Burn CIA and FBI to the ground. Republished 16 October 2022


IMO there is a lot of evidence of incompetence and malfeasance in the leadership of the 17 agencies of the Intelligence Community and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  A partial list of failures and misdeeds:

1.  They failed to predict the collapse of the USSR.  There was a lot of scholarship on the subject before the event and individual analysts were sure that the end was approaching for the Soviet government but the agencies refused to believe that such a thing could happen.  Why?  The IC accepted the insistence of the elected government of the US that history would continue in a straight line forever with concomitant profits for industry.

2.  They failed to predict 9/11. This failure was not “failing to connect the dots.”  It was largely a failure to run clandestine HUMINT collection operations well enough to know what al-Qa’ida was up to in detail.  This was not an impossible task.  The IC was offered the means of penetration of the group and refused to take the risk of disclosure with subsequent damage to executives careers even though it was well understood how dangerous AQ was after the East Africa bombings.

3. They failed to infiltrate Al-Qa’ida before 9/11.  Once again, this was not an impossible task. I could tell you how, but …

4. The FBI has repeatedly participated in DoJ efforts to “frame” persons charged in federal courts.  They helped DoJ prosecutors do that to Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska.  To my certain and personal knowledge from my work as a consultant to the federal courts and an expert witness in national security cases the FBI/DoJ have repeatedly withheld evidence from the discovery process in which security cleared defense attorneys were due this knowledge, I have seen the FBI bribe witnesses to testify against defendants on what amounted to a contingency basis, i.e., no conviction, no fee.

5.  And then there is the current murky situation concerning the leaders of the IC; Brennan, Clapper etc., and the leaders of the FBI.  IMO it is clear that whatever they did exactly, they aligned themselves against Candidate/President elect Trump.

There are many, many more examples but time and space available here must limit my recitation of these issues.

Tell me, pilgrims, why should we put up with such nonsense?  Why should we pay the leaders of these agencies for the privilege of having them abuse us? We are free men and women. Let us send these swine to their just deserts in a world where they have to work hard for whatever money they earn.

TTG and I are agreed that the very first thing to do is strip CIA of whatever role they still have in the world of Covert Action.  CA includes all measures short of war but more violent than diplomacy that are taken to implement legal US foreign policy.  The CIA should not have this mission. They have shared this with the armed forces since 9/11.  CIA’s present mission is to serve as the main US Clandestine Service, backed up by the military.  In this role they are supposed to recruit foreigners to spy for us but also to run a large part of CA.   It is obvious to anyone who has watched them try to do that over many decades that they simply lack the skills needed.  Watching them try, is like watching a monkey try to f—k a football.  In their efforts to comply with this mission the civilian leadership of CIA hire people who once were soldiers but who sought other employment and they also borrow junior soldiers from Army Special Forces.  Why not cut out the “middleman” in the process and have the military run CA?

An argument can be made that the FBI, the spawn of J. Edgar Hoover’s peculiar brain (he amassed dossiers on US politicians in order to control them) and the CIA an artifact of the Cold War (which ALWAYS had too much power) should simply be torn down as institutions and replaced with other government bodies more reflective of our collective nation values.

The country needs a police agency that obeys the law.  The country needs a small agency to conduct strategic level penetrations of important foreign threats.

Should existing structures like the US Marshal’s Service and/or DIA be given the missions of the CIA and FBI, or should altogether new groups be constructed with better controls inflicted on them?

I look forward to the discussion.   pl

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116 Responses to Burn CIA and FBI to the ground. Republished 16 October 2022

  1. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Col. Lang:
    The list would not be complete without the failure to anticipate the Fall of the Shah of Iran.

  2. Diana C says:

    I think that the time is ripe for some overhaul of government agencies, and your suggestion seems a good one to me, who really know nothing about “intelligence” and “investigations.”
    What I do know is that this sort of overhaul of the American education stystem began a while back with parents in the forefront–working hard for the right to home school, establish their own charter schools or private schools. School boards began early to take their marching orders from the teachers’ organizations, which in turn began early to hoodwink the parents. The so-called “education” departments in colleges and universities should be eliminated, and teachers should be granted licenses based on their knowledge of the subjects in the grade levels they are licensed to teach.
    But, I am digressing from your topic. I give the example of what is wrong in education only to suggest that this time in the history of our nation is ripe for a general housecleaning.
    And, like him or cringe at him, Trump was elected because many people also realized that the Augean Stables of D.C. need a good hosing down.

    • cobo says:

      Diana C (hope you’re still onboard)

      I have current multiple and single subject teaching credentials here in California since 1997. I spent the last seven years working at business development and outreach for the largest single credentialing institution in the state. That offered me the opportunity to work closely with schools, public/charter/private, school districts and county offices of education from Monterrey Bay to Mendocino. Our connections with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the regional accreditor, allowed to fast track approval for doing online student teaching for CAVA (California Virtual Academy) the statewide institution of one of the largest charter school operators in the country. And yes, I agree with you completely.

      I think Bill Roche once referred to it as a march through our institutions. That needs to happen across the board. I would love to take a role in that, specifically concerning education. The Intelligence world is nowhere better understood than through the experience, knowledge and intuitions of our hosts, Colonel Lang and TTG. It seems to me there are too many agencies, and since the Department of Defense will have to address any “Action” resulting from CA, they should run all of it from the ground up.

  3. Factotum says:

    Well over a decade and half ago our local Committee on Foreign Relations (parent company Council on Foreign Relations CFT) had a guest speaker on this exact topic -what are we getting from the millions (billions?) spent on our IC community.
    He also at that time presented a compelling list of intelligence failures, and questioned the value of this operation’s continued existence. Wish I could recall who the speaker was, other than being surprised such clearly “anti-government” position was being presented under the auspices of the CFR.

  4. JP Billen says:

    Would you have DIA do the snooping on foreign political and commercial venues. There is some crossover, but the CIA is much better suited for those tasks IMHO.
    By the way, where did you find the Iron Felix stamp? It was a good thing for Stalin that Dzerzhinsky was long dead when the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was signed. And did Dzerzhinsky really die of a heart attack, he was fairly young – 48 or 49?

  5. turcopolier says:

    You think CIA has more sophisticated case officers? I do not. A division within DIA that would specialize in that could be created. IMO you don’t know anything about the quality of personnel involved. A lot of CIA case officers I have known were former military case officers and the rest tended to be spoiled self indulgent people who could not be trusted to act like adults. The average commissioned officer military case officer is better educated than the average CIA type.

  6. Eric Newhill says:

    It seems like we’ve reached a juncture where burning these agencies to the ground is necessary. You’d greatly expand the US Marshall’s investigative abilities and pass the CIA’s mission over to the military. Fine. However, you’ve still got the DoJ involved with the Marshalls and you’ve got people like Vindman in the military and you’ve got people like Clinton and Kerry at State, etc. Why wouldn’t the Marshalls and military, in time, become as corrupt and incompetent as the FBI and CIA?
    Then there’s the lack of congressional and executive oversight (or worse, mal-direction) that has allowed a lot of the corruption and incompetence to flourish. Our elected reps are, for the most part, very shabby people.
    So I’m not optimistic about the longer term impact, but yeah, burn them down as an object lesson for the time being.

  7. turcopolier says:

    Eric Newhill
    yes, over time the same disease that besets all mature bureaucracies would emerge. periodic reformations are necessary. Make a suggestion.

  8. jonst says:

    I am being only slightly sarcastic, I wonder if they are more likely to “burn the people down and start over”?

  9. Diana C says:

    I did a quick search; and not being a trained investigator and not being near a good research library, I learned that the CIA is actually a year younger than I am. For some reason, I had thought it had been around a much longer time.
    I also learned that there had been one failed Article One challenge in regard to its funding. That is interesting, but I wonder why it wasn’t challenged further.
    It appears that being relatively a “young” agency–like the one I would like to have eliminated, the Dept. of Education–Congress could do a lot to make changes or could eliminate it or possibly reinvent it to try to eliminate the types of problems that have arisen. That could happen only if the CIA itself was not in charge of the process. It would seem one change would be to the top so a loyalty to a past Presidential Administration could not hamper the Incoming Administration. Surely, a check on agents’ political activities should be included.
    But then, that would mean having a functioning Congress.
    Another question is whether the FBI should be overhauled at the same time in some way to keep the likes of another Hoover or Comey from rising to the top. How to eliminate Party politics is a real problem since it seems so mired in the Swamp–at least at the top levels. (The fact that the FBI office nearest the Florida High School where that horrific shooting happened did not react to a report sent to it in regard to videos being posed by that young killer indicates to me a problem that needs to be investigated still.)
    But, sadly, the problem involving the Media is one that the government has no control over, and it shouldn’t. How do we go back to training reporters and editors to return to the journalism standards I made my journalism students follow, by testing them on the text book they also had to read.
    My biggest worry is that nothing will change at all.

