Intel-for-Hire Undermines U.S. Intelligence (Part 2)

Intel-for-Hire is a multilayered phenomenon that’s undermining the integrity of U.S. intelligence, argues George Eliason. In this installment, he looks at the second tier of this system. (Click here for part one. Part three is here.)

By George Eliason

In part one of this series, we looked at the top level of the privatized intelligence community showing that large for-profit companies and individual actors have other interests in mind than the public good. Work that was previously considered inherently governmental is routinely contracted out to people who only serve their own self-interest, which may be at odds with what most people might expect from intelligence – for example, unbiased information to guide sensible policy-making decisions.

Now we’ll look at the next level down – the smaller companies, specialty companies, and practitioners that service the top level. We’ll see how they fit in the picture and work in real life.

In 2016, Tim Shorrock wrote an article describing the five intelligence giants that control domestic policy, foreign policy, military, and civilian leaders with the products they sell. They create the information, analyze the information, and decide who the President of the United States will see as an enemy and who as a friend.

The smaller companies provide the resources for them to work with and base their reports on. In the digital age intelligence has become a buyer’s market. If the larger company profits more by finding Russian influence at work at a grammar school Christmas play, then that’s the conclusion that will be drawn. If you aren’t up to the task, someone else will provide the “proof.” After all, that’s where the money is.

One of the main players in this process is the Chertoff Group, founded by former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. From the Chertoff Group, through the Alliance for Securing Democracy, through the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and through the Hamilton 68 Dashboard – which purports to track “Russian influence operations on Twitter” – the information is distilled and passed down to the mid-level players.

Michael Chertoff from 2005-2009 ran the massive Department of Homeland Security, where he was criticized for exempting the DHS from following laws on everything from the environment to religious freedom. A report issued by the Congressional Research Service said at the time that the delegation of unchecked powers to Chertoff was unprecedented. He was also known for railing against international law, warning that treaties such as the Geneva Conventions were placing undue constraints on U.S. actions abroad.

As a long-time insider – in both the public and private sector – he is one of the top figures in the U.S. intelligence-security complex.

U.S. (and Foreign) Government Contractors

Private sector services mirror what they do for government including Intel-for-Hire, espionage, information operations, direct action, and state-sized propaganda operations. This is work that the government has stated on many occasions needs to remain with the agencies that can be held responsible to the public – and not to private companies that aren’t.

The contractors and companies work both inside and outside U.S. government circles. They sometimes work for foreign governments. When they are in the private sector, they have no problem attacking and harassing U.S. citizens as well as the rest of the global community. Wherever their clients point, they fire.

This is the part some of the worst offenders take very seriously. In their world, they are James Bond and destroying the reputations of innocent people is a service to their country, and keeps their bank accounts flush with money. In their minds, they are this generation’s super-patriots, when in fact, as soon as what they do is opened to inspection, they are common criminals.

People with no security clearances and radical political agendas have state-sized cyber tools at their disposal and can use them for their own political agendas, private business, and personal vendettas the same way they use CIA’s Vault 7 hacking tools for state projects. And this has been going on for years.

In a Sept. 2013 Reuters article, Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union, said the reported incidents of NSA employees’ violations of the law are likely “the tip of the iceberg” of lax data safeguards. The laws guiding the NSA’s spying authority in the first place are a bigger issue, he said. “If you only focus on instances in which the NSA violated those laws, you’re missing the forest for the trees,” Jaffer said. “The bigger concern is not with willful violations of the law but rather with what the law itself allows.”

The companies and individual actors sell information. For some, this is the basis of how they market their services. They spy on other companies – on regular people – commit espionage and run legally dubious information operations against civilians.

But because of the work they do for both the U.S. government and private corporations, few restrictions are placed on them. Where they are supposed to be supervised by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), in some cases they are supervising themselves and other companies and training DNI agencies to act like them.

Anything marked as “intelligence” is also designated top secret by the all of the DNI agencies, so even something that is originally open-source information becomes “top secret” once it is earmarked for an agency. This is being done on a regular basis at different levels.

Legal Gray Zones

Although some laws are in place restricting these activities, there are legal gray zones that these intelligence players skirt around and operate in when committing acts against the American people. They have identified the key areas of the law and made sure there are built-in loopholes, which Congress keeps in place following hearings at which these people often testify as expert witnesses.

In some cases, they wear their chutzpah on their sleaves.

On September 21, 2015, Joel Harding, who describes himself as an “Information Warfare and IO expert, Strategic Communications, Cyberwar, Ex-Special Forces,” posted an advertisement making clear the brazenness with which these privatized spooks operate.

