Category Archives: Intelligence

Trump Should Kill the National Security State, by Michael S. Rozeff

Yes, President Trump should definitely put the national security state out of our misery. From Michael S. Rozeff at lewrockwell.com:

The national security state is the enemy of America and Americans, not their protector, and that is why Trump should systematically kill it. Trump should attack the NSA, the FBI, and the CIA with the executive powers of running the government that he possesses. He should attack their supporters in Congress, Republican and Democrat, and attack their media allies. Trump should put the Pentagon and the military on notice that he, as Commander-in-Chief, will not prosecute permanent war across the globe for such vain excuses as anti-terrorism and democracy.

Trump’s presidency is being attacked in force by the national security state. His responses have been scattered, weak, unprincipled and inconsistent. The national security state is politically savvy, experienced, coordinated, and entrenched. It aims to control Trump and/or displace him, so that its programs and policies continue to dominate America.

Trump has only partially and spasmodically recognized the enemy, which is not only America’s enemy but also his own and that of his presidency. He adulated the military unconditionally, rather than taking command of it with his own purposes in mind. He mistakenly thought that a friendly speech at the CIA headquarters would ease his path. He appointed many military people and gave them a free hand.

Lacking a clear vision of what is wrong with the U.S. government, which at this historical juncture includes its takeover by the national security state, Trump has not formulated a plan to lay siege to it and destroy its power. He has actually given the national security state his support in many ways. His sniping around the edges accomplishes almost nothing toward the goal of killing the national security state. That’s a goal he does not yet recognize, has not yet articulated and has done nothing yet to implement.

To continue reading: Trump Should Kill the National Security State

 

Advertisements

The Fallacies of the ‘Russia-Truthers’ by James W. Carden

Facts have been scarce as hen’s teeth during this entire Russiagate controversy. From James W. Carden at consortiumnews.com:

Exclusive: The anti-Russia hysteria – now rivaling past Red Scares with Russians hiding under every bed – has led to factual errors in press accounts and has erased standards of political fairness, reports James W. Carden.

One of the more extraordinary developments since the U.S. presidential election is that the paranoia and the grotesque disregard for facts, evidence and logic that characterized the Trump-inspired “birther movement” can now be reasonably said to characterize the Left’s stance toward Donald J. Trump.

There seems to be nothing that Trump opponents will not say and no charge, however low, they will not stoop to making as long as it furthers the goal of removing Trump from office. But, alas, the liberal case against Trump rests upon little more than widely shared fictions and unsubstantiated claims about Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.

For instance, testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, former FBI Director James Comey cast doubt on a Feb. 14 New York Timesreport titled “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence.

The article, which relied on “four current and former government officials,” said that “Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election” and that “the intercepts alarmed American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, in part because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Mr. Trump was speaking glowingly about the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin.”

Comey was asked about the report during an exchange with Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho.

RISCH:  I remember, you — you talked with us shortly after February 14th, when the New York Times wrote an article that suggested that the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians. This is not factual. Do you recall that?

COMEY: Yes.

RISCH: OK. So — so, again, so the American people can understand this, that report by the New York Times was not true. Is that a fair statement?

COMEY: In — in the main, it was not true.

Later in the hearing, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, asked Comey: “Would it be fair to characterize that story as almost entirely wrong?” To which Comey replied: “Yes.”

To continue reading: The Fallacies of the ‘Russia-Truthers’

Russia Hacked our Election! (So what?), by Scott Adams

Here is Scott Adams’ iconoclastic take on Russiagate, from theburningplatform.com:

I see a consensus forming that Russia attempted to influence our election with fake news and other social media shenanigans.

But why?

If you start with the assumption that Russia is an enemy of the United States, you probably assume they do bad things to us simply to weaken our power and effectiveness. For example, this article hypothesizes that Russia’s intention was to breed distrust between whoever became president and our intelligence services. I guess that hypothesis sort-of-almost makes sense. But I wouldn’t say it passes my personal sniff test.