  10. Chibi David says:

    Hello coming from down under what is happening in The USA and most of the leaders etc look like they are from another dimension in other words your reality as expressed by nearly all of your leaders, media, film and entertainment are totally weird. Colony Australia is no better.
    The article states the obvious but having lost your sanity how to become sane again is the question.
    I do not accept that 9.11 was done by Al-Qa’ida. The third building in itself is enough to raise tricky questions, the insurance scam, the dancing Mossad agents, the Saudis having a magic carpet departure etc etc.
    Going back to the main subject i think that The system will fall over by itself.

  11. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Mr. Jefferson looked for revolutions every 20 years; not necessarily violent, but comprehensive so that citizens’ rights were reinstated against the rot. Deep State no like.

  12. Dave Schuler says:

    You could start your bill of particulars a lot earlier than 1991. The CIA systematically overstated the capabilities of the Soviet Union over a period of 40 years. That had serious policy implications which reach right down to the present day. Then there were the Bay of Pigs failure and Aldrich Ames.

  13. turcopolier says:

    Dave Schuler
    Yes. I tried to be restrained.

  14. Chibi David says:

    It is said that Greed is the root of all evil.
    Uncontrolled capitalism is Greed.
    Your Congress and Senate are bought by money, To become elected to any government position usually goes to the highest bidder.
    Board members get rich by share buybacks that drain the blood from your companies enriching a few shareholders on the way. One only needs to use Boeing as example once a great innovator and engineering company now it is like a sleigh of hands.
    So of course all levels of government are corrupted
    Hollywood and the media controlled by a few extremely wealthy who’s agenda certainly does not support America or the American people.
    So to talk about your changing your letter agencies is to try to fix the symptoms not the cause.

  15. Dave Schuler says:

    Turning to the FBI, why should the agency exist at all? We got along fine for more than a century without it. It didn’t serve its present “elite” role until 1982 and it has been a notable failure in that regard, as demonstrated by your list.
    Presently, there are more than 30 different armed law enforcement agencies in the federal government–everything from the Marshalls Service to Fish & Wildlife. At best the FBI is redundant.

  16. Factotum says:

    Diana -re:Dept of Education Here is my theory.
    From their website:….. “This expansion (of the DOE) continued in the 1970s with national efforts to help racial minorities, women, people with disabilities and non-English speaking students gain equal access to education. In October 1979, Congress passed the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88). Created by combining offices from several federal agencies, the Department began operations in May 1980.”….
    SCOTUS ruled in 1982 mandatory free K-12 for illegals put a huge burden primarily on border states since public education was a state or local cost. Now they had to also provide free K-12 for the new floods of illegals coming across our borders in the 1980’s.
    Since it was beyond the local ability to pay for all this now free education for illegals, and becasue some powers that be somewhere thought illegal immigration was a good thing, the federal government had to step in and provide federal education funding to supplement these now mandated over-impacted states. Hence the growth of the federal DOE.
    All of this was great for the teachers unions, particularly in states where all teachers were forced to join the teachers unions to even get a job, which led to the massive increases in the teacher union political war chests. The irony being these teachers unions who are working against us and our children’s education were getting funded by our own tax dollars since this was all public funding.
    We grew a federal funding monster and a magnet for illegals all at the same time. No coincidence SCOTUS ruling, the growth of the DOE and the teachers unions and the severe decline in the quality of K-12 education all happened at the same time.
    1980’s forward.This decline was particularly severe in California as the numbers of “english learners” in our K-12 schools dramatically increased to now well over 60%, while our student outcome scores dropped into the bottom 5% nationwide.

  17. Terence Gore says:

    “Why not cut out the “middle man” in the process and have the military run CA?”
    I know things seem out of control here on the left coast…

  18. How can they be cleaned out when the whole government appears infiltrated with individuals disloyal to the Constitution. And the hypocrites say this
    “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
    turcopolier said…
    “No. Neocons seek world domination under their rule. The US is just a tool for them.”
    As far as I can see they hate National Borders as you have stated. I wouldn’t be surprised at this point that the massive illegal immigration was allowed to happen in order to destroy the fabric of society in the United States with the eventual goal of a North American Union. The EU is definitely the model for a “Republic” of World Governments which will only be a mask or veil for a tyranny much as it is today. But much much worse is planned in my opinion.
    It is time individuals start deciding which Father they will follow. The “God” of this World known as Death or the God of Life. That’s the way it was put to me. And that’s the way it will be put to the inhabitants of Planet Earth. We will either have a Kingdom of Hell or a Kingdom of Heaven. No more straddling the fence.
    I will never betray him again. And look forward to meeting the Bastard on the Battlefield.

  19. Vegetius says:

    Yes, those agencies have to be dis-established. This is a minimum. But I don’t think you can just burn down the CIA and the FBI and keep it contained. No one really knows what the ka-boom looks like on the end of that fuse.
    But to maintain the current arrangement while restoring public trust you would have to set up something similar to the de-Nazification process and it would have to be public. It would have to extend through the federal bureaucracy, possibly into some state agencies and large municipal police departments, as well as collaborating agents like the Fed, investment banks, media corporations, resident aliens from countries like Russia and China and Saudi Arabia and Israel, intimidation rackets like the ADL, etc.
    This means a complete undoing of the power arrangements in this hemisphere and I think the chances of that happening peacefully is probably around twenty percent.
    But whatever happens, if you’re under 40 you want this to happen right away.
    If you’re over 60 you want this to happen some time in the future after you’re dead.
    If you’re 40 t0 60 you don’t know whether to sh1t or go blind.

  20. JP Billen, I can also attest that a military case officer has far more experience and education than most CIA case officers. In 1988 both military and CIA case officers were trained at the “farm.” Our courses were separate, but in the same building. Both classes were shown a slide contrasting the age, experience, education and linguistic abilities of each class of students. The CIA students were predominantly young, inexperience, just out of college type. The military students had far more life, world and military experience. Two CIA students who had prior military experience were admonished by their instructors for hanging out with us.
    We had a spouses weekend where our spouses were briefed on what we would be doing for a living. SWMBO was shocked. She stood up and gave the CIA base chief and his staff an earful. In SF I became accustomed to practicing stringent OPSEC and kept a lot of details of my job from SWMBO. My advisor, a crusty old warrant officer, told me it was about time those people learned what the rest of the world thought of them. SWMBO is one smart, opinionated woman.

  21. turcopolier says:

    “SWMBO was shocked. She stood up and gave the CIA base chief and his staff an earful.” Shocked? What did she say?

  22. Petrel says:

    Sometimes analysis of long serving success may reveal how the nation might proceed. A case in point — Morris, Jack and Benjamin Childs and their wives. Morris who?
    Morris and Jack Childs were early graduates of a 1920 Soviet spy school. They returned to the US and operated in the Illinois area with some success, especially during the Depression years. Morris developed a heart condition during WWII and was abandoned by the Communist Party of America. His brothers dropped extraneous activity and focused their time and resources on helping him.
    Then . . . the FBI came calling. At government expense Morris was moved to the Mayo Clinic and Jack was instructed to solicit assistance from Party Chapters all across the US. The money received was minimal, but donors were enthusiastically thanked.
    By 1950, Morris had risen to the #2 position in the Communist Party of America, which involved his visiting Russia for a month at a time, several times every year to discuss budget and operations. As a communist graduate of the “heroic” age, he became a discreet father figure for everyone in the Politburo. (All his fellow graduates had been eliminated during the Stalin years.) His friends in Moscow learned that their confidences and expressed annoyances were sympathetically discussed, but never shared with rivals. Ultimately, the Kremlin asked him to visit Mao in Peking, Castro in Havana to smooth over disputes — Morris was the go-to friend to the Politburo.
    A word about Jack and Benjamin. They established a mail-order business selling white shoes and clothes to nurses, called “Women in White,” as a cover for the income Morris enjoyed as an invalid. Periodically, Jack would visit New York to order clothing and collect Soviet funds, using time-consuming Soviet methods to detect whether he was being followed.
    The FBI never revealed anything about the Childs. In fact, many of Morris’ FBI handlers in Chicago were never promoted from modest GS 11 and 12 positions. The very valuable intelligence delivered by Morris was disguised by the FBI handlers in “think essays,” or as electronic intercepts.
    By 1977, Morris was visibly failing. He made one last trip to Moscow and Andropov organized a magnificent dinner for hundreds in the Kremlin. On his return to Chicago, an unknown moving company assisted the family to relocate to Florida amid numerous well wishing farewells. Somehow, communication with the Childs in Florida ceased — perhaps Morris had died.
    For a fascinating read: Operation Solo: The FBI’s Man in the Kremlin, by John Daniel Barron.

