03/10/17

Obama’s CIA Embarrassed by Another Mole

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

It was a case of incredibly bad timing on the part of CBS News. On the same day we learned that there had been a massive leak of classified information engineered through President Obama’s CIA, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley featured one of Obama’s former CIA directors arguing that Trump was being irrational by criticizing the intelligence community.

Obama’s former CIA director, Leon Panetta, wondered about the “trust of the American people in the credibility” of Trump, when his own credibility was in question.

The bizarre spectacle was another indication that the liberal media have come completely unglued over President Trump’s unorthodox way of doing business in Washington, and his willingness to confront the issue of corruption in the intelligence community.

The question, in the wake of the WikiLeaks disclosures of some of the CIA’s most important secrets, should have been what Leon Panetta and other Obama CIA directors, such as John Brennan, were doing when all of this classified information was being stolen.

It is apparent that CBS and other media organizations are too close to the intelligence community to question what is really going on. Indeed, in retrospect, it might seem proper to ask whether the anonymous sources in the intelligence community leaking derogatory information against Trump are trying to divert attention away from the infiltration of their own ranks by agents for Russia, China, or other American enemies or adversaries.

In somber tones, as the CBS News website put it, Pelley wondered what Panetta thought of Trump’s “various outbursts in recent weeks, including the unproven charge that Mr. Obama ordered surveillance on Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential election.” Pelley asked, “Is it appropriate to ask whether the President is having difficulty with rationality?”

How can the charge be “unproven” when the liberals’ favorite newspaper, The New York Times, covered the use of “wiretapped data” against Trump, and Washington Post columnist David Ignatius reported on private conversations involving former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn?

Does CBS think the American people are stupid?

No wonder the people trust Trump’s tweets over fake news from the media.

It would have been more appropriate to ask why Obama’s CIA has been leaking like a sieve, and what, if any, benefit the American people are getting from what Watergate reporter Bob Woodward calls the $50 billion a year “espionage establishment.”

Under Obama, a series of moles in the intelligence community have been uncovered, including Army intelligence analyst Bradley/Chelsea Manning, CIA/NSA contract employee Edward Snowden, and now, with the WikiLeaks disclosures, another “anonymous” leaker has come forward. The latest came when Obama was president and Brennan was CIA director. The documents are only being released now.

As noted by Trump press secretary Sean Spicer, “…all of these [leaks] occurred under the last administration—that is important.”

To make matters worse, and to show his disdain for the concept of protecting America’s secrets, Obama commuted the espionage sentence for Manning, facilitating his release from prison on May 17 of this year.

Manning’s treachery “put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation’s most sensitive secrets,” noted House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WS).

But Manning was in the process of changing from a man to a woman, after having served openly in the Armed Services as a practicing homosexual. So he was special and different.

Obama’s commutation was a “dangerous precedent,” Ryan noted, which indicated that those who “compromise our national security” won’t be held accountable for their crimes.

Obama, who couldn’t have passed a background check, nominated Panetta as CIA director in 2009. Panetta served two years in that position, and went on to become Secretary of Defense. He started his career in the Democratic Party as a far-left congressman from Santa Cruz , California, with a laundry list of connections to communists and socialists, including suspected espionage agent and Communist Party member Hugh DeLacy,  himself a one-time Democratic member of Congress.

As noted by journalist Wes Vernon, researchers found a “Dear Hugh” letter from then-Rep. Panetta that offered a summary of a report on U.S. military operations unavailable for public distribution. In the letter, Panetta wrote, “If there is anything I can do for you in the future, Hugh, please feel free to call on me.” When DeLacy passed away in 1986, Congressman Panetta spoke at his memorial service.

Panetta also had deep links to the Marxist Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.

If there had been serious congressional panels in the Senate and House—and security agencies like the FBI—that conducted real background checks, Panetta would never have been confirmed as Obama’s CIA director. Back in 2011 we noted, “no evidence that the Panetta-DeLacy relationship was ever examined by the FBI or the Senate when Panetta was being considered and confirmed for the post of CIA Director.”

Panetta was followed as CIA director by David Petraeus, who was convicted of mishandling classified information, and then John Brennan, who voted communist before joining the CIA and reportedly converted to Islam while stationed in Saudi Arabia.

“The new leaker may very well have been hired as a result of CIA Director Brennan’s decision to lower standards for CIA hiring because he wanted to create a more diverse CIA workforce and Brennan rushed to staff his new cyber office,” commented former CIA analyst Fred Fleitz of the Center for Security Policy.

Brennan promoted the hiring of transgenders and pioneered a multi-year “Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (2016 – 2019)” for the agency that is still in effect.

A different approach might have been to hire people based on their love of country and loyalty to the Constitution.

Trump’s “outbursts” seem mild compared to the records of disaster and destruction of American national security that characterize the tenure of Obama’s CIA directors.

Pelley hyped the fact that Panetta was CIA director when Osama bin Laden was killed, although his al-Qaeda successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is still on the loose, and al Qaeda has proven to be a resilient organization that President Trump has had to target with military might in Yemen.

Reportedly, the FBI is investigating the leak from the CIA. But as we have pointed out on numerous occasions, the FBI still hasn’t solved the post-9/11 anthrax attacks, despite evidence that al-Qaeda infiltration of U.S. labs explains why the anthrax that was used to kill five Americans was made in the U.S.

The entire intelligence community, including the FBI, seems to be thoroughly infiltrated and compromised, and unable to identify the nature of the corruption that constantly eats away at U.S. national security.

Panetta frets about Trump’s “credibility” on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley when Panetta and the president he served had none to begin with.

All of which proves Trump’s claim that the media are the enemy of the people.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

01/25/17

Will Trump’s CIA Investigate Itself?

