02/17/17

The “Permanent State” has a Press Office

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

President Donald Trump’s controversial complaint that the intelligence community was using police-state tactics against him has been confirmed in the forced resignation of his national security adviser Michael T. Flynn. When Trump made his complaint, he was referring to leaks of potentially damaging information about him from an unverified dossier. In the Flynn case, several commentators have noted the use of surveillance techniques that are probably illegal.

A Wall Street Journal editorial wonders if “the spooks” who were listening to Flynn obeyed the law, and what legal justification they had for their eavesdropping. The paper added, “If Mr. Flynn was under U.S. intelligence surveillance, then Mr. Trump should know why, and at this point so should the American public. Maybe there’s an innocent explanation, but the Trump White House needs to know what’s going on with Mr. Flynn and U.S. spies.”

In “The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn,” Eli Lake writes about the highly controversial tactic of using “government-monitored communications of U.S. citizens” against Flynn and leaking them to the press. He added, “Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do.”

In a column entitled, “Why you should fear the leaks that felled Mike Flynn,” John Podhoretz writes, “No joke, people—if they can do it to Mike Flynn, they can do it to you.” He said that “unelected bureaucrats with access to career-destroying materials clearly made the decision that what Flynn did or who Flynn was merited their intervention—and took their concerns to the press.”

Why was Flynn targeted? Lake writes that Flynn had “cultivated a reputation as a reformer and a fierce critic of the intelligence community leaders he once served with when he was the director the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama. Flynn was working to reform the intelligence-industrial complex, something that threatened the bureaucratic prerogatives of his rivals.” Podhoretz says Flynn “had an antagonistic relationship with America’s intelligence agencies” and was their “potential adversary.”

That Flynn wanted to reform the intelligence community is true. But the more serious concern about Flynn from the perspective of the intelligence community is that he was opposed to the Obama policy, carried out by John Brennan’s CIA, of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic terrorists in the Middle East. He had been outspoken about this since leaving the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Flynn’s links to Russia and the conversations he had with the Russian Ambassador are minor compared to the disasters in the Middle East that Flynn was exposing. The proxy war the Obama administration waged in the Middle East produced debacles in Egypt, Libya and Syria. In Egypt, the military rescued the country from a Muslim Brotherhood takeover engineered by Obama’s CIA. Libya is still in shambles, and Syria has been lost to the Russians and Iranians. The result in Syria alone is 500,000 dead and millions of refugees.

As documented extensively by AIM’s Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, the U.S. under Obama switched sides in the war on terror, in favor of the terrorists. There were, of course, terrorists on the other side as well. In Syria, the Russian/Iranian/Syrian axis employed terrorist tactics to drive back the U.S.-supported terrorists. That produced a humanitarian disaster that is still unfolding.

Trump has inherited this disaster, and he and Flynn were trying to do something about it. But Trump’s proposal for vetting refugees from failed states has been struck down by liberal judges, and Trump has unfortunately accepted their jurisdiction in the case.

As we explained in a previous column, in a review of Flynn’s book, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency “thinks that the administration he served, headed by Barack Obama, tried to accommodate our enemies, selling out American interests in the process.” This is the world that President Trump faces and is trying to rectify.

We said at the time that “if Flynn wants to turn things around, he will have to lead a purge of the Clinton and Obama agents in the Pentagon and other agencies who have been deliberately withholding information about the nature of the threats and how our lives are in peril from an ‘enemy alliance’ that Obama has been supporting as President of the United States.”

It now appears that Flynn, or rather Trump, didn’t move fast enough, and that these special interests from the swamp have struck first, nailing Flynn’s scalp to the wall.

The media know that the Obama administration helped to produce the humanitarian disasters in countries like Syria and Libya. They ran stories about CIA arms shipments to terrorists in the region through countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar. But when Flynn got into a position of power and was able to do something about exposing these dirty wars, he became the target. He became a target of surveillance and was tripped up about what he said and remembered about discussions with the Russian Ambassador.

On Capitol Hill, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), seems to be one of the few legislators concerned about the illegal leaks that drove Flynn from his job. He is even quoted as saying that the leakers “belong in jail.”

