Thursday, March 07, 2002

The Vreeland case is still making waves. However implausible, it doesn't appear that the fabric of his story has been successfully attacked in any way. There are two interesting issues: 1) Vreeland seems to have a remarkable criminal history, something that appears to impugn his credibility. Intelligence agencies are apt to use just such petty criminals for their 'cutouts', intelligence assets who are contracted to do work that is too embarrassing for the intelligence agency itself to be caught doing. If things go bad and the work is discovered, the agency then disclaims any connection with the cutout. The type of person who is hired for such work is the type of person who would get involved in criminal activities. Sometimes the agency sets up the cutout to be caught, then rescues him from the law, simultaneously making the cutout beholden to the agency and providing remarkable evidence that the cutout is the criminal type and not to be trusted should the agency need to destroy his credibility when he later attempts to defend himself from criminal charges by claiming to work for them. 2) Vreeland's note could be said to be too vague as it is merely a list of targets, only one of which is the World Trade Center. This has to be seen in the context of a man who we know was so agitated about the matter in August that he attempted unsuccessfully to pass his information on, and wrote it down and sealed it in an envelope and gave the envelope to his jailers before September 11. The chilling line is 'let one happen stop the rest'. This sounds like the plan of an intelligence agency that knew that there would be a terrorist attack, but not exactly on which target, and wanted to allow one attack to occur to use the attack as an excuse for some wider agenda (the agenda we're living in now). The fact that Vreeland was vague about the target fits with the kind of intelligence he might very well have picked up, possibly from gossip with his Russian counterparts whose information was itself partial and vague. The most interesting part is not the list of targets, for they are the type of targets that could have been guessed, but the timing of his warning and the apparent plan of an intelligence agency (and it would have to be an intelligence agency with the power to allow one attack and shut down others) to manipulate history for its own ends.