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.

 





Deserter David Hemler Helped ‘False Flag’ Plot To Sink USSR At Sweden’s Expense

23 07 2012

By Trowbridge H. Ford

When Social Democrat leader Olof Palme surprisingly regained power in the 1982 fall parliamentary elections, the Reagan administration in Washington immediately tested his anti-communist feeling by having US and NATO submarines flood Swedish waters around its naval base at Muskö to see how it would react. It was a secret plan to check Swedish anti–submarine warfare capability (Operation NOTVART) which the new statsminister had not been informed of. He had been portrayed in Anatoliy Golitsyn’s New Lies for Old, a work by the famous double agent who the CIA and MI6 not only encouraged but also endorsed (See Editors’ Foreword) about the alleged agent of influence who had used his subversive intentions to gain power under false pretences (p. 55ff, esp. p. 288), a suspicion which was long past time to determine the truth of. Palme was on the Reagan administration’s watch list because of his continuing support of national liberation movements in Central America and Africa, and because of his support of a Nordic Nuclear Weapons Free Zone.  Despite the most serious concerns about Palme’s trustworthiness, the statsminister came through the naval ordeal with flying colors.
 
Palme went along with the set-up, also known as the Hårsfjärden incident because of where it occurred, as if nothing was amiss. While it was still going on, Vice Admiral Per Rudberg, Chief of Sweden’s Navy, appointed a service committee to determine what had actually happened, and come up with measures to make sure it didn’t happen again. Two days later on October 15th, the Palme government appointed a Parliamentary Commission under the leadership of Minister of Defence and former Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Anderson, and including leading politicians across the political spectrum to investigate the incident. To assist its inquiry, Vice Admiral Bro Stefenson, the Navy’s Chief of Staff, and Sven Hellman of the Ministry of Defence were appointed as experts.
 
General Lennat Ljung, the Swedish Commander-in-Chief, announced their creation in most alarming terms:  “The investigation of the sea-floor continues. The barricades are still deployed. There has definitely been one submarine, possibly several. No indication of nationality. Large amount of force used, even mines, which has never happened. Tough methods. I don’t know any other country that has done this in peace-time.” (Quoted from May 1983 notes that Palme’s Secretary of State Ulf Larsson  took at high-level meetings.)
 
In December 1982, the naval inquiry, headed by Swedish Rear Adminal Gunnar Grandin, reported to the Navy Chief. It concluded that the Soviet bloc seemed to be responsible for it, thanks apparently to NATO’s continuing checking of Sweden’s national security reliability in light of Moscow’s accidentally beaching one of its Whisky submarines on the rocks off the Swedish base at Karlskrona the year before Palme returned to office. (For more, see Chris Mosey, Cruel Awakening: Sweden and the Killing of Olof Palme, pp. 147-8.) The Grandin report put it this way:
 
“When it comes to nationality of the submarines, we know that the submarine incident in Karlskrona was Soviet.  A number of optical, hydrophonic and passive radar indications point, even in this case to submarines from the WTO ( Warsaw Treaty Organization). Some indications of received radar signals cannot exclude that submarines of other nationality (NATO) have been in the area outside where the incidents have occurred.  The reason for this has probably been to follow the activity.” (CM/Grandin, appendix 2, ‘Händelseförloppet’  Bilaga 2 i ‘Granskning av ubåtsjaktverksamheten mot background av händelserna I Stockholms skärgård’ )
 
On April 26, 1983, the Parliamentary Commission reported, making a stronger case against the WTO, particularly the USSR.  Six submarines had been involved, three of them midget ones, and given what had happened before, especially the 1981 incident, it concluded that they must be Soviet ones. “On this point the Commission confirms,” it admitted, “that neither the sea floor investigations nor any other investigation has yielded proof in the form of objects found or otherwise which could bind a certain state to the violations.” ( SOU (1983) 13,Att möta ubåtshotet – Ubåtskrängar och svensk säkerhetspolitik. Betäankande från ubåtsskyddscommissionen. Stockholm, 1983, p. 81)  Without any smoking guns, the Commission still concluded its narrative of what seemed to have been going on by pointing to the Soviet bloc.
 
The Commission report was too wishy-washy for its Chairman, Defence Minister Sven Anderson, who added falsely in a press conference the same day that a midget sub that escaped to the Soviet bloc on October ll may have been damaged. To bolster any fingers pointed toward Moscow, the Palme government sent a protest to the USSR, stating that such intrusions were serious crimes against international law, adding that they were “…deliberate and illegal attempts to investigate Swedish territorial waters. These activities must be strongly condemned.” (Svenska Dagbladet, April 27, 1983)  Palme made the protest public knowledge by talking about its content, and  delivery at a press conference . Stockholm recalled its ambassador to Moscow for consultation to underline its disapproval of what the Soviets were apparently doing.
 
To keep the pressure on Moscow, certain suspicious submarine events occurred – thought to be WTO ones at the time, but which turned out later to either NATO ones or simple inventions. A month before the Commission reported, there were alarms at both naval bases at Karlskrona and Muskö that unknown subs were in surrounding territorial waters, but the hunts found nothing. Then the day after it was reported, there was a Norwegian hunt for an alleged submarine in Hardangerfjord where depth charges and anti-submariine rockets were used to sink it or force it to the surface, but none was discovered. Then there was a submarine scare off Sundsvall the next day.  Two days later, an unknown sub was spotted in a fjord north of Göteborg on Sweden’s west coast. The next day one was sighted south of that city but when it was forced to surface, it turned out to be West German.  While no Soviet bloc subs were found, the alarms created increasing, unprecedented anti-Soviet sentiment among the population. 
 
It was still surprising, despite the politicised panic over the intrusions, that the government finally reacted to the clamor, and with more Defence Staff justification of it by sending another most caustic note, almost a provocation for war, to Moscow on October 10th.  Acoustic evidence, visual observations, signal intelligence aka sigint, and physical examination of the sea floor where the submarine activity was most intense all pointed to vessels of the Warsaw Pact being responsible. Claiming that it was just summarizing what the Parliamentary Commission had concluded, it filled in its blanks completely at Moscow’s expense. 
 
For example, regarding visual sightings, it declared:  “All observations from the time of the Hårsfjården incident lead us to the conclusion that the submarines belong to the Warsaw Pact.” (SOU 1995.Ubåtsfrågan, 1981-1994, Stockholm, 1995, p. 137)
 
About two sonar findings, it added:  “The conclusion is that in both these cases we are dealing with Warsaw Pact submarines. There it is possible to identify various sounds – i. e.,  identify the number of propellers.” (Ibid.)
 
“Particular circumstances,” it explained about sigint, “make it possible to define even a single ship.  By taking the bearing of the signal, one can determine the position of a sender. It is also possible to get important information by listening to radio traffic between different ships or between a ship and its base.” (Ibid., p. 138)
 
“The existence of the prints on the sea-floor,” it added, “shows that the intruding submarines belong to the Warsaw Pact.”
 
While Moscow had responded to the first note by declaring it an “unfriendly action”, It said nothing about the second one, though it can hardly be doubted that it considered it little short of a declaration of war.
 
The real trouble for Sweden was that it was essentially untrue, as later inquiries after the Cold War ended showed. More important, in 1988, Pär Kettis, Director General of Sweden’s National Defence Radio Establishment aka FRA reported that it had no signal information about the Hårsfjården incident, so where did the Defence Staff get its sigint claims from?  Commander Björn Eklink, skipper of the spy ship Orion who was later removed from its command because of his gung-ho attitude about getting the Soviets, claimed that he was not surprised by the admission because he had never been informed that FRA  had anything incriminating Moscow. 
 
In short, it seemed that the Palme government had just endorsed leader-of-the-opposition and Parliamentary Commission member Carl Bildt’s statement about the incidents:”I cannot think about anything in modern times that has been more serious.” he concluded: “There is no doubt, (but we) cannot reveal everything.” (“Rapport,” STV2. April 26, 1983)
 
The only reason why Sweden was not directly punished for its provocation is because the United States, in deep trouble of its own then, adopted Sweden’s cause as its own.  The Reagan administration immediately had its foreign policy thrown into the greatest disarray by the revolution in Grenada which overthrew Maurice Bishop’s government, and then the killing of those 346 American servicemen, mostly Marines, in Lebanon four days later.  Washington would have been in better shape if the President had been able to reconstruct his government when National Security Advisor William Clark was obliged to go. (For more, see Lou Cannon, President Reagan, p. 372ff.) Instead of getting personnel changes which were in favor of better relations with Moscow, the President was stuck with one which wanted to stick it to the Soviets, explaining while the difficulties in Stockholm became opportunities for the new team.
 
