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TBR News January 26, 2019

Jan 26 2019

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. January 26, 2019:”American far-right political figures, feeling safe in the establishment of a New Fascist State, are now howling with simian rage and banging their knuckles on their cage floors at what they, rightfully, see, is the demarche of the once mighty God, Donald, to a mere woman. His backdown on his nonsensical wall has shaken the faith of the far-right who were eagerly anticipating a great Trump victory parade complete with goose-stepping troops in black uniforms and hundreds of serried armored vehicles marching past his reviewing stand. It is one thing to delude others but to delude yourself is never profitable. What will Donald do now? Threaten to kill all the bears in the Washington zoo? Force all public schools to display color pictures of Jesus and Hitler shaking hands? Insist that his picture be put on hundred dollar bills? Force Congress to declare him a permanent president? It is often sad when great men fall from power but merely laughable when the Trump-types fall into the septic tank.”

 

 

The Table of Contents

  • Trump wounded by border wall retreat in deal to end shutdown
  • Like Trump’s favorite steaks, Roger Stone is well and truly done
  • Trump’s CFPB Fines a Man $1 For Swindling Veterans, Orders Him Not to Do It Again
  • US must remember Donald Trump’s pointless cruelty
  • This Is A Cave, Not A Wall’: Internet Explodes Over Donald Trump’s Shutdown Cave
  • Conservatives to Trump: You caved!
  • The Blind Eye
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

 

Trump wounded by border wall retreat in deal to end shutdown

January 25, 2019

by Steve Holland and Jeff Mason

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump, who famously vowed to negotiate big deals in the White House, came out of a government shutdown battle on Friday politically wounded and outmaneuvered by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

With Americans exasperated over the 35-day shutdown’s impact on everyday life, including air travel, Trump finally gave in and agreed to reopen the government until Feb. 15, without getting the $5.7 billion he had demanded for a border wall.

In a speech in the Rose Garden, he did not admit to backing down. But behind the scenes at the White House, there was a recognition that he had lost this round. “Perhaps he lost the short-term battle,” one senior administration official said.

True to form for this administration, the outcome was uncertain until the last minute. On Thursday night, Vice President Mike Pence and senior adviser Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, presented Trump with four options, including declaring a national emergency right away, which would let him fund the building of border a wall without congressional approval but guaranteeing a court challenge.

Trump slept on it. On Friday morning, an air of uncertainty hung over the White House as Trump pondered. Aides prepared the Rose Garden event without knowing for sure what he would say.

He opted to let lawmakers fully reopen the government for three weeks and try again to craft a mutually agreeable border security package, the senior administration official said.

A key factor for Trump, the official said, were stories of law enforcement officials unable to adequately do their jobs because of the shutdown that had left 800,000 federal workers at home on furlough or working for no pay.

“We don’t think we caved,” said another senior White House official. “We have been consistent that we want to go through the process. The president wants to give this one more shot.”

Several officials said the struggle was not entirely over. They said Trump has grown increasingly confident that more Democratic lawmakers will support border security funding in weeks ahead, despite Pelosi’s flatly telling him that under no circumstances would she allow wall money to emerge from the House of Representatives that her fellow Democrats control after sweeping to a majority in the November mid-term elections.

The shutdown battle left scars on Trump. His administration looked out of touch with ordinary Americans when Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross wondered aloud in a CNBC interview why federal workers who missed two paychecks didn’t just get loans.

Trump’s job approval ratings drooped from an already anemic 40 percent down into the mid-30s, a troubling sign as he looks ahead to a 2020 re-election battle, already clouded by the prospect of more headlines from a Russian election meddling probe. That was driven home on Friday by the arrest of long-time Trump friend Roger Stone in an FBI dawn raid in Florida.

Gaining the advantage, at least for now, was Pelosi. As House speaker, she is now Trump’s main foil in Washington.

Trump earlier had been among the first to say Pelosi earned her position. “I think she deserves it,” he said then.

The two leaders tangled repeatedly through the shutdown fight. Pelosi rescinded her invitation to Trump to deliver his State of the Union speech in the House chamber on Jan. 29, citing security concerns due to the shutdown. Trump then refused to let Pelosi use a military plane for an overseas trip.

The senior administration official said Pelosi, in taking on the president so directly, might have hurt some of her fellow Democrats in districts won by Trump in 2016. Some of them had wanted her to negotiate earlier, the official said.

“Maybe she’s appealing to the left wing of her party, but she’s risking her majority in doing that,” the official said.

Still, a Trump adviser said the president’s view of Pelosi has not changed. “She’s tough, she’s stubborn,” the adviser quoted the president as saying privately about the speaker.

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union and a close Trump ally, said this of Trump’s view of Pelosi: “He has respect for her. He knows that she’s a tough operator. He does not dislike her.”

Reporting by Steve Holland and Jeff Mason; Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell, Richard Cowan, Jim Oliphant; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Leslie Adler

 

 

Like Trump’s favorite steaks, Roger Stone is well and truly done

Several counts of obstructing congressional investigations, lying to Congress, and witness tampering tell a straightforward story of collusion

January 25, 2019

by Richard Wolffe

The Guardian

Collusion, according to the world’s finest dictionaries, is defined as “secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy in order to deceive others”.

There are many ways to describe the reason an FBI swat team raided a home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before sunrise on Friday.

But there’s only one realistic definition of the conduct outlined in such entertaining length in the grand jury’s indictment known as the United States of America versus Roger Jason Stone Jr.

In addition to several counts of obstructing congressional investigations, lying to Congress, and witness tampering, special counsel Robert Mueller details a pretty straightforward story about Stone’s activities. Clue: it rhymes with delusion.

Collusion may or may not be a crime, as Rudy Giuliani (speaking on behalf of one Donald Trump) has often pointed out. But then again, Giuliani may or may not be a competent lawyer, given his astonishingly shabby record in fact-free musings that he later has to retract.

It seems churlish to point out to Trump, Giuliani et al that Mueller has already indicted several Russian persons in a conspiracy to interfere with the 2016 presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s emails, as well as those of the chairman of the Clinton campaign.

Churlish because Mueller’s follow-up on Friday presented evidence of how the Trump campaign, through Roger Stone, was involved in the secret coordination of the release of those emails.

Stone – himself the longest-serving of Trump’s political advisers – reported to Trump campaign officials on the impending and frequent email dumps from WikiLeaks, otherwise known in the indictment as “Organization 1”.

As the Mueller team explained: “Shortly after Organization 1’s release, an associate of the high-ranking Trump Campaign official sent a text message to STONE that read ‘well done.’”

Like Trump’s favorite steaks, Stone himself is now well and truly done. He appears to have lied to Congress about those contacts with the Trump campaign. And he botched his efforts to cover up the conspiracy by apparently asking his co-conspirators to lie for him.

When one of them refused, Stone started acting out his wildest mob movie fantasies, urging him to lie to Congress by doing a “Frank Pentangeli” from The Godfather: Part II. At least Stone dreamed he was starring in the best of the Godfather series.

When not attempting to direct scenes in mob movies, Stone was writing a miserably low-grade pastiche of the movie script. “You are a rat. A stoolie,” he wrote in so many garbled phrases to his naturally incredulous friend, a part-time comedian, part-time candidate called Randy Credico. “You backstab your friends – run your mouth my lawyers are dying Rip you to shreds.” He threatened to hurt Credico’s pet dog and told him to “Prepare to die [expletive].”

Instead of preparing to die, Stone’s former friend told him “you’ve opened yourself up to perjury charges like an idiot.” There’s nothing more churlish than pointing out to someone that they are not in fact Marlon Brando or Robert De Niro, but rather Peter Sellers or Rowan Atkinson.

Credico also took his pet dog Bianca to his grand jury testimony, which is a scene that somehow didn’t make it to the final cut of The Godfather: Part II.

Faced with such cartoonish buffoonery, the response from the Trump White House was implausibly vacuous. Even for a White House that regularly sets new Olympic records in implausible vacuity.

“This doesn’t have anything to do with the president,” said the press secretary, Sarah Sanders. “It doesn’t have anything to do with the White House.”

This is a bit like saying that the pool of vomit outside your front door has nothing to do with you, the 12 beers you drank last night, or that fateful choice of burrito. Even under the most generous use of the present tense, and the most elastic concept of the time-space continuum, Donald Trump really does have something to do with that pile of vomit outside the West Wing.

The endless irony of Donald Trump and his brazen hacks is that they are so fantastically incompetent at deceiving the world about their own deception. Here’s the man pretending to be president tweeting about Stone’s arrest: “Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION! Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better. Who alerted CNN to be there?”

Never mind the ALL CAPS defense. Or the Awkward Capitalization. The greatest outrage of all is that CNN captured the FBI arrest on camera. When your family business is deception, the media exposure can be really, truly annoying.

Fortunately Stone seems to be such a natural liar that he apparently feels compelled to lie about lying. “There is no circumstance whatsoever under which I will bear false witness against the president, nor will I make up lies to ease the pressure on myself,” Stone told the cameras, just hours after he was indicted for telling multiple lies.

“After a two-year inquisition, the charges today relate in no way to Russian collusion,” he helpfully explained.