“Ladies, Gentlemen, and everyone in between,” he wrote. “I am building a database of planners, operators, logisticians, hackers, and anyone wanting to be involved with special activities I will call ‘inform and influence activities’.”

He noted that he had received various suggestions to help organize operations against “anti-Western elements.”

“No government approval, assistance or funding,” he claimed. “This skirts legalities. This is not explicitly illegal and it may not even be legal, at this point. That grey area extends a long way.” In soliciting resumes, he told prospective partners that if they “have hands on experience of a less than legal nature, you might not want to admit illegal work.”

The first industry hotshot to jump up to help was Andrew Weisburd.

Together with Clint Watts and J.M. Berger, Weisburd has testified to Congress as an expert from the intelligence and security industry. To advance their industry’s profitability, they work with friendly lawmakers to widen those legal gray areas.

Lawmakers, in turn, collect hefty campaign contributions from the industry. In addition, they sometimes get to hear and see intelligence that they may not be authorized to hear and see. Since senators and congressmen are not permitted to look at classified intelligence outside of their mandates on particular intelligence committees, the system of Intel-for-Hire enables privately gathered intelligence to make it to congressional eyes before it is classified.

Outsourcing Intelligence

Despite lacking professional credentials, a commitment to public service, or the minimum amount of vetting that would go into a security clearance background check, these private-sector spies collect intelligence that is passed along and ultimately may be included in the President’s Daily Briefing.

In other words, consultants and “public affairs professionals” with little actual experience in the professional intelligence community – some of whom may have an axe to grind or are just trying to make a buck – can help decide who is an enemy of the state. That’s the reality we are left with even though it sounds like a surreal B-grade movie.

If Weisburd or his partner Clint Watts sound familiar it’s because it is their work testifying in front of Congress in the spring of 2017 on Russian influence on the 2016 election and in social media that is pushing policy and leading us into a new Cold War.

Weisburd and Watts have also established much of the groundwork on which every other Russian menace story – attacking Ukraine, hacking elections, etc. – is based on. Their idea of countering Russian influence has been to take out American, Canadian, and European English language websites owned by citizens of those countries. As Joel Harding’s slogan makes clear, it is a strategy based on information warfare: “To Inform is to Influence.”

Here’s how the parts tie together.

These experts are the “small players” that developed the Hamilton 68 Dashboard for the German Marshall Fund, which is part of the Alliance for Securing Democracy that Michael Chertoff advises.

The dashboard is “an interactive dashboard displaying the near-real-time output of Russian Influence Operations on Twitter—or RIOT, if you’re a fan of on-the-nose acronyms,” according to J.M. Berger. He says that it’s the product of a research collaboration that includes himself, Clint Watts, Andrew Weisburd, Jonathon Morgan and the German Marshall Fund.

So now we have Michael Chertoff advising and supporting the work of Weisburd, Watts, Berger, and possibly Weisburd partner Joel Harding.

It’s just a fact of life at some point, somehow, somewhere, someone is going to take a look at the quality of the work you do and decide if it was worth hiring you or if you are just another scam story trying to stay on the federal dole.

This is that day for the Hamilton 68 Dashboard crew.

Upon closer inspection, it’s a safe bet that many of the people called “Russian trolls” that are allegedly destroying American democracy aren’t Russian or on Russian payrolls at all. They are Americans expressing political views and sharing articles.

The sampling that Clint Watt’s and Andrew Weisburd’s failed Hamilton 68 Dashboard uses is tiny and easily skewed. If a handful of people can generate the second highest hash tag position, the “real time” tracking of Russian propaganda is totally undermined.

More troubling, in recent years more of these Intel-for-Hire contractors have gone offline working with direct action units in other countries that are committing murder. More on this in a later installment.

George Eliason is an American journalist who lives and works in the Donbass region of Ukraine. For part three of this series, please click here.

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55 comments for “Intel-for-Hire Undermines U.S. Intelligence (Part 2)

  1. RBC
    February 15, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Their corporate logo (not surprisingly) looks like a prison gate.

  2. Joel Harding
    February 15, 2018 at 6:44 am

    It’s quite curious, do you stay up late night, George, and make this crap up?

    • Anon
      February 15, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      Troll alert; please do not respond.

  3. integer
    February 14, 2018 at 3:15 am

    Nice work. FWIW it’s Andrew, not Aaron, Weisburd.

