I usually don’t post instrumental projects up here but this one’s too dope to pass up. Check out the soulful boom bap joints on this

Jamal Khashoggi & Hatice Cengiz

VIA

In this insane historical era in which we currently live, events, their causes and consequences do not necessarily follow this particular logical sequence of reporting and analyzing; and we have to get used to much worse.

To this effect, a week ago, it was almost impossible to work out who “killed” Khashoggi and why even though the financial and political and consequences were fairly obvious. However, the events of the few days that followed are beginning to shed some light for speculation about the how and why Mr. Khashoggi was killed and who did it.

In asking “how”, the question is not in relation to the gory details of how the man was physically murdered, but in the events that have possibly led to this fateful event. Some conspiracy theorists abound about there being no death or murder. Were he alive, given that the Saudi’s are under such extreme attack worldwide, they would find any opportunity to drag this man before the world’s cameras to prove their innocence.

To analyze the events leading up to the entry of Mr. Khashoggi to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on the 2nd of October 2018, we need to look at a myriad of facts and also possibilities; including cultural ones.

It is very hard to understand the Saudi mind for someone who has never lived in that country. One of the many peculiar aspects of this state is that people, even ordinary people, do not engage in the day-to-day official requirements that members of other nations would.

When I worked and lived in Saudi Arabia, one of the first things I learnt was that the company I worked for had a fulltime employee with the job description of “Mu’aqeb”. The best translation of this title is “expeditor”. This man was in charge of every matter that had to do with dealing with government. He is the one who takes one’s passport and sees that a Saudi “Iquama” (temporary certificate of residence) is produced. He is the one who renews driving licenses. He is the one that does the necessary paperwork to grant employees exit and re-entry visas when they go away on holidays. He even applies on one’s behalf for visas to visit other countries. He even paid water and electricity bills. He did it all, and of course, on top of his salary, he expected a present from employees on their return to work from holidays, and some employees would risk big penalties smuggling in Playboy magazines to reward him with. But the company I worked for was not alone in this regard; all other companies had their own “Mu’aqeb”.

It is against the Saudi psyche, culture and “pride” to go to a government office, wait in line and make an application for anything. Not even uneducated poor Saudis are accustomed to go through the rigmarole of government red-tape and routine.

Mr. Khashoggi was from the upper crust, and it is highly doubtful that he would have been willing and prepared to physically enter the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul seeking an official document.

Furthermore and more importantly, Mr. Khashoggi had a better reason not to enter any Saudi territory. Even though some recent reports portray him as a Wahhabi in disguise among other things, the man had nonetheless made some serious anti-MBS (Mohamed bin Salman) statements.

Jamal Khashoggi was no fool. He knew the modus operandi of the Saudi Government too well. He knew that what he had said was tantamount to a death sentence in the brutal Kingdom of Sand. So what incited him to walk into the Consulate? To receive a divorce certificate so he could remarry as the reports are trying to make us believe? Not a chance.

But this is not all. As a Muslim, Mr. Khashoggi could have gone to any country that upholds Muslim marriage rites and remarried without having to formally divorce his first wife, and then go to America and live with his “new wife” under the guise of a de-facto relationship. So why would he risk his life and walk into a potential death trap?

Logic stipulates that Khashoggi entered the Consulate after he was given vehement assurances that his safety was guaranteed by the Saudi Crown. He would have never entered the Consulate had he not been given this assurance.
But why would the Saudi Government give him this assurance even though he had been very critical of MBS? A good question.

Once again, a logical hypothetical answer to this question could be that Khashoggi had some important meeting with a high ranking Saudi official to discuss some issues of serious importance, and this normally means that he had some classified information to pass on to the Saudi Government; important enough that the Saudi Crown was prepared to set aside Khashoggi’s recent history in exchange of this information.

If we try to connect more dots in a speculative but rational manner, the story can easily become more interesting.
Hatice Cengiz (Turkish for Khadijeh Jengiz) it is claimed, raised the first alarm for Khashoggi’s disappearance, announcing at the same time that she is/was his fiancée. But that latter announcement of hers came as a surprise even to Khashoggi’s own family.

