May 01 2006
*** Major Correction:Â Through out this piece I confused Melvin Goodman with Dana Priest’s husband William Goodfellow (I’m human!)Â However, Goodman is a member of Goodfellow’s CIP organization.Â So while the author is not married to Priest, he is a close associate and kindred spirit of Priest’s husband ***
*** Updates near the end, below the fold ***
Warning, this is another of my looong posts! I have struggled with the title to this post because on the one hand we are seeing the exposure of coordinated efforts by some extremely leftwing people, suffering from Nirvana delusions, working to use the media and courts to change the political direction of this country. The fact they need to lie and hide their intentions means they are smart enough to know the American people would have nothing to do with them if they came out and said what they truly think. But the policies they promote from their think tank policy groups are juvenile and naive at best. So one has to wonder whether the policies are eye candy for the masses to hide the truth, or are they the actual delusional visions of an ultra liberal cabal from the Clinton and Carter administrations. Neither option is good, but masking a deeper, probably darker, agenda under the delusions of Nirvana probably worries me more.
The one link I will use for now is to Mind In The Qatar which has a variety of diagrams illustrating the nexus of players (here and here). I have attempted to credit the various people breaking ground on this subject at the end of this post. What intrigues me most are all the connections to the Centerof International Policy (CIP), run by Dana Priest’s husband. Obviously Dana is has bought into the CIP-brew given her responses concerning her role in leaking national security details. But we must note Mary McCarthy embraced this organization when she left the government after her stint on the National Security Council under Clinton, Beers, Berger, Wilson and Clarke (I see a new DC law office in the making here).
So what is CIP all about? Well we have the words of its leader, Mel Goodman, to guide us. A man whose vision McCarthy definitely believed in when she jumped ship to join CIP, and which I think is the view of a lot of the Democrat party because these views overlap so well with the rantings of Kerry and Gore. If Rand Beers is close enough to Mary McCarthy to come out and help her PR effort, then my guess is he is close in sharing her vision and that of Mel Goodman. So let’s look into the mind of Goodman, keeping one phrase in mind: Nirvana-delusions (the concept that if we disarm, the world will disarm and love us back).
In February 2001, Mel Goodman penned this article on the need to reform the CIA. This is after Bush’s inaugeration and only a brief time before Mary McCarthy will join CIP. It is also 7 months before 9-11. It contains four main sections:
The Need to End Covert Action
The Need for Glasnost
The Need to Demilitarize Intelligence
The Need for an Intelligence Network
The end of covert action means the end of targetting Al Qaeda in the battlefield. We have successfully taken out many key Al Qaeda using covert action via UAVs. Covert action also includes snatching people and bringing them in for interrogation. This is tantamount to disarming ourselves and being left with the impotent law enforcement approach when detecting our enemies overseas, or the overkill military approach (i.e., being forced into military actions: an act of war) to grab someone we know is heading our way with intent to kill.
The need for Glasnost is a quaint way of saying send more Pulitzers to my wife as we expose our entire national security capabilities to our enemies so they can exploit our weaknesses. Too many people think secrets are all about illegal acts. The fact is that many secrets are typically about where we have established boundaries between what is technically feasible and what is legal. These boundaries expose areas we will not tread due to legal issues – an area the terrorists want to find in order to exploit it. This is what Risen and Priest exposed. Not what is feasible (we all know it is possible to vacuum up everbit of data passing around and to nab someone and hold them in a secret location for a good beating), but where we draw the line. That is what was leaked.
The need to demilitarize intelligence is another way of saying put the DIA and NSA out of business. We have seen attempts to do just that in the Able Danger fiasco and the NSA leaks by Risen and the NYTimes, respectively. This would provide a way for the CIA folks to control all intelligence! Talk about an obvious plan to seize control. Note: I have not read this section yet, but I am expecting to see parallels to what has transpired in the last 5 years since this piece was created!
Finally, the need for an intelligence network sounds like a nice, vacuous alternative of sweetness and light (no pun intended to the good blog by the same name) which will be the supposed replacement for the current corrupt systems, but somehow will never get implemented. The classic false-promise bait necessary in any bait-and-switch scheme.
