CIA Highlights review of Shadow Warriors
Feb. 4, 2008
4 February 2008
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1. BOOK REVIEW: Shadow Warriors
David Forsmark, FrontPageMagazine.com, 4 February 2008
By David Forsmark
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday,
February 04, 2008
Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of
Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender
By Kenneth Timmerman
Crown Forum, $25.95, 404 pp.
At long last, the CIA and the State Department have targeted a
government they have identified as an aggressive threat to world peace
and largely countered its foreign policy through psy-ops, propaganda,
selective leaks of intelligence and covert operations.
And who was the target of this covert campaign? Are these operations
aimed at the Islamofascists in Iran? How about Vladimir Putin and his
increasingly fascist government in Russia? Is the CIA trying to counter
Chinese hegemony in the Pacific or clandestinely influence the French
to somehow install a pro-American president?
No, no, no and hardly.
For the past five years, the main target of the permanent bureaucracy
at the CIA and the State Department has been none other than George W.
On one level, this is a continuation of an old story. For decades,
conservative presidents and Congress members have complained that
policies aimed at defeating America's enemies die a slow death or are
watered down beyond recognition when implemented by the State
Department. The CIA, meanwhile, is all over the board; it either tends
to overestimate the strength of America's enemies or deny the threat
they pose. In any event, the agency is loath to take any real covert
action against them.
But by the time of the Scooter Libby show trial, it was obvious to any
serious observer that an unhealthy portion of the CIA had become a
rogue agency focused on toppling a U.S. presidency. In his explosive
new book, Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs, and
the Party of Surrender, investigative journalist extraordinaire Kenneth
Timmerman shows that open rebellion and furtive treason have become the
norm for much of the State Department and civilian sections of the
Department of Defense.
According to Timmerman, the Bush agenda has been illegally sabotaged
from within by people whose constitutional duties require them to
implement the orders of the duly elected commander in chief. From the
war in Iraq and counterterrorism efforts to confronting hostile foreign
powers, Timmerman documents incident after incident to illustrate the
unprecedented nature of this anti-constitutional mutiny by unelected
Mutiny at State
Timmerman begins Shadow Warriors with an especially illustrative
incident. After Bush's re-election in 2004, then-Secretary of State
Colin Powell, concerned about the open contempt for Bush policy (and a
parking lot filled with Kerry/Edwards bumper stickers)called a town
meeting to remind his employees of their constitutional duty to support
the president. "We live in a democracy," he said. "As Americans, we
have to respect the results of elections."
An assistant secretary of state in attendance became 'increasingly
agitated," Timmerman reports, and once Powell left, she held a meeting
of her own where she issued an "open call to insubordination," Her
rationale? Timmerman says she told her staff: "Well, Senator Kerry
received the second-highest number of votes in American history, and if
just one state had gone differently, Senator Kerry would be president
Yeah, and my aunt is one chromosome away from being my uncle. The
assistant secretary of state went on to tell her subordinates they owed
no allegiance to the president, and they should do anything "legal"
they could do to slow down the Bush juggernaut.
Equally alarming is Timmerman's implication that Powell — the Cabinet
member who sat on the information that would have spared the
administration the Valerie Plame affair and who used leaks about his
disagreements with other officials to his advantage — was among the
President's most loyal people at Foggy Bottom.
You didn't hear about Powell's exhortation in the mainstream media or
elsewhere. Only when a cowardly Foreign Service officer recently led an
uprising over postings to Iraq was word of the town meeting was to the
media to illustrate a Bush administration in chaos over a disastrous
While conservatives have written column upon column and book upon book
condemning the MSM's coverage of Iraq and the Global War on Terror,
Timmerman shows that the media coverage — while its biases are genuine
— is merely the symptom of a virulent cancer in the foreign policy
Call My Agent
"Plamegate" is among the most public examples of this conspiracy. If
you cringe at that word, let's play a little game of "What would be
worse?" As frightening as the aforementioned prospect is, the idea that
it might not be deliberate sabotage would be even scarier.
That would mean the agency tasked with protecting us from terrorists
abroad and keeping track of such threats as the burgeoning Chinese
military would consider the following to be acceptable tradecraft:
• For an agent classified as
"covert" to assign her very public and mouthy husband to investigate an
issue that is politically sensitive to the administration he actively
• That said husband would
not be required to sign the ubiquitous confidentiality agreements that
carry criminal penalties for talking about his mission.
• When the husband comes
back and creates an uproar by lying about the origins and results of
his mission, the blame for blowing the agent's cover is placed on the
administration, which tried to set the record straight, not on the
agent or her husband, committing serial perjury while revealing the
nature of a classified mission.
If that all happened merely by accident and bungling in the CIA, the
only reason we have not suffered a terrorist attack since 9/11 is
because of dumb luck or bad guys who are even more incompetent than our
spies. It is, sadly, much easier — and more logical -- to believe that
the Plame/Wilson affair was a deliberate setup of the Bush White House.
