Is Shaha Riza a Spy?

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Last night, I had dinner with a long-time national security systems analyst who has worked in the Department of Defense and now works for one of the larger private think tanks funded mostly by government. She recounted to me how managing and coordinating large purchasing and acquisition networks in the national security business requires methodologies and approaches that few learn during their college education. That said, years ago, she was assigned an assistant who was brilliant and understood how the acquisitions process worked better than nearly anyone — and who turned out to be a spy.
World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz’s girlfriend, Shaha Riza, for whom Wolfowitz arranged not only jobs, incredible pay raises, automatic “outstanding” ratings in performance reviews, but also — apparently — a security clearance, is probably not a spy. But our system of national security “secrets management” is not based on trust. It’s based on multi-pronged, overlapping constant investigation — human and electronic.
It would be important for any senior State Department or Defense Department official tasked with maintaining the integrity and security of classified material and information to approach Shaha Riza — a Libyan national raised in Saudi Arabia — who was the “girlfriend” of the Deputy Secretary of Defense — as if she could be a spy.
This is not a matter that those who would know Ms. Riza or who trust Wolfowitz’s judgment should say “how dare someone raise that question?!” This should be the question that should have been asked at every stage of Shaha Riza’s apparent penetration of the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the private firm, SAIC.
Sidney Blumenthal has laid out the core fundamental questions about the management of Shaha Riza’s security clearance:

Riza, who is not a U.S. citizen, had to receive a security clearance in order to work at the State Department. Who intervened? It is not unusual to have British or French midlevel officers at the department on exchange programs, but they receive security clearances based on the clearances they already have with their host governments. Granting a foreign national who is detailed from an international organization a security clearance, however, is extraordinary, even unprecedented. So how could this clearance have been granted?
State Department officials familiar with the details of this matter confirmed to me that Shaha Ali Riza was detailed to the State Department and had unescorted access while working for Elizabeth Cheney. Access to the building requires a national security clearance or permanent escort by a person with such a clearance. But the State Department has no record of having issued a national security clearance to Riza.
State Department officials believe that Riza was issued such a clearance by the Defense Department after SAIC was forced by Wolfowitz and Feith to hire her. Then her clearance would have been recognized by the State Department through a credentials transmittal letter and Riza would have accessed the State Department on Pentagon credentials, using her Pentagon clearance to get a State Department building pass with a letter issued under instructions from Liz Cheney.
But State Department officials tell me that no such letter can be confirmed as received. And the officials stress that the department would never issue a clearance to a non-U.S. citizen as part of a contractual requisition. Issuing a national security clearance to a foreign national under instructions from a Pentagon official would constitute a violation of the executive orders governing clearances, they say.
Given these circumstances, the inspector general of the Defense Department should be ordered to investigate how Shaha Ali Riza was issued a Pentagon security clearance. And the inspector general of the State Department should investigate who ordered Riza’s building pass and whether there was a Pentagon credentials transmittal letter.

Senator Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, or Rep. Henry Waxman, who is one of the best and most tenacious investigators of government abuses, or some other concerned member of Congress should call for a Department of Defense investigation into Riza’s security clearance, Wolfowitz’s role in fast-tracking the clearance, and the State Department’s seeming absence of any record confirming her clearance when Shaha Riza was granted unescorted access at the Department of State.
This “could” be serious — and the question of whether Shaha Riza is a spy or not should not be a matter for pundits to debate. Anyone getting access to the nation’s secrets is scrutinized as a potential leaker, a potential spy — but it appears on the surface that Paul Wolfowitz may have helped his girlfriend get in on the inside without much of that scrutiny.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

67 comments on “Is Shaha Riza a Spy?

  1. Carroll says:

    Carroll, have you considered the possibility that Riza may be the alpha figure of the relationship, that Wolfowitz may be the “toy”.
    Posted by Pissed Off American at April 24, 2007 11:06 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>.
    Maybe.
    If so she need to put the toy in the washing machine and give him a good scrubbing.

    Reply

  2. Carroll says:

    And on this we agree 100%
    “But, ultimately, I think they colluded with the monied class-irresponsible capitalists.
    All I’ve ever asked is for people not to kill each other. Gnaw on a limb or two if you just gotta have that dollar bill, but at least leave your victim the wherewithal to crawl back to his abode and recover to fight another day. To me, the ease of killing and the uncaring exploitation of the weak has become life in America’s form of capitalism. And most people in this country don’t have even simple insight or minimal class to mitigate their base nature.”
    Posted by yahaddasayit at April 24, 2007 11:29 PM

    Reply

  3. Carroll says:

    Posted by yahaddasayit at April 24, 2007 11:29 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    If you look back you will see where I said Riza probably isnt’ spy (for another country). And I didnt’ mention anything about dual loyalties. As far as I can see Wolfowitz has no loyalty to anyone or anything except himself and his delusions. Some of his delusions may involve his being a Jewish victim of Hitler but I doubt he has any real dual loyalty to Israel except in some symbolic way.
    I didn’t accuse or pronounce, I said the question was acceptable to ask in light of the circumstances. I still think it is.
    And yep I know how the business (& political) world of connections works..I had a father and a cousin in political offices when I was a teenager and was taught early on to avoid even putting myself in situtations that would reflect badly on the family or their positions. Probably why I am so out spoken now..teenage repression. LOL
    I just think everyone should be held to higher standards…believe it or not we use to have some people in the business world (and goverment)who went by the old…”Is this fair to everyone involved”..standard.
    They could be brought back by popular “demand”. That’s all I am promoting.
    And thanks for the compliment.

