License to Spin
Now at midnight all the agents and the superhuman crew
Come out and round up everyone that knows more than they do
- Bob Dylan
Have you seen the "revelation" that Anderson Cooper interned for the CIA during his sophomore and junior summers away from Yale? "Soon after" his post-graduate time in Hanoi studying Vietnamese, says the Radar report, "Cooper apparently gave up his Bond fantasy to pursue a career in journalism."
Bond fantasy. You hear that a lot from people who either don't know better or who know much worse. Sure, there are plenty of whoring dipsomaniacs on the company payroll, but I bet even James Angleton's car didn't have an ejector seat. Most so-called intelligence work - and especially that of media assets - is better suited to a cubicle than a jetpack.
The Bond conceit has been played by hooked-up lone-nutter Gus Russo, who says his initial skepticism of the Warren Report "was fueled by the naivete (perhaps it was the arrogance) of a seasoned teenager who had read all the James Bond novels. I knew about spies, and fake defectors, and sharpshooters, and patsies. The government couldn't fool me!" As soon as he'd finished consulting on Oliver Stone's JFK, Russo began speaking highly of an up-and-coming debunker named Gerald Posner, and in a 1993 symposium in Chicago he shocked fellow researchers by ridiculing the notion that Oswald was associated with US intelligence. "How many of you think Oswald was some kind of James Bond?" he asked. "I thought this was an oddly posed question," writes investigator Jim DiEugenio. "Nobody had ever reported Oswald owning an Aston-Martin, or leading an army of underwater scuba divers in a spear-gun fight, or employing all kinds of mechanical gadgetry to disarm his enemies. Far from it." Oswald was simply too marginal and unstable a character to be a player, claims Russo, ignoring the fact that it's on the margins that the unstable characters get played. (Though in recent years he's refined his position to allow that Oswald actually did figure in a conspiracy. A communist conspiracy.)
Cooper, of course, has more of the Bond, or Blofeld, about him than Oswald. Never has a patsy been both a Vanderbilt (and though most of the family squandered their inheritance, mother Gloria did alright for herself) and a Yalie. "Yale has influenced the Central Intelligence Agency more than any other university," says historian Gaddis Smith, "giving the CIA the atmosphere of a class reunion." The spy slang "spook" initially referred to a member of a Yale secret society. (See also "Spooks in Blue" and "For God, Country, Yale and the CIA" by the Yale Daily News.)
Cooper's internships nearly two decades ago don't imply that he's "on the payroll." But the payroll isn't very long. It's the assets, not the agents that predominate in the media, and his summer work is a strong indicator of affinity: something the Agency would not be inclined to forget as it follows the progress of his career, even as Cooper's viewers remain in the dark.
This is something to be remembered by 9/11 truthseekers who are ready to settle instead for heroes, and uncritically embrace longtime intelligence veterans as sudden "converts" and spokespersons. Like 28-year CIA analyst William Christison, whose "Stop Belittling the Theories About September 11" was widely astroturfed last month. His leading points, that an "airliner almost certainly did not hit The Pentagon" and "controlled demolition" brought down the towers, are the most contentious and speculative and least profitable arguments that can be made for 9/11 complicity. As with "former Bush insider" Morgan Reynolds' triple-dog-dare-ya that there were no planes at the World Trade Center either, more sensible observers need to ask why certain people with certain backgrounds are advancing certain positions, rather than be gratified that persons of a certain stature are saying something, anything, even when it's wrong or uncertain or foolish.
Briefly, thanks to "pepsified thinker" on the RI board for this update on The Massacre of the Innocents":
Belgian neo-Nazis in 'terror plot'
Belgian police yesterday arrested 17 alleged neo-Nazis, mostly serving soldiers, who were said to be planning to destabilise the country's institutions in a series of terrorist attacks. In simultaneous raids on five army barracks and 18 private addresses across the northern Flanders half of Belgium, police uncovered a homemade bomb and numerous weapons.
The raids by 150 police officers in East Flanders, Antwerp and Limburg were the most dramatic breakthrough in a two-year investigation into far-right activists allegedly operating inside the armed forces.
It seems as though Nazis turn up in the last place you look - like America - and it seems to be the case especially when you're not looking for them. Some Belgians, at least, are looking.