line from Ed Driscoll:
AND THIS YEAR, THE ROLE OF PAULINE KAEL WILL BE PLAYED BY… CBS This Morning Host Gayle King:  Nobody at Party I Was at Last Night Cares About Clinton’s Emails:
Pauline Kael?  She is quoted as saying, in a New Yorker article:
I live in a rather special world.  I only know one person who voted for Nixon.  Where they are I don't know.  They're outside my ken.  But sometimes when I'm in a theater I can feel them.
This is why the Press was not able to warn the Party Elites about the possible rise of Mr Donald Trump.  This is why the Press is not able to help the Party Elites deal with Mr Trump passing the magic number of 1237 Delegates for the Convention.  Heck, this is why they don't understand Bernie.

Anyway, a great little snippet, with explanations and links.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Limiting Government

For John, BLUFYes, the Press would cover for a President Hillary Clinton, rather than doing their job.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"Why the president needs to be white, male and Republican: Glenn Reynolds"

The sub-headline:
Media watchdogs snoozed while Obama expanded executive power. They'll wake up and bite when it's Trump.
Here is the lede:
The press has done a lousy job of protecting American freedoms in recent years.  But I have a modest proposal for improving press performance:  Elect a white male Republican.
Like Benghazi, where the press totally ignored how the Administration stepped all over the Freedom of the Press.  It was a little item, a 14 minute movie trailer, but those little precedents can be used against the big boys later on.  Short sighted on the part of the Press.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Note for Jack:  "modest proposal" is a Republican "dog whistle" for political satire.
  Lawyers have no shame.
  No, I do not think the Administration's actions lead to the death of the four Americans in Benghazi.  Do I think they should have been more forward leaning?  Yes, in the event the terrorists had other targets in mind.