The Voice of the
August 17, 2008: “Someone in my office, loud of voice and dim of
wit, asked rhetorically, on Friday last,
what Russian wanted by its invasion of Georgia. Like most of
the morons working here, they never read the reports that abound ,
so I took the trouble to tell them what the Russians want.
They want, primarily, to destroy Georgia as a military force,
albeit a force that had been entirely controlled and armed by the
They want to locate and destroy the huge stocks of weaponry,
to include small arms, light infantry weapons, armored vehicles and
trucks supplied to Georgia by the United States.
They have done this.
In short, they want to so destroy Georgia as a military power
that it will take ten years to even think about rebuilding
They want to establish a powerful military presence in South
Ossetia and Abkhazia so that a US and Isreal-backed Georgia will
never dare to attack across their borders again.
goal of Russia, it is said, is to so ruin the international, and
internal, reputation of the unstable Georgian President Mikheil
Saakashvili, that the Georgian people will either depose or kill
most of all, the redoubtable Vladimir Putin, who is indeed running
the show, wants to show Bush and all the weak but willing east bloc
peoples, what can happen to them when they lick the anus of a
. NATO? A force to reckon with? Not likely.
The Belgian army is better equipped than the American one and
neither of them could make a dent on Russia in a land war.
The once mighty and tererrible American military is today a
soggy mess, its ground troops basicially ruined by the
five year marathon guerrilla combat in Iraq and Afhanistan,
and their vaunted armored vehicles and helicopters all in
maintainence warehouses in Texas, destroyed by the desert sands of
If Russia were to attack Poland or the Ukraine tonight, all
Bush could do would be to run into his White House bunker and soil
his pants whille Cheney hid in his own Command Bunker and shouted
threats into the chemical toilet.
Parenthetically, in England, one of Rupert Murdoch’s sleazy
tabloids said that Putin threatened to nuke Poland. Of course Putin
never said this and anyone who would believe something written in a
Murdoch paper or presented on his rabidly right-wing FOX news should
have a lobotomy.
NATO? Trust it not, sir, it shall prove a snare and a
delusion, as Patrick Henry said in his brilliant speech to the
Virginia Houe of Burgesses.
The balance of the world has shifted in six days, moved by
hubris, the stupidity of Washington and Tel Aviv, and the manic
president of Georgia
I told all of this to my airheaded fellow worker and when I
was done, they said I was crazy.
Tell people that a huge hurricaine is bearinig down on some
part of Florida or the Gulf Coast where they are living and this
type immediately sets out to have a picnic on the beach!
God save us all, because Bush surely cannot!”
Role of Israel in the Georgian War
became a huge source of income, and military advantage, for the
Israeli government and Israeli arms dealers.. Israel
began selling arms to Georgia about seven years ago, following an
initiative by Georgian citizens who immigrated to Israel and became
contacted Israeli defense industry officials and arms dealers and
told them that Georgia had relatively large budgets, mostly American
grants, and could be interested in purchasing Israeli weapons.
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. “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. “
door was always open to the Israelis who came and offered his
country arms systems made in Israel. Compared to countries in
Eastern Europe, the deals in this country were conducted fast,
mainly due to the pro-Israeli defense minister's personal
Jerusalem Post on August 12, 2008 reported: “Georgian
Prime Minister Vladimer (Lado) Gurgenidze(Jewish) made a special
call to Israel Tuesday morning to receive a blessing from one of the
Haredi community’s most important rabbis and spiritual leaders,
Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman.” The Prime Minister of
Georgia, principally a nation of Orthodox Christians called Rabbi
Steinman saying ‘I’ve heard
he is a holy man. I want him to pray for us and our state.’
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 rockets.
The Ministry of Defense of Israel had supplied the Georgian
government their Hermes 450 UAV spy drones, made by Elbit Maarahot
Systems Ltd, for use, under the strict control of Israeli
intelligence units, to conduct intelligence-gathering flights over
southern Russia and, most especially into a Iran, targeted for
Israeli Air Force attacks in the near future.
Two airfields in southern Georgia had been earmarked for the
use of Israeli military aircraft, intended to launch an attack on
identified targets relating to Iranian atomic energy projects. This
attack was approved by President Bush in an undertaking with the
government of Israel signed in Washington, D.C., on July 4, 2006.
The thrust of this top secret agreement was that the Israeli
government would have “free and unfettered use” of unspecified
Georgian airfields, under American control, onto which they could
ferry fighter-bombers which then could fly south, over Turkish
territory (and with clandestine Turkish permission) to strike at
Tehran. The distance from Georgia to Tehran is obviously far less
than from Tel Aviv.
No one expected that these attacks would completely
destroy Iranian military or scientific targets, but there
would be the element of complete surprise coupled with serious
property damage which might well interdict future Iranian atomic
development and certainly serve as a serious warning to Iran not to
threaten Israel again. Using Georgian bases, with the consent and
full assistance of, the United States, would make such an attack
much more feasible that attempting to fly from Israeli bases with
overflights that might have serious regional diplomatic
Now, thanks to the irrational actions of the thoroughly
unstable Georgian president, all of these schemes have collapsed and
it is now believed that the Russian special forces have captured,
intact, a number of the Israeli drones and, far more important,
their radio controlling equipment.
the main, Israeli military and intelligence units stationed in
Georgia were mostly composed of Israel Defense Force reservists
working for Global CST, owned by Maj. Gen. Israel Ziv, and Defense
Shield, owned by Brig. Gen. Gal Hirsch. "The
Israelis should be proud of themselves for the Israeli training and
education received by the Georgian soldiers," Georgian Minister
By this manner, Israel could claim that it had a very small
number of IDF people in Georgia “mainly connected with our Embassy
in Tiblisi.” The Russians, however, were not fooled by this and
their own intelligence had pinpointed Israeli surveillance bases and
when they went after the Georgians who invaded South
Ossetia, units of the Russian air force
bombed the Israeli bases in central Georgia and in the area of the
capital, Tbilisi. They also severely damaged the runways and service
areas of the two Georgian airbases designed to launch Israeli sir
force units in a sudden attack on Iran.
