Monday, May 8, 2006

Does US Intelligence Have the Goods on Gloria?

WHY did the confessed Filipino-American spy, Danilo Aragoncillo, come to Manila on 10 June 2005, a scant four days after Ignacio Bunye revealed the existence of the Garci Recordings to the Malacanang Press Corps? Why did he stay until 3 July 2005? If he was indeed delivering a "blueprint for a coup d'etat" and allegedly conspiring with Erap, Ping and other opposition politicians in a plot to overthrow President GMA, did that blueprint or ingredients of it come from US intelligence information he came into possession of? Our best information says that Erap started handing out copies of the Garci Recordings to selected individuals, as early as April, 2005, according to testimony before the Five Congress Committees investigating the matter last year. Who made the original recordings that became the Garci Tapes? What does it mean that the US Government has sent notices to Erap, Ping and JV Ejercito that their telephones and/or emails were intercepted and surveilled under US Court Order last year?

Since neither the Philippine nor US government is likely to ever be completly forthcoming about what they know of the PROVENANCE of so destructive and poisonous a mystery and conundrum as the Garci Recordings represent, we in the Public Domain ought to feel completely unbound to ask such questions and continue the quest to discover the answers to them.

PING'S THE BIG LOSER:
I hope this results in the resolution of the five year old double murder case of a top public relations operator, Bubby Dacer and his driver, Danny Corbito, five years ago. Two persons closely associated with Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, Michael Ray Aquino and Cesar Mancao are wanted in connection with those murders. Also, the Senator has numerous legal woes in the United States in connection with various cases filed against him in California Court involving a multimillion dollar deal to purchase handcuffs over which he has been sued. However, it is an enduring mystery why the Philippine government has never quite moved for the extradition of these men back to the Philippines. It may have something to do with the fact that no one quite knows who actually rubbed out Dacer and his driver. There was much talk at that time that Bubby Dacer was "canoing on two rivers" -- some think he was killed by both sides.

Counter Intelligence Center has the Leandro Aragoncillo AND Michael Ray Aquino story covered with a comprehensive set of links, including a Time Line of the case and Court Records including this Final Indictment (PDF) by a New Jersey State Grand Jury. News of his guilty plea and the bargain that avoids a capital punishment case are carried by the Washington Post, and the New York Times.
WHO IS LEANDRO ARAGONCILLO: FBI Intelligence Analyst at Fort Monmouth, NJ in the FBI's Information Technology Center. Hired July 2004, suspended 12 Sept 2005. Retired US Marine Gunnery Sergeant with 21 years service, 1983-2004.

Stationed in Japan, Guantanamo Bay, Quantico, VA and White House.

Assignment to the White House between 1999 and 2002 as "administration chief" of the security detail assigned to the Vice President (Gore and then Cheney).

Held Top Secret clearance.

Six Good Conduct Medals and a Humanitarian Service Medal

Looking over his curriculum vitae, Aragoncillo was clearly not a janitor rummaging in the trash. He was clearly a highly trusted person within both Democratic and Republican administrations, serving both Gore and the present Veep Dick Cheney. Look at his assignments too: Japan, Gitmo, Quantico, the White House!

Also, the CIC time line shows that it was alert Immigration officials last year who actually ended up exposing Aragoncillo's illegal activities, when, as an FBI agent he approaced US Immigration officials on behalf of Michael Ray Aquino, who'd been arrested for overstaying his visa. Not CIA, not homeland security, not the NSA.

There are a number of rather intriguing facts revealed in the timeline too. It seems that Leandro Aragoncillo was in Manila on 10 June 2005 until 3 July 2005. He arrived just four days after Ignacio Bunye inadvertendly ignited the Gloriagate scandal on 6 June 2005 and was here throughout the first heady month of Gloriagate when the Garci Recordings were being reproduced by bloggers and mass media. Hmmm, I wonder what he was doing here and if this was coincidence. It was claimed by Atty. Alan Paguia in Congress testimony last year, that it was former President Joseph Estrada who, sometime in April, 2005, gave him two analog casette tapes containing the Garci Conversations which he then edited to include only the conversation with the alleged voice of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Virgilio Garcillano, before presenting them to the five House C0mmittees investigating the Garci Tapes. But how did Erap get the Garci Tapes?