Not since Russian assassins left a trail of polonium across Europe have we seen such stupendously stupid puppets of Vladimir Putin. It’s hard to decide who is the more outlandishly incompetent: Team Trump or the Brexiteers who are moving to Singapore.

Then again, Trump has somehow contrived to cave repeatedly on a government shutdown that was designed to avoid looking like he was an easy cave. So perhaps there’s no contest.

Stupid criminals may be a cliche, but recent world affairs suggest they exist nonetheless.

One retired DC police officer liked to tell the story of his favorite dumb felons. His favorite was the idiot who robbed a Home Depot store after posing as a job applicant. The moron used his real name and address on the job form before he pulled out his gun.

The Trumpsters have taken the stupid criminal genre to a new level of stupid criminality. They wrote their own confessions in so many texts, emails and meetings with Russian agents.

As their godfather considers his splendid future behind bars, he might want to revisit his best-known work. Because it won’t be long before he needs to contemplate the Art of the Plea Deal.

 

Trump’s CFPB Fines a Man $1 For Swindling Veterans, Orders Him Not to Do It Again

January 26, 2019

by David Dayen

The Intercept

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau penalized a man $1 this week, for illegally exchanging veterans’ pensions for high-interest “cash advances.” Mark Corbett claimed in sworn statements to the bureau that he had an inability to pay any fine of greater value, and the bureau accepted $1 as payment for making illegal, high-cost loans to former members of the armed forces.

Somehow, two other state regulatory agencies, in Arkansas and South Carolina, assisted in the extraction of a single dollar bill from Corbett.

This is not the first time during the Trump administration that CFPB has taken an inability to pay into account to reduce a fine for violations of consumer protection law. Under the previous acting director, current acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, this type of reduction was so widespread that it came to be known as the “Mulvaney discount.” The American justice system rarely treats impoverished defendants with such mercy.

Mulvaney has since been replaced by a confirmed director, his former aide Kathy Kraninger. The discount, however, has remained.

“It looks like the Trump-appointed political leadership at the CFPB is letting a person who preyed on veterans get away with a slap on the wrist,” said Will Corbett, a litigation counsel with the Center for Responsible Lending, a consumer advocacy group, in a statement.

A slap on the wrist for eight years of scamming veterans might be something like $10,000. This is more like a handshake.

Since 2011, Mark Corbett served as an agent for companies that the CFPB declined to name, calling them the “Doe companies.” That almost certainly indicates a future enforcement action against those companies. But companies do not violate laws; people do. And while Mark Corbett was not required to admit or deny the facts or legal conclusions in the consent order, CFPB’s findings were detailed and substantial.

On websites he operated, Mark Corbett marketed a deal for veterans with retiree or disability pensions. He set them up with offers from the Doe companies to purchase some or all of those future pension payments in exchange for a lump sum. Veterans would then use an online portal to redirect pension payments to a bank account controlled by one of the Doe companies. If veterans only sold part of their pension, the Doe companies would reimburse a portion of the payment every month. This was virtually the only source of the Doe companies’ consumer-side business revenue.

It’s also completely illegal. Under federal law assigning veterans’ pensions to a third party is prohibited. In fact, several veterans complained to Mark Corbett that the transactions were illegal; according to those veterans, he denied it.

These deals effectively operated as loan products, with an up-front payment exchanged for installment payments. For that reason, Mark Corbett was required to inform customers of the interest rate, which he never did, insisting instead in written materials that “this is not a loan. … [Y]ou are selling a product for a set price.”

Moreover, after promising to issue the lump sum payment by a set date, the companies would often miss this deadline, sometimes by up to several months, even as veterans signed away their pension benefits.

In a consent order, CFPB lays out this deception, accusing Mark Corbett of brokering illegal contracts with misleading terms, often without even delivering the promised funds to consumers in a timely fashion. It’s unclear how much money Corbett earned from this activity over an eight-year period, but it’s a virtual certainty that it was more than $1.

And yet, that was the ultimate fine.

“Having an inability to pay based on sworn financial statements provided to the Bureau on November 8, 2018, Respondent must pay a civil money penalty of $1 to the Bureau,” the order reads.

In a darkly hilarious denouement, CFPB left in all the boilerplate language included with larger fines. So the consent order intones that $1 dollar must be paid within 10 days of the effective date, and thereafter distributed to the Civil Penalty Fund to compensate victims of financial crimes. Mark Corbett is prohibited from taking a fat tax deduction for paying out that 100-cent penalty, and “to preserve the deterrent effect of the civil money penalty,” he cannot use this greenback as an offset toward any future federal fines. And if Mark Corbett defaults on this four-quarter obligation, interest will accrue. The CFPB even asks for Mark Corbett’s taxpayer ID number, so that they can track him down if he fails to cough up the 10 dimes he owes. The bureau reserves the right to send Mark Corbett into collections for the dollar, and report the delinquency to credit reporting bureaus.

The $1 order also says nothing about whether veterans who suffered losses would receive restitution, although that could be resolved in a future enforcement with the Doe companies.

In an interview, freshman Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., a new member of the House Financial Services Committee and a consumer protection expert, expressed dismay over the $1 fine for scamming veterans. “We should, on a bipartisan basis, be able to say our military veterans should not be cheated,” Porter said.

Asked about declines in enforcement at the CFPB and other financial regulatory agencies, Porter responded, “After President Trump’s election, there’s no reason to think that those working in consumer financial services decided to begin complying with the law at an unheard-of rate.”

In addition to being out a buck, Mark Corbett is banned from brokering sales of veterans’ benefits ever again.

CFPB did not respond to a request for comment.

 

US must remember Donald Trump’s pointless cruelty

The “deal” President Trump announced to temporarily end the longest government shutdown in US history was no deal at all. But given the suffering his shutdown continues to cause for so many, there are no winners here.

January 25, 2019

by Michael Knigge (Washington)

DW

It took US President Donald Trump 35 days to sign off on a bill that he could have had before Christmas. Before the president walked away from the table in December, a similar agreement was on the table to temporarily fund the government, but not Trump’s beloved boondoggle, a border wall. Back then, the dealmaker-in-chief boasted in an Oval Office meeting that he would be “proud to shut down the government” if he did not get funding for his wall.

Finally, more than a month into the shutdown, he has announced a deal that Democrats had been offering from the beginning: Decouple government and wall funding for a brief period while negotiating about border security. Trump had consistently balked at the idea — until he didn’t, and suddenly caved on Friday.

For some of his detractors, it may be enticing to gloat about the self-declared “world’s best negotiator” and his failure to get funding for his border wall. But doing so would be highly inappropriate in light of the unnecessary pain he has caused for so many people during the longest government shutdown in US history.

Trump’s reckless triggering of the shutdown just before Christmas meant that 800,000 government workers and their families have had to make ends meet while going without pay for over a month. Not to mention the more than 1 million government contractors who went unpaid — and who, unlike the government workers, will not receive any back pay.

Epic fail

To this day, Trump and billionaire Cabinet members like Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross still fail to grasp how devastating their frivolous exercise was for the many low-earning government employees and contractors and their families, many of whom have been forced to turn to food pantries and look for additional jobs to make ends meet — often while being forced to report for duty without pay.

The longer Trump’s shutdown lasted, the more it endangered countless millions through numerous aspects of everyday life. To name but a few: food safety and security, customs inspections, air travel safety, and thus overall national security — the very thing Trump claimed to be boosting by his dogged insistence on the construction of a border wall.

Let’s also remember that Trump’s shutdown antics dealt another severe blow to the already shaky notion that a government position, while generally lower paying than a private sector job, provides at least a more reliable source of income.

So the millions affected now find themselves with a temporary fix — with the next possible shutdown looming only three weeks away. But this is nothing new for Trump, a man who, throughout his career, has readily toyed with others’ money and well-being if it furthered his own profits.

Gambling with other people’s lives

One could speculate now what caused Trump to cave — the canceled State of the Union address, the impending collapse of air travel in key US cities, or simply a move to deflect from the indictment of his buddy Roger Stone, his shrinking approval ratings, pressure from GOP lawmakers — or all of it combined. But it is an exercise in futility; no one really knows Trump’s mind.

Instead, let’s take this short-term reprieve to thank all the government employees who have suffered through this shutdown for their dedication to keeping the country going, despite the president’s antics.

Let’s hope — if there could possibly be a positive long-term consequence of this shutdown — that Americans, especially those directly affected by it, remember who claimed he would be proud to shut the government down.

Let’s hope that Americans remember the callous and cruel president who would readily gamble with other people’s lives and livelihoods for a pointless border wall he ultimately didn’t even get. Is there a more damning character indictment?

 

 

‘This Is A Cave, Not A Wall’: Internet Explodes Over Donald Trump’s Shutdown Cave

“Did he end the shutdown for the State of the Union or the Super Bowl?”

January 26, 2019

by Lee Moran

Huffington Post

President Donald Trump backed down from his demand that Congress give him $5.7 billion for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border late Friday.

In doing so, he agreed to end the longest government shutdown in U.S. history ― which immediately sent ripples around the media, celebrity and political worlds.

Trump claimed his backtrack was “in no way a concession.”

Trump tweeted he was simply “taking care” of the millions of people affected by the shutdown, which he instigated in late December. If no further deal on funding for his wall is done within 21 days, he added, then “it’s off to the races!”