The opportunities that Sweden provided for getting rid of the USSR some way would not last long - as Washington, despite its efforts to maintain that Moscow was in an aggressive, war-starting mood - had to be concerned that the truth about Hårsfjärden would start to leak out, especially since the Social Democrats, especially Palme, had not been duly informed about what the Defence Staff was falsely claiming,  Not all journalists accepted the official line. Anders Hasselbohm was writing Ubåtshotet – En kritish gtanskning av Härsfjårds-incidenten och ubåtsskyddskommissionens rapport which would soon be published in Stockholm by Prisma. Hasselbohm was getting disclosures, especially Norwegian acoustic and other visual evidence, by NATO officers about individual submarines in the hunt which were known to be Western ones – what greatly undermined the Parliamentary Commission report, and completely gutted the note to Moscow.
 
The biggest problem for Washington with these claims was that the Norwegian Commander-in-Chief, General Sven Hauge who was in Stockholm at the time of the incident, and had lent Stockholm its most advanced hydrophone capability in the hope of catching the Soviets red-handed, making intrusions into Swedish waters three weeks before (Operation NOTVARP), completely changed his tune after he heard the tapes – what America’s National Security Agency (NSA) got wind of. They confirmed what the leakers were claiming about NATO submarines – what the US Navy even confirmed after the Cold War was long over, and it was time to acknowledge the efforts of those involved.  The giving of the Navy Unit Commendation (NUC) to the Cavalla, SSN-684, and the Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC) to the Bergall, SSN-667, Guitarro, SSN- 665, Aspro, SSN-661, Groton, SSN-694, and Puffer-SSN-652, along with the midget submarine Turtle, DSV 3, showed that they were involved in some fashion in the incident. (Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew, Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage, Appendix C, pp. 424-5, and p. 433)
 
To defuse the Hauge-Hasselbohm ticking bomb – what would ruin new NSA Robert ‘Bud’ McFarlane’s ‘false flag’ operation to destroy the USSR in a non-nuclear war – Washington had to inform Stockholm that the Soviets were solely responsible for the Hårsfjäarden incident in a most convincing way. One would expect the National Underwater Reconnaissance Office (NURO) - the agency that DCI Richard Helms had created when Nixon became President to keep track of all the secrets that the Navy was collecting - but it had not been informed by Captain James Bradley’s Office of Undersea Warfare (OUW) of the intrusions of Swedish waters, so getting.the NURO involved would just cause more problems. The OUW, while well-informed about such secrets, was too well-organized, and widespread for any deceptive mission succeeding without some kind of damaging blowback. (For more about it, see ibid., p. 117ff.)  Besides, allegedly ratting on a mission that it was most involved in would be most suspect to start with.
 
So NSA decided to do it.  Now its director was Air Force General Lincholn D. Faurer who had had a long career of carrying out its surveillance missions.  “During the 1970s,” James Bamford wrote in Body of Secrets, “Faurer served variously as director of intelligence for the Southern Command, Air Force deputy assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, vice director for production at the Defense Intelligence Agency, director of intelligence at the U.S. European Command, and deputy chairman of the NATO MIlitary Committee.” (p. 387)  Faurer was known for his can-do attitude, and his obsession about secrecy while the agency was undergoing its largest expansion in history.  “Unlike Inman (his predecessor),” Bamford added, “Faurer was determined to keep out of the spotlight; he began rebuilding the agency’s wall of anonymity.”
 
To make up for the treachery that analysts William H. Martin and Bernon F.Mitchell committed by defecting to Moscow a quarter century before, Faurer apparently had David Helmer defect to Sweden on February 10, 1984, much like Lee Harvey Oswald had done when he went to the USSR, hunting for Soviet leaders. Hemler had volunteered for the Air Force, and had done well enough to become a member of its elite eavesdropping agency, the 6913 Electronic Security Squadron, stationed in Augsburg, Germany.  General Faurer had become most involved in the unit’s activity while serving in various Air Force intelligence capacities in Europe, and was looking for defectors to make up for NSA’s increasingly limited human spying. When Faurer was preparing to retire early, he complained about the need of still more agents, stating that the role of computers in its operations had almost doubled since those earlier defections. (Bamofrd, p. 388) 
 
While Hembler recently explained that his alleged desertion was caused by West Germany’s adoption of the installation of cruise missiles, the defection to Sweden was intended to prevent a nuclear conclusion to the Cold War, only a non-nuclear one which would lead to its capitulation was acceptable, as Joseph Nye had recommended in his Nuclear Ethics. Hemler’s disclosures convinced Palme that the Defence Stall’s claims about the 1982 incident were accurate, causing him to dismiss anything or anyone who claimed otherwise.  When Foreign Minister Lennart Bodström claimed the following year at a dinner attended by journalists who had not taken Hasselbohm’s claims seriously that there had been apparently no intrusions, as its Navy claimed, of Swedish waters, he was sacked by the statsminister. (Mosey, p. 151)
 
The most disturbing event that occurred while Hemler was finding employment with the Swedish government, probably with either FRA or Säpo, was the murder of TV reporter for the Rapport program  Maureen ‘Cats’ Falck and her associate Lena Gräns after they had dinner in a south Stockholm restaurant in November 1984,  They were investigating the Iran-Contra shipment of arms and money to Tehran and Central America, a process in which Swedish arms, especially from Bofors, were involved, and East Germany, particularly the port of Rostock, was the center of. It was the network that Ted ‘Blond Ghost’ Shackley had been assigned by Reagan to put together from Hamburg to help gain the release of American hostages held by Iran. The reporters were apparently poisoned at the dinner, and their bodies were in a car which was driven into Stockholm’s Hammerby Canal - which were discovered the following May.
 
While attempts to get to the bottom of her claim that they were on to ‘something big’ - what has proven fruitless despite attempts to prove that East Germany’s Stasi killed them, as most of their research has disappeared - little attempt has been made, as the Lyndon LaRouche’s Executive Intelligence Review magazine noted in 1997, to determine what they meant when they claimed “…something which was going to happen in 1986.” While, in retrospect, people predictably sited the Palme assassination, and it was, but not in the way they thought. When they were murdered, the plan still just called for some ‘false flag’ incident, like what happened in October 1982, and its exploitation. The delay was needed to get all the men, particularly the double agents in Operation Courtship, and material, especially a Keyhole radar satellite, in place to pull it off.
 
It seems that the reporters got wind of the mission somehow, and were asking around about it. It is possible that they learned of it from Hemler, but it is just as likely that they learned of it from CIA agents like Rodney ‘Rod’ Carlson or even Rick Ames himself. They were in the process of putting together the agents who were to catch the Soviets flat-footed over some surprise. Just when Hemler was defecting to Sweden, Ames, whose career crashing, was given the top job in Carlson’s Counter Intelligence Group, head of its Soviet branch. (For more, see David Wise’s Nightmover, p. 94ff.)  It was while Ames was investigating what the moles in Soviet intelligence were doing for Operation Courtship that he decided to become a spy for Moscow, and word of the ‘false flag’ operation leaked increasingly to treacherous members of Sweden’s military, thanks to the Agency’s newest claim that Palme was in the process of pulling off a coup himself.
 
The assassination of the statsminister was now the first ‘false flag’ operation, making it look like Soviet spy Stig Bergling had done it while on compassionate leave to get married,  the second would be Navy Secretary John Lehman, Jr.’s attack submarines sinking all the Soviet boomers which went on station because of the surprise in Stockholm, and NATO’s Anchor Express Exercise being dragooned into taking out the Soviet forces around the bases and in the air over the Kilo Peninsula.
 
Palme had become the target after he most belatedly learned of the plotting by the Anglo-Americans when they tried to slip those 80 HAWK missiles through Sweden on November 17, 1985 on their way to Iran, but stopping them just increased the risks of President Reagan being impeached and removed from office because of his illegal findings.
 
Palme even removed the gung-ho Björn Elkind from command of the most important spy ship Orion in the Balticas Britain’s HMS Challenger was not available, but plans had moved by then far beyond any simple change stopping the juggernaut.
 
Of course, Hemler survived the fiasco, as no one even wanted to acknowledge his existence, much less what he had helped happen. It was only now that it is starting to leak out, after 28 years, but it doesn’t seem that much more will be heard about the deserter/defector, much less why.  
   
 




Deep MI6 Operator Neil Heywood Killed To Avenge Brutal Murders of Williams, Loftus & Rawlings

24 04 2012

By Trowbridge H. Ford

Nothing is more fundamental in intelligence work than keeping covert operations completely separate from counter intelligence. To help insure that everything goes according to plan, agents, especially in high positions, must be carefully vetted to start out, and must have serious checks on their reliability periodically. There must also be strict observance to the principle of needing to know about serious matters for fear that rumors, loose talk, and ultimately spying with ruin serious operations, possibility at great cost to not only its agents but more important the host nation itself. And all of this despite appearances has surprisingly become more important and difficult as operations and programs have become more complicated, and integrated, even involving foreign services which might not be so careful in recruiting personnel, making sure that they stay loyal, and carrying out actions.
 
