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July 09, 2006

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» Tom Maguire Destroys The Times And The Post from Captain's Quarters
I had looked forward to blogging about two stories this morning on a letter sent to the White House by House Intelligence Committee Chairman by the New York Times and the Washington Post. In the letter, Peter Hoekstra complains that... [Read More]

» An interestinf analysis from a blogger I didn't know --ht cq from discarded lies - hyperlinkopotamus
An interestinf analysis from a blogger I didn't know --ht cq [Read More]

» "Tom Maguire Destroys The Times And The Post" from Old War Dogs
I'm too tired to follow it all right now but do click here and here. [Read More]

» House Intel Committee Says CIA "Intentionally Undermined" the Administration from Chris At Home
I think most of us already suspected this, but it is nice to see the committee chairman agrees. From a letter to Bush that complains that the Admi ... [Read More]

» Hoekstra: Lets Take A Look At The CIA Leakers from Right Voices
The New York Times and the WaPo have both run articles today, referencing a letter that was written to the POTUS, and written by Pete Hoekstra. No the letter was not meant for publication, but whats new?! Here is a link to the pdf version of th... [Read More]

» A CIA faction is trying to undermine the Bush administration from Pro Cynic
That according to Rep. Peter Hoekstra. The New York Times discusses his letter to the administration to that effect, but buries the issue of the rogue faction. Tom Maguire (via Captain's Quarters) has an analysis. [Read More]

» Burying the Lede from Wizbang Bomb Squad
The reliably un-reliable New York Times (effectively the Al Qaeda Intelligence Service [AQIS]) has done us both a disservice and a service. The diservice was two fold: They published a leaked privileged communication between the chairman (Peter Hoekstr... [Read More]

» Plame Game - Rounding the Curve from Macmind - Conservative Commentary and Common Sense
Been getting a lot of emails on this story by the "usual suspects" at the Ny Times. It surrounds a letter by Rep. Pete Hoekstra to President Bush. Of course it's been leaked (they are sure making the proscutor's job easier). In the Hoekstra p ...... [Read More]

» The Letter from Curiouser and Curiouser
Tom Maguire as a very in-depth and searing analysis on his blog "Just One Minute" of the letter that Michigan Republican US Representative Pete Hoekstra, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, wrote to the President about his concerns on... [Read More]

» The Hoekstra Letter from Flopping Aces
Is anyone really surprised that the New York Times would write a whole article about a once secret letter (nothing is ever secret when it comes to the NYTs) to President Bush from Peter Hoekstra, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and ... [Read More]

» Ezzie's Blog Roundup, 7/10/2006: Woah, Blogosphere from SerandEz
The New York Times and others discussed a letter yesterday to President Bush from the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee from a few months ago that was once classified. The letter notes that on at least one occasion, the HIC felt they were ... [Read More]

» NYTimesWatch: The Plaming Of The Press from Villainous Company
Sacre bleu! Once again our eyeballs have been assaulted by the tiresome bleatings of these radical reich-wingers! Parasitical remoras, always biting the ankles of their betters! Nicholas Kristof rightly takes arrogant bloggers to task for their dishone... [Read More]

» NYTimesWatch: The Plaming Of The Press from Villainous Company
Sacre bleu! Once again our eyeballs have been assaulted by the tiresome bleatings of these radical reich-wingers! Parasitical remoras, always biting the ankles of their betters! Nicholas Kristof rightly takes arrogant bloggers to task for their dishone... [Read More]

» The CIA Undermining The Administration? from The Colossus
My current framework for understanding what's going on in the world of intelligence is that the CIA is such a highly politicized agency that it is no longer working as a part of the administration, but rather has decided to become an informal party of ... [Read More]

Comments

Eggmont

The real answer is Bush getting used by Plame was part of a larger plan before the war started. It goes back to the speech because Bush mentioned he doubled the size of the CIA and planned this for other agencies, which led us to Plame and Wilson.

You'll find most of the promontions out of the Plame mess are Russian experts.

As far as SWIFT being Plame related like the NSA leak and her work with domestic poltical groups; I might send a doubter right here:

Canada’s new government will be relentless in its efforts to prevent terrorist crimes," Minister Flaherty said. "We are taking an international leadership role to combat terrorist financing by devoting substantial new funding to bolster our analytic, investigative and prosecution resources."
Minister Flaherty announced that Toronto has been selected as the permanent headquarters of the secretariat of the Egmont Group. An organization of 101 of the world’s financial intelligence units, the group includes the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). Canada’s new government will contribute $5million over the next five years to help the secretariat get established.

http://www.fin.gc.ca/news06/06-033e.html

-----------

DOD pulled some DEA out of the Caribean just before the SWIFT leak and I would wonder if someone is playing with Rumsfeld right about here;

swift deregulation and simplification of business formalities

CARIBBEAN FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE-

-------------
Senate Intelligence Committee;

It may not be about Hoekstra, but the fact that Rockefeller did a good job.

clarice

Yom, that is a brilliant catch.
Eggmont what you posted seems important but is so cryptic it flew over my head.

SteveMG

The head of the House intelligence committee openly claims that the President of the US during a time of war is being undermined by a rogue element in the CIA and the NY Times says not a word about that.