However, most people online described it as a “cave” by the commander in chief. Trump’s hometown newspaper, The New York Daily News, called him a “cave man” on its Saturday cover:

Trump claimed his backtrack was “in no way a concession.”

Trump tweeted he was simply “taking care” of the millions of people affected by the shutdown, which he instigated in late December. If no further deal on funding for his wall is done within 21 days, he added, then “it’s off to the races!”

However, most people online described it as a “cave” by the commander in chief. Trump’s hometown newspaper, The New York Daily News, called him a “cave man” on its Saturday cover.

 

Conservatives to Trump: You caved!

January 25, 2019

by Matthew Choi

Politico

Conservatives had a quick message for President Donald Trump after he announced a deal to end the government shutdown without funds for his border wall: You caved!

“Good news for George Herbert Walker Bush: As of today, he is no longer the biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States,” tweeted conservative commentator Ann Coulter.

“Nancy Pelosi is alpha,” tweeted conservative film maker Mike Cernovich.

And right wing commentator Michael Malice opined: “Apparently a wall isn’t as good as a cave.”

Conservative outlets, from the Drudge Report to Breitbart News, also blasted headlines in dramatic font declaring Trump caved with “NO WALL.”

The response came like clockwork, only minutes after Trump announced the deal to reopen the government for three weeks with no guarantee of wall funds. It was unsurprising considering conservative figures including Coulter were some of the initial instigators who prodded Trump to shut down the government to get his wall.

After the White House revealed in December it could back off from Trump’s demands for over $5 billion in border wall funding to avoid a shutdown, Coulter mocked the president on Twitter, leading to a feud in which Trump unfollowed one of his biggest campaign supporters.

“The chant wasn’t ‘SIGN A BILL WITH B.S. PROMISES ABOUT “BORDER SECURITY” AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE, GUARANTEED TO FAIL!’ It was “BUILD A WALL!” Coulter tweeted in December.

During a March interview with The New York Times’ Frank Bruni, Coulter said Trump should feel the “fear of God” if he doesn’t build the wall, arguing his supporters would leave him en masse unless he fulfills his campaign promise.

“He could sell Ivanka Trump merchandise from the Oval Office if he would just build the wall,” Coulter said. “If he doesn’t change course, no, they’re never coming back.”

Trump announced the deal with Democrats during an address in the Rose Garden on Friday afternoon, where he continued to emphasize the need for physical barriers on the border. The deal will reopen the government only until Feb. 15, after which Trump said he would reshutter the government or declare a national emergency if he does not secure funding for the wall by then.

But Trump’s description of what kind of wall he wants has evolved in a notable concession to his critics. Trump said Friday that natural barriers already provide ample protection in some parts of the border, and that resources for border control should also focus on ports of entry and technology developments beyond a physical barrier.

“The walls that we are building are not medieval walls. They are smart walls designed to meet the needs of front-line border agents and are operationally effective,” Trump said. “We do not need 2,000 miles of concrete wall from sea to shining sea, we never did, we never proposed that.”

He did propose that, however. Many times. And it was what many of his most ardent conservative followers called on him to do. But with the government shutdown stretching past a month and vital government services reaching a breaking point, the president apparently calculated that he had little choice but to concede. Trump’s approval rating also suffered from the standoff, with The Associated Press showing about 60 percent of Americans blaming Trump for the shutdown.

But Malice didn’t think conceding to Democrats was likely to help Trump among his most core base.

“Jeb Bush is laughing so hard rn that he’s about to choke on his own puke,” Malice tweeted.

 

The Blind Eye

January 26, 2019

by Christian Jürs

There is an erroneous belief in the United States that their intelligence agencies: viz

Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Independent agencies

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

United States Department of Defense

  • Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
  • National Security Agency (NSA)
  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
  • National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
  • Twenty-Fifth Air Force (25 AF)
  • Military Intelligence Corps (MI)
  • Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA)
  • Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)

United States Department of Energy

  • Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (OICI)

United States Department of Homeland Security

  • Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A)
  • Coast Guard Intelligence (CGI)

United States Department of Justice

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Office of National Security Intelligence (ONSI)

United States Department of State

  • Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR)

United States Department of the Treasury

  • Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI)

are somehow sacred and untouchble. And further, that President Trump has been turned by Russian intelligence to do their work.

This consists of so disrupting American domestic and foreign policies as to lead to the decline of the United States as a major world power.

All of this is a subject loudely disputed by loyal Trimp supporters.

There does exist a lengthy, and very detailed report on this entire subject of the capture of American domestic and foreign information by Russians, Chinese and even Romanian intelligence agencies operating in the United States.

The report runs to over two hundred highly detailed pages and there is a growing rumor in certain circles that it is due for widespread circulation in the very near future. Names of agents, code words, reports and more are part of this report.

 

 

 

ADVERSARY FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS

Introduction

 

This section focuses on the intelligence collection activities of five nations that traditionally have been considered hostile to our national interests and have used their intelligence services to harm the interests of the United States. The nations considered in this section are: Russia, the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC), Cuba, North Korea, and Romania. Despite the substantial political changes that have taken place in the world, these nations continue to expend significant resources to conduct intelligence operations against the United States. In the past, these efforts were centered on producing intelligence concerning U.S. military capabilities, other national security activities, and military research and development activities. The nations discussed in this section continue to collect this type of information, however, they have expanded their collection efforts to place additional emphasis on collecting scientific, technical, economic, and proprietary information. These collection efforts are designed to promote the national welfare of these nations and provide technologies required for the acquisition and maintenance of advanced military systems. In general, the national intelligence collection efforts of these nations have diminished little since the end of the Cold War.[1]

Each of the countries discussed in this section has the ability to collect intelligence on targeted U.S. activities using HUMINT, SIGINT, and the analysis of open source material. Intelligence collection activities initiated by these nations have targeted activities within the continental United States, and U.S. facilities and personnel in foreign nations. Some of these nations also have access to imagery products that can be used to produce IMINT. Only the Russian Federation, and the PRC to a very limited extent, however, have the ability to gather intelligence from spaceborne intelligence collection platforms. Russia continues to present the most serious intelligence collection threat to the United States and will be discussed in the next portion of this section.

Russian Intelligence Collection Capabilities–An Overview

The Russian Federation has a significant intelligence capability that it inherited from the former Soviet Union. Much of this intelligence collection infrastructure continues to focus on collecting information concerning the United States. Russia has the ability to use IMINT, SIGINT, HUMINT, MASINT, and open source analysis to develop all source intelligence products for Russian political leaders, military planners, and industrial concerns. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Russian intelligence operations against the United States have increased in sophistication, scope, and number, and are likely to remain at a high level for the foreseeable future.

Russia has three bodies with foreign intelligence functions designated by law: the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff (GRU), and the Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information (FAPSI). After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Committee of State Security (KGB) was broken up into eight different agencies, the majority of which are responsible for internal security matters. The President of the Russian Federation directly controls the activities of the intelligence, law enforcement, and defense activities of the Russian government. Intelligence activities are overseen by the Russian National Security Council and coordinated through the Permanent Interbranch Commissions of the National Security Council and their Chairmen. In addition to the three foreign intelligence agencies, the intelligence community also controls the Federal Customs Service and the newly organized Federal Security Service. The Federal Customs Service can provide the intelligence services with detailed information on the movement of goods and equipment in and out of Russia. Proprietary information such as customer lists could be derived from declarations made to the Customs Service. The Federal Security Service incorporates the functions of the Main Administration for the Protection of the Russian Federation and the Federal Counterintelligence Service. The combination of these functions has returned much of the internal security and counterintelligence functions formerly held by the KGB to a single agency.

Russian Intelligence Organizations

The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR)

The SVR, the successor to the First Chief Directorate of the KGB, is responsible for collecting foreign intelligence. The SVR was created when the KGB was dismantled in the aftermath of the August 1991 coup against the Gorbachev government. The Chairman of the KGB, Vladimir Kryuchkov, and other senior Officials were involved in the plot to overthrow Gorbachev, and the KGB was broken up in retribution for these actions. The internal security, counterintelligence, border guard, and protection service missions formerly assigned to the KGB were given to newly created organizations. The SVR concentrates on collecting political, economic, scientific, and technical information, and relies on HUMINT, SIGINT, and open source analysis for producing intelligence. The majority of SVR case officers operate under diplomatic cover from Russian embassies and consulates. Although the number of SVR personnel has allegedly been reduced by 30 percent, the agency continues active collection operations. It is also suspected that the SVR continues to be involved in conducting propaganda and influence operations.

The Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff (GRU)

The GRU and the Ministry of Defense supported Gorbachev against the August 1991 coup, and, unlike the KGB, the GRU survived the aftermath of the coup largely intact. The GRU is responsible for providing strategic, operational, and tactical intelligence for the Russian armed forces. Principle missions include the collection of indications and warning intelligence, data on advanced military technologies, and specific information on the intentions and military capabilities of potential adversaries. Collection techniques include gathering open source information, acquiring overt and clandestine HUMINT, conducting satellite and aircraft imagery reconnaissance, and collecting SIGINT from various platforms (ships, aircraft, satellites and ground stations).

