Original: http://tbrnews.org/Archives/a2866.htm 2008-08-12

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TBR News August 11, 2008

The Voice of the White House


            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 Georgia has been kissing up to the United States after our CIA paid for their departure from the Russian Republic . Like Israel , Georgia felt it had a powerful protector and could defy their old enemies with impunity. The US 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 border.

And waited.

And, secure in their false knowledge that there were American troops in Georgia which would, they felt, prevent a Russian response, they invaded their neighbor. The Russians responded and pushed out of the reconquered territory and into Georgia itself, with the bedraggled Georgian army in full and pathetic retreat.

The Georgian leadership fled into the mountains after declaring war on Russia and the Russians then bombed  the oil lines and the oil processing plants at the Black Sea port of Poti .

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.

 What can Bush do for them? The same thing he can do for Israel : Nothing.


                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 Vladimir . 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 personalities involved.

The Harry Brunser Report: Putin vs. Bush

War in the Caucasus :  The Background:

                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,


The Russians officially denied the Georgian claim


At 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.


The area in question is very sensitive because Abkhazia, once part of Georgia , along with South Ossetia , had officially broken away from Georgia when it declared its independence from Russia in the early 1990’s


                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.

The 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 joining NATO.


A 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 territory."


Abkhazia's separatist administration has said its own forces shot down the drone because it was violating Abkhaz airspace and breaching ceasefire agreements.


                Georgia had been accusing Russia of trying to annex Abkhazia and South Ossetia by 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 Ossetia .


NATO 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 States .


BBC map


The Background: U.S.   Military activity in Georgia


Georgia 's location, situated between the Black Sea , Russia , Armenia , Azerbaijan , and Turkey , gives it strategic importance far beyond its size. It has been seen in Washington as the vital key to the corridor from the Black Sea 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 guidance, Georgia signed a partnership and cooperation agreement with the European Union, participates in NATO's programs, (which were designed to anger Russia ) and Georgia , again with American assistance, encouraged foreign investment. China , France , Germany , Great Britain , Greece , Italy , Russia , Switzerland , and Turkey maintain embassies in Tbilisi . Germany 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.


U.S.-Georgia 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 .. Extensive U.S. 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 States   has been providing Georgia approximately $1.2 billion in assistance, averaging about $100 million annually.


The United States 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 training  has been at the Vaziani military base near the Georgian capital.


More than 1,000 U.S. Marines and soldiers were at the base  to 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 Vaziani  prior 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 region. 


U.S. soldiers, Marines and airmen have been quartered  in 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 M-16.
                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 situation."

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 beautiful."

                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.

Georgia 's government also decided earlier this year to increase the size of its armed forces from about 32,000 to 37,000


Following 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 Ossetia .


                Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the U.S. , which has backed Georgia 's NATO membership aspirations, is hampering the peacekeeping operation in South Ossetia by flying the Georgian troops from Iraq to Georgia


Opposing Military Forces



Total personnel: 26,900

Main battle tanks (T-72): 82

Armored personnel carriers: 139

Combat aircraft (Su-25): Seven

Heavy artillery pieces (including Grad rocket launchers): 95


Total personnel: 641,000

Main battle tanks (various): 6,717

Armored personnel carriers: 6,388

Combat aircraft (various): 1,206

Heavy artillery pieces (various): 7,550



The Attack


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 the conflict.


                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 state's patience.


                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 step".


                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 it membership.


Friday August 8, 2008


                Russia says its troops have been involved in fierce clashes with Georgian forces in and around the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali.


                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 corridors.


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 wounded.


                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 .


Sunday, August 10, 2008

                  Russia 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.

Russia claimed to have sunk a Georgian boat that was trying to attack Russian vessels in the Black Sea , and Georgian officials said Russia sent tanks from South Ossetia into Georgia proper, heading toward a strategic city before being turned back.

                Russian planes on Sunday twice bombed an area near the Georgian capital's airport, officials said.

