Skip to comments.The Necessity of Fear
Posted on 12/29/2001 3:28:58 PM PST by holman
Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA spy in the Middle East, argues that the only way to douse the fires of Islamic radicalism is through stunning, overwhelming, military force
In "The Counterterrorist Myth" (July/August Atlantic), Reuel Marc Gerecht, who worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for nine years on Middle Eastern matters, argued that despite its claims that it was "'picking apart' bin Ladin's organization 'limb by limb,'" the CIA's chances of infiltrating and gaining good intelligence on bin Laden's al Qaeda network were pathetically negligible. Gerecht described a CIA operation which had few operatives of Middle Eastern background, let alone ones who could "go native" in Afghanistan or Pakistan without attracting immediate notice. He also pointed out that the CIA"risk-averse and bureaucratic"had little inclination to take on the types of difficult, dangerous missions necessary to gather useful intelligence on al Qaeda and the Taliban. As a former senior Near East Division operative told Gerecht,
The CIA probably doesn't have a single truly qualified Arabic-speaking officer of Middle Eastern background who can play a believable Muslim fundamentalist who would volunteer to spend years of his life with shitty food and no women in the mountains of Afghanistan. For Christ's sake, most case officers live in the suburbs of Virginia. We don't do that kind of thing.
Gerecht's skeptical assessment of the CIA's ability to "pick apart" al Qaeda was proven terribly prescient on September 11, three months after the article appeared. In "The Gospel According to Osama bin Laden," in the current issue of The Atlantic, Gerecht turns away from the subject of intelligence and focuses on the powerful ideas of al Qaeda's leader. Far from being the "loony ideologue" that many Americans would believe him to be, bin Ladenthrough his skillful rhetorical allusions to the Muslim world's humiliations at the hands of Western powers and his keen understanding of how to bridge the gaps between Islam's various factionshas managed to bring radical Islam into the mainstream. The strength and pull of bin Laden's ideas may well continue to inspire holy warriors even after he is gonewhich is why Gerecht believes it is essential to defuse Islamic radicalism by maintaining a strong military stance in Afghanistan, and perhaps in other Muslim countries where anti-Americanism is a guiding philosophy.
Gerecht is well-qualified to write about both espionage and radical Islam. He is the author, under the pseudonym of Edward Shirley, of Know Thine Enemy, A Spy's Journey Into Revolutionary Iran (1997). Under the same pseudonym, Gerecht wrote "Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?" (February, 1998, Atlantic), about the deeply hidden problems and fundamental incompetence within the Agency. Gerecht has written for such publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic. In addition to being a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, he is a resident fellow at The American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on Afghanistan and the Middle East.
I spoke with him by phone on December 18. Katie Bacon
In "The Gospel According to Osama bin Laden," you wrote that al Qaeda will "outlive bin Laden unless the United States physically eliminates al Qaeda's entire command structure." How likely is it that the U.S. could succeed in this? Our pursuit of bin Laden, Mullah Omar, etc., so far does not inspire too much confidence from the outside that we're going to be able to systematically eliminate al Qaeda's command structure.
I think the U.S. has already inflicted severe damage. It's too early to tell whether we have been able to knock out the brain-power of al Qaeda, but certainly the odds are at least decent that we will, in the not-so-distant future, have gotten the top three. Atif is already down. We do not know about az-Zawahiri and bin Laden. If you can get those three, that would go a long way toward disrupting the commanding echelons of al Qaeda.
But that won't be sufficient. One of the hallmarks of the institution does appear to be that though the various cells are not autonomous, they do nevertheless have a great deal of flexibility. If you look, for instance, at the cell that wanted to blow up the embassy in Paris and to bomb NATO in Brussels, these individuals were independent, but they were waiting for instructions from bin Laden.
The members of al Qaeda seem to be spiritually dependent but tactically independent. That's obviously going to make it much more difficult for us to eliminate them, and certainly these individuals can go underground for a very long time. I think the most worrisome cells are the ones in Europe, and secondarily the ones in the United States. Those tend to be the most lethal, the most accomplished. I think the cells that are in the Middle East are probably of a lesser rank. The al Qaeda members who are truly scary are people like Mohammed Atta. He, I think, achieved his "graduate degree" in Europethat's where holy warriorism glows white hot.
I was in Germany not that long ago, and Germany's security officials were suggesting that they didn't know how to profile these individualsshort of arresting every Arab male from the ages of 18 to 40, it's very difficult to lock onto these individuals, because they do not associate on a regular basis with known radicals. It's different from, say, the Iranian community. In the old days the Iranian community tended to gravitate around a few individualsoften a clericand one had a better chance of figuring out who was in town and who was not.
How important is it that we get rid of bin Laden? It seems that if we don't get him, we run the risk of appearing impotent, but if we do, we may make his ideas even more powerful by creating a martyr.
I think you have to deal with martyrdom. If you were to examine Islamic history you would find emirs and sultans and shahs much preferring to deal with a dead martyr than a live enemy. I think we should take note of that. It is far preferable. If bin Laden stays alive and escapes, then we have got a problem. If he can stay alive and conceivably get out of Afghanistan, his status will go up considerably, and the sense of victory that we now enjoy in Afghanistan will plummet. If I were him I would make a beeline for Karachi, where you're more or less untouchable, and then figure out someplace else to go, which is tricky.
