America’s Secret Wars Among Its Intelligence Agencies Since NSA’s Inception

6 09 2012

By Trowbridge H. Ford

Why Relations Despite the Scandals Didn’t Change Much between Watergate and the 9/11 Bombings 

 
The 9/11 attacks gave the FBI its biggest black eye in its history. While it had been starved of intelligence about the planned suicide bombing, and cut out of any response because of the belated disclosure of the spying by agent Robert Hanssen for the Soviets for fear that it would somehow be leaked, the Bureau was still in the process of handing over the new leadership to Robert Mueller – delegating the domestic response to any such problems to the CIA which was most eager to regain the lead in the country’s response to terrorism anywhere.  Without any really important National Security Agency (NSA) intercepts of the messages the suicide bombers were exchanging in preparation for the attacks, the FBI had little chance of connecting the signal intelligence dots of what was afoot, especially since it had forced the retirement of its leading counter-terrorist spook, John O’Neill.(1) The planned response was, consequently, most ham-fisted with fifteen unarmed CIA agents, under the direction of Solicitor General Ted Olson’s wife Barbara, it seems,  trying to play copper with the 19 hijackers when they were dedicated to killing everyone they could, especially themselves.  The only reason that the Bureau wasn’t blamed more for the fiasco was because its causes were not easily discernible.(2)
 
The root of the problem went back to the NSA’s near paranoia about anyone without a need to know, knowing of its very existence, much less its product, particularly since Director J. Edgar Hoover would not provide cover for its work. It had been that way since its inception, and it only got worse when it was caught out in the Watergate scandal, thanks to the investigation of Frank Church’s Senate Intelligence Committee, that it had been eavesdropping illegally on private individuals through telecommunication companies for any information which might be relevant for it and any related agencies doing that work fully.  “Pushed by Church,” James Bamford has written in Body of Secrets, “the committee voted to make its report public – over NSA’s vehement objections, and to the greatest displeasure of its Republican members.” (p. 439)  In the process, its Director, General Lew Allen was forced to resign, and the agency was obliged to live with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act which made any such eavesdropping illegal, being now required to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court if it wanted to listen to the communications of American citizens and permanent residents within the United States.
 
Of course, this made NSA the Bureau’s official master in domestic matters, as it was expected to get some kind of input from the Bureau before any domestic eavesdropping. This restriction was impossible for NSA to maintain, given its worldwide capability to tap micro-wave messages, and to eavesdrop on what was going on in foreign embassies when it came to American residents.  While the problem only surfaced when important Americans were involved, it was responsible for an increased sense of paranoia within the agency, leading its leadership constantly to be concerned about possible leaks.  This was best illustrated when Vice Admiral Bobby Ray Inman was Director, going wild when the media, especially The New York Times, leaked information about Illinois Congressman Edward Derwinski being investigated for tipping off South Korean officials that its top spook in New York was about to defect by NSA monitoring his calls to Seoul (ibid.,October 27, 1977 issue), and President Carter’s brother, Billy, was working as a business agent for´Gadaffi’s Libyan government, aka Billygate, in the same fashion. (Bamford, pp. 380-1)
 
To avoid such embarrassment and controversy, future Directors became even more secretive and  most devious about what was going on.  NSA Director Air Force
General Lincoln Faurer, Inman’s successor, become so concerned about details leaking out about Reagan’s covert government intruding into Swedish waters that he had Airman David Helmer defect to Stockholm in February 1984 so that there would be no paper trail about what his mission was. Hemler had a top-secret clearance, and was stationed in Augsburg, Germany in its elite 6913 Electronic Security Squadron which knew all about signal intelligence communication in the Baltic,  He told Swedish security what he apparently knew about what had been going on  – what reinforced what statsminister Olof Palme’s opponents, particularly Conservative Party leader Carl Bildt, had engaged in, especially sending the previous October a most provocative diplomatic note about it to Moscow. (3) Faurer added to the ruse by having John Lehman’s US Navy send more attack submarines into the area to keep the ploy going.(4)
 
When Faurer learned, though, that the Reagan administration was serious about using it in a non-nuclear showdown with Moscow to end the Cold War at Sweden’s expense, he resigned, only to be replaced by a more hard-line, covert operator, Army Lieutenant General William Odom. He had served as NSA Zbig Brzezinski’s military assistant during the Carter administration, and was most noted for wanting to roll back Soviet power and influence across the board. Odom was obsessed by the potential leaking of NSA secrets by its personnel, earning the sobriquet Captain Queeg among his subordinates, and even considered the President to be the biggest offender by divulging its secrets in covert operations.
 
Little wonder that when Ollie North wanted to do this in spades while working for Reagan NSA Bud McFarlane that Odom gave him what help he could to achieve the task.
 
Odom ordered John Wobensmith of its Information Systems Security Directorate to give North whatever help he needed, including two of its KY-40 scramblers.- what he did without North having to sign a receipt for having gotten them. The lap-top computers contained “…secure encryption chips so that he and his fellow conspirators could communicate secretly via e-mail while traveling.” (Bamford, p. 391) An additional benefit was that it would be carried on without NSA having a clue about what was happening. The lap-tops were the crucial component of North’s “FLASH” communication network would get round all the red tape required by official institutions, and permit his operatives to do missions like capturing the Palestinian terrorists who killed Leon Klinghofer on board the Achille Lauro (5) to making Palme pay with his life for having stopped the transfer of arms for Tehran in exchange for the release of American hostages held by Hezbollah in Lebanon.
 
Of course, when Palme was assassinated, but the Soviets were not shown to have apparently done it, thanks to Moscow having been tipped off about the set up by the spies it had developed, and the countermeasures it had taken against any surprises triggering the planned non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War, all kinds of considerations became sensitive, and then alarming when Iran-Contra began unravelling.  It was then that Director Odom became particularly worried about using information NSA had about Libya’s alleged bombing of La Belle discotheque in West Berlin on April 5, 1986 for a retaliatory attack on Gaddafi’s capital Tripoli for fear that it would lead to what had happened in Stockholm the previous February 28th. Then when the C-123 carrying arms for the Contras was shot down over Nicaragua in the fall, the concerns resulted in murders of dangerous participants or their being forgotten about, especially the spies still unrevealed, destruction of key evidence about the plots, and defusing damaging evidence by rendering its sources immune from prosecution – what required the most strenuous efforts by the NSA and others.
 
The strain was immediately demonstrated when North put the highest priority on destroying incriminating evidence.  He was shedding all the evidence he could lay his hands on in his office and that of the National Security Council, only to have his former boss, McFarlane, remind him of an even more important chore: “I hope to daylights that someone has been purging the NSA files on this episode.” (6)  This problem was greatly complicated by the fact that NSA had not given North’s people just two KY.40 scamblers but fifteen KL-43 encryption devices whose codes had been changed every month, and had recorded everything they transmitted.The prospect of retrieving all the devices, and discovering what was within them made the possibility of what had really gone on most remote. In addition, the PROF notes between North and the new NSA Admiral John Poindexter about the operation were destroyed, but they had been copied by the agency’s computer system, and were ultimately discovered.
 
Then there was all kinds of intercepts that NSA had normally collected from around the world. The fleet of attack submarines, especially the Parche, SSN-683, which had been moving into position to sink Soviet hunter and boomer subs, once they started moving into launch position after the surprise assassination of Sweden’s statsminster had occurred -  had created a vast amount of communications which would become really troublesome if the real cause of Iran-Contra’s illegalities came into focus. The double agents that the CIA had developed in the USSR during Operation Courtship to pin the set up on Moscow would become serious if any investigators suspected so. Also there was all the data which had been collected by the monitoring device that technician spy TAW had placed on the KGB communication center southward of Moscow, and what operation ABSORB disclosed about the movement of ICBMs along the Trans-Siberian railroad in preparation for a first strike upon America.(7)  
 
Then Director Odom tried to pin the blame on Wobensmith for North’s people having the KY-40 lap-tops. Wobensmith claimed that Odom was so positive about helping that he did not even make North sign receipts when receiving them. Two years later, Wobensmith was suspended without pay for fifteen days by a NSA superior because of the oversight. and not instructing North how to properly use them, but an appeals board recommended that it be reversed and Webensmith reimbursed for his legal fees – what incensed Odom. “He believed that Wobensmith was responsible for casting the agency into the public spotlight, a rare and unforgivable sin in NSA’s secret city.”(Bamford, p.391).  As a result, he only received $1,229 for his legal fees, and was demoted in rank.
 
By scapegoating Wobensmith, Odom made it easier for the agency to keep Special Counsel Walsh investigating Iran-Contra at arm’s length. While Walsh  was finally able to obtain over 100,000 pages of classified documents to begin trying defendants in the conspiracy, their success depended largely upon their use in the trail – what NSA General Counsel Elizabeth Rinskopf doggedly opposed.  “Her concern was not only the preservation of intelligence sources, but also the protection of her agency from embarrassment.” (Bamford, p. 176) She insisted, for example, that McFarlane’s message to North in his PROf notes, about wanting the NSA traffic files purged, be redacted. More important, Walsh had to resort to various expedients to hide NSA being the source of information most germane to successful prosecutions of the conspiracy and diversion charges in North’s indictment, but Attorney General Richard Thornburgh refused to go along with the scheme – what Bamford, by then the author of The Puzzle Palace about NSA, surprisingly explained on national TV was required to maintain its secret intelligence capability.
 
With NSA’s role in Iran-Contra being effectively covered up, it was passed time for Odom to go, and he was replaced by Office of Naval Intelligence Director Vice Admiral William Studeman who was a soft-spoken copy of the former director.
 
 In taking leave, though, Odom could not restrain himself from leaking more secret information by comparing .the Agency with his agency:  “The CIA is good at stealing a memo off a prime minister’s desk, but they’re not much good at anything else.” (Quoted from Body…, p. 474.) This was obviously a reference to stealing Palme’s agenda in October 1985 for his scheduled meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in April 1986 – what allegedly included establishing a non-nuclear weapons zone in Scandinavia, and what was used by William Casey’s CIA to justify his assassination.  CIA resident in Stockholm Jennone Walker apparently got MI6 agent E. D.´Mack´ Falkirk in Oslo to steal the document. 
 
The only problem with the theft was that it did not trigger a non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War at Palme’s expense – that was achieved by the Anglo-American leaders with Gorbachev themselves after the set up fizzled out because of countermeasures that Moscow took for the intended surprise, thanks to its spies around Washington.
 
During the next decade after the collapse of the USSR, the struggle within America’s intelligence community was plagued by ferreting out the spies, especially CIA’s Aldrich ‘Rick’ Ames, a process so damaging that it almost ended the Agency’s existence while the Bureau was increasingly taking the lead in fighting terrorism, even overseas, thanks to copper Louis Freeh becoming its Director, and the wake up call it had received because of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in February 1993. The impact on NSA was devastating because of the continuous reduction of its enormous size, and a peacetime mission in a growing world economy, as Air Force Director General Kenneth Minihan discovered. The Bureau went wild on fishing trips with NSA intercepts to find foreign companies which were engaging in illegal activities at the expense of legitimate American business.  While Minihan gave the impression that he was a great promoter of agency transparency, he ran a very tight organization.
 
While Miniham’s replacement, Air Force Lieutenant General Michael Hayden, had great plans for reforming NSA so its operators and funders could be happier about its performance, everything was put on hold to clear the air until the 9/11 attacks surprised everyone – making a bad situation much worse. A cause of the delay was the most belated discovery that Bureau’s Special Agent Robert Hanssen had been another spy like the Agency’s Ames – what Director Freeh compounded by immediately resigning, leaving the FBI naked to its enemies.(8) 
 
DCI George Tenet cut the Bureau out of having anything to do in subduing the suspected hijackers of the four planes while its agents in the field were increasingly having trouble connecting the dots in all its criminal investigations.(9) Moreover, the NSA did not accept Rick Taylor’s recommendation about implementing his system called Thinthread which would allow it to see the head notes of foreign e-mails entering the States while the Bureau was forced by the FISA court to keep its data gathering more separated from its criminal investigations.(10)
 
The results would be the 9/11 disasters where both the failings of the Bureau and NSA would be paramount, but this time the FBI was more exposed in the fallout, and would resort to more drastic attempts to fix it, as we shall see in the concluding article.       
 
          .          
 
