There’s been no intelligence revealed at State Dept. briefings, to the U.N., to European allies or Ukraine, but the U.S. wants everyone to believe they’re telling the truth about an imminent Russian invasion and its “kill lists,” writes Joe Lauria.
US Says Russia Has ‘Kill Lists’ for Ukraine
By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News
U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday said he was convinced that Russian President Vladimir Putin had made up his mind to invade Ukraine, but European officials are not convinced.
“As of this moment I’m convinced he has made the decision” to invade, Biden told a reporter in response to a question at a White House press briefing. Asked how he knows this, Biden said, “We have a significant intelligence capability.”
But The Washington Post reported on Saturday that:
“Some European allies questioned the United States’ conviction that the Kremlin will launch hostilities, saying that they have not seen direct evidence suggesting Putin has committed to such a course of action.
One European official told The Washington Post in Munich that ‘we have no clear evidence ourselves that Putin has made up his mind and we have not seen anything that would suggest otherwise.’ Another said that although the situation is grave, ‘at this stage we do not have such clear intelligence’ that Putin has decided to invade.
The officials said they have been told little about the sources and methods the United States used to arrive at its conclusions, limiting their capacity to make independent decisions about how much weight to give statements from Biden that Putin has made a decision to attack.
‘It’s always the raw material that they do not share,’ said one senior NATO diplomat who has had extensive conversations with top American policymakers in Brussels.”
Withholding any raw intelligence, if they have any, U.S. officials just want the Europeans to believe them on a matter of the highest consequence. It is a humiliating position for allies the U.S. has long treated as subordinates. The U.S. does not appear to have given any intelligence, raw or otherwise, to the Ukrainians either, except for satellite photographs last month, which Ukrainian intelligence dismissed.
President Volodymyr Zelenksy told a press conference at the time that the U.S. should stop its hysteria about an invasion. “They keep supporting this theme, this topic. And they make it as acute and burning as possible. In my opinion, this is a mistake.” He added: “If you look only at the satellites you will see the increase in troops and you can’t assess whether this is just a threat of attack or just a simple rotation.”
What US Says the Intelligence Is
In the same article, the Post tried to explain where this evidence came from, which no one outside of a tight Washington circle has apparently seen, or heard of:
“U.S. intelligence that provided Biden with the confidence to make the assertion came from an order given to Russian subordinates to proceed with a full-scale attack, according to several people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity. The United States obtained intelligence on the order as Russian military and security officials were taking steps to implement it, and did so very recently, the people said.”
This could only come from a mole in Russia’s political or military hierarchy, from an intercept or it is made up. Not even a redacted version of these reports — if they exist — were shared with senior European officials.
Perhaps feeling the heat from the Post report and other feedback from its allies, a few Biden administration officials on Sunday tried to give a few more crumbs away. They talked anonymously to the The New York Times, but didn’t dare say too much:
“Officials declined to describe the intelligence in any detail, anxious to keep secret their method of collecting the information. But intelligence officials have told the administration they have a high level of confidence in the intelligence they have collected in recent months about Russian military planning, as well as about plots by Moscow’s intelligence agencies to try and create a pretext for war.”
“American military and intelligence assets have confirmed that they have observed the Russian military take steps to execute an attack plan,” the Times reported, but these are merely assertions from intelligence agencies that lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that Russia and the Trump campaign were in a conspiracy to steal the 2016 U.S. presidential election. They also got the fall of Kabul wrong.
One would think that having been embarrassed in these major instances that intelligence officials would put forward some evidence or shut up.
But U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken went on a Sunday morning news show to say the intelligence learned about “false flags” were already coming true. “Everything leading up to the actual invasion appears to be taking place,’’ he said on on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “All of these false-flag operations, all these provocations to create justifications — all that is already in train.”
This is clearly emerging as the strategy, backed up by “intelligence” that may be fabricated, namely that whatever is happening around Donbass now are Russian-directed attacks covered by deception to make it look like a Ukrainian government offensive, and not an actual U.S.-directed Ukrainian government offensive to draw Russia into invading. If that’s the U.S. plan, there’s good reason to hide it from the Europeans.
Biden said Friday all of NATO, Europe and the “entire free world is united” against Russia, even though none of them have seen the evidence – if there is any — and none of them seem as convinced as he is that there will be war.
“Mr. Biden’s declaration, and the new description of what he based it on, are the latest salvos in a campaign by the administration to use declassified intelligence to expose and disrupt the Kremlin’s plans, perhaps slowing an invasion and buying more time for diplomacy,” the Times reported. However no “declassified intelligence” has emerged, only administration statements masquerading as evidence, while the Times plays along.
Military analyst Scott Ritter wrote Sunday on Consortium News that the U.S. should have evidence indicating whether the Russian troop formations indicate an exercise or an invasion, intelligence which it could have shared with the world at the U.N. Security Council last week — or with European officials this weekend.
