The CIA: Photoshopping a Crisis into a War

Wayne Madsen

I Was There. Just Ask The New York Times. (Got A Beard Now...)

A major Central Intelligence Agency conspiracy operation is currently playing out in Eastern Ukraine where, in an age of Photoshop and mail order credentials and military patches, photographs of the same bearded Russian "special forces" commando in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk in Ukraine this year and Georgia in 2008 are being successfully parlayed to the corporate media and by the Ukrainian ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) headquarters in Vienna. The conspiracy operation follows closely on the heels of CIA director John Brennan’s visit to Kiev where he provided intelligence advice to the unelected junta now governing the country…

The idea that an active duty Russian Special Forces soldier would have a long beard is laughable. No one in the Western corporate media has mentioned that long beards for any actual special forces commando is a strict taboo because any long hair can be detrimental in close hand-to-hand combat. Long hair of any type is not permitted for special forces unless a disguise is required for special missions, such as the beards grown by U.S. special forces personnel who entered Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks to make common cause with various anti-Taliban guerrilla forces. The U.S. Special Forces personnel were permitted to wear beards and grow their hair long because to have appeared in the tribal areas without such hair would have made them stand out as foreigners. Generally, however, the potential vulnerabilities inherent with any length of hair that can be pulled by an opponent, including facial hair, is why the Navy SEALS, Green Berets, and the Russian ALFA Group have strict standards barring any long hair among their active duty military personnel except in unusual circumstances like Afghanistan. In 2010, U.S. Special Forces units in Afghanistan were ordered to shave off their beards and conform to military regulation haircuts.

The mysterious Russian commando in Ukraine and Georgia is yet another ridiculous "conspiracy operation" that was obviously engineered by the CIA-backed Ukrainian government to garner points with the OSCE in Vienna. If the Russian military deployed long-haired and bearded Special Forces in Ukraine or Georgia, they certainly would not be wearing Russian military patches. The bearded U.S. Special Forces deployed to Afghanistan wore local clothing and rode horses in order to blend in. The so-called bearded Russian commando in what are likely Photoshopped pictures is certainly not trying to blend into the local population.

Photographs were also provided the OSCE and media showing what is purported to be the same masked Russian commando in Crimea and Slavyansk. As far as the Russian Spetsnaz patch featuring the bat emblem seen worn by the bearded “commando» is concerned, they can easily be purchased on E-Bay for $4.99. Other Russian Special Forces patches can also be purchased from E-Bay, including the Maroon Beret “Werewolf» patch, the “Typhoon» unit patch, the paratrooper patch, the “Mongoose» special warfare unit patch, the electronic warfare unit patch, the Caucasus mountain warfare unit patch, the “Scorpio» unit patch, the ALFA unit patch, and the OMON special police patch.

It is all another patent CIA conspiracy because that is what the CIA called such opposition operations in its 1985 destabilization manual, a manual that has been brought out of mothballs by the CIA and is being used in full force in Ukraine today.

The January 1985 CIA manual, titled “Indications of Political Instability in Key Countries,» provides quantifying indicators on how opposition “conspiracy planning» can help topple targeted regimes. The manual was produced by the CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence. At the time the report was issued, William Casey, the master of criminal conspiracies like the Iran-contra caper and the 1980 counter-“October Surprise» operations, was the CIA director.

It is obvious that the CIA is using conspiracy operations in Ukraine to help advance the longevity of the coup factions that seized power in Kiev. Among the instability operations cited in the CIA manual are “demonstrations and riots». The CIA placed and continues to place great importance on demonstrations and this was seen in the large amounts of money the U.S. spent on fomenting the Euromaidan demonstration in Kiev. The CIA manual states that demonstrations are successful destabilizing influences when they gradually increase in size and intensity, spread to other cities, increase in the number of days they take place, and when government repression of the demonstrations escalates.

The CIA manual also places emphasis on the media becoming either more supportive or critical of the demonstrators. In Kiev and western Ukraine, the media was rallied to support the demonstrations against the Viktor Yanukovych government. However, in eastern and southern Ukraine, the Western media has been urged to be critical of the pro-Russian demonstrations. The CIA also sees media devoting more or less time to covering demonstrations as critical in destabilizing a government. The media attention on Euromaidan was excessive because the CIA believed that favored the anti-Yanukovych forces. In eastern and western Ukraine, however, there has been scant attention paid to pro-Russian demonstrations by the Western media.

The CIA also desires that it is important to highlight cases in which elements of the security forces ally with the demonstrators. However, the inverse is also true. When elements of the Ukrainian military and security services began allying with pro-Russian federalists in eastern Ukraine, the media remained either mum on the reports or cast them off as “conspiracy theories». It is important to remember that the CIA manual only puts faith in conspiracy operations over which it maintains total control.

When the CIA seeks to maintain national unit, the CIA manual states that it is important for the central government to ensure that central authority outside the capital not be eroded. One way to ensure this is to implement directives for local authorities to “perform services, such as tax collection». On the other hand, when the CIA seeks to fracture a targeted country, it promotes opposition to the central government changing the “political or social status» of groups by advancing religious intolerance and/or suppressing the use of a minority language or culture. Ironically, the CIA-backed government in Kiev is doing exactly what the CIA finds necessary to fracture a nation in repressing the language and other minority rights of Russian speakers in eastern and southern Ukraine.

The CIA manual insists that it is important to mobilize religious figures against a targeted government and involve such «priests, nuns, or other clerics» in antigovernment activities. Pitting Ukrainian Orthodox Church leaders against their Russian Orthodox counterparts has been part of the CIA game plan in Ukraine.

A key factor in destabilization of targeted nations is the CIA’s stated use of «IMF-imposed austerity measures». The use of the International Monetary Fund to pressure the Yanukovych government was an important ingredient in toppling his government as food, energy, and other rising costs helped drive the Ukrainian middle class to support the coup leaders. The IMF, which is itself a corrupt organization, began demanding that the Yanukovych government put a halt to endemic public corruption. It was one of the pressure points used by the coup leaders to undermine support for the democratically-elected government.

The CIA manual also emphasizes the importance of destroying symbols of the targeted regime and replacing them with «symbols of popular nationalism». The destruction of statues honoring Russian and Soviet war heroes by Ukrainian nationalists who sought replacing them with statues of Ukrainian Nazi leaders like Stepan Bandera is all part and parcel of the 1985 CIA tradecraft manual on destabilizing governments and nation states.

Damaging a ruling leader’s credibility with the public is also part of the CIA game plan. The 1985 manual cites the spreading of stories about a targeted leader’s «erratic» behavior as a key method in undermining his or her control. Examples cited are: «neglecting his duties [which the Ukrainian coup leaders used as a reason to oust Yanukovych], falling under the influence of persons outside the government (spouse, astrologer or other fortune teller, lover, financial cronies, etc.), drinking, taking drugs, etc.)

The CIA manual also states that it is critically impo rtant for opposition leaders to be portrayed as «moderate at heart» and «able to control the crazies». This has played out with CIA support for members of the neo-fascist Svoboda Party of Oleh Tyahnybok and the neo-Nazi «Right Sector» party.

Another factor the CIA uses in undermining a targeted leader is to arrange for the media to openly criticize the leader through jokes and other forms of satire.

In an age of Photoshop and on-line ordering of military patches, the CIA appears confident that its dirty tricks in Ukraine will go unnoticed. However, the joke is on the CIA as its old methods become new again.

Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist. Has some twenty years experience in security issues. As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. He has been a frequent political and national security commentator on Fox News and has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and MS-NBC. He has been invited to testify as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and an terrorism investigation panel of the French government. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club. Lives in Washington, D.C. His website is here.

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation. Photo shop job: © New York Times


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