References
 
1. For more, see this link: http://flyingcuttlefish.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/oneill-a-voice/
2. For a more complete explanation, see Trowbridge H. Ford, “The Prelude: US Intelligence – 11 September 2001, Eye Spy magazine, Issue Eight 2002, pp. 26-33.
3. Svenska Dagbladet, April 27, 1983.
4. For more about this, see the awards that the US Navy’s submarines received during 1984 and 198 in Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew, Blind’s Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage, p. 426.
5.  Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies and the CIA in Central America, pp. 140-1.
6.  Quoted from Lawrence E. Walsh, Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-Up, p. 8.
7.  Pete Earley, Confessions of a Spy: The Real Story of Aldrich Ames, pp. 117-8.
8.  Ford, op. cit., p.26ff.
9.  James Bamford, The Shadow Factory: The Ultra Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America. p. 108ff.
19. Ibid., p. 44ff.

 





Gareth Williams and Gudrun Loftus Murdered to Prevent them from Becoming More Russian Spies

22 11 2011

by Trowbridge H. Ford

In the so-called war on terror, securing secrets obtained is just as important for intelligence services as obtaining them in the first place, though the Western powers, especially the United States, have been quite slow in realizing this, thanks to its beliefs that its technology is too complicated to be seriously broken, and its agents are completely trustworthy. Of course, traditionally counter-intelligence – protecting what one already has, and making sure that it is not stolen in the future – has been as important as obtaining or stealing them in the first place. But the end of the Cold War – where organized systems of the combatants faced off against one another, has greatly blunted the process – leading individual states and alliances to believe that they only need worry about hackers, thieves of specific expertise, and criminal organizations. Current intelligence agencies have been until quite recently confident that their vetting processes, and periodic checks on the bona fides of agents -thanks to all the feedback from notorious spies such organizations experienced during the Cold War – are enough to insure that nothing serious leaks out.

In doing so, intelligence services have been slow to recognize that older ideologies – nationalism which made monsters like Hitler, socialism that made ones like Stalin, and pacificism that produced utopian one-worlders – have been replaced by other ones, perhaps not so powerful as those but still militating against assumptions about loyalties, priorities, and outlooks of citizens likely to become their agents. Rights of all kinds – those of humans, women, races, animals, the unborn, the poor, international and domestic law, the oppressed, the uneducated, the unknown, etc. – have taken on a priority which have replaced traditional beliefs about nations, societies, and individuals. Wars are now being fought or opposed in the name of human rights, doctors are being killed or protected for doing abortions, political leaders are being assassinated or hated for their actions regarding fur and factory farms, etc. The intelligence game has not fundamentally changed, only who are the participants, where are they located, why are they doing this, and how can they be discovered and stopped.

I personally find this most blunted interest in counter-intelligence most bizarre, having been an intelligence analyst aka clerk typist in the US Army’s Counter Intelligence Corps in Paris during the end of the Korean War. We did nothing but look for spies, especially communist ones, everywhere, recruiting the French Army agency like ours to help out in the process. My job was essentially to see to the processing of all security checks pertaining to French citizens working for the American Army. Any French national who was considered for employment, mostly for the most menial jobs like cleaning up all kinds of places, from offices to motor pools, had to get the okay from Uncle Sam.

The process must have been employed because of a hangover from the Dreyfus Affair, and that damned bordereau found in the German Embassy by that cleaning lady. Still, we – rather I – had to do it, prepare the agency checks for the Service de la Securité de la Défence Nationale, Section Guerre, for every job applicant, and type up the results in sextuplicate for the higher ups back in Orleans and Washington. I don’t recall ever receiving any unfavorable report from the French Army, but I vividly remember the mountains of paper I produced in the process.

Of course, if that was all we were doing in France, it would have been quite harmless, though most unnecessary, but there was much more to what was afoot. The commanding officer when I left had put us on a war footing when he came, having someone in the office 24/7 to help prevent the Russkies from stealing our worthless information – what I volunteered without much appreciation that we make readily available to them just to confuse them about our mission – and seeing to the recall of our independent Liaison Officer there on the grounds that he might be a leaker because of his alleged homosexuality.

Our commanding officer also wanted us to break into the apartment of a Army civilian in the hope of finding literature to prove his being a communist – what the rest of us kiboshed by stating that we had similar literature in our own digs, and when we learned that the Boss would take no responsibility if we were caught. Then we had an eager-beaver agent who independently set out to prove that Suzanne Bidault, the wife of French diplomat and often Cabinet minister Georges Bidault, was a leading member of the French Communist Party, only to discover at the last moment before a serious diplomatic incident occurred that she was another Suzanne Bidault.

The pìeces de résistance occurred when our counterparts in the Air Force, the Office of Special Investigations, wondered if anyone in our office would vouch for the fact that Max Asoli’s Reporter  magazine was communist-dominated. Since I took the magazine, and my brother-in-law was a frequent contributer to it, I told that Air Force snoops that they had it all wrong, as it was a CIA-funded one, apparently killing off the whole alleged exposé. Then Hoover’s FBI got CIC to do a surveillance on a leader of the American Communist Party, a guy named Burns who also had burns on his hands, when he visited Paris for some unknown reason. Of course, there was no legal basis for the operation, though that did not stop J. Edgar as he demanded that we go through with it after Burns had even canceled his flight. Seems a Canadian with the same name booked a flight to Paris about at this time, and we had to make sure that he wasn’t the American one. Well, when he arrived at Orly, we quickly lost sight of him, and our people had a hectic 24 hours until Mike Gravel, later Senator from Alaska, and recently a Democratic candidate for President, caught up the the guy, discovering that he had no burns on his hands.(1)

I mention this experience to show just how deep this anti-communism, especially of a Russian nature, had developed by the end of the Korean War – what has persisted among Western intelligence services, especially Anglo-American ones, ever since, particularly by those agents who got burned in some way subsequently by it. Cambridge University spies Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess had just fled to the USSR in May 1951, and while I was in Paris, there were terrible riots outside the American Embassy when the Rosenbergs, really surrogates for the really important spies – and there were some – were executed. Instead of seeing the trouble in some kind of proportion, though, Western counter-intelligence preferred to see communists almost everywhere, particularly when their Apostle associates, Kim Philby, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross, did not follow them. Little wonder that historians of these betrayals have made careers out of continuing to see fellow communists amongst us, and roaming free right down to today.(2)

Little wonder with intelligence agencies stirring up so much trouble – and even MI5 was deeply involved in such wild-goose chases if Peter Wright is to be believed – the Kennedy administration consolidated all the service counter-intelligence agencies under the Defense Intelligence Agency, and all of them put increasingly less emphasis upon counter-intelligence as the Cold War dragged on, leaving the protection of their secrets to offices within them. Then vetting process were improved to make sure that the occasional bad-apple didn’t join their ranks, and periodic checks on their reliability, including lie-detector tests, were established to ensure that they did not turn after joining them. By the time the Cold War ended – thanks to the belated discovery of NSA’s Robert Lipka spying for the KGB by its own admission, and the Agency’s Aldrich ‘Rick’ Ames having similarly spied for the Soviets – Anglo-American intelligence agencies were quite sure that serious spying had essentially become a thing of the past, though there was still the most belated discovery that the Bureau’s Robert Hanssen had worked for the KGB too, something that could be left to the West’s security services.

There are still growing signs that other loyalties rather than expected patriotism are at play, like other countries’ progress, human and animal rights, etc., though security services are reluctant to recognize them. Jonathan Pollard’s spying for Israel – what resulted in his being sentenced to life imprisonment without parole – continues to be justified in terms of American national security, though what he did was not so important if Washington was not attempting a sudden, non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War – triggered by Olof Palme’s assassination, and at everyone’s risk – what could have resulted in Armageddon if it had not been for the spying by more important ones.

Holland’s Pim Fortuyn was left unprotected despite his disregard of animal rights – what his assassin Volkert van der Graaf used, among other things, to explain the killing. The killing of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko remains unsolved because MI5 conveniently maintains that he is another victim of the Cold War, refusing to admit that he was threatening to blackmail all its participants, particularly Britain.(3) Then there is the unfortunate case of plasma expert J. Reece Roth who had not paid strict attention to whom he allowed to be his research assistants while helping out Beijing in such matters when the USA was actively using his research and others in triggering the deadly earthquake in Sichuan province in May 2008.

The places to look for potential turncoats are in the feedback from the Cold War, especially when spies involved in it see results which directly conflict with what made them spy for the West in the first place. These tensions are particularly noticeable with the unification of Germany which made former residents of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) who risked their lives in spying for the West, especially those working for MI6 and CIA, suddenly have to put up with former communists who are doing things for a united Germany which they most opposed when still living in the GDR. It could result in a situation where a former MI6 spy is confronted with a political situation where he or she is doing for London what they had risked their lives a generation before to prevent and stop. Then other loyalties and concerns could threaten to override tradiional state loyalty when it engages in ‘false flag’ efforts to blame others, especially former communist opponents, for what it is attempting in order to get back for former betrayals, especially if key players in the ruse don’t know about it, and are vigorously opposed to such methods if they do find out.

This all seems most germane when talking about the killing of German linguist and leading Oxford academic Gudrun Loftus, though given her role in preparing analysts for the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), her intelligence status has prevented any disclosure, official or unofficial, about who she really is. Loftus was born in the GDR, and grew up there as a devout Catholic, perhaps around Leipzig where she was subjected to all its recruiting methods for joining its elite communist ranks. She did not take to this most intrusive process, most likely because of the Stasi’s eavesdropping on everyone, especially growing troublemakers like herself.

Seems she met her future husband, Gerry Loftus, through the Brtish Council’s programs of English As A Foreign Language (EFL), noted for its connections to the Secret Intelligence Service, and soon was recruited by it as a spy – what forced her to flee the country in the early 1980s when it threatened being exposed to Marcus Wolf’s agents. While in West Germany, she finally finished her higher education at Tubingen, Germany’s university most noted for its religious tradition. From there, she went on to Oxford where we have already seen she accomplished a lot.(4)

Gareth Williams became a similarly most important agent in an entirely different way, though still without any serious vetting about who he really was. While the media, apparently thanks to input from Britain’s covert government, has portrayed him as a one-dimensional loner, he was obviously much more than that. He had serious interests in politics and religion, especially in Wales, though he was, of course, a practical maths genius, and a great expert on electronic gizmos involved in cryptography, as his Ph.D. from the University of Manchester demonstrated. He, coming from Anglesey, might well have been a Welsh nationalist since he spoke English with a Welsh accent, committed to restoring the country to an independent one which honored its language and traditions – what would explain why people who knew him are so tight-lipped about what they say. The big problem for Britain with Gareth was allowing him to write his own ticket about anything he touched without knowing what he might do with it. It reminds me of how MI6 allowed Kim Philby and George Blake to do whatever they wanted when it came to spying for Moscow. Blake became Britain most destructive double-agent because of how he was treated as a South Korean prisoner during the Korean War.

Williams’ independent interests started surfacing shortly after he arrived at Cheltentham’s GCHQ. He learned, it seems, of the Foreign Office’s communications with its embassy in Moscow about the activities of the GRU’s Colonel Sergei Skripal, the spy who MI6 had developed in the mid-1990s to expose its spies sent into Europe, and Russia’s military plans in case of war, and apparently told Putin’s people about it. Williams could not abide by the idea that he was serving HMG when it was just trying to keep the Cold War going, like it had been doing for centuries in Wales.

Skripal received $100,000 for his efforts, far more than Williams was being paid. The retired Colonel’s spying could have played an important role in the sinking of the Kursk in 2001 by the USS Toledo – an operation that the Royal Navy’s submarine Splendid was apparently involved in.(5) Skripal was arrested in December 2004, and convicted in 2006, sentenced to thirteen years in prison, setting his release for 2017 for time already served. Little wonder that Skripal’s exposure set off alarm bells in Whitehall, causing a raft of rumors about who had exposed him. Former MI6 double agent Oleg Gordievsky was left asking if Britain had another George Blake on its hands.(6)

Loftus’s independent activities started surfacing after Angela Merkel became chairman of the SDU-CSU right-wing coalition in Germany, and went on to become its first female Chancellor. Obviously, Gudrun knew something of her past, having grown up in the GDR too, but she did know how deeply Merkel was involved not only in its covert activities but also that of the KGB too until, it seems, I wrote my article about it.(7) Its closing sentence must have had an impact on Loftus, especially given the activities she had engaged in to stop her from rising to the top of a united Germany. Whether Merkel was just a Stasi asset or a KGB spy, she had certainly lost her credibility to lead a reunited Germany, especially since she was providing the growing use of German forces, and eavesdropping techniques reminiscent of the former communist regime to put down the insurgents in Afghanistan by the harshest means. Gudrun’s major problem, like Williams’, was how to make her concerns public and credible.

