SoCS — False Flag

“Colonel, I think we’re looking at a false flag operation,” Captain Charles Reynolds told his superior officer.

“Why do you think that, Charles?” Colonel Bradbury asked. “Do you have definitive evidence?”

“Nothing definitive, sir. Not yet, anyway. But my team is working on it,” Reynolds answered. “As you know, sir, the intent of a false flag attack is to shift the blame elsewhere. There are clear characteristics in the hack that point to Iran, but while the techniques applied in this attack are typically used by Iranians, my team has uncovered some telltale signatures in the code that indicate the Russians may be behind it. They, the Russians, sir, are very good at emulating the techniques, and even languages, used by the groups or countries they are trying to frame, which in this case, is Iran.”

“Yes, Charles, that is what the Russians do,” said Bradbury. “They stage their attacks in such a way that it looks to their victims and to the world that another country is behind the cyber attack. They’re very good and masking who’s actually responsible.”

“Indeed,” Reynolds said. “While there are a number of countries that have engaged in this sort of attack, by far the most prolific practitioner is Russia, using its GRU intelligence service and hackers associated with it.”

“What do you think their aims are, Charles?”

“Best case, sir, it’s just to annoyingly infiltrate our systems in order to demonstrate that they can get at us,” Reynolds said. Then he swallowed hard and said, “Worst case, they can potentially bring about widespread chaos by shutting down all electronic communications and infrastructure systems in the country.”

“Well godammit, Reynolds, we need to take action to prevent something like that from happening,” Bradbury barked. “You need to confirm whether this is, in fact, a Russian false flag attack or if it is actually the Iranians. The President is going to want to strike back at whoever is responsible and that strike has to directed at the right adversary or we’re all going to be in deep shit.”

Captain Reynolds crisply saluted Colonel Bradbury. “Yes sir, right away sir,” Reynolds said, as he spun around and left the colonel’s office.


Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, where we are asked to use the word “flag” in our post.

FFfPP — Formerly Known As Lady Liberty

A8722CFC-1022-4496-8C58-7913A625ACF6“What is that?” Alex’s five-year-old grandson asked him as the tour boat passed the small island with the large statue on it.

“That is Statuya Svobody, Dimitri,” Alex responded.

“What does that mean, grandpa?”Dimitri asked.

“It’s Russian, and loosely translated, it means The Statue of Liberty” Alex said. “That was its name when it was presented as a gift to the United States from France in 1886.”

“Why Russian and not English?” Dimitri asked.

“Back in 2023, the then president of the United States declared himself to be emperor and shredded the American constitution. Three years later he negotiated a deal with the president of the Russian Federation that essentially enabled Russia to annex the United States and our country’s name was changed to the Russian Federation of America, or R.F.A.,” Alex explained.

“Since then, a lot has changed,” Alex continued. “Washington, DC became New Moscow, all of the history books were rewritten, and anyone voicing opposition was subject to imprisonment.”

Dimitri didn’t really understand what his grandfather was talking about and, growing bored, he asked Alex to buy him an ice cream cone.

Alex was relieved. He knew that the penalties for talking to anyone about pre-Federation America were harsh.

(200 words)


Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit: Morguefile.

He’s an Effin’ Traitor

EFEDCC32-2886-401B-8472-C9B523FB46E9If this report yesterday from CNN is true, I don’t see how anyone — even Republicans — can continue to stick their heads in the sand and deny that our president is a traitor to his country.

According to the legendary Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein, in hundreds of highly classified phone calls with foreign heads of state, Donald Trump was so consistently unprepared for discussion of serious issues, so often outplayed in his conversations with powerful leaders like Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Erdogan, and so abusive to leaders of America’s principal allies, that the calls helped convince some senior US officials — including his former secretaries of state and defense, two national security advisers and his longest-serving chief of staff — that the Trump posed a danger to the national security of the United States, according to White House and intelligence officials intimately familiar with the contents of the conversations.

