Sunday, December 15, 2013
I’ve been thinking about Robert Levinson. He is the retired FBI Agent who disappeared in 2007 on the Iranian Island of Kish.
Levinson, who was operating as a private investigator, was initially described, by government officials and his family, as investigating cigarette smuggling. He was to meet with a potential 'source' of information on Kish.
Kish Island is located approximately 12 miles from the Iranian mainland and falls within the territorial jurisdiction of Iran. It is considered to be a rather attractive tourist destination. And, is relatively free-wheeling compared to mainland Iran. The island is a money maker for Iran – hence the relaxation of the strict standards that ordinarily apply to Iranian citizens and visitors to their country. Make no mistake, however, it is part of Iran - a country that cares little for Americans, particularly those Americans connected with American intelligence agencies.
As we now know, or at least what has been reported as accurate, Levinson was working as a contractor for the CIA. Apparently, Levinson had been recruited by certain CIA Analysts, and was collecting information on the CIA’s behalf. What is concerning is that his actions were not appropriate under CIA guidelines, and were apparently hidden from higher-ups in the CIA bureaucracy. I tend not to believe that, but that is the official story – at least for now. Several CIA employees were fired or disciplined. All the fired employees seemed to immediately land on their feet – obtaining other government positions outside the CIA.
Regarding Levinson, personally, he was from reports within the Bureau, very well liked, and an outstanding Agent. He had a wife and seven children. Post retirement, he was trying to make extra money as a PI to help his seven children through college.
The CIA was paying him very well on a contractual basis. His last contract with the CIA was worth $120,000. Interestingly, the CIA gave Levinson’s family a $2.5 million annuity to keep, early on, Levinson’s actual purpose in going to Kish a secret. So, Levinson’s family will be taken care of financially. This is, as we all understand, small comfort to the family.
Should Levinson have gone to Kish? Well, in retrospect, we all know the answer to that. In this day and age, all any foreign government needs to do is run a basic Google search on an individual’s name; and, bingo, they know Levinson was a retired Agent. That would be enough to pick him up and find out what he was really doing in Iran. Under questioning, he would quickly reveal his purpose. FBI Agents are not trained to thwart intense interrogation techniques. Furthermore, the more professional CIA operatives apparently did not know Levinson was even in the region – and, of course, he had no backup. He probably was not even missed for several days.
On a personal note, it’s been many years since I was an Agent; but I would not accept an assignment or attempt to ‘vacation’ in any number of present-day countries; particularly Iran and North Korea. To voluntarily go there, as far as I’m concerned would be fool-hardy, if not downright stupid. I assume that the FBI advises their current Agents of that; just as I was advised not to have FBI credentials in my possession if an airplane on which I was traveling was ever hijacked to Cuba. That was the advice given in the ‘70’s. As a supervisor once told me, “eat your credentials if you have to.”
I want to be very clear here. I have deep sympathy for Levinson’s family. In a perfect world, the Iranians would now have all the information they need; and would return Levinson if and when the US had admitted their error – which the CIA has done – sort of. My advice to the President is that he has to stop playing Mr. Nice Guy. Someone in the CIA high-up needs to be fired. Perhaps, it should be the Director. The President’s position should be, ‘I don’t care if you didn’t know. It’s your job to know. I want your resignation.’
But, as we are all discovering, President Obama couldn’t really do that. If he had such staunch principals, he would have to also resign.
And, so it goes. Robert Levinson may not be alive. Nonetheless, the FBI is offering $1 million for his return. It’s been approximately three years since his family has heard anything. They continue to keep his name before the public; but hope is dimming. Of course, the CIA and our government continues to play footsie. It’s their nature.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I just finished a book that I’d like to recommend to my readers. The book is The Myth of Martyrdom by Adam Lankford. It is a thoroughly researched book on “suicide bombers, rampage shooters and other self-destructive killers.” Lankford is a Criminal Justice professor at The University of Alabama.
What his research has documented would seem to be intuitive to the average American citizen. However, Lankford has taken the time and made the effort to bring the evidence to the table – interesting.
Many have erroneously compared the courage or motivations of suicide bombers and mass killers with war heroes; that suicide bombers are the equivalent of the soldier that throws himself on a grenade to protect his comrades. Far from it. However, this is a fiction promoted by many liberal scholars, prominent apologists, as well as radical Islamists.
In fact, it is the radical handlers who use troubled individuals to do their unholy work. Suicide bombers, according to Lankford’s research, demonstrate little courage in their actions, are almost always deeply depressed, isolated and have previously indicated suicidal tendencies.
