Category Archives: Intelligence

State Secrets and the National-Security State, by Jacob G. Hornberger

National-security states, also called authoritarian or, if sufficiently repressive, totalitarian states, always have to make it a criminal offense to reveal their secrets and ruthlessly persecute those who violate those laws. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

Inadvertently released federal documents reveal that U.S. officials have apparently secured a secret indictment against Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks who released secret information about the internal workings of the U.S. national-security establishment. In any nation whose government is founded on the concept of a national-security state, that is a cardinal sin, one akin to treason and meriting severe punishment.

Mind you, Assange isn’t being charged with lying or releasing false or fraudulent information about the U.S. national-security state. Everyone concedes that the WikiLeaks information was authentic. His “crime” was in disclosing to people the wrongdoing of the national-security establishment. No one is supposed to do that, even if the information is true and correct.

It’s the same with Edward Snowden, the American contractor with the CIA and the NSA who is now relegated to living in Russia. If Snowden returns home, he faces federal criminal prosecution, conviction, and incarceration for disclosing secrets of the U.S. national-security establishment. Again, his “crime” is disclosing the truth about the internal workings of the national-security establishment, not disseminating false information.

Such secrecy and the severe punishment for people who disclose the secrets to the public were among the things that came with the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state.

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Hunting for Golem, by James Howard Kunstler

The long knives are out for Trump, but he may have a few long knives of his own. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

As another president once remarked in a different context — LBJ speaking to a hanger full of grunts in Vietnam — “go on out there, boys, and nail that coonskin to the wall!” That was around the time the war was looking like a lost cause, with 1000 soldiers a month coming home in a box and even the Rotarians of Keokuk, Iowa, starting to doubt the official story of what exactly we thought we were doing over there. It was also, arguably, around the time America stopped being, ahem, “great” and commenced the long, nauseating slide into idiocracy and collapse.

The news media has taken LBJ’s place in today’s Wile E. Coyote phase of our history, cheerleading the congressional hunt for the glittering golden scalp of You-Know-Who in the White House. They got all revved up on Friday in a New York Times front-page salvo with the headline: F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia. The purpose of this blast was to establish the high and grave seriousness of Robert Mueller’s Russia Collusion investigation, because otherwise the yarn has completely shed its credibility. Note: it was around paragraph nine in the story that the team of three Times reporters inserted the sentence that said, “No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials.” The idea, you see, was to simply drag the teetering narrative back onstage to titillate the paper’s Creative Classnik readership who desperately want to nail that Golden Golem of Greatness to the wall, scalp, paunch, tiny hands, and all.

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A New Cold War Has Begun (With China, Not Russia), by Robert Kaplan

This is a good analysis of the implications of a rising China. From Robert Kaplan at foreignpolicy.com:

The United States and China will be locked in a contest for decades. But Washington can win if it stays more patient than Beijing.

Chinese sailors march during the opening ceremony of the ASEAN-China Maritime Exercise at a military port in Zhanjiang, in China's southern Guangdong province on Oct. 22, 2018. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese sailors march during the opening ceremony of the ASEAN-China Maritime Exercise at a military port in Zhanjiang, in China’s southern Guangdong province on Oct. 22, 2018. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

In June 2005, I published a cover story in the Atlantic, “How We Would Fight China.” I wrote that, “The American military contest with China … will define the twenty-first century. And China will be a more formidable adversary than Russia ever was.” I went on to explain that the wars of the future would be naval, with all of their abstract battle systems, even though dirty counterinsurgency fights were all the rage 14 years ago.

That future has arrived, and it is nothing less than a new cold war: The constant, interminable Chinese computer hacks of American warships’ maintenance records, Pentagon personnel records, and so forth constitute war by other means. This situation will last decades and will only get worse, whatever this or that trade deal is struck between smiling Chinese and American presidents in a photo-op that sends financial markets momentarily skyward. The new cold war is permanent because of a host of factors that generals and strategists understand but that many, especially those in the business and financial community who populate Davos, still prefer to deny. And because the U.S.-China relationship is the world’s most crucial—with many second- and third-order effects—a cold war between the two is becoming the negative organizing principle of geopolitics that markets will just have to price in.

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New App ‘NewsGuard’ Promises To Stop Fake News. Have A Look At Who Owns and Funds It, by Joe Martino

The new app, “NewsGuard,” is supposed to keep us from those who question the indespensable nation and all its good works. Looking at who’s funding it is instructive; it’s clear who will get the seals of approval. From Joe Martino at collectiveevolution.com:

IN BRIEF

  • The Facts:News browser extension NewsGuard promises to help readers pick out fake news. However, NewsGuard is funded and run by individuals tied to the CFR, Atlantic Council and other prominent elite figures.
  • Reflect On:Are we seeing a push for over-governance when it comes to even basic things like news and information? Is it time we take responsibility for our lives? Are we seeing a desperate elite losing even more control over the narrative within the media?