By this time, Williams was more interested in disclosing more counter-terrorist officers, and their intelligence collecting techniques as he worked away at Fort Meade with NSA to catch an alleged Russian sleeper cell of spies that it had discovered and the Bureau was putting the finishing touches on catching, and in Afghanistan to help NATO forces track down Al-Qaeda and Taliban insurgents. The only trouble was that the security services had belatedly come to suspect him of treachery. The only trouble with going after him directly was that he would bring out these covert, illegal operations in his defense if prosecuted, so they set up a clever sting operation in the hope that it would keep him occupied, and possibly dissuade him from continuing while they had more time to finish these eavesdropping operations. A fledgling MI6 software engineer, Daniel Houghton, was persuaded to leave the service, and to befriend Williams – who he had apparently gotten to know through their rabid interest in cycling – so that he went along with a plan to sell such secrets, only unbeknownst to Williams, to a friendly power of Britain, Dutch intelligence agents. It was to be the crowning achievement of Scarlett’s tenure as MI6′s ‘C’. (8)

In the counter-intelligence race against time, the British pulled off their sting operation before Williams was able to completely ruin theirs with NSA in the States, and then NATO’s pursuit of insurgents in Afghanistan. In early March 2010, MI5 agents, feigning to be those of a foreign power, arrested Houghton when he was leaving a London hotel after he received £900.000 for the DVDs and video tapes upon which he, it seems, had copied the data regarding MI5′s and MI6′s personnel, and operating procedures. He understandably stated that they had the “wrong man”, as he was only Williams’ intermediary, later explaining that he had been tricked into doing so by voices in his head.(9) While Judge Bean at the Old Bailey trial of the case said that that did not permit him to escape responsibility, Houghton had not done it for ideological reasons nor to hurt Britain since he had sold the information to a friendly power! After he pleaded guilty in July to committing one offense of the Official Secrets Act, he was sentenced to one year in prison in early September, as if it were essentially an uncomplicated case of theft – what resulted in his release in February, as he was credited with serving time while on remand.(10)

Williams was quite confused by this rigmarole, but as Houghton’s trial was stretched out to make sure that his own spying was successfully terminated, he began to act again in Russia’s interest. Just after the Manhattan 11 were arrested, and charged with spying, NSA feared that he might come to their defense, given his freedom to say what he wanted about the Bureau’s sting, so their crimes were reduced like Houghton’s were in the process of being marginalized. Once ten of them, headed by the sultry Anna Chapman, pleaded guilty to the lesser charges, the Kremlin sought out Williams to determine if he would be willing to see them exchanged for Colonel Skripal, and three other Western spies it was holding. It would make no sense to lose Williams while exchanging Skripal.

Williams’ visitors were apparently the ‘Mediterranean-looking’ couple who had sought him out in his safe apartment in Pimlico in late June.(11) Williams agreed to the exchange as it would help embarrass NSA/GCHQ over the ‘false flag’ operation – turning the tables on Washington and London on how they treated ignorant Russians who they had set up.

Shortly afterwards, Williams learned that Houghton had really set him up by dealing with the Dutch rather than the Russians with his copied material, and went to Afghanistan to gather material showing just how serious NATO forces there, especially the British, American, and German ones. had been in violating human rights in trying to suppress the insurgents. In the process of making the logs understandable to those not familiar with the languages used, particularly German, Mrs. Loftus, it seems, helped out in the translations because Angela Merkel’s government was increasing its assistance to the Afghan mission while other countries were reducing theirs or were thinking of doing so.

Once they were completed, Williams handed them over in July to Julian Assange’s Wikileaks, apparently with the expectation that material would be redacted to protect the identity of forces and personnel involved. Wikileaks turned the Afghan Logs over to The New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel to pass on to the public.The choice of the German outlet as a source seemed to show Loftus’s contribution to the project.

While the logs were redacted to prevent the identity of the forces involved, excesses by German forces around Kunduz were particularly notable. In September 2009, the German commander there, Colonel Georg Klein, ordered the bombing of a crowd north of the city, looting two hijacked fuel tankers in the Kunduz river bed. Klein ordered the attack after Task Force 47, an elite special forces group, had been informed by a single source that it was a completely Taliban operation, and he agreed to the targeting of the two groups with 500-pound bombs from missiles, killing at least 142 people.

The rules of engagement allowed such action if there were no civilians in the area, and the German troops acted as if this were so, and so claimed, though the vast majority of those killed were civilians.(12) Actually, those killed were essentially civilians who the Taliban had mobilized to move the tankers. As in Britain’s suppression of IRA terrorism, as Richard Norton-Taylor pointed out, the killing of ‘high value’ targets was done with no attempt to capture them, warning shots were hardly ever fired, and winning ‘hearts and minds’ of the Afghans was largely a myth, intended merely for the benefit of the folks back home. Lady Neville-Jones, Britain’s Security Minister, hit the nail on the head when she said that the logs appeared to be the product of both leaking and hacking – what Williams could best provide.

What really infuriated Mrs. Loftus was that Merkel’s government really did nothing about it – only accepting the resignations of Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung whose attempted cover up of the incident was exposed, and the retirement of German President Horst Köhler, another graduate of Tubingen University, after he said that German involvement in Afghanistan was good for world stability and its economy. Though Chancellor Merkel had belatedly promised a full investigation of the tragedy, the charges against Klein were ultimately dropped, and nothing has really been done about it.(13)

The unredacted leaks by Williams and Loftus, of course, just put them in greater jeopardy, as Julian Assange explained after an apparent meeting with one of them:”We have delayed the release of some 15,000 reports from the total archive as part of a harm minimization process demanded by our source. After further review, these reports will be released, with the occasional redactions and eventually, in full, as the security situation in Afghanistan permits.” (14)

Unfortunately, this explanation and future changes were far too late to save Williams who was by then on his way back to the States, trying to obtain more information about the entrapment of the ten Russians, apparently in the hope of improving his position with Moscow. By this time, Williams knew that he was really the target of the Houghton sting, and his best chance of avoiding a long imprisonment or murder was to flee, like Maclean and Burgess had when MI5 was finally closing in on them. He had no chance of being freed, as Blake had, if he ever went to prison

Williams might have tipped his hand by the complicated travel arrangements he contemplated to get to Moscow. He certainly indicated his intentions by where he went, and the questions he asked, especially to the female associate and her husband at GCHQ who had taken his place at Fort Meade after he left – what resulted in their being transferred to Denver on a mission which made them unavailable for any questioning about the matter. While Williams undoubtedly collected valuable information about it and other Scarlett missteps on his laptop – what would have made the disclosures by other Russian double agents tame by comparison – he had also ingested the poison which would kill him before he ever got to Moscow.(15)

The most interesting aspects of his murder were the lengths that the securocrats went to in order to best hide his poisoning, and his killing so that it could be so clouded with rumor that most interest in what had really happened would be lost. Clearly they had complete access to his Rodina apartment or they would have reported his unexplained visit by that couple at the end of June. The fact they didn’t showed that they were hoping to implicate the Russians in the murder – what some of the disinformation after the discovery of his body was intended to achieve. Obviously, they wanted to see where it was really headed before they finally acted overtly.

When he was poisoned in the States, they believed that he would die, and could be disposed of before anyone suspected what was occurring. To facilitate this, he was dumped naked into the carryall, and padlocked in to make sure that he was only discovered after there had been vast decomposition of his body, making the discovery of a natural poison almost impossible to discover. His nakedness was the result of the clothing he had been wearing while he was dying, being removed from the apartment to make his last moves in London nearly impossible to retrace.

The only trouble was that the police did find those security videos of him entering the Holland Park tube station, and walking along the front of Harrods. The photographs clearly show that he, so sickly that he is hardly recognizable, was suffering jaundice from the toxins of the poisonous mushroom, apparently amanita phalloides, the most damaging evidence about official lies about his condition when he, it seems, just suddenly was killed. The photographs, especially the one of Williams in the descending lift at Holland Park station, show this, though disinformation agents and skeptics claim that its light is the cause of the yellowness, not his skin color. Actually, the light shows its light making his skin at the top of his head more white, giving him a kind of halo, while the rest of it is quite yellow.(16) And the other photographs show him in a jaundiced condition, with his arms and his head being a darkish yellow while the red of his T-shirt, and the light color of his trousers are not made to look pink or yellow.

His having been poisoned was overlooked when the securocrats cleared his safe house of medicine he had bought at Harrods Dispensing Pharmacy, missing the receipt he had about the purchase. Williams paid for most of the items he purchased in cash – what his killers were ignorant of when they finished taking him out.

Mrs. Loftus must have been at a loss to account for his killing, given all the disinformation provided about it, until, it seems, I provided essentially the above information. She apparently provided support for my continuing investigation of his murder after I posted its background (17), and no sooner had I finished it than she too was murdered. She was even more important as a witness to Williams murder, explaining what and why he did what he did, than what she herself could disclose. The article was posted on October 4th, and she was apparently pushed backwards down the steep stairs leading to the Senior Common Room of St. John’s College, Oxford early the next morning. She had apparently gone there to discuss the disclosure of the Afghan logs, and Williams killing with someone she thought knew something about it – what was discovered by GCHQ’s eavesdropping on the conversation setting up the meeting – and was met at the landing at the top of the stairs by the person she sought by a hefty push back down them to her death.

The police are still officially investigating both murders, preventing anyone from divulging any information about them to the press and the public, and, of course, government employees are prevented from doing so under the strictest penalties. The families of the deceased have apparently been belatedly informed that their killings were a matter of national security – what has been so successful that they have not uttered a peep about them while the heads of MI5, GCHQ, and MI6 have gone out of their way to state that such disclosures of secret information – whatever their source – cannot be allowed not matter what is required to stop it.

In explaining intelligence assurance, the Cheltenham Director Lain Lobban said most pointedly but without any clarification: “Cyberspace lowers the bar for entry to the espionage game, both for states and criminal actors.” (18)

MI6 Director Sir John Sawers added about the problems such actions caused allied intelligence services: “They will not work with SIS (Secret Intelligence Service), will not pass us the secrets they hold, unless they can trust us not to expose them. Our foreign partners need to have certainty that what they tell us will remain secret, not just most of the time, but always.” (19)

Counter-intelligence in the Anglo-American world has returned with increased vengeance.

References

1. For more, see this link: http://codshit.blogspot.com/2004/01/confessions-of-american-counterspy-in.html
2. For examples of this, see Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, Nigel West, VENONA: The Greatest Secret of the Cold War, and Harvey Klehr, John Earl Haynes, and Fridrikh Firsov, The Soviet World of American Communism.
3. For more, see this link: http://cryptome.quintessenz.at/mirror/mi5-litvinenko.htm
4. http://codshit.blogspot.com/2010/10/was-oxfords-gudrun-loftus-killed.html
5. http://whatreallyhappened.com/WHRARTICLES/KURSK/kursk.html?q=KURSK/kursk.html
6. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article/article604149.ece
7. For more, see this link: http://cryptome.info/0001/merkel-spy.htm
8. For an account of what Scarlett had to make up for, see this link:
http://codshit.blogspot.com/2008/01/mi6-sir-john-scarlett-career-of.html
9. For more, see this link: http://cicentre.net/wordpress/index.php/2010/07/16/sting-operation-that-caught-mi6-spy/
10. http://bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-11176434
11. For a most ignorant account of the visit, see this link:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/7984508/MI6-spy-Gareth-Williams-murder-police-hunt-for-Mediterrarean-couple.html
12. For more, see this link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/jul/25/guardian-civilian-deaths-rules-engagement
13. http://www.afghanistanconflictmonitor.org/kunduz
14. Quoted from Curt Hopkins, “Wikileaks Releases 91,900 Afghanistan War Documents Online,” July 25, 2010.
15. For more, see: http://codshit.blogspot.com/2010/10/why-americas-nsa-and-britains-gchq-had.html
16 http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23874697-last-images-of-spy-in-a-bag-garet-williams.do
17. http://codshit.blogspot.com/2010/10/why-americas-nsa-and-britains-gchq.html
18. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11528371
19. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11642568






Why America’s NSA and Britain’s GCHQ Had Gareth Williams Assassinated

4 11 2011

By Trowbridge H. Ford
 
The National Security Agency’s new Director in 1999, Air Force General Michael Hayden, had a long career in its surveillance operations but his primary qualification for office was his adherence to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement – one which sought direct religious experience with Christ through Pentecostal and evangelical experience.  It was a millinarian type of religious group, reminiscent of the crusading orders of the Middle Ages, and best exemplified in the modern world by the Knights of Malta, the great recruiting agency of many of today’s New World Order people. Its capacity to find essential professionals, and fit them into key government positions goes far beyond what Yale University’s Skull and Bones Society can accomplish.  While Hayden was attending Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University, he studied American history – getting an M.A. on the impact of the Marshall Plan upon Europe, the first step in the West’s renewal after the catastrophic collapse in WWII. “Like many of his religious and conservative classmates,” James Bamford wrote, “Hayden rejected the antiwar movement and the social revolution and instead would embrace the military.” (1)
 
CIA Director George Tenet became interested in Hayden’s potential to ignite NSA in an fightback against the continuing stalemate over Palestine, and growing Muslim hostility toward America.  “The CIA chief liked what he heard and Hayden flew back to Korea virtually assured that he had the job as director of the NSA.” (2)  It recalled Henry Kissinger’s hiring of lowly Major Alexander Haig as his military aide as the Nixon administration was gearing up to pull off a surprising victory in the Vietnam War despite the apparent hopelessness of the struggle, and all the campaign rhetoric about negotiating peace with the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong.  Despite appearances, both military men were well versed in the operation of America’s covert government, whatever was required at a given moment. It looked like new Tonkin Gulf incidents were required if any new initiative was to be established.
 
