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August 21, 2008 9:51 AM   Subscribe

In February President Bush issued an Executive Order changing the role & reporting structure of the PFIAB, the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. At the time the order was criticized & analyzed as a move to consolidate power within an organization that was already full of Bush cronies. But it now looks like all the pundits were wrong. The real reason? There was a spy in the PFIAB.
posted by scalefree (33 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Just because there was a spy, doesn't mean it wasn't a move to consolidate power within an organization that was already full of Bush cronies.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:53 AM on August 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I have to say that it's pretty convenient that Bush gets to restructure, given this:

In the mid-1970s, after the exposure of CIA abuses by the Church Committee, PFIAB's clout expanded to investigate crimes within the intelligence community, empowered by President Ford to report criminal activity directly to the attorney general.

On Feb. 29, President Bush signed an executive order that diminishes PFIAB's authority and transfers the investigative powers to the director of national intelligence.


Now let me think. WHO was it that recently abused their authority to order the CIA to illegally spy on Americans. Hmmmm...it'll come to me....
posted by DU at 10:03 AM on August 21, 2008


This appears to be conspiracy-theory hokum. Believe at your own risk.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:06 AM on August 21, 2008


The PFIAB also does not carry out any investigative functions. It is just a board of advisors.

Anyone who sees the intelligence community as a bunch of wire-pullers just needs to remember George Tenent telling Bush "Its a slam dunk."
posted by Ironmouth at 10:08 AM on August 21, 2008


One of the Russians who figured into the colonel's Monaco-based Russian money laundering scheme was Viktor Bout, a former major in the GRU (Soviet military intelligence), nicknamed "The Bill Gates of Arms Dealing"

In Soviet Russia, Windows application kills YOU!
posted by burnmp3s at 10:11 AM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


"You see? We told you we were discompetent."
posted by boo_radley at 10:11 AM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Personally, I cannot trust anyone that doesn't use CSS and Web-Too-Oh technologies to present their theories.
posted by jsavimbi at 10:16 AM on August 21, 2008


It is believed in some quarters that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin personally recruited this colonel while Mr. Putin was posted to Dresden, East Germany, as a KGB intelligence officer.

Nahh, couldn't be. I mean, Bush looked into his soul! He's a good man!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:22 AM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


The article dosn't say there was a spy in PFIAB, it sais there was a spy scare and that someone who claimed to be associated with PFIAB, seemed to know a couple members and would sometimes wine and dine them in order to ply 'gossip' out of them has some links to Monaco and might have once met Vladamir Putin.
posted by delmoi at 10:28 AM on August 21, 2008


The reason Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812: there may have been a spy there.
The reason Japan invaded China in 1937: there may have been a spy there.
The reason US invaded Iraq in 2003: there may have been a spy there.
The reason I brush my teeth every night: there may be a spy there.
It justifies anything.
And those are the examples that avoid Godwin.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:32 AM on August 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'd put getting rid of any spies down as a happy accident as well.
posted by Artw at 10:36 AM on August 21, 2008


It's posted on the Internet, so it must be true.
posted by FormlessOne at 10:53 AM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


A few wrench hits would have easily done the job.
posted by archagon at 11:03 AM on August 21, 2008 [21 favorites]


No corroboration, no sources, no periodicals cited, no quotes from sources and not even 'the colonel's' name.

Oh and its hosted by Cryptome, where all the servers come equipped with tin hats. I expect this article to be mirrored by & the Temple of the Screaming Electron along with that text document on how we can go faster than the speed of light.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 11:10 AM on August 21, 2008


It's posted on the Internet I posted it on Wikipedia earlier this morning, so it must be true.

FTFY
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:14 AM on August 21, 2008


In February, President Bush strangled another puppy in the Oval Office. A report from an unnamed source state the animal, whose name was Jody, was a Springer spaniel approximately eight weeks old. Animal rights activists sighed and shrugged while looking wistfully at a 2009 calendar.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:28 AM on August 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I heard he was sapping PFIAB's sentry. That's how they knew.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:47 AM on August 21, 2008


I'm afraid I have to second the sentiment that "there was a spy in the PFIAB" is not the same thing as "there was a spy scare in the PFIAB". The only other related story I can find on this story is a blogspot article ... that uses the Cryptome article as its sole source.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:06 PM on August 21, 2008


The story originally appeared in the Santa Barbara News-Press, but it's behind a pay-wall now. Perhaps I was a little loose with my wording, but he had been assigned to the PFIAB before he retired.
posted by scalefree at 12:43 PM on August 21, 2008


You know who else suspected a spy there?
posted by rusty at 12:48 PM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


And with the wonder of Bugmenot, here is the Santa Barbara News-Press article in full:
Few noticed that President George W. Bush quietly revamped the role of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board earlier this year. But nobody knows, until now, that a spy scare was one of the reasons to precipitate this change.