The classic case which comes to mind when these matters were not observed is when Great Britain failed to keep Soviet spy, and later MI5′s Assistant Director Peter Wright under any kind of control.  Wright, son of Admiralty scientist and Marconi Engineer in Chief Maurice Wright, became totally disaffected during the lead-up to WWII, and started recruiting spies in British government for the Soviets, codenamed SCOTT, while attending Oxford’s School of Rural Economy. While adoption of the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact stopped his spying, he resumed it as Soviet atomic spy ‘K’, once Hitler invaded the USSR. Wright’s handing over information to his handler Vladimir Barkovsky about an atomic bomb being feasible, and the Anglo-American effort to build one was instrumental in Stalin doing the same.(1) Peter’s official job at the time was a Navy scientist, attached to his father’s firm.(2)
 
After the war in 1949, Wright was appointed the Security Service’s director of research, to improve its ability to eavesdrop on the Soviet enemy, thanks to the old boys’ network of meeting such concerns. In doing so, the Director General of the Foreign Intelligence Service aka MI6 Colonel Malcolm Cumming and the MoD’s Chief Scientist Frederick Brundfett overlooked or were unaware of how alienated Peter had become because of his father’s alcoholism during the Great Depression – what had forced Peter to study to become a farmer rather than seek an Honours degree at one of Oxbridge’s colleges.”The trauma of those events,” Peter wrote bitterly, “brought back my ill-health and I was afflicted with a chronic stammer which rendered me at times virtually speechless.” (3)
 
Wright contrasted what had apparently happened to him while similarly inclined youths who could afford to go to Oxford became communists. While he contended that he only learned of the comparison years later while he was tracking them down for MI5, the disparity could not have been missed at the time since Margaret Leigh, a fellow traveller, had not only followed his footsteps in seeking subsidence but also had been obliged to hire him to work on one of her crofting farms in the Scottish Highlands, “Achnadarroch” near Plocktown in Wester Ross. The area had become the center of Celtic Communism ever since liberal Lord Leverhulme had evicted crofters from the islands of Lewis and Harris after WWI. Ms.Leigh had gone to the area after her father, an Oxford don, had died, and she and her mother too could no longer afford to live there.
 
While Margaret Leigh finally taught Peter to master his stammer, he learned first hand what made real people, not those spoiled by capitalism, become communists, as she and he were forced to move to a farm in Cornwall after they had been evicted in Scotland by another greedy landlord. “They had enjoyed to the full the privileged background and education denied me, while my family had suffered at the capricious hand of capitalism.  I experienced at first hand the effects of slump and depression, yet” he added most dishonestly, “it was they who turned to espionage.” (4)
 
If ever one deserved a complete vetting for any position, particularly in the intelligence services, it was Peter Wright, the domestic communist who had soon become one of the world’s most important spies. While his father Maurice was denied a comeback in a senior position because of his alcoholic reputation – offered instead a position of an ordinary scientist on a trial basis – Peter went sailing through without any question.   
 
Once working with MI5, Wright, still a traitor, was able to run circles around his superiors for Moscow’s benefit – getting the service to chase the wrong targets when it came to Soviet spies, especially himself, and important people domestically disaffected, and even when someone important was being checked, the persons concerned often escaped because of some unexpected surprise, or some misreading of the situation that he was guilty of. And when the mistakes were finally discovered, Wright was very good at placing the blame on others, especially MI5 Director General Roger Hollis.  
 
An early, best example of this occurred when MI5 loused up exploiting leads defector Igor Gouzenko supplied about Soviet spying in North America, particularly who was the spy, codenamed Elli. As Chapman Pincher has stated in his latest, and undoubtedly last effort to cover up Wright’s handiwork, Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders, and Cover-ups: Six Decades of Espionage Against America and Great Britain: “It was an inexcusable gaffe by Peter Wright – later the self-styled ‘spycatcher’ – and the other counterintelligence investigators of the Hollis case to have failed to read the biographical books by Roger’s well-known brother, which were on the shelves of many libraries.” (5) There was then continuing mention of  Wright’s and other counterterrorists’ gaffes which just compounded problems while making ways for Hollis to be made to fit the puzzle.
 
In doing so, Pincher left out almost all of what Wright really did of importance, though the book is a most hefty one, and the absences seems most deliberate since Peter wrote much about it himself, especially his getting American counterparts, particularly Agency ”Executive Action’ Director William KIng Harvey, his boss Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms, and the National Security Agency’s Deputy Director Louis Tordella, to do his and the Soviets’ bidding, especially when it came to getting rid of Presidents Fidel Castro, and ultimately President Kennedy. There is no mention of these key operators on the American scene in Pincher’s book who got going after Castro, thanks Wright’s 1959 briefing on how to get such troublemakers (6), and its renewal after the Bay of Pig fiasco (7) despite Attorney General Robert Kennedy’ s order that it stop. When the President himself reiterated the order after the settlement of the Cuban Missile Crisis. these very officials took the lead in seeing that JFK was assassinated.
 
As Wright told Harvey after the second meeting when he thought that the Brits were holding back on their continuing role in the world: “I’ve told you, Bill. We’re out of that game.  We’re the junior partner in the alliance, remember? It’s your responsibility now.” (8) Not only did Harvey take it to heart when it came time to get rid of the President in Dallas at the expense of the Cuban Revolution and Castro – what only Governor Connally’s wounding turned the coup into a cockup - but he resumed it in 1968 when it came time to keep America’s nose to the grindstone in Vietnam by seeing to the killing of Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy, the only peacemakers who could change the scene (9)  Harvey, as the covert leader of The Plumbers, helped arrange the assassinations apparently of potential troublemakers former Alabama Governor and President LBJ to Nixon’s re-election in 1973 (10)
 
While Wright retired in 1976 - especially since his major surrogate Harvey had died, apparently killed to keep the lid on his secrets in light of the Watergate scandal - his legacy of the West pursuing the wrong policies, and chasing the wrong suspects lived on, thanks to efforts by Arthur Martin and Stephen de Mowbrary in mining the continuing false leads of Soviet double agent Anatoliy Golytsin. He had long helped Wright chase down the wrong agents, and now his complaints about alleged Soviet agents of influence in New LIes for Old came in most handy when the Iran-Contra conspiracy decided to get rid of the Soviet regime at alleged agent Olof Palme’s expense.  The assassination went off like clockwork, but the coup in Moscow failed because of all the spying by the Soviets’ new spies, particularly the Agency’s Rick Ames, the Bureau’s Robert Hanssen, and the Mossad’s Jonathan Pollard. Instead of Armageddon, though, we got Gorbachev, and the end of the USSR.
 
In its wake, London was most anxious to keep the lid on how it had helped create the Cold War, and extend it far beyond anyone’s expectation. Of course, the biggest efforts were to quash suspicions of Wright having been Moscow’s most important spy, and agent of influence, as Pincher’s lifelong work demonstrated. Wright’s helping give the Soviets important spies, and the bomb was ignored as much as possible by researchers (11), while continuing to pursue the dead-end leads that he had provided. (12) Even poor Pincher sounded quite happy with his endless wild-goose chases, ending his tome on this note. “…I would elect to repeat it in preference to any other profession. It continues to excite and entrance, with new material continuing to reach me from sources in Russia and elsewhere.” (13)
 
Still, the British intelligence services, it seems, had such a bad record in the post-Cold War period that they increasingly had to call in others, especially the Mossad, to clean up the mess. While MI5, with help from the British Army’s Force Research Unit, did manage to get the Provisional IRA to agree to a permanent ceasefire, sign the Good Friday Agreement, and then disarm, it was at considerable cost. MI5 agent William Perkins aka the future Director General Jonathan’ Bob’ Evans apparently arranged sabotaging the Chinook helicopter flight going to an  intelligence meeting in Scotland where more generous terms for the Provos were on the table, killing the 25 intelligence officers who favored it.(14) 
 
Increasingly, though, MI5 and M16 relied upon the resident kidon to do the dirty work, whether it be getting Britain more supportive of Israeli interests, stopping damaging blowback from ill-considered regime-change efforts in the USSR or Saddam’s Iraq, and taking out politicians successfully who were feared to exploit it. The assassinations which come to mind are those of Dr. David Kelly, Royal Cadet Stephen Hilder, German politicians Jurgen Möllemann, Scottish politician Robin Cook, and former KGB whistleblower Alexander Litvinenko.(15)
 
To stem the flow of any damaging blowback, former MI5 agents Annie Machon and David Shayler were allowed to publish Spies, Lies & Whistleblowers. It was a recitation of much of which Wright was famous for, and much in his manner.  Shayler, stating many times during his vetting that he showed his dedication for wanting to save the world, by repeatedly publishing extracts from Spy Catcher while it was under injunction in 1988 not to do so (16), and Annie illustrated her case against the Security Service’s illegal activities for over 80 years by citing what Wright did while there.(17)  “It is clear that there are officers within MI5 and MI6 who are working to their own agenda,” she concluded, “rather than the protection of this country, its people and its democracy.” (18)
 
They made it quite clear that the agenda should be Washington’s.They were positive that Libya’s Gaddafi was behind the Lockerbie bombing, and claimed that Libyan intelligence officers had offered him millions to speak out against the evidence, and campaign for the release of suspects al-Megrahi and Lamin Fhimah.(19)  Actually at this time, MI5 was helping Gaddafi’s agents interview Libyan refugees in London about what they knew, and were doing, helping render the biggest problems to where the American could deal with them.(19)  MI6 also worked with the Libyans to set up a mosque in some undisclosed European city, most likely Hamburg, to get wind of what Al-Qaeda was planning. Then Shayler claimed most unconvincingly that MI6 had tried unsuccessfully to assassinate the Libyan leader. 
 
The disparity between fact and appearance was even more in evidence when they talked about the role of the Mossad in Britain, like their claims that the Security Service really did not come to grips with the IRA (20) . They made it quite clear that MI5 should have prevented the bombing of the Israeli Embassy and Balfour House in London on July 26, 1994.  Instead the bombings went ahead because of alleged MI5 mistakes, and convenient fall guys, Samar Alami and Jawed Botmeh, were imprisoned for the crimes. Actually, MI5′s failure was deliberate to help open the door for an official Mossad presence in the kingdom – what they even lied about when Director General Eliza Manningham-Buller allowed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.(21)
 
In sum, the book was a trail run, carried out by Shayler, and recounted by Machon, of what whistleblowers could expect if they tried to clear up the disparity – something which seemed likely with the heads of the key agencies, especially MI6′s Director General Sir John Scarlett, apparently just going along with whatever the Prime Minister called for. The brutal killing of Soviet whistleblower Alexander Litvinenko was the example of the warning being acted upon whether it wa just another Mossad killing or whether MI6 was now getting its hands dirty in assassinations. The radioactive polonium-210 which slowly killed him could have come from either Britain or     Israel. Litvinenko was just the kind of whistleblower – a covert agent who was threatening another who would listen about KGB operations during the non-nuclear showdown when Palme was assassinated, and about Soviet spies in the West, particularly Italy’s agent of influence Romano Prodi (codenamed UCHITEL).
 
These problems really came to a head when Washington and London decided again to overthrow the government in Beijing after the massive, Pentagon-made earthquake in Sichuan in May 2008 failed to cause regime-change as its designers, Thomas C. Reed and Danny B. Stillman hoped.(22) As they stated in The Nuclear Express, Communist China was such an unstable regime that a serious disaster would probably lead to its overthrow by its growing, increasingly dissatisfied middle classes.  “Those ‘youngsters’ are turning fifty now, and they are building a new society via the Internet and their world markets. Their turn may soon come, a generational clash that may make the 1960s in the United States seem tranquil.” (23)
 
The problem was no longer being able to cause mayhem in China, but exploiting it – what required somehow putting in place when its new President and Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party were selected, a leader who could exploit any new disaster with devastating effect. The outline of the plan was made by the new DCI, Leon Panetta, and was agreed to in Washington when British Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited there, with all the diversions necessary to hide that something new in the Special Relationship was emerging, especially removing the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office.  As in the Palme assassination, London would supply the key player, MI6 agent of influence in China, Neil Heywood, who would help make the necessary arrangements for CCP boss in Chongqing, Bo Xilai, to join its new Standing Committee, and succeed Hu Jintao as its next President. Outsider John Sawers, a specialist in regime change and nation-building, was made MI6′s DG to hide suspicions that anything earthshaking was afoot.
 
While affairs were going along quite nicely in China, a surprise in London and Washington occurred which set off alarm bells – just what Machon and Shayler had hoped to avoid with their warnings. High-flying computer and encryption wizard Gareth Williams went off the rails again, and threatened to expose what the FBI had done. Williams, apparently a Welsh nationalist, had not even been properly vetted when he joined the Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) sigint agency, and his attempts at spying with Daniel Houghton - while he was working temporarily with MI6 - had been overlooked because he was such a whiz at breaking into any computer, and reading its coded messages.Williams was brought by America’s National Security Agency (NSA) into catching the Manhattan ll ‘sleeper cell’ - noted for difficulties that sultry Anna Chapman caused – what put Williams back into the spying business, apparently for the Russians.(24) 
 
When Williams expanded his work by decrypting the Afghan Log, and handing it over to Julian Assange’s Wilileaks for release to major media outlets without redacting the names of personnel involved, NSA decided to dispose of him when he came to its Fort Meade headquarters, looking for more information to back up exposure of America’s plots.  It was then that he ingested some poison which caused a slow, painful death, apparently the notorious death cap mushroom. The lurid accounts of his death were all illustrations of just what a multi-purpose murder it was. Difficult to know how he died, who was responsible for it, where did it start, and when it was completed, etc., all intended to make a convincing solution almost impossible.
 
And when Gareth’s partner in deciphering the Afghan Log - St. John’s College, Oxford’s senior lecturer, and GCHQ’s expert on mastering colloquial German Gudrun Loftus – indicated that she was planning to take his place in divulging secrets, she was murdered in an even more mysterious way – falling down the stairs backwards from the landing where the College’s Senior Common Room was located early one October morning in 2010, and apparently when she was having an early morning meeting with someone apparently interested in her plans, but really only a British covert agent to finish her off.(25)  The Thames Valley Police (TVP), as expected, did little to investigate the unexplained killing, as it only investigates them if the next o kin call for it, and covert government allows it. Jerry Loftus made no call for one.
 
Now, the questions are about what Williams and Loftus were collecting, for whom, how did the interested spying agency find out about it, and what action it took about it. Seems that Williams was decoding Foreign Office and British Intelligence Services communications, particularly to China, and recording them on his laptop and/or his MP3. They showed the deep operation that Heywood was engaged in, and explained why the British securocrats were most interested in recovering when his body was finally discovered. Seems the material was being collected for the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS), but since neither Williams nor Loftus made it out of the UK, the Chinese had little idea of what the plans were which made them willing to take such unprecedented risks.  Apparently, like with Rick Ames et al. in the Palme plot, they thought likely results were worth it.
 
How the MSS more about what was afoot seems to rest on what Professor Steven Rawlings, a world-famous astrophysicist, and Don at St. Peter’s College, Oxford, suspected about the Loftus murder, and what he learned in China while trying to get the massive Square Kilometer Array (SKA) space telescope built.  Rawlings was addicted to the Inspector Morse novels about crimes around Oxford, and he soon thought had murder at occurred at the college, St. John’s, which was apparently never used in any way in the series.
 
More important, Rawlings’ dealing with his Chinese counterpart Professor Jun Yan, Director of the National Astronomical Observatories, led to some discussions about the Heywoods, Neil in China, and Ian, another Oxford astrophysicist at Oxford. While Rawlings and Yan were discussing ways to see that the SKA telescope was built in the southern hemisphere – the UK dropping out as a possible site early, and then Beijing followed suit – they apparently gossiped about what the high-flying Bos were accomplishing in Chongqing and Oxford.  Ian – apparently a relative of Neil’s and possibly even his brother, though I had been unable to reach him by calling his listed phone number since my calls are cut off before the number even finishes ringing (26) - must have played a role in getting the Bos’ son Guagua into Bailliol College, and Rawlings must have helped out too.
 
It isn’t hard to imagine that they had discussed the Loftus and Williams killings too – what had led to Rawlings’ increasing mental deterioration – and that the MMS’s Director Geng Hui Chang put together a good picture of what was planned by Neil and Bo at the next elections of the CCP. Bo’s wife Gu was obliged to make Neil come to Chongquig in November where he was poisoned in no uncertain terms with potassium cyanide – a compound which is easily determined in the deceased because of its effects on the body – and which she prevented any discovery of by getting Neil’s wife to agree to immediate cremation.  Beijing explained away Neil’s murder successfully as a natural one until a Chinese blog said in early March that it was murder, though not mentioning the Bos’ role in it.
 
Neil’s death just made Rawlings more convinced than ever that a murderous plot was going on, and when a dinner was held St. John’s College in January, he apparently not only claimed afterwards on the way home that Loftus had been murdered, but also that his long-time friend accompanying him, Dr. Dewinter Sivia, another of its lecturers, had apparently helped cover it up, if not had done it himself. In the ensuing struggle, Rawlings was killed. While the TVP was obliged to investigate the most suspicious death as a possible murder, the case soon collapsed after Rawlings’ wife, apparently after some persuasion by the security services, dismissed it as an unfortunate accident between friends, going back to their undergraduate days at Cambridge.  Just the other day, the case was closed.
 
The scandal is an incredible reminder of how best to run intelligence services, at least to avoid their most serious pitfalls like little or no vetting of agents, ignoring independent counter intelligence, overplaying the role of covert operations and surprises, and just plunging ahead with reckless abandon when serious blowback starts occurring, etc., and to depict it for the public would require all the writing skills of a Colin Dexter and the acting ones of another Inspector Morse.     
 