The 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 Ossetia .

International 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.

Georgian 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 and Finland - in the country to try to mediate.

Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman Temur Yakobashvili said Russian tanks tried to cross from South Ossetia into the territory of Georgia 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.

Russia also sent naval vessels to patrol off Georgia 's Black Sea coast, but denied Sunday that the move was aimed at establishing a blockade.

The 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.

South Ossetia 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 .

Georgia , whose troops have been trained by American soldiers, began an offensive to regain control over South Ossetia 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.

In response, Russia launched massive artillery shelling and air attacks on Georgian troops.

Russia 's Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said more than 2,000 people had been killed in South Ossetia since Friday, most of them Ossetians with Russian passports. The figures could not be independently confirmed.

The respected Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy reported that two journalists were killed by South Ossetian separatists, citing a correspondent of Russian Newsweek magazine.

Thousands of civilians have fled South Ossetia - many seeking shelter in the Russian province of North Ossetia .

"The 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."

The scope of Russia 's military response has the Bush administration deeply worried.

"We 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," U.S. deputy national security adviser Jim Jeffrey told reporters.

The U.S. military began flying 2,000 Georgian troops home from Iraq after Georgia recalled them, even while calling for a truce.

" Georgia expresses its readiness to immediately start negotiations with the Russian Federation 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 .

But Russia insisted Georgian troops were continuing their attacks.

Alexander Darchiev, Russia 's charge d'affairs in Washington , said Georgian soldiers were "not withdrawing but regrouping, including heavy armor and increased attacks on Tskhinvali."

"Mass mobilization is still under way," he told CNN's "Late Edition."

President 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.

The 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 obstacle."

Georgia borders the Black Sea between Turkey and Russia and was ruled by Moscow for most of the two centuries preceding the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union . Both South Ossetia and Abkhazia have run their own affairs without international recognition since fighting to split from Georgia in the early 1990s.

Both separatist provinces have close ties with Moscow , while Georgia has deeply angered Russia by wanting to join NATO.

Georgia 's Security Council chief Alexander Lomaia said the Georgian troops had to move out of South Ossetia because of heavy Russian shelling. " Russia further escalated its aggression overnight, using weapons on an unprecedented scale," Lomaia said.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner called the hostilities in South Ossetia "massacres," hours before he and Finnish counterpart Alexander Stubb left for Tbilisi and a meeting with Saakashvili.

Kouchner said he would deliver a "message of peace" to Georgia and Russia , and call on both countries "to stop the fighting immediately."

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, meeting Saturday with South Ossetia refugees who had fled across the border to the Russian city of Vladikavkaz , described Georgia 's 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.

Russian jets raided several Georgian air bases Saturday and bombed the Black Sea 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.

Russian officials said they were targeting Georgian communications and lines of supply. But a Russian raid Saturday on Gori near South Ossetia , which apparently targeted a military base on the town's outskirts, also killed many civilians.

Tskhinvali residents who survived the Georgian bombardment overnight Friday by hiding in basements and later fled the city estimated that hundreds of civilians had died.

The Georgian government said Sunday that 6,000 Russian troops have rolled into South Ossetia from the neighboring Russian province of North Ossetia and 4,000 more landed in Abkhazia. The Russian military wouldn't comment on troop movements.

Russia also sent a naval squadron to blockade Georgia 's Black Sea coast. Ukraine , 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.

Both Ukraine and Georgia have sought to free themselves of Russia 's influence, and to integrate into the West and join NATO.

Georgia said it has shot down 10 Russian planes, but Russia acknowledged only two.

                NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said Russia violated Georgia 's territorial integrity in South Ossetia and employed a "disproportionate use of force."

Adding to Georgia 's 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.

Abkhazia's 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 control.

Separatist Abkhazia forces also were concentrating on the border near Georgia 's Zugdidi region.

Monday, 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.


President 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 Tbilisi.


The news agency Interfax cited a Russian Defense Ministry official as denying the reports of the seizure.


But 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.



Подразделения 58-й российской армии готовятся к операции по принуждению к миру в Южной Осетии. Об этом заявил главком сухопутных войск Владимир Болдырев


Russian tanks and armored vehicles moving into South Ossetia


Georgian-South Ossetian conflict zone. Evacuation. © RIA Novosti, Sergey Pivovarov .


Refugee children from South Ossetia who fled to Russia after the Georgian surprise attack







Russian Naval Blockade of Georgia




Next Photo



A Russian warship





                 It has been reliably reported that Russian naval units of the Black Sea Fleet  are forming up in the Black Sea near the Georgian border. Official Russian naval sources state that this move is  necessary 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.


                A number of Georgian naval units were interdicted in an attempt to approach the coast of Abkhazia . Russian naval units interdicted this movement by opening fire on the Georgian ships and drove them off. 
Georgia and American interests have accused Russia of attempting to blow up the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. The Georgian Minister of Economic Development Ekaterina Sharashidze stated that Russian Air Force  planes attacked the pipeline, but “missed their target.” Other reports state that the pipeline was hit in three places. “That makes it clear that the targets of the Russian military were not only Georgian economic objects, but international objects on Georgian territory,” she said.

The Georgian Interior Ministry said officially that Russian warplanes also bombed the Vaziani military base on the outskirts of the Georgian capital of Tbilisi and struck the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. The ministry said two other military bases were hit, and that Russian warplanes also bombed the Black Sea port city of Poti, which has a sizable oil shipment facility.


                The Poti seaport is a major seaport and harbor off the eastern Black Sea coast at the mouth of the Rioni River in Poti, Georgia. It is a cross point of the Trans-Caucasian Corridor/TRACECA, a multinational project which goes through TashkentAshgabatTürkmenbaşyBaku and Poti to Romanian port of Constanţa and Bulgarian port Varna, thus linking the landlocked countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus to Eastern Europe.


                The construction of a seaport at Poti was conceived shortly after the Imperial  Russian Empire conquered the town from the Ottoman Empire in 1828. In 1858, Poti was granted the status of a port 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 Union.


                In 2007, the total volume of trade was 7.7 million tons and container handling was 185,000 TEU

In April 2008, Georgia sold a 51% stake of the Poti port area to the Investment Authority of the UAE’s Ras 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 Russian aggression


                 The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline runs a total of 1768 km., of which 443 km. stretches through Azerbaijan , 249 km. through Georgia and 1076 km. through Turkey . 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

BP  (30,1%), AzBTC (25%), Chevron (8,9%), StatoilHydro (8,71%), ТРАО (6,53%), ENI (5%), Total (5%), Itochu (3,4%), Inpex (2,5%), ConocoPhillips  (2,5%) and Hess (2,36%).

                The British oil concern, BP, stated on August 9, that they understood via a communication from   

Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze, that that the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline had been bombed by Russian planes during escalating violence over South Ossetia,


BP is the present operator of a vital  1,109-mile pipeline -- the world's second largest -- that carries oil from Azerbaijan to Western markets via the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan and this transports

1.2 million barrels a day.


The BP spokesman acknowledged that the pipeline had been out of action since Wednesday, August 6.


                Azerbaijan , which borders Georgia , announced Saturday it had halted oil exports via the Georgian ports of  Batumi and Kulevi due to the fighting between Georgia and Russia .



                This 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 putting Georgia 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 Ossetia , once a part of Georgia but now an independent country who wanted nothing to do with the Georgians.


                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 Ossetia 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 drones down.


                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 Ossetia 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 UN..


                The damage done, and being done, to America’s reputation of defender of the weak and the democratic is appalling  but 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.


In Georgia and Russia , a Perfect Brew for a Blowup

August 10, 2008

by C.J. Chivers

New York Times


                As the bloody military mismatch between Russia and Georgia 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 invaded Afghanistan 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 and South Ossetia , the breakaway region where the combat flared and then escalated into full-scale war.


“It 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.”


But 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 and Russia had methodically, if quietly, prepared for conflict.


Several 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.


Moreover, by preparing Georgian soldiers for duty in Iraq , the United States appeared to have helped embolden Georgia , if inadvertently, to enter a fight it could not win.


American 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 States , 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 attack.


Russia ’s 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.


Under the presidency of Vladimir V. Putin, Russia had already been granting citizenship and distributing passports to virtually all of the adult residents of South Ossetia 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 nation.


“Having a document does not make you a Russian citizen,” one American diplomat said in 2004, as Russia expanded the program.


But 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.


In 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.


The victories gave him a sense of momentum. He kept national reintegration as a central plank of his platform.


Russia , 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.


Chechnya 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.


Simultaneously, as the contest of wills between Georgia and Russia intensified, the strong support of the United States for Mr. Saakashvili created tensions within the foreign policy establishment in Washington and created rival views.


Some 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 States and Russia into arguments that the United States did not want.


This 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 States did not merely encourage Georgia ’s young democracy, it helped militarize the weak Georgian state.


In his wooing of Washington as he came to power, Mr. Saakashvili firmly embraced the missions of the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq . At first he had almost nothing practical to offer. Georgia ’s military was small, poorly led, ill-equipped and weak.


But 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.


At senior levels, the United States 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.


Georgia , 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.


The public goal was to nudge Georgia toward 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 Georgian control.


All of these policies collided late last week. One American official who covers Georgian affairs, speaking on the condition of anonymity while the United States formulates its next public response, said that everything had gone wrong.


Mr. 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 place.


There was no sign throughout the weekend of Kremlin willingness to negotiate. A national humiliation was under way.


“The Georgians have lost almost everything,” the official said. “We always told them, ‘Don’t do this because the Russians do not have limited aims.’ ”


Has 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 .


                Georgia 's  President Mikhail Saakashvili  has a different agenda - he won election in 2004 on promise to recover the breakaway territories, and to join NATO. So closely has he courted the U.S. that Georgia today has 2,000 troops in Iraq, the third-largest contingent after the U.S. and Britain, although Tbilisi has now indicated it will have to bring at least half of them home to deal with the security crisis in South Ossetia. But the Georgian leader's latest actions will be read by some as designed to force the hand of NATO members reluctant to press the issue of handing membership to Georgia for fear of provoking a Russian backlash. So, after a couple of days of skirmishing along the unofficial border between his forces and those of the separatists, the Georgian leader launched a full-blown invasion whose aim, his government said, was to "restore constitutional order," that is, control by the central government, in South Ossetia. Plainly, the offensive was a gamble, because Saakashvili should have had little doubt about Moscow's readiness to defend the separatists. Moreover, NATO officials had repeatedly warned the Georgian government against launching any attempt to resolve the dispute through military means. Still, he pressed forward.


                On Friday, Georgian forces shelled South Ossetian population centers and launched a ground invasion deep into the territory. By noon , 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 United State 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 .


                 With reporting by Sasha Levine/Moscow



Georgia's volatile risk-taker has gone over the brink

Its President shouldn't expect sympathy from the West, where patience is running out

August 10 2008

by Thomas de Waal

The Observer


            The 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 Caucasus.


                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 occupying army.


                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.


Thomas 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, 2008

by Arie Egozi

The fighting which broke out over the weekend between Russia and Georgia 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.


The 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.


"The 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."  

Israel began selling arms to Georgia about seven years ago following an initiative by Georgian citizens who immigrated to Israel and became businesspeople.

"They 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 exports.

The 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.

"His 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."

Among 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 Ziv.

Roni 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 rockets.

According 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.


'Don't anger the Russians'


The 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.


Israelis' 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.

As 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 Russia.

"It 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.

