Saturday, August 22, 2020

SUPERVILLAIN! Could Peter Debbins be Q?

I had not intended to write another post until next week, but we just received some fascinating news: Peter Debbins, a former Green Beret turned cyber intelligence expert, has been charged with -- well, in the old days the word would be treason, though that term won't appear in any indictment. The short version:
A former Army Green Beret living in northern Virginia was arrested on Friday, charged with divulging military secrets about his unit’s activities in former Soviet republics during more than a decade of contacts with Russian intelligence.

Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins, 45, told Russian intelligence he considered himself a “son of Russia,” according to an indictment made public after his arrest.

“Debbins thought that the United States was too dominant in the world and needed to be cut down to size,” prosecutors alleged.
Debbin has left an internet trail. Here he is writing in American Thinker. The topic is Ukraine.
The U.S. and West European attempts to model Ukraine into a liberal European country have been a failure. The continuation of past policies will fail too.
This piece is nuanced, though it is basically pro-Russia. If you scroll down, you'll see that Debbins offers praise for Alexei Navalny, the Putin opponent who was recently poisoned. But this "praise" could be interpreted as a subtle smear: Debbins labels Navalny a "nationalist" Putin foe, as opposed to a Western-style liberal. (The truth about Navalny has long been debated; see here and here.)

Here is the translated version of a gushing piece on the Russian Army that Peter Debbins wrote for a French strategic publication.

According to this podcast, Debbins worked for the Academy For Defense Intelligence, which is part of the Defense Intelligence Agency. The guy was freakin' everywhere. 

Here's where it gets scary...

So he's an expert on cyber warfare, and he was passing info on to the Russians. This, at a time when the Russians have pretty much declared war on our elections. Great.

Here's his YouTube video. You'll love the title: "Influencing a Wired World with Cyber Intelligence." You'll also love the description:
We will look at how the basic human neural processes are impacted in a wired world and how they impact our interactions, moods, and thinking. Not only do nation-states utilize this intelligence, but advertisers, and our closest associates do as well. With the information provided in this lecture, not only will you be able to recognize the influence operations targeting you, but you will also be able to understand how you can use it yourself.

About the Speaker: Mr. Debbins has 20 years of experience and knowledge in intelligence, national security, strategic planning, CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, enhanced Explosives), cyber and cyberspace, hybrid warfare, business, economics, finance, world geopolitical environment, and science and technology (S&T). He possesses native fluency in Russian.
And guess where else he showed up?

For years now, Cambridge has been a hotbed of Russian infiltration into western intelligence. That's where Michael Flynn fell under the influence of a certain woman whom we must never ever call an FSB spy, because she is litigious. So don't call her that.

(I've written about the Cambridge/Russian connection before, here and here and here. Frankly, if I were president, I'd revoke the security clearance of anyone in the intelligence community who had any link to that damned seminar. These days, Cambridge is basically Moscow with fish and chips.)

Debbins has pals in high places, including a former CIA Director and the ever-popular Erik Prince.

According to one of Laura Rozen's readers, "Debbins graduated from and was an instructor at the Institute of World Politics, where Erik Prince is on the board of Trustees." The same reader directs our attention to this bio, which is really juicy.
My mother is Russian and was born in the Soviet Union. She was a survivor of the famine in Eastern Ukraine, only to be taken captive by the Germans during World War II. She, along with her family, were taken to the internment camps by the Nazis and used as slave labor for the duration of the war. Because of her experiences during the war, she wanted to have a big family. I have 17 siblings, ten adopted and seven biological. My four brothers and I all speak a different language. Growing up, my grandmother used to say learning a language could save your life one day. While she was in the camp, she was kept as a bookkeeper because she spoke different languages. I am a fluent Russian speaker, while my brothers speak French, German, and Spanish.

I did my undergrad at the University of Minnesota and went to Russia every summer to study the language. I also lived in Russia for a year to study business.
The Russians probably would have tried to recruit him during his student years. They also would have urged him to pursue a career in the American military or intelligence community.
During college, I did ROTC and put in for the reserves but was called to active duty because of Army operational demand. I served three years of active duty and then joined the Special Forces for another three years. Because I spoke fluent Russian, I was never posted to Iraq or Afghanistan. Instead, I served in the Caucasus, Germany, and the Balkans.

After the Army, I worked for Ukrainian businesses for a year and then moved back to Minnesota to work in the private sector. I realized there was a disconnect between my skills and my current career, so I moved to the D.C. area. I started using my leadership skills to teach rocket scientists how to be managers at Orbital Science.
Orbital Science Corporation designed the Pegasus rocket for Northrup Grumman. According to the indictment, he stopped spying for the Russians in 2010, but I think a relationship continued. Marcy seems to think so too.

The indictment says that he worked for a "Ukrainian steel company" in Minnesota. This almost certainly refers to Interpipe Group, owned by Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk, a friend to Bill Clinton, major donor to the Clinton Foundation, and someone Putin would want to keep an eye on. 
Later, I got a job working at Fort Meade as a Russian analyst and did that for three years. I then transitioned to working as a cyber instructor for CACI for another three years. I’ve been at my new job in the UK for about 4 months and teach Russian studies through Co-solutions. My position is based at EUCOM and the NATO regional joint intelligence facility in the United Kingdom.
When he says "Fort Meade," he probably means NSA, though he could also be referring to DISA, the Defense Information Systems Agency. There are a couple of other possibilities. CACI is a big damn deal.
When I started, I thought I was a really well-read person. I was actually blown away by all the classes I had and learned a lot in every course I took. A lot of what I learned at IWP I teach in my classes today. In my week-long seminar, I explain the origins of communism and rely especially on the teachings of Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato. The questions these Greek philosophers asked are the same questions Marx and Engels tried to answer with their philosophies. These are things I didn’t learn in my undergraduate studies or high school; I learned them at IWP.

