The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Saturday, May 31

veteran intelligence professionals for sanity

The Birmingham News ran an opinion by Ray McGovern of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity(VIPS) Its a follow up to a memorandum Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times quotes from in his recent article Save Our Spooks

VIPS was formed in January 2003 by former veteran intelligence officials from the FBI and CIA, mostly comprised of analysts. VIPS has been writing opinion pieces, memos to President Bush, and conducting interviews for several months voicing their unease with the handling of intelligence on Iraq. Comprised of 25 former members of the Intelligence Community, their commentary can sometimes be stinging. In one memorandum, they politely order the President to re-read a CIA report.
We recommend you re-read the CIA assessment of last fall that pointed out that "the forces fueling hatred of the US and fueling al Qaeda recruiting are not being addressed," and that "the underlying causes that drive terrorists will persist." That CIA report cited a Gallup poll last year of almost 10,000 Muslims in nine countries in which respondents described the United States as 'ruthless, aggressive, conceited, arrogant, easily provoked and biased.'
The most recent memorandum and follow up Opinion addresses inspectors returning to Iraq.
Washington's decision to bar the very people with the international mandate, the unique experience and the credibility to undertake a serious search for weapons of mass destruction defies logic. U.N. inspectors know Iraq, know the weaponry in question, know the Iraqi scientists/engineers who have been involved, know how the necessary materials are procured and processed.

Unquestionably, their familiarity with the nuclear facilities would go a long way toward ending the looting and thefts there. Yet repeated U.N. offers to make inspectors available have been rebuffed.

This only compounds Washington's credibility problem. Many are already unwilling to take at face value the intelligence reporting offered by the United States on Iraq, particularly since several of the detailed assertions by Powell at the United Nations on Feb. 5 did not bear close scrutiny.

Particularly distressing to us as intelligence professionals has been the revelation that some of the most important evidence used to rally congressional support for the war resolution of Oct. 11 was known to be based on forged documents.
Members of VIPS have published six memorandums to date. The memos are long, detailed and at times, highly entertaining with their no holds barred attitude. Not many are feeling bold enough to criticize this particular administration for fear of being Dixie Chicked. But if you are ex-CIA, you've probably seen worse albeit in other countries.

February 8, 2003 Re: War on Iraq

March 15, 2003 Re: Cooking Intelligence for War

March 18, 2003 Re: Forgery, Hyperbole, Half-Truth: A Problem

April 26, 2003 Re: The Stakes in the Search for Weapons of Mass Destruction

May 1, 2003 Re: Intelligence Fiasco

May 19, 2003 Re: We are Perplexed at the US Refusal to Permit the Return of UN Inspectors to Iraq

May 25, 2003 Re: We need Inspectors to Return to Iraq

Members of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity include:
Richard Beske
Eugene Betit
Ray Close
Kathleen McGrath Christison
William Christison
Patrick Eddington
David MacMichael (added July 15)
Raymond McGovern
Take the time to read VIPS memos. It is well worth the effort.


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