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  4. yahaddasayit says:

    Well, Carroll, whatever…
    What I expect of myself and what I expect from others are eons apart. Being realistic with my outside world means I don’t develop ulcers. Though I don’t post consistently, I’d guess I’m one of the longest “followers” of the TWN, and if you could search the archives I believe you’d find I would be one of the first to accuse some too influential players in D.C. of dual loyalties contributing to the detriment and outright destruction of this country. But, ultimately, I think they colluded with the monied class-irresponsible capitalists.
    All I’ve ever asked is for people not to kill each other. Gnaw on a limb or two if you just gotta have that dollar bill, but at least leave your victim the wherewithal to crawl back to his abode and recover to fight another day. To me, the ease of killing and the uncaring exploitation of the weak has become life in America’s form of capitalism. And most people in this country don’t have even simple insight or minimal class to mitigate their base nature.
    You post a lot and I agree with most everything you say. In fact, your rundown on Obama’s speech in a later thread was spot on. Bravo and well put. But…sometimes you say things that I don’t believe you’ve “proven” and I think you might slip into substituting opinion for fact. That may come with the territory(or your style) but I’m just trying to help clean up your “act”. I admit, you’re a good read now-but you’ll even get better.

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  5. Pissed Off American says:

    Carroll, have you considered the possibility that Riza may be the alpha figure of the relationship, that Wolfowitz may be the “toy”.

    Reply

  6. Carroll says:

    Posted by yahaddasayit at April 24, 2007 12:04 PM
    >>>>>>>
    Yes I can tell by your statements your bottom line on ethics and behavior is a lot lower than mine.

    Reply

  7. eatbees says:

    Your concern about going around security clearances is fine, but I object when you say “…to approach Shaha Riza — a Libyan national raised in Saudi Arabia … as if she could be a spy.” It’s not the “approach her as if she could be a spy” part I object to, but the parenthetical statement about her being “a Libyan national raised in Saudi Arabia.” Your concern would be just as justified if she was a Swede raised in Minnesota! The point is that the mechanism is in place for a reason.

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  8. yahaddasayit says:

    Fairytales? People, let’s get back on track.

    Reply

  9. pauline says:

    poa rote:
    “Plus, I gotta admit it, I’d like to know, who, in the West Wing, was making use of Guckert’s “credentials”. Because, make no mistake, Guckert wasn’t doing storylines during his overnight stays.”
    From what I’ve read, Ari Fleisher and Scott McClellan were supposedly both gay, and may have been the ones who let the Gannon/Guckert character in. And Bush supposedly knew he was giant softball thrower at the press conferences he attended.
    Just as an aside, Bobby Eberle, owner of gopusa.com was the one who hired Gannon/Guckert as a “news reporter” but earlier, Eberle just happened to be in Wash DC on 9/11/01 and, gee, BY COINCIDENCE, was the only one listed in the official 9/11 Commission Report who claimed to have seen the full size 757 hit the Pentagon.
    Isn’t it nice how the bushwacker folks just spin such comforting fairytales for the public fall asleep to??

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  10. yahaddasayit says:

    Carroll,
    You on a quest to unearth the Virgin Mary? In case your momma never told You, establishing connections in the business world is one way to get ahead. As long as one doesn’t use extremely untoward behavior to gain position, the bottom line, to me, is: Are they doing their job?
    And your fixation about appearances is transparently plebian. At the political and economic level we’re talking about, all the trustworthiness and ethical standards to which you concern yourself is of no consequence to the players. Anyone who arrives at that destination with obvious moral standards would be regarded as a freak.
    You keep swinging that lantern. Just don’t walk out of your house with it.

    Reply

  11. Carroll says:

    And in case your Moma never told you..appearences do count.
    Riza has enough sense to know that she would never be able to command any respect from associates or co-workers anywhere by being the boss’s pet,particulary the pet of someone like Wolfowitz.
    Evidently she didn’t care. That is the problem. Therefore to most people she wouldn’t be seen as trustworthy or ethical in her dealings.

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  12. Carroll says:

    Posted by yahaddasayit at April 24, 2007 12:26 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>
    I didn’t say say she didn’t have talent, I said she wasn’t a good role model because she obviously is willing to use her paramour to get ahead or for financial gain. If Wolf is using her that makes it just as bad. If she is talented and an advocate of women she would have taken control of her own career and made her own way without the cloud of sugar daddy Wolfie engaging in unethical behavior to help her or letting herself be used. Her claims now of being a “victim” are particulary obnoxious.
    If we wern’t talking about public figures and they were ordinary people the local gossips would be snickering and using worse terms to describe them.

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  13. AlanDownunder says:

    Riza’s security credentials do resemble Gannon’s press credentials.
    reticulant and Dirk, a legitimate question is not a charge. The charge is cutting corners at high risk with reckless abandon by a credentialled idiot propelled by his gonads. Steve just alluded to the risk angle.

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  14. Dirk says:

    Well I’ve got to say I agree with reticulent, that is a highly irresponsible title, even if the article backed away from the charge a little bit.
    As someone who thinks Wolfowitz should be dumped immediately it is clear that, apart from Riza’s charms, it was Wolfowitz that drove the clearance and job assignments.
    I’m not saying she isn’t a spy, but “you got nothing”…even with Blumenthal’s article.

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  15. Pissed Off American says:

    “I thought you were referring to that guy. Nice body, but….13? I don’t think so.”
    Well, thats a shame, I was thinking that for once Bush finally got his money’s worth for selling us out.
    “(Sorry, Steve. Times like these may have you reflecting on Josh’s advice).”
    Actually, yahaddasayit, I bring Guckert up every chance I get. I can think of few situations that so perfectly underscore what slimey pieces of shit currently inhabit the White House. The Gannon/Guckert thing EPITOMIZES the hypocricy of this Administration. Here you have a gay whore, a pornographer, with a pornographic website that ridicules the Marine Corps with its content, that is issued a White House press pass, and is issued overnight passes to the White House, and is allegedly given access to state’s secrets. That list of priveleges, accorded Guckert, pretty well covers the gambit of illustrating the complete disdain this Administration has for the media, the armed services, the American public, security procedures, the truth, and its own stated positions on homosexuality.
    And please don’t take this wrong, I am in no way homophobic. Guckert’s homosexuality is not the issue. It is the administration’s hypocricy, in regards to homosexuality, that jumps to the forefront when discussing Guckert.
    Plus, I gotta admit it, I’d like to know, who, in the West Wing, was making use of Guckert’s “credentials”. Because, make no mistake, Guckert wasn’t doing storylines during his overnight stays.