  23. turcopolier says:

    Chibi David
    Are you the same Australian who used to brag here that his uncle liked to shoot at American airplanes during WW2? Come visit here and I will explain my point of view with regard to people who bitch a lot but who have no power or responsibilities in the world.

  24. Factotum says:

    Uncontrolled capitalism is nothing more than a willing buyer meeting a willing seller. Both are mutually greedy – one wants a high price; one wants a low price. Nothing has changed. Maybe you are talking about class envy, Chibi.

  25. As Colonel Lang said, the first step is to transfer all covert action to DoD. That’s where it belongs. The CIA grabbed onto that as it became their raison d’être with their “capture, kill” mantra after 9/11 and it has only gotten worse since then. The majority of their paramilitary officers are former SF soldiers and Rangers. We might as well hire these former soldiers back into DIA and JSOC similar to the Military Intelligence Civilian Excepted Career Program long used by the Army and DIA for HUMINT officers. Hell, we’ve already used civilian HUMINTers in special mission units. I was one of them.
    The CIA is largely into liaison and Embassy operations, the cocktail party circuit. The Army and, later, the DIA relied mainly on rather scruffy and low level commercial cover operations. In my opinion, it takes a lot more skill to develop and run HUMINT operations using a scruffy, nobody cover than than as an Embassy official. We, the military, can do both well. I don’t know if the same can be said of most CIA officers. Although, I have to admit the CIA does a much better job at developing cover support mechanisms. Maybe that’s a niche for them. Having said that, there are more than enough intelligence requirements to keep two HUMINT organizations fully employed. Let DIA support DoD’s requirements and let a CIA without CA or paramilitary capabilities support DoS, Commerce Department, and DOE requirements. CIA is always trying to hog military support. Stay in your lane!
    I agree with Eric Newhill in that much of the FBI’s problems lie with the DOJ and the court system. Our adversarial system either seeks a conviction or seeks to avoid a conviction. Truth and justice take a backseat to these goals. Maybe there should be separation of law enforcement and counter-intelligence. I’m not sure how that would work yet, but that whole Homeland Security mess ought to be included in our bonfire of the Agencies.

  26. Among other things, she said she did not like the idea of her husband working with such a pack of liars and swindlers. She told them she never liked them and never will. She left them speechless. The spouses weekend was cancelled for the next several runnings of the course.

  27. Rick Merlotti says:

    From a mere citizen of our battered Republic, no expertise in intelligence work other than distrusting everything the Borg wants me to believe, I say huzzah to you sir. As others said, the rot infects all society in interlocking, Byzantine knots. But the I.C. is a good place to start. After all, no reforms will matter if we let these maniacs pull us into thermonuclear extinction. Priorities.

  28. turcopolier says:

    Did she want you to leave the Army? That would never be forgiven

  29. turcopolier says:

    CIA always used our people for sushi and often abandoned them on some god damned hilltop surrounded by the enemy whenever they were inconvenient. This was true before 9/11.

  30. Sam says:

    No organization is immune from the effects of men and women with huge egos and a lust for power—not the elected government institutions, the government bureaucracy, the military, or even the church. One consolation throughout this attempted “coup” upon Trump has been the fact that the full weight of the military is not behind this. What happens if our foreign intelligence is handled by the military and it becomes corrupt? Who is to stop them?

  31. I was leaving the Active Army to take the MICECP position at the time. I wasn’t alone in my class. I never regretted the decision. It was as a civilian Army case officer that I served in the SMU. I had the best of both worlds and I was still in the Reserves as required by Army MICECP.

  32. turcopolier says:

    So, she felt free to insult these people even though you would continue to do the same work as they. Remarkable.

  33. turcopolier says:

    Who is to stop them now? Suggestion for reform?

  34. John Merryman says:

    Obviously they are not going quietly into the night. So the question becomes, how much they take with them and what other functions of society are in the same boat. Apparently much of the mainstream media and a fair number of the political class. At which point, the details start to fade and the issue goes to the bigger picture. Basically it’s a large scab, slowly separating from the underlaying tissue and the question is whether it gets ripped off, or left to its own rate of decline. Necessarily those most able to affect change, are those most benefiting from the current situation, so the polarity has to be come more clear. Though given the various insurrections popping up around the world, this dynamic is speeding up.
    Nature gives and takes.

  35. JP Billen says:

    Your point that military case officers have more experience and education than CIA types makes complete sense to me. I would expect nothing less. IMO the Yale preppies or similar spook nurseries that the CIA recruits from are NOT ready for foreign assignment no matter what the “farm” puts them through.
    That should be self evident. Look at the predecessor of the CIA. I’m not a spook myself, but from what I understood the OSS was a mix of mostly military men, but also lawyers, diplomats, college professors, journalists, even a few foreign nationals, and what all. And they worked for the JCS.
    Good for your SWMBO.

  36. JP Billen says:

    I never said anything about sophistication. And do not believe it.
    And yes the DIA could set up a division to monitor politics and commerce in foreign countries. They’d be good at it. But why would they want to, don’t they have enough on their plate? If you want to get rid of the CIA fine, but give those tasks along with budget to State, Treasury, and DoE.

  37. turcopolier says:

    JP Billen
    I don’t care who does the work so long as it is not the existing CIA. My wife would never have done anything like that. She long had a secret clearance as helper to an active case officer and was very good at it.

  38. turcopolier says:

    JP Billen
    What is it you are congratulating TTG’s wife for?

  39. Factotum says:

    Can we talk about what is so much at stake that those inside our government would plot against our system of government, just to ensure they get their hands on it?
    ‘Power” is not the answer — power to do what? Is it just money- hands on our own tax money? Ego. Is it a guy thing? Hanging on to nice house in, Foxhall, Bethesda or Spring Valley?
    What drove this insider cabal, who already were at the peak of their power in this the most powerful nation on the planet, to plot this alleged coup?

  40. Christian J Chuba says:

    I totally agree. Another area where the CIA and other Intelligence agencies do great harm is in emasculating our MSM. I don’t know how to solve it but this is the problem I see.
    Unnamed Intelligence sources give info (leak) things to the MSM who eagerly gobble it up. This info follows a favorable bureaucratic narrative, they are never truly whistle blowing in nature. The makes our MSM trained seals less inclined to challenge the govt on security issues because they don’t want to piss off their govt sources. To make matters worse they even hire these bureaucrats when they retire from their govt jobs.
    I don’t know how to fix this because leaks are already illegal and the fault lies with the MSM. It’s not like we can legislate good journalism. I don’t even want the govt to get involved in that.

  41. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    That’s why the mass immigration; people who already know their place. Replace vexatious citizens with hot, hungry masses, wiping Their asses on the Constitution as they go.

  42. JP Billen says:

    For speaking her mind.

  43. rjj says:

    @ Power….What drove this insider cabal, who already were at the peak of their power…
    hardwiring …. the human condition
    think agency — questing: it’s the getting that drives H.sapiens …in all things. Nobody wants to find The Holy Grail. It would be a freaking liability. WTF would one do with it?
    What’s next?
    Enough is too much of a good thing.

