What it's like inside the CIA during Donald Trump's "Deep State" purge

One of the strangest contradictory sensations of the Trump era is the man's relationship towards and with the various U.S. intelligence agencies. In many cases, Trump's broad criticisms about the unaccountable and seemingly limitless scope of intelligence gathering are valid. Or would be, anyway, if the man actually cared about those issues for any reason beyond his larger tantrum over the way those agencies have undermined his ego. Or if he wasn't simultaneously trying to use that same wide jurisdiction to target his own political enemies.

In other words, Trump's not necessarily wrong about the potential abuses of secret and/or warrantless surveillance (or "wiretapping" as he puts it). But he's only mad about those things because they can be used to threaten him and his friends, instead of reinforcing his hunches. Otherwise, illegal spying and invasions of privacy are totally fine with him—as long as they target the right people.

There are moments, then, where it becomes a case of "My enemy's enemy is my friend" — except that "friend" is also an enemy of sorts, which further complicates the whole mess. Case in point: this recent Just Security post by Douglas London, a former CIA operative. In it, London talks about the way that the CIA's priorities have been forced to shift from general intelligence gathering to just kind of soothing Trump's ego, and retroactively justifying all of the man's random baseless instincts:

The revealing and most disconcerting aspect of this episode was not that Pompeo presumed the worst from his workforce before getting the full story, nor his vicious dressing down of a dedicated senior official and decorated officer.

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CIA Director Gina Haspel heads to Turkey for Jamal Khashoggi investigation

Gina Haspel, the director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, is reported to be traveling to Turkey late Monday to assist in “an investigation” over the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Read the rest

Senate confirms Trump's pick Gina Haspel to lead CIA. Here are the 6 Democrats who voted 'yes' for torture.

What's a little harsh interrogation between friends? President Donald Trump's pick Gina Haspel was today voted in by the Senate as the new head of the CIA, despite playing a key part in post-9/11 torture programs under President George W. Bush.

Her role in destroying the CIA's damning torture tapes in earlier years makes her the perfect spy boss for Trump, the President for whom force, secrecy, and lies are solutions to every problem. Read the rest

Haspel now likely to get CIA boss confirmation. Thanks, Democratic senators. You had one job.

The psyopsing worked.

Gina Haspel now appears to have secured enough votes to be confirmed as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, after two additional Senate Democrats today announced they will vote for her. Read the rest

The CIA is psyopsing America to help torturer Gina Haspel get the job of CIA boss

Gina Haspel is the evidence-destroying torturer whose Senate confirmation hearings for CIA chief were so frightening to her that she tried to bow out of them (she went, and bullshitted her way through). Read the rest

CIA & Army veteran has the best response to Gina Haspel confirmation obfuscation

David Chasteen is a veteran of the CIA, who has also served in combat with the United States Army in Iraq, and elsewhere. Read the rest