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Archive for December, 2013

SHRIMPTON, Michael

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 04/12/2013

SHRIMPTON, Michael.

.

MICHAEL OF COURSE IT IS TRUE 010812

Hi,

you may have noticed that Michael Shrimpton’s page on Wikipedia has been ‘taken down’ ostensibly it seems because it was an hageographic excercise in self promotion rather than a factual entry.

You may find the following article exposing much with regard to Michael Shrimpton, who there is every reason to believe, as he awaits trial in Britain under the terrorism laws, is more a figure to be pittied than believed with his obsessive involvement and commitment to a host of conspiracy theories.

A brief check on Google will provide a host of Michael Shrimpton’s self promotions and increasingly implausible conspiracy theories – in the interim the following article provides a relatively comprehensive summary:

Crackpot Realist manqué (part one)

Michael Shrimpton

Michael Shrimpton was termed a ‘conspiracy theorist’ when introduced as a pundit on Sky News, but Crackpot Realist manqué would have been a better term. Nevertheless, he was given free rein to comment on climate change, which he believes does not exist, and particular license on Iraqi ‘weapons of mass destruction’, which (unlike Tony Blair, Colin Powell and David Kay) he believes did exist, but were moved to Syria.  This geopolitical analysis was emphasised by a sneering: “that’s what Syria’s for…” Sky News viewers are normally anaesthetised by a small revolving team of seasoned commentators, such as jovial Al Scardino, who round up that which they deem ‘newsworthy’ before bedtime. But after 25 minutes of exposure to Shrimpton’s conspiracy theories, viewers may have been left thinking ‘that’s what Shrimpton’s for’. So whose conspiracies is he theorising, who put them there? This, and where it leads us, is what I will explore below.[1]

In parallel, and to provide some kind of theoretical basis, I will also argue that the concept of ‘Crackpot Realism’ is manifest and relevant to Shrimpton’s social and professional network. Crackpot Realism was a form of thought and language identified by C. Wright Mills linked to his understanding of the effects of increasing integration and institutionalization of a ruling trinity (the military, corporate, and political). Manqué means childishly unfulfilled and frustrated in the realization of one’s ambitions: Shrimpton is a “wannabe” Crackpot Realist who craves to hang about with the big boy’s and go along with their madness—typical of those who hang around these circles spreading disinformation, propaganda and conspiracy theories.

In The Power Elite, Mills identified and condemned The Higher Immorality: the mindless moral sensibility of those in charge of affairs for whom power, wealth, and celebrity supersedes knowledge, culture, and principle. For Mills they are second-rate minds: “in command of the ponderously spoken platitudes.” Mills explained how its exponents “in the name of realism” had “constructed a paranoid reality all their own; in the name of practicality they have projected a utopian image of capitalism.”  It is into this milieu that we locate Shrimpton as a Crackpot Realist manqué, but with the realisation that the dissemination of disinformation and propaganda requires psychologically ‘eccentric’ personalities seduced by the mystique.

We are often told that the internet is the place for conspiracies and if you dutifully went to Shrimpton’s Wikipedia User page, which was self-penned , you would be given this hype:

“His active assistance to Intelligence and Law Enforcement Agencies in the Global War on Terror has produced some notable success including the exposure of the Abu Graib “hood” photograph as a fake. His work in strategic intelligence takes him on regular trips to the Pentagon and he also met with senior advisors to the President of the Russian Federation in Moscow in November 2005. He participated in the Global Strategic Review conference in Geneva in 2005 and is a regular contributor at conferences such as Intelcon and the Intelligence Summit Washington DC February 2006.”[2]

Held in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2006 and 2007, The Intelligence Summit™ was something of a nexus of Crackpot Realists, Conspiracy Theorists and agents provocateurs, which I will examine in detail below; the Summit has a similar Shrimpton ‘biography’ that states:

Michael Shrimpton is a barrister specialising in national security and intelligence law, who negotiated the national security aspects of the Pinochet case with the late Lt-General Vernon Walters, formerly Deputy Director of the CIA.[3]

The claim of exposure of the fake photographs appears in another Shrimpton CV wherein he also defines his ‘objective’ as simply ‘to assist interested parties,’ and he has recently outlined similar conspiracy theories, with a paper “Abu Ghraib and Al-Haditha — A classic exercise in deception and media manipulation,” at a University of London conference.[4] The ‘War on Terror’ is something of a boom time for ‘security experts’ and the secret agent manqué alike—it is a competitive madness.  Many of those who felt disgruntled, or thought themselves to have been passed over for promotion or who have ‘retired’ from various nefarious agencies have now gone ‘private,’ or rather ‘public’ in mercantile terms, such as the speakers and organizers of The Intelligence Summit.  This included the avaricious Pauline Neville-Jones and Michael Ledeen (both of whom personify Crackpot Realism) who I will also discuss in some depth below. Whereas once they preferred to work outwith the public gaze, and accountability (partly because of the level of illegal and immoral aspects of the ‘trade’ in war-mongering lies); now, for self-promotion purposes on the web, those in the ‘terrorism industry’ parade images of themselves together with selective CVs and a variety of “ponderously spoken platitudes”, disinformation and spurious analysis, giving us a clearer, if still indistinct, outline of these networks and what their work might represent or seek to obscure or distort or promote.

So first I will examine Shrimpton’s background and social network with the details establishing who the interested parties that he claims to assist are likely to be, and also explore what type of services he has offered and to whom. Secondly I will explore The Intelligence Summit —fairly speculatively since it received very little coverage (offering only a handful of results in terms of a Lexis search) in the British Press, and here the Summit was only really discussed en passant by elements of the right, also discussed below. Thirdly, I will examine the examples of Neville-Jones and Ledeen, going into some detail on their organisational connections, this leads to an examination of an example of the dissemination of what we might term Crackpot Realist material, with the example ofEncounter Publications and how these are funded and what patterns and connections emerge that show the insinuation of Crackpot Realism into the mainstream media.

SPOOKY

“A BIZZARRE PICTURE OF SPOOKERY AND PARANOIA”

The Summit’s biography of Shrimpton is vague on specific detail, but it maintains that he represents and advises intelligence officers and has (“is believed to have”) connections to a number of Western intelligence services, that he has “briefed staffers on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9-11”, without stating the nature of this ‘briefing’. It also said that he “participated in panels on terrorism for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs [founded by Ledeen, mentioned above] in Washington DC and at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in LA…” This would suggest the hypothesis that he is a stooge and that suspicion is also supported by Shrimpton’s promotion by the Let My People Know Speakers Bureau, itself an offshoot of the ‘Israel Resource News Agency’ and part of an extensive PR operation run by David Bedein, also a columnist with FrontPageMagazine.com.[5] According to Edward Herman and Gerry O’Sullivan:

JINSA is run by individuals closely identified with Israeli interests and may be regarded as a virtual lobbying organization for the state of Israel as well as a terrorism institute. The two are closely related, as one aspect of lobbying for Israel consists of trying to discredit the Palestinians and PLO as terrorists. JINSA also illustrates the multinational character and ambiguity of affiliation of the institutes and experts in the terrorism industry. JINSA vice-president Morris J. Amitay is former head of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a major pro-Israel lobbying organization. Others affiliated with JINSA as founders and board or advisory board members include Michael Ledeen and Walter Laqueur of CSIS, Jack Kemp, retired Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, and Max Kampelman, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and Eugene Rostow, the latter three all Reagan administration officials as well as members of the Committee on the Present Danger and Committee for a Democratic Majority.[6]

Shrimpton and many of the other attendees and organisers of the Intelligence Summit can be shown to have a record of releasing information (whether authentic or not does not seem to matter) that saught to shift the political terrain towards confrontation against the enemies of Israel and offer support for the war in Iraq as part of a semi-organised psychological warfare programme. To maintain some kind of profile as a pundit up for hire in this game, it seems that for publicity purposes (and with gross insensitivity) Shrimpton will try to attach himself to conspiracy theories in the mainstream media, such as the abduction of Madeline McCann; or via a range of interviews, Shrimpton publicised his belief that Dr. David Kelly was the victim of an assassination — his theory here has a sub-text that this had nothing to do with the British State or its Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), who, maintained Shrimpton, informed him that they knew Dr. Kelly was to be murdered before it happened. In conducting a web search the investigator will notice that this particular conspiracy theory has been picked up and promoted (largely uncritically) by left and right-wing conspiracy theory orientated web sites alike.

The Summit’s biography of Shrimpton also invited us to draw inferences from various overstatements:

He also played a major role in uncovering the Iraqi Air Force’s acquisition of a Boeing 767 simulator, stolen from Kuwait Airways at Kuwait Airport in August 1990. He was of course fully aware of the significance of this discovery, given the cockpit commonality between the Boeing 757 and 767, and Al Qaeda’s restriction to these two types on 9-11.[7]

We are also informed that he specialises in “counter-terrorism, counter-intelligence, counter-assassination, and counter-proliferation.” We may be forgiven for wondering what for example, the world of “counter-assassination” entails. Here Shrimpton appears to be alluding to offering legal representation in what would have to be a somewhat subterfuge-laden process. But what we have in rational terms is the presentation of a picture of reality that explains events according to a constructed version of them. So possibly he may have been engaged to promote a version of events of Dr. Kelly’s death. Or is, as is more likely, this designation just a convenient invention aiding a macabre cash-in as a pundit on the Kelly intrigue circuit. Some prosaic questions begin to formulate around these outlandish claims, possibly beginning with: should ‘counter-propaganda’ or ‘disinformation’ not have been added to his own list, is Shrimpton a mouthpiece, a conduit of some sort — an errand boy (or volunteer) contriving or providing parts of the mosaic needed to ‘explain’ Crackpot Realist foreign policy — a direct link between Iraq and 9/11 for instance? Or would he like to be in that position? Something along these lines is alluded to in Lobster magazine’s quote from a (no longer extant) extract from Shrimpton’s entry in the Bar Directory, which it finds to be:

…a bizarre picture of spookery and paranoia. He tells us that he has his chambers and electronic communications ‘swept’; that ‘dead letter protocols may be put in place and instructions from overseas lawyers are accepted for non-litigious work’; that ‘Chambers specialises in counter-terrorist and counter-intelligence work, including assassination deconstruction’; that ‘Wetwork specialists will not be advised on assassination methods and assassination work is strictly limited to post-assassination counter-intelligence and investigative assistance’; and that ‘advice on assassination methods and procedures will only be given on a sanitised basis.’[8]

‘Wet work’ can be taken as a coded reference to bloodshed, but the Lobster article also notes that if someone was actually offering these types of services they would be unlikely to advertise it. Working in the legal profession and being called upon by the media as an expert lends credence to Shrimpton’s role and by imputation his opinions, but on closer examination a lack of credence begins to emerge, the deficit particularly in evidence when Shrimpton was interviewed by the BBC in connection to Dr. Kelly’s death: part of the transcript here reads a little bit like a Monty Python sketch:

Michael Shrimpton says he knows that Dr Kelly was assassinated because of his extensive intelligence contacts.
Michael Shrimpton: That is the red phone if that phone goes it could be anyone from the White House to President’s administration in Russia to the CIA to whoever. It’s not usual for me to pick up the phone and have Henry Kissinger on the other end but that has happened. He actually has that number but he doesn’t have that number. That gives me a direct line through to Vice President Dick Cheney’s Office.
Michael Shrimpton is also a fan of espionage fiction from Frederick Forsyth to Tom Clancy.
Michael Shrimpton: He’s one of my favourite authors.[9]

The report goes on to infer that some of the technical detail Shrimpton offered on Dr. Kelly’s death was gleaned from Clancy’s works of fiction. Shrimpton also seems to have made efforts to attach himself to The David Kelly Group, a small collection of mostly Doctors who assert a UK government cover-up took place. The Doctors want to emphasise:

…the context of the investigation of the suspicious death of the world expert on biological and chemical weapons who, at the time of his death, was perceived to be blowing the whistle on the Government which had taken the country to illegal war on a pack of lies… [10]

In a subsequent article in response to the BBC programme, one of the Doctors from the group, wrote that Shrimpton:

… had been introduced to the group of doctors who had, as informed citizens, first raised questions about the forensic and judicial responses to the unnatural death of David Kelly MSc CMG. This barrister was reported as saying that Dr Kelly had been shot in the back of the head. There were other lurid allegations. He was quickly turned away from the medical group on the assumption that he had been inserted to discredit it. This group had contained up to eleven doctors at one time and had within it senior men from all specialties relevant to this very sad death. [11]

The Summit’s biography seems to aim to reinforce Shrimpton’s importance by mentioning that he has appeared on CNN and the BBC and is “regularly consulted by the media” on national security and intelligence matters, including for the BBC’s spy drama “Spooks”. That sounds flimsy, but he is also credited as a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, the United States Naval Institute, the Royal United Services Institute, the Defence and Security Forum, the Military Commentators Circle, the European Atlantic Group and the Royal Air Force Historical Society, and as a Fellow of the Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom, the Institute of Directors and the Air League. This could infer some form of possible connection with the intelligence services, but most of these are cold war organisations which seek paying members, they represent an arena open to a range of different forms of exploitation, lobbying and influence by different factions: we are still left with the question is Shrimpton a ‘useful idiot’, an agent provocateur, an obsessive— a Crackpot Realist manqué? Shrimpton has stated that:

“I am not a spook, I just teach spooks… I have students in the National Security Agency…the CIA… I teach online, its marvellous. I have students in Bagdhad, I get requests, you know: “can I defer my paper for forty-eight hours because I have to go into Iran for a little bit of” you know, nip across the frontier and do a little bit of work with special forces and come back… so I do move in that world. It’s one of the reasons why you may not have seen me so visible in the last five or six years, particularly since 9/11 national security has virtually taken over my professional life. But I’m not a spy, I just teach spies, represent spies, bail them out of trouble and do intelligence analysis.”[12]

progress

THE SUMMIT OF CRACKPOT REALISM

Shrimpton’s paper for the 2007 Intelligence Summit, ‘Iraq: Then and Now’, conveys the impression he is something of a revisionist’s revisionist, even having a go at “ill-informed media commentators” and “so-called terrorism experts,” here is an extensive quotation, with emphases added:

Michael Shrimpton is an intelligence expert who has made a careful study of the links between theRepublic of Iraq’s Mukhabarat intelligence organisation and the Al Qaeda al-Sulbah terrorist organisation. […] He will point out how the failure to understand the deep links behind Islamic terrorism and the allegedly secular Ba’ath Party has led ill-informed media commentators and so-called terrorism experts to obsess on the surface religious differences between Ba’ath Party and Al Qaeda leaders. He will detail Osama bin Laden’s first visit to Baghdad, and list contacts between Al Qaeda and Iraqi, Sudanese and Pakistani intelligence, naming names. He will comment on the efforts to Islamicise the regime after its defeat in 1991, and the conferences held in Baghdad to improve relations with Islamic groups, as the intelligence relationship with Al Qaeda grew. He will specify the assistance given by Iraq in the failed attempt to sink the USS Cole and the training provided by Iraq to the 9-11 terrorists, including the use of a Boeing 767 simulator, tracked down partly through Michael’s efforts. He will summarise the evidencelinking Iraq with the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, pay respectful tribute to the FBI agent who at great risk to his own life exposed those links (and died before his time), and state his reasons for concluding that the Iraqi Mukhabarat intelligence service provided planning, logistical and technical support for the 9-11 attacks, justifying the waging of total war by the United States and the United Kingdom on the Republic of Iraq.[13]

The Mukhabarat link to Al Qaeda was part of Colin Powell’s infamous presentation to the UN Security Council, now utterly repudiated to the extent of being termed a ‘horrible hoax’ by Powell’s Chief of Staff, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson.[14] What was ‘sufficient for the day’ then is a horrible hoax now —but who perpetrated it? The Intelligence Summit’s experts certainlyperpetuated it by repetition. Indeed their manic tenacity has propelled their (late) search for a ‘justification’ for ‘the waging of total war’ on Iraq, into convoluting this with other snippets using equally dubious criteria of evidence: including the unsubstantiated assertions of Syria as a WMD repository, the same version of events that Shrimpton perpetuated on Sky News and other outlets after the Summit.

The horror becomes grotesque with the ‘hoax’ perpetuated on the homepage of the Intelligence Summit in Tabloid-size headlines that insist “Secret Files Prove Saddam Had WMD”, and offer this as the Summit’s ‘unique selling point’. The propaganda sub-text here would seem to be that such a concatenation of pieces of ‘intelligence’ also provides a ‘justification’ for a similar ‘total war’ on Syria or Iran. It is almost as if —in an unwitting demonstration of Crackpot Realism — the Intelligence Summit’s ‘experts’ just cannot stop playing the game of concocting ‘evidence’ to taint whomsoever comes their way. To follow their rationale is to observe that they now insist that they call the tune in their equivalent of a pass the parcel game with rules of their own devising. Should background information for something similar to Colin Powell’s crackpot realist presentation to the UN Security Council be required.[15] A ‘narrative’ was offered by the Summit whereby convenient enemies are simply identified as having been passed ‘Iraqi WMD’. Thus tainted (runs the logic) in a contagion reminiscent of vampires and werewolves they are evil and can be invaded. But for some reason, in Shrimpton’s paper, this historical and epidemiological investigative process, even although it went back to Nazi Germany and beyond, did not encompass the Scott Report or any analysis of the West’s historical and well-documented instrumental role in providing Iraq with the components of WMD in the 1980s, in full cognisance of Saddam’s past and proclivities—the feverish curiosity stops here.

Who was the audience for Shrimpton’s paper? In its website’s welcome page the Summit describes itself as:

… a non-partisan, non-profit, neutral forum that uses private charitable funds to bring together intelligence agencies of the free world and the emerging democracies […] The Summit is to provide an opportunity for the international intelligence community to listen to and learn from each other, and to share ideas in the common war against terrorism.

Leaving aside the claims of non-partisan neutrality for a moment; as a surprisingly large amount of the population know from all the literature on leaks, exposés, defections, trials, enquiries, memoirs, cover-ups, murders and scandals concerning the ‘secret’ agencies, this definition assumes an ability to listen and learn within a general trusting camaraderie somewhat scarce in a profession more known for its internecine vendettas, management of treason, personal betrayal, manipulation, rogue elements and so forth. A lot of this literature would seem to question whether there is such a thing as a happily retired secret intelligence officer, or that they gracefully fade away. Some readers may have noted that for a large amount of important secret intelligence agents toopenly turn up to a Summit would mean they might cease to be secret, or at least, given all their paranoia, represent a target for those ever present terrorists. It is difficult to argue that “the international intelligence community” has been put at a cunning remove from the prying eyes of terrorists by gathering it together and listing names and personal details on websites. But it is not so much that the secret intelligence services aresecret as such, a defining characteristic is more that they act with impunity.

Another defining characteristic would be deception and simple dishonesty. But we are asked to believe that no one is engaged in any form of ‘perception management’ or ‘psychological warfare’ or any tricks of the trade; and, that we should have an open mind upon noticing that Michael Ledeen (who urges a war on Iran with all haste and was pardoned for his role in Iran/Contra affair) organised the outlandish ‘Secular Islam Summit’ in partnership with the 2007 Intelligence Summit— as if the Islamic world took its lead from a group of American Intelligence operatives and Neo-Conservatives braying for its destruction.[16][17] That is a ‘big ask’ as they say in sporting circles. So we might reasonably begin to assume that the more influential characters use the opportunity to set out their stalls in terms of the terrorism industry’s dripping roast—the ‘war on terror.’ Indeed could we not regard the Intelligence Summit itself as propaganda? Here we would look at who funds and influences it, examine whether there is evidence of propaganda war-mongering amongst its participants and organisers and try to gain an overview of its purpose in the form of its own statements and external and comparative analysis.

But are those gathered here representative of the “the international intelligence community” or are they a small right-wing mercenary faction up for hire or some other ‘rogue element’ and largely arguing amongst themselves? In their attempts to ensure a non-partisan, neutral forum the organisers would appear to have previously gathered into a series of inter-locking political action committees forming a clandestine caucus around what we might generalise as a neo-conservative encouragement for ‘the clash of civilizations’ thesis.

Deciding upon their relevance to U.S. power is complicated by the real politick of the U.S. power elite then dominated by a neo-conservative group of people with the shared goal of asserting US military power worldwide. Theorists such as Leo Strauss, Albert Wohlstetter and others at the University of Chicago working in the Committee on Social Thought have been credited for promoting the neo-conservative agenda through their students, Paul Wolfowitz, Allan Bloom and Bloom’s student Richard Perle; here the underlying ethos was that:

The belief that Democracy, however flawed, was best defended by an ignorant public pumped on nationalism and religion. Only a militantly nationalist state could deter human aggression …Such nationalism requires an external threat and if one cannot be found it must be manufactured.[18]

This group, in cooperation with major military contractors, has become a powerful force in world military unilateralism that has required para-political processes that manufacture or distort threats through engaging in psychological operations that contain elements of subversion and subvention, disinformation and propaganda—post-war history is incomplete without an understanding of this para-political realm. With this covert world and hidden dimension of power it is difficult to identify the general parameters of those who are the key actors in support of this militaristic agenda. However, individuals such as Shrimpton and events such as the Summit can be used to aid our examination in terms of how interlocking groups seek to manipulate the corporate media with the assistance of PR firms, military contractors, policy elites, and government officials, to jointly enforce a US military global domination agenda. Here we can still ask basic sociological questions regarding who wins, decides, and facilitates action despite the covert and deliberately opaque nature of our subject.

If we were to take Dr. Robert Katz, the executive director of the Summit, as a starting point we could also observe his membership of the American Congress for Truth (ACT) and note that this includes the Summit’s Advisory Council’s Robert Spencer, the Director of ‘Jihad Watch,’ which itself includes other individuals associated with FrontPage Magazine’s network of neo-cons. ACT also includes the Summit’s Walid Phares, also of Jihad Watch and a member of a similar neo-con gathering, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies which includes James Woolsey the former Director of the CIA and a key figure in the network of neo-cons; ACT’s Major GeneralPaul Vallely US Army, (Ret.) is a member of the American Center for Democracy[19], as again is James Woolsey and a key director of the Summit, author John Loftus, a former Intelligence Officer. Although it cannot be that cosy a network given that eventually both Woolsey and Loftus became embroiled in some controversy over the event’s funding (with Woolsey pulling out of the Summit) but we will touch on this below.

Our present task is to identify the existence of any evidence of propaganda mongering and we can do this by simply taking note of the Executive Council who are:

Lt. General Tom McInerney, US Air Force, (Ret.)
Cdr. Richard Marcinko, Navy SEALs Commander
Dame Pauline Neville-Jones
Major General Paul Vallely, US Army, (Ret.)[20]

Neville-Jones I will examine in due course, but as a specific focus I will use the example of Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney and Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, who seem to dominate the Summit’s programme and have executive control over it. They, like many of the Summit’s speakers and organisers act as commentators for Fox News and other outlets amenable to the US government’s methods of news management. The Summit’s tendency to extol the importance of their ex-Generals’ frequent media appearances backfired somewhat with the eventual 2008 New York Times revelations of collusion with the Pentagon’s propaganda operation to control the public’s view of the war.

The Times obtained internal Pentagon documents that repeatedly referred to military analysts as “message force multipliers” or “surrogates” who could be counted on to deliver administration “themes and messages” to millions of Americans “in the form of their own opinions” to frame how viewers ought to interpret events. This was part of a strategic decision, made in 2002 to make the analysts “the main focus of the public relations push to construct a case for war.”[21]

The Times stated that the plans had several other components such as in the summer of 2005, when the Pentagon’s information apparatus’ communications experts flew a group of ex-Generals and others to Guantánamo Bay as part of a media offensive to counter a fresh wave of criticism over “the gulag of our times” as Amnesty International termed Camp X-Ray. The largest contingent of what became known as the ‘Pentagon Pundits’ were affiliated with Fox News, and, when arguing that the group, personally selected by Donald Rumsfeld, “was heavily represented by men involved in the business of helping companies win military contracts,” the Times names the Summit’s General McInerney. In connection to Bush’s national security team’s belief that pessimistic war coverage broke the nation’s will to win in Vietnam, it names the Summit’s Paul E. Vallely:

This was a major theme, for example, with Paul E. Vallely, a Fox News analyst from 2001 to 2007. A retired Army general who had specialized in psychological warfare, Mr. Vallely co-authored a paper in 1980 that accused American news organizations of failing to defend the nation from “enemy” propaganda during Vietnam. “We lost the war — not because we were outfought, but because we were out Psyoped,” he wrote. He urged a radically new approach to psychological operations in future wars — taking aim at not just foreign adversaries but domestic audiences, too. He called his approach “MindWar” — using network TV and radio to “strengthen our national will to victory.”[22]

Some questions begin to arise here—if Vallely (the first President of the National Psychological Operations Association) and McInerney were 50% of the Executive Council of the Intelligence Summit: can we completely disassociate it from this project, these Psychological Operations—‘Operation Mind War’ so to speak, this ‘new approach’? As the article also notes: the previous ‘advocacy’ work of these ‘Pentagon Pundits’ must be taken into consideration—and we can regard and examine those small overlapping groups which include many members of the Intelligence Summit in a similar analytical light.  Here we would notice that we have a lot of intelligence connected people with a concomitant tendency to be founding members of organisations with names such as the ‘Committee for the Liberation of Iraq’, which tend to be founded to engage in ‘educational advocacy efforts’ to mobilize U.S. and international support for the war including through targeting the U.S. media.[23] And of course there are the simple business interests, whereby most of these analysts run or have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to impartially assess in a Summit, as a government adviser, lobbyist, pundit or salesman:

Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves. But collectively, the men on the plane [to Iraq] and several dozen other military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants. The companies include defense heavyweights, but also scores of smaller companies, all part of a vast assemblage of contractors scrambling for hundreds of billions in military business generated by the administration’s war on terror. It is a furious competition, one in which inside information and easy access to senior officials are highly prized. [24]

So commentators have not found a great deal of repentance on the matter, even as the Bush administration was falling apart:

Fox has also continued to air commentary from retired Gen. Thomas McInerney (4/28/08), whom the Times had quoted responding after the Pentagon sent him fresh talking points in late 2006: “Good work…. We will use it.” Fox did not disclose McInerney’s participation in the Pentagon program, nor the fact that he sits on the boards of several military contractors, including Nortel Government Solutions. [25]

Researchers who have tried to outline these types of propaganda operations in a historical context observe certain continuities:

The new committee appears to be the latest organization used by neo-conservatives and other right-wingers in a long line of similar front groups stretching back over a quarter of a century, first to the Coalition for a Democratic Majority and then to the more bipartisan Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), which campaigned against détente and arms control treaties during the Carter administration.[26]

While others have outlined the dovetailing of the Pentagon and the mainstream U.S. media [27], and set out a timeline of events leading up to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq and the utilisation of Military Analysts in the propaganda which also indicates the suppression of dissent:

The biggest villain here is not Rumsfeld nor the Pentagon […] It’s the TV networks. In the land of the First Amendment, it was their choice to shut down debate and journalism. No government agency forced MSNBC to repeatedly feature the hawkish generals unopposed. Or fire Phil Donahue. Or smear weapons expert Scott Ritter. Or blacklist former attorney general Ramsey Clark. It was top NBC/MSNBC execs, not the Feds, who imposed a quota system on the Donahue staff requiring two pro-war guests if we booked one anti-war advocate—affirmative action for hawks.… [T]he major TV networks… were not hoodwinked by a Pentagon propaganda scheme. They were willingly complicit, and have been for decades. [28]

Work by Media Matters For America, influenced by the New York Times article, used the Nexis database and found that since January 1, 2002, the analysts named in the Times article collectively appeared or were quoted as experts more than 4,500 times on ABC, ABC News Now, CBS, CBS Radio Network, NBC, CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, and NPR, with McInerney scoring 144 and Vallely 81 for Fox News appearances, and the Military analysts named in the Timesexposé appeared or were quoted more than 4,500 times on broadcast nets, cables and so forth.[29]

Bearing this in mind, let me now briefly examine the Intelligence Summit’s Advisory Council as they list it below following their short biographies, from these we can see common themes, the ‘former’ intelligence officer status of most (not surprising given the remit of the Summit) but we would also find a close association and a common involvement in right-wing front groups American Center for Democracy, American Congress for Truth, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and Jihad Watch together with allied ‘experts’ and:

Yossef Bodansky: former Director, Congressional Task Force on Terrorism, Jerusalem Summit
Brent Budowsky: former Senior Staff Democratic Leadership Council
Lt.Col. Gordon Cucullu: former Green Beret
Lt. Col. Bill Cowan: retired Marine Corps officer
Nonie Darwish: Middle East expert, writer and speaker
Drs. Jill Dekker: Bio-Defence Expert
Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld: Director, American Center for Democracy
Brigitte Gabriel: President of American Congress for Truth
Tawfik Hamid: ex-member of a terrorist Islamic organization
Yoram Hessel: former Senior Mossad Officer
Clare Lopez: former Field Operations Officer for the CIA
B. Raman: former Chief of the Counter-Terrorism Division of the Research & Analysis Wing (India)
Tashbih Sayyed (Honorary): Editor of the Muslim World Today, adjunct fellow of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Wayne Simmons: former CIA Operative, Intelligence & Terrorism Analyst
Robert Spencer: Director, Jihad Watch.

