• Review: Michael Hayden’s “The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies”

    May 19, 2018

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: NSA, Post-Constitution America, Trump



    Former NSA and CIA head Michael Hayden’s new book The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies wants to be the manifesto behind an intelligence community coup. It ends up reading like outtakes from Dr. Strangelove.

    Hayden believes Trump cannot discern truth from falsehood, and that Trump is the product of too much fact-free thinking, especially on social media (“computational propaganda” where people can “publish without credentials”) being used by the Russians to destroy the United States. Hayden wants artificial intelligence and a media truth-rating system to “purify our discourse” and help “defend it against inauthentic stimulation.” He believes in the “fragility of civilization” as clearly as he believes there is a “FOX/Trump/RT” alliance in place to exploit it. Under Trump “post-truth is pre-fascism, and to abandon facts is to abandon freedom.” Hayden claims Trump has a “glandular aversion” to even thinking how “Russia has been actively seeking to damage the fabric of American democracy.”

    Seriously.

    Salvation depends on the intelligence community. Hayden makes clear, ominously quoting conversations with anonymous IC officers, that no one else is protecting America from these online threats to our precious bodily fluids. He warns “the structures we rely on to prevent civil war and societal collapse are under stress.” The IC on the other hand “pursues Enlightenment values [and] is essential not just to American safety but to American liberty.”

    Hayden writes he reminded a lad fresh to the IC “Protect yourself. And above all protect the institution. American still needs it.” He has a bit of advice about the CIA: “We are accustomed to relying on their truth to protect us from foreign enemies. Now we may need their truth to save us from ourselves.” The relationship between Trump and the IC is, Hayden threatens, “contentious, divisive, and unpredictable” in these “uncharted waters for the Republic.”

    The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies is blowing ten dogs whistles at once. Arise ye patriots of Langley and Fort Meade!


    Yet for all his emphasis on truth, Hayden is shy about presenting actual evidence of the apocalypse. You are left to believe because Hayden says you must. To disbelieve is to side with Putin. The best we get is executive summary-like statements along the lines of “There is clear evidence of what I would call convergence, the convergence of a mutually reinforcing swirl of Presidential tweets and statements, Russian influenced social media, alt right websites and talk radio, Russian ‘white’ press like RT and even mainstream U.S. media like Fox News.”

    With that established, Hayden informs us when the IC tried to warn Trump of the Russian plot, he “rejected a fact-based intel assessment… because it was inconsistent with a preexisting world view or because it was politically inconvenient, the stuff of ideological authoritarianism not pragmatic democracy.” Comrade, er, Candidate Trump, says Hayden matter-of-factly, “did sound a lot like Vladimir Putin.” The two men, he declaims, are “Russian soulmates.”

    Hayden figures if you’ve read this far into his polemic, he might as well just splurge the rest of his notes on you. Trump is “uninformed, lazy, dishonest, off the charts, rejects the premise objective reality even existed.” Trump is fueled by Russian money (no evidence in the book because the evidence is in the tax returns, Hayden says, as if Line 42 on Trump’s 1040 would read “Putin Black Funds $5mil” and the IRS which does have the tax returns overlooked that.) Trump is an “unwitting agent” of Putin, which Hayden tells us in Russian is polezni durak, so you can see he knows his Cold War lingo. We hear how Wikileaks worked with the Ruskies, how Trump Jr. worked with the Ruskies, about Ruskies inside Trump Tower where they could see the Big Board, how the whole brewhaha over #TakeAKnee was Russian meddling, and how Jill Stein existed to “bleed off votes from Clinton,” every Mueller fan-fiction trope tumbling from the pages like crumbs left over from an earlier reader.


    That’s what The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies reads like as a polemic. It also fails as a book.

    There are pages of filler, jumbled blog post-like chapters about substate actors and global tectonics. Hayden writes in a recognizable style that might be called Bad Military, where everything must eventually be tied to some Big Idea, preferably with classical references Googled up to add gravitas.

