The corporate media’s reporting on the testimonies of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and the directors of CIA, NSA and FBI on their annual assessment of “worldwide threats” emphasized the fact that they contradicted President Donald Trump’s views on Iran, North Korea and Russia.
Trump foolishly criticized the intelligence chiefs as “naïve” for refusing to support his unfounded accusation that Iran is systematically cheating on the nuclear deal. His remarks buttressed the media narrative of a struggle between an objective intelligence apparatus and a patently dishonest president who may even have colluded with Russia.
But the media’s emphasis on this narrative has obscured a more important story: The intelligence chiefs used the annual presentation of their “global threat assessment” to protect key policies and programs that provide their massive organizations with enormous power and budgetary resources.
The corporate media never discuss the fact that these annual presentations, far from being politically neutral, are used to defend the interests of the intelligence agencies themselves and their main customers – the Pentagon and the military.
The history of major CIA intelligence estimates is proof. During the Vietnam War, the CIA succumbed to pressure from the military and lied about the size of the Vietnamese Communist forces in South Vietnam in order to preserve Gen. William Westmoreland’s claim that the US was “winning” that war. And in late 2010, the CIA again yielded to pressure from the field commander – this time Gen. David Petraeus in Afghanistan – and concluded, despite evidence to the contrary, that Taliban military strength had not increased during that year.
The New Main Worldwide Threat? Russia!
The 2019 “Worldwide Threats Assessment,” like its annual predecessors, approaches central policy issues in ways that protect the interests of the powerful…