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Posts Tagged ‘CIA’

Colin Powell: A Neocon Fellow Traveler | Chronicles

Posted by M. C. on October 21, 2021

https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/blog/colin-powell–a-neocon-fellow-traveler/

At a crucial juncture in his life Colin Powell decided that he would just follow orders, like countless officers before him, most notably German ones. He may have been a decent sort to start with, but the Superior Orders defense is unlikely to save him from the harsh judgment of history.

By Srdja Trifkovic

“My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources,” U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell declared on the afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2003, at the Security Council of the United Nations. “These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.”   Powell, who died Monday due to complications from COVID-19, was seeking the Council’s endorsement of the U.S. attack on Iraq, which had been already decided upon by the neoconservative inner circle surrounding President George W. Bush. He asserted that Saddam Hussein already had at his disposal biological and chemical weapons, that he was developing a nuclear arsenal, and that therefore Iraq was a legitimate target for military action.   To support his claim, Powell produced a vial of white powder, allegedly anthrax from the Iraqi arsenal. He played a recording of a supposed discussion among Iraqi military officers about UN inspection teams, which had been doctored to make the proceedings appear sinister. Staking his reputation as a cautious, matter-of-fact soldier, four-star general, and former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who served four presidents, he produced photographs of alleged Iraqi WMD depots and other facilities. He also showed detailed drawings of what he claimed were Saddam Hussein’s mobile chemical weapons production facilities.   As we now know, and as some of us suspected at the time, every statement Powell made on that day was untrue. Every single assertion was backed by “sources” fabricated by the neocon cabal which had decided to push America into war against Iraq many years earlier. Powell never belonged to this group, which looked down on him and eagerly plotted to exploit him. They wanted to turn him into a useful idiot, to use him – broadly speaking – the way Stalin used Walter Duranty and Hitler used Lloyd George.    Colin Powell, to his eternal discredit, allowed some very bad people to use him. He failed to check the veracity of the material they prepared for him, even though his presentation was potentially a matter of life and death for thousands of people. He was told that his speech had been prepared by the National Security Council. In reality it was written by Vice President Dick Cheney’s team, which in the words of a summary of events published Monday by The Guardian,  “led the charge in browbeating CIA analysts into coming up with evidence and when that failed, going around the CIA altogether.”   Could Powell not smell a rat? Two years later, when he was no longer a senior official, Powell said the speech was “a blot” on his career. “It was painful,” Powell told Barbara Walters. “It’s painful now.”    His expression of remorse isn’t enough to exculpate him. Powell could not have been willfully oblivious to what was going on, as some of Stalin’s fellow travelers were. He made a deliberate moral choice, fully in accordance with his rank and station. “For Colin Powell, the situation put reputation and duty in conflict,” according to Sir Christopher Meyer, the UK ambassador in Washington at the time. “When the commander in chief of the United States of America says ‘Go to New York and deliver a presentation,’ a man like Powell doesn’t say no.”   Indeed; this is the crux of the matter. At a crucial juncture in his life Colin Powell decided that he would just follow orders, like countless officers before him, most notably German ones. He may have been a decent sort to start with, but the Superior Orders defense is unlikely to save him from the harsh judgment of history.

Srdja Trifkovic

Dr. Srdja Trifkovic, foreign affairs editor of Chronicles, is the author of The Sword of the Prophet and Defeating Jihad.

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Daniel Ellsberg On The CIA Plan To Kidnap And Possibly Kill Julian Assange, The End Of The Afghanistan Occupation, And The Ongoing Us Drone War – CounterPunch.org

Posted by M. C. on October 19, 2021

So, I think we have to accept that if Biden’s appeal is successful and Assange is brought back here and tried, that will not be the last, and we won’t have to wait for a Republican either or for Trump. Even under Biden it will not be the last, and yes, the New York Times itself will find that it has to defend and maybe a little late because the precedent will have been set.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/10/11/daniel-ellsberg-on-the-cia-plan-to-kidnap-and-possibly-kill-julian-assange-the-end-of-the-afghanistan-occupation-and-the-ongoing-us-drone-war/

by Dennis Bernstein

There are many things to say about Legendary Whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg. First and foremost of course is that he blew the whistle on the big lies behind the US Justification for the Vietnam war. Indeed, in 1967 while at the Rand Institute Daniel Ellsberg worked on the top-secret McNamara Study, US Decision Making in Vietnam, which later came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. In 1969 he photocopied the 7,000-page study and gave it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In 1971 he gave it to the New York Times, the Washington Post and 17 other newspapers.

Ellsberg’s subsequent trial on 12 felony counts posing a possible sentence of some 115 years was dismissed in 1973 on the grounds of governmental misconduct against him, leading to the convictions of several White House aides and figuring in the impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon. Now in his 90’s, Dan Ellsberg is front and center in the battle to free Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. We spoke to Ellsberg on the heels of the troubling revelations that the US CIA was considering kidnapping and even killing Assange.

Dennis: Good to speak to you again Dan. Let’s start with this: Why do you think the former CIA Director under Donald Trump thought that it might be necessary not only to kidnap, to maybe kill, Julian Assange? Why did they find him so dangerous?

Dan: You know, the – I notice on the news, on Wiki, Google News, a couple headlines that I haven’t seen yet about why did the CIA want to kill Assange. I’m interested in those stories. I haven’t been able to read them yet. Actually, it’s on a podcast. I’ll have to listen to it in England, because that isn’t self-evident why at that point they would want to kill him, except that yes, they wanted him to come into trial, they wanted to kidnap him, and get him back here. Or now they’re still trying to extradite him under Biden and get him for trial.

But on the other hand, a trial isn’t actually perfect for them because that will certainly bring up two kinds of problems, the crimes that he revealed, the war crimes, the things that Chelsea Manning had given to him about Afghanistan and Iraq revealing enormous numbers of civilians killed which had not been reported, a major program of torture by our Iraqi allies which continued into the Biden – into the, I’m sorry, Obama Administration when Biden was Vice President, and definitely would have constituted war crimes. So, these are not things they wanted discussed in open-ended trial all that much, although they do want to make an example of Julian.

I really think that in one – I’ve always thought that to some extent the best thing for him is just to keep him there in a prison without having to go through a trial and reveal any of this stuff, or have him even in Sweden on that. But since they don’t want to concede that what he did was not criminal, as I would say was not under any constitutional reading of the Espionage Act, they want to continue that and have to at least go through the motions of trying to expedite him.

But of course, assassinating him would cut that short, just keep him silent, keep him out of the way, certainly form a good example, counter, to people who might be tempted to follow in his footsteps as to what to expect if you take on not only the world’s richest and strongest imperial power, the United States, but really this was a challenge to secrecy in all governments in the world. And I doubt if he has very many admirers within state governments, practically anywhere in the world, although there were many countries where he’s extremely popular.

Germany, for example, being one for various reasons. But their – and even their Bundestag has tried to get him to come as a witness about the secrecy system. But governments that want to be tight in hand with their rich uncle here, Uncle Sam, do not want to antagonize America, and that turns out to be Biden as well as Trump. So, he’s challenged all of them, and that puts you by way of a lot of retribution.

Dennis: How would you – how do you consider Julian Assange? Do you see him as a publisher and poet and journalist? People call him lots of different things. And apparently he’s been, although he’s helped a great deal in publishing a number of incredible stories in various news organizations, he’s been sort of betrayed, set aside, forgotten. How do you see him? Is he – is his work important in terms of journalism, and what role does it play in the public knowledge?

Dan: Well first take the position that the government – that he’s put himself in as government, our government, has put him in of being under charges as a publisher, as a journalist. He’s the first actually to be indicted in this country in a way that is blatantly in contradiction to the First Amendment, “Congress shall pass no law abridging freedom of the press, freedom of speech.” There could hardly be a more clear-cut denial of the protection to the press, that the First Amendment author than to be indicting and prosecuting Julian Assange.

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Why the Mainstream Media Remains Silent on the JFK Records Deadline – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on October 18, 2021

What is the reason that has caused the CIA to want to keep these thousands of records secret from the American people. The reason, I am more convinced than ever, is that the CIA knows that those remaining records constitute more pieces to the overall puzzle of criminal culpability on the part of the CIA in the regime-change operation that took place on November 22,1963. 

https://www.fff.org/2021/10/13/why-the-mainstream-media-remains-silent-on-the-jfk-records-deadline/

by Jacob G. Hornberger

With the October 26 deadline only two weeks from now on releasing the 60-year secret records of the CIA relating to the Kennedy assassination, the silence from the mainstream press is deafening. The great mainstream defenders of transparency and openness in government, at least when it comes foreign dictatorships, cannot bring themselves to openly advocate for the release of thousands of records relating to the JFK assassination that the CIA still insists on keeping secret.

Why the silence? I will explain the reason, but first please permit me to restate the prediction I have made regarding this matter.

I predict that within the next weeks, President Biden will grant a request by the CIA for continued secrecy of its assassination-related records. I predict that Biden will order the release of some of the records for appearance’s sake, but he will cite “national security” to justify continuing the secrecy of the vast majority of the records.

Why do I make this prediction? Because the reason that the CIA needed to keep these records secret 60 years ago still exists. That same reason was why it it needed to keep them secret during the 1990s, when the Assassination Records Review Board was enforcing the JFK Records Act of 1992, which mandated the release of all federal records relating to the assassination. 

Further, that same reason obviously caused the CIA, despite the law’s mandate, to continue keeping its records secret for another 25 years after the JFK Records Act was enacted. When that deadline came due in 2017, that same reason obviously motivated the CIA to petition President Trump for another extension of time for secrecy, which Trump dutifully granted. That deadline comes due on October 26, 2021 — two weeks from now — and mark my words: The same reason will cause the CIA to request that Biden grant another extension of time for secrecy, which Biden, like Trump, will dutifully grant.

What is the reason that has caused the CIA to want to keep these thousands of records secret from the American people. The reason, I am more convinced than ever, is that the CIA knows that those remaining records constitute more pieces to the overall puzzle of criminal culpability on the part of the CIA in the regime-change operation that took place on November 22,1963. 

After all, let’s face it: No matter what definition is put on that nebulous and meaningless term “national security,” there is no possibility that anything bad will happen to the United States if those 60-year-old secret records are released to the American people. The United States will not fall into the ocean. The supposed international communist conspiracy to take over the United States that was supposedly based in Moscow, Russia (yes, that Russia!) during the Cold War won’t be reinvigorated. Communist Cuba will not invade the United States. The dominoes near North Vietnam will not fall to the communists. North Korea will not come and get us. 

President Biden just ordered the release of President Trump’s secret records relating to the January 6 Capitol protests. Why not the same decision with respect to those 60-year-old secret records of the CIA relating to the Kennedy assassination?

Why won’t the mainstream press call on Biden to enforce the JFK Records Act of 1992? They’re scared to do so. In a remarkably candid and direct statement made to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in 2017, New York Senator Charles Schumer explained why they are scared: “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer said to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

Schumer was referring to President Trump, but actually the admonition applies to everyone. The CIA, the Pentagon, the NSA, and the FBI — i.e., the entire intelligence community — has “six ways from Sunday at getting back” at anyone who takes it on, including newspaper owners, publishers, and editors.

Most people know about Operation Mockingbird, the top-secret operation of the CIA to acquire assets within the mainstream press to advance the CIA’s propaganda. Does anyone really think that the CIA would stop there in the quest to expand its power and influence? 

Not a chance! For example, the entire national-security establishment would concentrate on acquiring, installing, and grooming assets in Congress, which sets the budgets. Does anyone think it’s just a coincidence that Congress gives the national-security establishment whatever it wants plus sometimes even more than what it wants? There is good reason why President Eisenhower planned to use the term “military-industrial-congressional” complex in his Farewell Address. No one can reasonably deny that Congress is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the national-security establishment.

But they obviously would not stop there. They would also be acquiring assets within the IRS, one of the most powerful and tyrannical agencies within the federal government. There isn’t anyone, including newspaper owners, publishers, and editors, who isn’t afraid of receiving an audit notice from the IRS.

And if it happens, no one would ever be able to prove that it originated with the CIA or the rest of the national-security establishment. It would just look like it was occurring at random. If any victim of an IRS audit accused the CIA or the rest of the national-security establishment of being behind the audit, they would be ready to hurl the infamous “conspiracy theorist” label at him.

What newspaper owner, publisher, or editor wants to take that chance? They all know that the national-security establishment frowns very seriously on any mainstream media outlet that even remotely suggests that the Kennedy assassination was a regime-change operation, no different in principle from those in Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, Congo, and Chile both before and after the Kennedy assassination. But they also do not want to take the chance of upsetting the CIA by simply calling on it to release its 60-year-old still-secret records relating to the assassination.

After all, everyone knows that if an entity is powerful enough to regime-change presidents and prime ministers, both foreign and domestic, with impunity, it can easily destroy any mainstream media executive who dares to buck the CIA on the assassination. 

It’s just the way life works in a national-security state. It’s why the mainstream media is maintaining strict silence on the upcoming October 26 deadline on the release of those 60-year-old still-secret records of the CIA relating to the Kennedy assassination.

This post was written by: Jacob G. Hornberger

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Biden Tells Supreme Court That Publicly Documented Torture Is a State Secret

Posted by M. C. on October 12, 2021

In 2016, Margulies said that Abu Zubaydah is “the poster child for the torture program, and that’s why they never want him to be heard from again.”

https://truthout.org/articles/biden-tells-supreme-court-that-publicly-documented-torture-is-a-state-secret/

By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout

Part of the Series

Human Rights and Global Wrongs

When Abu Zubaydah was apprehended in Pakistan in 2002, the George W. Bush administration falsely characterized him as chief of operations for al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden’s number three man. For the next four years, the CIA sent Zubaydah to its “black sites” in Thailand and Poland where he was viciously tortured. In 2006, Zubaydah was taken to Guantánamo, where he remains to this day. He has never been charged with a crime.

The torture of Abu Zubaydah is thoroughly documented in the 2014 report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In fact, several of the justices at the October 6 Supreme Court oral argument in United States v. Zubaydah referred to his treatment as “torture.”

Zubaydah’s lawyers detailed the torture he suffered in their brief (which referenced the Senate torture report) as follows:

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On 83 different occasions in a single month of 2002, he was strapped to an inclined board with his head lower than his feet while CIA contractors poured water up his nose and down his throat, bringing him within sight of death. He was handcuffed and repeatedly slammed into walls, and suspended naked from hooks in the ceiling for hours at a time. He was forced to remain awake for eleven consecutive days, and doused again and again with cold water when he collapsed into sleep. He was forced into a tall, narrow box the size of a coffin, and crammed into another box that would nearly fit under a chair, where he was left for hours. He was subjected to a particularly grotesque humiliation described by the CIA as “rectal rehydration.”

Nevertheless, the Biden administration told the high court that Zubaydah’s well-known torture is a “state secret” because former CIA Director Mike Pompeo said publicizing it would harm national security. Thus, Solicitor General Brian Fletcher argued, the two contractors who orchestrated Zubaydah’s torture in Poland should not be permitted to testify in a Polish court’s criminal investigation into the treatment of Zubaydah.

But as Justice Elena Kagan said, “At a certain point, it becomes a little farcical, this idea of the assertion of a privilege, doesn’t it? I mean, if everybody knows what you’re asserting privilege on, like, what exactly does this privilege.… It’s not a state secrets privilege anymore.”

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The CIA Has Stultified American Consciences – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on October 11, 2021

To get America back on the right track, what we need is a moral awakening, one that entails the operation of conscience. If that day were to come, there is no doubt that the American people would cast the CIA into the dustbin of history, where all evil agencies belong.

https://www.fff.org/2021/10/05/the-cia-has-stultified-american-consciences/

by Jacob G. Hornberger

REMINDER: Tonight, 7 p.m. Eastern Time, via Zoom: Tufts University professor of law Michael Glennon‘s presentation as part of our ongoing conference series on restoring civil liberties in America. To receive a zoom link, register at our conference web page. Registration fee: FREE.

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One of the worst consequences of converting the federal government to a national-security state has been the stultification or warping of the consciences of the American people. With unwavering allegiance to the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, all too many Americans have sacrificed their sense of right and wrong at the altar of “national security,” the two-word term that has become the most important term in the political lexicon of the American people.

The best example of this phenomenon is the CIA’s power of assassination. Most Americans have come to passively accept this power, with nary a thought as to the victims against whom it is carried out and under what what circumstances it is carried out.

Consider recent revelations that the CIA was planning to assassinate Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, for disclosing dark-side secrets of the U.S. deep state to to the world. 

That’s why U.S. officials have pursued him with a vengeance — not because he lied about the Pentagon’s and the CIA’s dark-side activities but rather because he disclosed the truth about them. 

That’s why they were seeking to murder him — to silence him, to punish him, and to send a message to other potential disclosers of dark-side secrets of the national-security establishment. 

But anyone with a conscience that is operating would easily see that assassinating Assange would be just plain murder. And at the risk of belaboring the obvious, the murder of an innocent person is just plain evil. 

Yet, the reaction to all this from the mainstream press has been one great big collective yawn. No big deal. It’s just another state-sponsored assassination intended to protect “national security.” If U.S. national-security state officials have decided that Assange needs to be taken out, then that’s just the way it is. That’s why we have a CIA, after all. We have to defer to its judgment, even if it means sacrificing our consciences in the process. After all, that’s its job — to protect “national security.”

By the way, there is virtually no doubt that if they could get away with assassinating Edward Snowden for disclosing the truth about NSA dark-side activity, they would murder him too. The probable reason they haven’t assassinated Snowden is because they haven’t figured out a way to get the assassins out of Russia.

When the federal government was converted to a national-security state after World War II, the American people made an implicit bargain with the devil. The bargain empowered the national-security establishment to engage in dark-side activity, including assassination. But another part of the bargain was that officials would keep their dark-side activity secret from the American people so that people wouldn’t have to deal with their consciences over a governmental entity that was assassinating people. 

Assange’s and Snowden’s great “crime” was in violating that pact. By bringing dark-side activity to the attention of the American people, they ran the risk that people’s consciences might start operating. 

So far, there appears to be no risk of that happening. Consider, for example, the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani. That was just plain murder. Iran and the United States are not at war with each other. Sure, we are told that Iran is a “rival,” an “enemy,” an “opponent,” or an “adversary,” but does that morally entitle U.S. officials to murder Iranian officials? It does not, just as it doesn’t entitle Iranian officials to murder U.S. officials. 

Again, however, the reaction among the mainstream press to the assassination of Suleimani was one great big collective yawn. Revealingly, there was also no moral outrage expressed among church ministers across America. If the Pentagon and the CIA deemed it necessary to assassinate Suleiman, that’s all we need to know. 

To get America back on the right track, what we need is a moral awakening, one that entails the operation of conscience. If that day were to come, there is no doubt that the American people would cast the CIA into the dustbin of history, where all evil agencies belong.

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Silencing Julian Assange: Why Bother With a Trial When You Can Just Kill Him? — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on October 10, 2021

Or, as Assange’s lawyer put it more to the point, “As an American citizen, I find it absolutely outrageous that our government would be contemplating kidnapping or assassinating somebody without any judicial process simply because he had published truthful information.” Unfortunately, that is not all that the Assange case is about. It is not just a question of truth or fiction and journalistic ethics, but rather an issue of the abuses enabled by powerful men who believe that their power is unlimited.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/10/07/silencing-julian-assange-why-bother-with-trial-when-you-can-just-kill-him/

Philip Giraldi

An English friend recently learned about the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) plan to either kidnap or kill journalist Julian Assange and quipped “I’ll bet he’s happy to be safe and sound in Belmarsh Prison if he has a chance to read about that!” I replied that his time in Belmarsh has been made as demeaning as possible by an English judge and the British are just as capable of executing a Jeffrey Epstein suicide or “accident” if called upon to do so by their American “cousins.” He agreed, reluctantly. Indeed, the roles of American allies Britain and Australia in what is turning out to be one of the world’s longest-playing judicial dramas has been reprehensible.

For those readers who have missed some of the fun of the Assange saga, a recap is in order. Julian Assange, an Australian citizen who was living in London, was the Editor in Chief and driving force behind Wikileaks, which debuted in 2006 and was one of the alternative news sites that have sprung up over the past twenty years. WikiLeaks was somewhat unique in that it often did not write up its own stories but rather was passed documentary material by sources in government and elsewhere that it then reprinted without any editing.

Assange attracted the ire of the ruling class when he obtained in 2010 a classified video from an unidentified source that showed an unprovoked 2007 shooting incident involving U.S. Army helicopters in Baghdad in which a dozen completely innocent people were killed. The government’s anger at WikiLeaks intensified when, in 2013, Edward Snowden, a National Security Agency contractor, fled to Hong Kong with classified material that demonstrated that the U.S. government was illegally spying on Americans. WikiLeaks also reportedly helped to arrange Snowden’s subsequent escape to Russia from Hong Kong.

The bipartisan animus directed against WikiLeaks intensified still further in the summer of 2016 when the group’s website began to release emails from the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The immediate conclusion propagated by Team Hillary but unsupported by facts was that Russian intelligence had hacked the emails and given them to WikiLeaks.

It was perhaps inevitable that Assange’s reporting, which has never been found to be factually inaccurate, was in some circles claimed to be based on information provided to him by Russian hackers. Even though he repeatedly denied that that was the case and there are technical reasons why that was unlikely or even impossible, this led to a sharp Russophobic response from a number of intelligence and law enforcement services close to the United States. Assange was charged in Britain in November 2010 on an international warrant demanding that he be extradited to Sweden over claims that he had committed rape in that country, an accusation which later turned out to be false. He posted bail but lost a legal battle to annul the warrant and then skipped a preliminary hearing in London in June 2012 to accept asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy, which has diplomatic immunity. He stayed in the Embassy for eighty-two months, at which point a new government in Quito made clear that his asylum would be revoked and he would be expelled from the building. He was preparing to leave voluntarily in April 2019 when police arrived and he was arrested on a charge of his failure to appear in court seven years before which was regarded as “bail jumping.” He was sent immediately to Belmarsh high security prison, where Britain’s terrorist prisoners are confined.