Collection activities that threaten U.S. interests are those under the First Deputy Chief and the Space Intelligence Directorate. The Space Intelligence Directorate manages the Russian space reconnaissance program in coordination with the Fleet Intelligence Direction of the Fifth Directorate. The Fleet Intelligence Direction is responsible for space systems that provide intelligence supporting naval forces. The Space Intelligence Directorate is responsible for the development, manufacture, launch, and operation of Russian space-based reconnaissance systems. The directorate is located at Vatutinki, 50 kilometers southwest of Moscow. It operates its own cosmodromes, several research institutes, supporting mission ground centers, and a centralized computer processing facility.

The Chief of Information is responsible for the analysis of information obtained through the intelligence collection operations managed by the First Deputy Chief. Analytical activities are organized into geographical sections and a limited number of functional activities that cut across geographic areas. An example of functional orientation is the Mnth Directorate, which acquires and assesses scientific and technical data for the military design bureaus. Of particular interest to the OPSEC manager is the Institute of Information, which operates separately from the directorates under the Chief of Information and is responsible for developing intelligence products based on the fusion of open source materials and classified information.

The Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information (FAPSI)

The FAPSI was created in October 1991 by Presidential decree. It is the newest of the Russian intelligence agencies, and relatively little information is available on its organizational structure and activities. The FAPSI is responsible for both communications security for the Russian Federation, and SIGINT operations against targeted foreign activities. It has also been given responsibility for the development and maintenance of databases and communications systems to support Russian intelligence and law enforcement activities. FAPSI is chartered to lease government communications lines to private investors, to set up communications activities on the territory of other sovereign states, and to conduct foreign business activities. The access provided through such activities will allow FAPSI the opportunity to monitor communications systems in which it has an interest, and will permit the purchase advanced telecommunications technologies from foreign companies. The former Soviet Union, and now Russia, have been denied the opportunity to purchase advanced communications and information systems from the West. It appears that the Russians hope that the entrance of FAPSI into the commercial telecommunications market will end this isolation.

Russian Intelligence Operations

HUMINT

Both the GRU, and the SVR as the successor to the KGB, conduct HUMINT operations that target the United States. The most recent example of a HUMINT operation conducted by Russia is the case of Aldrich Ames. Ames was a Central Intelligence Agency employee in the Directorate of Operations. In his work with the Directorate of Operations, Ames was able to obtain information pertaining to ongoing operations targeting the former Soviet Union and later Russia. Ames volunteered to work for the KGB in April 1985 as a walk-in to the Soviet Embassy in Washington and continued to work for the SVR after the fall of the Soviet Union. His espionage activities continued until his arrest on the morning of February 21, 1994. Upon his arrest, it was determined that Ames had been paid at least $2.5 million for his services and that he had compromised, by his own admission, “virtually all Soviet agents of the CIA and other American and foreign services known to me.” In addition, he stated that he provided the former Soviet Union and Russia with a huge quantity of information on U.S. foreign, defense, and security policies.[12]

It is very likely that the Russians will continue to place a significant emphasis on the development of HUMINT sources because of the quality of information they have received in the past.[13] Since the August 1991 coup, the number of HUMINT operations conducted by the SVR and KGB that target the United States and the West have risen rather than fallen. In March 1993, the FBI and German counterintelligence authorities reported that SVR/GRU activities in their respective countries had grown by over 12 percent from pre-coup levels.[14] This is due to a number of factors. First, as a result of arms control treaties, joint business opportunities, and numerous cultural and economic exchanges, the Russian intelligence services now have greater access to American society, government, and industry. Second, there has been a significant influx of Russian emigres into the United States. The FBI estimates that over 105,000 Russians emigrated to the United States in the late 1980s. The Russians have traditionally used emigres as a means to gather intelligence. Third, there has been a substantial influx of Russian students into the United States; many of these students are studying technical disciplines that are required by the Russians to improve both military and civil industries. Fourth, travel restrictions on Russian diplomatic and consular personnel in the United States have been lifted, making it easier to collect information on U.S. activities.[15]

SIGINT

Russia continues to maintain one of the most sophisticated SIGINT programs in the world. The GRU’s Sixth Directorate uses over 20 different types of aircraft, a fleet of 60 SIGINT collection vessels, satellites, and ground stations to collect signals intelligence. Together with FAPSI, the GRU operates SIG1NT collection facilities in over 60 diplomatically protected facilities throughout the world. These agencies also operate large ground collection facilities within the territory of the Commonwealth of Independent States, at Cam Rank Bay, Vietnam, and at Lourdes, Cuba. These activities provide the Russians with worldwide SIGINT collection capabilities.[16]

The SIGINT facility at Lourdes is among the most significant intelligence collection capabilities targeting the United States. This facility, less than 100 miles from Key West, is one of the largest and most sophisticated SIGINT collection facilities in the world. It is jointly operated by the GRU, FAPSI, and Cuba’s intelligence services. The complex is manned by over 1,000 Russian personnel and is capable of monitoring a wide array of commercial and government communications throughout the southeastern United States, and between the United States and Europe. Lourdes intercepts transmissions from microwave towers in the United States, communication satellite downlinks, and a wide range of shortwave and high-frequency radio transmissions. It also serves as a mission ground station and analytical facility supporting Russian SIGINT satellites. The facility at Lourdes, together with a sister facility in Russia, allows the Russians to monitor all U. S. military and civilian geosynchronous communications satellites.[17] It has been alleged that the Lourdes facility monitors all White House communications activities, launch control communications and telemetry from NASA and Air Force facilities at Cape Canaveral, financial and commodity wire services, and military communications links. According to one source, Lourdes has a special collection and analysis facility that is responsible for targeting financial and political information. This activity is manned by specially selected personnel and appears to be highly successful in providing Russian leaders with political and economic intelligence.[18]

The former Soviet Union also used a variety of other means to collect signals intelligence. The Soviets operated SIGINT collection sites in over 60 countries from diplomatically protected embassies, consulates, trade legations, and residences. It is possible that these activities are continuing in the United States. The location of a number of Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States would provide Russian SIGINT collectors with access to sensitive information. Russian collection activities could derive sensitive information on Government policies from monitoring Government activities in the Washington, DC area, and sensitive financial and trade information using Russian facilities located in New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. The location of microwave towers and cellular communication repeaters in the vicinity of Russian diplomatic facilities in these cities increases the potential damage from collection activities. In the past, vans from the Soviet Mission to the United Nations were observed in the vicinity of the GE Americom satellite ground station in Vernon Valley, NJ, and vans from the San Francisco consulate were observed in the vicinity of AT&T microwave towers in Northern California. In both cases, the vans appeared to be conducting SIG1NT monitoring at these facilities.[19]

The Russians have probably also continued the Soviet practice of using covert mobile collection platforms. During the Cold War, the Russians frequently used tractor-trailers, and other vehicles with concealed SIGINT collection equipment to gather intelligence in Western Europe. Western intelligence officials estimate that the Soviets conducted over 7,000 covert vehicular SIGINT operations in NATO countries annually. During these operations, the Soviets gathered electronic order of battle (EOB) data, monitored exercise communications, conducted direction finding operations, and calibrated Soviet SIGINT satellites to determine geolocation accuracies. The Soviets also allegedly used clandestine collection vans located in Mexico to monitor activities at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Vans operating from Tijuana, Mexico reportedly were able to monitor all of Southern California and Western Arizona. There have also been reports that Aeroflot aircraft and clandestine collection vehicles have been used to collect SIGINT data inside the continental United States.[20]

The Russians also use satellites for collecting SIGINT. The first Soviet SIGINT satellite was the Cosmos 189 ELINT satellite, which was launched in 1967. Over the next 24 years, the Soviets placed over 200 SIGINT satellites into orbit. The Russians continue to maintain a robust presence in space. During 1994, the Russians conducted 48 spacecraft launches, 50 percent of which were military missions including advanced imagery systems, ocean reconnaissance, and electronic intelligence collection. In 1995, the Russians have programmed 45 space launches; again approximately 50 percent will be military missions.[21]

The GRU is tasked with operating Russian ELINT satellites. ELINT satellites use active and passive techniques to detect specific targets. They complement the data provided by imaging satellites and assist in developing a more complete picture of an adversary’s forces or intentions. These satellites are designed to track and geolocate radio and radar emanations of ships at sea, mobile air defense radars, fixed strategic early warning radars, and other military emitters for the purpose of identification, location, and signals analysis. The data can then be used for targeting, offensive and defensive engagement planning, and countermeasure development.