The matter of the provenance of the Garci Tapes has never been explained to anybody's satisfaction. WHO made the original wiretappings that produced the recordings is as much a mystery today as on Day One. Although the reigning theory in the Public domain is that the Intelligence Services of the AFP made those wiretappings under orders from the Palace, because the First Gentleman (who was at the heart of the election operations) allegedly just did not trust Garcillano with what General Francisco Gudani described in Senate hearings as P500 million for Mindanao election operations.

The Isafp certainly could have done it, since it is public knowledge that the US had donated high tech monitoring equipment to the Philippine government, and provide technical training after the sensational escape of the Indonesian terrorist bomber (Rizal Day, 30 December 2000), Fathur Rohman al Ghozi from the Isapf High Security jail facility in Manila. Moreover, the simple fact is that Isafp T/Sgt Vidal Doble's voice is the one heard introducing most of the taped Garci conversations.

DID THE GARCI TAPES COME FROM US INTEL: The Aragoncillo spy case has dredged up a lot of new material and now I am not so sure that Isafp was the true and original source of the the Garci conversations! I think it is time to revisit the old, original theory that the Garci Tapes came from US Intelligence.

One reason this theory has become viable to my mind, is the revelation of the existence of a massive US wiretapping and data mining operation on domestic and foreign individuals and organizations undertaken by the US National Security Agency (NSA).

The best summary of these events for our purposes happens to be a my favorite BLAWG site, the Volokh Conspiracy where we find this set of links on the matter:

  1. Congressional Research Service Report on NSA Surveillance:
  2. Data-Mining, FISA, and the NSA Surveillance Program:
  3. New Risen Book Sheds Light on NSA Surveillance Program:...
  4. Legal Analysis of the NSA Domestic Surveillance Program:
  5. Deputy Attorney General Stepping Down:
  6. Staffing the Justice Department:
Here is an excerpt from the December 2005 James Risen book, that people here may find interesting: it shows that the overwhelming majority of the data acquisition and data mining operation conducted by the NSA since 911 has been targetted at foreign sources:
According to Risen, the key to the new program is a shift in telecommunications technology in recent decades that has made U.S. networks the carriers of lots of international telephone and e-mail traffic.
In addition to handling telephone calls from, say, Los Angeles to New York, the switches also act as gateways into and out of the United States for international telecommunications. A large volume of purely international telephone calls — calls that do not begin or end in America — also now travel through switches based in the United States. Telephone calls from Asia to Europe, for example, may go through the United States-based switches. This so-called transit traffic has dramatically increased in recent years as the telephone network has become increasingly globalized. Computerized systems determine the most efficient routes for digital "packets" of electronic communications depending on the speed and congestion on the networks, not necessarily on the shortest line between two points. Such random global route selection means that the switches carrying calls from Cleveland to Chicago, for example, may also be carrying calls from Islamabad to Jakarta. In fact, it is now difficult to tell where the domestic telephone system ends and the international network begins.
In the years before 9/11, the NSA apparently recognized that the remarkable growth in transit traffic was becoming a major issue that had never been addressed by FISA or the other 1970s-era rules and regulations governing the U.S. intelligence community. Now that foreign calls were being routed through switches that were physically on American soil, eavesdropping on those calls might be a violation of the regulations and laws restricting the NSA from spying inside the United States.
But transit traffic also presented a major opportunity. If the NSA could gain access to the American switches, it could easily monitor millions of foreign telephone calls, and do so much more consistently and effectively than it could overseas, where it had to rely on spy satellites and listening stations to try to vacuum up telecommunications signals as they bounced through the air.
I think what this means is that the Garci conversations could've been just one of thousands upon thousands of intel data captures that the NSA program found in its telecomm+email nets.

