Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Knives Out

"I hear all the paranoid discussions
Trying to distract me from my functions
But I don't care what they say
I'm not afraid of the Russians"

It seems like every day now more signs emerge that the ongoing cold war among American power elites will inevitably turn hot at some point. As I'm sure many of you are aware, the CIA has come out and accused Russia of intervening in US elections in a bid to get The Donald elected. Not to be out done, The Donald fired back, questioning the credibility of the CIA after the Agency's total intelligence failure concerning WMDs in Iraq. Pundits now worried that Trump and the CIA are on a "collision course" as the FBI entered the fray, questioning the conclusions of their longtime rival.

While the knives coming out was probably unavoidable, the timing begs the question: what spurred the sudden CIA attack on Trump? Effectively accusing the president-elect of being in league with the Russians is provocative, to say the least, for an agency that prefers to stay in the shadows. This researcher suspects that this attack was spurred in part by another cabinet nominee that was leaked the same weekend the CIA accusations surfaced: potential Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson's name surfaced at a time when lawmakers already seemed poised to go on the attack at the prospect of General David Petraeus being given the nod. Nominally this was chalked up to the militarization of Trump's cabinet, but I suspect that the real objections centered upon the old boys network at the State Department feeling threatened. It is an open secret that the State Department has been dominated (some would say almost totally controlled) by the infamous Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Atlanticist-centric foreign policy think tank that was established as part of the British Round Table network, for decades now. Typically a budding Secretary of State is groomed for such a position, initially in the Ivy Leagues, and later in one of the major foreign policy think tanks such as the CFR or Brookings.

General David Petraeus was very much of this world. He has attended Princeton and Georgetown at different points in his life and is a member of the CFR. Still, Petraeus is perceived is being far more hawkish than many individuals from such a background. It is important to remember that Petraeus was not born into this world, however, but was admitted into it after working his way up through the military. A career military men, Petraeus belonged to the Pentagon long before before he made more prestigious inroads. His conflicts with the CIA while serving as the Agency's director (noted before here) indicate that his foreign policy aims were not in keeping with those of his peers.

General David Petraeus
But if Petraeus's potential nomination was blocked because of his outsider stance, then Trump has really thrown down the gauntlet with Exxon CEO Tillerson. Tillerson has never attended the Ivy League and while having addressed the CFR before, does not appear to have ever been a member. He does, however, belong to one prominent foreign policy think tank linked to the Ivy League: the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), long based out of Georgetown (a school especially known for grooming national security hawks). The CSIS has long had a curious composition:
"The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), formerly based at Georgetown University in Washington, appears to be the leading contender for the super-think tank of the post-Reagan period. CSIS is a prime link between Rollnet operatives, neoconservative policymakers, and conservative realists. Most of CSIS's initial money came from such right-wing funders as Richard Scaife and Justin Dart. Former CIA officer and Rollnet activist Ray Clines resides at CSIS. Rollnet and Contragate actor Michael Ledeen also works there. Most recently CSIS has attracted more prominent foreign-policy experts, including neoconservative Jeane Kirkpatrick and hardline 'realists' Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and ex-Rand analyst James Schlesinger. CSIS sponsors hundreds of seminars and congressional study groups for administration and congressional staffers, and had 4,100 contacts with the press in 1985. CSIS publishes The Washington Quarterly, which has gained significant influence in foreign policy circles. CSIS mixes right-wing and traditional conservative funds, getting its $8.7 million budget from both Richard Scaife and from the Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie foundations."
(Rollback, Thomas Bodenheimer & Robert Gould, pg. 184)
The presence of Kissinger and Brzezinski, two long time Rockefeller agents, indicates the CFR had some sway at the CSIS, but its origins resided more with the old American Security Council (ASC, addressed at length here)/World Anti-Communist League (WACL, addressed here)/Le Cercle (addressed here) network than their counterparts with the CFR, Trilateral Commission and Bilderberg. As was noted before here, Richard Mellon Scaife is a longtime backer of the far right while Ray Cline, the longtime executive director of CSIS, was also a key player in the WACL (noted before here). On the whole, the relationship between the CSIS and the CFR appears to be rather antagonistic:
"... Foreign-policy, where [American Enterprise Institute --Recluse] AEI and its affiliate, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSI as) at Georgetown, set themselves up in competition with such august bodies as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. CSIS also established The Washington Quarterly as a rival to Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. Writing in the New Republic Morton Kondracke speculated that: 'If the Trilateral administration should flop, it could be suceeded by one strongly influenced by Georgetown – headed by a mainstream Republican or perhaps, by a Democrat such as Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.' Henry Kissinger's decision to domicile himself at CSIS and to become a part of AEI was perhaps indicative of capitulation by the Trilateral Commission itself, giving Kissinger's close relationship with David Rockefeller, the Commission's patron.
"CSIS's director Ray Cline, a CPD member and former deputy director of the CIA, was a harsh critic of Kissinger during his detente-years, as were many in the Georgetown CPD-CDM stronghold..."
(Peddlers of Crisis, Jerry Sanders, pg. 221)

