Showing posts with label Ruslan Tsarni. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ruslan Tsarni. Show all posts

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Boston: The Iranian Connection

Washington Talk: Briefing; C.I.A. Secrets

Published: February 15, 1988

There is no shortage of memoirs and books by former intelligence officials. But when Graham Fuller retired from the Central Intelligence Agency, leaving his post as national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia, his first publication had nothing to do with cloaks, daggers or nasty deeds in back alleys.

Mr. Fuller's book, titled ''How to Learn a Foreign Language,'' suggests a practical approach to a topic that has confounded generations of American high school and college students. Mr. Fuller said he had studied 16 languages and was fluent in several, including Russian, Turkish, Arabic and Chinese. He said he was also competent in French, German and Farsi, the language spoken in Iran that is known by few Government analysts.

''It's really not that difficult,'' he insisted. ''If you know Arabic and Turkish, Farsi is a cinch.'' The book is being published by Storm King Press and distributed by Random House.

Mr. Fuller's name came to public attention last year when it was disclosed that he was the author of a ''think piece'' circulated in the intelligence community in May 1985 suggesting the possiblity of pursuing openings in Iran.

The study was instrumental in persuading some top-ranking Reagan Administration policy makers to begin considering covert contacts with Iranian leaders. It eventually led to the covert sale of United States weapons to Teheran in what became the Iran-contra affair.

Mr. Fuller is now a senior political scientist with the Rand Corporation, the research and consulting organization.

I quote The Enemy:

Graham E. Fuller is an American author and political analyst, specializing in Islamic extremism.

Formerly vice-chair of the National Intelligence Council,he also served as Station Chief in Kabul for the CIA. 

A "think piece" that Fuller wrote for the CIA was identified as instrumental in leading to the Iran-contra affair.

After a career in the United States State Department and CIA lasting 27 years, he joined Rand Corporation as senior political scientist specializing in the Middle East.

As of 2006, he was affiliated with the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC , as an adjunct professor of history.

He is the author of a number of books, including The Future of Political Islam.

Fuller attended Harvard University, where he earned first a BA and then a MA degree in Russian and Middle Eastern Studies.

State Department

Fuller joined the State Department of the United States, entering the Foreign Service for assignments in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.


He served 20 years as an operations officer in the CIA. Assignments include postings in: Germany, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, North Yemen, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong.

In 1982, the CIA appointed him National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asia,.

In 1986, the CIA appointed him vice-chairman of the National Intelligence Council.

Iran-Contra Affair

In 1987, Fuller was identified as the author of a 1985 study that according to the New York Times was "instrumental" in the decision of the Reagan Administration to secretly contact leaders in Iran and "eventually led to the covert sale of United States weapons to Tehran in what became the Iran-Contra Affair."

The document suggested that the Soviet Union was in position to influence Iran and that the United States might gain influence by selling arms to the country.

According to Fuller, he had revised his opinion as the situation developed, but though he had told Government officials, a written report on the change was not circulated.

Fuller denied that the original "think piece" he had prepared with Howard Teicher was 

"tailored... to support Administration policy."

After government
Fuller left the CIA in 1988 for the RAND Corporation, remaining as a senior political scientist until 2000.

An active author and media spokesman, Fuller is an adjunct history professor at Simon Fraser University.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, it was revealed that Fuller's daughter Samantha Ankara Fuller was married to Ruslan Tsarnaev (Tsarni), the terrorists' uncle.

Out on the ragged bleeding edge of the former Soviet Union, Ruslan Tsarni had a decade-long business relationship with Halliburton, the multinational juggernaut run by Dick Cheney before  he became Vice President of the United States.

Delving into the business connections of “Uncle Ruslan” Tsarni, as he became known afterhis well-received condemnation of the atrocities allegedly committed by his nephews Dzhokhar and Tamerlan at the Boston Marathon has led to the discovery of the Rosetta Stone of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Like the elaborately carved stone unearthed almost 200 years ago which led to deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, digging through Ruslan Tsarni’s curiculum vitae has yielded clues to unlocking the puzzling riddles left behind after last week’s attack.

Two oil fields with a side of natural gas, please

Reported first here two days ago, there has already been a big surprise in Ruslan Tsarni’s background: Tsarni did a two-year stint, beginning in 1992, as a “consultant” for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan.

At a time when vast natural resources and enormous fortunes were ‘in play’  during the economic free-for-all after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the 24-year old Tsarni was already a ‘player.’

Its long been an open secret that USAID is often used overseas to house CIA and other US intelligence operatives.

Oddly enough, just six months ago the country competing with the US for influence in the region, Vladimir Putin’s Russia, unceremoniously kicked USAID out of Russia for, Putin spokesmen alleged, encouraging his political opposition.

However Ruslan’s involvement with USAID, while suggestive, might still be irrelevant, were it not for the discovery of his decade-long involvement with companies in the orbit of the Sun God, Halliburton, which stands accused in numerous and increasingly-credible accounts as "lead dog" in an invading force of “non-state actors.”

