Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Maximum Danger Of War With Iran Nearing

Maximum Danger Of War With Iran Nearing: "Behind The Israeli Mole Affair -
The Point Of Maximum Danger
Of War With Iran Approaching
By Webster Griffin Tarpley

WASHINGTON, DC -- News of the investigation of Larry Franklin, a middle-level functionary working for the Wolfowitz-Feith-Luti-Shulsky clique in the Pentagon, indicates that we are now approaching a critical choice-point on the road to war with Iran, and towards a synthetic terrorism attack inside the US which would be used as an additional pretext to start such a war.

The probe of an Israeli mole in the Pentagon was made public by CBS news last Friday evening. The Saturday edition of the Washington Post named Larry Franklin as being identified by sources as the person under investigation. In Sunday,s Washington Post, it was confirmed that Lawrence A. Franklin was the person at the center of investigation.

As seen in the excerpt below, this same Larry Franklin was named in my June 6 news release, "Rogue Bush Backers Prepare Super 9-11 False Flag Terror Attacks. Franklin was indicated as one of the vulnerable links in the neocon network which finds itself in a hysterical flight forward to try to salvage the debacle of their Iraq war by expanding that war to neighboring countries, notably Iran. The threat of a new round of "own goal synthetic terrorism, quite possibly in the ABC dimension, was linked to the preparation of that wider war. The logic at work was that of an "October surprise, this time on the scale adequate to shock the post 9-11 world.

The best working hypothesis to understand the new mole investigation is that neocon networks in the Pentagon may be very close to embroiling the United States in a war with Iran. This would likely come as an Israeli or US pre-emptive bombing attack on Iran,s nuclear facilities, possibly combined with a terrorist attack inside the US using weapons of mass destruction, which the corporate controlled media would immediately blame on Iran.

Whatever forces are behind the naming of Franklin, it must be assumed that their main aim is to break up neocon preparations for a surprise attack on Iran, which the neocons have been boasting about in the media with special emphasis for some weeks. Backing the Franklin probe may well be military factions who have no desire to be fed into the Iranian meatgrinder, and who not fancy neocon fascist dictatorship. The immediate goal would be to knock Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, Bolton, Rice, Abrams and their cheering section in the media and think-tanks onto the defensive. While the exposure of Franklin is a positive step, it is far from decisive, and the neocons are still in a position to unleash the dogs of war over the next days and weeks.

We are therefore now most probably on the brink of war with Iran, and at the same time entering a period of steadily increasing danger of synthetic terrorism designed to steal or cancel the November elections, and thus freeze the current neocon clique in power for the foreseeable future. The calculation of the rogue network operating behind the scenes is evidently that terrorism taking place a few days before the elections will stampede the electorate to support Bush, while terrorism well in advance of the elections will give the public time to recover enough to advance recriminations and demands for accountability on the part of the administration. We are now entering the time frame when the terrorist controllers can expect the maximum impact of their handiwork, either in stampeding the electorate, or in calling off the elections completely.


On August 19, Martin Sieff of UPI warned: "Forget an October Surprise, a much worse one could come in September: Full-scale war between the United States and Iran may be far closer than the American public might imagine.

Sieff quoted remarks made by Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani on August 18 which bluntly warned that if Iranian military commanders believed the United States were serious about attacking Iran to destroy its nuclear power facility at Bushehr, or to topple its Islamic theocratic form of government, the Iranian military would not sit back passively and wait for the U.S. armed forces to strike the first blow, as President Saddam Hussein in neighboring Iraq did in March 2003. They would strike first.

"We will not sit to wait for what others will do to us," Shamkhani told al-Jazeera. "Some military commanders in Iran are convinced that preventive operations which the Americans talk about are not their monopoly," he added. With this, the Iran-Iraq border became a new line of hair-trigger confrontation in the restless war agitation of the neocons.

One day earlier, neocon Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton told an audience at the Hudson Institute in Washington that it was imperative that the Iranian nuclear program be brought before the U.N. Security Council. "To fail to do so would risk sending a signal to would-be proliferators that there are no serious consequences for pursuing secret nuclear weapons programs," said Bolton. "We cannot let Iran, a leading sponsor of international terrorism, acquire nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to Europe, most of central Asia and the Middle East, or beyond," Bolton added. "Without serious, concerted, immediate intervention by the international community, Iran will be well on the road to doing so." Similar threatening noises have come from Condoleezza Rice at the Bush National Security Council.

Iranian public opinion had been shocked by a raving, psychotic column by Charles Krauthammer in the July 23 Washington Post: Krauthammer wrote: "The long awaited revolution (in Iran) is not happening. Which [makes] the question of pre-emptive attack all the more urgent. If nothing is done, a fanatical terrorist regime openly dedicated to the destruction of 'the Great Satan' will have both nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them. All that stands between us and that is either revolution or pre-emptive attack." Iranian observers compared this to the US propaganda campaign which had preceded the attack on Iraq.


Competent US military commanders dread the prospect of war with Iran. Iran is four times the area of Iraq, and has three times the population. Its infrastructure was not destroyed during the Kuwait war in the way that Iraq,s was, and Iran has not been subjected to 13 years of crippling UN sanctions on everything, including food and medicine. The Iranian military forces are intact. In case of war, Iran could be expected to use all means ranging from ballistic missile attacks on US and Israeli bases to asymmetrical warfare. The situation of the US forces already in Iraq could quickly become extraordinarily critical. Shamkhani alluded to this prospect when he said that "The U.S. military presence will not become an element of strength at our expense. The opposite is true because their forces would turn into a hostage."