After his arrest, Assange continued to be incarcerated due to a U.S. Justice Department extradition request based on the Espionage Act of 1918, apparently derived from possible interaction with the Chelsea Manning whistleblower case. Assange has now been in Belmarsh for 29 months in spite of increasing international pressure asserting that he is a journalist and should be released. The British have hesitated to extradite him on the basis of the evidence produced by the U.S. government, which included the claim that Assange aided the former U.S. Army analyst Manning break into a classified computer network in order to obtain and eventually publish classified material, but they have likewise failed to release him. The British judge denied extradition in January, suggesting that if he were to be returned forcibly to the U.S. he would likely commit suicide, but she also denied Assange bail as he was considered to be a flight risk. The U.S. appealed that verdict and the next hearing is scheduled for the end of October. It should be noted that no evidence produced by the Justice Department has plausibly linked Assange to the Russian intelligence services.

Which brings us to the Yahoo news revelation regarding the CIA plot to shoot, poison or kidnap Assange while he was sheltering in the Ecuadorian Embassy. It goes something like this: in 2017, Assange’s fifth year in the Embassy, the CIA debated going after him to end the alleged threat posed to government secrets by him and his organization, which was still operating and presumed to be in contact with him. WikiLeaks had at that time been publishing extremely sensitive CIA hacking tools, referred to as “Vault 7,” which constituted “the largest data loss in CIA history.”

In an April 2017 speech, Donald Trump’s new CIA Director Mike Pompeo said “WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service and has encouraged its followers to find jobs at the CIA in order to obtain intelligence. It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.” It was a declaration of war. The label “non-state hostile intelligence service” is a legal designation which more-or-less opened the door to non-conventional responses to eliminate the threat. CIA Stations where WikiLeaks associates were known to be present were directed to increase surveillance on them and also attempt to interdict any communications they might seek to have with Assange himself in the embassy. A staff of analysts referred to as the “WikiLeaks Team” worked full time to target the organization and its leaders.

At the top level of the Agency debate over more extreme options prevailed, though there were legitimate concerns about the legality of what was being contemplated. In late 2017, in the midst of the debate over possible kidnapping and/or assassination, the Agency picked up alarming though unsubstantiated reports that Russian intelligence operatives were preparing plans to help Assange escape from the United Kingdom and fly him to Moscow.

CIA responded by preparing to foil Assange’s possible Russian-assisted departure to include potential gun battles with Moscow’s spies on the streets of London or crashing a car into any Russian diplomatic vehicle transporting Assange to seize him. One scenario even included either blocking the runway or shooting out the tires of any Russian plane believed to be carrying Assange before it could take off for Moscow. Pompeo himself reportedly favored what is referred to as a “rendition,” which would consist of breaking into the Ecuadorian Embassy, kidnapping Assange, and flying him clandestinely to the U.S. for trial. Others in the national security team favored killing Assange rather than going through the complexity of kidnapping and removing him. Fortunately, saner views prevailed, particularly when the British refused to cooperate in any way with activity they regarded as clearly illegal.

So Assange is still in prison and what does it all mean? The only possible charge that would convincingly demonstrate that Assange was spy paid by Russia would be related to his possibly helping Chelsea Manning to circumvent security to steal classified material, but there is no real evidence that Assange actually did that or that he is under Russian control. So that makes him a journalist. That he has embarrassed the United States, most often when it misbehaves, is what good journalists do. But beyond that the disgraceful CIA plans to kill or abduct Assange as an option to get rid of him reveal yet again the dark side of what the United States of America has become since 9/11.

More to the point, getting rid of Assange will accomplish nothing. He worked with a number of like-minded colleagues who have been more than able to pick up where he left off. He has been largely incommunicado since he has been languishing in Belmarsh Prison and it is his associates who have continued to solicit information and publish it on their site. Mike Pompeo’s unapologetic response to this assassination or kidnapping story was “They were engaged in active efforts to steal secrets themselves, and pay others to do the same …” Of course, if all that were true Mike and the government lawyers have had an opportunity to demonstrate just that in a British court. They couldn’t do so and instead promoted the easier option of just killing someone for publishing something true. And assassination is a blunt instrument that rarely accomplishes anything. One recalls that in January 2020 Pompeo certainly participated in the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi Militia Leader Muhandis in Baghdad. What did that accomplish apart from turning a nominally friendly Iraq hostile to the U.S. presence?

Or, as Assange’s lawyer put it more to the point, “As an American citizen, I find it absolutely outrageous that our government would be contemplating kidnapping or assassinating somebody without any judicial process simply because he had published truthful information.” Unfortunately, that is not all that the Assange case is about. It is not just a question of truth or fiction and journalistic ethics, but rather an issue of the abuses enabled by powerful men who believe that their power is unlimited. That is the real abyss that the United States has fallen into and the only way out is to finally hold such people, starting with Pompeo, accountable for what they have done.

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How Is The CIA Still A Thing?

Posted by M. C. on September 27, 2021

These plans were reportedly made in coordination with the Trump White House as then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo and then-Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel raged over WikiLeaks’ 2017 Vault 7 release which revealed that the CIA had lost control of an enormous digital arsenal of hacking tools. These included tools which enabled the surveillance of smartphones, smart TVs and web browsers, the hacking of computerized vehicle control systems, and the ability to frame foreign governments for cyber attacks by inserting the digital “fingerprints” of the hacking methods they employ for investigators to find. It was the single largest data leak in CIA history.

https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/how-is-the-cia-still-a-thing

Caitlin Johnstone

Citing “conversations with more than 30 former U.S. officials,” a new report by Yahoo News has confirmed earlier allegations that the Central Intelligence Agency not only spied on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his associates, but also drew up plans for kidnapping, renditioning, and assassinating him.

These plans were reportedly made in coordination with the Trump White House as then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo and then-Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel raged over WikiLeaks’ 2017 Vault 7 release which revealed that the CIA had lost control of an enormous digital arsenal of hacking tools. These included tools which enabled the surveillance of smartphones, smart TVs and web browsers, the hacking of computerized vehicle control systems, and the ability to frame foreign governments for cyber attacks by inserting the digital “fingerprints” of the hacking methods they employ for investigators to find. It was the single largest data leak in CIA history.

