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The Magic CIA Security Cult And Its Bungled Trip To Paradise

Politics / Intelligence Agencies Dec 09, 2013 - 01:21 PM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop


Like a really bad film – certainly not a remake of George Orwell's 1984 – national security “concerns and threats” and the herd political response to these mostly fake threats - produces farce after farce. Absurdity piled on top of imbecility. With body parts on the sidewalk. As we know, although it wore itself out and is winding down now, global warming was an epic challenge to our civilization needing urgent extreme action by stern-jawed great leaders. Now it concerns electric bicycles. Economic challenges, as we also know, mutated into an enduring farce of selectively enriching the rich and the criminal bankster-broker fraternity, and impoverishing everybody else. The record got stuck in the groove. When our great leaders blether and gurgle about “the economic crisis”, these days, everybody turns off.

More successful for the backroom boy nurds who cooked up the enduring security farce for their employers – the great leaders who rule over us – terror war with a Middle Eastern flavor rolls on.

For reasons we could wrongly call “historical”, the terror war security cult emerged in the USA, probably as a sideshow to take peoples' minds off the failing economy and rising social inequality. Other reasons might have existed, even an intrinsic death cult and desire for self-humiliation. Plain old stupidity certainly helped. Think of it as the CIA's plunge into Hollywood-Bollywood  -- and the absurd. Anything to do with Guantanamo and its semi-secret terrorist's workcamp reeducation center is either somber or absurd, mawkish or repulsive. Recent revelations make it clear the spiraling number of CIA-type outfits “defending national security” have created a fully-staffed shadow war where private contractors and some of the world's most notorious (but secret) prisoners and villains enact various play scenes, usually armed, usually ending in a few “collateral dead” to spice up the evening TV news reports – carefully scripted in advance – that the consumer herd will gobble. Mindlessly.

Anything to do with the US Navy SEAL's and its lookalikes in other “troubled and challenged democracies” (end of citation) is likewise tainted, mutated and absurd.  These streetwise killers, if you didnt know it, are being privatized and encouraged to turn a profit. When it concerns fully-reeducated Guantamites, the Gitmo Babies, these are paid from multimillion dollar “secret slush fund” called The Pledge. Pledged to national security, of course, and motivated to deliver shareholder value.


Possibly very revealing, the Associated Press reported in November that the CIA handpicked a few dozen men from its stock of terror suspects at Guantanamo and trained them as double agents in the “Penny Lane” program. At Guantanamo, one of the torture programs was called "Strawberry Fields", because the highest-value detainees needed torturing “forever”, but in fact were able to be recycled and reeducated. These Penny Lanesters were then infiltrated into Al Qaeda cells in the dangerous Middle East and elsewhere – and of course invented cells themselves, and then infiltrated them. This was, and still is a nice way to cook up drone attack targets for so-called selective assassination.

Going back to the black-and-white TV era of bakelite discs turning at 78 rpm, secret double-agent programs were a standard fixture and fitting for the Cold War. In some ways, all we have today is a Bollywood color-enhanced version, but this version is drolefully and and remarkably unsuccessful. It is a deliberate disaster. Or an accidental disaster, there is not much difference. What counts is the anarchy-drive to Privatized Security, to draw down the gusher of funding that exploded on the US scene from September 2001. Spend and protect, while serving the shareholders called “stakeholders”.

The old and failing Cold War crowd of contractors got a second coming. Companies like Booz Allen had a new lease of life. The new boys like Blackwater (now tastefully renamed Xe Services), Hyperion or Qitec boomed. They employed anybody at all, for example Edward Snowden to “perform special tasks in information technology”. The new boys would help the downsized, spend-less government departments and employees. Glamor was very important, of course Bollywood-style. James Bond was back in business and on the prowl, in the streets of Lahore, Benghazi, Baghdad, Kabul, Beirut, Sanaa, Port Said and a long list of other places where troublemaking and provocation was (and is) needed. The  endless need for self-justification and corporate communication – advertising, that is – results in major government friendly news outlets carrying regular tidbits on these heroic works to defend national security. This is Global Response.

Reports in supposedly highly serious newspapers, like 'Washington Port' or 'New York Times' paint a picture of shadow-lurking operatives who do not meet foreign nationals or learn their languages and do not write intelligence reports after their three- or four-month missions. They are there to provide an “unobtrusive layer of security” for the government employees tasked with the right stuff. Call it Security Tourism.


On a very regular basis, double agents turn out triple. This again isn't new – the Cold War not only kept the so-called military industrial complex alive, but also a herd of spy book and film writers and producers. The books or films ended with what you half suspected all along, the good guy was bad, and the others were terrible. Today however, this entertainment business got mixed with a new and major, very well-funded corporate activity.

The new mil-industrial complex has to keep its mostly-male schizophrenic and megalomaniac operatives – their operating names if not their faces – in the media on a regular basis. Business needs advertising! Based on gung ho competition, it spawns lookalike monkey doers everywhere.

Street scene technology, like the times have also moved on - to kamikaze suicide bombing – making the collateral death tolls often very impressive, but nighttime TV news Death Voyeurs seem to lap up the body parts on the sidewalk. They feel even more protected and served, when they see that in Baghdad or Beghanzi on a regular basis, but go apeshit when a pale and tacky version is enacted for them in Boston with a pressure-cooker bomb using shotgun cartridge scrapings as the explosive.

