Tag Archives: CIA

The Phoenix Template, Part One, by Robert Gore

The American police state has been a work in progress for seventy years.

Part One of two parts.

Most Americans don’t pay much attention to what the government does in foreign nations, and even less attention to what it has done in the past. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this focus on the here-and-now, but contemplation beyond the usual horizons is well-advised. Not for the usual high-minded reasons offered by multiculturalist do-gooders, but because what the government—and those who pull its strings—have done in foreign lands for the past seventy years is their template for what they plan here at home.

The group that led the US through World War II was determined to preserve, perpetuate, and extend its global dominance. With the establishment of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), centralized, coordinated intelligence had come into its own. After the war President Truman dissolved the OSS, but signed the National Security Act of 1947, which established the CIA. With a secret executive order in 1952, he also established the NSA. Although the agencies were sold to Truman as necessary instruments for gathering and analyzing foreign intelligence, rather than operational assignments, they soon were engaging in both domestic and foreign operations. In 1963, a month after President Kennedy’s assassination, former president Truman’s letter to the Washington Post deplored what the CIA had become.

For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

Later, Truman told biographer Merle Miller that setting up the CIA was “a mistake.”

Truman did not mention what the CIA’s disturbing operational and policy-making roles had been, or in what “explosive areas.” The CIA had sponsored coups in Syria (1949), Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Congo (1960), the Dominican Republic (1960), and attempted coups in Indonesia (1958) and Cuba (1961, the Bay of Pigs). While the phrase “regime change” didn’t seep into the popular consciousness until the US’s second Iraq invasion in 2003, it had been standard CIA policy for over five decades. To the limited extent its involvements were acknowledged in the 1950s and 1960s, they were generally characterized as necessary efforts in the struggle against global communism.

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What has never been acknowledged is what would have been—if the CIA was involved—a domestic coup, President Kennedy’s assassination. The assassination and its aftermath illustrate the psychological obstacles among the public for those attempting to uncover and expose the intelligence community’s misdeeds. Notwithstanding gaping holes in the official story, and obvious questions about the motives of Lyndon Johnson and Alan Dulles, the former director of the CIA who had been fired by Kennedy and stage-managed the Warren Commission investigation, most Americans bought the story and asked no questions. For the few that did, the CIA coined the pejorative, “conspiracy theorist.”

The CIA has a chilling catalogue of countermeasures against the US government’s enemies, most developed during the Vietnam War. The heart of the CIA effort was Operation Phoenix, begun in 1965. Phoenix was designed, coordinated, and executed by the agency jointly with the US military and its intelligence units, the South Vietnamese military and its secret police, and Australian special operations forces. Its mission was to neutralize the infrastructure of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (NLF or Viet Cong) through infiltration, capture, counter-terrorism, interrogation, and assassination.

Identification of NLF cadres was problematic. Anyone with a score to settle could misidentify enemies as Viet Cong, who would then be captured or killed by US and South Vietnamese troops. Prisoners were taken to interrogation centers, indefinitely detained, tortured, and sometimes murdered. The interrogations were supposedly done by the South Vietnamese under the supervision of the military or CIA, but the torture was an open secret and often performed by US personnel. Prisoners were converted to the South Vietnamese cause and reinserted into the local population or turned into double agents. They had to produce intelligence about the NLF: their families, friends, and hamlets were essentially hostages securing their performance. Prisoners who produced no information or false information under torture were murdered. Undoubtedly some had no “worthwhile” information to give because they weren’t NLF, but innocence was not a recognized defense.

Phoenix terrorized both the North and South Vietnamese. It was essentially a CIA and US military-imposed police state (with the South Vietnamese government as a junior partner) employing standard police-state tactics: surveillance, informants, propaganda, repression, rubber-stamp judicial supervision, indefinite detention, interrogation, torture, and murder. Like all police states, Phoenix was rife with corruption. South Vietnamese officials, CIA agents and contractors, and US military officials made fortunes from blackmail, extortion, bribery, theft, murder-for-hire, black market arms sales, money laundering, drug running, and other illicit endeavors.

