Thus far, 2021 has not disappointed. It has already outdone 2020 by this time last year in sheer skullduggery. The New Year got off with a preverbal bang via the bizarre LARP/coup of 1/6/21. About all that is certain at this point is that it was another deep event, along the lines of Watergate, and will thus probably take years (if not decades) to untangle this particular web. Still, there have already been some interesting tidbits that have been strategically leaked.
At the forefront is a recent piece from Vanity Fair detailing the final, chaotic weeks at Trump's Pentagon. This is a fascinating article on several levels. First up is the journalist behind it: Adam Ciralsky. On the one hand, Ciralsky is a former CIA officer, which should always raise red flags. But in this case, it's especially odd. Trump's final Secretary of Defense, veteran special operator Christopher C. Miller, was keen on escalating the longstanding tensions between the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and the CIA during his few months in office.
And yet Miller gave Ciralsky unfettered access to himself and his staff during his final weeks in office. Miller and his top aides even wore microphones during their last week in office for Ciralsky's story. It seems rather odd that Miller would give an ex-CIA officer this kind of access when he was effectively trying to cut the CIA out of the covert operations racket.
Zionism and the Prince
But Ciralsky's bio is a very interesting one. Not only is he a former CIA officer, but one who was engaged in a lawsuit against the Agency for over a decade. Specifically, Ciralsky alleges that he was drummed out of the Company over anti-Semitism. In fairness, Ciralsky is related to Chaim Weizmann, Israel's first president and a Zionist, and surely supports both to some extent. In particular, the CIA appears to have had concerns over Ciralsky's ties to Israeli intelligence during the Clinton era.
Thus, it is fair to question just how loyal Ciralsky was/is to the CIA. Certainly the Company did not appear to have a lot of confidence in that regard back in the 1990s. And it's unlikely the relationship has improved after Ciralsky managed to get former CIA director George Tenet to acknowledge anti-Semitism within the CIA during a deposition in 2010.
2010 brings up another interesting aspect of Ciralsky's career that his Wiki page does not mention: his ties to Blackwater founder Erik Prince. When exactly this relationship began is unknown, but in 2010 Ciralsky published a celebrated piece concerning Prince's career with Vanity Fair. Currently, a movie is in the work's about Prince's life that will be based off of Ciralsky's Vanity Fair story and Prince's own autobiography. This no doubt looked like a plush deal when the project was announced in 2019, before the film industry went completely into the shitter.
As with Miller, Prince gave Ciralsky unprecedented access, and even acknowledged the covert work his private military company did for the CIA during the Bush II years. This came at a time when Prince was being cut out of CIA work (but not work for JSOC) while simultaneously having to worry about potential lawsuits after the Obama administration took office. The great Jeremy Scahill suggested that Ciralsky's Prince article constituted a form of "graymailing." Graymailing occurs when a former intelligence/military officer or asset, who is either facing prosecution or believes that they soon will, threatens to reveal classified or sensitive operations in order to ward off charges. Ciralsky, who is himself a lawyer, would have been an idea candidate to assist Prince in these efforts via the media.
It does not appear that the relationship between Ciralsky and Prince ended after the Vanity Fair piece either. According to Robert Young Pelton, author of Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror and a former business partner of Prince, Ciralsky was hired by Prince in 2010, apparently to the tune of $20k per month.
So, Ciralsky appears to have had a special relationship with Prince that stretches back to at least 2009, when the Vanity Fair piece started coming together. Ciralsky has been accused of having a close relationship with Israel, as has Prince. And finally, both men have butted heads with the CIA. Keep all of this in mind as we finally delve into Ciralsky's article.
Besides Miller, two other alleged Trump loyalists in the DoD are also profiled. They are Kash Patel, who became Miller's chief of staff during the final months of Trump's regime; and are old friend Ezra Cohen-Watnik. ECW is a fascinating figure we've been following a bit here recently. He's a close ally of Michael T. Flynn and has been accused of involvement in QAnon for years now. Indeed, it's possible that Flynn (and his old buddy, Stanley McChrystal) were the ones behind the Q operation. Naturally, ECW is quick to denounce QAnon and his alleged links to it in the Ciralsky piece. It probably helped that he had a sympathetic interviewer.
The thing is, both Flynn and Ciralsky's old/current boss, Erik Prince, were part of the broader Cambridge Analytica network that brought Trump to power in the first place. That should put some perspective on what a puff piece this is, as effectively it's an article written by a lackey of the broader Cambridge/JSOC network profiling members of this network. Israel is also well represented in this network via the Israeli private intelligence firms Black Cube and Psy Group. The former shared the same financial backers as Cambridge while the latter directly worked with Cambridge. This whole network is rather incestuous, to put it mildly.
And be assured, ECW isn't the only one in the club. Patel cut his national security teeth while working as an attorney of JSOC during the middle of the past decade.
And SecDef Miller? Well, that brings up the most interesting disclosure in Ciralsky's article. The journalist covers the standard biographical details about Miller's background in Special Forces, then causally mentions he had served in "Task Force Orange." This is very curious of Ciralsky.
You see, "Task Force Orange" was the original name for what is commonly referred to now as the "Intelligence Support Activity" (ISA), or simply "The Activity." The ISA is one of the most elite and secretive intelligence outfits in the entire national security apparatus. Among other things, it's JSOC's principal intelligence service. ISA members are frequently recruited from the ranks of the Green Berets, making Miller's background fairly typical of these types of operators. "Incidentally," another of the names used by the ISA is the "Army of Northern Virginia," which was also said to be the name of the group of military intelligence officer overseeing QAnon.
|the emblem of ISA|
An observation: this seems to confirm my suspicions that the ascension of Miller to SecDef effectively amounted to a stealth takeover of the DoD by JSOC/US Special Operations Command. Miller, Patel, and ECW were the triumvirate behind the DoD during Trump's final months in office. Both Miller and Patel were directly involved with JSOC while ECW is a protégé of Flynn, who oversaw intelligence during McChrystal's tenure heading JSOC. And even the "journalist" embedded with these three men is a former/current employee of Erik Prince, a long time contractor for JSOC.
