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From Foreign Policy:

Botched CIA Communications System Helped Blow Cover of Chinese Agents

The number of informants executed in the debacle is higher than initially thought.
BY ZACH DORFMAN | AUGUST 15, 2018, 5:13 PM

It was considered one of the CIA’s worst failures in decades: Over a two-year period starting in late 2010, Chinese authorities systematically dismantled the agency’s network of agents across the country, executing dozens of suspected U.S. spies. But since then, a question has loomed over the entire debacle.

How were the Chinese able to roll up the network?

Now, nearly eight years later, it appears that the agency botched the communication system it used to interact with its sources, according to five current and former intelligence officials. The CIA had imported the system from its Middle East operations, where the online environment was considerably less hazardous, and apparently underestimated China’s ability to penetrate it.

“The attitude was that we’ve got this, we’re untouchable,” said one of the officials who, like the others, declined to be named discussing sensitive information. The former official described the attitude of those in the agency who worked on China at the time as “invincible.”

Other factors played a role as well, including China’s alleged recruitment of former CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee around the same time.

It’s almost as if Chinese intelligence ethnically profiled Jerry Chun Shing Lee.

Hey, that’s not fair!

Federal prosecutors indicted Lee earlier this year in connection with the affair. …

The former officials also said the real number of CIA assets and those in their orbit executed by China during the two-year period was around 30, though some sources spoke of higher figures.

 
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  1. Jack D says:

    If you are a Chinese citizen in China, no matter how much they are paying you, no matter how much you want the Communist Party to be deposed, if you value your life DO NOT become a CIA asset. They are a well proven bunch of clowns. They will get you killed and maybe your family too and they won’t lose a minute’s sleep over it.

    • Replies: @Simply Simon
  2. Achilles says:

    The CIA had imported the system from its Middle East operations, where the online environment was considerably less hazardous, and apparently underestimated China’s ability to penetrate it.

    In other words, it was outsourced to the Israelis and then later borrowed from them for the US?

    The question that may need to be asked is, is it possible for a nation being transformed into multiculturalism and rapidly losing cohesion to maintain an effective clandestine service?

    I suppose we could outsource the function entirely to the hyper-cohesive Israelis.

    I’m sure it is inconceivable that the Israelis would ever betray us to the Chinese or the Russians.

    The former officials also said the real number of CIA assets and those in their orbit executed by China during the two-year period was around 30

    No doubt directly on Putin’s orders.

    • Agree: utu
    • LOL: BB753
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Pericles
    , @Jack D
  3. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    Chinese authorities systematically dismantled the agency’s network of agents across the country, executing dozens of suspected U.S. spies. But since then, a question has loomed over the entire debacle.

    US has spies in China, China has spies in the US.

    Good for the Chinese to have killed the spies. They are traitors.

    But in globo-homo USA, what is treason? We have elites OPENLY saying open up the borders, end ICE, call illegal invaders ‘dreamers’, outsource US foreign policy to Israel, replace American workers with brown peons and H1 Visa third-rate engineers from India who work for cheap.

    If US is to become an OPEN globo-homo society, we must get rid of the very idea of ‘treason’. After all, if US is not a nation bur some kind of globalist playground that belongs to all the world, then all interests are equal in the US. Those Chinese spies were not spies. They didn’t do anything illegal. They were just ‘dreamers’, and we must bring down all barriers between such people and US intelligence.

    Indeed, it is surreal to watch the US elites say ‘bring down walls, end nation-hood, go globo-homo, invade/invite’, and turn around and say ‘Russia interfered in national affairs’ and ‘Trump is treasonous because he met with Putin’.

    Do these idiots ever listen to themselves?

  4. Bill P says:

    The number one reason for the failure of the CIA here is outsourcing of China intelligence to ethnic Chinese.

    For the last 25 years or so academic and government Sinology has been turned over to ethnic Chinese, often first-generation or foreign born (increasingly, with Confucius institutes, our universities are outsourcing it straight to the PRC). It’s easier in a way, because they grew up with the culture and language, but from a security standpoint it’s a terrible idea.

    Imagine, for example, having Middle East intelligence and academic disciplines rely mainly on Saudi Americans and immigrants. Would anyone deny that this would give the Saudi govt. a huge advantage over the US?

    Chinese are not as loyal to the ingroup as certain other ethnicities, but they’re far from the bottom in that regard, and their culture is so vast and encompasses such multitudes that it gives Chinese intelligence agents an ocean in which they can swim around like sharks with great opportunities for profitable kills. To allow that culture to occupy substantial parts of our intelligence apparatus – which includes academia – is to flood our little redoubts with that ocean, giving the sharks access to our own assets.

    Only a shortsighted and greedy generation of politicians, officials and academics would make that mistake, but that’s what happened. It’s going to be a hard one to fix.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  5. Anonymous[258] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achilles

    In other words, it was outsourced to the Israelis and then later borrowed from them for the US?

    I wonder if Israel sells intelligence and cyber technology to the Chinese?

    Haven’t they in the past transferred military technology to the Chinese?

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Pericles
  6. peterike says:

    “Other factors played a role as well, including China’s alleged recruitment of former CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee around the same time.”

    Peterike’s Law strikes the CIA!

    See, there probably aren’t a ton of Mexican double agents working at the CIA. But my rough guess that among Chinese CIA employees— the number of which should be zero but is likely many hundreds — at least half are comprised, and many are plants from the start.

    But hey, I’m sure all the Indians in the CIA’s IT department are 100% incorruptible. Honest injun.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Pericles
  7. @Anon

    But in globo-homo USA, what is treason?

    If John Brennan had any hair left he’d be pulling it out of his skull right this very
    moment.

  8. The American counterpart of this is state motor vehicle bureaus denying vanity plates:

    https://www.milwaukeemag.com/can-guess-wisconsin-license-plate-requests-denied/

  9. Other factors played a role as well, including China’s alleged recruitment of former CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee around the same time.

    O for the good old days when American Intelligence wasn’t an oxymoron and a guy named Chun Shing Lee would have been an asset and not an operator..

  10. El Dato says:
    @Anon

    But what happened to good old-school spy swaps?

    Not being at war means one does not have to go the killing route, which is arguably nicer.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  11. George says:

    WWI WWII and probably the cold war Anglo America has superior encryption, apparently no more.

    That the Chinese executed the spies rather than hold them hostage to bargain for one of their spies implies the Chinese don’t expect to be caught.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  12. Let’s get real. The mainstream corporate press has never been freer. It floridly excoriates the president every day, w/unprecedented vehemence & unity. Meanwhile that same multibillion $ press crusades against fringe media & pushes for it to be silenced

    from Steve’s retweet of Walter Kirn

    The Golden Boy of Marine on St Croix talks sense? I hope he’s invested his royalties.

    Having been christened Walter in 1962 suggests a family of somewhat conservative outlook. That dentist who shot Cecil in Rhodesia Zimbabwe was also a Minnesota Walter of about the same age.

  13. @peterike

    在雾的底部发生了什么?

    • Replies: @Jack D
  14. El Dato says:
    @Bill P

    Imagine, for example, having Middle East intelligence and academic disciplines rely mainly on Saudi Americans and immigrants. Would anyone deny that this would give the Saudi govt. a huge advantage over the US?

    1992: “During renovations in the old inspection section of the FDNY, Ahmed Amin Refai, an Egyptian who works as an FDNY accountant, obtains the blue-prints for the World Trade Center. Refai worships at the Al Farooq and Al Salaam mosques, where Rahman preaches.” (http://www.peterlance.com/triple_cross_pb_timeline_2009.pdf)

    • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
  15. El Dato says:
    @George

    WWI WWII and probably the cold war Anglo America has superior encryption, apparently no more.

    No.

    In WWII, they had superior cryptanalyis though.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  16. Mr. Anon says:

    We’re the chinese agents really blown because of a communications lapse, or is the CIA trotting out this explanation because it sounds less embarrassing than admitting they had a mole? Which reason is more embarrassing? I’m not sure.

    • Replies: @Pericles
    , @Jack D
    , @Regret
  17. Mr. Anon says:
    @El Dato

    But what happened to good old-school spy swaps?

    Executing 30 (or more) spies is pretty hard-core. The Chinese probably wouldn’t have wanted to swap them, even if we had enough to trade. They probably wanted to send a clear message: death to spies!

    • Replies: @Hail
  18. There have been plenty of Chinese spies in the US, mainly stealing technology. Why doesn’t the US execute a few of those??

    • Replies: @Anon
  19. Anonymous[148] • Disclaimer says:

    How many non-Chinese CIA analysts and case officers read Chinese competently?

    (For that matter, what percentage of CHINESE AMERICAN staff at the CIA or FBI really read Chinese at a level that would pass muster e.g. at the Russian GRU or SVR?)

    How many non-Chinese FBI counter-intelligence types understand spoken Ningbo Chinese? Hunanese? Hakka?

    Thought so. “Literacy” is not a subject taught at Georgetown or Oberlin.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anonymous
    , @Bill B.
  20. utu says:
    @Anonymous

    “Israel’s Technology Transfers to China” by Donald Neff, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, June/July 1997, pp. 70-72.

    http://ariwatch.com/OurAlly/IsraelsTechnologyTransferToChina.htm

    HOW ISRAEL USED WEAPONS AND TECHNOLOGY TO BECOME AN ALLY OF CHINA, Newsweek, 5/11/17

    https://www.newsweek.com/china-israel-military-technology-beijing-jerusalem-saul-eisenberg-weapons-607117

  21. The CIA had 30 (but maybe more) assets in China. That’s it?

    • Replies: @Svigor
    , @Mr. Anon
  22. Anonymous[144] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    “Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard”

    http://pinyin.info/readings/texts/moser.html

    The problem of reading is often a touchy one for those in the China field. How many of us would dare stand up in front of a group of colleagues and read a randomly-selected passage out loud? Yet inferiority complexes or fear of losing face causes many teachers and students to become unwitting cooperators in a kind of conspiracy of silence wherein everyone pretends that after four years of Chinese the diligent student should be whizzing through anything from Confucius to Lu Xun, pausing only occasionally to look up some pesky low-frequency character (in their Chinese-Chinese dictionary, of course). Others, of course, are more honest about the difficulties. The other day one of my fellow graduate students, someone who has been studying Chinese for ten years or more, said to me “My research is really hampered by the fact that I still just can’t read Chinese. It takes me hours to get through two or three pages, and I can’t skim to save my life.” This would be an astonishing admission for a tenth-year student of, say, French literature, yet it is a comment I hear all the time among my peers (at least in those unguarded moments when one has had a few too many Tsingtao beers and has begun to lament how slowly work on the thesis is coming).