    • integer
      February 14, 2018 at 3:26 am

      While I’m here, I might as well mention that I’m pretty sure Andrew Weisburd and Clint Watts were spreading disinformation over at Naked Capitalism using the handle Andrew Watts. I’m also fairly sure that Andrew Watts, author of books such as “The War Planners”, is their creation. I had a few interesting experiences after I started looking into these clowns. Heh.

    • Consortiumnews.com
      February 14, 2018 at 5:01 am

      Duly noted and corrected. Thanks.

  4. Zachary Smith
    February 14, 2018 at 2:36 am

    Now we’ll look at the next level down – the smaller companies, specialty companies, and practitioners that service the top level. We’ll see how they fit in the picture and work in real life.

    That early part of the essay struck a chord with me, for I immediately thought of the Equifax “leak”. As I understand it, that company’s reason for existence is to collect and hold information – LOTS of information about US citizens. Selling access to their database was presumably how they made their money. WHAT IF they’d been doing some side business, or some Big Brass type decided that was a money-making branch worth pursuing. What better way to cover up the deed than to announce a “hack” of their operations. Is there any possible way anybody could sort out the “legal” vs the “illegal” sales of information?

    Everything we do is under the watchful eye of Big Something these days. Not much I can do about every phone call I make being recorded, or every email I send or receive being monitored, or every Google Search I make being stored forever. BUT, voluntarily giving the bastards even more than that is entirely nuts.

    Talk down to Siri like she’s a mere servant – your safety demands it
    Voice assistants get samples of our voice that can be remixed and faked

    Found that at the Naked Capitalism site this morning. People keep these things around, and the devices are listening ALL THE TIME! A simple hack and they’ve got enough of your conversations to construct fake ones where you discuss your kiddy porn, or cheating on the wife, or your plans to build a ‘device’ of mass destruction.

    h**ps://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/02/12/voice_assistants_remixed_and_faked/

    As expected, this series continues to be excellent.

  5. Kathy Woods
    February 13, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Again, amazing article. It’s jaw dropping and yet makes so much sense. It fills in the blanks for several stories currently in the news.

  6. Lois Gagnon
    February 13, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks for your work on this George even if it makes me feel even more hopeless that we can find our way out of this morass. I just hope it all comes crashing down on the heads of the blood suckers involved.

  7. Simeon Sahaydachny
    February 13, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Is this by some chance the same author who was several years back putting his name on a series of screeds on OpEdnews.com purporting to justify Putin’s aggression in Crimea and in eastern Ukraine? Caveat emptor!

    • Lois Gagnon
      February 13, 2018 at 6:27 pm

      Ukraine was a US backed coup. The Nazis we put in charge committed atrocities in eastern Ukraine. And the people of Crimea voted to go back to Russia. You would have too if you were faced with that violent mob of Russia hating thugs. You can read all about it in Robert Parry’s archived articles on this site.

    • Zachary Smith
      February 14, 2018 at 2:20 am

      …aggression in Crimea and in eastern Ukraine? Caveat emptor!

      I’m guessing either Hillary Bot or Ukraine Patriot.

      That “aggression” business reminds me of how the neo-Confederates used to refer The War Of Northern Aggression. Damned Yankees were entirely to blame for attacking the innocent and peace-loving South while striving to break the strong emotional bonds between the laid-back darkies and their loving/caring owners.

      • Nancy
        February 14, 2018 at 2:36 pm

        The Yankees were not innocent and peace-loving either. The Civil War was like any other war–all about profits.
        And Abraham Lincoln was certainly not the “Great Emancipator.”

    • hyperbola
      February 14, 2018 at 8:36 am
  8. Dr. Ip
    February 13, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    How many of the “Russian” trolls are actually working for the Chertoff gang? It’s so easy to hire boiler-rooms full of trolls anywhere in Ukraine or, really, anywhere in the world. Just hook them up with a VPN to a”Russian” relay link and let them loose – of course with the propaganda from the playbook provided by their masters.

    Remaining cynical – as is my job – this practice is open to all players, and has been used successfully by entertainment companies to promote their product/artists on YouTube and social media.

    Watching RT lately I was astounded at how nationalistic and right wing their broadcasts have become. And anti-Semitic. What really astounds me is that the current government of Israel is so right wing. You’d think that after the Holocaust, anything reeking of authoritarianism would be anathema to Israelis. Have they become as dumbed-down as Americans?

    What unites East and West really? The simple answer: the oligarchs. They all send their children to the same schools, they vacation in the same exclusive resorts, and they all have the same bankers. We are distracted by the foot soldiers (like the Chertoff gang) and hurl stones at them while we should concentrate our energies in stopping the oligarchs.