    So it is not enough for Hayden to state Trump is a liar, he has to actually label Trump the end of the entire body of Western thought: “We are in a post-truth world, a world in which decisions are far more based upon emotion and preference. And that’s an overturning of the Western way of thought since the Enlightenment.” Bad things are Hobbesian, good things Jeffersonian, Madisonian or Hamiltonian. People Hayden agrees with get adjectival modifiers before their names: the perceptive scholar ____, the iconic journalist _____, the legendary case officer ____. It makes for tiresome reading, like it’s Sunday night at 4am and you still have nine undergrad papers on the causes of the Civil War to grade kind of tiresome.

    Hayden is openly contemptuous of the American people, seeing them as brutes who need to be lead around, either by the Russians as he sees it now, or by the IC, as he wishes it to be. Proof of how dumb we are? Hayden cites a poll showing 83% of Republicans and 27% of Democrats don’t believe the IC analysis that Russia meddled in the 2016 election when they damn well should. Part of his proof Russian bots are at work on Twitter influencing conservative minds is the hashtags #God and #Benghazi trended together.

    In our odd times, Hayden is a Hero of the Resistance. Seemingly forgotten is Hayden, as head of the NSA, implemented blanket surveillance of American citizens in a rape of the Fourth Amendment, itself a product of the Enlightenment, justifying his unconstitutional actions with a mish-mash of post-truth platitudes and still-secret legal findings. Hayden also supported torture during the War on Terror, but whatever.

    This book-length swipe right for the IC leaves out the slam dunk work on weapons of mass destruction. Any concern about political motives inside the IC is swept away as “baseless.” Gina Haspel, who oversaw the torture program, is an “inspired choice” to head CIA. Hayden writes for the rubes, proclaiming the IC produces facts, when in reality even good intel can only be assessments and ambiguous conclusions.


    That people so readily overlook Hayden’s sins simply because he rolls off snark against Trump speaks to our naivety. In that men like Hayden retain their security clearances while serving as authors and paid commentators to outlets like CNN speaks to how deep the roots of the Deep State reach. That some troubled Jack D. Ripper squirreled deep inside the IC might take this pablum seriously is frightening.




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    Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      So 83% of Republicans and 27% of Democrats don’t believe the IC analysis that Russia meddled in the 2016. The figure should be 100%. Trump speaks the truth ONLY when he says The Intelligence community has been discredited. It doesn’t speak truth to power. It just bends over and asks the powers that be to be gentle. While Russia may have meddled, the FBI won the gold for interference in the election by Comey’s last minute announcement that the FBI, famous but incompetent, was investigating Hillary. It used to be one did not admit working for The CIA or the NSA out of national security. Now it is because of embarrassment.

      05/19/18 5:20 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      2

      I think at the core of Hayden’s overarching geopolitical view is a fixed belief in a predestined battle for cosmic dominance of “good and evil” (with him working as a soldier for the God of the Israelites). Religious insanity may explain all the irrational and inhumane thinking and behavior of most current humans.

      05/22/18 1:00 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      Religious insanity is always trumped by the real belief in power, how to get it and keep it.

      05/22/18 6:46 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      4

      Bauer- Jesus was all about power! A total megalomaniac- Submit to me and I’ll give you immortality. There is only one way to immortality and it is through me and my single father. A similar thing was offered by a purported rival of the sky God. It is all fucked beyond belief. Humans may not survive such toxic beliefs.

      05/22/18 8:12 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      5

      JP

      Psychopaths like Trump have no beliefs other than their divine right to fuck everybody..literally.

      God: I only created these motherfuckers. Don’t blame me for their lust for evil.

      05/22/18 9:28 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      6

      JP,

      There are many who question their faith as to why, if there is a God, that Trump hasn’t dropped dead from a heart attack from his Big Mac attack. I think he serves a greater purpose — to expose these Christian hypocrites as non believers. May these humans not survive their toxic beliefs that they deserve their rich lives because they deserve it. May they all be born in Haiti in their next life.

      05/23/18 8:25 AM | Comment Link

    • Traven said...

      7

      Rich. Trump is technically a narcissistic Sociopath not a psychopath. In many ways sociopaths are more dangerous to society than psychopaths because they have enough of a grasp of reality to manipulate their environment while the psychopath does not.
      I do believe though that Trump is so far gone that he should be institutionalized.

      05/23/18 11:25 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      8

      Understanding Trump, the chaos theory, a method to his madness.