 
References
 
2.  Peter Wright, Spy Catcher, p.4.
3.  Ibid., p. 13.
4.  Ibid.
5   Pincher, p. 20.
6.  Wright, op. cit., p. 154.
7.  Ibid., p. 153ff.
8.  Quoted from p. 162.
9.  Trowbridge H. Ford, “Manchurian Candidates: Mind-Control Experiments and The Deadliest Secrets of the Cold War,” Eye Spy, Issue Eight 2002, pp. 50-5.
11. See, for example, how Christopher Andrew made out that ‘K’ was, in fact, his handler Vladimir Barkovsky in The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, Index, p. 689. 
12.  Wright, op. cit., p. 179ff.
13.  Pincher, op. cit., p. 635.
16.  Machon and Shayler, pp. 21-2.
17.  p. 8.
18.  p. 378.
19.  pp. 122-3.
20.  p.57ff.
21.  For the lies, see pp. 234-5.
23.  Reed and Stillman, p. 329.
24.  For more, see this link: http://codshit.blogspot.se/2010/10/why-americas-nsa-and-britains-gchq-had.html
26.  The number I have been calling is this: +44 01865 273535. And his connection, it seems, on Linkedin is closed. 
 






How and Why Woolsey and Clinton Saved the CIA – Part 1

21 04 2012

By Trowbridge H. Ford

 

The role of the Director of Central Intelligence in its operations and intelligence collection at any time is most difficult to determine.  While officially the head of American’s intelligence community, his activities – given the plethora of intelligence agencies, legal restrictions on their various operations, and antagonisms amongst them, especially between the Agency and the FBI, in their conduct - vary radically from time to time because of his government experience, background, outlook, rapport with his underlings, and relations with the other agencies, particularly their heads.  Then the conditions of the time could change all the variables in significant ways. Given the dictates of Director J. Edgar Hoover, an obvious solution to the DCI’s problems was to catch the eye of the President and his National Security Council (NSC) in the making of policy, what was bound to politicize its operations, and complicate its problems if the Bureau learned of it. 
 
While stories of the lack of cooperation between “Wild Bill” Donovan, the father of CIA, and Hoover during WWII are legion – what helped getting America into the war when the Director didn’t take MI5 double agent Dusan ‘Dusko’ Popov’s intelligence about Japanese plans to bomb Pearl Harbor seriously, and made its successful prosecution more difficult because of Hoover’s priority to catch communists and their sympathizers, especially the First Lady’s, rather than domestic spies and their handlers  - Donovan’s successors at the Agency all had unique experiences as DCI, especially with the Bureau, but they were never sorted out, and harmonized in any meaningful way, as the current disputes over the 9/11 attacks, and the war on Iraq demonstrate. 
 
Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers, the first DCI, was so upset by the constant squabbling among its holdovers from Donovan’s Office of Strategic Services (OSS) with the State Department that he seriously thought of turning over all its functions to the Bureau before resigning after only six months in the post. Hoover had assisted the process by constantly informing the former Roosevelt aide of all the bad apples in it from the New Deal administration.  His replacement, General Hoyt Vanderberg, was so upset by Hoover’s scorched-earth policy over losing operational jurisdiction in South America, and over infiltrating the new agency with his own agents, particularly William King Harvey, that he soon departed for the Pentagon as Vice-Chief of Staff of the Air Force.  Vanderberg believed that it would be easier to construct the new air arm whose mission and men he was most well acquainted with rather than a new intelligence service out of its constantly squabbling components, and competitors. 
 
His replacement, Rear Admiral Roscoe “Hilly” Hillenkoetter, was so ineffective in managing the Agency that he was forced to return to sea after a disastrous three years at the helm, little more than its daily messenger to the President with its daily briefing which Souers had started.  “Hilly” was scapegoated for failing to appreciate signal intelligence about North Korea’s intentions regarding the South – what Soviet spies Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, and Kim Philby had supplied Stalin with the green light for. His replacement, Walter “Beetle” Smith, became so embroiled with Hoover and the Joint Chiefs of Staff over claims about communist activity at home and abroad that his former boss in Europe during WWII, Dwight Eisenhower, had to replace him, once he became President, though the irascible general did finally give the CIA some kind of standing with the other agencies and the White House with his introduction of National Intelligence Estimates (NIE).
 
Eisenhower settled upon Smith’s deputy, Allen Dulles, as the next DCI, while sending Smith to the State Department to help tame his more exciting and dangerous brother John Foster, the new Secretary of State. Since then, there has essentially been a pattern of like-minded DCIs who go along with increasingly risky operations to satisfy its eager cowboys and similarly inclined NSCs, followed by DCIs, usually chosen from outside, who attempted to rein them in by various means – laws, retirements, reorganizations, congressional oversight, memoranda, and the like.  The changes, though, just obliged covert operators to devise more convoluted ways for achieving whatever they wanted, with or without the President’s knowledge or approval.
 
Dulles tried to balance the initiatives by his underlings - especially Kermit Roosevelt, Frank Wisner, Richard Helms, Richard Bissell, and Harvey - with what the President minimally wanted or at least tolerated, a tension which Helms ultimately destroyed with his covert operations against Cuba and the Soviet Union – making the Agency essentially a state within a state during the JFK, LBJ, and Nixon administrations. DCI George H.W. Bush, with Helms’s help, provided for its re-establishment in the wake of Watergate, a crisis which threatened its very existence, as I tried to show in my article in the Archive.  William Casey, consequently, arrived on the scene as Reagan’s DCI with covert operators established in other agencies, and covert operations began to roll to bring down the Iron Curtain, once Robert Gates became his deputy.  Once this occurred, President Bush was willing to overlook his mistaken operations and rhetoric against the Soviets by making him DCI, once Desert Storm against Iraq had been successfully carried out.  His NIE’s had merely overestimated Soviet military and economic capabilities by 100%.
 
The outsiders who attempted to reform CIA were all frustrated in one way or another.  James Schlesinger’s efforts to get the Agency out of covert operations after Watergate – what he hoped to achieve by exposing the so-called “Family Jewels” - so alarmed the spooks that his deputy, and long-time agent, William Colby, soon replaced him to stem the tide.  Once he had redirected media interest in its covert domestic operations to assassinations that Presidents had allegedly ordered overseas, he was replaced by Bush. Carter could not abide him, replacing him as soon as he gained the Oval Office, and having Admiral Stansfield Turner unsuccessfully attempt to make the Agency into a disciplined, law-abiding one, essentially interested in collecting signal intelligence. When the Iran-Contra scandal finally surfaced in late 1986, Judge William Webster was brought over from the Bureau in the feeble hope that he would preside over its internal rehabilitation while keeping the lid on its wild covert operations from the various outside inquiries.     
 
The only other departure from the pattern occurred when retired Vice Admiral William “Red” Raborn replaced John McCone in April 1965 – LBJ apparently worried about promoting DDP Richard Helms because of the fallout from the JFK assassination. The President - Helms chcharacteristically recalling LBJ’s alleged milking experience as a farm boy - put it this way about the intelligence agencies:  “You work hard and get a good program or policy going, and they swing a shit-smeared tail through it.”  (Quoted from Christopher Andrew, For the President’s Eyes Only, p. 323.)  Helms still succeeded Raborn in June 1966, once American troops had been withdrawn from the fiasco which the Agency had helped arrange in the Dominican Republic.
 
In sum, the intelligence community, especially the Agency, was in a most precarious position when the Iron Curtain finally came down.  With the defeat of the Soviets, and the rollback of its bloc, conditions seemed right for a similar rollback and reorganization of the intelligence community – what certainly did not look promising for the CIA.  The problems were clearly laid out in Mark Riebling’s ground-breaking Wedge: The Secret War Between the FBI and CIA, an exposé so telling that radical change seemed almost inevitable.  Riebling, after recounting all the trials and tribulations of the current system during the Cold War, concluded on this alarming note for the Agency about “the old, failed framework”:  “It is not inconceivable that the FBI might someday be placed in charge of all counterintelligence, foreign and domestic…” (p. 457)
 
Long before Bill Clinton surprised everyone by being elected President in 1992, it was assumed that he would still continue Gates as DCI since the only precedent for doing otherwise had been provided by Carter in the wake of Watergate.  After all, the operation of the intelligence community, especially the Agency, was thought to be above the dictates of partisan politics.  The former Governor of Arkansas, though, was persuaded that there was little need for the Agency now, and was most concerned about his previous dealings with covert government, especially CIA operations, coming out – as was the Agency itself.  They both were worried in their own way about what could radiate out from the still secret activities at Mena’s Intermountain Regional Airport.
 
The unappreciated, identical interests of CIA and Clinton stemmed from the Stasi files that the West German security police turned over to the Bureau’s intelligence chief Doug Gow after the fall of The Wall, indicating, among other things, that the Soviets had a most well-placed mole in the Agency.  Once the Bureau informed Langley of the find, interagency relations soon deteriorated to a new low, as more Stasi files indicated that all the double agents, particularly KBG General Dmitri Polyakov and Aleksei Kulak, of Operation Courtship had been totally controlled by the Soviet bloc, almost from the beginning.  After two years of squabbling, a joint task force was finally appointed to ferret out the spies and the spying.
 
