The murky world of spying

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, May 28, 2004.

  1. CIA people are fond of saying that only their failures get publicized. There is some truth to this. We can all name their monumental foulups like Aldridge Ames, the Soviet agent who practically wore a sign around his neck announcing he was a turncoat but was allowed to operate for years. Then there are the shared foulups, like Jonathan Pollard and FBI agent Hansen, both amateur spies who should have been spotted early on. Now it appears that another foulup may be on the horizon, this one possibly the biggest embarrassment since the Rosenberg nuclear secrets case.

    One othe key sources of intell on Saddam's elusive WMD's was Ahmad Chalabi, an Iraqi exile with powerful connections into the Pentagon. At least portions of the administration envisioned Chalabi as our man in Baghdad, a friendly latter day Shah of Iran type who would provide steady leadership for his country even as he did our bidding. That dream has been shattered in the aftermath of a raid on his home in Iraq.

    Supposedly, the State Department and CIA had always been dubious of Chalabi. His credibility eroded with every week that WMD's were not found. Now it has been leaked that he was in the employ of Iranian intelligence all along. The Iranians used him to dupe us into invading Iraq and deposing their archenemy, Saddam Hussein. With Saddam gone the field was clear for the Iranians to insert their operatives to either control the new Iraqi governement or undermine it with terror attacks. The incompetently managed US occupation has given them plenty of room to accomplish their objectives.

    Bottom line, it appears we have wasted hundreds of lives and billions of dollars, all to end up establishing another Iran. We made crucial mistakes, and continue to make them, in not insisting on a secular government, in allowing clerics to openly criticize our occupation and to allow them to raise rpivate armies and defy us.

    The real kicker is we still don't really know Chalabi's true game. If he is an Iranian agent, we should put him in Abu Ghraib and show him what real torture is all about. But he may be innocent, the victim of a clever campaign of deceit. It's a murky world.
  2. Wasn't Chalabi siting by the First Laby during the state of Union Address?? What does that say for our administration?

    Anyone recalls this? More crooks subsidized by US taxpayers

    NBC News
    Updated: 7:39 p.m. ET April 28, 2004
    Members of the Iraqi National Congress and its leader Ahmed Chalabi were airlifted into southern Iraq the day Saddam’s government fell. Chalabi was President Bush’s guest at the State of the Union address. Even today, the INC gets $340,000 a month from the Pentagon to feed the United States intelligence information.

    or this?

    November 3, 2002
    The Observer

    The leader of the London-based Iraqi National Congress, Ahmed Chalabi, has met executives of three US oil multinationals to negotiate the carve-up of Iraq's massive oil reserves post-Saddam.
    Disclosure of the meetings in October in Washington - confirmed by an INC spokesman - comes as Lord Browne, the head of BP, has warned that British oil companies have been squeezed out of post-war Iraq even before the first shot has been fired in any US-led land invasion.,12239,825105,00.html

    I wonder how long will it take for duya's and his handlers to "place responsibility" on Chalabi for this fraud for war.!!!!:eek: :eek:

    what a $##% joke:( :( :(
  3. TigerO


    I sure hope they're not going to attempt blaming this mess that never had anything to do with threats emanating from Iraq, 9-11 or Iraqi links to al-Qaeda on Chalabi or the CIA or God knows who, this was a war that Bush desperately wanted, so they had to go invent some "reasons" for war, they eventually invented
    27 different rationales for war!!

    A lack of intelligence

    The Sydney Morning Herald

    Australia's spies knew the United States was lying about Iraq's WMD programme. So why didn't the Government choose to believe them?

    'Intelligence" was how the Americans described the material accumulating on Iraq from their super-sophisticated spy systems. But to analysts at the Office of National Assessments in Canberra, a decent chunk of the growing pile looked like rubbish. In their offices on the top floor of the drab ASIO building, ONA experts found much of the US material worthy only of the delete button or the classified waste chute to the truck-sized shredder in the basement.

    Australian spooks aren't much like the spies in the James Bond movies. Not many drink vodka martinis. But most are smart - certainly smart enough to understand how US intelligence on Iraq was badly skewed by political pressure, worst-case analysis and a stream of garbage-grade intelligence concocted by Iraqis desperate for US intervention in Iraq.

    It wasn't just the Australians who were mystified by the accumulating US trash. The French, Germans and Russians had long before refused to be persuaded by Washington's line. British intelligence agencies were still inclined to take a more conservative position. And the chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, even went so far as to say during a late April interview that "much of the intelligence on which the capitals built their case seemed to have been shaky".

    Australian intelligence agencies made it clear to the Government all along that Iraq did not have a massive WMD program (that dubious honour remains restricted to at least China, France, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, Britain and the US). Nor was Saddam Hussein co-operating actively with al-Qaeda. And there was no indication Iraq was intending to pass WMDs to terrorists.

    Now the WMD claims are unravelling. All that US intelligence garbage is on the nose. Coalition forces in Iraq have not found thousands of chemical artillery shells ready to be fired or ballistic missiles loaded with deadly bacteriological agents.

    One of the major concerns about the war now is the way it will encourage the proliferation of WMDs. America's adversaries are being encouraged to acquire WMDs to deter US aggression.


    White House 'exaggerating Iraqi threat'

    The Guardian

    Bush's televised address attacked by US intelligence

    President Bush's case against Saddam Hussein, outlined in a televised address to the nation on Monday night, relied on a slanted and sometimes entirely false reading of the available US intelligence, government officials and analysts claimed yesterday.

    "Basically, cooked information is working its way into high-level pronouncements and there's a lot of unhappiness about it in intelligence, especially among analysts at the CIA," said Vincent Cannistraro, the CIA's former head of counter-intelligence.


    Published on Friday, May 30, 2003 by the New York Times
    Save Our Spooks
    by Nicholas D. Kristof

    On Day 71 of the Hunt for Iraqi W.M.D., yesterday, once again nothing turned up.

    Maybe we'll do better on Day 72. But we might have better luck searching for something just as alarming: the growing evidence that the administration grossly manipulated intelligence about those weapons of mass destruction in the runup to the Iraq war.

    A column earlier this month on this issue drew a torrent of covert communications from indignant spooks who say that administration officials leaned on them to exaggerate the Iraqi threat and deceive the public.

    "The American people were manipulated," bluntly declares one person from the Defense Intelligence Agency who says he was privy to all the intelligence there on Iraq. These people are coming forward because they are fiercely proud of the deepest ethic in the intelligence world - that such work should be nonpolitical - and are disgusted at efforts to turn them into propagandists.

    "The Al Qaeda connection and nuclear weapons issue were the only two ways that you could link Iraq to an imminent security threat to the U.S.," notes Greg Thielmann, who retired in September after 25 years in the State Department, the last four in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. "And the administration was grossly distorting the intelligence on both things."

    The outrage among the intelligence professionals is so widespread that they have formed a group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, that wrote to President Bush this month to protest what it called "a policy and intelligence fiasco of monumental proportions."

    "While there have been occasions in the past when intelligence has been deliberately warped for political purposes," the letter said, "never before has such warping been used in such a systematic way to mislead our elected representatives into voting to authorize launching a war."

    Ray McGovern, a retired C.I.A. analyst who briefed President Bush's father in the White House in the 1980's, said that people in the agency were now "totally demoralized." He says, and others back him up, that the Pentagon took dubious accounts from émigrés close to Ahmad Chalabi and gave these tales credibility they did not deserve.

    Intelligence analysts often speak of "humint" for human intelligence (spies) and "sigint" for signals intelligence (wiretaps). They refer contemptuously to recent work as "rumint," or rumor intelligence.

    "I've never heard this level of alarm before," said Larry Johnson, who used to work in the C.I.A. and State Department. "It is a misuse and abuse of intelligence. The president was being misled. He was ill served by the folks who are supposed to protect him on this. Whether this was witting or unwitting, I don't know, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt."

    Some say that top Pentagon officials cast about for the most sensational nuggets about Iraq and used them to bludgeon Colin Powell and seduce President Bush. The director of central intelligence, George Tenet, has been generally liked and respected within the agency ranks, but in the last year, particularly in the intelligence directorate, people say that he has kowtowed to Donald Rumsfeld and compromised the integrity of his own organization.

    "We never felt that there was any leadership in the C.I.A. to qualify or put into context the information available," one veteran said. "Rather there was a tendency to feed the most alarming tidbits to the president. Often it's the most ill-considered information that goes to the president.

    "So instead of giving the president the most considered, carefully examined information available, basically you give him the garbage. And then in a few days when it's clear that maybe it wasn't right, well then, you feed him some more hot garbage."

    The C.I.A. is now examining its own record, and that's welcome. But the atmosphere within the intelligence community is so poisonous, and the stakes are so high - for the credibility of America's word and the soundness of information on which we base American foreign policy - that an outside examination is essential.

    Congress must provide greater oversight, and President Bush should invite Brent Scowcroft, the head of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and a man trusted by all sides, to lead an inquiry and, in a public report, suggest steps to restore integrity to America's intelligence agencies.

    Particularly seeing as how Bush and gang knew perfectly well that Iraq didn't pose any kind of a threat:

    "Colin Powell
    Secretary of State.
    "But if the heart of your question is whether or not we see any complicity between Iraq and the events of Sept. 11 through Al Qaeda, we do not have that connection.""

    "Powell 2001: WMDs Not Significant
    Asked about the sanctions placed on Iraq, which were then under review at the Security Council, Powell said the measures were working. In fact, he added, "(Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq, and these are policies that we are going to keep in place."

    "On May 15 2001, Powell went further and said that Saddam Hussein had not been able to "build his military back up or to develop weapons of mass destruction" for "the last 10 years". America, he said, had been successful in keeping him "in a box"."

    "Condoleeza Rice 2001:
    "Saddam does not control the northern part of the country," she said. "We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.""
  4. I don't agree that Iraq posed no threat. Even the Clinton administration stated that they had WMD's, and clinton bombed them at one point. The issue is whether or not going to war was the way to deal with it. Obviously, if Bush had stated ahead of time that they were going to make a ridiculous mess of the occupation, put radical clerics in charge, let them raise armies and attack us, let syria and Iran send in terrorists and ammo,etc, few would have been willing to say ok, go to war.

    In the end, we would have been better off sending in Rummy to cut a deal with Saddam. Wasn't that the whole idea when we put Saddam in there in the first place? That whole thing with Kuwait was apparently just a misunderstanding anyway, when the US ambassador somehow gave Saddam the impression we didn't care if he took over kuwait. For sure we would have better off with Saddam than what is going to be in charge in a year or two.
  5. ElCubano


    180 degree turn in the making ...... :)

    This WAR has been an outright blunder. It will most definitely go down in history as the biggest blunder in every aspect from start to finish from side to side...every step of the way has been one big asss fuck up....

    from the "awe and shock" campian to the perception of our welcome to the no WMD found to the handling of the occupation ( not enough soldiers/people on the ground ) to the prison abuse pictures.....I mean for crying out loud tripleA i don't blame you for back-peddling on this issue....peace and have a great mo-fuck weekend....tiger-o keep ya word....
  6. We kept on bombing Iraq non stop after 1991.
    archives here of the bombings

    Saddam/baath party hated the "fanatics" clerics and he had them under control. Now many wish they had sadam back in power.

    If you do a search on Kwait you'll find out that it was using horizontal drilling, to siphon oil from Iraq's oil fields... what would you have done?

    As far as Bush Sr, Glaspie and Saddam this would clarify it:
    Transcript of Meeting Between Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie. - July 25, 1990 (Eight days before the August 2, 1990 Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait)

    July 25, 1990 - Presidential Palace - Baghdad

    U.S. Ambassador Glaspie - I have direct instructions from President Bush to improve our relations with Iraq. We have considerable sympathy for your quest for higher oil prices, the immediate cause of your confrontation with Kuwait. (pause) As you know, I lived here for years and admire your extraordinary efforts to rebuild your country. We know you need funds. We understand that, and our opinion is that you should have the opportunity to rebuild your country. (pause) We can see that you have deployed massive numbers of troops in the south. Normally that would be none of our business, but when this happens in the context of your threat s against Kuwait, then it would be reasonable for us to be concerned. For this reason, I have received an instruction to ask you, in the spirit of friendship - not confrontation - regarding your intentions: Why are your troops massed so very close to Kuwait's borders?

    Saddam Hussein - As you know, for years now I have made every effort to reach a settlement on our dispute with Kuwait. There is to be a meeting in two days; I am prepared to give negotiations only this one more brief chance. (pause) When we (the Iraqis) meet (with the Kuwaitis) and we see there is hope, then nothing will happen. But if we are unable to find a solution, then it will be natural that Iraq will not accept death.

    U.S. Ambassador Glaspie - What solutions would be acceptab le?

    Saddam Hussein - If we could keep the whole of the Shatt al Arab - our strategic goal in our war with Iran - we will make concessions (to the Kuwaitis). But, if we are forced to choose between keeping half of the Shatt and the whole of Iraq (i.e., in Saddam s view, including Kuwait ) then we will give up all of the Shatt to defend our claims on Kuwait to keep the whole of Iraq in the shape we wish it to be. (pause) What is the United States' opinion on this?

    U.S. Ambassador Glaspie - We have no opinion on your Arab - Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary (of State James) Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960's, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America. (Saddam smiles)

    On August 2, 1990 four days later, Saddam's massed troops invade and occupy Kuwait. _____

    Baghdad, September 2, 1990, U.S. Embassy

    One month later, British journalists obtain the the above tape and transcript of the Saddam - Glaspie meeting of July 29, 1990. Astoun ded, they confront Ms. Glaspie as she leaves the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

    Journalist 1 - Are the transcripts (holding them up) correct, Madam Ambassador?(Ambassador Glaspie does not respond)

    Journalist 2 - You knew Saddam was going to invade (Kuwait ) but you didn't warn him not to. You didn't tell him America would defend Kuwait. You told him the opposite - that America was not associated with Kuwait.

    Journalist 1 - You encouraged this aggression - his invasi on. What were you thinking?

    U.S. Ambassador Glaspie - Obviously, I didn't think, and nobody else did, that the Iraqis were going to take all of Kuwait.
    Journalist 1 - You thought he was just going to take some of it? But, how could you? Saddam told you that, if negotiations failed , he would give up his Iran (Shatt al Arab waterway) goal for the Whole of Iraq, in the shape we wish it to be. You know that includes Kuwait, which the Iraqis have always viewed as an historic part of their country!

    Journalist 1 - American green-lighted the invasion. At a minimum, you admit signaling Saddam that some aggression was okay - that the U.S. would not oppose a grab of the al-Rumeilah oil field, the disputed border strip and the Gulf Islands (including Bubiyan) - the territories claimed by Iraq?

    (Ambassador Glaspie says nothing as a limousine door closed behind her and the car drives off.)

    but hey war is a heck of a profitable business, the mushrooms errr taxpayer foot the bill.. MIC oil cos are pretty happy

    Last time oil was at 40's was in 91 :eek:

    we just play them defenseless nation one against each other, while or soldiers die, and the merchants of war get richer.:(:(:(
  7. TigerO



    Err, not even the administration themselves believed Iraq posed a threat, see my quotes above from Powell, Rice, the intelligence agencies etc.

    Wolfowitz himself admitted that the threat was just a ploy.

    This war had nothing to do with any threat.

    "For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on," Mr Wolfowitz tells the magazine.

    The comments suggest that, even for the US administration, the logic that was presented for going to war may have been an empty shell. They come to light, moreover, just two days after Mr Wolfowitz's immediate boss, Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, conceded for the first time that the arms might never be found."

    I think Saddam needed removing from a moral standpoint and to really promote democracy etc, I think that's what also motivated Blair but definitely was not the motivation for Bush and gang, but war was definitely not the right way.

    PS, I do agree with your Kuweit assessment.
  8. El cubano, if you go back to the beginning of the war you will see I really did not take a position on it. I did say I thought it was something reasonable people could differ on and that a preemptive war was a big step. Once the decision had been made, I supported it. We were at war, and I'm not going to be undermining our troops with a lot of complaining that we had no business getting in there.

    After the war was basically over and the occupation started, Kymer Fye and I had several arguments about my fears that we were not establishing security and were letting things get out of control. As it turned out, I was totally correct and he was wrong. I said at the time we should establish 24 hour curfews, threaten the clerics with jail if they oppose us, fence off areas that harbor terrorists and resettle residnets into camps if need be. I also said it was imperative to keep the number of US casualties to an absolute minimum. If that meant more Iraqi civilian casualties, that is a sad consequence of war.
  9. ElCubano


    I do bad...just wanted to bust some balls.
  10. I was aware of the Glaspie/Saddam meeting but I had never seen the entire transcript. I knew the part about "not having an opinion" etc. A friend of mine at the time was a senior foreign service officer who knew Glaspie well. I was a little surprised at his assessment, which was she was the very best they had. I would have questioned posting a woman there in the first place, and in hindsight her words look idiotic. I don't know if she was set up to be the designated fall person, if there were some side agreements or if it truly was all just a big misunderstanding.

    In retrospect it was truly one of those events that change history. No Kuwait invasion, no US troops in Saudi. No troops in Saudi, no Osama bin Laden attacking the US. No 9/11, no Iraq war.
    #10     May 28, 2004