Trump regularly bullied and demeaned the leaders of America’s principal allies, especially two women: telling Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom she was weak and lacked courage; and telling German Chancellor Angela Merkel that she was “stupid.”

Trump incessantly boasted to his fellow heads of state, including Saudi Arabia’s autocratic royal heir Mohammed bin Salman and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, about his own wealth, genius, “great” accomplishments as President, and the “idiocy” of his Oval Office predecessors, according to the sources.

The calls caused former top Trump deputies — including national security advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House chief of staff John Kelly, as well as intelligence officials — to conclude that Trump was often “delusional,” as two sources put it, in his dealings with foreign leaders. The sources said there was little evidence that the President became more skillful or competent in his telephone conversations with most heads of state over time. Rather, he continued to believe that he could either charm, jawbone, or bully almost any foreign leader into capitulating to his will, and often pursued goals more attuned to his own agenda than what many of his senior advisers considered the national interest.

Bear in mind that yesterday’s CNN report followed hot on the heels of Friday’s New York Times blockbuster report that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops. The Times article went on to report that Trump and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March.

What has Trump done in response to learning in March that Russia was paying to have American soldiers killed? Absolutely nothing. Why not? Because the President of the United States is a traitor to his country.

Fake Views

6C6612CD-9627-4020-9606-38178B2499D4Despite the overwhelming evidence against Donald Trump, he still manages to garner the staunch support of most Republican voters. The number of Americans who continue to approve of Trump remains largely static, at about 40% overall. But in a CNN poll last week, only 10% of Republicans said Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 89% of Republicans approved of the job he’s doing. What?

Republicans in Congress have been briefed by U.S. intelligence officials who informed the senators and their aides that Russia has engaged in a yearslong campaign to essentially frame Ukraine as responsible for Moscow’s own hacking of the 2016 election. This is not fake news. And yet these Republicans continue to cling to that false narrative in order to protect Trump and to deflect the charges that will likely lead to his impeachment. They are unabashedly promoting fake views to the American people.

Do these Republicans in Congress actually believe what they are saying in public? I can’t understand how, for the good of the nation, they continue to wage war on the truth and the facts. Are they hoping that, with the passage of time between now and the elections next November, the American public will either ignore or forget Trump’s abuse of power, obstruction of justice, and his attempts, for his own personal and political benefit, to extort the newly elected president of Ukraine?

Or maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m the fool who is trying to chase after some oasis of truth in the middle of this barren political desert only to find that it’s merely a mirage.

I guess time will tell.


Written for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (staunch), Daily Addictions (number, chase), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (wage), Ragtag Daily Prompt (passage), and Word of the Day Challenge (oasis).

Who Won The Week? 10/20/19

10CC3057-4EEA-4C80-B8C1-700C0FC6C906It’s time for another Who Won the Week prompt. The idea behind Who Won the Week is for you to select who you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

My pick for this week is Tulsi Gabbard.

6D90784A-2497-459F-9202-27A806D9DF6ANever heard of her? She’s an American politician, serving as the U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district. And she’s also a Democratic candidate vying to get the nomination to run against Donald Trump in 2020.

Interestingly, most people, including many Americans, don’t know much about her. Or didn’t, anyway, until this week, when Hillary Clinton suggested that the Russians are currently “grooming” a Democrat running in the presidential primary to run as a third-party candidate and to champion their interests.

Hillary’s comment appears to be directed at Gabbard, who has been accused of being cozy with Russia in the past.

“I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Hillary said. “She’s the favorite of the Russians.”

Clinton didn’t specifically name Gabbard, but there are only five women seeking the nomination — Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Marianne Williamson — and none of the other woman have been accused of being boosted by Russia.

Now everyone is talking about Tulsi Gabbard (including me), even though most Americans had never heard of her and she wasn’t generating much of a buzz. But, after Hillary‘s comments, people are googling her, reading up on her, and you can’t watch cable news over the past few days without hearing about her.

So thanks to Hillary Clinton, my pick for Who Won The Week this week is Tulsi Gabbard.

And now it’s your turn, folks. Who (or what) do you think won the week?