Monday, 14 November 2011

Why America's NSA and Britain's GCHQ Had Gareth Williams Assassinated

by Trowbridge H. Ford

The National Security Agency's new Director in 1999, Air Force General Michael Hayden, had a long career in its surveillance operations but his primary qualification for office was his adherence to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement - one which sought direct religious experience with Christ through pentacostal and evangelical experience. It was a millinarian type of religious group, reminiscent of the crusading orders of the Middle Ages, and best exemplified in the modern world by the Knights of Malta, the great recruiting agency of many of today's New World Order people. Its capacity to find essential professionals, and fit them into key government positions goes far beyond what Yale University's Skull and Bones Society can accomplish. While Hayden was attending Pittsburgh's Duquesne University, he studied American history - getting an M.A. on the impact of the Marshall Plan upon Europe, the first step in the West's renewal after the catastrophic collapse in WWII. "Like many of his religious and conservative classmates," James Bamford wrote, "Hayden rejected the antiwar movement and the social revolution and instead would embrace the military." (1)

CIA Director George Tenet became interested in Hayden's potential to ignite NSA in an fightback against the continuing stalemate over Palestine, and growing Muslim hostility toward America. "The CIA chief liked what he heard and Hayden flew back to Korea virtually assured that he had the job as director of the NSA." (2) It recalled Henry Kissinger's hiring of lowly Major Alexander Haig as his military aide as the Nixon administration was gearing up to pull off a surprising victory in the Vietnam War despite the apparent hopelessness of the struggle, and all the campaign rhetoric about negotiating peace with the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong. Despite appearances, both military men were well versed in the operation of America's covert government, whatever was required at a given moment. It looked like new Tonkin Gulf incidents were required if any new initiative was to be established.

While Tenet certainly mentored Hayden, it is worth remembering that Tenet was mentored by former DCI Richard Helms, so much so that he had Helms' official portrait at the Langley headquarters moved into his office so that every DCI would see him as a model. It is also worth remembering that Helms had such a bitter hatred of his rival William Colby that he ultimately volunteered in his unexpected memoirs, A Look Over My Shoulder - even an allusion to such treachery - that Colby hurt Western intelligence more than the notorious KGB spy, Kim Philby.(3) It seems most likely that Tenet, while Deputy Director when Colby was assassinated, was given the nod by Helms to arrange the killing - what resulted in DCI John Deutch to suddenly resign when he learned about it, clearing the way for Tenet to take over officially. After Deutch's departure, an inquiry was started to see if he should be prosecuted for having classified materials on his laptops, what seems like a belated effort to explain it away, but Attorney General Janet Reno refused to prosecute him, and President Bill Clinton pardoned him for the alleged offense on his last day in office.

Hardly had Hayden taken over at Fort Meade than he showed Tenet that he was the right person to run NSA. The bombing campaign of Serbia was in full swing but NATO's planes were not hitting anything of value in Slobodan Milosevic's military arsenal, thanks to a Turkish informer within its ranks informing Belgrade of intended targets through the Chinese Embassy. NSA learned of this through its capture of microwave commuications to the Chinese through its eavesdropping satellites and ground-based stations, most likely in Bad Aibling in Germany and Menwith Hill in Yorkshire - what seemed like a resumption of Operation Shamrock under modern conditions.

Then CIA played dumb with its maps, acting as if the Embassy was a Yugoslav military facility. On May 7, 1999, NATO bombers hit the facility with five bombs, killing three residents. For good measure, NSA's Keyhole laser satellites were used the following August to trigger an earthquake in the qanat system of Izmit, Turkey to punish its Nationalist leadership for betraying NATO secrets to Yugoslav President Milosevic. The mission was a good example of what former SoD Robert Gates said about former Los Alamos intelligence chief Danny "(Stillman's) ability to adapt the latest advance in science to solve unmanageable problems and to analyze foreign technologies made him an invaluable asset to the Intelligence Community."(5)

The earthquake was intended to so embarrass Turkey's government during the relief effort that it would be overthrown, either at the polls or by its military - what occurred during the 2002 elections when Bulent Ecevit's government was soundly trounced. It was a brilliant use of new technology to take advantage of ancient technology to fulfill Washington's goals.

Given such achievements, Washington wasn't too concerned about what Al-Qaeda was up to, helping explain why both Tenet and Hayden were kept at their posts after George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in the 2000 presidential poll. It was more concerned about the exposure of satellite abilities to gain vital informaion, and to deliver devastating reprisals than deliberately stopping any of its small scale operations. "In the few years between 1991 and 1994," Bamford wrote, "the number of spy satellites dropped by nearly half."(6) He failed to add that the remaining ones were far more versatile and powerful than the ones they replaced. As a result, the Al-Qaeda calls emanating from and received by its headquarters in Yemen were ignored, resulting in the 1998 devastating bombings of US embassies in East Africa, and the attack on the USS Cole the following year when it docked in Aden to refuel.(7)

NSA was still almost paranoid about its operations being leaked somehow, and did not want to take any unnecesary risks by going to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a warrant.