Collection activities are managed by the Satellite Intelligence Directorate, and data analysis is performed by the Decrypting Service of the Sixth Directorate. Currently, there is no evidence of the existence of a Russian COMINT satellite, however, it is likely that the Russians could develop such a system if they wished.[22]

IMINT

The primary IMINT threat posed by Russia is represented by satellite imagery systems. The first Soviet reconnaissance satellite was launched in 1962. Over the next 30 years, the Soviets launched over 850 photoreconnaissance satellites. On average, the Soviets, and now the Russians, have been able to maintain 2 photoreconnaissance satellites in orbit each year with an average of 780 mission days per year. Russian imagery systems are assessed to be able to obtain resolutions of better than one-third of a meter. The Russians currently use three types of imagery satellites depending on the imagery requirement.[23]

The third-generation photoreconnaissance satellite is a medium resolution system (1.5 to 3 meters) that is used for wide area surveillance missions. The satellite flies in low earth orbits at altitudes ranging from 235 to 245 kilometers. It is designed for mission durations of 2 to 3 weeks, and requires that the satellite be deorbited for return of film canisters. During Operation Desert Storm, the former Soviet Union launched three of these spacecraft to fly repetitive ground tracks over the Persian Gulf region. The capability to quickly launch and recover these satellites allowed the Soviets to double their coverage of the area in response to the intelligence requirements of Soviet political and military leaders. The Russians appear to be phasing the third-generation satellite out of operation in favor of follow-on systems.[24]

The fourth-generation photoreconnaissance satellite provides the Russians with increased operational capabilities. The spacecraft flies elliptical orbits at altitudes of 170 kilometers, which improves resolution. The principal improvements in the systems are the ability to return film canisters without deorbiting the spacecraft, and the extension of orbital lifetime. The productive lifetime of the fourthgeneration satellite now averages 60 days per mission. During the last 5 years, the Russians have launched 6 high resolution satellites, and 1 topographic mapper annually. During the Persian Gulf War the former Soviets launched 4 fourth-generation satellites in a period of less than 90 days, illustrating the ability of the Russians to surge reconnaissance systems in times of crisis or international tension. The groundtrack of these satellites was aligned with the Persian Gulf region to provide additional coverage during daylight hours.[25]

The fifth-generation satellite is an electrooptic imaging system that provides the Russians with near real-time imagery. The fifth-generation imagery satellite greatly improves the reconnaissance capabilities of the Russian Federation. It provides quicker return of intelligence data and ends the restrictions posed by the limited amount of film that can be carried by a photoreconnaissance satellite. In general, the fifth-generation satellite is used for global reconnaissance, and the third and fourth generation satellites are used for coverage of particularly sensitive areas.[26]

Overall, the Russians have continued to maintain a robust space reconnaissance program, despite predictions that the program would wane after the demise of the Soviet Union. The Russians have been able to maintain a constellation of 160 satellites in orbit simultaneously, the same level as under the Soviet Union, despite a 35 percent reduction in launches. The one major problem faced by the Russians is the lack of an all weather/day/night imaging system. Both electro-optic and photographic systems require daylight and clear weather to be able to image an area. In the 1980s, the Soviet attempted to develop a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system to provide all weather and night coverage. This program failed to develop a militarily acceptable product, and the resulting Almaz spacecraft was converted into a commercial mapping system. No comparable SAR system is currently known to be under development.[27]

MASINT

The Russians have a number of programs that can provide MASINT data. The Russian Prognoz satellite has infrared detection capabilities similar to those provided by the U.S. Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite system. The Prognoz can be used to conduct a variety of missions in support of infrared intelligence (IRINT). Other MASINT-related systems include a wide variety of sophisticated radar systems that can be used for radar intelligence (RADINT), a well-developed acoustic intelligence (ACOUSTINT) program for antisubmarine warfare, and a highly developed nuclear intelligence (NUCINT) program that collects samples from nuclear testing. [28]

Russian Intelligence Collection Trends

Russia is likely to continue to aggressively use its intelligence services to gain information concerning the United States. They will retain the ability to develop all source intelligence and will use the information gained through these efforts to improve their standing in global political, economic, and security matters. Russia will continue to pursue intelligence concerning U.S. military capabilities, foreign policy initiatives, and the development of military technologies. There is likely to be an increased emphasis on obtaining commercial or dual use technology through intelligence operations.[29]

Defectors from the former Soviet and the Russian intelligence services have stated that industrial espionage activities will escalate in the years ahead. Russia requires advanced technology to bolster its economy and foster increased technological progress. Defectors have stated that the SVR will target the increasing number of joint U.S./Russian business ventures in an effort to legally obtain or steal desirable Western technologies. The Russians do not in many cases have the ability to pay for those items they need to improve economic growth so they are willing to steal them or obtain them through other illegitimate means. Additionally, the Russians still must contend with restrictions on certain technologies that they desire. Most of these technologies are dual use technologies that would play a significant role in the development of advanced weapons systems or improved Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) systems. In 1994, the United States denied a request by the Russian government to purchase advanced telecommunications systems from AT&T. The request was denied based on an assessment by the National Security Agency that the technology would be used in C3I systems. Based on past collection patterns, it should be assumed that the Russians are still targeting these technologies.[30]

Another likely trend is that, because of the reported reduction in the number of SVR intelligence officers, the Russians will place increasing emphasis on gaining information through technical intelligence disciplines, and open source analysis.[31] Although the opportunity to collect HUMINT has expanded as a result of the relaxation of security standards in focused on Russia; the reduction in the number of SVR intelligence officers, the closing of diplomatic facilities throughout the world, and the loss of access to former Warsaw Pact intelligence services will lead to a overall reduction in intelligence acquired through HUMINT. HUMINT is likely to be more carefully targeted to gain information not readily available through technical intelligence collection or through open source exploitation. The Russians have always relied on open source information and will continue to obtain intelligence by analyzing public data in comparison with intelligence derived through classified sources. The Soviets used a variety of research and political institutes for the analysis of open source data. The majority of these institutes have been retained by the Russians and are likely performing the same roles as they did under the Soviet Union. The Russians will continue to use information gained through these research institutes and from the collection opportunities provided by joint trade, research, and educational activities.[32]

Chinese Intelligence Collection Capabilities–An Overview

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has a significant intelligence collection capability, much of which is focused on regional adversaries, in particular, Russia. The United States is a primary target of China because of its role as a global superpower, its substantial military, political, and economic presence in the Pacific Rim and Asia, and its role as a developer of advanced technology China requires for its economic growth. Intelligence functions in China are controlled through the Central Committee of the Communist Party and through the General Staff Department of the Central Military Commission. Intelligence operations are coordinated through the General Office of the Central Committee, and all intelligence reports must be reviewed by this office prior to presentation to the Chinese leadership. China has four intelligence organizations that conduct collection activities directed at the United States: the Ministry of State Security, the Military Intelligence Department, the Third or Technical Department of the Central Military Commission, and the New China New] Agency.[33]

Chinese Intelligence Collection Organizations

Ministry of State Security (MSS)

The MSS was created in June 1983 by the Central Committee to centralize foreign intelligence and counterintelligence functions. The MSS is headed by the Minister of State Security, who reports to the Central Committee. It conducts counterespionage operations within China, and HUMINT and limited SIGINT operations both inside and outside of the PRC. The MSS centers its collection operations on regional adversaries with which China has shared borders, including Russia, India, and Vietnam, and on nations that are militarily, politically, or economically important to China. The latter category includes the United States, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. Key intelligence collection objectives for the MSS include:

  • Acquiring foreign military and civilian high technology
  • Collecting information on adversary military planning, foreign policy, and foreign trade positions concerning China
  • Monitoring Chinese dissident groups overseas.[34]

HUMINT is the primary discipline used by the MSS for intelligence collection in the United States and other targeted nations. The MSS may also have a limited covert SIGINT capability. The Chinese use both overt and clandestine HUMINT collection to gather information required by their leaders. Additionally, the MSS attempts to gain information on foreign targets through surveillance of foreigners visiting China.[35]

Military Intelligence Department (MID)

The MID is responsible for basic order-of-battle intelligence, studies of foreign weapons systems, and analyses of the capabilities of foreign military organizations. It obtains information through military attaches, review of open source literature, clandestine HUMINT operations, and joint business ventures. The MID is believed to play an integral role in obtaining advanced military technologies to bolster China’s military capabilities and improve weapons systems vital to China’s export arms business. The MID has also played a significant role in the development of clandestine relationships with Israel and other nations to gain expertise in the development of advanced weapons systems. Together with the Commission on Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND), the MID works to obtain military technologies for application to the Chinese military. Much of this technology is obtained through technological diversion and reverse engineering of products purchased from the West. The MID is also responsible, in concert with the COSTIND, for the development of China’s space reconnaissance program.[36]

Technical Department

The Technical Department, or Third Department of the General Staff Department of the Central Military Commission, is the national agency responsible for managing China’s strategic SIGINT program. The Department was established in the early 1950s with Soviet assistance to provide the Chinese General Staff with a limited SIGINT capability and strategic communications support.[37]

New China News Agency (NCNA)

The NCNA is the primary domestic and international news agency for the PRC. The NCNA has a staff of over 5,000 employees operating out of over 90 bureaus and 300 offices in China and abroad. NCNA has served as a cover for clandestine Chinese intelligence operations. The NCNA monitors newspapers, magazines, and broadcasts from around the world, and conducts open source analysis for the Chinese leadership.[38]

Chinese Intelligence Operations

HUMINT

The MSS is the primary Chinese HUMINT collection organization, although the MID is also involved in HUMINT collection. The MID is primarily involved in the overt collection of technical information through visits to trade shows, military exchange programs, and through the military attache program. The MSS is responsible for both overt and clandestine collection. It uses students, diplomats, businessmen, and scientists in its attempts to gain information. China has been extremely aggressive in its HUMINT collection activities in the United States. The PRC has more than 2,600 diplomatic and commercial officials in the United States. A substantial percentage of these personnel are actively involved in collecting intelligence. More than 40,000 students from the PRC also attend schools in the United States, and many of these students have been tasked to collect information by the Chinese government. In addition to these personnel, over 25,000 Chinese visit the United States each year as members of official delegations, and an additional 20,000 Chinese emigrate to the United States annually.[39]

The MSS has been able to obtain high- and mid-level technologies not cleared for export to the PRC through its activities. It has used three principal means to obtain such technology: first, recruiting agents in China and sending them abroad to acquire technology; second, acquiring American firms that produce a desired technology; and third, the use of MSS operated front companies in Hong Kong. The Chinese have used a number of different methods to gather HUMINT. They have used pressure to gain information from the Chinese immigrant community, especially on those Chinese that have access to high technology or military data. The MSS has also encouraged Chinese students to remain in the United States as long-term penetration agents. MSS personnel have acted as intelligence collectors using cover as NCNA reporters, trade office representatives, and accredited diplomats.