Here I could simply add additional biographical details to aid the understanding of the historical context and networks through which the members have operated, but before I explore this, I should first establish if anyone on the list of the Advisory Council is engaged in similar forms of propaganda as the ‘Pentagon Pundits’. The person in charge of the propaganda, Assistant secretary of defense for public affairs Victoria Clarke (a former public Washington director for the PR firm of Hill & Knowlton) intended to achieve what she called “information dominance.” The news culture is saturated by “spin” and combating viewpoints; Clarke argues that opinions are most swayed by voices seen as authoritative and completely independent. Clarke put together a system within the Pentagon to recruit what she calls “key influentials,” powerful and influential people from all areas who, with the proper coaching, would generate support for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s agenda.[30]

Here I would immediately observe that Lt. Col. Bill Cowan was also mentioned by the New York Times Article as one of a group taken to Iraq, and here too General Vallely re-appears:

Mr. Cowan, a Fox analyst and retired Marine colonel, was the chief executive of a new military firm, the wvc3 Group. […] At the time, the company was seeking contracts worth tens of millions to supply body armor and counterintelligence services in Iraq. In addition, wvc3 Group had a written agreement to use its influence and connections to help tribal leaders in Al Anbar Province win reconstruction contracts from the coalition. “Those sheiks wanted access to the C.P.A.,” Mr. Cowan recalled in an interview, referring to the Coalition Provisional Authority. Mr. Cowan said he pleaded their cause during the trip. “I tried to push hard with some of Bremer’s people to engage these people of Al Anbar,” he said. Back in Washington, Pentagon officials kept a nervous eye on how the trip translated on the airwaves. Uncomfortable facts had bubbled up during the trip. One briefer, for example, mentioned that the Army was resorting to packing inadequately armored Humvees with sandbags and Kevlar blankets. Descriptions of the Iraqi security forces were withering. “They can’t shoot, but then again, they don’t,” one officer told them, according to one participant’s notes. “I saw immediately in 2003 that things were going south,” General Vallely, one of the Fox analysts on the trip, recalled in an interview with The Times. The Pentagon, though, need not have worried. “You can’t believe the progress,” General Vallely told Alan Colmes of Fox News upon his return. He predicted the insurgency would be “down to a few numbers” within months. “We could not be more excited, more pleased,” Mr. Cowan told Greta Van Susteren of Fox News. There was barely a word about armor shortages or corrupt Iraqi security forces. And on the key strategic question of the moment — whether to send more troops — the analysts were unanimous.”

According to the Times, inside the Pentagon and at the White House, the Iraq trip was viewed as a “masterpiece in the management of perceptions”, because it also countered complaints that “mainstream” journalists were ignoring the good news in Iraq.

So we now have three Pentagon Pundits involved in running the Intelligence Summit. That the analysts were being “manipulated” to convey a false sense of certainty about the evidence of WMD in the lead up to the war was admitted by some who, nevertheless, kept their misgivings to themselves according to the Times. Cowan’s wvc3 Group’s success is predicated on winning military and national security contracts to specifically profit from the war he promotes, but he was dropped by the Pentagon when according to the Times he ‘failed to deliver’ stating he had “grown increasingly uncomfortable with the “twisted version of reality” being pushed on analysts in briefings” —readers might feel that the Advisory Council of the Intelligence Summit does not offer a version of reality that is much different.

When several retired Generals did criticise Rumsfeld’s conduct of the war, Pentagon officials helped the Summit’s McInerney and Vallely write an opinion article for the April 17, 2006 Wall Street Journal defending Rumsfeld — but the collusion leaked to the press.[31] The Times article mentions that in one of the key meetings to devise the counter strategy the main points were set out by Rumsfeld in a memorandum distilling the collective guidance into bullet points, he underlined two which could also underline the drive of the Intelligence Summit:

• Focus on the Global War on Terror — not simply Iraq. The wider war — the long war.

• Link Iraq to Iran. Iran is the concern. If we fail in Iraq or Afghanistan, it will help Iran.

Here I could note that McInerney and Vallely together with two other members of the Summit’s Advisory Council: Lt. Col. Bill Cowan and Clare Lopez, were principals of a hard-line group in Washington that calls for regime change in Iran using the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK): the ‘Iran Policy Committee’ along with the somewhat ubiquitous Woolsey.[32]

I will not explore the intricacies, but I also saw Vallely popping up in the Valerie Plame affair, when in November 9, 2005:

WorldNetDaily published a story based on an interview with Maj. General Paul Vallely, a distinguished career military man and Fox News analyst, who said Ambassador Joseph Wilson, the man at the center of the CIA leak case, had told him in casual conversations in the Fox News studios that his wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA employee – more than a year before this was first disclosed publicly in a column written by journalist Robert Novak.[33]

Wilson it will be remembered had cast light on the false evidence used to make the case for Weapons of Mass Destruction, which is allegedly connected to Ledeen.

The summit’s Wayne Simmons, formerly with the CIA, still writes about what a square deal the inhabitants of Guantánamo Bay are getting; something that he witnessed first hand after being taken there as a “military observer for terrorist arraignments,” and previously he had “spent two days in 2005 and 2006 visiting with General Jay Hood and Admiral Harry Harris.” After dismissing or insulting the other observers (from NGO’s such as Amnesty International) who attended and describing how a prisoner is “shackled and forcibly brought to the courthouse” against his will, we are requests that we do not have any sympathy even while he states that it is children we are fighting against and that whatever remaining ‘rights’ the ‘detainees’ have:

Were it up to me, these rights would be secondary to extracting the truth from these barbarians and getting it out in public. [34]

This is Wayne Simmons writing in ‘Human Events’, the right-wing home of Jihad Watch that also publishes McInerney and many of the others previously mentioned. And Simmons was also listed as one of the Pentagon Pundits by the Times. Indeed he was also an attendee at a meeting of April 18, 2006, with several military analysts and the then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Peter Pace, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that co-ordinated and actually described the propaganda project as the “Psyop” after laughing at the U.S. constitution, as can be heard on a recording of the meeting:

UNIDENTIFIED 1: I’m an old intel guy, and I can sum all of this up, unfortunately, with one word. And that is “psyops.” Now, most people, when they hear that, they think, “Oh my God —

RUMSFELD: Yeah.

UNIDENTIFIED 1: — “they’re trying to brainwash [inaudible].”

RUMSFELD: “What are you, some kind of nut? You don’t believe in the Constitution?”

UNIDENTIFIED 2: Well, he is. [laughter] [35]

The same voice offers its services for “parroting” Rumsfeld’s line adding:

And we’d love to be following our leader, as indeed you are. You are the leader. You are our guy.

The participants list mentions only one “old intel guy,” and that is Simmons, formerly of the CIA, who it should also be mentioned is part of the group, possibly better named ‘Pentagon Parrots,’ who denied the Times’ allegations.[36] Armed to the teeth with Crackpot Realism some of the Generals, such as Simmons, argue that they remained unbiased due to the subtleties and nuances of the opinion they offered to brighten up the image of the concentration camp at Guantánamo Bay. Nevertheless: that is four Pentagon Pundits running the Intelligence Summit.

A 2007 (somewhat overlooked) report in Harper’s Magazine had previously stated that the unit was initially called the “Surrogates Operation” but was later rechristened as “Communications Outreach” after someone realized that the original title, while accurate, was embarrassing for those working with the Pentagon.[37]

If we were to continue our examination with some of the other members of the Advisory Council, for example, Rachel Ehrenfeld, a search for information might consider the points raised by a ‘Right Web’ profile that details long-standing services to the terrorism industry:

Ehrenfeld authored a 1988 report, Narco-Terrorism and the Cuban Connection, for the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF), a militant anti-Castro organization based in Miami. The report, which posited that Cuba and the Sandinista government in Nicaragua sponsored drug-trafficking operations, was used by policymakers and policy advocacy groups such as CANF to demonize the Cuban and Nicaraguan regimes and build congressional support for regime change strategies directed against the two nations. [38]

Ehrenfeld’s track record also includes writing such as the (1987) Narco-Terrorism: The Kremlin Connection, promoted by the Heritage Foundation and largely concocted for the cold war, it outlines a ‘Kremlin directed grand strategy’ to aid in the formation of a Pentagon directed grand strategy. This took its lead from the heroic work of Iran/Contra’s convicted and pardoned Elliott Abrams.[39] The profile also details her involvement in the Council for Inter-American Security and its influence on the 1980s Reagan administration’s foreign policy in Central America; and her founding of the Center for the Study of Corruption & the Rule of Law, in 2001, now known as the American Center for Democracy (ACD), to focus on political Islam as a form of organized crime in much the same manner she used before to demonize the Soviet, Cuban and Nicaraguan governments. As we also previously noted the ACD also includes McInerney and Vallely, Richard Perle, James Woolsey, and Nina Rosenwald, vice president of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), but we will return to this below.

The Times investigation elicited the release of documentation involved in the operation and The Heritage Foundation is mentioned in the transcripts of emails used in the planning for the Pentagon Parrots as a pliant venue for the propaganda:

Heritage is looking at putting some kind of event together on gitmo (in short order) and wanted to know if we were ok with them inviting steve to present. [40]

Whereas once these types of ‘experts’ were difficult to track down, the web provides emails, tapes, transcripts and even visualisations of their networks with sites such as Muckety, pictured below, that in this case has been made to show Ehrenfeld’s connection to Woolsey.[41]

So an impartial observer might have trouble with this faction of the ‘Intelligence Community’s’ claim of a ‘non-partisan’ approach, and we have already questioned the idea that it is orientated towards a ‘non-profit’ ethos. The accuracy of its self-description as a ‘neutral forum’ again falls down with even a cursory glance at the organisers and contributors. For anyone left in doubt about this, its general, overall purpose can also be assessed on basic terms from the 2007 Summit’s ‘Keynote Address’, delivered by Louis Rene Beres, ‘Strategic and Military Affairs’ columnist for The Jewish Press (and member of Ehrenfeld’s the Center For The Study Of Corruption And The Rule Of Law) [42] which set the tone of the purpose of the Summit for us thus:

What about a suicide-bomber in macrocosm —an entire state willing to “die” in order to fulfill a presumed religious “obligation?” Think Iran. What would this do to the logic of deterrence? How would we have to respond if we were to suddenly recognize a fusion of nuclear capacity with irrationality? One obvious consideration: A heightened reasonableness of preemption. But more on this in a later panel that I will chair, on Project Daniel.

From discussion of assassination or “targeted killings” of individuals it moves to encourage “Anticipatory Self-Defense:” the assassination of a nation, mass murder, once it has assured us of some kind of put-your-mind-at-rest legal loophole that even if Israel drop nuclear weapons on Iran (which they are urged to do) the “great many expected Iranian civilian casualties would be the indisputable legal responsibility of Iran.” The author, Louis Rene Beres, acknowledges in the text that he works with two of the Summit’s organisers, Vallely and McInerney again, in yet another grouping of like-minds, called ‘Project Daniel,’ whose recommendations are outlined thus, with emphasis added:

We (The Project Daniel Group) linked anticipatory self-defense to various preemption scenarios and to the National Security Strategy of the United States of America (September 20, 2002). We also examined and endorsed expanded strategic cooperation between Washington and Jerusalem, with particular reference to maintaining Israel’s “qualitative edge.” Project Daniel looked very closely at a recommended “paradigm shift” to deal with ascending low-intensity and long-range WMD threats to Israel. We also considered the specific circumstances under which Israel should purposefully end its current posture of “deliberate nuclear ambiguity.” […] Israel’s recognizable retaliatory force should be fashioned with the capacity to destroy some 10 to 20 high-value targets scattered widely over pertinent enemy states in the Middle East. The Project Daniel Group recognized a very basic asymmetry between Israel and large portions of the Arab/Iranian world concerning the desirability of peace, the absence of democracy, the acceptability of terror as a legitimate weapon and the overwhelming demographic advantage of the Arab/Islamic world. The Project Daniel Group concluded that non-conventional exchanges between Israel and its enemies must always be avoided. Most importantly, we argued that Israel must never allow a nuclear Iran, and that it absolutely must prepare for lawful preemptive strategies even if the United States and the “international community” reject the indispensable preemption option. [43]

It ends on a resounding call to the faithful for pre-emptive action: ‘International law is not a suicide pact!’ But with a familiar alacrity there is no mention of what might happen in the aftermath of avoiding war by starting one. Beres, writing elsewhere with Pentagon Pundit McInerney, stated boldly in 2008 that: “The recent American National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iranian nuclear intentions is a lie.” There is no evidence presented to substantiate his claims — it is simple Crackpot Realism —and back in the opening speech it was much the same:

A U.S. act of anticipatory self-defense against Iran could have multiple beneficiaries. It could do more than protect Israel from any prospective Iranian nuclear aggression. It could also be in the clear security interests of the United States. After all, Iranian nuclear assets and materials could be shared with Iranian surrogate or otherwise aligned groups, including Hizbullah and al-Qaeda, which could then threaten the American homeland. Here it should be understood that missiles are not the only possible nuclear delivery vehicles, and that anti-American terrorists could do just fine with cars, trucks or even ships. [44]

They seem to have forgotten about their claims for the existence of WMD in Syria for the moment, to conveniently ramp up missile sales and deployment, but aside from the Crackpot Realism run riot here another question arises: is this sort of milieu the provenance of the left’s tales of secret plans to bomb Iran?

merika

ENTER THE MINUTEMAN, AMERICAN TRUCKERS AT WAR AND AMERICANS AGAINST HATE…

Drawing on the above, we can begin to argue that the Summit’s avowed willingness towards promoting a ‘listen and learn’ approach is arguably restricted to a very narrow and biased range of opinion and indeed some reporters on the Summit offered a less generous perspective:

So the gathered spooks, wannabe spooks, money men, ideologues and neo-con officials are free to strike whatever bargains, agree whichever strategies and disseminate whatever curious information they wish, safely insulated from press attention. It’s the perfect place to renew and organize a parallel intelligence service. And that is precisely what the Intelligence Summit seeks to do. It’s a hub – which brings together a gaggle of Fox News contributors such as Bill Cowan, John Loftus, Tawfik Hamid and Alireza Jafarzadeh with ex-agents of Mossad or the Israeli military such as Moshe Ya’alon or Yoram Hessel and U.S. government officials such as Harold Rhode. [45]

The Summit stated that it was “a fully authorized program of IHEC”. What is that? Or should that be whose money are they? According to the Summit it was founded in 1995, originally incorporated as the International Holocaust Education Center, and “after 9/11 IHEC rapidly expanded its educational mission from fighting racism to fighting terrorism, and it is now known as the Intelligence and Homeland Security Education Center.” John Loftus is Vice Chairman of the Florida Holocaust Museum which is also allied to the IHEC.