    Reply

  16. Pissed Off American says:

    Waxman: ‘Systematic’ security failures in Bush White House
    Michael Roston
    Published: Monday April 23, 2007
    The head of the House Committee on Oversight and Governance Reform warned today of a “systematic failure” in basic security procedures as well as the safeguarding of classified information in the White House of President George W. Bush.
    “Multiple current and former White House security personnel have informed my staff that White House practices have been dangerously inadequate with respect to investigating security violations, taking corrective action following breaches, and physically securing classified information,” Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) wrote to former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card today.
    Waxman sought Card’s cooperation in his probe of a “systematic breakdown” in White House security procedures.
    continues at….
    http://tinyurl.com/2caxkw

    Reply

  17. yahaddasayit says:

    P. O.’d,
    I thought you were referring to that guy. Nice body, but….13? I don’t think so. He was a top who liked to talk. That’s a rare breed-so to speak.
    (Sorry, Steve. Times like these may have you reflecting on Josh’s advice).

    Reply

  18. Pissed Off American says:

    Reticulant…
    Steve’s meaning should be clear, unless someone like yourself chooses to cloud the issue through misrepresenting Steve’s intent. When I read his piece it was obvious he was not accusing Riza of being a spy. The fact of the matter is that the question should be asked about EVERYONE that is being considered for high security clearance. After all, what is the purpose of vetting if not to determine if someone may be a security risk?
    Of course, in Bushworld, where a President is a blatant liar, (yet no one in Washington seems to be able to pronounce the word “liar”), and the Downing Street Memo barely raises an eyebrow, and incompetent cronies get Presidential Medals of Freedom…..
    Well, why would we expect Riza’s security clearances to be questioned or examined? Particularly when there are those like yourself, who put social niceties above national security. How dare Steve ask the questions that need to be asked. Why hell, lets just skip this and give the gal a medal and a raise, by God.

    Reply

  19. yahaddasayit says:

    Carroll,
    I haven’t seen any evidence to support your “claim” of Ms. Riza’s failure to qualify under your ideal of “liberation”. An affair wouldn’t negate other “talents” Paul’s girlfriend may have cultivated in her past. I would guess she is pretty bright which may or may not have anything to do with whatever she is supposed to be doing in her present position. Did you ever think that maybe ‘ole Wolfie is just using her? Unless you can provide some links or rationale beyond “affair & moolah(w/o talent beyond the sexual act(s)”, I’d take it off automatic and put it back on single-shot. That recoil can be somewhat disconcerting.

    Reply

  20. Pissed Off American says:

    “My, my. Pray tell, who would that “journalist” be?”
    Well that would be our buddy Gannon/Guckert, Robert. Remember, he was supposedly given access to classified info, and it was never investigated? He also was being issued passes for overnight stays in the White House? The mystery of who was checking his…uhm…credentials…has never been solved.
    So hey, if a gay whore and pornographer can be privy to State’s secrets, why can’t dear Riza?

    Reply

  21. Carroll says:

    Shorter: Unlike most of your well-grounded, much appreciated oeuvre, “Is Shaha Riza a spy” is a flag without a pole.
    Posted by reticulant at April 23, 2007 08:44 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Probably she isn’t a spy as in cloak and dagger SPY…but how do YOU know?
    Shouldn’t you be a bit more questioning about the fact that security clearences were bypassed in her case at the request evidently of member(s) of our famous traitorous intelligence cabal?
    I think you are overdoing your defense unless you know something we don’t. In which case..do tell.

    Reply

  22. Ajaz Haque says:

    My question was that if US does not allow dual citizenship, then how come Wolfowitz has it. And more importantly, are these things not checked by intelligence before appointments are made? Also if ever there are serious issues between Israel and the US, whose side will he be on?
    As regards Congress investiagting Riza’s appointment to State Dept. I raised this in my blog several days ago hoping the Congress will take up the challenge, but no joy so far.

    Reply

  23. Gadfly says:

    Wolfie is getting desperate, now hiring a lawyer (Clinton’s lawyer — smarter than Bush’s consigliere Gonzales) to “defend” him.
    Even Norway has weighed in — and does not consider Wolfowitz fit to remain at the World Bank.
    “Norway joined a growing list of doubters over World Bank chief Paul Wolfowitz’s leadership on Monday, as bank members consider how to resolve a furor surrounding accusations of ethical lapses.
    Expressing concern over the controversial former Bush administration official’s ability to head the bank, Norway’s development minister Erik Solheim said: “There is no doubt confidence in World Bank leadership has been undermined.”…”…
    http://www.javno.com/en/economy/clanak.php?id=38092

    Wolfowitz & Riza should now come under investigation by Congress to determine the former’s (ab)use of power and the latter’s (ab)use of classified national security information.
    Both are quite sordid & squalid characters.

