Monday, January 26, 2004

David Kelly

Final (?) thoughts on the murder of David Kelly:

  1. One of the mysteries of the case of David Kelly is how he thought he was going to get away with revealing the sordid things about the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Blair's government that he apparently told Andrew Gilligan. Another of the mysteries is why he waited until after the war was over to express his thoughts on the misleading nature of Blair's dossier, when he could have stopped or delayed the attack had he spoken out sooner. Maybe we can answer both questions.

  2. Pilgrimage is important in Bahá'í. The main places of pilgrimage are the former residence of the Báb (1819-1850) in Shiraz, Iran (demolished during the Islamic Revolution and not yet rebuilt); the former residence of Bahá'u'lláh during his banishment and exile in Baghdad and the Garden of Ridvan on the banks of the Tigris in Baghdad (both inaccessible due to the political conditions in Iraq); and the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh at Bahjí. The Shrine, which is the holiest place, is located in Israel, and is thus completely accessible.

  3. Bahá'í sounds like the kind of organized religion I might become interested in, were I suddenly to lose half my IQ and organized religion started to make sense to me (in my present state of IQ, organized religion strikes me as easily the single largest source of evil in the world today). It seems to be all sweetness and light, almost a religion of liberalism. But looks can be deceiving. Religion drives men mad, and it has driven some of the leaders of Bahá'í mad, leading to the creation of Bahá'í fundamentalism (see here; and here, which shows how Bahá'í exhibits the main characteristics of modern religious fundamentalism; and here). The strict tenets of the religion are enforced by shunning those who don't conform, who are known as 'covenant-breakers'. The fundamentalists control the supreme governing body of Bahá'í, the Universal House of Justice (UHJ) in Haifa, Israel, and believe that decisions of the UHJ are infallible. The combination of shunning and infallibility creates total centralized control over the tenets of the religion. Despite what seem to be the tenets of the faith, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United Kingdom officially came out with a policy that members of the faith should take no position on the war on Iraq, i. e., they should not oppose it, even though Bahá'í officially advocates non-military resolution of conflicts and the supremacy of the United Nations. Fundamentalism seems to be slowly killing the religion, as people become disillusioned on finding that this nice liberal religion is led by the same type of crazies who lead all the other religions. It is possible that the opening up of Iraq would create new pilgrimage opportunities that would reinvigorate a religion that is rapidly becoming moribund due to the stultifying influence of the fundamentalists.

  4. David Kelly gave his only known public speech on his work as a weapons inspector in Iraq and his misgivings on Blair's process of creating the dossier at a Bahá'í meeting at the home of Geeta and Roger Kingdon on October 5, 2002 in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Roger Kingdon discusses Kelly's position:

    "Roger Kingdon told The Observer last night that Kelly expressed his unhappiness with how the document was being interpreted, saying the intelligence information supplied was accurate, but indicating that he was uncomfortable about how it was being represented."


    "Critically, however, Kingdon said it was unclear whether Kelly was saying that he was unhappy at the way the document had been presented by the government, or at the way it had been interpreted by the media, or both.

    'I asked him what he thought of [the dossier]. It was clear that he was happy with the factual content but less happy... and felt frustrated... by the way it had been interpreted... But he did not say who by.'

    Kingdon said Kelly was 'ambiguous' about exactly who he blamed for the misrepresentation of the dossier. '[He] expressed frustration at how it was interpreted but did not say by whom,' he said."

    It is interesting that there appears to be an attempt on behalf of Bahá'í to cover up the fact that this was a Bahá'í meeting (and generally, the Bahá'í's are looking for an innocent explanation of the Pederson-Kelly connection). When he gave his presentation, his identity and position in the process which lead to the creation of Blair's dossier became known to those in power in the Bahá'í faith. Professor Juan Cole and Frederick Glaysher have raised the issue whether there is a Bahá'í angle to Kelly's actions, particularly given the involvement of Mai Pederson.

  5. Mai Pederson is a U.S. Army linguist and, despite what she might claim, an American spy. She has hired a lawyer, Mark Zaid, who specializes in intelligence matters. She has not allowed her unsworn statement to the Hutton inquiry to be released, and has, for all intents and purposes, gone into hiding. She and Kelly worked together in Iraq, at a time when the Americans weren't supposed to have spies in the UN team. She converted Kelly to Bahá'í, and the conversion took place near the Defence Language Institute in Monterey, California, a Pentagon foreign language and espionage school. It was completely unnecessary for Kelly to go to California for the conversion. Pederson's husband describes her:

    "Part of her military training was to cultivate anyone who might be able to help her in her intelligence work. It may well have been why she zeroed in on Dr Kelly. She undoubtedly viewed him as a potential intelligence source. The two things that obsessed her were the military and the Bahai faith."