Normally we have to wait decades for confirmation that the CIA did something nefarious, and then people absurdly assume that such things no longer occur because it was so long ago, and because changing your worldview is uncomfortable. But here we are with an extensively sourced report that the agency plotted to kidnap, rendition and assassinate a journalist for publishing authentic documents in the public interest, just four years after the fact.Kevin Gosztola @kgosztolaJournalists for Yahoo! News finally confirmed a narrative around Mike Pompeo and the CIA’s war on WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, which I outlined back in October 2019. It’s an important report. Thread. Kidnapping, assassination and a London shoot-out: Inside the CIA’s secret war plans against WikiLeaksIn 2017, as Julian Assange began his fifth year holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London, the CIA plotted to kidnap the WikiLeaks founder, spurring heated…news.yahoo.comSeptember 26th 20211,643 Retweets3,548 Likes

Which is about as spectacular a violation of virtually every value that western society claims to uphold. Particularly the assassination bit.

The authors of the story (who for the record insert their own flimsy spin insinuating ties between Russia and WikiLeaks) say it’s not known just how serious the assassination plans were taken at Langley. But they make it abundantly clear that such plans were made:

“[A]gency executives requested and received ‘sketches’ of plans for killing Assange and other Europe-based WikiLeaks members who had access to Vault 7 materials, said a former intelligence official. There were discussions ‘on whether killing Assange was possible and whether it was legal,’ the former official said.”

And that, right there, just by itself, should be reason enough to completely abolish the Central Intelligence Agency. Just the fact that this is an institution where such conversations even happen and such plans even get made, to say nothing of the obvious implication that they wouldn’t have such conversations and make such plans if they did not act on them from time to time.

I just can’t get over how this claim was openly confirmed by a mainstream journalism investigation and the public response has been “Oh wow what an alarming news story,” instead of, “Okay well the CIA doesn’t get to exist then.” 

I mean, is it not out-of-this-world bizarre that we just found out the CIA recently drew up plans to assassinate a journalist for journalistic activity, and yet we’re not all unanimously demanding that the CIA be completely dismantled and flushed down the toilet forever?Nick is a Fred Hampton Leftist 🥋 @SocialistMMAI’m seriously confused at the people who are opposed to abolishing the CIA? Is the argument that they are doing good work? How can anyone hear about the history of the CIA and what they do and be like, “I approve”September 27th 2021293 Retweets1,542 Likes

This would after all be the same lyingdrug-runningwarmongeringpropagandizingpsychological terrorizing Central Intelligence Agency that has been viciously smashing the world into compliance with its agendas for generations. It is surely one of the most depraved institutions ever to have existed, comparable in terms of sheer psychopathy to the worst of the worst in history.

So why does it exist? Why is there still an institution whose extensive use of torture has reportedly included “Rape, gang rape, rape using eels, snakes, or hard objects, and rape followed by murder; electric shock (‘the Bell Telephone Hour’) rendered by attaching wires to the genitals or other sensitive parts of the body, like the tongue; the ‘water treatment’; the ‘airplane’ in which the prisoner’s arms were tied behind the back, and the rope looped over a hook on the ceiling, suspending the prisoner in midair, after which he or she was beaten; beatings with rubber hoses and whips; the use of police dogs to maul prisoners”?

I am of course being rhetorical. We all know why the CIA still exists. An agency which exerts control over the news media with ever-increasing brazenness is not about to start helping the public become more well-informed about its unbroken track record of horrific abuses, and if anyone in power ever even thinks about crossing them they have “six ways from Sunday of getting back at you.”https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/6OYyXv2l4-I?rel=0&autoplay=0&showinfo=0&enablejsapi=0

The date of the absolute last time the CIA ever did anything evil keeps getting moved forward. The CIA just casually had plans drawn up for the assassination of Julian Assange in case they decided that was something they wanted to do, but you’re a crazy conspiracy theorist if you think they might be doing other bad things right now.

The reason the latest Assange story isn’t getting more traction and causing more people to think critically about the CIA is because the US government making plans to kidnap, rendition and assassinate a journalist for telling the truth is so incomprehensibly evil that it causes too much cognitive dissonance for people to really take in. Our minds are wired to reject information which disrupts our worldview, and people who’ve spent their lives marinating in the belief that they live in a free democracy will have worldviews that are resistant to information which shows we are actually ruled by secretive power structures who laugh at our votes.

So to recap, the CIA made plans to kidnap and rendition Julian Assange and to assassinate him and his associates. The CIA also spied on Assange and his legal team, and a notoriously untrustworthy key witness for the prosecution in his case has admitted to fabricating evidence. And yet the CIA is not being burnt to the ground and its ashes scattered to the Langley winds, and the UK is still somehow proceeding right along with the US appeal to extradite Assange.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: as much light as WikiLeaks has shone on the dark inner workings of the powerful over the years, the persecution of Julian Assange by those very same power structures has revealed far, far more. The more they seek to persecute him the brighter that light shines on them, making it easier and easier for us to see who they are, what they do, and how they do it.

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New Proof Emerges of the Biden Family Emails: a Definitive Account of the CIA/Media/BigTech Fraud – by Glenn Greenwald – Glenn Greenwald

Posted by M. C. on September 25, 2021

An axis of the CIA, Big Tech and the DNC-allied wing of the corporate media spread an absolute lie in the weeks before the 2020 election. We now have definitive proof.

https://greenwald.substack.com/p/new-proof-emerges-of-the-biden-family

Glenn Greenwald
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer warns that emails and other documents reported on by The New York Post about Joe Biden’s activities in Ukraine and China may be “Russian disinformation,” Oct. 16, 2020.

A severe escalation of the war on a free internet and free discourse has taken place over the last twelve months. Numerous examples of brute and dangerous censorship have emerged: the destruction by Big Tech monopolies of Parler at the behest of Democratic politicians at the time that it was the most-downloaded app in the country; the banning of the sitting president from social media; and the increasingly explicit threats from elected officials in the majority party of legal and regulatory reprisals in the event that tech platforms do not censor more in accordance with their demands.

But the most severe episode of all was the joint campaign — in the weeks before the 2020 election — by the CIA, Big Tech, the liberal wing of the corporate media and the Democratic Party to censor and suppress a series of major reports about then-presidential frontrunner Joe Biden. On October 14 and then October 15, 2020, The New York Post, the nation’s oldest newspaper, published two news reports on Joe Biden’s activities in Ukraine and China that raised serious questions about his integrity and ethics: specifically whether he and his family were trading on his name and influence to generate profit for themselves. The Post said that the documents were obtained from a laptop left by Joe Biden’s son Hunter at a repair shop.

From the start, the evidence of authenticity was overwhelming. The Post published obviously genuine photos of Hunter that were taken from the laptop. Investigations from media outlets found people who had received the emails in real-time and they compared the emails in their possession to the ones in the Post‘s archive, and they matched word-for-word. One of Hunter’s own business associates involved in many of these deals, Tony Bobulinski, confirmed publicly and in interviews that the key emails were genuine and that they referenced Joe Biden’s profit participation in one deal being pursued in China. A forensics analyst issued a report concluding the archive had all the earmarks of authenticity. Not even the Bidens denied that the emails were real: something they of course would have done if they had been forged or altered. In sum, as someone who has reported on numerous large archives similar to this one and was faced with the heavy burden of ensuring the documents were genuine before risking one’s career and reputation by reporting them, it was clear early on that all the key metrics demonstrated that these documents were real.

Despite all that, former intelligence officials such as Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan and his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper led a group of dozens of former spooks in issuing a public statement that disseminated an outright lie: namely, that the laptop was “Russian disinformation.”

See the rest here

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Abolish FISA, Reform FBI, & Break Up CIA – The American Mind

Posted by M. C. on September 22, 2021

The President of the United States should control Intelligence by the very means by which he controls all other parts of the National Security establishment: The National Security Council. That is, assuming that he controls it, and not the other way around.

https://americanmind.org/memo/abolish-the-cia/

Angelo Codevilla

This is the first in The American Mind’s new Rethinking Policy series. Throughout 2020 we are publishing essays that boldly reframe, reorder, and reprioritize our political goals in order to directly address the real challenges of our time. These essays are intended to spur clear, sharp discussions that rid us of obsolete ideological frameworks and point towards viable paths forward. Amid today’s realignment, we must discern and articulate vital principles and national purpose free of the ideological encumbrances of the past. —Eds.

America’s Intelligence agencies are the deep state’s deepest part, and the most immediate threat to representative government. They are also not very good at what they are supposed to be doing. Protecting the Republic from them requires refocusing them on their proper jobs.

Intelligence officials abuse their positions to discredit opposition to the Democratic Party, of which they are part. Complicit with the media, they leverage the public’s mistaken faith in their superior knowledge, competence, and patriotism to vilify their domestic enemies from behind secrecy’s shield.

Pretenses of superior knowledge have always tempted the Administrative State’s officials to manipulate or override voters. Hence, as Justice Robert H. Jackson (who served as chief prosecutor of the Nuremberg trials) warned, they often turn their powers against whomever they dislike politically, socially, or personally and try to minimize the public’s access to the bases upon which they act.

But only the Intelligence agencies have the power to do that while claiming that scrutiny of their pretenses endangers national security. They have succeeded in restricting information about their misdeeds by “classifying” them under the Espionage Act of 1921. Thus covered, they misrepresent their opinions as knowledge and their preferences as logic. Thus acting as irresponsible arbiters of truth at the highest levels of American public life, they are the foremost jaws of the ruling class vise that is squeezing self-rule out of America.

As Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) truly told President Trump, “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” As we shall see, Intelligence officials have proved Schumer correct.

What follows begins with an overview of the threats today’s intelligence agencies pose to self-government in America.

Next, it touches on U.S. intelligence’s dismal professional record, and suggests that the measures needed to refocus them on professional performance would also separate them from domestic politics.

In sum, we find:

  • CIA is obsolete. Cables show agents’ intelligence takes are inferior to diplomats’. Agent networks are unprotected by counterintelligence. FBI success at counterintelligence ended when the Bureau was politicized and bureaucratized in the 1970s. CIA bottlenecks and incompetently controls strategic intelligence, while the Army and Marines show demonstrable tactical superiority.
  • As a result, CIA is ideologically partisan. Its strength is in leading or joining domestic campaigns to influence public opinion. FBI has followed suit.
  • Senior intelligence officials were the key element in the war on Donald Trump’s candidacy and presidency. CIA used meetings that it manufactured as factual bases for lies about campaign advisors seeking Russian information to smear Hillary Clinton. Intelligence began formal investigation and surveillance without probable cause. Agents gained authorization to electronically surveil Trump and his campaign and defended their bureaucratic interests, sidelining Lieutenant General Michael Flynn and denying or delaying Trump appointments and security clearances.
  • Partisanship produces failure. FISA has incentivized political abuse. “Profiling” has failed repeatedly in high-profile cases like the Atlanta Olympics bombing and the anthrax mail attacks. Perjury trapping has become commonplace.