The American people have a right to know whether there is a “permanent state,” as Eli Lake says, and what role it is playing. But since the major media have been complicit in the intelligence community’s assault on Flynn, there is no reason to believe the media will want to get to the bottom of this subversion of our democratic system of government. Their hands are dirty, too.

It looks like the permanent state has a press office.


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.

02/1/17

Weekly Featured Profile – Taryn Fivek

KeyWiki.org

Tynvivek.PNG

Taryn Fivek is a New York City based activist and member of the pro-North Korea, Russia and Iran Workers World Party.

She was educated at the University of Central Florida and the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

In recent years, she has worked as a press agent for the United Nations partner agency International Organization for Migration on Syrian refugee resettlement into Canada.

She has worked in Iraq, Jordan, the “occupied Palestinian territories,” the United Kingdom, Qatar and Germany.

Her work for the United Nations‘s – Iraq Mission, included field photography and interviews with beneficiaries, press notes, flash reports, infographics, video production, copy and scripts, media contacts, photography seminar for displaced youth, photo books, exhibitions, communications strategy development, recruiting and managing staff

Prior to that, Taryn Fivek was Assistant Internal Organizer to the New York Hotel Trades Council, AFL-CIO, an Events and Content Strategy Assistant for The Economist and a Programme Development Officer for the Palestinian Center for Peace and Democracy.

In recent months, Fivek has been a leader of the anti-Trump protest movement, J20;

Fivekopi.PNG
J20 organizers are calling for people to gather at what they are renaming “Anti-Columbus Plaza” in front of D.C.’s Union Station at 6 a.m. on Jan. 20. A march on the White House will begin at 10 a.m.
The cops and agencies of the state are trying to stop people from saying “No to Trump!” Racist cops love Trump, who called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and who wants to crush the Black Lives Matter movement.
Ludicrous limits are being set to attempt to stop demonstrators. Among the items the cops are trying to prohibit at checkpoints are backpacks, balloons and even signs larger than 8 by 6 by 4 inches — about the size of half a sheet of typing paper!

“Many restrictions are vague, all-encompassing, contradictory and open to police interpretation,” said New York J20 organizer Taryn Fivek. “All are intended to restrict people’s freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of expression.”

(Taryn Fivek|more…)

01/24/17

For Those Scoffing at Russian Penetration into American Democracy

By: Denise Simon | FoundersCode.com

This site has posted often on General Gerasimov and his doctrine. The games and propaganda that the Kremlin applies is still not taken seriously by the American people as they continue to scoff at Russian intrusions into our culture.

Russia is playing a double game and it is time to set aside manufactured notions and seek the expertise of countless Russian scholars as well as what the Pentagon and intelligence communities are publishing.

Related reading: Russia’s “Ambiguous Warfare” and Implications for the U.S. Marine Corps, 2015

Using the sources that Russian officials use themselves is a valuable tool as noted here:

“Military-industrial courier”

International Maritime Defence Show

«Military-industrial courier» is a weekly illustrated All-Russian newspaper. The main topics of the newspaper are politics and economics, role of legislative and executive power in the process of military reform providing. «Military-industrial courier» is position on the newspaper market as a respectable edition which highlights defence industries and institutions, adds to military products promotion to the domestic and foreign markets.The newspaper boasts of domestic military chiefs and defence leaders interviews in which most important issues of that sector of the economy are raised.

For a short period of time «Military- industrial courier» has achieved recognition with the Russian high-ranking military officials.

The newspaper is distributed on a subscription and by retail within the Russian Federation and abroad. The circulation is more than 50000 copies.

Here goes yet another attempt.

****

Narrative, Cyberspace and the 21st Century Art of War

In February 2013, an article insipidly entitled “The Value of Science in Prediction” appeared in the Russian publication Military-Industrial Courier. The article was penned by Valery Gerasimov, chief of the general staff of the Russian Federation. Few in the West recognized the article at all, much less its significance, at the time of its publication.

In the article, Gerasimov analyzed “new-type conflicts.” These conflicts entail an array of strategies and tactics employed in the gray zone to achieve national interests, even military, without a declaration of war and without crossing the threshold that would provoke a kinetic response.

“The very ‘rules of war’ have changed,” Gerasimov wrote.

Dr. Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russian history and security issues who annotated an English translation of Gerasimov’s article, identified the most important line as, “The role of nonmilitary means of achieving political and strategic goals has grown and, in many cases, they have exceeded the power of force of weapons in their effectiveness.”