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

When President Trump was greeted with cheers and strong applause at CIA headquarters, you knew that Obama’s CIA director John Brennan would decide to strike back. The liberal media were quick to quote Brennan as saying that he was “saddened” and “angered” by Trump’s remarks. But where did these quotes come from? Who provided them to the media?

The rest of the story sheds light on how politically partisan the CIA became under Brennan, and how rank-and-file CIA officers who want to “Make America Great Again” seem so happy that he is gone.

Nick Shapiro, the source of the Brennan quotes, is a “former CIA Deputy Chief of Staff,” which sounds impressive until you learn that Shapiro was a partisan mouthpiece not only for Brennan but for President Obama and, before that, John Kerry.

The controversial Brennan admittedly voted communist before joining the CIA and reportedly converted to Islam when he was in Saudi Arabia as CIA station chief. He was in charge of President Obama’s pro-Muslim Brotherhood policy that decimated the Middle East with endless wars that have produced millions of refugees.

“Ex-CIA chief Brennan bashes Trump over speech during CIA visit” was the headline over the predictably partisan CNN story. “Former CIA Director Brennan is deeply saddened and angered at Donald Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of CIA’s Memorial Wall of Agency heroes,” Shapiro said in a statement. “Brennan says that Trump should be ashamed of himself.”

Shapiro’s quotes, attributed to Brennan, were picked up by many other media outlets as well.

In his speech, Trump talked about winning the war against radical Islamic terrorism with the help of the CIA. He discussed his battles with the “dishonest media,” comments that were also greeted enthusiastically.

In contrast to employing a winning strategy against radical Islam, Brennan said it was “regrettable” that Obama’s policy in Syria was a failure, a remark that generated little media interest even though the number of dead in Syria is now estimated as high as 500,000.

It was clear to any objective observer with a set of eyes and ears that Trump’s speech at CIA headquarters was a tremendous success. He was interrupted by applause 11 times.

Brennan, on the defensive for Obama’s policies that have left Europe in a refugee crisis that shows no sign of ending, decided to use Shapiro, a public relations operative, to bash the President.

Despite his CIA affiliation, Shapiro graduated from Tulane University in 2002 with no background in intelligence matters or foreign affairs. He had a Bachelor’s degree in communications and went to work for a public relations agency. He worked on Democrat John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign and then as Deputy Press Secretary on Barack Obama’s 2008 election campaign. He went to work for President Obama, handling “national reporters on a 24/7 basis,” according to one account. It looks like he was then dispatched to the CIA to help Brennan with the national media.

Those kinds of media manipulation skills were on display when the media lapped up the anti-Trump allegations from Brennan’s CIA, packaged in the form of anonymous sources. They were designed to depict Trump as winning the presidential election unfairly with the help of the Russians.

During the current controversy, Shapiro put Brennan’s comments on his Twitter feed and then promoted a CNN story attacking Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Trump’s nominee to run the CIA.

In other words, this is more politics from those who were running the CIA under Obama. They seem to be afraid that Trump and Pompeo will shake up the agency and get to the bottom of the damage that Brennan has inflicted on the CIA.

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, was absolutely correct on ABC News’ “This Week” when she called Brennan a “partisan political hack” for criticizing the President’s speech. She noted that Trump got a standing ovation.

On “Fox News Sunday,” White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus indicated that Brennan was “bitter” over being replaced. He also said that Brennan “has a lot of things that he should answer for in regards to these leaked documents,” a reference to the unverified sexual charges made against Trump that were leaked to CNN and BuzzFeed. Priebus added that “I find the whole thing despicable. I think that it’s unprofessional.”

Rather than quote Brennan, shouldn’t the media investigate the former CIA director? If that’s not possible because of past media collusion with Brennan’s CIA, the job will have to fall on the shoulders of Trump’s new CIA Director Pompeo, and the House and Senate intelligence committees.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

01/19/17

How Obama’s CIA Manipulated the Media

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

The CIA and its media allies have thrown everything but the proverbial kitchen sink at President Donald J. Trump. Media bias, anonymous sources, and intelligence “garbage” have been on display. But the 25-page Intelligence Community report on alleged Russian hacking activities deserves special consideration, since a significant part of it relied on analysts hard at work watching broadcasts of Russia Today (RT) television. You wouldn’t know it by reading the report, but RT has historically been a mouthpiece of “progressives” favorable to the Democratic Party. Indeed, the Obama administration saw RT in the past as part of the “progressive” media organizations supporting left-wing causes.

Not only that, but RT was useful in disrupting the 2012 Republican presidential primary. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) dismissed my well-documented 2012 complaint about RT’s open support for libertarian Ron Paul and his pro-Russia views. We cited evidence that RT was funded by the Kremlin and prohibited under law from intervening in U.S. elections. The FEC dismissed the complaint, saying RT was a legitimate press entity and a U.S. corporation with First Amendment rights.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which supposedly monitors extremists, found nothing objectionable about RT when its own “Intelligence Report” Editor Mark Potok appeared on the April 26, 2010 edition of Russia Today’s “CrossTalk” program to discuss the rise of “right-wing” groups and so-called “Christian militias.” That was at a time when RT was seen as an important “progressive” outlet.

The Obama administration’s official concern about RT and other Russian activities came late, after years of inaction on complaints from Accuracy in Media and others about RT propaganda activities. The Russians suddenly became scapegoats for the loss of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. This new-found interest in the influence of the channel was a tip-off that the left-wing complaints about RT echoed in the Intelligence Community report are not to be taken seriously.

What should be cause for concern are the agents of influence in the media who disguise their CIA contacts as anonymous sources and were part of an intelligence community (IC) effort to discredit President Trump.

Who was Putin’s Candidate?