    Cut off the head of the snake and, after a few wriggles, the body dies.

    • Dr. Ip
      February 13, 2018 at 5:02 pm

      Chris Hedges, re my oligarchs comment: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/deadly-rule-oligarchs/

      • backwardsevolution
        February 14, 2018 at 5:03 am

        Dr. Ip – Chris Hedges is a fine individual, no doubt, and an excellent writer, but I recently listened to one of his talks and was surprised to hear him mention that some Arabs with box cutters took down the World Trade Center buildings. He went on to say that he wasn’t really surprised by this, as we have been waging war on their countries for decades and this was their way of getting back at us. What? He lost me right then and there. He actually believes in the government narrative, no questions asked.

        He subsequently spoke on one or two other things that left me wondering about his thought processes. You say you want a revolution, Chris Hedges? Well, first you must get angry, and in order to get angry, you must see. Listening to him, he seemed as blind as Chomsky.

        • Virginia
          February 14, 2018 at 3:00 pm

          Back — It’s obvious Chris Hedges needs to start reading consortiumnews.com. He’d get educated here and also pointed in the right direction for correct in-depth research. Noam Chomsky, too. And, I so wish Oliver Stone would contribute here. Does anyone know how to get in touch with him? I wish he knew of all the people at CN who deeply appreciate his work, who also do all in their power to get accurate news out; who also make our own, however small, contributions.

    • Zachary Smith
      February 14, 2018 at 2:12 am

      Watching RT lately I was astounded at how nationalistic and right wing their broadcasts have become. And anti-Semitic.

      I knew RT had a broadcast part, but I’ve never seen it. “Nationalistic” I understand, but the “right wing” and “anti-Semitic” bits surprise me. I’ve never noticed either of the latter on their web site. On the Russia Insider site though, the blame/hate-the-Jew business is growing by leaps and bounds.

      • Dr. Ip
        February 14, 2018 at 2:57 am

        Yes Zach, it is Russia Insider veering more toward the pogrom-friendly. I must have blended the two in my mind. They should be kept separate. RT still has some refreshingly leftish spokespeople on it. Thanks for the disentanglement.

      • Virginia
        February 15, 2018 at 7:12 pm

        Me either, Zachary — I’ve never seen it on RT.com news or Op-Edge or anywhere there. Yes, “Nationalistic” I understand, but the “right wing” and “anti-Semitic” bits surprise me. I’ve never noticed either of the latter on their web site.”

    • backwardsevolution
      February 14, 2018 at 4:50 am

      Dr. Ip – “How many of the “Russian” trolls are actually working for the Chertoff gang? It’s so easy to hire boiler-rooms full of trolls anywhere in Ukraine or, really, anywhere in the world. Just hook them up with a VPN to a ‘Russian’ relay link and let them loose – of course with the propaganda from the playbook provided by their masters.”

      Yes, this is exactly what I’ve thought for some time now, that the “Russian trolls” have been provided by us, just like the Christopher Steele dossier was. It’s perfect: you want a certain outcome, so you set it up to make it look like Russian trolls are doing whatever, and then you stand back and say, “Look at what Russia is doing!”

      • Dave P.
        February 14, 2018 at 4:05 pm

        backwardsevolution –

        More than four millions of these Russias/Ukrainians left for The West after Soviet union’s collapse in 1991 – among them the most educated people. And all these Criminals among them who stole about a trillion dollars from Russia are now living in London, TelAviv, New York, and other places in the West. There are armies of these Russian Trolls for hire in the West.

        First they completely robbed Russia, starting in 1990’s, employed all these Russian trolls, and now blaming Russia 24/7 here in U.S., and in Western Europe. It can not get more Orwellian than this.

        I am surprised to watch that even on FOX Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and some others when talking of this Dossier are implying that Steele was dealing with Russian intelligence, instead of saying that Steele and Co. cooked up this Dossier. Now, both sides are blaming Russia – one side has been immersed in this utterly disgusting sewage of deceit and lies for almost two years now.

        Except for some aspects of foreign policy, I and many of my friends loved, admired the western Civilization and its society and people as it was during 1960’s – when I saw it first time. It is still hard to comprehend, how this complete intellectual, moral, and cultural collapse of “The West” came about in such a short time span. The main culprits who are the real force behind this collapse are Wall Street Finance Masters, Media, and Entertainment Moguls. The rest; MIC, Congress, the executive branch, and others are subservient to them. One feels sad thinking about it.

        Reading this article and other articles on CN and elsewhere on independent Media sites, it seems like that this whole corrupt Power Structure is completely out of control, and there is not much hope that it can be fixed.

