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Reich writes: "According to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, the White House is mulling a proposal from Blackwater founder Erik Prince, to give CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Trump their own private global spy network."

Robert Reich. (photo: Getty)
Robert Reich. (photo: Getty)

More Signs of Trump's Increasingly Unhinged Paranoia

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Facebook Page

05 December 17


nother sign of Trump's increasingly unhinged paranoia: According to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, the White House is mulling a proposal – from Blackwater founder Erik Prince, a former CIA paramilitary officer, assisted by Oliver North, a key player in the Iran-Contra scandal — to give CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Trump their own private global spy network.

It would enable Trump to circumvent U.S. intelligence agencies, in order to counter assumed enemies in the intelligence community that want to undermine his presidency.

As he's shown before, Trump never lets facts get in his way. When he doesn’t like official facts, he blames the messengers and creates a new apparatus to manufacture facts he likes.

But a private global spy network is truly nuts – and dangerous. It wouldn’t be answerable to the American people; it would be answerable to Trump. Another step toward tyranny.

What do you think? your social media marketing partner


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+93 # indian weaver 2017-12-05 14:54
It's about time the drapes were pulled back on this fascist regime for all Americans to see. This move, it was bound to happen of course, and moving Israel's capitol from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and the GOP / Trump is signing the USA's own death warrant. Try traveling around the world now and see what kind of public and private receptions you get everywhere, should you live so long.
+42 # Farafalla 2017-12-05 18:26
Language Police: A capitol is a building like the US capitol. A capital is a city wherein lies the seat of government. Kushner and Friedman want to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This is an endorsement of the Zionist objective to make Jerusalem the capital of Israel and not of Palestine. Doing this would reveal to the Middle East that the US cares little for their protestations.
+4 # elizabethblock 2017-12-05 21:29
Thank you for policing the language, so I don't have to do it.
+36 # Bloomington 2017-12-05 18:33
You must be wrong because now they respect us because before we were the laughing stock of the world and how do I know? Because our current President told me so and he never lies....oh wait a minute.
+74 # krazykwiltkatt 2017-12-05 15:54
At least we know what year it is on our parallel time scale: 1933, the year the Gestapo was created.
+4 # Kiwikid 2017-12-05 21:26
+32 # Bloomington 2017-12-05 18:31
I am sure that will work out as well as Rumsfeld's special intelligence sources that gave him the great intel on all of Saddam's secret WMD programs and uranium buys.
-48 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-12-05 18:49
"But a private global spy network is truly nuts – and dangerous. It wouldn’t be answerable to the American people; it would be answerable to Trump."

Most presidents have had private mercenary armies. Who does Reich thing pulled off the coup d'etat in Ukraine under Obama? There were Obama mercenaries inciting violence and killing people in order to drive the nation into panic.

The CIA has evolved into its own independent spy/covert army. It used to be the president's personal killer squad. But now it answers only to itself. It does not answer to the president. It tells presidents what to do and say.

I think the rogue CIA is more dangerous than any private agency Trump or Obama might set up. It is just bigger and is entwined into most big corporations in the world. After all, it was created by banks and wall street investment firms.

The CIA is already its own tyranny. It is quite clear that the CIA killed JFK because he would not take orders. Then it framed up and drove Nixon out of office because he would not take orders. Now it is mobilizing a color revolution against Trump. So in the contest of which is worst -- the CIA wins every time.
+19 # ericlipps 2017-12-06 06:08
Rodion, if you can't tell the difference between a terrorist army and a mercenary one, why should anyone believe anything you say?

Terrorists fight for ideological and/or political objectives. Mercenaries do it for the money, and will switch allegiances if someone offers them more pay.
-15 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-12-06 10:04
ISIS is Obama's mercenary army. They are recruited by the CIA, Saudi Arabia, and others on the basis of ideology and money. They often come from families devastated by war and they send the money home. European ISIS do it more for ideology and hatred of the West.

Reagan's Contras, alluded to above, also did it for both money and ideology. The leadership was recruited from the anti-Sandinista Nicaraguans, but the death squads and bombers came from nations like Chile, Argentina, and South America where it was mainly money. And yes, they would switch sides if they got a better offer.

The point is that the US has used mercenaries a lot. It has gotten dramatically worse with the rise of mercenary corporations like Blackwater and the Rumsfeld/Cheney /Wolfowitz doctrine of privatizing all war operations. They liked the idea that a mercenary army would not be accountable to anyone or any set of laws like the Geneva Conventions or the US Uniform Code of Military Justice.

All of this is really bad. It makes the US a rogue and outlaw state. Trump did not start it.

