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Fine, nitpickers, these are actually Pottsylvanian spies
Those trolls look awful familiar, Bullwinkle

Just in case you’re not feeling paranoid enough these days, Newsweek brings us a story suggesting Russia has extended its online operations beyond the interwebs, using the social networking site LinkedIn not just as a place for spreading disinformation, but also, it seems, harassing and possibly attacking some of its more vocal critics out here in meatspace. Or maybe none of this happened and we’re all just brains in jars — it’s getting hard to tell.

The unsettling piece begins with an incident in March of this year: Alan Malcher, a veteran of British military intelligence who had worked in information warfare and had recently taken a job with an American think tank to work against Russian social media operations, had just sat down in a pub in London. A stranger came in a few minutes later, sat down next to him, and began chatting, eventually mentioning what a terrific leader Vladimir Putin was. This seemed more than a little odd to Macher:

So when the stranger made passing reference to Malcher’s army service, he felt a twinge of apprehension. “There’s no way he could have known that except via LinkedIn,” Malcher says, referencing the professional online networking site where he and other critics of Moscow had been active in international affairs discussion groups. An expert in information warfare, Malcher reasoned that the Kremlin had dispatched the stranger to the Queen’s Arms with a message: We know everything about you. Watch your step.

Yikes.

The article paints a picture of a hot and heavy disinformation war being fought on LinkedIn, which besides being a place where professionals do online networking and send you friend requests you never answer, also has discussion forums where Russians (and Russian bot accounts) try to disrupt discussions of Russian foreign policy and cyber operations. In addition, several western users with connections to intelligence and cybersecurity have been the targets of smear campaigns; some have even been booted from LinkedIn after persistent campaigns claiming they were breaking the site’s rules.

Newsweek’s Jeff Stein explains why LinkedIn is an especially rich target for Russian online dirty tricks:

Unlike Twitter and Facebook, most of its estimated 500 million, predominantly white-collar subscribers use it to advertise their expertise, seek employment or engage with peers in expert-based discussion groups. To bolster their credentials, most—even current and former U.S. national security officials—post detailed résumés and recommendations from their colleagues. That provides fodder for Russian intelligence to gather detailed information on its most formidable critics and cast doubt on the truth of those accomplishments.

Instead of posting cat memes (or maybe in addition to cat memes — we can’t imagine any online forum doesn’t have kitties saying LOL), a lot of LinkedIn users have in-depth discussions of news and developments in their fields. Experts who keep track of Russia’s online campaigns say these forums have been increasingly targeted by Russian trolls using multiple identities (a violation of LinkedIn’s terms of service; since it’s supposed to be for professionals, real identities are required). One of Newsweek’s few anonymous sources in the piece, described only as a “Kremlin watcher at a university in a former Soviet satellite state,” says

The Russian special services are for sure exploiting LinkedIn to gather personal information on certain targets and possibly recruit and blackmail them […] They operate under fabricated identities and credentials, while the Russian propaganda and trolling campaigns are widely applied on the platform.

Then there are what certainly look like the extension of online flame wars into actual attacks. In France, Giles Raymond DeMourot, a former official with U.S. national security, was also assaulted in March:

“I was shopping at the local supermarket when I was stung on my lower-right thigh by something, probably with an umbrella” […] An hour later, he says, a doctor extracted bits of “what seemed like a wooden needle” from the wound. Lab tests determined it was “impregnated with carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa,” a potentially lethal “superbug,” he says, and he’s had to make several visits to his doctor for treatments. “I am still not out of the woods,” he adds.

Newsweek notes that DeMourot had given them a hospital document which confirmed his wound resulted from “wooden splinters” and said “only an outside intervention [event] can explain the infection.” Yikes again — shades of the assassination of Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov in 1978; Markov died in London after a ricin-laced pellet was shot into his leg by a KGB-rigged umbrella.

