CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Oliver North, and Erik Prince are working on building a secret private spy network to counter Trump’s “deep state” enemies.
I feel like I say this a lot about reports coming out of this administration, but this story is insane. Trump is so paranoid that he doesn’t trust his own intelligence community. So now he’s trying to put together his own army of private spies who will answer directly to him and who will help him with his political agenda.
On Monday night, the Intercept reported,
“The Trump administration is considering a set of proposals developed by Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a retired CIA officer — with assistance from Oliver North, a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal — to provide CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the White House with a global, private spy network that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies….“Pompeo can’t trust the CIA bureaucracy, so we need to create this thing that reports just directly to him,” said a former senior U.S. intelligence official with firsthand knowledge of the proposals, in describing White House discussions. “It is a direct-action arm, totally off the books,” this person said.”
“….The proposals would utilize an army of spies with no official cover in several countries deemed “denied areas” for current American intelligence personnel, including North Korea and Iran. The White House has also considered creating a new global rendition unit meant to capture terrorist suspects around the world, as well as a propaganda campaign in the Middle East and Europe to combat Islamic extremism and Iran…. According to two former senior intelligence officials, Pompeo has embraced the plan and has lobbied the White House to approve the contract.”
Sources told the Intercept that this plan is being pitched to the White House as a means of “countering “deep state” enemies in the intelligence community seeking to undermine Donald Trump’s presidency.”
A former senior U.S. intelligence official with firsthand knowledge of the proposal said, “The whole point is this is supposed to report to the president and Pompeo directly.”
Potential donors were taken to a suite in the Trump Hotel in D.C. and told that Prince and his associates were “certain that the deep state was going to kick the president out of office within a year. These guys said they were protecting the president.”
Everyone involved in this program is denying the whole thing. But, in addition to the Intercept‘s report, BuzzFeed reported something very similar last week.
“The White House and CIA have been considering a package of secret proposals to allow former US intelligence officers to run privatized covert actions, intelligence gathering, and propaganda missions, according to three sources who’ve been briefed on or have direct knowledge of the proposals.”
“One of the proposals would involve hiring a private company, Amyntor Group, for millions of dollars to set up a large intelligence network and run counterterrorist propaganda efforts….Another proposal presented to US officials would allow individuals affiliated with the company to help capture wanted terrorists on behalf of the United States. In keeping with that proposal, people close to the company are tracking two specific suspects in a Middle Eastern country, the sources said, for possible “rendition” to the United States.”
“….Those familiar with the proposals say one of the driving impulses for privatizing some missions is a fear by some supporters of President Donald Trump, outside government, that the CIA bureaucracy has an anti-Trump bias that would thwart efforts to fulfill the president’s objectives.”
Prince associates say that they have already been sending intelligence reports to Pompeo.