    A teacher of mine once told me of a game he and a colleague would sometimes play: The contest involved pulling a book at random from the shelves of the Chinese section of the Asia Library and then seeing who could be the first to figure out what the book was about. Anyone who has spent time working in an East Asia collection can verify that this can indeed be a difficult enough task — never mind reading the book in question. This state of affairs is very disheartening for the student who is impatient to begin feasting on the vast riches of Chinese literature, but must subsist on a bland diet of canned handouts, textbook examples, and carefully edited appetizers for the first few years.

    The comparison with learning the usual western languages is striking. After about a year of studying French, I was able to read a lot. I went through the usual kinds of novels — La nausée by Sartre, Voltaire’s Candide, L’étranger by Camus — plus countless newspapers, magazines, comic books, etc. It was a lot of work but fairly painless; all I really needed was a good dictionary and a battered French grammar book I got at a garage sale.

    This kind of “sink or swim” approach just doesn’t work in Chinese. At the end of three years of learning Chinese, I hadn’t yet read a single complete novel. I found it just too hard, impossibly slow, and unrewarding. Newspapers, too, were still too daunting. I couldn’t read an article without looking up about every tenth character, and it was not uncommon for me to scan the front page of the People’s Daily and not be able to completely decipher a single headline. Someone at that time suggested I read The Dream of the Red Chamber and gave me a nice three-volume edition. I just have to laugh. It still sits on my shelf like a fat, smug Buddha, only the first twenty or so pages filled with scribbled definitions and question marks, the rest crisp and virgin. After six years of studying Chinese, I’m still not at a level where I can actually read it without an English translation to consult. (By “read it”, I mean, of course, “read it for pleasure”. I suppose if someone put a gun to my head and a dictionary in my hand, I could get through it.) Simply diving into the vast pool of Chinese in the beginning is not only foolhardy, it can even be counterproductive. As George Kennedy writes, “The difficulty of memorizing a Chinese ideograph as compared with the difficulty of learning a new word in a European language, is such that a rigid economy of mental effort is imperative.”6 This is, if anything, an understatement. With the risk of drowning so great, the student is better advised to spend more time in the shallow end treading water before heading toward the deep end.

    Whereas modern Mandarin is merely perversely hard, classical Chinese is deliberately impossible. Here’s a secret that sinologists won’t tell you: A passage in classical Chinese can be understood only if you already know what the passage says in the first place. This is because classical Chinese really consists of several centuries of esoteric anecdotes and in-jokes written in a kind of terse, miserly code for dissemination among a small, elite group of intellectually-inbred bookworms who already knew the whole literature backwards and forwards, anyway. An uninitiated westerner can no more be expected to understand such writing than Confucius himself, if transported to the present, could understand the entries in the “personal” section of the classified ads that say things like: “Hndsm. SWGM, 24, 160, sks BGM or WGM for gentle S&M, mod. bndg., some lthr., twosm or threesm ok, have own equip., wheels, 988-8752 lv. mssg. on ans. mach., no weirdos please.”

  23. NIU MIN: Hello, Jerry

    JERRY CHUN SHING LEE: Hello … Niu Min

  24. Hail says: • Website

    It’s almost as if Chinese intelligence ethnically profiled Jerry Chun Shing Lee.

    Hey, that’s not fair!

    Reportedly born in Hong Kong.

    Bio:

    Jerry Lee [b.1964, born in Hong Kong, acc. to South China Morning Post] is a naturalized U.S. citizen [and] served in the U.S. Army from 1982 to 1986. [...]

    After leaving the Army, Lee graduated from Hawaii Pacific University in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in international business management. He then earned a master’s degree in human resources management a year later [before joining the CIA in 1994].

    Public records show that Lee lived in Fairfax, Virginia, before moving to Hong Kong [in 2007?]. He has also lived in Harbor City, California, and Tokyo, Japan. His parents, Robert Earl Lee and Emma Lee, who are both deceased, lived in Jackson, Mississippi, but it is not clear if that is where he grew up.

    He was in the CIA 1994-2007 and has reportedly lived in Hong Kong since 2007.

  25. El Dato says:
    @Anonymous

    Interesting.

    Here is an article from 1987 about the Japanese writing system from 1987, back when the first “big wave of Artificial Intelligence” was cresting, which is why the discussion on Japanese script is linked to the now either de-mainstreamed or commonplace old-school AI:

    he Fifth Generation Fallacy: Why Japan Is Betting Its Future on Artificial Intelligence by J. Marshall Unger

    http://www.pinyin.info/readings/texts/japanese_language.html

    This period also marked the beginning of a political backlash against the limited script reforms that had begun with the tōyō kanji list of 1946 and culminated with the okurigana rules of 1959. Some of the Ministry of Education officials, such as Shiraishi Daiji (interviewed 8 January 1986), and others who were responsible for the TK reforms had mistakenly believed that they must accept a restriction in the number of kanji in order to forestall an Occupation romanization edict (never a serious threat). In fact, however, there had been years of preparation for limited script reform; only Japanese decided exactly what steps would be taken. Recommendations were made by a fairly representative and independent Japanese Language Council (Kokugo Shingikai) in a relatively apolitical atmosphere.

    As already observed, the TK list had been intended to set a cap on the number of kanji for general use. Instead, it ended up establishing a floor under the number of kanji, a plateau which one had to reach in order to be in the running for admission to top universities and top-level jobs. The JK preamble carries this subversion of the TK principles a step further. It addresses itself to “usage by persons who have to some extent experienced life in actual society or educational institutions after finishing study in the period of compulsory education,” implying that, if anything, formal schooling should aim beyond the limits set by the JK list.

    Small wonder that, when an Ad Hoc Education Council (Rinji Kyōiku Shingikai) was convened in 1985, the fundamental issues of script and literacy were not even on the agenda. This Council was commissioned mainly because the government faced declining school enrollments and the prospect of an oversupply of teachers in the years ahead, and wanted expert sanction for a major overhaul of the educational system. That was, however, not the only reason for the creation of the Council. There is also the increasing incidence of school-related violence (including assaults on teachers, unwarranted corporal punishment, so-called bullying [ijime] among students, etc.); outright refusal to attend school (tōkō kyohi—different from simple truancy); steadily growing dependence on cram schools (juku); and the frequent re-entry problems of Japanese children who have attended schools overseas. The possibility of a connection between kanji-based literacy and at least some of these problem areas is not hard to see, and it is remarkable that the council, although it has recommended greater emphasis on creativity and less on rote learning, has chosen not to examine it.

  26. Hail says: • Website
    @Mr. Anon

    Executing 30 (or more) spies is pretty hard-core

    It would be more hard-core if all of them were White-Americans. And to a slightly lesser extent if many/most/all were U.S. citizens of any kind.

    As best I can ascertain, though, all the spies were local informants: i.e., ethnic-Chinese PRC citizens with dissident tendencies (or who were paid-off by the CIA?).

    Or what?

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
  27. Twinkie says:
    @El Dato

    In WWII, they had superior cryptanalyis though.

    We used our Asians well in WWII: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_American_service_in_World_War_II

    Approximately 6,000 Japanese Americans served in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS).[14] The first class received their training at the Presidio in San Francisco, but in June 1942 the MIS Language School was moved to Camp Savage, Minnesota, which offered larger facilities, removed the complications of training Japanese American students in an area they were technically prohibited from entering, and had less anti-Japanese prejudice. In August 1944, the language school was moved again to Fort Snelling.[15] Most of the MIS Language School graduates were attached to the Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS) as linguists and in other non-combatant roles, interpreting captured enemy documents and interrogating prisoners of war. (At the end of the war, MIS linguists had translated 18,000 enemy documents, created 16,000 propaganda leaflets and interrogated over 10,000 Japanese POWs.) However, MIS servicemen were present at every major battle against Japanese forces, and those who served in combat faced extremely dangerous and difficult conditions, sometimes coming under friendly fire from U.S. soldiers unable to distinguish them from the Japanese and often encountering former friends on the battlefield.[14]

    Japanese American MIS linguists translated Japanese documents known as the “Z Plan”, which contained Japan’s counterattack strategy in the Central Pacific. This information led to Allied victories at the Battle of the Philippine Sea, in which the Japanese lost most of their aircraft carrier planes, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf. An MIS radio operator intercepted a message describing Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto’s flight plans, which led to P-38 Lightning fighter planes shooting down his plane over the Solomon Islands.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  28. Twinkie says:
    @Hail

    I’d like to fry that MoFo myself.

  29. Hail says: • Website
    @Anon

    We have elites OPENLY saying open up the borders, end ICE, call illegal invaders ‘dreamers’, outsource US foreign policy to Israel

    Apropos of the subject of China, I call your attention to one of Mssr. Garrison’s works, “The Great Wall of Trump“:

  30. DuanDiRen says:

    Not mentioned in the main article: the CCP has a slightly less legalistic approach towards dealing with those they consider racial traitors.

    If you ever get a chance to speak with a reporter who has lived in China and speaks the language, take it. You will discover that those who get up close to Power in the Middle Kingdom tend to be very, very conservative about allowing more Chinese influence in the USA.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  31. BenKenobi says:
    @Hail

    No, in America Chinese spies are given their full pension and a gold-watch.

    “In Soviet America, foreign spy executes government!”

  32. Bill P says:
    @Anonymous

    It’s just as hard for Chinese. This is a real handicap for them. They are still learning to read in high school, and most of them never really master the written language.

    Add to that the fact that dialects are often mutually unintelligible, and you start to get an idea of how dysfunctional the empire can be.

