Smoke and mirrors – CIA in Ukraine

From The Gateway Pundit:

I apologize on not writing about the NY Times article by  Adam Entous and Michael SchwirtzThe Spy War: How the C.I.A. Secretly Helps Ukraine Fight Putin, before now but my schedule did not give me the time I needed to do the subject justice. I was inundated with requests for a comment by several media outlets and did my best to accommodate those in radio and TV interviews.

Ukraine Intel Chief Budanov

The key thing you need to understand is that this article is a deliberate piece of misinformation that is intended to shape public and policymaking opinion in the United States. The following opening to the article, like all propaganda, is a mixture of fact and fantasy.

the intelligence partnership between Washington and Kyiv is a linchpin of Ukraine’s ability to defend itself. The C.I.A. and other American intelligence agencies provide intelligence for targeted missile strikes, track Russian troop movements and help support spy networks.

But the partnership is no wartime creation, nor is Ukraine the only beneficiary.

It took root a decade ago, coming together in fits and starts under three very different U.S. presidents, pushed forward by key individuals who often took daring risks. It has transformed Ukraine, whose intelligence agencies were long seen as thoroughly compromised by Russia, into one of Washington’s most important intelligence partners against the Kremlin today.

Yes, it is true that U.S. intelligence, along with NATO, supplied Ukraine with intelligence used to carry out missile strikes on Russian positions. Admitting this in the pages of the NY Times is reckless and dangerous. I am pretty sure the Russians already knew this but putting this on the record with U.S. intelligence sources is a casus belli for Russia. Can you imagine the reaction if Russian intelligence confirmed they provided intel to a group or country that attacked the U.S.? Do you think Washington would ignore that and not seek retribution? Of course not.

But the article starts with the big lie by claiming that the CIA relationship with Ukraine started in February 2022 and then piles on with these two whoppers:

Before the war, the Ukrainians proved themselves to the Americans by collecting intercepts that helped prove Russia’s involvement in the 2014 downing of a commercial jetliner, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. The Ukrainians also helped the Americans go after the Russian operatives who meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The Maidan and the ensuing events in February and March 2014 involved what I believe was a joint U.S./U.K. intelligence operation to remove Ukraine’s President Yanukovich and install a pro-Western government that would be used to attack Russia. The fact of the matter is that the CIA has been dealing with Ukrainian opponents of Russia since at least 1947.

The propaganda purpose of the article is revealed by the decision of the reporters to repeat the specious claims that Russia shot down Malaysia Airlines flight 17 and that Russia “meddled” in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. We have had a slew of revelations over the last two months, principally from Matt Taibbi and Michael Schellenberger, showing that it was the Clinton campaign with the help of the CIA and the FBI who meddled in the 2016 Presidential campaign in a failed effort to defeat Donald Trump. Entous and Schwirtz insert the bogus claim that Ukraine fingered the Russian officer responsible for “election interference.”

In one joint operation, a HUR team duped an officer from Russia’s military intelligence service into providing information that allowed the C.I.A. to connect Russia’s government to the so-called Fancy Bear hacking group, which had been linked to election interference efforts in a number of countries.

No. Fancy Bear was a CIA creation that used Vault 7 tools to create a fake cyber trail that implicated Russian intelligence. I discussed the CIA’s role in this operation four years ago in my piece, DID JOHN BRENNAN’S CIA CREATE GUCCIFER 2.0 AND DCLEAKS? Here is the relevant portion of that piece:

In October 2015 John Brennan reorganized the CIA. As part of that reorganization he created a new directorate–DIRECTORATE OF DIGITAL INNOVATION. Its mission was to “manipulate digital footprints.” In other words, this was the Directorate that did the work of creating Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks. One of their specialties, creating Digital Dust.

We also know, thanks to Wikileaks, that the CIA was using software specifically designed to mask CIA activity and make it appear like it was done by a foreign entity. Wikipedia describes the Vault 7 documents:

Vault 7 is a series of documents that WikiLeaks began to publish on 7 March 2017, that detail activities and capabilities of the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency to perform electronic surveillance and cyber warfare. The files, dated from 2013–2016, include details on the agency’s software capabilities, such as the ability to compromise cars, smart TVs,[1] web browsers (including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera Software ASA),[2][3][4] and the operating systems of most smartphones (including Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android), as well as other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux[5][6

One of the tools in Vault 7 carries the innocuous name, MARBLE. Hackernews explains the purpose and function of MARBLE:

Dubbed “Marble,” the part 3 of CIA files contains 676 source code files of a secret anti-forensic Marble Framework, which is basically an obfuscator or a packer used to hide the true source of CIA malware.
The CIA’s Marble Framework tool includes a variety of different algorithm with foreign language text intentionally inserted into the malware source code to fool security analysts and falsely attribute attacks to the wrong nation.

