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Sam Adams Award
NOTICE: Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) now has its own website: samadamsaward.ch
We encourage you, in particular, to have a look at coverage of the ceremony at the Oxford Union in February at which Chelsea Manning was formally given, in absentia, the 2014 award. Occasionally, we will post here new items of related interest -- like this one:
Sam Adams Associate (and VIPS) Member Elizabeth Murray Interviewed by RT in London.
A former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, Elizabeth Murray discusses the crafting of substantive intelligence and the need to resist pressures to "fix the intelligence and the facts around the policy," as was was done before the war on Iraq. (The quote is from the "Downing Street Memorandum of July 23, 2002.
Honored by Ex-Intelligence Officials
Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII)
Which Sam Adams? A More Recent Patriot
- Background re SAAII -
Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence
Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence is a movement of former CIA colleagues of former intelligence analyst Sam Adams, together with others who hold up his example as a model for those in
intelligence who would aspire to the courage to speak truth to power. SAAII confers an award each year to a member of the intelligence community or related professions who exemplifies Sam Adam’s
courage, persistence, and devotion to truth - no matter the consequences.
It was Adams who discovered in 1967 that there were more than a half-million Vietnamese Communists under arms - roughly twice the number that the U.S. command in Saigon would admit to, lest Americans learn
that claims of “progress” were bogus. Gen. William Westmoreland had put an artificial limit on the number Army intelligence was allowed to carry on its books. And Gen. Creighton Abrams specifically warned Washington that the press would have a field day if Adam’s numbers were released, and that this would weaken the war effort.
A SECRET/EYES ONLY cable from Westmoreland’s deputy, Gen. Creighton Abrams on August 20, 1967 stated: “We have been projecting an image of success over recent months," and cautioned that if the higher figures became public, "all available caveats and explanations will not prevent the press from drawing an erroneous and gloomy conclusion."
The Communist countrywide offensive during Tet (January/February 1968) made it clear that the generals had been lying and that Sam Adams’s “higher figures” were correct. Senior intelligence officials were aware of the deception, but lacked the courage to stand up to Westmoreland. Still (and sadly), Sam remained reluctant to go “outside channels.”
Afew weeks after Tet, however, Daniel Ellsberg rose to the occasion. Dan learned that Westmoreland was asking for 206,000 more troops to widen the war into Cambodia, Laos, and North Vietnam - right up to the border with China, and perhaps beyond. Someone else promptly leaked to the New York Times Westmoreland’s troop request, emboldening Ellsberg to do likewise with Sam Adams’ story. Dan had come to the view that leaking truth about a deceitful war would be “a patriotic and constructive act.” It was his first unauthorized disclosure. On March 19, 1968 the Times published a stinging story based on Adams’s figures.
On March 25, President Johnson complained to a small gathering, “The leaks to the New York Times hurt us...We have no support for the war. This is caused by the 206,000 troop request [by Westmoreland] and the leaks…I would have given Westy the 206,000 men.” On March 31, 1968 Johnson introduced a bombing pause, opted for negotiations, and announced that he would not run for another term in November.
Sam Adams continued to press for honesty and accountability but stayed “inside channels” - and failed. He died at 55 of a heart attack, nagged by the thought that, had he not let himself be diddled, many lives might have been saved. His story is told in War of Numbers,
The annual Sam Adams Award has been given in previous years to truth tellers Coleen Rowley of the FBI; Katharine Gun of British Intelligence; Sibel Edmonds of the FBI; Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to
Uzbekistan; Sam Provance, former US Army Sgt; Maj. Frank Grevil of
Danish Army Intelligence; Larry Wilkerson, Col., US Army (ret.), former chief of staff to Colin Powell at State; Julian Assange, of WikiLeaks:
Thomas Drake, of NSA; Jesselyn Radack, formerly of Dept. of Justice and now National Security Director of Government Accountability Project; Thomas Fingar, former Deputy Director of National Intelligence and Director, National Intelligence Council, and Edward Snowden, former contractor for the National Security Agency.
Supervisor of Intelligence Estimate Hailed for Helping Prevent War with Iran
The Real News Network, based on interviews regarding Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence presented at Oxford Union, Jan. 23, 2013 (17 minutes)
Thomas Fingar Acceptance Speech
Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence
Debating Chamber, Oxford Union, Jan. 23, 2013
Julian Assange Speech
The 2010 awardee of the Sam Adams Award for Integrity, speeks live-streamed into the 2012 award presentation in Debating Chamber, Oxford Union, Jan. 23, 2013. Original, as delivered, with “Collateral Murder” video running on screen behind Assange; (21 minutes)
Remarks by Sam Adams Associates Annie Machon, Tom Drake, Ann Wright, Brady Kiesling, and Craig Murray
At Award Ceremony Honoring Thomas Fingar
Oxford Union Debating Chamber, January 23, 2013 (23 min.)
"This House Still Dreams the America Dream"
Ray in Oxford Union Debate, Jan. 24, 2013, video – 11 min
Ray's team, speaking pro, lost – but by only 149 to 150!
Lies, Damned Lies, & Newspaper Reporting
Annie Machon comments on The Guardian’s Hatchet Job on Julian Assange, Oxford, Jan. 30, 2013
Following are the texts of the Citation for Dr. Fingar’s Sam Adams Award and the earlier press release regarding the evening of January 23 at the Oxford Union
Sam Adams Award to Thomas Fingar: CITATION
The Sam Adams Associates
Awarded to Thomas Fingar
Know all ye by these presents that Thomas Fingar is hereby awarded the Corner-Brightener Candlestick, presented by Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.
In 2005, when Tom Fingar assumed responsibility for supervising the preparation of National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs), the discipline of intelligence analysis had been corrupted on both sides of the Atlantic. We know from the Downing Street Minutes of July 23, 2002 that “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” prior to the US/UK attack on Iraq.
Integrity and professionalism were the only cure. Dr. Fingar oversaw the landmark 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran, which concluded with “high confidence” that Iran had halted its nuclear weapon design and weaponization work in 2003. That NIE was issued with the unanimous approval of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. Its key judgments have been revalidated every year since by the Director of National Intelligence.
The Estimate’s findings were a marked departure from earlier assessments of Iran’s nuclear program. That it was instrumental in thwarting an attack on Iran is seen in President George W. Bush’s own memoir in which he complains that the "eye-popping" findings of the 2007 NIE stayed his hand: "How could I possibly explain using the military to destroy the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no active nuclear weapons program?"
Presented this 23rd day of January 2013 at Oxford University by admirers of the example set by our former colleague, Sam Adams.