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Memorandum For: Angela Merkel: Beware of Fixed Intelligence on Ukraine-- Think WMDs

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opednews.com Headlined to H1 8/31/14

From flickr.com/photos/65354164@N02/14182591986/: Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel
(image by Glyn Lowe Photoworks.)


MEMORANDUM FOR: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Ukraine and NATO

We the undersigned are long-time veterans of U.S. intelligence. We take the unusual step of writing this open letter to you to ensure that you have an opportunity to be briefed on our views prior to the NATO summit on September 4-5.

You need to know, for example, that accusations of a major Russian "invasion" of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence. Rather, the "intelligence" seems to be of the same dubious, politically "fixed" kind used 12 years ago to "justify" the U.S.-led attack on Iraq. We saw no credible evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq then; we see no credible evidence of a Russian invasion now. Twelve years ago, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, mindful of the flimsiness of the evidence on Iraqi WMD, refused to join in the attack on Iraq. In our view, you should be appropriately suspicious of charges made by the U.S. State Department and NATO officials alleging a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

President Barack Obama tried yesterday to cool the rhetoric of his own senior diplomats and the corporate media, when he publicly described recent activity in the Ukraine, as "a continuation of what's been taking place for months now ... it's not really a shift."

Obama, however, has only tenuous control over the policymakers in his administration -- who, sadly, lack much sense of history, know little of war, and substitute anti-Russian invective for a policy. One year ago, hawkish State Department officials and their friends in the media very nearly got Mr. Obama to launch a major attack on Syria based, once again, on "intelligence" that was dubious, at best.

Largely because of the growing prominence of, and apparent reliance on, intelligence we believe to be spurious, we think the possibility of hostilities escalating beyond the borders of Ukraine has increased significantly over the past several days. More important, we believe that this likelihood can be avoided, depending on the degree of judicious skepticism you and other European leaders bring to the NATO summit next week.

Experience With Untruth

Hopefully, your advisers have reminded you of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen's checkered record for credibility. It appears to us that Rasmussen's speeches continue to be drafted by Washington. This was abundantly clear on the day before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq when, as Danish Prime Minister, he told his Parliament: "Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. This is not something we just believe. We know."

Photos can be worth a thousand words; they can also deceive. We have considerable experience collecting, analyzing, and reporting on all kinds of satellite and other imagery, as well as other kinds of intelligence. Suffice it to say that the images released by NATO on August 28 provide a very flimsy basis on which to charge Russia with invading Ukraine. Sadly, they bear a strong resemblance to the images shown by Colin Powell at the UN on February 5, 2003 that, likewise, proved nothing.

That same day, we warned President Bush that our former colleague analysts were "increasingly distressed at the politicization of intelligence" and told him flatly, "Powell's presentation does not come close" to justifying war. We urged Mr. Bush to "widen the discussion ... beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic."

Consider Iraq today. Worse than catastrophic. Although President Vladimir Putin has until now showed considerable reserve on the conflict in the Ukraine, it behooves us to remember that Russia, too, can "shock and awe." In our view, if there is the slightest chance of that kind of thing eventually happening to Europe because of Ukraine, sober-minded leaders need to think this through very carefully.

If the photos that NATO and the U.S. have released represent the best available "proof" of an invasion from Russia, our suspicions increase that a major effort is under way to fortify arguments for the NATO summit to approve actions that Russia is sure to regard as provocative. Caveat emptor is an expression with which you are no doubt familiar. Suffice it to add that one should be very cautious regarding what Mr. Rasmussen, or even Secretary of State John Kerry, are peddling.

We trust that your advisers have kept you informed regarding the crisis in Ukraine from the beginning of 2014, and how the possibility that Ukraine would become a member of NATO is anathema to the Kremlin. According to a February 1, 2008 cable (published by WikiLeaks) from the U.S. embassy in Moscow to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, U.S. Ambassador William Burns was called in by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who explained Russia's strong opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine.

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www.coleenrowley.com

Retired FBI Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel.

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Uh, where are these publicly released photos?Well,... by Scott Baker on Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 9:14:13 AM
Here are the photos you're looking for. Courtesy o... by John Rachel on Monday, Sep 1, 2014 at 4:31:26 AM
The "convoy" could be anything. Without context a... by Scott Baker on Monday, Sep 1, 2014 at 9:01:20 AM
John - I think you really HAVE to write "WARNING S... by Stefan Thiesen on Monday, Sep 1, 2014 at 12:39:43 PM
Those photos prove absolutely nothing. ... by Vera Chevrolet Hart on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014 at 10:41:09 AM
Exactly so.And hey, are these really the photos fr... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014 at 11:51:44 AM
What I see is a clear pattern of good old divide ... by Stefan Thiesen on Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 9:51:04 AM
Yes, see "Why NATO Has Not Permitted Russia to Joi... by Coleen Rowley on Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 11:08:09 PM
Thank you for pointing out the article by John Wal... by Stefan Thiesen on Monday, Sep 1, 2014 at 12:15:02 PM
This might help you gain a greater understanding o... by Vera Chevrolet Hart on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014 at 10:38:07 AM
Just looking at who signed this lends great credib... by Daniel Geery on Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 10:59:40 AM
Russia - use the US "petrodollar" or else?Like Ira... by Lance Ciepiela on Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 11:22:32 AM
If history has shown anything, it's that a war aga... by Stefan Thiesen on Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 3:22:32 PM
I couldn't agree more with your excellent comments... by Kenneth Johnson on Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 8:03:54 PM
As you say, surely - "the JFK coup d'etat, which c... by Lance Ciepiela on Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 9:21:31 PM
Superb letter by the VIPS group. However, it is my... by B.R. Fuller on Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 12:15:58 PM
Angela Merkel is a conservative, that much is clea... by Stefan Thiesen on Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 3:29:56 PM
Yesterday Susan Lindauer interviewed an official o... by Peter Duveen on Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 2:43:50 PM
If we consider the territories in question, we mus... by Stefan Thiesen on Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 3:37:45 PM
Peter, why buy into the supply issue at all ? What... by Eddy Schmid on Monday, Sep 1, 2014 at 6:23:27 AM
In retrospect, I fundamentally agree with you, Edd... by Peter Duveen on Monday, Sep 1, 2014 at 6:39:35 AM
Only to put things into perspective: let's suppose... by Stefan Thiesen on Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 3:42:37 PM
She is doing what the NWO/Corporate/Bankers tell h... by Catherine McCoy on Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 3:46:02 PM
To say Russia is a player in the ongoing conflict ... by John Rachel on Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 10:12:15 PM
How you can tell if Russia has invaded Ukraineclic... by lila york on Monday, Sep 1, 2014 at 6:04:54 AM
Seriously John, were you around when Georgia at th... by Eddy Schmid on Monday, Sep 1, 2014 at 6:29:55 AM
Did you not click on the link in John's post? ... by Vera Chevrolet Hart on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014 at 10:31:29 AM
Exactly... fully armored and galloping on his well... by Vera Chevrolet Hart on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014 at 10:30:05 AM
Just ask yourself this foreign policy question: "I... by Coleen Rowley on Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 11:02:11 PM
9/11 - a similar question?Photo by NewYork.cbsloca... by Lance Ciepiela on Monday, Sep 1, 2014 at 10:48:11 AM
Another excellent and urgently needed article from... by Michael David Morrissey on Monday, Sep 1, 2014 at 4:20:09 AM
That conversation is on, scheduled for later this ... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 7:07:10 AM
That's great news, Rob. Thanks. ... by Michael David Morrissey on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 7:53:27 AM
I thought the press conference was very interestin... by Jerry Lobdill on Monday, Sep 1, 2014 at 5:23:19 AM
Russia has industrial interests in eastern Ukraine... by lila york on Monday, Sep 1, 2014 at 6:09:31 AM
WMD's ? It's always a standoff as it has been and... by Tom LaMar on Monday, Sep 1, 2014 at 9:43:03 AM
It would be helpful if the memo also mentioned the... by Michael David Morrissey on Monday, Sep 1, 2014 at 11:01:16 AM
Yes, Michael. Actually VIPS issued a prior memo a... by Coleen Rowley on Monday, Sep 1, 2014 at 9:51:05 PM
I saw the previous memo, also excellent, and I als... by Michael David Morrissey on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 3:19:32 AM
Just look at them, the "dissidents, all super info... by Michael David Morrissey on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 3:22:39 AM
Boycott is a nice way to put pressure on for a par... by Peter Duveen on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 8:26:52 AM
Sure, I'd go for that, but it's so slow, and how d... by Michael David Morrissey on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 9:51:04 AM
The "Boycott" could be much broader than that, wit... by Paul Repstock on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 11:19:43 AM
Well, a boycott has to be strategic and targeted. ... by Peter Duveen on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 1:41:39 PM
What to do, what to do. Back in high school basket... by Michael David Morrissey on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 2:35:16 PM
I didn't play much basketball. Eighth grade. That'... by Peter Duveen on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 4:52:23 PM
I agree completely. And the wedge between what is... by Coleen Rowley on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 9:10:58 AM
This effort to encourage Merkel (and perhaps other... by Coleen Rowley on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 9:01:53 AM
It could be the beginning of a -- sorely needed --... by Michael David Morrissey on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 10:56:44 AM
A bit of history here:"John McCain: Conductor of t... by Charlene Richards on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 12:22:00 PM
Thanks to Stefan Thiesen, the VIPS memo has been t... by Michael David Morrissey on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 3:01:22 PM
In the meantime the Memorandum to Chancellor Merke... by Stefan Thiesen on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 5:37:52 PM
RT headlined it. ... by Peter Duveen on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 at 9:32:20 PM
Stefan is being modest. He did all the work! Great... by Michael David Morrissey on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014 at 8:56:16 AM
Excellent piece. Note that Pres Obama who owes his... by Alan Cass on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014 at 12:17:46 AM
Fine observations by Colleen and Lila, among other... by Alan Cass on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014 at 12:43:00 AM
Thank you. This is by far the only read on intelli... by George Eliason on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014 at 7:58:43 AM
Just got this from Global Research. 11 airlines va... by Michael David Morrissey on Thursday, Sep 4, 2014 at 1:12:50 PM