There is a slight hint of disgruntlement in their description of government agencies that IHEC seeks to address:

Because it is a private charity, IHEC can respond more rapidly and flexibly than most government agencies and has funded some of the most innovative programs in the war against terrorism. In 2002, IHEC funded a national research program using private investigators to obtain information on the financing of domestic terrorists. IHEC’s educational research has aided in the exposure and subsequent indictment of Professor Sami Al Arian, and other sensitive investigations, which are still ongoing. [46]

Who says Art Centres and Museums are useless politically? So in one sense this is indicating that, free from any congressional oversight, the Summit and IHEC can act as a catalyst, or as a dealer or trader in the commodity of encouraging the U.S. government towards further war or the persecution of individuals it does not agree with, such as with Al Arian. For other reporters his case was a show trial:

When was al-Arian important? More than a decade ago, when Israel’s Likudniks in the United States, such as [Steven] Emerson, were working feverishly to undermine the Oslo peace process. No Arab voice could be tolerated, and al-Arian was vigorously trying to communicate with our government and its leaders. He was being successful, making speeches to intelligence and military commanders at MacDill AFB’s Central Command, inviting the FBI and other officials to attend meetings of his groups. People were beginning to listen and to wonder why only one side of the Middle East debate was heard here. That was the reason for Al-Arian’s political prosecution. [47]

In her 2003 book Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It, Rachel Ehrenfeld argued that Al-Arian was “one of al-Qaida’s most important U.S. operatives.” [48] Below the reader can see the extent of the paranoia visualised in the social network diagrams of discoverthenetworks.org an offshoot of Frontpage magazine, and publishes many writers associated with the Summit:[49]

Here the ‘terrorism’ spreads to Z Magazine [50], Friends of the Earth [51], Amnesty International [52] and War on Want.[53] Part of dominating the media is to rid it of any voice that offers dissent towards the phony consensus your many little groups insert into the mainstream media, if that fails then the source is simply tainted by association with something despicable.

The claims that The Summit (or the projects it funds) have the capacity to ‘respond’ faster than the CIA or the FBI, is open to the criticism of haste and inaccuracy, and we have already seen quite a fair amount of that above; and much the same goes for ‘flexibility’: this is very likely to fall down on a similar quantitative comparative analysis of the capabilities of IHEC as an organisation: how big is it? what else has it done apart from the Al-Arian show trial; similarly flexibility would imply some form of checks and balances, arguably somewhat absent from the Intelligence Summit. But when does a “national research program” become domestic surveillance and persecution? Could calling the work of hiring private investigators “educational research” be disingenuous? If IHEC and the Summit are a private version — and the impunity, secrecy, changes in the law as-we-go and unaccountability are at wayward levels with the ‘public’ version— of government agencies engaged in the war against terrorism’s more ‘sensitive investigations’— that, and the notion of “innovative programs,” are quite an admission in the days of Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib and the need for Pentagon Parrots.

Basic questions arise as to the actual purpose of the IHEC that we can explore very simply by listing the web sites of the Summit’s other sponsors in the form of this précis:

• GSN (Government Security News) founded in 2003 and DomesticPreparedness.com which pander to what they term the “the Homeland Security Marketplace.”
• Eye Spy Magazine something of the sensational face of investigative journalism.
• The Gerard Group International who offer a ‘modular Counter-Terrorism Preparedness program’ and have Michael Shrimpton and other Intelligence Summit people as advisors.
• The International Association for Counter Terrorism & Security, itself a coalition of private security/mercenary groups such as Special Operations Recruiting that “locates and recruits Special Operations military personnel and other select military personnel for jobs with private military firms, the U.S. government, security firms, private corporations and public corporations”.
• The Terror-Free Oil Initiative, a somewhat obvious propaganda effort (focusing on ‘Companies that finance terrorism by importing oil from the Middle East’) endorsed by a few Intelligence Summit people (Loftus, Katz) and sundry others such as Chris Simcox, President, The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps., American Truckers at War, Americans Against Hate, (run by Joe Kaufman a journalist for Frontpage Magazine and the spokesperson for the Terror-Free Oil Initiative).

Listed as such, their irrational quality, the arch intrigue seems to form a gestalt, but what does this grouping of ‘supporters’ really represent? Was it a dangerous clandestine clique attempting to form a caucus of inter-linked groups? A list of tagged-on web sites run by much the same people? Does the Summit work through manipulating mentally unhealthy disinformation experts who stage various propaganda stunts to reflect their distorted reality, is it a lunatic, extremist fringe or a lunatic, extremist mainstream? There is an irredeemably cultish aspect to the Summit’s band of backers and supporters not particularly hard to identify, but of a nature that pushes the agenda so far to the right that almost anything begins to seem like sanity, and this in one sense is traditionally their usefulness to the more adroit propagandist. Reading over the online output of the organisations induces the feeling that it is only a matter of time before an organisation actually called ‘The Crackpot Realists’ emerges.

Apart from IHEC, the major funding came from a very rich Russian ‘Oligarch,’ Michael Cherney who recently relocated to Israel. In early 2006, when the U.S. State Department decided to deny an entry visa to Cherney, John Deutch and James Woolsey, two former CIA directors, resigned from their positions at the Intelligence Summit, according to a report in the New York Sun. John Loftus claims that both men left as the result of a campaign by the Directorate of Intelligence to punish the Summit for releasing secret recordings of Saddam Hussein and his advisers. However, Deutch and Woolsey say they left after learning about incriminating information about Cherney.[54] Similarly the initial organisers of IHEC are surprised by the direction Loftus took the organisation:

Walter Loebenberg, who founded the Holocaust education center and approved of turning the name over to Loftus in 2005 because of his high regard for him, says that he knew Loftus was doing intelligence work at the time. “But,” said Loebenberg, “we agreed he would change the name if he did his intelligence work under the name of the Holocaust education center.” “It has gone farther than we expected,” said Loebenberg. “We never would have organized or sponsored an intelligence conference.”[55]

Whatever paraphernalia American Truckers at War or Americans Against Hate are offering, the Summit’s raison d’être includesraisons d’état to the extent of some trained killers and their merchandise being part of the overall spectacle. The obsession with the military and the cult of the ‘security forces’ and of violence and death was not limited to that as marketed by the above sponsors, but literally ‘exhibited’ at the Summit’s shopping mall of trade stalls and promotional stands displaying the hardware, with a commodity fetishism of weaponry matching the ‘military mentality’ C. Wright Mills identified as essential to Crackpot Realism. One is left wondering what would happen if someone had climbed up and draped a banner saying ‘EXPORT THE GENOCIDE IN IRAQ TO IRAN’ would they be thought of as protestors or part of the organisation?

Beyond the Mall when everyone is seated with possibly a new silencer or Kevlar clipboard in a plastic bag on their laps and the power points roll —who benefits, inadvertently or by design, from the rodeo of competing conspiracy theories offered? Are they useful for some ‘higher immorality’ as Mills put it —but can those in the intelligence services really comfort front-line troops with the old Tennyson adage “ours not to reason why,” with events as confused as this. Amongst such converts to the occult it must be hard to believe that ‘what we see is what we get’. Who would argue along such lines here? But on more materialistic grounds: is it just spectacle, some I-OP extravaganza put on simply to spend all the money from a dripping roast based in Israel? Did John Loftus and the gang go to all this trouble to provide un-winnowed chaff for the riddle of the U.S. Foreign Policy formation process simply out of a perverse hope that some of it will become the new item of forged intelligence, the next ‘Niger Yellowcake’?[56]

The idea that a ‘private charity’, such as IHEC, supposedly tackling racism (its definition is slippery) should be innocently used as the basis to start and fight wars in a more efficient manner than the foot-dragging of the Bush administration suggests a narrow channelling of motivation analogous in its social effects to the excesses of the Cold War paranoia and McCarthyism. We find an urge towards making money from war at the heart of the Summit’s sponsorship and as the ‘vector’ for the U.S. economy. In their tendency towards (or indeed to be) jingoistic vigilante groups they do they know they comprise a small insular interpenetrating network feeding and milking the paranoia. Or are they like Pro Wrestling fans and they just don’t care.

It’s a new age of the privateer. A gathering of today’s buccaneers and freelance adventurers […] Among them will be a motley crew of Iranian exiles, Israeli intelligence officials, repentant [sic] Islamists, neocon warriors and scions of the British secret service. It’s certainly a crowd of buccaneers which repays further investigation. […] But outside of that process, private military and intelligence companies are thriving in the shadow of the Global War on Terror. In fact, they are not just thriving in its shadow, they have been constantly lobbying to make that war bigger, more bloody, more high-tech and most crucially of all, more expensive. It is hard to separate neocon officials from neocon private military contractors, or from radical think-tanks which provide them with an intellectual veneer.’[57]

But how thin and easily peeled that veneer is. The observation above also noted that many of the speakers are represented by Benador Associates. As noted previously, Michael Shrimpton is an advisor to the Gerard Group International, who also organise ‘security conferences’ via Benador Associates.[58] A straight quotation from their site specifically states that Gerard Group were founded in Israel and through its founder, Ilana Freedman, developed Israel’s approach to counter-terrorism and its “potential for application in America”; they say they have “150 domain experts representing a broad range of disciplines from countries around the world.”[59]

The Gerard Group also state that its partners are the Intelligence Summit and SSC, Inc. Security and Investigations [60] and the American Center For Democracy (ACD), which we have already taken note of with Rachel Ehrenfeld mentioned above. Apart from our Pentagon Pundits, Thomas McInerney and Paul Vallely, this includes another double act of Richard Perle and James Woolsey, members of almost identical organisations:

• Richard Perle (JINSA, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Committee on the Present Danger, Committee for the Liberation of Iraq).

• James Woolsey (JINSA, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, the Committee on the Present Danger, Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and the Coalition for Democracy in Iran).

The ACD’s advisory board also includes:

• Brigadier General (ret.) Yosef Kuperwasser the head of the Analysis and Production Division of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Directorate of Military Intelligence for five years until June 2006. Kuperwaser served as Assistant Defense Attaché for Intelligence at the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC (1992-4) and as the Intelligence Officer of the IDF Central Command (1998-2001). During his military service he had been involved in shaping the way Israel has coped with the threat of terror and understood regional developments and in sharing those understandings with U.S. and other foreign officials, latterly at the Brookings Institution.

• Dr. Gal Luft: Committee on the Present Danger.

• Dmitry Radyshevsky: who heads the The Michael Cherney Foundation and serves as a CEO of The Jerusalem Summit.

• William R. Van Cleave : Hoover Institution, Committee on the Present Danger; and a former member of the Team B Strategic Objectives Panel.

The details are drawn from their ACD biographies.[61] As we noted, the director of the American Center For Democracy, the Summit’s Rachel Ehrenfeld is also a Member of the Board of Directors of the Committee on the Present Danger, as are many of the neo-conservative hierarchy, ACD Fellows include:

• Col. Jonathan Dahoah Halevi, (Ret.) a Board member of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs headed he was Head of the Palestinian Research Branch in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) Intelligence Unit (1998–02), Head of the Information Branch in the IDF Spokesperson Unit (2002–2003), Senior Advisor for policy planning in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2003–2004).
• Marc Schulman who prepared the initial research for the trillion dollar lawsuit filed against the Saudi royal family on behalf of the families of 9/11 victims in 2002.
• Ilan Weinglass head of research for the Israeli Trade Ministry’s Investment Promotion Center (1999–2001), following his service in the IDF, he served as an analyst at the American Center for Democracy.[62]

The confluence of neo-conservative influence represented in Committee on the Present Danger should be set out in relation to its previous role as a Cold War propaganda organisation involving many of those who fomented, prolonged or instigated acts of war in the interests of the Military Industrial Complex, such as Eugene Victor Rostow, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle. The American Center for Democracy is in one sense a small version of the Committee on the Present Danger with both Pentagon Pundits McInerney and Vallely: James Woolsey, Richard V. Allen, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Richard Perle and Nina Rosenwald the Sears Roebuck heiress.[63]

But let me come back to the Gerard Group, their Intelligence Director is the Summit’s Lt. Colonel Gordon Cucullu, also with Benador. Like the Committee on the Present Danger his connection with the destruction and murder of war goes back to the very war conducted by the very Crackpot Realists Mills had in mind when he borrowed and promoted the phrase. Cucullu’s biography for the Summit tells us he was a member of the highly classified Studies and Observation Group that conducted top secret (i.e. illegal) reconnaissance missions into Laos, Cambodia and denied areas of Vietnam.[64]

Since the Gerard Group were founded to develop Israel’s “approach to counter-terrorism and its potential for application in America” —together with a great deal of other evidence and connections touched on above—we could reasonably assume that the Summit afforded such an application in itself, or represented the opportunity for staging one. That open collusion might be the case would be reinforced with the Summit’s funding ties to The Michael Cherney Foundation and its connections to The Jerusalem Summit, an international Zionist forum, established in 2003 also supported by Cherney’s funds. The aims of the Jerusalem Summit as described below are a common thread running through a great deal of the propaganda material:

The ideology of the conference could be summed up by its four-point declaration: radical Islam is a threat to civilization, the United Nations is a failure, Israel is in need of defense and the war on terrorism is a righteous cause. Upon their return home, the participants were asked to promote these ideas by: (1) writing articles, op-eds, and books; (2) speaking in public forums and for the media; (3) producing documentaries; (4) generating workshops and seminars; (5) utilizing the Internet creatively for promoting the ideas of the Summit; and (6) reaching out to others to inform them and to involve them in the work of the Summit. [65]

The connections with the Israel lobby, state and intelligence operatives are stark in their simplicity (and no big secret) and also represent long-standing ties with certain members of the Summit. Through taking socio-metric maverns such as Woolsey as a starting point, through organisations like the American Center For Democracy, Committee on the Present Danger, Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and the other over-lapping networks that represent the Intelligence Summit, we can map out networks that work with, are funded by and act as agents for, on one level, operatives of the Israeli security state and on another neo-conservative networks who have a history of operating with a covert agenda and methodology, notably in the Crackpot Realism of the nexus of disasters and deceit known as Iran/Contra.

That the task of the Intelligence Summit or its associated Committees and Centers is one of offering genuine and impartial insight is not a serious proposition, and best left to their promotional material: the recent objective appears to be to antagonise Iran to produce a frustrated reaction that will harden U.S. policy to the extent that it escalates the acceptance towards war towards a level Michael Ledeen would approve of. Several of the wilder campaigning groups could be described as ‘plausible-denial’ surrogates of the neo-con hawks in government, this was certainly the case with the ‘respectable’ Pentagon Pundits. Or indeed others may be labouring under a false consciousness inspired by the propaganda, or simply be narrow-minded bigots and the xenophobic who find fellowship and legitimisation for their hatred.

And we invariably drift back to ‘sensitive’ para-political areas of U.S. foreign policy in an investigation of this milieu, a return to: the Committee on the Present Danger, Team B, Iran/Contra and so forth, elements of social history that are little known or understood, or directly suppressed, but when included in an analysis give us a fuller sociological perspective of how the ‘Power Elite’ have wielded the power of the ‘Military Industrial Complex.’ But it is an unwanted perspective. Nevertheless we are not looking at U.S. history from the point of view of Tony Blair making his speech to the U.S. Congress, with the hyperbole that can claim that the ‘Power Elite’ which has imposed dictatorship and oppression on the South for over four decades was the champion of democracy and freedom during the Cold War. This approach is no different from the ‘NATO intellectuals’ Mills decried because they refused any objective study on the Elite which made them no different from the Stalinist dictators of Eastern Europe, also praising the Soviet empire as the defender of democracy and socialism in Europe.

This neo-conservative war lobby can be thought of as dangerously repressive simply by what vision of a future society they advocate and also because its methodology and tactics are based on deception and procedures typified by the techniques of perception management and public diplomacy pioneered by the CIA. The two concepts, and that of ‘soft power’ as a general term, evolved with this network’s previous projects since Mills’ and others initial identification of a psychological operation, similar to those seen in warfare and developed by his colleagues who had worked for the OSS.[66] But the neo-conservative network is dangerous because it is so highly organized and established to the extent that certain members have proved to be protected with many crimes exhonerated — and possibly it is the west’s best-funded vehicle for ideologues: imagine if Richard Perle had to fund his own work! Its network includes a reach into sought-after reactionary think tanks and foundations who have the ears of policy-makers in Washington and key figures in the Bush administration.

I will return to these currents and their Atlanticist connections and projects in due course and try to relate them to the rise of New Labour and the covert repression of this type of understanding of how society is controlled (represented by the denial of Mills and others). But another danger presents itself in that if we are to be led by members of the milieu surrounding the Summit, particularly Ledeen and the Godson clan (whom I will touch on presently) there is a high price to pay. With this mindset we are thrown back to the time when we are asked to concede that Marx was wrong and Hegel was right when describing the god-ordained validity of the actions of the state. The difference being that the state’s functionaries write books saying they are deceiving us.

walters

SHRIMPTON’S DEFECTIONS

At this point, I will return our attention to Shrimpton to provide some historical detail examining his present intelligence connections in the light of the web of connections of those of his past. If we identify these ties we can establish patterns and key nodes. How strong or weak, congruent or incongruent these connections are, could be understood in relation to their relevance to covert ‘counter-intelligence’ operations of the time, inasmuch as they are documented. But to close we will once more cite one of the few analytical reviews of the Summit, that returns to Shrimpton in this context, and also the context of briefing tours such as those of the Pentagon Pundits:

Shrimpton is a committed “friend of Israel” — being a contributor to the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and a participant in the 2003 “Lawyers Mission to Israel” which set out to “allow participants to explore the military and strategic dangers to the Jewish state from Arab terrorism in an intensive schedule of briefings, tours and exhibitions.” After receiving “briefings from senior commanders of Israel’s intelligence and security services, as well as the other strategic decision-makers who shape and lead Israel’s multifaceted war on terrorism, including the senior commanders of the security services and Mossad” Shrimpton returned to the UK where he immediately penned a passionate attack on the […] BBC’s perceived willingness to explain Palestinian actions in Raffah [sic] using Palestinian voices, Shrimpton wrote that “It will come as small comfort, but the BBC hates Britain almost as much as it hates Israel” before continuing, “For over 30 years it has rammed the European Union down our throats – the same blood-stained EU that sponsors Palestinian terror and deserves to be treated as a fully paid-up member of the Axis of Evil.” The Israeli Lawyers Mission must have been some operation. [67]

Shrimpton’s letter of July 14 (2003) sent to the BBC is also quoted it reads:

As a Brit who has just had the pleasure of spending nine days in your great country as part of the Lawyers Mission to Israel — including the opportunity to personally congratulate the government official who had the guts to stand up to the BBC — may I add my small voice to those of your correspondents who have hammered the corporation? This is the same BBC that in the 1930s kept Winston Churchill off the airwaves for fear of upsetting the Nazis. In truth, the BBC’s reputation for impartiality was always overblown, and it has now gone forever. Well done, Israeli government. It will come as small comfort, but the BBC hates Britain almost as much as it hates Israel. For over 30 years it has rammed the European Union down our throats — the same blood-stained EU that sponsors Palestinian terror and deserves to be treated as a fully paid-up member of the Axis of Evil.

What of Shrimpton’s political journey — has he tried to be loyal to ‘many masters’? Did he once seek to join that EU Axis of evil? Another tendentious biography, this time from The London Speaker Bureau, actually tries to sell Shrimpton to prospective audiences as:

A former Labour Parliamentary and European Parliamentary Candidate he defected to the Conservatives on Europe and defence in July 1997. A powerful neoconservative with a formidable intellect and tremendous energy, he has the ability to scythe through bad arguments (such as Global Warming Hypothesis), plug leaks (he has been consulted by counter-intelligence officers) and expose propaganda operations such as the faked ‘hood’ Abu Ghraib photo… [68]

That he should have a political orientation entirely at odds with his present orientation is not as uncommon as it would seem and is a peculiarity of many of the older neo-conservatives, some were former Trotskyites they tell us. There is a much in the quotation that could be the subject of comment, but our immediate concern is back in July 1997 and an incident, lost in the New Labour landslide victory in May, where Shrimpton felt that he had been passed over by the Labour party to fight for Labour at the 1997 Uxbridge by-election and, on its eve ‘defected’ to the Conservatives. This was promptly manipulated by the then Conservative Party Chairman, Lord Parkinson, who visited Uxbridge to welcome Shrimpton to the Tories, saying: “Labour are riding roughshod over the people of Uxbridge.”[69] A Telegraph report noted that Tony Blair found Shrimpton’s surprise defection to the Conservatives “odd”, the report added that Shrimpton explained that he went over to the Tories because:

I know there is deep concern within the Labour Party at the way the Government is behaving and the way the party machine is becoming centralised and overriding the wishes of local constituency activists. [70]

This explanation asks us to believe that Shrimpton felt the aspirations of local Labour activists would be better served if he became a Conservative MP —possibly so —but from our picture of him now, the Telegraph report contains some political background that indicates a curious inconsistency:

Bill Rammell, the Labour MP for Harlow, a contemporary of Mr Shrimpton’s at University College, Cardiff, who succeeded him as President of the Union, said: “I remember how he was elected President of the Union as a Conservative in 1981. Then he defected to the SDP, boasting he was the first Conservative President to do so…He then switched to Labour within months, moving finally to the Socialist Workers’ Party when I got the official Labour nomination for President in 1982.

Understandably Rammell could be confused here and Shrimpton is not the first out-of-place member of a far-left group. But, how many of them, like Shrimpton in 2000, would go on to attend meetings of the Democracy Movement (itself the partial reformation of the Goldsmith’s Referendum Party as a grassroots organisation), that featured Norris McWhirter;[71] and this was no chance meeting. McWhirter’s Freedom Association has tributes to him wherein Shrimpton states:

I was privileged to have counted Norris as a friend. We shared public platforms more than once and enjoyed our conversations late into the night afterwards. [72]

This association can be located even earlier, to the anti-EU work that led Shrimpton to join the Bruges Group, eventually becoming its co-chair in 2002, as we will explore later. Together with the ‘Democracy Movement’ and other far-right anti-Europe groups (including the Freedom Association) anti-Maastricht fervour formed various alliances which also found expression around issues such as retaining the Pound or Imperial measures or other anti-EU causes, and Shrimpton can be found offering legal counsel or propaganda support in several projects as the acoustic properties of various small Church Halls are sorely tested with sermons on Euro-doom by representatives of its ‘martyrs’.[73] In 1999 Shrimpton also prepared a legal opinion for a group of Lords explaining flaws in the reform bill for the House of Lords. This also involved the Freedom Association’s John Gouriet, the activist head of a pro-Lords group called Freedom in Action.[74]

What is the reality of Shrimpton’s political background? His parents were from a military background , Bill Rammell’s account could be put down to Shrimpton’s boasting and posturing in Cardiff [76] as regards the SDP, or the SWP, but there is something undeniably suspicious about someone who has been a member of nearly all the main political parties in the UK (he also offers his services to UKIP [77]) and later professes expertise in counter-intelligence, and boasts of “regular trips to the Pentagon” and that he offers “active assistance to Intelligence and Law Enforcement Agencies” and, as we shall see later, came under the auspices of the CIA’s Lt-Gen Vernon Walters. The question is when did this start.

It is perfectly possible that Mrs Thatcher failed to inspire him with the resultant antipathy engendering his membership of the Labour Party from 1981, sticking loyally with Michael Foot, Neil Kinnock, John Smith and Tony Blair through those difficult years and vainly attempting to stand as a Labour candidate in Horsham in 1987 and for West Sussex in the European elections in 1989. [78] So we are now talking about a Labour party activist. It would also be interesting to know what percentage of Labour party members left the party after the landslide victory. Evidently his desire to become a member of the European parliament is the polar opposite of the position he presently espouses, but we might be left with the conclusion that he may express views simply because he is paid to or wishes to be —a common occurrence in politics. ‘Sour grapes’ as a result of the perceived slight of being supplanted as a prospective MP could account for the sudden conviction of a sufficiently troubling centralising tendency in New Labour. How this precipitates a move back to where we started —except to a Conservative party doomed to what even then was beginning to look like ten or more years in the wilderness, rather than nearly twenty glorious years ahead of it — is difficult to fathom as some form of politically astute ‘crossing of the floor’ like Churchill.

So to take things on face value we have to entertain certain political commitments and orientations that are hard to identify in Shrimpton’s character and behaviour and quite a lot of incongruity and contradiction. This rebellion on ‘centralisation’ prompted something of an over-compensation by moving over to a section of the military and the intelligence-connected far right. Indeed to cosy chats with Norris McWhirter’s milieu, a person not previously known for his fondness for Labour activists —and consummated by Shrimpton’s acceptance as the co-chair of the Bruges group, Presided over by Baroness Thatcher; so we see ostensibly strange attractions all round which need closer examination, but we could also note that many purportedly left-wing people made comparable types of migrations: several members of the Communist Party of Great Britain did so, but we can see this as a feature in the development of the British ‘neo-conservative’ Atlanticists, the NATO intellectuals.

Shrimpton’s association with the Bruges Group dates back to the early 1990s when he became a fairly well-known anti-Maastricht campaigner, when, reports say he was retained, along with Martin Howe and Leo Price QC, by the Tory Euro-rebels who came to dominate the group—one of the very few anti-EU groups. By 1993 their advice directed the anti-Maastricht parliamentary tactics of the Conservative’s Bill Cash according to the Guardian. [79] The Guardian and others were confused about Shrimpton’s political allegiances when, along with others retained by the sceptics, he formed a group who began “presenting themselves to packed houses as independent British experts on the Maastricht treaty.” [80] While this report suggests they were passing themselves off as “objective” experts, an earlier one had noted that Shrimpton & Co. were based:

Just 200 yards from the House of Commons with a glorious view overlooking Westminster Abbey, the Great College Street house has been loaned to sceptic MPs indefinitely by its owner Lord MacAlpine, the former Tory Party Treasurer. With its oak panelling and gilt mirrors, it served as a bolt-hole for Mrs Thatcher following her fall from power. [81]

A 1991 report on an earlier gathering had Shrimpton taking part in a Bruges Group publicity stunt that included the IEA’s Lord Harris of High Cross and Norris McWhirter, here he is “Michael Shrimpton, the Labour lawyer” who:

…volunteered his opinion that, legally speaking, the United Kingdom could have no option but violent insurrection, he did not appear to be joking, and no one laughed. [82]

Margaret Thatcher’s Bruges speech of 1988 was a catalyst in the mobilisation and organisation of previously disparate elements, most obviously in the form of the Bruges Group. Members included Lord Harris of High Cross, former president of the Institute of Economic Affairs and first chairman of the Group, and Professor Kenneth Minogue, a key economic adviser to Thatcher, but its financial backing came from her old supporter Sir James Goldsmith. Yet the history of the group struggles to explain to us why the group was set up, it becameassociated with the Conservative Party, but it was started in 1988 by an undergraduate student at the University of Oxford, Patrick Robertson who:

… left in November 1991 to work for the World Economic Forum, before later resurfacing as the director of Sir James Goldsmith’s Referendum Party in the1997 General Election and then as General Pinochet’s press advisor during his extradition proceedings in 1999. [83]

I will return to General Pinochet and Shrimpton’s possible involvement in this “press campaign” later.

We are however presented with the possibility that he may now be openly re-establishing long-standing contacts with the military and intelligence-connected far right that he gained back in Cardiff. This carries with it the implication that he may have offered some sort of service, possibly providing information on left-wing activists to a MI5’s F-Branch, but to my mind, it is more likely that he had some contact with the groups related to those McWhirter and MI6’s G. K. Young ran in the 1970s and 80s or others funded by the U.S. Heritage Foundation to move the Labour Party elite away from Socialism which we will discuss in a separate chapter. Whether this was wanted or requested or not, is hard to tell.

A Guardian report from 1987 has Shrimpton as part of the defence (threatening to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights) of a man who attempted to sell Spycatcher(the banned memoirs of former MI5 officer Peter Wright) in the street. [84] So we can put him on the periphery of certain rogue elements. But does he have any connections that might indicate anything apart from the peripatetic momentum of a loose canon.

Do people like Shrimpton have any influence over the Conservative Party’s security policy? The Intelligence Summit’s Executive Council includes Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, who was appointed to co-ordinate Conservative security policy in 2006 and we will go on to look at elements of Crackpot Realism in her utterances later; but we are not yet finished exploring certain incongruities in relation to Shrimpton’s status or trying to establish the provenance (if rational) of what appears to be the disinformation he is spreading.

