Category Archive 'VIPs'

06 Nov 2007

Pouting Spooks Sign Letter

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Valerie Plame’s pal Larry Johnson posts a letter from “a group of distinguished intelligence and military officers, diplomats, and law enforcement professionals” to the Senate Judiciary Committee “strongly urging that (they) not send Mukasey’s nomination to the full Senate before he makes clear his view on waterboarding.”

If anyone ever cared to investigate who was involved in leaking national security information to the New York Times and Washington Post, I’d suggest waterboarding some of the people on this list of signatories.

Brent Cavan
Intelligence Analyst, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA

Ray Close
Directorate of Operations, CIA for 26 years—22 of them overseas; former Chief of Station, Saudi Arabia

Ed Costello
Counter-espionage, FBI

Michael Dennehy
Supervisory Special Agent for 32 years, FBI; U.S. Marine Corps for three years

Rosemary Dew
Supervisory Special Agent, Counterterrorism, FBI

Philip Giraldi
Operations officer and counter-terrorist specialist, Directorate of Operations, CIA

Michael Grimaldi
Intelligence Analyst, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA; Federal law enforcement officer

Mel Goodman
Division Chief, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA; Professor, National Defense University; Senior Fellow, Center for International Policy

Larry Johnson
Intelligence analysis and operations officer, CIA; Deputy Director, Office of Counter Terrorism, Department of State

Richard Kovar
Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director for Intelligence, CIA: Editor, Studies In Intelligence

Charlotte Lang
Supervisory Special Agent, FBI

W. Patrick Lang
U.S. Army Colonel, Special Forces, Vietnam; Professor, U.S. Military Academy, West Point; Defense Intelligence Officer for Middle East, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA); founding director, Defense HUMINT Service

Lynne Larkin
Operations Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA; counterintelligence; coordination among intelligence and crime prevention agencies; CIA policy coordination staff ensuring adherence to law in operations

Steve Lee
Intelligence Analyst for terrorism, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA

Jon S. Lipsky
Supervisory Special Agent, FBI

David MacMichael
Senior Estimates Officer, National Intelligence Council, CIA; History professor; Veteran, U.S. Marines (Korea)

Tom Maertens
Foreign Service Officer and Intelligence Analyst, Department of State; Deputy Coordinator for Counter-terrorism, Department of State; National Security Council (NSC) Director for Non-Proliferation

James Marcinkowski
Operations Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA by way of U.S. Navy

Mary McCarthy
National Intelligence Officer for Warning; Senior Director for Intelligence Programs, National Security Council

Ray McGovern
Intelligence Analyst, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA; morning briefer, The President’s Daily Brief; chair of National Intelligence Estimates; Co-founder, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

Sam Provance
U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst, Germany and Iraq (Abu Ghraib); Whistleblower

Coleen Rowley
Special Agent and attorney, FBI; Whistleblower on the negligence that facilitated the attacks of 9/11.

Joseph Wilson
Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Ambassador and Director of Africa, National Security Council.

Valerie Plame Wilson
Operations Officer, Directorate of Operations

06 Sep 2007

“Saddam Had No WMD!”

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Ex-Clintonite Sidney Blumenthal tells us in Salon that George W. Bush knew all along that poor old Saddam had no WMD. Naji Sabri, Saddam’s foreign minister said so, and presumably Baghdad Bob offered precisely the same assurances. Evidently, George Tenet mentioned Sabri’s information once at a White house briefing. Everybody had a good laugh, and went on to more serious matters.

Sidney’s sources include Pouting Spook Tyler Drumheller and two other unnamed VIPS affiliates.

All this is simply old anti-Bush propaganda in a new hit piece.

28 Aug 2006

Prep Rap

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This link arrived via my college class email list this morning.


Hat tip to Michael Lawler.

22 Jul 2006

Mean Intel Contractor Fires Nice Lady

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Pouting Spooks pal Dana Priest yesterday reported the sad tale of Christine Axsmith, former internal blogger on the classified Intelligence Community intranet, who claims to have been fired by her employer, CIA contractor, BAE Systems, for posting on July 19th on her blog that “Waterboarding is Torture, and Torture is Wrong.”