  44. prawnik says:

    If the Iron Law of Oligarchy and its corollary, The Iron Law of Institutions, are to be believed, any institution will eventually get taken over by entrenched interests, to the point where it can no longer be reformed, but must be disbanded.

  45. prawnik says:

    Keep in mind that access is the main currency in Washington. Leakers leak to journalists that they know will publish what the leakers wants published. News organizations that don’t keep leakers happy get no leaks.
    In addition, the IC and military can send a lot of lucrative business (e.g. recruitment ads) to favored news outlets.

  46. J says:

    I say burn both to the ground, and start over with a clean house.
    1. Disassemble the CIA and transfer ‘all’ their ‘stuff’ to DIA, there it can be audited and put the assemblage of stuff into their proper categories. A new and shiny CIA (not called CIA anymore) can be built with the proper oversights to ensure that this crap we’ve witnessed the CIA doing, never ever happens again. HUMINT ONLY would the task for the new CIA, IMHO. Other types of operations would be handled elsewhere within DIA with the proper oversight (far away from the politics of things which was something the CIA never learned).
    2. The entire DOJ needs to be re-tooled from its bottom brick, ridding itself of the termite infestation which is called politics. DOJ should be there to serve the states of the union’s needs, not the states serving the DOJ which is currently the case. DOJ should be there to serve the needs of the states, period.
    2a. The Marshal Service’s skill sets need to be utilized even more than they currently are.
    3. Counter-Intelligence operations should be handled exclusively by DIA and DIA’s time-honored compartmentalization.
    4. OPSEC, CSEP, COMSEC, handled co-operational by both DIA and NSA. NSA is currently drowning in a maze of data, that needs to change. NSA needs to be able to see sunlight, and can only be achieved with a working partnership with DIA.
    Now I’ll get off my little soapbox. The above is my personal opine. It’s like an arse, everybody’s got one.

  47. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The issue is one of education and acculturation: the English were considered by their contempoeary Continentals of 19th century to be exemplary in exhibiting the virtues of honesty & truthfulness.

  48. Eric Newhill says:

    You’re not going to like this. I think I can already hear you growling all the way from Virginia, but – run the government like a successful corporation. None of the secrecy, insubordination and subversive activity would be permitted in a successful company. President as CEO. Congress as Board of Directors and the people as shareholders. Judiciary as Legal & Compliance Dept.
    …Pay congress people and the President substantially more so as to attract better talent away from the private sector and to decrease the temptation to seek graft. Limit terms. Eliminate all private campaign contributions. All candidates receive an equal amount of campaign funds from a public source. All television and radio stations must provide an equal amount of free airtime to the candidates. Debates to be much longer and much more frequent affairs and moderated by recognized experts in various fields (but experts with opposing views) instead of being a soundbite game moderated by dingbat news personalities.
    Make it easier to fire government employees. Establish more intense and more frequent reviews of intelligence operations by Congress.
    There are a few suggestions that I think might help.

  49. Vig says:

    I lean towards your wife vs TTP’s. Makes a lot more sense.
    But then, I didn’t find your wife’s decorations or whatever it was that alerted interest here although trying semi hard, other then the DAMES signal in the background of your outdoor citchen.

  50. Eric Newhill says:

    I should have included that I recognize that in govt there are no profit centers; only expense/cost, but I think that something called a “accomplishment center” could be implemented. This would have the various departments evaluated on how well they achieved policy directives and what level of general welfare they brought to the country.

  51. Horace says:

    The corruption in the CIA and FBI is symptom not disease. Our forebears held the Nuremberg Nazi War Crimes Tribunal to hang Nazis whose continued respiration posed a threat to Western Civilization that transcended national law and national boundary. We need a New York City Globalist Crimes Against Humanity Tribunal to end this globalist threat to Western Civilization that also transcends national law and national boundary.
    I’ve no problem with various notions with reformation, disbandment, dispersion, etc. However, if we don’t deal with the whoremaster pimps in NYC (and in other nodes in the globalist network of evil) then any of their whores in Washington DC that we remove will simply be replaced, individually and institutionally.

  52. Factotum says:

    Reminds me of a pundit who said the worst thing that happened to America was winning the Cold War. (No more questing argument – mission accomplished, now what?) Thanks for your insights.

  53. Flavius says:

    Federal Bureaucracies do not get razed to the ground…ever. Like Federal Programs, they metastasize…and go on forever. The FBI was reformed post watergate, the CIA not so much. The only deep reform the Pentagon has been subjected to was the all volunteer military which did wonders to insulate it from the American public, insulating the American public from it in every way except via propaganda. Over centralized, over organized, over staffed with too many people having too little to do using the time to increase the size of their staffs. Nobody believes a single word that comes forth from official Washington, nobody…which is why the city governs by news leak. Problem is now nobody believes a single word that comes forth from official media either, people have caught on to the con. MOAB dropped on a mountain in Afghanistan – after 17 years, big whup! Forget reform. The dead give away on that question was the financial crisis of 2008 – the country is staggered, the Beltway ‘don’t feel a thing’. Other dead give aways – Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, the Clintons, the Bushes, the Bidens, McConnell, Pelosi, the debt. There will be no reform. It will go on until it doesn’t.

  54. Diana C says:

    I do remember all of this. It was still an unnecessary federal department at that time. Each state had different concerns with non-English speaking students; and each state could have handled them differently to fit the different needs.
    Having been raised by parents whose second language was English and who had gone through schools and done well for themselves, I saw a difference between the different “cultures” of the non-English speakers. Why is it that Asians have done so well, for example and don’t, usually spend much time in the special programs? My grandparents and parents did well without the special programs.
    A person can go back and study all the different immigrant groups. Somehow they adjusted and learned.
    I’ll give you an example of how these education programs for Spanish speakers affected me once. We English teachers were all told to attend one of the three sessions provided to discuss how we were to work with the writing assignments. We were supposed to do “group writing” assignments since, according to the leaders of these sessions, Hispanic kids like to talk a lot and are very social.
    From my own experience as a student who had been put into several group writing projects, I knew that I would be the only one to do the writing. We would all dutifully sit there and “discuss” our ideas; but in the end, the group would ask me to write the paper so they could sign their names to it, without checking to see if their own particular ideas were included. They all got my A grade.
    I was involved in this idea of group writing again once when I worked as a procedures writer for a computer disc and tape storage manufacturer. The engineers in their their three piece suits (dressing for success) spent two weeks writing ideas on the board, each day covering about the same things. I dutifully took notes and kept telling them that I could put the whole thing together. They would not give it to me until they realized on a Friday that the objectives were due on the next Monday. I had a mother recovering from an operation at home and a two year-old child. But they then demanded that we work all weekend. I went home on Friday, worked to group and combine ideas and finally write the objectives in a clear format using the notes I’d taken and my experience in writing lesson objectives as a teacher. I drove back to work on Saturday with my child since my mother couldn’t watch him. I handed my Department Leader the written objectives. They had been planning a whole weekend of work and were so thrilled. It was something I could have given to them days before. They tried to get me to type them. I told them to call in the young woman who worked the word processor and pay her time and a half for the hours on a weekend.
    Later they were thrilled to hear that “their” Objectives were chosen as the best format and that all the other departments had to recast theirs int “our” style of objectives.
    Writing itself is never really a good thing to do as a group project. Discussing ideas is fine, but each person should grapple with the writing. We know that our Constitution was in some sense a group project, but we also know that just a few of those men wrote it.
    To my point, an idiot in the Department of Education should not be telling people how to teach their content matter. We don’t need them, but we do need to make sure we find teachers who know and love them content matter.
    The problem we have in the United States is that we have so many different ideas, but very few good writers today to take those ideas and make them clear.
    The Education Department comes up with bad ideas all the time, but there are few people with the power to take those ideas and really put them to the test of writing them out to see if they can stand.
    That is why parents are trying so hard to undermine the massive public education system by home schooling, forming charter schools and other schools of choice, which are for the most part far more successful in educating the students.
    We should not be wanting more funding the Department of Education with its education association handlers. And that is why Trump picked a leader for the Dept. of Ed. who is favorable to parent choice and to other than public schools.
    My ethnic group learned to figure out “academic culture” and then to successfully navigate the school system. Many other immigrants throughout the history of our country did that, too.
    This effort to help the Hispanic cultures simply provided many teachers the opportunity to find new positions as leaders to impart the NEA wisdom of how to include Hispanics into our classrooms. There were many Hispanic parents whose expectations pushed their children do do well in our schools and many Hispanic parents who preferred to complain about supposed prejudice in the classrooms.
    My belief is that our system was never built in such a way that English language learners were not given the help they needed to succeed IF they wanted to succeed. The problem is that some cultures wanted to fit into American culture (whatever that is) while others kept theie ties to their country of origin.
    I was not necessary to build a big government agency to address that situation.
    By forming that Department, we just added to the cost of government and gave teachers who did not want to do the hard work of teaching a chance to sit in some room and make up strategies they thought–without any actual testing their strategies–would solve a problem that was really a problem only the students should have to solve themselves.
    Research the idea Obama came up with to help Black students in Chicago stay in the educational system. He spent an enormous amount of money through the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (on a grant that Bill Ayers got for him) that achieved nothing in the way of improved educational outcomes.
    The problem in education is finding teachers who know their subjects and want to do the work of teaching those subjects. I was saddened by all the younger teachers coming out of Education programs who would gush about how they just loved kids and wanted to teach kids.
    As for me, I wanted to teach the content of my subject, a subject I knew well and loved, TO students. Students cannot be the direct object of the verb “to teach. They are the indirect object. I planned my lessons to teach some part of my subject matter TO the students. I hoped that my students would listen and understand and become the indirect object of my teaching. And since I loved my subject matter, I wanted them to love, or at least like it too.
    My point is that the CEA and the Dept. of Education are basking in their idea of being the saviors of children who are disadvantaged for some reason. But if they really want to do that, they need to concentrate on the What and not on the Who. That leads to the point that our College Professors now are not teaching the what of their subjects but have developed their own theories about their subjects and are indoctrinating their students with those theories, not encouraging them to think about the subject and choose for themselves which theories hold water and which do not.

