Category Archives: Intelligence

Greenwald: Empowering the “Deep State” to Undermine Trump is Prescription for Destroying Democracy, by Nermeen Shaikh and Glenn Greenwald

This is the transcript of an interview between Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh, and Glenn Greenwald, who has changed his tune quite a bit from his article SLL posted last Wednesday. From Shaikha and Greenwald from informationclearinghouse.info:

Transcript
NERMEEN SHAIKH: We’re looking at the growing scandal over the Trump administration’s alleged dealings with Russia before and after the November election. In early January, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show and suggested the intelligence community may try to get back at Donald Trump.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER: Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. So, even for a practical, supposedly, hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.

AMY GOODMAN: That was the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, in January.

Some supporters of Trump, including Breitbart News, are now accusing the intelligence agencies of attempting to wage a “deep state coup” against the president. Meanwhile, some critics of Trump are openly embracing such activity, like Bill Kristol, the prominent Republican analyst who founded The Weekly Standard. He wrote on Twitter, “Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state.”

So, still with us, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, speaking to us from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Glenn, explain what the deep state is, and respond.

GLENN GREENWALD: The deep state, although there’s no precise or scientific definition, generally refers to the agencies in Washington that are permanent power factions. They stay and exercise power even as presidents who are elected come and go. They typically exercise their power in secret, in the dark, and so they’re barely subject to democratic accountability, if they’re subject to it at all. It’s agencies like the CIA, the NSA and the other intelligence agencies, that are essentially designed to disseminate disinformation and deceit and propaganda, and have a long history of doing not only that, but also have a long history of the world’s worst war crimes, atrocities and death squads. This is who not just people like Bill Kristol, but lots of Democrats are placing their faith in, are trying to empower, are cheering for as they exert power separate and apart from—in fact, in opposition to—the political officials to whom they’re supposed to be subordinate.

To continue reading: Greenwald: Empowering the “Deep State” to Undermine Trump is Prescription for Destroying Democracy

 

Advertisements

Why Was the FBI Investigating General Flynn? by Andrew C. McCarthy

This article contains a fair amount of neoconservative cant, but it asks and answers an important question. From Andrew C. McCarthy at nationalreview.com:

There appears to have been no basis for a criminal or intelligence probe.

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was dismissed amid a torrent of mainstream-media reporting and disgraceful government leaks (but I repeat myself). Among the most intriguing was a New York Times report the morning after Flynn’s resignation, explaining that the former three-star Army general and head of the Defense Intelligence Agency was “grilled” by FBI agents “about a phone call he had had with Russia’s ambassador.”

No fewer than seven veteran Times reporters contributed to the story, the Gray Lady having dedicated more resources to undermining the Trump administration than the Republican Congress has to advancing Trump’s agenda. Remarkably, none of the able journalists appears to have asked a screamingly obvious question — a question that would have been driving press coverage had an Obama administration operative been in the Bureau’s hot seat.

On what basis was the FBI investigating General Flynn?

To predicate an investigation under FBI guidelines, there must be good-faith suspicion that (a) a federal crime has been or is being committed, (b) there is a threat to American national security, or (c) there is an opportunity to collect foreign intelligence relevant to a priority established by the executive branch. These categories frequently overlap — e.g., a terrorist will typically commit several crimes in a plot that threatens national security, and when captured he will be a source of foreign intelligence.

Categories (a) and (b) are self-explanatory. It is category (c), intelligence collection, that is most pertinent to our consideration of Flynn.

To continue reading: Why Was the FBI Investigating General Flynn?

 

 

Jay Sekulow: Obama Should Be “Held Accountable” For The “Soft Coup” Against Trump, by Tyler Durden

Just before he left office, Barack Obama made it very difficult to track down leakers within the intelligence agencies. It’s surely just a coincidence that the intelligence agencies have been copiously leaking since Trump took office. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

In light of the recent flurry of leaks by the so-called “deep state”, which includes such agencies as the NSA and FBI and which last week lead to the resignation of Mike Flynn after a phone recording of his phone conversation with the Russian ambassador was leaked to the WaPo and other anti-Trump publications, an article published on January 12 by the NYT has generated renewed interest. One month ago, the NYT reported that “In its final days, the Obama administration expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.”

The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches. The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data. Essentially, the government is reducing the risk that the N.S.A. will fail to recognize that a piece of information would be valuable to another agency, but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people.

While previously the N.S.A. filtered information before sharing intercepted communications with another agency, like the C.I.A. or the intelligence branches of the F.B.I. and the Drug Enforcement Administration, and furthermore N.S.A.’s analysts passed on only information they deemed pertinent, screening out the identities of innocent people and irrelevant personal information, following passage of Obama’s 11th hour rule, “other intelligence agencies will be able to search directly through raw repositories of communications intercepted by the N.S.A. and then apply such rules for “minimizing” privacy intrusions.”

To continue reading: Jay Sekulow: Obama Should Be “Held Accountable” For The “Soft Coup” Against Trump

The Stakes for Trump and All of Us, by Paul Craig Roberts

The intelligence ommunity will never forgive Trump for opposing its policies (Are intelligence communities supposed to have foreign policies?) towards Russia and the Middle East. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

 We need to understand, and so does President Trump, that the hoax “war on terror” was used to transform intelligence agencies, such as the NSA and CIA, and criminal investigative agencies, such as the FBI, into Gestapo secret police agencies. Trump is now threatened by these agencies, because he rejects the neoconservative’s agenda of US world hegemony that supports the gigantic military/security annual budget.

