As a former intelligence officer, it pains me greatly when intelligence officials say something foolish in public. So I’ve decided to rant a bit.
Former CIA Director Michael Morrell has made some very foolish statements about Donald Trump in his endorsement of Hillary Clinton. Its no wonder he was only the “acting” director and for only about 4 months until someone grown up could take over.
Morrell claims Donald Trump is an “unwitting agent” of Russia. This means the Russians were using him for some purpose to reach some goal. How does he reason that?
According to Morrell: “President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was a career intelligence officer, trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly what he did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities by complimenting him. He responded just as Mr. Putin had calculated.”
So Putin is such a great case officer that he can recruit Donald Trump from 5000 miles away with a single compliment? That’s amazing!
Note to Morrell: Putin is not Justin Beiber and Donald Trump is not a teenage girl.
So what happened next. Keep in mind Donald Trump is doing no business in Russia and has not met Putin. Trump chided the DNC and Hillary Clinton for losing their emails, and sarcastically suggested if the emails won’t be released, we could probably get them from the Russians.
But someone did publish them, through Wikileaks. Was it the Russians? Probably not. As we mentioned in The Russia Smokescreen, dozens of different parties broke into both the DNC and prior to that, Hillary’s private unsecure email server.
Leadership communications are a standard collection requirement for almost every intelligence service, so all of the competent services (even many friendly services), plus a few dozen enterprising hackers have a copy of the emails. There is no question of this, it is actually pretty routine considering the talents engaged in this.
I say it was not the Russians, because the Russians have a professional service and would not gratuitously give up their sources and methods. It was likely one of the enterprising hackers who sent the information to Wikileaks.
So what would the Russians have to gain? How was Trump an “unwitting agent.” Nothing occurred except that an ‘on point’ remark by Mr. Trump was twisted into a secret spy plot, a constructed fantasy.
Morrell should do his research before he speaks. On second thought, if Morrell had any intelligence instincts he should just have known better.
Morrell should have said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the number two intelligence target on the face of the Earth, behind only her boss the President, and that her unsecure server compromised her entire term as Secretary of State.
Morrell should have said all of the larger intelligence services in the world, the Russians, the Chinese, the French, the Germans, the Brazilians, the Indians, the Saudis, the Mexicans, the Argentines, etc. all have branches with an interest in predicting the outcome of the American elections and therefore the DNC would be a target.
Morrell should have said there is no upside for Russia in the current situation, and in fact there is no situation except in the minds of the Clinton Campaign and the liberal media.
Have to say I’m disappointed.
Just so you get the ivory tower reference, one Michael Morrell came from the Directorate of Intelligence which analyzes data. The Directorate of Operations is the group that sends case officers to the field to work with agents, and collect intelligence. One is said to be in the “ivory tower” when one lacks real world experience to the point where one makes errors in basic common sense.