That's bad enough. But if Timmerman is right — and events seem to prove
him out on an almost daily basis -- it's just the tip of an
unprecedentled iceberg. The rest of his story makes the Plame affair
look like a trivial sideshow.
Here are more examples of things that have gone wrong.
"Bush Tried, Bureaucrats Lied"
Easily the most successful operation of the shadow warriors has been
the notion that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq
before the 2003 invasion. With the help of the media and Democrats, the
criteria for WMD discovery was changed to require that an actual
nuclear bomb or stockpiles of biological or nerve agents must turn up —
not just evidence of weapons programs or capabilities. Now even
Republican presidential candidates and Bush himself concede far too
much to this argument
Weapons inspector David Kay's report to Congress was used to discredit
Bush even though it uncovered many elements of weapons programs and
indications that the Russians who gave Saddam the technology were
allowed to remove it on the eve of the invasion. Timmerman details a
Spetznaz (Russian special forces) operation to remove WMDs from Iraq
and even names the general in charge. Kay also expresses frustration
that untold thousands of documents on Saddam's weapons programs are
gathering dust in storage, and no effort is being made to translate
Even the UPI reported in 2004 that tons of "Iraqi" explosives and
"chemical weapons" were intercepted entering Jordan from Syria as part
of an Al Qaeda attack. The story got about a day's play, when it was
discussed at all, and was taken as evidence of a Bush security failure.
A child could have connected the dots.
An interesting side note by Timmerman reveals it was a high-level State
Department employee who coined the mantra of the Left, "Bush Lied,
The "No Plan" Plot
Another lie that has become conventional wisdom is that the Bush
administration had "no plan" for the aftermath of combat operations in
Iraq. Timmerman reveals in detail how the State Department scuttled the
plan to quickly hand over sovereignty back to the Iraqis.
Instead of focusing on Islamic extremists, the shadow warriors declared
war on Iraqi National Congress head Ahmad Chalabi to make sure this
valuable Bush and Wolfowitz ally had no part in a new Iraqi government.
Timmerman mounts a spirited and persuasive defense of Chalabi, taking
every case made by the shadow warriors against him in detail and
Because Jay Garner, Bush and Rumsfeld's point man in Iraq, was friendly
with the Iraqi exile community, the shadow warriors decided he must be
undermined before a quickly established sovereign Iraqi government
could be realized.
That assignment fell to Ambassador Paul "Jerry" Bremer.
The Would-Be Viceroy
When Bremer took command in Iraq, he acted as the point man for the
shadow warriors. Timmerman contends Bremer actually created the
insurgency by halting imminent plans for Iraqi sovereignty and
deliberately installing a process that would require a long-term
occupation. Timmerman details:
• How Bremer persuaded Bush
to give him nearly absolute authority in Iraq.
• How Bremer snubbed the
sheiks in Anbar Province who are now helping us rout Al Qaeda when they
offered their services to him, driving them to Al Qaeda for several
• Which American officials
under Bremer's direction lost the message war by quashing efforts to
establish American-oriented broadcasts, thus leaving the Middle East
airwaves to Al-Jazeera and suppressing reports of Saddam's atrocities.
• Bremer's deference to
radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr, including an incident where CIA
agents guarding Al Sadr stood by as his thugs hacked a moderate cleric
Not since liberals in the OSS and State Department after World War II
decided that Mao Zedong was the lesser evil to Chiang Kai-shek has
there been a more disastrous subverting of American global interests by
a U.S. agency.
The REAL Politicization of Intelligence
A significant part of the Washington bureaucracy, the Democrat Party
and the media is dedicated to criminalizing Bush's policies. Sen. Carl
Levin is the point man for those who would rather allow the death of
Americans than put a wet washcloth on the face of a murderous terrorist.
Timmerman shows how Levin has systematically blocked appointees who are
necessary for counterterror operations, leaving key departments
The shadow warriors have used Democrats like Levin, Sen. Patrick Leahey
and Rep. Jane Harmon to leak and misportray intelligence findings for
political ends. When the administration corrects the record, the primal
scream of the Left erupts: "The neo-cons are politicizing intelligence!"
When Plame's paper-thin cover was publicized, the Democrats demanded
investigations for political reasons. Far less known is the story
Timmerman tells of DIA analyst Larry Franklin; a loyal professional
whose job was to be a liaison with Ahmad Chalabi -- only to be
prosecuted basically for having contact with Chalabi.
Franklin was pilloried for having classified information in his house,
but no one has been charged with leaking such ongoing operations like
the Terrorist Surveillance Program to the New York Times. In fact, Sen.
John Kerry called those traitors "whistle-blowers." Former CIA Director
Porter Goss was said to be "tearing the agency apart" by investigating
the leaks of the TSP and the CIA secret prison program.
But sometimes the sabotage is subtler than that. Timmerman shows how
CIA prison flights left a paper trail that make Plame's status actually
seem covert by comparison, with an absence of tradecraft that seems
suspiciously deliberate. With too-cute acronyms and posted flight plans
with the same airplane registration numbers, the agents did everything
short of writing in lipstick on airport bathroom mirrors, "Stop us
before we fly again."