DeMourot is certain he was attacked because of his posts to LinkedIn forums in which he wrote about Russian intelligence operations — and operatives — in France and Belgium, “with names, places and dates[.]” He also says that after an online argument about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, he “received many…phone calls with death threats.”

There’s a lot more, and you should go read the full article. It details how Russia has targeted Americans who expose cyber propaganda for harassment and efforts to smear them, like claiming they’re “suspected pedophiles” or “pornography addicts” — not just on LinkedIn, but also on Russian-sponsored English language websites like Russia Insider, where sarcastic articles mock their credentials and qualifications, and suggest the very idea of Russian propaganda operations is nothing but outdated Cold War paranoia. It’s decidedly odd to see a Russian article claiming that all this talk of disinformation and fake news is merely a return to McCarthyism. We are in a very strange virtual place.

Dang Russians. They just better not fuck with Grindr, or there’ll be hell to pay.

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please leave unmarked bills in a brown paper bag in a flowerpot at a location we’ll send you through the fillings in your teeth. Or just click the “Donate” linky — that’s a lot easier.

[Newsweek]

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  • monoglot

    Fake News!

    LinkedIn is a tool of the devil, not the Russians.

  • The Wanderer

    They can have my LinkedIn account anytime, and good riddance. But you don’t mess with my porn.

    • OutOfOrbit

      you can mess with my family and you can mess with my money but DO NOT mess with my pron

  • Msgr_MΩment

    Dear Umbrella Assassins’ Quarterly Forum,

    I never thought I’d be writing to you, but….

    • Vagenda and Pee-ara

      Lulz!

  • SadDemInTex

    The Russians still enjoy old technology

  • Nounverb911

    Um! What’s Linkedin?

    • arglebargle

      RUN AWAY!

    • SomeBigRedDog

      Its like facebook but way more boring and without the racist uncles. I know, I know. More boring than facebook is hard to imagine.

    • Edith Prickly

      You’re better off not knowing.

    • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

      It’s where you go when you are unemployed or pissed at your boss and stockpiling office supplies.

  • arglebargle

    LinkedIn’s terms of service state that you shouldn’t use multiple identities, and yet Russian spies are doing just that. Well I do declare. What is this world coming to when you can’t trust a spy to follow the rules.

  • Claire

    Hm, maybe that’s the source of randos who want to be part of my network. I see you, Judy from Professional Resources Ltd.

  • Alan

    Ha! Knew there was a reason not to use LinkedIn.

  • Belasaurius

    does anyone know my LinkedIn password? My usual password “kingcock” didn’t work

    • Mr. Blobfish

      Have you asked the Russians?

    • LesBontemps

      Steve Bannon had it changed to “kingcuck.”

  • Mr. Blobfish

    That’s some fucked up shit right there.

    • eggs ackly-wright

      Once again, you’ve distilled it right down to the essence.

  • Monsieur_Grumpe
    • SomeBigRedDog

      Kittens are creepy

      *shivers*

      • sarafina

        So cute, I love this!!!! Winner-Winner-Chicken-Dinner!!!!!

  • Iron Monkey

    Posting a detailed resume online seems like a strange thing for a spy to do, not that I am an expert in such things.

    • doktorzoom

      My impression is that they’re mostly former bureaucrats and former/current academics, not so much field agents

      • MynameisBlarney

        One of our vendors was very adamant we set up a profile for our business, but I never did.
        Seemed completely unnecessary to do all that shit.
        Glad I didn’t.

  • TheGrandWazoo2
    • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

      Somehow I got 1795 confirmations of my sabotage and espionage skills.

    • Ωbjectifier

      Decent!

  • Joe Beese

    In retrospect, I fault my college for not offering a course in social media bot programming.

  • Crystalclear12

    Well, if the screwed with Grindr the Republicans would finally do something.

  • Joe Beese

    A White House spokesthing says that John Kelly prefers Irish whiskey to Scotch.

    If he’s not a bourbon man, I question his patriotism.

    • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

      Give it a few hours and it’ll come out that he prefers vodka.

  • Rick Hill

    But, it’s all just conjecture. Absolutely no evidence and Putin is supposed to be our friend.

  • Proud Liberal

    When did critical thinking skills die in this country? Russia can’t hack that.

    • MynameisBlarney

      The long, slow death of critical thinking in this country started the very day Fox News started broadcasting.

  • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

    I guess that’s the benefit of a rather dull job – no one will be trying to kill me with trick umbrellas.

  • Indiepalin

    In America, you make stab for greatness. In Soviet Russia, umbrella stab you!

  • Vagenda and Pee-ara

    OT: Jack Kingston (R-Idiot) on CNN bitching about the expense of a Russia collusion investigation. He’s whining how unfair it is and how partisan it is that Mueller is investigating Trump.

    Poppy Harlow points out that he didn’t seem to have any problems with the endless Clinton investigations.

  • MynameisBlarney
    • Proud Liberal

      Yes! Everybody knows deep down that Trump is a crook.

  • Indiepalin

    If all these spying victims were allowed to use virtual guns, things would be different.

  • Vagenda and Pee-ara

    Charles Krauthammer whining about how unfair it would be to impeach Trump, and how all his followers would lose their faith in our democracy. That’s rich, coming from the party that calls news it disagrees with “fake news” and can only win elections through gerrymandering and Russian collusion.

    “Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer called the idea of impeaching President Trump “a catastrophic mistake” on Thursday, warning that there’s no evidence Trump has committed a crime.

    “Collusion is unseemly but it ain’t a crime,” Krauthammer said in an interview with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson. “You’ve got a political establishment, mostly Democratic but there are some Republicans, that would like to see him taken out of office.”

    “I think that would be a catastrophic mistake,” he added.

    Krauthammer warned that impeaching Trump would cause millions that voted for him to question the stability of American democracy.

    “It would cause a rupture in the country where people would say, ‘when we people, the ones who have been abandoned elect someone we like, our guy gets taken out? I thought we had a stable democracy,'” he said.

    He stressed that he doesn’t defend Trump, but only thinks that impeachment is a mistake.
    “Again, I think he’s unfit,” Krauthammer said, “but that’s not the grounds for removal.”

    “If you think a man is unfit, you vote against him,” Krauthammer added. “But you don’t remove him from office. And that’s where I’m afraid we are headed, given the forces that surround the president.”

    In July, it was reported that as many as 25 House Democrats are working on a bill to begin impeachment proceedings for the president, but no Democratic leaders have signed on to the proposal.”

    • Indiepalin

      Krauthammer doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

      • Vagenda and Pee-ara

        Ba dum tish!

      • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

        ISWYDT

    • Vincent Ricola

      Yeah right, like his followers know enough about “democracy” to lose faith in it.

    • Michael Smith

      Yeah, they said the same thing would happen when Hillary wins the election. Just because this group of people will throw a temper tantrum if they lose and argue that the game is rigged, doesn’t mean we just let them win.

      • Vagenda and Pee-ara

        Particularly since they are the MINORITY of the country. Nobody supported Trump’s health care sabotage, and nobody supports his tax cuts on the rich. Even the majority of the rubes don’t want that shit.

    • TheGrandWazoo2

      Charles, you have no idea as to the extent of what evidence Mueller has about whether Trump has committed a crime. Until you do, STFU.

      • Vagenda and Pee-ara

        I’d like to go back and read his Benghazi musings, and see if he felt the same way.

    • Pax Americana Per Ars Smith

      Yes, let’s give the unfit, money laundering, treasonous president 4 years so that his drooling followers won’t get their fee-fees hurt!

      • Vagenda and Pee-ara

        I love that he doesn’t worry too much about the 60% of Americans who would like to see this asshole out of office.

