Sunday, February 10, 2013
Ex CIA agent says Greek Gangs Criminal, Not Terrorist
Former CIA analyst John Kiriakou, who last month was sentenced to more than two years in jail for revealing the identity of a covert operative, said that a rise in political violence in Greece is worrisome, but more related to criminal activity and a backlash against austerity than terrorist.
In an interview with the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, the Greek-American, who became the first CIA agent to have jail sentence levied against him for leaking the name of an agent to the media, said, “I would not describe recent attacks as terrorism; I would call them criminal. A lot of people are suffering the consequences of the economic crisis and this creates fertile ground for the creation of organizations of the far left or far right.”
He worked with Greek authorities between 1998 and 2000 to help catch members of November 17, which he described as “the most disciplined terrorist organization in Europe.”
He added that when Nov. 17 was spreading terror that, “There were never any leaks and there were hardly ever any accidents,” but that the group’s murder of New Democracy MP Pavlos Bakoyannis in 1989 proved a turning point as it turned public opinion against the group.
Greek police earlier this month arrested four self-styled anarchists, 20-24 years old, for robbing two banks and said they were members of one of a number of new terrorist groups sprouting up in the country. But he said they are very unlike the notorious Nov. 17 which killed American and British officials and Greeks before being brought down.
Kiriakou also suggested that American authorities intentionally allowed rumors about the PASOK Socialist government being linked to November 17 to circulate in the 1980’s. “Americans wanted a bad guy in Greece to blame for the bad relations between the two countries,” he said.
In 2007, Kiriakou became one of the first CIA officials to express concern about the agency’s methods, when he questioned the use of waterboarding. He told Kathimerini that he has fears about the course some of his colleagues at the agency are following.
“It is as if they enjoy torturing, killing with drones and spying on American citizens,” he said. “These are very dangerous developments that we have to stop before we find ourselves living in a country with no civil rights and personal freedom.” http://smarkos.blogspot.de/2013/02/ex-cia-agent-says-greek-gangs-criminal.html
Mr. Tenet’s Trojan Horse
Date: Sunday, April 29 @ 11:32:26 PDT
Topic: Albania News
- Inside: "Tenet Correspondence" by Gary Q. Kokalari
With the events of September 11th, we have witnessed the greatest intelligence failure in history since the Greeks sent the Trojan horse to rescue Helen of Troy. Ironically, a “Greek” presided over the CIA on one of the darkest days in American history.
In 1997, George Tenet, who presents himself as a Greek American, was nominated by President Clinton to be CIA Director. As required, his nomination had to be ratified by Congress. On April 27, 1997, I wrote to Senator Richard Shelby, then Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, requesting that the Committee require Mr. Tenet to disclose any relationships he may have with Greek radicals or organizations that support the concept of a “Northern Epirus”.
I also warned that a destabilized Albania had significant ramifications for U.S. strategic interests, and that political instability in Albania could lead to armed conflict in Kosova.
I copied George Tenet on my letter to Senator Shelby and also sent a separate letter to Tenet in which I wrote,
“It is my understanding that you represent yourself as a Greek American. It is also my understanding that your father was born in the Albanian village of Qeparo and that your mother was born in Himara, Albania. If this information is correct, it would indicate that there may be some confusion about your ethnic heritage due to the fact that the inhabitants of this area of Albania are ethnic Albanians….. Your comment on this matter will be greatly appreciated.”
After sending letters to Senator Shelby and Mr. Tenet, I had the opportunity to discuss this issue with the staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Following a cursory investigation of the matter, in the end, Albania’s affairs were not deemed important enough to alter the judgment of the Committee. Unfortunately, my ultimate objective of blocking Tenet’s nomination was unsuccessful.
In March 2000, I wrote to Senator Shelby once again. But this time it was to protest a comment made by Mr. Tenet during a December 1999 speech at the annual conference of the Hellenic Medical Society of New York. Mr. Tenet’s speech included a reference to his mother’s migration from Albania as follows:
“My mother escaped from Northern Epirus on a British submarine a step ahead of the communist takeover and the closing of the border, never to see her family again.”
I explained to Senator Shelby that the term “Northern Epirus” is used exclusively by Greek radicals to describe what is in fact southern Albania, and that these radicals have as their common objective the annexation of southern Albania by Greece. I also informed him that the term “Northern Epirus” is not recognized by Albanians, Albania or for that matter, any other country. I expressed my outrage that Mr. Tenet, while a standing Director of the CIA, would behave so irresponsibly in using the highly inflammatory term “Northern Epirus” to describe Albania. By so doing he has acted in a belligerent manner toward Albania, insulted Albanians throughout the world and embraced the dangerous ambitions of Greek provocateurs.
If we assume just for the sake of conversation that there is some truth about Mr. Tenet’s Albanian origins, it would appear that we have a factually challenged CIA director with respect to his own ethnic identity and the existence of a sovereign country named Albania. If this is the case, we should not be surprised by the astonishing intelligence failure that led to the tragic events of September 11th.
