Russian operative CASHED IN with US spy agencies; $100K payday after promises to deliver cyberweapons and TRUMP DIRT

(National SentinelDeep State: A Russian operative managed to bilk U.S. spy agencies out of $100,000 last year over what turned out to be phony promises to deliver cyber weapons and compromising information about President Donald J. Trump.

As reported by The New York Times, the money was delivered to the operative in a suitcase in a hotel room in Berlin in September and was intended to be the first installment of a $1 million payout, according to U.S. officials, the Russian operative and documents reviewed by the paper.

At issue: Theft of secret hacking tools used by the National Security Agency at a time when officials within the NSA were attempting to learn the full extent of what had been stolen.

The Times noted further that the NSA was apparently not interested in the alleged information regarding the president, in part because they didn’t believe it was valid:

Several American intelligence officials said they made clear that they did not want the Trump material from the Russian, who was suspected of having murky ties to Russian intelligence and to Eastern European cybercriminals. He claimed the information would link the president and his associates to Russia. Instead of providing the hacking tools, the Russian produced unverified and possibly fabricated information involving Mr. Trump and others, including bank records, emails and purported Russian intelligence data.

The United States intelligence officials said they cut off the deal because they were wary of being entangled in a Russian operation to create discord inside the American government. They were also fearful of political fallout in Washington if they were seen to be buying scurrilous information on the president.

The Times noted that the NSA worked through an American businessman who is based in Germany in order to provide the agency with cover. Also, the paper noted that the NSA spent months tracking the Russian operative’s “flights to Berlin, his rendezvous with a mistress in Vienna and his trips home to St. Petersburg.”

Also, the paper said the NSA used its official Twitter account on several occasions to send coded messages to the Russian.

The Times noted further:

The episode ended this year with American spies chasing the Russian out of Western Europe, warning him not to return if he valued his freedom, the American businessman said. The Trump material was left with the American, who has secured it in Europe.

The Russian claimed to have access to a staggering collection of secrets that included everything from the computer code for the cyberweapons stolen from the N.S.A. and C.I.A. to what he said was a video of Mr. Trump consorting with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room in 2013, according to American and European officials and the Russian, who agreed to be interviewed in Germany on the condition of anonymity. There remains no evidence that such a video exists.

The paper noted that U.S. spies became suspicious of the Russian after he expressed an eagerness to sell the “kompromat” — compromising material — because it “raised suspicions among officials that he was part of an operation to feed the information to United States intelligence agencies and pit them against Mr. Trump.”

The Times noted that U.S. spies were far more interested in the hacking tools the Russian operative allegedly possessed:

The cyberweapons had been built to break into the computer networks of Russia, China and other rival powers. Instead, they ended up in the hands of a mysterious group calling itself the Shadow Brokers, which has since provided hackers with tools that infected millions of computers around the world, crippling hospitals, factories and businesses.

Also, U.S. counterintelligence officials believe that Russian spy services are working to exploit what they see as political divisions in the U.S. regarding various scandals involving some FBI and DOJ officials under the previous administration, the Times reported.

“Russian hackers are targeting American voting databases ahead of the midterm election this year, they said, and using bot armies to promote partisan causes on social media,” the Times reported. “The Russians are also particularly eager to cast doubt on the federal and congressional investigations into the Russian meddling, American intelligence officials said.”

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Deep State now so MASSIVE that Congress has to hire EX-spooks and spies just to keep up

(National SentinelCongress: The U.S. national security apparatus grew so large after World War II that when President Dwight D. Eisenhower was set to leave office, he warned Americans about the growing power of “the military-industrial complex.”

That was January 1961, during Ike’s farewell address. The man who led America and her allies to victory over Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and Imperial Japan had witnessed the exponential growth of the U.S. security state, which was locked in a Cold War with the Soviet Union.

The ‘complex’ and the national security apparatus firmly attached to it has only gotten bigger and more powerful since, especially following the 9/11 attacks.

It is so large now and sucks up so many resources that the two congressional committees charged with oversight of national security agencies have had to hire scores of ex-spies and spooks, just so they can keep abreast of everything that’s really going on within the 17 designated intelligence agencies.

As reported by McClatchy papers:

Lawmakers assigned to oversee the sprawling U.S. intelligence apparatus rely strongly on a staff that in recent years has included scores of onetime spooks, analysts and lawyers who previously worked at the spy agencies under scrutiny.

According to a comprehensive analysis by McClatchy, at least one-third, and perhaps far more, of the professional staff members who carry out the work of the House and Senate intelligence committees are themselves veterans of the agencies that the two panels oversee.

That reliance raises questions about how effectively the two oversight committees carry out supervision of a swelling intelligence empire that now employs some 107,000 people with a combined budget projected to reach $78.4 billion next year.

Supporters say such a large, complex security apparatus is needed to thwart a repeat of Sept. 11, 2001. So far, such an attack has not been repeated.

But in the interim, we’ve had scandal after scandal involving spying on American citizens by the NSA, FBI and other agencies, as well as the politicization of the security state by former President Obama, who misused it to undermine the campaign of then-GOP nominee Donald J. Trump. Some say the security state — the Deep State — is continuing to undermine Trump even today.