Not much is said and speculated about Hatice in the West, but she is definitely making some headlines in the Arab World, especially on media controlled and sponsored by Saudi Arabia. To this effect, and because the Saudi neck is on the chopping board, it is possible that for the first time ever perhaps, the Saudis are telling the truth.
But the Saudis are the boys who cried wolf, and no one will ever believe them. But, let us explore how they might have got themselves into this bind.

As we connect the dots, we speculate as follows:

Some reports allege that Hatice has had a colourful history, including Mossad training. The same YouTube alleges that she was a Gülenist and was arrested by Erdogan and released under the condition that she works for his security apparatus in order to guarantee her freedom. If such is the case, do we know if she has been also blackmailed in exchange for security of family members, loved ones, property etc? We don’t know.

It has also been reported that Jamal Khashoggi met her only as early as May 2018 and later introduced her as an expert on Omani history and politics. In reality, irrespective of what his family members are saying now, Khashoggi has never introduced her to the world as his fiancée; and this is fact.

So was she his fiancée?

It is at least possible that she wasn’t?

So, who was she to Khashoggi and what role did she possibly play?

The following speculation cannot be proved, but it makes sense:

To explain what a Gülenist is for the benefit of the reader who is unaware of this term, Erdogan blamed former friend and ally Fethullah Gülen for the failed coup attempt of July 2016 and persecuted his followers, putting tens of thousands of them in jail. Erdogan’s relationship with America was already deteriorating at that time because of America’s support to Syrian Kurds, and to add to Erdogan’s woes, America was and continues to give Gülen a safe haven despite many requests by Erdogan to have him extradited to Turkey to face trial. But Gülen is falling out of America’s favour as he seems to have outlived his use-by date, and the Gülenist movement would be in dire need of a new benefactor.

Cengiz, a former Gülenist, released on the above-mentioned conditions and possible threats, might have introduced herself to Khashoggi as an undercover Gülenist, and she had a history to support her claim. Being a former Gülenist, she might have indeed kept a foot in the Gülenist camp, and with the diminishing support of the American Government to the Gulenist movement, she might have been recruited to source finance. The Gülenists might have eyed Saudi Arabia to take this role, and as the rift between the Saudi royals and Erdogan intensified after their former joint effort to topple the legitimate secular government of Syria, the Gülenists would have found in Al-Saud what represents an enemy of an enemy, and they had to find a way to seek Saudi support against Erdogan. MBS himself would have inadvertently invited the Gülenists to approach him when he announced, back in March 2018 during a visit to the Coptic Pope Tawadros II in Egypt, that the triangle of evil in the Middle East is comprised of Iran, Islamist extremists groups and Turkey, and, in naming Turkey, he obviously meant Erdogan personally.

Khashoggi, with his expansive connections, looked like a good candidate to introduce the would-be new partners and broker a deal between them.

Back to what may have incited Khashoggi to enter the Saudi Consulate and to why the Saudi Government would have, in that case, given him a safe entry despite his history. Possibly, Khashoggi believed that he had a “big story” to relay to the Saudi Government; one that most likely exposed big time anti-Saudi dirt about Erdogan.

With the Saudi-led Wahhabi version of fundamentalist Islam competing with the Muslim Brotherhood side, politically and militarily headed by Erdogan, it is not far-fetched to believe that either party is conspiring to topple the other. If Khashoggi had a story to this effect, even if it was fake but credible enough for him to believe, it would have given him the impetus to seek an audience at the Saudi Consulate and hence an expectation for the Consulate to positively reciprocate. In reality, given the history and culture involved, it is hard to fathom that any scenario short of this one would have given either Khashoggi and/or the Saudi officials enough reasons to meet in the manner and place they did.

It is highly likely that Saudi officials had several contingency plans for Khashoggi’s visit; depending on its outcome and the information that he had to offer. Those plans might have included giving him a wide range of treatments, ranging from a red carpet reception in Saudi Arabia, to beheading and dismembering him within the Consulate’s grounds. What happened after Khashoggi entered the precinct of the Consulate is fairly muddy and hard to speculate on. If the above speculations thus far have been accurate, then these are the possible scenarios that followed the fateful CCTV coverage of Khashoggi’s entry to the Consulate:

1. It is possible that the Saudi officials in Turkey have had their own contacts with the Gülenists prior to the supposed ground-breaking visit of Khashoggi. In such a case, if the story Khashoggi may have offered did not fall in line with the story the Saudi’s already know, then Khashoggi would have automatically been branded as suspicious and his safe entry would have been revoked. In such a case, he would have walked into his own trap.

2. On the other hand, if Khashoggi indeed gave Saudi authorities vital information, so vital that it clearly is vehemently pro-Gülen, and as Gülen is no longer an American favourite, then upon his return to America he may have become a Saudi liability that can potentially muddy the Saudi-American waters that the Saudis desperately try to keep clear. In such an instance, it would be opportune for the Saudis to finish him off before he could return to America.

3. A third possibility is that some Saudi officials already working covertly with Gülen saw in Khashoggi an already persona non grata, a dangerous Erdogan implant and decided to take action against him.

If any of the above scenarios are accurate, then the role of Erdogan in this story is not that of a scavenger who capitalized on the rift generated between the Saudis and America, but that he was instrumental in conjuring up and orchestrating the whole drama. Erdogan might have subjected the Saudi Government to the Gülen litmus test, and in such a case, the victim is Saudi Arabia and the scavenger is America seeking silence money in lieu of continued protection of Saudi interests.

In all of the above scenarios, Khashoggi would have been driven into the trap by his alleged fiancée and had his impunity revoked by the Saudi officials because he failed the test.

But what triggered him off personally to walk into this possible trap? What was in it for him? Definitely not divorce documents. Most likely, Khashoggi was after amnesty from the Saudi Crown, and this would be a safety concern not only for Khashoggi himself, but also for his family that continued to live in Saudi Arabia. He may well have thought that by providing vital and sensitive information to his government, his previous “sins” would be set aside and he would be treated as a hero, his family would feel safe, despite that fact that he has criticized the Crown Prince in the past.

Arabic media are inundated with posts and YouTube videos that are very damning of Hatice Cengiz. Most of them perhaps are Saudi propaganda and should not be taken for a grain of salt. In reality however, her sudden emergence as Khashoggi’s “fiancée”, the fact that she allegedly waited for nearly 24 hours before reporting his disappearance and her personal, professional and political history are all factors that cast much doubt about her innocence and instead, portray her as a possible key element in the series of events that led to the disappearance of Khashoggi.

Furthermore, why would a person in her position make rules and conditions about meeting the President of the United States of America, even if this President is Donald Trump? How many people in history have refused the invitation of American Presidents? Who does she think she is or who is she trying to portray herself as?
And if Trump is seizing the opportunity to grab MBS, and this time he will be grabbing by the wallet, if Erdogan smells a hint of preparedness of MBS to support Gülen, then Erdogan would want MBS’s wallet and head. Any whichever way, the silver lining of this story is that for once, Saudi Arabia is finally running for cover. Few around the world will give this brutal royal family any sympathy.

There are other rumours spreading in the Arab world now alluding to the removal of MBS from office and passing over the reins to his brother. MBS has committed heinous war crimes in Yemen and has made huge errors of judgment with regard to Syria and Qatar. He made many enemies, and it seems that Erdogan is out to get him.

It does seem possible that the Assad-must-go curse has reached the neck of the Saudi throne.

Shouts to anyone (along with family members) out there fighting diabetes or any physical or mental health issues…

My latest drop featuring a shitload of new dope rap joints…

bambu – blikka blam
flee lord ft. westside gunn – had enough
alchemist ft. conway & wsg – ’94 shit
god fahim – hashtag 47
kxng crooked – mace windu(frost gamble remix)
von pea & the other guys ft. donwill – get well soon
mista pigz & united cratez – talk about it
da buze bruvaz – shotgun killaz
recognize ali & estee nack – strike the shepherd
recognize ali – mug shots
big kahuna og – weaponized worldwide
bambu ft. mr topak – the jump in
roc marciano & dj mugs – shit i’m on
tragedy khadafi – ill type
royal flush – movin’ on your weak prod(cookin’ soul remix)
grime lords – violent violins
dj enyoutee ft. starvin’ b – flame thrower
seed & nottz ft. tiye phoenix – pretty lil’ liar
nine ft. conway – Belafonte
j live – hating
time machine – ur so dope
flee lord ft. Conway – gave my dog bands
joell ortiz & apollo brown ft. royce 5’9 – timbalan’d up
sadat x & el da sensei – building character
noveliss – 5am in shibuya

..Of course, donations always appreciated here

At the demise of empire, City of London financial interests created a web of secrecy jurisdictions that captured wealth from across the globe and hid it in a web of offshore islands. Today, up to half of global offshore wealth is hidden in British jurisdictions and Britain and its dependencies are the largest global players in the world of international finance…

2nd part of this double feature is where it’s at. Off the ‘Order In Chaos’ album out now…

Paul Nice dropping them funky fresh breaks

VIA

My lawyer had to threaten Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp with a federal lawsuit to force him to turn over the names of over half a million voters whose citizenship rights he quietly extinguished.

