PS. I just want to take a moment to publicly thank all of the contractors, as well as the military, intelligence, and private military personnel who have graciously shared their knowledge and experience with me over the years. Their information has helped me to better understand the incredibly complex world that men (and women) like Kirk von Ackermann work in.
While working for Ultra Services of Istanbul Turkey, an American contractor and former intelligence officer, Kirk von Ackermann, disappeared on an isolated road in Iraq on October 9, 2003. He remains the longest missing American in Iraq today.
This blog is loaded with over 7 years of research about the incident as well as the murder of his colleague, Ryan Manelick, who died in December 2003. My own personal belief is that von Ackermann was killed because he was mistaken for John Dawkins who was for all intents and purposes part owner of Ultra Services.
At one point, I discussed the case with one of Kirk von Ackermann's former colleagues and shared my thoughts but for some reason, the scenario I outlined seemed like too much of a stretch. Which is a kind of twisted irony - even in death - Kirk von Ackermann just remains too far outside the socially acceptable, just like the scenarios he once imagined as an intelligence officer.
Jeffrey Kaye continues lifting the veil on 9-11 intelligence failures with a new article at Truthout. The end of the article reviews some of what is known in public about Kirk von Ackermann.
I should probably just go on record and reveal that I first learned of the Asymmetric Threat Division - by name - back in 2005. I was under the impression the name of the group was classified and thus never revealed it. I was also once told that Kirk von Ackermann was possibly one of the finest intelligence officers to work for the DoD in the last century. He was said to have had an incredible talent for connecting seemingly unrelated details. I was told his work saved lives - literally.
EXCLUSIVE: New Documents Claim Intelligence on Bin Laden, al-Qaeda Targets Withheld From Congress' 9/11 ProbeThe last page of the FOIA Response - which quotes IRONMAN - holds particular interest for this blog.
By Jeffrey Kaye and Jason Leopold, Truthout, June 13, 2011
Attachment - Unclassified FOIA Response
(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 analysis, especially the target analysis, should be reviewed and, if possible, declassified. I have been falsely accused of revealing classified information on 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 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.
One Missing, One Dead: An Iraq Contractor in the Fog of WarThe US Army CID did the best investigation they could with the information available to them. But they were horribly lead astray by working with the assumption that Kirk von Ackermann disappeared from where his vehicle was found. Von Ackermann's military experience - especially as detailed in the Unclassified FOIA Response - makes clear the events of that day were well outside his norm of behavior.
By Susie Dow, ePluribus Media, May 12, 2006
NSA audio recordings
On October 8, 2003, the day before he disappeared, Kirk von Ackermann called his wife in the United States from Iraq. He left a short message on their home answering machine.
The following day, October 9, just minutes before he 'disappeared', von Ackermann using his satellite phone reportedly called the cell phone of an Iraqi employee and requested help with a bad tire. Several minutes later, a passing patrol reported an abandoned vehicle just several miles down the road from a manned checkpoint. The Iraqi employee arrived approximately 45 minutes later.
It is my belief that an impostor placed that satellite call to the Iraqi employee - who due to limited language skills with English would be unable to tell the difference between two English speaking men's voices.
NSA has audio files of satellite phone calls originating in Iraq during this time period and is in a position to facilitate an analysis to see if in fact the male who placed the call to the Iraqi employee was Kirk von Ackermann. It defies any and all logic that Kirk von Ackermann deliberately drove alone with a bad tire - and without a translator - on a journey of over 165 miles through Iraq, with 7 of those miles on an isolated ridge he had previously identified as the most dangerous part of the journey between Tikrit and Kirkuk.
Perhaps investigators will finally get around to treating the disappearance of Kirk von Ackermann as the unsolved murder that it is.
DoD Whistleblower: Documents Show Intel Withheld from 9/11 Congressional Investigators - author discussion and commentary of the Truthout article
By Jeff Kaye, FireDogLake, June 13, 2011
Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001
Report of the joint inquiry motivated IRON MAN's formal complaint, that JFIC withheld intelligence from congress
S. Rept. 107-351 and H. Rept. 107-792
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
U.S. Government Printing Office
And because no one clicks on links anymore....
Dual LivesAfter Y2K, Kirk became more and more consumed by the counter-terrorism world. He was read into higher and higher clearances, learned more and more about the largest threats to the US and her allies. Specifically he became deeply aware of Osama Bin Ladin and his organization.
Kirk was involved with designing readiness excercises - scenarios to be used by various units as they tested their skills. He proposed that a small boat filled with explosives be used as a weapon against a large warship - and was told it was an unrealistic idea. This was, of course, well prior to the USS Cole attack.
He also, along with his team, not only suggested that a commercial jet could be used as a terrorist weapon, but predicted the most likely targets that would be chosen. Again, he was ignored, and sometimes laughed at.
By Megan von Ackermann, Missing in Iraq, September 5, 2006
One afternoon we were driving up the highway outside of Langley. I was reading a magazine - the Smithsonian I think - and I was chatting to Kirk about an article discussing the greatest achievement of modern medicine: the successful campaign against smallpox. Wasn't it amazing, I said, the way the WHO had managed it, wasn't it wonderful that the world was safe now from a disease that had been a deadly threat for thousands of years. Very quietly, his hands stiff on the wheel, he said 'it's not gone.'Now tell me that same man, Kirk von Ackermann, chose to deliberately drive alone in an SUV with a bad tire over 165 miles without a translator most of it through Saddam Hussein's tribal area. Didn't happen.....
Just that. But I knew - I knew that not only did he know that more than one country had kept live samples of the virus, he knew intimately the infection rate, the symptoms, the horrific scarring that those lucky enough to survive would suffer. He knew how it could be weaponized, had thought about delivery systems, had worked through countless scenarios in which various populations were targeted and infected.
And gradually I realized that he was living like that constantly. Everywhere we went, there was part of him looking around and evaluating targets, thinking about blast zones, considering mortality rates, political value, public reaction.