JOHN KIRIAKOU: What was this CIA Officer Thinking?

Given Langley’s intolerance for whistleblowing, the current case now in the headlines has a couple of curious features.

By John Kiriakou
Special to Consortium News

The news is dominated by “the whistleblower,” the CIA officer who reported to the CIA Inspector General (IG) that President Donald Trump may have committed a crime during a conversation with the president of Ukraine.  I’ve been fascinated by the story for a couple of reasons. 

First, as a whistleblower and a former CIA officer, I know what must have been going through the guy’s mind as he was coming to the decision to make a report on the president of the United States.  That is, if he is a real whistleblower. 

If he’s a whistleblower, and not a CIA plant whose task it is to take down the president, then his career is probably over.  Intelligence agencies only pay lip service to whistleblowing. A potential whistleblower is supposed to go through the chain of command as the current whistleblower did.  If an employee has evidence of waste, fraud, abuse, illegality, or threats to the public health or public safety, he is supposed to go to the Inspector General.  The IG, then is supposed to go to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).  And when the DNI investigates and finds the complaint credible, he then takes it to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.  That sounds straightforward, but it’s not.

The Case of Thomas Drake

Thomas Drake. (Rob Kall/Flickr)

Look at the cautionary case of Thomas Drake, a senior NSA officer who blew the whistle on warrantless wiretapping of American citizens in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.  Drake went to the NSA inspector general, where he got no satisfaction.  He then went to the NSA general counsel and then to the Defense Department inspector general.  The DOD IG actually destroyed the evidence that Tom had brought to them.  So, when nothing happened there, he went to the House Intelligence Committee.  All of this was done through the proper channels. 

For his trouble, Drake was rewarded with 10 felony indictments, including five counts of espionage.  Of course, he hadn’t committed espionage, and the case eventually fell apart, but not until his life was ruined — personally, professionally and financially.

So even if he is a legitimate whistleblower, the CIA officer who contacted the IG on Trump will never be trusted internally again.  The view in Langley will be, “If he’s willing to rat out the president of the United States, he’d be willing to rat out all of us.”

 (In my own case, where I blew the whistle on the CIA’s torture program, I didn’t — and couldn’t — go through the chain of command because my chain of command had created the torture program.  I couldn’t go to Congress because Congress was in on the program.  They had approved it and financed it.  My only alternative was to go to the media.)

Odd Choice of Attorneys

The second thing that interests me is the officer’s hiring of Mark Zaid to represent him, rather than one of more than a dozen A-list national security attorneys at three or four major law firms in Washington.  Zaid is literally the worst possible choice for any whistleblower in national security. Zaid briefly represented CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, who was accused of leaking classified information to The New York Times’ James Risen.  But while the FBI was looking at three different people as Risen’s possible source, Zaid sent a letter to the FBI saying, “I think my client is guilty.”  The FBI dropped the other two investigations and focused only on Sterling, who went to trial, consistently protested his innocence, was convicted, and spent three-and-a-half years in prison.

CIA headquarters. (Central Intelligence Agency via Flickr)

Zaid briefly represented me in 2007, immediately after I blew the whistle. But I fired him after two weeks because he was impulsive, unnecessarily confrontational and untrustworthy.  Four years later, he was representing Matthew Cole, the “journalist” who was secretly working for the Guantanamo defense attorneys, the man who ratted me out to the FBI, which led to my arrest and to two years in prison.  Cole told the FBI that I was his source who told him the name of a CIA officer involved in the torture program.

Not only did Zaid represent Cole, but both he and Cole testified against me in grand jury proceedings in 2012.  How this man still has a law license is an utter mystery to me.

But he’s thrived in Washington.  He makes most of his money representing people who have books jammed up in the CIA’s pre-publication review process.  He handles a lot of “insider issues” like security clearances and trying to smooth ruffled Intelligence Community feathers.  But he’s clearly an inside man.  That Zaid is involved in this case leads me to believe that the CIA whistleblower is either an idiot who has no idea what he’s gotten himself into or he’s been directed to make his “disclosure.”

Experts always say that when you want to know what is really being discussed in a complicated and sensitive report, you must read the footnotes. Well, if you really want to know what’s happening in this impeachment scandal, look closely at the peripheral players.  That’s where the real story is.

John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act—a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration’s torture program.

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65 comments for “JOHN KIRIAKOU: What was this CIA Officer Thinking?

  1. irina
    October 4, 2019 at 21:47

    Here’s an important article with some vital information:
    “It’s hardly incidental that the former President of Poland sits on the board of Burisma Holdings.
    On the day that impeachment was announced the current President of Poland was signing papers
    to replace Russian with American-supplied gas to Poland. And Ukraine was inking an MOU
    (Memorandum of Understanding) to do the same . . . ” (Counterpunch, October 2019)

    Say what ? Simply from an environmental (think Climate Change) perspective, this is so wrong.
    But not a peep from all the Democratic Politicals who are All In for the Green New Deal.
    And of course nary a whisper of these agreements in our Papers of Record, or Public Broadcasting . . .

    And, I read an article in which Hunter Biden credited the former President of Poland (Kwa?niewski)
    with being instrumental in letting Hunter know about the Burisma Holdings board position in the first place.