This past week, I released the name of every one of these Georgia voters Kemp flushed from voter rolls in 2017. If you’re a Georgia resident, check the list. If your name is on it, re-register right now. You only have through tomorrow (October 9).

It’s no coincidence that Georgia’s Purge’n General is also running for Governor: The Republican candidate is fighting a dead-even race against Stacey Abrams, Democratic House Minority Leader. Abrams, if she wins, would become the first Black woman governor in US history.

Suspiciously, Kemp sent no notice to these citizens after he took away their voting rights. If they show up to vote on November 6, they’re out of luck — and so is Georgia’s democracy.

I brought in one of the nation’s top mailing database experts, Mark Swedlund, and his team to go through the list, name by name. Among the voters purged are thousands who supposedly left the state but remain in Georgia. Thousands more are people who moved from one end of town to another and lost their vote — and we even found one who simply moved from one apartment to another in the same building.

These registration cancellations are therefore dead wrong and, say voting law experts, coldly break the law.

That is why Gerald Griggs, counsel for the Atlanta NAACP, and voting rights attorney Nse Ufot, executive director of the New Georgia Project (a nonpartisan voter registration initiative), are joining in my suit against Kemp.

We’ll be hauling Kemp into federal court to force him to open the records to which the public is entitled under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 — provisions meant to prevent just this type of voter roll shenanigan. In particular, we’re forcing him to disclose the complete detailed process that led to each voter’s removal.

I don’t file federal suits on a whim. Kemp has continually turned down legitimate Open Records Act requests over my five years of investigation for Al Jazeera and Rolling Stone.

Griggs and Ufot made their announcement about the suit at a press conference October 2 in Atlanta at the national headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the civil rights group that traces its origins to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

The location was meant to make a point. The racial stench from the computerized torching of the Georgia voter files has motivated prominent civil rights leaders from Georgia to add their names to the lawsuit: Axel Adams, executive editor of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition that grew out of two nonprofit organizations founded by Jesse Jackson; Joe Beasley, the former southern regional director for Rainbow PUSH; and SCLC President Dr. Charles Steele Jr., who currently holds the post held by Dr. Martin L. King Jr. until his assassination.

Steele told the gathered media and rights leaders, “Many people have died and paid the supreme sacrifice for people to have the right to vote. What is taking place here in Georgia is an insult to all these efforts and accomplishments.”

Why did I wait to release endangered voters’ names until days before the last day of registration? Because Kemp dragged his feet on my request for the purge lists until literally the last hours before of the 90-day deadline imposed by the law.

I tried to get Kemp’s answers to the NAACP’s and SCLC’s charges that the mass purge of 1 in 10 Georgia voters was aimed at decimating the Black electorate so he could steal the governorship from Abrams.

Technically, Kemp removed voters after they had skipped voting — and failed to return a postcard that, according to Morgan County Elections Board member Helen Butler, “Looks like junk mail. You’d throw it away.” Butler, who also serves as executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, is wary of Kemp’s purge methods. Just last year, her group settled a suit against Kemp that forced him to return over 40,000 voters to the rolls.

The National Voter Registration Act specifically prohibits cancelling voter registrations for not voting. But the failure to vote, in combination with not returning a postcard or other information, can be used to justify a cancellation if there is legitimate belief this is evidence the voter has moved.

“But they have not moved,” notes Swedlund, who says not returning a postcard is an “absurd, dangerous” way to determine if voters have moved — especially if their rights are at stake. And basing cancellations on non-responses to postcards is, Swedlund notes, endemically biased against voters who move often, including the poor, students, and Black and Latino voters — in other words, Democrats.