Thus the CSIS appears to be more moderate and closer to the CFR/Eastern Establishment clique than other think tanks that emerged out of the old ASC network such as the Heritage Foundation, the Center for Security Policy and the Council for National Policy, but it does seem to very much have its origins in said network and was always far more beholden to the national security apparatus than the financial interests behind the CFR and related think tanks.

This is certainly not the standard background for a budding Secretary of State. But even more striking, however, is the hostility that Tillerson has drawn from the Rockefeller family. Back in 2008, when the Rockefeller family was pushing Exxon to acknowledge climate change and pursue alternative energy, Tillerson's position with the company also came under assault. At the time The New York Times noted:
"The family members have thrown their support behind a shareholder rebellion that is ruffling feathers at Exxon Mobil, the giant oil company descended from John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust.
"Three of the resolutions, to be voted on at the company’s shareholder meeting on Wednesday, are considered unlikely to pass, even with Rockefeller family support...
"One resolution would urge the company to study the impact of global warming on poor countries, another would encourage Exxon to reduce its emissions and a third would encourage it to do more research on renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines.
"A fourth resolution, which the Rockefellers are most united in supporting, is considered more likely to pass. It would strip Rex W. Tillerson of his position as chairman of Exxon’s board, forcing the company to separate that job from the chief executive’s job.
"A shareholder vote in favor of that idea would be a rebuke of Mr. Tillerson, who is widely perceived as more resistant than other oil chieftains to investing in alternative energy...
"Fifteen members of the family are sponsoring or co-sponsoring the four resolutions, but it appears that some have much more solid support in the sprawling family than others. 
"Mr. O’Neill said that 73 out of 78 adult descendants of John D. Rockefeller were supporting the family effort to divide the chief executive and chairman positions. The goal of that resolution is to improve the management of the company, which could strengthen its environmental policies and improve more traditional pursuits like exploring more aggressively for new oil reserves.
"David Rockefeller, retired chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank and patriarch of the family, issued a statement saying, 'I support my family’s efforts to sharpen Exxon Mobil’s focus on the environmental crisis facing all of us.' "
David Rockefeller 
Despite the considerable push from the Rockefeller family, Tillerson was able to weather the storm. He would continue to serve as Exxon's chairman of the board and CEO for these past eight years and is now poised to enter the public sector as Secretary of State. He was also able to hold the fort on Exxon's efforts to develop alternative energy as well.

