Thursday, November 09, 2006

Robert Gates

Larry Johnson:
"Before the media goes overboard extolling the virtues of Bob Gates as the replacement for Don Rumsfeld, it is important to look back at Gates' record and reputation. Gates has some "splaining" to do. The press has forgotten that Bob Gates, during his time at CIA, acquired a reputation for trying to tailor intelligence to satisfy political masters in the Reagan White House. In addition, Bob Gates, a man of enormous intellect and a photographic memory, conveniently forgot salient facts and meetings surrounding the Iran Contra scandal."

* billmon:
"CNN has a profile of Gates up on its web site. It's nothing special -- just the standard bio of a career securiticrat. But the story includes not one word about Gates' role in the Iran-Contra scandal, which back in the day was actually considered rather newsworthy. In fact it's about the only incident in Gates' long career in the secret government that's even worth mentioning. But apparently it's been dropped down the CNN memory hole.

The brilliant thing about having a semi-official instead of an official press is that you can train it to censor itself."

update - starroute has lots more downstairs in the comments, including:
I haven't had a chance to really dig into this, but what Parry says about Gates -- combined with Gates' alleged role in the October Surprise -- tends to link him to the Ledeen/Clarridge gang, who were so tied to the idea of the Soviet Union as the source of all terrorism.


starroute said...

There's also this concerning Gates, from Robert Parry:

In the first few months of the Reagan administration, the hard-liners’ animosity toward the CIA’s analytical division intensified as it resisted a series of accusations against the Soviet Union. The CIA analysts were obstacles to the administration’s campaign to depict Moscow as responsible for virtually all acts of international terrorism, including the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in Rome in 1981.

With William Casey installed as CIA director and also serving in Reagan’s Cabinet, the assault on the analytical division moved into high gear. Casey put the analytical division under the control of his protégé, Robert Gates, who had made his name as an anti-Soviet hard-liner. Gates then installed a new bureaucracy within the DI, or Directorate of Intelligence, with his loyalists in key positions.

“The CIA’s objectivity on the Soviet Union ended abruptly in 1981, when Casey became the DCI – and the first one to be a member of the president’s Cabinet. Gates became Casey’s deputy director for intelligence in 1982 and chaired the National Intelligence Council,” wrote former CIA senior analyst Melvyn Goodman.

I haven't had a chance to really dig into this, but what Parry says about Gates -- combined with Gates' alleged role in the October Surprise -- tends to link him to the Ledeen/Clarridge gang, who were so tied to the idea of the Soviet Union as the source of all terrorism. See, for example:

Neo-conservative and intelligence-connected circles quickly mobilized public support for giving the administration and CIA a freer hand abroad. Writer Midge Dector (the wife of Norman Podhoretz) founded the Committee for the Free World in February 1981 to call attention to the terrorist threat and revive America's interventionist impulse. According to the New York Times, Dector said the idea for the committee emerged almost two years ago after she and others attended a meeting in Jerusalem on international terrorism. She said she came away convinced of the need for action against those who kidnap and throw bombs, many of whom are trained in the Soviet Union and Cuba, but also concerned about a spreading practice of indulging in self-criticism to the point of condoning terrorism as being justified.

The members included Michael Ledeen; former CIA deputy director of plans Ray Cline; Leo Cherne, chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board; and Paul Henze, former CIA station chief in Turkey, who would take the lead with Sterling in publicizing alleged Soviet-bloc complicity in the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II.

There's also this unverified claim which I find in a file on Danny Casolaro:

On August 5, Casolaro had called Texas oil engineer Bob Bickel, who at one time worked as a Customs Bureau informant, apparently to talk about Robert Booth Nichols and his association with a former Justice official named Michael Abbell and Columbian drug lord Gilberto Rodriquez, both of whom were being investigated for their connections to the Cali drug cartel. Bickel previously had aspired to blow the whistle on CIA chief Robert Gates' role in shipping weapons to Iraq in the late 1980s. He had given Danny photocopies of one million and four million dollar checks drawn on the BCCI accounts of Iran-contra go-betweens Adnan Khashoggi and Manucher Ghorbanifar.

lukery said...

thnx SR.

starroute said...

Wow, it just struck me that the "meeting in Jerusalem on international terrorism" referenced above would have to be this one, described in Tarpley's book on Bush -- the crucial moment at which the idea of the War on Terror as a replacement for the Cold War was born:

But in the midst of Bush's summer, 1979 preparations for his presidential bid, there was one very serious moment of preparation that addressed the some real issues, albeit in a way virtually invisible from the campaign trail. This was a conference Bush attended at the Jonathan Institute in Jerusalem on July 2-5. Instead of mugging for the television cameras while eating hotdogs on the Fourth of July at a picnic in Iowa or New Hampshire, Bush journeyed to Israel for what was billed as the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism.

The Jonathan Institute had been founded earlier the same year by Benjamin Netanyahu, a young crazy of the Likud block, in memory of his brother Jonathan, who had been killed during the Israeli raid on Entebbe in 1976. The Jonathan Institute was a semi-covert propaganda operation and could only be defined as a branch of the Israeli government. The committee sponsoring this conference on terrorism was headed up by Prime Minister Menachem Begin, followed by Moshe Dayan and many other prominent Israeli politicians and generals.

The US delegation to the conference was divided according to partisan lines, but was generally united by sympathy for the ideas and outlook of the Bush-Cherne Team B. The Democratic delegation was led by the late Senator Henry Jackson of Washington. This group included civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, plus Norman Podhoretz and Midge Decter of Commentary Magazine, two of the most militant and influential Zionist neoconservatives. Ben Wattenberg of the American Enterprise Institute was also on hand. Although the group that arrived with Scoop Jackson were supposedly Democrats, most of them would support Reagan-Bush in the November, 1980 election.

Then there was the GOP delegation, which was led by George Bush. Here were Bush activist Ray Cline, Major General George Keegan, a stalwart supporter of Team B, and Professor Richard Pipes of Harvard, the leader of Team B. Here were Senator John Danforth of Missouri and Brian Crozier, a "terrorism expert." Pseudo-intellectual columnist George Will ("Will the Shill") was also on hand, as was Rome-based journalist Claire Sterling, who had been active in covering up the role of Henry Kissinger in the 1978 assassination of Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro, and who would later be blind to indications of an Anglo-American role in the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II.

International participation was also notable: Annie Kriegel and Jacques Soustelle of France, Lord Alun Chalfont, Paul Johnson, and Robert Moss of the United Kingdom, and many leading Israelis.

noise said...

Wow. Also of note (probably mentioned here somewhere) is that Bush chose Gates for DNI. He turned it down so Negroponte got the job. To me that means that Gates is fully on board whatever ulterior agenda is at work. Which further suggests those permanent bases aren't out of the picture. I've been reading John Dean's book and he mentions Bush is all about politics of perception. Which begs the the Bush administration after real changes or simply a perceived new direction...just without the constant "Rummy has to go" refrains.

Would it be asking too much for someone in Washington to address the permanent bases?