VIPS says its direct experience with Mike Pompeo leaves them with strong doubt regarding his trustworthiness on issues of consequence to the President and the nation.
DATE: June 21, 2019
MEMORANDUM FOR: The President.
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Is Pompeo’s Agenda the Same As Yours?
We are concerned that you are about to be mousetrapped into war with Iran. You have said you do not want such a war (no sane person would), and the observations below are based on that premise. In a word, we have serious doubts about Secretary Pompeo; it is clear to us that he has his own agenda, and we know from our own experience with him that his agenda is not always the same as yours.
Pompeo’s behavior betrays a strong desire to respond with military force — perhaps even without your express approval — to Iranian provocations (real or imagined), with no discernible strategic goal other than to curry favor with Israel and Saudi Arabia. He is a neophyte compared to his anti-Iran partner John Bolton, whose decades-long dilettante approach to interpreting intelligence, strong advocacy of the misbegotten war on Iraq (and continued pride in its “success”), and fierce pursuit of his own aggressive agenda are a matter of record. Not so with Pompeo, who has now taken the lead on Iran.
Our direct experience with Pompeo leaves us with strong doubt regarding his trustworthiness on issues of consequence to you and the country, including the issue of alleged Russian hacking into the DNC. The sketchy evidence adduced for that story has now completely crumbled, thanks to some unusual candor from the Department of Justice. We refer to the extraordinary revelation in a recent DOJ Court filing that James Comey never required a final report from the DNC-hired cybersecurity company, CrowdStrike, upon which Comey chose to rely for forensics on alleged Russian “hacking.”
Pompeo could have exposed this key lacuna in mid-2017, if he had done what you asked him to do.
In our Memorandum to you of July 24, 2017 entitled “Was the ‘Russian Hack’ an Inside Job?,” we suggested:
You may wish to ask CIA Director Mike Pompeo what he knows about this.[“This” being the evidence-deprived allegation that “a shadowy entity with the moniker ‘Guccifer 2.0’ hacked the DNC on behalf of Russian intelligence and gave DNC emails to WikiLeaks.”] Our own lengthy intelligence community experience suggests that it is possible that neither former CIA Director John Brennan, nor the cyber-warriors who worked for him, have been completely candid with their new director regarding how this all went down.
Three months later, Director Pompeo invited William Binney, one of VIPS’ two former NSA technical directors, and a co-author of our July 24, 2017 Memorandum, to CIA headquarters to discuss our findings. On October 24, 2017, Pompeo began an hour-long meeting with Binney explaining the genesis of the unusual invitation: “You are here because the President told me that if I really wanted to know about Russian hacking I needed to talk to you.”
But Did Pompeo “Really Want to Know”?
Apparently not. Binney, a widely respected, plain-spoken scientist, began by telling Pompeo that his (CIA) people were lying to him about Russian hacking and that he (Binney) could prove it. As we explained in our most recent Memorandum for you Pompeo reacted with disbelief and — now get this — tried to put the burden on Binney to pursue the matter with the FBI and NSA.
As for Pompeo, there is no sign he followed up with anyone, including his own CIA cyber sleuths. Pompeo had been around intelligence long enough to realize the risks entailed in asking intrusive questions of his subordinates in the Directorate of Digital Innovation, which was created by CIA Director John Brennan in 2015. CIA malware and hacking tools are built by the Engineering Development Group, part of that relatively new Directorate. (It is a safe guess that offensive cybertool specialists from that Directorate were among those involved in the reported placing of “implants” or software code into the Russian grid, about which The New York Times claims you were not informed.)
If Pompeo failed to report back to you on the conversation you instructed him to have with Binney, you might ask him about it now (even though the flimsy evidence of Russia hacking the DNC has now evaporated, with Binney vindicated). There were two note-takers present, and there is also a good chance the session was also recorded, should Pompeo have difficulty remembering.
The question is whose agenda Pompeo was pursuing — yours or his own. Binney had the impression Pompeo was simply going through the motions — and disingenuously, at that. If he “really wanted to know about Russian hacking,” he would have acquainted himself with the conclusions that VIPS, with Binney in the lead, had reached in mid-2017.
Had he pursued the matter seriously with Binney, we might not have had to wait until the Justice Department itself put nails in the coffin of Russiagate, CrowdStrike, and Comey. In sum, Pompeo could have prevented two additional years of “everyone knows that the Russians hacked into the DNC.” Why did he not?
Pompeo is said to be a bright fellow — Bolton, too. Recent history, though, shows that an Ivy League pedigree can spell disaster in affairs of state. Think of President Lyndon Johnson’s national security adviser, former Harvard Dean McGeorge Bundy, for example, who sold the Tonkin Gulf Resolution to Congress authorizing war in Vietnam based on what he knew was a lie. Millions dead.
Bundy was to LBJ as John Bolton is to you, and it is a bit tiresome watching Bolton brandish his Yale senior ring at every podium. Think, too, of Princeton’s own Donald Rumsfeld concocting and pushing the fraud about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to “justify” war on Iraq, assuring us all the while that “the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”
That dictum is anathema to William Binney, who has shown uncommon patience answering a thousand evidence-free “What if’s” over the past three years. Binney’s shtick? The principles of physics, applied mathematics, and the scientific method. He is widely recognized for his uncanny ability to use these to excellent advantage in separating the chaff from the wheat. No Ivy pedigree wanted or needed.
Binney describes himself as a “country boy” from western Pennsylvania. He studied at Penn State and became a world renowned mathematician/cryptologist as well as technical director at NSA. Binney’s accomplishments are featured in a documentary on YouTube, “A Good American.”
For the Steering Groups of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity:
William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)
Marshall Carter-Tripp, Foreign Service Officer & former Division Director in the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (ret.)
Bogdan Dzakovic, former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)
Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator
James George Jatras, former US diplomat and former foreign policy adviser to Senate leadership (Associate VIPS)
Michael S. Kearns, Captain, USAF (ret.); ex-Master SERE Instructor for Strategic Reconnaissance Operations (NSA/DIA) and Special Mission Units (JSOC)
John Kiriakou, former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Karen Kwiatkowski, former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003
Clement J. Laniewski, LTC, US Army (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Edward Loomis, NSA Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)
Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA presidential briefer (ret.)
Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East & CIA political analyst (ret.)
Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)
Sarah Wilton, Commander, US Naval Reserve (ret.) and Defense Intelligence Agency (ret.)
Ann Wright, US Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former US Diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq War
Reprinted from ConsortiumNews.com.