“What is the recent flap regarding Echelon and U.S. spying on European industries all about? We’ll begin with some candor from the American side. Yes, my continental European friends, we have spied on you. And it’s true that we use computers to sort through data by using keywords. Have you stopped to ask yourselves what we’re looking for? ”
James Woolsey — Former CIA Director
“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”
William Casey, CIA Director 1981-1987 (Attributed)
In this semi-serious series running the gamut of dramatic emotions, we shall look into obviously incorrect statements made by the current Director of the CIA. Some of these stories will make you laugh, others will make you upset. We hope that all will make you think. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
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LIE #1 — “We don’t do it to help American businesses”
“In America, we don’t do espionage for fun, although it often does bring joy and professional satisfaction. We don’t do it to help American businesses or to gain information about Americans.
No, in our Republic, the CIA’s espionage is aimed at the singular purpose of collecting foreign intelligence to keep America safe. Period. Full stop.”
Mike Pompeo — University of Texas Annual National Security Forum — October 12, 2017
Back in Paris in 1995, it would appear that everybody — CIA and DGSE — were having sex with their ‘targets’. What else do you do in Paris anyway?
“C.I.A. station chief in Paris, Dick Holm, kept the United States Ambassador to France, Pamela Harriman, in the dark about important aspects of his work.
Mr. Holm allowed an operative to carry on a love affair with the French official she was targeting, a decision that may have doomed the operation.
And his underlings, including the lovestruck spy, made serious blunders that led to an international embarrassment.”
And just in case you wonder: what was the purpose of this operation anyway? Truth being told, it was not about nuclear weapons, missile technology or terrorism. In fact, it had nothing to do with US National Security.
In the French operation, the CIA was, in effect, spying for Hollywood. The purpose of the mission was to determine the strength of the French bargaining position in television and telecommunications trade negotiations. The United States was opposed to French demands to restrict imports of U.S. television programming into Europe.
Why the CIA Spies on European Businesses
Let us get real. The CIA does spy on European businesses. Instead of lying about it as Pompeo does — which can only ruin the little bit of credibility he has left — it would be far more useful to acknowledge the fact and honestly discuss the reasons.
To his credit, on March 17 2000, former CIA Director James Woolsey opened the door to such a serious debate in a thoughtful piece published in the Wall Street Journal.
According to Woolsey, the CIA does — of course — spy on European Businesses but rarely does so, if ever, to steal trade secrets.
Instead, Woolsey argues that the goal of these CIA missions is to tackle bribery and to control the export of dual-use technology.
Now, one can agree or disagree with such premises. But at least, Woolsey provides the basis for a serious discussion between grown-ups. Pompeo’s lie does not.
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo at the University of Texas Annual National Security Forum — October 12, 2017
Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be in Texas, and a privilege to be with you here at UT Austin. I very much look forward to our conversation today with Stephen Slick and to taking your questions.
Espionage—the art and science of running assets and stealing secrets. This professional activity is at the heart of the organization I am now privileged to lead.
In America, we don’t do espionage for fun, although it often does bring joy and professional satisfaction. We don’t do it to help American businesses or to gain information about Americans.
No, in our Republic, the CIA’s espionage is aimed at the singular purpose of collecting foreign intelligence to keep America safe. Period. Full stop. (…)
The statement is made after the 6’55 mark.
Lie # 1
C.I.A. Confirms Blunders During Economic Spying on France — NYT
Why We Spy on Our Allies by R. James Woolsey — The Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2000
CIA Director Mike Pompeo Top 10 Lies — #1 : “We don’t do it to help American businesses.”