    Once, when I was in a distant province, some local yokel was trying to communicate with some standard Mandarin speakers to no avail. The standard Chinese speakers turned to me of all people and asked whether I could translate. Of course I couldn’t, but it’s instructive that they think some of their fellow countrymen are so foreign that they’d turn to a white guy for help in deciphering what they utter.

    Also, waidi ren (outsiders from the outer provinces), would ask me for directions on the streets of Beijing. I’m 6’1″, British white, had a bright red beard at the time and gigantic hands, feet and nose compared to your typical Chinese, and yet instead of asking native Beijing residents these people would approach me for help (if they spoke Mandarin I actually could and did help them). It was surreal.

    China is like a world in and of itself. It’s pretty awesome that way. I learned to love it and still do, but I remain loyal to my own civilization and will defend it – or what’s left of it – until the end.

    • Replies: @Hail
    , @Anonymous
  33. Hail says: • Website
    @Bill P

    I’m 6’1″, British white, had a bright red beard at the time and gigantic hands, feet and nose compared to your typical Chinese, and yet instead of asking native Beijing residents these people would approach me for help (if they spoke Mandarin I actually could and did help them). It was surreal.

    This is reminiscent of the common idea that average, country-bumpkin-ancestry Chinese are less strictly racialist than “linguilist,” and have a lot less of a problem with racial foreigners if they speak the language(s).

    This could change if Chinese were exposed to more foreigners. I wonder what percentage of PRC Chinese have never meaningfully interacted with a racial foreigner?

    • Replies: @Jack D
  34. Anonymous[249] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Nice story, but basically just one lengthy excuse for illiteracy in Chinese on the part of elite “analysts” that would never be tolerated e.g. by Russia’s GRU and SVR.

    It is entirely possible for interested non-Chinese to learn to read Chinese newspapers, specialty publications, patents, etc. fluently.

    The key variable is probably real interest in the actual language (rather than the money that proficiency may bring), and a modicum of linguistic aptitude. Without interest and aptitude, study becomes torture.

    Re Classical Chinese – it is true that the written language going back to Confucius and earlier texts does rely on a lot of a priori knowledge of ideas, phrases and concepts, but a reasonable understanding of Classical Chinese phrases as used in modern writing is far from impossible to achieve. However, frequent references to “translators” indicate that many of the ladies and gentlemen in the analysis section find linguistic expertise (and the insights it can bring) below their station in life. What’s the point of a degree from Georgetown if I have to actually learn Chinese/Russian/Arabic/Persian etc.?

    Does anyone think analysts dealing with the U.S. for GRU, SVR or their Chinese equivalents are NOT required to read and understand Shakespeare, major English poets, modern writers, sports jargon, military terminology, and plenty of technical literature in English?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Jack D
    , @Desiderius
  35. Anonymous[225] • Disclaimer says:

    Looks like that extra 5 points of IQ really came in handy this time round.

  36. Anonym says:

    Time for some iSteve trivia in-jokes. Who expressed the Neanderthal DNA better?

  37. m___ says:
    @Anon

    globo-homo

    supposing it stands in contrast with

    nation-hood

    Could you elaborate on the express, extended meaning of the “globo-homo”, as a term, it suggests good meaning, first time we encounter it. Reference please, or is it your’s to coin? The “nation-hood” is not bad either. Again, please elaborate. It could add meaning to articles full of platitudes, like “America”, “the US”, “globalism”, individualism versus group thinking.

    Many thanks forehand,

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
  38. m___ says:
    @Anonym

    That is a great artistic formatting of a suggestion. Bright casual expression.

    • Replies: @Anonym
  39. Anonym says:
    @m___

    Hey thanks. There were better Perlman pictures, but the hosting sites don’t play nice. I could copy, paste and rehost but I don’t get paid for this. ;)

  40. kissinger says:
    @Anon

    There is a difference between the State and the nation/people. The US government (the State) is the vehicle for US elites (& increasingly global elites) to pursue their interests.

    From their perspective, you commit treason against the state, not the people.

  41. @Anonym

    contestant number three ofc

  42. Pericles says:
    @Achilles

    The question that may need to be asked is, is it possible for a nation being transformed into multiculturalism and rapidly losing cohesion to maintain an effective clandestine service?

    A rather leaky bucket, for sure, with many holes in it.

    On the high end, Hillary Clinton couldn’t even understand ‘secret’.

  43. Pericles says:
    @Anon

    Well, at least they released Jonathan Pollard.

  44. Pericles says:
    @Anonymous

    I wonder if Israel sells intelligence and cyber technology to the Chinese?

    Haven’t they in the past transferred military technology to the Chinese?

    Dear John,

    I have a new best friend now. I’m sure you understand.

    PS. Please kill the Iranians before you go.

  45. “Dismantled” = murdered.

    It appears Russia also gained knowledge of CIA informants through this breach but found methods short of murder to interrupt their activities. Since this does not mesh with the corporate media’s jingoistic anti-Russian obsession it will not be noticed.

  46. Pericles says:
    @peterike

    But hey, I’m sure all the Indians in the CIA’s IT department are 100% incorruptible. Honest injun.

    Honest Arjun.

    Come to think of it, how did India invent the nuclear bomb?

  47. Pericles says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Humint pins it on Sigint?

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  48. @Hail

    His father was Robert E. Lee.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  49. Dan Hayes says:
    @Anonym

    Anonym:

    John Brennan is Central Casting via Thomas Nast’s sketch book.

    {FWIW, Brennan is the quintessential role-model byproduct of the modern-day Jesuit education!}

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Prester John
  50. CK says:
    @Bill P

    “Imagine, for example, having Middle East intelligence and academic disciplines rely mainly on Saudi Americans and immigrants” Much better to outsource that work to their neighbours.

  51. Anonymous[266] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    The U.S. military is getting a fairly large numbers of Chinese Americans joining. Many (most?) of them are without U.S. citizenship and plan to obtain it in boot camp. Most are going in as officers (have college degrees) with top secret clearances. I think these recruits are savvy and go into it as a secure job opportunity. They realize that being an officer in the U.S. military is a lucrative, no-heavily-lifting gig with close to a six-figure pension before 50. But even just a short stint results in a hiring preference advantage over the rest of the population for any government jobs. It’s hard for me to believe, especially how the world and the U.S. has changed, that they would in anyway betray their culture and native land.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    , @Romanian
  52. @Anonymous

    That personal ad is disturbing: “Handsome Single White Gay Male, 24 years old, 160 pounds, seeks Black Gay Male or White Gay Male for gentle sadomasochism, moderate bondage, some leather, twosome or threesome okay, have own equipment, wheels, 988-8752 leave message on answering machine, no weirdos please.”

    Why do gays have to insert their perversions into everything? Do I really need to know that David Moser is into bondage?

    https://supchina.com/podcast/lgbt-china/

    Jeremy Goldkorn and David Moser are joined by Fan Popo for a discussion of the way life works for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in China

    So Moser is actively working to spread LGBTTQQIAAP “awareness” in China.

    • Replies: @Anonym
  53. Anonymous[356] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bill P

    and yet instead of asking native Beijing residents these people would approach me for help

    Why?

    It’s pretty awesome that way. I learned to love it and still do,

    What do you love about it?

    but I remain loyal to my own civilization and will defend it – or what’s left of it – until the end.

    Should go without saying, no?

  54. Anonymous[266] • Disclaimer says:
    @BrokenSymmetry

    His father was Robert E. Lee.

    And his mother was Barbara Lee, the ex-Black Panther turned Congresswoman.

  55. Anonymous[356] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    many of the ladies and gentlemen in the analysis section find linguistic expertise (and the insights it can bring) below their station in life.

    What insights can linguistic experience bring?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  56. Mr. Anon says:
    @Hail

    He was in the CIA 1994-2007 and has reportedly lived in Hong Kong since 2007.

    The fact that he went to live under the jurisdiction of the foreign adversary after he left the CIA is itself rather suspicious.

  57. Mr. Anon says:

    John Brennan is Central Casting via Thomas Nast’s sketch book.

    Brennan looks like the sort of guy you used to see standing on Lenin’s Tomb, reviewing the troops on May Day – an old commie creep.

  58. @Pericles

    While I don’t know specifically how both India and Pakistan developed nuclear weapons, I do know that during the Cold War, India was aligned with the Soviet Union and Pakistan was aligned with the U.S. so I think that gives us a pretty big clue as to how India and Pakistan developed nuclear weapons.

  59. ic1000 says:

    Not off-topic — Some years ago, I browsed through some of the State Dept. cables that Edward Snowden copied and Wikileaks put online, after redacting sensitive information [sic]. Many field dispatches from Pakistan and Afghanistan contained passages like, “Col. Siddiq may appear to be a hard-line Islamist, but he has stated that his hope that Pakistan develops into a secular democracy is the motive for cooperating with our Embassy.” And “Perhaps because three of Arwan’s cousins are insurgents, his intelligence on the Taliban’s order of battle in Helmand Province has proven accurate.”

    Snowden was a mid-level contractor based in Hawaii, yet he had access to tens of thousands of such documents. They were shared so widely as a post-9/11 reform, to “break down silos”.

    Sure, the CIA’s checks don’t bounce. Still. I imagine that dozens to hundreds of ‘ Col. Siddiqs’ and ‘Arwans’ fared rather poorly after their star turns online. Their families too.

    Were any American careers crimped as a result?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  60. Jack D says:
    @Achilles

    No, this had nothing to do with the Israelis, except in your imagination where it’s always the Joos fault. This was a system that the CIA used to run its own assets in the Middle East (Iran?). There is nothing to indicate that it was written by the Israelis.

    Rather, the CIA f’ed up the implementation. The system was supposed to be firewalled from the CIA’s main system – this way even if hackers got inside the system used to communicate with agents, they would just see stuff pertaining to XYZ Trading Company and nothing connecting XYZ to the CIA. But the CIA left holes in the firewall.

    Going up against the say Iranians, this was no problem because the Iranian intelligence services were too dumb to find the vulnerability. But the Chinese have world class hackers so they were able to find the holes in the firewall and connect the spies to the CIA. And God knows what else they were able to do once they were inside.

