Patterico's Pontifications

12/30/2016

President Obama Takes Action Against Russia, Putin Responds

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:12 am

[guest post by Dana]

President Obama has responded to Russia’s interference in our political process:

Today, I have ordered a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election. These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior.

I have issued an executive order that provides additional authority for responding to certain cyber activity that seeks to interfere with or undermine our election processes and institutions, or those of our allies or partners. Using this new authority, I have sanctioned nine entities and individuals: the GRU and the FSB, two Russian intelligence services; four individual officers of the GRU; and three companies that provided material support to the GRU’s cyber operations. In addition, the Secretary of the Treasury is designating two Russian individuals for using cyber-enabled means to cause misappropriation of funds and personal identifying information. The State Department is also shutting down two Russian compounds, in Maryland and New York, used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes, and is declaring “persona non grata” 35 Russian intelligence operatives…

These actions are not the sum total of our response to Russia’s aggressive activities. We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized.

Russia quickly took to Twitter in response:

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This morning, John Bolton opined that President Obama’s actions fall short, and are an insufficient response to Russia’s “attack on our constitutional system.”:

“I don’t think they will have much impact at all,” Bolton told “Fox & Friends” on Friday of Obama’s sanctions, calling for actions that will “make the Russians feel pain.”

“The Russians have walked all over the Obama administration for eight years. It’s really been a pathetic performance.”

“The fact that Russia’s efforts were incompetent or insufficient shouldn’t make us feel better. No — it’s the effort that they made, if this is accurate, that should trouble us, not the fact that it failed.”

President Obama’s actions confirmed a bigger picture of concern:

Obama’s mass spy expulsion removes any doubt about the existence of Cold War 2.0. Thirty-five intelligence officers represent about one-third of the Russian spies which U.S. counterintelligence knows to be operating in our country. Both sides in this spy-game have a good idea of who the real diplomats are and who’s really an undercover spook. That is a setback for Moscow, since it will take time to rebuild damaged espionage networks, but its real-world impact will not be especially severe, since the Kremlin surely knew something like this was coming, thus giving Russian intelligence agencies time to develop back-up plans for this contingency.

This morning, it is being reported that Putin has opted to play the bigger man in response:

In a head-spinning turn of events on Friday, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia announced that he would not retaliate against the United States’ decision to expel Russian diplomats and impose new sanctions — hours after his foreign minister recommended doing just that.

Mr. Putin, betting on improved relations with the next American president, said he would not eject 35 diplomats or close any diplomatic facilities, rejecting a response to actions taken by the Obama administration on Thursday.

The switch was remarkable, given that the foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, had just recommended the retaliation in remarks broadcast live on national television, and given the long history of reciprocal expulsions between the two countries. Russian officials have traditionally been sticklers for diplomatic protocol.

“While we reserve the right to take reciprocal measures, we’re not going to downgrade ourselves to the level of irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy,” Mr. Putin said, using a common Russian idiom for quarrelsome and unseemly acts. “In our future steps on the way toward the restoration of Russia-United States relations, we will proceed from the policy pursued by the administration” of Donald J. Trump.

Putin then invited American diplomats and their families to celebrate the New Year with him at the Kremlin…

Of course, this is nothing but posturing, yet it is not hard to see that Putin is also biding his time until a friendlier Trump presidency is in place:

It’s clear that Moscow expects that the new Trump administration will take a far more lenient line with the Kremlin than President Obama is, suddenly, in his last days in the Oval Office. Just this week, President-elect Donald Trump yet again brushed off any notion that the Russians interfered in the election that won him the White House, adding that the country needs to “move on” from what he considers to be a stale issue. This led Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of Trump’s own party, to note that 99 Senators agree with Obama and the Intelligence Community on the issue of Russian spy-games in 2016.

There’s the rub for Trump. While he and his surrogates continue to portray Russian espionage and covert action as non-issues, even as “fake news” conjured up by an alleged left-wing cabal of American spies, the espionage reality is well known in Washington, and a great many Republicans in Congress agree, at least in outline.

