This Nonsense Needs to Stop

Bush Orders More CIA Activity in Venezuela
By Eva Golinger
Jan 24, 2007, 20:45

Caracas, January 19, 2007 (— During a briefing before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Intelligence, current CIA chief General Michael V. Hayden revealed President George W. Bush had requested his agency “pay more attention” to the activities of President Hugo Chávez and his government in Venezuela.

General Hayden’s commentaries were directed to the House Committee on Intelligence after outgoing Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte had addressed the congressional group. Negroponte, now sub-secretary of State under Condoleezza Rice, indicated to the committee that the United States was in a “good position in terms of intelligence” regarding Venezuela and Cuba, implying that the recently-created special CIA Mission Manager on Venezuela and Cuba, overseen by veteran intelligence officer Norman A. Bailey since November 2006, was active and functioning effectively.

Bailey, a Cold War operative and Reaganite, was an intelligence officer and specialist in Latin America for over two decades. The new CIA Mission in Venezuela and Cuba, officially created in August 2006 by Negroponte’s National Directorate of Intelligence, is designed to enhance U.S. intelligence operations, information gathering and analysis in the two countries. An August 16, 2006 press release by Negroponte’s office declared the new CIA mission was “critical today, as policymakers have increasingly focused on the challenges that Cuba and Venezuela pose to American foreign policy.”

During the January 18, 2007 intelligence briefing in the House of Representatives, Republican congressman Darrell Issa requested that Negroponte and CIA Director Hayden speak about how the United States is handling the “Chávez phenomenon” and whether or not the intelligence specialists could guarantee that Venezuela will not become a “serious threat in our own hemisphere.” Intelligence czar Negroponte responded that Venezuela “is probably the second country in the hemisphere where we have concentrated the majority of our intelligence and analysis efforts.” According to Negroponte’s comments, Cuba maintains its position as the “top” intelligence priority of the United States Government in this region.

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