The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
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Foreign Policy

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A reshaped Al-Qaeda is more dangerous than before.
America’s war against terrorism is a conflict unlike any other in history. Amorphous and multi-faceted, it spans the globe and engages United States resources on battlefields where victory can never be declared. It is above all an intelligence war, in which detailed information on opponents, their travels, and plans are equivalent to the movement of... Read More
In Washington it is hardly a secret that the same people in and around the administration who brought you Iraq are preparing to do the same for Iran. The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be... Read More
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Billions of dollars have disappeared, gone to bribe Iraqis and line contractors’ pockets.
The United States invaded Iraq with a high-minded mission: destroy dangerous weapons, bring democracy, and trigger a wave of reform across the Middle East. None of these have happened. When the final page is written on America’s catastrophic imperial venture, one word will dominate the explanation of U.S. failure—corruption. Large-scale and pervasive corruption meant that... Read More
Who was behind the Niger uranium documents?
From the beginning, there has been little doubt in the intelligence community that the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame was part of a bigger story. That she was exposed in an attempt to discredit her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, is clear, but the drive to demonize Wilson cannot reasonably be attributed only to... Read More
By the time President Bush finally announced it, his surge strategy was old news. But an unexpected section of the speech jarred the normally somnolent mainstream media: “Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. … And we will seek out and destroy the networks... Read More
A special group at the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center, very similar to the group that tracked the activity of al-Qaeda through the 1990s, has been working on the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah over the past three years. In the wake of the failed Israeli incursion into Lebanon last summer, the White House asked these Hezbollah... Read More
CIA Can't Handle the Truth; Mossad's Bodysnatching
A special group at the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center, very similar to the group that tracked the activity of al-Qaeda through the 1990s, has been working on the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah over the past three years.In the wake of the failed Israeli incursion into Lebanon last summer, the White House asked these Hezbollah analysts... Read More
A new report gives the Pentagon intelligence peddler a pass.
Pentagon Inspector General Thomas Gimble’s narrow report on the activities of Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith’s Office of Special Plans was not quite a whitewash, but neither was it an indictment. The report, presented to Congress on Feb. 9, rightly condemned Feith’s attempt to create what it charitably called “an alternative intelligence assessment process,” lacking... Read More
The neocon propaganda machine turns toward Iran
Retired Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner warned in late 2006 that a sign that the U.S. is preparing to go to war with Iran would be an increase in leaks and disinformation designed to sell the war to the American public. There has been a steady drumbeat of negative reporting about Iran over the past... Read More
Tenet's Expensive Account; Powell Wins Turf War
Former Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet continues to come under fire for profiting directly from the Iraq War, about which he now claims to have had misgivings. Tenet has reportedly received a $4-million advance from HarperCollins for his book At the Center of the Storm, and he also commands a speaking fee of $50,000... Read More
Can terrorists get into Harvard?; Admitting Retreat; Karen of Arabia
Warren Bamford, the special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Boston, has warned local universities to be on the alert for spies and potential terrorists who might be trying to steal sensitive research information. Bamford’s office has met with representatives of the major universities in the Boston area, including Harvard, MIT, University... Read More
Eveything Israel wants you to know about its secret airstrike
On Sept. 6, Israeli F-15s and F-16s attacked a site near Dayr az-Zawr in northern Syria, though the strike wasn’t confirmed for nearly two weeks. The Washington Post reported on Sept. 13 that according to a former Israeli official, “it was an attack against a facility capable of making unconventional weapons.” Two days later, Syria... Read More
Israel plays war games with Syria
An Oct. 13 New York Times front-page story claiming American and foreign intelligence confirmation that the Israeli strike on Syria last month was on a nuclear reactor being constructed with North Korean aid was based on misleading information leaked by Eliott Abrams and Stephen Hadley at the National Security Council. Other than Hadley and Abrams,... Read More
Turks Don't Give Thanks; Al Jazeera's Paranoia Play; White House Sends Back Undercooked Books
Turkish officials and senior military officers are angry about the results of the Nov. 5 meeting in Washington between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President George W. Bush. An agreement was reached whereby the U.S. would not oppose Turkey’s plans to launch air strikes against the PKK in Northern Iraq whenever the Turks have... Read More
A reality-based assessment of Iran’s nuclear capability
The bombshell National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s nuclear program asserted with a “high degree of certainty” that Tehran had abandoned its nuclear weapons in 2003 due to international pressure and as part of a negotiated agreement with the Europeans. The report stated that even if Tehran were to restart its program, it would not have... Read More
FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds spills her secrets.
