☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Thursday, July 21, 2022 ☙ SPIES LIKE US 🦠
A short biolabs essay featuring John Le Carré, Biolabs, Epstein, the CIA, and Metabiota; people aren't confident in public schools; students could take 5 years to recover; Ezekiel 38 news; and more...
Good morning and Happy Thursday! I’ve been reflecting on the recent Ukraine biolabs news and what it means for us as Americans, and had to get my thoughts down on electronic paper in the form of a short essay featuring John Le Carré, Biolabs, Epstein, the CIA, and Metabiota. After that, a roundup: Americans lose confidence in public schools, for some reason; students could take five years to recover from the pandemic; Putin and the Ezekiel 38 trio; Biden officials warn Iran; and Arizona republicans fight back.
🗞 *BIOLABS ESSAY* 🗞
John le Carré — David Cornwall’s pen name — was one of the most popular fiction authors of the 80’s and 90’s, having published 26 international espionage thrillers, many of which translated into film. A former British intelligence agent, Cornwall skillfully wove gritty geopolitical realism into high personal drama, always with one repeating theme of moral ambiguity: there is no black or white; there are only endless gray vistas.
As he got older, Cornwall allowed his leftwing politics to slip out more and more until they were lit in bright neon, with billboard-sized dimensions. But his leftist bent was always there. George Smiley, Cornwall’s most popular repeating character, was also a British intelligence agent, plagued with chronic doubt: did anti-communism’s ends justify their means? Were the “white hats” really the “black hats”? How could anybody tell in a world run by gamekeepers-turned-poachers? What did it mean to be a spy in a world where spies change allegiances like ordinary people change outfits, a dizzying world of double-, triple-, and quadruple-crosses?
There might have been a reason Cornwall wrote his character Smiley so well, and why he was so consumed with questions of moral ambiguity. Cornwall may have related very well to his best-written character Smiley, plagued with his own demons of doubt, because recent post-Soviet discoveries suggest Cornwall was a communist asset, possibly from the jump. Shortly before his death, Cornwall himself admitted to NPR that “the strangest thing, in some ways, has been the cross-border relationship I’ve had with the former Soviet Union.”
Although the Soviets were officially frosty to to the writer, precluding any direct connection, Russian Foreign Minister, Yevgeny Primakov, former head of the KGB and Prime Minister of Russia, once admitted that le Carré was his favorite author.
He wasn’t love quite so much in the West, though. British intelligence took a much dimmer view of Cornwall’s work. Dick White, former head of MI6, reportedly complained to a friend in U.S. intelligence: “John le Carré hasn’t done us any good,” he said ruefully. “He makes all intelligence officers look like philanderers and drunks. He’s presenting a service without trust or loyalty, where agents are sacrificed and deceived without compunction.” Cornwall’s former mentor John Bingham said angrily: “I deplore and hate everything [le Carré] has done and said against the intelligence services.”
In hindsight — and not to speak ill of the dead — Cornwall was enormously destructive to Western intelligence and even to Western culture more broadly. No doubt some fans will take issue with this, but Cornwall couldn’t possibly have done more damage if he’d been trying. He took a literary wrecking ball to long-cherished notions held by ordinary Americans about anti-communism’s virtuous moral foundations. Cornwall was personally responsible for undermining American enthusiasm for anti-communism to the point that by the mid-90’s, anti-communism was just another dangerous rightwing conspiracy theory.
Cornwall’s successes illustrate just how well marxists have used NARRATIVE over the decades to undermine and weaken Americanism through narratives and memes that made us hate ourselves, by convincing us we were hypocrites, cementing into our consciousness the idea our government is immoral and unrighteous. As Soviet Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev famously warned on November 18, 1956: “We will take America without firing a shot. We do not have to invade the U.S. We will destroy you from within…”
I’ve recently reported about Russia’s accusations that the U.S. — particularly our top democrats — have been engaged in dangerous and illegal bioweapons research in Ukraine and probably other poor countries with easily-controlled governments. These are serious accusations and must be seriously considered, and our government has a moral and ethical responsibility to respond to them, and to NOT ignore them.
We must attend diligently to these consequential claims. But we must also be wise. Russia has no interest in helping America get back on its feet. It has plenty of its own problems to worry about. Putin’s was a feature biography on the World Economic Forum’s website until very recently, for example. Russia’s accusation that democrats are the villains seems believable — we WANT to believe it — but the claims is also an extremely convenient way to divide American loyalties and get us fighting each other.
