Maybe four of the 17 [US Intelligence agencies] could have or should have had an opinion on the Russian hacking. The rest having an opinion is either because of coercion or it is simply false that they had any direct knowledge of the hacking of the DNC by anyone.
From Townhall, by Bruce Bialosky:
The Russians are coming. The Russians are coming. This all started when Hillary Clinton reversed what Barack Obama had started four years earlier in a debate with Mitt Romney who actually stated the Russians were a problem. The only thing is that she stated that all 17 intelligence agencies agreed that the Russians had hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Though technically correct there are “17” intelligence agencies, Ms. Clinton knows that these agencies “agreeing” is a hoax.
My initial reaction to the statement was a logical and rational one. I stated Mr. Trump should have replied to her: “Why do we have 17 intelligence agencies and why can they not stop the Russians from hacking?” I thought this issue would go away after Hillary was sent into retirement, but the sore loser Democrats keep making a big deal about this.
We only reluctantly mention, or quote someone else’s mention of Hillary Clinton. We want the Clintons to fade out of memory – unless either of them is brought to public attention again by being indicted, tried, and sentenced to a long period in jail. But to deal with the present subject – the failures of US Intelligence over the last two decades – we cannot avoid mentioning her, the Liar of Benghazigate, the Taker of Bribes, the Seller of Her Country.
There are actually 17 government entities considered part of our “Intelligence Community”. That is if you consider the Office of the Director of National Intelligence one of them. That position goes back to 1955 when our sprawling intelligence community was determined to be too big and too diverse so they needed another person (and all their staff) to oversee all the operating entities. Ten of the 17 agencies were formed after the director position was established. The coordination did not seem to work because Attorney General John Ashcroft stated his biggest challenge after 9/11 was synchronizing efforts between the various intelligence agencies.
The 17 agencies are broken into three groups. The first are ones within the different arms of the military. There is the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and that could be considered warranted, but why do we need separate departments within every branch and why would they not just be considered part of the DIA? The Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard do not need separate intelligence departments. No wonder we can’t get anything right when just our Defense Department has eight separate intelligence agencies.
If we go back to the claim that all 17 agencies agreed it was the Russians who were hacking, please explain to me what information the Coast Guard had on that. Or, for that matter, any of the other four wings of our armed forces. Why would they be following domestic matters like this? That would seem improper or illegal to me.
Then there are the agencies that are part of cabinet departments. Energy, State, Treasury, Homeland Security and Justice all have intelligence agencies. Why do any of these departments except for maybe Homeland Security need their own agency? The Justice Department, which has the FBI (an important domestic intelligence agency), has another agency (Office of National Security Intelligence) that was created in 2006 under the DEA. What a waste.
All these departments should have their efforts coordinated through one entity – the FBI. If the FBI needs people assigned to these departments they should do so, but everything should run through one central point. Back to the Clinton claim, why would the agency under the DEA have any knowledge about Russian hacking of the DNC? Or the agency in the Energy Department? Again, obviously a ridiculous claim.
Then there are the Big Five of the intelligence community. They are the CIA, DIA, National Security Agency (NSA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (GEOINT). We all know what the CIA does (as much as we are allowed to know). But why is there the DIA and NSA? They are both part of the Defense Department. The NSA was formed in 1952, and the DIA in 1961 and I cannot tell why it exists. It seems we allow our government to create overlapping entities so they can all miss out on accomplishing their mission.
The ones that baffle me totally are the NRO and the GEOINT. GEOINT states “Geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT, is the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess and visually depict physical features and geographically-referenced activities on the Earth. GEOINT consists of imagery, imagery intelligence and geospatial information.” What exactly is that? Maybe this should be a separate agency feeding the others, but they should be under either the CIA or NSA and not another separate operation.
When you look at the description of what the NRO does it certainly seems like it is splitting hairs between what it does and GEOINT. Both are part of the Defense Department and provide services to other intelligence agencies. These are certainly two entities that by definition should have no clue whether the Russians hacked the DNC nor an opinion.
In conclusion, there maybe should be three or four separate intelligence agencies: CIA, FBI, NSA and maybe the director of national intelligence. The other agencies should be folded into these. One would be independent (CIA), one part of Justice (FBI) and one part of Defense (NSA). All the confusing overlap and inefficiency will be eliminated. …
Now that President Trump has appointed Mike Pompeo to replace John Brennan as head of the CIA, will something of that sort happen?
From Front Page by Lloyd Billingsley:
John Brennan … should not have had that job or any intelligence post, not even to make coffee.
In 1976, year of the American Bicentennial, the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) ticket of Gus Hall and Jarvis Tyner got 58,992 votes. One of them came from college student John Brennan and that requires some context. The CPUSA has always been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Soviet Union, and in 1976 that was evident to all but the willfully blind. …
Gus Hall [was] a slobbering Stalinist who defended the USSR during the worst of its atrocities and remained faithful to the end. So it took a special kind of person to vote for Gus Hall and the Communist Party USA in 1976, but John Brennan was up to the task.
Brennan said he voted Communist because he was unhappy “with the system” and saw “the need for change”. … The CPUSA at that time was dedicated to gaining support for Soviet foreign policy, with the intent of defeating the United States in the Cold War. …
Yet Brennan “got the job [of CIA director], which makes sense, given the person who chose him”.
Namely, President Obama. He put the US agency whose duty it was to keep Americans safe from its enemies, under the directorship of a man who had voted for the victory of the USSR over the US, and was an admirer of Islam even after 19 Muslim terrorists had killed close on 3,000 people in New York and Washington, D.C., on 9/11/2001.
The signs of where Brennan’s sympathies lay were not hard to read – and they were not the United States:
In 2012, Brennan played a role in fabricating the false narrative that Benghazi was a spontaneous protest of a video.
After Brennan became CIA boss in 2013, he transformed the agency into a partisan propaganda service for [Obama] and his designated successor Hillary Clinton. She was the Secretary of State who dismissed the four American dead in Benghazi with: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
Mike Pompeo, by all indications a capable man, understands that the Central Intelligence Agency is the eyes and ears of the United States against all enemies, radical Islamic terrorists prominent among them. The CIA does not exist to function as a private Comintern for any politician.
Stalinist-voting John Brennan, who believes Islam is a “faith of peace and tolerance,” is out but questions remain.
Brennan’s moles remain in place. As with corrupt Justice Department and IRS officials, they need to be exposed, fired, and prosecuted.
Director Pompeo should also take a hard look at anyone hired on the watch of John Brennan and [Obama]. Neither [of them] was properly vetted, so check out whom they let slip in. …
In the war for the nation’s future, this will be a crucial battle. … The Trump administration … might consider scrapping the CIA and starting afresh with a new agency. As President Trump says, the nation has deep needs in infrastructure.
Yesterday, the very day of President Trump’s inauguration, these praiseworthy actions were carried out:
The White House’s page on climate change was taken down.
The sculptured head of Winston Churchill was put back in the Oval Office. Here he is re-instated among happy allies, friends, admirers:
And today – the first full day of his presidency – President Trump will talk to the CIA.
The Express informs us:
The President plans to visit the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia. The visit may well be a tense one after he criticized the CIA for concluding Russia was involved in hacking email to interfere in the presidential election.
We doubt it will be tense. Donald Trump doesn’t do tense. He deals.
And he keeps his promises:
President Trump appears to have dropped the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and the European Union (EU) … During the election campaign Donald Trump said he would bin the beleaguered deal and it appears just hours into his presidency he has kept his promise.
He will, however, meet the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, perhaps “as early as next week”:
Theresa May is expected to meet Mr Trump as soon as possible following his remarks signalling a close relationship between the UK and the US.
The scurrilous “intelligence” dossier on President-elect Donald Trump, claiming that he did disgusting, low, disreputable things on a visit to Russia (which he never made) – the alleged antics being on film and in the possession of Russian snoop officials, so the Putin government has a hold on him forever (and that’s why Putin wanted Trump to win the election and therefore wrecked poor Hillary’s otherwise perfect campaign) – was concocted by an erstwhile MI6 agent, now having even more fun running his very own espionage company. His name is Christopher Steele.
He has been accused of lying! And he feels so got-at that he’s gone into hiding.
Which is – we are to understand – awfully unfair, because, you see, the information in the dossier never was intended to be TRUE. Good grief! TRUE? When was “intelligence” ever intended or expected to be TRUE?
A corrective to so naive an expectation comes from an article by Tom Burgis in the Financial Times of January 14, 2017. We quote from the print version:
[Intelligence agents] argue that the rush to shoot the messenger [Christopher Steele] represents a misunderstanding of what intelligence is, whether amassed by state agencies or private companies. It does not deal in true or false, they say, but in shades of confidence in sources. “When you are in the corporate intelligence world, everyone knows that, in every report you get, not everything is true,” says a British investigator who knows Mr Steele.
So in every report you get, there are falsehoods. In every report you get, everything may be false, nothing true. There is no way of knowing.
Now you’ve been educated, now you know that trade secret, how do you feel about your country’s intelligence services? Confident in them? Safer?
No intelligence service detected signs that the 9/11 terrorists attacks on New York and the Pentagon were coming. Nor subsequent mass killings by Muslim terrorists in the US, Britain, France, Germany, and Spain.
However, US intelligence has uncovered many violent plots and prevented them. They have found, or stumbled upon, the truth very often. So it is possible for them to find out what is really happening, has really happened, is going to happen. They surely do strive for accurate information. They are a vital part of the defense of the nation. They cannot take that responsibility as lightly as the colleagues of Christopher Steele insouciantly brag that they do.
The important point about the dossier on Donald Trump in Russia is that it was a work of pure fiction, of cruel malice, of witless irresponsibility. It was extremely unintelligent.
And the chiefs of the US intelligence services knew that it was all those things. Yet they “leaked” the tainting lies to media hostile to the president-elect. That is distressing and horrible to contemplate.
We expect President Trump’s appointees to the headship of the intelligence services – in which many persons of integrity do labor for the truth – to be better and to do better.
What disservice have these four men done to the Intelligence Services of the United States – which they have been in charge of under Obama, the Disserver-in-Chief?:
James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, who informed Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood was “largely secular”.
Mike Morell, former Director of the CIA, who helped concoct White House lies to cover-up the horrific treachery that was “Benghazigate”.
John Brennan, Director of the CIA, who defends Islam in this age of a renewed Islamic onslaught on the West.
James Comey, Director of the FBI, who protected Hillary Clinton from prosecution for her many serious crimes.
Have they turned the Intelligence Services into the enemies of the new United States administration? A Democratic Senator and a journalist who “held positions as the Germany bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal and Germany correspondent for Time magazine” and is now with the Brookings Institution, claim that that is what has happened.
Cliff Kincaid writes at Canada Free Press:
Echoing New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer’s warning that the intelligence community is out to “get” President-elect Trump, a Brookings Institution expert who served in the Clinton administration says that Trump’s treatment of his spies will “come back to bite him” in the form of “devastating” leaks to the media that will make him look foolish or incompetent.
“Leaking by intelligence officials and analysts is, of course, illegal. The intelligence community doesn’t leak as much as the Pentagon or Congress, but when its reputation is at stake, it can do so to devastating effect,” says Daniel Benjamin of the Brookings Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. Benjamin previously served as the principal advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on counterterrorism and was embroiled in the controversy over Mrs. Clinton’s failure to stop the massacre of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.
The Bookings Institution is generously funded by Arab governments.
Benjamin’s article, How Trump’s attacks on the intelligence community will come back to haunt him, did not refute the widely held belief that President Obama’s CIA and its director John Brennan were behind the recent leaks to The Washington Post and New York Times depicting Trump as a Russian puppet. In fact, the implication is that the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community will seek further revenge on Trump if he continues to criticize them.
At his recent news conference, in regard to the leaks about his meetings with intelligence officials, Trump noted that “I think it’s pretty sad when intelligence reports get leaked out to the press. I think it’s pretty sad. First of all, it’s illegal. You know, these are classified and certified meetings and reports.”
But it appears that some intelligence officials believe they are above the law and can use illegal leaks to damage an elected President who has been critical of their work product. In the most recent case, CNN and BuzzFeed were leaked a document offering unsubstantiated claims of Trump being sexually compromised by Russian officials. CNN summarized the document; BuzzFeed published the whole thing.
