[Marxism] CIA Director George Tenet resigns

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 3 09:49:47 MDT 2004


(Somehow I'm sure this is connected with the collapsing
of the US occupation of Iraq and, in particular, this
very strange new officially-leaked information claiming
that Ahmed Chalabi, the long-time CIA asset which is now
being leaked to have been an Iranian agent. What THAT is
all about, I *think*, is something else: it reveals that
the US has been spying on Iran for ages, and is setting
it up for further attack. The Chalabi thing seems to be
being put out to lay a foundation for more US action to
be taken against Iran. This is my guess on these things.)
========================================================

June 3, 2004
President Bush Cites 'Personal Reasons' in Announcement
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- President Bush said Thursday that CIA
director George Tenet has resigned "for personal reasons"
and that his deputy will temporarily lead America's premier
spy agency until a successor is found.

"He's been a strong and able leader at the agency. and I
will miss him," said Bush as he was getting ready to board
Marine One for a trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and
on to Europe.

"I send my blessings to George and his family and look
forward to working with him until he leaves the agency,"
Bush said.

Tenet had been under fire for months in connection with
intelligence failures related to the U.S.-led war against
Iraq, specifically assertions the United States made about
Saddam Hussein's purported possession of weapons of mass
destruction, and with respect to the threat from the
al-Qaida terrorist network.

During his seven years at the CIA, speculation at times has
swirled around whether Tenet would retire or be forced out,
peaking after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and
surging again after the flawed intelligence estimates about
Iraq's fighting capability.

Even when his political capital appeared to be tanking,
Tenet managed to hang on with what some say was a fierce
loyalty to Bush and the CIA personnel. A likable, chummy
personality, also helped keep him above water.

Conventional wisdom had been that Tenet, who was appointed
by President Bill Clinton, did not plan to stay on next
year, no matter who won the White House. Tenet has been on
the job since July 1997, an unusually lengthy tenure in a
particularly taxing era for the intelligence community that
he heads.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
=================================================

June 3, 2004
THE NEW YORK TIMES
 
June 3, 2004 
Polygraph Testing Starts at Pentagon in Chalabi Inquiry 
By DAVID JOHNSTON and JAMES RISEN

WASHINGTON, June 2 - Federal investigators have begun
administering polygraph examinations to civilian employees
at the Pentagon to determine who may have disclosed highly
classified intelligence to Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi who
authorities suspect turned the information over to Iran,
government officials said Wednesday.

The polygraph examinations, which are being conducted by
the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are focused initially
on a small number of Pentagon employees who had access to
the information that was compromised. American intelligence
officials have said that Mr. Chalabi informed Iran that the
United States had broken the secret codes used by Iranian
intelligence to transmit confidential messages to posts
around the world.

Mr. Chalabi has denied the charge. On Wednesday, his
lawyers made public a letter they said they had sent to
Attorney General John Ashcroft and F.B.I. Director Robert
S. Mueller III repeating Mr. Chalabi's denials and
demanding that the Justice Department investigate the
disclosure of the accusations against Mr. Chalabi.

The lawyers, John J. E. Markham II and Collette C. Goodman,
said in the letter, "The charges made against Dr. Chalabi -
both the general and the specific ones are false."

They also said, "We ask that you undertake an immediate
investigation to find and hold accountable those who are
responsible for these false leaks."

Officials would not identify who has taken polygraph
examinations or even who has been interviewed by F.B.I.
counterespionage agents. It could not be determined whether
anyone has declined to submit to a polygraph test.

No one has been charged with any wrongdoing or identified
as a suspect, but officials familiar with the investigation
say that they are working through a list of people and are
likely to interview senior Pentagon officials.

The F.B.I. is looking at officials who both knew of the
code-breaking operation and had dealings with Mr. Chalabi,
either in Washington or Baghdad, the government officials
said. Information about code-breaking work is considered
among the most confidential material in the government and
is handled under tight security and with very limited
access.

