Skip to comments.Former CIA Agent Looks for Financial Links to Hussein
Posted on 06/26/2004 11:57:52 AM PDT by Shermy
Duane Clarridge is running a private probe, seeking evidence that France took prewar payoffs and that Russia received illegal Iraqi oil.
WASHINGTON After nearly two decades on the sidelines, Duane "Dewey" Clarridge, the legendary CIA officer who played a key role in the Reagan administration's secret war in Nicaragua, is back in the game this time in Iraq and as a private citizen.
Clarridge has launched his own self-financed investigation into alleged prewar financial dealings between Saddam Hussein's regime and France and Russia. And he has arranged to keep U.S. intelligence agencies briefed on what he uncovers.
"It will be a huge bombshell if we can pull it off," Clarridge said in a recent interview, adding that he was collaborating with several people he preferred not to identify. "I think the White House will be delighted."
Clarridge is offering unpaid advice to Iraqi political figures, including Ahmad Chalabi, the controversial exile leader long favored by the Bush administration but now suspected of leaking U.S. secrets to Iran. Clarridge scoffs at those allegations, and at a recent U.S.-backed raid on Chalabi's Baghdad offices.
"The raid did him a great favor by destroying his reputation as a U.S. toady," he said. "In the old days, we would have orchestrated an operation like that to boost his credentials."
Clarridge has been advising Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress faction on what kind of intelligence agency the new Iraqi government should build.
Since 1996, he has been part of a group of conservative activists who supported and promoted Chalabi as a vehicle for overthrowing Hussein and installing a pro-American regime in Baghdad.
Now he is trying to discredit France, Russia and other governments that have opposed President Bush's Iraq policies.
Clarridge returned last week from a trip to Iraq in search of evidence that French politicians took secret payoffs from Hussein in the 1980s; that Russia received illegal Iraqi oil transshipped through Iran; and that major international companies as well as foreign governments helped Hussein's alleged bid to develop weapons of mass destruction.
He said those economic interests were the real reasons those countries opposed the invasion of Iraq. "I think the world needs to know why some countries didn't want Saddam Hussein removed from power," he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Interesting piece here.
Sounds like he's doing what the "media" has utterly failed to do.
You guys too.
Wonder if we could help him..
This is good, thanks for posting it. These are the kind of people we need running the country.
Good to know. Maybe he could also find out what the heck was going on with the Wilson/Plame business in the bowels of the CIA. Plame evidently was outed by Ames back in '94, I believe?
Glad to see him looking into this Iraq story in the meantime.
Thanks for ping, Shermy.
You may already have.
Posters here for a year have remarked on a media/historian disconnect with the realities of the Iraq "War". For one, the utter failure of any investigation, let alone comment, in the major media, or any, on the money motives of the "anti-war" states and the front orgs they might have funded before the war, which defined the debate - for one, the left media's repetition of the anti-war states "principled" position, and the obsession with the UN portrayed as an organization transcendent of its members' power and money interests.
Not only Food for Oil, but the Al Mada pay-off list, and the biggest of all - oil drilling contracts assigned to Russia and France )Timmerman says worth over $100 billion) plus the $42 billion in Iraqi debt supposedly owed to some of the same states.
The Bush admin has been wholly negligent in not only retelling the reasons for the war and our involvement there, but also explaining French and other motives - most people only read about the five or six times since the war Bush asked "Europe" to help, and was rebuffed. Press and Kerry explain it's due to some personal fault of Bush - Bush doesn't counter.
In this context this fellow has fertile ground.
Many want explanation. Best we get is folks like Michael Moore pretending his voice wasn't heard before, and suggesting inanities like that Saudi Arabia might have wanted this war and influenced Bush. Without a counter, it gains traction.
this failure to explain things also runs with credulous media reporting about what "Europe" thinks or the "EU" - used as a distant mirror to examine Bush's perceived faults, but not the motives and faults of those.
Hopefully this guy can help. The market for such information is wide open. Interesting about his Chalabi connection...
I wonder if the LAT is reconsidering that policy now that they're sinking like a rock. They could say that the thousands of freepers are "subscribers".
The damage Ames did behind the scenes will be classified for ever, Im sure. Clarridge was employed at the Embassy in Rome when we were staioned there in the mid 70's. Rome was another Vienna in the sense that all the spies hung out there. Im sure Mr Clarridge still has a contact or two still kicking on the continent. I hope he nails the French..
I would be shocked if someone weren't already investigating this story. The fact that it hasn't been detailed, though, tells me that either CIA isn't doing their job, again, or they are but they are burying the information. My suspicion that they have become irredeemably politicized only grows.
Another problem is that this information is critical to Bush's reelection. They probably need a "civilian" to uncover the information, so that it can be made public without it looking like CIA is assisting the campaign. Especially since I'm sure they would do backflips to avoid helping the Bush campaign in any way. Clarridge is probably a conduit for information they've already found.
They need to replace Tenet with Rumsfeld. Or Cheney. That place needs a serious housecleaning.
Nothing is ever going to come of this scandal. The U.N. is the biggest gang of criminals on the face of the earth, and nobody is going to bring these guys to justice.
Thanks for the post and the ping!
Good luck Mr. Clarridge and stay safe.
I hope Dewey has a copy of this:
The Beneficiaries of Saddam's Oil Vouchers!
France: The French-Arab Friendship Association received 15.1 million barrels. Former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua received 12 million barrels.  Patrick Maugein of the Trafigura company received 25 million barrels. Michel Grimard, founder of the French-Iraqi Export Club, received 17.1 million barrels.
(more at that link above)
The Russian state itself received 1,366,000,000 barrels. The list also included the following:
Companies belonging to the Liberal Democratic Party received 79.8 million barrels - the list notes the name of party president Vladimir Zhirinovsky. The Russian Communist Party received 1 million barrels. The Lukoil company received 63 million barrels. The Russneft company received 35.5 million barrels. Vladimir Putin's Peace and Unity Party received 34 million barrels - the list notes the name of party chairwoman Saji Umalatova. The Gazprom company received 26 million barrels. The Soyuzneftgaz company received 25.5 million barrels - the list notes the name Shafrannik. The Moscow Oil Company received 25.1 million barrels. The Onako company received 22.2 million barrels. The Sidanco company received 21.2 million barrels. The Russian Association for Solidarity with Iraq received 12.5 million barrels. The Ural Invest company received 8.5 million barrels. Russneft Gazexport received 12.5 million barrels. The Transneft company received 9 million barrels. The Sibneft company received 8.1 million barrels. The Stroyneftgaz company received 6 million barrels. The Russian Committee for Solidarity with the People of Iraq received 6.5 million barrels - the list notes the name of committee chairman Rudasev. The Russian Orthodox Church received 5 million barrels. The Moscow Science Academy received 3.5 million barrels. The Chechnya Administration received 2 million barrels. The National Democratic Party received 2 million barrels. The Nordwest group received 2 million barrels. The Yukos company received 2 million barrels. One Russian company which phonetically reads as Zarabsneft received 174.5 million barrels. Vouchers were also granted to the Russian foreign ministry, one under the name of Al-Fayko for 1 million barrels, and one to Yetumin for 30.1 million barrels. The Mashinoimport Company received 1 million barrels. The Slavneft Company received 1 million barrels. The Caspian Invest Company (Kalika) received 1 million barrels. The Tatneft Tatarstan company received 1 million barrels. The Surgutneft company received 1 million barrels. Siberia's oil and gas company received 1 million barrels.
In addition, the son of the former Russian Ambassador to Iraq received 19.7 million barrels. Nikolay Ryjkov, a former prime minister of the USSR, received 13 million barrels. The Russian President's office director received 5 million barrels.
Right.... thanks for saying it!
The nineteen eighties is the key and the now deceased Count de Marenches was the sommelier. Head of French Intelligence, he formed close cooperation with Saddam, and how he did it is recounted in his book "The Fourth World War".
He needs to look at Saddam's financial dealings with the UN and Kofi Annan as well.
I looked at some blurbs of the book - very prescient. Thanks much.
INTERVIEW WITH DUANE CLARRIDGE
INTERVIEWER: This is 10843 giving an interview with Duane Clarridge. Mr. Clarridge could you please tell me your full name and something of your career record in the late 70s to the end of your career.
DUANE CLARRIDGE : my name is Duane, middle name Ramsdell Clarridge, born 1932 in New Hampshire. I joined CIA in 1955 after graduate school. I spent a normal career pattern up to the late 70s I suppose and then reached senior position and in 1981 became chief of a Latin America division and I was there until I suppose it was about October in 1984. So it was about 3 years that I was chief of Latin America Division.
Ex-CIA Official Looks for French, Russian Deals with Hussein
Former CIA officer Duane Clarridge has maintained that economic interests were the real reasons France and Russia those countries opposed the invasion of Iraq. "I think the world needs to know why some countries didnt want Saddam Hussein removed from power.
Now the officer, infamous for his role in the Reagan administrations secret war in Nicaragua, is out to prove his charges with his own investigation of the financial dealings, according to a report in the LA Times.
Clarridge has been on the ground in Iraq scouting for evidence that French politicians took secret payoffs from Hussein in the 1980s; that Russia received illegal Iraqi oil transshipped through Iran; and that major international companies -- as well as foreign governments -- aided Husseins mission to develop weapons of mass destruction.
"It will be a huge bombshell if we can pull it off, Clarridge said. "I think the White House will be delighted.
Despite his history, Clarridge retains extensive contacts in Washington, having twice been named to special task forces set up by the Defense Science Board, which advises Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. He has arranged to keep U.S. intelligence agencies briefed on what he uncovers.
Clarridge, the former chief of the CIAs Latin America division in 1981, when President Reagan began stepping up U.S. involvement in the region, believes the modern CIA has grown too cautious:
"An intelligence agency has to take risks, and its going to get into a little and sometimes a lot of trouble.
Clarridge has a book too "A Spy for All Seasons: My Life in the CIA"
what is shocking is that the facts have been coming out since APRIL and there is still so little disseminated in the media!
I can understand why GW might have to play this both ways into the middle, but the Republican Senators and House members should be broadcasting this constantly...
I hope there is a play book that is being followed, because otherwise I don't understand the reluctance to go after these links...