For purposes of analogy, the Iraq war so far could be compared to the first months of the Korean War, from June to November 1950. By provoking Iran to go beyond logistical support for guerrillas and the sending of volunteers, and come into the war with both feet, the neocons would be inviting a repeat of the Chinese intervention and the disastrous US retreat south from the Yalu to south of Seoul, which still stands as the longest retreat in US military history. Just as Chinese entry into the Korean conflict in late November 1950 created a wholly new and wider war, Iranian entry into the US-Iraq war would have similarly incalculable consequences. The choices might quickly narrow to the large-scale use of nuclear weapons or defeat for the current US hollow army of just 10 divisions.


In the case of Iran, the use of nuclear weapons by the US would have a dangerous complication: Iran is an important neighbor and trading partner of the Russian Federation, which is helping with Iran,s nuclear power reactor program. The threatened US/Israeli raid on Iran might kill Russian citizens as well. Such a US attack on Iran might prod the Russian government into drawing its own line in the sand, rather than sitting idle as the tide of US aggression swept closer and closer to Russia,s borders, as one country after another in central Asia was occupied. In other words, a US attack on Iran bids fair to be the opening of World War III, making explicit was already implicit in the invasion of Iraq. The Iran war project of the neocons is the very midsummer of madness, and it must be stopped.

War with Iran means a military draft, just for starters. If Iran can close the Straits of Hormuz, it might mean rationing of food and fuel. Bloated speculative financial structures could hardly survive.

The Israeli mole investigation seeks to explore the intersection of the Valerie Plame affair, the Chalabi affair, the Niger yellowcake forged documents scandal, and some key policy documents passed to the Israelis. According to a CIA veteran interviewed by CNN, the probe reaches into the National Security Council as well as the Pentagon. On June 6, I had identified Larry Franklin in these terms:

At the root of the Valerie Plame affair is the role of her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, in refuting the baseless claim that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium yellowcake from Niger. This story was buttresses by documents which turned out to be forged. A prime suspect in this regard is Ledeen, and the accusation is made more plausible because the faked documents first surfaced in Rome, where Ledeen possesses extensive contacts. A federal grand jury is probing this matter. Ledeen, like so many Bush officials, is an alumnus of the 1980s George H. W. Bush-Poindexter-Abrams-Oliver North Iran-contra gun-running and drug-running scandal, and appears to have mobilized these networks as part of the post 9-11 assault on Iraq. In December 2001, Ledeen moved to revive the Iran connection, setting up a meeting between two Pentagon civilian neo-cons and Manucher Ghorbanifar, an Iranian arms dealer whom the CIA called a criminal and liar. Three days of meetings in Rome involved Harold Rhode, Larry Franklin, Ghorbanifar, and two unnamed officials of the Iranian regime. After the conquest of Iraq, Rhode was sent to Baghdad as the contact point between the Office of Special Plans and Chalabi. Ghorbanifar, in a Dec. 22, 2003 interview with Newsweek's Mark Hosenball, reported that he maintained contact with Rhode and Franklin "five or six times a week through June 2003, when he had a second meeting with Rhode in Paris. This back channel to the Iranians is now also under intense scrutiny.

In the June 6 release, I also showed that, for Bush, the notion of a confrontation with Iran was closely linked to the hypothesis of a new wave of synthetic terrorism. I pointed in this context to a key speech in which Bush had escalated his threat of both:

A dramatic turning point on the way to the current emergency came on April 21, when Bush delivered two speeches which represented a palpable escalation of the tone of his usual demagogy of terrorism and fear. In the afternoon, he assured the Newspaper Association of America, composed of newspaper editors, that Iran "will be dealt with if they pursue a nuclear development program. Bush went on to characterize the United States as "a battlefield in the war on terror. He was at pains to build up the stature of Al-Qaeda, whose members he emphatically characterized as "smarttoughand sophisticated. Because the terrorists are so formidable, Bush said the United States "is a hard country to defend. Our intelligence is good. It,s just never perfect, is the problem. We are disrupting some cells here in America. We,re chasing people down. But it is we,ve got a big country. Later, Bush spoke to the same themes at a closed-door gathering at the White House: "...On Tuesday evening, Bush told Republican congressional leaders during a meeting at the White House that it was all but certain that terrorists would attempt a major attack on the United States before the election, according to a congressional aide. The leaders were struck by Bush's definitiveness and gravity, the aide said... (Washington Post, April 22, 2004)

The general thesis of the June 6 release was this:

Washington DC, June 6 Intelligence patterns monitored here now point conclusively to the grave threat of an imminent new round of ABC (atomic-bacteriological-chemical) terror attacks in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and possibly other nations. These attacks could include nuclear detonations, radiological dirty bombs, poison gas and other chemical weapons, or biological agents, to be unleashed in such urban settings as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, Vancouver BC, or London. The goal of these operations would be to produce a worldwide shock several orders of magnitude greater than the original 9-11, with a view to stopping the collapse of the Bush administration, the Wall Street-centered financial structures, and the US-UK strategic position generally. The attacks would be attributed by US/UK intelligence to controlled patsy terrorist groups who would be linked by the media to countries like Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, Egypt, or Saudi Arabia, thus setting these states up for attack. The organizers of the attacks would in reality be substantially the same secret command cell in the United States which set up the 9-11 events and its associated networks, which has been able to continue in operation because of the abject failure of all 9-11 investigations to date to identify it. These forces are now in a desperate flight forward to escape from their current increasingly grim position. Their goal is now to establish a neocon fascist dictatorship in the United States, complete with martial law, special tribunals, press and media censorship, and the full pervasive apparatus of the modern police state.