Israel is currently a part of the Anglo-American military
axis, which cooperates with the interests of the Western oil giants
in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Israel is a partner in the Baku-Tblisi- Ceyhan pipeline which
brings oil and gas to the Eastern Mediterranean. More than 20
percent of Israeli oil is imported from Azerbaijan, of which a large
share transits through the BTC pipeline. Controlled by British
Petroleum, the BTC pipeline has dramatically changed the geopolitics
of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Caucusus:
"[The BTC pipeline] considerably changes the status of
the region's countries and cements a new pro-West alliance. Having
taken the pipeline to the Mediterranean, Washington has practically
set up a new bloc with Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Israel,
" (Komerzant, Moscow, 14 July 2006)
the official reports state that the BTC pipeline will "channel
oil to Western markets", what is rarely acknowledged is that
part of the oil from the Caspian sea would be directly channeled
towards Israel, via Georgia. In this regard, a Israeli-Turkish
pipeline project has also been envisaged which would link Ceyhan to
the Israeli port of Ashkelon and from there through Israel's main
pipeline system, to the Red Sea.
The objective of Israel is not only to acquire Caspian sea
oil for its own consumption needs but also to play a key role in
re-exporting Caspian sea oil back to the Asian markets through the
Red Sea port of Eilat. The strategic implications of this re-routing
of Caspian sea oil are far-reaching
What has been planned, is to link the BTC pipeline to the Trans-Israel
also known as Israel's Tipline, from Ceyhan to the Israeli
port of Ashkelon.
Isreali unmanned surveillance drones
unmanned Israeli clandestine surveillance drones are a favorite of
intelligence agencies world-wide. Their most popular drone is the
Hermes 450 drone aircraft.
The Hermes 450 is a large, capable 450 kg spy drone
manufactured by Elbit Systems of Israel. Able to stay airborne for a
maximum of 20 hours, it has a 10.5 metre wingspan and is 6.1 metres
long. It can carry a variety of different surveillance packages,
including the CoMPASS (Compact Multi-Purpose Advanced Stabilised
System), which is a combined laser marker and infrared scanner.
Elbit also offers Hermes with the AN/ZPQ-1 TESAR (Tactical
Endurance Synthetic Aperture Radar) from Northrop Grumman of the US,
a ground-sweeping radar which can detect objects as small as one
foot in size and pick out those which are moving from those which
aren't. Radars of this type are essential for full bad weather
capability, and help a lot with scanning large areas of terrain.
Electro-optical scanners such as CoMPASS tend to offer a
"drink-straw" view of only small areas in detail. The
TESAR is the same radar used
in the hugely successful "Predator" drone, in service for
several years now with the US forces.
U.S. Army has a drone trainng school located at Ft. Huachuca,
Arizona, an iintelligence center located 10 miles from the Mexican
border and the home of massive telephonic intelligence intercept
units, aimed at Central and South America. At present there are 225
soldiers, reservists, and National Guardsmen training at this
And on the faculty are
three Israeli specialists
This unit is not destined for the middle east or even
Pakistan; it has been set up to conduct surveillance of northern
Mexico. There are two reasons for wanting to watch our southern
neighbor. The first is to watch for great treks of illegal aliens
but the second, and most important, is to conduct reconnaissance of
territory over which American military units might be traversing in
any punitive actions that could
very, very well be triggered by the growing political
instability in Mexico, caused by a growing struggle between the
central government and the very powerful Mexican-based drug lords,
who are wreaking havoc in that very corrupt country.
a highly irate CIA employee, complaining of “excessive Israeli
influence” in his agency, had not passed on files of information
to the Russians late last year in Miami, in all probability, we
would be reading about a stunning Israeli attack on Tehran. Now, the
Iranian anti-aircraft missile batteries, supplied and manned by
Russian “technicians,” have the probable coordinates of such an
Israeli surprise attack, from the north, which would give the
defenses of Tehran a vital heads-up.
Blowback From Russian Bear -
Patrick J. Buchanan.
Mikheil Saakashvili's decision to use the opening of the
Olympic Games to cover Georgia's invasion of its breakaway province
of South Ossetia must rank in stupidity with Gamal Abdel-Nasser's
decision to close the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships.
Nasser's blunder cost him the Sinai in the Six-Day War.
Saakashvili's blunder probably means permanent loss of South Ossetia
After shelling and attacking what he claims is his own
country, killing scores of his own Ossetian citizens and sending
tens of thousands fleeing into Russia, Saakashvili's army was
whipped back into Georgia in 48 hours.
Vladimir Putin took the opportunity to kick the Georgian army
out of Abkhazia, as well, to bomb Tbilisi, and to seize Gori,
birthplace of Stalin.
Reveling in his status as an intimate of George Bush, Dick
Cheney, and John McCain, and America's lone democratic ally in the
Caucasus, Saakashvili thought he could get away with a lightning
coup and present the world with a fait accompli.
Mikheil did not reckon on the rage or resolve of the Bear.
American charges of Russian aggression ring hollow. Georgia
started this fight – Russia finished it. People who start wars
don't get to decide how and when they end.
Russia's response was "disproportionate" and
"brutal," wailed Bush.
True. But did we not authorize Israel to bomb Lebanon for 35
days in response to a border skirmish where several Israel soldiers
were killed and two captured? Was that not many times more
Russia has invaded a sovereign country, railed Bush. But did
not the United States bomb Serbia for 78 days and invade to force it
to surrender a province, Kosovo, to which Serbia had a far greater
historic claim than Georgia had to Abkhazia or South Ossetia, both
of which prefer Moscow to Tbilisi?
Is not Western hypocrisy astonishing?
When the Soviet Union broke into 15 nations, we celebrated.
When Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Kosovo
broke from Serbia, we rejoiced. Why, then, the indignation when two
provinces, whose peoples are ethnically separate from Georgians and
who fought for their independence, should succeed in breaking away?
Are secessions and the dissolution of nations laudable only
when they advance the agenda of the neocons, many of whom viscerally
That Putin took the occasion of Saakashvili's provocative and
stupid stunt to administer an extra dose of punishment is
undeniable. But is not Russian anger understandable? For years the
West has rubbed Russia's nose in her Cold War defeat and treated her
like Weimar Germany.