Indeed, one of the links on the CIC website is this article (PDI, Mar 17): "US Bugged Estrada, son JV and Ping"
The United States, starting from an unprecedented spying scandal in the White House allegedly involving Filipino-American Leandro Aragoncillo, had bugged former President Joseph Estrada and his son, Mayor Joseph Victor (JV) Ejercito of San Juan town in Metro Manila, official sources said. The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the case, said Sen. Panfilo Lacson had also been subjected to wiretapping.The US Embassy sent a diplomatic note dated Feb. 1 to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) transmitting "legal Notices of Interception of wire and/or electronic communications for Joseph Estrada and JV Ejercito."
Although there has never been any doubt that the United States has a very active intelligence gathering operation in the Philippines, the fact that local politicians have been a subject of a Court-warranted WIRETAPPING and email bugging operation is quite revealing. It is presently inconceivable to me that the NSA surveillance operation DID NOT include surveillance of ALL Philippine officials, probably since 911, given the nature of the program and what we now know of its technological capabilities and its reach in foreign lands, far away from the strictures of US law and civil liberties.

It is entirely possible then that US Intelligence has the goods on Gloriagate. It is even possible that the existence of the Isapf wiretapping operation was originally revealed to Joseph Estrada by Leandro Aragoncillo because of his rooting around FBI files on Ping's behalf. The most intriguing possibility -- one that I will continue to examine for veracity -- is that the Garci Recordings themselves were somehow sourced from US intelligence data captures from the Philippines.

PIGS IN CANADA? PIGS IN THE PHILIPPINES? I didn't know that eating with a fork and spoon had already been elevated to being an element of Philippine culture, rather than the historical replacement for eating with nothing at all but bare hands and fingers. The latter practice would seem to be a far more traditional and still widespread practice in the Philippine Archipelago. So I suppose that both the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Department of Foreign Affairs should be praised and adulated for their perspicacious efforts at preserving and promoting Philippine culture. In their Sunday editorial PDI says:
PDI (Sunday Editorial): We are glad to note that the Philippine Embassy in Canada has supported the boy's mother in her complaint filed with the local school board. "The embassy considers this an affront to Philippine culture and continues to vigorously support any action that will validate a conclusion of racial discrimination," Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Gilbert Asuque said the other day.
I'm foursquare against racisml, but I truly wonder if that is what this is all about. I caught a short video of mother and son on ABSCBN News and got the distinct impression that I wouldn't want to be this boy's lunch monitor either. Not because of his fork and spoon cultural trait, but because, as some of the reporting de-emphasized, young master Cagadoc was causing an uproar among his classmates and his impish behavior drew laughs and derision from other kids. I thought I caught him making a face at the camera man in that snippet I saw. Anybody else notice that?

REMEMBER ART BELL! It's as if PDI and those kneejerk defenders of Filipino cultural and racial honor have already forgotten the Art Bell Fiasco of 2001. To be absolutely consistent with their fervor burning for Filipino culture, such heroes ought really to call for an abrogation of the principle of in loco parentis when it comes to public and private schooling, demand that eating with hands and/or feet be legitimized as part of cultural integrity.

LOG IN OUR EYE: How dare those nasty Canadians renege on "multicultural diversity", PDI and the nationalist lynch mobs cry. I wonder how much of such a wondrous virtue can be said to exist in the Philippines. How much tolerance is there in Manila compared to Montreal, Basilan or Payatas compared to Roxbury, any Filipino public school and Ecole Lalande...??

Pigs in Canada? Pigs in the Philippines! And yeah, contrary to their own Journalists Code of Ethics, they never really got the other side before launching another idiotic bit of their ideological VICTIMOLOGY.