As of the end of August, 2004, this threat is now more urgent than ever.

These issues will be discussed in my upcoming book, 9/11 Synthetic Terrorism: The Myth of the Twenty-First Century, to be published by Progressive Press. For information, please contact info@progressivepress.com.

To read the full text of the June 6 release, "Rogue Bush Backers Prepare Super 9-11 False Flag Terror Attacks,aaa' please go to:



ZAMAN DAILY NEWSPAPER (2004083111893): "FBI Questions Wolfowitz about Mole Scandal

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) talked to US Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz about claims that a Pentagon official leaked sensitive information to the Israeli government.
Larry Franklin, who is a Middle East expert working for Pentagon, is accused of transferring information about US-Iran relations to an Israeli lobby group in Washington, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
The FBI still must decide whether or not to accuse Franklin of espionage, and it must also determine if AIPAC actually delivered the said information to the Israeli government. "

Jerusalem Post | Steve Rosen, AIPAC's director of foreign policy issues caught up in Spy Probe

Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World: "FBI seizes computer from AIPAC offices

FBI agents on Friday copied the computer hard drive of a senior staffer at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee who has been questioned in relation to the case of a Pentagon official suspected of turning over a classified document either directly to Israel, or via the pro-Israel lobby group.

Sources in Washington said the hard drive was that of Steve Rosen, AIPAC's director of foreign policy issues.

It was not clear if FBI agents also seized other materials from Rosen's office. AIPAC says it is cooperating fully with the FBI's investigation.

Government lawyers, according to Tuesday's New York Times, are preparing to make the first arrests in the case by issuing a criminal complaint against one or more figures who are said to be involved. The case is being handled by federal prosecutors in Virginia.

But experts suggested that the rush to file a complaint could be a sign that the charge will be less severe than that of espionage, as was originally reported.

"The fact that they're going to file a complaint instead of an indictment is an indication of the weakness of their case," said one criminal defense expert. A criminal complaint would allow the government to proceed with arrests more quickly.

AIPAC and Israel have denied any wrongdoing in a case that has become increasingly muddled since CBS News reported on Friday that the FBI was about to arrest an Israeli mole in the Pentagon.

Investigators suspect that a mid-level Pentagon staffer, Larry Franklin, provided either AIPAC or Israel with a secret draft of an internal planning document on US policy toward Iran.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith have been briefed on the case, as have officials at the White House, State Department, and congressional leaders.

Congressional leaders continued on Tuesday to rally around AIPAC, whose image, many in the pro-Israel community fear, has been tarnished by accusations of wrongdoing.

"AIPAC has worked hard to build its credibility with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle," House Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri said. "While the House will want to look carefully at any allegations that might endanger our national security, it will begin that look with a record of great confidence in our relationship with AIPAC and our strongest ally and the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel."

The House Democratic Whip, Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) also expressed confidence in AIPAC. "I have worked with AIPAC for many years. They are a very successful, strong, and committed organization and do a tremendous job advocating for the important US-Israel relationship."

Despite those voices of confidence, some in Washington said they expected that US officials would be reluctant to meet with AIPAC staffers, at least in the immediate short-term, now that there is a suspicion that AIPAC is being monitored by the FBI.

"The biggest implication, is that mid-level officials will not be meeting with AIPAC. They don't want to be seen with them," said one Washington lobbyist."

Monday, August 30, 2004

Naor Gilon fled to Israel to prepare defense

Haaretz - Israel News: "Naor Gilon fled to Israel to prepare defense

By Amir Oren
Four people, all of them formerly of the political affairs department at the Israeli embassy in Washington during the past decade and currently in the top echelons of the Foreign Ministry, sat in Jerusalem on Sunday combing through the Foreign Ministry's computers and paging through its documents in search of evidence that might inculpate Israel. They are Jeremy Issacharoff, the head of the ministry's strategic division; Ron Prosor, currently the acting deputy director general and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom's chief political adviser; Naor Gilon, who happened to be in Israel on personal business and discovered that he is being spoken of as the interlocutor of Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin and Steve Rosen of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC); and Prosor's associate in Shalom's bureau, Yaki Dayan.

This was one of those searches "with a fine-tooth comb," as one of the four put it, in which you hope you won't find anything, and the hope was realized until finally it was decided that there was no danger in Gilon's return to Washington, although in any case he enjoys diplomatic immunity.

The story of the investigation of Franklin was broken in an exclusive report by CBS-TV, a real scoop, and there was implied praise in it for the head of the FBI's counter-intelligence unit, Dave Szady. Exactly one year earlier Szady had appeared on another CBS broadcast to defend the failures of his colleagues in a previous investigation of leaks - or rather, floods - of security secrets. Now a way was found to make both sides happy - the ambitious investigator and the voracious media.

