Good afternoon! Blessings on you and your family, and from all the Huckabee staff!
Today's newsletter includes:
- Russia Advances on Kyiv
- War in Ukraine: Day One Impressions by Col. Ken Allard
- NOW YOU KNOW: Durham reveals how we're ALL spied on
- And much more
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Russia Advances on Kyiv
Because of the fast-moving nature of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, I can’t give up-to-the-minute updates in our newsletter. But Fox News has a page that features the latest bulletins. Bookmark it and check in regularly to stay up to date:
In the meantime, please keep praying for the people of Ukraine. To cover what’s happened since yesterday:
Russia launched an air, sea and ground attack, targeting the capital of Kyiv and the second-largest city Kharkov, and launching troops north from Crimea. President Zelensky reported 137 Ukrainians killed and over 300 wounded on the first day. Among the dead were 13 far-outnumbered soldiers on Snake Island, who when ordered to surrender by a Russian military ship, responded with a message that I can’t repeat here, but that I am sure will be remembered in the annals of military bravery for eternity.
The Kremlin says that Putin is prepared to send a delegation to negotiate with Ukrainian officials about the “neutral” status of Ukraine, which basically means surrendering and installing a puppet government if they want to stop his army from killing innocent people.
Russia claims it’s now surrounded and cut off Kyiv from the outside world and captured an important cargo airport. It’s reported that saboteurs have entered some neighborhoods where shots and explosions have been heard. The mayor said, “The enemy wants to put the capital on its knees and destroy us." The city has entered a defensive posture, and it’s reported that Ukrainians are fighting back with personal arms.
The Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister said he’s working with the General Prosecutor's Office on a war crimes case against Russia, citing attacks on a kindergarten and an orphanage as examples. He said, "We are collecting this and other facts, which we will immediately send to the Hague. Responsibility is inevitable." That would be more comforting if I believed that a thug like Putin who would attack a kindergarten and an orphanage cares what the Hague says about him.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world, which used to be led by America, is still scrambling to formulate a response to the brutal Russian invasion.
Some nations seem to be having difficulty even deciding which side they’re on. You’d think that Germany would have figured out by now that invading other people’s countries is bad.
I am trying VERY hard not to criticize our President during a military crisis, but Ukraine’s President isn’t subject to that rule. He ripped the leaders of other powerful nations for “watching from afar” and imposing toothless sanctions while Ukrainians are fighting for their lives against a massive invading army.
Let’s just say that Biden’s response was not favorably reviewed as inspiring. It was noted that he contradicted his previous statements by claiming that he always knew sanctions wouldn’t deter Putin from invading.
But then he went ahead and declared that there would be more sanctions. But they won’t include sanctions on Russia’s oil industry which provides the greatest source of revenue for funding Putin’s military. That’s because too many other nations are dependent on Russian oil.
They’re so dependent on Russia for oil partly because they can’t get it from us, since Biden declared war on our domestic fuel industry in the name of “climate change,” a war he’s refusing to call off, even under a court injunction to do so.
...And even though it would give us a freer hand to deal with Russia if we weren’t also now dependent on buying over 600,000 barrels a day of Russian oil. As the Independent Sentinel reports, the Keystone Pipeline would have delivered 850,000 barrels a day, but Biden shut that project down and refuses to restart it.
In short, it’s looking as if there will be a more effective response to Putin’s aggression from the general public than from our voluntarily-neutered leaders. For instance, despite Russia’s harsh oppression of dissenters (Putin is even less tolerant of dissent than Justin Trudeau), some Russians are willingly risking jail to take to the streets and protest the invasion.
And while Putin has threatened the world with his notorious Russian cyberterrorists, the shadowy hacker group Anonymous seemingly has declared cyber war on Putin. They released a statement directed toward the Russian people saying that they know it’s hard for them to speak out against their government and that their planned smashing of Russia’s Internet servers is aimed entirely at Putin and his government, not them. Never thought I'd be on the side of Anonymous, but in this case, the enemy of our enemy is our friend.
War in Ukraine: Day One Impressions by Col. Ken Allard
If you have never studied war, then the Russian aerial bombardments might have been shocking. So too the long lines of would-be refugees jamming every highway; even more, the horrid specter of blood-stained Ukrainian citizens desperately seeking to save their lives.
But having studied war for most of my adult life, particularly Soviet and Russian military science, the opening hours of the attack contained few surprises. Just as western analysts expected, the Russians opened with heavy missile bombardments against command-and-control targets. Shortly thereafter, armored forces moved smartly across border outposts, rapidly converging into strategic axes from three different directions. Their probable objective: a decapitation strike aimed at the capital of Kiev, where a Russian puppet would presumably be installed.
However, my dominant initial impressions were that the initial phases of the attack seemed short of the massive firepower - particularly artillery, the vaunted Red God of War - that has always commenced attacks since the Soviet era. As the progenitors of information warfare - explored as “radio-electronic combat” - one also would have expected Internet websites, GPS and all social media across Ukraine to have “gone dark” from the war’s first moments. Why did it not?
Remembering my days at NBC News, I watched as my latter-day successors sketched out the advances of Russian combat formations, some of which seemed more tentative than an all-out blitzkrieg. Occasionally, someone would note that Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Europe. Actually, it’s even larger than Texas, which is where I live. Has anyone remembered to check the scale of those maps, remembering how quickly terrain can challenge even the most mobile ground forces? Remember above all: countries may be easy to invade but much tougher to conquer, particularly against insurgents who are well-armed and intent on selling their lives dearly. Bottom Line: We haven’t yet seen Russian “shock and awe” so stay tuned!
That said: My dominant Day One impression was that Joe Biden is horribly miscast as a wartime president. In his televised remarks from the East Room on Thursday, he mostly conveyed the impression that he was channeling Neville Chamberlain, holding out the forlorn hope that economic sanctions might achieve “peace in our time.” For the record, folks, there are only two kinds of sanctions: the ones that don’t work at all; and the ones that do but cause wars. So which ones are you announcing, Mr. President, and why on earth do you think Vladimir Putin regards you and the people around you with anything less than contempt? My friend Fred Fleitz, formerly Chief of Staff for the National Security Council, said yesterday that Biden needs to sack most of his national security team “because they are second stringers.” Former Speaker Newt Gingrich was one of several Fox analysts to recommend that Biden reverse his support of climate change and use American energy capabilities to drive Russian oil companies out of business.
I smiled when the Speaker said that. While teaching at West Point, I invited a visiting Texas oilman to tell my cadets something I hope they still remember. Raring back in his cowboy boots, the oilman pulled out his wad of greenbacks, brandishing a hundred-dollar bill. “You boys need to remember that the ultimate form of American power is NOT you and your M-16. It’s this thing right here!” Amen!
NOTE: Colonel Allard is the author of Command, Control and the Common Defense, winner of the 1991 National Security Book Award. After leaving active duty, he became an on-air military analyst for the networks of NBC News
Deep in Denial
Speaking of cocooned leftists who are too deep in denial to accept the reality that there’s evil in the world worse than someone who doesn’t respect their preferred pronouns, the responses on Twitter to Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine have revealed them like a sudden spotlight. Nick Arama at Redstate.com rounded up some of the most jaw-droppingly insulated responses from people who are so spoiled and clueless that they see a potential genocide as an excuse to score “dunk” points about white privilege or unvaccinated people.
But when it comes to clueless leftists who are utterly impermeable to reality, bow down before the queen, Joy Behar of “The View.” Her biggest concern seems to be that World War III might put a crimp in her plans to vacation in Italy.
If it's any consolation, I'm sure there are millions of Americans who will also be very disappointed if Joy Behar can't go on vacation.
NOW YOU KNOW: Durham reveals how we're ALL spied on
Yesterday, we examined the “sensitive arrangement” that allowed the politically connected tech executive Rodney Joffe to access perhaps the most highly classified material in our government, from the computer servers for the Executive Office of the President (EOP). As it turns out, there is much more to this story, and, as Margot Cleveland explains in a new article, it potentially affects us all.
When John Durham was first appointed special counsel, we all assumed that his work would be focused just on getting to the bottom of the origins of the fake Steele “dossier” and its role in setting up the bogus “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation to frame Trump as being an agent of Vladimir Putin. (As ridiculous as that whole scam seems now, there are actually people who still cling to it. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is causing Trump-haters to tweet very stupid things right now. I digress.)
