By Ray McGovern
— That Bill Casey, Reagan’s CIA Director, has largely succeeded in the objective he set forth at a cabinet meeting in Feb. 1981:
“We’ll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false.”
— The media is the cornerstone of the MICIMATT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-MEDIA-Academia-Think-Tank) complex. Wall Street and Silicon Valley, of course, fit under that rubric — as does what has become of the Democratic (as well as the Republican) Party.
— “Trump Derangement Syndrome” also plays a significant role. The understanding accorded a broken clock — which is correct two times a day — is withheld from anything liar-in-chief Trump says. Accordingly, if he is correct in saying that he was spied upon, and that Russia-gate was a fraud (as Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity has proved), well, the very suggestion that Trump might be telling the truth — if only twice a day — is anathema. (Many are astute enough to realize that this has to do with politics, not truth.)
— The most “progressive” of analysts/editors can feign an inability to understand how the deep expertise of former NSA Technical Directors and other senior NSA analysts, the revelations of Edward Snowden, and the application of the very principles of physics allowed VIPS to prove, as with a theorem, that the DNC emails were leaked, not hacked — QED. That was more than four years ago: (See: https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/ .)
— Nevertheless, Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was able to hide the fact that there was no, repeat no, technical evidence that the Russians — or anyone else — hacked those DNC emails that were so embarrassing to the Clinton campaign. The head of CrowdStrike, Shawn Henry, testified to that under oath on Dec. 5, 2017; Schiff did not release his testimony until May 7, 2020, when he was forced to by the Director of National Intelligence. The NY Times has suppressed Henry’s testimony since May 7. What does that tell you? (See: https://consortiumnews.com/2020/05/09/ray-mcgovern-new-house-documents-sow-further-doubt-that-russia-hacked-the-dnc/ .)
— Simply stated: Russia-gate is too big to fail. The media, the sine qua non for the MICIMATT to succeed, rule the roost. To suggest that Establishment media and politicians are being flat-out dishonest on the “threat” and the frequent “attacks” from Russia is to put yourself, ipso facto, in “Putin’s pocket”. This is dangerous.
— The possible extradition of Julian Assange poses an extremely serious threat to the freedom of the press enshrined in the first amendment, but the corporate media do not give a rat’s patootie. As long as today’s journalists/stenographers keep feeding from the trough of the Security State, and criticize those who don’t as “conspiracy theorists”, they will continue to live high on the hog.
These thoughts, including Casey’s braggadocio, were brought into bas relief yesterday, as I read “Letters from an American”, the blog of Professor Heather Cox Richardson (See:
https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/december-30-2020/comments#comment-957134 ). I wrote the following”
Professor Richardson writes:
“… Trump was eager enough to make sure a Democrat didn’t win that, according to American intelligence services, he was willing to accept the help of Russian operatives. They, in turn, influenced the election through the manipulation of new social media, amplified by what had become by then a Republican echo chamber in which Democrats were dangerous socialists and the Democratic candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was a criminal….”
This is the prevailing narrative but it is seriously mistaken. The trust placed in “American intelligence services” by Establishment media and academe is stunningly misplaced. It seems nothing was learned from their noxious collaboration in adducing pre-Iraq-war “intelligence” that was “uncorroborated, contradicted, or even nonexistent” (Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller, describing the bipartisan results of a five-year investigation). And, speaking of “non-existent”, the evidence for what Richardson writes about Russia-gate is equally “uncorroborated, contradicted, or even nonexistent”. It is, to put it politely, male bovine excrement consumed by the likes of NYT’s David Sanger (of WMD fame) and spit onto the pages of a paper that once bragged about publishing all the news that’s fit to print.
Here’s a small case study:
We no longer have to rely on what David Sanger is fed by “the American intelligence services” to figure out how blaming Russia got its big push. To experienced observers, what was happening was clear enough way back on the first day of the Democratic Party convention and the day that followed.