An interview on the subject of the death of Dr. David Kelly saw him trot out as fact the old 1970s MI5 smear that Hugh Gaitskell was assassinated by the Soviets to make way for their ‘mole,’ one Harold Wilson:[85]

It’s difficult to fake an illness. It was done in the case of a British politician, Hugh Gaitskill, who was opposed to Britain joining the European Economic Community, and he came down with a tropical disease in Moscow in the middle of winter. […] It was spotted at the time as an assassination, but MI5, although they’d brought in Porton Down, where David Kelly worked incidentally, Porton Down were brought in but Porton Down couldn’t work out how the disease which got Hugh Gaitskill, which is Lupus Disseminata, a very nasty disease indeed — attacks the organs, very similar to Ebola — how this tropical disease had found its way to Moscow, and they couldn’t work out how, what the agent was for getting the Lupus into Hugh Gaitskill. We now know it was probably aerosol, but at the time that technology wasn’t known about in England.[86]

“We”? If we have regard to Shrimpton’s biography on the American Military University’s website, this may offer insight into the orientation of his political peregrinations. This states that under the “late, great Lt-Gen Vernon Walters, former Deputy Director of the CIA […] he learnt the art of acting as a back-channel between governments and intelligence agencies.” [87] Learning about an art is of course different from practicing it, but what governments, what intelligence agencies? We can establish good evidence of Shrimpton’s involvement with JINSA and the “Lawyers Mission to Israel,” but beyond that we stray into the land of useful idiots and a lot of claims by Shrimpton. So is he some kind of errand boy? Someone who purports to be involved as a Labour party activist throughout the 1980s and then ends up as an amanuenses of Lt-Gen Walters seems very indiscreet, but the world of counter-subversion has always required some very strange characters.

Can we place him within what we know of the attempts to subvert the left? As with McWhirter, Vernon Walters is an interesting pedigree for Shrimpton to cite. Brian Crozier and a group which included ex-SIS officer Nicholas Elliot and Vernon Walters created ‘a Private Sector Operational Intelligence agency’ and named it 6I — the Sixth International — and found funding in the US Heritage Foundation to attack the left in the UK, indeed in one sense they were at the heart of such things.[88]

Walters was an Honorary Director of the Atlantic Council which works with the Centre for European Reform (which I will explore later) essentially promoting what C. Wright Mills called NATO intellectuals.[89] A former Deputy Director of the CIA, Walters was a man who had a history of showing up before coups. Lobster magazine offered a short history of his activities:[90]

• 1941 Walters joined US army as private. He attended Military Intelligence Training Center where he was taught techniques of interrogating prisoners of war. Walters stayed with the army for 25 years in a variety of assignments, mostly with Defence Intelligence Agency and retired a General in 1976.
• 1953 The General admits to being involved in the coup against Mossadegh which resulted in the Shah taking over in Iran.
• 1960-62 Military attache in Rome, helping CIA distribute funds to right-wing parties.
• 1964 In Brazil. Described as “lynchpin” in General Branco’s bloody coup against Goulart. Branco was a friend of 20 years’ standing.
• 1972-76 While still in the army Walters was deputy director of CIA and helped The Service through Watergate and the Pinochet coup against Allende in Chile. He was involved in the assassination of Allende’s former defence minister, Orlando Letelier.
• 1976-81 Employed apparently in the private sector, Walters worked for an arms dealer called Environmental Energy Systems Inc, exporting arms to Morocco. He also worked for Morocco Travel Advisers, thought to be a cover for aiding Moroccan invasion of West Sahara.
• 1981 Apologist for brutal Guatemalan military dictatorship.
• 1981 Became ambassador-at-large for Reagan and was deeply involved in setting up contra forces against Nicaragua.
• In February 1984, Walters made a still mysterious visit to New Zealand, stopping in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The ostensible reason was to ‘dispel myths’ about Nicaragua.
• 1985 He replaced Jeanne Kirkpatrick as US ambassador to United Nations and continued her mission of wrecking it.

Walters’ career was described in the 1986 issue of Covert Action as a “crypto-diplomat and terrorist”. A New Statesman(1985) profile of Walters, included this:

In the early 1960s, as military attache in Rome, he (Walters) was closely involved with the Italian intelligence service and with blocking the Kennedy Administration’s ‘opening’ towards the Italian left. [91]

We should also remember that Brian Crozier became a founder member of the National Association for Freedom, the forerunner of the Freedom Association. The activities of Crozier’s so-called ‘Sixth International’ remain mostly undisclosed although it is likely to mirror his domestic counter-subversion agency ‘The Shield’. With Shrimpton’s claims to an attachment to the Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom and the Defence and Security Forum, we can identify a connection to the organisations used by the subversive-hunters of the British (and American) right in the 1970s and 80s. According to its web site The Defence and Security Forum is a foreign and defence affairs think tank:

…launched by Lady Olga Maitland in 1983. It was then known under its campaigning wing, ’Families for Defence’ whose remit was to put the case for NATO’s policies of multilateral nuclear disarmament in the face of vociferous voices from the anti-nuclear protest groups such as CND. The chairman is Major General Patrick Cordingley, DSO, who commanded the ground forces in the First Gulf War. Deputy Chairman is Rt Hon Sir John Wheeler former Minister of State, Northern Ireland responsible for counter terrorism. [92]

A Sunday Express journalist at the time, Lady Olga Maitland’s activities have an interesting pedigree since what was initially called ‘Women and Families for Defence’ —‘Women’ was dropped when Lord Trenchard, former minister for Defence Procurement, joined the group— joined in the operations against the Greenham Common protests. In 1986 it was expelled from the council which was organising events in the UK to mark the UN International Year of Peace. [93] Those were heady days. As Walter Laqueur put it:

…the semi-official British Atlantic Committee set up a new public relations offshoot, Peace Through NATO; Tory journalist Lady Olga Maitland launched her counterpart to the Greenham women, a body called Women and Families for Defence; and the existence of an interlocking network of right-wing groups…. came to light. [94]

The British Atlantic Committee worked with the IEDSS [95] , members of which still appeared on the Defence and Security Forum Council, not that it is short of military and Intelligence figures today. I will explore these connections later, to retain our focus on Shrimpton.

Back in 1987 when he was a ‘Labour Activist’ Shrimpton was espousing views somewhat at odds with his new friends:

…the highest court in the world condemned massive US violations of international law through its training, arming, equipping, financing and supplying of the contras in Nicaragua. […] The most astounding feature of that verdict was the absence of the American Government’s counsel from court. The US withdrew completely from the proceedings in January 1985 after the Court had refuted US arguments going to jurisdiction. The parallel with Klaus Barbie’s contempt for those trying him for war crimes is disturbing. Since that day the US has wilfully and knowingly defied the authority of the World Court and in so doing has employed armed terror to subvert the Rule of Law. […] There is no international police force to bring aggressor states to book. There is no prospect at the moment of American officials following Barbie and Demjanjuk to the dock. […] Now international terrorism is the right nomenclature for the activities of the Contras in Nicaragua. [96]

Was this a heartfelt belief from the student of the “late, great Lt-Gen Vernon Walters” or another stunt to draw in and identify pro-Nicaraguan and anti-US groups during his ‘Labour Activist’ days?

kids-klux-klan

‘THE ODD SPOT OF TORTURE’

Shrimpton is a member of UK National Defence Association (UKNDA) that seems to contain a selection of senior military and political figures engaged in trying to increase the budgets for the Armed Services and its privatised aspects.[97] He certainly knows how to rattle a sabre, but it all just seems very asinine and anti-EU and dependent on a small clientele:

UK Intelligence lawyer and politician Michael Shrimpton shocked the delegates at the WASME Conference Gala Dinner [the world association for small and medium enterprises was hosted by the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses] at the Casino on Tuesday night when he suggested that the Spanish Government had drawn up contingency plans for military action against Gibraltar. The comments made by the special guest speaker at the conference were declared unworthy of comment by the Deputy Chief Minister Keith Azopardi and the Governor David Durie, present at the dinner. Mr Durie said that he found the comments “incredible”, whilst Mr Azopardi said that his speech was “humorous in part, whilst totally incredulous in others.” Both declared the speech unworthy of serious comment. Mr Shrimpton, a member of the all party Brugge [sic] Group, drew on his military contacts, which suggested that London had become aware that Spain had drawn up military contingency plans in Cordoba for the occupation of Gibraltar in the event of a ‘no’ outcome to the referendum.  [98]

Here again Shrimpton “drew on his military contacts”.[99] During late March 2007, Shrimpton gave a private talk to the Springbok Club/Empire Loyalist Club which lamented the passing of the ‘old’ South Africa. [100] One could be led into believing that he is not entirely modern with his views if one accepted the allusions made in an interview withTheLawyer.com, and again note how the subject is used to spin against the EU:

Now here’s the funny thing about Shrimpton: he constantly comes out with statements that you thought no one believed anymore. Or if they believed them, they did not utter them in front of strangers. While I am sure that if I was sitting next to him at a dinner party, after a few glasses of wine I would want to swing for him, he is actually really likeable. While his views might be eccentric and grate on a politically correct listener, Shrimpton’s bumptious enthusiasm and energy is charming. […] But before I can relax into liking him, I have to deal with the nagging worry that Shrimpton’s views make him, well, racist. Does he trust foreigners? ‘I do trust people who aren’t Anglo-Saxon,” he says. “Eurosceptics are often described as xenophobes or little Englanders. Not only do I reject the challenges of isolationist and little Englander, I describe [Europhiles] as little Europeans. Europe in an ethnic context is largely white and Europhiles tend to see the world as white and are very dismissive of the Commonwealth because it’s not purely white.” [101]

The racists would seem to be the people who support Europe according to Shrimpton’s generalisation and if you think that is fancy dancing he provides a new twist on a very old routine:

Much of the anti-US feeling that Shrimpton fears has become fashionable in Europe is, he argues, anti-Semitic. “The Nazis openly said that the Americans couldn’t fight successfully because they’re a multinational nation. I think that America’s success as a multiracial democracy is the reason why many Europeans are against them.” [102]

We gain a further insight into Shrimpton’s view on tolerance (compare his opinion of the guilt of Saddam Hussien: head of state and thus guilty; to Pinochet: head of state and thus not guilty) with a letter to the Telegraph on the subject of General Pinochet, titled, ‘Pinochet was the nicest dictator I ever met.’[103]

Niall Ferguson has the late General Augusto Pinochet all wrong (Comment, December 17), possibly because he never met him. He was the nicest dictator I ever met and a much warmer human being and more intelligent than, say, Tony Blair (whom I have also met). As a leader, the former Chilean dictator was also probably more tolerant of dissent and more trustworthy.

He was certainly more economically literate. The general would never have permitted the collapse of our pension funds, for example. As a military man he operated to a much higher ethical standard than mere civilian politicians like Mr Blair.

Having regard to the tens of thousands killed on the orders of the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, I suspect that many more would have died if the junta had not taken on the responsibility of national leadership in Chile. Before his suicide, Salvador Allende was well on the way to wrecking the economy and turning the country into a Third World hell-hole and Chileans were fortunate that they had a serious leader in the wings, able to turn the country around.

We needn’t be troubled too much by whingeing from the Chilean Left about the odd spot of torture (only when they were too slow to assist the authorities) when, as Prof Ferguson observes, torture was a practice the Chilean Left not only approved of but indulged in. [104]

Despite his views on the salubrious nature of torture Shrimpton was appointed by the Lord Chancellor’s Office, as a part-time Chairman of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal (IAT) from 1992 until its abolition in 2005, and also sat as a Special Adjudicator hearing appeals against refusal of political asylum in the UK. He claims he was the longest serving legal member of the IAT and resigned as an Immigration Judge in June 2006 to enable a return to appearing as specialist immigration counsel before immigration courts and the higher courts on appeal.[105] Lest we unfairly characterise him as callously indifferent to the suffering of others, in one of his online legal biographies he also claims to have “represented US and Israeli intelligence” officers and formerly “prosecuted for RSPCA headquarters doing the more complex and difficult animal welfare cases and has drafted amendments to Animal Welfare Legislation.” But details on a swashbuckling career as an ‘intelligence lawyer’ are scant and one might easily conclude that he was one of the few UK barristers willing to help the ‘nicest dictator,’ or part of his ‘press campaign’ run by an old friend for whom he also lent his ‘expertise’ in a similar capacity in the past with the Bruges Group.

war buffett

WORLD THREATS?

But what of the big revelation — the final explanation of WMD as discovered by the Summit last year? According to a Toronto Sun report promoted on the Summit’s site John Loftus’ work at loftusreport.com “seems to be” the provenance of the Syria has WMD story. [106] The Sun report states that the website:

…contains 35 pages of newly-declassified documents and satellite photographs in support of his theories.