The bad blood between Exxon and the Rockefellers would continue, resulting in the family totally dumping its Exxon shares in 2016 and escalating their public relations campaign against the oil giant:
"Descendants of John D. Rockefeller sold their Exxon Mobil Corp. stock and plan to dump all other fossil-fuel investments in the latest move against the industry that made their fortune.
"The Rockefeller Family Fund concluded there’s “no sane rationale” for companies to explore for oil as governments contemplate cracking down on carbon emissions, according to a statement on the website of the New York-based philanthropic foundation Wednesday.
"The fund singled out Exxon, the world’s biggest oil explorer by market value, for what it called 'morally reprehensible conduct,' a reference to a series of articles last year by InsideClimate News that alleged the oil titan knew about global warming as far back as the 1970s and sought to hide what it knew from investors, policymakers and the public. The Rockefeller Family Fund and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund both are listed as financial backers of InsideClimate News on its website."
Not to be out done, Exxon has gone on the war path against the Rockefellers in recent months. The New York Times notes:
"Exxon Mobil, under fire over its past efforts to undercut climate science, is accusing the Rockefeller family of masterminding a conspiracy against it. Yes, that Rockefeller family...
"But the oil and gas giant has directed some of its fiercest fire at the descendants of John D. Rockefeller, who in 1870 founded Standard Oil, the company that became Exxon Mobil. Rockefeller family charities, longtime backers of environmental causes, have supported much of the research and reporting that has called the company to account for its climate policies, and Exxon Mobil is crying foul...
"The company is attacking the role of the Rockefeller family in encouraging, and in some cases bankrolling, the investigations and campaigns against it. Both journalism organizations that investigated the company were financed, at least in part, by Rockefeller philanthropies, though the organizations say that their donors have no control over what they write.
"The Rockefeller funds have also provided support to groups like Greenpeace and 350.org that have investigated and criticized the company.
"A conference in January to discuss activism and education efforts surrounding Exxon Mobil’s climate work was held at the offices shared by two Rockefeller family funds. One potential subject of discussion suggested by a participant was 'to establish in public’s mind that Exxon is a corrupt institution that has pushed humanity (and all creation) toward climate chaos and grave harm.' 
"Alan Jeffers, an Exxon Mobil spokesman, said in an interview, 'At every turn, as we saw the company coming under attack, there was a link back to either the Rockefeller Brothers Fund or the Rockefeller Family Fund.'..
"The company and its allies have turned up the heat on its founding family and other opponents.
"Industry-backed policy groups like Energy in Depth generate stories that attack the family and its philanthropy. Their charges are echoed in conservative news outlets like The Wall Street Journal's opinion page and The Daily Caller. Breitbart News has called the collaboration among environmental groups to urge the investigation of Exxon a 'RICO conspiracy,' using the acronym for the federal racketeering law, and the industry-oriented site Natural Gas Now published an article declaring, 'It’s time to RICO the Rockefellers.'..
"Exxon Mobil has also pulled the Rockefeller philanthropies into its legal battles against the attorneys general investigating it, sending the groups a subpoena demanding documents and communications related to their activism. 
"The Rockefeller funds have also received subpoenas from another friend of Exxon Mobil, the chairman of the House Science Committee, Rep. Lamar S. Smith, a Texas Republican. Mr. Smith has harshly criticized the attorneys general over their investigations, and has accused the Rockefeller funds of taking part in 'a coordinated effort to deprive companies, nonprofit organizations and scientists of their First Amendment rights and ability to fund and conduct scientific research free from intimidation and threats of prosecution.' "
Rex Tillerson
Effectively then under Tillerson's tenure as Exxon CEO he's faced an assault by the Rockefellers on his position, has faced a protracted propaganda campaign launched against his company by their very well-funded NGOs, the dumping of his stock by these NGOs and has now even launched a legal assault against said NGOs. It would certainly appear as though Tillerson has been engaged in a full scale war against the Rockefeller family, one in which he has been holding his own.

And this is the man Trump has tapped to take over the State Department, a longtime fiefdom of the Rockefeller family and the CFR clique surrounding them. This is clearly an affront to the longtime rulers of State. While Tillerson appears to be as staunch a free trader as anyone who has spoken before the CFR (and a TPP supporter to boot), he has also been a longtime climate change initiative foe and has very close ties to Putin. His appointment signals that two would-be wars State has been promoting --against climate change and Russia --are on hold with this appointment.

Nor is Tillerson the only shot across the bow heading to State. Tillerson will likely be joined in State by arch neocon John Bolton as the Deputy Secretary of State and Mike Pompeo as Director of the CIA. While Pompeo has some ties to the Ivy League, he also entered after an extended service in the military and his political patronage has largely derived from another energy giant: Koch Industries (noted before here).

John Bolton (top) and Mike Pompeo (bottom)
In this context then it is hardly surprising that the hierarchy of the CIA is openly playing the Russian card against Trump. After all, it appears as though CFR control of the State Department is under a full scale assault by The Donald.

Where the nation goes from here is difficult to say, but this researcher believes that the current hoopla over the Electoral College and the recounts will prove to be much ado about nothing. As to the latter, the Democratic Party has good reason to be weary of recount as evidence has already emerged that they were involved in fraud as well. Currently they have the moral high ground by winning the popular vote and they are not going to put that in question.

As to the former, this researcher does not believe the forces opposing Trump are willing to risk that type of confrontation at this point. The Donald clearly has the support of the military and the FBI, as well as the vast majority of the police forces in this country. As such, any type of open coup at this point would almost inevitably fail.

the police love them some Donald
Same may believe that the accusations of Russian intervention in the presidential election are another bid to force Trump to take a more hawkish stance against Putin, but the Tillerson pick indicates that The Donald is digging in on this point. If Tillerson's nomination is later within drawn in favor a more acceptable (i.e. anti-Russian) pick such as Mitt Romney, then Trump may well have capitulated. But clearly that is not the case right now.

At this point, the major hope of the Rockefellers and their allies is to make these United States ungovernable. The infrastructure for the kind of mass civil unrest needed to accomplish such an aim is already in place with "activist" movements such as Black Lives Matter (which has been extensively bankrolled by the "liberal" faction of the CIA) And in the long run the flap over the recounts, the Electoral College and the pathetic attempts by the CIA to claim that the Russians stole the election for Trump only serves this purpose by putting the legitimacy of Trump's presidency in further question. Already we see anti-Trump protests and movements springing up literally over night while the MSM encourages Democrats to refuse to pay taxes in protest of the legitimacy of the elections.

Trump seems to realize that he is facing a full on Color Revolution emerging against him and has acted accordingly. The great Christopher Knowles has described Trump's nominees as a "War Cabinet" and this is as apt a description as any. With military men set to hold key positions such as National Security Advisor, Secretary of Defense, Director of National Intelligence, Director of the CIA and especially Secretary of Homeland Security (which oversees many federal law enforcement agencies and works closely with police forces across the country), Trump is clearly developing a siege-like mentality. The war drums are rumbling.


  1. "At this point, the major hope of the Rockefellers and their allies is to make these United States ungovernable."

    I wish they wouldn't... don't they see the entire framework that's already been put in place to squash such civil unrest? Do they really think the Republicans, Neocons, and the Christian Right would hesitate to do so?

    I don't. What would emerge from that chaos would be even worse than their worst nightmare.

    1. AW-

      I think a lot of it boils down to desperation. Rockefeller-style globalism is thoroughly discredited at this point, despite what Davos may think. I doubt old man Rockefeller is this oblivious, which may explain why Kissinger was tried to cozy up to Trump.

      But in the end, the only real card they have to play is war. Whether it is a world war or simply a civil war seems to be the only real question at this point.


  2. that captioned photo - why do people keep calling it "marshall" law? can't anyone spell? its MARTIAL law as in Latin derived term for military/war relevant.

