Tag Archives: CIA

WSJ Says CIA Chief Wouldn’t Do Anything ‘Inappropriate’—Despite Record of Torture and Coverup, by Joshua Cho

Sometimes you wonder if the Wall Street Journal doesn’t just take dictation from the CIA. From Joshua Cho at fair.org:

Depiction of Gina Haspel in Wall Street Journal

A Wall Street Journal report (5/25/19) by Warren Strobel whitewashed CIA Director Gina Haspel’s career and put a positive spin on the CIA’s insulation from public accountability with its turn towards its greatest opacity “in decades.”

While one might expect CIA officials to support greater secrecy around the organization, it’s odd that ostensibly independent journalists—with a mission to hold official organizations accountable by informing the public—would treat less information coming from the agency as a positive development.

WSJ: Under CIA Chief Gina Haspel, an Intelligence Service Returns to the Shadows

The Wall Street Journal (5/25/19) says “returns to the shadows” like that’s a good thing.

Yet that’s exactly what the Journal report did, depicting Haspel’s strategy of avoiding backlash from the Trump administration by not publicly contradicting its dubious claims as “protecting the agency” from “the domestic threat of a toxic US political culture.”

“She and her agency have adopted their lowest public profile in decades,” Strobel writes—just before summing her up as a “CIA director who has been warmly received by the workforce she has spent her life among.”

In other words, for the Journal, a public intelligence agency sharing its intelligence with the public is a bad thing, unless it supports US foreign policy by agreeing with whatever the Trump administration is saying. This position is echoed in the piece by official sources, like former CIA official and staff director of the House Intelligence Committee Mark Lowenthal, who assures us, “It’s not going to be any good for her [Haspel] to be out there attracting lightning bolts.”

Continue reading

Advertisements

America’s Legacy of Regime Change, by Stephen Kinder

After World War II, the US government got into the regime change business in a big way. It was easier than invading countries and deposing their undesirable governments. From Stephen Kinzer, reviewing Covert Regime Change: America’s Secret Cold War by Lindsey A. O’Rourke at fff.org:

Covert Regime Change: America’s Secret Cold War by Lindsey A. O’Rourke (Cornell University Press, 2018); 330 pages.

For most of history, seizing another country or territory was a straightforward proposition. You assembled an army and ordered it to invade. Combat determined the victor. The toll in death and suffering was usually horrific, but it was all done in the open. That is how Alexander overran Persia and how countless conquerors since have bent weaker nations to their will. Invasion is the old-fashioned way.

When the United States joined the race for empire at the end of the 19th century, that was the tactic it used. It sent a large expeditionary force to the Philippines to crush an independence movement, ultimately killing some 200,000 Filipinos. At the other end of the carnage spectrum, it seized Guam without the loss of a single life and Puerto Rico with few casualties. Every time, though, U.S. victory was the result of superior military power. In the few cases when the United States failed, as in its attempt to defend a client regime by suppressing Augusto Cesar Sandino’s nationalist rebellion in Nicaragua during the 1920s and 30s, the failure was also the product of military confrontation. For the United States, as for all warlike nations, military power has traditionally been the decisive factor determining whether it wins or loses its campaigns to capture or subdue other countries. World War II was the climax of that bloody history.

After that war, however, something important changed. The United States no longer felt free to land troops on every foreign shore that was ruled by a government it disliked or considered threatening. Suddenly there was a new constraint: the Red Army. If American troops invaded a country and overthrew its government, the Soviets might respond in kind. Combat between American and Soviet forces could easily escalate into nuclear holocaust, so it had to be avoided at all costs. Yet during the Cold War, the United States remained determined to shape the world according to its liking — perhaps more determined than ever. The United States needed a new weapon. The search led to covert action.

Continue reading

How Did Russiagate Begin? by Stephen F. Cohen

What are the odds if Russiagate was cooked up by the intelligence agencies—and it probably was—that the truth will come to light? From Stephen F. Cohen at ronpaulinstitute.org:

It cannot be emphasized too often: Russiagate—allegations that the American president has been compromised by the Kremlin, which may even have helped to put him in the White House—is the worst and (considering the lack of actual evidence) most fraudulent political scandal in American history. We have yet to calculate the damage Russsiagate has inflicted on America’s democratic institutions, including the presidency and the electoral process, and on domestic and foreign perceptions of American democracy, or on US-Russian relations at a critical moment when both sides, having “modernized” their nuclear weapons, are embarking on a new, more dangerous, and largely unreported arms race.

Rational (if politically innocent) observers may have thought that when the Mueller report found no “collusion” or other conspiracy between Trump and Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin, only possible “obstruction” by Trump—nothing Mueller said in his May 29 press statement altered that conclusion—Russiagate would fade away. If so, they were badly mistaken. Evidently infuriated that Mueller did not liberate the White House from Trump, Russiagate promoters—liberal Democrats and progressives foremost among them—have only redoubled their unverified collusion allegations, even in once-respectable media outlets. Whether out of political ambition or impassioned faith, the damage wrought by these Russiagaters continues to mount, with no end in sight.

Continue reading

The intelligence community needs a house-cleaning, by Matt Taibbi

The intelligence community often disclosed to friendly media figures information it insists cannot be disclosed because it involves sources and methods. The lie is wearing thin. From Matt Taibbi at substack.com:

John Brennan and the CIA claim lives will be endangered if their work is declassified. That excuse only works so many times

If I told you, Id have to kill you.”

