is a must listen interview
“The Crazies Are
Back”: Bush Sr.’s CIA Briefer Recalls How the First Bush
Administration Referred to Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and Cheney
Former CIA analysts Ray McGovern and David MacMichael accuse President Bush of waging the Iraq war based on a series
of lies, discuss the unprecedented pressure that VP Dick
Cheney put on the CIA before the invasion and call on CIA
analysts and agents to come forward with information that will
reveal the lies of the Bush administration.
- Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst.
- David MacMichael, former CIA analyst.
AMY GOODMAN: A number of senators including New York
Senator Charles Schumer, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Congress
Member Harry Waxman and others have called for an
investigation into who outed Joseph Wilson’s wife, Valerie
Plame as a CIA operative, who blew her cover. We called the
White House to see if they were conducting an investigation.
They said to call the FBI. We called the FBI. They said
they’re looking into it but that they would not yet classify
it as an investigation. Well today we turn to an interview
that I did with two former CIA analysts to talk about just
what it means for an analyst or agent to have their cover
blown. While we had them in the studio, we talked about many
other issues as well to shed some light on the way
intelligence or lack of it has been used over the years. We
began with former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who worked closely
with George Bush senior when he was Director of Central
Intelligence right through his presidency. And the law was
passed under Bush’s watch that made the blowing of a covert
operative a felony. We’re going to turn now to that
Let’s go back in time to something former President Bush,
this is George Bush senior, said. Langley, Virginia, he is at
the Central Intelligence Agency – I’m reading from an
Associated Press report:
“Former President Bush, helping the CIA celebrate its
50th birthday, called agency critics “nuts”. He singled
out for criticism Philip Agee, a former CIA agent and later
critic of the agency. “Remember Philip Agee, who I consider
a traitor to our country?'' Bush asked, referring to Agee's
efforts to expose CIA operations and identify spies. Bush said
some of the criticism of the Directorate of Operations ruined
secret U.S. clandestine operations in foreign countries and,
in one instance, blew the cover of CIA station chief in
Greece, Richard Welch, who was assassinated outside his
residence in Greece in the mid-1970s. Bush was careful not to
directly link Agee to Welch's death. Agee dropped a defamation
suit against former first lady Barbara Bush earlier this year
after Mrs. Bush acknowledged that the first edition of her
memoir was erroneous in saying that Agee had exposed Welch's
identity.'' David MacMichael, explain this.
DAVID MACMICHAEL: Well after the Mrs. Bush’s
memoir came out with that statement which charged Phillip Agee
effectively with commission of a felony, that is, violation of
exposing this - exposing Richard Welch – ok, that’s a
libel per se, as they say in law. Phillip Agee filed a suit
some months after the book came out in Washington DC charging
libel and seeking damages for that. He did not drop the suit.
The case was dismissed by the presiding judge on grounds that
Phillip’s place of residence at the time did not give him
standing to sue in US courts on this, and the case went away.
The subsequent, as I think the article indicates and you said,
the subsequent additions of Mrs. Bush’s book did not contain
this erroneous charge, but it serves to indicate that this is
a very serious matter. If former President Bush could define
Philip Agee as a traitor for exposing the identities of
serving intelligence officers, if his son’s political
advisor has done the same, while it has not come under the
heading of treason, believe me, it is a very serious felony
under the current Act.
AMY GOODMAN:Ray McGovern you worked for George Bush
in the CIA when he was director of Central Intelligence. It
was right at the time of the Richard Welch assassination. Were
you at this 50th anniversary party?
RAY MCGOVERN: I was. They invited a whole bunch of
alumni and alumnae back, so I was witness to those events. I
would like to add that I do not condone what Phillip Agee did,
nor does Dave. However, I think that ..
AMY GOODMAN: Though he says he did not expose
Richard Welch as a CIA man.
RAY MCGOVERN: Well not Richard Welch, but he did
expose many operations and many identities and that is really
unconscionable. But what I would say is that the law came in,
if I’m not mistaken, Dave, in direct reaction to what Agee
had done. This was the Intelligence Identities law and it was
made draconian, it was made very, very specific, automatic
penalties that would accrue to both officials and
non-officials - anyone who knowingly disclosed the identity of
a CIA agent or officer under cover. And so with that kind of
background, you get an idea of for how critical it was, it was
judged to be, that agency operations which depend on concealed
identities needed to be protected and needed to be protected
in such a way that those violating those confidences would be
prosecuted and extremely penalized.