All of this, mind, was in support of a noble cause. We were fighting communism. No, wait? We weren't anymore. 

Still, we must have been fighting something. Wait. It'll come to me…Maybe it was a push to weaken Russia’s grip over former Soviet Republics. That sounds like an admirable goal. Alas,  the means chosen to achieve it involved providing covert U.S. support, in Chechnya, to Islamic terrorists.

Haven't we all already see that movie? No one with a functioning heart could be anxious to see it again. But, wait! Does Dick have a functioning heart?

Friends Dick never got around to shooting

All was in readiness for the launch of a deniable covert op (the best kind).  In April 2005, Ruslan Tsarni was named an officer in an oil company in Kazakhstan, being run at the time by a man namedS.A. (Al) Sehsuvaroglu.

Sehsuvaroglu had somewhat inexplicably left behind a 25-year career as a top executive at Dick Cheney’s Halliburton—his last job was as Senior Account Manager, Caspian Region; and Country Director, Kazakhstan—and had, just three months before 'Uncle Ruslan' was hired, taken over a penny stock oil play called Big Sky Energy Corp  (OTCBB:BSKO.OB).

Big Al and Uncle Ruslan already knew each other. Both men did time at Nelsen Resources, yet-another Halliburton-connected oilfield company active in Kazakhstan.

Even before that, Tsarni had landed, between 1999 and 2001, at Golden Eagle Partners LLC  in Kazakhstan. Golden Eagle worked so closely with Halliburton, reported London’s Financial Times, that both firms were convicted of collusion to breach confidentiality agreements.

For Uncle Ruslan, who was Golden Eagle's Head of Legal Affairs, it would have been, bery much, a case of "my bad."

In a story headlined “Halliburton ethics called into question,” on Jun 22, 2004, London’s Financial Times reported that both companies had been convicted in Federal Court and fined a total of $70 million.

“At a time when Halliburton is being charged with immoral and even illegal business practices in countries ranging from Iraq to Nigeria,” the paper  reported, “a close reading of the court documents provides a disturbing backdrop.”

Moreover the questionable business practices for which Halliburton was convicted took place under Dick Cheney, who court documents revealed had been very aware of what his minions like Ruslan Tsarni at Golden Eagle had been doing on his behalf.

These were not, to put it kindly, self-made men

Still, while militant Chechen groups have been blamed for terror attacks in the past,  their targets have usually been Russia, their bitter foe in the aucasus wars.

So why is this line of inquiry crucially relevent to the Boston Marathon bombings?

Consider: In the last several months, Tamerlan Tsarnaev had posted videos to YouTube indicating his interest in radical Muslim ideologies.

Moreover the Tsarnaev brothers are of Chechen heritage, born into the  cauldron of the Caucasus; into a war which quickly boiled over until it had engulfed Chechen separatists, Russian security forces, Islamic extremists,  and organized crime.

Last Friday, U.S. authorities said they had no proof that anybody beyond the two Tsarnaev brothers was involved in the marathon attacks. But they were not done looking.

Then yesterday two law enforcement officials stated that they believe there is a “Chechen connection” to the bombings.

Ruslan Tsarni’s personal and business background are in the same troubled region—Chechnya and the former Soviet Republics collectively known as the Stans—that is crucial to piecing together the narrative of his two nephews in the Boston Marathon bombing.

And as an officer with decades of experience working with companies doing business in a highly-volatile region, it is fair to question how much of Ruslan Tsarni’s impassioned rant against his nephews owed to shame for his family’s disgrace, and how much to rage at having his past revealed—as he had to have known it would be—in an unflattering light.

A bleeding edge that really is…a bleeding edge

You can look for clues out on the ragged bleeding edge of the Russian Federation in troubled Dagestan, and prowl the back alleys of Makhachkala on the Caspian Sea.

Or you can look in Almaty, out on the wind-swept steppes of Kazakhstan.

Or poke around tiny Bishkek, capital of the little “Stan” that could, the one no one’s ever heard of, Kyrgyzstan.

Or trek to Tokmok, home to a large ethnic Chechen community, where you can seek out the former home of Anzor Tsarnaev, sitting right next door to that country’s top Mob Boss, a man named Aziz Batukaev, who to the surprise of no one locally, just secured his early release from prison.

And you can marvel that it truly is a small world after all, when a train of events set in motion 6200 miles east of Boston came to shut down a major American city and transfix an entire nation for an week.

But if you’re the type that prefers to get your travel fix watching Michael Palin trekking across a wall-mounted 60’ TV screen, you can turn your eyes to a man standing at the top of the driveway of a smart-looking $600,000 Federalist-style home in an upper-middle class planned community outside of Washington D.C.

Wearing blue jeans, flip-flops and a blue polo shirt, “Uncle Ruslan” Tsarni’s vehement denunciation of his nephews won him thumbs up from everyone from Keith Olbermann on the left, who called him the "definition of a great American," to John Podhoretz on the right, who said “Ruslan Tsarni was the only good news of the week.”

It seemed too good to be true. And it was.