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View Diary: BREAKING: Pro Russian Rebels Boasted About Downing Plane (459 comments)

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  •  If there aren't satellites focused there (11+ / 0-)

    Then I am simultaneously less scared of and disappointed in the NSA.

    "Things are not as they appear to be, nor are they otherwise." - Buddha

    by US Blues on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 02:32:44 PM PDT

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    •  that would be NRO. where NSA fits in is: (18+ / 0-)

      NRO (National Reconnaissance Office) does satellites.

      NSA does SIGINT (signals intelligence).  NSA probably got all the communications activity: landline and mobile telephone, email, social media including all the guilty edits (smoking gun), ground radio, etc.  

      Ukraine was formerly associated with the USSR which means there would be ground intercept stations as near to it as we could get.  Those would not have been decommissioned after the Cold War: never dump an asset that might turn out to be useful later.

      This is NSA's actual mission.  They really could care less about Americans posting "Obama Sucks" or whatever.  And this is why some of us here, while agreeing that some of Snowden's leakage was salutary in kicking off a debate about US intel policy, also believe that some of Snowden's leakage did real harm.  

      For example the Google intercept.  Google's spiders crawl the web more efficiently than anything NSA has, and archive all of it back to Google.  If NSA sits on the pipe to Google, it gets all of that, including the "smoking gun" activity on Ukraine separatist websites & social media pages.

      It was just gratuitous good luck that some Joe Random also got the "smoking gun" social page from the Ukranian separatist group.  I'm 100% certain that there's a classified copy of that page on some NSA analyst's desktop, with plenty of annotations from other sources.  Joe Random's copy with date/time stamp would be sufficient for domestic law enforcement purposes as evidence in a case, but not sufficient for Obama to use making foreign policy decisions.

      This is why we can't afford to have sources & methods compromised.  You can be sure Putin has been following Snowden's releases closely, and taking countermeasures.  Fortunately this time, the countermeasures weren't sufficient to prevent the Ukranians shooting their mouths off.  And I'm 100% certain there is a metric shit-ton of other intercepts and the like that we will never hear about, that will give Obama the picture in depth and detail.

      As I said before, thankfully we have sane grownups in the White House.  This crisis with Bush at the helm would be downright terrifying.  

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 04:17:13 PM PDT

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      •  Well and accurately put. It was an accidental (0+ / 0-)

        shoot-down by incompetent separatists under the "command" and control of Russia/Putin.

        But the intelligence information which establishes the facts that come out of this will expose Putin for what he is behind the now-fallen mask.

        He will have caused a (finally) decisive response to the exposure of what he is actually about doing in Unkraine.

        This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain. A lie is half way around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain.

        by JJustin on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:43:09 PM PDT

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      •  I'm not sure that it's good luck. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc


        While southeastern Ukraine is quite poor even by Ukrainian standards, people there still have dashcams, cell phones and relatives all over the country and access to VKontakte, Facebook and YouTube.  There are hundreds of Iosif Iosifovich Randoms in Donbas to pass along information.

        Euromaidan PR (pro-Kiev) passed along the original reports from Gherkin that military planes were downed, so they already had the originals when the story changed.

        "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

        by Yamaneko2 on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 11:34:37 PM PDT

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      •  I appreciate your detailed information (0+ / 0-)

        I was going more for snark and humor, thank you for providing the balance.

        "Things are not as they appear to be, nor are they otherwise." - Buddha

        by US Blues on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:47:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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