      Psychopaths like Trump thrive on chaos, and they know other people find it very stressful, and will purposefully create chaos in the environment because they find it easier to cope than other people. Psychopaths make up roughly one percent of the population, but 30 percent of CEOs. What is known is that they are found among a range of people, from con-men to world leaders, and up to 90% of prisoners show signs of psychopathy.

      05/23/18 4:18 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      9

      Bauer- It seems the Christians of today are the new Romans. An irony for sure.

      05/23/18 9:18 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      10

      Stayed tuned for the theater of Pompeo.

      05/23/18 10:11 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      11

      The new Romans: Trump willl get stabbed in the back by some traitorous senators.

      Trump hasn’t left the stage and already Pompeo and Pence are fighting to take his place in 2020.

      05/23/18 10:31 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      12

      The real assault on intelligence is the Russian troll in the White House —

      “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing,” Trump said in an interview that aired Thursday morning on “Fox & Friends” on Fox News. He added that those who protest “maybe shouldn’t be in the country.”

      05/24/18 9:08 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      13

      Question: Where were the Democrats and the IC during Russia’s attack on the “fabric of American Democracy”? Did Obama ignore a, “Putin determined to rip the fabric of American Democracy into shreads” briefing like Bush ignored the warning “bin Laden determined to strike inside America…”? I’m confused.

      05/24/18 10:31 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      14

      JP,

      The Dumbocrats are desperate to blame the Russkies instead of their incompetence in losing to the orange clown.

      This just in: orange clown calls off talks with NK. Still thinks he deserves Nobel Peace Prize. Pompeo may be next Rexit.

      05/24/18 11:26 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      15

      Bauer- will Barack Obama be available for an interview where a reporter will ask how the evil Russians managed to sabotage the 2016 election on his watch? Is there any mention of Obama’s failure to save the Republic from the Russian onslaught in Hayden’s book (I won’t be reading it)?

      05/24/18 3:41 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      16

      JP,

      Yes, Obama will be available…for a price. Expect it on Netflix.

      05/24/18 4:38 PM | Comment Link

    • Thomas said...

      17

      Michael Hayden was director of NSA on 911. He didn’learn anything there with all the 50 billion dollar equipment to prevent the attacks….??? NO…..!!!!! Is he fired or demoted …??? No, bush gives him the top intel job in the government, DIA. !!!!!! He is part of the problem, not any solutions. Whatever he says, better do the opposite..!!!!!!

      05/27/18 12:29 AM | Comment Link

    • Robin Adair said...

      18

      Hayden’s book is aptly titled as it is an assault on intelligence. Too bad he fails to see the irony.

      05/27/18 3:47 AM | Comment Link

    • Thomas said...

      19

      Michael Hayden was head of NSA prior to. and on nine 11 . He did not learn anything to warn or prevent or warn of the attack with all the hundreds of billion dollars assets he controled… After the event he was promoted to the top spy job in America… head of the CIA.. Do you see any problems with him and what he says and does…????? If you think there is any chance that the attack was an inside job/false flag, then anything this guy says is part of the deception and cover up.

      05/27/18 1:02 PM | Comment Link

    • Thomas George said...

      20

      Michael Hayden was head of NSA prior to. and on nine 11 . He did not learn anything to warn or prevent or warn of the attack with all the hundreds of billion dollars assets he controled… After the event he was promoted to the top spy job in America… head of the CIA.. Do you see any problems with him and what he says and does…????? If you think there is any chance that the attack was an inside job/false flag, then anything this guy says is part of the deception and cover up.

      05/27/18 1:12 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      21

      Three Days of the Dodo

      Trumpie is in quite a bind. Deep State on one side and Putin on the other. He can’t rat on Putin. Putin’ enemies don’t live very long. Can Trumpie make a deal with Mueller?

      Trumpie: I’d like to go back to New York.

      Mueller: You have not much future there. It will happen this way. You may be walking. Maybe the first sunny day of the spring. And a car will slow beside you, and a door will open, and someone you know, maybe even trust, will get out of the car. And he will smile, a becoming smile. But he will leave open the door of the car and offer to give you a lift.

      06/16/18 9:37 PM | Comment Link

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