While Tenet certainly mentored Hayden, it is worth remembering that Tenet was mentored by former DCI Richard Helms, so much so that he had Helms’ official portrait at the Langley headquarters moved into his office so that every DCI would see him as a model. It is also worth remembering that Helms had such a bitter hatred of his rival William Colby that he ultimately volunteered in his unexpected memoirs, A Look Over My Shoulder – even an allusion to such treachery – that Colby hurt Western intelligence more than the notorious KGB spy, Kim Philby.(3) It seems most likely that Tenet, while Deputy Director when Colby was assassinated, was given the nod by Helms to arrange the killing – what resulted in DCI John Deutch to suddenly resign when he learned about it, clearing the way for Tenet to take over officially. After Deutch’s departure, an inquiry was started to see if he should be prosecuted for having classified materials on his laptops, what seems like a belated effort to explain it away, but Attorney General Janet Reno refused to prosecute him, and President Bill Clinton pardoned him for the alleged offense on his last day in office.
 
Hardly had Hayden taken over at Fort Meade than he showed Tenet that he was the right person to run NSA.  The bombing campaign of Serbia was in full swing but NATO’s planes were not hitting anything of value in Slobodan Milosevic’s military arsenal, thanks to a Turkish informer within its ranks informing Belgrade of intended targets through the Chinese Embassy. NSA learned of this through its capture of microwave communications to the Chinese through its eavesdropping satellites and ground-based stations, most likely in Bad Aibling in Germany and Menwith Hill in Yorkshire – what seemed like a resumption of Operation Shamrock under modern conditions.
 
Then CIA played dumb with its maps, acting as if the Embassy was a Yugoslav military facility. On May 7, 1999, NATO bombers hit the facility with five bombs, killing three residents.  For good measure, NSA’s Keyhole laser satellites were used the following August to trigger an earthquake in the qanat system of Izmit, Turkey to punish its Nationalist leadership for betraying NATO secrets to Yugoslav President Milosevic. The mission was a good example of what former SoD Robert Gates said about former Los Alamos intelligence chief Danny “(Stillman’s) ability to adapt the latest advance in science to solve unmanageable problems and to analyze foreign technologies made him an invaluable asset to the Intelligence Community.”(5)
 
The earthquake was intended to so embarrass Turkey’s government during the relief effort that it would be overthrown, either at the polls or by its military – what occurred during the 2002 elections when Bulent Ecevit’s government was soundly trounced. It was a brilliant use of new technology to take advantage of ancient technology to fulfill Washington’s goals.
 
Given such achievements, Washington wasn’t too concerned about what Al-Qaeda was up to, helping explain why both Tenet and Hayden were kept at their posts after George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in the 2000 presidential poll. It was more concerned about the exposure of satellite abilities to gain vital information, and to deliver devastating reprisals than deliberately stopping any of its small scale operations. “In the few years between 1991 and 1994,” Bamford wrote, “the number of spy satellites dropped by nearly half.”(6)  He failed to add that the remaining ones were far more versatile and powerful than the ones they replaced. As a result, the Al-Qaeda calls emanating from and received by its headquarters in Yemen were ignored, resulting in the 1998 devastating bombings of US embassies in East Africa, and the attack on the USS Cole the following year when it docked in Aden to refuel.(7) 
 
NSA was still almost paranoid about its operations being leaked somehow, and did not want to take any unnecessary risks by going to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a warrant.
 
Director Hayden based his decision upon three factors -  fears that NSA would be seen “as America’s secret and powerful ‘boogeyman’ “,  that NSA officials would again be threatened with prosecutions for eavesdropping on Americans, and fears that its activities would be leaked to the press and America’s foes. The best way to avoid the first two concerns, Bamford wrote tellingly, “…was to keep his agency’s operations as far away from U.S. territory as possible. If a terrorist in the U.S. was communicating with his masters in a foreign country, Hayden reasoned, that was the FBI’s responsibility, not his.”(8) The ability of the Bureau to meet its responsibility was seriously impaired, though Hayden didn’t mention it, by the continued spying for the Russians by its agent Robert Hanssen – what was finally disclosed in February 2001, and he pleaded guilty to 19 counts of espionage in July after colleagues, like in the Ronald Pelton case, recognized his voice in a conversation long before with his KGB handler in Washington on a NSA tape recording.      
 
The wheels for a payback now for Al-Qaeda’s operations far away from America’s shores had started turning soon after Hayden started working at Fort Meade.  Rich Taylor, NSA’s Deputy Director for Operations, wanted to fix the agency’s aimless, eavesdropping operations by adopting project Thinthread: “The first and most important issue for NSA/CSS (Central Security Service),” Bamford quoted, “is to reform our management and leadership system…we have good people in a flawed system.”(9) 
 
Thinthread called for the encryption of all messages and phone calls entering and leaving the States – so as not to need a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Security Court (FISC) – except the headers of such messages which would show their origin or destination. It would solve the problem of getting an FISA warrant without engaging in undue search and seizure while obtaining probable cause to continue eavesdropping without committing anything illegal.
 
Tests of the proposal in 1998 had proven quite successful    Also, NSA needed to strengthen its ties with strategic partners, especially the other members of the Five Eyes group, Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand.
 
Hayden wanted nothing to do with the proposal, preferring instead a program called Trailblazer. Instead of running the risks of trying to catch terrorists, concerns that the Bureau should be involved in, Hayden wanted to catch foreigners before they even got involved in the process. It essentially collected everything it could get its hands on, hoping that super computers could make sense of the mass of information collected – “…the origins and destinations of phone calls and e-mails.” (10) While Taylor and Hayden continued to argue about which system to adopt, it peaked in the fall of 2000, with the Director going for Trailblazer, and Taylor heading for the exit.
 
While Hayden then asked for bids from defense contractors for working on Trailblazer, there was no big time response by NSA’s contractors – Boeing, IBM, SAIC, Computer Science Corporation, and Litton – persuading Hayden and Tenet that some big time event was necessary to shake up the country for more direct action.
 
The last operational hurdle to such action was the continued presence of the Bureau’s counter-terrorist expert in New York, John O’Neill.  He was responsible for getting to the bottom of the first terrorist attack on the WTC in 1993, and was certain that Muslim terrorists would try it again.  He was committed to stopping them, the last thing that Tenet and Hayden wanted, so he was sidelined from the planning of the covert operation for fear, it seems, that leaks from it would jeopardize what CIA and NSA had in mind.(11)  
 
The plan that Tenet and Hayden had in mind was to catch the now well-identified 19 hijackers in the act of hijacking the four planes on September 11.To prevent the hijackers from getting wind of the plan, leader Mohamed Atta – whose calls from the States, especially the San Diego area, were never passed on by NSA to other security agencies (12) -  and four of his associates, were allowed to board the first plane leaving from Boston without any accompanying CIA agents. 
 
The 15 agents were on the other three flights, under the direction of Barbara Olson, wife of Solicitor General Ted Olson, and they were to overpower the hijackers as the planes neared LA.  The link between the Agency and NSA was the close association that Tenet had with Hayden.(13)  To give more propitious effect to the ploy, NSA’s associate agency, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), conducted a training exercise of a plane crashing into one of its buildings 50 minutes after American Airline’s Flight 77, carrying Olson and three of the agents, had already taken off from Washington’s Dulles Airport.
 
The covert operation, of course, ended up as a complete tragedy after the hijackers turned out to be suicide bombers. The best evidence that it had gone wrong was when the President stayed put in the Florida kindergarten while the operation was still going on, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had Air Force fighters shoot down the last hijacked plane in western Pennsylvania before it could crash into the Capitol or the White House.
 
The most important act in damage-control was preventing the full disclosure of the planes’ passenger lists – what left out the names of the 19 suicide bombers, and the unarmed 15 agents who had futilely tried to stop them – what permitted conspiracy theorists to go wild about who was really on the planes, who or what piloted them, why the buildings around the WTC really collapsed, etc. The most damaging evidence that Washington, especially NSA, could not suppress was all the telephone calls, especially those of Barbara Olson, that passengers on the planes made and received before they died. 
 
At least her husband finally admitted to Bamford:  “I, by this time, had made the calculation that these were suicide persons, bent on destroying as much of America as they could.”(14)
 
Hayden acted as if the tragedy was another Pearl Harbor, and it was, though President Roosevelt was dealing with a desperate imperial Japan while NSA only had been confronted by 19 suicide bombers – what Japan lost hundreds of from Okinawa during the final days of WWII through Kamikazi attacks.  NSA’s incredibly cautious approach to eavesdropping on them had directly led to the attacks, and now Hayden would go for broke in making sure that it was not repeated.
 
While much has been written about what ensued, the only aspect to be considered in this article is what NSA, the Bureau and GCHQ could legally do in the process, though it should be noted that Tenet and Hayden combined when it came time to make sure that Iran did not take advantage of the West’s showdown with Saddam by either helping him in his difficulties, or, more likely, try to take part of Iraq’s Shia-dominated area during the struggle – what was prevented by NSA seeing that the NRO caused the earthquake in the qanat areas surrounding Bam with the chemical laser aboard its Misty radar satellite, leaving Iran with more than enough troubles of its own.
For NSA and the FBI, anything went when it came to warrantless eavesdropping as Hayden, an American historian of sorts, thought that the post 9/11 emergency justified the overriding of all of the protections that the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution provided against undue searches of one’s home, person and possessions as the tapping of phone lines and cellphones didn’t amount to this, especially since NSA’s lawyers agreed.  And the Bureau was willing to go along with such sentiments after presiding FISA court judge Royce C. Lamberth approved all the surveillance it wanted to get the culprits of the attacks, and Attorney General John Ashcroft’s subordinate John C.Yoo agreed independently with Hayden’s lawyers about what the emergency permitted.(15) While others disapproved of what they knew or suspected was happening, there was nothing they could do to really challenge it, much less stop it.
 
In Britain, there have never been any serious restrictions on what its intelligence community, particularly GCHQ, can do. Actually, given its policy of ever eavesdropping if it serves the national interest, the legal provisions of the Official Secrets Acts are all against employees and members of the public leaking secrets.  And any employee who wants to or is required to work for American agencies can do so without risking any legal penalty, as Bamford explained:  “Hayden suggested that such activity was not prohibited by federal law. Instead it was prohibited only by presidential executive order, and executive orders can be canceled or changed at the whims of a president.  ‘By executive order,’ Hayden said, ‘it is illegal for us to ask others to do what we cannot do ourselves, and we don’t do it’.”(16)
 
The crisis over what became known as NSA’s Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) occurred when it came time for its renewal, March 11, 2004. Underlings of Ashcroft and Yoo at the Justice Department, James Comey and Jack Goldsmith, decided that it was an abomination to the Constitution, and recommended that it not be renewed. This led to a political firefight between the White House and the headless Department of Justice because Ashcroft was then in the hospital, suffering from gallstone pancreatitis.  “Without Comey’s signature,” Bamford wrote, “the NSA would have to immediately pull the plug on the operation or possibly face criminal charges.” (17)
 
With the public totally oblivious of what was going on, the White House and Ashcroft’s subordinates fought it out in a manner reminiscent of ‘Tricky Dick’ Nixon’s ‘Saturday Night Massacre’.  While Bush reauthorized the program without Justice Department approval, he seemed to agree to changes in it which would bring it back within the law.  In the end, the changes only amounted to getting rid of the most egregious violations of FISA, and their continued justification.
 
