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Friday, August 29, 2014

'Paranoid' CIA conspiracy theorist
was right about red pull at the top
The CIA's counterintelligence chief, James Jesus Angelton, had been discredited as a "paranoid schizophrenic" toward the end of his career. The mole-hunter had been forced aside before his death in 1987.

However, a CIA inspector general later found that CIA directors under Presidents Reagan, Bush (the elder) and Clinton had been under strong KGB influence and had been passing Communist disinformation to the White House. Bush had been CIA chief under President Ford, and had also been Reagan's "co-president" for national security (at least until the Iran-Contra scandal flared).

This bit of history comes from the writer Edward Jay Epstein, as posted on Cryptome.

The purpose of the first excerpt on the Cryptome site is to pave the way for the second piece, which suggests that Edward Snowden's thefts involve far more than data on surveillance of Americans and that those public revelations may have been meant as a smokescreen for espionage. I don't necessarily agree with that. Why bother with the elaborate deception? Had he been a typical defecting spy, one would expect that he and his masters would have arranged a sensible escape plan in advance.

But the point I wish to make concerns the CIA inspector general verifying a major part of what many had suspected.

In a recent biography, James Jesus Angleton; Was He Right?, Epstein writes:

'In 1995, however , the CIA Inspector General found that in the 1980s and early 1990s the KGB had dispatched at least a half-dozen double agents who provided disinformation cooked up in Moscow to their CIA case officers. It further discovered that this concoction of bogus and factually true information had routinely been passed between 1986 and 1994 to three Presidents– President Ronald Reagan, President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. The disinformation, according to the Inspector General, became part of one of the CIA's most highly classified products, with each report signed personally by the CIA director, provided with a distinctive blue stripe to signify their importance , and sent directly to the President, Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State. When the CIA Inspector General retrospectively traced out the path of this disinformation in the blue border reports, he found that the “senior CIA officers responsible for these reports had known that some of their sources were controlled by Russian intelligence.” These CIA officials apparently continued to forward the Russian disinformation to the White House because it would be too embarrassing for them to admit that they had been so badly deceived. Whatever their motive, the CIA officers who had been gulled by the KGB found a common interest with the KGB in not revealing on-going deception. The CIA Director John Deutch, who had received these blue border reports when he was deputy director of the Department of Defense, told Congress that the CIA’s failure to disclose that the intelligence was from KGB-controlled agents was "an inexcusable lapse in elementary intelligence practice."'

An insightful retrospective on Epstein:

It should be noted that Epstein has often been embroiled in controversy, especially with respect to his analyses of the assassination of President Kennedy.

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