  2. Coleen Rowley
    October 2, 2019 at 21:47

    Amongst other indications of the “whistleblower’s” attorney Mark Zaid’s slimy background, he profited handsomely from the Lockerbie bombing and what many legal experts have come to believe was the false conviction and imprisonment of Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. A comment on the Democrat & Chronicle website reads:
    “Mark Zaid made millions of dollars out of having Abdelbaset al-Megrahi wrongfully convicted for the Lockerbie bombing, and getting Libya to shell out $2.7 billion in compensation (30% of which went to lawyers like Zaid in contingency fees)!
    “Allan Gerson and his colleagues Frank Duggan and Mark Zaid represented most if not all of the remaining 82 Lockerbie families. Gerson’s team could thus have shared, between the three of them, as much as $246 million in contingency fees.”

  3. Curious
    October 2, 2019 at 20:27

    May I suggest another issue playing out here? It’s a reach to compare this phone call with the ‘October surprise’ of the Reagan/Iranian hostage issues, but there is some real meat on these bones if any newspaper had the courage to report the coup in Ukraine. It has been reported Biden was on the phone to Victor Yanukovych for two hours before the Maiden Coup. What were THEY talking about?
    If true, Biden is up to his neck in the Ukraine coup along with Nuland and her cronies. If he rids himself of a prosecutor for 1 Billion dollars, who was opening graft and corruption at Burisma Holdings while getting his son and a Kerry relative positions on its board of directors (overpaid and under qualified at that) this is a legitimate story of Joe playing loose with American tax dollars for personal favors. One could also slay him with a well-played, or well written, position in the coup in Ukraine.

    Played out correctly in the media, and well scripted, Joe Biden would be ‘toast’ just because of this story and his run would end at cliffs edge. This doesn’t seem different than what most of our politicians do, that is, find as much dirt on an opponent as possible before an election. Because Trump enjoys bribing and bullying as a game to be played, he no doubt doesn’t understand the nuances of something called international law. But his predecessors blew that respect for international law to bits years ago, so this is probably why Pompeo denied any knowledge of the phone call on TV but then had to admit later he was on the very same call. There is no accountability anymore.

    It’s all corrupt. My jaded guess is our “genius” on the Oval Office was trying to bring down Biden with a truthful story and that is why he is so belligerent with the media, because they took the tangent rather than his point of blasting Biden for Burisma games. It seems he gets more and more upset when the news doesn’t realize his genius and goes off in the wrong direction, misunderstanding his actual intent to bash Biden. And Biden is neck deep in the entire Ukraine fiasco.

    • Hank
      October 3, 2019 at 10:11

      The problem with the USA and its “leaders” is they seem more interested in the tip of the iceberg than the iceberg itself! BOTH parties seem more interested in seeking out a sacrificial lamb for PR purpose than tackling the bigger issues of corruption. This in itself to me IS corruption, corruption of the judicial system.

      • Curious
        October 5, 2019 at 01:44

        Hank, I’m sorry to be so generic as I know many links are inhabited by malware these days so I don’t offer them up, but the accusations are easy to find with a little prowess on the web.
        You are correct in your metaphor. Nuland spent 5 billion dollars to stir up a coup, and it was in EU papers that Poroshenko increased his wealth by 10,000 % while in office, unlike his promises in ‘14 when he ran.
        V Nuland, in the tapped phone call ,said: Yats is our guy” etc. which is enough make her complicit in the coup arrangements.
        Yes, corruption seems to rule the day in Ukraine, especially when the US is involved and your “tip of the iceberg” shows there is more to the story. But who is willing these to tell or write the truth?
        I would suggest that Ukraine was chosen due to shared borders with Russia, and NATO is. It is difficult for journalists/corporate media to tell the truth as well.

  4. October 2, 2019 at 17:43

    Perhaps people are looking forward to John Kirakou’s upcoming article detailing the remarkable development of his former boss, Joseph Cofer Black, ending up on the Board of Directors of Burisma Holdings.

    • casfoto
      October 2, 2019 at 20:11

      Well, if you are going for corrupt….go for it all the way!!!! Biden, now Black, Vicki Nuland, Hillary! I really think that we need to send them all passport’s and help them move.

    • robert e williamson jr
      October 3, 2019 at 13:05

      Nice find Jerry!

      Hope you or John don’t mind me posting this: https:/ /

      I have been wondering if Cofer Black and Karl Rove are brothers.

    • Gregory Herr
      October 3, 2019 at 22:14

      “U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts — usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia.”

      from an article entitled “The Biden Affair in the Ukraine” by Israel Shamir, found at Uni Review or Information Clearing House

  5. Gregory Herr
    October 2, 2019 at 13:43

    This isn’t about removing Trump from office. The CIA and the scamming scum who run the Democrats know full well that articles of impeachment (should they pass the House) will be dead-on-arrival in the Senate. This is about making the upcoming “election” all about Trump and “resistance”. It is a phony diversionary dog-and-pony show. It is as phony as their “resistance”. It will give the media more cover to completely relegate actual issues to back-burner-without-heat status and try to revive Biden’s candidacy as a victim-and-opponent to Trump.

    The Kamala Harris option was destroyed by Gabbard and Biden can’t get out of his own way—so Establishment fears of a Sanders nomination are again rising. They need Biden/Warren to do just well enough in the primaries to get the Convention to a second ballot.