    It appears likely that she saw how she could use the religion to manipulate Kelly, and keep the lines of communication open which she could use for American military purposes. It would not surprise me if her avowal of the Bahá'í faith was part of her intelligence cover. It is also interesting that she is Kuwaiti.

  6. Operation Rockingham was the British part of the disinformation campaign to feed misinformation concerning Iraq's weapons to the British press in order to start a war. Kelly, because he was used as a liaison to journalists, may have been part of this operation, but was possibly genuinely fooled by some of the misinformation. It is funny to see that the rats at various British intelligence agencies are already trying to avoid the blame for the lies told to the British people by Blair.

  7. Kelly's thoughts on the real nature of Saddam's threat have been described in various ways. He started as a genuine warmonger who seemed to firmly believe in the threat of Saddam. The obviously corrupt process of creating Blair's dossier seemed to have awakened his misgivings. In an unbroadcast television program taped on October 29, Kelly expressed the view that Saddam could get his weapons filled in a matter of days or weeks, but would probably use them only in self-defense:

    "I think some people would consider that when the chips are down, and he is fighting his last battle, that is when he may be prepared to use them. I think he would be reluctant to use them in the build-up to the war - in the transition to war - because he knows what the response would be. It would be utterly devastating for him."

    Later, just before the war, Kelly wrote an article which expressed views quite different from the claims made in Blair's dossier. He wrote that "the current threat presented by Iraq militarily is modest, both in terms of conventional and unconventional weapons", but felt that the long-term threat, which could only be averted by regime change, was "Iraq's development to military maturity of weapons of mass destruction". It was hardly a ringing endorsement of the war, but was vague enough that it did nothing to dissuade from war.

  8. I don't think it is 100% correct, but it is getting very close, so I reprint the whole of the posting of Mr. Toad from the Guardian talk forum of December 30, 2003:

    "This from my friends on the river bank:

    Hutton is a jigsaw puzzle. And like all the best puzzles there was a piece missing. Some people have found the missing piece, but they keep trying to put it in upside-down.

    1998 - Mai Pederson attached to Kelly as UNSCOM translator.

    1998 - UNSCOM out of Iraq

    1998 - Tom Mangold presents Panorama documentary revealing extensive infiltration of UNSCOM by national security services.

    1998+ Pederson / Kelly relationship remains close

    2000-2003 MoD becomes suspicious of Kelly's relationship with Pederson. Begins moving Kelly towards the door marked 'exit', but does it quietly so as not to alarm Kelly or his friends overseas. No grading increase, retirement age reduced from 65 to 60, moved to PR role with no access to classified information.

    May 2003 Gilligan interviews senior member of HMG, who makes the Campbell 45 minute claim 'off the record'. Gilligan cannot run the story without a creditable source, so is pointed to Kelly as 'unattributable' MoD source.

    Gilligan goes to Kelly, tells him he knows the 45 minute claim is fictitious and plays the 'name game', then goes home and writes up his piece overnight using info from souce 1 effectively attributed to Kelly. Kelly is baffled by Gilligan's interview, but once Gilligan's piece goes out he realises he has been set up. He writes to MoD to admit the unauthorised interview but denies he is the original source of Gilligan's information.

    Kelly is called to meeting with line managers and told that orders from on high dictate that he will be the 'fall guy' or will lose his pension and find his relationship with Pederson plastered across the front page of the Telegraph and tv news. What Kelly did not realise was that this was a bluff. MoD were well aware of Pederson's actual role and would never have allowed the name to come out in this way at the time.

    Kelly does as he's told and goes before the parliamentary committee and ISC. This should be the end of it, except that Kelly broods on it and decides he will take steps to clear his name. Unfortunately, to do this he has to admit to the Pederson relationship. throughout the whole saga Kelly has been in close touch with Pederson, who has been reporting back to her masters. On July 17th Kelly tells Pederson he is going to leave his wife and going to the press to clear his name. Pederson reports immediately to her managers, the alarm bells go off in Washington as they believe she is about to be 'outed' and it's "goodnight Vienna".

    Here's why:

    The CIA did to Kelly what they did to everyone, lied to him about Iraq's WMD. The difference is that they thought Kelly's position as MoD bio-weapons expert would allow him to influence the policy of HMG.

    Here's how it was done: Pederson was a US airforce translator working from Arabic to English. After the removal of UNSCOM from Iraq in 1998, evidence of WMD capability came from satellites and smuggled documents. These would land first on the desk of Ms Pederson and her colleagues for translation, before passing to the scientists for analysis, who then advised USG.

    In the case of Pederson, however, the documents did not come from Iraq, but from the CIA. Pederson 'leaked' fake intelligence to Kelly over an extended period, which she claimed came from smuggled Iraqi documents indicating the existence of WMD. By 2003, Kelly was completely convinced not only of the existence of WMD in Iraq, but also believed he knew what they were and where they were.

    However, when Kelly attempted to go to Iraq (post invasion) to locate them, he found his was mysteriously barred. On a first occasion his official visa proved worthless and he was turned back at Kuwait. On a second occasion he found himself confined to an airbase for the duration of his stay on security grounds.

    There may be some evidence that shortly before his death, Kelly became aware of the nature of Pederson's information. In preparation for his next planned visit to Iraq Kelly appears to have shared informaton from Pederson with Gabriele Kraatz-Wadsack, a German army weapons inspector and biological weapons expert. It appears from her reply, however, that she was less than convinced as to the veracity of the information, as made clear by the 'concerns' she expressed.

    In short, Kelly's death was the result of two conspiracies colliding. The first being the civil war within the cabinet of HMG, which nearly resulted in the exposure of the second, USG's plans to help HMG make up its mind with regard to Iraq's WMD.

    Ultimately, it wasn't murder or suicide, but a series of unfortunate accidents.

    Trouble with this jigsaw puzzle is, once you put it together, you realise it's just a part of a much bigger puzzle."

My comments:

  • Pederson wasn't CIA or working for the CIA, but for military intelligence (although I suppose she could have been cross-posted); there is no reason to believe Kelly was going to leave his wife;

  • the Iraq warmongering plans go back to the late 1990's, and part of Pederson's job was to 'process' faked Iraq documents to create the intelligence dossier used within the American government to press for war, a process that was so successful it is still influencing opinion in Washington (David Kay's recent comments prove that the whole thing was a lie);

  • Pederson met Kelly, saw a weakness in him, and exploited that weakness through converting him and turning him into a back channel by which the Pentagon could funnel some of this misleading data on Iraq to the British government;

  • Judith Miller may have been a witting or unwitting part of this, buttering Kelly up by praising him in a book and being one of the last persons he e-mailed, perhaps indicating a constant line of communication (with more American intelligence lies on Iraq funneled to Kelly to influence the British government);

  • German Lieutenant-Colonel Gabriele Kraatz-Wadsack may also have played a role in miseducating Kelly by feeding him fake documents, but it is more likely that it was her 'concerns' that started to tip Kelly off to the fact that he had been had;

  • the fact that Gilligan had two sources for his story, one high up in the MoD or elsewhere in the British government, explains why Kelly was confused about the contents of Gilligan's reporting (he thought he was Gilligan's source but couldn't understand where Gilligan got information Kelly hadn't told him; this was so confusing Kelly had started to doubt his own memory), and why Kelly saw 'dark actors playing games', as he knew what he told Gilligan would not in itself be a breach of any confidentiality agreements (but what the secret source told Gilligan would have been, thus setting Kelly up for the treatment he received at the hands of the MoD and Blair's operators);

  • Kelly was being used as a backdoor conduit of information from the Pentagon to the MoD, and simultaneously was used by his female contacts (Pederson and possibly Miller) to get inside information to the Pentagon on the status of thinking on Iraq in the MoD and the progress the MoD was having in motivating the Blair government (despite Hoon's lies about it, Kelly had had a lunch with Hoon not long before all this mess started, showing how well connected he actually was, and how useful he would be as a two-way conduit of information);

  • Kelly honestly believed the lies he was being fed by Pederson until his suspicions were raised in the process of meeting to discuss Blair's dossier, when he began to realize that he was being used, and started the process of discovering what was really going on;

  • fundamentalists in the Bahá'í faith found out about Kelly's misgivings when he gave his presentation to a group of Bahá'í members in October, and manipulated Kelly to keep quiet about his misgivings until after the war so that the defeat of Saddam would open up the Bahá'í pilgrimage sites in Baghdad and revitalize a failing religion (Kelly probably justified this to himself on the basis that Saddam had to be taken out sometime anyway, even though he presented no imminent danger, and Kelly may have still been partly misled by Pederson's documents);

  • the peculiar nuances in Kelly's positions on the war are explained by the fact he was trying to balance his commitment to the truth, his anger at being lied to and manipulated in the creation of the dossier, his gradual realization that Pederson had been feeding him lies over the years, and his continuing loyalty to the Bahá'í faith, whose leaders saw a benefit in the attack on Iraq;

  • Kelly was murdered either because he was regarded as a traitor by someone in the MoD or British Intelligence, or because the Americans feared he would disclose the intelligence nature of the relationship with Pederson and that the information he was being given was Pentagon lies intended to influence British government opinion; and

  • the bottom line is that David Kelly is dead because he somehow fouled up or threatened to foul up the secret line of communications between American military intelligence to the British government whereby lies, not just those involving Iraq, are fed to the British government to influence British actions along lines favorable to the Pentagon.

Do you think that Lord Hutton will have the courage to get close to the truth?