The Story that Should Remove Condi Rice from Consideration for Vice President
by Gordon Duff, Senior Editor
Washington (VT) Condi Rice, as with most Washington insiders, has a secret that can take her down.
In 2002, Rice “crossed the line” in preventing the investigation of a major spy operation in the White House. For the first time, facts just released and eyewitness testimony make Rice a political liability or worse.
We begin with Rice and her real agenda, or what can be shown, even proven beyond a doubt, as she served President Bush (43). Rice filled the White House with convicted criminals and spies.
This broad claim bears examining, which is what we do here. But first, one must understand the power of the National Security Council she headed and how access to membership meant full access to all classified data held by the United States.
Remember, each member carried, not only a Top Secret security clearance but an “SC” clearance as well, known as “Special Compartmentalized Intelligence.”
This is a higher rating that most are even aware of and awarded to only the most carefully vetted public servants, usually with a history of dedicated combat service. None of Rice’s staff were veterans. Almost all were Israeli citizens.
The “downfall” that should occur will involve serious breaches of trust, violations of national security policy and perhaps much more involving Matthew Bryza.
Today, Bryza is a former Ambassador from the US married to a Turkish national living in Istanbul and deeply enmeshed in the Caspian Basin oil business.
He is a young man, born in 1964. His ambassadorship was stripped away for statements he made in denial of the Armenian genocide.
His history as a diplomat puts him in the Russian embassy during the mid 90’s after spending his first years in Poland during the end of the Soviet influence there.
When President Bush (43) took office, he appointed Condi Rice as his National Security Advisor.
She took over running the National Security Council, bringing most members over from Project for a New American Century.
This included Richard Clarke, as Counter Terrorism Chief, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle.
“In mid-October 1970, [Henry] Kissinger testified, when a second wiretap was authorized for Helmut Sonnenfeldt, who was Kissinger’s closest friend on the NSC [National Security Council] staff, his role was even more tangential….
Richard N. Perle, a foreign policy aide to Senator Jackson, was overheard discussing classified information that had been supplied to him by someone on the National Security Council Staff…..
Kissinger – perhaps seeking to ward off a Nixon explosion – handed him (Haldeman) the FBI wiretap on the Israeli embassy and requested that the FBI be assigned to determine which NSC staff member was in contact with Richard Perle…
Kissinger had to know that Hoover and Haldeman would suspect Sonnenfeldt, who was known from previous wiretaps to have close ties to the Israelis as well as Perle.”
Thus, the day Perle was brought over, he was a known espionage agent. Rice would be sure he was not alone.
Next was Steve Rosen, who was arrested for spying along with Lawrence Franklin, assistant to Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle and Keith Weissman.
Rosen was brought into the White House by Rice, Franklin by Wolfowitz, who was brought into the White House by Rice.
Weissman was given full national security access though not a government employee by Rice.
Rosen, head of the Rand Corporation was Middle East Chief on the NSC, in direct contrast to reports that list him as only an “AIPAC” (Israeli lobbyist”) as was Weissman.
All three were arrested for spying, the espionage organized by AIPAC and the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative “think tank.” Franklin was sentenced to 13 years in prison and charges against Weissman and Rosen were “suspended” on “national security concerns” by the Bush Justice Department.
President Bush had Franklin’s spying sentence commuted to 10 months of “house arrest.”
Douglas Feith was appointed Under Secretary of Defense, part of the same group, under suspicion but never arrested.
He came from PNAC also as did Elliot Abrams, convicted in 1991 on two counts of lying to congress during the Iran Contra investigation.
Reagan had appointed him Assistant Secretary of State for Humanitarian Affairs yet CIA insiders have him deeply involved in the genocide in Central America, Guatemala in particular, that killed over 300,000.
His greatest project was El Salvador, however.
” Loved ones of the thousand unarmed Salvadoran peasants, including 139 children, killed by U.S.-trained contra troops in the 1981 El Mozote massacre may be less inclined to let bygones be bygones.
Abrams has been a consistent massacre denier, even calling Washington’s policy in El Salvador a “fabulous achievement.”
He told Congress that the reports carried in the New York Times and Washington Post a month after El Mozote were Communist propaganda.
In 1993, members of a Salvadoran Truth commission testified about the massacre in a congressional hearing of the House Western Hemisphere subcommittee. Chairman Robert G. Torricelli (D-New Jersey) vowed to review for possible perjury “every word uttered by every Reagan administration official” in congressional testimony on El Salvador.
Eventually documentation emerged proving that the Reagan administration had known about El Mozote and other human rights violations all along. Abrams, however, carefully denied knowledge of the assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, committed shortly after the cleric denounced government terror.
“Anybody who thinks you’re going to find a cable that says that Roberto d’Aubuisson murdered the archbishop is a fool,” Abrams was quoted in a March 21, 1993 article in the Washington Post.”
Bryza was brought into the NSC by Rice in April 2001 to head the vital Turkey (Eurasia) desk at the NSC.
He was given top security clearances which were later discovered to have been awarded under, not just false pretenses, but to someone actually living with a Turkish intelligence agent to whom he passed vital US intelligence for years.
That intelligence, never entirely cataloged, due to Bush administration obstruction, went to Russia, China, Iran and elsewhere.
The investigation was handled by the FBI, never reported until now. Did Bryza access more information than Pollard?
The truth is that nobody was able to ask as Bryza was “protected” by Condi Rice who had the power, through President Bush, to quash any investigation and, as we will read later, clearly violate any law.
Here is how it started;
Our sources are at the highest levels of the Bush White House.
First you must understand that the FBI is not allowed to interview any White House or NSC staff on foreign policy or Intel issues without permission from the National Security Adviser. Naturally, the FBI finds this objectionable.
Here is part of what we were told:
In early 2002, two FBI agents asked if I could help them prove that this policy was basically a green light for anyone on the White House and NSC staff to commit national security breaches with no investigation.
They asked if I knew of any current examples of an NSC staffer who might be compromising intelligence. If they could prove that this was going on, they hoped to convince Condi to change the policy.
So I told them that Matt Bryza, who was handling Caspian issues, was living with a Turkish national, Zeyno Baran, who was not only the stepdaughter of the owner of Sabah, a Turkish newspaper, but also was unofficially lobbying hard for US support of the Baku Ceyhan oil pipeline.
I said I was pretty certain Matt had not mentioned that during his clearance process. Also, the last time I had seen Matt and Zeyno was at Steve Rosen’s house
Sources tell us that Matt and Zeyno had an apartment in Arlington, near the Courthouse. What was obvious from this point is that Matt Bryza had not just lied but was passing intelligence as well.
The FBI assigned one of their top agents, Laura Pino, to head the investigation, one that no longer exists, one Pino still carries with her to this day, “one of the many who got away.”
When the FBI was able to prove spying, they demanded to interrogate Bryza. These went on through 2002 and 2003 at the Old Executive Office Building by mutual agreement.
There has never been a press release nor any published documentation on any of this until now.
When the FBI had established their case, they went to the DOJ and requested prosecution and the immediate suspension of all security clearances and that Bryza have all access, White House and any other government department ended.
From our NSC source:
“The FBI went straight into action. Sure enough, Matt had lied. They also told me, with no detail, that Zeyno was definitely milking Matt for info and using it to further her professional objectives. Major security breach.
The FBI took their discovery to Condi, who had to let them interview Matt under the circumstances. One agent called me right before the scheduled interview to ask what questions to be able to see if he was telling the truth.
Everything I told them panned out. At the end of the interview, the FBI formally requested that Matt Bryza’s clearance be immediately revoked. State was ready to do it, but Condi stepped in, personally, and blocked the suspension.”
Rice, rather than ordering prosecution, especially since over half of her staff was either under indictment, recently convicted, previously convicted or under investigation for espionage, appointed Bryza “Under Secretary of State” covering the same region he had been accused of spying for.Here is Wikipedia’s version of his career after these incidents:
In June 2005, he assumed duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. He was responsible for policy oversight and management of relations with countries in the Caucasus and Southern Europe.
He also led U.S. efforts to advance peaceful settlements of separatist conflicts of Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Additionally, he coordinated U.S. energy policy in the regions surrounding the Black and Caspian Seas and worked with European countries on issues of tolerance, social integration, and Islam.
In August 2009, Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Chairman Ken Hachikian sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlining the concerns of the Armenian American community regarding what he called the recent “biased remarks by Matt Bryza” the U.S. Co-Chair to the OSCE Minsk Group charged with helping to negotiate a settlement of the Nagorno Karabagh conflict.
In May 2010, the White House appointed Bryza as the United States Ambassador to Azerbaijan. On September 21, 2010, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved his ambassadorial nomination and sent it to the Senate floor.
In a SFRC roll call vote, Democratic Senators Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Barbara Boxer of California who are Armenian Caucus members tried to block the nomination voting against Bryza’s appointment. On December 29, 2010 Bryza’s appointment by President Obama was confirmed by the White House as a recess appointment. He served as ambassador to Azerbaijan starting from February 2011.
In January 2012 Bryza left the post and the foreign service as the Senate did not confirm his nomination due to the opposition by Armenian-American lobbying groups who alleged his ties with the Azerbaijani government. Washington Post editor Fred Hiatt described it as a “vivid example of how the larger U.S. national interest can fall victim to special-interest jockeying and political accommodation”.
NOMINATION AND DISMISSAL, WHERE THE TITLE “AMBASSADOR COMES FROM
In 2010, Jean-Francois Julliard and Clothilde Le Coz, of the Washington Times wrote about Barza. They cite a number of “peculiarities” in his more recent history as we see below:
Last month, Washington Times reporter James Morrison wrote an item in his Embassy Row column about the nomination of Matthew Bryza as U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan.
As Mr. Morrison noted, several human rights groups had previously questioned Mr. Bryza’s close ties to Azerbaijani leadership, and tough questions about his possible bias again surfaced during his recent confirmation hearing.