    It seems counterintuitive as a “strategy” for Democrats—because impeachment proceedings against Trump will essentially act as a get-out-the-vote ploy for Trump supporters. And as Joe Tedesky brought up—why bring attention to Ukraine (the scene of crimes)? Because, for one, establishment Democrats prefer Trump to Sanders (just like they preferred Nixon over McGovern). And two, the Democrats know that they still have enough of a brain-dead base that the U.S.-orchestrated coup and Biden’s actual arm-twisting quid pro quo involving military aid and shutting down a Ukrainian prosecutor will never be treated to full disclosure or fair appraisal by the Media-that-Matters. (And nevermind Hunter’s sinecure).

    (D)-politicians are lining up to pose Trump’s withholding of military aid to Ukraine (which of course was temporary—but “nevermind”) as a National Security threat because, you know, RUSSIA. (And nevermind that Obama refused Ukraine same military procurements).

    It’s all really so pathetically contrived and dishonest that I am of a mind (if the Dems nominate Biden) to vote for Trump out of sheer spite. That’s the feeling this horseshit duopoly has brought me to.

    • robert e williamson jr
      October 3, 2019 at 13:07

      The CIA and the “scamming scum” run both parties my friend.

      • Gregory Herr
        October 4, 2019 at 06:25

        I was alluding to the DNC and Dem “leadership”, but yes, I’ll agree with Bob in Portland below on the CIA and throw in the added weight of Israeli bribes and subterfuge as to who and what controls the “politics” of both parties.

    • robert e williamson jr
      October 4, 2019 at 20:48

      The democrats deserve to have to deal with Trump, if not for their own impotence and corruption they very well may have not had to deal with Trump. So now they find themselves in “quite the fix”!

      I had a belly full of the Clintons after Billies first term. But hell everybody was making so much money!

      You can not support Trump without buying into his Corporate National Socialist politics and apparently the republicans an other conservatives love his take. Damned few will stand in defiance of his bull shit policies designed to aid ONLY BILLIONAIRES.

      All kiddies might want to go hide in the closet or under their beds because if the republicans fail to hold this bumbling idiot accountable for his man child behavior they are buying into ownership of everything Trumpian and the resulting chaos. The REPUBLICANS OWN TRUMP AND ALL HE DESTROYS, his legacy, his lies, his perversions the whole perverse “SHOW OF SHOWS” LIVE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE”. If not they would admit their mistake and take him to task, which is part of their job.

      My Dog you cannot make this shit up.

      What I’m trying to understand is why it is so difficult for everyone to see that the two party system is in shambles, having been finally totally wrecked,perhaps beyond restoration ,by the supreme courts Citizens United decision. Unlimited money has finished the two party system off. But not a sound from either side of this corrupt farce about all the money they are burning through while no work of “we the people” gets done.

      The Koch owned ‘Tea Party” did their job. No “normal” conservatives alive in D.C. that I can see. And just for the record the bulk of democrats are hardly liberal.

      So the large majority of voters go without representation from either party. And Trump talks civil war. Stay in those closets and under those beds kiddies because I smell trouble.

      Must be very difficult for those who would want the orange man to be King to watch as he disembowels himself with his own words. A word to the wise, everyone might want to be very careful about who they are angry with. Those of you who have been fooled don’t project your angry disappointment on the “other” it can be very unhealthy.

      Everyone who claims they love their children and desire the best for them remember this, if you bleed Trump green you likely are not acting in the best interest of your children. Remember Trump AND Bilary’s buddy Epstein? You don’t want to talk about that though. Right!

      Hypocrisy is the term used most often to describe this type behavior. Behavior exhibited by, and I especially want to ad, both parties.

      Post this or not but this double standard these scamming scum who run both parties live under is about to destroy the country and the absolutely worthless media, 95% at least, share in the sin of becoming insanely wealthy as they serve the intelligence community.

      Thank you CN for being real.

    • robert e williamson jr
      October 5, 2019 at 16:23

      Gregory you are making this partisan. It isn’t. I know who you were alluding to it’s very obvious from the tone of what you wrote.

      In my honest, very firm opinion anyone who sticks behind one party over the other in these times has taken the bait and is hooked on the cool aid. They never ever seem to realize it, they are that brainwashed.

      Louis D. Brandeis said it very well, “The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by of men of great zeal, well meaning but without understanding”.

      They find their man, young smart and talented, hard working and he is shown the way. A way that will vbery likely compromise him in some fashion, leaving him beholding to his “mentor” or benefactor.

      Very often people who end up having been compromised by the likes of Jeff Epstein. Lets hear that whole story brother!

      Figure it out, the Deep State directs the intelligence community when and how they see fit. Let me make it perfectly clear I am not talking about “Joe or Jill” agent, I’m talking about those at the top who are actually connected to the Deep State generally by big money interests, through the State Department and the DOJ.

      Ever wonder just how many lawyers are located in D.C.?

      For the sake of DOG Greg Bob Barr has been running around sticking his nose in everything since he kissed 41’s ring in the early 1970’s.

      You see the “scamming scum” is doing what it always has, answered to some perverse notion of a calling higher calling.

      Problem is the U. S. Constitution doesn’t allow for them to do so. Greg that is what makes all those pardons necessary.

      So nope, I don’t like the smell of what you are cookin’. The system lays in ruin and both parties are the blame because members of both parties have bitten the forbidden fruit. That is they somehow fell for the temptation of whatever and sold their souls to the dark side.

      I am clueless to how old you are Mr. Herr is but I’m pushing 71 and I have seen enough.

      Thanks to all, GRUMPA”

  6. Jeff Davis
    October 2, 2019 at 12:15

    This is yet another CIA hit job on Trump. Biden is just collateral damage. An acceptable casualty, if not an an intended secondary target, as Biden was toast — never really a contender — in any event.

    Fortunately for Trump, this is again a case of TDS-inspired bad judgement. The Dem/CIA plotters just naturally assumed that Trump, like presidents before him, would claim executive privilege, dig in his heels, and stonewall on the release of the crucial docs. Instead, he did the “un-presidential” thing and released them.

    Now Trump wants the CIA hit man currently — and too clever by half — taking cover behind the “whistleblower” shield, … wants him outed. Let’s see how that works. And let’s also see if the Barr/Durham investigation into the origins of Russiagate, decides that this little stunt is just V2.0 of that coup attempt, and includes it in their remit.

    The IC community is hellishly powerful, but this may exceed the limits of their impunity.

  7. Don Bacon
    October 1, 2019 at 20:58

    The MSM, especially CNN and MSNBC, has been shoveling dirt on Trump since he won the election in 2016, including the fake dossier, but Trump looking for potential dirt on his principal opponent in 2020 is wrong? Is foreign dirt worse than domestic dirt? . . .As Harry Truman once famously said: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” And Truman had more than his share of opponent heat.

    Another charge that the CIA/Dems have against Trump, the only one that would constitute a crime, is that asking for information on Biden from a foreigner is soliciting a “thing of value.” But clearly the law is concerned with contributions and objects, gifts of some monetary value. But information is not a thing and has no monetary value.. It is not an object. — “thing: an object that one need not, cannot, or does not wish to give a specific name to.”

    It’s in SEC. 303. STRENGTHENING FOREIGN MONEY BAN – Section 319 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C.) — Prohibition.–It shall be unlawful for– “(1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make– “(A) a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, . . .(2) a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution donation described in (A) above.

    • Don Bacon
      October 2, 2019 at 00:38

      The president has freedom of speech: Article [I] (Amendment 1 – Freedom of expression and religion) 13 — Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      The citizens have a right for unfettered information on political candidates, wherever it may be obtained. So any attempt for information even in a foreign country supports that right. Information however obtained supports democracy and can’t be characterized as “election interference,” when it’s just the opposite.

  8. dhinds
    October 1, 2019 at 19:21

    America has become a Banana Republic.

    Of that there is no doubt.

    • Epsom
      October 3, 2019 at 20:50

      It’s not called the USSA for nothing, much so with terms such as kleptocracy, kakitocracy, neofeudalism, corporatism, corporatocracy, oligarchy, vichy-state, technocracy, and so on.

  9. October 1, 2019 at 16:49

    Mark Zaid began his career on the JFK assassination.

    I expressed the same doubts about him there, back in the nineties, that John does here.

    He actually showed a letter I wrote to him to Gerald Posner.

  10. evelync
    October 1, 2019 at 14:29

    To me the Dems seem to be trying to shoot themselves in the foot once again.
    If they really wanted to impeach Trump the best bet is corruption via emoluments.
    Why are they not simply investigating that?
    Who else would be exposed if that was front and center?

    Instead they seem to be twisting themselves into a pretzel yet again to try to prove that Trump stole the election from Clinton with help from someone – the Russians? Sanders?, anyone, will do.
    And I don’t understand why if Reagan promised Gorbachev that NATO would leave Ukraine alone, we broke that promise and now the narrative is that anyone who questions our participation in the Ukraine coup (Clinton’s State Dept) is disloyal to God and country…

    It’s unacceptable to consider that Secretary Clinton lost the election all by herself because too many people finally saw through the charade that government policy was working on the behalf of the majority of its citizens instead of serving the Big Banks, Big Pharma, Big you name it plus of course the MICIMATT. Our congress is sadly bought and paid for given campaign funding…..

    People were sick and tired of the lies and the failed trade policies and the rest and wanted to overthrown the apple cart; ergo Trump.
    But no one seems willing to admit that.

    Bernie Sanders would have won, IMO, because people trusted him to tell them the truth even if they didn’t agree with one policy or the other. Several Republicans shared with me that’s how they felt. And Sanders had the most comprehensive understanding of how the pieces fit together to shift us back towards the New Deal initiatives that helped bring the country out of the great depression.

    The whole thing seems like Kabuki Theater. and the victims are our democracy and the real whistleblowers who are trying to do what’s right but tragically get punished for it…

    Meanwhile the impact of climate change looms and we still have the wherewithal to do something but we’re blowing it because the biggest benefactors of the status quo run the show.

    Smoke and mirrors.

    • Kathy Lambert
      October 1, 2019 at 17:44


    • October 1, 2019 at 20:07

      evelync, you just said exactly what I think. Thanks.