Here it is presented as a theory, rather than the ‘fact’ insinuated by the Summit’s propagandists and disinformation experts. The Sun report performed a kind of ‘Loftus Says’ message relay service:

Loftus says the best available evidence now suggests one-quarter of Iraq’s WMD had already been destroyed due to pressure by the United Nations in the early to mid-1990s. Another quarter was sold to Iraq’s Arab neighbours during the same period. Russia, which still had influence with Saddam, successfully demanded the removal of another quarter of Iraq’s WMD shortly before the 2003 invasion. Those materials, Loftus says, eventually made their way into Syrian hands. Finally, Loftus argues, Saddam’s remaining WMD — his nuclear weapons labs and material — were still in Iraq when coalition forces invaded, hidden in huge underground warehouses beneath the Euphrates River. Loftus claims this nuclear inventory was later stolen and spirited out of Iraq right under the nose of the U.S. occupation — a massive intelligence failure. He says the Israeli government believes some of Saddam’s nuclear stockpile ended up in Syria, which was building its own nuclear facility to produce radioactive “dirty bombs” for use against Israel. The recent mysterious air strike by Israel against Syria was intended to destroy that facility, Loftus maintains. [107]

A ‘mysterious air strike’ what is that? Is it an air strike based on a tenuous nebulous pretext, which remains unexplained by the normal channels of news? Loftus’ claims are predicated on the impartiality and the sanction of contributors to the Summit, which he would most likely know, since it is no secret, is funded and used by groups with connections to the Israel intelligence and its foreign influence lobby. Loftus’ claims are, according to his own website, also predicated on and weighted towards one source, Ryan Mauro. As he states here:

Finally, there are some definitive answers to the mystery of the missing WMD. Civilian volunteers, mostly retired intelligence officers belonging to the non-partisan IntelligenceSummit.org, have been poring over the secret archives captured from Saddam Hussein. The inescapable conclusion is this: Saddam really did have WMD after all, but not in the way the Bush administration believed. A 9,000 word research paper with citations to each captured document has been posted online at LoftusReport.com, along with translations of the captured Iraqi documents, courtesy of Mr. Ryan Mauro and his friends. [108]

So the provenance of the WMD story is “Mr. Ryan Mauro and his friends”: there is something quite child-like in that expression that might cause us to examine Ryan Mauro’s biography, for example that from his own propaganda organisation ‘World Threats’, that leads us to believe he is something of a precocious talent in the solving-the-WMD-mystery industry:

Beginning at age 11 or 12, Mauro began research into the geopolitical affairs of several countries. It quickly turned into more than a hobby. In December 2002, Mauro was hired as a geopolitical analyst by Tactical Defense Concepts (www.tdconcepts.com), a maritime-related security company. He was believed to be the youngest hired geopolitical analyst at age 16. Several of Mauro’s research reports, criticizing the approaches of both political parties to geopolitical affairs and national security, were forwarded to law enforcement and intelligence agencies with great response. [109]

Ryan Mauro was 19 in 2007 and the Summit’s biography of him stated that way back in 2005 when he was 17 he:

… became the assistant-editor for GlobalPolitician.com and became a researcher for the Reform Party of Syria. He also published his first book, “Death to America: The Unreported Battle of Iraq”, an extensive open-source research project coupled with input from his own sources. It discusses pre-war intelligence related to Saddam Hussein’s dealings with terrorist groups and Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and their movement into other countries. It also discusses the betrayals of key “allies” of the United States and how the Iraqi insurgency manages to survive due to foreign support. He is currently signed to the William Morris Agency and his life rights were purchased by the Bunim-Murray production company for a feature film.

His session for the Summit provided:

…an update on the pre- and post-war situation in Iraq using his own sources, research and recently released Iraqi government documents, with an emphasis on Iraqi support for terrorism, the possibility of weapons of mass destruction being moved into Syria, and the continuing fight against the insurgency.

John Loftus and Ryan Mauro got together to discuss some other Crackpot Realism verifications of WMD:

Ryan Mauro, your site just recently ran the first videotaped testimony, never-before-seen, of Gen. Al-Tikriti (covered in silhouette and voice modified) discussing how Iraq had WMDs and Russia’s role in removing them prior to the war. [110]

According to Loftus “Ryan found a bit of a gem here, and the story is legit. It all is just a piece in the bigger puzzle, a tile in the mosaic of intelligence analysis.” This scant regard for basic standards of evidence is matched by Michael Ledeen in his attempts to establish that Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attended a meeting in Syria in 2006 with one of the world’s most wanted terrorists. The Sunday Times argued that “US officials and Israel intelligence sources” believe Imad Mugniyeh, “the Lebanese commander of Hezbollah’s overseas operations”, had taken charge of plotting Iran’s retaliation against western targets should President George W. Bush order a strike on Iranian nuclear sites. The Sunday Times also observed:

Michael Ledeen, a Middle East expert and former Pentagon and National Security Council official who wrote that Mugniyeh had “probably” been there, said last week senior American officials had confirmed it. “It’s hard to identify Mugniyeh because he is said to have changed his face and his fingerprints,” Ledeen said. “But senior government officials have told me I was right. He was there.” [111]

A 17-year old in the employ of who knows who solves the WMD riddle, a voice modified silhouette is proof of identity and so on. Perhaps the Intelligence Summit has established the need for a term beyond Crackpot Realism — Crackpot Surrealism perhaps —and just to add to the madness a tour of an exhibition of a local Dali Museum was part of its programme.

Crackpot Realist manqué (part two)

NOTES

1. Sky News (2007) December 3, 11.30 pm.

2. Wikipedia (2007) User:Michael Shrimpton.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Michael_Shrimpton

3. The Intelligence Summit (2007) Speakers & Organizers: Michael Shrimpton,http://www.intelligencesummit.org/speakers/MichaelShrimpton.php

The Summit has an interesting page of links athttp://www.intelligencesummit.org/links.php and exhibitors athttp://www.intelligencesummit.org/exhibitors1.php
These are mostly providers of spying equipment, and the conference in general is aimed at the ‘intelligence community.’ Other organisers include: B. Raman former Chief of the Counter-Terrorism Division of the Research & Analysis Wing (India), Richard Marcinko former Navy SEAL, who is pictures holding a machine gun and whose Summit biography states:

“While fulfilling his duty and responsibility, Cdr. Marcinko embarrassed several superior officers. Those superior officers focused on the embarrassment instead of their security shortcomings. Their actions lead to Cdr. Marcinko’s subsequent conviction for misappropriation of funds and resources.”

On Pinochet see: Foxman, Adam (2003) Panel debates Pinochet decision: Participants discuss historical, legal context of Chilean dictator’s indictment, UCLA Daily Bruin, March 10,http://www.dailybruin.ucla.edu/archives/id/23018/

4.http://www.uknda.org/my_documents/my_files/CV_MShrimpton.pdfsee also
Shrimpton M. (2007) Abu Ghraib and Al-Haditha – A classic exercise in deception and media manipulation, conference report: ‘The Cultural Politics of ‘Terror’ in the Middle East,’ organised by Lina Khatib via the University of London.

http://www.rhul.ac.uk/research/harc/events/Politics%20of%20terror%20info%20and%20programme.pdf

5. Leyden, Joel (2007) Israel PR Public Relations Directoryhttp://www.israelnewsagency.com/israelprpublicrelationspublicaffairsdirectory4848051807.html
The Israel Resource News Agency’is part of the Center For Near East Policy Research which has ties to The Committee on the Present Danger through Gal Luft.

http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/archives/K/0/pub0044.html

Bedein attacks accounts of the death of Rachel Corrie at

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0303/corrie.html

6. Herman, Edward and O’Sullivan, Gerry (1991) The “Terrorism” Industry, New York: Pantheon.

7. The Intelligence Summit (2007) Speakers & Organizers: Michael Shrimpton UK national security lawyer.

http://www.intelligencesummit.org/speakers/MichaelShrimpton.php

8. Ramsay, Robin (2005) Iraq, Lobster, No. 49, p. 10.

9. BBC (2007) David Kelly: The Conspiracy Files, Transcript, February 25.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/programmes/if/transcripts/david_kelly.txt

10. Burns-Cox, Dr Christopher J. et al (2007) Political Assassination: Media Disinformation regarding the Death of Dr. David Kelly UK Physicians respond to The Guardian, Global Research, December 16.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7620

11. Halpin, David (2007) Dr David Kelly’s unnatural death: Murder of the Law, Global Research, March 9.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=5018

12. Shrimpton, Michael (2007) Michael Shrimpton presents The abolition of our legal system; and the cost-benefit of our membership of the EU, Google video, September 22.

13. The Intelligence Summit (2007) Speakers & Organizers: Michael Shrimpton UK national security lawyer.

http://www.intelligencesummit.org/speakers/MichaelShrimpton.php

14. BBC (2008) Newsnight, Interview with Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Chief of Staff to Colin Powell (2002-05), March 25. “It was a horrible hoax on the American people, the International Community and all the UN Security Council, no question about it.”

15. Jacobs, Ron (2006) Iranian “Democracy” and the “Intelligence” Summit, Global Research, February 4, notes in reference to the 2006 Summit identifies the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI) as the provenance of a story emanating from unnamed sources that “in Iran that the Iranian Air Force is moving its Shabab missiles onto mobile platforms and that this meant that they were preparing to test a nuclear device by March 20, 2006.” These stories concluded that the movement of the missiles to portable platforms was a prelude to a nuclear test and not just a defensive move in light of the growing threat of a military attack on Iran. That is traced to Kenneth Timmerman of the Committee on the Present Danger, the solitary member of the FDI, Jacobs add: “Interesting to note is this phrase that appears on the site: “Learn more about (the FDI Appeal) and what you can do to stop Iranian regime nuclear blackmail!” – the exact same phrase expressed by George Bush on January 23, 2006.
Jacobs also notes that the FDI received some funding from the National Endowment for Democracy and the organization of Iranian exiles fronted by the former Shah’s son.
16. O’Sullivan, Gerry (1993) Boom! – World Trade Center bombing, The Humanist May-June.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1374/is_n3_v53/ai_13818521/print?tag=artBody;col1

17. The Secular Islam Summit’s website provides the following details on its purpose, organisers and contributors:

“In the last decade we have increasingly heard calls for a “reformation,” a new Enlightenment, or a secularization and liberalization of Islamic thought and practice. And yet there is to this day no organized international response. At the same time, a growing number of secular Muslims and secularists from majority Muslim countries have been undertaking these intellectual and strategic challenges independently (here ‘secularists’ includes both those who embrace a thoroughly non-religious worldview, as well as those committed to separation of religion from overnment [sic] and robust freedom of conscience). The purpose of the Secular Islam Summit is to bring together these thinkers and activists in an ongoing cross-cultural forum and clearinghouse to generate and share new practical strategies and disseminate these to the public and opinion-makers worldwide.”

Apart from Michael Ledeen the organisers include:

  • Valentina Colombo: Senior Research Fellow in Transitional processes towards democracy in the Middle East at IMT School of Advanced Studies, Lucca (Italy), Senior Fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy (Brussels) and at the Center for the Liberty in the Middle East (Brussels/Washington).
  • Austin Dacey: a ‘philosopher’ and writer with the Center for Inquiry (CI) specializing in the intersection of science, religion, ethics, and culture. The CI is one of the shell organisations of the Secular Islam Summit if we were to take it as a starting point;
  • Ibn Warraq: a senior research fellow at the Center for Inquiry specializing in Koranic criticism including ‘A Critique of Edward Said’s Orientalism’ and ‘Why I am not a Muslim.’
  • Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi: a ‘political and human rights activist’ with a concentration on issues surrounding Iran, Khomeinism and political Islam. She is the editor of the website Iran Press News, based on “the Islamic Republic’s own news media, as well as activist organizations, human rights and labor groups, Iranian bloggers, and other sources”. Her husband, Elio Bonazzi, is an Italian political scientist.

Even that simple reading seems to fit the profile of a psychological warfare or intelligence operations along the lines of Ledeen’s previous efforts and directives that have recently focussed on destabilising Iran. The contributors, who may have had mixed motives and levels of awareness of Ledeen, excluding those already mentioned, included the list below which also includes a précis of their talk drawn from the Secular Islam Summit web site which suggests various stunts redolent of covert activities:

  • Shaker Al-Nabulsi: “Open letter” writer encouraging Islamic religious scholars to issue a ‘fatwa against bin Laden’.
  • Nonie Darwish: founder of ArabsForIsrael.com and author of ‘They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror’.
  • Manda Zand Ervin: founder and president of “Alliance of Iranian Women.”
  • Hassan Fatemolla: helped lead a campaign against the introduction of Islamic Sharia law into Canada’s system of civil justice.
  • Tawfik Hamid: Ex-member of Jammaa Islameia, ‘a terrorist organization led then by Ayman al Zawahiri; speaks out against jihadism.
  • Shahriar Kabir: Prisoner of Conscience by Amnesty International.
  • Nibras Kazimi: Visiting scholar at the Hudson Institute. Previously, he directed the Research Bureau of the Iraqi National Congress in Washington DC and Baghdad.
  • Irshad Manji: Author of ‘The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim’s Call for Reform in Her Faith’. A senior fellow with the European Foundation for Democracy, President of Project Ijtihad, [sic] which ‘aims to reconcile Islam with freedom of thought.’
  • Salameh Nematt: The Washington Bureau Chief of Al-Hayat International Arab Daily (London) and a Lebanon-based Arab satellite channel. Among his previous posts, he has been diplomatic correspondent in London for Al-Hayat, as well as the Amman Bureau Chief for Al-Hayat and freelance correspondent for the BBC Arabic Service.
  • Dr. Walid Phares: Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington (2001-2006) and a Visiting Fellow with the European Foundation for Democracies in Brussels (2006).
  • Wafa Sultan: Syrian-American psychiatrist whose essays on Middle East issues are widely circulated in Arabic. “On February 21, 2006, she appeared on Al Jazeera’s weekly discussion program “The Opposite Direction” to debate Dr. Ibrahim Al-Khouli. The New York Times estimated that the video of her appearance has been viewed at least one million times. In 2006 she was included in Time Magazine’s list of 100 influential people in the world “whose power, talent, or moral example is transforming the world.””
  • Amir Taheri: Between 1972 and 1979 he was executive editor-in-chief of Kayhan, Iran’s main daily newspaper. He later served as Middle East editor for the London Sunday Times.

18. Phillips, Peter, Thornton, Bridget and Vogler Celeste (2006) The Global Dominance Group: 9/11 Pre-Warnings & Election Irregularities in Context, quoting Adbusters

19. As is Richard Perle the American Center for Democracy also becomes the Center for the Study of Corruption, resembling the vogue for intelligence-linked ‘anti-corruption’ organisation such as Transparency International. It also includes Dmitry Radyshevsky who heads the Israel-based Michael Cherney Foundation to Aid Terror Victims, that provides the majority of the Intelligence Summit’s funding and serves as a CEO of The Jerusalem Summit, an international forum, established in 2003 which, can be argued, formed the basis of the Intelligence Summit.

20. http://www.intelligencesummit.org/

21. Barstow, David (2008) Message Machine, Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand, The New York Times, April 20.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/washington/20generals.html?hp

22. Barstow, David (2008) Message Machine, Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand, The New York Times, April 20.

23. The chairman of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq was Bruce P. Jackson, a former vice president of Lockheed Martin. The Financial Times of November 21, 2002 quoted George Shultz as saying in an interview: “A committee like this gets a lot of impetus from the White House”, suggesting that the committee’s purpose is to serve as a public outlet for the more private thinking within the hawkish realms of the Bush administration. “It is an outside group which can be briefed and sound off”.
See http://www.allbusiness.com/mining/oil-gas-extraction-crude-petroleum-natural/378611-1.html

24. Barstow, David (2008) Message Machine, Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand, The New York Times, April 20.

25. FAIR (2008) TV News Blackout on Pentagon Pundits, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, 5 May. The Summit’s biography mentions that McInerney is also a member of the Board of Directors of Alloy Surfaces Company, Kilgore Flares Co., Pan American International Academy (Flight Simulators), Agusta Westland NA, and Crescent Partnerships.

