Washington, D.C., August 11, 2008: “This weekend, both the
United States and Georgia shot themselves in their
respective feet when the unstable Georgian President, a kept whore
of the CIA and the Bush administration, decided to make war on his
neighbor. Every a humanitarian, he opened fire on purely civilian
areas and inflicted terrible casualties. The Russians, who we know
now had been tipped off about this piratical venture, responded at
once with great force, driving out the invaders and then charging
ahead into Georgia itself. Terrified American
military and CIA personnel fled the country and terrified wails from
the Georgians for Bush to come and help his friends went unheard.
The state of
has been kissing up to the
after our CIA paid for their departure from the
felt it had a powerful protector and could defy their old enemies
with impunity. The
armed the Georgian army, their capitol was filled with CIA agents
and so they decided, in essence, to attack Putin. Putin knew in
advance about this, just as Bush knew in advance about the 9/11
attacks, and built up the Russian response forces on his side of the
And, secure in their
false knowledge that there were American troops in
which would, they felt, prevent a Russian response, they invaded
their neighbor. The Russians responded and pushed out of the
reconquered territory and into
itself, with the bedraggled Georgian army in full and pathetic
The Georgian leadership
fled into the mountains after declaring war on
and the Russians then bombedthe
oil lines and the oil processing plants at the
It is interesting to
note, and our press has not, that these facilities are owned by the
UAE who are howling to Bush to protect their immense investment.
can Bush do for them? The same thing he can do for
The Georgians struck first, giving Putin the moral right to
defend and strike back (The Georgians were stupid enough to blow up
a barracks with Russian soldiers inside) so it will be hard for
Congoleeza to make a good moral case against
. Besides, morals and ethics are excellent norms but in global
politics, not effective techniques. The pathetic pipings of the
useless UN will have about as much effect on Putin as will Bush's
mouthings. I see all of this as very, very interesting, given the
In April of 2008, Georgia’s defense
ministry announced that a
Russian fighter jet has shot down an unmanned reconnaissance
aircraft over the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia,
Russians officially denied the Georgian claim
the time. Vladimir Putin asked of the Georgian government as who why
a reconnaissance drone, later identified as an Israeli-made Hermes
450.was being used in a
sensitive military area.
area in question is very sensitive because Abkhazia, once part of Georgia, along
officially broken away from Georgia when it
declared its independence from Russia in the
Russian and UN military peacekeepers have been deployed in
the two regions since breakukp when violence erupted as the two
areas broke free from Georgian control.
Georgian government has insisted that Moscow has been
instigating the separatist conflict in Abkhazia to maintain Russian
influence in the region and to damage Georgia's hopes of
Georgian military spokesman stated, "This aircraft attacked and
destroyed a Georgian UAV [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle]. Once again, Georgia was
exercising [its] sovereign right to monitor a situation on its own
separatist administration has said its own forces shot down the
drone because it was violating Abkhaz airspace and breaching
Georgia had been
accusing Russia of trying
to annex Abkhazia and South
deciding to seek closer ties with them.
Russia has said
its proposal is aimed at protecting the rights and legal interests
of Russian citizens, who make up the majority of the population in
Abkhazia and South
had earlier decided not to grant Georgia's request
to join its Membership Action Plan but promised it would eventually
become a member of the alliance at an unspecified future date. Georgia has been
supported economically and militarily by the United
Background: U.S.Military activity in Georgia
location, situated between the Black
gives it strategic importance far beyond its size. It has been seen
as the vital key to the corridor from the Black
to the Caucasus
and vital oil shipments to the western nations. Also, Georgia
is viewed as a base for American troops and clectronic surveillance
units that can closely monitor activity inside Russia. Georgia has a long but contentious relationship with
Russia, who had occupied it for many years and for this reasons,
Washington targeted Georgia as a potential base as part of a plan to
hive off parts of the former Imperial/Soviet empire and bring them
into an American military and economic orbit.. Under American
signed a partnership and cooperation agreement with the European
Union, participates in NATO's programs, (which were designed to
again with American assistance, encouraged foreign investment. China,
maintain embassies in Tbilisi.
is a significant bilateral donor. Georgia
is a member of the UN, the OSCE, and the CIS. It has also been an
observer in the Council of Europe.
relations have been very close since Georgia
officially broke away from Russian control.. Georgian leaders have
often noted that U.S.
economic and military aid was vital in assisting Georgia
to recover from a civil war and economic disasters after she
separated from Russia..
assistance is currently targeted to support Georgia's
economic and political reform programs, with an emphasis on
development of the oil industry and an improvement of the Georgian
military. The United
Stateshas been providing Georgia
approximately $1.2 billion in assistance, averaging about $100
also has provided Georgia
with bilateral security assistance, including through the
International Military Education and Training (IMET) program.
Evolving U.S.-Georgia programs include the Georgia Train and Equip
Program, intended to enhance Georgia's
military capability and stimulate military reform, programs by the
Georgia (U.S.) National Guard, visits by the Sixth Fleet and the
Coast Guard to Georgia, and the Bilateral Working Group on Defense
and Military Cooperation.
The United States has been
extensively training the Georgian army using American-made weapons,
with an eye to possible Georgian inclusion in NATO. Most of the
traininghas been at the
Vaziani military base near the Georgian capital.
than 1,000 U.S. Marines and soldiers were at the baseto teach combat skills to Georgian troops.
President Mikhail Saakashvili praised an earlier joint military
training program involving more than 1,000 U.S. Marines and soldiers
at a former Soviet base at Vazianiprior to the Georgian attack on Ossetia and a further
attack on Abkhazia following what was believed to be a successful
occupation of Ossetia.Georgian President Saakashvili stated recently in comments
broadcast on Georgian television, that Georgia has "the
best trained and equipped army" in the strategic Caucasus mountain
Marines and airmen have been quarteredin Tbilisi to teach
combat skills to Georgian soldiers, as well as 30 selected troops
from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. The program,
called Exercise Immediate Response 2008
In January, 2008, Georgian defense officials began to phase
out use of the Russian-designed Kalashnikov rifle and introduce the
American M-16. Georgian troops were training mostly with American
weapons on two gunnery ranges Friday. Many NATO countries use the
. Georgia has about 2,000 troops in Iraq — making it the
third largest contributor to coalition forces after the U.S. and
Britain — but plans to end the Iraq operation by the end of this
year.So far, five Georgian soldiers have died in the conflict.
Marine Capt. James Haunty, 30, of Columbus, Ohio, commander of
Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, said Friday that he was
keeping an eye on the simmering conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
"I'm not concerned about anything serious happening as
long as there are U.S. troops here in Georgia," Haunty said,
shortly before 50-caliber machine gun bullets began peppering a
hillside at the Vaziani training complex, about 6 miles (10
kilometers) east of the capital. "But we still will monitor the
The U.S. soldiers,
Marines and airmen arrived in Tbilisi in mid-July
to teach combat skills to Georgian soldiers, as well as 30 troops
from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. The program,
called Exercise Immediate Response 2008, includes simulated attacks
from roadside bombs and other challenges troops might expect in Iraq, Haunty said.
Lance Cpl. Jonah Salyers, 23, of Columbus, Ohio, a Marine
reservist, said it was his first trip outside of the United States and conceded
that he might not have been able to find the republic of Georgia on a map.
"I could have found the state, I'll tell you that,"
he said Friday.
Pointing to the snowcapped Caucasus
mountains to the north,
Salyers said: "Obviously the countryside is absolutely
Cpl. Georgi Adaze, 21, who joined Georgia's 4th
Infantry Brigade seven months ago, said he enjoyed working with the
American troops. "I am ready to serve my country and get
military experience," he said, in an interview closely
monitored by two Georgian military officers.
Georgia, which was ruled by Moscow for most of the two
centuries preceding the breakup of the Soviet Union, has angered
Russia by seeking NATO membership — a bid Moscow regards as part
of a Western effort to weaken its influence in the region.
In January, Georgian defense officials began to phase out use
of the Russian-designed Kalashnikov rifle and introduce the American
M-16. Georgian troops were training mostly with American weapons on
two gunnery ranges Friday. Many NATO countries use the M-16.
also decided earlier this year to increase the size of its armed
forces from about 32,000 to 37,000
Georgia’s attacks and the subsequent unexpected Russian military
responses, the Georgian government has demanded that the United
States immediately return to Georgia, the over 2,000 Georgian troops
that has been fighting in Iraq as part of the American occupation
problem.. By August 11,U.S. military
aircraft had returned about 800 Georgian troops and some armored
vehicles back to Georgia.
This, of course, made it expedient for the Russians to
increase the number of their own troops in Georgia,
according to Col.
Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn a senior Russian military official. "We
are ready to increase our forces in view of the relocation of
Georgian troops," he said following Russia's
deployment of 58th Army units to supplement its peacekeepers in South
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the U.S.,
which has backed Georgia's
NATO membership aspirations, is hampering the peacekeeping operation
by flying the Georgian troops from Iraq
battle tanks (T-72): 82
personnel carriers: 139
aircraft (Su-25): Seven
artillery pieces (including Grad rocket launchers): 95
battle tanks (various): 6,717
personnel carriers: 6,388
aircraft (various): 1,206
artillery pieces (various): 7,550
Thursday August 7, 2008
Fighting between Georgian forces and separatists in South Ossetia resumes just hours after the two sides
agree to observe a ceasefire and hold Russian-mediated talks to end
Before the ceasefire breaks down, Georgian President Mikhail
Saakashvili says in a televised address that the spiral of violence
has to stop and calls on South Ossetian separatists not to try the
Earlier, South Ossetian rebel leader Eduard Kokoity says that
Georgia had launched an all-out attack on
Tskhinvali, in what he called "a perfidious and base
The head of Georgian forces in South Ossetia says the operation is intended to
"restore constitutional order" to the region, while the
government says the troops are "neutralising separatist
fighters attacking civilians".
Russia's special envoy in South Ossetia, Yurij Popov, says Georgia's military operation shows that it
cannot be trusted and he calls on NATO to reconsider plans to offer
Friday August 8, 2008
Russia says its troops have been involved in
fierce clashes with Georgian forces in and around the South Ossetian
Georgia says its military bases have been
attacked by Russian aircraft, but the Georgian President Mikhail
Saakashvili says his forces are now in control of Tskhinvali. The
separatists, for their part, say they control the city.
President Saakashvili says 30 Georgians have been killed,
while Moscow claims that 21 Russian soldiers have
lost their lives.
The Georgian authorities say they expect a Russian attack on
the capital, Tbilisi.
Georgia also announces it is withdrawing half of
its contingent of 2,000 troops from Iraq, so that they can be sent to South Ossetia.
International aid agencies, meanwhile, express grave concern
about the plight of civilians caught up in the conflict.
In Tskhinvali, many people are reportedly sheltering from the
fierce fighting in their cellars. The UN refugee agency says
thousands of people have fled and many homes have been destroyed. It
says water and food are in short supply.
An International Red Cross spokeswoman says ambulances cannot
move, hospitals are overflowing, and surgery is taking place in the
Saturday, August 9, 2008
The Georgian parliament approves a presidential decree
declaring a "state of war", as Russian planes attack the
central Georgian town of Gori, not far from border with South Ossetia.
The aircraft appear to target military bases where government
troops have been massing. In one of the raids, however, two
apartment blocks are hit, leaving scores of civilians killed or
Russia confirms that two of its planes have
been shot down over Georgia.
Earlier, Russian military commanders say their troops had
taken the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, after a Georgian
attempt to seize it.
Moscow insists more than a thousand civilians
have so far been killed - a claim vehemently denied by Tbilisi.
August 10, 2008
battled Georgian forces on land and sea, reports said late Sunday,
despite a Georgian cease-fire offer and its claim to be withdrawing
from South Ossetia, the separatist Georgian province battered by
days of intense fighting.
claimed to have sunk a Georgian boat that was trying to attack
Russian vessels in the Black
and Georgian officials said Russia
sent tanks from South
proper, heading toward a strategic city before being turned back.
planes on Sunday twice bombed an area near the Georgian capital's
airport, officials said.
violence appeared to show gargantuan Russia's
determination to subdue diminutive, U.S.-backed Georgia,
even at the risk of international reproach. Russia
fended off a wave of international calls to observe Georgia's
cease-fire, saying it must first be assured that Georgian troops
have indeed pulled back from South
envoys were heading in to try to end the conflict before it spreads
throughout the Caucasus,
a region plagued by ethnic tensions. But it was unclear what
inducements or pressure the envoys could bring to bear, or to what
extent either side was truly sensitive to world opinion.
President Mikhail Saakashvili said one of the Russian raids on the
airport area came a half hour before the arrival of the foreign
ministers of France
- in the country to try to mediate.
Interior Ministry spokesman Temur Yakobashvili said Russian tanks
tried to cross from South
into the territory
proper, but were turned back by Georgian forces. He said the tanks
apparently were trying to approach Gori, but did not fire on the
city of about 50,000 that sits on Georgia's
only significant east-west highway.
also sent naval vessels to patrol off Georgia's
coast, but denied Sunday that the move was aimed at establishing a
ITAR-Tass news agency quoted a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman as
saying that Georgian missile boats twice tried to attack Russian
ships, which fired back and sank one of the Georgian vessels.
broke away from Georgian control in 1992. Russia
granted passports to most of its residents and the region's
separatist leaders sought to absorb the region into Russia.
whose troops have been trained by American soldiers, began an
offensive to regain control over South
overnight Friday, launching heavy rocket and artillery fire and air
strikes that pounded the regional capital Tskhinvali. Georgia
says it was responding to attacks by separatists.
launched massive artillery shelling and air attacks on Georgian
Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said more than 2,000 people
had been killed in South
since Friday, most of them Ossetians with Russian passports. The
figures could not be independently confirmed.
respected Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy reported that two
journalists were killed by South Ossetian separatists, citing a
correspondent of Russian Newsweek magazine.
of civilians have fled South
- many seeking shelter in the Russian province
Georgians burned all of our homes," said one elderly woman, as
she sat on a bench under a tree with three other white-haired
survivors of the fighting. She seemed confused by the conflict.
"The Georgians say it is their land," she said.
"Where is our land, then? We don't know."
scope of Russia's
military response has the Bush administration deeply worried.
have made it clear to the Russians that if the disproportionate and
dangerous escalation on the Russian side continues, that this will
have a significant long-term impact on U.S.-Russian relations,"
deputy national security adviser Jim Jeffrey told reporters.
military began flying 2,000 Georgian troops home from Iraq
recalled them, even while calling for a truce.
expresses its readiness to immediately start negotiations with the Russian
on a cease-fire and termination of hostilities," the Georgian
Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that it had notified Russia's
envoy to Tbilisi.
insisted Georgian troops were continuing their attacks.
charge d'affairs in Washington,
said Georgian soldiers were "not withdrawing but regrouping,
including heavy armor and increased attacks on Tskhinvali."
mobilization is still under way," he told CNN's "Late
Bush sought to contain the conflict in Georgia
on Sunday as the White House warned that "Russian aggression
must not go unanswered." Bush, in Beijing
for the Olympics, has pressed for internaitonal mediation and
reached out Sunday to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who heads
the European Union. The two agreed on the need for a cease-fire and
a respect for Georgia's
integrity, a White House spokesman said.
U.N. Security Council met for the fourth time in four days Sunday,
with U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad accusing Moscow
of seeking "regime change" in Georgia
and resisting attempts to make peace. Russian Ambassador Vitaly
Churkin said Russians don't use the expression, but acknowledged
there were occasions when elected leaders "become an
borders the Black
and was ruled by Moscow
for most of the two centuries preceding the 1991 breakup of the Soviet
and Abkhazia have run their own affairs without international
recognition since fighting to split from Georgia
in the early 1990s.
separatist provinces have close ties with Moscow,
has deeply angered Russia
by wanting to join NATO.
Security Council chief Alexander Lomaia said the Georgian troops had
to move out of South
because of heavy Russian shelling. "Russia
further escalated its aggression overnight, using weapons on an
unprecedented scale," Lomaia said.
Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner called the hostilities in South
"massacres," hours before he and Finnish counterpart
Alexander Stubb left for Tbilisi
and a meeting with Saakashvili.
said he would deliver a "message of peace" to Georgia
and call on both countries "to stop the fighting
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, meeting Saturday with South
refugees who had fled across the border to the Russian city of Vladikavkaz,
actions as "complete genocide." Putin also said Georgia
had lost the right to rule the breakaway province - an indication Moscow
could be ready to absorb the province.
jets raided several Georgian air bases Saturday and bombed the Black
port city of Poti,
which has a sizable oil shipment facility. The Russian warplanes
also struck near the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline which carries
Caspian crude to the West.
officials said they were targeting Georgian communications and lines
of supply. But a Russian raid Saturday on Gori near South
which apparently targeted a military base on the town's outskirts,
also killed many civilians.
residents who survived the Georgian bombardment overnight Friday by
hiding in basements and later fled the city estimated that hundreds
of civilians had died.
Georgian government said Sunday that 6,000 Russian troops have
rolled into South
the neighboring Russian province
and 4,000 more landed in Abkhazia. The Russian military wouldn't
comment on troop movements.
also sent a naval squadron to blockade Georgia's
where the ships were based, warned Russia
in response that it has the right to bar the ships from coming back
to port because of their mission.
have sought to free themselves of Russia's
influence, and to integrate into the West and join NATO.
said it has shot down 10 Russian planes, but Russia
acknowledged only two.
Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said Russia
territorial integrity in South
and employed a "disproportionate use of force."
woes, Russian-supported separatists in Abkhazia launched air and
artillery strikes on Georgian troops to drive them out of a small
part of the province they control.
separatist government called out the army and reservists on Sunday
and declared it would push Georgian forces out of the northern part
of the Kodori Gorge, the only area of Abkhazia still under Georgian
Abkhazia forces also were concentrating on the border near Georgia's
August 11, 2008
Georgia's president says Russia's troops have
effectively cut the country in half by seizing a strategic city that
straddles the country's main east-west highway.
Mikhail Saakashvili made the statement in a national security
council meeting on Monday, about an hour after officials claimed
Russian troops had captured Gori, about 60 miles west of the capital
news agency Interfax cited a Russian Defense Ministry official as
denying the reports of the seizure.
a top official at the Georgian embassy in Moscow, Givi Shugarov, said
Russian troops appeared to be moving toward Tbilisi and he alleged Russia's goal was
"complete liquidation" of the Georgian government.
tanks and armored vehicles moving into South Ossetia
children from South Ossetia who fled to Russia after the Georgian
Naval Blockade of Georgia
It has been
reliably reportedthat Russian naval units of the Black Sea
Fleetare forming up in
the Black Sea near the
Georgian border. Official Russian naval sources state that this move
isnecessary to prevent
the delivery of military arms and supplies to Georgia by sea. It is
also stated that the forthcoming Russian naval blockade of Georgia will help
avoid escalation of military actions in Abkhazia.
The construction of a seaport at Poti was conceived shortly
after the ImperialRussian
Empire conquered the town from the Ottoman
Empire in 1828. In 1858, Poti was granted the status of a
city, but it was not until 1899 when, under the patronage
of the mayor of Poti Niko
Nikoladze, the construction entered the sprint stages and
was basically complete by 1907. The seaport has since reconstructed
several times, most recently under the sponsorship of the Dutch
government and the European
In 2007, the total volume of trade was 7.7 million tons and
container handling was 185,000 TEU
April 2008, Georgia sold a 51% stake of the Poti port area to the
Investment Authority of the UAE’s
Al Khaimah (RAK) emirate to develop a free
economic zone (FEZ) in a 49-year management concession,
and to manage a new port terminal.The UAE is now vigorously
protesting to Washington to “declare its unconditional support of
Georgia and sent troops to the area to secure it from unprovoked
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline runs a total of 1768 km., of which 443
km. stretches through Azerbaijan, 249 km.
through Georgia and 1076 km.
Construction of the pipeline began in 2003 and it began to pump oil
on May 18, 2005. About 1
million barrels of oil per year are pumped through the pipeline.
Construction of the pipeline cost $4 billion, not counting the
filling of the pipeline, financial servicing or interest costs. The
shareholders in the pipeline are
Azerbaijan, which borders Georgia, announced Saturday it had halted oil
exports via the Georgian ports ofBatumi and Kulevi
due to the fighting between Georgia and Russia.
episode of Realpolitik clearly illustrates a point once made by Otto
von Bismarck who was having a discussion with a German politician
concerning projected new governmental policies. Bismarck
said, “If you are not prepared to follow your ideas up with
cannon, forget them.”
The American government has made a policy of antagonizing
Vladimir Putin in every way they possibly can, most notably by
arm-twisting the Czechs, the Poles and the Estonians to let the US
install a ‘missile shield” whose sole purpose was to threaten
Russia. The next step in this policy was to deal with the emotional
and nationalistic new President of Georgia who was put in place with
American money and CIA guidance. The idea was to both develop Georgia
as a military base of operations and to further taunt Putin by
up for membership in NATO. Washington
reckoned without the volatility and basic instability of their
captive Georgian leader and his deliberate military attack against South
once a part of Georgia
but now an independent country who wanted nothing to do with the
That the Russians had foreknowledge of this attack is now
well-known in some intelligence circles and Putin, rather than
strike first, waited for the Georgians to make their first
aggressive move. Russian troops and armor were quietly moved into
the Russian border area with South
and when American CIA units, very active in Georgia,
tried to send reconnaissance drones over Russian territory to see if
there were any military units there, the Russians quickly shot the
This should have alerted American intelligence but they chose
to ignore a very plain warning and sat back and watched catastrophe
descend. As Russian troops and armor crossed the South
border and pushed into Georgia,
there was a panic-stricken flight of all American diplomatic,
intelligence and military personnel to safety.
That the bewildered Georgians became aware they had been
abandoned was not addressed. In the final analysis, It is entirely
obvious that Bush could not have reacted to the Russian military
action without the very strong probability of instigating military
reaction from Putin so he has comforted himself, but not the
Georgians, with pious platitudes about finding peace and consulting
The damage done, and being done, to America’s reputation of
defender of the weak and the democratic is appallingbut as Bush will soon be out of office, those who come after
him will have to live with his Iraqi debacle, to which has been
added a very real political and military defeat in Georgia.
, a Perfect Brew for a Blowup
August 10, 2008
the bloody military mismatch between Russia
unfolded over the past three days, even the main players were
surprised by how quickly small border skirmishes slipped into a
conflict that threatened the Georgian government and perhaps the
country itself. Several American and Georgian officials said that
unlike when Russia
in 1979, a move in which Soviet forces were massed before the
attack, the nation had not appeared poised for an invasion last
week. As late as Wednesday, they said, Russian diplomats had been
pressing for negotiations between Georgia
the breakaway region where the combat flared and then escalated into
doesn’t look like this was premeditated, with a massive staging of
equipment,” one senior American official said. “Until the night
before the fighting, Russia
seemed to be playing a constructive role.”
while the immediate causes and the intensity of the Russian invasion
had caught Georgia and the Western foreign policy establishment by
surprise, there had been signs for years that Georgia
had methodically, if quietly, prepared for conflict.
other long-term factors had also contributed to the possibility of
war. They included the Kremlin’s military successes in Chechnya,
which gave Russia the latitude and sense of internal security it
needed to free up troops to cross its borders, and the exuberant
support of the United States for President Mikheil
Saakashvili of Georgia, a figure loathed by the
Kremlin on both personal and political terms.
by preparing Georgian soldiers for duty in Iraq,
appeared to have helped embolden Georgia,
if inadvertently, to enter a fight it could not win.
officials and a military officer who have dealt with Georgia
said privately that as a result, the war risked becoming a foreign
policy catastrophe for the United
whose image and authority in the region were in question after it
had proven unable to assist Georgia
or to restrain the Kremlin while the Russian Army pressed its
bureaucratic and military groundwork was laid even before Mr.
Saakashvili came to power in 2004 and positioned himself as one of
the world’s most strident critics of the Kremlin.
the presidency of Vladimir
V. Putin, Russia
had already been granting citizenship and distributing passports to
virtually all of the adult residents of South
and Abkhazia, the much larger separatist region where Russia
had also massed troops over the weekend. The West had been skeptical
of the validity of Russia’s
handing out passports by the thousands to citizens of another
a document does not make you a Russian citizen,” one American
diplomat said in 2004, as Russia
expanded the program.
whatever the legal merits, the Kremlin had laid the foundation for
one of its public relations arguments for invading: its army was
coming to the aid of Russian citizens under foreign attack.
the ensuing years, even as Russia
issued warnings, Mr. Saakashvili grew bolder. There were four
regions out of Georgian control when he took office in 2004, but he
restored two smaller regions, Ajaria in 2004 and the upper Kodori
Gorge in 2006, with few deaths.
victories gave him a sense of momentum. He kept national
reintegration as a central plank of his platform.
however, began retaliating against Georgia
in many ways. It cut off air service and mail between the countries,
closed the border and refused Georgian exports. And by the time the
Kodori Gorge was back in Georgian control, Russia
had also consolidated its hold over Chechnya,
which is now largely managed by a local leader, Ramzan
Kadyrov, and his Kremlin-backed Chechen forces.
had for years been the preoccupation of Russian ground forces. But
Mr. Kadyrov’s strength had enabled Russian to garrison many of its
forces and turn its attention elsewhere.
as the contest of wills between Georgia
intensified, the strong support of the United
for Mr. Saakashvili created tensions within the foreign policy
establishment in Washington
and created rival views.
diplomats considered Mr. Saakashvili a politician of unusual
promise, someone who could reorder Georgia
along the lines of a Western democracy and become a symbol of change
in the politically moribund post-Soviet states. Mr. Saakashvili
encouraged this view, framing himself as a visionary who was leading
a column of regional democracy movements.
Other diplomats worried that both Mr. Saakashvili’s persona
and his platforms presented an implicit challenge to the Kremlin,
and that Mr. Saakashvili made himself a symbol of something else: Russia’s
suspicion about American intentions in the Kremlin’s old empire.
They worried that he would draw the United
into arguments that the United
did not want.
feeling was especially true among Russian specialists, who said
that, whatever the merits of Mr. Saakashvili’s positions, his
impulsiveness and nationalism sometimes outstripped his common
sense. The risks were intensified by the fact that the United
did not merely encourage Georgia’s
young democracy, it helped militarize the weak Georgian state.
his wooing of Washington
as he came to power, Mr. Saakashvili firmly embraced the missions of
At first he had almost nothing practical to offer. Georgia’s
military was small, poorly led, ill-equipped and weak.
Mr. Saakashvili’s rise coincided neatly with a swelling American
need for political support and foreign soldiers in Iraq.
His offer of troops was matched with a Pentagon effort to overhaul Georgia’s
forces from bottom to top.
senior levels, the United
helped rewrite Georgian military doctrine and train its commanders
and staff officers. At the squad level, American marines and
soldiers trained Georgian soldiers in the fundamentals of battle.
meanwhile, began re-equipping its forces with Israeli and American
firearms, reconnaissance drones, communications and
battlefield-management equipment, new convoys of vehicles and
stockpiles of ammunition.
public goal was to nudge Georgiatoward NATO
military standards. Privately, Georgian officials welcomed the
martial coaching and buildup, and they made clear that they
considered participation in Iraq as a sure way to prepare the
Georgian military for “national reunification” — the local
euphemism of choice for restoring Abkhazia and South Ossetia to
of these policies collided late last week. One American official who
covers Georgian affairs, speaking on the condition of anonymity
while the United
formulates its next public response, said that everything had gone
Saakashvili had acted rashly, he said, and had given Russia
the grounds to invade. The invasion, he said, was chilling,
disproportionate and brutal, and it was grounds for a strong
censure. But the immediate question was how far Russia
would go in putting Georgia
back into what it sees as Georgia’s
was no sign throughout the weekend of Kremlin willingness to
negotiate. A national humiliation was under way.
Georgians have lost almost everything,” the official said. “We
always told them, ‘Don’t do this because the Russians do not
have limited aims.’ ”
Georgia Overreached in Ossetia?
August 9, 2008
by Tony Karon
The victims, of course, are the
civilians of Georgia and its breakaway South Ossetia region,
caught in the escalating battle between the Georgian military and
South Ossetian separatists and their more powerful Russian backer.
Hundreds are alleged to have been killed in two days of heavy
fighting that has shown no sign of abating by late Saturday, and
thousands more are confronting the resulting humanitarian crisis.
But the battle that began to rage in Georgia as world
leaders were treated to the pyrotechnics of the Beijing Olympics'
opening ceremony may be the most serious challenge to the post-Cold
War balance of power since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Georgia and South Ossetia have been squared off in an uneasy peace
for more than a decade, now, since the region broke away from Georgia in the early
'90s, following its independence from the Soviet Union. After a
protracted war that killed around 1,000 people and displaced
thousands more ethnic Georgians from the territory, Georgia was
compelled to sign a cease-fire agreement that left South Ossetia - a
tiny mountainous territory a few football fields smaller than Rhode
Island - effectively autonomous, but unable to secure recognition by
the international community. Still, Russia has
protected the region, providing finance, military protection and
even passports, and has used South Ossetia's secession,
together with that of Abkhazia, another breakaway region of Georgia, as leverage
against Tblisi's desire to join NATO. Moscow sees Georgia's move
towards NATO as part of a strategy of hostile encirclement of Russia by Western
powers, and when the Western alliance enabled Kosovo's secession
from Serbia earlier this
year despite the fact that its independence is not recognized by the
United Nations, many analysts expected Russia to retaliate
by further stoking the fires of secession in Georgia.
On Friday, Georgian forces shelled South Ossetian population
centers and launched a ground invasion deep into the territory. By , news reports announced that they had
immobilized much of the opposition and had taken control of South Ossetia's capital,Tskhinvali.
The city came under attack by aircraft, artillery and armor, and South Ossetia officials
claimed that more than 1,000 people had been killed. Still, the
lightning offensive appeared to have put Georgia back in
charge of the breakaway region, and made good on Saakashvili's
campaign promise. The offensive touched off wild celebrations in the
Georgian capital, Tbilisi.
"Georgians are by nature extremely patriotic and this event has
galvanized them together," David Womble, National director of
WorldVision, a Christian humanitarian NGO with operations in the
country, told TIME. At one point, he said, thousands and thousands
of cars filled the streets of the capital, honking their horns and
with their passengers waving Georgian flags. Says Womble, "It
was as if Georgia had won the
World Cup and was celebrating."
Russia's initial response was to convene an
emergency session of the U.N. Security Council, hoping to pass a
resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire between Georgia and South Ossetia. But the Russian draft resolution was
contentious. The UnitedState and others objected to language that
appeared to exempt Russia from condemnation over the use of force.
Russia is frequently blamed for destabilizing
the region to its own benefit and using its peacekeeping force as a
cover for maintaining a military presence in the region. The
Security Council failed to agree on a resolution, and the following
day, as Russian media began to report casualties among Russian
troops and citizens in South Ossetia, a stern-faced President Dmitri
Medvedev appeared on prime-time television to make a chilling call
to arms: "I am obligated to defend the life and honor of
Russian citizens, wherever they may be," he said. "We will
not let those responsible for the death of our people go
unpunished." And with that, Russian armor and artillery began
pouring in to South Ossetia, and its aircraft began bombing Georgian
positions. By Saturday, there were conflicting reports over which
side controlled South Ossetia, but Russian planes had pounded the
nearby Georgian town of Gori, in raids that Georgian officials said
had killed 60 people.
Whether or not the effect was intended, Moscow now appears
to be using Saakashvili's strategic overreach to teach a brutal
lesson not only to the Georgians, but also to other neighbors
seeking to align themselves with the West against Russia. Saakashvili
is appealing for Western support, based on international recognition
of South Ossetia as sovereign
Georgian territory. "A full-scale aggression has been launched
against Georgia," he
said, calling for Western intervention. But given NATO's previous
warnings, its commitments elsewhere and the reluctance of many of
its member states to antagonize Russia, it remains
unlikely that Georgia will get
more than verbal support from its desired Western protectors.
Saakashvili appears to have both underestimated the scale of the
Russian backlash, and overestimated the extent of support he could
count on from the U.S. and its
allies. The Georgian leader may have expected Washington to step up
to his defense, particularly given his country's centrality to the
geopolitics of energy - Georgia is the only alternative to Russia as
the route for a pipeline carrying oil westward from Azerbaijan. But Russia is not
threatening to overrun Georgia. Moscow claims to be
simply using its military to restore the secessionist boundary,
which in the process would deal Saakashvili a humiliating defeat.
Although its outcome is yet to be decided, there's no win-win
outcome to the offensive launched by Georgia with the goal of recovering South Ossetia. Either Saakashvili wins, or Moscow does. Unless the U.S. and its allies demonstrate an unlikely
appetite for confrontation with an angry and resurgent Russia in its own backyard, the smart money
would be on Moscow.
by Sasha Levine/Moscow
Georgia's volatile risk-taker has
gone over the brink
President shouldn't expect sympathy from the West, where patience is
Caucasus is the kind of place where, when the guns start firing,
it's hard to stop them. That is the brutal reality of South Ossetia,
where a small conflict is beginning to spread exponentially.
Leave aside the geopolitics for the moment and have pity for
the people who will suffer most from this, the citizens - mostly
ethnic Ossetians but also Georgians - who have already died in their
hundreds. It is a tiny and vulnerable place, with no more than
75,000 inhabitants of both nationalities mixed up in a patchwork of
villages and one sleepy provincial town in the foothills of the
Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili seems to care less
about these people than about asserting that they live in Georgian
territory. Otherwise he would not on the night of 7-8 August have
launched a massive artillery assault on the town of Tskhinvali,
which has no purely military targets and whose residents, the
Georgians say, lest we forget, are their own citizens. This is a
blatant breach of international humanitarian law.
Moscow cares as little about the Ossetians as it does the
Georgians it is bombing, regarding South Ossetia as a pawn in its
bid to bring Georgia and its neighbours back into a Russian sphere
of influence. Ordinary South Ossetians have also been cursed by a
criminalised leadership which would long ago have lost power had
they not been the rallying point for defence against Georgia.
This conflict was entirely avoidable. Its origin lies in one
of the many majority-minority disputes that accompanied the break-up
of the Soviet Union. The Ossetians, a divided people with one part
living on the Russian north side of the Caucasus, the other in
Georgia, generally felt more comfortable with Russian rule than in a
new post-Soviet Georgian state. A small nasty war with Tbilisi in
1990-91 cost 1,000 lives and left huge bitterness.
But outside high politics, ethnic relations were never bad.
For a decade after South Ossetia's de facto secession from Georgia
in 1991, it was a shady backwater and smugglers' haven. It was
outside nominal Georgian control, but Ossetians and Georgians went
back and forth and traded vigorously with one another at an untaxed
market in the village of Ergneti.
Then Saakashvili came to power in 2004 with heady promises to
restore his country's lost territories. He closed the Ergneti market
and tried to cut off South Ossetia, triggering a summer of violence.
Modelling himself on the medieval Georgian king David the Builder,
he said Georgian territorial integrity would be re-established by
the end of his presidency. He has sought to tear up the imperfect
Russian-framed negotiating framework for South Ossetia, but has not
come up with a viable alternative.
For their part, the Russians upped the stakes and baited
Saakashvili, their bête noire, by effecting a soft annexation of
South Ossetia. Moscow handed out Russian passports to the South
Ossetians and installed Russian officials in government posts there.
Russian soldiers, notionally peacekeepers, have acted as an informal
Saakashvili is a famously volatile risk-taker, veering
between warmonger and peacemaker, democrat and autocrat. On several
occasions international officials have pulled him back from the
brink. On a visit to Washington in 2004, he received a
tongue-lashing from then Secretary of State Colin Powell who told
him to act with restraint. Two months ago, he could have triggered a
war with his other breakaway province of Abkhazia by calling for the
expulsion of Russian peacekeepers from there, but European diplomats
persuaded him to step back. This time he has yielded to provocation
and stepped over the precipice.
The provocation is real, but the Georgian President is rash
to believe this is a war he can win or that the West wants it. Both
George Bush and John McCain have visited Georgia, made glowing
speeches praising Saakashvili and were rewarded with the Order of St
George. But Bush, at least in public, is now bound to be cautious,
calling for a ceasefire.
The reaction in much of Europe will be much less forgiving.
Even before this crisis, a number of governments, notably France and
Germany, were reporting 'Georgia fatigue'. Though they broadly
wished the Saakashvili government well, they did not buy the line
that he was a model democrat - the sight last November of his riot
police tear-gassing protesters in Tbilisi and smashing up an
opposition TV station dispelled that illusion. And they have a long
agenda of issues with Russia, which they regard as more important
than the post-Soviet quarrel between Moscow and Tbilisi. Paris and
Berlin will now say they were right to urge caution on Georgia's
Nato ambitions at the Bucharest Nato summit.
Both sides are behaving badly. It is outrageous that Russia
is seizing the chance to attack Georgian towns and airfields. Dozens
of Georgian civilians are now dying too. But Georgia needs to be
restrained, for its own sake. Otherwise Saakashvili looks set to
lose both the economic stability he has achieved and hope of Nato
membership. He already looks now to have forfeited his other lost
territory of Abkhazia and the prospect of return there for the
quarter of a million Georgians who fled the region during the
1992-93 war. Now it looks as though the Abkhaz are going on the
offensive, taking the opportunity to tell the world that they will
never return to Georgian rule.
de Waal is Caucasus Editor at the Institute for War and Peace
Reporting in London
War in Georgia: The Israeli connection
For past seven
years, Israeli companies have been helping Gerogian army to preparer
for war against Russia through arms deals,
training of infantry units and security advice August 11,
which broke out over the weekend between Russia
has brought Israel's
intensive involvement in the region into the limelight. This
involvement includes the sale of advanced weapons to Georgia
and the training of the Georgian army's infantry forces.
Defense Ministry held a special meeting Sunday to discuss the
various arms deals held by Israelis in Georgia, but no change in
policy has been announced as of yet.
subject is closely monitored," said sources in the Defense
Ministry. "We are not operating in any way which may counter
Israeli interests. We have turned down many requests involving arms
sales to Georgia; and the ones which have been approves have been
duly scrutinized. So far, we have placed no limitations on the sale
of protective measures."
began selling arms to Georgia about seven
years ago following an initiative by Georgian citizens who
immigrated to Israel and became
contacted defense industry officials and arms dealers and told them
that Georgia had relatively large budgets and could be interested in
purchasing Israeli weapons," says a source involved in arms
military cooperation between the countries developed swiftly. The
fact that Georgia's defense
minister, Davit Kezerashvili, is a former Israeli who is fluent in
Hebrew contributed to this cooperation.
door was always open to the Israelis who came and offered his
country arms systems made in Israel," the
source said. "Compared to countries in Eastern Europe, the deals in
this country were conducted fast, mainly due to the defense
minister's personal involvement."
the Israelis who took advantage of the opportunity and began doing
business in Georgia were former Minister Roni Milo and his brother
Shlomo, former director-general of the Military Industries,
Brigadier-General (Res.) Gal Hirsch and Major-General (Res.) Yisrael
Milo conducted business in Georgia for Elbit
Systems and the Military Industries, and with his help Israel's defense
industries managed to sell to Georgia
remote-piloted vehicles (RPVs), automatic turrets for armored
vehicles, antiaircraft systems, communication systems, shells and
to Israeli sources, Gal Hirsch gave the Georgian army advice on the
establishment of elite units such as Sayeret Matkal and on
rearmament, and gave various courses in the fields of combat
intelligence and fighting in built-up areas.
anger the Russians'
Israelis operating in Georgia
attempted to convince the Israeli Aerospace Industries to sell
various systems to the Georgian air force, but were turned down. The
reason for the refusal was "special" relations created
between the Aerospace Industries and Russia
in terms of improving fighter jets produced in the former USSR
and the fear that selling weapons to Georgia
would anger the Russians and prompt them to cancel the deals.
activity in Georgia and the deals
they struck there were all authorized by the Defense Ministry. Israel viewed Georgia as a friendly
state to which there is no reason not to sell arms systems similar
to those Israel exports to
other countries in the world.
the tension between Russia and Georgia grew, however, increasing
voices were heard in Israel – particularly in the Foreign Ministry
– calling on the Defense Ministry to be more selective in the
approval of the deals with Georgia for fear that they would anger
was clear that too many unmistakable Israeli systems in the
possesion of the Georgian army would be like a red cloth in the face
of a raging bull as far as Russia is
concerned," explained a source in the defense establishment.
instance, the Russians viewed the operation of the Elbit System's
RPVs as a real provocation.
was clear that the Russians were angry," says a defense
establishment source, "and that the interception of three of
these RPVs in the past three months was an expression of this anger.