When Moscow pulled the Red Army out of Europe, closed its
bases in Cuba, dissolved the evil empire, let the Soviet Union break
up into 15 states, and sought friendship and alliance with the
United States, what did we do?
American carpetbaggers colluded with Muscovite Scalawags to
loot the Russian nation. Breaking a pledge to Mikhail Gorbachev, we
moved our military alliance into Eastern Europe, then onto Russia's
doorstep. Six Warsaw Pact nations and three former republics of the
Soviet Union are now NATO members.
Bush, Cheney, and McCain have pushed to bring Ukraine and
Georgia into NATO. This would require the United States to go to war
with Russia over Stalin's birthplace and who has sovereignty over
the Crimean Peninsula and Sebastopol, traditional home of Russia's
Black Sea fleet.
When did these become U.S. vital interests, justifying war
The United States unilaterally abrogated the Anti-Ballistic
Missile treaty because our technology was superior, then planned to
site anti-missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic to
defend against Iranian missiles, though Iran has no ICBMs and no
atomic bombs. A Russian counter-offer to have us together put an
antimissile system in Azerbaijan was rejected out of hand.
We built a Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline from Azerbaijan
through Georgia to Turkey to cut Russia out. Then we helped dump
over regimes friendly to Moscow with democratic
"revolutions" in Ukraine and Georgia, and tried to repeat
it in Belarus.
Americans have many fine qualities. A capacity to see
ourselves as others see us is not high among them.
Imagine a world that never knew Ronald Reagan, where Europe
had opted out of the Cold War after Moscow installed those SS-20
missiles east of the Elbe. And Europe had abandoned NATO, told us to
go home and become subservient to Moscow.
How would we have reacted if Moscow had brought Western
Europe into the Warsaw Pact, established bases in Mexico and Panama,
put missile defense radars and rockets in Cuba, and joined with
China to build pipelines to transfer Mexican and Venezuelan oil to
Pacific ports for shipment to Asia? And cut us out? If there were
Russian and Chinese advisers training Latin American armies, the way
we are in the former Soviet republics, how would we react? Would we
look with bemusement on such Russian behavior?
For a decade, some of us have warned about the folly of
getting into Russia's space and getting into Russia's face. The
chickens of democratic imperialism have now come home to roost –
is a tale of US expansion not Russian aggression
War in the Caucasus
is as much the product of an American imperial drive as local conflicts.
It's likely to be a taste of things to come
by Seumas Milne
of six grim days of bloodshed in the Caucasus has triggered an
outpouring of the most nauseating hypocrisy from western politicians
and their captive media. As talking heads thundered against Russian
imperialism and brutal disproportionality, US vice-president Dick
Cheney, faithfully echoed by Gordon Brown and David Miliband,
declared that "Russian aggression must not go unanswered".
George Bush denounced Russia for having "invaded a sovereign
neighbouring state" and threatening "a democratic
government". Such an action, he insisted, "is unacceptable
in the 21st century".
Could these by any chance be the leaders of the same
governments that in 2003 invaded and occupied - along with Georgia,
as luck would have it - the sovereign state of Iraq on a false
pretext at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives? Or even the
two governments that blocked a ceasefire in the summer of 2006 as
Israel pulverised Lebanon's infrastructure and killed more than a
thousand civilians in retaliation for the capture or killing of five
You'd be hard put to recall after all the fury over Russian
aggression that it was actually Georgia that began the war last
Thursday with an all-out attack on South Ossetia to "restore
constitutional order" - in other words, rule over an area it
has never controlled since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Nor,
amid the outrage at Russian bombardments, have there been much more
than the briefest references to the atrocities committed by Georgian
forces against citizens it claims as its own in South Ossetia's
capital Tskhinvali. Several hundred civilians were killed there by
Georgian troops last week, along with Russian soldiers operating
under a 1990s peace agreement: "I saw a Georgian soldier throw
a grenade into a basement full of women and children," one
Tskhinvali resident, Saramat Tskhovredov, told reporters on Tuesday.
Might it be because Georgia is what Jim Murphy, Britain's
minister for Europe, called a "small beautiful democracy".
Well it's certainly small and beautiful, but both the current
president, Mikheil Saakashvili, and his predecessor came to power in
western-backed coups, the most recent prettified as a "Rose
revolution". Saakashvili was then initially rubber-stamped into
office with 96% of the vote before establishing what the
International Crisis Group recently described as an
"increasingly authoritarian" government, violently
cracking down on opposition dissent and independent media last
November. "Democratic" simply seems to mean
"pro-western" in these cases.
The long-running dispute over South Ossetia - as well as
Abkhazia, the other contested region of Georgia - is the inevitable
consequence of the breakup of the Soviet Union. As in the case of
Yugoslavia, minorities who were happy enough to live on either side
of an internal boundary that made little difference to their lives
feel quite differently when they find themselves on the wrong side
of an international state border.
Such problems would be hard enough to settle through
negotiation in any circumstances. But add in the tireless US
promotion of Georgia as a pro-western, anti-Russian forward base in
the region, its efforts to bring Georgia into NATO, the routing of a
key Caspian oil pipeline through its territory aimed at weakening
Russia's control of energy supplies, and the US-sponsored
recognition of the independence of Kosovo - whose status Russia had
explicitly linked to that of South Ossetia and Abkhazia - and
conflict was only a matter of time.
The CIA has in fact been closely involved in Georgia since
the Soviet collapse. But under the Bush administration, Georgia
has become a fully fledged US satellite. Georgia's forces are armed
and trained by the US and Israel. It has the third-largest military
contingent in Iraq - hence the US need to airlift 800 of them back
to fight the Russians at the weekend. Saakashvili's links with the
neoconservatives in Washington are particularly close: the lobbying
firm headed by US Republican candidate John McCain's top foreign
policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, has been paid nearly $900,000 by
the Georgian government since 2004.
But underlying the conflict of the past week has also been
the Bush administration's wider, explicit determination to enforce
US global hegemony and prevent any regional challenge, particularly
from a resurgent Russia. That aim was first spelled out when Cheney
was defence secretary under Bush's father, but its full impact has
only been felt as Russia has begun to recover from the
disintegration of the 1990s.
Over the past decade, NATO's relentless eastward expansion
has brought the western military alliance hard up against Russia's
borders and deep into former Soviet territory. American military
bases have spread across eastern Europe and central Asia, as the US
has helped install one anti-Russian client government after another
through a series of colour-coded revolutions. Now the Bush
administration is preparing to site a missile defence system in
eastern Europe transparently targeted at Russia.
By any sensible reckoning, this is not a story of Russian
aggression, but of US imperial expansion and ever tighter
encirclement of Russia by a potentially hostile power. That a
stronger Russia has now used the South Ossetian imbroglio to put a
check on that expansion should hardly come as a surprise. What is
harder to work out is why Saakashvili launched last week's attack
and whether he was given any encouragement by his friends in
If so, it has spectacularly backfired, at savage human cost.
And despite Bush's attempts to talk tough yesterday, the war has
also exposed the limits of US power in the region. As long as
Georgia proper's independence is respected - best protected by
opting for neutrality - that should be no bad thing. Unipolar
domination of the world has squeezed the space for genuine
self-determination and the return of some counterweight has to be
welcome. But the process of adjustment also brings huge dangers. If
Georgia had been a member of NATO, this week's conflict would have
risked a far sharper escalation. That would be even more obvious in
the case of Ukraine - which yesterday gave a warning of the
potential for future confrontation when its pro-western president
threatened to restrict the movement of Russian ships in and out of
their Crimean base in Sevastopol. As great power conflict returns,
South Ossetia is likely to be only a taste of things to come.
bear is back!
August 16, 2008
by Richard M Bennett
Despite being rather moth-eaten and while still missing a
claw or two, the Russian bear is definitely back in business.
The conflict with Georgia over its troublesome breakaway
provinces has as much to do with nationalistic pride and the
Kremlin's wish to reassert itself on the international scene as a
determination to protect the predominately Russian citizens of South
Ossetia or the determinedly independent-minded Abkhazians.
Despite constant assertions by Washington that Russia risks
isolation for its military actions of the past week, it is arguable
that it is the United States itself that faces the greatest dilemma.
To enforce any form of diplomatic or economic
"punishment" on the Russians, Washington desperately needs
the wholehearted support of the international community and its
closest allies in particular.
For a variety of reasons, this might not be forthcoming.
The former communist countries of Eastern Europe and Central
Asia are increasingly and rightly wary of the growing confidence of
Russia's leadership and the resurgence of Russian military
Western Europe remains significantly reliant on Russian
energy supplies and particularly at a time of the increasing
instability of international markets.
India and China may well be loath to support Washington,
particularly as both nations would wish to keep a free hand in
dealing with areas such as Kashmir or Tibet. While not directly
comparable, both these long-running problems are similar enough in
that the protection of the lives and rights of their citizens may
require military action at any time.
It cannot be seriously denied that Washington itself also
desperately needs Russian cooperation in the "war on
terror" and to be "on side" over the Middle East and
Iran in particular.
Even in the newly ebullient and forceful mood prevailing in
the Kremlin, Russian leaders must still be painfully aware that
their overall military strategic position remains weak. The Kremlin
needs Western technology and the willing acceptance of Russia as a
major power once again.
It remains unlikely that Russia will seriously involve itself
in major military adventurism in the near future, nor does it seem
likely that the West will seriously attempt to enforce sanctions
against the Kremlin.
There is simply too much at stake on both sides. A deal will
be most likely struck behind closed doors in New York or Paris or
Moscow. Empty rhetoric will fill the airwaves and the only long-term
loser will be Georgia itself.
Put simply, realpolitik or the triumph of reality over
ideology will most probably and rightly prevail this time. That
said, the conflict has still raised serious issues over
international cooperation, understanding and trust.
Conflict or the threat of conflict has bedeviled Georgia, its
breakaway provinces and its international relations, particularly
with Russia, since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Saakashvili - nationalist crusader
President Mikheil Saakashvili came to power after November
2003 elections on a wave of nationalism and with the promise of
recovering both Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
In the past four years, the acquisition of significant
numbers of more modern armored vehicles, artillery, multiple rocket
launchers, small arms, armed helicopters, reconnaissance drones and
much else could not have failed to raise alarm in the breakaway
provinces and in the Kremlin.
Western intelligence services were also fully aware of
military developments and indeed significant numbers of US and
Israeli military personnel helped the Georgian special forces in
particular in preparing for large-scale counter-insurgency
operations ... exactly the type of training required for any serious
attempt to suppress the citizens of both Abkhazia and South Ossetia,
who were certain to violently resist any Georgian takeover.
This current conflict was born out of a crisis that has been
simmering since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO's)
action in the former Yugoslavia and has most certainly come to boil
since February 2008, when the breakaway province of Kosovo achieved
a degree of doubtful international acceptance as an independent
state, but only, it is suggested by many observers, after
considerable pressure was exerted on its allies by the United
There is little or no difference between Russia's actions to
ensure the right of self-determination of the South Ossetians and
the US/NATO support for the Kosovans.
It could be argued that Russia may indeed have a valid point
in suggesting that it is intensely hypocritical of
Washington and London to demand that Georgia should have its
sovereignty respected when Serbia, Iraq, Somalia, Panama,
Afghanistan and others have had their sovereignty ignored by the US
and its allies, sometimes with a degree of genuine justification,
but on occasions simply on the flimsiest of evidence that would
certainly not have survived the close scrutiny of a court of law.
M K Bhadrakumar's masterly summing up of the political
background to the conflict (The
end of the post-Cold War era Asia Times Online,
August 13, 2008) should be studied closely by all who wish to have a
grasp of the great game played in the region between Washington and
The lead-up to the military confrontation was however
entirely predictable and indeed was flagged quite openly to all who
wished to take notice.
In 2005, the Georgian army was openly involved in large-scale
training for integrated infantry, armored, artillery and air support
operations which would appear to have had no other possible purpose
but the retaking of the breakaway provinces by military force.
The significant buildup of firepower, so tragically
demonstrated by the Georgians' wanton destruction of the capital of
South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, and vastly increased ammunition stocks
and logistic support, allowed the Russian GRU (military
intelligence) to draw the right conclusions.
