Bob Baer is a Gullible Fool
It seems that former CIA agent Bob Baer has authored a really stupid book about Iran, which is not surprising since he has a tendency for being really stupid. At least that’s what some former associates of mine who had worked at close quarters with him thought of Baer: he was an object of ridicule among INC folk.
But he’s managed to make a name for himself as some sort of grand strategist for the Middle East. I didn’t mind when his books bad-mouthed the Saudis, but now that his new book ‘The Devil We Know’ is all about sweet-talking the Iranians, then I feel it is time to relate a Bob Baer anecdote that I had kept to myself and that, at least in my eyes, exposes Baer for the light-weight and unprincipled blowhard that he is.
Back in 2000 or 2001, before Baer got his first book published, and when he was still an unemployable and disgruntled ex-spook with an aversion to showers, razor blades and human contact, a through-and-through mercenary for the Saddam regime by the name of Ali Ballout, a Lebanese Shia ‘propagandist’ and one-time resident of Paris, figured out a new way to get paid: he would start a Middle East consultancy based in Washington DC, whose public façade would be a website called ‘East West Record,’ to lobby on Saddam’s behalf among America’s politicians and bureaucrats.
‘East West Record’ would be registered under the name of Ali Ballout’s wife, Samia Baalbaki, and would hire his daughter Rana as its ‘Beirut Correspondent’. A cursory Nexis-Lexis search would have churned out press reports, in English, going back to the late 1970s that pegged Ballout as an agent for Saddam’s mukhaberat, or intelligence service.
So it wouldn’t have taken a CIA-trained super-spy to discover that Ballout was on Saddam’s payroll, since anyone rummaging through the public record would have been able to figure that one out easily.
To cut a long story short, ‘East West Record’ listed a Washington phone number.
So guess who was working as Ballout’s receptionist? Why, it was none other than Mr. Bob Baer!
Baer allegedly wrote up many analysis reports for the paying patrons of East West Record’s consultancy services. I wonder if he knew whether or not Saddam’s spies could have been perusing his reports; I wonder if he was gullible enough to ever believe that Mr. Ballout had changed his spots and gone legit.
It seemed that Baer only worked for Ballout for a couple of months, and then went on to publish his first book. East West Record petered out as suspicion over its associations grew in DC.
It later transpired, when Saddam’s secret archives were searched, that Mr. Ballout received plenty of those notorious ‘oil coupons’ that Saddam had been using to compensate his minions and those doing his bidding overseas.
I’d really like Bob Baer to come out and deny all of this, but I’d just like to let him know that only idiots give out their real names over the phone when prompted to.
So why would it be that anyone would take the word of a washed-up spy who fell so low so as to accept a paycheck from one of his country’s most horrendous enemies is beyond me. Did I mention that Baer is now saying that America should negotiate with Iran and learn to live with, and grow to love, an Iranian nuclear bomb?
Isn’t that what Obama is saying too? I wonder if Obama’s been benefiting from Baer’s consultancy services as of late…
Oh, I forgot to let you know why I got on this whole Bob Baer thing in the first place: read the excellent column, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Triumpth, by the excellent WSJ columnist Bret Stephens.