The lady claims to have “recreated” the offending post here, on a newer public blog.


From my perspective, it would be agreeable to think that hard-as-nails Intel community contractor supervisers compete to see how many bounces they can get tossing out onto the parking lot each and every employee venturing to post liberal bromides on-line, but who are we kidding? Real government officials these days go a lot farther than editorializing. Some disclose highly classified national security programs for publication, while others conduct major disinformation operations intended to bring down an elected administration, all without meaningful consequence.

How likely is it that anyone would treat the sentimental vaporings of this dim middle-aged female as grounds for anything more than a dismissive snort?


Nonetheless, Dana Priest’s little story is getting its share of play:

Laura Rosen

NY Times


10 Jul 2006

The Object of Hoekstra’s Anger

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New York Times Leakmeister Eric Lichtblau, writing with Scott Shane, on Saturday, exposed a secret and undisclosed May 18th letter from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra to President Bush. The Times treats the story as the revelation of another Administration secret Counterterrorism program.

In a sharply worded letter to President Bush in May, an important Congressional ally charged that the administration might have violated the law by failing to inform Congress of some secret intelligence programs and risked losing Republican support on national security matters.

The letter from Representative Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, did not specify the intelligence activities that he believed had been hidden from Congress.

I’m not sure that the Times’ interpretation of the story is correct.

Tom Maguire, the right Blogosphere’s specialist in these matters, reviews the guesses as to the object of Chairman Hoekstra’s wrath from various MSM and blogosphere sources, which suggest:

1) the SWIFT program.

2) the missing Iraqi WMDs.

3) some “more explosive secret” previously alluded to by NSA-leaker, and renowned stalker, Russell Tice.


I have a wildly speculative alternative theory. It just might be that the Times has completely missed the point.

Mr. Hoekstra was also interviewed on Fox News (Allahpundit has the video). In that interview, Chairman Hoekstra referred to his committee having a passion about three things:

1. Getting the right people in the right leadership positions in the Intelligence Community.

2. Implementing the establishment of the office of Director of National Intelligence.

3. Complete and aggressive oversight of all the programs pursued by the Intelligence Community.


Number one is clearly referring to the appointment of Stephen R. Kappes (Previously mentioned here)

In the Times-revealed May 18th letter to President Bush, Hoekstra objects vehemently, and at length, to Kappes’s appointment, writing:

the choice for Deputy Director, Steve Kappes, is more troubling on both a substantive and personal level…

Regrettably, the appointment of Mr. Kappes sends a clear signal that the days of collaborative reform between the White House and this committee may be over… Individuals both within and outside the Administration have let me and others know of their strong opposition to this choice for Deputy Director. Yet, in my conversations with General Haydon it is clear that the decision on Mr. Kappes is final…

I understand that Mr. Kappes is a capable, well-qualified and well-liked former Directorate of Operations (DO) case officer. I am heartened by the professional qualities he would bring to the job, but am concerned by what could be the political problems that he could bring back to the Agency. I am convinced that politicization was underway well before Porter Goss became the Director. In fact, I have been long concerned that a strong and well-positioned group within the Agency intentionally undermined the Administration and its policies. This argument is supported by the Ambassador Wilson/Valerie Plame events, as well as by the string of unauthorised disclosures from an organization that prides itself with being able to keep secrets. I have come to the belief that, despite his service to the DO, Mr. Kappes may have been part of this group. I must take note when my Democratic colleagues – those who vehemently denounced and publicly attacked the strong choice of Porter Goss as Director – now publicly support Mr. Kappes’s return.

Further, the details surrounding Mr. Kappes’s departure from the CIA give me great pause. Mr. Kappes was not fired, but, as I understand it, summarily resigned his position shortly after Director Goss responded to his demonstrated contempt for Congress and the Intelligence Committees’ oversight responsibilities. The fact is, Mr. Kappes and his deputy, Mr. Sulick, were developing a communications offensive to bypass the Intelligence Committees and the CIA’s own Office of Congressional Affairs. One can only speculate on the motives but it clearly indicates a willingness to promote a personal agenda.