Notably, Swedlund’s analysts found that 108,000 of the names on Kemp’s hit list were also on the notorious “Interstate Crosscheck” list, which my investigations team had obtained from an insider in Kemp’s office as part of my investigations for Rolling Stone.

The lists were created for Georgia by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, President Donald Trump’s “fraudulent voter hunter.” Kobach himself, interviewed in Kansas, told me the list was sent to Kemp and others to indicate a voter had moved out of state. In fact, we went through each and every Crosscheck-tagged voter’s name — and only 2,000 of the 108,000 Crosschecked voters who were purged have left the state. And the majority of others purged had not moved from their original registration address. In simple terms, most of those whose registrations have been cancelled are legitimate Georgia voters.

Representatives from Kemp’s office issued a statement this week denying they used the Crosscheck list, but they did not know we had obtained the list despite Kemp’s resistance. Furthermore, Kemp’s former deputy and his predecessor as Secretary of State both confirmed Georgia participated in Crosscheck.

Meanwhile, Kemp had no clear response as to why the others were removed.

So, I thought it important to get the answers about the purges from the horse’s mouth. But Kemp has weaved and ducked all my interview requests in my several trips to Georgia beginning in 2014.

So, this time, I decided to track down his campaign bus. On Tuesday, I located the candidate in the parking lot of a BBQ joint in Newnan, 38 miles outside Atlanta. You could smell the pigs roasting.

I asked Kemp, bluntly, “Mr. Kemp are you removing Black voters from the voter rolls just so you can win this election?”

Kemp’s answer was to turn his back as I was physically body-blocked, then grabbed and hauled away by Georgia “smokies,” the local county deputy sheriffs. (They claimed that Sprayberry’s Barbecue ordered me off the property, but the owner said otherwise.) It was later reported that his handlers had clocked me before the bus pulled in.

The civil rights leaders are dissatisfied with Kemp’s response and will press our litigation. “Georgia,” said the SCLC’s Steele, “needs to know that we’re not going to take it anymore.”

Rose McGowan on the #MeToo ‘movement’

Rose McGowan isn’t one to be silenced. The Charmed alum is sharing her opinion about the #MeToo movement, the survivors’ brunches and campaign lunches.

“It’s all bulls–t,” the 45-year-old activist told The Sunday Timesin an interview published on Sunday, October 7. “It’s a lie. It’s a Band-Aid lie to make them feel better.”

McGowan also revisited her thoughts on Meryl Streep. The 69-year-old actress had said in a December statement she knew nothing about Weinstein’s actions until last year, but McGowan told TheSunday Times she thinks it’s “literally impossible.”

Another thing McGowan has strong beliefs in? While she thinks Donald Trump supporters are wrong about most things, there’s one thing she can agree with them on.

“They hate Hollywood for being faux liberals — and they’re 100 percent right about that,” she explained. “It’s a bunch of faux liberals. It’s crap, and they know it is deep down, but they’re living an empty life, and to me that’s their punishment. They get to live the lives they live.”

McGowan has been open about her thoughts on other famous faces associated with the #MeToo movement, including her former Charmed costar Alyssa Milano, who re-launched the campaign hashtag in 2017. (#MeToo was originated by Tamara Burke in 2006.)

“I don’t like her,” McGowan said of the 45-year-old former Who’s The Boss? star during an interview with Nightline in January. “‘Cause I think she’s a lie.”

The Italian native went on to note that she doesn’t believe that Milano’s support of Time’s Up is genuine. “Do you think I don’t know these people? Do the math,” the Brave author added, with a nod to Milano’s husband, Hollywood agent David Bugliari. “Who’s behind Time’s Up? CAA. Where do they meet? CAA? Who needs good PR? CAA. Who are part of the pimp problem? CAA.”

Milano responded to McGowan’s comments following her Nightline interview.

“I am and always have been completely supportive of Rose and admire her bravery and speaking out about her experiences,” she said. “My goal throughout the past few months with both #MeToo and the TimesUp movement has been to use my platform to give others a voice so we can all work together to stamp out sexual harassment and sexual assault.”