Generation follows generation and in a regular cycle, ever since 1970, the American media - mostly CBS or The Washington Post - have been publishing exclusive reports: A suspicion is being investigated that a knowledgeable Jewish/non-Jewish supporter of Israel in the administration/in Congress has handed security information to Israeli representatives. This has been the case for 34 years, from Richard Perle through Stephen Bryen to Paul Wolfowitz to Douglas Feith - all of them young and still before their rise to relative greatness in the Pentagon.

Once every five or six years a similar scoop appears, through the efforts of elements hostile to Israel, to nail a group whose patron, the late Democratic senator Henry Jackson of Washington, bore the nickname "Scoop" ever since he delivered newspapers as a boy. Without Scoop Jackson, it is impossible to understand American politics of the past decades, the swings of the administration's policy toward Israel and the background of an important level in the senior bureaucracy that is now staggering under the derisive nickname of "neo-conservative." ("Neo-schmeo," grumbled one of them recently, "I'm simply conservative.")

Jackson, with Perle heading his team of aides, symbolized the Democratic Party's reservations about moving leftward in its foreign and defense policy. Jackson's stream based itself on the memory of presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson in the center of the arena, and opposed the strong pull toward the left by 1968 presidential candidate senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota and 1972 candidate senator George McGovern of South Dakota.

The split became evident before the 1972 presidential elections when the Democrat Jackson - who refused to serve as Republican president Richard Nixon's secretary of defense - ran for his party's candidacy, lost and signaled that he would prefer Nixon to McGovern. The Israeli ambassador in Washington, Yitzhak Rabin - who was himself a kind of Israeli version of Jackson from Achdut Ha'avoda, the more hawkish precursor of today's Labor Party - followed in his footsteps with an aspiration (at least verbal) toward social justice at home and an active defense policy abroad.

Led by Jackson, one of the leading proponents of the supply of sophisticated weapons to Israel and aid to Soviet Jewry, for the first time a school of thought developed in America that identified a connection between assertive defense against the Soviets and the strengthening of Israel. Heading the intellectual wing of this school were Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz. Perle and his friends were prominent at the head of the political wing.

The final disappointment with their mother party during the days of Jimmy Carter's presidency and his seeming flabbiness vis-a-vis the Soviets and the Iranians pushed the Jackson Democrats across the line to join the Republicans, much like Moshe Dayan's surprise desertion to prime minister Menachem Begin's government in 1977 and like Shimon Peres' precedent-setting willingness to serve under prime minister Yitzhak Shamir in 1986.

The Jacksonites set up the Committee on the Present Danger to warn against the Soviets' victory in the Cold War and coined the slogan "Peace through strength." Their support helped Ronald Reagan defeat Carter, and they were rewarded with positions in his administration, especially in the Defense Department. To rebuff charges of excessive closeness to Israel, the policy undersecretariat at the Pentagon was divided in two, each headed by a Richard - Perle and Armitage.

During the presidencies of George Bush senior and Bill Clinton, the Perle-Wolfowitz group was sidelined. It returned to center stage in the current administration, though on its right wing, from which it has influenced not only encouraging the attack on Saddam Hussein but also scaling back the tendencies of the State Department under Colin Powell to formulate the road map as desired by the Europeans and the Palestinians. The group is too close to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon - that is, not far enough to the right - for the tastes of those Israelis and American Jews who are still with Benjamin Netanyahu and the Jewish settlers in the territories. There, in the no-man's-land between the extremes, the latest scoop in the series has caught them.

FBI trailed Israeli diplomat as link to Pentagon leak

FBI trailed Israeli diplomat as link to Pentagon leak : "FBI trailed Israeli diplomat as link to Pentagon leak
It is being reported Monday morning that the FBI has been following Naor Gilon, the diplomatic adviser in the Israeli Embassy in Washington, in connection with its investigation into an alleged leak of classified material to the pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC.

Newsweek reports that the FBI monitored a lunch meeting in 2003 between Gilon and an AIPAC lobbyist, which was joined by Pentagon official, Larry Franklin, who is suspected of leaking information to Israel via AIPAC.

The report claims that FBI agents saw Franklin attempt to transfer a classified U.S. policy document on Iran. Newsweek says Franklin, who is not Jewish, did reserve duty at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Both Israel and AIPAC flatly denied reports that any Pentagon official passed them classified information. A leading Israeli expert on U.S.-Israel relations, Professor Gerald Steinberg, director of the conflict management program at Bar-Ilan University, says the affair seems to have been deliberately exaggerated."

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Oregon Live: 03-16-01 Oregon FBI agent gets job as nation's top spy fighter

Oregon Live: 03-16-01 Oregon FBI agent gets job as nation's top spy fighter: "David W. Szady is the lead on the Larry Franklin Israeli Spy - Mole Case. JBOC

Oregon FBI agent gets job as nation's top spy fighter
Counterintelligence expert David W. Szady takes a new post protecting national secrets from domestic and foreign intrusion

By Mark Larabee of The Oregonian staff
FBI chief Louis J. Freeh on Thursday named David W. Szady, Oregon's top FBI agent and a counterintelligence expert, to the newly created post of coordinating the government's spy-fighting efforts.