Most Americans have never heard of Sibel Edmonds, and if the U.S. government has its way, they never will. The former FBI translator turned whistleblower tells a chilling story of corruption at Washington’s highest levels—sale of nuclear secrets, shielding of terrorist suspects, illegal arms transfers, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, espionage. She may be a first-rate... Read More
Flight Path to Damascus
Israel’s Sept. 6 bombing of a building in Syria continues to be shrouded in secrecy, but both American analysts and United Nations investigators now believe that the entire incident was the result of poor intelligence compiled by the Israelis and accepted by a gullible White House. The follow-up investigation has been hampered by the Bush... Read More
Director of Central Intelligence General Michael Hayden’s assertion on “Meet the Press” on Sunday that he has a “personal belief” that Iran has a nuclear weapons program would not be so disturbing if it had not been preceded by statements from President Bush and Vice President Cheney. On March 19th, Bush was apparently speaking in... Read More
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been complaining to anyone willing to stand around and listen that his ill-conceived attack on rogue cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Medhi Army in Basra was carried out under orders from Dick Cheney, who had visited Baghdad the week before the fighting started. Per al-Maliki, Cheney told him that the time... Read More
There seems to be a lot of back-and-forthing on the TAC blog site about Barack Obama and, more specifically, whether conservatives and Republicans will vote for him. Forgive me, but it seems to me to be a bit of an egghead exercise speculating on what real Republicans and real conservatives think and what they will... Read More
The British Ministry of Defense has leaked a story that General Petraeus will damn Iran when he reports to the president and congress later this week, setting the stage for hostilities. The British fear that the all-too-political Petraeus is preparing to do the White House bidding to deal with the Iranian threat before Bush leaves... Read More
The campaign against Admiral Fallon.
Nineteenth century British statesmen believed that the national interest should drive all government policy. Twenty-first century America has no sense of a national interest and therefore has no energy policy, no industrial policy, no immigration policy, and no foreign policy. Maladroit Bush Administration global meddling has empowered the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, created a... Read More
Leading neocon pundit Charles Krauthammer's op-ed piece in today's Washington Post entitled "The Holocaust Declaration" is astonishing even by The Hammer's admittedly low standards. He calls on the next president to declare that any nuclear attack on Israel by Iran will be treated as if it were an attack on the United States. The warning... Read More
The conviction is growing in intelligence circles that Usama bin Laden's days might be numbered, but his demise will likely have nothing to do with Bush Administration efforts to kill him, which continue to be inept, unfocused, and overly reliant on allies like Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to do the heavy lifting. Many officers within... Read More
This is all far too serious. Time for a ghost story. About a month ago, my wife was sewing in her room where women do things that are incomprehensible to men. She heard a voice speaking in the kitchen, two rooms away, but I was the only other person in the house and I was... Read More
The story of Jimmy Carter's possible breakthrough with Hamas is predictably already disappearing from the media. It should have been good news that Hamas might be willing to consider recognizing the existence of an Israeli state and that Syria, desperate for peace, believes that 85% of outstanding differences with Tel Aviv have already been resolved,... Read More
Israeli sources are reporting that the FBI investigation of the Ben-Ami Kadish spy case resulted from a leak coming from inside the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The information on Kadish and on a number of other Americans who have spied for Israel was provided to the FBI anonymously, leading to the Bureau's opening... Read More
If the neocons ever leave us what will we do when we need a good laugh? A recent foray into the world of fantasy and invention, all presented with what one presumes to be a straight face, is the redoubtable neocon warrior couple Fred and Kimberly Kagan's piece in The Weekly Standard "The Patton of... Read More
The few people in US intelligence circles who were actually allowed to review the evidence provided by the Israelis regarding the alleged Syrian nuclear facility have called it "bullshit." Perhaps the mainstream media should note the implausibility of the tale being spun given the inability of Syria to support any nuclear program. They should challenge... Read More
Yesterday CIA Director Michael Hayden said "It is my opinion, it is the policy of the Iranian government, approved to highest level of that government, to facilitate the killing of Americans in Iraq. Just make sure there's clarity on that." Admittedly the whole statement is a bit awkward, but Hayden was speaking in Kansas at... Read More
I have had serious misgivings about CIA Director Michael Hayden, first because he is a tad too attached to his uniform and title "General" for someone who is heading a civilian agency. Not to mention that he is an Air Force officer who does not know how to fly while the rows of ribbons on... Read More
Maybe Iran didn't do it directly, but it is a member of OPEC. OPEC is at fault. The surge in gas pump prices, caused by a weak dollar due to unsustainable trade and government deficits as well as speculation on oil and gas futures, has become a political football. Hillary the populist wants to bring... Read More
There is considerable speculation and buzz in Washington today suggesting that the National Security Council has agreed in principle to proceed with plans to attack an Iranian al-Qods-run camp that is believed to be training Iraqi militants. The camp that will be targeted is one of several located near Tehran. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates... Read More
The Saudi Arabian monarchy has privately sought advice on what is likely to happen in the November US presidential elections and is shaping its policy towards Washington accordingly. The US consulting firm they hired has provided them with a confidential assessment stating that the likely Democratic candidate Barack Obama will lose to Republican John McCain... Read More
There is an astonishing essay on today's New York Times editorial page by Errol Morris entitled "The Most Curious Thing." It is the story surrounding an Abu Ghraib photo showing a grinning American woman soldier giving a thumbs up over the body of an Iraqi who died under torture by the CIA. What is most... Read More
Republican candidate-presumptive John McCain is interviewing possible vice presidents this week end. A number of "conservative" Republicans including Romney, Crist, and Jindal will be involved, but the media is generally not reporting that Senator Joe Lieberman is also one of the finalists. I predicted back in February that McCain would opt for his sometime Democrat... Read More
On Memorial Day we must remember our honored dead but should also not forget the many living neoconservatives who have made the wars possible that have sent so many of our soldiers to their final resting places. I am particularly thinking of the first family of War for the Asking, the Kagans - Donald, Robert,... Read More
I am participating in a panel discussion on Friday as part of the 40th reunion of my class at the University of Chicago. I will be the token conservative pitted against three "progressives" who participated in the various building occupations, teach-ins, and demonstrations that took place in 1967-8, mostly directed against the war in Vietnam.... Read More
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Pay no mind to the Mossad agent on the line.
After Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to life in prison in 1986, the U.S. negotiated an understanding with Israel—a “gentlemen’s agreement” —stipulating that neither nation would thenceforth conduct espionage operations in the other’s territory without consent. But the agreement was a sham from the beginning. The Israeli government didn’t even honor its commitments in... Read More
For those who still believe that calling congressmen and expressing one's views can be beneficial, there will be a national mobilization tomorrow on the subject of dialogue with Iran. The Campaign for a New American Policy on Iran has gathered together a number of sponsoring groups from all across the political spectrum who are united... Read More
Heard a good joke last night that I will share. This joke is apparently making the rounds in Tehran. A senior ayatollah was asked if the United States will attack Iran. "Definitely not," he replied. "But President Bush has vowed that Iran will not have a nuclear program and he insists that he will use... Read More
One of the Bush Administration's great successes has been its destruction of the CIA, which it regarded as insufficiently loyal to the White House mission of reshaping the world. CIA is now part of a ponderous and ineffective intelligence community that wastes billions of dollars annually while failing to capture or kill fifteen men in... Read More
I was sickened today in reading the Washington Post front page article "CIA Played Larger Role in Advising Pentagon." The article states that a CIA "counterterrorism lawyer" named Jonathan Fredman had counseled the military authorities running Guantanamo that torture is basically "subject to perception" noting that CIA had "well trained individuals" to "perform this technique,"... Read More
I have been reliably informed that the CIA added two new stars to the wall of its entranceway about three weeks ago, signifying that two more clandestine service officers have been killed in action. Both died while searching for Osama bin Laden along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The ceremony adding the stars was... Read More
I have just been reading about Italian businessman Raffaello Follieri, who reportedly fraudulently convinced New York investors that he was a Vatican financial officer who would be able to obtain redundant church properties at knock down prices for redevelopment. Follieri would not even be having his fifteen minutes of fame but for the fact that... Read More
The mainstream media has been almost completely silent regarding the latest move to punish Iran in the form of House Resolution 362, which is moving rapidly through the system and will undoubtedly be passed by a large margin in congress. The resolution, written by Gary Ackerman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the... Read More
The penultimate issue of TAC (currently on the website) had several articles on the production of food and the social and cultural benefits of dining as a family that were well worth reading. My mother-in-law, who comes from the north of England, is visiting us in Virginia for a month. It is only day three,... Read More
My daughter had an unfortunate experience this weekend near Winchester in Virginia. She and a group of friends were tubing on the Shenandoah River. Nearby a large group of Hispanics were at a public park picnicking, apparently a regular event in that area. A boy and his father were wading in the river when suddenly... Read More
The Benny Morris op-ed in the NYT last Friday should provide convincing evidence that Israel really really really wants an attack against Iran sooner rather than later. Morris is close to the Israeli government and his case that Iran must be bombed soon and with maximum conventional weaponry to avoid using nukes later was clearly... Read More
Philip Giraldi
About Philip Giraldi

Phil Giraldi is a former CIA Case Officer and Army Intelligence Officer who spent twenty years overseas in Europe and the Middle East working terrorism cases. He holds a BA with honors from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD in Modern History from the University of London. In addition to TAC, where he has been a contributing editor for nine years, he writes regularly for Antiwar.com. He is currently Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest and resides with his wife of 32 years in Virginia horse country close to his daughters and grandchildren.


Personal Classics
Shouldn't they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?
A Modern Guernica Enabled by Washington
Pressuring Candidates Even Before They Are Nominated
But is it even a friend?
The gagged whistleblower goes on the record.
Today’s CIA serves contractors and bureaucrats—not the nation.