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 ...
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...
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