    • Edith Prickly

      Oh Charles, you stupid fucking Davros-looking dumpster fire of mendacity. You know perfectly well that the people who voted for Trump don’t give a shit about the stability of American democracy. They wanted to break it, that’s why they voted for him. They wanted an authoritarian clown who would kick out all the scary brown people and make it OK to scapegoat the nearest minority every time some backwards-ass dumbfuck feels “like his country doesn’t belong to him anymore”. Eat a giant bag of dicks.
      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KYjSACTYmIA/U63kYMCV15I/AAAAAAAAF_c/NrWarDQ0CFU/s1600/Davros_Virus_Quote.jpg

      • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

        Unsalted Rat Dicks ™.

      • Vagenda and Pee-ara

        Slow golf clap, and a tip of the hat.

    • Three Finger Salute

      If Sour Kraut was anything but a privileged old white guy, Trump and the GOP would roll him off a cliff like a common Klinghoffer and claim it was the free market at work. The GOP is unfit to hold office.

  • Vincent Ricola

    Holy shit this is really fucked up.

    I wonder how many wooden darts to to the thigh and creepy encounters with random Russians my online paranoia and refusal to use LinkedIn services has saved me from in the past 4 or 5 years. *shudders*

  • laughingnome

    I’ve been getting facebook friend requests from nude models. Any advice?

    • MynameisBlarney

      Give them your credit card info?

      • Me not sure

        Or just wad cash into a manila envelope and set fire to it.

    • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

      Refuse the requests and they will do away. Or answer them and be creepy.

      • aureolaborealis

        I refuse them all, and while they are less frequent, they haven’t stopped. I assume I am in their sweet-spot target audience, being a middle-aged guy with a wife and kids, and presumably ripe for making some terrible mid-life decisions.

    • pstockholm

      Share. It’s only polite.

    • aureolaborealis

      A friend from college who became hugely fat and Wall Street wealthy has almost exclusively those “models” as FB friends. Occasionally, he will travel to the cities where they live and post pictures of himself with them. I assume some kind of sugar-baby/daddy soft-prostitution thing is going on.

  • MynameisBlarney
  • laughingnome

    The internet was pretty cool until the Russians showed up.

  • Michael Smith

    Well if my job was to try and use the internet to sway opinions and rumors and trends in favor of my team, and I was given a bunch of resources and personnel with internet shenanigan experience, I imagine I would try and infiltrate any place where people have any discussion.

    I’d observe for a bit, and watch for unfavorable arguments – then I would watch as others organically oppose those arguments. Imitating those opposition arguments would be a good way to push your propaganda while appearing to just be one of the regular folk. Plus, if you have a bunch of people getting paid to be your helpers, you could have them come on and pretend to be persuaded by your arguments. Eventually you could try to bully the whole forum into being on your side.

    This is why its good that we don’t have comments here.

    • doktorzoom

      And then you’d slip and confess your love of canned clams…

    • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

      Yeah, and then a topic will come up that exposes your fee-fees. Happens all the time. That is why Disgust is now tracking the number of people who report and/or block you. I wish Face Borg did the same thing. I do wind up making 2 or 3 reports to them a month.

      • Michael Smith

        At one point I was diligently reporting right wing tabloid blood libels to them, complete with arguments as to why they were harmful, but it eventually exhausted me.

  • Me not sure

    I knew it! The umbrella man on the grassy knoll makes perfect sense to me now. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d325a38c704b5aae018824f7df4be81dcba76827c4eea9fb1222eaa9cb2bf4d0.jpg

  • Shit. Never thought we’d be back in a Cold War. Fuck Putin.

    • Rick Hill

      Don’t worry. It’ll warm up soon enough

      • Three Finger Salute

        I was going to ask whether you meant the Russian war or the domestic Helter Skelter on the horizon, but then I realized it’s BOT,K.

      • This would not make me feel better.

    • GunToting[Redacted]

      It’s really going to distract us from the current cold Civil War.

      Oh, wait… No it isn’t…

  • persistently_resistant_gayby

    Shit shit shit shit shit – this isn’t gonna end well.

