Wednesday, October 04, 2006

operation merlin. i call bullshit.

More on my Operation Merlin post and my request for help in understanding the story:

"I'll take a stab.

Perhaps Op Merlin was a tracer/sting operation whose purpose was to identify the players and routes in the nuclear proliferation black market. In order to appear credible, CIA NOCs and their agents had to offer something to their black market liasons, i.e. credible looking parts and/or plans that were in some ways defective. (I also might note, again, pure speculation here, that these decoys made for the CIA MIGHT be what actually appears in those CIA pictures of the Obhedi stash. See, for example EW's post here for an example of those pictures. Makes sense, if the CIA was already in the biz of manufacturing defective, credible-looking centrifuge parts and/or plans.) This is also supported by Risen's claim that part of op Merlin was outed by the Russian who realized that the blueprints to be given to Iranians were wrong.

These mini-sting operations could be conducted in concert with local law enforcement/intel agencies (if they're trusted), and then pressure could be brought to bear on the liasons to flip and reveal their contacts, and in so doing, work their way up the chain.

Or, the parts/plans/whatever might also have embedded tracking devices that could lead the CIA and other agencies to the locations of secret labs and/or facilities.

And here's a wild-assed speculation! What if, Bolton, through his normal duties as head of State's Nonproliferation office, found out about Op Merlin (or other ops like it) and the CIA teams running it (of which Plame, I'm sure, was just one part) and told his good buddies Cheney and Rumsfeld about it. These guys had been looking for a causus belli for a while for Iraq, and now they've just been handed one on a silver platter, courtesey of our own CIA.

Who cares if the parts and the plans are totally fake? The CIA can't speak out for fear of blowing their op and endangering national security. And it would be easy to game the intel, because the CIA already knew where all the faulty parts were!

So, in their zeal to go to war, the neocons might have totally destroyed a black-market tracing op, just so they could have their gamed intel.

Talk about sacrificing national security. It would also explain why the CIA was so pissed at the admin, and why Plame was outed; maybe she was threatening to go public like her husband had.

As for the glitch, I don't know. Maybe it's that communications error described at the beginning of the Risen passage. I'd love to know how the CIA could be so incompetent as to pass along information that allowed that double agent to ID virtually their entire spy network in Iran. You'd think they'd have that kind of info heavily classified and guarded, hopefully not even safe enough to leave Langley. Hard to believe, really."
hmmm - thanks for that, Viget. I had been working under the presumption that Merlin was as described by Risen - i.e. a program to deliver some broken plans to Iran so that they'd build something that didnt work, but that might be wrong. There was obviously something seriously wrong with that purported plan if it was "sort of like cotton candy" and"melted on contact" - the Russian guy eyeballed the thing and immediately knew something was wrong, but there was no attempt to pull the plan at that point. That barely passes the sniff test. If Russian Guy immediately knew that the plans were screwed then they should have pulled the whole thing then and there. Mind you, I find it VERY difficult to believe that this is what happened - which 'begs the question' why they are telling this particular lie.

AFAIK, Merlin only included blueprints, nothing physical, so i don't think it is likely that Obedei was part of this specific operation.

As for the Bolton speculation, that seems more than plausible.

As for the glitch, we are indeed, specifically, talking about 'that communications error' that Risen mentions. And yes, it is quite hard to believe. From memory, i think that emptywheel has some theory on this. I wish she wasn't stupidly flying around the world, stupidly satisfying stupid corporate clients so that she can stupidly put stupid food on her stupid table.

* starroute helpfully notes that the AQ Khan ring was effectively busted in early 2003, which means that it predates the 2004 'glitch.' anon noted that:
"2004 is interesting for the glitch. I read somewhere on this blog about inputs and outputs/Iran. Have your brilliant readers failed to connect the dots?""
I have no idea what anon is pointing to there. The input/output thing relates to Plame from the summer of 03. Perhaps anon is saying that the 2004 date for the glitch is 'interesting' because it happened at some time other than 2004.

Kathllen adds:
"I never believed the 'glitch' story. I think it was to finish off the whole team, starting with outing Plame. Anon and I are on the same page.

How many dots do we need to get the picture? Of course they want war with Iran and Iraq, and Syria and North Korea and whoever the hell else they can make billions off of by fomenting war everywhere. W stands for Wall to Wall War!!!

Are we going to have to get into pointilism here to get this picture? We have been selling arms to both sides of wars that we fomented for how many years???? Iran-Contra, folks. It's even the same bozos, lugging the cash.

With the old cliche in mind, "It takes one to know one", just apply the One Percent Doctrine to Darth.