Two Bizarre New Pieces of ‘Intelligence’
On Sunday night, the Post reported that the U.S. had sent a letter to the U.N. Human Rights Council alleging that after Russia invades and occupies Ukraine, it will use lists it has drawn up to target people for torture and detention in concentration camps. The Post reported:
“The letter alleges that Moscow’s post-invasion planning would involve torture, forced disappearances and ‘widespread human suffering.’ It does not describe the nature of the intelligence that undergirds its assessment.”
“We have credible information that indicates Russian forces are creating lists of identified Ukrainians to be killed or sent to camps following a military occupation,” the letter to Michele Bachelet, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, says.
Those targeted would include “Russian and Belarusian dissidents in exile in Ukraine, journalists and anti-corruption activists, and vulnerable populations such as religious and ethnic minorities and LGBTQI+ persons.”
As the Post pointed out, the letter is only based on “credible information” and does not disclose the “nature of the intelligence,” though it ends by telling Bachelet to contact the U.S. official for “any additional information,” which one would assume would not include raw intelligence. This comes from a government that runs a concentration camp at Guantanamo, ran a torture center at Abu Ghraib, had a kill list review every Tuesday at the White House and has imprisoned the most important journalist of his generation, Julian Assange.
Elizabeth Throssell, a spokesperson for Bachelet, told Consortium News in an email: “We can confirm that we received a letter this morning from the United States Permanent Mission in Geneva. We are examining it.”
English-language Russian media have not reported on the letter at all.
If this letter is true, how could the United States not try to deter such an invasion and Nazi-like occupation by sending U.S. troops to Ukraine? That it won’t undermines the credibility of this “intelligence.”
The second strange matter was the U.S. embassy in Moscow sending this warning to U.S. citizens on Sunday:
“According to media sources, there have been threats of attacks against shopping centers, railway and metro stations, and other public gathering places in major urban areas, including Moscow and St. Petersburg as well as in areas of heightened tension along the Russian border with Ukraine.”
The media “sources” are not named and there is no further explanation for such a message, which could have numerous meanings.
“Common symptoms of psychosis are … having strong beliefs [or intelligence] that are not shared by people within your community,” might define U.S. foreign policy, which has become increasingly difficult to explain rationally.
Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe
It looks like the Biden people keep digging the hole they are in deeper and deeper, by now they have to make up reasons for digging deeper, maybe by now, they are so scared they wear diapers.
We know Saddam has weapons of mass destruction ,as Powell waved a little vial of white powder at the UN .
And they wonder why no one trusts them anymore .
Psychopathic gold diggers have been wreaking havoc on human populations for millennia. It appears we have arrived at our day of reckoning. Either we figure out how to remove them from power permanently, or they remove biological life forms from the earth.
Ukrainian forces now shelling the Donbas may be private Mercenary armies supported by our deep state.
Cofer Black, the U.S. mercenary billionaire, has been on the board of Burisma along with Biden’s son and John Kerry’s stepson. So the privatization of Ukraine’s war is evidenced by his presence.
The most disturbing mainstream news items I have seen recently assert that Russia has Neo-Nazi mercenary units committing atrocities in the Donbas and in Syria and that these units are connected to the Wagner Group, which we claim is Russian but which I suspect is our deep state.
Zelensky and his defense minister deny they are attacking the Donbas at this time. If the shelling is mercenary and is attributed to “Russia”, that may be an extension of the claim that the Wagner Group is Russian. If our mercenary billionaires are involved, it’s us, whether they call themselves Hondurans or Chechens or Russians or Turks.
Joseph Cofer Black (born 1950) is an American former CIA officer who served as director of the Counterterrorism Center in the years surrounding the September 11th attacks, and was later appointed Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the State Department by President George W. Bush, serving until his resignation in 2004.
Biden seems as insane as the WW II allies claimed Hitler was.
My feeling is that there is no intelligence behind the hysteria. While people try methodically to make sense of the irrational media reports, the price of Ukraine assets like farmland must be at historical lows. I would rather look for some buyers actively piling up assets over there. Remember the son of Biden has many business contacts in Ukraine and he has the ear of daddy at the White House.
The White House has used Russia as a punching bag for over a decade. Putin is a lawyer who looks for sound legal agreements; the assumption is that he won’t act militarily. As a result, the Administration has a free hand in Ukraine. Zelensky will be kept busy harassing the Donbass Republic with the new military gear he received during the course of this pseudo-crisis. The Donbass events will take all the attention of the media and will act as a cover while the looting of Ukraine goes on in the shadows.
Another great piece Joe, incl. the WaPo ‘update’ with yet another State actor emerging from the woodwork. Now we’ve got lots of meme potential with ‘Fritz(e)’ and ‘Crock(er)’! hxxps://geneva.usmission.gov/ambassador-crocker/
But seriously, her bio is all too fit for the current agitprop task. I do know a top guy at CARE; will try to get his reaction….
I seems clear that Biden’s “Intelligence” information can only come from one of two sources. One, the assertions are complete fabrications aimed to put pressure on Russia and hope that some of his more militant generals will crack. Ned Price hinted at that after dodging every attempt by Matt Lee to get evidence to back up Price’s assertions. In the end he stated, “You don’t understand deterrence.” or something to that effect. The State Department feels that outrageous lies without any hard evidence can be used to deter Russia from those activities of which Washington does not approve.
