“Kompromat”: A Compilation


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The latest to pop up on Facebook:

Trump praised the organization in a speech—“I love WikiLeaks”—on October 10th. He tweeted about WikiLeaks on October 11th. The next day, WikiLeaks, seemingly encouraged by the coördination, sent another private message to Trump, Jr.: “Hey Donald, great to see your dad talking about our publications. Strongly suggest your dad tweet this link if he mentions us.” Fifteen minutes later, Donald Trump tweeted, “Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by Wikileaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!” Two days later, on October 14th, Trump, Jr., tweeted the link that WikiLeaks had provided. The entire political world wanted to know whether the Trump campaign was actively coördinating with WikiLeaks, an organization that Trump’s own C.I.A. director would later call “a nonstate hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-gops-boil-the-frog-strategy-to-save-trump/amp – 11/16/2017

For the public, perhaps, the encounter with so much information buzzing around — rather like electrons around a nucleus — may well be jading or numbing; still, one may wonder about the Trump narrative in relation to Moscow and its still feudal methods of handling and influencing political events in the states it targets.

Have Americas voters by way of weaknesses in election-related processes — including the defense of Party (either) information assets, the defense of the American People against “Active Measures'” disinformation in the American “Information Space”, and, in the end the defense of American principles and values — handed “Washington” to “Moscow”?

Aside | Related

BackChannels will miss Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, whose dictatorship this morning is on the ropes.

This blog has often cited as rye observation and warning Mugabe’s stay in power as proof that a wily dictator may indeed make a life of it and hope to die contented and peacefully in his sleep.  Alas, continued political life in Zimbabwe is not looking much good today for President-for-Almost-Life Mugabe.  He has been expected to resign, and, as expected, he has so far refused.

Trump and the Company Encountered and Kept

On the home front, the nimble pack of the Fourth Estate has been circling our oafish President Donald J. Trump and producing reports of unwanted connections in the open manner (as opposed to the closed represented by Mueller’s legal hounds).

Herewith, BackChannels own bookmarks, unfiltered, unfixed, but for the “link rot” of disappeared web pages, ever present on the web.

What to make of so much reportage?

Should the BackChannels reader wish to live in a world where gangsters get what they want and hold on to it, where the world is ever at war but one cannot with accuracy comprehend why, where souls repeat themselves endlessly as if on a zoetrope spinning the same moving images against a wall (for as long as it spins), and where Orwell no longer matters, then stop here, for all is spinning as designed, albeit not designed by God (nature, or the universe) but by the same lot that incubated ISIS in fine Totalitarian KGB Theater style.

The Latest from Luke Harding

Nobody does it better . . .

. . . than Luke Harding when it comes to development of intimate knowledge of the Russian “mafia state”.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/15/how-trump-walked-into-putins-web-luke – 11/15/2017

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/19/trump-first-moscow-trip-215842 – 11/19/2017

BackChannels “Trump Kompromat” Bookmarks

The desktop pigeon — that would the blog’s editor — appears to have a bad read-save read-save habit unattached, so far, to being fed, and the saving while surfing has been complicated only by the question, “where should this go?”  The links that follow were shrugged into the “Trump Kompromat” bin, and, in the way of the all-day web surfer, forgotten.  Even without titles and dates, it is something to see even a few on this course listed in one space.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-idUSKBN14V18L | “Trump accuses U.S. spy agencies of Nazi practices over ‘phony’ Russia dossier”.  Related on BackChannels: “Paranoid Delusional Narcissistic Reflection of Motivation“.







http://news.postimees.ee/3977431/estonian-foreign-intelligence-in-the-spotlight“A meeting between a member of US president-elect Donald Trump’s close circle and a pro-Putin member of the Russian State Duma in a Eastern European country was picked up by the Estonian Information Board, Newsweek wrote yesterday, based on information from several people with ties to the agency.”




































http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article176003346.html – “Fugitive Kazakh clan has deep ties to Trump associates”:

The Khrapunovs, with the help of a partner of Sater’s, later purchased and quickly flipped three condos in the Trump Soho hotel and condo complex. They are accused in Kazakhstan of embezzlement and money laundering. The Khrapunovs face civil lawsuits in New York and Los Angeles that seek to claw back what the Kazakh government says is stolen money. Some of the cash allegedly washed through U.S. real estate, including the Trump properties.




The Trouble With the Steele Dossier


Solving the Mystery of the Maltese Professor

Related to Felix Sater







Related to Paul Manafort



















FTAC: Sentiment for the Clintons


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Prompt: scraping up the Clinton scandals one mo’ time.

Response regarding cultures of power and the powerful politician:

There also are and have been multiple political cultures feeding up to but also drawing on the manners of the powerful of state.

Should we dredge all the way back to Henry VIII? Or Louis XIV? Or Thomas Jefferson?

Regarding the Clintons and perhaps others, I would rank accomplishment in authentic community care and concern far above personal peccadilloes and incautious personal stupidity for the purpose of voting. I’d rather have a good civic spirit in office rather than a seedy authoritarian of the kind too common in the world.


FTAC: Absent of Boundaries; Absent of Conscience: Dictatorship


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The prompt from my conversational partner: “. . . to solve these problems, we need cooperation, not war. And the main question is why does the government not understand this?”

The response:

Paper, scissors, stone,  and “paper” (money) covers and suffocates all beneath it while “liberating” those who have it and, perhaps (I don’t want to find out!), those who might believe themselves above it – or those of merely modest material ambitions.

My personal approach has been “Money Matters!” but is not everything; however, and this especially with our health care industry, there are forces producing polices I can’t field, and of course that inspires a yet impotent resentment.

Our government should be Christian, good-willed, and muscular (academic term “muscular Christianity” works in this regard), but it’s bending toward the criminals in the great mansions and penthouse suites, and I’ not talking about Bill Gates or most “plutocrats” but rather those who believe there are no boundaries between their perfect embodiment of the “isness” (I will find the word, literally) of their state and themselves. The businesses, the courts, the military and paramilitary elements, and legislatures are all theirs to exploit and manipulate on behalf of their preferred . . . associates. That’s dictatorship.

Let me see if I can find the word for existence as the authentic expression of spirit . . . .

“Esse” and “essence” were not what I was looking for but for an esoteric term having to do with the being of the thing within the thing. Believing in the singularity of person and state (as Ceausescu had; as Erdogan and Putin do) may comprise part of the messianic delusion suffered by dictators but unfortunately visited (with fist in the velvet glove, at best) on their subjected people.

I’m finding my reading of Russian history steeped in punitive control, and that doesn’t come with interest in “the masses” half so much as in the developing and sustaining of wealth beneficial to the image and power of the central figure in power.

Related, Recent, and Singular

On today’s Chinese and Russian totalitarian aggression in Global Information Space:

Walker, Christopher and Jessice Ludwig.  “The Meaning of Sharp Power”.  Foreign Affairs, November 16, 2017.

BackChannels maintains a brief bibliography of accessible and general volumes on Russia’s political history in the “Russian Section” of this blog.  For greater insight into the authoritarian-patrimonial experience of the political culture from the 9th Century forward, I would recommend Richard Pipes’ fine history, Russia Under the Old Regime.

Punitive control: in geopolitical space and in the various ages of the “rule of the strong”, including for Russia and surrounds domination by the Mongols, the power to control space produces arrangements with in to produce wealth.  Pipes’ — in the above cited volume — steps off with economic variance in the productivity of Russian land compared to soil fertility to the south to explain motivation for the social arrangements that would ensue in history and effect Russian political arrangements to this day.  What Pipes appears to find essential — and what most concerns this blog — is the prince’s (or equivalent or greater in power) considering the ownership of property and persons the same thing.  Worse — the test of sovereignty becomes the permit to engage in the wholesale destruction of both!

Now have another look at Assad’s destruction of Syria and incubation of ISIS as a useful foil and political tool (“Reflexive Control’s” little helper) as well as the very emblem of the worst of the worst of destructive forces.

Who has the control of it?


Note: keyword tags are related this time but not directly addressed except beneath the category that is “Dictatorship” and its essential and unfailingly malign narcissism.


Also in Media: “Western Worries About Russian Disinformation ‘Just Fits of Hysterics'” | Hungarian Spectrum | November 15, 2017


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Of course the title of the Hungarian Spectrum article is ironic, not dismissive.

Moscow’s manipulation of “Information Space” beyond its boundaries is serious stuff, and the American public and other western democratic constituencies need to know it down to and through their grassroots.

Good examples of Russian manipulation can be seen in the Catalonian independence referendum and Brexit. Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis announced that his government had confirmed that a propaganda campaign intended to destabilize Spain came from Russia and Venezuela. They used Twitter, Facebook, and other internet sites to publicize the separatist cause and swing public opinion to support it.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh identified 419 accounts operating from the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) that attempted to influence British politics. Russian hackers also spread anti-Islamic sentiments in Great Britain after the recent terrorist attacks. According to The Guardian, hundreds of paid bloggers work around the clock at IRA “to flood Russian internet forums, social networks and the comments sections of western publications—sowing disinformation, praising the country’s president, Vladimir Putin, and raging at the west.” On Monday Theresa May addressed the issue in a speech, saying that Russia’s actions were “threatening the international order on which we all depend.”


Related on BackChannels

https://conflict-backchannels.com/2017/10/01/the-active-measures-links-page/ – a short and goofy primer that probably should have a more formal twin.

https://conflict-backchannels.com/2017/10/23/fake-news-genuine-fake-news-the-real-fake-news-get-your-fake-news-here/ – American mainstream journalism is “high-integrity professional” by design and training.  BackChannels believes it has been an authoritarian ruse with some P. T. Barnum thrown in to sell alienated or struggling white Americans (for the most part) on the distrust of the mainstream (NOT “lamestream”) media.

Reliable, verifiable, and trusted news — “clear, accurate, and complete” — forms the very foundation of public impression and related decisionmaking, and to smear the entire industry bids only for absolute and tyrannical power.  Around the world, however, what governments may withhold as secret from the press may not be known, or easily known, and from that comes a contest in democracies between governments and Real Press for general constituent and voter confidence in their elected government.

https://conflict-backchannels.com/2017/03/11/reflexive-control-process-allahu-akbar-terrorism-new-nationalism-neo-feudalism/ — Moscow’s Game.

https://conflict-backchannels.com/2016/11/23/moscows-rules-a-module/ – a good natured primer on the world’s most cynical political regime.

https://conflict-backchannels.com/library/russian-section/ – a backgrounder in the form of a bibliography listing the most accessible and enjoyable volumes on Cold War history and related political mafia and disinformation (and much else).  Highly recommended: Disinformation by Pacepa and Rychlak and the Agnia Grigas work on Crimea.


Call BackChannels the work of an obsessive curiosity by the most accidental tourist in political science and political psychology.  I’d say the editor would be a senior in high school, perhaps a junior in college, at this point . . . perhaps a little more sophisticated for breadth of awareness of related elements across regions (“culture, conflict, language, and psychology”) and ability to get the connections just about right.

https://conflict-backchannels.com/coins-and-other-terms/anthropolitical-psychology/paranoid-delusional-narcissistic-reflection-of-motivation/ – if ever there was a psychological phenomenon or method accompanying the aggression of the murderous and tyrannical, the title gets it.

Related in Wikipedia

For the once-Soviet inspired, manipulated (and paid) Hard Political Left whose most privileged of the Party would regard the same with contempt for being pliable and useful idiots:





On the Fates of Authoritarian Figures . . . .


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Top: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/rep-steve-cohen-introduces-new-articles-of-impeachment-against-trump/ – 11/15/2017.

Bottom: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/pictures-president-zimbabwe-robert-mugabes-rise-fall-1647387 – 11/15/2017.

Add for contemplation: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/photos-brief-bloody-anti-soviet-hungarian-uprising-1956-1644224 – 10/23/2017.

–So he’s a thug.

–Which one?

–It doesn’t matter: why not let him have his little state?


BackChannels will demur here from commenting on the standing President of the United States but may note that little things like stiffing dozens of subcontractors, building hills around a golf course in-holding, selling off a $42 million property for about $94 million to meet a few debts (Harry Homeowner: try to beat that for obtaining a favor — and note: the buyer razed the property: it’s a field by the Atlantic Ocean today), sabotaging American universal health care, deriding the most professional news organizations in the world as “Fake News!” may not endear the same to all ordinary Americans who despite their many vulnerabilities may enjoy a modicum of dignity and protection through true democratic representation.