As the nation's first governmentwide counterintelligence executive, Szady will be charged with identifying the nation's crown-jewel secrets and developing ways to protect them.

"The key thing about the job is to identify the key assets of the country," said Szady, a 28-year FBI veteran. "What do we need to protect that could cause the most damage to the U.S. if it's stolen and used against us?"

Dubbed "CI-21," which stands for counterintelligence in the 21st century, Szady will lead a staff of government spy catchers whose aim will be to thwart expanding threats from foreign spies, terrorists and computer hackers. He will answer to a board of directors headed by Freeh, and deputy directors of the CIA and Justice and Defense departments.

The group is not charged with protecting just traditional Cold War-like secrets, such as missile guidance systems and weapons technology. It's also looking to cloak private-sector secrets, such as developments in computer chips and software, banking technology and the Internet.

"We have to protect against intrusion into the nation's computer systems," Szady said. "Developing an outreach program to the private sector, like Oregon's Silicon Forest, is a key aspect of CI-21."

The announcement comes a month after the FBI charged one of its own agents, Robert Philip Hanssen, with spying for Moscow for 15 years. Hanssen is alleged to have furnished Russian agents with scores of highly classified national security and counterintelligence information in exchange for more than $600,000.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which reviewed Szady's appointment, said the threat to U.S. security interests is real.

"This is about as important as it gets," Wyden said. "There's been a major breech. The information that got out is not trifling stuff. It's going to take somebody of Dave Szady's character to turn this around."

President Clinton created the new post in January, partly in response to allegations that Taiwan-born nuclear scientist, Wen Ho Lee, was a spy. Federal agents began investigating Lee in 1996 on suspicion that he provided China with design plans for Trident missile warheads. He pleaded guilty in September to one count of mishandling classified information.

Szady said the Lee case is a perfect example of the type of problem CI-21 is designed to avoid. The case resurrected old questions about the nation's somewhat fractured anti-spying efforts. After years of bureaucratic resistance, Szady hopes his work will broaden the efforts of the nation's national security agencies to work together.

"People who are friends could still be our friends, but they're trying to steal our secrets," Szady said. "There are key things within our nuclear program that different countries are looking for."

Szady, 57, who joined the FBI in September 1972 as a field agent in Mobile, Ala., is considered a counterintelligence expert.

From 1975 to 1985, he rose to supervisor of the FBI's headquarters intelligence division, where he oversaw the investigation of convicted U.S. Navy spy John Walker Jr. Before his arrest in May 1985, Walker lead a spy ring that sold secrets to the Soviet Union, including a manual on Navy contingency plans in the event of war in the Middle East.

From 1985 to 1995, Szady ran the FBI's major foreign counterintelligence program in San Francisco, then spent two years there as the assistant special agent in charge, running counterintelligence operations in Silicon Valley.

Beginning in March 1997, Szady was the FBI's chief of counterintelligence and counterespionage, which included being the FBI liaison to the CIA. In May 1999 he was assigned to run the FBI's Portland field office, supervising 92 agents.

Szady said it's painful for him and his family to leave Oregon. He said he's proud that he elevated the FBI's drug, organized crime and white-collar crime investigative teams, expanded the agency's presence in Eastern Oregon and developed crucial working relations with local police.

You can reach Mark Larabee at 503-294-7664 or by e-mail at marklarabee@news.oregonian.com."

Interview with FBI Assistant Director Dave Szady

Federal Bureau of Investigation - Press Room - Headline Archives: "

Dave Szady is the lead on the Larry Franklin Israeli Mole - Spy investigaion. JBOC

Part 1 of an Interview with FBI Assistant Director Dave Szady


Let's start with the basics. What's counterintelligence?

It's much broader than just espionage--the traditional spy game. It also includes the protection of our critical national assets. And by that, I don't mean the bridges, the railroad stations, the nuclear plants. I mean things like our country's advanced technologies, its weapons systems, its military capacities--classified information and systems that are strategically important to our nation's well-being. Counterintelligence, or CI, also involves protecting trade secrets and guarding against operations or disinformation campaigns that would disadvantage the U.S.

What's the FBI's role in counterintelligence?

We're the lead agency for exposing, preventing, and investigating intelligence activities on U.S. soil. We run our own investigations and coordinate investigations of other agencies. Simply put, we're on point to protect the U.S. from intelligence threats within our country. We've also got the lead on cases overseas involving potential espionage.

Why is counterintelligence the FBI's #2 priority?

Because the threat is incredibly serious. It strikes at the heart of our national security--our political, military, and economic strengths; our position in the world; our future as a country. That's why only terrorism, with its threat of direct attacks and bombings and mass casualties, ranks above it.

How has the threat changed since the end of the Cold War?

In the Cold War, the threat was what we call "symmetric." It was predictable, clear, and geographically limited to the Soviet Union and the bloc countries. Today, the threat is "asymmetric." It's coming at us from a lot of different directions. It's no longer just our traditional adversaries who want to steal our secrets, but sometimes even our allies. And how they go about it has changed. Embassies and consulates are still used as a basis of operations for intelligence services. But now foreign governments are also using students, visiting delegations, scientists, and false front companies to get at our secrets. And the threat is just as severe in places like Alabama, Kentucky, Maine, and Iowa as it is in New York or Washington, because the classified projects, the universities, and the corporations being targeted exist throughout the U.S.

