Posts Tagged ‘CIA’

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His book exposing media corrupted by the CIA and Wall Street has been a best seller for 18 weeks.

On the death of UDO ULFKOTTE

Of course, like in America there are no conspiracies in Germany either, according to Spiegel…

The controversial author and political activist UDO ULFKOTTE is dead . The former “FAZ” journalist succumbed to a heart attack on Friday at the age of 56 years.

 

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Deep State Goes to War With Trump

It’s almost impossible to imagine a scenario where it’s justifiable for a news outlet to publish a totally anonymous, unverified, unvetted document filled with scurrilous and inflammatory allegations about which its own editor-in-chief says there “is serious reason to doubt the allegations,” on the ground that they want to leave it to the public to decide whether to believe it.

 

In other news, Batboy also has deep ties to Putin.

 

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Democrats and their apologists have proven to be far more pathetic than previously witnessed. A quasi-fascist nationalism has erupted, and the blind rush to conflate Donald Trump with Russia has expanded the envelope of delusion.

What is it they claim now? And based on what actual evidence?

The CIA floated a conspiracy theory to undermine Trump in the Electoral College, a Hail Mary pass after the election upset. Yes, a conspiracy theory, the dangerous kind that puts nuclear-armed nations at each other’s throats.

“And yet, there is skepticism within the American government, particularly at the F.B.I., that this evidence adds up to proof that the Russians had the specific objective of getting Mr. Trump elected.” -NY Times, Dec. 11, 2016

What’s more, that’s still the case!

“Officials reiterated that there is no single intercepted communication that qualifies as a ‘smoking gun’ on Russia’s intention to benefit Trump’s candidacy or to claim credit for doing so.” -CNN, Jan. 6, 2017

“Reiterated” because the message is clearly not getting through the solid wall of hysteria.

That plain truth is clearly the opposite of the propaganda blitzkrieg we have just witnessed, from Saturday Night Live to the usual suspects at the foundation-funded left-leaning propaganda complex, those “gatekeepers.” Nor to the nation’s political cartoonists, who have led the charge to conflate Trump with Vladimir Putin, even though none of us has seen a single shred of credible evidence. The propaganda tsunami has been so voluminous that it’s difficult to recall a previous comparable situation. Only the false ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ bamboozle comes to mind, and we know how that worked out; don’t we?

Two Minutes’ Hate

The Democrats have become feral. Irrationally lashing out in every direction, the CIA’s conspiracy theory has had the effect that many of those anti-conspiracy theory psycho-babble articles had warned us about! #irony

But psychology remains at the core of it all, and it is the psychology of blaming others to avoid taking personal responsibility for negative outcomes. Taking cues from Hillary Clinton herself, there must be Russians hiding under the bed. Of course that’s the reason people supported Trump and not glorious Hillary. The alternative is too horrible for them to entertain.

What is obscured is the contorted logic that Russia allegedly defeated Clinton by revealing The Truth about her own corruption and lies, her private position versus public position. Impossible to make the case that the Russians are lying, the Democratic Party apologists’ only response has been to change the focus of the outrage toward killing the messenger. It’s a cheap magic trick, and we’ve seen this tiresome show before.

Most of the corporate US “news” media has bought into this conspiracy theory. It’s always a good idea in the mainstream to beat up on Russia, especially when the CIA takes point. There is no downside for jumping on that bandwagon. But “news” is now relegated to an empty label requiring quotation marks, because these outlets refuse to cover the full story: WikiLeaks.

There is no ambiguity at all regarding Julian Assange and Craig Murray’s position.

“Ex-British ambassador who is now a WikiLeaks operative claims Russia did NOT provide Clinton emails — they were handed over to him at a D.C. park by an intermediary for ‘disgusted’ Democratic whistleblowers” -UK Daily Mail, Dec. 14, 2016

How can any American argue that Murray and Wikileaks’ revelations are not newsworthy? They are the publishers of the emails! So, that story must have appeared on the front pages of every US newspaper and on the 24/7 cable news barrage; no?

