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Aside from the fact that some have been suggesting that for some time:

And that speculating that the CIA may have done it is itself  a false flag accusation, what are you suggesting? That the cat ate it?

And that leak concerns tools at hand. How justified a spy agency might be in using them, and how they help security depends entirely on how they are used. So there is no answer to the question.

But if you are asking if bugging through a TV is worse than tapping a phone, no, I don't think so. Do you? And why?





Smith:  Ah, I see, I thought you meant babblers, not John Bolton, calling it a false flag attack.    Agree, Bolton is talking out his ass here (as much as Rachel Maddox is on the other side of the issue).   But my point remains that there is no evidence Russia was behind the leaks of the DNC emails.     I don't know what you mean by the cat ate it comment.   My position is that the actor(s) behind the leaks of the DNC emails are unknown, and the prudent thing to do is wait for actual evidence.

Re: my questions,  we're not talking about a spy agency in the hypothetical and how justified they may be in conducting survellience.   We're talking about the CIA, which has somewhat of an troublesome record of how they've "used their tools" in the past.   I hope you'd agree with this?  

To answer your question, I don't think anyone should be bugged unless there is a warrant and plausible reason to bug them.  Phone or TV doesn't make any difference to me.  I believe citizens of the US should expect privacy from their government, and that I as a Canadian should have the right to privacy from American intelligence agencies.  

You missed my last question though, does the activities of the CIA keep Americans safer in your view?  Or, if you prefer, more generally, do intelligence agencies exist to keep citizens safe?


Look, if you have an opinion on that feel free to offer it.

As I already said in answering you, there is nothing in this leak about what the CIA does with these tools, or what effect it has on security. So the question doesn't have any relation to this leak.

And it is already the case that agencies need to get a warrant in order to conduct that kind of surveillance in the U.S. And if it is just intelligence gathering it isn't a criminal justice matter anyway, so a judge wouldn't have any jurisdiction.



Smith:  Re my questions about the CIA keeping Americans safer, sure I'll answer but I hope you will too.   I ask because I think it is at the heart of our difference here on the significance of the leaks coming out about Trump and Russia.   I'm not trying to trap you, I'm trying to come to a place where the differences in positions are clear and we can leave it there.  And perhaps discuss new evidence with a shared framework, if you will, rather than continually retreading old ground.

I think the CIA's primary purpose is to allow greater control over the population and the political narrative in the media by the state.   The purpose of survellience is to indentify threats to state interests, provide competitive advantages to favoured businesses, further American foreign policy goals and find and eliminate political threats to the elite consensus.   I believe that American foreign policy is not substantially controlled by the President or Congress, I think they have choices to make within a general strategic framework decided in state planning departments that persist outside the electoral cycle/democratic control.   I think the CIA's main goal is to keep this lack of democratic control intact - they are a danger to democracy, and make Americans and everyone else in the world less safe.

The above is a rough summary, I think, of the Glenn Greenwald/counterpunch wing of the anti-imperialist left.  

As this relates to leaks/Trump:   CNN/MSNBC are receiving leaks at an unprecedented pace since Trump took office.   My position is that they are doing this because of Trump's position on Russia, in an attempt to undermine his ability to de-escalate relations with Russia, and also whip up a useful fear of Russia/Putin in Americans.   

Some of your comments above seem to imply that Wikileaks is releasing their CIA leaks to take the heat off Trump by reminding Americans exactly what the CIA is up to.    I do think that is plausible.  

Is that enough for the table?   Would you please answer my question:   Do the activities of the CIA keep Americans safer?    It would greatly clarify for me if you would give your position first rather than just respond to my answer above.



I actually said that among those other possible reasons, Assange might be trying to salvage his reputation a bit by doing his job. But really, I don't know. It is, at face value, very good information, but there is also a good chance it is being released now to cloud the issue both on Trump's wiretap accusations, and the Russian hacks.

I already gave you an answer, which is that there is no clear one. You might just as well ask if highways make a country safer. Developed countries do not exist without intelligence gathering. Does the CIA do U.S. dirty work overseas? Absolutely. On the other hand, I think Trump might benefitted from listening to their security briefings before going off about Taiwan. And turning a banquet in Florida into the situation room over the North Korea crisis.  And that is part of the reason why some in the security community are likely to be withholding good information from him, which can only make things more dangerous.