This would be the real test of bin Laden's organization and the cohesiveness of itfor them to clandestinely move him and others on the run. The operations of al Qaeda have been reasonably good on offense, but they haven't been terribly clever after the fact. It has been fairly evident who did what once the bombs went off. So it is hard to say how good bin Laden and al Qaeda are in this type of situation. He has obviously never been in it before. If they can pull it off, then it is a truly first-rate institution. One thing you can say about al Qaeda is that for a very long time it wasn't very good. In the last five years, it has had an impressive learning curve. That has been, from my perspective, one of the intriguing things to watch: how it has improved its performance and how its goals have become more ambitious. Logistically, getting him and others out of Afghanistan would be in many ways the most amazing accomplishment of al Qaeda. Far more complicated and far more difficult than bombing New York and Washington.
You point out that bin Laden has been more successful than any other leader in recent memory at "taking Islamic radicalism mainstream" and uniting the world's Muslims around his anti-Western ideas. Obviously we're countering this with the campaign in Afghanistan, but are there other ways that the U.S. can defuse the radicalism that he has inspired?
I think the only way you're going to defuse Islamic radicalism is the way Islamic radicalism has traditionally been defused, and that is on the battlefield. I don't think you're really going to wage a tit for tat propaganda campaign or any type of covert action. I think that won't work and will look fairly silly. The key here is you have to quell the virulent anti-Americanism that has grown up in the last decade and that you see expressed not only by al Qaeda, but also everywhere throughout the Middle East, particularly in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who are nominally American allies. The primary jet-fuel for that anti-Americanism has been the impression, more or less justified, that the United States has been on the run. If you read Bin Laden's commentary, and he is by no means alone, he enumerates many instances of American weakness, and I think he really did believe that if you could continue clandestine guerrilla operations against the United States, you could put America to flight.
The one thing that everyone in the Middle East knows is that we have been running the last ten years from a direct head-to-head conflict with Saddam Hussein. That's why I think Iraq must be the next place we go after Afghanistan. It is, more than anything else, the one issue that has cracked the awe of America in the Middle East, and I think it is the one issue that we must handle if we really are serious about regaining the essential fear and respect without which American interests and American citizens are simply not safe. We should not deceive ourselves that one victory in Afghanistan, as overwhelming as it is, necessarily has a long shelf-life. The Gulf War victory, for many Americans, seemed more overwhelming, yet the Gulf War became in Middle Eastern eyes quite quickly a defeat.
So they obviously have no respect for the type of airstrikes we've done periodically against Saddam Hussein.
No. Those are pretty silly. When you bomb an Iraqi intelligence headquarters early in the morning hours because you want to minimize casualties, it hardly sends a terribly convincing message. Bombing as the Clinton Administration did after the attack on the embassies in Africafiring cruise missiles at mud huts in Afghanistan for one dayis hardly impressive, and with the Cole attack we didn't even reply at all. So no, unless you use military force overwhelmingly, stunningly, then in fact using it in the way that it has been used in the past few years is actually highly counterproductive. It's best not to even use it at all, I suspect.
Do you think our campaign in Afghanistan is inherently impressive to people who are there, and to those who are watching it from the outside?
I think the American campaign is very impressive. I mean, one could nit-pickI would have preferred to see a greater use of American ground forces at certain spots, because I think that would eliminate what I hope is a myth that the U.S. military is afraid of putting its soldiers into harm's way. But even with that qualification, there is certainly a lot to be said for having the Afghans do most of the work on the ground. It is ironic that bin Laden in the pastin his Soviet-Afghan War dayswas often fond of referring to the Afghans as the best of all Muslims. So there is something delicious about them chasing him and al Qaeda through the mountains of Tora Bora.
I was interested to read that you were critical of Colin Powell's efforts to build a Muslim coalition. Could you talk about why you think these efforts are wrongheaded?
Those efforts actually diminish the United States throughout the Muslim world. This is part of a problem that the United States has had for a long time, and the source of that problem, certainly diplomatically, has largely been located in the Near Eastern Bureau of the Department of State. They have consistently failed to realize that the primary element that gives you respect in the Middle East is the awe that you possess. Now, there are other factors about the United States that come into play. You do not have Muslims throughout the entire Middle East lining up at American consulates to obtain visas because they fear the United States and they want to go there because they're scared. They want to come to America because of all the promise that the United States holds, promise they do not have in their own land. But if you do not understand the fact that you must command fearthat you must, as they say in Arabic, have hayba, aweif you do not use that as the cutting edge of your diplomacy, then you're going to end up always looking weak, if not foolish. The United States has had a very uncomfortable time, particularly since the Vietnam War, in projecting power. We'd rather project something elseour peaceful virtues. However, American ideals and American power are glued together, and if you don't project strength and military awe, the ideals aren't going to go anywhere eitherat least in the Middle East, where power politics reign supreme. Secretary Powell's coalitionwhich at its Arab core is Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordanin Muslim eyes strongly suggests that we need moral camouflage for our actions, that our actions are somehow more legitimate by having Muslim partners. This isn't Middle Eastern realpolitik at workit's American uncertainty and political correctness elevated into strategy.
That's quite different from a lot of the interpretations that have been put forth latelythat anger has boiled up against the U.S. precisely because we are so powerful.
I think the root of the hostility is unquestionably that the United States is the pre-eminent Western power. And the hostility really grows from the 1400 years of tension, tug of war if you will, between Islam and the Westthat is, Christendom. Part of bin Laden's genius has been to tap into that sense of frustration that is felt throughout the entire Islamic world. Muslims live history vividly, more vividly than we do. And the primary reason for that, I suspect, is because the Koran is the literal word of God. That's not true of the Gospel; it's not true of the Talmud. Muslims refer to battles, they refer to men of history, almost as if they're still with you. For a thousand years Islamic civilization was triumphant, and that is what you would expect if in fact Mohammed was the last of the prophets and Islam the last of the revealed religions. So it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to them that for the past 300 years they've been consistently losing on the battlefield. It is illogical. It is depressing. And that's one of the reasons why, for example, conspiracy theories run amok throughout the Middle East. Because people quite understandably are trying to figure out how this can be, because it just shouldn't be.