Not everyone in Israel understood
the sensitive nerve Israel touched when
it supplied such an advanced arms system to a country whose
relations with Russia are highly
May it was eventually decide to approve future deals with Georgia only for the
sale of non-offensive weapon systems, such as intelligence,
communications and computer systems, and not to approve deals for
the sale of rifles, aircraft, sells, etc.
senior source in the Military Industry said Saturday that despite
some reporters, the activity of Georgia's military
industry was extremely limited.
conducted a small job for them several years ago," he said.
"The rest of the deals remained on paper."
Pikulin, one of the owners of the Authentico company specializing in
trips and journeys to the area, says however that "the Israeli
is the main investor in the Georgian economy. Everyone is there,
directly or indirectly."
should be proud
Israelis should be proud of themselves for the Israeli training and
education received by the Georgian soldiers," Georgian Minister
Temur Yakobashvili said Saturday.
is a Jew and is fluent in Hebrew. "We are now in a fight
against the great Russia,"
he said, "and our hope is to receive assistance from the White
House, because Georgia
cannot survive on its own.
important that the entire world understands that what is happening
now will affect the entire world order. It's not just Georgia's
business, but the entire world's business."
of the Georgian parliament members did not settle Saturday for the
call for American aid, urging Israel
to help stop the Russian offensive as well: "We need help from
the UN and from our friends, headed by the United
is in danger – tomorrow all the democratic countries in the region
and in the entire world will be in danger too."
Zinger and Hanan Greenberg contributed to this report
note: When we ran the first conversationin this series, there was the question of reader interest and
acceptability. It is pleasant to report that our server was jammed
with viewers and the only other tbrnews story that has had more
viewers was our Forward Base Falcon story that had a half a million
viewers in less that two days. We are now going to reprint all
of the Crowley
conversations, including a very interesting one on John
sequence. It is also pleasant to note that two publishers and three
reporters have all expressed concrete interest in the Crowley
conversations. It is even more pleasurable to note that a number of
people inside the Beltway and in McLean, Virginia, have been
screaming with rage! Here is a partial listing of documents from Crowley’s
personal files, now being scanned for publication:
NumberDescription of Contents_______________________________________________________________________________
BHExtensive file (1,205 pages) of reports on Operation PHOENIX.
Final paper dated January, 1971, first document datedOctober, 1967. Covers the setting up of Regional
Interrogation Centers, staffing, torture techniques including
electric shock, beatings, chemical injections. CIA agents involved
and includes a listing of U.S. military units to include
Military Police, CIC and Special Forces groups involved.
After-action reports from various military units to include 9th
Infantry, showing the deliberate killing of all unarmed civilians
located in areas suspected of harboring or supplying Viet Cong
BHMedium file (223 pages)concerning
the fomenting of civil disobedience in Chile as the result of the
Allende election in 1970. Included are pay vouchers for CIA bribery
efforts with Chilean labor organization and student activist groups,
U.S. military units involved in
the final revolt, letter fromT.
Karamessines, CIA Operations Director to Chile CIA Station Chief
Paul Wimert, passing along a specific order from Nixon via Kissinger
to kill Allende when the coup was successful. Communications to
Pinochet with Nixon instructions to root out by force any remaining
left wing leaders.
BHMedium file (187 pages) of reports of CIA assets containing
photographs of Soviet missile sites, airfields and other strategic
sites taken from commercial aircraft. Detailed descriptions of
targets attached to each picture or pictures.
BHLarge file (1560 pages) of CIA reports on Canadian radio
intelligence intercepts from the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa (1958) and a list of
suspected and identified Soviet agents or sympathizers in Canada, to include members of the
Canadian Parliament and military.
BHMedium file (219 pages) of members of the German Bundeswehr
in the employ of the CIA. The report covers the Innere Führung
group plus members of the signals intelligence service. Another
report, attached, covers CIA assets in German Foreign Office
positions, in Germany and in diplomatic missions
1006:BHLong file (1,287 pages) of events leading up to the killing
of Josef Stalin in 1953 to include reports on contacts with L.P.
Beria who planned to kill Stalin, believing himself to be the target
for removal. Names of cut outs, CIA personnel in Finland and Denmark are noted as are original
communications from Beria and agreements as to his standing down in
the DDR and a list of MVD/KGB files on American informants from 1933
to present. A report on a blood-thinning agent to be made available
to Beria to put into Stalin’s food plus twenty two reports from
Soviet doctors on Stalin’s health, high blood pressure etc. A
report on areas of cooperation between Beria’s people and CIA
controllers in the event of a successful coup. *
BHShort list (125 pages) of CIA contacts with members of the
American media to include press and television and book publishers.
Names of contacts with bios are included as are a list of payments
made and specific leaked material supplied. Also appended is a
shorter list of foreign publications. Under date of August, 1989
with updates to 1992. Walter Pincus of the Washington Post, Bradlee
of the same paper, Ted Koppel, Sam Donaldson and others are
BHA file of eighteen reports (total of 899 pages) documenting
illegal activities on the part of members of the U.S. Congress.
First report dated July 29, 1950 and final one September
15, 1992. Of especial note is a long file on Senator McCarthy
dealing with homosexuality and alcoholism. Also an attached note
concerning the Truman Administration’s use of McCarthy to remove
targeted Communists. These reports contain copies of FBI
surveillance reports, to include photographs and reference to tape
recordings, dealing with sexual events with male and female
prostitutes, drug use, bribery, and other matters.
BHA long multiple file (1,564 pages) dealing with the CIA part
(Kermit Roosevelt) in overthrowing the populist Persian prime
minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. Report from Dulles (John Foster)
concerning a replacement, by force if necessary and to include a
full copy of AJAX operation. Letters from
AIOC on million dollar bribe paid directly to J.Angleton, head of
SOG. Support of Shah requires exclusive contracts with specified
western oil companies. Reports dated from May 1951 through August,
BHMedium file (419 pages) of telephone intercepts made by order
of J.J. Angleton of the telephone conversations between RFK and one
G.N. Bolshakov. Phone calls between 1962-1963 inclusive. Also copies
of intercepted and inspected mail from RFK containing classified
U.S. documents and sent to a cut-out identified as one used by
Bolshakov, a Russian press (TASS) employee. Report on Bolshakov’s
BHLarge file (988 pages) on 1961 Korean revolt of Kwangju revolt led by General Park
Chung-hee and General Kin-Jong-pil. Reports on contacts maintained
by CIA station in Japan to include payments made
to both men, plans for the coup, lists of “undesirables” to be
material on CIA connections with KCIA personnel and an agreement
with themto assassinate
South Korean chief of state, Park, in 1979.
BHSmall file (12 pages) of homosexual activities between FBI
Director Hoover and his aide, Tolson. Surveillance pictures taken in
San Francisco hotel and report by CIA
agents involved. Report analyzed in 1962.
BH Long file (1,699 pages) on General Edward Lansdale. First
report a study signed by DCI Dulles inSeptember of 1954 concerning a growing situation in former
French Indo-China. There are reports by and about Lansdale starting with his
attachment to the OPC in 1949-50 where he and Frank Wisner
coordinated policy in neutralizing Communist influence in the Philippines.. Landsale was then sent
to Saigon under diplomatic cover and
many copies of his period reports are copied here. Very interesting
background material including strong connections with the Catholic
Church concerning Catholic Vietnamese and exchanges of intelligence
information between the two entities.
BHShort file (78 pages) concerninga Dr. Frank Olson. Olson was at the U.S. Army chemical
warfare base at Ft.Detrick in Maryland and was involved with a
Dr. Gottleib. Gottleib was working on a plan to introduce
psychotic-inducing drugs into the water supply of the Soviet
Embassy. Apparently he tested the drugs on CIA personnel first.
Reports of psychotic behavior by Olson and more police and official
reports on his defenstration by Gottleib’s associates. A cover-up
was instituted and a number of in-house CIA memoranda attest to
this. Also a discussion by Gottleib on various poisons and drugs he
was experimenting with and another report of people who had died as
a result of Gottleib’s various experiments and CIA efforts to
neutralize any public knowledge of these. *
BHMedium file (457 pages) on CIA connections with the
Columbian-based Medellín drug ring. Eight CIA internal reports,
three DoS reports, one FBI report on CIA operative Milan Rodríguez
and his connections with this drug ring. Receipts for CIA payments
to Rodríguez of over $3 million in CIA funds, showing the routings
of the money, cut-outs and payments. CIA reports on sabotagingDEA investigations. A three-part study of the Nicaraguan
Contras, also a CIA-organized and paid for organization.
