Hypocrisy and IC consensus


"North Korea’s longstanding assumption has been that the United States is too weak-willed to take on the exorbitant costs of war and that America will eventually acquiesce to a nuclear North Korea. President Trump’s statement that North Korea’s threats will be “met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” however unorthodox and impolitic, conveys a clear rejection of Kim’s aims and the magnitude of the survival risk Kim runs if the United States refuses to accept nuclear vulnerability to Kim Jong Un.  

U.S. Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisTrump briefed on helicopter 'mishap' that left 3 Marines missingAir Force purchases bankrupt Russian firm's planes for Air Force OneDems to Mattis: Don't comply with Trump's 'unconstitutional' transgender banMORE clearly underscored those risks when he stated that “The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons” and that “The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.”

North Korea clearly sees survival risk in bowing to U.S. pressure by returning to the path of denuclearization and perceives mutual vulnerability as the only viable path to regime survival. This is the path that North Korean diplomats point to when they argue that it was possible for the United States and the Soviet Union as nuclear-armed adversaries to pursue détente and normalize their relations even at the height of the Cold War.

But it is impossible to imagine that the United States will accept vulnerability to Kim Jong Un or suddenly appreciate North Korea’s strategic value and pursue a normal relationship with North Korea’s totalitarian regime. However much North Korea may yearn for the United States to treat it with the same geostrategic weight that motivated détente with the Soviet Union or normalization with China, it will not happen. Kim Jong Un’s weak hand is ultimately a losing hand, no matter how well played." The Hill


It was unclear from the Post report on Tuesday whether any of the other 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed with the DIA’s assessment, though the DIA report excerpt quoted by the Post did refer to the intelligence community as a whole.

“The [intelligence community] assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, to include delivery by ICBM-class missiles,” the DIA assessment said, according to the newspaper.

NBC’s report on Thursday says that other agencies, including the CIA and the Office of the Dan CoatsDan CoatsThe Hill's 12:30 ReportDOJ warns the media could be targeted in crackdown on leaksConway: Leaks of Trump's calls should have 'chilling effect'MORE, agree with the DIA's assessment.  The Hill


 1- The judgment that North Korea now possesses miniaturized nuclear weapons is now a US IC consensus judgment.  Anyone who thinks that CIA likes agreeing with ANY DIA judgment knows nothing of the US intelligence community.

2.  The hypocrisy  of many of the comments on SST concerning this crisis is surprising to me even after 12 years of this,  The absurdity of thinking that all states are equal in weight and responsibility in the world is just foolish and ahistorical.   The deep anti-Americanism of many in the commentariat on SST is sad.  It is especially sad in being expressed by people whose countries have long been the beneficiaries of US protection.  It should be acceptable to the US that North Korea should "demonstrate" the ability to deliver a nuclear weapon to Guam?  How absurd!  Would those who think that so be accepting if the North Koreans demonstrated the same ability to deliver a warhead  into the English Channel, the North Sea or off the coast of British Columbia?

3.  I think not.  The countries so threatened would run to NATO and beg for US protection. 

4.  Ah, I forgot, the evilness of the US justifies anything.  pl





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7 Responses to Hypocrisy and IC consensus

  1. JohnH says:

    When the media ignores North Korean diplomats’ explanation of their strategy of mutual vulnerability, they are feeding the narrative that Kim Jong Un is a madman. Like with the Mad Mullahs, negotiations are pointless. Force is the only thing they will understand. Only problem is that history shows that we were able to deal with Iran, and we have done deals with North Korea in the past.
    If Trump is such a master of the art of the deal, it’s time for him to step up and show the world how to negotiate a deal. A war would only prove that Trump is clueless about how to do a deal.

  2. Imagine says:

    “Timeline of Nuclear Threats on the Korean Peninsula” through 2005:

  3. Imagine says:

    North Korea’s “not quite” ICBM can’t hit the lower 48 states
    by Postol, Schiller, & Schmucker
    “…these rockets actually carried very small payloads that were nowhere near the weight of a nuclear warhead of the type North Korea could have, or could eventually have. These small payloads allowed the rockets to be lofted to far higher altitudes than they would have if loaded with a much-heavier warhead, creating the impression that North Korea was on the cusp of achieving ICBM capability.”