  55. Imagine says:

    1) Educate We The People to recognize the earmarks of a totalitarian state, and find them repugnant. A civilized state does not torture and assassinate human beings. It does not overthrow governments. Terrorism is a crime, not an existential threat. FUD are tactics of a deep state to ensure infantilism. Those who give up freedom for security will get neither.
    At present, James Bond is cool, just like lynchings in 1860. Will continue until people gain deep understanding of consequences, and pull out torches & pitchforks.
    2) Block 1984 ubiquitous facial-recognition surveillance in its tracks. (We’ve got about 18 months.)
    3) Let a million news agencies bloom. Allow freedom of speech on the Internet. Roll back the Ministry of Truth’s censoring of social media as publishers, not utilities. Expose the “false news” meme as created by our side to leverage repression of competition to Newspeak. Teach people to think for themselves and be responsible for what they read/believe themselves.
    4) The CIA has a special projects budget ~$20B/yr. It spied on Sen. Feinstein and Pres. Trump w/o consequences. Torture report? crickets. Syrian diaspora swamping Europe’s gov’ts/economies? crickets. Yemen genocide? crickets. NSA/MI6/Mossad hoovering all emails/phonecalls, 1st Amend dead, enough processing power to understand & watch everybody in realtime? crickets. Blum failed. Obama couldn’t even take down Gitmo. I don’t believe you’ll ever have enough power to be able to take down the CIA from the outside. (Would love to be proved wrong.)
    5) So the only hope I see is transformational power, a la Gandhi. You have to enlighten the people of the CIA enough so that they want to reform themselves.
    Show them their own faces in a mirror. Teach them how to actually help America.
    Give objective criteria so that people can think for themselves, and make good/wise decisions for themselves. You can’t block them forever; in the end, they have to mature and be responsible for their own destinies.
    similar to Powell founding the Boy Scouts. A difficult challenge. But, objectively, you’re good at this kind of thing. Good luck.

  56. Jim S says:

    Sir, the Administration could do worse than give you a charter. Water under the bridge, but I wish JFK had lived long enough to smash the CIA into a million pieces.

  57. gaikokumaniakku says:

    What drove this insider cabal, who already were at the peak of their power in this the most powerful nation on the planet, to plot this alleged coup?

    Some percentage of the population is born with high intelligence and psychopathic tendencies. These people seek to dominate other people, regardless of the cost.
    Once a few psychopaths get into political power, they discover that they can use brainwashing to entrench their power. Power corrupts.

  58. elaine says:

    An old newspaper clipping from March 2019 “Lawyer claims U.S. had tapes months before Sept.11 attacks” Basically the states prosecutors gave the defence lawyers audio
    tapes/translations Sept 30,2016…it was later discovered the original trial judge,
    Army Col. James L. Pohl issued a secret order preventing anyone from knowing about how they were collected or inquiring about it.
    Nothing in the article about which agency first collected the info.

  59. Upstate NY'er says:

    The problem is massive over-centralization.
    The CIA – with it’s limitless resources – and the FBI with it’s vast array of power.
    The separation of foreign non-military (political, economic, diplomatic) intelligence collection and analysis could be similar to the UK – a small independent clandestine collection service and the analysis/production in the State Dept.
    Military intelligence collection, analysis/production and counterintelligence in one or more DoD agencies.
    Them the FBI (Famous But Incompetent).
    Take the CI, CT responsibilities to a separate agency in the DOJ.

  60. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Academic Culture?
    The only real piece of culture that America has produced is Jazz music and that was done by non-Academically trained musicians of Africa in America.
    Let the Academics compute the g-2 factor of the electron to 23rd decimal place. Who cares?

  61. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Where does Commitment to the Enterprise, i.e. Well-Being of the Country, any country, come into play? You cannot run a country staffed by men who fancy themselves as little don corleones.

  62. Another old guy says:

    Former Agency operations officer here.
    I realize that you are probably just trying to make a point in your first paragraph about the Agency grabbing covert action following 9/11 and it getting worse since and not actually trying to be precise.  But this is entirely inaccurate – as I suspect you know.  The National Security Act of 1947 assigned covert action operations to the Agency.  There have been a few adjustments in language, statutes and procedures since, but the legal framework remains in place – Covert Action is solely their responsibility as the law exists right now .  So, no, covert action was not taken by the Agency.
    For the uninitiated here Covert Action requires a Presidential Finding to authorize it and by definition it is ‘supposed to be’ deniable by the sponsor (the USA) or the sponsor not be determinable.  A big order obviously and usually just window dressing as people are not that stupid most of the time.  A Clandestine Operation is really supposed to be just that.  No one is supposed to know it even happened after it is over.  This sometimes works but often not – especially over time.
    I worked with a large number of officers who fit the Col’s description.  About 80% were former SF, about 10% each SEALs/Rangers.  They were about equally distributed between former officers and enlisted.  Almost 100% of the enlisted had extensive combat experience in Vietnam and other places we sent them.  The officers not so much.  Some Agency entities performing CA work were predominantly former military personnel, but others were maybe 50%, some almost none.  It just depended on what they were working on.  But I am certainly dated and not aware of current numbers. I do not have any idea about what the ratio might be today, but when I served at least 50% of the CA activities were not military in nature.  This makes me question the premise of this post a bit.  My direct experience was about 80% political CA and about 20% military CA.  I am pretty sure that the political CA should not end up in the DOD if you are reassigning this activity.
    As to your comments on the young case officers in training.  I hope you did realize that these were almost entirely brand new employees just hired. In others words green 2nd Lt’s with zero experience – the military personnel being trained were certainly not that new.  Additionally, while new (and green) they are certainly not stupid people as most of them have masters degrees with very high academic achievement, speak multiple languages and are chosen to represent all races and religions (if you operate everywhere you must look and talk like everyone everywhere).  And if all goes well then 5-10 years down the road you have really good officers.
    Anyway this is all certainly complicated. I don’t actually care who has the charter as long as the officers doing it are doing their best.  I have seen great work done by the Agency, and I have seen disasters.  But to be honest the same can be said about the military. We all know of the disasters as they almost always see the light of day.  I know of many great successes which I have never seen in the news – keep that in mind also. There is no human virtue or fault which is not found in all organizations.  If institutional rot has set in to the point that the Agency and Bureau need to be replaced well fine I guess.  But the military has all the same problems on a much larger scale which are at least as equally embedded – so be careful what you wish for, you might get it.  By way of example I draw your attention to the Directorate of National Intelligence and the Dept of Homeland Security for what you might get when you up and decide to fix problems by creating new organizations or performing mass reorganizations, instead of actually trying to fix what the real problems are.  If you want to get rid of useless organizations let’s add those two to the list please. (I bet I exceeded the length limit also, my bad)

  63. catherine says:

    If you think that’s all there is to it you probably have never been in business or either not for very long.
    A lot has ‘changed’.