    Reply

  24. Robert M. says:

    Steve,
    While the titalating aspects of Wolfie/Riza are what perk up the eyeballs, its the “Rules Don’t Apply To Us” attitude shown by all the players are part of the Bush/Rove/Cheney operational paradigm. I’ve argued that this is the big style issue that informs even the A-Gon show at DOJ.
    I’ve now read the Stephen Green article from early 2004–what I wouldn’t give, as an historian, for records of the Madison Groups ongoing contacts from Perle’s arrival in DC 1969 to now, especially for those years out of power. They’ve all behaved as if Above Law and/or Procedure from the beginning. They’d be doing this even without Israel being a part of the dynamic.
    Its been a true CABAL where the C in this period stands for Cheney rather than Clarendon. The Rules Do Not Apply To US and once in power, We’ll Change The Rules. Its this atttitude that fits in with Rove’s vision on how to shift the domestic paradigm. So justly ironic that its the foreign policy radical overreach that’s scuttling the domestic radicalism. Now everything is too tied together for Rove to achieve anything even halfway permanent (the Regent minyons will leave DC & agencies in droves by mid-2008 on their own).
    Not so finally, just WHAT is Riza’s family background, and where are the others of her natal family? The Family Story is About the Ties that Bind or become Unbounded.
    And the idea alluded to above she’s the Neo-Cons Valerie Plame channeling oodles of boodle through a front organization, i.e. a “CIA Black Ops” out of State {egads}, perhaps even a true double agent, or better yet Lady MacBeth…
    yep, the rocks needed to be turned over.

    Reply

  25. reticulant says:

    | As I said, I have no patience or interest in those who will try and play the moral card here and say that anyone close to Wolfowitz, or anyone with such and such profile, must be beyond reproach. |
    And I have zero patience for the Drudgery of small minds pretending grandeur. There’s no “moral card” in play here other than your red-baiting disposition to indict without proof. Blumenthal raised a valid point questioning the issuance of security clearances. You’ve untethered that point by insinuating espionage absent any evidence. Blumenthal consulted primary sources to ground his argument. Your sources, near as we can tell, are me, myself and the rings of Saturn.
    | Wolfowitz caused this. I wish you could finally realize that this entire set of issues is self-inflicted, and Sid Blumenthal’s piece is a vital part of the story. |
    That Wolfowitz “caused this” was never disputed. As we CLEARLY stated above, we opposed his appointment then, we support his ouster now. We also disapprove of the alleged means by which Wolfowitz or Riza may have advanced her career, including any and all attempts to expedite, circumvent or compromise security protocols.
    Blumenthal’s piece “inflicted” nothing that the principals didn’t bring upon themsevles. What you’ve inflicted was brought with nothing more than cheap innuendo.
    Shorter: Unlike most of your well-grounded, much appreciated oeuvre, “Is Shaha Riza a spy” is a flag without a pole.

    Reply

  26. Carroll says:

    Allegations of espionage — for or against — requires utmost caution.
    Although Riza spent much of her childhood in Saudi Arabia, she is a UK citizen who read at LSE and Oxford (St. Anthony), graduating from both. She moved to the US 20 yrs ago with her spouse, since divorced, and has developed a career consistent for its promotion of democracy, human rights, women’s rights and American values in the Middle East. If anything, Riza’s “agency” may result from observations of female oppression witnessed as a child; which would make Riza an “agent” for change “on behalf” of US “agencies,” if anyone.
    Posted by reticulant at April 23, 2007 03:17 PM>>>
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Well, your defense seems more passionate then it is logical. Is Ms. Riza a friend?
    And as a woman interested in women’s rights I must say Ms Riza isn’t a very good example of how women should be liberated. She has clearly been willingly to use her sex and relationship to enrich herself instead of relying on her own work and talent.
    Not a good role model for women if you ask me.

    Reply

  27. Mackie says:

    HyperIon said:
    ‘foreign citizenship makes no difference under US law if one is also a US citizen’
    I didn’t think was illegal, but talk about a conflict of interest, especially since the Neocon agenda is pro-Zionist…but I guess that’s a big ‘duh’. 🙂

    Reply

  28. pauline says:

    HyperIon,
    Would you be willing to write or call your congressmen/women to have them start legislation that forbids anyone who holds a citizenship with another country from getting a federal job where their access to classified info is strictly forbidden?
    This could be a serious campaign issue for progressive-minded candidates.
    What other country allows this anyway? I bet the dual neo-con warmongers’ other country doesn’t even come remotely close!!

    Reply

  29. HyperIon says:

    regarding: ‘More importantly how did he become an Under Secretary of State as a dual citizen?’
    goggling produced this:
    foreign citizenship makes no difference under US law if one is also a US citizen

    Reply

  30. Gadfly says:

    Riza who is Wolfie’s neo-con-cubine and Rice who is Bush’s neo-con-con-girl both have offered-up their services body & soul for gold.
    * Riza is given a security clearance, un-precedented for a foreign national (especially when Wolfie bypasses the normal channels, as he did with his neo-cohort-in-crime Dougie-boy Feith and their “Office of Special Plans”… “special” being the operative term for their high-treason in fabricating the myriad lies which took us into their blood-bath in Iraq).
    * Rice is given a security clearance which she abuses in order to pass-on top-secret, national security information to the traitors:– AIPAC’s Rosen & Weismann. Rice also refuses to testify about the Niger uranium forgeries which her pimp Bush used in his SOTU to mis-lead the American people into war.
    Wolfie is part of this despicable regime responsible for far, far more deaths than Saddam Hussein. Bush is ultimately responsible for their heinous War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity.
    Send Wolfie-n-Riza and Bush-n-Rice off to Guantanamo Bay to be interrogated on the myriad secrets that they cover-up which has led to the mass-murder of innocent civilians & U.S. soldiers.
    My goodness… Today’s neo-concubines Riza & Rice and their johns Wolfie & Bush have all brought American politics to a low-point… Can’t we do better than these obscene and ugly opportunists, crooks & incompetents?

    Reply

  31. Mackie says:

    Ajaz said:
    ‘More importantly how did he become an Under Secretary of State as a dual citizen?’
    Damn good question.

