There's a person (gender unstated, but I suspect male) who writes a regular column under the pseudonym “Dateline D.C.” His (let's assume) column from last Sunday is worth reading simply because of the extensive laundry list he provides of various CIA mistakes, snafus, screw-ups, and spasms of cluelessness over the years. It can be found at:
After providing the first part of the list, he comments that “this goes from being embarrassing to the disastrous”, and traces many, if not all, of the CIA's problems to the fact that one of the people most influential in its organizational design was a British agent – one Kim Philby, who was later found to be a spy for the Soviets. The implication is that the CIA was designed with intentional flaws, weaknesses, and loopholes that made it vulnerable to exploitation... or to chronic failure. And sure enough, “mission accomplished”, and he observes that “(Philby's) planning for the CIA had stood up to hundreds of inspections and has never been changed.” Implication – even though the CIA knows it was designed to fail, it has spent good money after bad and fortified those failures.
This would all make perfect sense as what I call a Level 1 Analysis (one based on generally-agreed-upon facts) if the mission of the CIA were as stated – the protection of America and America's interests through intelligence gathering and analysis, and, as needed, counter-espionage and covert action. But let's think for a minute. Here is an organization that has had privileged access, since World War II, to the most secret and sensitive information obtainable on all aspects of every foreign country, political body, or activist group – especially information with military, political, social, and economic implications. If any organization were in a position to know what's happening in the world at any given time, or what's about to happen, it would be the CIA. Right? Not only that, but the agency at least claims to be apolitical, so that its judgment cannot be accused of being clouded by partisan or idealistic considerations.
It's worth noting at this point that all of the offenses against reason and sanity listed by DDC should be considered “alleged”, since, to my knowledge, the CIA has never – at least in any public forum – admitted that these mistakes occurred. Oh, they will freely admit to the events in question, no doubt – but then stop short of acknowledging them as “their” mistakes. Presumably the detection and/or prevention of events of that sort does not fall under their mission... and if so, one might well ask, then what does?
Now, one fairly easy explanation for the CIA's failures would be the same as the explanation for the failures of any other government agency – namely that it's little more than a massive jobs program, and the mission (if one even exists) is incidental. In other words, the agency is not really doing its job at all, but just pretending to – or (more likely) pretending to do one thing while actually doing something entirely different. And that might be a tempting model because it does appear, historically, that the CIA, while not necessarily doing the job it's supposed to do, most definitely does _something_ – and a lot of it. So then we have to ask, with all that information at its disposal, and all those resources, and all that apparent power and energy... why does it keep (allegedly) failing?
This is where we get into what I call Level 2 Analysis, which often involves “thinking outside the box”, as they say, or reversing figure and ground. But in order to do this we have to throw out the premise that the CIA's mission is as stated. We have, rather, to ask: What would the real mission be if, with all those resources at its disposal, the CIA nonetheless exhibited what most people would consider a record of stupendous failure? Another way of saying this is, let's say that all of those failures are really successes. What would the mission have to have been for this to be the case?
First of all, it's clear that the reputation of the U.S. -- diplomatically, militarily, intelligence-wise – has nothing to do with it. Whatever the agenda is, it does not involve “saving face”, or avoiding embarrassment – at least not if we're talking about the visible, elected leadership – the president, Congress, the military, and so on. Well then, “image” aside, does it involve the tireless pursuit of the American Empire – something our visible, elected leadership won't admit to in so many words? In other words, is someone intent on empire-building in spite of all public claims to the contrary? True – but not, perhaps, in the way you might think.
If you look at the laundry list of complaints, the vast bulk are incidents that made us look, as a nation, like a bunch of fools, dolts, and clods who were constantly stepping on our schvantz. Well, in whose interest would that sort of image be? Our enemies, certainly – and of those there is an ever-increasing number. But it's also true of our “friends” and “allies”, who always feel a bit crowded and claustrophobic when we're in the room. We're the big kid – but like a lot of big kids, we're hard to control and tend to be a bully. We use up all the oxygen in any meeting with our "allies", and I daresay they wind up feeling somewhat intimidated, and even offended -- for there is no pride like the pride of the little man, fallen from great heights. So it's good to take us down a few pegs once in a while, and what better way to lay a trap for our clueless and deluded politicians that to assign that task to the CIA, which is, after all, part of an even more vast international intelligence network – that is to say an entirely separate world, in which the delusions of nationalism and the petty interests represented by national boundaries are to be despised rather than promoted and defended.
According to this model, the international intelligence community is one arm of the globalist cartel, AKA the Regime. Some would say that it _is_ the globalist cartel. I don't think this particular chicken-and-egg problem is all that vital, as long as we understand that there is an “entity” that cares not for the security, well-being, and prosperity of the U.S. and its citizens per se, but only as an instrument of a larger, more encompassing agenda. And we have to understand that it already controls many of our leaders and politicians, large sectors of our economy, and exerts great influence on our culture. So why would they stop short of infiltrating our intelligence apparatus as well?
