Former CIA Operative Unloads on Brennan and Politicized IC

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had former CIA operative and leader of CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center’s WMD unit, author of the must-read and highly relevant 2009 book Beyond Repair: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and outspoken critic of the politicized leadership in America’s intelligence and national security apparatus, Charles Sam Faddis on to discuss among other things:

  • Why Faddis supports revoking John Brennan’s security clearance — and the bureaucratization and politicization of the leadership of the intelligence community versus the rank-and-file analysts and operatives in the field
  • Whether politics dominates over merit in the ranks of intelligence and the national security apparatus more broadly
  • What members of the national security establishment really mean when they talk about “protecting the institutions
  • Why President Trump has been deemed a threat to the power of the political leaders within the national security establishment in a qualitatively different way than any of his predecessors — and that’s a positive thing
  • What Faddis would do to reform intelligence
  • The poor state of America’s counterintelligence capabilities
  • The lessons of Iraq regarding U.S. intervention and the national interest
  • Whether America has the capability to use intelligence to engage in ideological warfare and bring down Iran’s Khomeinist regime
  • How China’s liquidation of our spy network reflects the problems plaguing America’s intelligence apparatus
  • The long-term dire ramifications of China’s OPM hack
  • The implications of China’s attempt to infiltrate Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office
  • The threat to the U.S. homeland of a collapsing Venezuela and Mexico, combined with drug cartels, organized crime groups and Hezbollah in our hemisphere
  • Faddis’ optimistic assessment of the Trump administration’s North Korea policy
  • Why China poses the greatest long-term threat to America of all, and our willful blindness towards it

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found, and download the episode directly here.

If you like what you hear, please do share with friends and family, and subscribe to the podcast, rate and review it if you are so inclined.

There are 10 comments.

  1. Hang On Member

    Ben Weingarten: Why China poses the greatest long-term threat to America of all, and our willful blindness towards it

    I will definitely be listening later. Does he go into how we are rather deliberately pushing Russia, China, Iran, and Turkey into a coordinated coalition aimed clearly against us? 

    • #1
    • August 22, 2018, at 8:15 AM PDT
    • Like
  2. Richard Easton Member

    This was an excellent interview. I realize that you time was limited, but I don’t think you asked about Comey hiding from the congressional select committees the spying on the Trump campaign. He was supposed to do this; these four senators and four representatives have security clearances. Why is nothing being done to punish Comey for this (am pretty sure it was Comey; please correct me if I’m wrong).

    • #2
    • August 22, 2018, at 10:35 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. Front Seat Cat Member

    Outstanding interview – I look forward to reading Mr. Faddis’ book. I want to know if he thinks what Trump has dome so far has helped break up the careerists and put things back on track, the cleaning house and a new chief? It is clear also what Trump’s strategies are after listening to this interview, and that he is actually listening to intelligence because it is definitely not business as usual – wow! Fascinating times and I thank God for the fact that we did Get Trump, with his issues, as opposed to Hillary – I just hope we can get up to speed, with especially China – thank you again.

    • #3
    • August 22, 2018, at 12:46 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. ST Inactive
    ST

    Good interview but I did not hear much that ways news to me. My main thought the whole time that I was listening was – wake up America!

    I think I’ve been saying much of the same thing for five or six years now right here in Ricoville. The second thing that came to mind was yep – Mexico; yep Pilot Program country of choice for my Winning the Peace Foreign Area Officer Teams (AKA: Willy-Pete Teams).

     

    Other common names include WP and the slang term “Willie Pete” or “Willie Peter” derived from William Peter, the World War II phonetic alphabet for “WP”, which is still sometimes used in military jargon.[2]As an incendiary weapon, white phosphorus is pyrophoric …

    • #4
    • August 22, 2018, at 5:44 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. Hoyacon Member

    Excellent choice of guest. With some of the same people showing up on multiple pods, it seems sensible to counter-program.

    • #5
    • August 22, 2018, at 6:26 PM PDT
    • Like
  6. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Ben Weingarten: Why China poses the greatest long-term threat to America of all, and our willful blindness towards it

    I will definitely be listening later. Does he go into how we are rather deliberately pushing Russia, China, Iran, and Turkey into a coordinated coalition aimed clearly against us?

    He does not. I trust that you will be disappointed.

    I suppose that you think Iran, where the regime promotes chanting “Death to America!” as a national pastime, would be our buddy if we follow your policy prescription.

    • #6
    • August 22, 2018, at 11:59 PM PDT
    • Like
  7. Front Seat Cat Member

    I saw this story this morning that is truly scary and am wondering if Mr. Weingarten or his guest can shed light or do a story – https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5320392,00.html

    I am also copying members @susanquinn and @davesussman to make aware of this since it is not in the MSM.

    • #7
    • August 23, 2018, at 7:27 AM PDT
    • Like
  8. Bob Thompson Member

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Ben Weingarten: Why China poses the greatest long-term threat to America of all, and our willful blindness towards it

    I will definitely be listening later. Does he go into how we are rather deliberately pushing Russia, China, Iran, and Turkey into a coordinated coalition aimed clearly against us?

    He does not. I trust that you will be disappointed.

    I suppose that you think Iran, where the regime promotes chanting “Death to America!” as a national pastime, would be our buddy if we follow your policy prescription.

    Where can I actually get to know what this references?

     

    • #8
    • August 23, 2018, at 8:03 AM PDT
    • Like
  9. Hang On Member

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Ben Weingarten: Why China poses the greatest long-term threat to America of all, and our willful blindness towards it

    I will definitely be listening later. Does he go into how we are rather deliberately pushing Russia, China, Iran, and Turkey into a coordinated coalition aimed clearly against us?

    He does not. I trust that you will be disappointed.

    I suppose that you think Iran, where the regime promotes chanting “Death to America!” as a national pastime, would be our buddy if we follow your policy prescription.

    Who wants to be buddies with Iran? Certainly not me. But I have no desire to be buddies of Saudi Arabia either. The idea that SA is a friend is as loony as thinking the Islamic Republic of Iran would be a friend.

    There are lots of cracks and fissures we can play if we were intelligent enough to play them. Pushing everyone to the wall simultaneously seems like not a very good idea.

    • #9
    • August 23, 2018, at 8:19 AM PDT
    • Like
  10. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    A good interview, in the sense of letting the guest put across his point at some length.

    I found Faddis’ characterization of the options in Iraq and Afghanistan to be a bit straw man. The notion that we could safely throw out one set of bad actors and then just leave is insane — as in doing the same thing over again and expecting different results. I wish there were a couple challenging questions on this point.

    If only we had taken something like the Swiss Confederation as a model for their new constitutions. If only we had (re?)armed each village and got about teaching small unit defensive tactics. We actually acted on a Wilsonian rather than Jeffersonian model, because all our leaders had been educated in colleges dominated by Wilson’s view of government.

    As to catastrophic intelligence failure in China, that is not a new problem. Legacy of Ashes recounted how the early attempts to repeat European Theater OSS style insertion of agents resulted in 100% failure. China is not Russia or Central Europe. It may well be that China is an inherently tougher target for sustainable human asset intelligence operations.

     

    • #10
    • August 26, 2018, at 7:02 PM PDT
    • 1 like