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Remember Iraq? Former US intel officers warn Merkel against NATO images of Ukraine

 
Ray McGovern
User ID: 62440347
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09/02/2014 02:09 PM
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Remember Iraq? Former US intel officers warn Merkel against NATO images of Ukraine
Remember Iraq? Former US intel officers warn Merkel against NATO images of Ukraine

With the escalating Ukrainian crisis towards the top of the agenda at this week’s NATO summit in Wales, a group of former American intelligence workers is urging the alliance to be careful before crafting a response.

Sixty foreign leaders and dozens of diplomats and defense officials from around the globe will convene at the event this week and are expected to approve a plan that calls for assembling a 4,000-strong “spearhead” force to counter “Russia's aggressive behavior,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday, in the wake of the release of satellite images purported to show the advancement of at least 1,000 Russian troops and artillery into eastern Ukraine.

But on the eve of the first major NATO meeting since 2012, a coalition composed of seven former United States intelligence officers is asking the alliance to recall the 2003 invasion of Iraq before authorizing any military action.

According to the group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, the evidence produced by NATO from the Ukrainian-Russian border is on par with the “same dubious, politically ‘fixed’ kind used 12 years ago to ‘justify’ the US-led attack on Iraq.”

“We saw no credible evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq then; we see no credible evidence of a Russian invasion now,” reads an excerpt from the memo signed by the VIPS steering group — a coalition composed of former National Security Agency analyst William Binney, retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern, retired US Army Colonel Ann Wright and others — published online over the weekend and addressed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“Photos can be worth a thousand words; they can also deceive. We have considerable experience collecting, analyzing and reporting on all kinds of satellite and other imagery, as well as other kinds of intelligence. Suffice it to say that the images released by NATO on August 28 provide a very flimsy basis on which to charge Russia with invading Ukraine,” the group added.

Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, begged to differ, however. Upon release of the satellite images last week, the UN group held an emergency meeting on Thursday, the likes of which Power said marked the twenty-fourth time the Security Council hosted a meeting “to try to rein in Russia’s aggressive acts in Ukraine.”

“Every single one of those sessions has sent a straight-forward, unified message: Russia, stop this conflict. Russia is not listening,” Power added. “We said it when Russia flagrantly violated international law in occupying Crimea. We said it after the shocking downing of Malaysian Airlines flight 17, which took the lives of innocent men, women, children and infants from 11 countries. And we say it today, as Russia’s soldiers, tanks, air defense and artillery support and fight alongside separatists as they open a new front in a crisis manufactured in and fueled by Russia.”

Power’s sentiments were countered by Russia’s UN representative, Vitaly Churkin, who said, “Russian volunteers in eastern parts of Ukraine” are involved in the conflict, but not the Kremlin.

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[link to rt.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 62440347
Switzerland
09/02/2014 04:31 PM
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Re: Remember Iraq? Former US intel officers warn Merkel against NATO images of Ukraine
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