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Apr 19 2013

Former Admiral: Russia Blackmailing Obama

James Lyons, a retired admiral who once commanded the Pacific Fleet, has a column at the badly misnamed American Thinker claiming, with no evidence whatsoever, that Russia is likely blackmailing Obama because they know the truth that he wasn’t born in the United States.

Since he first became a presidential candidate, President Obama must have spent millions of dollars in legal expenses to combat dozens of so-called “birther” challenges seeking the original documents pertaining to his birth. As president, he famously issued an electronic document on the White House website in 2011; the document purported to be his long-form birth certificate, though it is apparently a forgery.

The Russians most likely would have started collecting data during Obama’s university years, when he professed radical Marxist views. They were certainly focusing on him by the time of his celebrated speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

By that time, Russian intelligence had easy access to the true facts concerning Obama’s birth, parentage, and childhood; his mentor (communist Frank Marshall Davis); and his college performance, as well as who provided his finances. They also would have obtained the information on his passport history and his complete political career and associates.

It is recognized that among all the intelligence agencies, Russian intelligence is the most skillful in looking for information and points of leverage — which are then exploited cleverly and “gently” by Russian statecraft.
By now, the Russians have most likely have told Obama discreetly that they have such information. How would they use it? As one old Soviet KGB operator said, “Kompromat [compromising information] is the most powerful tool of espionage.”

Evidence? Who needs evidence? Supposition is more than enough when it fits one’s preconceived ideas. Confirmation bias for the win.

41 comments

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  1. 1
    slc1

    Apparently Admiral Lyons doesn’t buy into the theory that Frank Marshall was Obama’s real father. Just for ducks, is there any evidence that Obama ever met Marshall?

  2. 2
    composer99

    I’d have to say that if Russian intelligence services had reached the point that they were willing to enterain the notions espoused by the “birthers”, they would quickly lose any legitimate claim to be reputable or skilled.

  3. 3
    composer99

    My own spelling mistake for the win!

  4. 4
    Richard Bartholomew

    “a retired admiral who once commanded the Pacific Fleet”.

    A somewhat alarming prospect.

  5. 5
    blf

    As president, he famously issued an electronic document on the White House website in 2011; the document purported to be his long-form birth certificate, though it is apparently a forgery.

    “…apparently a forgery” — What is that all about ?

    The only thing I can think of is Monckton’s hilarious “analysis” of (as I recall) a JPEG image, where it counted up all the artifacts and than magicked-up an absurd “statistic”. As quoted in Rational Wiki: “The probability that the “birth certificate” and other Obama identity documents are genuine is just 1 in 75 sextillion.”

  6. 6
    MikeMa

    I suppose a tendency for conspiracy theories might be a plus in some military arenas, but shouldn’t someone as high up as this loon got be subject to regular sanity tests?

  7. 7
    MikeMa

    @blf,
    Sheriff Joe (and others) seemed to think that the image’s layer properties indicated fraud. Or something. No validity to it and IIRC, there were some good takedowns of the ‘layer’ theory at the time.

  8. 8
    daved

    It’s not really relevant, but if I recall correctly, Admiral Lyons was the admiral that Richard Marchinko (“Rogue Warrior”) mentions as his benefactor.

  9. 9
    democommie

    But, what Lyons doesn’t know (because of the Obamandingo double secret probationary security lockdown takeout) is that the U.S.urper has damaging information about Putin. Putin’s real name is Murray Schlongjerker and he was born in East Teaneck, NJ.

  10. 10
    democommie

    @8:

    I tried to read one of Marchinko’s novels once, it was beyond ridiculous.

  11. 11
    dingojack

    Hey, how come I don’t know about this Demo?
    (non-Obaman) Dingo :)

  12. 12
    angrymudcrab

    You know, I sometimes think these people are more sad that the USSR fell than the Communist Party is. They just can’t seem to live without having some mighty enemy to be terrified of, and we just haven’t had that since the USSR’s collapse.

  13. 13
    Doug Little

    Holy shit!

    He needs to work an alien abduction in there somewhere as well. I doth my aluminium cap to him.

  14. 14
    daved

    @10

    Oh, the novels are kind of entertaining, but the original autobiographical “Rogue Warrior” is really quite interesting, if self-serving in some areas.

    My favorite story in it, which was repeated on “60 Minutes” when they profiled Marchinko after the book came out, was about the “Red Cell” security tests of naval bases. One of the first bases whose security they tested is the nuclear submarine facility at Groton, CT. Marchinko and his team rented a boat and drove it up the river, openly taking videos of the nuclear subs through the hatches, while flying a Russian flag from the back of their boat. Nobody tried to stop them. Makes me feel really safe.

  15. 15
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    James Lyons, a retired admiral who once commanded the Pacific Fleet, has a column at the badly misnamed American Thinker claiming, with no evidence whatsoever, that Russia is likely blackmailing Obama because they know the truth that he wasn’t born in the United States.

    Wow. Just wow.

    An admiral. That claims, well, that, shit.

    Pacific fleet. That’d be defending us here in Oz I guess. Shit.

    Has Admiral Lyons lost the plot in his old age or something? The alternative is kinda scarier.

  16. 16
    timgueguen

    Why would the KGB be interested in a teenage Obama? Lyons has apparently forgotten about the Ames and Hansen cases, where red blooded American patriots, one of them a member of an ultraconservative Catholic sect, sold American secrets for good ole American greenbacks. Radical Marxist teens are much less useful espionage assets than greedy American government employees.

  17. 17
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Italics? For my last line there? Really? Could swear I didn’t order that.

    @14. daved : YIKES!!!

  18. 18
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @timgueguen : Two words words for you :

    Oliver North.

    Another two : Iran Contra. (?)

    Just one more : Yep.

  19. 19
    composer99

    timgueguen:

    I feel like there’s some irony there somehow, but I can’t quite place it…

  20. 20
    Raging Bee

    By that time, Russian intelligence had easy access to the true facts concerning Obama’s birth, parentage, and childhood…

    Yeah, you know who else would have had equally easy access to all of the same information? Every Federal or state official in the USA who had any reason to look at it! Amazing, innit?

    Just because Russia has a really good spy service, doesn’t mean no one else can ever see what they see.

  21. 21
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    PS. Also @ timgueguen :

    Why would the KGB be interested in a teenage Obama?

    Just trying to recall back to pre 2008 – did anyone really predict,? *Could* anyone really have predicted that a certain Barack Hussein Obama would end up being POTUS especially after 9-11 and his name-alike’s responsibility for that?

    Wasn’t Hilary Clinton meant to be a shoe-in and wasn’t it really lo-oong odds and hard to forsee that Obama would ever get where he is before his star rose fast? A teenage Obama was ,what, a n obscure community organiser or Illinois politician, right? How many of them are there and how many of them are likely to access
    confidential espionage-worthy documents or rise all the way to Pres?

    If the KGB could foresee Obama’s rise to power then – yikes – surely them blackmailing him over some Trump-worthy over-egged urban legends is the least of our worries!

    (Which may indeed kinda be your point. Expanding upon it for ya.)

  22. 22
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @ 20. Raging Bee :

    Just because Russia has a really good spy service, doesn’t mean no one else can ever see what they see.

    In Russia really good spy service sees you .. oh wait!

  23. 23
    Raging Bee

    Marchinko and his team rented a boat and drove it up the river, openly taking videos of the nuclear subs through the hatches…

    Which “hatches?” The hatches on the subs? How do you aim a camera through a sub’s hatch from a boat?

    This should explain why no one stopped them: they obviously weren’t doing anything dangerous. (And that, of course, is assuming the story is true, which I don’t consider a tenable assumption.)

  24. 24
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Oh and thinking spy services – Mossad.

    If the KGB knew Obama’s “real” (not)birthplace then surely the Israelis would too.

