The Axis of Deceitís Pipeline to US Intelligence
Jim Grichar (aka Exx-Gman)
Axis of Deceit, those neocon warmongers/empire builders who managed
to convince George Bush to launch a U.S. attack on Iraq to destroy
what now appears to be nonexistent weapons of mass destruction (WMD),
have now turned their sites to getting the U.S. to foster
regime change in Iran for the same purpose. Bringing up the specter
of a likely Iranian program to develop nuclear weapons, the Axis
is beating the war drums to get the U.S. to help topple, via a revolution,
the current government of Iran.
unlike the situation prior to the war on Iraq, where the Axis was
able to rig intelligence products to suggest that Iraq had WMD and
was going to use them to harm the U.S., this time they have not
yet concocted such reports nor have they been able to twist the
CIAís arm into either giving intelligence reports on the Iranian
situation, should such reports even exist, nor into making such
a conclusion in a formal intelligence assessment. But that will
not stop the Axis, as they will utilize their pipeline to the U.S.
intelligence community and a variety of pressure tactics, at appropriate
points, to try to get what they want, especially now that Iran has
not caved in to additional inspections by International Atomic Energy
Pipeline and the Line on Iran
good example of one of the users and abusers of U.S.
intelligence products is that master of mendacity, Michael Ledeen.
Formally listed as a "Resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair"
at the American Enterprise Institute (that this statist is labeled
a scholar in freedom makes the AEI sound like the Ministry of Truth
in George Orwellís 1984) and a contributing editor of National Review
Online (NRO), Ledeen has built a career on milking classified information
from the U.S. government and using it for whatever project or goals
are currently in vogue with the neocon warmongering/empire building
crowd (more on that below).
and other Axis members are using a pipeline they have built into
U.S. intelligence with the aid of cronies inside the Bush Administration.
This pipeline runs into the Pentagon and the National Security Council
as well as to the Vice President. In the past, such avenues, including
the Defense Policy Advisory Board, have been used to get classified
information, some of which likely wound up in the hands of a foreign
country and some of which may have been used to assist clients.
Perle still on the Defense Policy Advisory Board is one of the
most notorious practitioners of this technique, but Michael Ledeen
is no slouch. Unlike past schemes for getting their hands on classified
information and passing it along to friends or clients, this time
the Axis of Deceit had a two-way street, through the Pentagon, the
NSC, and the Vice President to the CIA and the rest of the intelligence
community so as to be able to pass off their conclusions a self-serving
agenda for war, empire, and political favoritism as being the
unbiased assessments of the U.S. intelligence community.
any case, this technique still appears to be actively used. In a
June 16 article that appears in NRO,
Ledeenís and the Axisís current line is that Iran is on the
brink of a revolution against the current Islamic fundamentalist
clergy leadership, and that all that is needed to help start a revolution
would be a formal U.S. policy statement from Colin Powell and
his deputy Richard Armitage (Dubya has already babbled about his
support for true democracy in Iran) in support of a revolution against
Iranís ruling mullahs.
stated that the U.S. intelligence community specifically
the CIA has had no human intelligence reports on what is
going on in Iran since well before the overthrow of the Shah in
1979. Having said that, Ledeen, whose past activities have included
trashing the CIA, appeared to be trying to suck up to the current
CIA Director, George Tenet, by not blaming the lack of such sources
on him and by describing him as "...personable..."
Maybe Tenetís recent denial of having cooked the results of a major
U.S. intelligence assessment that supported the notion that Iraq
had WMD was a factor in getting this on-line kudo from Ledeen. But
this is still odd given the penchant for Ledeen and other members
of the Axis of Deceit for trashing those who will not cooperate
with them or do their exact bidding.
me engage in some plausible speculation regarding Ledeenís attempt
to curry favor with George Tenet. Does Ledeen think he can get some
useful information on Iran from Tenet so as to push for the U.S.
to foment a revolution in Iran? Could it be that Tenet, for reasons
not given publicly, has not been sharing intelligence reports on
Iran outside the confines of CIA headquarters? This might be the
case if CIA was getting some useful reports from Britainís Secret
Intelligence Service, known as MI6. Such reports, when shared, are
subject to extremely strict controls, meaning that they could not
be distributed outside Langley and could only be used in a finished
intelligence analysis under the most dire circumstances and with
the approval of MI6 and its organizational supervisor, Britainís
Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). And that is because disclosure
of the information could result in the loss of the source, possibly
including the sourceís death. (Exx-Gman comment: seems ironic, doesnít
it you get intelligence then donít use it only in government
does this happen).
this view of the situation with MI6 and the JIC not wanting their
report or reports disseminated throughout the U.S. intelligence
community would be especially true given the heavy leakage of
intelligence including the cooked intelligence on the phantom
Iraqi WMDís through Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith,
and their conduits on the Defense Policy Board such as Richard Perle,
R. James Woolsey, Newt Gingrich, etc., to folks like Ledeen and
others at the AEI. Note further that AEI has been holding frequent
breakfast briefings for Axis of Deceit members both within and
outside of the Bush Administration. While disclosure of raw intelligence
information at such breakfast meetings is unlikely, big names like
Gingrich, Perle, and Woolsey can talk about such issues and give
their thoughts which have certainly been shaped by their access
to highly classified information given to Defense Policy Board members in such a way as to divulge just the essential conclusions.
of Ledeenís Past Attempts to Milk the Intelligence Cow
this is even more true if a character like Ledeen might get his
hands on such extremely sensitive information. A report from the
November 14,1988 issue of The Nation by Jefferson Morley
provided details of Ledeenís operating style, including some references
to his alleged involvement and lies over the Iran-Contra affair.