For instance, the Russians viewed the operation of the Elbit System's RPVs as a real provocation.

"It 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 tense."

In 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. 

A senior source in the Military Industry said Saturday that despite some reporters, the activity of Georgia 's military industry was extremely limited.

"We conducted a small job for them several years ago," he said. "The rest of the deals remained on paper."


Dov 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."


Georgian minister: Israel should be proud


"The Israelis should be proud of themselves for the Israeli training and education received by the Georgian soldiers," Georgian Minister Temur Yakobashvili said Saturday.


Yakobashvili 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.


"It's important that the entire world understands that what is happening in Georgia now will affect the entire world order. It's not just Georgia 's business, but the entire world's business."


One 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 States and Israel . Today Georgia is in danger – tomorrow all the democratic countries in the region and in the entire world will be in danger too."


Zvi Zinger and Hanan Greenberg contributed to this report






Conversations with the Crow: Part 22


Editor’s note: When we ran the first conversation  in 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 McCain,  in chronological 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:




Catalog Number                   Description of Contents            _______________________________________________________________________________


1000 BH                 Extensive file (1,205 pages) of reports on Operation PHOENIX. Final paper dated January, 1971, first document dated  October, 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 units. *


1002 BH                 Medium 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 from  T. 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.


1003 BH                 Medium 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.


1004 BH                 Large 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.


1005 BH              Medium 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 abroad.


1006:BH                 Long 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. *


1007 BH                 Short 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 included.


1008 BH                 A 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.


1009 BH                 A 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, 1953.


1010 BH                 Medium 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 GRU connections.


1011 BH                 Large 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 liquidated  Additional material on CIA connections with KCIA personnel and an agreement with them  to assassinate South Korean chief of state, Park, in 1979.


1012 BH                 Small 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.


1013 BH                 Long file (1,699 pages) on General Edward Lansdale. First report a study signed by DCI Dulles in  September 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.


1014 BH                 Short file (78 pages) concerning  a 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. *


1015 BH                 Medium 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 sabotaging  DEA investigations. A three-part study of the Nicaraguan Contras, also a CIA-organized and paid for organization.

1016 BH                 A small file (159 pages) containing lists of known Nazi intelligence and  scientific 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.

1017 BH                 A 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.

                The  small group 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 of  highly 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 by  DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton  conspired to  secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files our of the agency. Crowley did the same thing  right before his own retirement , secretly removing thousands of pages  of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

                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 Operations.

                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.

                Crowley ’s real 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 Douglas  in 1993  when 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 Douglas   that 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 documents, totaled  an 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 them.

                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 later.

                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 accomplishing this

            These 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!



Date: Monday, October 14, 1996

Commenced: 9:45 AM CST

Concluded: 10:21 AM CST


GD: Robert.

RTC: Good morning, Gregory.

GD: Have you heard anything more from Critchfield?

RTC: Yes, I have. He’s calmed down some and is now blaming be for  blindsiding him.

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 bribe.

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 lose.

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 entertaining material.

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 something?

RTC: Well, they aren’t bulletproof. Bill Sullivan found that out.

GD: Oh yes, I saw the name in the ZIPPER papers.

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 the head.

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 Hampshire and enjoyed his retirement.

GD: Baggage?

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…

GD: What?

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 Garvey.

GD: And King.

RTC: Hoover 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 for Hoover . 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 him.

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. This Arab….

GD: Sirhan.

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. But Hoover was afraid of Sullivan so he left him alone.

GD: Then…

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 go.

GD: Someone persuaded him to put on a deer suit?

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 trouble.

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 realities.

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 game?

GD: Will men in black suits meet me at the airport?

RTC: I don’t think so, Gregory.

GD: Maybe one of them will hit me with their purse.

RTC: Now, Gregory, that isn’t kind.

GD: I’m sure Hoover wouldn’t have thought so.



(Concluded at 10:21 AM CST )






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