    My guess is that the code was written by some high $ CIA contractor that used H1B’s at enormous profits and supervised by affirmative action hires at the CIA who didn’t really know enough to know whether it was written properly or not. The US government is notoriously bad at managing software projects. I’m sure that if they had hired the Israelis they would not have f’ed it up in this stupid way.

    And another possibility is that the system was written properly but the CIA added the holes later “for convenience” because someone wanted to work on the system from home and didn’t want to have to come into a secure facility each time he wanted to send an email to his Chinese contact. The stupidity of the US government is bottomless. Top secret emails ended up on Anthony Weiner’s laptop mingled among his dick pictures. It’s not just stupidity but stupidity combined with arrogance. This is always the fatal combination that sinks the ship, blows up the Space Shuttle, etc. Once you think that you are “invincible” the gods will send the iceberg to show you that you aren’t. As soon as you begin to think that way, you have left the loaded pistol on the table – the only question is when it will go off. At least the captain of the Titanic went down with his ship. Whichever jokers did this are still sleeping in their bed in N. Va. and will never pay the slightest price for all the blood on their hands.

    However, while the system worked fine in the Middle East, it was not prepared to stand up to Chinese hackers.

    The CIA had also inadvertently linked its main communications system with an interim or “throwaway” version used to communicate with sources. The whole point of an interim system was to ensure that if it was ever compromised by foreign hackers, it would have no connection to the main system.

    During their investigation, the FBI and NSA determined that even though it was supposed to be impossible, a hacker who breached the “throwaway” system could get through to the main communications system. One former official who talked to Foreign Policy said bluntly that the CIA had “f***ed up the firewall” between the systems. One of the sources blamed it on officials at the CIA viewing the agency as “untouchable,” and “invincible.”

    • Agree: Barnard
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  61. Jack D says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Foggy Bottom is the State Department.

  62. Jack D says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Why not both?

    If I had to guess, I would blame Sigint.

  63. Jack D says:
    @Dan Hayes

    Brennan just needs a little clay pipe, a shillelagh and a leprechaun hat and he is all set.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
  64. Jack D says:
    @Anonymous

    Learning Chinese is always going to be hard but computers are really lessening the handicap. You don’t know what a character means or how to sound it out – show it to your phone and your phone will tell you instantly. Same with spoken language. So what was once an all day task with a dictionary is now instant. This really speeds up the learning curve.

    Reading comprehension is not simply a matter of knowing a lot of words; one has to get a feeling for how those words combine with other words in a multitude of different contexts.

    This is also true – just knowing the meaning of a Chinese character in isolation gets you nowhere. You can know every character in a sentence and still not understand the sentence at all, as the author points out. However, AI is really good at this kind of stuff – it can read a million newspaper articles and figure out the context with high accuracy. And it just keeps getting better.

    Classical Chinese is always going to be challenging for the same reason that Beowulf is challenging but how often do you have to read something written in Old English?

    • Replies: @DFH
  65. Anonymous[249] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    How much PERSONAL information did the Chinese extract that will be leveraged for the next round of intrusions?

    Blackmailable personal info a la Strzok/Page? Home addresses? Family members?

    Info about personal computers, “smart” phones, etc.?

    With the AA infestation of college admissions departments and the general Chinese predilection for admin jobs, the Chinese can easily offer CIA functionaries guaranteed admission e.g. to Princeton for their kids in return for a few “favors.”

    After all, the torture and death of a few brave “assets” in China means little compared to the importance of getting junior into a school in keeping with his standing.

    Also, of course, the “honeypot” approach is an old favorite for snagging middle-aged men while well-trained Romeos penetrate (sorry) lonely female staffers.

  66. I don’t believe this for a second. We know there are people in Congress colluding with Chinese agents and looking to jump ship to a new country. But nooo, it was a glitch in the magical electricity machines, nothing to see here but a little process error.

  67. AndrewR says:
    @Bill P

    Were German-Americans and Italian-Americans excluded from intelligence agencies during the war? (I assume Japanese-Americans were)

    • Replies: @Bill P
  68. The fundamental problem with written Chinese and all Asian written languages derived from Chinese is that 10s of 1000s of pictograms representing individual words add an extra layer of visual complexity to the learner’s task.

    The problem is exacerbated by the fact that there are hundreds, maybe thousands of pairs of pictograms that vary by one tiny little stroke.

    That said, these pictograms are an amazing and unique part Chinese and other Asian cultures.

    Calligraphy in these languages is unquestionably beautiful, in contrast to the scribbling known as Arabic.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  69. @m___

    Could you elaborate on the express, extended meaning of the “globo-homo”, as a term, it suggests good meaning, first time we encounter it. Reference please, or is it your’s to coin?

    I’ll take a shot at it too:

    - “Globo-homo” is a phrase I’ve heard bounced around on Alt-Right podcasts for a little while.
    - It refers to the current western order, that favours international high finance capitalism (“globo”) and libertine consumerism for the masses (“homo”).

    • Replies: @m___
  70. Jack D says:
    @Hail

    My son is fairly fluent in Mandarin (and Chinese tell me he has a pretty good accent for a white person – he started young) and the reactions of Chinese people (both here and in China) seem to fall into two camps (with seemingly very little in between):

    1. They treat it completely nonchalantly – doesn’t everyone speak Mandarin?

    2. They treat him like a talking dog – this is really amazing. Let me call my wife and colleagues over so they can hear the dog talking!

    • LOL: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @AndrewR
  71. ic1000 says:

    Don’t forget the massive 2014-2015 theft of the records of US government employees and contractors with security clearances. Excerpt from a 2016 Wired lookback article:

    The hackers had first pillaged a massive trove of background-check data. The Office of Personnel Management’s digital archives contain roughly 18 million copies of Standard Form 86, a 127-page questionnaire for federal security clearance that includes probing questions about an applicant’s personal finances, past substance abuse, and psychiatric care… The hackers next delved into the complete personnel files of 4.2 million employees, past and present. Then… they grabbed 5.6 million digital images of government employee fingerprints.

    Imagine how helpful this comprehensive background information is, for Chinese counterespionage efforts.

  72. AndrewR says:
    @Anonym

    Brennan is only a few months older than Mel Gibson but they easily could pass for 20 years apart in age. (Random nthe degree of separation story: Mel Gibson is the first cousin once removed of the godfather of one of my best friends.)

    Anyhoo, according to WojcickiAndMe, I have more neanderthal DNA than 98% of their users, but I don’t look anything like those guys. Ugliness and Neanderthal DNA are unrelated….

    • Replies: @Sean
  73. Dan Hayes says:
    @Jack D

    Jack D:

    For some time there have been unsubstantiated reports that Brennan is a Moslem convert.

    Unfortunately, too good to be true.

  74. Anon[178] • Disclaimer says:

    This new intelligence agency Cold War between China and the US is shaping up like a much worse version of the last one: a soft, incompetent CIA gets crushed by a ruthless, realpolitik, set of competitors (KGB, East German Stasi), at least in the human aspect of the game. Now that the US is going full multicult, don’t expect the US to be able to effectively defend itself in the future. Twenty years from now, I expect China to have wide-spread influence in the US due to American racial incompetence while the US ends up with virtually none in China. “Well,” we’ll tell ourselves, “at least we aren’t racist or anything. That’s gotta count for something.”

  75. @Anon

    But in globo-homo USA, what is treason?

    Do these idiots ever listen to themselves?

    Who is a threat to my way of life, Vladimir Putin or Justin Trudeau? Justin is the giggling, fruit-flavoured front man for globo-homo in this part of the American Empire. Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, is a guy doing a remarkably good job running a country that other people have run into the ground repeatedly.

    I won’t commit treason against my country but the people now in charge do so every damned day.

  76. Jack D says:
    @Anonymous

    Read any product manual or label of any product made in China and you’ll have a good idea of how much of a grasp most Chinese “English speakers” have of English. For a Chinese to learn English is almost as hard as vice versa. For spoken English, possibly worse because English has so many sounds that just don’t exist in Chinese.

    Maybe their very best people are better than that, but they have a lot of “Engrish” speakers who work at that level. We always tend to imagine that our enemies are giants while we are midgets (and in the case of the CIA, it’s true that they are a bunch of mental midgets) but the truth is that government bureaucracies tend to be populated by incompetents everywhere. Or rather, they are very competent at promoting themselves but not at carrying out the stated mission of the organization. See Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy.

    • Agree: Desiderius
  77. AndrewR says:
    @Jack D

    How is his accent compared to a black person? Or a Dravidian? Or a Navajo? Or an Australian Aboriginal?

    Jokes aside, and no offense intended, but it’s a major peeve of mine (and evidence of lazy thinking) when someone says, say, “white” when it would be much more meaningful to say “non-Chinese.”

  78. Anon[679] • Disclaimer says:

    “One of the sources blamed it on officials at the CIA viewing the agency as “untouchable,” and “invincible.”

    Which might indicate that the flaw in their system was fairly trivial and should have been noticed – would have been noticed if the agency actually employed patriots interested in their civilization’s survival instead of bureaucrats out for a pension and a decent paycheck.

  79. @Jack D

    There are no limits to incompetence: an universal human truth.

  80. DFH says:
    @Jack D

    Learning Chinese is always going to be hard but computers are really lessening the handicap. You don’t know what a character means or how to sound it out – show it to your phone and your phone will tell you instantly. Same with spoken language. So what was once an all day task with a dictionary is now instant. This really speeds up the learning curve.

    Also typing Chinese is much much easier than writing it

  81. @Twinkie

    It helps to have a functional we to begin with.

  82. @Anonymous

    The knowledge base would now be obsolete in dealing with the US leadership class.

    Read Harry Potter and you’re good.

  83. @Jack D

    I very much doubt that these were “hacks” done by some Jack Whatever of 24 hours fame on his laptop at the local Starbucks. Even the most primitive security will stop this.

    I think instead that these were inside jobs. Some contractor with Sysadmin rights to the Oracle database simply dumps the relevant tables, copies them to a thumb drive or burns them to a CD, and walks out.