Director Hayden based his decision upon three factors - fears that NSA would be seen "as America's secret and powerful 'boogeyman' ", that NSA officials would again be threatened with prosecutions for eavesdropping on Americans, and fears that its activities would be leaked to the press and America's foes. The best way to avoid the first two concerns, Bamford wrote tellingly, "...was to keep his agency's operations as far away from U.S. territory as possible. If a terrorist in the U.S. was communicating with his masters in a foreign country, Hayden reasoned, that was the FBI's responsibility, not his."(8) The ability of the Bureau to meet its responsibility was seriously impaired, though Hayden didn't mention it, by the continued spying for the Russians by its agent Robert Hanssen - what was finally disclosed in February 2001, and he pleaded guilty to 19 counts of espionage in July after colleagues, like in the Ronald Pelton case, recognized his voice in a conversation long before with his KGB handler in Washington on a NSA tape recording.

The wheels for a payback now for Al-Qaeda's operations far away from America's shores had started turning soon after Hayden started working at Fort Meade. Rich Taylor, NSA's Deputy Director for Operations, wanted to fix the agency's aimless, eavesdropping operations by adopting project Thinthread: "The first and most important issue for NSA/CSS (Central Security Service)," Bamford quoted, "is to reform our management and leadership system...we have good people in a flawed system."(9)

Thinthread called for the encryption of all messages and phone calls entering and leaving the States - so as not to need a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Security Court (FISC) - except the headers of such messages which would show their origin or destination. It would solve the problem of getting an FISA warrant without engaging in undue search and seizure while obtaining probable cause to continue eavesdropping without committing anything illegal.

Tests of the proposal in 1998 had proven quite successful Also, NSA needed to strengthen its ties with strategic partners, especially the other members of the Five Eyes group, Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand.

Hayden wanted nothing to do with the proposal, preferring instead a program called Trailblazer. Instead of running the risks of trying to catch terrorists, concerns that the Bureau should be involved in, Hayden wanted to catch foreigners before they even got involved in the process. It essentially collected everything it could get its hands on, hoping that super computers could make sense of the mass of information collected - "...the origins and destinations of phone calls and e-mails." (10) While Taylor and Hayden continued to argue about which system to adopt, it peaked in the fall of 2000, with the Director going for Trailblazer, and Taylor heading for the exit.

While Hayden then asked for bids from defense contractors for working on Trailblazer, there was no big time response by NSA's contractors - Boeing, IBM, SAIC, Computer Science Corporation, and Litton - persuading Hayden and Tenet that some big time event was necessary to shake up the country for more direct action.

The last operational hurdle to such action was the continued presence of the Bureau's counterterrorist expert in New York, John O'Neill. He was responsible for getting to the bottom of the first terrorist attack on the WTC in 1993, and was certain that Muslim terrorists would try it again. He was committed to stopping them, the last thing that Tenet and Hayden wanted, so he was sidelined from the planning of the covert operation for fear, it seems, that leaks from it would jeopardize what CIA and NSA had in mind.(11)

The plan that Tenet and Hayden had in mind was to catch the now well-identified 19 highjackers in the act of hijacking the four planes on September 11.To prevent the highjackers from getting wind of the plan, leader Mohamed Atta - whose calls from the States, especially the San Diego area, were never passed on by NSA to other security agencies (12) - and four of his associates, were allowed to board the first plane leaving from Boston without any accompanying CIA agents.

The 15 agents were on the other three flights, under the direction of Barbara Olson, wife of Solicitor General Ted Olson, and they were to overpower the highjackers as the planes neared LA. The link between the Agency and NSA was the close association that Tenet had with Hayden.(13) To give more propitious effect to the ploy, NSA's associate agency, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), conducted a training exercise of a plane crashing into one of its buildings 50 minutes after American Airline's Flight 77, carrying Olson and three of the agents, had already taken off from Washington's Dulles Airport.

The covert operation, of course, ended up as a complete tragedy after the highjackers turned out to be suicide bombers. The best evidence that it had gone wrong was when the President stayed put in the Florida kindergarden while the operation was still going on, and Secretary of Defene Donald Rumsfeld had Air Force fighters shoot down the last highjacked plane in western Pennsylvania before it could crash into the Capitol or the White House.

The most important act in damage-control was preventing the full disclosure of the planes' passenger lists - what left out the names of the 19 suicide bombers, and the unarmed 15 agents who had futilely tried to stop them - what permitted conspiracy theorists to go wild about who was really on the planes, who or what piloted them, why the buildings around the WTC really collapsed, etc. The most damaging evidence that Washington, especially NSA, could not suppress was all the telephone calls, especially those of Barbara Olson, that passengers on the planes made and received before they died.

At least her husband finally admitted to Bamford: "I, by this time, had made the calculation that these were suicide persons, bent on destroying as much of America as they could."(14)

Hayden acted as if the tragedy was another Pearl Harbor, and it was, though President Roosevelt was dealing with a desperate imperial Japan while NSA only had been confronted by 19 suicide bombers - what Japan lost hundreds of from Okinawa during the final days of WWII through Kamikazi attacks. NSA's incredibly cautious approach to eavesdropping on them had directly led to the attacks, and now Hayden would go for broke in making sure that it was not repeated.

While much has been written about what ensued, the only aspect to be considered in this article is what NSA, the Bureau and GCHQ could legally do in the process, though it should be noted that Tenet and Hayden combined when it came time to make sure that Iran did not take advantage of the West's showdown with Saddam by either helping him in his difficulties, or, more likely, try to take part of Iraq's Shia-dominated area during the struggle - what was prevented by NSA seeing that the NRO caused the earthquake in the qanat areas surrounding Bam with the chemical laser aboard its Misty radar satellite, leaving Iran with more than enough troubles of its own.