Why is economic espionage now such a serious threat?

Economic espionage attempts to disadvantage the U.S. unfairly without legitimate competition. For example, the U.S. spends billions on research and development, and someone comes in and steals that research and tries to sell it, in some cases back to our own country. Billions of dollars can be lost, and anytime you impact our country's economic viability in such a significant way you impact its national security. There's also a lot of dual use technology or export-controlled technology that can be used for weapons of mass destruction or military systems. So it's vital that the FBI prevent countries from stealing our trade secrets, our proprietary information, and our embargoed technology because it undermines both our economic and national security."

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Blow the agent's cover, reap the (political) reward

Mathaba.Net News: "Blow the agent's cover, reap the (political) reward
Posted: 08/11
From: Informed Comment

by Juan Cole

We know that the Pakistani government has complained that the Bush administration blew the cover of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan. Not only are the Pakistanis annoyed by the blown cover, they are also furious about the cavalier way the FBI used a fiction about a plot against the life of Pakistan's ambassador in the US to entrap two merchants into what they thought was a money-making scheme that involved providing weapons to terrorists.

Responding to volley of questions about the issue at the weekly press briefing, the Foreign Office Spokesman Masood Khan said, “ At one level this is a bizarre story; at another quite dangerous.”

The standard line about the Pakistanis in Washington is that the Pakistani government is riddled with sympathizers of the Taliban and maybe al-Qaeda and is unreliable. But from Islamabad's point of view, during the past two weeks the Bush administration has behaved like wild men, spreading around the idea of killing the Pakistani ambassador and blowing the cover of a major intelligence asset inside al-Qaeda.

Charlie Savage and Brian Bender of the Boston Globe provide more details about the unfolding story of the Bush administration outing of the double agent Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan. Khan had been an al-Qaeda communications operative until arrested July 13 and turned by Pakistani military intelligence. His name appears to have been revealed by a Bush administration official to the New York Times on Sunday, August 1 in connection with the raising of the terror alert levels in Washington and New York by Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge.

The authors point out that in her interview with Wolf Blitzer on the past Sunday, National Security Adviser Condaleeza Rice denied that the Bush administration had publicly identified Khan. So Wolf Blitzer said, "He was disclosed in Washington on background." Then Condi replied, "On background. And the problem is that when you're trying to strike a balance between giving enough information to the public so they know that you're dealing with a specific, credible, different kind of threat than you've dealt with in the past, you're always weighing that against operational considerations. We've tried to strike a balance."

The authors note:
'Later in the show, Blitzer said this exchange meant Rice had confirmed that the administration released Khan's name to a reporter on background -- an interpretation repeated in later news accounts. But Sean McCormack, a National Security Council spokesman, said yesterday that Rice did not say the leak came from American officials. "She was in the middle of making a point and he interrupted her, and she reflexively repeated 'on background,' but she was not confirming it and went on to complete her thought," McCormack said.'

Savage and Bender say that "Senior intelligence officials gave a background briefing to reporters Aug. 1 after Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced an orange alert for sites in New York, Washington, and Newark. Khan's name does not appear in the transcript."

That is worth repeating. "Khan's name does not appear in the transcript."
I had been assuming that the name was given out at the Sunday briefing. But maybe not. Though, if the name was given on background, would they have recorded it in the transcript?

Savage and Bender say that the Boston Globe's intelligence contact in the government had declined to name Khan on Sunday Aug. 1, saying only that the information came from a suspect recently arrested in Pakistan. This official confirmed after the name came out that he had been talking about Khan.

There does not seem any doubt that the Bush administration has provided enormous numbers of details about al-Qaeda operations to the public since August 1, and that many intelligence professionals and officials in Pakistan, the United Kingdom and even the US are extremely dismayed at this way of proceeding.

' . . . several senior intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, expressed dismay at the level of information that has been revealed to the media -- particularly the role that Khan's arrest has played. "Most of the people I talk to are most shocked by some of the recent details being revealed about Al Qaeda," said one senior CIA analyst who works on terrorism issues. '

I am not sure that the transcript resolves the issue of whether the name of Khan was revealed after the Ridge press conference. It is, however, possible that after the press conference and the background briefing, the reporters began working their Bush administration contacts. The one to whom the Boston Globe spoke was circumspect. The one to whom the New York Times spoke was less so.

Given the evidence from Pakistani complaints (and strong but implicit such evidence via British government complaints), there is not any doubt that the Bush administration blew Khan's cover and also spread a lot of operational details all over the press that the Pakistanis, the British and even the CIA would have liked to keep secret.

Remaining questions:

Why did Wolf Blitzer think that Khan's name had been provided "on background"?

Why did Condi Rice agree with him? Either she knew this was true and agreed, or was ignorant and just parroted back to him his statement. If the latter, which her office asserts, is actually true, then she should be fired immediately. You can't have public officials who a) don't know key information and b) purvey misinformation "reflexively" to millions of viewers about important issues.

Was the name given on background but not included in the transcript of the Aug. 1 briefing?

