Friday, July 6, 2012

Covert Influence Target: American Education—Obama, Ayers, and Counts

Covert Influence Target:   American Education—Obama, Ayers, and Counts

American academics and educators who carried on long-term relationships with Soviets or communism.  They developed both overt and covert ties to the Soviet Union.  An ex-communist, Louis Budenz provided a guide to understanding the backgrounds of academics who, following the communist conspiratorial methodology, refused to state their true beliefs or communist affiliation.  Budenz revealed the actions and affiliations of academics from the 1930s to the 1960s, when it was impossible to be an overt Marxist in the US.  KGB-sponsored fronts provided academia with cover for their actions in support of the Soviets.  One Columbia University professor, Bernhard Stern, was a member of 40 communist fronts during the immediate post WWII years.  At the same time, Stern testified before Congress and pled the 5th Amendment, refusing to answer questions on the grounds that he might incriminate himself. 

The 5th Amendment ploy was regularly used by the communists when faced with exposure.  While pleading the 5th is not an automatic indictment, and is a Constitutional right, we can now look back at the historical record and see that virtually every one of the witnesses before the House Un-American Activities Committee who pled the 5th were communists.  As Budenz, the ex-communist, pointed out, you cannot identify communists by their words, but rather by their actions.  If it walks like a duck, it is very likely a duck.  Stern is but one example of the academics who were at the beck and call of the Soviets, using KGB tactics to spread the noxious anti-American covert influence payloads.  And their use of the covert action motto—admitting nothing, denying everything, and making counter-accusations is another confirmation of their covert action links. 

In writing my book, Willing Accomplices’ I examined the KGB infiltration of the American Kindergarten to 12th grade (K-12) education system in the early 1900s through the 1960s.  The Soviets did not neglect their covert efforts to infect the roots of American society.  As Budenz said, “In undermining a nation such as the United States, the infiltration of the educational process is of prime importance…The Communists have accordingly made the invasion of schools…the major consideration in their psychological warfare designed to control the American mind.” (Budenz, p. 208)  In 1937, during the height of the Popular Front surge of support for socialism, American communist teachers were exhorted by an article in a Communist magazine to “…affect the children’s thinking, and they must mobilize other teachers…without exposing themselves.” (Budenz, p. 209)  The American education mafia was diving deeply into John Dewey’s philosophy of Pragmatism, which holds that there is no real truth, and no absolute good or evil.  This theory fed into the hands of the Communist covert influence operators. 

 Because the leaders of the Progressive educationists wrote a lot, we have a good record of the communist inspired philosophies that the transmitted into American classrooms. For example, George Counts was a carrier of the communist covert influence message into K-12 education.  In the late 1920s, through the early 1930s, Counts traveled extensively in the USSR, where he was surely met and cultivated by the KGB.  His book, Dare the Schools Build a New Social Order? (1932), reveals the goals of the Soviets in the title, annihilation of the American social order.   Counts’ covert influence operations were substantial.  Russia provided him with a Soviet textbook, initially used in the Soviet Union as an indoctrination tool for children in their education system.  The Russians provided Counts with an English translation, which he brought to America and published.  His introduction to the book, New Russia's Primer: The Story of the Five-Year Plan (1931), waxed eloquently and enthusiastically in support of a collectivized economy.  This book is a good example of a typical communist covert influence payload.  Without actually calling for the communization of American society, and speaking in the coded language of covert influence, Counts laid the foundation of a logical and reasonable argument. Readers were left to come to their own conclusion that communism was the only path possible.  In reality, even as Counts was writing his introduction, Stalin was carrying out unbelievably grotesque repression of the Russian masses.  Counts’ other writings similarly carried the communist covert influence message into American schools of education and elementary and high school classrooms. 

John T. Flynn served on the Board of higher education for New York state from 1933 to 1944.  during his tenure on the board of education, New York State undertook an investigation of communist infiltration of the education system.  Flynn, a self defined liberal, could not believe the charges against numerous teachers, most of whom he knew personally.  The trials conducted by the state resulted in guilty verdicts for a total of 35 teachers.  According to Flynn, these teachers were not merely Socialists or leftists, but Communists.  Flynn was shocked to discover the infiltration of his own system by the Communists.  Clearly, the Communists were using the covert influence template of the KGB.  Flynn spelled out very clearly what he saw the communist mission to be: “a seductive form of propaganda for collectivism – this propaganda takes the form of teaching openly as possible, cautiously if necessary three things.  First, that our American system of private enterprise is a failure.  Second, that our republic of limited powers is a mistake.  Third, that our way of life must give way to a collectivist society in which the central State will own and operate, or plan and finance and control, the economic system.” (Flynn, in Scott and Hill, p. 159)  )  Clearly Flynn, an educational bureaucrat, saw the results of the Communist covert influence operations.  However, unable to see the forest for the trees, he focused on the 35 teachers who were found to be spreading the communist propaganda in his state schools, and was unaware of the great covert war unfolding around him. 

