The ‘Deep State’ Conspiracy Is How Fascists Discredit Democracy

The ‘Deep State’ Conspiracy Is How Fascists Discredit Democracy

(Article by Glenn Carle featured on The Daily Beast website)

  • The memorandum put together by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), alleging partisan behavior by the FBI and the Department of Justice in a “Deep State” conspiracy /  / against Donald Trump is, what we would call in the CIA, “disinformation.”Tougher words could be used. But let’s put it simply at this: It is a deliberate diversion from the hard facts that the FBI and CIA have been amassing of Russian espionage activity with members of Donald Trump’s entourage.And it presents FBI and CIA officers with a progressively grave constitutional crisis. The Nunes memo makes it difficult for those officers to serve an executive who—evidence increasingly indicates—has betrayed his oath to the Constitution. It also makes it hard for them to serve a legislative oversight committee that is distorting its functions so as to protect that executive.Inside the CIA, where I served for decades, and the FBI, the strongest reaction to the Nunes memo will be anger and alarm. Top officials in both those institutions operate in a manner fundamentally at odds with what is now being depicted.In the CIA, I encountered colleagues with views that ranged from the far right to far left—every view except, perhaps, that of the communists. This broad diversity is also true for my colleagues in the FBI. Indeed, the “cultures” of both institutions are utterly apolitical. Officers take their oaths with sometimes life-sacrificing devotion: To “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

    I have been moved literally to tears on numerous occasions by my colleagues’ devotion to our laws and the institutions charged with protecting them; and not to any man, be he president, general, or party leader; nor to any party. CIA and FBI officers seek to give life to James Madison’s hope, expressed in “Federalist #10,” that our system be impartial and unaffected by non-democratic influences, and that it be “more difficult for unworthy candidates to practice the vicious arts by which elections are too often carried.” They seek to make sure that no foreign power can affect our elections, plant spies among us, or even choose our leaders and shape our policies.

    I never saw an officer’s personal views interfere with how the agency performed its duties. Personal political opinions, like cellphones and football pools, are left out of the office. This commitment and motivation is why we spend our careers working for a fraction of what our peers in the private sector earn.

Hard Measures : Torture Is Humane

(Article by Glenn Carle featured on the Huffington Post website)

CIA officers are overwhelmingly men and women of principle, who seek to shoulder the extraordinary burdens and honors of serving the United States in an amoral profession. They must have a strong understanding of the spirit of our laws, of right and wrong, when so often the choices they must make are hard and unclear.

But now we have the first, Neocon-generated apologia for some of the most controversial choices made by the Bush administration, and the CIA, during the “Global War on Terror” (GWOT): the use of “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” (EITs) by the United States and the CIA, what in lay terms, and U.S. law, is called “torture. “

Jose Rodriguez was the chief of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center (CTC), while I was Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Transnational Threats, during the tense years following al-Qa’ida’s attacks on 9/11, in 2001. We worked together a bit, and he was helpful to me professionally on a couple of occasions. His new book, Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives, alleges that EITs work, are responsible for many, if not most, of the signal counterterrorism successes of the GWOT, and that these measures made it possible to “bring justice” to the mastermind of mass murder, Osama bin Laden. The argument is that EITs are carefully controlled, necessary, humane, work, and are legal. Rodriguez uses his former position as head of CTC to buttress his argument, while the book is largely written with the help of Mark Thiessen, a former speechwriter for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Vice President Cheney, who has set himself up as a putative expert on EITs because he had access to some telegrams on counterterrorism operations while working in the White House.

Rodriguez’s assertions will be praised or condemned by the usual parties in the disputes about the efficacy and legality of EITs. On this debate I will make three observations.

Efficacy: While in the CIA, involved either directly in interrogation myself (see my book, The Interrogator, on how EITs corrupt our institutions and society), or much more broadly in my functions as a senior officer involved in assessing the validity of intelligence acquired from all sources subjected to EITs, I found that the CIA could trust no information obtained from EITs, that such information as was obtained from EITs was “recalled” for unreliability (the kiss of death in intelligence), and that no information was obtained from EITs that could not be obtained by the use of classic, legal, interrogation procedures. EITs, it turns out, for all the macho sense of control and power they imply, don’t work and are unnecessary.