Censorship is clearly at play here. Any “news” article that covers the CIA’s conspiracy theory but omits the WikiLeaks counter-narrative is not journalism at all, and clearly violates basic journalistic ethics.

The Blackest Kettle Around

Psychological projection is when you accuse others of doing what you yourself do. It happens quite a bit more than people realize. Would the Russians be justified in working against a candidate who threatened to escalate a hot war in Syria against their own military and national security interests?

I’ll not belabor America’s bloodstained imperial record of overthrowing legitimate democracies, like Iran in 1953 or Chile in 1973. But more recent events should not be avoided, as we assess what’s really going on here in the intelligence sector’s assault on Russia and Putin and Trump.

What America did to Ukraine should be first and foremost, as we talk about foreign interference in the democratic processes of sovereign nations. In 2004 US agencies were exposed for their parts in a soft coup, or “color revolution.”

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Abby Martin Responds

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Joe Giambrone

I’m not only referring to Trump’s tards (as Democrats would have instantly presumed) but to an equally malignant demographic: the smug, arrogant, pseudo-intellectual. These people think they know what they do not know and are thus rendered incapable of thought, incapacitated, intellectually stunted. Those types make great Nazis, in fact, and are arguably half of the voting population.

They are the Peace Laureate’s defenders and cheerleaders, Hillary’s people, corporate comedians like Samantha Bee, Zionists like Bill Maher, listeners of NPR, and readers of Alternet. These lobotomized partisans only oppose war when it is convenient, when a Republican is in office. Not when the warmonger is a Democrat, and that is disgusting hypocrisy. They have pushed the nation toward moral bankruptcy, a rampaging duopoly of blustering hypocrites talking around the crimes. They don’t notice nor even care about the bombs Barack Obama drops, nor the shiploads of arms he sells to the world’s most despicable tyrants.

How to understand such people?

They aren’t lacking in a worldview, and that’s the problem. Ideology supplants honest analysis, full stop. In this case, their only apparent ideology was revealed to be that they believe themselves to be a “lesser evil” than their opponents; that’s all. Clinton offered nothing except that her last name wasn’t Trump.

Constantly reinforced with finely streamlined propaganda that omits damning facts while pretending to investigate, this modern propaganda provides the illusion of knowledge, not the real thing. The model here is the ‘limited hangout.’ The pseudo-intellectual Democrats are permitted to know something about the topics, just enough to be brought to heel. They are manipulated at a slightly higher level than their sworn enemies, the willfully ignorant dumbasses who don’t care. A better brand of puppet is thus manufactured via top-shelf propaganda (CIA, NPR, State Department, NY Times, Washington Post, etc.). Few readers are sophisticated enough to challenge the claims of these organs, and so even nonsense can pass as factual and accurate most of the time—often all that is needed is one unnamed source.

The Putin Ate My Baby

As the alleged “Russian hacking” fiasco has shown, no credible evidence is even required to sell a new Cold War to Americans.

It’s easy to show that most of the coverage of the ‘Russians hacked the DNC’ story is propaganda and not journalism at all. Journalistic ethics require a real journalist to print the other side of the story and to present it to readers so that they can determine for themselves what to believe. Julian Assange and Wikileaks are the other side of that story, and they have been clear and consistent that the files they published weren’t “hacked” at all but leaked by a “disgusted” DNC insider. Any “news” story that omits that crucial part of the narrative is untrustworthy propaganda, the sort you’d expect living in the Soviet Union (ironically).

“Journalists should…

– Diligently seek subjects of news coverage to allow them to respond to criticism or allegations of wrongdoing.