Scientific exchange programs have proven to be extremely useful means for the Chinese to gather information. The FBI has stated that virtually all Chinese allowed to leave the PRC for the United States are given some type of collection requirement to fulfill. Although the bulk of Chinese operations are not sophisticated operations, the large number of ongoing Chinese operations greatly increases the difficulty of countering their espionage activities. In recent years, the Chinese have been the subject of approximately half of all cases initiated by U.S. law enforcement agencies concerning the illegal diversion of technology from the United States.[40]

SIGINT

The Technical Department provides the PRC with a wide range of SIGINT capabilities. The Chinese maintain, by far, the most extensive SIGINT capability of any nation in the Asia/Pacific region. The Chinese operate several dozen SIGINT ground stations deployed throughout China. They monitor signals from Russia, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, India, and Southeast Asia. Signals from U.S. military units located in the region are of significant interest to these monitoring stations. A large SIGINT facility at Hainan Island is principally concerned with monitoring U.S. naval activities in the South China Sea. The Chinese appear to be developing a spaceborne ELINT system that is mounted on their photoreconnaissance and communications satellites. There is no indication at this point that this capability presents a significant threat to U.S. forces in the region. The Chinese actively monitor international communications satellites from SATCOM intercept facilities on Hainan Island, and outside Beijing. Additionally, the Chinese have developed a series of SIGINT collection vessels that monitor U.S. military operations and exercises in the Asia/Pacific region.[41]

IMINT

The Chinese currently have a limited spaceborne photoreconnaissance capability that focuses on collecting imagery over the Russian border. The Chinese also use a variety of fixed wing aircraft to collect photographic imagery. None of these systems present a substantial intelligence collection threat to U.S. forces in the region. U.S. intelligence agencies believe that China will likely develop a mid-resolution electro-optic imaging system in the future that will provide the Chinese with improved capabilities.[42]

Chinese Intelligence Collection Trends

The PRC will continue to use its intelligence services to gather information about the United States, and to obtain access to advanced technologies. An integral part of this effort will be the use of open source information gathered by students, scientific researchers, and the NCNA. China will likely improve both its SIGINT and IMINT capabilities, increasing the collection threat to the United States. The Chinese will continue to use intelligence collection to improve their economic position in the global economy.[43]

Cuban Intelligence Collection Capabilities An Overview

The principal intelligence collection arms of the Cuban government are the Directorate General of Intelligence (DGI) of Ministry of the Interior, and the Military Counterintelligence Department of the Ministry of Revolutionary Armed Forces. Both have been closely associated with the Soviet and Russian intelligence services. The relationship between these services is likely to continue based upon the June 14, 1993 agreement on military cooperation between Russia and Cuba. The DGI is responsible for foreign intelligence collection. The DGI has six divisions divided into two categories of roughly equal size: the Operational Divisions and the Support Divisions. The operational divisions include the Political/Economic Intelligence Division, the External Counterintelligence Division, and the Military Intelligence Division. The support divisions include the Technical Support Division, the Information Division, and the Preparation Division. The Technical Support Division is responsible for production of false documents, communications systems supporting clandestine operations, and development of clandestine message capabilities. The Information and Preparation Divisions are responsible for intelligence analysis functions. The Political Economic Intelligence Division consists of four sections: Eastern Europe, North America, Western Europe, and Africa-Asia-Latin America. The External Counterintelligence Division is responsible for penetrating foreign intelligence services and the surveillance of exiles. The Military Intelligence Department is focused on collecting information on the U.S. Armed Forces and coordinates SIGINT operations with the Russians at Lourdes. The Military Counterintelligence Department is responsible for conducting counterintelligence, SIGINT, and electronic warfare activities against the United States.[44]

Despite the economic failure of the Castro regime, Cuban intelligence, in particular the DGI, remains a viable threat to the United States. The Cuban mission to the United Nations is the third largest UN delegation, and it has been alleged that almost half the personnel assigned to the mission are DGI officers. The DGI actively recruits within the Cuban emigre community and has used refugee flows into the United States to place agents. The DGI collects political, economic, and military information within the United States. More recently, the DGI has started to conduct operations to gain access to technologies required to improve the Cuban economy. Cuba is considered by the United States to be a sponsor of international terrorism and has worked closely with Puerto Rican separatist and Latin American terrorist groups. Much of this activity has been handled through the DGI.[45]

North Korean Intelligence Collection Operations

North Korea’s intelligence organizations are under the supervision of the National Intelligence Committee of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers Party and are directly responsible to the President. There are several intelligence agencies within the government and the Korean Worker’s Party. The majority of the North Korean intelligence agencies are within the Cabinet General Intelligence Bureau of the Korean Worker’s Party Central Committee. The Liaison Department is responsible for conducting intelligence operations in South Korea and Japan. Its agents are used to undermine the South Korean government by supporting internal subversion and to gather information on U.S. forces in Korea. The Research Department for External Intelligence (RDEI) is the primary agency responsible for foreign intelligence collection. The RDEI is composed of four geographic subsections, one of which is North America. The third agency under the Central Committee is the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chosen Soren).The Chosen Soren supports intelligence operations in Japan, assists in the infiltration of agents into South Korea, collects open source information, and diverts advanced technology for use by North Korea.

Other North Korean intelligence agencies include the Reconnaissance Bureau of the General Staff Department and the State Security Department. The Reconnaissance Bureau is responsible for collecting strategic, operational, and tactical intelligence for the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces. It is also responsible for infiltrating intelligence personnel into South Korea though tunnels under the demilitarized zone and seaborne insertion. The State Security Department is responsible for North Korea’s counter intelligence and offensive counterintelligence programs.

North Korea primarily depends upon HUMINT for intelligence collection in South Korea and other parts of the world. The North Koreans do have a limited SIGINT capability, however, it is largely focused on South Korean activities. The North Koreans have a limited HUMINT capability in the United States and Canada that has been directed at acquiring technologies related to nuclear weapons. The primary threat posed by North Korean intelligence operations is to American forces in South Korea.[47]

Romanian Intelligence Collection Operations

Romania continues to pose a HUMINT and limited SIGINT collection threat to United States Government and commercial activities operating in the Central European region. Additionally, the Romanians have used their intelligence services to collect information on advanced technologies in the United States. The three intelligence agencies that operate against the United States are the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), the Foreign Intelligence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Special Telecommunications Service (STS). The SRI is an autonomous agency responsible to the President of Romania. It is responsible for collecting foreign intelligence and protecting the state. It has approximately 5,000 personnel, many of whom are former members of the Securitate. The Foreign Intelligence Service is responsible for collecting political and economic intelligence. Intelligence officers are located at Romanian embassies and consulates. The STS performs SIGINT functions for the Romania government and actively targets foreign embassies and businesses for collection.[48]

The next section of this handbook examines the intelligence services of terrorist states.

Sources

 

1 – Statement of William S. Sessions, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, contained in United States House of Representatives, The Threat of Foreign Economic Espionage, Hearings before the Subcommittee on Economic and Commercial Law, Committee on the Judiciary, April 29 and May 7, 1992, pp. 41, 42, 46, and 47.

2 – U.S. House of Representatives, FBI Oversight and Authorization Request, Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, Committee on the Judiciary, 101 Congress, 2d Session, 1990, p. 281.

3 – Jeffrey T. Richelson, Sword and Shield: The Soviet Intelligence and Security Apparatus, Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 1986; and U.S. House of Representatives, FBI Oversight and Authorization Request, Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, Committee on the Judiciary, 101 Congress, 2d Session. 1990. p. 281.

4 – Sander Thoenes and Alan Cooperman, “Yeltsin’s Eyes and Ears,” U.S. News and World Report, 119:6, August 7, 1995, pp. 36-39; and Victor Yasmann, “Security Services Reorganized: All Power to the Russian President?” RFEXRL Reports, 3:6, February 1 1, 1994, pp. 7-14.

5 – Victor Yasmann “Security Services Reorganized: All Power to the Russian President?” RFE/RL Reports, 3:6, February 11, 1994, pp. 7-14.

6 – James Sherr, “Change and Continuity in the Former KGB,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, March 1993, pp. 110-112; and Adam Zagorin, “Still Spying After All These Years,” Time, June 29, 1992, pp. 58-59.

