Presidential politics is about the imperial exercise of power, but this year, agents from a much older empire have seemingly penetrated the deepest realms of America’s ruling establishment, scattering secrets both profound and embarrassing across the global landscape.
“In some respects, our political process really takes care of the work for foreign intelligence agencies,” Michael Kofman, a professional observer of Russia and veteran of the U.S. military’s National Defense University, told Ozy.com last month.
“Why spend lots of your own money going after political intelligence? You have two very large, powerful machines — the Democratic Party and the Republican Party — that are going to each spend several million in this election, right?
“And they are going to do the research on the candidates. So instead of you reinventing the wheel, you just hack the Hillary Clinton campaign to get everything on Donald Trump, and vice versa.”
He added, “In 2014, Russia hacked the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s servers. If the U.S. military has trouble stopping them, what chance does a campaign have?”
During the Cold War, San Diego, home to atomic submarines, nuclear aircraft carriers, support vessels, and brainpower, was ground zero for Soviet military mappers, who targeted their doomsday missiles at North Island’s Navy base as well as what was then the Naval Training Center at Point Loma.
Charts, maps, and related intelligence from the 1980s unearthed in Russia during the post-Soviet era revealed a keen interest in the details of San Diego daily living and weather conditions, as well as its sprawling defense establishment, as if preparing for infiltration — or ultimate invasion and occupation.
“San Diego is a city in the south-west of the USA, California. Together with numerous inter-grown suburbs and satellite towns (Coronado, National City, Imperial Beach, etc.), San Diego is a major US defense center and an important industrial hub; it hosts the main national naval and air force base on the Pacific Coast,” said a rough translation of the documents by Wired magazine in July of last year.
“There are such training centers there as the Naval Center, Marine Corps Center, Pacific Navy Air Defense Center, and the Navy Electronic Equipment Laboratory. San Diego accommodates the headquarters of the 11th Naval District and the Pacific Navy Surface Forces.
“Naval Amphibious Base Coronado have [sic] mooring berths and a roadstead which admit moorage of small landing ships and other landing craft; there are barracks, training blocks and warehouses.”
Says a description of weather conditions, as translated from the Russian Cyrillic by Wired: “During the dry season (June to September), almost all rivers dry up, and in spring, during rainfalls, they turn into impetuous impassable torrents.”
Regarding the civilian population, the legend says, “The most comfortable residential quarters in San Diego are located to the north of Balboa Park, while the poor people live in the southern and eastern parts of the city. The industrial facilities are concentrated mainly within the coastal area along San Diego Bay.”
During this fall’s presidential campaign, Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks has been the funnel for an almost daily release of American political intelligence, ostensibly gleaned by Russian hackers from the email archive of John D. Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
The Clinton campaign has seized on reports by U.S. national intelligence director James Clapper, Jr. and private security contractors, including an assessment by Atlanta-based Dell SecureWorks that a hacker-collective named Fancy Bear, tied to Russian security service GRU, has been responsible for attacks against Podesta.
He reportedly made the mistake of responding to a so-called email that sent him to a fake Google log-in, into which he entered his password, allowing the Russians access to his gmail account.
In San Diego’s case, the torrent of Podesta emails posted by WikiLeaks has furnished an unprecedented glimpse into the city’s elite world of pervasive power and influence, occupied by super-rich campaign donors along with the peculiar Encinitas rock star Tom DeLonge.
The former Blink-182 frontman, who left the Poway-bred group (again) after it splintered last year to pursue a literary career, has been in regular touch with Podesta regarding the pair’s mutual interest in UFOs and other forms of extraterrestrial life, the leaked emails show.
In an interview with Rolling Stone this past April, DeLonge spilled the beans on his lifelong obsession with flying saucers. “They went across the country and landed in certain cities, and mayors and senators met with the pilots,” he said, describing an 1897 blimp invasion of the west.
“It was national news. And then they completely disappeared. No one knows who they were.”
Recounts Rolling Stone, “The guitarist has made several aircraft-spotting pilgrimages himself, driving his Airstream trailer to Nevada test sites like Area 51 and Tonopah, bringing spotting scopes, satellite phones, and night-vision goggles (‘They’re registered with the State Department — I can’t leave the country with them’).”
So, how did DeLonge procure his top-secret access and gear? He isn’t saying, and neither Podesta nor the Clinton campaign will confirm or deny the provenance of the leaked emails.
DeLonge told Rolling Stone that background for Sekret Machines Book 1: Chasing Shadows, a novel he wrote with Andrew James Hartley, a British-born fantasy writer, was based on information from “sources within the aerospace industry and the Department of Defense and NASA.”
He continued, “That sentence, specifically, was approved for me to say,” and added, “I have 10 people that I’m working with that are at the highest levels of the Department of Defense and NASA and the military.”
Following the WikiLeaks dumps of the Podesta files in June, DeLonge briefly took to Instagram October 21 to imply that all the publicity had interfered with his mission. “I am still here. WikiLeaks really messed some important stuff up.”
He added, “What seems like ridiculous subject matter to most, is of massive importance to admirable National Security Leadership. It’s easy to poke fun about the topic from an armchair, but unless you’re invited to the meetings I have been a part of, then... no more laughing. Big things are coming. Project is still on, believe it or not, things just got bigger.”