Saturday, September 30, 2006


In response to Part Two of my interview with Barton, simon writes:
Again very good. And I think I got it generally right when I speculated that there was a second interim report which, as it turns out, was being written by RB (Barton) and was then quoshed by (Charles Duelfer) CD. So CD didn't want to publish the boldest of the newest truths as DK (david kay) had done previously ("Let me begin by saying, we were almost all wrong, and I certainly include myself here,...").

(ed: btw - i'm not exactly sure how clear this part of the interview was. CD basically wanted to say stuff like 'WE FOUND TRAILERS!' - without saying that they weren't bio)

Remembering that DK has presented his own interim report to Congress back in October of 2003, Congress was then expecting another (final?) report six months later. (ed: this was supposed to be interim, at least according to RB)

It was thereafter CD's responsibility to produce the report for that presentation in March 2004.
RB from interview - Charles told me that he wanted a new 20 page report for Congress. It's still classified, only because it is such an embarrassment!

The report didn't say a thing - it was 20 pages, with a long introduction, and it outlines what we were going to do, but none of the findings!
In a little-known-about interview published in the Guardian at almost the same time (3 March 2004), David Kay iterates:
He now believes the west's intelligence agencies got it wrong for two reasons. First, they were manipulated by Ahmed Chalabi and other dissidents whose central interest was ousting Saddam. Just mentioning the name of the Iraqi National Congress leader makes Kay laugh. "Here's a guy who's so transparent. Chalabi asked me in Iraq once: 'Why are you so concerned about WMD? No one cares about WMD.'

"They manipulated us," Kay admits, "but we weren't smart enough to detect it, and screen it out, and so the greater shame is on us."

The second factor, in Kay's opinion, was a fundamental cultural misunderstanding. The CIA, MI5 and the other western agencies saw blatant smuggling at a time when the regime could quite legally import basic civilian goods, and came to the conclusion the contraband must be military. They failed to understand that smuggling was more lucrative. "You had the Turks, the Syrians and Jordanians - everyone got a cut, so it became in everyone's interest to do it illegally," he says.
(ed: fascinating)

Plainly one area, amongst others, where Charles Duelfer didn't want to go.

And with the Turks, Syrians and Jordanians involved, is this what Valerie Plame and others were looking at whilst at JTFI?

Second to that, do Mark Grossman, Douglas Dickerson and Melek Can Harputlu start to enter the picture here?

If they do and there is some connection here, my off-the-wall question(s) would have to be:

Could it be possible that the bottom line of all this be that there was at some point an intra-CIA (etc?) sting operation in progress to open a backdoor WMD smuggling route through Turkey, so that Saddam could then be seen to hang himself on it?

Then when everything else about the case for war was falling apart around their ears, did they have to scuttle the plot by blowing its cover because it was all just plainly too embarrasing?

interesting scenarios - although i dont really understand what simon is suggesting. perhaps he could flesh that out a little more?

Re the Dickersons - they had been sent scurrying to belgium by sibel in 2002 - but they may very well have still been working with grossman.

It's certainly more than possible that someone - the JTFI or some other group - was planning to plant stuff via Turkey. That's long been suggested. I'm not exactly sure how Saddam could 'hang himself' with it though - presumably it was either prior to the invasion with Saddam as the presumed end-client, or it was after the invasion - in which case they were just gonna plant it and then 'find' it - probably by Judy et al as she was traversing the country.

re scuttling the plot because it was too embarrassing - again, i'm not exactly sure how that would work in practice. I have no idea why Cheney outed Plame - so anything is possible. We still seem to have a lot of dots missing. It's not obvious how outing Plame could have scuttled to plan, and it's difficult to imagine a scenario where that was their best option (assuming that Cheney and the CIA were ostensibly on the same side)

more later.

1 comment:

Simon said...


although i dont really understand...

What I'm kicking around here is some sort of notion to try to pull all the strings together.

I don't think that it was a plan to plant stuff directly to frame Saddam, but the possibility comes to my mind that a CIA monitored backdoor route, bearing in mind that the smuggling and sanctions-busting were rife, would have been especially useful in proving that Saddam was still engaging in WMD related 'shopping trips'.

Turkey is the one country out of the three (T, S, J,) that was likely to have more problems with the overthrow of Saddam than any of the others, remembering they wanted no part in being a staging post prior to the invasion itself.

They, I think, clearly realised that the Kurds would rise up again after Saddam was gone and once again press for autonomy, and that this would lead to internal dissent close to insurrection inside Turkey's own borders.

So within Turkey there must have been a lot of concern relating to the US' methodology in achieving its aims, with Turkey being stuck in a cleft stick being as it was simultaneously dependent on the US for military aid/technology (witnessed by their need for F-16s today).

Would it really be surprising if the Mýllý Ýstýhbarat Teskýlati and elements of the ATC were not paying attention here?

Back to the WMD smuggling bit, Iraq at some point imported 380 SA-2/Volga liquid-propellant engines from Poland and possibly Russia or Belarus for the Al-Samoud project. The question here is whether these were transported via Turkey and the US (CIA) had a handle on this to prove Saddam's complicity in continuing his illicit activities.

Then back to Cheney and Valerie, did he want her out because her husband had already turned tail (tale?) and his over-riding fear was that she might do likewise?

(Not sure if you were aware of this, but going back a while, there was a situation where US/UK aircraft were operating out of Incerlik Airbase in Turkey to protect the Kurds via patrolling the no-fly zone, whilst Turkish warplanes were operating out of the same base at the same time to bomb them!)

Yep, it's all crazy!