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It's the War Crimes, Mickey

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1. WMD Lies

Adrienne Kinne describes an incident just prior to the invasion of Iraq in which a fax came into her office at Fort Gordon in Georgia that purported to provide information on the location of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. The fax came from the Iraqi National Congress, a group opposed to Saddam Hussein and favoring an invasion. The fax contained types of information that required that it be translated and transmitted to President Bush within 15 minutes. But Kinne had been eavesdropping on two nongovernmental aid workers driving in Iraq who were panicked and trying to find safety before the bombs dropped. She focused on trying to protect them, and was reprimanded for the delay in translating the fax. She then challenged her officer in charge, Warrant Officer John Berry, on the credibility of the fax, and he told her that it was not her place or his to challenge such things. None of the other 20 or so people in the unit questioned anything, Kinne said.  Kinne dates this incident to the period just before the official invasion of Iraq or possibly just after. She says that because the US engaged in so much bombing prior to the official invasion, she cannot recall for sure.

2. Targeting Journalists in the Palestine Hotel

Many of the people, including Americans, whom Kinne spied on were journalists. These included journalists staying at a hotel in Baghdad that later showed up on a list of targets. Again, Kinne says, she expressed concerns to her officer in charge, letting him know that the military should be informed or the journalists should be warned to move to another location. Kinne says Berry brushed her off. He was, she says, "completely behind the invasion of Iraq. He told us repeatedly that we needed to bomb those barbarians back to kingdom come."  Berry was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer.

3. More WMD Lies

David Murfee Faulk says that in May 2004 he found an extremely large text file containing grid coordinates for alleged chemical weapons sites in Iraq. Faulk showed it to his supervisor, who was surprised. But he was not surprised that the file existed, only that it had not been deleted. The supervisor said he had believed all such files had been deleted, and that there had been a great many of them. In fact, according to this supervisor, U.S. Special Forces had gone to the locations and found nothing.  That's what usually happens, Faulk's supervisor told him, when you get something from the Israelis. "Four out of five times it's complete and total bullshit."

I asked veteran Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst Ray McGovern what he made of this, and he said that there is "no such thing as a 'friendly' intelligence service. Reporting from liaison services always needs to be taken with utmost reserve. That goes in spades for what comes from the Israelis, the more so since they have unique, yes unique, access to the White House and Pentagon, and are thus able to circumvent the intelligence bureaucracy set up to vet and evaluate raw intelligence and prevent unverified and/or tendentious 'intelligence' from reaching senior officials, lest they be misled."

With regard to other pieces of Israeli "intelligence" on Iraq's mythical weapons of "mass destruction," McGovern said: "Yes, most of the Israeli 'intelligence' on things like chemical weapons in Iraq was of little or no value. Worse still, data like coordinates for suspected chemical weapons-related sites could not be dispassionately evaluated by objective intelligence analysts because the key function of imagery analysis was ceded by the CIA to the Pentagon in 1996. What sergeant was going to tell Rumsfeld that Israeli sources and the 'intelligence' from the Israelis or the likes of [Ahmed] Chalabi were certainly not worth what Rumsfeld was paying for. At the same time, if truth was not the objective, but rather reports alleging this or that WMD-related sites, well, the Israelis were performing a useful service for the likes of Doug Feith, who would bundle them up and give them to the 'Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal' for passing to the president. Woof! Proof!"
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McGovern seemed to find it perfectly possible that "evidence" of the sort that Faulk stumbled upon was voluminous: "The neuralgic search for WMD pointed up the problem. US chief WMD-searcher, David Kay, has told lurid stories of being awakened in Iraq at all hours by people working in the office of the Vice President: 'Hey we got new coordinates; check them out!'"

McGovern recalled one instance of someone speaking openly about the quality of Israeli "intelligence." When John Negroponte was Director of National Intelligence, National Public Radio’s Robert Siegel asked him to explain why the Israelis have suggested a much shorter timeline for Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. "I think that sometimes what the Israelis will do [is] give you the worst-case assessment," Negroponte said.

4. So, Who's Mickey?

Mickey is the Disney Corporation, owner of ABC News.  On Thursday, ABC News reported a big new break in the story of illegal and unconstitutional spying that our government has engaged in for years now, except that there was nothing new in the story and the important parts were left out.

The ABC News announcer began the video report thus:
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"This is the first time any of the actual intercept operators, the people who listen in and record phone calls on behalf of U.S. intelligence agencies, the first time any of them has come forward."

But this would have been revealed as blatant nonsense by simply googling the names of the two operators, Adrienne Kinne and David Murfee Faulk. I reported Kinne's story on July 1, 2007, on a website that is read by hundreds of thousands of people every month, including quite a few Congressional staffers. The very popular radio show, Democracy Now!, reported on one aspect of Kinne's story on May 13, 2008.

I first reported Faulk's story on May 19, 2008. He contacted me because he had read the story I'd written about Kinne. That point is of interest because the report posted online by ABC News on October 9, 2008, reads:

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http://davidswanson.org
David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more...)
 

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