    The Chinese one was done for political reasons; the corporate ones were probably done for money. All of them are very easy for trusted people to do.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  84. Clyde says:
    @Pericles

    Come to think of it, how did India invent the nuclear bomb?

    Seems that its home grown scientists developed it. I am sure some useful tips were picked up from nations with nuclear bombs. But no big theft of scientific secrets. ….so it seems. I see no accusations on the Internet that India stole nuclear bomb technology. But Pakistan did steal via the notorious AQ Khan (see wikipedia) who worked in European atomic energy organizations.

  85. Anonymous[169] • Disclaimer says:
    @ic1000

    Are Col. Siddiq and Arwan actually reliable though? It wouldn’t surprise me if the reaction to these disclosures is laughter at the gullibility of the Americans. Watching these federal law enforcement/“intelligence” types on TV I never get the sense of their being sophisticated operators (cf. Putin, who I’m not a fan of); they all strike me as your typical gormless, soapy liberals, the type of rubes who could be bamboozled by obvious charlatans (e.g., Elizabeth Holmes) due to their sentimentality. And they do seem to get conned with alarming regularity. The whole history of the run-up to the Iraq War, for example, to me is just a series of smooth-talking Iraqi exiles, Western educated, conversant in 19th century literature and general DC cocktail-party bullshit, convincing influential American idiots that Sunnis and Shiites are really just tolerant NPR-listening Massachusetts Democrats underneath it all, and if you’d just topple Saddam (and put me in a high looti…er, leadership position) peace will last a thousand years. And they bought it, just like they buy every feel-good diversity initiative and gap-closing measure that comes around each decade. The US pays a deep price for this kind of stupidity, one that we’re increasingly unable to bear. What we need is realpolitik; what we get is wishful thinking.

    • Replies: @ic1000
  86. @Pericles

    Apparently, ChiCom forces fooled the US military in the Korean War though Sigint:

    “The Chinese, as dedicated students of Sun Tzu, had one other great asset – guile. If the UN Command could be made to believe the Chinese had deployed only token forces, UNC forces could be led to advance into the mountainous where the terrain would offset some of the Chinese disadvantage. UNC forces could then be held there until additional Chinese reinforcement could arrive. Then a major counteroffensive might achieve great surprise and shock, perhaps decisively.

    “The solution was a coordinated campaign of deception. The objective was to make the initial CCF forces in Korea appear much smaller than they were; then, when the main offensive was launched, to make the available forces look much larger than they were. There is no single source which says this was planned and coordinated but the six elements of the deception plan did not all occur simultaneously by accident.

    “The key to the plan was to capitalize on American technological advantage and provide misleading order of battle information. A networkd of radio operators transmitting imaginary traffic were used to simulate additional units assembling in Manchuria. General Nie Rongzhen, the PLA’s acting chief of staff during the Korean War, had practiced a variation of that technique in the Wutai Mountains of North China while withdrawing before a Japanese offensive in the spring of 1941. As will be seen, much of the CCF order of battle in Manchuria obtained by Willoughby had to have come from traffic analysis by ASA units. Had that information come from an agent network, or a highly placed agent,such a source would surely have been able to warn of large forces crossing into Korea. Deceptive plain text traffic, such as the announcement of Lin Piao as the potential Chinese commander in Korea supplemented the effort.

    http://www.chosinreservoir.com/ghost_armies_of_manchuria.pdf

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
  87. Zounds!!! Has that outfit in Langley ever gotten ANYTHING right? And as far as Brennan is concerned, good riddance!

    • Replies: @Sean
  88. @Dan Hayes

    A regular Hibernian James Bond, eh?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  89. @Prester John

    A regular Hibernian James Bond, eh?

    Croith an deoch, ná úsáid spúnóg.

  90. Sparkon says:
    @Jack D

    Actually, it is the Japanese, and not the Chinese, who have the most trouble with L sounds in English. The Japanese syllabary has the sounds ra ri ru re ro, but no la li lu le lo, and so it is a Japanese who is most likely to pronounce English as “Engrish.”

    I don’t speak Chinese, but I know there are quite a few Chinese place names with pinyin Romanization that includes an L. China’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning, for example, is named after a province in China’s northeast, which includes the famous city on the Liaodong peninsula now known as Dalian 大连.

    The PRC’s first premier was Zhou Enlai.

    Liaocheng is a city of 5 million in western Shandong province, while the Yalu River forms the border between China and N. Korea.

    The Yalu River (Chinese: 雅鲁河; pinyin: Yǎlǔ Hé) is a river straddling the Chinese regions of Heilongjiang and Hulunbei’er near the eastern border with Russia.

    I’ll defer to a native speaker on the point, but it would seem to be pretty difficult to get the L out of Chinese.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @Anonymous
  91. m___ says:
    @Cagey Beast

    Globo-homo

    Thanks for your prompt reply.

    Very useful term if at the top the “globo” – capitalism and at the bottom, individual consumerism, alas “homo” the homo ultimately being a commodity himself, is meant. Globo-homo sums it up nicely then. Is extremely pertinent.

    Not the same thing as globalism based on different premises. Not equal to nationalism. A useful term to point to layers of sufferers and exploiters being all per item-individual subjects or actuators, as compared to group identities.

    Definitely two elements here. Globalism could be based on groups eventually as a dominant determination. Say N-Western European ethnicity as compared to other races and ethnicities all over the globe with the exception of expatriate groups that belong. Say South African boers, and the generational white Anglo-Saxons at ditto location in the horn of Africa. That as compared to nation-hood say, would make for “globo-ethno”.

    Does the Globo-Jew exist? Regardless of the existence of the term? It would make a first use case is it not?

    Terminology as the above are a way to defuse the mess most make of seeing the “cross-bands” the “straps” that define humanity. Religion, nation (nation-hood), ethnicity and race, territory, all can be either global or restricted (except for the evident nation denomination). So the “nation” in “nation-hood” is the weakest link. “Group-hood” would be the better term. “Globo-homo” and “globo-Asian” (as an example), or “globo-Western European”, as another example, would complete a set of very meaningful definitions of what correlates often. Many of these “straps” are at play adjacently. Such as individual distinction (better or worse individual profiles), mostly only having meaning within the “own”, “native”, same ethnic group.

    It would make for more sensible policies of activism and conventional rule the like. It would make some columns, articles, pieces, that need less corrections by commenters as to what is meant.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  92. Jack D says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    1. It’s not as insurmountable as it seems at 1st glance. A couple of thousand of characters will suffice for most purposes, just as you don’t know every obscure word in the dictionary. The characters themselves are not each unique – may characters are built up from other characters. It’s still not easy but once you begin to understand the setup, it’s not “Here – memorize 20,000 unique drawings and the meaning and sound associated with each one.”

    2. Almost all Asian languages of the former “tribute states” were at one time written in Chinese characters whether or not the languages themselves were derived from Chinese (to the extent anyone could read at all, which was not very much) but many of these countries have developed other (simpler) writing systems that have largely or entirely replaced the Chinese writing system. Sometimes the new system(s) coexists side by side with the old – Japanese (a worst case scenario), sometimes the Chinese system is only used in certain formal contexts – Korean, sometime the Chinese system has been almost completely replaced with the Roman alphabet – Vietnam.

    3. The Chinese system has advantages in that even if you can’t pronounce a character in Mandarin, everyone (both in the Asian languages I mentioned above and also in the various Chinese dialects, some of which are not mutually intelligible with Mandarin) usually assigns the same (or at least similar) meanings to each character just as the symbol 2 means the same thing whether you pronounce it two or dos or zwei, etc. So even if you don’t speak a word of Japanese, if you can read Chinese you can read some Japanese for meaning (but not exact pronunciation). Because Chinese dialect (it’s really fair to call some of these separate languages) pronunciations vary so much, the Communists invented a Romanization system (pinyin) so they they could teach their own people how to pronounce Mandarin.

    4. There’s no accounting for taste, but everyone can judge for themselves whether Arabic calligraphy is “beautiful” or not:

  93. ic1000 says:
    @Anonymous

    > Are Col. Siddiq and Arwan actually reliable though? It wouldn’t surprise me if the reaction to these disclosures is laughter at the gullibility of the Americans.

    My reading left me with a different impression, that the authors of those cables (field-grade foreign service officers, military attaches, and the like) were suited to this sort of intelligence-gathering in terms of area knowledge, language skills, common sense, and cynicism. But I have no claim to special insights.

    It seemed to me that the other side was in an excellent position to use the Wikileaks cables to re-evaluate the committments of the Siddiqs and Arwans to their causes. But AFAIK the circus moved on, without the legacy media taking much interest in whatever adverse consequences did (or didn’t) befall them.

    Probably best not to play at neo-colonialism, if that’s the best we can do.

  94. Jack D says:
    @Jim Don Bob

    The CIA is obviously not eager to disclose all of the details for many reasons but what I gather from what is publicly disclosed is that the Chinese hacked in to at least one of the supposedly “walled garden” systems that were used for communications between agents and handlers (not an insurmountable task and probably even expected) and once inside they found tunnels into the CIA’s system. These might or might not have been sufficient to siphon useful data from the CIA’s servers but they were at least sufficient to give away the agents as CIA assets and probably to discover all the other spokes in the wheel with the CIA at the hub and thus compromise the whole spy network.

    While this was probably not done at your local Starbucks, it probably WAS done in some PLA office building in Shanghai where all their hackers work.

    I don’t think it was the way that you describe at all based on what has been publicly released.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
    , @Jim Don Bob
  95. Sean says:
    @Prester John

    Well they told Michael Flynn then head of the DIA not to go to Moscow and visit GRU headquarters in 2013.

    It was during the visit and meeting with Sergun in Moscow, which the CIA had opposed Flynn going on, that Flynn was introduced to Sergey Kislyak; in December 2016 while he was Security Adviser for President Elect Trump, Flynn was caught apparently advising Kislyak how to get sanctions lifted by Trump after his inauguration; later that month Flynn asked Kislyak for encrypted communication with Moscow.[...] American intelligence officials found these developments extremely alarming and issues surrounding the dismissal of James Comey during an investigation into the Russia contacts of Flynn became central to the Russiagate investigation.