For NSA and the FBI, anything went when it came to warrantless eavesdropping as Hayden, an American historian of sorts, thought that the post 9/11 emergency justified the overriding of all of the protections that the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution provided against undue searches of one's home, person and possessions as the tapping of phone lines and cellphones didn't amount to this, especially since NSA's lawyers agreed. And the Bureau was willing to go along with such sentiments after presiding FISA court judge Royce C. Lamberth approved all the surveillance it wanted to get the culprits of the attacks, and Attorney General John Ashcroft's subordinate John C.Yoo agreed independently with Hayden's lawyers about what the emergency permitted.(15) While others disapproved of what they knew or suspected was happening, there was nothing they could do to really challenge it, much less stop it.

In Britain, there have never been any serious restrictions on what its intelligence community, particularly GCHQ, can do. Actually, given its policy of ever eavesdropping if it serves the national interest, the legal provisions of the Official Secrets Acts are all against employees and members of the public leaking secrets. And any employee who wants to or is required to work for American agencies can do so without risking any legal penalty, as Bamford explained: "Hayden suggested that such activity was not prohibited by federal law. Instead it was prohibited only by presidential executive order, and executuive orders can be canceled or changed at the whims of a president. 'By executive order,' Hayden said, 'it is illegal for us to ask others to do what we cannot do ourselves, and we don't do it'."(16)

The crisis over what became known as NSA's Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) occurred when it came time for its renewal, March 11, 2004. Underlings of Ashcroft and Yoo at the Justice Department, James Comey and Jack Goldsmith, decided that it was an abomination to the Constitution, and recommended that it not be renewed. This led to a political firefight between the White House and the headless Department of Justice because Ashcroft was then in the hospital, suffering from gallstone pancreatitis. "Without Comey's signature," Bamford wrote, "the NSA would have to immediately pull the plug on the operation or possibly face criminal charges." (17)

With the public totally oblivious of what was going on, the White House and Ashcroft's subordinates fought it out in a manner reminiscent of 'Tricky Dick' Nixon's 'Saturday Night Massacre'. While Bush reauthorized the program without Justice Department approval, he seemed to agree to changes in it which would bring it back within the law. In the end, the changes only amounted to getting rid of the most egregious violations of FISA, and their continued justification.

Hayden's protection of his secret, illegal operations started to fray a few months later when New York Times reporter James Risen, who helped break the spying for the Soviets by the Bureau's Robert Hanssen, called, asking Hayden about his warrantless eavesdropping on Americans.(18) Of course, Hayden panicked over the call, denying that anything untoward was going on at NSA, but he believed TSP's days were numbered. While Bamford seemed completely uninterested in who was Risen's source, it was Russell Tice, but the newspaper was unwilling to pursue it because it could not find anyone else to back up his claims, and word got out that Tice was a bit paranoid, leading to his being fired by NSA in May 2005. Perhaps,Tice was deliberately chosen to kill the story, once his lack of credibility was determined.

In any case, more than a year later Thomas A. Drake - a NSA software purchaser executive who supported what Taylor had tried to get Hayden to do, especially the adoption of ThinThread rather than the most expensive wild goose chase that Trailblazer promised - apparently started whistleblowing too on NSA. With ThinThread, Drake thought that NSA could have prevented the 9/11 attacks, and by 2002 he was telling anyone who would listen just that.

Supported by NSA's math specialist William Binney and communication analyst J. Kirk Wiebe, Drake soon got Diane Roark, a Republican aide to the House Intelligence Committee, taking his complaints seriously. Drake testified before congressional committees about his complaints, and worked with the DoD's Inspector General for two and a half years to obtain official action regarding them but without any evidence of success in his December 2004 report. On his supporters' advice, he not only contacted reporter Siobhan Gorman of The Baltimore Sun but apparently also the NYT.(19)

The Times article ultimately appeared on December 16, 2005, and a little over a year later, Attorney General Gonzales announced that the warranltess eavesdropping program had ended. Once again, all eavesdropping would be subject to FISC warrants, as the President, this time, had refused to reauthorize TSP when it was needed for it to continue. NSA would not need to apply for a warrant, though, in foreign-to-foreign communications except when one end of it reached a U.S. phone, and then NSA had three days to apply to the court with an emergency application for the tap to be legal.

Shortly thereafter, Hayden left NSA, replaced as Director by General Keith Alexander while joining former NSA Director Mike McConnell, National Intelligence Director, as his deputy. Because of the blowback from the murder of Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi, who was repeatedly raped first, and her family in Iraq, National Intelligence made a meal of the kidnapping of two of the soldiers involved by gettting the Justice Department to sign a emergency FISA request, certifying that it had probable cause for the Bureau to put the suspected kidnappers names on the watch list, and targeting their activities.

Then McConnell, thanks to input from Hayden, panicked Congress into passing the FISA Amendment Act which replaced the expiring Protect America Act - giving legal immunity to telecoms which engage in eavesdropping so that there would be no new Shamrock scandal, weakened the authority of its court, and gave NSA a freer hand in targeting suspected terrorists abroad.(20) It and the Bureau would still have to get an FISA order to target Americans and green card residents living in the States.

Despite Senator Obama's campaign pledge that he would straighten out the whole warrantless eavesdropping mess if elected Preisdent, he has done nothing of the sort. If anything, he has made it worse, claiming it is necessary in the war on terror while protecting 'state secrets' .(21) One can only speculate what secrets he had in mind. The murder of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko in London comes readily to mind back in November 2006. The CIA was going through another terrible period in its history with the forced resignation of Director Porter Goss in May 2006, and Hayden taking over at the end of the month, starting a period during which the National Security Archive released the Agency's Family Jewels, many of which concerned Helms' violation of its Charter - MH-CHAOS, Shamrock, MK-Ultra and the stirring up of the Hungarian Uprising.