Gerasimov’s “nonmilitary means” included “broad use of political, economic, informational, humanitarian and other nonmilitary measures – applied with the protest potential of the population.”

Experts see one hybrid tactic – narrative and cyber – playing an increasingly prominent role in current conflicts.

War Narratives

An old Wall Street adage goes, “You’d have to be a paranoid Russian poet to understand global finance.” Today, that maxim might be paraphrased for an equally unexpected insight: “It helps to be a literary critic in understanding contemporary warfare.”

In The Art of War, Sun Tzu described the “five constant factors” of conventional warfare, but none included narrative. Experts now point to the influential role of narrative in military, geopolitical and ideological “new-type conflicts.”

Nations like Russia and China, as well as terrorist organizations like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), are using narrative to motivate audiences, advance agendas and engage adversaries.

Scholars have long argued that literary techniques are not the special purview of novelists, poets and playwrights. From philosophers’ research on metaphor to cognitive scientists’ investigations into parable, literary devices reveal and appeal to basic human cognition. Perhaps that’s why narrative’s use by governments, institutions, businesses and ideologues is not new.

When employed in military or geopolitical conflicts, Brad Allenby and Joel Garreau, co-directors of The Weaponized Narrative Initiative of the Center on the Future of War, call it “weaponized narrative.” And they believe its recent effectiveness will encourage further use.

In an email interview, Allenby said, “Weaponized narrative is not a temporary or passing phenomenon. It is based on significant recent advances in science, technology and social use of technology.”

Combined with tactics afforded by cyberspace, narrative’s influence broadens. But Dr. Ajit Maan, affiliate scholar at the Center for Narrative and Conflict Resolution and CEO of Narrative Strategies, notes that narrative’s power precedes technology.

In an email interview with Fifth Domain, Maan said:

Advanced technologies work to disseminate messages farther and wider than they would be otherwise, but narratives are already there, on the ground, in people’s heads. The enemies of the U.S. and her allies understand this very well. Advanced technology is a tool. The center of gravity is the narrative.

The “Era of Cybered Conflict”

Current conflicts play out, at least partly, in cyberspace.

Dr. Chris C. Demchak, RDML Grace Murray Hopper professor of cybersecurity and director of the Center for Cyber Conflict Studies at the U.S. Naval War College, characterizes today’s environment as one of “cybered conflict.”

In an interview – in which she offered her views and not the views of the U.S. government, U.S. Navy or U.S. Naval War College – Demchak said:

Due to the massively insecure technology of the global cyberspace, we in the West have created a widely spread, poorly secured cyberspace “substrate” that allows attackers in any numbers, from anywhere, with any tools and for any reason to cheaply reach into our critical systems with minimal chances of being punished. The result is that the world has been thrust into an era of “cybered conflict.”

Like Gerasimov’s blurred line between war and peace, Demchak described cybered conflicts as “stretch[ing] from peace through traditional war.” Importantly, Demchak highlighted the strategic advantages of cybered conflict relative to conventional war:

Most cybered conflict – which can have existential consequences – does not involve killing anyone or destroying something explosively. Rather, it is marked by exceptional advantage to deception in what tools are used and opaqueness in who, in what numbers, are using them. Going to the end of the spectrum – to “cyberwar” – is relatively inefficient and opens oneself up to direct retaliation throughout one’s own societal systems. Instead, one can slowly demolish an opponent without ever killing someone or destroying something with a kinetic tool traceable back to oneself … [which] is much safer, reliable and easier to outsource.

Russia, China and ISIS are all leveraging the advantages afforded by cybered conflict to employ hybrid warfare tactics – from hacking to weaponized narrative.

Russia and the Grand Nationalist Narrative

Russia’s use of hybrid warfare long predates Gerasimov’s article. Noting the Soviet Union’s traditional outward posture since the Cold War’s advent, Demchak said, “Russia innovated the strategy of disinformation and personalized brutality to ‘eat a democracy from the inside out’ … producing the involuntary servitude of the former Warsaw Pact.”

Allenby noted favorable conditions for disinformation persist today: “The Russian system tends to reward the cynical, morally relativistic psychology that best aligns with developing and deploying weaponized narratives.”