    The people who approached a Jewish-American working for the US government to spy for Israel told her it would help her get promoted–by the US government. Flynn was useless, his only qualification for being appointed head of the Defense Intelligence Agency was that he hated Iran. McMaster who replaced him as President Trump’s Security Advisor also hates Iran (Flynn and McMaster were well aware thet Iran was behind the killing of hundreds of US troops in Iraq). Brennan does not hate Iran, so it is good he is gone so that America can get on with destroying Iran.

  96. @Jack D

    The CIA is obviously not eager to disclose all of the details for many reasons but what I gather from what is publicly disclosed is that the Chinese hacked in to at least one of the supposedly “walled garden” systems that were used for communications between agents and handlers (not an insurmountable task and probably even expected) and once inside they found tunnels into the CIA’s system.

    We like to think that Feds have resources and expertise to deal with hackers that commercial establishments don’t. In reality, what network security people are going to work for the government when commercial establishments are paying some multiple of private sector salaries, plus stock options? Not the best. That is the meaning of the FBI not being able to unlock an iPhone to look at a terrorist’s call logs and text messages.

  97. @Sparkon

    Well, the Chinese L is a bit different from the English L sound, but it does exist. The greatest difficulty is the “th” phoneme as part of “the”, which is unique and does not exist in Chinese.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Reg Cæsar
    , @Sparkon
  98. J.Ross says: • Website

    How many failures before we recognize that the unaccountable cowboys of human intelligence and taxpayer-sponsored gangsterism represent a totally outdated model? There’s no success to be crawled back to. They’re not a talented guy burdened by alcoholism who needs to dry out, they’re more like a tumor.
    Break them up, cancel whoever needs to be cancelled, send people who understand how to plug something into a wall to clean toilets at the NSA, send people who are salvageable to fetch coffee at the DIA, and rip open their archives. And until that happens, understand that the C stands for Chinese.

  99. Anonymous[547] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sparkon

    Actually, it is the Japanese, and not the Chinese, who have the most trouble with L sounds in English. The Japanese syllabary has the sounds ra ri ru re ro, but no la li lu le lo, and so it is a Japanese who is most likely to pronounce English as “Engrish.”

    Well technically, the ra ri ru re ro is Romanji that corresponds to those 5 Japanese syllables (actually phonemes).

    ら ra り ri る ru れ re ろ ro.

    As someone who speaks some Japanese and one of those poor souls who pick up accents way faster than vocabulary, the consonent part of the phoneme is not an exact r or l in English. To my way of thinking it is some way in between an r, an l and a d, if you were going to draw a triangle representing those sounds the Japanese r/l/d is somewhere in the middle of the triangle.

    Since the actual consonant has no easily understood equivalent they use the English r.

    The reason why beginning speakers of any language sound so bad is that they (or you) approximate the foreign language in their own language rather than attempting to grok the sounds of the foreign language on its own terms because it is “too hard”. If you are one of those types who will continue to accumulate vocabulary but never bother to fix your pronunciation, you will provide a mixture of entertainment and frustration to your audience. Some of these types become professors, and it is often frustrating to their students. They know the vocab but to them it is sufficient to use the first order translation to their own phoneme set.

    There are those among English speakers who similarly butcher foreign languages. When you hear native Japanese speakers speak Japanese with a bad American accent said back to you with a laugh, well, we can understand why.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
    , @Anonymous
  100. Jack D says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    The English “th” exists in very few languages and is difficult to master for many non-native English speakers. Even the Irish, who are native speakers, shift it to “t”, probably because the Irish language also lacks this sound and this lack became part of the Irish version of English.

  101. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Jack D

    I never have encountered the problems in Chinglish that make Japanglish so hilarious. Chinese is a brutally pragmatic language that resembles computer syntax. Japanese people see themselves first as artists and poets, and, especially in dealing with foreign expressions, they have the fatal addiction starting with “deeper inner meaning.” So Chinese English might be graceless but you pretty much know what they want. Japanese English consistently looks like New Wave lyrics. Also, China was a vast empire with multicultural dealings for most of their history: whereas the Japanese do not recognize any non-native-born speaker as capable of fluency, the Chinese have a less-than-perfect acceptance category for non-Han decent speakers of Mandarin.
    If you could have instant ability in both languages, you would still probably prefer Chinese for an emergency and Japanese for an art gala. Excellent Japanese emergency workers exist, and competant Chinese art exists, but there is an objective difference in the languages.

  102. @Pericles

    Canada. They used Canadian technology and the plutonium produced by a Canadian supplied reactor in India to light off their first a-bomb in 1974, and this despite an undertaking to restrict the use of the reactor to peaceful purposes.

  103. Twinkie says:
    @Anonymous

    The U.S. military is getting a fairly large numbers of Chinese Americans joining. Many (most?) of them are without U.S. citizenship and plan to obtain it in boot camp. Most are going in as officers (have college degrees) with top secret clearances.

    Thread winner for multiple stupidity.

    • Agree: L Woods
    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Anonymous
  104. Anonymous[547] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    1. It’s not as insurmountable as it seems at 1st glance. A couple of thousand of characters will suffice for most purposes, just as you don’t know every obscure word in the dictionary. The characters themselves are not each unique – may characters are built up from other characters. It’s still not easy but once you begin to understand the setup, it’s not “Here – memorize 20,000 unique drawings and the meaning and sound associated with each one.”

    It is asymetrically hard though.

    You could technically create an English in the Japanese style, with the Chinese characters representing word meanings, and English appended like hiragana. If I can think it, some eccentric has probably done it.

    We kind of do this already with Latin and Greek word stems. Those word stems could be replacecd by the Chinese characters. In fact, in Japanese the Chinese characters have an “on yomi”, or “Chinese reading”. (That’s from memory what it’s called). Anyway, just like English is a lot of Saxon overlaid with borrowed Latin and Greek, so too is Japanese overlaid with borrowed Chinese terms. As islands off the coast of a continent, England and Japan have that in common.

    You probably realize this already.

    Japanese also has the Japanese reading of the Chinese characters. These often have two phonemes, whereas the Chinese will always have one (as far as I am aware). This would be like the Saxon words in English being assigned a Roman or Greek stem, read a different way.

  105. Sean says:
    @AndrewR

    Brennan is just bald

    http://evoandproud.blogspot.com/2018/07/does-fungus-cause-baldness.html
    Keep in mind that men in pre-modern societies were divided into age classes, and the transition from one class to the next was determined by visible physical changes: the growth spurt of childhood, the appearance of body and facial hair in adolescence and, finally, the loss of head hair later in life. By making its host lose his head hair prematurely, the Malassezia pathogen reassigns him to a class of older men who, except for the rich and powerful, deal with sexual dissatisfaction not by divorcing and remarrying (or by finding a mistress) but rather by frequenting prostitutes. The possibilities for transmission to a new host are thus increased many times over.

    When he made Cocoon, Wilford Brimley was 5 years younger than Tom Cruise is now. Ron Pearlman was the male lead in the Beauty and the Beast TV series, he has a great voice–and they gave him Fabio-style hair.

    Brennan, Perlman and Hamilton exhibit the opposite of Neanderthal features, all have moderate to small noses and cheekbones and very small eyes. Neanderthals had the opposite . The big eyes may have been for seeing in low light. Anyway, Neanderthals were furry all over.

    • Replies: @Anonym
  106. Bill P says:
    @AndrewR

    Of course not. They were needed. Nor were Japanese excluded. But they weren’t put in charge, and it was wartime.

    Say we had a hot war with Chinese, like in Korea. Chinese Americans would be helpful for things like interrogating prisoners and translating radio intercepts.

    But you really wouldn’t want them to have access to information that could spill over into the broader Chinese population, because it would get picked up by spies. This means no running assets, no knowledge of strategy, and no access to sensitive tech. They’d have to be kept out of the loop on a lot of stuff even if they were loyal, because they’d be likely to have contact with people who were not.

  107. Jack D says:
    @Twinkie

    There was one high profile case like this:

    https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/07/08/immigrant-phd-candidate-rocked-by-sudden-us-army-discharge/

    and indeed a few similarly situated immigrants have been discharged for “we can’t tell you” reasons. There may be valid specific security grounds in these cases or they may just be the usual bureaucratic incompetence. This is sort of bureaucratic heaven – we can do any dumb shit we want for the most petty reasons and you have no right to question our decisions. I’m pretty sure they aren’t “racism”. I wouldn’t discount bureaucratic stupidity but then again it was stupid to put foreign nationals in the US Army to begin with – does the PLA take Americans? I doubt there was real actionable intelligence because then they should have court martialed the guys and not just discharged them.

    But generalizing this to “many/most” is an overreach. I’m pretty sure that the most common type of Chinese American soldier is American born and goes in as an enlisted man.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
    , @Twinkie
  108. @DuanDiRen

    Can you explain that last sentence a bit? It sounds important.

  109. Anonym says:
    @Stan Adams

    That personal ad is disturbing: “Handsome Single White Gay Male, 24 years old, 160 pounds, seeks Black Gay Male or White Gay Male for gentle sadomasochism, moderate bondage, some leather, twosome or threesome okay, have own equipment, wheels, 988-8752 leave message on answering machine, no weirdos please.”

    That “no weirdos” bit is gold.

    There must be subsets of subsets of subsets of weirdos eventually terminating in Jeffrey Dahmer, and maybe even he had his own definition of weirdos who he would not associate with. e.g. “Kind of strange looking SWGM, seeks mulatto Gay Male for rough sadomasochism, some head drilling, have own equipment, no weirdos please.”

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
  110. Anonymous[266] • Disclaimer says:
    @Twinkie

    Thread winner for multiple stupidity.

    Whatever. Chinese U.S. residents and/or first-generation Chinese-Americans. While I have direct knowledge of the military recruiting process you only think you do because of some second-hand, past experience. And yes, non-citizens go through SSBI’s for TS if their MOS requires it and get citizenship expedited in boot camp/OCS. All U.S. military recruits go through at least a secret-level clearance investigation. And the U.S. military is recruiting large numbers of non-U.S. citizens (including Chinese).

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  111. @Jack D

    The CIA operation in Cuba was a complete disaster and even if it been provided Naval support it would still have been a disaster. The CIA operation in Laos during the Vietnam War has almost entirely been unreported but it too proved to be an extremely expensive fiasco with US assets being employed in a most unfathomable manneer. How anyone in our Defense Department could possibly believe the CIA would enhance victory in Laos is a mystery since victory in that war was not an option to begin with.

  112. BB753 says:
    @Bill P

    We need a complete revamping of our intelligence agencies.

    • Replies: @L Woods
  113. The CIA had imported the system from its Middle East operations, where the online environment was considerably less hazardous, and apparently underestimated China’s ability to penetrate it.

    Hmmm, worked in lower IQ countries but not in a high IQ country.

  114. @Jack D

    But generalizing this to “many/most” is an overreach. I’m pretty sure that the most common type of Chinese American soldier is American born and goes in as an enlisted man.

    I think it’s a mixed bag. I know of, through acquaintances, a couple of Chinese-born US Army officers who are literate in Chinese, which presumably means they spent some of their formative years in China. These men are straight arrow types and not exactly fond of the Chinese government.

    Is it worth the security risk? It’s a balancing act. On the one hand, we could use some of their knowledge re Chinese linguistic and cultural nuances in China-specific situations. Then there’s also the issue of having pre-vetted personnel in the event of a major conflagration with China, at which point we’ll need as many Chinese speakers as we did Japanese speakers during the Pacific War. I’d lean on the side of Gorbachev’s “Trust, but verify”. Although it’s unclear whether today’s all-pervasive political correctness allows for the proctological level of “verify” that is essential, as these foreign-born recruits progress up the ranks.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  115. @Johann Ricke

    Steve Hsu, for example, is descended from anti-Maoist Nationalist elites.

  116. @El Dato

    Pretty amazing, in a sickening kind of way.

    And those who were actually trying to protect against terrorism were getting impeded or worse by the careerist creatures of the inaptly named intelligence community. Thousands had to die to secure those people’s rides up the greasy pole in Babylon on the Potomac. Probably they felt just like Madelyn Albright, who characterized the preventable deaths of Iraqi children because of sanctions aimed at Saddam as “worth it”, but with even less justification.

  117. @Joe Stalin

    Apparently, ChiCom forces fooled the US military in the Korean War though Sigint:

    That is pretty impressive. The success of the Chinese intervention had Monday morning quarterbacks cursing MacArthur as a bumbling idiot. In reality, he was a little too trusting of the people who had admittedly done yeoman’s work in figuring out both German and Japanese battle plans just years before. And the unification of Korea under American tutelage before the Chinese could intervene in force would have been a major accomplishment. But it was not to be.

  118. Sparkon says:
    @Anonymous

    Fair point about Japanese pronunciation of ら ra り ri る ru れ re ろ ro not corresponding exactly to English pronunciation of those Romanji. In fact, Japanese R sounds are rolled a little, not unlike Spanish but certainly not to the extent of Russian. To my ear, Japanese R can sound close to D in some words, but never like L.

    But the Japanese get mixed up too. I once saw a big illuminated sign in a Japanese electronics store: STELEO.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  119. Svigor says:

    It was considered one of the CIA’s worst failures in decades: Over a two-year period starting in late 2010, Chinese authorities systematically dismantled the agency’s network of agents across the country, executing dozens of suspected U.S. spies. But since then, a question has loomed over the entire debacle.

    This stuff is great in recruiting videos. Makes all the Chinese kids want to sign up. Maybe a Chin wrote the broken comm software, and they can put that into the video, too.

    Now, nearly eight years later, it appears that the agency botched the communication system it used to interact with its sources, according to five current and former intelligence officials. The CIA had imported the system from its Middle East operations, where the online environment was considerably less hazardous, and apparently underestimated China’s ability to penetrate it.

    WTF was wrong with dead drops? Idiots.

  120. Svigor says:
    @anony-mouse

    The CIA had 30 (but maybe more) assets in China. That’s it?

    It’s pretty common for these things to be compartmentalized. So, no, that’s probably not “it.”

  121. Svigor says:
    @Anonym

    Guess like them, and Carville, have to be bigmouthed leftists, if they want to be political. The leftist mockery would be too great, otherwise.

  122. @Jack D

    I was not clear enough. I was referring to the OPM theft of personnel files as being an inside job.

    Jack is correct as usual, though it still boggles my mind how sloppy the CIA must have been. Even your Comcast router has the FTP port closed, and there are port scanning tools you can run against your network to look for holes. Gross incompetence indeed.

  123. Anonymous[547] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sparkon

    To my ear, Japanese R can sound close to D in some words, but never like L.

    It’s closer to L than standard English R. Position your tongue in each sound.

    Also note the slight pursing of your lips with R, the Japanese sound doesn’t have that. In that it is like the L.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  124. @Anonym

    Some time ago, I read an article about men who have … relations with animals. One guy had a thing for dolphins.

    The reporter asked him, “Do you prefer male dolphins or female dolphins?”

    “Female dolphins,” he replied. “What do you think I am, a pervert?”

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  125. @Daniel Chieh

    The weirdest sound in Chinese doesn’t sound weird to us, because it’s the weirdest sound in English as well: the letter R. It’s so weird, half of us drop it at the end of a syllable.

    Rs around the world are trilled (Spanish, Russian), swallowed (French, Danish), or both, whether alternately (Portuguese) or simultaneously (German).

    But Pekinese Mandarin and English have this weird, lippy R which is hard to describe (I’ve seen an Italian text try) and has to be heard.

    Our TH is weird, too, but still exists sporadically on the continent– Spanish, Danish, Greek. So most Europeans aren’t that far away from a “lithper”.

  126. Anonymous[294] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    What insights can linguistic experience bring?

    Imagine eating food after losing your senses of taste and smell.

    Think of all the subtleties of language e.g. in corporate communications. “We’re committed to X” does NOT mean you have a deal. (In fact, the term usually implies the opposite.)

    Many such subtleties are NECESSARILY lost in all but the most sublime translations.

    In addition, routine translations typically include lots of plain, careless mistakes that may be hard to spot from reading only the translation.

    Even peer-reviewed translations, e.g. information provided by U.S. government departments in foreign languages, almost invariably contain at least some errors. (This is separate from the issue of different translation styles. Some translations are simply WRONG.)

    Imagine an article in a Chinese military publication recommending changes to military doctrine. The article will involve lots of technical terminology that may have a peculiar meaning, e.g. to Chinese naval officers. Perhaps the author will try to redefine some of those terms. How much of the terminology will be understood by an “analyst” reading the document at one remove, weeks after it first appeared?

    A literate analyst would be able to identify and flag important developments in real time. An illiterate analyst will often miss subtle changes entirely.

    Would Russia’s GRU or SVR employ analysts who are illiterate in Chinese and Western languages? (Hint – former KGB officer Vladimir V. Putin speaks and reads fluent German, and insisted on having his daughters educated in several languages.)

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  127. @Stan Adams

    Some time ago, I read an article about men who have … relations with animals. One guy had a thing for dolphins.

    I don’t see the porpoise in that. If one of them invites you to an orcan orgy, tell him to stick it in his blowhole. Or just flipper him the bird.

    Zoöphiles (three syllables, please) have their own little safe corners on the internet. They call their predilection “zoo” for short, though I can’t tell you how many syllables that has.

    Ζωοφιλία

  128. @Bill P

    Yes. You’ve described the situation very well.

  129. @Anonymous

    “Imagine eating food after losing your senses of taste and smell. ”

    Lots of people who have cancer in the head area get radiation treatment that damages their sense of taste. Unfortunately, no amount of shielding to shield the tongue (only so much space in the mouth) can supply the necessary attenuation to prevent this damage at the energy levels of the particle accelerators.

    Does this impact the life view of cancer sufferers vis-a-vis wanting to live?

    I am told it does.

  130. Sparkon says:
    @Anonymous

    It’s closer to L than standard English R

    Excuse me, but I must disagree.

    I lived in Japan for several years, and have studied Japanese extensively under excellent instructors. In all that time — going back to 1966 — I have never heard any native Japanese speaker who ever pronounced any R sound as L.

    Indeed, the well-known Japanese inability to pronounce an L sound is the reason the Americans in the Pacific during WWII used passwords with a lot of Ls like Lollapalooza, which few — if any — Japanese can pronounce convincingly.

    Good luck with your Japanese.
    Gambatte

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  131. Corvinus says:

    Meanwhile, we have one of our own intelligence assets neutered by a presidential administration for, get this,”erratic” behavior and lack of “credibility”. And, of course, why would anyone want to NOTICE that development…

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @Svigor
  132. George says:

    “The attitude was that we’ve got this, we’re untouchable,”

    Could IQ explain this. To be smart enough to be a crypto analyst in the US I am guessing IQ 130 is good enough, but in in China I would guess 150. So HBD is manifesting itself as Rushton predicted. US IQ trumps middle eastern but US IQ is Trumped by East Asian.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @L Woods
  133. @Jack D

    Points taken, but not necessarily agreed with.

    I spent 4 years living and working amongst the Ummah, so you will need to forgive me with regard to my opinions about their so-called “culture”.

  134. Anonymous[338] • Disclaimer says:
    @m___

    Global-homo is the ideology of equalism throughout the world and in all things.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @m___
  135. Anonymous[338] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    How does one go about learning correct pronunciation of a language? Are there specialized tutors? Online resources?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  136. Anonymous[338] • Disclaimer says:
    @George

    To be smart enough to be a crypto analyst in the US I am guessing IQ 130 is good enough

    Why the difference?

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    , @Svigor
  137. L Woods says:
    @BB753

    “We” do? Be careful what you wish for.

    • LOL: BB753
  138. Dan Hayes says:
    @Anonymous

    Anonymous[338]:

    Regarding higher IQ requirements for Chinese crypto analysts, I’m sure that George can supply a more definitive answer but mine is that inferior Chinese infrastructure concomitantly requires higher IQ.

