Well, it\’s a start

July 31, 2003 at 6:29 am
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

The
Bush administration has finally started to show that it’s not invulnerable to
criticism. In what must be the fastest about-face in the history of defense
policy, the futures market in terrorism that made media coverage on Tuesday, was
cancelled by Wednesday. Not only that, but Adm. Poindexter is resigning from his
work with the Defense Dept.:

http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/07/31/poindexter.resigns/index.html
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&ncid=578&e=3&u=/nm/20030731/ts_nm/security_poindexter_dc 

 

At the same time, we were treated to two stunningly contradictory
announcements from the White House: one, that we’re raising the terror alert
level because we’re concerned that there will be some new aircraft-based
attacks, and two, that we’re cancelling air marshals on international and
transnational flights because we can’t afford it in our $450 Billion
defense budget. That one was reversed within in a stunning 24 hours! http://www.msnbc.com/news/945774.asp?vts=072920032155

 

Not
only that, a small portion of the Patriot Act has been overturned by a House
amendment, and the much-feared Patriot Act II has been declared dead! http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2001313042_patriot30.html

 

And
best of all, during his first (robotic, stumbling) solo press conference since
the war in Iraq, our courageous Commander in Chief has finally owned up to his
personal responsibility in the Niger uranium fraud flap: http://www.ctnow.com/news/custom/newsat3/sns-ap-bush,0,441725.story?coll=hc-headlines-newsat3

See http://slate.msn.com/id/2086431/ for
some interesting Leftist commentary on the press conference.

 

Truly,
an amazing week of reversals of some of the onerous actions of this
administration. I’m heartened to see some actual journalism and criticism
finally making it to the fore. Although the major media still demonstrate that
they only have the courage to run out and shoot the wounded, well, it’s a start.

 

And
now a word from our sponsor [emph. added]:


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(Riddle/Willis), “The Untouchables”, November 1988, Broadway The Hard
Way
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–C


 


Faith-Based Intelligence: The Office of Special Plans, Uranium Fraud and Neocon Arrogance

July 29, 2003 at 12:05 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,

This
is the best one yet about the fraud that brought us into the war on Iraq, by a
Tufts University professor who ties the facts together quite skillfully. From
the Niger uranium fraud (how many people have claimed responsibility for that
one now? Three? That is, anyone else other than our brave and honorable
Commander in Chief?), to the Office of Special Plans, to Dick Cheney influencing
the CIA behind the scenes, to the false allegations about supposed key players
of al-Qaeda, the attempt to link 9-11 to Iraq, and finally the neo-con agenda as
a whole, and their utter contempt for anyone who doesn’t see things their way.
It’s a fine read. I highly recommend it.

Meanwhile, the Administration has decided to risk enormous political
capital by blanking out 28 pages of the long-awaited 9-11 report, in order to
protect…whom? We assume it’s the Saudis, but we don’t really know,
do we? (http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N26391540.htm )

We know this administration thinks we’re all too dumb to understand the
real reasons behind our alliances and actions in the Mid East, so they feed us
this *censored*-and-bull about “liberating the oppressed” and making the world safe
from (anybody else’s) WMD. But do they really think we don’t need to
know–indeed, deserve to know–the truth about 9-11, or do they believe that we
can’t handle the truth? Do they really think that, finally, their dismissal of
world opinion and domestic dissent over the last two years wouldn’t come back to
haunt them? Do they really believe that their stream of deceptions and
manipulations will just be forgotten? Do they really think we’re so stupid that
we won’t care about the 28 pages? 33 years later, we’re still discovering the
truth about another reckless Republican cabal who cynically thought they could
get away with deceiving the public, picking fall guys, and doing what they damn
well liked…yet those 18 1/2 minutes are still very much of interest, and Nixon
is finally getting his due (http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-07-27-watergate_x.htm).

–C


July 26,
2003


Faith-Based Intelligence
The Office of Special
Plans, the Niger Uranium Fraud and Neocon Arrogance

By GARY LEUPP



THE “FAITH-BASED” APPROACH


The
scandal over the Niger uranium intelligence, dismissed wishfully by high ranking
Republicans in the House and Senate as a fuss about “a flaw here or there,” or
“nothing but an absurd, media-driven, diversionary tactic,” is in fact just one
fragment of a much broader Intel-gate scandal. That scandal is succinctly summed
up by Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the private Arms Control
Association: “the administration made its case for going to war by
misrepresenting intelligence findings as well as citing discredited intelligence
information.” Greg Thielmann, who worked until last fall as a proliferation
expert in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, explains,
“This administration has had a faith-based intelligence attitude: ‘We know the
answers, give us the intelligence to support those answers.'” Vincent
Cannistraro, former head of anti-terrorism operations and analysis at the CIA.,
says the neocon “cabal” leading the administration has “never been able to
coalesce as they have now. September 11th gave them the opportunity, and now
they’re in heaven. They believe the intelligence [justifying war on Iraq] is
there. They want to believe it. It has to be there.”


They wanted to believe (and more importantly wanted us
to believe) that Saddam was hunting for uranium in Africa. So Bush told us
that, indeed, Saddam definitely was. They wanted to believe that the high
strength aluminum tubes apprehended en route to Iraq last year, which IAEA as
well as the U.S. State and Energy Departments say are intended to build launch
tubes for artillery rockets, were “only really suited for nuclear weapons
programs, centrifuge programs,” as Condoleezza Rice put it last September. They
wanted us to accept specific allegations, not yet proven during three months of
occupation, such as: Iraq “has stocked at least 100 metric tons, and possibly as
much as 500 metric tons” of chemical agents “much of it added in the last
year.”


The neocons wanted us to be terrorized by the threat of
Iraq, to associate Iraq with terrorist groups, and to view war with Iraq not as
a distraction from the war on terrorism focused on al-Qaeda but as part
and parcel of an endless terror war waged against disparate objects. Thus we
were advised that the Boeing 707 and Tupolev 154 fuselages at Salman Pak, which
the Iraqi’s describe as an anti-terrorism training base, were used for
training terrorists (including al-Qaeda) in hijacking. The most egregious piece
of disinformation circulated by the administration was that al-Qaeda and Saddam
Hussein were in cahoots. An intimate operational connection was highly unlikely,
and the Bush charge immediately raised the eyebrows of Middle East scholars
aware of the historical mutual hatred between the fundamentalist terrorist group
and the secular Baathist state. But (banking on ignorance and anti-Arab racism),
the neocons were able to blur the distinction between the two and, as Rice put
it, “exploit new opportunities” to implement longstanding plans for regime
change in Iraq. If there’s to be a thorough investigation into the “faith-based
intelligence” that produced the current quagmire, it should focus on the effort,
underway within hours of the Sept. 11 attacks, to link bin Laden and Saddam, to
thus prepare the country for war on Iraq.


They wanted us to believe that, as Rumsfeld told the press
in the summer of 2002, “There are al-Qaeda in a number of locations in Iraq,”
the implication being that they were there enjoying Saddam’s hospitality. Iraq
has “clear ties to terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda,” Powell told world
leaders in Switzerland last January.


They wanted us to believe that Ansar al-Islam, a group of
hundreds of Kurds and Arabs controlling several villages in northern Iraq and
accused of al-Qaeda links, was operating with Saddam’s blessing. (But it
operated in a Kurdish-controlled zone, where it skirmished with U.S.-backed
Kurdish forces. Tariq Aziz claimed that Baghdad had actually provided weapons to
the latter for use against Ansar al-Islam.) They wanted us to believe that Ansar
with Saddam’s blessing was producing chemical weapons; the obliterated sites of
the group’s activity provide no evidence for that.


They asked us to believe that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (who
heads a group called Jund al-Shams, or Soldiers of the Levant, which operates in
Syria and Jordan; who is accused of masterminding the assassination of a U.S.
diplomat in Jordan last October; and who specializes in chemical and biological
terrorism) is a ranking al-Qaeda working with Saddam’s regime. But as one
exasperated U.S. intelligence source told The
Age
, “the intelligence is practically
non-existent It is impossible to support the bald conclusions being made by the
White House and the Pentagon given the poor quantity and quality of the
intelligence available. There is uproar within the intelligence community on all
of these points, but the Bush White House has quashed dissent and written out
those analysts who don’t agree with their views.”


Zarqawi received medical treatment (a leg amputation) in a
Baghdad hospital in 2002 after fleeing Afghanistan via Iran (from which he may
have been expelled), and then apparently disappeared by August. His presence in
Iraq is known because of intercepted phone calls to his family in Jordan, which
give no indication that the Saddam regime knew of his presence or was providing
him any support. U.S. intelligence sources in fact downplay his importance to
the al-Qaeda network; in February the New York Times quoted unnamed
administration officials as saying many in the FBI and CIA were upset about the
way Zarqawi’s ties to Baghdad were being played up to bolster the case for war.
Meanwhile Colin Powell in his second speech to the United Nations Security
Council called Zarqawi a “deadly terrorist.” He referred to “Al-Qaeda
affiliates, [which] based in Baghdad, now coordinate the movement of people,
money and supplies into and throughout Iraq for [Zarqawi’s] network, and they’ve
now been operating freely in the capital for more than eight months.”


In his May 1 speech declaring victory in Iraq, Bush
described Iraq as an “ally” of al-Qaeda. Fortunately more and more politicians
and journalists say otherwise: “There was and is no evidence,” declares Sen.
Edward Kennedy, “that Saddam was conspiring with al-Qaeda.” And on the WMDs: “It
appears,” says John W.
Dean
, “that not only the Niger uranium hoax, but most everything else that
Bush said about Saddam Hussein’s weapons was false, fabricated, exaggerated, or
phony.”


The fact is sinking in: They lied to us. How many
people are now thinking: We were willing to support attacking Iraq as a way of
getting even with the 9-11 terrorists, and to defend ourselves. Turns out Iraq
was no threat, and it’s not connected to al-Qaeda anyway. The people just want
us out of their country, and we’re losing another soldier every day trying to
keep the peace, but we don’t have enough troops in there, and the GIs hate it
there and want to come home, the world doesn’t want to help us because they
opposed the war and don’t agree with the occupation… Why do we have to be
there anyway?


While hoping for the day when Donald Rumsfeld, under oath,
explains whether he really believes in the Iraq-al Qaeda connection, I am
in the meantime trying to grasp the flow of events involving this lesser if
still pretty damning affair of the Niger letters, and understand it in context.
What follows is a chronology based upon numerous internet sources, indicating
the key players who constructed the argument for war, and suggesting that
several neocons in the Defense Department, Vice President’s office, and the
White House (Abram Shulsky, Robert G. Joseph, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby , Stephen
Hadley) are worth particular attention.


 


THE NIGER LETTERS


According to some, the Iraqi ambassador to the Holy See
(or to Italy) visited a number of African countries, including Niger, in 1999.
Others speak of an “Iraqi trade delegation” to Niger, which might be a confused
reference to the ambassador’s visit. Thereafter Italian intelligence
investigated the trip to insure that Iraq was not seeking enriched uranium from
Niger. (Given that Niger receives 65% of its export income from uranium ore,
reference to that product might well have entered any talks about trade, formal
or informal, between Niger and Iraq. But when Iraq had an active nuclear weapons
program, up to 1991, it used Iraqi uranium.)


In January 2001, someone broke into Niger’s embassy in
Rome, stealing some items of value and ransacking the office. Italian officials
speculate that the burglars may have sought letterhead stationary and seals to
forge documents. Six months later, the Italian intelligence service SISME
obtained a stack of official-looking documents from an African diplomat. These
included the Niger uranium letters. According to some accounts, the Italians
sent summaries of their content to London and Washington in the fall of 2002,
but Rome denies that it acquired such letters during its investigation or passed
any on to other countries. Italian journalist Elisabetta Burba, who writes for
the news weekly Panorama, said that she acquired the letters from a
source in the Italian intelligence community and passed them to the U.S. embassy
in October 2002. Newsweek reports the ambassador “tossed them out, rather
than send them to [CIA] analysts at Langley,” but the Washington Post
says that by October 19 copies had been distributed to intelligence
officials. Another report states that Britain’s MI6 passed information about the
letters (or copies) to Vice President Cheney’s office. (A congressional
intelligence-committee staff member told Seymour Hersh that “the Brits”
initially “placed more stock in them than we did.”) This would have been months
before Burba’s visit to the U.S. embassy; Cheney’s Chief of Staff Lewis Libby
told Time, “The Vice President heard about the possibility of Iraq trying
to acquire uranium from Niger in February 2002. As part of his regular
intelligence briefing, the Vice President asked a question about the implication
of the report.” We must assume the administration had knowledge of the documents
by this time.

One of the letters purports to document a deal in 2000
between Niger and Iraq whereby the former would supply 500 tons of uranium
oxide. Analysts at the Department of Energy and the State Department’s Bureau of
Intelligence and Research raised questions at some point about the documents’
authenticity. By early 2002 U.S. Ambassador to Niger Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick
was asked about Iraq-Niger uranium trade; she informed Washington that there was
no basis to suspect any link. Then Cheney’s office decided to investigate the
letters’ substance. Former U.S. ambassador to Gabon, Joseph C. Wilson (a man of
exceptionally distinguished diplomatic career), was (in his words) “invited out
to meet with a group of people at the CIA who were interested in this subject”
and agreed to investigate the content of the documents, which he had not seen.
He left for Niger in February, and made an oral report in March. “Although I did
not file a written report,” Wilson declares, “there should be at least four
documents in U.S. government archives confirming my mission. The documents
should include the ambassador’s report of my debriefing in Niamey [capital of
Niger], a separate report written by the embassy staff, a CIA report summing up
my trip, and a specific answer from the agency to the office of the vice
president (this may have been delivered orally).” One must imagine that they
came to Libby’s attention. The documents’ gist is: there was no evidence that
Iraq was trying to acquire uranium from Niger.


Meanwhile, during the same month, a four-star U.S.
general, Marine Gen. Carlton W. Fulford Jr., deputy commander of the U-S
European Command (the headquarters responsible for military relations with most
of sub-Saharan Africa) also visited Niger at the request of the U.S. ambassador.
He met with Niger’s president February 24 and emphasized the importance of tight
controls over its uranium ore deposits. According to MSNBC, he also visited the
country two months later. This year, Fulford told the Washington Post
that he had come away convinced that Niger’s uranium stocks were secure. His
report went to European Command Commander, General Joseph Ralston, who passed it
along to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers. The
Post reports that “it is unclear whether they reached officials in the
White House.”


OFFICE OF SPECIAL PLANS


As of summer 2002, both Wilson and Fulford had reported
that there was no evidence for Iraqi efforts to import uranium from Niger. But
that same summer, Secretary Rumsfeld established the Office of Special
Plans
, headed by Paul Wolfowitz, Abram Shulsky, Undersecretary of Defense
for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs William Luti, and Undersecretary of
Defense for Policy Douglas Feith. Its official purpose was to collect
intelligence relating to terrorism and interpret it. Its very
establishment reflected the disappointment felt by Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz over
the CIA’s “failure” to find sufficient dirt on Iraq. They had asked for evidence
of an Iraq-al Qaeda link; instead, in May 2002 both the CIA and FBI reported
that, despite an exhaustive search, no evidence had been found for such a
connection.


So Rumsfeld instructed the new OSP “to search for
information on Iraq’s hostile intentions or links to terrorists” that might have
been overlooked by the CIA. It received in particular much information
from Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress, a group held in contempt by the
State Department but favored by the Defense Department neocons. (Simultaneously,
in Israel, Ariel Sharon created a similar committee outside the Israeli
intelligence agency Mossad; this organization was in close touch with Rumsfeld’s
operation.) The OSP was designed to justify an attack on Iraq. Patrick Lang,
former director of Middle East analysis at the Defense Intelligence Agency, told
the New Yorker the OSP “started picking out things that supported their
thesis and stringing them into arguments that they could use with the President.
[That’s] not intelligence. It’s political propaganda.” The agency was quietly
disbanded in March, on the eve of the war, its (very special) mission
accomplished.


The Defense Department, committed to war, was willing to
ignore intelligence that conflicted with war preparations and to shrewdly deploy
disinformation to promote support for an attack. So too was the Vice President’s
office. Having received Wilson’s report, Cheney made frequent trips to CIA
offices to help shape the intelligence to favor war with Iraq. Meanwhile the
Vice President became the leading proponent of the view that Iraq was a growing
nuclear threat to the U.S. and its allies: “now we know,” he told the
Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in August 2002, “Saddam has resumed his
efforts to acquire nuclear weapons [emphasis added]” (The Guardian,
8/27/02).


On September 24, the British government published a white
paper that made use of the Niger uranium connection discredited by Wilson and
Fulford months earlier. It stated that Iraq “had recently ‘sought significant
quantities of uranium from Africa.'” The mass media accepted the report; the
London Guardian headlined: “African gangs offer route to uranium.” The
still-skeptical CIA contacted the British, questioning the intelligence and
suggesting the passage be dropped from the report. (The British have since
stated that their assertion rests on intelligence aside from the discredited
letters, but they have not provided any details.) But the Office for Special
Plans wanted to exploit the specter of Iraqi nuclear attack for all it was
worth. Thus the Niger report was included in the October 2002 National
Intelligence Estimate, a key intelligence document to which only the president
and a handful of other officials are privy. This document noted that there were
different interpretations of the significance of the Niger documents, and that
the State Department regarded them as “highly dubious,” but it implicitly
recommended reference to an African uranium link as part of a case for
war.


Meanwhile, top-ranking government spokespersons continued
to warn of Iraqi nukes. In September National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice
told CNN, “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud,” and the next
month Bush exploited the same image in Cincinnati. “Facing clear evidence of
peril,” he boomed, “we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that
could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.” Secretary of State Colin Powell,
appearing before a closed hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on
Sept. 26, also cited Iraq’s attempt to obtain uranium from Niger as evidence of
its persistent nuclear ambitions. By this time the Office of Special Plans was
steering the dissemination of (dis)information about Iraq, but meeting with some
State Department and CIA resistance. While warning the British about the Niger
letters, the CIA (George Tenet in particular) also urged that references to
efforts by Iraq to purchase 500 tons of uranium from Niger be dropped from
Bush’s Cincinnati speech. Rice aide and deputy national security adviser Stephen
Hadley in fact jettisoned them, after two memos and a phone call from
Tenet.