    Reply

  32. Steve Clemons says:

    Reticulent — you are wrong about me smearing Richardson. If you read this blog, which I believe you do, you will see that I have written positively and negatively about Richardson, as well as Hillary. Your comment that I wrote my piece because Richardson upstaged Hillary is entirely incorrect. I wrote the piece because I had specific information about a specific incident in which Richardson behaved inappropriately in public. I had to either surface that — or let it die — as it would have been inappropriate for me to raise it on any later date. I think Richardson is impressive on many fronts — but I do think he has issues in his work style with colleagues, particularly women.
    On this issue of clearances and Shaha Riza — tough-minded people must ask this question of all applicants for clearances and all people who are foreign nationals who have unescorted access to the State Department and DoD. Not to do so is wrong.
    As I said, I have no patience or interest in those who will try and play the moral card here and say that anyone close to Wolfowitz, or anyone with such and such profile, must be beyond reproach.
    I am not in any way meaning to savage Ms. Riza. Paul Wolfowitz has set up these circumstances and has forced the need to ask tough questions about what laws and practices he has bent and twisted to help her.
    Wolfowitz caused this. I wish you could finally realize that this entire set of issues is self-inflicted, and Sid Blumenthal’s piece is a vital part of the story.
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  33. Ajaz says:

    Mr. Wofowitz is reportedly an Israeli and a US Citizen and keeps both passports. How does he manage to have dual citizenship when the US laws do not allow it?
    More importantly how did he become an Under Secretary of State as a dual citizen?

    Reply

  34. pauline says:

    Why, gee, isn’t it odd that a British tabloid would somehow magically make up words along these lines, “Extraordinarily, they claim she played a key role in pushing the 61-year-old Pentagon official into the Iraq War.”
    Is this what a woman who, “spent much of her childhood in Saudi Arabia…she is a UK citizen who read at LSE and Oxford (St. Anthony)…” would be doing?

    Reply

  35. reticulant says:

    As someone who opposed Wolfowitz’s appointment to the Bank and agrees he should resign, I find Clemons’ baseless insinuation contemptible, irresponsible, carelessly contrived and hardly mitigated by “probably not.”
    It recalls Clemons earlier attempt to smear Bill Richardson after Richardson dared upstage Hillary’s moment by announcing his candidacy.
    The possibility of laxity or circumvention regarding the issuance of security clearances deserves our highest scrutiny.
    Allegations of espionage — for or against — requires utmost caution.
    Although Riza spent much of her childhood in Saudi Arabia, she is a UK citizen who read at LSE and Oxford (St. Anthony), graduating from both. She moved to the US 20 yrs ago with her spouse, since divorced, and has developed a career consistent for its promotion of democracy, human rights, women’s rights and American values in the Middle East. If anything, Riza’s “agency” may result from observations of female oppression witnessed as a child; which would make Riza an “agent” for change “on behalf” of US “agencies,” if anyone.

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  36. parrot says:

    “…or we could put Riza in charge of the troops…”
    “Hmmm… Okay, sounds good. I’ll have Lynnie ask Scooter to ask that Philipino ex-Marine we’ve got working the desk out front what Riza’s thoughts are on that!”
    Turned down by a potential spy! Now that *is* embarrassing.

    Reply

  37. jinny says:

    If you read the letter Henry Waxman has sent to Dan Bartlett today, you’ll see that flags about National Security have already been raised:
    http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20070423111759.pdf

    Reply

  38. pauline says:

    from a British tabloid —
    “The appointment of George Bush’s leading hawk as head of the World Bank was heading for a crisis over his relationship with a senior British employee.
    Influential members of staff at the international organisation have complained to its board that Paul Wolfowitz, a married father of three, is so besotted with Oxford-educated Shaha Riza he cannot be impartial.
    Extraordinarily, they claim she played a key role in pushing the 61-year-old Pentagon official into the Iraq War. And the row comes amid claims that Wolfowitz’s wife Clare once warned George Bush of the threat to national security any infidelity by her husband could cause.
    A British citizen – at 51, eight years younger than Wolfowitz’s wife – Ms Riza grew up in Saudi Arabia and was passionately committed to democratising the Middle East when she allegedly began to date Wolfowitz.”
    http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=342048&in_page_id=1770

    Reply

  39. pauline says:

    Mackie wrote:
    Amir Taheri warned…”it could also unleash much darker forces of nationalism and religious zealotry that could plunge the entire region into years, even decades, of bloody crisis”. ”
    Hey, just what Wolfie, Perle and Feith and other warmongering neo-cons wanted. . .a big civil, religious war among the Muslim world and have the US pay for the military mess with taxpayer money and sacrificed American soldiers lives is even better . . .wow, that’s these duals’ trifecta!

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  40. Carroll says:

    I also LIKE the title.
    Someone who is taken seriously in the blog world has to jumpstart the questions about the rats in the US woodpile…and call attention to the fact that evidently no one is minding the store in DC.
    Obviously there is no way Steve could be called a partisan or a “isolationist” about the US foreign role.
    So it is perfect “legit” for him to question the role of non US citizens with access to US agencies and who put them there for what purpose.
    We need more of these questions asked plainly with no mincing around.

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  41. Mackie says:

    ‘I like the title. The question should have been asked in relation to her work. Since it wasn’t, why shouldn’t Steve? I think it highlights how Wolfowitz got special treatment. ‘
    -Marky
    It’s just that Steve is such a good journalist I felt misled, and expected some evidence that she was a spy. Also, anyone just skimming the title might assume that if Steve said it, there’s a good chance it might be true.

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  42. Carroll says:

    Posted by pauline at April 23, 2007 01:06 PM
    >>>>>>
    I am sure it won’t surprised you to know that Sen Diane Feinstein worked with the American Jewish Congress, (the org not the one in congress) to establish an offical office for Israeli intelligence WITHIN the US Homeland Security Department. yep, Israel has a department in our Homeland security..bout blew my mind when I saw that. I keep wondering what will be the final straw that breaks the camels back on this insanity.