On the day Litvinenko was apparently poisoned, the George Washington University institution released the worst files, highlighted by a bit of the NYT front page where a Seymour Hersh article described Watergate's fallout at Helms' expence.(22) The Agency's staff needed something to stem the flow of damaging revelations, and Hayden's presence there deflected attention away from its cause.

NSA certainly had an interest in shutting up Litvinenko, who has threatening everyone he knew anything about, starting with Italy's Romano Prodi with blackmail - what could go all the way back to the non-nuclear showdown with the Soviets after triggering it by assassinating Sweden's Prime Minister Olof Palme. Not only would the leaderships of Washington and London risk being implicated in this claims but also the double agent spying on Moscow which neither of them wanted aired again. Little wonder that he was killed in a most confusing way, particularly where he was poisoned, by what, by whom, and for what reason.(23) The poison was most notable for its delayed, devastating effect.

Edward Epstein, famous for helping cover up previous CIA-NSA plots, conveniently claimed that Litvinenko must have poisoned himself with the polonium-210 for some unknown reason.

The plot was intended to implicate Russian President Vladimir Putin in the assassination, but he stood his ground without flinching, protecting the alleged assassin Andrei Lugovoy, and making the plotters even more eager to punish the now Russian Prime Minister. They, headed by CIA's director of operations Stephen Kappes, started a new assault on Moscow by building up a 'false flag' operation, dealing with illegal agents called New Rodina, based upon what the KGB had done with their original operation to genuinely do the same with real illegals back in the 1970s under Yuri Andropov. The covert operation was the leading one in President Obama's secret agenda, explaining why he did nothing about warrantless eavesdropping, and why he was so supportive of Leon Panetta to be DCI.

Panetta, as head of OMB and as Chief of Staff during the Clinton administration, knew about the convenient assassinations, particularly that of Colby, and now wanted to move on in a more coherent, structured way. Of course, liberal Democrats like California's Dianne Feinstein just cleared the way for his getting started by claiming she would only support his confirmation if he kept Kappes on, and when DNI Admiral Dennis Blair tried to interfere with what Panetta was doing with his resident agents in places like London, he was given the door after Leon blew his customary cool over the matter.

The sleeper cell contained 10 Russians, and their Canadian handler Robert Christopher Metsos. For several years, the ten tried to integrate as well as they could into American society, reminiscent of how illegal KGB agent Vilyam Fisher ran the most effective VOLUNTEER group in NYC during the late 1940s. "Under his later alias 'Rufolp Abel', Fisher was to become one of the best-known of all Soviet illegals, whose career was publicized by the KGB as a prime example of the success and sophistication of its operations in the West during the Cold War."(24) While Andrew characteristically debunked Abel's achievements, the so called Manhattan 11 group never really got started, just sleeping away along America's east coast, and collecting their pay while awaiting instructions about doing something significant. It seems that all but Metsos thought that they were there to infiltrate really sleeper groups for Moscow.

When it came time to entrap them, just before President Dmitri Medvedev came to Washington for a fence-mending meeting with President Obama, the Bureau set up Anna Chapman, the only one connected to Britain, by having her send deeply encrypted messages by a computer wireless network she had been given to another of the sleepers, at the suggestion of an FBI agent feigning to be a Russian Embassy official, about getting a false passport. The messages were sent on sophisticated laptops which the Bureau had provided, and had software to encrypt and decrypt them - what prevented Bureau agents from being involved in any illegal wiretapping.

When Chapman ultimately refused to go ahead with the exchange, thanks to advice from her father, a former KGB agent, Chapman and the others were arrested as foreign agents, and the media went wild over the story.(25)

The Bureau soon learned that it would be in difficulty if it went ahead with these most serious prosecutions as the evidence could be quickly shown to be fraudulent, charging them instead with only failing to register with the Attorney General as agents of a foreign power, and for money laundering with the secret payments they received. Then Prime Minister Putin surprisingly agreed to exchange them for four real spies being held by the Russians.

The weakness of the evidence was manifest when the Bureau on Hallowen released the videos of Operation Ghost Stories, showing ten of the sleepers doing most ordinary things or deliberately contrived ones when no known Russian handler was ever exposed - only Bureau agents posing to be so. Sleepers are said to be shown engaging in tradecraft when there is no evidence of their actually doing so, and making exchanges when only they, particularly Metsos, are identified.

The best example of the contrivance that the Bureau engaged in is shown in the 7:40 minute-long video of sexy Anna Chapman walking around a department store on January 29, 2010, allegedly communicating with her Russian handler outside. The stacked videos of her are quite clearly ones of the store's, looking for shoplifters. Chapman certainly looks like one while aimlessly walking around it rather than engaged in any wireless conversation. At the same time, the man outside - with his face blacked out - is endlessly talking to someone on his cellphone. There seems to be no conversation between them at all, and the handler could not be a Russian official as the FBI would have loved to have displayed his face if he had been one. Ghost Stories indeed!

The Bureau's concerns were that spy prosecutions would be seen as the result of a deliberate fishing expedition for years to get around the law - what did violate the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution about unreasonable searches and seizures, and that the "wall" between intelligence and criminal squads had been broken through during the process.

