AT just received the following letter and we are passing it on. Absent assume the writer is who he claims he is, but have not had an opportunity to independently authenticate it. It does make sense.
My name is Ray Robison and I am a former member of the Iraqi Survey Group. I served as a contractor at the Qatar Combined Media Processing Center (CMPC) in Qatar from May 2004 until May 2005. Recently some tapes purported to be of Saddam Hussein in secret meetings with his staff have been released and aired by ABC news and Nightline. As I have read, the tapes were in the position of John Loftus and were given to him by Bill Tierney which he obtained while working as a Linguist for the FBI.
I am writing to address the question of authenticity of the tapes. While working with ISG, I worked in the media section. Our job was to document, digitize, and provide triage level analysis of captured audio and video from Iraq.
I do not know Mr. Tierney of Mr. Loftus and thus in no way endorse them in any fashion. I was not involved with the release of these tapes. I can not confirm the tapes in question to be authentic. But I can lend weight to answer that question.
Part of my experience was to receive occasional requests from DOJ to query the Harmony database for evidence related to an individual or event.
That evidence was then reproduced to a CD and delivered to the DOJ hut. From there, the DOJ would provide its own analysts and linguists to evaluate the media for use in the trial of Saddam Hussein.
The parts of this story I have read would seem to match the most logical course by which this information was obtained. The tapes would have been grouped together and delivered to the DOJ in a digital format. The original tapes would be warehoused at the ISG facility.
I find it very plausible that these tapes are in fact digital reproductions of secret Saddam tapes recovered after the invasion of Iraq. I also believe that I understand Mr. Tierney's motivation for this improper release of information (as I understand the case) though I can not condone it. It was a common occurrence to speak with other employees at the facility who had reviewed materials that we considered material to the question of whether the Saddam Regime had WMDs and links to terrorism. Many times when we reviewed the information with intelligence professionals on site, we were rebuked as not being intelligence specialists, despite the fact that many of us had extensive operational military backgrounds like me as a Gulf War and Kosovo vet and former field artillery officer.
I will say that I am actively pursuing the release of other information from DIA using the FOIA system. I am currently seeking the assistance of Congressman Pete Hoekstra to retrieve information I know to be in existence.
Hopefully with diligence, pertinent information will be released in a legal fashion.
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