Given his roots in the Clinton administration and the events of September 11th, why hasn’t Tenet been fired from his job as CIA director? Perhaps we can find a clue in Faik Konitza’s book “Albania: The Rock Garden of Southern Europe” in which he writes on the Albanian character and states:
“It is important to know that the greatest insult in Albania is to call a man i-pabese, that is to say, disloyal. By contrast, it is interesting to note that in modern Greece, the grossest insult is to call a person illiterate and unintelligent: the ideal of Albania’s southern neighbors is cleverness instead of character.”
Despite his glaring deficiencies in intelligence gathering, Tenet’s ability to hang on to his post may have something to do with the classic “Greek cleverness” referred to by Konitza. Tenet quickly moved to develop a warm working relationship with George W. Bush. In fact, several days after the attacks, the President visited CIA headquarters and in a show of support threw his arm around Tenet. But perhaps Tenet’s most cunning maneuver was to curry favor with the Bush family by naming the CIA headquarters building after George W’s father, ex-CIA Director and former President George H.W. Bush.
The bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, and the subsequent bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen should have been sufficient to convince Mr. Tenet that Binladin and al Qaeda were deadly serious about their intentions to inflict damage upon America. And just one day before their most recent attacks, according to The New York Times, intelligence officials intercepted a September 10th telephone call between Binladin and his mother when he told her, “something big is coming - you’re going to hear big news and you’re not going to hear from me for a while.” What was Mr. Tenet waiting for - an engraved invitation to Binladin’s next terrorist attack?
I remember what a beautiful day it was on September 11th when I arrived at my office in Manhattan shortly after 8:00 AM. Tragically, in less than an hour, that beautiful Tuesday would be violently interrupted by terrorists using modern day Trojan horses, this time in the form of airplanes laden with jet fuel, that would reshape the magnificent Manhattan skyline and all of our lives forever. It shouldn’t have happened. We should have known. But it did happen, and it happened on George Tenet’s watch. If Mr. Tenet was a man of character, he would resign. And if he doesn’t, he should be fired.
You may be interested in knowing that former CIA Director George Tenet will be interviewed on the CBS show "60 Minutes" to be broadcast Sunday evening (today) at 7:00 PM EST. Tenet is appearing to promote At the Center of the Storm, his new book to be released Monday that he is using in an attempt to improve his badly discredited image. According to press releases, in this book he paints himself as the victim instead of the bungling sycophant/accomplice/weasel he was. It was bad enough that the greatest intelligence failure in American history occurred on his watch. But now we have to listen to this gomar's Greek myths. To make matters worse he is Albanian (original family name was Koka - no relation), but fortunately for us, he calls himself Greek. They can have him, we have enough Albanian gomars like Sali Berisha and Fatos Nano - we don't need anymore!
In honor of Tenet's TV appearance, I thought I would use this opportunity to re-distribute Mr. Tenet's Trojan Horse, an article I wrote after 9/11.
P.S. I don't intend to waste money and time reading the book, but perhaps someone can let me know if Tenet gets South Eastern Europe's geography correct this time if he discusses his family's exodus from Albania.
Tenet correspondenceTo all,
In light of all the attention - mostly negative - that publication of George Tenet's book "At the Center of the Storm" has brought upon him, I thought it might be of interest to some to revisit my correspondence to Tenet as well as my correspondence to Senator Shelby regarding Tenet's nomination as CIA Director. A link to Mr. Tenet's Trojan Horse provided by ACLIS also appears at the bottom of the page.
P.S. Charles K., a friend of mine who is Albanian by marriage, brought to my attention a song titled "Albania" by Richard Summerbell from his album Light Carries On. Don't know the genesis of this song and Summerbell is a relatively unknown performer, but he reminds me a little of Neil Young and lyrics have hints of Leonard Cohen and Warren Zevon. The song is pretty good and Summerbell appears to have some knowledge of Albania, possibly from direct experience. If you'd like to check it out you can access Albania via this link
April 22, 1997
Mr. George J. Tenet
c/o Central Intelligence Agency
Washington, DC 20505
Dear Mr. Tenet:
Attached herewith is a copy of my April 22, 1997 letter to Senator Richard Shelby concerning your nomination for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
April 22, 1997
BY TELEFAX (202) 224-3416
The Hon. Richard C. Shelby
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Washington, DC 2051
RE: Nomination of George J. Tenet for Director of the CIA
Attached herewith is an article that appeared in the March 23, 1997 edition of the Italian newspaper LA STAMPA. The article, titled “Role of the new head of the CIA in the revolt”, contains allegations by Bashkim Gazidede, then chief of Albania’s secret service, that George Tenet had a hand in provoking the current chaos in southern Albania. The article also alleges that Mr. Tenet may maintain relationships with members of the “Greek orthodox lobby” who may have an interest in destabilizing Albania with the objective of having southern Albania annexed by Greece.