Interestingly, this piece ties into the event which brought Valerie Plame into contact with one Joe Wilson – the Aldrich Ames incident. Note how Goodman feels for all those poor souls fired for allowing Ames to destroy our intelligence capability:
Reprimands in the Ames case prompted a mass exodus of bitter senior managers, who had refused to accept the need for punishing those who ignored the fact that a Soviet spy had contaminated the agency at the highest levels. These managers were the generation that had run the CIA during the cold war and had served as the agencyâ€™s institutional memory for clandestine operations. Perhaps as a result, espionage operations have gotten increasingly clumsy, causing major strains with such key nations as France, Germany, India, Italy, and Japan. Operational failures in recent years include the unbelievable bombings of both the Chinese embassy in Belgrade and a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan. Intelligence failures include the agencyâ€™s surprise over the nuclear tests in India in 1998 and the skewing of judgments on the implications of a national missile defense in 1999.
Now I see what attracted Mary McCarthy to these Nirvana-delusionists. She too was against Clinton’s attack on the Sudan factory – as I guess were many in the NSC. Maybe what bothered these people so much was that their own President Clinton was ‘no better’ than a rabid neo-cons. Maybe that is when the cabal began to coalesce. This is basically confirmed in the next paragraph:
As director of central intelligence (DCI) under Clinton, Tenet promoted an â€œantileak statute,â€ designed to make potential felons of those who express themselves on any issue about which they ever had access to classified information.
It may be wrong to assume these delusionists are targetting just Bush. It may be they have had plans in place to change the face of America for a long time, and people like Kerry were just useful, desperate idiots that provided the best opportunity at the time. These people seem much more at home with the Deaniacs and those from Moveon.org.
The proposal was to divert intelligence away from defense to something else – to save money of course!
The end of the cold war over a decade ago provided the United States with an opportunity to end intelligence abuses, restructure the CIA (saving money in the process), and use the agencyâ€™s extensive intelligence capabilities to address the new crises and challenges of the post-cold war environment. The United States can no longer afford a bloated intelligence community that defines too much information as intelligence and spends $30 billion a year in the process.
Recall that Clinton was decimating intelligence capabilities with the combination of the Gorelick Wall and the Durbin idiocies restricting covert activities with criminals. Calling these policies insufficient towards ‘fixing’ the CIA is one reason I cannot decide if these people are truly naive delusionists or something much, much more sinister hiding behind the facade of delusion in order to attract the hordes of useful idiots. Goodman goes on to confirm my suspicions that his plan is to hamstring the US to only law enforcement or military actions:
It is not enough to suggest (as defenders of covert action have) that the world remains a dangerous place and the president needs an option short of military action when diplomacy alone cannot do the job.
Covert action could be radically reduced, if not eliminated, with no compromise of U.S. national security. CIA propaganda has had little effect on foreign audiences and should end immediately.
CIA propaganda? Like what Larry Johnson would say in the coming months about the fact we have nothing to fear from terrorism? Yeah, right. In fact, this line epitomizes the mindset that terrorists and enemies of the US are at zero fault for posing risks to us:
CIA penetration of Iraqi communications, contrived to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein, made a liar out of the White House and a truth-teller of Saddam Hussein. It also doomed further inspection efforts in Iraq and undercut the credibility of multilateral inspection teams around the world.
What is scary is that Mary McCarthy bought this hook, line and sinker. This is the vision she was attracted to when she left the CIA. It is the same warped vision of the VIPerS, and of Kerry, Sores, Clooney and Michael Moore. But what stands out to me is the details on CIA operations, which must have been coming from people on the inside. And in this case it could easily be Ms Mary McCarthy:
Another operative on the CIA payroll was Peruvian intelligence chief Vladimiro Montesinos, who was responsible for two decades of human rights abuses in Peru. The CIA helped Montesinos flee the country in September 2000 to avoid standing trial for crimes that included the massacre of innocent civilians in the early 1990s.