I’ve read a number of theories about why the president has been so slow to take action, in spite of being fully aware of the tampering into American politics by unfriendly states (See: OPM hack). Cynically, there is the suggestion that, ultimately, this is but an act of legacy protection by the president, as he works to seal in the public’s mind that Russia alone is to blame for Hillary Clinton’s devastating election loss…

This seems a good reminder:

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–Dana

68 Responses to “President Obama Takes Action Against Russia, Putin Responds”

  1. There are a thousand moving parts. So many, that I wonder if anyone really knows the real tally.

    Dana (d17a61)

  2. Except the uranium concession went to Russia. There is a war cabinet really serious about cybersecurity, so its more narrative than a ythin

    narciso (d1f714)

  3. if someone hadn’t done the propaganda slut Anderson Cooper media’s job and found out the truth about skanky Hillary, we’d have never known how disgustingly sleazy her and all them people are (Donna Brazile – so nasty)

    so me I think they need to keep up the good work, and I hope they don’t get discouraged

    but was it the Russians? We only have the sleazy Comey FBI (lol), a handful of CIA poofters, and slicked-up Mitt Romney boytoy Paul Ryan’s word on this.

    I’m dubious.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  4. The report provides less info, and doesn’t even credit crowdstrike/fireeye/mandiant the source mAterial.

    narciso (d1f714)

  5. Sniwden delivered the toolbox to the sir, their other mole! Followed upanything that was still nailed down.

    narciso (d1f714)

  6. Can the incompetent failmerican intelligence losers what let people do all this hacking really be expected to produce a credible report detailing their own fecklessness and incompetence?

    I think not.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  7. I don’t blame Putin for trampling all over Obama for 8 years. It’s what doormats are for. I’d say that he’s probably had Michelle a few times, but he’s probably pickier than that.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  8. Putin then invited American diplomats and their families to celebrate the New Year with him at the Kremlin…

    Which they will be ordered NOT to do by President Petty.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  9. Dana–

    The OPM hack was China, not Russia. I paid attention because my records were among those taken.

    China has been far more aggressive than Russia and nothing is done.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  10. in Michelle’s dreams

    she’s never known the touch of a real man poor pickle

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  11. “I wonder if anyone really knows the real tally.”

    There is no real tally. The progressive narrative demands a Dolchstoßlegende centered on Boris and Natasha for this episode of progressive idiocy. If John Adams were available to comment, he would declare Putin a piker in comparison to Talleyrand wrt foreign influence on elections. If momentary reflection existed within the progverse, some consideration would be given to the Black Lies Matter “movement” impact upon the White Votes Matter On November 8 movement.

    The progs need to console themselves with the Most Popular ribbon in the bum fight by the light of a dumpster fire. The one thing I would advise against is looking in a mirror while seeking the “underlying cause” of their very well deserved loss.

    Rick Ballard (835ba0)

  12. OPM got hacked because the Director was chosen SOLELY on the basis of race and gender and she hadn’t a clue as to where the clues were kept. She actually said that they didn’t encrypt the data because “it wouldn’t help.”

    I suspect that the rest of the administration’s problems are due to a government-wide policy of promotion based SOLELY on race and gender.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  13. Kevin M,

    Oh, crap, I knew that, And thought I had changed it to clarify with “unfriendly states’ involvement,” not specifically Russia. Will correct as soon as I have access to do so. Thx.

    Dana (556c0c)

  14. This led Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of Trump’s own party, to note that 99 Senators agree with Obama and the Intelligence Community on the issue of Russian spy-games in 2016.

    There’s the rub for Trump.

    rub, Lindsey, rub

    you rub it so good

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  15. 99 senators can’t decide what to order at the senate commissary.

    narciso (d1f714)

  16. Note: It would not shock me in the least to find out that the Russian foreign minister had been *told* by Vlad to push for return sanctions just so Putin could play “Good Cop” and state the opposite.

    Leaving thousands of clueless liberals in the US all happy about Putin, and how good a guy the (censored) tyrant is.

    georg felis (0fff9e)

  17. Obama advising Medvedev in 2012 to tell Vladimir that “he’d be much more flexible after the election” proved to be his undoing. The little Russian proceeded to bend him over the table where stood the reset button, serially harass and assault our “diplomats” and pretty much have his way with the world. The man who prides himself on being the smartest man in any room where he is was out thought, outplayed, outgunned and left to strut around like some prissy, little third-world dictator.

    Sucks for him and certainly not good for America’s position in the world.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  18. I’m not the first to point this out but there’s been real Russian hacking for 8 years, including the State Department systems.

    And Obama did sweet F. A. about any of it, until just now.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  19. It’s very classy, how Mr. Putin is taking the high road – ignoring Obama’s juvenile antics and waiting for Mr. President Trump to get settled before making a big fuss.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  20. 4. narciso (d1f714) — 12/30/2016 @ 11:47 am

    The report provides less info, and doesn’t even credit crowdstrike/fireeye/mandiant the source mAterial.

    Well, they are not going to give credit to persons outside the United States government.