As foreshadowed by Gerasimov, Russia has displayed its hybrid capabilities during the Ukraine conflict. Allenby points to Russia resurrecting the historical “Novorossiya” and adopting the newer “Russian Eurasian Empire” narratives.

Such narratives matter, Allenby explained, “Because suborning an adversary through weaponized narrative is far, far less costly than a conventional attack. Weaponized narrative offered an important way to achieve Russian ends while not justifying a conventional response under the UN charter.”

Allenby also noted the hybrid approach, which included narrative and “fomenting insurrection and insurgency, and judicious application of ‘little green men,’” or suspected Russian troops.

Allenby added, “Was the invasion [of Crimea] effective? Absolutely. Was it a strategic success? For that, we’ll have to wait and see.”

Asked about the similarities and differences between Russia’s tactics in Ukraine and the alleged activities carried out during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Allenby said:

The two are similar, in that causing a degree of confusion and social fragmentation in the target is a major strategic goal. The tools are different because the cultures are very different, and the follow through is different … Nonetheless, the underlying processes, operations and design of weaponized narrative campaigns must be similar because they are based on the same advanced science, new technologies and rapidly evolving understanding of human psychology.

China and the Sovereignty Narrative

China is also using narrative to further its geopolitical agenda. China’s interest in expanding territorial sovereignty in the South China Seas is well known. Less so is China’s “cyber sovereignty” narrative, which Demchak has examined.

At issue is, Demchak wrote, “China wants her borders in cyberspace and will take nothing less.” Whereas the West sees the internet as a tool for global democratization, “the Chinese narrative accentuates the instability and greater dissent that can accrue with a border-spanning open internet.”

China’s view implicitly acknowledges Gerasimov’s “protest potential of the population.”

To achieve cyber sovereignty, China has employed hybrid gray-zone tactics.

“China,” Demchak wrote, “is also hoping to hurry along the [U.S.’s] apparent decline with narratives, money and stealth and yet control the narrative of a no-threat peaceful rise well enough to stay short of physical conflict.”

China’s cyber sovereignty is part of a grander narrative. “China justifies its rise in the world – its ‘rightful place’ – on the basis of its population,” Demchak said. “China will not over time tolerate U.S. obstruction of its ‘rightful’ rise as the global hegemon.”

ISIS and the Narrative of the Islamic Caliphate

The rise of ISIS surprised many in the West. Narrative and cyberspace played a central role, experts say.

Counterterrorism scholars have studied the “messaging and counter-messaging” of ISIS. Maan thinks ISIS’s narratives are more “profound and pervasive” than simple messaging.

“It is through narrative that identity is constructed: Personal identity, communal/clan identity and national identity,” she said. “It is formative in the identity layers of all parties to communication long before any communication has taken place between them.”

In her writing, Maan has examined a common idea across ISIS’s communications: “Islam is under attack.” That is a title, not the narrative, she explained.

Despite the West’s claims otherwise, “Islam is under attack” resonates with ISIS followers in many forms. “Narrative provides and determines the meaning of events,” Maan said. “Events don’t speak for themselves. Narratives speak for events.”

Maan argues, rather than focusing on counter-narrative, which oftentimes “emboldens” the original, the West should develop its own. To succeed, Maan thinks the West’s narratives must be credible and based on the “production of common sense.”

“That is how successful narratives appear. They don’t seem like a construction. They seem to reflect ‘just the way things are,’” she said.

01/22/17

Top communist calls to ‘make country ungovernable’

By: Trevor Loudon | New Zeal

Speaking to protesters assembled in Columbus Circle on Inauguration Day, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization Political Secretary, Steff Yorekstated, “We need to stay in the streets the entire four years opposing Trump and making the country ungovernable.”

Steff Yorek, microphone

If you doubt Yorek’s ability to make good on her threat, please check out Trevor Loudon’s latest mini-documentary below. It details, among other things, Freedom Road’s close ties to Putin’s Russia.

01/18/17

AIM Editor on Cavuto about Trump and the Media

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media Editor Roger Aronoff was a guest on “Cavuto Coast to Coast” on January 13 on the Fox Business Network. The topic was how the mainstream media came to the defense of CNN after their confrontation with President-elect Donald Trump during his press conference last week, yet said little when President Barack Obama repeatedly attacked Fox News.