Hayden’s protection of his secret, illegal operations started to fray a few months later when New York Times reporter James Risen, who helped break the spying for the Soviets by the Bureau’s Robert Hanssen, called, asking Hayden about his warrantless eavesdropping on Americans.(18)  Of course, Hayden panicked over the call, denying that anything untoward was going on at NSA, but he believed TSP’s days were numbered.  While Bamford seemed completely uninterested in who was Risen’s source, it was  Russell Tice, but the newspaper was unwilling to pursue it because it could not find anyone else to back up his claims, and word got out that Tice was a bit paranoid, leading to his being fired by NSA in May 2005. Perhaps,Tice was deliberately chosen to kill the story, once his lack of credibility was determined.
 
In any case, more than a year later Thomas A. Drake – a  NSA software purchaser executive who supported what Taylor had tried to get Hayden to do, especially the adoption of Thinthread rather than the most expensive wild goose chase that Trailblazer promised – apparently started whistle-blowing too on NSA. With Thinthread, Drake thought that NSA could have prevented the 9/11 attacks, and by 2002 he was telling anyone who would listen just that. 
 
Supported by NSA’s math specialist William Binney and communication analyst J. Kirk Wiebe, Drake soon got Diane Roark, a Republican aide to the House Intelligence Committee, taking his complaints seriously. Drake testified before congressional committees about his complaints, and worked with the DoD’s Inspector General for two and a half years to obtain official action regarding them but without any evidence of success in his December 2004 report. On his supporters’ advice, he not only contacted reporter Siobhan Gorman of The Baltimore Sun but apparently also the NYT.(19)
 
The Times article ultimately appeared on December 16, 2005, and a little over a year later, Attorney General Gonzales announced that the warrantless eavesdropping program had ended.  Once again, all eavesdropping would be subject to FISC warrants, as the President, this time, had refused to reauthorize TSP when it was needed for it to continue. NSA would not need to apply for a warrant, though, in foreign-to-foreign communications except when one end of it reached a U.S. phone, and then NSA had three days to apply to the court with an emergency application for the tap to be legal.
 
Shortly thereafter, Hayden left NSA, replaced as Director by General Keith Alexander while joining former NSA Director Mike McConnell, National Intelligence Director, as his deputy.  Because of the blow-back from the murder of Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi, who was repeatedly raped first, and her family in Iraq, National Intelligence made a meal of the kidnapping of two of the soldiers involved by getting the Justice Department to sign a emergency FISA request, certifying that it had probable cause for the Bureau to put the suspected kidnappers names on the watch list, and targeting their activities.
 
Then McConnell, thanks to input from Hayden, panicked Congress into passing the FISA Amendment Act which replaced the expiring Protect America Act – giving legal immunity to telecoms which engage in eavesdropping so that there would be no new Shamrock scandal, weakened the authority of its court, and gave NSA a freer hand in targeting suspected terrorists abroad.(20) It and the Bureau would still have to get an FISA order to target Americans and green card residents living in the States.
 
Despite Senator Obama’s campaign pledge that he would straighten out the whole warrantless eavesdropping mess if elected President, he has done nothing of the sort.  If anything, he has made it worse, claiming it is necessary in the war on terror while protecting ‘state secrets’ .(21) One can only speculate what secrets he had in mind.  The murder of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko in London comes readily to mind back in November 2006. The CIA was going through another terrible period in its history with the forced resignation of Director Porter Goss in May 2006, and Hayden taking over at the end of the month, starting a period during which the National Security Archive released the Agency’s Family Jewels, many of which concerned Helms’ violation of its Charter – MH-CHAOS, Shamrock, MK-Ultra and the stirring up of the Hungarian Uprising.
 
On the day Litvinenko was apparently poisoned, the George Washington University institution released the worst files, highlighted by a bit of the NYT front page where a Seymour Hersh article described Watergate’s fallout at Helms’ expence.(22)  The Agency’s staff needed something to stem the flow of damaging revelations, and Hayden’s presence there deflected attention away from its cause. 
 
NSA certainly had an interest in shutting up Litvinenko, who has threatening everyone he knew anything about, starting with Italy’s Romano Prodi with blackmail – what could go all the way back to the non-nuclear showdown with the Soviets after triggering it by assassinating Sweden’s Prime Minister Olof Palme. Not only would the leaderships of Washington and London risk being implicated in this claims but also the double agent spying on Moscow which neither of them wanted aired again. Little wonder that he was killed in a most confusing way, particularly where he was poisoned, by what, by whom, and for what reason.(23)  The poison was most notable for its delayed, devastating effect. 
 
Edward Epstein, famous for helping cover up previous CIA-NSA plots, conveniently claimed that Litvinenko must have poisoned himself with the polonium-210 for some unknown reason.
 
The plot was intended to implicate Russian President Vladimir Putin in the assassination, but he stood his ground without flinching, protecting the alleged assassin Andrei Lugovoy, and making the plotters even more eager to punish the now Russian Prime Minister. They, headed by CIA’s director of operations Stephen Kappes, started a new assault on Moscow by building up a ‘false flag’ operation, dealing with illegal agents called New Rodina, based upon what the KGB had done with their original operation to genuinely do the same with real illegals back in the 1970s under Yuri Andropov. The covert operation was the leading one in President Obama’s secret agenda, explaining why he did nothing about warrantless eavesdropping, and why he was so supportive of Leon Panetta to be DCI. 
 
Panetta, as head of OMB and as Chief of Staff during the Clinton administration, knew about the convenient assassinations, particularly that of Colby, and now wanted to move on in a more coherent, structured way.  Of course, liberal Democrats like California’s Dianne Feinstein just cleared the way for his getting started by claiming she would only support his confirmation if he kept Kappes on, and when DNI Admiral Dennis Blair tried to interfere with what Panetta was doing with his resident agents in places like London, he was given the door after Leon blew his customary cool over the matter.
 
The sleeper cell contained 10 Russians, and their Canadian handler Robert Christopher Metsos.  For several years, the ten tried to integrate as well as they could into American society, reminiscent of how illegal KGB agent Vilyam Fisher ran the most effective VOLUNTEER group in NYC during the late 1940s.  “Under his later alias ‘Rufolp Abel’, Fisher was to become one of the best-known of all Soviet illegals, whose career was publicized by the KGB as a prime example of the success and sophistication of its operations in the West during the Cold War.”(24) While Andrew characteristically debunked Abel’s achievements, the so called Manhattan 11 group never really got started, just sleeping away along America’s east coast, and collecting their pay while awaiting instructions about doing something significant.  It seems that all but Metsos thought that they were there to infiltrate really sleeper groups for Moscow.
 
When it came time to entrap them, just before President Dmitri Medvedev came to Washington for a fence-mending meeting with President Obama, the Bureau set up Anna Chapman, the only one connected to Britain, by having her send deeply encrypted messages by a computer wireless network she had been given to another of the sleepers, at the suggestion of an FBI agent feigning to be a Russian Embassy official, about getting a false passport. The messages were sent on sophisticated laptops which the Bureau had provided, and had software to encrypt and decrypt them – what prevented Bureau agents from being involved in any illegal wiretapping.
 
When Chapman ultimately refused to go ahead with the exchange, thanks to advice from her father, a former KGB agent, Chapman and the others were arrested as foreign agents, and the media went wild over the story.(25) 
 
The Bureau soon learned that it would be in difficulty if it went ahead with these most serious prosecutions as the evidence could be quickly shown to be fraudulent, charging them instead with only failing to register with the Attorney General as agents of a foreign power, and for money laundering with the secret payments they received. Then Prime Minister Putin surprisingly agreed to exchange them for four real spies being held by the Russians.
 
The weakness of the evidence was manifest when the Bureau on Halloween released the videos of Operation Ghost Stories, showing ten of the sleepers doing most ordinary things or deliberately contrived ones when no known Russian handler was ever exposed – only Bureau agents posing to be so. Sleepers are said to be shown engaging in tradecraft when there is no evidence of their actually doing so, and making exchanges when only they, particularly Metsos, are identified.
 
The best example of the contrivance that the Bureau engaged in is shown in the 7:40 minute-long video of sexy Anna Chapman walking around a department store on January 29, 2010, allegedly communicating with her Russian handler outside. The stacked videos of her are quite clearly ones of the store’s, looking for shoplifters. Chapman certainly looks like one while aimlessly walking around it rather than engaged in any wireless conversation. At the same time, the man outside – with his face blacked out – is endlessly talking to someone on his cellphone. There seems to be no conversation between them at all, and the handler could not be a Russian official as the FBI would have loved to have displayed his face if he had been one.  Ghost Stories indeed!  
 
The Bureau’s concerns were that spy prosecutions would be seen as the result of a deliberate fishing expedition for years to get around the law  – what did violate the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution about unreasonable searches and seizures, and that the “wall” between intelligence and criminal squads had been broken through during the process.
 
“The FBI then decided to allow only agents and analysts assigned to intelligence duties access to FISA materials, not the criminal investigators.” (26)  For good measure, anyone who reviewed transcripts of domestic electronic surveillance must sign a certification that court approval was required before they were handed over to criminal prosecutors.  None of this was done, and the Bureau’s leaderhip would be in serious trouble if it were exposed by someone with inside credibility.
 
And that person was Gareth Williams, GCHQ’s whiz kid software man who could encrypt messages to remain secret during any transmission or decode any such message received, and who was on secondment to MI6 to help out its spies to get what they wanted. While it seems a bit of a stretch that he was actually involved in helping entrap the Manhattan 11, it seems quite clear that he knew that he was in no trouble whatever the Bureau had done.(27) 
 
When that became important was when a couple visited his safe flat in Mayfair right after the case broke. The couple could have been Putin’s agents, seeking approval for the spy swap. Then it could have been her former husband Alex Chapman, and her former roommate Lena Savitskaya who knew only about the MI6 flat, not who had occupied it, explaining why they knocked on other doors first to find out where it was in the building, once they had gained entrance. The meeting resulted in their adopting a plan to embarrass NSA/GCHQ as much as possible, with Gareth apparently supplying the funds up front to get it started.
 
Williams went back to the States in July, and started asking questions about what NSA had really been doing when it came of warrantless eavesdropping, especially after it became clear of Thomas Drake’s plight for whistle-blowing about the problems at NSA.(28)  He faced 35 years in prison for continuing to air his complaints through reporter Gorman who had now moved on to The Wall Street Journal  – what he had even tried to get Seymour Hersh to go along with, but without success. Drake’s problems just made Williams want to get to the bottom of the covert operations more, so much so that he apparently disclosed his aims to a GCHQ colleague and her husband who were at Fort Meade in his stead, forcing MI6 to transfer them to Denver on another alleged covert mission so that they could not be involved in any further developments.
 
The assassination of Williams and its cover up were the main problems. He was apparently poisoned by death cap mushrooms, amanita phalloides, just before he left to go back to Britain on 10th August, either by their being placed in the food at his apartment there or while he was eating out somewhere. Shortly after he returned, he suffered the vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, etc. which are characteristic of this kind of poisoning, but he seems not to have taken it seriously at first.
 
Almost everyone has had such experiences, and almost never have suspected that they were the results of deliberate, deadly poisoning, especially when they soon stopped – what also happened in this case.  The only problem was that this was the second stage of the poisoning, and not just getting over some cook’s alleged revenge. It apparently ended on the 14th after Williams bought some medication at Harrods’ Dispensing Pharmacy to deal with the resumption of the problems(29), but by now it was too little too late.  Taking pills like rifampicin, antamanide, paclitaxed and the like orally are no substitute for them taken intravenously, especially if one has not at first cleaned out one’s gut some way.
 
The plight of Williams is seen in the video tapes of him, both apparently taken on the 14th though the police say that one, the one outside Harrods, was on the 15th.  Both show a very jaundiced, feverish soul, dragging himself around as best he can. His pallor at the Holland Park Station is that of a person going into the final stage of phallotoxin poisoning where the cells of the liver are dropping dead.(30) The police want, it seems, to explain away Williams having bought £90-worth of medication on the 14th, making it look like it was for women’s toiletries – the cause of his alleged cross dressing – because they found a bill from the pharmacy at the flat but no signs of the medications. They want to maintain the myth that he was a perfectly healthy person until he surprisingly died for some unknown reason.
 
When Williams realized he was dying, perhaps on the night of the 14th, there was nothing he could do about it which would make it any better physically or mentally.  Calls to family and friends would have only alarmed them, and alerted them that he was being murdered for some alleged betrayal. Going to a hospital or a doctor would end with results even worse. So he just allowed himself to die, slowly in his flat. The death could have occurred any time after the 15th, as the process usually takes between six and sixteen days after ingesting the poison.  Williams hoped that the murder scene would be seen as such by the police when they finally discovered it.
 
It seems that Williams dead or dying was discovered by British covert agents, helping out NSA in the process. They were the ones who let themselves into the flat, found Williams’ body, moved it into the carryall, zipped it up and padlocked it, recovered all his medicines, and then let themselves out, locking the door behind them. They hoped that investigators would see it as the result of some sex game, gone wrong.  The only thing they overlooked was leaving the receipt for Williams’ medical assistance.
 
It was most interesting that NSA immediately and unprecedentally denied that his death had anything to do with its operations.(31)  An alleged former CIA officer in London was sure that it had nothing to do with his work. Now the investigation of the murder is in a state of suspended animation, letting the Bureau agents see if they can connect the Mediterranean-looking couple to the killing – apparently a lead to Alex Chapman and his female associate – and if they can’t, Williams will be written off as an accidental self-killing, like that of former GMP Chief Constable Mike Todd.    
 
 
References
 
1. James Bamford, The Shadow Factory:  The Ultra-Secret from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, p. 29. For more on the Catholic movement, see this link:
http://www.nsc-chariscenter.org/AboutCCR/
2.  Ibid., p. 30.
3.  For more belated discussion about the deadly controversy in Helm’s memoirs,  see Thomas Troy’s review of it in Studies in Intelligence, and the cover-up response to it:
http://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/sci-studies/vol48no1/article.08.html
http://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/sci-studies/vol48no4/exception.html
4.  For more, see:  http://mirror.robert-marquardt.com/cryptome/001/usa-disasters.htm
5.  Quoted the back of the dustcover of Thomas C. Reed and Danny B. Stillman, The Nuclear Express.
6.  James Bamford, Body of Secrets: How America’s NSA and Britain’s GCHQ Eavesdrop on the World, p. 549.
7.  Bamford, op. cit., p. 8.
8.  Ibid., pp. 31-2.
9.  Quoted in ibid.,p. 41.
10  Bamford, The…, p. 329.
11. For more, see Trowbridge H. Ford, “O’Neill: A Voice in the Wilderness?,” Eye Spy!, Issue Thirteen, pp. 22-23.
12. Bamford, The…, pp. 40-1.
13. For more, see Trowbridge H, Ford, “The Prelude: US Intelligence – 11 September 2001,” Eye Spy!, Issue Eight, pp. 26-33.
14. Quoted from Bamford, The…, pp. 90-1.
15.  Ibid., pp. 115-6.
16.  Ibid., p. 38.
17.  Ibid., p. 281.
18.  Ibid., p. 287.
19.  For more, see James O’Rourke’s article: http://politicsorpoppycock.com/2010/07/14/act-of-honor-or-betrayal/
20.  Bamford, The…, p. 307.
21.  For more, see this link: http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2009/04/05
22.  http://www.gwu.edu/~asarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB222(index.htm  And remember that Hayden was DCI when Studies in Intelligence printed the exchange which attempted to rehabilitate Helms
23.  For more, see these links:
http://cryptome.org/mi6-litvinenko.html
http://codshit.blogspot.com/2008/07/why-and-how-alexander-litvinenko-was.html
24. Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield, p.148
25.  See, e. g., this link: http://www.cbsnews/com/stories/2010/06/28/world/main6627393.shtml
26.  Bamford, The…, p. 67.
27.  Ibid., p. 38.
28.  See O’Rourke, op. cit.
29.  For its existence – what some investigators deny – see this link: http://www.londontoolkit.com/whattodo/harrods.htm
30.  http://www.thisislondom.co.uk/standard-23874697-last-images-of-spy-in-bag-gareth-williams.do
31.  http://blog.wshingtonpost.com/spy-talk/2010/09/gareth_williams_death_not_spy-.html






CIA’s Aggressive Spying Operations Against Russia Result in Continuing Fiascoes

2 11 2011

By Trowbridge H. Ford
As the Cold War was ending, the scientific establishments of Moscow and Beijing were most desirous of letting the world know what they had been able to achieve regarding weapons of mass destruction (WMD) since their inception, inviting Danny Stilliman, the former director of the Technical Intelligence Division at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, to visit Chinese facilities on many occasions, and former Soviet ones once in December 1991.  While his hosts were most eager to let the world know what they had been able to achieve on their own in these various fields, Washington was not only most interested to learn for itself what had been accomplished but also engage in a good bit of spying to be on the safe side regarding current relations with the world powers which were seemingly losing much of their expansive punch. Director of Central Intelligence Robert Gates had just been confirmed to make sure that Washington was finally up to speed about their remaining potential. The world’s only superpower, though, could not be complacent about what the future might have in store.
 
While Stillman’s visits to China were by far the main interest of President Bush’s decision-makers, his single trip to Russia was not without importance, especially if Moscow’s counterparts were to revert, it seems, to their former Soviet ways.  The Soviet Union had just experienced the previous summer the hardliners’ unsuccessful coup, led by KGB Chief Vladimir Kryuchkov, to save it despite Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms, and President Boris Yeltsin did not manage to fully secure power until he defeated Vice President General Alexander Rutskoi and parliamentary speaker Russian Khasbulatov in their attempt to seize power, thanks to his calling in Vladimir Putin and remnants of the security services to help out.  No one could be sure how the struggle would finally work out, and whether it could provide serious problems for the West.  After all, it was because of a lack of similar concern when Josef Stalin was gaining power that the original Cold War developed.
 
Thomas Reed, in telling of Stillman’s Russian visit the following December in The Nuclear Express, juxtaposed it with the meeting Yeltsin and the new elected Presidents of the Ukraine and Belarus were holding in Brest to finally abolish the Soviet Union. It was there that Leon Trotsky signed the armistice with the Germans back in 1918 which started the Bolshevics on their way to world power. Regarding the substance of the meeting that Stillman had with former Soviet nuclear physicists, Reed took some liberties in discussing the role of his host, Yuliy Khariton, acting as if he was the grand old man of the Soviet atomic project when, in fact, he was only dragged into it by its real father, Igor Kurchatov, and had outlived many on its more important scientists. “He wanted recognition for all,” Reed explained, “including credit to certain Americans for unknowingly giving help, but he also wanted to mark the boundary between espionage and Soviet science, and he wanted to be the one who drew that line.” (p. 27)
 
Reed then reported that Khariton only admitted that German physicist Klaus Fuchs had helped the Soviets in designing their atomic bomb, adding quite erroneously that Fuchs was sending messages by “…the Greenglas-Rosenberg courier system” (p. 30) – obviously to implicate the executed couple in the most serious Soviet espionage when his handler was chemist Joseph Arnold Robbins aka Raymond. (Ronald Radosh and Joynce Milton, The Rosenberg File, p. 21) Communist physicists Ted Hall, George Koval and several other unnamed spies of various sorts were mentioned to remind Khariton of what dedicated Americans had contributed to Moscow’s program. “Thus,” Reed added, “the Soviet claim that Fuchs ‘was our only spy’ remains an article of Soviet cant, but it is not true.” (p. 32)  Then, when it came time for the Soviets to come up with their own thermonuclear bomb, he added sarcastically, they showed the same “impeccable physical intuition” (p. 37), so characteristic of Kurchatov’s secret work, in discovering radiation implosion to trigger one which they had shown in coming up with a successful atomic bomb in the first place.
 
Reed got so carried away by the level of Soviet spying – what really got nuclear proliferation started – that he invented one, the alleged efforts of a Mr. Arthur Fielding (code name PERSEUS), another alleged American spy at Los Alamos who kept Moscow abreast of nuclear developments for years, only suspending connections for a few years because apparently of so many of his fellow spies being caught, and the Cold War really getting started. PERSEUS, well-connected to all the American nuclear scientists like Edward Teller and Stanislaus Ulam assigned to build a thermonuclear, was allegedly obliged to rejoin KGB spying efforts by playing up to his vanity, offering financial rewards, threatening him with exposure, and the like.Thanks to his spying, Teller, according to Stillman and Reed, became the father of both the American and Soviet H-bombs.(p. 41)  Moreover, Andrei Sakharov did not originate the two-stage, radiation-imploded, thermonuclear bomb – only thought it worth looking into – what seasoned Soviet physicists German Goncharov and Lev Feoktistsov apparently corroborated – though Reed did not consider the possibility that they were just telling him tales to make him feel superior.
 
The same goes for Stillman and Reed accepting Lona Cohen’ s deathbed confession to KGB operative Anatoly Yatsov aka Anatoly Yakovlev that PERSEUS was recruited by her husband Morris, and was indeed, the Soviet spy working all those years at Los Alamos. (p. 30, n. 10)  The claim is obviously intended to make former communist J. Robert Oppenheimer, the chief science advisor to and one-time director of the Atomic Energy Commission, and the vigorous opponent of building any H-bomb, America’s chief traitor, but there are all kinds of problems with doing so. The Cohens almost certainly did not recruit him, as books on Venona with this title by Nigel West (pp. 175-6), and John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr (pp. 317-21) show, and whose identity the Russians are most committed to keeping secret even now. The apparent reason is that PERSEUS was a far more effective spy than Oppenheimer ever could have been, though he would have been a great catch, and the disclosure of this true identity would have been a great embarrassment to the West, especially the special arrangement between Washington and London.
 
PERSEUS, it seems, is Peter Wright aka ‘K’ and SCOTT, the one-time Oxford recruiter in the days leading up to WWII, and who became so well-established by the time Germany invaded the Soviet Union, thanks to his discovery of the way to demagnetize ships against torpedoes, that he had access to all the secrets of the Manhatten Project in Britain.
 
Recently, a memo, dated July 1941, by KGB chief Vsevolod Merkulov was found, identifying SCOTT as civil servant Arthur Wynn, but this was just a convenient cover for Wright – whose candidate for the role had always been Wynn (Spy Catcher, pp. 265-7) – who the Soviets hoped would soon be rejoining them as ‘K’ since the Non-Aggression Pact with the Nazis was over. It was while he was working with Gordon Lonsdale’s spy ring well after the war’s end that he got to know of the Cohens, then known as the Krogers, and now his courier for stolen material, and little wonder that Lona finally did what her Soviet masters wanted by not revealing his identity.  In the process, Moscow was doing Britain a favor by not divulging his identity, and Reed and Stillman took advantage of the gap at Oppenheimer’s apparent expense. 
 
Stillman still kept up the threat of Wright’s possible exposure by reporting to the FBI in Santa Fe in the mid-1990s his suspicions about PERSUES but the investigation of him soon got sidetracked by the Bureau checking on another Stillman charge of communist spying – that allegedly of Los Alamos’ Wen Ho Lee for the Chinese (p. 38). Certainly, PERSEUS could not have been Oppenheimer since he was long dead, and Stillman said that the Soviet spy was still alive. Peter Wright was sill alive. After PERSEUS finally died, Stillman and Reed still refused to identify who they thought he was “…since he can neither defend his family nor refute our arguments…” Then one can only wonder why they did make the claims while he was still alive, and they then incredibly added:  “The actual identity of PERSEUS does not matter – his fingerprints are what count.”  The point seems to be to make people a bit paranoid about the possibility of spying
 
If anyone has any doubts about their believing that other unidentified Americans are still spying for Moscow in large numbers – what continues to fuel the runaway nuclear express which is threatening the destruction of the civilized world, they should just read more carefully what they have written. When Stillman and Reed were making thier farewells from Moscow, Khariton still repeating the alleged myth that only Fuchs had helped it with its program, they reminded readers that he “…also neglected to mention Khrushchev’s decision, in April 1957, to pass on Khariton’s sophisticated nuclear technology to the People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.) an aid package that was to include an atomic bomb.”(p. 44) 
 
For anyone who had any doubts about where this could lead, they said this at the book’s outset: “Certain parts of the Chinese government may have decided it would be in their best interest to accept, or even encourage, multiple nuclear events (or wars) within the Western world: thus the apparent Chinese tolerance of North Korean, Pakistani, and Iranian nuclear amibions.” (p. 4.)
 