While Bureau agents took the lead in finding them, DCI Gates took the initiative in finding all the foreign governments and business which were spying on American companies – another concern which proved most difficult for CIA-FBI cooperation.  When the proposed creation of an Intelligence Czar to solve the problem failed, Gates took the lead in uncovering some of the Bank of Commerce and Credit International’s (BCCI’s) criminal operations – what clearly showed that while assisting Iraq’s, Panama’s, Abu Nidal’s, and the Contras’ manifold transactions and operations, the Agency failed to inform the Bureau of their illegalities, much less make arrangements for their being excused for counter intelligence purposes.   
 
Then the Agency’s National Collection Division attempted to uncover the illegal activities of Italy’s Banco Lavoro Nazionale (BNL) in helping Iraq’s Saddam Hussein procure weapons of mass destruction (WMD) – what Britain’s MI6 (SIS) was also attempting through the London branch of BCCI.  Both CIA and SIS were using the Babylon strategy that former Agency CI chief James Angleton had adopted for assisting and stringing along such operations until they could be crushingly closed down.  (For more on this, see Riebling, p. 417ff.)  The only trouble with the covert operation was that the Bureau was never informed of it, so that when the FBI’s fraud squad raided the BNL’s branch office in Atlanta in August 1989, discovering such a vast financial effort to help Iraq obtained nuclear weapons that CIA-SIS involvement was widely suspected.  
 
CIA’s efforts against the banks clearly indicated, especially to the Bureau, that it was following some kind of hidden agenda in its dealings with them. The FBI’s James Nolan, for example, complained that the Agency was only interested in the BCCI’s operations overseas, not its domestic ones.  Jack Blum, former chief counsel of the Kerry subcommittee on terrorism and narcotics, was more blunt, claiming that the CIA was engaging in “an enormous coverup,” thanks apparently to its preventing inquiries into BCCI’s and Mena’s operations in the Americas. The CIA failed to answer questions about its authorization of BNL-Atlanta illegal funding for fear that other secrets about Anglo-American operations, especially those originating, and known by its Rome station, would result in successful prosecutions of various Agency agents and assets – a process which foreign intelligence services dreaded.
 
Clinton fitted into all this because of his dealings with the Contra operation, especially overlooking the illegal activities at Mena, but the former Arkansas governor thought that the CIA was trying to nail him by going after the banks rather than just trying to save itself.  Clinton had already been caught out in the lie that he had allocated $25,000 for a grand jury investigation of the airport’s activities back in 1988, and former Arkansas Congressmen Bill Alexander, who had already sent information of the coverup to special counsel Lawrence Walsh investigating the Iran-Contra scandal but without result, had seen an identical allocation from the Justice Department in Washington to Arkansas authorities become another non-starter.  The source of Clinton’s criminal activities, it seems, was the murder of Adler Berriman “Barry” Seal to prevent the Iran-Contra operation, just before statsminister Olof Palme’s assassination, from unraveling.
 
In the last stages of the presidential campaign, Clinton began to have second thoughts about the Agency’s pursuit of the banks, thanks to a briefing, arranged by Bush NSA Brent Scowcroft and his own deputy security adviser, Sandy Berger, he received from Gates himself in September 1992 in Little Rock.  Once elected, as John L. Helgerson, former Deputy Director of Intelligence, has written in CIA Briefings of Presidential Candidates, the Agency set up an unprecendented outpost in the Arkansas capital to keep the President-elect – who, like Reagan - Christopher Andrew reminded readers in its introduction - had had no previous experience as an intelligence consumer – abreast of developments.  Starting on November 11th, Clinton received the Presidential Daily Brief from an Agency briefer, concentrating on the agenda, especially regarding Russia, he wanted to pursue.  As the President later explained about the process, “Intelligence is a unique mission….I look to you to warn me and, through me, our nation of the threats.”
 
 

(Continued)  PART 2






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






Yitzhak Rabin Assassination: Israeli Statesman Helped Dig His Own Grave

19 10 2011

By Trowbridge H. Ford

No democratic, developed country has more secretive, conspiratorial ways than the state of Israel, and they were never more in evidence than when its Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated on November 4, 1995 after attending a “Yes to Peace, No to Víolence” rally in Jerusalem by apparently a young, 3rd-year-law student at Bar-Ilan University, Yigal Amir.
 
While the media portrayed the killing as the result of a right-wing fanatic, opposed to any peace settlement with the Palestinians, it was actually caused by a covert operation gone wrong, reminiscent of John Hinckley’s nearly successful assassination almost fifteen years earlier of President Reagan rather than the mythic ‘lone assassin’ theory which people in the Western world have become accustomed to when such killings occur.
 
The real key to understanding the murder is appreciating the close connection that Israel established with the United States during its 40-year existence.  Without Washington’s increasing support, the Israeli state never would have made it, given the problems the Diaspora and Holocaust had caused masses of Jewish people trying to resettle in Palestine.  The Truman administration’s prodding of the new Labour government in Britain to give up its Palestinian Mandate was followed by the May 1948 war in which Israeli forces triumphed against all the odds over those from the weak Arab states of Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt.
 
While Atlee’s government attributed Truman’s stance of pandering to Jewish voters – and the President did acknowledge to a group of Mid-East ambassadors that he had no Arab constituents to contend with – he was genuinely committed to the Zionist cause. To enhance Democratic chances at the polls, Truman pressed for the admission of 100,000 Jewish refugees, and called for the partition of the country.  When the Mandate expired on May 16, 1948, the USA, along with the USSR, immediately recognized the new state of Israel. Still, Truman’s support of the Zionist cause did not play a significant role in his election in November.  
 
During the War of Independence, Rabin, a native of Palestine, was in an ideal position to take military command of the situation as the British were forced by Jewish terrorists to withdraw.  Since he had helped British forces to attack Vichy ones in Lebanon during WWII, he was domestically positioned by 1944 to take command of the Palmach commando unit of the Haganah – what would become the nucleus of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). It took the lead in ousting Arabs from key territory around Tel Aviv, and on the road to Jerusalem.  While the Palmach failed to secure the Old City after the British finally departed, Rabin was still seen as a leading hero of the struggle. 
 
The most controversial incident regarding Rabin’s alleged activities during the struggle for independence occurred on June 22, 1948 when a ship-load of Jewish Freedom Fighters, and munitions on the Altelena were prevented from joining up with Menachem Begin’s Irgun guerrillas. They had blown up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in July 1946, and it was feared that they would break the agreement for the cessation of hostilities.
 
Before the ship sailed from Port-de-Bouc in France, the Irgun in Palestine had signed an agreement with the government of David Ben-Gurion in Tel Aviv that all arms and fighters independently recruited would be handed over to the IDF, though the ship sailed in the hope of getting round it somehow, and secretly landing them unnoticed somewhere in Palestine – what was largely defeated by Radio London announcing its departure at the time.
 
When the ship finally landed at Klar Vitin, David Even’s IDF brigade, thanks to an order given  by the government, set about seizing the 1,000 men, and confiscating the 4.5 ton cargo of weapons, ultimately resulting in fighting during which six of them were killed.  The ship then sailed on to Tel Aviv, and before the whole confrontation was settled, another 10 died, and the ship was set afire. 
 
In the accounts of the Altelena Affair, there is no mention of Rabin having played any significant role in the confrontation – what apologist Ben Shapiro made up for by having him carry the can when Rabin was assassinated for the failure of Begin, Ben-Gurion and Even to settle the difficulty peacefully.
 
During the Suez Crisis, Rabin, as commander of the Harel Brigade, was most eager to take advantage of its incursion on October 28, 1956 into the Sinai towards the Suez Canal, but the failure of Tel Aviv, Paris, and London to clear the whole operation with Washington resulted in it all going for naught. The invaders were confident that they could force Eisenhower’s hand into backing the ouster of Egypt’s uppity dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser, but the American President reacted with unprecedented opposition and speed, causing all those involved, especially Israeli Prime Minister Ben-Gurion, Defense Minister Shimon Peres,  IDF chief Moshe Dayan, and Rabin never to forget the lesson.
 
Washington had learned something about what was planned by intercepts that the new National Security Agency (NSA) had made of messages between Tel Aviv and Paris, and those between its allies in Paris and London, but had not learned the substance of. Thanks to the division that Washington and London had made for eavesdropping on the world under the terms of the the postwar communications agreement, listening on what was transpiring in the Middle East was left to Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) to pass on to NSA.
 
It was sending along only a few which did not reveal what was planned. When Eisenhower learned the full extent of their perfidy, Washington took the necessary actions to reverse it, and NSA vowed never again to be caught short in supplying the necessary intelligence in such crucial Cold War confrontations.
 
The fallout from the fiasco had resulted in the Soviet Union tightening its hold on the Soviet bloc by suppressing the uprising in Budapest at the same time. Ike, still suspecting that at worst the action in the Middle East was a surprise attack on Jordan, was completely taken aback when the Israelis invaded the Sinai, advancing within 25 miles east of the Canal – just when Imre Nagy, Hungary’s new Prime Minister, announced the restoration of multi-party rule. 
 
