- Could anyone be worse than Donald Rumsfeld as Defense
Secretary? Well, how about an old Bush Family factotum who was hip-deep
in the Iran-Contra arms-drugs-terror scam, who doctored, spun and manipulated
intelligence for partisan purposes and also steered secret U.S. military
intelligence to help Saddam Hussein launch WMD attacks? Oh, plus someone
who has no experience whatsoever of the military? Sounds like a dream candidate;
and of course our Dear Leader -- manfully shaking off the great slap he
took from the ungrateful American people who clearly don't deserve such
sterling leadership -- has found him. (Plus an update below on Gates' involvement
with high treason as well.)
- Jason Leopold has the skinny on Def Sec nominee Robert
M. Gates, a man whose murky past has already deep-sixed one attempt to
get him through the Senate confirmation process. Of course, with good old
holy Joe the Schmo Lieberman now holding the balance of power in the Senate,
Gates will probably squeeze into the Pentagon, where he can preside over
whatever butt-covering bug-out plan that other old Bush Family factotum,
Jim Baker, comes up with. (One question arises from all this, and somebody
in the White House press corps should ask it: Which George Bush is president
of the country now?)
- Gates Has History of Manipulating Intelligence (Truthout.org)
- Excerpts: Robert Gates, the former director of the CIA
during the presidency of George H.W. Bush who was tapped Tuesday by the
president to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense, is part of
Texas's good ol' boy network. He may be best known for playing a role in
arming Iraq's former dictator Saddam Hussein with American-made weapons
in the country's war against Iran in the 1980s...
- During contentious Senate confirmation hearings in October
1991 - which are bound to come up again - Gates's role in cooking intelligence
information during the Iran-Contra scandal was revealed. It was during
those hearings that senators found out about a December 2, 1986, 10-page
classified memo written by Thomas Barksdale, the CIA analyst for Iran.
That memo claimed that covert arms sales to the country demonstrated "a
perversion of the intelligence process" that is staggering in its
- The Barksdale memo was used by Gates's detractors to
prove he played an active role in slanting intelligence information during
his tenure at the agency under Reagan. Eerily reminiscent of the way CIA
analysts were treated by Vice President Dick Cheney during the run-up to
the Iraq war three years ago, when agents were forced to provide the Bush
administration with intelligence showing Iraq was a nuclear threat, Barksdale
said he and other Iran analysts "were never consulted or asked to
provide an intelligence input to the covert actions and secret contacts
that have occurred."
- Barksdale added that Gates was the pipeline for providing
"exclusive reports to the White House," intelligence that was
"at odds with the overwhelming bulk of intelligence reporting, both
from U.S. sources and foreign intelligence services"....
- At the hearing, other CIA analysts said Gates forced
them to twist intelligence to exaggerate the threat posed by the former
Soviet Union. Analysts alleged a report approved by Gates overstated Soviet
influence in Iran that specifically led the late President Ronald Reagan
into making policy decisions that turned into the Iran-Contra scandal.
Jennifer Glaudemans, a former CIA analyst, said at the 1991 Gates confirmation
hearings that she and her colleagues at the CIA believed "Mr Gates
and his influence have led to a prostitution of [Soviet] analysis....."
- If confirmed, Gates would arguably be overseeing a war
that removed a dictator he personally helped to prop up. Tom Harkin, a
senator from Iowa, described Gates's role in intelligence sharing operations
with Iraq during a time when the United States helped arm Saddam Hussein
in Iraq's war against Iran.
- I also have doubts and questions about Mr. Gates's role
in the secret intelligence sharing operation with Iraq," Harkin said
during Gates's confirmation hearings on November 7, 1991. "Robert
Gates served as assistant to the director of the CIA in 1981 and as deputy
director for intelligence from 1982 to 1986. In that capacity, he helped
develop options in dealing with the Iran-Iraq war, which eventually evolved
into a secret intelligence liaison relationship with Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
Gates was in charge of the directorate that prepared the intelligence information
that was passed on to Iraq. He testified that he was also an active participant
in the operation during 1986. The secret intelligence sharing operation
with Iraq was not only a highly questionable and possibly illegal operation,
but also may have jeopardized American lives and our national interests.
The photo reconnaissance, highly sensitive electronic eavesdropping, and
narrative texts provided to Saddam may not only have helped him in Iraq's
war against Iran, but also in the recent gulf war.Great! Yet another Saddam-loving
Pentagon goober whose blind obedience to nutball White House policies helped
kill American soldiers! It will be as if Rummy never left.
- Meanwhile, as Robert Parry reported long ago
Gates was also hip-deep in what was probably the greatest act of treason
in American history since Benedict Arnold: the "October Surprise"
of 1980, when VP candidate (and former CIA chief) George H.W. Bush and
his CIA moles cut a secret deal with Iran to keep the American hostages
held captive until after the election and Reagan's inauguration. In return,
Bush and his boss Reagan agreed to unfreeze Iranian assets in the U.S.,
release $150 million in pre-revolution military equipment for Iran that
Jimmy Carter hand impounded after the Shah was overthrown, and promises
of future secret military aid (which was funneled through Israel).
- These secret negotiations with an avowed enemy of America,
behind the back of the elected government, all for partisan political benefit,
were, of course, an act of high treason. Gates was there, undermining the
very government he was sworn to serve. With this rank transgression he
made his bones with the Bush Family, and has since reaped copious rewards.
Now he's back to rescue the traitor's son from the consequences of his
- Yes, the Pentagon our nation's military and
the people of Iraq are certainly in good hands now.
- Read the whole sordid history here: The Original October
Surprise (Truthout.org, via Consortiumnews.org, via Kurt Nimmo).
- Chris Floyd is an American journalist. His work has appeared
in print and online in venues all over the world, including the Nation,
CounterPunch, Columbia Journalism Review, the Christian Science Monitor,
Il Manifesto, the Moscow Times and many others. He is the author of Empire
Burlesque: High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium, and is co-founder
and editor of the "Empire Burlesque" political blog. He can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.