    Sammy Finkelman (5b302e)

  21. 18. Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1) — 12/30/2016 @ 12:21 pm

    I’m not the first to point this out but there’s been real Russian hacking for 8 years, including the State Department systems.

    But one place they never got into was the Clintons’ private server, although they did find out that Hillary Clinton had a secret e-mail address, and they leaked it in 2013.

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/buster/sidney-blumenthal/hacker-distributes-memos-784091

    Somewhere theres’s some mention of her e-mail address in 2013.

    Obama sort of decided he had to act now, (albeit fecklessly) because this was different – they were not only spying, and stealing some money too, but trying to use the information for political purposes. This was something the United States never did.

    Sammy Finkelman (5b302e)

  22. ==But one place they never got into was the Clintons’ private server,==

    Oh rilly? You know this, how?

    elissa (08e3c6)

  23. Let me guess. You read it in the New York Times.

    elissa (08e3c6)

  24. Iowahawk:

    Breaking: State Dept expels 20 Nigerian diplomats after John Podesta fails to receive $1 million wire transfer from nephew of General Okezi

    https://twitter.com/iowahawkblog/status/814862379192352769

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  25. The Podesta hack:

    https://disq.us/url?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwikileaks.org%2Fpodesta-emails%2Femailid%2F34899%3A_LLw3DPQwMXH3kCYfIjzEltCxQ0&cuid=4235850

    Basically, Podesta got a phishing email with a phony link to change his password. Podesta passed it to IT, which responded with a CORRECT link to change a Google password. Podesta then clicked on the phony phishing link instead.

    Those crafty Russians!

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  26. new york times fake news lol

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  27. And the guardian is a major purveyor of same, the ones who treated Snowdon like wonder bread, bogichev and belan are commercial hackers.

    narciso (d1f714)

  28. Russia only need spies in America until January 20. After that, Tillerson and Flynn will be telling Putin everything he needs to know.

    nk (dbc370)

  29. #3 Happyfeet is so true.

    Shouldn’t we learn about the dirty dealings of the political party in power? I say truth to power. It has been said that Russia did the work the media refused to do.

    AZ Bob (fff265)

  30. The Trumpkins side with Russia when it spies on America and disrupts our elections, and call the #NeverTrumpers Vichy. What a bunch of flaming firebrands!

    nk (dbc370)

  31. so many apologies are in order

    so little time to get them in before Mr. Trump gazes upon these supplicant with a cold and jaundiced eye

    chop chop supplicants

    chop chop

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  32. ugh that first supplicant word should be plural – you know – like this – *supplicants*

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  33. @nk:disrupts our elections

    When did this happen? What did they do?

    Oh, this is that thing has no evidence. I keep hoping there will be some, and there never is.

    Gabriel Hanna (51348d)

  34. Well, you Putin-loving partisans are not the first. Partisan poofter-boys Ted Cruises, Paul Rand and Trey of Gowdy helped Snowden pull off the biggest propaganda coup since the U-2 incident just to embarrass Obama.

    nk (dbc370)

  35. @nk:you Putin-loving partisans

    Can’t figure out who you think you are addressing. You cannot cite a single word of mine expressing any sort of approval of Vladimir Putin, so I am certain you cannot be so irresponsible as to have aimed that at me.

    But kindly explain what “disrupting” the election meant, and what evidence you have that this happened and that Russians were behind it, I’m interested to hear.

    Gabriel Hanna (51348d)

  36. Well, Trump was “elected”. What more do you need?

    nk (dbc370)

  37. He makes troll just like a woman
    But he whines like a little girl.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  38. 24… that’s a keeper, Kevin.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  39. I’ve read a number of theories about why the president has been so slow to take action, in spite of being fully aware of the tampering into American politics by unfriendly states (See: OPM hack).

    How did the OPM hack have anything to do with American politics? It was a hack of a federal database, but that is an attack on our government, not our politics.

    Anon Y. Mous (9e4c83)

  40. When is revealing the truth disruptive?

    AZ Bob (fff265)

  41. The truth shall set you free.

    AZ Bob (fff265)

  42. only when you hate it how much truth tastes like strawberry creamcheese

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  43. You know what stinks?
    San Francisco!

    (I know. That’s not news for anyone paying attention the last century. But this time it’s official and reported on MSN. Not just well informed opinion.)

    Air quality experts trying to determine the source of a ‘rotten-egg’ smell that has wafted over San Francisco for two days say they are investigating a wide-range of possibilities – including flaring incidents at a Chevron refinery as well as ships, landfills and wastewater treatment plants.