Looking at the election objectively, it is possible to say that Russian leader Vladimir Putin may have had a personal vendetta against the former U.S. secretary of state for some reason, stemming from allegations of U.S. meddling in Russian internal affairs. On the other hand, Putin may have preferred that Clinton become the U.S. president because her failed Russian “reset” had facilitated Russian military intervention in Ukraine and Syria, and he believed he could continue to take advantage of her.

In addition to the expansion under the Russian reset, the Russians obtained favored nation trading status under President Obama, giving them access to U.S. capital, and New START, a nuclear weapons agreement giving Moscow a strategic advantage.

Historically, the Russians have always found the Democrats to be friendlier to their global ambitions. Professor Paul Kengor broke a story on how “the liberals’ lover-boy,” Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), had “reached out to Victor Chebrikov at the KGB and Yuri Andropov at the Kremlin” to work against President Ronald Reagan.

One FBI memorandum examined “contacts between representatives of the Soviet Union and members of staff personnel of the United States Congress,” and listed several senators, including Ted Kennedy and George McGovern of South Dakota, the Democratic presidential candidate in 1972. Another was Walter Mondale of Minnesota, President Jimmy Carter’s vice president, who ran against President Reagan in 1984.

Our anti-Trump media accepted the January 6 report, “Declassified Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections,” because it was designed to convey the impression that Trump was favored by the Russians.

Such a charge was welcomed by the liberal media, in particular because it allowed them to divert attention away from the substance of the WikiLeaks revelations that showed how major journalists worked hand-in-glove with Hillary Clinton-for-president staffers. These disclosures were in emails hacked from the account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee. Yet, the IC report says that WikiLeaks, an alleged Russian agent, disseminated truthful information. “Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries,” the report says.

This is quite a turnaround for the Russians. In the past the Russians would alter or forge documents to make people look bad. This time, the Russians revealed the truth. For this reason, AIM published the article, “Thank you Vladimir Putin.” Of course, the Russians do not provide accurate and truthful information to their own people and they conduct propaganda and disinformation campaigns targeting foreign audiences. Their alleged illegal hacking into the private accounts of Americans cannot be justified. But Podesta and other Democrats can be criticized for failing to safeguard their own information and virtually inviting foreign hacking.

Russian intentions in allegedly providing the emails to WikiLeaks are a subject worthy of attention. But the conclusion that the Russians favored Trump over Clinton cannot be sustained by the evidence in the report. The IC report fails miserably in articulating how the Russians use dialectical maneuvers in playing both sides of the political street in the U.S.

RT’s Intervention in 2012

One of the glaring omissions in the report on Russian interference in “recent elections” is the failure to address the evidence that RT television was giving enormously favorable coverage in the 2012 presidential campaign to then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), a libertarian with pro-Russia views on foreign policy. He ran in the Republican presidential primary.

One RT show featured libertarian host Adam Kokesh endorsing Paul and highlighting a “money bomb” fundraising campaign for him. Some political observers at the time believed that Paul’s campaign had the potential to undermine the Republican Party as it went into the 2012 campaign, and thereby help guarantee Obama’s re-election.

Of course, Obama won that election, after dismissing his Republican opponent Mitt Romney’s claim that Russia was a geopolitical threat to the United States. Obama had been caught on an open mic before the election promising to be “flexible” in changing his positions to benefit Russia. These comments provide more evidence that Obama was never the anti-Russian figure he postured as in the final days of his second term.

In understanding Russian motives and intentions, seven pages of the new IC report are devoted to RT television being a front for the Russian government. We’ve published dozens of stories over the years about RT’s service to the Moscow regime. So why didn’t the Obama Justice Department act on TV producer Jerry Kenney’s complaint that RT should register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and be labeled as foreign propaganda? That’s what the law requires.

This wasn’t the only documented case of Obama administration inaction on the Russian threat at that time. Kenney had alleged violations of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules that had given foreign broadcasters such as RT access to taxpayer-funded public television stations. The FCC dropped the complaint when the TV stations amended their contract with MHz Networks, the distributor of RT, to allow the station to preempt the foreign programming.

The evidence is clear: Obama’s various federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, the FCC and the FEC, refused to take any direct action against RT over the years when it was engaging in anti-Republican activities and supporting the progressive movement. But when they saw they could use RT as a weapon against Trump, they suddenly became concerned about foreign interference in the U.S. political process.

RT Backed Bernie

Although the IC report insists that the Russians had a “preference” for Donald J. Trump for president, we noted back in August of 2015 that RT’s Thom Hartmann, a leading American progressive, was backing “Bolshevik Bernie” Sanders for president. In 2016 Sanders appeared on RT with new RT hire, Ed Schultz, formerly of MSNBC.

Yet the intelligence community report makes no mention of RT programs backing Sanders, whose Russian connections included visiting the Soviet Union on his honeymoon. Sanders was a fellow traveler of the Moscow-controlled U.S. Peace Council.

The focus on Trump runs counter to the stated purpose of the report and reflects the political bias therein. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) says that “On December 9, 2016, President Barack Obama directed the Intelligence Community to conduct a full review and produce a comprehensive intelligence report assessing Russian activities and intentions in recent U.S. elections.” (emphasis added). Yet, nothing is said about RT’s involvement in the 2012 contest that Obama won.

The U.S. IC is described as “a coalition of 17 agencies and organizations, including the ODNI,” but only three were involved in the report. They were the CIA, FBI and NSA. It is generally believed that CIA Director John Brennan was the guiding force behind the Obama administration effort to blame the Russians for Trump’s election victory. Former CIA officials Michael Morell, Michael Hayden and Philip Mudd had all denounced Trump. Former CIA operations officer Evan McMullin even ran against Trump as an independent presidential candidate.

It certainly looks as if the CIA interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Perhaps blaming the Russians was an attempt to get the attention off the agency.

Brennan was accused of converting to Islam when he was stationed in Saudi Arabia. His CIA under Obama’s orders directed the shipment of arms to jihadist groups in the Middle East. At a congressional panel on diversity in hiring, he admitted voting Communist when he was in college.