  • Incoming Ham

    Linkedin stalking is a problem in general. This takes it to a whole new level.

  • marxalot

    My commitment to not using LinkedIn grows both stronger and more justified.

  • boredcatlady

    I’m going back to bed. 😕

    • SeeTrain65

      Safest place.

      • boredcatlady

        Wish it weren’t so

        • SeeTrain65

          I hear ya.

          • boredcatlady

            Thanks 🙂

          • boredcatlady

            You know when you get a sad song stuck in your head and it keeps bumming you out? Yeah, “Tomorrow, Wendy” is a hell of an earworm I can’t get rid of. Am mentally preparing a playlist of the most annoying songs ever but not even Meghan Trainor can knock this one outta my head. Grr. 😡

          • SeeTrain65

            I once had “Run, Joey, Run” for three days. I contemplated trying to pry it out of my ear with a long ice pick. ; )

          • boredcatlady

            Okay I don’t know that one, but after googling it I’m gonna pass, I don’t have an ice pick. 🙂

  • Zippy W Pinhead

    Everything raise your hands if you made a LinkedIn account.

    Now, everyone raise your hands if you haven’t checked it in two years…

    • Pat_Pending

      That would have been me if it weren’t for the desperate job hunt of the last year. Once you’re hired you don’t give a fuck until your manager makes you miserable enough to start looking.

  • Red Bird

    Well that just killed LinkedIn for me. I used to think it was the one place you could get away from the drama.

    • Incoming Ham

      When they added the “Wish a Happy Birthday” it started to turn into facebook. I only have a profile because I actively use it for my business. I am beginning to rethink that.

    • Pat_Pending

      I’d like to quit LinkedIn. However, it’s how I got my latest job, and I’m not a spy. I guess you have to have a boring career path, and that’s 99.9% of us.

  • Opiwan

    Hey, how is my fleshy self supposed to be a battery for the machines with a data port in the back of my head if I’m now just a brain in a jar? It’s either one or the other!

    • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

      Duh, transplant your brain into a cyborg body, Abby Normal.

      • Opiwan

        I certainly am serious, and stop calling me Shirley… uh, I mean Abby!

  • GunToting[Redacted]

    As a former microbiologist, I would speculate that Pseudomonas aeruginosa wouldn’t be a great choice for an assassination agent. While it can be pathogenic, it usually only affects those with extenuating circumstances, like severe burns or Cystic Fibrosis. Unless they have managed to engineer in some nasty pathogenic genes.

    Also, it’s about the only nice-smelling organism out there. Petri dishes of the stuff smell like fruity bubblegum.

    • Mavenmaven

      but darn it smells bad growing on a wound dressing. I credit that smell with steering me away from surgery as a third year student.

      • GunToting[Redacted]

        Yeah, everything smells bad in situ… I’ll never get over that first case of gangrene I encountered in an ER between college and grad school. Anaerobic organisms were always the worst for me.

        I really don’t think if I was going to assassinate someone I’d pick bacterial. MAYBE a nice, juicy MRSA, but even then there are a lot of factors that have to go right for a kill (was going to say “clean” kill, but there is nothing clean about dying from infection). Seems like a nice botulinum toxin, or good ol’ polonium would be the way to go. The classics are classic for a reason.

        • Mavenmaven

          I’m sure you know there’s a specific reason for pseudomonas smell, the production of methyl ketones that smell rancid but yes, they would be a poor choice for assassination unless the victim was post stem cell transplant or had CLL, etc. The old commando/mafia move of sticking the knife in human stool would be far more efficient.

  • Well, at least someone has found LinkedIn useful…

    • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

      I get job inquiries sometimes. My profile gets viewed about 20 times a quarter. I think it depends on what you do.

      • I work in a faraway land called Academia, so Researchgate is more useful to me than LinkedIn.

    • Steve Cole

      I work on contract and several jobs have been offered via linkedin.

