Friday, April 20, 2007

SAIC, Wolfowitz, Feith

* mizgin has a good post up about SAIC, Wolfowitz, Feith et al:
"Another connection between the Wolfowitz girlfriend scandal and Sibel's information is the mention of Douglas Feith. In the NYTimes article, once again Feith feigns Alzheimer's disease by claiming that he can't recall a damned thing about ordering Wolfowitz's main squeeze to be hired by SAIC or to be sent to Iraq. Of course, "Doug Feith's International Advisors Inc, a registered agent for Turkey in 1989 - 1994, netted $600,000 per year from Turkey . . ." as Lukery has previously posted, meaning that Feith is deep into the deep shit of the Deep State.
The story is that Riza moved out of the World Bank to the State Department because Wolfowitz took over as the World Bank chief and you can't have that kind of conflict of interest at the World Bank. But with the news today of Doug Feith's involvement with this business, I suspect Riza's move was contrived to continue to facilitate blood money rolling in to war industry contractors, like SAIC, from Iraq. In the build-up to the Iraq war, there was considerable tension, if not downright hostility, between the State Department and CIA, and the Pentagon. Kanan Makiya talked about the hostility in a PBS Frontline interview in 2003. That hostility continued during the so-called reconstruction and continues this day through the neoconservative gang vs. Baker-Hamilton gang (read that as Pentagon gang vs. State/CIA gang).

If Wolfowitz was appointed to lead the World Bank in order to facilitate the Pentagon gang's interests in Iraq, then my money says Riza was moved to the State Department not to avoid a conflict of interest at the World Bank, but to keep tabs on the State Department's handling of Iraq for the Pentagon gang. That's the real reason why everyone's making a big deal of this affair.

With the big blood bucks of the war industry on the line in Iraq, the antagonism between the Pentagon gang and the State/CIA gang continues, only this time underground and with a mole--Shaha Ali Riza."
one thing Mizgin doesn't mention is that Riza actually worked with Liz Cheney at State.

Sid Blumenthal has more, much more:
Back in 2003, Wolfowitz had taken care of Riza by directing his trusted Pentagon deputy, Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith -- who had been in charge of the Office of Special Plans and had been Wolfowitz's partner in managing the CPA -- to arrange for a military contract for her from Science Applications International Corp. When the contract was exposed this week, SAIC issued a statement that it "had no role in the selection of the personnel." In other words, the firm with hundreds of millions in contracts at stake had been ordered to hire Riza.

Riza was unhappy about leaving the sinecure at the World Bank. But in 2006 Wolfowitz made a series of calls to his friends that landed her a job at a new think tank called Foundation for the Future that is funded by the State Department. She was the sole employee, at least in the beginning. The World Bank continued to pay her salary, which was raised by $60,000 to $193,590 annually, more than the $183,500 paid to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and all of it tax-free. Moreover, Wolfowitz got the State Department to agree that the ratings of her performance would automatically be "outstanding." Wolfowitz insisted on these terms himself and then misled the World Bank board about what he had done.

Exactly how this deal was made and with whom remains something of a mystery. The person who did work with Riza in her new position was Elizabeth Cheney, then the deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. And Riza's assignment fell under the purview of Karen Hughes, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy. But these facts raise more questions than they answer.

The documents released by the World Bank do not include any of the communications with the State Department. How did Elizabeth Cheney come to be involved? Did Wolfowitz speak with Vice President Dick Cheney, for whom he had been a deputy when Cheney was secretary of defense in the elder Bush's administration?

Riza, who is not a U.S. citizen, had to receive a security clearance in order to work at the State Department. Who intervened? It is not unusual to have British or French midlevel officers at the department on exchange programs, but they receive security clearances based on the clearances they already have with their host governments. Granting a foreign national who is detailed from an international organization a security clearance, however, is extraordinary, even unprecedented. So how could this clearance have been granted?

State Department officials familiar with the details of this matter confirmed to me that Shaha Ali Riza was detailed to the State Department and had unescorted access while working for Elizabeth Cheney. Access to the building requires a national security clearance or permanent escort by a person with such a clearance. But the State Department has no record of having issued a national security clearance to Riza.

State Department officials believe that Riza was issued such a clearance by the Defense Department after SAIC was forced by Wolfowitz and Feith to hire her. Then her clearance would have been recognized by the State Department through a credentials transmittal letter and Riza would have accessed the State Department on Pentagon credentials, using her Pentagon clearance to get a State Department building pass with a letter issued under instructions from Liz Cheney.

But State Department officials tell me that no such letter can be confirmed as received. And the officials stress that the department would never issue a clearance to a non-U.S. citizen as part of a contractual requisition. Issuing a national security clearance to a foreign national under instructions from a Pentagon official would constitute a violation of the executive orders governing clearances, they say.

Given these circumstances, the inspector general of the Defense Department should be ordered to investigate how Shaha Ali Riza was issued a Pentagon security clearance. And the inspector general of the State Department should investigate who ordered Riza's building pass and whether there was a Pentagon credentials transmittal letter.
Update: robert scheer:
"At least they can't blame Paul Wolfowitz on the Jews anymore. That's the good news in the scandal; his lover and neocon political soul mate, Shaha Ali Riza, the World Bank official who received a lucrative transfer to the State Department at Wolfowitz's direction, is an Arab Muslim. She is one in a group of Arab exiles, the most prominent being Ahmed Chalabi, who clearly had as much of a role as the oft-mentioned Israel lobby in driving the U.S. to war. Throw in the Christian right's fierce support for the invasion and responsibility for this debacle is now proved to be quite ecumenical.
The Riza-Wolfowitz affair was an open secret in Washington for years, even before the couple became officially involved in the run-up to the Iraq war, during which she seems to have played a major role in influencing former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's top deputy. Back in the spring of 2003, a division of the Defense Department headed by Wolfowitz's neocon crony Douglas Feith ordered defense contractor SAIC to pay Riza to figure out how Iraq should be governed after the invasion. When Wolfowitz followed her to the bank two years later, there was an obvious conflict of interest. So Wolfowitz got his lover reassigned, with a $60,000 pay increase, to the State Department.

As opposed to the scores of allegedly gay Arabic-speaking translators forced out of public service because of the threat that their private life might be used to blackmail them, Wolfowitz was an acceptable heterosexual philanderer. It is not clear whether the Bush administration's security checks defined the lovers appointed to high position as adulterers or merely unmarried fornicators for there is no available evidence as to Wolfowitz's marital status. We do know that Wolfowitz and his wife of more than 30 years separated abruptly amid rumors of his extramarital affairs, just prior to his being appointed to the second-highest position in the Pentagon. Surely this marital instability, a potential security risk, would have shown up in his background check."


Mizgîn said...

Thanks for the link, Lukery.

I didn't even see the Cheney connection until Thursday morning, I think. It seems to me that it's a piece of information consistent with my suspicions as to why Riza was moved to State.

What a bunch of dirt bags.

DCKLNG said...

I agree: Riza's move is mission-specific

Anonymous said...

Riza would have been an excellent mole and go between for Feith and Wolfowitz...I would very interested in knowing who she had contact with or consultations with in Iraq.

«—U®Anu§—» said...

Consider the insider trading opportunities. If any of these people had a brilliant mind for figures, they could manipulate the global economy. What they're actually doing is hard to pin down, as no one is privy. I imagine their portfolios benefit, but it's a vicious claim I made up out of thin air.