The subject of the House Intelligence Committee’s wrath seems not to be the Administration, but rather the Administration’s adversaries.

I’m going to climb way out on a limb with a speculation of my own. I think, perhaps, the “secret program” Chairman Hoekstra is indignant about, which he says is in violation of the law, may not be an Administration program at all. He may actually have been referring to the briefing of the Congressional oversight committees about a very secret Intelligence Community program, viz., the Anti-Bush Administration Intel Operation, described by a reluctant Administration at Congressional request.

Suppose Pete Hoekstra is fed up with the Administration’s failure to expose and prosecute the cabal of Pouting and Leaking Spooks behind the Plamegame, the NSA flap, the renditions story, and all the rest, and is now trying to hold the President’s feet to the fire in order to force him to act. Investigation, exposure, and prosecution of the leakers and conspirators could be initiated by Congress itself, instead of the Justice Department.

I could be completely wrong, of course.


The (Australian) Advertiser seems to read this story the same way I do.

05 Jul 2006

Times’ Stories Compromised Three Investigations

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The American Spectator has learned from Treasury and Justice Department officials more scarifying details about the US Government’s attempts to persuade both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times to refrain from publishing the SWIFT story.

According to Treasury and Justice Department officials familiar with the briefings their senior leadership undertook with editors and reporters from the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, the media outlets were told that their reports on the SWIFT financial tracking system presented risks for three ongoing terrorism financing investigations. Despite this information, both papers chose to move forward with their stories.

“We didn’t give them specifics, just general information about regions where the investigations were ongoing, terrorist organizations that we believed were being assisted. These were off the record meetings set up to dissuade them from reporting on SWIFT, and we thought the pressing nature of the investigations might sway them, but they didn’t,” says a Treasury official.

In fact, according to a Justice Department official, one of the reporters involved with the story was caught attempting to gain more details about one of the investigations through different sources. “We believe it was to include it in their story,” says the official….
“We thought that once the reporters and editors understood that one, these were not warrantless searches, and two, that this was a successful program that had netted real bad guys, and three, that it was a program that was helping us with current, ongoing cases, they would agree to hold off or just not do a story,” says the U.S. Treasury official. “But it became clear that nothing we said was going sway them. Whomever they were talking to, whoever was leaking the stuff, had them sold on this story.”

To that end, the Justice Department has quietly and unofficially begun looking into possible sources for the leak. “We don’t think it’s someone currently employed by the government or involved in law enforcement or the intelligence community,” says another Justice source. “That stuff about ‘current and former’ sources just doesn’t wash. No one currently working on terrorism investigations that use SWIFT data would want to leak this or see it leaked by others. We think we’re looking at fairly high-ranking, former officials who want to make life difficult for us and what we do for whatever reasons.”

The fact that this last especially outrageous violation of national security appears likely to motivate the Justice Department to get serious about catching the Pouting Spooks responsible, and bringing them to justice, sheds a single ray on sunshine on the appalling situation. The truth of the matter is, all they need to do is get one cowardly squealer to talk, and they can probably bag the whole lot. In that company, too, cowardly squealers are probably a dime a dozen.

16 Dec 2005

This Week’s NSA Leak

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The Pouting Spooks unleashed today their latest salvo against the Bush Administration. This intelligence leak concerned the National Security Agency, was released via the NY Times, and featured a civil liberties scare story. The leak was carefully timed to compete for attention with headlines of the election in Iraq, and to assist Senate opponents in preventing a vote on the renewal of the Patriot Act.

The Times informed its readers breathlessly that:

Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying.

And then went on to source the story:

Nearly a dozen current and former officials, who were granted anonymity because of the classified nature of the program, discussed it with reporters for The New York Times because of their concerns about the operation’s legality and oversight.

Oh sure, they’re so anonymous. The pouting spooks behind this leak, and all the others, are a collection of Intelligence community and State Department doves, operating above-ground as Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS, which ought to be Vipers), mentioned here previously:

Ray McGovern, in a 2004 interview with the leftwing journal Mother Jones, stated that VIPS was organized in January of 2003.

