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Senator Landrieu phone plot


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Landrieu phone plot: Men arrested have links to intelligence community

By Sahil Kapur

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

www.rawstory.com

http://rawstory.com/2010/01/men-charged-at...lligence-links/

WASHINGTON -- Two of the three men arrested on Monday along with "ACORN pimp" James O'Keefe for "maliciously tampering" with Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) phones in her New Orleans office have ties to the United States intelligence community.

The three accused by the FBI of "aiding and abetting" O'Keefe are Stan Dai, Robert Flanagan and Joseph Basel. O'Keefe is 25, and the other three are 24.

Dai's links to the intelligence community appear to be particularly strong. He was a speaker at Georgetown University's Central Intelligence Agency summer school program in June 2009, and is also listed as an Assistant Director at the Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence at Trinity in D.C.

The university's president Patricia McGuire told The Associated Press that it promoted careers in intelligence but denied that it trains students to be spies.

The Trinity program received a "$250,000 renewable grant from the U.S. Intelligence Community" upon launching in 2004, according to its Web site. The program's goals are stated:

The IC CAE in National Security Studies Program was established during 2005 in response to the nation's increasing need for IC professionals who are educated and trained with the unique knowledge, skills and capabilities to carry out America's national security objectives.

The CIA summer school packet also notes that Dai "served as the Operations Officer of a Department of Defense irregular warfare fellowship program."

Dai has been an undergraduate fellow with the Washington-based national security think tank Foundation for the Defense of the Democracies (FDD), according to his College Leadership Program award biography at the Phillips Foundation -- as Lindsay Beyerstein first reported.

FDD claims that it's partly funded by the US State Department. Its Leadership Council and Board of Advisers comprise many high-profile conservative politicians and public figures -- including former House speaker Newt Gingrich, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), former Bush official Richard Perle and columnist Charles Krauthammer.

Dai traveled to Israel for two weeks in 2004 on an FDD-sponsored trip, the Daily Herald reported. "All expenses (room, board and travel) will be assumed by FDD," FDD's Web site said of its Israel program.

A host of FDD testimonials from Academic Fellows reveal that many fellows have traveled to Israel for training and field trips. The Foundation says the course includes "lectures by academics, diplomats, military and intelligence officials, and politicians from Israel, Jordan, India, Turkey and the United States."

FDD proclaims that "Like America, Israel is at the forefront in the war on terrorism." Further explaining its interest in Israel, FDD declares:

Both the United States and Israel are democracies, and both face the same enemy. It is this connection between Israel's experience and the future of the United States that is the essence of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

One FDD testimonial, by 2004-2005 fellow Dr. Cathal J. Nolan, highlighted the group's bond with high-level intelligence and government officials in Israel:

The access which FDD provided to top government officials--and to academic, police, security service, and intelligence experts at the highest levels--was truly remarkable. I know of no other foundation or fellowship program which is able to provide so much top-level access and first-hand intelligence and security service information in so compact a form, or in such an intellectually stimulating environment.

The CIA and Office of Director of National Intelligence have both told Politico that despite Dai's evident connections to the intelligence community, he never officially worked for them.

Dai's co-conspirator Robert Flanagan is currently seeking a Master of Science degree from the Missouri State University's (Fairfax, Virginia) Defense and Strategic Studies program, according to his LinkedIn profile (which was captured by Beyerstein before it was taken down Tuesday.)

The DSS Web site description affirms its connections to "the intelligence community":

The program’s location also provides DSS with the opportunity to draw adjunct faculty members from the top ranks of government, the defense industry, and the intelligence community.

The program also appears to have a close relationship with the conservative establishment. Inside Higher Ed reported in 2007 that the program's "full-time faculty of three and its nine affiliated lecturers tend to come mainly from positions in Republican administrations and conservative-leaning institutions."

It appears to be an elite program and one Facebook group bills it as ardently conservative on national security and foreign policy issues. "We Do Defense (far) Right!" it proclaims:

Are you preparing for the inevitable U.S. v. ChiCom War? Are you praying every night for the employment of Ballistic Missile Defense? Do you think nuclear weapons are important for American security? Do you think MAD is a trashy liberal theory? Are you educated by great professors with real life experience?

Then this is the place for you.

Flanagan has also blogged for the conservative Pelican Institute until as recently as this month. In one post last month, he highlighted criticisms directed at Landrieu.

Flanagan's father, William Flanagan, is currently the acting US Attorney for Louisiana's western district. But because Flanagan was arrested in the state's eastern district, his father will not oversee his prosecution.

The New Orleans newspaper NOLA.com, which first broke the news, reported that "one of the four was arrested with a listening device in a car blocks from the senator's offices." The FBI's affidavit noted that Flanagan and Basel were in the building with O'Keefe, and a federal law enforcement official confirmed to AP that Dai was the one in the car.

The New York Times pointed out that "[t]he [FBI] affidavit did not accuse the men of trying to tap the phones, or describe in detail what they did to the equipment." But the optics of the situation have led to suspicions that bugging Landrieu's phones was their intention.

Although Robert Flanagan's Facebook page has been removed, the other three all list each other as "friends" on the social networking site.

All four of the men arrested in the plotMonday have well-documented conservative ties, The Associated Press revealed. Three of the suspects wrote for conservative publications while in college, and Flanagan has written for the national Pelican Institute.

Flanagan's blog, flanaganreport.com, has also been deleted, but some of its content can still be found in Google's archives. In one post, Flanagan criticized former vice president Dick Cheney.

Joseph Basel was listed by the University of Minnesota, Morris in 2005 as one of its fifteen "College Republicans."

The publications O'Keefe and Basel wrote for while in college allegedly received money from the nonprofit education foundation The Leadership Institute.