    • LJ
      October 1, 2019 at 20:23

      Pretty hard for the Democrats to invoke the Emoluments clause as a special case when Hillary Clinton was accepting/soliciting donations from foreigners for the Clinton Foundation in her down time (after hawking US Weaponry and fracking technology) during her tenure as Secretary of State and hiding it on a personal e-mail server,,,. then to convict Trump for being a businessman. She was engaged in soliciting emoluments while in the employ of the US Government . Was she not? If she had been elected she would have been impeached already.

    • DH Fabian
      October 2, 2019 at 00:24

      Strongly agree, except on one point. Democrats had split apart their own voting base in the ’90s, mainly by class, and the Obama years confirmed that this split is permanent, and we are supposed to ignore the consequences. The recklessness of their “Russia-gate” strategy only drove away more voters. Now it’s on to Ukraine-gate. I think that if we rooted out every politician who has benefited from corruption, very few would be left.

    • Dorothy Martirano
      October 2, 2019 at 16:49

      Thanks, good comment.

  11. Don Bacon
    October 1, 2019 at 13:57

    Of course this person is a CIA operative, there’s no doubt, who together with Democrat friends is getting back at Trump which is why “whistleblower” in this case should always be in quotes. The whistleblower rules weren’t observed, for another thing, which is why the DNI held off on forwarding the “complaint” (another key word in quotes).

    • jim glove
      October 1, 2019 at 16:37

      Thanks Don, Good Points.

    • Abby
      October 1, 2019 at 22:38

      I’m calling this CIA dude a gossipblower. Because that is exactly what he did. I’d like to know why congress is not insisting on getting the people who gossiped to the CIA dude in front of them instead of this person who doesn’t have direct knowledge of that phone call. But then that is exactly why this shouldn’t be taken seriously.

      BTW..who sent him to the WH in the first place? Will congress ask him that? Or why he just happened to be there? I’m betting no. Another thing people should note is that it’s going to be Schiff from the intelligence committee that runs the show not Nadler who runs the judiciary committee that has run impeachment hearings in the past. Folks this is just more of Russia Gate being forced on us. The best thing that should happen is Trump lets Barr take his investigation into the origins of Russia Gate all the way to the top. This means finding out what Obama’s role was in it.

    • Rob
      October 2, 2019 at 13:59

      @Abby Is it not possible that the whistleblower was given a copy of the telephone “transcript” by someone inside the White House or the NSA, in which case, he is not just spreading gossip?

      I do agree that Schiff is likely to draw Russia into his investigation at some point, possibly from the very beginning. He has never accepted the fact that Mueller’s investigation failed to turn up solid evidence of Russia hacking the DNC server or meddling in the 2016 election. As far as I am concerned, Schiff is a dangerous man.

  12. Uncle Bob
    October 1, 2019 at 13:03

    Concur, I do look at all the characters involved, and those “unmentionables” , leading to whataboutisms.
    Next come the what-ifs, what if this doesn’t work? I’m old enough to remember 11/22/63, 4/4/68 & 6/6/68..

    Qui Bono? “National Security State”

  13. Punkyboy
    October 1, 2019 at 11:14

    Perhaps I am misinformed, but what is a CIA operative doing working in the White House anyway? Why? In what capacity? By what authority? I thought “The Agency” was not supposed to carry out its dirty tricks on American soil – and what is more “American soil” than the White House? (Note I said “not supposed to.”)

    • Bob In Portland
      October 1, 2019 at 12:31

      If you look carefully you’ll find CIA operatives all over the White House. You’ll find CIA agents and operatives in the Justice Dept. Once you overthrow a government the first thing you do is make sure that you don’t get overthrown.

    • Jim Glover
      October 1, 2019 at 16:34

      Good point about CIA operations or Tricks on American soil and the White House too! That will probably be a good defense if there is a trial in the Senate.

  14. pasha
    October 1, 2019 at 09:54

    Agreed, there is much that is mysterious about this latest affair. Over on GlobalResearch, Philip Giraldi is convinced it’s another Deep State coup attempt. Kiriakou admits the possibility. There have, probably, been several others, or possibly a single, mulitfaceted thrust. What’s intersting is how inept all these attempts really are. Crucial details go missing or don’t fit, and we’re supposed to not notice. Do we expect the Deep State to be somehow more competent, less self-involved and self-serving than its plutocrat sidekicks or their congressional finger puppets? Truth is, the shadowy figures of the Deep State are just as stupid as all the other Washington string-pullers. But, like the US military, they will overwhelm and smother you with the sheer endlessness of their resources, regardless of their fighting competency or lack thereof.

  15. Mike Burns
    October 1, 2019 at 09:22

    It is not just the military, anymore. US intelligence has become an oxymoron, too.
    Opposing Trump, like this, solidifies his support. Of course, opposing Trump on the real issues reveals the culpability of the opposition party on the real issues, as the case of the Bidens illustrate.
    Our stupid policies kept Castro in power. We maintain the theocracy in Iran. Maduro becomes beloved. Nato gets Putin re-elected. It, almost, looks intentional to create enemies for the war machine, and oppress their own citizens. WW2 never ended.

