The Central Intelligence Agency and its director, George Tenet, “are the tools” of “some political and military circles” seeking to undermine U.S./Russian relations, according to official Russian sources.
During recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Tenet sought “to frighten” the senators when he identified Russia as the “first choice” of nations seeking “to obtain the latest technologies for the development of chemical, germ and nuclear weapons” and their means of delivery, Moscow declared.
The statements were carried by the Voice of Russia World Service, the official broadcasting service of the Russian government.
Tenet also informed the committee that the sale of these technologies “are a major source of funds for commercial and defense industries,” as well as for Russian military research and development.
Moscow claimed that Tenet’s remarks were made to adversely affect the upcoming May summit between U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Cooperation between Russia and the U.S. is becoming more constructive,” Moscow observed. “It is this process,” Moscow then asserted, “that causes undisguised discontent in some political and military circles.”
The “political and military circles” to which Moscow alluded were not identified.
Detecting a pattern of “negative” comments when “[positive] prospects appear for bilateral cooperation,” Moscow characterized Tenet and the CIA as “tools of those circles which would like to complicate the present political process.”
Tenet was also criticized in the Moscow broadcast for not providing “evidence to confirm his statement.” When contacted by WorldNetDaily, CIA press spokesman Tom Crispell maintained agency silence on the methodology and the sources for Tenet’s report.
Ironically, Moscow’s attack on the CIA and its director came after CIA participation in an unprecedented international spy conference just held in St. Petersburg, Russia, which called for “unification” in the war against terrorism and a permanent spy coordination organization.
Russia and its closest allies, however, have been for years continuously implicated in the illicit sale of technology and materials for weapons of mass destruction.
Russia’s chemical and biological facilities have long been regarded as vulnerable to those seeking to acquire or develop weapons of mass destruction, while Russia’s handling of its nuclear stockpile has caused even greater concern.
In 1997, Alexander Lebed, former chief of national security and hero of the Soviet Union’s war in Afghanistan, warned the world that some 100 of Russia’s small nuclear devices were lost.
Two months following the attacks of Sept. 11, reports surfaced that a number of “briefcase nuclear weapons” could have come into the U.S., along with biological weapons – all of Russian origin.
Belarus, united with Russia in a still-developing union state, was cited by U.S. and Israeli intelligence as “the largest supplier of weapons to Islamic radicals,” according to an October 2001 report from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
The same report found Belarus to be “one of the most secretive countries in its weapons deals, and probably one of the most irresponsible. …”
Ukraine, under the leadership of President Leonid Kuchma, is both a close friend of Moscow and reputedly a major supplier of arms to Iraq, which is habitually identified as a supporter of terrorism as well as a developer of weapons of mass destruction. The range of material provided to Baghdad includes antiaircraft missile systems and weapons-grade uranium.
The level of weapons availability in Russia is reflected by the arrest of a 26-year-old heroin addict in St. Petersburg for possession of an operational, shoulder-held antiaircraft missile launcher. According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the man claimed he only wanted to show it to his friends. Local police believe he was attempting to sell the weapon.
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