It’s been a tired pop-cliché meme for ages. Way back in 2000, when Adam Garcia tried to lay it on Piper Perabo in Coyote Ugly, she groaned, “That’s original.”

It drew eye rolls in Top Gun in 1986. Going back at least that far, we’ve known it’s usually bullshit when someone says they’re keeping a tantalizing secret from you for your own good.

Former CIA director John Brennan is pulling this stunt now, and the press is again taking him seriously, despite his proven unreliability.

Brennan has an elaborate history of lying to the public, most infamously about the CIA monitoring computers Senate staff were using to prepare a report on torture. When asked if it were true the CIA spied on congress as it was doing oversight of that agency, Brennan all but covered his heart. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” he told Andrea Mitchell in a panel discussion, shaking his head. “We wouldn’t do that!”

Brennan has always had stones. In the Senate computer case, he didn’t limit himself to making staunch verbal denials. His CIA also later produced a report clearing itself of said “potential unauthorized access” to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Brennan also once said there had not been a “single collateral death” in the drone assassination program; claimed (inaccurately, it seems) that Osama bin Laden used his wife as a human shield in his encounter with Navy Seals; and provided inaccurate information to congress about the efficacy of CIA enhanced interrogation programs.

Continue reading

No Wonder Obama Intel Chiefs Panicking – Trump To Declassify “Bucket 5” Russiagate Docs, by Tyler Durden

Sunlight is the best disinfectant. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

As Congressional Democrats insist on conducting post-Mueller probes into President Trump and those around him, much of the recent infighting and backpedaling we’ve seen from former Obama intel chiefs is starting to make sense.

Appearing with Fox News‘s Sean Hannity Tuesday night, The Hill‘s John Solomon revealed that according to his sources (and Hannity’s as well), President Trump will begin declassifying ‘Russiagate’ documents in the next 6-7 days.

Among those will be the so-called “Bucket Five” – documents which were originally presented to the Gang of Eight in 2016, which included everything the FBI and DOJ used against Trump campaign aide Carter Page – including the FISA surveillance application and its underlying exculpatory intelligence documents which the FISA court may have never seen.

Continue reading→

 

Judgment Day for John Brennan, by Mike Whitney

Let’s keep our fingers crossed, because if anyone deserves judgment, it’s John Brennan. From Mike Whitney at unz.com:

Former CIA Directory John Brennan. Credit: Jay Godwin/Wikimedia Commons.

Sometime in the next 4 weeks, the Justice Department’s inspector general will release an internal review that will reveal the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. Among other matters, the IG’s report is expected to determine “whether there was sufficient justification under existing guidelines for the FBI to have started an investigation in the first place.” Critics of the Trump-collusion probe believe that there was never probable cause that a crime had been committed, therefore, there was no legal basis for launching the investigation. The findings of the Mueller report– that there was no cooperation or collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign– seem to underscore this broader point and suggest that the fictitious Trump-Russia connection was merely a pretext for spying on the campaign of a Beltway outsider whose political views clashed with those of the foreign policy establishment. In any event, the upcoming release of the Horowitz report will formally end the the first phase of the long-running Russiagate scandal and mark the beginning of Phase 2, in which high-profile officials from the previous administration face criminal prosecution for their role in what looks to be a botched attempt at a coup d’etat.

Here’s a brief summary from political analyst, Larry C. Johnson, who previously worked at the CIA and U.S. State Department:

“The evidence is plain–there was a broad, coordinated effort by the Obama Administration, with the help of foreign governments, to target Donald Trump and paint him as a stooge of Russia. The Mueller Report provides irrefutable evidence that the so-called Russian collusion case against Donald Trump was a deliberate fabrication by intelligence and law enforcement organizations in the US and UK and organizations aligned with the Clinton Campaign.” (“How US and Foreign Intel Agencies Interfered in a US Election”, Larry C. Johnson, Consortium News)

Continue reading→

 

CIA Intervention in Venezuela, by Jacob G. Hornberger

It used to be years, even decades, after CIA interventions and regime changes before we found out about them. Now we know about them in real time. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

As far as I know, no evidence has yet surfaced that definitively establishes direct CIA involvement in the U.S. regime-change operation in Venezuela. But it is a virtual certainty that the CIA is directly embroiled in the operation.

How do we know that? Because that’s what the CIA does. It’s what it has always done. Regime-change has always been one of the core missions of the CIA. If there is a U.S. regime-change operation, you can bet your bottom dollar that the CIA is at the center of it.

You can also be certain of something else: secrecy. The long-established modus of the CIA is to keep its role in regime-change operations secret, even if it has to lie or commit perjury to maintain that secrecy.

For example, think back to the Chilean coup in the 1970s.

When the Chilean people elected Salvador Allende president, the CIA immediately went into action. It began offering bribes to Chilean congressmen to get them to vote against Allende’s confirmation. (Allende had received only a plurality of the votes and, therefore, under the Chilean constitution the Chilean congress determined who was going to be president.)

It also orchestrated the kidnapping and assassination of Gen. Rene Schneider, who was the overall commander of Chile’s armed forces. He was standing in the way of a CIA-inspired military coup, which the CIA was secretly inciting within the Chilean national-security establishment.

Continue reading