Then there’s the more popular theory that the Russians were colluding with the Trump campaign because Putin thought he could somehow control President Trump via blackmail, or business ties, or something else we’re imagining. I guess that could be true. Sort of. But that doesn’t pass my sniff test either.

Then there’s the hypothesis that Russia was messing with our democratic system to weaken the country by sowing distrust about the election process, or possibly by electing a president they believed would be less effective. But I have a hard time believing the Russians thought Trump would be ineffective. Maybe they just thought he would be divisive, and perhaps they thought that’s good for Russia in some way.

I suppose any one of the versions of reality I described could be true. But my brain has to work hard to make sense of any of those explanations. The pieces fit, but only when I hammer them. That raises a red flag for confirmation bias.

Just for fun, let’s compare the standard explanations for Russia’s alleged influence on the election with two other hypotheses.

To continue reading: Russia Hacked our Election! (So what?)

Vladimir Putin: The Most Powerful Person In The World, by Paul Craig Roberts

Vladimir Putin is a convenient excuse for the US’s self-inflicted woes. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.com:

It must be wonderful being Vladimir Putin and being the most powerful person on earth. And not even have to say so yourself. The US Democratic Party is saying it for Putin along with the entirety of the Western presstitute media and the CIA and FBI also. The Russian media doesn’t have to brag about Putin’s power. Megyn Kelly, the Western presstitutes, and Western leaders are doing it for them: Putin is so powerful that he is able to place in office his choice for the President of the United States.

I mean, Wow! What power! Americans are simply out of the game. Americans, despite a massive intelligence budget and 16 separate intelligence services plus those of its NATO vassals, are no match whatsoever for Vladimir Putin.

I mean, really! What is the CIA for? What is the NSA for? What are the rest of them for? Americans would do better to close down these incompetent, but expensive, “intelligence services” and pay the money to Putin as a bribe not to select our president. Maybe the CIA should get down on its knees and beg Putin to stop electing the President of the United States. I mean, how humuiliating. I can hardly stand it. I thought we are the “world’s sole superpower, the uni-power, the exceptional, indispensable people.” It turns out that we are a nothing people, ruled by the President of Russia.

When the Democrats, CIA, and media decided to launch their PR campaign against Trump, they didn’t realize how inconsequential it would make the United States appear by putting American democracy into Putin’s pocket. What were they thinking? They weren’t. They were fixated on making sure Trump did not endanger the massive military/security complex budget by restoring normal relations with Russia.

There is no sign that American leadership in any area is actually capable of thought. Consider Wall Street and corporate leadership. To boost share prices Wall Street forced all corporations to desert their home country and move the production of goods and services sold to Americans offshore to where labor and regulatory costs were lower. The lower costs raised profits and share prices. Wall Street threatened resistant corporations with takeovers of the companies if they refused to move abroad in order to increase their profits.

To continue reading: Vladimir Putin: The Most Powerful Person In The World

NBC’s Kelly Hits Putin With a Beloved Canard, by Ray McGovern

The “17 intelligence agencies” myth just won’t die, although Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan have both disavowed it. From Ray McGovern at antiwar.com:

To prove their chops, mainstream media stars can’t wait to go head-to-head with a demonized foreign leader, like Vladimir Putin, and let him have it, even if their “facts” are wrong, as Megyn Kelly showed

NBC’s Megyn Kelly wielded one of Official Washington’s most beloved groupthinks to smack Russian President Vladimir Putin over his denials that he and his government were responsible for hacking Democratic emails and interfering with the U.S. presidential election.

In her June 2 interview with Putin, Kelly noted that all “17 intelligence agencies” of the US government concurred in their conclusion of Russian guilt and how could Putin suggest that they all are “lying.” It’s an argument that has been used to silence skeptics for months and apparently is so useful that no one seems to care that it isn’t true.

For instance, on May 8, in testimony before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper conceded publicly that the number of intelligence agencies involved in the assessment was three, not 17, and that the analysts assigned to the project from CIA, FBI and NSA had been “handpicked.”