In the Muslim faith, suicide is considered a ‘mortal sin’ – if that is the appropriate designation. However, potential candidates who volunteer for bombing attacks are convinced by handlers that strapping explosives to their bodies and detonating the blast in some public place is a final-exit technicality, or loophole, that will allow them to escape a hellish afterlife. The frosting on the cake is that they will be considered a martyr – at least in some circles.
As Lankford stated: “Today, there are more than ninety million people around the world who believe that suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified. Within the United States, more than 200,000 people share the exact same view.”
There must be tens of thousands of potential mass killers available for the proper grooming (manipulation). A sobering thought, don't you think?
Saturday, December 7, 2013
I would like to introduce you to a friend of mine, Justice Tall. No, that is not his real name; but he is a former Special Agent for the FBI. Justice Tall is his pseudonym or nom de guerre. Reason, he spent a couple of years working ‘undercover,’ and it’s probably best that he remains anonymous in his retirement.
I never worked ‘undercover’ for an extended period of time. Every Agent, at one time or another, does some of this type of work for a day or two, or perhaps a week. But, only a few Agents did it full-time for years. I happened to handle a ‘beard’ (an undercover Agent) while I was assigned to Berkeley. I expect that he and I accomplished little, except that it did enable the Bureau to keep some sort of loose tabs on what was going-on in the Berkeley scene – at the street level.
Anyway, Justice had some things that he wanted to get off his chest. I hope he will continue to offer his opinions on subjects related to my blog’s theme. Please understand that he and I will not necessarily agree on everything; but you might be interested in his opinions. I am.
The following from Justice is about the Weather Underground, the domestic terrorists that plagued the country during the seventies:
The following hyperlinked article sure impacts me after all these years.
I fought these people with everything I had. I gave up my life for almost 2 years, my friends, my personal material items, my mother, dad, brother, my name, and my values. One's self identity is not just your driver’s license or your birth certificate. It's who we are. It's your soul.
I am depressed that we lost that war (referring to the Weather Undergroud). Our side didn’t have the patience of their side. Take Mao's Red Book, and trace the radical left's path to success. I try to describe this to people, to my young nieces, and I get this blank stare and a shoulder shrug. A country’s values, history, character, can be changed by one generation and important past facts and conditions forgotten completely after two or three generations.
Our generation talks about the ‘greatest generation’s’ accomplishments. However, this generation is throwing those accomplishments and those values away. The generation after that will not even know what the greatest generation accomplished or valued.
Patience is the key to (political) success, when a change is desired or necessary. We can't reclaim our country with the elections of 2014 or 2016. We need to reclaim our country over a couple of generations, like they (the left) did over the past 40 years when their particular ideals and values were infused into our colleges; which trickled down into our high schools, and is now in our elementary schools promoted by a generation of teachers influenced by liberal college professors.
Our Constitution seems to have been undermined by activist judges and lawyers, again products of our liberal college environment. Added to that is our ever changing demographics both legally through unsustainable multiple births, and illegally through our porous borders. We, I, see our political balance shifting further to the left; a political structure held together with a recipe of entitlements, poverty, and White guilt.
I was once the good guy in the white hat, who was applauded by the Greatest Generation, our fathers and our uncles; and I am now 40 years later, the extremist, the bad guy in Robert Redford's movies. Based on my past, people like my nieces see me as being used by the Government, which at that time consisted of members of the Greatest Generation. They, this younger generation, now categorizes me, in many subtle ways, as a racist, homophobic, and a biased puppet of a formerly corrupt regime.
Yes, I would say that the referenced article has made an impression on me. It tells the truth in a manner that should make people realize where this country is headed. Back then, I was there! I studied the "Red Book.” I spent hours talking to ‘dissidents,’ who called themselves Revolutionaries in the image of Che Guevara, in cells where the enemy was anyone outside of that cell. What the article says is the truth. Deception was the tactic of the Weathermen. Justice Tallman
Some of you may feel that Justice’s comments are extreme. Some of you may look at Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers and Kathy Boudin and say, they don’t look so bad. They’re elderly now, soft spoken, well-mannered. They drink tea. But you would be wrong. It’s a carefully constructed illusion. Don’t believe it. They were and are domestic terrorists. Never forget that. Some of us who were there, at the time, will not always be around to remind you. If, at times, we sound overwrought, it is because of our frustration.
Thanks Justice. Hope to hear more from you.
“If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ”