Category Archives: Intelligence

Why America Can’t End Its ‘Forever Wars’, by William M. Arkin

It’s hard to believe this excellent article was in Newsweek, it’s so non-mainstream media. From William M. Arkin at newsweek.com:

FE_Forever War_Banner
The American way of war actually makes it harder to end our “endless wars.”
Stocktrek Images/Getty
A peace agreement with the Taliban and a May 1 deadline for American withdrawal of troops. A new pledge by President Biden to end the war. A Congressional step toward revoking the 20-year-old consent to use military force in Iraq. Talk, even, of rescinding the post-9/11 authorization to pursue Al-Qaeda. You might think America’s forever wars are finally coming to an end. They’re not—because everything we’ve learned from the past two decades at war has made it more difficult to actually end the wars.
Though the new administration seems intent on ending America’s oldest war and there is growing fatigue over endless wars in the Middle East, and though the Pentagon is scrambling to refocus resources and attention away from counterterrorism to big war pursuits against the likes of Russia and China, war isn’t going to actually end. That’s because there is something about the way the United States fights—about how it has learned to fight in Afghanistan and on other 21st-century battlefields—that facilitates endless war.
This transformation of the American military happened gradually as the armed forces shifted the preponderance of tasks away from boots on the ground, away even from dependence on regular soldiers. The new American way of war moved even the means of bombing and killing—mostly through aircraft and drones, but also virtually in cyberspace—out of the actual war zones.

Continue reading→

The Military Origins of Facebook, by Whitney Webb

Who would have thought that Big Tech, particularly Facebook, was birthed by the national security state? From Whitney Webb at unlimitedhangout.com:

Facebook’s growing role in the ever-expanding surveillance and “pre-crime” apparatus of the national security state demands new scrutiny of the company’s origins and its products as they relate to a former, controversial DARPA-run surveillance program that was essentially analogous to what is currently the world’s largest social network.

In mid-February, Daniel Baker, a US veteran described by the media as “anti-Trump, anti-government, anti-white supremacists, and anti-police,” was charged by a Florida grand jury with two counts of “transmitting a communication in interstate commerce containing a threat to kidnap or injure.”

The communication in question had been posted by Baker on Facebook, where he had created an event page to organize an armed counter-rally to one planned by Donald Trump supporters at the Florida capital of Tallahassee on January 6. “If you are afraid to die fighting the enemy, then stay in bed and live. Call all of your friends and Rise Up!,” Baker had written on his Facebook event page.

Baker’s case is notable as it is one of the first “precrime” arrests based entirely on social media posts—the logical conclusion of the Trump administration’s, and now Biden administration’s, push to normalize arresting individuals for online posts to prevent violent acts before they can happen. From the increasing sophistication of US intelligence/military contractor Palantir’s predictive policing programs to the formal announcement of the Justice Department’s Disruption and Early Engagement Program in 2019 to Biden’s first budget, which contains $111 million for pursuing and managing “increasing domestic terrorism caseloads,” the steady advance toward a precrime-centered “war on domestic terror” has been notable under every post-9/11 presidential administration.

This new so-called war on domestic terror has actually resulted in many of these types of posts on Facebook. And, while Facebook has long sought to portray itself as a “town square” that allows people from across the world to connect, a deeper look into its apparently military origins and continual military connections reveals that the world’s largest social network was always intended to act as a surveillance tool to identify and target domestic dissent.

Continue reading→

How Bellingcat Launders National Security State Talking Points into the Press , by Alan Macleod

Bellingcat has the same credibility as all those “fact checkers” whose checks always seem to align with liberal talking points. From Alan Macleod at mintpressnews.com:

For a self-proclaimed citizen journalism outfit, an alarming number of Bellingcat’s staff and contributors come from highly suspect backgrounds, including high-level positions in military and intelligence agencies.

AMSTERDAM — Investigative site Bellingcat is the toast of the popular press. In the past month alone, it has been described as “an intelligence agency for the people” (ABC Australia), a “transparent” and “innovative” (New Yorker) “independent news collective,” “transforming investigative journalism” (Big Think), and an unequivocal “force for good” (South China Morning Post). Indeed, outside of a few alternative news sites, it is very hard to hear a negative word against Bellingcat, such is the gushing praise for the outlet founded in 2014.

This is troubling, because the evidence compiled in this investigation suggests Bellingcat is far from independent and neutral, as it is funded by Western governments, staffed with former military and state intelligence officers, repeats official narratives against enemy states, and serves as a key part in what could be called a “spook to Bellingcat to corporate media propaganda pipeline,” presenting Western government narratives as independent research.

Citizen journalism staffed with spies and soldiers

An alarming number of Bellingcat’s staff and contributors come from highly suspect backgrounds. Senior Investigator Nick Waters, for example, spent three years as an officer in the British Army, including a tour in Afghanistan, where he furthered the British state’s objectives in the region. Shortly after leaving the service, he was hired by Bellingcat to provide supposedly bias-free investigations into the Middle East.

Former contributor Cameron Colquhoun’s past is even more suspect. Colquhoun spent a decade in a senior position in GCHQ (Britain’s version of the NSA), where he ran cyber and Middle Eastern terror operations. The Scot specializes in Middle Eastern security and also holds a qualification from the U.S. State Department. None of this, however, is disclosed by Bellingcat, which merely describes him as the managing director of a private intelligence company that “conduct[s] ethical investigations” for clients around the world — thus depriving readers of key information they need to make informed judgments on what they are reading.

Continue reading→

Did Hunter Biden Incriminate Himself In A Federal Crime? by Jonathan Turley

The questions mainstream media ask Hunter Biden are almost as softball as those they ask his father. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:

Below is my column in The Hill on recent interviews by Hunter Biden, which appear to incriminate him in a possible federal felony. What is most striking from a journalistic perspective is that Biden’s book is a target rich environment for reporters with references to his alleged influence peddling, abandoned laptop, and drug abuses. Yet every major network and newspaper that interviewed Biden skillfully avoided any damaging questions.  It was no small feat to delicately avoid obvious problems in his account while seemingly interviewing him on those subjects. Reporters would raise the laptop of Burisma contract and then just shrug and move on without any serious followup. The glaring contradictions were left unaddressed like admitting that he was a crack addict during the time he was receiving massive contracts from foreign companies due to his unestablished “expertise” on energy issues. The conflicts with his own father’s accounts were entirely ignored. The protective press cocoon around Hunter and his father remained intact.

In the end, it is not the possible crime by Biden but the demonstrable collusion by the media that is more of the story from these interviews.

Here is the column:

News anchor Lester Holt recently declared that “it has become clearer that fairness is overrated,” adding that “the idea that we should always give two sides equal weight and merit does not reflect the world we find ourselves in.” Fortunately for Hunter Biden, that world is the one in which he lives and thrives. In interviews about his memoir “Beautiful Things,” some reporters either misstate the facts of his prior scandals or ignore certain leads, including potential evidence of a federal crime.

Facts, like fairness, appear overrated to much of the media today.

Continue reading→

Stephanopoulos, Blinken Score Win for MICIMATT, by Ray McGovern

Geopolitical tension and the constant threat of war are of enormous benefit to one group, the MICIMATT. From Ray McGovern at antiwar.com:

Interviewed Wednesday on The Critical Hour, I took issue with the prevailing conventional view that George Stephanopoulos’s mousetrapping President Biden into calling Putin a “killer” and Secretary of State Blinken’s boorish attempt to get China to kowtow in Alaska were “disastrous“.

One must always ask cui bono? Who profits from those two “disasters”. Were they not a boon to the people with inordinate influence over those we elect (at least nominally) to run the country? I refer, of course, to those of the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex who profiteer from tension.

The MICIMATT needs credible foreign enemies to “justify” obscene levels of military spending and to line the pockets of the wealthy “one percent” – whom the Russians still call “the ruling classes”. As for the rest of us, as comedian George Carlin might put it, the ruling classes with their bastard-child MICIMATT make up a big club, and we’re not in it. It has grown like Topsy since President Eisenhower warned us of its disastrous potential 60 years ago. In his farewell address he labeled it the “military-industrial complex”:

We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

Ike noted that the conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry was in those days new to the American experience. He added that “the total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. … Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.”