On May 23, in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, former CIA Director John Brennan confirmed Clapper’s account about the three agencies involved. “It wasn’t a full interagency community assessment that was coordinated among the 17 agencies,” Brennan acknowledged.

But those public admissions haven’t stopped Democrats and the mainstream media from continuing to repeat the false claim. In comments on May 31, failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton repeated the canard, with a flourish, saying: “Seventeen agencies, all in agreement, which I know from my experience as a Senator and Secretary of State, is hard to get.”

A couple of days later, Kelly revived the myth of the consensus among the 17 intelligence agencies in her interview with the Russian president. But Putin passed up the opportunity to correct her, replying instead:

“They have been misled and they are not analyzing the information in its entirety. … We have talked about it with former President Obama and with several other officials. No one ever showed me any direct evidence. When we spoke with President Obama about that, you know, you should probably better ask him about it – I think he will tell you that he, too, is confident of it. But when he and I talked I saw that he, too, started having doubts. At any rate, that’s how I saw it.”

To continue reading: NBC’s Kelly Hits Putin With a Beloved Canard

The Phony War Against Donald Trump, by Daniel McCarthy

James Comey’s testimony is probably the beginning of the end of Russiagate. From Daniel McCarthy at strategic-culture.com:

There is no known crime at the heart of the Trump-Russia affair, and no crime has yet been even credibly alleged in President Trump’s involvement in the investigation

James Comey’s public testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee revealed both more and less than expected. It revealed less than expected by President Trump’s critics: Comey related no other incidents as eyebrow-raising as his account of when Trump asked him, in discussing the investigation of Mike Flynn, to “let this go.” Comey wrote memoranda to document each of his direct discussions with the president, but based on his testimony to Congress, none of those other memos contains anything comparable to the exchange about Flynn.

In his prepared remarks for the hearing, Comey described President Trump asking for his loyalty. This is one place where Comey’s testimony was more revealing than expected—not in showing that the president might apply vague pressure to his employees but in showing how ill-defined the relationship between a president and America’s intelligence agencies can be. There is a difficulty here that does not begin or end with Trump, a basic, but unexamined, problem of how the executive branch operates. How can it be both political and, at the same time, above politics? How can the president have full legal authority not only to dismiss the FBI director, as Comey testified, even to direct what the FBI does and does not investigate, while the FBI also holds itself to be “independent”? And what does it mean for any intelligence service to be independent of elected leaders—and thus, independent of the public?

 

The Surveillance State and Big Brother Trump, by Kurt Nimmo

President Trump embraces the surveillance state just as avidly as his predecessors. From Kurt Nimmo at theburningplatform.com:

Despite his opposition to surveillance during the campaign, Trump has flip-flopped once again and now supports the surveillance state.

His Homeland Security advisor, Tom Bossert, who worked with the Bush administration, penned an editorial for The New York Times this week calling for a reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Section 702 allows for vacuuming up emails, instant messages, Facebook messages, web browsing history, and more in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.

“Cabinet officials and security professionals from different agencies will testify on this matter on Wednesday,” writes Bossert. “President Trump stands with them 100 percent on the need for permanent reauthorization of Section 702. Officials from the past two administrations also agree that we cannot have a blind spot in our defenses simply because a foreign terrorist on foreign land chooses an American email provider.”

Former NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander and Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers have repeatedly claimed NSA snooping has thwarted 54 terrorist attacks. This claim has been completely debunked. Like the baseless and politically motivated claim Russia hacked the election, the 54 terrorists claim is little more than fiction. It’s propaganda to justify a surveillance state.

Jenna McLaughlin writes “the reason there haven’t been any large-scale terror attacks by ISIS in the US is not because they were averted by the intelligence community, but because — with the possible exception of one that was foiled by local police — none were actually planned.”

The NSA and the government insist they only conduct surveillance overseas but this was dispelled after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union showed the NSA intentionally violated the law and spied on American citizens.

The surveillance state was created not to protect Americans from terrorists. It was created to spy on political targets in the United States. Evidence of this arose in 2014.

To continue reading: The Surveillance State and Big Brother Trump