  64. Fellow old guy, thanks for your thoughtful comments. Yes, CIA covert action clearly preceded 9/11. My point was that it became the focus of CIA after 9/11 to the detriment of all else. Actually it was paramilitary rather than covert action that took center stage after 9/11. There was nothing covert about CIA or DIA operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Almost by definition paramilitary operations belong in DoD.
    I am also aware of the political nature of much CA. Much of that political CA can better be described as information operations (IO) or deception operations, both of which could be easily (well, not easily, CA is not easy) taken over by DoD organizations. I will cede that there may be some limited CA not suitable for DoD since , by its very nature, I don’t have visibility into the full range of CIA CA. However, I envision JSOC or a JSOC like element will eventually expand into the IO and strategic deception realms.
    It was obvious that the young CIA students were all newbies, but both FTC and MOTC were the entry level courses for CIA and DoD case officers at the time. Our newbies just had a lot more life experience than your newbies no matter how educated and talented they were. But that was then. The post 9/11 need to expand the ranks brought in some pretty young DIA recruits, but they never went straight to the Farm. They had a year or more of DIA experience, including field work, before being assessed for FTC.
    I appreciate your warning about tearing everything down without knowing what will come next. When Colonel Lang and I first discussed the idea for this post, I recounted a story from the very early days of the fall of the USSR. The initial vacuum in Moscow was filled by various academics from the Soviet Academy of Sciences. It didn’t last long. All those idealistic professors were quickly driven out by apparatchiks and mafiya types leading to the darkest times in Russia since the Great Patriotic War. I also share your perception that Homeland Security was a mistake.

  65. Chris says:

    You got me thinking a bit with your mention of “The Iron Law of Institutions”.
    What about something that works similar to jury duty in the sense that it’s mandatory for all U.S. citizens. It would be something which would give every U.S. citizen the chance to actually participate in the decisions being made in our democracy. It would be mandatory and a once a year requirement. Or once every 2-4 years.
    It could certainly be set up in a myriad of ways but it might be a good place to start? I don’t know, it probably sounds nuts to some and not so to others. Apologies for being vague on the details. I don’t quite have it all worked out yet.

  66. Fred says:

    Jazz is the only cultural achievement of the American people? You really don’t understand or like this country much.

  67. Terence Gore says:

    In this interview Lee Smith alleges That Flynn was trying to reform the intelligence community and that was why he was ‘flushed out’
    start at 33′ 30″

  68. Procopius says:

    When I was young, I read that the FBI was involved in framing the famed defense attorney Clarence Darrow for jury tampering in the case of the Wobblies accused on bombing the Lost Angeles Times. There were claims that seemed plausible to me that they suborned perjury. It’s pretty murky, and I’m not certain that Darrow was innocent, but the FBI’s malfeasance was pretty obvious. I was in high school during the McCarthy Years, and I will never cease to be skeptical of the FBI’s integrity. The “liberal” Democrats’ love of Comey, despite the enormous blow he struck to Hillary’s campaign, is intolerable.

  69. Procopius says:

    Wait, what … “It didn’t serve its present “elite” role until 1982…” What are you talking about? You never heard of G-Men? The totally phony quote from some notorious gangster calling them that was repeated over and over in the 1920s. They seized on the Lindbergh kidnapping to make themselves a national police. Then in 1934 they got Congress to make bank robbery a federal crime and took over those investigations. They got deep into collecting files for blackmail long before the McCarthy Years. I don’t know what happened in 1982, but it didn’t make them an elite agency. They already were.

  70. A.I.S. says:

    in my Russian contacts, well, the “Reason the CIA sucks” is seen as partly being based on the whole “Deparment of homeland security” thing where a lot of healthy interagency rivalry (as far as I know, in Russia, SVR and GRU are pretty serious about their rivalry and are regarded as generally speaking more competent then the FSB which does not have a political rival) got axed in favor of spies (I use the word loosely) finding out that their beurocratic careers where far more better served by teaming up against the “non spies”.
    In addition, the pos 9-11 reforms made agencies bigger, and the bigger the organisation the more of a comptetive advantadge beurocrats enjoy over artists.
    I would further add that the greatest intelligence disaster in Russian history, failure regarding operation Barbarossa, happened at a time where the NKVD was running essntially everything intel related, having literally purged its rivals previously (at that time GU I believe) and the bosses of the NKVD had absolute power to enforce “political correctness”.

  71. Grumpy Expat says:

    Both the FBI and the CIA were created by Executive order and neither are specifically authorized in the Constitution. I believe Trump could eliminate them just as easily and the DHS as well as it was always superfluous and received the cast-offs and nerdowells (useless GS civilian employees otherwise impossible to terminate) from other agencies who saw an opportunity to shed dead weight GS civilians. Elimination of these agencies would not eliminate the personnel though. Term employees would get terminated but the rest would find homes somewhere else displacing less long-lived employees) and possibly more loyal and useful) who would be subject to RIF rules. Perhaps one solution would be to create a government agency consisting entirely of useless employees and having no mission or responsibilities whatsoever other than to come to work and shuffle papers (something like FEMA or the DoE). It would be difficult to target an entire agency for RIF although I believe Congress could do it should they have the will to take on the entire intelligence community which obviously they are petrified of doing. The Mossad whose operation using Epstein to collect huge amounts of blackmail against senior government personnel and politicians would prevent it unless Israel saw some benefit to permit it.

  72. CK says:

    What is actually said is: The love of money is the root of all evil. Said but unproven. It is also said that Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Not sure what is corrupted nor how one would measure absolute power.
    In one of the multitude of religions is a list of seven deadly sins and of course the balancing seven heavenly virtues. Pride is the most deadly supposedly because it allows one to think that what he has done is godly and worthy of admiration. Without these deadly sins mankind would be a small group of proto apes somewhere in the veldt picking nits from each others backsides.
    Overarching all the virtues is obedience to god to the state to the leader to anything but your own lying eyes and mind. The virtues do no include honour the sins include wrath. Pusillanimousity the having of a small mind is the goal.

  73. CK says:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_law_enforcement_in_the_United_States#Department_of_Justice a list of all the current federal armed law enforcement groups. A whole lot of badges to memorize.
    And what has to be a whole lot of overlap and jurisdictional infighting.
    There are also 7 branches of the US Uniformed armed forces. The US Public Health Service commissioned corps and the NOAA commissioned officers corps are the latest additions.

  74. CK says:

    That is why England became known as Perfidious Albion.

  75. turcopolier says:

    grumpy Expat
    The FBI exists under “Title 28 of the United States Code” and the CIA was created by the “National security Act of 1947.”

  76. Kilo 4/11 says:

    Part of the appeal of you site, Colonel, is the wondrous fauna that show up from time to time. Each new column holds the promise of these surprises, like walking with Darwin through Galapagos.

  77. turcopolier says:

    kilo 4/11
    maybe we should have a category for cryptid fauna; lake monsters, forest manbeasts, etc. Too many solemn people here. Solemn is different than serious.


    Evidently, neither do you.

  79. prawnik says:

    IMHO, almost any system can be made to work, as long as it is not run by sociopaths.
    Moreover, the entire principle underlying modern systems of government can be summed up as “keep power out of the hands of sociopaths”. In fact, the reason the representative democratic republican system was as successful as it became was because of its relatively better track record at the same, at least compared to the autocracies and oligarchies that it largely replaced.
    Read “The Prince” – Machiavelli took great pains to explain that he described not what princes should be like in an ideal world, but what they actually did. In fact, the old systems were pretty much sociopath factories, and those princes and oligarchs who weren’t prepared to do whatever it took to keep their thrones were quickly replaced by more ruthless sorts. The sad life of Henry VI of England is quite instructive.
    Now, would a randomocracy work better? I don’t know. I recall that the ancient Athenians used it for a time.

