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BREAKING: Officials Say Malaysian Air Flight "Ended" In The Indian Ocean | Main | Skewed Polls, Yo: Democrats Slam Nate Silver for His GOP Senate Takeover Production, Saying He Makes a Lot of Mistakes
March 24, 2014

It Seems The US Has Lost The Ability To Intercept Russian Communications

You might recall that the day before Russia made it's move in Crimea the US intelligence community (or at least a part of it) said the Russians were bluffing. That was...unfortunate.

Now there's a possible explanation for that atrocious error.

U.S. military satellites spied Russian troops amassing within striking distance of Crimea last month. But intelligence analysts were surprised because they hadn't intercepted any telltale communications where Russian leaders, military commanders or soldiers discussed plans to invade.

America's vaunted global surveillance is a vital tool for U.S. intelligence services, especially as an early-warning system and as a way to corroborate other evidence. In Crimea, though, U.S. intelligence officials are concluding that Russian planners might have gotten a jump on the West by evading U.S. eavesdropping.

"Even though there was a warning, we didn't have the information to be able to say exactly what was going to happen," a senior U.S. official says.

Hmmm, I wonder how the Russians might have been able to avoid having their communications intercepted? Oh right.

So, has Snowden enabled the Russians to evade US signal gathering? It's seems possible, maybe even likely. It's also possible the US after over a decade of focusing on terrorist treats and supporting efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan simply wasn't paying enough attention to the Russians or they just missed the signs.

I'm happy to have Snowden come back to the US and face a firing squad but I don't think we should jump to the conclusion that every intelligence failure from here on out is because of his crimes. It makes me nervous to see intelligence professionals jump to the easy conclusion. Aren't they supposed to be about not taking information at face value or the easy route to a solution?

Yes, they should be operating under the assumption that almost everything they do is compromised but the US intelligence community missed things before Snowden and shouldn't be exempt from having their work analyzed for problems going forward because of what he's done.

In related news....

The Russians could steamroll through Ukraine anytime they want.

The Ukrainian Army is preparing for battle by...raising money for equipment online.

And I put together a list of some of the things we still have today that date back to the "original" Crimean war back in the 1850s.


digg this
posted by DrewM. at 11:48 AM

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