Michael Krieger | Posted Friday Apr 21, 2017 at 11:29 am


My current working hypothesis is that the U.S. is a late-stage empire about to enter a more serious and dangerous period of collapse. In case you missed it, I outlined my broad brush view in the very popular recent post, Prepare for Impact – This is the Beginning of the End for U.S. Empire. Here’s a brief excerpt:

I believe last night’s strike represents the beginning of the end for U.S. empire. Although the U.S. has been declining domestically for this entire century, America has still been calling all the shots on the international front. This makes sense in late-stage empire, as the focus of the fat and happy “elite” becomes singularly obsessed with domination and power, while the situation back home festers and rots.

Trump won on an “America first” platform that promised to emphasize the well-being of American citizens over geopolitical adventurism. We now know for certain he’s been manipulated into the imperial mindset, and his recklessness will merely accelerate U.S. decline on the world stage, and in turn, back home.

When I came across reports yesterday that the U.S. Justice Department is trying to figure out a way to prosecute the world’s most courageous and effective news publisher, Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, I immediately saw it to be further evidence of the incredible insecurity and desperation of the American establishment.

The CIA is particularly enraged at Assange as a result of last month’s initial Vault 7 release. Rather than apologize for allowing zero day exploits in large tech companies to remain open and therefore vulnerable to hacking from anyone with the skills to do so (see: CIA Hacking Tools Allow for an Unaccountable Intelligence Agency Dictatorship), CIA director Mike Pompeo decided to respond with an unhinged nervous breakdown during a recent speech to the Saudi funded Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Here are a few excerpts from his deranged, incoherent, and unconstitutional remarks courtesy of the CIA:

WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service. It has encouraged its followers to find jobs at CIA in order to obtain intelligence. It directed Chelsea Manning in her theft of specific secret information. And it overwhelmingly focuses on the United States, while seeking support from anti-democratic countries and organizations.

This is what’s called “projection.”

It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is – a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia. In January of this year, our Intelligence Community determined that Russian military intelligence—the GRU—had used WikiLeaks to release data of US victims that the GRU had obtained through cyber operations against the Democratic National Committee. And the report also found that Russia’s primary propaganda outlet, RT, has actively collaborated with WikiLeaks.

We know this because Assange and his ilk make common cause with dictators today. Yes, they try unsuccessfully to cloak themselves and their actions in the language of liberty and privacy; in reality, however, they champion nothing but their own celebrity. Their currency is clickbait; their moral compass, nonexistent. Their mission: personal self-aggrandizement through the destruction of Western values.

They do not care about the causes and people they claim to represent. If they did, they would focus instead on the autocratic regimes in this world that actually suppress free speech and dissent. Instead, they choose to exploit the legitimate secrets of democratic governments—which has, so far, proven to be a much safer approach than provoking a tyrant.

More projection.

No, Julian Assange and his kind are not the slightest bit interested in improving civil liberties or enhancing personal freedom. They have pretended that America’s First Amendment freedoms shield them from justice. They may have believed that, but they are wrong.

Assange is a narcissist who has created nothing of value. He relies on the dirty work of others to make himself famous. He is a fraud—a coward hiding behind a screen.

Really? Seems to me he’s created the most powerful and impactful media organization of the 21st century, which is precisely why you hate his guts.

And in Kansas, we know something about false Wizards.

So we face a crucial question: What can we do about this? What can and should CIA, the United States, and our allies do about the unprecedented challenge posed by these hostile non-state intelligence agencies?

While there is no quick fix—no foolproof cure—there are steps that we can take to undercut the danger. First, it is high time we called out those who grant a platform to these leakers and so-called transparency activists. We know the danger that Assange and his not-so-merry band of brothers pose to democracies around the world. Ignorance or misplaced idealism is no longer an acceptable excuse for lionizing these demons.

Third, we have to recognize that we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us. To give them the space to crush us with misappropriated secrets is a perversion of what our great Constitution stands for. It ends now.

And finally—and perhaps most importantly—we need to deepen the trust between the Intelligence Community and the citizens we strive to protect.

Deepen the trust? There is no trust.

At CIA, I can assure you that we are committed to earning that trust every day. We know we can never take it for granted. We must continue to be as open as possible with the American people so that our society can reach informed judgments on striking the proper balance between individual privacy and national security.