Does anyone - even our occasional visitors from the la-la-land known as the Daily Kos - believe that if we had a liberal Democrat president being undermined by a rogue conservative element in the CIA that the NY Times would not have mentioned this?

Time for my tired - but accurate - cliche.

The bias in the press is not that they tell you want to think; the bias is that they tell you what to think about.

Or, in this case, what not to think about.

SMG


pgl

The CIA is using the Plame story to discredit the White House? Now that turns the whole matter on its head. Maybe some folks don't like the Stephen Kappes appointment but this in no way justifies the outing of a CIA agent.

Redcoat

SteveMG,

I would imagine this cabal within the C.I.A is one of the sources for the leaks the NYTimes prints.

I suspect that Kappes will be reclassified from a "former" to a "current" Anonymous Source in future Times stories that undermine our security.

noah

pgl...so Armitage should be prosecuted if he is the leaker, no?

Specter

pgl,

correction - CIA "management type" which reads as Bureaucrat. Agent? LOL. Whe said that?

SunnyDay

You know, pgl and cleo, and the other leftistas who post here are not up to date on the facts, or they refuse to accept them. That question has been asked and answered so many times, it's just a waste of energy to keep going in circles and that dead horse, trying to find a way to beat it some more.

I bet they do not bother to answer the Armitage question.

It just doesn't fit
they must omit.

SunnyDay

oopsie! around the dead horse.

Redcoat

pgl

Maybe some folks don't like the Stephen Kappes appointment but this in no way justifies the outing of a CIA agent.

I am unaware of anyone using this as a justification,it does however tarnish the Halo of Mrs.Wilson.

Jeff

Tom - Are you sure "the Ambassador Wilson/Valerie Plame events" refers to the post-Novak push by Kappes' strong and well-positioned CIA cabal, and not the mind control they exercised from February 2002 on to set up the administration with bad intel to go to war and get it to participate with Robert Novak in blowing Plame's cover?

JJ

Time for my tired - but accurate - cliche.

The bias in the press is not that they tell you want to think; the bias is that they tell you what to think about.

Nothing tired about it.

And the MO is to leave out essential parts; and this MO is currently rising to incredible heights.

When a news story's intro becomes a thesis instead of simply a lede, watch out. That's the signal to turn off the serious news expectation and turn on the filtering mechanisms.

Usually the real news is buried down in the message somewhere, as many catch. TM, we are thankful for your big filters. :)

Gad! I'd pay extra bucks to the Libby defense team just to see Times' articles dissected for reliability! Maybe that's coming...

clarice

If I were a high school teacher, I'd assign TM's blog to my students to better teach them how to read a newspaper and recognize all the propaganda tricks.

ghostcat

Kappes is back because of his knowledge of Iran and the Khan nuclear network. But he wouldn't come back until Goss was shown the door. Compromise is.

SteveMG

Jeff:
not the mind control they exercised from February 2002 on to set up the administration

Wait a second Jeff.

Parallel universe time.

Imagine Rep. Jane Harman, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, writing a letter to President Kerry and in it she states that groups in the CIA were undermining the Kerry Administration's war on terror policies.

You think the NY Times would not include that allegation anywhere in their coverage?

Nothing? Nada?

SMG

Semanticleo

Interesting speculations, all.

I suppose the 45 year-old threat by JFK to dismantle the CIA after they screwed him on intel for Bay of Pigs, may yet be accomplished
if this thread bears fruit.

Then we will have only military intelligence and the NSA. Not good.

Just to throw a little water on the bare assumptions borne by Maguire, I suppose the
'Aspen' communique signals some truth about the sexual fireworks between 'Suite' Judy
and Libby. I mean, if there was no reason for Libby to fear retribution for Wislonian hijinks, what other explanation could there be. Just some soap opera lather for the vicarious lurkers.

clarice

The Hoekstra letter is short and uncomplicated. The NYT could only have described it as they did to (a) cover their rears yet again on the leaks and (b) protect the leakers or those like Kappes who we know did protect them.

There simply is no other way to explain this piece of crappy reportage.

Jeff

SMG - I am of course asking a question about Hoekstra's letter and perspective, not about the Times' strange article about it. Best as I can tell, this is an idle threat from Hoekstra to the administration to toe the rightwing line in the evidently ongoing war between the right and the CIA. Hoekstra is pissed his buddy Goss got fired, and pissed that Kappes has been rehired, and fearful that the cough cough rightwing intel reformers have been abandoned by the Bush administration, so he is threatening to make things a little more difficult for the Bush administration. I doubt he will, no Republican these days seems to be genuinely able to stand up to the Bush administration. But in any case, my question went to what Hoekstra is talking about, and whether it is as reasonable as what Tom is talking about, which I doubt.

SteveMG

I am of course asking a question about Hoekstra's letter and perspective, not about the Times' strange article about it.

Right.

But one of TM's reasons (apparently) for posting this story was the failure by the Post and Times to include Hoekstra's charges.

You have no comment on that?

And no comment on my imaginary scenario where a Democratic chair writes to a Democratic President about individuals underming the president's national security policies.

I will propose to you that had this been conservative figures in the CIA accused of undermining a liberal administration, that the press (as a whole) would be giving those accusations great coverage.

But of course, I also think that most newsrooms look at the world through a left-of-center perspective and report on it accordingly.

You think otherwise.

SMG

Semanticleo

"I will propose to you that had this been conservative figures in the CIA accused of undermining a liberal administration, that the press (as a whole) would be giving those accusations great coverage."

Jeez. Liberally-biased media. Will this canard ever be cooked L'Orange?

Redcoat

Clarice,

Right on both counts.

It's all about the leaks.

pgl

Up to date on the facts? Sorry but Specter's SPIN that Plame was only a management type is quite and has been thoroughly discredited. Now if Armitage is the leaker (yes, the rightwing spin continues) then throw him under the bus1

pgl

BTW - Specter's spin is quite OLD. Sorry for the typo. Also check out Kosh Marshall on some real spin from Hoekstra.

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

Pincus also wrote a puff piece (cribbing a bit from Mazzetti) on Kappes that mentions Feinstein's support as well as Warner's.

I wonder if Pincus refers to Kappes in private as 'old reliable'? Not a very impressive rehire at all.

JM Hanes

pgl

Specter's spin? LOL! Do you actually not realize that "managerial type" is a direct quote from the State Dept. memo describing Plame?

clarice

RB, I had a dispute with Mac about the rehire some time ago.When the monkeys run the zoo...and that does seem to describe CYA--to the extent that they can demand the rehire of Kappes who protected a leaker in the agency (likely MOM cause the report said the leaker was a "she"), they cease to be of significant value. Moynihan was right r=years ago when he called for the Agency to be disbanded.

Redcoat

JM Hanes

Who are you going to believe,

The State Department,or Kosh Marshall?

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

This could be the result of a small tear that I just discovered in my Reynolds Wrap Sunday chapeau but could the Times be providing cover for someone with their neck in a DoJ noose? The Times has more than one source in the CIA hog pen and dumping a few more "confidential" pieces of information may be a means of distraction.

Syl

Jeff is simply implying that Hoekstra is a conspiracy theorist.

Nice, eh?

clarice

So how did the letter make it to the NYT? It wasn't CC'd to the CIA. Someone in the WH or on Hoekstra's staff saw that the paper got it. Why? (a) they are pissed off at the treachery at Langley,(b) a message re that to Negroponte or to the WH or to Gonzales,(c) to help Libby.

All reasonable speculation invited.

Redcoat

Clarice:

Perhaps as a message to Kappes?

A warning?

clarice

Maybe, but I believe Hoekstra made his displeasure about the rehire known at the time.

lurker

This is old news.

moneyrunner

Jeff, is conspiracy speculation a hobby or a full time occupation? Can we take Hoekstra's words at face value? Why not?

Redcoat

Yes,but his private letter is very specific,and much more forceful,and hits at some very disturbing trends within the agency.

Hoekstra is paraphrased as having "complained",which could be merely Congressional posturing,his private letter is more of an accusation.

Displeasure I would guess would be par for the course,but he is almost at the point of characterizing Kappes and friends as seditious.

lurker

Do we really want Kappes back in CIA?

clarice

I don't, but the imlication at the time of his rehire is that the sedition would only get worse if he weren't. As good a reason to close down the agency as I can think of.

Pofarmer

"Then we will have only military intelligence and the NSA. Not good."

Why? Either one of those agencies is much more accountable than the CIA was or currently is, and both are actually getting results and have humint in the field. The CIA is just sifting other peoples garbage, at this point.

lurker

So...one way of hiring Kappes is to isolate him from classified information as much as possible. Or, give him disinformation in order to catch him leaking, then fire him?

I wasn't happy when I learned he was to be hired back.

Which one was spawned from OSS - FBI or CIA?

I would be happy to see the CIA disbanded altogether by realignment or absorbed through other organizations.

lurker

Both UN and CIA have been very ineffective and go out of their way to destroy WH, USA, Israel, etc.

I anticipate that the UN will collapse the same way as League of Nations.

lurker

Hahahaha!!

Tom Delay will come back FULL FORCE if the appeal court doesn't overturn it.

That's why Lampoon is starting his ad campaign...long before Tom's started his.

Will the appeal court overturn it? Doesn't look like it at this time.

Redcoat

Lurker

Which one was spawned from OSS - FBI or CIA?

The C.I.A.

They devolved from an effective military intelligence/operative group to a bunch of petty bureaucrats.

crosspatch

I believe that this is all about the existance of WMD and the efforts that had to be applied to get both a classified and unclassified summary of the WMD found in Iraq.

If you will remember, Rick Santorum got wind of this WMD that had been found and went to Hoekstra for more information. Hoekstra didn't know anything about it and it was only after explicitly going to the intelligence community and referring to things by codenames in his specific requests, was any information given to him which Santorum and Hoekstra then took public at a press conference in June.

The timing of all of this would be about right. I suspect the NYT has stumbled on the documents surround Hoekstra's anger that he didn't know about the Iraq WMD.

clarice

I kinda think so, too..And then, after Hoekstra released what he had and asked for a full declassification (everyone who's seen it says the still classified stuff is very damning), some guys in DoD poohpoohed it.And the doc remains classified.