Most Muslims in the Middle East probably admire the creative geniusat least the creative technical geniusof the West. They admire, even if they can't or choose not to emulate, many of the Western habitsindividual initiative, personal discipline, civic responsibility, personal and corporate honestyconnected to this technical creativity. They certainly envy and in some countries (like Iran, where the Westernization of political thought is very advanced and ever-more deeply rooted in the society) they passionately want to have a freer society constructed on Western principles and institutions. Many Muslim women want desperately to taste some of the freedoms that they know reside as birthrights in the West. Yet with all this pro-Western envy and sympathy a powerful crosscurrent runs in most Muslims. They, like Jews, are part of a peoplehood, a community of believers, with a powerful collective identity, based in faith and a glorious history, which took for granted its superiority over the West.
Bernard Lewis once used a French parallel in trying to explain the sense of inferiority, the sense of shame, that very ordinary Muslims can have when they start thinking about the West. Think of the way France felt when Germany rolled over it in World War II. Take that sense of inferiority and shame, multiply it by about a thousand times, and you begin to appreciate what, certainly in intellectual circles, has driven Muslims in the Middle East nuts for quite some time. But that isn't the jet fuel that inspires holy warriors. What actually propels men to take airplanes and drive them into skyscrapers, and to blow themselves up on buses, is the sense that they're actually winning. They're not killing themselves out of desperationthey are killing themselves eagerly and with euphoria. They think they can win. What burns this confident zeal out is losing on the battlefield, because then it's obvious that you are no longer vouchsafed victory by God.
What is your view of the bin Laden tape that was released in mid December? Does it give you any new insight into his rhetorical appeal or the role that bin Laden has in the Muslim world now?
That tape reminded me of videos I have seen and stories that I have heard about the early days of the Iranian revolution, where fire-breathing clerics could talk about the most ferocious things in a fairly light manner, often deploying a good deal of wit. I don't think bin Laden is as funny.
I thought it was absolutely great that that tape was released. It is a fascinating piece of personal bio on bin Laden, and it allows you to see him in a quiet, relatively private moment, and I think that is always valuable. But it is not surprising psychologically, and I think that by releasing the video the Administration was more or less trying to hammer an issue that really didn't need to be returned to. Certainly no one had any doubt beforeor they shouldn't have hadabout his culpability. It would have been pretty hard to find someone in the Middle East who thought he was innocent. After all, bin Laden was a hero not because they thought he was innocent, but because they thought he was guilty. I think that is the problem with Americans tending to take statements made in the Middle East at face valuethe vast majority of people who said, "we don't believe he did it," were actually convinced that he had done it and were quite proud that he had done it.
Do you see any signs that the intelligence failures exposed so dramatically by 9/11 will lead to the types of fundamental changes in the CIA that you have called for in "The Counterterrorist Myth" and "Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?"
In all probability, no. I've spoken to several officers since 9/11, and my distinct impression is that the bureaucratic structures that were there before are there now. From what I've gathered, there has been extraordinary reluctance on the part of senior management to publicly admit how big a mistake they made, and there has been a certain flippancy amongst the senior management in trying to pretend for the outside world, and also for themselves, that they had innumerable successes and then this one little mistake. Now, that's nonsense. And it's fairly repugnant in its flippancy. You can bet a large amount of money that the successes the Agency speaks of were mostly liaison effortsprimarily the work of foreign-security services operating in their own countries. That is part of the larger problem, of course. When good liaison information and action aren't there, and they usually aren't, we're almost always blind. In Kenya, Tanzania, Yemen, and in New York and Washington we had no idea of what was coming at us. So no, I don't think you can really have major reform until people on the inside very openly and seriously and thoughtfully confess to themselves how bad the service has become.
Leading into World War II, the United States military superannuated a significant chunk of the officer corps because it realized that much of the corps had become incompetent during peacetime. There is no proper parallel, unfortunately, for an intelligence service, because it's a closed game. If you're on the battlefield and in open sight, you know if you have incompetent officers. You don't know that in a clandestine world. What essentially you're asking is for the clandestine officer corps to be severe on itself. There's no tradition of that in the Agency, certainly not in the senior ranks.
Rule of thumb: if you don't see massive "retirements" in the senior grades, starting with the director, George Tenet, the deputy director, the executive director, and the leadership and senior lieutenants in the clandestine service's regional bureaus and in the Counterterrorist Center, then you cannot realistically expect to see reform in the service. And removing the pre-9/11 crowd would only be the first step. You'd have to find someone to replace themno easy task for a new director who wouldn't have any idea of who inside was truly competent and who'd just prospered through paper-pushing. Then you'd have to get down into the bowels of the organization, changing fundamentally the bureaucracy and culture. It's a daunting task, and the bureaucracy would fight real reformers with their last tooth and toenail. That is why nineteenth-century Ottoman sultans who wanted to reform the Janissary corpsan established military bureaucracyjust disbanded the corps, after shooting many of them. Washington very rarely eliminates and replaces bureaucracies. And Americans rarely fire (let alone shoot) incompetent civil servants. So, the odds for meaningful reform aren't inspiring. I suppose if Washington really believes its own rhetoricthat we are at warthen perhaps reform is possible, since the White House and Congress would be prepared to undertake drastic actions. But the first signs aren't promising. Neither the White House nor the intelligence oversight committees have yet suggested that heads ought to roll because of 9/11.