Trump denounced these leaks, with Director of the Office of National Intelligence James Clapper disclosing that he had called Trump about them and had declared his “profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press …”. He said that he and Trump “both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security”.
Trump said Clapper “called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated.”
“I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC [Intelligence Community],” Clapper said. However, he did not indicate what investigation, if any, he had conducted to make this determination.
“When something goes wrong — say a military deployment to combat jihadi insurgents in the Middle East blows up in the Trump administration’s face — the press will overflow with stories telling of intelligence reports that were ignored by the White House and briefings the president missed,” Benjamin wrote. Such stories, of course, would be based on illegal leaks.
“Imagine what an aggrieved intel community might do to a genuinely hostile president,” he said. Benjamin’s comments suggest that the intelligence community will use the media to blame Trump for things that go wrong in foreign affairs, in order to protect its own reputation. …
It’s reputation? It’s reputation now, thanks to its own leaders, needs improving, not protecting.
The Brookings expert said, “The CIA is usually one of the very first agencies to establish a relationship with new chief executives, because of the briefings it delivers before elections have even occurred and the beguiling prospect it offers of handling missions quietly and efficiently.”
It’s not clear what he means by this. The Obama CIA’s “covert” arms-running program in Syria has backfired in a big way, provoking a Russian military intervention, the loss of up to 500,000 lives, and a refugee crisis which threatens the future of Europe.
Benjamin speculated that Trump will ask the CIA to organize a covert operation to undermine the regime in Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, and that the agency will offer him options that don’t guarantee success and which he may have to reject. He wrote that “…it is an iron law of bureaucracy that no agency will knock itself out for a leader it deems capricious, especially one who cannot be relied on to defend his own if something goes wrong.”
“The answer from the intel community will never be no,” he said. “Instead, the planners will brief the president on three different approaches. Then they will assess the risk of failure for each at 60-80 percent, providing the Oval Office with a dare it cannot possibly accept. For some, of course, this could turn out to be a silver lining in an otherwise dismal story.”
In short, the CIA will look for excuses not to proceed, and then get back to the business of leaking damaging stories to the press when terrorist incidents and other problems occur.
Is the CIA really the “invisible government” that the so-called “conspiracy theorists” have warned about? Is there a “deep state” that tries to run the government behind-the-scenes?
Here is the video clip – we view it gain and again for the sheer pleasure of it – in which President-elect Trump treats journalists who try to traduce him with the powerful scorn they deserve:
How the U.S. Government Hacks the World is the title of an article by Michael Riley published by Bloomberg in May, 2013.
On a dispute over hacking between the U.S. and China, the author writes:
“‘You spy, we spy, but you just steal the wrong stuff.’ That’s a hard conversation,” says Michael Hayden, who headed the NSA [under President Clinton and President G.W Bush], and later the CIA.
“States spying on states, I got that,” says Hayden … “But this isn’t that competition. This is a nation-state attempting espionage on private corporations. That is not an even playing field.”
The tension between the two nations escalated in May, when a Pentagon report to Congress for the first time officially linked China’s government directly to the hacking of U.S. defense contractors. It revealed that U.S. intelligence had been tracking a vast hacking bureaucracy adept at stealing technology from American companies. China’s leaders have long denied being behind the hacks. An article about the Pentagon report in the official People’s Daily newspaper called the U.S. the “real hacking empire”.
The U.S. government doesn’t deny that it engages in cyber espionage.
Hayden is quoted as saying:
You’re not waiting for someone to decide to turn information into electrons and photons and send it. You’re commuting to where the information is stored and extracting the information from the adversaries’ network. We are the best at doing it. Period.”
The U.S. position is that some kinds of hacking are more acceptable than others — and the kind the NSA does is in keeping with unofficial, unspoken rules going back to the Cold War about what secrets are OK for one country to steal from another. …
Next the writer introduces us to TAO:
The men and women who hack for the NSA belong to a secretive unit known as Tailored Access Operations.
It gathers vast amounts of intelligence on terrorist financial networks, international money-laundering and drug operations, the readiness of foreign militaries, even the internal political squabbles of potential adversaries, according to two former U.S. government security officials, who asked not to be named when discussing foreign intelligence gathering.
For years, the NSA wouldn’t acknowledge TAO’s existence. A Pentagon official who also asked not to be named confirmed that TAO conducts cyber espionage, or what the Department of Defense calls “computer network exploitation”, but emphasized that it doesn’t target technology, trade, or financial secrets. The official says the number of people who work for TAO is classified. …
The two former security officials agreed to describe the operation and its activities without divulging which governments or entities it targets. According to the former officials, U.S. cyberspies, most from military units who’ve received specialized training, sit at consoles running sophisticated hacking software, which funnels information stolen from computers around the world into a “fusion center”, where intelligence analysts try to make sense of it all. The NSA is prohibited by law from spying on people or entities within the U.S., including noncitizens, or on U.S. citizens abroad.
According to one of the former officials, the amount of data the unit harvests from overseas computer networks, or as it travels across the Internet, has grown to an astonishing 2 petabytes an hour—that’s nearly 2.1 million gigabytes, the equivalent of hundreds of millions of pages of text.
The agency has managed to automate much of the process, one of the former officials says, requiring human hackers to intervene only in cases of the most well-protected computers. Just like spies in the physical world, the U.S. cyberspies take pains to obscure their tracks or disguise themselves as something else — hackers from China, say — in case their activities are detected.
Even as the rest of the Pentagon budget shrinks, the importance of the NSA’s hacking operations has helped create a booming cyber-industrial complex. Specialized units of big defense contractors, and boutique firms that create hacking tools, look for security flaws in popular software programs that allow government hackers to take over computers. A company called KEYW does a robust business training hackers for U.S. intelligence, says Chief Executive Officer Leonard Moodispaw, who cautions that he can’t reveal more. “Our federal partners don’t like it if we’re too explicit.”
All this activity gives China leverage against Washington’s complaints, says Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. Beijing can turn U.S. protests about industrial espionage around and claim that Washington is doing something even worse. “It’s OK to steal plans for a new automobile,” Aftergood says the Chinese can argue, “but not our national secrets.”