"The FBI then decided to allow only agents and analysts assigned to intelligence duties access to FISA materials, not the criminal investigators." (26) For good measure, anyone who reviewed transcripts of domestic electronic surveillance must sign a certification that court approval was required before they were handed over to criminal prosecutors. None of this was done, and the Bureau's leaderhip would be in serious trouble if it were exposed by someone with inside credibility.

And that person was Gareth Williams, GCHQ's whiz kid software man who could encrypt messages to remain secret during any transmission or decode any such message received, and who was on secondment to MI6 to help out its spies to get what they wanted. While it seems a bit of a stretch that he was actually involved in helping entrap the Manhattan 11, it seems quite clear that he knew that he was in no trouble whatever the Bureau had done.(27)

When that became important was when a couple visited his safe flat in Mayfair right after the case broke. The couple could have been Putin's agents, seeking approval for the spy swap. Then it could have been her former husband Alex Chapman, and her former roommate Lena Savitskaya who knew only about the MI6 flat, not who had occupied it, explaining why they knocked on other doors first to find out where it was in the building, once they had gained entrance. The meeting resulted in their adopting a plan to embarrass NSA/GCHQ as much as possible, with Gareth apparently supplying the funds up front to get it started.

Williams went back to the States in July, and started asking questions about what NSA had really been doing when it came of warrantless eavesdropping, especially after it became clear of Thomas Drake's plight for whistleblowing about the problems at NSA.(28) He faced 35 years in prison for continuing to air his complaints through reporter Gorman who had now moved on to The Wall Street Journal - what he had even tried to get Seymour Hersh to go along with, but without success. Drake's problems just made Williams want to get to the bottom of the covert operations more, so much so that he apparently disclosed his aims to a GCHQ colleague and her husband who were at Fort Meade in his stead, forcing MI6 to transfer them to Denver on another alleged covert mission so that they could not be involved in any further developments.

The assassination of Williams and its cover up were the main problems. He was apparently poisoned by death cap mushrooms, amanita phalloides, just before he left to go back to Britain on 10th August, either by their being placed in the food at his apartment there or while he was eating out somewhere. Shortly after he returned, he suffered the vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, etc. which are characteristic of this kind of poisoning, but he seems not to have taken it seriously at first.

Almost everyone has had such experiences, and almost never have suspected that they were the results of deliberate, deadly poisoning, especially when they soon stopped - what also happened in this case. The only problem was that this was the second stage of the poisoning, and not just getting over some cook's alleged revenge. It apparently ended on the 14th after Williams bought some medication at Harrods Dispensing Pharmacy to deal with the resumption of the problems(29), but by now it was too little too late. Taking pills like rifampicin, antamanide, paclitaxed and the like orally are no substitute for them taken intervenously, especially if one has not at first cleaned out one's gut some way.

The plight of Williams is seen in the video tapes of him, both apparently taken on the 14th though the police say that one, the one outside Harrods, was on the 15th. Both show a very jaundiced, feverish soul, dragging himself around as best he can. His palour at the Holland Parik Station is that of a person going into the final stage of phallotoxin poisoning where the cells of the liver are dropping dead.(30) The police want, it seems, to explain away Williams having bought £90-worth of medication on the 14th, making it look like it was for women's toiletries - the cause of his alleged cross dressing - because they found a bill from the pharmacy at the flat but no signs of the medications. They want to maintain the myth that he was a perfectly healthy person until he surprisingly died for some unknown reason.

When Williams realized he was dying, perhaps on the night of the 14th, there was nothing he could do about it which would make it any better physically or mentally. Calls to family and friends would have only alarmed them, and alerted them that he was being murdered for some alleged betrayal. Going to a hospital or a doctor would end with results even worse. So he just allowed himself to die, slowly in his flat. The death could have occurred any time after the 15th, as the process usually takes between six and sixteen days after ingesting the poison. Williams hoped that the murder scene would be seen as such by the police when they finally discovered it.

It seems that Williams dead or dying was discovered by British covert agents, helping out NSA in the process. They were the ones who let themselves into the flat, found Williams' body, moved it into the carryall, zipped it up and padlocked it, recovered all his medicines, and then let themselves out, locking the door behind them. They hoped that investigators would see it as the result of some sex game, gone wrong. The only thing they overlooked was leaving the receipt for Williams' medical assistance.

It was most interesting that NSA immedidately and unprecedentally denied that his death had anything to do with its operations.(31) An alleged former CIA officer in London was sure that it had nothing to do with his work. Now the investigation of the murder is in a state of suspended animation, letting the Bureau agents see if they can connect the Mediterranean-looking couple to the killing - apparently a lead to Alex Chapman and his female associate - and if they can't, Williams will be written off as an accidental self-killing, like that of former GMP Chief Constable Mike Todd.