  80. Leith says:

    USPHS has been around for over a hundred years. And their roots go back to Presidents Jefferson and Adams.

  81. Factotum says:

    Diana, ITA – loving one’s subject matter is the key to successful teaching. It is infectious. Yes, you do write well.

  82. Max G. says:

    A most provocative essay, Pat, but there is wisdom in the provocation. The National Security Act of 1947 was adopted was adopted to deal with the challenges provoked by what came to be called the “Cold War.” When the Cold War ended in 1979, we might have asked which elements created by that act still needed to be retained. But we didn’t. Rather, the key question was what other threats remained out there for our vast national security establishment to deal with, and we found them in spades. The fact was that in the post-cold war period (1990s) the US emerged with almost no “serious” threats like that posed by the Soviet Union and the appeal of communism. That didn’t mean the dismantling of everything, but a serious review of what remained necessary could have been undertaken. There was the effort, you remember, for everyone to cut their budgets by 17 1/2 percent, a rather thoughtless way to realize the “peace dividend.” I remember everyone gnashed their teath about that. Bureaucracies have a way of seeking to be self-perpetuating, and we all floundered for a time. 9/11 proved to be a blessing in disguise. The “war on terrorism” proved to be a budget bonanza. We had found our new cause. However hateful 9/11 was, it was not a threat like that we faced during the Cold War, and even that was probably exaggerated. We are still organized to fight the Cold War, and indeed we seem to be bringing it back into existence by perceiving threats in every little corner of the globe. I think your call for a review of our national security requirements is long overdue. I have never worked at a pay grade where I could have much impact. It was the politicians of the day (Acheson, Marshall, Forrestal, et.al. who put the current structure in place, and it is likely the current politicians of the day who will have to change it. Will they? I doubt it.

  83. turcopolier says:

    Max G is an old friend.

  84. lordkoos says:

    “Unproven” if you want to ignore millenia of observing human behaviour. That phrase is very old.

  85. catherine says:

    ”run the government like a successful corporation. None of the secrecy, insubordination and subversive activity would be permitted in a successful company. ”
    You mean like AIG or Texaco or Pacific Gas and Electric Company or Bear Sterns or General Motors or Pan Am?…lol

  86. gaikokumaniakku says:

    Dear sir, in response to your query:

    Where does Commitment to the Enterprise, i.e. Well-Being of the Country, any country, come into play? You cannot run a country staffed by men who fancy themselves as little don corleones.

    I submit that in the past, the USA has had people who were wise and competent in their struggle to preserve the republic. A few of them were:
    Smedley Butler
    David Hackworth
    Ron Paul
    Bill Binney
    Karen kwiatkowski
    These people sacrificed their personal comforts and ambitions to uphold the good of the USA. If we have such people and if they prevail then the republic will survive. On certain anonymous “committees of correspondence,” we flatter ourselves by calling ourselves autists, and we make the bold claim: “The autist is the natural enemy of the psychopath.” Let us hope that the psychopaths will soon be exposed and defeated.

  87. Fred says:

    It was much better before the flood of victims arrived to tell us how much better were the societies they had to flee.

  88. Rob P. says:

    A little late to the party. Your questions on reorganization of the intelligence community are very critical at this time in our country’s history. Perhaps you will allow more discussions in the future because the subject could not be covered in short answers. How to do it is the other big question. My experience in the IC spanned 35 years and showed me that only failures and catastrophe prompted real changes. And the changes came not from the President but from Congress and its control of the purse strings of all these agencies. Congress has in the past slashed or cut-off funding for agencies and departments. Ending the Vietnam War came about not by military defeat, but with Congress saying no more money. The Church Committee brought to light many unsavory actions in the IC with the upshot being a law that US intel. agencies may not spy on US citizens. Of course, we know how they get around this, like having the Brits or Aussies do it for us and hand over the info. we want. Iran Contra etc. etc. brought some reforms, but not what is needed. With the formation of the Dir. of National Intel. we supposedly gained a means to control the IC. Instead this person has been appointed to make sure the intel. community does what the powers-that-be want–not necessarily what the President, the JCS, or the Congress want. Real reform will only come with an entirely new lineup of agencies, firm means of controlling them, and explicit, utterly clear mission statements. I wish. Not likely to happen, and alas, not until a serious catastrophe.

  89. Babak Makkinejad says:

    And with that, I will generously, let you have the final word.

  90. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Then this is a problem of deficient education, in the sense that the word is used in the Spanish language: educado.

  91. CK says:

    I too am very old, that crap is repeated over and over does not change its essential nature as crap. It has also been said over and over that money = merde, and that just like merde it has to be spread around to be useful.

  92. Florian L. says:

    I recommend strongly reading the book “The Secrete Team” by Fletcher Prouty. There he explains in detail how the CIA was transformed out of the OSS. And he especially describes how the National Security Act was twisted to allow the CIA larger covered operations. Initially the CIA was intended to be an organization to collect and analyze intelligence from the various sources. It was not intended to conduct covered operations (only very limited). Hoover made the CIA to what it became. The politicians/lawmakers knew why they didn’t want the CIA to have the power for covered operations.
    Prouty describes also how the CIA can take hold on whatever it needs of the military, personell and equipment. A particular problem is that Military personell is switching force and back from military to CIA and vice-versa. That makes the military completely infiltrated by personell that is often more loyal to the CIA than to the military. When they switch back to the military the ties to the CIA do not get lost. And many of them love the CIA, they call it “Fun And Games”. That’s appealing.
    But in this way the CIA is not only infiltrating the military. They infiltrate the civil bureaucracies, politics etc. as well. Prouty himself in the fifties and early sixties was a so called briefing officer. He briefed some of the top-tiers in Pentagon and White House. They are nearly always coming from the CIA, so Prouty.
    Here I can give only a very short sketch about the contents in Proutys book. He gives an ample insight of the history and the inner workings of the CIA. And it is not just another of those hide and seek spy story books about the CIA. Prouty draws also the connection to how the CIA is embedded in the society and how it is used as a tool in the power play.
    You can find digital copies of the book on the internet.

  93. Aurelius says:

    Excellent post and discussion – thanks

  94. turcopolier says:

    J. Edger Hoover? He was head o the FBI, not the CIA. Go back to sleep.

  95. Florian L. says:

    Sorry, I mixed it up. It was Allen Dulles of course.

  96. Thibaut says:

    I read your texts and I have a strange feeling because you remind me of Colin Powell at UN, trying to persuade people around the world that Irak has WMD. So now it is not Irak but CIA and FBI that have to be destroyed and are full of bad boys or super villains. The problem is that maybe the crisis is inside the storytelling that you share with your enemies.
    In this case, your are speaking the langage of your own destruction.
    But this is just a feeling.

  97. turcopolier says:

    “your are speaking the langage of your own destruction.” Ah, you think I never left. “Whenever I think I am out, they pull me back.” Childish idea. I watched Powell at the UN, knew he was acting the fool and lost all interest in ever talking to him again. Too complicated for you? You are aware that I publicly opposed the war in Iraq?

  98. zaatogg2 says:

    Did JFK say something along those lines? Or was he misquoted?

  99. John Merryman says:

    Certainly a lot of water under the bridge, since this was first posted, but it all seems to continue flowing in the same direction.
    I do think you are focused on the details, of a cultural break down, when the larger picture is more comprehensive.
    I think there are a lot of factors feeding into it, but here is a fairly recent essay I posted on Medium;
    I may have posted it previously, but then so is this thread a repost.

    • cobo says:

      I would like to see banking handled as a utility and run through the Post Office, perhaps as in the linked “U.S. Postal Banks model/ National Infrastructure Bank model.” A mix of socialism for the large enterprises of the country and support for a competitive free market for new and local businesses is a realistic, non-ideological answer that allows a nation and its people to thrive. In this Great New World we have been driven into, profits are privatized for the wealthy and losses and externalized costs are socialized from the public purse. The lie that government cannot run large enterprises very well is the heart of the corruption and decline of public trust.

  100. JK/AR says:

    I’m, currently, extremely pressed for time and am thus not been able to read what I am certain is a worthwhile and valuable discussion. One thing I would say is The Patriot Act would probably best be allowed – as the original legislation foresaw the need of – to sunset.

