Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines was the big star of a gala awards ceremony hosted by the Atlantic Council that was touted as the “Washington Oscars.”
The Atlantic Council is a neo-conservative think tank, which has three former CIA directors on its board and another as a lifetime director.
Paul Craig Roberts, the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under Ronald Reagan, called the Atlantic Council the “marketing arm of the military-security complex.”
In 2015, it helped prepare a proposal to arm the Ukrainian military with offensive weaponry like Javelin anti-tank missiles—the same year that it presented its Distinguished Leadership Award to Marillyn Adams Hewson, then the CEO of Lockheed Martin, which produces Javelin missiles and many other strategic weapon platforms.
Two years before that, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received the award—not too long after she had famously gloated after the lynching of Libya’s ruler Muammar Qaddafi in a military operation sanctioned by Clinton that spread vast death and destruction.
A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Haines was given her distinguished leadership award by Stephen J. Hadley, a former National Security Adviser under George W. Bush. He described Haines as a “sweet personality” and “woman of great moral integrity with a great intellect and work ethic”; Denis McDonough, former Deputy National Security Adviser and current Secretary of Veterans Affairs, called her the “most empathetic, caring and decent person” he ever had the blessing of working with.
Haines indeed comes across as a very pleasant woman who is smart and accomplished yet also down to earth and humble. Hadley emphasized how Haines had helped care for her dying mother while only in high school, mastered the art of judo during a gap year in Japan, obtained a degree from the University of Chicago in theoretical physics, and restored a Cessna plane which she flew to Europe after marrying her flight instructor.
So how is it that a simple Google search finds that this same woman is linked to some of the worst atrocities and their cover-up in modern history?
As a White House lawyer in the Obama administration and top lieutenant to CIA Director John Brennan, Haines, for example, revised the guidelines for drone strikes to provide them with a thin legal veneer while regularly approving drone bombings, according to CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, that killed entire families.
As CIA Deputy Director in 2015, Haines gave a career intelligence medal to CIA agents who illegally hacked into the computers of the Senate Intelligence Committee to thwart that committee’s investigation into the spy agency’s torture program.
Haines further reduced the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 6,000-page report to 500 heavily redacted pages as part of the effort to shield the CIA from accountability for its violations of the Geneva Convention outlawing torture.
Medea Benjamin and Marcy Winograd of CodePink characterized Haines as a “proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing” and “affable assassin” with a shameful record of supporting and covering up major state crimes.
Ray McGovern, a former long-time CIA analyst and the briefer for Vice President George H.W. Bush, told CAM in an exclusive interview that Haines was a “good cover-up artist” and that “lawyers should never be appointed to her position because they are trained to argue their case and defend their client even if he is ‘guilty as hell’…The Biden administration knows they can depend on [Haines] to argue whatever case is most plausible for the administration to take—whether it’s right or wrong.”
According to McGovern, Haines’s tenure as DNI reflects the politicization and decline of U.S. intelligence agencies since the 1980s, when the military analysis branch was transferred by Robert Gates to the Pentagon, and independent military analysis became marginalized.
Currently, Haines is repeating falsehoods about Ukraine derived from biased Ukrainian sources that are designed to secure yet more military aid when Biden needs to hear the exact opposite.
Haines claims that the planned Ukrainian counteroffensive is poised for success as the Russians are running out of ammunition; however, the counteroffensive keeps getting delayed and leaked documents by a 21-year-old Air National Guardsman show the Ukrainian Army to be vulnerable and warn about the depletion of Ukraine’s air defense.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., reported that Haines participated in a simulation on coronavirus and pandemics in New York City in October 2019, known as Event 201, whose primary purpose was to explore how government authorities could exploit the situation to clamp down using censorship, and to force mask wearing, mandatory vaccinations, and lockdowns on the population.
CIA psyops techniques were advanced as one-quarter of the day was spent talking about how to make sure that nobody would spread the rumor that the coronavirus pandemic was laboratory-generated, which growing evidence, backed up by a congressional hearing, indicates that it was.
Kennedy wrote, in The Real Anthony Fauci, that Haines unveiled a strategy at Event 201 to “flood the zone” with propaganda from “trusted sources,” including “influential community leaders, as well as health workers.” She warned about “false information” that could start to “hamper our ability to address the pandemic,” which “we need to be able to respond quickly to.”
In 2020, Haines was paid $180,000 in consulting fees by Palantir, a data-mining company founded by CIA seed money that has a) initiated intrusive surveillance operations on Americans; b) assisted in immigration dragnets; and c) has been using its Artificial Intelligence (AI) software to coordinate Ukrainian military operations against Russia in eastern Ukraine.
Even more significantly, Haines was part of a select inner circle that invented and then directed the Russia Gate psychological warfare operation, whose main purpose was to mobilize public support for the provision of billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine and a war with Russia that could soon result in World War III.
Perhaps Haines does have moral integrity—as was suggested at the Atlantic Council event—on an interpersonal level; in her personal life, and as the manager of a vast bureaucracy.
