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Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Spooks of St. Petersburg--Florida Is Having an "Intelligence" Summit

"This year’s model

"This year’s Intelligence Summit, which will be taking place in St Petersburg, Florida from 5-7 March, promises to be paranoid feast. With Dr Jill Dekker expounding upon the “Syrian Biological Weapons Threat and Regional Security,” Alireza Jafarzadeh speaking about “Iranian Nuclear Facilities” and the bloodthirsty Wayne Simmons explaining “Joint Agency Operations” there should be something for everybody. Jafarzadeh and ex-CIA analyst Clare Lopez will be double teaming on the “Iranian threat” – Lopez in her role as the head of the estimable Iran Policy Committee, the primary lobby group pushing for the U.S. to ‘unleash’ the mystical terrorists in the Mujaheddin e-Khalq upon the Iranian people.

"It also promises to be a laboratory for new foreign interventions. As the website of the summit notes, “Particular emphasis is placed on inviting √©migr√© groups from soon to be emerging democracies.” That’s a quaint way of describing plans for regime change.

"So it’s no surprise that if you name a hawk from the push towards Baghdad – Perle, Rhode, Kenneth Timmermann – they’re on board and networking. It would be interesting to know which Bush administration officials will be the “neutral moderators” this time around, but alas that’s “not for distribution” and who knows, which plucky Democrats will be wandering the exhibition hall? As the attendee brochure promises, there is the chance to “mingle with congressional leaders” and “top CEOs.” Who could resist?

"But should we be concerned about the Intelligence Summit? After all, on one level, it’s just like any other trade exhibition, albeit with private military contractors displaying their wares, neoconservative fantastists for hire and a general intention to market paranoia for business and governmental customers. There is, however, a sinister side. As mentioned above, the Intelligence Summit is one important node in an expanding private intelligence and military industry. It provides a forum for intelligence services to share information or disinformation outside of any scrutinty. Its organisers are happy to admit its expanding role. As prospective attendees read, “Because it is a private charity, IHEC can respond more rapidly and flexibly than most government agencies and has funded some of the most innovative programs in the war against terrorism.” In other words, because it is a charity (so to speak) IHEC can run off the books intel operations such as the tragic case of Sami al-Arian away from conventional oversight.

"Interestingly, with Bill Cowan on the advisory board and both his company WVC3 and its junior ATS Tactical exhibiting prominently at the 2006 show, the Intelligence Summit might have been a useful location to secure funding and other support for an intervention in Somalia. As the Observer newspaper has reported, leaked e-mails from ATS showed that company seeking arms via the Ugandan government and an end to the UN arms embargo on the east African country. Similar schemes could be hatched in the next week on the Florida coast.

"So if you are in the Tampa-St Petersburg area, go along and voice your solidarity with the spooks in their Global War on Terror. Or, if you aren’t that way inclined, give ‘em hell and stop them from doing the same again.

From Guerilla News Network via Angry Arab Newservice

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