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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:50 AM
Original message
Sometimes, It's a Simple Game of Spy Versus Spy
Edited on Tue May-25-04 09:53 AM by papau
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-carroll25may2...

Sometimes, It's a Simple Game of Spy Versus Spy


By Thomas Patrick Carroll, Thomas Patrick Carroll is a former officer in the clandestine service of the CIA. E-mail: tom.carroll@comcast.net .


The government of Iran is oppressive, corrupt, feared by its neighbors and increasingly hated by its own people. But let's give credit where credit is due those ayatollahs surely know how to run a secret intelligence service.

According to press reports citing sources inside the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, the DIA believes the Information Collection Program of Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress was a front for Iranian intelligence. The program stands accused of handing over secret U.S. intelligence to the Iranians while at the same time passing Iranian disinformation back to the Americans. The purpose, according to the charges, was to provoke a U.S. attack on Saddam Hussein, Iran's deadliest regional foe. And because the U.S. gave millions of dollars to the program, Washington funded the Iranian deception operation. <snip>

The techniques of human intelligence ("tradecraft," in the spy vernacular) are known to all; an organization with patience and focus and cunning (the Iranian intelligence service, for instance) can achieve stunning results with good tradecraft and imaginative operations. U.S. technological advantages fade, and it becomes spy versus spy.

Unlike a purely military confrontation, this is a struggle the U.S. can definitely lose if it's not careful. And what is true for Iranian intelligence is just as true for our less conventional enemies, the most obvious being Al Qaeda. Our enemies don't have elections to worry about or open societies to restrict them, and they are completely at home operating clandestinely. The U.S. intelligence community has many advantages over the Irans and Al Qaedas of the world, and we would be foolish to trade our capabilities for theirs, even if we could. Nonetheless, the human game of espionage is played on a field that is far more level than Americans commonly suppose.<snip>

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-scheer25may25...

Robert Scheer:
Chalabi's Long, Costly Charade

Can it get any more bizarre?....Nobody is speaking on the record yet, but U.S. intelligence officials are making it clear to a variety of preeminent news sources that Ahmad Chalabi, a longtime darling of the neoconservatives who dragged the U.S. into this war, not only fed Western intelligence sources false information about Saddam Hussein's Iraq but is accused of having passed on U.S. secrets to Iran, possibly through his security and intelligence chief, who is now a fugitive. <snip>

We might start investigating which Bush official arranged for this hustler already on the lam for a decade from major banking fraud convictions in Jordan to sit behind First Lady Laura Bush during this year's State of the Union speech. Was the Secret Service watching her purse?

Too harsh? Not by a long shot. The CIA had stopped using Chalabi as a source in the mid-1990s after his political organization of exiles was accused of deception and incompetence. However, over the last four years, Chalabi was shamelessly resurrected inside the Beltway by neoconservatives, including Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and other Bush officials who were leading the campaign to invade Iraq.

Granted more than $33 million in taxpayer money over that four-year period funding that was cut off only days before Iraqi police backed by U.S. troops raided his home and office last week Chalabi was the key window into Iraq for the White House, as well as top reporters such as the New York Times' Judith Miller. She mined him for a long string of now-discredited front-page scoops on Iraq's much-touted weapons of mass destruction. Chalabi is now suspected of having "gamed" the intelligence agencies of eight nations using phony or tricked-up sources and documents, according to intelligence sources cited in the Los Angeles Times.<snip>

But even if this outrage proves true, it is unlikely that anyone high up will be held responsible for coddling Chalabi. After all, nobody of any stature has yet been held accountable for the missing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the prison torture scandal or the poor planning for the occupation. Certainly not President Bush, who is touring the nation bragging that the obvious disaster in Iraq is actually a great victory for the free world.



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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Folks need to be paying very close attention to this story
Laura Rozen has been following it closely - and the picture that is emerging is deeply troubling. www.warandpiece.com

In short, it does appear pretty clear that Chalabi's man was passing on info - and had access to good information (but what?!) She also presents a clear rationale for why no action is being taken against Chalabi (those who might be able to indicate what kind of intelligence Chalabi and his associate who has now fled to Iran - would be implicating themselves - remember that the 'irrefutable evidence' includes intel which required such a high level of security clearance that it was reported that few people had access to the intelligence.)

I read last week, shortly after the story broke (I will have to try to find the article) that indicates that some in the US intel community knew that this particular associate had long connections with Iranian intelligence. Yet this person was in charge of info collection for the IGC and shared an office with at least two DIA agents (did they share, even informally, intel?).

Finally on more than one occaision it has been reported that the intelligence passed on could risk the lives of US troops (? or assets?) on the ground in Iraq.

So - here is the HUGE question - whether or not Iran helped feed the faux intel that helped drag us into war or not (and our neocons ate it up because they wanted that intelligence) - are the Iranians in anyway involved with the (as reported in the news media recently, rhetoric used also by Bush last night) "more organizaed and sophisticated attacks" on US troops?

In short, did the neocon's blind desire and ambition to get what they wanted (the rationale to go to Iraq - and a figure head they assumed friendly who could "be controlled" to take over Iraq) - that they overlooked clear warning signs - and actually helped Iran - and that this partnership might have led to ongoing attacks on US troops in Iraq? If so, what would this be, criminal negligence treason?
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