Strange times! Hypocrisy democracy.

Spearhead actors and bit part players in the post-9/11 security contractors war make it into the news with startling regularity. Unlike their Hollywood cousins, however, they shun Happy Endings because that would be very bad for business. The news they make is always bad. Rather often, they blow themselves up with a range of former colleagues, and of course collateral persons in the wrong place at the wrong time. Among the reasons they do this, we find pure and simple corporate jealousy of the outfit that got the biggest scrapings from the national security banquet table. The high-tech weapons and derring-do playact ends with a vulgar blowout.

Sometimes we get well-scripted journalistic pieces, in our impeccably truthful media, about these farcical but bloody events. In January 2011, for example, a GSO or Global Security Operative employed by a GS contractor, Raymond Davis, felt he had to shoot his way out of what he thought was a difficult situation in Lahore, Pakistan. He was a US Army Special Forces veteran, an ex-Blackwater Boy, and he spent his time taking photos of  “military installations” in the Pakistani NW Frontier tribal areas, because it was pretty certain Al Qaeda was doing the same thing, and the photo set would or could throw up nice drone attack targets. But one day (the 27th January 2011) he was stopped in his unmarked car by two men, so he shot them dead and took photos of their bodies. The backup squad sent to save him from the local safe house then careened down a one-way street the wrong way, killed a road user and injured some bystanders. What could be more discreet?

Davis was caught by traffic police, taken to a police station and jailed. To be sure, local Pakistani and US media took up the story, followed by international media. Just as surely Davis was released, but the Pakistani victims were given $2.3 million in compensation. The Benghazi disaster of 2012 doesn't need retelling one more time, but the supposed GS goal of having CIA safe houses and cells in Benghazi was because the looted arsenals of Muammar Gaddafi included Stinger missiles which had to be tracked down and recovered. Exactly how Gaddafi was able to purchase this potent high tech juju with his petrodollars was never disclosed.

The Cold War, which ran for a little more than 40 years but ended abruptly in 1989, was such a great invention of “global security concerns and threats” that it had to be reinvented, but with a very crowded playlist this time around. The Edward Snowden story, for example, started international and got more so. At least a half-dozen US, Russian, Chinese and other security services and their operatives were on the Snowden caper – before the story even started!  Supposedly secret NSA programs sucking up incredible amounts of global communications are duplicated by smaller-but-trying competitor outfits in any developed country you care to name, as revealed during the 2013 “scandal” of Angela Merkel's eavesdropped cellphone.


There are so-predictable howls of outrage across the planet, from spied-on heads of state down to their dumb waiters and bodyguards, whenever a spy-security story breaks. The universal claim is we might be or are witnessing the rise of an Orwellian global secret police which will clamp down on dissent everywhere.

Nobody notes the security “bizniss” is firstly well-funded, and secondly is privatized. Thirdly, it is obliged to desperately invent outrages to keep itself in bizniss, spending our money.

The type and range of farcical events and “scandals”, with or without the body parts on the sidewalk, shows we need another explanation - desperation. To be sure, we could start with professional esteem and acumen. Top intelligence officials and GS corporate directors permanently fear they will be seen as having done a poor job, and must strive to prove their worth. Being dumb as well as megalomaniac, the only way they can do this is more of the same.

As a former top aide to Leon Panetta (former CIA director and US defense secretary) told the media in 2012, "If you're looking for a needle in the haystack, you first need a haystack". In other words forget about the needle and build plenty of haystacks while the sun shines and the taxpayers' dollars roll in. As Mr Barack Obama claimed, following the Angela Merkel snooping scandal, the NSA's great work has prevented or thwarted “54 plots to date”. He was not obliged to provide any proof of the count – because its secret! CIA competitors, like the NSA and FBI inside the US, and their lookalikes outside the US, and the global security bizniss crowd or ratpack, are obliged to trumpet their fake victories in the haystacks they frenziedly cobble.

Despite stunning investments of funds running into the hundreds of millions of dollars per year, per agency, and the feelgood doubling of the playing field with the private contractors, ineptitude and farcical errors are the rule of the game. According to an Associated Press account of “Penny Lane”, Al Qaeda never trusted the former Guantanamo Bay detainees released into their midst and resented the Penny Lanesters' attempts to set up their own designer terror bombings. This absurd program, officially at least, was declared a failure and canceled in 2006.

Meanwhile of course, the drone war has to go on – because it is an official success. It really does kill people, even if most of them are civilians! This particular war on terror, as plenty of leading US politicians say, has now completely morphed from war on terror, to War For Terror. In leading target countries – like Yemen – the number of declared Islamic militants sympathetic to or members of Al Qaeda have grown exponentially since the drone war started in 2002. Kill enough civilians, called “collateral dead” and you will get blowback.

The howls of rage are a pure waste of time, unfortunately. Only the next and last stage in the massive global tragic-comic farce, and its killing sprees, can roll down the curtains. This will be the Spy Versus Spy phase, when the operative fight it out between themselves. Their present usually-small scale turf wars will go critical. Their street theater outrages will play out in the security-obsessed, fear-riddled west where the farce was invented, bringing it all back home.

By Andrew McKillop


Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

Co-author 'The Doomsday Machine', Palgrave Macmillan USA, 2012

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

© 2013 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisor.

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