Nine – I Am (Video)

Posted: 3 Oct 2018 in Videos
Tags: , , ,

New cut off the ‘King’ album

Crooked I aka KXNG Crooked & Horseshoe Gang droppin’ bars…

Video Alert…

Posted: 29 Sep 2018 in Videos
Tags: , , ,

A few classics that you can find on my September Mixtape

Main Source – Watch Roger Do His Thing

Fat Boys – Can You Feel It

3rd Bass – Brooklyn Queens

Live performance of one of the stand-out cuts from the Nasir album…

Vinnie Paz, Crimeapple & God Fahim go off on this new cut off “The Pain Collector”

Trump & Kavanaugh

A clip from Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9″…

Definitely on a different type of vibe here. Not even sure if this would make my monthly mixtape, but interesting nonetheless. Salute to rappers who still take chances without conforming

Some fire from Tone Spliff’s new album

I haven’t gotten to this new project from Lupe, but this cut sounds good…

’94 promo for Sway & Tech’s classic radio show, off Ras Kass’ Soul On Ice: Rediscovered. Deconstructed

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore joins Bill to discuss his latest documentary, “Fahrenheit 11/9,” and the importance of engaging in democracy…

Off the ‘Check Out This’ EP. Some words to live by lol…

Updated version off Scarface’s “Tony’s Theme”. Pretty good…

Crazy Legs

Uprock battle in a deleted scene from Bobbito’s latest autobiography ‘Rock Rubber 45’s’

As we turn the page over past summer 2018, it’s back to school time for the kiddies and some of us adults too. Can’t find a better way to kick off the season than with some classics…

jungle brothers- here we go
de la soul – buddy(native tongue version)
de la soul – buddy(og version)
fat boys – can you feel it
bdk – ain’t no half steppin(phoreyz & brisk rmx)
mc shan – the bridge
krs – the bridge is over
biz markie – vapors
gangstarr – dwyck(vapors rmx)
doug e fresh – play this only at night
heavy d & biz – we write the songs
doug e fresh – keep rising to the top
salt & pepa – tramp
epmd – so wutcha’ saying
run dmc – rock box
main source – watch roger do his thing
mc lyte – paper thin
kool g rap- on the run
eric b & rakim – I know u got soul
ultramagnetic mc’s – ease back
ll cool j – jinglin’ baby
3rd bass- Brooklyn queens
gangstarr- just to get a rep
public enemy – can’t truss it

#NevaForget #FalseFlags #QualidBenomrane #AmandaKeller

Some smooth R&B music on this rainy NY day…

Nine Double M drops some new music for your ears

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov

Russia’s military intelligence agency isn’t stupid

Six months after the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent in the United Kingdom, details about the suspected killers are finally coming out. According to British prosecutors, the two men named as suspects belonged to the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service, which is the very agency Skripal worked for when he was a British spy. On the one hand, these alleged ties attest to the GRU’s aggressive agenda—something of which governments in the West should be wary. On the other hand, an excessive focus on this service, as well as an emerging narrative about its supposed clumsiness, is dangerous.

Details about the possible assassins started to come out on Sept. 5, when Neil Basu, the assistant commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police, named two Russians traveling under the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov as the chief suspects. A massive investigation, in which some 250 detectives took more than 1,400 statements and scoured 11,000 hours of surveillance footage, had allowed the police to track the two men over a three-day stay in the United Kingdom. Police say they arrived on a flight from Moscow on the afternoon of Friday, March 2. The next day, they stayed at a London hotel, where they allegedly prepared the nerve agent, Novichok, used in the attack. And on Sunday, police say they traveled to Skripal’s residence in the city of Salisbury. An hour and a half after arriving, having anointed the door handle of his house with Novichok and discarded the fake perfume bottle in which it was being carried in a nearby park, the suspects were on a train back to the airport and on to Moscow.

Speaking in Parliament after the commissioner’s briefing, Prime Minister Theresa May said that the two men were GRU operatives, which she described as a “highly disciplined organization with a well-established chain of command.” Although she refrained from mentioning Russian President Vladimir Putin by name, the implication that he likely knew about Petrov and Boshirov’s plan was clear. “This was not a rogue operation,” May continued. “It was almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state.”

In this, she is undoubtedly right. Although Russia’s various security services (and its other instruments of geopolitical struggle against the West) are granted considerable operational autonomy, major operations with potentially serious international implications need a green light from the Kremlin. Besides, there have been none of the usual indications—from mysterious resignations to well-sourced and damning leaks—which usually show that an individual or agency overstepped the mark. Whether Putin instigated the attack or, more likely, simply approved it, it was surely a state operation.