So according to his model, the CIA succeeds by appearing to fail – this is if its loyalties are truly on the side of the globalists and in opposition to any kind of patriotism or nationalism. And what this means is that it's an alien force – an invader that has penetrated to the heart of the holy of holies, and is sabotaging things from within – the ultimate “inside job”, if you will.
But this is not the only possibility. There are also ways in which each individual failure can be turned around and counted as a success – but again, we have to allow for a radically different agenda than the one we've become accustomed to. Take communist revolutions, for example – and DDC implies that the CIA has missed them all. But wait! What if it knew about all of them in advance, but held back that knowledge in order to amplify the “shock and awe” effect, and thus make it more likely that their funding and power would actually be increased (by a duped Congress and executive branch)? Don't we have a habit of throwing more money at failed enterprises? Think of the public schools, for instance... or labor regulation... or farm subsidies. Why should intelligence be any different? Plus, think about it – the CIA has certainly done its part to nip plenty of communist and/or popular revolutions in the bud, and once in a while has actually succeeded. The ones they've “missed” have been the bigger ones that are harder, or impossible, to stop – so rather than letting a perfectly good crisis go to waste, they leverage it to their advantage.
He mentions the Bay of Pigs – but if any operation in American history was designed to fail, it was that one. Why? Because it would make Kennedy look bad, and the CIA already had set their sights, ahem, on Kennedy. The chances are that the ill-starred invasion could not have been designed to succeed anyway... so the way to, again, exert the right kind of leverage was to have it fail in the most spectacular way possible.
Vietnam? That was the first of our wars that was designed to fail – the current examples being Iraq and Afghanistan. Or maybe “fail” is the wrong word. “Not succeed” is a better term, since it implies that we would invade, occupy, and then have a continuous fight on our hands for years. But who benefits from that sort of thing? Anyone with a vested interest in the military, that's who – and if you combine them all you have the largest industrial entity in America, which obviously has to exist in a kind of symbiosis with the “intel” community; there is no other possibility. It's no accident that we now speak of the "military-industrial-security complex".
Bombing the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade – I believe I've covered this previously. It was a distorted way for the Clinton administration to show that it wasn't in China's back pocket, despite all the campaign contributions. Crazy, yes – but it worked. We bombed, they protested, we apologized, and the heat was off.
“Total cluelessness about the 9/11 attacks” -- au contraire! But we've covered that ground, including, once again, those who benefited (including the intelligence community, which got its biggest budget boost in history as a result of this so-called “failure”).
Regarding Afghanistan, “Washington did not remotely suspect that it would get bogged down in a decade of war.” Au contraire with earlaps! It had to be obvious to anyone with a grain of sense that this was inevitable – and yet did the intelligence community do anything to discourage George W. Bush? What I suspect is that they fed him precisely what he and his cronies wanted, and egged them on. We've already covered the waterfront in terms of who is benefiting from that war, and why they would just as soon it never ends.
“The CIA has been utterly ineffective in finding Osama bin Laden...” Right, because his continued freedom to oversee “terrorist” operations is the single best piece of pro-war propaganda we have. His is the face we love to hate, and his capture (or confirmed death) would be an absolute catastrophe for the Church of Perpetual War. Bottom line – either they really haven't found him (unlikely) or they have found him and are seeing to it that no one else does... or knows that they have. They're about as likely to bring him in to Guantanamo in shackles as O. J. Simpson is to find “the real killers”.
The current rebellions in the Arab world “took our spooks by surprise” -- no, again not if you figure that the long-term result of those revolutions will be an even stronger mandate for perpetual war, since those countries are likely to become more militantly Islamist, rather than the “cooperative” tyrannies they've been for these many years. (“Cooperative” translating to “willing to leave Israel alone in exchange for billions in foreign aid, i.e. bribes.)
See the pattern here? If it's really all about power, and resources, and enriching those who own and operate the war machine, then these failures actually amount to successes – and a bit of embarrassment during Congressional committee hearings is a small price to pay. After all, someone has to take a hit for the team once in a while – and as we have seen, there is never any permanent damage. I don't think Congress could get anyone in the CIA fired even if they wanted to. All they have to do is eat a bit of crow up on Capitol Hill then scoot back out to Langley and hide where no mere Congressman may enter.
I'm not claiming that I've made an airtight case here. After all, there has to be some room for human error – even in an organization as “perfect” as the CIA claims to be. (They always say that there are perfectly good reasons for their mistakes... but that those reasons are classified. Implication – if we knew the reasons, we'd realize that the mistakes weren't really mistakes at all. And I agree!) But just asking the simple question, “cui bono?” can provide, if not the answer, then certainly a strong clue. Because there is always someone out there who is making money, or increasing in power or status, or gaining some other benefit from any “mistake” on the the part of the CIA or any other government agency. These “mistakes” enrich more people more rapidly than any “success” would – such is the perversity of government programs and their funding. And what this means is that a great many of these so-called mistakes may be quite intentional. Or even institutionalized, as appears to be the case with the CIA.
So, with all due respect to “Dateline D.C.”, which really is a good column, I say that the writer is grossly underestimating his subject, and how clever they are, and how wildly successful they really are when it comes to their true agenda.