His focus at the agency has been on hiring people with “diverse” backgrounds, such as transgenders, and he even signed a policy document on a “Diversity and Inclusion Strategy” for the years 2016 to 2019, beyond his tenure as director.

Rather than go down in history with a reputation for defending America, The Wall Street Journal reports that Brennan “would prefer his legacy be the way he fought to nurture a workforce that reflected America’s diversity.” The Journal added, “During his tenure he has put particular emphasis on promoting the interests of gay, lesbian, and transgender officers. He was the first CIA director to attend an annual social gathering of LGBTQ employees and has been known to wear a rainbow lanyard around the office as a symbol of solidarity.”

It looks like the focus on “diversity” in hiring has taken precedence over getting the facts right about foreign threats. Indeed, some observers, such as former FBI agent John Guandolo, have suggested that President Trump should abolish and replace the CIA with a new organization. “In 15 years they haven’t gotten a strategic analysis of the threat right—yet,” he told me in a recent interview.

Partners in Crime

The CIA will have to answer to its new director, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Trump’s pick to run the agency.

But the media have a lot to answer for as well. If WikiLeaks has suddenly became a Russian front or conduit, why are American news organizations such as The New York Times and The Washington Post still included among the “partners” with WikiLeaks in distributing its information? Other partners include the British Guardian, The Intercept, The Nation, McClatchy, The Wall Street Journal, and, of course, RT.

If WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a Russian agent, why did major U.S. media organizations partner with him? Why did they not investigate him at that time? One of my groups did so, publishing the report, “Julian Assange: Whistleblower or Spy for Moscow?” At that time, Assange was considered a courageous whistleblower by the liberal press. They hailed WikiLeaks for releasing the classified documents that were stolen by Army intelligence analyst Bradley/Chelsea Manning, whose sentence for espionage has been shortened by Obama.

In addition to these issues and questions, some parts of the report lend themselves to a far different interpretation of Russian motives in U.S. politics.

For example, the IC report notes that RT ran a story against fracking, a technique that has sparked U.S. oil and gas production. The report says, “RT runs anti-fracking programming, highlighting environmental issues and the impacts on public health. This is likely reflective of the Russian Government’s concern about the impact of fracking and US natural gas production on the global energy market and the potential challenges to Gazprom’s profitability.”

The 2016 Democratic Party platform is highly critical of fracking. So does this mean the Democrats are doing the bidding of Putin? The progressive movement is almost completely against fracking. Does that mean that the progressives are puppets of Putin?

Consider this exchange between Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Director of Intelligence James Clapper:

Cotton: There’s a widespread assumption, this has been expressed by Secretary Clinton herself since the election, that Vladimir Putin favored Donald Trump in this election. Donald Trump has proposed to increase our defense budget to accelerate nuclear modernization, to accelerate ballistic missile defenses, and to expand and accelerate oil and gas production which would obviously harm Russia’s economy. Hillary Clinton opposed or at least was not as enthusiastic about all those measures. Would each of those put the United States in a stronger strategic position against Russia?

Clapper: Currently, anything we do to enhance our military capabilities, absolutely.

Cotton: There is some contrary evidence, despite what the media speculates, that perhaps Donald Trump is not the best candidate for Russia.

By this objective measure of actual policies, Trump will prove to be more harmful to Russia than Hillary Clinton could ever hope to be.

The report notes that RT ran stories promoting the Occupy Wall Street movement. It says, “RT framed the movement as a fight against ‘the ruling class’ and described the current US political system as corrupt and dominated by corporations. RT advertising for the documentary featured Occupy movement calls to ‘take back’ the government. The documentary claimed that the US system cannot be changed democratically, but only through ‘revolution.’ After the 6 November US presidential election, RT aired a documentary called ‘Cultures of Protest,’ about active and often violent political resistance.”

We had noted RT’s favorable coverage of the Occupy movement. Of course, Occupy Wall Street was a left-wing political movement aligned with the progressives and even encouraged by President Obama. So does this mean that Obama was doing the bidding of the Russians?

RT Evades U.S. Law

The IC report explains how RT bypassed American laws such as the Foreign Agents Registration Act “by using a Moscow-based autonomous nonprofit organization to finance its US operations.” The report goes on, “According to RT’s leadership, this structure was set up to avoid the Foreign Agents Registration Act and to facilitate licensing abroad. In addition, RT rebranded itself in 2008 to deemphasize its Russian origin.” Still, the financing for the channel comes from the Russian government, the report says.

So RT is, and has been, a foreign state-funded entity that should be subject to federal oversight from agencies such as the Department of Justice, the FCC, and the FEC. Yet, only now, after Hillary Clinton has lost the presidential election, has the IC been ordered to release a public report on what the Russian channel has been doing in U.S. elections.

The only thing that has changed over the years is that RT is now somehow considered to be a factor in Hillary Clinton’s defeat.

“RT hires or makes contractual agreements with Westerners with views that fit its agenda and airs them on RT,” the report says. Of course, we’ve documented this for years. However, RT hosts like Thom Hartmann and Ed Schultz are not Trump supporters or conservatives. They are progressives.

Over the years, the liberal media have treated Hartmann and Schultz as progressive heroes. A Politico article from 2013, “Thom Hartmann: View from the left,” didn’t even mention his work for RT.

Hartmann claims editorial control over his own show. But since the IC report says RT hires people whose views “fit” their agenda, a quick look at Hartmann’s RT website is worthwhile. It suggests that the Russians are interested in issues such as saving Obamacare and how the Trump presidency could bring on an economic crash.

Bashing Conservatives, RT-Style

It seems that RT has suddenly reverted to its anti-conservative style of coverage. Guests on Hartmann’s RT program come from the left and right, but mostly from the left. They have recently included:

  • Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council
  • Author Max Blumenthal
  • Media analyst and critic Jeff Cohen
  • Terry Tamminen, CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
  • Chris Lewis of Public Knowledge
  • Alex Lawson of Social Security Works and Valerie Ervin of the Working Families Party
  • Democracy Spring Director Kai Newkirk and Sarah Badawi of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee

Years ago I had the opportunity to ask Hartmann face-to-face about his acceptance of Russian rubles to do his show. He tried to grab my camera to prevent me from taping his response.

If the liberal media are now truly concerned about Russian influence in the U.S. political process, rather than just using the issue as a weapon against Trump, they should take a look at Hartmann and his comrades on RT and review their own “partner” relationship with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

After this review is complete, they should take another look at the IC report and determine why and how agencies like the CIA became adjuncts of the Democratic Party with a partisan bias against the new Republican president.

Since we know that the media and the Democrats work hand-in-glove, perhaps it’s time to investigate the CIA’s relationship with the media.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

01/15/17

The CIA’s War on Trump, Continued

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

Echoing New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer’s warning that the intelligence community is out to “get” President-elect Trump, a Brookings Institution expert who served in the Clinton administration says that Trump’s treatment of his spies will “come back to bite him” in the form of “devastating” leaks to the media that will make him look foolish or incompetent.

Leaking by intelligence officials and analysts is, of course, illegal.

“The intelligence community doesn’t leak as much as the Pentagon or Congress, but when its reputation is at stake, it can do so to devastating effect,” says Daniel Benjamin of the Brookings Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. Benjamin previously served as the principal advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on counterterrorism and was embroiled in the controversy over Mrs. Clinton’s failure to stop the massacre of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

Benjamin’s article, “How Trump’s attacks on the intelligence community will come back to haunt him,” did not refute the widely held belief that President Obama’s CIA and its director John Brennan were behind the recent leaks to The Washington Post and New York Times  depicting Trump as a Russian puppet. In fact, the implication is that the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community will seek further revenge on Trump if he continues to criticize them.

At his recent news conference, in regard to the leaks about his meetings with intelligence officials, Trump noted that “I think it’s pretty sad when intelligence reports get leaked out to the press. I think it’s pretty sad. First of all, it’s illegal. You know, these are classified and certified meetings and reports.”

But it appears that some intelligence officials believe they are above the law and can use illegal leaks to damage an elected President who has been critical of their work product.

In the most recent case, CNN and BuzzFeed were leaked a document offering unsubstantiated claims of Trump being sexually compromised by Russian officials. CNN summarized the document; BuzzFeed published the whole thing.

Trump denounced these leaks, with Director of the Office of National Intelligence James Clapper disclosing that he had called Trump about them and had declared his “profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press…” He said that he and Trump “both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security.”

Trump said Clapper “called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated.”

“I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC [Intelligence Community],” Clapper said. However, he did not indicate what investigation, if any, he had conducted to make this determination.

“When something goes wrong—say a military deployment to combat jihadi insurgents in the Middle East blows up in the Trump administration’s face—the press will overflow with stories telling of intelligence reports that were ignored by the White House and briefings the president missed,” Benjamin wrote. Such stories, of course, would be based on illegal leaks.

“Imagine what an aggrieved intel community might do to a genuinely hostile president,” he said. Benjamin’s comments suggest that the intelligence community will use the media to blame Trump for things that go wrong in foreign affairs, in order to protect its own reputation.

Benjamin should know something about the relationship of the Intelligence Community to the news media. His bio says that he began his career as a journalist and held positions as the Germany bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal and Germany correspondent for Time magazine.

The Brookings expert said, “the CIA is usually one of the very first agencies to establish a relationship with new chief executives, because of the briefings it delivers before elections have even occurred and the beguiling prospect it offers of handling missions quietly and efficiently.”

It’s not clear what he means by this. The Obama CIA’s “covert” arms-running program in Syria has backfired in a big way, provoking a Russian military intervention, the loss of up to 500,000 lives, and a refugee crisis which threatens the future of Europe.

Benjamin speculated that Trump will ask the CIA to organize a covert operation to undermine the regime in Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, and that the agency will offer him options that don’t guarantee success and which he may have to reject. He wrote that “…it is an iron law of bureaucracy that no agency will knock itself out for a leader it deems capricious, especially one who cannot be relied on to defend his own if something goes wrong.”

“The answer from the intel community will never be no,” he said. “Instead, the planners will brief the president on three different approaches. Then they will assess the risk of failure for each at 60-80 percent, providing the Oval Office with a dare it cannot possibly accept. For some, of course, this could turn out to be a silver lining in otherwise dismal story.”

In short, the CIA will look for excuses not to proceed, and then get back to the business of leaking damaging stories to the press when terrorist incidents and other problems occur.

Is the CIA really the “invisible government” that the so-called “conspiracy theorists” have warned about? Is there a “deep state” that tries to run the government behind-the-scenes?

Articles like those of Daniel Benjamin, a journalist who became a Hillary Clinton operative in the counter-terrorism field, seem to be more damaging to the idea of American self-government than anything the Russians have been accused of doing.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

12/28/16

The CIA-Media-Academia Axis

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

As controversy swirled around President-elect Donald J. Trump’s battle with the CIA concerning its questionable intelligence product on Russian hacking, a strong defense of the agency and an attack on Trump came from Joshua Rovner of Southern Methodist University (SMU). Professor Rovner declared in a press release, “By ignoring intelligence, Trump risks policy tunnel vision.”

But the idea that the CIA’s “intelligence” was sacrosanct was put in question when it was suggested that Obama’s CIA director John Brennan was orchestrating what Rep. Peter King (R-NY) called a “hit job” on Trump. King said, “We have John Brennan—supposedly John Brennan—leaking to The Washington Post, to a biased newspaper like The New York Times, findings and conclusions that he’s not telling the intelligence committee…There should be an investigation of what the Russians did but also an investigation of John Brennan and the hit job he seems to be orchestrating against the president-elect.”

A press release sent to the media quoted the “expert” Rovner, the John Goodwin Tower Distinguished Chair of International Politics and National Security, as saying that Trump’s pick of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was “especially troubling” because of Flynn’s “extreme hostility towards the CIA—which he has called a political arm of the Obama administration…”

I was struck by the professor’s confidence in the CIA and wanted to question him about it. But he declined. “Dear Cliff,” he responded to my email request. “Unfortunately I’m not available. All the best, JR.” I asked if he would ever be available and that perhaps the particular day I offered for an exchange was not convenient. I never got an answer. No explanation was given for the refusal to be interviewed. But I suspect that he feared he would be questioned in a challenging manner and he realized his blind faith in the CIA would not hold up.

This is, unfortunately, what happens all too often at big universities, where professors are held up as “experts” on various subjects and offered to selected news organizations to back up pre-existing assumptions held by Big Media reporters. This is how professors get face time for the schools that employ them. The interviews are supposed to redound to the benefit of their universities.

Sometimes these appearances can backfire. Professor Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia runs a “Crystal Ball” political prediction service that said Hillary Clinton was going to crush Trump on Election Day. His erroneous prediction was also embarrassing to MSNBC, which had him on just before the election to talk about the drubbing Trump was going to receive. Oh well. Try, try again.

In the case of SMU, the school has an uplink facility located on campus for live TV, radio or online interviews. But Rovner was unavailable to support the view that the CIA was right and Trump was wrong. I can only surmise that he had visited the AIM website and determined we were not going to toss him softballs.

Both The Washington Post and The New York Times have waged war on Trump and Flynn over their lack of confidence in the CIA. Professors like Rovner constitute back-up for the media in this war.

But why would the professor be so critical of Trump and Flynn?

It turns out that Rovner signed an ad in The New York Times in 2015 that argues that the Obama administration’s agreement with Iran on its nuclear program “furthers American interests.” Rovner was one of a group of “national security scholars” from several prestigious universities who endorsed the deal.

Meanwhile, Trump and Flynn opposed the Iran nuclear deal.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) also opposed the deal, saying, “Iran has killed hundreds of U.S. soldiers, tried to conduct a terrorist attack in the United States, and is committed to annihilating Israel. This deal will guarantee Iran the capability to carry out its clear intent.”

The aforementioned attack in the United States is a reference to an attempted assassination of a Saudi official, Adel Al-Jubeir, while dining at Cafe Milano in Georgetown in Washington, D.C. in 2011. The plot was confirmed by officials of the Obama administration and Obama himself.

General James N. Mattis, nominated to be Trump’s Secretary of Defense, commented, “We caught them [Iran] in the act and yet we let them walk free.”

House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-CA), who is Trump’s nominee to head the CIA, opposed the Iran agreement, calling it appeasement and surrender.

The Rovner-signed ad endorsing the Iran deal, published in 2015, said, “We recognize that the regime in Tehran is repressive and pursues dangerous policies, but the nuclear deal does not prevent us from countering them.”

The ad said nothing about the plot to bomb the Georgetown café, which could have killed dozens, if not hundreds, of Americans.

Not surprisingly, CIA Director Brennan has urged Trump not to scrap the Iran agreement. “I think it would be the height of folly if the next administration were to tear up that agreement,” he told the BBC.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

12/21/16

Whose Side is the CIA On?

By: Cliff Kincaid | America’s Survival

John Guandolo, founder of Understanding the Threat, examines the strange background and comments of Obama CIA director John Brennan. He says the agency is heavily infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood. But he is hopeful that the incoming Trump Administration understands the problem and will take corrective action. Watch this blockbuster interview and take action. Go to www.understandingthethreat.com.

12/15/16

The Blood of Aleppo is on Obama’s Hands

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

It’s amazing how CNN’s talking heads can devote so much time to the “scandal” of Donald J. Trump’s sons participating in interviews of cabinet picks, but can’t connect the dots between the bloody tragedy in Aleppo and President Barack Obama’s pro-terrorist policy in the Middle East.

During the day on Wednesday, we saw CNN repeatedly air gruesome film footage of the massacre of civilians in Aleppo by the Russians and their Iranian and Syrian puppets. Not once did any CNN talking head bother to point out that Obama’s policy of intervention, through support of terrorist groups in Syria who are losing the war, may have had a role in the unfolding massacre.

In a scandal that makes the alleged Russian hacking of Democratic emails appear minor by comparison, a Democratic member of the U.S. House has taken to the House floor to say that Obama’s CIA has been aiding the Islamic terrorist groups ISIS and al-Qaeda for the purpose of overthrowing the Syrian regime.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) introduced legislation to curb the Obama administration’s pro-terrorist policy, calling it the Stop Arming Terrorists bill (H.R. 6405).

A member of the House Armed Services Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee, Gabbard served two tours of duty in the Middle East, and continues her service as a major in the Army National Guard.

In a December 8 press release, Gabbard said, “Under U.S. law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.”

By U.S. government she means the Obama administration.

Specifically, she named the CIA, saying, “The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda. This support has allowed al-Qaeda and their fellow terrorist organizations to establish strongholds throughout Syria, including in Aleppo.”

Gabbard made similar remarks on the House floor.

Since Gabbard is a Democrat, these seem to be extraordinary allegations that cannot be dismissed as partisan sniping from Obama’s political enemies. Can it be that Obama is arming terrorists at a time when the U.S. is supposed to be fighting them? This seems like insanity, even treason.