27 comments:

floyd said...

haaayyyy

dati ko na sinasabi galing sa US yung tapes at hindi satin..

haay juskupow
kailan ba makikinig sakin ang mga tao waahhh

ano sunod nuclear missiles sa mindanao???

hmmm

0_o

Dominique said...

Hi, Dean: coincidence is always the basis for a good conspiracy. But of course, that doesn't mean that it couldn't possibly be true.

Great piece of work, though, on digging up this bit of info. I always wondered what super-top-secret files Aragoncillo could have sent over to Lacson's cohorts.

Question: in the papers, it's been said that Estrada also received some info via email. Did Erap receive this info while he was still in office? Or does Erap have email access from Tanay or wherever he's being kept? (And I can't resist: does Erap know how to use email?)

I think the Canada case is getting out of hand.

Rizalist said...

Dom--Great minds think alike. wuz wondering the same questions myself. Regarding his presence in Manila on June 12, I wonder i that WAS a coincidence though. He was here for 3 weeks until July 3. WhY? may be boracay, or may be something else!

Rizalist said...

floyd,
nuclear missiles in mindanao? hmm...they'll only get sold to the abusayyaf by some enterprising General!

Amadeo said...

Dean:

It has been reported here in the papers that Aragoncillo has pleaded guilty as charged, and the motive as declared has been to help topple the government of Arroyo.

Thus, these scenarios you played out are possibilities. The prosecutors are not saying much about what documents were lifted, other than saying that none died because the documents were compromised.

If the tapes were provided by Aragoncillo from US gov't archives, what are the possible ways he could have passed them on to his Philippine sources?

Personal physical delivery via CD/DVD made during his trip to PI? By emails as attachments? Other ways?

Whichever way or ways, there will be trails that can be followed.

Rizalist said...

Amadeo,
I am not going so far as to suggest the material actually came from Aragoncillo though that is the most tempting possibility. What I know from the accounts here is that Erap had the Garci tapes as early as mid April 2005. So if Aragoncillo gave them to him it would have to have been before this date. But the timeline says he arrived in manila 10 june and stayed till 3 july.

But if Aragoncillo merely TIPPED Ping and Ping tipped Erap off to the EXISTENCE of wiretappings that wouldve been more than enough.

I would think that even if the recordings ended up in US intel, it might still have been COLLECTED by Isafp in the field, as part of a large cooperative surveillance operation, which would have LEGIT purposes, but also contain dynamite like possible conversations.

Karl M. Garcia said...

Only a few months ago I would want to believe the testimony of the ISAFP higher up during the garci hearings that we don't have the equipment.That may be both true and false;we may not have equipo in our inventory but telcos abroad can "lend" them to us.Many suppliers allow us to have trial runs of their equipos, most equipos may not be approved by our budget and defense committees but we may have the "promo" and test equipments.
These may soundd far fetched but...
Our intel guys (AFP)are very capable , they are not only trained in the US but also in the middle East. Our guys have been assigned in the middle east,south asia,central and south america and even Africa and this goes way back.

baycas said...

Conversation between two unidentified male (one believed to be V. Garcillano) on 17 17:28 hotel May 2004

Garcillano: Hello.
Man: Hello sir, good afternoon. Kamusta na ho sir? Kamusta na ho lagay natin?
Garcillano: Mabuti naman. Paki-tape mo nga ngayon para makasiguro tayo kasi ayaw ko yung baka mamaya tayo pa ang malanti eh.

-----

who was that man talking with garci? an able hand of gov. dy? why garci’s instruction to record the conversation (lest they be “malintikan?”)? in that particular conversation, the man talks of giving a “gift” to garci and asks when garci will be available for the “handoff.” at the end, the man said, “o, sige sir, naka-monitor ho ako…

HILLBLOGGER said...

Howdy Dean! How are things over in "great old Pinas"?

Just got back from a tiring but extremely interesting Eastern European trip.

Slovakia, whose govt sponsored the trip, is a microscopic country of five million souls, perhaps poor by western standards but developing fast thanks to their membership in the European Union.