This is one of many ‘examples’ Goodman cherry picks to make his case we should pull the CIA out of operations across the world. An interesting, if not suicidally naive, concept. Another wide-eyed naive concept is that transparency will not hurt us. 9-11 illustrated that is definitely not the case. We were so open about everything we gave the terrorist a road map to bypass our checks and security. What I have discovered from the NSA leak story is the pre 9-11 barriers around the NSA blocked any warnings we may have had from phone calls by terrorists in the US, finalizing their plans, and their handlers overseas.
It was not transparency we needed, is was common sense when faced with valid intel on real serious threats. These CIP folks are ‘sipping’ from a completely different cup:
CIA Director George Tenet has reversed the modest steps toward greater openness that were instituted by several of his predecessors. At his confirmation hearings in 1997, Tenet promised to continue the policy of openness, but he also emphasized that it was time for the agency to stop looking over its shoulder at its critics and to increase its clandestine role in support of national security.
Suffice it to say Goodman and McCarthy, and apparently Beers, Wilson and Priest, are against a ‘clandestine role in support of national security’. I do not have to hypothesize about Berger though:
Tenet initially withheld thousands of sensitive documents detailing covert operations in Chile that took place more than 25 years ago, despite demands for openness by President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Though he finally responded to additional pleas from National Security Adviser Sandy Berger to release the Chilean documents…
Is it safe to assume these Nirvana-delusionists also share this Goodman-Goodie?
Sadly, the U.S. Senate aggravated the situation in September 2000, when it passed a bill that would have criminalized the disclosure of all â€œproperly classifiedâ€ information, thus creating an official secrets act. It is already a crime to disclose classified information about nuclear weapons, codes, intelligence communications, and the names of covert agents. The CIA successfully convinced the Senate to criminalize all leaks of classified information, and President Clintonâ€™s Justice Department was persuaded to reverse its position and support the measure.
Do we see a pattern here? The VIPerS called on their friends in the intelligence community to leak classified information. CIP promotes the idea that secrecry is irrelevant. All these strange people gravitate to the idea we should disarm ourselves in order to ‘fight’ terrorism. It boggles the mind. Sadly, this legislation, which would have made the NSA leak and CIA safehouse leaks a crime WAS VETOED by Clinton at the end of his term when he was doing everything to salvage his reputation with his base:
Fortunately, President Clinton vetoed the bill in November 2000, dealing another political setback to DCI George Tenet, one of the main proponents of the bill. Clinton chose to protect his legacy and the publicâ€™s right to know rather than endorse the zeal of his CIA director.
Goodman is clearly a ultra-liberal delusionist. His fantasies include making facts up out of whole clothe. He lashes out at coordination between intelligence and defense (what is it about ‘national security’ this day dreamer cannot grasp?). In a whopper of a mistake he makes this claim:
Previous directors of central intelligence, particularly Robert Gates and John Deutch, did great harm to the CIA and the intelligence community by deemphasizing strategic intelligence for use in civilian policymaking and catering instead to the tactical demands of operational officers in the Pentagon. Gates brought an end to CIA analysis on key order-of-battle issues in order to avoid tendentious analytical struggles with the Pentagon, and Deutchâ€™s creation of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) at the Department of Defense (DOD) enabled the Pentagon to be the sole judge of its procurement needs.
Actually, NIMA was the follow-on organization to what was The Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) when DMA functions were being consolidated and better integrated with other DoD functions. Yes, other elements were integrated into the new organization, but the way Goodman spins this is silly.
It was not new in any respect, and the DoD always has been and will be the sole judge of its procurement needs. What this illustrates is a serious ignorance by Goodman. Simple facts escape his grasp. Does that make him more or less dangerous an ideologue? Who knows. But Goodman is clear he is calling for a power grab into the CIA, the very organization he pillories throughout this article.
The director of central intelligence operates in an organizational maze, since the secretary of defense controls nearly 90% of the intelligence budget and personnel. Although executive orders give the DCI the statutory authority to establish requirements and priorities for the entire intelligence community, the Pentagon dominates the structure that can and does block such purview. In fact, the DCI needs the authority in peacetime to direct intelligence funding and operational assignments for data collection agencies such as the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Security Agency, and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency. This authority would revert to the secretary of defense in wartime.
