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April 11, 2005

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JRI

Isn't Nigeria a military dictatorship? With Islamists who practice Sharia? Are we supposed to be happy our military is supporting this kind of thing, particularly after Iraq?

narciso

It's Niger, the uranium storehouse, run by a french consortium, that Joe Wilson, saw nothing amiss in
Iraqi' envoy's shopping for same element; the story
at the heart of the Plame kerfluffle

Neo

Nigeria is a mess. It has the Islamist and Sharia in part of the country and is host to most of those obnoxious e-mails about some oil official or banker that has money in some foreign account and needs your help to get it.

This story is about Niger, a completely different country, which is north of Nigeria.

TM

Good job by Narcisco, who has given away the other reason I read the story so avidly.

narciso

Here's another case of a high public official, in this case; Senator's Kerry & Lugar's burning a source: Ironically; he is more attuned to their goals; so its
a little surprising:

He doesn’t seem to be a covert officer, see second to last last link in this post;
Late last month, our House International Relations Committee decided to find out what was really going on. They asked the CIA to give them a briefing on "political and economic trends" in the region. And they wanted the CIA's National Intelligence Officer (NIO) for Latin America, Fulton T. Armstrong, to give the briefing. Armstrong declined, saying he would not speak at an open, unclassified hearing, and abruptly went on "personal travel" status. A quick way to show his contempt for Congress. We must remember that Fulton is no professional spook: For 10 years he worked for Iowa's liberal Republican congressman, Jim Leach — one of the few Republicans to show up at gatherings of the Institute for Policy Studies.

Today, Fulton is known as a guy who refuses to believe that Castro is a military or security threat and claims that he (Fulton) is the target of right-wing ideologues.
Subsequent to being a flack for Leach, Armstrong was appointed to Bill Clinton's National Security Council; and after killing time (but nothing else) at the CIA's Crime and Narcotics Center, he became the boss for Latin America. In this position, Armstrong is protected and trusted by CIA Director George Tenet — yet another Clinton domestic minion. A weak NIO is neither a disaster nor that unusual. But in this case, the man on the National Security
Council, who could exercise some control, is a former ambassador to Venezuela under — you've got it right — Bill Clinton.
Href*<http://www.papillonsartpalace.com/clintcon.htm
He seems to have incurred some heavy flak, as the following Spanish language references:

Uno de los que objeta esa política presidencial es Fulton Armstrong, actualmente oficial principal de la CIA para América Latina, quien trabajó en la Casa Blanca de Clinton. De acuerdo con un artículo en el New York Times del 5 de enero de 2003, Armstrong está bajo ataque dentro de la administración por funcionarios que siguen la línea de Bush, debido a sus vínculos personales y de posición con Ana Belén Montes, la espía de Castro en la DIA, con quien coincidía en la época de Clinton. George Tenet, director de la CIA designado por Clinton, respalda a Armstrong.
Además de Armstrong y la CIA, hay elementos dentro del Pentágono y en el Departamento de Justicia que favorecen las políticas que promoviera la Montes. Los generales retirados Wilhem, Sheehan, Asketon y McCaffrey, así como elementos dentro del Naval War College, el Army War College y la National Defense University siguen aferrados a la posición propuesta por la Montes de que es preferible para Estados Unidos una sucesión encabezada por Raúl que una verdadera transición democrática como la que propugna el presidente Bush.
Ese argumento se basa en que, desde el punto de vista de la seguridad nacional, los tres objetivos principales son: i) evitar una migración masiva; ii) evitar tener que intervenir en una guerra civil en Cuba; y iii) obtener cooperación efectiva para interceptar el tráfico de drogas. Como puede apreciarse, este esquema de objetivos del Pentágono ignora totalmente las aspiraciones de libertad, democracia y una economía de mercado para el pueblo cubano. Esta fórmula es tan antihistórica como Bahía de Cochinos y está igualmente condenada al fracaso.
A pesar de lo que argumenta el reportero del NYT, nadie sabe hasta qué punto esa posición de la Montes era de origen propio o sembrada por sus controles dentro de la inteligencia cubana. Eso sólo se sabría si se hicieran públicos los resultados de la evaluación del impacto que esta agente infiltrada de Castro tuvo en la formulación de esas políticas. Pero, como la Montes les tomó el pelo a todos los generales y analistas de la CIA y la DIA envueltos en su caso, hay una confabulación para impedir que se revelen tanto sus confesiones como la evaluación de su impacto en la formulación de la política americana respecto a Cuba bajo Clinton. De ahí que, después de su sentencia a 25 años de cárcel en octubre de 2002, Justicia no haya permitido contacto alguno con ella, ni se hayan divulgado detalles de la amenaza a la seguridad de Estados Unidos que ha ocasionado su traición.
Esto es de especial importancia en el caso de las controvertidas armas biológicas.
La Montes, y su amigo Armstrong, han estado a la cabeza de los que niegan que Cuba haya desarrollado virus como el del Nilo Occidental, que causó mas de doscientas muertes el año pasado a través de todo Estados Unidos; y, mucho menos, que haya estado envuelta en su difusión, usando como vector aves migratorias. Sin embargo, a mí personalmente me han afirmado personas con acceso directo a Raúl Castro que, a principios de los ochenta, éste hizo un comentario que indica ya estaban en camino los planes de Fidel para hacer precisamente eso. Posteriormente, ha habido evidencia confirmatoria de científicos envueltos en esas tareas, toda la cual ha sido desechada o desacreditada por aquéllos que fallaron en detectarla, o en actuar al respecto, en su momento. Para no hablar de quienes, con la estúpida arrogancia política que prevalece entre algunos
Href* <http://www.amigospais-
guaracabuya.org/oaget019.php