— July 25, 2016: writer/journalist Patrick Lawrence wrote this:
“How the DNC fabricated a Russian hacker conspiracy to deflect blame for its email scandal,” https://www.salon.com/2016/07/25/shades_of_the_cold_war_how_the_dnc_fabricated_a_russian_hacker_conspiracy_to_deflect_blame_for_its_email_scandal/ (For more on this, see: https://raymcgovern.com/2020/09/30/uh-oh-was-hrc-behind-the-russian-dnc-hack-canard/ )
— July 26, 2016: This day saw the “alleged approval by Hillary Clinton of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services”, according to a letter from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe to Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sept. 29, 2020. (https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/09-29-20_Letter%20to%20Sen.%20Graham_Declassification%20of%20FBI’s%20Crossfire%20Hurricane%20Investigations_20-00912_U_SIGNED-FINAL.pdf .)
In his letter Radcliffe indicates that, according to then-CIA Director John Brennan’s handwritten notes, Brennan briefed President Obama and other senior officials on this information, which came from “Russian intelligence analysis”. The Russian analysis was deemed serious enough that on Sept. 7, 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral to FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok regarding “U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private mail server.” James Comey testified on Oct. 30, 2020 that this does not “ring a bell”.
— July 26, 2016: David Sanger, the NYT’s Chief Washington Correspondent, shows that he “got the Memo”. Sanger co-authors an article with Eric Schmitt titled: “Spy Agency Consensus Grows That Russia Hacked D.N.C.”
(See: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/27/us/politics/spy-agency-consensus-grows-that-russia-hacked-dnc.html .)
“WASHINGTON — American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have ‘high confidence’ that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee, according to federal officials who have been briefed on the evidence.”
About Sanger: those who were alert before the Iraq war may remember that David Sanger was second only to Judith Miller in spreading the party line on the existence of WMD in Iraq. For example, Sanger apparently “got the Memo” from his intelligence leakers shortly after July 20, 2002, when then-CIA Director George Tenet told his British counterpart that “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. …” (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-secret-downing-street-memo-xh9h29xhqzr )
Lapping up “intelligence” from sources in the intelligence community nine days later, Sanger’s sewing machine went into full swing weaving WMD out of whole cloth. With co-author Thom Shanker, Sanger flat-facted WMD into Iraq no fewer than seven times in “U.S. Exploring Baghdad Strike As Iraq Option on July 29, 2002”, of July 29, 2020 (http://nytimes.com/2002/07/29/world/us-exploring-baghdad-strike-as-iraq-option.html ).
Fast forward to 2016: In my view, Trump won in 2016 mostly because too many Americans saw Mrs. Clinton as a deeply flawed candidate. Perhaps enough voters saw through the “Russia-hacked” diversion and actually read some of the DNC emails showing how Bernie was cheated out of the nomination — maybe enough disenchanted Bernie supporters to make a difference and give clown Trump the edge in key states. Attentive voters (who read more than the Establishment media) could also see that Clinton was let off the hook by the same Security State seniors who did their best to sabotage Trump as candidate (and then succeeded in emasculating him as president). But you will not read about this in what has become of the New York Times regurgitating leaks from “American intelligence services”.
I’m trying to understand. I am from New York City, was educated there, and I remember how much trust most of us put in the NY Times several decades ago. Most of my well educated friends still believe it publishes all the news that’s fit to print — and that if it’s not in the Times it didn’t happen and cannot be true. And Trump Derangement Syndrome makes it virtually impossible for them to believe that anything Trump has claimed — like Russia-gate being a hoax — could possibly be true.
In addition, I am aware that my intelligence veteran friends and I enjoy the freedom of not having to teach, administer and mark exams, and navigate university bureaucracies. I appreciate that, truly, just as I did during the many years I spent as a CIA analyst.
But still. Well, let me put it this way: What are we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and the work we have painstakingly put forward on these neuralgic issues? Chopped liver?
I close with Voltaire and John Adams:
“If you want to know who controls you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize.” Voltaire
“Be not intimidated… nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.” John Adams