Thursday, July 14, 2022

Something to Know -- 14 July

Lots of stuff to do this morning.   Not much time to do any reading, etc.  So, HCR is on the line, with a look back at what SITREP is up to:

Heather Cox Richardson from Letters from an American Unsubscribe

to me

There are some follow-up stories today from yesterday's public hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Patrick Byrne, the former chief executive officer of Overstock, who was mentioned in the hearing yesterday as having attended the December 18 meeting in which lawyer Sidney Powell and former national security adviser Michael Flynn called for Trump to seize voting machines, will talk with the committee on Friday. 

Byrne ran Overstock for twenty years before having to resign in 2019 after admitting to an affair with Maria Butina, an apparent guns rights activist from Russia who ingratiated herself with Republican politicians and who later pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to act as a Russian agent without registering with the Department of Justice. She now sits in the Russian parliament, or Duma, which critics say is a reward from the Kremlin.

Byrne has trafficked in conspiracy theories, and after the 2020 election, he became increasingly convinced that Trump was right when he claimed to have been cheated of victory. 

Former White House director of strategic communications Alyssa Farah Griffin, who now works for CNN, told CNN today that when she told Trump's White House chief of staff Mark Meadows that she was resigning after the election to move on as Trump's term ended, Meadows said to her: "What if I could tell you that we're actually going to be staying?"

In a different story, CNN reported that the recipient of the phone call Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) called attention to yesterday from Trump to a witness was a White House support staff member who could corroborate the testimony provided by Meadows's aide Cassidy Hutchinson. This person didn't usually communicate with Trump and was concerned about the call. 

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) continues to fight his subpoena from a grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, that wants to hear from him about at least two phone calls he made to Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger to talk about the 2020 election. As of tonight, a judge has stayed the subpoena and on July 20 will hear arguments on whether to reject it.

The editorial board of the Charleston, South Carolina, Post and Courier today ran an editorial titled: "Just testify, Sen[ator] Graham." It says Graham's claim that the calls were about election procedures "never made sense." Now his lawyers say that he was talking about elections to do his job as the chair of the U.S. Judiciary Committee—a top-ranking committee, by the way—which makes even less sense. The board says it doesn't think Graham did anything illegal, but asserted that it is the duty of every U.S. citizen to "comply with a subpoena to testify." 

"We expect and deserve better from our senator," it concluded.

And that's just it, isn't it? We are hearing now, 18 months after the fact, that our president tried to overturn our democracy, forcing his own will onto unwilling voters. And, at the time, no one in the White House said anything to the public or to our law enforcement officials to stop this deadly attack.

Worse, it appears that a number of our lawmakers were complicit in the attempt to overturn our democracy. The committee has named at least ten representatives who conspired with the president, and another, Representative Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), who gave a tour through the Capitol complex on January 5, but there have been hints that others knew something was up as well, and that some might have been helping with the scheme. 

There is still the question of which senators and representatives saw a presentation of the 38-page PowerPoint titled "Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN," referred to by the committee in mid-December 2021. That anyone went to the trouble of making a 38-page PowerPoint suggests they expected a decent-sized audience.

Cassidy Hutchinson, who was a top aide to Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified that House minority leader Kevin McCarthy called her, angry, when he thought Trump was going to go to the Capitol.

"'[T]he president just said he's marching to the Capitol," McCarthy allegedly told Hutchinson. "You told me this whole week you aren't coming up here, why would you lie to me?'" 

Why had McCarthy been hearing for a week about Trump's plans with regard to the Capitol? 

On January 5, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), who was the president pro tempore of the Senate, the second highest-ranking person in the Senate after the vice president, told reporters about the next day: "Well, first of all, I will be—if the Vice President isn't there and we don't expect him to be there, I will be presiding over the Senate." His office immediately clarified that Grassley meant only that he would preside over counting of the Electoral Votes only if Vice President Mike Pence "had to step away during Wednesday's proceedings," and that "'[e]very indication we have is that the vice president will be there." But considering everything we know now about the plans to get Pence out of the way, Grassley's comment continues to bother me. 

The silence from Republicans over what we have been hearing from the January 6th committee is deafening. 

It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that they were willing to permit Trump to overturn the will of the voters—to overturn our democratic form of government—if it meant they could retain power. 

We ignore this willingness to destroy our democracy at our peril.

Two days ago, a spokesperson for Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán announced that the Conservative Political Action Conference has invited Orbán to give an opening address at their gathering in Dallas, Texas, next month. Trump, who has endorsed Orbán in his recent election, will also be speaking. 

America's self-styled "conservatives" have gotten increasingly close to Orbán, thanks in part to the enthusiasm of Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson for the Hungarian leader. This spring, Carlson broadcast his show from Hungary, which, with fewer than 10 million people, is about the size of Michigan. (It always strikes me as exceedingly odd that the same people who claim to champion America are using this small central European country as a model for the United States.) In April, CPAC met in Hungary, where Orbán gave a long address.  

Orbán has eroded democracy in his country, replacing it with what he calls "illiberal democracy," or "Christian democracy." His country still holds nominal elections, but their outcome is preordained because the government controls all the media and has silenced opposition. Illiberal democracy rejects modern liberal democracy because the equality it champions means an acceptance of immigrants, LGBTQ rights, and women's rights and an end to traditionally patriarchal society. Orbán's model of minority rule promises a return to a white-dominated, religiously based society, and he has pushed his vision by eliminating the independent press, cracking down on political opposition, getting rid of the rule of law, and dominating the economy with a group of crony oligarchs.