Flynn, on the front lines of the struggle against the collectivization of American society, saw the enemy.  He quotes from Counts’ 17 volume study of social science in American schools, “… ‘the age of individualism is closing and a new age of collectivism is emerging.’  The report then proposed that the teachers go to work upon the minds of their pupils to prepare them for the new collectivist society.”  (Flynn, p. 160)

Ministry of Truth Declaration: War is Peace, Love is Hate, Combat is Assistance

Ministry of Truth Declaration:  War is Peace, Love is Hate, Combat is Assistance

By Kent Clizbe

Originally published Sept. 10, 2010

American troops on an Iraqi Army base in Baghdad laid down heavy “assistance” fire with their “assistance” M4’s last week.  Despite Barack Obama’s stone-faced declaration that US military forces in Iraq are not actually “combat” troops, our combat troops did what they do best—engaged in combat with the enemy.

Linguistic parlor games are probably amusing in the Harvard Law Review lounge.  Young Barack (Have you heard?  He’s the most intelligent editor ever!) likely engaged in heavy rhetorical combat with his peers and betters  in the academy.  His University of Chicago law classes are said to have been heavy on verbal class warfare, and tongue-lashing of American oppressors. 

While it may have earned him brownie points at Columbia, in Chicago and at Cambridge, the young President’s latest rhetorical sophistry is a deadly piece of self-delusion.  His word games blatantly disrespect the real combat troops who are in Iraq, engaging in, or under constant threat of, combat.  Under his putative command, these troops saw their unit names change overnight, magically creating Assist troops out of combat troops.

According to a reliable source, currently serving in Baghdad, soldiers there joke that the M1A1 is now the Main “Assist” Tank.  Its 120mm gun is notorious for the assistance it provides.  While grunts have always been cynical and are champion complainers, the blatant word games played by their commander-in-chief are sticking in the dog-faces’ craws. 

The source is currently engaged in infantry-to-infantry training of the Iraqi Army.  He reports that from the perspective on the ground in Iraq, it appears they are re-living Vietnam, but this time in reverse.  American involvement in Vietnam began with an advise and assist mission, and worked up to massive combat, prior to an ignominious, politically charged withdrawal.  Now the Army is reliving that process backwards.  From a massive combat mission, with no holds barred, to advise and assist, followed by an ignominious, politically charged withdrawal--it’s déjà vu from ‘72. 

With no workable government in sight, separatist sentiments growing in at least three enclaves, and weak-kneed counter-factual political pronouncements from the clique in Washington, the future is none too bright for Iraq.  In the meantime, the future is clouded and dangerous for our “Assist” troops in Iraq. 

Would that we had a real commander-in chief who could call on experience outside of the faculty lounge, the grad student gab-fest, or a campaign rally to inform his decisions.  Lives are at stake.  American honor is on the line.  Yet liberal Newspeak emanates from the White House.  What next?  War is Peace?  Ignorance is Strength?  Where’s the Ministry of Truth when you really need it? 

Kent Clizbe ( was an enlisted Air Force sergeant during the Cold War.  In his post-9/11 counter-terrorism work for the CIA, he was active in assisting and training.  He specializes in Islamic Extremism and served in Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, including Baghdad and Kuwait.  He was awarded the Intelligence Community Seal Medallion in 2004.  Kent has appeared on VOA TV, PJTV, national and regional talk radio, and has written columns in Newsmax, FrontPageMag, WND, Parcbench, BigPeace, and BigJournalism.  . 

Candidate Vetting Failure—Catastrophic Results

Candidate Vetting Failure—Catastrophic Results

By Kent Clizbe

Originally published on NewsMax; March 28, 2011

As an executive recruiter, I provided a 100% guarantee to my clients. When I provided a company with a candidate for a job, that candidate was ready, willing and able to do the job. If the candidate quit or was fired in the first three months, I returned my fee. Never once did I have to repay a fee.

A successful placement of a high level professional, usually a double PhD, in return for a five figure placement fee, requires a multi-step process. However, the most crucial step is vetting the candidate. I spent hours talking to the candidate, assessing his motivations, expertise, and qualifications. The candidate provided references and signed releases to allow me to obtain records of his education, citizenship, criminal history, civil court actions, and other documents.

As a CIA case officer, I dealt with foreigners, some with dubious backgrounds, making outrageous claims, in search of solutions to their problems. I had to assess their personalities, motivations, and the basics of their story—were they who they said they were; did they have access to what they claimed? This process relied on my street smarts, people skills, and assessment abilities. Usually no documents were available for vetting. I was successful because I ran operations like a business—with results required.

More than once, I uncovered problems in existing cases. Agents lied to their case officers; some had been lying for years. In many cases, the case officer, trained and experienced, but not street smart, or in love with his agent, was not really interested in the truth. Continuing to run a bad asset has very few immediate or obvious downsides. Uncovering lies makes handling an asset much more difficult.

Meeting and developing a relationship with a potential espionage agent requires the same care as recruiting a computational linguist for a Silicon Valley start-up, but the stakes are much higher. Not in monetary terms, but for the security of our country. Lives are at stake. 

Placing a candidate who lies about his education with a commercial client would damage both my pocketbook and my reputation. Recruiting an espionage agent who works for an enemy intelligence service could be deadly. Seven CIA employees paid with their lives in December 2010 when a “vetted” candidate killed himself and his CIA case officer in Afghanistan.