    Given Israel’s notoriously testy relationship with Obama and Obama’s likely sympathies away from the world’s one only and much maligned Jewish state due to his early Indonesian upbringing and Islamic family background would’nt it be in Israel’s interests more than any others to blackmail him with this “fact” that ain’t?

    Really, really hope this comment doesn’t lead to any new anti-semitic conspiracy theory – just another angle of how dumb the whole birther shit is.

  25. 25
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @ 23. Raging Bee :Hatches of the boat the Mock Russians were in I’d say.

    Also merely noting accurately where a submarine is moored at a particular time could be considered potentially dangerous as it surely allows planing for a subsequent (if perhaps short-term)attack(s) on said vessels.

    (Tempted to type “said newklear wessels” in Chekov accent for some reason there.)

  26. 26
    Raging Bee

    StevoR: I thought Chekov was talking about nuclear whistles! Sort of a 12st-century version of the Rebel Yell, I guess. Whatever it was, I’m sure we wouldn’t want THAT technology to fall into the wrong hands — they could use them to shatter the windshields of our nuclear airplanes!

  27. 27
    Raging Bee

    Given Israel’s notoriously testy relationship with Obama and Obama’s likely sympathies away from the world’s one only and much maligned Jewish state due to his early Indonesian upbringing and Islamic family background would’nt it be in Israel’s interests more than any others to blackmail him with this “fact” that ain’t?

    Actually, it would have been more in Israel’s interests (and of course the interests of their Republican allies and suckups) to use these “facts-that-ain’t” to keep Obama from getting elected in the first place.

    That’s where all of this birther BS fails: if they ever had anything like a real case — or even a case “real” enough for Karl Rove, he’s not exactly a stickler for proof — why didn’t they use it when it would have counted most?

  28. 28
    Moggie

    How do we know Lyons wasn’t turned by the Russians? As a naval officer, he would certainly have been a person of interest to the KGB – and here he is, attempting to undermine the US government, just like an agent of a foreign power would do. He seems suspiciously well-informed about KGB operations, and even uses Russkie words, unlike any good Merkan. We’re onto you, James “Ivan” Lyons!

  29. 29
    Larry

    Well, I’ll give the good Admiral an A for originality. I don’t believe I’ve heard a Russian blackmail theory before.

    <throws theory into circular file and goes back to reading a good book>

  30. 30
    democommie

    @25:

    Knowing the whereabouts of a nuclear sub that’s in a sub pen that’s open to the sky is likely the province of any number of the several thousand earth orbiting satellites. Attacking a moored submarine if it’s any newer than about 1950 is not something that would be very effective without some serious fucking armament–they have pretty sturdy hulls and all of the delicate bits are under the surface. Marchinko’s a dickhead and, like a lot of retired “warriors” likely prone to gilding the lily.

  31. 31
    kantalope

    Since Obama attended college in 1979 – those kgb files would be available – if they existed. It would be more likely that the Russians have a file on the admiral than on every college student that read the communist manifesto in the 1980′s.

    And what is it exactly that obama is letting the russians do with this blackmail?

    and as for ‘sneaking’ looks at the submarine base in groton — that base is miles up the river – this was no secret submarine base. If the Soviets wanted to know what ships were in harbor they could probably check the local paper. If you were a security guard and saw a party boat with a soviet flag racing up a public river with a soviet flag would you think ‘the Russians are Coming!’ or ‘assholes?’ If something needed to be kept secret at the base they have this really cool technology called a tarp. Even flash photography can’t penetrate it.

  32. 32
    alanb

    Can’t these wingnuts get anything right? It’s the Saudis who are blackmailing Obama.

  33. 33
    Didaktylos

    What the dinosaurs of the military/industrial complex miss about the collapse of the Warsaw Pact is that there is no longer a potential enemy of a quality sufficient to drive the development of ever more sophisticated weapon systems.

  34. 34
    daved

    @23

    I meant that the hatches on the subs were open, and Marchinko’s team was able to see into them. The point of this is not that they were able to see that the subs were at the base, it’s that the security on the subs themselves was dismal. Hey, read the book for yourself. I’ve seen it criticized by others over Marchinko using it to play up his grudges against certain naval officers (for example), but as far as I’ve seen, nobody has claimed that his Red Cell security exercises aren’t being reported accurately.

  35. 35
    democommie

    “I meant that the hatches on the subs were open, and Marchinko’s team was able to see into them. ”

    This link:

    http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?_adv_prop=image&fr=vmn&sz=all&va=modern+u.s+subs

    has a lot of images of U.S. submarines. NONE of them have low enough profile to enable anyone to look down into the submarine from any vessel that doesn’t have at a minimum a good, strudy mast to allow a viewer to clamber up about 15 -20′ above the water’s surface. Marchinko is either stupid or lying or he’s lying and he thinks others are stupid. Those are pretty much the possibilites. Seeing down into the submarines from the vantage point of a “rented boat” that didn’t have at least a “tuna tower”–and it would have to be a tall one–is not highly probable.

    “as far as I’ve seen, nobody has claimed that his Red Cell security exercises aren’t being reported accurately.”

    It’s not likely that the people at the responsible agencies want to waste their time debunking something that will only then blow up into, “They’re denying it. That PROVES I’m right!!!!!”. It’s fucking nonsense. If Marchinko had done something that was considered problematic, gotten away with it and THEN bragged about it? It’s quite possible that he would have been arrested and charged with espionage. Not that he’d be convicted but the gummint specializes in fuckin’ with people who make them look foolish.

    @ Didaktylos:

    Well, the russians have embraced capitalism as it relates to armaments and they are working on all sorts of weapons systems and competing on the world market for purchase orders.

  36. 36
    kermit.

    angrymudcrab: You know, I sometimes think these people are more sad that the USSR fell than the Communist Party is. They just can’t seem to live without having some mighty enemy to be terrified of, and we just haven’t had that since the USSR’s collapse.
    .
    Well, some of us are of the opinion that global warming is the biggest threat that humanity has faced in 60,000 years. I guess that’s unsatisfactory for a couple of reasons:
    1. They need a moral war, a crusade against the enemy’s jihad.
    2. Everybody is threatened by AGW, and they can’t very well put their energy behind a defense that would help everybody now, can they? They world is a zero sum game, and if the poors and browns profit, then we must be losing somehow.
    .
    Back OT, I’m glad I’m not the only one appalled that he once commanded the Pacific fleet. He is too stupid, too ignorant, too paranoid, and despite being an authoritarian, too dismissive of a chain of command that he disapproves of. He should never have held rank above ensign, and should peculiar circumstances lead me to see him face to face I’ll tell him so.

  37. 37
    jnorris

    The wingnutz who haven’t already, have to jump on this broken down band wagon now. In three and a half years it won’t matter and the Birther gravy train will have gone off the deep end.

  38. 38
    Taz

    Wasn’t James Lyons the guy who used to hang out with Glen Beck in 1980?

  39. 39
    ambulocetacean

    Let’s hope the Russians don’t find out that Obama was gay married to his Pakistani university roommate! Then they’d really have something to blackmail him with.

  40. 40
    caseloweraz

    @Raging Bee: And plus, certain people might turn them into nuclear dog-whistles. You know what would happen then!

  41. 41
    caseloweraz

    An October 2012 article in Foreign Policy questions President Obama’s “reset” of policies toward Russia.

    Did Obama intend to imply that powerful nations will no longer act selfishly or aggressively? Was he suggesting that his accession to power has transformed international affairs, consigning to history’s dustbin the writings of Thucydides, the venerable Athenian historian who, roughly 2,300 years ago, observed that nations, like men, pursue what they perceive as their interests — sometimes with judgment, sometimes without, and occasionally with tragic results. If so, we can expect Thucydides to have the last laugh.

    The primary author is one Douglas Feith. I guess he knows about pursuit of national interest leading to tragic results.

    This article may be the seed of Lyons’s conspiracy theory. Of course, it’s only one of many possible seeds.

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