Friday, June 27, 2014





A big story in today's news cycle is the CIA and a supposed dropped ball.

At the longtime CIA media outpost Newsweek, Jeff Stein wants you to know Nouri bega,n spying on and tracking the CIA in 2004.  If true, not surprising.  Supposedly, he was fed info by the Iranian government and fed back to them.  If true, the notion that the White House installed Nouri in 2006 and demanded he remained prime minister in 2010 makes both Bully Boy Bush and Barack Obama look even more stupid for supporting Nouri.  Stein writes:

According to [former CIA official John] Maguire and another former CIA operations officer, the Iraqis acquired sophisticated cell phone monitoring equipment, probably from Iran, and began tracking CIA operators to identify their spies, especially inside the Maliki government. “It wasn’t so much the agency people they were interested in as who they were meeting and talking to,” says another CIA source, a paramilitary operations specialist who did three tours in Iraq. Although he was not authorized to discuss the subject, he agreed to be quoted on condition of anonymity because he felt U.S. advisers just arriving in Iraq needed to be warned.
“They are very aggressive,” he says of the Iraqi security services. “They have the best equipment Iran has,” including devices known as StingRays, that can lock onto a cell phone and extract all its data, from contacts to photos and music.

AP's Ken Dilianianap speaks to CIA spokesperson Dean Boyd who states that "the intelligence community provided plenty of warning to the Obama administration that the insurgent Islamic State in Iraq and Levant --known as ISIL -- could move on Iraqi cities" and Dilianianap quotes US House Rep Mike Roger (House Intelligence Committee Chair) stating, "Anyone who has had access to and actually read the full extent of CIA intelligence products on ISIL and Iraq should not have been surprised by the current situation."

Dean Boyd is offended by any suggestion that the CIA in Iraq since 2011 have just been sitting behind desks or hiding out.  They've done much more than that and I'm not being sarcastic.  We've noted here at least three different times when drones were spotted flying over Baghdad.  I'm sure they've done many other missions as well.  In addition, they do have the outpost on the Turkish border which allows them fly drones over Iraq and Iran and that's also where most communications -- in Iraq and Iran -- are monitored from.

Nouri is said to have purged the CIA assets in Iraq.  That's also not 'news.'  The Iraqi press has noted repeatedly in the last two years -- especially Kitabat and Iraq Times -- that this or that official was run off (and often run out of the country) by Nouri who was accusing the official (usually a general) of being a spy for the United States.

All of this was known or should have been.  Did the CIA 'fail' the administration?

The previous administration?  Possibly.  (If they did, they did so by bending to the will of the Bully Boy Bush White House.)  The current administration?  No.

Let's again note that Jaime Dettmer (Daily Beast) reported earlier this week that the White House had months of warnings about ISIS and the warnings were ignored.  And who's talking about this?  Dettmer reports:

The prime minister of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, Nechirvan Barzani, says he warned Baghdad and the United States months ago about the threat ISIS posed to Iraq and the group’s plan to launch an insurgency across Iraq. The Kurds even offered to participate in a joint military operation with Baghdad against the jihadists.
Washington didn’t respond—a claim that will fuel Republican charges that the Obama administration has been dangerously disengaged from the Middle East. Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki dismissed the warnings, saying everything was under control.
The Kurds’ intelligence head, Lahur Talabani, says he handed Washington and London detailed reports about the unfolding threat. The warnings “fell on deaf ears,” he says.

There were warnings.  In addition, common sense told anyone paying attention this was coming.  hWe warned here repeatedly that when people were told they could make changes by votes and their votes were overturned (by the White House in 2010), when those politicians who tried to represent them were targeted by the government, what was left?  The only avenue for redress was protest.  And Nouri labeled the protesters 'terrorists' and attacked them.  And where was the US?

From Samarra من سامراء

"Obama, If you Cannot Hear Us Can you Not See Us?"

That's a pretty clear message.

And when Nouri began attacking protesters and the US government refused to say a word, that was pretty clear message as well.

The April 23, 2013 massacre of the sit-in in Hawija   resulted from  Nouri's federal forces storming in.  Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk)  announced 50 activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault.   AFP reported the death toll rose to 53.  UNICEF noted that the dead included 8 children (twelve more were injured).  And the State Dept had no statement calling it out and the White House couldn't be bothered.  And, step by step, things got worse and worse.

The current events are no surprise at all.  As Dexter Filkins told Terry Gross (Fresh Air, NPR, link is audio and text) yesterday, "Well, you know, it's pretty depressing (laughing). I mean, these guys are - I mean, some of those guys, you know, ISIS are just full on psychopaths. You know, these are the people that make beheading videos. It's not all of them. But there's a lot of them in there. And, you know, it's sad. I mean, it's not terribly surprising I have to say. You know, I was there a few months ago and it wasn't difficult to see what was happening. You know, I didn't - I certainly didn't predict what would ultimately happen. But everything was really fragile, there was so much anger and unhappiness that it looked like, you know, we're kind of one big event away from everything coming apart. It wasn't hard to see."

What this is about is that the Blame Bully Boy Bush for problems that emerged from 2009 to the present day is wearing thin so the White House is attempting to push the blame over to the CIA and the CIA is saying, "Oh, no, we're not going to be your fall guy."  It's an internal squabble, a game of hot potato.

This week's. Black Agenda Radio, hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey (first airs each Monday at 4:00 pm EST on the Progressive Radio Network),  features a discussion of the CIA's involvement in Iraq with Bill of Rights Defense Committee's executive director Shahid Buttar.

Glen Ford:  The NSA -- the National Security Agency which purports to be the all seeing eyes and the all hearing ears of the United States, how could the NSA not have known that ISIS -- the jihadist group which US funding has been so much a part of the growth of -- was not about to launch a major offensive or be the spearhead of a major offensive in Iraq? 

Shahid Buttar:  The CIA has a long history of being on both sides of conflicts and instigating conflicts which we then later sacrifice a great deal to address. And there's any number of places we could demonstrate this from [. . .] Saddam Hussein -- which the CIA supplied his regime for years, Iran -- which the CIA supplied, that's what the Iran-Contra scandal was about -- with the CIA basically trading weapons with our nation's central enemy and the idea that they are under the table, betraying American interests, taking tax dollars to do it, destabilizing our international relations is the short answer to why they hate us -- to the extent anyone hates us -- is the CIA.  It's three letters. It's not that long.  And I think it's very unfortunate that we see in ISIS the recreation of this pattern of the CIA's complicity with people who have been our enemies, will be our enemies, are allied with people who are currently our enemies[.]

RECOMMENDED:  "Iraq snapshot"