– Support the open and civil exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.”
Society of Professional Journalists, Code of Ethics

The complete collapse of journalistic ethics across the spectrum, in the rush to demonize Russia in lockstep with the government, is arguably a far more serious concern than whether some Russian hacker found his way to some emails. The complete brainwashing of a superpower is frightening no matter how it is spun. Anti-Russian hysteria has been the norm as Washington surrounds Russia with NATO bases and destabilizes Russia’s allies, including Ukraine and Syria. These are provocations with body counts. They are not in the interest of the people parroting the official propaganda. The Great Game of imperial one-upsmanship benefits the war industry, not the common people.

It may end life on earth.

Granted, most of the content that western media provides is accurate but incomplete by design. Omission is the staple technique for those who would present biased narratives. At the large daily papers, omission is a high art form.

As the old propaganda system melts down, to much commotion, everyone needs to stay on top of the story. Western media has been exposed as corrupt, untrustworthy, and in a hostile war to influence the public mind.

No one really knows whom to trust anymore. It is a paranoid age, where even your friends lie to you daily by posting nonsensical memes based on no sourcing whatsoever. Laziness is at the heart of the dissemination: convenience culture (a la Idiocracy). No one bothers to check the veracity of their claims, to take responsibility for the information they put out into the world, although this may be turning around among a few.

We must all be journalists and demand corroboration: multiple credible sources. We must all be skeptical of news organizations, all news sources, trusting nothing without a thorough analysis. The specific phrasing matters. We must stop tolerating obvious gibberish, the fake news flooding Facebook that has no redeeming value. Noise drowns out the truth.

Real journalists back up their claims with extensive sourcing. Do you?

http://www.joegiambrone.us/

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Original:

How I Came to Understand the CIA

I’ve been researching the CIA for over 30 years and I’ve interviewed over 100 CIA officers. So naturally, people often wonder how I prepare myself. In one of the interviews that’s included in my new book, James Tracy asked me how I know where to look for information that’s pertinent to a given story.

I told James that’s it’s complicated, that my experience is different from most other CIA researchers and writers. I didn’t follow the usual career course. I didn’t go to the Columbia School of Journalism. I’m a college dropout who climbed trees for a living for ten years. But I did want to be a writer, and my philosophy of life is based on the study of language and literary criticism. I take a very broad approach. When I went to college, I studied Greek and Roman literature, read the Norton anthologies of English and American literature, and took courses in classical myth and the Bible.

Very early in my studies I was introduced literary critics like Robert Graves, poet and author of The White Goddess, and Sir James Fraser who wrote The Golden Bough. Fraser brought a socio-anthropological way of looking at the world of literature. That led me to Mircea Eliade, Carl Jung, Eric Newman, Northrop Frye and a few other people who approached literature from a variety of different perspectives – psychological, political, anthropological, sociological, historical, philosophical. All those things were of interest to me. So when I look at a subject, I look at it comprehensively from all those different points of view, plus my blue collar, working class perspective.

Literary criticism teaches the power of symbolic transformation, of processing experience into ideas, into meaning. To be a Madison Avenue adman, one must understand how to use symbols and myths to sell commodities. Admen use logos and slogans, and so do political propagandists. Left or right; doesn’t matter. The left is as adept at branding as the right. To be a speech writer or public relations consultant one must, above all, understand the archetypal power of the myth of the hero. That way you can transform Joe the Plumber, or even a mass murdering politician, into a national hero.

When I decided to research and write about the CIA’s Phoenix program, that was how I thought about it. I went directly to William Colby, who’d been Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I didn’t know enough to be intimidated, it was just the smart thing to do. Colby was the person most associated with Phoenix, the controversial CIA “assassination” program that resulted in the death of tens of thousands of civilians during the Vietnam War. No one had written a book about it, so I wrote Colby a letter and sent him my first book, The Hotel Tacloban, which is about my father’s experiences in combat and as a POW in World War Two.

Tacloban was key to unlocking the CIA’s door, for two reasons. First, it demonstrated that I understood what it means to be a soldier, which was essential in terms of winning the trust of CIA officers, most of whom think of themselves as soldiers. The CIA is set up like a military organization with a sacred chain of command. Somebody tells you what to do and you salute and do it.  Colby himself had parachuted behind enemy lines in France during World War Two.

On a deeper level, Tacloban showed that I could bridge the “man” gap that divided my frag-happy, draft-dodging generation from Colby’s “saved the world for freedom and democracy” generation. I felt that “father-son” dynamic with Colby and several of the senior spooks he referred me to. Some of them even acknowledged that I was attempting to reconcile with them in a way their own sons never had.

So I told Colby I wanted to write a book that would de-mystify the Phoenix program, and he was all for that. Colby liked my approach – to look at it from all these different points of view – so he got behind me and introduced me to a lot of senior CIA people. And that gave me access from the inside. After that it was easy. I have good interview skills. I was able to persuade a lot of these CIA people to talk about Phoenix. I approached it from an organizational point of view, which is essential when writing about bureaucracies like the CIA or the DEA. You have to understand them as a bureaucracy, that they have an historical arc. They begin somewhere, they have a Congressional mandate, they have a purpose, and organizational and management structures. And in that regard I really lucked out. One of the first people I interviewed was the CIA officer, Nelson Brickham, who organized the Phoenix program in 1967 in Saigon. Brickham graduated magna cum laude from Yale and was something of an organizational genius. He explained to me how he organized Phoenix. He also explained the different divisions and branches of the CIA so I’d be able to understand it. All of that went into my book The Phoenix Program.

So I lucked out. Through Colby I had access to the CIA people who created the Phoenix program and its various components. I was able to find out what was on their minds and why they did what they did. That never would have happened if I had gone to the Columbia School of Journalism, or if I’d been working for mainstream media editors for many years. I’d have had a much narrower way of going about the thing. But the CIA officers I spoke with loved the broad view that I was bringing to the subject. They liked me asking them about their philosophy. It enabled me to understand the subject comprehensively. I related to them on a very personal level, and when the book came, they reeled. Colby was furious.

So the New York Times killed the book in its cradle. As Guillermo Jiminez noted in one of our interviews, the book didn’t take off until Open Road Media republished it 25 years later as part of their Forbidden Bookshelf series. Guillermo asked me why my book was chosen for the series, why there was new-found interest in Phoenix, and what the CIA is up to, generally, nowadays.

As I explained, when the book came out in 1990, it got a terrible review in The New York Times. Morley Safer, who’d been a reporter in Vietnam, wrote the review. Safer and the Times killed the book because in it I said Phoenix never would have succeeded if the reporters in Vietnam hadn’t covered for the CIA.

Several senior CIA officers told me the same thing, that some correspondent “was always in my office. He’d bring a bottle of scotch and I’d tell him what was going on.” The celebrity reporters knew what was going on, but they didn’t report about it in exchange for having access.

I said that in the book specifically about The New York Times. I said, “When it comes to the CIA and the press, one hand washes the other. To have access to informed officials, reporters frequently suppress or distort stories. In return, CIA officials leak stories to reporters to whom they owe favors.” I told how, at its most incestuous, reporters and government officials are related. I cited the example of Charles LeMoyne, a Navy officer who ran the CIA’s counter-terror teams for a year in the Delta, and his New York Times correspondent brother James. I said that if Ed Lansdale hadn’t had Joseph Alsop to print his black propaganda in the US, there probably would have been no Vietnam War.

So I not only got the CIA mad at me, I also got the Vietnam press corps angry at me too. Between those two things, the book did not get off to an auspicious start. The Times gave Safer half a page to write his review, which was bizarre. The usual response is just to ignore a book like The Phoenix Program. But The Times Book Review section serves a larger function; it teaches the media elite and “intelligentsia” what to think and how to say it. So Safer said my book was incoherent, because it unraveled the bureaucratic networks that conceal the contradictions between stated CIA policy and operational reality. It exposed Colby as a liar. Safer was upset that I didn’t portray his buddy, Bill Colby, as a symbol of the ruling elite, as a modern-day Odysseus.

