Intelligence Contractors Cooked Intel Data
December 3, 2005 -- EXCLUSIVE -- Intelligence "cooking" and retaliation also plagues IMINT (Imagery intelligence) community but with a healthy dose of contract fraud. WMR has already reported on tainted intelligence being created on the orders of the Bush administration in the SIGINT (signals intelligence) and HUMINT (human intelligence) communities. Largely ignored has been the effect of this policy in the IMINT (imagery intelligence) community. IMINT analysts carefully scan spy satellite and air reconnaissance photos taken of foreign airfields, weapons labs, shipyards, government office complexes, and other strategic and tactical sites.
MZM, the company involved in paying bribes to former California GOP Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham, was also part of the cooking of intelligence on Iraq years prior to the US invasion, according to a former weapons expert at the National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) in Charlottesville, Virginia. MZM was sold by owner Mitchell Wade to Veritas Capital and is now known as Athena Innovative Solutions, Inc.
According to a former IMINT and weapons analyst, who worked since 1988 for various intelligence agencies looking closely at Iraq, NGIC, which is comprised of US Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) intelligence analysts and personnel detailed from the National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), had an all-too-cozy relationship with MZM. The firm's single source, non-competitive contract with NGIC paved the way for the cooking of some of the intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq.
After NGIC's deputy director, Bill Rich, Sr., retired, he was quickly hired by MZM, which had replaced Battelle as the prime contractor for NGIC. Soon after taking the job with MZM, Rich's son, who had no prior intelligence experience, was also hired by MZM, according to the former analyst. In addition, NGIC's retired Sergeant Major was also hired by the firm, according to the same source. The links between MZM and Cunningham were so close, members of Wade's family also reportedly steered money to Cunningham's campaign coffers.
Since the MZM-Cunningham scandal broke, the firm has been cut off from all work at NGIC. However, according to NGIC sources that has not affected Rich, who continues to work for a new NGIC contractor, Sparta, Inc., which, like MZM, is conveniently located in the University of Virginia Research Park, across the street from NGIC.
The weapons analyst said that NGIC purposely altered figures on the number of Russian helicopters in order to justify the Crusader gun system, which, at the time, was being built by United Defense, which, in turn, was owned by The Carlyle Group. After the analyst objected to the inflation by NGIC management of the numbers of working helicopters in Russia, he found himself subject to a security clearance investigation by US Investigations Services (USIS), a firm in which the Carlyle Group has a major financial stake, USIS's Iraq operations were under investigation by US Army Col. Ted Westhusing last June. During that investigation, Westhusing was reported to have shot himself in the head while in a trailer near Baghdad.
In a manner reminiscent of how the National Security Agency (NSA) treats whistleblowers, the NGIC analyst was forced to see the center's sole psychologist, someone who was on good terms with Deputy Director Bill Rich. The psychologist determined that the analyst suffered from a psychiatric problem even though his own HMO contradicted that evaluation. In June 2001, the analyst had his security clearance revoked and was terminated in 2002.
In August 2001, the analyst arranged to have some of his NGIC paperwork sent to him at home by NGIC security. However, when a clasped and taped enveloped arrived at his home, there were clear indications that sometime during the passage of the documents through four levels of NGIC management, including NGIC security, something was inserted into the files: a SECRET NOFORN WINTEL document [NOFORN is "no foreign dissemination" and WINTEL is "Warning - Intelligence Sources and Methods Revealed']. The analyst dutifully informed the FBI and the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) at Fort Monroe, Virginia about the incident. However, the analyst was never asked to sign his statement about the incident. This is eerily similar to the planting of two boxes of classified documents in the home of former NSA analyst Kenneth Ford, who is currently on trial after being charged with the possession of classified material.
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NGIC -- The Intelligence Cooking Kitchen
The intelligence cooking on Russian military aviation was so bad, according to the analyst, that NGIC plagiarized a September 1984 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document and tried to post it in an intelligence report on INTELINK, the intelligence community-wide internal "Internet" for classified information. The only problem was that in "cutting and pasting" 1984 Russian helicopter threat information to justify the Crusader project, the term "Soviet Union" was left in the Fall 1999 intelligence report. The Soviet Union ceased to exist nine years earlier.
The NGIC analyst also was well aware as early as 2000 that the aluminum tubes discovered in Iraq and were later claimed by the Bush administration to be for nuclear centrifuges for an Iraqi nuclear weapons program were nothing more than artillery replacement barrels for the Italian "Medusa 81" artillery rocket that had been produced in Egypt. The analyst has personally briefed Dick Cheney, while he was Secretary of Defense, during Desert Shield in 1990 about the anti-aircraft gun barrels. The analyst was on loan to the Pentagon's National Military Joint Intelligence Center (NMJIC) from the Intelligence Threat Analysis Center (ITAC) at the Washington Navy Yard during Desert Storm and maintains that Cheney, whom he described as a "prick," knew what the aluminum tubes were for in 1990 and knew about them when he lied about their being part of Iraq's nuclear reconstitution program. Also present at the same 1990 intelligence briefing for Cheney was Pete Williams, the then-Pentagon press spokesman and currently an NBC TV news reporter.
NGIC altered the aluminum tube intelligence by ordering two individuals -- an artillery and cannon expert, respectively, to write a bogus intelligence report. The analyst who complained about this said that determination should have been made by NGIC's Tehnical Chemical Nuclear (TCN) branch, and not by the two individuals in question. However, the TCN experts realized that the tubes in question had nothing to do with a nuclear weapons program.
Moreover, the aluminum tubes used to justify the attack had actually been captured by US forces in Iraq during Desert Storm in 1991 and were conveniently used later to "prove" the existence of a nuclear program over a decade later.
In essence, NGIC tainted raw and refined intelligence received from its three primary providers -- INSCOM headquarters at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia; the Defense Intelligence Agency's (DIA) HUMINT collection databases (including translated intelligence) and NGA.
NGIC analysts and MZM contractors at the center also began altering intelligence databases containing threat data on various weapons systems, including helicopter production in Russia, Iraq, China, France, and Poland. When objections were raised to such tampering, the reply from NGIC/contractor management was "Congress is just a bunch of liberals and fags . . . we will tell them what they need to know." The analyst said that MZM, through bribery deals with Cunningham (who served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence) and GOP Representatives Katherine Harris (FL) and Virgil Goode (VA), successfully influenced Congress by successfully tampering with intelligence coming from NGIC. MZM was also involved in providing unspecified "intelligence services" for the Bush White House and purchasing furniture for the White House.
Goode, who sits on the House Armed Services subcommittee for Military Construction, received money from MZM and shortly afterwards, the firm opened an office, complete with Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIFs), in Goode's hometown of Martinsville, Virginia. However, an NGIC source said that all Goode received from MZM was $40,000, which compared to what they paid Cunningham, showed that Goode "sold his ass cheap."