The threat of war is difficult to beat when it comes to mending or enhancing a damaged reputation. President Joe Biden and Boris Johnson, both derided as ineffective in domestic policy only a few weeks ago, are now reborn as statesmen capable of guiding their countries through the minefield of Eastern European politics. The American and British intelligence services seldom got things right during the Iraq, Libyan and Syrian conflicts, but they are now being cited as reliable guarantors of the credibility of stories about an impending Russian invasion of Ukraine. This narrative is sold to the public as the fruit of “open intelligence”, supposedly more democratic than the more secretive approach of the past.
December 22, 1963 — exactly one month after President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated, former President Harry S. Truman published an op-ed in the Washington Post that most people, especially our perfumed ruling elite, wanted to ignore. Truman, who signed the CIA into existence just after World War II, wrote, “I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—the CIA. […] For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.
Mainstream Democrats are in a hawkish mood when it comes to “domestic terrorism.” That is bad news for the left. Immediately upon taking office, President Biden “tasked the director of national intelligence, in coordination with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, with compiling a comprehensive threat assessment on violent domestic extremism,“ according to The Washington Post. This request was prompted by the right-wing attack on the Capitol on January 6. The resulting report, “Domestic Violent Extremism Poses Heightened Threat in 2021,” was submitted on March 1, and its executive summary was released publicly a few days later.
Former acting CIA Director Mike Morell, who has disingenuously argued for years that he had nothing to do with the agency’s torture program, but who continued to defend it, has taken himself out of the running to be President-elect Joe Biden’s new CIA director. The decision is a victory for the peace group Code Pink, which spearheaded the Stop Morell movement, and it’s a great thing for all Americans. Now, though, we have to turn our attention to Biden’s nominee to be director of national intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines. Haines is certainly qualified on paper to lead the Intelligence Community.
The hyperbolic, evidence-free media reports on the “fresh outbreak” of the Russian-hacking disease seems an obvious attempt by intelligence to handcuff President-elect Joe Biden into a strong anti-Russian posture as he prepares to enter the White House. Biden might well need to be inoculated against the Russophobe fever. There are obvious Biden intentions worrying the intelligence agencies, such as renewing the Iran nuclear deal and restarting talks on strategic arms limitation with Russia. Both carry the inherent “risk” of thawing the new Cold War. Instead, New Cold Warriors are bent on preventing any such rapprochement with strong support from the intelligence community’s mouthpiece media. U.S. hardliners are clearly still on the rise.
Four leading Defense Intelligence Service personnel were suspended on Monday, August 24, pending an independent investigation into serious charges of illegalities—amounting to what Danish daily Politiken is calling the greatest “life scandal in its history.” Lars Findsen, the current director of Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste (FE), the Danish Defense Intelligence agency, and his predecessor, Thomas Ahrenkiel, plus two other current intelligence officers, are temporarily suspended. Ahrenkiel, former FE chief from 2010 to 2015, is awaiting his new post as Denmark’s new ambassador to Germany.
The fresh orgy of anti-Russian invective in the lickspittle media (LSM) has the feel of fin de siècle. The last four reality-impaired years do seem as though they add up to a century. And no definitive fin is in sight, as long as most people don’t know what’s going on. The LSM should be confronted: “At long last have you left no sense of decency?” But who would hear the question — much less any answer? The corporate media have a lock on what Americans are permitted or not permitted to hear. Checking the truth, once routine in journalism, is a thing of the past.
Corporate media are binging on leaked Kool Aid not unlike the WMD concoction they offered 18 years ago to “justify” the U.S.-UK war of aggression on Iraq. Now Michael McFaul, ambassador to Russia under President Obama, has been enlisted by The Washington Post’s editorial page honcho, Fred Hiatt, to draw on his expertise (read, incurable Russophobia) to help stick President Donald Trump back into “Putin’s pocket.” (This has become increasingly urgent as the canard of “Russiagate” — including the linchpin claim that Russia hacked the DNC — lies gasping for air.) In an oped on Thursday McFaul presented a long list of Vladimir Putin’s alleged crimes, offering a more ostensibly sophisticated version of amateur Russian specialist, Rep. Jason Crow’s (D-CO) claim that: “Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy.”