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  43. Mackie says:

    ‘In Cheney’s case, its follow the oil exploration maps & potential deals. (Seriously, with a change in admin & then the collapse of central government in Baghdad, does he think those central government contracts are going to be worth anything? Apparently the oil companies think so too but haven’t they’ve heard about “nationalization”?)’
    -Robert M.
    ‘…suggesting that the US and Saudi Arabia were bankrolling Sunni Muslim groups – some with links to al-Qaida – to counterbalance the weight of Hizbullah, the Shia political and paramilitary organisation based in Lebanon and backed by Iran and Syria.’
    -Mike
    Robert, I wonder if the point of the permanent bases and the massive embassy are to ensure our continued presence in the region.
    “As the New York Times revealed in a front-page piece by Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt on April 19, 2003, just after Baghdad fell, the Pentagon arrived in the Iraqi capital with plans already on the drawing board to build four massive military bases (that no official, then or now, will ever call “permanent”).
    Today, according to the former secretary of defense, the US has 55 bases of every size in Iraq (down from more than 100); five or six of these, including Balad Air Base, north of Baghdad, the huge base first named Camp Victory adjacent to Baghdad International Airport, and al-Asad Air Base in western Anbar province, are enormous – big enough to be reasonable-sized US towns with multiple bus routes, neighborhoods, a range of fast-food restaurants, multiple shops, pools, mini-golf courses and the like.
    Though among the safest places in Iraq for American reporters, these bases have, with rare exceptions, gone completely undescribed and undiscussed in the US press (or on the television news). From an engineering journal, we know that before the end of 2003, several billion dollars had already been sunk into them. We know that in early 2006, the major ones, already mega-structures, were still being built up into a state of advanced permanency.
    Balad, for instance, already handled the levels of daily air traffic one would normally see at Chicago’s ultra-busy O’Hare and in February its facilities were still being ramped up. We know, from the reliable Ed Harriman, in the latest of his devastating accounts of corruption in Iraq in the London Review of Books, that, as you read, the four mega-bases always imagined as the United States’ permanent jumping-off spots in what Bush administration officials once liked to call “the arc of instability” were still undergoing improvement.
    Without taking the fate of those monstrous, always-meant-to-be-permanent bases into account – and they are, after all, just about the only uniformly successfully construction projects in that country – no US plans for Iraq, whatever label they go by, will make much sense. And yet months go by without any reporting on them appearing. In fact, these past months have gone by with only a single peep (that I’ve found) from any mainstream publication on the subject.”
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HK21Ak04.html
    Mike, with regard to a permanent presence, I think destabilization would be considered a plus by the military. Ploys like setting al-Queda and Hezbollah against each other and sending the Jundallah over the border from Pakistan into Iran to stir things up will keep everyone off-balance.
    “The Iranian outburst was, conceivably, prompted by the spurt of trans-border terrorism inside Iran’s Sistan-Balochistan province, which borders Pakistan. Ten days ago, a militant group called Jundallah killed 11 members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards in an attack in the city center of Zahedan. Iranian state media reported that the attack was part of US plans to provoke ethnic and religious violence in Iran. Balochs are Sunnis numbering about 1.5 million out of Iran’s 70 million predominantly Shi’ite population.
    ***
    Indeed, the US policy to light the fire of ethnic and sectarian strife could well end up creating an “arc of instability” stretching from Iraq to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Even right-wing Iranian exile Amir Taheri, who is usually a strong backer of the Bush administration’s interventionist policy in the Middle East, has warned that although fanning the flames of ethnic unrest and resentment is not difficult and that a Yugoslavia-like breakup scenario might hasten the demise of the Iranian regime, it could also “unleash much darker forces of nationalism and religious zealotry that could plunge the entire region into years, even decades, of bloody crisis”. ”
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IB24Ak01.html

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  44. daCascadian says:

    Just one small part of a much larger picture. An important part for sure.
    “For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill” – Sun Tzu

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  45. Carroll says:

    Here is another interesting story regarding State secrets and gag orders on whistle blowers..and while I am not much into conspiracy theories I do know you don’t get gaged by the goverment with a State Secrets Order if there isn’t any fire in the smoke.
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/4/23/74643/2369
    This also reinforces my observation that although Waxman is good on Halliburtion corruption he always stops short and stays far away from anything that could involve or reflect on AIPAC and Israel. The supposed investigation into Doug Feith has been on the back burner forever, with no one but Sen Rockfeller pushing it..it seems all the investigations by congress are aimed at each other’s party, nothing has been done to get to the heart of what ails this cash and carry political system or the traitors among us.

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  46. pauline says:

    from Stephen Green’s words in 2004 —
    PAUL WOLFOWITZ : A WELL PLACED FRIEND
    In 1973, in the dying days of the Nixon Administration, Wolfowitz was recruited to work for the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA). There was a certain irony in the appointment, for in the late 1960’s, as a graduate student at the University of Chicago, Wolfowitz had been a student and protege of Albert Wohlstetter, an influential, vehement opponent of any form of arms control or disarmament, vis a vis the Soviets. Wolfowitz also brought to ACDA a strong attachment to Israel’s security, and a certain confusion about his obligation to U.S. national security.
    In 1978, he was investigated for providing a classified document on the proposed sale of U.S. weapons to an Arab government, to an Israel Government official, through an AIPAC intermediary. An inquiry was launched and dropped, however, and Wolfowitz continued to work at ACDA until 1980.
    In 1990, after a decade of work with the State Department in Washington and abroad, Wolfowitz was brought into DoD as Undersecretary for Policy by then Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney. Two years later, in 1992, the first Bush Administration launched a broad inter-departmental investigation into the export of classified technology to China. O particular concern at the time was the transfer to China by Israel of U.S. Patriot missiles and/or technology. During that investigation, in a situation very reminiscent of the Bryen/Varian Associates/klystrons affair two years earlier, the Pentagon discovered that Wolfowitz’s office was promoting the export to Israel of advanced AIM-9M air-to-air missiles.
    In this instance, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, aware that Israel had already been caught selling the earlier AIM 9-L version of the missile to China in violation of a written agreement with the U.S. on arms re-sales, intervened to cancel the proposed AIM (-M deal. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs at the time was General Colin Powell, currently Secretary of State.
    Wolfowitz continued to serve as DoD Undersecretary for Policy until 1993, well into the Clinton Administration. After that, however, like most of the other prominent neo-conservatives, he was relegated to trying to assist Israel from the sidelines for the remainder of Clinton’s two terms. In 1998, Wolfowitz was a co-signer of a public letter to the President organized by the “Project for the New American Century.” The letter, citing Saddam Hussein’s continued possession of “weapons of mass destruction,” argued for military action to achieve regime change and demilitarization of Iraq. Clinton wasn’t impressed, but a more gullible fellow would soon come along.
    And indeed, when George W. Bush assumed the Presidency in early 2001, Wolfowitz got his opportunity. Picked as Donald Rumsfeld’s Deputy Secretary at DoD, he prevailed upon his boss to appoint Douglas Feith as Undersecretary for Policy. On the day after the destruction of the World Trade Center, September 12, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz raised the possibility of an immediate attack on Iraq during an emergency NSC meeting. The following day, Wolfowitz conducted the Pentagon press briefing, and interpreted the
    President’s statement on “ending states who sponsor terrorism” as a call for regime change in Iraq. Israel wasn’t mentioned.

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  47. marky says:

    I like the title. The question should have been asked in relation to her work. Since it wasn’t, why shouldn’t Steve? I think it highlights how Wolfowitz got special treatment.

    Reply

  48. Robert Morrow says:

    Riza a spy? What do you mean? She is in bed with the neocons.

    Reply

  49. Mackie says:

    ‘Although your point is an excellent one, Steve, don’t you think your headline is a bit irresponsible?’
    Ditto.

    Reply

  50. Robert Morrow says:

    Here is a different take from Bloomberg on the Wolfowitz brouhaha. It says that Wolfie asked to be recused from any decisions about her compensation but was refused by the ethics committee. So now they get mad when he gives her a lot of cash.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_hassett&sid=aJeVe36fhr8o
    I think the real scandal is the EXISTENCE of the World Bank.

    Reply

  51. Marky says:

    Steve, this is OT, but interesting. It’s about the computer systems that are used by the White House and other Republicans, and who controls them. The answer is surprising.
    http://scoop.epluribusmedia.org/story/2007/4/22/33926/1773

    Reply

  52. issandr says:

    Although your point is an excellent one, Steve, don’t you think your headline is a bit irresponsible?

    Reply

  53. pauline says:

    Carroll,
    Green’s Counterpunch article is a must read for those who want to find just how slimy some of these unelected, fed adviser/manager, dual citizens have behaved in regards to the US Constitution and their oath of office.
    imo. this is just one of the smoking guns Green revealed —
    “Even more revealing perhaps, had the transition team known of it, was Feith’s view of “technology cooperation,” as expressed in a 1992 Commentary article: “It is in the interest of U.S. and Israel to remove needless impediments to technological cooperation between them. Technologies in the hands of responsible, friendly countries facing military threats, countries like Israel, serve to deter aggression, enhance regional stability and promote peace thereby.”
    What Douglas Feith had neglected to say, in this last article, was that he thought that individuals could decide on their own whether the sharing of classified information was “technical cooperation,” an unauthorized disclosure, or a violation of U.S. Code 794c, the “Espionage Act.”
    Ten years prior to writing the Commentary piece, Feith had made such a decision on his own. . .”

    Reply

  54. Carroll says:

    Posted by John Robert BEHRMAN at April 23, 2007 12:55 PM
    >>>>>>>>
    I think you can rule out Italy, the US and UK…but you could add to Israel groups who want to overthrow Iran, the Kurd-Pakistian question in Iraq, Saudi and assorted others in the region who need to know what the US is up to or planning.
    Spying makes strange bedfellows.

    Reply

  55. John Robert BEHRMAN says:

    Yes, but for who?
    1. Italy
    2. Israel
    3. US
    4. UK
    And, various combinations of possibly all four.
    So, do we have a counterintelligence organ capable of detecting even another Pollard? Of course, he was just a walk-in and, ultimately, an amateur.
    Still, he was in it, finally, for the money.
    Well, this lady hit the jackpot, for sure, one way or the other.
    ::JRBehrman

    Reply

  56. Carroll says:

    But this one is the one by Green that outlines all the suspect people and some investigations in the neo-Isr circle.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/green02282004.html
    >>>>>>>>
    There is no way that non citizens or people known to have agendas or alleigences to foreign countries should be allowed access to anything within US goverment agencies. Not saying we should not have foreign consultants or share info in some cases but giving suspect people free rein to US information is insane. Most corporations have better security and protection of their intelluctual property than the US goverment does.

    Reply

  57. Carroll says:

    This is the article I referred to:
    Mole Hunt
    An expert on U.S.–Israeli relations reveals details from his recent visit with the FBI.
    By Jason Vest and Laura Rozen
    In May, Stephen Green was hard at work campaigning for a seat in Vermont’s House of Representatives when he got a phone call. The last person the 64-year-old former United Nations official, then preoccupied with health-care policy issues, expected to hear from was an FBI agent, who asked if he could come to Washington to chat with him about the history of Israeli espionage efforts against the United States.
    As the author of two books on U.S.-Israeli relations, Green knew something about the subject. Still, the phone call seemed to come out of the blue. Green quickly discovered, however, that the FBI had a keen interest in the subject. Federal agents were involved in an investigation into an alleged Israeli “mole” in the office of Douglas Feith, the under secretary of defense for policy.
    Early reports suggested that the FBI had wiretap evidence that a veteran Iran analyst working in Feith’s office at the Defense Intelligence Agency, Larry Franklin, may have passed a classified draft of a National Security Presidential Directive on Iran to an official working for the pro-Israel lobbying organization, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Members of the organization, in turn, were said to have passed the document on to Israel. (AIPAC officials strongly deny the accusations.)
    But as Green spoke with investigators, he realized the agents were investigating far more than Franklin…….(continued at)…
    http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=8467