The bioweapons story is important, and I will keep reporting on it, especially because our useless corporate media is cheerily pretending the story doesn’t exist, for as long as it can. But we must remember this is not about black-hat or white-hat countries. America, for all its flaws, even if it is currently occupied by immoral leaders, is still the greatest and most virtuous country on Earth.
There ARE NO perfect countries. Certainly not Russia or China.
Our job as loyal, patriotic Americans is to insist that our leaders investigate and respond to Russia’s allegations, and to stop ignoring them. I’m thinking about how we can help make this happen. One idea would be to push our “letters to the editor” project again and see if we can get a few hundred letters published calling for disclosure. The difficulty will be writing the letters so they’re simultaneously 100% accurate and also don’t sound like whatever newspaper editors think Russian disinformation is.
🔥 Our intelligence services also have a lot of repair work to do — and they REALLY need to do it, soon. We can’t afford for them to be completely crippled and compromised. They are under narrative attack and they are responding exactly the wrong way, through knee-jerk counter-psyops, distraction, and obfuscation.1 They’ve been under a jet black cloud of dishonor at least since the Epstein story emerged. Let me bring you up to date.
Due to diligent independent researchers — not our pointless corporate media — it is almost beyond argument that Jeffrey Epstein was an intelligence asset, almost certainly used to acquire blackmail (kompromat) on politicians, industry leaders, and celebrities. It is nearly certain that Epstein worked for U.S. intelligence, probably CIA, but it now seems likely that he’d also been working with Israeli intelligence and maybe the Chinese.
As I said, this isn’t news. As early as 2019, shortly after his arrest, the Observer ran an article headlined “It Sure looks Like Jeffrey Epstein Was a Spy — But Whose?” For some reason, these kinds of awkward questions quickly became rhetorical and vanished down the disinformation hole.
The Observer article noted that in 2007, former US Attorney Alex Acosta cut a sweetheart non-prosecution deal with Epstein after his first arrest, which was the closest thing to a full pardon of all his crimes, known or unknown, that the DOJ could possibly provide. It was an unimaginably sweet deal, and Acosta was not going down for it. He initially defended his non-prosecution decision, telling Trump vetting officials on the record that “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone.” Acosta said he was told to “back off” and that Epstein was “above my pay grade.”
It would be nice to know who told him that. But when reporters later pressed him to explain his comments, Acosta would just obfuscate and refuse to answer, which has been his position ever since, although nobody seems that interested anymore.
As dogged independent investigators continue to work the file, they are discovering Epstein-connections to other seemingly unrelated and wide-ranging events, things like NXIVM and Hunter Biden and Metabiota — the U.S. “research” company connected to the Ukraine biolabs.2
What I’m saying is, there is now a plausible connection between Epstein and the Ukraine biolabs, although it’s not fully clear yet. Which means there’s a connection between U.S. intelligence services and the biolabs.
If le Carré had written this story, nobody would have ever believed it. No movie would have been made. And if le Carré’s fictional narrative of U.S. intelligence as morally ambiguous was harmful, the true Epstein story is deadly toxic.
There’s a lot more to the Epstein story, including a whole lot we still don’t know, and that we may never know. But the point I want to make this morning is how much damage the Epstein situation has done, and will continue to do, to the U.S. intelligence agencies. It seems like they’ve taken the old ostrich approach. They think, maybe if they pretend like they had nothing to do with Epstein, and run enough disinformation psyops for long enough, the story will just get exhausted and drop into the old junk box of discredited conspiracy theories, along with UFO’s and JFK’s assassination.
That isn’t going to happen with Epstein. His story is a sort of Rubicon, a point of no return. Where Americans could somehow finally make a troubled peace with their unresolved questions about the assassination of a popular American president, they will not tolerate THIS, not the agencies’ witting participation in the heinous crimes Epstein was involved with, not using human beings — children! — like disposable receptacles for unspeakable barbaric sexual urges and then throwing them away like used prophylactics. Trying to avoid a reckoning will only result in the ultimate self-destruction of the agencies and maybe the entire government. The longer they resist, the worse it’s going to be.
The only solution is for the agencies to COME CLEAN — like the U.S government needs to do with its biolabs problem. De-classify everything related to Epstein. Do it now. Let the chips fall. If we were uninvolved, terrific, prove it, easy-peasey. Set the record straight. But if we WERE involved, then some careers are going to be destroyed. It would be better to destroy a few careers than to destroy the whole government. Naturally, those whose careers are in the crosshairs will resist exposure — but it’s time for everyone else who works in intelligence to FIGHT.