Spiegel OnLine reported in October, 2013:
TAO specialists have directly accessed the protected networks of democratically elected leaders of countries. They infiltrated networks of European telecommunications companies and gained access to and read mails sent over Blackberry’s BES email servers, which until then were believed to be securely encrypted. Achieving this last goal required a “sustained TAO operation”, one document states.
This TAO unit is born of the Internet – created in 1997, a time when not even 2 percent of the world’s population had Internet access and no one had yet thought of Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. From the time the first TAO employees moved into offices at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, the unit was housed in a separate wing, set apart from the rest of the agency. Their task was clear from the beginning – to work around the clock to find ways to hack into global communications traffic.
“You spy, we spy … States spying on states …”
That’s the norm. And it’s good to know that the U.S. does it best.
The Democrats who cannot bear to accept the result of the presidential election, and their toady press, are trying to delegitimize the election of Donald Trump by various ineffectual means.
One was declaring that this time, for the first time ever, the number of popular votes for a candidate should decide the winner, not the number of Electoral College votes (and Hillary Clinton, they say, won the popular vote). Won’t work.
Another was to join with a Green candidate who got a few votes in demanding a recount in certain states that they feel deeply should have preferred Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. Didn’t work.
Next comes their attempt to get a majority of the super-delegates of the Electoral College to vote for Hillary Clinton even though their duty is to vote for Donald Trump. Won’t work.
Another ploy is to imply that the election is of dubious validity because the CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election.
According to the Washington Post of September 5, 2016: :
A Russian influence operation in the United States “is something we’re looking very closely at”, said one senior intelligence official who, like others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter. Officials also are examining potential disruptions to the election process, and the FBI has alerted state and local officials to potential cyberthreats
The way that’s worded, “a Russian influence operation” is an established fact, waiting only to be explored by intelligence officials. To lend the story a gloss of verisimilitude, the cunning writer adds that “the FBI has alerted state and local officials to potential cyberthreats”, which we expect is true because it is only sensible after all.
The official cautioned that the intelligence community is not saying it has “definitive proof” of such tampering, or any Russian plans to do so. “But even the hint of something impacting the security of our election system would be of significant concern,” the official said. “It’s the key to our democracy, that people have confidence in the election system.”
The “hint” coming, of course, only and entirely from them.
The same Washington Post story included this:
The Kremlin’s intent may not be to sway the election in one direction or another, officials said, but to cause chaos and provide propaganda fodder to attack U.S. democracy-building policies around the world, particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
But the paper and its like changed that part of the story.
The Washington Post reported on December 9 – after the election:
The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.
Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.
Never mind that Julian Assange of Wikileaks has denied that the emails it acquired and released came from Russia.
And no plausible explanation of why Russia would prefer Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton is provided.
Cliff Kincaid comments at GOPUSA:
The line-up of former CIA personnel opposing Trump sounds impressive, except when you consider the fact that the CIA has a habit of getting things wrong. Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a former vice-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, once declared that “for a quarter century, the CIA has been repeatedly wrong about the major political and economic questions entrusted to its analysis.” Moynihan had introduced a bill to abolish the CIA. The late Lt. Gen. William Odom, then-director of the National Security Agency (NSA), said the CIA should be disbanded.
Trump critic Michael Hayden, who served as director of both the NSA and CIA, was on a list of “former national security officials” from Republican administrations who announced they wouldn’t vote for Trump. …
Under the headline, “CIA Judgment On Russia Built On Swell Of Evidence,” The New York Times reports that “many believe” there is “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” that the Russians tried to help Trump. The paper said “the conclusion that Moscow ran an operation to help install the next president is one of the most consequential analyses by American spy agencies in years.”
These “many’ have come to “believe” it on “a swell of evidence”? What evidence? None – none at all – has been produced.
Such analyses can mean nothing and can, in fact, divert the attention of elected officials from the truth. Trump calls the verdict on alleged Russian involvement in the election “ridiculous”. It would not be the first ridiculous work product from the intelligence community. The CIA failed to predict the Soviet “collapse,” and then mistakenly assumed the collapse was real and not a strategic deception.
It is significant that The Washington Post, owned by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, broke the story about the CIA allegedly concluding that the Russians had somehow meddled in the U.S. elections by hacking into Democratic Party computers. The CIA has a $600 million contract with Amazon Web Services. …
Interestingly, Amazon CEO Bezos plans to attend President-elect Donald Trump’s meeting of tech-industry executives this Wednesday [today] in New York. Perhaps Trump will ask Bezos whether the Post is being manipulated by political partisans in the Intelligence Community.
Trump has tweeted, “Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!” Or “fake news”. …
After he takes office, Trump should immediately clean house in the CIA and other intelligence agencies. But it may be the case that the charges being directed against him at the present time are designed to prevent just that. If Trump cleans house, he will be accused in the press of trying to purge intelligence officials with evidence of a Russian plot to elect Trump!
The American people have been saddled with an Intelligence Community that is full of what are called “insider spies”. The situation is so bad that a special paper has been published about a novel new way to deal with traitors. The idea is to provide a “safe refuge” and a secret process of “reconciliation” for them without threatening long prison terms or the death penalty. In this manner, the American people would hear nothing about spies being arrested and the damage they have done.
We know that the media picked sides in the presidential contest. Now we are seeing more evidence of how the CIA picked sides, to the point of engaging in what is an obvious effort to bring down the Trump presidency even before it begins.
What does Michael Hayden himself – Director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005 and the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009 – say?
He – who announced in advance of the election that he wouldn’t vote for Trump – writes a Washington Post article headlined, Trump is already antagonizing the intelligence community, and that’s a problem:
A month ago I wrote here about the importance and challenge of the intelligence community establishing a relationship with President-elect Donald Trump.
That has just gotten more important and more challenging.
In my November op-ed, I asked: “What role will facts and fact-bearers play in the Trump administration? . . . Which of the president-elect’s existing instincts and judgments are open to revision as more data is revealed?”
“Instincts open to revision“? And this was a top intelligence official?
I had in mind the president-elect’s confidence in his own a priori beliefs and specifically his rejection of the intelligence community’s judgment that Russia had stolen American emails and weaponized their content to corrode faith in our electoral processes.
