Speculations that disgraced White House adviser and Steve Bannon intimate Sebastian Gorka gave away the existence of a secret program to interfere in North Korean missile tests on “Fox & Friends” abound, but they are all wrong.
Being a fraudulent expert with a fake PhD, Gorka was feigning insider knowledge of a topic that is already in the public sphere. Implied self-aggrandizement is his stock in trade as a hatemongering bullshit artist.
Responding to news of another North Korean missile test, Gorka told host Brian Killmeade that “I’m not at liberty to talk about the discussions we had with South Korea when I was inside the White House.”
Which is true enough, yet not enough for Gorka, who was reportedly unable to obtain a security clearance and never had any clear duties other than appearing on television. Puffing up with hot air, he said:
I’m not at liberty to talk about the discussions we had with South Korea while I was in the White House. But missile defense is a topic that, of course, came up with the government of South Korea. But, there are many other options, Brian, as well. Also, on the more covert side of things, you have seen a lot of missile tests fail. Most tests actually fail. Sometimes there may be reasons beyond just incompetence by North Korea.
That steaming pile was misinterpreted right away on social media and in the blogosphere, where opponents of the Breitbart political brand assumed that Gorka would have top secret information on clandestine activities against North Korean missile development after sitting in on talks with the government of South Korea. That is hardly a sure bet.
Note that Gorka did not actually claim to have been briefed on any such program. Instead, he suggested that “reasons beyond incompetence” were behind the extremely high failure rates of DPRK rocket designs — a reference to stories that are already in the public domain, just like the fact of the Trump administration’s discussions with North Korea.
For a professional faker, the words “I am not at liberty to discuss” are a shield against exposure of their own secret ignorance, not a betrayal of secrets belonging to the United States. Gorka knows far less than he pretends to know, and says nothing more than any astute newshound would know.
The New York Times first confirmed the existence of cyber and electronic warfare against North Korean missiles in April. Conducted on the orders of President Barack Obama, these quiet efforts “delayed by several years the day when North Korea will be able to threaten American cities with nuclear weapons launched atop intercontinental ballistic missiles,” according to the Times.
“The evidence was in the numbers,” David Sanger and William Broad reported. “Most flight tests of an intermediate-range missile called the Musudan, the weapon that the North Koreans showed off in public … ended in flames: Its overall failure rate is 88 percent” compared to just 13% in the Soviet-era original model.
Citing national security sources, the same journalists reported in August that the country’s effort to build a missile capable of reaching the United States was made possible by “black-market purchases of powerful rocket engines probably from a Ukrainian factory with historical ties to Russia’s missile program.”
Reuters reports that the Yuzhmash rocket factory is struggling. Its sister company. which handles design and engineering, denies any involvement in North Korea’s missile programs.
Yet because foreign sourcing has played a key role in those efforts, they are vulnerable to cyber intrusions and sabotage in ways that would be impossible to replicate inside Kim Jong-un’s police state.
Note that Gorka did not mention even this much detail about the mode of any sabotage campaign, or even mention any open sources on the topic.
Predictably, Gorka spent much of this interview maintaining that he resigned instead of being fired, an assertion which the White House has taken pains to deny. He also uses the “royal we” when discussing the president’s policy, which makes it sound as if he remains close to the president’s thoughts despite being barred from the White House.
Sebastian Gorka is a con artist, not a commentator.
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