Kirk von Ackermann

Americans Missing in Iraq and 9/11

The longest missing American in Iraq is a contractor by the name of Kirk von Ackermann. Von Ackermann was a former counter terrorism officer, who served in the Asymmetric Threat Division, or DO5, at Joint Forces Command while in the US Air Force. In August of 2003, he went to Turkey to work for a logistics company serving US military bases in the Tikrit region of Iraq. Several hours after a meeting at a base outside of Balad, Iraq, his vehicle was found abandoned on an isolated road between Tikrit and Kirkuk.

The eight year anniversary of his disappearance is next month, on October 9. He left behind a wife and three young children. At the time, they were preparing to move to Turkey.

Kirk von Ackermann's former intelligence unit, DO5, is in the news today.

New Documents Suggest DoD Watchdog Covered Up Intelligence Unit's Work Tracking 9/11 Terrorists
By Jeffrey Kaye and Jason Leopold
Truthout, September 9, 2011

Was the failure to protect Americans on 9/11 the result of sexism?

I honestly don't know the answer. But I have this awful gnawing feeling in my gut that in some small way, it might have been a factor.

Let's hope I'm wrong.

To recap - an unidentified intelligence officer filed a complaint with the Department of Defense Inspector General for Intelligence alleging that the Joint Forces Intelligence Command withheld information from Congress during its investigation of intelligence failures on 9/11.

In his May 8, 2006, Formal Complaint to DoD Inspector General [1], the unidentified intelligence officer known only as IRON MAN wrote:

(U) Contrary to JFIC's formal report to the JCS staff, JFIC had a direct and assigned purview on international terrorism against the U.S., to include the operations of al-Qa'ida and the 9/11 attackers. JFIC was directly responsible to both Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) and its subordinate, Joint Task Force-Civil Support (JTF-CS) for all-source intelligence analysis of internationai terrorism against the U.S. To ensure the quality of such analysis,  JFlC's commanding officer [redacted] established the Asymmetric Threat Branch (DO5), charged with reporting on asymmetric threats, especially terrorism. [redacted] was subsequently promoted to JFCOM J2. As a RADM and PACOM J2, she established another Asymmetric Threat branch at PACOM.)

It is my belief that the commanding officer described above is Rear Admiral (retired) Rosanne M. LeVitre, US Navy.

Who shut down the Asymmetric Threat Division at JFIC before 9-11?

Cross posted at the Missing Man

Reviewing the two recent articles over at Truth Out about the shut down on an intelligence program within Joint Forces Intelligence Command and withholding information to Congress about 9/11.

Thinking a bit out loud here and feeling my way around it all. I'm trying to figure out where the pressure was coming from.

Review of Joint Forces Intelligence Command Response to 9/11 Commission PDF
Deputy Inspector General for Intelligence
September 23, 2008


(U) JFIC's Asymmetric Threat Division (DO5)

 

(U) In 1999, the [Joint Forces Intelligence Command]created the Asymmetric Threat Division (DO5) to take a non-traditional approach to analysis. The Director of Operations recruited JFIC personnel from the command based upon their counterintelligence and counterterrorism expertise. The DO5 provided current intelligence briefings and produced the Worldwide Terrorist Threat Summary in support of the USJFCOM Intelligence staff. The DO5 also provided support to the Joint Task Force-Civil Support (JTF-CS). The JTF-CS assisted civil authorities with disaster assistance. The DO5 supported the JTF-CS exercises by establishing fictional terrorist organizations that would mimic real world terrorist groups.

 

Anyway, what I am trying to understand is this: why were commanding officers so opposed to the Asymmetric Threat Division's intelligence analysis regarding al Qaeda? Just what the heck was going on over there - was it a Navy thing or was there more to it than that?

Truthout - New Documents Claim Intelligence Withheld From Congress' 9/11 Probe

Jeffrey Kaye continues lifting the veil on 9-11 intelligence failures with a new article at Truthout. The Unclassified FOIA Response attached to the article is an absolute must read. The FOIA Response was the result of a 2006 complaint to the DoD Inspector General filed by a former intelligence officer known only as IRONMAN.

EXCLUSIVE: New Documents Claim Intelligence on Bin Laden, al-Qaeda Targets Withheld From Congress' 9/11 Probe
By Jeffrey Kaye and Jason Leopold, Truthout, June 13, 2011
Attachments - Unclassified FOIA Response

The last page of the FOIA Response holds particular interest for me.