And there is this, as McClatchy notes further: Many other areas of government are replete with watchdog groups and oversight committees. However, the security state operates on a long leash with deep pockets and very little oversight. The security state’s budgets — much of which are classified — are also not subject to outside audits, so it’s difficult, if not impossible, to identify and then rein in ineffective programs or legitimate misconduct.

“If you look at defense programs, there are all kinds of civil society groups that look for inefficiencies or waste or bad ideas and can shine some light on those inefficiencies,” Larry Hanauer, a security expert who was a staffer on the House intelligence panel from 2005 to 2010, told McClatchy,“There are no such entities that can do that when it comes to intelligence programs.”

While waste and fraud are important issues, the fact is most Americans are more concerned with a security state that infringes on their ever-shrinking privacy and due process rights. Seeing what the Deep State has managed to do to a duly-elected president leaves average citizens feeling small and completely powerless.

The two oversight committees, known formally as the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), came into being after revelations in the 1970s that subsequent presidential administrations had been using the intelligence community for political purposes (kind of like Obama did throughout most of his tenure).

Since they’ve been formed, the security state has only gotten larger — and more powerful — and, as evidenced by Obama’s behavior and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations, harder to ‘oversee.’ (Related: Why Isn’t Congress Investigating Obama’s Weaponization Of The U.S. Intelligence Community?)

Now here’s the really bad news: Don’t expect oversight of the U.S. security state to improve anytime soon. Budgets will grow, the numbers of employees will grow, capabilities will grow, and so, too, will the secrecy.

National security must necessarily be conducted out of the public eye; intelligence has to be guarded and thus limited to specific persons because that helps keep it safe from exposure to nation-state actors who wish to harm our country.

But the fact is, the security state apparatus has far outgrown Congress’ ability to keep adequate tabs on it, making it ripe for abuse and politicization.

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Espionage: Chinese dissident says Beijing has 25,000 spies in U.S.

(National SentinelEspionage: A Chinese dissident who had close ties to his country’s military and intelligence apparatuses says that Beijing has upwards of 25,000 spies operating within the United States, and that our country’s most critical military and defense infrastructure has been breached, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

In addition to the 25,000 Chinese intelligence officers operating in the U.S., the news site noted, more than 15,000 additional operatives have been recruited:

Guo Wengui, a billionaire businessman who broke with the regime several months ago, said in an interview that he has close ties to the Ministry of State Security (MSS), the civilian intelligence service, and the military spy service of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

“I know the Chinese spy system very, very well,” Guo said, speaking through an interpreter, in his first interview with American media. “I have information about very minute details about how it operates.”

The Free Beacon noted further:

Guo said he learned about Chinese spy activities from Ma Jian, a former MSS vice minister, and Ji Shengde, former PLA military intelligence chief.

Ma was director of MSS’s No. 8 Bureau, in charge of counterintelligence against foreign targets—including diplomats, businessmen, and reporters—until he was swept up in a Beijing power struggle in December 2015. He was expelled from the Communist Party and imprisoned in January.

Guo said Ma was imprisoned because he had uncovered details of corruption by China’s highest-ranking anti-corruption official, Wang Qishan.

Ma said in a video made public by the Chinese government several weeks ago that he worked with Guo in assisting Chinese national security.

Regarding, Ji, the military spy chief, Guo said he had close ties to him and turned down requests from Ji to work as a smuggler for 2PLA, as the military spy agency was known.

Ji was implicated in the 1990s scandal involving Chinese funding of Bill Clinton’s presidential re-election campaign. In China, he was given a suspended death sentence by a military court in 2000 on charges of bribery and illegal fundraising.

Ji and his wife currently reside in Los Angeles, and Guo said he paid money to Ji for 25 years as part of China’s use of businesses to support intelligence activities.

He compared the Chinese government to “the Mafia,” and said his ultimate goal is to change it from its current communist form.

As for U.S.-based spies, Guo said that Beijing stepped up its efforts in 2012, sending about 5,000 spies to the United States disguised as students, businessmen and “some as immigrants.”

He said that initially the operatives were learning about the U.S., but eventually, that same year, they switched to “offensive” intelligence operations.

“By offensive [operations], I mean to be ready to destroy the U.S. in ways they can,” Guo said, adding that of the 5,000 sent, “they developed between 15,000 to 18,000 other spies, and these are not directly sent but these are developed within the United States.”

As for China’s intelligence priority, Guo said it is U.S. military technology. After that:

Second, Chinese intelligence is engaged in “buying” senior U.S. officials personally, and a third objective is buying family members of American political or business elites “with a view to getting intelligence and to make big business deals in China’s favor,” he said.

A fourth priority is penetrating the American internet system and critical infrastructure by implanting malicious software.

“It’s clear the situation is getting more and more dangerous now. The United States has the best weapons in its arsenal, such as laser weapons, etc. Yet, the Chinese spy system has penetrated into the bloodstream of American defense establishment with their viruses and everything else,” he said, the Free Beacon reported.

“The United States is bleeding and is unaware that sooner or later the United States will run out of blood,” he added.