One of the most perceptive of international reporters
in Latin America; concurrs:

Why Can't the CIA Tell Us More About Hugo's Plotting? By MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY WSJ
The U.S. national intelligence officer for Latin America, Fulton T. Armstrong was called to testify before the House's International Relations Committee on Feb. 27. The HIRC invitation asked for an overview of "political and economic trends in the Western Hemisphere." Mr. Armstrong
declined, according to the committee, on the grounds that he did not want to speak in an open, unclassified format.
When I called Mr. Armstrong's office on Wednesday to ask for a fuller explanation of this, I was told he was out on "personal travel" and not
available to elaborate. Sources familiar with his views suggest he was probably reluctant to expose the nonchalance his reports reflect to committee criticism.
Be that as it may, there clearly is a need for someone to give Congress and the public a sound analysis of how adverse political trends in Latin America pose a threat to U.S. security. This is no time for a lackadaisical approach to a mounting body of disturbing evidence. You don't need secret files. All you have to do is read the newspapers.
In particular, there are the contacts between Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and agents sent to him by Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, Fidel Castro, the Colombian guerrillas and terrorist groups that Saddam Hussein shelters.
Reliable informants say that individuals from rogue Mideast states now supplement the apparatus Chavez himself has set up to control Venezuela. Components of that apparatus include the Bolivarian Circles. The president
routinely boasts about his support -- both political and financial -- for these "community groups." His opposition says that they have become the brown shirts of the "revolution" he is conducting from his position of power.
<<...OLE_Obj...>>
Venezuelan lawyer Juan Carlos Sosa-Azpurua, who is part of a group seeking legal redress in Madrid for killings in the Caracas streets by Chavez supporters on April 11 last year, claims that the Bolivarian Circles are deadly paramilitary groups. "As any terrorist group, like [Spain's] ETA or
the [Irish] IRA, the Circles generate terror, confusion and crisis in Venezuelan society." He adds that "We have important proof that the Disip (Venezuela's secret police) has given war weapons -- grenades and machine guns -- to the Circles."
Mr. Sosa-Azpurua, who is a Harvard Law School graduate, also says that his group has testimony from high-ranking military officers who claim that Colombian guerrillas are camped inside the Venezuelan border. The officers say they wanted to attack the guerrilla outposts but received orders from
Mr. Chavez to leave them be. This week the Venezuelan government declared that it will refuse to label the FARC and the smaller ELN Colombian rebel groups as terrorists.
Ali Rodriguez, installed by Mr. Chavez as the new head of Venezuela's state-owned oil company -- PDVSA -- sits on the board of the Sao Paulo
Forum, an international group founded by Fidel Castro to advance his causes in the region. Also on that board is the leader of the FARC, Manuel Maralunda.
It is the growing number of Middle Eastern links that should be the most alarming to Americans. Mr. Sosa-Azpurua says that Mr. Chavez has justified
his Libyan and Iraqi contacts by claiming they are needed to revive the strike-crippled petroleum industry.
Yet, the opposition lawyer says, those Arab friendships were firmly established before the recent upheaval in PDVSA. Mr. Chavez went to Iraq to see Saddam Hussein in 2000. Two years ago, Mr. Sosa-Azpurua says, top Libyan officials were in the country giving speeches to students on the "wonders" of the Libyan system. "Chavez is cultivating a close relationship with U.S. enemies because he feels a close familiarity with those countries," he says.
In early March the head of U.S. Southern Command, Gen. James Hill, named Venezuela's Margarita Island, along with South America's "triple border area," as a base for Islamic terror groups. Venezuelans in the opposition also have tesitmony -- although they say there is still no clear proof -- that the Venezuelan government is giving passports to Middle Eastern visitors so they can go to Margarita and run financial operations to fund
Middle Eastern terrorism.
In the Feb. 14 issue of Insight Magazine Martin Arostegui wrote about a variety of reports around the country of Libyans, Iraqis and Cubans arriving under VIP government cover. "Government agents tried to use Air Force planes to fly five of Saddam Hussein's agents into the interior of the country. Military pilots requested special clearances before allowing the Iraqis onto the C-130s."
Mr. Sosa-Azpurua says that the Iraqis now provide scholarships to Venezuelans for the purposes of "indoctrination." For some time, Cuban "educators" have been fanning out around the country to expand their ideas in Venezuela's public schools.
In all the evidence suggests that the Cubans, the Libyans, and the Iraqis are mostly interested in providing Mr. Chavez the military, intelligence and
educational tools to convert his government into a despotic regime and a
strong ally.
It was not surprising that Mr. Chavez appealed for additions to the "Group of Friends" negotiating team that is trying to find a democratic solution to the political crisis in Venezuela. His candidates were Russia, Cuba, China and anti-American France.
Washington has been divided for some time on the subject of Mr. Chavez.
Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, who for years has professed to be a Latin American "expert," has defended Mr. Chavez's right to remain in power on grounds that he was democratically elected. Bush officials have meanwhile questioned his legitimacy because of his many constitutional violations, including brutality against dissidents.
Perhaps the political disagreement could be further refined if an unbiased intelligence assessment of Mr. Chavez were presented to the public. Mr. Armstrong doesn't want to expose his views to scrutiny, so perhaps CIA
director George Tenet could do the country a service and find someone else. Updated March 14, 2003
Href*<http://www.bradynet.com/bbs/venezuela/100049-0.html
Here is his open profile, the last option, suggests he might have been covert; at the start.