"Leadership Institute Vice President David Fenner said in a phone interview this morning that the group had 'informal, above-board relationships' with both James O'Keefe and Joseph Basel when they were college students," Talking Points Memo reported Wednesday.

Landrieu's office released the following statement on the incident, according to NPR:

Because the details of yesterday's incident are part of an ongoing investigation by federal authorities, our office cannot comment at this time.

The community activist group ACORN slammed O'Keefe, who angered them after unveiling their ostensibly dodgy practices. "Couldn't have happened to a more deserving soul," the group posted on its Twitter feed.

The incident "is further evidence of his disregard for the law in pursuit of his extremist agenda," ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis told AP in a statement.

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Guest John Gillespie

Landrieu phone plot: Men arrested have links to intelligence community

By Sahil Kapur

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

www.rawstory.com

http://rawstory.com/2010/01/men-charged-at...lligence-links/

WASHINGTON -- Two of the three men arrested on Monday along with "ACORN pimp" James O'Keefe for "maliciously tampering" with Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) phones in her New Orleans office have ties to the United States intelligence community.

The three accused by the FBI of "aiding and abetting" O'Keefe are Stan Dai, Robert Flanagan and Joseph Basel. O'Keefe is 25, and the other three are 24.

Dai's links to the intelligence community appear to be particularly strong. He was a speaker at Georgetown University's Central Intelligence Agency summer school program in June 2009, and is also listed as an Assistant Director at the Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence at Trinity in D.C.

-----------------------------------

Plenty of stench to go around. Too bad. The A.C.O.R.N. activities that were uncovered were reprehensible. So are these. This just shows that one extremist group thought itself to be more sopisticated - and righteous - than the other.

JG

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And is this the first incident involving the attempted bugging of a liberal Democratic Senator's office in this decade? My supposition is that it is not. A thorough sweep for more bugging devices across the board is probably in order. This is going to turn into a mini-Watergate for certain. And to think that my neighbor's house was occupied or rented at various times by Frank Strugis, E. Howard Hunt and Bernard Barker who ran Keyes Realty in South Florida in the 1960's. The For Rent sign for Keyes Realty was prominently posted in front of that 2-story house in Grapeland Heights shortly after the assassination happened.

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Plenty of stench to go around. Too bad. The A.C.O.R.N. activities that were uncovered were reprehensible. So are these. This just shows that one extremist group thought itself to be more sopisticated - and righteous - than the other.

JG

Weekend Edition

January 29 - 31, 2010

CounterPunch Diary

By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

http://www.counterpunch.org/

David Price has a major scoop in our latest subscriber-only newsletter. He describes how, across the past five years, without a word of public debate, let alone concern the CIA, has successfully implanted spy schools on 22 university campuses across the country, many of them labeled “Intelligence Community Centers of Academic Excellence” – ICCAE, pronounced “Icky”.

It began in 2004,” Price reports, when “a $250,000 grant was awarded to Trinity Washington University by the Intelligence Community for the establishment of a pilot ‘Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence’ program. Trinity was in many ways an ideal campus for a pilot program. For a vulnerable, tuition-driven struggling financial institution in the D.C. area the promise of desperately needed funds and a regionally assured potential student base, linked with or seeking connections to the DC intelligence world, made the program financially attractive.”

Price’s timing is impeccable. Last Monday, the day we were preparing to send his story to press, came news that a group of Fox News’ free-lance buggers - the same who set up ACORN – had been arrested, trying for phone sabotage in Senator Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans office. Three of the team were caught inside Landrieu’s office. A fourth was arrested as he sat in a car a few blocks away with what the police described as “a listening device that could pick up transmissions." Another anonymous official told MSNBC that the man in the car was Stan Dai.

Dai is a veteran of Trinity Washington University’s spook school,. funded by the “Intelligence Community”. In 2008, Dai served as associate director of ICCAE at Trinity Washington.

How many wannabe Howard Hunts and G. Gordon Liddys are being turned out by the spook schools? As Price writes, “Even amid the extreme militarization prevailing in America today, the public silence surrounding this quiet installation and spread of programs like ICCAE is extraordinary. In the last four years ICCAE has gone further in bringing government intelligence organizations openly to multiple American university campuses than any previous intelligence initiative since World War Two. Yet the program spreads with little public notice, media coverage, or coordinated multi-campus resistance.”

Did any tenured faculty member at the 22 campuses now hosting spook-schools publicly raise the alarm? Twenty years ago there would have been furious demonstrations. Not now. Faculty, most notably at the University of Washington, did write anguished, even angry memos. Price quotes them. But as he writes,

“it’s far from clear that these private critiques had any measurable effect, precisely because they remained private...

"Tenured professors on ICCAE campuses, or on campuses contemplating ICCAE programs, need to use their tenure and speak out, on the record, in public... the split between the public and private reactions to ICCAE has helped usher the CIA silently back onto American university campuses. The intelligence community thrives on silence.”

Price can be reached at dprice@stmartin.edu.

Our newsletter features Price’s full, exclusive story. Also in this same newsletter Peter Lee reports on the sequel to Zbigniev Brzezinski’s supremely cynical plan back in the late 1970s to fund the largest CIA operation in its history to back fundamentalists like Osama bin Laden and local opium barons in Afghanistan to overthrow the leftist regime in Kabul, supported by the Soviet Union.

The sequel has involved catastrophe for Afghanistan. It’s also led to Afghanistan becoming the world’s prime opium exporter (90 per cent of world supply) – a large portion of which is spreading addiction and death across Iran, Russia and the central Asian republics. At the urging of Richard Holbrooke, civilian supremo of Obama’s Af-Pak operations, the US has now formally abandoned the goal of opium eradication in Afghanistan, happy to have Iran and Russia expend huge sums in battling what one Russian bitterly describes as a “new opium war”.

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