  9. Realist
    February 13, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    The whole US government has been in the process of being thoroughly privatised for some time now. Why wouldn’t the intelligence agencies be near the front of the parade? After all, they are the ones in charge of creating the matrix that the private owners of the deep state want presented to the public. Government, slubbernment, it’s now all just a facade that you attempt to penetrate at your own risk.

  10. mike k
    February 13, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    It’s fascinating (and maddening) to live in a country (USA) that is so totally corrupt, but a majority of it’s people prefer to look the other way, and pretend we are a democracy, and the light of the world. It’s like finding that your fellow citizens have been taken over by alien body-snatchers. One thing that enables all this is that these totally brainwashed zombies believe that there is no such thing as mind control, but if somehow there was, thank God they are immune to it!

  11. Charles
    February 13, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Very good article. Keep them coming. Chertoff has been suspect ever since Ivan hit NO and he escaped any critism for a bad job. Should have been fired. But instead was promoted. He needs to be out of the power group that runs the country. I do believe he is on the Carlyle groups board also.

  12. Michael Kenny
    February 13, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    As one would have expected from Part 1, the author’s main concern is to discredit Russiagate by throwing up a massive smokescreen. However, since Putin is now overtly meddling in Italy’s 4 March election (the deatils of which you can find by googling “lega nord putin”), it will be very hard to argue from now on that nice Mr Putin doesn’t meddle in other countries’ elections. I’ve always said that Putin is a political idiot who lurches from blunder to blunder and the “Italian job” seems to be the latest blunder inasmuch as it lends credibility to Russiagate at a time when his American supporters are trying to discredit it.

  13. Joe Tedesky
    February 13, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Heinrich Himmler, and his boss Adolf Hitler, are envious that all they could conjure up was the Gestapo, oh how 20th Century of them.

    • nonsense factory
      February 13, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      I’ve been reading this book, “The Arms of Krupp, The Rise and Fall of the Industrial Dynasty that Armed Germany”, it’s an eye-opener. Like Smedley Butler said, War is a Racket. There are exact analogies in the current US arms/government/finance system:
      http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Bush_Gang/Iron_Triangle.html
      “Despite paying a fire-sale price for United Defense, Carlyle was not without its challenges regarding the new acquisition. Since 1994, United Defense had been working on a massive gun: a mobile howitzer that can fire 10 rounds of 100 pound shells per minute, 25 miles in distance, cruise at 29 mph, and reload on the battlefield. The “Crusader” was the most advanced artillery system the U.S. Army had ever conceived. It is the kind of weapon that makes the United Stated unbeatable in large scale, open warfare, lobbing multiple shells at varying trajectories so that they rain down at their desired target at the same time. It is a fearsome weapon. A killing machine. It was also United Defense’s future cash cow.”
      I mean, that’s exactly how Krupp operated in Nazi Germany, identical. Get in bed with the financiers and politicians, get the exclusive contracts, start wars, make huge profits, start more wars, repeat until it all comes crashing down.

      • Realist
        February 13, 2018 at 4:50 pm

        And, don’t attempt to seriously compete with American weapons manufacturers and developers in the open market or you may fortuitously end up dead. Take the case of Gerald Bull, for example:

        Gerald Vincent Bull (March 9, 1928 – March 22, 1990) was a Canadian engineer who developed long-range artillery. He moved from project to project in his quest to economically launch a satellite using a huge artillery piece, to which end he designed the Project Babylon “supergun” for the Iraqi government. Bull was assassinated outside his apartment in Brussels, Belgium in March 1990. [from Wikipedia]

        Last I encountered “the Arms of Krupp” my roommate, who was in law school (I in grad school), was reading it back in the 60’s. Everything eventually becomes new again.

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 13, 2018 at 4:57 pm

        That was a very revealing piece to read nonsense factory. As I read it I pictured in my head a documentary, like an Oliver Stone documentary, of how something like what the article described about the Carlyle Group should be more well known to the American people. Only this fantasy of mine, that someday the truth will be known to all, is just that my fantasy. Disappointedly the wealth of these investors, such as what maybe found inside the Carlyle Group, is so overwhelming that in many ways it appears us peaceniks are fighting a losing battle to be able to overcome these forces of war. Yet, we must. Joe

      • Sam F
        February 14, 2018 at 8:58 am

        The Arms of Krupp is an adventure into the MIC oligarchy in Germany before its 1922-1933 socialist democracy, especially the 1850-1914 development of steel, railroad, and arms industries in Germany, US, England, France, and Turkey. Interesting that WWI weapons like giant mobile artillery still awaited enough US political corruption to find a market.

