The CIA: A Law Unto Itself....
Much of the journalistic world is currently focused on the juicy diplomatic details of the CIA/WikiLeaks revelations.... This is understandable, but the issues raised are complex. To the degree they provide evidence of policies at odds with official pronouncements, the leaks are warranted. To the degree they merely seek to embarrass those charged with the conduct of sensitive and difficult foreign policy issues, they are destructive. But let's not allow the debate over necessary and/or unnecessary secrecy to obscure a far more elemental problem with the conduct of US foreign policy: we frequently conduct it through an intelligence apparatus that considers itself immune to the rule of law and unaccountable to the Constitution, using the infamous White House Murder/assassinations INC, worldwide but especially in the Levant since January 24th 2002, in a joint venture with Asef SHAWKAT from Syria's military Intelligence in a string of assassinations in Lebanon and Syria....
The problem with the CIA et al. is not the intelligence they collect but the operations they conduct. These are—even by the generous terms of legislation written for these purposes, and indulgent court decisions relating to any and all issues of "national security"—criminal. And almost no one appears to care.
To take one example, special prosecutor John Durham recently concluded a three-year Justice Department investigation into whether CIA officers unlawfully destroyed tapes of interrogations (read "torture") of terrorism suspects. Durham's report, issued at virtually the moment the statute of limitations on obstruction of justice–related crimes was set to expire, recommended no charges. This despite the fact that, as one ex-official quoted in the Washington Post explained, "To my understanding...there was a standing order from a federal judge that said not to destroy the tapes. That trumps any inside the CIA legal call."
The above came on top of another recent report—issued by the CIA itself—accusing agents working in Peru of routinely violating the agency's operating procedures, which led to the accidental murder of an American missionary and her infant daughter, who were shot down by Peruvian forces in 2001 on suspicion of drug smuggling. While the CIA pretended at the time that this was a one-time tragedy, we now know that similar violations occurred in at least thirteen instances. "CIA officers knew of and condoned most of these violations," the report explained, "fostering an environment of negligence and disregard for procedures." Its representatives lied to Congress and withheld evidence from investigators to evade responsibility. The punishment? Putting a premium on "moving forward—focused, as always, on conducting strong, effective intelligence operations to keep America safe." CIA director Leon Panetta chose to issue "administrative penalties" of an unnamed nature to sixteen current and retired officers.
Unpunished criminal activities, up to and including willful accessory to mass murder, accompanied by lies to Congress, the press and the American people, have long been the modus operandi for US intelligence agencies. In the 1980s, liberals were forced to endure accusations of disloyalty and procommunism for pointing out that Reagan administration officials (and their neoconservative apologists) were turning a blind eye to death squad massacres in Central America. In fact, the truth may have been far worse than we commies could have imagined. As one "former high-level intelligence official" explained—as quoted by Seymour Hersh in a now-forgotten January 2005 New Yorker account of US training operations in Iraq—"'Do you remember the right-wing execution squads in El Salvador?' the former high-level intelligence official asked me, referring to the military-led gangs that committed atrocities in the early nineteen-eighties. 'We founded them and we financed them.'"
Yet another recently released official report—this one on US intelligence officials' "collaboration" with Nazi war criminals in offering them a "safe haven" in the United States—demonstrates that such official lawlessness has been the rule rather than the exception. In 1954, according to the report, the CIA took care of Otto Von Bolschwing, an associate of Adolph Eichmann who worked with him on the earliest aspects of Nazi planning "to purge Germany of the Jews." Earlier, in 1945, they helped to set up a new life for Arthur Rudolph, who had mercilessly exploited slave labor at the Mittelwerk munitions factory.
In these and countless other cases, the CIA lied to Congress for decades about the degree of its knowledge of the crimes it was covering up. Even now, the full report on the aiding and coddling of Nazi war criminals remains unreleased. (It was leaked to the New York Times.) The parts that the agency did release had blacked-out "court decisions, Congressional testimony and front-page newspaper articles from the 1970s" as too sensitive to share with the American people.
Clearly the culture at the CIA or any other US intelligence agency is not about to change anytime soon, no matter who is elected president. What I find more disturbing is the lack of attention paid to these cases in the media. The reporting is there, but where is the discussion of what it means for us as a nation and what is to be done about it? Indeed, within the punditocracy, you will find far more defenders of official torture than people questioning how it happens in a nation where it is supposed to be against the law. (The Washington Post just added its second torture champion, Commentary's Jennifer Rubin, to its stable of pundits, where she will join ex-Bush speechwriter and torture fan Marc Thiessen.)
If you make it to the end of Stieg Larsson's marvelous Millennium trilogy, you will encounter Swedish public officials confronting the existence of a rogue intelligence agency doing much the same thing as described above, albeit on a far smaller scale. The politicians are furious, the Office of Constitutional Protection swings into action and, after a full and fair airing of the crimes committed, the culprits are jailed and disgraced. I don't know enough about Sweden to tell you if such a thing would actually be possible there, but, sadly, I can promise you it would never happen here....
Dennis Montgomery and eTreppid Technologies sold fake terrorist threat software to CIA and Pentagon. The software created phony terrorist threats from non-existent "hidden messages." Obama Justice Department clamps down on details at trial. That's being a good little CIA employee, Barky....
Richard Holbrooke "acted" as an opponent of the Afghan War....
In June 2010, gunmenn tried to shoot down Richard Holbrooke's plane. [ABC News]
On 13 December 2010 it was announced that Holbrooke was dead.
Certain people want to keep the Afghan war going.
Bush with David Headley's half-brother, Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani.
The CIA always puts a very top spook into Beirut, Lebanon, Syria...and Islamabad, Pakistan, as station chief....
In December 2007, David Headley's Moroccan wife went to the U.S. embassy in Pakistan to act as a whistleblower. (MORE EVIDENCE CIA DID TERROR ATTACKS IN INDIA?)
She met agents of the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
During two meetings, the wife told the agents that Headley was involved with "big people" and "looking to participate in jihad with the U.S.A......"
She mentioned suicide bombing and terror training....
The CIA station chief decided not to pursue the leads....
Why would the CIA station chief ignore warnings about the American David Headley?
David Headley, the man who reportedly planned much of the terrorism in India, called himself a CIA agent....
A more recent CIA station chief in Islamabad, Jonathan Banks, has just had to leave Pakistan because his cover was blown, possibly by top Pakistan spooks fed up with being blamed for the 2008 Mumbai Attacks....
(ISI blows cover of CIA man in Islamabad - The Times of India)
Milton Bearden was CIA station chief in Pakistan from 1986-1989
From 1999 - 2002, Robert Grenier was the CIA station chief in Islamabad.
Between 2002 and 2005, Headley made several trips to Pakistan
In 2006, Grenier became, briefly, the CIA's top counter-terrorism official.
In 2008, Islamabad reportedly got a new CIA station chief.
Many shady groups are involved in Pakistan. There's a lot of money to be made.
"Blackwater/Xe involvement in terrorist attacks in Pakistan have been confirmed by the former head of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), General Hamid Gul, according to another source familiar with the current Xe covert operations.
"In addition, Pakistani ex-Army Chief of Staff, General Mirza Aslam Beg, reportedly claimed that while serving as president, General Pervez Musharraf approved Blackwater carrying out terrorist operations in Pakistan.
"Blackwater has been accused of smuggling weapons and munitions into Pakistan." (Blackwater, Xe stage false flag terror attacks)
Listen to my complete interview with Susan Lindauer here. Below is a transcript of the first half of the interview.
Kevin Barrett, PhD
I understand that you had some 9/11 foreknowledge, but were actually busted for trying to explain to the Bush Administration through your cousin Andrew Card, that invading Iraq was insane, that the Iraqis were basically going to do anything we wanted anyway--they'll agree to anything for peace--and that there would be a terrible resistance and a terrible war if there was an invasion. And for that very accurate and prescient warning, they went after you.
Well, you have a very good grasp of this issue, I will tell you. It is a complicated story. I was one of the very few (CIA) assets covering Iraq before the war. And I had established contact with the Iraqi embassy at the United Nations in New York back in August of 1996. And for seven years before the invasion, I was what they call a "back channel" to Iraq on the question of terrorism. That was my foremost priority. This was covert in the sense that it was covert to the West. But the Iraqis were fully informed as to who I was and what I was doing and what my purpose was. My motivation was that I hated the United Nations sanctions. I hated the genocidal consequences and suffering for the Iraqi people, most truly and genuinely--that was very sincere. And they knew it. And both sides knew my politics. In fact, the CIA had come to me knowing my politics and said "hey, why don't you try to help us." They co-opted me--they did--but I agreed to be co-opted. We all understood each other. And that's very important for what happened.
That's not necessarily a bad thing. There is a role for people who are intermediaries between warring parties and who try to make peace. And it sounds like that's what you were doing.
Yes indeed. And both sides understood my politics, that I wanted to help end the sanctions. And the CIA was very adamant that Iraq had to meet certain criteria in order for that to happen. And my contribution from the very first days was on terrorism. Our team started what we called preliminary talks with Baghdad in November of 2000, two years before the United Nations got involved. Our team started back channel talks to get Iraq's agreement on the weapons inspections. And over the next fifteen months, my supervisor, Richard Fuisz (pronounced "fuse"), through talks at the Iraqi embassy, mostly with Iraq's ambassador Dr. Sayeed Hassan, and with other senior Iraqi diplomats, on what conditions Iraq would have to accept in order to resume the weapons inspections. And at that point we had begun to develop a comprehensive peace framework which extended great support to anti-terrorism. Iraq agreed to let the FBI come into Baghdad and operate a task force that would have authority--this was before 9/11 ever happened! Nine months before 9/11 happened, Iraq agreed to have the FBI come into Baghdad with the authority to conduct terrorism investigations, interview witnesses, make arrests. After 9/11, Iraq agreed to give financial records on al-Qaeda to the United States. BUT the United states didn't want to take the records.
It makes you wonder why not.
Isn't that an interesting question.
It leads me to (my next question): You apparently had some kind of foreknowledge of 9/11. Can you explain to us what that was?
Yes. This is a very interesting thing, and I'm glad...I hope your audience will pay attention to this. We absolutely expected 9/11 to happen. And there's a subtlety here that I hope your audience will appreciate. In April and May of 2001 I was summoned to my CIA handler's office and told that I needed to confront the Iraqi diplomats at the United Nations, through my back channel, with a demand for any fragment of intelligence regarding airplane hijackings and/or airplane bombings. And over the summer, that progressed to a deep belief that there was going to be an airplane hijacking attack, and some sort of aerial strike, on the World Trade Center. We talked about this in our one-on-one meetings practically every week. Just so we are clear, this was not a one-time conversation. This was a major focus of our efforts. Richard (Fuisz, Lindauer's CIA handler) was very worried about it, very agitated about it, how Iraq must give us this intelligence. Now, I don't mean to patronize you, but I'm sure you're familiar with the concept of deniability. I do not think that Richard Fuisz knew all the details of 9/11. However, he knew enough. My book Extreme Prejudice goes into the conversations that we had in great detail. And he knew the timing of the attack. By August 2001, Richard was telling me not to go into New York City because this attack was immanent. And on the day of FBI Director Robert Mueller's confirmation hearings, which I think was August 2nd--in my book it's very clear, I've checked all the dates--Richard Fuisz told me that the attack was immanent. And I said, well, I'm going up to New York to ask my Iraqi sources about this again. And he said "Don't go to New York, it's too dangerous, I don't want you going there again." And I said "I'm just going up this weekend, and I promise I will not go back to New York." And that's how close this was. They knew a great deal. And what was interesting is that after 9/11, I get arrested, and he gets thirteen million dollars in payoffs. (laughs)
(laughing) Oh boy. That's amazing. They arrested you, because they were probably concerned about you revealing the contents of your conversations with Richard, among other things.
Oh yes, absolutely. And the fact that there was a peace option on the table that had been developed over a two year period before the war, a comprehensive peace framework. It included cooperation on anti-terrorism; it included the weapons inspections, of course--you already knew that; and it included Iraq's commitment to donate economic reconstruction--donate is not the right word--to dedicate economic reconstruction contracts to United States corporations with preferential treatment, preferential contracts in telecommunications, health care, pharmaceuticals, and transportation. This was a comprehensive peace framework! We covered everything! We covered a lot. And nobody even knows about this!
That's amazing. There have been general reports of this nature, including post-9/11, right up to the eve of the invasion, there have been reports that Saddam Hussein was willing to give the US basically everything it wanted to hold off the invasion.
That leads to the question: Why do you think, given that you recognize just how insane this invasion was, how completely unnecessary--the Iraqis were caving as far as they had to cave anyway--what was the point?
Yes, literally, Iraq said to me: "What is it the United States wants? Anything that the United States asks for, we will give them. Just tell us what it is!" When I was on a trip to Baghdad, they offered to buy one million American-made automobiles every year for ten years. And (an Iraqi diplomat) said to me, "Look, Susan, if ten years isn't enough, we'll make it twenty years."
You know, Susan, you're kind of ruining Saddam Hussein's posthumous reputation as somebody who stood up to the U.S.!
He was more harsh on terrorists than we were.
He didn't get along with al-Qaeda, and he didn't get along with Islamists of any kind, including the Iranians.
You would have thought that the U.S. would have just kept running him as an American puppet. He got his start as a CIA hit man, apparently.
So why, why this insane insistence on going to war with Iraq--a war that has killed one and a half million innocent Iraqis and destroyed that country. What was the purpose of it?
It was so incredibly stupid. And 9/11...9/11 could have been used at the start...9/11 was a tragedy, a terrible, terrible tragedy, but 9/11 could have accomplished great good. Because right after 9/11 Iraq went into high mode of giving. They were offering us everything we wanted: Financial records on al-Qaeda, proof of a Middle Eastern link to what we used to call the inter-Arab group of terrorists, which was actually an amalgamation of several different terrorist factions, coalesced into al-Qaeda. They were willing to prove that there was a Middle Eastern link to the Oklahoma City bombing and the first attack on the World Trade Center, and those included financial documents, bank records...we could have tracked the money that's financing terrorism around the world. Instead what we do is, we create an enemy. Because it looks better--the politicians could go grandstand. As a former (CIA) asset I can assure you, they don't actually do anything on terrorism. They give speeches. They go wave their hands in the parades. But they don't do anything to contribute to anti-terrorism efforts. But the people have been fooled by their showmanship and their grandstanding and their spectacle. It's like a circus performance now! In fact, before 9/11, there were 200 to 300 terrorists in the world who wanted to attack America. Now, after 9/11 and after the war in Iraq and after the war on Afghanistan, there are only about 2000 to 3000 individuals whose entire focus of life is revenge and coming into the United States and attacking us. That's only 3000 people. The way I look at it, this is like a high school auditorium that you could fill with the potential terrorists. That's it! This is an invention! We've made this up!
Right. Very well put. I've often explained to people that there was no real terrorist threat pre-9/11, and that for every one person pre-9/11 who was bent on doing harm to the US, there must be a great many today, because of all the terrible things that have gone on since 9/11.
So the question then, is...is it just sheer total incompetence and stupidity and grandstanding and egotism--I'm sure all of that contributes to it, but---uh...well, frankly, Susan, my take on all of this is that 9/11 was a Mossad operation, that it was of course done through Cheney's office. There were no hijackings. The guys that they blamed for it were not terrorists at all. They weren't even on the planes. There is not a shred of evidence that any of these guys were on those planes, nor is there a shred of actual evidence that there were any hijackings. Instead, we had a military operation that was essentially a Zionist coup d'état by the Likkud faction that wanted to destroy Iraq so it would never be a threat to Israel. A prosperous Iraq, allied to the US, would actually be terrible for Israel. That's why they wouldn't take the deals that you were brokering. Care to comment?
I think that you are--I do believe in the hijackings, but I believe in everything else that you have just said. One of the things that came out right after 9/11: I've often been asked by people what my CIA handler Richard Fuisz's source was for the 9/11 attack. And he told me briefly, he let it slip. Immediately after the attack, when we were all in a state of shock, he said to me...the first building had collapsed, but it was before the second building collapsed. This is a very important time frame. He made reference to video tape, which by the way was not released to the public until the next day, but right after 9/11 Richard Fuisz already knows about this video tape! Right after the attack--the first building has collapsed, the second one is still standing--and we're both talking in the living room, we're both shouting--I'm in my living room, he's in his living room, and we're shouting at the televisions--and he blurts out to me: "Susan, how many times do you think a camera is cued up waiting for a car accident to occur?" He said, "What do you think are the odds that those two people were just standing on the sidewalk with a video camera waiting patiently for the plane to hit the building?" And he said, "Those are Mossad agents. They knew that the World Trade Center was about to get hit, and they were waiting there for it to happen so they could record it and put it out in the media." Now this is before it has even come out in the media. He identifies them as Mossad agents, and I believe--I'm convinced--that that was the source of our knowledge of al-Qaeda. But what you guys don't know, which I will throw out to you, which comes out in my book, is that from April and May of 2001 onwards, Richard Fuisz instructed me to threaten the Iraqis with war. Now everybody assumes that the war stuff came after 9/11. But it didn't. They had decided months before 9/11 ever happened that as soon as this attack occurred, this would be the motivation for the war. So they absolutely knew that this attack was coming. They knew that it was going to be in late August or September. And that opens up a whole new dynamic proving what you have just said: That it was a Mossad conspiracy, that there was complicity...maybe that's a better word, complicity...I'm going to go a little softer on the language than you. Mossad complicity.
I would argue that it's a little more than complicity--that the demolitions of the three tallest buildings ever taken down in controlled demolitions required immense skill and military specialization and so on...
Oh yes, when I say complicity, I include that in it. Yes. I believe in the detonations. In fact...do I have time to tell you one story before break?
Tell it, go for it.
While I was writing my book, I had a high-ranking State Department official, who has a very very high, top-top-top security classification, and I cannot name him for you because I don't want to hurt his reputation. He's close to retirement, he's going to have a pension--they would crush him if he was ever exposed, I suspect. He thinks it too. He says that a couple of weeks before 9/11, at the end of August, for about two weeks, strange vans were arriving at the World Trade Center at three o' clock in the morning. They were staying from about three o' clock to about four-thirty or five. They were coming in for a brief period. And he swore to me that he personally had investigated the janitorial services, and he said "I know first hand how many employees the janitorial service had, what their trucks looked like, what their revenues were like, where they lived." He said "we know the addresses." We are confident that none of the people from the janitorial services were tied to these trucks. It had never happened before, it was a unique thing. This was not a constant thing like over a six month period. It was a strange anomaly right before (the attack on) the World Trade Center. And he was convinced that this was government-level thermite, government-level weapons, that had been put into either the stairwells or the elevator shafts. And he is convinced that this is when it happened.....