Assessing personalities and detecting deception are two skills that have been profitable—monetarily, and in fighting terrorists and enemies. Vetting and validation of candidates is a difficult and unrewarding process. But on-going vetting and validation of the bona fides of candidates is a must, if you are serious about your reputation, or the security of your country.

Vetting candidates for political office makes vetting espionage agents, or engineers, look like child’s play. The damage a liar or enemy infiltrator can do to our country is potentially astronomical.

In the 2010 Congressional elections, I vetted a Tea Party candidate, without his cooperation. The issues I identified should have disqualified him. Besides lying about his degree, and exaggerating his work in the private sector, there were unanswered questions with the candidate’s long record of military service. As is typical with those caught covering up the truth, the candidate went on the attack.

The stakes for vetting a candidate for President of the United States make any other kind of vetting work seem silly. If a liar, or faker, or cheat was to make it into the White House our constitutional system could be at risk.

In my experience, a valid candidate, with nothing to hide, is eager to help in the vetting process. From providing full details of his personal and professional background, to revealing deep personal issues, a valid candidate works with those doing the vetting.

In the 2008 Presidential election, candidates were vetted by the press in varying degrees. The media examined, analyzed and publicly evaluated them. John McCain’s personal wealth, marriage, place of birth, mental stability, and other important issues. McCain cooperated, provided details and answered questions.

On the other hand, Barack Obama’s background remains nearly a blank slate. His school records, from kindergarten to law school, remain hidden. The story of his financial support is hidden—his private elementary and high school in Hawaii, his international travel, his graduate and undergraduate tuition and living expenses, and more. And these are just the beginning of the Barack Obama vetting failure. 

My extensive research into the espionage operations of the Communist International (Comintern), detailed in Willing Accomplices, familiarized me with their techniques. One of their most common tactics to respond to exposure is so pervasive that it could be their motto: Admit nothing. Deny everything. Make counter-accusations.

For a professional vetter, it is clear that one candidate in 2008 was concealing vital information, at best. The documents and stories floated to support the candidate’s claims only raise more suspicion.

The most disturbing aspect of attempts to vet the mystery candidate was the Obama camp’s vigorous response. Their stereotypical response is nearly as damning as any information that could be revealed: Admitting nothing, denying everything, and making counter-accusations, the vetting of candidate Obama continues.

Do we need a professional candidate vetter? It looks like the project may have just begun. The future of our country might depend on it.  

Obama’s Worldview and the Roots of Political Correctness: KGB Covert Influence Operations

Obama’s Worldview and the Roots of Political Correctness:  KGB Covert Influence Operations

By: Kent Clizbe

In the 1920s, Vladimir Lenin charged a select group of communist espionage officers with a long range covert influence project.  Their goal:  To undermine the culture, society, and economy of the USA.  To weaken America in preparation for a socialist revolution.  The communists targeted the three transmission belts of American culture:  Academia, the Media, and Hollywood.  Recent research reveals the unbelievable extent of their success.  Today we see the results in Obama’s campaign talking points, the Media’s assistance, and Hollywood and Academia’s slavish toeing of the party line . 

The communist ops were focused on the long term.  The operators were convinced that political evolution had reached its high point in Russia.  The revolution would spread across the globe.  Their covert operators had long term horizons, measured in decades rather than months.  Their leaders changed, Lenin to Stalin.  KGB chiefs were regularly slaughtered, along with millions of other Soviet citizens.  Yet the covert influence ops remained active from 1920 to the fall of Russian communism in 1980.  Not even the most optimistic KGB minion dared dream their operations would echo into the 21st century. 

In fact, the seeds planted by the Communist spies have grown into a kudzu plant that still sprouts new shoots, spreading its noxious tendrils throughout the USA, thriving even as the gardeners that planted them are long dead. 

Communist intelligence officers infiltrated the cultural transmission belts of American society and planted covert influence payloads.  Comparing the content of the original payloads to today’s PC creed reveals them to be identical.

The payload and methodology was best summarized by a communist agent working against Hollywood, quoted by Stephen Koch: 

“You claim to be an independent-minded idealist.  You don’t really understand politics, but you think the little guy is getting a lousy break. 

You believe in open-mindedness.  You are shocked, frightened by what is going on right here in our own country. You’re frightened by the racism, by the oppression of the workingman.  You think the Russians are trying a great human experiment, and you hope it works.  You believe in peace. 

You yearn for international understanding.  You hate fascism. 