Continue reading→

The U.S. Intelligence Community, Flouting Laws, is Increasingly Involving Itself in Domestic Politics, by Glenn Greenwald

Anyone who paid attention to Russiagate knows that the CIA and the NSA were involved in domestic politics, in flat-out contravention of US law. From Glenn Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:

A letter from House Intelligence Committee members demands answers from the DNI about illegal breaches of the wall guarding against CIA and NSA domestic activity.

Then-Vice President Joseph Biden (L) with former Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta (R) at CIA headquarters in McLean, Virginia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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).”

Its primary point is this: “The IC [intelligence community] assesses that domestic violent extremists (DVEs) who are motivated by a range of ideologies and galvanized by recent political and societal events in the United States pose an elevated threat to the Homeland in 2021.” While asserting that “the most lethal” of these threats is posed by “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVEs) and militia violent extremists (MVEs),” it makes clear that its target encompasses a wide range of groups from the left (Antifa, animal rights and environmental activists, pro-choice extremists and anarchists: “those who oppose capitalism and all forms of globalization”) to the right (sovereign citizen movements, anti-abortion activists and those deemed motivated by racial or ethnic hatreds).

Continue reading→

Sowing Seeds of War, by Paul Craig Roberts

China and Russia are challenging the US government’s hegemonic aspirations. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.com:

China Is Losing Patience with Washington. “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry,” China tells Washington, and China is getting angry.

Beijing warns US and its UK, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand puppets to give up pretending they constitute “world opinion.”  https://www.rt.com/news/519004-china-five-eyes-west-xinjiang/

This rebuke to the “Five Eyes” follows a strong dressing down delivered by Yang Jiechi, a ruling member of the Chinese government to the Biden regime at the Alaska talks.  Yang Jiechi told the US delegation that “the United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength.”  In other words, who do you think you are?  Where did you get the idea that your self-serving position constitutes international public opinion and that you can lean on us to comply with your position?

In their most recent public statements President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov have stopped pleading with the West to be nice.  Putin acknowledged that Washington only wants a hegemonic relationship with Russia, a relationship inconsistent with Russian sovereignty, and Lavrov said that the EU’s hostility to Russia could result in Russia breaking off relations with Europe.

Washington is probably too arrogant to hear what it is being told.  This is why I am concerned that Washington’s hegemonic aspiration can result in a devastating war.  It is easy to rouse Americans, especially patriotic Trump supporters, against Russia and China.  The American Establishment did not allow Trump to improve relations with Russia, but it did permit him to worsen relations with China.  But what sense does it make for Trump supporters, defined by the Biden regime as “Trump insurrectionists,” “enemies of democracy,” and “America’s greatest threat,” to support the Biden’s regime’s propaganda against Russia and China?

Continue reading→

BREAKING: Anonymous Sources Say US-Targeted Government Did An Invisible Bad Thing, by Caitlin Johnstone

A pretty good attempt at black satire from Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

We interrupt today’s Caitlin Johnstone article with this breaking news report from the National News Conglomerate. NNC: Obey.

WASHINGTON — One of the nations the United States government has targeted for destruction is guilty of doing a very bad thing that nobody can see, according to sources familiar with the matter.

One senior official who spoke on conditions of anonymity told NNC that while nobody was killed or injured by the bad thing that was done by the bad country, and that the bad thing has in fact had no discernible effect on anything anywhere that everyday Americans would be able to perceive with the naked eye, it was still a very bad thing and will almost certainly require a much more inflated military budget to deal with.

“It’s true that the thing which was done was not bad enough to have hurt any American or to have affected the observable universe in any way that Americans can verify by observation, but it was definitely bad enough to justify strengthening our military presence against the bad country,” the official said. “I hear the Raytheon family has a fine line of surprisingly affordable new products to choose from that would be ideal for our nation’s national security needs.”

Other sources confirmed that the US intelligence community is between “somewhat confident” and “kinda confident” in its assessment that the thing we just reported as verified fact in preceding paragraphs actually occurred.