The role of the advisory board, which President Eisenhower created in 1956, has been to monitor U.S. intelligence services and offer non-partisan, expert advise to the president on its conduct. In the mid-1970s, after the exposure of CIA abuses by the Church Committee, PFIAB's clout expanded to investigate crimes within the intelligence community, empowered by President Ford to report criminal activity directly to the attorney general.

On Feb. 29, President Bush signed an executive order that diminishes PFIAB's authority and transfers the investigative powers to the director of national intelligence.

This followed a lengthy FBI counterintelligence investigation into the activities of a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who they suspected of spying on PFIAB for Russia.

It is believed in some quarters that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin personally recruited this colonel while Mr. Putin was posted to Dresden, East Germany, as a KGB intelligence officer. From 1985 to 1990 it was Mr. Putin's job to recruit spies in Germany, where U.S. military officers serving at NATO air bases were considered high priority targets.

At that time, the colonel was based at Borfink Air Force Base, where he supervised top-secret U-2 and SR-71 reconnaissance flights over the Soviet Union.

Soon after retiring from the Air Force, this colonel, in 1992, organized a trade delegation of Russians to the Principality of Monaco. Included in this delegation was an obscure political functionary from St. Petersburg. His name was Vladimir Putin. (Mr. Putin had resigned from the KGB a year before.) This delegation marked a Russian entry into Monaco, a tax haven that provides a variety of shielded opportunities to the very rich.

A Russian presence in Monaco has greatly proliferated during the past two years. As if to consummate the relationship, Prince Albert II of Monaco last August vacationed for a week in Russia with Mr. Putin, as the Russian president's guest. More recently, the Russian state "gifted" Prince Albert with a two-story, three-bedroom dacha, which Russian builders constructed from scratch on the grounds of Roc Agel, the bachelor prince's country hideaway in the French Alps, high above his glamorous principality.

Back to the mid-1990s, the Air Force colonel created a business entity in Monaco with a member of a prominent Monegasque family. Over a five-year period this entity is understood to have laundered $600 million through Monaco's banks for corrupt Russian interests -- funds reputedly channeled into real estate around Western Europe and further laundered through coded accounts at banks in Malta, the Bahamas, and the Turks & Caicos Islands. An estate in Ireland was allegedly purchased on behalf of one "Andrey Vasiliyev," an alias that Mr. Putin, while president, was known to use in correspondence with his intelligence chiefs.

The colonel was also known to carry suitcases full of cash -- presumably on behalf of Russians, maybe for Mr. Putin personally -- from Switzerland to Monaco for deposit in local banks.

Although his last annual salary in the Air Force as an attachè was about $60,000 -- and that by his own admission he "retired broke" -- the colonel quickly amassed $10 million worth of real estate in Monaco, London, Malibu and Whistler, Canada, plus luxury cars, and a collection of ultra-pricey Ming Dynasty antiques.

One of the Russians who figured into the colonel's Monaco-based Russian money laundering scheme was Viktor Bout, a former major in the GRU (Soviet military intelligence), nicknamed "The Bill Gates of Arms Dealing" and now in custody in Thailand, fighting extradition to the United States.

Trouble for both the colonel and Mr. Bout, 41, first began in February 2001 when a prosecutor in Belgium, under pressure from the United States government, issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Bout alleging that this merchant of death had laundered millions of dollars from illegal arms sales, including the sale of Russian military aircraft to the Taliban in Afghanistan, pre-9/11.

The colonel and his Monegasque partner, who has since died, liquidated their entity four months later and are understood to have destroyed the company's documentation. The colonel then left Monaco to lay low in his other homes.

However, the colonel still maintained a link to PFIAB, whose meetings he had occasionally attended while in the Air Force to "flap charts" for senior officers conducting presentations. The colonel, in retirement, had been known to boast to others that he was attached to PFIAB, and that he was engaged in running secret missions on its behalf.

But he was lying. The colonel neither sat on PFIAB's 16-member board nor was he on its staff; nor does PFIAB have operational authority or capability to run missions.

Yet when annual PFIAB meetings rolled around every December, the colonel traveled first-class to Washington, D.C., for precisely the same dates and holed up in five-star hotels -- The Willard or the Hay Adams -- a stone's throw from PFIAB's venue, the Old Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House.

