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False Flag, Anyone?

Once relegated to internal shop talk among intelligence types, the term “false flag” has become widely used among the general public, and often included as a plot twist in television and movies. Most recently, the term hit headlines after some groups claimed the insurrection at the Capitol on 6 January was a false flag operation by left-wing extremists masquerading as right-wing extremists to smear former President Trump and the right. But what exactly is a false flag, really, and how does it work? The origin of the term dates back to pirate days when marauders displayed flags of the [...]

By |2021-01-31T11:53:17-05:00January 31st, 2021|Espionage, intelligence|0 Comments

Capitol Debacle: Politicization Undermines Intelligence

Was the Capitol Security Breach an Intelligence Failure? Former CIA Analyst Lisa Ruth Says No The melee at the US Capitol on 6 January 2021 was a shocking example of mob violence and mentality, and shows just how bad things can go wrong when security is unprepared and overwhelmed. It is also, sadly, a textbook illustration of the dangers of politicizing intelligence. Full disclosure: I was not privy to any classified intelligence briefings for any law enforcement entity ahead of the attack. But as a former intelligence officer, I do know how [...]

By |2021-01-11T19:23:57-05:00January 11th, 2021|Security, Uncategorized, World News Round-Up|0 Comments

Why Putin Would Poison Opposition Leader Navalny

There are some things Vladimir Putin just can't abide. Threatening personal financial assets and seeking to undermine the entire house of cards Putin and his cronies have built are two of those things. Although Putin has never had much love for Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the Russian leadership had largely managed to contain Navalny’s impact through quasi-legal methods and subtle intimidation. That changed last month, when Navalny became ill after drinking tea in Siberia. His supporters immediately suspected poison, but Russian police found no reason for investigation and dismissed the claims. Then, after he was airlifted [...]

By |2020-09-03T10:21:07-04:00September 3rd, 2020|International, Russia|0 Comments

Beirut Explosion: Accident or Israeli Intervention?

The massive blast that rocked Beirut earlier this week is being billed as a tragic accident that left hundreds dead and thousands wounded. The explosion also severely damaged the country’s infrastructure and left many residents without power in the sweltering Beirut summer heat. But former intelligence officers intimately familiar with the region caution that Israel, concerned about the explosive stockpile and the impotent Lebanese government, may have ignited the ammonium nitrate to deny terrorist group Hezbollah access to the chemicals. Ammonium Nitrate Explosion Beirut was devastated on 5 August, after 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored [...]

By |2020-08-11T11:19:04-04:00August 8th, 2020|Governments, Security, World News Round-Up|0 Comments

Impact of Closing China/US Consulates

Does it really matter that the Chinese Consulate in Houston and the US Consulate in Chengdu closed? It looked like a scene from a spy thriller: Chinese diplomats frantically burning documents in the courtyard of the Houston Consulate hours before they were being evicted from the building. Five days later, in Chengdu, the American flag outside the US Consulate was lowered and Chinese soldiers protected officials wearing hazmat suits as they entered the building. The tit-for-tat closures of the consulates comes as tensions between the US and China reach new highs. While the closures may seem [...]

By |2020-08-03T08:31:15-04:00August 3rd, 2020|Business, Espionage, Governments|0 Comments

Yes, Social Media Can Get You In Trouble

Social media has become a valuable asset for investigators. Before you post that social media statement, meme, or commentary, be aware of the consequences. Colleges are revoking admissions letters based on social media posts, businesses are watching what employees are saying, and spouses are monitoring comments for information. The New York Times reported in July that "at least a dozen schools have revoked admissions offers to incoming students" after they identified racist comments on social media. The Times goes on to note, "In this digital age, when social media posts can ricochet across the [...]

By |2021-01-05T01:53:31-05:00July 29th, 2020|PI|0 Comments

World News Roundup: July 15, 2019

Afghanistan talks agree 'roadmap to peace' https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48919335 A landmark peace conference between the Taliban and influential Afghans, including government officials, has agreed a "roadmap for peace" that could hasten the end of the 18-year war. A statement called for an end to civilian casualties and the protection of women's rights within an "Islamic framework". The non-binding agreement comes as the US and the Taliban continue to negotiate an American withdrawal. The US toppled the Taliban in 2001. The seventh round of talks between American negotiators and the insurgents is expected to resume later on Tuesday. They hope [...]

By |2019-07-15T09:35:29-04:00July 15th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Morsi’s Death, Secretary of Defense Esper, and Iranian Sanctions

https://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-egypt-morsi-muslim-brotherhood-20190624-story.html In the week following his death, Mohamed Morsi has proven to be as divisive a figure as he ever was in life. His death, after a collapse in a courtroom on Monday, was from an apparent heart attack. But, at the time of his death, Morsi was also suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, and liver disease. Amid suspicion that Egyptian authorities may have neglected to care for him while in jail, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights called his death ”murder by neglect.” Morsi was the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization which [...]

By |2019-06-24T17:07:07-04:00June 24th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Protests in Hong Kong Over Extradition Bill

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Hong Kong on Sunday, protesting a government plan that would allow extraditions to mainland China. Rising fears over the erosion of Chinese civil liberties have driven the semiautonomous city apart from Bejing. The mass demonstration - one of the largest in Hong Kong's history - was the latest evidence of those fears. The bill would allow Hong Kong to detain and transfer people wanted in countries with which it has no formal extradition agreements. The claim from Carrie Lam, Hong Kong chief executive, is that the [...]

By |2019-06-13T11:26:56-04:00June 13th, 2019|International|0 Comments

May Resigns, Russia’s New Icebreaker, and an IT National Emergency

Theresa May Resigns Acknowledging Failure To Deliver Brexit https://www.npr.org/2019/05/24/726784463/british-prime-minister-theresa-may-acknowledges-defeat-announces-resignation On Friday, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May acknowledged defeat Friday and announced her resignation as leader of Britain's Conservative Party. The announcement came after years of debate over how the United Kingdom will proceed with Brexit. With her departure, the future of brexit remains uncertain. May will officially step down as Prime Minister on June 7. May said the process for electing a new leader "should begin in the following week." Russia Launches World’s Largest Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker to Open Up Arctic Shipping Routes https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-icebreaker-ship-nuclear-power-arctic-sea-ice-shipping-oil-a8930711.html Russia launched the [...]

By |2019-05-27T12:18:59-04:00May 27th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments
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