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Kiriakou writes: "The Russia hacking story distracts from real and important issues surrounding the CIA and its future in U.S. policy."

CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (photo: Guardian UK)
CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (photo: Guardian UK)


I Have Come to the Conclusion the Country Does Not Need a CIA

By John Kiriakou, Reader Supported News

17 January 17

 

resident-elect Donald Trump is accusing CIA Director John Brennan of being the source of “fake news” about him, essentially calling our new supreme leader a Russian stooge and accusing him of taking part in a sexual kink in full view of Russian intelligence cameras in a Moscow hotel room several years ago.

I have no idea whether or not Trump, during a visit to Moscow in 2010, hired prostitutes to urinate on a Four Seasons Hotel Presidential Suite mattress because the Obamas had once slept there. I don’t care. I also have no idea if the Russian government “hacked” the Democratic National Committee and stole Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s emails. I have not seen any CIA, FBI, or NSA evidence, so I have come to the personal conclusion that the hacking story is overblown. All countries spy on each other. It’s a fact of life. The U.S. spies on just about everybody in the world. So I have a problem with the righteous indignation that I’m seeing from so many of my friends and former CIA colleagues about the Russians.

With that said, the Russia hacking story distracts from real and important issues surrounding the CIA and its future in U.S. policy.

One of those real issues is that the CIA has consistently lied to the American people for many, many years. Why would Trump conclude that Brennan was spouting fake news? Well, in the past 15 years, the CIA said that it was not torturing its prisoners. That was a lie. The CIA said that it had not created an archipelago of secret prisons where it was holding hundreds of people, including innocent civilians. That was a lie. The CIA said that it had not created and used a dungeon torture center called the “Salt Pit” in Afghanistan. That was a lie. The CIA said that it was not sending prisoners to third world countries to undergo torture with a wink and a nod from the CIA’s leadership. That was a lie. The CIA said that it had not hacked into computers belonging to investigators of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence while they were writing the definitive report on the CIA torture program. That was a lie.

I won’t even get into CIA protestations that it hasn’t overthrown governments, influenced elections, committed assassinations, or otherwise mucked up U.S. foreign policy since the late 1940s.

I’m no fan of Donald Trump. At all. But he does have a good and important point when he complains about the Intelligence Community. When Trump said recently that the CIA was bloated and inefficient, he was right. When he said that it needed to be pared down and restructured, he was right.

First, it’s good for the country that in a few short days John Brennan will be out of a job. Brennan has been a disaster for the CIA. His ill-advised “restructuring” of the organization two years ago, which did away with geographical “divisions” and created 10 new “fusion centers” that paired operators and analysts, was ill-advised and typical of somebody with no operational experience. It diluted expertise, forced the CIA to rely more on electronic eavesdropping, and pushed human source intelligence collection to the side.

Second, try as he might, Brennan was never able to, and indeed, should not have been able to, deny his role in the Bush administration’s torture program. He was Bush’s Deputy Executive Director of the CIA – the organization’s fourth-ranking officer – from 2001 to 2003 and director of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center from 2003 to 2004. He was in the center of the CIA action and up to his neck in counterterrorism in the Agency’s darkest days. To say that he had no idea there was a CIA torture program at the time is utterly laughable.

Third, I have no idea what kind of CIA director Michael Pompeo will be. I’m not optimistic. But with that said, if he does only one thing during his tenure, I hope he would clean house by forcing out every CIA officer who ever had anything to do with the torture program, every officer who had anything to do with the Senate hacking scandal, and every officer who has ever provided false information to the oversight committees. As my CIA recruiter told me in 1989, “The CIA wants honest people, not perfect people.” Well, even all these years later, the dishonest people have to go.

Fourth, we can certainly have a discussion about whether or not the country even needs a CIA. I have come to the conclusion that it does not. The excellent civil servants in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research can do the analysis. The Pentagon’s Defense Humint Services can recruit and run human sources around the world. A myriad of DoD and other civilian offices and bureaus can do the science and technology development.

In the meantime, however, the job of the CIA ought to remain simple: To recruit spies to steal secrets. When it can’t do that, when a majority of CIA officers are sitting fat and happy in Langley, Virginia, there’s a problem. They are doing the American taxpayer a disservice. The top leadership has to go. Employees who don’t respect U.S. and international law have to go. The purge should start on January 20.



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.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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+68 # elizabethblock 2017-01-17 09:44
John Kiriakou knows what he's talking about.
 
