She tried to stop “shock and awe” attack on Iraq 15 years ago. Now patriot Karen Kwiatkowski is featured in “Shock and Awe,” a film directed by Rob Reiner.
YOU ARE INVITED to honor Karen Kwiatkowski, PhD, Lt Col, USAF (ret.), for her integrity and courage before the Iraq War. Karen is this year’s winner of the annual Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence award. (SAAII website: samadamsaward.ch)
Date: Saturday, December 8, 2018
Time: 6:30 PM Showing of film, “Shock and Awe”
8:00 PM Presentation 17th annual Sam Adams Award
Ceremony will include remarks by Larry Wilkerson, 7th SAAII awardee (in 2009)
Place: The Festival Center, 1640 Columbia Road, NW, Washington, DC 20009
FREE: But RSVP, if you can, to give us an idea of how many to expect; email: email@example.com
ALL WELCOME: Lots of space in main conference room
BACKGROUND: As many are aware, dishonest (not “mistaken”) intelligence greased the skids for the widespread killing and maiming in the Middle East that began with the Cheney/Bush “Shock and Awe” attack on Iraq. The media reveled in the unconscionable (but $$$ lucrative) buzzword “shock-and-awe” for the initial attack. In retrospect, the real shock lies in the awe-some complicity of virtually all “mainstream media” in the leading false predicate for this war of aggression — weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Only one major media group, Knight Ridder, avoided the presstitution, so to speak. It faced into the headwinds blowing from the “acceptable” narrative, did the investigative spadework, and found patriotic insiders who told them the truth. Karen Kwiatkowski, who had a front-row seat at the Pentagon, was one key source for the intrepid Knight Ridder journalists. Karen tells us that her actual role is accurately portrayed in the professional actress in the movie.
Other members of SAAII were involved as well, but we will leave it to them to share on Saturday evening how they helped Knight Ridder accurately depict the pre-war administration/intelligence/media fraud.
More recently, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper added a coda to pre-Iraq-War intelligence performance. Clapper was put in charge of imagery analysis before the Iraq war and was able to conceal the fact that there were were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In his memoir, Clapper writes that Vice President Cheney “was pushing” for imagery analysis “to find (emphasis in original) the WMD sites.”
For the record, none were found because there were none, although Clapper — “eager to help” — gave it the old college try.
Clapper proceeds, in a matter-of-fact way, to blame not only pressure from the Cheney/Bush administration, but also “the intelligence officers, including me, who were so eager to help that we found what wasn’t really there.”
And, oh, yes; those Clapper-produced “artist renderings” of “mobile production facilities for biological agents”? Those trucks “were in fact used to pasteurize and transport milk,” Clapper admits nonchalantly. When challenged on all this while promoting his memoir at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington, DC, (See:
https://consortiumnews.com/2018/11/14/clappers-credibility-collapses/ ), Clapper gave not the slightest hint that it occurred to him that his performance was somewhat lacking.
Media: Consequential Malfeasance
As for the self-licking ice cream cone that “mainstream media” have become, and how they overlook little peccadillos like feeding at the government PR trough and helping Cheney and Bush attack Iraq, well — now, now — let’s not be nasty. Here’s how Jill Abramson, NY Times Washington Bureau Chief from 2000 to 2003 while the Times acted as drum major for the war, lets Bob Woodward off the hook for his own abysmal investigative performance.
Reviewing Woodward’s recent book on the Trump White House, Abramson praises Woodward’s “dogged investigative reporting,” notes that he has won two Pulitzer Prizes, and adds, “His work has been factually unassailable.” Then she (or more probably an editor judging that to be more than a little over-the-top) adds this in parenthesis: (His judgment is certainly not perfect, and he has been self-critical about his belief, based on reporting before the Iraq War, that there were weapons of mass destruction.)
Are we to believe the Abramsons, Woodwards, et al. of the media elite simply missed the WMD deception. (Hundreds of insiders knew of it, and some were willing to share the truth with Knight Ridder reporters.) Or did the media moguls simply hunker down and let themselves be co-opted into helping Cheney/Bush start a major war? The latter seems much more likely: and transparent attempts to cover up for one another, still, is particularly sad — and consequential. Having suffered no consequences (for example, in 2003 Abramson was promoted to Managing Editor of the NYT), the “mainstream media” appear just as likely to do a redux on Iran.
