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WorthlessIntelligenceAgency * FallujaTorture

27 November 2004 - Part 2

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it,
misdiagnosing it and then misapplying the wrong remedies.

-- Groucho Marx

1) How to Create a WIA -- Worthless Intelligence Agency
- - Where's the intelligence? - - Depleted uranium:
- - FBI Interviews Halliburton Whistleblower
- - CIA Knew of Plot Against Venezuela's Chavez
- - International Criminal Court confronted by US Lawmakers
2) Unusual Weapons' Used in Fallujah
- - Falluja: The 21st Century Guernica

Editor's Notes

In this second of today's 2-part issue of FN, we open with an article detailing what Bush and Congress are trying to accomplish by re-arranging the intelligence community. Talk about the fox guarding the hen house. More on the intelligence fiasco are in subsections, including confirmation that the 'CIA Knew of Plot Against Venezuela's Chavez.' Perhaps if John F. Kerry is elected as US President, (see part one), then a re-structuring of the intelligence community would be appropriate. Holding Bush back from getting his way on the "Intelligence Bill" were some Republican Conservative members of Congress. Real patriots can cover the spectrum of progressive-conservative ideologies, united behind principles of the US Constitution. The second item in this part reveals more on the horrendous assault on Falluja, proving the un-intelligence of actions not to thwart terrorism, but that actually promotes it.

The statesmen will invent cheap lies,
putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked,
and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities,
and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them;
and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just,
and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process
of grotesque self-deception.

– Mark Twain
"The Mysterious Stranger" (1910)

1) How to Create a WIA -- Worthless Intelligence Agency

- - Where's the intelligence? - - Depleted uranium:
- - FBI Interviews Halliburton Whistleblower
- - CIA Knew of Plot Against Venezuela's Chavez
- - International Criminal Court confronted by US Lawmakers

How to Create a WIA -- Worthless Intelligence Agency
Published November 24, 2004 by
How to Create a WIA -- Worthless Intelligence Agency
by Chalmers Johnson

Two weeks after George Bush's reelection, Porter J. Goss, the newly appointed Director of Central Intelligence, wrote an internal memorandum to all employees of his agency telling them, "[Our job is to] support the administration and its policies in our work. As agency employees, we do not identify with, support, or champion opposition to the administration or its policies."[1] Translated from bureaucrat-speak, this directive says, "You now work for the Republican Party. The intelligence you produce must first and foremost protect the President from being held accountable for the delusions he has concerning Iraq, Osama bin Laden, preventive war, torturing captives, democracy growing from the barrel of a gun, and the 'war on terror.'"

The term "intelligence" has always rested uneasily in the name of the Central Intelligence Agency. There is no question that the agency was created in 1947 on the orders of President Truman for the sole purpose of collecting, evaluating, and coordinating -- through espionage and from the public record -- information related to the national security of the United States. Truman was concerned to prevent another surprise attack on the U.S. like Pearl Harbor and to ensure that all information available to the government was compiled and presented to him in a timely and usable form. The National Security Act of 1947 placed the CIA under the explicit direction of the National Security Council (NSC), the president's chief staff unit for making decisions about war and peace, and gave it five functions. Four of them concern the collection, coordination, and dissemination of intelligence. It is the fifth -- which allows the CIA to "perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the National Security Council may from time to time direct" -- that has turned the CIA into a personal, secret, unaccountable army any president can order into battle without first having to ask Congress to declare war, as the Constitution requires.

Clandestine operations, although nowhere mentioned in the CIA's enabling statutes, quickly became the Agency's main activity and as one of its most impartial Congressional analysts, Loch K. Johnson, has put the matter, "The covert action shop had become a place for rapid promotion within the agency."[6] The Directorate of Operations (DO) soon absorbed two-thirds of the CIA's budget and personnel, while the Directorate of Intelligence limped along writing National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) -- summaries of intelligence produced by all the various intelligence agencies, including those in the Department of Defense -- for the White House.

Meanwhile, CIA covert operations subverted domestic journalism, planted false information in foreign newspapers, and covertly fed large amounts of money to members of the Christian Democratic Party in Italy, to King Hussein of Jordan, and to clients in Greece, West Germany, Egypt, Sudan, Suriname, Mauritius, the Philippines, Iran, Ecuador, and Chile. Clandestine agents devoted themselves to such tasks as depressing the global prices of agricultural products in order to damage uncooperative Third World countries, and sponsoring guerrilla wars or miscellaneous insurgencies in places as diverse as the Ukraine, Poland, Albania, Hungary, Indonesia, China, Tibet, Oman, Malaysia, Iraq, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, North Korea, Bolivia, Thailand, Haiti, Guatemala, Cuba, Greece, Turkey, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Angola, and Nicaragua, to name only a few of those on the public record. All this was justified by the Cold War, and no one beyond a very small group inside the government knew anything about it. The Central Intelligence Act of 1949 modified the National Security Act of 1947 with a series of amendments that, in the words of that pioneer scholar of the CIA Harry Howe Ransom, "were introduced to permit [the CIA] a secrecy so absolute that accountability might be impossible."[7]

How to Misuse Intelligence..

..When it comes to ignoring accurate CIA intelligence, the preeminent example in the Bush administration was National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's indifference to al-Qaeda and her failure to ensure that the president read and understood the explicit warnings of an imminent surprise attack that the agency delivered to her. As the Washington Post's Steve Coll has summarized the matter in his book Ghost Wars, "BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO STRIKE IN U.S. was the headline on the President's Daily Brief presented to Bush at his Crawford, Texas, ranch on August 6 [2001]. The report included the possibility that bin Laden operatives would seek to hijack airplanes. The hijacking threat, mentioned twice, was one of several possibilities outlined. There was no specific information about when or where such an attack might occur."[14]

Slaying the Messenger

After the extent of its failure became known, and under extreme pressure from the public and families of the victims of 9/11, the Bush administration reluctantly authorized the creation of a National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States and permitted National Security Adviser Rice to testify before it in public. But the fix was in: The Commission was to concentrate on "intelligence failures," not on the failure of policymakers to heed the intelligence, and on the need to "reform" the CIA but not to such an extent as to damage the president's ability to blame it for his mistakes.

On November 20, 2004, right-wing members of the House of Representatives scuttled the major recommendation of the 9/11 Commission -- namely, to provide the leader of the American intelligence community with greater authority to direct and coordinate the analyses of all 15 intelligence agencies. Reflecting the Pentagon's interests in maintaining control over 80% of the $40 billion annual intelligence budget, Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and an ally of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, withdrew his support.

..After the 9/11 attacks and the Bush administration's decision to go to war with Iraq, the focus shifted from ignoring unwanted intelligence to actively creating false intelligence. The critical item was the NIE of October 1, 2002, entitled "Iraq's Continuing Program for Weapons of Mass Destruction," which became known inside the CIA as the "whore of Babylon."[15] It explicitly endorsed Vice President Cheney's contention of August 26, 2002 -- "We know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons" -- and was signed by DCI George Tenet with "high confidence." "The intelligence process," writes CIA veteran Ray McGovern, "was not the only thing undermined. So was the Constitution. Various drafts of the NIE, reinforced with heavy doses of 'mushroom-cloud' rhetoric, were used to deceive congressmen and senators into ceding to the executive their prerogative to declare war -- the all-important prerogative that the framers of the Constitution took great care to reserve exclusively to our elected representatives in Congress."

In succeeding months numerous review commissions revealed that the October NIE was only one of numerous failures by the truth-tellers to do what the people of the United States pay them to do. The Senate Intelligence Committee, the 9/11 Commission, and the CIA's Iraq Survey Group under Charles Duelfer all reported that the CIA's so-called intelligence on Iraqi WMD was fictitious. Even more dangerously for the White House, these reports suggested that its so-called war on terrorism and its attack on Iraq rather than on the true perpetrators of 9/11 were based on false intelligence, much of it manufactured in the Pentagon.

