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October 01, 2006


Other Tom

If Woodward's description of the group's expertise and status is accurate, my question is how on earth could that have been the case from 1991 onward? Regardless of what it tells us about Plame, what does it tell us about the CIA itself?

Cecil Turner

And you know where I am going because you know me too well!

I don't think even the uninitiated would need an abacus to add that one up.

Regardless of what it tells us about Plame, what does it tell us about the CIA itself?

Dunno, but it ain't good. And it'd seem to reinforce the lesson of Scary Larry and the VIPS bubbas.

sammy small

Are you saying that the Near East Division and the CPD for Iraq are the same organization. It sounds more like a matrixed structure where one division collaborates with another on a specific program. Typically these divisions would be run by different heads and have different political influences, different goals, and different levels of capabilities.

Just a thought.

Other Tom

I have the same question as Sammy Small. Is Woodward's "Iraqi Operations Group" of the Near East Divison the same as Corn's "operations group" of the Joint Task Force on Iraq? It's hard to tell. Either way, that outfit has been a useless puzzle palace from top to bottom for a long, long time.

Art Bell

Other Tom,
Let's hope Woodward can still Astral Travel into the mind of Bill Casey so we can get an answer to your question.

Cecil Turner

Is Woodward's "Iraqi Operations Group" of the Near East Divison the same as Corn's "operations group" of the Joint Task Force on Iraq? It's hard to tell.

I'd guess not. Per the SSCI:

Committee staff interviewed HUMINT collection officers in the CIA's Directorate of Operations, including collection officers in the Near East (NE) Division and the Counterproliferation Division (CPD). These officers briefed Committee staff on the IC's HUMINT collection posture against Iraq from the end of the Gulf War until the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). CIA officers told staff that the IC's HUMINT collection efforts throughout this period were dedicated to SENTENCE DELETED the IC obtained human intelligence on a variety of issues. Most of this information obtained through CIA's sources was related to political and military issues, not WMD, however.
In September, 2001, the DCI established a Joint Task Force within CIA's Counterproliferation Division (CPD) of the Directorate of Operations (DO).
Looks to me like the Near East Division and CPD are subordinate to DO, but distinct, and JTFI was formed from the latter. (Though the "joint" part of the descriptor suggests some overlap with other divisions/agencies.) But also from the SSCI's description, it appears the Iraq Operations Group was focused on more general issues, not primarily counterproliferation.


So we went to war based on the work of "The Island of Misfit Toys" ?


"Saul" from Woodward and "Luis" in Corn's
book, seem to be the same person; I mean
how many Cuban Americans ,can be section
chief on Iraq, in the CIA. There was yet
another CIA memoir, that didn't name him, but described his position. Susskind, identifies Plame's boss as former Beijing
and Moscow station chief Rolfe Larsen, take
that with a grain of salt.


Does Corn intentionally forget this part of her resume? Page 39, SSCI.

The former ambassador had traveled previously to Niger on the CIA's behalf (redacted) The former ambassador was selected for the 1999 trip after his wife mentioned to her supervisors that her husband was planning a business trip to Niger in the near future and might be willing to use his contacts in the region (redacted). Because the former ambassador did not uncover any information about (redacted) during this visit to Niger, CPD did not distribute an intelligence report on the visit.

Rohn's notes in the INR Memo tell us the trip was related to uranium.

Joe went to Niger in late 1999 in regard to Niger's uranium program, apparently with CIA support.

Corn writes, "Come the spring of 2001, she was in the CPD's modest Iraq branch. But that summer--before 9/11--word came down from the brass: We're ramping up on Iraq."

Interesting that that coincides with the first reports of tubes. Page 88, SSCI.

The CIA published its first assessment on the aluminum tubes on April 10, 2001", noting that they "have little use other than for a uranium enrichment program." (Senior Executive Intelligence Brief [SEIB] 01-083CHX).

While Kerry's foibles have been well-documented, Harris and Halperin propose that the man most responsible for the Massachusetts senator's defeat was not the candidate but rather Matt Drudge -- founder of the widely read Drudge Report.

Harris and Halperin call Drudge the "single most influential purveyor of information about American politics" and go on to add: "Drudge, with his droll Dickensian name, was not the only media or political agent whose actions led to John Kerry's defeat. But his role placed him at the center of the game -- a New Media World Order in which Drudge was the most potent player in the process and a personifications of the dynamic that did Kerry in."

So why does Kerry keep blattering about "swiftboating" ?

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