September 7 (56 minutes)
Among the issues discussed:
— Rob asks about CIA, as an institution, missing the fall of the Soviet Union: It was the result of ideological blinders, rank ambition, and naked careerism. (No one was held responsible, so the same malleable managers concocted fraudulent “intelligence” for war on Iraq.)
— Coup in Kiev (“most blatant coup in history,” advertised on YouTube two and a half weeks before); predictable reaction by Moscow catalyzes plummet in Russia-U.S. relations.
— How Putin handled Crimea, contrasted with the “ukaz”-approach of Khrushchev 60 years earlier.
— Donald Trump clearly not his own man. Best evidence of that is letting John Bolton (one of the well known Washington “crazies”) be foisted opon him; we are talking about the criminally insane.
— The President’s Daily Brief: how it was with Reagan, compared with Nixon and Ford. And how even that (formerly sacrosanctity honest) briefing came to be corrupted — especially under George Tenet and Mikey Morell.
— After the fraudulent intelligence “justifying” war on Iraq, honest leaders and analysts played a huge role in preventing an even more disastrous war with Iran. Camelot for intelligence analysis.
— Freudian slip: Ray says CIA instead of NY Times; recovers and refers (correctly) to the NYT as a “CIA Annex.” Did the NYT help GW Bush win a second term in 2004 by hiding — for 15 months — what James Risen had unearthed months before the election about gross violations of the 4th Amendment order by Bush and Cheney? Jill Abramson having the temerity to actually brag about what the Times did reflects the conviction that the American people should leave it to the hoi aristoi of the NYT to decide what to tell them — what should be withheld and what may be “fit to print.”
— “You are a ‘conspiracy theorist’” = the perfect squelch. Used effectively by Allen Dulles, for example, to marginalize those objecting to having him (one of the prime suspects of involvement in the assassination of John Kennedy) pretty much run the Warren Commission.
— CIA “Vault 7” cyber-tools revealed in March 2017 via a leak from a CIA whistleblower. One tool, Marble Framework can — inadvertently or ‘advertently’ — leave behind Cyrillic writing to “obfuscate” who hacked into a computer or server. This tool was used in 2016. Might this have anything to do with hacking blamed on Russia?
Reluctant to connect any such dots, the NYT has avoided Marble Framework like the plague. Fortunately, Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post did not “get the memo” in time. Those interested can dig out her write-up of Marble Framework at:
WikiLeaks described the Vault 7 disclosures as “the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.” Retaliation was swift in coming. Less than two weeks after the Marble Framework disclosure, Trump administration heavyweight, then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo, labeled Assange “and his ilk … demons” running “a non-state hostile intelligence service.” Giving hypocrisy a bad name, Pompeo added that Assange is “a coward hiding behind a screen.”
Pompeo’s speech was, pure and simple, meretricious demagoguery, even allowing for the fact that Pompeo may sincerely believe in demons. No recent invective quite as bad comes immediately to mind. In Pompeo we have corporeal proof that you can get all “A’s” at West Point and still flunk life — not to mention Duty, Honor, Country and the U.S. Constitution.
It took Pompeo a year, but he has been able to persuade the Ecuadorian government to hold Assange in virtual solitary confinement in its embassy in London, where he has been held incommunicado since late March 2018. The odds are probably no better than even that Assange would rather be in Kansas, if Pompeo represents the kind of folks Kansans celebrate.