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Giraldi is the executive director of the Council for the National
Interest and a recognized authority on international security and
counterterrorism issues. He is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist
and military intelligence officer who served eighteen years overseas in
Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. Mr.
Giraldi was awarded an MA and PhD from the University of London in
European History and holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the
University of Chicago. He speaks Spanish, Italian, German, and Turkish. His columns on terrorism, intelligence, and security issues regularly appear in The American Conservative magazine, Huffington Post, and antiwar.com.
He has written op-ed pieces for the Hearst Newspaper chain, has
appeared on “Good Morning America,” MSNBC, National Public Radio, and
local affiliates of ABC television. He has been a keynote speaker at the
Petroleum Industry Security Council annual meeting, has spoken twice at
the American Conservative Union’s annual CPAC convention in Washington,
and has addressed several World Affairs Council affiliates. He has been
interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the British
Broadcasting Corporation, Britain’s Independent Television Network, FOX
News, Polish National Television, Croatian National Television,
al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya, 60 Minutes, and other international and domestic
How America's Deep State Operates to Control the Message
Deep State is the widespread belief that there exists in many countries an entrenched and largely hidden infrastructure that really controls the national narrative and runs things. It explains why, for example, a country like the United States is perpetually at war even though the wars have been disastrous failures ever since Korea and have not made the nation more secure.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Pandering to Israel Has Got to Stop
It is disheartening to realize that a clear majority of state legislators and congressmen thinks it is perfectly acceptable to deny all Americans the right to free political expression in order to defend an internationally acknowledged illegal occupation being carried out by a foreign country.
Friday, October 6, 2017(2 comments)
How I Got Fired
If we suffer through a catastrophic war with Iran, many people might begin to ask "Why?" We Americans will stand by mutely as we begin to wonder what has happened to our country. And some who are more perceptive will even begin to ask why a tiny client state has been allowed to manipulate and bring ruin on the world's only super power. Unfortunately, at that point, it will be too late to do anything about it.
Friday, September 1, 2017(1 comments)
Is U.S. Congress Declaring War on WikiLeaks?
To unleash the CIA on WikiLeaks the White House will have to come up with a "finding" to authorize special action. President Donald Trump will no doubt sign such a document and follow up with a tweet. It is particularly ironic that Trump once was a self-professed great fan of WikiLeaks, stating how he "loved it" while on the campaign trail in October 2016 after Hillary Clinton's emails were made public. A lot has changed.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
The New Know-Nothings In Congress
Information provided must generally conform to what the congressmen already believe and want to hear so no one will be embarrassed. That such ignorance would be particularly notable in the realm of foreign policy should surprise no one because congressmen as a group are no longer very well educated. Few speak foreign languages and no one any longer studies the history or culture of any country but the United States.
Sunday, July 30, 2017(5 comments)
Should AIPAC Register as a Foreign Agent?
AIPAC's website declares that it is "America's Pro-Israel Lobby." It blankets Capitol Hill with its lobbyists and is a prolific source of position papers explaining Israel's perception of what is taking place in the Middle East. Its easy access to the media and also to politicians in Washington is so widely accepted on Capitol Hill that it reportedly frequently drafts bills that Congress then goes on to propose.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017(5 comments)
America's Militarized Police
America has always been a violent place relative to much of the rest of the world, but even so there has been a noticeable shift in how, since the trauma of 9/11, some policemen believe themselves to be superior to and detached from the society they are supposed to be protecting.
Thursday, July 20, 2017(1 comments)
Fracking Around with the Russians
Probing and maneuvering is all part and parcel of what intelligence agencies do when they are dealing with adversaries and very often even with friends. It does not necessarily imply that Moscow was seeking to overthrow American democracy even if it was trying to advance its own interests.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017(5 comments)
Liars Lying About Nearly Everything
Watch the lies if you want to know when the next war is coming. If the House of Saud, the Israelis and Donald Trump are talking trash and seem to agree about something then it is time to head for the bomb shelter. Will it be Iran or an escalating catastrophe in Syria? Anything is possible.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017(1 comments)
What Did John Brennan and Anonymous Sources Really Say?