The point is, all this secret police nonsense HAS to stop. You think we are fighting our enemies by using their tactics? We are BECOMING our enemies by using their tactics, and you know it’s true by now. Do the right thing. Things won’t — can’t — continue this way for much longer anyway. Better to be on the right side of the correction when it comes.
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
📚 Fox News ran a story yesterday headlined, “Republicans’ Confidence in Public Schools Plunged Over Past Two Years According to New Poll.”
The article describes a new Gallup poll that shows Americans’ confidence in public schools has fallen dramatically since the pandemic began, irrespective of party affiliation, but most pronounced for Republicans. And their confidence in public schools wasn’t that high to start with. Sort of the opposite of confidence, actually.
“The percentage of Republicans having a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in public schools fell from 34% in 2020 to 20% in 2021 and 14% today,” the poll explained.
In the same period, independents’ confidence fell -9 points to 29% and even Democrats’ confidence dropped -5 points, from 48% in 2020 to today’s 43%.
In other words, the MAJORITY OF AMERICANS have little confidence in public schools. That seems like a problem the so-called education activists would be concerned about, that is, if they are actually concerned about the quality of public school education.
Which is debatable.
📚 The New York Times ran a related story yesterday headlined, “Students Are Learning Well Again. But Full Recovery? That’s a Long Way Off.”
A nonprofit organization that provides academic assessments to schools released a new report this week. The report estimates that it may take students THREE TO FIVE YEARS to recover from the pandemic. Remember, the experts and the teachers’ unions PROMISED us that school-from-home would be just as good — or maybe even BETTER! — than regular school.
Not so much, apparently.
Thomas Kane, a Harvard economist who has been raising alarm about the potentially dire outcome, said “There would be profound consequences if we allow these achievement losses to become permanent.” The situation is urgent; without drastic interventions, kids will be unavoidably harmed for life. One superintendent interviewed for the story said about the new report, “It says to us as educators, we have a moral imperative to look at this data and do something differently.”
So what are we going to do about it?
I suggest we start by chucking the experts and the teachers’ unions and try using common sense. Cut out the summer break, and have students and teachers attend school year-round until they get caught up. And cut out all the wacky social justice programming and double-down on STEM. We can do this.
🔥 Responding to Biden’s lackluster, fruitless trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, Russian President Putin met in person with the leaders of Turkey and Iran on Tuesday. It was the first time Putin has left Russia since the Ukraine war began.
The meeting excited Christians worldwide, since the Russia-Iran-Turkey trio is widely believed to be the “Gog-Magog” military alliance that Ezekiel 38 predicts is going to attack Israel in the end times. So that’s something to think about.
The news also excited secular folks, who found the development ominous and bad news for the West.
Biden Administration officials quickly “warned” Iran not to follow through with selling high-tech drone technology to Russia for use in Ukraine. A Hill article yesterday carried the headline, “Austin, Milley warn Iran against helping Russia in Ukraine.”
The Hill reported that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley warned Iran in a joint press conference not to send any drones to Russia: “We would advise Iran to not do that. We think that’s a really, really bad idea.”
A bad idea! Bold! That ought to set Iran’s “Supreme Leader” straight. He was probably refreshing his phone over and over, waiting to hear what the U.S. thought about the proposed deal.
🔥 Tendrils of life are are sprouting out of the desert of Arizona politics. The Hill ran a story yesterday with the headline, “Arizona GOP Censures Rusty Bowers After Jan. 6 Testimony.”
Russell “Rusty” Bowers is Arizona’s state House Speaker, and was just censured by Arizona’s GOP executive committee, who declared that “he is no longer a Republican in good standing” and called on Arizona Republicans to replace Bowers at the ballot box.
Arizona Republicans were furious with Bowers after he testified to the January 6th Committee in June, claiming the troubled Arizona election had actually been seamless, and that President Trump tried to pressure him to “overturn” the state’s election results, but he’d bravely stood up to the bullying and did the right thing, or something like that.
In a press release, the Arizona GOP listed Bowers’ many other failures: “giving tax-payer funded in-state tuition to illegal aliens at our state universities”; “killing a bill to permanently reinstate the Pledge of Allegiance in our children’s schools”; and sponsoring “one of the most horrific attacks on the Republican Party” with a bill that designated sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes.
I guess we just learned what it takes for the GOP to develop antibodies to a RINO. Progress! Arizona C&Cers, feel free to chime in.
Have a terrific Thursday! I’ll be back tomorrow with more.
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Here’s an interactive graphic showing all the Epstein connections: https://graphcommons.com/graphs/0a79deca-46a2-48e9-9d90-326b20aa6e9e.