Fulton Armstrong
, National Intelligence Officer for Latin America, National Intelligence Council
Fulton T. Armstrong was appointed National Intelligence Officer for Latin America on 1 June 2000. Previously Mr. Armstrong served as Chief of Staff of the DCI Crime and Narcotics Center (CNC). Prior to that, he served two terms as a Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council (1995- 97 and 1998-99) and as Deputy NIO for Latin America (1997-98).
Mr. Armstrong began his government career in 1980 as Legislative Assistant and Press Secretary to US Representative Jim Leach. In 1984-95, he served as analyst, political-economic officer, and manager specializing in Latin America in the both the intelligence and policy communities.
Prior to joining government, Mr. Armstrong worked four years as a reporter, editor, and translator in Taiwan. He earned his B.S. in Linguistics and Spanish at Georgetown University in 1976. He is fluent in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.
Href*<http://schemaroot.org/region/americas/north_america/usa/government/intelligence_officers/fulton_armstrong
Mr. Reich, officials said, was among several foreign policy officials who complained to the White House about government intelligence assessments on Cuba, in particular the work of the analyst, Fulton T. Armstrong, the national intelligence officer for Latin America.

According to several officials, Mr. Armstrong has written skeptically about Cuba's importance as a m Mr. Reich, officials said, was among several foreign policy officials who complained to the White House about government intelligence assessments on Cuba, in particular the work of the analyst, Fulton T. Armstrong, the national intelligence officer for Latin America.

According to several officials, Mr. Armstrong has written skeptically about Cuba's importance as a military threat, its intention to develop offensive biological weapons and its continued inclusion on the State Department's annual list of countries that sponsor terrorism. Mr. Armstrong, a career Central Intelligence Agency analyst who now serves on the National Intelligence Council, an advisory body for the director of central intelligence, also worked on the National Security Council in the Clinton administration. military threat, its intention to develop offensive biological weapons and its continued inclusion on the State Department's annual list of countries that sponsor terrorism. Mr. Armstrong, a career Central Intelligence Agency analyst who now serves on the National Intelligence Council, an advisory body for the director of central intelligence, also worked on the National Security Council in the Clinton administration.
Href*<http://www.hermanos.org/docs/nytimes0105

praktike

the Minuteman strikes!

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