But top-ranking officials’ references to Iraqi efforts to
acquire uranium from Africa continued. A publicly circulated State Department
“fact sheet” released December 19 mentioned Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium
from Niger, and asked rhetorically, “Why is the Iraqi regime hiding their
uranium procurement?” (Both Iraq and Niger denied any procurement.) The charge
was included in the President’s Daily Brief (P.D.B.), seen by the President and
only a few other senior officials. On January 23, Rice wrote an op-ed piece for
the New York Times (“Why We Know Iraq is Lying”) charging that, “Iraq has
a high-level political commitment to maintain and conceal its weapons For
example, [Iraq’s] declaration [on its weapons programs] fails to account for or
explain Iraq’s efforts to get uranium from abroad, its manufacture of specific
fuel for ballistic missiles it claims not to have, and the gaps previously
identified by the United Nations in Iraq’s accounting for more than two tons of
the raw materials needed to produce thousands of gallons of anthrax and other
biological weapons”


In December, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
requested from the State Department copies of the Niger letters. They were not
handed over until February.


AFRICAN URANIUM AND THE STATE OF THE
UNION ADDRESS


Throughout this period, the Office of Special Plans seems
to have enjoyed the upper hand, although it skirmished with the State Department
and CIA from time to time over the utility of specific intelligence. The key
exchange occurred just before President Bush delivered his State of the Union
speech January 28, when one Robert G. Joseph, director for nonproliferation at
the National Security Council, asked Alan Foley, a C.I.A. expert on weapons of
mass destruction, whether the president’s address could include a reference to
Iraq’s seeking uranium from Niger. Foley recommended that the reference be
removed, since the intelligence was of uncertain credibility. Joseph then asked
if it would be accurate to cite the British white paper as the source of the
information. Foley replied that the CIA had actually informed British
intelligence that it doubted the Niger materials, but he apparently agreed that
it would be technically accurate to say that the British had a report that Iraq
had attempted to purchase uranium from Africa. Hence the infamous line in the
January 28 address: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein
recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” (The quality of
British intelligence came under scrutiny when, in early February, 10 Downing
Street issued the paper, “Iraq: Its Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception,
and Intimidation.” The article was supposedly based on high-level British
intelligence, but at least 11 of the 16 pages were lifted, verbatim, from two
articles published in the September 2002 edition of Middle East Review of
International Affairs
, an Israeli journal.)


When Colin Powell made his presentation to the UN February
5, he dropped the African uranium reference entirely. (He has explained recently
that the story “had not stood the test of time.”) Meanwhile the U.S., after
months’ delay, turned over copies of the Niger letters to the IAEA. In March
IAEA director general Mohamed El Baradei announced they were indeed “not
authentic,” but rather childish forgeries. “These documents are so bad,” a
senior IAEA official told the New Yorker, “that I cannot imagine that
they came from a serious intelligence agency. It depresses me, given the low
quality of the documents, that it was not stopped. At the level it reached, I
would have expected more checking.” “These were blatant forgeries,” said IAEA
spokeswoman Melissa Fleming. A “former high-level intelligence official”
interviewed by the New Yorker suggested that it had been an inside job.
“Somebody deliberately let something false get in there. It could not have
gotten into the system without the agency being involved. Therefore it was an
internal intention. Someone set someone up.”


Powell, on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” took the news in
stride. “It was the information that we had. We provided it. If that information
is inaccurate, fine.”


Nevertheless, administration officials (most notably,
Cheney) continued to link Iraq with an active nuclear program. On March 17, Bush
repeated that, “Iraq continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal
weapons ever devised,” and the next day, on “Meet the Press,” Cheney reiterated:
“We believe [Saddam] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.” Ray McGovern,
former spook and member of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity,
notes that “if you look at Cheney’s speeches, he’s way out ahead” in claiming
Saddam has “a reconstituted nuclear capability.” But, McGovern adds, the vice
president has “no evidence to support that.”


As the ground war began, the mainstream press and some
politicians had finally begun to raise the kinds of questions that the antiwar
activists had been asking for months. “There is a possibility that the
fabrication of these [Niger] documents may be part of a larger deception
campaign aimed at manipulating public opinion and foreign policy regarding
Iraq,” concluded Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.). He wrote FBI Director
Robert S. Mueller III March 21 requesting an investigation of the letters.
Meanwhile investigative journalism, largely stymied since 9-11, began to revive:
on June 12, The Washington Post revealed that an unnamed ambassador had
traveled to Niger and reported back that there was no Iraq-African uranium
connection. Soon Mr. Wilson identified himself through a New York Times
op-ed piece (July 6), inveighing against the Bush administration for hyping
the intelligence to support war with Iraq. “Based on my experience with the
administration in the months leading up to the war,” he wrote, “I have little
choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq’s nuclear
weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.” He told “Meet the
Press” that “Either the administration has information that it has not shared
with the public or … they were using the selective use of facts and
intelligence to bolster a decision that had already been made to go to
war.”


The backlash was immediate. Ari Fleischer suggested that
“Wilson’s own report [shows] that officials in Niger said that Iraq was seeking
to contact officials in Niger about sales.” (According to Wilson, he mentioned
only “an Algerian-Nigerien intermediary” who had asked about “commercial” sales,
a query Niger had ignored. “That then translates into an Iraqi effort to import
a significant quantity of uranium as the President alleged?” asks Wilson. “These
guys really need to get serious.”) The White House “outed” Wilson’s wife, who
apparently had CIA ties and who, following her identification, was obliged to
leave her post. In any case, the White House was suddenly on the defensive. On
July 7, it admitted the obvious: “A senior Bush administration official said in
a statement authorized by the White House” that “Knowing all that we know
now, the reference to Iraq’s attempt to acquire uranium from Africa should not
have been included in the State of the Union speech
.” Immediately,
journalists and politicians began to aggressively question the pre-war
intelligence on Iraq. (And to some extent, more importantly, the production and
use of “intelligence” to generate support for the Iraq war.) “This is a very
important admission,” Tom Daschle, Democratic leader in the Senate, declared.
“It’s a recognition that we were provided with faulty information. And I think
it’s all the more reason why a full investigation of all the facts surrounding
this situation be undertaken.” By the 10th the controversy was everywhere
front-page news. David S. Broder wrote in the Washington Post, “If
President Bush is not reelected, we may look back on last Thursday, July 10,
2003, as the day the shadow of defeat first crossed his political horizon.”


The House and Senate intelligence committees began
closed-door hearings on pre-war intelligence. On July 17, Sen. Richard Durbin
(D-Il.) told the press that the Senate hearing had so far discovered the
identity of “the person was who was insistent on putting this language in which
the CIA knew to be incredible, this language about the uranium shipment from
Africa.” The press has identified the individual as the above-mentioned Robert
G. Joseph, a top aide to Condoleeza Rice, a Special Assistant to the President,
and Senior Director for Proliferation Strategy, Counterproliferation and
Homeland Defense. He serves on the National Security Council, and is an adviser
of the pro-Israel Center for Security Policy. He coordinates nuclear
non-proliferation policy on the NSC, while advocating “counter-proliferation”
(the use of banned weapons as the pretext for war.) Joseph has taught at
Carleton College and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and holds a Ph.D.
from Columbia University and an M.A. from the University of Chicago. He was a
Professor of National Security Studies, and Director of the Center for
Counterproliferation Research, at the National Defense University.

As
noted above, Joseph had sought Alan Foley’s approval of the wording of the
uranium reference in the State of the Union speech. “It is inconceivable,”
writes Robert Scheer, “that in reviewing draft after draft of the State of the
Union speech, NSC staffers Hadley and Joseph failed to tell Rice that the
president was about to spread a big lie to justify going to war.” They should
both be questioned. Hadley, after initially denying that the White House had
received any caution from the CIA about the African uranium reference, has now
taken responsibility for it, just Tenet had earlier. He says, “It is now clear
to me that I failed in [the] responsibility” to delete the passage, and declares
that he should have remembered that the CIA had objected to the story
earlier. “Had I done so, this would have avoided the whole current controversy”
(Boston Globe, July 23). But Bush’s director of communications Dan
Bartlett insists that the bogus Africa report the State of the Union address was
“not at the specific request of anyone” but something “one of the speechwriters
had come up with” after reviewing the intelligence. Hadley brings us to
Condoleeza Rice and the White House. But even more attention should go to Abram
Shulsky and William Luti, leaders of the Defense Department’s short-lived OSP,
alongside Wolfowitz and Feith.


Shulsky, the program’s director, received his doctorate
from the University of Chicago in 1972, having (like Paul Wolfowitz who received
his doctorate the same year) studied under Leo Strauss. An expert on Strauss’
thought, he got his start in politics working in Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson’s
office alongside Elliott Abrams in the 1970s. He joined the staff of the Senate
Intelligence Committee in the early 1980s and served in the Pentagon under
Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle during the Reagan Administration.
Later he worked at RAND, where, along with other neocons, including I. Lewis
“Scooter” Libby (now Cheney’s chief of staff—a man who should be asked about
the Wilson report), Shulsky authored an essay entitled “From Containment to
Global Leadership: America and the World after the Cold War.” This advocated
preemptive war if necessary to insure U.S. global hegemony. In 1999, he
coauthored (with Gary Schmitt) an essay on “Leo Strauss and the World of
Intelligence,” arguing that deception is among the most vital tools in diplomacy
and intelligence. (A former CIA official, quoted by Seymour Hersh in a NYT
article, described the Shulsky group as “outsiders” in the intelligence
community, having “a high degree of paranoia. They’ve convinced themselves that
they’re on the side of angels, and everybody else in the government is a fool.”)
A key element of Strauss’s thought is that “a political order can be stable only
if it is united by an external threat. Following Machiavelli, he maintained that
if no external threat exists then one has to be manufactured” (Shadia Drury,
Leo Strauss and the American Right, 1996). One can legitimately raise the
question; did Shulsky and other paranoid neo-cons manufacture the Iraqi WMD
threat?


The Office of Special Plans was overseen by Undersecretary
of Defense William Luti, a retired Navy captain, Operation Desert Storm fighter
pilot, former Cheney adviser, early advocate of military action against Iraq,
head of Pentagon’s post-war Iraq planning group, and liaison after 9-11 to Iraqi
exiles in Europe. In a speech in Washington in October 2002, he advocated the
U.S. adopt a policy of “anticipatory self-defense.” But in this case
“self-defense” requiring deception for its justification generated opposition
from professional intelligence operatives. These were silenced. Hersh quotes an
unnamed Pentagon policy adviser: “Shulsky and Luti won the policy debate They
beat ’em-they cleaned up against State and the C.I.A. There’s no mystery why
they won-because they were more effective in making their argument. Luti is
smarter than the opposition. Wolfowitz is smarter. They out-argued them. It was
a fair fight. They persuaded the President of the need to make a new security
policy.”



ARROGANCE AS THE NEOCONS’ ACHILLES’
HEEL


Smart, effective, calculated liars emerged victorious from
that “fair fight.” They achieved their objective: the occupation of Iraq. The
Bush administration will now attempt to refashion Iraq as a U.S. ally in the
Arab world, “democratic” and globalized, friendly to Israel, dotted with U.S.
bases, open to foreign ideas, institutions, and missionary efforts. But the
neocons’ Achilles heel is arrogance. They did not plan on the degree of Iraqi
opposition, just as they did not anticipate the magnitude of the global antiwar
movement in the months before the March attack. They don’t understand why the
Germans, French and Indians, having opposed the war, aren’t eager right now to
help the U.S. impose its occupation. Now, as what NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell
calls “a war between the White House National Security Council and the CIA”
heats up, they might underestimate the intelligence community’s indignation, and
ability to reveal damning evidence about the neocons’ manipulation of public
opinion to support war.


“Well, we’ve liberated people from a dictator, right?”
That’s what they want us to think. “I’m not concerned about weapons of mass
destruction,” Paul Wolfowitz told a group of reporters traveling with him from
Iraq last week. “I’m concerned about getting Iraq on its feet. I didn’t come (to
Iraq) on a search for weapons of mass destruction. If you could get in a relaxed
conversation with Iraqis on that subject they’d say why on earth are you
Americans fussing so much about this historical issue when we have real
problems here, when Baathists are killing us and Baathists are threatening us
and we don’t have electricity and we don’t have jobs. Those are the real issues.
I’m not saying that getting to the bottom of this WMD issue isn’t important. It
is important. But it is not of immediate consequence [emph. added].” Thus for
Wolfowitz, “This historical issue” (of the justification for war, which he
feverishly promoted) as opposed to the “real problems” (produced by that
unjustified war) requires no further discussion. Such arrogance. He just can’t
understand why Americans would be outraged that he, having contributed to the
apparent disinformation leading up to the Iraq war, would now openly acknowledge
his lack of concern with WMDs, discourage “fussing so much about” their lack and
and the lies surrounding them, which to him are merely “historical” rather than
“real issues
of immediate consequence.”


Wolfowitz is so smug that he assumes he can tell a
reporter that the WMDs weren’t necessarily the main issue for attacking Iraq,
and that the public will take it all in stride, happy to be (mis)led by the
Straussian wise, those who make clever use of deception in intelligence and of
manufactured external threats to stabilize the political order. “For
bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction,
because that was the one reason everyone could agree on,” says Wolfowitz
(Vanity Fair, July 2003). Too hard to make the al-Qaeda link stick. And
the real reasons (geopolitical advantage; control of oil; Israel’s
security) not marketable. So we decided, let’s go with the WMDs, scare people,
use the specter of another 9-11—only with an Iraqi nuke—and see if we can
get 60-70% support for an attack Doesn’t that make beautiful sense?


People are supposed to be cool with that, three months
after “victory,” as Iraq is looking like a quagmire?


Richard Perle, when asked by reporters in Moscow July 22
about the absence of WMDs, said, “There were of course many reasons for starting
the war in Iraq,” but implied that Iraqi liberation was the most
important. “We are clearly starting to see that up to 300,000 people were killed
and buried” by Saddam’s regime, he declared. He is “absolutely certain” that
weapons of mass destruction are hidden in Iraq, but he admits, “We don’t know
where to look for them and we never did know where to look for them I hope this
will take less than 200 years.” Does he imagine people will smile indulgently at
his little joke?


Blair told Congress he’s “confident that history will
forgive” the decision to invade Iraq, even if the weapons search is fruitless.
Chances are the American people won’t forgive, as the truth about an
unjustifiable invasion comes out, the bills of occupation mount, the national
reputation plummets, the body bags come home, and the “liberated” people of Iraq
keep saying, “GO HOME!”


Gary Leupp is an an
associate professor in the Department of History at Tufts University and
coordinator of the Asian Studies Program.

He can be reached at: gleupp@tufts.edu

Plan for \’terror market\’ canceled

July 29, 2003 at 10:24 am
Contributed by:

Folks,


This is almost too unbelieveable to be true. As the alert reader who sent it to me commented, “Truly the theater of the absurd.” Wow.


Terrorism Futures Market Plan Canceled

As a CNN article [no longer available online] summarized it,
“The little-publicized Pentagon plan envisioned a potential futures trading market in which speculators would wager on the Internet on the likelihood of a future terrorist attack or assassination attempt on a particular leader. A Web site promoting the plan already is available.”


And who was to be in charge of this lovely little plan? Why, John Poindexter of course, America’s favorite convicted enemy-of-the-state-turned-hero.


Gotta love those Defense Dept. guys. They really know how to keep life interesting.


–C

The Bush – Moonies – Washington Times connections

July 24, 2003 at 8:26 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,

This is a bit beyond the normal scope of my
list, but I decided it just
might be of interest to enough of you to
distribute. There is a fair bit of
repetition between these articles, and
it’s a long and at times tedious
read. Still, there is a great deal in here
that I didn’t know about the
connections between Bush Sr., the Rev. Sun Myung
Moon and his Unification
Church (aka The Moonies), The Washington Times (and
its smear campaigns
against Democratic presidential hopefuls), the UPI, and
both Koreas and
their leaders. Fascinating material if you have the patience
for it. And if
not, just delete this 191K sucker right now
(sorry!)

–C

—–Original
Message—–
——————————————————————-
Articles
to follow:
(1)
95th Congress, 2d Session: Committee Print
INVESTIGATION
OF KOREAN-AMERICAN RELATIONS
Report of the Subcommittee on International
Organizations of the
Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of
Representatives
October 31, 1978
Printed for the use of the Committee on
International Relations
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, WASHINGTON, 1978:
34-674-O
Stock Number 052-070-04729-1
http://www.rickross.com/reference/unif/Unif11.html
——————————————————————–
(2)
George
W. Bush and The Moonies
The National Examiner/January 9, 2001
By Tom
Kuncl
http://www.rickross.com/reference/unif/unif106.html
——————————————————————–
(3)
Rev.
Moon, North Korea & the Bushes
Consortium News.com/October 11, 2000
By
Robert Parry
http://www.rickross.com/reference/unif/unif91.html
——————————————————————–
(4)
The
Bush-Kim-Moon Triangle of Money
The Consortium/March 10, 2001
By Robert
Parry
http://www.rickross.com/reference/unif/unif115.html
——————————————————————–
(5)
Longtime
Moonie for Dubya’s team?
George W. Bush has raised some eyebrows by
nominating a former V.I.P.
from the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church
to a top government
position.
MSNBC News/April 22, 2003
By Jeanette
Walls with Ashley Pearson
http://www.rickross.com/reference/unif/unif200.html
———————————————————————
(6)
Why
is TV news ignoring the relationship between Moon and the Bush
family?
Why
won’t Congress and the television news media investigate the
relationship
between the Bush family and Sun Myung Moon?
Online Journal/February 22,
2001
By Carla Binion
http://www.rickross.com/reference/unif/unif112.html
———————————————————————
(7)
Moonies
ordered to pay 29 mil. yen for mind control
Mainichi Shimbun/June 29,
2001
http://www.rickross.com/reference/unif/unif138.html
———————————————————————
(8)
Unification’s
Moon Offers Social Message: ‘Time for America to awaken,’
he tells SLC
crowd
The Salt Lake Tribune/March 11, 2001
By Peggy Fletcher Stack
http://www.rickross.com/reference/unif/unif116.html
———————————————————————
(9)
Washington
Times Owner Buys UPI
Washington Post, May 16, 2000
By Yuki Noguchi
http://www.rickross.com/reference/unif/unif74.html
=====================================================================
(1)
95th
Congress, 2d Session: Committee Print
INVESTIGATION OF KOREAN-AMERICAN
RELATIONS
Report of the Subcommittee on International Organizations of
the
Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of
Representatives
October 31, 1978
Printed for the use of the Committee on
International Relations
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, WASHINGTON, 1978:
34-674-O

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government
Printing
Office, Washington, D.C. 20402

Stock Number
052-070-04729-1

Page 387
Conclusions and Recommendations
The
subcommittee findings regarding the Moon Organization may be
summarized as
follows:

(1) The UC and numerous other religious and secular
organizations headed
by Sun Myung Moon constitute essentially one
international organization.
This organization depends heavily upon the
interchangeability of its
components and upon its ability to move personnel
and financial assets
freely across international boundaries and between
businesses and
nonprofit organizations.