 
+47 # walthe310 2017-01-17 09:56
Abolish the CIA http://wp.me/p1H7Ki-4Xi
 
 
+71 # FIRSTNORN1 2017-01-17 10:14
Remember that our CIA was responsible for getting rid of Mohammed Mossadeq, the democratically elected leader of Iran and re-installing the Shah of Iran (Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi) in 1953. It took roughly 26 years for *this chicken to come home to roost*, but it is highly probable that our CIA was responsible for the Iranian Revolution in 1979. IMHO, there are too many politicians in our country who have turned it into the United States of Amnesia.
 
 
+59 # reiverpacific 2017-01-17 10:54
Quoting FIRSTNORN1:
Remember that our CIA was responsible for getting rid of Mohammed Mossadeq, the democratically elected leader of Iran and re-installing the Shah of Iran (Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi) in 1953. It took roughly 26 years for *this chicken to come home to roost*, but it is highly probable that our CIA was responsible for the Iranian Revolution in 1979. IMHO, there are too many politicians in our country who have turned it into the United States of Amnesia.

It was in British government who instigated this coup but the CIA who followed up by taking out GGuatemala's Jacobo Arbenz in 1954, plunging the country into decades of oligarchical rule, murders, disappearances and purging of any organizations or persons, even hinting of leftist affiliations or sympathies, continuing with almost annual usurpations ever since all over the world.
The CIA is arguably responsible for more murder and skullduggery on behalf of the corporate US state than any organization in history!
 
 
+39 # wrknight 2017-01-17 11:25
Who needs a Mafia when you have a CIA?
 
 
+14 # Anonymot 2017-01-17 15:35
There may be no difference in personnel. There's surely no difference in their thinking nor their activities.

In fact, given that some famous Ivy League schools seem to pass anyone with the right amount of money, I've wondered if the current generation of CIA execs aren't simply senior members of the Italian, Russian, Jewish Mafia carefully placed to control the US foreign affairs ever since the Contra/CIA drug days.
 
 
+8 # Anonymot 2017-01-17 15:41
It might also explain why our past-Prez, current Prez, the State Dept., and the unsuccessful Prez candidate so fell in love with Afghanistan, Burma, Colombia, and Mexico.
 
 
+4 # rogerhgreen 2017-01-18 09:34
Correction: It was the Brits who started it but it was the CIA which took it over and did it. That was the CIA under Allen Dulles early in Eisenhower's administration, with his brother John Foster Dulles as Secretary of State. Harry Truman respected Mossadeq and welcomed him to Washington DC. Read Stephen Kinzers's books "All the Shah's Men", "The Brothers", and "Overthrow". Other than that clarification, I completely agree with reiverpacific .
 
 
+41 # Bruce Gruber 2017-01-17 10:35
I am not sure what "great" means, and I haven't a clue from WHEN being great "again" is being measured. So, 'making America great again' isn't an easy platitude to wrap with enthusiastic understanding.

But, if it includes up-ending the criminal, cash enterprise conducted semi-secretly and without true oversight - at a cost of 'unknown' billions - in wanton disregard for rules, law, principles or humanity - wherever or whenever or however any absolved masochistic, enemy-claiming authoritarian wishes - THEN I will have to apply Trump's platitude of sophomoric simplicity with enthusiasm ... presuming Mr. Kiriakou's assessment and observations sound too accurate to be refuted by "mainstream media" support for an agency that cannot, by operational intent or example, be verified.

Thanks, John, for making 'some' of America (namely 'Freedom of Speech') great again.
 
 
+8 # Bruce Gruber 2017-01-17 11:13
Oh, and Donald, whether by accident or design, thanks for tipping over the apple cart of oligarchy presumption. We ALL knew you were not 'one of them' despite your act. I thought you might turn out to be a Trojan Horse from the very beginning. Keep it 'simple' at 140 characters. I hope you DO know what you are doing.
 
 
+30 # Skyelav 2017-01-17 10:58
Good luck with that. How do you think the global elite run the world? This spy organization has roots deep in all countries in the world including the USA. Until we weed out the perpetrators (see Bilderbergs et al) we remain a sorry lot of whiners, fighting with each other as so much nonsense.
 
 
+54 # Winston Smith II 2017-01-17 11:07
I really appreciate John Kiriakou's argument presented here. The CIA is just a very strange organization. It seems to have a fairly positive image in the minds of most americans. But the reality is something quite different.

A secret Ministry like the CIA is just antithetical to democracy. If it is true that CIA director Brennan organized the release of anti-Trump materials, this is the CIA tampering with US elections. That is really beyond any acceptable level of action.

I'm with this author. The CIA needs to be shut down. Any of its functions that are legal can be moved to other departments.
 
 
+48 # wrknight 2017-01-17 11:15
"I also have no idea if the Russian government “hacked” the Democratic National Committee and stole Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s emails."

