Category Archives: Intelligence

The CIA Then and Now: Old Wine in New Bottles, by Edward Curtin

Only those of strong constitution should delve into the sordid history of the CIA. For those so constituted, this article by Edward Curtin is a gem. From Curtin at edwardcurtin.com:

“And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died”

– Don McLean, “American Pie”

The Nazis had a name for their propaganda and mind-control operations: weltanschauungskrieg – “world view warfare.”  As good students, they had learned many tricks of the trade from their American teachers, including Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, who had honed his propagandistic skills for the United States during World War I and had subsequently started the public relations industry in New York City, an industry whose raison d’ȇtre from the start was to serve the interests of the elites in manipulating the public mind.

In 1941, U.S. Intelligence translated weltanschauungskrieg as “psychological warfare,” a phrase that fails to grasp the full dimensions of the growing power and penetration of U.S. propaganda, then and now.  Of course, the American propaganda apparatus was just then getting started on an enterprise that has become the epitome of successful world view warfare programs, a colossal beast whose tentacles have spread to every corner of the globe and whose fabrications have nestled deep within the psyches of many hundreds of millions of Americans and people around the world.  And true to form in this circle game of friends helping friends, this propaganda program was ably assisted after WW II by all the Nazis secreted into the U.S. (“Operation Paperclip”) by Allen Dulles and his henchmen in the OSS and then the CIA to make sure the U.S. had operatives to carry on the Nazi legacy (see David Talbot’s The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, The CIA, and The Rise of America’s Secret Government, an extraordinary book that will make your skin crawl with disgust).

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Stone Cold Counter-Story, by James Howard Kunstler

The last thing Robert Mueller wants is for his case against Roger Stone to actually go to trial. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

Maybe twenty-nine FBI agents in tactical combat gear and a fleet of SUVs with K-Force LED lights flashing wasn’t enough to flush out the arch-villain Roger Stone from his South Florida hide-out. Ever consider that? He might have charged out of the place like John Wayne in Rio Bravo, brandishing a spatula or a shoe-horn, since he didn’t happen to have a Colt-45 on hand. Maybe they should have sent in a SEAL team and the Boston Patriots offensive line for back-up. Anyway, they got their man! And CNN was there to record it, thanks to their 2018 hire of FBI former special agent Josh Campbell, who had been FBI Director James Comey’s majordomo in a previous career incarnation. Isn’t it a small world? Somehow Josh got wind of the pre-dawn raid.

Roger Stone is not everybody’s cup of antifreeze. I don’t want to go too tweet-mean on the guy, but let’s face it, physically he does look a little like Zippy-the-Pinhead — if, say, Zippy had made it to community college and learned how to manage a four-in-hand necktie. Mr. Stone represents a certain kind of stock character in American politics: The Joker. In the Batman sense of the role: the sociopathic trickster. He made his bones cooking up gags for “Tricky Dick” Nixon, and carved out a long career as a behind-the-scenes political black-opster on the Republican side. American politics, in my lifetime anyway, is just one long game of innuendo — proctology as practiced among the goodfellas in the electoral trade — and ole Roger was famous for finding new and comical ways of putting it to the opposition.

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The real enemy of the people, by Kevin Smith

One group that is certainly a real enemy of the people is the fake news peddlers. From Kevin Smith at off-guardian.org:

We are all familiar with the terms ‘conspiracy theorist’ and ‘apologist’ used by the establishment and media to smear independent journalists, experts and other commentators. For some time this has been particularly evident in the debates we see over the Middle East wars and Russia. It’s common knowledge that people who use these terms can’t argue rationally so resort to smears.

Western government support for terrorism, staged events and spreading disinformation via groups such as Integrity Initiative has come under closer scrutiny recently. As more revelations of wrongdoing by our governments and misreporting by our media have been exposed, the censorship and smears against independent media has intensified.

A DISTURBING NEW RHETORIC

I’m sure some of us have noticed that the language used has been ramped up yet again. I came across one example recently of someone promoting the anti-Russia narrative on Twitter making an analogy between one researcher’s legitimate investigation and criticism of Integrity Initiative and the actions of the World War II traitor, ‘Lord Haw-Haw’. And I think many readers will be familiar with this post from John Sweeney of the BBC and clip from his programme on Sputnik News.

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The New Congress Can End Wars and Constrain the ‘Deep State.’ Will It? by Harry Blain

Once upon a time Congress did things like stopping the Vietnam War. It’s been a long time, though, since it’s done anything close to that worthwhile. From Harry Blain at antiwar.com:

Congress ended the Vietnam war, exposed horrific CIA and FBI abuses, and halted them. Where’s that energy now?

The U.S. Congress has power over two very important things: money and information.

It can, in theory and practice, end a war by refusing to fund it. It can (and has!) compelled the leading architects of American foreign policy – CIA directors, national security advisors, secretaries of defense – to answer for their uses and abuses of executive power publicly and under oath.

As anyone who has served in it will tell you, Congress has never experienced a “golden age” of dispassionate bipartisanship or attachment to high principle. Yet, its recent failures seem to reflect dangerous signs of decay: the rubber-stamping of a new CIA director implicated in the worst excesses of the agency’s torture program; the inability to even moderately question wars that have comfortably outlasted Vietnam; and almost total indifference to arms deals struck by the White House.