Pofarmer

"They devolved from an effective military intelligence/operative group to a bunch of petty bureaucrats."

Yep, and very politically charged ones at that. I really think the CIA is more dangerous than useful, at this point. And, they can't ACT on anything. At least DOD can act on it's intelligence without another layer of buearacracy, and none of it is Domestic, anyway.

Tom Maguire

Tom - Are you sure "the Ambassador Wilson/Valerie Plame events" refers to the post-Novak push by Kappes' strong and well-positioned CIA cabal, and not the mind control they exercised from February 2002 on to set up the administration with bad intel...

Well, who knows what is in his heart? I guess the "Conspiracy Heavy" theory is that the whole Plame-wilson show ran from a CIA script starting in Feb 2002; "Conspiracy Light" is that the CIA seized its opportunity following the Novak column.

I'm a "Light" guy, and I hope Hoekstra is, but who knows?

That said, Hoekstra's reference to "the string of unauthorized disclosures from an organization that prides itself with being able to keep secrets" would seem to fit well with the 2003-2004 period.

I just happen to have this quote from the Pulitzer-winning, Cheney-annoying, prison-revealing Dana Priest handy, which arguably touches on CIA motivation:

Dana Priest: I don't actually think the Plame leak compromised national security, from what I've been able to learn about her position. As for my article, we tried to minimize that by not naming the countries involved and, otherwise, no, I don't believe it compromised national security at all.

So the CIA was upset because...?

crosspatch

I can understand if there was a reluctance to release the information in full. We don't want to send terrorists on a "treasure hunt" for WMD in Iraq.

By the way, Santorum's radio interview with Hugh Hewitt is available here at radioblogger. At about 6 minutes 50 seconds into the interview, he talks about the process of discovering the information.

I heard more information about the trouble Hoekstra had from another source which I can't recall at the moment but it was an interview, not a written report. Possibly Fox.

section9

Strangely enough, OSS operated directly under the aegis of George C. Marshall and the War Department. It was a supremely effective intelligence agency that sent American nationals on dangerous missions deep into the heart of the Reich and Imperial Japan's extended Empire. The C.I.A. has become a hidebound, beureaucratically ossified agency that is the laughinstock of the intelligence world. It conducts intelligence campaigns against sitting American presidents because that's what it can do, as opposed to killing bin Laden or finding out the true nature of the Iranian Manhattan Project.

That's what CIA is supposed to do. CIA has been effectively routed out of Iran and North Korea for some time. The fact that the agency even employs the likes of Valerie Wilson should indicate to any casual observer the level of seriousness with which this once formidable agency approaches its tradecraft. Real intelligence agencies, like Mossad, MI-6, or France's SDECE, probably keep their exposure to CIA to a bare minimum. One doesn't want one's state secrets published in the New York Times, does one? Poster above was correct-CIA has been reduced to sifting through other people's garbage.

The only truly effective intel outfits we have right now operate for Donald Rumsfeld-the spooky Pentagon outfits. They get results. They are task oriented and don't have a cumbersome station chief template to work around. If the CIA were gone tomorrow, we'd survive, although CIA has a lot of great analysts. They're just not being used properly.

Tudalu

Well, these people already openly mourn the loss of Zarqawi.

What can really surprise us at this point?

Extraneus

Why would the NYT and lefties even here be supporting this person for a high position at CIA? Who's ever even heard of him? Besides, do these folks even want a CIA? For what purpose?

Obviously there's more here than meets the eye. I'm partial to Rick's speculation.

And btw, do we know any more about why Mr. Kappes left in the first place? Was he pushed out by Goss, or such a principled guy that he decided on his own to just vamoose because things were so "wobbly" under the new Director?

Jane

So Mac at Macsmind is suggesting that Kappes is being brought back to the CIA to catch the leakers. My question is if Kappes was part of the leaking cabal, and now wants to catch them, why not just name names? Am I missing something?

clarice

He was fired because he refused an order to fire a subordinate who, in turn, had refused an order to fire a leaker referred to in reports only as a "her".

crosspatch

FYI:

Kappes left the CIA in late 2004, at the height of his career. He was the director of operations, heading all CIA clandestine activities. A career spy runner -- he served in Moscow and Pakistan and speaks Russian and Persian -- Kappes quit rather than follow an order from Goss's chief of staff, Patrick Murray, that Kappes fire his own deputy, Michael Sulick, reportedly after Sulick called Murray "a Hill puke" in a meeting. Murray had been a staff member on the House Intelligence Committee when Goss was its chairman. Kappes and Sulick both resigned, and CIA employees who were embittered by Goss's reign vaulted Kappes to martyr status.

Kappes's tenure as operations chief was brief but profound. "Steve's appointment [in October 2004] was electric in that building," said William Nolte, the former assistant director of central intelligence for community management. "It really did send the signal that, 'Hey, we're going to be OK.' His quick departure [a month later], and the way it happened, was a bad omen."