You think the capitalist system is corrupt.  You say it over and over and over again.” 1

One of the first, and certainly most effective, recruitments for the covert influence program was the New York Times’ Walter Duranty.  Recently completed analysis, in conjunction with former KGB operators, of Duranty’s lifestyle, access, and reporting reveals that he was, almost without doubt, a paid espionage agent.  Duranty, America’s man in Moscow for more than a decade supplied the US media with a steady stream of communist-fed information.  The implied subtext of Duranty’s message was:  “Communism works.  It is inevitable.  The USA is doomed”  KGB operators now admit that they were tasked to continue implanting such messages up until the fall of the USSR. 2 

The media accepted Duranty’s covert influence messages as gospel.  He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932.  The KGB must have gloated over their unbelievable success.  Duranty, and the New York Times, set the template for America’s press to be manipulated by the KGB.  He was “the doyenne of left-leaning Westerners who believe that what happened inside Soviet Russia held the key to the future for the rest of the world.” 3 

The Soviet-trained intelligence service of North Vietnam infiltrated the American press corps in Saigon, another covert influence coup.  Pham Xuan An, a communist espionage agent, worked for Time magazine for almost 30 years.  Beginning as a translator, he ended his career as the last Time correspondent in Saigon, filing stories for publication in the US after the North Vietnamese victory.  All the while, An was a communist espionage agent.  Morley Safer, upon An’s death in 2006, evidently without irony, called him one of the “best-connected journalists in the country.” 4

In 1934, the operation against America’s Education system bore fruit  at the Teachers College of Columbia University.  A group of intellectuals began their contribution to the communist project to destroy traditional American society, calling themselves, “Reconstructionists.”  Their message planned for every classroom, called for educators to be “less frightened of imposition and indoctrination.” 5   

My analysis reveals that the leader of this group, George Counts, was likely a covert influence agent.  His multiple trips to the USSR, from the late 1920s to the early ‘30s, place him squarely in the sights of the KGB’s covert influence operators.  During his travels across the communist country, he would have been squired by intelligence officers, who would develop him for eventual recruitment.  The success of this covert influence recruitment is reflected in Counts’ books, published in 1931, The New Russian Primer, and The Soviet Challenge to America.  The first was a direct translation of a communist indoctrination text for Soviet children, extolling the virtues of the first Five Year Plan.  His co-author was a Soviet “translator,” most likely supplied by the KGB.  

Covert ops against American schools were in full swing by 1937.  Agents of covert influence working as teachers in elementary and secondary schools carried out their indoctrination “without exposing themselves.”  Their covert influence mission was to “affect the children’s thinking, and …mobilize other teachers.” 6 

According to PC in 2008, the United States is a racist, sexist, classist, homophobic, bigoted, war-mongering fascist imperialist State.  What we think of as a “Politically Correct” point of view, is the Leninist/Stalinist covert influence payload, emerged from underground.   

When the kudzu pushed up from its underground hiatus after the 60’s, Bill Ayers and Obama’s foundation in Chicago pushed for school reform.  Ayers said, “Teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? ‘I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist,’” 7  The covert operation bears fruit decades later. 

Willi Munzenberg, Lenin’s chief covert influence operator was determined to instill the mindset in Americans that, as Koch says, “to criticize or challenge Soviet policy was the unfailing mark of a bad, bigoted, and probably stupid person, while support was equally infallible proof of a forward-looking mind committed to all that was best for humanity and marked by an uplifting refinement of sensibility.” 8   This is as close as we can come to a definition of PC today.  Simply substitute “Soviet” with “Democrat,” or “Liberal,” and there you have it.  Keith Olbermann could not express the PC point of view any more clearly.  The covert influence payload emerges today as PC. 

Munzenberg’s operations, run from Vienna and Paris, dispatched communist espionage officers into Hollywood.  There they built solid operations, recruiting screenwriters, producers, actors, directors, and hangers-on.  Their success against the film industry was notable and unparalleled.  Underground, and overt communist organizations flourished there.  One communist recruit explained how the party made him comfortable:  “I would be spared the agony of thinking my way through difficult issues: all the thinking would be done for me by an elite core of trained cerebrators…”9  

The Hollywood strategy was wildly successful over the long-term.  The elite corps of today, Michael Moore, Barbra Streisand, Matt Damon, Oliver Stone, et al, save the PC multitudes from doing any heavy thinking.  The elites provide emotionally satisfying, Politically Correct views on any and all issues, packaged for the consumption of the PC proletariat.    

When Obama recently decried the bitterness of Midwesterners clinging to their guns, their religion and their anti-immigrant sentiments, he was echoing the Leninist/Stalinist covert payload of decades ago.  When Obama’s preacher, Mr. Wright, accused the US government of inflicting AIDS on “people of color,” as a means of genocide, he parroted a KGB covert influence operational payload, first inserted in an Indian paper in 1984. 10 

When Progressives today chant, “Bush lied, people died,” they parrot the KGB’s messages.  In the run-up to World War II, the communists characterized President Roosevelt as a war-mongering imperialist, and American foreign policy as somehow evil, and definitely naive.  Reading the comments on virtually any Daily Kos posting today reveals the astounding success of the KGB’s influence op. 

The goals of PC, which began to emerge after the 1970s, up until today, are nearly identical to the goals of the Communist International in 1920:  Destroy the society in which capitalism thrives.  Bring the capitalists to their knees, so that the Elite Vanguard can install a dictatorship of the proletariat, for the good of all mankind.  The proletariat is too gullible and easily swayed by logic and reality.  The Elites know better than the masses. 

The Leninist Elite Vanguard of the Proletariat in 1920 is today’s Elite Vanguard of Progressives, with Obama as the public face.  They know better than you.  They are oh-so-smart, oh-so-cosmopolitan, oh-so-loved in Vienna and Paris.  They plan to give the rubes and hayseeds of fly-over country what’s best for them, like it or not, made palatable by oratory and lies, and spoon-fed by their friends in the media, Hollywood, and academia.    

Only difference between then and now is:  Now we know better.  Don’t be fooled again.    

Kent Clizbe, a former CIA case officer, is the author of the soon-to-be-released non-fiction book, Willing Accomplices:  An Intelligence Officer’s Shocking Proof That Soviet Spies Manipulated American Culture, Hollywood, the News Media, Academia and the Democratic Party and Created Political Correctness.

©2008 Kent Clizbe



1  Double Lives, 2004, pp. 249-250.

2  Interviews with former KGB case officers, Washington DC, 2008.

3  Taylor, S.J.  Stalin's Apologist: Walter Duranty: The New York Times's Man in    Moscow.,  1990, p. 5.

4  Safer, Flashbacks: On Returning to Vietnam, 1990.

5  Ravitch, The Troubled Crusade, 1980, p. 85. 

6  Budenz, The Techniques of Communism, 1954, p. 209. 

7  “Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism in Schools,”  Wall St Journal, September 23, 2008, p. A28. 

8  Double Lives, 2004, p. 15. 

9  Radosh, Ronald, and Allis Radosh.  Red Star over Hollywood: The Film            Colony’s Long Romance with the Left, 2006, p. 43.

10  Andrew & Mitrokhin, The World was Going Our Way, 2005, p. 340.


The Holder/Obama GWCIA

The Holder/Obama GWCIA

By Kent Clizbe

In the early days and weeks after September 11, 2001, a small cadre of men (and a few women) with vast amounts of intelligence experience reported to the Langley, Virginia headquarters of the CIA.  These unsung heroes were then dispatched across the globe to run operations against the Al-Qaeda conspirators who leveled the World Trade Center and struck our mighty military’s nerve center. 

The FBI, a domestic law enforcement agency, did not have the ability or skills needed to track down and strike the attackers overseas.  The Pentagon, with F22s, nuclear aircraft carriers, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and battalions of the best armor in the history of mankind, was like an elephant attacked by a mouse—mighty, but helpless in its mammoth rage. 

Our best hope lay with the grey-bearded intelligence professionals who fanned out across the world.  Supplementing the skeleton crew of staff officers left in the wake of the Clintons’ anti-intelligence scourging of the CIA, the volunteers went to the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, to the most remote and isolated outposts in the world.  Sometimes they worked with friendly forces, and sometimes they worked alone.  They focused like a laser beam on one thing—protect our country.  Stop the next attack.  Seek and destroy the terrorist planners, facilitators, trainers, financiers, and their infrastructure wherever they were. 

Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, CIA officers, both the contractors and the over-extended staff officers, launched dozens of initiatives.  The Counter-terrorist Center’s motto, “Deny, Disrupt, Destroy,” became the reason for our living.  We left our families for months on end and sacrificed personal and professional lives to fight the Global War on Terror.  Google “Jihadists in Paradise,” for an unauthorized account of one of my contributions (which I have been advised that I can neither confirm nor deny).  

As I did my part in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa, my family tried to maintain a semblance of normalcy at home.  My son was in eighth grade in September 2001.  I did not see him graduate that year.  I was home less than six months for each of the first three of his high school years.  Even with nightly phone calls, his grades and attitude plummeted in my absence.  He went from a happy, engaged, charming 13 year old with straight A’s and a focus on the future, to a sullen, uncommunicative, high school flunky.  I put my successful and lucrative executive recruiting business on hold for eight years.  Finally, after five years of patriotic sacrifices, my family sacrifice account was overdrawn.  Coming home was an option for me, and I took it. 

Others did not take that option, and they sacrificed the quality of their marriages, participation in their children’s and grandchildren’s lives, the profitability of their businesses, and more.  Personal and professional issues festered and rotted while they fought to keep America safe and prevented further attacks on our homeland. 

In contrast, where was Eric Holder?  Before leaving President Clinton’s employ, he orchestrated the pardons of several Puerto Rican separatist terrorists.  Then in 2003, as a partner in the Washington law firm of Covington & Burling, Mr Holder’s client, Chiquita Brands, admitted paying to support terrorist death squads in Columbia and paid a $25 million fine.  During the time that my friends worked to disrupt and destroy terrorist networks threatening America, Holder’s firm represented -- for free -- 16 terrorist detainees held at Guantanamo. 

Did he make any personal or professional sacrifices since his country was attacked in 2001?  If he has, it is difficult to find.  When the Special Prosecutor comes calling, maybe someone from Covington & Burling can represent my colleagues for free, like they did for Lakhdar Boumedienne and ten other terrorists in Gitmo. 

The Holder/Obama Global War on the CIA (GWCIA) has only just begun, as it debuted with “grisly revelations” of revving drills, gunshots in the next cell, and threats against a terrorist’s children.  The GWOT is not for the faint of heart, nor the queasy.  No war ever has been.  There may be slight improprieties stashed in the CIA’s closets, but the liberal-appeasing GWCIA is foolhardy and dangerous.   

