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Q&A On the Untouchable 'Lords of Secrecy' - The Intercept

Powerful, unaccountable, and operating far in the shadows, the Lords of Secrecy, as author Scott Horton calls them, are real, and they are in charge of our national security state.

Horton, a lawyer, journalist and human rights advocate, makes the case in his book, Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America’s Stealth Foreign Policy, that because the public is allowed to know so little, it has effectively been cut out of national security decisionmaking.

I had a chance to ask Horton some questions earlier this week. Here is an edited transcript:

Who are the Lords of Secrecy? Name me three.

The Lords of Secrecy are the heads of the national security and intelligence agencies who exercise the power to create secrets.

But I think we have to designate, as the dark overlord of the Lords of Secrecy, Richard Bruce Cheney. I don’t think there’s anybody else who even comes close. The man who invented stamps with his own special security classifications. He is a cult figure for the Lords of Secrecy.

But I would say it’s the heads of the NSA, CIA and various other agencies.

Speaking of the CIA director, I was really struck, watching John Brennan at his press conference in early December, after the Senate Intelligence Committee released a redacted executive summary of its report on CIA torture. He spoke with such incredible confidence and certitude. It wasn’t just that he looked unscathed, he actually looked emboldened. Is he untouchable now?

Yes. You’re asking what is the question: Are the people at the CIA who implemented and oversaw the dark sites and torture program untouchable? And the answer appears to be yes. Brennan, of course, has consistently denied that he was involved in this program. He’s claimed that he was critical of it–but I can’t find a single person at the agency who is capable of bearing witness to that, so I’m skeptical. But he has been an aggressive defender of those who implemented the program. He has supported their advancement ahead of their peers within the agency.

That is one of the most striking facts that this report uncovers. It’s figures like Robert Eatinger, who clearly is the key figure who misled the Justice Department in securing the legal opinions, and who used his position as acting general counsel to try and block the publication of the report, to slow it down, and to intimidate staffers who were involved in it.

And Alfreda Bikowsky, the queen of torture, who was involved in a breathtakingly lengthy string of screw-ups of the utmost gravity — and not only has she never suffered any negative repercussions from that, it actually seems to have accelerated her career trajectory.

In an excerpt from your book that we are publishing next week, you make a persuasive argument that bureaucrats love secrets, and that if left unchecked, they use secrecy to hide their failures and missteps, and in that way make themselves unaccountable. And that as a result, the most secretive and corrupt steadily climb to the top of the heap. But how is that different from any other organizational structure?

(Laughs)

The same may be true in many other areas of human endeavor, but it’s particularly true in the national security sector and with respect to government bureaucracies, because they have a much more vigorous power to create secrets.

So a businessmen can say: ‘Hey, that’s my secret.’ He can threaten to dismiss employees who disclose his secrets. But he doesn’t have anything like the palette of powers that the state bureaucracy has, especially the national security bureaucracy, which can threaten to arrest and lock away someone who betrays secrets, who can destroy their lives, seize their homes, cancel their pensions. They have much greater power to enforce their secrecy.

And I think the secrets to some extent are of greater import because they go to matters of public trust. Questions of national security are questions for the people. to a large extent.

In the book, you raise some essential, fundamental questions that we simply don’t hear in the modern political discourse. Like, why would U.S. drone strikes be secret? Similarly, what argument is there to keep anything about torture secret anymore–including the names of non-covert officials who took part in it? And that’s not to mention surveillance or cybersecurity. It’s like they took all the issues of national security and just declared them off limits. How did we come to this?

One thing that just amazes me about the Beltway culture in Washington is the way these claims of secrecy are just accepted. There doesn’t seem to be any will or spirit to fight back and challenge that. And that’s true for most of the press that covers it.

When you look back and ask: Why are they trying to keep this secret? What’s the rationale for it? What we find–and I think the drone program is an excellent example–are the shallowest pretexts for secrecy.

There’s no consideration given to how this subverts the democratic process of the United States. This question of running a 10-year war in Pakistan should have been the subject of deliberation, discussion and decisions taken through our democratic process, which involves a public articulation of the basis of the action by the executive, and a discussion and voting up or down of the proposal by the Congress, with the public being informed about it.

Now I would say that it’s entirely legitimate for the CIA to run a covert tactical operation that involves striking Mujahadeen leader X at a certain time and a certain place, and this is something that doesn’t have to go through all these processes. I’ll accept that, no problem.

But let’s assume that this is going on for 10 years, involves 700 strikes, kills 4,000 people. That is a war, by any real definition. Can you say that qualifies as covert action? That’s not what the term covert action means. And that they could do this without challenge in Washington is to me just mind boggling.

What explains the elite media’s tolerance for this kind of secrecy? It would seem to violate their core principles. And yet they play along, respecting unwarranted secrecy. They collaborate with it.

They collaborate with it, I think that’s right. The media is a big part of the problem. I think we have to say, of course, that there are really excellent topnotch reporters out there who risk their careers and do terrific work. But increasingly we have a corporate media culture that does not encourage or meaningfully support such journalists. And instead it tends to cultivate and support a different kind of journalist: not the watchdog but the lapdog.

And I think the role of lapdog journalism is highlighted in the Senate Select Committee report, where we see evidence of cases in which the CIA is feeding “leaks” to selected journalists with whom they have developed a good rapport information–they’re not really leaks, they’re “pleaks,” they’re planted leaks. And the leak is “super-secret information we’re giving you a scoop on” that actually happens to be false, to advance their propaganda game. And the journalist laps it up without any critical testing of the data, running it as a scoop or as a leak.

A leak, by definition has got to be something that someone is releasing to the media against the will of the established order, not in furtherance of it. They don’t seem to be able to make this really fundamental distinction.

And of course what’s going on is they want to advance their careers. I think we’ve got a lot of people covering the national security sector who are eager to build a career and they think the best way to do that is to have a trusted relationship with key sources within the CIA. And by the way, that’s what a professional journalist does, I have no problem with that. But what they are missing is that organizations like the CIA understand that process.

They changed the equation, in terms of what reporters get in return for what they give.

They’ve changed the dynamic of it. I know my own sources within the CIA repeatedly describe to me how the agency has picked its cooperating journalists. They’ve also described to me how they have placed their people with broadcasters. And these are people who usually have just left the intelligence community. Have “retired”–but of course you never actually retire, you merely change the tenor of your relationship somewhat.

They get clearance for this. It’s done, it’s understood. They get clearance in order to try to manipulate and influence these media organizations. And to me it’s rather amazing that the broadcast media don’t get it–or they claim not to get it.

Let me ask you about the NSA and surveillance. Here we are, more than a year and a half after the Snowden revelations started to emerge, and there’s been no legislative response at all. It seems to have turned out very well for the Lords of Secrecy. Why is that?

I think the public’s attitude toward these programs is very critical. But that appears to have no consequence inside the Washington Beltway. None.

And I think this is an area where when you compare to other democracies–Germany, for instance, and some Scandinavian countries– when the public says we don’t want that, the government reacts. That doesn’t happen in Washington.

And that’s because the Lords of Secrecy are oblivious to public opinion. They could care less.

They understand that they control the political decision-making process. And I would say that within the U.S. Congress, the one consideration that’s turned out to be absolutely dispositive on predicting how a congressman will vote on efforts to pare back the powers of the NSA is this: How much money did they take from the intelligence and defense contractors?

So I take it your hopes for the upcoming era of GOP congressional oversight are not high?

Well, certainly not in the next Congress. I think the next Congress is a bought-and-paid-for Congress. Even if they pass something, it will appear to limit the NSA, but will not actually do it.

The better sources of pressure are going to be our allies–the Europeans, NATO allies in particular–and potentially the courts saying that some of these procedures are illegal.

I won’t rule out the possibility of a change in Congress in the future. I think public opinion may grind fine and may grind slowly, but ultimately it will have some effect. It’s just not able to have an immediate effect because of the change in the nature of American democracy. Our democracy just isn’t much of a democracy anymore. I don’t think the people really have much meaningful input in national-security decision-making.

To the extent that Obama, initially at least, had any real interest in reining in the intelligence community, where did he go wrong? How early was he owned by the intelligence community? And how thoroughly?

Speaking with people inside the White House, what I’ve heard consistently is that these issues were dominated from the first months of the administration by John O. Brennan, and that Brennan built a network of close allies within the White House that included [former chief of staff] Rahm Emanuel and [former senior adviser] David Plouffe and also included [now chief of staff] Denis McDonough. McDonough’s been a key ally within the White House staff since the beginning.

What they did is they excluded liberal critics and civil libertarians from the dialogue. I’ve been told repeatedly that when discussions occurred on these critical issues, the intelligent, well-informed, balanced, liberal national security voices to whom Obama had once turned were simply not in the room.

So I think one of the big questions is: In his last two years, is he going to do something to change that? I think it’s unlikely, but he’s facing a lot of criticism from his own camp right now, and he may want to do something to address that criticism before he leaves.

This is the indicator I would look to: Does John O. Brennan remain as director of the CIA. As long as he’s there, I wouldn’t expect any progress on these issues.

When Obama chose Brennan, did he know what he was getting into?

Remember that Brennan’s name originally, during the transition period, was floated to be director of the CIA and there were three people who very aggressively objected to him, and that was Glenn Greenwald, Andrew Sullivan and me.

I think we claimed a win on that. But he got, as a door prize, the appointment as adviser at the White House, which did not require confirmation of any sort. And he was able to use that to develop a very powerful psychological relationship with the president. The people I’ve spoken with have consistently told me that people on the outside didn’t sufficiently understand or value this relationship that Brennan had cultivated with Obama. And by the way, Brennan used it to fill Obama’s ear with unadulterated bullshit.

Any question I haven’t asked you that I should have?

What should happen to the CIA? Seriously, I think that’s one of the big questions. If the Senate report proved anything it was that Harry Truman was absolutely right in his fundamental analysis of the proper role of the CIA. Truman said you really cannot have the same operation handling intelligence analysis and covert activities. The people who run the covert activities will dominate and they will always want to claim that whatever complete numbskull thing they did in their covert operations was a success. Which means they completely adulterate their analysis.

You may have to have covert operations, you certainly have to have intelligence analysis, but having both of those operations under the same roof is really stupid.

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Email the author: dan.froomkin@theintercept.com

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[Sep 01, 2019] Film 'Official Secrets' is the Tip of a Mammoth Iceberg Consortiumnews

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Sep 01, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Film 'Official Secrets' is the Tip of a Mammoth Iceberg August 29, 2019 • 37 Comments

A new film depicting the whistleblower Katherine Gun, who tried to stop the Iraq invasion, is largely accurate, but the story is not over, says Sam Husseini.

By Sam Husseini
Special to Consortium News

T wo-time Oscar nominee Keira Knightley is known for being in "period pieces" such as "Pride and Prejudice," so her playing the lead in the new film "Official Secrets," scheduled to be released in the U.S. on Friday, may seem odd at first. That is until one considers that the time span being depicted -- the early 2003 run-up to the invasion of Iraq -- is one of the most dramatic and consequential periods of modern human history.

It is also one of the most poorly understood, in part because the story of Katharine Gun, played by Knightley, is so little known. Having followed this story from the start, I find this film to be, by Hollywood standards, a remarkably accurate account of what has happened to date–"to date" because the wider story still isn't over.

Katharine Gun worked as an analyst for Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British equivalent of the secretive U.S. National Security Agency. She tried to stop the impending invasion of Iraq in early 2003 by exposing the deceit of George W. Bush and Tony Blair in their claims about that country. For doing that she was prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act -- a juiced up version of the U.S. Espionage Act, which in recent years has been used repeatedly by the Obama administration against whistleblowers and now by the Trump administration against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

Gun was charged for exposing -- around the time of Colin Powell's infamous testimony to the UN about Iraq's alleged WMDs – a top secret U.S. government memo showing it was mounting an illegal spying "surge" against other U.N. Security Council delegations in an effort to manipulate them into voting for an Iraq invasion resolution. The U.S. and Britain had successfully forced through a trumped up resolution, 1441 in November 2002. In early 2003, they were poised to threaten, bribe or blackmail their way to get formal United Nations authorization for the invasion. [See recent interview with Gun .]

Katherine Gun The leaked memo, published by the British Observer , was big news in parts of the world, especially the targeted countries on the Security Council, and helped prevent Bush and Blair from getting the second UN Security Council resolution they said they wanted. Veto powers Russia, China and France were opposed as well as U.S. ally Germany.

Washington invaded anyway of course -- without Security Council authorization -- by telling the UN weapons inspectors to leave Iraq and issuing a unilateral demand that Saddam Hussein leave Iraq in 48 hours -- and then saying the invasion would commence regardless .

'Most Courageous Leak' It was the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, where I work ( accuracy.org ), Norman Solomon, as well as Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg who in the U.S. most immediately saw the importance of what Gun had done. Ellsberg would later comment: "No one else -- including myself -- has ever done what Katharine Gun did: Tell secret truths at personal risk, before an imminent war, in time, possibly, to avert it. Hers was the most important -- and courageous -- leak I've ever seen, more timely and potentially more effective than the Pentagon Papers."

Of course, no one knew her name at the time. After the Observer broke the story on March 1, 2003, accuracy.org put out a series of news releases on it and organized a sadly, sparsely attended news conference with Ellsberg on March 11, 2003 at the National Press Club , focusing on Gun's revelations. Ellsberg called for more such truth telling to stop the impending invasion, just nine days away.

Though I've followed this case for years, I didn't realize until recently that accuray.org's work helped compel Gun to expose the document. At a recent D.C. showing of "Official Secrets" that Gun attended, she revealed that she had read a book co-authored by Solomon, published in January 2003 that included material from accuracy.org as well as the media watch group FAIR debunking many of the falsehoods for war.

Daniel Ellsberg on the cover of Time after leaking the Pentagon Papers

Gun said: "I went to the local bookshop, and I went into the political section. I found two books, which had apparently been rushed into publication, one was by Norman Solomon and Reese Erlich, and it was called Target Iraq . And the other one was by Milan Rai. It was called War Plan Iraq . And I bought both of them. And I read them cover to cover that weekend, and it basically convinced me that there was no real evidence for this war. So I think from that point onward, I was very critical and scrutinizing everything that was being said in the media." Thus, we see Gun in "Official Secrets" shouting at the TV to Tony Blair that he's not entitled to make up facts. The film may be jarring to some consumers of major media who might think that Donald Trump invented lying in 2017. Gun's immediate action after reading critiques of U.S. policy and media coverage makes a strong case for trying to reach government workers by handing out fliers and books and putting up billboards outside government offices to encourage them to be more critically minded.

Solomon and Ellsberg had debunked Bush administration propaganda in real time. But Gun's revelation showed that the U.S. and British governments were not only lying to invade Iraq, they were violating international law to blackmail whole nations to get in line.

Mainstream reviews of "Official Secrets" still seem to not fully grasp the importance of what they just saw. The trendy AV Club review leads : "Virtually everyone now agrees that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a colossal mistake based on faulty (at best) or fabricated (at worst) intelligence." "Mistake" is a serious understatement even with "colossal" attached to it when the movie details the diabolical, illegal lengths to which the U.S. and British governments went to get other governments to go along with it.

Gun's revelations showed before the invasion that people on the inside, whose livelihood depends on following the party line, were willing to risk jail time to out the lies and threats.

Portrayal of The Observer

Other than Gun herself, the film focuses on a dramatization of what happened at her work; as well as her relationship with her husband, a Kurd from Turkey who the British government attempted to have deported to get at Gun. The film also portrays the work of her lawyers who helped get the Official Secrets charge against her dropped, as well as the drama at The Observer , which published the NSA document after much internal debate.

Observer reporter Martin Bright, whose strong work on the original Gun story was strangely followed by an ill-fated stint at the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, has recently noted that very little additional work has been done on Gun's case. We know virtually nothing about the apparent author of the NSA document that she leaked -- one "Frank Koza." Other questions persist, such is prevalent is this sort of U.S. blackmail of foreign governments to get UN votes or for other purposes? How is it leveraged? Does it fit in with allegations made by former NSA analyst Russ Tice about the NSA having massive files on political people?

Observer reporter Ed Vulliamy is energetically depicted getting tips from former CIA man Mel Goodman. There do seem to be subtle but potentially serious deviations from reality in the film. Vulliamy is depicted as actually speaking with "Frank Koza," but that's not what he originally reported :

"The NSA main switchboard put The Observer through to extension 6727 at the agency which was answered by an assistant, who confirmed it was Koza's office. However, when The Observer asked to talk to Koza about the surveillance of diplomatic missions at the United Nations, it was then told 'You have reached the wrong number'. On protesting that the assistant had just said this was Koza's extension, the assistant repeated that it was an erroneous extension, and hung up."

There must doubtlessly be many aspects of the film that have been simplified or altered regarding Gun's personal experience. A compelling part of the film -- apparently fictitious or exaggerated -- is a GCHQ apparatchik questioning Gun to see if she was the source.

Little is known about the reaction inside the governments of Security Council members that the U.S. spied on. After the invasion, Mexican Ambassador Adolfo Aguilar Zinser spoke in blunt terms about U.S. bullying -- saying it viewed Mexico as its patio trasero , or back yard -- and was Zinser was compelled to resign by President Vicente Fox. He then, in 2004 , gave details about some aspects of U.S. surveillance sabotaging the efforts of the other members of the Security Council to hammer out a compromise to avert the invasion of Iraq, saying the U.S. was "violating the U.N. headquarters covenant." In 2005, he tragically died in a car crash .

Documents leaked by Edward Snowden and published by The Intercept in 2016 boasted of how the NSA "during the wind-up to the Iraq War 'played a critical role' in the adoption of U.N. Security Council resolutions. The work with that customer was a resounding success." The relevant document specifically cites resolutions 1441 and 1472 and quotes John Negroponte , then the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations: "I can't imagine better intelligence support for a diplomatic mission." (Notably, The Intercept has never published a word on " Katharine Gun ." )

Nor were the UN Security Council members the only ones on the U.S. hit list to pave the way for the Iraq invasion. Brazilian Jose Bustani, the director-general of the international Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. was ousted in an effective coup by John Bolton in April of 2002 . Bolton is now national security adviser.

"Official Secrets" director Gavin Hood is perhaps more right than he realizes when he says that his depiction of the Gun case is like the "tip of an iceberg," pointing to other deceits surrounding the Iraq war. His record with political films has been uneven until now. Peace activist David Swanson, for instance, derided his film on drones, " Eye in the Sky ." At a D.C. showing of "Official Secrets," Hood depicted those who backed the Iraq war as being discredited. But that's simply untrue.

Keira Knightley appears as Katherine Gun in Official Secrets (Courtesy of Sundance Institute.)

Leading presidential candidate Joe Biden -- who not only voted for the Iraq invasion, but presided over rigged hearings on in 2002 – has recently falsified his record repeatedly on Iraq at presidential debates with hardly a murmur. Nor is he alone. Those refusing to be held accountable for their Iraq war lies include not just Bush and Cheney, but John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi .

Biden has actually faulted Bush for not doing enough to get United Nations approval for the Iraq invasion. But as the Gun case helps show, there was no legitimate case for invasion and the Bush administration had done virtually everything, both legal and illegal, to get UN authorization.

Many who supported the invasion try to distance themselves from it. But the repercussions of that illegal act are enormous: It led directly or indirectly to the rise of ISIS, the civil war in Iraq and the war in Syria. Journalists who pushed for the Iraq invasion are prosperous and atop major news organizations, such as Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt. The editor who argued most strongly against publication of the NSA document at The Observer , Kamal Ahmed, is now editorial director of BBC News.

The British government -- unlike the U.S.– did ultimately produce a study ostensibly around the decision-making leading to the invasion of Iraq, the Chilcot Report of 2016. But that report -- called "devastating" by the The New York Times made no mention of the Gun case . [See accuracy.org release from 2016: " Chilcot Report Avoids Smoking Gun ." ]

After Gun's identity became known, the Institute for Public Accuracy brought on Jeff Cohen, the founder of FAIR, to work with program director Hollie Ainbinder to get prominent individuals to support Gun . The film -- quite plausibly -- depicts the charges being dropped against Gun for the simple reason that the British government feared that a high profile proceeding would effectively put the war on trial, which to them would be have been a nightmare.

Sam Husseini is an independent journalist, senior analyst at the Institute for Public Accuracy and founder of VotePact.org . Follow him on twitter: @samhusseini .

If you enjoyed this original article please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

Before commenting please read Robert Parry's Comment Policy . Allegations unsupported by facts, gross or misleading factual errors and ad hominem attacks, and abusive language toward other commenters or our writers will be removed. If your comment does not immediately appear, please be patient as it is manually reviewed.


David G , August 31, 2019 at 19:49

Saw the film today. Solid work; recommended.

Did her ultimate court appearance really go down in such a dramatic fashion? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised if it did: English courtroom proceedings may not deliver better justice than U.S. ones, but they're definitely more entertaining.

William , August 31, 2019 at 19:06

U.S. Government officials should be indicted for war crimes. It is quite clear that U.S. officials conspired to ensure that an invasion
of Iraq would take place. The U.S. and Britain -- George Bush and Tony Blair -- initiated a war of aggression against Iraq, and under
international law should be tried for war crimes, just as numerous German officials were tried and convicted of war crimes.

No U.S. politician has called for investigation, and the main stream media has not touched this topic. It is unquestionably clear that
the U.S. congress is a collection of spineless, cowardly, corrupt, greedy men and women. They have allowed the U.S. to become a rogue,
criminal nation.

Vivek Jain , August 31, 2019 at 14:33

Must-read article by Phyllis Bennis:
The Roller Coaster of Relevance | The Security Council, Europe and the US War in Iraq
Institute for Policy Studies, 29 July 2004
https://www.tni.org/en/article/the-roller-coaster-of-relevance

Susan J Leslie , August 31, 2019 at 09:11

Katherine Gun is awesome! I heard her speak as part of a panel of whistleblowers – wish there were many more like her

michael , August 31, 2019 at 08:15

Inequality.org reports that the majority of our top 1% are corporate executives. Finance, which reportedly accounted for 3% of our economy in 1980, now accounts for 30%. Many of the US's 585 billionaires have monopolies in their business domain, no different from the Robber Barons of the late 19th and early 20th century. "Stability is more important than democracy", the market hates uncertainty, and our foreign policies, determined by think tanks staffed and funded by our "allies" Israel and Saudi Arabia, will continue to push for the greed of our Richest. "Democracy" is a just a hypocritical bon mot for stealing and destroying.
The Republicans have always supported these people. What is worrisome is that the Democrats have come to the same place as the GOP, since donations– pay-to-play- lead to re-elections. The Democrats have deserted the Poor and working class, since they have no money for pay-to-play. Our 17 technologically advanced Stasis work in concert with Congress, our entitled government bureaucrats, and their lapdog main stream media to "make things happen" for our Richest. How long before people like Assange, Katherine Gunn, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, Binney, Kiriakou etc learn that it pays to keep their mouths shut? Transparency and whistleblowing is punished. Maybe other approaches are needed?

Tony , August 31, 2019 at 07:26

Very interesting to see what inspired her to act the way that she did.

Of course, the supporters of the war had various motives.
But one motive behind President Bush's plan was revealed by Russ Baker in his book 'Family of Secrets' page 423.

He recalls a conversation with Bush family friend and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. He says that he told him:

"He (George W. Bush) was thinking about invading in 1999."

Bush apparently said:

"If I have a chance to invade if I had that much (political) capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed, and I'm going to have a successful presidency."

So there we have it, he thought that a war would boost his presidency.

David G , August 31, 2019 at 05:16

"The editor who argued most strongly against publication of the NSA document at The Observer, Kamal Ahmed, is now editorial director of BBC News."

That's a repulsive little nugget I would never have known otherwise.

Thanks to Sam Husseini for this account. The film is playing in my town, at least for this coming week; I plan to get to it.

RomeoCharlie29 , August 30, 2019 at 19:24

This is a really interesting story and one I knew nothing about, although I was one who opposed the Iraq war because to me it was obvious the whole WMD issue was bullshit. Now I understand the perception that that war was an American/ Brit thing but you might recall that America's deputy Sheriff in the Pacific, the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, was Gung ho for the war and committed Australian troops to the ill-fated endeavour with the result that our country has subsequently become a target for ISIS inspired terrorism. Australia's Opposition Leader at the time, Simon Crean led a vocal opposition to the war but "Little Johnny" as we called him was not to be denied. Incidentally I don't think he has ever admitted being wrong on this.

Xander Arena , August 30, 2019 at 18:15

Tip of an iceberg is right. Iraq was the second big lie of the 21st century. I wonder how the world will react to the University of Alaska Fairbanks report which proves fraud at NIST, and arguably reveals aiding and abetting of treason by the contractors who wrote NIST's analysis of the WTC7 destruction. The UAF report drops Tuesday 9/3/19, and chisels away at the big lie that preceded all the related Iraq deceit. BTW great article :)

Dan Anderson , August 30, 2019 at 16:49

I enjoyed the article and learned some things, but it does seem a bit of Hollywood promotion at the same time.

If only Gun's sacrifice had stopped the invasion it would have been a sensation. As is, the UN did not sanction the invasion, making that effort a bit moot, and since the reveal of NSA bugging the world under Obama that dulls the sensibilities of those who might today have otherwise been shocked, shocked like the Gary Powers U-2 spy plane downing over the USSR and Ike being caught in a lie on TV.

But overall, knowing the downhill Gun's livelihood has taken over the 15 years makes the story more of a warning for whistle blowers than inspiration. Maybe Gun will be well compensated by the movie makers!

Neil E Mac , August 30, 2019 at 15:54

En fin!

bevin , August 30, 2019 at 14:13

One thing is certain: The Observer of 2019 would not publish a story like this. That is one of the major changes since 2003: the capitalist media has tightened up. There are no longer papers competing to attract readers at risk of cozy relations with the State. The Observer/Guardian today – since the Snowden revelations- does what it is told.

Litchfield , August 30, 2019 at 13:16

"In 2005, he tragically died in a car crash."

Unfortunately -- or fortunately? -- this no longer seems to be credible when it comes to those who have gone ouit on a limb to challenge the Deep State, or the US version of the Deep State.

Can Bush and Blair be charged with crimes? In connection with the Third Reich there is AFAIK no statute of limitations on crimes against humanity. Well, Iraq was also full of 'humanity." These guys belong in The Hague. Or in Iraq, doing community service.

In connection with Ellsberg's reviewing the evidence and concluding there was no evidentiary justification for invading Iraq -- I wanna say, you didn't need to be Ellsberg or any kind of expert to see clearly that there was no evidence that justified invading Iraq. Millions of common folk could see this clearly. That is why over 14 million people worldwide demonstrated against the planned illegal invasion. That is why people like me when to NYC, to Washington, and also the front our local US Post Office in small towns all over the country to protest the country's being lied into war. And were greeted mostly with thumbs-up from the passers- and drivers-by.

The people knew it was all a pack of lies. It was the gullible PRESS that ginned up this show. Remember Judith what's her name at the NYT? These people also should be indicted as war criminals.

Dan Anderson , August 30, 2019 at 16:19

Judith Miller, the NYTimes reporter who did maybe the most to make the invasion of Iraq, is the last name you were seeking.

SteveF , August 30, 2019 at 12:22

The timescales are interesting, we have the alleged US blackmail to get this illegal war 'approved' by the UN and in the same timescale we have the Jeffery Epstein story unfolding and the corresponding allegations that he was a CIA/Mossad agent operating honey traps to entangle the rich and famous.
The evil machinations of our governments are indeed breathtaking.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , August 30, 2019 at 11:56

Good gripping tale.

As we can see from so very many modern instances, it matters not at all that truth is on your side, if what you are doing is attacking those with money and power.

And there's an entire American establishment dedicated to keeping it just that way.

America's history of the last half century, at least so far as foreign relations and control of an empire, is almost entirely an artificial construct.

Absolutely no truth in everything from John Kennedy's assassination, which was intimately concerned with America's relationship with Cuba, and the despicable Vietnam War to 9/11 and the despicable Neocon Wars in the Middle East.

From hundreds of millions of printed newspapers and television broadcasts to speeches from prominent American politicians, you have tissue of lies not unlike that that was constantly being created by Oceania's Inner Party in 1984.

That's not even the slightest exaggeration, but, truly, are Americans in general the least concerned or bothered?

We have no evidence of significant concern. None.

The Democratic Party just weeded out the only candidate it had, brave and informed enough to speak to truth in some of these matters.

The ten left just represent varying degrees of hopelessness. On and on with weaving dreams about this or that creative social program while the resources and close attention dedicated to destruction in a dozen lands make them all impossible.

At the sae time, there is an almost complete lack of information and courage about anything that is happening in Syria, in Iraq, in Libya, in Israel, and in such massively important countries as China, Russia, and Iran.

Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning are brave contemporary examples of the American establishment's methods for shutting down truth and punishing severely those who reveal it. While they have followers and supporters, I am always amazed at how relatively small their numbers are.

And we have remarkably few individuals like Manning or Assange, especially when you consider the scale and scope of America's many dark works. Mostly, we see only "willing helpers" carrying on with their sensitive, secretive careers in government.

In the Democratic nomination contest, the "star" liberals, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, are virtually no different in these absolutely critical matters than a confirmed old puke of a war criminal like Joe Biden, someone who probably deserves recognition as father of Obama's industrial-scale extrajudicial killing project with drones and Hellfire missiles making legally-innocent people in a dozen countries just disappear. Biden has a long record of smarmy deeds and lack of courage and principles. He is, of course, most likely to get the nomination too.

Act, from America's CIA, no different in principle and in law to those of the old Argentine military junta's massive efforts at dragging people off the streets, drugging them, and throwing them out of planes over the ocean, something they did to thousands. Oh, and during that wonderful project there were no objections from America, only silence.

Aimee , August 30, 2019 at 22:31

Excellent post. Agree completely. Tulsi was our only hope and she never had a chance. We are doomed.

Coleen Rowley , August 30, 2019 at 23:29

Here are some of the reasons for the ever lessening concern over US-NATO-Israel-Saudi's (aka our current Empire's) wars: https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/04/recipe-concocted-for-perpetual-war-is-a-bitter-one/ By the way my co-author and I tried unsuccessfully to get this published in about 15 different US papers before Robert Parry posted it on Consortiumnews.

Robert Edwards , August 30, 2019 at 11:17

It's time these liers and war criminals are brought to Justice – I know that's wishful , but sometimes wishes come true America must get back to a country run on integrity and honesty, otherwise all will be lost in the spiral of evil

JOHN CHUCKMAN , August 30, 2019 at 12:11

Sorry, but, oh please, America is lost. Has been so for a very long time.

Only tremendous outside influences like depression or war and the growth of competing states and the loss of the dollar's privileged status, are going to change the reality.

America's feeble democratic system is capable of changing almost nothing. After all, it was constructed with just that in mind.

john wilson , August 31, 2019 at 05:07

I think think the real worry is that these days they don't even bother to lie anymore and they just do what they want. Think Venezuela.

Guy , August 30, 2019 at 10:42

"Other questions persist, such is prevalent is this sort of U.S. blackmail of foreign governments to get UN votes or for other purposes? How is it leveraged? Does it fit in with allegations made by former NSA analyst Russ Tice about the NSA having massive files on political people?"
This also stands out , as given what we now know is standard modus opendi of CIA / Mossad operations ,due to the Epstein arrest and ensuing information , who knows what is used to leverage other nations to follow along with US and in this case UK demands.Birds of a feather fly together.
Very good report by Sam Husseini.

Litchfield , August 30, 2019 at 13:32

Absolutely. It is an obvious avenue now to investigate: How did the Epstein operation impact on the decision to invade Iraq? How were teh votes wrung out for the war authorization in October 2002?

Regarding Kerry, as a resident of Mass. I couldn't believe that Vietnam vet Kerry would vote Yes on the war authorization act. I called his office a number of time to beg him to vote no. Rumors emanated from within his office in Boston or wherever that phone calls from constituents were running 180 to 1 urging him to vote NO. But he voted YES anyhow.

I simply believe that Yalie Kerry didn't see what was up with the obvious lying that drove the runup to an illegal invasion. This is the kind of scenario where one now has to wonder -- and ask openly -- whether Kerry had been compromised in some way that made him vulnerable to blackmail. Why the hell else would he vote so stupidly?

Recall that Scott Ritter ran afoul of some kind of sex trap and so he, one of the most knowledgeable and outspoken critics of the fake WMD narrative, was effectively muzzled.

Did Kerry have a little skeleton in the closet somewhere?

The same could be asked of all the esp. Democratic legislators who voted YES. Because we now understand which state in the EAstern Med wanted the war most and profited the most from it. We now know how deep and how wide the tentacles of that state's intelligence service intrude into our own national sphere, our Congress, our own intelligence services, our media, and, most likely, our military. Epstein seems to been part f this web of pressure and blackmail.

Epstein is gone, but Ghislaine Maxwell apparently still runs free.
Let's bring her in for questioning specifically about pressure applied on the Oct. 2002 vote. (Although some speculate that she, too, is already dead.)

Guy , August 30, 2019 at 10:23

At a time when despair in political affairs is very depressing ,it is very refreshing to see that the voices of reason are being vindicated.
I really want to see this film as this is the first time that I hear of the voice of Katherine Gun .Bless her heart for standing up and her efforts to warn of deception . Does the film make any mention of Dr.David Kelly's so-called suicide / murder ? Will have to wait ans see.
Thank you CN for once again coming through for your excellent report.

Pablo , August 30, 2019 at 10:15

Lawrence Wilkerson (Powell's Chief of Staff?) told me that Collin knew Bush was fabricating, but went to the U.N. as a "loyal foot soldier".

AnneR , August 30, 2019 at 08:25

Thank you, Sam Husseini, for this overview of the background – real story – to the film Official Secrets.

To be frank, I'd not heard of Katherine Gun's revelations at the time – not surprising because I don't think that the US MSM gave the leak any oxygen. They were all too gung-ho for the war.

While the film undoubtedly soft-pedals some of the story and likely doesn't reveal or make explicit as much as we'd all hope, I really do hope that it receives at least as much publicity (good) and viewing as that execrable film Zero dark Thirty which basically supported the CIA and its torturers. But somehow I doubt that.

TomR , August 31, 2019 at 06:19

Zero Dark Thirty is just about the worst bullshit fake narrative put out by the CIA that I've ever seen. I watched it but cringed with the dramatized fake narrative that the CIA is famous for – think the bullshit 9/11 US govt. narrative – if you or anyone else believes that totally bunkum govt. narrative – well, I feel sorry for you.

Druid , August 31, 2019 at 17:28

Im a good- movie buff. I avoided Zero Dark Thirty. Not a farthing for those lies

Sylvia Bennet , August 30, 2019 at 07:51

I applaud Keira Knightley and all who were involved in bringing this story to the public. It is vital that more people who have the eyes and ears of the public speak out on these issues. Sadly, most of them keep their heads below the parapet. With the Main Stream Media colluding with corrupt corporations and governments to lie or distort the truth, we need decent people with influence to step up before it is too late.

Toxik , August 30, 2019 at 02:42

Looked at my local theaters and Official Secrets will not be shown.

jmg , August 29, 2019 at 18:39

Katharine Gun's case can also be very relevant for Julian Assange's defense:

"Within half an hour, the case was dropped because the prosecution declined to offer evidence. . . . The day before the trial, Gun's defence team had asked the government for any records of advice about the legality of the war that it had received during the run-up to the war. A full trial might have exposed any such documents to public scrutiny as the defence were expected to argue that trying to stop an illegal act (that of an illegal war of aggression) trumped Gun's obligations under the Official Secrets Act 1989. . . . In 2019 The Guardian stated the case was dropped 'when the prosecution realised that evidence would emerge that even British government lawyers believed the invasion was unlawful.'"

Katharine Gun – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katharine_Gun

So Katharine Gun, like Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, etc., by revealing corruption and crimes, maybe didn't obey the code of silence of organized crime, government sector, but that's not a law.