1. James Bamford, The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, p. 29. For more on the Catholic movement, see this link:
2. Ibid., p. 30.
3. For more belated discussion about the deadly controversy in Helm's memoirs, see Thomas Troy's review of it in Studies in Intelligence, and the cover-up response to it:
4. For more, see:
5. Quoted the back of the dustcover of Thomas C. Reed and Danny B. Stillman, The Nuclear Express.
6. James Bamford, Body of Secrets: How America's NSA and Britain's GCHQ Eavesdrop on the World, p. 549.
7. Bamford, op. cit., p. 8.
8. Ibid., pp. 31-2.
9. Quoted in ibid.,p. 41.
10 Bamford, The..., p. 329.
11. For more, see Trowbridge H. Ford, "O'Neill: A Voice in the Wilderness?," Eye Spy!, Issue Thirteen, pp. 22-23.
12. Bamford, The..., pp. 40-1.
13. For more, see Trowbridge H, Ford, "The Prelude: US Intelligence - 11 September 2001," Eye Spy!, Issue Eight, pp. 26-33.
14. Quoted from Bamford, The..., pp. 90-1.
15. Ibid., pp. 115-6.
16. Ibid., p. 38.
17. Ibid., p. 281.
18. Ibid., p. 287.
19. For more, see James O'Rourke's article:
20. Bamford, The..., p. 307.
21. For more, see this link:
22. And remember that Hayden was DCI when Studies in Intelligence printed the exchange which attempted to rehabilitate Helms
23. For more, see these links:

24. Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield, p.148
25. See, e. g., this link: http://www.cbsnews/com/stories/2010/06/28/world/main6627393.shtml
26. Bamford, The..., p. 67.
27. Ibid., p. 38.
28. See O'Rourke, op. cit.
29. For its existence - what some investigators deny - see this link:

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

CIA's Aggressive Spying Operations Against Russia Result in Continuing Fiascoes

by Trowbridge H. Ford

Thomas C. Reed As the Cold War was ending, the scientific establishments of Moscow and Beijing were most desirous of letting the world know what they had been able to achieve regarding weapons of mass destruction (WMD) since their inception, inviting Danny Stilliman, the former director of the Technical Intelligence Division at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, to visit Chinese facilities on many occasions, and former Soviet ones once in December 1991. While his hosts were most eager to let the world know what they had been able to achieve on their own in these various fields, Washington was not only most interested to learn for itself what had been accomplished but also engage in a good bit of spying to be on the safe side regarding current relations with the world powers which were seemingly losing much of their expansive punch. Director of Central Intelligence Robert Gates had just been confirmed to make sure that Washington was finally up to speed about their remaining potential. The world's only superpower, though, could not be complacent about what the future might have in store.

While Stillman's visits to China were by far the main interest of President Bush's decision-makers, his single trip to Russia was not without importance, especially if Moscow's counterparts were to revert, it seems, to their former Soviet ways. The Soviet Union had just experienced the previous summer the hardliners' unsuccessful coup, led by KGB Chief Vladimir Kryuchkov, to save it despite Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms, and President Boris Yeltsin did not manage to fully secure power until he defeated Vice President General Alexander Rutskoi and parliamentary speaker Russlan Khasbulatov in their attempt to seize power, thanks to his calling in Vladimir Putin and remnants of the security services to help out. No one could be sure how the struggle would finally work out, and whether it could provide serious problems for the West. After all, it was because of a lack of similar concern when Josef Stalin was gaining power that the original Cold War developed.

Thomas Reed, in telling of Stillman's Russian visit the following December in The Nuclear Express, juxtaposed it with the meeting Yeltsin and the new elected Presidents of the Ukraine and Belarus were holding in Brest to finally abolish the Soviet Union. It was there that Leon Trotsky signed the armistice with the Germans back in 1918 which started the Bolshevics on their way to world power. Regarding the substance of the meeting that Stillman had with former Soviet nuclear physicists, Reed took some liberties in discussing the role of his host, Yuliy Khariton, acting as if he was the grand old man of the Soviet atomic project when, in fact, he was only dragged into it by its real father, Igor Kurchatov, and had outlived many on its more important scientists. "He wanted recognition for all," Reed explained, "including credit to certain Americans for unknowingly giving help, but he also wanted to mark the boundary between espionage and Soviet science, and he wanted to be the one who drew that line." (p. 27)

Reed then reported that Khariton only admitted that German physicist Klaus Fuchs had helped the Soviets in designing their atomic bomb, adding quite erroneously that Fuchs was sending messages by "...the Greenglas-Rosenberg courier system" (p. 30) - obviously to implicate the executed couple in the most serious Soviet espionage when his handler was chemist Joseph Arnold Robbins aka Raymond. (Ronald Radosh and Joynce Milton, The Rosenberg File, p. 21) Communist physicists Ted Hall, George Koval and several other unnamed spies of various sorts were mentioned to remind Khariton of what dedicated Americans had contributed to Moscow's program. "Thus," Reed added, "the Soviet claim that Fuchs 'was our only spy' remains an article of Soviet cant, but it is not true." (p. 32) Then, when it came time for the Soviets to come up with their own thermonuclear bomb, he added sarcastically, they showed the same "impeccable physical intuition" (p. 37), so characteristic of Kurchatov's secret work, in discovering radiation implosion to trigger one which they had shown in coming up with a successful atomic bomb in the first place.

Reed got so carried away by the level of Soviet spying - what really got nuclear proliferation started - that he invented one, the alleged efforts of a Mr. Arthur Fielding (code name PERSEUS), another alleged American spy at Los Alamos who kept Moscow abreast of nuclear developments for years, only suspending connections for a few years because apparently of so many of his fellow spies being caught, and the Cold War really getting started. PERSEUS, well-connected to all the American nuclear scientists like Edward Teller and Stanislaus Ulam assigned to build a thermonuclear, was allegedly obliged to rejoin KGB spying efforts by playing up to his vanity, offering financial rewards, threatening him with exposure, and the like.Thanks to his spying, Teller, according to Stillman and Reed, became the father of both the American and Soviet H-bombs.(p. 41) Moreover, Andrei Sakharov did not originate the two-stage, radiation-imploded, thermonuclear bomb - only thought it worth looking into - what seasoned Soviet physicists German Goncharov and Lev Feoktistsov apparently corroborated - though Reed did not consider the possibility that they were just telling him tales to make him feel superior.

