COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY SEVERAL AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE VETS IN RUSSIA INSIDER
An excellent piece.
However, when they say: "a key mystery is why U.S. intelligence would rely on “circumstantial evidence” when it has the capability for hard evidence"
The authors surely are being generous.
The CIA has always been a highly political organization. Always.
And its long-term record of obtaining accurate information and properly assessing it has actually often been quite poor.
The best example is in its old annual assessment of the USSR. It was always grossly incorrect.
This was in part owing to poor work, but it was in part deliberately used to squeeze more money out of Congress for defense and intelligence. It was actually quite a game they used to play.
Truth never much counted, politics did.
By the way, when President Kennedy received his first CIA briefings, he made the memorable comment that there was little there that he had not already read in the New York Times.
It provides a good response to those criticizing Trump for saying he does not need the daily briefings because his (very smart) people are on top of things, the unspoken truth there being that CIA briefings are larded with stuff the CIA wants you to think, not necessarily what reality is. A real man of action does not waste time with that.
However, the CIA has two major branches, intelligence collection and assessment and clandestine operations.
While intelligence gathering has often been a failure, the clandestine branch - I don't want to say has been a success because that would be inaccurate but it has done a lot of damage over the years.
It failed in tasks such as killing Castro, but it helped engineer coups and overthrows in many places, including against democratic governments in Iran, Guatemala, Chile, and, of course in Ukraine.
It has always worked with the thugs and scum of the earth – as it does today in Syria – to bring disorder and destruction to many places.
Essentially, the guys who work for this branch resemble vicious college frat-boys who enjoy hurting and killing with impunity. In Vietnam, for example, these scum organized Project Phoenix during which 20,000 Vietnamese village leaders and such had their throats cut by guys crawling into villages on their bellies in the middle of the night.
Any society has a natural endowment of such psychopathic types, but they don’t all give them free rein and resources to enjoy themselves, except in the case of genuine war.
Readers may enjoy these discussions:
Please, also, keep in mind that the Washington Post is now owned by Jeff Bezos of Amazon fame.
Bezos, like other big American hi-tech guys - Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google - has been in bed with the CIA for a while. All such companies at some point are made offers they cannot refuse ("in the national interest") to share information secretly and sometimes to slightly bend or slant operations in particular ways.
He is also a notorious partisan of Hillary Clinton, having assigned a team of reporters to dig dirt on Trump during the election.
Readers should also see these sources on the leaks: