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 BlogviewPhilip Giraldi Archive
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Russia

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rt
Is it news or propaganda? And what about the First Amendment?
Somehow everything keeps coming back around to Russia. In one of its recent initiatives, the Justice Department (DOJ) appears to be attacking the First Amendment as part of the apparent bipartisan program to make Vladimir Putin the fall guy for everything that goes wrong in Washington. In the past month, the DOJ has revealed that... Read More
Hearings are endorsements of established viewpoints
A congressman once admitted to me that he and his colleagues know a lot of things, generally speaking, but their knowledge only “extends about one inch deep.” In other words, the briefings provided by staffers and in committees is intended to touch only on what is important to know to look well informed in front... Read More
pompeo
Hating Russia and Trump is de rigueur
Long ago, when I was a spear carrying middle ranker at CIA, a colleague took me aside and said that he had something to tell me “as a friend,” that was very important. He told me that his wife had worked for years in the Agency’s Administrative Directorate, as it was then called, where she... Read More
fracking-hydraulic-fracturing
What will those rascals in Moscow do next?
It has been another week full of news about Russia. Americans might be surprised to learn that nearly every aspect of their lives has been somehow impacted by the insidious covert activity of a former global enemy that now has an economy the size of Spain or Italy. One of the latest claims is that... Read More
Maybe, but gathering intelligence is not the same as full interference
The most recent Russiagate expose comes from The Intercept, which was founded by Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill. The site has been the source of a number of stories that rely on stolen or leaked government documents, including material from Edward Snowden. It has also produced some exemplary investigative reporting on U.S. government high crimes... Read More
brennan-2
Speaking to a Russian becomes treasonous
The Washington Post and a number of other mainstream media outlets are sensing blood in the water in the wake of former CIA Director John Brennan’s public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. The Post headlined a front page featured article with Brennan's explosive testimony just made it harder for the GOP to protect Trump.... Read More
National-security officials may see themselves as patriots, but their methods set a dangerous precedent
Back in my time in the CIA, there were two places in the headquarters building one could go that were free speech zones—places where it was safe to vent about senior management without necessarily being admonished or even reported. They were the Historical Intelligence Collection room off the library, where no one ever went to... Read More
clapper-comey-brennan
Sometimes paranoia is justified
President Donald Trump is not exactly known for his self-restraint. The recent firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey was not handled with any delicacy and has unleashed a firestorm of criticism coming from across the political spectrum. And since Comey’s abrupt dismissal the backstabbing has become even worse, with many coming... Read More
The simplest explanation is that Trump doesn’t like him much and doesn’t trust him at all
The firing of FBI Director James Comey may have been a surprise to some, most particularly in the media, but there was a certain inevitability about it given the bureau’s clear inability to navigate the troubled political waters that developed early last summer and have continued ever since. The initial reaction that it may have... Read More
brennan
Will we survive the next 90 days?
There remains one good thing to say about Donald Trump: he is not Hillary. The boneheaded cruise missile attack in Syria would have occurred even earlier under President Rodham Clinton and there would undoubtedly be no-fly and safe zones already in place. Oh, and Ukraine and Georgia would be negotiating their entries into NATO to... Read More
Obama appointees may have hoped Carter Page would be the smoking gun they needed to bring down Trump
Russiagate’s latest celebrity is a former Donald Trump associate named Carter Page. Page, who worked for Merrill Lynch in Moscow and speaks Russian, is a banker and investor who early in 2016 was a part of the amorphous group that was advising Trump on foreign policy. There is no evidence to suggest that he was... Read More
iran-rg
A world in turmoil, thank you Mr. Trump!
The real Donald Trump has been exposed. The man who promised a sensible and non-interventionist Middle Eastern policy and a reset with Moscow has now reneged on both pledges. His nitwit United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has directly linked Russia and Syria for punishment by the omnipotent Leader of the Free World lest anyone be... Read More
chicken-hawk
More chickenhawks on parade for war with Russia
The latest Democratic Party shill to demonize Russia is, I am ashamed to say, my state of Virginia’s Senator Mark Warner, who, on Thursday said “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a deliberate campaign carefully constructed to undermine our election.” Last Thursday, Warner was the top Democrat on a Senate Intelligence Committee panel investigating Moscow’s alleged... Read More
Comey’s testimony settles nothing
Call me confused. Last week’s House Intelligence Committee hearing on possible Trump associates’ collusion with the Russian government, which featured FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers, provided very little new information even as it confirmed troubling revelations that had already appeared in the media. If the FBI began its investigation of team... Read More
price-cia
And the devil is spelled T-R-U-M-P
Last Monday The Washington Post featured an op-ed by one Edward Price entitled “I didn’t think I’d ever leave the CIA. But because of Trump, I quit.” I must admit that it was refreshing at first to read something in The Post that did not rush to blame BOTH Trump and Vladimir Putin for everything... Read More
red-army
Fleeing to Canada is no longer an option
Liberals are supposed to be antiwar, right? I went to college in the 1960s, when students nationwide were rising up in opposition to the Vietnam War. I was a Young Republican back then and supported the war through sheer ignorance and dislike of the sanctimoniousness of the protesters, some of whom were surely making their... Read More
The leak has narrowed Trump's options for dealing with Putin
The story on the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is somewhat like peeling an onion, with each layer revealing something new. To be sure, I am delighted to see Flynn gone, both because of his clearly expressed desire to confront Iran and his inaccurate characterization of Islam. But Flynn’s departure will no doubt... Read More
Fact, fiction, or speculation?
Yesterday, BuzzFeed published a 35-page dossier containing allegations that Russian operatives worked to identify and develop compromising personal and financial information about Donald Trump. Allegedly, this is the full document from which a two-page synopsis was drawn and provided to Trump and President Obama as an appendix to a report about Russian interference in the... Read More
stuxnet
Weaponized hacking all began with Stuxnet
Is the United States the victim of an unprovoked cyber and media attack by Russia and China or are the chickens coming home to roost after Washington’s own promotion of such activity worldwide? On Thursday Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asserted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that while no foreign government had been... Read More
Language used in the intelligence community's latest report suggests that they may not possess indisputable evidence
The eagerly awaited report on the alleged Russian influence operation and hack linked to the recent American presidential election finally appeared on Friday. It is quite possible that President Obama, the intelligence community, and Congress now hope that the case has been definitively made to tighten the screws on Russia. If that is so, they... Read More
If something went wrong, Putin must have done it
My wife is English, so every Christmas we include in our celebration holiday crackers. For those unfamiliar with British traditions, the crackers are cardboard tubes wrapped in decorated paper. When you pull on the ends they pop open with a bang, and inside there is a paper crown to commemorate the visit by the three... Read More
fallujah
A new study urges more U.S. interventions
The Establishment and Realist foreign policy communities in the United States often seem separated by language which leads them to talk past each other. When a realist or Libertarian talks about non-intervention or restraint in foreign policy, as Ron Paul did in 2008 and 2012, the Establishment response is to denounce isolationism. As Dr. Paul... Read More
Foreign espionage is routine. Careless use of unsecure email shouldn't be
On Friday, the Washington Post reported that the CIA has concluded that Russia acted to aid Donald Trump in winning the election. The story follows accusations that the Russian government was behind the hack of the private servers used by the Democratic National Committee, as well as the Gmail account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager,... Read More
It’s time for new voices to have their say in the White House
I would very much like to see the White House revert to a George Marshall type of foreign policy, in which the United States would use its vast power wisely rather than punitively. As Donald Trump knows little of what makes the world go round, senior officials and cabinet secretaries will play a key role... Read More
