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Wayne Madsen: “Trump’s CIA Now Unbound and Back to Its Traditional Hijinks”

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Written by Wayne Madsen; Originally appeared on strategic-culture.org

Under the directorship of torture and black site maven Gina Haspel, Donald Trump’s Central Intelligence Agency has returned to its traditional roots of conducting “black bag” operations and disrupting electrical grids through cyber-attacks.

The Venezuelan government has accused the Trump administration of giving the green light for a series of crippling power failures in Venezuela, which affected 22 of Venezuela’s 23 states, including the capital of Caracas. The long-duration power failures were cited by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a reason for the US withdrawing its diplomats from Caracas. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced that an international commission assisted by specialists from Russia, China, Iran, and the United Nations would help his country analyze the sources of the Venezuelan electrical grid cyber-attack. Initial cyber-forensics by Venezuela traced some of the cyber warfare being waged against Venezuela to nodes in Houston and Chicago.

Wayne Madsen: "Trump’s CIA Now Unbound and Back to Its Traditional Hijinks"

In addition to electricity, water service was disrupted in Venezuela. From Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Maduro tweeted on March 12: “From the Presidential Command Post, we monitored minute-by-minute the progress of the recovery of the National Electric System.”

Cyber-attacks on a country that puts its civilian population in jeopardy might, at first glance, appear to be a violation of the Geneva Conventions on warfare. However, without a Digital Geneva Convention, civilian populations are not covered by the current Geneva Conventions. However, in 2015, the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security (UN GGE), which included experts from the United States, China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and other nations, agreed that current international law does apply to cyberspace. Most international legal experts agree that the Geneva Conventions require a digital annex to cover the type of cyber-disruption of the Venezuelan electrical grid carried out by the US intelligence services.

Hybrid warfare against Venezuela, which includes economic, diplomatic, and cyber, has the backing of the neo-conservatives who now call the shots for the Trump White House. They include, in addition to Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton; Iran-Contra felon Elliott Abrams, Trump’s special envoy to the US-backed opposition-led rump Venezuelan government of Juan Guaido; Cuban-American Mauricio Claver-Carone, the senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council; and Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American, who represents the interests of South Florida’s right-wing oligarch exiles from Venezuela and other Latin American countries.

While Trump was preparing for his Hanoi summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump’s second summit with Kim, Haspel’s CIA dug into its old bag of black operations, while also engaging in the more modern form of cyber-attack in targeting North Korea.

On February 22, 2019, ten males, all wearing masks, broke into the North Korean embassy, which is located in the residential suburb of Aravaca, north of Madrid, Spain, and subjected eight embassy staff members to brutal interrogation tactics, including tying up the diplomats, throwing black bags over their heads (a specialty of Ms. Haspel), and subjecting them to beatings. One female diplomat managed to escape through a second-floor window and her screams alerted a neighbor, who promptly called the police. Two embassy employees required medical attention from their injuries.

The Spanish police and National Intelligence Center (CNI) linked two of the embassy invaders to the CIA. “El Pais,” a Spanish national newspaper, reported that the CIA issued one of its standard “denials,” however, the paper stated that Spanish authorities found the denial from Langley, Virginia to be “unconvincing.” “El Pais” reported that the invasion of the North Korean embassy by the CIA had severely harmed relations between Madrid and Washington.

The National Police Corps’ General Commissariat of Information (CGI) and CNI concluded that the attack and occupation of the North Korean embassy was not carried out by common criminals but was the work of a “military cell” that stole mobile phones and computers. Two of the embassy invaders were identified as Koreans and, based on CGI’s and CNI’s analysis of security camera video footage, they were further recognized as Koreans linked to the CIA. Spanish authorities did not rule out the possibility that South Korea’s National Intelligence Service assisted the CIA in the embassy invasion. The embassy invaders escaped from the embassy using two North Korean luxury sedans bearing diplomatic plates. The cars were later found abandoned.

The criminal inquiry into the incident is now before the Spanish High Court, the Audiencia Nacional, which could order the arrests of the embassy attackers and, if they are in the United States or South Korea, have Spain’s INTERPOL national bureau put out a Red Notice for their arrest and extradition to Spain to stand trial.

Spanish authorities believe the CIA’s embassy attackers were looking for information on Kim Hyok Chol, the former North Korean ambassador to Spain, who was declared “persona non grata” by the Spanish government in 2017. Kim Hyok Chol, a career diplomat from one of North Korea’s elite families who studied French at the Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies and speaks fluent English, is now one of Kim Jong Un’s trusted diplomatic advisers on nuclear talks with the Trump administration and he traveled with Chairman Kim to the failed Hanoi summit with Trump.

With certainty, Kim Hyok Chol thoroughly briefed Kim Jong Un on the CIA’s storming of his old diplomatic post in Spain. When Trump and Chairman Kim met in Hanoi on February 27 and if the issue of the CIA’s siege of the North Korean embassy was brought up, that could have been enough to derail the summit. Considering the fact that war hawks like Bolton, Abrams, and Pompeo are now calling the foreign policy shots for the Trump administration, the attack on the North Korean embassy in Madrid, just five days prior to the Hanoi summit, may have been ordered by Washington’s neo-con cell with the intention of scuttling the second meeting between Trump and Kim and put on ice any future meetings.