(2) The Moon Organization
attempts to achieve goals outlined by Sun
Myung Moon, who has substantial
control over the economic, political,
and spiritual activities undertaken by
the organization in pursuit of
those goals.

(3) Among the goals of the
Moon Organization is the establishment of a
worldwide government in which the
separation of church and state would
be abolished and which would be governed
by Moon and his followers.

(4) In pursuit of this and other goals, the
Moon Organization has
attempted, with varying degrees of success, to gain
control over or
establish business and other secular institutions in the
United States
and elsewhere, and has engaged in political activities in the
United
States. Some of these activities were undertaken to benefit the
ROK
Government or otherwise to influence U.S. foreign policy.

(5)
While pursuing its own goals, the Moon Organization promoted the
interests of
the ROK Government, and at times did so in cooperation
with, or at the
direction of, ROK agencies and officials. The Moon
Organization maintained
mutually beneficial ties with a number of Korean
officials.

(6) The
Moon Organization established the KCFF ostensibly as a
non-profit foundation
to promote Korean-American relations, but used the
KCFF to promote its own
political and economic interests and those of
the ROK Government.

(7)
The Moon Organization extensively used the names of Senators,
Congressmen,
U.S. Presidents, and other prominent Americans to raise
funds and to create
political influence for itself and the ROK
Government.

(8) A Moon
Organization business is an important defense contractor in
Korea. It is
involved in the production of M-16 rifles, antiaircraft
guns, and other
weapons.

(9) Moon Organization agents attempted to obtain permission from
an
American corporation to export M-16’s manufactured in Korea. The
M-16’s
are manufactured under a coproduction

34-674 O – 78 –
26

388
agreement approved by the U.S. Government, which puts M-16
production
under the exclusive control of the Korean Government. Despite
this, Moon
Organization representatives appeared — apparently on behalf of
the
Korean Government — to negotiate an extension of the
agreement.

(10) The Moon Organization attempted to obtain a controlling
interest in
the Diplomat National Bank by disguising the source of funds used
to
purchase stock in the names of UC members.

(12) The Moon
Organization used church and other tax-exempt components
in support of its
political and economic activities.

(13) Although many of the goals and
activities of the Moon Organization
were legitimate and lawful, there was
evidence that it had
systematically violated U.S. tax, immigration, banking,
currency, and
Foreign Agents Registration Act laws, as well as State and
local laws
related to charity fund, and that these violations were related to
the
organization’s overall goals of gaining temporal power.

Despite
the Moon Organization’s cooperative relationship with the ROK
Government the
UC was far less influential as a religious movement in
Korea than elsewhere.
A large proportion of the hundreds of Koreans
interviewed in the course of
the investigation said that they had never
heard of Moon or the UC until the
early or mid-1970’s, when their
activities became widely publicized. In the
United States, the UC
appears to have had little success in attracting
followers from the
Korean community. Most Korean-Americans interviewed
expressed varying
degrees of embarrassment or hostility toward Moon and the
UC; few saw
them as a positive factor in Korean-American
relations.

The subcommittee found that the Moon Organization has had a
number of
influential allies in the Korean Government, including Kim Jong
Pil, Pak
Chon Kyu, and others.

Although investigations and publicity
in the 1976-78 period appear to
have had an effect on the degree of influence
Moon’s supporters had with
the Korean Government, there were continuing
indications that the Moon
Organization retained significant
support.

Many of the activities of the Moon Organization would not
raise
questions of impropriety if carried out openly and without violations
of
laws. The subcommittee does not fault the many Americans, Koreans,
and
others who identified themselves with Moon
Organization-sponsored
activities such as the Little Angels, or who shared
the Moon
Organization’s expressed concerns about communism and South
Korean
security.

However, the Moon Organization’s ulterior motives
behind even its most
benign activities tended to negate its positive
contributions. For
example, the Little Angels, a highly accomplished
children’s dance
group, undoubtedly improved the image of Koreans around the
world and in
particular contributed to the Americans’ understanding of
Korean
culture. The Korean Government’s decision to bar the Little Angels
from
traveling outside Korea was a loss for Korean-American relations.
The
demise of the little Angels as a touring group followed growing
public
awareness of its ties to

389
Moon, who — after founding and
quietly backing the group —
increasingly used it to further his political
and economic goals. In his
own speeches to followers, Moon made it clear that
the Little Angels,
the annual science conference, and other seemingly
philanthropic
projects were in reality geared toward his ambitious and
carefully
thought plans for winning control and influence over political and
other
secular institutions.

Moon, like Tongsun Park, showed a keen
understanding of the use of
imagery in building political influence. Just as
Tongsun Park used his
close relationship with a few Congressmen to attract
others, Moon used
the names and pictures of prominent Americans, Japanese,
Koreans, and
others to create an image of power and respectability for
himself and
his movement. The multifaceted Moon Organization thereby obtained
the
help and cooperation of numerous Americans who had no idea they
were
contributing to Moon’s plan for world theocracy.

Like Tongsun
Park and others who conducted pro-ROK influence activities
in the United
States, Moon and his organization acted from a mixture of
motives and
objectives. Service to Korea was combined with a desire to
advance personal
and organizational goals. Like Tongsun Park and others,
Moon and his
organization attempted to gain influence in Seoul through
activities in the
United States; to this end, the Moon Organization
exaggerated its success in
the United States to create influence in
Korea and elsewhere. Thus, although
the Moon Organization often acted
for the ROK Government — even to the point
of accepting money for its
services — control and influence over Korean
political institutions was
no less a goal there than in the United States. In
this respect, the
Moon Organization was not an agent of influence for the ROK
Government
so much as it was a volatile factor in Korean-American
relations,
capable of distorting the perceptions each country held of the
other.

In the United States, for example, Moon has aroused
widespread
antipathy. To the extent that his organization’s activities here
are
associated with Korea or the Korean Government, there is potential
harm
to Korean-American relations. Recent attempts by the ROK Government
to
dissociate itself from Moon seemed to recognize this problem.
However,
these attempts at dissociation came only in the context of a
public
controversy over Moon, investigations into Korean influence
activities,
and strained relations between the two countries.

The
misuse of the names of prominent Americans by the KCFF was of
concern to U.S.
Government agencies as early as 1966. Much of the
executive branch’s early
awareness of Korean influence activities in the
United Sates — including
those of Tongsun Park — arose from State
Department and congressional
inquiries into KCFF publicity and
fundraising activities. However, these
activities were not then
perceived to be linked to Moo. Later, when Moon’s
activities generated
publicity in the United Sates, there were numerous
requests to the
executive branch, as well as to the Congress and to State and
local
authorities, for information about Moon and for investigations of
his
organization’s activities. The response to these inquiries was
fragment.
Numerous investigations were launched by agencies such as the NEC,
INS,
and Depart-

390
ment of Justice which involved one or another
component of the Moon
Organization. The subcommittee’s investigation led it
to conclude that
these investigations were justified and should continue.
However, the
subcommittee believes that these investigations will be
inconclusive and
redundant unless they are coordinated with each other and
treated as an
investigation of essentially one organization. The
subcommittee
concludes that the following objective could be met by
combining
investigative activities related to the Moon Organization into
an
interagency task force:

(1) Consideration could be given as to
whether apparently unrelated
immigration, FARA, currency, banking, and other
violations were in
furtherance of a common scheme or plan.

(2) All
existing information bearing upon the same subjects could be
brought together
and analyzed; earlier investigations which failed to do
this allowed improper
influence activities to continue until they caused
a major public scandal
affecting Korean-American relations.

(3) Maximum resources could be
employed toward tracing cash and
obtaining evidence from outside the United
States.

(4) Tax money could be saved by combining related investigations
and
eliminating duplication of effort.

Executive Branch Task
Force

(1) The Department of Justice, the SEC, the IRS, and other
executive
branch agencies currently investigation allegations relating to
Sun
Myung Moon, Pak Bo Hi, the UC, the KCFF, and other individuals
and
organizations comprising the Moon Organization (as described in
this
report) should coordinate their efforts and form an interagency
task
force.

(2) In addition to continuing present investigations, the
task force
should address itself to the following issues:

(a) Whether
there have been systemic and planned violations of U.S.
immigration laws and
regulations in connection with the importation of
large numbers of foreign
nationals for purposes of fundraising,
political activities, and employment
in the Moon Organization business
enterprises.

(b) Whether there have
been systematic and planned violations of U.S.
currency and foreign exchange
laws in connection with the movement of
millions of dollars of cash and other
financial assets into and out of
the United States without complying with
appropriate reporting
requirements.

(c) Whether U.S. tax laws have
been violated through large cash
transfers to individuals which were
characterized as loans.

(d) Whether tax-exempt organizations such as the
Unification Church,
Freedom Leadership Foundation, Korean Cultural and
Freedom Foundation,
and International Cultural Foundation, have engaged in
political,
business, and other activities inconsistent with their
tax-exempt
status; and whether these organizations are so closely affiliated
with
each other and with non-tax-exempt business and organizations so as
to
render them ineligible for tax-exempt status.

(e) Whether there
have been systemic violations of the Foreign Agents
Registration Act by the
Moon Organization.

391
(f) Whether there have been violations of
currency, immigration, banking
and tax laws in connection with Moon
Organization investments in the
Diplomat National Bank and other businesses
in the United States.

(g) Whether there have been instances of charity
fraud, violations of
currency and immigration laws, and abuse of tax-exempt
status in
connection with the Moon Organization’s control over the Korean
Cultural
and Freedom Foundation.

(h) Whether there have been attempts
to violate, or violations of, the
Arms Export Control Act in connection with
the manufacture, sale, or
attempted sale of M-16 rifles or other armaments by
agents of the Moon
Organization.

(3) The task force should use the
resources of the following agencies:
Department of Justice (including the
FBI, Anti-Trust Division, and INS);
Department of Treasure;
Securities and
Exchange Commission;
Federal Reserve Board;
Internal Revenue Service;
and
Department of State.


(4) The Department of State should assist
the task force in attempting
to obtain witnesses, financial data, and other
cooperation from foreign
governments, particularly Japan and South
Korea.

(5) The task force should seen information from appropriate State
and
local governments and should make information available to State
and
local governments for use in appropriate proceedings
involving
enforcement of their laws.

The subcommittee also recommends
that appropriate committees of the
Congress review certain information
pertaining to the Moon Organization.
Current U.S. tax laws and regulations
made it impractical for the
subcommittee to examine the tax returns of such
Moon Organization
components as the Unification Church International, which
was denied
tax-exempt status by the IRS. However, there is reason to believe
that
taxable Moon Organization components derive tax advantages
from
transfers to tax-exempt components. Since both taxable and
tax-exempt
organizations are used interchangeably in the Moon Organization,
such
tax advantages would enable the Moon Organization to pyramid
economic
power and achieve a substantial advantage over competing
organizations.
The subcommittee therefore suggests a review by the House Ways
and Means
Committee and the Senate Finance Committee — which have access to
tax
returns — to determine whether transfers of funds within the
Moon
Organization raise issues which point to the need for legislation
to
prevent the abuse of tax-exempt status. More specifically,
the
subcommittee recommends that the House Ways and Means Committee and
the
Senate Finance Committee review the applications for tax-exempt
status
(where applicable) and the tax returns of Moon Organization
entities,
including: Unification Church; Freedom Leadership
Foundation;
Unification Church International; International Cultural
Foundation;
Korean Cultural and Freedom Foundation; Tong-Il Enterprises;
One-Way
Productions; International Oceanic Enterprises; and News
World
Communications.

392
and determine whether:

(a) Income
from abroad is properly reported.

(b) Deductions are taken by businesses
for charitable contributions to
tax-exempt organizations, the actual control
of which is in the hands of
the same persons and organizations in control of
the businesses.

(c) New legislation or regulations are needed to prevent
tax avoidance
and pyramiding of economic power by means of recycling funds
through an
international organization, part of which is
tax-exempt.

The subcommittee has also referred its findings to the Armed
Services
and Intelligence Committees of the House and Senate, and to
the
Munitions Control Board of the State Department, with the
suggestion
that more precise information be obtained without the
Moon
Organization’s role as a Korean defense contractor. During
the
investigation, the subcommittee found it very difficult to
obtain
reliable information about the extent to which Moon industries
were
involved in weapons production and sales. The Moon Organization
has
self-proclaimed goals of controlling political and secular
institutions
and a strident ideology which envisions the formation of a
“Unification
Crusade Army.” Moon’s speeches forsee an apocalyptic
confrontation
involving the united States, Russia, China, Japan, and North
and South
Korea, in which the Moon Organization would play a key role, Under
these
circumstances, the subcommittee believes it is in the interest of
the
United States to know what control Moon and his followers have
over
instruments of war and to what extent they are in a position
to
influence Korean defense policies.

Of particular concern is the
Moon Organization’s involvement in the
production and sale of M-16 rifles and
other weapons provided to Korea
under U.S. aid programs and subject to the
Arms Export Control Act. In
late 1977, Moon Organization representatives
tried to renegotiate a
coproduction agreement between Colt Industries and the
ROK Government.
The circumstances suggested they were secret envoys of the
Korean
Government which, under the coproduction agreement, has
exclusive
control over M-16 production. Although the ROK Government said it
wanted
to produce 300,000 extra M-16’s because of the need to equip its
own
forces, Moon Organization tried to get Colt’s agreement to export
guns
to third countries.

The subcommittee therefore
recommends:

That the House International Relations Committee, the House
Armed
Services Committee, and the corresponding committee of the
Senate
ascertain whether businesses operated by the Moon Organization
are
engaging in the production or same of armaments supplied to the
ROK
Government through U.S. military aid programs, including
coproduction
agreements. Information about the role played by Moon
Organization
industries in Korean defense production should be sought from
the
Appropriate U.S. defense and intelligence agencies.

The document
Report of the Subcommittee on International Organizations
of the Committee on
International Relations is a publication of the
United States Government and
is thus part of the Public
Domain.
=====================================================================
(2)
George
W. Bush and The Moonies
The National Examiner/January 9, 2001
By Tom
Kuncl
President-Elect George W. Bush has a strong personal and
financial
connection with the cult-like Moonie church, say sources. Critics
say
the Moonie church opposes Christianity and the American way.

In
fact, the Bush family may have received as much as $10 million from
the
Moonies in recent years. Rev. Sun Myung Moon considers himself a
personal
friend of our new president, according to newspaper reports.

The incoming
chief executive’s own father – former President George H.
Bush – has been
courted by the Rev. Moon’s Unification Church since he
became vice president
in the Reagan administration, says a report by
investigative journalist and
Newsweek correspondent Robert Parry.

Rev. Moon, now 80, was even a VIP
guest at the Reagan-Bush inauguration.

The mega-wealthy South Korea-based
church remained an unwavering
supporter of the elder Bush’s presidency,
especially in the Moonie-owned
Washington Times newspaper, Parry
says.

“The 15-year-old Washington Times doesn’t rank among the Top 100
U.S.
dailies in terms of circulation,” writes columnist Norman
Solomon.

“Yet, financied by the Unification Church’s deep pockets, it
wields
enormous influence in the nation’s capital. Elevating innuendo
to
‘news’, the paper excels at smearing liberals and centrists.”

This
influence, writes Parry, “could extend into the next century as
the
ex-president works to shore up convervative support for his eldest
son.”
The Times endorsed Bush in his election race against Al
Gore.

“Sources close to Bush say the ex-president has worked hard to
pull
well-to-do conservatives and their money behind their son’s
candidacy.
Moon is one of the deepest pockets in right-wing circles,
having
financed important conservative activists from both the religious
right,
such as Jerry Falwell, and Inside-the-Beltway right-wing
professionals.”

When the elder Bush was defeated after one term, says
Solomon, the
Unification Church in essence handed the ex-president a
so-called
“golden parachute” – business slang for chief executives’ usually
hefty
severance packages.

Solomon quoted a spokesman for the elder
Bush as saying: “President Bush
has no relationship with Rev. Moon or the
Unification Church.” But,
Solomon wrote: “The facts tell a very different
story.”

Parry confirms that the elder Bush could have become a wealthy
man
merely from the checks for speaking at many high-profile Moonie
events
on three continents, including the launch of a church-owned newspaper
in
Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“Estimates of Bush’s fee for the Buenos
Aires appearance alone ran
between $100,000 and $500,000,” wrote Parry.
“Sources close to the
Unification Church have put the total Bush-Moon package
in the millions,
with one source [estimating] that Bush stood to make as much
as $10
million.” Bush has consistently refused to answer if or how much he
has
been paid by Moon.

Shockingly, if the Bush family is accepting all
this cash, it’s coming
from a man who has given speeches calling America “the
kingdom of Satan”
and vowing “the liquidation of American
individualism.”

John Stacey, a former Moonie, says: “It’s very
anti-Jesus. Moon says:
‘Jesus failed miserably. He died a lonely death. Rev.
Moon is the hero
that comes and saves Jesus.’ That’s why I left.”

As
President-elect George W. Bush prepares to occupy the Oval Office,
critics
claim the elder Bush’s activities create a clear conflict
of
interest.

The elder Bush has a “public persona as the happy World
War II veteran
who is letting the American people see him jumping out of
airplanes and
being a good family man,” says historian Douglas Brinkley of
the
University of Louisiana. “And the covert persona is going around
giving
talks with people like Rev. Moon.”

Meanwhile, the incoming
president has admitted that while his father
won’t have a formal title in his
administration, “of course, I will seek
his
advice.”

=====================================================================
(3)
Rev.
Moon, North Korea & the Bushes
Consortium News.com/October 11, 2000
By
Robert Parry
The Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s business empire, which includes
the
conservative Washington Times, paid millions of dollars to North
Korea’s
communist leaders in the early 1990s when the hard-line
government
needed foreign currency to finance its weapons programs, according
to
U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency documents.

The payments included a
$3 million “birthday present” to current
communist leader Kim Jong Il and
offshore payments amounting to “several
tens of million dollars” to the
previous communist dictator, Kim Il
Sung, the partially declassified
documents said.

Moon apparently was seeking a business foothold in North
Korea. But the
transactions also raise legal questions for Moon and could
cast a shadow
on George W. Bush’s presidential campaign, given the Bush
family’s
longstanding financial and political ties to Moon and his
organization.

Besides making alleged payments to North Korea’s communist
leaders, the
80-year-old founder of the South Korean-based Unification Church
has
funneled large sums of money, possibly millions of dollars as well,
to
former President George H.W. Bush.

One well-placed former leader of
Moon’s Unification Church told me that
the total earmarked for former
President Bush was $10 million. The
father of the Republican nominee has
declined to say how much Moon’s
organization actually paid him for speeches
and other services in Asia,
the United States and South America.

At
one Moon-sponsored speech in Argentina in 1996, Bush declared, “I
want to
salute Reverend Moon,” whom Bush praised as “the man with the
vision.” Bush
made these speeches at a time when Moon was expressing
intensely
anti-American views. In his own speeches, Moon termed the
United States
“Satan’s harvest” and claimed that American women
descended from a “line of
prostitutes.”

During this year’s presidential campaign, Moon’s Washington
Times has
attacked the Clinton-Gore administration for failing to take
more
aggressive steps to defend against North Korea’s missile program.
The
newspaper called the administration’s decisions an “abdication
of
responsibility for national security.”

A Helping Hand

Yet,
in the 1990s when North Korea was scrambling for the resources to
develop
missiles and other advanced weaponry, Moon was among a small
group of outside
businessmen quietly investing in North Korea.

Moon’s activities attracted
the attention of the Defense Intelligence
Agency, which is responsible for
monitoring potential military threats
to the United States.

Though
historically an ardent anticommunist, Moon negotiated a business
deal in 1991
with Kim Il Sung, the longtime communist leader, the DIA
documents
said.

The deal called for construction of a hotel complex in Pyongyang as
well
as a new Holy Land at the site of Moon’s birth in North Korea,
one
document said. The DIA said the deal sprang from a face-to-face
meeting
between Moon and Kim Il Sung in North Korea from Nov. 30 to Dec.
8,
1991.

“These talks took place secretly, without the knowledge of
the South
Korean government,” the DIA wrote on Feb. 2, 1994. “In the original
deal
with Kim [Il Sung], Moon paid several tens of million dollars as
a
down-payment into an overseas account,” the DIA said in a cable
dated
Aug. 14, 1994.

The DIA said Moon’s organization also delivered
money to Kim Il Sung’s
son and successor, Kim Jong Il.

“In 1993, the
Unification Church sold a piece of property located in
Pennsylvania,” the DIA
reported on Sept. 9, 1994. “The profit on the
sale, approximately $3 million
was sent through a bank in China to the
Hong Kong branch of the KS [South
Korean] company ‘Samsung Group.’ The
money was later presented to Kim Jung Il
[Kim Jong Il] as a birthday
present.”

After Kim Il Sung’s death in
1994 and his succession by his son, Kim
Jong Il, Moon dispatched his longtime
aide, Bo Hi Pak, to ensure that
the business deals were still on track with
Kim Jong Il “and his
coterie,” the DIA reported.

“If necessary, Moon
authorized Pak to deposit a second payment for Kim
Jong Il,” the DIA
wrote.

The DIA declined to elaborate on the documents that it released to
me
under a Freedom of Information Act request. “As for the documents
you
have, you have to draw your own conclusions,” said DIA spokesman,
U.S.
Navy Capt. Michael Stainbrook.

Moon’s Right-Hand
Man

Contacted in Seoul, South Korea, Bo Hi Pak, a former publisher of
The
Washington Times, denied that payments were made to individual
North
Korean leaders and called “absolutely untrue” the DIA’s description
of
the $3 million land sale benefiting Kim Jong Il.

But Bo Hi Pak
acknowledged that Moon met with North Korean officials and
negotiated
business deals with them in the early 1990s. Pak said the
North Korean
business investments were structured through South Korean
entities. “Rev.
Moon is not doing this in his own name,” said Pak.

Pak said he went to
North Korea in 1994, after Kim Il Sung’s death, only
to express “condolences”
to Kim Jong Il on behalf of Moon and his wife.
Pak denied that another
purpose of the trip was to pass money to Kim
Jong Il or to his
associates.

Asked about the seeming contradiction between Moon’s
avowed
anti-communism and his friendship with leaders of a communist state,
Pak
said, “This is time for reconciliation. We’re not looking at
ideological
differences. We are trying to help them out” with food and
other
humanitarian needs. Samsung officials said they could find
no
information in their files about the alleged $3 million
payment.

North Korean officials clearly valued their relationship with
Moon. In
February of this year, on Moon’s 80th birthday, Kim Jong Il sent
Moon a
gift of rare wild ginseng, an aromatic root used medicinally,
Reuters
reported.

Legal Issues

Because of the long-term U.S.
embargo against North Korea – eased only
within the past several months –
Moon’s alleged payments to the
communist leaders raise potential legal issues
for Moon, a South Korean
citizen who is a U.S. permanent resident
alien.

“Nobody in the United States was supposed to be providing funding
to
anybody in North Korea, period, under the Treasury
(Department’s)
sanction regime,” said Jonathan Winer, former deputy assistant
secretary
of state handling international crime.

The U.S. embargo of
North Korea dates back to the Korean War. With a few
exceptions for
humanitarian goods, the embargo barred trade and
financial dealings between
North Korea and “all U.S. citizens and
permanent residents wherever they are
located, … and all branches,
subsidiaries and controlled affiliates of U.S.
organizations throughout
the world.”

Moon became a permanent resident
of the United States in 1973, according
to Justice Department records. Bo Hi
Pak said Moon has kept his “green
card” status. Though often in South Korea
and South America, Moon
maintains a residence near Tarrytown, north of New
York City, and
controls dozens of affiliated U.S. companies.

Direct
payments to foreign leaders in connection with business deals
also could
prompt questions about possible violations of the U.S.
Corrupt Practices Act,
a prohibition against overseas bribery.

Alleged
Brainwashing

Moon’s followers regard him as the second Messiah and grant
him broad
power over their lives, even letting him pick their spouses.
Critics,
including ex-Unification Church members, have accused Moon
of
brainwashing young recruits and living extravagantly while his
followers
have little.

Around the world, Moon’s business relationships
long have been cloaked
in secrecy. His sources of money have been mysteries,
too, although
witnesses – including his former daughter-in-law – have come
forward in
recent years and alleged widespread money-laundering within
the
organization.

Moon “demonstrated contempt for U.S. law every time
he accepted a paper
bag full of untraceable, undeclared cash collected from
true believers”
who carried the money in from overseas, wrote his
ex-daughter-in-law,
Nansook Hong, in her 1998 book, In the Shadows of the
Moons.

Since Moon stepped onto the international stage in the 1970s, he
has
used his fortune to build political alliances and to finance
media,
academic and political institutions.

In 1978, Moon was
identified by the congressional “Koreagate”
investigation as an operative of
the South Korean CIA and part of an
influence-buying scheme aimed at the U.S.
government. Moon denied the
charges.

Though Moon later was convicted
on federal tax evasion charges, his
political influence continued to grow
when he founded The Washington
Times in 1982. The unabashedly conservative
newspaper won favor with
presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush by
backing their policies
and hammering their opponents.

In 1988, when
Bush was trailing early in the presidential race, the
Times spread a baseless
rumor that the Democratic presidential nominee
Michael Dukakis had undergone
psychiatric treatment. The Moon-affiliated
American Freedom Coalition also
distributed millions of pro-Bush flyers.

Bush personally expressed his
gratitude. When Wesley Pruden was
appointed The Washington Times’
editor-in-chief in 1991, Bush invited
Pruden to a private White House lunch
“just to tell you how valuable the
Times has become in Washington, where we
read it every day.” [WT, May
17, 1992].

Moon’s Vatican

While
Bush was hosting Pruden in the White House, Pruden’s boss was
opening his
financial and business channels to North Korea. According to
the DIA, Moon’s
North Korean deal was ambitious and expensive.

“There was an agreement
regarding economic cooperation for the
reconstruction of KN’s [North Korea’s]
economy which included
establishment of a joint venture to develop tourism at
Kimkangsan, KN
[North Korea]; investment in the Tumangang River Development;
and
investment to construct the light industry base at Wonsan, KN. It
is
believed that during their meeting Mun [Moon] donated 450 billion yen
to
KN,” one DIA report said. In late 1991, the Japanese yen traded at
about
130 yen to the U.S. dollar, meaning Moon’s investment would have
been
about $3.5 billion, if the DIA information is correct.

Moon’s
aide Pak denied that Moon’s investments ever approached that
size. Though Pak
did not give an overall figure, he said the initial
phase of an automobile
factory was in the range of $3 million to $6
million.

The DIA depicted
Moon’s business plans in North Korea as much grander.
The DIA valued the
agreement for hotels in Pyongyang and the resort in
Kumgang-san, alone, at
$500 million. The plans also called for creation
of a kind of Vatican City
covering Moon’s birthplace.

“In consideration of Mun’s [Moon’s] economic
cooperation, Kim [Il Sung]
granted Mun a 99-year lease on a 9 square
kilometer parcel of land
located in Chongchu, Pyonganpukto, KN. Chongchu is
Mun’s birthplace and
the property will be used as a center for the
Unification Church. It is
being referred to as the Holy Land by Unification
Church believers and
Mun [h]as been granted extraterritoriality during the
life of the
lease.”

North Korea granted Moon some smaller favors, too.
Four months after
Moon’s meeting with Kim Il Sung, editors from The
Washington Times were
allowed to interview the reclusive North Korean
communist in what the
Times called “the first interview he has granted to an
American
newspaper in many years.”

Later in 1992, the Times was again
rallying to President Bush’s defense.
The newspaper stepped up attacks
against Iran-contra special prosecutor
Lawrence Walsh as his investigation
homed in on Bush and his inner
circle. Walsh considered the Times’ relentless
criticism a distraction
to the criminal investigation, according to his book,
Firewall.

That fall, in the 1992 campaign, the Times turned its editorial
guns on
Bush’s new rival, Bill Clinton. Some of the anti-Clinton articles
raised
questions about Clinton’s patriotism, even suggesting that the
Rhodes
scholar might have been recruited as a KGB agent during a
collegiate
trip to Moscow.

A Bush Salute

Bush’s loss of the
White House did not end his relationship with Moon’s
organization. Out of
office, Bush agreed to give paid speeches to
Moon-supported groups in the
United States, Asia and South America. In
some cases, Barbara Bush joined in
the events.

During this period, Moon grew increasingly hateful about the
United
States and many of its ideals.

In a speech to his followers on
Aug. 4, 1996, Moon vowed to liquidate
American individuality, declaring that
his movement would “swallow
entire America.” Moon said Americans who insisted
on “their privacy and
extreme individualism … will be
digested.”

Nevertheless, former President Bush continued to work for
Moon’s
organization. In November 1996, the former U.S. president spoke at
a
dinner in Buenos Aires, Argentina, launching Moon’s South
American
newspaper, Tiempos del Mundo.

“I want to salute Reverend
Moon,” Bush declared, according to a
transcript of the speech published in
The Unification News, an internal
church newsletter.

“A lot of my
friends in South America don’t know about The Washington
Times, but it is an
independent voice,” Bush said. “The editors of The
Washington Times tell me
that never once has the man with the vision
interfered with the running of
the paper, a paper that in my view brings
sanity to Washington,
D.C.”

Contrary to Bush’s claim, a number of senior editors and
correspondents
have resigned in protest of editorial interference from
Moon’s
operatives. Bush has refused to say how much he was paid for the
speech
in Buenos Aires or others in Asia and the United States.

Going
After Gore

During the 2000 election cycle, Moon’s newspaper has taken up
the cause
of Bush’s son and mounted harsh attacks against his rival,
Vice
President Al Gore.

Last year, the Times played a prominent role
in promoting a bogus quote
attributed to Gore about his work on the toxic
waste issue. In a speech
in Concord, N.H., Gore had referred to a toxic waste
case in Toone,
Tennessee, and said, “that was the one that started it
all.”

The New York Times and The Washington Post garbled the quote,
claiming
that Gore had said, “I was the one that started it all.”

The
Washington Times took over from there, accusing Gore of being
clinically
“delusional.” The Times called the vice president “a
politician who not only
manufactures gross, obvious lies about himself
and his achievements but
appears to actually believe these
confabulations.” [WT, Dec. 7, 1999] Even
after other papers corrected
the false quote, The Washington Times continued
to use it. The notion of
Gore as an exaggerator, often based on this and
other mis-reported
incidents, became a powerful Republican “theme” as Gov.
Bush surged
ahead of Gore in the presidential preference polls. [For details
on
other case, see The DailyHowler.]

‘Abdication’

Republicans
also have made the North Korean threat an issue against the
Clinton-Gore
administration. Last year, a report by a House Republican
task force warned
that during the 1990s, North Korea and its missile
program emerged as a
nuclear threat to Japan and possibly the Pacific
Northwest of the United
States.

“This threat has advanced considerably over the past five
years,
particularly with the enhancement of North Korea’s
missile
capabilities,” the Republican task force said. “Unlike five years
ago,
North Korea can now strike the United States with a missile that
could
deliver high explosive, chemical, biological, or possibly
nuclear
weapons.”

Moon’s newspaper has joined in excoriating the
administration for
postponing a U.S. missile defense system to counter
missiles from North
Korea and other “rogue states.” Gov. Bush favors such a
system.

“To its list of missed opportunities, the Clinton-Gore
administration
can now add the abdication of responsibility for national
security,” a
Times editorial said.

“By deciding not to begin
construction of the Alaskan radar, Mr. Clinton
has indisputably delayed
eventual deployment beyond 2005, when North
Korea is estimated to be capable
of launching an intercontinental
missile against the United States.” [WT,
Sept. 5, 2000]

The Washington Times did not note that its founder – who
continues to
subsidize the newspaper with tens of millions of dollars a year
– had
defied a U.S. trade embargo aimed at containing the military
ambitions
of North Korea.

By supplying money at a time when North
Korea was desperate for hard
currency, Moon helped deliver the means for the
communist state to
advance exactly the strategic threat that Moon’s newspaper
now says will
require billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to
thwart.

That money bought Moon influence inside North Korea. It is less
clear
how much influence Moon and his associates will have inside a George
W.
Bush White House, given Moon’s longstanding — though little known

support for the Bush family.

Robert Parry is a veteran
investigative reporter, who broke many of the
Iran-contra stories in the
1980s for The Associated Press and
Newsweek.
=====================================================================
(4)
The
Bush-Kim-Moon Triangle of Money
The Consortium/March 10, 2001
By Robert
Parry
At this past week’s summit, George W. Bush and South Korean
President
Kim Dae Jung disagreed publicly on how to deal with communist
North
Korea – Bush advocated a harder line. But the two leaders have
a
little-known bond in common: the political largesse of the Rev.
Sun
Myung Moon.

For more than three decades, Moon, the founder of the
South Korea-based
Unification Church, has spun a worldwide spider’s web of
influence,
connecting to hundreds of powerful leaders through the silken
threads of
his mysterious money.

Moon’s beneficiaries include the Bush
family and, according to U.S.
intelligence reports, Kim Dae Jung. Though
seldom discussed publicly,
the Moon-Bush connection has been reported before
– and detailed in this
publication. But Moon’s financial links to Kim Dae
Jung – a longtime
dissident who opposed the authoritarian governments that
ruled South
Korea during the Cold War – have remained secret.

U.S.
intelligence stumbled onto the Moon-Kim connection while monitoring
South
Korean political developments in 1987. By that time, Moon’s
Unification
Church already had built close ties to the Reagan-Bush
administration,
especially through Moon’s funding of conservative causes
and his
$100-million-a-year subsidy of the right-wing Washington Times,
hailed by
Ronald Reagan as his “favorite” newspaper.

Back in South Korea, however,
Moon’s longtime coziness with his home
nation’s autocratic rulers was
strained. Moon was on the outs with the
ruling Democratic Justice Party
(DJP), the U.S. Defense Intelligence
Agency noted in a cable dated Sept. 10,
1987.

“The UC (Unification Church) … has not been happy with the
somewhat
cold treatment it has received under the current DJP government,”
the
DIA cable reported.

In response to this chilliness, Moon secretly
began financing several
opposition figures, the DIA reported. One was a
longtime Moon ally, Kim
Jong Pil, not to be confused with North Korea’s
current leader Kim Jong
Il.

