Blame this one on Amethyst…
While she was at work today she found a link to a video titled “Project Prophecy”, which ostensibly is/was some kind of CIA program to use information and analysis to predict the future, specifically future threats to the Untidy States. She thought she might like to watch it, so I downloaded it for viewing after she got home. The takeaway, according to the promotional material, is that the US is not so far from absolute economic collapse and the author is telling everyone about it now because the federal government is ignoring the dire warnings issued by all of its intelligence agencies. Yeah, right.
We didn’t get ten minutes into it before it was mutually agreed that it was a waste of disk space.
The man being held out as some kind of renegade insider has among his touted qualifications being one of those who “negotiated” the release of the American hostages being held by militants in Iran back in 1980/81. Sounds almost impressive if your memory is so short you don’t remember what that “negotiation” was… Iran/Contra surely rings a bell, doesn’t it? The negotiations consisted of telling the Iranians that if they’d keep the hostages they no longer wanted until after the election, and, if Reagan won, to time their release to coincide with the inauguration, the US would provide Iran with tactical missiles for use in the Iraq/Iran War. Missiles that went by way of Israel so no one in the US who didn’t need to know would know their ultimate destination — because the US Congress had imposed an embargo upon Iran and imposed strict weapons and technology export controls to prevent Iran from obtaining things like, oh, tactical missiles. It was during that period that the US provided Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons to use in their war against Iran, the self-same chemical weapons that would later be used as the pretext for invading Iraq in 2003. The story was that Saddam was developing them himself even though everyone knew that we’d given the damned things to him.
Knowing those things about the guy it’s hard to imagine that he’s anything but a propaganda mouthpiece, so comes to the show with no credibility at all.
If you’ve been reading my stuff without your brain glazing over, which would be perfectly understandable if it did, you might recall that from time to time I like to vent my spleen about the defining events of 1983 which almost heated up the Cold War and could have destroyed the entire Northern Hemisphere. If memory serves I’ve not written anything here about the Soviet Union’s stupidity that they used to convince themselves that a US nuclear first strike was imminent. The pinnacle of that stupidity was their Operation RYaN, whose name is an acronym for “nuclear missile attack” in Russian. The idea was that if they could gather enough information and get it in front of the right brains they would be able to predict a US first strike before it occurred and could be ready to react, be it by retaliation or by beating the US to the punch. What it accomplished, though, was just to convince them that their worst fears were perfectly real when in fact they were not.
The CIA was the first US agency to become aware of just how close to vaporized we all got in November of 1983 as a result of the confluence of Soviet paranoia and the NATO exercise Able Archer. The CIA knew about RYaN long before, and studied it not only to make our disinformation campaigns more effective but also to immunize the US spy agencies against Soviet disinformation. They knew the pitfalls inherent in such foolishness as RYaN. While one might carefully analyze the risks inherent in working with information of questionable quality (as most available information always is) and conclude that such a program might only succeed every now and then by accident, we don’t even need that much mental effort to reach the same conclusion. All we have to know is that people behave nonsensically more often than not so there is no coherent whole at all.
The reason people behave so nonsensically so often is simple: Most people are completely unaware of their own best interests, and to the extent that they might know what their best interests are they’re as likely as not to act counter to them. It says right on the cigarette pack that the product inside will cause disease and death — but don’t go patting yourself on the back just because you don’t smoke. You do other nonsensical things that are counter to your own best interests, guaranteed.
We can reasonably assume that the organizational memory of the CIA is both long and almost continually rehashed, so there are plenty of folks in power within that organization who remember RYaN and the lessons learned from it. What are the odds that such an institution might implement its own RYaN three decades later? Just about zero. They know that they would be accomplishing nothing more than talking themselves into seeing the monsters in the closet.
I won’t say that the CIA isn’t behind that video. I won’t say that they are, either. All I’ll say is that it’s time for me to pet the cat and I know it is because she’s telling me so.