Will write a brief report soon or when I get to master this blasted new PC of my son's (a guest screwed my mac yesterday and have got to have it repaired - can't even access my e-mail from this PC coz I don't know how).

Anyway, a friend who's with a Manila broadsheet rang me while I was in Bratislava to ask me to write a news item re the Bratislava meet but had to turn down his request - I couldn't very well write about nato related matters without proper clearance and I didn't want to go to the trouble of asking since what happens over here can't be of interest to manila.

Re Argoncillo: Firstly, I think we should not buy the baloney that ISAFP ain't got wirtapping equipment; if they deny they have it, they're LYING!

That they used the equipment legally or not is another matter but don't allow them to lead people to believe that they ain't got the materiel.

To me the Argoncillo case is a US problem and I hope Gloria's govt and her cronies like Gonzalez (the dimwitted DOJ chief) won't meddle.

Cheers for now and cya later...

Rizalist said...

Welcome back Hillblogger...we're in for a wild ride now. GMA's gotta shoot the rapids of impeachment again.

Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

DJB, I must be very dense because what I cannot understand is why the Philippines is not protesting the US's spying on the Philippines and the government of Gloria.

The US Intelligence's assessment of the Gloria is based on information they have gathered in the Philippines by means only they know, perhaps even including wiretapping. That in my book is spying. Their acts were divulged by Agoncillo to Erap and now it turns out also to Gloria. So, who committed a crime in the Philippines? Surely, it is not Erap and not even Gloria, but the US who is guilty. How come we are not running after them?

The answer is simply that this government is a master of SPINNING everything to their advantage. Their spin now is against Erap but ironically it is the US who has done something against the Pilipino people that they are covering up by running after Agoncillo, who has done a crime in the US.

If the US can claim a right to spy on us, is it not our right to counterspy?

Rizalist said...

BFR,
I know how you feel but I don't think there is a "right to spy". It can only ever be justified in the name of national self-defense. I think the Aragoncillo matter will mainly hurt Ping. He has many cases in the US that will be affected by this. Plus its time the Dacer slayings be solved.

ricelander said...

On the Philippine Star today is the headline news that Erap had been furnished information of the coup plot against him being hatched by GMA along with some generals through e-mails from Aragoncillo. Also it reports that Erap had knowledge of the coup through the e-mails but ignored it trusting that Orly Mercado and Reyes would stay loyal.

It would be wiser for GMA to keep her trap shut.

Rizalist said...

Very interesting news that, Ricelander.
hahaha, blueprint for WHICH COUP D'ETAT?
I really think that the US State Dept is trying to figure out how to help the Philippines. The US has gotten zilch from GMA really, except for some high flying optics that mainly has benefited her. But they have serious interests here, legitimate interests, and mainly it has to do with those 4 million Filams that are a part of America. Aragoncillo's tour of duty: Japan, Gitmo, Quantico then the White House. I'm at the point of speculating they encouraged him to share some of that. Coz they understand now why we are like this. We cheated 12 million voters out of their president. and that is why the country has gone nowhere under gma. most people just don't give a frig who rules, they feel they have no stake.

Karl M. Garcia said...

Speaking of recent news....the US senate has been noticing GMA lately.Dick Lugar the cut and cut clean guy noticed GMA's inaction on the media killings.

HILLBLOGGER said...

Hello DJB,

The Philstar report is not really news if you come down to the itty gritty of what happened to Estrada. He was made aware that the US DOD and top Washington officials were monitoring his presidency and his person in the strictest sense of monitoring and had made up their mind that he should "go" as early as June 2000 but he chose to ignore this crucial bit of info (or maybe his mental depth couldn't appreciate what was going on!).

Perhaps, Argoncillo who wanted to help Estrada but who apparently coursed classified info through a trusted friend (who happened to be a Gloria ally) really bungled it all up by trusting an double-edged "asset".

Re your speculation that Aragoncillo was encouraged to share the info: It doesn't make sense that Aragoncillo's US handlers could have encouraged him to share some of the info with Estrada because the US was already in the loop re Estrada's SURE impeachment (as sure as the sun rises) by September 2000.

It is likely they encouraged him to do so or continue leaking info (which are not truly sensitive but were classified info by DOD because of the stamp "SECRET" or "CONFIDENTIAL") AFTER the toppling of Estrada because like you said, the US realized that they'd made an ass of themselves by supporting Gloria and wanted to make ammends.

Anyway, back to Erap's unglorious toppling: Gloria got wind of what was going on and by late December 2000 received assurance from American operatives in Pinas that the US wouldn't step in to help Estrada in any manner whatsoever so she and hubby stepped up the drumbeat. The rest is history.

Re Aragoncillo: he is just a poor sod, a sacrificial lamb whose handlers allowed to get caught.

Rizalist said...

HB,
I think the main significance of the Star report is that, if accurate, it is a rebuttal of the widely published claim of the Palace that Aragoncillo was conspiring with Erap and Ping in a plot to oust the Arroyo Regime, and had delivered to them a blue print of the ouster. Now it comes out was that it was a coup against Erap by GMA that he had gotten wind of and told Erap about.

I hate to think someone in the US government is trying to help the Pinoys, but they're just too dense to take advantage of it, somehow.

Cos think: even the US NSA surveillance program was discovered as a result of still unknown whistleblowers from within the intel community. I wonder if the CIA chief who just quit...

Dominique said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dominique said...

From Canada.com:

"According to a schoolboard source, Luc had been eating slowly that day. The lunch monitor warned him that there were only five minutes left to finish his meal. In response, Luc began shovelling food into his mouth, alternating with his spoon and his fork. He dribbled food and the other children laughed."

Remember, Luc: use the fork.

Amadeo said...

Dean:

“Cos think: even the US NSA surveillance program was discovered as a result of still unknown whistleblowers from within the intel community. I wonder if the CIA chief who just quit...”

About two weeks ago, CIA indicted one of its own in connection with the intel leaks in the organization – to the MSM. One Mary O. McCarthy got the ax and she was quite high in the totem pole. She is a partisan hold-over from the Clinton administration. Ex-CIA chief Porter Goss was sent in precisely to clean up the agency, littered with many partisan hold-overs who want to see this administration go down in flames. These splintered groups have been responsible for the many leaks coming out of the agency. Some left the agency and have been quite vocal in their attacks – like Clarke, and Amb. Wilson and wife. One even wrote a book critical of the agency under a pseudonym and while still employed in the agency. Overall, that agency is still in shambles and not quite yet together.

Goss may have been seen as failing in this task and thus was relieved and will be replaced by a military general.

Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

Off-topic. The recent survey dubbed “La Salle and Ateneo at Lahat Na” surprises me with its 94 percent overwhelming consensus that Mrs. Arroyo should go and with 24 saying Erap should go back. La Salle and Ateneo! Wow!

And now it turns out that what Aragoncillo turned over to Alabano, who recruited him and who gave it to Gloria, was the plan to oust Erap. Who should be extradited then?

To Domique: I do not believe the version of your schoolboard source who naturally presented a sanitized account and justification of their action against the Pilipino..
The children of that school and their staff picked on the Pinoy child because he is strange to them. He comes from a different culture, after all. The difference is that in the Philippines, eating with the fork and spoon IS CIVILIZE. What is frowned upon is eating with your hands in high society sit-down dinners. That is a no-no, but eating with the fork and spoon is acceptable. Ironically, there is a high-class restaurant called KAMAYAN where eating with bare hands is the accepted norm. If those school staff were shocked by the use of the fork and spoon, how will they react at Kamayan?

But the child is in Canada and for as long as he stays in that land and that school he should abide by their rules however constricted they are. “Totoy, pagpasensiyahan mo na lang ang mga tinamaan ng magaling na iyan!” But get out of the school because you will not grow there and will risk being as constricted as they are.

HILLBLOGGER said...

Hi Dean,

Gloria may be pint-sized but she sure is one gargantuan smart alec, ain't she?

She will be branded a "hero" for saving 50(?) or so Pinoys from languishing in Saudi jails and for that she will earn the eternal gratitude of the OFW folks.

That's how she bettered 'em US intel operatives/handlers of Argoncillo - by turning the table around against the poor sod through media hype, claiming Estrada and Ping were about to spearhead a coup d'état plot against her a day or two before she left for the US to attend a UN meet. Obviously, Argoncillo's handlers couldn't come out in the open to say that it was the other way around.

Actually, it was the media hyping against Argoncillo that got the poor sod in trouble vis a vis the US judiciary. The info he leaked to his friends were really not that sensitive but they were stamped officially by US govt agencies. Leaking papers which are properly stamped in red is tantamount to espionage and when one is caught doing that, it becomes a crime.

All foreign embassies write memoes, make reports, submit their analyses of the political situation in their host countries. Part and parcel of embassy staff jobs.

We know the US never liked Estrada from day 1; we can surmise that the "political officers" in the US Embassy submitted reports of the brewing plot against Estrada during his second year in office. We do know that as early as June 2000, the US DOD had it from good sources that Estrada was a goner. It wouldn't be wrong to assume that by September 2000, US intel operatives in Pinas had the goods on Estrada, i.e., Gloria and minions in Angie, et al were plotting, plotting seriously to topple Estrada if it came to a head.

We do know that Gloria's allies received full assurances from the US that they wouldn't lift a finger to ward off attempts to unseat Estrada in the same vein they did for Cory (when they sent jets flying over Manila that got em military rebels scurrying for cover).

Estrada got into serious political trouble with the US when the blasted hostage crises just went on and on (in spite of his having been welcomed at the White House by Clinton). True, it was self-confessed criminal Singson's singing that put the icing on the cake but Estrada's goose was already cooked as far as the US was concerned.

Like you, I believe that Argoncillo's handlers in the US DOD and State Dept were not happy with the way Gloria turned out to be with her bungling of the Iraq "pull out" issue and a couple of other sensitive issues. Negroponte must be in the know!

Gloria is so goddamn lucky that Bush is stretched thin today, otherwise, she should be getting it in the neck. Unfortunately, the Argoncillo caper became front page news and has become a Gloria shield.

However, her luck will run out but seriously, we must pull that "luck" from under her feet -
those that are still gullible to Gloria's "charm offensives" must be told to wake up and join the anti-Arroyo forces. The US can't provide help tangibly unless Pinoy folks do something themselves.

What really strikes me as so very odd is how a good thinking person, people, groups could continue to support a government led by a self-confessed election cheat, liar and thieve, one whose government continues to promulgate lawlessness!

Rizalist said...

You know what was amazing it's the PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER that has been leading on the spin about Aragoncillo. They published an article by a Thea Alberto hours after the plea which had a full blown story line about that coup against GMA. Now this morning there was an article in the Star of all places saying ARagoncillo had informed ERAP of a coup against him in 2001. Why did such a correction come out so quickly from the US? I don't think they consider Erap a real threat to come back and ought to be looking at the alternatives. She's driving the country off a cliff. They'll have to clean up whatever mess she leaves anyway. May as well pre-empt a catastrophe.

HILLBLOGGER said...

Dean,

I don't think it is pure speculation to say that the US are pretty darn sure that Estrada has very, very slim chance of getting back the presidency whether reinstated or otherwise.

Actually, I'm quite at a loss as to why they're bungling up in Pinas (I mean their intel operatives and assets)big time. Something is wrong Stateside. Wonder if Amadeo's observation is not closer to the truth (mess in the CIA, etc.)...