This is why there will be a premium on honest insider patriots, like Karen Kwiatkowski, to rise to the occasion and try to prevent the next war. Bring along your insider friends; they need to know about Karen and about Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.
Please do come and join us in congratulating Karen Kwiatkowski and the other SAAII members who also helped Knight Ridder get the story right. (Those others shall remain unnamed until Saturday.) And let insiders know about this; they are not likely to hear about all this otherwise.)
And again, if convenient, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Presentation of 2018 Sam Adams Award to Karen Kwiatkowski
December 8, 7:30 PM
Main Conference Room
The Festival Center
1640 Columbia Road, NW
Washington, DC 20009
“Shock and Awe” is a Rob Reiner film about how Knight Ridder journalists did a far better job on pre-iraq war intelligence than other news organizations. To refresh memories, Ann Wright, Larry Johnson, Gareth Porter, and I went to see a premier showing of “Shock and Awe” in downtown Washington this past summer.
During the discussion after the showing that night, our VIPS colleague Karen Kwiatkowski came out of the woodwork and acknowledged that she was one of the main folks (she was played well by an actress in the film) upon whom Knight Ridder journalists Jonathan Landay and Warren Stroebel depended for material. It was a wonderful surprise to most of us, even though others of us had also been in touch — independently — with JL and WS. What a treat to learn of our colleague Karen’s courage, and to be able to give her, on the spot before all assembled, big hugs of congrats for her courage. A big night for VIPS.
As many of you will recall, Elizabeth Murray handled the SAAII nomination and voting for the Sam Adams award this year, and Karen came out on top by a landslide. Here is what Elizabeth wrote to us in one of her emails, quoting those of us who were at the DC showing of the film:
“Karen had unique insight into how the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans, led by close Cheney-ally Navy Captain Bill Luti, usurped the role of intelligence agencies, suppressed and/or distorted intelligence analysis, and fed falsehoods to Bush and Congress before the attack on Iraq.
“What none of us knew before July 11 is that Karen was a very important whistleblower. We were surprised and elated that evening during the Q & A following a preview of Rob Reiner’s new film, “Shock and Awe,” when Karen identified herself as one of the main whistleblowers portrayed in the film. It tells the story of the Knight Ridder (now McClatchy) reporters who did due diligence in seeking out sources like Karen and, uniquely among the MSM, were able to get the story largely right. The film is basically an account of the hurdles encountered by Knight Ridder reporters Landay and Stroebel, and how whistleblowers like Karen became essential sources.”
We plan tentatively to show the film, or parts of it, at the awards ceremony, for those who have no yet seen. Typically, someone apparently told neighborhood theaters not to show it (surprise, surprise].
The award ceremony will provide an excellent opportunity to talk about how whistle-blowing can be effective — and might conceivably be able to stop the next feckless war. In addition to Karen herself, Larry Wilkerson (Sam Adams awardee in 2009) has agreed to be one of the speakers. When she accepts the traditional corner-brightener candlestick holder (SAAII’s Oscar to shine light in dark places), Karen will become SAAII’s 17th Sam Adams award recipient.
The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity in a memo to the Twitter board of directors questions its decision to suspend the account of one of its members without due process.
August 8, 2018 (published on Consortiumnews.com)
TO: Twitter Board of Directors
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Suspension of VIPS Associate Peter Van Buren’s Twitter Account
We at Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) are greatly disturbed by the recent decision of your management to permanently suspend the Twitter account @WeMeantWell of our colleague Peter Van Buren. Peter is a highly respected former Foreign Service Officer possessing impeccable credentials for critiquing current developments that might lead to a new war in Eastern Europe or Asia, something which we Americans presumably all would like to avoid.
In 2011 our colleague Peter published a book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, about the poor decision- making by both civilians and military that led to the disastrous occupation and faux-democracy development in Iraq. It is Peter’s concern that our country may well be proceeding down that same path again — possibly with Iran, Syria and other countries in the Middle East region.