Or did Jehl get the information from a Bush Administration source by telephone later, on background (note: not "deep background," which whould have cautioned him against using it)?

What was the motive in releasing all this information RIGHT AFTER the Democratic Party Convention? Was the revelation of Khan's name DELIBERATE or a piece of stupidity?

Jim Lobe has a good summary of the state of play in the scandal of the Bush administration outing of double agent Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan. Two important points.

1) Lobe implicitly takes on the argument of the rightwing bloggers that the press is to blame for printing Khan's name. He says,
" Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, confirmed Sunday briefing officials had given Khan's name to the Times but insisted he was identified "on background," an assertion that caused consternation among experienced journalists here, who know that everything said by officials "on background" can be quoted so long as the name of the briefing officials is not disclosed."

Again, there is no way to shift the blame here from Tom Ridge or one of his aides, who told the press the information came from Khan. You don't tell a big group of journalists something you don't want to see in the newspapers the next day.

Lobe also writes:
' Similarly, the administration announced the arrest in Pakistan of a senior al-Qaeda operative, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, wanted for organizing the 1998 suicide bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, on the third day of the Democratic convention, and three weeks after the The New Republic weekly quoted Pakistani intelligence officials as saying the White House had asked them to announce the arrest or killing of any "high-value [al-Qaeda] target" any time between July 26 and 28, the first three days of the Democratic Convention. At the time, former CIA officer Robert Baer said the announcement made "no sense." "To keep these guys off-balance, a lot of this stuff should be kept in secret. You get no benefit from announcing an arrest like this." '

Meanwhile, kudos to New York Senator Charles Schumer, who has bravely taken up this issue and is pressing the White House to explain why it leaked Khan's name to the press.

The most concerning information so far gleaned from Khan's files is not the operations planned years ago but the evidence that a new, young generation is replenishing al-Qaeda's ranks.

Juan Cole is a professor of History at University of Michigan, and runs his on blog on the war in Iraq. This is an excerpt from it, Aug. 9 and 10."

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Bush Chooses Rep. Goss to Head CIA

Yahoo! News - Bush Chooses Rep. Goss to Head CIA: "Bush Chooses Rep. Goss to Head CIA

By TERENCE HUNT, AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites) has chosen Rep. Porter Goss, chairman of the House intelligence committee and a one-time Army intelligence operative, to be the new director of the CIA (news - web sites), it was learned Tuesday.

A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Bush planned to announce the selection of the 65-year-old Goss later Tuesday during a White House appearance.

Goss, a Republican from Florida, had been mentioned prominently in speculation about a successor to departed CIA Director George Tenet, who left amid a torrent of criticism of the agency's handling of prewar intelligence on Iraq.

Bush's decision also comes in the wake of the president's embrace of a key recommendation of the commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks: creation of a new intelligence czar to oversee the activities of the CIA and more than a dozen other intelligence agencies.

Speaking last week of the pleas for change by the 9/11 commission, Goss had said "we cannot afford to make changes blindly or in an unnecessary haste. We can ill-afford to rush to judgment any more than we can tolerate needless delay."

Goss was among the leading candidates mentioned when Tenet announced his resignation in late spring. But there had been more recent speculation that his prospects had dimmed, due at least in part to the unavoidable controversies that follow a leading player in Congress.

Tenet's last day was July 11, and the much-criticized agency since then has been under the leadership of acting Director John McLaughlin.

The administration was believed to have debated internally whether to choose a permanent successor to Tenet before the fall elections, thus putting itself in the position of having to defend its choice in confirmation hearings held in a politically charged atmosphere.

Pending Senate confirmation, Goss is poised to take over the agency at a pivotal moment.

Leaders of various intelligence agencies worry about a series of high-profile events this summer that could become attractive terrorist targets. It is widely believed that al-Qaida and its allies might try to strike the United States in a way that replicates the political and economic impact of March's train bombings in Madrid, Spain.

The Connecticut-born Goss graduated from Yale in 1960 and launched a clandestine career, working for Army intelligence for two years and eventually the CIA's most well-known division, the Directorate of Operations.

When he got into politics, Goss had to get special permission to reveal that he was associated with "the agency" for roughly a decade, reportedly in Europe and Latin America. Goss still doesn't discuss classified details of his work, although he has said he was deployed in Miami during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

"I had some very interesting moments in the Florida Straits," Goss told The Washington Post in 2002.

In the early 1970s, an almost deadly staph infection forced him to retire to Sanibel, Fla., where retired CIA officers who had made the coastal community their home had convinced him to come for recovery. Each day, he tried to walk to the ocean as part of his rehabilitation.

Gradually, he stepped into local politics and ran for the House in 1988.

Goss has served in Congress for 16 years, including eight years as House Intelligence chairman. He planned on making his 2000 election bid his last, but decided to stay on after the Sept. 11 attacks — with encouragement from Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites). The opportunity was sweetened when Republicans waived a rule limiting his chairmanship to six years.

Along with fellow Floridian, Democratic Sen. Bob Graham (news, bio, voting record), then the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Goss led an joint congressional inquiry into the attacks, which identified numerous miscalculations that prevented authorities from derailing the attacks.

With his well-placed experience, Washington insiders have speculated for some time that he could take over as director of central intelligence, overseeing the CIA and 14 other agencies that make up the intelligence community. Only one CIA director was also a member of Congress: former President George H.W. Bush.

