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An Open Letter to the New York Times

Questions, Questions, Questions

by DOUGLAS VALENTINE

"If this man were not an evildoer, We would not have handed him over."

John: 18:30

You and the CIA both have your cute little mottos.

"All the news that’s fit to print," you mumble, behind a cough and a clenched fist, letting us know that you’re not telling us everything.

"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free," the CIA prophesizes, letting us know that despite all the hype, we haven’t reached the mountaintop yet.

That’s right, we aren’t free, and that’s not why the terrorists hate us. But you and your chums in Israel and at the CIA, well, you are free, and the terrorists really do hate you.

As the terrorists know quite well, the CIA discovers the secret truth, whispers it to its you, and you in turn censor or distort it so it becomes news that fits neatly into the warm quilt of lies that keeps you in control, and us in the dark.

In this way you and the CIA and your co-conspirators in Israel confer upon yourselves the sort of divine omnipotence that witch doctors use in primitive cultures to rule over the uninitiated rabble. Sure, it’s all smoke and mirrors, but it works, even though we know that you’re pulling the wool over our eyes.

Let me put it another way: Knowing that the you and CIA conspire to keep certain information out of the public domain is not the truth that will set us free. It’s not enough to know that the CIA functions as President Bush’s private army (with all the mercenary perquisites that entails), and that it is engaged with you in a criminal conspiracy against the American public. It’s not enough to know that you, the CIA, and America’s rich ruling political elite are conducting a covert political action against the American public. It’s not enough to know that our tax dollars are secretly funneled to supporters of your conspiracy (like Chalabi in his time) through the establishment of the so-called democratic institutions that are up for grabs (to the highest bidder) in Iraq.

Knowing exactly what secrets you keep, however, will provide us with the truth–the news that doesn’t fit–that will indeed set us free.

So, in the ultimate exercise in futility, I am asking you, with all due disrespect, to set us partially bfree, by answering the following questions:

Who among you are in liaison with which CIA headquarters officials? How do you communicate with them, and decide which facts to release to the American public?

2) Who at the Times knows the identity of the CIA’s chief of station chief, chief of foreign intelligence, and chief of covert action in Iraq, and how do you communicate with them? How do you decide what to report about the CIA’s organization and operations in Iraq, and how those operations affect the political process in America? Why are you allowed to know these CIA secrets, but not us? Do you sign non-disclosure statements and subject yourselves to the self-censoring restraints of acquiring security clearances in order to obtain this information?

3) Do any CIA officers pose as New York Times reporters or officials?

4) We know that Ahmed Chalabi worked for the CIA. Who was his CIA advisor, and did that CIA advisor talk with Judy Miller or someone else at the Times?

5) How many Iraqis in positions of power (in government or business) have ties or actual contracts with the CIA, and how many of these people are known to you? Are Iraqis who work for the CIA legitimate representatives of the Iraqi people, in so far as they are under the control of a foreign intelligence service? Pray tell?

6) Will you please reconstruct the recruitment and activities of all CIA-controlled Iraqis from the time of the invasion (or even before it, if, like Chalabi, they’ve been on the CIA’s payroll for years) until now, so we might now how you and the CIA secretly advanced American and Israeli influence in Iraq? You know the answer to this question; why haven’t you been telling us about it? And please don’t refer us to Dan Rather, Ted Turner, or Seymour than-the-rest-of-us Hersh.

7) You know the name of the CIA officer advising Iraq Interior Minister Samir Shakir Mahmoud Sumaisday, we know that. We also know that a decision was recently made to lift sanctions against weapons sales and exports to Iraq, and that Sumaisday will ostensibly decide how those weapons will be used to arm the Iraqi police, security and intelligence services. Will you report the details of what Sumaisday is doing in this regard, and tell us how much influence his CIA advisor has over his decisions? We’d really like to know.

8) Iraq’s internal security is of prime concern to the CIA, and revealing how the CIA organizes and operates the Interior Ministry and its personnel, through Sumaisday, is a very important story. Why don’t you tell us about it?

9) Essential to understanding the "New Iraq" is seeing an organizational chart of the Ministry of Interior, as assembled by the CIA. Why don’t you show it to us?

10) Who will head Iraq’s prison system, and who will be his CIA advisor? In fact, where are the CIA’s interrogation and detention centers located, and which CIA and MOSSAD officers operate them? You know, but you’re not telling. Why not?

11) You also know who heads Iraq’s foreign intelligence service, and who his CIA advisor is. You know which CIA officers advise Iraq’s counter-intelligence service, special forces, police special branch, secret service providing security to the governing council, its national security council and apparatus, its information systems infrastructure, etc. Go ahead. Tell us. The fucking Iraqis know! Why can’t we?

12) I’m asking you the same question about all other Iraq government ministers and their CIA advisors. The Finance Ministry is of particular interest to me. I’d like to know how many of our tax dollars the CIA is giving, as black bag bribes, to what private companies and individuals in order to build democracy in Iraq? Which CIA officers are deciding how oil profits are distributed? How is the CIA involved in providing security to the Iraqi oil industry? Tell us, please.

13) You could tell us about any Justice-type Department in Iraq, who heads it, and who his CIA advisor is? What type of legal system is the CIA imposing on Iraq? How does it square Islamic law with the US judicial system? Who are the CIA legal experts wrestling with this problem? Is Ashcroft involved (God forbid)?

14) Last but not least, tell us about the CIA’s relationship with Israeli security and intelligence officials in Iraq? Who is the CIA officer in liaison with these Israeli officials? Which Israeli companies, officials, and private individuals have contracts with the CIA, in what capacities, and how does this advance Israeli security and business interests in Iraq?

Tell us. We know you know.

And thanks a lot.

DOUGLAS VALENTINE is the author of The Hotel Tacloban, The Phoenix Program, and TDY. His fourth book, The Strength of the Wolf: The Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 1930-1968, is newly published by Verso. For information about Mr. Valentine, and his books and articles, please visit his web sites at www.DouglasValentine.com and http://members.authorsguild.net/valentine