Note: If you are into independent music, Hiraeth’s new album “Woven” is now available exclusively at WACMedia.store. I am not sure what the style is called, but there are free samples, so you can see for yourself. All of the people involved are good folks working in the dissident arts scene.
Last week, the New York Times broke a story about allegedly leaked documents from Western sources circulating on the internet. Since late January, images of what looks like briefing documents have been turning up on various sites. In March, a trove of them turned up on Discord and then another batch soon after. These documents focus primarily on the Ukraine war, but cover other issues as well, like spying on various governments and plans for war with China.
This comes at a critical time, as the war in the Ukraine seems to be reaching an inflexion point militarily and politically. The Russians are about to crack the Zelensky line by taking Bakhmut. This will force the Ukrainians to move further west into the last defensive lines in the Donbas. Politically, patience is beginning to run out in Europe as the war drags far past the promised end date. Washington promised regime change in Moscow and instead it is happening in European capitals.
There is also the endless chatter from Washington about a spring offensive by Ukraine that promises to retake the Donbas. Every day someone from the administration or one of their proxies tells the media about the spring offensive. These documents seem to confirm that NATO has been planning an offensive for months. They list troop numbers for new battalions, as well as equipment deliveries. The most publicized military operation in history is now getting more publicity.
That is the first red flag with the document leak. These documents confirm many of the public statements made by various officials. It is as if they felt that no one believed them, so they leaked this stuff on-line. The fact that “sources” have rushed to their favorite regime-aligned media to confirm the authenticity also suggests this is a bit too convenient of a leak. Normally, there is no comment about these sorts of leaks, to avoid revealing additional information.
Of course, that brings up the second red flag. The four people “reporting” the story for the New York Times are well known conduits for regime propaganda. Gibbons-Neff is most likely an intelligence agent, given his resume. Schmitt has ties to the Kagan cult and has a long association with the State Department. Over the last year, every story from these four reads like a press release from the administration. Their job is to push regime narratives and disinformation campaigns.
Another red flag is the comingling of disparate information. Compartmentalization is the foundation of state security. This means segregating information into discrete domains, which is the basis for a need-to-know information flow. Some people need to know about battlefield data, for example, while other people need to know about the political situation, but not necessarily the battlefield information. Only senior people will need to know both data sets.
Now, it is possible that these documents are from a range of briefing books, but that would mean they are from a senior official. Think about the sort of people who need data on Ukraine, the looming war in Asia, the current war in the Middle East and the current state of spying on friendly governments. Unless the leaker is General Milley, the breadth of subjects in these documents suggests they may be part of a disinformation campaign of some sort.
That brings up another red flag. If you want to trick someone into believing your story, you seed the story with facts that they can confirm. When presented with confirmed information and unconfirmed information in support of a narrative, humans are likely to accept the narrative. If the confirmed information is not generally available, then the bias in favor of the narrative is stronger. In other words, you put your poison fruit in a basket of wholesome and pleasing fruit.
You see that in this document leak. Mixed in with plans for taking the Crimea is data about casualties and supplies that you do not see in the media. This is the sort of stuff the Russians could confirm, as they surely know the condition of the Ukrainian army and their casualty numbers. The intel on Ukrainian air defenses is another bit of truth that makes the leak story look plausible. This data gives away nothing but adds authenticity to the other data in the documents.
Now, Hanlon’s razor applies here. It is not as if the people running Ukraine policy for the regime are the best and the brightest. All these red flags could be explained away as incompetence by the regime. In fact, the leaker could simply be trying to get this reality out into the open. There are plenty of skeptics on the military side of the regime who could be leaking this to embarrass the neocons. It is impossible to know, but skepticism is always the prudent course.
The question behind this is why would the regime do a limited hangout like this on the eve of the big spring offensive? Surely, they know the Russians have their own intelligence operations. That means they know what Ukraine is planning. The Russians have satellites too, so they can see where Ukraine is mustering forces. In other words, this sort of operation is not going to trick the Russians. If this operation is not aimed at the Russians, then who is the target?
The logical answer is European politicians. The bits of tasty fruit in these documents stroke the European ego. It makes their American masters look crude and amateurish, not like the suave and sophisticated Europeans. By playing to their vanity this way, they are more likely to buy the narrative of a great Ukrainian offensive. These documents tell them that they need to wait just a little while longer and they will be rewarded with a smashing success on the battlefield.
Alternatively, this may be prep work for the political fallout that will surely come when the Ukraine war turns ugly later this year. Sending Marco Rubio out to trash French President Emmanuel Macron could be the start of a campaign to shift blame for the failures of Ukraine to the Europeans. Conservatives can then focus their ire on the French, rather than the neocons. You see? Those duplicitous French have undermined our Ukraine policies. Freedom fries are back!
Since the key to regime power is control of information, we are left to guess as to why these allegedly secret documents are on the internet. Stupidity is always a good option, but that cuts in many ways. Stupid people do not lack agency. They do things for a reason, but their reasons are stupid. That may be the case here. It could also be part of some larger narrative developing for later this year. After all, these people are also evil and evil people think this way.
If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!
Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. The Pepper Cave produces exotic peppers, pepper seeds and plants, hot sauce and seasonings. Their spice infused salts are a great add to the chili head spice armory.
Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that roasts its own coffee and ships all over the country. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.
Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start.
Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb. Just email them directly to book at email@example.com.