7 – Carey Schofield, “Interview with the Head of Russian Military Intelligence,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, March 1993, pp. 112-116.

8 – Jeffrey T. Richelson, Sword and Shield: The Soviet Intelligence and Security Apparatus, Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 1986, pp. 34-38.

9 – Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, KGB: The Inside Story of Its Foreign Operations from Lenin to Gorbachev, New York: Harper Collins, 1990, p. 609; and Viktor Suvorov, Inside Soviet Military Intelli~ence, New York: MacMillan, 1984, pp. 60 and 66.

10 – Jeffrey T. Richelson, Sword and Shield: The Soviet Intelligence and Security Apparatus, Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 1986.

11 – Victor Yasmann, “Security Services Reorgamzed: All Power to the Russian Presidentt, RFE/RL Reports, 3:6, February 11, 1994, pp. 7-14; and James Sherr, “Change and Continu ty in the Former KGB,” Jane ‘s Intelligence Review, March 1993, pp.110-112.

12 – United States Senate, An Assessment of the Aldrich H. Ames Espionage Case and Its Implications for U.S. Intelligence: A Report of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Washington, DC: USAGPO, November 1,1994, pp. l9, and 85-86.

13 – U.S. House of Representatives, FBI Oversight and Authorization Request, Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, Committee on the Judiciary, 101 Congress, 2d Session, 1990, p. 281-282.

14 – James Sherr, “Change and Continuity in the Former KGB,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, March 1993, pp. 110-112.

15 – Kenneth E. deGraffenreid, “Tighter Security Needed to Protect U.S. Intelligence,” Signal, 45:1, ,Sgptember 1990, pp. 101-104.

16 – Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, KGB: The Inside Story of Its Foreign Operations from Lenin to Gorbachev, New York: Harper Collins, 1990, p. 609-610; and Desmond Ball, Soviet Signals Intelligence (SIGIN77: Intercepting Satellite Communications, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Canberra: Australian National University, 1989, pp. 62-63.

17 – Department of Defense publication, “Soviet Military Power,,’ 1987, p.128.

18 – William Rosenau, “A Deafening Silence: U.S. Policy and the Sigint Facility at Lourdes,” Intelligence and National Security, 9:4, October 1994, pp. 723-734.

19 – Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, KGB: The Inside Story, New York: Harper Collins, 1990, p. 609; and Desmond Ball, “Soviet Signals Intelligence: Vehicular Systems and Operations,” Intelligence and National Security, 4:1, January 1989, pp. 5-23.

20 – Desmond Ball, “Soviet Signals Intelligence: Vehicular Systems and Operations,,’ Intelligence and National Security, 4:1, January 1989, pp. 5-23.

21 – Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, KGB: The Inside Story, New York: Harper Collins, 1990, pp. 608-610; and Craig Covault, “Russian Space Program Advances Despite Crisis,” Aviation Week and Space Technology, January 16, 1995, pp. 22-24.

22 – Desmond Ball, Soviet Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No. 47, Strategic and Defence Studies Center, Canberra: Australian National University, 1989; and Jeffrey T. Richelson,. “The Future of Space Reconnaissance,” Scientific American, 264:1, January 1991, pp. 38-44.

23 – Jeffrey T. Richelson, “The Future of Space Reconnaissance,” Scientific American, 264:1, January 1991, pp. 38-44.

24 – Nicholas L. Johnson and David M. Rodvold, 19911992 Europe and Asia in Space, Kirtland AFB, NM: USAF Phillips Laboratory, Technical Report DC-TR22191.103-1, 1992, pp. 241-245.

25 – Nicholas L. Johnson and David M. Rodvold, 19911992 Europe and Asia in Space, Kirtland AFB, NM: USAF Phillips Laboratory, Technical Report DC-TR2191.103-1, 1992, pp. 241-245.

26 – Nicholas L. Johnson and David M. Rodvold, 19911992 Europe and Asia in Space, Kirtland AFB, NM: USAF Phillips Laboratory, Technical Report DC-TR2191.103-1, 1992, pp. 241-245; and Craig Covault, “Russian Space Program Advances Despite Crisis,” Aviation Week and Space Technology, January 16, 27995′ PP 22-24

27 – Nicholas L. Johnson and David M. Rodvold, 19911992 Europe and Asia in Space, Kirtland AFB, NM: USAF Phillips Laboratory, Technical Report DC-TR2191.103-1, 1992, pp. 241-245; and Craig Covault, “Russian Space Program Advances Despite Crisis,” Aviation Week and Space Technology, January 16, 1995, pp. 22-24.

28 – William B. Scott, “Russian Pitches Common Early Warning Network,” Aviation Week and Space Technology, January 9, 1995, pp. 46-47; and Jeffrey T. Richelson, Sword and Shield: The Soviet Intelligence and Security Apparatus, Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 1986, pp. 108-111.

29 – Adam Zagorin, “Still Spying After All These Years,” Time, June 29, 1992, pp. 58-59.

30 – U.S. House of Representatives, The Threat of Foreign Economic Espionage to U.S. Corporations, Testimony of William S. Sessions, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hearings before the Subcommittee on Economic and Commercial Law, Committee on the Judiciary, 102:2, Washington, DC: USGPO, 1992, p.42.

31 – Adam Zagonn, “Still Spying After All These Years,” Time, June 29, 1992, pp.58-59.

32 – James Adams, Sellout: Aldrich Ames and the Corruption of the CIA, New York: Viking, 1995, pp. 43-45; and Wayne Madsen, “Intelligence Agency Threats to Computer Security,” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Winter 1993, pp. 418, 420, and 422.

33 – Jeffrey T. Richelson, Foreign Intelligence Organiz3ations, Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 1988, p. 295.

34 – Nicholas Eftimiades, “China’s Ministry of State Security: Coming of Age in the International Arena,” Intelligence and National Security, 8:1, January 1993, pp 23-43.

35 – Wendell Minnick, “China Under Cover,” Far Eastern Economic Review, March 2, 1995, p. 38.

36 – Desmond Ball, “Signals Intelligence in China,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, 7:8, August 1, 1995, pp.365-368; Jeffrey T. Richelson, Foreign Intelligence Organizations, Cambridge, MA: sallinger’ 1988, p. 287; and Ellis Joffe, The Chinese Army After Mao, pp. 55, 60, and 104.

37 – Desmond Ball, “Signals Intelligence in China,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, 7:8, August 1, 1995, pp. 365-368.

38 – Nicholas Eftimiades, Chinks Ministry of State Security: Coming of Age in the International Arena,” intelligence and National Security, 8:1, January 1993, pp. 23~3; and Jeffrey T. Richelson, Foreign Intelligence Organizations, Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 1988, p.293.

39 – U.S. House of Representatives, FBI Oversight and Authorization Request, Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, Committee on the Judicialy, 101st Congress, 2d Session, 1sso, p. 282.

40 – Nicholas Eftimiades, “China’s Ministry of State Security: Coming of Age in the International Arena,” Intelligence and National Security, 8:1, pp. 23 43.

41 – Desmond Ball, “Signals Intelligence in China,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, 7:8, August 1, 1995, pp. 43265-368.

42 – Jeffrey T. Richelson, “The Future of Space Reconnaissance,” Scientific American, 264:1, January 1991, pp. 38-44.

43 – Nicholas Eftimiades, “China’s Ministry of State Security: Coming of Age in the International Arena,” Intelligence and National Security, 8:1, pp. 23 43: and Jeffrey T. Richelson, Foreign Intelligence Organizations, Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 1988, pp. 297-298.

44 – H.P. Klepak, “The Cuban Armed Forces,” Jane’s Intelligence Review Year Book, December 31, 1994, pp. 136-138; and Jeffrey T. Richelson, Sword and Shield: The Soviet Intelligence and Security Apparatus, Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 1986, pp. 210-212.

45 – Calvin Sims, “Engineer Says He Stole Secrets of Chip Makers,” The New York Times, ~yr 22, 1995, p.l; and Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, KGB: The Inside Story, New York: Harper Collins, 1990, pp. 561-563.

46 – Andrea Mattes Sevada, ed. North Korea: A Country Study, Washington, DC: USGPO, June 1993, pp. 261-262; Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr. “North Koreans Intelligence Agencies and Infiltration Operations,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, June 1991, pp. 269-271; and Kongdan Oh, North Korea in the 1990s: Implications for the Future of the U.S.-South Korean Security Alliance, RAND Note 3480, Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 1992.

47 – Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr. “North Korea’s Intelligence Agencies and Infiltration Operations,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, June 1991, pp. 269-271.

48 – Marko Milovojevic, “Romania’s Intelligence Services: Purges and Politics,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, 7:1, January 1995, p. 12-13; and Dan Ionescu, “Personnel Changes in the Romanian Intelligence Service,” RFE/RL Report, 3:27, July 8, 1994, pp. 22-23.

 

 

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

January 26 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

 

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks,”: Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas  in 1993  when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publications

 

Conversation No. 9

Date: Wednesday, April 17, 1996

Commenced: 8:45 AM CST

Concluded: 9:21 AM CST

 

RTC: Hello?

GD: Robert…

RTC: Good morning, Gregory. You’re a bit early today.