For example, the US Executive Order 13526, Classified National Security Information, explicitly outlaws any classification that covers up crimes or embarrassing information.

This means that whistleblowers like Katharine Gun or Chelsea Manning, and investigative journalists like Julian Assange are the ones defending the law here, while the US and UK governments are the criminals.

lindaj , August 29, 2019 at 22:10

Hear, Hear!

Me Myself , August 30, 2019 at 12:11

The espionage act has and would protect those who were responsible for the war I believe.

If we could Abrogate the espionage act it would make are representatives more accountable.

I was unaware of Katherine Gun she is clearly a standout person and will join the ranks of are most respected truthers.

WTF Burkie , August 31, 2019 at 14:05

Our not are.b.c. burkhart

evelync , August 30, 2019 at 13:34

And the secrecy, apparently, is required in the name of "national security" .that's what I was told by a Harvard JFK School of Government associate when I emailed 200+ of 'em to express my outrage over their withdrawal of Chelsea Manning's honorary degree when Pompeo and Morrell bullied them. I responded with – that's INSTITUTIONAL FAILURE at Harvard – as a "respected" educational institution you should be front and center critiquing foreign policy instead of helping to bury the wrongdoing ..no wonder voters didn't trust the establishment candidates in 2016 but the DNC was too much a part of it all to see or care what was going on. Except for Tulsi Gabbard who resigned at DNC VP in protest for what was being done to the Sanders campaign and to endorse Sanders instead of Clinton. The DNC knee capped the campaign of the one person who had won peoples' trust for his honesty.

We have incompetent people with no moral fiber making terrible decisions and burying the mistakes under secrecy, a fear based "code of silence", as you say.

Biden touts his being chosen by Obama for VP; therefore "he's qualified".
Since Clinton and Biden were the most dangerously ambitious critics of Obama, I think he may have chosen to add them to his administration as VP and Sec of State to practice "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" .but his decision was very costly to the lives of people around the world including the Caribbean and South American countries whose wealth our oligarchs coveted.
And as far as Honduras is concerned those political choices by Obama sadly explains refugees fleeing from that violent country even now ..thanks to our failing to declare the 2009 Coup a "military coup". One of Clinton's "hard choices". Obama and Biden went along with that of course.
Daniel Immerwahr's "How to Hide an Empire" tells the sordid tale of how waterboarding was used long before Bush II – used on the freedom fighters for their independence in the Philippines after the Spanish American War and we took over as imperialists ..
Most people, I think, don't know all the gruesome details of our aggression but they now know enough to be troubled by it. Few political candidates have the backbone to criticize wrongheaded foreign policy.
I'm disappointed that Tulsi Gabbard won't be permitted to join Bernie Sanders at the September 12 2019 "debate" as the only ones who speak out on how wrong for this country and the world our foreign policies have been. This courageous woman should be heard.
When Bernie was challenged in the 2016 Miami debate on his enlightened views on Cuba and other Caribbean and South American countries, Clinton used Cold War rhetoric to attack him. She was shocked, I tell you, shocked that he would not grind his heel on the Cuban people. I wondered at the time whether she really believed the crap she was selling or just put on a good political show for the national security state.

We so need transparency if we want to be a real democracy.

Sam F , August 30, 2019 at 21:06

Very true that transparency is essential to democracy. That also requires lifelong monitoring of officials and their relatives for paybacks and other influence. But (for example) Florida has an Sunshine Act that merely moves the bribes into other channels, and may be the most corrupt state. I am investigating extensive racketeering there involving state officials stealing conservation funds. They can be quire careless because their party runs the entire state including state and federal judiciary, and instantly approves whatever their rich "donors" want to steal. But the FBI and DOJ refuse to take action when given the evidence on a silver platter – no doubt because they are appointed by the same party. Theft is their sacred right and duty, to protect their country from its people.

michael , August 31, 2019 at 07:30

Florida's Sunshine laws were on display at Epstein's only trial, much of it still sealed from public view.

[Jun 05, 2019] Due to the nature of intelligence agencies work and the aura of secrecy control of intelligence agencies in democratic societies is a difficult undertaking as the entity you want to control is in many ways more politically powerful and more ruthless in keeping its privileges then controllers.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In reality intelligence agencies control the nomination. ..."
"... Russiagate and the DNC hacking scandal were the attempts to reverse the presidential election. Essentially Russiagate was created to tame Trump, although I am not sure that such drastic measures were needed and I might be wrong. He betrayed his election promises with such an ease that Russiagate now looks like a paranoid overreaction of the USA intelligence agencies (and former FBI director Mueller of 9/11 and anthrax investigation fame) Which figuratively speaking moved tanks to capture the unnamed native village. ..."
"... Due to the nature of intelligence agencies work and the aura of secrecy control of intelligence agencies in democratic societies is a difficult undertaking as the entity you want to control is in many ways more politically powerful and more ruthless in keeping its privileges then controllers. And if the society preaches militarism it is outright impossible: any politician deviation from militaristic policies will be met with the counterattack of intelligence agencies which are intimately interested in maintaining the status quo. ..."
Apr 27, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 04.27.19 at 5:21 am 99

In reality intelligence agencies control the nomination.

Pics or it didn't happen.

I am very sorry and sincerely apologize. Please view this as a plausible hypothesis ;-)

Some considerations (neoliberals and neocons usually interpret those facts differently so this is a view from paleoconservative universe; you are warned):

1. Exoneration of Hillary deprived Sanders of chances to lead Democratic ticket in 2016. This is as close to the proven fact as we can get.

2. Russiagate and the DNC hacking scandal were the attempts to reverse the presidential election. Essentially Russiagate was created to tame Trump, although I am not sure that such drastic measures were needed and I might be wrong. He betrayed his election promises with such an ease that Russiagate now looks like a paranoid overreaction of the USA intelligence agencies (and former FBI director Mueller of 9/11 and anthrax investigation fame) Which figuratively speaking moved tanks to capture the unnamed native village.

3. JFK and then Robert Kennedy assassination. The key role of the CIA in the JFK assassination now is broadly accepted in the USA.

3. Obama connection to CIA was subject of many articles, especially in the alt-right press. He definitely was raised in a family of CIA operatives.

4. Brennan spied on Congress and was not fired, which means that the CIA hieratically is above the Congress. Proven fact.

In short, nothing in the power structure of democratic societies prevents intelligence agencies from becoming key political actors, the Pretorian guard which selects the Presidents by keeping dirt on politicians and controls the press (see Church commission). They have both motivation (preservation and enhancement of their status as any large bureaucracy), means (weakly controlled, oversized budget; access to shadow funds from arms and narcotics trading) and skills (covert operations, disinformation, sabotage. This triad is inherent in their status as the legalized mafia which operates above the law. As Pompeo recently said in a recent speech at Texas A&M University CIA operatives lie and cheat and steal.

When intelligence agencies control MSM that alone gives them considerable power to influence the political process. For example, in the case of Russiagate, we saw well organized and timed series of leaks. So, in fact, they can be viewed as the "Inner Party" in terms of Orwell dystopia 1984.

And the fact of media control is a proven fact. And not only via Church commission. Dr. Ulfkotte went on public television stating that he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, also adding that noncompliance with these orders would result in him losing his job.

Due to the nature of intelligence agencies work and the aura of secrecy control of intelligence agencies in democratic societies is a difficult undertaking as the entity you want to control is in many ways more politically powerful and more ruthless in keeping its privileges then controllers. And if the society preaches militarism it is outright impossible: any politician deviation from militaristic policies will be met with the counterattack of intelligence agencies which are intimately interested in maintaining the status quo.

In any case, the problem of "the tail wagging the dog" is a problem for any country, not only for the USA. The fact that both Brennan and Clapper become 'talking heads' after retirement tells something about the trend. Such things would be impossible 20 years ago.

Some insights into the problem can be obtained by reading the article about the politicization of intelligence agencies in other countries. For example:

https://carnegieendowment.org/2015/12/18/challenges-of-civilian-control-over-intelligence-agencies-in-pakistan-pub-62278

Ultimately, making the intelligence agencies accountable amounts to a broader reevaluation of the larger framework of civil-military relations. As a result, not only is intelligence reform an almost intractable political issue, but it also requires a complete change of mentality for the actors involved. Reigning in the intelligence agencies is a problem of a deeper political culture, one that requires a systemic change in the psychology of the organizations.

the lack of civilian oversight of intelligence agencies is a byproduct of the political imbalance between civilian and military actors, a power structure that favors the latter.

As long as the military can get its way through seemingly constitutional means, the importance of the intelligence agencies will remain relatively limited. Their role, however, becomes essential whenever the military meets some resistance

the military's domestic political power "has always derived from [its] ability to mediate confrontations among feuding political leaders, parties or state institutions, invariably presented as threats to the political order and stability. The military [is] of course the only institution empowered to judge whether such threats existed based on the assumption that a polity in turmoil cannot sustain a professional military" (Rizvi 1998: 100). Yet whenever necessary, the military has not hesitated to generate problems itself if it believes its institutional interests would be better served by a weak and divided polity. This is where the intelligence agencies come into play.

the link between journalists and the intelligence agencies is a complex one, and cannot be reduced to a simple power dynamic in which the journalists are merely the victim. Journalists need information, and thus have an interest in maintaining a good relationship with intelligence agencies. In return, journalists are often asked to provide information themselves to intelligence agencies.

[Jun 05, 2019] Do Spies Run the World by Israel Shamir

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Within America, the alphabet agencies from NSA to CIA to FBI had betrayed their country as obviously as Figuera did, though they didn't run away, yet. Our colleagues Mike Whitney and Philip Giraldi described the conspiracy organised by John Brennan of CIA with active participation of FBI's James Comey, to regime-change the US. ..."
"... The CIA spies in England and passes the results to the British Intelligence. MI6 spies in the US and passes the results to CIA. They became integrated to unbelievable extent in the worldwide network of spies. ..."
"... It is not the Deep State anymore; it is world spooks who had united against their legitimate masters. Instead of staying loyal to their country, the spooks betrayed their countries. They are not only strictly-for-cash – they think they know better what is good for you. In a way, they are a new incarnation of the Cecil Rhodes Society . Democratically-elected politicians and statesmen have to obey them or meet their displeasure, as Corbyn and Trump did. ..."
"... Everywhere, in the US, the UK, and Russia, the spooks became too powerful to handle. The CIA stood behind assassination of JFK and tried to take down Trump. The British Intelligence undermined Jeremy Corbyn, after assisting the CIA in pushing for the Iraq war. They created the Steele Dossier, invented the Skripal hoax and had brought Russia and the West to the brink of nuclear war. ..."
"... In the Ukraine, the heads of their state security, SBU had plotted against the last legitimate president Mr Victor Yanukovych. They helped to organise and run the Maidan 2014 manifestations and misled their President, until he was forced to escape abroad. The Maidan manifestations could be compared with the Yellow Vests movement; however, Macron, an appointee of the Network, had support of his spies, and stayed in power, while Yanukovych had been betrayed and overthrown. ..."
"... You'd ask me, were they so stupid that they believed their own propaganda of inevitable Clinton's victory? Yes, they were and are stupid. They are no sages, evil or benevolent. My main objection to the conspiracy theorists is that they usually view the plotters as omniscient and all-powerful. They are too greedy to be all-powerful, and they are too silly to be omniscient. ..."
"... Now, however, the secret services' cohesion and integration increased to the next level, making it difficult to deal with them. ..."
"... People are fickle and not always know what is good for them; there are many demagogues to mislead the crowd. And still, elected legitimate officials should have precedence in governing, while non-elected ones should obey – and it means the Network spooks and media men should know their place. ..."
"... How did John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Christopher Steele and other Spygate principals manage to rise to the top of the intelligence bureaucracy? ..."
"... These characters have indulged in an orgy of highly conspicuous partisan political meddling and ranting that has created the strong public impression that they engaged in an attempted coup to overthrow a sitting American president on the basis of a frame-up that was largely fueled by Russian disinformation. ..."
"... Brennan in particular: can you imagine any previous CIA director comporting himself in this manner? Throwing all caution to the winds? Inconceivable. Brennan, Comey and Clapper have inflicted serious damage on the reputation of the CIA, FBI and ODNI. ..."
"... It's not just illegal surveillance and blackmail that gives the spies power, it's impunity for even the gravest crimes. If you don't get the message of blackmail you can be tortured or shot, with a bullet like JFK and RFK and Reagan, or with illegal biological weapons like Daschel and Leahy. Institutionalized impunity stares us in the face from US state papers. ..."
"... It's not that CIA and other neo-Gestapos escaped control. They were designed from inception for totalitarian control. The one poor bastard in Congress who pointed that out, Tydings, had McCarthy sicced on him for his cheek. CIA is not out of control; it's firmly IN control. ..."
"... It was funny during the Cold war (the original one) – whenever each side unveiled that a spy from the other side has defected to them – they would say it was because of ideology – i.e. the spy defected to them because he "believed" in "democracy" or socialism – depending on the case. ..."
"... And in order to discredit their own spies when they defected to the other side – they would say that they did it for money, because they were greedy and that they betrayed "democracy" or socialism ..."
"... The other crucial role that spies usually play is that they allow the adversaries to keep technological balance via industrial espionage. By transferring top military secrets, they don't allow any side to gain crucial strategic advantage that might encourage them to do something foolish – like start a nuclear war. Prime example of this were probably the Rosenbergs – who helped USSR close the nuclear weapons gap with US and kept the world in a shaky nuclear arms balance. ..."
"... Profound analysis by Mr. Shamir. It confirms that one of the important reasons for the decline of freemasonry is the monopolization of political conspiracy by the intelligence services. Who needs the lodge when you have the CIA. ..."
"... Spooks are everywhere, from secretaries "losing" important communications to CNN news anchors roleplaying with crisis actors, but they are at their most powerful when they are appointed to powerful positions. President Trump's National Security Advisor is a spook and he does what he wants. ..."
"... John le Carre described it perfectly in "A Perfect Spy". The spooks form their own country. They are only loyal to themselves. ..."
"... A global supra-powerful, organized and united, privately directed, publicly backed society of high technology robin hood_mercenary_spooks who conduct sub-legal "scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-your-back [in the nation of the other] routines"; who ignore duty to country, its constitutions, its laws and human rights. The are evil, global acting, high technology nomads with a monopoly on extortion and terror. ..."
"... Your statement "spooks and ex-spooks feel more proximity to their enemies and colleagues in other countries than to their fellow citizens" fails makes clear the importance of containment-of-citizen access to information. Nation states are armed, rule making structures that invent propaganda and control access to information. Information containment and filtering is the essence of the political and economic power of a national leader and it is more import to the evil your article addresses. ..."
"... Control of the media is 50 times more important than control of the government? Nearly all actions of consequence are intended to drain the governed masses and such efforts can only be successful if the lobbying, false-misleading mind controlling privately owned (92% own by just 6 entities) centrally directed media can effectively control the all information environments. ..."
"... While understanding the mechanics is helpful don't neglect the purpose. Why is more important than how. The why is control. They don't care what you believe, but only what you do. You can be on the left, right, mainstream, or fringe and they won't care as long as you eat what they serve. Take a minute to think about what they want you to do and strongly consider not doing it. ..."
May 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

Conspiratorially-minded writers envisaged the Shadow World Government as a board of evil sages surrounded by the financiers and cinema moguls. That would be bad enough; in infinitely worse reality, our world is run by the Junior Ganymede that went berserk. It is not a government, but a network, like freemasonry of old, and it consists chiefly of treacherous spies and pens-for-hire, two kinds of service personnel, that collected a lot of data and tools of influence, and instead of serving their masters loyally, had decided to lead the world in the direction they prefer.

German Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the last head of the Abwehr, Hitler's Military Intelligence, had been such a spy with political ambitions. He supported Hitler as the mighty enemy of Communism; on a certain stage he came to conclusion that the US will do the job better and switched to the Anglo-American side. He was uncovered and executed for treason. His colleague General Reinhard Gehlen also betrayed his Führer and had switched to the American side. After the war, he continued his war against Soviet Russia, this time for CIA instead of Abwehr.

The spies are treacherous by their nature. They contact people who betrayed their countries; they work under cover, pretending to be somebody else; for them the switch of loyalty is as usual and normal as the gender change operation for a Moroccan doctor who is doing that 8 to 5 every day. They mix with foreign spies, they kill people with impunity; they break every law, human or divine. They are extremely dangerous if they do it for their own country. They are infinitely more dangerous if they work for themselves and still keep their institutional capabilities and international network.

Recently we had a painful reminding of their treacherous nature. Venezuela's top spy, the former director of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin), Manuel Cristopher Figuera , had switched sides during the last coup attempt and escaped abroad as the coup failed. He discovered that his membership on the Junior Ganymede of the spooks is more important for him than his duty to his country and its constitution.

Within America, the alphabet agencies from NSA to CIA to FBI had betrayed their country as obviously as Figuera did, though they didn't run away, yet. Our colleagues Mike Whitney and Philip Giraldi described the conspiracy organised by John Brennan of CIA with active participation of FBI's James Comey, to regime-change the US. In the conspiracy, foreign intelligence agencies, primarily the British GCHQ, played an important role. As by law, these spies aren't allowed to operate on their home ground, they go into you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-your-back routine. The CIA spies in England and passes the results to the British Intelligence. MI6 spies in the US and passes the results to CIA. They became integrated to unbelievable extent in the worldwide network of spies.

It is not the Deep State anymore; it is world spooks who had united against their legitimate masters. Instead of staying loyal to their country, the spooks betrayed their countries. They are not only strictly-for-cash – they think they know better what is good for you. In a way, they are a new incarnation of the Cecil Rhodes Society . Democratically-elected politicians and statesmen have to obey them or meet their displeasure, as Corbyn and Trump did.

Everywhere, in the US, the UK, and Russia, the spooks became too powerful to handle. The CIA stood behind assassination of JFK and tried to take down Trump. The British Intelligence undermined Jeremy Corbyn, after assisting the CIA in pushing for the Iraq war. They created the Steele Dossier, invented the Skripal hoax and had brought Russia and the West to the brink of nuclear war.

Russian spooks are in a special relations mode with the global network – for many years. In Russia, persistent rumours claim the perilous Perestroika of Mikhail Gorbachev had been designed and initiated by the KGB chief (1967 – 1982) Yuri Andropov . He and his appointees dismantled the socialist state and prepared the takeover of 1991 in the interests of the One World project.

Andropov (who had stepped into Brezhnev's shoes in 1982 and died in 1984) had advanced Gorbachev and his architect of glasnost, Alexander Yakovlev . Andropov also promoted the arch-traitor KGB General Oleg Kalugin to head its counter-intelligence. Later, Kalugin betrayed his country, escaped to the US and delivered all Russian spies he knew of to the FBI hands.

In late 1980s-early 1990s, the KGB, originally the guarding dog of the Russian working class, had betrayed its Communist masters and switched to work for the Network. But for their betrayal, Gorbachev would not be able to destroy his country so fast: the KGB neutralised or misinformed the Communist leadership.

They allowed Chernobyl to explode; they permitted a German pilot to land on the Red Square – this was used by Gorbachev as an excuse to sack the whole lot of patriotic generals. The KGB people were active in subverting other socialist states, too. They executed the Romanian leader Ceausescu and his wife; they brought down the GDR, the socialist Germany; they plotted with Yeltsin against Gorbachev and with Gorbachev against Romanov. As the result of their plotting, the USSR fell apart.

The KGB plotters of 1991 had thought that post-Communist Russia would be treated by the West like the prodigal son, with a fattened calf being slaughtered for the welcome feast. To their disappointment, the stupid bastards discovered that their country was to play the part of the fattened calf at the feast, and they were turned from unseen rulers into billionaires' bodyguards. Years later, Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia with the blessing of the world spooks and bankers, but being too independent a man to submit, he took his country into its present nationalist course, trying to regain some lost ground. The dissatisfied spooks supported him.

Only recently Putin began to trim the wild growth of his own intelligence service, the FSB. It is possible the cautious president had been alerted by the surprising insistence of the Western media that the alleged attempt on Skripal and other visible cases had been attributed to the GRU, the relatively small Russian Military Intelligence, while the much bigger FSB had been forgotten. The head of FSB cybercrime department had been arrested and sentenced for lengthy term of imprisonment, and two FSB colonels had been arrested as the search of their premises revealed immense amounts of cash , both Russian and foreign currency. Such piles of roubles and dollars could be assembled only for an attempt to change the regime, as it was demanded by the Network.

In the Ukraine, the heads of their state security, SBU had plotted against the last legitimate president Mr Victor Yanukovych. They helped to organise and run the Maidan 2014 manifestations and misled their President, until he was forced to escape abroad. The Maidan manifestations could be compared with the Yellow Vests movement; however, Macron, an appointee of the Network, had support of his spies, and stayed in power, while Yanukovych had been betrayed and overthrown.

In the US, the spooks allowed Donald Trump to become the leading Republican candidate, for they thought he would certainly lose to Mme Clinton. Surprisingly, he had won, and since then, this man who was advanced as an easy prey, as a buffoon, had been hunted by the spooks-and-scribes freemasonry.

You'd ask me, were they so stupid that they believed their own propaganda of inevitable Clinton's victory? Yes, they were and are stupid. They are no sages, evil or benevolent. My main objection to the conspiracy theorists is that they usually view the plotters as omniscient and all-powerful. They are too greedy to be all-powerful, and they are too silly to be omniscient.

Their knowledge of official leaders' faults gives them their feeling of power, but this knowledge can be translated into actual control only for weak-minded men. Strong leaders do not submit easily. Putin has had his quota of imprudent or outright criminal acts in his past, but he never allowed the blackmailers to dictate him their agenda. Netanyahu, another strong man of modern politics, also had managed to survive blackmail. Meanwhile, Trump defeated all attempts to unseat him, though his enemies had used his alleged lack of delicacy in relation to women, blacks and Jews to its utmost. He waded through the deep pond of Russiagate like Gulliver. But he has to purge the alphabet agencies to reach safety.

In Russia, the problem is acute. Many Russian spooks and ex-spooks feel more proximity to their enemies and colleagues in other countries than to their fellow citizens. There is a freemasonic quality in their camaraderie. Such a quality could be commendable in soldiers after the war is over, but here the war is going on. Russian spooks are particularly besotted with their declared enemies; apparently it is the Christian quality of the Russian soul, but a very annoying one.

When Snowden reached Moscow after his daring escape from Hong Kong, the Russian TV screened a discussion that I participated in, among journalists, members of parliament and ex-spies. The Russian spooks said that Snowden is a traitor; a person who betrayed his agency can't be trusted and should be sent to the US in shackles. They felt they belong to the Spy World, with its inner bond, while their loyalty to Russia was a distant second.

During recent visit of Mike Pompeo to Sochi, the head of SVR, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Mr Sergey Naryshkin proposed the State Secretary Mike Pompeo, the ex-CIA director, to expand contacts between Russian and US special services at a higher level. He clarified that he actively interacted with Pompeo during the period when he was the head of the CIA. Why would he need contacts with his adversary? It would be much better to avoid contacts altogether.

Even president Putin, who is first of all a Russian nationalist (or a patriot, as they say), who has granted Snowden asylum in Moscow at a high price of seriously worsening relations with Obama's administration, even Putin has told Stone that Snowden shouldn't have leaked the documents the way he did. "If he didn't like anything at his work he should have simply resigned, but he went further", a response proving he didn't completely freed himself from the spooks' freemasonry.

While the spooks plot, the scribes justify their plots. Media is also a weapon, and a mighty one. In Richard Wagner's opera Lohengrin , the protagonist is defeated by the smear campaign in the media. Despite his miraculous arrival, despite his glorious victory, the evil witch succeeds to poison minds of the hero's wife and of the court. The pen can counter the sword. When the two are integrated, as in the union of spooks and scribes, it is too dangerous tool to leave intact.

In many countries of Europe, editorial international policies had been outsourced to the spooky Atlantic Council, the Washington-based think tank. The Atlantic Council is strongly connected with NATO alliance and with Brussels bureaucracy, the tools of control over Europe. Another tool is The Integrity Initiative , where the difference between spies and journalists is blurred . And so is the difference between the left and the right. The left and the right-wing media use different arguments, surprisingly leading to the same bottom line, because both are tools of warfare for the same Network.

In 1930s, they were divided. The German and the British agents pulled and pushed in the opposite directions. The Russian military became so friendly with the Germans, that at a certain time, Hitler believed the Russian generals would side with him against their own leader. The Russian spooks were befriended by the Brits, and had tried to push Russia to confront Hitler. The cautious Marshal Stalin had purged the Red Army's pro-German Generals, and the NKVD's pro-British spooks, and delayed the outbreak of hostilities as much as he could. Now, however, the secret services' cohesion and integration increased to the next level, making it difficult to deal with them.

If they are so powerful, integrated and united, shouldn't we throw a towel in the ring and surrender? Hell, no! Their success is their undoing. They plot, but Allah is the best plotter, – our Muslim friends say. Indeed, when they succeed to suborn a party, the people vote with their feet. The Brexit is the case to consider. The Network wanted to undermine the Brexit; so they neutralised Corbyn by the antisemitism pursuit while May had made all she could to sabotage the Brexit while calling for it in public. Awfully clever of them – but the British voter responded with dropping both established parties. So their clever plot misfired.

People are fickle and not always know what is good for them; there are many demagogues to mislead the crowd. And still, elected legitimate officials should have precedence in governing, while non-elected ones should obey – and it means the Network spooks and media men should know their place.


Sean McBride , says: May 21, 2019 at 3:18 pm GMT

Side note:

How did John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Christopher Steele and other Spygate principals manage to rise to the top of the intelligence bureaucracy?

Spymasters are usually renowned for their inscrutability and for playing their cards close to their vests.

These characters have indulged in an orgy of highly conspicuous partisan political meddling and ranting that has created the strong public impression that they engaged in an attempted coup to overthrow a sitting American president on the basis of a frame-up that was largely fueled by Russian disinformation.

Brennan in particular: can you imagine any previous CIA director comporting himself in this manner? Throwing all caution to the winds? Inconceivable. Brennan, Comey and Clapper have inflicted serious damage on the reputation of the CIA, FBI and ODNI.

Forthcoming books will no doubt get into all the remarkable and bizarre details.

Donald Trump has demonstrated the ability to troll and goad many of his opponents into a state of imbecility. It's a negotiating tactic -- knock them off balance, provoke them to lose control. No matter how smart they are, some people take the bait.

Ding ding ding , says: May 21, 2019 at 4:04 pm GMT
I am sitting here pointing to my nose. Spies run the world – contemporary history in a nutshell. A few provisos:

It's not just illegal surveillance and blackmail that gives the spies power, it's impunity for even the gravest crimes. If you don't get the message of blackmail you can be tortured or shot, with a bullet like JFK and RFK and Reagan, or with illegal biological weapons like Daschel and Leahy. Institutionalized impunity stares us in the face from US state papers.

It's not that CIA and other neo-Gestapos escaped control. They were designed from inception for totalitarian control. The one poor bastard in Congress who pointed that out, Tydings, had McCarthy sicced on him for his cheek. CIA is not out of control; it's firmly IN control.

– There is a crucial difference between US and Russian spies. Russians can go over the head of their government to the world. That's the only effective check on state criminal enterprise like CIA. Article 17 of the Russian Constitution says "in the Russian Federation rights and freedoms of person and citizen are recognized and guaranteed pursuant to the generally recognized principles and norms of international law and in accordance with this Constitution." Article 18 states that rights and freedoms of the person and citizen are directly applicable, which prevents the kind of bad-faith tricks the USA pulls, like declaring "non-self executing" treaties, or making legally void reservations, declarations, understandings, and provisos to screw you out of your rights. Article 46(3) guarantees citizens a constitutional right to appeal to inter-State bodies for the protection of human rights and freedoms if internal legal redress has been exhausted. Ratified international treaties including the ICCPR supersede any domestic legislation stipulating otherwise.

Endgame Napoleon , says: May 21, 2019 at 6:14 pm GMT
Isn't it just collusion that holds certain elite groups together, including in some businesses where a lot of chicanery goes on. The most important thing is to be in on it as one of them, not as a person who can be trusted not to say anything, but as one of the gang. It's exactly how absenteeism-friendly offices full of crony parents with crony-parent managers work.

The only problem for the guy at the tippy top is what would happen if such a tight group turned on him / her? Maybe, some leaders see the value in protecting a few brave individuals, like Snowden, letting any coup-stirring spooks know that some people are watching the Establishment's rights violators, too. Those with technical knowledge have more capacity than most to do it or, at least, to understand how it works.

In a country founded on individual liberties, including Fourth Amendment privacy rights that were protected by less greedy generations, the US should have elected leaders that put the US Constitution first, but that is too much to ask in an era when the top dogs in business & government are all colluding for money.

Digital Samizdat , says: May 21, 2019 at 6:40 pm GMT

In Russia, persistent rumours claim the perilous Perestroika of Mikhail Gorbachev had been designed and initiated by the KGB chief (1967 – 1982) Yuri Andropov.

FWIW, I have heard the exact same thing from Russian commenters myself. Some have insisted that, if Andropov had lived long enough, he would have carried glasnost and perestroika himself.

Cyrano , says: May 21, 2019 at 7:09 pm GMT
Spies are loathsome bunch, with questionable loyalties and personal integrity. But I believe that overall they play a positive role. They play a positive role because they help adversaries gain insight into their adversary's activities.

If it wasn't for the spies, paranoia about what the other side is doing can get out of hand and cause wrong actions to take place. The problem with the spies is also that no one knows how much they can be trusted and on whose side they are really on.

It was funny during the Cold war (the original one) – whenever each side unveiled that a spy from the other side has defected to them – they would say it was because of ideology – i.e. the spy defected to them because he "believed" in "democracy" or socialism – depending on the case.

And in order to discredit their own spies when they defected to the other side – they would say that they did it for money, because they were greedy and that they betrayed "democracy" or socialism.

The other crucial role that spies usually play is that they allow the adversaries to keep technological balance via industrial espionage. By transferring top military secrets, they don't allow any side to gain crucial strategic advantage that might encourage them to do something foolish – like start a nuclear war. Prime example of this were probably the Rosenbergs – who helped USSR close the nuclear weapons gap with US and kept the world in a shaky nuclear arms balance.

Kirt , says: May 21, 2019 at 10:01 pm GMT
Profound analysis by Mr. Shamir. It confirms that one of the important reasons for the decline of freemasonry is the monopolization of political conspiracy by the intelligence services. Who needs the lodge when you have the CIA.

An aspect of the rule of spies that Mr. Shamir does not touch on is the legitimization of this rule through popular culture. This started with the James Bond novels and movies and by now has become ubiquitous. Spies and assassins are the heroes of the masses. While secrecy is still needed for tactical reasons in the case of specific operations, overall secrecy is not needed nor even desirable. So you have thugs like Pompeo actually boasting of their villainy before audiences of college students at Texas A&M and you have the Mossad supporting the publication of the book Rise and Kill First which is an extensive account of their world-wide assassination policy. They have the power; now they want the perks that go with it, including being treated like rock stars.

israel shamir , says: May 22, 2019 at 4:06 am GMT
@Kirt

Who needs the lodge when you have the CIA

Good explanation of freemasonry's decline, Kirt! As for popular culture – almost all latest cinema characters are spies – like Avengers))

anno nimus , says: May 22, 2019 at 4:44 am GMT
dear mr Shamir, the criminals are not only stupid but also utterly wicked. they will be stricken down in the twinkling of the eye and will cry out why God? all the righteous will shout for joy and give thanks to the Almighty for judging Babylon. woe unto them! they will have no place to hide or run to.

Ezekiel 9 (NKJV)
The Wicked Are Slain
9 Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, "Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand." 2 And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer's inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer's inkhorn at his side; 4 and the Lord said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it."

5 To the others He said in my hearing, "Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. 6 Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were before the temple. 7 Then He said to them, "Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!" And they went out and killed in the city.

8 So it was, that while they were killing them, I was left alone; and I fell on my face and cried out, and said, "Ah, Lord God! Will You destroy all the remnant of Israel in pouring out Your fury on Jerusalem?"

9 Then He said to me, "The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity; for they say, 'The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see!' 10 And as for Me also, My eye will neither spare, nor will I have pity, but I will recompense their deeds on their own head."

11 Just then, the man clothed with linen, who had the inkhorn at his side, reported back and said, "I have done as You commanded me."

Antares , says: May 22, 2019 at 5:01 am GMT
Espionage depends on contra-espionage. We will never get that hold on Jewish spies as they can have on our spies.
Paul Bennett , says: May 22, 2019 at 5:38 am GMT
Great article.

E Michael Jones was just warning President Trump about the possibility of this in the Straits of Hormuz. https://youtu.be/iIm3WuJAVEE?t=272

Spooks are everywhere, from secretaries "losing" important communications to CNN news anchors roleplaying with crisis actors, but they are at their most powerful when they are appointed to powerful positions. President Trump's National Security Advisor is a spook and he does what he wants.

John le Carre described it perfectly in "A Perfect Spy". The spooks form their own country. They are only loyal to themselves.

Yarkob , says: May 22, 2019 at 7:52 am GMT
@Antares that's because the Mossad isn't like "our" spy agencies. it's closer to the old paradigm of the hashishim or true assassins. Mossad "agents" don't gad around wearing dark glasses and tapping phones; they run proper deep cover operations. "sleepers" is a term used in the USA. they have jobs. they look "normal". They integrate
MarkU , says: May 22, 2019 at 8:45 am GMT
Do spies run the world? No not really, bankers run the world.

Bankers constitute most of the deep state in the US/UK in particular and most of Europe. It is the bankers/deep state which control the intelligence agencies. The ethnicity of a hefty proportion of said bankers is plain to see for anyone with functioning critical faculties. How else can a tiny country in the middle east have such influence in the US? How else do we explain why 2/3 of the UK parliament are "friends of Israel" How come financial institutions can commit felonies and no one does jail time? why is Israel allowed to commit war crimes and break international law with total impunity? who got bailed out of their gambling debts at the expense of inflicting "austerity" on most of the western world?

I am open to any sensible alternative hypothesis.

Realist , says: May 22, 2019 at 8:48 am GMT
@Sean McBride

How did John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Christopher Steele and other Spygate principals manage to rise to the top of the intelligence bureaucracy?

Shit floats.

Sally , says: May 22, 2019 at 9:06 am GMT
A global supra-powerful, organized and united, privately directed, publicly backed society of high technology robin hood_mercenary_spooks who conduct sub-legal "scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-your-back [in the nation of the other] routines"; who ignore duty to country, its constitutions, its laws and human rights. The are evil, global acting, high technology nomads with a monopoly on extortion and terror.

Since winning, Trump has been hunted by the spooks-and-scribes freemasonry. <fallacy is that Trump could have gained the assistence of every American, had Trump just used his powers to declassify all secret information and make it available to the public, instead he chases Assange, and continues to conduct the affairs of his office in secret.

Propaganda preys on belief.. it is more powerful than an atomic weapon.. when the facts are hidden or when the facts are changed, distorted or destroyed.

Your statement "spooks and ex-spooks feel more proximity to their enemies and colleagues in other countries than to their fellow citizens" fails makes clear the importance of containment-of-citizen access to information. Nation states are armed, rule making structures that invent propaganda and control access to information. Information containment and filtering is the essence of the political and economic power of a national leader and it is more import to the evil your article addresses.

https://theintercept.com/2019/05/08/josh-gottheimer-democrats-yemen/ <i wrote IRT to the article, that contents appearing in private media supported monopoly powered corporations and distributed to the public, direct the use of military and the willingness of soldiers of 22 different countries.

Control of the media is 50 times more important than control of the government? Nearly all actions of consequence are intended to drain the governed masses and such efforts can only be successful if the lobbying, false-misleading mind controlling privately owned (92% own by just 6 entities) centrally directed media can effectively control the all information environments.