Essentially, then, the Vanity Fair piece appears to be JSOC's spin on the final weeks of the Trump presidency. In that context, the spin makes perfect sense. Trump is depicted as unhinged and complicit in the events of 1/6/21. Miller, for instance, reveals how the president insisted that extra National Guardsmen be deployed to the capital the day prior to the storming, implying foreknowledge. Miller goes on to insist that he had prior authorization from Trump to deploy troops on the 6th, while noting Vice-President Mike Pence had vigorously supported the US of the military on that day (and while Trump was nowhere to be found).
The money quote, however, comes from ECW, who sniveled: “The president threw us under the bus. And when I say ‘us,’ I don’t mean only us political appointees or only us Republicans. He threw America under the bus. He caused a lot of damage to the fabric of this country. Did he go and storm the Capitol himself? No. But he, I believe, had an opportunity to tamp things down and he chose not to. And that’s really the fatal flaw. I mean, he’s in charge. And when you’re in charge, you’re responsible for what goes wrong.”
ECW is quick to throw the Q bots under the bus as well, referring to them as "dangerous people that did the horrible, antidemocratic behavior with the Capitol." If Ciralsky ever asked ECW about the allegations of his old boss, Michael Flynn, and his role in Q, it didn't make it's way into the Vanity Fair piece. What did make it's why in there was Ciralsky drinking the Kool-Aid. While touring military bases across the country with Miller, this was supposedly his state of mind: "Exactly a week after the Capitol attack, as I sat inside STRATCOM—whose mission is to deter and, if necessary, annihilate America’s foreign adversaries—it was not lost on me that we had become a nation under threat from within."
Miller, Patel, and ECW ultimately come off, if not exactly as heroic, as honorable. They did their best to hold an unstable president at bay while preserving American democracy, or some such shit. Maybe they had been Trump loyalist up until Jan 6th, but when push came to shove, they did their duty for democracy.
This provides Ciralsky with perfect cover to allow these officials to rail against the Department of Defense at the conclusion of his article. Miller describes it as "rotten" and bemoans the breakdown in civilian authority over the military. He describes members of Congress as "idolizing and fetishizing" the top brass, which has enabled the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) to run amok.
Not be outdone, ECW proclaims "We're in a crisis mode." He then accuses the JCS of creating "security compartments" for the purposes of hiding operational planning details from their civilian minders in the Pentagon. Miller echoes these sentiments, while also including the "intelligence community" (a likely dig at the CIA) as being entangled in these compartments as well.
If it isn't clear to you already, I'll spell it out: Besides a propaganda piece, Ciralsky is doing the same thing he did last time a Democratic regime was assuming office: help several of the more controversial members of the old guard graymail the incoming administration. In this case, what this particular triumvirate knows is surely juicy.
Keep in mind, the Joint Chiefs are still largely dominated by the conventional forces. Conversely, there can be little doubt now that the triumvirate ruling the Pentagon in the final months of Trump's presidency was drawn from the ranks of the special operations and military intelligence communities, both of which have historically been underrepresented in the JCS. Given the venom Miller and company display towards the JCS, one is left wondering just how close the nation game to full blown gun battle among the Armed Forces.
|JSOC vs JCS?|
As incredible as this may sound, it's hardly without precedent in a modern Western democracy. In 1961, a military coup was attempted against De Gaulle in France. In that case, the putschists were almost entirely from the ranks of special operations forces and/or military intelligence. The conventional forces remained overwhelmingly loyal to De Gaulle, which no doubt helped the aging general remain in power.
How close were we to seeing a reenactment of that here? We'll probably never know, but I suspect close enough to make certain quarters nervous. Since Trump won the 2016 election, I've noted much of his support in national security circles has come from the Joint Special Operations Command and fellow travelers. Trump represented a kind of coming out party for JSOC, revealing that it has became a major player in the Great Game. It managed to prevail in the 2016 election and get their guy in office. The Joint Chiefs and the CIA may have prevailed in 2020, but JSOC made major gains: the Special Operations Command has effectively been made it's own branch of the Armed Forces, on par with the Army, Navy, Air Force, etc. And soon, the CIA may be losing it's access to elite forces. Some are trying to spin this as a win for the CIA, enabling to refocus their efforts on Great Powers, but no one seems to dispute this will seriously hinder, if not cripple, their paramilitary capabilities.
|For more on the coup against De Gaulle, the rise of JSOC, and it's rivalry with the CIA, be sure to check out my debut book, where these issues are addressed at length|
And then there's the whole QAnon thing. General Flynn is still at it. Elsewhere, his good friend and former JSOC head Stanley McChrsystal has compared the 1/6/21 LARPers to al-Qaeda, thus implying American has a budding insurgency that needs combating.
Which is funny, because besides being America's premier counterterrorism force, JSOC is also it's principal counterinsurgency force as well. So yeah, it's interesting that Flynn and McChrystal, seem to be manufacturing a domestic insurgency and advocating more vigorous action against it, respectively. Flynn and McChrystal are both lifelong Democrats and military men who were drummed out of the service and disgraced during the Obama/Biden years. As such, the loyalty of either to a political ideology is probably secondary to what they created in JSOC during the Naughts at this point.
And with that I shall wrap up for now dear readers. I will hopefully be able to cover how some of these developments will play out in the Biden regime in the near future. Until then, stay tuned.