Poor Robert — this editor has long suggested that Mugabe’s long presence in power not only proves that a ruthless and wily dictator may not only get away it but perhaps pass away in an untroubled sleep somewhere in his 90s.  Nope.  Well maybe.  In any case, BackChannels didn’t see this coup a-comin’, but there it is and fair cause for becoming desktop-addicted newsie.

Hungarian Uprising, 1956: I was looking for Soviet officers hung from lamp posts, a detail reported in a BBC video about Vladimir Putin’s cultural memory (perhaps I was looking at the wrong event, so will look again) but found the visual record formed by the collision of the deeply resentful against the then militarily powerful.  Similar images may be dredged up from the web for the end of Mussilini and the Ceausescues.

Related in Wikipedia: “Russian–Hungarian relations, 1945–1991” —

Historic photograph, 1956 Hungarian Revolution against Soviet occupation.

Historic photograph, 1956 Hungarian Revolution against Soviet occupation (source: Wikimedia Commons).



FTAC: A Thought on Powerful Global Elite and America’s Own Holy War in Defense of Democracy


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Our (American / EU / NATO) failure to so far address Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, Russo-Iranian support for tyranny in Syria and war by proxy in Yemen, and our manner of perhaps chiding China (and trying to talk down North Korea off its military nuclear-development platform) may signal both result and cause for ceding the fullness of an authentic (!) democracy to the capricious will of politically absolute (authoritarian / dictating) elite and joining that at the expense of democratic constituencies.

Theresa May isn’t having it with Russia, but have a look again at what Tayyip Recip Erdogan has done to “NATO” member Turkey and at how Viktor Orban in Hungary has attached himself and family to state patronage.

Who else?

The American Jihad — why not appropriate the term and really confuse some issues? — may be to struggle against the extremist politics that divide us and to struggle against the “absolutism” or fascism and chimera of “national socialism” that may be in the process of being forced upon all of us.

I’m not sure the note was even relevant to the prompt, for the words came to mind after watching this June 2017 BBC documentary focused on Vladimir Putin with side trips into his relationship with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump:

As the Phantoms of the Soviet loom over America’s international affairs, two other BackChannels posts may be worth a look as regards reminding ourselves just how audacious totalitarian manipulation can be:


BackChannels believes that Moscow / Moscow-Tehran account in large measure for the contemporary experience of Islamic Terrorism and continues to promote the idea that Syria’s tyrant Bashar al-Assad incubated ISIS to deal himself the tool of a most useful enemy.  If you have a device that can prick or sting the body politic of a target state, then that same tool may become a part of bending your enemy’s political and security cultures to your own authoritarian will:


Check the references.

Check the fit with other high-integrity and decidedly UnFake News.




FTAC: After the Cold War – An Observation


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We may have misinterpreted the Cold War and most certainly misrepresented it as an ideological war predicated on the spread of “Communism” when, in fact, the tension has been always about autocratic / authoritarian political culture.

Open democratic systems strive to balance and limit the power of any one organization, party, or person to impress will on others without consent.

Dictatorships inherently represent police states, and the end of that kind of power becomes inevitably the power to visit suffering on others with impunity.

The “Empire” was Russia.

When the Cold War ended, the west may have opened its doors, its hearts, and its wallets to encourage democracy and the open market systems, and in some ways it started to work: the posture helped produced Kremlin adversary Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a part of the starting-gate mafia (to whom key state assets were sold) whose wealth transformed him into a modern and moderate capitalist politician.

The it’s-all-mine emperor-to-be (so today it seems) in the Kremlin disagreed with both liberalism and westernization and appears to have turned instead to building a feudal network of power to be distributed through the wealth of a massively enriched elite worldwide.

I have heard that Russia has exported as much as $3 trillion into western (rule-of-law) assets (I don’t have the time frame for that history of capital flight and seemingly quite compulsive and mad spending, the kind that doubles Trump’s money on a property and goes on to raze the mansion, thereby producing a $92 million undeveloped luxury beach front lot — it would be only money were it not also an investment tied to foreign wealth).

It would seem our businesses and properties may be working to benefit “Moscow” — Putin’s nobility — after all.

Richard Pipes book, referenced below, suggests that Russia’s princes adopted the outlook of the Mongols as regards power, property, and persons as the power of the same diminished over the land.  That early and traumatic experience with the Golden Horde appears then to have left its mark within the political culture that came to stand in its place.  By about 1702, the relationship between the powerful and the ruled had produced sufficient resentment and related insecurity for Tsar Peter I to issue a decree installing Russia’s first secret police organization:

According to its provisions, the head of the Preobrazhenskii Prikaz had the right to investigate at his discretion any institution and any individual, regardless of rank, and to take whatever steps he thought necessary to uncover pertinent information and forestall seditious acts . . . .  No one — not even the Senate which Peter had set up to supervise the country’s administration — had the right to inquire into its affairs.  In its chambers thousands were tortured and put to death, religious dissenters and drunks overheard to make disparaging remarks about the sovereign.  The uses of the police, however, were not confined to political offences, broadly defined as these were.  Whenever the government ran into any kind of difficulty, it tended to call upon its organs for help.  Thus, the complex task of managing the construction of St. Petersburg, after various unsuccessful attempts was in the end entrusted to that city’s police chief.

The Preobrazhenskii Prikaz seems to have been the first institution in history created to deal specifically and exclusively with political crimes.  The scope of its operations and its complete administrative independence mark it as the prototype of a basic organ of all modern police states.

Pipes, Richard. Russia Under the Old Regime: The History of Civilization.  P. 130.  New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1974.

Related in Wikipedia

Era: Ivan the Terrible

Modern theories suggest that the motivating purpose for the organization and existence of the Oprichniki was to suppress people or groups opposed to the Tsar. Known to ride black horses and led by Ivan himself, the group was known to terrorize civilian populations.

Era: Alexander II, Alexander III / 1881-1917

Formed to combat political terrorism and left-wing revolutionary activity,[2] the Okhrana operated offices throughout the Russian Empire and satellite agencies in a number of foreign nations. It was concerned primarily with monitoring the activities of Russian revolutionaries abroad, including Paris, where Pyotr Rachkovsky was based (1884–1902).

The task was performed by multiple methods, including covert operations, undercover agents, and “perlustration”—reading of private correspondence. Even the Foreign Agency served this purpose. The Okhrana was notorious for its agents provocateurs, including Dr. Jacob Zhitomirsky (a leading Bolshevik and close associate of Vladimir Lenin), Yevno Azef, Roman Malinovsky and Dmitry Bogrov.



The Russian Section of the editor’s library offers additional and in-depth reading for those on the edges of Russian Studies, which were necessarily a big deal during the Cold War but another element much diminished when the end officially arrived on December 25, 1991.


FTAC: “Is there an ‘American’ cemetery somewhere?”


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Abraham Lincoln Statue, Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor's Center, November 8, 2010

Abraham Lincoln Statue, Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor’s Center, November 8, 2010, (c)2010 James S. Oppenheim

I’m an American of Jewish descent and the last name tells of a small wine-making town on the Rhine. Perhaps growing up the proper noun-based cultural infusions in the development of self-concept shaped whatever it is I’ve become, but had those details been missing, would I have gravitated toward writing, music, photography, and, later, blogging?

In the democratic modern mode, there’s a lot more going on in the “mixing” of the person — multiple influences and variables — and in many ways we choose our character and if not for better — I’ve been handed some things . . . haven’t made a good life or at least picket-fence-and 2.5 children template of the “American Dream” — then at least for the possession of integrity, an authentic existence, which I think ultimately a good thing.

In other modes — authoritarian, medieval, Orwellian — legacy may indeed fix in place the future.

On the left sidebar of my blog are in essence listed my values —

We should be able to enjoy our respective ethnolinguistic and other legacies in heritage by finding for ourselves what is noble in survival and scrapping and shrugging away and tucking in the miseries of the past. For everyone: something happened back there — so what needs to happen to produce a better experience in living, personal and community-wide, tomorrow?

I don’t know where I want to be buried anymore.

Is there an “American” cemetery somewhere?

Who are your people?

My people are Americans.