During the hearings, Mr. Bryza stated: “If confirmed, I will continue to encourage the government of Azerbaijan to move forward on key issues such as media freedom, freedom of expression, political pluralism, rule of law and civic participation.”
Obviously, these are noble goals often repeated by U.S. ambassadors who are stationed in authoritarian countries, but Mr. Bryza’s past in Azerbaijan raises important doubts about his promises.
In 2007, the editor of the opposition newspaper Azadlig, Ganimat Zahid, and correspondent Agil Khalil were sued over an article titled “Azerbaijanis Paid for Matthew Bryza’s Wedding.” The article states that Azeri Economic Development Minister Haydar Babayev paid for a significant portion of Mr. Bryza’s wedding, which took place in Istanbul the same year.
At the time, Mr. Bryza was the U.S. co-chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Minsk Group, the body tasked with mediating a peace deal for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Both countries claim sovereignty over the region, and although a cease-fire has been observed since 1994, no agreement has ever been signed between the two governments.
In the year after the article was published, Azadlig correspondent Agil Khalil was the target of four murder attempts, and in July 2008 – no longer able to deal with the constant threats against him – he fled to France, where he remains to this day. Mr. Khalil cannot return to Azerbaijan because he fears for his life.
What is made clear is that Barza’s supporters, his protectors, don’t just stop at obstruction of justice, murder seems to be an option they run to just as quickly.
Reports from confidential sources, unconfirmed, indicate that Barza was the force that pushed Georgia into their attack on South Ossettia, leading to their conflict with Russia.
There have also been accusations that Barza’s expertise on the Baku/Ceyhan/Kirkuk pipeline, which empties Iraqi crude through Turkey may have benefited certain American oil companies, one of whom once employed Condi Rice, with tens of billions of dollars of unbilled crude oil. The Washington Times continues:
Mr. Bryza was very much criticized and questioned about his position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, an extremely sensitive and taboo subject in Azerbaijan. Reporter and editor Eynulla Fatullayev remains in jail for writing about the subject in a way that displeased Azerbaijani officials.
A respected journalist recognized as a political prisoner by the international community, Mr. Fatullayev was the editor of two newspapers that since have been closed down, the weekly Realny Azerbaijan and the daily Gundelik Azerbaijan.
Arrested in 2007, he was convicted the following year on charges of “insulting the honor and dignity of the Azerbaijani people,” refusing to pay taxes and making “terrorist threats.”
The last charge resulted from an article that accused the Azerbaijani armed forces of sharing responsibility with their Armenian counterparts for the deaths of hundreds of civilians during an attack by Armenian troops in 1992 on the village of Khojali in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The latest development of note has been the adoption of amendments to the press law imposing additional curbs on journalists, including draconian limitations on the ability to take photos. The first sign a country is reforming its policy in a democratic way is to let journalists do their job properly, as a sign of transparency.
As Mr. Aliyev continues to crack down on the press and freedom of speech, a nominee who can easily be identified as a strong supporter of the Azerbaijani government might indeed undermine the U.S. government’s stated goal of improving democracy and human rights in the country.
Joshua Foust of Registan writes on Caspian Basin and governmental issues. This is what he had to say about Bryza and his role in the Georgian war:
Now, enter Matt Bryza. He’s long been a figure in Caspian circles, going back at least a decade to President Bush’s National Security Council then as Condoleeza Rice’s point man on the Caucasus.
However, like many in the Bush administration, Bryza was close to Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili — and rumors are rampant that he helped nudge the tiny country into war with Russia by hinting the U.S. would support them.
In fact, Moscow has been so open about those rumors that they have made it very plain that Bryza would get a cool reception by Russian diplomats.
Bryza came to the White House with the group from PNAC. They had already established an agenda, as described by Paul Wolfowitz, by 1999.
He was already recruiting White House staff, telling key recruits that the election had already been decided and all that was left was to wait for “the event” and then invade Iraq as a jumping off point for an invasion of Iran.
In tow was Ahmed Chalbi, his choice for President of Iraq despite the fact Chalbi was facing criminal charges at the time.
Chalabi turned out to be the source for 90% of the false intelligence about Al Qaeda and WMDs that brought about the US attack on Iraq.
Coincidentally, Azerbaijan is seen as a “jumping off point” for air attacks on Iran. Weapons, transported through Georgia and attack aircraft of uncertain national origin have been spotted in Azerbaijan, falsely credited to “Islamic rebel groups” that have now been shown to never have existed.
Bryza now lives in Istanbul with his wife but sits on the board of Turcas Petrol AS, a Turkish/Azerbaijani oil company though Reuters fails to show him holding that position.
Since March 1, 2012, Bryza has been appointed the Director of the International Centre for Defense Studies, an Estonian “think tank” secretly funded by USAID, often a channel for CIA covert operations funds.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been unavailable for comment on her current contacts with Barza or her reasons for blocking his prosecution and reinstating his security clearances.
Editing: Jim W. Dean
Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades.
Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.
Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.
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