Saakashvili would use force, only the timing remained
It is significant that the United States was fully aware of
the risk of conflict. The American Foreign Policy Council in
Washington in its Russia Reform Monitor reported on July 11:
Russia has admitted its fighter jets
overflew the breakaway Georgian territory of South Ossetia in a
sortie that took place just hours before US Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice visited Tbilisi with a message of support ...
Speaking in the Georgian capital on July 10, Rice said Russia needs
"to be part of resolving the problem ... and not contributing
to it." However, she also said she had told Georgian President
Mikheil Saakashvili that "there should not be violence".
On July 12:
... Georgian media have been reporting an
alleged Russian Defense Ministry plan to storm the Kodori Gorge in
the breakaway Georgian republic of Abkhazia, to which Russia plans
to respond by publishing details of alleged Georgian plans to launch
a military incursion into South Ossetia.
On July 15"
week, Georgia recalled its ambassador in Moscow to protest the
Russian overflights, while Russia said they were aimed at preventing
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili from launching a military
operation against the separatist South Ossetia region.
by the beginning of August, the Russian intelligence services had a
fair idea of both Georgia's intentions and its likely tactics, but
still no firm evidence of timing.
A week of war
The Russian 58th Army with its headquarters in Vladikavkaz was
on alert and responded reasonably quickly and effectively to the
Georgian invasion of South Ossetia on August 6 and 7. The use of
massive artillery and multiple rocket barrages against the largely
open and undefended city of Tskhinvali has been well documented,
though little hard evidence has emerged of ether ethnic cleansing or
genocide by either side elsewhere in this conflict.
However, the violent Russian response left no one in any
doubt as to the outcome. Supported by attack aircraft and
helicopters from the 4th Air Army, units of the 58th Army of the
North Caucasian Military district, including elements of the 20th
Guards, 19th and 42nd Motor Rifle Divisions, swept down into South
They succeeded in first blocking the Georgian advance north
and then quickly pushed them into a humiliating retreat back across
the border and eventually out of the town of Gori, the birthplace of
They were further supported by units of the Russian 76th and
98th Airborne Divisions and the 45th Independent (Spetsnaz
reconnaissance regiment from the Moscow Military District, who
reinforced both South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Within a matter of days, virtually the entire Georgian
command and control system had been severely degraded, along with
radar stations, air defense and what remained of the air force at
bases such as Alekseevka and Marneuli.
Georgian army infantry units including the First Brigade from
Gori, supported by the T72-equipped Independent Tank Battalion and
probably reinforced by elements of the Fourth Brigade from Vaziani,
were quickly routed or ordered to withdraw to save what remained of
their fighting capability for the possible defense of Tbilisi.
The Second Brigade at Senaki appears not to have put up a
fight when a column of Russian troops on a short-lived punitive raid
pushed deep into Georgia from Abkhazia on August 11.
Russian special forces are also reported to have made limited
incursions into the ports of Poti and Batumi without significant
interference from the Georgian armed forces.
By August 12, large parts of the Georgian armed forces had
ceased to operate or lacked any central command and coordination.
Georgia had effectively been defeated within six days and without
any of its Western allies doing more than resorting to pointless
Continuing Russian military action would seem to concentrate
on destroying the surviving Georgian military infrastructure around
the borders of South Ossetia and perhaps Abkhazia, including the
well-defended artillery positions that had allowed the Georgians to
heavily shell Tskhinvali.
A new cold war?
of any certainty of Western military support have been shattered,
and probably for the foreseeable future. The benefits of the
increasingly close diplomatic, economic and military relationship
with the US, North Atlantic Treaty Organization and European Union
may now be called into question by many of the former communist
states and some old ties may now be restored as the only likely
guarantee of regional security.
This indeed could turn out to be a defining moment in the
post-Cold War world, with a redrawing of lines of influence and a
reassertion of national interests. It is a lesson the Kremlin will
sincerely hope has been taken to heart by many of its former allies.
The best that can probably be rescued from the Georgia crisis
is to make it blatantly clear to Moscow that the West will react
more positively in the event of a similar situation developing over,
for instance, the largely Russian population of the Crimea.
It is a potentially massive problem for the incoming US
administration next year, and it is to be hoped that a calm and
measured response from Washington may prove to be decisive in
preventing the major powers from sliding back into a chillier and
increasingly dangerous relationship
Richard M Bennett, intelligence and security consultant, AFI
days that broke one country - and reshaped the world order
Georgia's bedraggled First Infantry Brigade. And its Second. And its
the past few evenings in the foothills of the Southern Caucasus on
the outskirts of Joseph Stalin's hometown of Gori, reconnaissance
units of Russia's 58th Army have been raking through the spoils of
war at what was the Georgian Army's pride and joy, a shiny new
military base inaugurated only last January for the First Infantry,
the Army Engineers, and an Artillery Brigade.
couple of hours to the west, in the town of Senaki, it's the same
picture. A flagship military base, home to the Second Infantry
Brigade, is in Russian hands. And down on the Black Sea coast, the
radars and installations for Georgia's sole naval base at Poti have
been scrupulously pinpointed by the Russians and destroyed.
and Senaki are not ramshackle relics of the old Red Army of the type
that litter the landscape of eastern Europe. "These bases have
only recently been upgraded to NATO standard," said Matthew
Clements, Eurasia analyst at Jane's Information Group. "They
have been operationally targeted to seriously degrade the Georgian
is a presence of our armed forces near Gori and Senaki. We make no
secret of it," said the general staff in Moscow. "They are
there to defuse an enormous arsenal of weapons and military
hardware which have been discovered in the vicinity of Gori and
Senaki without any guard whatsoever."
"enormous arsenals" are American-made or
American-supplied. American money, know-how, planning, and equipment
built these bases as part of Washington's drive to bring NATO
membership to a small country that is Russia's underbelly.
American "train and equip" mission for the Georgian
military is six years old. It has been destroyed in as many days.
And with it, Georgia's NATO ambitions. "There are a few
countries that will say 'told you so'" about the need to get
Georgia into NATO," said Andrew Wilson, Russia expert at the
European Council on Foreign Relations. "But many more will want
to walk away from the problem. And for the next few years, Georgia
will be far too busy trying to pick itself up."