I am bothered by you article because it looks to be Trumped weighted and failes to make clear it is these secret apolitical, human rights abusers, that direct the contents of the media distributed articles that appear in the privately owmed, media distributed to the public. Also not explained is how the cost of advertising is shared by the monopoly powered corporations, and it is that advertising that is the source of support that keeps the fake news in business, the nation state propaganda in line, and the support of robin -hood terror.

Monopoly powered global corporation advertising funds the fake and misleading private media, that is why the open internet has been shut in tight. In order for the evil, global acting, high technology nomads to continue their extortion and terror activities they need the media, its their only real weapon. I have never meet a member of any of the twenty two agencies that was not a trained, certified mental case terrorist.

Anon [295] Disclaimer , says: May 22, 2019 at 9:08 am GMT
I think the interplay between the spooks and scribes warrants a deeper explanation. Covert action refers to anything in which the author can disclaim his responsibility, ie it looks like someone else or something else. The handler in a political operation cannot abuse his agent because the agent is the actor. The handler in an intelligence gathering operation can abuse his agent because the agent merely enables action.

The political operations in this case are propaganda. The Congress of Cultural Freedom is the most clearly described one to date. Propaganda is necessary in any mass society to ensure that voters care about the right issues, the right way, at the right time. Propaganda can be true, false, or a mix of the two. Black propaganda deals in falsehoods, ie the Steele Dossier. Black propaganda works best when it enables a pre-planned operation, but it pollutes the intelligence gathering process with disinformation.

Intelligence gathering is colloquially called investigative reporting. If anyone knows about Gary Webb, Alan Frankovich, or Michael Hastings they know you can't really do that job well for very long. So how do the old timers last so long? It's a back and forth. The reporter brings all of his information on a subject to his intelligence source (handler). The source then says, "print this, print that, sit on that, and since you've been a good boy here's a little something you didn't know." The true role of the investigative reporter is to conduct counterintelligence and package it as a limited hangout.

While understanding the mechanics is helpful don't neglect the purpose. Why is more important than how. The why is control. They don't care what you believe, but only what you do. You can be on the left, right, mainstream, or fringe and they won't care as long as you eat what they serve. Take a minute to think about what they want you to do and strongly consider not doing it.

https://www.nytimes.com/1977/12/26/archives/worldwide-propaganda-network-built-by-the-cia-a-worldwide-network.html

http://danwismar.com/uploads/Bernstein%20-%20CIA%20and%20Media.htm

joeshittheragman , says: May 22, 2019 at 9:29 am GMT
Do Spies Run the World?
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- –
If they're Jewish spies – then yes.
Vojkan , says: May 22, 2019 at 9:45 am GMT
Not usually a big fan of Israel Shamir's pieces but this one on spooks is truly excellent. The article is spot on.
9/11 Inside job , says: May 22, 2019 at 10:37 am GMT
Spies do not run the world , they are merely agents of the "families" who use them to retain and increase their control ,power and wealth .
cowherd , says: May 22, 2019 at 10:46 am GMT
@Sean McBride And now Trump should have then all rounded up and hung from the trees in the front of the Whitehouse. Anything less should be seen as encouragement.
atlantis_dweller , says: May 22, 2019 at 11:26 am GMT
Don't agree.

[Should don't agree, agree, troll, and lol "buttons" for columns be added? I think it would be a nice extra].

mike k , says: May 22, 2019 at 11:49 am GMT
The worst among us rule over the rest of us. As Plato said, this needs to change. How to do that? We don't know, but we desperately need to find out ..
Anon [421] Disclaimer , says: May 22, 2019 at 12:41 pm GMT
@Sean McBride

Obama was a very effective promoter of what might be called the "globalist" agenda. He of course didn't invent it but did appoint those three.

Wayne Madsen gave a convincing account in his speculation that both Obama's parent's were CIA operatives. So it's "all the family" and in the details one might conclude with the author that indeed "spies run the world."

[Apr 23, 2019] Groupthink at the CIA by Philip Giraldi

Looks like tail wags the dog -- CIA controls the US foreign policy and in the last elections also played active role in promoting Hillary. A the level of top brass we have several people mentioned by Giraldi who are probably as dangerous as Allen Dulles was. Brennan is one example.
The parade of rogues that Philip describes is really alarming. Each with agenda that directly harms the USA as a country promoting the interest of military-industrial complex and neocon faction within the government...
Notable quotes:
"... Indeed, one can start with Tenet if one wants to create a roster of recent CIA Directors who have lied to permit the White House to engage in a war crime. Tenet and his staff knew better than anyone that the case against Saddam did not hold water, but President George W. Bush wanted his war and, by gum, he was going to get it if the CIA had any say in the matter. ..."
"... Back then as now, international Islamic terrorism was the name of the game. It kept the money flowing to the national security establishment in the false belief that America was somehow being made "safe." But today the terror narrative has been somewhat supplanted by Russia, which is headed by a contemporary Saddam Hussein in the form of Vladimir Putin. If one believes the media and a majority of congressmen, evil manifest lurks in the gilded halls of the Kremlin. Russia has recently been sanctioned (again) for crimes that are more alleged than demonstrated and President Putin has been selected by the Establishment as the wedge issue that will be used to end President Donald Trump's defiance of the Deep State and all that pertains to it. The intelligence community at its top level would appear to be fully on board with that effort. ..."
"... Remarkably, he also said that there is only "minimal evidence" that Russia is even fighting ISIS. The statement is astonishing as Moscow has most definitely been seriously and directly engaged in support of the Syrian Arab Army. Is it possible that the head of the CIA is unaware of that? It just might be that Pompeo is disparaging the effort because the Russians and Syrians have also been fighting against the U.S. backed "moderate rebels." That the moderate rebels are hardly moderate has been known for years and they are also renowned for their ineffectiveness combined with a tendency to defect to more radical groups taking their U.S. provided weapons with them, a combination of factors which led to their being denied any further American support by a presidential decision that was revealed in the press two weeks ago. ..."
"... Pompeo's predecessor John Brennan is, however, my favorite Agency leader in the category of totally bereft of his senses. ..."
"... Brennan is certainly loyal to his cause, whatever that might be. At the same Aspen meeting attended by Pompeo, he told Wolf Blitzer that if Trump were to fire special counsel Robert Mueller government officials should "refuse to carry out" his orders. In other words, they should begin a coup, admittedly non-violent (one presumes), but nevertheless including federal employees uniting to shut the government down. ..."
"... And finally, there is Michael Morell, also a former Acting Director, who was closely tied to the Hillary Clinton campaign, apparently driven by ambition to become Director in her administration. Morell currently provides commentary for CBS television and is a frequent guest on the Charlie Rose show. Morell considerably raised the ante on Brennan's pre-electoral speculation that there had been some Russian recruitment of Trump people. He observed in August that Putin, a wily ex-career intelligence officer, "trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them [did exactly that] early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump's vulnerabilities In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation." ..."
"... Nothing new. In the '50s CIA was making foreign wars and cultivating chaos at home, and blaming all of it on Russia. In the '80s CIA was cultivating anti-nuke groups to undermine Reagan, and blaming it on Russia. CIA has been the primary wellspring of evil for a long time. ..."
"... Yes you read that right and they are going to the rotten core of this coup against the United States by presenting a report stating that the DNC was "Leaked" not hacked. The real hacking came from President Obama's weaponizing of our intelligence agencies against Russia. ..."
"... The CIA is the USA's secret army, it is not comparable to a real intelligence organization like the British MI5. The CIA is more like WWII SOE, designed to set fire to Europe, Churchill's words. ..."
"... As has been the case for decades the Deep State allows Presidents and legislators to make minor decisions in our government as long as those decisions do not in any way interfere with the Deep State's goals of total world hegemony and increase in overwhelming power and wealth. Those who make the important decisions in this country are not elected. The elected 'officials' are sycophants of the Deep State. ..."
"... The term is appropriated from the use to describe the mutually loyal corps of Ataturkians in the Turkish military and intelligence services who were united in service to uphold the ideal of Ataturkian secular modernisation. The term implies no public accountability or publicity unnecessary to its purposes. ..."
"... The CIA's source, its birth, is from British secret service. Brit spying. And Brit secret service, long before the official founding of MI5, did exactly the kinds of things you note the CIA has done. ..."
"... The Mossad is another direct fruit of Brit secret service, as is the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency. ..."
"... While there can be no doubt about the crackpots in high positions of the most powerful bureaucracies, it seems to me that the CIA loonies are merely shock troops for an even worse bunch of evil psychos, the bankster mafiosi. ..."
"... I am a retired CIA operations officer (something none of the men mentioned by Giraldi are – Brennan was a failed wanna be, couldn't cut it as an ops officer). He is spot on in his comments. The majority of people in the CIA, the ones who do the heavy lifting, are patriotic Americans who are proud of serving their country. I am sure that most voted for Trump as they all know too well the truth about the Clintons and Obama. ..."
"... Giraldi is not the only one to notice the upward progress of the most incompetent yes-men in the Agency. A close look at most of them reveals a track record of little or no operational success balanced by excellent sucking up skills. These characters quickly figured out how to get ahead and doing your job in the field is not it. Of course, most are ego maniacs so they are totally oblivious to their own uselessness. ..."
"... How "Russiagate" began: After the primaries, both Hillary and Donald faced divided political parties even though they had won the nomination. These divisions were worse than the normal situation after contested primaries. On the Democratic side, Hillay had just subverted the will of the voters of her party, who seemed to favor Bernie Sanders over her. Hillay had won with corrupt collusion and rigging amongst the DNC, the higher ranks of the Democratic Party, and major media such as the NYT and CNN. ..."
"... Then, a leak of emails from the DNC HQ publicized her interference in the democratic processes of the Democratic Party. This threatened to ene the Hillary for President campaign right then and there. If the majority of Democrats who'd favored Bernie refused to support Hillary because of her corruption and collusion in denying democracy within the party, she was a sure loser in the fall election. The Hillary camp then immediately started blaming Russia for the exposure of her corruption and rigging of the Democratic process. And that's how "Russiagate" began. ..."
"... Take that bunch of mediocre thinkers, and then make most of them obsessed with their own career advancement above all else. The most dangerous place for a career-obsessed individual is outside the group consensus. ..."
"... So, for instance, Trump should veto the act of war known as the recent sanctions bill. Who cares if it gets overridden? Then he goes back to the voters, who are clearly sick of endless war and who for obvious reasons don't want a nuclear war, and he says this is where I stand. Support me by electing Fill-In-The-Blank to Congress. With the nuclear Doomsday Clock pushing ever closer to midnight, he might just win that fight over the big money and media opposition he's sure to face. ..."
"... Not only has Trump failed to even try to fight the Deep State, but he's also failing to set himself up for success in the next elections. ..."
"... What we are seeing now is The Donald's role in the serial Zionist THEATER. Think deeper about the motive behind Mr. Giraldi's choice to use the Orwellian word "Groupthink" in characterizing the CIA zeitgeist? In the classic work "1984," one observes Big Brother as the catalyst in control of the proles' thought pattern & subsequent action. ..."
"... To rise & FALL as a POTUS is a matter of theater and the American proles are entertained by the political for either 4 or 8 years and the Zionists get their next Chosen actor/actress dramatically sworn in on a bible. ..."
Aug 01, 2017 | www.unz.com

Long ago, when I was a spear carrying middle ranker at CIA, a colleague took me aside and said that he had something to tell me "as a friend," that was very important. He told me that his wife had worked for years in the Agency's Administrative Directorate, as it was then called, where she had noticed that some new officers coming out of the Career Trainee program had red tags on their personnel files. She eventually learned from her boss that the tags represented assessments that those officers had exceptional potential as senior managers. He added, however, that the reverse appeared to be true in practice as they were generally speaking serial failures as they ascended the bureaucratic ladder, even though their careers continued to be onward and upward on paper. My friend's wife concluded, not unreasonably, that only genuine a-holes had what it took to get promoted to the most senior ranks.

I was admittedly skeptical but some recent activity by former and current Directors and Acting Directors of CIA has me wondering if something like my friend's wife's observation about senior management might indeed be true. But it would have to be something other than tagging files, as many of the directors and their deputies did not come up through the ranks and there seems to be a similar strain of lunacy at other U.S. government intelligence agencies. It might be time to check the water supply in the Washington area as there is very definitely something in the kool-aid that is producing odd behavior.

Now I should pause for a moment and accept that the role of intelligence services is to identify potential threats before they become active, so a certain level of acute paranoia goes with the job. But at the same time, one would expect a level of professionalism which would mandate accuracy rather than emotion in assessments coupled with an eschewing of any involvement in the politics of foreign and national security policy formulation. The enthusiasm with which a number of senior CIA personnel have waded into the Trump swamp and have staked out positions that contradict genuine national interests suggests that little has been learned since CIA Director George Tenet sat behind Secretary of State Colin Powell in the UN and nodded sagaciously as Saddam Hussein's high crimes and misdemeanors were falsely enumerated.

Indeed, one can start with Tenet if one wants to create a roster of recent CIA Directors who have lied to permit the White House to engage in a war crime. Tenet and his staff knew better than anyone that the case against Saddam did not hold water, but President George W. Bush wanted his war and, by gum, he was going to get it if the CIA had any say in the matter.

Back then as now, international Islamic terrorism was the name of the game. It kept the money flowing to the national security establishment in the false belief that America was somehow being made "safe." But today the terror narrative has been somewhat supplanted by Russia, which is headed by a contemporary Saddam Hussein in the form of Vladimir Putin. If one believes the media and a majority of congressmen, evil manifest lurks in the gilded halls of the Kremlin. Russia has recently been sanctioned (again) for crimes that are more alleged than demonstrated and President Putin has been selected by the Establishment as the wedge issue that will be used to end President Donald Trump's defiance of the Deep State and all that pertains to it. The intelligence community at its top level would appear to be fully on board with that effort.

The most recent inexplicable comments come from the current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, speaking at the Aspen Institute Security Forum. He began by asserting that Russia had interfered in the U.S. election before saying that the logic behind Russia's Middle Eastern strategy is to stay in place in Syria so Moscow can "stick it to America." He didn't define the "it" so one must assume that "it" stands for any utensil available, ranging from cruise missiles to dinner forks. He then elaborated, somewhat obscurely, that "I think they find anyplace that they can make our lives more difficult, I think they find that something that's useful."

Remarkably, he also said that there is only "minimal evidence" that Russia is even fighting ISIS. The statement is astonishing as Moscow has most definitely been seriously and directly engaged in support of the Syrian Arab Army. Is it possible that the head of the CIA is unaware of that? It just might be that Pompeo is disparaging the effort because the Russians and Syrians have also been fighting against the U.S. backed "moderate rebels." That the moderate rebels are hardly moderate has been known for years and they are also renowned for their ineffectiveness combined with a tendency to defect to more radical groups taking their U.S. provided weapons with them, a combination of factors which led to their being denied any further American support by a presidential decision that was revealed in the press two weeks ago.

Pompeo's predecessor John Brennan is, however, my favorite Agency leader in the category of totally bereft of his senses. In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee back in May, he suggested that some Trump associates might have been recruited by the Russian intelligence service. He testified that "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals."

In his testimony, Brennan apparently forgot to mention that the CIA is not supposed to keep tabs on American citizens. Nor did he explain how he had come upon the information in the first place as it had been handed over by foreign intelligence services, including the British, Dutch and Estonians, and at least some of it had been sought or possibly inspired by Brennan unofficially in the first place. Brennan then used that information to request an FBI investigation into a possible Russian operation directed against potential key advisers if Trump were to somehow get nominated and elected, which admittedly was a longshot at the time. That is how Russiagate started.

Brennan is certainly loyal to his cause, whatever that might be. At the same Aspen meeting attended by Pompeo, he told Wolf Blitzer that if Trump were to fire special counsel Robert Mueller government officials should "refuse to carry out" his orders. In other words, they should begin a coup, admittedly non-violent (one presumes), but nevertheless including federal employees uniting to shut the government down.

A lesser known former CIA senior official is John McLaughlin, who briefly served as acting Director in 2004. McLaughlin was particularly outraged by Trump's recent speech to the Boy Scouts, which he described as having the feel "of a third world authoritarian's youth rally." He added that "It gave me the creeps it was like watching the late Venezuelan [President Hugo] Chavez."

And finally, there is Michael Morell, also a former Acting Director, who was closely tied to the Hillary Clinton campaign, apparently driven by ambition to become Director in her administration. Morell currently provides commentary for CBS television and is a frequent guest on the Charlie Rose show. Morell considerably raised the ante on Brennan's pre-electoral speculation that there had been some Russian recruitment of Trump people. He observed in August that Putin, a wily ex-career intelligence officer, "trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them [did exactly that] early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump's vulnerabilities In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

I and others noted at the time that Putin and Trump had never met, not even through proxies, while we also wondered how one could be both unwitting and a recruited agent as intelligence recruitment implies control and taking direction. Morell was non-plussed, unflinching and just a tad sanctimonious in affirming that his own intelligence training (as an analyst who never recruited a spy in his life) meant that "[I] call it as I see it."

One could also cite Michael Hayden and James Clapper, though the latter was not CIA They all basically hew to the same line about Russia, often in more-or-less the same words, even though no actual evidence has been produced to support their claims. That unanimity of thinking is what is peculiar while academics like Stephen Cohen, Stephen Walt, Andrew Bacevich, and John Mearsheimer, who have studied Russia in some depth and understand the country and its leadership far better than a senior CIA officer, detect considerable nuance in what is taking place. They all believe that the hardline policies current in Washington are based on an eagerness to go with the flow on the comforting inside-the- beltway narrative that paints Russia as a threat to vital interests. That unanimity of viewpoint should surprise no one as this is more of less the same government with many of the same people that led the U.S. into Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. They all have a vested interested in the health and well-being of a fully funded national security state.

And the other groupthink that seems to prevail among the senior managers except Pompeo is that they all hate Donald Trump and have done so since long before he won the election. That is somewhat odd, but it perhaps reflects a fear that Trump would interfere with the richly rewarding establishment politics that had enabled their careers. But it does not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of CIA employees. Though it is admittedly unscientific analysis on my part, I know a lot of former and some current CIA employees but do not know a single one who voted for Hillary Clinton. Nearly all voted for Trump.

Beyond that exhibition of tunnel vision and sheer ignorance, the involvement of former senior intelligence officials in politics is itself deplorable and is perhaps symptomatic of the breakdown in the comfortable bipartisan national security consensus that has characterized the past fifty years. Once upon time former CIA officers would retire to the Blue Ridge mountains and raise Labradors, but we are now into something much more dangerous if the intelligence community, which has been responsible for most of the recent leaks, begins to feel free to assert itself from behind the scenes. As Senator Chuck Schumer recently warned "Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community -- they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you."

exiled off mainstreet, August 1, 2017 at 5:06 am GMT

In jumping this fascist nihilist shark, the groupthinkers have closed themselves off from the logical conclusion to their viewpoint, which is final annihilation.

Dan Hayes, August 1, 2017 at 5:47 am GMT

Schumer's statement is true (and probably the only such one in his political career!).

annamaria, August 1, 2017 at 6:03 am GMT

Brennan, Morell, and Pompeo should better find ways to justify their salaries: the U.S. has suffered the greatest breach in cybersecurity on their watch:

" an enormous breach of the United States Security Apparatus by as many as 80 Democrat members of Congress (past and present). We rail on about the Russians and Trump, but t he media avoids providing nightly updates about these 5 spies that have compromised Congress ."

http://investmentwatchblog.com/the-awan-brothers-compromised-at-least-80-congregational-computers-and-got-paid-5-million-to-do-it-we-may-never-know-the-extent-of-the-breach/

"In total, Imran's firm was employed by 31 Democrats in Congress, some of whom held extremely sensitive positions on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on Foreign Affair s."

polistra, August 1, 2017 at 6:17 am GMT

Nothing new. In the '50s CIA was making foreign wars and cultivating chaos at home, and blaming all of it on Russia. In the '80s CIA was cultivating anti-nuke groups to undermine Reagan, and blaming it on Russia. CIA has been the primary wellspring of evil for a long time.

Bruce Marshall, August 1, 2017 at 6:39 am GMT

And back to reality we have VIPS Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Yes you read that right and they are going to the rotten core of this coup against the United States by presenting a report stating that the DNC was "Leaked" not hacked. The real hacking came from President Obama's weaponizing of our intelligence agencies against Russia.

That is war, World War Three and it would seem now that Congress is marching that way, but the report below hold the key to fighting back.

http://larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2017/2017_30-39/2017-30/pdf/37-41_4430.pdf

One of the VIPS is William Binney fomer NSA Technical Director, an important expert. leading the group is Ray McGovern with some whit and grace, well yes how about some sanity, to which humor is important to the insight and to stay in the sights of what is clever thievery and worse. Much worse, and there is a twinkle in the eye when realize that it is straight forward.

And Congress could stop it tout sweet, but well old habits but they have taken an Oath of Office, so, so what, yeah they did go after Bernie, so will you challenge your elected officials, either do their sworn duty or resign, for what this sanctions bill against Russia and Iran is a declaration of war, not only against Russia and Iran, but a declaration of war against the United States. for there is no reason to do this against Russia when indeed there are great opportunities to get along, but war is the insanity as it is sedition and treason. Tell them that,

https://larouchepac.com/20170731/breaking-lyndon-larouche-crush-british-coup-against-president

Priss Factor, • Website August 1, 2017 at 7:01 am GMT

Moderate Rebels = Toothfairy Rebels

jilles dykstra, August 1, 2017 at 7:21 am GMT

I wonder if groupthink exists. In any organisation people know quite well why the organisation exists, what the threats are to its existence. If they think about this, I wonder.

The CIA is the USA's secret army, it is not comparable to a real intelligence organization like the British MI5. The CIA is more like WWII SOE, designed to set fire to Europe, Churchill's words. If indeed Trump changes USA foreign policy, no longer trying to control the world, the CIA is obsolete, as obsolete as NATO.

animalogic, August 1, 2017 at 7:44 am GMT

" but President George W. Bush wanted his war and, by gum, he was going to get it if the CIA had any say in the matter."

Not to defend the CIA, but didn't Rumsfeld, doubt the enthusiasm of the CIA for providing the slanted, bogus, "sexed up" intelligence the Executive required to make its "destroy Iraq now" case ? So Rumsfeld therefore set up an independent intelligence agency within the Defence Dept to provide/create the required "intelligence" ?

The Alarmist, August 1, 2017 at 7:45 am GMT

I think they find anyplace that they can make our lives more difficult, I think they find that something that's useful."

Yeah, because that's what resource-constrained countries with limited ability to tap the global capital markets do. Methinks Mr. Pompeo is projecting his and the neocons' fantasies on the Russians.

Realist, August 1, 2017 at 10:14 am GMT

As has been the case for decades the Deep State allows Presidents and legislators to make minor decisions in our government as long as those decisions do not in any way interfere with the Deep State's goals of total world hegemony and increase in overwhelming power and wealth. Those who make the important decisions in this country are not elected. The elected 'officials' are sycophants of the Deep State.

CalDre, August 1, 2017 at 10:43 am GMT

If only Trump would really clean the swamp – particularly the neo-cons and other traitors and globalists. One can dream .

Wizard of Oz, August 1, 2017 at 11:04 am GMT

Being resistant to jargon and catch phrases it is only slowly that I have accepted that "Deep State" is not entirely pretentious waffle when used to describe aspects of the US. However I may not be your only reader PG who would appreciate a clear explanatory description of the American Deep State and how it works.

Here are some suggested parameters.

The term is appropriated from the use to describe the mutually loyal corps of Ataturkians in the Turkish military and intelligence services who were united in service to uphold the ideal of Ataturkian secular modernisation. The term implies no public accountability or publicity unnecessary to its purposes.
And its origins imply that it is not just one in a number of major influences ln government or those who vote for it.

So one has to acknowledge that in the US the Deep State has to be different in the important respect that levers of power are observably wielded by lobbies for the aged, gun owners and sellers, Israel, Wall Street, bio fuels, sugar and other ag, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, the arms industry, Disney and other Hollywood and media, health insurers and the medical profession, and I could go on.

These are all relevant to legal events like votes on impeachment or to hold up appointments. The CIA and FBI together completely united (and note how disunited 9/11 showed them to be) wouldn't remotely approach the old Turkish Deep State's ability to stage a coup. Are all of the putative elements of the Deep State together today as powerful as J.Edgar Hoover with his dirt files on everyone? (A contrast and compare exercise of today's presumed Deep State configuration and modus operandi with the simpler Hoover days might shine some light on who does what and how today. And how effectively).

To avoid lack of focus can a convincing account of the US Deep State be best given in terms of a plausible scenario for

  1. getting rid of Trump as President and/or
  2. maintaining the lunacy and hubris which has the US wasting its substance on totally unnecessary antagonistic relations with China and Russia and interference in the ME?

I would read such accounts with great interest. (Handwavers need not apply).

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 11:26 am GMT

Of course the US Deep State must hate Russia. First, Jews have a very long history of hating Russia and Russians. That never changed. The USSR was not Russia; the USSR was Marxism replacing Russia. Jews tended to love that. Rich Jews from across the world, from the US and the UK of most interest to us, sent money to support the Bolshevik Revolution.

Russia managed to survive the USSR and is slowly coming back around to Russian common sense from the Christian perspective. Neither Jews nor their WASP BFFs can ever forgive that. They want Russia to act now to commit cultural and genetic suicide, like Western Europe and the entire Anglosphere are doing.

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 11:32 am GMT

@polistra The CIA's source, its birth, is from British secret service. Brit spying. And Brit secret service, long before the official founding of MI5, did exactly the kinds of things you note the CIA has done.

The Mossad is another direct fruit of Brit secret service, as is the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency.

jacques sheete, August 1, 2017 at 11:36 am GMT

While there can be no doubt about the crackpots in high positions of the most powerful bureaucracies, it seems to me that the CIA loonies are merely shock troops for an even worse bunch of evil psychos, the bankster mafiosi.

We should always keep that in mind.

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 11:37 am GMT

@CalDre If only

But doing so would mean a voluntary end to playing the role of Sauron, determined to find and wear the One Ring to Rule Them All. The average Elite WASP, and his Jewish BFF, definitely would prefer to destroy the world, at least outside their gated compounds of endless luxury, than to step down from that level of global domination.

Philip Giraldi, August 1, 2017 at 12:02 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz Wiz – Here is an article I did on the Deep State two years ago. It was one of the first in the US media looking at the issue. It would have to be updated now in light of Trump, but much of what it states is still more-or-less correct.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/deep-state-america/

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 12:09 pm GMT

@jacques sheete Yes, indeed.

But we need to make certain that your use of the word 'mafiosi' does not lead anyone to assume that group has more than a handful of Italians. Jews, WASPs, and continental Germanics each will outnumber Italians by at least 30 to 1.

Chris Bridges, August 1, 2017 at 12:46 pm GMT

I am a retired CIA operations officer (something none of the men mentioned by Giraldi are – Brennan was a failed wanna be, couldn't cut it as an ops officer). He is spot on in his comments. The majority of people in the CIA, the ones who do the heavy lifting, are patriotic Americans who are proud of serving their country. I am sure that most voted for Trump as they all know too well the truth about the Clintons and Obama.

Giraldi is not the only one to notice the upward progress of the most incompetent yes-men in the Agency. A close look at most of them reveals a track record of little or no operational success balanced by excellent sucking up skills. These characters quickly figured out how to get ahead and doing your job in the field is not it. Of course, most are ego maniacs so they are totally oblivious to their own uselessness.

Well before he was elected I had a letter delivered to President Trump in which I outlined in detail what would happen to him if he did not immediately purge the CIA of these assholes. I know that at least some people on his staff read it but, of course, my advice was ignored. Trump has paid dearly for not listening to an ordinary CIA guy who wanted to give him a reality brief on those vicious snakes.

Proud_Srbin, August 1, 2017 at 1:00 pm GMT

Historical facts teach humanity that Anglo-Saxon group of Nations was built on slavery, thuggery and theft of other peace loving Civilizations. We Slavs are the New "niggers", hate is the glue that holds you "toGether".
People of color have been successfully conditioned and practice it as well.
Time will tell how well it holds when balloon bursts and 99% gets called to serve as cannon fodder.
Terrorizing UNARMED and WEAKER is not true test of "superiority" and "exceptionalism".
Tiny, extremely tiny minority of Anglo-Saxons and Satraps understand this.

Bernie voter, August 1, 2017 at 1:20 pm GMT

How "Russiagate" began: After the primaries, both Hillary and Donald faced divided political parties even though they had won the nomination. These divisions were worse than the normal situation after contested primaries. On the Democratic side, Hillay had just subverted the will of the voters of her party, who seemed to favor Bernie Sanders over her. Hillay had won with corrupt collusion and rigging amongst the DNC, the higher ranks of the Democratic Party, and major media such as the NYT and CNN.

Then, a leak of emails from the DNC HQ publicized her interference in the democratic processes of the Democratic Party. This threatened to ene the Hillary for President campaign right then and there. If the majority of Democrats who'd favored Bernie refused to support Hillary because of her corruption and collusion in denying democracy within the party, she was a sure loser in the fall election. The Hillary camp then immediately started blaming Russia for the exposure of her corruption and rigging of the Democratic process. And that's how "Russiagate" began.

Beauracratic Mind, August 1, 2017 at 1:42 pm GMT

@jacques sheete

I wonder if groupthink exists.

It probably does as do group psychoses and group fantasies.. Anyone who's ever served in a beuaracracy knows that groupthink exists.

Take a bunch of mediocre minds. And, they do exist, as Garrison Keiler once famously made a joke out of with his line Welcome to Lake Woebegone, where all the children are above average.

Take that bunch of mediocre thinkers, and then make most of them obsessed with their own career advancement above all else. The most dangerous place for a career-obsessed individual is outside the group consensus. If everyone is wrong, then there is safety in the group. After all, if they are wrong, so was everyone else in the organization. Thus they are immune to attack and censure for being wrong. But if someone takes a position outside of the group consensus, that can be a career-ending move if they are wrong, as now everyone else will be in the I-told-U-So camp. And even if they are correct, they will still be hated and shunned just for being the person who pointed out to the group that they are wrong.

So, you take your typical average mind, and not only do they not have any great insights of their own, but they tend to stick to the group out of sheer survival and then when you take a mass of these mediocre minds you have 'groupthink'.

Eticon, August 1, 2017 at 2:00 pm GMT

@CalDre

If only Trump would really clean the swamp - particularly the neo-cons and other traitors and globalists. One can dream ....

What we've learned from Trump is that 'Draining the Swamp' will take more than an individual. It will take a political movement.

One sees this on the fringes of politics. Someone gets the idea of running for President, and they point out all that is wrong. But, they focus only on their own campaign, their own goal, and they thus gloss over the fact that they'll be outnumbered and powerless even if they win.

Seen this often on the Left. The most recent example is Bernie Sanders. Likewise, had Bernie been elected President, he too would face an entrenched establishment and media with only a small fraction of the Congress supporting him.

Change has to be built from the bottom up. There are no shortcuts. Electing a Trump, or a Nader or a Bernie does not lead to real change. Step one is to build the political movement such that it has real voting block power and which has already won voting majorities in the legislature before the movement achieves the election of a President.

What Trump has needed to be doing for this first two years is to form clear divisions that he could then take to his voters in the mid-term elections. He's needed to lay out his own agenda. So what if he loses votes in Congress? He then takes that agenda back to the voters in 2018 with a nationwide slate of Congressional candidates who support that agenda and runs a midterm campaign asking the voters to help him drain that swamp.

So, for instance, Trump should veto the act of war known as the recent sanctions bill. Who cares if it gets overridden? Then he goes back to the voters, who are clearly sick of endless war and who for obvious reasons don't want a nuclear war, and he says this is where I stand. Support me by electing Fill-In-The-Blank to Congress. With the nuclear Doomsday Clock pushing ever closer to midnight, he might just win that fight over the big money and media opposition he's sure to face.

Not only has Trump failed to even try to fight the Deep State, but he's also failing to set himself up for success in the next elections.

ChuckOrloski, August 1, 2017 at 2:19 pm GMT

@Jake Hey Jake,

It is a serious error to consider President Trump "naive."

What we are seeing now is The Donald's role in the serial Zionist THEATER. Think deeper about the motive behind Mr. Giraldi's choice to use the Orwellian word "Groupthink" in characterizing the CIA zeitgeist? In the classic work "1984," one observes Big Brother as the catalyst in control of the proles' thought pattern & subsequent action.

To rise & FALL as a POTUS is a matter of theater and the American proles are entertained by the political for either 4 or 8 years and the Zionists get their next Chosen actor/actress dramatically sworn in on a bible.

Mr. Trump is neither naive nor stupid. Sheldon Adelson would not donate $millioms to any POTUS wannabe who could not effectively lead the American Groupthink tradition. Subsequently, the political horror show is brought to you in the understandable form of the perpetually elusive Deep State which gets annual Academy Award.

Beware the fake, Jake!,

[Apr 21, 2019] Escobar The Deep State Vs. WikiLeaks by Pepe Escobar

Notable quotes:
"... John Pilger, among few others, has already stressed how a plan to destroy WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was laid out as far back as 2008 – at the tail end of the Cheney regime – concocted by the Pentagon's shady Cyber Counter-Intelligence Assessments Branch. ..."
"... But it was only in 2017, in the Trump era, that the Deep State went totally ballistic; that's when WikiLeaks published the Vault 7 files – detailing the CIA's vast hacking/cyber espionage repertoire. ..."
"... This was the CIA as a Naked Emperor like never before – including the dodgy overseeing ops of the Center for Cyber Intelligence, an ultra-secret NSA counterpart. ..."
"... The monolithic narrative by the Deep State faction aligned with the Clinton machine was that "the Russians" hacked the DNC servers. Assange was always adamant; that was not the work of a state actor – and he could prove it technically. ..."
"... The DoJ wanted a deal – and they did make an offer to WikiLeaks. But then FBI director James Comey killed it. The question is why. ..."
"... Some theoretically sound reconstructions of Comey's move are available. But the key fact is Comey already knew – via his close connections to the top of the DNC – that this was not a hack; it was a leak. ..."
"... Ambassador Craig Murray has stressed, over and over again (see here ) how the DNC/Podesta files published by WikiLeaks came from two different US sources; one from within the DNC and the other from within US intel. ..."
"... he release by WikiLeaks in April 2017 of the malware mechanisms inbuilt in "Grasshopper" and the "Marble Framework" were indeed a bombshell. This is how the CIA inserts foreign language strings in source code to disguise them as originating from Russia, from Iran, or from China. The inestimable Ray McGovern, a VIPS member, stressed how Marble Framework "destroys this story about Russian hacking." ..."
"... No wonder then CIA director Mike Pompeo accused WikiLeaks of being a "non-state hostile intelligence agency" ..."
"... Joshua Schulte, the alleged leaker of Vault 7, has not faced a US court yet. There's no question he will be offered a deal by the USG if he aggress to testify against Julian Assange. ..."
"... George Galloway has a guest who explains it all https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VvPFMyPvHM&t=8s ..."
"... Escobar is brain dead if he can't figure out that Trumpenstein is totally on board with destroying Assange. As if bringing on pukes like PompAss, BoltON, and Abrams doesn't scream it. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The Made-by-FBI indictment of Julian Assange does look like a dead man walking. No evidence. No documents. No surefire testimony. Just a crossfire of conditionals...

But never underestimate the legalese contortionism of US government (USG) functionaries. As much as Assange may not be characterized as a journalist and publisher, the thrust of the affidavit is to accuse him of conspiring to commit espionage.

In fact the charge is not even that Assange hacked a USG computer and obtained classified information; it's that he may have discussed it with Chelsea Manning and may have had the intention to go for a hack. Orwellian-style thought crime charges don't get any better than that. Now the only thing missing is an AI software to detect them.

https://www.rt.com/shows/going-underground/456414-assange-wkileaks-asylum-london/video/5cb1c797dda4c822558b463f

Assange legal adviser Geoffrey Robertson – who also happens to represent another stellar political prisoner, Brazil's Lula – cut straight to the chase (at 19:22 minutes);

"The justice he is facing is justice, or injustice, in America I would hope the British judges would have enough belief in freedom of information to throw out the extradition request."