If Kappes, with his human-intelligence expertise, becomes the agency's No. 2, he would be a complement and counterweight for Hayden. The former NSA director's experience lies in electronic intelligence-gathering, not human spying, so Hayden needs Kappes's skills to reinvigorate the spy cadre, former officials said. But the deputy designee would also be a salve for lawmakers worried about putting a military officer in charge of a civilian intelligence agency. The combination of Hayden and Kappes "was a brilliant stroke," the senior Democratic aide said. "It's my sense there is a whole generation of [operations] officers who'd been looking forward to the day that Steve Kappes would be running the place."

Kappes's abrupt departure crushed that hope. Now some expect that the operations directorate, renamed the National Clandestine Service, will become a more aggressive and "forward leaning" operation. "Does this mean taking someone and putting them out [in the field] for years at a shot?" asked Ronald Marks, a former CIA congressional liaison. "It certainly means moving away from embassy-based operations," the CIA's traditional forte, he answered.

"On the [human-intelligence] side, you've got some fundamental problems," Marks said. "How do you deal with an enemy that has more information or as much information as you do? If you're talking about piercing a group of people who are family or tribal members, you're going to have to play a very dangerous game." And on that score, Marks said, "Kappes has been very innovative over the years. He will try to push the idea of getting guys deeper and further out."

Michael Scheuer, who left the CIA two years ago after leading the hunt for Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, said, "Kappes was the best [operations director] we had in at least a decade. He's been to hard, ugly places and been successful."

Scheuer cautioned, however, that Kappes's return could be nothing more than "window dressing" by a White House eager to defuse what it perceives as a rebellion by disgruntled CIA employees. Historically, he noted, the deputy director has often been relegated to a minor role. He's "really nothing unless the [director] is out of town."

But if Hayden gives Kappes the operational control he needs to make tangible reforms, then the relatively short time left in the Bush administration could produce some positive changes, Scheuer said. For instance, if Kappes could establish a program for training more "targeting analysts," then "that would be a service to America."

Full article here

crosspatch

Yikes, sorry for posting such a long quote.

Extraneus

Really? I thought "he resigned in anger after bitter clashes with senior aides to Porter J. Goss."

Extraneus

Oh, I get it now, crosspatch. Nice post. He's a "counterweight." Got it.

clarice

Well, if that clown Scheuer(author of Imperial Hubris okayed for publication by the CIA just before the election BTW) says so-----PHEH

RB, I just noticed your last post. Maybe. Here's what I think, someone who knows how stupidly partisan the NYT is might have guessed they'd put their own special sauce on the story but that (a) having them leak it would (b) draw public attention to it and (c) smarties like Tom would pick up the real story--The Chairman of the HIC thinks (as I do) that the place is a den of sedition and people there are trying to destroy the Administration, a plan begun with the phony Plame "outing".
This would have to be plotted by someone who knows (a) the Agency and (b) Hoekstra and (c) How weak has been the Administration response to this perfidy--someone like Goss, for example.And since he has a particular dog in the Kappes fight.........

crosspatch

I was mainly trying to answer the "Who's ever even heard of him? Besides, do these folks even want a CIA? For what purpose?" question.

He is quite well known in the intelligence community. I believe he was responsible for discovering Iran's clandestine nuclear activity. The guy is an expert and apparently very good in exactly the kind of work the CIA is being reconfigured to do as its main line of operation. Much of the other work is being farmed out to other groups.

CIA being reconfigured to be a HUMINT heavy organization, you want a person who understands HUMINT near the top. Hayden is a career IC officer who as a military man, has little alignment with the political parties. He has been successful under administrations of both parties.

crosspatch

Carice,

I believe the purpose of the NYT article is simply agitation. They don't link the document to the specific incident that precipitated it and attempt to broaden the scope of it generally. They will publish anything and everything they can get which is negative toward the administration in some way.

The idea here is to further their agenda of portraying the Bush administration as undertaking all kinds of "illegal" activities in their desire to Nixon-ize Bush.

clarice

You may be right, crosspatch..Mac's sources say the same thing. The problem is that all these sources are in the agency which I am sorry to say no longer has a whit of credibility with me.

crosspatch

It is going to take a while to weed them out. One "blessing" is that most of the partisans seem to be in the Directorate of Intelligence and a lot of those folks are apparently being farmed out to other groups as the DI as it has been known ceases to exist. Their ability to do as much damage in the future will be severely limited. The primary analysis of information obtained from the various agencies will now be done at DNI, not CIA. As CIA will no longer be the central collection place for national intelligence policy, both their access to quite a bit of the information and their ability to skew analysis at the national lelvel will be limited. They are simply being taken out of a great big box of information and being farmed out to lots of smaller boxes.

And to add some to the NYT thing, what they have done is taken a document written when Hoekstra was trying to gain access to certain programs using such words as "illegal" to prod the IC into handing over information and spun it as some kind of ongoing concern. So the real events were something like "hey, we found out about this , give us the scoop or you might be illegally keeping information from us" to which the administration (or really, some group withing the intelligence community which is technically under "the administration" but who might not be acting in this case under direct Bush administration orders to keep this from congress, it was probably an operational consideration) replies "Sorry, here you go. This is ongoing so we can't let all the beans spill, but here is the gist of it, sorry for the trouble" and then Hoekstra says "okay, thanks, don't let it happen again, case closed). But the NYT doesn't put the document into context and portrays this as referring to stuff in the general sense and makes it appear as if there is some ongoing problem.

I would be interested in hearing the Senator from Michigan's take on the article.

Tony LaVanway

What is the C.I.A's position, on using the
relatives of employees,for unpaid,
Intelligence gathering missions?

It's been bugging me for awhile.

Also, would'nt the Agency, ask for a
confidential agreement from, Wilson, before
he left the states?

Thanks,
Tony LaVanway
South Haven ,MI

Syl

And then, after Hoekstra released what he had and asked for a full declassification (everyone who's seen it says the still classified stuff is very damning), some guys in DoD poohpoohed it.And the doc remains classified.

Which makes you wonder if the guys in DoD poohpoohed it in order to keep it classified. The revelations may harm some international 'partners' as well as put our troops in danger.

crosspatch

Which makes you wonder if the guys in DoD poohpoohed it in order to keep it classified. The revelations may harm some international 'partners' as well as put our troops in danger.

Yeah, that's where I am too.

Redcoat

Syl,

The revelations may harm some international 'partners' as well as put our troops in danger.

The Russians are in at least as deep with the Iranians as they were with Saddam,Putin is in a very strong position in terms of being able to influence the Mullah's.

Whatever Saddam had in unconventional stocks
was mostly Russian or Soviet in origin,what has been found,or moved can be traced directly back to them.

From the Administrations standpoint,it is probably best not to mention past indiscretions.

Not that the Russians will help us with Iran,but they could make things much,much worse if they had a mind to.

clarice

Syl, I suspect it has damaging information to France and Germany and Russia .
Tony, I think by not putting Joe on the payeoll and paying him only expenses, Plame avoided detection and the nepotism rules. As for why he wasn't forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement, I've never seen any sensible explanation and so I've drawn myown conclusions--it was planned.

ed

Hmmmm.

What I don't see is where the Bush Administration is doing anything about this. I'm sorry but if this is a war, as in **WAR**, then there should be people hanging from the gallows in Washington DC. If this isn't a war then most of the justification for ... well ... pretty much everything goes right out the window.

So which is it? Are we in a war where this crap needs to be stomped on? Or are we just jerking off?

I'm all for giving the administration room to work in. But if they're not going to take this crap seriously, then why should I?

crosspatch

Clarice (hey! I spelled it correctly for once!),

I have a hunch that when the Bill Jefferson documents are completely looked at, we will see Joe Wilson's name pop out. Joe did a lot of business in that part of the world. Bill was the go-to guy to grease wheels and get deals done.

clarice

I think the degree to which this Administration has had to operate in an atmosphere of internal sedition by the entrenched bureaucracy is the untold story ..I've been working on something which indicates the rebellion of the mandarinate extended beyond the DoS and CIA (about which we do have some evidence) to the DoJ..(I think NSA thinks so,, too, having refused to grant security clearance's to the Dept's OPR.)

clarice

crosspatch, I think Mac thinks so, too. But I read today the President's 45 day hold is up and no one has made a move to resolve the issue so no one at DoJ has even had a chance to look at those documents.

Washington... more like Caesar's Rome ever day.

Sue

I saw Hoekstra today doing an interview. He said the information he got was from a whistleblower. I'm confused, to say the least. Is he mad about the WMD story that is being buried? I can understand why, if that it is it. Republicans need that information out and preferably before the mid-terms.

Redcoat

Clarice,

"I've been working on something which indicates the rebellion of the mandarinate extended beyond the DoS and CIA (about which we do have some evidence) to the DoJ.."(

I'm greatly looking forward to reading that when you are finished.

I think a lot of it is the mentality over at State,"we are the professionals,the people who are elected by the Country should be allowed to act only at our discretion.'

That and Eight years of Clintonista's has resulted in a civil war in the halls of bureaucratic Washington.

crosspatch

Clarice,

I think they are awaiting a ruling from Thomas Hogan of the US District Court for DC.

Article here

crosspatch

Sue,

I believe that letter was from May. The information about the WMD was produced in June so I believe most of it (with the exception of the partisans in CIA) is water under the bridge at this point and not ongoing.

Sue

But is that what the letter referred to? The WMD story?

clarice

Thanks for the info and cite crosspatch.

Rocco

The CIA's stated purpose: "to collect, evaluate and disseminate foreign intelligence" and "to engage in covert action at the president's direction."

JM Hanes

This could have been a really interesting article if Lichtblau weren't so determined to pursue the (alleged/potential/imagined) illegalities angle. As it is, he struggles to justify his focus on the non-story story:

The briefings appear to have eased but not erased the concerns of Mr. Hoekstra and other lawmakers about whether the administration is sharing information on all of its intelligence operations.

Does anyone believe that Administration briefings, no matter how comprehensive, could ever suffice to "erase" the "concerns" of "other lawmakers"?

It's worth noting that while Hoekstra ends with a reminder about the paramount importance of keeping Congressional intel committees informed, he devotes a total of one sentence to "some alleged Intellegence Community activities about which our committe has not been briefed" -- after three full pages of complaints about the Kappes appointment and the DNI.

Not only does Lichtblau decide that the activities in question are "secret intelligence programs" (emphasis mine), he front loads that assumption -- provocatively headlined as "Spying." I say assumption, because, in a rather gratifying twist, he's got the Hoekstra letter, but nobody seems inclined to share "anything about what the activities were or which agencies they involved." Shoot, agencies are probably spying on each other!

Lichtblau almost completely ignores the compelling play of personalities, agencies and entities which certainly merits exploration and which might actually be informative. As a function of space devoted to items 1-3, one might reasonably conclude that the single greatest affront to Mr. Hoekstra's dignity, both personally and officially, seems to be the Kappes appointment.

Considering the abysmal failure that Porter Goss' tenure represents, I'm not sure it's necessarily a bad thing that, "the days of collaborative reform between the White House and this committee may be over" -- although I'm not at all convinced that committee dynamics are the central issue here. Its frustrated chairman doesn't seem especially outraged over this particular leak, does he?

Despite Lichtblau's contention that "Mr. Hoekstra's views on oversight appear to be shared by some other Intelligence Committee members," he musters only a generic quote from Heather Wilson, who seems more worried about Negroponte's office, and no further comment at all from the Hastert folks. The Kappes saga certainly warrants attention, but frankly, I think the really big -- virtually untold -- story is Negroponte. Is he the living definition of low-profile or what?

crosspatch

Sue,

But is that what the letter referred to? The WMD story?

Speculation on my part but the timing and language are right. I would say to ask Hoekstra.

Charlie (Colorado)

Then we will have only military intelligence and the NSA. Not good.

Um, no. We have the DNI's organization. We would then have to develop a "National Clandestine Service" to do the HUMINT stuff.

The structural problem for CIA is that, for historical reasons, CIA became both a provider, and the core analytical organization. This means there is a bureaucratic tension between collection and analysis.

Syl

Hopefully this is being resolved with the new structure(s) but the relationship between State and CIA got way too tight. State's people in foreign countries after a while forget which country they're working for.

It's understandable (in a way). When you're working with locals and becoming friends with them, it's easy to see their POV and forget the larger picture.

The CIA with its bureaus chiefs and agents working out of embassies put them in the same 'position' as State employees in many cases.

This has been going on for years, decades even, but it spun totally out of control with the WoT. CIA and State should be totally separated. I don't care one whit if this means duplication of effort. State cover is an oxymoron since nobody believes it's any cover at all anymore.

In this case the one hand should never know what the other hand is doing.

Charlie (Colorado)

Well, who knows what is in his heart? I guess the "Conspiracy Heavy" theory is that the whole Plame-wilson show ran from a CIA script starting in Feb 2002; "Conspiracy Light" is that the CIA seized its opportunity following the Novak column.

Guys, I've worked with the CIA. Would that I actually believed anyone at CIA was slick enough to construct a conspiracy out three or four moves ahead like that.

crosspatch

JMH,

The Times will produce any information it can find that could be negative. They also bank on the fact that tomorrow you will have forgotton what they published yesterday. So you can go back and pull articles they have published in the past and spun in one direction and find them attempting to sping the information in a different direction later. They rely on a short memory from the public and a lack of any context outside of the current issue of the paper.

What the Internet has done is allowed people to go back and look at past articles and compare/contrast them with current articles and expose the contradictions. In the past this took a lot of research at the library with microfilm and a copier along with tedious serching by manually scanning every article. We can now pull up every article by a journalist going back years in seconds. They don't like it ... not one bit.

This article is simply Lichtblau standing on the balcony saying "Hey! I found some more negative information about the Bush administration!" but when you really look at it, the information is being presented out of context, hyped bu stretches of language, or downright insertion of conclusions not supported by the document itself. It is just the general drivel we have come to know as a "Blue Light Special" from the NY Times.

Semanticleo

"The only truly effective intel outfits we have right now operate for Donald Rumsfeld-the spooky Pentagon outfits. They get results. They are task oriented and don't have a cumbersome station chief template to work around. If the CIA were gone tomorrow, we'd survive, although CIA has a lot of great analysts. They're just not being used properly."

Charlie;

That cumbersome stuff's a bitch, ain't it?

Redcoat

Charlie(Colorado)

The structural problem for CIA is that, for historical reasons, CIA became both a provider, and the core analytical organization. This means there is a bureaucratic tension between collection and analysis.

That's the nature of a bureaucratic institution,everyone tries to carve out a fiefdom.

It's bad enough when it happens at the Department of Motor Vehicles,but when your task is to provide intelligence to protect a Nation, and it's interest,having your worst enemy be the guy down the hall,or in another part of Government is intolerable.

I've always thought the C.I.A should be based overseas,the Virgin Islands,Guam,just get them the hell out of Washington, that place is poisonous.

maryrose

Thank you SteveMG, clarice Rick and crosspatch for your excellent posts on this thread. I totally agree with them. At this point I don't give a flying fig what the NYT prints. They are so untruthful and false . It's like we are back in the days of Jayson Blair and Howell Raines. I think a shake-up is coming there and soon.
SteveMG-Spot on analysis fresh and on target!

