Friday, November 10, 2006

Robert Gates scandals.

* LondonYank re Osama & Gates:
"Robert Gates made Osama Bin Laden what he is today. This is not exaggeration. By funding Osama Bin Laden's operations, training camps, weaponry and political influence from 1979 (even before Russia invaded Afghanistan), Robert Gates personally gave us our principal enemy in the "War on Terror".

More frighteningly, all of Robert Gates' support to Osama Bin Laden ran through Pakistan's ISI. ISI has been linked to training and funding the 9/11 bombers, the London bombers, the Madrid bombers, the Bali bombers and the Delhi bombers but is strangely immune from official Washington scrutiny.

I really wonder which side Robert Gates thinks he's on. With a 30 year history of pomoting and financing state and non-state terrorism, I doubt it is the side of the peace and prosperity of the American people and bringing our troops home safe. "

* democracynow:
"President Bush nominated former CIA director Robert Gates on Wednesday to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense. We take a look at Gates' role at the CIA in connection to the Iran-Contra scandal and the secret arming of Saddam Hussein with former CIA analyst Mel Goodman, who testified before the Senate in 1991 against the nomination of Gates as CIA director, and investigative journalist Bob Parry who helped expose Iran-Contra."
(and the original october surprise)

* immediately after 911, Mel Goodman wrote:
In his memoirs, former secretary of state George Shultz demonstrated that CIA involvement in a policy of covert action tainted its intelligence. His memoirs remind us that when operations and analysis get mixed up, "the president gets bum dope." Shultz demonstrated how this happened in the 1980s in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, all contributign to the strife we face today in Southwest Asia. CIA director William Casey and his deputy Robert Gates covered up important intelligence regarding Pakistani nuclear developments in order to protect the covert action program supporting the mujahedeen in Afghanistan, and they exaggerated the role of the Stingers against Soviet forces in order to trumpet clandestine deliveries of surface-to-air weapons.
* This part of the story is covered in the Sibel movie, Kill The Messenger. This from my interview with Verboud:
MV: Koch tells CIA whistle-blower Richard Barlow's story and Pakistani nuclear scientist AQ Khan's story. Barlow was a brilliant CIA officer who knew almost everything about Pakistan’s nuclear program. For that reason, he was deposed by Congress in the mid–80s and, just like Sibel, the Republican administration crushed him because he told the truth during the hearings: he told Congress that Pakistan had the bomb and the U.S had never done anything really to stop it...

In 1989, and I am quoting Seymour Hersh here : "Barlow was forced to resign, under threat of firing, in what he alleges was retaliation for his persistent investigations into nuclear smuggling and his heated objections to yet another misleading congressional briefing on Pakistan."

Koch’s film confirms that. Every year, despite CIA reports highlighting Pakistan‘s progress towards the bomb, President Reagan used to sign a false waiver certifying that 'Pakistan doesn’t have the bomb.' Reagan lied for legal reasons (international law imposes tight import-export control on countries engaging in nuclear proliferation) and also for geopolitical reasons (public exposure of Pakistan’s efforts and U.S knowledge of it would have had dire consequences on U.S Congress funding for the CIA’s secret war against the Soviets in Afghanistan).

So Ronald Reagan was lying, and of course, everyone in charge knew that. At the time, one official was highly instrumental in making sure that the U.S complacency towards the Pakistani nuclear effort would never be exposed, and that man was Stephen Hadley. Hadley is the paramount example of the incestuous relations between the military industrial complex and the Executive Branch.
* and of course, starroute has more here & here - tying Gates to the Ledeen/Clarridge gang.

* mizgin points to gates' namebase record - and notes that Gates and Carlos Cardoen ("arms dealer to Iraq, former friend of the U.S. government, and now fugitive") appear to be BFF's - SF Chron:
On March 27, 1991, customs agents seized Swissco's helicopter at the Dallas airport. While their investigation continued, separate allegations surfaced regarding Cardoen's connections to Robert Gates, whom President George H.W. Bush had nominated for CIA director. In July 1991, a former CIA operative told ABC's "Nightline" that in 1986 Gates, who was then a CIA deputy director, had met with Cardoen in Florida. A "Nightline" source said Gates had personally supervised a shipment of materials from the United States to Industrias Cardoen in Chile to make cluster bombs for Iraq.