    Reply

  58. Carroll says:

    This is certainly a good question to raise. Our intelligence and security agencies have been so compromised by politics and foreign interest within them that it is pitiful.
    That Riza runs with the crowd, some of whom have already been investigated in the past for spying, should be a red flag.
    If I am not mistaken Feith, Perle and several others in the neo and Israeli camp were investigated on various things years ago but squiggled out of the charges due to political pressure.
    I remember reading an article by Stephen Green(e)?, I think it was, profiling the past investigations of some of this group. The article was written after Green was interviewed by the FBI about some of the Israeli characters just prior to or after the news first came out about the latest AIPAC/Rosen/Franklin spy case.
    I will see if I can find the article and post a link.

    Reply

  59. Mike says:

    Just so no one thinks I’m pulling all of this out of nowhere, from thin air, here is a quote from the Guardian regarding the recent Jordanian media flap:
    “Jordan accused of censorship after security agents seize al-Jazeera tape
    Prince Hassan was asked about allegations in a recent article by the New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh, suggesting that the US and Saudi Arabia were bankrolling Sunni Muslim groups – some with links to al-Qaida – to counterbalance the weight of Hizbullah, the Shia political and paramilitary organisation based in Lebanon and backed by Iran and Syria. The prince is said to have commented, characteristically: “If this is true, we have a big problem.”
    This is a very troubling policy, if it is true, and the fact that the CIA does it (probably at Cheney and/or Elliott Abrams’s orders- NOT ours)- is seriously destabilizing the region and making peace that much harder to achieve.

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  60. Mike says:

    The secrecy to this day surrounding Riza in the State Department certainly raises a red flag. If she was a spy, it would fit into the context of this secrecy as well as her placement on a “pro-Middle East democracy” group that apparently only met a few times in Lebanon and used up millions of dollars.
    My guess is that a lot of money was funneled through her, or she is a cover, for purposes that Americans would deeply disapprove of. We already know that the U.S. is covertly funding Sunni militants against Iran in Khuzestan province, and we know that the U.S., through Saudi Prince Bandar I think, is funding salafist militants against Hezbollah.
    I guarantee you that if we knew the real details behind Mrs. Riza and we knew what the dollars were spent on, this would be a real scandal and it would uncover some really ugly and insupportable covert operation in the M.E.

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  61. pauline says:

    Steve:
    Wolfowitz and Feith are both dual citizens. Both have had access to highly classified info that, imo, no duaL citizen should possess — period.
    It’s such a joke that this country would allow key federal positions to be managed by dual citizens, where Wolfie and Feith’s “other” country allows them to return at any time and with the safety net of not be extradicted for crimes committed in the first country of their dual citizenship, or really any other country.
    Hey, maybe Larry Franklin should have applied for his dual “swearing to uphold” before committing his treasonous crimes?!
    Where is Riza a citizen? It certainly could not, should not, be the same as Wolfie and Feith’s, is it??

    Reply

  62. Robert M. says:

    Always, always, always follow the money.
    Even with the “good guys” in Kurdistan — where are all those $ for new construction coming from? Us, the Saudis, China? And so what oil exploitation deals have been signed?
    In Cheney’s case, its follow the oil exploration maps & potential deals. (Seriously, with a change in admin & then the collapse of central government in Baghdad, does he think those central government contracts are going to be worth anything? Apparently the oil companies think so too but haven’t they’ve heard about “nationalization”?)
    My, my. Pray tell, who would that “journalist” be? There’s just so much one can remember, but beyond the reputed credentials of certain Hollywood types, I’m not aware of a particular individual at WH or Sate or DOD, or one in contact with anyone at those places, who would meet that criteria. Certainly I thought, for instance, that Bob Woodward’s social networking was all about tennis & then there are the power lunches, those incestuous “non-profit” think tank dinners & lectures, etc. [Not disparaging your efforts, Steve! Referencing the other kind.]

    Reply

  63. J says:

    Mr. Wolfowitz is no stranger to the issue of close associates who may in fact be covert spies on behalf of foreign governments. Ahmed Chalabi, suspected of providing Iran with codes to break up secret U.S. wiretapping operations on the Iranian government and military, comes to mind.

    Reply

  64. profmarcus says:

    after the letter from former world bank execs calling for wolfowitz’ resignation broke yesterday, it struck me as very likely that the riza controversy has unleashed an enormous backlog of ill will that has been accumulating ever since bush announced that he was nominating wolfowitz to the world bank presidency… i went back to look at some of the news articles around that time and came up with quite a few, most notably this from the wapo…

    Reply

  65. karenk says:

    I remember something of a Russian female spy(I gather a hot one)who got important secret info from military guys during the cold war. Its a weakness in some men that can pose security risks. We’d certainly never have to worry about sexual distractions with a cold fish type like Hillary in power!
    BTW-I have a button on my bag from the International Rescue Committee that says “What happens in Darfur happens to us” theIRC.org
    A t shirt with that would quiet the snickers-appeals more to those with a basic self centered nature.

    Reply

  66. Pissed Off American says:

    BTW, Steve, if some so-called “journalist”, whose only “credential” is a thirteen inch schlong, can be privy to classified information without investigations being launched, what chance do you think there is of Riza’s clearance being investigated?

    Reply

  67. Pissed Off American says:

    Steve, I still believe that there is much to be learned by following the 56 million dollars that was funneled to the Foundation For The Future. Always follow the money? It would be interesting to know how much is still in the coffers.

    Reply

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