That's far from a done deal. Thus the inevitable consequence; Assange's legal team is getting ready to prove, no holds barred, in a British court, that this USG indictment for conspiracy to commit computer hacking is just an hors d'oeuvre for subsequent espionage charges, in case Assange is extradited to US soil.

All about Vault 7

John Pilger, among few others, has already stressed how a plan to destroy WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was laid out as far back as 2008 – at the tail end of the Cheney regime – concocted by the Pentagon's shady Cyber Counter-Intelligence Assessments Branch.

It was all about criminalizing WikiLeaks and personally smearing Assange, using "shock troops enlisted in the media -- those who are meant to keep the record straight and tell us the truth."

This plan remains more than active – considering how Assange's arrest has been covered by the bulk of US/UK mainstream media.

By 2012, already in the Obama era, WikiLeaks detailed the astonishing "scale of the US Grand Jury Investigation" of itself. The USG always denied such a grand jury existed.

"The US Government has stood up and coordinated a joint interagency criminal investigation of Wikileaks comprised of a partnership between the Department of Defense (DOD) including: CENTCOM; SOUTHCOM; the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA); Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA); Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA); US Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) for USFI (US Forces Iraq) and 1st Armored Division (AD); US Army Computer Crimes Investigative Unit (CCIU); 2nd Army (US Army Cyber Command); Within that or in addition, three military intelligence investigations were conducted. Department of Justice (DOJ) Grand Jury and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of State (DOS) and Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). In addition, Wikileaks has been investigated by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Office of the National CounterIntelligence Executive (ONCIX), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); the House Oversight Committee; the National Security Staff Interagency Committee, and the PIAB (President's Intelligence Advisory Board)."

But it was only in 2017, in the Trump era, that the Deep State went totally ballistic; that's when WikiLeaks published the Vault 7 files – detailing the CIA's vast hacking/cyber espionage repertoire.

This was the CIA as a Naked Emperor like never before – including the dodgy overseeing ops of the Center for Cyber Intelligence, an ultra-secret NSA counterpart.

WikiLeaks got Vault 7 in early 2017. At the time WikiLeaks had already published the DNC files – which the unimpeachable Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) systematically proved was a leak, not a hack.

The monolithic narrative by the Deep State faction aligned with the Clinton machine was that "the Russians" hacked the DNC servers. Assange was always adamant; that was not the work of a state actor – and he could prove it technically.

There was some movement towards a deal, brokered by one of Assange's lawyers; WikiLeaks would not publish the most damning Vault 7 information in exchange for Assange's safe passage to be interviewed by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

The DoJ wanted a deal – and they did make an offer to WikiLeaks. But then FBI director James Comey killed it. The question is why.

It's a leak, not a hack

Some theoretically sound reconstructions of Comey's move are available. But the key fact is Comey already knew – via his close connections to the top of the DNC – that this was not a hack; it was a leak.

Ambassador Craig Murray has stressed, over and over again (see here ) how the DNC/Podesta files published by WikiLeaks came from two different US sources; one from within the DNC and the other from within US intel.

There was nothing for Comey to "investigate". Or there would have, if Comey had ordered the FBI to examine the DNC servers. So why talk to Julian Assange?

T he release by WikiLeaks in April 2017 of the malware mechanisms inbuilt in "Grasshopper" and the "Marble Framework" were indeed a bombshell. This is how the CIA inserts foreign language strings in source code to disguise them as originating from Russia, from Iran, or from China. The inestimable Ray McGovern, a VIPS member, stressed how Marble Framework "destroys this story about Russian hacking."

No wonder then CIA director Mike Pompeo accused WikiLeaks of being a "non-state hostile intelligence agency", usually manipulated by Russia.

Joshua Schulte, the alleged leaker of Vault 7, has not faced a US court yet. There's no question he will be offered a deal by the USG if he aggress to testify against Julian Assange.

It's a long and winding road, to be traversed in at least two years, if Julian Assange is ever to be extradited to the US. Two things for the moment are already crystal clear. The USG is obsessed to shut down WikiLeaks once and for all. And because of that, Julian Assange will never get a fair trial in the "so-called 'Espionage Court'" of the Eastern District of Virginia, as detailed by former CIA counterterrorism officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou.

Meanwhile, the non-stop demonization of Julian Assange will proceed unabated, faithful to guidelines established over a decade ago. Assange is even accused of being a US intel op, and WikiLeaks a splinter Deep State deep cover op.

Maybe President Trump will maneuver the hegemonic Deep State into having Assange testify against the corruption of the DNC; or maybe Trump caved in completely to "hostile intelligence agency" Pompeo and his CIA gang baying for blood. It's all ultra-high-stakes shadow play – and the show has not even begun.


JailBanksters , 40 minutes ago link

Not to mention the Pentagram has silenced 100,000 whistleblower complaints by Intimidation, threats, money or accidents over 5 years . A Whistleblower only does this when know there is something seriously wrong. Just Imagine how many knew something was wrong but looked the other way.

ExPat2018 , 47 minutes ago link

George Galloway has a guest who explains it all https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VvPFMyPvHM&t=8s

Betrayed , 2 hours ago link

Maybe President Trump will maneuver the hegemonic Deep State into having Assange testify against the corruption of the DNC; or maybe Trump caved in completely to "hostile intelligence agency" Pompeo and his CIA gang baying for blood.

Escobar is brain dead if he can't figure out that Trumpenstein is totally on board with destroying Assange. As if bringing on pukes like PompAss, BoltON, and Abrams doesn't scream it.

besnook , 2 hours ago link

assange and wikileaks are the real criminals despite being crimeless. the **** is a sanctioned criminal, allowed to be criminal with the system because the rest of the sanctioned criminals would be exposed if she was investigated.

this is not the rule of laws. this is the law of rulers.

_triplesix_ , 2 hours ago link

Anyone seen Imran Awan lately?

Four chan , 34 minutes ago link

yeah those ***** go free because they got everything on the stupid dems and they are muslim.

assange exposes the podesta dws and clinton fraud against bernie voters+++ and hes the bad guy. yeah right

hillary clinton murdered seth rich sure as **** too.

[Apr 21, 2019] Exploring the Shadows of America s Security State Or How I Learned Not to Love Big Brother

Notable quotes:
"... Almost by accident, I had launched my academic career by doing something a bit different. Embedded within that study of drug trafficking was an analytical approach that would take me, almost unwittingly, on a lifelong exploration of U.S. global hegemony in its many manifestations, including diplomatic alliances, CIA interventions, developing military technology, recourse to torture, and global surveillance. Step by step, topic by topic, decade after decade, I would slowly accumulate sufficient understanding of the parts to try to assemble the whole. In writing my new book, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power , I drew on this research to assess the overall character of U.S. global power and the forces that might contribute to its perpetuation or decline. ..."
"... In the process, I slowly came to see a striking continuity and coherence in Washington's century-long rise to global dominion. CIA torture techniques emerged at the start of the Cold War in the 1950s; much of its futuristic robotic aerospace technology had its first trial in the Vietnam War of the 1960s; and, above all, Washington's reliance on surveillance first appeared in the colonial Philippines around 1900 and soon became an essential though essentially illegal tool for the FBI's repression of domestic dissent that continued through the 1970s. ..."
"... After occupying the Philippines in 1898, the U.S. Army, facing a difficult pacification campaign in a restive land, discovered the power of systematic surveillance to crush the resistance of the country's political elite. Then, during World War I, the Army's "father of military intelligence," the dour General Ralph Van Deman, who had learned his trade in the Philippines, drew upon his years pacifying those islands to mobilize a legion of 1,700 soldiers and 350,000 citizen-vigilantes for an intense surveillance program against suspected enemy spies among German-Americans, including my own grandfather. In studying Military Intelligence files at the National Archives, I found "suspicious" letters purloined from my grandfather's army locker. In fact, his mother had been writing him in her native German about such subversive subjects as knitting him socks for guard duty. ..."
"... In the 1950s, Hoover's FBI agents tapped thousands of phones without warrants and kept suspected subversives under close surveillance, including my mother's cousin Gerard Piel, an anti-nuclear activist and the publisher of Scientific American magazine. During the Vietnam War, the bureau expanded its activities with an amazing array of spiteful, often illegal, intrigues in a bid to cripple the antiwar movement with pervasive surveillance of the sort seen in my own FBI file. ..."
"... What about using the historical method to explore the nature of USA's reducing EU nations to "vassals" – and keeping them in the status of vassals, such that they can be depended on to undermine their own economies and sovereignty for the sake of USA's global initiatives? ..."
"... An interesting question might be whether the NATO-to-Afghanistan highway (truck route for munitions, etc.), c. 2010, was also, on the back-haul – Afghanistan to EU – the major supply route for heroin throughout the EU and thus the key to corruption of EU governments (and of Russia) and domination of those governments by USA's neocon operatives? (E.g., was/is the distribution system of the "Chocolate King" Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, delivering something besides just chocolate?) ..."
"... The Puppet Masters Behind Georgia President Saakashvili http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20569.htm ..."
Aug 26, 2017 | www.unz.com

Alfred McCoy August 24, 2017

[ This piece has been adapted and expanded from the introduction to Alfred W. McCoy's new book, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power .]

In the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks, Washington pursued its elusive enemies across the landscapes of Asia and Africa, thanks in part to a massive expansion of its intelligence infrastructure, particularly of the emerging technologies for digital surveillance, agile drones, and biometric identification. In 2010, almost a decade into this secret war with its voracious appetite for information, the Washington Post reported that the national security state had swelled into a "fourth branch" of the federal government -- with 854,000 vetted officials, 263 security organizations, and over 3,000 intelligence units, issuing 50,000 special reports every year.

Though stunning, these statistics only skimmed the visible surface of what had become history's largest and most lethal clandestine apparatus. According to classified documents that Edward Snowden leaked in 2013, the nation's 16 intelligence agencies alone had 107,035 employees and a combined "black budget" of $52.6 billion, the equivalent of 10% percent of the vast defense budget.

By sweeping the skies and probing the worldwide web's undersea cables, the National Security Agency (NSA) could surgically penetrate the confidential communications of just about any leader on the planet, while simultaneously sweeping up billions of ordinary messages. For its classified missions, the CIA had access to the Pentagon's Special Operations Command, with 69,000 elite troops (Rangers, SEALs, Air Commandos) and their agile arsenal. In addition to this formidable paramilitary capacity, the CIA operated 30 Predator and Reaper drones responsible for more than 3,000 deaths in Pakistan and Yemen.

While Americans practiced a collective form of duck and cover as the Department of Homeland Security's colored alerts pulsed nervously from yellow to red, few paused to ask the hard question: Was all this security really directed solely at enemies beyond our borders? After half a century of domestic security abuses -- from the "red scare" of the 1920s through the FBI's illegal harassment of antiwar protesters in the 1960s and 1970s -- could we really be confident that there wasn't a hidden cost to all these secret measures right here at home? Maybe, just maybe, all this security wasn't really so benign when it came to us.

From my own personal experience over the past half-century, and my family's history over three generations, I've found out in the most personal way possible that there's a real cost to entrusting our civil liberties to the discretion of secret agencies. Let me share just a few of my own "war" stories to explain how I've been forced to keep learning and relearning this uncomfortable lesson the hard way.

On the Heroin Trail

After finishing college in the late 1960s, I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Japanese history and was pleasantly surprised when Yale Graduate School admitted me with a full fellowship. But the Ivy League in those days was no ivory tower. During my first year at Yale, the Justice Department indicted Black Panther leader Bobby Seale for a local murder and the May Day protests that filled the New Haven green also shut the campus for a week. Almost simultaneously, President Nixon ordered the invasion of Cambodia and student protests closed hundreds of campuses across America for the rest of the semester.

In the midst of all this tumult, the focus of my studies shifted from Japan to Southeast Asia, and from the past to the war in Vietnam. Yes, that war. So what did I do about the draft? During my first semester at Yale, on December 1, 1969, to be precise, the Selective Service cut up the calendar for a lottery. The first 100 birthdays picked were certain to be drafted, but any dates above 200 were likely exempt. My birthday, June 8th, was the very last date drawn, not number 365 but 366 (don't forget leap year) -- the only lottery I have ever won, except for a Sunbeam electric frying pan in a high school raffle. Through a convoluted moral calculus typical of the 1960s, I decided that my draft exemption, although acquired by sheer luck, demanded that I devote myself, above all else, to thinking about, writing about, and working to end the Vietnam War.

During those campus protests over Cambodia in the spring of 1970, our small group of graduate students in Southeast Asian history at Yale realized that the U.S. strategic predicament in Indochina would soon require an invasion of Laos to cut the flow of enemy supplies into South Vietnam. So, while protests over Cambodia swept campuses nationwide, we were huddled inside the library, preparing for the next invasion by editing a book of essays on Laos for the publisher Harper & Row. A few months after that book appeared, one of the company's junior editors, Elizabeth Jakab, intrigued by an account we had included about that country's opium crop, telephoned from New York to ask if I could research and write a "quickie" paperback about the history behind the heroin epidemic then infecting the U.S. Army in Vietnam.

I promptly started the research at my student carrel in the Gothic tower that is Yale's Sterling Library, tracking old colonial reports about the Southeast Asian opium trade that ended suddenly in the 1950s, just as the story got interesting. So, quite tentatively at first, I stepped outside the library to do a few interviews and soon found myself following an investigative trail that circled the globe. First, I traveled across America for meetings with retired CIA operatives. Then I crossed the Pacific to Hong Kong to study drug syndicates, courtesy of that colony's police drug squad. Next, I went south to Saigon, then the capital of South Vietnam, to investigate the heroin traffic that was targeting the GIs, and on into the mountains of Laos to observe CIA alliances with opium warlords and the hill-tribe militias that grew the opium poppy. Finally, I flew from Singapore to Paris for interviews with retired French intelligence officers about their opium trafficking during the first Indochina War of the 1950s.

The drug traffic that supplied heroin for the U.S. troops fighting in South Vietnam was not, I discovered, exclusively the work of criminals. Once the opium left tribal poppy fields in Laos, the traffic required official complicity at every level. The helicopters of Air America, the airline the CIA then ran, carried raw opium out of the villages of its hill-tribe allies. The commander of the Royal Lao Army, a close American collaborator, operated the world's largest heroin lab and was so oblivious to the implications of the traffic that he opened his opium ledgers for my inspection. Several of Saigon's top generals were complicit in the drug's distribution to U.S. soldiers. By 1971, this web of collusion ensured that heroin, according to a later White House survey of a thousand veterans, would be "commonly used" by 34% of American troops in South Vietnam.

None of this had been covered in my college history seminars. I had no models for researching an uncharted netherworld of crime and covert operations. After stepping off the plane in Saigon, body slammed by the tropical heat, I found myself in a sprawling foreign city of four million, lost in a swarm of snarling motorcycles and a maze of nameless streets, without contacts or a clue about how to probe these secrets. Every day on the heroin trail confronted me with new challenges -- where to look, what to look for, and, above all, how to ask hard questions.

Reading all that history had, however, taught me something I didn't know I knew. Instead of confronting my sources with questions about sensitive current events, I started with the French colonial past when the opium trade was still legal, gradually uncovering the underlying, unchanging logistics of drug production. As I followed this historical trail into the present, when the traffic became illegal and dangerously controversial, I began to use pieces from this past to assemble the present puzzle, until the names of contemporary dealers fell into place. In short, I had crafted a historical method that would prove, over the next 40 years of my career, surprisingly useful in analyzing a diverse array of foreign policy controversies -- CIA alliances with drug lords, the agency's propagation of psychological torture, and our spreading state surveillance.

The CIA Makes Its Entrance in My Life

Those months on the road, meeting gangsters and warlords in isolated places, offered only one bit of real danger. While hiking in the mountains of Laos, interviewing Hmong farmers about their opium shipments on CIA helicopters, I was descending a steep slope when a burst of bullets ripped the ground at my feet. I had walked into an ambush by agency mercenaries.

While the five Hmong militia escorts whom the local village headman had prudently provided laid down a covering fire, my Australian photographer John Everingham and I flattened ourselves in the elephant grass and crawled through the mud to safety. Without those armed escorts, my research would have been at an end and so would I. After that ambush failed, a CIA paramilitary officer summoned me to a mountaintop meeting where he threatened to murder my Lao interpreter unless I ended my research. After winning assurances from the U.S. embassy that my interpreter would not be harmed, I decided to ignore that warning and keep going.

Six months and 30,000 miles later, I returned to New Haven. My investigation of CIA alliances with drug lords had taught me more than I could have imagined about the covert aspects of U.S. global power. Settling into my attic apartment for an academic year of writing, I was confident that I knew more than enough for a book on this unconventional topic. But my education, it turned out, was just beginning.

Within weeks, a massive, middle-aged guy in a suit interrupted my scholarly isolation. He appeared at my front door and identified himself as Tom Tripodi , senior agent for the Bureau of Narcotics, which later became the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). His agency, he confessed during a second visit, was worried about my writing and he had been sent to investigate. He needed something to tell his superiors. Tom was a guy you could trust. So I showed him a few draft pages of my book. He disappeared into the living room for a while and came back saying, "Pretty good stuff. You got your ducks in a row." But there were some things, he added, that weren't quite right, some things he could help me fix.

Best of all, there was the one about how the Bureau of Narcotics caught French intelligence protecting the Corsican syndicates smuggling heroin into New York City. Some of his stories, usually unacknowledged, would appear in my book, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia . These conversations with an undercover operative, who had trained Cuban exiles for the CIA in Florida and later investigated Mafia heroin syndicates for the DEA in Sicily, were akin to an advanced seminar, a master class in covert operations.

In the summer of 1972, with the book at press, I went to Washington to testify before Congress. As I was making the rounds of congressional offices on Capitol Hill, my editor rang unexpectedly and summoned me to New York for a meeting with the president and vice president of Harper & Row, my book's publisher. Ushered into a plush suite of offices overlooking the spires of St. Patrick's Cathedral, I listened to those executives tell me that Cord Meyer, Jr., the CIA's deputy director for covert operations, had called on their company's president emeritus, Cass Canfield, Sr. The visit was no accident, for Canfield, according to an authoritative history , "enjoyed prolific links to the world of intelligence, both as a former psychological warfare officer and as a close personal friend of Allen Dulles," the ex-head of the CIA Meyer denounced my book as a threat to national security. He asked Canfield, also an old friend, to quietly suppress it.

I was in serious trouble. Not only was Meyer a senior CIA official but he also had impeccable social connections and covert assets in every corner of American intellectual life. After graduating from Yale in 1942, he served with the marines in the Pacific, writing eloquent war dispatches published in the Atlantic Monthly . He later worked with the U.S. delegation drafting the U.N. charter. Personally recruited by spymaster Allen Dulles, Meyer joined the CIA in 1951 and was soon running its International Organizations Division, which, in the words of that same history , "constituted the greatest single concentration of covert political and propaganda activities of the by now octopus-like CIA," including " Operation Mockingbird " that planted disinformation in major U.S. newspapers meant to aid agency operations. Informed sources told me that the CIA still had assets inside every major New York publisher and it already had every page of my manuscript.

As the child of a wealthy New York family, Cord Meyer moved in elite social circles, meeting and marrying Mary Pinchot, the niece of Gifford Pinchot, founder of the U.S. Forestry Service and a former governor of Pennsylvania. Pinchot was a breathtaking beauty who later became President Kennedy's mistress, making dozens of secret visits to the White House. When she was found shot dead along the banks of a canal in Washington in 1964, the head of CIA counterintelligence, James Jesus Angleton, another Yale alumnus, broke into her home in an unsuccessful attempt to secure her diary. Mary's sister Toni and her husband, Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, later found the diary and gave it to Angleton for destruction by the agency. To this day, her unsolved murder remains a subject of mystery and controversy.

Cord Meyer was also in the Social Register of New York's fine families along with my publisher, Cass Canfield, which added a dash of social cachet to the pressure to suppress my book. By the time he walked into Harper & Row's office in that summer of 1972, two decades of CIA service had changed Meyer (according to that same authoritative history) from a liberal idealist into "a relentless, implacable advocate for his own ideas," driven by "a paranoiac distrust of everyone who didn't agree with him" and a manner that was "histrionic and even bellicose." An unpublished 26-year-old graduate student versus the master of CIA media manipulation. It was hardly a fair fight. I began to fear my book would never appear.

To his credit, Canfield refused Meyer's request to suppress the book. But he did allow the agency a chance to review the manuscript prior to publication. Instead of waiting quietly for the CIA's critique, I contacted Seymour Hersh, then an investigative reporter for the New York Times . The same day the CIA courier arrived from Langley to collect my manuscript, Hersh swept through Harper & Row's offices like a tropical storm, pelting hapless executives with incessant, unsettling questions. The next day, his exposé of the CIA's attempt at censorship appeared on the paper's front page . Other national media organizations followed his lead. Faced with a barrage of negative coverage, the CIA gave Harper & Row a critique full of unconvincing denials . The book was published unaltered.

My Life as an Open Book for the Agency

I had learned another important lesson: the Constitution's protection of press freedom could check even the world's most powerful espionage agency. Cord Meyer reportedly learned the same lesson. According to his obituary in the Washington Post , "It was assumed that Mr. Meyer would eventually advance" to head CIA covert operations, "but the public disclosure about the book deal apparently dampened his prospects." He was instead exiled to London and eased into early retirement.

Meyer and his colleagues were not, however, used to losing. Defeated in the public arena, the CIA retreated to the shadows and retaliated by tugging at every thread in the threadbare life of a graduate student. Over the next few months, federal officials from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare turned up at Yale to investigate my graduate fellowship. The Internal Revenue Service audited my poverty-level income. The FBI tapped my New Haven telephone (something I learned years later from a class-action lawsuit).

In August 1972, at the height of the controversy over the book, FBI agents told the bureau's director that they had "conducted [an] investigation concerning McCoy," searching the files they had compiled on me for the past two years and interviewing numerous "sources whose identities are concealed [who] have furnished reliable information in the past" -- thereby producing an 11-page report detailing my birth, education, and campus antiwar activities.

A college classmate I hadn't seen in four years, who served in military intelligence, magically appeared at my side in the book section of the Yale Co-op, seemingly eager to resume our relationship. The same week that a laudatory review of my book appeared on the front page of the New York Times Book Review , an extraordinary achievement for any historian, Yale's History Department placed me on academic probation. Unless I could somehow do a year's worth of overdue work in a single semester, I faced dismissal.

In those days, the ties between the CIA and Yale were wide and deep. The campus residential colleges screened students, including future CIA Director Porter Goss, for possible careers in espionage. Alumni like Cord Meyer and James Angleton held senior slots at the agency. Had I not had a faculty adviser visiting from Germany, the distinguished scholar Bernhard Dahm who was a stranger to this covert nexus, that probation would likely have become expulsion, ending my academic career and destroying my credibility.

During those difficult days, New York Congressman Ogden Reid, a ranking member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, telephoned to say that he was sending staff investigators to Laos to look into the opium situation. Amid this controversy, a CIA helicopter landed near the village where I had escaped that ambush and flew the Hmong headman who had helped my research to an agency airstrip. There, a CIA interrogator made it clear that he had better deny what he had said to me about the opium. Fearing, as he later told my photographer, that "they will send a helicopter to arrest me, or soldiers to shoot me," the Hmong headman did just that.

At a personal level, I was discovering just how deep the country's intelligence agencies could reach, even in a democracy, leaving no part of my life untouched: my publisher, my university, my sources, my taxes, my phone, and even my friends.

Although I had won the first battle of this war with a media blitz, the CIA was winning the longer bureaucratic struggle. By silencing my sources and denying any culpability, its officials convinced Congress that it was innocent of any direct complicity in the Indochina drug trade. During Senate hearings into CIA assassinations by the famed Church Committee three years later, Congress accepted the agency's assurance that none of its operatives had been directly involved in heroin trafficking (an allegation I had never actually made). The committee's report did confirm the core of my critique, however, finding that "the CIA is particularly vulnerable to criticism" over indigenous assets in Laos "of considerable importance to the Agency," including "people who either were known to be, or were suspected of being, involved in narcotics trafficking." But the senators did not press the CIA for any resolution or reform of what its own inspector general had called the "particular dilemma" posed by those alliances with drug lords -- the key aspect, in my view, of its complicity in the traffic.

During the mid-1970s, as the flow of drugs into the United States slowed and the number of addicts declined, the heroin problem receded into the inner cities and the media moved on to new sensations. Unfortunately, Congress had forfeited an opportunity to check the CIA and correct its way of waging covert wars. In less than 10 years, the problem of the CIA's tactical alliances with drug traffickers to support its far-flung covert wars was back with a vengeance.

During the 1980s, as the crack-cocaine epidemic swept America's cities, the agency, as its own Inspector General later reported , allied itself with the largest drug smuggler in the Caribbean, using his port facilities to ship arms to the Contra guerrillas fighting in Nicaragua and protecting him from any prosecution for five years. Simultaneously on the other side of the planet in Afghanistan, mujahedeen guerrillas imposed an opium tax on farmers to fund their fight against the Soviet occupation and, with the CIA's tacit consent , operated heroin labs along the Pakistani border to supply international markets. By the mid-1980s, Afghanistan's opium harvest had grown 10-fold and was providing 60% of the heroin for America's addicts and as much as 90% in New York City.

Almost by accident, I had launched my academic career by doing something a bit different. Embedded within that study of drug trafficking was an analytical approach that would take me, almost unwittingly, on a lifelong exploration of U.S. global hegemony in its many manifestations, including diplomatic alliances, CIA interventions, developing military technology, recourse to torture, and global surveillance. Step by step, topic by topic, decade after decade, I would slowly accumulate sufficient understanding of the parts to try to assemble the whole. In writing my new book, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power , I drew on this research to assess the overall character of U.S. global power and the forces that might contribute to its perpetuation or decline.

In the process, I slowly came to see a striking continuity and coherence in Washington's century-long rise to global dominion. CIA torture techniques emerged at the start of the Cold War in the 1950s; much of its futuristic robotic aerospace technology had its first trial in the Vietnam War of the 1960s; and, above all, Washington's reliance on surveillance first appeared in the colonial Philippines around 1900 and soon became an essential though essentially illegal tool for the FBI's repression of domestic dissent that continued through the 1970s.

Surveillance Today

In the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, I dusted off that historical method, and used it to explore the origins and character of domestic surveillance inside the United States.

After occupying the Philippines in 1898, the U.S. Army, facing a difficult pacification campaign in a restive land, discovered the power of systematic surveillance to crush the resistance of the country's political elite. Then, during World War I, the Army's "father of military intelligence," the dour General Ralph Van Deman, who had learned his trade in the Philippines, drew upon his years pacifying those islands to mobilize a legion of 1,700 soldiers and 350,000 citizen-vigilantes for an intense surveillance program against suspected enemy spies among German-Americans, including my own grandfather. In studying Military Intelligence files at the National Archives, I found "suspicious" letters purloined from my grandfather's army locker. In fact, his mother had been writing him in her native German about such subversive subjects as knitting him socks for guard duty.

In the 1950s, Hoover's FBI agents tapped thousands of phones without warrants and kept suspected subversives under close surveillance, including my mother's cousin Gerard Piel, an anti-nuclear activist and the publisher of Scientific American magazine. During the Vietnam War, the bureau expanded its activities with an amazing array of spiteful, often illegal, intrigues in a bid to cripple the antiwar movement with pervasive surveillance of the sort seen in my own FBI file.

Memory of the FBI's illegal surveillance programs was largely washed away after the Vietnam War thanks to Congressional reforms that required judicial warrants for all government wiretaps. The terror attacks of September 2001, however, gave the National Security Agency the leeway to launch renewed surveillance on a previously unimaginable scale. Writing for TomDispatch in 2009, I observed that coercive methods first tested in the Middle East were being repatriated and might lay the groundwork for "a domestic surveillance state." Sophisticated biometric and cyber techniques forged in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq had made a "digital surveillance state a reality" and so were fundamentally changing the character of American democracy.

Four years later, Edward Snowden's leak of secret NSA documents revealed that, after a century-long gestation period, a U.S. digital surveillance state had finally arrived. In the age of the Internet, the NSA could monitor tens of millions of private lives worldwide, including American ones, via a few hundred computerized probes into the global grid of fiber-optic cables.

And then, as if to remind me in the most personal way possible of our new reality, four years ago, I found myself the target yet again of an IRS audit, of TSA body searches at national airports, and -- as I discovered when the line went dead -- a tap on my office telephone at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Why? Maybe it was my current writing on sensitive topics like CIA torture and NSA surveillance, or maybe my name popped up from some old database of suspected subversives left over from the 1970s. Whatever the explanation, it was a reasonable reminder that, if my own family's experience across three generations is in any way representative, state surveillance has been an integral part of American political life far longer than we might imagine.

At the cost of personal privacy, Washington's worldwide web of surveillance has now become a weapon of exceptional power in a bid to extend U.S. global hegemony deeper into the twenty-first century. Yet it's worth remembering that sooner or later what we do overseas always seems to come home to haunt us, just as the CIA and crew have haunted me this last half-century. When we learn to love Big Brother, the world becomes a more, not less, dangerous place.

Alfred W. McCoy, a TomDispatch regular , is the Harrington professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of the now-classic book The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade , which probed the conjuncture of illicit narcotics and covert operations over 50 years, and the forthcoming In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power (Dispatch Books, September) from which this piece is adapted. (Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)

Grandpa Charlie > , August 24, 2017 at 8:13 pm GMT

"In the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, I dusted off that historical method, and used it to explore the origins and character of domestic surveillance inside the United States." -- Alfred McCoy

What about using the historical method to explore the nature of USA's reducing EU nations to "vassals" – and keeping them in the status of vassals, such that they can be depended on to undermine their own economies and sovereignty for the sake of USA's global initiatives?

An interesting question might be whether the NATO-to-Afghanistan highway (truck route for munitions, etc.), c. 2010, was also, on the back-haul – Afghanistan to EU – the major supply route for heroin throughout the EU and thus the key to corruption of EU governments (and of Russia) and domination of those governments by USA's neocon operatives? (E.g., was/is the distribution system of the "Chocolate King" Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, delivering something besides just chocolate?)

"Just over one third of all cargo goes on routes dubbed the "northern distribution network" through Central Asia, and the Caucasus or Russia. " -- Reuters, 2011

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-pakistan-isaf-idUSTRE7AR0XK20111128

Just a thought, speculative, based in part on the assumption that such trucks would not be subject to narcotics search-and-seizure going across borders.

Anon > , Disclaimer August 25, 2017 at 1:10 pm GMT

Thanks for this serious, high-quality content, Mr. Unz.

hyperbola > , August 25, 2017 at 4:12 pm GMT

@Grandpa Charlie

The Puppet Masters Behind Georgia President Saakashvili http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20569.htm

WikiLeaks exposes US cover-up of Georgian attack on South Ossetia

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/12/geor-d06.html one of the suggestions was that drugs were involved.

Myth, Meth and the Georgian Invasion https://www.thenation.com/article/myth-meth-and-georgian-invasion/

Soros, drugs, British Empire and Saakashvili http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=64

[Apr 21, 2019] Mark Ames: The FBI Has No Legal Charter But Lots of Kompromat

Notable quotes:
"... Today, it seems, the best description of the FBI's main activity is corporate enforcer for the white-collar mafia known as Wall Street. There is an analogy to organized crime, where the most powerful mobsters settled disputes between other gangs of criminals. Similarly, if a criminal gang is robbed by one of its own members, the mafia would go after the guilty party; the FBI plays this role for Wall Street institutions targeted by con artists and fraudsters. Compare and contrast a pharmaceutical company making opiates which is targeted by thieves vs. a black market drug cartel targeted by thieves. In one case, the FBI investigates; in the other, a violent vendetta ensues (such as street murders in Mexico). ..."
"... The FBI executives are rewarded for this service with lucrative post-retirement careers within corporate America – Louis Freeh went to credit card fraudster, MBNA, Richard Mueller to a corporate Washington law firm, WilmerHale, and Comey, before Obama picked him as Director, worked for Lockheed Martin and HSBC (cleaning up after their $2 billion drug cartel marketing scandal) after leaving the FBI in 2005. ..."
"... Some say they have a key role to play in national security and terrorism – but their record on the 2001 anthrax attacks is incredibly shady and suspicious. The final suspect, Bruce Ivins, is clearly innocent of the crime, just as their previous suspect, Steven Hatfill was. Ivins, if still alive, could have won a similar multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit against the FBI. All honest bioweapons experts know this to be true – the perpetrators of those anthrax letters are still at large, and may very well have had close associations with the Bush Administration itself. ..."
"... Comey's actions over the past year are certainly highly questionable, as well. Neglecting to investigate the Clinton Foundation ties to Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments and corporations, particularly things like State Department approval of various arms deals in which bribes may have been paid, is as much a dereliction of duty as neglecting to investigate Trump ties to Russian business interests – but then, Trump has a record of shady business dealings dating back to the 1970s, of strange bankruptcies and bailouts and government sales that the FBI never looked at either. ..."
May 16, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Mark Ames, founding editor of the Moscow satirical paper The eXile and co-host of the Radio War Nerd podcast with Gary Brecher (aka John Dolan). Subscribe here . Originally published at The Exiled

I made the mistake of listening to NPR last week to find out what Conventional Wisdom had to say about Trump firing Comey, on the assumption that their standardized Mister-Rogers-on-Nyquil voice tones would rein in the hysteria pitch a little. And on the surface, it did-the NPR host and guests weren't directly shrieking "the world is ending! We're all gonna die SHEEPLE!" the way they were on CNN. But in a sense they were screaming "fire!", if you know how to distinguish the very minute pitch level differences in the standard NPR Nyquil voice.

The host of the daytime NPR program asked his guests how serious, and how "unprecedented" Trump's decision to fire his FBI chief was. The guests answers were strange: they spoke about "rule of law" and "violating the Constitution" but then switched to Trump "violating norms"-and back again, interchanging "norms" and "laws" as if they're synonyms. One of the guests admitted that Trump firing Comey was 100% legal, but that didn't seem to matter in this talk about Trump having abandoned rule-of-law for a Putinist dictatorship. These guys wouldn't pass a high school civics class, but there they were, garbling it all up. What mattered was the proper sense of panic and outrage-I'm not sure anyone really cared about the actual legality of the thing, or the legal, political or "normative" history of the FBI.

For starters, the FBI hardly belongs in the same set with concepts like "constitutional" or " rule of law." That's because the FBI was never established by a law. US Lawmakers refused to approve an FBI bureau over a century ago when it was first proposed by Teddy Roosevelt. So he ignored Congress, and went ahead and set it up by presidential fiat. That's one thing the civil liberties crowd hates discussing - how centralized US political power is in the executive branch, a feature in the constitutional system put there by the holy Founders.

In the late 1970s, at the tail end of our brief Glasnost, there was a lot of talk in Washington about finally creating a legal charter for the FBI -70 years after its founding. A lot of serious ink was spilled trying to transform the FBI from an extralegal secret police agency to something legal and defined. If you want to play archeologist to America's recent history, you can find this in the New York Times' archives, articles with headlines like "Draft of Charter for F.B.I. Limits Inquiry Methods" :

The Carter Administration will soon send to Congress the first governing charter for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The proposed charter imposes extensive but not absolute restrictions on the bureau's employment of controversial investigative techniques, .including the use of informers, undercover agents and covert criminal activity.

The charter also specifies the duties and powers of the bureau, setting precise standards and procedures for the initiation ,and conduct of investigations. It specifically requires the F.B.I. to observe constitutional rights and establishes safeguards against unchecked harassment, break‐ins and other abuses.

followed by the inevitable lament, like this editorial from the Christian Science Monitor a year later, "Don't Forget the FBI Charter". Which of course we did forget-that was Reagan's purpose and value for the post-Glasnost reaction: forgetting. As historian Athan Theoharis wrote , "After 1981, Congress never seriously considered again any of the FBI charter proposals."