The story of how and why we got here is a vivid illustration of our deepening political dysfunction. But it also hints at how Congress can be renewed at a time when we desperately need it.

“An Invitation to Struggle”

As with so many key questions, the US constitution gives mixed answers on the role of Congress in American foreign policy.

Countless books and articles have been written on the subject, but the basic problem is this: The president gets the imperious job title of “commander-in-chief,” while his puny legislators reserve the power to declare and fund wars.

Because the summer of 1787 was hot, and some of our saintly “framers” either stopped paying attention, got drunk, or went home as the supreme law of the land was being written, fundamental tensions like these were never resolved. Instead, an “invitation to struggle” awaited future generations.

Historically, this “struggle” has exhibited some common features: our esteemed members of Congress becoming peculiarly concerned about presidential power when the opposite party occupies the White House; war-authorizing resolutions usually passing by lopsided margins; and anything seriously restricting executive power coming only after media or publicpressure.

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Washington Has Appointed A President For Venezuela, by Paul Craig Roberts

Apparently Washington has tried to appoint a president for Venezuela, but it looks like this effort is destined to share the same fate as earlier efforts. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

After listening since 2016 to the American presstitutes complain, without providing a mere scrap of evidence, of Russia meddling in US elections, a person would think that the last thing Washington would do would be to meddle in other countries’ elections.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. Washington routinely meddles but now has gone far beyond mere meddling. Washington has this day (January 23, 2019) declared that the elected president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, is no longer the Venezuelan president. Washington, not the Venezulan people, has decided who is Venezuela’s president. Declaring the elected government to be “illegitimate,” President Trump elected by diktat the Venezuelan president: “Today, I am officially recognizing the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela.” https://www.rt.com/news/449533-trump-recognizes-venezuela-opposition/

Clearly, Gaido is in Washington’s pocket or Washington would not have chosen him.

Maduro, like Chavez before him, has committed the unpardonable crime of representing the Venezuelan people instead of American corporate and financial interests. Washington simply does not tolerate Latin American governments that represent Latin American people. As US Marine General Smedley Buttler said, he and his Marines made Latin America safe for the United Fruit Company and investments by US banks.

So, now Venezuela has two presidents. One elected by the people, and one appointed by Washington. How long before Washington does this to Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Turkey, India?

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In the Deep Mid-Winter, by James Howard Kunstler

Like spring, collapse, financial and political, is coming. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

Ill winds sweep across the fruited plain in the cruel heart of winter. America can resolve nothing. The state-of-the-union is a kind of hysterical nausea, and the nation hunkers into its crib of toxic diverse identities waiting for history to bitch-slap it back on its feet. History’s big sister, Reality, stands by, witnessing all. Spring… is… coming….

Things break up in spring. Nature unlocks what was frozen. The bodies emerge from the melting ice and ripen. The air is electric and thunderbolts frighten the gathering mobs in the public square, the Walmart parking lot, with rumors of war. The earth shakes and monuments fall. That’s how it’s shaping up for 2019.

Sometimes nations just lose their shit. The complex collapse of American life proceeds as the public and its leaders fail to comprehend the forces in play. What the Federal Reserve actually accomplished with its ten years of extend-and-pretend policy was not an economic “recovery,” but a degenerative disease of the social contract. If you look more closely, you can sense what will be unleashed when the ground thaws.

There will be a reckoning in the financial markets. Something ominous is rumbling over in bonds. No more high-yield for you! Among the victims of a credit freeze in “junk” (high-risk) lending: the shale oil industry. Watch it start to roll over this spring as money becomes unavailable for the exorbitant operations that comprise fracking. The swift collapse of the shale oil industry will shock the country, but it is really just the downside of its improbably rapid and acrobatic rise since 2005 on the false premise that profits don’t matter in a business venture. Only the fall will be even sharper than the rise: a few measly years. And, of course, the bond market represents the supreme untruth of the age: that debts can be racked up forever and never paid back.

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Is Big Tech Merging With Big Brother? Kind of Looks Like It? by David Samuels

Between them, Big Tech and the government could dish up surveillance Orwell couldn’t dream of. From David Samuels at wired.com:

A FRIEND OF mine, who runs a large television production company in the car-mad city of Los Angeles, recently noticed that his intern, an aspiring filmmaker from the People’s Republic of China, was walking to work.

WHEN HE OFFERED to arrange a swifter mode of transportation, she declined. When he asked why, she explained that she “needed the steps” on her Fitbit to sign in to her social media accounts. If she fell below the right number of steps, it would lower her health and fitness rating, which is part of her social rating, which is monitored by the government. A low social rating could prevent her from working or traveling abroad.

China’s social rating system, which was announced by the ruling Communist Party in 2014, will soon be a fact of lifefor many more Chinese.

By 2020, if the Party’s plan holds, every footstep, keystroke, like, dislike, social media contact, and posting tracked by the state will affect one’s social rating.

Personal “creditworthiness” or “trustworthiness” points will be used to reward and punish individuals and companies by granting or denying them access to public services like health care, travel, and employment, according to a plan released last year by the municipal government of Beijing. High-scoring individuals will find themselves in a “green channel,” where they can more easily access social opportunities, while those who take actions that are disapproved of by the state will be “unable to move a step.”

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