Monday, February 25, 2013

U.S. Naval War College Professor :"Some things are not quite what they seem to be"

What if everything you know is wrong?

By John R. Schindler

One of the nice things about working in counterintelligence is the acceptance of the notion that some things are not quite what they seem to be. (One of the bad things is that it can make you weird, even slightly crazy, if you stick to it too long; see: James Angleton.) Working in CI, every day you encounter people, even whole organizations, acting out secret agendas that are carefully hidden from public view … but you get to know the hidden truth.
It is fashionable to deride anything like what I’m suggesting as a “conspiracy theory” which conveniently cuts off discussion amidst images of people living in basements wearing tinfoil hats. Yet conspiracies do exist – pretty much every revolution starts as one – and such thinking forms the basis of all espionage. There is a good reason the Russian word for espionage activities, what Americans term “tradecraft,” is konspiratsiya. Those who have labored in counterintelligence know that agents provocateurs, fronts, and even false flags happen all the time, indeed they are unexceptional, bread-and-butter things on Planet CI.  Just don’t expect civilians, normal people – especially academics, mainstream journalists, and nearly all “deep thinkers” – to believe you. Yet every once in a while the secret world jumps into open view, and the reaction to the revelation can be anything from outright denial to speechless confusion.
John R. Schindler is professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, where he’s been since 2005, and where he teaches courses on security, strategy, intelligence, terrorism, and occasionally military history.


  1. What if everything you know is wrong?

    That was the feeling I had after graduating from high school.

  2. "All I know is, everything YOU know is WRONG!"

    -Firesign Theater, "Don't Crush that Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers"

    (If I remember correctly...or at all...)


    1. All together now: "Porgie Tirebiter, he;s a spy and a girl delighter"...

  3. Seriously, if there weren't conspiracies, why would it be a federal offence?