Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) is a small group of former officers of the United States Intelligence Community. It was formed in January 2003 as a "coast-to-coast enterprise" to protest the use of faulty intelligence "upon which the US/UK invasion of Iraq was based." The group issued a letter before the 2003 invasion of Iraq stating that intelligence analysts were not being listened to by policy makers. Initially the group numbered 25, mostly retired analysts. Kathleen Christison and William Christison, Santa Fe, NM - resigned from VIPS in July 2003, over a memo calling for Cheney’s resignation. In August 2010 it issued a memorandum to the White House warning of an imminent Israeli attack on Iran.
February 2003 memo
On February 7, 2003, VIPS publicly released a "Memorandum for The President" criticizing Secretary Powell's speech before the United Nations, in part, because VIPS was afraid Saddam Hussein would use his chemical weapons against U.S. troops if the U.S. invaded. It stated "The narrow focus on Resolution 1441 has diverted attention from the wider picture. It is crucial that we not lose sight of that. Intelligence community analysts are finding it hard to make themselves heard above the drumbeat for war." It also noted the various Gulf War-related illnesses which many returning soldiers contracted due to the presence of chemical and biological agents in Desert Storm. The memorandum was signed by the VIPS Steering Group including Richard Beske, Kathleen Christison, William Christison, Patrick Eddington, and Raymond McGovern.
August 2010 memo
On August 3, 2010, VIPS publicly released another "MEMORANDUM FOR: The President" warning the administration that their analysis suggests that Israel is likely to unilaterally attack Iran "as early as this month." It cited two reasons for this conclusion:
Firstly, Israel fears that western intelligence assessments over Iran's nuclear program will change soon and Israel will lose its "justification" for an attack. U.S. intelligence has been trying for some time to update the National Intelligence Estimate of November 2007 on Iran's nuclear program. It says that Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and as of mid-2007 has not restarted it. The group says Israel would like to strike soon, preemptively, before the new assessment reaffirms that Iran has not restarted its nuclear weapons program. Secondly, with the recent announcement by the U.S. that talks will resume with Iran next month regarding Iran's controversial uranium enrichment program, the group tells Obama: "incentives build in Tel-Aviv for the Israelis to attack before any such agreement can be reached."
- http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,81148,00.html Fox News
- Kathleen and Bill Christison: Why We Resigned from VIPS, CounterPunch, July 15, 2003.
- Lahav Harkov, Obama misplaced trust in Netanyahu, Jerusalem Post, August 5, 2010.
- Dana Karni, Will Israel Bomb Iran This Month?, Fox News, August 5, 2010.
- List of Publications of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity After Downing Street
- Source Watch, Description of VIPS, SourceWatch.org
- "Ex-CIA Accuse Bush of Manipulating Iraq Evidence" FOX News (AP story), 2003-03-17.
- "Failures of the Sept. 11 Commission" Washington Post, Monday, July 26, 2004; Page A11
- Bush's New War Drums for Iran