But the CIA is worse. Philip Agee said "CIA really means Capitalism's Invisible Army." It was started by Wall Street bankers and lawyers who had close connections with Nazi leaders in Germany. It has always been "independent" of the US government. It does the work of US corporations. Trump is a MoFo but he can hardly make anything worse than it already is.
+3 # librarian1984 2017-12-06 11:34
Yes, although it had precursors, this overt reliance on mercenaries started with Cheney and Blackwater. It's no coincidence we see Prince and Ollie involved. This is their pervue and their history.

The CIA is the cancer in America's political system.
+1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-12-06 12:20
Yes, as far back as the 90s when Cheney was Sec of Defense for Daddy Bush, he and Wolfowitz talked about privatized militaries that would not need the oversight of congress or any laws. Prince and about a dozen mercenary corporations grew from this.

We should not forget that the CIA is a private army. It very often uses mercenaries, proxy armies, and any sort of fighting or spying force it can put together for a particular circumstance. In most cases, we simply never hear about these forces or operations because the media simply does not report them. But now, if Trump does it, the media is all over it. For one time I am very glad to have this media vigilance. Maybe if Trump is exposed enough, he won't get away with this clearly criminal act.
+44 # Montanan 2017-12-05 18:59
Trump admires tyrants and thrives on creating chaos, so it was only a matter of time before he'd clamor for his own private military/intell igence apparatus. What color shirts do you suppose they'll wear? Traditional brown? Or red, with red MAGA caps? Maybe he'll give a no-bid contract to Hugo Boss, who designed all those sexy Third Reich uniforms. What's next? Requiring all dissidents (Democrats, liberals) to wear identifying arm bands and stay off the sidewalks or risk arrest and sent to concentration camps?

November 2018 can't come too soon.
+40 # Jaax88 2017-12-05 19:03
I think it is a horrendous proposal. Yes it would be tantamount to secret police answerable only to a budding fascist dictator.
+17 # ericlipps 2017-12-06 06:10
quote name="Jaax88"]I think it is a horrendous proposal. Yes it would be tantamount to secret police answerable only to a budding fascist dictator.
"Tantamount to"? Let's not kid around; that's EXACTLY what Trump has in mind.
+9 # Kootenay Coyote 2017-12-06 09:24
Gestapo, eh?
+25 # jwb110 2017-12-05 19:33
I don't think pissing off the US military and the intelligence agencies is a very wise thing for just about anyone. There are all sorts of ramifications the worst of which is a military take over to oust an insane president. The anarchist are inhabiting the White House and the military knows it. They also know what a dictator looks like because they have been instrumental in installing them all over the world. They like those dictators in other countries but not their own. We may end up a banana republic before we know it.
+42 # angelfish 2017-12-05 19:43
Is there NO ONE in this Country who has Authority OR the Cojones to STAND UP and IMPEACH this Menace to Life, as we know it, on this Planet? He is a MENACE to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness and, aside from the Fact that he is as Crazy as a Waltzing P*ss-Ant, MUST be Impeached before he destroys the ENTIRE Planet along with our country! WHY is he allowed to make his Inane pronouncements and push for the Destruction of our Rules of Law and our Constitution while under Investigation for Treason and collusion with our Enemy? This is the Stuff of Horror Movies! Enough! IMPEACH his Maniacal Carcass and SAVE America in the process!
-7 # ahollman 2017-12-05 19:58
While I greatly respect Professor Reich, in a world increasingly of facts which aren't true, I'm skeptical of such claims made by these unknown sources, who are neither named nor described nor requesting anonymity. Let's have more verification than exists here.

Trump's reliance on "private" entities and individuals (e.g. his son-in-law and other family members), likewise his clear desire for subordinates to be loyally to him personally rather than to the Constitution, are consistent with Reich's reporting. But such consistency by itself doesn't make it a fact.

That said, given the various spy networks that already exist (e.g. CIA, NSA, and DIA, with even more secretive units within them), with varying degrees of secrecy and lack of accountability, what would a "private" spy network be? How would it differ from existing networks? Who would fund it? Do existing laws prohibit this entity? Would creating one be illegal? Would it be an impeachable offense?

Finally, why Reich may be using "intelligence" and "spying" interchangeably , they aren't identical. The former involves gathering information from a wide variety of sources, using a variety of means, assessing it for accuracy, and examining its implications. Spying refers to gathering information in ways that are risky for the acquirer and/or the source, and are often underhanded, immoral, or illegal.

Currently, the most common form of intelligence gathering is by American telecoms, on digital device users. :-)
-2 # librarian1984 2017-12-06 11:41
Haven't you heard? We don't need no stinkin' facts!

We don't require diligence or proof or even evidence. Verification .. schmerification ! Just let your biases inform your opinion, and then conflate your opinion with truth. It's the New American way. The Right's been doing so a long time and now the Left has joined in. Because Trump.

You raise important questions -- but nobody is interested in the answers.

I stopped admiring Reich a while ago and he's done nothing since to change my mind.
+31 # futhark 2017-12-05 20:01
It seems a common feature of tyrants that they develop their own private system of spies and operatives outside their society's legal framework.

Tsar Ivan IV (Grozniy or "The Terrible") had his Oprichniki, sworn to harass and destroy his domestic opponents. Adolf Hitler had his Gestapo and Josef Stalin his NKVD.

Donald Trump is definitely following in the footsteps of these infamous predecessors and it is up to saner minds than his to call public attention to this problem and demand legal steps be taken to prevent it. Otherwise, "it" can happen here.
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-12-06 10:26
furth -- "It seems a common feature of tyrants that they develop their own private system of spies and operatives outside their society's legal framework."

Yes, this is the important point to consider. All I want to do is bring in some history which so many Americans easily forget.

1. The FBI is America's Gestapo. It was created in about 1910 as a secret group of infiltrators and political henchmen to disrupt labor Unions and communist groups. It was formalized in the early 1920s. But it remains mostly secret and independent to this day. Comey like all other directors has insisted on the independence of the FBI. Amidst the current scandals over FBI corruption, he twittered last sunday, "“I want the American people to know this truth: The FBI is honest. The FBI is strong. And the FBI is, and always will be, independent,”

In fact, the FBI is not independent. It is part of the justice department and takes orders from the attorney general. Comey got fired by his bosses, but that is extremely rare.

2. The CIA and NSA were created as secret agencies of the president. The CIA has a congressional act but the NSA only has a memo written by Truman. These presidental personal police are massive -- maybe a million employees. No one knows. No one knows what their budgets are. No one knows what they actually do. A few projects have come to light, but many more are secret.

Trump's predecessors are not Russian. They are American. And British.
+1 # librarian1984 2017-12-07 22:54
I think we should not consider impeaching Trump until we have the House or Senate to hold Pence in check. I agree Russiagate will not get Trump (though maybe Pence?), but even so the Dems could vote for impeachment 70 mores times before they're considered as delusional as the GOP.
+22 # economagic 2017-12-05 20:06
T-Rump is The Sorcerer's Apprentice, a frightening proposition in itself. Unfortunately he does not even realize that he is only the apprentice. In at least one version of the tale the sorcerer returns just as things are getting out of hand and gives the apprentice a severe tongue-lashing but forgives the apprentice and all is well. In the current scenario there is no sorcerer, only the deluded apprentice, and it is not likely to end well, the only question being the degree of devastation.

But again, it's not about T-Rump, who is but a symptom of a much deeper problem that has been building for a long time. It is the many-headed Hydra of Greek legend, which grows a new head whenever one is cut off, and there does not seem to be any Hercules to cut off the main head and cauterize the stump.
+6 # mavrant 2017-12-05 20:45
Yes, we know the sucker is running on half a tank of gas, at best. It's common knowledge that he's not mentally, or morally fit for the presidency, or another job that needs a calm and logically functioning mind. Really, fewer and fewer in D.C. show that anyway. The question is, what are we going to do about it ??
+15 # Jazzbo 2017-12-05 21:56
And lest we forget, Erik Prince is the brother of Betsy De Vos.
+1 # Nancy Jakeman 2017-12-06 06:18
I think he's here as a "plant" in order to encourage the mass of humanity, not just the few, to begin to wake up and begin to take care of our planet and all it's lifestreams.
+13 # seeuingoa 2017-12-06 09:11
Can you please impeach this guy immedietely!

He is not able to understand the consequences of his decisions.

He is asking for a new Intifada in Israel,
and millions killed in a conflict with North Kora.

And I havent´t even talked about his
view on climate change!
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-12-07 16:30
seeu - "Can you please impeach this guy immedietely!"

Well, there was a bill in congress to impeach Trump but is was voted down today by a vote of 364 to 58. All republicans voted to squash the bill. 130 democrats voted to squash the bill. Only 58 democrats voted in favor of the bill.

What is wrong with the democratic party? The leadership -- Pelosi, Hoyer, et al. -- voted to kill the bill.

Democrats are just a puzzle. Now it can only be said that there is bi-partisan support for Trump in the House. Oh god. I hate Trump, but I also think the Russiagate narrative is bullshit. I still want him impeached but only on legitimate grounds.
0 # librarian1984 2017-12-07 22:56
oops, I replied to this post up above. sorry.
+17 # Indie 2017-12-06 09:32
This private spy unit would be paid for by more taxes on the working and middle class citizens while Eric Prince overcharges for the services as he did with Blackwater. The Republican party would approve of this because there is no depths to which they will not sink in following their favorite sex abusing con man.
0 # moreover 2017-12-09 01:11
"assisted by Oliver North, a key player in the Iran-Contra scandal"
should read: "Oliver North, a key criminal"...

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