Even though the CIA has denied doing this in an official way, you can bet that there are many who will be less willing to risk sensitive information.




WikiLeaks CIA Vault 7

"We are looking at George Orwell's 1984." - Annie Machon


Nigel Farage visited the Ecuadorian embassy in west London on Thursday, where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been living since he claimed asylum in 2012. The former UKIP leader spent around 40 minutes in the building and left at noon, accompanied by an aide.”

“Approached by BuzzFeed News as he left to get into a car waiting round the corner, Farage said he couldn’t remember what he was doing in the building.”



"The WikiLeaks-published State Department cables describe hundreds of meetings between US Ambassadors and opposition figures all over the world. Amazingly, nowhere was such a meeting considered as a breach of national security and an incapacitating blemish on an opposition leader..."

The Russian Scare

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I wonder why Putin would order Trump to open up communications with Assange? Interesting that Trump would use Farage for the job. Do you think Putin recommended him?  I love how bits of news get knit into webs.


I didn't say anything about Putin, but the "can't remember" line does beggar belief a bit. Actually I think Trump did this one all on his own, because Putin would probably have used a sharper tool for the job.

What do you think... he got lost trying to find the lavatory?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I think you missed the dripping sarcasm. I think he didn't want to reveal that he was there trying to recruit Assange to endorse his intended run for the leadership of the Labor party.  With Corbyn on the ropes it seems like a good time for a hostile takeover of the only real opposition to the hated Conservatives.


Maybe I missed it because of the Trump reference. See, I actually think Putin is a smart fellow. If this was about making a play on Britain (your speculation, not mine) why would he use cheetoface as his foreign affairs mole?

Or for any purpose at all, other than fucking up U.S. politics?


kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

 I know I know Putin is the spawn of the devil, vilely manipulating Western democracies at will while plotting global conquest. What's not to despise? If one cherishes America as the height of democratic traditions then all Russian plots no matter how specultive must be investigated by a special committee of Congress. I have a name for it, with a nice ring, House Un-American Activities Committee 


 Look man, I didn't even bring him up. You did.

 I just said I thought he was too smart for a stupid stunt like that. We are talking about Nigel Farage and Donald Trump, after all.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Actually I just did a CIA logic analysis on it. A post was made about Farage seeing Assange and you linked them together with Trump, relying on a story from before the inaugeration. Hell I figure if you want to maked those kinds of absurd leaps then go all the way and add it in the absurd leaps about Putin's control over Trump. Its all in good fun and my response to my belief that many on this board seem to be chasing every bone that the US MSM throws out.


Well someone asked Sean Spicer about it today. He could have just said no, but he didn't.

Besides. Two days after Julian Assange makes a massive dump,  this racist, anti-immigration Brexiteer, Trump buddy and FOX News commentator visits the Ecuadorian embassy, and doesn't say why.

Of course there is going to be speculation.


The WikiLeaks Revelations and the Crimes of US Imperialism

"The WikiLeaks documents expose the US as the world's greatest 'rogue state' and 'cyber-criminal'. The monstrous US espionage network, paid for with hundreds of billions in tax dollars, uses diplomatic posts to hide its activities from its 'allies', spies on world leaders, organizes kidnappings and assassinations and aims to influence or overturn elections all over the world.

On Tuesday, former CIA director Michael Hayden replied to the revelations by boasting, 'But there are people out there that you want us to spy on. You want to have the ability to actually turn on that listening device inside the TV to learn that person's intentions.' One can only imagine the howls of indignation such statements would evoke in the American press if they were uttered by a former Russian spymaster.

The WikiLeaks documents show that the US seeks to cover up its illicit operations by planting false flags indicating that its geopolitical adversaries, including Russia and China, bear responsibility for its crimes.

Just one day after the WikiLeaks revelations, the media spin machine was already busy portraying them as part of a Russian conspiracy against  the US and indicting WikiLeaks for acting as an agent of foreign powers..."

'Double Standards': CIA Leaks Don't Stir MSM, Russia Stays in Spotlight

Julian Assange Press Conference and Q&A on Vault 7, Year Zero and the CIA (03-09-2017)


Good thing Roger Stone (who according to the article has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back) set them all straight and pointed out he is the one who has the back channel to Assange:




#Vault 7: Assange Answering Questions on WikiLeaks 'Dark Matter' Data Dump Release (live audio)