A senior official told Bob Woodward of The Washington Post, "The gloves are off. The President has given the agency the green light to do whatever is necessary. Lethal operations that were unthinkable pre-September 11 are now underway." Many people have argued in recent weeks that in order to get good information on terrorists, the CIA and other agencies will have to use brutish methods that will clash with American rules of law. Does this matter?
Well, would that U.S. intelligence ever met terrorists, let alone worried about hurting them or compromising our own morality recruiting them. So I think it's a bit premature to start getting terribly excited about whether the United States is going to start taking the gloves off. First they have to find the guys. Do I believe that at times it might be a good idea for the United States to assassinate a given terrorist leader? Sure. If we could have killed bin Laden a couple of years ago, so much the better. It's rather undemocratic to seek to kill the little holy warriorto bomb his mud hutand not aim at killing the top man. But realistically, I think this is a diversion from discussing the real issues of intelligence reform. It's camouflage. Some in the Agency love to talk about this, because it moves the conversation away from the real issues of whether the hundreds of officers they've got are really doing anything substantive, or whether they're just on the dole. That's the real conversation, not whether you need to employ dirty tactics. There is perhaps a time and place for some of these tactics, though not often. But it's really a tertiary issue when you've got this level of incompetence. It's like talking to a man who's got brain cancer about his head cold. And anyway, to the extent that you start having "dirty tricks," it's pretty hard to imagine that these things won't be carried out by paramilitary units, which are far more competent, far more lethal, in the Pentagon than they are in the Agency.
One of the undiscussed issues of the war is that the Agency, to the extent that it was trying to help U.S. military forces on the ground in Afghanistan, didn't do a very good job. That was one of the reasons why the war got delayed for a month, because the special-operations forces within the Agency really didn't know as well as they should have what was required by the U.S. Air Force for targeting. When they started bringing in real American soldiers to handle these things, then targeting got a lot better. We're talking about the art of war here, and this is Pentagon property, not Langley's.
You are not going to beat Islamic holy warriors through an intelligence game. That's a myth. September 11 didn't suddenly change the game there. In Europe, police services, security services, have kicked into hyperdrive, and we'll see how much better they become. But again, I think that when it comes to Islamic terrorism, the only way you're going to be able to handle this is by going directly to the Middle East and dealing with the states that threaten the United States and encourage the image of a weak America, and that also sponsor state terrorism.
What do you think of the government that is being set up in Afghanistan? Will it serve U.S. interests there?
I'll wait and see. I can't say I'm wildly optimistic. I think it's very difficult for the Republicans in general to be terribly enthusiastic about the idea of nation building. (The same could be said of many Democrats after the Vietnam War, but since the Republicans are in the executive branch, they're the ones you have to talk about.) I think it's imperative that the United States win the post-war propaganda war. I wouldn't go so far as to say that if we fail, then we're going to have a repeat of bin Ladenism and the Taliban in Afghanistan. That's perhaps a bit much. But I think it's a very good idea that we stay there, for many reasons. For one, I think it's inevitable that the forces in Pakistan that helped create the Taliban are going to make another run for it. And it would be a good idea for the Americans to be forcefully in Afghanistan and to let the Pakistanis know that the United States isn't runningthat the United States intends to take a long-term interest in Afghan affairs. I hope it will take an active interest in dissuading harmful radical Islamic forces from once again taking root in the country.
The United States doesn't really have to do a lot to achieve a lot in Afghanistan, because the country's been so poor and has been blown to pieces. You just have to get the roads back in order, you have to get agriculture back in order. You have to bring electricity to the country. You have to bring running water to the country. The military part has already been done. I think it's a mistake for the United States to want to win the war and then give this responsibility to others. I never met an Afghan who was impressed by the United Nations. I've met a lot of Afghans who, even before the war, were impressed by the United States, even among those who were mad at the United States for abandoning Afghanistan. So I think we should be very leery of trying to give to others what really ought to be our responsibility. And if we're wise, we would look fairly eagerly upon the chance to do something for the Afghans. It's going to be a long, hard process. It's probably going to be messy, but the United States is, after all, a great power. And it should, after all, have some staying power.
Necessity of fear, camouflage, blahblah...
Yeah, and they actually never lived in the West I presume.
I saw this dude on a Sunday talkshow soon after 9/11 - he was by far the only person who seemed to know what he was talking about. I haven't seen much of him since.
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SS, internal email works OK here, as does the bump list.
1. Victor C. Raiser - Chairman of Clinton's presidential campaign finance - association level: CLOSE
2. Marine personnel that crashed in helicopter - All had flown Clinton to the USS Roosevelt - association level: Definitely there, but not necessarily close.
3. Navy aviators - They had been a special squadron picked to escort Clinton during his visit aboard the USS Roosevelt - association level: There, but also not necessarily close. However, the fact that the very Marines that flew him there, and the very Naval personnel picked to escort him, had died within 2 months of his vist, is something to note.
4. Stanley Heard and Steven Dickson - I don't know about Dickson, but Heard was a close personal friend of Clinton's - association level: CLOSE
5. Herschel Friday-Key member of 1992 presidential Campaign Finance Committee, and according to Clinton, a close friend of his - association level: CLOSE.
6. Ron Brown - Clinton's Commerce Secretary. It can hardly be claimed that Brown and Clinton didn't know each other very well! They were perhaps not really friends behind the scenes, but knew each other well - association level: CLOSE.