GD: I was talking with Corson about ten minutes ago. He started talking to me about Kennedy and said he had the whole story in his safe deposit box. Is that true?

RTC: Did he tell you anything else?

GD: He acted cute with me and said when he died, Plato would have the whole story. Why not Aristotle?

RTC: Plato is a local fix lawyer Bill uses from time to time. They all eat from the same trough. Was Bill specific?

GD: No, just that he had a big secret that he bet I’d just like to lay my hands on.

RTC: I’ll have to have a little talk with him. Bill gets it into his head that he’s an important person and has to be brought down a peg. Plato is a Greek and I never trusted him.

GD: I recall a newspaper headline. It said: ‘If Russia attacks Turkey from the rear, will Greece help?’

RTC: And so early in the morning, Gregory. This whole town is a moral whorehouse. They all hang out together, lie together, steal together and generally know nothing. I wouldn’t worry about Bill and his secret information. What he has is a DIA report that I gave him a copy of.

GD: You mentioned this before.

RTC: Yes and when the box comes and it works, then we can talk about a copy for you.

GD: I’m not poking but did you hate Kennedy?

RTC: You are poking, Gregory, but no, I did not hate Kennedy. Kennedy came from a family that was as crooked as a dog’s hind leg. His father was a rum-runner and a whore monger and vicious as hell. Jack wasn’t so bad but he couldn’t keep it in his pants and used drugs in the White House. And enough of him for the time being. Besides, maybe I can entertain you discussing the downfall of Richard Nixon.

GD: That would be interesting. You should have the box in a week or so and then we can discuss other matters. What about Nixon?

RTC: The Company brought Nixon down but of course he made it easy to do.

GD: Watergate

RTC: And other matters. Yes, Watergate. Shall I continue?

GD: Go right ahead.

RTC: Nixon’s problem is that he was a jealous outsider and never fit into the political or intelligence community. But a smart man, Gregory, very smart, and very ambitious.

GD: I met him once. My step-mother, who had big money, was a strong supporter of Nixon and when he was running for Governor of California, she dragged me to a rubber chicken affair and I got to talk with him.

RTC: What did you think of him?

GD: He had come across badly on the idiot box but in person, he was taller than I thought and very sharp. I liked him as a person because he knew I was nobody but had no problem having a very good conversation with me.

RTC: No doubt your step-mother’s money helped.

GD: True, but you can tell when someone is being pleasant to you for politic reasons and when he is being genuinely communicative. He had the left wing press after him and he hated them, believe me.

RTC: That’s one of the factors that brought him down. Nixon’s downfall started in early ’72 when he went to China. It was a bold move and it had an effect everywhere. It also had an effect in Taiwan. Old Chaing Kai-shek had a bloody fit when he saw this. I mean a bloody fit. He saw this as the beginning of the end of U.S. support for him and he wanted desperately to stop the slide. His intelligence chief and a couple of bigwigs came to see our DCI and wept in his office. If Nixon normalized relations with the PRC, it would spell the end of a mutual special relationship, just like our special relationship with Israel. The long and the short of it, Gregory, is that they wanted Nixon out of power before he went any further. And, the pleasant part of this is that they were more than willing to pay us very, very well for accommodating them.

GD: They wanted you to kill him?

RTC: No, just removed so he couldn’t do them any more damage. We later did discuss killing him but two dead presidents in ten years was a bit much, so we hit on another ploy. We would discredit him. Our main man in all of this was Howard Hunt, who had wonderful ideas of his importance and, besides writing bad books, he had been very helpful in the Kennedy business in ’63. He was our station chief in Mexico between August and September of that year and set up the fake ‘Oswald’ visit to Mexico City.

GD: Wasn’t Oswald there? Getting a visa for Cuba?

RTC: No, that was bullshit. Anyway, Howard arranged for faked pictures, testimony that Oswald had been there at the Russian embassy, and so on. Useful. Now let’s move ahead a few years. Nixon had won his last election in a landslide and you know he was never too well wrapped. He had a huge inferiority complex and the press did not like him. Herblock the cartoonist with the Post really made some ugly cartoons of him and Nixon was overly sensitive about that sort of thing. So with his victory at the polls, he got a swelled head and began to get even with his opponents by turning the FBI and the IRS loose on them. Things like that. Remember the enemies list? Fine. So Hunt was connected with the Nixon people as a trouble-shooter and got involved with going after Nixon’s perceived enemies. He planted the idea that McGovern, a raging liberal twit, was in contact with Castro and getting Cuban money. The next thing was to suggest that they bug the DNC offices to get proof of this and ruin McGovern. A break-in, and they had been breaking into offices and homes for some time, a break-in was planned but it was planned to fail. They taped a self-locking door open, someone tipped off Watergate security and you know the rest.

GD: But there was no guarantee that Nixon would do what he did. I mean the stonewalling.

RTC: We could read Tricky Dick like a dime novel. True to form, he believed he was an imperial figure and acted that way right up to the end. Hunt played his part and I’m sure you watched the thing unfold, right on the five o’clock news every night. For a smart man, Nixon was very stupid and played right into our hands.

GD: But Hunt was destined for the big house…

RTC: Of course. He had to fall on his sword but Howard didn’t like the idea and he began to whine about this. We had to show him the light and after that, he went right along with the schedule.

GD: A serious talk?

RTC: No, we had to kill his wife as a serious warning to follow the game plan.

GD: More killing. Someone shoot her from an office building?

RTC: No, we arranged for an accident when she was flying west. Dorothy was helping Howard with some little project he thought would help him so we sabotaged her plane in DC.

GD: Put a bomb on it?

RTC: No tampered with the equipment. Plane came in for a stopover at Midway, suddenly lost altitude and smashed into some local houses. Midway is a terrible field, believe me. Right in the middle of an urban area and the runways are far too short. Anyway, down it came on top of people and the wife was dead. The local authorities found ten thousand in cash in her purse by the way. But it had an effect on Howard…..

GD: I can imagine. How many people died?

RTC: A few on the ground and forty or so in the plane. But the point is, Howard kept to his end of things or he would have been next or perhaps a close relative. He knew the score, Howard did.

GD: And Nixon left office in disgrace.

RTC: Well, yes, he did. Remember Al Haig? The General? Yes. Well we were afraid that Nixon wouldn’t leave peacefully and might turn to the military for help so we put Al in to keep Nixon on the straight and narrow and limit his actions in that area. Worked out fine. And the chinks were happy as a clam with the results.

GD: Forty people, probably innocent at that, is a bit much, don’t you think?

RTC: Well, Lenin said you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs first. And Gregory, you surely can’t believe that there any really innocent people in this world? We are born in original sin as you know.

GD: That’s the Catholic view. Well, I suppose that’s water under the bridge now.

RTC: I think Teddy Kennedy said that after Chappaquiddick.

GD: Is it possible I could write about this?

RTC: Actually, I would rather you didn’t. Hunt is still alive and there’s no point pushing him. He’s fallen from grace and is in decline so he might not be too receptive to having all of this aired.

GD: No problem. Anyway, who would publish it? It’s bad enough that I am writing about the CIA hiring the head of the Gestapo without adding insult to injury. Does Nixon know about this?

RTC: I don’t really know and I don’t really care. He knows enough to keep quiet and count his money. I don’t think he wants his twilight years terminated with prejudice. He might be paranoid but he is a pragmatist in the end. That ought to hold you until we move on to other presidential removals.

GD: It sounds like a Mayflower moving van ad.

RTC: If it works, don’t knock it.

GD: Well, the chinks are not that happy. Look at all the money they spent and look at our relations with the PRC.

RTC: Some things are destined to happen and all they did was to prolong the final act. Jerry Ford was no threat. A wonderfully cooperative man, Jerry was. During the Warren Commission, he called up old Hoover every night with the latest confidential dirt. No, Jerry was no problem. And the peanut farmer was too self-righteous to bother with and harmless. Actually, Nixon was lucky. If the Watergate thing hadn’t worked, we would have found something a little more permanent.

GD: Nixon didn’t know anything about the Kennedy business, did he?

RTC: No. Nixon was a Quaker and God knows what he would have thought about that. Nixon wasn’t into what our Russian friends call wet actions.

GD: I’m not fishing here but did you people have anything to with Bobby’s ascension to heaven?

RTC: No, that was Hoover. The Colonel   hated Bobby for calling him an old faggot and harassing him. And King too. He hated King because he was having an affair with a white woman and, on top of this, had gone to the Lenin school in Russia. Bobby was a quid pro quo for his brother in our eyes.

GD: It sounds like the Borgias.

RTC: Gregory, these are matters of state, not an exercise in morality. We have to do unpleasant things from time to time…I recall our man driving around in Africa with the rotting body of Lumumba stuffed into his trunk back in ’61 after we killed him. People go off fast in that climate. He said he was sick for days trying to get the stench out of his nose. Feel sorry for the poor man, why not? That sort of work is never easy. There are often sleepless nights.

GD: Speaking of that, let me leave you now and I’ll call up my construction expert and see how the blessed Swiss bell ringing box is coming along.

RTC: You just do that, Gregory, and I will be very, very happy if and when.

 

(Concluded at 9:21 AM CST)

 

              https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+the+Crow+by+Gregory+Douglas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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