Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Is twice a pattern?

bump&update - comments added below.

* Guardian:
"Operation Merlin is not the only CIA gaffe recounted in (Risen's) State of War. In 2004, a CIA official sent an Iranian agent an encrypted electronic message, mistakenly including data that could potentially identify "virtually every spy the CIA had inside Iran". The Iranian was a double agent and handed over the information to Iranian intelligence. "Several of the Iranian agents were arrested and jailed, while the fates of some of the others is still unknown," Risen writes."
* From Deliso's interview with Phil Giraldi:
"Phil Giraldi: Later, after my time in Turkey, the Iranians also rolled up at least two large groups of CIA-recruited agents who were reporting with invisible writing from inside Iran, one in around 1991, and one about ten years later.

This was also reported in the international press. The arrested agents were tortured to death. The first group was exposed when a CIA clerk sent letters to all of the agents all at the same time, from the same mailbox, and all in the same handwriting- the Iranians picked up on it immediately and arrested the whole group or nineteen.

Chris Deliso: What a disaster? Was there any agency political fallout because of this fiasco?

PG: No- nobody in CIA was punished for the egregious “error in judgment,” and the chief of the field element responsible was, in fact, promoted."
Is twice a pattern? Or are we still in coincidence territory?

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update: starroute in the comments:
Wanna try for three? There was a similar CIA disaster in Iraq in 1996. According to Scott Ritter:

While we were busy planning our inspection, the CIA's Iraq Operations Group had dispatched a special team of agents to its Amman Station to coordinate coup planning with the Iraqi National Accord (INA), a group of Iraqi expatriates led by a former Ba'athist official, Iyad Alawi, whom Richter had brought together with al-Shawani.

The White House was under political pressure to be seen to be doing something about Iraq. When the CIA said they had a plan - the "Silver Bullet" coup - to get rid of Saddam Hussein, the White House approved it. Of course, there was a political dimension: the upcoming presidential elections in November 1996. Tony Lake, the national security adviser to President Clinton, was sensitive to any possibility of an "October Surprise" and, in private discussions with CIA director John Deutch (denied by both Deutch and Lake, but acknowledged by many CIA insiders), ordered that the coup be wrapped up by early summer.

The only problem was that this coup, supposedly planned in great secrecy, was well known to the Iraqi government. Many of the defectors being used by the CIA were actually Mukhabarat double agents. Then, through a series of tragic mistakes, the Mukhabarat took control of one of the CIA's secure satellite communications units used by the INA to communicate with the plotters in Baghdad. So the Mukhabarat learned every detail of the plan - including the fact that the CIA was linking the timing of the coup with the Unscom inspection in early June. . . .

While Unscom 150 was parked out front of the Special Republican Guard facilities, the CIA station in Amman was desperately trying to contact the ringleaders of the coup in Baghdad. But their entire network was silent. It was as if they had disappeared off the face of the earth. In reality, Saddam's intelligence service had so thoroughly infiltrated the plot that there wasn't a single CIA-controlled asset left in Iraq who had not been arrested by the Mukhabarat.
that's not a direct analogy (at least on face value) - lets call it 2 & a half.

the reason that the Giraldi thing jumped out at me when i re-read it is because I remembered anon suggesting that the Risen 'glitch' was actually intentional, and more than that, specifically Phase 2 of Operation Merlin, which, according to anon, was an intentional program to out Plame's network. also see Viget's comment on Merlin et al.

The Giraldi 'lapse' seems like a direct analogy to this Merlin 2.0 'operation'

1 comment:

starroute said...

Wanna try for three? There was a similar CIA disaster in Iraq in 1996. According to Scott Ritter:

While we were busy planning our inspection, the CIA's Iraq Operations Group had dispatched a special team of agents to its Amman Station to coordinate coup planning with the Iraqi National Accord (INA), a group of Iraqi expatriates led by a former Ba'athist official, Iyad Alawi, whom Richter had brought together with al-Shawani.

The White House was under political pressure to be seen to be doing something about Iraq. When the CIA said they had a plan - the "Silver Bullet" coup - to get rid of Saddam Hussein, the White House approved it. Of course, there was a political dimension: the upcoming presidential elections in November 1996. Tony Lake, the national security adviser to President Clinton, was sensitive to any possibility of an "October Surprise" and, in private discussions with CIA director John Deutch (denied by both Deutch and Lake, but acknowledged by many CIA insiders), ordered that the coup be wrapped up by early summer.

The only problem was that this coup, supposedly planned in great secrecy, was well known to the Iraqi government. Many of the defectors being used by the CIA were actually Mukhabarat double agents. Then, through a series of tragic mistakes, the Mukhabarat took control of one of the CIA's secure satellite communications units used by the INA to communicate with the plotters in Baghdad. So the Mukhabarat learned every detail of the plan - including the fact that the CIA was linking the timing of the coup with the Unscom inspection in early June. . . .

While Unscom 150 was parked out front of the Special Republican Guard facilities, the CIA station in Amman was desperately trying to contact the ringleaders of the coup in Baghdad. But their entire network was silent. It was as if they had disappeared off the face of the earth. In reality, Saddam's intelligence service had so thoroughly infiltrated the plot that there wasn't a single CIA-controlled asset left in Iraq who had not been arrested by the Mukhabarat.