    • October 1, 2019 at 20:37

      First, thanks to John Kiriakou for a most enlightening article. I always learn something new from him.
      Mike Burns, you say:
      “Our stupid policies kept Castro in power.” No, Castro outsmarted the US and its ridiculous 600 attempts to kills him. Everything you hear in the MSM about Cuba is a lie.
      “We maintain the theocracy in Iran.” No, we maintain the theocracy in Israel to the detriment of all the surrounding countries. BTW, Iran hasn’t attacked anyone, keeps its word and has a way smarter president and foreign spokesman than the US has or, frankly, has ever had in my lifetime. Everything you hear about Iran in our MSM is a lie.
      “Maduro becomes beloved.” Chavez was beloved. Maduro doesn’t have his charisma. However, President Maduro’s failings are thrust upon him by the US. Have you noticed? No country can stand against the US without severe enough punishment to make whoever is leader in that country look incompetent or corrupt. If Venezuela suffers, it’s because the US stopped it getting its own money from the bank in Europe where, they too, are too afraid of the US to deny its requests to hold up funds belonging to someone else. Then consider the unfair and devastating sanctions the US puts on any country it wants to control. Then when things are rough for that country, the CIA operatives move in (or phony NGOs) to rile up people against their government. Then this odious country moves in with a coup. Name the many countries. BTW, Everything you hear about Venezeula in the MSM is a lie. Also, Venezuela has the cleanest elections of any country. Maduro is the real president, democratically elected.
      “Nato gets Putin re-elected.” Maybe Nato did help by illegally (Russia was lied to) jamming up again Russia’s borders. But really, the Russian people elected Putin. When he took office 75% of the people were below the poverty line. Since Putin’s policies developed, Russia now has the most financially stable existence it’s ever had; the people all have benefitted.
      “It, almost, looks intentional to create enemies for the war machine, …” True.
      “WW2 never ended.” Actually, it did, and it was the last legal war we were in. The new cold war is all on the side of the US who stupidly doesn’t realize the Soviet Union no longer exists and Putin prefers peace with other countries. Everything you hear about Putin and Russia in the MSM is a lie.

  16. philbq
    October 1, 2019 at 08:23

    I am convinced this current affair is the Deep State (led by the CIA) plotting to get rid of Trump because he won’t give them the wars they want. The fingerprints of the CIA are everywhere. I oppose Trump, but want to see him removed properly: in the 2020 election.

    • Abby
      October 1, 2019 at 22:45

      I agree. This type of issue keeps coming up when Trump balks at war. “Do it or else.” But what would be funny is if Trump takes his investigation into the origins or Russia Gate where it actually started including up to the role Obama played in it.

      Trump is looking into Hillary’s emails again by looking at the ones people sent. I don’t know if this is routine or his way of trying to hold her accountable for her private email server. She has been on Twitter tweeting “but my emails” like she thinks it’s a laughing matter and she is untouchable.

      • David Thurman
        October 5, 2019 at 13:08

        This is how you clean out the State Dept. of anybody who’s not a trumpster by classifying previously unclassified emails, recall how Bannon talked about the 3 buckets 1 of which was cleaning out the administrative state. This is authoratarianism at work!

    • Zach Waddill
      October 1, 2019 at 23:27

      He doesn’t give anyone anything they want, except for the stock market.

  17. Mark Thomason
    October 1, 2019 at 08:07

    He is an operative meant to reverse an American election, the same as the CIA does so often overseas.

    The Democrats today are willing to ride that horse. One day, it will kick them and kill them too.

    The Intelligence Community grew under Dubya, going from an out of control CIA (Laos, Cuba, many places) to a threat to domestic government. Homeland Security was the turning point.

  18. DavidH
    September 30, 2019 at 21:15

    Thank you, John Kiriakou and Consortium for this. I could see the guy being directed. Cause this whole thing is like one big nationwide HUAC Committee that never gets shut down.

    When they keep coming up with feeble charges against Trump (while his real crimes go begging) it’s like they have to attribute the evil to some contamination source that exists in an area as far away as possible, because they believe the farther away it is the less people will know about it. The more they’ll believe there are monsters swimming around right near where the world drops off.

    It seems like a sign of desperation. They go back to it over and over in the most absurd manner, comes off like a broken record. Sometimes I think their most favored outcome would be media viewers lumping Russia and Ukraine together, not even to realize the held up “aid” was for weapons to kill Russians [which really would kill dissident Ukranians]. Yep, east of Poland and north of the Black Sea lies the land of Mordor. Right?

    Whether HE (prez) sticks with the current negotiation theme or not (let’s hope so), the best thing WE can do in regard to coup collateral damage is probably to take on associated wars one at a time. Any other route could saddle us with some leader who wouldn’t mind if her VP acted in the same manner as Biden.

    One smart thing to do might be to look up END War in Yemen TOOLKIT

  19. Kate Emerson
    September 30, 2019 at 21:14

    This all makes sense to me. I hope that it is the CIA trying to bring Trump down and that they succeed.

    • R Zarate
      October 1, 2019 at 03:42

      I know, having the CIA choose the President is so much more efficient than campaigning and having to vote. They could choose the Senators and Congressmen to, right on down to the dog catcher.

    • john wilson
      October 1, 2019 at 05:07

      Be careful what you wish for, Kate. When a handful of people in a secretive organization can bring down one president, they can bring down another, or worse, “control the president and his office”. When this happens you can forget the concept of democracy and freedom (whatever that is).

    • IIC
      October 1, 2019 at 08:36

      Remind me when the next president people actually like is brought low for defying the intelligence complex so I can point to this post.

