By Ray McGovern
The rubbish released yesterday by CNN about the blackmail material that the Russians supposedly have on President-elect Trump is not to be taken seriously. The episode is, nonetheless, quite serious.
CIA Director John Brennan seems to have concluded that with his patron/president gone, he (Brennan) will be “thrown under the bus,” as smart people say – and do – in Washington. If the Trump administration folks are as vindictive as Brennan fears (and he has given them lot to be vindictive about), there is much to blame Brennan for, including serious crimes.
It is possible to regard this latest outrage as a kind of prophylactic: If Trump goes after Brennan, the former CIA chief can try to make it appear to be retaliation for “the goods Brennan has on Trump — but (of course) cannot reveal in detail because of the sensitivity of ‘sources and methods’.”
One of our (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) regulars, former CIA operations officer Phil Giraldi, put it succinctly:
At first read, this has all the hallmarks of a clever fabrication, the sort of thing we at CIA used to do in Europe in the 1970s and 1980s.
What’s at Stake: CIA vs. Trump
Chuck Schumer said it all on Jan. 3, when he told Rachel Maddow, “He (Trump) is really dumb to do this.”
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 4, 2017
New Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that President-elect Donald Trump is “being really dumb” by taking on the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia’s cyber activities.
“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”
Big Stakes: And the Winner Will Be …
As far as Obama’s presidency is concerned, the winner has been Brennan – starting seven months before his patron became president. In June 2008, when John Brennan joined the Obama Team, Obama quickly learned who the boss is in Washington. Among other early signs, Sen. Obama immediately went back on his pledge to vote against legislation to hold the giant telecoms (and NSA leaders) harmless for gross violations of the 4th amendment. Here’s a link to what I wrote at the time: http://warisacrime.org/node/34526
VIPS’s considered view (out of hundreds of years of experience in intelligence, and with the input of the former Technical Director of NSA and some of his closest associates) is that the accusations that Russia was responsible for hacking the emails released by WikiLeaks on DNC and Podesta remain without persuasive evidence. It’s hard to prove a negative, but, with all that Ed Snowden has released, we can – and have – come real close. See: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-hacking-intelligence-20170105-story.html
And This Just In …
… from Annie Machon – former UK MI5 officer, whistleblower, who is thoroughly familiar with the shenanigans of MI6 …
“This farrago of nonsense makes the infamous Iraq weapons of mass destruction
report look positively professional in comparison.
“And if, in some parallel universe, these fabrications could conceivably
be true, the leaking to the US media of these alleged reports by a
so-called British MI6 “operative” would have blown the cover of
innumerable highly placed and valuable intelligence sources.
“Such sources are the crown jewels of intelligence work, so if these
reports have any basis in reality, I would expect heads to roll in both
MI6 and the CIA.”
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for a total of 30 years.