What it's like inside the CIA during Donald Trump's "Deep State" purge

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/02/19/what-its-like-inside-the-cia.html

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I’ve mentioned before that whenever a conservative in the US mentions “socialism” they are really just thinking “Stalinism”-- it’s all the same to them.

Ironically, so much of what the Republican party has become stinks of Stalinism to me: party before country, subservience to the whims of the leader, belief in party talking points over cold hard facts.

I think this was (no joke) part of an episode of Law & Order. Cops arrest what they think is a terrorist, only to get stopped by the CIA who is also tailing the suspect. . . and the suspect is actually working for the FBI.

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Thanks for this post. It articulated some of my own complicated feelings about Trump’s criticism of our intelligence agencies better than I could have.

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so here’s the thing though, do the idiots on the left supporting bloomberg and inexplicably endorsing him, do they think he is going to be different?

bloomberg is just going to be a “kinder gentler” trump, not actually better, whatever whim he wants to force, it’s going to happen

sanders is far from my first choice but one thing I am comfortable with, the fbi, cia and justice department aren’t going to be his sock puppet

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It feels like the Trump administration is inspiring, in some quarters, misty eyed nostalgia for the days of competent war criminals.

This is also making me think of the Milgram experiments, whose actual lesson, often misrepresented, was that people were willing to go too far if it was part of a cause they believed in. So institutions like the CIA are happy (for some value of “happy”) to commit atrocities in furtherance of shared, core institutional ideologies, but the narcissistic impulses of an incompetent moron who happened to stumble into office doesn’t inspire much willingness to go beyond norms.

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The list of CIA transgressions and outright lawlessness during my lifetime is too long to list. From selling arms to terrorists, to getting in bed with horrible murderous dictators, to torture of innocent people, to experimenting with LSD on people, to refusing to share vital information with the FBI, to secret assassination attempts, to outright lying to Congress. The list goes on.

That said, I admit to hoping that the CIA would somehow manage to rein in the worst impulses of the Pussy Grabber in Chief, or would release some kind of very damaging information on him that might finally turn even his most ardent supporters against him.

Unfortunately, that is a vain hope, especially when Gina Haspel, who has made a career of hiding in the shadows while committing real crimes against humanity, is the CIA leader. Even if the CIA did the right thing, it would probably be for the wrong reasons.

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I could see Trump as a problematic ally on this issue if he was pushing for changes to laws and surveillance procedures that would provide protections to people other than himself and his allies. But of course that’s not what is happening.

Trump isn’t calling out injustice because he’s caught up in the crossfire. He’s calling out perceived slights to himself. Similarly, he wasn’t calling for sentencing reform after his buddy Roger Stone was facing a potential 7-9 years in prison—he was calling for special treatment in that one particular case.

I can’t see my way through a scenario in which Trump’s criticism of America’s intelligence agencies helps anyone who isn’t closely aligned with him.

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Harry Truman:

Excerpt from http://www.maebrussell.com/Prouty/Harry%20Truman’s%20CIA%20article.html

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It’s the same with Trump’s tirades against “fake news”, which some people mistake for serious criticism of the news media rather than slurs against anyone who publishes true news damaging to Trump.

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So. Devil’s advocate here…

Trump does have a point about the secret services. Well one point specifically.

The Christopher Steele dossier. It was leaked, by spooks, to Buzzfeed.

A man is elected President via a democratic process. One or more of his own country’s spies decide to leak to the press a set of claims they know will damage him. Those same spies are not democratically elected.

In the 60s in the UK a spy named Peter Wright did the same thing. In the 80s he admitted to it being treason in his autobiography. His acts in the 60s are widely considered to be treason.

What’s treason then is treason now.

On this one point, Trump (alas) has a point.

An unelected spy with their own political views decides to interfere in democracy without any checks and balances. So what’s that make spies? The political party that dares not speak its name?

Trump’s numerous and obvious crimes since then do not reduce a potential act of treason’s impact. Liberals should take this on board and not skip over it as they have been imo.

The Steele dossier was a collection of reports compiled by a private company. Regarding the dossier’s leak to Buzzfeed, that came from a then-aide to Senator John McCain, not from US “spooks,” spies, or “secret services.”

I disagree. The US government intelligence community neither compiled the Steele dossier nor leaked it to Buzzfeed, as you suggested.

Huh? Who, exactly, should we be prosecuting for treason, and on what basis?

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What’s treason in the UK is not treason in the US.

You ought to read the constitution before trying to equate the Steele dossier with treason.

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Likewise, Congressmen like Devin Nunes who keep complaing about FISA abuses targetting Trump don’t have any problem voting to renew the diabolical FISA program. They don’t see a systemic problem, they see a targetting white Republicans problem.

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And oh, hey, our racist chucklefuck ambassador to Germany with absolutely no intelligence experience is set to take over as acting DNI tomorrow. I’d suggest that’s one more data point indicating that Trump is not a good ally for those who want to reign in intelligence abuses.

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Nonsense. Treason is Treason. Spy stuff.

  • violating the sovereign’s wife, or the sovereign’s eldest unmarried daughter, or the sovereign’s eldest son’s wife (only if the eldest son is also heir to the throne)

oh.

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Whether Donny Two Scoops won the White House through a “democratic process” is also up for debate

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If “democratic process” determined the winner then a man wouldn’t have won the 2016 election at all.

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That goes double for the BBS. Trust me, the devil can do fine without your help.

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Le Carre had already used most everything in Spy Catcher as plot devices and none of it was remotely earth shattering to anyone who cared. The furore sold some books for Wright though.

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Wasn’t it provided to Buzzfeed by Steele or Glenn Simpson?