  139. Bill B. says:
    @Bill P

    For the last 25 years or so academic and government Sinology has been turned over to ethnic Chinese, often first-generation or foreign born (increasingly, with Confucius institutes, our universities are outsourcing it straight to the PRC). It’s easier in a way, because they grew up with the culture and language, but from a security standpoint it’s a terrible idea.

    Good point.

    I have also never understood the objection to having home-grown Sinologists, or Orientalists, Arabists, whatever, analyze and make recommendations. Clearly even the most linguistically qualified and intelligent outside observer is not going to appreciate all that nuances of a culture as a native of the country can but he is analyzing precisely as someone centered in his own culture and nation with its particular priorities. Some of the greatest modern mistakes of foreign policy have been made because the ‘insiders’ were thought to know best.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  140. Bill B. says:
    @Anonymous

    The problem of ordinary Americans in the security services being linguistically challenged is only an irritant to be overcome when one has secure borders and sensible (slow) immigration polices. Mass immigration (and student, researcher, entrepreneur) invasion is linguistically overwhelming unless one believes that the newcomers automatically monitor themselves and ‘betray’ their ethnic brethren.

    The CCP is upping the ante bigly by making strenuous efforts to staple overseas Chinese firmly to the patriotic diaspora.

    • Replies: @Kibernetika
  141. Romanian says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    Remember him?

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-naval-officer-charged-with-spying-for-china-a6979451.html

    A US Naval officer has been accused of spying against America and passing on secrets to China. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

    Reports in the US media said Lt Cmdr Edward Lin worked as a flight officer on the Navy’s sensitive intelligence gathering aircraft, the EP-3E Reconnaissance.
    ……………
    Mr Lin was originally from Taiwan and became a US citizen in 2008.

    A profile about him appeared on the Navy’s website in 2008, and in it he spoke about becoming an American national.

    “I always dreamed about coming to America, the promised land,” he said. “I grew up believing that all the roads in America lead to Disneyland.”

    • Replies: @Jack D
  142. Jack D says:
    @Romanian

    It turned out that he wasn’t spying for China at all. They did manage to entrap him and ruin his life though.

    https://news.usni.org/2017/06/02/edward-lin-will-serve-6-years-mishandling-classified-information-not-reporting-foreign-contacts

    • Replies: @Romanian
    , @Johann Ricke
  143. Anonymous[206] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Taking it to physics, it is the Heat Death of the Universe —- same temperature everywhere and all action stops.

  144. Romanian says: • Website
    @Jack D

    Had no idea! Well, that sucks!

  145. Jack D says:
    @Bill B.

    Some of the greatest modern mistakes of foreign policy have been made because the ‘insiders’ were thought to know best.

    Absolutely. We should never have let a Vietnamese like McNamara run our Vietnam policy.

    • LOL: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    , @Sparkon
  146. Mr. Anon says:
    @Corvinus

    Meanwhile, we have one of our own intelligence assets neutered by a presidential administration for, get this,”erratic” behavior and lack of “credibility”. And, of course, why would anyone want to NOTICE that development…

    Brennan isn’t an asset. He is a liability.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  147. Svigor says:
    @Corvinus

    Yeah gather the torches and pitchforks, let’s get top secret security clearance back for the retired commie nutcase who never should have had it in the first place. A national crisis, itz.

    Do you and tiny dick share notes?

  148. Svigor says:
    @Anonymous

    There are a billion+ people in China, so their smart fraction is a lot bigger?

  149. Mr. Anon says:
    @anony-mouse

    The CIA had 30 (but maybe more) assets in China. That’s it?

    They might have more. Of course, those might be clamming up after seeing what happens to those who get caught.

  150. @Jack D

    It turned out that he wasn’t spying for China at all. They did manage to entrap him and ruin his life though.

    That is just lame. They should have just demoted the guy. Compare his treatment to what happened to Petraeus. It’s good to have friends in high places.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Petraeus#Criminal_charges_and_probation

  151. m___ says:
    @Anonymous

    Thanks, not many contexts in which the term is used.

  152. Sparkon says:

    Actually, to be fair, in October 1963, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara had recommended U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam. Acting on the report from McNamara and Gen. Maxwell Taylor, and not long before he was assassinated, Pres. Kennedy had ordered a phased withdrawal from Vietnam to begin.

    On October 2, 1963, Kennedy received the report of a mission to Saigon by McNamara and Maxwell Taylor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). The main recommendations … of the McNamara-Taylor report, were that a phased withdrawal be completed by the end of 1965 and that the “Defense Department should announce in the very near future presently prepared plans to withdraw 1,000 out of 17,000 U.S. military personnel stationed in Vietnam by the end of 1963.” At Kennedy’s instruction, Press Secretary Pierre Salinger made a public announcement that evening of McNamara’s recommended timetable for withdrawal.
    [...]
    A careful review of the October 2 meeting makes clear that McNamara’s account is essentially accurate and even to some degree understated. One can hear McNamara—the voice is unmistakable—arguing for a firm timetable to withdraw all U.S. forces from Vietnam, whether the war can be won in 1964, which he doubts, or not. McNamara is emphatic: “We need a way to get out of Vietnam, and this is a way of doing it.”
    [...]
    In other words, the CIA began developing intensified plans to implement OPLAN 34A, the program of seaborne raids and sabotage against North Vietnam that would lead to the Gulf of Tonkin incident and eventually to the wider war, one day before President Johnson signed the directive authorizing that action. How this happened, and its precise significance, remains to be determined.

    Exit Strategy: In 1963, JFK ordered a complete withdrawal from Vietnam

  153. Anonymous[547] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sparkon

    I was going to ask “Did you read what I wrote with comprehension?” but then I realized what I said did not convey what I meant it to.

    Imagine a continuum with English R on the right, and English L on the left. (It’s my imaginary triangle without the D point, flattened into just R vs L). Where does the Japanese sound fit on that line? Is it beyond the R? More exaggerated? No. One of the reasons for that is the lack of lip pursing. But also the tongue is not as curled as the English R. Hence it is somewhere in the middle. Where it is exactly is an open question. You may think it’s closer than halfway than the R, and I don’t have a firm opinion where exactly it is.

    Going back to the R/L/D triangle, I would put the dot of the Japanese sound as halfway between R and L and maybe 1/3 towards the D.

    This is why English speakers make jokes about Flied Lice. Because to our ears, they also butcher the R sound. In any case, I am not the only one to have this view. Others might form their own opinion and comment.

    I lived in Japan for a year also as an exchange student, fully immersed in the language. I had multiple Japanese teachers during that time as well as the day to day experience of speaking it. I think partly because it was a formative time (and also because it’s the way I am), my accent got good enough to be regarded as excellent but I did not pick up enough vocabulary to say, discuss politics for example.

  154. Anonymous[547] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    I learned as an exchange student to Japan for 1 year. No doubt there are other methods. Other people try to correct you also, and gradually you get better with practice.

  155. @Bill B.

    “The CCP is upping the ante bigly by making strenuous efforts to staple overseas Chinese firmly to the patriotic diaspora.”

    I like that sentence. It’s so 2018 :) Stapling is an interesting verb to use, too.

  156. Corvinus says:
    @Mr. Anon

    “Brennan isn’t an asset. He is a liability.”

    Who? Whom?

  157. @Jack D

    Jack: You’ve had your Sarc meter set to 11 lately!

  158. Sparkon says:
    @Jack D

    If it seemed abrupt, my #160–about McNamara’s recommendation in 1963 to get out of Vietnam–was meant to be in response, but I failed to hit the ‘reply’ button again after I aborted the post the first time to correct something.

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/your-intelligence-communitys-intelligence/#comment-2471935

  159. Sparkon says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Getting back to Chinese for a minute, I wanted to ask if you had followed Jonathan Revusky’s article at UR on Betty Ong? You may recall that Ms. Ong was the relatively famous flight attendant aboard AA11 said to have crashed into WTC 1 on 9/11.

    There was a side discussion about Betty’s Chinese name of 鄧月薇 or Deng Yuwei. which appears on her memorial plaque at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in the Chinatown district of San Francisco, as you can see in the photo here:

    http://www.unz.com/article/revisiting-911-betty-ong-and-the-mystery-of-black-betty/#comment-2303125

    Unfortunately, Revusky got himself booted from UR, but I was impressed with his knowledge of hanzi, the Han characters, which as Jack D noted, have the same meaning for most Chinese, even though the hanzi may be pronounced differently, and this fact, I would argue, contributes strongly to China’s cohesion as a nation.

    Anyway, this Chinese name of Deng Yuwei for Betty Ong is a mystery. My guess is that Deng Yuwei might have been bestowed upon Ong after her death by Chinese relatives as some kind of honorary or ceremonial name, but I’m hoping you may be able to shed some light on this mystery.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  160. Sparkon says:
    @Sparkon

    I somehow flubbed the English spelling of Betty Ong’s Chinese name. Deng Yuwei should be Deng Yuewei (鄧月薇 or 邓月薇 – Dèng Yuèwēi.)

    Here’s the link to her Chinese Wikipedia article:

    https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%82%93%E6%9C%88%E8%96%87

    邓月薇(英语:Betty Ann Ong,1956年2月5日-2001年9月11日),祖籍廣東省開平市赤坎鎮小海村委會龍安村,出生于美国加利福尼亚州旧金山。她是美国航空公司的一名空服員。2001年9月11日早上,邓月薇在美国航空公司第11号班机上值勤,该航班起飞后不久即被恐怖分子劫持。

    Deng Yuewei (English: Betty Ann Ong, February 5, 1956 – September 11, 2001), [Born] Ancestral home in Longan Village, Xiaohai Village Committee, Chikan Town, Kaiping City, Guangdong Province, was born in San Francisco, California. She is was a flight attendant at American Airlines. On the morning of September 11, 2001, Deng Yuewei was on duty on American Airlines Flight No. 11, which was hijacked by terrorists shortly after takeoff.

  161. Regret says:
    @Mr. Anon

    I’m prepared to believe the story about communications being insufficiently secure. Taking the communications system which had proved invincible in the Middle East, deploying it in China, and just expecting the same performance sounds like exactly the kind of mistake you might make if you believed there was no meaningful difference between Arabs or Persians and Chinese people.

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