Finally, we outline the steps that presidents and Congress might take to improve matters:

  • FISA must be repealed legislatively or through Constitutional challenge in court. It unconstitutionally mingles judicial and executive power in secret. It gave Intelligence a blank check. Hardly “an indispensable tool” for national security, it is now indispensable for partisanship. Broad consensus exists for a legislative “fix,” but none is possible. The secret court’s existence, the heart of the law, allows partisan bureaucrats and allied judges to do what they want in secret.
  • Functions currently performed by CIA should be sheared down. Data infrastructure and consultant networks should be eliminated. Bipartisan opposition to the Intelligence threat should use fierce resistance and lobbying from Intelligence as evidence of why cuts are in the national interest.
  • CIA must be disestablished. Its functions should be returned to the Departments of State, Defense, and Treasury. FBI must be restricted to law enforcement. At home, the Agencies are partisan institutions illegitimately focused on setting national policy. Abroad, Agencies untied to specific operational concerns are inherently dangerous and low-value.
  • Intelligence must return to its natural place as servant, not master, of government. Congress should amend the 1947 National Security Act. The President should broaden intelligence perspectives, including briefs from State, Defense, and Treasury, and abolish CIA’s “covert action.” State should be made responsible for political influence and the armed services for military and paramilitary affairs.

Sword and Shield

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Angelo Codevilla is a Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute and professor emeritus of International Relations at Boston University.

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Look Ye, Shipmates — He Breaches! | Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on September 18, 2021

Mr. Garland will be left having to explain why the DOJ and the FBI were never self-accountable for the illegal acts of their employees, including Robert Mueller’s fishy special counsel team, which now looks like a cover-up operation, not to mention current and continuing matters such as the DOJ sitting on the laptop of President “Joe Biden’s” son, Hunter, and its bales of incriminating memoranda detailing payoffs to the Biden family from companies run by the CCP. Really, the fate of the Democratic Party is on the line with what might potentially develop if Mr. Durham’s actions go beyond Michael Sussman’s little caper.

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/look-ye-shipmates-he-breaches/

James Howard Kunstler

Like the white whale of legend surfacing close to the mainland, special counsel John Durham popped up this week with one Michael Sussmann in his jaws, a smallish fish among the squamous and tentacled monsters hiding in the depths of the Deep State below the raging political seas. Who he, anyway?

Among the now well-known cast of creatures involved in the panoramic episode of perfidious sedition known as RussiaGate, Mr. Sussmann was a bit-player, an errand boy for the Perkins Coie law firm that did much of Hillary Clinton’s dirty work in the 2016 campaign and for the Democratic Party beyond. Mr. Sussmann is charged with lying to the FBI in conveying campaign dirt paid-for by Mrs. Clinton to the FBI’s general counsel, James Baker, Mr. Sussmann’s old colleague from the days when he worked as a cyber-security expert at the bureau. He also peddled-around the same material, cooked up by Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS company and man-of-mystery Christopher Steele, to The New York Times and other news media, who ran with it like kids with a kite.

I have a theory about the case. It is a shot across the bow of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s ship, testing whether main DOJ will attempt to interfere with Mr. Durham’s mission to uncover the predicates of RussiaGate and the vast web of dishonest and illegal acts carried out subsequently by figures in the FBI, the DOJ, and other dark corners of a government gone rogue against its own citizens. Mr. Baker has long been suspected of acting as a cooperating witness in the RussiaGate matter, perhaps realizing early-on that he’d been played by old pal Mr. Sussmann and set up for prosecution.

The problem for Merrick Garland is that Mr. Sussmann’s activities amounted to a mere preface for the graver development of the Crossfire Hurricane operation, which involved a shoal of much-bigger fish across several agencies including Directors John Brennan of the CIA and James Comey of the FBI and many others. The Sussmann indictment also provides a window into the FISA Court fakery that federal law enforcement used to go after people connected to candidate and then President Donald Trump.

Mr. Garland will be left having to explain why the DOJ and the FBI were never self-accountable for the illegal acts of their employees, including Robert Mueller’s fishy special counsel team, which now looks like a cover-up operation, not to mention current and continuing matters such as the DOJ sitting on the laptop of President “Joe Biden’s” son, Hunter, and its bales of incriminating memoranda detailing payoffs to the Biden family from companies run by the CCP. Really, the fate of the Democratic Party is on the line with what might potentially develop if Mr. Durham’s actions go beyond Michael Sussman’s little caper.

The overwhelming body of opinion for more than a year is that John Durham is a phantom doing next-to-nothing about the greatest political scandal in US history. If his efforts end with Mr. Sussmann, he will disgrace himself, of course, and that’s a possibility. But I would venture to suppose that it won’t end there. The insult to the nation of all the epic dishonesty is too grave, even potentially fatal — since it has enabled a depraved skein of additional seditious activities afterward, including the 2020 election subterfuge, the lawlessness of BLM and Antifa, the psychotic race-and-gender “Woke” mind-fuckery infecting the US military, the ongoing invasion across the US-Mexican border, all the coercion around Covid-19, especially “mandated” shots of a dangerous so-called “vaccine,” and the destruction of small business from sea to shining sea. All of that has left the American public demoralized and economically savaged, and with the country’s standing in the world dangerously reduced.

I hope you are ready for a month of shocks to the system. The deceit of the CDC and the FDA in gaming and cooking their Covid-19 data is now emerging from the fog of pandemic hysteria. I will also dare to conjecture that the number of recent and current Covid-19 “cases” turns out to be actually and overwhelmingly adverse reactions to the mRNA experiment, not the disease itself, and that holy hell will erupt among the public as it becomes understood that their livelihoods — and their health — are being stolen as part of this fraud. A week from today, the Arizona election audit results are now scheduled to be released. Expect trauma. Tomorrow, a demonstration in support of the 1/6 political prisoners is on-board for Washington, DC. The potential for Deep State manipulation of the event is high, so stay away from it. There are enough other forces in motion now to throw a spanner in the engine of malice our government has become. Let Karma do its thing and hold on tight for a rough ride.

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