Humint Events Online: One Reason I Hate Trump Is He Makes Me Defend the CIA and the Deep State

Sunday, March 12, 2017

One Reason I Hate Trump Is He Makes Me Defend the CIA and the Deep State

Specifically, I'm referring to the recent wikileaks release of CIA hacking tools.

Max Boot makes good points here:
Why would Wikileaks choose to release all of these valuable secrets about CIA hacking capabilities?
Recall that our own intelligence community has established that Wikileaks is basically a front for Russian intelligence. It was used to release a treasure trove of stolen Democratic Party emails last year with which Vladimir Putin sought to influence the outcome of the election.
If this was indeed a Russian operation, it raises the question of why any intelligence service would go public with its discoveries instead of utilizing them for its own covert purposes—i.e., to sharpen its own hacking abilities and defend against CIA hacks?
The FSB and GRU could even hack other countries and implicate the CIA. A clue to why these secrets are now being dumped into the public domain may be offered in the fact that U.S. intelligence officials say they learned of the loss of these files last year.
That would have given U.S. intelligence plenty of time to change the hacking techniques that have been compromised, rendering the files of little operational use to the FSB and GRU. But they remain very useful for purposes of embarrassing and discrediting their main adversary, the CIA.
To show how the leaks have already accomplished their purpose, consider this article in the New York Times. Its headline: “With Claims of C.I.A. Hacking, How to Protect Your Devices.” To a casual reader, the implication is clear: The CIA is spying on American citizens, and you need to protect your data from Big Brother.
In reality, the Wikileaks files reveal nothing of the sort. This is not Edward Snowden Redux. Snowden did leak information on NSA domestic surveillance—albeit of a benign and legal sort. The NSA was revealed to have gathered “metadata” on phone calls but not on their contents and Internet data that it could later search under the proper FISA procedures authorized by a federal judge.
By contrast, there is nothing in the latest Wikileaks release about the CIA using any of its hacking tools—such as a method for allegedly turning some Samsung smart TV’s into listening devices—for domestic surveillance, much less for illegal domestic surveillance.
But how may news consumers will realize this? Most will no doubt be left with the vague impression that the CIA is doing something wrong, which is exactly the notion that the FSB and GRU want to propagate.
This, in turn, distracts attention from Vladimir Putin’s misdeeds—such as his war crimes in Syria, his illegal invasion of Ukraine, and his murders of journalists and dissidents—by making it appear that it is the U.S. in general, and the CIA in particular, which is the real culprit on the international scene.
This is a trope that is increasingly popular on both the far-left and the far-right. Consider this article on Common Dreams by leftist activist Norman Solomon, denigrating the importance of Russian interference in our election last year based on Wikileaks. “Contrary to all the public relations work that U.S. intelligence agencies have generously done for them,” he wrote, “Russians don’t even rank as peripheral to the obstacles and prospects for American democracy. Rest assured, throughout the long history of the United States, we haven’t needed foreigners to get the job done.”
No doubt this sentiment is similar to the reaction that President Trump and some of his aides have to the leaks, which seem to suggest—without offering any actual evidence—that the U.S. intelligence community undermines our democracy more than the Kremlin does.
That plays neatly into Trump’s attempts to demonize the intelligence community for leaks about his connections to Russia; he has even compared their tactics to those of the Nazis.
Indeed, the fact that the Wikileaks release came only three days after Trump accused the U.S. intelligence community of colluding with President Obama to wiretap him should raise suspicions about whether this leak is designed, like previous Wikileaks releases, to bolster his political position.
It is, of course, hard to divine the exact motivations behind this release. But of one thing we can be certain: Wikileaks is hostile to the United States, and this release was designed to damage U.S. national security. News coverage which does not put this fact front and center is, alas, aiding and abetting what is likely a Kremlin-directed campaign of subversion.