It seems the only people in the U.S. government that the shadow
warriors and their allies in the mainstream media and Democrat Party
seem to feel are not authorized to declassify material are those most
constitutionally authorized: Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
When Bush and Cheney refute stories designed to hurt American interests
through the leak of previously classified material, such liberals as
Rep. John Conyers calls for an investigation, and the press denounces
it as "politicizing intelligence." When a mid-level analyst blows the
cover off a operation that is vital to the war in terror with agents
still in harm's way, Kerry calls it "truth telling," and liberals
The effect of this is that, in our current climate, America really has
no classified secrets —that is, as long as the leak hurts George W.
Bush made one real stab at taking his policy back from the shadow
warriors byl apponting Goss, a former congressman and intelligence
agent as CIA director, but he pulled the rug out from under Goss when
the going got rough.
Timmerman names the CIA officials who defied direct orders, committed
gross insubordination and leaked damaging spin to the media about
Goss's efforts to clean up the agency.
Ultimately, in his worst move since sending Bremer to Iraq, Bush
installed John Negroponte as the first director of the Department of
National Intelligence just as Goss' efforts were starting to have an
Not only was Negroponte a dedicated shadow warrior himself, but he also
had a longstanding personal grudge against Goss which Timmerman
details. Negroponte quickly surrounded himself with people dedicated to
The DNI seemed poised to do for CIA what Homeland Security did for
FEMA, and Negroponte's replacement by Mike McConnell just as Iraq
policy was being overhauled may be a good sign.
Stop Him Before He Invades Again
Shadow Warriors is a devastating and systematic look at the permanent
foreign policy bureaucracy in Washington and how it has become a
government unto itself, independent of its elected leaders. Timmerman
demonstrates how this attitude permeates nearly every level of the
State Department, the intelligence services and even parts of the DoD.
The 320 pages of text in Shadow Warriors are so packed with shocking
revelations that it defies summary. Nearly every page has a "Gosh,
listen to this!" moment -- but without access to the supporting details
that Timmerman supplies, trying to tell someone about the book can make
you sound like you just came from a Black Helicopter meeting.
Best of all, this is no dry intel report. With all due respect to the
great work of Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, Timmerman's narrative
is in a league of its own. While these fine investigative reporters
find the devil in the exhaustive lists of details, Shadow Warriors at
times reads with the urgency of a Vince Flynn thriller — and the
outrageous truths exposed will induce even more adrenaline in the
reader than even the best novel.
Timmerman predicts the shadow warriors' next goal will be to stop Bush
from being able to wage war against Iran should the situation arise.
Even as the book was coming off the presses, events were proving him
right -- particularly the National Intelligence Estimate that claims
Iran gave up its nuclear weapons program years ago and the leaked
information that the CIA destroyed interrogation tapes of Al Qaeda
Just because a president should not have to confront wholesale mutiny,
however, does not absolve Bush from dealing ineffectively with it. As
"From the very first day of his presidency, George W. Bush believed he
could charm or otherwise bribe his political opponents into
cooperation. After all, it had worked in Austin, when he was governor.
… And so he willingly handed out political perks. … When the perks
didn't do the trick, the president resorted to bribery. He initiated
vast entitlement programs. … Similarly, when it came to treasonous
revelations of the New York Times, the president continued to rail, but
refused to press charges. If some of these tactics could have been
defended early in his administration… they must [now] be abandoned if
this president wants to maintain any credibility within his own party.
Let alone with America's foreign foes."
This has been a White House that seems to want to prove its
evenhandedness by prosecuting its friends on the flimsiest of reasons,
while ignoring the blatant crimes of its opponents. Meanwhile, we
continue to see stories of proponents of the Bush Doctrine being purged
from the Pentagon and State Department: here, here and here.
On the other hand, to his credit, Bush -- like Lincoln firing McClellan
and appointing Grant to lead the Army of the Potomac -- has taken back
the reins of his Iraq strategy through Gen. David Petraeus.
Whether Adm. Mike McConnell's concurrent appointment to replace shadow
warrior Negroponte at DNI bears similar fruit remains to be seen.
As for CIA chief Michael Hayden, there are definite danger signs.
Hayden not only was Negroponte's choice to succeed Goss but also his
first acts included bringing back Michael J. Sulick as former deputy
director for operations and his former boss, Stephen R. Kappes, two
insubordinate shadow warriors who were noted for their blatant
anti-Bush efforts at CIA.
Timmerman also chronicles the heroic efforts of Congressman Peter
Hoekstra of Michigan who is the ranking Republican on the Intelligence
Committee, and John Bolton—both of whom were obviously sources for this
Forget Madeleine Allbright's new book. Here's my "Memo to the
President-Elect" -- read Shadow Warrors carefully. Then make two lists
of everyone Timmerman fingers as working against American interests:
those you are going to fire and those you are going to prosecute.
Click here for
more on Ken’s latest thriller, Honor Killing