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Thread: False Flag

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    False Flag

    ah israel, way to piss off your best...and probably only...real friend.

    ----

    False Flag - By Mark Perry | Foreign Policy

    False Flag

    A series of CIA memos describe how Israeli Mossad agents posed as American spies to recruit members of the terrorist organization Jundallah to fight their covert war against Iran.

    BY MARK PERRY | JANUARY 13, 2012

    Buried deep in the archives of America's intelligence services are a series of memos, written during the last years of President George W. Bush's administration, that describe how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives -- what is commonly referred to as a "false flag" operation.

    The memos, as described by the sources, one of whom has read them and another who is intimately familiar with the case, investigated and debunked reports from 2007 and 2008 accusing the CIA, at the direction of the White House, of covertly supporting Jundallah -- a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist organization. Jundallah, according to the U.S. government and published reports, is responsible for assassinating Iranian government officials and killing Iranian women and children.

    But while the memos show that the United States had barred even the most incidental contact with Jundallah, according to both intelligence officers, the same was not true for Israel's Mossad. The memos also detail CIA field reports saying that Israel's recruiting activities occurred under the nose of U.S. intelligence officers, most notably in London, the capital of one of Israel's ostensible allies, where Mossad officers posing as CIA operatives met with Jundallah officials.

    The officials did not know whether the Israeli program to recruit and use Jundallah is ongoing. Nevertheless, they were stunned by the brazenness of the Mossad's efforts.

    "It's amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with," the intelligence officer said. "Their recruitment activities were nearly in the open. They apparently didn't give a damn what we thought."

    Interviews with six currently serving or recently retired intelligence officers over the last 18 months have helped to fill in the blanks of the Israeli false-flag operation. In addition to the two currently serving U.S. intelligence officers, the existence of the Israeli false-flag operation was confirmed to me by four retired intelligence officers who have served in the CIA or have monitored Israel intelligence operations from senior positions inside the U.S. government.

    The CIA and the White House were both asked for comment on this story. By the time this story went to press, they had not responded. The Israeli intelligence services -- the Mossad -- was also contacted, in writing and by telephone, but failed to respond. As a policy, Israel does not confirm or deny its involvement in intelligence operations.

    There is no denying that there is a covert, bloody, and ongoing campaign aimed at stopping Iran's nuclear program, though no evidence has emerged connecting recent acts of sabotage and killings inside Iran to Jundallah. Many reports have cited Israel as the architect of this covert campaign, which claimed its latest victim on Jan. 11 when a motorcyclist in Tehran slipped a magnetic explosive device under the car of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a young Iranian nuclear scientist. The explosion killed Roshan, making him the fourth scientist assassinated in the past two years. The United States adamantly denies it is behind these killings.

    According to one retired CIA officer, information about the false-flag operation was reported up the U.S. intelligence chain of command. It reached CIA Director of Operations Stephen Kappes, his deputy Michael Sulick, and the head of the Counterintelligence Center. All three of these officials are now retired. The Counterintelligence Center, according to its website, is tasked with investigating "threats posed by foreign intelligence services."

    The report then made its way to the White House, according to the currently serving U.S. intelligence officer. The officer said that Bush "went absolutely ballistic" when briefed on its contents.

    "The report sparked White House concerns that Israel's program was putting Americans at risk," the intelligence officer told me. "There's no question that the U.S. has cooperated with Israel in intelligence-gathering operations against the Iranians, but this was different. No matter what anyone thinks, we're not in the business of assassinating Iranian officials or killing Iranian civilians."

    Israel's relationship with Jundallah continued to roil the Bush administration until the day it left office, this same intelligence officer noted. Israel's activities jeopardized the administration's fragile relationship with Pakistan, which was coming under intense pressure from Iran to crack down on Jundallah. It also undermined U.S. claims that it would never fight terror with terror, and invited attacks in kind on U.S. personnel.

    "It's easy to understand why Bush was so angry," a former intelligence officer said. "After all, it's hard to engage with a foreign government if they're convinced you're killing their people. Once you start doing that, they feel they can do the same."

    A senior administration official vowed to "take the gloves off" with Israel, according to a U.S. intelligence officer. But the United States did nothing -- a result that the officer attributed to "political and bureaucratic inertia."

