Perhaps it’s only fair that the CIA controls the internet, given they invented it for their own use.
But it increasingly seems that this agency now constitutes the main threat to civilised life on the planet, and its control over information and misinformation passed over the internet is central to that threat.
Unlike the threat posed by conventional warfare however, against which the ordinary citizen is powerless, misinformation is a game that we can all play, and in which a single individual may win against a whole army. Just consider Julian Assange or Edward Snowden.
The new Wikileaks release of CIA documents, presumably from one source, looks like such a win – depending of course on whose side you are stand.
That might be debateable given that we can only speculate on the alignment of the hacker, or leaker of the documents. But informed speculation (isn’t that what ‘intelligence assessment’ means?) tells us that the source is sympathetic towards Russia.
While the media – understandably enough – have focused almost exclusively on the revelations that the CIA has helped maintain software gaps in smartphones and other personal devices to assist in their intelligence gathering, having some nerds looking at our underwear is not what we should be worrying about.
Indeed, one suspects that the popular obsession of the Western media and its audience with celebrity closet culture will be exploited to the full by those wishing to distract attention from the far more serious revelation – that the CIA stole the identities of some Russian hackers.
This mightn’t seem particularly surprising to those who understand Russia’s view on the US election, and so never believed any of the ridiculous claims that Russia somehow manipulated US public opinion into electing Donald Trump.
And how ridiculous they were! Even years beforehand, the soothsayer Vladimir Putin had seen that a White House outsider with little support even from his own party could get elected US President, and had started working assiduously in pursuit of that goal.
What a scandal! Russia sought to have an American President and administration that it could actually talk to, and that might behave in an honest fashion, following eight years of duplicity and downright sabotage from the Obama administration and its merry club of murderers!
Russia even sought to build cooperative partnerships with its neighbours and to reduce the likelihood of serious conflict escalating in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine.
Having seen that Clinton was hell-bent on pursuing the same aggressive policies as Obama throughout the Middle East and in Eastern Europe, only with added vigour thanks to her strong links to neo-cons and to the Muslim Brotherhood, Russia’s natural desire was to see ‘anyone but Clinton’.
Even a billionaire used-car salesman would do!
But unlike the US, Russia hasn’t had much practice or success in ‘regime change’, and doesn’t actually believe that this is a civilised way to behave in the modern world. For over five years Russia has defended the sovereign rights of citizens to choose their own ‘regimes’, most notably in Syria.
Defending this right has not been easy for Russia’s ambassadors ‘at the front’ – Vitaly Churkin and Sergei Lavrov particularly.
Having to explain over and over again that negotiating a ‘political transition’ does not mean transition from a government chosen by Syrians to one chosen by a cabal of Syria’s enemies, would have caused most people to give up and give in.
While the real details in the latest Wikileaks documents have yet to be revealed and explored, Julian Assange has this time got on the front foot by stating that this data came from the Frankfurt CIA headquarters, which evidently had rather lax cyber-security. (perhaps they used smartphones…)
This hasn’t stopped some from already claiming that Russia was likely responsible for the leaks, but apparently not because they realised just how much Russia has gained from them.
Perhaps the idea that the whole dirty campaign they have been running against Russia since the US election used claims based on ‘Fake News’ – distributed by their own intelligence agencies pretending to be Russians – is just too much to cope with!
It’s hard to believe that President Trump or his spokesman Sean Spicer don’t understand the significance of what just happened, yet they have so far failed to take advantage of it. Has the CIA’s campaign to undermine the new administration and pull it back into the Cold War framework been so successful that they have just given up trying?
Yet again it looks as though an opportunity to expose the CIA’s criminality to global public recrimination has been lost, and at a time when its global activities pose a terminal threat.
The brainwashed Western public will relax at the thought that their trusted tech companies have installed the ‘security patches’ somehow missing in their personal devices, not thinking that those companies were actually CIA partners.
Though Assange is surely genuine in promising to alert them to the CIA ‘holes’ in their software, he could hardly expect the CIA just to accept this sudden restriction on its activities without taking counter-measures.
And it’s not the sort of threat to the CIA that could be sorted by a simple ‘patch removal tool’ or other scheme to maintain its hold on the ‘misinformation super-highway’. If the victims of that misinformation start taking Russian media seriously the whole house of cards might just collapse.
One can only hope.
Originally published by American Herald Tribune (MARCH 10 ,2017)
Republished by The 21st Century (July 13, 2020)
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of 21cir.