It is believed the colonel knew someone at PFIAB -- a board member or staffer -- whom he wined and dined at expensive restaurants and from whom he weaseled intelligence gossip about PFIAB briefings and discussions. And then reported everything he collected to the Russians.

The colonel has apparently gotten off scot-free, unless the FBI turned him into a double agent. Obviously, they're not saying, and are otherwise preoccupied celebrating their 100th anniversary with a PR campaign.

A call from The Investigator to PFIAB for comment was referred to the White House Media Office, which did not call back
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:02 PM on August 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


NB: I don't know how, if at all, this article differs from the Cryptome one, as the Cryptome page wasn't loading for me.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:03 PM on August 21, 2008


> The reason I brush my teeth every night: there may be a spy there.

I'M IN UR MOUF BROADCASTIN' FROM UR FILLINS!
39634 62349 74088 65564 16379 19713 39153 69459 17986 24537
14595 35050 40469 27478 44526 67331 93365 54526 22356 93208
30734 71571 83722 79712 25775 65178 07763 82928 31131 30196
64628 89126 91254 24090 25752 03091 39411 73146 06089 15630
42831 95113 43511 42082 15140 34733 68076 18292 69486 80468
80583 70361 41047 26792 78466 03395 17635 09697 82447 31405
00209 90404 99457 72570 42194 49043 24330 14939 09865 45906
05409 20830 01911 60767 55248 79253 12317 84120 77772 50103
95836 22530 91785 80210 34361 52228 33869 94332 83868 61672
65358 70469 87149 89509 72176 18103 55169 79954 72002 20582
72249 04037 36192 40221 14918 53437 60571 40995 55006 10694
41692 40581 93050 48734 34652 41577 04631 49184 39295 81776
61885 50796 96822 82002 07973 52925 75467 86013 98072 91942
48917 48129 48624 48248 91465 54898 61220 18721 67387 66575
88378 84299 12193 03785 49314 39761 99132 28775 45276 91816
posted by jfuller at 1:21 PM on August 21, 2008


No hex?
posted by netbros at 2:05 PM on August 21, 2008


Yeah, this kind of caught my eye as prima facie evidence that this is cover for gutting an investigatory body capable of bringing the Bushies down:

The colonel has apparently gotten off scot-free, unless the FBI turned him into a double agent. Obviously, they're not saying, and are otherwise preoccupied celebrating their 100th anniversary with a PR campaign.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:09 PM on August 21, 2008


This could be a good opportunity us. There is a real chance that this administration might not be prosecuted for the crimes that they have committed. So I think that everyone on the internet should just accept that any stories about Bush and his evil cabal are absolutely true.

Because the internet will undoubtedly be a valuable tool to historians in the distant future, and I like the idea of so fouling the water with regard to Bush that there is no way that his legacy will be anything other than that of a puppy-killing philanderer who personally murdered every single person in New Orleans and then used a hurricane to cover it up. And that Cheney lives on the blood of infants, but there is pretty good evidence that this one is actually true, so...
posted by quin at 3:07 PM on August 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


the Russian state "gifted" Prince Albert with a two-story, three-bedroom dacha, which Russian builders constructed from scratch on the grounds of Roc Agel, the bachelor prince's country hideaway in the French Alps, high above his glamorous principality.

Wow, such largesse! These noovo reesh Russkis really know how to treat a guy! How could a scion of one of the richest families in Europe resist... a 3-bed property so near to his palaces?!!

"Monsieur Ambassador, you are really spoiling us!"
posted by dash_slot- at 3:48 PM on August 21, 2008


No hex?

The numbers are in groups of five digits per number, ten numbers per line. I don't recognize the particular numbers, but the format matches A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates from 1955. Those numbers were meant to be used by people, not computers.
posted by ryanrs at 4:27 PM on August 21, 2008


Wait, you've just told us what your one-time pad is?
posted by Artw at 4:34 PM on August 21, 2008


As I said, I don't recognize the numbers, just the grouping. Those particular numbers aren't in A Million Random Digits.
posted by ryanrs at 4:45 PM on August 21, 2008


I heard he was sapping PFIAB's sentry. That's how they knew.

SPAH SAPPIN' MAH CRONIES!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:24 PM on August 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


And with the wonder of Bugmenot, here is the Santa Barbara News-Press article in full:
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing

So, it looks like Marisa did indeed stole the precious thing.
posted by micayetoca at 5:53 PM on August 21, 2008


Ah, the Santa Barbara News-Press, renowned worldwide as a bastion of—actually, I've never heard of it.
posted by grouse at 1:43 AM on August 22, 2008


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