    "In the end," the officer noted, "it was just easier to do nothing than to, you know, rock the boat." Even so, at least for a short time, this same officer noted, the Mossad operation sparked a divisive debate among Bush's national security team, pitting those who wondered "just whose side these guys [in Israel] are on" against those who argued that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

    The debate over Jundallah was resolved only after Bush left office when, within his first weeks as president, Barack Obama drastically scaled back joint U.S-Israel intelligence programs targeting Iran, according to multiple serving and retired officers.

    The decision was controversial inside the CIA, where officials were forced to shut down "some key intelligence gathering operations," a recently retired CIA officer confirmed. This action was followed in November 2010 by the State Department's addition of Jundallah to its list of foreign terrorist organizations -- a decision that one former CIA officer called "an absolute no-brainer."

    Since Obama's initial order, U.S. intelligence services have received clearance to cooperate with Israel in a number of classified intelligence-gathering operations focused on Iran's nuclear program, according to a currently serving officer. These operations are highly technical in nature, and do not involve covert actions targeting Iran's infrastructure or political or military leadership.

    "We don't do bang and boom," a recently retired intelligence officer said. "And we don't do political assassinations."

    Israel regularly proposes conducting covert operations targeting Iranians, but are just as regularly shut down, according to retired and current intelligence officers. "They come into the room and spread out their plans and we just shake our heads," one highly placed intelligence source said, "and we say to them -- ‘Don't even go there. The answer is no.'"

    Unlike the Mujahedin-e Khalq, the controversial exiled Iranian terrorist group that seeks the overthrow of the Tehran regime and is supported by former leading U.S. policymakers, Jundallah is relatively unknown -- but just as violent. In May 2009, a Jundallah suicide bomber blew himself up inside a mosque in Zahedan, the capital of Iran's southeastern Sistan-Balochistan province bordering Pakistan, during a Shiite religious festival. The bombing killed 25 Iranians and wounded scores of others.

    The attack enraged Tehran, which traced the perpetrators to a cell operating in Pakistan. The Iranian government notified the Pakistanis of the Jundallah threat and urged them to break up the movement's bases along the Iranian-Pakistani border. The Pakistanis reacted sluggishly in the border areas, feeding Tehran's suspicions that Jundallah was protected by Pakistan's intelligence services

    The 2009 attack was just one in a long line of terrorist attacks attributed to the organization. In August 2007, Jundallah kidnapped 21 Iranian truck drivers. In December 2008, it captured and executed 16 Iranian border guards -- the gruesome killings were filmed, in a stark echo of the decapitation of American businessman Nick Berg in Iraq at the hands of al Qaeda's Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. In July 2010, Jundallah conducted a twin suicide bombing in Zahedan outside a mosque, killing dozens of people, including members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

    The State Department aggressively denies that the U.S. government had or has any ties to Jundallah. "We have repeatedly stated, and reiterate again that the United States has not provided support to Jundallah," a spokesman wrote in an e-mail to the Wall Street Journal, following its designation as a terrorist organization. "The United States does not sponsor any form of terrorism. We will continue to work with the international community to curtail support for terrorist organizations and prevent violence against innocent civilians. We have also encouraged other governments to take comparable actions against Jundallah."

    A spate of stories in 2007 and 2008, including a report by ABC News and a New Yorker article, suggested that the United States was offering covert support to Jundallah. The issue has now returned to the spotlight with the string of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists, and has outraged serving and retired intelligence officers who fear that Israeli operations are endangering American lives.

    "This certainly isn't the first time this has happened, though it's the worst case I've heard of," former CENTCOM chief and retired Gen. Joe Hoar said of the Israeli operation upon being informed of it. "But while false flag operations are hardly new, they're extremely dangerous. You're basically using your friendship with an ally for your own purposes. Israel is playing with fire. It gets us involved in their covert war, whether we want to be involved or not."

    The Israeli operation left a number of recently retired CIA officers sputtering in frustration. "It's going to be pretty hard for the U.S. to distance itself from an Israeli attack on Iran with this kind of thing going on," one of them told me.

    Jundallah head Abdolmalek Rigi was captured by Iran in February 2010. Although initial reports claimed that he was captured by the Iranians after taking a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan, a retired intelligence officer with knowledge of the incident told me that Rigi was detained by Pakistani intelligence officers in Pakistan. The officer said that he was turned over to the Iranians after the Pakistani government informed the United States that it planned to do so. The United States, this officer said, did not raise objections to the Pakistani decision.