7. Aldo Franscoia- Secret Service officer who was guarding some stuff in transit to NY - Association level: There, by Clinton's own admission, but not necessarily close. One of MANY personal body guards of Clinton's that has died in the last several years, however.
So, out of the seven cases, association with Clinton is irrefutible, and 4 out of the seven involve irrefutably close associations. Of the three that were not necessarily close, the way they died was the same, the time-period in which they died was short, and all of them fall into a category of associates of Clinton's that have a high rate of death (personal bodyguards).
So why is it so silly to wonder about these deaths? Is it not reasonanble to point out these coincidences and patterns? Throw out the deaths of the bodyguards (if that is not a strange pattern to you during a time of peace), and you still have the other 4 crashes of close associates, all involved in campaign finance. If you were a detective at your local police station, and someone called in with such a pattern of death of associates of a powerful citizen in your community, would you think it was worth looking into?
209 Posted on 06/14/2000 10:11:52 PDT by agrandis
VERRRRRREEEEE Interestin'...do you have any favorite threads bookmarked that clearly elucidate The Arkancide Theory and its circumstantial--and evidentiary--underpinnings?!
I realize that if you follow the links to more links it's a lot to read, but for example, flight 800 had at least one person associated with Ron Brown/clinton.....
REMEMBERING THE DEAD - RESEARCH WACO
WACO 2/17/00 to current
WACO 9/13/99 to 2/16/00
WACO 7/28/99 to 9/12/99
WACO BACK THEN
HOLE IN THE BUNKER AND FIREBALL RESEARCH
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REMEMBERING THE DEAD - FREEPER THEORIES
WACO FREEPER ALTERNATIVE THEORIES
WACO SLEEPER THEORY
WACO WMD THEORY
REMEMBERING THE DEAD
LIST OF NAMES
NATURAL AND UNKNOWN CAUSES
WHILE ON DUTY
So, the USSR was heaven on earth during the Cold War? Oh, it must have been the "women" thing that kept those "case officers" working then. Sheesh, this sounds like if you sign up for the CIA, you can expect to live comfortably in the 'burbs and never have to get your hands dirty.
Do you know anything about this Reuel Marc Gerecht? It's unusual for a former spy to come forward publicly, because of the potential danger to himself and others.
Never heard of him until I saw this, though the article refers to several books he's written. He certainly makes a lot of sense, though.
Yes, he has a straightforwardness that is usually lacking in discussions of the CIA (and the FBI, for that matter).
A French reporter says Binny was in an American hospital then, with CIA room service and implied administration approval.... right. I don't buy that for a minute.
Almost as good as Reuters.
The New York Times 6/5/00 " ..John I. Millis, a former case officer with the Central Intelligence Agency who for the last three years served as the top staff member of the House Intelligence Committee, committed suicide on Sunday, the police and Congressional officials said today. He was 47 and lived in Vienna, Va. . George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence, described Mr. Millis as "a tenacious advocate for a strong national intelligence capability." ..A spokesman for the Fairfax City police said officers were called to a motel about 8 p.m. on Sunday because a man was threatening suicide. Officer Jeff Morrison said that when the police arrived they found Mr. Millis dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound."
"The New York Times 6/5/00 " ..Before becoming a senior staff aide in Congress, Mr. Millis served as a case officer for the C.I.A. for nearly 13 years. In that period, he lived in Pakistan, working to provide covert aid to Afghan rebels who were fighting the Soviet army. In 1996 and 1997 he was staff director of a special Congressional committee that investigated the Clinton administration's approval of arms shipments from Iran to Muslim forces in Bosnia. ...He was named staff director of the House Intelligence Committee, the top staff position, in 1997...""
Wash Post 6/6/00 " .John I. Millis, staff director of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and a former CIA operations officer, was found dead Sunday night of an apparent gunshot wound in a Fairfax City motel, officials said yesterday. ..City police found Millis, 47, in a room at the Breezeway Motel, 10829 Lee Hwy., after receiving a report that a guest there was threatening suicide. Officers tried and failed to contact the room's occupant by telephone before entering and finding his body in the bathroom. An investigation is continuing "It seems that there are always more 'whys' than there are answers when a tragedy like this occurs," Goss said."
JOHN I. MILLIS
Staff Director, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence...John Millis became Staff Director of HPSCI in 1997, at the beginning of the 105" Congress. He started work at HPSCI as a professional staff member in 1993 and became staff director of the Subcommittee on Human Intelligence, Analysis, and Counterintelligence in 1995- He served in that position until becoming full Committee staff director in 1997, excepting a six month period in late 1996 when he was asked to serve as the staff director of the Select Subcommittee on the United States Role in Iranian Arms Transfers to Croatia and Bosnia ("The Iranian Green Light Committee") of the International Relations Committee. In 1995-96, Mr. Millis also served as HPSCI staff liaison to the "Aspin-Brown" Commission reviewing the roles and capabilities of U.S. intelligence.
Prior to joining HPSCI, Mr. 'Millis served for 12 years in the CIA's Directorate of Operations. He entered the CIA in 1981 and served as an operations officer and in a variety of management functions in South Asia and North Africa from 1983 to 1991. From 1991 through 1992 Mr. Millis served as the Director of Central Intelligence's liaison officer to the leadership of the National Security Agency at Ft. Meade, Maryland. Within NSA, he also functioned as the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director.
Mr. Millis was born in New Mexico in 1953. He graduated from Wake Forest University (magna cum laude) in 1975. He attended graduate school at the University of Chicago and Banaras Hindu University, India. He received an M.A. and Ph.D- (with distinction) from Chicago in 1978 and 1983, respectively. In 1978-79 he was a fellow of the American Institute of Indian Studies.