BHA small file (159 pages) containing lists of known Nazi
people recruited in Germany from 1946 onwards, initially by the U.S.
Army and later by the CIA. A detailed list of the original names and
positions of the persons involved plus their relocation information.
Has three U.S. Army and one FBI report on the subject.
BHA small list (54 pages) of American business entities with
“significant” connections to the CIA. Each business is listed
along with relevant information on its owners/operators, previous
and on going contacts with the CIA’s Robert Crowley, also a list
of national advertising agencies with similar information. Much
information about suppressed news stories and planted stories
On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull
Crowley, once a leader of the CIA's Clandestine Operations Division,
died in a Washington hospital of
heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer's Disease. Before the
late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of
light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley's widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill
Drive in Washington and hauled away
over fifty boxes of Crowley's CIA files.
Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front
Royal , Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with
the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always
considered to be a potential major embarrassment. Three months
before, July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William
R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of
emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.
After Corson's death, Trento and a well-known Washington fix-lawyer went
to Corson's bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a
manuscript entitled 'Zipper.' This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley's involvement in
the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA
burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.
of CIA officials gathered at Trento's house to
search through the Crowley papers, looking
for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to
their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to
have had in his possession had simply vanished.
When published material concerning the CIA's actions against
Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA's
horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly
erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included
devastating material on the CIA's activities in South East Asia to
include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the
notorious 'Regional Interrogation Centers' in Viet Nam and, worse
still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of
the assassination of President John Kennedy..
A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied,
using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid "historians"
and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced.
The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the
compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied
himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA
plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out
into the outside world.
The originals had vanished and an extensive search was
conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley's survivors, his
aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and
instructed to minimize any discussion ofhighly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired.
Crowley had been a close
friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of
Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked byDCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angletonconspired
Angleton’s most sensitive secret files our of the agency. Crowley did the same
thingright before his
own retirement , secretly removing thousands of pagesof classified information that covered his entire agency
Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley
joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the
Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty
Tricks,”: Crowley was one of the
tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and
a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a
cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having
enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He
retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel.
According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague,
William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in military
intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at
inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within
the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his
retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for
operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of
One of Crowley’s first major assignments within the agency was to assist
in the recruitment and management of prominent World War II Nazis,
especially those with advanced intelligence experience. One of the
CIA’s major recruitment coups was Heinrich Mueller, once head of
Hitler’s Gestapo who had fled to Switzerland after the
collapse of the Third Reich and worked as an anti-Communist expert
for Masson of Swiss counterintelligence. Mueller was initially hired
by Colonel James Critchfield of the CIA,who was running the Gehlen Organization out of Pullach in
southern Germany. Crowley eventually came
to despise Critchfield but the colonel was totally unaware of this,
to his later dismay.
expertise within the agency was the Soviet KGB. One of his main jobs
throughout his career was acting as the agency liaison with
corporations like ITT, which the CIA often used as fronts for moving
large amounts of cash off their books. He was deeply involved in the
efforts by the U.S. to overthrow the
democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile, which
eventually got him into legal problems with regard to investigations
of the U.S. government’s
grand jury where he has perjured himself in an agency cover-up
After his retirement, Crowley began to search
for someone who might be able to write a competent history of his
career. His first choice fell on British author John Costello
(author of Ten Days to Destiny, The Pacific War and other
works) but, discovering that Costello was a very aggressive
homosexual, he dropped him and tentatively turned to Joseph Trento
who had assisted Crowley and William Corson in writing a book on the KGB. When Crowley discovered that Trento had an ambiguous
and probably cooperative relationship with the CIA, he began to
distrust him and continued his search for an author.
Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglasin 1993when he
found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his
first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who
had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a
series of long and often very informative telephone conversations
that lasted for four years. . In 1996, Crowley , Crowley told Douglasthat he believed him to be the person that should ultimately
tell Crowley’s story but
only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part,
became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share
with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later
transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or
all, of the material in later publications.
In 1998, when Crowley was slated to go
into the hospital for exploratory surgery,he had his son, Greg, ship two large foot lockers of
documents to Douglas with the caveat
that they were not to be opened until after Crowley’s death. These
astonishing 15,000 pages of CIA classified files involving many
covert operations, both foreign and domestic, during the Cold War.
After Crowley’s death and Trento’s raid on the Crowley files, huge gaps
were subsequently discovered by horrified CIA officials and when Crowley’s friends
mentioned Gregory Douglas, it was discovered that Crowley’s son had
shipped two large boxes to Douglas. No one knew
their contents but because Douglas was viewed as an
uncontrollable loose cannon who had done considerable damage to the
CIA’s reputation by his on-going publication of the history of
Gestapo-Mueller, they bent every effort both to identify the missing
files and make some effort to retrieve them before Douglas made any use of
All of this furor eventually came to the attention of Dr.
Peter Janney, a Massachusetts clinical
psychologist and son of Wistar Janney, another career senior CIA
official, colleague of not only Bob Crowley but Cord Meyer, Richard
Helms, Jim Angleton and others. Janney was working on a book
concerning the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer, former wife of Cord
Meyer, a high-level CIA official, and later the mistress of
President John F. Kennedy.Douglas had authored a
book, ‘Regicide’ which dealt with Crowley’s part in the
Kennedy assassination and he obviously had access to at least some
of Crowley’s papers.
Janney was very well connected inside the CIA’s higher levels and
when he discovered that Douglas had indeed known, and had often
spoken with, Crowley and that after Crowley’s death, the FBI had
descended on Crowley’s widow and son, warning them to never speak
with Douglas about anything, he contacted Douglas and finally
obtained from him a number of original documents, including the
originals of the transcribed conversations with Robert Crowley.
In spite of the burn bags, the top secret safes and the
vigilance of the CIA to keep its own secrets, the truth has an
embarrassing and often very fatal habit of emerging, albeit decades
While CIA drug running , money-launderings and brutal
assassinations are very often strongly rumored and suspected, it has
so far not been possible to actually pin them down but it is more
than possible that the publication of the transcribed and detailed
Crowley-Douglas conversations will do a great deal towards
many transcribed conversations are relatively short because Crowley was a man who
tired easily but they make excellent reading. There is an
interesting admixture of shocking revelations on the part of the
retired CIA official and often rampant anti-social (and very
entertaining) activities on the part of Douglas but readers of this
new and on-going series are gently reminded to always look for the
truth in the jest!
October 14, 1996
RTC: Good morning, Gregory.
GD: Have you heard anything more from
RTC: Yes, I have. He’s calmed down
some and is now blaming be forblindsiding
GD: Well, actually you did. Telling him
I was one of his boys.
RTC: I implied, Gregory. Only implied.
And Jim is trying to dig up more information for his stupid book and
he went for it. It worked out fine but he cursed at me and said I
got him in over his head.
GD: Pompous asshole. One of these days,
I’ll get out the story about him and Atwood selling Russian atomic
shells to the Pakis. You know Jim was the arms dealer and
Critchfield was building a retirement nest egg so they went ahead
with this. Jim’s people had been supplying the Afghan rebels with
weapons to use against the Russians and the connections are there.
Just think, Robert. They sold thirty shells to potential lunatic
enemies. Oh, they might be thankful we helped them but in the end,
they are religious fanatics and they will prove to be a real crown
of thorns to us. Just an opinion, of course.
RTC: Well, Jim would like to find some
way to shut you up, short of killing you. He’s not in power
anymore so maybe he’ll bribe you.
GD: In my experience, Robert, those
people never bribe anyone. They threaten them and yell at them but
never resort to an actual bribe. Unless, of course, they are bribing
a Russian military person to get them some atomic shells. Then, they
RTC: Not to offend you, Gregory, but
would you take a bribe?
GD: Depends on how much and what the
issue is. Generally, people don’t try to bribe me. Threaten me of
course, or insult me, certainly, but no bribes. I wonder what would
happen to Critchfield’s precious image if it ever came out? Atwood
is known as a piece of worthless shit and he has no reputation to
RTC: Jim is very incensed about Atwood
at this point.
GD: Remember, we have a bet.
RTC: Not a real bet.
GD: I have been reading over some of
this ZIPPER business, Robert. Very interesting to say the least.
RTC: Now, Gregory, we are not specific
on the phone.