Georgia and NATO are the principal casualties of this week's
ruthless display of brute power by Vladimir Putin, the consequences
are bigger still, the fallout immense, if uncertain. The regional
and the global balance of power looks to have tilted, against the
west and in favour of the rising or resurgent players of the east.
a seminal speech in Munich last year, Putin confidently warned the
west that he would not tolerate the age of American hyperpower.
Seven years in office at the time and at the height of his powers,
he delivered his most anti-western tirade
an audience that included John McCain, the White House contender,
and Robert Gates, the US defence secretary and ex-Kremlinologist, he
served notice: "What is a unipolar world? It refers to one type
of situation, one centre of authority, one centre of force, one
centre of decision-making. It is world in which there is one master,
one sovereign. This is pernicious ... unacceptable ...
week, he turned those words into action, demonstrating the limits of
US power with his rout of Georgia. His forces roamed at will along
the roads of the Southern Caucasus, beyond Russia's borders for the
first time since the disastrous Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in
the Russian officers sat on the American stockpiles of machine guns,
ammunition, and equipment in Gori, they were savouring a highly
unusual scenario. Not since the Afghan war had the Russians seized
vast caches of US weaponry. "People are sick to the stomach in
Washington," said a former Pentagon official. And the Russians
are giddy with success.
the biggest victory in eight years of what might be termed Putinism,
the dogged pursuit by whatever means to avenge a long period of
Russian humiliation and to deploy his limited range of levers - oil,
gas, or brute force - to make the world listen to Moscow, the
Russian prime minister has redrawn the geopolitical map.
less than a week, Putin has invaded another country, effectively
partitioned Georgia in a lightning campaign, weakened his
arch-enemy, President Mikheil Saakashvili, divided the west, and
presented a fait accompli. The impact - locally, regionally, and
globally - is huge.
war in Georgia has put the European order in question," said
Alexander Rahr, one of Germany's leading Russia experts and a Putin
biographer. "The times are past when you can punish
seems to be the view among leading European policymakers who have
been scrambling all week to arrange and shore up a fragile
ceasefire, risking charges of appeasing the Kremlin.
ask us who's good and who's bad here," said Bernard Kouchner,
the French foreign minister, after shuttling between Tbilisi and
Moscow to try to halt the violence. "We shouldn't make any
moral judgments on this war. Stopping the war, that's what we're
boss, President Nicolas Sarkozy, went to the Kremlin to negotiate a
ceasefire and parade as a peacemaker. Critics said he acted as
Moscow's messenger, noting Putin's terms then taking them to Tbilisi
to persuade Saakashvili to capitulate. Germany also refused to take
sides while Italy warned against building an "anti-Moscow
contrasted with Gordon Brown's and David Milliband's talk of Russian
"aggression" and Condoleezza Rice's arrival in Tbilisi
yesterday to rally "the free world behind a free Georgia".
effects of Putin's coup are first felt locally and around Russia's
rim. "My view is that the Russians, and I would say principally
prime minister Putin, is interested in reasserting Russia's, not
only Russia's great power or superpower status, but in reasserting
Russia's traditional spheres of influence," said Gates.
"My guess is that everyone is going to be looking at Russia
through a different set of lenses as we look ahead."
Kiev certainly. Ukraine's pro-western prime minister, Viktor
Yushchenko, Saaksahvili's fellow colour-revolutionary, is chastened
and wary. His firebrand anti-Russian prime minister, Yuliya
Tymoshenko, has gone uncharacteristically quiet.
of the Ukraine?
invasion of Ukraine by 'peacekeeping tanks' is just a question of
time," wrote Aleksandr Sushko, director of Kiev's Institute of
Euro-Atlantic Cooperation. "Weimar Russia is completing its
transformation into something else. If Russia wins this war, a new
order will take shape in Europe which will have no place for Ukraine
as a sovereign state."
around Russia's rim, the former Soviet "captive states"
are trembling. Even Belarus, the slavishly loyal "last
dictatorship in Europe", went strangely silent, taking days
before the regime offered Moscow its support. "Everybody's
nervous," said Wilson.
EU states of the Baltic and Poland are drumming up support for
Georgia, with the Polish president Lech Kaczynski declaring that
Russia has revealed "its true face". That divides the EU
since the French and the Germans refuse to take sides and are
scornful of east European "hysteria" towards Russia. Rahr
in Berlin says the German and French governments are striving to
keep the Poles and the Baltic states well away from any EU-led peace
negotiations. It was the Germans and the French who, in April,
blunted George Bush's drive to get Georgia into NATO. They will also
resist potential US moves to kick Russia out of the G8 or other
are many who argue that Putin's gamble will backfire, that he has
bitten off more than he can chew, that Russia remains weak, a
"Saudi Arabia with trees" in the words of Robert Hunter,
the former US ambassador to NATO.
to the other rising powers of China, India or even Brazil - the
companions referred to as the BRIC - Russia does indeed appear weak.
Its economy struggles to develop goods or services, depends on raw
material exports and on European consumption and the price of oil
for its current wealth.
Putin's talent is for playing a weak hand well, maximising and
concentrating his limited resources, and creating facts on the
ground while the west dithers.
is a lack of a clear and unified European policy towards
Russia," said Clements. In the crucial contest over energy
"the Russian strategy of keeping control of exports and supply
is outpacing any European response".
may now calculate he can call off the dogs of war, having achieved
his aims and able to pocket his gains very cheaply. The Georgia
campaign becomes the triumphant climax of Putinism.
politics, it is very important to know one's measure," wrote
Aleksey Arbatov, director of Moscow's International Security Centre.
"If Russia continues to inflict strikes on Georgian territory,
on facilities, on population centres, we may lose the moral
supremacy we have today."
Wilson and many in eastern Europe worry that rather than being the
climax of Putinism, the Russians in Georgia signal the start of
something else. "This may not be a culmination, but only step
one," said Wilson. "If you don't stop this kind of
behaviour, it escalates."