Freeper Joe 6 Pack "...JOHN I. MILLIS: Staff Director, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
John Millis became Staff Director of HPSCI in 1997, at the beginning of the 105" Congress. He started work at HPSCI as a professional staff member in 1993 and became staff director of the Subcommittee on Human Intelligence, Analysis, and Counterintelligence in 1995- He served in that position until becoming full Committee staff director in 1997, excepting a six month period in late 1996 when he was asked to serve as the staff director of the Select Subcommittee on the United States Role in Iranian Arms Transfers to Croatia and Bosnia ("The Iranian Green Light Committee") of the International Relations Committee. In 1995-96, Mr. Millis also served as HPSCI staff liaison to the "Aspin-Brown" Commission reviewing the roles and capabilities of U.S. intelligence.
Prior to joining HPSCI, Mr. 'Millis served for 12 years in the CIA's Directorate of Operations. He entered the CIA in 1981 and served as an operations officer and in a variety of management functions in South Asia and North Africa from 1983 to 1991. From 1991 through 1992 Mr. Millis served as the Director of Central Intelligence's liaison officer to the leadership of the National Security Agency at Ft. Meade, Maryland. Within NSA, he also functioned as the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director.
Mr. Millis was born in New Mexico in 1953. He graduated from Wake Forest University (magna cum laude) in 1975. He attended graduate school at the University of Chicago and Banaras Hindu University, India. He received an M.A. and Ph.D- (with distinction) from Chicago in 1978 and 1983, respectively. In 1978-79 he was a fellow of the American Institute of Indian Studies."
Medium Rare articles 7/3/00 Jim Rarey " We are being told by media pundits that the security lapses at the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory present the worst threat to our national security in decades. Could anything be worse? In a word, yes! David Bresnahan, an investigative reporter for WorldNetDaily, has published two articles on the burgeoning scandal at the Army Research Lab (ARL) at Maryland's Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Allegations, based on reports and documentation from at least ten whistleblowers, include "a long history of corruption, including use of Army computers by unauthorized foreign nationals, plagiarism, falsification of research, illegal appropriation of private property, even smuggling of precious gems." ...Various members of Congress have been provided the information and have been sitting on it for four years while nothing has been done. Why the cover-up?"
Medium Rare articles 7/3/00 Jim Rarey "...We may have been given a clue on March 19, 1999 at President's Clinton's press conference when Fox News reporter Wendell Goler dropped this bombshell. He stated, "Fox News has information that China has stolen top secret technical data on Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) weaponry from four of our eleven secret weapons laboratories and have successfully tested the weaponry." Since that day, not one word has appeared in the national media on the subject. Instead, we have been inundated with information about lapses in security at the Los Alamos nuclear lab So the as yet unanswered question is, was the Aberdeen Army Research Lab one of the four facilities Fox News was talking about on March 19th of last year? If so, the suspicious deaths of three key players takes on added significance. Bresnahan reports that two of the whistleblowers, ARL scientists Franz Lynn and Robert Deas, died shortly after trying to report their suspicions that technology from ARL was being provided to China. Deas died in a single-car accident in Canada. Lynn's death was reported as a suicide. ..Even more intriguing is the supposed "suicide" of John Millis, staff director of the House Intelligence Committee What is known so far (by the public) may be just the tip of the iceberg. There is obviously a massive cover-up in progress. Whistleblowers can only be cowed by the three deaths and reportedly are being harassed into silence under the rubric of "national security."
Drudge breaking 6/27/00 " . John Millis, staff director of House Intell Comm, had been placed on leave with pay at the time of his 'suicide death' and was under suspicion of having leaked classified info, the WASH TIMES is planning to report in a Page One exclusive on Weds..."
Freeper Flamefront " .A guy like this who has been feeding the Mujahadin as part of the NSA/CIA certainly is someone for the Klinton regime to knock off if he starts to make motion towards a Pentagon-papers-type report on presidential misdeeds. The ordering of the facts by time is somewhat revealing ..
* Mr. Millis had access to the U.S. intelligence community's most intimate secrets.
* Feb. 15, Mr. Millis said Mr. Deutch inflicted "major damage" to the CIA's espionage branch.
* Millis is charged of "improper activities". [What improper activities? FBI was not investigating Mr. Millis for unauthorized disclosures.]
* Committee Chairman Rep. Porter J. Goss, Florida Republican [supposedly] placed Mr. Millis on administrative leave with pay as he was facing administrative and criminal penalties as possible outcomes of the investigation. [Could that indirectly also derive from a Klinton threat? Was Goss pressured? Is this even true?]
* Police said Mr. Millis had called a friend from the motel.
* Police were called and upon arriving found Mr. Millis dead in the bathroom.
* Chief Scott doesn't want another Foster mess.
* Security officials, however, recovered classified documents from a safe in Mr. Millis' home.
* Mr. Goss says "... there are always more 'whys' than there are answers when a tragedy like this occurs." He gives no obvious reference to the charges as a cause.
* Now we are told he was under investigation.
The most stunning part of this article is that The [Goss] statement made no mention that Mr. Millis was under investigation. .."