By the late 1980s, Kim Jong Pil had a long
record of association with
Moon. A 1978 U.S. congressional investigation into
the so-called
“Koreagate” influence-buying scandal reported that Kim Jong Pil
founded
the South Korean CIA in the 1960s and assisted Moon’s Unification
Church
in building its influence in Japan and the United States.

The
congressional investigation concluded that Kim Jong Pil and the
South Korean
CIA helped Moon expand his church into a well-financed
international
organization. They then used Moon’s organization to buy
influence inside the
U.S. government, the congressional investigation
found.

Kim Jong Pil
also had served as South Korean prime minister in the early
1970s. In 1987,
however, Kim Jong Pil was out of power and considering a
run for the South
Korean presidency.


The DIA Reports
According to the Defense
Intelligence Agency, Kim Jong Pil was one of
the candidates who benefited
from Moon’s estrangement from the ruling
Democratic Justice
Party.

“Kim Jong-Pil is reportedly receiving financial and
organizational
support for his KS (South Korean) presidential bid from
the
controversial Unification Church,” the DIA reported in its Sept.
10,
1987, cable. But Moon’s organization did not stop with its old ally.
The
DIA discovered that Moon was hedging his bets by putting money into
the
hands of Kim Dae Jung and other leaders of the Reunification
Democratic
Party.

“Cult trying to win influence with the next KS
government while
defeating the current ruling party’s candidate,” read the
title of
another DIA report dated Sept. 22, 1987.

“The controversial
Unification Church (UC) is actively funneling large
amounts of political
funds to opposition Reunification Democratic Party
(RDP) advisor Kim
Dae-Jung, … RDP president Kim Young-Sam, … and
former KS prime minister
Kim Jong-Pil for their campaigns for KS
president, leaving out only the
ruling party candidate, Democratic
Justice Party (DJP) president Roh
Tae-Woo,” the DIA report said.

“The UC wants to see Roh defeated and is
funneling large amounts of
political funds to Roh’s three opponents with the
expectation that it
will have influence with whomever of the three should end
up as the next
president.” [I obtained these DIA reports under a Freedom of
Information
Act request.]

Eventually, the race boiled down to a
contest between Roh Tae Woo, Kim
Dae Jung and Kim Young Sam. On Dec. 16,
1987, Roh won with 36 percent of
the vote. Kim Young Sam got 28 percent and
Kim Dae Jung received 27
percent. Kim Jong Pil garnered only 8 percent. [For
details on the
election, see The Two Koreas by Don
Oberdorfer.]


Discreet Relationships
Though losing that round,
Moon’s beneficiaries did better in the years
that followed. Kim Jong Pil
again became prime minister, a post he held
from 1998 to early 1999. Kim Dae
Jung became president in 1998 and also
won the Nobel Peace
Prize.

Through the years, Kim Dae Jung did not advertise his ties to
Moon.
Kim’s association with the theocrat who considers himself the
new
Messiah has remained discreet, with the two men generally
avoiding
contact in public.

One exception came on Feb. 1, 1999, when
Moon and his wife – known to
their followers as the “True Parents” – were
holding a celebration at
the Lotte Hotel in Seoul. To the surprise of Moon’s
followers, Kim Dae
Jung arrived and enthusiastically joined the couple in
their ceremony.

According to the Unification News, the church’s internal
newsletter, the
Lotte Hotel event was “the first time President Kim appeared
in public
with our True Parents.”

Though less secret, Moon’s
relationship with the Bush family also
remains little known to most
Americans. Moon’s organization has paid the
Bush family directly – for
speeches in the 1990s – but the alliance
appears to have grown primarily
through Moon’s extravagant financial
support for The Washington Times, which
has consistently backed the
Bushes politically.

After its founding in
1982, The Washington Times staunchly supported
some of the Reagan-Bush
administration’s most controversial policies,
such as the contra war in
Nicaragua.

When the contra operation was embarrassed by initial public
disclosures
of contra drug trafficking in 1985-86, The Washington Times led
the
counterattack, criticizing journalists and congressional
investigators
who uncovered the first evidence of the problem.

Those
attacks helped cement a conventional wisdom in the Washington
political
community that the contra-drug allegations were bogus, a
belief that
persisted until 1998 when the CIA’s inspector general
admitted that dozens of
contra units were implicated in cocaine
trafficking and that the Reagan-Bush
administration had hidden much of
the evidence. [See Robert Parry’s Lost
History.]

The Washington Times also led the charge against Iran-contra
special
prosecutor Lawrence Walsh in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The
newspaper’s rear-guard defense of its allies proved important
when
Walsh’s investigation threatened to break through the long-running
White
House cover-up that was protecting Bush’s assertion that he was “out
of
the loop” on the scandal. [For details on The Washington Times’
role,
see Walsh’s book, Firewall.]

During national political
campaigns, Moon’s Washington Times was
especially influential, mounting harsh
– and often inaccurate – attacks
on the Bush family’s adversaries.

In
1988, when George H.W. Bush was running for president, The Washington
Times
publicized false rumors about the mental health of Democratic
candidate
Michael Dukakis, an important first step in raising doubts
about the
Massachusetts governor.

President George H.W. Bush grew so appreciative
of The Washington Times
that in 1991, he invited its editor-in-chief, Wesley
Pruden, to the
White House for a private lunch. Bush explained that the
purpose of the
lunch was “just to tell you how valuable the Times has become
in
Washington, where we read it everyday.” [WT, May 17, 1992]

In
Bush’s 1992 reelection campaign, The Washington Times was helping
again,
spreading new false rumors that Bill Clinton might have betrayed
his country
during a college trip to Moscow, possibly being recruited by
the KGB as a
spy.


Lining Pockets
After George H.W. Bush lost in 1992, The
Washington Times shifted from
defense to offense. The newspaper became a
leading conservative weapon
in mounting attacks on the Clinton
administration.

During the Bush family’s years out of power, Moon put
money directly
into their pockets, too. Moon-affiliated organizations paid
for speeches
by former President Bush in the United States, Asia and South
America.
Sometimes, Barbara Bush joined her husband in these appearances.
The
price tag for the speeches has been estimated at from hundreds
of
thousands of dollars to $10 million, a figure cited to me by a
senior
Unification Church official in the mid-1990s.

The elder Bush
has refused to divulge how much money he received from
Moon-affiliated
organizations. During one 1996 appearance in Buenos
Aires, Argentina, the
senior Bush went beyond a mere speech to act as a
kind of international
lobbyist for the Moon organization.

At the time, Moon was planning to
launch a new newspaper, Tiempos del
Mundo, and his supporters were upset over
critical coverage in South
American newspapers. The South American press was
pointing out Moon’s
close association with right-wing “death-squad”
governments of the 1970s
and the so-called “Cocaine Coup” regime in Bolivia
in the early 1980s.

Moon’s defenders were forced to issue public denials
that Moon’s
mysterious source of wealth came from drug trafficking and
other
organized-crime activities.

These allegations were threatening
the Tiempos del Mundo launch, Moon’s
followers feared. But Moon had a special
weapon to prove his
respectability: the endorsement of the 41st president of
the United
States.

Bush arrived on Nov. 22, 1996, and stayed with
Argentine President
Carlos Menem at his official residence. The next day,
Bush gave the
keynote address at the newspaper’s inaugural
dinner.

“Mr. Bush’s presence as keynote speaker gave the event
invaluable
prestige,” wrote the Unification News. “Father [Moon] and Mother
[Mrs.
Moon] sat with several of the True Children [Moon’s offspring] just
a
few feet from the podium.”

Bush lavished praise on Moon and his
journalistic enterprises. “I want
to salute Reverend Moon,” Bush said. “A lot
of my friends in South
America don’t know about The Washington Times, but it
is an independent
voice. The editors of The Washington Times tell me that
never once has
the man with the vision interfered with the running of the
paper, a
paper that in my view brings sanity to Washington,
D.C.”

Bush’s endorsement wasn’t exactly accurate. A stream of editors
and
correspondents have left The Washington Times, complaining about
the
interference of Moon’s operatives. But Moon’s followers believed
Bush’s
intervention stanched the flow of negative press stories and saved
the
day.


‘Satanic’ America
In those eight years of the Bush
family’s hiatus from power, Moon also
grew increasingly anti-American, often
telling his followers that the
United States was “Satanic.” He vowed to build
a movement powerful
enough to absorb America and eliminate what Moon saw as
America’s
destructive tendencies toward individualism.

“Americans who
continue to maintain their privacy and extreme
individualism are foolish
people,” Moon told his followers during one
speech on Aug. 4, 1996. He then
said, “Once you have this great power of
love, which is big enough to swallow
entire America, there may be some
individuals who complain inside your
stomach. However, they will be
digested.”

During the 2000 campaign,
The Washington Times was back helping the Bush
family achieve its political
restoration. Day after day, the newspaper
published articles undercutting
Democrat Al Gore – even questioning his
sanity – while boosting the candidacy
of George W. Bush.

In late 1999, The New York Times and The Washington
Post created a
controversy by misquoting Gore as claiming credit for starting
the Love
Canal toxic-waste cleanup. The two newspapers quoted Gore as saying
“I
was the one that started it all” when in fact he was referring to
a
similar Tennessee toxic-waste case and said, “that was the one
that
started it all.”

Yet, with the bogus quote touching off a wave of
media ridicule about
Gore’s supposed lack of credibility, The Washington
Times eagerly joined
the pack and returned to its old game of questioning the
sanity of its
political enemies. A Washington Times editorial termed Gore
“delusional”
and stated, “The real question is how to react to Mr.
Gore’s
increasingly bizarre utterings.”

The editorial went on to call
Gore “a politician who not only
manufactures gross, obvious lies about
himself and his achievements but
appears to actually believe these
confabulations.” [WT, Dec. 7, 1999]

Even after The New York Times and The
Washington Post corrected their
misquote, The Washington Times continued to
use the bogus quote. On Dec.
31, 1999, Moon’s newspaper published a column
entitled “Liar, Liar;
Gore’s Pants on Fire.” The column repeated the false
quote and concluded
that “when Al Gore lies, it’s without any apparent
reason.”

The media drumbeat about Gore’s supposed lies – often built on
similar
press exaggerations and outright errors – became a key element of
the
2000 campaign. Many Republican strategists viewed the
widespread
perception of Gore as untrustworthy as crucial in holding down
Gore’s
vote and clearing George W. Bush’s route to the White
House.


Payback
Now, with the Bush family back in charge, Moon’s
organization appears in
line for some financial payback. George W. Bush’s
plan to funnel
government money into religious charities is expected to be
especially
profitable for Moon’s front groups that are organized as
non-profit
charities.

The Rev. Pat Robertson, the conservative
televangelist, is among those
who have raised the alarm about how Bush’s
“faith-based” initiative
could line Moon’s pockets.

On the “700 Club”
television program, Robertson warned that Moon’s
Unification Church could
become one of the financial “beneficiaries of
the proposal to expand
eligibility for government grants to religious
charities.” [Washington Post,
Feb. 22, 2000]

Besides the possibility of collecting U.S. taxpayers’
money, Moon also
continues to benefit from a determined see-no-evil stance of
the U.S.
government toward Moon’s political-religious-business
organization.

Widespread evidence exists of money-laundering by Moon’s
operation –
including first-hand statements by church insiders including his
former
daughter-in-law. But this evidence simply disappears into a black
hole
of federal indifference.

Moon’s business dealings with communist
North Korea, dating back to 1991
and the first Bush administration, also have
prompted no official U.S.
reaction. Based on what is known publicly, Moon
would appear to be in
violation of the long-standing U.S. trade embargo
against North Korea.
That embargo covered Moon because he is a legal U.S.
resident –
possessing a “green card” – and thus required to abide by U.S.
sanction
laws.

According to other DIA documentation that I obtained
under FOIA, Moon
delivered millions of dollars in secret payments to North
Korea’s top
officials – including current communist leader Kim Il
Song.

Those payments, in the early-to-mid 1990s, came at a time when
the
communist regime was desperate for hard currency to support
its
development of nuclear weapons and long-range
missiles.

Ironically, it is that arms buildup that George W. Bush now
cites as a
chief reason for postponing further negotiations with North Korea
– and
for spending tens of billions of dollars to build a U.S. nuclear
“Star
Wars” shield.

During this past week’s summit, South Korea’s
president Kim Dae Jung
disagreed with Bush over the cessation of talks with
North Korea. Bush
attacked the North Koreans as untrustworthy.

Yet,
behind the scenes — though perhaps not fully apparent to either
man — was
this odd connection linking the Bush family, Kim Dae Jung and
the communist
leaders of North Korea.

It was the secret bond of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s
mysterious money. Robert
Parry is an investigative reporter who broke many of
the Iran-contra
stories in the 1980s for The Associated Press and
Newsweek.
=====================================================================
(5)
Longtime
Moonie for Dubya’s team?
George W. Bush has raised some eyebrows by
nominating a former V.I.P.
from the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church
to a top government
position.

MSNBC News/April 22, 2003
By Jeanette
Walls with Ashley Pearson
For his new Deputy of U. S. Trade, Bush has
selected Josette Shiner, a
longtime member of the Unification Church, whose
members are sometimes
derisively called “The Moonies.” Shiner was also the
managing editor for
Moon’s Washington Times newspaper.

In December,
Bush gave another longtime Moon follower a plum
appointment. He named David
Caprara to head AmeriCorps at VISTA, leading
some to question whether Bush is
paying back the reverend for his
generosity to the Bush family.

Shiner
joined the Unification Church in 1975, and although she has said
that she
became a practicing Episcopalian in 1996, she has never
publicly repudiated
Moon, whose followers believe that he is the true
Messiah.

If
appointed, Shiner will have tremendous influence over trade in Africa
and
Asia, including, of course, Moon’s homeland of Korea, where he has
extensive
business
interests.
=====================================================================
(6)Why
is TV news ignoring the relationship between Moon and the Bush
family?
Why
won’t Congress and the television news media investigate the
relationship
between the Bush family and Sun Myung Moon?

Online Journal/February 22,
2001
By Carla Binion
The following essay explains why the story is
newsworthy. While TV
talking heads hamm

Carlyle Group Online Documentary

July 24, 2003 at 8:12 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,


 

I’m
sure you all know by now about the Carlyle Group, and about some of its
connections to the Bush family, the bin Laden family, the Saudi royal family,
and their large investment interests in major defense contractors. But have
you really pieced it together? Do you really see the conflicts of interest in
having one former President Bush talking to heads of state about Carlyle defense
business, while the current President Bush talks with those same people about
policy and agenda? I thought this online documentary was very useful for getting
the “big picture” about Carlyle.

 

I
admit, watching a 45 min low-res video in a little window on the computer is a
bit difficult to get through–it was for me–but it was very interesting and
well worth it. (Hint: once the Real player starts loading in the Web page,
right-click on it and pick “play in Real Player” so you can resize and control
the play a little better.) And you’re sure not likely to see this broadcast on
American media.

 

–C

 


Exposed: The Carlyle
Group

 

A Shocking Documentary That
Uncovers
The Subversion Of Americas Democracy.

 

Watching this 48 minute
documentary will outrage you
about the depth of corruption and deceit within
the
highest ranks of our government and the first
family.

 

Note: The first one minute forty
five seconds of this program
is in broadcast in Dutch, The remainder is in
English.

 

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3995.htm

 

Related Website:
http://CarlyleGroup.net

 


 

Chomsky on \"Does the USA Intend to Dominate the World?\"

July 22, 2003 at 10:34 am
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

Here
is a typically cogent analysis of US policy in light of Iraq, Korea, and
all the rest of our worldwide meddlings, via an interview with Noam Chomsky.
Great reading, highly recommended!

 

–C

 

 

Does the USA
Intend to Dominate the World
Any Clark Interview Noam Chomsky for The
Amsterdam Forum

ANDY CLARK
Hello and welcome to Amsterdam Forum –
Radio Netherlands’ interactive
discussion programme.

Today a special
edition featuring the world-famous author and
political activist Noam
Chomsky.

Professor Chomsky, once described by the New York Times as
arguably
the most important intellectual alive, is an outspoken critic of US

foreign policy. He says, following the war in Iraq, the US is seeking
to
dominate the world by force, a dimension in which it rules
supreme. And he
warns this policy will lead to proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction
and terror attacks based on a loathing of
the US administration. He says the
very survival of the species may
be at stake.

Well professor Chomsky
joins us to take questions from our listeners
around the world. Welcome
professor Chomsky.

The first e-mail is from Norberto Silva, from the Cape
Verde islands,
and he says: “Could the USA and president Bush lead the world
into a
nuclear war with their policy of pre-emptive attacks?”

NOAM
CHOMSKY
They very definitely could. First of all we should be clear – it is

not a policy of pre-emptive attacks. Pre-emption means something in

international law. A pre-emptive attack is one that is taken in the
case
of an imminent, on-going threat. For example, if planes were
flying across
the Atlantic to bomb New York, it would be legitimate
for the US Air Force
to shoot them down. That’s a pre-emptive attack.
This is what is sometimes
called preventive war. That’s a new
doctrine that was announced last
September in the National Security
Strategy. It declares the right to attack
any potential challenge to
the global dominance of the United States. The
potential is in the
eye of the observer, so that, in effect, gives the
authorisation to
attack essentially anyone. Could that lead to a nuclear
war? Very
definitely. We’ve come very close in the past. Just last October,
for
example, it was discovered, to the shock and horror of those who paid

attention, that, during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, the world
was
literally one word away from probably terminal nuclear war.
Russian
submarines with nuclear weapons were under attack by US
destroyers. Several
commanders thought a nuclear war was on, and gave
the order to shoot nuclear
missiles. It was countermanded by one
officer. That’s why we’re around to
talk. There have been plenty of
such cases since.

ANDY CLARK
Are
we in a more dangerous situation now, with this preventive
doctrine in
place?

