Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) is a 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 Ray McGovern.
The New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof at the time described that widespread outrage among intelligence professionals had led to the establishment of VIPS.After the CIA chief weapons inspector David Kay in 2004 announced no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction could be found in Iraq, Michael W. Robbins opined in the magazine Mother Jones: The group, "Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity," has produced some of the most credible, and critical, analyses of the Bush Administration's handling of intelligence data in the run-up to the March, 2003 invasion of Iraq.
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."
- "FOXNews.com - Ex-CIA Accuse Bush of Manipulating Iraq Evidence - Politics - Republican Party - Democratic Party - Political Spectrum".
- Kathleen and Bill Christison: Why We Resigned from VIPS Archived February 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine., CounterPunch, July 15, 2003.
- "Save Our Spooks". The New York Times. 30 May 2003.
- Michael W. Robbins, The Skeptical Spy, Mother Jones, March 10, 2004.
- Lahav Harkov, Obama misplaced trust in Netanyahu, Jerusalem Post, August 5, 2010.
- Dana Karni, Will Israel Bomb Iran This Month? Archived August 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., Fox News, August 5, 2010.