Voters should wake up to the issue of war versus peace
The relentless drumbeat against Donald Trump continues. The Washington Post on October 14 endorsed Hillary Clinton for president while also including in the print edition nine articles, three op-eds, and three letters blasting the GOP candidate, including pieces in the Style and Metro sections of the paper. On the following day there were five articles,... Read More
wolfowitz
Hillary and the neocons know who to blame for Trump
Many issues characteristically beloved by Democrats are being raised to disparage Donald Trump. The man has been maligned as a racist, a bigot, as unfit for office and even described as a psychopath, presumably in contrast to Hillary Clinton who loves people of every color and shape as long as they are not living next... Read More
There's more hype than evidence in the paper's claims that Moscow orchestrates politics in Europe and America
August 14’s Washington Post print edition featured news articles, op-eds, an editorial, and three letters to the editor all attacking Donald Trump. And the paper’s other bête noire, Vladimir Putin, was featured in the front-page lead story as well as in an op-ed. On the preceding Friday, Putin had been attacked in an editorial for... Read More
netanyahu-and-putin
When friends of friends are enemies
A friend recently observed to me that it is ironic that the neoconservatives, whose bottom line foreign policy issue is the uncritical support of Israel, should be obsessed with constantly confronting and goading Russia even though Tel Aviv and Moscow get along just fine. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has traveled to Russia three times... Read More
Moscow is no longer the capital of an evil empire. Why is Washington stuck in a Cold War mindset?
Whenever the subject of American foreign-policy catastrophes comes up, the word “Iraq” immediately comes to mind. But George W. Bush’s ill-fated invasion of that hapless land in reality did not do irreparable damage to the United States. That is not to trivialize the costs, including trillions of dollars and the deaths of thousands of Americans... Read More
magnitsky2
Who stole all the money?
Sergei Magnitsky was a Russian lawyer hired by an Anglo-American investment fund operating in Moscow to investigate the apparent diversion of as much as $230 million in taxes due to the government. He became a whistleblower after discovering that the money had been stolen by the police, organized crime figures and other government officials. After... Read More
One does not need to love Vladimir Putin to appreciate that Washington shares interests with Moscow
With relations between Washington and Moscow at a low ebb, can simply talking to Russians provide hope that there might still be room for cooperation? I recently returned from spending a few days in Moscow, speaking at a conferencehosted by RT International, Russia’s global television news service. One of the few major countries I have... Read More
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may want to derail the an alliance against ISIS—and thus weaken the Assad regime
The shooting down of a Russian fighter plane by a Turkish F-16 is an extremely disturbing turn of events. Turkey claims that the SU-24 aircraft had violated its airspace and had not responded to repeated warnings before the armed response took place. The Russians for their part claim that they were operating in Syrian airspace... Read More
nuland
Victoria Nuland is not alone
Something very odd is going on in Washington. I recently attended and spoke at a conference in Washington on “realism and restraint” as a broad formula to reform U.S. foreign policy. Most presentations reflected that agenda more-or-less but oddly one of the speakers said that it was necessary for the United States to mark its... Read More
shutterstock_230565646
Who shot down MH-17? Somebody knows
Once upon a time CIA Stations overseas received what was referred to as an “Operating Directive” which prioritized intelligence targets for the upcoming year based on their importance vis-à-vis national security. Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, penetrating Moscow and preventing the KGB’s repaying the favor in kind loomed large as Russia and... Read More
shutterstock_129953438
Sending the wrong message to Russia, China and Iran
Currently the United States is assisting Ukraine against Russia by providing some non-lethal military equipment as well as limited training for Kiev’s army. It has balked at getting more involved in the conflict, rightly so. With that in mind, I had a meeting with a delegation of Ukrainian parliamentarians and government officials a couple of... Read More
putin-and-obama
Putin versus Obama
In the American mainstream media fact and fiction frequently diverge, leading to established narratives that bear little relationship to what is actually happening. The recent events in Paris have most often been described as free speech colliding with religious extremism but the reality is that existing French hate crime legislation means that the country has... Read More