The other possibility is human SIGINT done by the NSA collecting chatter on Russia’s secured military communications. If Putin believed he had a mole in his general staff, he would have attended to that a long time ago. In any case, the Russian are obviously feeding the gullible US intelligence community (an oxymoron to say the least) disinformation to make Biden jump around and make a fool of himself and the United States State Department. That may be more likely since unless he’s unscripted, Biden gets his orders on what to say from the bureaucrats in his administration.
This is what a fading wannbe empire looks like and does during its death spiral, I suspect.
Reaction to Melvin Fritze comments:
Will the right time be in 2024, when you’ll be better organized to illegitimately wangle it than you were in both 2016, and 2020?
Both figureheads have not made a whit of difference since… will all your evidence and intelligence gathering finally pay the dividends your lot has been seeking since the beginning of the Republic; an autocratic head of a totalitarian plutocratic fascist state?
“One would think that having been embarrassed in these major instances that intelligence officials would put forward some evidence or shut up.”
Mr. Lauria I believe in this instance you have been too circumspect and gentle in your assessment. One can only become embarrassed if one has a conscience; those that manufacture and disseminate these lies have no conscience, nor scruples, morals, nor ethics.
The worst aspect of this on this 21st day of February 2022 is the desperation that reeks from this US propaganda. The US has backed itself into a corner: how will it get out?
All the guess work would end if Washington were to accept Russia’s 2021 December proposal.
If the U.S. does provoke a bloody like iraq through lies, will old Joe admit he made a mistake?
The US quietly repeals the propaganda ban. How is the US going to propagandize us by giving facts?
THE US wants to do Joe Biden Bidding lies are the only way to get there,
Russia doesn’t want NATO (US) on its borders I get that.
This is a reverse Cuban missile crisis that could escalate to catastrophic consequences.
The United States is mentally lame, paranoid and even schizophrenic. For what sane, logical reason would Russia want to invade Ukraine? Ukraine is a failed, a bankrupt state that changes leadership as the days pass. There is no stability in the nation.Without the east, The Russian portion of the country is fertile and is the manulacturing center of Ukraine, In the west, there is no GNP- Ukraine is deeply and hopelessly mired in debt. Western Ukraine is nonproductive and is largely demographically old. Even nato is hesitant to take on the burden of supporting this collapsed state. The Russians are moving back to Russia. Putin does not want Ukraine in anyway a part of Russia, nowever, Russia will achieve that of what it wants.
What I totally fail to understand is, WHY???, the West keeps listening to this war mongering nation and keeps being led by the nose down a path that is getting ever more dangerous. WHY??? No gonads to stand up to it???
Thankyou & keep alerting …
It is not time, Mr Zhu.
why should we give evidence and compromise all our intelligence gathering?
Why should we believe you?
A sobering analysis and summary, thank you. I now believe that the dimming Mr. Biden and his administration were always intended as a Trojan horse for bringing the Cold War back into power. I think that was originally supposed to be HRC’s job, but she was just too ridiculous. If so, and in a true touch of irony, Trump gave us a reprieve. When the CW is “in power,” it is the totality of the US government. It eclipses all other concerns. Creating a new CW posture in the world is also a desperate attempt for the US to maintain its crumbling global hegemony. Of course, it is also the vehicle for autocratic and totalitarian rule at home with the American oligarchy given free reign. And now, conveniently, we have a whole homeland security apparatus in place for even more effective despotic rule.
However, the world has changed and America’s status is slipping due to its own misguided efforts to maintain sole power. If the Soviet-Union was undone in large part because of trying to keep up in the arms race with the US, you know what is coming.
Consider also what it took to free both Germany and the former Soviet-Union from the grasp of their respective secret police once these institutions became autonomous. If you know where you are, you can see where you’re headed. On the bright side, perhaps with America once again gone the rest of the world has a chance. The world has a lot more pressing concerns than America’s fragile ego.
Based on the evidence I have been told exists I am convinced that Biden is determined to have his war begin before the mid-term election.
Seems President Biden does not want to have anything to do with Russia’s written proposal that both Russia and NATO counties pull-back offensive missiles.
Instead, the President diverts and deflects the public’s attention by saying that Russia is planning a false-flag operation in order to invade Ukraine.
President Biden won’t even publicly acknowledge the huge number of Ukraine troops that have advanced on the Russian separatist area in eastern part of Ukraine.
The President also wants the public to forget that it was Russia that alerted the FBI of the foreign nationals who ultimately committed the Boston Marathon bombing massacre.
Seems at odd with a country that places bounties on US soldiers.
What more proof do we need other than that President Biden is “convinced.”
Is it time to invoke the 25th amendment are replace Pres. Biden?
Kamala Harris as President would be no less of a puppet than Biden. The people pulling both of their strings are members of the national security establishment, and the people pulling those people’s strings are members of the oligarchic class. Any President who attempts to defy the puppet masters is unlikely to live out his or her term in office. An example of this occurred in November 1963. What power could stop it from happening again?
Houston, we have a problem. Misfits breathing and playing with death.