..The new head of the CIA, Porter Goss, is now setting about knocking off all such messengers and their supporters still inside the CIA because the agency, despite its frequent co-option and misuse by presidents, still retains a vestigial role as a truth-teller. Goss had been ordered to make it appear that the agency misled the President (rather than the other way round, as actually happened). He is then supposed to shake up what he calls a "dysfunctional" organization. After George Tenet resigned as DCI in July 2004 and went on the lecture circuit at $35,000 a pop -- he had earned well over a half-million dollars by November -- Bush appointed Goss to control further truth-telling at Langley and to head off efforts by Congress to create a powerful intelligence czar, as the 9/11 Commission has recommended.[17] The Senate confirmed Goss by a vote of 77 to 17 (six senators did not vote), strongly suggesting the increasing worthlessness of Senate oversight of the executive branch.

Goss represented the 14th district of Florida for some sixteen years in the House of Representatives, but before that, between 1962 and 1971, he worked in the CIA's Directorate of Operations (DO). He was stationed primarily in Latin America, and rumors persist that he left the agency under a cloud. In 1995, he was appointed to the House's Intelligence Oversight Committee and in 1997 became its chairman. There is no evidence that he did anything at all in this position, including investigating the intelligence lapses that preceded 9/11 or the failure of the CIA to have placed a single spy anywhere within Saddam Hussein's regime. Admiral Stansfield Turner, DCI under President Carter, has said that Goss was the worst appointment ever made to the position of director of the CIA.

How to Create a Worthless Intelligence Agency

..Nonetheless, the CIA still retains its statutory role of compiling and transmitting to the president objective intelligence on matters it deems relevant to the nation's security. The Agency may have become little more than a speed-bump for an imperial president who also dominates the Congress and the courts, but it is still part of the checks and balances of power within the executive branch of our government that make the U.S. a democratic republic and protect us from an imperial usurpation of power. With the reelection of President Bush and the appointment of Porter Goss to bring the CIA under White House control, it becomes increasingly hard to see how the republic will survive.

Chalmers Johnson's latest books Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (Metropolitan, 2000) and The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (Metropolitan, 2004) are the first two volumes in a trilogy on American imperial policies. The final volume is now being written. Between 1967 and 1973 Johnson served as a consultant to the CIA's Office of National Estimates.

© 2004 Chalmers Johnson

Published November 24, 2004 by
The above was an EXCERPT,
For the complete article and footnote links, see:

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- - Where's the intelligence? - - Depleted uranium:
Dirty bombs, dirty missiles, dirty bullets
A death sentence here and abroad
by Leuren Moret

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- - FBI Interviews Halliburton Whistleblower
By John Solomon
The Associated Press

Wednesday 24 November 2004

WASHINGTON, An Army whistleblower who raised concerns that the Pentagon improperly awarded business to Vice President Dick Cheney's former company has been interviewed extensively by the FBI and is gathering documents to help agents.

For this article, see:

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- - CIA Knew of Plot Against Venezuela's Chavez
Leader Not Warned, Documents Reveal
Published by the Long Island, NY Newsday

by Bart Jones and Letta Tayler

U.S. kept quiet on Chávez plot


November 24, 2004

The U.S. government knew of an imminent plot to oust Venezuela's leftist president, Hugo Chávez, in the weeks prior to a 2002 military coup that briefly unseated him, newly released CIA documents show, despite White House claims to the contrary a week after the putsch.

Yet the United States, which depends on Venezuela for nearly one-sixth of its oil, never warned the Chávez government, Venezuelan officials said.

The Bush administration has denied it was involved in the coup or knew one was being planned. At a White House briefing on April 17, 2002, just days after the 47-hour coup, a senior administration official who did not want to be named said, "The United States did not know that there was going to be an attempt of this kind to overthrow - or to get Chávez out of power."

Yet based on the newly released CIA briefs, an analyst said yesterday that did not appear to be the case.

"This is substantive evidence that the CIA knew in advance about the coup, and it is clear that this intelligence was distributed to dozens of members of the Bush administration, giving them knowledge of coup plotting," said Peter Kornbluh, a senior analyst at the National Security Archive in Washington.

For the complete article published by, see:,0,66950,print.story?coll=ny-worldnews-headlines
also posted:

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- - International Criminal Court confronted by US Lawmakers

U.S. Threatens to Cut Aid over Court
Published November 26, 2004
by the San Francisco Chronicle

Congress Wants Immunity Accords for Americans
by Colum Lynch

UNITED NATIONS -- The Republican-controlled Congress has stepped up its campaign to curtail the power of the International Criminal Court, threatening to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in economic aid to governments that refuse to sign immunity accords shielding U.S. personnel from being surrendered to the tribunal.