A new browser extension app called NewsGuard promises to give readers better insight into the credibility of news sites by providing them with a red, yellow or green badge as visitors explore content. All you have to do is install it on your website browser and you will find out how websites are rated based on numerous categories. You will also see a ‘Nutrition Label’ that was developed by NewsGuard’s ‘watchdog SWAT team’ so readers can understand whether or not a site is trustworthy… well, that’s what NewsGuard claims.

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As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, the Party’s Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic and Pro-War Than Republicans, by Glenn Greenwald

Most politicians are beholden to the highest bidder, and in America the highest bidder is the military-industrial-intelligence complex, which may have bought the Democrats even more completely than the Republicans. From Glenn Greenwald at theintercept.com:

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S December 18 announcement that he intends to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria produced some isolated support in the anti-war wings of both parties, but largely provoked bipartisan outrage among in Washington’s reflexively pro-war establishment.

Both GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the country’s most reliable war supporters, and Hillary Clinton, who repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for insufficient hawkishness, condemned Trump’s decision in very similar terms, invoking standard war on terror jargon.

But while official Washington united in opposition, new polling data from Morning Consult/Politico shows that a large plurality of Americans support Trump’s Syria withdrawal announcement: 49 percent support to 33 percent opposition.

That’s not surprising given that Americans by a similarly large plurality agree with the proposition that “the U.S. has been engaged in too many military conflicts in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan for too long and should prioritize getting Americans out of harm’s way” far more than they agree with the pro-war view that “the U.S. needs to keep troops in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan to help support our allies fight terrorism and maintain our foreign policy interests in the region.”

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The Secret Logistics of America’s Global Deep State, by Eric Zuesse

What goes on in America’s gargantuan embassy in Baghdad? From Eric Zuesse at strategic-culture.org:

Why is America’s Baghdad Embassy the world’s largest embassy — and the largest by far?

“It’s as if the US Embassy is there not only to protect American interests, but to manage the entire world from the heart of the capital, Baghdad.”

— Iraqi Sheikh Qassim Al Ta’ee, as quoted on 27 December 2011 in Al Iraq News and translated by Ibrahim Zaidan from the original Arabic by Nicholas Dagher

Zaidan’s article went on to say:

The world’s largest embassy is situated in the Green Zone and fortified by three walls, another barrier of concrete slabs, followed by barbed wire fences and a wall of sandbags. It covers an area of 104 acres, six times larger than UN headquarters in New York and ten times larger than the new embassy Washington is building in Beijing – which is just 10 acres.

[Editor’s’ Note: The ten-acre US Embassy in Beijing is the second largest overseas construction project in the history of the Department of State — and the 104-acre US Embassy in Iraq is the largest.]

So, America’s largest diplomatic mission is surrounded by high concrete walls, is painted in black, brown and grey and is completely isolated from its environment. … The United States announced several months ago that between diplomats and employees, its embassy would include 16,000 people after the pullout of US forces.

On January 1st, Will Sillitoe headlined at the Helsinki Times, “What does the US embassy in Baghdad export to Finland and dozens of other countries?” and he reported that:

More than a million kilograms of cargo were shipped from Baghdad to different parts of the world, reveals US embassies procurement documents.

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Covert British Military-Smear Machine Moving into US, by Max Blumenthal and Mark Ames Grayzone

A slimy and shadowy British propaganda operation has designs on the US as well. From  Max Blumenthal and Mark Ames
Grayzone at consortiumnews.com:

After mobilizing a disinformation campaign across Europe, documents show that the Integrity Initiative is now infiltrating the U.S., report Max Blumenthal and Mark Ames.

A bombshell domestic spy scandal has been unfolding in Britain, after hacked internal communications exposed a covert U.K. state military-intelligence psychological warfare operation targeting its own citizens and political figures in allied NATO countries under the cover of fighting “Russian disinformation.”

The leaked documents revealed a secret network of spies, prominent journalists and think-tanks colluding under the umbrella of a group called “Integrity Initiative” to shape domestic opinion—and to smear political opponents of the right-wing Tory government, including the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbin.

Until now, this Integrity Initiative domestic spy scandal has been ignored in the American media, perhaps because it has mostly involved British names. But it is clear that the influence operation has already been activated in the U.S.. Hacked documents reveal that the Integrity Initiative is cultivating powerful allies inside the State Department, top D.C. think tanks, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, where it has gained access to Katharine Gorka and her husband, the fascist-linked cable news pundit Sebastian Gorka.

The Integrity Initiative has spelled out plans to expand its network across the U.S., meddling in American politics and recruiting “a new generation of Russia watchers” behind the false guise of a non-partisan charity. Moreover, the group has hired one of the most notorious American “perception management” specialists, John Rendon, to train its clusters of pundits and cultivate relationships with the media.

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