Intel Vets: Nuclear Weapons Cannot Be Un-Invented

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Nuclear Weapons Cannot Be Un-invented, Thus …
PRECEDENCE: IMMEDIATE
REF: Our Memo of 12/20/20, "Don’t Be Suckered on Russia"

May 1, 2022

Mr. President:

Mainstream media have marinated the minds of most Americans in a witches’ brew of misleading information on Ukraine – and on the exceedingly high stakes of the war. On the chance you are not getting the kind of "untreated" intelligence President Truman hoped for by restructuring intelligence, we offer below a 12-point factsheet. Some of us were intelligence analysts during the Cuban missile crisis and see a direct parallel in Ukraine. As to VIPs’ credibility, our record since Jan. 2003 – whether on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, or Russia – speaks for itself.

  1. The growing possibility that nuclear weapons might be used, as hostilities in Ukraine continue to escalate, merits your full attention.

  2. For almost 77 years, a common awareness of the awesome destructiveness of atomic/nuclear weapons created an (ironically stabilizing) balance of terror called deterrence. Nuclear-armed countries have generally avoided threatening to use nukes against other nuclear-armed countries.

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Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity: Media Working on Mousetrap for Summit

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
SUBJECT: Media Working On Mousetrap For Summit

Summary: With your meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Geneva just three days away, mainstream media are barely reporting – and at times distorting – olive-branch remarks by Putin, and are at pains to "accentuate the negative". We are particularly concerned over the incessant media commentary on "Russian hacking", which seems to be aimed at mousetrapping you into an ill-advised confrontation with Putin. Revelations since the last summit in July 2018 – including testimony under oath to Congress – give President Putin some very high cards. Should things get acrimonious, he might decide to put them into play.

Putin’s interview by NBC’s Keir Simmons Friday is a case in point. Little media attention has been given to Putin’s most salient remark (the language itself was given a sloppy, voice-over translation into English). Putin highlighted the welcome difference he sees in you in contrast to former President Trump. You, he said, are "a different kind of person, and I very much hope that … there will not be any impulsive acts from him" ("him" meaning you). The NBC translator rendered the Russian, more ambiguously and somewhat misleadingly, saying Putin was very much hoping "there will not be any impulse-based movements on behalf of the sitting president".

Similarly, speaking on Russia’s Channel 1 on June 4, Putin called you "an experienced, balanced, and ‘akkuratny’" politician. U.S. news services lazily translated that Russian word "akkuratny" into "accurate". But the word means "cautious". The (invidious) comparison, of course, is with the highly impulsive, incautious Trump. Putin added that he hoped that those qualities would have a positive effect at the summit. These remarks grabbed no headlines in the Western Establishment media, which continues to demonize Putin and "all his works and all his pomps".

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Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity on Avoiding War in Ukraine

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Avoiding War in Ukraine

Dear President Biden,

We last communicated with you on December 20, 2020, when you were President-elect.

At that time, we alerted you to the dangers inherent in formulating a policy toward Russia built on a foundation of Russia-bashing. While we continue to support the analysis contained in that memorandum, this new memo serves a far more pressing purpose. We wish to draw your attention to the dangerous situation that exists in Ukraine today, where there is growing risk of war unless you take steps to forestall such a conflict.

At this juncture, we call to mind two basic realities that need particular emphasis amid growing tension between Ukraine and Russia.

First, since Ukraine is not a member of NATO, Article 5 of the NATO Treaty of course would not apply in the case of an armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Second, Ukraine’s current military flexing, if allowed to transition into actual military action, could lead to hostilities with Russia.

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Intel Vets to Biden: Don’t Be Suckered on Russia

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President-elect
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Attempts to Sucker You Into Russia-Bashing

Dear President-elect Biden,

Fool Me Once …” You may recall that President George W. Bush could not remember the last part of that aphorism. No matter. It turned out that – on Iraq – Bush was not fooled by bad intelligence. Rather, he and Vice President Dick Cheney were determined to attack Iraq and asked malleable former colleagues of ours to manufacture intelligence to “justify” that catastrophic war.

It was so bad that Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller described prewar intelligence as “unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.” James Clapper, who was in charge of imagery analysis, admits in his memoir that the Bush/Cheney pressure to document a rogue WMD program in Iraq was so intense that “intelligence officers, including me, were so eager to help that we found what wasn’t really there.”(Emphasis added).

That coterie of “intelligence officers” – first and foremost CIA Director George Tenet and his protégé Michael Morell – were able to pull the wool over the eyes of enough members of Congress to grease the skids for unnecessary war. Many of the latest crop of intelligence leaders bubbled up to the top for services rendered under the malleable Tenet, and seem to have adopted his flexible attitude toward truth.

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Intel Vets: To the Attorney General – Mueller’s Forensics-Free Findings

MEMORANDUM FOR: The Attorney General
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPs)
SUBJECT: Mueller’s Forensics-Free Findings (Part 2)
REFERENCE: Our March 13, 2019 Memo to you: “Mueller’s Forensics-Free Findings” (Part 1)

Dear Attorney General Barr:

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s June 4 testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee brings to mind our Memorandum to you of March 13, 2019 – nine days before Special Counsel Robert Mueller gave you his “Report on the Investigation Into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election”.

At the time of our Memo, it was already clear that Mueller’s findings would be fatally incomplete. We were virtually certain that Mueller’s report would lack the forensic findings that we VIPS had arrived at through the kind of rigorous investigation that the FBI avoided doing. So we gave our Memo to you with the title: “Mueller’s Forensics-Free Findings”.

Sans forensics, Mueller’s report fell far short of Rosenstein’s earlier commitment “to ensure a full and thorough investigation”. It was also clear to us that relying for forensics on CrowdStrike, a private cyber-security firm of checkered reputation, picked and paid for by the Democratic National Committee, would signal a conflict of interest on this controversial issue. Now we know a lot more as a result of testimony released last month (but widely ignored in Establishment media).

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Intel Vets: To the President – Avoid Hostilities Over Iranian Fuel Shipment to Venezuela

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPs)
SUBJECT: Avoiding Hostilities Over Iranian Fuel Shipment to Venezuela

Mr. President:

Recent U.S. rhetoric and actions against Venezuela – most immediately regarding Iran’s shipping of gasoline desperately needed during the pandemic – puts the US at risk of an outbreak of dangerous and almost certainly counterproductive hostilities, not only in the Caribbean, but also in waters closer to Iran. As five Iranian tankers approach Venezuela, with the first due to arrive Sunday, hardliners in both Washington and Iran would relish a chance to give a bloody nose to the other side, but it may not be that simple.

While the US can invoke the Monroe Doctrine in Latin America, geography trumps doctrine. True, the US holds the upper hand in the Caribbean. It does not have tactical advantage in the Persian Gulf – despite the formidable amount of US weaponry already deployed in the area. We believe there is a good chance Iran will pick the Gulf as the place to retaliate for any quarantine or more warlike actions off Venezuela.

As former intelligence officers and other national security practitioners with many decades of experience, we understand the frustration your Administration feels as its “maximum pressure” campaign to remove Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro enters its 17th month without much progress. Our purpose is not to defend Maduro, whose economic performance has alienated many and compounded Venezuela’s problems. Rather, we wish to ensure that you are aware of the possible pitfalls of the general threatening to use “maximum pressure” and “all means necessary” to effect “regime change” in Venezuela. In our view, any US attempt to interdict access of the Iranian ships to Venezuela will be widely seen as an act of war. It could conceivably lead to unprecedented retaliation in places as far away as the Persian Gulf – events that the US will not be able to fully control.

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