    The bad odor first emerged Wednesday, sending local authorities scurrying – including a visit by fire trucks to the luxury Fairmont hotel following complaints.

    The odor, variously described as the smell of sulfur or rotten eggs, was reported around midnight Wednesday and Thursday. It is not considered a health hazard.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  44. You know what smells like Satan’s bunghole after an ill advised midnight visit to Taco Bell?

    San Francisco.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  45. You know what smells like the outhouse door on a tuna boat?

    Yup.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  46. I wonder if Obama will ever grow up.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  47. Maybe Barack should send Hillary to Russia with another reset button!

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  48. Robrtt m lee notes the methodology of the report.

    narciso (d1f714)

  49. come on Dana, “it is not hard to see that Putin is also biding his time until a friendlier Trump presidency is in place:” don’t bite down so hard on Obama propaganda.

    SD Harms (c7dded)

  50. Did anyone accuse Obama of treason when he leaned over and whispered to the Russian Prime Minister Medevdev that he would “have more flexibility after the election”?

    AZ Bob (fff265)

  51. Putin is good now because Trump.

    I recommend Garry Kasparov’s new book Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped. I’m about a third of the way through it and have learned a lot. One of the most interesting details, which was apparently widely known but I had not heard about, is the evidence that Putin’s KGB was behind terrorist bombings in Russia that he attributed to Chechen rebels.

    It’s sort of the Russian version of 9/11 Trutherism, with the wrinkle that there is actual evidence to support the theory.

    Patterico (4fc3f4)

  52. yes I’ve heard, I didn’t find it as good as dawisha’s putin’s kleptocracy, which couldn’t be published in the uk, for reasons you are aware, but there have been suspicions back to satter and Dunlop,

    narciso (d1f714)

  53. maybe jeb jeb can propose a regime change we can do on the rooskies that’ll be quick and inexpensive like how failmerica did on iraq

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  54. what dawisha helped me understand is that the Russian spring, was much less than then advertised, there was an interval of political liberty, but economic liberty was something else entirely, and when the people figured out that was what does going on, it weakened the foundations of the political project,

    narciso (d1f714)

  55. but dawisha’s admitted a rather dense work, dryer, a former?? mi 6 agent, put his similar conclusion in a roman a clef, red to black, (the names were changed, but the patterns were not,) similarly much of the Islamic state’s misdeeds is directed by former regime elements, who were much less secular than the conventional wisdom dictates,

    narciso (d1f714)

  56. it was instructive that the like of miss ioffe, who drove her into the ditch, (where the atlantic picked her right up) was much more focused on volodya’s opposition to gay marriage, than any other objective malfeasance of his regime,

    narciso (d1f714)

  57. Dawisha’s comment that the Russian elites’ proclivity to bank their loot in London ($150 B) refutes the notion that the current regime is comfortable with the security offered by the rule of law in their native land. It also suggests that what used to be considered the rights of an Englishman have been auctioned off piecemeal to support the welfare state. And it explains all those destroyer-like “yachts” favored by the Russian plutocrats featuring high speeds, anti-aircraft weapons, and helipads for quick departures.

    BobStewartatHome (c24491)

  58. Meanwhile, Nigerians, the world’s preeminent phishers, continue to real in their victims, including, apparently, the best and brightest Democrats.

    We’ll always have Clinton’s WaterCloset. I wonder if Deep Plunger was Obama. His faction never did like the Clintons, and were known to influence elections through domestic and foreign outlets.

    nn (b35206)

  59. As somebody said, wish it had been me, the Russians are good; They stole Hillary’s emails from the NSA, planted them on Huma’s computer and pinned it on Weiner.
    However, we do need to thank them for helping the dems achieve one of their goals, total transparency.

    Richard Aubrey (472a6f)

  60. For those who ate curious ej epstein has a piece about snowdens lies and omission

    narciso (d1f714)

  61. Patterico (4fc3f4) — 12/31/2016 @ 8:34 am

    One of the most interesting details, which was apparently widely known but I had not heard about, is the evidence that Putin’s KGB was behind terrorist bombings in Russia that he attributed to Chechen rebels.

    It’s sort of the Russian version of 9/11 Trutherism, with the wrinkle that there is actual evidence to support the theory.

    I mentioned it a few times on this board!

    I also said Russia might have been behind the Charlie Hebdo attack, as well.