Speaking to a Russian becomes treasonous
The Washington Post and a number of other mainstream media outlets are sensing blood in the water in the wake of former CIA Director John Brennan's public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017(6 comments)
Neocons as a Figment of Imagination
Possibly there is a largely Jewish cabal within that Deep State, call it what you will, that works very hard behind the scenes to favor Israel while also pushing for a state of perpetual war, from which it benefits personally. I know that thinking that we Americans are on the receiving end of a vast and very effective conspiracy makes many uneasy, but history has taught us that sometimes our worst nightmares are actually true.
Thursday, February 9, 2017(1 comments)
Iran Hawks Take the White House
Flynn once maintained that Iran has killed more Americans than al-Qaeda. Few in his staff dared to disagree. When he took over DIA, Flynn said to his senior staff that what everyone needed to know was that he was always right. His subordinates would only be right when their views became the same as his.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
"Taking Down" British Officials
Israel has lost the war of public opinion based on its own actions, which are becoming more and more repressive and even inhumane and so are difficult to explain. That means that the narrative has to be shifted by Israel's friends through subterfuge and the corruption of the information and political processes in each country.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017(4 comments)
The Neocon Lament
It is a pleasure to watch the think tanks begin thinking of their own demises. It is also intriguing to speculate that Trump with his populist message might just take it all one step farther and shut the door on the K Street lobbyists and other special interests, which have symbiotic relationships with the think tanks.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016(3 comments)
Oh, What a Lovely War!
President Obama is going around warning that "the fate of the world is teetering" over the electoral verdict, which he intends to be a ringing endorsement of Hillary even though the choice is not nearly that clear cut. Part of the problem with Trump is that he has some very bad ideas mixed in with a few good ones and no one knows what he would actually do if he were president.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Israel's $38 Billion Scam
As most observers of the odd United States relationship with the Middle East will no doubt agree, when it comes to Israel and the U.S. Treasury "too much" is not part of the vocabulary. Obama's agreement with Israel stipulated that in return for the guaranteed money every year Israel would not go to Congress seeking more unless there is a war.
Thursday, September 15, 2016(1 comments)
Israel Wins in November
One does not expect congressmen to do very much in return for their generous salaries and perks but there is something seriously wrong when they go around the world and uncritically accept what they are hearing from foreign liars and scoundrels who want the United States to do the heavy lifting after they generate regional crises that are beyond their capability to control.
Thursday, July 14, 2016(13 comments)
Russian Harassment and Other Fables
Russians are not exactly failing to notice what is going on and are drawing their own conclusions about what they must do to defend themselves. None but Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the Kagan family actually want a war, but Moscow is being backed into a corner, with more and more influential Russian voices raised against detente with a Washington that seems to be intent on humiliating Moscow.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016(1 comments)
Remembering the U.S.S. Liberty
After 49 years, the dwindling number of survivors of the Liberty are not looking for punishment or revenge. When asked, they will tell you that they only ask for accountability, that an impartial inquiry into the attack be convened and that the true story of what took place finally be revealed to the public.
Friday, June 3, 2016(1 comments)
Obama Legitimizes the Drone Wars
There will soon be a White House report on the numbers of civilians killed since 2009 in drone strikes, but, as is often the case, the devil will be in the details. The government is trying to demonstrate that the civilian death toll is minimal, though it is unlikely to go as far as CIA Director John Brennan, who argued that the agency's attacks had killed "no civilians."
Wednesday, May 25, 2016(2 comments)
How the World Ends
Russians are not exactly failing to notice what is going on. No one but Victoria Nuland and the Kagans actually want a war but Moscow is being backed into a corner with more and more influential Russian voices raised against detente with a Washington that seems to be intent on humiliating Russians at every turn as part of a new project for regime change.
Sunday, May 8, 2016(6 comments)
Washington's Terrorism as Usual
Governments have learned that if they shout "terrorism" often enough they will get a free pass on budgets and on approving legislation that restricts the freedom of the average citizen. Freedom is, unfortunately a zero-sum game, power taken from the people is gone forever; given over to what we Americans have begun to call the "unitary executive."
Wednesday, April 20, 2016(1 comments)
Why Secrecy Rules Apply to Everyone
So much for equal justice under law. The politically best connected abuser of classified information walks, the next one down the ladder in terms of political importance is fined but not otherwise punished, and the least institutionally protected individual goes to jail.
Sunday, April 10, 2016(6 comments)
Rating the Candidates
The problem with Americans in general is that they have never experienced close up the full horror of modern warfare. That American presidential candidates can promote carpet bombing, annihilation of families and going to war to remove an undesirable government tells one that they are willfully ignorant of the consequences of their words.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
AIPAC Is Coming to Town
U.S. national security would be best enhanced by telling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take a hike and never come back. AIPAC is a political pressure group, not an educational foundation, which is purely a pretext exploited to secure it tax exemption.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016(5 comments)
Israel's International Conspiracy
Israel has lost the war of public opinion based on its own actions, which are becoming more and more repressive and even inhumane and so are difficult to explain. That means that the narrative has to be shifted by Israel's friends through subterfuge and the corruption of the information process in each country.
Thursday, February 4, 2016(4 comments)
An Improbable Solution
Stating that Russia is only interested in propping up a client and enabling mass murder is both sloppy and does not allow for other considerations that might actually be both sensible and legitimate while a willingness to confront major power Russia militarily over unimportant Syria is something closely akin to madness. Syria is not taking place in a vacuum.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016(1 comments)
Seeking Bibi's Favor
Netanyahu knows he can in reality behave with impunity because he de facto owns the U.S. Congress and the mainstream media and has said as much, noting that for him "I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won't get in the way."
Wednesday, January 13, 2016(3 comments)
A Terrorist Under Every Bed
In reality, the likelihood of being killed by a terrorist almost anywhere but an active war zone is miniscule. In the U.S. it is so small as to be statistically insignificant, but the public has been led to believe that heavily armed Islamic militants are lurking around every corner.
Friday, January 1, 2016(1 comments)
Reining In Government Surveillance
Most Americans would accept that a principal government role is to protect the people from harm initiated by foreign states and non-government players but most would also insist that the Bill of Rights affords fundamental liberties that must be maintained. Setting limits that are clearly understood on the government is one way to accomplish both.
Friday, December 25, 2015(1 comments)
No Matter Who Becomes President Israel Wins
the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee might consider developing some backbone and combine in issuing a joint statement refusing to take any donations from either Adelson or Saban in the current election cycle. It could remove both considerable influence peddling and Israel itself from the electoral process, which would be a blessing all around.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015(2 comments)
What Obama Should Have Told Bibi
If you think Obama is spineless when confronted by Ron Lauder and the usual suspects, just think of how bad it will be when we have President Clinton or President Rubio, proxies for their Israel firster donors Haim Saban and Paul Singer respectively.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015(1 comments)
Faking the Terrorist Threat
The alarming story of ISIS's seeking a nuclear weapons to attack America turns out to be something considerably less, a bit of propaganda to justify continuation and even expansion of the U.S. war on terror. And there is a bit of evil Russia thrown in to explain how it is all happening.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015(6 comments)
The "A" Word That Terrifies Washington
The "A" word that must never be spoken inside the United States government is "accountability," which is by design as the government must never be made to look bad. Without demanding accountability, even meticulous investigations into possible war crimes have no meaning and are literally not worth the paper they are written on.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015(3 comments)
Foreign Policy by Intimidation
What is being largely ignored is the actual content of the so-called debate, which was supposed to be focused on foreign policy. Presuming that all the potential candidates had been assiduously primed on the major issues by their advisers, what might have been informed opinion was instead pathetically ignorant and, more than that, dangerous.
Thursday, September 10, 2015(8 comments)
A Refugee Crisis Made in America
The United States has taken in only a small number of the refugees and a usually voluble White House has been uncharacteristically quiet about the problem, possibly realizing that allowing in a lot of displaced foreigners at a time when there is an increasingly heated debate over immigration policy in general just might not be a good move, politically speaking.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015(1 comments)
Did Iranian Weapons Kill Americans?
In 2005 the Bush Administration began to claim that Iran had been "interfering" in Iraq. The claim, rarely backed up by any substance, was based on suppositions about Tehran's likely interests regarding its predominantly Shi'ite neighbor and it was little more than an excuse to explain the persistence and intensity of Iraqi resistance to the American invasion.
Thursday, August 6, 2015(1 comments)
War Inside the Beltway
The U.S. media and inside the beltway punditry boast about their professionalism and integrity but it all goes out the window when Israel is the topic. Many of those involved are themselves Jewish and identify as "strong Israel supporters" and for those who are not of the Tribe the understanding that criticism of Israel is a quick ticket out of town frequently prevails.
Thursday, July 16, 2015(2 comments)
MH17: The Blaming Putin Game Goes On
Americans have been lied into intervention and war more than once over the past 15 years and it should be clear to all that any contrived crisis based on an erroneous conclusion regarding a shot-down airliner that develops into an armed conflict with Russia will have unimaginable consequences.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015(2 comments)
Unending War on Terror
The unrelenting expansion of Washington's military role is consequently little more than a simplistic response to many diverse overseas developments that are poorly understood, most of which are not actually genuine threats to the United States. This is demonstrated by the White House decision to extend the U.S. terrorism fight to the entire continent of Africa.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015(1 comments)
Who Did the Eavesdropping?
As the White House clearly now has the details regarding "how" the Israelis stole the information and "why" in terms of its use with Congress to undermine the talks, it might be suggested that the whole story be revealed to the American public. Just who were the Congressmen and was there anyone on the U.S. negotiating team playing both sides?
Wednesday, March 18, 2015(2 comments)
AIPAC Discovers 47 Useful Idiots
More than 165,000 Americans have signed a petition calling Cotton's letter treasonous. Behind that outrage we have a speech, a letter and the usual banal tale of corruption, opportunism and money. And it all starts with Israel, a foreign country that has somehow inserted itself into the American political DNA. So much for the billions of dollars given to Israel and the irreparable damage to American interests.
Saturday, February 28, 2015
U.S. legislation abused by foreign entities
The latest twist took place this week, when a New York City jury sided with the plaintiffs in a Shurat HaDin-supported lawsuit filed by victims of Palestinian bombings carried out in 2004 in Israel, and which alleged that the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization sanctioned the attacks.
Thursday, January 8, 2015(5 comments)
There Are None So Blind ... As Those Who Will Not See
President Obama fancies himself the leader of the "free world" yet he heads a nation that until recently organized black site prisons for torturing suspects and which continues to use armed drones to kill innocent and guilty alike.
Thursday, December 25, 2014(2 comments)
The Road to Torture
One political party, the Republicans, has by-and-large disputed the substantial body of evidence that the United States government has engaged in torture, presumably because it occurred under a GOP administration. But it is clearly a practice that is a violation of both federal statutes and the United Nations Convention against Torture.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Neocons Triumphant in Washington and Geneva
At the end of the day, the greatest neocon triumph is its continued grip over policy with Russia, which is the sole power in the world that can attack and destroy much of the United States. The confrontation with Moscow makes no sense as the only United States vital interest at stake is to maintain a good working relationship, but the tension continues to mount.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014(3 comments)
Exceptionalism Rules in Tel Aviv and Washington
In the absence of any serious consequences coming from Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will do whatever he wants in the firm belief that there is no one who can force him to do otherwise. Israel owns Congress and the mainstream media while its proliferating think tanks and promoters in a score of major Jewish organizations continue to spew out self-serving nonsense. So who is going to say nay?
Friday, October 24, 2014(3 comments)
John McCain's Terrorists
John McCain may have been guilty of a ridiculous publicity stunt, but he certainly did not knowingly meet with a terrorist-affiliated group. Yet the fact that he did appear with these rebels -- presumably after receiving the imprimatur of whomever from the intelligence or spec-ops community was managing ground operations in Syria from the U.S. perspective--demonstrates just how murky the whole Syrian enterprise has become.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014(2 comments)
Senate Torture Report Vanishes
The latest account of the head-butting between the Agency and Congress reveals a bad working relationship between the Senate and CIA, while also suggesting that Langley is again closing ranks against its critics. But if the ISIS thing continues to pick up steam everyone in the media and among the public will in any event forget that there was ever a Senate torture report. In intelligence slang, it will "be disappeared."
Saturday, September 6, 2014(13 comments)
Does the CIA Believe Obama?
Within the intelligence community memories of Iraq and the prefabricated judgments made regarding Syria's alleged use of sarin gas last year are still fresh among both analysts and information collectors, requiring the political leadership to make its case unambiguously. Intelligence work makes one naturally cynical, but the rank and file are now becoming generally suspicious of and even hostile to what is going on.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014(2 comments)
The information wars
Few would argue that there are legitimate secrets, the flood of information revealed by WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden suggests that in some cases at least classification is used to conceal either illegal activity or actions that might widely be condemned as inappropriate if they had been revealed to the public.
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Israel Is Serious About Spying -- But Not About Peace
Kerry's reluctance to speak the truth unambiguously is not surprising as is the use of anonymous quotes to register displeasure with Israeli behavior. The White House operates under the shadow of powerful international Jewish organizations that appear to regard Israel as something that has to be protected at all costs and by any means no matter how it misbehaves.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Is AIPAC Doomed?
There will be speeches by Sen John McCain and by Sec of State John Kerry. Attendees will descend en masse on the Capitol Hill offices of Senators and Congressmen, delivering the message that AIPAC is alive and well in spite of some recent very public setbacks. They will demand that the US pressure Iran with new sanctions even as the White House is searching for a way to avoid another catastrophic war in the Middle East.
Thursday, February 13, 2014(2 comments)
Such A Deal
Kerry's objective from the start has been to get the maximum possible for Israel while enticing the Palestinians to accept the barest minimum that will get them to agree to sign on to something. Even if Kerry wanted to be an honest broker he knows he can't go that route because the Israel Lobby is so powerful and pro-Palestinian sentiment means nothing in terms of American elections.
Thursday, December 19, 2013(5 comments)
Some Might Call It Treason
The principal Israeli lobby AIPAC has basically declared war on the White House over the issue and the Senators who are leading the charge are firmly in Israel's pocket. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois is even being briefed by Israeli intelligence, and Israeli cabinet ministers have been observed pleading their case on Capitol Hill to a very receptive audience.
Sunday, December 15, 2013(1 comments)
Why Remain in Afghanistan?
Karzai, who will be leaving office next Spring and is undoubtedly looking forward to a comfortable retirement in Dubai in close proximity to the bank accounts holding all the money he stole, is quite likely relying on a continued US presence no matter what agreement is reached.
Friday, December 6, 2013(1 comments)
Palestinians Lose Again
What does the White House do? It comes down on both sides of every issue whenever it possibly can, criticizing the growth of Israeli settlements while at the same time doing nothing to stop them and doing even less to expedite the development of a viable Palestinian state. This to avoid confronting directly the Israel Lobby, which is unrelenting to have its viewpoint be the only acceptable narrative inside the Beltway.
Thursday, November 14, 2013(36 comments)
The Two Snowdens
Snowden would have gotten absolutely nowhere if he had attempted to "go through channels" in any attempt to resolve the violations of law that he observed and was right to go public, but that is where the acceptance of his actions by me and my former colleagues pretty much ends.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Riyadh Says Let America Do It
If the Israelis and Saudis were really threatened by Iran, one suspects that their response would be more robust. Meanwhile they will see if they can shame and coerce President Obama into doing what they think is best for them. Hopefully, he will be able to resist the pressure.
Saturday, October 26, 2013(1 comments)
Crying Wolf Over Iran
Targeting Iran for special treatment as a rogue nation seems a bit hard to explain beyond the bromides as it has not attacked a neighbor since the 17th century and is itself threatened nearly daily by Washington and Tel Aviv. And even the CIA and Mossad agree that it is not developing a nuclear weapon. Beyond that, Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which grants it the right to enrich uranium.