There is further evidence that suggests the neo-cons, in cahoots with Haspel at the CIA, set out to disrupt the Hanoi summit. While Trump was meeting with Kim in Vietnam, the CIA is believed to have launched a cyber-attack on the Korean American National Coordinating Council (KANCC) in New York, an organization with ties to the Pyongyang government. KANCC is a non-governmental organization with offices in the Interchurch Center building, near Columbia University in Manhattan. It champions the dropping of US sanctions against North Korea, a sore point in Hanoi between Trump and Kim.

The Trump-Kim Hanoi summit was reported to have hit a roadblock over North Korea’s request for a partial lifting of US sanctions on North Korea, in return for the continued North Korean moratorium on nuclear testing and a partial freeze on production of fissile material. With the CIA’s attack on the North Korean embassy in Spain still fresh in the minds of the North Korean side and the neo-cons’ insistence, pushed by Bolton and Pompeo, for complete North Korean nuclear disarmament, the Hanoi summit was destined for failure. And, with Bolton, Abrams, Pompeo, and other dangerous neo-cons in charge at the White House and the State Department — and Haspel dancing to their tune at the CIA – North Korea and Venezuela are not the only countries currently in the gunsights of the Trump administration.

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  • Hybrid warfare?

    Let’s call it just what it is, terrorism. American terrorism.

  • Real Anti-Racist Action

    The US did not use to be a terrorist state. It was not till British intelligence agents infiltrated the American media and started feeding us lies about the indigenous Suebian tribal peoples in the European wide war of 1914. Ever since the US immorally got involved in the first world war, that set the stage to ensure their would have the be a 2nd. And ever since the US has never gotten out of the mentality of the First world war.
    Had Russia not invaded Europe in the First world war, then the US sleeping dragon would have never been awakened and the US would not be in Europe or the ME today.
    Russia did not see that far ahead. Having left the US out of the first would war would have avoided all of this and the 2nd world war would have never happened.
    http://ihr.org/
    http://ihr.org/sites/default/files/RevisedBillboardResized.jpg

    • Tommy Jensen

      So its Russia´s fault the whole thing.
      Queen Elizabeth´s troops however have done a big job during centuries to remake the globe.

      • BMWA1

        That’s because QE2 is a winner! (lolz)

        • verner

          is that quantitative easing 2?

          • You can call me Al

            Oh, I thought it was a cruise ship.

    • LR captain

      uh no it was never Russia fault
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLiI6kXZkZI

    • John Whitehot

      “Had Russia not invaded Europe in the First world war, then the US sleeping dragon would have never been awakened”

      Total garbage, Russia was at war with the central powers and the US intervened in 1917, exclusively on the west front where it was Germany that invaded other countries.

      • purplelibraryguy

        Indeed. As in WW II, the US and Russia were technically on the same side–and unlike in WW II, the US didn’t even have much of anything against Tsarist Russia. When Lenin’s Bolsheviks took over, who the Americans didn’t like, he pulled Russia out of the war. Not only that, but up to then the Russians weren’t doing so hot. Far from invading anyone much, they were struggling not to get their asses handed to them.

        • John Whitehot

          “Not only that, but up to then the Russians weren’t doing so hot”

          The Russians did good against the Austro-Hungarians in the first stages of the conflicts, then the balance was shifted by the Germans moving large armies to the east.

          In addition, the Leninist revolutionary concepts easily found their way to the Russian troops at the front, something that undermined morale greatly.

          Nonetheless, the post-revolution attempts at invasion by the US, Canada, UK and France were repelled very succesfully, a part of history that gets omitted in all the history books printed in western countries.

          • purplelibraryguy

            All very true. But it’s clear that contrary to the poster above, the Americans were far from upset at the Russians invading Europe–to the contrary, the people they hated were the ones who had stopped invading Europe.
            (Also clear that, just as today, they didn’t give a rat’s ass about democracy–they were fine with undemocratic rule by a Tsar, but not undemocratic rule by Bolsheviks, in the same way they’re fine today with a coup government in Honduras but not a democratic one in Venezuela. The point is, nobody better be threatening to inconvenience any big money types, and any smokescreen will do to give that a palatable veneer)

      • Real Anti-Racist Action

        France invaded Germany first. But if you get your history from Hollywood then you would not know that. Actually, Germany exist because of repeated French invasions of the indigenous Suebian tribes.

        • John Whitehot

          except you started talking about another topic (France), when your lie about Russia invading Europe was exposed.

          and, as a PS, it was Germany that invaded first, not France, that’s another lie of you.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I#Opening_hostilities

          • purplelibraryguy

            Really, at the point they were at I’m not sure it even matters who technically invaded first. Everyone was mobilized and for all the talk nowadays if you look at how the power brokers were talking at the time it seems like everyone wanted a war–mostly, on all sides, for utterly loathsome reasons. And they were all sure the other ones wanted a war, so everyone was on a hair trigger thinking “Should we do it now before they do?”

            If one person on one side hadn’t finally given an order out of greed or justified paranoia or both, someone else on another side would have.

  • Tommy Jensen

    We in America are getting more and more influence. You cant deny that.

  • goingbrokes

    Breaking into North Korean embassy in Spain, what a brazen move. Like the Wild West.