What this indicates, I mean, this is all sort of in the
weeds until you step back and you say why is all this
happening? It is all happening because there are lies upon
lies, deceit upon deceit that have been used to justify this
illegal war on against an unprovoked enemy, or an enemy that
does not provoke us. Once the lies start unraveling, and
people see they can speak out, that is going to be real
trouble for the administration, and so what do you do? You do
all you can to intimidate them. And how you intimidate them is
to try to hurt them in a personal way. Going after
somebody’s wife, I mean, not even Richard Nixon stooped to
AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Ray McGovern and
David MacMichael, two former CIA analysts with the agency for
more than a quarter of a century. We’ll be right back with
that in a minute. (MUSIC BREAK) You are listening to Democracy
Now! Ray McGovern, our guest, former CIA analyst. You were
with the CIA for…
RAY MCGOVERN: 27 years.
AMY GOODMAN: And you worked directly under George
RAY MCGOVERN: I did when he was director for CIA and
later I saw him every other morning for a couple of years in
the 80’s when he was Vice President.
AMY GOODMAN: Doing what?
RAY MCGOVERN: I was one of the briefers who prepared
the President’s daily brief and delivered it and briefed
people one on one with the senior officials downtown.
AMY GOODMAN:Now one of the things we are talking
about a lot and seeing a lot is that the same people that were
there during the Reagan-Bush years and even before, the
Wolfowitzes the Rumsfelds, Cheneys were there then. What was
George Bush’s view of these people then?
RAY MCGOVERN: Well, you know it’s really
interesting. When we saw these people coming back in town, all
of us said who were around in those days said, oh my god,
‘the crazies’ are back – ‘the crazies’ – that’s
how we referred to these people.
AMY GOODMAN: Did George Bush refer to them that way?
RAY MCGOVERN: That’s the way everyone referred to
AMY GOODMAN: Including George Bush?
RAY MCGOVERN: Well, when Wolfowitz prepared that
defense posture statement in 1991, where he elucidated the
strategic vision that has now been implemented, Jim Baker,
Secretary of State, Brent Scowcroft, security advisor to
George Bush, and George Bush said hey, that thing goes right
into the circular file. Suppress that thing, get rid of it.
Somebody had the presence of mind to leak it and so that was
suppressed. But now to see that arise out of the ashes and be
implemented. while we start a war against Iraq, I wonder what
Bush the first is really thinking. Because these were the same
guys that all of us referred to as ‘the crazies’.
AMY GOODMAN: Including George Bush
RAY MCGOVERN: I don’t want to…There is a certain
delicacy to all this. The last thing I want to do is to do
anything to impede the access of honest analysts who are
willing to speak truth to power on these mornings briefings,
and so I am not going to quote anything the Vice President
said to me directly.
AMY GOODMAN: But on that issue, when you say when
Wolfowitz for example, brought forward the defense posture,
explain what that was, what he was promoting.
RAY MCGOVERN: Well he was promoting the idea that
has now been implemented that we are the single superpower in
the world and that we should act like it. We’ve got a lot of
weight to throw around, we should throw it around. We should
assert ourselves in critical areas, like the Middle East and
over the next few years the Project for New American Century
documents very much elucidate this kind of strategic vision
and strategic plan. It’s very much like Mein Kampf. It’s
the ideological strategic justification for what has been
happening here. It’s empire, it’s how to increase our
influence and not coincidentally, it dovetails expressly with
the strategic objectives of Israel in the Middle East. We mean
to be the sole superpower, dominant superpower in the world
and Israel is determined to remain the superpower in the
Middle East. And of course if you talk about weapons of mass
destruction, well, check out how many Israel has. And ask
yourself when was the last national intelligence estimate on
Israeli weapons of mass destruction?
AMY GOODMAN: Are these views common, David
MacMichael, in the the intelligence agency, in the CIA for
years among analysts?
DAVID MACMICHAEL:I can only speak to those two years
that I served on the National Intelligence Council as a Senior
AMY GOODMAN:Those years were…?
DAVID MACMICHAEL:Those were 1981-1983 under Reagan
and under William Casey. In fact I embarked on that job the
day Casey came in. I can assure you that the way in which the
National Intelligence Council and the National Intelligence
officers, the directing officers in there were stacked during
the Casey years, meant that intelligence was designed, and I
focused principally on Central America, the whole Iran Contra
thing later, truthful analysis was not the highest priority
there. The determination was to produce analyses that would
support the previously decided upon policy so for me, getting
back involved with Ray McGovern here and VIPS dealing with
this current situation, its kind of like déjà vu all over
again. It’s a familiar process.
AMY GOODMAN: VIPS being Veterans Intelligence
Professionals for Sanity.
AMY GOODMAN: And you have put out a call now?
RAY MCGOVERN: We have indeed. There have been a few
courageous people who have stood on principle at some personal
cost. Ironically, we intelligence professionals, we, unfairly,
we tend to dismiss foreign service officers as knee-jerk
mouthpieces for the administration. Well, three such foreign
service officers have stood on principle and have quit, some
of them before the war ever started, and they have issued
eloquent statements as to how their conscience would not
permit them to have to tell these lies to folks, to try to
rally support for an unjust US policy. There is Andrew Wilke
in Australia, an incredible person whom Veterans Intelligence
Professionals for Sanity had to this country. We all chipped
in and paid for his fare. He spoke in Congress at one of the
congressional hearings. Andrew quit the Office of National
Assessments in Australia, which is the CIA counterpart, eight
days before the war, because he could no longer countenance
his country going into a war on the basis of intelligence that
he saw to be bogus. And he spoke out immediately, and over the
last few weeks, although you won’t see it in the US press,
he and Prime Minister Howard in Australia have been having a
personal argument in the press as to how the intelligence was
over-egged as the British say, exaggerated, sexed-up, as some
of the other British and Australians say. So there is
precedent for people speaking out.
I guess the most prominent American example of that is
Daniel Ellsberg. And the interesting thing there is, you know,
I asked Daniel Ellsberg, do you have any regrets about outing
the Pentagon Papers, which he gave to the NY Times and the
Washington Post about Vietnam which showed all the lies and
deceit about that policy. He said yes, Ray, I do have one
major regret. I said, what’s that? He said I did it in 1971,
and I should have done it in 1964 or ‘65 where it could have
prevented this war or at least retarded it. And I said Dan,
why didn’t you do it? And he said, Ray, it’s hard to
believe but it never occurred to me. You know how it is when
you get immeshed in this culture and your loyalties get a
little perverted, and they become the loyalty to the little
group, and it’s beyond the pale to rise above that and to
release information that you know the public should have.
Well, that was my mind frame, so it never occurred to me.
And so our latest appeal to intelligence professionals
still working on the inside is, well let it occur to you now.
There are more important things. And we are not suggesting
that they release classified information. All they have to do
is tell what happened in months before this war. Tell how
bogus information was used, like forgeries, to deceive
Congress. This is a constitutional crisis to deceive the other
branch of government.
AMY GOODMAN: Explain the forgeries.
RAY MCGOVERN: Well, the forgery we referred to
before with respect to alleged Iraqi attempts to seek uranium
AMY GOODMAN: You know, we always refer to that, but
most people don’t know what the fraud was that was
perpetrated. Explain what actually happened.
RAY MCGOVERN: What happened was this: in early 2002,
Vice President Cheney learned that there was a report floating
around that the government of Iraq was seeking uranium for
nuclear weapons in the African country of Niger. He was so
interested in that for obvious reasons, that he and his staff
went to the Central Intelligence Agency and said tell me more
about this. The CIA in response found out the best person to
send down there, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, who knew Africa
like the palm of his hand, who had served in Niger as
ambassador to other countries.
DAVID MACMICHAEL:Just to intrude here. Joe Wilson
was particularly important for that. He had been the Deputy
Chief of Mission in Baghdad just prior to the 1991 Iraq war
and actually had been serving as effectively the US ambassador
there, so he knew Iraq and he knew Africa.
AMY GOODMAN: He was Bush’s ambassador to Iraq at
RAY MCGOVERN: Exactly, with high commendations from
President Bush the first. So Joe went down there, spent eight
days down there checking it out, with the ambassador down
there and everybody else who knew this situation. He came back
and said it was ‘highly dubious’. Number one: The
government of Niger cannot, even if it wanted to, give uranium
or sell uranium to Iraq. Why? Because it doesn’t control it.
Who controls it? An international consortium led by the
French. Every ounce of the uranium is accounted for. There is
no way they could do that. Number 2: Iraq already has several,
50 tons of this yellow cake uranium it doesn’t know what to
DAVID MACMICHAEL:And again, to intrude, all of which
was under control of the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy
AMY GOODMAN: The yellow cake uranium that Saddam
DAVID MACMICHAEL:The existing uranium ore that they
RAY MCGOVERN: So on the strength of that, the
ambassadors report was that, forget it, this is really bogus,
this report. It just can’t…the first thing you do as an
intelligence analyst or any kind of analyst is look at the
substance of the report. If it makes no sense, it hardly
matters what kind of source was behind it. But in this case it
really did matter because later, it was discovered, that this
report came from deliberate forgeries, and crude forgeries at
that. And so, what I am reminded of is…
AMY GOODMAN: By whom?
RAY MCGOVERN: Well, it’s not clear. One asks
themselves, Qui bono? Who would profit from this kind of
thing? And a lot of people suggest it was the Israeli service,
AMY GOODMAN: What evidence was there for that?
RAY MCGOVERN: As I say, just speculation on who
would profit from this.
DAVID MACMICHAEL:And it I may again intrude, because
you are interested in the detail of this, the apparent conduit
was through Italian intelligence service. Ray is referring to
the forgeries here, the documents that were passed forward.
They may have been passed forward by agents, of one or another
intelligence agency, who are under pressure to provide
information to their control officers. The crude forgeries
were purported to be Niger government documents. They were
signed by a foreign minister, who had been out of office for
many years. They referred to constitutional provisions, which
no longer existed in Niger. And this is the reason I would
tend to excuse Mussad because they are too good to put forward
such blatantly and easily detectable pieces of paper trash.
But, go on, Ray.
RAY MCGOVERN: The real conspiratorial thing would
be, of course that Mussad would do it in a sloppy way
precisely so that folks like David MacMichael would rule them
out as the author of that.
AMY GOODMAN: But at this point you don’t know the
RAY MCGOVERN: Well we don’t know and it doesn’t
matter, because the information was false on its face. Why
this is important is the following: this time last year, the
decision had already been made to go to war. Dick Cheney led
off the charge on the 26th of August of last year, when he
said among other things that Iraq was starting to reconstitute
its nuclear program. Now the next thing they needed to do was
persuade Congress that the situation was serious enough so
that Congress would cede its war making powers to the
executive. What evidence did they have? Well, they looked
around. Zippo. Well we have the aluminum tubes. The aluminum
tubes had already been discounted by all nuclear scientists
AMY GOODMAN: The story that was on the front page of
the NY Times the Sunday of Labor Day last year when they
rolled out their new product, Judith Miller’s piece.
RAY MCGOVERN: Exactly right, these were tubes that
were alleged to be essential to nuclear processing, the thing
that would produce nuclear weapons material. If they checked
with the Department of Energy specialists, they would have
known right off the bat that these were not suitable for that
purpose. And now everybody accepts that that was bogus, but it
worked. For those months, it was used in Congress as evidence
they were pursuing a nuclear program.
But since there was a lot of controversy there, they looked
for what else was around. And somebody said, well, how about
those reports that Iraq was seeking uranium in Niger? We can
use that for sure. And they said, well, the CIA has poured
cold water on that. Yeah, but who is going to know about these
doubts? Well, nobody unless we tell them. Do we have to tell
anyone about this? The UN wants to know about these reports
because they’ve got word of them, and we have been putting
them off. Well how long can we put them off? Oh, probably,
another couple of months. What’s the problem? We use this,
we raise the prospect of a mushroom cloud, our first evidence
that Saddam has his hands on nuclear weapons might be a
mushroom cloud, used by the President on the 7th of October,
used by Condeleezza Rice on the 8th of October, used by
Victoria Clarke, the Pentagon spokesman on the 9th of October,
on the 11th of October, Congress votes to give its war making
power to the President.
This was effectively used, and I’m sure they said, what
if people find out that people find out that this was bogus
information and indeed based on a forgery? And the answer had
to have been, well look, we’ll get Congress to approve it,
we’ll have our war, well win it handly, the people in
Baghdad will welcome us with open arms, and then who is going
to care at that point? Who is going to care if the case was
built on a forgery?
AMY GOODMAN: Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern as well
as former CIA analyst David MacMichael. We’ll come back to
their interview. They are two former CIA analysts, who are
calling on others to come forward to speak out about what is
happening today in the United States. You are listening to
Democracy Now! Back with them, in a minute.
Hum Bomb! – Allen Ginsburg, here on Democracy Now! I’m
Amy Goodman, as we return to the interview with two former CIA
analysts, Ray McGovern, who worked under George Bush as
Director of Central Intelligence and then was part of his
daily briefing as President of the United States, this is
President Bush senior, as well as David MacMichael, former CIA
analyst as well.
You talk about October, and this was before the war. George
Tenet has the suggestion taken out of George Bush’s speech,
a major address he gave at that time. But then the famous
16-word statement in the State of the Union address, which
brings us to one of the people who is leaving Intelligence.
Can you talk about him and the role that he played?
RAY MCGOVERN: Alan Foley? Alan announced just three
days ago that he was leaving, and he was head of the analytic
section that had purview over weapons of mass destruction. It
was he who suggested that those sixteen offending words not be
included in the president’s State of the Union address. He
was finally arm twisted into condoning that, with the
assurance that it would be blamed on the British.
AMY GOODMAN: Well explain that. He says, and he
testifies before Congress…
RAY MCGOVERN: Yes, he testified before the Senate
Intelligence Committee that in discussions with a Mr. Joseph
of the NSC, he suggested that since the agency didn’t vouch
for the business about Iraq seeking uranium from Niger, that
it ought not to be used in the President’s Sate of the Union
address, and indeed they had managed to get it out of previous
presidential speeches. So why did they want to put it back in
there? Well, finally he was persuaded that well, let’s blame
it on the British. Let’s say, according to a British report.
And Foley said, I suppose that would be alright to blame it on
the British. Now, they didn’t even say ‘according to a
British report’. What the President said was ‘the British
have learned’. That’s a lot different. We are pretty
careful with words in the intelligence community, but that is
what the President said, ‘the British have learned that Iraq
was seeking uranium from an African country..
Now, Foley took the fall with that, along with Tenet, but
it was really sort of Tenet saying ‘I confess, she did
it’. Because Tenet doesn’t write these speeches.
Condeleezza Rice is responsible for that. So what is Tenet was
confessing? He’s confessing to being a lousy proofreader. He
didn’t read the final draft, and there it was.
AMY GOODMAN: But Alan Foley said ‘we know this not
to be true’. And they said well, why don’t we just leave
that part out and say that the British say it’s true?
RAY MCGOVERN: We’ll use it anyway and we’ll pin
it on the British report. I watched the speech. We all watched
the speech. When the President says the British have learned
something, the presumption is the President is telling the
truth. But the President was not telling the truth and
everyone knew that.
AMY GOODMAN: So Alan Foley is leaving. How
significant is that, David MacMichael?
DAVID MACMICHAEL:I think it’s significant. The man
cannot continue to identified, whether he supports the policy
or not, as an intelligence professional. He can’ continue to
be identified with a process that had been and is being
corrupted. I don’t like to use these terms but this is an
ethical dilemma that officers in these institutions frequently
face. You may recall the official state dept report following
Iran-Contra on El Salvador. The language is indicative. State
Department officers were torn between their desire to tell the
truth and their need to support the policy. So these things do
come up, and it’s very difficult for people pursuing careers
in these bureaucracies to stand up and be counted at the cost
of their careers. And that is just a fact of life.
AMY GOODMAN: Which brings us to Cheney’s visits to
the CIA. When people hear that they might say, well, he’s
the Vice President, he can go to the agencies that are under
RAY MCGOVERN: Well, people have asked me in my 27
years, has this had happened before, whether it was unusual?
And I tell them, this is not unusual, this is unprecedented.
The Vice President of the United States never during those 27
years came out to the CIA headquarters for a working visit.
Not even George Bush the first came out under those
circumstances. He did come out once to supervise or to be in
attendance at an awards ceremony, but never on a working
visit. That is not how it works.
How it works is we go down in the early morning, and we
brief these senior officials, five of them: Vice President,
Secretaries of State and Defense, the Assistant to the
President for the Security of National Affairs and the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. That is how we did business. If
there were questions, and they needed more expertise, we would
bring down the specialists. But we wouldn’t invite them to
down to headquarters. This is like inviting money-changers
into the temple. It’s the inner sanctum, you don’t have
policy makers sitting at the table as you are, Amy, helping us
come up with the correct conclusions, and that is the only
explanation as to why Dick Cheney would be making multiple
visits out there. ‘Are you sure you thought about this? What
about this uranium? Send somebody down there to find all this
stuff out.’ It’s very clear. You’re a mid-level
official, and you’re trying to be a professional, and your
boss is sitting behind you. There is a lot of pressure there.
And let me add just one other thing, and that is, Colin
Powell brags to this day, very recently he said, and I quote:
‘I spent four days and four nights at CIA headquarters
before I made that speech on Feb the 5th, pouring over the
evidence, making sure that..’ Well, to anyone who knows how
the system works, that is bizarre. The Secretary of State
shouldn’t be going out to CIA headquarters to analyze the
evidence and make sure the… the evidence by that time, by
god, should have been well analyzed, should have been
presented in a document to which most people agree and
footnotes for those who don’t agree, and presented to the
Secretary of State in his office on the 7th floor of the State
Department, and if he had questions, analysts would come down
and see him. The prospect of the Secretary of State and
Condeleezza Rice who joined that group, coming out to the
agency and saying. OK, where are we at now, five days before
his major speech to the UN, is bizarre in the extreme.
Of course we know how that speech came out. All the
evidence that was deduced. Where are the 25,000 liters of
anthrax? None of that information has been borne out in
reality. And soo we have a Secretary of State who picked what
he thought was the best evidence, and who said some really
interesting things, if you look at that speech.
Let me just say one other thing about that speech. Among
the things he said was that we have learned that Qusay, Saddam
Hussein’s son has ordered the removal of prohibited weapons
from the presidential palaces. OK? Interesting. OK, so we’ve
learned, that’s pretty solid information, it sounds like
solid information. Well, a couple of months later, we find
Qusay, right? Now, if we are interested in finding out where
those weapons of mass destruction are, it would seem to me
that someone would have thought, for god’s sake, capture
this guy. He knows where they are. He ordered their removal.
Instead what did they do? They fired ten anti-tank missiles
into Qusay and his brother and a nephew of Qusay. Not my idea
of how you get to the bottom of the story on weapons of mass
AMY GOODMAN: We are talking to Ray McGovern and
David MacMichael. They are both former CIA analysts. Ray
McGovern worked under George Bush when he was Director of
Central Intelligence and then briefed him when he was Vice
President, for how long?
RAY MCGOVERN: For about 2-1/2 years. I did the
briefings for four years, but my account in the first two
years was the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to get to two other issues. One
is the David Kaye report and then 9/11 and the intelligence
commission for both of you. The David Kaye report that is
supposed to come out, that is supposed to, they stopped saying
whether they found weapons of mass destruction every day, that
was looking very bad. But they said they would give a final
report on this, David Kaye, the former UN weapons inspector.
What is happening?