The 2005 intelligence authorization bill, which passed the House in late June, contained an entire section dedicated to criticizing the CIA's clandestine service, where Goss once worked.

Tenet at the time called some of the judgments "absurd" and "ill-informed."

If Goss's goal was to assert his independence from the CIA, "he may have overachieved. Just about everyone at CIA read the language in the report," said one current intelligence official, speaking on the condition of anonymity."

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Repeat Show: 9/11 Panel Points to Institutional-failure - The Times of India

Repeat Show: 9/11 Panel Points to Institutional-failure - The Times of India
: "Repeat Show: 9/11 Panel Points to Institutional-failure

[ MONDAY, AUGUST 02, 2004 12:00:00 AM ]

The 9/11 Commission has held that the most important failure of the US administration was one of imagination. "We do not believe", says the commission, "leaders understood the gravity. The terrorist danger from bin Laden and Al-Qaida was not a major topic for policy debate among the media or in the Congress. Indeed, it barely came up during the 2000 presidential campaign".

Nine years before the 9/11 attack, the Senate foreign relations sub-committee, under the chairmanship of senator John Kerry, looked into the affairs of the Pakistani Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). The sub-committee concluded: "The CIA developed important information on BCCI and inadvertently failed to provide it to those who could use it... Unanswered questions include, but are not limited to, the relationship between BCCI and Banco Nazionale del Lavoro, the alleged relationship between the late CIA director William Casey and BCCI, extent of BCCI's involvement in Pakistan's nuclear programme. Documents pertaining to BCCI's use to finance terrorism, to assist the builders of a Pakistani nuclear bomb, to finance Iranian arms and related matters have been sealed in the UK by British intelligence and remain unavailable to US investigators".

Not only was there no follow-up on these observations, this failure has not even figured in the present presidential campaign though the then chairman of the Senate sub-committee is the present Democratic presidential candidate. The 9/11 Commission has observed: "Al-Qaida's new brand of terrorism presented challenges to US governmental institutions that they were not well-designed to meet". But the commission did not investigate the 20-year-old relationship between the Casey-led CIA and Pakistani entities. Nor did it focus on the US permissiveness towards BCCI operations, including its financing of terrorism, Pakistani nuclear programme, illegal arms sales and the activities of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence which installed the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in 1994. The commission has referred to the interests of American oil companies in developing a pipeline through Afghanistan, and the consequent negotiations between US officials and the Taliban regime. Given this long relationship between the CIA and jehadi groups, and the American attitude to ISI activities, should there be any surprise that US governmental institutions were not well prepared to meet the Al-Qaida challenge?

The degree of permissiveness in relation to weapons of mass destruction is evident from the official US assertion that Washington came to know about A Q Khan's proliferation only in the last few years. The Kerry report, as mentioned before, referred to BCCI's involvement in proliferation. According to Khan's own confession, a worldwide network of proliferation, involving North Korea, China and various western European countries, had been going on for two decades. Yet, the premier US intelligence agency claims to have been unaware of it. And this, when the country spends billions of dollars annually on a counter-proliferation programme.

In 1998, the US Congress set up a new commission to examine all the available intelligence concerning the threat from ballistic missiles. The commission had Donald Rumsfeld, the present defence secretary, as its chairman and Paul Wolfowitz, the present deputy defence secretary, as a member. The commission singled out Iran, Iraq and North Korea as the greatest threats to the US. Though Pyongyang was specifically named, the missile-for-uranium-enrichment exchange between North Korea and Pakistan escaped the notice of the US intelligence and, therefore, of the Rumsfeld commission.

China started supplying missiles to Pakistan from 1992, a fact admitted to by Islama-bad in its own senate in 1993. Yet, the Clinton administration maintained till 2000 that it was unable to make a determination on the transfer of missiles from China to Pakistan. According to Bob Woodward's Plan of attack, the US didn't possess adequate human intelligence (humint) assets in Iraq, which led to the wrong assessment on Iraqi WMD. Steve Coll's book, Ghost Wars reveals that the CIA didn't have sufficient 'humint' assets in Afghanistan to help in the capture of bin Laden. The CIA has also attributed its surprise regarding India's nuclear tests to the lack of humint assets in India in 1998.

While Pakistan proliferated WMDs to North Korea, Iran and Libya, it was the beneficiary of Chinese M-9, M-11 and North Korean Nodong missiles. The 9/11 Commission admits that the movement of bin Laden from Sudan to Afghanistan could not have taken place without the knowledge and acquiescence of the ISI. Indeed, a large number of Al-Qaida cadres came to bin Laden's training camps via Pakistan. The present performance of the CIA would seem to replicate the failures from an earlier era: Having never operated in Shah's Iran, it got all its intelligence from SAVAK. No wonder, the US was taken completely by surprise when the Shah was overthrown.

In the current instance, the US security establishment seems to have been excessively preoccupied with the oil producing countries of West Asia. Pakistan, a non-oil producer, was simply used to spread Jehadism, develop weapons of mass destruction and acquire missiles. The neocons paid very little attention to the Afghanistan-Pakistan region which had no oil.

The 9/11 attack which was planned by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, under the overall direction of bin Laden, had its origins in this non-oil producing region."