For the complete article, see:

2) Unusual Weapons Used in Fallujah

- - Falluja: The 21st Century Guernica

Unusual Weapons' Used in Fallujah
by Dahr Jamail
Published November 26, 2004 by the Inter Press Service

BAGHDAD, Nov 26 (IPS) - The U.S. military has used poison gas and other non-conventional weapons against civilians in Fallujah, eyewitnesses report..

"Poisonous gases have been used in Fallujah," 35-year-old trader from Fallujah Abu Hammad told IPS. "They used everything -- tanks, artillery, infantry, poison gas. Fallujah has been bombed to the ground."

Hammad is from the Julan district of Fallujah where some of the heaviest fighting occurred. Other residents of that area report the use of illegal weapons.

"They used these weird bombs that put up smoke like a mushroom cloud," Abu Sabah, another Fallujah refugee from the Julan area told IPS. "Then small pieces fall from the air with long tails of smoke behind them."

He said pieces of these bombs exploded into large fires that burnt the skin even when water was thrown on the burns. Phosphorous weapons as well as napalm are known to cause such effects. "People suffered so much from these," he said.

Macabre accounts of killing of civilians are emerging through the cordon U.S. forces are still maintaining around Fallujah.

"Doctors in Fallujah are reporting to me that there are patients in the hospital there who were forced out by the Americans," said Mehdi Abdulla, a 33-year-old ambulance driver at a hospital in Baghdad. "Some doctors there told me they had a major operation going, but the soldiers took the doctors away and left the patient to die."

Spokesman for the Iraqi Red Crescent in Baghdad Abdel Hamid Salim told IPS that none of their relief teams had been allowed into Fallujah, and that the military had said it would be at least two more weeks before any refugees would be allowed back into the city.

"There is still heavy fighting in Fallujah," said Salim. "And the Americans won't let us in so we can help people."

In many camps around Fallujah and throughout Baghdad, refugees are living without enough food, clothing and shelter. Relief groups estimate there are at least 15,000 refugee families in temporary shelters outside Fallujah.

For the complete article, see:

The above article was first published by Inter Press Service

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- - Falluja: The 21st Century Guernica

Where's Picasso?
By Saul Landau
Progreso Weekly

25 November to 01 December 2004 Issue

On November 12, as U.S. jets bombed Falluja for the ninth straight day, a Redwood City California jury found Scott Peterson guilty of murdering his wife and unborn child. That macabre theme captured the headlines and dominated conversation throughout workplaces and homes.

Indeed, Peterson "news" all but drowned out the U.S. military's claim that successful bombing and shelling of a city of 300,000 residents had struck only sites where "insurgents" had holed up. On November 15, the BBC embedded newsman with a marine detachment claimed that the unofficial death toll estimate had risen to well over 2,000, many of them civilians.

As Iraqi eyewitnesses told BBC reporters he had seen bombs hitting residential targets, Americans exchanged viewpoints and kinky jokes about Peterson. One photographer captured a Falluja man holding his dead son, one of two kids he lost to U.S. bombers. He could not get medical help to stop the bleeding.

A November 14 Reuters reporter wrote that residents told him that "U.S. bombardments hit a clinic inside the Sunni Muslim city, killing doctors, nurses and patients." The U.S. military denied the reports. Such stories did not make headlines. Civilian casualties in aggressive U.S. wars don't sell media space.

But editors love shots of anguished GI Joes. The November 12 Los Angeles Times ran a front page shot of a soldier with mud smeared face and cigarette dangling from his lips. This image captured the "suffering" of Falluja. The GI complained he was out of "smokes."

The young man doing his "duty to free Falluja," stands in stark contrast to the nightmare of Falluja. "Smoke is everywhere," an Iraqi told the BBC (Nov 11). "The house some doors from mine was hit during the bombardment on Wednesday night. A 13-year-old boy was killed. His name was Ghazi. A row of palm trees used to run along the street outside my house – now only the trunks are left… There are more and more dead bodies on the streets and the stench is unbearable."

For the complete article published first by Progreso Weekly, Inc.
also posted:

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