The origins of the FBI have been obscured both because of its dubious legality and because of its original political purpose-to help the president battle the all-powerful American capitalists. It wasn't that Teddy Roosevelt was a radical leftist-he was a Progressive Republican, which sounds like an oxymoron today but which was mainstream and ascendant politics in his time. Roosevelt was probably the first president since Andrew Jackson to try to smash concentrated wealth-power, or at least some of it. He could be brutally anti-labor, but so were the powerful capitalists he fought, and all the structures of government power. He met little opposition pursuing his imperial Social Darwinist ambitions outside America's borders-but he had a much harder time fighting the powerful capitalists at home against Roosevelt's most honorable political obsession: preserving forests, parks and public lands from greedy capitalists. An early FBI memo to Hoover about the FBI's origins explains,

"Roosevelt, in his characteristic dynamic fashion, asserted that the plunderers of the public domain would be prosecuted and brought to justice."

According to New York Times reporter Tim Wiener's Enemies: A History of the FBI , it was the Oregon land fraud scandal of 1905-6 that put the idea of an FBI in TR's hyperactive mind. The scandal involved leading Oregon politicians helping railroad tycoon Edward Harriman illegally sell off pristine Oregon forest lands to timber interests, and it ended with an Oregon senator and the state's only two House representatives criminally charged and put on trial-along with dozens of other Oregonians. Basically, they were raping the state's public lands and forests like colonists stripping a foreign country-and that stuck in TR's craw.

TR wanted his attorney general-Charles Bonaparte (yes, he really was a descendant of that Bonaparte)-to make a full report to on the rampant land fraud scams that the robber barons were running to despoil the American West, and which threatened TR's vision of land and forest conservation and parks. Bonaparte created an investigative team from the US Secret Service, but TR thought their report was a "whitewash" and proposed a new separate federal investigative service within Bonaparte's Department of Justice that would report only to the Attorney General.

Until then, the US government had to rely on private contractors like the notorious, dreaded Pinkerton Agency, who were great at strikebreaking, clubbing workers and shooting organizers, but not so good at taking down down robber barons, who happened to also be important clients for the private detective agencies.

In early 1908, Attorney General Bonaparte wrote to Congress asking for the legal authority (and budget funds) to create a "permanent detective force" under the DOJ. Congress rebelled, denouncing it as a plan to create an American okhrana . Democrat Joseph Sherley wrote that "spying on men and prying into what would ordinarily be considered their private affairs" went against "American ideas of government"; Rep. George Waldo, a New York Republican, said the proposed FBI was a "great blow to freedom and to free institutions if there should arise in this country any such great central secret-service bureau as there is in Russia."

So Congress's response was the opposite, banning Bonaparte's DOJ from spending any funds at all on a proposed FBI. Another Congressman wrote another provision into the budget bill banning the DOJ from hiring Secret Service employees for any sort of FBI type agency. So Bonaparte waited until Congress took its summer recess, set aside some DOJ funds, recruited some Secret Service agents, and created a new federal detective bureau with 34 agents. This was how the FBI was born. Congress wasn't notified until the end of 1908, in a few lines in a standard report - "oh yeah, forgot to tell you-the executive branch went ahead and created an American okhrana because, well, the ol' joke about dogs licking their balls. Happy New Year!"

The sordid history of America's extralegal secret police-initially named the Bureau of Investigation, changed to the FBI ("Federal") in the 30's, is mostly a history of xenophobic panic-mongering, illegal domestic spying, mass roundups and plans for mass-roundups, false entrapment schemes, and planting what Russians call "kompromat"- compromising information about a target's sex life-to blackmail or destroy American political figures that the FBI didn't like.

The first political victim of J Edgar Hoover's kompromat was Louis Post, the assistant secretary of labor under Woodrow Wilson. Post's crime was releasing over 1,000 alleged Reds from detention facilities near the end of the FBI's Red Scare crackdown, when they jailed and deported untold thousands on suspicion of being Communists. The FBI's mass purge began with popular media support in 1919, but by the middle of 1920, some (not the FBI) were starting to get a little queasy. A legal challenge to the FBI's mass purges and exiles in Boston ended with a federal judge denouncing the FBI. After that ruling, assistant secretary Louis Post, a 71-year-old well-meaning progressive, reviewed the cases against the last 1500 detainees that the FBI wanted to deport, and found that there was absolutely nothing on at least 75 percent of the cases. Post's review threatened to undo thousands more FBI persecutions of alleged Moscow-controlled radicals.

So one of the FBI's most ambitious young agents, J Edgar Hoover, collected kompromat on Post and his alleged associations with other alleged Moscow-controlled leftists, and gave the file to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives-which promptly announced it would hold hearings to investigate Post as a left subversive. The House tried to impeach Post, but ultimately he defended himself. Post's lawyer compared his political persecutors to the okhrana (Russia, again!): "We in America have sunk to the level of the government of Russia under the Czarist regime," describing the FBI's smear campaign as "even lower in some of their methods than the old Russian officials."

Under Harding, the FBI had a new chief, William Burns, who made headlines blaming the terror bombing attack on Wall Street of 1920 that killed 34 people on a Kremlin-run conspiracy. The FBI claimed it had a highly reliable inside source who told them that Lenin sent $30,000 to the Soviets' diplomatic mission in New York, which was distributed to four local Communist agents who arranged the Wall Street bombing. The source claimed to have personally spoken with Lenin, who boasted that the bombing was so successful he'd ordered up more.

The only problem was that the FBI's reliable source, a Jewish-Polish petty criminal named Wolf Lindenfeld, turned out to be a bullshitter-nicknamed "Windy Linde"-who thought his fake confession about Lenin funding the bombing campaign would get him out of Poland's jails and set up in a comfortable new life in New York.

By 1923, the FBI had thoroughly destroyed America's communist and radical labor movements-allowing it to focus on its other favorite pastime: spying on and destroying political opponents. The FBI spied on US Senators who supported opening diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union: Idaho's William Borah, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee; Thomas Walsh of the Judiciary Committee, and Burton K Wheeler, the prairie Populist senator from Montana, who visited the Soviet Union and pushed for diplomatic relations. Harding's corrupt Attorney General Dougherty denounced Sen. Wheeler as "the Communist leader in the Senate" and "no more a Democrat than Stalin, his comrade in Moscow." Dougherty accused Sen. Wheeler of being part of a conspiracy "to capture, by deceit and design, as many members of the Senate as possible and to spread through Washington and the cloakrooms of Congress a poison gas as deadly as that which sapped and destroyed brave soldiers in the last war."

Hoover, now a top FBI official, quietly fed kompromat to journalists he cultivated, particularly an AP reporter named Richard Whitney, who published a popular book in 1924, "Reds In America" alleging Kremlin agents "had an all-pervasive influence over American institutions; they had infiltrated every corner of American life." Whitney named Charlie Chaplin as a Kremlin agent, along with Felix Frankfurter and members of the Senate pushing for recognition of the Soviet Union. That killed any hope for diplomatic recognition for the next decade.

Then the first Harding scandals broke-Teapot Dome, Veterans Affairs, bribery at the highest rungs. When Senators Wheeler and Walsh opened bribery investigations, the FBI sent agents to the senators' home state to drum up false bribery charges against Sen. Wheeler. The charges were clearly fake, and a jury dismissed the charges. But Attorney General Dougherty was indicted for fraud and forced to resign, as was his FBI chief Burns-but not Burns' underling Hoover, who stayed in the shadows.

"We want no Gestapo or Secret Police. FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail This must stop."

With the Cold War, the FBI became obsessed with homosexuals as America's Fifth Column under Moscow's control. Homosexuals, the FBI believed, were susceptible to Kremlin kompromat-so the FBI collected and disseminated its own kompromat on alleged American homosexuals, supposedly to protect America from the Kremlin. In the early 1950s, Hoover launched the Sex Deviates Program to spy on American homosexuals and purge them from public life. The FBI built up 300,000 pages of files on suspected homosexuals and contacted their employers, local law enforcement and universities to "to drive homosexuals from every institution of government, higher learning, and law enforcement in the nation," according to Tim Weiner's book Enemies. No one but the FBI knows exactly how many Americans' lives and careers were destroyed by the FBI's Sex Deviants Program but Hoover-who never married, lived with his mother until he was 40, and traveled everywhere with his "friend" Clyde Tolson .

In the 1952 election, Hoover was so committed to helping the Republicans and Eisenhower win that he compiled and disseminated a 19-page kompromat file alleging that his Democratic Party rival Adlai Stevenson was gay. The FBI's file on Stevenson was kept in the Sex Deviants Program section-it included libelous gossip, claiming that Stevenson was one of Illinois' "best known homosexuals" who went by the name "Adeline" in gay cruising circles.

In the 1960s, Hoover and his FBI chiefs collected kompromat on the sex lives of JFK and Martin Luther King. Hoover presented some of his kompromat on JFK to Bobby Kennedy, in a concern-trollish way claiming to "warn" him that the president was opening himself up to blackmail. It was really a way for Hoover to let the despised Kennedy brothers know he could destroy them, should they try to Comey him out of his FBI office. Hoover's kompromat on MLK's sex life was a particular obsession of his-he now believed that African-Americans, not homosexuals, posed the greatest threat to become a Kremlin Fifth Column. The FBI wiretapped MLK's private life, collecting tapes of his affairs with other women, which a top FBI official then mailed to Martin Luther King's wife, along with a note urging King to commit suicide.

FBI letter anonymously mailed to Martin Luther King Jr's wife, along with kompromat sex tapes

After JFK was murdered, when Bobby Kennedy ran for the Senate in 1964, he recounted another disturbing FBI/kompromat story that President Johnson shared with him on the campaign trail. LBJ told Bobby about a stack of kompromat files - FBI reports "detailing the sexual debauchery of members of the Senate and House who consorted with prostitutes." LBJ asked RFK if the kompromat should be leaked selectively to destroy Republicans before the 1964 elections. Kennedy recalled,

"He told me he had spent all night sitting up and reading the files of the FBI on all these people. And Lyndon talks about that information and material so freely. Lyndon talks about everybody, you see, with everybody. And of course that's dangerous."

Kennedy had seen some of the same FBI kompromat files as attorney general, but he was totally opposed to releasing such unsubstantiated kompromat-such as, say, the Trump piss files-because doing so would "destroy the confidence that people in the United States had in their government and really make us a laughingstock around the world."

Imagine that.

Which brings me to the big analogy every hack threw around last week, calling Trump firing Comey "Nixonian." Actually, what Trump did was more like the very opposite of Nixon, who badly wanted to fire Hoover in 1971-2, but was too afraid of the kompromat Hoover might've had on him to make the move. Nixon fell out with his old friend and onetime mentor J Edgar Hoover in 1971, when the ailing old FBI chief refused to get sucked in to the Daniel Ellsberg/Pentagon Papers investigation, especially after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the New York Times. Part of the reason Nixon created his Plumbers team of black bag burglars was because Hoover had become a bit skittish in his last year on this planet-and that drove Nixon crazy.

Nixon called his chief of staff Haldeman:

Nixon: I talked to Hoover last night and Hoover is not going after this case [Ellsberg] as strong as I would like. There's something dragging him.

Haldeman: You don't have the feeling the FBI is really pursuing this?

Nixon: Yeah, particularly the conspiracy side. I want to go after everyone. I'm not so interested in Ellsberg, but we have to go after everybody who's a member of this conspiracy.

Hoover's ambitious deputies in the FBI were smelling blood, angling to replace him. His number 3, Bill Sullivan (who sent MLK the sex tapes and suicide note) was especially keen to get rid of Hoover and take his place. So as J Edgar was stonewalling the Daniel Ellsberg investigation, Sullivan showed up in a Department of Justice office with two suitcases packed full of transcripts and summaries of illegal wiretaps that Kissinger and Nixon had ordered on their own staff and on American journalists. The taps were ordered in Nixon's first months in the White House in 1969, to plug up the barrage of leaks, the likes of which no one had ever seen before. Sullivan took the leaks from J Edgar's possession and told the DOJ official that they needed to be hidden from Hoover, who planned to use them as kompromat to blackmail Nixon.

Nixon decided he was going to fire J Edgar the next day. This was in September, 1971. But the next day came, and Nixon got scared. So he tried to convince his attorney general John Mitchell to fire Hoover for him, but Mitchell said only the President could fire J Edgar Hoover. So Nixon met him for breakfast, and, well, he just didn't have the guts. Over breakfast, Hoover flattered Nixon and told him there was nothing more in the world he wanted than to see Nixon re-elected. Nixon caved; the next day, J Edgar Hoover unceremoniously fired his number 3 Bill Sullivan, locking him out of the building and out of his office so that he couldn't take anything with him. Sullivan was done.

The lesson here, I suppose, is that if an FBI director doesn't want to be fired, it's best to keep your kompromat a little closer to your chest, as a gun to hold to your boss's head. Comey's crew already released the piss tapes kompromat on Trump-the damage was done. What was left to hold back Trump from firing Comey? "Laws"? The FBI isn't even legal. "Norms" would be the real reason. Which pretty much sums up everything Trump has been doing so far. We've learned the past two decades that we're hardly a nation of laws, at least not when it comes to the plutocratic ruling class. What does bind them are "norms"-and while those norms may mean everything to the ruling class, it's an open question how much these norms mean to a lot of Americans outside that club.

Huey Long , May 16, 2017 at 2:33 am

Wow, and this whole time I thought the NSA had a kompromat monopoly as they have everybody's porn site search terms and viewing habits on file.

I had no idea the FBI practically invented it!

3.14e-9 , May 16, 2017 at 3:04 am

The Native tribes don't have a great history with the FBI, either.

https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/culture/thing-about-skins/comey-fbi-destructive-history-native-people/

voteforno6 , May 16, 2017 at 6:06 am

Has anyone ever used the FBI's lack of a charter as a defense in court?

Disturbed Voter , May 16, 2017 at 6:42 am

The USA doesn't have a legal basis either, it is a revolting crown colony of the British Empire. Treason and heresy all the way down. Maybe the British need to burn Washington DC again?

Synoia , May 16, 2017 at 9:46 pm

Britain burning DC, and the so call ed "war" of 1812, got no mention in my History Books. Napoleon on the other hand, featured greatly

In 1812 Napoleon was busy going to Russia. That went well.

Ignim Brites , May 16, 2017 at 7:55 am

Wondered how Comey thought he could get away with his conviction and pardon of Sec Clinton. Seems like part of the culture of FBI is a "above and beyond" the law mentality.

Watt4Bob , May 16, 2017 at 7:56 am

Back in the early 1970s a high school friend moved to Alabama because his father was transferred by his employer.

My friend sent a post card describing among other things the fact that Alabama had done away with the requirement of a math class to graduate high school, and substituted a required class called "The Evils of Communism" complete with a text-book written by J. Edgar Hoover; Masters of Deceit.

JMarco , May 16, 2017 at 2:52 pm

In Dallas,Texas my 1959 Civics class had to read the same book. We all were given paperback copies of it to take home and read. It was required reading enacted by Texas legislature.

Watt4Bob , May 16, 2017 at 4:47 pm

So I'd guess you weren't fooled by any of those commie plots of the sixties, like the campaigns for civil rights or against the Vietnamese war.

I can't really brag, I didn't stop worrying about the Red Menace until 1970 or so, that's when I started running into returning vets who mostly had no patience for that stuff.

Carolinian , May 16, 2017 at 8:35 am

We've learned the past two decades that we're hardly a nation of laws, at least not when it comes to the plutocratic ruling class. What does bind them are "norms"

Or as David Broder put it (re Bill Clinton): he came in and trashed the place and it wasn't his place.

It was David Broder's place. Of course the media play a key role with all that kompromat since they are the ones needed to convey it to the public. The tragedy is that even many of the sensible in their ranks such as Bill Moyers have been sucked into the kompromat due to their hysteria over Trump. Ames is surely on point in this great article. The mistake was allowing secret police agencies like the FBI and CIA to be created in the first place.

Katharine , May 16, 2017 at 8:37 am

Sorry, my initial reaction was that people who don't know the difference between "rein" and "reign" are not to be trusted to provide reliable information. Recognizing that as petty, I kept reading, and presently found the statement that Congress was not informed of the founding of the FBI until a century after the fact, which seems implausible. If in fact the author meant the end of 1908 it was quite an achievement to write 2008.

Interesting to the extent it may be true, but with few sources, no footnotes, and little evidence of critical editing who knows what that may be?

Carolinian , May 16, 2017 at 9:12 am

Do you even know who Mark Ames is?

Petty .yes.

Katharine , May 16, 2017 at 10:08 am

Who he is is irrelevant. I don't take things on faith because "the Pope said" or because Mark Ames said. People who expect their information to be taken seriously should substantiate it.

Bill Smith , May 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Yeah, in the first sentence

Interesting article though.

Fiery Hunt , May 16, 2017 at 9:21 am

Yeah, Kathatine, you're right .very petty.

And completely missed the point.

Or worse, you got the point and your best rejection of that point was pointing out a typo.

Katharine , May 16, 2017 at 10:13 am

I neither missed the point nor rejected it. I reserved judgment, as I thought was apparent from my comment.

sid_finster , May 16, 2017 at 10:50 am

But Trump is bad. Very Bad.

So anything the FBI does to get rid of him must by definition be ok! Besides, surely our civic-minded IC would never use their power on the Good Guys™!

Right?

JTMcPhee , May 16, 2017 at 9:21 am

Ah yes, the voice of "caution." And such attention to the lack of footnotes, in this day when the curious can so easily cut and paste a bit of salient text into a search engine and pull up a feast of parse-able writings and video, from which they can "judiciously assess" claims and statements. If they care to spend the time, which is in such short supply among those who are struggling to keep up with the horrors and revelations people of good will confront every blinking day

Classic impeachment indeed. All from the height of "academic rigor" and "caution." Especially the "apologetic" bit about "reign" vs "rein." Typos destroy credibility, don't they? And the coup de grass (sic), the unrebuttable "plausibility" claim.

One wonders at the nature of the author's curriculum vitae. One also marvels at the yawning gulf between the Very Serious Stuff I was taught in grade and high school civics and history, back in the late '50s and the '60s, about the Fundamental Nature Of Our Great Nation and its founding fathers and the Beautiful Documents they wrote, on the one hand, and what we mopes learn, through a drip-drip-drip process punctuated occasionally by Major Revelations, about the real nature of the Empire and our fellow creatures

PS: My earliest memory of television viewing was a day at a friend's house - his middle-class parents had the first "set" in the neighborhood, I think an RCA, in a massive sideboard cabinet where the picture tube pointed up and you viewed the "content" in a mirror mounted to the underside of the lid. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5onSwx7_Cn0 The family was watching a hearing of Joe McCarthy's kangaroo court, complete with announcements of the latest number in the "list of known Communists in the State Department" and how Commyanism was spreading like an unstoppable epidemic mortal disease through the Great US Body Politic and its Heroic Institutions of Democracy. I was maybe 6 years old, but that grainy black and white "reality TV" content had me asking "WTF?" at a very early age. And I'd say it's on the commentor to show that the "2008" claim is wrong, by something other than "implausible" as drive-by impeachment. Given the content of the original post, and what people paying attention to all this stuff have a pretty good idea is the general contours of a vast corruption and manipulation.

"Have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or no."

Katharine , May 16, 2017 at 10:19 am

It is the author's job to substantiate information, not the reader's. If he thinks his work is so important, why does he not make a better job of it?

Edward , May 16, 2017 at 9:22 pm

I think the MLK blackmail scheme is well-established. Much of the article seems to be based on Tim Wiener's "Enemies: A History of the FBI".

nonsense factory , May 16, 2017 at 11:16 am

Interesting article on the history of the FBI, although the post-Hoover era doesn't get any treatment. The Church Committee hearings on the CIA and FBI, after the exposure of notably Operation CHAOS (early 60s to early 70s) by the CIA and COINTELPRO(late 1950s to early 1970s) by the FBI, didn't really get to the bottom of the issue although some reforms were initiated.

Today, it seems, the best description of the FBI's main activity is corporate enforcer for the white-collar mafia known as Wall Street. There is an analogy to organized crime, where the most powerful mobsters settled disputes between other gangs of criminals. Similarly, if a criminal gang is robbed by one of its own members, the mafia would go after the guilty party; the FBI plays this role for Wall Street institutions targeted by con artists and fraudsters. Compare and contrast a pharmaceutical company making opiates which is targeted by thieves vs. a black market drug cartel targeted by thieves. In one case, the FBI investigates; in the other, a violent vendetta ensues (such as street murders in Mexico).

The FBI executives are rewarded for this service with lucrative post-retirement careers within corporate America – Louis Freeh went to credit card fraudster, MBNA, Richard Mueller to a corporate Washington law firm, WilmerHale, and Comey, before Obama picked him as Director, worked for Lockheed Martin and HSBC (cleaning up after their $2 billion drug cartel marketing scandal) after leaving the FBI in 2005.

Maybe this is legitimate, but this only applies to their protection of the interests of large corporations – as the 2008 economic collapse and aftermath showed, they don't prosecute corporate executives who rip off poor people and middle-class homeowners. Banks who rob people, they aren't investigated or prosecuted; that's just for people who rob banks.

When it comes to political issues and national security, however, the FBI has such a terrible record on so many issues over the years that anything they claim has to be taken with a grain or two of salt. Consider domestic political activity: from the McCarthyite 'Red Scare' of the 1950s to COINTELPRO in the 1960s and 1970s to targeting of environmental groups in the 1980s and 1990s to targeting anti-war protesters under GW Bush to their obsession with domestic mass surveillance under Obama, it's not a record that should inspire any confidence.

Some say they have a key role to play in national security and terrorism – but their record on the 2001 anthrax attacks is incredibly shady and suspicious. The final suspect, Bruce Ivins, is clearly innocent of the crime, just as their previous suspect, Steven Hatfill was. Ivins, if still alive, could have won a similar multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit against the FBI. All honest bioweapons experts know this to be true – the perpetrators of those anthrax letters are still at large, and may very well have had close associations with the Bush Administration itself.

As far as terrorist activities? Many of their low-level agents did seem concerned about the Saudis and bin Laden in the late 1990s and pre-9/11 – but Saudi investigations were considered politically problematic due to "geostrategic relationships with our Saudi allies" – hence people like John O'Neil and Coleen Rowley were sidelined and ignored, with disastrous consequences. The Saudi intelligence agency role in 9/11 was buried for over a decade, as well. Since 9/11, most of the FBI investigations seem to have involved recruiting mentally disabled young Islamic men in sting operations in which the FBI provides everything needed. You could probably get any number of mentally ill homeless people across the U.S., regardless of race or religion, to play this role.

Comey's actions over the past year are certainly highly questionable, as well. Neglecting to investigate the Clinton Foundation ties to Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments and corporations, particularly things like State Department approval of various arms deals in which bribes may have been paid, is as much a dereliction of duty as neglecting to investigate Trump ties to Russian business interests – but then, Trump has a record of shady business dealings dating back to the 1970s, of strange bankruptcies and bailouts and government sales that the FBI never looked at either.

Ultimately, this is because FBI executives are paid off not to investigate Wall Street criminality, nor shady U.S. government activity, with lucrative positions as corporate board members and so on after their 'retirements'. I don't doubt that many of their junior members mean well and are dedicated to their jobs – but the fish rots from the head down.

Andrew Watts , May 16, 2017 at 3:58 pm

As far as terrorist activities? Many of their low-level agents did seem concerned about the Saudis and bin Laden in the late 1990s and pre-9/11 – but Saudi investigations were considered politically problematic due to "geostrategic relationships with our Saudi allies" – hence people like John O'Neil and Coleen Rowley were sidelined and ignored, with disastrous consequences.

The Clinton Administration had other priorities. You know, I think I'll let ex-FBI Director Freeh explain what happened when the FBI tried to get the Saudis to cooperate with their investigation into the bombing of the Khobar Towers.

"That September, Crown Prince Abdullah and his entourage took over the entire 143-room Hay-Adams Hotel, just across from Lafayette Park from the White House, for six days. The visit, I figured, was pretty much our last chance. Again, we prepared talking points for the president. Again, I contacted Prince Bandar and asked him to soften up the crown prince for the moment when Clinton, -- or Al Gore I didn't care who -- would raise the matter and start to exert the necessary pressure."

"The story that came back to me, from "usually reliable sources," as they say in Washington, was that Bill Clinton briefly raised the subject only to tell the Crown Prince that he certainly understood the Saudis; reluctance to cooperate. Then, according to my sources, he hit Abdullah up for a contribution to the still-to-be-built Clinton presidential library. Gore, who was supposed to press hardest of all in his meeting with the crown Prince, barely mentioned the matter, I was told." -Louis J. Freeh, My FBI (2005)

In my defense I picked the book up to see if there was any dirt on the DNC's electoral funding scandal in 1996. I'm actually glad I did. The best part of the book is when Freeh recounts running into a veteran of the Lincoln Brigade and listens to how Hoover's FBI ruined his life despite having broken no laws. As if a little thing like laws mattered to Hoover. The commies were after our precious bodily fluids!

verifyfirst , May 16, 2017 at 12:53 pm

I'm not sure there are many functioning norms left within the national political leadership. Seemed to me Gingrich started blowing those up and it just got worse from there. McConnell not allowing Garland to be considered comes to mind

lyman alpha blob , May 16, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Great article – thanks for this. I had no idea the FBI never had a legal charter – very enlightening.

JMarco , May 16, 2017 at 2:59 pm

Thanks to Mark Ames now we know what Pres. Trump meant when he tweeted about his tapes with AG Comey. Not some taped conversation between Pres. Trump & AG Comey but bunch of kompromat tapes that AG Comey has provided Pres. Trump that might not make departing AG Comey looked so clean.

[Apr 21, 2019] CIA created ISIS and it went out of control

Notable quotes:
"... "I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today," warns former CIA Director Jack Devine, saying that, with "frankly uncivilized" ISIS, there is a greater risk of violence worldwide than ever before. ..."
"... Devine argued that dismantling ISIS's command structure is crucial for minimizing the danger it presents, much like al Qaeda before them. "We killed three-fourths of their leadership," he said of al Qaeda. "We have to do the same thing with ISIS. "We have to destroy their refuge over there. When they start to lose, their recruiting numbers start to fall." ..."
"... My guess is that Iran have done a deal with Putin in that once ISIS is swept away Iran gets to build a gas pipeline through Iraq (which it controls) and through Syria into Europe. Russia is allowing Iran into the European gas market because Bandar threatened Sochi, and Putin wants to end the House of Saud in retaliation. Two weeks from now the world is going to make laws that pushes countries towards natural gas and away from coal and oil. ..."
"... I would say that's accurate, since the U.S. put ISIS there to block the Iran - Iraq - Syria pipeline. When Russia destroys ISIS, the previously planned pipeline can proceed. It has nothing to do with Russian 'permission' - Putin expects someone to eventually be sending gas up from the Middle East once the slaughter stops. He doesn't care who it is or how much. It's not going to displace more than a fraction of the Russian supply to Europe. Syria rejected the Qatari pipeline for its own reasons - probably because Qatar was planning on killing Assad and replacing him with a Western stooge well before the Qatari-Turkey pipeline was announced. In fact, the announcement was pretty much an insult to Syria. Qatar quite arrogantly announced that they WOULD be building the pipeline through Syria without bothering to ask them. ..."
"... Putin negotiates with everyone. He was even talking with Israel about helping them with the Leviathan pipeline. The U.S. seems to favor 'regime change' as the preferred strategy to expand its oil interests where it has no business doing so. ..."
"... The CIA serves no master, it is the fucking master. It does deals that are anti American, and they don't care, because America is just a sugar daddy to them. We are the chumps who pay their bills, while they put half of all honest Americans on their enemies list. ..."
"... CIA is international, not American. They are the hit men for the biggest corporations on earth, and most especially the biggest energy firms. Oil and CIA go together, and there is the Saudi connection. ..."
"... CIA is the lead agent if world Islamic extremism, they don't fight it, they nurture it! Their long term goal is to use mass Islamic terror armies to do what the CIA and Corporate masters want done. Need a police state in America? Do a hit on America 9/11. Need to eliminate Russia? Create ISIS and direct them against Russia's allies. And you can take it from there. It will continue on as before. Nobody left has the power to take down the CIA terror rings. ..."
"... No shit, sherlock, and it's because of you and the most vile mass murderer of all time, the CIA (and DIA, and NSA, and FBI, etc.), but predominantly the CIA and the Pentagon, that ISIS and such exists today! Whether it was Allen Dulles coordinating the escape of endless number of mass murderering Nazis, who would end up in CIA-overthrown countries, aiding and abetting their secret police (Example: Walter Rauff, who was responsible for at least 200,000 deaths, ending up as an advisor to Augusto Pinochet's secret police or DINA) or the grandson of the first chairman of the Bank for International Settlements, Richard Helms and his MKULTRA, you devils are to blame. ..."
"... The Devil's Chessboard ..."
Nov 23, 2015 | Zero Hedge

"I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today," warns former CIA Director Jack Devine, saying that, with "frankly uncivilized" ISIS, there is a greater risk of violence worldwide than ever before.

According to The Hill,

"I think this is the most dangerous time in terms of sustained violence," he said on "The Cats Roundtable" in an interview airing Sunday on New York's AM-970.

"I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today," he told host John Catsimatidis. "Some percentage of the world today is always either unbalanced or radicalized. When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

Devine cited the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as an unprecedented threat in terms of its wanton disregard for human life...

"I dealt with terrorists in South America in the 1970s, but they never attacked innocent women and children indiscriminately," he said.

"You have a group in ISIS today that is frankly uncivilized. These folks could get stronger and stronger. We basically have to destroy ISIS over there," Devine said.

Devine argued that dismantling ISIS's command structure is crucial for minimizing the danger it presents, much like al Qaeda before them. "We killed three-fourths of their leadership," he said of al Qaeda. "We have to do the same thing with ISIS. "We have to destroy their refuge over there. When they start to lose, their recruiting numbers start to fall."

Devine, who mainly served during the Cold War, said ISIS is a scourge without parallel because it has no concern for self-preservation.

"There is nothing that can be compared with nuclear weapons and their use," he said of tensions between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union.

"[But] people felt safe in the sense there was countervailing balance," he added. "Early in our contest with the Russians, it was clear we had checks and balances."

Finally Devine admits...

"If there's blame to be put, it's on our failure to have done that by this point."

Selected Skeptical Comments

i_call_you_my_base

"I dealt with terrorists in South America in the 1970s..."

"And by dealt I mean trained and funded."

Looney

John Kerry to the MSM:

Do not use "Al Qaeda" or "Al Nustra" - just call them "Allies" (pronounced Al Lies). ;-)

Looney

Vatican_cameo

"I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today," he told host John Catsimatidis. "Some percentage of the world today is always either unbalanced or radicalized. When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

By small group he means CIA, Right? I thought he would have been a little clearer.

Occident Mortal

My guess is that Iran have done a deal with Putin in that once ISIS is swept away Iran gets to build a gas pipeline through Iraq (which it controls) and through Syria into Europe. Russia is allowing Iran into the European gas market because Bandar threatened Sochi, and Putin wants to end the House of Saud in retaliation. Two weeks from now the world is going to make laws that pushes countries towards natural gas and away from coal and oil.

Paveway IV

"...once ISIS is swept away Iran gets to build a gas pipeline through Iraq (which it controls) and through Syria into Europe..."

I would say that's accurate, since the U.S. put ISIS there to block the Iran - Iraq - Syria pipeline. When Russia destroys ISIS, the previously planned pipeline can proceed. It has nothing to do with Russian 'permission' - Putin expects someone to eventually be sending gas up from the Middle East once the slaughter stops. He doesn't care who it is or how much. It's not going to displace more than a fraction of the Russian supply to Europe. Syria rejected the Qatari pipeline for its own reasons - probably because Qatar was planning on killing Assad and replacing him with a Western stooge well before the Qatari-Turkey pipeline was announced. In fact, the announcement was pretty much an insult to Syria. Qatar quite arrogantly announced that they WOULD be building the pipeline through Syria without bothering to ask them.

The U.S. blocked the first Iran pipeline (called the Persian Pipeline) FROM IRAN to Iraq in 2010 by forcing the Swiss company that partnered with Iran to back out due to Israeli - ooops, 'Western' sanctions on Iran. The second Iran-sourced NG pipeline from Iran through Iraq and Syria - called the Friendship Pipeline - was agreed to in 2012 by the countries involved. That's when the U.S. launched it's failed coup attempt in Syria and let its ISIS mad-dogs loose in Iraq. Tyler usually refers to this by the derogatory label of "Islamic Pipeline" - a snide label that Kagan-PNAC and Western oil companies used. Tyler never refers to the Western-backed Qatari pipeline as the Jihadi Pipeline, nor does he refer to the Kirkuk-Haifa oil pipeline as the Jewish Pipeline. I'm not sure about the inconsistency - maybe he's trying to make some point.

Putin negotiates with everyone. He was even talking with Israel about helping them with the Leviathan pipeline. The U.S. seems to favor 'regime change' as the preferred strategy to expand its oil interests where it has no business doing so.

goldhedge

The CIA guy doesn't mention the House of Saud.

Pfft.

Jack Burton

Good catch! And there never do.

CIA and House of Saud have done a long term deal to look out for each other in this world. The CIA serves no master, it is the fucking master. It does deals that are anti American, and they don't care, because America is just a sugar daddy to them. We are the chumps who pay their bills, while they put half of all honest Americans on their enemies list.

CIA is international, not American. They are the hit men for the biggest corporations on earth, and most especially the biggest energy firms. Oil and CIA go together, and there is the Saudi connection.

CIA is the lead agent if world Islamic extremism, they don't fight it, they nurture it! Their long term goal is to use mass Islamic terror armies to do what the CIA and Corporate masters want done. Need a police state in America? Do a hit on America 9/11. Need to eliminate Russia? Create ISIS and direct them against Russia's allies. And you can take it from there. It will continue on as before. Nobody left has the power to take down the CIA terror rings.

scrappy

Somewhere it's 3:00 AM

Wikileaks: Hillary Clinton Claims Saudi Arabia is the Largest Donor to "Salafism Terrorists" Worldwide

http://refreshingnews99.blogspot.in/2015/11/wikileaks-hillary-clinton-cl...

Clinton Foundation's Colombian 'Private Equity Fund' Deletes Website

http://investmentwatchblog.com/clinton-foundations-colombian-private-equ...

sgt_doom

"I dealt with terrorists in South America in the 1970s, but they never attacked innocent women and children indiscriminately," he said.

No shit, sherlock, and it's because of you and the most vile mass murderer of all time, the CIA (and DIA, and NSA, and FBI, etc.), but predominantly the CIA and the Pentagon, that ISIS and such exists today!

Whether it was Allen Dulles coordinating the escape of endless number of mass murderering Nazis, who would end up in CIA-overthrown countries, aiding and abetting their secret police (Example: Walter Rauff, who was responsible for at least 200,000 deaths, ending up as an advisor to Augusto Pinochet's secret police or DINA) or the grandson of the first chairman of the Bank for International Settlements, Richard Helms and his MKULTRA, you devils are to blame.

Recommended reading (to better understand why the USA is known as the Great Satan):

The Devil's Chessboard, by David Talbot

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=the+devil%27s+chessboard&tag=googhydr-20&index=stripbooks&hvadid=78875381302&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2565125617248777980&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_34lcz93rcf_e_p4

logicalman
Funny how these fucks can come out and say this kind of shit and get away with it. The fucker's basically pleading guilty to murder, FFS.
Ms No
They didn't kill anybody in South America my ass.... The school of Americas, Operation Condor, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Guatamala, El Salvador .... who the hell are they kidding? The CIA has always been covered and nobody ever cared.
Perimetr
"If there's blame to be put. . ."