The president-elect has been unmoved in his rejection of this high-confidence judgment. In Time magazine’s article last week naming him “Person of the Year,” Trump repeated, “I don’t believe it. I don’t believe they interfered.”
Such obstinacy, to have confidence in his own judgment!
Shortly afterward, The Post reported that CIA analysts now believe the Russian aim was to help Trump win.
Why Russia might do that, might want that, is not explained.
And some might consider that publishing such a “belief” to be an attack on Trump – especially considering that not a trace of evidence has been produced to support any of these alleged CIA analysts’ alleged “beliefs”. But this luminary of the Intelligence world, Michael Hayden, thinks it is Trump who is going “on the attack”:
Team Trump immediately went into attack mode, employing the bureaucratic equivalent of the ad hominems the president-elect used during the campaign (“Crooked Hillary,” “Lyin’ Ted,” “Little Marco”). “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” its first salvo described the U.S. intelligence community.
A failed analogy that. A reminder of a CIA failure is not an “ad hominem” of the sort quoted in brackets.
Then Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer alleged on CNN that “there are people within these agencies who are upset with the outcome of the election”.
How could he say such a thing? How could that possibly be true? As if there were Democrats in the CIA who would be upset that their candidate lost and Donald Trump won!
Incompetent. Politicized. No need to discuss any further. Move on.
“Move on”, Mr. Hayden, is a signature motto of the Democratic Party, not of any Republicans.
To be fair, the “Russia did it” announcement in October was official and well documented.
Was it? To be fair, tell us how. Show us the documents.
No need, Mr. Hayden soothes us, because two absolutely dependable human pillars of integrity attest to the veracity of the announcement:
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. attached their reputations to it.
An administration-in-waiting more confident in itself, in its own legitimacy, in U.S. institutions and in the people it will soon govern might have said, “These are serious issues. We intend to hear them out. Nothing is more precious than our democratic process. We have asked the Obama administration for details.”
The fact that that didn’t happen should invite tons of commentary. But not from me.
So, “it needs commentary, but I’m not commenting on it”. There is a Greek word for that rhetorical device: Apophasis. It means that the speaker brings up a subject by saying he will not bring it up.
This article could have been scripted for a villain’s speech in a play!
My narrow concerns as an intelligence officer are the questions raised above. How will this affect the new president’s relationship with the intelligence community?
A lot. And not well.
First is the question of how the incoming administration values intelligence. On Sunday, the president-elect again rejected the Russian role, adding that he was smart enough that he didn’t want or need a daily briefing.
This creates more than hurt feelings. The intelligence community makes great sacrifices, and CIA directors send people into harm’s way to learn things otherwise unavailable. And directors have seen stars carved on the agency’s memorial wall because of it. If what is gained is not used or wanted or is labeled as suspect or corrupt — by what moral authority does a director put his people at risk? …
Now the suppliers of intelligence are victims of callous indifference?
Wasn’t it revealed not so long ago that Centcom (U.S.Central Command] actually served up to President Obama what he wanted to hear about the progress of his tentative little war on ISIS rather than the depressing truth discovered “at great sacrifice”? And that in any case President Obama has skipped more than half his intelligence briefings?
What happens if the incoming administration directs that the “Russia did it” file be closed?
There’s a file? With documents in it? That prove the case? And it is still open?
Would standing intelligence requirements to learn more about this be eliminated? And if they were, what would the agency do with relevant data that would inevitably come through its collection network?
And what about the statute that requires the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community to keep Congress “fully and currently informed” about all significant intelligence activities? Data on a foreign power manipulating the federal electoral process would certainly qualify. What will the White House position be when the agency is asked by Congress if it has learned anything more on the issue?
More immediately, what will CIA Director-designate Mike Pompeo say during his confirmation hearings about this? He is not yet director, so he can fairly deflect any questions on the substance of this debate, for now. But every TV set at Langley will be turned on during his confirmation hearings, and his most important audience will not be the senators on the dais. His future workforce will be looking for clues about his willingness to defend them against charges of incompetence and politicization simply for saying what their craft tells them to be true. …
And, finally, how does the intelligence community break through and explain itself to the incoming team?
Don’t worry about that, Mr. Hayden. We are confident that Mr. Pompeo will manage it perfectly well.
The CIA has concluded in a secret [!?] assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.
(Words taken from the Washington Post whose report is to be found here.)
Donald Trump dismissed CIA claims that Russian hacks on Democratic emails were intended to help him win the presidency as “ridiculous”. He told Fox News Sunday that it was “another excuse” for Democrats and said he believed that rival politicians had spread the news. He’s not the only one with doubts – in a secret Capitol meeting last week, a senior FBI official refused to back the CIA’s claim. Russia has been named as the culprit in a number of hacks during the election that saw Democratic emails being leaked. But the FBI says there isn’t enough evidence to confirm Russia was pro-Trump, rather than just causing interference with the election.
(Words taken from the Daily Mail whose report is to be found here.)
The Obama man heading the CIA is John Brennan.
That great resource, Discover the Networks, reveals the following (inter alia) about John Brennan:
In September 2012, Brennan was involved in crafting the false talking points that then-Secretary of State Susan Rice gave regarding the 9/11/12 terrorist attack against a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. Specifically, Rice claimed that according to the “best information at present”. the deadly attack was not premeditated, but rather, a “spontaneous reaction” to “a hateful and offensive video that was widely disseminated throughout the Arab and Muslim world.”
On January 7, 2013, President Obama nominated Brennan for the position of CIA director. …
At a May 21, 2013 CIA ceremony honoring the Agency officials killed in the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, several CIA officers who had survived those attacks were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) — despite the fact that they were: (a) leaving government service, and (b) still bound by previous NDAs which they had signed. Both before and after the May 21st NDAs, intelligence officials adamantly denied that anyone affiliated with the CIA had been asked to sign nondisclosure agreements regarding the events in Benghazi.
Perhaps the most notable of those denials came in a September 3, 2013 letter from CIA director Brennan to House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Mike Rogers, in which Brennan responded to several specific questions that Rogers had previously posed (in a letter dated August 2, 2013) regarding whether or not the CIA officers who survived the Benghazi attacks were subsequently subjected to polygraphs or required to sign NDAs. Posing and answering several questions as a means of responding to Rogers’ queries, Brennan wrote:
Has any officer, either staff of contractor, been forced to undergo any polygraph because of their presence or their participation in any activity related to Benghazi attacks? Response: No.