Anyway, as far as PDI is concerned, they're simply blabbermouthing but Philstar ain't just blabbermouthing. When Max Soliven said "leave the Argoncillo case to the US" or something to that effect, he wasn't speaking through his nose. Max is one newspaper man who can boast of having "access" to sensitive information. He himself knew in mid-2000 or thereabouts that something concerning Estrada was afoot. I'm inclined to believe that the Philstar report(as you noticed yourself) has factual basis. Max's alikabok ain't a sleeping mole. He's real!

Rizalist said...

HB, Amadeo, You've got a good point about the mess in the CIA and intel in general over there. I guess I was very curious about the fact that it was US Immigration that put the FBI on Aragoncillo's trail, after he seemed to be too curious about Michael Ray Aquino's arrest. The report at CIC says this caused the FBI to "do an audit on his computer usage," and thus discovered the unauthorized downloads.

Hmmm. It's that messed up in the Intel community?

HB -- Who Alikabok? I thought he was more like Rizalist...

Marcus Aurelius said...

Our intelligence is messed up.

Porter Goss just resigned from heading up the CIA and it is unclear exactly why. Strong & persistent rumors have him being pushed out. The man tapped by President Bush is experiencing fairly broad opposition due to his military & NSA background.

If you are getting dazed and confused the reporting on the Aragoncillo case in the Philippines we are in the opposite extreme here in the states. I barely picked up on his guilty plea, it was mentioned on the front page in the Wall Street Journal and then only as a bullet point item.

It seems there is an awful strong corelation between the timeline on the Aragoncillo case and the situation in the Philippines with the unrest in the last couple of years. It is no secret to whom the info. Leandro was digging up was going to, since Erap has made a
point of admitting it.

It could very well be the Hello Garci conversation was picked up by my government and delivered to Erap via the Aragoncillo-Aquino pipeline.

The big question in my head relates to the unidicted conspirators. Two that I recall most vividly Are Erap & Lacson. If the leak and the consequences keep themselves in the Philippines then I think the co-conspirators remain unindicted otherwise those (there were a total of 3 IIRC) unindicted 3 could find themselves indicted with extradition requests following.

I don't think those requests can be honored by PGMA since if her government has been unable to get Erap's trial going in the first place how are they going to hand him over in the first place? I guess the same can be said about the other two.

BTW I have blogged upon the subject at Blogger Beer its off of my front page now.

FYI, I have been living mostly out of a Madison hotel of late due to work. I hates it but I am in no position to be picky over work assignments of late.

Marcus Aurelius said...

Our intelligence is messed up.

Porter Goss just resigned from heading up the CIA and it is unclear exactly why. Strong & persistent rumors have him being pushed out. The man tapped by President Bush is experiencing fairly broad opposition due to his military & NSA background.

If you are getting dazed and confused the reporting on the Aragoncillo case in the Philippines we are in the opposite extreme here in the states. I barely picked up on his guilty plea, it was mentioned on the front page in the Wall Street Journal and then only as a bullet point item.

It seems there is an awful strong corelation between the timeline on the Aragoncillo case and the situation in the Philippines with the unrest in the last couple of years. It is no secret to whom the info. Leandro was digging up was going to, since Erap has made a
point of admitting it.

It could very well be the Hello Garci conversation was picked up by my government and delivered to Erap via the Aragoncillo-Aquino pipeline.

The big question in my head relates to the unidicted conspirators. Two that I recall most vividly Are Erap & Lacson. If the leak and the consequences keep themselves in the Philippines then I think the co-conspirators remain unindicted otherwise those (there were a total of 3 IIRC) unindicted 3 could find themselves indicted with extradition requests following.

I don't think those requests can be honored by PGMA since if her government has been unable to get Erap's trial going in the first place how are they going to hand him over in the first place? I guess the same can be said about the other two.

BTW I have blogged upon the subject at Blogger Beer its off of my front page now.

FYI, I have been living mostly out of a Madison hotel of late due to work. I hates it but I am in no position to be picky over work assignments of late.