A highly regarded group of retired US intelligence professionals has gone public with sharp criticism of US and NATO policy regarding Ukraine and Russia.
The group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, (VIPS), (Wikipedia)
was founded during the run-up to the Iraq war, when prominent members of the US intelligence community protested the brazen distortion of US intelligence in order to justify the US invasion.
At the time they were not taken seriously, but because their allegations later turned out to be true, the group has risen to prominence, and is widely respected in the US media.
The group numbers about 35 former professionals, including some very senior former analysts. Their co-founder is Ray McGovern, (Wikipedia)
a 27 year veteran of the CIA who routinely presented the morning intelligence briefings at the White House, and retired from the CIA in 1990 with high distinction. He frequently briefed senior administration officials, including the President, on intelligence issues, including Russia. The progressive US magazine Mother Jones profiled McGovern in 2004. See video below for a recent debate between McGovern and Timothy Snyder, one of the US media's leading Ukraine hawks.
In their recent criticism, in the form of a letter to German chancellor Angela Merkel
, the group charges that accusations of a Russian military invasion have not been supported by verifiable intelligence, and that various points of evidence that has been released to date are “dubious”, “politically fixed”, and are “of the kind used 12 years ago to justify a war in Iraq”.
They claim that the release of various “fuzzy images” has been coincidentally timed to explain the Ukrainian defeat by rebel forces, and to whitewash the “ineptitude and poor leadership” of those in charge of the Ukrainian military campaign.
The veterans call on Merkel to consider the consequences of the invasion of Iraq today, which they call “worse than catastrophic”.
The memorandum goes on to further denounce the credibility of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who according to the group receives his marching orders from Washington.
The veterans call on Merkel to consider that Ukraine’s membership in NATO is anathema to the Kremlin, a ‘red line’, and that the consequences of pressing on will be disastrous, a view shared by one of America's most prestigious geopolitical strategists, George Kennan, recently deceased.
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