To meet this apparent threatening challenge, Stillman and Reed urged the West, especially Washington, to gear up for a new Cold War with its new enemies.  The Presidents of the United States and Russia must see that existing safeguards against nuclear proliferation are observed.  Their scientists, engineers, and technicians must not be allowed to obstruct, divert, or interfere with the process. There must be no return of either Maoists or Leninists to positions of power in either China or Russia. To know what is really on the minds of our new enemies, the American intelligence community must know that it “…can only be accomplished on the ground, with great effort, training, and by the recruitment of Muslim and North Korean agents in place.” (p. 327)  America needs, according to them, a good, independent DCI – unlike what it has received from recent, politically-minded ones.  “Divisive efforts,” they concluded, “will surely bring about the greatest train wreck in the history of mankind.(p. 330)
 
The trouble with these Cassandra-like calls is not that they have been ignored but rather that they have been taken too seriously. Since Obama’s election as President, Washington has essentially done what they called for – e. g., using its vast lead in space weapons to help stop nuclear proliferation, increasing dramatically the funding of its intelligence community and seeing that the Director of National Intelligence gets out of the covert intelligence business, putting a new emphasis upon humint and a DCI who will see to its use in spades, attempting to determine what important possible adversaries are thinking about doing and developing networks to learn how what has been decided is being executed, etc.
 
Of course, these are admirable aims – what almost all intelligence communities have contended they were doing – but they must be done in the right context, and with a due sense of proportion. A go-for-broke mentality – where anything goes, cost is not an important consideration, all kinds of agencies to do it, and there is no concern about unexpected blowback – can only lead to more and more unexpected surprises.  These operations are carried out in the real world – not some secure laboratory – and the more they are engaged in, the more America’s opponents will see what is going on, and adopt appropriate countermeasures.
 
In the post-Soviet period, the alarms raised against Moscow et al.- what Stillman and Reed have almost made an avocation of – have generally proven quite overblown. Weapons systems – whether they be missiles, nuclear weapons, or other weapons of mass destruction, and the whereabouts of scientists who know how to make and use them -  have often been overstated, and when finally determined, the Cassandras only come up with new claims, like Putin being a  kind of intelligence dictator. While he is no Hitler, they remind readers, “…he does describe the dissolution of the Soviet Union as ‘the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century’.” (p. 200) The latest scare, according to Stillman’s and Reed’s “highly placed Russian sources” (p. 200), is Moscow’s development of domes of light which will incapacitate intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) by nonnuclear means while still outside the atmosphere, and well away from their intended targets, rendering the INF treaty meaningless. They even included photographs of these mysterious light rays to help raise alarm about what they say the Russians are up to.
 
Little wonder that the Agency began focusing its intelligence gathering on such mysterious projects, hoping through efforts in Russia and China especially, and through talent-hunting for potential spies in the States, Washington could determine what was afoot. It was the Soviets’ Great Illegal agents during the 1930s – such as Arnold Deutsch who was so successful in recruiting Cambridge University graduates, Nazi-posing journalist Richard Sorge who gave Stalin just what he needed to know about what the Japanese were planning before Pearl Harbor, and, of course, Ruth Kuczinski aka SONYA who recruited the Oxford spies, especially Fuchs and Wright – who gave the Soviets such insights into what they might be facing, and what they must do if they hoped to prevail. Illegals, particularly due to their talent-hunting, have a long-range potential which no other spies can match. Of course, the problems are finding ones in the right places, who are willing and able to do the job, and will always be most careful about their role, particularly not saying anything unnecessary to those recruited.
 
A ‘false-flag’ one is an easier job, at least at first, as it is easy to misrepresent who one is really working for, and to entice naive youngsters, eager to try out something exciting with few questions asked.
 
This, it seems, is what happened with the Manhattan 11, a group recruited by the Agency in Russia while largely youths. under the impression that they would be on the lookout for SVR illegals in West, working for the mysterious Putin people, while living comfortable lives there, particularly in the USA. The paymaster was Christopher Metsos who received considerable funds from his alleged Russian handler, and buried it in a Northern Virginia park for his agents to retrieve. Richard Murphy, husband of fellow spy Cynthia, then dug up a good bit of it, and took it to New Jersey where Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills, living near the Agency’s headquarters in Northern Virginia, went to pick up sizable sums, and valuable assets on at least four occasions. 
 
They, and Michael Semenko, conveniently turned themselves in to US authorities when they heard of other arrests. Another Russian in Cambridge stole the identity of Canadian Donald Heathfield – what Soviet agents like Colonel Rudolf Abel aka Gordon Lonsdale and Colonel Vasili Gordievsky had used to such great advantage -  and spoke to an employee of the US government about nuclear weapons research in 2005, alerting the Bureau to his bogus status as so many false Canadian passports were being used then by covert agencies, especially the Mossad.
 
I must add that this all reminds me of what was intended to happen two years ago when I went to California to help in the rehabilitation of my girl friend’s son. This. according to the Agency, was just a pretext for my going to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to learn what was going on there from employees and/or calling or visiting Reed himself who lives in nearby Healdsburg to discuss the latest in America’s nuclear weapons research.
 
An alleged woman spy in the Manhattan 11 case, Peruvian-born journalist Vicky Pelaez, was offered a £1,300 monthly stipend, and a chance to live the rest of her life in Russia by apparently recruiting her husband, retired CUNY Baruch College Professor Jaun Lagaro, as a fellow spy, but he successfully denied the charge, and his wife refused the offer. Last but not least, this group’s alleged Mata Hari was Anna Chapman, who is as likely to appear on the cover of Playboy magazine than in any intelligence agency. It all seems much lost time, trouble and expense for absolutely nothing.
 
To top it all off, domestic paymaster Metsos, the only operator who could shed serious light on the whole matter, jumped his puny bail after having been arrested in Cyprus, and has gone ever since conveniently missing.
 
As spy games go, the whole operation was a success, with Moscow having to go along with the set up for fear to becoming the world’s laughing stock if it didn’t, though it still only acknowledged originally that all but one of the alleged spies were Russians. In return, Washington received back four of its own real, low-level spies. In strategic terms, though, it just caused more problems than it solved. Washington is still having to pay a price in the long run for making such an essentially pointless mess.
 
And to prevent this, the FBI just posted yesterday a video of its most belated, decade-long surveillance of the eleven spies. What is really interesting, though, is that all the encounters are shown with the alleged Russian spies, particularly Chapman, Murphy and Metsos, clearly shown while only the backs or the blurred faces of their handlers or contacts are shown.
 
It would seem most telling if they were really Russian agents in Washington or at the UN who were involved in making the drops, and picking up others. It would prove most embarrassing and difficult for those in Moscow. 
 
Instead it is just more disinformation by the Bureau to suit the making of Russian spies by the CIA, especially while Leon Panetta was DCI, like all those stories about sexy Anna getting all those top jobs and publicity for being a Mata Hari who Putin was obliged to take back under his wing.
 
He must still be laughing





Is German Chancellor Angela Merkel A Former Communist Spy?

30 10 2011

By Trowbridge H. Ford

Whenever a sovereign nation is conquered by another, its inhabitants, whether they be from its elite or dregs, ultimately have a hard time adjusting to foreign occupation because they don’t know how long it will last, and what it may be replaced by.  The process is made more difficult if it seems that there is no alternative to the conquerers, especially if they appear to represent some wave of the future.  But then, there are always surprises in history, and some seemingly sure things turn out to be nothing more than delayed dead ends. Of course, the alternative to such a course is to continue to fight the occupiers tooth and nail as there seems to be no choice about the matter, but the costs of such a course are usually devastating.

The best example of the latter is the sad fate of Poland when it was confronted by nemeses on both its borders as World War II approached. It refused to compromise with either of its threatening neighbors, and paid heavily for its choice. The victim of yet more partitions of Poland, it still refused to accommodate with either of its invaders. Poland was the only country in Europe, when overrun, refused to recognize and cooperate with its conquerors.

In fact, it proved so obstreperous to its Soviet occupiers that they felt obliged to execute the leading officers of its military in the infamous Katyn Forest massacres for fear that they would fight with the invading Nazis when the showdown between Berlin and Moscow finally occurred. The uncooperative Poles in the German occupied areas fared even worse as they were forced to fight back because of the Nazi liquidation of increasing numbers of its Jewish citizens, culminating in the infamous elmination of the Warsaw Ghetto.

The Poles preferred, in sum, partitions of their country aka Polonization rather than experience some kind of ‘Quisling’ rule – the sobriquet given the German occupation of Norway under the collaborationist administration of Vidkun Quisling.  Traditionally, the term Polonization had meant the political and cultural expansion of the country at the expense of its neighbors, especially Germans and Lithuanians, but now the term was used to identify the reverse process. Ever since the failed Warsaw uprising of 1831, except for the chaos left after the collapse of World War I, the Poles had been resigned to the fate history had dictated for them, as was amply demonstrated when neither the French nor the British supplied the help they had promised when the Nazi blitzkrieg struck in 1939.

 The trouble with this passive, go-it-alone strategy by the Poles when it came to improving the nation’s fortunes was that it could easily be sidetracked by others. When the prospects of its government in exile in London started to improve, its head, General Wladyslaw Sikorski, was conveniently assassinated in Gibraltar by the Brits, it seems, in July 1943. Sikorski was a courageous leader who was willing to make hard choices, deciding better ‘Stalin than Hitler’ immediately after the Nazi forces invaded the USSR. His vigorous cooporation with them promised some hope for the Poles in the postwar settlement – what Churchill recognized, and had MI6 apparently sabotage the plane’s controls while it was refueling, making it look like a Soviet plane, parked next to it, had been its source.  Without Sikorski, the anti-communist Poles tried to go it alone when the Soviets forces approached Warsaw, but Stalin would not hear of it.

The postwar settlement in Poland was the most repressive of all in Eastern Euope. The country itself was a convenient hodge-podge at German expense which just provided another example of Polonization. The terms of the Yalta Conference guaranteed that its politics would be Soviet-dominated, and the consequences were the least troublesome to its authorities when it came to anti-regime efforts, as the Vasili Mitrokhin files from the KGB demonstrate.  There is hardly any mention of Poland in the book Christopher Andrew wrote about it, <em>The Sword and The Shield</em>, until the revival of Catholicism during the late 1970s under Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, and the rise of Lech Walesa’s

Solidarity Movement in the 1980s. Until then, the Polish regime had essentially bought off its opponents under the watchful eye of Moscow. When the fear of Soviet military intervention collapsed in Poland, the regime fell surprisingly quickly, like a stack of cards.

For anyone living in Europe after WWII, especially in the Soviet bloc, Poland offered the least insights into how to deal with Soviet Communism domestically, and how it would fare in the world. Poland seemed like the worst place to choose as a jumping off spot for some kind of better future as the soft, repressive character of its communist regime appeared like a fixed monolith, quite impervious to change, because of the immediate presence of the USSR right next door – what turned out to be a paper tiger when Mikael Gorbachev took over.

Actually, a more flexible, compromising attitude towards an invader seems like a more profitable course for an subject country, as France experienced under Nazi rule, and after its liberation.  Paris, always worried about the discontinuaties of its turbulent past, always kept a lifeline to its republican past, no matter how comforting the autocratic ways of Marshal Pétain, and the prospects of the Nazi invaders seemed while it too experienced partition with the creation of the Vichy regime.  The duplicity of all concerned was well-illustrated by the behavior of the National Assembly which voted away its power after the fall of France, only to try to restore itself after the departure of the Germans. The Marshal’s infamous Deputy Premier, Pierre Laval, and then his successor, Admiral Darlan, were quite prepared to work for the Nazis until it seemed much more profitable just to work for themselves.