When he spoke at CPAC in April, Orbán told the attendees that the right wing in Europe and the United States must fight together to "reconquer" institutions in Brussels and Washington, D.C., before the 2024 election because those "liberals" who currently control them are destroying western civilization.



Wednesday, July 13

Russian artillery support takes days to happen from the initial request

Jul 14CommentShare

🇺🇦 Pictured: Ukraine is negotiating with the US to receive long-range HIMARS ammunition that can reach 300km-500km

🇺🇦  The referenced picture is a terrible infographic that gives hardly any actionable information, but I'm hoping nobody cares because it LOOKS like it's a good infographic, and looks awesome as a thumbnail for this post!

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🇺🇦  Russian requests for artillery fire pass through a convoluted chain of command, resulting in a delay of several hours to several DAYS between Russian ground forces requesting artillery fire, Russian targeting, and conducting the actual strikes. This has been verified with multiple sources. Hey soldier friends…can you imagine calling in a strike and it takes  DAYS to happen? 

🇺🇦 UK is putting Ukrainian soldiers through a 3-week basic training. 20% are women. The program aims to train another 10,000 Ukrainians over the next 4 months. (MissouriBob, that update is for you!)

🇺🇦 Following the above announcement, Poland has announced readiness to train the Ukrainian military.

🇺🇦 Germany will completely stop buying Russian coal on Aug. 1 and Russian oil on Dec. 31, marking a major shift in the source of the country's energy supply

🇺🇦 Russian soldiers are increasingly more drunk and insubordinate. Alcohol abuse and desertion are rampant in Russian forces. This is according to Ukraine's General Staff. This sourcing is believable because 1) it follows many reports of RU drunkenness and insubordination 2) UA propaganda MO is based on spreading favorable true news stories

🇺🇦 A pro-Russian separatist blogger likely got the Nova Kakhovka ammo depot blown up, by posting an 11 second video that allowed deduction of the location

🇺🇦 It appears the FSB is searching houses and basements for deserters…there's an elevated number of people deserting due to the HIMARS attacks. 

🇺🇦 Ukraine is negotiating with the US to receive long-range HIMARS ammunition that can reach 300km

🇺🇦 In resistance news, Ukraine partisans are increasing activities in occupied areas. As Russia seeks to consolidate control of occupied areas, British Intelligence is noting increased anti-Russian sentiment in these areas. The most recent high profile partisan attack involved a Ukrainian collaborator named Volodymyr Saldo—an administrator in a Russian-installed administration—getting poisoned. 

🇺🇦 In Kherson, Russia can't steal grain because they previously stole the combines

🇺🇦 Russian forces conducted failed ground assaults north of Slovyansk and around Bakhmut. 

🇺🇦 Thought Russia is largely in an operational pause, they continued air and artillery strikes around Siversk and west of Donetsk City. 

🇺🇦 Russian forces are targeting Ukrainian rail lines on the Eastern Axis. 

🇺🇦 Russian forces continue to attempt limited and unsuccessful ground assaults north of Kharkiv City. 

🇺🇦 Russian occupation authorities are using financial incentives for civilians working in occupied Ukraine….which is ironic because (in some places) Russian occupying forces are acting like migrants and doing odd jobs for Ukrainians for bare minimum wages

🇺🇦 According to Institute for the Study of War Russian occupation authorities may be setting conditions to forcibly relocate Ukrainian children in occupied territories to Crimea. *rage intensifies*

🇺🇦 Sorry for the late post…I keep hoping that if I wait long enough I'll hear news about another Russian general

📢 Countries apply to be in NATO. NATO is a defense alliance that has never, and does not, consider offensive operations. Saying NATO is encroaching on Russia is Kremlin messaging. Russia has three primary propaganda efforts directed at the West, and that's the first. 

📢 Yes, Ukraine has a nazi problem, but it's a very small percentage of the country, and not representative of the whole. Using a small group to smear the entire group is called "guilt by association." Russia has three primary propaganda efforts directed at the West, and that's the second.

📢 If you ever hear anyone say "What about this thing America did…" or "what about Palestine?" in an effort to redirect attention away from Ukraine and onto the west, that is called "Competitive victimhood" and the associated meme is *always* created by Russian-backed media. Russia has three primary propaganda efforts directed at the West, and that's the third.

⚠️ Sorry about the typos or awkward sentences!!!! This is the inevitable result of putting out a finalized research product once every 24 hours, with no staff. If anyone feels like giving me staff, we can polish this b right up!

⚠️ I got lazy with my citations and I apologize. My top sources are: Current and former military planners, singularly-focused pundits, and all manner of vetted open-source intelligence. Top cited open source pundits and sources include: CP Scott, Institute for the Study of War, Kyiv Independent, and mainstream news with high levels of journalistic integrity and track records. Sadly I can't source private individuals, of course. 

⚠️ Speaking of sources, thanks to all of you who have forwarded me tips or given me data from the front line. You're the private individuals I wish I could source publicly 

⚠️ Though my awesome employer taught me everything I know about OSINT, these posts are not affiliated with my employer, nor done during my employer's time. Every item I report is from my own research, my own opinion, and written during my own time. 

⚠️ Note: War happens fast and even high fidelity news needs a ton of corrections after the dust settles. 

🇺🇦 Sorry to my Substack readers who get this weird "ua" symbol instead of a flag emoji!


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The Republican Party - willing agents and representatives of the Gun Manufacturing and Ammunition Industry - "the lobby".

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