But a wider circle of officials could have inferred from
intelligence reports about Iran that the United States had
access to the internal communications of Iran's spy
service, intelligence officials said. That may make it
difficult to identify the source of any leak.

Government officials say they started the investigation of
Pentagon officials after learning that Mr. Chalabi had told
the Baghdad station chief of Iran's intelligence service
that the United States was reading their communications.
Mr. Chalabi, American officials say, gave the information
to the Iranians about six weeks ago, apparently because he
wanted to ensure that his secret conversations with the
Iranians were not revealed to the Americans.

But the Iranian official apparently did not immediately
believe Mr. Chalabi, because he sent a cable back to Tehran
detailing his conversation with Mr. Chalabi, American
officials said. That cable was intercepted and read by the
United States, the officials said.

Mr. Chalabi and his supporters argue that the accusations
against him are part of a C.I.A.-inspired campaign to
discredit him. His backers have been dismayed that the Bush
administration recently divorced itself from Mr. Chalabi
and his group, the Iraqi National Congress. They contend
that the move was instigated by the C.I.A., which they say
is now wielding intercepted Iranian communications as a
weapon against Mr. Chalabi.

Richard N. Perle, the former chairman of the Defense Policy
Board and an influential Chalabi supporter, said Wednesday
that the notion that Mr. Chalabi would compromise the
American code-breaking operation "doesn't pass the laugh
test." Mr. Perle said it was more plausible that the
Iranians, knowing already that the United States was
reading its communications, planted the damning information
about Mr. Chalabi to persuade Washington to distance itself
from Mr. Chalabi.

"The whole thing hinges on the idea that the Baghdad
station chief of the MOIS commits one of the most amazing
trade craft errors I've ever heard of," Mr. Perle said,
referring to Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security.
He said it defied belief that a seasoned intelligence
operative would disclose a conversation with Mr. Chalabi
using the same communications channel that he had just been
warned was compromised.

"You have to believe that the station chief blew a gift
from the gods because of rank incompetence," Mr. Perle
said. "I don't believe it, and I don't think any other
serious intelligence professional would either."

Mr. Chalabi is not a focus of the inquiry, but senior law
enforcement officials said he could be investigated in the
future. They said a decision on that could be left to the
new Iraqi government.

In the 1990's, the Iraqi National Congress was part of a
C.I.A. covert action program designed to undermine Saddam
Hussein's rule. But Mr. Chalabi had a falling out with the
C.I.A., and agency officials concluded that he was
untrustworthy. He subsequently forged an alliance with
major conservative Republicans in Washington. When
President Bush took office, Mr. Chalabi and the Iraqi
National Congress were embraced by senior policy makers at
the Pentagon, which became his main point of contact in the
American government.

In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Mr. Markham, one of
Mr. Chalabi's lawyers, said that Mr. Chalabi had been
subjected to increasing "adverse comments" by American
officials as his disagreements with the Bush administration
over the future of Iraq had intensified. Nevertheless, Mr.
Markham said, Mr. Chalabi "is very happy to come to the
United States to appear before Congress or be interviewed
by legitimate investigative agents in this matter."

The lawyers' letter said that "Dr. Chalabi would never
endanger the national security of the U.S."

"Those responsible for such leaks, however, we submit are
the same individuals within the U.S. government who have
undermined the President's policies in Iraq and efforts to
bring democracy and stability to that country, and are
using Dr. Chalabi as a scapegoat for their own failures
that have cost this country dearly in the past year in
Iraq," the letter said.

Last month, American and Iraqi forces raided Mr. Chalabi's
Baghdad compound and carted away computers, overturned
furniture and ransacked his offices. The raid was said to
be part of an investigation into charges that Mr. Chalabi's
aides, including a leading lieutenant, had been involved in
kidnapping, torture, embezzlement and corruption in Iraq.
It is still unclear what the connection might be between
that raid and the continuing counterintelligence
investigation of the possible leaks of secrets to Iran.

Richard A. Oppel Jr. contributed reporting for this
article.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company






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