        The MIC and foreign wars both facilitate and mark the transition from democracy to dictatorship of the rich, due to failure to protect elections and mass media from money power. The US has only lies to rationalize these wars, and cannot show any victory but chaos, because they serve only the oligarchy interests:
        1. It primarily attacks states around Israel to get zionist campaign bribes (zionist wars);
        2. It harasses Russia and China to build their MIC for mutual provocations and profit (wars for the MIC).
        3. It attacks socialist democracies with small secret wars, hoping to suppress domestic socialism (wars for the rich generally);

        Dividing oligarchy factions against one another may be the key to their destruction so that democracy can be restored. Alienating the rich and the MIC from zionists/mass media might work. That happened under Hitler when their WWI defeat and reparations during the depression led to racist nationalism, and fear of one oligarchy faction by another. Perhaps oligarchy factions will fall out due to competition for diminishing federal misappropriations, after US debt collapses its budget.

  14. February 13, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Reading the article, I kept thinking how will the evil genie ever be put back in the bottle. It expand the meaning of viruses.

    • February 13, 2018 at 11:05 am

      Correction, expands not expand.

  15. David G
    February 13, 2018 at 10:25 am

    For the average citizen kept in the dark about all this, there’s a certain dubious consolation in knowing that there’s literally no one – regardless of their job title, security clearance, or how deep inside they think they are – who actually has a complete picture of what’s going on in this sprawling, chaotic sewer putrefying behind the tidy label of “intelligence”.

    Of course, I doubt that fact very much bothers the people involved, as long as the money keeps flowing.

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 13, 2018 at 11:35 am

      David your comment made me think of the saying, ‘how a little bit of knowledge can be a very dangerous thing’. Good perspective to point out David. Joe

      • Virginia
        February 14, 2018 at 11:36 am

        Joe and others, Kevin Shipp (former CIA agent) corroberates and expands on this topic in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3HNRKSx2HM
        When I listen to these, I click on settings to speed up the dialogue. This one you could start around 30 minutes.

        • Virginia
          February 14, 2018 at 11:50 am

          Here’s another video with Kevin Shipp where he lays out the Deep State and Shadow government with diagrams. A nice adjunct to these three important Eliason articles!
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMzASKwtIBw

        • Joe Tedesky
          February 14, 2018 at 9:34 pm

          Virginia thank you very much for the Kevin Shipp interview.

          One of the things that got mentioned was Trump’s first failed immigration ban. Kevin Shipp had stated, if I understood him right, that these refugees are not being vetted. This statement of his, again if I understood him properly, goes against the supposed 2 year vetting system that is said to be in place.

          I totally agree with Shipp that the U.S. Constitution is hated by the Deep State. Here is an article by Georgetown Professor of Constitutonal law Louis Michael Seidman, hear his case against the U.S. Constitution.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/31/opinion/lets-give-up-on-the-constitution.html?_r=0

          The younger Hagmann seemed to me to be blaming all of this on liberals. I do agree that most of this Russia blame game is coming from the Democrates, and by default this implies liberals, but still to just leave it to be blamed on liberals without any identifiable difference being made to just what is meant by the label liberals to me was a bit disheartening. Although if you listen carefully Kevin Shipp did say it was liberal alongside conservatives who are part of the Deep State, so I guess Shipp cleared that accusation against merely liberals up well enough.

          I can only encourage any others who will watch this video of Kevin Shipp to pay attention to the last 15 minute where Shipp tells us a boatload about the real Jim Comey. No spoiler alert here, listen to the linked interview folks.

          I really did enjoy listening to Kevin Shipp. My biggest disappointment is that we will never see Kevin Shipp being interviewed on ‘Meet the Press’ or his being interviewed by Jake Tapper, and definitely never will Kevin Shipp be a guest with Rachel or her anti-Russian sidekick Joy Ann.

          Thanks again Virginia. Now I’m going to listen to your other link here, and hopefully Virginia we will correspond on another article. Peace. Joe

          • Virginia
            February 15, 2018 at 12:13 am

            Hi Joe, So glad to get your feedback. I believe Shipp said most of the other countries receiving immigrants have no vetting process.

            Always good to chat with you. Soon again.

