More than 50 US intelligence analysts have formally complained that their analysis is being altered further up the chain to create good news stories about the US military action in Iraq and Syria. Twelve years after we were lied into Iraq War II, it seems nothing has changed. And as usual, Congress is silent.
Ron Paul: Hello everybody and thank you for tuning in to the Liberty Report. With me today is Daniel McAdams. Daniel good to see you today.
Daniel McAdams: Good morning Dr. Paul.
Ron Paul: Good. We have a subject today we want to deal with, foreign policy, something that seems to me that the media, the ordinary media, totally ignores, because we are still spending a lot of money and in this Congress, Republicans and Democrats want to spend even more money on it and things are not going so well as usual and sometimes we get misled, not only misled into the wars, but misled for the perpetuation of war.
Last week you and I both read an article in the New York Times and .com and it was not a shock for me at least, but it was still very, very annoying and the title of it is “Military analysts again raises red flags on progress in Iraq”. We’ve heard positive things, I remember personally, since I was in the military in the 60s, about all the wonderful positive things that were happening and why we are going to have victory in Iraq and it was on and on. Why are they saying this again and just who is this individual right now that is sort of breaking the story, it is not himself, because he has some ammunition, because he has some allies in the intelligence community.
Daniel McAdams: Yeah, it’s interesting, Gregory Hooker is his name and he has been a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst for two decades now. He blew the whistle in the Iraq war, that they were fixing the intelligence, fixing the facts around the policy, but we have been following this and it has been under the radar for a few weeks now that 50, at least 50 intelligence analysts at the U.S. Central Command and their DIA analysts have lodged formal complaints that their analysis has been altered as it goes up the pipe ultimately to the President. This is a really, really serious issue, because if the President is making serious military decisions based on faulty intelligence, manipulated intelligence, how could he possibly even if he wanted to do the right thing?
Ron Paul: That to me seems like the impossible thing; maybe that is a reflection of how things are going so badly there. They are in a bit denial, this was presented just recently to the Senate and one of the Senators got very upset because “we are painting too rosy of a picture,” but where were they 5 or 10 years ago for getting into it. The members of Congress go along with it, the people go along with it, they listen to all this propaganda, but now that things are apparently going very badly, I think it sort of everybody, who is going to get blamed for this?
This is a blame game and politicians certainly don’t want blame, they want to throw it back to the intelligence gathering people or the President or the Republicans or the Democrats and it goes on and on trying to blame the individual, but they never talk about the strategic planning, what is the strategic goal of all this and they never talk about this. I think the issue here really is getting the right information, so even if you want to give the President a little pass, like you say, it would be almost impossible for him to analyze all this data, if he had untrustworthy people pumping in information and unfortunately Gregory Hooker is not a name that many Americans would know and that I think is part of the problem.
Daniel McAdams: Yeah. You’ve often said or you’ve always said that you would like to close the CIA and you would have if you were President, but you’ve also said that it is important for us to have military intelligence, there is a role for intelligence and what the military does to assess its actions are separate from the actions themselves. We need to know accurately how these things are going. With Iraq, there was a lot of pressure on analysts to make Saddam look worse than he was, because then the administration wanted war. Now the pressure is for analysts to make the action against ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq look better and more successful than they are, because this administration or the political generals or politicals above these analysts, want to show that the President’s determination to win this fight with air power alone is winning. The same thing, but for two different outcomes.
Ron Paul: The fact that there are more analysts joining in tells me that things are getting worse over there, and there may be a conclusion here and there’s a lot of stories in the paper about what’s going on with the Russians coordinating things with Iran and Syria and being anti-ISIS, which we don’t seem to be.
When Hooker, somebody like this is doing this by himself, it can get passed over. The fact that there are more I think is significant, but too often the analysts who want to tell the story, they get shoved aside and some of them get into a big trouble and I thought there was one article that was interesting that was talking about this, they were quoting David Shedd, a former head of the DIA and he said signing onto a whistleblower’s complaint can easily be a career ender” and I think that is part of the problem, because these guys are career-oriented, they might not even have a strong belief in which way to go militarily, but their career is probably number one and then occasionally you get some here and there that are more honest, but the fact that there are so many now is a sign that there is going to be a climactic end or a climactic change in what’s going on in the Middle East.