However, in her institutional role, she is a moral monster who routinely lies, schemes, deceives and bends the rules so that oligarchic elites can exhibit more social control and the most powerful empire in world history can kill with greater efficiency—and limited public pushback.
Fake Feminist Jubilee
The Washington Oscars promoted itself as a feminist jubilee celebrating women’s leadership. All of the award recipients were women. However, very little sets apart their political views and behavior from the neo-conservative men.
One award recipient, Adena T. Friedman, President and CEO of the Nasdaq stock exchange, was financial officer of the Carlyle Group, which journalist Jeffrey St. Clair defined as essentially a “hedge fund for war makers and high tech espionage.”
Another recipient, Laura J. Richardson, is the four-star general who commands the U.S. Southern Command, which has a long record of backing coups in Latin America and subverting left-wing governments.
Sounding like a clone of Joseph McCarthy and John Foster Dulles, Richardson in her speech characterized the respected Venezuelan news network teleSUR as a purveyor of Russian disinformation, and attacked the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a thinly disguised scheme to rob countries of their infrastructure when it has helped uplift millions out of poverty.
The final award recipient of Washington’s Oscars went to the women of Iran who ignited an uprising that was part of a U.S.-backed effort to overthrow the Iranian government.
Melanne Verveer, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Trilateral Commission who introduced the honorees, related the now-familiar story of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who was allegedly killed in custody after she was arrested in late September by the morality police for not wearing the hijab and triggered nationwide protests.
The problem is that Amini was captured on video talking to the morality police who then walked away; and then collapsing on her own in a Tehran police station, probably from previous health problems that she suffered.
The majority of Iranian women actually support wearing the hijab, according to polls, as a vital part of their culture, and the question could have been brought up in a referendum, which had previously failed to pass.
And while repression was severe, the protest movement was led by violent separatist, terrorist, anti-regime and jihadist elements, which attacked cultural symbols. They wanted to overturn the Iranian Revolution of 1979 where the country asserted its sovereignty after two decades of misrule by the Shah, a U.S. puppet who had been installed in an illegal CIA-backed coup.
The Atlantic Council’s Oscar was not actually accepted by any Iranian women but by an American-born actress with Iranian parents, Nazanin Nour, who contrasted the repressive measures adopted by the Ayatollahs with landmark feminist legislation that she said was passed by the Shah.
Nour’s assessment is contradicted by Russian writer Davor Slobodanovich Vuyachich who pointed out that in modern Iran, where education is free and the majority of students are women, “about 90% of women are literate compared to 28% in the period when Iran was ruled by the American puppet Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, whose reign of terror over the Iranian people led to the nationwide Islamic Revolution.”
While some may legitimately object to the strict Islamic regulations, Vuyachich noted that women in Iran not only drive cars, unlike in some other Islamic countries, but actively engage in politics, are often in prominent leadership positions, and even have their own elite police units.
Very often, he says, it is women who earn more than their husbands and manage the family budget. Of all the rules regarding the mandatory covering of the head and body required of women in traditional Islamic societies, the most lenient ones are applied in Iran.
According to Vuyachich, many women in Iran wear a decorative head scarf known as the shayla that is often decorated with vivid colors; it is more of a fashion detail than a form of strict religious dress code.
But this reality does not fit the narrative that the Atlantic Council wanted to convey in its Oscars event, which made for good political theater with a nefarious agenda underlying it.
See Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health (New York: Skyhorse, 2021), 405, 428. For evidence that the COVID-19 virus was generated in a laboratory, see Andrew G. Huff, The Truth About Wuhan: How I Uncovered the Biggest Lie in History (New York: Skyhorse, 2022). Taking place three weeks after U.S. intelligence agencies believe that COVID-19 had begun circulating in Wuhan, Event 201 was not a one-time occurrence. Kennedy found 20 separate pandemic simulations beginning in 2000, all involving the CIA. They promoted techniques out of the CIA’s psychological warfare manual for “shattering indigenous societies, obliterating traditional economies and social bonds, for using imposed isolation and the demolition of traditional economies to crush resistance, to foster chaos, demoralization, dependence and fear, and for imposing centralized and autocratic government.” ↑
The journalist who first published the fake news story about Amini, Niloofar Hamedi, was accused by the Iranian government of being a CIA agent and was arrested. Dan Kovalik, an American journalist who traveled in Iran this year told me that he thinks “the protests were real at first but were quickly hijacked by outsiders.” ↑
When I asked Dan Kovalik about the headscarf, he said that yes many women wore this instead of a hijab and that his understanding was that women fare better in Iran than almost any other Muslim country. ↑
When you donate to CovertAction Magazine, you are supporting investigative journalism. Your contributions go directly to supporting the development, production, editing, and dissemination of the Magazine.
CovertAction Magazine does not receive corporate or government sponsorship. Yet, we hold a steadfast commitment to providing compensation for writers, editorial and technical support. Your support helps facilitate this compensation as well as increase the caliber of this work.
Please make a donation by clicking on the donate logo above and enter the amount and your credit or debit card information.
CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your gift is tax-deductible for federal income purposes. CAI’s tax-exempt ID number is 87-2461683.