Original: http://www.tbrnews.org/Archives/a2867.htm 2008-08-19

Also on: http://thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=9190

Link here: http://blog.lege.net/content/TheVoiceOfTheWhiteHouse20080818.html

PDF "printout": http://blog.lege.net/content/TheVoiceOfTheWhiteHouse20080818.pdf




   Contact Us


TBR News August 18, 2008


The Voice of the White House

            Washington, D.C., 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 United States.

                  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.            

                 Another 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 him.

             And 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 helpless Washington

                 . 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 Iraq.

                  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!”


The Role of Israel in the Georgian War

August 17, 2008

by Brian Harring



            Georgia 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 weapons hustlers.


They 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. 


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. “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. “

Kezerashvili’s 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 involvement.

 The 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.’

 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.

                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 consequences.

                 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.

                In 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 Temur Yakobashvili.

                 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)

While 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 Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, also known as Israel's Tipline, from Ceyhan to the Israeli port of Ashkelon. 


The Isreali unmanned surveillance drones


The unmanned Israeli clandestine surveillance drones are a favorite of intelligence agencies world-wide. Their most popular drone is the Hermes 450 drone aircraft.


Hermes 450 L


                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.




The 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 school. 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.


If 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 - Baiting,

August 15, 2008

by 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 and Abkhazia.

                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 "disproportionate"?

                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 detest Russia?

                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 with Russia?

                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 – in Tbilisi.

This 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

August 14 2008
by Seumas Milne

The Guardian,

                The outcome 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 soldiers?

                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 Washington.

                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.

The bear is back!

August 16, 2008
by Richard M Bennett

Asia Times

                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 capability.

                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 States.

                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 Moscow.

Military build-up

                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 uncertain.

                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"

Last 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.

So 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 Ossetia.

                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 Josef Stalin.

                They were further supported by units of the Russian 76th and 98th Airborne Divisions and the 45th Independent (Spetsnaz Спецназ -) 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 rhetoric.

                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?

 Illusions 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 Research.


Six days that broke one country - and reshaped the world order

August 16, 2008

by Ian Traynor

The Guardian


Pity Georgia's bedraggled First Infantry Brigade. And its Second. And its hapless Navy.


For 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.


A 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.


Gori 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 military."


"There 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."


The "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.


The 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."


If 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.


In 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




To 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 ... impossible."


This 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 1980s.


As 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.


Celebrating 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.


In 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.


"The 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 Russia."


That 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.


"Don't 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 interested in."


His 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 coalition".


That 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".


The 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."


In 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.


Invasion of the Ukraine?


"An 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."


All 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.


The 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 international bodies.


There 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.


Compared 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.




But 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.


"There 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".


Putin 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.


"In 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."


But 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 Russias Next Target

August 17, 2008

by Nicholas Kulish and Sara Rhodin

New York Times


                KIEV, Ukraine 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.


The 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 the region.


The 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 Moscows side, though perhaps not as sharp as the outspoken Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili.


Were next, said Tanya Mydruk, 22, an office assistant who lives in Kiev, the capital. Sooner or later our president is going to say or do something that goes too far, and then it will start.


Ukraine has done little to win Russias favor since the crisis in the Caucasus began. On Wednesday, Ukraine announced that it would restrict the movements of Russias 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 systems.


What 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 Unions 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.


Tensions 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. Yushchenkos government.


Yet 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.


A growing nationalist sentiment among other segments of society, along with expanding trade and cultural ties with the West, has further complicated the political situation.


Asked whether Ukraines 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, she said.


Though 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.


The 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.


In the public, theres a certain anxiety, said the Estonian president, Toomas Hendrik Ilves. Given our history, we understand why people feel anxious.


While Mr. Ilves said fears that Russia would invade Estonia were unfounded, he emphasized the serious consequences of Russias 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.


Estonia 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.


In 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, Polands president, criticized the European Union as being too soft on Moscow.


At Shevchenko Park in the heart of Kiev, card games have gotten pretty heated since the fighting between Georgia and Russia began.


Smart Russians keep silent and they still think about their fate in Ukraine, 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 trees.


In 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, he said.


Mr. 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.


Asked 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.


Nicholas Kulish reported from Kiev, and Sara Rhodin from Moscow.



from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2008, Issue No. 80
August 12, 2008

                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
civil litigation.
                The 53 page report summarizes the latest legal scholarship on the statesecrets privilege, as well as the controversy that has surrounded it.
                "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 unlawful
Government conduct ranging from domestic warrantless surveillance, to employment discrimination, to retaliation against whistleblowers, to torture and 'extraordinary rendition,' the Bush-Cheney administration
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 Executive
                "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:

                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:
                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 intelligence activities.
                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," August 5:
                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:





Conversations with the Crow: Part 24


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: Tuesday, November 12, 1996

Commenced: 8:02 AM CST

Concluded: 8:23 AM CST


RTC: 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 lunch.

GD: I’ll make a note of it, Robert. Is the food good? I have a great liking for crab cakes, Maryland-style.

RTC: They certainly have that, Gregory. Want wine to go with that?

GD: 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?

RTC: Oh yes but we can deal with that out of sight and earshot of the others.

GD: But these are your friends.

RTC: Well at least one of them isn’t yours.

GD: 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?

RTC: I’m not in harness any more, Gregory. Let’s see what you’ve learned in school, why not?

GD: 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?

RTC: You are a very wicked person, Gregory.

GD: Is that a negative comment?

RTC: Not really. You have Chile in mind specifically?

GD: 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.

RTC: 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 agitator.

GD: 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?

RTC: Well, you take my drift, Gregory. Better safe than sorry. Then the FBI will start looking into your garbage.

GD: They ought to feed them better.


(Concluded at 8:23 AM CST)






(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)