The same transition occurred within the population at large, as the chorus of support for Pétain turned slowly in favor of a unfied resistance. General de Gualle was transformed from a troublesome traitor into the nation’s savior. Insignificant resistance groups became the National Resistance Council, and right-wing hopes of an administered autocracy were dashed by the fiascoes in Vichy.

One can still only wonder if liberation would have turned out so well if Churchill’s dealing with the difficult General had resulted in this one’s assassination too. When Churchill only informed de Gaulle of the D-Day landings after they occurred, he reacted so furiously that the British Prime Minister wrote him “..a letter,” Gordon Wright has written in <em>France in Modern Times</em>, “breaking off all personal relations and ordering de Gaulle off British soil.” (p. 394)  Fortunately, the letter was not sent.

The experiences of Poland and France during WWII, and in the post-war world must have influenced everyone growing up in their mutual neighbor, Germany, West and East, especially one who moved from zone one to the other. The whole socializing process on either side of the border would have created all kinds of problems between peers and parents.  And it would have become even more disruptive if there was an ideological-religious difference between parents and children.  The divided character of the country would have proven most vexing to all Germans, as they seemed caught up in an endless quandry of occupation – what no one really knew the outcome of, and when it would occur.

This analysis seems germane while trying to put together the life of Angela Kasner, eldest daughter of  Lutheran priest Horst Kasner, and current Chancellor of the German Federal Republic, especially since she is most reluctant to talk about it. Born in Hamburg in 1954, and moved to East Germany shortly thereafter as her father obtained a pastorship in Quitzow, near Perleberg, in nearby
Brandenburg, she had the Cold War almost embedded in her very bones.

Her father was born in the Pankow district of Berlin, then part of the Soviet sector. Her mother’s parents still lived in Elblag – formerly East Prussia’s Elbing – in Poland when Angela was born. The area was allocated to the USSR under the terms of the 1939 Treaty with the Nazis, and was sold to the Soviets in January 1941 for $7,500,000, so the Kasners were victims too of various invasions and partitions. After WWII, the area became part of Kaliningrad, and remains so. 

The Kasners’ move to the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was apparently an effort to better position themselves for whatever happened to their divided country, particularly since they lived further in the GDR, setting up a household in Templin, 80 kilometers north of Berlin. While Horst was trying to improve relations between the West’s and the East’s Lutheran churches, Angela was attending state schools, becoming a member of its Free German Youth (FDJ) program, though she did not take part in its Jugendweihe, the secular coming of age rite, preferring to be confirmed in the Lutheran church.  Apparently, there was growing tension between the stern father, and the ambitious, talented daughter. Angela became so proficient in Russian that she ever won a prize.

After Angela graduated from secondary school in 1973, though, details about who she was becoming, and what she was doing become few and far between.

She attended the University of Leipzig. She also married in 1976 fellow undergraudate student Ulrich Merkel, explaining that it was considered the thing to do, though they never had any children, and the marriage started breaking down as soon as she got appointed to Berlin’s Academy Sciences where she became FDJ’s secretary for recruiting, aka ‘agitprop’,  children of its members into its program, showing that she was covertly supporting the GDR’s future. In fact, she was so busy doing other things that it wasn’t until 1986 that she finally completed her Ph.D degree.

Quantum chemistry aka quantum physics is a highly theoretical field which combines quantum mechanics with general field theory, and has all kinds of practical applications regarding plasmas, nuclear rehabilitation, and electromagnetism.
 The Soviet Union had built all kinds of nuclear devices on a crash basis – weapons, power plants, nuclear-powered submarines, radioisotope thermo-electric generators (RTGs), etc. – and were becoming concerned
  about what to do with them when they were no longer useful.  There were nuclear power generating plants all around the country whose safety was becoming questionable, nuclear-powered
 submarines around the ports of Murmansk, Archangel and in the Baltic which were dangerously rotting away, and spent RTGs littering the Kola Peninsula.

While the Soviets did not have the resources to deal with these problems, they looked to the East Germans -

 whose Berlin Academy of Sciences still had a great reputation in the field – to find the know-how, given its contacts in the West. The Berlin establishment traced its origins back to 1700 when the Prussian Academy of Sciences was started, and included among its membership such distinguished scientists as Gottfried Leibniz, Max Planck, and Albert Einstein. Even though it had only been revived by the GDR after WWII, it still had over 200 members, including some two dozen from the West. It had grown now to include research in quantum chemistry – where Angela was working at its Central Institute for Physical Chemistry.

To take advantage of Merkel’s potential, Markus Wolf’s foreign section of the Stasi, the Hauptverwaltung Aufkluring (HVA), recruited her, it seems, to handle illegal agents the GDR was sending across The Wall to gather secrets from research facilities in the

Federal Republic (FRG), France, Norway, and other Western countries – what she had learned about from her meetings and contacts at the Institute.

The future seemed to be turning in the GDR’s favor since détente had been established between Washington and Moscow, and the two German states had recognized one another’s existence in 1972.  Most important, the Stasi had nursed along Willy Brandt’s bridge-building government towards the GDR until 1974 when its spies in the Chancellor’s Office, the Guillaumes, were exposed, Gunter declaring proudly:  “I am an officer of the (East German) National People’s Army!” (Quoted from Andrew, p. 445.) Despite Wolf’s claims after the GDR’s collapse that this was a grave mistake – what Andrew believes – it was deliberate, thinking that it would just enhance the GDR’s Eric Honecker’s potential in German reunification.

 Thanks to the KGB Archives that its librarian Vasili Mittrokhin supplied Andrew, we now know about the extensive use of Stasi ‘Romeo’ spies who provided the KGB with all kinds of information. The glaring exception was the performance of Wilhelm Kahle (codenamed WERNER), a laboratory technician who assumed in the GDR the identity of a West German resident, and worked in the West in various capacities, and capitals, particularly in labs at Cologne and Bonn universities. </span>

By the late 1970s, though, his intelligence take had become too thin, though quite extensive, resulting in a ten-volume file in the Archives, that the KGB became suspicious of his bona fides, especially when it learned through his communications with his mother in East Germany that he was fearful of being recalled to Moscow because of the wealth he had amassed in Paris.</span>
In 1978, Kahle was summoned back to Moscow, and given a lie dedector test on a contrived basis </span><span style=”font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;”>just to determine how unreliable he had become. It proved that it was extensive, resulting in its putting its most accomplished agent, codenamed ANITA – who spoke both German and Russian fluently – on the case. It was one of putting a ‘Juliet’ on a runaway ‘Romeo’, apparently a first in intellgence history. After intensive questioning during their liaisons, Andrew wrote, “ANITA’s report confirmed the Centre’s suspicions.” (p. 450)  She wrote that he had become an ideologically unreliable, completely self-serving agent who had no qualms about using others, even targets, for his own purposes.  “As a result of ANITA’s report,” Andrew concluded, “Kahle appears to have been sidelined. He was formally removed from illegal work in 1982.”</span>

The trouble with Andrew’s treatment of ANITA is that he never explained how she had become such an important counterintelligence specialist, who she might be, and why he never explained in the notes the disposition of her case since the Berlin Wall had come down, and the Cold War was over. Then Andrew went out of his way in the notes to make it appear that all ‘Romeos’, except Wolf’s spy FELIX, had been identified – even going out of his way to account for the identity of “Franz Becker” aka Hans-Jurgen Henze (note 57, p. 649) – when there is no idenfication of either Kahle and his superior ‘Romeo’ ANITA. </span>

Also, there are questions about what she might have done for the KGB after Mitrokhin’s records ran out. She could well have been the KGB agent who infiltrated Egon Bahr’s entourage – what Andrew mentioned when he discussed SDP Chancellor Helmut Schmidt’s dealing with the newly elected President Reagan after a month’s delay of his visit to Washington. KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov explained, thanks to the KGB agent’s report “of special importance”, to the Soviet chief Leonid Brezhnev, that the delay was “designed to enable Washington to gain time to build up its armaments with the aim of overtaking the USSR in the military field.” (Quoted from <em>ibid</em>, p. 455.) </span>

The KGB source also stated that there were all kinds of Western agents flooding Bonn to stop the growing commercial contacts between the FRG and the USSR, especially the proposed construction of a pipeline to bring natural gas from Siberia to the West – what Schmidt, to Moscow’s delight, was vigorously pressing ahead with. 

With the KGB’s agent – stationed in the GDR, and apparently Angela Merkel – tipping off Moscow about Washington’s new arms race, it was hardly surprising that she finally received her Ph.D. in quantum chemistry.  Thanks to her contacts, and the input from various illegals in the West, she had obviously learned alot about what was going on in the field. Just compiling her agent reports into a coherent document would have been enough for the Institute to give her the degree.  More important, the whole field was becoming much more important with the Soviets having to face nuclear rehabilitation with its aging nuclear arms, and everyone having to worry about nuclear meltdowns of atomic plants – what happened at Chernobyl just when she received her doctorate.</span>

Unfortunately for Merkel, her hopes for Honecker’s all-German socialist republic did not work out, at least as far as we know now. Thanks to the Reagan arms buildup, and Gorbachev’s refusal to engage in an arms competition after the near fatal non-nuclear showdown with the Anglo-Americans – what was to be triggered by the assassination of Sweden’s statsminister Olof Palme – the communist </span><span style=”font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;”>Soviet bloc, and its individual states underwent deadly collapse, triggered by the fall of the Berlin Wall.   

Merkel, to cut her losses from potential blowback, suddenly got involved in politics, joining East Germany’s new party, Democratic Awakening. Following the first democratic election in the GDR, she became deputy spokesperson for the pre-unification Prime Minister Lothar de Maizie</span><span style=”font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;”>re, a long-time Christian Democratic politician, and suspected agent of Erich Mielke’s Stasi – an allegation which led to his disappearance from politics after Helmut Kohl’s CDU/CSU gained control of a united Germany. 

Kohl’s promotion thereafter of Merkel, aka his ” Madchen”, cost him dearly though.  He had to engage in all kinds of bribes to get the Stasi to destroy embarrassing files, especially those relating to ANITA. and when he refused to identify who supplied the money, he was finished politically after 16 years in office. 

Along the way, there was the surprise assassination of Scheswig-Holstein’s Prime Minister Uwe Barschel who had just been defeated in a lander election under most suspicious circustances which still have not been clarified, his killers identified and prosecuted.  Barschel was also a memer of the CDU, the party Merkel had to join if she ever had any chance of becoming a political leader in West Germany.  Barchel’s murder – whatever the reason and by whom – cleared the way for Merkel’s advancement no matter what actually transpired.

Then the intelligence coordinator of the Chancellor’s Office, Ernst Uhrlau – who went on to become the director of Germany’s foreign intelligence service (BND)  -went to the greatest lengths to retrieve a Stasi index file of its agents (Operation Rosewood) that the CIA had, and was refusing to turn over.  “It is unacceptable in the long run,” Uhrlau explained to the Associate Press on December 10,1998 regarding the possibilities of blackmail, “for the German government that relevant files are sitting in the United States, and a possible or likely double in Russia.”  After a two-year effort, the files were returned to Berlin.

It was not prepared for the fact that Moscow long had held the most dangerous ones, those regarding ANITA, and they had been released to the world by the tome that Christopher Andrew wrote, thanks to the Archive Mitrokhin he had access to. This book was doubly troublesome because by that time Merkel had married, it seems, her old flame, WERNER aka Wilhelm Kahle and now divorced Joachim Sauer.

They had had at the same time similiar totally unexplained careers at the Central Institute of Physical  Chemistry. Sauer is even more tight-lipped about his life than she is, even declining to mention that he was born in East Germany in Senftenberg, 50 kilometers north of Dresden – where he called his mother when he got into the KGB’s soup.  Of course, this would explain why Sauer has adopted such a low-profile existence to Merkel’s growing importance and popularity. He seems afraid that someone, especially one of his ‘honey trap’ victims might still recognize him. It would also explain why his wife has the best relation with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and why she has apparently been blackmailed by the Mossad when it comes to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, EU policy towards Iran, and missteps by the Pope when it comes to The Holocaust.
In fact, she until recently followed a policy so favored by the Social Democrats in the current economic meltdown that her CSU Economics Minister Michael Glos suddenly resigned about two years ago – what the press explained in terms of an alleged lack of input when it came to economic policy-making, but he explained ominously:  “She always believed I didn’t have a clue about a lot of things.”

It seems that as other people learn more about who Angela Merkel really is, she will have increasing political difficulties. She has taken incredible risks in our ever-changing world, but still is coping with all its problems.