Marble is used to hamper[ing] forensic investigators and anti-virus companies from attributing viruses, trojans and hacking attacks to the CIA,” says the whistleblowing site.

“…for example by pretending that the spoken language of the malware creator was not American English, but Chinese, but then showing attempts to conceal the use of Chinese, drawing forensic investigators even more strongly to the wrong conclusion,” WikiLeaks explains.

So guess what gullible techies “discovered” in mid-June 2016? The meta data in the Guccifer 2.0 communications had “Russian fingerprints.”

The goal of the Entous/Schwirtz article is simple — portray the CIA as a great organization that did magnificent work in Ukraine but was not able to complete the mission of destroying Russia because the Republican Congress failed to provide funding and the Ukrainian intelligence service was uncontrollable.

Entous and Schwirtz present an emotional account of CIA and UK spies trying to warn Ukrainian officials that Russia was going to invade. Hell, the Brits even cried. But, despite Ukrainian recalcitrance, the CIA would not abandon Ukraine:

President Zelensky and some of his top advisers appeared unconvinced, even after Mr. Burns, the C.I.A. director, rushed to Kyiv in January 2022 to brief them.

As the Russian invasion neared, C.I.A. and MI6 officers made final visits in Kyiv with their Ukrainian peers. One of the MI6 officers teared up in front of the Ukrainians, out of concern that the Russians would kill them.

At Mr. Burns’s urging, a small group of C.I.A. officers were exempted from the broader U.S. evacuation and were relocated to a hotel complex in western Ukraine. They didn’t want to desert their partners.

We’re then treated to a litany of all the incredible secrets the CIA passed to Ukraine about Russia’s plans to murder the government and military leaders in Kiev. But we’re also told that the CIA trained Ukie intel squads are something of a Rogue Elephant.

At the time, the future head of Ukraine’s military intelligence agency, General Budanov, was a rising star in Unit 2245. He was known for daring operations behind enemy lines and had deep ties to the C.I.A. The agency had trained him and also taken the extraordinary step of sending him for rehabilitation to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland after he was shot in the right arm during fighting in the Donbas.

Disguised in Russian uniforms, then-Lt. Col. Budanov led commandos across a narrow gulf in inflatable speedboats, landing at night in Crimea.

But an elite Russian commando unit was waiting for them. The Ukrainians fought back, killing several Russian fighters, including the son of a general, before retreating to the shoreline, plunging into the sea and swimming for hours to Ukrainian-controlled territory.

It was a disaster. In a public address, President Putin accused the Ukrainians of plotting a terrorist attack and promised to avenge the deaths of the Russian fighters.

“There is no doubt that we will not let these things pass,” he said.

In Washington, the Obama White House was livid. Joseph R. Biden Jr., then the vice president and a champion of assistance to Ukraine, called Ukraine’s president to angrily complain.

Got it? Budanov is a reckless, out of control spy. Message delivered. Entous and Schwirtz then return to the narrative of how great a job the CIA did in protecting Ukraine from the Russians. For example, they recount how the CIA informed Zelensky that Ukraine had stopped the Russian invasion cold at the end of March 2022:

When the Russian assault on Kyiv had stalled, the C.I.A. station chief rejoiced and told his Ukrainian counterparts that they were “punching the Russians in the face,” according to a Ukrainian officer who was in the room.

This is not true. It is a lie. Not a word is written about the negotiations that were underway in Turkey between Russia and Ukraine that had reached an agreement in principle until the U.S. and the U.K. intervened and ordered the Ukrainians to walk away. Can’t have that in this narrative. Nope. Got to find someone else to blame for the unfolding debacle. And Entous and Schwirtz oblige with this off-hand paragraph at the end of their piece:

The question that some Ukrainian intelligence officers are now asking their American counterparts — as Republicans in the House weigh whether to cut off billions of dollars in aid — is whether the C.I.A. will abandon them. “It happened in Afghanistan before and now it’s going to happen in Ukraine,” a senior Ukrainian officer said.

The answer to that question is left hanging. Entous and Schwirtz did their job — they polished up the CIA turd and laid the foundation of blame for the looming defeat at the hands of the Republican Congress and an out-of-control Ukrainian intel chief, Budanov. Once you grasp this you can understand why Kiril Budanov has been on the record in the press this week denying the U.S. claim that Putin killed Russian-dissident Nalvani and that Russia is using Iranian and North Korean missiles. Looks like Budanov understands he can no longer count on the CIA to have his back.

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