More Doubts About the ‘Leaked’ Briefing Slides – Moon of Alabama 4/13/23


When media reported on the first batch of ‘leaked’ Pentagon briefing slides they also published pictures of the originals.

Then came a second round which conveniently was more about bashing Russia than on the releases itself. Those leaks were labeled as new or from a previously unknown source. Among those stories were:

No Russia-Ukraine peace talks expected this year, U.S. leak showsWashington Post, Apr 12, 2023

The grinding war between Ukraine and Russia is expected to bleed into 2024 with neither side securing victory yet both refusing to negotiate an end to the conflict, according to a Defense Intelligence Agency assessment that is among the highly sensitive U.S. government materials leaked online and obtained by The Washington Post.

“Negotiations to end the conflict are unlikely during 2023 in all considered scenarios,” says the document, which has not been disclosed previously.

A stalemate also will result in Ukraine enacting the “full mobilization” of its remaining eligible population, the document predicts, sending more young men to the front lines.

Leaked US intel: Russia operatives claimed new ties with UAEAssociated Press, Apr 12, 2023

U.S. spies caught Russian intelligence officers boasting that they had convinced the oil-rich United Arab Emirates “to work together against US and UK intelligence agencies,” according to a purported American document posted online as part of a major U.S. intelligence breach.

The document viewed by the AP includes an item citing research from March 9 with the title: “Russia/UAE: Intelligence Relationship Deepening.” U.S. officials declined to confirm the document’s authenticity, which the AP could not independently do. However, it resembled other documents released as part of the recent leak.

The slides I have seen so far are from late February and the first days of March. A March 9 document is new.

New Leaked Documents Show Broad Infighting Among Russian OfficialsNew York Times, Apr 12, 2023

The additional documents, which did not surface in a 53-page set that came to wide public attention online last week, paint a picture of the Russian government feuding over the count of the dead and wounded in the Ukraine war, with the domestic intelligence agency accusing the military of obscuring the scale of casualties that Russia has suffered.The new batch, which contains 27 pages, reinforces how deeply American spy agencies have penetrated nearly every aspect of the Russian intelligence apparatus and military command structure.

(The piece is bylined by Bellingcat’s Aric Toler.) There is no explanation where the “additional documents” are coming from or how they were found.

US thinks UN chief too accommodating to Moscow, leaked files suggestBBC, Apr 13, 2023

The US believes the UN secretary general is too willing to accommodate Russian interests, according to fresh revelations in classified documents leaked online.
It is the latest from a leak of secret documents, which US officials are scrambling to get to the bottom of.

I am also curious about the selective reporting of a second stash of documents by mainstream media.

This looks to me like someone is now piecemeal feeding additional ‘intelligence’ to the various outlets. Each runs a different stories. If this is from a common stash how come that these outlets seem to have coordinated who is taking on what briefing slide?

No pictures of the underlying briefing slides has appeared in this second round of ‘leaks’.

Now the Washington Post claims to have lots of information about the person that ‘leaked’ the first stash of the Pentagon briefing slides:

The man behind a massive leak of U.S. government secrets that has exposed spying on allies, revealed the grim prospects for Ukraine’s war with Russia and ignited diplomatic fires for the White House is a young, charismatic gun enthusiast who shared highly classified documents with a group of far-flung acquaintances searching for companionship amid the isolation of the pandemic.United by their mutual love of guns, military gear and God, the group of roughly two dozen — mostly men and boys — formed an invitation-only clubhouse in 2020 on Discord, an online platform popular with gamers. But they paid little attention last year when the man some call “OG” posted a message laden with strange acronyms and jargon. The words were unfamiliar, and few people read the long note, one of the members explained. But he revered OG, the elder leader of their tiny tribe, who claimed to know secrets that the government withheld from ordinary people.

The young member read OG’s message closely, and the hundreds more that he said followed on a regular basis for months.

I am skeptical of that way too neat story. Is this “mutual love of guns, military gear and God” for real?

The tale does not really explain how the ‘reporters’, the Post’s intelligence and national security scribe Shane Harris and Samuel Oakford of Bellingcat fame, found the person or why it was willing to completely spill its beans:

This account of how detailed intelligence documents intended for an exclusive circle of military leaders and government decision-makers found their way into and then out of OG’s closed community is based in part on several lengthy interviews with the Discord group member, who spoke to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity. He is under 18 and was a young teenager when he met OG. The Post obtained consent from the member’s mother to speak to him and to record his remarks on video. He asked that his voice not be obscured.His account was corroborated by a second member who read many of the same classified documents shared by OG, and who also spoke on the condition of anonymity. Both members said they know OG’s real name as well as the state where he lives and works but declined to share that information while the FBI is hunting for the source of the leaks.

One does not use real names when joining a gamers talk server or similar venues. So even if the Post had that member’s online ‘name’ there would usually be no way to find it.

Did the teen gamer contact the Post? But why would s/he talk at all about the issue?

And why would the Post publish so many details about the person? This will evidently make it easy for the FBI to identify her or him.

The Post also claims that the stash is much bigger than previously known:

The Post also reviewed approximately 300 photos of classified documents, most of which have not been made public; some of the text documents OG is said to have written out; an audio recording of a man the two group members identified as OG speaking to his companions; and chat records and photographs that show OG communicating with them on the Discord server.

But the Post does not say where those 300+ documents come from or what they are about. Are they not the more important story?

We have pictures of the first stash of the files. The briefing slides seem real to me. The language is correct Pentagon lingo. The abbreviations used are typical. But some of the information therein, like the casualty numbers, is dubious. Do the Joint Chiefs of Staff really get briefed with Ukrainian defense ministry numbers that are know to be mere fantasies? The Pentagon and/or the CIA certainly have their own casualty estimates. Why not brief those?

We have seen no picture of any slide that the additional stories are based on. Why were those not published?

A plausible explanation is that the first release was a real leak but that someone is now pushing new ‘leaks’ to dedicated outlets that are only half true or mere propaganda.

On top of that the Washington Post story about ‘OG’ is not only weird but suspicious….

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