In Ukraine, Fear of Being a Resurgent
Russia’s Next Target
Nicholas Kulish and Sara Rhodin
For 17 years now, several former satellites and republics of the
Soviet Union have cherished their democracies, all made possible by
the simple premise that the days of Russian dominance were over.
events in Georgia
over the past week have made them rethink that idea. Poland
announced Thursday that it had reached a deal with Washington to
base American missile interceptors on its territory, after months of
talks. But then a Russian general went so far as to say that Poland
might draw Russian nuclear retaliation, sending new shudders through
sense of alarm may be greatest here in Ukraine. Since the Orange
Revolution began in 2004, bringing the pro-Western Viktor
A. Yushchenko to power after widespread protests, Ukraine
has been a thorn in Moscow’s
side, though perhaps not as sharp as the outspoken Georgian
said Tanya Mydruk, 22, an office assistant who lives in Kiev, the
or later our president is going to say or do something that goes too
far, and then it will start.”
has done little to win Russia’s
favor since the crisis in the Caucasus began. On Wednesday, Ukraine
announced that it would restrict the movements of Russia’s
Black Sea fleet into Sevastopol, on the Crimean peninsula. On
Friday, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it was
prepared to give Western countries access to its missile-warning
happened here in the last week certainly came as a shock, not only
to Georgia but to a lot of others as well,”
said Peter Semneby, the European
special representative for the South Caucasus. “A
lot of people will, as a result of this, want to build a closer
relationship with their Western partners as quickly as possible.”
between Russia and Ukraine have been high for years. Mr. Yushchenko,
like Mr. Saakashvili in Georgia, has sought stronger ties with the
West, including membership in NATO,
which Russia has said would threaten its security. In early 2006,
Russia cut off natural gas supplies to Ukraine, in a bold maneuver
to weaken Mr. Yushchenko’s
despite fears of a Russian resurgence, Ukraine remains deeply tied
to Russia by culture and history. Its ethnic Russian minority,
largely in the south and east of the country, is roughly 17 percent
of a total population of 46 million. Many Russian speakers watched
the conflict in Georgia unfold through the prism of state-controlled
Russian television channels that are broadcast here.
growing nationalist sentiment among other segments of society, along
with expanding trade and cultural ties with the West, has further
complicated the political situation.
future lay with Russia or the European Union, Lena Stepnevska, 24,
who works at a construction company and was out for a walk in the
capital on Friday, opted for Russia. “I
would like to believe it will be Russia, because we are fraternal
nations and have to support each other,”
he supports membership in both NATO and the European Union, Anatoliy
Grytsenko, the head of the national security and defense committee
in Parliament and a former defense minister, said Russia could not
be ignored. “Russia
will not disappear tomorrow, as well as in a century or two,”
he said. “We
will always wake up and it will be there, not Canada.”
Baltic states, meanwhile, are gravely concerned about what a newly
dominant Russia could mean for them, even though they became members
of NATO in 2004 and therefore have more protection.
the public, there’s
a certain anxiety,”
said the Estonian president, Toomas Hendrik Ilves. “Given
our history, we understand why people feel anxious.”
Mr. Ilves said fears that Russia would invade Estonia were
unfounded, he emphasized the serious consequences of Russia’s
actions in Georgia in terms of maintaining international order. “The
assumption of the post-1991 settlement has been that the old Russia
is in the past —
that it is not a country that invades its neighbors,”
he said. “Basically
the entire European security architecture is based on this premise.”
has been at the forefront of states that have provided aid to
Georgia. It also sent Internet security specialists and agreed to
host Georgian Web sites after those sites were attacked. Georgian
officials suggested Moscow was behind the attacks, a charge the
Russian government has denied.
addition to fear in the region, there is anger with the West for not
doing more to rein in Russia. In an interview with a Polish
newspaper on Saturday, Lech Kaczynski, Poland’s
president, criticized the European Union as being too soft on
Shevchenko Park in the heart of Kiev, card games have gotten pretty
heated since the fighting between Georgia and Russia began.
Russians keep silent and they still think about their fate in
said Vasyl Marsiuk, 70. He sat at one of the granite tables where
older men also play dominos or checkers, in the shade of chestnut
his eyes, the Russians are the clear aggressors in the Caucasus
conflict, and they are by no means finished with their ambitions for
the region. “Ukraine
is under the same threat, the same kind of Damocles sword,”
Marsiuk spoke Ukrainian, but a man overhearing him launched into a
defense of Russia, in Russian. “It
was Georgia that started the conflict,”
said the man, Pyotr Lyuty, 53, who said he had served in military
intelligence in Soviet times.
if he thought the Soviet Union should have broken up, he replied
with a simple and direct, “No,”
before adding, “My
grandfather explained it to me. You can break a bunch of twigs one
by one, but if we take a bunch of twigs you can never break it.”
Kulish reported from Kiev, and Sara Rhodin from Moscow.
the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2008, Issue No. 80
August 12, 2008
REPORT SCRUTINIZES THE STATE SECRETS PRIVILEGE
A new report from the Senate Judiciary Committee examines the
use ofthe state secrets privilege by the executive branch and
describes theintent of new legislation to strengthen judicial review
of its use in
The 53 page report summarizes the latest legal scholarship on
the statesecrets privilege, as well as the controversy that has
"In recent years, the executive branch has asserted the
privilege more frequently and broadly than before, typically to seek
dismissal of lawsuits at the pleadings stage. Facing allegations of
Government conduct ranging from domestic warrantless surveillance,
to employment discrimination, to retaliation against whistleblowers,
to torture and 'extraordinary rendition,' the Bush-Cheney
has invoked the privilege in an effort to shut down civil suits
against both Government officials and private parties. Courts have
largely acquiesced," the report states.
"While there is some debate over the extent to which
this represents aquantitative or qualitative break from past
practice, '[w]hat isundebatable ... is that the privilege is
currently being invoked as
grounds for dismissal of entire categories of cases challenging the
constitutionality of Government action,' and that a strong public
perception has emerged that sees the privilege as a tool for
"In response to the growing concerns about the state
secrets privilege, Senator Kennedy, Senator Specter, and Senator
Leahy introduced the State Secrets Protection Act to provide a
systematic approach to the privilege and thereby bring stability,
predictability, and clarity to this area of the law and restore the
public trust in Government and the courts."
The new report includes dissenting views from several
Republican members of the Judiciary Committee, who argue that the
existing arrangements already strike the "right balance between
openness, justice and national security."