Daniel McAdams: That seems like a revolt. It’s funny, before we started the show, we were talking and we just finished watching President Obama’s address to the UN General Assembly and this quote you said is fascinating, because we were just talking about how he was praising our openness and how we treat whistleblowers.
Ron Paul: Yeah and what does he do? He revives the espionage acts and he doesn’t do much to help Edward Snowden or anybody else who wants to be a whistleblower, so it’s a lot of talk, but I think we have been hypocritical so often on our foreign pairs with both political parties.
There was another analogy that was made in the article I believe dealing with Vietnam, when they were trying to deceive us and said it’s going well, it’s going well, even though they kept sending more troops, more Americans being killed, but they would say there were this many killed, the body count and later on that was disproven, that was the wrong thing. They don’t have body counts anymore because people finally figured out body counts didn’t mean a thing and now they have these reports and this is to me, it strikes me as pretty silly, because we have tactical victories, there will be minor victories that, how many times have we killed the leader of ISIS, just wiped out that leader and it’s all over, we did this and we bombed this group and these other things. Trying to see that these tactical victories are a sign that we are winning this and I don’t think they are looking at the right measurement.
Daniel McAdams: If you look at the way they target, we’ve talked about this in previous shows, we don’t even know that they are hitting Al-Qaeda or ISIS people there, they are targeting based on the age of the person and its behaviors, so you don’t even know that this is even the truth.
Ron Paul: One thing they don’t count are the innocent lives lost, the civilians, because they might go after one person and there’s collateral damage, but that doesn’t count and every one of them has relatives and friends and neighbors and that just builds up animosity.
This thing, I’ve used it before in discussing it, but the tactical advantages that we win these tactical fights and that was that conversation with Thieu and Summers after the Vietnam war and of course, our Colonel was bragging about you will never beat us into war, we won every military victory and of course Thieu has the classical answer and it is irrelevant. This looks like it’s getting to be irrelevant.
We are spending hundreds of millions of dollars training people, trying to go in and fight and yet, we are not with the people. The people aren’t saying welcome we will do whatever you want, we are all going to rise up and join your army. We pay them money like crazy and then they deliver the weapons to the enemy and there was an article out just recently that said 30,000 foreigners have gone in to help ISIS. What’s motivating them to do that? They are not being coerced to do it and for some reason religious beliefs have something to do with it, but I think it has even more to this, I think unfortunately we are seen as invaders into a culture and religious area that stirs the emotions of all those people there, but they get 30,000 and they probably haven’t had to pay them too much money either. We spend millions and we get what, five recruits.
Daniel McAdams: We’ve talked about lies, that what you’ve just said undermines the entire U.S. narrative which is that there is a spontaneous uprising against Assad, everyone is against him and that is why he is being overthrown, but if the bulk of the fighting is being done by foreigners that completely flies in the face of what the U.S. government and the media especially tell us.
I wrote a little article last week, I dug out a 2006 cable from the U.S. embassy in Damascus back to Washington and one of the analysts there, Roback his name was, he pointed out nine vulnerabilities, this is ’06, nine vulnerabilities of the Syrian government and the way the U.S. can manipulate those and use them to undermine and destabilize Syria. The idea that all of a sudden in 2011 the uprising came is totally belied by the facts that the U.S. has been manipulating behind the scenes and as I put it in the article, they even tried to use Assad’s fights against Islamic extremists against him.
Ron Paul: I think the sentiment is changing, I think we are starting to recognize that we are not winning and some of them are starting to admit that and the Senators recognize it and they want to blame, who is going to get blamed for this. There is nothing but chaos over there and there is no reason to think that there is any victory in sight and yet, there’s no talk about what are our strategic goals, did we have any, are we achieving them? There weren’t any strategic goals that were set for the benefit of our national security or our liberties. As a matter of fact, everything is done the opposite, so nothing ever changes, except you hear a lot from the neocons.
