Top Secret US Government Documents about Iraq
February 11, 2006
With comments by DNI’s Counterintelligence Editor, James Jesus Angleton (CIA, Ret.), who hacked into this page from his secret offsite location.
[DNI Editor's note: I hadn't heard from Angleton in a while so I assumed that reports of his passing were true. Several of my Agency contacts, however, assure me that this would not have stopped him from hacking into Fabius Maximus's document. I will provide DNI visitors with further information as it becomes available.]
I interrupt my series of articles about Grand Strategy for this special report. At great effort and expense I have obtained secret documents from the US Government about the Iraq War. Although too secret to release the full contents, I make these excerpts available so that the American people will better understand this historic event.
Observations from Zalmay Khalilzad, US Ambassador to Iraq
Angleton here: Fabius Maximus is an idiot – this is not about Iraq, nor from Ambassador Khalilzad. It’s a quote from David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest. Max Taylor (General USA, Ret.), US Ambassador to Vietnam, wrote the above in a 1964 memo that I remember well.
That it applies so well after 30 years to another war demonstrates the US Government’s inability to learn from experience – a crippling disadvantage in a 4GW era – and a symptom of its deeply dysfunctional institutions.
Role of President Bush and Secretary of State Powell in running the War
Angleton again: Despite the eerie similarity to Iraq, it’s also about Vietnam. This is another quote from The Best and the Brightest. The similarities between these two Secretaries of State, Rusk and Powell, highlight the pitiful condition of the State Department. Formerly the senior of the Executive agencies, now merely lawyers for the military. I can tell you that I saw it coming.
Importance of a Strong Secretary of Defense, like Donald Rumsfeld.
Me again: This was written about Robert Strange McNamara in the 1960s, not Donald H. Rumsfeld in the 21st century. It’s another quote from the same book. How astonishing that Rumsfeld – tough, determined, experienced – could make military reform his primary goal and fail so utterly. Not a good sign for the future!
These documents tell us much about the Iraq War. We can draw the following twelve inferences:
I’m deleting these absurdities, and substituting some useful advice. (I wish I could have done this to Director Helms's memos).
These stories make me feel right at home, nostalgic for the old days. When it comes to the American Government, the more things change …
[DNI Editor's note: Back in August, 2005, columnist Michael Ledeen reported contacting Angleton via ouija board, http://www.nationalreview.com/ledeen/ledeen200508120817.asp. Fabius Maximus dimly recalls this episode.]
Who was James Angleton?
James Jesus Angleton (1917-1987) was Director of Counterintelligence at the CIA. He was America’s greatest-ever counterintelligence expert, unless he was a KGB agent or more charitably, a victim of its counter-counterintelligence operations. We might never know which is true, and all may have have been.
"Counterintelligence" is that branch of intelligence that tries to penetrate and counter or disrupt the other side's intelligence activities. It has the responsibility for uncovering foreign agents within the CIA, for example, and for investigating people who are in the process of being recruited as spies to ensure that they are not double agents. It does not have the job of keeping unwanted intrusions out of CIA HQ in Langley - that belongs to the Office of Security.
For a very entertaining - if fictionalized - look at Angleton and the business of intelligence during the Cold War, DNI recommends The Company, by Robert Littell (2002).
Who was Fabius Maximus?
Fabius Maximus was the Roman leader who saved Rome from Hannibal by recognizing its weakness, the need to conserve and regenerate. He turned from the easy path of macho “boldness” to the long, difficult path to rebuilding Rome’s strength and greatness. His life holds profound lessons for 21st Century America.
About the series of articles “Lessons on Grand Strategy – and the Fate of America”
There are few comprehensive proposals for a Grand Strategy for America in the Revolution in Military Affairs or 4th Generation War literature. This series presents an alternative to Barnett's "Pax America" vision. It is based on, and in a sense starts from, William Lind’s “Strategic Defense Initiative” originally published in The American Conservative, November 22, 2004.
Part One: The Myth of Grand Strategy
Part Two: The Fate of Israel
Watch DNI for Part Three: A Grand Strategy for America.
Part Four will describe the obstacles preventing America from developing and executing a grand strategy.
Qualifications of the Author? Read the past articles by Fabius Maximus. A work of intellectual analysis stands on its own logic, supported by the author’s track record.