IWP is unique in that it personifies the classical methodology of education. Most schools in the United States follow the progressive model where students aren’t exposed to the material that has shaped Western tradition and build a knowledge base before presenting a position. IWP steeps you in the Western tradition and helps its students understand the Western perspective and where it originates from.
Shit, I'm starting to like the guy. He's clearly hyper-intelligent and he knows philosophy. Is it possible that this whole indictment is bullshit? Obviously, that's not the way to bet: Any pal of Erik Prince is no pal of ours. Still, this is an election year, and Barr has proven that you can't trust anything he touches. The Pinchuk link bugs me; Team Trump might be able to do something with that.

The Indictment itself is really weird. Prosecutors learned all sorts of details about Debbins' interactions with the Russians in the 1990s and beyond, including the back-and-forth of his conversations with his handlers. But how could those details have surfaced at this stage of the game? Has he been watched all this time? If so, why did he keep getting high-level clearances?

The prosecutor is a Trump appointee, G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Not long ago, there was some talk of him prosecuting Wikileaks.
Terwilliger's office has also picked up other offshoots from the special counsel investigation of Russian election interference. He has indicted an accountant for the Internet Research Agency, the Russian troll farm accused of attacking the 2016 race.
Okay. That's cool.

If the indictment is on the level, then Debbins is the real-life equivalent of a Hollywood supervillain. A genius-level former Green Beret who reads philosophy, speaks multiple languages, teaches rocket scientists, knows our nuclear secrets, can manipulate the masses with cyber warfare, and has managed to crawl all over our intelligence community. That's Moriarity. That's Blofeld. God help us all if he gets the Infinity Stones.

Theory time! Readers come here to see what kind of off-the-wall scenario Cannon is toying with this week. Took me ten whole minutes to come up with something sufficiently bizarre, but I've cobbled together a "Theory of Debbins" that you're unlikely to encounter anywhere else.

Maybe Debbins is Q. Or rather, one of the Qs, since it seems to be a group effort.

Do I hear snickering? Stop it. Hear me out.

Q now publishes on 8kun (previously 8chan), a Nazi-friendly message board hosted by a Russian concern that usually deals with ransomeware and stolen credit cards. Thus, we can say that the following clues point to Debbins:

1. Evidence suggests that Q is part of a Russian op. Debbins is an accused Russian spy.

2. Q has been savvy enough to keep his identity hidden, even though lots of really smart people all over the world are trying to figure out who he is. Debbins is a cyber expert, and he's obviously brilliant.

3. Q uses a tripcode to verify his messages. Debbins gives me the impression that he would know how to do a thing like that.

4. Some believe that Q has genuine links to U.S. military intelligence. Debbins fits the bill.

5. As a CBRNE expert, Debbins may actually possess Q clearance. If not, he surely coveted it.

6. Debbins is a recognized expert on "how the basic human neural processes are impacted in a wired world." That's pretty much Q's whole act, isn't it?

7. Michael Flynn embraced the Q mythos. Flynn and Debbins both have links to Cambridge.

So...whaddaya think? Is it a reach? If you think it's a reach, I'll go back to my original theory that Q is one of the merry pranksters who used to write for The Barnes Review.

By the way, some wags on Twitter are predicting that Debbins will be a featured speaker at the RNC. That's a joke. I think.


Pegster53 said...

Hmm 🧐 I think you have a valid theory there about Q. Debbin’s links to DeJoy & Prince provide troubling connections.

Jsteed2020 said...

Why wouldn’t it just be Bannon

Anonymous said...

You build a plausible case.

Will the activity by Q change now?

Joseph Cannon said...

Anon, I'm not sure.

I was very enthusiastic about the Debbins-as-Q theory for about 30 hours. Y'know that wonderful "mind on fire" feeling you get when a new idea takes hold of you? That's how I was.

But one of my character flaws is that I tend to become enamored of a theory prematurely. Speculation is valuable, but evidence is MORE valuable.

Frankly, I immediately pictured Debbins as a kind of Moriarity. It's an attractive idea, because that's what we need right now: A Moriarity. Compare a genius like Debbins to a dimwit like Trump. For years, our villains have been dullards and thugs -- Trump, Stone, Manafort, Alex Jones. It's dispiriting and depressing. If I'm to bested, I wish to be bested by my betters.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joseph,

Anon1:05 checking back in.

Yes, I have experienced that “mind on fire” excitement. It’s one of the ways things get written.

It’s tempting to want a Moriarty: in jail, especially. That’s a pretty good line, “bested by my betters.”

I’m coming to the conclusion that we have been running on a combination of our own stale BS and fumes for so long that while they’re not all as awful as Manafort & Co, the elite ain’t so elite anymore.

I think your guess that Q is a committee is probably true. Eventually though, if D is part of Q, a change should become noticeable.

Keep up the good work.

b said...

Using a tripcode at 8kun doesn't require advanced knowledge. All you have to do is type "User#Password" in the "Name" field, and then an algorithm running on the server will calculate a unique tripcode based on the string "Password".

So all that the team that employs Dan Scavino, I mean all that "Q" does to ensure that every "Q drop" carries the tripcode "!!Hs1Jq13jV6" is that they type the right password after the characters "Q#".

Thank goodness the name "Luther Blissett" wasn't used for the QAnon operation.

It must be relevant that 8kun owner Jim Watkins is supporting candidates who promote QAnon.

Frequently posting genuinely securely signed stuff on the internet without relying on a third party keyserver or webserver is possible but it's not something that's often done and (unfortunately) it requires tech-knowledgeable readers.