    Iran, meanwhile, has consistently claimed that Rigi was snatched from under the eyes of the CIA, which it alleges supported him. "It doesn't matter," the former intelligence officer said of Iran's charges. "It doesn't matter what they say. They know the truth."

    Rigi was interrogated, tried, and convicted by the Iranians and hanged on June 20, 2010. Prior to his execution, Rigi claimed in an interview with Iranian media -- which has to be assumed was under duress -- that he had doubts about U.S. sponsorship of Jundallah. He recounted an alleged meeting with "NATO officials" in Morocco in 2007 that raised his suspicions. "When we thought about it we came to the conclusion that they are either Americans acting under NATO cover or Israelis," he said.

    While many of the details of Israel's involvement with Jundallah are now known, many others still remain a mystery -- and are likely to remain so. The CIA memos of the incident have been "blue bordered," meaning that they were circulated to senior levels of the broader U.S. intelligence community as well as senior State Department officials.

    What has become crystal clear, however, is the level of anger among senior intelligence officials about Israel's actions. "This was stupid and dangerous," the intelligence official who first told me about the operation said. "Israel is supposed to be working with us, not against us. If they want to shed blood, it would help a lot if it was their blood and not ours. You know, they're supposed to be a strategic asset. Well guess what? There are a lot of people now, important people, who just don't think that's true."
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."¯- Isaac Asimov

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Since a war with Iran is unlikely to start unless something big provokes the Americans,this is in a way an olive branch towards Iran from some in the military-intel communities of the US of A.
    I'd love to be a fly on the wall when the 2 sides,those for and those against the war with Iran have a meeting.Or at least read the Russian transcript of the meetings
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    It weren't us guv'nor, it was the evil Jooooosss! Straight out of the 19th century playbook. I swear to god if the Jews didn't exist we'd have to invent them

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    C'mon, Pari.Now the US intel has nothing to do but plan the next holocaust.

    Ya Christ killers lover
    Parihaka likes this.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    It weren't us guv'nor, it was the evil Jooooosss! Straight out of the 19th century playbook. I swear to god if the Jews didn't exist we'd have to invent them
    Wait...I thought the Palestinians were invented?

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    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Now in all seriousness, if true, they tried make us hold the bag for them supporting a group every bit as evil as AQ.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Guess who'd bleed if the Iranians go tit for tat
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    The stupid thing here is not that they decided to contract Jundallah or even that they tried to contract Jundallah posing as Americans. The stupid thing here is that they got caught, that's about all there is to it.
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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Stupidity of contacting Jundullah is debatable.Stupidity of getting caught is another.Endangering your chief ally's stance in the world as well as their lives is very practical if you get away with and very immoral in a more principled world.One could say it's a hostile act.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    S2
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    This is what's meant by the deep and complex relationship possessed between the U.S. and Israel...at least, down where the rubber meets the road.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

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    S2, et al,

    Yes, I heard this before! Just remember the USS Liberty.

    Quote Originally Posted by S2 View Post
    This is what's meant by the deep and complex relationship possessed between the U.S. and Israel...at least, down where the rubber meets the road.
    (COMMENT)

    The very best explanation I ever heard that adequately describes the consequences the US has faced in this relationship is:

    Quote Originally Posted by Complements of the [U
    The Big Bang Theory[/U]]What would you be if you were attached to another object by an inclined plane wrapped helically around an axis?

    While I'm not sure they should be blamed for everything that they are blamed for, I'm sure this description is fundamentally applicable.

    It is like having a very mischievous friend (Fred Flintstones type) who is always getting you in trouble.

    Most Respectfully,
    R

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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoccoR View Post
    It is like having a very mischievous friend (Fred Flintstones type) who is always getting you in trouble.
    That would make you a Barney Rubble type
    RoccoR likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    I thought I'd heard the name Mark Perry before....

    CAMERA: Anatomy of a False Allegation; The Petraeus Controversy
    Ahhhhh! Why do you always have to spoil the party Pari

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    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
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    Alright, stop, hold it!

    Close down the WAB.....Pari just ruined another fun thread.

    If he can't have any fun, I guess nobdy can have any fun.

    And here I am just abut finished with my thesis titled: "Benny was the last straw....the Jews have been messing up everything for years."
    RoccoR likes this.

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