The first thing to appreciate from the above excerpts is how uncollected and unhinged Mike Pompeo appears to be, and let’s also not forget that Donald Trump appointed Pompeo of his own volition. Much of his commentary centers around simple name calling, for instance referring to Assange as a “narcissist,” a “false wizard” and a “demon” in the span of just a few short paragraphs. His seemingly unstable emotional state certainly doesn’t give me a lot faith in the CIA, not that I had much to begin with.

Moving along, Pompeo’s entire rant is filled with projection. First let’s define Psychological Projection:

Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. It incorporates blame shifting.

Pompeo exhibits this behavior repeatedly in his remarks. For instance, he accuses Assange of “seeking support from anti-democratic countries and organizations.”

I mean, that’s basically the CIA’s mission statement, and its entire history is filled to the brim with “seeking support from anti-democratic countries and organizations.”

Moving along, he states “Assange and his ilk make common cause with dictators today,” and also says about Wikileaks, “they do not care about the causes and people they claim to represent.”  

Both of these statements summarize U.S. foreign policy to a tee. After all, one of America’s closest foreign allies, Saudi Arabia, is not only one of the world’s most repressive, undemocratic states, it is also one of the leading propagators of radical Islamic terrorism across the globe, including the attacks of 9/11 (for more see: Meet the Lawyer Who’s Suing Saudi Arabia for Financing the 9/11 Attacks).

Finally, Pompeo justifies his attack on the First Amendment by pushing a false “us versus them mentality.” He states:

Third, we have to recognize that we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us.

This implies that Assange and Wikileaks represent “the enemy,” while the CIA is somehow some shining white night. Unfortunately for Pompeo, this isn’t how many Americans see the situation.

Let’s recall the following tweet, and understand that John Harwood’s following isn’t exactly filled with anti-establishment types.

Who do you believe America?

You can say that’s not a scientific poll, and that’s fine, but I’d argue a large percentage of Americans think Wikileaks is more patriotic than the CIA, and that poses an enormous problem for the deep state.

In fact, Americans as a whole no longer trust most of the institutions charged with managing the U.S. empire, because those institutions have completely and utterly failed the people. The only way to regain trust is to actually start doing some decent things for the nation, but that’s not what happens in late-stage empire. In late-stage empire, the corrupt and foolish “ruling class” continues to double and triple down on their own stupidity and theft until the whole thing falls apart. This is precisely what I expect to happen, and the ongoing Assange witch-hunt simply further confirms my suspicions.

To further prove the point, take a look at the following excerpt from CNN’s article on the topic:

US authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, US officials familiar with the matter tell CNN.

The Justice Department investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to at least 2010, when the site first gained wide attention for posting thousands of files stolen by the former US Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning.

Prosecutors have struggled with whether the First Amendment precluded the prosecution of Assange, but now believe they have found a way to move forward.

Think about what you just read for a minute. The DOJ apparently spent 7 years trying to figure out how to void the First Amendment, yet it couldn’t jail a single bank executive during that entire time. What does this tell you about where the government’s priorities lie? Even more disturbingly, it doesn’t matter which Goldman Sachs/deep state puppet sits in the White House, the agenda moves forward. It is an imperial agenda to protect and secure the wealth and power of the few against the well being and liberty of the many.

The U.S. empire doesn’t work for the people, it works for a small handful of elitists and insiders who have completely gamed a corrupt system for their advantage. The America people are starting to figure this out, partly due to the journalism of Wikileaks, which is why the deep state hates Assange so passionately.

The American empire is becoming increasingly insecure and desperate, which also makes it increasingly dangerous. Empires don’t reform, and as we can see from Trump’s first 100 days, we certainly aren’t going to see a reversal of course from him.

We the people need to keep our eye on the prize and stop bickering with one another over relatively trivial issues. That is precisely what the status quo wants and actively encourages us to do. They can’t keep us oppressed if we stand together, so let’s not make their jobs easier by constantly fighting with one another. We need to stand tall and say enough is enough. That we are sick of your puppets, your wars and your Wall Street bailouts. America is tired of being controlled by a small group of unaccountable, incompetent, greedy, unethical crooks running around stealing everything in sight.

Enough is enough.

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In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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