Uncommon Sense

December 13, 2016

Can We Ever Trust Our Institutions/Agencies Again … Even a Little Bit

This gets curiouser and curiouser. I recent blogged about the “Russian conspiracy” regarding manipulations of our elections (by leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks) and in part I said “I do not accept these assertions at face value as the sources are untrustworthy, but if more details were provided there might be something here.” and “The whole purpose of Wikileaks is to provide a place to “leak” information that cannot be traced back to you, even by Wikileaks itself, so it will be interesting to find out how we learned that the Russian government was responsible for things being leaked to Wikileaks.”

I then learned from my partner’s tech-savvy son, that all of the “protections” Wikileaks was supposed to offer leakers just never got implemented, so it is relatively easy to find out who sent what to whom, so my criticism of the report on that account is unsupported.

But, then … The Guardian (U.K.) reports that: “… WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange directly denies that he received the Democratic leaked emails from the Russian government and one of his associates, former British Ambassador Craig Murray, told the U.K. Guardian that he knows who “leaked” the Democratic emails and that there never was a “hack,” i.e. an outside electronic penetration of an email account.”

So, a presumably reliable ex-British ambassador claims to know that the docs were not hacked but leaked from the inside. Plus a group of former U.S. intelligence experts is backing up this claim “All signs point to leaking, not hacking. If hacking were involved, the National Security Agency would know it – and know both sender and recipient.” The CIA only points to “circumstantial evidence,” not any hard identifications. So, the CIA is claiming “the Russians did it” for what purpose?

I do not know whether we have ever had reliable news organizations. If we did, they certainly were not immune to lies and misconceptions. It just seems now that there are just lies and misconceptions being reported. It also seems that government agencies, like the CIA, have so many narratives they wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them in the ass.

March 12, 2014

It’s Time to Rein in the CIA

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 9:03 am
Tags: , , , , ,

In a shockingly public manner, the Senate’s intelligence oversight committee has taken the gloves off in a dispute with the CIA. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Diane Feinstein (DiFi to us native Californians) went on the floor of the Senate and called out the CIA for various aspects of its misconduct. The bulk of that misconduct still has not been revealed in the form of former CIA Director Leon Panetta’s review of the agency and the Senate’s current review, but the recently disclosed misconduct is enough to potentially trigger a constitutional crisis.

The CIA has been in “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission” mode for generations now and its misconduct is clearly visible even from the dribs and drabs only occasionally in view: torture, operating drone programs, keeping secrets from Congress, spying upon American citizens, etc.

Some of this might be forgivable if the CIA had been at all competent during this time. Consider a short list of the things the CIA has missed predicting:
•   the fall of the Berlin Wall
•   the fall of the Soviet Union
•   9-11
•   the Russian incursion into Georgia
•   the Russian incursion into Crimea/Ukraine (reportedly the CIA told the Senate oversight committee that the likelihood was nil the day before it happened)
and there are many, many more things they could have foreseen but didn’t.

Why we should condone illegal behavior because it provides us with gross incompetence is beyond me. In fact, it calls into question the validity of the organization as currently constituted.

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