See "State Secrets Protection Act," Senate
Judiciary Committee Report 110-442, August 1:
Another new report from the Senate Judiciary Committee
addresses court-ordered secrecy, and would limit judicial authority
to seal court records pertaining to public health and safety. The
report describes pending legislation that "requires judges to
consider the public's interest in disclosure of health and safety
information before issuing a protective order or an order to seal
court records or a settlement agreement."
See "Sunshine in Litigation Act," Senate Judiciary
Committee Report 110-439, August 1:
DNI ISSUES DIRECTIVE ON IC CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER
The Director of National Intelligence last week issued a new
directive defining the role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO)
for the U.S. intelligence community (IC).
The CIO will be responsible for "developing,
maintaining, and facilitating the implementation of a sound and
integrated information technology architecture for the IC" and
will also "oversee IC information security policies."
See Intelligence Community Directive 500, "Chief
Information Officer," August 7, 2008:
DIA TAKES ON OFFENSIVE COUNTERINTELLIGENCE
With the establishment of its Defense Counterintelligence and
Human Intelligence Center (DCHC) on August 3, the Defense
Intelligence Agency now has new authority to engage in offensive
counterintelligence operations that seek to thwart foreign
If defensive counterintelligence is checkers, then offensive
counterintelligence is chess.
Unlike defensive counterintelligence, offensive
counterintelligence is intended to "make something
happen," a DIA spokesman said last week.
It may involve infiltration, active deception and disruption
of opposing intelligence services. It is hard to do well.
"DIA joins just three other military organizations
authorized to carry out offensive counterintelligence
operations--the Army Counterintelligence office, the Navy Criminal
Investigative Serve and the Air Force office of Special
Investigations," reported Pamela Hess of the Associated Press.
See "DIA's New Mission Adds to Intel Arsenal,"
The Defense Intelligence Agency described the origins and
intended functions of the new DCHC in a news media briefing last
week. The transcript is here:
with the Crow: Part 24
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
Description of Contents
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. *
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. *
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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. *
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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!
Tuesday, November 12, 1996
8:02 AM CST
8:23 AM CST
Good morning, Gregory. I’ve pretty well firmed up our meeting.
Everyone can make it and we’ll have lunch. You’ll need to be at
the University Club before noon and we can talk for a while before
I’ll make a note of it, Robert. Is the food good? I have a great
liking for crab cakes, Maryland-style.
They certainly have that, Gregory. Want wine to go with that?
I’m not much of a drinker but wine will be fine. A nice white
wine. Will you have the Allende hit letter with you?
Oh yes but we can deal with that out of sight and earshot of the
But these are your friends.
Well at least one of them isn’t yours.
A nice book on Bringing True Democracy to some backward country.
Very inspiring. Robert, you’ve been walking in the corridors of
power and you have a first hand knowledge of such things but I think
I could tell you the basics in governmental change. I mean securing
some natural resource-rich but otherwise insignificant country.
Would I offend with some satire here?
I’m not in harness any more, Gregory. Let’s see what you’ve
learned in school, why not?
Here we have a country. Call it Flavia. Not much but goats, much
incest but huge deposits of swan guano. An American firm, Sawney
Bean Inc, has the permanent rights to mine the precious swan guano.
And eventually, some Flavian intellectual decided that only the
President and his family shared in that wealth so he leads a
campaign, is successful and is elected to Holy Office. Norman
Crotchrott, who owns Sawney Bean, believes that he is going to have
to pay bigger bribes to the new president-elect but is horrified to
discover that the new leader is a genuine populist and wants to
seize the guano and exploit it for the people of Flavia. Shock, rage
and horror in the boardroom of Sawney Bean. But, we have a possible
salvation just down the road. Mr. Crotchrott went to Harvard with
the DCI. He invites him up to a lavish weekend in the Hamptons and
closets himself with your former boss for over two hours. Certain
matters are discussed, drinks raised and hands shaken. Almost
immediately afterwards, the CIA prepares a horrifying report that
names the new president of Flavia as a Communist who went to the
Lenin School. Shock and horror! The report states that if Flavia
falls to the Communists, they will set up a power base and take over
all the countries within earshot, to include, shock and horror, one
country that produces uranium. My God, Robert, the DCI makes a
personal trip to the White House, with a phalanx of aides and
experts, all armed with charts, pointers and reports. Once the
President is told that the situation in Flavia is critical and the
evil Russians might get their Slavic hands on the uranium, he agrees
to special action. The CIA starts the ball rolling by having
doom-laded and alarmist reports published on the front pages of the
New York Times, the Washington Post and about twenty lesser papers.
Communists take over Flavia! More shock and horror. The president
gives a press conference and says we must save Flavia and the entire
region from the evil Communists. In the meantime, the CIA, who has
bribed dissident groups in Flavia, regardless of the fact that most
of them are pedophiles and chronic alcoholics, supplies them with
Chinese weapons, purchased through one of their front companies from
Turkey and sends a new cultural attaché to Flavia to spread bags of
bribe money. There is a coup, led by U.S. Navy personnel dressed in
native costume, the new president and his whole family are set on
fire and a newer president is quickly installed. Return of democracy
to Flavia is the watchword in the media. Several weeks later, Mr.
Crotchrott deposits several million dollars in the black Swiss bank
accounts of the top CIA people and sends a Steuben glass bowl to the
President as a token of respect for his quick action. The new head
of state signs a permanent contract with Sawney Bean and the papers
and the boob tube show pictures of happy laughing Flavians cheering
the American ambassador as he drives down the street in his armored
limousine, surrounded by a battalion of Marines from the embassy.
Now, Robert, tell me how far off I am?
You are a very wicked person, Gregory.
Is that a negative comment?
Not really. You have Chile in mind specifically?
More like Guatemala, Robert. My uncle was involved with that game
and that’s where I got my baptism in bringing true democracy to a
backward country with wonderful natural resources.
A word of caution here, Gregory. At lunch, do not bring up such
subjects around Tom. He would start a file on you as a Communist
Robert, Communism is a dead issue. The Arabs are our new enemies
now. The Israelis have told us so and they own the papers. How about
a Muslim sympathizer?
Well, you take my drift, Gregory. Better safe than sorry. Then the
FBI will start looking into your garbage.
They ought to feed them better.
at 8:23 AM CST)