Our secret police agencies are busy at work planting “intelligence” among the presstitute media that Trump is compromised by “Russian connections” and is a security threat to the United States. The plan is to make a case in the media, as was done against President Nixon, and to force Trump from office. To openly take on a newly elected president is an act of extraordinary audacity that implies enormous confidence, or else desperation, on the part of the police state agencies.

Here you can see CNN openly cooperating with the CIA in treating wild and irresponsible speculation that Trump is under Russian influence as if it is an established fact. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46476.htm
The “evidence” provided by CNN and the CIA is a “report” by the New York Times that, with little doubt, was planted in the NYT by the CIA.

This is so obvious that it is clear that CNN and the CIA regard the American people as so gullible as to be completely stupid.

Glenn Greenwald explains to Amy Goodman that the CIA is after Trump, because Trump’s announced policy of reducing the dangerous tensions with Russia conflicts with the military/security complex’s need for a major enemy.

To continue reading: The Stakes for Trump and All of Us

 

Put Up Or Shut Up: Judicial Watch Sues FBI, NSA, CIA For Flynn Records, by Tyler Durden

It’s a matter of public interest, and perhaps of President Trump’s political survival, to investigate the leaks of information from the intelligence community, as it’s politely called in Eunuchville, to the friendly press agents of the mainstream media, and especially to give the American people a chance to see actual transcripts and original data, not just bullshit “assessments” and “summaries” from unnamed sources. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

As we noted previously, given the FBI has already ‘cleared’ Flynn, the only possible path for escalation from here by the deep state, is to leak the actual recorded calls to the press, thus “proving” Flynn lied, assuming of course, he did.

Furthermore, as Mike Krieger recently raged, the public should demand the Flynn transcripts

…How do we know what was really said without the transcript? The New York Times tells us…

“During the Christmas week conversation, he urged Mr. Kislyak to keep the Russian government from retaliating over the coming sanctions — it was an open secret in Washington that they were in the works — by telling him that whatever the Obama administration did could be undone, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing classified material. Federal officials who have read the transcript of the call were surprised by Mr. Flynn’s comments, since he would have known that American eavesdroppers closely monitor such calls. They were even more surprised that Mr. Trump’s team publicly denied that the topics of conversation included sanctions. Prosecutions in these types of cases are rare, and the law is murky, particularly around people involved in presidential transitions. The officials who had read the transcripts acknowledged that while the conversation warranted investigation, it was unlikely, by itself, to lead to charges against a sitting national security adviser.”

I have so many issues with the above reporting it’s hard to know where to start. Everything mentioned above is given to us secondhand via “anonymous American officials.” Nowhere do I see any specific quotes from the transcript, despite the fact that the paper admits it talked with federal officials who read it. Why not? Why must we hear about the content of the transcripts secondhand from anonymous officials? This is the most significant red flag with this whole story. If the leakers were truly interested in transparency, and wanted the public to know the truth, why not leak the transcript to Wikileaks and let the public decide?

To continue reading: Put Up Or Shut Up: Judicial Watch Sues FBI, NSA, CIA For Flynn Records

Who Rules the United States? by Matthew Continetti

Who runs the government—unelected bureaucrats or the people we elect? From Matthew Cotinetti at freebeacon.com:

Donald Trump was elected president last November by winning 306 electoral votes. He pledged to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C., to overturn the system of politics that had left the nation’s capital and major financial and tech centers flourishing but large swaths of the country mired in stagnation and decay. “What truly matters,” he said in his Inaugural Address, “is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.”

Is it? By any historical and constitutional standard, “the people” elected Donald Trump and endorsed his program of nation-state populist reform. Yet over the last few weeks America has been in the throes of an unprecedented revolt. Not of the people against the government—that happened last year—but of the government against the people. What this says about the state of American democracy, and what it portends for the future, is incredibly disturbing.

There is, of course, the case of Michael Flynn. He made a lot of enemies inside the government during his career, suffice it to say. And when he exposed himself as vulnerable those enemies pounced. But consider the means: anonymous and possibly illegal leaks of private conversations. Yes, the conversation in question was with a foreign national. And no one doubts we spy on ambassadors. But we aren’t supposed to spy on Americans without probable cause. And we most certainly are not supposed to disclose the results of our spying in the pages of the Washington Post because it suits a partisan or personal agenda.

Here was a case of current and former national security officials using their position, their sources, and their methods to crush a political enemy. And no one but supporters of the president seems to be disturbed. Why? Because we are meant to believe that the mysterious, elusive, nefarious, and to date unproven connection between Donald Trump and the Kremlin is more important than the norms of intelligence and the decisions of the voters.

To continue reading: Who Rules the United States?

He Said That?2/17/17

From John le Carré (born 1931),  British author of espionage novels, Pigeon Tunnel (2016):

Nobody can do corporate rot more discreetly than the spies. Nobody does better mission creep. Nobody knows better how to create an image of mysterious omniscience and hide behind it. Nobody does a better job of pretending to be a cut above a public that has no choice but to pay top price for second-rate intelligence whose lure lies in the gothic secrecy of its procurement, rather than its intrinsic worth.