Mike Spann, was the first to die in the GWOT.  He won’t have to worry about the Holder/Obama GWCIA.  But others in the Agency are very worried.  While we sacrificed to achieve incremental victories, Holder and Obama plotted and schemed -- not against those “evil-mongers” who killed our countrymen, but against those of us hunting the terrorists.  Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.  The odor is not from Langley, Mr Holder. 

John Brennan— Connecting the Dots Spells Conflict of Interest

John Brennan— Connecting the Dots Spells Conflict of Interest

By: Kent Clizbe

On Christmas Day the now-infamous Panties Bomber spluttered into the headlines.  Riding the coattails of a brave Dutchman, who actually put out the fire (did he extinguish the Nigerian panties too?), the Obama administration’s answer to Janet Reno, Janet Napolitano, declared that her system had worked just fine. 

The President, pausing from his rounds of tropical golf and topless body surfing, surfaced just long enough to tell his buddies on CNN and MSNBC that our charred crotch immigrant was just a lone wolf extremist, or he was “alleged” to be.  Nothing to see here, move along.  Then our intrepid President must have plunged back into the surf, or onto the fairway, secure in the knowledge that his words had calmed the seas, lowered the waters, cooled the planet, mollified Al-Qaeda, and soothed Kim Jong Il and the Iranians.

On further reflection, maybe his words were not quite enough.  Maybe Americans had heard his throwaway lines one time too many.  After the Christmas weekend, evidently in no particular hurry, our leader’s aides seem to have realized that his teleprompter may have been loaded up with sweet nothings a little too quickly.  He emerged from his paradise hideaway again on Monday. 

After Janet N’s incredible claims, Obama’s handlers realized they had a Carter-sized problem on their hands.  Immediately the President began the finger pointing.   Security and intelligence services had failed.  Dropped the ball.  Failed to connect the dots. 

But wait, this is the most intelligent president in the history of the office.  Surrounded by the most intelligent, savvy, industrious, earnest, sincere and helpful staff and cabinet ever.  Plus ethical too.  Our young president, buzz cut rapidly graying, had pledged that he would fix all the idiotic things that the dunce he replaced had screwed up. 

Maybe Obama had just not yet gotten around to that “protecting the country from terrorists” item on his agenda.  Maybe he thought that his Cairo speech had done the trick.  Or maybe he thought that Al-Qaeda had just hated Bush, and that his famous mental muscle was better suited to really hard work, like health-care reform, global warming, choosing the teams for the Sweet 16, or picking a name for his next puppy. 

Whatever the reason, Umar from Nigeria, by way of Amsterdam, on a Delta flight, got Obama’s attention.  And now Obama was primed to fix this whole “contingency” thing, or whatever he and Janet had decided to call terrorism.  Whatever they called it, he and his Counter-terrorism advisor, John Brennan had assured us that we were NOT at war with it. 

Americans must seem like a funny bunch of whiners to the President.  Seemingly unaware, tone deaf, and blind to American concerns and lifestyles, Obama seemed stunned when he faced the press again, back in Washington, wearing a tie, 11 days after the terror attack.  Thin and reedy, Obama read the text that declared that his intelligence and security services had utterly failed by allowing this attack to happen.

White House staff released a photo of Obama appearing to speak fiercely to his Cabinet before his speech.  During the public speech, Obama declared his system a disastrous failure.  Okay so far.  But now his prescription: “I directed my Counter-terrorism advisor, John Brennan, to lead a thorough review into our terrorist watch-listing system so we can fix what went wrong.” 

Now Barack has wandered into deep denial of reality.  Brennan, a George Tenet lackey, hooked his wagon to Obama’s star early enough that he became the candidate’s go-to-guy for intel matters during the campaign.  Brennan rode that pony as far as it would go, until the rabid left-wing forced his boss to throw his nomination to run the CIA out the window, due to concerns about his role in “torture” (don’t get me going on that issue). 

Brennan, a consummate bureaucrat and career CIA analyst, had been the first director of the new “fusion centers” the 9/11 Commission required—first the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) and then the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).  Their main job was to connect those pesky dots that the IC missed prior to the 9/11 attack. 

Brennan birthed dysfunctional twins, and left the government soon after.  He became a dreaded contractor, cashing in for big bucks, and took the helm of a company that sold intel products and services.  Who would his customer be?  If you guessed NCTC, you’d be right. 

And what might Mr Brennan have been peddling to NCTC?  A software system to connect the dots and manage the terrorist watchlist!   When the time came to pay back Brennan for his dedication to the Obama campaign, “the most ethical administration in history” promptly issued an ethics waiver to Mr Brennan.  Don’t worry, no conflicts of interest.  Move along, nothing to see here. 

Isn’t it fun to watch sausage being ground?  A bureaucracy created to fix a system that failed to connect the dots, led by Mr Brennan, buys a system designed to connect the dots, sold by Mr Brennan.  When Brennan’s bureaucracy using Brennan’s system is declared an abject failure, the administration’s solution is to have Mr Brennan undertake an immediate investigation to connect the dots on the dot-connecting failure. 

Nice work if you can get it.  Any bets on what Mr Brennan’s findings will be?  The summary findings will be made public later this week.  Stay tuned.  This could get interesting—sort of like a train wreck. 