    • Sam F
      February 13, 2018 at 1:50 pm

      We do know the size and pervasiveness of the disease. NSA employee violations must indeed be the tip of the iceberg where laws allow unaccountable persons to use “state-sized cyber tools” to run “information operations” to “decide who is an enemy of the state” for their own “political agendas, private business, and personal vendettas.” With no effective oversight, no protection of whistleblowers, and “friendly lawmakers” who create loopholes for “campaign” bribes from taxpayer funds, the IC is the secret tool of the dictatorship of the rich.

    • nonsense factory
      February 13, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      Good point, I think there’s massive compartmentalization in the schizophrenic world of US “intelligence”. Some practical results, for example, are when the CIA-backed Al Qaeda/ISIS jihadists in Syria ended up fighting directly against the Pentagon-backed Kurdish separatists in Syria.
      http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-cia-pentagon-isis-20160327-story.html
      “Syrian militias armed by different parts of the U.S. war machine have begun to fight each other on the plains between the besieged city of Aleppo and the Turkish border, highlighting how little control U.S. intelligence officers and military planners have over the groups they have financed and trained in the bitter five-year-old civil war.”

      This whole system is as endemically corrupt as the Brezhnev era of the Soviet Union was (1970s, basically); a collection of apparatchiks and functionairies feeding off the public teat with all kinds of familial connections, complete Byzantine corruption. Nobody in Congress ever discusses this, because their payoff is military-industrial contracts delivered to their home states, which props up their popular support. Even Bernie Sanders, who I generally support, bargained in Congress to bring F-35 manufacturing to his home state of Vermont – and those jobs, they provide a solid basis of support so he can keep getting elected. And I’d vote for Bernie Sanders again, just ‘cause I like his FDR-style policies.

      This, however, is why some people – I believe Ron Paul – have said that the only way out of this system is for the US to go through something like the collapse of the Soviet Union. And while I don’t like the Paul libertarian agenda, I’m afraid he may be right. There are regions of this country where everyone lives off the MIC teat, on six-figure salaries with a 2 or 3 in front. I mean, Snowden was making what, $250,000 a year? For a tech support job, basically? They’re all in on the game, and it keeps places like Los Alamos, Livermore, northern Virginia rolling in gravy. Take it all away and those places would look like Detroit does today. What a nightmare. Living on borrowed time.

      • Realist
        February 13, 2018 at 5:01 pm

        But, but… Business Insider in at least a couple instances today just said that American troops are valiantly defending all that is good whilst killing 300 hundred Russian mercenaries in Eastern Syria (feather in their cap, no?) after having brilliantly driven out the last vestiges of ISIS from the region. Washington only wants to protect the warm and fuzzy Kurds from that war criminal Bashar al-Assad (another point underscored by Business Insider). You don’t think that BI is working to spread CIA propaganda, do you? Sadly, 99% of Americans, who consume contrived narratives rather than accurate news, don’t.

      • Skip Scott
        February 14, 2018 at 12:19 pm

        I have to agree about Paul’s libertarian agenda, but I like him just the same. I think there is an argument to be made about the role of government in society. I think we need something to guide our social development besides the “invisible hand” of the free market, but I think Paul’s political philosophy would be preferable to the corrupt crony capitalism we currently suffer under.

      • Virginia
        February 14, 2018 at 2:24 pm

        Nonsense factory, You could be right about Ron Paul’s thought that a US correction would involve a Soviet-style collapse. Both Rand and Ron Paul have the best interests of America (and the world) in mind, shown by their speech and actions.

        This Part 2 article speaks of even Americans working to overthrow our democracy. Just this morning, that’s exactly what I thought of the Mueller investigation; that it’s larger intent is to do just that — undermine and overthrow our democracy. Of course, we don’t really have one now but continue to be fed the illusion that we do. That’s what this series is explaining. But we are WE the PEOPLE; and, like the Pauls, we won’t give up or give in.

        • nonsense factory
          February 14, 2018 at 4:01 pm

          You know, if Mueller would apply the same standards to both Clinton Inc. and Trump Inc., that I would support. But he wouldn’t find Russian meddling in the electoral process, what I think he’d find are gross violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act related to both Clinton Foundation pay-to-play deals with foreign business interests in exchange for State Department access, as well as Trump Clan business dealings related in particular to ExxonMobil-Rosneft deals, possibly tied into some other oil business moves. Of course, probably half of Congress is up to their necks in similar backdoor arrangements that profit them and their families and associates; that’s the nature of the corrupt American Empire – but let’s be honest, Donald Trump is a deeply entrenched in that system as Hillary Clinton was.

          Now will Mueller, who left the FBI for a lucrative position at a corporate law firm that does Wall Street business, do this? I seriously doubt it. This is one of the guys who refused to investigate Wall Street criminals post-2008 crash, I don’t expect much from him. He’s a classic apparatchik / functionary in the Soviet Brezhnev model.