America’s U-2 intelligence gathering concentrated upon determining what was slowly unfolding in Egypt for fear that the USSR would take advantage of the fiasco there when, in fact, Moscow was arranging a rollback of what was happening in Budapest. On November 4th, two days before the American election, the Red Army began its suppression of the Hungarian revolution – something that Ike admitted that America, under the circumstances, could do nothing about. (Christopher Andrew, For The President’s Eyes Only, pp. 236-7).
 
By 1964, Rabin had become the IDF’s Chief-of-Staff, and he planned to pay back Washington and Cairo for the humiliation he and the IDF had experienced eights years earlier – what resulted in the devastating Six-Day War three years later. This time, Israel revealed its aggression to no one, counting on the fact that it could dictate Washington’s response after the fact, thanks to tight security its military-intelligence establishment was noted for, and the political influence Jewish Americans had on the beleaguered Johnson administration, bogged down in Vietnam, and facing the prospect of a tough re-election campaign. There would be no babbling by the Israeli Prime Minister and her defense establishment to Washington about what was in the works this time, as had happened with Prime Minister Anthony Eden et. al. during the Suez Crisis.
 
The Israeli attacks on its neighbors, starting on June 4, 1967, were masterful deceptions, fooling everyone, it seemed, about who was attacking who with what – making Germany’s deceptions before its soldiers marched into Poland in 1939, and the CIA’s ones before the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 look like the most crude attempts. 
 
The only surprise in the whole operation was the unexpected appearance of the American spy ship, USS Liberty, off El Arish on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast on June 8th during the height of the struggle.  The spy ship had great advantages in eavesdropping over other means as it could stay in an area where trouble was anticipated, and it could monitor and analyze all kinds of intelligence from close in, 24-7. Its only drawback was that it could hardly defend itself if discovered and attacked.
 
As James Bamford has described in the greatest detail in “Body of Secrets”, the Israelis attacked the snooper with the greatest force from sea and air for fear that it was monitoring the slaughter that Rabin’s forces were carrying out on shore against Egyptian prisoners:  “…Israeli troops killed, in cold blood, as many as 1,000 Egyptian prisoners in the Sinai, including some 400 in the sand dunes of El Arish.” (p. 202) 
 
In an attempt to prevent the war crimes from coming out, the IDF killed 34 servicemen on the ship, wounded 171 more, and nearly sank the ship itself.  It was only after the Israelis had failed to eradicate the mission that they falsely claimed that the attacks were a mistake, and agreed most reluctantly to pay measly compensation for what they had done.
 
When Washington learned of the hostilities, Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban told the American Ambassador to Israel Walworth Barbour that the Egyptians had started them – a considerable armored force had entered its territory, and had given IDF ones battle. The Foreign Minister lied about Israeli intentions, claiming that they were just interested in containing Egypt’s aggression when, in face, they were involved in grabbing territory which had eluded them nine years earlier. 
 
While Israel wanted Washington to put pressure on the Soviets not to intervene, Moscow preempted the effort by sending an unprecendented message on the hot line, urging Washington to do all that it could to end hostilities, particularly exerting pressure on Israel to do the same. After a hectic half hour in the White House over how to respond to the Soviets’ entreaty, Washington told Moscow that it would not be entering the conflict   
 
It was only afterwards that President Johnson learned of the ship’s dire straits, especially the carnage on board. In anticipation of such a conflict, Washington had sent the USS Liberty there is the hope of preventing it, or at least containing it from becoming a conflict with the USSR. On May 23rd, it was ordered to leave Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, and steam as fast as possible to the US Navy base in Rota, Spain, a journey of 3,000 miles, and requiring eight days travel.
 
There, it picked up five Arabic linquists and one senior analyst Marine Sergeant Bryce Lockwood to assess the meaning of what the Egyptians were planning and doing. (Bamford, pp.188-9) While Frank Raven told Bamford that the lack of any Hebrew linquists was due to their shortage, it indicated that NSA was only planning to eavesdrop on what the Muslims were doing.  On June lst, the ship left Rota, and deployed just off El Arish when the Israli attacks started.
 
It seems that this effort was conducted secretly from the Israelis to give them cover without there being any revealing feedback from what was happening. The ship would have all kinds of messages deciphered about what Nasser’s forces were doing, but none from the Israelis – what would quell any complaints, especially by the Soviets, of Israeli aggression. It would have no record of any massacres of prisoners by the IDF, and there were still no Hebrew linquists back at headquarters in Athens.  It apparently was the Johnson administration’s compensation for the damage the Israelis had suffered at the hands of the Eisenhower administration.
 
The only trouble with it for the Israelis was that they knew nothing about it, so they went bonkers when they discovered the spy ship just off the coast in international waters, fearing that it was collecting information about war crimes which would be used against Israel’s military leadership  There was no other way they could interpret this new surprise.
 
And when LBJ learned of the attack, Washington was more interested in sinking the ship in order to protect its vital Sigint secrets from falling into enemy hands, and to protect Israel from any embarrassment by inflaming American public opnion than saving it, and providing succor to its crew .While LBJ was afraid that the Soviets had attacked the ship, he was soon informed by his ambassador in Tel Aviv that the Israelis had confessed to having attacked it “in error”. NSA had discovered the attack before anyone else, though, showing that it had been eavesdropping on all Israeli communications to have just the right record for what it had originally planned – what Bamford still cannot explain. (p. 224)
 
After the President informed the Soviets that the Israelis had indeed attacked the ship “in error”, Washington hoped that the ship would indeed just sink. LBJ amazingly ordered the Joint Chief of Staff to have fighters from the Six Fleet which had arrived on the scene to protect the ship from further attack to be recalled.  “President Lyndon Johnson came on,” Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis, commander of the carrier force, added in information released after his death, “with a comment that he didn’t care if the ship sunk, he would not embarrass his allies.” (Quoted from p. 226.) 
 
Never in American military history had the Commander-in-Chief been so cruel in the treatment of his own forces, and it can only be explained by the political motives in starting it in the first place. The political fallout domestically, it seems, helped induce him not to run for re-election in 1968. Rabin was so upset by what he had done to Egytian prisoners, and American eavesdroppers that he had a nervous breakdown while the fighting was still in progress.
     
To contain the damage done by the assault, Rabin was sent to Washington as its new ambassador, and he flouted diplomatic convention by going out of his way to make friends with members of Nixon’s new Republican administration. Rabin’s close relationship with NSA Henry Kissinger and DNSA Alexander Haig came in most handy when the Syrians and Egyptians tried to pay back Israel for the 1967 war by springing the Yom Kippur War on it in October 1972.  Thanks to information NSA supplied the Israelis, Ariel Sharon’s forces were able to beat back the Egyptian forces behind the Suez Canal which had surprisingly crossed it, and the Syrian threat to the Sea of Galilee was stymied just at the last moment.  When the Soviets threatened to intervene in the war, Haig forced Breznev to back down by placing American forces around the world on the highest alert short of imminient war.
 
In reading the former Nixon Chief of Staff’s book, Inner Circles: How America Changed the World, one gets a good glimpse of just how Haig manipulated Nixon to help the Israelis while Rabin was manipulating Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in the defense of Jordan from Syrian attacks. Little wonder that when she retired shortly thereafter, Rabin triumphed over Peres in a bitter battle for the Labor Party leadership, and succeeded her as Prime Minister. 
 
Three years later, though, Rabin’s coalition government fell apart over an alleged financial scandal, and he went into the political wilderness. Rabin had made enemies out of the leading players by acting as if he were in the process of solving everything – i.e, the surprise threats to Israel’s very existence, claiming how he had been so instrumental in its creation by stopping Begin’s reckless intrusions during the Altelena Affair, and covering up the Liberty one by successfully persuading Washinging that it was indeed an accident. 
 
Though Rabin had negotiated the Sinai Interim Agreement with Egypt, setting the country on its way to making peace with Anwar Sadat, and authorized the Entebbe raid which recovered almost all of the passengers who had been kidnapped by Uganda’s  Edi Amin, Rabin found dealing with the Carter administration and his fellow Isrealies over the continuing Palestinian problem so difficult that he resigned after the Labor Party was defeated in the 1977 election, doing so because his wife Leah had broken the rule about no Israeli having a foreign currency account without proper authority – what she had failed to do by opening a dollar one during their days there when he was the ambassador.
 
It seemed more like an excuse to avoid difficulties ahead all by himself, as if he had some fears of his own safety. 
 
During his absence, the governments in Tel Aviv and Washington worked continuously to break down Arab opposition to Israel’s existence, while trying to get Israeli voters to agree to some kind of swap of land for security. By this time, Israel had more land than it needed, and the Palestinians were becoming increasingly isolated.
 
The Camp David Accords that President Carter negotiated between Sadat and Begin ended Egypt’s support of an armed Palestinian struggle, though Sadat was to soon lose his life at the hands of Muslim extremists. Sharon’s IDF responded by driving Yasser Arafat’s PLO out of Lebanon.
 