Washington rushes to court open conflict with Moscow against every rational interest
Back in the good old days of the Cold War, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) would do whatever it could to discredit the Soviet Union. We used to place articles in friendly newspapers exposing Soviet human rights violations, arrange for Russian front companies to buy technology that had been tampered with so that it would... Read More
shutterstock_145003837
A Dangerous Game for Washington
In a recent round of finger pointing, the Obama Administration blamed China for being both “dangerous and provocative” in its crisis in relations with Vietnam. The specific incident that led to the rebuke was rioting in Vietnam in response to a Chinese oil drilling rig being placed in disputed waters in the South China Sea.... Read More
Activist experts make bad ambassadors, especially when diplomacy is needed
Washington’s unwillingness to use diplomacy to resolve international conflicts has proven remarkably consistent over the past 13 years. Even chalking it up to ineptitude would let the Bush and Obama administrations off the hook for what are apparently more systemic failures. I am referring to an inability to think outside the box, coupled with a... Read More
shutterstock_136470602
The Golden Age of Newspeak
Harvard Professor Stephen Walt has described the current contretemps over Ukraine as “geostrategic incompetence of the highest order” on the part of the White House. Seconding that I would add that the central problem with the Obama foreign policy, guided as it is by a bundle of poorly defined principles, is that it has no... Read More
The last time the Olympic Games were confronted with a serious, capable, and active terrorist movement was at the 1992 Barcelona Games, when the Euskadi ta Akatasuna (ETA) threatened to stage attacks to highlight its demands for an independent Basque homeland. Currently, the Russian Olympic sponsors of the Sochi Games, which open on February 7th,... Read More
The wigs may seem silly, but Moscow's exposure of CIA espionage is serious business.
It is tempting to regard the recent arrest of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer Ryan Fogle in Moscow and the subsequent outing of the station chief as symptoms of a decline in the Agency’s capability to run operations in a high-risk, high-security environment. This was by no means the first such success for post-Soviet Russian... Read More
The US media is reporting critically on the conviction yesterday in Moscow of Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky on charges of embezzlement and money laundering. Khodorovsky had earlier been convicted of fraud and tax evasion in 2005 and has been in jail ever since. The conviction prompted commentary from no less than Hillary Clinton who said... Read More
"The Conscience of the Senate" Joe Lieberman is at it again. He is predicting that the Senate will not ratify the new START treaty that Obama negotiated with Russia which will reduce the number of US nuclear warheads to 1,500, which is more than enough to incinerate the entire planet. And it also left open... Read More
Joe Biden is in Kiev. He has again pledged Washington's support for NATO expansion to include the Ukraine. Why adding a nation to an already meaningless alliance that will only serve to anger Russia and increase the risk of war is being pursued at all is a mystery to me. Will the US be forced... Read More
Barack Obama's endorsement of Joe Biden's call for $1 billion in aid to Georgia for reconstruction dodges the question of reconstruction of what and where. As most of the fighting was in South Ossetia, which almost certainly will wind up as part of Russia, it is not likely that the money will go there. And... Read More
Bill Kristol's op ed "Will Russia Get Away With It?" in today's The New York Times is a beauty even by his admittedly low standards. Our corrupt thugs in Tbilisi are apparently being bullied by an "autocratic aggressor" from Moscow and we can't let the bad guys get away with it, particularly as the brave... Read More
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Philip Giraldi
About Philip Giraldi

Phil Giraldi is a former CIA Case Officer and Army Intelligence Officer who spent twenty years overseas in Europe and the Middle East working terrorism cases. He holds a BA with honors from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD in Modern History from the University of London. In addition to TAC, where he has been a contributing editor for nine years, he writes regularly for Antiwar.com. He is currently Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest and resides with his wife of 32 years in Virginia horse country close to his daughters and grandchildren.


Personal Classics
A Modern Guernica Enabled by Washington
Pressuring Candidates Even Before They Are Nominated
But is it even a friend?
The gagged whistleblower goes on the record.
Today’s CIA serves contractors and bureaucrats—not the nation.
Pay no mind to the Mossad agent on the line.