The fact of Putin’s likely involvement has led to a flurry of stories on the GRU: how it operates, why it exists, and why it got caught. But that focus, while perhaps understandable, is also problematic. The agency—which since 2010 has been technically named the Main Directorate of the General Staff, abbreviated in Russian as G.U., but is still universally known by its previous initials, GRU—has been named in the U.S. election interference investigation, blamed for an attempted coup in Montenegro in 2016, and even suspected of shooting down of a civilian airliner over Ukraine in 2014. Although the last is questionable—the GRU certainly helped create the Donbass rebellion and armed and directed warlords, but there is no evidence tying it to the actual decision to fire on the plane—the agency is undeniably active across the world.

It also has something of a reputation for taking chances other services would not. It controls the Spetsnaz, Russia’s special forces, and its intelligence officers pride themselves on having a military culture in which a mission must be accomplished, whatever the cost.

But the GRU is not alone. A different team, from either the SVR (Russia’s equivalent of the CIA) or the FSB (the domestic security service, which is increasingly active abroad), has also broken into Democratic Party servers. It was the SVR that ran the infamous “Illegals Program” that was spying in the United States and was busted by the FBI in 2010. Members of the FSB—arguably Putin’s closest allies—are involved in a global campaign of trolling and disinformation. That agency even kidnapped an Estonian security officer across the border in 2014.

In response to the assassination attempt on Skripal, the United Kingdom has vowed to step up its campaign against the GRU and pledged to “dismantle its networks” and unleash a cyber-campaign against its communications. This is fine—just part of the appropriate counterintelligence response to any agency launching attacks on another country’s soil. But the danger is that a narrow focus on the GRU takes away attention from other threats. The FSB and the SVR both have—and use—a license to kill, and they are both active in the United Kingdom, Europe, and North America. Targeting the GRU alone is a little like going after Petrov and Boshirov: launching a war to take out a few foot soldiers. The orders came from the Kremlin, and the GRU is just one of the tools as its disposal.

Even more worrying than a blinkered focus on the GRU is a new narrative emerging that paints the body’s operatives as a bunch of murderous morons. British Security Minister Ben Wallace, for example, drew parallels with a comedy movie spoof spook, calling this operation “more Johnny English than James Bond.” The fact that the Skripals survived, that the would-be assassins have allegedly been identified, and that an innocent bystander died from the discarded Novichok have all been cited to make this case.

Believing this would be a serious mistake. First of all, Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, did survive the attack, but only because of a combination of luck and the presence near Salisbury of the British government’s specialist military chemical weapons laboratory. It could very easily have gone differently.

Further, Moscow would have had no illusions about the fact that its operatives would in due course be identified, particularly in an age of ubiquitous surveillance cameras and travel visas. “Petrov” and “Boshirov” are certainly “legends,” that is, false identities created for this use and then discarded. The intrepid Russian investigative journalism site Fontanka has turned up some supposed details of the pair’s backstories, such as home addresses and past traffic fines. Tellingly, however, there is nothing to connect the two men who are suspected of carrying out the attacks to these details other than their names. It is likely that the assassins took the identities of innocent third parties or that the backstories were created from scratch precisely to make the men seem like real people.

The GRU’s ethos of completing the mission no matter what means that innocent lives lost or even the revelation of agents’ names are not blunders so much as irrelevancies. Indeed, given that this operation was likely as much about sending a message to London as killing one traitor, the furor may even be considered a feature rather than a bug.

If all the Russians had wanted to do was kill Skripal, then there were much easier, cheaper, and more discreet ways of doing so. However, with stories circulating that Skripal had been briefing the Estonians on Russian secrets and maybe even helping the Ukrainians, a breach of the implicit deal behind the pardon he got from the Kremlin in 2010, Moscow would have wanted to let London know it was not amused. The GRU used a Russian-made nerve agent—and one brewed in a specialist facility, not whipped up in a school lab—in order to ensure that while the Kremlin maintained a certain nod-and-a-wink deniability, there could be little serious doubt of who was responsible. All the while, Moscow’s apologists can say that the attack was “too obvious” for a real Russian operation, while the Kremlin can sit back knowing that the British government will know exactly who was involved. Mission accomplished.

Salute to this man here, and shame on the job-shamers…