Has any officer, either staff of contractor, been required to sign any non-disclosure agreement because of their presence at Benghazi or their participation in any activity related to the Benghazi attacks? Response: No.
According to sources familiar with the NDAs that were presented to the Benghazi survivors at the May 21, 2013 memorial service, the documents did not specifically mention the Benghazi attacks and thus were technically consistent with Brennan’s letter. But as a Weekly Standard analysis notes:
That’s a generous interpretation. The new NDAs were presented to Benghazi survivors after they had flown in from around the country (or world) to attend a CIA memorial for the Benghazi fallen at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia — where the attacks in Benghazi were the focus of the day. It’s hardly a leap to imagine that these NDAs, perhaps not even necessary, were intended to remind CIA officials a little more than six months removed from their service in Benghazi that the U.S. government would prefer that they not discuss what happened there.
In March 2014, Senator Dianne Feinstein — the head of a Senate Intelligence Committee that was involved in a multi-year probe (begun in 2009) of the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation measures on suspected terrorists during the Bush Administration — went to the Senate floor and angrily accused Brennan’s CIA of having hacked into the computers of her Committee staffers. In response, Brennan expressed dismay that “some members of the Senate” were making “spurious allegations about CIA actions that are wholly unsupported by the facts”. Moreover, he demanded an end to “outbursts that do a disservice to the important relationship that needs to be maintained between intelligence officials and Congressional overseers”. And he told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell:
As far as the allegations of the CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth. We wouldn’t do that. I mean, that’s just beyond the, you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we do.” Brennan likewise told the media that “a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous sort of spying and monitoring and hacking will be proved wrong.
But according to the findings of a CIA inspector general’s report released on July 31, 2014, it was actually Brennan who was proved wrong. The report indicated that five CIA employees — two attorneys and three computer specialists — indeed had surreptitiously and unlawfully searched files and emails on the computers of the aforementioned Senate investigators. In response to the report, Brennan apologized to Senate Intelligence Committee leaders.
Committee members were infuriated, however. Senator Mark Udall (D-Colorado), for example, called for Brennan’s resignation, citing “the unprecedented hacking of congressional staff computers”, damaging leaks about the Committee’s investigations, and Brennan’s “abject failure to acknowledge any wrongdoing by the agency”.
By contrast, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that President Obama continued to support Brennan and had “not at all” lost faith in the CIA leader’s credibility. …
In a May 2012 teleconference, Brennan revealed some highly sensitive information that, in turn, was relayed to the press by one of the other parties to the call — Richard Clarke, former chief of counter-terrorism in the Clinton White House. This highly serious intelligence leak blew the cover of secrecy off of an active counterterrorism operation in which the British and Saudi intelligence agencies had successfully placed an operative deep inside al Qaeda’s organization in the Arabian Peninsula. Consequently, the initiative had to be terminated immediately, enraging America’s foreign intelligence allies.
… CNN reporter Tal Kopan found a striking admission from CIA Director John Brennan. When he first applied to join the CIA, and received his polygraph test, he was asked this standard question:
Have you ever worked with or for a group that was dedicated to overthrowing the US?
Remarking on this last week during a panel discussion at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual conference, Brennan said: “I froze…. This was back in 1980, and I thought back to a previous election where I voted, and I voted for the Communist Party candidate.” Brennan was responding to a question about barriers to recruiting diverse candidates for the intelligence agencies, including whether past records of activism could hurt someone applying for a clearance later in life.
Brennan called his support of the Communist Party a mere “indiscretion”, and reminded his audience that the Constitution grants free speech. He then remembered that he said to himself he could either lie and the polygraph machine would “go wacko” or tell the truth and face the consequences, including possibly being rejected for employment. He told the audience he voted for Gus Hall because while in college he was unhappy “with the system” and saw the “need for change”.
It is relevant to mention that John Brennan probably converted to Islam. (He has not confirmed this.) He is certainly highly protective of Islam.
In a March 2015 speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, Brennan refused to refer to the Islamic State (ISIS, a.k.a. ISIL) terror group as an “Islamic” entity. Said the CIA director: “Quite frankly I am amused at the debate that goes on [that] unless you call it what it is [Islamic terrorism], you don’t know what you’re fighting. And let’s make it very clear that the people who carry out acts of terrorism, whether it be Al Qaeda or the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant [ISIS], are doing it because they believe it is consistent with what their view of Islam is. It is totally inconsistent with what the overwhelming majority of Muslims throughout the world [believe]. And so by ascribing it as a Muslim terrorism or Islamic extremism — I think it does really give them the type of Islamic legitimacy that they are so desperately seeking, but which they don’t deserve at all. They are terrorists, they’re criminals. Many of them are psychopathic thugs, murderers, who use a religious concept and masquerade, mask themselves, in that religious construct. And I do think it does injustice to the tenets of religion when we attach a religious moniker to [ISIS]. The Muslims I know … The people I’ve worked with throughout the Middle East most of my career find just disgraceful that these individuals present themselves as Muslims.”
Considering all this, we would concede that John Brennan’s trustworthiness may be a little higher than Hillary Clinton’s.
And the reliability of reports that come out of John Brennan’s CIA may sometimes rise to the level of Susan Rice’s statements about the Benghazi attack.
John Brennan is a convert to Islam? And Obama wants him to head the CIA? While Islam is waging war against us?
This is a 2 hour 49 minute video. For the talk about Brennan being a Muslim watch it between the 11 and 52 minute marks.
We cannot be sure it is true, but we think it is all too possible, and if true, very dangerous.
From RightScoop comes this about John Guandolo, the speaker who breaks the story in the video:
John Guandolo is not just some guy with an opinion; he’s a guy with sources who have access to the highest levels of government; he’s a guy who has a resume that is beyond impressive [he served in the Marines and is a former FBI agent and a SWAT team leader]; and he’s a guy who claims to know people with firsthand accounts who say they witnessed John Brennan – Barack Obama’s nominee for CIA Director – convert to Islam while in Saudi Arabia.
