Saturday, January 12, 2008

CIA, Iran & the Gulf of Tonkin

Ray McGovern, obviously a regular reader of the Brain, has generously expanded upon and clarified my post of yesterday from the intelligence standpoint of one who was there. And who is here now. Thanks, Ray.

Ten years. How can our president speak so glibly about 10 more years of a U.S. armed presence in Iraq? He must not remember Vietnam.

Sorry. Should have posted a 'liquid alert'. Bush doesn't know or remember a damn thing about Vietnam other than maybe some of the help's kids got killed there and that them godless commie hippie bastards protested the war because they were too chickenshit to get killed for Amurikkka themselves. I think he has conveniently forgotten as well that he was a privileged rich kid who used his family connections to avoid real service because he too was too chickenshit to get killed for Amurikkka. After all, his life was worth much more than than that of reg'lar kids. He's still a chickenshit, and my apologies to chicken shit.

What follows is written primarily for honest intelligence analysts and managers still on “active duty.”

The issuance of the recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran was particularly welcome to those of us who had been hoping there were enough of you left who had not been thoroughly corrupted by former CIA Director George Tenet and his malleable managers.

The Tonkin Gulf events are perhaps the best case in point. We retired professionals who worked through the Tonkin Gulf incident are hopeful that Fingar can ensure integrity in the current intelligence process as well.

Those of us in intelligence, not to mention President Lyndon Johnson, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy all knew full well that the evidence of any armed attack on the evening of Aug. 4, 1964, the so-called “second” Tonkin Gulf incident, was highly dubious.

Here's the money line:

But it fit the president’s purposes, so they lent a hand to facilitate escalation of the war.

Mr. McGovern goes into quite a bit of detail on the gap between what really happened v. the propaganda and then closes with:

It is my view that the only thing that has prevented Bush and Cheney from attacking Iran so far has been the strong opposition of the uniformed military, including the Joint Chiefs.

As the misadventure last Sunday in the Strait of Hormuz shows, our senior military officers need all the help they can get from intelligence officers more concerned with the truth than with “keeping lines open to the White House” and doing its bidding.

If you’re working in the bowels of the CIA and you find that your leaders are cooking the intelligence once again into a recipe for casus belli, think long and hard about your oath to protect the Constitution. Should that oath not transcend any secrecy promise you had to accept as a condition of employment?

By sticking your neck out, you might be able to prevent 10 years of unnecessary war.

Thanks again, Ray.

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