Safer vented his professional hatred for me when he wrote the half page review in The New York Times that killed my book in its cradle. [1] And, at the time, I wasn’t surprised that the Times employed Safer to assassinate my book. But I was totally unaware of the personal basis for his animosity.

At the time of the review (October 1990), I thought Safer hated me primarily for accusing the press corps of covering up CIA war crimes. I thought he did it for pecuniary reasons too; Safer’s grandiose and self-congratulatory book on Vietnam had come out a few months before mine. I wrote the Times editor about that conflict, but of course never heard back. And I didn’t have another book published for 14 years.

It wasn’t until 25 years later that I found out that Safer owed William Colby a favor. Safer revealed his incestuous relationship with Colby for the first time at the American Experience conference in 2010. [2]

“I got a call to come and see [Colby] in his office,” Safer explained. “And I walked in – and I had met him; we had no strong relationship at all – but – and [Colby] said, ‘Look, can you disappear for three days?’

(Laughter.) And I said, ‘I guess.’ (Laughter.) And he said, ‘Well, be at the airport – be at (inaudible) at the airport tomorrow morning at 5:30.’”

Bernard Kalb, the moderator, asked Safer if Colby wanted him to bring along a camera crew.

“No, no,” Safer replied. “And I showed up and [Colby] said, ‘Okay, here are the rules. You can see that I’m going on a tour of all the stations. You can’t take notes and you can’t report anything you hear.’ And I spent three days first of all, down in the Delta and they were really, really revealing. There was only one meeting that he would ask me to leave the barracks. And it was fascinating because the stuff that these guys were reporting through whatever filters to you had been so doctored by the time it got to you – I mean, to this day, I still feel constrained in terms of talking about.”

So, Colby introduced Safer to all the top CIA officers in Vietnam. He introduced him to the guys who ran the interrogation/torture centers and the counterterrorism teams. Safer got to see how the CIA crime syndicate was organized and operated. And like Don Corleone dispensing favors in The Godfather, Colby knew that one day Safer would be obligated to return it. Colby, of course, hated me more than Safer did.

That is how the CIA, as the organized crime branch of the US government, functions like the Mafia through its old boy network of complicit media hacks.

Luckily, with the Internet revolution, people aren’t bound by The Times and network news hacks like Safer anymore. They can listen to Russia Today or tune in to Counterpunch and get another side of the story. So Mark Crispin Miller at Open Road chose The Phoenix Program to be the first book they published. And it’s been reborn. Thanks to the advent of the e-book, we’ve reached an audience of concerned and knowledgeable people in a way that wasn’t possible 25 years ago.

It’s also because of these Internet developments that John Brennan, the current director of CIA, thought of reorganizing the CIA into “centers” that have their origin in the Phoenix program. Phoenix is the template for the war on terror and the homeland security boondoggle.

All these things are connected. It’s a vastly different world than it was in 1947 when the CIA was created, or in 1967 when the CIA created the Phoenix program, or in 1990 when my book came out. The nature of the American empire has changed, and what the empire needs from the CIA has changed. The CIA is allocated about $30 billion a year, so the organizational changes are massive undertakings.

If you want to understand the CIA, you have to understand how it’s organized and how it relates to the press and every other thing that’s going on. And that’s what I try to explain in my new book.

Notes.

[1] Behind the scenes, the CIA was doing it’s best to prevent Valentine from completing his research. Valentine found out the CIA was keeping a file on him and, through the ACLU, sued the CIA in federal court. Here’s the link to the documents that were released to Valentine in 1993.

And here’s a link to an article John Prados wrote about the borderline legality of the CIA’s secret attempts to obstruct Valentine.

[2] US Department of State, Media Roundtable Discussion, The American Experience in Southeast Asia, 1946-1975, 29 September 2010.