NOAM CHOMSKY
Sure. The preventive war doctrine is virtually an
invitation to
potential targets to develop some kind of deterrent, and there
are
only two kinds of deterrent. One is weapons of mass destruction, the

other is large-scale terror. That’s been pointed out over and over
again
by strategic analysts, the intelligence agencies and so on, so
sure, it
raises the danger that something will get out of control.

ANDY CLARK

This email is from Don Rhodes, from Melbourne, in Australia, and he
says:
“I do not believe that the US wants to dominate the world. The
Americans
have been attacked on several fronts, 9/11 being only one
of them. Someone
has to bring into line rogue states and it is the
USA alone that has the
capability to do this. Without such a ‘world
policeman’ the world would just
disintegrate into warring factions.
Look at history for examples of this.”
What do you make of that sort
of statement?

NOAM CHOMSKY
The
first sentence is simply factually incorrect. The National
Security Strategy
states fairly explicitly that the US intends to
dominate the world by force,
which is the dimension in which it rules
supreme, and to ensure that there
is never any potential challenge to
this domination. That was not only
stated explicitly, it has also
been commented on repeatedly, right away in
the main establishment –
the Foreign Affairs journal in its next issue is
pointing out that
the United States is declaring the right to be what it
calls
a “revisionist state”, which will use force to control the world in

its own interests. The person who sent the email may believe that the
US
has some unique right to run the world by force. I don’t believe
that, and
contrary to what was stated I don’t think history supports
that at all. In
fact the US record, incidentally with the support of
Australia, since the
period of its global dominance in the 1940s, is
one of instigating war and
violence and terror on a very substantial
scale. The Indochina War, just to
take one example in which Australia
participated, was basically a war of
aggression. The United States
attacked South Vietnam in 1962. The war then
spread to the rest of
Indochina. The end result was several million people
killed, the
countries devastated, and that’s only one example. So history
does
not support the conclusion and the principle that one state should

have a unique right to rule the world by force. That’s an extremely

hazardous principle, no matter who the country is.

ANDY CLARK

This is from Noel Collamer, from Bellingham, in Washington, in the
USA,
and he writes: “Noam says: ‘The Bush administration intends to
dominate the
world by force, the one dimension in which it rules
supreme, and to do so
permanently.’ To this I ask, if we, who can, do
not act with force against
tyrants, then what does he suggest be
done? That the brutalized populace
should use non-violent resistance
against their tyrant even though this will
result in their own
genocide?”

NOAM CHOMSKY
First of all – I
don’t say that, the Bush administration says it. I’m
simply repeating what
is stated quite explicitly, and that’s not
particularly controversial. As I
mentioned, it was commented on,
essentially in those words, in the first
issue of Foreign Affairs
immediately afterwards. As for countries suffering
under tyranny –
yes, it would be very good if somebody would help and
support them.
Take for example the current administration in Washington.
They
themselves – remember, these are mostly re-cycled Reaganites – they

supported a series of monstrous dictators, who subjected their

populations to vicious tyranny, including Saddam Hussein, Ceausescu,

Suharto, Marcos, Duvalier. It’s quite a long list. The best way to
deal
with that would have been to stop supporting them. Incidentally,
support for
terror and violence continues. The best way to stop it is
to stop supporting
them. Often, in fact in every one of those cases,
they were overthrown by
their own populations, even though the US was
supporting the dictator.
Ceausescu, for example, was a tyrant
perfectly comparable to Saddam Hussein.
He was overthrown in 1989 by
his own population, while he was being
supported by the current
incumbents in Washington, and that continues. If
there are people
resisting oppression and violence, we should find ways to
support
them, and the easiest way is to stop supporting the tyrants. After

that, complicated issues arise. There is no record, that I know of,
of
the US, or any other state – [there are] very rare examples –
intervening to
try to prevent oppression and violence. That’s
extremely rare.

ANDY
CLARK
OK, another email. This is from H.P. Velten, who is from New Jersey,

in the USA, and he says: “Why isn’t there more controversy about
Bush’s
motives in the US media?”

NOAM CHOMSKY
Well, actually there is plenty
of controversy. One thing that was
quite striking about the war in Iraq and
the National Security
Strategy, which is the framework for it, was that is
was very
strongly criticised, right at the core of the foreign policy elite

it was sharply criticised in the two major foreign affairs journals,

Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. The American Academy of Arts and

Sciences, which rarely takes a position on current controversial
issues,
had a monograph condemning it. There’s a whole series of
other articles.
It’s partly reflected in the media, but not very
much, because remember, the
media tend to be quite supportive of
power, for all sorts of
reasons.

ANDY CLARK
OK, another email. This is from Rijswijk, in The
Netherlands, from
M.J. “Bob” Groothand. This message says: “Throughout
history some
nations have always tried to rule the world. Most recently
Germany,
Japan and Russia come to mind. If the US is now the latest
‘would-be
conqueror’ then we can thank our lucky stars. It would be done
with
decency and honour for all mankind. The fact is that nothing like

this is being considered by Bush or the American government. You
forget
that the US has a constitution and, unlike Stalin, Hitler,
Hussein and other
despots, Bush is up for re-election in two years
and American voters are not
dumb nor are they oppressed or
intimidated. It’s a secret ballot.” Will
electoral accountability
rein in the US government, do you think, as this
listener suggests?

NOAM CHOMSKY
First of all, the account of history
is mostly fanciful, but let’s
put that aside. The fact that a country has a
constitution and is
internally democratic does not mean that it does not
carry out
violence and aggression. There is a long history of this. England,

for example, was perhaps the most free country in the world in the
19th
century and was carrying out horrifying atrocities throughout
much of the
world, and the case of the United States is similar. The
record goes back
very far. The United States was a democratic
country, for example, when it
invaded the Philippines a century ago,
killing several hundred thousand
people and leaving it devastated. It
was a democratic country in the 1980s,
when the current incumbents in
Washington carried out a devastating war of
terror in Nicaragua,
leaving tens of thousands dead and the country
practically ruined, an
attack for which they incidentally were condemned by
the World Court
and the Security Council in a veto-ed resolution, but then
escalated
the attack, and so it continues. As to the democratic election,
yes,
true, there is an election, and the Republicans have explained very

clearly how they intend to overcome the fact that their policies are

pretty strongly opposed by the majority of the population. They
intend
to overcome it by driving the country into fear and panic, so
that they will
huddle under the umbrella of a powerful figure who
will protect them. In
fact, we’ve just seen that last September when
the Security Strategy was
announced and the drumbeat of propaganda
for war began. There was a
government media propaganda campaign,
which was quite spectacular. It
succeeded in convincing the majority
of the population that Saddam Hussein
was an imminent threat to the
security of the United States. No-one else
believed that. Even Kuwait
and Iran, where they despise him, didn’t regard
him as a threat. They
knew he was the weakest country in the region. It also
succeeded in
convincing probably the majority of the population that Saddam

Hussein was behind 9/11, in fact instigated it and carried it out,
and
was planning further attacks. Again, there isn’t a particle of
evidence for
this, and there is no intelligence agency or security
analyst in the world
who believes it.

ANDY CLARK
Where is the political opposition in the
US then – the Democrats? Why
don’t they seek to make inroads into the
Republican camp? Obviously,
there is a substantial peace movement – we saw
hundreds of thousands
of people on the streets in the US who were opposed to
the military
action. Where is the political opposition in the US
now?

NOAM CHOMSKY
The Democratic political opposition is very tepid.
There has been
very little debate, traditionally, over foreign policy
issues. That’s
recognised right in the mainstream. Political figures are
reluctant
to put themselves in a position where they can be condemned as

calling for the destruction of the United States and supporting its

enemies and presenting fantasies, and be subjected to fantasies of
the
kind that in fact were included in that email. Politicians are
unwilling to
subject themselves to that, and the result is that the
voice of a large
portion of the population simply is barely
represented, and the Republicans
recognise it. Karl Rove, the
Republican campaign manager, made it clear
before the last election
in 2002 that the Republicans would have to try to
run the election on
a security issue, because if they faced it on issues of
domestic
policy they would lose. So they frightened the population into

obedience, and he has already announced that they are going to have
to
do the same thing next time in the 2004 election. They are going
to have to
present it as voting for a war president who will defend
you from
destruction. Incidentally, they are simply rehearsing a
script that runs
right through the 1980s, the first time they were in
office – the same
people, approximately. If you look, the policies
they implemented were
unpopular. The population was opposed, but they
kept pressing the panic
button, and it worked. In 1981 Libya was
going to attack us. In 1983 Grenada
was going to set up an airbase
from which the Russians would bomb us. In
1985 Reagan declared a
national emergency because the security of the United
States was
threatened by the government of Nicaragua. Somebody watching from

Mars would have collapsed in laughter. And so it went on through the

1980s. They managed to keep the population intimidated and frightened

enough so that they could maintain a thin grasp on political power,
and
that’s the effort since. They didn’t invent that tactic,
incidentally, but
it unfortunately has its effects, and political
figures and others are
reluctant to stand up and face the torrent of
abuse and hysteria that will
immediately come from trying to bring
matters back to the level of
fact.

ANDY CLARK
OK, another email. This is from Boris Karaman, from
Wyoming in the
USA, and he says: “Peace can only come from strength and
often comes
after a just war. The Pax Romana resulted from the strength of
the
Roman Empire, not from any pacifist ideology. There is more to

criticize in U.S. history when we failed to act soon enough. As

examples, Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot rose to power because of a lack
of
aggression against them. Your criticisms of a power-based approach
to
foreign policy are either naive or disingenuous. Those who act
against
threats make possible a world where arrogant leftists enjoy
the freedom of
speech to exhibit their errors in reasoning. Long may
it be so. Peace to
you, but peace through strength.” What do you make
of that
email?

NOAM CHOMSKY
Well, we can begin by looking at the facts. Take,
say, Hitler. Hitler
did rise to power with the support of the United States
and Britain.
As late as 1937, the State Department was describing Hitler as
a
moderate standing between the extremes of right and left, who we must

support, or else the masses of the population might take power and
move
in a leftist direction. In fact, the United States did not enter
the war
until it was attacked by Japan, and Germany declared war on
the United
States. In the case of Stalin, the United States didn’t
bring him to power,
and they also didn’t particularly oppose him. As
late as 1948, Harry Truman,
the president, was stating that he
thought Stalin was a decent man, who was
honest, [but] being misled
by his advisers, and so on and so forth. In the
case of Pol Pot, the
Khmer Rouge developed in the early 1970s – they were
virtually
unknown in 1970 – and they developed in the context of a massive
US
bombing campaign in Cambodia. About 600,000 people died, according to

the CIA, but it helped energise a fierce, vicious resistance, which
took
over in 1975. After it took over, the United States did nothing
to try to
stop it, but when Vietnam did eliminate Pol Pot, in 1978-
1979, by invading
and driving him out, Vietnam was bitterly attacked
by the United States for
the crime of getting rid of Pol Pot. The US
supported a Chinese invasion to
punish Vietnam, and imposed harsh
sanctions on them, and in fact turned to
direct support of the
remnants of the Pol Pot armies in Thailand. So, if you
want to talk
about history, get it straight. Then we can start with the
tirades.

ANDY CLARK
Do you think there is a point where force can be
justified? We heard
a lot of arguments about the Iraq war – that this was
the lesser of
two evils. The recent history of Iraq was well-known, but now
it was
a stage whereby something had to be done to get rid of Saddam

Hussein. Lots of Iraqi people themselves – within the country –
seemed
to support that argument.

NOAM CHOMSKY
First of all, we don’t know
that Iraqis were calling out to be
invaded, but if that was the goal, what
was the point of all the
lying? What you are saying is that Tony Blair,
George Bush, Colin
Powell and the rest are fanatic liars – they were
pretending until
the last minute that the goal was to get rid of weapons of
mass
destruction. If the goal was to liberate the Iraqi people, why not

say so? Why the lies?

ANDY CLARK
President Bush did say that in
the very last weeks [before the war].
He started talking about a war of
liberation.

NOAM CHOMSKY
At the last minute, at the Azores summit, he
said that, even if
Saddam Hussein and his associates leave the country, the
United
States is going to invade anyway – meaning the US wants to control

it. Now, in fact, there is a serious issue behind this. It has
nothing
to do with liberating the Iraqi people. You might ask the
question why
Iraqis did not overthrow Saddam the way, say, Romanians
overthrew
Ceausescu… and so on through a long series of others.
Well, you know it’s
pretty well understood. The westerners who know
Iraq best – Dennis Halliday
and Hans von Sponeck, the heads of the UN
oil for food programme – they had
hundreds of investigators running
through the country. They knew the country
intimately, and they have
been pointing out, as have plenty of others, that
what has prevented
any kind of uprising in Iraq is the murderous sanctions
regime, which
killed hundreds of thousands of people by conservative
estimates,
strengthened Saddam Hussein, and made the population completely

reliant on him for survival. So the first step in allowing Iraqis to

liberate themselves would have been to stop preventing it, by
permitting
the society to reconstruct, so that then they could take
care of their own
affairs. If that failed, if Iraqis were unable to
do what other populations
have done under the rule of comparable
tyrants, at that point the question
of the use of force might arise,
but until they have been at least given an
opportunity, and haven’t
been prevented by US-British action from
undertaking it, we can’t
seriously raise that question, and in fact it was
not raised by
Britain and the United States during the build-up to war. The
focus
was on weapons of mass destruction. Just look at the
record.

ANDY CLARK
This is an email from Bob Kirk, in Israel. He
says: “Why is Professor
Chomsky so opposed to the spread of democracy and
the liberation of
most of the world’s peoples (by the US if necessary, since
the EU has
abandoned challenging dictators), and what means other than

persuasion and sometimes justifable force would he propose in order
to
liberate the unfree societies of the world?”

NOAM CHOMSKY
I would be
strongly in favour of bringing democracy to the world, and
I am opposed to
preventing democracy. One of the reasons – it’s very
striking, if you look
at the last few months – [is that] I have never
seen, that I can recall,
such clear and brazen contempt and hatred
for democracy as has been
expressed by US elites. Just have a look.
Europe, for example, was divided
into what was called Old and New
Europe. There was a criterion – Old Europe
were the countries where
the governments, for whatever reason, took the same
positions as the
vast majority of their populations. That’s called
democracy. New
Europe – Italy, Spain, Hungary – were the countries where the

governments overrode an even larger percentage of their populations.
The
population was more opposed in those countries than in Old
Europe, but the
governments disregarded their populations – maybe 80
or 90 percent of them –
and followed orders from Washington, and
that’s called good! Turkey is the
most striking example. Turkey was
bitterly attacked by US commentators and
elites, because the
government took the same position as about 95 percent of
the
population. Paul Wolfowitz, who is described as the great exponent of

democratisation, a few weeks ago condemned the Turkish military for
not
intervening to compel the government to, as he put it, “help
Americans”,
instead of paying attention to 95 percent of their own
population. This
expresses brazen contempt for democracy, and the
record supports it. It’s
not that the United States is uniquely bad,
it’s like any other powerful
state, but take a look at the record in
the areas where the US has
controlled the region for a long time –
Central America and the Caribbean.
It’s about a hundred years. The US
has been willing to tolerate democracy,
but as they themselves put
it, only if it is – I’m quoting from a Reagan
administration advocate
of democracy – “top-down democracy”, in which
traditional elites
remain in power, elites that have been associated with
the United
States and run their societies the way the US wants. In that
case,
the US will tolerate democracy. They are very similar to other

powerful states, but let’s not have any illusions about it. The
sender
is writing from the Middle East, if I remember…

ANDY CLARK
>From
Israel.

NOAM CHOMSKY
…and there the United States has supported
brutal, oppressive
dictatorships for a long time, and it has known for a
long time that
that is the major reason for popular opposition. Back in the
1950s,
we know from internal records, president Eisenhower discussed with

his staff what he called the “campaign of hatred against us” among
the
people of the Middle East, and the reason was that the US was
supporting
oppressive and undemocratic regimes and blocking democracy
and development
because of our interest in controlling near-east oil.
Well that continues
until the present day. You hear the same thing
from wealthy westernised
Muslims interviewed in the Wall Street
Journal at this very moment. There is
a long record of opposing
democracy, unless it is under control, and for
reasons that are
rooted in familiar great power politics.

ANDY CLARK

Let’s take another email. This is from Vera Gottlieb, from British

Columbia, in Canada, and she says: “Under the guise of ‘fighting

terrorism’, the US Bill of Rights is being strongly curtailed, not to

say decimated. I can’t understand why the average American is not up
in
arms over it. Does the average American know, or care, what is
really going
on?”

NOAM CHOMSKY
Very few are well aware of what’s going on. The
Patriot Act, and the
new, planned Patriot 2 Act, it is true, undermine – in
principle at
least, in words, and partially in actions – fundamental civil

liberties to a remarkable extent. So, the current justice department
has
claimed the right to arrest people, including American citizens,
put them in
confinement indefinitely, without charge, without access
to lawyers and
families, until the president declares that the war on
terror is over. They
have even gone beyond that. The new plans
include plans to actually take
away citizenship if the attorney
general decides to do so. This has been
very harshly condemned by
civil rights lawyers, law professors, others, but
very little of it
leaks into the media. It’s not really well-known. These
moves are
quite dramatic. President Bush is supposed to have on his desk a
bust
of Winston Churchill, given to him by his friend Tony Blair, and in

fact Churchill had something to say about this. He said, and this is

virtually a quote, [that] for a government to put a person in prison

without trial by his peers is in the highest degree odious, and the

foundation of all totalitarian governments, whether nazi or
communist.
He said that in 1943, condemning proposals of a similar
nature in England,
which weren’t enacted. Remember, in 1943 England
was in pretty desperate
straits – it was under attack and facing
destruction by the most vicious
military force in history, and
nevertheless Churchill rightly described
measures like these as “in
the highest degree odious”, and “the foundation
of totalitarian
governments”. Yes, people should be very upset about
it.

ANDY CLARK
Why isn’t this an issue of common debate in the USA
then? And why
isn’t there grassroots opposition against the Patriot Act and
these
things you’ve just been describing?