You may recall that Obama once threatened the Syrian regime not to cross a “red line” in its offensive military operations. The “red line” today is covered with the blood of people in Aleppo because Obama never enforced it. All he did was support terrorist and other groups opposed to the regime. They are losing the war.

Is it actually true that Obama has been arming terrorists through the CIA? It’s interesting to point out that Gabbard quoted news accounts from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

But these papers did not make this into even a minor scandal. The media have now moved on to the CIA’s allegations against Trump and the Russians. It’s a convenient change of subject that is designed to shield Obama’s legacy from the evidence of how he contributed to the conflict, and did nothing to stop a massacre, once his side began to lose.

On Jake Tapper’s CNN show on December 8, the issue got some attention, as Tapper seemed caught off-guard and was unfamiliar with what Obama’s CIA has been doing in the region. This is the exchange with Gabbard that took place:

Tapper: You say [loopholes] have allowed American taxpayer dollars to fund terror groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria. Are youare you suggesting that the U.S. government is funding these terrorist groups?

Gabbard: I’m not only suggesting it. This isthis is the reality that we’re living in.

Tapper: Not directly, though.

Gabbard: Most Americansyou know, if you wereI were to go and provide money, weapons, or support or whatever to a group like Al Qaeda or ISIS, you would immediately be thrown in jail. However, the U.S. government has been providing money, weapons, intel assistance and other types of support through the CIA, directly to these groups that are working with and are affiliated with Al Qaeda and ISIS.  

Tapper: So, you’re saying the CIA is giving money to groups in Syria, and those groups are working with Al-Nusra and ISIS.

Gabbard: There arethere have been numerous reports from The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal and other news outlets who have declared that these rebel groups have formed these battlefield alliances with Al Qaeda…essentially [it] is Al Qaeda groups [that] are in charge of every single rebel group on the ground fighting in Syria to overthrow the Syrian government.  

Tapper: And the U.S. government says they vet the groups that they give money to very, very closely. And that you’re wrong, there are not alliances between groups that the American taxpayers fund and these other groups. Obviously, they all are fighting Assad.

Gabbard: I beg to differ. Evidence has shown time and time again that that is not the case, that we are both directly and indirectly supporting these groups who are allied with or partnered with Al Qaeda and ISIS, in working to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad. And we’ve also been providing that support through countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar to do that.

Obama’s alleged support for terrorism does not get the kind of attention that the media, led by The Washington Post and New York Times, lavish on anonymous charges from unnamed intelligence officials regarding Russia supposedly helping Trump during the 2016 campaign.

Obama’s CIA director John Brennan has said in the past that he will not sanction the waterboarding of terrorists to get information about their plans. “I will not agree to carry out some of these tactics and techniques I’ve heard bandied about because this institution needs to endure,” Brennan said. By institution, he means the CIA.

No wonder he won’t use controversial interrogation tactics on terrorists to prevent terrorist attacks. According to Gabbard, his CIA is arming the same terrorists for the specific purpose of carrying out terrorist attacks.

Perhaps the President-elect talked about this subject with Gabbard when she visited him at Trump Tower. Perhaps Trump wants to know what the CIA has been doing.

It appears that Rep. Gabbard is an independent and dissident voice in the Democratic Party who is willing to blow the whistle on a Democratic President whose pro-terrorist policies are resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands.

Let’s face it: the media don’t care about Obama arming terrorists because he’s Obama and has to be allowed to get away with policies that would result in another president of another political party being impeached.

CNN would rather talk about Donald J. Trump, Jr. sitting in a meeting to discuss cabinet picks.

Never mind that the Obama policy, designed to force Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power, was an embarrassing failure, and that thousands of innocent civilians are paying the price in blood.

Our media will move on so that Obama’s benevolent legacy can be preserved.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

12/15/16

What’s Wrong With the CIA?

By: Cliff Kincaid | America’s Survival

The author of Lies, Terror, and the Rise of the Neo-Communist Empire, Toby Westerman, talks to host Cliff Kincaid about the problems in the CIA and what President Trump can do about them. Westerman and Kincaid also discuss the threats posed by Russia and China.

12/13/16

The CIA’s War on Trump

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

You couldn’t fault Donald J. Trump for concluding that the CIA is out to get him even before he starts his presidency. Former CIA officials Michael Morell, Michael Hayden and Philip Mudd have all denounced him. Plus, former CIA operations officer Evan McMullin ran against him as an independent presidential candidate.

Obama’s director of the CIA is John Brennan, who recently disclosed that he voted for the Communist Party (CPUSA) ticket when he was in college. He was hired by the CIA anyway and quickly rose through the ranks, even though the CPUSA was funded by Moscow and known to provide cover for Soviet espionage activities.

The liberal media haven’t made Brennan’s disclosure into a scandal and didn’t call for any investigations of Obama’s CIA.

Clearly, having an “intelligence” connection doesn’t mean you are intelligent or have good judgment. Making “America First” is not a requirement for serving in the CIA and other intelligence agencies. You can have numerous skeletons in your closet and even be a transgender. If you have any doubts, consider reading the CIA’s “Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (2016-2019).” It is Brennan’s masterpiece.

The line-up of former CIA personnel opposing Trump sounds impressive, except when you consider the fact that the CIA has a habit of getting things wrong. Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a former vice-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, once declared that “for a quarter century, the CIA has been repeatedly wrong about the major political and economic questions entrusted to its analysis.” Moynihan had introduced a bill to abolish the CIA. The late Lt. Gen. William Odom, then-director of the National Security Agency (NSA), said the CIA should be disbanded.

Trump critic Michael Hayden, who served as director of both the NSA and CIA, was on a list of “former national security officials” from Republican administrations who announced they wouldn’t vote for Trump. He was once photographed at a gala with former CIA and NSA analyst Edward Snowden, who stole and released classified information and is now living in Russia. Hayden can’t be faulted personally for that betrayal. But Snowden and other spy cases have to be considered when judging the reliability of products from the intelligence community, especially when they are transmitted anonymously through the press.