* Mizgin also points to this from ProjectCensored:
Diebold has now taken steps to use an outside organization, Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC) of San Diego, to take responsibility for security issues within their software. But this presents yet another conflict of interest. A majority of officials on the board are former members of either the Pentagon or the CIA, many of whom are closely allied with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Members of the board of directors include:
  • Army Gen. Wayne Downing, former chief counter-terrorism expert on the National Security Council;
  • Former CIA Director Bobby Ray Inman;
  • Retired Adm. William Owens, who served as former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and now sits on Donald Rumsfeld's Defense Policy Board;
  • Robert Gates, former director of the CIA and veteran of the Iran Contra scandal.
Some of the most generous contributors to Republican campaigns are also some of the largest investors in ES&S, Sequoia, and Diebold. Most notable of these are government defense contractors Northrup-Grumman, Lockheed-Martin, Electronic Data Systems (EDS) and Accenture
Relatedly, Gates is also on the board of election software company VoteHere:
Former President, Chief Operating Officer, and Vice Chairman of SAIC is Admiral Bill Owens, who is now Chairman of the Board for VoteHere. Owens also served as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was a senior military assistant to Secretaries of Defense Frank Carlucci and Dick Cheney...

Another former SAIC board member, also on the board of VoteHere, is ex-CIA director Robert Gates, a veteran of the Iran/Contra scandal.

VoteHere is already benefiting from the Diebold debacle, as it will be partnering with Sequoia Voting Systems...
It's not *ahem* obvious why defense contractors and spooks are involved in voting systems.

Should the dems confirm Gates?

(thnx mizgin)


Kathleen said...

Boy, no rest for the weary. From Rummy to Gates sound like the frying pan to the fire, to me.

starroute said...

Some more from Parry:

Much as the Congress had rejected witnesses and failed to follow obvious leads in the mid-1980s as the Iran-contra scandal was building, Boren's Intelligence Committee brushed aside two witnesses connecting Gates to the alleged GOP actions in 1980 and the purported CIA arms deals with Iraq a few years later. The witnesses, former Israeli intelligence official Ari Ben-Menashe and Iranian businessman Richard Babayan, both offered details about Gates's alleged connections to those schemes. . . .

In that interview and later under oath, Ben-Menashe put Gates in a 1986 meeting with a Chilean arms manufacturer Carlos Cardoen who allegedly was supplying cluster bombs and chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein's army. At the time, Iraq was at war with Iran. Babayan, an Iranian exile working with Iraq, also connected Gates to the Iraqi supply lines and to Cardoen.

Ben-Menashe insisted, too, that Gates joined in meetings between Republicans and senior Iranians in 1980 when President Carter was trying to gain release of 52 Americans then held in Iran. Ben-Menashe claimed that he and Gates were with Casey and Bush in Paris for a round of meetings in October 1980. The Israeli said he got Gates's help, too, in bringing a suitcase full of cash into Miami in early 1981 to pay off some of the participants in the hostage gambit.

In fall 1980, Gates was executive assistant to CIA director Stansfield Turner, a job giving Gates extraordinary access to the Carter administration's most closely held secrets. But, if true, Ben-Menashe's allegations would mean that Gates had betrayed his official duties. For his part, Gates has steadfastly denied involvement in either October Surprise or Iraqgate.

starroute said...

I haven't actually been able to tie Gates directly to Ledeen -- just that they were pushing the same line of anti-Soviet rhetoric, blaming them for the assassination attempt on the pope in 1981, etc. However, both were definitely involved in the October Surprise, as per this piece from Parry:

The united Reagan-Bush campaign created a strategy group, known as the "October Surprise Group," to prepare for "any last-minute foreign policy or defense-related event, including the release of the hostages, that might favorably impact President Carter in the November election," according a draft report of the House October Surprise Task Force.

"Originally referred to as the 'Gang of Ten,'" the draft report said the "October Surprise Group" consisted of Richard V. Allen, Charles M. Kupperman, Thomas H. Moorer, Eugene V. Rostow, William R. Van Cleave, Fred C. Ikle, John R. Lehman Jr., Robert G. Neumann, Laurence Silberman and Seymour Weiss.

While that part of the draft made it into the Task Force's final report in January 1993, another part was deleted, saying: "According to members of the 'October Surprise' group, the following individuals also participated in meetings although they were not considered 'members' of the group: Michael Ledeen, Richard Stillwell, William Middendorf, Richard Perle, General Louis Walt and Admiral James Holloway." . . .

On Sept. 16, Casey was focusing again on the crisis in the region. At 3 p.m., he met with senior Reagan-Bush campaign officials Edwin Meese, Bill Timmons and Richard Allen about the "Persian Gulf Project," according to an unpublished section of the House Task Force report and Allen's notes. Two other participants at the meeting, according to Allen's notes, were Michael Ledeen and Noel Koch. . . .

In early October, Israeli intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe said he learned from superiors in Israel that Carter's hostage negotiations had fallen through because of Republican opposition, according to his memoirs, Profits of War.

The Republicans wanted the Iranians to release the hostages only after the Nov. 4 election, Ben-Menashe wrote, with the final details to be arranged in Paris between a delegation of Republicans, led by George H.W. Bush, and a delegation of Iranians, led by cleric Mehdi Karrubi.

Also present, Ben-Menashe wrote, would be about a half dozen Israeli representatives, including David Kimche, and several CIA officials, including Donald Gregg and Robert Gates, an ambitious young man who was considered close to Bush. At the time, Gates was serving as an executive assistant to CIA Director Stansfield Turner.

starroute said...

