Stephen produced a separate video from our conversation last Wednesday that focused on the CIA and on Hunter Biden. He started off asking me to comment on the following news item:
U.S. CIA Director William Burns said on Saturday that disaffection in Russia with the war in Ukraine was a once-in-a-generation opportunity to recruit spies – and that his agency was not letting it go to waste.
“Disaffection with the war will continue to gnaw away at the Russian leadership beneath the steady diet of state propaganda and practiced repression,” Burns, a former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, said in a lecture to Britain’s Ditchley Foundation in Oxfordshire, England.
Egads!!! Why announce this in public? (And yes, in the video I call Burns a moron.) Burn’s apparently has never played poker and is unfamiliar with the concept of keeping one’s cards close to one’s vest. In other words, don’t show your damn hand.
The Russians either are laughing uproariously or shaking their heads in disbelief in listening to this diplomat turned spy master reveal himself as a rank amateur. Russian “disaffection” with the war? The public opinion polls in Russia show the opposite to be the case. So does this mean that the CIA analysts are lying to Burns or is he refusing to read the information that is readily available in public? Either way, it is not a good look.
If you are inclined to think this was just a “one – off “mistake, think again. Burns also trumpeted the CIA’s alleged success in re-building a bungled spy network in China during an interview with NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly at the Aspen Security Forum last week:
“About a decade ago, China rolled up a lot of CIA operations in China. A dozen or more CIA sources were arrested or executed. Have you rebuilt?,” said Mary Louise Kelly, co-host of All Things Considered.
“We’ve made progress and we’re working very hard over recent years to ensure that we have a strong human intelligence capability to complement what we can acquire through other methods um on the Cyber front the recent,” said William Burns, director of the CIA.
For the love of God man! You don’t talk about Fight Club:
It is one thing to talk about the history of the CIA and activities with people who are long dead. But Burn’s comments about current operations is likely to spur counter-intelligence efforts by the Russians and the Chinese and dissuade potential foreign spies from putting their lives in the hands of a CIA led by such an incompetent.
Here is my chat with Stephen: