Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Prosecution (Never) Rests - I just finished watching Scott "Golden Boy" Pelley's 60 Minutes interview with ex-C.I.A. director George Tenet, and I have never felt more sorry for an interview subject in a great long while. To be sure, I am no cheerleader for America's intelligence apparatus, to include the C.I.A. (as noted here and there), nor am I a fan of Tenet personally; I've always felt that he was the same sort of Clinton-era amateur who was quite content with the Reno-Gorelick "wall" that existed between intelligence and law enforcement at the time. But, after having had his actions and motives examined repeatedly by various and sundry government agencies and commissions, it must serve as an insult for Tenet to be cross-examined further by Mr. Pelley.

Pelley's sitdown with Tenet was a guided tour through the clouded thinking undergirding the media's September 10th mindset, with Pelley asking how the C.I.A. could have been so throughly unable to preempt the attacks of September 11, 2001. In his response, Tenet resorted to the other last refuge of scoundrels: the "nobody listened to me" defense, in that - a la Richard Clark - he claims to have told then-NSA chief Condoleezza Rice that a spectacularly horrific event was imminent. Predictably, the conversation turned quickly to Iraq, as Pelley wondered how Tenet's C.I.A. got the issue of Saddam's WMDs so "wrong" in its National Intelligence Estimate from October 2002.

As best as he could, Tenet explained to that intelligence gathering is not an exact science (like say, asking bogus questions about matters of which you are ill informed), and that intel agencies are ultimately balancing knowledge against risk when they come up with an intel estimate. (What Tenet neglected to mention was that the Clinton administration also believed that Saddam had or was close to having WMDs; this view was also shared by British, French and German intelligence, by Israel's Mossad, and for that matter, by Saddam himself.)

Incidentally, Pelley also asked about the famous "16 words" from President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address, claiming that any thought that Iraq sought nuclear material from Niger was debunked by Ambassador Joe Wilson's 2002 trip to that country to "verify information about Africa's suspected link to Iraq's nonconventional weapons programs." At the request of Vice-President Dick Cheney, the C.I.A. was attempting to establish the veracity of an intelligence report regarding the sale of uranium "yellowcake" to Iraq in the late 1990s. While no sale of yellowcake by Niger to Iraq has ever been substantiated, the Butler Committee Review of Intelligence on WMDs does in fact confirm that Saddam Hussein did attempt to obtain uranium from Africa.

We conclude that, on the basis of the intelligence assessments at the time, covering both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statements on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa…were well-founded. By extension, we conclude also that the statement in President Bush’s State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that: "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa" was well-founded. (Emphasis added.)
As part of the media storyline, Pelley's report regurgitated the since-disproved charge that after the publication of Joe Wilson's July 6, 2003 New York Times op-ed, the White House retaliated by leaking information about Joe Wilson's wife to syndicated columnist Robert Novak, who within days wrote a column suggesting that Valerie Plame Wilson was a CIA operative. At the time, the "leak" was said to have been a potential violation of the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA), which makes it a federal crime, under specific circumstances, to reveal the identity of a covert agent. To top it all off, Pelley grilled Tenet about what he knew about C.I.A. "torture" of captured al-Qaeda operatives, Pelley evidently sharing Rosie O'Donnell's concern for the well-being of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad.

In as much as we are informed by what Pelley asked about, we are equally edified by observing what Pelley didn't ask about. He didn't ask Tenet if Valarie Plame was actually a Non-Official Cover operative (as would have had to have been the case for the "leaker" to have been prosecuted under the IIPA), nor did he inquire about the "politicization" of intelligence gathering - a hackneyed and oft-repeated charge that has been absolutely debunked by both a 2004 Senate Intelligence Committee Report and the Robb-Silberman Report of 2005.

Unlike journalists, intel officers cannot bury their mistakes the the back of the newspaper. When the C.I.A. gets it wrong, it does so dramatically and publicly, and no one else will be held to account for its errors. In the main, America's intelligence personnel are tasked with a most difficult job; it is certainly no easier than trying to divine the future by looking at an animal's entrails. For all of their abundant and evident failings prior to 9/11, the intelligence community has acquitted itself well in recent years, as we have had no terrorist attacks on American soil since then. We would certainly be better served as a nation with more intelligence officers and fewer unintelligent reporters.

1 comment:

Seven Star Hand said...

Of Yellow Cake, False Flags, and "Big Time" Wrongs


The combination of Tenet's book and Eisner's "The Italian Letter" should provide enough of a foundation for everyone to discern that 9:11 was a a highly evolved "false flag" operation against the American public and the world. The letterhead used to forge the "Yellowcake letter" and instigate the Iraq war was stolen on 1/1/2001, more than nine months before 9:11 and before Little W. became president. It was obviously discussed and planned long before then! Google : "Yellow Cake" "False Flag" P2, and do a little more digging around from there.

The fact that 9:11 was also used as a prime reason for the Iraq war leaves little doubt that the two events were part of the same plan. The "Italian Letter" affair pulls together the actors from Iran-Contra and the Vatican Bank scandal,hence the P2 Masonic lodge in Rome. Since Cheney and the Neo-cons were actively planning the war in Iraq before Little W was [s]elected, and the stolen letterhead was used as a pivotal component of the "sales job" for the war, Cheney and cohorts were undeniably linked to that deception, before 9:11, and before January 1, 2001 !!

Why do you think Cheney ('Big Time") was so preoccupied with discrediting Joe Wilson? There's much more to hide than a mere "intelligence failure" and a fake letter. The truly unbelievable Big (Time) Lies, that will shake the world to its foundations, are now being exposed...

Also, follow the Medals of Freedom handed out by Little W. The previous Pope received one as an excuse for Bush to complain, in person, that the Vatican wasn't agressive enough in helping him in the 2004 election. Shortly thereafter, there were news stories about Bush's brain dead and public requests for the Vatican's help. That was another impeachable offense never picked up by our so-called free press. It is treasonous to conspire with a foreign potentate (the Pope) to manipulate the US election process. Connect the dots...

The NeoCons and their supporters are now facing the Truth and Justice they purposely denied the peoples of both East and West. There are very few remaining on both sides of this so-called War on Terror, (aka the Neo-Crusades) who aren't aware of the great duplicity and Machiavellian character of the Bush crew and their cohorts.

Now Iraq and the War on Terror will soon do for the USA and the Vatican what Afghanistan did for the Soviet Union. And make no mistake about it, the ultimate driving force behind this latest convulsion of great evil has been the Vatican and its secret society cohorts. The "yellow cake" lies that helped start this war have been traced back to Rome and the P2 lodge. The time is long overdue to connect the dots and deliver long-awaited justice to the Vatican, conspiring world leaders, and their criminal associations and organizations.

Be prepared for things to accelerate out of their control very soon...

Here is Wisdom !!