Ledeen wrote a book about the Iran-Contra affair, entitled "Perilous
Statecraft: An Insiderís Account of the Iran-Contra Affair."
According to Morley, the book combined "...Ledeenís two most
salient features, a whining, turgid prose style and a chronic inability
to tell the truth. It even contradicts the shifty testimony he gave
during the Congressional Investigation."
this report verified to me as an accurate account by a source
I know and trust Morley also described how Ledeen had been
recommended by senior Reaganites for a job as a consultant on terrorism
to Noel Koch, who served in various senior appointed positions at
the Pentagon from 19811986 in the Reagan Administration. According
to Morley, who quoted from a letter Koch sent to the Congressional
committee that oversaw the Justice Department and the FBI, Koch
went on to describe how Ledeen would criticize the CIA and its then-Deputy
Director of Operations. Finally, Ledeen tried to get Koch to get
him copies of two specific reports from the CIA. Ledeen claimed
that he could not go directly to CIA and ask for access.
Koch was suspicious, particularly because of Ledeenís obnoxious
persistence in seeking access to the two reports and because Ledeen,
despite being paid by the Defense Department, provided no useful
product to Koch (Exx-Gman comment: but then, that is what politically-connected
government consultants do they generally get paid and give little,
if nothing, in return). According to Morleyís quote of Koch, regarding
Ledeenís terrorism expertise, "In a collegial environment,
it seemed cavalier to challenge what becomes transparent crap at
a distance.... when I had requested Ledeenís help, he had demonstrated
no capacity to contribute anything of value."
the letter to the Congressional committee quoted by Morley, Koch
would not get the two CIA reports for Ledeen, and he subsequently
cut off Ledeen from any further access to classified information.
"The titles of those reports were (and are) very precise, and
stylized in such a way that they could not have been guessed at,
or hit upon accidentally under any conceivable circumstances. Moreover,
given compartmentation procedures, it seemed strange that anyone
could be in a position to know those titles and yet not be in a
position to have access to them. As pure information, the titles
would have been as sensitive and inaccessible as the reports themselves."
several repeated, but polite, rebuffs from Koch, Ledeen stopped
trying to gain access to classified information through Koch and
picked up a consultancy with the National Security Council. According
to Koch, as described in the Morley article, Ledeen continued to
get consulting jobs in various parts of the government, all the
time getting access to highly classified information.
also tried to gain access to classified information through other
to Kochís letter to the Congressional committee, as quoted by Morley,
"Ledeen roved thought a number of sensitive U.S. government
agencies, jumping from one consultancy to the next (each time just
as he was being ousted from the preceding one) and availing himself
of material bearing on some of the most sensitive matters facing
the government in the past eight years; was directly instrumental
in causing the Iran arms for hostages mess, an act of mischief doubly
astonishing in that he had no authority to represent U.S. interest
in any fashion whatsoever and his role, in spite of his connections
within the Administration, was that of an outsider; lied about efforts
to acquire by ruse classified information for which he had no legitimate
claim; and while he lived in Italy, was carried by the CIA station
chief in Rome as an agent of influence of a foreign government,
according to a current ranking official of the CIA who was associated
with the activities of the Rome station in that period."
bottom line is that Ledeen is a slippery operator who has managed
to wangle access to highly classified information and has used it
for his own purposes, including the manufacturing of propaganda
to advance the goals of the neocon Axis of Deceit, which include
expanding the U.S. empire and possibly providing aid and comfort
to a foreign country at the expense of U.S. security.
Need to Reduce U.S. Intelligence Activities
I have argued a number of times before, the size and breadth of
U.S. intelligence activities goes way beyond what is needed for
true U.S. national security. The size and coverage attract the Michael
Ledeenís of this world who want to gain access to classified intelligence
for their own selfish ends and not for keeping the U.S. safe. But,
as is well-argued in Hans-Hermann
Hoppeís Democracy: The God That Failed,
that is what you get when you have a government with a territorial
monopoly and the power to tax its inhabitants to pay for "security
services": a government-run
protection racket that charges a higher price for a lower quality
Grichar (aka Exx-Gman) [send
him mail], formerly an economist with the federal government,
writes to "un-spin" the federal government's attempt to con the
teaches economics part-time at a community college and provides
economic consulting services to the private sector.
© 2003 LewRockwell.com