    • Tom
      October 1, 2019 at 10:14

      While President Trump may have faults, and perhaps have broken some law(s) that are worthy of investigation, he deserves due process as all citizens do. Actively cheering for the CIA to succeed in some covert op against a sitting president is not how to support one’s belief in the rule of law as outlined in our constitution. But if “regime change” is the single purpose, then by all means, get Langley on the phone. The agency is very, very good at this sort of thing. A quick review of Latin American history since 1948 would provide the evidence for my assertion.
      “Orange man bad!” is not a justification for tossing out the Constitution or to allow an agency who’s stated purpose is covert foreign operations to determine who gains power inside CONUS.

      And John, thank you for providing insight that so very few people have the misfortune of being able to provide.

    • Dee Cee
      October 1, 2019 at 10:36

      You couldn’t possibly hate Trump so much that you’d actually hope that a government agency of any kind should destroy the office of President forever in order to get rid of him, could you? That’s insane.

    • ML
      October 1, 2019 at 13:41

      You sound youthful, Kate. Seems a misguided wish to me, no matter how repulsive and distasteful is the current occupant.

    • Bob In Portland
      October 1, 2019 at 14:00

      The CIA took down JFK. Okay with that? Maybe you liked when the CIA took Nixon out, but did you like when they took Carter out. Reagan? Was the spokesman for the Crusade For Freedom, which imported Nazis and fascists into the US. The Bushes? Clinton? Obama? They were all employed and/or worked for the Agency. Who does that leave out? The CIA couped JFK and since then has controlled politics in the US.

    • robert e williamson jr
      October 1, 2019 at 16:08

      Kate you might want to watch what you wish for.

      CIA & FBI are caught up in something we do not have the time to discuss here. It involves, Bilary Clintons, BIG MONEY, Russia, Ukraine, Trump & Co. and a almost totally corrupt congress that , as it turn out, is completely worthless when the republicans have the majority over the “we would do nothing either Democrats.

      I believe the major problem here is that someone stuck their nose into a place it should never have been and then when it looked as if the wrong “guy” was going to win the elections they repeated the error of sticking their nose into trouble again. Seth Rich is still dead and now we learn that troublesome DNC server has gone missing.

    • Fuzzy
      October 2, 2019 at 20:16

      Please read Douglas Valentine “History of the CIA!”

    • Zhu
      October 4, 2019 at 01:41

      Well, we probably deserve it, given all the coups and civol wars we’ve inflicted on other people. :-(

  20. Drew Hunkins
    September 30, 2019 at 21:04

    “What was this CIA Officer Thinking?”

    He was doing exactly what gangster CIA “officers” have done since the rise of the national security [sic] state in the early 1950s: making the world safe for Washington war making, exploitation and Pentagon contractor profits.

    Certain elements within the “deep state” (“deep state” being a somewhat misleading moniker for the dedicated imperialists who work behind the scenes and not so behind the scenes) still feel seriously threatened by Trump. Despite all of Trump’s faults — and there are major faults –he gets credit for his reticence to fully deploy the imperialist machine and his desire for a rapprochement of sorts with Moscow; two virtues he should be cautiously lauded for. These relatively peaceful positions of his are his unforgivable sins in the eyes of the militarist-imperialist ruling class.

    Comparing the two timelines between Obama and Trump: at this exact point in time, Obama was about six months into fully annihilating Libya, turning that nation into a miserable failed state. Trump has yet (yet, who knows what’s coming down the road? Marcus, Singer and Adelson may still be able to muscle him to bomb Tehran) to do anything nearly as grotesque as the Killary-Biden-Obama rape of Libya.

    It’s fascinating that the current Ukraine-impeachment imbroglio immediately jumped into the mass media right after Trump refused to bomb Iran and fired Bolton — a committed war hawk who’s dedicated to the most bloodthirsty wing of the Zionist power configuration and Washington military machine.

    • Dee Lynn
      October 1, 2019 at 03:12

      Extremely insightful observation. I had not made the connection w/Bolton’s firing & the current situation. The fact that the DC neo-cons are sitting on their hands gives relevance to your assertion.

    • October 1, 2019 at 07:57

      IN fact one of Trump’s early acts was to stop the CIA Operation Timber Sycamore running guns to randos in order to do a back-door “regime-change” in Syria. See the NYTimes, 8/2/2017: cia-syria-rebel-arm-train-trump.html.

      Also, I love Trump’s shrug at the drone attack on Aramco. His vision is very like Tulsi Gabbard’s and Jeff Sachs’s, much as they fail to recognise it.

    • AnneR
      October 1, 2019 at 08:39

      Thank you Mr Kiriakou for this significant piece, based as it is on your own harrowing, intimate knowledge of what really can happen to *real* whistleblowers.

      And yes, Drew H: It is *very* interesting (RT pointed this out for me today) that this brouhaha has arisen within days of the obscenity JB’s sacking from his position in the admin. As might be expected, JB is *now* the darling of the Demrat, Killary bootlicking MSM MSNBC and CNN (at the very least) according to RT. My, my… is this a case of the Demrats really showing their spots, or do they expect that their slavish supporters will go along with their *new* attachment to this despicable creature? Well, I’d bet on the latter, ‘cos the Kool Aid suppers (bourgeois, comfortably off, with nice pensions and good Medicare, and/or the bourgeois younger but happy to wallow in the identity politics, pretend socialism of such as Warren, and capitalism forever) have adopted as amiable sidekicks the CIA, FBI and the rest having totally obliterated from their memories the histories of these agencies….