That is why I doubt his sincerity and see this as an extravagent facade to take control from elected officials and put it into the hands of a few, well placed political appointees. Notice that the only time power would transfer is during ‘wartime’. What if the intel showed we should never be at war???
Goodman finally gets around to describing his Nirvana Delusion to us when he describes his idea of the new world order. In this New World intelligence is not about detecting possible dangers to Americans, and stopping them before harm is done. No, it is about the ideal liberalism:
Other nontraditional security problems, which will define U.S. policy choices in the 21st century, have thus been given short shrift. Such problems include the scarcity of water in the Middle East, the social migration caused by coastal flooding in South Asia, infectious diseases in Africa and Russia, and contamination caused by nuclear and chemical weapons stored and tested in the former Soviet Union.
The CIA is in a position to provide information on a variety of environmental issues, using baseline data from satellite photography documenting global warming, ozone depletion, and environmental contamination. Spy satellites already provide key environmental data on the earthâ€™s diminishing grasslands, forests, and food resources. Yet the CIA has not been forthcoming with its data.
War crimes tribunals also require funds and expertise for collecting data on political and military officials, which would be a less difficult task if the political and biographic assets of the CIA could be used.
Sadly, it took 9-11 to abolish this kind of La-La-Land thinking out in the open. My fear is it is stronger than ever in the minds of the McCarthys, Wilsons, Begers, Lakes, Beers, etc. And as the Global War On Terror snuffed out their visions of Nirvana, the cult of Nirvana-delusionists decided they need to take covert action to get the nation back on track to the promised land.
How far does this Nirvana-delusion spread? That is something Bloggers will have to ascertain. Goodman sees one person ripe for the Kool Aid:
When Al Gore was in the Senate, he chaired the Science, Technology, and Space Subcommittee where he was active in pushing for release of this data to the scientific community.
Scarily, I can see Al Gore exposing national security details to Green Peace But why do this when there are plenty of national and commercial sources for satellite data on the environment? Systems designed to eek out every ounce of information related to the bio-sphere. Which is just not the priority of NRO’s satellites. This idea cannot be about getting Eco-information. It must be about defanging and diverting our national security resources.
Back then, this was the vision that enthralled the left. What concerns me is the folks who flocked to this vision are now implicated in actions that could easily be construed as efforts to bring this strange vision to life through a series of coordinated leaks meant to boost the political opportunities of like minded candidates. We shall see. But the vision Mel Goodman painted in February 2001, a vision McCarthy flocked to a few months later, is dangerously naive or a dangerously cunning facade.
Addendum: Clarice Feldman points us to a liberal propaganda movie showcased by Moveon.org in supporters homes in December 2003, with the following cast of characters:
Featuring: David Albright, Robert Baer, Milt Bearden, Rand Beers, Bill Christison, Kathleen McGrath Christison, David Corn, Philip Coyle, John Dean, Patrick Eddington, Chas Freeman, Graham Fuller, Mel Goodman, John Brady Kiesling, Karen Kwiatkowski, Patrick Lang, Dr. David C. MacMichael, Ray McGovern, Scott Ritter, The Rt Honorable Clare Short, Stansfield Turner, The Honorable Henry Waxman, Thomas E. White, Joe Wilson, Colonel Mary Ann Wright, Peter Zimmerman.
And the media response will be ‘what conspiracy?’. Note the VIPerS and the media spouse and the Plame Game names. All coincidene of course.
Acknowledgements: So many people have posted on the connections between Dana Priest, her husband Melvin Goodman of CIP, Mary McCarthy and her connections to Clinton NSC staffers I cannot hope to do a fair review of all the players. I plan to only refer to the linkage diagrams at Mind In The Qatar, but I recognize the efforts of people like Fedore at Free Republic, Curt at Flopping Aces, Stephan at the Politburro Diktat, Ace of Spades, Seixon and too many others I cannot recall. Not to mention the folks commenting here. Please feel free to track back or add links to your sites in the comments section. Trackbacks show up automatically with the link hidden in the name of the commentor.