But evidence pointed Durham down a second “corridor,” as Cleveland puts it, where he discovered another con from the Clinton campaign –- the fake Alfa Bank story, involving Joffe. And thanks to Durham’s recent filings, she says, we’re finding out more about that group of cybersecurity analysts at Georgia Tech that I dubbed “Team Nerd,” and also –- this is new –- their ties to a secretive professional network that has access to virtually everyone’s computer data. Keep in mind that according to Durham’s legal filings, Joffe “and his associates” were exploiting proprietary data not only from the White House, where he had his “sensitive arrangement,” but also Trump Tower and Trump’s Central Park West apartment building. All of it was all vulnerable.
In Durham’s words, “[E]nemies of Donald Trump surveilled the internet traffic at Trump Tower, at his New York City apartment building, and later at the executive office of the President of the United States, then fed disinformation about that traffic to intelligence agencies hoping to frame Trump as a Russia-connected stooge.” This in itself is shocking, but there’s more.
Cleveland went back and looked at the initial reporting when the Alfa Bank story broke in Slate magazine and found some information that’s really disturbing now in light of what we know from Durham. The article tells, quite approvingly, of “a small, tightly knit community of computer scientists...some at cybersecurity firms, some in academia, some with close ties to three-letter federal agencies...” Slate crowed that this group had unprecedented access to internet data. “They are entrusted with something close to a complete record of all the servers of the world connecting with one another.” Do you have chills yet?
The article goes on to tell how one member of the group –- identified later as April Lorenzen (Durham’s “Originator – 1”) but simply called “Tea Leaves” here –- began keeping logs of the Trump server’s DNS activity” and “circulated them in periodic batches to colleagues in the cybersecurity world,” with a total of six computer scientists “scrutinizing them for clues.” This should horrify anyone who cares at all about the privacy of their data, but since it was being done to Trump, the people at Slate loved it, and you know their readers did, too.
Another article, from the New Yorker a couple of years later, told of the same group, and linked their effort to the so-called Russian hack of the DNC server in April of 2016. (Note: there is still no evidence that the DNC server was hacked, let alone by Russia.) Tying it to that event conflicts somewhat with Durham’s indictment, which says Joffe started mining Trump data in August. The New Yorker article identified Joffe by the alias “Max,” and “Max” spoke about this same group of researchers, some of whom work “with law enforcement or for private clients,” as “self-appointed guardians of the internet.” Again, horrifying.
Of course, Joffe’s main purpose in talking to these publications was to plant and continue the bogus Alfa Bank story, which he did. But what about this select group of computer scientists with which “Team Nerd” was associated? Thanks to one random email forwarded by Joffe to one of his nerds, Cleveland thinks it’s probably an organization called Ops-Trust, which describes itself online as a “highly vetted community of security professionals focused on the operational robustness, integrity and security of the internet,” that “promotes responsible action against malicious behavior beyond just observation, analysis and research.” The people brought into their sphere must demonstrate “the ability to maintain a ‘need to know’ confidentiality.”
The description they provide makes them sound like self-appointed ‘internet police.’ “Ops-T does not accept applications for membership,” their home page says. “New candidates are nominated by their peers who are actively working with them...” Sounds like a very exclusive club.
Interestingly, if you want to leave the platform, they have a process listed in their Privacy Notice called “data deletion” (“the right to be forgotten”). “One can request full deletion,” it says, “by contacting your trust group administrator; this will of course also deny access and participation in the platform.” Funny, I’ve always heard the internet is forever, but I guess if you’re at this level of computer expertise, you can actually “disappear” yourself, at least from this group.
Just wondering...who runs this? Well, we don’t know. “Ops-Trust is run by a non-profit,” is all it says.
Both the Slate and New Yorker articles mention a man named Paul Vixie, whom Cleveland determined is associated with Ops-Trust. The Slate story says that the Georgia Tech computer scientists “passed the logs to Paul Vixie.”
If any of the people involved in the Alfa Bank scam are indeed affiliated with Ops-Trust, one has to wonder how closely they abided by the group’s position that members are “expected to contribute data as appropriate and in a fashion that does not violate any laws or corporate policies.” Durham might want to have a word with them, as the proprietary data-mining operation against Trump doesn’t quite fit within those parameters. Who’s policing the policers?
It’s telling that these left-wing publications could speak so glowingly of people who access others’ proprietary data and share it around. It was fine with them when this was done to Trump --- after all, he was a Russian agent! --- and they’d surely have no problem with it being done to you and me and other dangerous people.
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