It's on the CIA for running its global terrorist operations, funded by the $1 trillion dollars a year coming from its Afghanistan heroin operation.

Noplebian

US Gives Their Proxy Army ISIS 45 Minute Warning Before Air Strikes......

http://beforeitsnews.com/conspiracy-theories/2015/11/us-gives-their-prox...

blindman

sirs and madams,
.
"Christmas celebration this year is going to be a charade because the whole world is at war. We are close to Christmas. There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war.

It's all a charade. The world has not understood the way of peace. The whole world is at war. A war can be justified, so to speak, with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war, piecemeal though that war may be-a little here, a little there-there is no justification.

What shall remain in the wake of this war, in the midst of which we are living now? What shall remain? Ruins, thousands of children without education, so many innocent victims, and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers."

Francis I
.
http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2015/11/here-is-british-banned-...

Dinero D. Profit

Ladies and gentlemen of ZH.

In history, what must be, will be.

The discovery of America by Europe had to happen. The savages had to be eliminated and The Revolutionary War had to happen. Slavery had to begin, and after it, segregation had to begin, but, what must be, will be, slavery and segregation had to end. Old School colonization of poor nations had to happen. The Boer War had to happen. The Spanish American War had to happen. The Main had to be sunk. WWI had to happen. Calvary charges had to end. Totalitarian Communism had to happen. Germany's 20's depression had to happen, reactionary jingoism had to happen, and Kristallnacht and the Reichstag fire had to happen. The Allies had to win WWII, Hiroshima and Nagasaki had to be publicity stunts, and the Cold War had to begin. JFK had to be wacked, the Vietnam War had to happen, the FED still was happening. Civil Rights laws had to be passed. Recognition of China had to happen, going off the gold standard had to happen, and Nixon had to be kicked out of office. Corporate Globalization had to begin. After Carter an actor had to be President. Unions had to be stifled. Perestroika and glasnost had to happen. The Berlin Wall had to come down. The MIC had to find another enemy, and suddenly 9/11 had to happen.

Over population has to happen, poisoning the environment has to happen, and the NWO has to happen.

Ladies and gentlemen, the NWO is here, and there is nothing you can do, and nothing you could have done to stop it.

Edit. I see none of our supposed enemies 'truth bombing' 9/11, 7/7, and the 13th Paris attacks. I see no trade embagoes, I see no arguments in the Security Council over the illegality of US/Nato bombing in Syria.

blindman

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-zuesse/jimmy-carter-is-correct-t_b_79...
Jimmy Carter Is Correct That the U.S. Is No Longer a Democracy
Posted: 08/03/2015 11:48 am EDT
.
On July 28, Thom Hartmann interviewed former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and, at the very end of his show (as if this massive question were merely an afterthought), asked him his opinion of the 2010 Citizens United decision and the 2014 McCutcheon decision, both decisions by the five Republican judges on the U.S. Supreme Court. These two historic decisions enable unlimited secret money (including foreign money) now to pour into U.S. political and judicial campaigns. Carter answered:

It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it's just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and congress members. So, now we've just seen a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over. ... At the present time the incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody that is already in Congress has a great deal more to sell." ...
.
it is the money "system", man.

blindman

corporations and hoodwink powers ride on the indifference of the damned, the silence of the dead and doomed.

Dinero D. Profit

The Satus Quo can rely upon the loyalty of their employees, Congress, the military, the military industrial contractors, their workers and family members, the crime control establishment, all Uniersity professors and employees, and every employee of all publically traded companies, and every person employed by the MSM.

The dead and doomed are irrelevant. If you have an establishment job, you'll obey and ask no vital questions.

Dick Buttkiss
Sunnis and Shiites hate each other far more than they hate Christians, Jews, or anyone else. If it weren't for oil, the USG wouldn't give a flyiing fuck if they anihilated each other. Instead, it conspires with them in ways far beyond its ability to comprehend, much less navigate. Thus is the US ship of state heading for the shoals of its destruction, the only question being how much of the country and the outside world it takes down with it.
ross81
thats bullshit Western propaganda that Shiites hate Sunnis and vice versa. In the same way that the Brits stirred up Protestant hatred of Catholics in Ulster for centuries, the US/Israel/Saudi does the same with Sunnis vs Shiites on a much bigger scale in the Middle East. Divide and Conquer.
geno-econ
This is getting scary in that one or two more attacks will result in travel freezes, flow of Middle East oil and result in huge increase in military as well as Homeland security costs. A depression or economic collapse a real possibility Perhaps time for a Peace Conference of all interested parties. The US started this shit and should be the first to call for a Peace Conference. Macho talk will only make things worse.
moonmac
We can print trillions out of thin air at the drop of a hat but we can't kill a small group of terrorists. Got it!
sgt_doom
Or, we pour billions of dollars every year into the CIA, NSA, and DIA, and only a poor old fart such as myself can figure out that Bilal Erdogan is the ISIS connection to oil trading (Turkish president, Erdogan's son) and Erdogan's daughter is with ISIS?
GRDguy
Ex-CIA boss gets it wrong, again.

"When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

should be:

"When you have a small group of financial sociopaths willing to lie-to, steal-from and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

and you'll probably be punished, jailed or shot for tryin' to protect yourself and your family.

Ban KKiller
War profiteer. That is it. Along wth James Comey, James Clapper, Jack Welch and the list is almost endless...
BarnacleBill
"When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

Simply take out the word "their", and the description perfectly fits the CIA, MI6 and their like. For them, it's all a business deal, nothing more - a massive slum-clearance project. Destroy people's houses, provide accommodation and food, ship them somewhere else; do it again and again until the money-printing machine conks out. It's money for old rope.

http://barlowscayman.blogspot.com/2015/11/slum-clearance-on-massive-scale.html

And, yes, we're all vulnerable. The man got that right.

Duc888
"You get the politicians you deserve."

CIA types are appointed, not elected.

Duc888
I do not know if there are any Catherine Austin Fitts fans on this web site but this is definitely worth the time. The FEDGOV came after her non stop for 6 years when she worked for HUD under Bush Sr. If nothing else this lady is tenacious. In this presentation she uncorks exactly HOW the deep black budgets are paid for...and it ain't your tax dollars. What she uncovered while at HUD was simply amazing..... and she made an excellent point. At the top... it's NOT "fraud" because that's how it was all deigned right from the get go after wwII. It brings to mind the funny computer saying....."it's a feature, not a bug".

She digs right into how the CIA was funded... Truly amazing stuff. ...of course the dick head brigade will come along here and deride her because of the conference she is speaking at.... well, who the fuck cares, her presentation is excellent and filled with facts.

Yes it is 1 hour 20 minutes long but imho it is well worth the watch...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0mimIp8mr8

Dragon HAwk
After reading all these posts my only question is why does the CIA allow Zero Hedge to Exist ?

except of course to collect names...

[Apr 21, 2019] Classified America: Why Is the US Public Allowed To Know So Little by Robert Koehler

Notable quotes:
"... And I have yet to hear a mainstream journo challenge or question that word or ask what could be at stake that requires protective secrecy even as the U.S. government seemingly threatens to collapse around Michael Flynn, America's national security advisor for three weeks, and his relationship to Russia. Is there really any there there? ..."
"... I'm not suggesting that there isn't, or that it's all fake news. Trump and pals are undoubtedly entwined financially with Russian oligarchs, which of course is deeply problematic. And maybe there's more. And maybe some of that "more" is arguably classified for a valid reason, but I want, at the very least, to know why it's classified. What I read and hear feels, instead, like collusion: journalists unquestioningly honoring bureaucratic keep-out signs as objective, even sacred, stopping points. Public knowledge must go no further because . . . you know, national security. But the drama continues! ..."
"... And this is troubling to me because, for starters, nations built on secrecy are far more unstable than those that aren't. ..."
"... The United States is engaged in endless war, at unbelievable and never-discussed cost, to no end except destruction in all directions. Those who have launched and perpetuated the wars remain the determiners of what's classified and what isn't. And Russia lurks silently in the background as a new Cold War gestates. And the media participate not in reporting the news but promoting the drama. ..."
"... Occasionally this has not been the case. Remember the Pentagon Papers? Daniel Ellsberg photocopied a multi-thousand-page secret history of the Vietnam War in 1971 and handed it over to the New York Times. It was classified! But papers printed it. And Sen. Mike Gravel later read portions of the text aloud at a Senate subcommittee hearing. ..."
"... "These portions," notes history.com , "revealed that the presidential administrations of Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson had all misled the public about the degree of US involvement in Vietnam, from Truman's decision to give military aid to France during its struggle against the communist-led Viet Minh to Johnson's development of plans to escalate the war in Vietnam as early as 1964, even as he claimed the opposite during that year's presidential election." ..."
"... Our own government, in short, is as untrustworthy as the governments of our allies and our enemies. Government officials left to operate free of public scrutiny – bereft of public input – have proven themselves over and over to be shockingly shortsighted and cold-blooded in their decision-making, and indifferent to the impact they have on the future. ..."
"... "It is nearly a truism," writes Jeffrey Sachs , "that US wars of regime change have rarely served America's security needs. Even when the wars succeed in overthrowing a government, as in the case of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and Moammar Khadafy in Libya, the result is rarely a stable government, and is more often a civil war. ..."
May 14, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

Classified America: Why Is the US Public Allowed To Know So Little?

by Robert Koehler , May 13, 2017 Print This | Share This For a journalist – especially one covering government and politics – the most suspicious, least trustworthy word in the language ought to be: "classified."

As the drama continues to swirl around Russiagate, or whatever the central controversy of the Trump administration winds up being known as, that word keeps popping up, teasingly, seductively: "It appeared that there was a great deal more (former acting Attorney General Sally) Yates wished she could share," the Washington Post informed us the other day, for instance, "but most of the information surrounding everything that happened remains classified."

And the drama continues! And I have yet to hear a mainstream journo challenge or question that word or ask what could be at stake that requires protective secrecy even as the U.S. government seemingly threatens to collapse around Michael Flynn, America's national security advisor for three weeks, and his relationship to Russia. Is there really any there there?

I'm not suggesting that there isn't, or that it's all fake news. Trump and pals are undoubtedly entwined financially with Russian oligarchs, which of course is deeply problematic. And maybe there's more. And maybe some of that "more" is arguably classified for a valid reason, but I want, at the very least, to know why it's classified. What I read and hear feels, instead, like collusion: journalists unquestioningly honoring bureaucratic keep-out signs as objective, even sacred, stopping points. Public knowledge must go no further because . . . you know, national security. But the drama continues!

And this is troubling to me because, for starters, nations built on secrecy are far more unstable than those that aren't. Job #1 of a free, independent media is the full-on, continuous challenge to government secrecy. Such a media understands that it answers to the public, or rather, that it's a manifestation of the public will. Stability and freedom are not the result of private tinkering. And peace is something created openly. The best of who we are is contained in the public soul, not bequeathed to us by unfathomably wise leaders.

So I cringe every time I hear the news stop at the word "classified." Indeed, in the Trump era, it seems like a plot device: a way to maintain the drama. ". . . there was a great deal more Yates wished she could share, but most of the information surrounding everything that happened remains classified."

Stay tuned, and keep your imaginations turned to high! This is Russia we're talking about. They messed with our election. They "attacked" us in cyberspace. We'd tell you more about how bad things are, but . . . you know, national security.

If nothing else, this endless retreat behind the word "classified" is a waste of the Trump presidency. This administration's recklessness is opening all sorts of random doors on national secrets that need airing. It's not as though the country was sailing along smoothly and keeping the world safe and peaceful till Donald Trump showed up.

Trump could well be making a bad situation worse, but, as William Hartung pointed out: "After all, he inherited no less than seven conflicts from Barack Obama: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen."

The United States is engaged in endless war, at unbelievable and never-discussed cost, to no end except destruction in all directions. Those who have launched and perpetuated the wars remain the determiners of what's classified and what isn't. And Russia lurks silently in the background as a new Cold War gestates. And the media participate not in reporting the news but promoting the drama.

Occasionally this has not been the case. Remember the Pentagon Papers? Daniel Ellsberg photocopied a multi-thousand-page secret history of the Vietnam War in 1971 and handed it over to the New York Times. It was classified! But papers printed it. And Sen. Mike Gravel later read portions of the text aloud at a Senate subcommittee hearing.

"These portions," notes history.com , "revealed that the presidential administrations of Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson had all misled the public about the degree of US involvement in Vietnam, from Truman's decision to give military aid to France during its struggle against the communist-led Viet Minh to Johnson's development of plans to escalate the war in Vietnam as early as 1964, even as he claimed the opposite during that year's presidential election."

Our own government, in short, is as untrustworthy as the governments of our allies and our enemies. Government officials left to operate free of public scrutiny – bereft of public input – have proven themselves over and over to be shockingly shortsighted and cold-blooded in their decision-making, and indifferent to the impact they have on the future.

"It is nearly a truism," writes Jeffrey Sachs , "that US wars of regime change have rarely served America's security needs. Even when the wars succeed in overthrowing a government, as in the case of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and Moammar Khadafy in Libya, the result is rarely a stable government, and is more often a civil war. A 'successful' regime change often lights a long fuse leading to a future explosion, such as the 1953 overthrow of Iran's democratically elected government and installation of the autocratic Shah of Iran, which was followed by the Iranian Revolution of 1979."

All of this, and so much more, preceded Trump. He's only the tail end of our troubles.

Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His new book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound is now available. Contact him at koehlercw@gmail.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com . Reprinted with permission from PeaceVoice .

[Apr 21, 2019] John Brennan's Police State USA

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Sadly, Brennan's propaganda coup only works on what the Bell Curve crowd up there would call the dumbest and most technologically helpless 1.2σ. Here is how people with half a brain interpret the latest CIA whoppers. ..."
"... Convincing Americans in Russia's influence or Russia collusion with Trump was only a tool that would create pressure on Trump that together with the fear of paralysis of his administration and impeachment would push Trump into the corner from which the only thing he could do was to worsen relations with Russia. What American people believe or not is really secondary. With firing of Gen. Flynn Trump acted exactly as they wanted him to act. This was the beginning of downward slope. ..."
"... Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. Trump can concentrate on Iran in which he will be supported by all sides and factions including the media. Even Larry David will approve not only the zionist harpies like Pam Geller, Rita Katz and Ilana Mercer. ..."
"... The only part that is absurd is that Russia posed a bona fide threat to the US. I'm fine with the idea that he ruined Brennen's plans in Syria. But thats just ego we shouldn't have been there anyway. ..."
"... No one really cares about Ukraine. And the European/Russian trade zone? No one cares. The Eurozone has its hands full with Greece and the rest of the old EU. I have a feeling they have already gone way too far and are more likely to shrink than expand in any meaningful way ..."
"... " ..factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people." ..."
"... All the more powerfully put because of its recognisably comical. understatement. Thank you Mr Whitney. Brilliant article that would be all over the mainstream media were the US MSM an instrument of American rather than globalist interests. ..."
"... A sad story, how the USA always was a police state, where the two percent rich manipulated the 98% poor, to stay rich. When there were insurrections federal troops restored order. Also FDR put down strikes with troops. ..."
"... The elephant in the room is Israel and the neocons , this is the force that controls America and Americas foreign policy , Brennan and the 17 intel agencies are puppets of the mossad and Israel, that is the brutal fact of the matter. ..."
"... "The absence of evidence suggests that Russia hacking narrative is a sloppy and unprofessional disinformation campaign that was hastily slapped together by over confident Intelligence officials who believed that saturating the public airwaves with one absurd story after another would achieve the desired result " ..."
"... But it DID achieve the desired result! Trump folded under the pressure, and went full out neoliberal. Starting with his missile attack on Syria, he is now OK with spending trillions fighting pointless endless foreign wars on the other side of the world. ..."
"... I think maybe half the US population does believe the Russian hacking thing, but that's not really the issue. I think that the pre-Syrian attack media blitz was more a statement of brute power to Trump: WE are in charge here, and WE can take you down and impeach you, and facts don't matter! ..."
"... Sometimes propaganda is about persuading people. And sometimes, I think, it is about intimidating them. ..."
"... The Brit secret service, in effect, created and trained not merely the CIA but also the Mossad and Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency. All four are defined by endless lies, endless acts of utterly amoral savagery. All 4 are at least as bad as the KGB ever was, and that means as bad as Hell itself. ..."
"... Traditional triumphalist American narrative history, as taught in schools up through the 60s or so, portrayed America as "wart-free." Since then, with Zinn's book playing a major role, it has increasingly been portrayed as "warts-only," which is of course at least equally flawed. I would say more so. ..."
"... Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. ..."
"... That pre-9/11 "cooperation" nearly destroyed Russia. Nobody in Russia (except, perhaps, for Pussy Riot) wants a return to the Yeltsin era. ..."
"... The CIA is the world largest criminal and terrorist organization. With Brennan the worst has come to the worst. The whole Russian meddling affair was initiated by the Obama/Clinton gang in cooperation with 95 percent of the media. Nothing will come out of it. ..."
"... [The key figures who had primary influence on both Trump's and Bush's Iran policies held views close to those of Israel's right-wing Likud Party. The main conduit for the Likudist line in the Trump White House is Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, primary foreign policy advisor, and longtime friend and supporter of Netanyahu. Kushner's parents are also long-time supporters of Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank. ..."
"... Another figure to whom the Trump White House has turned is John Bolton, undersecretary of state and a key policymaker on Iran in the Bush administration. Although Bolton was not appointed Trump's secretary of state, as he'd hoped, he suddenly reemerged as a player on Iran policy thanks to his relationship with Kushner. Politico reports that Bolton met with Kushner a few days before the final policy statement was released and urged a complete withdrawal from the deal in favor of his own plan for containing Iran. ..."
"... Putin's dream of Greater Europe is the death knell for the unipolar world order. It means the economic center of the world will shift to Central Asia where abundant resources and cheap labor of the east will be linked to the technological advances and the Capital the of the west eliminating the need to trade in dollars or recycle profits into US debt. The US economy will slip into irreversible decline, and the global hegemon will steadily lose its grip on power. That's why it is imperative for the US prevail in Ukraine– a critical land bridge connecting the two continents– and to topple Assad in Syria in order to control vital resources and pipeline corridors. Washington must be in a position where it can continue to force its trading partners to denominate their resources in dollars and recycle the proceeds into US Treasuries if it is to maintain its global primacy. The main problem is that Russia is blocking Uncle Sam's path to success which is roiling the political establishment in Washington. ..."
"... Second, Zakharova confirms that the western media is not an independent news gathering organization, but a propaganda organ for the foreign policy establishment who dictates what they can and can't say. ..."
"... Such a truthful portrait of reality ! The ruling elite is indeed massively corrupt, compromised, and controlled by dark forces. And the police state is already here. For most people, so far, in the form of massive collection of personal data and increasing number of mandatory regulations. But just one or two big false-flags away from progressing into something much worse. ..."
"... Clearly the CIA was making war on Syria. Is secret coercive covert action against sovereign nations Ok? Is it legal? When was the CIA designated a war making entity – what part of the constitution OK's that? Isn't the congress obliged by constitutional law to declare war? (These are NOT six month actions – they go on and on.) ..."
"... Syria is only one of many nations that the CIA is attacking – how many countries are we attacking with drones? Where is congress? ..."
"... Close the CIA – give the spying to the 16 other agencies. ..."
Oct 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

Fran Macadam , October 20, 2017 at 3:08 pm GMT

A credible reading of the diverse facts, Mike.
Kirk Elarbee , October 20, 2017 at 8:27 pm GMT
Sadly, Brennan's propaganda coup only works on what the Bell Curve crowd up there would call the dumbest and most technologically helpless 1.2σ. Here is how people with half a brain interpret the latest CIA whoppers.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/10/everyone-hacked-everyone-hacked-everyone-spy-spin-fuels-anti-kaspersky-campaign.html

utu , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:18 am GMT
Again Mike Whitney does not get it. Though in the first part of the article I thought he would. He was almost getting there. The objective was to push new administration into the corner from which it could not improve relations with Russia as Trump indicated that he wanted to during the campaign.

Convincing Americans in Russia's influence or Russia collusion with Trump was only a tool that would create pressure on Trump that together with the fear of paralysis of his administration and impeachment would push Trump into the corner from which the only thing he could do was to worsen relations with Russia. What American people believe or not is really secondary. With firing of Gen. Flynn Trump acted exactly as they wanted him to act. This was the beginning of downward slope.

Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. Trump can concentrate on Iran in which he will be supported by all sides and factions including the media. Even Larry David will approve not only the zionist harpies like Pam Geller, Rita Katz and Ilana Mercer.

Pamela Geller: Thank You, Larry David

http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2017/10/19/pamela-geller-thank-larry-david/

anon , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:54 am GMT
OK.

The only part that is absurd is that Russia posed a bona fide threat to the US. I'm fine with the idea that he ruined Brennen's plans in Syria. But thats just ego we shouldn't have been there anyway.

No one really cares about Ukraine. And the European/Russian trade zone? No one cares. The Eurozone has its hands full with Greece and the rest of the old EU. I have a feeling they have already gone way too far and are more likely to shrink than expand in any meaningful way

The one thing I am not positive about. If the elite really believe that Russia is a threat, then Americans have done psych ops on themselves.

The US was only interested in Ukraine because it was there. Next in line on a map. The rather shocking disinterest in investing money -- on both sides -- is inexplicable if it was really important. Most of it would be a waste -- but still. The US stupidly spent $5 billion on something -- getting duped by politicians and got theoretical regime change, but it was hell to pry even $1 billion for real economic aid.

ThereisaGod , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:37 am GMT
" ..factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people."

All the more powerfully put because of its recognisably comical. understatement. Thank you Mr Whitney. Brilliant article that would be all over the mainstream media were the US MSM an instrument of American rather than globalist interests.

jilles dykstra , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:46 am GMT
I am reading Howard Zinn, A Peoples History of the USA, 1492 to the Present. A sad story, how the USA always was a police state, where the two percent rich manipulated the 98% poor, to stay rich. When there were insurrections federal troops restored order. Also FDR put down strikes with troops.
Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 11:16 am GMT
@jilles dykstra

You should be aware that Zinn's book is not, IMO, an honest attempt at writing history. It is conscious propaganda intended to make Americans believe exactly what you are taking from it.

DESERT FOX , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 1:30 pm GMT
The elephant in the room is Israel and the neocons , this is the force that controls America and Americas foreign policy , Brennan and the 17 intel agencies are puppets of the mossad and Israel, that is the brutal fact of the matter.

Until that fact changes Americans will continue to fight and die for Israel.

TG , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:03 pm GMT
"The absence of evidence suggests that Russia hacking narrative is a sloppy and unprofessional disinformation campaign that was hastily slapped together by over confident Intelligence officials who believed that saturating the public airwaves with one absurd story after another would achieve the desired result "

But it DID achieve the desired result! Trump folded under the pressure, and went full out neoliberal. Starting with his missile attack on Syria, he is now OK with spending trillions fighting pointless endless foreign wars on the other side of the world.

I think maybe half the US population does believe the Russian hacking thing, but that's not really the issue. I think that the pre-Syrian attack media blitz was more a statement of brute power to Trump: WE are in charge here, and WE can take you down and impeach you, and facts don't matter!

Sometimes propaganda is about persuading people. And sometimes, I think, it is about intimidating them.

Anonymous , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:05 pm GMT
Whitney is another author who declares the "Russians did it" narrative a psyop. He then devotes entire columns to the psyop, "naww Russia didn't do it". There could be plenty to write about – recent laws that do undercut liberty, but no, the Washington Post needs fake opposition to its fake news so you have guys like Whitney in the less-mainstream fake news media.

So Brennan wanted revenge? Well that's simple enough to understand, without being too stupid. But Whitney's whopper of a lie is what you're supposed to unquestionably believe. The US has "rival political parties". Did you miss it?

Jake , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:32 pm GMT
The US is doing nothing more than acting as the British Empire 2.0. WASP culture was born of a Judaizing heresy: Anglo-Saxon Puritanism. That meant that the WASP Elites of every are pro-Jewish, especially in order to wage war, physical and/or cultural, against the vast majority of white Christians they rule.

By the early 19th century, The Brit Empire's Elites also had a strong, and growing, dose of pro-Arabic/pro-Islamic philoSemitism. Most of that group became ardently pro-Sunni, and most of the pro-Sunni ones eventually coalescing around promotion of the House of Saud, which means being pro-Wahhabi and permanently desirous of killing or enslaving virtually all Shiite Mohammedans.

So, by the time of Victoria's high reign, the Brit WASP Elites were a strange brew of hardcoree pro-Jewish and hardcore pro-Arabic/islamic. The US foreign policy of today is an attempt to put those two together and force it on everyone and make it work.

The Brit secret service, in effect, created and trained not merely the CIA but also the Mossad and Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency. All four are defined by endless lies, endless acts of utterly amoral savagery. All 4 are at least as bad as the KGB ever was, and that means as bad as Hell itself.

Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:04 pm GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

Fair enough. I didn't know that about the foreword. If accurate, that's a reasonable approach for a book.

Here's the problem.

Back when O. Cromwell was the dictator of England, he retained an artist to paint him. The custom of the time was for artists to "clean up" their subjects, in a primitive form of photoshopping.

OC being a religious fanatic, he informed the artist he wished to be portrayed as God had made him, "warts and all." (Ollie had a bunch of unattractive facial warts.) Or the artist wouldn't be paid.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/nov/08/cromwell-portraitist-samuel-cooper-exhibition

Traditional triumphalist American narrative history, as taught in schools up through the 60s or so, portrayed America as "wart-free." Since then, with Zinn's book playing a major role, it has increasingly been portrayed as "warts-only," which is of course at least equally flawed. I would say more so.

All I am asking is that American (and other) history be written "warts and all." The triumphalist version is true, largely, and so is the Zinn version. Gone With the Wind and Roots both portray certain aspects of the pre-war south fairly accurately..

America has been, and is, both evil and good. As is/was true of every human institution and government in history. Personally, I believe America, net/net, has been one of the greatest forces for human good ever. But nobody will realize that if only the negative side of American history is taught.

Wally , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:16 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

Hasbarist 'Kenny', you said:

"There must be something really dirty in Russigate that hasn't yet come out to generate this level of panic."

You continue to claim what you cannot prove.

But then you are a Jews First Zionist.

Russia-Gate Jumps the Shark
Russia-gate has jumped the shark with laughable new claims about a tiny number of "Russia-linked" social media ads, but the US mainstream media is determined to keep a straight face

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/10/robert-parry/jumping-the-shark/

Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet?

https://theintercept.com/2017/09/28/yet-another-major-russia-story-falls-apart-is-skepticism-permissible-yet/

+ review of other frauds

Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:20 pm GMT
@Jake

Most of that group became ardently pro-Sunni, and most of the pro-Sunni ones eventually coalescing around promotion of the House of Saud, which means being pro-Wahhabi and permanently desirous of killing or enslaving virtually all Shiite Mohammedans.

Thanks for the laugh. During the 19th century, the Sauds were toothless, dirt-poor hicks from the deep desert of zero importance on the world stage.

The Brits were not Saudi proponents, in fact promoting the Husseins of Hejaz, the guys Lawrence of Arabia worked with. The Husseins, the Sharifs of Mecca and rulers of Hejaz, were the hereditary enemies of the Sauds of Nejd.

After WWI, the Brits installed Husseins as rulers of both Transjordan and Iraq, which with the Hejaz meant the Sauds were pretty much surrounded. The Sauds conquered the Hejaz in 1924, despite lukewarm British support for the Hejaz.

Nobody in the world cared much about the Saudis one way or another until massive oil fields were discovered, by Americans not Brits, starting in 1938. There was no reason they should. Prior to that Saudi prominence in world affairs was about equal to that of Chad today, and for much the same reason. Chad (and Saudi Arabia) had nothing anybody else wanted.

Grandpa Charlie , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:25 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

'Putin stopped talking about the "Lisbon to Vladivostok" free trade area long ago" -- Michael Kenney

Putin was simply trying to sell Russia's application for EU membership with the catch-phrase "Lisbon to Vladivostok". He continued that until the issue was triply mooted (1) by implosion of EU growth and boosterism, (2) by NATO's aggressive stance, in effect taken by NATO in Ukraine events and in the Baltics, and, (3) Russia's alliance with China.

It is surely still true that Russians think of themselves, categorically, as Europeans. OTOH, we can easily imagine that Russians in Vladivostok look at things differently than do Russians in St. Petersburg. Then again, Vladivostok only goes back about a century and a half.

Seamus Padraig , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:39 pm GMT
@utu

Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration.

I generally agree with your comment, but that part strikes me as a bit of an exaggeration. While relations with Russia certainly haven't improved, how have they really worsened? The second round of sanctions that Trump reluctantly approved have yet to be implemented by Europe, which was the goal. And apart from that, what of substance has changed?

Seamus Padraig , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:45 pm GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

That pre-9/11 "cooperation" nearly destroyed Russia. Nobody in Russia (except, perhaps, for Pussy Riot) wants a return to the Yeltsin era.

Ludwig Watzal , Website Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT
It's not surprising that 57 percent of the American people believe in Russian meddling. Didn't two-thirds of the same crowd believe that Saddam was behind 9/11, too? The American public is being brainwashed 24 hours a day all year long.

The CIA is the world largest criminal and terrorist organization. With Brennan the worst has come to the worst. The whole Russian meddling affair was initiated by the Obama/Clinton gang in cooperation with 95 percent of the media. Nothing will come out of it.

This disinformation campaign might be the prelude to an upcoming war.
Right now, the US is run by jerks and idiots. Watch the video.

anonymous , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:50 pm GMT
Only dumb people does not know that TRUMP IS NETANYAHU'S PUPPET.

The fifth column zionist jews are running the albino stooge and foreign policy in the Middle East to expand Israel's interest against American interest that is TREASON. One of these FIFTH COLUMNISTS is Jared Kushner. He should be arrested.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/donald-trumps-likudist-campaign-against-iran/5614264

[The key figures who had primary influence on both Trump's and Bush's Iran policies held views close to those of Israel's right-wing Likud Party. The main conduit for the Likudist line in the Trump White House is Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, primary foreign policy advisor, and longtime friend and supporter of Netanyahu. Kushner's parents are also long-time supporters of Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank.

Another figure to whom the Trump White House has turned is John Bolton, undersecretary of state and a key policymaker on Iran in the Bush administration. Although Bolton was not appointed Trump's secretary of state, as he'd hoped, he suddenly reemerged as a player on Iran policy thanks to his relationship with Kushner. Politico reports that Bolton met with Kushner a few days before the final policy statement was released and urged a complete withdrawal from the deal in favor of his own plan for containing Iran.

Bolton spoke with Trump by phone on Thursday about the paragraph in the deal that vowed it would be "terminated" if there was any renegotiation, according to Politico. He was calling Trump from Las Vegas, where he'd been meeting with casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the third major figure behind Trump's shift towards Israeli issues. Adelson is a Likud supporter who has long been a close friend of Netanyahu's and has used his Israeli tabloid newspaper Israel Hayomto support Netanyahu's campaigns. He was Trump's main campaign contributor in 2016, donating $100 million. Adelson's real interest has been in supporting Israel's interests in Washington -- especially with regard to Iran.]

Miro23 , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 4:56 pm GMT
A great article with some excellent points:

Putin's dream of Greater Europe is the death knell for the unipolar world order. It means the economic center of the world will shift to Central Asia where abundant resources and cheap labor of the east will be linked to the technological advances and the Capital the of the west eliminating the need to trade in dollars or recycle profits into US debt. The US economy will slip into irreversible decline, and the global hegemon will steadily lose its grip on power. That's why it is imperative for the US prevail in Ukraine– a critical land bridge connecting the two continents– and to topple Assad in Syria in order to control vital resources and pipeline corridors. Washington must be in a position where it can continue to force its trading partners to denominate their resources in dollars and recycle the proceeds into US Treasuries if it is to maintain its global primacy. The main problem is that Russia is blocking Uncle Sam's path to success which is roiling the political establishment in Washington.

American dominance is very much tied to the dollar's role as the world's reserve currency, and the rest of the world no longer want to fund this bankrupt, warlike state – particularly the Chinese.

First, it confirms that the US did not want to see the jihadist extremists defeated by Russia. These mainly-Sunni militias served as Washington's proxy-army conducting an ambitious regime change operation which coincided with US strategic ambitions.

The CIA run US/Israeli/ISIS alliance.

Second, Zakharova confirms that the western media is not an independent news gathering organization, but a propaganda organ for the foreign policy establishment who dictates what they can and can't say.

They are given the political line and they broadcast it.

The loosening of rules governing the dissemination of domestic propaganda coupled with the extraordinary advances in surveillance technology, create the perfect conditions for the full implementation of an American police state. But what is more concerning, is that the primary levers of state power are no longer controlled by elected officials but by factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people. That can only lead to trouble.

At some point Americans are going to get a "War on Domestic Terror" cheered along by the media. More or less the arrest and incarceration of any opposition following the Soviet Bolshevik model.

CanSpeccy , Website Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:11 pm GMT
@utu

On the plus side, everyone now knows that the Anglo-US media from the NY Times to the Economist, from WaPo to the Gruniard, and from the BBC to CNN, the CBC and Weinstein's Hollywood are a worthless bunch of depraved lying bastards.

Thales the Milesian , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm GMT
Brennan did this, CIA did that .

So what are you going to do about all this?

Continue to whine?

Continue to keep your head stuck in your ass?

So then continue with your blah, blah, blah, and eat sh*t.

You, disgusting self-elected democratic people/institutions!!!

AB_Anonymous , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:59 pm GMT
Such a truthful portrait of reality ! The ruling elite is indeed massively corrupt, compromised, and controlled by dark forces. And the police state is already here. For most people, so far, in the form of massive collection of personal data and increasing number of mandatory regulations. But just one or two big false-flags away from progressing into something much worse.

The thing is, no matter how thick the mental cages are, and how carefully they are maintained by the daily massive injections of "certified" truth (via MSM), along with neutralizing or compromising of "troublemakers", the presence of multiple alternative sources in the age of Internet makes people to slip out of these cages one by one, and as the last events show – with acceleration.

It means that there's a fast approaching tipping point after which it'd be impossible for those in power both to keep a nice "civilized" face and to control the "cage-free" population. So, no matter how the next war will be called, it will be the war against the free Internet and free people. That's probably why N. Korean leader has no fear to start one.

Art , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:18 pm GMT
An aside:

All government secrecy is a curse on mankind. Trump is releasing the JFK murder files to the public. Kudos! Let us hope he will follow up with a full 9/11 investigation.

Think Peace -- Art

Mr. Anon , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:07 pm GMT
@utu

The objective was to push new administration into the corner from which it could not improve relations with Russia as Trump indicated that he wanted to during the campaign.

Good point. That was probably one of the objectives (and from the point of view of the deep-state, perhaps the most important objective) of the "Russia hacked our democracy" narrative, in addition to the general deligitimization of the Trump administration.

Art , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:11 pm GMT
And, keep in mind, Washington's Sunni proxies were not a division of the Pentagon; they were entirely a CIA confection: CIA recruited, CIA-armed, CIA-funded and CIA-trained.

Clearly the CIA was making war on Syria. Is secret coercive covert action against sovereign nations Ok? Is it legal? When was the CIA designated a war making entity – what part of the constitution OK's that? Isn't the congress obliged by constitutional law to declare war? (These are NOT six month actions – they go on and on.)

Are committees of six congressman and six senators, who meet in secret, just avoiding the grave constitutional questions of war? We the People cannot even interrogate these politicians. (These politicians make big money in the secrecy swamp when they leave office.)

Syria is only one of many nations that the CIA is attacking – how many countries are we attacking with drones? Where is congress?

Spying is one thing – covert action is another – covert is wrong – it goes against world order. Every year after 9/11 they say things are worse – give them more money more power and they will make things safe. That is BS!