NOAM CHOMSKY
First of
all, to know these things you have to do a bit of a research
project. I
don’t say that it is hidden – you can find the facts if
you look, but they
are certainly not common knowledge. To the extent
they are common knowledge,
there is opposition, but you have to
recall the great success of the
government media propaganda campaign,
since last September, to convince the
population of the United States
that they are in imminent threat of
destruction by the monster Saddam
Hussein, and next week it will be someone
else who we have to protect
ourselves against. Incidentally, the majority,
who were convinced by
those propaganda lies, their attitudes correlate very
closely with
support for war, and you can understand why – if you really
believe
that, you’re willing to see civil liberties erode. Of course, it was

fabrication, one of the most spectacular examples of propaganda

fabrication known, as many have pointed out, but it did work. When

people are frightened they will – sometimes – be willing not to
defend
the rights that they have won.

ANDY CLARK
OK, another email. This is
from Venezuela. This is from Alberto
Villasmil Raven, and he says: “I would
like to know if Professor
Chomsky thinks it possible that the US will invade
Venezuela.”

NOAM CHOMSKY
Well, I don’t think they’ll directly invade,
but among the regions
that are targeted for so-called preventive war, one of
them is almost
certainly the Andes region. It’s a region of substantial
resources.
It is, to a certain degree, out of control. The US already has

extensive military resources – a large military basing system in

Ecuador, the Dutch islands, El Salvador – surrounding the region, and

quite a few forces on the ground. My suspicion is that the US will

probably, in Venezuela, once again support a coup as it did last
year.
But if that doesn’t work, direct intervention is not
impossible. Remember,
this has long been planned. One of the very
good things about the United
States is it’s a very free society,
uniquely so. We have extensive records
of internal planning. Right in
the middle of the Cuban missile crisis, where
we have the records,
president Kennedy and his brother were discussing the
threat of the
Cuban missiles, and they said one of the big problems they
posed
was: “They might deter an invasion of Venezuela, if we decide to

invade.” That was 1962. These are old policies, deeply rooted.

ANDY
CLARK
OK, this is from Berrada M. Ali, from Rabat, in Morocco, and his

question is as follows: “Do you think that, after the unjustified and

unjustifiable war against Iraq, the world will lose the meaning of
its
existence, like in the field of language, when we lose the
gramatical rules?
Will we automatically lose the reference of the
meaning of sentences, and
consequently the meaning of the world
around us?”

NOAM CHOMSKY
In
my opinion, the most honest commentary on this point has been made
by strong
supporters of the war in Iraq. For example, if you take a
look at the
current issue of Foreign Affairs, the main establishment
journal, there is a
lead article by a well-known specialist on
international law, Michael
Glennon, who argues that we should
recognise that international law and
international institutions are
what he calls “hot air”. They have proven
their inapplicability by
the fact that the United States disregards them,
and he says it is
right to disregard them, and the United States must
maintain the
right to use force as it chooses, independent of these
institutions,
which we simply have to dismiss and disregard. Well that’s at
least
an honest statement. I think it’s a terrible threat to the world, and

it’s part of the reason why the US government has become an object of

massive fear around the world. The international polls on this are

remarkable, and it’s understandable. When a country takes that
position,
of course people are going to be frightened, and
furthermore, as again has
been pointed out over and over by
intelligence agencies and analysts and so
on, they’ll do something
about it. They’ll try to find means of deterrence.
The United States
is calling on the world to proliferate weapons of mass
destruction
and terror, if only as a deterrent.

ANDY CLARK
One
final email. This is from John Blessen, in Beverly Hills, in the
United
States, and his message is: “How can the United States best
protect itself
from rogue states like North Korea? And from nuclear,
chemical, and
biological threats from outlaw states? Cataclysmic
threats to the United
States are real and some say imminent, so how
would you, Dr Chomsky, fashion
a defense policy for the United
States?”

NOAM CHOMSKY
Well, let’s
take the one example that was mentioned – North Korea.
You can’t make a
general comment, it depends on the case. Take the
case of North Korea. Here
there is a strong consensus among the
states of the region – South Korea,
Japan, China and Russia – that a
diplomatic path should be followed, a path
of negotiations to reduce
the threat, which is real, and to integrate North
Korea slowly back
into the region in some fashion, and that’s a wise move.
Actually,
Clinton made moves in that direction. He didn’t actually implement

them, but he made them. They were pretty successful, and I think that

consensus is correct. The way to defend yourself against such threats
is
to prevent them from arising. There are many ways to do that, and
the same
is true in other cases that were mentioned. In the case of
Iraq, it was a
horrible regime. That’s why I was always opposed to
the fact that the United
States supported Saddam Hussein, and also
was opposed to the sanctions
regime, which prevented a revolt against
him, but, horrible as it was, it
was not a threat. Kuwait and Iran,
which despise Saddam Hussein – they were
both invaded by him –
nevertheless didn’t regard him as a threat, and there
was good reason
for that. Iraq was the weakest state in the region. Its
military
expenditures were about a third those of Kuwait, which has ten

percent of its population. It had been decimated by the sanctions,

virtually disarmed – a horrible place, but not a threat. This was

propaganda – grotesque, ugly propaganda. If you want to look at other

cases that one has a reason to be worried about – yes, then make up

appropriate plans for them. Take, say, the threat of terror. That’s
very
real and very dangerous. The threat of terror has been increased
by actions
of the Bush administration. For example, intelligence
agencies are pointing
out that recruitment for terrorist
organisations like al-Qaeda has risen
very sharply since the threat
to invade Iraq began, and then the invasion,
and that’s to be
anticipated for good reasons. It’s understood
why.

ANDY CLARK
You are somebody who seeks to debunk this propaganda
that you say the
US government is pushing onto the population. What sort of
attitudes
do people take towards you now – someone who speaks out against

current US policy?

NOAM CHOMSKY
I probably spend an hour a night
just very reluctantly writing
letters turning down invitations to talk all
over the country – huge
audiences, tremendous interest. The United States is
not different
from other countries in the world in this respect. There is
great
fear and concern about the policies that the Bush administration is

pursuing. If you eliminate the element of panic, which was induced by

the propaganda, which is unique to the United States, then opposition
to
the war and to the security strategy here are approximately the
same as
elsewhere. I and in fact other people who are willing to
speak publicly are
simply overwhelmed by requests and demands to
discuss these
issues.

ANDY CLARK
Professor Noam Chomsky, author, political activist
and linguistics
professor from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology,
thank you
very much for joining us.

NOAM CHOMSKY
Thank
you.

ANDY CLARK
And thank you all very much for listening.


============
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Who\’s Unpatriotic Now? – Krugman

July 22, 2003 at 9:48 am
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

Krugman weighs in today on how the administration pressures analysts to
“cook the intelligence books” and spares no effort to smear and discredit anyone
who disagrees with them…be they reporters or our own CIA operatives. Not
only that, but our meddlings in Iraq have seriously weakened our military.

 

–C

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/22/opinion/22KRUG.html?th=&pagewanted=print

 




July 22, 2003
Who’s Unpatriotic Now?By PAUL
KRUGMAN




Some nonrevisionist history: On Oct. 8, 2002, Knight
Ridder newspapers reported on intelligence officials who “charge that the
administration squelches dissenting views, and that intelligence analysts
are under intense pressure to produce reports supporting the White House’s
argument that Saddam poses such an immediate threat to the United States
that pre-emptive military action is necessary.” One official accused the
administration of pressuring analysts to “cook the intelligence books”;
none of the dozen other officials the reporters spoke to disagreed.


The skepticism of these officials has been vindicated. So have the
concerns expressed before the war by military professionals like Gen. Eric
Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, about the resources required for
postwar occupation. But as the bad news comes in, those who promoted this
war have responded with a concerted effort to smear the messengers.


Issues of principle aside, the invasion of a country that hadn’t
attacked us and didn’t pose an imminent threat has seriously weakened our
military position. Of the Army’s 33 combat brigades, 16 are in Iraq; this
leaves us ill prepared to cope with genuine threats. Moreover, military
experts say that with almost two-thirds of its brigades deployed overseas,
mainly in Iraq, the Army’s readiness is eroding: normal doctrine calls for
only one brigade in three to be deployed abroad, while the other two
retrain and refit.


And the war will have devastating effects on future recruiting by the
reserves. A widely circulated photo from Iraq shows a sign in the
windshield of a military truck that reads, “One weekend a month, my
ass.”


To top it all off, our insistence on launching a war without U.N.
approval has deprived us of useful allies. George Bush claims to have a
“huge coalition,” but only 7 percent of the coalition soldiers in Iraq are
non-American — and administration pleas for more help are sounding
increasingly plaintive.


How serious is the strain on our military? The Brookings Institution
military analyst Michael O’Hanlon, who describes our volunteer military as
“one of the best military institutions in human history,” warns that “the
Bush administration will risk destroying that accomplishment if they keep
on the current path.”


But instead of explaining what happened to the Al Qaeda link and the
nuclear program, in the last few days a series of hawkish pundits have
accused those who ask such questions of aiding the enemy. Here’s Frank
Gaffney Jr. in The National Post: “Somewhere, probably in Iraq, Saddam
Hussein is gloating. He can only be gratified by the feeding frenzy of
recriminations, second-guessing and political power plays. . . . Signs of
declining popular appreciation of the legitimacy and necessity of the
efforts of America’s armed forces will erode their morale. Similarly, the
enemy will be encouraged.”


Well, if we’re going to talk about aiding the enemy: By cooking
intelligence to promote a war that wasn’t urgent, the administration has
squandered our military strength. This provides a lot of aid and comfort
to Osama bin Laden — who really did attack America — and Kim Jong Il — who
really is building nukes.


And while we’re on the subject of patriotism, let’s talk about the
affair of Joseph Wilson’s wife. Mr. Wilson is the former ambassador who
was sent to Niger by the C.I.A. to investigate reports of attempted Iraqi
uranium purchases and who recently went public with his findings. Since
then administration allies have sought to discredit him — it’s unpleasant
stuff. But here’s the kicker: both the columnist Robert Novak and Time
magazine say that administration officials told them that they believed
that Mr. Wilson had been chosen through the influence of his wife, whom
they identified as a C.I.A. operative.


Think about that: if their characterization of Mr. Wilson’s wife is
true (he refuses to confirm or deny it), Bush administration officials
have exposed the identity of a covert operative. That happens to be a
criminal act; it’s also definitely unpatriotic.


So why would they do such a thing? Partly, perhaps, to punish Mr.
Wilson, but also to send a message.


And that should alarm us. We’ve just seen how politicized, cooked
intelligence can damage our national interest. Yet the Wilson affair
suggests that the administration intends to continue pressuring analysts
to tell it what it wants to
hear.  





Copyright
2003
 The New York
Times Company
 

White House blacklists Canadian reporter for Iraq story

July 21, 2003 at 4:28 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,


While it’s common enough for anyone who doesn’t fall lock-step into line behind the Administration to be labeled as “unpatriotic,” when the accused isn’t American, it’s a tougher job…so they slip some stories and innuendo to the likes of Matt Drudge and begin a smear campaign. Very nice.

The newest American insult: He’s a Canadian
White House blacklists reporter for Iraq story

–C

Grand Theft America

July 21, 2003 at 4:16 am
Contributed by:

Folks,


For those of you who don’t have the patience or interest to read Greg
Palast’s excellent investigative book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, on
what happened in Florida during the 2000 presidential election, check out
this quick Flash presentation–it will give you a good portion of the
important data in an easily digested, one sentence at a time video
presentation.


Grand Theft America


–C

U.S. Counterinsurgency Strategies in Iraq – Stratfor Weekly

July 19, 2003 at 4:40 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,

If you’ve been wondering what, exactly, our plan was or is for the post-war
Iraq, and what’s the deal anyway with Iran, this may help a little. It’s a
detailed discussion of the US’ counterinsurgency strategy options in Iraq,
and explains how “the key to a U.S. strategy in Iraq, therefore, rests in
Iran.” If you’ve got the stomach for it (as the saying goes, if you like
politics or sausage, you don’t want to know what goes into them), it’s very
interesting stuff.

The core options according to this author are:

1. Afghanistize the conflict. Move into secure base camps while
allowing the political situation on the ground to play itself
out. Allow the tension between Shiite and Sunni to explode into
civil war, manipulating each side to the U.S. advantage, while
focusing militarily on follow-on operations in Syria, Iran and
elsewhere. In other words, insulate the U.S. military from the
Iraqi reality, and carry on operations elsewhere.

2. Try to engage and defeat the guerrillas through
counterinsurgency operations, including direct military attacks
and political operations.

Read it and weep.

–C

—–Original Message—–

From: owner-standard@mail2.stratfor.com

On Behalf Of Strategic Forecasting Alert

Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2003 7:41 AM

To: standard@mail2.stratfor.com

Subject: Stratfor Weekly: U.S. Counterinsurgency Strategies in Iraq


Please feel free to send the Stratfor Weekly to a friend
or colleague.

THE STRATFOR WEEKLY

7 July 2003

by Dr. George Friedman

U.S. Counterinsurgency Strategies in Iraq

Summary

The appointment of Gen. John Abizaid as head of U.S. Central
Command opens a new phase in both the Iraq campaign and the war
on al Qaeda. In order to wage follow-on operations against al
Qaeda, an effective counterinsurgency operation must be launched
against the Iraqi guerrillas. This is a politico-military
imperative. Politically, the United States must demonstrate its
effectiveness against the full spectrum of opponents. Militarily,
the United States must show it can project forces from Iraq while
the base of operations remains insecure. Directly suppressing an
insurrection without indigenous support historically has been
difficult, but Iraq has a built-in opposition to the guerrillas:
the Shiites in the south. But their desire to dominate an Iraqi
government — and their ties to Iran — runs counter to U.S.
policy. This means Washington will have to make some difficult
choices in Iraq, and in the end will give away some things it
does not want to give away.

Analysis

U.S. Army Gen. John Abizaid will officially take over as head of
Central Command during the week of July 7. His mission will be
not only to stabilize the situation in Iraq, but also to command
the main U.S. offensive against al Qaeda. The summer offensive
that Stratfor has written about has begun, and Abizaid’s mission
will be to wage war, integrate the various operations into a
coherent whole and achieve the goal of the offensive: to further
undermine al Qaeda’s ability to strike at the U.S. homeland.

In war, no plan unfolds as expected. This war began in a
completely unexpected fashion on Sept. 11, 2001. As is
inevitable, the course of the war has taken unexpected turns. The
most recent and significant turn of this war has been the
emergence of a guerrilla war in Iraq. To be more precise, it
appears to us that in Iraq, as in Afghanistan, the fighters on
the ground understood that they could not win a conventional war.
Rather than engage in the sort of conflict at which the United
States excels, they put up token conventional resistance, all the
while planning to engage the United States in unconventional
warfare over an extended period.

In other words, the Iraqi forces understood that they could not
defeat the United States in conventional war. Instead, the Iraqi
war plan consisted of declining conventional engagement and
subsequently engaging U.S. forces in operations in which their
advantages were minimized and their weaknesses were exposed.

This has left the United States with the following battle
problem: It must wage the broader summer offensive while
simultaneously containing, engaging and defeating the Iraqi
guerrillas. This is not an easy task, not only because it spreads
U.S. forces thinner than planned, but also because the challenge
posed by the guerrillas has trans-military implications,
politically and psychologically. Abizaid must not ignore these
considerations and must integrate them into his war plan. This is
neither easy nor optional.

It is useful to begin by recalling the overarching strategic
purpose of all of these operations: the disruption of al Qaeda
and potential follow-on groups to prevent further major attacks
on the United States. The Iraq campaign was an element in this
broader strategy, designed to achieve these three goals, in
increasing importance:

1. The elimination of a regime that potentially could support al
Qaeda operations.

2. The transformation of the psychological architecture of the
Islamic world. The perception in the Islamic world, developed
since the U.S. withdrawal from Beirut in 1983 and reaffirmed by
events since then, was that the United States was incapable of
resolute action. The United States was seen as powerful
militarily, but as lacking the political will to use that power.
U.S. forces withdrew after taking minimal casualties in Beirut
and Somalia. In Afghanistan, the United States halted operations
after seizing major cities, apparently because it was unwilling
to engage in more extended conflict. The U.S. invasion of Iraq
was designed to change the Islamic world’s perception —
accepting anger at the United States in exchange for greater
fear.

3. The creation of a base of operations that would allow the
United States to bring political and military pressure to bear on
a cluster of nations the U.S. administration sees as directly or
indirectly sustaining al Qaeda operations — in particular Saudi
Arabia, Syria and Iran. Riyadh began shifting its position prior
to the Iraq invasion. Immediately after the end of the campaign,
the United States turned its attention to follow-on operations
against Syria and Iran. These operations have been primarily
political since the end of the Iraq campaign, but the constant
threat exists that they could move to a military phase at any
point.

The guerrilla war in Iraq strikes directly at the second
objective of the Iraqi campaign. It is what Stratfor has called a
trans-military goal: It is rooted in a military operation but
ultimately arrives at an issue that transcends the purely
military — namely the psychological perception of the United
States and the credibility of U.S. military threats. As a
secondary matter, it also complicates the logistics of follow-on
operations after Iraq. At the moment, that is not the primary
issue — although it should be emphatically noted that an
evolution in the conditions in Iraq very well could undermine the
U.S. ability to use Iraq as a base of operations.

The problems that have arisen in Afghanistan and Iraq are rooted
in U.S. strategy. The United States invaded both countries as a
means toward other ends, rather than as ends in themselves. The
invasion of Afghanistan was intended to disrupt al Qaeda’s main
operational base. The invasion of Iraq was intended to bring U.S.
power to bear against al Qaeda’s enablers in the region. In
neither case did the United States have an intrinsic interest in
either country — including control of Iraq’s oil.

