As the conflict between Ukraine and Russia continues to escalate and dominate the world’s attention, the increasing evidence that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is and has been working to create and arm an insurgency in the country has received considerably little attention considering its likely consequences. This is particularly true given that former CIA officials and a former Secretary of State are now openly saying that the CIA is following the “models” of past CIA-backed insurgencies in Afghanistan and Syria for its plans in Ukraine. Given that those countries have been ravaged by war as a direct result of those insurgencies, this bodes poorly for Ukraine. Yet, this insurgency is poised to have consequences that reach far beyond Ukraine.
A report declassified last Wednesday by the Department of Homeland Security is raising serious concerns about the possibly illegal involvement by the intelligence community in U.S. domestic political affairs. Entitled “Domestic Violent Extremism Poses Heightened Threat in 2021,” the March 1 Report from the Director of National Intelligence states that it was prepared “in consultation with the Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security—and was drafted by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with contributions from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).”
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced that President Biden ordered three US intelligence agencies to review the threat of “domestic violent extremism.” Since pro-Trump demonstrators stormed the US Capitol building on January 6th, calls to combat “domestic terrorism” have been growing. Before January 6th, Biden’s transition team had said they were planning to pass laws against domestic terrorism, and the Capitol incident has made it a top priority. “The January 6th assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we have long known. The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat,” Psaki said.
We are in troubling times, listeners know, with people being attacked for simply saying that Black Lives Matter and a president encouraging those attacks. It’s what many feared when Trump came into office. But at the same time, we acknowledge that Trump didn’t create the phenomenon of white supremacist violence. There’s a whole history there that media should be using to shape their recording of present day events, give them context–and hopefully put an end to the “troubled individual” trope to describe people who are, in fact, part of something larger. CounterSpin talked about this in June of 2017 with Heidi Beirich, who leads the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
White supremacists present the gravest terror threat to the United States, according to a draft report from the Department of Homeland Security. Two later draft versions of the same document — all of which were reviewed by POLITICO — describe the threat from white supremacists in slightly different language. But all three drafts describe the threat from white supremacists as the deadliest domestic terror threat facing the U.S., listed above the immediate danger from foreign terrorist groups. “Foreign terrorist organizations will continue to call for Homeland attacks but probably will remain constrained in their ability to direct such plots over the next year,” all three documents say.