Legality: The legality of EITs rests on the legal casuistry of the infamous “torture memo” written by two Justice Department politically-appointed hacks, at the behest of the Office of the Vice President. But, our heritage, our laws, and our obligations as U.S. officials were, and remain, clear: The U.S. largely wrote the Geneva Conventions. The U.S. is signatory to the Convention against Torture. The U.S. is guided by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. All our government, in theory, embodies, preserves and protects the US Constitution’s Fifth and Eighth Amendments (“due process of law” and “cruel and unusual punishments”). Habeas corpus underpins all our rights and freedoms, and has for 800 years. All of America’s heritage and laws condemn the practices euphemistically referred to as EITs. Yet, now we are told, well, no, our heritage is wrong. EITs embody what it is to be an American and are necessary. But, the argument (“We also have to work… the dark side, if you will”)* also known as Neocon “realism” is wrong, and endangers our freedoms.

Morality: Here the argument is, of course, that the ends justify the means. But we all should know that this is a spurious assertion. If you sell your soul, you forfeit what you live your life for. If the United States traduces the principles it embodies, and does so on false pretenses (“torture works”), then the United States destroys what it claims to be protecting: our freedoms, our safety, and what so many have taken oaths to preserve and protect.

But there is worse, and Rodriguez’s book embodies it: Learned, respected U.S. officials, experts, and average American citizens now actually coolly debate the merits of torture. But, there is no debate to have, neither on the practical merits of torture, nor on its moral acceptability. The United States throughout its history has opposed such violations of human decency and law. The practice is antithetical to every value that Americans believe defines our society, and serves no purpose. Yet, Rodriguez and the political faction and administration which his book obliges, now assert what the facts contradict, and our values oppose. I worked on counter-terrorism issues with many good men and women in the CIA. Many of them were lastingly deluded about the nature of the threats we faced, acted in good faith, but with terrible errors of perception and policy. This book, however, does not seem so much deluded, as willfully misleading, a prop for the rear-guard Neocon advocates of and whisperers for policies now so roundly discredited that they are already relegated to the same place of infamy as the ante-bellum defenses of slavery, or place of derision as the apocalyptic visionaries awaiting the imminent-but-never-arriving end of the world prophesied in the Mayan calendar.

What have we done to ourselves since 9/11? Incredibly, torture by Americans becomes secondary: We have lost our souls; we mock our heritage; we flaunt our laws; and some of our leaders and officials claim we have known what we have been doing and are heroes for it. Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions after 9/11 Saved American Lives should be noted as part of the post-9/11 Neocon line — despite the facts — that torture is humane, what didn’t happen did, breaking the law is legal, and that selling your soul saves it. How far some of us have sunk. Shame, shame.

Vice President Cheney, a man who imagined himself an expert on intelligence, and willfully misinterpreted information to justify the policies he wished to pursue.

Zero Dark Thirty — Torture Is the American Way?

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(Article by Glenn Carle featured on the Huffington Post website)


Zero Dark Thirty, Hollywood’s version of how we killed Osama bin Laden essentially says that torture works. Torture is disturbing, but tough, and American heroes do it.

Do not be misled. Pay attention: The men and women who hunted, found, and killed Osama bin Laden — and heroes they are — did not need to use torture. Torture is un-American. It is evil. We found bin Laden using painstaking intelligence work, not waterboards.

The shocking opening scenes and the underlying premise of Zero Dark Thirty, the latest fillip of the torture hagiography to afflict and pervert American society insidiously propagates the view that torture is necessary; tough men and women must make tough decisions, right? It becomes clear how deeply America’s moral frames of reference have deteriorated when we realize that it was Kathryn Bigelow, a Hollywood director and power, and not a known shill for the Neoconservatives, whose film presents torture as having been instrumental in finding Osama bin Laden, and that “enhanced interrogation” is Americans doing what Americans must do to protect home and hearth.

Bigelow’s views — like those of so many millions of Americans — seem to have been colored by the big lie about torture perpetrated by the Bush Administration, and now the Republican Party, for eight years and beyond: Americans must work on the “dark side, if you will” to protect ourselves. Torture is legal — because, well, because a political hack in the Justice Department, at the behest of the vice president, says so. So, therefore, it is acceptable. A message not-so-subliminally enhanced by the zeitgeist-shaping avatars of pop culture like the execrable 24, which shows tough-guy Jack Bauer saving us all every week by torturing people, and doing what needs to be done, damn the law and all hand-wringers. Even left-wing Hollywood now weaves it into our national consciousness as part of our imagined reality. Even Hollywood filmmakers.

Polls show that a majority of Americans under 35, who came of age hearing from our leaders that enhanced interrogation was necessary and right, believe it is acceptable for American officers to torture. The Republican Party openly advocates its use. No matter hundreds of years of legal and social effort to oppose torture, no matter the Constitution of the United States (“cruel and unusual punishments… shall not be inflicted,” Amendment VIII.)