When another source familiar with the matter was asked if the US government would be providing the public with any evidence that the bad thing had in fact happened and had actually been done by the accused foreign government, the source said “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.”

“Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha,” the source then added. “Oh wait you’re serious, let me laugh even harder, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.”

“The evidence is classified,” the source added, anonymously. “It’s secret, invisible evidence.”

Les Overton, a senior fellow at the DC-based policy group American Freedom Democracy for Freedom Institute, told NNC that it is common for US government agencies to make unverifiable claims about invisible misdeeds being perpetrated by nations the US government doesn’t like.

Continue reading→

In the Shadows of Shadowland, by James Howard Kunstler

While the sting-pullers pull Biden’s strings, there is an impending financial and economic collapse barreling down the track that they’re not going to be able to stop. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

Is there some kind of game on in the USA? Have our public affairs ever looked so false and disordered? Is it ever more wondrous that Joe Biden somehow managed to win the Super Tuesday primary, let alone the national election?

The country has gotten exactly what it saw all through the autumn of 2020: the empty shell of a broken politician. Back in October, Ol’ Joe hiding in his basement was played as a bad joke in a nervous zeitgeist. Nothing to see, according to the captive news media. Wasn’t that exactly it, though? Nothing to see and nobody home, the essence of our now-president, Joe Biden. How on earth did this happen?

My own theory: it was the strange byproduct of the political establishment fumbling to cover up its crimes, an endeavor so transparently inept that the rest of the world goggles at us in nauseated incredulity, watching our leadership flounder, our institutions fail, our economy vaporize, and our power dissolve, like a some dying blob in an epic horror movie. Even our most devoted adversary, North Korea, marvels out loud at the spectacle of American collapse. They joke about it, but it must make them awfully uncomfortable to realize that the USA runs under a shadow government, and runs so ineptly!

Who or what is this shadow government? I’d say it amounts to a small group around former president Obama and former attorney general Eric Holder, plus a coterie of Intel Community figures led by John Brennan, all awkwardly funneling instructions through Susan Rice to the hacks in the White House, who form a flimsy cocoon around the barely-pulsating organism within: Mr. Biden. I will boldly suggest that this cabal is actually controlling the executive branch of the government, and doing it with stunning incompetence. If it sounds like a conspiracy, that’s probably because it is a conspiracy.

Continue reading→

Russiagate Rolls On, Giving Biden Political Cover, by Joe Lauria

The rare instances Joe Biden does something right (like ascend a flight of stairs) he’ll get all the credit. On the many instances where he does something wrong, it will be Vladimir Putin’s fault. From Joe Lauria at consortiumnews.com:

When it comes to national security reporting corporate journalists have time and again shown they are practicing something other than journalism, writes Joe Lauria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, March 2020. (President of Russia)

The latest U.S. intelligence “assessment” this week sought to prepare the way for more sanctions against Russia and Iran and gave political cover for Joe Biden.

The highly politicized unclassified report was gobbled up without skepticism by corporate media, playing its dutiful role of passing disinformation onto the American public without question.

The opening paragraph says it all:

“The Intelligence Community rarely can publicly reveal the full extent of its knowledge or the specific information on which it bases its analytic conclusions, as doing so could endanger sensitive sources and methods and imperil the Intelligence Community’s ability to collect critical foreign intelligence. The analytic judgments outlined below are identical to those in the classified version, but this declassified document does not include the full supporting information and does not discuss specific intelligence reports, sources, or methods.”

That should be a red flag for anyone who calls him or herself a journalist. Demand some kind of proof before proceeding. But when it comes to national security reporting corporate journalists have time and again shown they are practicing something other than journalism.

Any self-respecting reporter would never accept “just trust us,” especially from U.S. intelligence that for decades, especially since the Iraq invasion and the original Russiagate fiasco (and for decades before that as exposed in the 1975 Church and Pike Committees), has been thoroughly discredited.

If the opening page of this report wasn’t enough to give pause, then the closing one was the clincher:

“Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents.”

Continue reading→