  • Pat_Pending

    This is going to ruin all those ‘consultants’ teaching hapless folks about the importance of Personal Branding. Good.

    • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

      Oh, man. The “hacker” takedown of Guiliani Security was a CLASSIC. When TRMP said that Ghouliani was going to be his “security consultant”, those of us have worked on computer security systems laughed, laughed, laughed. Some specialists went out and identified the weaknesses on the Guiliani Security website and put it out on Twitter. Others attacked the site like it was a cat’s litterbox. They borked the site so bad that Ghouliani’s staff could not figure out how to fix it. Then someone else edited the homepage to say “404 – Guiliani Security Does Not Deserve To Exist”.
      Now the website is completely gone. Even the domain name has been surrendered. If you are a dilettante, don’t fool around and poke the bear. We Will Fuck. You. Up.

      • Pat_Pending

        Ahhhh… I enjoyed your post so much I read it three times.

        • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

          Thank you. It was a wonder to observe.

      • sgt. jmk of the résistance

        That. Is. Beautiful.

        *wipes a tear from my eye*

  • Three Finger Salute

    People keep telling me that if I want a job, I should sign up for LinkedIn. So glad I wasn’t desperate enough to listen to them. (I don’t really even have a “field” to be “linked in” with, other than being one of the millions of BA recipients who don’t have any “market demand” and are eligible for little more than retail or fast food anyway. But I digress.)

    I’ve never had Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or even MySpace when it was still a thing. I don’t even have a “real” email address other than disposable ones I use to sign up and make the occasional comment or ask a question on forums. But I’ve said it before: Social media will be the death of us all. All these CEOs need to be held accountable, and maybe we do need to call in Bill Gates and the really smart cyber people to find the off switch. On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a Russian troll — or a Siberian husky. Which is too bad, because I like Siberian huskies, but I don’t like Russian trolls.

    • Jamoche

      That me got have been good advice when LinkedIn was new, but at some point they decided they should be the next Facebook where you have a thousand “friends” but can’t remember if you actually know them or just needed more neighbors in FarmVille. And the skills rec thing is ridiculous; I keep having to go in and clear Perl out of it from former coworkers who really should know better.

    • alpacapunchbowl

      Nah, LinkedIn has been utterly useless for me. And pretty much everyone I know. Maybe in other fields it’s helpful, but at least as regards the legal field in Chicago I’ve found it to be a big zero.

      • sgt. jmk of the résistance

        I get a lot of “I saw your resume on LinkedIn, would you like a job that will only exist for 3 months, will pay a decent amount but without benefits, and will require you to move across the country?” kind of requests from recruiters.

        • alpacapunchbowl

          Same. Total bullshit.

  • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

    True story ~ since I have been more heavily involved in Progressive politics, I have been attacked in meatspace. But by RWNJs and Trumpanzees and general Peckerwoods doing “concern trolling”. They tried the in your face stuff first and then they got more subtle, as subtle as they can be, which is not very. It’s interesting when they realize that I know what they’re doing and they figure out what I’m doing back and there’s a moment when it’s me smirking, their light bulb and my winking “checkmate”.

    • Three Finger Salute

      You’re braver than I am. I don’t even venture out to meatspace unless I absolutely have to. I live in a blue state, but people in general suck.

      • gffish

        Long ago, I decided that I like virtually all dogs much more than I like people.

    • timpundit

      Help an old man out…wtf is “meatspace”?

      • timpundit

        Ok I used the google machine, got it.

      • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

        Real life not the internet or social media.

  • TundraGrifter

    “…which besides being a place where professionals do online networking and send you friend requests you never answer…”

    I’m proud to say a major Wonkette writer did respond to my request to link – not “up” you pervert, just “link” (It isn’t technically a “friend request” but that’s another story – LinkedIn is Facebook for people with jobs).

    I am still waiting for Anna Chapman to respond to my request. It’s been a while – I hope she’s OK…

  • gene108

    Does Russia have any social media sites and such that we can counter-troll them on?