“When you saw the situation with [CNN’s] Jim Acosta the other day, it reminded me of when George Bush had a shoe thrown at him,” said Aronoff. “We haven’t seen it in these last eight years. And generally, there’s been very little support for Fox as this administration has attacked Fox. But there was immediately support for CNN.”

President Obama has blamed Fox News for poor polling numbers and Democrat losses during the election. “…[A]fter the election he referred to Fox in ‘every restaurant and bar and big chunks of the country,’” said Aronoff. “That’s why the Democrats lost, he thinks.”

Reporters are using unverified claims to tar Trump’s presidency before it begins, even if the charges may be baseless. “They’re throwing out through innuendo this scurrilous report which was nothing but opposition research,” said Aronoff. “A number of facts that we know to be wrong. And then this got leaked by the intelligence community.”

“I was struck by something Carl Bernstein said on the panel that night,” said Aronoff. “He said, ‘Look, do we know if this is true, do we know if any of it’s true? No we don’t. But here we are talking about it anyway.’”

Aronoff argued that Trump wasn’t in conflict with the intelligence community as a whole, just with the political appointees. “This is so political, coming from the top,” he said. “And I think we have to realize that, if Hillary [Clinton] had won this election, there would be no 35 Russians expelled, there would be no investigation into the FBI and [Director James] Comey, there would be no investigation into the Russian hacking.”

It is also suspicious that Obama has done little about this recent leak. “Why isn’t Obama saying we’re going to investigate who’s leaking this information?” asked Aronoff. As AIM has pointed out, Obama has a track record of going after journalists who print leaked information, as well as their sources. But this time the President has not signaled that he will go after the culprits.

You can watch the segment here:

01/17/17

Will the Real Russian Agent Please Stand Up?

By: Cliff Kincaid – Accuracy in Media

The civil rights “icon,” Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), has suddenly discovered the dangers of Russian influence in the U.S. political process. He tells Chuck Todd of NBC News, “I don’t see this President-elect [Donald J. Trump] as a legitimate president. I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”

It will be interesting to see if Lewis disavows Russian manipulation of the civil rights movement. The movement began as a reasonable demand for equal rights for blacks, but was manipulated by outside agitators associated with the Moscow-funded Communist Party USA into becoming an instrument of Russian foreign policy.

The sad truth about Martin Luther King, Jr. is that his original mission of equal rights for black Americans changed later in life when he was surrounded by pro-Moscow communist advisers who turned him against the Vietnam War. A noble effort to save South Vietnam from communism was eventually defeated, not by the communist enemy on the military battlefield but by a Democratic Party-controlled Congress which terminated assistance to the government in Saigon. Vietnam became, and remains, a communist dictatorship.

Lewis became one of many black pawns in this Soviet scheme when he wrote for Freedomways—a propaganda organ of the Communist Party USA, and Soviet front organizations such as the World Peace Council—for 25 years. Freedomways was influential in the black community.

Lewis wrote a 1965 Freedomways article, “Paul Robeson: Inspirer of Youth,” about the famous actor and singer who had been a member of the CPUSA and admirer of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. In one of his more controversial statements, Robeson said that “American Negroes would never go to war against Russia,” because blacks loved Russia so much.

Today, however, blacks like Lewis are suddenly finding the Russians to be odious and obnoxious because they are perceived to have supported Trump.

The communist penetration and manipulation of the civil rights movement has been documented in the Operation SOLO documents still on the FBI website. They demonstrate that the Soviet Union illegally provided funding, reportedly more than $28 million, to the Communist Party USA, which then provided some of it to Freedomways. The documents are based on FBI informants, Morris and Jack Childs, who had infiltrated the highest levels of the CPUSA and had participated in meetings with foreign communist parties.

The presidency of Barack Obama proves that Martin Luther King, Jr. was not the last black figure to be manipulated by Moscow. In Obama’s case, it was Frank Marshall Davis, his mentor and suspected Soviet espionage agent. Strangely, Davis was recommended as a father figure for Obama by Obama’s own grandfather, Stanley Armour Dunham, who was reputed to be a CIA officer monitoring Davis’s communist activities.

