Monday, March 27, 2006

The Russian Connection

Gateway Pundit has a post with links detailing ties between the Russians and Saddam's Iraq in the days before the war began and the question of whether they gave the Iraqis the US war plan:

Gateway Pundit: Ouch! Photos Show Iraqi & Russian Defense Reps Days Before War!

I turned on a few minutes of Meet The Press yesterday, because I wanted to see Condi, and there's Timmy Boy acting shocked! shocked! by this Russian development. And still bringing up the President's words about Putin delivered after 9/11, when Putin was in a different frame of mine than he was during Iraq. Condi had to remind Tim that Russia didn't support the Iraq War. You would think these high priced journalists would be able to keep better informed. Or alternately ask new questions, not the same old ones they have been asking in precisely the same formulas for years now.

Can't they dust off their brain cells?

But as for the reason the latest Russian development doesn't surprise me?

I read the Bill Gertz article when it was written. And I have kept current with highly informed speculation, from former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense John A. Shaw, that it was Russian soldiers who moved Saddam's WMD to Syria.
"The short answer to the question of where the WMD Saddam bought from the Russians went was that they went to Syria and Lebanon," former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense John A. Shaw told an audience Saturday at a privately sponsored "Intelligence Summit" in Alexandria, Va. (www.intelligencesummit.org).
Implying of course a high level military relationship between the Russians and the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein.

But the reason why none of this surprised me in the least is this article by Ion Pacepa, former Romanian spy chief before he defected to the West - the highest-ranking intelligence officer ever to have defected from the former Soviet bloc, written in 2003. Pacepa surely knows more - through trained intuition and experience - about the mentality of how these Russian bureaus work from the inside out than almost anyone else currently writing in the free press and willing to shine a revelatory light on it.
As a former Romanian spy chief who used to take orders from the Soviet KGB, it is perfectly obvious to me that Russia is behind the evanescence of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. After all, Russia helped Saddam get his hands on them in the first place. The Soviet Union and all its bloc states always had a standard operating procedure for deep sixing weapons of mass destruction - in Romanian it was codenamed "Sarindar, meaning "emergency exit."I implemented it in Libya. It was for ridding Third World despots of all trace of their chemical weapons if the Western imperialists ever got near them. We wanted to make sure they would never be traced back to us, and we also wanted to frustrate the West by not giving them anything they could make propaganda with.
Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Michael Ledeen has more.

ML: Yeah, and someone commented that the Russians seemed to know, even before we did, that the Turks were going to say no to our request to use their NATO bases to send our guys into northern Iraq.

JJA: Indeed. That information probably came from the French and Germans, who were blackmailing the Turks at the time.
...
ML: In the past few days there have been lots of articles about hostile Russian espionage operations, as if that were news. Why should people find that surprising?

JJA: Because the United States long since stopped even pretending to be serious about counterintelligence. When Bush made Negroponte intelligence czar, the top two counterintelligence officials at DoD resigned on the spot, because they lost their independence.

ML: I noticed that. Haven't they been replaced?

JJA: I don't think so. And Negroponte, in case you haven't noticed, has been an enormous roadblock in the matter of the Harmony documents. My sources tell me that the president had to order the release at least three times, with mounting decibels, before they finally started to trickle onto the web.

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