The same goes for Stillman and Reed accepting Lona Cohen' s deathbed confession to KGB operative Anatoly Yatsov aka Anatoly Yakovlev that PERSEUS was recruited by her husband Morris, and was indeed, the Soviet spy working all those years at Los Alamos. (p. 30, n. 10) The claim is obviously intended to make former communist J. Robert Oppenheimer, the chief science advisor to and one-time director of the Atomic Energy Commission, and the vigorous opponent of building any H-bomb, America's chief traitor, but there are all kinds of problems with doing so. The Cohens almost certainly did not recruit him, as books on Venona with this title by Nigel West (pp. 175-6), and John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr (pp. 317-21) show, and whose identity the Russians are most committed to keeping secret even now. The apparent reason is that PERSEUS was a far more effective spy than Oppenheimer ever could have been, though he would have been a great catch, and the disclosure of this true identity would have been a great embarrassment to the West, especially the special arrangement between Washington and London.

PERSEUS, it seems, is Peter Wright aka 'K' and SCOTT, the one-time Oxford recruiter in the days leading up to WWII, and who became so well-established by the time Germany invaded the Soviet Union, thanks to his discovery of the way to demagnetize ships against torpedoes, that he had access to all the secrets of the Manhatten Project in Britain.

Recently, a memo, dated July 1941, by KGB chief Vsevolod Merkulov was found, identifying SCOTT as civil servant Arthur Wynn, but this was just a convenient cover for Wright - whose candidate for the role had always been Wynn (Spy Catcher, pp. 265-7) - who the Soviets hoped would soon be rejoining them as 'K' since the Non-Aggression Pact with the Nazis was over. It was while he was working with Gordon Lonsdale's spy ring well after the war's end that he got to know of the Cohens, then known as the Krogers, and now his courier for stolen material, and little wonder that Lona finally did what her Soviet masters wanted by not revealing his identity. In the process, Moscow was doing Britain a favor by not divulging his identity, and Reed and Stillman took advantage of the gap at Oppenheimer's apparent expense.

Stillman still kept up the threat of Wright's possible exposure by reporting to the FBI in Santa Fe in the mid-1990s his suspicions about PERSUES but the investigation of him soon got sidetracked by the Bureau checking on another Stillman charge of communist spying - that allegedly of Los Alamos's Wen Ho Lee for the Chinese (p. 38). Certainly, PERSEUS could not have been Oppenheimer since he was long dead, and Stillman said that the Soviet spy was still alive. Peter Wright was sill alive. After PERSEUS finally died, Stillman and Reed still refused to identify who they thought he was "...since he can neither defend his faimly nor refute our arguments..." Then one can only wonder why they did make the claims while he was still alive, and they then incredibly added: "The actual identity of PERSEUS does not matter - his fingerprints are what count." The point seems to be to make people a bit paranoid about the possibility of spying

If anyone has any doubts about their believing that other unidentified Americans are still spying for Moscow in large numbers - what continues to fuel the runaway nuiclear express which is threatening the destruction of the civilized world, they should just read more carefully what they have written. When Stillman and Reed were making thier farewells from Moscow, Khariton still repeating the alleged myth that only Fuchs had helped it with its program, they reminded readers that he "...also neglected to mention Khrushchev's decision, in April 1957, to pass on Khariton's sophisticated nuclear technology to the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) an aid package that was to include an atomic bomb."(p. 44)

For anyone who had any doubts about where this could lead, they said this at the book's outset: "Certain parts of the Chinese government may have decided it would be in their best interest to accept, or even encourage, multiple nuclear events (or wars) within the Western world: thus the apparent Chinese tolerance of North Korean, Pakistani, and Iranian nuclear amibtions." (p. 4.)

To meet this apparent threatening challenge, Stillman and Reed urged the West, espcially Washington, to gear up for a new Cold War with its new enemies. The Presidents of the United States and Russia must see that existing safeguards against nuclear proliferation are observed. Their scientists, engineers, and technicians must not be allowed to obstruct, divert, or interfere with the process. There must be no return of either Maoists or Leninists to positions of power in either China or Russia. To know what is really on the minds of our new enemies, the American intellligence community must know that it "...can only be accomplished on the ground, with great effort, training, and by the recruitment of Muslim and North Korean agents in place." (p. 327) America needs, according to them, a good, independent DCI - unlike what it has received from recent, politically-minded ones. "Divisive efforts," they concluded, "will surely bring about the greatest train wreck in the history of mankind.(p. 330)

The trouble with these Cassandra-like calls is not that they have been ignored but rather that they have been taken too seriously. Since Obama's election as President, Washington has essentially done what they called for - e. g., using its vast lead in space weapons to help stop nuclear proliferation, increasing dramatically the funding of its intelligence community and seeing that the Director of National Intelligence gets out of the covert intelligence business, putting a new emphasis upon humint and a DCI who will see to its use in spades, attempting to determine what important possible adversaries are thinking about doing and developing networks to learn how what has been decided is being executed, etc.