Glitch, my ass.

They are projecting their own stupidity on to us. They are waaaaay past 'denial". They are in deep disassociation, schitzo. Think about it. They want us now to believe that booze can turn you into a gay pedophile.

Does that mean they'll pass a bill requiring alcoholic beverages to come with a warning on the label?


P.S. Maybe the $2m was to pay for the Iranian equivalent of a "Curveball"? Some crook who needed out fast and would say whatever. It worked before.

Darth Cheney would be getting billions through Halliburton.

P.P.S. Maybe the $2m was for a new set of forgeries, you know, yellowcake from Niger in Iran?"
(LeeB makes the requisite gag about the forgeries)

I agree with Kathleen's "Glitch, my ass. " comment. and I agree broadly with her sentiment that: "Maybe the $2m was to pay for the Iranian equivalent of a "Curveball"? Some crook who needed out fast and would say whatever. " - but as I mentioned in the previous post, I'm somewhat confused by the fact that they didnt find a way to pay this person off-book, or alternatively, they didnt find a way to launder his information regardless of the payment. Their M.O. (according to Merlin) was to try to charge for the info (apparently just to give the veneer of legitimacy), but to give it away for free if that was the best they could do.

I'm still confused.


damien said...

We have a videocommented on by Alex Jones and others. The guy in the video is categorically not Mohammed Atta. Period. This is Mohammed Atta, not this. Come on Scott Horton, come on Joseph Cannon, tell me again how all the 9111 conspiracy theorists are fuckwits. There were three Mohammed Attas: the genial student in Germany, the psychotic cat killer in Florida who allegedly carried out 911, and the johny-come-lately Atta simulator Mohamed Arajaki.

As Jack Riddler says:

Preceding that however we had in the US:
- Atta trying to muscle a loan out of Johnelle Bryant for a cropduster to fill with poison, incidentally promising mayhem in Washington.
- An Atta located as a member of the "Brooklyn Cell" by Able Danger, the personnel of which insist he was the same lead-hijacker Atta of the official story. AD also names the 3 other alleged ringleaders, and what do you know, they're the same ones the Mossad named in Aug. 2001.
- Atta renting rooms, seen by a few people around Florida.
- Someone going out with Amanda Keller.
This Atta was generally obnoxious and conspicuous.

Meanwhile, he was in Germany, too, being a quiet student who'd just finished up his Magister thesis. AND being followed around by the CIA. AND also under surveillance by the German authorities. AND receiving Ramzi Binalshibh, who was also followed.

Enough, already. If these friggin videos are real then we should all be on medication. Who the hell is produsing this shit? (oh, btw, I am drinking...there has to be some sanity in this world.)

-Damien (just your average heavy drinking 911 conspiracy theorist - I drink to cope, so there!)

damien said...

And while we're at it jo cannon confirms that the ISI had a close relationship with Saeed Sheikh. Bob Graham made it clear that players other than the 19 terrorists were involved. However strong the fires were at the back of WTC7 they wouldn't bring about a uniform cross sectional collapse of the entire WTC7 bulding. Larry Siverstein wouldn't have brought two lemons filled with asbestos, in need of structural refits, half-tenanted, and then paid through the nose for insurance on the buldings unless he knew the fix was in.

It is the US government's job to explain 911 to the people, not the other way around. Enough already! - people should believe the sun gets up in the west if it validates their miserable identities. Just don't tell me it means anything.


damien said...

Even more. I worked in a steel mill for three years. Do you know how much heat is needed to work steel? I cook on my barbeque at times. Let me tell you, it doesn't melt. The people who want to support the fiction of collapsing buildings should front up with independant scientific analysis. Last I looked, steel buildings involved in fires did not fall down.

There, I feel better already (go do it to yourself.)

emptywheel said...

Just coming in at the end of a thread, I think, trying to catch up. BUt I'll add two comments.

First, I have long thought the blueprints from Obeidi, at least, were likely from Pakistan. It would explain why they were in English, and not Arabic, as Obeidi described them to be. (That's an assumption that English would be more of a lingua franca in Pakistan than in Iraq, of course, but also that you could get stamps in English in Pakistan). As to the other pieces parts, remember that Jerry Doe was fired (effectively) because he had a contact who would sell him the defunct Iraqi centrifuge parts that were available on the black market, and whose source also told him there was no active program.

Also, it would pay not to believe the hype that the AQ Khan network ever got effectively shut down. The only people who ever got jailed are free again (though Khan's still in house arrest). The Pakistanis never once gave us access to Khan. And there have been reports that it is completely functional (don't know whether that means it's back or just never got shut down).