During the war the CIA maintained its usual shroud of plausible deniability, helped by the captive US media, which in many cases had been infiltrated by CIA operatives under the auspices of Operation Mockingbird. Many of Phoenix’s more sordid aspects were not revealed until after the US left Vietnam, and while nobody claims Phoenix wasn’t dirty (even an anodyne Wikileaks’ article acknowledges the misdeeds), the extent of the dirtiness remains—as so much of what the CIA does—murky. However, a string of CIA engagements after Vietnam retroactively confirmed the nefarious nature of Phoenix—the program was the template for that later criminality.

It should have raised eyebrows when Ronald Reagan nominated a former director of the CIA, George H.W. Bush, as his vice president, but it didn’t. The evolving Deep State saw Bush, and other “vetted” members of Reagan’s administration, as checks on some of Reagan’s more “radical” impulses and initiatives. CIA operatives had been involved in Watergate. Congressional committees had revealed CIA skullduggery in Vietnam, involvement in political assassination, and illegal domestic surveillance of the war’s critics by many of the intelligence agencies and the FBI. Yet most Americans still held a generally benign view of the intelligence complex.

The Iran-Contra affair should have been a wake-up call. The scandal’s many disturbing skeins and offshoots—the CIA’s subversion of governments and sponsorship of political assassination in Latin America, involvement in the drug trade and money laundering through a shadowy network of financial institutions, and covert weapons transactions—cried out for further investigation, which would have revealed a Phoenix program gone global. Instead, Reagan’s popularity and his begrudging acceptance of responsibility, the administration’s stonewalling of investigations and refusal to release documents on national security grounds, and George W. Bush’s pardons in the final days of his presidency for Reagan administration officials still under indictment managed to shove Iran-Contra down the American memory hole. Reagan and Bush served the Deep State well.

Next: Phoenix in the United States

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“Much Worse Than Watergate”, Former CIA Officer Admits Trump ‘Wiretapping’ Likely True, by Tyler Durden

Leaking intelligence agency records or summaries of surveillance to the media is a crime, a felony. It seems clear that particular crime has been committed, which means an investigation is in order. Is this all “much worse than Watergate”? That’s impossible, at this point, to say. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

The “political appointees” in the intelligence community knew exactly what they were surveilling for, former CIA officer Col. Tony Shaffer told Fox News, adding that the case is “much worse than Watergate by an order of magnitude.”

While Trump was not physically wiretapped, with a wire into his phone, Shaffer said the “basic fundamental idea and claim is true.”

“Clearly they were after gossip because it was political,” Shaffer said, maintaining that the alleged wiretap had nothing to do with Russia.

Due to the simplicity required to “mask” an American’s name during an incidental wiretap, Shaffer said that the leak of Gen. Michael Flynn’s name was “accidental on purpose.”

Even if the surveillance was done legally, Shaffer exclaimed that whoever is responsible for the “unmasking” of Americans’ names and the leaking of the information are felons.

With Comey and Rogers facing “closed sessions”, and Trump looking for a win, we can’t help but think something substantial looms for the leakers just ahead. Of course, the biggest dilemma for exposing the leakers is the confirmation of what we already know to an even wider audience of deniers – that Snowden, Binney, et al. are 100% correct and the surveillance state’s all-seeing eye is everywhere and far beyond government control. (just remember it’s for your own good).

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-26/much-worse-then-watergate-former-cia-officer-admits-trump-wiretapping-likely-true

Oh, that traitorous WikiTrump, by Pepe Escobar

In some weird corners of the media, the Wikileaks Vault 7 revelations are less important than so far completely unsubstantiated allegations that the Russians “hacked” the election. From Pepe Escobar at atimes.com:

Nothing so trivial as the technical proof we’re all being spied upon can be allowed to threaten or add nuance to established narrative

The massive WikiLeaks Vault 7 release is an extremely important public service. It’s hard to find anyone not concerned by a secret CIA hacking program targeting virtually the whole planet – using malware capable of bypassing encryption protection on any device from iOS to Android, and from Windows to Samsung TVs.

In a series of tweets, Edward Snowden confirmed the CIA program and said code names in the documents are real; that they could only be known by a “cleared insider;” the FBI and CIA knew all about the digital loopholes, but kept them open to spy; and that the leaks provided the “first public evidence” that the US government secretly paid to keep US software unsafe.

