CIA Director Says CIA Not Seeing Evidence of Russian Preparation To Use Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine
April 15, 2022 (EIRNS)—Yesterday, CIA Director William Burns, in a speech delivered at Georgia Tech, claimed that the threat of Russia potentially using tactical or low-yield nuclear weapons in Ukraine cannot be taken lightly, but the CIA has not seen a lot of practical evidence reinforcing that concern. He spoke of the “potential desperation” and setbacks dealt Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose forces have suffered heavy losses and have been forced to retreat from some parts of northern Ukraine after failing to capture Kyiv, reported Reuters. For those reasons, “none of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons,” Burns said. Despite “rhetorical posturing” by the Kremlin about putting the world’s largest nuclear arsenal on high alert, “We haven’t seen a lot of practical evidence of the kind of deployments or military dispositions that would reinforce that concern.”
Otherwise, Burns’s speech, his first public speech as director of the CIA, betrayed a loyalty to the unipolar world order couched as a commitment to freedom, democracy and the truth against the authoritarian Russia and China. Burns paid lip service to the principle that intelligence should never be politicized, but then proceeded to demonstrate how politicized U.S. intelligence is regarding Russia.
Putin “is firmly convinced that the West, especially the United States, took advantage of Russia’s historical weakness in the 1990s,” Burns claimed, without mentioning the documentation in the public record, showing that, in fact, NATO and the U.S. lied to Moscow in the early 1990s about its expansion plans. “Neither Putin nor many of those around him could imagine Russia as a major power without a deferential Ukraine, a Ukraine whose external choices were controlled by the Kremlin,” he went on. “I have learned over the years never to underestimate Putin’s relentless determination, especially on Ukraine.”
Burns noted that, as directed by President Biden, he traveled to Moscow “to convey directly to Putin and several of his closest advisors the depth of our concern about his planning for war and the consequences for Russia of attempting to execute that plan. I was troubled by what I heard.” He did not acknowledge, at all, that Russia had security concerns of its own, regarding NATO’s push against Russia’s borders and its relationship to Ukraine. Burns’s remarks on Russia were totally in sync with the Biden Administration’s geopolitical narrative of an aggressive Russia carrying out a brutal war in Ukraine, and of a courageous Ukrainian President Zelenskyy fighting back in defense of Ukrainian sovereignty.