Rocco

Page 41 of the SSCI states, "On February 20, 2002, CPD provided the former ambassador with talking points for his use with contacts in Niger. The talking points were general, asking officials if Niger had been approached, conducted discussions, or entered into any agreements concerning uranium transfers with any "countries of concern"

Page 43 of the SSCI states, "Mayaki said, however, that in June 1999, a businessman, approached him and insisted that Mayaki meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between Niger and Iraq."

The CIA sent him there to find out if Niger was ever approached by any rogue nations, he was told they were by a very credible source. Why then, did Wilson lie about this when he wrote http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0706-02.htm>"What I Didn't Find In Africa." The New York Times was his get away vehicle!

clarice

Mac has floated the theory for some time now that Wilson's repeated trips to Niger had to do with some side deal re the uranium either for his own business purposes or because there was a deal in which some at the CIA were involved (either to fund operations off the book) or for their own profit.

While I can find connections by Wilson to some involved in business there --including his second wife--I cannot find any hard evidence of this.

If true, it would obviate Charlie's point--see, these people can be very farsighted when it comes to their own stuff.

Rocco

That would explain a need to forge documents so that "Crazy Report" could be debunked.

clarice

It would explain a number of things, including his prior trips to Niger on the US dime and his misrepresentation of what he learned and the forgeries, but I have no hard evidence that it's true.

maryrose

I think the Bush administration is biding their time until before the elections to expose Rocky and all these leakers as to our security programs. End of the day- I think Wilson gets blown out of the water and Fitz's case collapses. Of course the the Plames will be far away enjoying the California sun when this all occurs.

topsecretk9

--But I read today the President's 45 day hold is up and no one has made a move to resolve the issue so no one at DoJ has even had a chance to look at those documents.--

Clarice...about 2 weeks ago Counsel for Congress filed a motion to have Billy Jeff's documents returned...the DOJ argue no and the Judge Thomas F. Hogan was siding with DOJ and said he would rule quickly, however I have seen no ruling or reporting on the ruling yet.

lurker

Is Kappes now back with CIA?

And Hayden sure has been quiet!

Rocco

Now this is from the World Socialist Website concerning the coup in 99.

"Whoever wins the election in November, Niger's military and political elite's subservience to IMF and World Bank dictates will ensure that debt maintenance and access to uranium are top on the priority list."

http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/nov1999/nige-n04.shtml

Hey...I read the Times too!

topsecretk9

I don't think anyone raised this point, sorry if it was, but the NYT's and the WAPO should have a vested interest in not mentioning a US Congressman who happens to be the chair of the intel committee (i.e. in the know) is alleging a element within the CIA scheming against the Administration and one of the plots was carried out via their papers...IOW's...promoting the Plame passage essentially makes Kristof and Pincus the equivalent of what Judy Miller is perceived to be.

And then they might even have to additional reporting and basically explain to readers that the whole years and years worth of reporting was bogus.

clarice

ts There's an article cited upthread that indicates Judge Hogan is late delivering his opinion.

lurker

Hi, anyone notice the new reports about UN and Hans Blix being in bed with Iran?

Redcoat

I think it's a mixed bag when it comes to Plame and Company vis-à-vis long term planning.

Clearly, Joe's Niger trip,his lack of a confidentiality agreement,his lies,etc.. were meant to have the same effect the leaks the New York Times printed recently.

Engineered specifically to make the Administration look bad.

However,the outing hoax,the media blitz,and the Fitz circus was like falling on a fumble,they just picked it up and ran with it.

I am sure Joe Wilson,and others, had some side interest in Niger,and other African States,his kind do have a talent for feathering their own nests,but Uranium?

I have to question the wisdom of anyone trusting Joe Wilson to keep his mouth shut,discretion is another virtue he clearly lacks.

crosspatch

Uranium is about the only exports such places have. If you are there talking business, chances are good you are talking Uranium because there is little else worth talking about.

Tom Maguire

Props to crosspatch for this:

I believe that this is all about the existance of WMD and the efforts that had to be applied to get both a classified and unclassified summary of the WMD found in Iraq.

The WaPo has a new story out - they cut and run from the "domestic intelligence" in their Sunday lead, but for purposes of praising crosspatch, let's clip this:

Hoekstra's remarks left unclear the nature of the intelligence programs he alluded to in his letter. He did not specify whether they involved domestic surveillance, a contentious area in which newspapers have reported about programs involving warrantless wiretaps, extensive gathering of phone records and monitoring of international bank transactions. Hoekstra, like many other GOP lawmakers, has defended the programs as important tools in combating terrorism, and he has resisted Democrats' calls for full inquiries into the programs' legality.

Hoekstra also had shown deep interest in an April report by the National Ground Intelligence Center regarding 500 chemical munitions shells that Iranian troops had buried in the 1980s, which were uncovered in 2004. Hoekstra and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) have said the shells justify claims that deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but the administration has not embraced those assertions. On June 29, Hoekstra complained in a letter to Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte about an administration background briefing for reporters that played down the shells' significance.

Sources said yesterday that they believe Hoekstra did not hear of the report on the shells until after he wrote to Bush.

That is not a confirmation, obviously, but they seem to be scratching the same itch as crosspatch.

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