During the Cold War, all kinds of terms made it into our lexicon through spy stories. “Moles,” for instance, were direct traitors in political office, the military, or intelligence agencies. They were directly employed by the enemy and fed them classified information.
“Useful idiots” were people who unwittingly bought into the propaganda of the other side, and spread those ideas through a misplaced sense of right and wrong.
“Agents of influence,” are somewhere between the two. They aren’t directly employed by the enemy; but they spread enemy propaganda from a lofty position that influences ordinary people to believe it. And they do it on purpose.
Since 2016, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have acted as agents of influence for the Russian GRU—and they had to know it.
NBC News and CNN are not making these two guys rich because they know less about Russian intelligence operations than the average person; they obviously know more.
The bottom line conclusion of the Mueller report was that neither Donald Trump nor his campaign was acting at the direction of Vladimir Putin (or vice versa).
No one with any amount of common sense was surprised by that—but if the two most important intelligence agency officials of the last years of the Obama administration were, then CNN and NBC are due some very large refunds.
But aside from clearing Trump and his associates from being potential moles in the United States government, the Mueller report did detail Russian attempts to spread propaganda in the U.S.—though if a hundred grand on Facebook can make a yuge difference in a nationwide election against someone with 100 percent name ID and a billion dollars to spend, then campaign advertising models need some serious revamping.
However, the Russians did not only spread anti-Clinton propaganda. They took both sides of contentious issues from Colin Kaepernick to Black Lives Matter. The GRU even pushed both pro- and anti-Trump rallies.
As psychological operations (PSYOPs) go, the GRU’s 2016 campaign to divide Americans and spread unprecedented mistrust in election results was a smashing success, one of the most successful in history.
And the GRU’s MVP Agents of Influence, James Clapper and John Brennan, can claim a lot of the credit.
And seriously, folks, if the Russian ambassador was making the rounds by signing in at senators’ offices and posing for pictures at public events, it wasn’t what you’d call a covert operation. It would, however, serve to frame the recipient of such visits—at least in the minds of people who wanted to believe it—to mean something sinister.
The point of all of this activity was to raise the temperature on issues, then sow mistrust in the election results—no matter who won.
And Brennan and Clapper not only played right along—they still are. Willfully and maliciously.
What makes it more serious than the blather of useful idiots like the Washington Press Corps, is that James Clapper and John Brennan are trading on their former insider knowledge.
So when former DNI John Brennan accuses the president of treason, or ex-CIA Director James Clapper says that Trump is proof that former KGB officer Vladimir Putin still knows how to handle an asset, it’s carries more weight than tonight’s Rachel Maddow conspiracy, a Don Lemon incoherent monologue, or an Ana Navarro hissy fit.
But if anyone is a Russian asset, it’s these two agents of influence.
For two years, they have ominously told us that as soon as the Mueller report comes out, we will all see what they have known all along. That Donald Trump conspired with Vladimir Putin to hand him the election, in exchange for Trump carrying out Putin’s orders from the White House.
For what? A hundred grand of Facebook ads? And for this conspiracy to make any sense at all, Vladimir Putin would have to have a better sense of the American voter than Nate Silver or any polling outfit in the United States.
It makes much more sense that he wanted Russian fingerprints all over this election on both sides. A fake dossier about urination and hookers here… a few Facebook ads there… a visit from the Russian ambassador everywhere.
But even Vlad couldn’t have anticipated that the CIA director and the DNI would do everything in their power to make the op a success—and even double down after it had been exposed and disproven.
That’s right. NBC and CNN haven’t said, “Man, were you guys wrong, hit the road,” Instead, they are giving Putin’s best assets in the United States a continued platform.
Clapper, who has been in the intelligence business since the USSR days, was pointing 10,000 nukes at the United States, and served through the Tiananmen Square massacre and 9-11, says “nothing bothered me as much” as the interactions of the Russians with the Trump campaign—which he has the nerve to call “aiding and abetting.”
Brennan, however, who deservedly had his security clearance yanked by Trump (why only Brennan?) is admitting that perhaps he got bad information while making wilder and more generally partisan statements, perhaps in a bid to keep his current NBC gig. Brennan is also hilariously going after Attorney General Bill Barr’s testimony before Congress, probably secure in the notion that the statute of limitations on his own Big Lie during testimony passed about a year ago.
If CNN and NBC are really worried about Russian collusion, they can start by announcing they will stop subsidizing Vladimir Putin’s PSYOPs campaign by cutting his two best agents of influence loose.