Boot expands on these points here:
... On Saturday, recall, Trump was making wild-eyed accusations that Obama had ordered the U.S. intelligence community to wiretap him. “How low has President Obama gone to tapp (sic) my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
The White House could not come up with one iota of evidence to support this irresponsible allegation, which was denied by FBI Director James Comey and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
But Trump would not be dissuaded from pursuing this charge, which serves as a convenient distraction from the far more serious accusations of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin while Russia was interfering with the presidential campaign.
Is it just a coincidence that WikiLeaks dumped a massive database pertaining to CIA hacking and wiretapping just three days after Trump made wiretapping a major political issue? Perhaps so. But there is cause for suspicion.
In the first place, WikiLeaks has often timed its leaks for maximum political impact. It released 20,000 stolen DNC emails just three days before the Democratic National Convention on July 25, 2016. As expected, WikiLeaks generated headlines about DNC staffers disparaging Sen. Bernie Sanders, buttressing a Trump campaign effort to prevent Clinton from consolidating Sanders supporters. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned as a result, and the Clinton campaign suffered significant public relations damage.
In the second place, WikiLeaks, which has often leaked American but never Russian secrets, has been identified by the U.S. intelligence community as a front for Russian intelligence. In January, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a declassified estimate that found “with high confidence that Russian military intelligence … relayed material to WikiLeaks.” This was done with a definite purpose: “Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.”
Trump has consistently resisted the intelligence agency’s conclusions, insisting that some 400-pound couch potato might have committed the hacking before grudgingly accepting the findings but continuing to claim that the Russian hack had no impact on the election. (Given that 70,000 votes in three states were his margin of victory, how does he know what affected the outcome and what didn’t? And if WikiLeaks was so inconsequential, why did he tout its revelations in almost every appearance during the last month of the campaign?)
The intelligence community’s finding that Putin helped him win the election spurred Trump to pursue a vendetta against it. For example, he accused the spooks — with no support — of being behind BuzzFeed’s publication of a damning dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer claiming that the Kremlin had compiled compromising materials on him. Trump outrageously tweeted: “Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?”
His animus against the intelligence agencies has continued down to his more recent accusations that they allowed themselves to be used by Obama to wiretap him. The consistent (if hardly believable) storyline from Trump is that he has no connections to Russia, and that he is a victim of the nefarious machinations of the American “deep state.”
It is significant, therefore, that one of the major storylines to emerge from the latest WikiLeaks release is that the CIA supposedly has a program to reuse computer codes from foreign hackers, thus disguising CIA fingerprints on a hacking operation. Never mind that there is no evidence that the codes used to break into the DNC were part of this CIA database.
Right-wing outlets are nevertheless trumpeting these revelations with headlines such as this one on Breitbart: “WikiLeaks: CIA Uses ‘Stolen’ Malware to ‘Attribute’ Cyberattacks to Nations Like Russia.” Russian-controlled Internet “bots” are also said to be playing up these claims online. The implication is clear. Trump was a victim of a “false flag” operation wherein CIA hackers broke into the DNC and blamed the Russians. This may be nutty, but it’s eminently believable to an audience conditioned to believe that 9/11 was an inside job and that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged — favorite tropes of the radio talk-show host Alex Jones, whose work Trump has praised.
Other WikiLeaks revelations — for instance, that the CIA can use Samsung smart TVs as listening devices — lend further credence to Trump’s charge that he was secretly wiretapped.
Quite apart from its specifics, the WikiLeaks release changes the subject after a bad few days for Trump highlighted by Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s decision to recuse himself from any Kremlingate probe after he was revealed to have lied under oath when he denied meeting any Russian representatives. Last week it was Trump on the defensive.
Now it’s his nemeses in the U.S. intelligence community who are answering embarrassing questions about how this leak could have occurred and the contents of the leaked information. Again, maybe this is entirely coincidental, but WikiLeaks’ history of being used by Russian intelligence to support Trump should lead to much greater scrutiny not only of who leaked this information — is there a mole in the CIA? — but why it was released now.
Even if there is no active collusion between the White House and the Kremlin, the extent to which their agendas coincide is striking. Both Putin and Trump want to discredit the U.S. intelligence community because they see it as an obstacle to their power.
There Is No Deep State: The problem in Washington is not a conspiracy against the President; it’s the President himself.
... Some of Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters (and, in a different, cautionary spirit, a few people on the left) have taken to using “the Deep State” to describe a nexus of institutions—the intelligence agencies, the military, powerful financial interests, Silicon Valley, various federal bureaucracies—that, they believe, are conspiring to smear and stymie a President and bring him low.
“Deep State” comes from the Turkish derin devlet, a clandestine network, including military and intelligence officers, along with civilian allies, whose mission was to protect the secular order established, in 1923, by the father figure of post-Ottoman Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. It was behind at least four coups, and it surveilled and murdered reporters, dissidents, Communists, Kurds, and Islamists.
The Deep State takes a similar form in Pakistan, with its powerful intelligence service, the I.S.I., and in Egypt, where the military establishment is tied to some of the largest business interests in the country.
One day earlier this month in Palm Beach, just after 6 A.M., the President went on a vengeful Twitter binge. Trump reads little but has declared himself “the Ernest Hemingway of a hundred and forty characters,” and that morning he levelled what the Times rightly called “one of the most consequential accusations made by one president against another in American history.”
With no evidence, save the ravings of the talk-radio host Mark Levin and an account, in Breitbart News, of Levin’s charges of a “silent coup,” Trump accused President Obama of tapping his “wires” at Trump Tower. He compared the unsubstantiated offense to “McCarthyism” and “Nixon/Watergate.”
By now, Trump’s tactics are familiar. Schooled by Roy Cohn, Joseph McCarthy’s protégé, in the dark arts of rage, deflection, insult, and conspiracy-mongering, Trump ignited his political career with “birtherism,” and he has kept close by his side Steve Bannon, formerly of Breitbart, who traffics in tinfoil-hat theories of race, immigration, and foreign affairs. Together, they have artfully hijacked the notion of “fake news,” turning it around as a weapon of insult, diversion, division, and attack.
One does not have to be ignorant of the C.I.A.’s abuses—or of history, in general—to reject the idea of an American Deep State. Previous Presidents have felt resistance, or worse, from elements in the federal bureaucracies: Eisenhower warned of the “military-industrial complex”; L.B.J. felt pressure from the Pentagon; Obama’s Syria policy was rebuked by the State Department through its “dissent channel.”
But to use the term as it is used in Turkey, Pakistan, or Egypt is to assume that all these institutions constitute part of a subterranean web of common and nefarious purpose. The reason that Trump is so eager to take a conspiratorial view of everything from the C.I.A. to CNN is that an astonishing array of individuals have spoken out or acted against him.
Above all, he is infuriated that intelligence and investigative services have been looking into possible Russian connections to him, his advisers, his campaign, and his financial interests. Bannon and Trump, according to the Post, refer to the Deep State only in private, but their surrogates feel no hesitation about doing so openly. “We are talking about the emergence of a Deep State led by Barack Obama, and that is something we should prevent,” Representative Steve King, of Iowa, said. “The person who understands this best is Steve Bannon, and I would think that he’s advocating to make some moves to fix it.” (snip)
The problem in Washington is not a Deep State; the problem is a shallow man—an untruthful, vain, vindictive, alarmingly erratic President. In order to pass fair and proper judgment, the public deserves a full airing of everything from Trump’s tax returns and business entanglements to an accounting of whether he has been, in some way, compromised. Journalists can, and will, do a lot. But the courts, law enforcement, and Congress—without fear or favor—are responsible for such an investigation. Only if government officials take to heart their designation as “public servants” will justice prevail.

