President-elect Donald Trump is accusing CIA Director John Brennan of being the source of “fake news” about him, essentially calling our new supreme leader a Russian stooge and accusing him of taking part in a sexual kink in full view of Russian intelligence cameras in a Moscow hotel room several years ago.
I have no idea whether or not Trump, during a visit to Moscow in 2010, hired prostitutes to urinate on a Four Seasons Hotel Presidential Suite mattress because the Obamas had once slept there. I don’t care. I also have no idea if the Russian government “hacked” the Democratic National Committee and stole Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s emails. I have not seen any CIA, FBI, or NSA evidence, so I have come to the personal conclusion that the hacking story is overblown. All countries spy on each other. It’s a fact of life. The U.S. spies on just about everybody in the world. So I have a problem with the righteous indignation that I’m seeing from so many of my friends and former CIA colleagues about the Russians.
With that said, the Russia hacking story distracts from real and important issues surrounding the CIA and its future in U.S. policy.
One of those real issues is that the CIA has consistently lied to the American people for many, many years. Why would Trump conclude that Brennan was spouting fake news? Well, in the past 15 years, the CIA said that it was not torturing its prisoners. That was a lie. The CIA said that it had not created an archipelago of secret prisons where it was holding hundreds of people, including innocent civilians. That was a lie. The CIA said that it had not created and used a dungeon torture center called the “Salt Pit” in Afghanistan. That was a lie. The CIA said that it was not sending prisoners to third world countries to undergo torture with a wink and a nod from the CIA’s leadership. That was a lie. The CIA said that it had not hacked into computers belonging to investigators of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence while they were writing the definitive report on the CIA torture program. That was a lie.
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