          As far as overturning our democracy? We don’t live in a democracy, we live in a plutocracy. There are factions in the plutocracy, certainly, different groups of oligarchs backing their preferred front person; but they’re all crooks. Trump is a crook, Hillary is a crook, end of story.

          • Virginia
            February 14, 2018 at 4:34 pm

            Nonsense Factory, Thanks for responding. Good points. I still say of the Mueller investigation, that it’s larger intent is to undermine and overthrow our democracy. That’s what no one in the deep state wants us to see, the big picture. Trump, or anyone in his office, is being reined in — kept from draining the swamp or developing friendlier relations with Russia. Keep America distracted with supposed hacking and collusion investigations! is what the deep state is up to. If we didn’t have the “enemy” Russia, we’d have to invent one. (Oh, that’s right; that’s what we did!).

            Take a look at the two URLs I posted above on the deep state (great adjuncts to this series). They’re pretty long so you might want to skip around and speed up the audio; interviews with Kevin Shipp, former CIA counter intelligence guy, who knows a great deal more than I do or most of us knows:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3HNRKSx2HM

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMzASKwtIBw

            Thanks, Nonsense — you’ve given us several good posts here. Virginia

          • Virginia
            February 14, 2018 at 4:41 pm

            Nonsense Factory, Thanks for responding. Good points. I still say of the Mueller investigation, that it’s larger intent is to undermine and overthrow our democracy. That’s what no one in the deep state wants us to see, the big picture. Trump, or anyone in his office, is being reined in — kept from draining the swamp or developing friendlier relations with Russia. Keep America distracted with supposed hacking and collusion investigations! is what the deep state is up to. If we didn’t have the “enemy” Russia, we’d have to invent one. (Oh, that’s right; that’s what we did!).

            Take a look at the two URLs I posted above on the deep state (great adjuncts to this series). They’re pretty long so you might want to skip around and speed up the audio; interviews with Kevin Shipp, former CIA counter intelligence guy, who knows a great deal more than I do or most of us knows: (In case “moderation” doesn’t let this through, the URLs are posted above; but that’s why I’m reposting again, without the URLs.)

            Thanks, Nonsense — you’ve given us several good posts here. Virginia

  16. David G
    February 13, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Here’s Max Blumenthal on the esteemed Clint Watts:

    “Meet Clint Watts, a Dubious Russia Meddling ‘Expert’ Lobbying the U.S. Government to ‘Quell Information Rebellions'”
    https://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/clint-watts-fake-russia-expert

    • February 13, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks for the link.

      “Whatever took place, it appears that Watts and his Cold Warrior colleagues are now waging another expensive influence operation, this time directed against the American public. By deploying deceptions, half-truths and hyperbole with the full consent of Congress and in collaboration with the mainstream press, they have managed to convince a majority of Americans that Russia is “trying to knock us down and take us over,” as Watts remarked at the FPRI’s gala.”

    • geeyp
      February 13, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      Yes David G., Max is usually spot on. I really enjoy listening to him and know who is father is. Great commentary, George! Scoundrels like Clint Watts think that doing research is only checking a couple of sites on the internet. There is a lot more to “research”. When Watts name came up in testimony, I had a feeling we would hear some more of him. These types of people seem to come out of nowhere as “ex-purts”. You know, like Chertoff, their shit don’t stink.

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 13, 2018 at 9:00 pm

      David that link to Max Blumenthal regarding Clint Watts besides how the article makes it known to how our free press is under attack, as it also goes on to show of how the Establishment by accepting the likes of Watts into it’s nest of Cold Warriors is overlooking every bit of any sanity background check to achieve their nefarious goals of hegemony, by hiring the real nut-bags who lurk in the shadows of deception amongst the many bad actors and performers of who are to found in our nation’s capital. I also want to turn the critics I have gathered to who think I wear a tinfoiled conspiracy hat, that my critcs should see from exactly where all the crazies really are to be found, and that is with inside of our own government is where they comfortably reside. Great link David. Joe

    • Skip Scott
      February 14, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      David G-

      Thanks for the link. Read parts 1 and 2. I loved Max’s reference to the Russiagate Industrial Complex. We live in truly Orwellian times. I watched World News on ABC last night and was treated to a fluff piece on our glorious FBI. True Patriots one and all, they were lined up and unanimous in their convictions about the evil Ruskies. No dissenting voices presented or allowed. They will no doubt be cheering as the mushroom clouds appear on the horizon.

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