We established our group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, in January of last year. Before that several of us had been writing op-eds, and we had been giving each other sanity checks, because the conclusions we were coming up with were pretty far out — that the President and the Secretary of State were lying through their teeth.

According to McGovern, VIPS, at the time of the interview (March 2004), had 35 members consisting of retired and resigned officials from the FBI, Defense Intelligence, NSA, Army Intelligence, and the State Department, and also boasted of the existence of active members of the intelligence community working with VIPS, but “not as members.”

Earlier Posts

NY Times promises of anonymity have already been demonstrated to be valueless in the face of criminal investigations, specifically as the result of the efforts of the same pouting spooks to criminalize policy differences. It seems inevitable that sooner or later the Administration is going to get tired of passively serving as a punching bag for an endless series orchestrated media attacks, and will decide what’s sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander, and begin prosecuting obvious breaches of federal law. The federal prison system is large enough to accomodate 35+ Vipers.

11 Dec 2005

It’s Not Just the CIA

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Scott Johnson of Power Line quotes a Jack Kelly column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette which lists notable CIA failures:

it missed the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Islamic revolution in Iran, the warning signs of 9/11 and Saddam’s WMDs

and then turns to the most spectacular failure of the Agency: its failure to stop, or punish, some Agency officers’ more-recent activities:

“The CIA’s war against the Bush administration is one of the great untold stories of the past three years,” wrote lawyer and Web logger John Hinderaker in The Weekly Standard.

The CIA has used its budget to fund criticism of the Bush administration by former Democratic officeholders, and permitted a serving analyst, Michael Scheuer, to publish and promote a book bashing the president.

The principal CIA weapon has been the leak. Reporters for ABC, The New York Times and The Washington Post didn’t have to do even the minimal legwork Mr. Laurin did to out the CIA’s clandestine “rendition” program. It was handed to them by “current and former intelligence officials.”

“So the CIA established policies that it knew would be controversial and would damage American interests if revealed, and then leaked the existence of those policies to The Washington Post for the purpose of damaging the Bush administration,” Mr. Hinderaker wrote.

A rogue CIA that subverts American democracy has long been a staple of moonbat mythology. How ironic that the rogues in the CIA should turn out to be leftists who harm America to benefit Democrats.

Kelly then refers to a conclusion reached by others:

In the 1990s, the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan proposed abolishing the CIA. That seemed far out then. It doesn’t seem so far out now. It might be easier to start from scratch than to clean up the mess the CIA has become.

“The CIA is in deep crisis,” Mr. Hinderaker said. “It is not at all clear that its survival is in the national interest.”

But the problem is even more extensive. The pouting spooks’ war against the Bush Administration has been being waged simultaneously openly and covertly, since at least the beginning of 2003, when the public announcement of the organization of Veterans Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) occurred. As we have previously reported:

Ray McGovern, in an interview with Mother Jones, stated that VIPS was organized in January of 2003.

We established our group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, in January of last year. Before that several of us had been writing op-eds, and we had been giving each other sanity checks, because the conclusions we were coming up with were pretty far out — that the President and the Secretary of State were lying through their teeth.

According to McGovern, VIPS, at the time of the interview (March 2004), had 35 members consisting of retired and resigned officials from the FBI, Defense Intelligence, NSA, Army Intelligence, and the State Department, and also boasted of the existence of active members of the intelligence community working with VIPS, but “not as members.”

The recent leak involving CIA terrorist renditions to Poland was supplied to the press by Marc Garlasco, currently an analyst with the Soros-funded Human Rights Watch, but formerly a Defense Intelligence Agency officer, who resigned shortly after the beginning of the Iraq War.

29 Nov 2005

Let’s Bomb The Guardian, Too

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The Guardian reports in tomorrow’s edition:

Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to secretary of state Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005, singled out Mr Cheney in a wide-ranging political assault on the BBC’s Today programme.

Mr Wilkerson said that in an internal administration debate over whether to abide by the Geneva conventions in the treatment of detainees, Mr Cheney led the argument “that essentially wanted to do away with all restrictions”. Asked whether the vice-president was guilty of a war crime, Mr Wilkerson replied: “Well, that’s an interesting question – it was certainly a domestic crime to advocate terror and I would suspect that it is … an international crime as well.”