Political Correctness Killed 7 at Khost

Political Correctness Killed 7 at Khost

By:  Kent Clizbe                                                                    

Last December 30th, a horrific bombing snuffed out the lives of seven American patriots.  We can only wish that the same blast had snuffed out the Politically Correct policies that led to those young peoples’ deaths.  With heavy hearts, and a salute to our fallen heroes, it is fitting and proper that we should soberly consider the bureaucracy that placed those brave but inexperienced officers at a forward firebase in a war zone. 

Political correctness killed the CIA operations officer, the analyst, and the others supporting the meeting, just as surely as the blast and fragments from the package strapped under the bomber’s robe did.  Every clandestine meeting with a terrorist is dangerous and potentially deadly.  The meeting itself is a tiny part of the operation.  Training and preparation, planning and cultural knowledge, understanding your asset’s personality, motivations, needs, and problems, are just a few of the issues that an operations officer must juggle and attempt to control.  But the first step is the selection process itself that chooses candidates who will become operations officers in a war zone.    

When the meeting is held in conjunction with a foreign intelligence service, as the presence of the Jordanian intelligence officer seems to suggest this one was, another layer of complications are introduced into an already complicated situation.  Language, control, compatible goals, strategy, tactics, all must be coordinated, discussed, hashed out, and agreed upon with the partner.  Vastly separated by culture and objectives, a CIA ops officer and her foreign counterpart must dance down a delicately balanced tightrope. 

By their very nature, penetrations of terrorist organizations are dangerous, crafty, deceptive, and hard to handle.  Whether the source is playing the role of a terrorist at the behest of a hostile intelligence handler, or is a real terrorist cooperating with friendly intelligence officers, the key element of the source’s personality is deception. 

A terrorist is not usually the most savory character.  In fact, he probably has a long history of walking on the wrong side of the law.  Arrests, jail, detention, prison, living double lives, lying about his true intentions, beliefs and plans are second nature to a terrorist.  Crimes, deceit, double-dealing, conspiracy, murder, rape and robbery are every day facts of life for a terrorist.  He has been involved in black market schemes, counterfeiting, visa fraud, online fraud, identity theft, and multiple other schemes, cons, and rackets. 

As if the background of the target does not pose enough challenges, remember that the target comes from a culture so different from that of middle America that, for the average American, the terrorist source may as well be from Pluto. 

The target is likely a Middle Eastern male, probably native Arabic-speaking.  He is also a member of a vastly complex, inter-woven network of social, tribal, national, religious, clan, ethnic, and other groups.  The flavor of Arabic he speaks, and the name he bears immediately identify him of a certain clan/tribe/ethnicity.  He practices, or used to practice, a form of Islam that is strongly affected by his tribal and ethnic background.

 He likely has participated in some sort of Islamic revival movement.  He has probably traveled abroad, perhaps to the West.  He has been bombarded with Western culture from the day he was born. He has a grasp of English, at least in reading.  He probably has been educated in a technical discipline.  He is of above average intelligence.  He is able to use charm, and knows how to manipulate Americans.  He has a strong, though misguided, understanding of American culture and lifestyles.  His view of Americans is not complex.  He knows that American men are big, play football and drink a lot of beer.  He knows American women are blonde, have large breasts and are eager to engage in casual sex with strangers they have just met.  He admires, covets, and loathes the American lifestyle, economy and culture.  He is interested in converting any American he meets to Islam. 

He is smooth like a snake, and would rather slip a knife into your American ribs than deal with you.  He is meeting with an American intelligence officer for his own reasons, which very likely have nothing to do with the reasons the American is meeting with him.  

While every case is different, that is a rough profile of a potential terrorist asset.  It might also be helpful to review who a terrorist asset is not.  This man is not a diplomat.  He does not attend embassy cocktail parties.  He is not a European sophisticate looking for an American contact to discuss the Copenhagen round of Global Warming talks.  The terrorist is not impressed with American ideas of equality or Political Correctness.  He does not fear a sexual harassment lawsuit.  He shares not one of PC America’s concerns about “offensive speech,” or “the glass ceiling.”  He is not interested in hearing the American view of the Middle East.  

A CIA ops officer has the task of meeting, assessing, developing a close friendship with, and then recruiting the terrorist described above.  The most highly coveted recruitment would be a member of an enemy terrorist organization.  If that terrorist had, or could nurture a connection to, or information about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, the recruitment would be a ticket to superstardom for the ops officer. 

Who are the CIA ops officers that are pitted against this hardest of hard targets?  What is the profile that the CIA uses to find and hire the operators to work against international slimeballs?  Based on the CIA’s profile for hiring, you would think this job requires the same skills as an investment banker, an NGO advisor, an accountant, a lawyer, or another high-class professional.     

CIA’s recruitment center, flooded with applicants after 9/11, set an arbitrary minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.75 for a candidate to be considered.  Falling back on traditional profiles of clandestine service candidates, created during the Cold War, the CIA filled huge classes with eager young faces.  The typical recruit came from a prestige school, with a BA or MA in International Relations, Political Science, Area Studies, or other soft liberal arts.  The recruit had studied a foreign language, to less than fluent proficiency.  Since a class-action lawsuit in 1993, it is now more likely that the recruit is female. 