Washington Times 6/28/00 Bill Gertz " .The staff director of the House Intelligence Committee who killed himself June 4 was under investigation by the committee, which oversees the U.S. government's most sensitive secrets, The Washington Times has learned. .John Millis, 47, a former CIA operations officer who had been placed on administrative leave by the committee, was found dead at the Breezeway Motel in Fairfax City, Va., Police Chief Doug Scott said. Police ruled he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. As committee staff director, Mr. Millis had access to the U.S. intelligence community's most intimate secrets. He knew about all U.S. covert action operations, which require written presidential notifications. He also was privy to the most sensitive information collected by CIA agents, electronic eavesdropping and photographic satellites. "
Washington Times 6/28/00 Bill Gertz " .According to police, Mr. Millis had called a friend and said he was distraught over being placed on administrative leave with pay by committee Chairman Rep. Porter J. Goss, Florida Republican. Mr. Millis also said he was facing administrative and criminal penalties as possible outcomes of the investigation. The friend then dialed *69, the automatic call-back sequence, and was connected to the Breezeway Motel in Fairfax. The friend explained to the motel operator that Mr. Millis was threatening to commit suicide. .However, several U.S. government officials said Mr. Millis was fired and that the investigation was related to improper activities by him. ."
Washington Times 6/28/00 Bill Gertz " .An FBI spokesman said the FBI was not investigating Mr. Millis for unauthorized disclosures. Mr. Goss said in a statement at the time of Mr. Millis' death that he was stunned by the loss. The statement made no mention that Mr. Millis was under investigation. .. Mr. Millis had publicly criticized former CIA Director John Deutch, calling him the worst director in the agency's history. During a speech at the Smithsonian Institution Feb. 15, Mr. Millis said Mr. Deutch inflicted "major damage" to the CIA's espionage branch. The criticism prompted some officials to speculate that Mr. Millis may have improperly disclosed information about an investigation of Mr. Deutch by the CIA's inspector general. .."
From the Wilderness, New York Times (via Progressive Review) 6/6/00 Michael ruppert " ..According to a report in today's "New York Times," (see below) John Millis, Republican Staff Director of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) committed suicide in a Fairfax County Virginia motel last Sunday. .The Times reported that Millis, appointed to his post as staff director by Republican Chairman Porter Goss of Florida three years ago, was himself, like Goss, a former CIA case officer. In his 13 year career with CIA, Millis served in Pakistan with Afghani "Freedom Fighters" in the 1980s. Those Freedom Fighters, known as Mujahedeen, and led by radical Islamic leader Gulbadin Hekmatyar, have been documented as supplying or producing as much as 50% of the heroin entering the United States by 1984. .Just recently HPSCI closed out its four year investigation into allegations of CIA involvement in the cocaine trade during the 1980s. Its final report, dated in February but not publicly released until May 11th, stated that there was "no evidence" that the CIA had any involvement or connection with cocaine trafficking as alleged by a series of 1996 stories in "The San Jose Mercury News."
From the Wilderness, New York Times (via Progressive Review) 6/6/00 Michael ruppert MILLIS' "UNUSUAL" ACTIVITIES COVERED BY FTW IN MARCH, 2000 ISSUE Millis, in unprecedented style for a Congressional staffer, made volatile and highly critical comments about the performance of former CIA Director John Deutch and President Bill Clinton in a February 18,2000 interview with "Washington Post" reporter Vernon Loeb. Loeb is one of the Post's primary intelligence beat reporters and regarded by FTW as being a conduit for CIA "inspired" stories. In a lengthy article covering the back story behind allegations that former CIA Director (DCI) John Deutch, a Clinton Democratic appointee, had misused CIA computers at his home, Loeb included a series of quotes from Millis that FTW noted were unusually candid. The remarks merit inclusion in their entirety.
Loeb wrote, " Over on the other side of the Capitol this week, the chief staffer of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, former CIA operations officer John Millis, proclaimed Deutch the worst CIA director ever. "Asked at a public lecture at the Smithsonian Tuesday night to rate the various directors of Central Intelligence, Millis said Deutch now takes 'first, second and third prize,' adding that he did 'major damage' to the CIA's Directorate of Operations."
Loeb included additional quotes from Millis praising current DCI George Tenet but closed his story with the following passage: "Where Tenet hasn't done as well, Millis said, is coordinating the overall affairs of the 13-agency intelligence community. But Millis blamed that shortcoming on a lack of support by President Clinton, whom Millis ranked as one of the worst presidents when it comes to support of, and regard for, the intelligence community."
From the Wilderness, New York Times (via Progressive Review) 6/6/00 Michael ruppert FTW noted in the March issue that such on-the-record quotes by a senior Congressional staffer, in an apparently pre-arranged news story, were highly unusual. Statements of strong opinion are usually reserved for elected Members of Congress...FTW finds the timing of Millis' death, especially in proximity to the close-out of HPSCI's investigation of CIA's drug connections, both suspicious and worthy of additional investigation before the trail grows cold and leads become hard to find or deliberately obscured..."
NEWSMAX.COM 6/18/00 "...A former CIA official brought this strange death to the attention of NewsMax.com. The official said Millis was a "man of responsibility," and he expressed surprise he would end up dead in "a fleabag motel." ...The buzz in the Washington intelligence community is that Millis was being blackmailed. Some are surprised that his death hasn't set off alarm bells. Even if the death was as claimed, a suicide, any unusual death of someone so knowledgeable about U.S. national security is typically treated with great concern. ...For example, Millis could have been a target of a foreign intelligence agency. The fact that Millis' death, considering his high position, has drawn so little attention has some spooks scratching their heads...The 47-year-old Millis was a veteran CIA operations officer. He left the CIA in 1993 to join the House Intelligence Committee. In 1996, Millis had investigated and uncovered the Clinton administration's role in helping Iran transfer arms to Bosnian Muslims. At the time Iran was on the State Dept.'s list of terrorist states."