And from Free Republic, these comments:
The issues are that (i) it has been concealed and (ii) he was evidently “recruited” to Islam by members of the Saudi Arabian government…
Moreover, not all forms of Islam are equal. Salafi Islam – what we in the West often refer to as Wahhabi Islam – is the most virulent, intolerant form of Sunni Islam extant.
On November 17, 2012, in our post America’s counter-jihad chief, we reported this:
The Head of Counterterrorism at the CIA is a Muslim. He can only be known by his cover-name, Roger.
Roger, according to our source, was a convert to Islam.
Are Roger and John Brennan one and the same?
If not, will there be two powerful “secret” agents working for Islam in the CIA?
…. and Osama bin Laden.
It seems that bin Laden is not in Afghanistan, not in Pakistan, but in Iran. And it is possible he is being held captive there.
Ken Timmerman tells the story:
A new documentary film premiering at the prestigious Tribeca film festival in New York this week presents stunning new evidence that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is living in Iran, where the Iranian regime is sheltering him.
The film, “Feathered Cocaine,” began as a simple documentary of the illicit trade in hunting falcons to Middle East desert sheikhs. But as filmmakers Thorkell (Keli) Hardarson and Örn Marino Arnarson delved deeper into their subject, they discovered a dark underworld in which terrorism and falcon smuggling met with astonishing regularity.
In March 2008, the filmmakers ventured into Afghanistan and the former Soviet republics along with Alan Parrot, the head of the Union for the Conservation of Raptors, a conservationist group that seeks to protect wild falcons, to interview a falcon smuggler they code-named “T-2.”
For three days, the team waited in a mountain village while the smuggler kept them under surveillance from afar. Satisfied that they hadn’t been followed, he granted them a 55-minute interview — only if they agreed to disguise his voice and his appearance. …
“T-2” told the filmmakers that he met bin Laden by chance in late November 2004 at a falcon-hunting camp in northeastern Iran.
“I met him five times after 2004,” he said. “The last time we met was in October 2007. Every time, it was in Iran.” …
“Feathered Cocaine” includes excerpts from the footage with “T-2,” as well as interviews with lawyer John Loftus, former CIA clandestine officer Bob Baer, and others, including this reporter and former Washington Post reporter and terrorism expert Steve Coll.
Loftus revealed that “T-2” provided the filmmakers with the specific frequencies of small transmitters bin Laden had strapped to the backs of his hunting falcons so he could find them if they failed to return to base. Loftus said the CIA could use that information to track bin Laden and capture him, and that he offered it to the director of the Central Intelligence Agency and to the heads of other U.S. intelligence agencies at the request of the filmmakers, with no response.
Last year, they approached “Rewards for Justice,” the State Department office that is offering a $50 million reward for information leading to bin Laden’s capture, but never received any acknowledgement of their information.
Speaking to a packed house after the Tribeca premier on Friday, Parrot was asked to speculate about why “T-2” agreed to talk to the filmmakers, because the details surely would allow bin Laden to guess his identity.
“I believe that bin Laden wanted ‘T-2’ to send a message through us,” Parrot said. “He wanted the world to know that he was in Iran, but that he couldn’t leave.”
In the movie, Parrot said the Iranian regime is giving bin Laden “a long leash” but is holding his family hostage in Tehran in the event bin Laden revealed his relationship to them. “This was confirmed by one of bin Laden’s sons last year,” Parrot said.
Omar bin Laden, who married a British woman and broke with his father before the 9/11 attacks, revealed in December 2009 that seven of his siblings were living in Tehran and seeking to leave the country.
The story of American-born falconer Alan Howell Parrot lies at the center of this extraordinary tale and lends it credibility. Parrot began breeding falcons and selling them to the king of Saudi Arabia and then to the president of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) in the late 1970s, and was a frequent guest at their royal palaces and elaborate hunting camps in the wilds of southern Afghanistan.
In the late 1990s, so was renegade Saudi financier Osama bin Laden. Parrot described the royal hunting camps “al-Qaida’s board room,” because they gave bin Laden the opportunity to spend weeks of quality time with wealthy backers from the U.A.E. and other gulf states.
Parrot alleges that bin Laden’s royal backers transferred “hundreds of millions of dollars” in cash to him during these hunting expeditions, as well as military equipment and off-road vehicles. The movie includes footage of a U.A.E. military C-130 transport plane landing at a makeshift airstrip in western Pakistan to deliver equipment to the hunting camps.
“I see bin Laden as a falcon smuggler,” Parrot states in the film, “and in that capacity I went after him. All the locals in Kandahar hated bin Laden because he stole all the falcons.”
If only that had been his worst crime!
Osama bin Laden could have been eliminated at one of those camps. The CIA was for doing it, but President Clinton decided against it.
After al-Qaida blew up two U.S. embassies in Africa in July 1998, the CIA also began hunting for bin Laden in earnest. Local agents in Afghanistan spotted him at a royal hunting camp near Kandahar in February 1999, according to an account that appeared in the final report of the 9/11 Commission.
CIA Director George Tenet asked the White House for permission to launch a cruise missile strike on the camp on Feb. 8, 1999, but soon ran into interference from an unusual source: Richard Clarke, the top counter-terrorism adviser to President Clinton.
As the 9/11 Commission report concluded, “policymakers were concerned about the danger that a strike would kill an Emirati prince or other senior officials who might be with bin Laden or close by,” so they called off the strike.
On March 7, 1999, Richard Clarke called Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the U.A.E. defense minister, to “express his concerns about possible associations between Emirati officials and bin Laden,” the 9/11 Commission report states.
It is not clear whether Clarke told Mohammed that U.S. intelligence had evidence that U.A.E. officials were with bin Laden in Afghanistan, but after the call, bin Laden and his patrons quickly dispersed and the camps were dismantled.
Clarke claims the CIA approved the tip-off call. However, former CIA official John Mayer III told the commission it was “almost impossible” for the CIA to have approved Clarke’s move.
“When the former bin Laden unit chief found out about Clarke’s call, he questioned CIA officials, who denied having given such a clearance,” the report states. “Imagery confirmed that, less than a week after Clarke’s phone call, the camp was hurriedly dismantled and the site was deserted.”