    I feel this whole cyberwar with Russia is awfully one sided.

    • timpundit

      vk.com is their russian Facebook site.

      • Nicholas

        I would assume Russian Facebook just has a huge picture of Putins face with people leaving comments about what a handsome strong leader he is.

    • Mavenmaven

      Then we’ll start getting flooded with comment like “Hey, you site very funny I want to laugh, but Putin is best and strong and you don’t want children to be orphan, хахаха”

    • Gregory Purcell

      Please do, you might actually read something from a Russian perspective.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/VK_(social_networking)

  • Beowoof14

    I have a linked in account, but never really do anything with it. Occasionally former students will get in touch and let me know what they’re doing now. Which I kind of like being a sentimental old retired guy.

    • Relativicus

      If you’re feeling helpful, could you start logging on and posting a lot of anti-Putin stuff, then come back and tell us what new pathogens you’ve been introduced to by the tip of an umbrella, or maybe a pen?

      • Beowoof14

        Naw thanks anyway. I get enough right wing hate from Twitter, Facebook and my brother to cover me.

  • Lance Thrustwell

    OT and all, but Dok – let us know if you hear from Snarkbot. I could kick in a few bucks to a gofundme or sumthin, if he decides to give things another shot.

  • timpundit

    They bet on the wrong horse, the backlash against Putin, russia and the espionage is frustrating the Kremlin, and it shows that Putin made a dumb choice in trump.

    And this makes me laugh a lot.

    • Weird Fishes

      I know, right? You’d think that they would have done their homework better. Though given the financial leverage they probably – allegedly – have over him you’d think they already knew who – and what – they were dealing with.

      • AuntyMaude

        More chilling news. It isn’t just trump according to this piece on the Dallas News website. It’s McConnell, Rubio, Kasich (sp?), Scott (major shithead) Walker, Graham and McCain.

        This is from a commentary by Ruth May from yesterday. I saw
        the link on another posting on Wonkette:

        “Party loyalty is often cited as the reason that GOP leaders have not been more outspoken in their criticism of President Donald Trump and his refusal to condemn Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Yet there may be another reason that top Republicans have not been more vocal in their condemnation. Perhaps it’s because they have their own links to the Russian oligarchy that they would
        prefer go unnoticed.”

        “Donald Trump and the political action committees for Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich and John McCain accepted $7.35 million in contributions from a Ukrainian-born oligarch who is the business partner of two of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s favorite oligarchs and a Russian government bank.”

        ” Marco Rubio’s Conservative Solutions PAC and his Florida First Project received $1.5 million through Blavatnik’s two holding companies. Other high dollar recipients of funding from Blavatnik were PACS representing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at
        $1.1 million, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham at $800,000, Ohio Governor John Kasich at $250,000 and Arizona Senator John McCain at $200,000.”

        From

        • Ms.Moon

          I knew it the minute that McConnell did not let Obama start looking into the hacking of the election I knew something was up. I would not be surprised if many in the GOP were receiving financial assistance from Russian interests.

          • AuntyMaude

            You’re quicker on the uptake than I am. I knew something was screwy in St. Louis, but wow. Just fucking wow.

          • Ms.Moon

            It’s always about the money, follow the money and you’ll probably find the crime. Republicans are always looking for crime because they’re at heart criminals whose dirty deeds they love to project upon other innocent people.

        • Weird Fishes

          Well. That’s just fucking great.

          • AuntyMaude

            Well, maybe it is…’cause those gop dawgs are in deep with the Russian financial support thing. This could get verrrry interesting.

          • Weird Fishes

            I know, but good Christ. How fa down the road have they already sold us?

          • AuntyMaude

            Purty far, but I do have hope nonetheless.

          • Weird Fishes

            Follow the money, Aunty. I’ve been saying it all along.

        • gffish

          At least the Russians apparently had the sense not to give money to Ted Cruz, which is more than one can say about countless Americans.