  3. Thank you for this detailed and insightful article. I found it valuable to understand some of the historical context. To me, your perspective on the deep state factional war that this recent series of "moves in the game" indicates is spot on.

  4. Something's niggling in the back of my head. The Electoral college hoopla may amount to nothing, but Obama just ordered a 'formal review' by the Intelligence Community regarding alleged Russian interference, due (quite intentionally) on Jan 20th, inauguration day. And if they push the report up until that date & Congress still has to sort through it?

    Apparently "If the President-elect fails to qualify before inauguration, Section 3 of the 20th Amendment states that the Vice President-elect will act as President until such a time as a President has qualified."

    This is the Mike Pence who considers Chuck Colson "a dear friend and mentor." Colson, whom Jeremy Scahill called "Erik Prince's close friend, political collaborator, and beneficiary" (Blackwater, p94), was also a long-time Family member & counted Doug Coe as his own mentor. Erik Prince has also financially contributed to Mike Pence's political campaigns (ibid, p77; how many of the other politicians listed are Family? I counted at least 3).

    Jeff Sharlet states that Mike Pence "has the ideological makeup of Ted Cruz. He just doesn't have the visible venom." Sharlet also observes "One of the ones that I’m interested in is the Fellowship Foundation, sometimes called The Family or C Street. Viewers may remember that back in 2009, 2010, a number of congressional hopefuls—or, I’m sorry, presidential hopefuls—Mark Sanford, Senator John Ensign—were all caught up in affairs that were covered up by this evangelical organization. Mike Pence has been moving in those circles for a long time, using the National Prayer Breakfast, their annual event, as a kind of a backroom lobbying place for him. That’s his foreign policy experience, his meeting with delegations from other countries that are looking to do business with America, often in terms of military funding, and they are going to do that under the cloak of prayer. And Pence has been a really skillful operator in that sense. And I think that’s why he’s liked by conservatives, because he is this moral zealot in the vein of Ted Cruz, but he’s also an operator. He’s also a man who cuts deals. And I think there’s that question of, is he a hypocrite, or is he a true believer? And I think the answer is, yes, he is both, absolutely. And that’s what makes him a potent force."

    1. AW-

      I definitely think that Pence would be more acceptable to the various ruling factions on the whole, despite the fact that he may be even more dangerous than Trump. The Donald is many things, but not a religious extremist. But hey, Pence seems more "presidential."

      Is it really a surprise that Trump has been his own security force for protection as much as the secret service?


  5. Here's my niggling concern: Mike Pence is accurately described by Scahill as "a loud proponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership until he joined Trump on the ticket".

    Exactly how much money does the Rockefeller family stand to lose if the TPP falls through & would they be content with (or even in complete agreement with the libertarian/neoliberal views of) an acting-President Pence if he indeed plans to push the TPP through?

    That's quite a sobering prospect, as it would mean the coming full circle of the 1994 Republican Revolution & the realization of Family/Fellowship's goal of what Bruce Wilson accurately described as "the power of revolutionary cell groups bound together by fanatic loyalty and loosely connected through such networks as The Fellowship, and events like the National Prayer Breakfast and The Gathering, to impose The Fellowship's agenda on entire nations.

    "The model ? It fuses radical economic privatization with coercive fundamentalist morality imposed by the state upon subject populations; Biblical capitalism."

    ...the exact same goal of Erik Prince and family.

    [disclaimer on Scahill's bias, though I fully appreciated his expose on JSOC in Dirty Wars, it did not escape my attention that the CIA came out smelling like roses.]





    1. Sounds like you should be happy that Trump is keeping his own bodyguards as well as those afforded to him by the state.

    2. As another astute commenter noted a few posts back, I think Trump is aware that he's expendable and there are plent of folks who would be much happier to see Pence in place of him.

      And while I don't wish harm on anyone, I'm hardly a Trump fan. I doubt they'll resort to open elimination when they can just mire everything down in the New Red Scare, and perhaps still get their goal.