The Russians took an immediate interest in the intelligence leak scandal in the USA because so many of the documents deal with the readiness of their own and Ukrainian military forces for the long awaited “counterattack” by Kiev which may be decisive in the outcome of the war. They were instantly asking whether there was not some intrigue here, an attempt to loll them into overconfidence given that the situation of the Ukrainian side was portrayed in these documents as unpromising to dire, especially as regards air defense and supply of munitions. However, on close examination, the intelligence experts who have appeared on Russian state television now are saying they have no doubt the documents are genuine and there was no reason to believe they were issued as disinformation for Moscow. Now they have redirected their attention to other aspects of the leak.
The first among these questions being asked in Moscow is: what was the intent of the leakers who are assumed by consensus to be Americans from within the 1,000 or so persons who had access to these top secret documents online, on specially programmed computers. In this matter, I was particularly impressed by one explanation that was set out at length by a panelist on yesterday’s Evening with Vladimir Solovyov show. The leak is viewed as an attempt to discredit Joe Biden. To discredit the biological Joe Biden and also what the Russians are calling the “collective Joe Biden,” meaning the team of assistants who do the thinking for Joe and feed him his lines to read.
The documents leaked show that the Biden Administration, through Lloyd Austin, through Antony Blinken is lying day after day about the real situation of the Ukrainian military. Even yesterday Austin spoke on camera after talking to his Ukrainian counterpart Reznikov and insisted that everything is just fine in Ukraine, that they have received the assistance they need and are ready to proceed with the counter-offensive.
The next level of analysis of the documents that I hear from the Russian intelligence experts and also from their counterpart in Israel Yakov Kedmi, who appears regularly on the Solovyov show, is that the documents demonstrate the vast flow of information coming in to the CIA every day from their illegal espionage, wiretapping and the like. They also demonstrate the low level of analytical competence of the CIA and other US intelligence analysts who are poring over this information flow. This comes out from the uncritical acceptance by the American intelligence reports of casualty figures and other highly relevant statistics they are receiving solely from one source, Kiev, and are passing on to the top leadership at face value.
The normal, historical and universal problem with intelligence is that the sources and summaries are good but they are wasted on incompetent political leaders who pay no attention or do not comprehend what they are being told by their subordinates responsible for intelligence. The American situation seems still more damaging: not only are the political bosses who are receiving the intelligence dimwits but the information being handed to them is of poor quality.
The Russians are not at all pleased with this situation. It strengthens the argument on their side by those who say that insanity rules in the USA, that you have to be prepared for every eventuality in escalation of the war.
© Gilbert Doctorow, 2023