Under the headline, “CIA Judgment On Russia Built On Swell Of Evidence,” The New York Times reports that “many believe” there is “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” that the Russians tried to help Trump. The paper said “the conclusion that Moscow ran an operation to help install the next president is one of the most consequential analyses by American spy agencies in years.”

Such analyses can mean nothing and can, in fact, divert the attention of elected officials from the truth. Trump calls the verdict on alleged Russian involvement in the election “ridiculous.” It would not be the first ridiculous work product from the intelligence community. The CIA failed to predict the Soviet “collapse,” and then mistakenly assumed the collapse was real and not a strategic deception.

It is significant that The Washington Post, owned by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, broke the story about the CIA allegedly concluding that the Russians had somehow meddled in the U.S. elections by hacking into Democratic Party computers. The CIA has a $600 million contractwith Amazon Web Services.

Former Post publisher Katharine Graham reportedly gave a speech in 1988 at the CIA headquarters, where she said, “We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things that the general public does not need to know and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.”

If this was the case under Graham, the previous owner of the Post, how likely is it that such a relationship continues under an owner of a company that does business with the CIA?

Interestingly, Amazon CEO Bezos plans to attend President-elect Donald Trump’s meeting of tech-industry executives this Wednesday in New York. Perhaps Trump will ask Bezos whether the Post is being manipulated by political partisans in the Intelligence Community.

Trump has tweeted, “Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!” Or “fake news.”

In response to the CIA’s reported findings, the Trump transition office raised the matter of another mistake: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”

The discredited analysis concluding that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is most closely associated with former CIA director George Tenet. A Clinton holdover, Tenet had told President George W. Bush that finding WMD was a “slam dunk.” He was photographedgiving an award to then-DIA intelligence analyst Ana Montes, who turned out to be a Castro spy. Again, Tenet is not personally responsible for this betrayal. But it is one of many spy cases that have corrupted the Intelligence Community.

President Bush’s problem was that he failed to clean house in the Intelligence Community before the war.

After he takes office, Trump should immediately clean house in the CIA and other intelligence agencies. But it may be the case that the charges being directed against him at the present time are designed to prevent just that. If Trump cleans house, he will be accused in the press of trying to purge intelligence officials with evidence of a Russian plot to elect Trump!

The American people have been saddled with an Intelligence Community that is full of what are called “insider spies.” The situation is so bad that a special paper has been published about a novel new way to deal with traitors. The idea is to provide a “safe refuge” and a secret process of “reconciliation” for them without threatening long prison terms or the death penalty. In this manner, the American people would hear nothing about spies being arrested and the damage they have done.

We know that the media picked sides in the presidential contest. Now we are seeing more evidence of how the CIA picked sides, to the point of engaging in what is an obvious effort to bring down the Trump presidency even before it begins.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

02/27/15

Adm. James Lyons Explains Obama, Muslim Brotherhood & ISIS Almost to the Depths

By: Arlen Williams
Gulag Bound

jameslyonsThis morning, Andrea Shea King conducted a brief (half-hour) and for the only major media -informed, very revelatory interview with retired Admiral James A. Lyons. It concerned the realities of Barack Hussein Obama, Muslim Brotherhood’s Obama-accelerated but longstanding infiltration of American halls of power, the use of the U.S. Department of State, and just a smidge about “our” corrupt (anti-)American exploits in “Arab Spring” lands.

Of special interest to me, at the 16:40 point, Ms. King asks Adm. Lyons why the Gowdy committee on Benghazi is moving at a “glacial pace,” and the latter gives more of the answer than one usually hears, about what has become obvious.

Why don’t you listen to it, rather than my transcribing?

Get to the Submarines

And I’ll have to take the bull by the horns to relate more of it, going where it is not comfortable for most patriots to go, in answer to just such a question. It has to do with the post-Illuminati committees and clubs, with their ever growing globalist, cartel collective state, and their parasitic control by, but hardly limited to, their burgeoning kleptocracy-bankocracy complex.

It is a subject matter so critical to our chief enemy in the world to hush, that from what I see, they pay certain personalities to act buffoonish and otherwise repulsive, who pose as those who would expose it.

————-

For the moment, here are two of our best anti-buffoons:

Andrea Shea King Show,
Friday, February 27, 2015

Admiral James Lyons

Andrea’s initial summary:

On this Friday morning edition we’re talking with Adm. James “Ace” Lyons (US Navy Ret.) about the President’s radical extremism conference, ISIS, the MB penetration of all our federal agencies and the impact on our policies and strategy. We’ll get his take on the Benghazi tragedy, and what he expects will come out of Congressman Trey Gowdy’s Select Committee charged with investigating it. Adm. Lyons has speculated the death of Amb. Stevens resulted from a bungled attempt to have him kidnapped by Ansar al-Sharia to facilitate a prisoner exchange resulting in the release of Omar Abdel-Rahman.

We’ll get his views on Iran’s nuclear program and his participation in the recent Center for Security Policy’s Defeat Jihad Summit.

James Aloysius “Ace” Lyons, Jr. is a retired Admiral who served as Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet from 1985-87. He served in the Navy for 36 years, including as Sr. US Military Representative to the UN and Dep. Chief of Naval Operations.

He’s a graduate of the US Naval Academy and received post grad degrees from the US Naval War College and the US National Defense University. He is the CEO of LION Associates.

Lyons has claimed the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated every US security agency under the Obama presidency and alleges that John Brennan, Director of the CIA, was a Muslim convert. Lyons alleges that the MB is planning to start a political party to influence American domestic politics.

For more related to James Lyons, see our tag, including articles by Diana West and Roger Aronoff.