Of course, these are admirable aims - what almost all intelligence communities have contended they were doing - but they must be done in the right context, and with a due sense of proportion. A go-for-broke mentality - where anything goes, cost is not an important considertion, all kinds of agencies to do it, and there is no concern about unexpected blowback - can only lead to more and more unexpected surprises. These operations are carried out in the real world - not some secure laboratory - and the more they are engaged in, the more America's opponents will see what is going on, and adopt appropriate countermeasures.

In the post-Soviet period, the alarms raised against Moscow et al.- what Stillman and Reed have almost made an avocation of - have generally proven quite overblown. Weapons systems - whether they be missiles, nuclear weapons, or other weapons of mass destruction, and the whereabouts of scientists who know how to make and use them - have often been overstated, and when finally determined, the Cassandras only come up with new claims, like Putin being a kind of intelligence dictator. While he is no Hitler, they remind readers, "...he does describe the dissolution of the Soviet Union as 'the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century'." (p. 200) The latest scare, according to Stillman's and Reed's "highly placed Russian sources" (p. 200), is Moscow's development of domes of light which will incapacitate intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) by nonnuclear means while still outside the atmosphere, and well away from their intended targets, rendering the INF treaty meaningless. They even included photographs of these mysterious light rays to help raise alarm about what they say the Russians are up to.

Little wonder that the Agency began focusing its intelligence gathering on such mysterious projects, hoping through efforts in Russia and China especially, and through talent-hunting for potential spies in the States, Washington could determine what was afoot. It was the Soviets' Great Illegal agents during the 1930s - such as Arnold Deutsch who was so successful in recruiting Cambridge University graduates, Nazi-posing journalist Richard Sorge who gave Stalin just what he needed to know about what the Japanese were planning before Pearl Harbor, and, of course, Ruth Kuczinski aka SONYA who recruited the Oxford spies, especially Fuchs and Wright - who gave the Soviets such insights into what they might be facing, and what they must do if they hoped to prevail. Illegals, particularly due to their talent-hunting, have a long-range potential which no other spies can match. Of course, the problems are finding ones in the right places, who are willing and able to do the job, and will always be most careful about their role, particularly not saying anything unnecessary to those recruited.

A 'false-flag' one is an easier job, at least at first, as it is easy to misrepresent who one is really working for, and to entice naive youngsters, eager to try out something exciting with few questions asked.

This, it seems, is what happened with the Manhattan 11, a group recruited by the Agency in Russia while largely youths. under the impression that they would be on the lookout for SVR illegals in West, working for the mysterious Putin people, while living comfortable lives there, particularly in the USA. The paymaster was Christopher Metsos who received considerable funds from his alleged Russian handler, and buried it in a Northern Virginia park for his agents to retrieve. Richard Murphy, husband of fellow spy Cynthia, then dug up a good bit of it, and took it to New Jersey where Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills, living near the Agency's headquarters in Northern Virginia, went to pick up sizeable sums, and valuable assets on at least four occasions.

They, and Michael Semenko, conveniently turned themselves in to US authorities when they heard of other arrests. Another Russian in Cambridge stole the identity of Canadian Donald Heathfield - what Soviet agents like Colonel Rudolf Abel aka Gordon Lonsdale and Colonel Vasili Gordievsky had used to such great advantage - and spoke to an employee of the US government about nuclear weapons research in 2005, alerting the Bureau to his bogus status as so many false Canadian passports were being used then by covert agencies, especially the Mossad.

I must add that this all reminds me of what was intended to happen two years ago when I went to California to help in the rehabilitation of my girl friend's son. This. according to the Agency, was just a pretext for my going to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to learn what was going on there from employees and/or calling or visiting Reed himself who lives in nearby Healdsburg to discuss the latest in America's nuclear weapons research.

An alleged woman spy in the Manhattan 11 case, Peruvian-born journalist Vicky Pelaez, was offered a £1,300 monthy stipend, and a chance to live the rest of her life in Russia by apparently recruiting her husband, retired CUNY Baruch College Professor Jaun Lagaro, as a fellow spy, but he successfully denied the charge, and his wife refused the offer. Last but not least, this group's alleged Mata Hari was Anna Chapman, who is as likely to appear on the cover of Playboy magazine than in any intelligence agency. It all seems much lost time, trouble and expense for absolutely nothing.

To top it all off, domestic paymaster Metsos, the only operator who could shed serious light on the whole matter, jumped his puny bail after having been arrested in Cyprus, and has gone ever since conveninetly missing.

As spy games go, the whole operation was a success, with Moscow having to go along with the set up for fear to becoming the world's laughing stock if it didn't, though it still only acknowledged originally that all but one of the alleged spies were Russians. In return, Washington received back four of its own real, low-level spies. In strategic terms, though, it just caused more problems than it solved. Washington is still having to pay a price in the long run for making such an essentially pointless mess.

And to prevent this, the FBI just posted yesterday a video of its most belated, decade-long surveillance of the eleven spies. What is really interesting, though, is that all the encounters are shown with the alleged Russian spies, particularly Chapman, Murphy and Metsos, clearly shown while only the backs or the blurred faces of their handlers or contacts are shwon.

It would seem most telling if they were really Russian agents in Washington or at the UN who were involved in making the drops, and picking up others. It would prove most embarrassing and difficult for those in Moscow.

Instead it is just more disinformation by the Bureau to suit the making of Russian spies by the CIA, especially while Leon Panetta was DCI, like all those stories about sexy Anna getting all those top jobs and publicity for being a Mata Hari who Putin was obliged to take back under his wing.

He must still be laughing