If that’s not serious enough, WikiLeaks alleges that “the CIA has lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal;” several hundred million lines of code — more than what is used to run Facebook.

Someone among the former US government hackers and contractors ended up leaking portions of the CIA archive (Snowden II?). WikiLeaks also stressed how the CIA had created, in effect, its “own NSA” – maximum unaccountability included.

Even though millions already knew – without the technical details – that they were being spied upon by their iPhone or their 4K Samsung, the Vault 7 revelations are far more relevant – and practical – to the average citizen than the 24/7 hysteria fingering President Trump as a Putin puppet. Intel sources are volunteering the – still unexplored – Vault 7 treasure trove is more crucial than what Snowden himself revealed.

To continue reading: Relax, Global Citizen; The CIA Is Benign & Benevolent

 

A CIA Cyber False Flag, by Federico Pieraccinni

We’ve only seen less than 1 percent of what Wikileaks has from the CIA and it is already apparent that the CIA’s cyber capabilities are mind boggling. From Federico Pieraccinni at strategic-culture.org:

New revelations from Wikileaks’ ‘Vault 7’ leak shed a disturbing light on the safeguarding of privacy. Something already known and largely suspected has now become documented by Wikileaks. It seems evident that the CIA is now a state within a state, an entity out of control that has even arrived at the point of creating its own hacking network in order to avoid the scrutiny of the NSA and other agencies.

Reading the revelations contained in the documents released by WikiLeaks and adding them to those already presented in recent years by Snowden, it now seems evident that the technological aspect regarding espionage is a specialty in which the CIA, as far as we know, excels. Hardware and software vendors that are complicit — most of which are American, British or Israeli — give the CIA the opportunity to achieve informational full-spectrum dominance, relegating privacy to extinction. Such a convergence of power, money and technology entails major conflicts of interest, as can be seen in the case of Amazon AWS (Amazon’s Cloud Service), cloud provider for the CIA, whose owner, Jeff Bezos, is also the owner of The Washington Post. It is a clear overlap of private interests that conflicts with the theoretical need to declare uncomfortable truths without the need to consider orders numbering in the millions of dollars from clients like the CIA.

While it is just one example, there are thousands more out there. The perverse interplay between media, spy agencies and politicians has compromised the very meaning of the much vaunted democracy of the land of the Stars and Stripes. The constant scandals that are beamed onto our screens now serve the sole purpose of advancing the deep interest of the Washington establishment. In geopolitical terms, it is now more than obvious that the deep state has committed all available means toward sabotaging any dialogue and détente between the United States and Russia. In terms of news, the Wikileaks revelations shed light on the methods used by US intelligence agencies like the CIA to place blame on the Kremlin, or networks associated with it, for the hacking that occurred during the American elections.

To continue reading: A CIA Cyber False Flag

 

Chart of the Day – Democrats Now Like the CIA More Than Republicans, by Michael Krieger

The Democrats have cozied up to the CIA, hoping the agency will help them get rid of Trump. There was an old adage…something about those who lie down with dogs getting up with fleas. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

Never mind decades of coups, mind-control programs, media infiltration, faulty intelligence and overseas election meddling, all it took was an embarrassing loss from Hillary Clinton to spark a furious love affair between Democrats and the CIA. It appears unaccountable intelligence agency worship is suddenly a “liberal” position. Who knew!

The following poll was taken two months ago, but many of you probably missed it back then. The shift is simply mind-boggling.

NBC reports:

For the first time since the survey asked about the CIA back in 2002, Democrats now have a more positive view of the nation’s foreign intelligence agency than Republicans do.
In the wake of Trump’s unvarnished skepticism about the CIA’s assessment that Russia did act to influence the outcome of the election in his favor, a December NBC/WSJ poll showed that 29 percent of Republicans view the CIA positively, compared to 24 percent who view it negatively (Net favorability of +4 percent.) But for Democrats, it was 46 percent positive, 14 percent negative (Net favorability of +32 percent).

That’s a particularly significant reversal for a party that has typically led the charge against intelligence agency overreach. In 1975, for example, a special Senate panel led by Democrat Frank Church investigated the CIA and other intelligence agencies, probing the legality of assassination attempts of foreign leaders, domestic surveillance practices and the monitoring of political activities by American citizens.

Now here’s the chart.

To continue reading: Chart of the Day – Democrats Now Like the CIA More Than Republicans

Whistleblowers vs. The State, by Carey Wedler

Just remember, the government is never wrong. Either questioning that statement, or exposing it as incorrect, can get you in a lot of trouble. From Carey Wedler at theantimedia.com:

Immediately after Wikileaks released thousands of documents revealing the extent of CIA surveillance and hacking practices, the government was calling for an investigation — not into why the CIA has amassed so much power, but rather, into who exposed their invasive policies.

“A federal criminal investigation is being opened into WikiLeaks’ publication of documents detailing alleged CIA hacking operations, several US officials,” reportedly told CNN.

“The inquiry, the official said, will seek to determine whether the disclosure represented a breach from the outside or a leak from inside the organization. A separate review will attempt to assess the damage caused by such a disclosure, the official said.”

Even democratic representative Ted Lieu, who has been urging whistleblowers to come forward to expose wrongdoing within the Trump administration, has turned his focus away from what the documents exposed and toward determining how it could have possibly happened.

“I am deeply disturbed by the allegation that the CIA lost its arsenal of hacking tools,” he said while calling for an investigation. “The ramifications could be devastating. I am calling for an immediate congressional investigation. We need to know if the CIA lost control of its hacking tools, who may have those tools, and how do we now protect the privacy of Americans.”

According to Lieu’s statements, the problem isn’t necessarily that the CIA is spying on Americans and invading innocent people’s technology without consent. It’s that the CIA mishandled their spying tools, and in doing so, endangered Americans’ privacy by exposing the tools to presumably ‘bad actors.’ The problem isn’t the corrupt agency violating basic privacy rights, but that they weren’t skillful enough to keep their corruption under wraps.

So goes the familiar whistleblower narrative in the United States. Whistleblowers step forward to expose wrongdoing on the part of government — something the government claims to support — and immediately, establishment institutions and the media bend the conversation away from the wrongdoing in order to focus on the unlawful release of secrets.

To continue reading: Whistleblowers vs. The State

Does the CIA Vault 7 Leak Make America Less Safe? By Joe Jarvis

It’s hard to see how the CIA’s interest in French elections make us more safe. From Joe Jarvis at The Daily Bell via lewrockwell.com:

Has U.S. intelligence been irreparably damaged by the release of Vault 7, to the point where it puts America and it’s operations at risk?

Well, to a certain extent, yes. But that’s only a problem if you think the CIA was targeting and manipulating the right people and entities.

You have probably heard by now of the Wikileaks release of Vault 7, a CIA arsenal of cyber weapons including viruses and malware. The capabilities the CIA has been utilizing include taking over smart TV’s and smartphones to use their microphones and control their operations. The CIA can also get around popular encrypted messaging services like Whatsapp and Signal if they are used on an infected phone.

Among the list of possible targets of the collection are ‘Asset’, ‘Liason Asset’, ‘System Administrator’, ‘Foreign Information Operations’, ‘Foreign Intelligence Agencies’ and ‘Foreign Government Entities’. Notably absent is any reference to extremists or transnational criminals.

Emphasis added. Basically, this release confirmed everything we had already assumed was being done by the CIA and other intelligence agencies. The interesting part is how the CIA used these espionage tools.

As Wikileaks noted, the CIA did not seem especially interested in ISIS, or drug cartels.

But the French Election did interest the CIA. We know they monitored the candidates to intercept communications. The CIA was especially interested in the prospects of French economic growth, specifically which candidates would follow “the German model of export-led growth.”

What does that say about the faltering French economy under Francois Hollande?

Exports have been shaky at best, with large differences month to month. Unemployment is up over 10%, and economic growth has failed to meet expectations.

So in addition to spying on the candidates, did the CIA use their cyber weapons to influence the election?

To continue reading: Does the CIA Vault 7 Leak Make America Less Safe?