    See comments number 120 and 138 here:

    http://patterico.com/2016/09/09/trump-praises-putin-lewandowski-applauds-plus-reader-poll/

    Here are two links I gave:

    1. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/nov/22/finally-we-know-about-moscow-bombings/

    Essay in the form of a review of a book:

    The Moscow Bombings of September 1999: Examinations of Russian Terrorist Attacks at the Onset of Vladimir Putin’s Rule by John B. Dunlop

    And:

    2. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/01/29/kremlin-inc

    Sammy Finkelman (7cd5f4)

  62. ==But one place they never got into was the Clintons’ private server,==

    22. elissa (08e3c6) — 12/30/2016 @ 1:34 pm

    Oh rilly? You know this, how?

    It’s elementary logic.

    If P, then Q. Not Q, therefore not P.

    If the Russians had it, they would very probably have leaked something from it. They didn’t leak anything, in spite of Donald Trump asking them to, therefore they very probably didn’t have it.

    Going into this in a little bit more depth:

    1. There never was any basis for supposing that it was penetrated by the Russians in the first place. The argument that they must have got in is based on

    a) confusing getting the email of Sidney Blumenthal, with getting the e-mail of the persons he wrote to — confusing getting the e-mail address with getting the contents of that e-mail address. People actually did confuse those two things.

    b) The fact that clintonwmail.com didn’t have all the bells and whistles which didn’t work that other public e-mail systems had. That ignored the protections that Hillary’s private server had that nobody else had: Above all no backdoor password reset. And to get adminsitrator’s privileges is a whole other matter – it was probably not even accessed remotely.

    2) And the proof is in the pudding – none of the deleted e-mails was ever published by Wikileaks, especially since Wikileaks was sort of hinting that it had them and would publish them. But they never did. They didn’t have them.

    Let me guess. You read it in the New York Times

    No, the New York Post. But I could tell this before.

    http://pagesix.com/2015/06/02/hillary-jokes-hackers-couldnt-get-through-her-servers/

    At a $2,700-a-head Monday event at the home of Nassau County Democratic Chair Jay Jacobs, Clinton talked about cybersecurity and a recent breach of the White House computer system. She joked the White House would not have been hacked “had they been using my server.”

    This was not a joke.

    Sammy Finkelman (7cd5f4)

  63. Security was very important to the Clintons. Her e-mail account at clintonemail.com was probably the most secure e-mail account that ever existed in the history of e-mail.

    It was secure not only from hackers, it was secure from subpoenas and Freedom of Information Act requests as well. And from Inspector Generals – as a matter of fact the State Department didn’t have an Inspector General during all the time Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, which was the longest period of time any U.S. government agency had gone without an Inspector General since they first started having Inspector Generals, in the last two years of the Carter Administration. And from any inquiry that might be undertaken even by the president of the United States.

    She did urn over stff later, but undoubtably made sure not to include anything incriminating.

    A plausible phishing attack was just about impossible. If she ran into trouble, she could contact the SYSOP – you can’t do that with GMail. Any downloading by hackers would soon be noticeable because of the extra work it imposed on ths system. A dictionary attack would fail because the password was too complicated and in fact probably not even known to her.

    All of her e-mail was encrypted by Blackberries. She guarded the Blackberries she used so well so that even Huma Abedin had trouble somethimes aining access to it – and she needed to use it to access her clintonemail.com account, at least during one period of time. The server was guarded by the seet service.

    Sammy Finkelman (7cd5f4)

  64. Article about assissinations ordered by Putin:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/01/the-poison-flower/508736/

    Its like what Seneca said – he’s forced to be bad.

    Sammy Finkelman (7cd5f4)

  65. Remember my definition of a king or a czar, a warlord that doesn’t have to share power.

    narciso (d1f714)

  66. Kevin M (25bbee) — 12/30/2016 @ 1:46 pm

    Basically, Podesta got a phishing email with a phony link to change his password. Podesta passed it to IT, which responded with a CORRECT link to change a Google password.Podesta passed it to IT, which responded with a CORRECT link to change a Google password.

    Not so simple. It was, said the message from the IT person, the link to BOTH change the password, AND to establish 2-part verification.

    Since he wasn’t ready to immediately establish 2-part verification, he (or his staffer) clicked on the other link, which was for merely changing the password, since IT has said the e-mail was legitimate, and that the password should be changed immediately.

    The person at IT now says he meant to say it was NOT a legiimate email. This does not explain why he said the password should be changed immediately, because in that circumstance, the thing is to be very careful about changing the password.

    Sammy Finkelman (7cd5f4)

  67. I will believe leftists give a fig for election integrity when Lois Lerner is in a jail cell and not a moment before.

    Thatch (ee332f)

  68. Sharyl atkinson resonates some understanding.

    narciso (d1f714)


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