It’s funny how the CIA did not issue any public warnings or alerts about the Russian influence on Obama before he took office in 2008. Nothing surfaced in the press from the CIA about Obama’s communist connections in Hawaii or Chicago.

It’s also strange that Dunham’s FBI file was conveniently destroyed in 1997.

As Obama leaves the presidency, it is relevant to go back in history to 2007, when Marxist writer Gerald Horne gave a speech, “Rethinking the History and Future of the Communist Party.” Horne mentioned how black CPUSA member Frank Marshall Davis had gone to Hawaii in 1948 and had become friends with a “Euro-American family” that included a child “who goes by the name of Barack Obama…”

Notice the odd use of the phrase “who goes by the name of Barack Obama.”

Horne had said, “In his best-selling memoir ‘Dreams of my Father,’ [sic] the author [Barack Obama] speaks warmly of an older black poet, he identifies simply as ‘Frank,’ as being a decisive influence in helping him to find his present identity as an African-American, a people who have been the least anticommunist and the most left-leaning of any constituency in this nation—though you would never know it from reading so-called left journals of opinion.”

Horne’s reference to African-Americans as “a people who have been the least anticommunist and the most left-leaning of any constituency in this nation” reflects Moscow’s successful effort to manipulate the civil rights movement and divert some of its members into pro-Moscow causes, such as abandoning the people of South Vietnam to communism.

For his part, Obama has abandoned the people of Crimea and eastern Ukraine to the Russians. It’s Obama, not Trump, who ordered the CIA to support Syrian “rebels” and jihadists, only to provoke a Russian military intervention that has left Russia and its allies with major gains in the Middle East.

By any objective measure, the Russians have benefited nicely from the Obama presidency. Yet it’s Trump who stands accused by the Democrats and their media allies (and some conservatives) of being pro-Russian.

Having been left with a weakened U.S. military and foreign policy disasters around the globe, it’s no wonder that Trump wants to see if the Russians can be persuaded to stop their aggression. It may be a false hope, but he seems to think it is worth talking about. In any case, a U.S. military confrontation with Russia in Europe or the Middle East doesn’t make any sense at this time.

We’ve asked the question before, and it’s worthwhile to ask it again, as Obama leaves the presidency. Why was Gerald Horne’s speech about the history and “future” of the CPUSA? Was he saying something about Obama that only he and other CPUSA insiders knew? Did Horne know something special about Obama’s relationship with Davis? Indeed, had information about Obama been provided by Davis to other CPUSA members? And what did the CIA know about Obama’s communist connections to Davis and others?

Horne anticipated that Obama would go down in history because he understood that the CPUSA had been working in the black community for decades, laying the groundwork for Obama’s candidacy.

If Lewis really wants to expose Russian influence, let’s begin with an inquiry into how the CPUSA targeted black intellectuals, entertainers and politicians, by using a CPUSA-controlled and Soviet-funded journal called Freedomways. We can also take a look at Barack Obama’s connection to a Russian agent by the name of Frank Marshall Davis.

Somehow I doubt that John Lewis and his media sycophants will want to conduct a probe into that.


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.

01/13/17

The Denise Simon Experience – 01/12/17

The Denise Simon Experience

Hosted by DENISE SIMON, the Senior Research / Intelligence Analyst for Foreign and Domestic Policy for numerous flag officers and intelligence organizations.

SEGMENT 1:  Eric Tallant, presently assigned to Kabul, Afghanistan explains in more detail Soviet Union ‘Active Measures’ a formal operation of disinformation and propaganda created by the KGB that continues to be applied today.

SEGMENT 2:  Patrick Dunlevy, author or The Fertile Soil of Jihad, a contributor to the Investigative Project and former Deputy Inspector General for the New York prison system explained domestic financing of terrorists in the United States and the classifications of Jihadis being either enemy combatants or just law enforcement cases.

SEGMENTS 3 & 4:  Tom Del Baccaro, former GOP chief for California, contributor to Forbes, lawyer and author of The Divided Era, explained in comprehensive detail what the progressives, Democrats and the Left have planned to cause chaos and destruction in the incoming Trump administration as well as the Republican controlled Congress.