To soften American hostility to what Sharon had done, Prime Minister Begin went out of his way to tell the Reagan administration that Rabin had lied when he told previous American administrations that the attack on the Liberty was simply a mistake.  “We… had a choice,” he admitted in 1982.  “The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us.  We must be honest with ourselves.  We decided to attack him.” (Quoted from Bamford, p. 186) 
 
In 1984, Rabin joined a government of national unity, headed by Labour Party leader Shimon Peres, and soon thereafter he, as Minister of Defense, was obliged to suppress the first Intifada.
 
He did avoid being implicated in the spying by Jonathan Pollard for the Soviets, and the illegal arms dealing by Ollie North et al. during Iran-Contra.  Rabin had insisted that Reagan unequivocally approve the sale of Israeli weapons to Iran in return for the hostages held there, and in August 1985 the President telephoned NSA Bud McFarlane to confirm his approval, adding that Washington would replenish Israeli weapons stocks. (Lou Cannon, President Reagan, The Role of a Lifetime, pp. 544-6)  
 
The trouble with a bipartisan attempt in both Tel Aviv and Washington to solve the Palestinian problem was that it was done without consulting their top leaders while Iran joined the countries willing to support their increasingly fragmented leadership. Israel had long been the Shah’s closest friend in the area, and his overthrow, coupled with Sadat’s assassination, left Begin’s government nearly surrounded by enemies, and too few resources for dealing with them. Iran’s SAVAK (the National Intelligence Organization) had long done much dirty work for the Mossad and CIA, its joint creators, and they had reciprocated in kind, but their joint operations were ultimately its undoing when the young mullahs it had recruited turned on the Shah. 
 
As a result, Israel had to increasingly do its own dirty work – what it had only seriously done before in reaction to the killing at its Olympic athletes at the Munich Games in 1972 .The Mossad had Said Hammami, the PLO’s London representative, shot dead by agents of Abu Nidal’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in January 1978 when it feared that he, an Arab moderate, was attempting to negotiate a peace deal with the Israelis for Arafat. 
 
“The conflict had made little progress ten years later,” Tony Geraghty added in The Bullet Catchers, “when Afarfat’s military commander, Abu Jihad (real name, Khalil al-Wariz) was assassinated with military precision at his villa near Tunis, probably by agents of Israel’s secret service, Mossad.” (p. 376).

 
During the interim, Nidal’s terrorist group had seen to the hijacking of the Italian liner Achille Lauro, the assassination of Jewish invalid passenger Leon Klinghoffer, and the shooting up of the airports in Rome and Vienna during the terrorist countdown to the shooting of Sweden’s statsminister Olof Palme in Stockholm on February 28, 1986 – what was intended to trigger a solution to all the problems the West and Israel faced with a non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War with the USSR.
 
Rabin’s forcing Washington to approve any arms shipments to Iran before they occurred proved most helpful to Tel Aviv when the fallout from Iran-Contra was occurring. The various investigations of the scandal, especially the Tower Commission, believed McFarlane’s testimony about which came first.  “The accumulated evidence,” Cannon concluded, “did show that Reagan had given prior approval.” As a result, former head of the Israeli Air Force, and current Israeli businessman Al Schwimmer had to take personal responsibility for trying to sneak 80 HAWK missiles through Sweden on November 17th without statsminister Olof Palme’s approval, beginning the whole massive scandal which resulted in his assassination along the way,
 
Rabin while he was in New York had even called McFarlane earlier in November while he was in Geneva where Reagan and Gorbachev were to meet for the first time to make sure that he obtained Palme’s permission for using Sweden for the weapons transfer.  “Rabin had asked for help in arranging for an Israeli shipment of Hawk missiles to pass through a third country and be transferred to non-Israeli planes for delivery to Iran. McFarlane had directed Oliver North, who was in Washington, to attend to the matter.” (Lawrence Wash, Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-Up, p. 39)
 
When Rabin proved unable to crush the Intifada, and the Soviet bloc and Union collapsed in a peaceful way, Rabin easily replaced Shimon Peres as Labor Party leader in its election in February 1992.  The result was hardly surprising as the former Prime Minister aka “Mister Loser” had been working behind Rabin’s back with Ollie North’s people so that the arms shipments would go ahead no matter what he wanted, and Palme demanded, as all the American investigations had indicated. (For more, see Walsh, p.37ff.)  In the surprising victory, Peres was made a most dangerous enemy, a leader who was more interested in making sure Rabin failed somehow rather than succeeded.
 
Thanks to Rabin’s convincing Knesset victory in the July 1992 election, he set about implementing his mandate for a permanent peace with the Palestinians – what Washington outsider Bill Clinton, just elected President, was most eager to achieve. 
 
Upon becoming Premier, Rabin ordered Israel’s General Security Service, Shin Bet, to focus its activities on the right-wingers opposed to any settlement, and appointed close associate, Karmi Gillon, its director general – instead of the veteran and more qualified Gideon Ezra – to carry out the mission which Gillon himself had pointed out the need of. Several senior Shin Bet people quit in protest over the new mission.  “This policy change resulted in the most dangerous and bitter split ever in Israeli society,” Uri Dan and Dennis Eisenberg wrote in “A slanderous tongue.”  Rabin thought it was necessary if there was to be any hope of making the dream of peace a reality.
 
Once the Olso Accords had been agreed to, and Rabin, Peres, and Arafat received the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize, its prospects deteriorated as suicide bombers continued to kill Israelis, and Orthodox rabbis started a most threatening campaign against Rabin’s leadership. Peres helped set up Rabin as the prime cause of the trouble by making him make the symbolic handshake with PLO leader Arafat at the signing of the agreement in Oslo.
 
They revived two obsolete halachic precepts from the Talmud – the din rodef (the duty to kill Jews who imperil other Jews), and the din moser (the duty to kill Jews who threaten to turn in other Jews to non-Jewish authorities).  Religious law student Yigal Amir soon became acquainted with these precepts while attending Bar-Ilan University. The precepts were soon being used against Rabin who had claimed during the 1992 election campaign that he would never negotiate with Arafat – what Yossi Beilin had met the PLO’s Abu Mazen in secret in May to work out the details of.  Because of Rabin’s actions in the Altalena Affair, right-wingers like Ben Shapiro were so clamoring that he was no hero at all since he had seen to the killing to his fellow Jews then, and was leaving others to fall into the hands of foreign authorities now.
 
To stem the anti-Rabin tide, Gillon, it seems, hired agent provocateurs, particularly Avishai Raviv. They created hostile groups like Eyal, composed of angry settlers and right-wingers, to denounce and protest his policies in an increasingly violent way.  Reminiscent of the campaign against Olof Palme, they called Rabin a traitor, and a Nazi. The protesters cursed the Premier outside his apartment in Ramat Aviv, and Eyal teenagers produced a video, calling for a military coup.  When an Arab was murdered in Halhoul by persons wearing IDF uniforms, Raviv claimed that members of Eyal had done it, though, it turned out after Rabin’s assassination that Arab thieves had done it.
 
Rabin’s cabinet, especially Minister of Agriculture Ya’acov Tzur, still believed the deception, complaining bitterly when there were no arrests for the killing. 
 
On October 5, 1995, there was a mass protest by the right-wingers at Zion Square, attended by Rabin’s apparent assassin.  During the demonstration, a poster was raised on which Rabin’s face was pasted over the figure of Heinrich Himmler – what had been made originally by Raviv and Amir at a Eyal summer camp on the Kinneret.  Amir responded to the sight thus:  “Because of this dog, this country is going to be destroyed.”  When Amir noted TV cameras recording the scene, he said: “Instead of filming, will you come to the funeral?  Will you come to the funeral tomorrow?”  Then, Binyamin Netanyahu told the crowd being observed by guests including Sharon:  “Rabin is a dog – In blood and fire we’ll drive Rabin out – will bring the government down.”
 
Then the group marched on the Knesset during which they attacked Rabin’s empty limousine without any response by security people.  Then it attacked Housing Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezar in his car, threatening to kill him.  Once he escaped harm, he charged after Netanyahu, exclaiming:  “The settlers have gone crazy, and someone will be murdered here, if not today, then in another week or another month.” 
 
It was 30 days later, on November 4th, that Rabin was assassinated after Amir had fired blanks in a fake attempt to rally public support when it failed, as he went to his limousine after addressing the peace rally, while his bodyguards once again looked helplessly on. Once in the limousine, Rabin was shot twice by covert operators, dying on the way to the hospital.  It was a case of hijacking the scene that the Prime Minister had made up in order to dispose of him without any serious blowback, at least not until Shimon Peres dies. 
 
Thanks to Gillon’s deceptive campaign, as the Shamgar Commission investigating the assassination duly recorded, but was prevented from releasing the damaging details of, it was a case of ‘mirror-imaging’ which had completely confused his security detail about the dire threat of.  The most damning evidence about a double-agent operation having gone horribly wrong was the admission that Raviv had urged Amir to kill Rabin to prove his manhood – what Amir achieved after shooting the blanks when he told police:  “Do your work.  I’ve done mine.”