      Meanwhile, such as NPR are busy reassuring their listeners (largely the bourgeoisie) that the USA respects whistleblowers, most particularly that the Demrats fawn over them all, has rules/laws which will safeguard the ID of this particular “gossip” blower. NO intimation that the Obama admin used draconian legal tactics (Espionage Act) to charge and imprison more whistleblowers than previous admins had. NO intimation that the Demrats in Congress did nothing to prevent such an abuse of power.

      Mind you, I’ve not heard on either NPR or the BBC even a whisper about how, for example, Chelsea Manning is presently being treated because she refuses to give evidence against Julian Assange to a Grand Jury. Nary a whisper. Mind, were any of the nasty places to so treat a potential witness, whistle blower etc., you know, Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Venezuela… we’d *never* hear the end of it.

    • vinnieoh
      October 1, 2019 at 09:42

      Regarding your last paragraph, that is what made me post the bizarre notion of – Bolton/Iran/Israel – upon hearing of this current s%$t show. I didn’t believe Bolton was going to go quietly or peacefully, and that scenario just popped into my head. I was right about the most important aspect though – uppermost on Trump’s mind is re-election, and everything else is to be used, or not, for that purpose.

    • Karl Brantz
      October 2, 2019 at 07:58

      You are correct, sir!

    • Skip Scott
      October 2, 2019 at 09:04

      Great comment Drew. Let’s see if Trump manages to make it to 2020 without either being impeached or going to war with Iran.

  21. September 30, 2019 at 20:55

    Interesting. Suggestive.

    Although I guess I’m not too surprised that a secretive organization, busy with the dirty work of empire, doesn’t really like having whistleblowers around.

    “Omerta” must surely be a code, just as surely as it is for that other, private mafia.

    But I remain unconvinced that CIA has any genuine interest in bringing down Trump.

    He appears to do the establishment’s bidding in almost all matters.

    In America’s offshore establishment branch, Israel, a key friend in many CIA circles, Trump couldn’t be more popular.

    Trump carries right on with all the Pentagon and CIA violence across the planet.

    What would be the motivation?

    And effectively teaming up with just one of the two political parties, the Democrats, does seem a politically risky thing to do.

    It was different when Obama was still president, as all the security agencies owe some allegiance to the President.

    I think Obama, himself an immensely secretive man, had quite a few operations against Trump’s election underway. He certainly had the CIA Director publicly speaking against Trump. Since when do Directors do that?

    After all, how many times has CIA worked to manipulate and bend facts to give a sitting President supporting “evidence” for something he wanted to do? The invasion of Iraq was a glaring instance of that.

    • robert e williamson jr
      October 2, 2019 at 21:40

      John I believe the key to understanding is no more or less understanding that those at the top of CIA NSA and others in that community first and foremost see their job as ensuring the “status quo” which in this case is their lock vise grip on the government and thereby their continued existence. It’s called “Self Preservation” and they are on top of that game currently.

      Exhibit A: CIA’s James Jesus Angelton and CIA’s unquestionable involvement in all things Israel and the NUMEC AFFAIR circa 1960

      Exhibit B: CIA’s unquestionable involvement in the murder of JFK. 1963

      Exhibit C: CIA’s unquestionable involvement in undermining the Church and Pike Committees of 1972.

      Exhibit D: CIA’s unquestionable involvement in the run-up to the war in Iraq. 2003

      Exhibit D: CIA’s unquestionable involvement in the 2016 “DOMESTIC” Presidential Election 2016.

      Ever since the fall of the Soviet Union CIA and big money have been trying to undermine Russia and drive it into the ground.

      What is different now is that groups like the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists surprised the CIA and many others by being able to track off shore banking and producing proof of their feat, factual evidence.

      John we both know it’s all about the money and the power that goes with the ability to “earn” and hide incredibly large amounts of it while participating in deals that reap even more money from the vulnerable of the planet.

      Odd that all the black mail talk that flourished just weeks ago as a result of the Epstein debacle has fallen of the charts. The democrats have their amends to make for they are just as involved in the money end of things as the republicans are and Epstein proved this.

      We all have been subjected for years to playing a rigged game.

      I do wonder about your statement about Obama’s “operations against Trump’s election”. I would like know for sure if Obama actually ordered or encouraged the Director to speak. We all know forgiveness is easier to get than permission.

      Aside from that the CIA new Trump better than his own mother, or they damned sure should have.

      No matter, either way it proves CIA has both parties in the bag. I’ll remind you that once JFK was dead the message had been sent and it’s a message that needs to be unveiled by release of all the JFK assassination.

      Someone should have listened to Truman and CIA should have been history. Period. Full STOP!

  22. Thomas W. Lucas
    September 30, 2019 at 18:48

    Thank you.

    • Antonio Costa
      October 1, 2019 at 10:20

      Could it be that this is more than another trumped up case for impeachment, as Paul Craig Roberts suggests? That it’s also a means of blowing up peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia.

      In any case, the hypocrisy is only matched by the governmental levels of wide-spread corruption. Trump has simply represented the ugly manifestation of the “swamp”.

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