  4. TonyL says:

    This is an interesting article. The author stated that correct translation for the North Korean official statement should be:
    “Unless the hostile policy and nuclear threat of the U.S. against the D.P.R.K. are fundamentally eliminated, we, under no circumstances, will put the nukes and ballistic rockets on the negotiating table and will not flinch even an inch away from our path of strengthening of the nuclear forces, which is chosen by ourselves.”
    Did the MSM try to hype up the news by reporting the only sensational part in that sentence? I’m afraid that DJT might have decided to rachet up the crisis by what he learned from Fox News, CNN,…

  5. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Michael Scheuer made some VERY provocative comments yesterday, 2017-08-19, at his blog.
    They deal directly with the integrity and goals of both DOD and the CIA,
    a subject surely of interest both to you, Colonel Lang,
    and to many of your readers.
    Since Scheuer surely has inside knowledge of the past workings of the CIA,
    his comments on its internals surely are worth considering.
    Thus I am taking the liberty of quoting several of them below,
    in order to bring them to the attention of more people.
    Thus the following are excerpts from
    some of Scheuer’s responses to readers’ comments to his post

    In 1999-2001, I was part of a CIA team that map out the major \”heroin factories\” in Afghanistan for destruction.
    After 9/11, the complete data and maps on the Afghan heroin industry was delivered to the Pentagon to guide them in destroying it.
    The word that came back from the Pentagon was that \”DoD is not in the anti-narcotics business.\”
    Maybe DoD was not the only one. MFS

    I worked at CIA for nearly a quarter of a century and encountered a lot of odd reactions to proposals for protecting America.
    I was too quick to attribute these rebuffs to the fact that I was dealing with morons, time-servers or cowards.
    Perhaps naively, I never bought into the \”deep state\” rhetoric, but now the scales have fallen from my eyes almost completely.
    I did not see what an extraordinarily disloyal, criminal, and self-serving mess Trump inheriting — and I should have. … MFs

    Several members of the VIPS are CIA veterans.
    Wonder what they think of this?
    Wonder if Scheuer will get more specific.
    Or be shut up.

  6. turcopolier says:

    Keith Harbaugh
    I know Scheuer, havng done several consulting jobs with him years back and I don’t think one should take what he says too seriously. He had s moment of fame because of his book and that is gone. That loss can be unsettling. pl

  7. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Philip Giraldi certainly has some interesting comments
    (actually, scathing criticism of some past IC leaders,
    such as Tenet, Brennan, Pompeo, Clapper)
    “Groupthink at the CIA”
    Hating Russia and Trump is de rigueur
    by Philip Giraldi, 2017-08-17
    E.g. (emphasis added),

    Remarkably, [Pompeo] also said that
    there is only “minimal evidence”
    that Russia is even fighting ISIS.

    The statement is astonishing as Moscow has most definitely been seriously and directly engaged in support of the Syrian Arab Army.
    Is it possible that the head of the CIA is unaware of that?

    Pompeo’s predecessor John Brennan is, however,
    my favorite Agency leader in the category of
    totally bereft of his senses.

    One could also cite Michael Hayden and James Clapper, though the latter was not CIA.
    They all basically hew to the same line about Russia, often in more-or-less the same words, even though no actual evidence has been produced to support their claims.
    That unanimity of thinking is what is peculiar while academics like Stephen Cohen, Stephen Walt, Andrew Bacevich, and John Mearsheimer, who have studied Russia in some depth and understand the country and its leadership far better than a senior CIA officer, detect considerable nuance in what is taking place.
    They all believe that the hardline policies current in Washington are based on an eagerness to go with the flow on the comforting inside-the- beltway narrative that paints Russia as a threat to vital interests.
    That unanimity of viewpoint should surprise no one as this is more of less the same government with many of the same people that led the U.S. into Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
    They all have a vested interested in the health and well-being of a fully funded national security state.
    And the other groupthink that seems to prevail among the senior managers except Pompeo is that they all hate Donald Trump and have done so since long before he won the election.
    That is somewhat odd, but it perhaps reflects a fear that Trump would interfere with the richly rewarding establishment politics that had enabled their careers.
    But it does not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of CIA employees.
    Though it is admittedly unscientific analysis on my part,
    I know a lot of former and some current CIA employees but do not know a single one who voted for Hillary Clinton.
    Nearly all voted for Trump.
    Beyond that exhibition of tunnel vision and sheer ignorance, the involvement of former senior intelligence officials in politics is itself deplorable and is perhaps symptomatic of the breakdown in the comfortable bipartisan national security consensus that has characterized the past fifty years.
    Once upon time former CIA officers would retire to the Blue Ridge mountains and raise Labradors,
    but we are now into something much more dangerous if the intelligence community, which has been responsible for most of the recent leaks,
    begins to feel free to assert itself from behind the scenes.
    As Senator Chuck Schumer recently warned
    “Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

    Some of those remarks sound like pretty strong words to me.
    So both Scheuer and Giraldi have gone on record
    attacking their former employer.

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