Forty nine years ago, in mid April 1961, a small CIA-trained force of Cuban exiles invaded southern Cuba in a valiant attempt to overthrow the Castro regime. President Kennedy betrayed them.
Humbert Fortova’s vivid and maddening story about what happened in those few days is a must-read. Here’s a taste of it:
Fifteen hundred men crowded before San Roman at their Central American training camps that day. The next day they’d embark for a port in Nicaragua, the following day for a landing site in Cuba named Bahia De Cochinos (Bay of Pigs). Their outfit was known as Brigada 2506 …
“They fought like Tigers,” wrote a CIA officer who helped train these Cuban freedom-fighters. “But their fight was doomed before the first man hit the beach.”
That CIA man, Grayston Lynch, knew something about fighting — and about long odds. He carried scars from Omaha Beach, The Battle of the Bulge and Korea’s Heartbreak Ridge. But in those battles, Lynch and his band of brothers could count on the support of their own chief executive.
At the Bay of Pigs, Lynch and his band of Cuban brothers learned — first in speechless shock and finally in burning rage — that their most powerful enemies were not Castro’s Soviet-armed and led soldiers massing in Santa Clara, Cuba, but the Ivy League’s Best and Brightest dithering in Washington. …
When the smoke cleared and their ammo had been expended to the very last bullet, when a hundred of them lay dead and hundreds more wounded, after their very mortars and machine gun barrel had almost melted from their furious rates of fire, after three days of relentless battle, barely 1,400 of them — without air support (from the U.S. Carriers just offshore) and without a single supporting shot by naval artillery (from U.S. cruisers and destroyers poised just offshore) — had squared off against 41,000 Castro troops, his entire air force and squadrons of Soviet tanks. The Cuban freedom-fighters inflicted casualties of 30 to 1 against their Soviet-armed and led enemies…
No amount of heroism and pluck can offset those odds, however — not without air cover. And tragically, 80 percent of the pre-invasion sorties by the freedom-fighter planes from Nicaragua — the essential component of the plan to knock out Castro’s air force on the ground as originally devised under the Eisenhower administration — had been canceled at the last moment by JFK on the advice of his Best and Brightest. This was a Republican plan, after all, that had landed in their lap. And the New Frontiersmen suffered a guilty conscience about such “Yankee bullying.”
“The liberal cannot strike wholeheartedly against the Communist,” wrote early National Review columnist James Burnham, “for fear of wounding himself in the process.” ..
The canceled airstrikes made the Brigade’s lumbering B-26s easy prey for Castro’s jets and fast Sea-Furies — and the troops and supplies below them were even easier prey. It was a turkey shoot for the Castroites.
But the unequal battle raged furiously on the tiny beachhead. CIA man Grayston Lynch, just offshore one of the landing ships, finally learned about the canceled air strikes and figured the freedom-fighters he’d trained and befriended were doomed. “If things get rough,” he radioed Commander San Roman “we can come in and evacuate you.”
“We will not be evacuated!” Pepe roared back to Lynch. “We came here to fight! We don’t want evacuation! We want more ammo! We want PLANES! This ends here!” Repeated requests from the beachhead for air cover were transmitted to Washington — to no avail.
“See, Latin American ‘street?’” Camelot was saying with wide eyes and a smug little grin, like Eddie Haskell in front of June Cleaver. “See, U.N.? As you can plainly see, we’re not involved in this thing. We’re not the imperialist bullies Castro claims.”
This infantile and criminal idiocy had Adm. Arleigh Burke of the Joints Chief of Staff, who was transmitting the battlefield pleas, teetering on mutiny…
The fighting admiral was livid. They say his face was beet red and his facial veins popping as he faced down his commander-in-chief that fateful night of April 18, 1961.
“Mr. President, TWO planes from the Essex! (the U.S. Carrier just offshore from the beachhead)” that’s all those boys need, Mr. President. Let me …!”
JFK was in white tails and a bow tie that evening, having just emerged from an elegant social gathering. “Burke,” he replied. “We can’t get involved in this.”
“WE put those boys there, Mr. President!!” The fighting admiral exploded. “By God, we ARE involved!”…
While the Knights of Camelot mulled over their image problems, the men on the beachhead had problems of their own…
“MAYDAY! MAYDAY! Have Castro jet on my tail! Request … I repeat! — Request …!”
“Sorry,” replied the Essex. “Our orders are …” The Cuban freedom-fighter pilot didn’t hear the rest of his death sentence. An explosion and his radio went dead. These messages went on and on, hour after hour, from different pilots — to no avail. By the second day, nearly half of these almost suicidal brave Cuban exile pilots had met a fiery death from Castro’s jets.
This was too much for their enraged and heartsick American trainers at the base in Nicaragua. Four of them suited up, gunned the engines and joined the fight. These weren’t pampered Ivy Leaguers. They were Alabama Air Guard officers, men with archaic notions of loyalty and honor. They were watching the decimation. They knew the odds. They went anyway.
All four died on that first mission…
Finally JFK relented and allowed some Skyhawk jets to take-off from the Essex. One of these pilots quickly spotted a long column of Castro tanks and infantry making for the Brigade. The Soviet tanks and trucks were sitting ducks. “AHA!” he thought. “Now we’ll turn this thing around!” The pilot started his dive…
“Permission to engage denied,” came the answer from his commander…
“This is crazy!” he bellowed back. “Those guys are getting the hell shot out of them down there! I can SEE it!!” Turned out, JFK had allowed them to fly and look — but not to shoot!
Some of these Navy pilots admit to sobbing openly in their cockpits…
“I wanted to resign from the Navy,” said Capt. Robert Crutchfield, the decorated naval officer who commanded the destroyer fleet off the beachhead. He’d had to relay Washington’s replies to those pilots.
A close-up glimpse of the heroism on that beachhead might have sent those Essex pilots right over the edge. As JFK adjusted his bow tie in the mirror and Jackie picked lint off his tux, the men of Brigada 2506 faced a few adjustments of their own. To quote Haynes Johnson [Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and TV pundit], “It was a battle when heroes were made.” …
Read what happened next, how they fought to the death and were defeated.
Ending on a note of justified bitterness and irony, Fortova recalls the promise Kennedy had made when he was inaugurated just three months earlier:
“We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty!”