9/11 has opened the flood gates to the US government attacking at will, the various peoples of this Earth. That is NOT our prerogative.

We are being exceptionally arrogant.

Close the CIA – give the spying to the 16 other agencies.

Think Peace -- Art

Rurik , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:12 pm GMT
@Ben10

right at 1:47

when he says 'we can't move on as a country'

his butt hurt is so ruefully obvious, that I couldn't help notice a wry smile on my face

that bitch spent millions on the war sow, and now all that mullah won't even wipe his butt hurt

when I see ((guys)) like this raging their inner crybaby angst, I feel really, really good about President Trump

MAGA bitches!

Mr. Anon , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:15 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

I am reading Howard Zinn, A Peoples History of the USA

A Peoples History of the USA? Which Peoples?

Tradecraft46 , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 8:04 pm GMT
I am SAIS 70 so know the drill and the article is on point.

Here is the dealio. Most reporters are dim and have no experience, and it is real easy to lead them by the nose with promises of better in the future.

[Apr 21, 2019] Deciphering Trumps Foreign Policy by Oscar Silva-Valladares

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump's presidency, like preceding ones, is trapped by the interests of the power elite that has ruled America since World War II. The constraints imposed on domestic policy by this elite inevitably have a direct impact on America's foreign policy. ..."
"... The growing misalignment between government policies and people's yearnings coincides with the ascent of the military establishment within the power elite that rules America. Despite the country's aggressive expansionism, America's power elite was initially driven mainly by political and economic forces and much less by its growing military strength. It is fair to say that the military establishment, as an influential component of the American power elite, only appeared in the context of World War II. Nowadays, it is a dominant player. ..."
"... Today's power elite in America is fundamentally the same as the one that emerged after World War II and which was accurately described by C. Wright Mills in the 1950s. Consequently, the main forces shaping US domestic and foreign policies have not changed since then. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War did not make irrelevant the existing power elite at that time. The elite only became more vocal in its efforts to justify itself and this explains today's existence of NATO, for instance. ..."
"... Despite its economic and entrepreneurial might, the US distilled version of capitalism is unable to attain the needs of a growing number of its population, as the Great Recession of 2008 has shown. Within the OECD, arguably the club with the highest levels of economic and social development in the world, US rankings are abysmal, for instance concerning education and health, as it lays at the bottom in learning metrics and on critical health measures such as obesity. The wealth gap has widened and the social fabric is broken. American economic decline is evident and growing social conflict across economic, social and geographic lines is just a reaction to this decline. ..."
"... Concerning China, Trump is learning about the limits of his ability to successfully challenge it economically. It seems virtually impossible to reverse China's momentum which, if it continues, will consolidate its economic domination. ..."
"... A fundamental weakness of American foreign policy is its inability to understand war in all its different dimensions ..."
"... Despite the need to see through Trump's true intentions beyond his pomp and circumstance, there is an important warning to be made. Trump's eventual inability to fulfill his promises, combined with his bravado and America's incapacity to take a more sobering approach to world events is a dangerous combination. ..."
Oct 28, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Donald Trump's presidency, like preceding ones, is trapped by the interests of the power elite that has ruled America since World War II. The constraints imposed on domestic policy by this elite inevitably have a direct impact on America's foreign policy. Alternative social forces, like the ones behind Trump's presidential triumph, only have a limited impact on domestic and ultimately on foreign policy. A conceptual detour and a brief on history and on Trump's domestic setting when he was elected will help clarifying these theses.

Beyond the different costumes that it wears (dealing with ideology, international law, and even religion), foreign policy follows domestic policy. The domestic policy actors are the social forces at work at a given point of time, mainly the economic agents and their ambitions (in their multiple expressions), including the ruling power elite. Society's aspirations not only relate to material welfare, but also to ideological priorities that population segments may have at a given point of time.

From America's initial days until the mid 1800s, there seems to have been a broad alignment of US foreign policy with the wishes of its power elite and other social forces. America's expansionism, a fundamental bulwark of its foreign policy from early days, reflected the need to fulfill its growing population's ambitions for land and, later on, the need to find foreign markets for its excess production, initially agricultural and later on manufacturing. It can be said that American foreign policy was broadly populist at that time. The power elite was more or less aligned in achieving these expansionist goals and was able to provide convenient ideological justification through the writings of Jefferson and Madison, among others.

As the country expanded, diverging interests became stronger and ultimately differing social forces caused a significant fracture in society. The American Civil War was the climax of the conflicted interests between agricultural and manufacturing led societies. Fifty years later, a revealing manifestation of this divergence (which survived the Civil War), as it relates to foreign policy, is found during the early days of the Russian Revolution when, beyond the ideological revulsion of Bolshevism, the US was paralyzed between the agricultural and farming businesses seeking exports to Russia and the domestic extractive industries interested in stopping exports of natural resources from this country.

The growing misalignment between government policies and people's yearnings coincides with the ascent of the military establishment within the power elite that rules America. Despite the country's aggressive expansionism, America's power elite was initially driven mainly by political and economic forces and much less by its growing military strength. It is fair to say that the military establishment, as an influential component of the American power elite, only appeared in the context of World War II. Nowadays, it is a dominant player.

Today's power elite in America is fundamentally the same as the one that emerged after World War II and which was accurately described by C. Wright Mills in the 1950s. Consequently, the main forces shaping US domestic and foreign policies have not changed since then. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War did not make irrelevant the existing power elite at that time. The elite only became more vocal in its efforts to justify itself and this explains today's existence of NATO, for instance.

Despite its economic and entrepreneurial might, the US distilled version of capitalism is unable to attain the needs of a growing number of its population, as the Great Recession of 2008 has shown. Within the OECD, arguably the club with the highest levels of economic and social development in the world, US rankings are abysmal, for instance concerning education and health, as it lays at the bottom in learning metrics and on critical health measures such as obesity. The wealth gap has widened and the social fabric is broken. American economic decline is evident and growing social conflict across economic, social and geographic lines is just a reaction to this decline.

Trump won his presidency because he was able to get support from the country's growing frustrated white population. His main social themes (bringing jobs to America by stopping the decline of its manufacturing industry, preventing further US consumer dependence on foreign imports and halting immigration) fitted well with the electors' anger. Traditional populist themes linked to foreign policy (like Russophobia) did not play a big role in the last election. But whether or not the Trump administration can align with the ruling power elite in a manner that addresses the key social and economic needs of the American people is still to be seen.

Back to foreign policy, we need to distinguish between Trump's style of government and his administration's actions. At least until now, focusing excessively on Trump's style has dangerously distracted from his true intentions. One example is the confusion about his initial stance on NATO which was simplistically seen as highly critical to the very existence of this organization. On NATO, all that Trump really cared was to achieve a "fair" sharing of expenditures with other members and to press them to honor their funding commitments.

From immigration to defense spending, there is nothing irrational about Trump's foreign policy initiatives, as they just reflect a different reading on the American people's aspirations and, consequently, they attempt to rely on supporting points within the power elite which are different from the ones used in the past.

Concerning China, Trump is learning about the limits of his ability to successfully challenge it economically. It seems virtually impossible to reverse China's momentum which, if it continues, will consolidate its economic domination. A far-reaching lesson, although still being ignored, is that China's economic might is showing that capitalism as understood in the West is not winning, much less in its American format. It also shows that democracy may not be that relevant, as it is not necessarily a corollary or a condition for economic development. Perhaps it even shows the superiority of China's economic model, but this is a different matter.

As Trump becomes more aware about his limitations, he has naturally reversed to the basic imprints of America's traditional foreign policy, particularly concerning defense. His emphasis on a further increase in defense spending is not done for prestigious or national security reasons, but as an attempt to preserve a job generating infrastructure without considering the catastrophic consequences that it may cause.

On Iran, Obama's initiative to seek normalization was an attempt to walk a fine line (and to find a less conflictive path) between supporting the US traditional Middle East allies (mainly the odd combination of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey) and recognizing Iran's growing aspirations. Deep down, Obama was trying to acknowledge Iran's historical viability as a country and a society that will not disappear from the map, while Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, may not be around in a few years. Trump's Iran policy until now only represents a different weighing of priorities, although it is having far reaching consequences on America's credibility as a reliable contractual party in international affairs.

In the case of Afghanistan, Trump's decision to increase boots on the ground does not break the inertia of US past administrations. Aside from temporary containment, an increasing military presence or a change in tactics will not alter fundamentally this reality.

Concerning Russia, and regardless of what Trump has said, actions speak more than words. A continuous deterioration of relations seems inevitable.

Trump will also learn, if he has not done so already, about the growth of multipolar forces in world's events. Russia has mastered this reality for several years and is quite skillful at using it as a basic tool of its own foreign goals. Our multipolar world will expand, and Trump may even inadvertently exacerbate it through its actions (for instance in connection with the different stands taken by the US and its European allies concerning Iran).

While fulfilling the aspirations of the American people seems more difficult within the existing capitalist framework, there are also growing apprehensions coming from America's power elite as it becomes more frustrated due to its incapacity of being more effective at the world level. America's relative adolescence in world's history will become more and more apparent in the coming years.

A fundamental weakness of American foreign policy is its inability to understand war in all its different dimensions. The US has never suffered the consequences of an international conflict in its own backyard. The American Civil War, despite all the suffering that it caused, was primarily a domestic event with no foreign intervention (contrary to the wishes of the Confederation). The deep social and psychological damage caused by war is not part of America's consciousness as it is, for instance in Germany, Russia or Japan. America is insensitive to the lessons of history because it has a very short history itself.

Despite the need to see through Trump's true intentions beyond his pomp and circumstance, there is an important warning to be made. Trump's eventual inability to fulfill his promises, combined with his bravado and America's incapacity to take a more sobering approach to world events is a dangerous combination.

Oscar Silva-Valladares is a former investment banker that has lived and worked in North and Latin America, Western & Eastern Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the Philippines and Western Africa. He currently chairs Davos International Advisory, an advisory firm focused on strategic consulting across emerging markets.


Related

[Apr 21, 2019] Is the CIA Reformable by Melvin A. Goodman

Notable quotes:
"... The debate over whether Snowden was a traitor is fatuous. As a result of Snowden's revelations, we learned that the National Security Agency logged domestic phone calls and emails for years, recorded the metadata of correspondence between Americans, and, in some cases, exploited the content of emails. The case against Private Manning was similarly fatuous. Manning provided evidence of the US cover-up of torture by our Iraqi allies; a US Army helicopter opening fire on a group of civilians, including two Reuters journalists; and the use of an air strike to cover up the execution of civilians. Some of these acts were war crimes. ..."
"... According to US law, the term "whistleblower" applies to anyone who "reasonably believes" he or she is disclosing a violation of law or gross mismanagement, gross waste, or abuse of authority. My testimony documented for the first time the intentional distortion of intelligence by CIA director William Casey and Deputy Director Gates in order to serve the agenda of Ronald Reagan and his administration. ..."
"... Being a contrarian was easy and natural for me. In fact, no one should think about entering the intelligence profession without good contrarian instincts. Such instincts would include an innate skepticism, the doubting of conventional wisdom and a willingness to challenge authority, which translates to an ability to tell truth to power. These contrarian instincts are essential to the success of any intelligence organization. As Rogers and Hammerstein would have it, it was "doing what comes naturally!" ..."
"... My book The Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA was the first insider account from an intelligence analyst regarding the skewed and politicized assessments of the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence -- the Agency's analytic arm. I also exposed the strategic failure of covert actions that were never intended to be a part of President Harry Truman's CIA ..."
"... The political pliancy of these directors fully compromised the intelligence mission of the CIA, and it was political pliancy that made directors such as Gates and Tenet so attractive to Presidents Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II. ..."
"... In December 1963, less than a month after the assassination of President Kennedy, Truman wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post to document the wrongs of the CIA He concluded that his efforts to "create the quiet intelligence arm of the Presidency" had been subverted by a "sinister" and "mysterious" agency that was conducting far too many clandestine activities in peacetime. I lectured at the Truman Library in the summer of 2014, and found a note in Truman's hand that stated the CIA was not designed to "initiate policy or to act as a spy organization. That was never the intention when it was organized." ..."
"... In The Failure of Intelligence , I documented the CIA's resistance to reform and the corruption in both the analytical and operational directorates. I made a case for starting over at the CIA, not dissimilar from the case made by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan 25 years ago as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Not every agency or department of government can be reformed, and it is possible that the intricate web of habits, procedures, and culture places the CIA in the non-reformable category. Once the political culture of an institution such as the CIA has been broken, it is extremely difficult -- if not impossible -- to rebuild or repair it. ..."
Jul 21, 2017 | www.truth-out.org

The CIA's mission has gone dangerously and lethally astray, argues Melvin A. Goodman, former CIA intelligence analyst.

Whistleblower at the CIA tells the story of the corruption Melvin A. Goodman observed within the intelligence agency and what he did to expose it. NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake says this book "serves in the public interest as a warning and wake-up call for what's at stake and why we cannot trust the CIA or the intelligence establishment to do the right thing." Click here to order a copy today by making a donation to Truthout!

In this excerpt, , former CIA intelligence analyst Melvin A. Goodman ponders the meanings of the words whistleblower, dissident and contrarian, how they apply to himself and others, and whether the CIA can ever be repaired or rebuilt.

Whistleblowers. Dissidents. Contrarians.

The terms are used synonymously by pundits and the public, and I've been all three at one time or another in order to expose improprieties and illegalities in the secret government, and to inform the American public of policies that compromise the freedom and security of US citizens and weaken US standing in the global community.

I have never liked the terms contrarian or dissident. I've always believed that my criticism should be conventional wisdom. The term whistleblower is more complex because it often raises questions of patriotism or sedition. Chelsea Manning received commutation from her 35-year prison sentence for revealing so-called secrets that documented the terror and violence of the baseless US war in Iraq. Members of the Bush administration who launched the invasion of Iraq in 2003 are considered honorable members of our society, although their acts involved the corruption of intelligence; caused the death of thousands of US soldiers and foreign civilians; terrorized civilian populations; perpetrated the criminal use of torture and abuse; sanctioned use of secret prisons and extraordinary rendition; and caused the destabilization of the region that has set the stage for strategic advances by Al Qaeda and ISIS.

Edward Snowden, if he had remained in the United States, would have faced an even longer prison sentence because he revealed the massive NSA surveillance program that was illegal and immoral, and that violated the Fourth Amendment protection against illegal seizures and searches. Manning and Snowden admit to breaking US laws, but their actions were never as serious as the law-breaking, including massive violations of privacy, that they exposed.

The debate over whether Snowden was a traitor is fatuous. As a result of Snowden's revelations, we learned that the National Security Agency logged domestic phone calls and emails for years, recorded the metadata of correspondence between Americans, and, in some cases, exploited the content of emails. The case against Private Manning was similarly fatuous. Manning provided evidence of the US cover-up of torture by our Iraqi allies; a US Army helicopter opening fire on a group of civilians, including two Reuters journalists; and the use of an air strike to cover up the execution of civilians. Some of these acts were war crimes.

There is no more compelling evidence of the unconscionable behavior of US personnel in Iraq than the callous dialogue between the crew members of the helicopter regarding the civilian deaths and particularly the firing on those Iraqis who came to recover the dead bodies of Iraqi civilians. Manning's documents exposed this behavior, but her efforts were ridiculed by former secretary of defense Robert Gates, who described it as examining war by "looking through a straw."

To make matters worse, American journalists have criticized their colleagues (Julian Assange of WikiLeaks and Glenn Greenwald [then of The Guardian]) who brought the Snowden-Manning revelations to the attention of the public. David Gregory, then host of the venerable "Meet the Press" on NBC, asked Greenwald "to the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden ... why shouldn't you ... be charged with a crime?"

Jeffrey Toobin, a lawyer who labors for CNN and The New Yorker, called Snowden a "grandiose narcissist who belongs in prison" and referred to Greenwald's partner, David Miranda, who was detained by British authorities for nine hours under anti-terror laws, the equivalent of a "drug mule."

The king of calumny is Michael Grunwald, a senior correspondent for Time, who wrote on Twitter that he couldn't "wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange." The New York Times also targeted Assange, although the paper cooperated with WikiLeaks in 2010 in publishing reams of information from Private Manning's revelations. Of course, if Time or the New York Times had broken these stories, they would have built new shelves to hold their Pulitzer Prizes.

Their hypocrisy was exposed by David Carr of the New York Times, who expressed shock at finding Assange and Greenwald "under attack, not just from a government bent on keeping its secrets, but from friendly fire by fellow journalists."

I didn't reveal abuses as great as those revealed by Manning and Snowden or Daniel Ellsberg, but I do claim status as a whistleblower because of my revelations before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during confirmation hearings for Bob Gates, who was nominated by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 to be director of central intelligence.

According to US law, the term "whistleblower" applies to anyone who "reasonably believes" he or she is disclosing a violation of law or gross mismanagement, gross waste, or abuse of authority. My testimony documented for the first time the intentional distortion of intelligence by CIA director William Casey and Deputy Director Gates in order to serve the agenda of Ronald Reagan and his administration.

Bob Gates was an old friend, but the friendship ended when he routinely distorted intelligence throughout the 1980s as deputy director for intelligence and deputy director of the CIA In destroying the political culture of the CIA, he created a toxic and corrupt environment at the Agency, and the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on CIA detention and torture reminds us that the Agency hasn't recovered.

Being a contrarian was easy and natural for me. In fact, no one should think about entering the intelligence profession without good contrarian instincts. Such instincts would include an innate skepticism, the doubting of conventional wisdom and a willingness to challenge authority, which translates to an ability to tell truth to power. These contrarian instincts are essential to the success of any intelligence organization. As Rogers and Hammerstein would have it, it was "doing what comes naturally!"

My book The Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA was the first insider account from an intelligence analyst regarding the skewed and politicized assessments of the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence -- the Agency's analytic arm. I also exposed the strategic failure of covert actions that were never intended to be a part of President Harry Truman's CIA

I wrote the book for many reasons, including the need to describe the inability of journalists to take into account, let alone understand, the dangers of politicization and the actions of CIA directors such as Casey, Gates, and more recently Goss and Tenet. The political pliancy of these directors fully compromised the intelligence mission of the CIA, and it was political pliancy that made directors such as Gates and Tenet so attractive to Presidents Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II.

Truthout Progressive Pick
Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider's Account of the Politics of Intelligence

"Urgent, timely, and deeply recommended." -- Daniel Ellsberg. Click here now to get the book!


For the past quarter century, my testimony and writings have exposed the failure to honor President Truman's purpose in creating a CIA to provide policymakers with accurate, unbiased accounts of international developments, and have highlighted the CIA's readiness to cater to the White House. This view is not original with me; in fact, it was President Truman who first acknowledged that the CIA he created in 1947 had gotten off the tracks under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy in the 1950s and early 1960s.

In December 1963, less than a month after the assassination of President Kennedy, Truman wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post to document the wrongs of the CIA He concluded that his efforts to "create the quiet intelligence arm of the Presidency" had been subverted by a "sinister" and "mysterious" agency that was conducting far too many clandestine activities in peacetime. I lectured at the Truman Library in the summer of 2014, and found a note in Truman's hand that stated the CIA was not designed to "initiate policy or to act as a spy organization. That was never the intention when it was organized."

In The Failure of Intelligence , I documented the CIA's resistance to reform and the corruption in both the analytical and operational directorates. I made a case for starting over at the CIA, not dissimilar from the case made by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan 25 years ago as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Not every agency or department of government can be reformed, and it is possible that the intricate web of habits, procedures, and culture places the CIA in the non-reformable category. Once the political culture of an institution such as the CIA has been broken, it is extremely difficult -- if not impossible -- to rebuild or repair it.

Copyright (2017) by Melvin A. Goodman. Not be reprinted without permission of the publisher, City Lights Books. Melvin A. Goodman Melvin A. Goodman served as a senior analyst and Division Chief at the CIA from 1966 to 1990. An expert on US relations with Russia, his writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper's and many others. He is author of six books on US intelligence and international security. Related Stories CIA Asked to Release Documents Related to Massacre in El Salvador By Carmen Rodriguez, CIP Americas Program | Report CIA Watchdog "Mistakenly" Destroys Its Sole Copy of Senate Torture Report By Sarah Lazare, AlterNet | News Analysis CIA Cables Detail Its New Deputy Director's Role in Torture By Raymond Bonner, ProPublica | Report

[Jul 25, 2018] Making Shit Up - The US Intelligence Community As 'Collapse Driver'

Notable quotes:
"... There is another unwritten, commonsense rule about spying in general: whatever happens, it needs to be kept out of the courts, because the discovery process of any trial would force the prosecution to divulge sources and methods, making them part of the public record. An alternative is to hold secret tribunals, but since these cannot be independently verified to be following due process and rules of evidence, they don't add much value. ..."
"... Americans have been doing their best to break this rule. Recently, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted a dozen Russian operatives working in Russia for hacking into the DNC mail server and sending the emails to Wikileaks. Meanwhile, said server is nowhere to be found (it's been misplaced) while the time stamps on the files that were published on Wikileaks show that they were obtained by copying to a thumb drive rather than sending them over the internet. Thus, this was a leak, not a hack, and couldn't have been done by anyone working remotely from Russia. ..."
Jul 25, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Dmitry Orlov via Club Orlov blog,

In today's United States, the term "espionage" doesn't get too much use outside of some specific contexts. There is still sporadic talk of industrial espionage, but with regard to Americans' own efforts to understand the world beyond their borders, they prefer the term "intelligence." This may be an intelligent choice, or not, depending on how you look at things.

First of all, US "intelligence" is only vaguely related to the game of espionage as it has been traditionally played, and as it is still being played by countries such as Russia and China. Espionage involves collecting and validating strategically vital information and conveying it to just the pertinent decision-makers on your side while keeping the fact that you are collecting and validating it hidden from everyone else.

In eras past, a spy, if discovered, would try to bite down on a cyanide capsule; these days torture is considered ungentlemanly, and spies that get caught patiently wait to be exchanged in a spy swap. An unwritten, commonsense rule about spy swaps is that they are done quietly and that those released are never interfered with again because doing so would complicate negotiating future spy swaps. In recent years, the US intelligence agencies have decided that torturing prisoners is a good idea, but they have mostly been torturing innocent bystanders, not professional spies, sometimes forcing them to invent things, such as "Al Qaeda." There was no such thing before US intelligence popularized it as a brand among Islamic terrorists.

Most recently, British "special services," which are a sort of Mini-Me to the to the Dr. Evil that is the US intelligence apparatus, saw it fit to interfere with one of their own spies, Sergei Skripal, a double agent whom they sprung from a Russian jail in a spy swap. They poisoned him using an exotic chemical and then tried to pin the blame on Russia based on no evidence. There are unlikely to be any more British spy swaps with Russia, and British spies working in Russia should probably be issued good old-fashioned cyanide capsules (since that supposedly super-powerful Novichok stuff the British keep at their "secret" lab in Porton Down doesn't work right and is only fatal 20% of the time).

There is another unwritten, commonsense rule about spying in general: whatever happens, it needs to be kept out of the courts, because the discovery process of any trial would force the prosecution to divulge sources and methods, making them part of the public record. An alternative is to hold secret tribunals, but since these cannot be independently verified to be following due process and rules of evidence, they don't add much value.

A different standard applies to traitors; here, sending them through the courts is acceptable and serves a high moral purpose, since here the source is the person on trial and the method -- treason -- can be divulged without harm. But this logic does not apply to proper, professional spies who are simply doing their jobs, even if they turn out to be double agents. In fact, when counterintelligence discovers a spy, the professional thing to do is to try to recruit him as a double agent or, failing that, to try to use the spy as a channel for injecting disinformation.

Americans have been doing their best to break this rule. Recently, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted a dozen Russian operatives working in Russia for hacking into the DNC mail server and sending the emails to Wikileaks. Meanwhile, said server is nowhere to be found (it's been misplaced) while the time stamps on the files that were published on Wikileaks show that they were obtained by copying to a thumb drive rather than sending them over the internet. Thus, this was a leak, not a hack, and couldn't have been done by anyone working remotely from Russia.

Furthermore, it is an exercise in futility for a US official to indict Russian citizens in Russia. They will never stand trial in a US court because of the following clause in the Russian Constitution: "61.1 A citizen of the Russian Federation may not be deported out of Russia or extradited to another state." Mueller may summon a panel of constitutional scholars to interpret this sentence, or he can just read it and weep. Yes, the Americans are doing their best to break the unwritten rule against dragging spies through the courts, but their best is nowhere near good enough.

That said, there is no reason to believe that the Russian spies couldn't have hacked into the DNC mail server. It was probably running Microsoft Windows, and that operating system has more holes in it than a building in downtown Raqqa, Syria after the Americans got done bombing that city to rubble, lots of civilians included. When questioned about this alleged hacking by Fox News, Putin (who had worked as a spy in his previous career) had trouble keeping a straight face and clearly enjoyed the moment. He pointed out that the hacked/leaked emails showed a clear pattern of wrongdoing: DNC officials conspired to steal the electoral victory in the Democratic Primary from Bernie Sanders, and after this information had been leaked they were forced to resign. If the Russian hack did happen, then it was the Russians working to save American democracy from itself. So, where's the gratitude? Where's the love? Oh, and why are the DNC perps not in jail?

Since there exists an agreement between the US and Russia to cooperate on criminal investigations, Putin offered to question the spies indicted by Mueller. He even offered to have Mueller sit in on the proceedings. But in return he wanted to question US officials who may have aided and abetted a convicted felon by the name of William Browder, who is due to begin serving a nine-year sentence in Russia any time now and who, by the way, donated copious amounts of his ill-gotten money to the Hillary Clinton election campaign. In response, the US Senate passed a resolution to forbid Russians from questioning US officials. And instead of issuing a valid request to have the twelve Russian spies interviewed, at least one US official made the startlingly inane request to have them come to the US instead. Again, which part of 61.1 don't they understand?

The logic of US officials may be hard to follow, but only if we adhere to the traditional definitions of espionage and counterespionage -- "intelligence" in US parlance -- which is to provide validated information for the purpose of making informed decisions on best ways of defending the country. But it all makes perfect sense if we disabuse ourselves of such quaint notions and accept the reality of what we can actually observe: the purpose of US "intelligence" is not to come up with or to work with facts but to simply "make shit up."

The "intelligence" the US intelligence agencies provide can be anything but; in fact, the stupider it is the better, because its purpose is allow unintelligent people to make unintelligent decisions. In fact, they consider facts harmful -- be they about Syrian chemical weapons, or conspiring to steal the primary from Bernie Sanders, or Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, or the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden -- because facts require accuracy and rigor while they prefer to dwell in the realm of pure fantasy and whimsy. In this, their actual objective is easily discernible.

Their objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on. One major advancement in their state of the art has been in moving from real false flag operations, à la 9/11, to fake false flag operations, à la fake East Gouta chemical attack in Syria (since fully discredited). The Russian election meddling story is perhaps the final step in this evolution: no New York skyscrapers or Syrian children were harmed in the process of concocting this fake narrative, and it can be kept alive seemingly forever purely through the furious effort of numerous flapping lips. It is now a pure confidence scam. If you are less then impressed with their invented narratives, then you are a conspiracy theorist or, in the latest revision, a traitor.

Trump was recently questioned as to whether he trusted US intelligence. He waffled.

A light-hearted answer would have been:

"What sort of idiot are you to ask me such a stupid question? Of course they are lying! They were caught lying more than once, and therefore they can never be trusted again. In order to claim that they are not currently lying, you have to determine when it was that they stopped lying, and that they haven't lied since. And that, based on the information that is available, is an impossible task."

A more serious, matter-of-fact answer would have been:

"The US intelligence agencies made an outrageous claim: that I colluded with Russia to rig the outcome of the 2017 presidential election. The burden of proof is on them. They are yet to prove their case in a court of law, which is the only place where the matter can legitimately be settled, if it can be settled at all. Until that happens, we must treat their claim as conspiracy theory, not as fact."

And a hardcore, deadpan answer would have been:

"The US intelligence services swore an oath to uphold the US Constitution, according to which I am their Commander in Chief. They report to me, not I to them. They must be loyal to me, not I to them. If they are disloyal to me, then that is sufficient reason for their dismissal."

But no such reality-based, down-to-earth dialogue seems possible. All that we hear are fake answers to fake questions, and the outcome is a series of faulty decisions. Based on fake intelligence, the US has spent almost all of this century embroiled in very expensive and ultimately futile conflicts. Thanks to their efforts, Iran, Iraq and Syria have now formed a continuous crescent of religiously and geopolitically aligned states friendly toward Russia while in Afghanistan the Taliban is resurgent and battling ISIS -- an organization that came together thanks to American efforts in Iraq and Syria.

The total cost of wars so far this century for the US is reported to be $4,575,610,429,593. Divided by the 138,313,155 Americans who file tax returns (whether they actually pay any tax is too subtle a question), it works out to just over $33,000 per taxpayer. If you pay taxes in the US, that's your bill so far for the various US intelligence "oopsies."

The 16 US intelligence agencies have a combined budget of $66.8 billion, and that seems like a lot until you realize how supremely efficient they are: their "mistakes" have cost the country close to 70 times their budget. At a staffing level of over 200,000 employees, each of them has cost the US taxpayer close to $23 million, on average. That number is totally out of the ballpark! The energy sector has the highest earnings per employee, at around $1.8 million per. Valero Energy stands out at $7.6 million per. At $23 million per, the US intelligence community has been doing three times better than Valero. Hats off! This makes the US intelligence community by far the best, most efficient collapse driver imaginable.

There are two possible hypotheses for why this is so.

First , we might venture to guess that these 200,000 people are grossly incompetent and that the fiascos they precipitate are accidental. But it is hard to imagine a situation where grossly incompetent people nevertheless manage to funnel $23 million apiece, on average, toward an assortment of futile undertakings of their choosing. It is even harder to imagine that such incompetents would be allowed to blunder along decade after decade without being called out for their mistakes.

Another hypothesis, and a far more plausible one, is that the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known.

How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself. While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than "a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars."

[Jul 23, 2018] the CIA is the armed wing of Washington s permanently governing technocratic party, in the same way the KGB was the armed wing of the Soviet Communist Party.

"Yes, the Aspen Institute is the CIA and the CIA is the Aspen Institute"
Notable quotes:
"... CIA manages transnational organized crime to top up their budget for unauthorized clandestine operations, like killing JFK. CIA protects its criminal protégés with their chartered impunity. ..."
"... RFK knew how it works. RFK junior explained the reason for RFK's focus on organized-crime until CIA whacked him. That's why his book was made to sink without a ripple. ..."
"... Evenfurthermore, CIA is the government and the government is CIA. Decades ago Fletcher Prouty showed that CIA's deepest-cover illegal moles are embedded in our own government. Every agency with repressive capacity is infiltrated with focal points, who report to CIA handlers without the other agency's knowledge. ..."
"... Of course Israel is trying to infiltrate it -- they understand the levers of power. ..."
"... Assange has got some mighty stinkers in his insurance file. All we can do is hope they're enough to destabilize the CIA Reich that has ruled America since 1949. ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

Yes, the Aspen Institute is the CIA and the CIA is the Aspen Institute. Or, to be more precise, the CIA is the armed wing of Washington's permanently governing technocratic party, in the same way the KGB was the armed wing of the Soviet Communist Party.

Poor Julian Assange is likely going to be in their hands not too long from now. The citizen of one Five Eyes country will be arrested by another and then sent off to the imperial metropole, to be kicked around like a political football. The rest of us Anglosphericals are expected to cheer or remain silent. Either is acceptable.

MK-DELTABURKE , July 23, 2018 at 12:40 pm GMT

Yup. Furthermore, CIA is organized crime and organized crime is CIA. CIA recruits and runs agents in favored criminal syndicates in every illicit trade: drugs, child sexual trafficking, arms, fraud, bustouts, extortion, money laundering. Their purpose is not to interdict the trade but to control it.

CIA manages transnational organized crime to top up their budget for unauthorized clandestine operations, like killing JFK. CIA protects its criminal protégés with their chartered impunity.

They call off law enforcement with the magic words national security or 'sources and methods.' If the plan gets exposed, CIA's criminal cutouts insulate the agency from exposure.

RFK knew how it works. RFK junior explained the reason for RFK's focus on organized-crime until CIA whacked him. That's why his book was made to sink without a ripple.

https://popularresistance.org/the-mass-media-will-not-review-rfk-jr-s-book-why/

Evenfurthermore, CIA is the government and the government is CIA. Decades ago Fletcher Prouty showed that CIA's deepest-cover illegal moles are embedded in our own government. Every agency with repressive capacity is infiltrated with focal points, who report to CIA handlers without the other agency's knowledge.

https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/ST/ST.html

Of course Israel is trying to infiltrate it -- they understand the levers of power.

Assange has got some mighty stinkers in his insurance file. All we can do is hope they're enough to destabilize the CIA Reich that has ruled America since 1949.

[Jul 23, 2018] Usage Examples of Our Intelligence Community, with Implications

Notable quotes:
"... "Our intelligence community" is one of those phrases that make my back teeth itch, because I hate to see "our" doing that much work (especially when I know how much work our's parent, "we," has to do.) ..."
"... On Friday, Michael McFaul, a former United States ambassador to Russia, wrote on Twitter: "I'm very impressed that Mueller was able to name the 12 GRU officers in the new indictment. Demonstrates the incredible capabilities of our intelligence community ." ..."
"... Almost one year ago, on January 28th, 2003, the President devoted one-third of his State of the Union address to what he described as "a serious and mounting threat to our country" posed by Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction. He spoke, in those famous 16 words, about efforts by Iraq to secure enriched uranium from Africa. He talked about aluminum tubes "suitable for nuclear weapons production." He described stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and said, "we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs." ..."
"... That "we know, we know from sources that a missile brigade outside Baghdad was dispersing rocket launchers and warheads containing biological warfare agent to various locations " That "there can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more." Pictures of what he called "active chemical munitions bunkers" with "sure signs that the bunkers are storing chemical munitions." ..."
"... The WMDs episode led to the (bipartisan) Iraq War, the greatest strategic debacle in American history. The WMDs episode was marked by fake evidence (yellowcake; aluminum tubes), planted stories, gaslighting, and a consensus of elite opinion along the Acela Corridor, exactly as today. The intelligence community was wrong. The national security establishment was wrong. The press was wrong. The Congressional leadership was wrong. The President was wrong. Everybody was wrong (except for a few outliers who couldn't get jobs afterwards anyhow, exactly because they were right). And now, today, we are faced with the same demand that we believe what the intelligence community says, without question, and without evidence that the public can see and examine. The only difference is that this time, the stakes are greater: Rather than blowing a few trillion and slaughtering hundreds of thousands of faraway brown people, we're rushing toward a change in the Constitutional Order that in essence makes the intelligence community a fourth branch of the government. ..."
Jul 20, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Usage Examples of "Our Intelligence Community", with Implications Posted on July 22, 2018 by Lambert Strether By Lambert Strether of Corrente .

"Our intelligence community" is one of those phrases that make my back teeth itch, because I hate to see "our" doing that much work (especially when I know how much work our's parent, "we," has to do.) So I thought I'd throw together some usage examples of the term to see if I could find more significant readings than my own reaction, and then draw out some implications from that reading. But first, let's look at how often that term is used, and where. We turn to Google Trends :

Some caveats: Google doesn't have enough data to track "our intelligence community," or so it says, so the search is for "intelligence community" only.

Further, the search is for 2008 to the present, again because Google, or so it says, doesn't have enough data for shorter time frames.[1] However, I think the chart shows that interest in the intelligence community is not general in time or space: It spikes when there's gaslighting with reader interest in particular stories, and spikes along the Acela Corridor, in Washington and New York. (We might also speculate, based on HuffPost/YouGov voter data , that interest in the today's stories about the intelligence is limited not only in space, and time, but in scope: Primarily among liberal Democrats.[2]) With that, let's turn to our usage examples.