(U) [unclassified] My motivation for this complaint is multi-faceted. I do believe that knowledge of the work done by DO5 would add to DoD's understanding of its role in the events leading up to 9/11 and how to avoid future attacks. For this reason, and other more personal reasons, I believe that DO5's work, when I am certain that that information is not and has not been classified since 9/11, and I do want to see myself cleared of that false accusation. In addition, I and the deputy of that team, [redacted] especially carried the burden of knowledge of how close DoD came to bin Laden and perhaps being able to reduce the number of lives lost on 9/11. I do not want that burden any longer. [redacted] [redacted] and I discussed this issue the last time we spoke. He remains the longest missing man in Iraq in this war, and I want, one day, to be able to explain to his children what their father foresaw.

The former deputy of the Asymmetric threat Division and still the longest missing man in Iraq is Kirk von Ackermann. The complicated and contentious history of the company he worked for in Iraq, Ultra Services, was featured in a 2006 article at ePluribus Media.

Intelligence Breakdown: The Controversy Surrounding pre-9/11 Orders to Stop Tracking bin Laden

An interesting story recently appeared on Truthout, titled Report: Intelligence Unit Told Before 9/11 to Stop Tracking Bin Laden. Specifically, the story by Jeffrey Kaye intimates that

Ques­tions about what in­tel­lig­ence agen­cies knew or didn't know about al-Qaeda ac­tivit­ies go back some years, most pro­minent­ly in the con­trover­sy over the ex­ist­ence of a joint US Speci­al For­ces Com­mand and De­fen­se In­tel­lig­ence Agen­cy (DIA) data min­ing ef­fort known as "Able Dang­er."

What hasn't been dis­cus­sed is a Sep­temb­er 2008 De­part­ment of De­fen­se (DoD) in­spec­tor gener­al (IG) re­port, sum­mariz­ing an in­ves­tiga­tion made in re­spon­se to an ac­cusa­tion by a Joint For­ces In­tel­lig­ence Com­mand (JFIC) whistleb­low­er, which in­dicated that a sen­ior JFIC com­mand­er had hal­ted ac­tions track­ing Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11.

Here's where the story gets interesting:

Earlier this year, a blogger, Susie Dow, who has been following the story of Kirk von Ackermann , a US Army contractor in Iraq who disappeared on the road between Tikrit and Kirkuk in October 2003, asserted that von Ackermann had earlier belonged to JFIC's Asymmetric Threat Division.

According to Truthout, the Asymmetric Threat Division was known within the Department of Defense primarily by its DoD designation, DO5.

The Truthout piece also goes on to mention Susie's work with ePluribus Media, specifically the piece she wrote, with Stephen Reich, entitled One Missing, One Dead; An Iraq Contractor in the Fog of War.

The potential implications are damning.

Susie Dow has also recently posted about the Truthout piece, now front-paged here. Check it out.

 

Truthout - Intelligence Unit Told Before 9/11 to Stop Tracking Bin Laden

A slight detour from what I had originally intended to post today.

Regular readers know that for years now I've been following the story of the 2003 disappearance of a contractor in Iraq, Kirk von Ackermann. In a strange twist, the Department of Defense recently released a report about the joint forces counter terrorism division he worked with. Truthout has released an article about that report.

Report: Intelligence Unit Told Before 9/11 to Stop Tracking Bin Laden
By Jeffrey Kaye, Truthout, May 23, 2011

Tracking Bin Laden had been undertaken by a secret unit within the JFIC, the Asymmetric Threats Division, formed in 1999 "to take a non-traditional approach to analysis." Known by its DoD acronym, DO5, it was tasked with providing "current intelligence briefings and produced the Worldwide Terrorist Threat Summary in support of the USJFCOM Intelligence staff [J2]." Almost no public source material exists on DO5 activities, except what is in the IG report.

Based on 7+ years of research, I can with 100% confidence say that the above Asymmetric Threats Division, is the same division that Capt. Kirk von Ackermann USAF was assigned to. (I've provided some of the background research as to why on my blog - including two scans of Capt. Kirk von Ackermann's JFIC awards See: Counter Terrorism and JFIC, By Susie Dow, Missing Man, May 6, 2011).

Americans Missing in Iraq as of August 2010


Cross posted at the Missing Man

There are currently 7 American men publicly known to be missing in Iraq. Those men are:

Kirk von Ackermann
Timothy E. Bell
Aban Abdel Malek Mahmoud Elias (also Aban Elias)
Radim Sadeq Mohammed Sadeq (also Dean Sadek)
Jeffrey Ake
Spc. Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie (also Ahmed K. Altaie)
Maj. Troy L. Gilbert (deceased)

Based on news reports, as many as an additional 10 Americans may also be missing. Attached below is a chart showing the incident date, name and status of those Americans known to be missing and/or held hostage in Iraq in table format.