It is our understanding that Peter became involved in an acrimonious Twitter exchange with several mainstream journalists over the theme of government lying. One of the parties to the exchange, reported to be Jonathan Katz of @KatzOnEarth — possibly joined by some of his associates – complained. Subsequently, and without any serious investigation or chance for rebuttal regarding the charges, Peter was suspended by you for “harass[ing], intimidate[ing], or us[ing] fear to silence someone else’s voice.” Peter absolutely denies that anything like that took place.
We have also learned that Daniel McAdams, Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and a highly respected former Congressional staffer, weighed in to defend Peter and was also suspended by you. And Scott Horton, editorial director of Antiwar.com Radio, was suspended for use of “improper language” against Katz. Horton and McAdams cannot add new tweets while under suspension, but Peter’s “permanent” suspension included deletion of all of his seven years’ archive of tweets, so the actual exchanges leading up to his punishment cannot currently be examined.
Your action suggests three possibilities — all of which are quite plausible given that your system for punishing users is far from transparent. First, you may be engaged in systematic manipulation if some of your users are able to complain and have their friends do likewise in order to sully the reputation of a Twitter user who is doing little more than engaging in heated debate over issues that concern all of us.
Second, there is a distinct possibility that you are responding to either deep pocketed or particularly strident advocacy groups that may themselves have agendas to silence opposition voices. We note that Google is currently working with some powerful foundations to censor content they object to which comes up in search engine results.
Finally – third — we also suspect a possible government hand in that companies like yours, to include Facebook, have become very sensitive to alleged “subversive” content, deleting accounts and blocking users. Kowtowing to government suggestions to silence critics of administration policies may well be considered a desirable proactive step by your management as well as by other social media companies, but censorship is censorship, no matter how you dress it up.
We Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity believe that systematic and/or institutionalized censorship of tweets and account users is fundamentally the wrong way to go unless there are very explicit and sustained threats of violence or other criminal behavior. The internet should be free, to include most particularly the ability to post commentary that is not mainstream or acceptable to the Establishment. That is what Peter has been doing and we applaud him for it. We respectfully request that you examine the facts in the case with the objective of reconsidering and possibly restoring the suspension of Peter Van Buren’s twitter account. Thank you.
For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity:
William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)
Richard H. Black, Senator of Virginia, 13th District; Colonel US Army (ret); former chief, Criminal Law Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General, the Pentagon (associate VIPS) (@SenRichardBlack)
Bogdan Dzakovic, former team leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.) (@infangenetheof)
Larry C. Johnson, former CIA and State Department Counterterrorism Officer (ret.)
Michael S. Kearns, Captain, USAF (ret.); Wing Commander, RAAF (ret.); former intelligence officer and master SERE instructor (@msk6793)
John Kiriakou, former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former senior investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee (@johnkiriakou)
Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.) (associate VIPS) (@usalinda)
Edward Loomis, NSA, cryptologic computer scientist (ret.)
Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.) (@raymcgovern)
Annie Machon, former intelligence officer in the UK’s MI5 domestic security service (affiliate VIPS) (@anniemachon)
Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, CIA and National Intelligence Council (ret.) (@elizabethmurra)
Todd E. Pierce, Maj, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.) (@ToddEPierce)
Scott Ritter, former Maj., USMC; former UN weapons inspector, Iraq (@RealScottRitter)
Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.) (@coleenrowley)
J. Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA (ret.) (@kirkwiebe)
Sarah Wilton, Commander, US Naval Reserve (ret.) and Defense Intelligence Agency (ret.)
Robert Wing, former Foreign Service Officer (associate VIPS)
Ann Wright, US Army Reserve Colonel (Ret) and former US Diplomat
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) is made up of former intelligence officers, diplomats, military officers and congressional staffers. The organization, founded in 2002, was among the first critics of Washington’s justifications for launching a war against Iraq. VIPS advocates a US foreign and national security policy based on genuine national interests rather than contrived threats promoted for largely political reasons. An archive of VIPS memoranda is available at Consortiumnews.com.