And I don't really care who hacked/leaked/w hatever the emails. Why should I care who exposed the corruption in the party when the important thing is the political party corruption? If the evidence is solid (which it is), it doesn't matter who brought it to our attention
 
 
-2 # Caliban 2017-01-20 00:28
"If the evidence is solid"? Knowing the source of any measure should be part of our judgement about the information's reliability.
 
 
+51 # wrknight 2017-01-17 11:17
"The U.S. spies on just about everybody in the world."

No, the U.S. spies on everybody in the world including its own citizens.
 
 
+15 # dotlady 2017-01-17 11:22
Thank you. A very sensible approach to a deep long-term problem, but one that will not likely be considered possible. Somehow I don't think Trump could manage this even if he tries.
 
 
+32 # sus453 2017-01-17 11:48
Thank you John Kiriakou for this article. Finally some sanity on the CIA and the "Russian Question".
 
 
+33 # Dale 2017-01-17 12:14
CIA, CENTRAL INTELLILGENCE ASSASSINS

The history of the CIA is long and very dirty. Since the initiation of the Cold War the chief instrument of the blackest side of AmeriKa. The engineering of the overthrow in 1953 of the nationalist government of Iran, Guatamala 1954. Overthrow of a reformist government El Salvador 1930s for decades following dictatorship, 1980s Death Squads in the age of Ronnie Raygun. Nicaragua 1930s to 1979. Support for the Somoza dynasty. Nicaragua 1980s, CIA organizes and finances with drug money the Contras. The CIA laid the ground work for the Vietnam War. The CIA´s Phoenix Program in Vietnam resulted in hundreds of thousands of dead. The CIA wrote torture manuals. Training future torturers and dictators to apply their skills in subverting social change in the Americas. The grossest example of CIA and all the agencies of the State of National Insecurity-- The policy of Official Terrorism--is Cuba, more than any country in the world, has the been the victim for more than a half century of, precisely, American State Sponsored Terrorism. From 1960 onward Cuba has been the victim of countless terrorist attacks against installations and persons by exile groupings organized and financed by the CIA,Countless attempts to assassinate Fidel.Burning sugar cane fields, bombing Havana hotels
 
 
-29 # thekidde 2017-01-17 12:37
Good information but it's spelled "America". As a former infantry officer in "America's" army, I take offense at this constant misspelling by cretins.
 
 
+2 # Bruce Gruber 2017-01-19 07:11
The conditioned 'patriotism' of "my country - right or wrong", coupled with the unquestioning submission to authority (justified as an absolute) does not - in ANY way - represent the principles or expressed ideals of America's founding documents ... not that they have been universally accomplished or defended.

When you completed your submission to that "authority" by rejoining your fellow citizens, the enjoyment of freedom of speech was reestablished - and you (like the "cretin" you have identified have exercised that right

His expression of sarcastic disagreement with substance over propaganda by conflating "America" with dictatorial authority, implied by Nazi/Communizin g "Amerika", is the essence of that freedom to disagree with authority that you took an oath to defend.

Your trained, conditioned, and exercised authority - implied as 'offended, superior, and motivated reaction - over a fellow citizen for whom you 'served' mimics the division within our society. Anger over a difference of belief, assessment, perception or concept is an opportunity to learn. It is NOT a justification for aggression - in thought or deed.
 
 
+17 # anarchaos 2017-01-17 13:31
AGREED! Central Intelligence Assassins, AND Cocaine Import Agency. Gladio, Phoenix, Northwoods, Z-rifle, PNAC, etcetera. The Church Committee did not get rid of the scum, hopefully Trump will. (Imagine if China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, Grenada or any other nation assassinated a U$A POTUS?). Only AmeriKa does that - excluding 'our'NATO proxies).
 
 
+9 # Anonymot 2017-01-17 18:42
There's a fascinating, in-depth, excellently documented history of the CIA that's worth reading by anyone interested in how we got into this abominable mess: THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE by David Talbot. It will change how you think about our administrations , especially those of the past 30 years.
 
 
+5 # virtualaudio 2017-01-18 12:56
Quoting Anonymot:
There's a fascinating, in-depth, excellently documented history of the CIA that's worth reading by anyone interested in how we got into this abominable mess: THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE by David Talbot. It will change how you think about our administrations, especially those of the past 30 years.