No. Understand this, from someone who had some involvement in our “enhanced interrogation” program and who worked on terrorism issues for years (see my book, The Interrogator, which relates my involvement in the interrogation of a senior member of al-Qaeda.) I was there: Torture does not work; it makes it harder to evaluate what detainees say, and more suspect. It is unnecessary, it is counterproductive, it is illegal, and it is immoral. Torture besmirches the meaning of America. We become the evil we oppose when we engage in “enhanced interrogation” — in torture.

Do not be deluded by the subliminal messages of a false and harmful reality as you munch popcorn and squirm at the opening segment of Zero Dark Thirty. Precisely because of its power and the subtlety of its overall theme — intelligence work is painstaking and slow and often confusing, and dedicated civil servants must sometimes make impossible choices — Zero Dark Thirty contributes to an un-American message about torture, guised in the uniform of steely eyed, if sometimes ambiguous, heroism. John Wayne did not really storm the beaches of Normandy, although we all watched him do it. George Bush and Dick Cheney, however, really did avoid serving in uniform, although we all watched them send others to fight and argue that torture is legal and acceptable. And now, their message has made it into an otherwise subtle and perceptive film about the hunt for bin Laden. But one cannot sanction torture.

Hunting, finding, and killing bin Laden is one of the cathartic triumphs in the history of the CIA. Bin Laden needed to die. The tale deserves to be sung by bards and should be a source of pride for all Americans. This is another fact I lived during my CIA career: The CIA, the FBI, the U.S. military, and the U.S. government are relentless against our enemies. No one — no one — can kill Americans and get away with it. We will hunt you down, you will not escape and you will pay. American power and will are fearsome.

A former head of MI-6, Great Britain’s equivalent to the CIA, remarked to me once, “I always encourage myths about MI-6, and I thank the stars for James Bond. People tend to believe that British intelligence is all-powerful, and everywhere. When, of course,” here he smiled genteelly, “we are not so powerful, and we are very small.” The CIA, the U.S. government and especially American society, are powerful, and we should not be small. We do not need the insidious myth that torture works, or is necessary. In an otherwise laudable film, Zero Dark Thirty‘s opening scenes corrode our culture, just as “enhanced interrogation” has.

GLENN CARLE: Did We Exaggerate the al-Qa’ida Threat?

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GLENN CARLE: Did We Exaggerate the al-Qa’ida Threat?

Discussion at the University of Ottawa’s CIPS – Centre for International Policy Studies.

GLENN CARLE, former U.S. intelligence officer.

Presented by the Security Studies Network at CIPS.
Free. In English. Registration not required.

Glenn Carle served as an operations officer in the CIA for 23 years, retiring from the Agency in March 2007. In his last assignment he served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Transnational Threats on the National Intelligence Council. In this capacity he was responsible for the US intelligence community’s most senior strategic assessments of terrorist threats.

Former CIA operative Glenn Carle’s memoir, The Interrogator

Former CIA operative Glenn Carle’s memoir, The Interrogator

Former CIA operative Glenn Carle was in charge of interrogating a high-level terror suspect as part of the War on Terror. Tonight, Carle joins Emily to talk about his new memoir, The Interrogator, and the moral boundaries he crossed in the name of national security.



U.S. Hearings Again Sought for 3 Detainees

The lawyers also submitted declarations from a retired Army colonel, Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as a top aide to Colin Powell, then the secretary of state, and also from Glenn L. Carle, a former C.I.A. official. Both Colonel Wilkerson and Mr. Carle have criticized aspects of the second Bush administration’s counterterrorism policies. Each wrote that a “likely” motive in bringing detainees to Afghanistan was a desire to evade judicial review of their detention.


Click here to read the entire article.

Career CIA Officer Says Agency Has Surpassed Torture Scandals

by gcarle 0 Comments
WASHINGTON – Sixty-five years ago, U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed into law the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency, better known across the world simply as the CIA.

The mission of the CIA was to procure intelligence—both by overt and covert methods—and at the same time provide intelligence guidance, determine national intelligence objectives and correlate the intelligence material collected by all government agencies.

To learn more about the CIA and how the agency has carried out its missions for the past six and a half decades, host Rob Sachs spoke with Glenn Carle, a career CIA operations officer and author of what critics have called the greatest book ever written about the CIA, “The Interrogator: An Investigation.”

Click here to listen to the interview.

Source: The Voice of Russia

Glenn Carle Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd

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Jay visits with Glenn Carle, 23 year veteran of the Clandestine Services of the Central Intelligence Agency and author of The Interrogator, an Education, in which Glenn tells the story of one of the most secret and sensitive CIA interrogations during the US War on Terror.

They discuss the upcoming Senate bill on intelligence practices.

Listen to internet radio with Jay Ackroyd on Blog Talk Radio
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