Also entertaining -- although perhaps not altogether enlightening -- is this transcript of a Ted Koppel Nightline episode from 1991, when Gates was nominated to head the CIA. Note in particular cameo appearances by Richard Perle, arms dealer Serki Saghanalian [sic -- obviously an error for Sarkis Soghanalian], Carlos Cardoen, and Stephen Bryen.

Anonymous said...

nice pic

starroute said...

The stuff quoted below is significant because it deals not only with the politicization of intelligence under Reagan, but also with the invention of the Great War on Terror. The USSR/terrorism linkage of the 80's was never fully convincing, but it set the stage for making terrorism alone the primary focus of US policy after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Note also that Claire Sterling, mentioned below, was one of the attendees at that 1979 conference on terrorim in Israel that I mentioned in a comment on the previous Gates thread.

Ending the CIA's Cold War Legacy
by Melvin A. Goodman

Version of an article that appeared in Foreign Policy, March, 1997

Casey cooked the books in his very first intelligence estimate, which dealt with the Soviet Union and international terrorism. The day after Reagan's inauguration, Secretary of State Alexander Haig, believing that Moscow had tried to assassinate him in Europe where he served as Supreme Allied Commander, linked the Soviet Union to all acts of international terrorism. There was no evidence to support such a charge but Casey had read the late Claire Sterling's The Terror Network and--like Haig--was convinced that a Soviet conspiracy was behind global terrorism. Specialists at CIA dismissed the book, knowing that much of it was based on CIA "black propaganda," anti-communist allegations planted in the European press. But Casey contemptuously told CIA analysts that he had learned more from Sterling than from all of them.

State Department officials requested a national intelligence estimate on the subject of international terrorism in order to convince Haig that Moscow was not the coordinator of international terrorism. Haig's special consultant at the department was Michael Ledeen, a major player in Iran-contra, who believed that international terrorism was a "sort of Wurlitzer being played by people in the basement of the Kremlin." . . .

Haig also had support from national security adviser Robert MacFarlane and State Department's director of policy planning Paul Wolfowitz, who believed that an intelligence estimate that contradicted the views of the secretary would be embarrassing to the State Department. Few people in the intelligence community shared Haig's views, and a senior official at the CIA told the author of the draft estimate that "we will have to let Haig down, but we must do it gently."

The estimate, the first ever on the Soviets and terrorism, was the most contentious document produced in the CIA since the Vietnam War and established the basis for later claims of politicization. There was much evidence that Moscow provided arms and training to groups such as the Palestine Liberation Organization that conducted terrorism and considerable evidence that Moscow's East European allies offered safe haven to terrorists from a variety of groups. But there was no evidence that Moscow encouraged or directed these groups to commit terrorist acts and no evidence of Soviet links to such terrorist groups as the Red Brigades in Italy, Baader-Meinhof in West Germany, or the IRA. In fact, there was evidence to the contrary.

The State Department gave this message to Haig, who accused the drafters of "naivete." The CIA gave the same message to Casey, who hit the roof. Casey and Gates, soon to become National Intelligence Officer for the Soviet Union, then exercised the first ideological veto of a national intelligence estimate. The drafters did not know that Casey, who was not going to accept an estimate that challenged one of his basic notions, had told a skeptical Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that Moscow directed all international terrorism; his briefings convinced Senator Barry Goldwater that the director was a loose cannon who should be replaced.

lukery said...

thnx starroute. you rock.

i feel like i'm living in a time-warp. i'm not sure if there is only one game in town, or if it's just that these guys only know one game.

«—U®Anu§—» said...

Bush stays true to form, nominating yet another crony with no military qualifications, and who doesn't belong in public service because he can't lift a finger without breaking the law. Should Gates be confirmed? Hell and fuck no. And that goes for whatever else Bush wants.

damien said...

re Mizgin and Project Censored:

"The Waco affair was disguised as a law-enforcement action gone wrong, but it was a Special Operations junket from start to finish. Who was the commander of the Special Operations Command in April 1993 at Waco? It was Gen. Wayne Allan Downing."

'Waco' Wayne's best buddy of forty years, Jim Kimsey, founded America-On-Line.

Less than a month after 911, Downing came out of retirement to become the national director and deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism. He reports directly to NSA Condoleezza Rice and Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge. His job is "to detect, disrupt and destroy global terrorist organizations and those who support them."

I'd say he was an insider. (link)

Kathleen said...

Starroute, your'e scaring me. No, seriously, I remember lots of this stuff from being alive and reading the news, but conveniently pushed it to the back of my mind. Get a wooden stake guys, we'll have to drive it through that spot where most people have a heart to keep these creeps in their crypts.

lukery said...

thnx D - yeah - Downing is in amongst it all. many have also fingered him as the source for the Niger forgeries.