Skip to comments.Russian Spy Agency Denies Pentagon Report ~
Posted on 03/25/2006 4:34:56 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
MOSCOW (AP) -
Russia's foreign spy agency denied Saturday that Moscow gave Saddam Hussein information on U.S. troop movements and plans during the invasion of Iraq, while analysts speculated the Pentagon claim was tied to a growing rift between the West and the Kremlin.
A Pentagon report Friday cited two captured Iraqi documents as saying Russia obtained information from sources "inside the American Central Command" in Qatar and passed battlefield intelligence to Saddam through the former Russian ambassador in Baghdad, Vladimir Titorenko.
The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service dismissed the claims.
"Similar, baseless accusations concerning Russia's intelligence have been made more than once," agency spokesman Boris Labusov said. "We don't consider it necessary to comment on such fabrications."
Yevgenia Albats, a Moscow-based journalist who specializes in intelligence matters, said she suspected there was "at least a certain truth reflected in the Pentagon report," considering Russia's close relationship with the ousted Iraqi leader.
But she cautioned that didn't necessarily mean the Kremlin was involved.
"It is sometimes difficult to figure out whether certain steps were undertaken with the knowledge of top Russian authorities or whether those were steps undertaken by certain intelligence officers on their own," Albats told The Associated Press.
She also said the release of the Pentagon report probably had as much to do with the poor state of Russian-U.S. relations as their differences over the Iraq war, which along with other disputes have frayed a once promising partnership between Presidents Bush and Vladimir Putin that developed after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Albats noted the report appeared on the heels of Putin's trip last week to China, which added to U.S. unease over strengthening Moscow-Beijing ties. That development has caused Washington to recognize "it had lost whatever leverage it had over Russia," she said.
"It wasn't just another visit to China, it was a statement addressed to the United States," she added. "There is concern in Washington that China plus Russia, combined, will present a real problem for the United States."
A leading Russian Internet news agency, Gazeta.ru, speculated the Pentagon report was released to affect the U.N. Security Council debate on what to do about Iran's nuclear program as Russia and China are resisting U.S. and European demands for a tough stand.
"The leak about Russian spies in Doha can be interpreted as pressure on Moscow, which has taken a tough, principled position on the Iranian nuclear question," it said.
Sergei Oznobishchev, head of the Institute of Strategic Evaluations and Analyses, also tied the report to increasing U.S. distrust for Russia.
"They are irritated by Russia's strengthening position in the international arena and its foreign policy course," Oznobishchev was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.
The Pentagon report wasn't the first to raise questions about Russian help for Saddam's regime at the time of the invasion in March 2003.
At the time, Gazeta.ru reported that two retired Russian generals visited Baghdad less than 10 days before the U.S.-led offensive and speculated they were advising the Iraqi military. The report showed photographs of them receiving medals from Iraqi Defense Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmed.
Nezavisimaya Gazeta, a newspaper believed at the time to have well-placed contacts in Russia's military and intelligence spheres, reported in March 2003 that Russian intelligence agents were holding daily meetings with Iraqi officials.
The U.S. administration accused Russian companies of shipping prohibited equipment, including anti-tank missiles, night-vision goggles and electronic jamming devices to Iraq, possibly via third countries. Moscow vehemently denied the allegations.
The unclassified Pentagon report did not assess the value or accuracy of the information Saddam got or offer details on Russia's information pipeline.
The Iraqi documents also left unclear who may have been the sources at Central Command's war-fighting headquarters, which is at Camp As Saliyah just outside Doha, the capital of Qatar. No Russians were authorized to be at the closely guarded base.
On the Net: http://www.jfcom.mil/newslink/storyarchive/2006/pa032406.htm
The other striking thing in Document CMPC-2003-001950 was why the Russians should be particularly worried about the smallest component of the deployment:
4- The ambassador pointed that what worried us (most probably us refers to the Russians) was the increase in the number of planes in Jordan where the number of planes in Al Sallt base was as follows: 24 planes F-16 10 planes Tornado 11 planes Harrier He also mentioned that there were 10 A-10 tank destroyers in the Jordanian base of King Faysal.
Why were these relatively small forces so worrisome? My guess is their location near the Iraq-Syrian border and the composition of these air units were suggestive of support for an air assault attack on traffic to and from Syria.
What was moving between Iraq and Syria that would be of concern to the Russians?
You know if you can't trust the GRU, who can you trust?
"Why were these relatively small forces so worrisome? My guess is their location near the Iraq-Syrian border and the composition of these air units were suggestive of support for an air assault attack on traffic to and from Syria."
"What was moving between Iraq and Syria that would be of concern to the Russians?"
How about those WMDs that went away, and the MSM and Rats for Saddam knew the WMD's were out of Iraq before the first stage of the war was over.
Well, I guess that's settled then. Whew. For a minute there, I thought our Russian allies might have double crossed us. < / sarcasm >
Hoping we used them for misinformation!
Spies don't lie.
A common find during the initial push to Baghdad were the Russian-style PVS-5 night vision goggles. Now, that is some old technology (to us) so it could have been sitting in storage for years. But we were finding the things in new condition, still in the hard cases. No way to tell, I guess, when it was obtained. Given the "Three Kings" atmosphere in the few months after the liberation of Baghdad, you might see those things pop up on eBay every now and then.
Smoke and a shower of sparks from the polygraph.
Sure looks that way.....
If the French people were not rioting all the time, they might actually wonder why their government is selling excess oil at costs instead of increasing their supply and lowering their price ?
And that brings us to Iran. After finding out that Putin has a habit of supplying tyrannical enemies of the Western nations with military intelligence to use against us, the last country we should trust with Iran's nuclear program is Russia. We can also kiss off the UN; as long as Russia has its veto, that route will lead nowhere. Russia has revealed itself to be a major part of the problem in the Middle East, and we should stop pretending that they are part of the solution.
The more things change, the more they stay the same..
******************AN EXCERPT *************************
By Walter PincusWashington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 23, 2006; Page A17
Deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's last foreign minister, Naji Sabri, was a paid spy for French intelligence, which later turned him over to the CIA to supply information about Iraq and its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs more than six months before the war began in March 2003, according to former senior intelligence officials.
Although some CIA officials met informally with Sabri, who traveled extensively outside Iraq, the French and the CIA used a third-country intermediary when attempting to get information from him about Hussein's inner circle and weapons programs, according to the retired officials who refused to be identified because the information is classified.
This was the Iraqi receiving the Russian Reports....according to comments on the Captain's Quarter Blog.....
See #18, we don't need the documents....
By the way the Washington Post article says nothing about reciving the Russian info on our Invasion Plans.....not sure where he came up with that statement.
Guess it should be held in suspense for the moment!