Misdirection is used in warfare. This is unfortunate as the application is usually directed at populations to support war.
George W. Bush insists Iraq harbored terrorists, held weapons of mass destruction, yet, even the CIA claims absolutely no connection between Iraq and the September 11th attacks on Washington D.C. and New York. The President has also labeled Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda the perpetrators of those acts of mass destruction. Yet there has been no proof offered to the public. This is not to say that there is no proof. It is simply that there has been none offered. And, ostensibly if the government was so quick to place blame on bin Laden, then why wasn’t anything done about it to deter the incalculable act of violence?
So after massive build-up of rumor, insinuation and presumption, the Bush administration waves the flag, calls the millions of peace marchers worldwide, on February 15, 2003, “a focus group,” and kills thousands of Iraqis without bothering to record, or disseminate the numbers of the dead. Ha! We have all been the victims of the methodology of the magician.
A premise was set. An operation/campaign was put in place. The deception was completed and the hard facts were not referred to only the ideals. Was “Operation Iraqi Freedom” misdirection for the desperate US President unable to arrest the terrorist Osama?
I have often lectured to fellow magicians that fostering the understanding of illusion in terms of world politics is a valuable tool. In the corporate world we clearly see that Enron bilked millions from their investors via illusion ¬ there was no product to support the investment. What was the misdirection to complete the illusion? Perhaps the soaring stock that had been inflated dazzled investors’ eyes was enough; and resultantly, misdirecting away from the truth of the actual bottom line.
Sometimes knowing the weight of the hammer will dictate how hard one has to swing that hammer. Similarly, the magician aware of misdirection in the media, politics and in daily commerce can measure their punch appropriate to their illusions that have patter appropriate to current events.
If I say to an audience that the CIA let 9/11 happen purposely, then this may anger some in the audience. That amount of reaction may be just the amount of misdirection I need to divert attention from something else. Conversely, if I tell a joke that fails to elicit a laugh, the cover I hoped to achieve through that laugh may not be available for my purposes.
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the U.S. Government, tasked with gathering, processing and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT). As one of the principal members of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC).
Unlike the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is a domestic security service, CIA has no law enforcement function and is mainly focused on overseas intelligence gathering, with only limited domestic collection. Though it is not the only U.S. government agency specializing in HUMINT, CIA serves as the national manager for coordination and deconfliction of HUMINT activities across the entire intelligence community.
Moreover, CIA is the only agency authorized by law to carry out and oversee covert action on behalf of the President, unless the President determines that another agency is better suited for carrying out such action. It can, for example, exert foreign political influence through its tactical divisions, such as the Special Activities Division.
INTELLIGENCE REFORM AND TERRORISM PREVENTION ACT
Before the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, CIA Director concurrently served as the head of the Intelligence Community; today these functions and authorities reside with the Director of National Intelligence. Despite transferring some of its powers to the DNI, the CIA has grown in size as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks. In 2013, The Washington Post reported that in fiscal year 2010, the CIA had the largest budget of all IC agencies, exceeding previous estimates.
The CIA has increasingly expanded its roles, including covert paramilitary operations. One of its largest divisions, the Information Operations Center (IOC), has shifted focus from counter-terrorism to offensive cyber-operations. While the CIA has had some recent accomplishments, such as locating Osama bin Laden and taking part in the successful Operation Neptune Spear, it has also been involved in controversial programs such as extraordinary rendition and enhanced interrogation techniques.
When the CIA was created, its purpose was to create a clearinghouse for foreign policy intelligence and analysis. Today its primary purpose is to collect, analyze, evaluate, and disseminate foreign intelligence, and to perform covert actions.
According to its fiscal 2013 budget, the CIA has five priorities:
•Counterterrorism, the top priority, given the ongoing Global War on Terror.
•Nonproliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, with North Korea described as perhaps the most difficult target.
•Warning/informing American leaders of important overseas events, with Pakistan described as an “intractable target”.
•Counterintelligence, with China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, and Israel described as “priority” targets.