I used Google to find them, and of course Google search is crapified and all but useless -- for example, it insists on returning examples of "intelligence community" along with "our intelligence community" in normal search, even with when the search string is quoted -- but it is what it is; readers are invited to supply their own examples.

Example 1, July 13, 2018, New York Times :

On Friday, Michael McFaul, a former United States ambassador to Russia, wrote on Twitter: "I'm very impressed that Mueller was able to name the 12 GRU officers in the new indictment. Demonstrates the incredible capabilities of our intelligence community ."

No. Mueller provided no evidence and the case is unlikely to go to trial; the capability consists in the naming, not in the proof. Verdict: Credulity .

Example 2, July 3, 2018, Washington Post :

The intelligence community determined that the Kremlin intended to "denigrate" and "harm" Clinton, and "undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process" while helping Trump.

And the same claim, July 10, 2018, Washington Post:

The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to boost Trump's candidacy

No. If you click through, you'll find that this is the "17 agencies"/"high confidence" report, whose agencies and analysts were hand-picked by Clapper; that's just not the "intelligence community" as a whole[3]; the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), was not involved in the analysis, for example. (I don't see how it's normal that such an important topic not to be the subject of a Presidental Finding, but perhaps people were in a rush.) Verdict; Misinformation .

Example 3, July 19, 2018, ( retiring ) Senator Jeff Flake (R), New York Times :

FLAKE: We know the intelligence is right. We stand behind our intelligence community . We need to say that in the Senate. Yes, it's symbolic, and symbolism is important.

And a similar formulation, July 22, 2018, Senator Marco Rubio (R), CBS News :

We need to move forward from that with good public policy and part of that is, I think, standing with our intelligence community .

Posturing aside, to my sensibilities, it's pretty disturbing when "support the troops" bleeds over into "support the spies," and when supporting the conclusions of an institution bleeds over into supporting the institution itself, as such. (The whole of the Federalist Papers argues against the latter view: "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.") Verdict: Authoritarian followership .

Example 4, undated, Office of the Director of National Intelligence :

WE UNIFY OUR INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY TOWARD A STRONGER, SAFER NATION

No. The DNI mistakes the hope for the fact; were the intelligence community in fact unified , Clapper would not have hand-picked agencies for his report, and a Presidential Finding would have been made. (And given the source, "our" is doing even more work there than it usual does; it reminds of liberal Democrats talking about "our Democracy." Whose, exactly?) Verdict: Wishful thinking .

Example 5, July 16, 2018, John Sipher (interview), PBS :

I do think the intelligence community is quite resilient. They put their head down and they do their work, but they take this very seriously. And they see the president as their primary customer and they will do almost anything to get the president the information that he needs to do his job.

No. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes -- "Who will guard the guards themselves?" -- was formulated by the Roman poet Juvenal (d. 138AD) in the late first or early second century, [checks calculator], about 1880 years ago. It's absurd to assume that "the intelligence" community has always served its "primary customer" -- see the Bay of Pigs invastion at " groupthink " -- or that they will in the future, especially considering the enormous stakes involved today. Verdict: Historical ignorance .

Example 6, July 12, 2018, Representative Barbara Comstock :

Today I voted for H.R. 6237, the Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019. This important legislation funds our Intelligence community and provides them the resources they need to effectively defend our nation "This legislation makes sure that the dedicated men and women who serve our nation in the Intelligence Community [caps in the original] are fully equipped to fulfill their mission."

No. While Sipher urges ( as does Clapper ) that the intelligence community is in the business of serving customers, Comstock, through her language ("dedicated men and women who serve our nation") identifies it with the military. That's pretty disturbing when you realize that the intelligence community has a domestic component (and when you think back to Obama's 17-city crackdown on Occupy, or Obama's militarized response to #BlackLivesMatter). Verdict: Militarization

Example 7, July 16, 2018, ABC :

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, head of the U.S. intelligence community , reaffirmed his conclusion that Russia had indeed tried to sway the election in a statement published after Trump's remarks.

No. The U.S. has 17 intelligence agencies; the DNI is in no sense their head. From the DNI site :

The core mission of the ODNI is to lead the IC in intelligence integration, forging a community that delivers the most insightful intelligence possible. That means effectively operating as one team: synchronizing collection, analysis and counterintelligence so that they are fused. This integration is the key to ensuring national policymakers receive timely and accurate analysis from the IC to make educated decisions.

If you boil that bureucratic porridge down -- the Russian word for porridge is kasha , in case kompromat has worn thin for you -- you'll see that the 17 intelligence agencies do not have a reporting relationship to the DNI. Hence, the DNI is not their head. QED. Verdict: Authoritarian followership

Example 8, July 18, 2018, John Brennan, Salon :

[BRENNAN:] What Mr. Trump did (Monday) was to betray the women and men of the FBI, the CIA and NSA and others and betray the American public. That's why I use the term, this was nothing short of treason, because it is a betrayal of the nation. He's giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

(Leaving aside Brennan's broad definition of enemy -- apparently a sovereign state with interests different from our own, as opposed to a nation against whom Congress has declared war -- note that Brennan treats the agencies as individual entities, not as "unified," presumably betraying DNI Coats). More:

BRENNAN:] I still shake my head trying to understand what was discussed during the two-hour one-on-one, what was discussed between the two sides in their bilateral meeting. We only saw what Mr. Trump said during the press conference. I can't even imagine what he said behind closed doors. I can't imagine what he said to Mr. Putin directly. I am very concerned about what type of impact it might have on our intelligence community and on this country."

No. Note well: What ( torture advocate ) Brennan says contradicts the other two models expressed in this aggregation. If the President is the customer, it's not Brennan's concern what that customer does (any more than it's Best Buy's concern what I buy in Starbucks after I pick up my flat-screen TV). And if the intelligence community is a branch of the military, it's not their concern what their Commander-in-Chief does; he'll tell them what they need to know.) Seriously, why does the Praetorian Guard need to know what the emperor is doing. Now, one could argue that Brennan's ambition is counteracting Trump's ambition; well and good, but then one needs to think through the consequences. And if Brennan, et al., really believe that Trump committed treason, then they -- as the good patriots they presumably are -- need to indicate a path to removing him. If that path does not include full disclosure of the evidence for whatever charges are to be made, then the country will have to deal with the consequences -- which I'd speculate won't be pretty -- of a change in the Constitutional order where the "intelligence community" can remove a President from office based on its own internal consensus . Praetorian

(Here's a collection of examples ; I wish I had time to do more examples, but these will have to do.)

But speaking of the internal consensus of the intelligence community, let's take a little walk down memory lane . From the "Salon Staff," quoting Senator Jane Harmon:

Almost one year ago, on January 28th, 2003, the President devoted one-third of his State of the Union address to what he described as "a serious and mounting threat to our country" posed by Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction. He spoke, in those famous 16 words, about efforts by Iraq to secure enriched uranium from Africa. He talked about aluminum tubes "suitable for nuclear weapons production." He described stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and said, "we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs."

One week later, on February 5th, Secretary of State Colin Powell, with Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet sitting behind his right shoulder, used charts and photographs to elaborate on the Administration's WMD case. "These are not assertions," Powell said, "these are facts corroborated by many sources." Among Powell's claims were:

That "we know, we know from sources that a missile brigade outside Baghdad was dispersing rocket launchers and warheads containing biological warfare agent to various locations " That "there can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more." Pictures of what he called "active chemical munitions bunkers" with "sure signs that the bunkers are storing chemical munitions."

Powell has subsequently said that he spent days personally assessing the intelligence. He included only information he felt was fully supported by the analysis. Hence, no mention of enriched uranium from Africa, no claim that al Qaeda was involved in 9-11.

The effect was powerful. Veteran columnist for the Washington Post, Mary McGrory, known for liberal views and Kennedy connections, wrote an op-ed the following day entitled "I Am Persuaded". Members of Congress, like me, believed the intelligence case. We voted for the resolution on Iraq to urge U.N. action and to authorize military force only if diplomacy failed. We felt confident we had made the wise choice.

But as the evidence pours in the Intelligence Committee's review of the pre-war intelligence; David Kay's interim report on the failure to find WMD in Iraq; an impressive study by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board's critique; thoughtful commentaries like that of Ken Pollack in this month's Atlantic Monthly; and investigative reporting including a lengthy front page story by Barton Gellman of the Washington Post on January 7,

we are finding out that Powell and other policymakers were wrong, British intelligence was wrong, and those of us who believed the intelligence were wrong . Indeed, I doubt there would be discussions of David Kay's possible departure if the Iraq Survey Group were on the verge of uncovering large stockpiles of weapons or an advanced nuclear weapons program.

But if 9/11 was a failure to connect the dots, it appears that the Intelligence Community, in the case of Iraq's WMD, connected the dots to the wrong conclusions . If our intelligence products had been better, I believe many policymakers, including me, would have had a far clearer picture of the sketchiness of our sources on Iraq's WMD programs, and our lack of certainty about Iraq's chemical, biological and nuclear capabilities.

Let me add that policymakers -- including members of Congress -- have a duty to ask tough questions, to probe the information being presented to them. We also have a duty to portray that information publicly as accurately as we can.

The WMDs episode led to the (bipartisan) Iraq War, the greatest strategic debacle in American history. The WMDs episode was marked by fake evidence (yellowcake; aluminum tubes), planted stories, gaslighting, and a consensus of elite opinion along the Acela Corridor, exactly as today. The intelligence community was wrong. The national security establishment was wrong. The press was wrong. The Congressional leadership was wrong. The President was wrong. Everybody was wrong (except for a few outliers who couldn't get jobs afterwards anyhow, exactly because they were right). And now, today, we are faced with the same demand that we believe what the intelligence community says, without question, and without evidence that the public can see and examine. The only difference is that this time, the stakes are greater: Rather than blowing a few trillion and slaughtering hundreds of thousands of faraway brown people, we're rushing toward a change in the Constitutional Order that in essence makes the intelligence community a fourth branch of the government.

Why are we doing that? Well, if you look at the verdicts after each of the quotes I've found, taking the quotes as a proxy for elite opinion, one reason might be that the portion of our elites involved in the Russia narrative -- who, let us remember, are limited in space and scope -- are:

If power is lying in the street, beware of who picks it up. Matters might not improve.

NOTES .

[1] The hit count (100 for the spike in January 2017) is oddly low; sadly, although 100 looks like a blue link, we cannot click through to check the data. However, even if the aggregates are low, I think we can assume that both the shape of the trend line and its geographic distribution are directionally correct, because the spikes occur at reasonable places for them to occur. Sidebar: Note the horrid user interface design, which uses inordinate amounts of screen space to no purpose, disrespecting the time-pressed professional user.

[2] We might even go so far as to speculate that -- given these limitations in space -- that while "our" asserts Democrat leadership as a National party, Democrats are in fact a State party. Removing the hyphen from "nation-state" is a neat way of encapsulating our current legitimacy crisis.

[3] "Intelligence community," like "deep state," connotes unity among institutions that are in fact riven by faction.

ADDENDUM: Scott Horton

I didn't add this material to the post proper, because I only had screen shots, and I wasn't able to find the post in time using Google, or Facebook's lousy search. So after ten minutes of plowing through Facebook's infinite scroll, here is the embed* from Scott Horton that I sought:

And a screen shot personally taken by me:

Note the lead: "European intelligence analysts ," so reminiscent of Bush's "British intelligence has learned " (the sixteen words ). What they "learned," of course, was the faked evidence on Niger yellowcake. Go through my list of "verdicts," starting with "credulous," and see what does not apply to Horton.

Horton is a Contributing Editor to Harper's Magazine, has a law practice in New York, and is affiliate with Columbia Law School and the Open Society Institute.

Corey Robin's reaction ( via ):

I agree. And from a voter:

The key point, for me, is this: "Liberal Democrats do not view anyone outside of places like Orange and Lexington County (whom they go all-out to court) as people fit to make their own choices." It's important to watch for outright denial of agency, to others, not merely lack of agency. That's true for Horton, it was true for Clinton's "deplorables" comment, and it was true for Obama's "bitter"/"cling to" Kinseley gaffe.

It would be nice if Senator Sanders didn't signal boost this stuff. Here's another usage example of "intelligence community":

Or, to put this another way, Sanders needs to get his supporters' backs, and fast, with messaging that doesn't take a "duck and cover" approach by repeating the catchphrases of the current onslaught, but contextualizes and decontaminates it. I didn't say that would be easy

NOTE * I like the picture the Time chose very much; apparently, the evul left is young, female, swarthy, and/or black. No suburban Republicans here! The "AbolishICE" t-shirt -- and not, say, #MedicareForAll -- is also a nice touch.

[Jul 20, 2018] Doubting The Intelligence Of The Intelligence Community by Ilana Mercer

Highly recommended!
Intelligence community is a new Praetorian guard which since JFK murder can decide the fate of presidents.
Notable quotes:
"... Peter Strzok, the disgraced and disgraceful Federal Bureau of Investigation official, is the very definition of a slimy swamp creature. Strzok twitched, grimaced and ranted his way to infamy during a joint hearing of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees, on July 12. ..."
"... Strzok is the youthful face of the venerated "Intelligence Community," itself part of the sprawling political machine that makes up the D.C. comitatus ..."
"... Smug, self-satisfied, cheating creature that he is, Strzok can't take responsibility for his own misconduct, and blames Russia for dividing America. In the largely progressive bureau, moreover, Agent Strzok is neither underling nor outlier, for that matter. ..."
"... A "blind bootlicking faith in spooks" is certainly unwarranted and may even be foolish. What of odious individuals like former FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and his predecessor, James Comey, now openly campaigning for the Democrats? Are these leaders outliers in the "Intelligence Community"? ..."
"... Similarly, it's hard to think of a more partisan operator than John O. Brennan -- he ran the CIA under President Obama. True to type, he cast a vote for Communist Party USA, back in 1976, when the current Russia monomania would have been justified. Brennan has dubbed President Trump a traitor for having dared to doubt people like himself. ..."
"... The very embodiment of the Surveillance State at its worst is Michael V. Hayden. Hayden has moved seamlessly from the National Security Agency and the CIA to CNN where he beats up on Trump. The former Bush employee hollered treason: "One of the most disgraceful performances of an American president in front of a Russian leader," Hayden inveighed. Not only had POTUS dared to explore the possibility of a truce with Russia, which is a formidable nuclear power; but the president had the temerity to express a smidgen of skepticism about a community littered with spooks like Mr. Hayden. ..."
"... Pray tell, since when does the Deep State -- FBI, CIA, DIA, NSA, DNI, (Director of National Intelligence), on and on -- represent, or stand for, the American People? The president, conversely, actually got the support of at least 60 million Americans. ..."
"... Outside the Beltway, ordinary folks -- Deplorables, if you will -- have to sympathize with the president's initial and honest appraisal of the Intelligence Community's collective intelligence. This is the community that has sent us into quite a few recreational, hobby wars. ..."
Jul 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

Peter Strzok, the disgraced and disgraceful Federal Bureau of Investigation official, is the very definition of a slimy swamp creature. Strzok twitched, grimaced and ranted his way to infamy during a joint hearing of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees, on July 12.

In no way had he failed to discharge his professional unbiased obligation to the public, asserted Strzok. He had merely expressed the hope that "the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating such horrible, disgusting behavior."

But we did not elect YOU, Mr. Strzok. We elected Mr. Trump.

Strzok is the youthful face of the venerated "Intelligence Community," itself part of the sprawling political machine that makes up the D.C. comitatus , now writhing like a fire breathing mythical monster against President Donald Trump.

Smug, self-satisfied, cheating creature that he is, Strzok can't take responsibility for his own misconduct, and blames Russia for dividing America. In the largely progressive bureau, moreover, Agent Strzok is neither underling nor outlier, for that matter. He's an overlord, having risen "to become the Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division, the second-highest position in that division."

As Ann Coulter observed, the FBI is not the FBI of J. Edgar Hoover. Neither is the Intelligence Community Philip Haney's IC any longer. Haney was a heroic, soft-spoken, demure employee at the Department of Homeland Security. Agents like him are often fired if they don't get with the program. He didn't. Haney's method and the authentic intelligence he mined and developed might have stopped the likes of the San Bernardino mass murderers and many others. Instead, his higher-ups in the "Intelligence Community" made Haney and his data disappear.

Post Haney, the FBI failed to adequately screen and stop Syed Farook and blushing bride Tashfeen Malik.

A "blind bootlicking faith in spooks" is certainly unwarranted and may even be foolish. What of odious individuals like former FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and his predecessor, James Comey, now openly campaigning for the Democrats? Are these leaders outliers in the "Intelligence Community"?

As Peter Strzok might say to his paramour in a private tweet, "Who ya gonna believe, the Intelligence Community or your own lying eyes?" The Bureau in particular and the IC cabal, in general, appear to be dominated by the likes of the dull-witted Mr. Strzok.

Similarly, it's hard to think of a more partisan operator than John O. Brennan -- he ran the CIA under President Obama. True to type, he cast a vote for Communist Party USA, back in 1976, when the current Russia monomania would have been justified. Brennan has dubbed President Trump a traitor for having dared to doubt people like himself.

The very embodiment of the Surveillance State at its worst is Michael V. Hayden. Hayden has moved seamlessly from the National Security Agency and the CIA to CNN where he beats up on Trump. The former Bush employee hollered treason: "One of the most disgraceful performances of an American president in front of a Russian leader," Hayden inveighed. Not only had POTUS dared to explore the possibility of a truce with Russia, which is a formidable nuclear power; but the president had the temerity to express a smidgen of skepticism about a community littered with spooks like Mr. Hayden.

As one wag noted , not unreasonably, ours is "a highly-politicized intelligence community, infiltrated over decades by cadres of Deep State operatives and sleeper agents, whose goal is to bring down this presidency."

The latest pillorying heaped upon the president by the permanent establishment has it that, "Trump chose to stand with Vladimir Putin, instead of the American People." Trump, to be precise, had the temerity to "openly question his own intelligence agencies' firm finding that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S."

Pray tell, since when does the Deep State -- FBI, CIA, DIA, NSA, DNI, (Director of National Intelligence), on and on -- represent, or stand for, the American People? The president, conversely, actually got the support of at least 60 million Americans.

That's a LOT of support. Outside the Beltway, ordinary folks -- Deplorables, if you will -- have to sympathize with the president's initial and honest appraisal of the Intelligence Community's collective intelligence. This is the community that has sent us into quite a few recreational, hobby wars.

And this is the community that regularly intercepts but fails to surveys and stop the likes of mass murderers Syed Farook and bride Tashfeen Malik. Or, Orlando nightclub killer Omar Mateen, whose father the Bureau saw fit to hire as an informant. The same "community" has invited the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Arab-American Institute to help shape FBI counterterrorism training.

The FBI might not be very intelligent at all. About the quality of that intelligence, consider: On August 3, 2016, as the mad media were amping up their Russia monomania, a frenzied BuzzFeed -- it calls itself a news org -- reported that "the Russian foreign ministry had wired nearly $30,000 through a Kremlin-backed bank to its embassy in Washington, DC."

Intercepted by American intelligence, the Russian wire stipulated that the funds were meant "to finance the election campaign of 2016." Was this not "meddling in our election" or what? Did we finally have irrefutable evidence of Kremlin culpability? The FBI certainly thought so. "Worse still, this was only one of 60 transfers that were being scrutinized by the FBI," wrote the Economist, in November of 2017. "Similar transfers were made to other countries." As it transpired, the money was wired from the Kremlin to embassies the world over. Its purpose? Russia was preparing to hold parliamentary elections in 2016 and had sent funds to Russian embassies "to organize the polling for expatriates."

While it did update its Fake News factoids, Buzzfeed felt no compunction whatsoever to remove the erroneous item or publicly question their sources in the unimpeachable "Intelligence Community."

Most news media are just not as inquisitive as President Trump.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of " Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa " (2011) & " The Trump Revolution: The Donald's Creative Destruction Deconstructed " (June, 2016). She's on Twitter , Facebook , Gab & YouTube

[Jul 09, 2018] The CIA s return to the bad old days, when it engaged in a global program of assassinating political leaders

Notable quotes:
"... IS THE LEASH NOW OFF THE 'OTHER CIA?' https://southfront.org/is-the-leash-now-off-the-other-cia/ ..."
"... Under Donald Trump, who is on record favoring CIA kidnapping and torture programs, the CIA has been given a green light to carry out "targeted assassinations." ..."
Jul 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

redmudhooch , July 3, 2018 at 12:58 pm GMT

IS THE LEASH NOW OFF THE 'OTHER CIA?' https://southfront.org/is-the-leash-now-off-the-other-cia/

Under Donald Trump, who is on record favoring CIA kidnapping and torture programs, the CIA has been given a green light to carry out "targeted assassinations."

Although most of these targeted kills have been carried out by drone attacks in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia, where civilian deaths from "collateral damage" are estimated to be well over three hundred, recent events point to the CIA's return to the "bad old days," when it engaged in a global program of assassinating political leaders.

... ... ...

[Feb 01, 2018] FISA Frivolity: FBI Warns Memo Could Undermine Faith In Massive, Unaccountable Secret Agencies

Notable quotes:
"... Stressing that such an action would be highly reckless, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Thursday that releasing the "Nunes Memo" could potentially undermine faith in the massive, unaccountable government secret agencies of the United States. ..."
"... "Making this memo public will almost certainly impede our ability to conduct clandestine activities operating outside any legal or judicial system on an international scale," said Wray, noting that it was essential that mutual trust exist between the American people and the vast, mysterious cabal given free rein to use any tactics necessary to conduct surveillance on U.S. citizens or subvert religious and political groups. ..."
"... If we take away the people's faith in this shadowy monolith exempt from any consequences, all that's left is an extensive network of rogue, unelected intelligence officers carrying out extrajudicial missions for a variety of subjective, and occasionally personal, reasons. ..."
Feb 01, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

With the moment of truth - over-hyped dud or Democratic-establishment-crushing dream - looming in less than 24 hours, the headlines, finger-pointing, pettiness, and back-stabbing has reached 11 on the Spinal Tap amplifier of debacle... to the point where some humor in this FISA farce may help everyone get through the weekend.

The following is the latest to cross the wires...

Stressing that such an action would be highly reckless, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Thursday that releasing the "Nunes Memo" could potentially undermine faith in the massive, unaccountable government secret agencies of the United States.

"Making this memo public will almost certainly impede our ability to conduct clandestine activities operating outside any legal or judicial system on an international scale," said Wray, noting that it was essential that mutual trust exist between the American people and the vast, mysterious cabal given free rein to use any tactics necessary to conduct surveillance on U.S. citizens or subvert religious and political groups.

"If we take away the people's faith in this shadowy monolith exempt from any consequences, all that's left is an extensive network of rogue, unelected intelligence officers carrying out extrajudicial missions for a variety of subjective, and occasionally personal, reasons."

At press time, Wray confirmed the massive, unaccountable government secret agencies were unaware of any wrongdoing for violating constitutional rights.

...Yes, The Onion.

[Oct 31, 2017] Read the CIA s Simple Sabotage Field Manual: A Timeless, Kafkaesque Guide to Subverting Any Organization with Purposeful Stupidity (1944)

Oct 31, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

[ Open Culture ] ( PDF ).

Arizona Slim , October 30, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Quoting from the guide: "The saboteur may have to reverse his thinking, and he should be told this in so many words. Where he formerly thought of keeping his tools sharp, he should now let them grow dull; surfaces that formerly were lubricated now should be sanded; normally diligent, he should now be lazy and careless; and so on. Once he is encouraged to think backwards about himself and the objects of his everyday life, the saboteur will see many opportunities in his immediate environment which cannot possibly be seen from a distance. A state of mind should be encouraged that anything can be sabotaged."

Fun stuff!

Pogonip , October 30, 2017 at 3:10 pm

Well, now we know where they get the instructions for The Ongoing Crapification Of Everything.

Off-the-rack clothing has reached a new high (low?) in crapification. I know to check for missing buttons, dud zippers, gaps in stitching, crooked seams, no seam allowance, sleeves of unequal length, but the other day I bought a shirt that passed all the above and when I got it home I noticed it had not been hemmed! It had honestly never occurred to me to check something that basic.

[Oct 24, 2017] The Weinstein story was suppressed by Hollywood, using its legal and financial muscle to keep a lid on it until now. But there are also power centres in the US government that can dictate to Hollywood: the Pentagon and the CIA

Notable quotes:
"... it could be surmised that this basically a turf war among the Hollywood power elites that went nuclear on Weinstein. When one scumbag accuses another scumbag of being a scumbag, there is more to the story than feigned moral outrage. ..."
Oct 24, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Warren , October 22, 2017 at 4:37 am

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The Weinstein story was suppressed by Hollywood, using its legal and financial muscle to keep a lid on it – until now. But there are also power centres in the US government that can dictate to Hollywood: the Pentagon and the CIA

Patient Observer , October 22, 2017 at 7:51 am
What did Weinstein do to get thrown under the bus by his peers? Just on general principles, it could be surmised that this basically a turf war among the Hollywood power elites that went nuclear on Weinstein. When one scumbag accuses another scumbag of being a scumbag, there is more to the story than feigned moral outrage.
yalensis , October 22, 2017 at 11:55 am
When I first heard about the Hollywood scandal, I was confused for a minute, thinking, "Weinstein is so gay, why would he harrass women?"

And then I realized that I was confusing Harvey Weinstein with Harvey Fierstein!

[Jun 15, 2017] Seveteen Sisters -- 17 US Agencies Make Up The Most Sophisticated Spy Network In The World by Paul Szoldra

Notable quotes:
"... The National Security Agency was once so secretive it was jokingly called 'No Such Agency.' ..."
May 11, 2013 | www.businessinsider.com

The U.S. intelligence community is vast , composed of 17 distinct organizations each operating under its own shroud of secrecy.

Oversight of these agencies generally falls to the Department of Defense or Congress, leaving the average citizen with precious little knowledge of how they operate.

Funded by largely classified budgets, it's difficult to assess how much the U.S. annually spends on these clandestine operations, but one 2012 estimate pegs the cost at about $75 billion.

The following slides highlight the expansive reach of the U.S. intelligence community.

The Central Intelligence Agency spies on foreign governments and organizes covert ops. screenshot

The CIA is the most well-known U.S. spying agency, formed by the passage of the National Security Act of 1947. The agency has its roots with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) that operated during World War II.

Headquarters : Langley, Va.

Mission : CIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates intelligence gathered on foreign nations. This comes through signals and human intelligence sources.

Budget : Classified. On their website , the CIA states, "neither the number of employees nor the size of the Agency's budget can, at present, be publicly disclosed. A common misconception is that the Agency has an unlimited budget, which is far from true."

the annual intelligence budget was $44 billion.

The National Security Agency was once so secretive it was jokingly called 'No Such Agency.' NSA Headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland NSA

The NSA was No Such Agency ."

Headquarters : Fort Meade, Md.

Budget : Classified. Some estimate the NSA is actually the largest intelligence organization in the world - three times the size of the CIA The headquarters alone takes up 6.3 million square feet - around the same size as the Pentagon - with 112 acres of parking spaces, reports the Washington Post.

The Defense Intelligence Agency works to understand what foreign militaries will do before they do it. DIA its overseas spy network to collect first-hand intelligence.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : The DIA serves as the lead intelligence agency for the Dept. of Defense, coordinating analysis and collection of intelligence on foreign militaries, in addition to surveillance and reconnaissance operations. The DIA is the common link between military and national intelligence agencies.

Budget : Classified. The DIA does not reveal budget information, although they do say they have more than 16,500 men and women working for them and are under DoD and congressional oversight.

The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research provides diplomats the necessary tools for effective foreign policy.

The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) has ties to the Office of Strategic Services from World War II, but was transferred to State after the war. INR now reports directly to the Secretary of State, harnessing intelligence from all sources and offering independent analysis of global events and real-time insight.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : This agency serves as the Secretary of State's primary advisor on intelligence matters, and gives support to other policymakers, ambassadors, and embassy staff.

Budget : $49 million in 2007, according to documents obtained by FAS.

Air Force Intelligence provides reconnaissance for US ground troops.

Formerly known as the Air Intelligence Agency, the agency is now known as the Air Force ISR - Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance. Air Force intelligence was established in 1948 to get information to troops on the ground, and most recently, the ISR has collected that intelligence from aerial drones.

Headquarters : Lackland Air Force Base, Texas

Mission : Air Force ISR collects and analyzes intelligence on foreign nations and hostile forces, both in and out of combat zones. They also conduct electronic and photographic surveillance, and provide weather and mapping data to troops in the field.

Budget : Unknown . The budget of ISR apparently falls under the Air Force's Operation & Maintenance budget, which includes other areas outside of the agency's scope such as flying operations and logistics. That number for 2012, however, was just over $46 million.

The FBI's National Security Branch oversees counterterrorism and intelligence gathering.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Security Branch (NSB) was established in 2005 , combining resources that include counterterrorism, counter-intelligence, weapons of mass destruction, and intelligence under a single FBI leader.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : Formed after 9/11 and the Iraq WMD commission - when intelligence agencies were not sharing data with each other - the NSB integrates intel on national security and criminal threats from a variety of sources that are often intertwined in order to protect U.S. interests.

Budget : Total FBI budget was approximately $8.1 billion in 2012, which included an increase of $119 million "to enhance our counterterrorism, computer intrusions, and other programs," according to their website.

Army Intelligence and Security Command offers essential intel to troops on the battlefield.

Army intelligence has been around since spies worked for the Continental Army in 1775 , but the U.S. Army's Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) was established in 1977 to become the major unifying command of army intelligence.

Headquarters : Fort Belvoir, Va.

Mission : INSCOM provides commanders on the ground with information they may need on the battlefield: intercepted enemy radio communications, maps, ground imagery, and information on force structure and numbers.

Budget : Unknown. The total military intelligence budget was $21.5 billion in 2012.

The Department of Energy, Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence gathers information on foreign nuclear weapons.

Surprisingly, the Energy Department even has an intelligence service. The Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence focuses on technical intelligence on nuclear weapons and nonproliferation, nuclear energy (especially foreign), and energy security.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : The Dept. of Energy doesn't have the ability to conduct foreign intelligence, instead relying on information passed to them by other agencies (such as the CIA or NSA). If it involves weapons of mass destruction, the DoE offers up the analytical expertise.

Budget : Unknown. Like other government budgets, the intelligence activity is not specifically mentioned, although it may fall under "Atomic Energy Defense Activities" which had a total budget of more than $16 billion in 2012.

Coast Guard Intelligence provides information on maritime security and homeland defense.

Coast Guard Intelligence (CGI) was formed in 1915 and now falls under the Dept. of Homeland Security, providing information on maritime and port security, search and rescue, and counter-narcotics.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : Although CGI is technically an intelligence agency, its primary mission is as an investigative arm of the Coast Guard. CGI special agents "conduct criminal, counterintelligence and personnel security investigations within the Coast Guard's area of responsibility," with the majority being criminal offenses violating military law, according to the Coast Guard's official website . However, the Coast Guard does have specialists conducting analysis and collection of intelligence.

Budget : Unknown. Like the Army, the budget has some overlap, although the 2014 budget request includes $60 million for C4ISR systems, an acronym for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.

CGI headquarters is relatively small, only employing about 280 .

The Treasury's Office of Intelligence and Analysis collects terrorism and financial intelligence.

The Office of Intelligence and Analysis is fairly new, established in 2004 by the Intelligence Authorization Act. OIA's focus is mainly on providing information to combat terrorism and illicit financial transactions.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : OIA safeguards the U.S. financial system "against illicit use and combating rogue nations, terrorist facilitators, weapons of mass destruction proliferators, money launderers, drug kingpins, and other national security threats," according to DNI.

Budget : Around $340 million.

The Drug Enforcement Administration hunts down illegal drugs.

The DEA has been gathering intelligence for anti-drug operations since its establishment in 1973 . The agency collects and provides intelligence to other law enforcement agencies and helps with investigations.

Headquarters : El Paso, Texas

Mission : DEA assists local and federal law enforcement in conducting major drug investigations, along with developing "information that leads to seizures and arrests, and provid[ing] policy makers with drug trend information upon which programmatic decisions can be based," according to their website.

Budget : $2 billion (total DEA budget in 2013)

The Marine Corps Intelligence Activity monitors the Corp's battlefields.

Like Army intelligence, the Marine Corps provides their own agency to collect and analyze information for troops on the ground. This includes map making, radio intercepts, human intelligence, and counter-intelligence.

Headquarters : Quantico, Va.

Mission : The primary function of Marine IA is to give tactical and operational intelligence to battlefield commanders. They also serve as the "go-to" unit for the Commandant of the Marine Corps on understanding intel.

Budget : Unknown. The total military intelligence budget was $21.5 billion in 2012.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency provides advanced mapping for military forces.

Having its roots from the 1972 formation of the Defense Mapping Agency and formerly known as NIMA , the agency was renamed the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in 2003 . The agency has the task of collecting and understanding Earth's physical and man-made attributes. Using advanced imagery (mainly from satellites), it was NGA watching Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.

Headquarters : Ft. Belvoir, Va.

Mission : NGA employs cartographers and analysts that collect and generate information about the Earth. This data is used in navigation, national security, military operations, and humanitarian aid efforts.

Budget : Classified . NGA employs approximately 14,500 government civilians.

The National Reconnaissance Office is responsible for America's spy satellites.

While the NGA is responsible for gaining information from satellite data, the National Reconnaissance Office - created secretly in 1961 and not acknowledged until 1992 - is in charge with satellite design, building, launch, and maintenance.

Headquarters : Chantilly, Va.

Mission : NRO gives its mission as "innovative overhead intelligence systems for national security." Simply put, the NRO provides their "customers" at the CIA, DoD, and elsewhere with technologically advanced spy satellites.

Budget : Classified .

The Office of Naval Intelligence provides information on the world's oceans to sailors everywhere.

The Office of Naval Intelligence was established in 1882 for "the purpose of collecting and recording naval information" that could be useful in war and peace. Like other military intelligence services, ONI gives maritime commanders information they need on foreign forces.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : ONI gathers intelligence and moves it rapidly to decision makers. "We produce maritime intelligence on weapons and technology proliferation and smuggling and illicit maritime activities that directly supports the U.S. Navy, joint war fighters and national decision makers and agencies," according to their website.

Budget : Unknown. The total military intelligence budget was $21.5 billion in 2012.

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis looks for information on any potential threats to the US.

The DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis works primarily on homeland threats - collecting and analyzing information, and sharing intelligence with local and federal law enforcement through the use of " fusion centers ."

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : They work on four main areas: understanding threats through analysis, collecting information relevant to homeland security, sharing that information with the agencies that need it, and managing the homeland security enterprise, according to DNI.

Budget : Classified. In a Congressional Research Service report , it was noted that "DNI does not publicly disclose details about the intelligence budget, but ... reported that the aggregate amount appropriated to the [national intelligence program] for FY2009 was $49.8 billion."

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is where all the intelligence should come together for delivery to the president.

Established in 2004 , the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) manages the efforts of the entire U.S. intelligence community. Director James R. Clapper serves as the principal advisor to the president as well as the National Security and Homeland Security Councils.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : The DNI has two main missions: to lead intelligence integration, and "forge an intelligence community that delivers the most insightful intelligence possible."

Budget : The specifics of the office itself are unknown, but the total aggregate amount for the national intelligence program is more than $48 billion.

BONUS: The 'intelligence state' has been expanding drastically since 9/11. Gary Nichols via U.S. Military

The U.S. intelligence community is officially made of 17 organizations, but there is even more to the story.

A groundbreaking investigation from the Washington Post found some rather daunting figures:

- 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies are working on intelligence, counterterrorism, or homeland security in the U.S.

- Just the NSA alone is contracting with more than 250 companies on intelligence work, including big names like Northrop Grumman and SAIC.

- Many intelligence agencies are doing redundant work, such as 51 federal and military organizations that track the flow of money in and out of terror networks.

- One reason why those intelligence budgets are classified: millions of dollars in so-called "ghost money" given to foreign governments.

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