          • AuntyMaude

            Oops, nope. Just looked at the same story again. Consider the Russians senseless. Cruz did the Russian schmooze, too.

          • gffish

            That proves that Putin isn’t as smart as we thought.

    • Bitter Scribe

      I don’t think they had a choice. They needed someone utterly lacking in character and integrity, and insecure yet consumed by self-regard that would render him completely susceptible to systematic flattery. So much so that he would shrug off the consequences of playing footsie with a major geopolitical foe of the U.S. Who else fits those criteria besides Trump?

      • Mehmeisterjr

        AOT, K.

    • blarg

      They were looking for a “useful idiot,” but looks like they got a “utterly useless idiot.”

    • Bad Tom

      I think Putin was blinded by his hatred of Hillary Clinton.

      • Gregory Purcell

        I think it was Hillary’s foregin policy he hated

  • Relativicus
  • Bad Tom

    I wonder if that explains my peculiar LinkedIn experience last week.

    I’m involved with a startup doing cybersecurity using artificial intelligence. Last week I got a ping from someone claiming to be an “Account Manager” from Darktrace. She wanted to arrange a one-on-one with me over lunch the second week of August.

    We consider Darktrace to be a competitor. I talked it over with our CEO, and we decided I’d take the meeting, and pitch that Darktrace should purchase our startup!

    We like bold moves.

    Whoooops! After I replied to the invite, that woman’s LinkedIn account vanished.

    Very strange.

  • aureolaborealis

    “If you’re on Lincolndin, don’t bother me no more.”

    https://youtu.be/Kx1Ol8xr_JY?t=1m5s

  • Mahousu

    I’m in computer science, and whenever I’ve looked at the discussions on Linkedin, they’re either some student asking someone to do his homework for him, or some nut who has yet another great proof that P = NP. Russian agents would liven things up a bit.

  • Gregory Purcell

    Yes Russians read social media. Alan Malcher is a rather public figure, his papers get published in newspapers, and sometimes he goes on the TV machine to spin his Russian conspiracy theories.

    If I saw him in a bar I would definitely mess with his head maybe just write a note on a napkin and slip it into his pocket “KGB is watching”

  • Russia has targeted Americans who expose cyber propaganda for harassment and efforts to smear them, like claiming they’re “suspected pedophiles” or “pornography addicts” So Russia is getting advice on how to mindfuck your enemies from the Church of $cientology now?

    If Russian spies are running around shooting umbrella guns at western intelligence officials, then I have lived long enough to see trends in spycraft come back around again. I hate it less than skinny jeans, anyway.

    • Gregory Purcell

      Apparently being a retired washed up lawyer who has written a self help book available on Amazon (which no one has bother to review) lands you on the KGB hit list.

    • Gregory Purcell

      Also Russia has banned the Church of Scientology, they say it is a cult.

  • Put all your detailed personal information on the interwebs, people get your information. You can’t explain that!

  • I know for a fact that EVERY time I mention Russian intervention in Syria on Facebook, someone with a Georgian (Caucasus Mountains, not Atlanta) name posts a link to the same fake-news site in the comments. They’re watching me and I’m just a random passer by, not every an intelligence guru.

    • Quercus Queen

      That is seriously creepy.

    • Petunia Cat

      😳
      That’s why me must all be 😒😏😤 about this. Keep talking! 🇸🇾 🇷🇺

  • Mehmeisterjr

    For those who are tired of LinkedIn, check out DickedIn, the best place on the interwebs to get unsolicited dick picks from Eric Bolling.

  • Lyly Sirivong

    I’ve got a LinkedIn account for years but very rarely use it. I only log in when I get a contact request. I haven’t even put up a profile pic. I’m not sure I want to or should now.

  • SeeTrain65

    Even in days when I was actually working, I’d get many requests from friends asking me to join LinkedIn. Never did.

    And NEVER REGRETTED IT.

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