BROADCAST WORLDWIDE:
THURSDAYS:  9:00 PM (eastern) on:

WJHC – Talk 107.5 FM
WDDQ – Talk 92.1 FM
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01/11/17

Obama’s Legacy of Endless Wars and Transgender Soldiers

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

Left-wing Democrat Norman Solomon says fellow Democrats are “more interested in playing to the press gallery than speaking directly to the economic distress of voters in the Rust Belt and elsewhere who handed the presidency” to Donald J. Trump. Democrats should spend some time learning “how they’ve lost touch with working-class voters,” he says.

He is referring to how Democrats are saying what the media want to hear—that Trump was elected because of Vladimir Putin and the Russians. This was the claim first advanced by President Obama’s CIA in leaks to The Washington Post and The New York Times.

But this is not just a political dispute involving Democrats failing to understand why they lost to Trump. Solomon says “the emerging incendiary rhetoric against Russia is extremely dangerous” and “could lead to a military confrontation between two countries that each has thousands of nuclear weapons,” and which could trigger a “nuclear holocaust.”

Solomon, a former Democratic congressional candidate, says that Democrats, by “teaming up with the likes of Republican Senators John McCain (AZ) and Lindsey Graham (SC) to exert bipartisan pressure for escalation,” could help “stampede the Trump administration in reckless directions” and provoke Russia into a war.

There is no evidence that the Trump administration could be “stampeded” in that way. Trump has said repeatedly that he is not interested in a confrontation with Russia. What seems to be consuming the attention of the incoming Trump administration are the no-win wars with ISIS and al-Qaeda that Obama will leave behind, and the corruption in the Intelligence Community that has been responsible for claims that the U.S. is winning the war against radical Islam.

Trump’s new CIA director, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and participated in a congressional joint task force that documented in a report how U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) manipulated intelligence to downplay the threat from ISIS. Three months after Pompeo and his colleagues issued their report, he said that those responsible for downplaying the threat from ISIS had not yet been held accountable.

Pompeo said the manipulation of intelligence resulted from “an administration-wide understanding that bad news from Iraq and Syria was not welcomed.” He added, “Claims that ISIS was the ‘JV team’ and that al-Qaeda was ‘on the run’ were both a result—and a cause—of the politicization of intelligence at CENTCOM. This intelligence manipulation provided space for both ISIS and al-Qaeda to grow and it put America at risk.”

Obama, of course, was responsible for the claims that ISIS was the “JV team” and that al-Qaeda was “on the run.” He lied to the American people about progress in the war on terror.

Obama’s Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said on December 15 that ISIS was “failing” and that “the campaign to defeat the terror group in Iraq and Syria is on track.” Five days earlier, Carter had announced that 200 additional American special operations troops would be heading to Syria to liberate Raqqa, ISIS’ de facto capital in Syria. That will bring the total number of U.S. troops in Syria to 500.

Obama’s war in Syria has never been authorized by Congress.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs magazine has published an article demonstrating that, after a defeat and a loss of territory, “ISIS members don’t simply give up their cause or switch their allegiance; they merely change their tactics,” reforming into small units conducting insurgency campaigns.

According to the article, these terrorists operate under different flags. The authors cite the case of an ex-Iraqi policeman who fought for al-Qaeda and later emerged under the ISIS banner. It is possible, the authors say, that “insurgent group numbers will only continue to increase, as will their power.” The authors say there is little room for optimism that the Baghdad regime being supported by the U.S. will address the sectarian grievances that fuel the conflict.

ISIS has expanded into Afghanistan, where a counterterrorism official says the terrorist group is “present in at least 11 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.”

Reflecting the deteriorating situation, Obama’s decision that the U.S. would draw down to 5,500 troops in the country has been changed. Now, approximately 8,400 military personnel will remain at the time that Trump takes office.

Fighting terrorists isn’t the only item on the agenda. American sailors deployed in Afghanistan underwent Transgender Policy Training in Kabul on November 24. According to an official press release, sailors were told about the policy that took effect on October 1, whereby they could “begin the process to officially change their gender in the Navy administrative systems following DoD policy and in accordance to the standards delineated.”

A website reflecting the views of Christian military officers described the training this way: “The US Navy began teaching its Sailors about women thinking they’re men, and vice versa, even as they’re deployed in Afghanistan—a nation, incidentally, in which transgenders would probably be tossed in jail or executed.”

Not to worry. The official Pentagon spokesman says the Afghanistan mission also remains “on track.”


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.