Daniel McAdams: Yeah, I was going to say that’s one danger about this story coming out and if I were even more suspicious conspiratorial, I might even suggest that the New York Times is running this because the neocons are going to say you are putting good news that this air power alone is defeating ISIS, now we know the truth, now we need to send in troops.
Ron Paul: Do you think that this is real, that there’s a change with the attitude, say with the British and the French, their comments made anyway, that maybe this isn’t the moment that we have to get rid of Assad, because some people are even suggesting, Cameron I think had a statement something like that, do you think that it’s a ploy, or do you think that this means that their strategy might change a bit and say let’s tolerate Assad a little longer, we’ll worry about him later o, but I just think some of the comments have changed a bit.
Daniel McAdams: Yeah, I think they’ve put their toe out a little bit and then they pull it back. Erdogan in Turkey said something last week, he was quoted in one of the main newspapers saying that not necessarily he has to go, then the next day he denied it and I think then Cameron did the same thing, so I think they are suggesting this slightly a little bit, but even the U.S. Secretary of State suggested that he might be able to stay and then they backed off and denied it, so perhaps you are right there is a shift.
Ron Paul: Maybe they are preparing for a total failure where Assad is staying and say that was part of our strategy.
I think there is definitely a victor, there is one group that is winning and ever since 2003 it has been around, they keep winning. They communicate with the Iraq government, our hand-picked government and they do well with the Russians, they do well with the Chinese and it’s symbolically if Assad stays, I mean this is a horrendous defeat for the neocons and that’s why that’s so fearful, because they are so powerful and they so much political clout that you just wonder, that they had to accept the failure in Vietnam.
In spite of the fact, it’s very popular to go out and talk about it. We don’t need any more wars and people cheer at the same time, the people who say we can’t let ISIS go, we have to fight ISIS, you hear that constantly in the Republican primary, we got to go after ISIS and it is very, very militant. I don’t see where this is going to work out well for the neocons, I hope I am right about that, but it won’t work good for us if we continue to do this until we wake up and decide that our policies make no sense whatsoever.
We’ve been in the Middle East, we’ve been wanting to change the nature of all the Middle East, that’s been the goal of the neocons and they certainly have changed it. There were a lot of bad actors in there before 9/11 and right now there’s a lot more bad actors, there’s more chaos and the goals of going in there and occupying and getting rid of dictators had nothing to do with 9/11. I mean, it wasn’t the government of Afghanistan, or the government of Iraq, or the government of Syria. As a matter of fact, some of them actually offered to help us after 9/11 and right now even those countries that are considered the evil empires, they are doing probably they have more at stake in stopping ISIS and we talk on this program frequently about how ISIS gets benefits from us. We train troops and they go over and join ISIS, that they take weapons, they get the weapons from us, but it’s amazing to me how ISIS still can be in the oil business and still refine oil and finance their industry. That has some tricky stuff in order to accomplish that.
I’ll tell you what, their policies there are lousy, it has nothing to do with our national defense, it’s devastating to our financial situation, it hurts our civil liberties at home and the people in this country are apathetic because they are not demanding that they only send members of Congress who say enough is enough, it’s time to come home, it’s time to mind our own business, it’s time to defend this country if we are attacked, but not to try to remake the Middle East or remake anything around the world and get the people out of control who run our financial system, who can get their benefits and their bailouts from the Federal Reserve System.
Until that happens here we have the people behind us on that and you are going to just see a lot more of this and they’ll be still trying to fool the people with a bunch of lies and intimidations. It’s about time we all woke up and decided that it’s time for a change and when I talk about a change I mean a real change, not a change of a political party, where you just change the so-called leaders of the country, but you don’t change the policy. What we need is non-intervention and the devotion to the protection of liberty here at home.
I want to thank everybody for tuning in today to the Liberty Report and please come back soon.