    The IC is too unwieldy and – Fourth Amendment – intrusive and, Congress has too long abdicated its fealty to the Constitution.


    But the prospects of any meaningful reform and/or re-ordering?

    Exceedingly unlikely.

    I look forward to returning tomorrow to do my proper due diligence.

  101. Shako says:

    Men without honor – liars, cheaters, thieves.

  102. longarch says:

    To quote the original out of order:

    The country needs a small agency to conduct strategic level penetrations of important foreign threats.

    The USA has a huge set of military and ex-military expert operators who are mostly ready to start strategic actions immediately. Whether the paperwork gets stamped at DIA or somewhere else will not impair the effectiveness of the operators.

    The much more difficult question is as follows:

    The country needs a police agency that obeys the law.

    It is not enough to obey the letter of the law. Bill Clinton is very good at obeying the letter of the law, and “it depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.” Americans must obey the spirit of the law.

    The spirit of the law is evident to lawmen when those lawmen are rooted in strong communities. America must have moral clarity in its communities before it can hope to have moral lawmen. America needs stern investigators in the mold of Ted Gunderson and self-sacrificing whistleblowers in the mold of Bill Binney. In this connection, Americans have the option of following a natural aristocracy that has already made itself evident. During the Trump years, millions of Americans stood up and said the Deep State is evil and must be dismantled.

    The general population of America should follow the example of those Americans who showed their mettle during the Trump years. Some Americans are brilliant, like Sidney Powell. Some Americans are formidable, like General Flynn. Some Americans are orator-poets, like Kanye West. Some Americans are simply good at selling pillows, like Mike Lindell. (It may be true that Mike Lindell is a low-born peasant who is unworthy to fasten Bill Binney’s sandal-strap, but that is not the point. Whether one is a natural leader or a natural follower, one must call for the dismantling of the Deep State. See also https://biblehub.com/galatians/3-28.htm) Regardless of skin color, social status, or other accidents of demography, a large majority of Americans should stand up and say that they do not consent to the Deep State.

    If the American people loudly voice this simple demand, leaders in the mold of Binney and Gunderson will inevitably step forward to start the specific actions, then the mass of the people will follow behind.

    • Barbara Ann says:


      Bill Binney – you mean that crazed conspiracy theorist who says the Deep State tried to assassinate him in 2020?


      • longarch says:

        crazed conspiracy theorist

        Objection, argumentative. Also, citing tweets with no supporting contexts makes your intended rhetorical position look weaker than it ought to be.

        If you want to convince me that Bill Binney is crazy you will have to tear down his existing reputation — which would be a bigger task than you appear to realize. It would be more efficient to state that you are going to stick to your opinion of Binney, and your opinion is that he is stupider than you are.

        • Barbara Ann says:


          Ha ha, provocative, yes. My intention was not to convince you that Binney is crazy but to get you to read Bill Binney’s tweet. It worked ;-). Binney is undoubtedly smarter than I am and I happen to think he is a patriot and not a crazed conspiracy theorist. If so the implications are grave and then some. This is a war. My working assumption is that Trump was told in no uncertain terms what would happen to him and his family if he persisted – that was what A Q Warner was about. Trump did not have martyrdom in his blood, we need someone who does.

  103. Bill Roche says:

    Upon winning the Presidential election of 2016 Pres. Trump made it clear that he d/n trust the CIA and had reservations about the entire IC. Surprised that he was much abused by the media for this? Me neither, and he was right. Much as Stalin had politicized the KGB, Obama had politicized the CIA. I don’t think (how can anyone know; we all only read press reports and who believes the papers) Trump knew the FIB and Dept. of Injustice were also politicized, but he learned that b/f 2017 was over. So in answer to the original question … yes, disband the FIB and CIA. This would only be done by a President who d/n intend to use these corrupted (and frightening) agencies for political oppression. The Congress will NOT call for it. As others have written, most in the Congress never intend to use the Constitution for more than toilet paper. Few would believe the CIA/FIB doesn’t have “the goods” on half the members of Congress. Many in Congress are not troubled by agency malfeasance as long as it serves their ends. The President is the only one who can do this. He must drastically reduce the FIB/CIA budgets and increase the DIA and State Dept. budgets. Increase the State budget!!! Ohnooo. I have n0 confidence in State. IMHO they are a collection of rich kids, some now grown old, who have never broken a sweat to make a buck or sweated over where their money would come (daddyo). They don’t represent Americans but wealthy east coast “elites”who despise the average joe. But they’ll have to hire more state dept. spooks to help them to learn about Iran and China. As for the FIB, the Federal Marshall service can be increased and state courts can be used to hear federal cases as was done b/f the FIB/DOIJ became corrupted. There is only one American politician w/t balls to do this. The Socialist Party, RINO Party, and their sycophants in academia and the corporate swamp are allied to the death against him

  104. Steve Richter says:

    Well they have been bold, united and to date very successful in advancing their goal of destroying Putin and the Russian government. There is also the unity and sense of purpose that the broader establishment is showing in running the free world financial system. ( raising interest rates in months before an election – gutsy. The smack down of tax cut plan of new British PM ). Pushing back against China by denying access to computer chip fab equipment.

  105. William says:

    A very interesting thread and excellent comments.

    I think that you have to go back to when the rot started, which IMO is the passage of the National Security Act and the underlying reason for its existence.

    July 8, 1947 – “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer”
    July 26, 1947 – NSA Enacted, CIA established, major restructuring of military and IC.
    September 17, 1947 – James Forrestal becomes first Sec Def. Forrestal
    May 22, 1949 – Forrestal “fell” from the 16th floor of the Bethesda Naval Hospital

    The findings in relation to his death were that the Navy didn’t do it, but he was silent as to what happened and why. Any agency that will murder its own honorable government officials cannot be reformed. Forrestal was a good man, killed by his own people.

    Note also that the pending 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (at least in its present form) requires an investigation of the UFO issue dating back to 1947, hardly a coincidence. I cannot imagine that such an investigation will be allowed to happen, even if Congress orders it.

    • cobo says:

      For those interested in diving down that rabbit hole in depth, look up “Dark Journalist” on YouTube, specifically his X-Steganography series. Hold onto your hats, this is free and better than SciFi. It includes everybody Tesla, Trump’s uncle, Steiner, CERN, Alice in Wonderland, Casey, all your favorite characters.

  106. Barbara Ann says:


    After Epstein it became clear that J. Edgar’s pet hobby had become institutionalized. Goodness knows how many congressmen, judges etc. “belong to intelligence”. Trump did not/could not take down the Security State and now those calling for it to be dismantled are labelled violent extremists and enemies of democracy. The message at Biden’s blut und boden speech in Philly was unambiguous; the Security State will see a sea of blood rather than relinquish power voluntarily. The evisceration of the Dems on November 8 will be a step in the right direction, but when in history has a country’s Deep/Security State been successfully dismantled, outside of a revolution?

    • Bill Roche says:

      BA; you hit the nail on the head …”blut und boden”! I searched to find an appropriate characterization for Biden’s speech. You did it for me. It should have terrified every classical liberal in America. Interesting that neither the press nor academia pursued that angle. Tells you something about the intolerance on American campuses and the press. The totalitarian” state is here and w/n relinquish control. American revolution must come. If it is not to be bloody it must come from state governors. Alas only two states have governors of character; Florida and Texas. Find me another.

    • longarch says:

      Trump did not/could not take down the Security State and now those calling for it to be dismantled are labelled violent extremists and enemies of democracy.

      Yes, that is why it is necessary for millions of Americans to call for dismantling the security state. If a large enough subset of the population is vocally calling for a supposedly “extreme” point of view, it becomes obvious that the point of view is not actually extreme. If Americans want the situation to get better, they need a big tent, big enough to cover a lot of folks who get disrespected inside the Beltway; those disrespected folks include Bill Binney.

      Americans are not going to make anything better until they admit that some of their “crazed conspiracy theorists” have made factually correct statements.

  107. Alexandria says:

    Don’t forget FBI election interference and information suppression moves to back burner Hunter’s laptop and, then, send agents to brief Zuckerberg, suggesting that NY Post’s expose was part of an impending Russian disinformation dump. This was, most likely, done in conjunction with the declaration by the 50 former IC officials that the Hunter laptop had all the earmarks of a Russian disinformation ploy.

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