The book is actually titled 'The Devil's Chessboard', and yes, it is an excellent & well researched history of the CIA and Allen Dulles in particular. The Dulles brothers (Allen & Sec of State John Foster) did more damage to the New Deal agenda and US standing in the world post WWII than any other organization, body, force or person. Much misery could have been avoided had the US:
1) Followed through with promises to the USSR made by Roosevelt before his death,
2) Avoided the Imperialistic tendencies that Roosevelt had argued against, particularly as it related to the future of Britain in post WWII world affairs,
3) Avoided the clandestine influence the CIA exerted over other governments, usually for the benefit of some big corporation (United Fruit, Standard Oil, Bethlehem Steel, etc.).
Even Truman regretted creating the CIA in his waning years, as he watched their influence far exceed their original mandate with the consent of Eisenhower & Nixon.
Kennedy managed to fire Dulles, but he never realized his intention to 'smash the CIA into a thousand pieces..'
 
 
0 # Anonymot 2017-01-20 07:40
Ooosps! I've no idea how I made that mistake. Thanks for the correction.
 
 
+26 # Icon 2017-01-17 12:21
Trying to get rid of the CIA got the Kennedy Bros killed!! Remember??
 
 
+25 # mashiguo 2017-01-17 12:44
Hallelujah! Common sense for once.
If nothing else, get rid of he black ops division of the cia.
They can sit in their chairs and analyze till the cows come home, after all its just a form of white collar welfare anyway.

But the should NEVER be allowed to do anything, ever, period.
 
 
+27 # librarian1984 2017-01-17 13:00
Thing is I don't believe any president would (dare to) disband them, but after this clumsy, coup-ish nonsense, Trump might actually do it.

That's the other thing that should condemn the organization: they are not only evil .. but they mess up a lot. They're not even competent evil. They're a joke. Gruesome clowns with guns and a free pass. They are anathema to democracy, ours and the world's. There should be no place for them.

It's nice to hear someone say the words: the CIA should not exist.
 
 
+27 # librarian1984 2017-01-17 12:53
Amen amen amen.

The CIA has got to go. They have done so much damage, here and abroad. If you scratch the surface of the most heinous, despicable actions the US has ever done, there is the CIA.

They have brought their mischief home and now, having developed their expertise abroad, are daring to manipulate a US election. It is an attempted coup and they should not be allowed to exist any longer.

I can understand that a president finds a criminal enterprise handy, but it would mean a lot, and say a lot to the world, to disband them.

Kiriakou -- voice of reason.
 
 
+10 # Radscal 2017-01-17 19:06
Largely true, but a great many of the most heinous, despicable actions the US did was already history before Truman created the CIA.

Not to diminish their inherent evil. CIA is the operational arm of the supra-national financial interests, and has wrought nothing but poverty, terror and death to the 99% wherever it goes.
 
 
+7 # desertprogressive 2017-01-17 22:29
OSS (Office of Strategic Services) was the predecessor to the CIA, and they had the same functions, some of which were espionage, subversion, propaganda and 'post-war' planning (more like war planning).
 
 
+3 # Radscal 2017-01-17 23:47
Yes, though I was more thinking about genocide and slavery, along with imperialistic wars of geographic conquest.
 
 
+2 # Anonymot 2017-01-20 07:43
Yes, and Allen Dulles was its Director before he became the Director of the CIA. They started as killers and have never stopped. It's the mindset and brain damage in an anti-democratic collusion.
 
 
-6 # Robbee 2017-01-17 13:44
"When Trump said recently that the CIA was bloated and inefficient, he was right. When he said that it needed to be pared down and restructured, he was right."

if there is anybody with more to gain financially from a vibrant, efficient, aggressive, american-busine ss-first cia than rump? and his crony cabinet of billionaires? - who?

bush2cheney "made" rex tillerson - can anyone expect rump/tillerson' s cia to do less for rump/tillerson than bush2cheney's cia?

any restructuring of the cia will weed out those "elements" who are not full-throated behind rump's crony cabinet of billionaires - sorry!
 
 
-5 # Robbee 2017-01-17 14:52
and another thing - the last thing obama did for the "intelligence" community was to enable 16 agencies to freely use nsa dragnet of communications everywhere to investigate rump's ties abroad

rump's first job as prez is to "pare down" his "intelligence" community's "bloated and inefficient" ability to investigate the corruption of him and his crony cabinet of billionaires - in order to shift targeting to their competitors - at home and abroad

to become the most corrupt regime in the history of the planet, rump's regime has much work ahead of it - job 1
 
 
+13 # Radscal 2017-01-17 19:16
Actually, the last thing President Obama did for the "intelligence" community was to grant NSA even more authority and power just days ago.

Those who believe Trump is real, think Obama did that to make it easier to stop Trump from resisting the will of the supra-national financial interests which "intelligence" serves.

I do not believe Trump is the "renegade" he's portrayed as being. He has been in bed with those same financial interests his whole life. His persona was created and promoted by the corporate media over 3 decades, culminating in giving him $4 billion in free advertising during the primaries, and then appearing to turn on him at the end.

Since polls show most USians do not trust the corporate media, and even hold it in contempt, having their "renegade" candidate attacked by them only helped him.

This election has all the look of political theater. I would not be at all surprised to see the last act of this play to be the removal of Trump from office (possibly through the appearance of an assassination).
 
 
+10 # lfeuille 2017-01-17 17:04
Thank You John Kariakou for cutting through the fog of disinformation spewing from the CIA and the Democrats. I glad this made it through the censors.
 
 
+14 # janie1893 2017-01-17 17:43
I wonder how much tax money would be saved by closing down the CIA?

Not only does this org. spy but it also activates coups, wars, racial divisiveness and hatred on a world wide scale and has done so since WW2.
 
 
-6 # John S. Browne 2017-01-17 20:24
#

Another blatant example of Kiriakou's contradictions: "...To recruit spies to steal secrets..."! He's condoning that worldwide illegality, folks; while in the same breath (/article) saying that all "al CIAduh(!)" illegality must be ended. And, to top it all off, he knows darn well from having been an insider, that that will never be allowed to happen, as much I wish it would happen.

"Al CIAduh(!)" created "al Q'aeda", and is still running them, creating the enemies to keep the mass-murderous, insane and obscenely-profi table endless war OF terrorism going interminably. But their ultimate goal is to create a one-world government and religion [all of the world's religious organizations and institutions combined into one humongous Catholic-orient ed religion, ultimately controlled by the latter as the all of Western society and its nations already are controlled by them, through evil organizations like "al CIAduh(!)" and the entire global "intelligence" apparatus].

The world's ultimate globalists, the Roman Catholic Church, the most powerful, and richest, separate country, and the most evil cult of counterfeit "Christianity", on the face of the planet, mass-murdering, and/or behind much of the mass-murder, for the past, approximately 1,750 years. And want to mass-murder most of the human population, about seven billion people, from the face of the globe. They pull most of the strings behind everything that goes on in corporate-fasci st global(ist) empire seeking.

#
 
 
+2 # Radscal 2017-01-17 23:56
I replied to your messages.
 
 
+1 # John S. Browne 2017-01-19 20:26
#

Did you reply since the one two days ago (on the 17th)? Because, if so, I never received it and/or them (as it sounds like we haven't received a couple of PMs from eachother).

#
 
 
+1 # Gary Corseri 2017-01-19 13:01
Splendid piece by truth-teller, whistle-blower, all-around human, Kiriakou!

I had the honor of meeting Kiriakou, Thomas Drake and chatting with them briefly at the Sam Adams Awards ceremony in D.C. a couple of months ago. Also, more briefly, meeting Ray McGovern. All CIA whistle-blowers and men of honor and integrity.

Since my early days of activism against the Vietnam War, I've trusted the insider-disgust ed-by-the-Syste m much more than the show-boaters who advance themselves in the corruption.

There have been excellent movies and plays and novels about this sort of thing for decades, but the fake-news and distracting media soon divert public attention and inquiry-in-dept h away from plays like Miller's "The Crucible," or movies like "The Manchurian Candidate," Stone's "J.F.K.," etc. Perhaps we could call it the "pooh-pooh" media, too--and maybe we've had too many pooh-pooh politicians pooh-poohing the good sense of "average" Americans who know they're being pooh-poohingly screwed by elitists!

You'll forgive my flights of fancy here! Kiriakou's piece is one fine antidote to the poisonous bee stings we've been getting from swarms of bees for decades....

GC
 
 
-4 # ericlipps 2017-01-21 14:38
Quote:
I have no idea whether or not Trump, during a visit to Moscow in 2010, hired prostitutes to urinate on a Four Seasons Hotel Presidential Suite mattress because the Obamas had once slept there. I don’t care. I also have no idea if the Russian government “hacked” the Democratic National Committee and stole Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s emails. I have not seen any CIA, FBI, or NSA evidence, so I have come to the personal conclusion that the hacking story is overblown. All countries spy on each other. It’s a fact of life. The U.S. spies on just about everybody in the world. So I have a problem with the righteous indignation that I’m seeing from so many of my friends and former CIA colleagues about the Russians.
I have a problem with the possibility that the Russians spied on a U.S. presidential candidate and her party to help her opponent get elected. And to those who say that the U.S. does it to other nations, I reply that if it's wrong for us to do it to others, why isn't it wrong for others to do it to us?
 

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