The New York Times dropped another Russiagate bombshell on June 26 with a sensational front-page story headlined, “Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says.” A predictable media and political frenzy followed, reviving the anti-Russian hysteria that has excited the Beltway establishment for the past four years. But a closer look at the reporting by the Times and other mainstream outlets vying to confirm its coverage reveals another scandal, not unlike Russiagate itself: the core elements of the story appear to have been fabricated by Afghan government intelligence to derail a potential US troop withdrawal from the country. And they were leaked to the Times and other outlets by US national security state officials who shared an agenda with their Afghan allies.
It took little more than a year for the president to come to grips with a reality that would be reflected in the findings of Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko, that there had been “explicit and sustained efforts by the U.S. government to deliberately mislead the public…to distort statistics to make it appear the United States was winning the war when that was not the case.” In November 2018, Trump turned on “Mad Dog”, telling the former Marine General “I gave you what you asked for. Unlimited authority, no holds barred. You’re losing. You’re getting your ass kicked. You failed.” It was probably the most honest assessment of the War in Afghanistan any American president delivered to his serving secretary of defense. By December 2018 Mattis was out, having resigned in the face of Trump’s decision to cut American losses not only in Afghanistan but also in Syria and Iraq.
Intelligence analysts must pay close attention, of course, to provenance. What is this or that source’s record for accuracy, for reliability? What kind of trough might this or that source be feeding from; and what agenda might she or he have? Discriminating readers of the corporate media — and especially the Times — should do the same with respect to journalists. When they see the byline of David Sanger they need to examine his record. Those who look back to before the U.S./UK attack on Iraq will discover that Sanger was heavily promoting the existence of WMD in Iraq as a certainty. In a July 29, 2002 article co-written with Thom Shanker, for example, Iraq’s (non-existent) “weapons of mass destruction” appear no fewer than seven times as flat fact. This Sanger/Shanker article, apparently fed by intelligence sources, came just nine days after the head of British intelligence, Sir Richard Dearlove, was briefed by CIA chief Tenet at CIA headquarters in Langley, VA. Three days later, on July 23, Dearlove told then Prime Minister Tony Blair that the coming attack on Iraq was a done deal.
Early last week, the city of New York launched — with little media scrutiny — one of two new massive cybersecurity centers that will be run by private Israeli firms with close ties to Israel’s government, the so-called “Mega Group” tied to the Jeffrey Epstein scandal and prominent pro-Israel lobby organizations operating in the United States. The centers were first announced in 2018 as was the identity of the firms who would run them...
Consortium News Sends Libel Notices To Canadian Signals Intelligence Agency And Major Television Network
Consortium News has sent libel notices to the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), Canada’s version of the U.S. National Security Agency, and to a major Canadian television network, Global News, for a report that said Consortium News was “part of a cyber-influence campaign directed by Russia.” Based on a CSE leak of a secret document, Global News’ website said in a Dec. 10, 2019 article entitled, “‘Canadian eyes only’ intelligence reports say Canadian leaders attacked in cyber campaigns,” that Consortium News led this campaign.
After years in the shadows overseeing espionage, kill programs, warrantless wiretapping, entrapment, psyops and other covert operations, national security establishment retirees are are turning to a new line of work where they can carry out their imperial duties. That is, propagandizing the public on cable news. Reborn as cable news pundits, these people are cashing in. So many years working in the dark, only to emerge in the studio lights of the same networks that rail all day everyday against state TV from countries that America hates.
On CNLive yesterday evening (link below), Ray discussed the new “Ukraine-gate” whistleblower, who is reported to be a CIA officer who spent some time on detail to the White House. Ray begins with a brief discussion of the intelligence officer-policy maker nexus — particularly the need for the intelligence officer to keep abreast of the interests and needs of the policy maker without becoming seduced into active advocacy of this or that policy. Ray outlines how Robert Gates placed on steroids the practice of inserting intelligence officers into policy departments, and offers short case studies, demonstrating the need to keep a respectful space between intelligence and policy — not to mention the invaluable credibility and trust that accrues to an intelligence officer who avoids the slightest appearance of policy advocacy.