Colonel Wilkerson has been unleashing a series of attacks on the administration in recent weeks, making the same kinds of arguments made by known and acknowledged members of the VIPS cabal of State Department and Intelligence Community doves operating in opposition to the current administration since well before the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.



20 Nov 2005


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Ray McGovern, disaffected  ex-CIA official

Ray McGovern, in an interview with Moonbat journal Mother Jones, states that VIPS was organized in January of 2003.

We established our group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, in January of last year. Before that several of us had been writing op-eds, and we had been giving each other sanity checks, because the conclusions we were coming up with were pretty far out — that the President and the Secretary of State were lying through their teeth.

According to McGovern, VIPS, at the time of the interview (March 2004), had 35 members consisting of retired and resigned officials from the FBI, Defense Intelligence, NSA, Army Intelligence, and the State Department, and also boasted of the existence of active members of the intelligence community working with VIPS, but “not as members.”

Why is this group of disaffected intelligence agency and state department officials trying to bring down the Bush Administration?

Because there is no English word to describe our outrage. We’ve been watching this for a year now, and we’ve published eleven memos on what the Bush administration has done. We’re just aghast at what we saw all during 2002.

We have never seen anything like this orchestrated campaign, as the Administration chose to play on America’s real suffering and trauma to sell an illegal and unnecessary war.

VIPS original steering committee included:

Raymond McGovern, Arlington

Richard Beske, San Diego, “former CIA officer”

Kathleen McGrath Christison, Santa Fe
William Christison, Santa Fe, resigned from VIPS 15 July 2003, over memo calling for Cheney’s resignation.

Patrick Eddington, Alexandria Sourcewatch

David MacMichael, Linden, VA

Obvious additional affiliates or allies, appearing in the 2003 film, Uncovered: the Whole Truth About the Iraq War include:

David Albright

Robert Baer

Milt Bearden, former CIA station chief in Pakistan

Rand Beers more politely

David Corn

Philip Coyle

John Dean

Chas Freeman

Graham Fuller

Mel Goodman Mother Jones bio and in CounterPunch Democracy Now! interview

John Brady Kiesling

Karen Kwiatkowski

Patrick Lang

Scott Ritter

The Rt Honorable Clare Short

Stansfield Turner

The Honorable Henry Waxman

Thomas E. White also

Joe Wilson article about

Colonel Mary Ann Wright

Peter Zimmerman.

Linked via Goodman above:

Greg Thielmann

Vincent Cannistraro

Other alleged VIPS members:

Ray Close, Princeton, NJ quotes CounterPunch 10Jun03 On Fallujah30Apr04

Eugene Betit

Larry Johnson web-site

An evolving document with links being added….

20 Nov 2005

Beware of VIPS

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Clarice Feldman at American Thinker points to an ultra-left affilliated group calling itself Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, frequently abbreviated as VIPS, as the behind-the-scenes allies of the MSM in fanning the flames of the Plamegate scandal. VIPS recently appeared in the Washington Post:

A group of former intelligence officers urged President Bush not to pardon anyone convicted of leaking Valerie Plame’s name to reporters and to pull security clearances of any White House officials implicated in the investigation.

Feldman notes a previous article of her own demonstrating that some of the same group of people have been conducting an anti-Bush administration campaign for a considerable period of time.

VIPS was opposing the upcoming invasion of Iraq, and predicting catastrophe, on Alexander Cockburn’s far-left CounterPunch in February of 2003:

after watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion beyond violations of Resolution 1441, and beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.

VIPS can be seen organized and in operation already arguing for Dick Cheney’s forced resignation over his role in pre-war intelligence assessment as far back as 14 July 2003:

We recommend that you call an abrupt halt to attempts to prove Vice President Cheney “not guilty.” His role has been so transparent that such attempts will only erode further your own credibility. Equally pernicious, from our perspective, is the likelihood that intelligence analysts will conclude that the way to success is to acquiesce in the cooking of their judgments, since those above them will not be held accountable. We strongly recommend that you ask for Cheney’s immediate resignation.

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