I'm not saying that I defend the CIA and the Deep State against EVERYTHING, of course. I just defend them against the incredible delusion and dishonesty of Trump. The Deep State IS a problem, but I view Trump as a far worse problem-- an imminent threat to the country in a way that the CIA and deep state are not.


Blogger the mighty wak said...

why don't you research something important instead of worrying about trump.
here's a good start:

oh and the so-called russian hackers?:

new leaks reveal the CIA posed as russian hackers

11:30 PM  
Blogger spooked said...

yeah, because Fukushma is mostly hype and the CIA posing as Russian hackers is rightwing BS

6:20 PM  
Blogger the mighty wak said...

fukushima is mostly hype?
wow. i guess radiation pouring continuously nonstop into the air and sea is no big deal.
ok stick to the important issues like what trump had for breakfast and why you hate his frosted flakes.

12:55 PM  
Blogger the mighty wak said...

CIA posing as russian hackers is rightwing BS? but CNN telling us "trump was elected because russia hacked our election" is totally legit?

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your mistake, in my view, is presuming the media and the secret services are somehow separate from the "Trump Faction." They're using this to rehabilitate their own image among "progressives," as well as George W. Bush.

I think the establishment's illusory campaign against him was far more of a factor in his ascension to power than any foreign intervention. While it's clear that the Republican Party (and to a lesser extent the "Democrats") have strange ties to the Russian state, it's difficult for me to separate truth from disinformation as far as these allegations are concerned.

If the GRU told you they *didn't* help the Trump campaign, would you believe them? If not, there's no reason to believe FBI and CIA when they say that they *did.* The longstanding policy among hardliners in both the U.S. and Russia has been to escalate tensions for mutually assured profits, and for them this "new cold war" is a dream come true.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why place your faith in the same media that brought you the 9/11 narrative and, in many ways, the Trump presidency?

Do you really think they "hate him" when they're seeing their ratings skyrocket?

And there's nothing inherently partisan about the *distinct possibility* that C.I.A. could use the current situation to launch a false flag operation to escalate tensions with Russia. The current psywar has created a dynamic in which much of the nominally 'pacifist' left would cheer for military aggression so long as it was against "the bad guys." Sound familiar?

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend" is deeply wrongheaded and dangerous logic. This is what I've had to (repeatedly) tell so many progressives who are always apologizing for Trump because of their hatred for the controlled opposition.

3:14 PM  

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