Donald Trump’s neocon cabal of National Security Adviser General H. R. McMaster and his assistants Dina Powell and Fiona Hill, the latter in charge of the National Security Council’s Russia desk, are poor choices to gauge subtle messages coming out of North Korea. McMaster, a student of professional Army pencil sharpener David Petraeus, fails to grasp that there are many more methods to ascertain the policies of a secretive country like North Korea. Beyond technical products, such as imagery and signals intelligence, and neocon drivel from such outfits as the Brookings Institution, Council on Foreign Relations, and the Heritage Foundation, there are ground reports from various defense attachés posted at embassies in Pyongyang and psychological analysis of the North Korean leader.
During the Cold War, the Central Intelligence Agency, State Department, and other federal elements employed “Kremlinologists,” who carefully poured over photographs of the Soviet leadership standing atop Lenin’s Mausoleum on Red Square. Emphasis was placed on the physical appearances of the Soviet leaders, where they stood on the reviewing stand in relation to the General Secretary of the Communist Party, and whether they were even present at the November 7 parade marking the anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the annual May Day parade marking international Communist solidarity. From the photographic data, coupled with human intelligence from Western defense attachés in Moscow, who also attended the parades, intelligence analysts could figure out who was “in” and who was “out,” or heading “out,” within the Soviet leadership.
The same analysis was applied by the CIA to photographs and intelligence reports from similar military parades marking Communist “red letter dates” on other countries, including the October 1 founding of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing, and other celebrations in Pyongyang, Ulan Bator, Mongolia; Hanoi, North Vietnam; Tirana, Albania; and other Communist capitals.
Today, North Korea remains the only country in the world where such analysis of photographs and videos is pertinent, as every nation in the world, including those still purporting to be Communist, are relatively open in comparison with North Korea. However, there does not appear the same level of interest by the CIA and other intelligence agencies in the photographic interpretation or human intelligence-gathering from Pyongyang-based diplomats as was once the case when the CIA’s Medical and Psychological Analysis Center (MPAC) specialized in such matters. Instead, so-called “intelligence” experts are paraded out by the Trump administration engaged in “chest-thumping” about what they had in store for Kim Jong Un. It is truly amateur hour these days at the White House and the CIA, now under the leadership of Mike Pompeo, a Kansas Christian “creationist,” who believes the Earth is only 6000 years old.
Read the entire article