She had foreign experience, probably a semester, or a year, in an American university’s study abroad program, most likely in Europe.  She was in her mid-20s.  She had never been arrested, never been involved in anything shady or illegal, never used drugs, and drank alcohol moderately.  She sweated through her polygraph test, probably the first time she has ever been questioned by a hostile authority. 

After passing the academic screening and an interview, candidates passed a security clearance, including a thorough background check, drug testing, psychological screening (“I’m fascinated by fire:  T or F”), and a polygraph exam.  Those with arrest and criminal records are deemed unsuitable.  A rowdy, street-smart male is likely to be screened out at some point in the process. 

These recruits are the type of kids you would want your child bringing home as a life partner.  They come from all the best schools, eager, arrogant, confident, swaggering, innocent, and full of potential.  But are they the right candidates for dealing with cunning terrorists?

The answer should be clear.  Absolutely not.  The recruits make very good choir boys and girls, squeaky clean, innocent, naïve, and wholly unsuited to deal with terrorists.  However, the problems with the CIA’s process just begin at recruitment.  You think that these fresh kids will be trained.  Training could be used to create some of the street-smarts required to deal with terrorists and other scumbag sources.  But the training to prepare the choir boys to deal with slimeballs would take years and years.  They only have a few months.  . 

Mandatory sexual harassment training in the CIA is rigorous and repeated.  More like communist “self-criticism” sessions, this training infuriates most males, and empowers most females.  The video vignettes used in the training paint with a broad brush.  Males are pig-headed imbecilic, racist predators.  Females are hard-working, put-upon, victims of the white male hierarchy.  Past lack of female representation in management has given way to a flood of newly minted Senior Intelligence Service females, and mid-level female managers up and down the chain of command, including in the field. 

The “street smarts” training that CIA operations officers go through is quite helpful, if the recruit brings a high level of street sense to the first day of class.  If not, the training is all but wasted on the naïve innocents.  If you’ve never been worried about being detected by the police, if you’ve never been arrested, if you’ve never lied about your activities, if you’ve never cased a location to prepare for an illegal activity, if you’ve never sweet-talked someone into (or out of) something, the training is a confusing whirlwind of alien concepts. 

The recruits, selected for their high GPAs, and pristine backgrounds, gamely go through the motions.  They learn the basics, and the concepts, intellectually, but for the vast majority, they are in a frightening upside-down universe of moral ambiguity and repulsive manipulation.  Where right is wrong, and wrong is right; where you must become best friends with your worst enemy; this is the universe of deadly con-games. 

While it is true that females are much better, generally speaking, at manipulating, and reading subtle signs in, others the unspoken issue of sex and sexual expectations greatly complicates a female ops officer’s attempts to ply her craft.  Political correctness dictates that the CIA and its experienced ops officers should not mention this fact of nature, and in fact, they pretend it does not exist.  Unlike other, highly effective intel services, which use sex as part of their arsenal, the PC CIA treats every ops officer as if they are interchangeable. 

After training, the newly minted female ops officer is assigned to a post in “the Sand Box,” Afghanistan or Iraq, or to more genteel post.  In neither one does she learn anything about the realties of the street culture of her targets.  What she does learn, and become acculturated to, are the realities of American government culture.  She learns how to survive and prosper in the bureaucracy.  At either the fire base, or genteel circles, she becomes adept at negotiating the social maze of American PC culture.  And while this is important for her career, it does not advance America’s fight against terrorists.

In human intel ops, initial attempts at making contact with a potential source might involve an arranged meeting in a public place, or the source may walk-in to volunteer.  When a female ops officer approaches a stranger in public, especially an Arab male, the sexual electricity is super-charged.  Even with a walk-in, the ops officer is thrust into a highly emotionally charged relationship, with an immediate need to begin to sort out truth from lies and distortions. 

Even if operating in the same culture and language, such situations are extremely difficult to handle.  But when attempts at befriending and manipulating take place in an alien culture and language, maybe through an interpreter, the relationship is so complicated as to be unmanageable.  A male ops officer has a difficult enough time in navigating through the twists and turns of a development, without sexual baggage hanging over each meeting. 

PC denial of reality may not have much immediate effect in other US government offices, like the Department of Agriculture, but in CIA operations, the effects are immediate and obvious, to an objective observer.  Painful as it may be for the PC crowd to admit, we must adapt to the target culture.  We cannot force our targets to adapt to our culture.  We should not send a woman in to do a job, and pretend she is not handicapped by her sex.

The father of one of the dead officers knew instinctively that a war zone was not the right place for a girl who had graduated from Keith Country Day School and Colby College, which offers a semester abroad program in Spain, and one in France.  The bereaved father recalled:  “I begged her not to go, I said, ‘Do you know how dangerous that is? That’s for soldiers.’ ”

Acknowledging this reality does not demean the work of old, new, or current female ops officers.  They are doing their best, and are patriots, one and all.  Any exception that one may cite (as there are highly effective female ops officers), simply proves the rule.  They clearly have a role to play in the CT intel war.  However, just as in our armed forces, where women are not allowed in combat roles, we should use the debacle at Khost as impetus to sift PC dreams of equality from the realities of operating against terrorists. 

Next:  The Solution