William Burns at the CIA… What to expect?

“For the past 40 years, incoming presidents have typically made the choice of director of the Central Intelligence Agency their last selection.  These choices have been mediocre for the most part, which helps to explain the current crisis of credibility and integrity that confronts the CIA.”

Melvin Goodman — Former CIA analyst (1966-1990)

March 26 2021 — On March 18 2021, William J. Burns was confirmed by a unanimous vote in the Senate to become CIA director. According to MSM, Burns is the first former diplomat to hold the job. And many believe that he is a sterling choice. Really? Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: On This Day — CBS Dan Rather and Vice President George Bush Clash Over Iran-contra Affair (January 25 1988) [UPDATE: CIA William Burns : Between Diplomacy and Necessity]

“William J. Burns’ appointment offers little more than an image makeover for the agency. As a diplomat, Burns supported U.S. military interventions in Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria and is now stoking the coals against Russia and China.”

Jeremy Kuzmarov — Managing Editor of CovertAction Magazine

The First Diplomat to Head the CIA?

So, we are told by MSM that, for the first time ever, a diplomat is about to become the CIA Director.

That is of course true, and not true… (I never thought I would write something so similar to these unforgettable words of Rudy Giuliani: “Truth isn’t truth!”)

Everyone is aware that Vladimir Putin is a former KGB officer. But few happen to know that George H. W. Bush had been the CIA Director prior to becoming the US president.

Upon his ascension to the presidency following Nixon’s resignation on August 9 1974, Gerald Ford considered George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Nelson Rockefeller for the vacant position of vice president.

Ford ultimately chose Nelson Rockefeller, partly because of the publication of a news report claiming that Bush’s 1970 campaign had benefited from a secret fund set up by Nixon.

Nevertheless, Bush accepted an appointment as Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in the People’s Republic of China, making him the ‘de facto’ ambassador to China.

Then, on January 30, 1976, Ford replaced CIA director William E. Colby with George H. W. Bush.

And the first person to congratulate him for his ‘promotion’ was none other than Mao Tse-tung, the founder of the People’s Republic of China. Life is funny, or what?

“Even Barack Obama’s appointments to the CIA included Leon Panetta, who was instrumental in denigrating the Office of the Inspector General, which is essential to oversight, and John Brennan, who violated the separation of powers in compromising the Senate intelligence committee’s study of CIA’s torture and abuse program.”

A Sterling Choice?

Melvin Goodman, a former CIA analyst (1966-1990), asserted that Burns was a “sterling choice” to head the CIA.

“The selection of Burns will reverse the decades of lackluster and mediocre CIA directors, who often have been after-thoughts on the part of recent presidents who have hoped that nothing controversial would reach them from the CIA. 

The politicization of intelligence under former CIA leaders such as Robert M. Gates in the 1980s and George Tenet in the run up to the Iraq War will not happen under Burns. 

Hopefully, presidential misuse of CIA’s mandate for covert action, which received overly enthusiastic support from former leaders such as Richard Helms, William Colby, and William Casey will be challenged by Burns. 

The current CIA director, Gina Haspel, is best known for her support of the sadistic policy of torture and abuse, which would not have been given approval by Burns. 

Even Barack Obama’s appointments to the CIA included Leon Panetta, who was instrumental in denigrating the Office of the Inspector General, which is essential to oversight, and John Brennan, who violated the separation of powers in compromising the Senate intelligence committee’s study of CIA’s torture and abuse program.” [CounterPunch (Jan. 12 2021)]

“The agency will not be led by a political hack like Mike Pompeo, a CIA insider like John Brennan, or someone associated with the crimes of torture, secret prisons or international renditions like Gina Haspel. Instead it will be led by someone with experience engaging across a negotiating table with America’s enemies, someone experienced in solving problems, rather than creating new ones, someone who has dedicated much of his career to promoting peace, rather than to creating war.” — Former CIA officer John Kiriakou

Back Channel

Burns’s memoir — entitled The Back Channel (2019) — is filled with politicized disinformation and drivel.

An example is his blaming Libya’s former leader Muammar Qaddafi for the downing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988.

*** *** *** Lockerbie — Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…! *** *** ***

QUICK NOTES — To make it easier for the readers to retrieve various chapters of my book, I have created a special page  “Lockerbie” where all the links to the chapters will be listed with a brief description. You can access that page directly as it appears at the far right of the top bar of this blog.

*** *** *** Lockerbie — Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…! *** *** ***

Burns writes that,

“In all the hours I spent with [Qaddafi] and his lieutenants over four years, I never once forgot the blood on their hands.

One of the 259 innocent victims of the Pan Am 103 flight bombed by Libyan operatives was my friend Matthew Gannon, a CIA officer with whom I had served in Amman in the early 1980s.”

The official narrative of Pan Am Flight 103 has always been transparent nonsense. Either Burns believes such nonsense and he is a very naive fellow or else he knows full well the truth and thus he is a professional liar.

In his memoir, Burns demonizes Gaddafi for his request of an investigation into the assassinations of Patrice Lumumba, UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

Obviously, any reasonable person would welcome such investigation. But not William Burns… This attitude towards the truth is probably what truly qualifies him as head of the CIA.

Although I respect Melvin Goodman and John Kiriakou, I cannot share their optimism. At best, I expect business as usual. More fuck-ups and more lies…

 “Do not give too much heed to the drivel one finds in the books of diplomatist-authors.” — George Abel Schreiner

Dying of the Light (2014) – “I Resign!”

“You fucked this up like you fucked up everything else. You fucked up Iran-Contra, fucked up Ames, 9/11, WMD, Afghanistan, Iraq, Benghazi…

Not, you yourself of course! You are just the latest in a long line of fuck-ups who turned this agency into a cesspool of politics and special interests on behalf of weapons makers and the surveillance industry who get rich while we get weaker.”

REFERENCES

Dirty Business As Usual: New CIA Director Burns Confirmed by Unanimous Vote in Senate — Covert Action Magazine

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William Burns at the CIA… What to expect?

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