26. Lobe, Jim (2002) “Committee for the Liberation of Iraq” Sets Up Shop, Policy Report, November.

http://presentdanger.irc-online.org/pdf/reports/PRlibiraq.pdf

27. Michaels, Henry (2003) US networks agree to serve as Pentagon propaganda tool in Iraq, World Socialist Web Site, 15 April.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/apr2003/med-a15.shtml

28. Center for Grassroots Oversight (2007) Events Leading Up to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq: Military Analysts Propaganda.

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_timeline_of_the_2003_invasion_of_iraq&specific_cases_and_issues=complete_timeline_of_the_2003_invasion_of_iraq_military_analysts_propaganda

29. Media Matters for America (2008) Military analysts named in Times exposé appeared or were quoted more than 4,500 times on broadcast nets, cables, NPR.

http://mediamatters.org/items/200805130001?f=h_top#

30. Events Leading Up to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq/ Military Analysts Propaganda

31. Right Web (2008) Profile: Thomas McInerney.

http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/4588.html

32. IPC (2008) IPC Scholars And Fellows, Iran Policy Committee.

http://www.iranpolicy.org/scholarsandfellows.php#4

See also: Stanton, John (2005) Iran Policy Committee: Pentagon Mouthpiece, Israeli Ally, MEK Supporter, May 19.

http://cryptome.org/iran-attack.htm

33. Farah, Joseph (2008) Joe Wilson’s threat against me, WorldNetDaily.com, November 09.

34. Simmons, Wayne (2008) Gitmo Arraignments Expose Fairness of U.S., March 20, Human Events.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=25600

35. Media Matters for America (2008) Memo to the media: Have you hosted on air the person who told Rumsfeld at military analyst meeting, “You are the leader. You are our guy”?

http://mediamatters.org/items/200805070008

36. Cowan, William V., McInerney, Thomas G., Nash, Charles T., Vallely, Paul E. & Simmons, Wayne (2008) LETTER; The Pentagon’s Message, and Ours: 5 Analysts Reply, New York Times, May 29. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D04E4DD173CF932A35756C0A96E9C8B63

37. Silverstein, Ken (2007) How the Pentagon’s “Surrogates Operation” Feeds Stories to Administration-Friendly Media and Pundits, Harper’s Magazine, July 19.

38. IRC (2007)”Rachel Ehrenfeld,” Right Web Profile, International Relations Center, May 1.

http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/3506.html

39. Ehrenfeld, Rachel (1987) Narco-Terrorism: The Kremlin Connection, January 28, Heritage Lecture #89.

http://www.heritage.org/Research/RussiaandEurasia/HL89.cfm

40. http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache:N6Zvo6fYY0kJ:www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/milanalysts/23Apr08/BarstowRelease23Apr08/6638-6762.pdf+pentagon+pundits+Wayne+Simmons&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=25&gl=uk

41. http://www.muckety.com/Rachel-Ehrenfeld/86910.mucketysee also http://www.muckety.com/saved-map/ehrenfeld/F01CDE2F56993A02DCD3AFB33FD80D73.map

42. See: http://www.polsci.purdue.edu/Docs/beres.pdf , Beres is also a member of the Ariel Center for Policy Research along with the Summit’s Yossef Bodansky

43. Beres, Louis Rene (2007) On Assassination, Preemption, And Counter-Terrorism: The View From International Law, March 21, Delivered As The Keynote Address To The Intelligence Summit, Hilton Hotel, St. Petersburg, Florida.

http://www.analyst-network.com/article.php?art_id=422

44. Beres, Louis Rene & McInerney, Thomas (2008) Defending Israel Against Iran’s Still-Intended Genocide, March 5, The Jewish Press.

45. Urquhart, Sam (2007) Private intelligence companies are gathering in Florida to plan their global operations with neocon officials in close attendance, as more interventions are planned.

http://szamko.gnn.tv/articles/2949/The_Spooks_of_St_Petersburg

Urquhart also adds:

“But it’s not just industry shills and talking heads who are involved in the Summit. As its website describes, “The Summit recruits active serving members of the government like Harold Rhode, from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, to serve as neutral moderators.” That would be the same Harold Rhode who cut a swathe of destruction through the Department of Defense after his appointment as deputy to arch-neocon Douglas Feith in 2002. According to Sourcewatch, working at the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, “Rhode helped Feith lay down the law about the department’s new anti-Iraq, and broadly anti-Arab, orientation” while he also “worked with Feith to purge career Defense officials who weren’t sufficiently enthusiastic about the muscular anti-Iraq crusade that Paul D. Wolfowitz and Feith wanted.” Second rate analysts were pulled from “nooks and crannies of the Defense Intelligence Agency and other places” according to a former Pentagon analyst, as Rhode reshaped the strategic wing of the Pentagon ready for war with Iraq.”

46. The Intelligence Summit (2007) About the Intelligence SummitTM. http://www.intelligencesummit.org/about.php

47. Cockburn, Alexander (2007) A Federal Witchhunt: The Persecution of Sami Al-Arian, Counterpunch, March 3.

http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn03032007.html

48. http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/3506.html
On the case see: Boehlert, Eric (2008) The prime-time smearing of Sami Al-Arian: By pandering to anti-Arab hysteria, NBC, Fox News, Media General and Clear Channel radio disgraced themselves – and ruined an innocent professor’s life, Salon.com.

http://dir.salon.com/story/tech/feature/2002/01/19/bubba/index.html

49. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6448

50. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6787

51. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6934

52. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6185

53. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7115

54. Lake, Eli (2006) Furor Erupts Over Recordings of Saddam, The New York Sun, February 16.,

http://www.nysun.com/foreign/furor-erupts-over-recordings-of-saddam/27684/

See also: Israel News Agency (2006) Michael Cherney, US Intelligence, 9/11 and Organized Crime.http://www.israelnewsagency.com/michaelcherneyinteliigenceorganizedcrime433850312.html

55. Laughland, Meg (2007) Intelligence conference draws criticism: Members of the former Holocaust Education Center worry its name is being misused, St. Petersburg Times, March 6.

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/03/06/Southpinellas/Intelligence_conferen.shtml

56.http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003/03/31/030331fa_fact1

57. Urquhart, Sam (2007) Private intelligence companies are gathering in Florida to plan their global operations with neocon officials in close attendance, as more interventions are planned.

http://szamko.gnn.tv/articles/2949/The_Spooks_of_St_Petersburg

58. Benador Associates (2006) Press Release: Gerard Group International to Host Conference on Counter-Terrorism Preparedness for Business, June 1.http://www.benadorassociates.com/events.php?id=375

59. The Gerard Group (2007) The Gerard Group Team.

http://www.gerardgroup.com/ggi_team.php

No details on the members of Gerard are provided, the principals appear to be:
Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
Ilana Freedman, CEO and managing partner of Gerard Group International
Richard Freedman, counter-terrorism analyst
Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu, Chief Operating Officer
Scott W. Winchell
Timothy Thompson, Analyst
Maj. General Tom McInerney are Clare Lopez are ‘guest contributors.’

60. http://www.securesvc.com/ and http://www.sscintel.com/seem to both be this organisation.

61. http://www.public-integrity.org/advisory-board.php

62. http://www.public-integrity.org/team.php

63. A brief outline appears in Lobe, Jim (2004) They’re Back: Neocons Revive the Committee on the Present Danger, This Time Against Terrorism, Foreign Policy in Focus, June 22.

64.http://www.intelligencesummit.org/speakers/GordonCucullu.php

65. Siddiqui, Habib (2005) Jerusalem Zionist Summit: What Are The Neocons Cooking? United Jewish Communities, October 31.

66. Mills’ 1960 letter to the New Left Review was a warning of this advance of US propaganda and manipulation:

…the weariness of many NATO intellectuals with what they call “ideology,” and their proclamations of “the end of ideology.” So far as I know, this began in the mid-fifties, mainly in intellectual circles more or less associated with the Congress of Cultural Freedom and the magazine Encounter. Reports on the Milan Conference of 1955 heralded it; since then, many cultural gossips have taken it up as a posture and an unexamined slogan. Does it amount to anything?

For Mills the “would-be enders of ideology” were “the self-coordinated, or better, the fashion-coordinated, socialist realists of the NATO world?”

67. Urquhart op cit.

68. The London Speaker Bureau (2007) Michael Shrimpton.

http://www.londonspeakerbureau.co.uk/speakers/viewSpeaker.aspx?speakerid=439

69. BBC (1997) Labour Activist Defects in Uxbridge.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/politics97/news/07/0725/uxbridge.shtml

70. Copley, Joy (1997) Blair hits the campaign trail again, The Telegraph, 26 July.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/htmlContent.jhtml?html=/archive/1997/07/26/nux26.html

71. Swindon Advertiser (2000) What’s on in Wiltshire, 14 September.

http://archive.thisiswiltshire.co.uk/2000/9/14/235589.html

72. Shrimpton, Michael (2007) The Freedom Association: Tributes to Norris McWhirter CBE .

http://www.tfa.net/ffi18.htm

73. See: http://www.iits.dircon.co.uk/newalliance/national.htm, http://eureferendum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?=&p=3870 ,http://www.metricmartyrs.co.uk/dynamicPage.aspx?id=37 .

74. D’Agostino, Joseph A. (1999) Conservatives surrender Britain’s House of Lords, Human Events, Nov 5.http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3827/is_199911/ai_n8874061

75.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1320220/Trying-to-keep-the-scales-of-justice-imperial.html

76. It is interesting to note the presence of Paul Wilkinson and other intelligence-connected academics at Cardiff at the time.

77. http://www.metricmartyrs.co.uk/dynamicPage.aspx?id=59

78. BBC (1997) Labour Activist Defects in Uxbridge.http://www.bbc.co.uk/politics97/news/07/0725/uxbridge.shtml

79. Wintour, Patrick (1993) Maastricht Likely to End in Courts After Speaker’s Ruling on Opt-Out, Guardian, May 5.

80. White, Michael & Carvel, John (1993) Taking The Brunt On The Cold Front, Guardian, March 19.

81. Wintour, Patrick (1993) Euro-Plot Thickens In Rebels’ Lair, Guardian, February 17.

82. Pienaar, John (1991) Bruges Group takes to the street to declare war on federalism, The Independent, November 27.

83. Usherwood, Simon (2004) Bruges as a Lodestone of British Opposition to the European Union, Collegium, No. 29, p. 5.

http://www.coleurop.be/file/content/publications/pdf/Collegium29.pdf

84. The Guardian (1987) Spy book plea fails, December 10, 1987.

85. Freedland, Jonathan (2006) Enough of this cover-up: the Wilson plot was our Watergate, The Guardian, March 15.http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,,1731067,00.html

86. Prison Planet (2006) The Murder of Dr. David Kelly: Alex Jones Interviews Michael Shrimptonhttp://www.prisonplanet.com/022504shrimptontranscript.html

87. American Military University (2007) Biography: Michael Shrimptonhttp://www.amu.apus.edu/Academics/Faculty/faculty-details.htm?facultyID=1014

88. Ramsay, Robin (1996) The Clandestine Caucus, Anti socialist campaigns and operations in the British Labour Movement since the war, Lobster Special Issue.

89. Atlantic Council (2002) Atlantic Council News, Vol. 9, No.1.

90. Lobster (1987) US involvement in the Fiji coup d’etat, Lobster, November Issue 14.

91. Lobster (1987) Miscellany, June Issue 8, quoting from New Statesman (8 February 1985).

92. http://www.defenceandsecurity.com/about.html

93. Barberis, Peter, McHugh, John & Tyldesley, Mike (2003) Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations, Continuum.

94. Laqueur, Walter Z & Edwards, Hunter Robert (Eds.) (1985) European Peace Movements and the Future of the Western Alliance, Transaction Books.

95. Dorril, Steve (1984) American Friends: the Anti-CND Groups, Lobster, Issue 3.

96. Shrimpton, Michael (1987) Third World Column: America in the dock, The Guardian, June 27.

97. UK National Defence Association Presidents and Policy Board Members.

http://www.uknda.org/president_patrons/c-33.html

98. The Gibraltar Chronicle (2002) Shrimpton intervention rubbished by Gib Govt.

http://www.chronicle.gi/Archive/archive%20index/april%202002/thursday_11_april_2002.htm

99. Wasme speaker in bizarre allegations about spanish military invasion, Shrimpton intervention rubbished by Gib Govt.

http://www.chronicle.gi/Archive/archive%20index/april%202002/thursday_11_april_2002.htm

100. Springbok Club (2007) Springbok Club/Empire Loyalist Club.

http://www.netcomuk.co.uk/~springbk/sc_main.html

101. The Lawyer (2002) Worlds apart, 11 March.

http://www.thelawyer.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=93913&d=pndpr&h=pnhpr&f=pnfpr

102. Ibid.

103. Shrimpton did not confirm that he represented Pinochet in an interview with the Lawyer.com:http://www.thelawyer.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?d=11&f=23&h=24&id=93913 This stated:

” Rumour has it that Shrimpton advised Pinochet, but he is unable to confirm this, although he laughingly admits to having “had the privilege of meeting General Pinochet and he is the nicest dictator I’ve ever met”.

His UKNDA CV states that he: “Advised the late General Pinochet Ugarté following his arrest in London in 1998, negotiated national security aspects of the Pinochet caseinformally with inter alia the office of the President’s National Security Adviser, a former National Security Adviser to the President of the United States and the late Lieutenant-General Vernon Walters…” (emphasis added), see:http://www.uknda.org/my_documents/my_files/CV_MShrimpton.pdf

104. Shrimpton, Michael (2006) Letters to the Telegraph, 24 December.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/12/24/nosplit/dt2401.xml#head10

105. The London Speaker Bureau (2007) Michael Shrimpton.

http://www.londonspeakerbureau.co.uk/speakers/viewSpeaker.aspx?speakerid=439

106. Gordon, Dave (2007) Still looking for Saddam’s WMD, Toronto Sun, 29 November.

http://www.torontosun.com/Comment/2007/11/29/4693910-sun.html%5D

See also: http://www.intelligencesummit.org/news/

107. Gordon, Dave (2007) Still looking for Saddam’s WMD, Toronto Sun, 29 November.

108. Loftus, John (2007) Secret Files Prove Saddam had WMD,http://www.LoftusReport.com, November 13.

http://john-loftus.com/111307.htm

109.http://www.worldthreats.com/About_Us.htm#Ryan_Mauro

110. Glazov, Jamie (2006) Symposium: Iraq, WMDs and Troubling Revelations, FrontPageMagazine.com, May 29.

111. Baxter, Sarah (2006) Iran’s president recruits terror master, The Sunday Times, April 23.

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Regards,

Greg_L-W.
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