RAY MCGOVERN: It has hit the fan now. Let me just
backtrack a little bit. On the 5th of December, Ari Fleischer,
the President’s spokesman was quizzed about all these
statement about weapons of mass destruction. He ended up
saying, look Secretary of Defense and the President are not
going to make statements that there are weapons of mass
destruction there unless they have solid evidence to support
Later in March after the war had begun, Ari Fleischer said
weapons of mass destruction is what this war is about, and we
have high confidence that we will find them. So, there is no
de-emphasizing the fact that that was the casus belli that the
administration introduced. So to suggest now that we are not
talking about weapons of mass destruction, but we are talking
about papers of mass destruction, let me explain. We don’t
say weapons of mass destruction anymore. We say weapons of
mass destruction programs. What does that mean? That means, in
a very sinister way, as David is inclined to point out, Iraq
still has nuclear scientists capable of reconstituting this
program. That means that we will find, or that we will
fabricate, documents showing that they have these plans to
start making these weapons again as soon as the UN inspectors
That is all they have, and to think that the “solid
evidence” that Ari Fleischer cited, and the fact that
weapons of mass destruction is what this thing was all about,
not papers of mass destruction. This is going to come back to
haunt them if, and it’s a big if, if the mainstream press
still has the guts to say ‘hey we were taken in, and we
don’t like to be lied to and on behalf of the American
people, we are going to tell the real story here.’ And the
story is that the ostensible justification for this war was
bogus, contrived, it was a lie.
DAVID MACMICHAEL: I think one thing that has to be
added about David Kaye, who is identified as a former member
of UNSCOM, that is the United Nations weapons inspection team,
prior to the 1998 bombing and the departure of the weapons
inspectors and prior to their reinitiation under UN resolution
1441, David Kaye in fact, and this is not revealing the
identity of an intelligence officer was in fact a CIA officer
at that time. One of the reasons the initial inspections
process broke down was because the United States and other
member states of the inspections team began introducing their
intelligence officers into this and in fact as it’s been
documented, planting listening devices in the places they were
going for intelligence purposes, not for weapons inspections
A second point to remember is the primary task of the
intelligence officer is to recruit agents. In other words, one
could reasonably assume that, using their cover as weapons
inspectors, they were attempting to recruit Iraqi nationals to
serve as intelligence agents. Naturally the
counterintelligence of any country attempts to block this and
it did serve to discredit the initial inspection process. So
that is one thing that is important to remember about David
And as Ray has pointed out, the emphasis is on the
programs. I joke a lot about these things, unfortunately I
have a bad sense of humor, and they will certainly find that
Iraqi universities and even high school have courses in
physics and chemistry. You can draw your obvious conclusions
from that. This has been pretty well flagged in advance that
this is the way the Kaye report will pass on.
When Mr. Rumsfeld made his recent swing through Iraq and
the Middle East, he essentially dismissed questions about the
Kaye report. He said, ‘Well, we’ll know when it comes
out.’ It’s very disturbing, but it gets back to the
question that was raised earlier, about how the United States
press, media and the United States public will react when it
can be sufficiently demonstrated that the rationale for going
to war with Iraq was, at best, shakily founded in the truth.
My reaction to this, again going back since I have been
working on this for the last 20 years, going thorough with
Iran Contra and on, is that the general feeling in the United
States, is that our ends are good always, so who worries about
the means. In one anecdote that I think is illustrative, in
1985 during the first elections in Nicaragua following the
revolution down there, the United States began to out forth
reports that Nicaragua had acquired MIG fighters from the
Soviet Union, you may recall this incident.
This was big buzz, the United States Fleet units were moved
off the coast of Nicaragua, and the fever was going. I
happened to attend the news conference that the Nicaragua
Foreign Minister Miguel D’Escoto was giving on this subject,
and he was pointing out that this was entirely unfounded, that
there were none, that it was being accepted. The correspondent
for the Washington Post was there, Bob McCartney, and he got
up and said, ‘Mr. Foreign Minister, I accept what you are
saying, but suppose it were true that Nicaragua was getting
this sort of weaponry, wouldn’t it be logical for the United
States to respond like this?’ And Father D’Escoto looked
at him a long time and said ‘Mr. McCartney, we are not
talking logical, we are talking pathological”.
AMY GOODMAN: David MacMichael, former CIA analyst,
and Ray McGovern, fomer CIA analyst. Ray McGovern served as a
CIA analyst for almost 30 years. From 1981-1985, he conducted
daily briefings for George Bush as Vice President under Ronald
Reagan. That does it for today’s program.
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