Freeper email to Alamo-Girl " Another element that's curious is how the CIA boys have reacted. His memorial service was well attended by Langley analysts, some of whom flew in from overseas. They seemed very pissed off about Millis' death and one said: "If only he had come to us, we could have helped."Add one other odd element: the peculiar David Ignatius piece in the Washington Post questioning Bill Gertz's use of intel leaks (the criticism was that Gertz may compromise intelligence sources and methods on occasion). Is that article connected in any way with Millis' death? ..."
Freeper email to Alamo-Girl "...The stone wall of silence erected around the House investigation of John Millis, the late staff director of the House Intelligence Committee, has claimed its first victim. She is Jennifer Millerwise, press spokeswoman for Rep. Porter J. Goss, Florida Republican and the committee chairman. Miss Millerwise abruptly resigned a week ago and the committee staff has been unable to reach her, according to staff aides to Mr. Goss. She had been assigned the odious task of refusing to answer repeated queries on the Millis investigation when questioned by The Washington Times. Miss Millerwise told us earlier that she, like one CIA spokesman, did not want to know any details of the circumstances surrounding the House Intelligence Committee probe of Mr. Millis...Senior U.S. intelligence officials, however, told us the death was the result of a "personal tragedy" and not related in any way to Mr. Deutch, the CIA, intelligence information or U.S. national security..."
Freeper email to Alamo-Girl " JOHN MILLIS - STAFF DIRECTOR OF HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE COMMITS SUICIDE IN VIRGINIA MOTEL 6/6/00 Wilderness Publications . The Times reported that Millis, appointed to his post as staff director by Republican Chairman Porter Goss of Florida three years ago, was himself, like Goss, a former CIA case officer. In his 13 year career with CIA, Millis served in Pakistan with Afghani "Freedom Fighters" in the 1980s. Those Freedom Fighters, known as Mujahedeen, and led by radical Islamic leader Gulbadin Hekmatyar, have been documented as supplying or producing as much as 50% of the heroin entering the United States by 1984 . Just recently HPSCI closed out its four year investigation into allegations of CIA involvement in the cocaine trade during the 1980s. Its final report, dated in February but not publicly released until May 11th, stated that there was "no evidence" that the CIA had any involvement or connection with cocaine trafficking as alleged by a series of 1996 stories in "The San Jose Mercury News." ."
Hey Newbie...what'cha 'fraid of?!! The Truth? You might want to lurk a bit more before you waste that fine Screen Name you picked out...
Newbie TROLLS, SHEEEESH!!
Yep, Ms. Jade...what we have here is a Lefty TROLL who just logged in on 27 December 2001. Easy to spot, ain't they? Attack the Messenger and IGNORE the message, thereby blasphemying THE TRUTH...all-too-typical with our Lefty FReeperTROLLS!!
Hey, Lib'ral TWIT Brigade, y'all got a brand new member and he actually admits--via his screen name--what the LeftWing is really all about!!
Heh heh heh...MUD
RE-IMPEACH. CONVICT. DETHRONE.
Who cares whether Unocal wants to pipe oil from Iran to Pakistan via Afghanistan?
The people who dredge up this old history make it sound nefarious, like we (the U.S.) went to war in Afghanistan because we the American people or George W. Bush wants to build a pipeline across Afghanistan. It's idiotic. We could care less.
The successful completion of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) route from the Kazakh Tengiz field near the Caspian Sea to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossisk and the subsequent shipping of oil from there since March of 2001 has made all the Afghanistan oil pipeline talk merely the mullings of conspiracy advocates.
The current position of the U.S. government in regard to a second pipeline from the Caspian oil fields is that "we" want it to tranverse Turkey and not Iran.
The maneuvering going on now has to do with interested parties bordering the Caspian who want in on the immense riches of this new oil field in Kazahkstan to try to have the Caspian Sea declared to be a "lake" so they can invoke rules governing lakes instead of laws governing seas.
Actually the CPC pipeline started shipping oil in late September, 2001.
As for the BTC pipeline, it is only a pipe dream unless the U.S. subsidizes the oil companies to use the route. Possible, considering the U.S. military security indirect subsidy of Gulf oil.
Another factor is that Russia is currently "intercepting" Azerbajani oil in exchange for natural gas. Thus, any oil to fill the 1.5 million barrel/day BTC pipeline must come from Kazakhstan which has not agreed to the BTC deal. Furthermore, the oil consortium that controls most of the Kazakhstan oil is managed by EIN (Italy) and TOTAL (France-Belgium-Lux). We shall see if this oil comes to America or is used to fill European gas tanks.
The U.S. focus will be to first complete the AMBO pipeline to the Albanian deep water port to ship Chevron oil to the U.S. The KLA support by the Klinton and Bush administrations may partially be tied to the oil potential in offshore Albania (1-3 billion barrels) which could be shipped from the same terminal.
As for Afghanistan, I suspect the Unical is out of the picture and BP will direct the pipeline construction projects. Interesting that Brandas of Argentina is now a subsidary of BP and the ISAF forces are mainly British!
De nada, mi amiga.
"This investigation into the Bosnian arms-Bin Laden connection and also the CIA's bankrolling of the Afghan Mujahideen of the 1980's, definitely would have led to Millis' extensive knowledge of CIA involvement in the drug trafficking."
Still, I wanna repeat my response to you regarding this issue on another thread. While engulfed in the Cold War, America was forced to--or chose to unwisely to (that's where the argument is, IMHO)--befriend the Enemies of our Enemy when some of these convenient allies were not morally-worthy of our support. That has to be taken into account, IMHO, although I still agree that the Truth must be pursued tirelessly about the alliancess that were formed in both the 80's and 90's.
Evidence, please...this sounds extremely tinfoil-hattish, IMHO...MUD
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