GD: No, no, I’m aware of that. You
know, what with all the strange stories about that incident, I might
have an uphill fight to get the book accepted.
RTC: Ah yes, the nut fringe. Highly
GD: Yes, but rather misleading.
RTC: Oh that’s why we support them, Gregory. Muddy
the waters. Keep the public eye elsewhere. Away from dangerous
subjects. The public loves conspiracies so we supply them. A real
conspiracy is difficult to conceal, Gregory. Too many people, too
many chances for leaks. Joe gets drunk and tells his brother and so
on. Sometimes, we’ve had to remove people like that but not very
often. Johnson was in the know but I doubt if he’d tell Lady Bird,
let alone a reporter. And officially, don’t forget that Hoover
was also on board. His people can shut you down very quickly.
They’ll find a machinegun under the front seat of your car and off
you go, screaming innocence all the way to the big house.
GD: But what happens if an FBI man says
RTC: Well, they aren’t bulletproof.
Bill Sullivan found that out.
GD: Oh yes, I saw the name in the ZIPPER
RTC: He was Hoover’s
man in that. And other projects as well. Bill and Hoover
had a falling out and Hoover
sacked him. Not only did he sack him, Hoover
began to threaten him. I guess Bill got terminated finally because
he had begun to grumble too much and to the wrong people.
GD: What happened? A car accident?
RTC: No, he went out for a walk one
morning and some young hunter thought he was a deer and shot him in
GD: Oh my, what a tragedy.
RTC: Bill thought that because J. Edgar was dead, he
could mouth off. He was a bitter man, Gregory, and then he was a
dead one. With all his baggage, Bill should have stayed in New
and enjoyed his retirement.
RTC: You don’t know any of this, of course, but
Sullivan was up to his neck in business that would have put him away
for life if it ever came out. He was top man in the Bureau and Hoover’s
hatchet man. Besides being involved up to his neck in the ZIPPER
business, Bill also took out King and Bobby Kennedy.
GD: Jesus H. Christ, Robert.
RTC: Well, we get the blame for all kinds of shit and
it’s comforting to spread it around. Certainly. Old Hoover
hated both King and Bobby. Why? Hoover
has been suspected of being a high yellow…
RTC: Part black. True or not, it’s gotten around and
he knew about it. Hoover
also was probably a queer but again, not proven. He had his areas of
great sensitivity, let’s say. No, he hated King because J. Edgar
hated blacks. I mean really hated them. Wouldn’t let them in the
Bureau and persecuted any black leaders he could. Like Marcus
GD: And King.
was outraged that King had a white girlfriend and did everything he
and his Bureau did to slam him. Finally, as he got older, Hoover
got nuttier and decided to have him killed. Sullivan ran that
operation. First they tried to tap his phones and plant stories
about him and when that didn’t work, they offed him.
GD: What about James Earl Ray?
RTC: Another Oswald. You see, the Bureau has a very
small group of miscreants who do jobs on people. Sullivan ran them
Ray was a very minor and very low class crook. A smash and grab
type. Bust a window in an appliance store and run off with an iron
or a toaster. Break into a laundromat, jimmy open the coin boxes on
the machines, steal the coins and then cut his bare feet on the
broken glass he left breaking the window. Hardly sophisticated
enough to shoot King, escape to Canada,
get a fake Canadian passport in the name of a Montreal
police officer and flee to England.
Not likely, Gregory. If Ray knew who put him up to being a front,
they would have killed him just like they shot Oswald. Ray didn’t
know, although he probably guessed at one point, and off he went for
the rest of his life. He can scream innocent until he dies and no
one will listen.
GD: And Bobby?
RTC: Bobby was a nasty piece of shit who
made enemies whenever he went for a walk. He was his brother’s hit
man, in a figurative sense, his pimp. He was the AG, put in there by
Joe so Joe could get back his confiscated Farben stock and also go
after the mob. Back in Prohibition, I can tell you, Joe was a
partner of Capone’s and Joe was stupid enough to rip Al off. Al
put out a contract on Joe and Joe had to pay Al to cancel it. And
from then on, Joe was out to get anyone in the Mob. Pathological
shit, Joe was.
GD: My grandfather told me all about
RTC: Well, when Bobby got to be AG, he harassed old Hoover,
trying to make him quit. Not a very good idea but then Bobby thought
he was safe. His father was very rich, his brother was President and
he thought he couldn’t be touched. For example, Hoover
used to take a nap on his office couch every day and Bobby would
bang into his office and wake him up. And worse, Bobby would tell
his friends, at parties where there were many ears, that Hoover
was an old faggot.
GD: Some people seem to have a death
wish. This reminds me of the street freak who climbed over the wall
at the San Francisco zoo once, climbed right into the outdoor tiger
rest area, walked up to a sleeping male tiger and kicked him in the
balls. Tiger was very angry, got up in a rage, smacked the intruder,
killed him and was eating him, right in front of the horrified zoo
visitors. That kind of a thing, right?
RTC: A good analogy. You grasp the situation, Hoover
stayed in power because he had files on all the men in power, to
include JFK and his father. Not a man to antagonize is it?
GD: I would think not.
RTC: Johnson was terrified of Hoover
and kissed his ass on every occasion but Bobby was running for
president and it looked like he might make it. That’s when Hoover
talked to Sullivan and we know the rest. Just some background here.
RTC: Yes. Note that Kennedy had come down from his
suite in the Ambassador Hotel to give a victory speech. Came into
the hall from the front door with all his happy staff. Big crowd.
One of his aides, Lowenstein I believe, told him they should go out
through the kitchen exit. And there was what’s his name waiting.
But he shot at Kennedy without question, with a dinky .22 but never
got to within five feet of him. The official autopsy report said
Kennedy was shot behind the ear at a distance of two inches. Now
that sounded to me like a very inside job. They steered him into an
area where an assassin was known to be waiting and made sure he
bought the farm. In all the screaming and confusion, just a little
bit of work by a trusted aide or bodyguard and Bobby was fatally
shot. That was the second one of Hoover’s
pet hates. The first one reminded him of the nigger relationship and
the other had called him a faggot. Hoover
had his moments but if you stepped on his toes, off came your head.
was afraid of Sullivan so he left him alone.
RTC: We decided that Sullivan, freed of the spirit of Hoover,
who had died some years before, Sullivan began to talk just a
little. We didn’t care about the King or the Bobby business but if
he talked about ZIPPER, we would be in the soup so Sullivan had to
GD: Someone persuaded him to put on a
RTC: No, he was walking in the woods and
some kid, armed with a rifle and a telescopic sight, blew him away.
Terribly remorseful. Severe punishment for him. Lost his hunting
license for a year. Thank of that, Gregory. For a whole year. A
terrible tragedy and that was the end of that.
GD: Can I use that?
RTC: If you want. It’s partially
public record. If you can dig it out on your own…
GD: I’ll try. Thanks for the road map.
RTC: Why, think nothing of it.
GD: But back to the ZIPPER thesis. I was
saying about the proliferation of conspiracy books that I would have
RTC: Of course, Gregory. We paid most of
those people to put out nut stuff. Why the Farrell woman, one of the
conspiracy theme people, is one of ours. We have others. We have a
stable of well-paid writers whose sole orders are to produce pieces
that excite the public and keep them away from uncomfortable truths.
I imagine if and when you publish, an army of these finks will roar
like your angry tiger and we won’t have to pay them a dime.
They’ve carved out a territory and if you don’t agree with them,
they will shit all over you. I wish you luck, Gregory. And I can
guarantee that the press will either keep very, very quiet about you
or will make a fool out of you. We still do control the press and if
we say to trash an enemy, they will do it. And if the editor
won’t, we always talk to the publishers. Or, more effective, one
of my business friends threatens to pull advertising from the rag.
That’s their Achilles heel, Gregory. No paper can survive on
subscription income alone. The ads keep it going. In the old days, a
word from me about ad-pulling made even the most righteous editor
back down in a heartbeat. We bribe the reporters and terrify their
bosses. They talk about the free press who know nothing about the
GD: Nicely put, Robert.
RTC: We should have you come back here
one of these days for a sitdown. Bill wants to do this. Are you
GD: Will men in black suits meet me at
RTC: I don’t think so, Gregory.
GD: Maybe one of them will hit me with
RTC: Now, Gregory, that isn’t kind.
GD: I’m sure Hoover
wouldn’t have thought so.
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