The United States could achieve its primary purpose in each
country without complete pacification. In Afghanistan, the U.S.
administration accepted from the beginning that the complex
tribal and ideological conflicts there would make pacification
impossible. U.S. forces seized the major cities and a few
strategic points, kept most forces in protected garrisons and
conducted military operations as opportunities to combat al Qaeda
arose. U.S. forces avoided any attempts at pacification projects,
understanding that the level of force and effort required to
achieve any degree of pacification far outstripped U.S. interests
and probably U.S. resources. The United States had a limited
mission in Afghanistan and ruthlessly focused on that, while
publicly professing ambitious and complex goals.

The Iraq campaign took its primary bearings from the Afghan
campaign. The goals were to shatter the Iraqi army and displace
the Iraqi regime. These goals were achieved quickly. The United
States then rapidly pivoted to use its psychological and military
advantage to pressure Syria and Iran. As in Afghanistan,
pacification was not a primary goal. Pacification was not
essential to carrying on the follow-on mission. But the U.S.
reading of the situation in Iraq diverged from that of
Afghanistan. The U.S. administration always understood that the
consequences of the invasion of Afghanistan would be the
continuation and intensification of the chaos that preceded that
invasion. The underlying assumption in Iraq was that the postwar
Iraqi impulse would be toward stability. The U.S. administration
assumed that the majority of the Iraqi public opposed Saddam
Hussein, would welcome the fall of his regime, would not object
to an American occupation and, therefore, would work harmoniously
with the United States in pacification projects, easing the
burden on the United States tremendously.

The U.S. administration expected the defeat of the Taliban to
devolve into guerrilla warfare. The United States did not expect
the defeat of the Baath regime to devolve into guerrilla warfare.
It did not expect the Shiites to be as well-organized as they
are, nor did they expect this level of Shiite opposition to a
U.S. occupation. In other words, the strategic understanding of
the Iraqi campaign took its bearings from the Afghan campaign —
and the United States had no interest in pacification — but at
the same time, the United States did not expect this level of
difficulty and danger involved in pacifying Iraq, because U.S.
intelligence misread the situation on the ground.

At its current level of operations, the guerrilla war does not
represent a military challenge to the United States. Therefore,
the first and third goals are for the moment achieved. The United
States has displaced the Iraqi regime, limiting its ability to
engage in strategic operations with the United States, and U.S.
forces can conduct follow-on operations should they choose to.
But the United States is in serious danger of failing to achieve
its second goal: transforming the psychological perception of the
United States as an irresistible military force.

It certainly is true that the guerrilla war does not represent a
strategic threat to the United States. But on one level, the
reality is irrelevant. Perception is everything. The image that
the U.S. Army is constantly taking casualties and is unable to
cripple the guerrillas undermines the perception that the United
States wanted to generate with this war. The reality might be
that the United States is overwhelmingly powerful and the
guerrilla war is a minor nuisance. The perception in the Islamic
world will be that the United States does not have the power to
suppress Saddam Hussein’s guerrillas. It will complicate the
politico-military process that the United States wanted to put
into motion with the invasion. It is therefore a situation that
the United States will have to deal with.

The United States has, in essence, two strategic options:

1. Afghanistize the conflict. Move into secure base camps while
allowing the political situation on the ground to play itself
out. Allow the tension between Shiite and Sunni to explode into
civil war, manipulating each side to the U.S. advantage, while
focusing militarily on follow-on operations in Syria, Iran and
elsewhere. In other words, insulate the U.S. military from the
Iraqi reality, and carry on operations elsewhere.

2. Try to engage and defeat the guerrillas through
counterinsurgency operations, including direct military attacks
and political operations.

The dilemma facing the United States is this: From a strictly
military perspective, Option 1 is most attractive. From a
political and psychological perspective, Option 1 is
unacceptable. It also creates a military risk: The insurgency,
unless checked, ultimately could threaten the security of U.S.
forces in Iraq no matter how well-defended they were in their
secure facilities. On the other side of the equation,
counterinsurgency operations always require disproportionate
resources. The number of insurgents is unimportant. The number of
places they might be and the number of locations they might
attack dictate the amount of resources that must be devoted to
them. Therefore, a relatively small group of guerrillas can tie
down a much larger force. A sparse, dispersed and autonomous
guerrilla force can draw off sufficient forces to make follow-on
operations impossible.

The classical counterinsurgency dilemma now confronts the United
States. The quantity of forces needed to defeat the guerrillas is
disproportionate to the military advantage gained by defeating
them. Failure to engage the guerrilla force could result in a
dramatic upsurge in their numbers, allowing them to become
unmanageable. The ineffective engagement of guerrillas could
result in both the squandering of resources and the failure to
contain them. The issue is not how large the guerrilla force is
but how sustainable it is. At this stage of operations, the
smaller the force the more difficult it is to suppress — so long
as it is large enough to carry out dispersed operations, has
sufficient supplies and the ability to recruit new members as
needed. At this point, the Iraqi guerrilla force is of
indeterminate size, but it is certainly well-dispersed and has
sufficient supplies to operate. Its ability to recruit will
depend on arrangements made prior to the U.S. occupation and the
evolution of the conflict. This sort of guerrilla warfare does
not provide readily satisfactory solutions for the occupying
power.

The classic solution of a guerrilla threat to an occupying power
is to transfer the burden of fighting to an indigenous force. Not
accidentally, the Iraqi guerrillas in recent days attacked and
killed seven Iraqis being trained for this role. Inventing a
counterinsurgency force beyond your own forces in the midst of
conflict is not easy. Nevertheless, successful containment of a
guerrilla force must involve either an indigenous force motivated
to suppress the guerrillas or, alternatively, forces provided by
a faction hostile to the guerrilla faction — an ethnic or
religious group that shares the occupier’s interest in
suppressing the guerrillas.

The greatest threat the United States faces in Iraq is not the
guerrillas. It is the guerrillas combined with a rising among the
Shiites south of Baghdad. If the guerrilla rising combines with
an intifada — a mass rising that might not use weapons beyond
stones, but that could lead to a breakdown of U.S. controls in
the south — it would represent a most untenable situation. An
intifada, apart from its intrinsic problems, could complicate
logistics. Demonstrators likely would clog the supply routes from
the south. Suppressing an intifada not only is difficult, it has
political and psychological consequences as well.

It is imperative that the United States prevent a rising among
the Shiites. It is also imperative that the United States find a
native faction in Iraq that is prepared to take on some of the
burden of suppressing the primarily Baathist guerrillas. The
United States is afraid of a Shiite uprising, but could use the
Shiites in suppressing the Baathists. The Shiites are the center
of gravity of the situation.

Shiite leaders have made it clear that they want to dominate any
new Iraqi government — and that they expect the United States to
create such a government. The United States has been concerned
that Iran influences and even might control the Shiites and that
handing over power to the Iraqi Shiites would, in effect, make
Iran the dominant force in Iraq and ultimately in the Persian
Gulf. That is a reasonable concern. Indeed, it violates the core
U.S. strategy. The United States invaded Iraq, in part, to coerce
Iran. To argue that the only way to stay in Iraq is to strengthen
Iran makes little sense. On the other hand, if the United States
continues to refuse to create a native government in Iraq, the
probability of a Shiite rising is substantial.

The key to a U.S. strategy in Iraq, therefore, rests in Iran. If
regime change in Iran could be rapidly achieved or a substantial
accommodation with the Iranian government could be negotiated,
then using the Iraqi Shiites to man an Iraqi government and bear
the brunt of the counterinsurgency operation would be practical.
The key is to reach an agreement with Iran that provides the
United States with substantial assurances that the Iranian
government would neither support nor allow Iranians to provide
support to al Qaeda.

The regime in Tehran has no love for the Sunnis, nor do the
Sunnis for the Shiites. The events in Pakistan show how deeply
sectarian religious violence is rooted in the Islamic world. The
United States cannot supplant Islamic fundamentalism. It can
potentially manipulate the situation sufficiently to control the
direct threat to the United States. In other words, if the United
States can reach an understanding with Iran over al Qaeda and
nuclear weapons, then the Shiites in Iraq could become a solution
rather than a problem.

If there is to be an agreement with Iran, the United States must
demonstrate to Iranian hardliners first that it has the ability
to destabilize the Islamic Republic, and second that it is
prepared not to do so in return for Shiite cooperation. Without
this, any alliance with Iran over Iraq rapidly would spiral out
of U.S. control, and Iran would become uncontrollable. The key
for the United States is to demonstrate that it has leverage in
Iran. The United States does not want to overthrow the Iranian
government. It simply wants to demonstrate its ability to
destabilize Iran if it chose to. If it can do that, then other
things become possible.

It follows that the United States likely shortly will work to
reignite the demonstrations in Iran — in all probability in the
next few days. The purpose will not be to overthrow the Iranian
government — that is beyond U.S. capabilities. Instead, it will
be designed to persuade Iranian leaders — including Supreme
Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — that some form of cooperation
with the United States over issues that matter to the Americans
is in their interest, and could result in something that the
Iranians have longed dreamed of: a Shiite-dominated Iraq.

This strategy is extraordinarily convoluted and fraught with
difficulties. But the prospect of fighting a counterinsurgency
campaign in Iraq, alone, without indigenous support, is equally
fraught with danger. So too is attempting an Afghan solution —
packing forces into air bases and army camps and allowing the
insurrection to evolve. There are few good choices in Iraq at the
moment. Alliance with the Shiites is extremely difficult and
risky, but the other choices are equally difficult. If the
Iranian/Shiite play fails, then it will be time to choose between
counterinsurgency and enclaves.

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Bush lies about weapons inspectors

July 19, 2003 at 4:27 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

OK,
I lied. There actually is another episode of your favorite
GetRealList serial show, “WMD? Where?” for today. Thanks to “an alert reader”
for submitting these!

 

First,
an excellent article from The Washington Post summarizing the contradictions in
the statements of various Adminstration officials throughout this saga:

President Defends Allegation On Iraq

Bush Says CIA’s Doubts Followed Jan. 28 Address


 

In that article, they discuss Bush’s Jan.
28 State of the Union speech, wherein he told a startlingly clear lie.

“Defending the broader decision to go to war
with Iraq, the president said the decision was made after he gave Saddam Hussein
“a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in.”
[…] The
president’s assertion that the war began because Iraq did not admit inspectors
appeared to contradict the events leading up to war this spring: Hussein had, in
fact, admitted the inspectors and Bush had opposed extending their work because
he did not believe them effective.”

 

Just another example of the way that Bush
continually twists the truth to suit the purposes of the day, or the proverbial
‘smoking gun’?

 

Next, a similar article by Newsday on the subject:

CIA Work ‘Darn Good’
Bush defends intelligence used in State of the
Union
http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-usbush0715,0,2429697.story?coll=ny-nationalnews-headlines

 

An excerpt:



In his session with journalists after a
meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Bush asserted
incorrectly that “we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he
wouldn’t let them in. And therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to
remove him from power … “

In fact, Hussein allowed UN weapons
inspectors to return to Iraq last fall after a four-year absence; Bush
launched the war after claiming that the inspections were ineffectual.


And finally, that alert reader’s comments:

 


 ” Wow. That’s
unbelievable. That’s more than misspeaking–Bush is coherently (for him) stating
a complete fiction. Note that “he wouldn’t let them in” is incontrovertibly
false. They WERE in. Actually they found a lot more significant WMD (long-range
missiles, chemical warheads) than we have despite the massive expenditure of
troops to find them.

 

Actually, it’s two: “after a reasonable request”? What request was that,
the one where we said that someone killing him (“one bullet”) might avert the
war? ” 

 

Stay tuned…I have a feeling this serial
may run for several seasons.

 

–C

 

P.S. I choose to protect my readers’
privacy by referring to everyone as “an alert reader.” You never know where this
stuff may travel. But if you prefer to have your identity known, just let me
know and you’ll be appropriately credited when I send out your stuff to the
list!

 

 

Mr. Bush, You Are A Liar – William Rivers Pitt

July 19, 2003 at 3:43 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

Back
on June 3, I wrote to one member of this list, “Wouldn’t it be ironic
if the
lies about Iraq’s WMD turned out to be the very petard* upon which we
finally hoist these guys?”

 

Well, that irony is
looking more and more substantive.



Here’s
just one more piece about the Administration’s lies about WMD for today. An
excerpt:

 

  There is no “The President wasn’t told”
justification available here, no Iran/Contra loophole. He knew. He lied. His
people knew. They lied.

  Death knows no political affiliation, and
a bloody lie is a bloody lie is a bloody lie. The time has come for Congress to
fulfill their constitutional duties in this matter, to defend the nation and the
soldiers who live and die in her service. The definition of ‘is’ has flown right
out the window. This ‘is’ a crime. George W. Bush lied to the people, and lied
to Congress.  There are a lot of people dead because of it.

 

(* I double-checked
the meaning of “petard” and found to my surprise that it derives from “Middle
French, from peter
to break wind” Hah! Ain’t that a
gas?)

 

–C

 

—–Original Message—–




Mr. Bush, You Are A Liar
  William Rivers
Pitt
  t r u t h o u t | Perspective


 
Friday 11 July 2003

  There was a picture on
the front page of the New York Times on Tuesday, July 8. It showed several
American soldiers in Iraq sitting in utter dejection as they were informed by
their battalion commander that none of them were going home anytime soon, and
no one knew exactly when they were going home at all. PFC Harrison Grimes sat
in the center of this photo with his chin in his hand, staring at ground that
was thousands of miles from his family and friends. A soldier caught in the
picture just over PFC Grimes’ shoulder had a look on his face that could break
rocks.

  212 of PFC Grimes’ fellow soldiers have died in Iraq, and
1,044 more have been wounded. The war created chaos in the cities, and it
seems clear now that very little in the way of preparation was made to address
the fact that invasion leads to social bedlam, not to mention a lot of
shooting. Last Sunday, CNN’s Judy Woodruff showed a clip of a Sergeant Charles
Pollard, who said, “All we are here is potential people to be killed and
sitting ducks.”

  According to the numbers, almost two thirds of
the soldiers killed in Iraq since May 1 died in “non-combat related” mishaps
like accidental weapons discharges, accidental detonations of unexploded
ordnance, and questionable car crashes. There are some in the world who might
take comfort from the fact that only one third of the dead since May came from
snipers or bombs or rocket-propelled grenades. Dead is dead, however. There is
no comforting them.

  A significant portion of the dead and
wounded came after Bush performed his triumphant swagger across the deck of an
aircraft carrier that was parked just outside San
Diego bay. Those dead and wounded came because the Bush
administration’s shoddy planning for this whole event left the troopers on the
firing line wide open to the slow and debilitating bloodletting they have
endured. A significant portion of the dead and wounded came after Bush stuck
his beady chin out on national television and said, “Bring ’em
on!”

  When a leader sends troops out into the field of battle,
they become his responsibility. When his war planning is revealed to be
profoundly faulty, flawed in ways that are getting men killed, he should not
stick his banty rooster chest out to the cameras and speak with the hollow
bravado of a man who knows he is several time zones away from the violence and
bloodshed.

  Such behavior is demonstrably criminal from a moral
standpoint. The events that led to this reprehensible display were criminal in
a far more literal sense.

  Bush and the White House told the
American people over and over again that Iraq was in possession of vast
stockpiles of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Bush and the White
House said over and over again that this was a direct threat to the United
States. Bush and the White House told the American people over and over again
that Iraq was directly connected to al Qaeda terrorism, and would hand those
terrible weapons over to the terrorists the first chance they got. Bush and
the White House told Congress the same thing. Very deliberately, Bush and the
White House tied a war in Iraq to the attack of September 11.

  It
was all a lie. All of it.

  When George W. Bush delivered his
constitutionally-mandated State of the Union Address in January 2003, he
stated flatly that Iraq was attempting to develop a nuclear weapons program.
“The British government has learned,” said Bush in his speech, “that Saddam
Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium in Africa.” He
delivered this proclamation on the basis of intelligence reports which claimed
that Iraq was attempting to procure uranium from the African nation of
Niger.

  Vice President Cheney got the Niger ball rolling in a
speech delivered August 26, 2002 when he said Saddam Hussein had “resumed his
effort to acquire nuclear weapons.” As the data clearly shows, Mr. Cheney was
a central player in the promulgation of the claim that Iraq was grubbing for
uranium in Africa. This statement was the opening salvo.

  CIA
Director George Tenet made this same claim in a briefing to the Senate
Intelligence Committee on September 24, 2002. This briefing was the deciding
factor for a number of Senatorial fence-sitters unsure about voting for war.
Bush, in a speech delivered on the eve of the Congressional vote for war on
Iraq, referenced the Niger uranium claims again when he raised the specter of
a “mushroom cloud” just three sentences after evoking “The horror of September
11.”

  That sealed the deal. Congress voted for war, and a clear
majority of the people supported the President.

  In the last
week, a blizzard of revelations from high-ranking members of the intelligence
community has turned these Bush administration claims inside out. It began
with a New York Times editorial by Joseph Wilson, former US ambassador to
several African nations. Wilson was dispatched in February of 2002 at the
behest of Dick Cheney to investigate the veracity of the Niger evidence.
Wilson spent eight days digging through the data, and concluded that the
evidence was completely worthless. The documents in question which purportedly
indicated Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium were crude
forgeries.

  Upon his return in February of 2002, Ambassador
Wilson reported back to the people who sent him on his errand. According to
his editorial, the CIA, the State Department, the National Security Council
and the Vice President’s office were all informed that the Niger documents
were forged. “That information was erroneous, and they knew about it well
ahead of both the publication of the British white paper and the president’s
State of the Union address,” said Wilson in a ‘Meet the Press’ interview last
Sunday.

  “I have little choice but to conclude that some of the
intelligence related to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was twisted to
exaggerate the Iraqi threat,” Wilson wrote in his Times editorial. “A
legitimate argument can be made that we went to war under false pretenses.” He
elaborated further in a Washington Post interview, saying, “It really comes
down to the administration misrepresenting the facts on an issue that was a
fundamental justification for going to war. It begs the question, what else
are they lying about?”

  Ambassador Wilson’s claims are not easily
dismissed. Wilson is a 23-year veteran of the foreign service who was the top
diplomat in Baghdad before the first Gulf War. In 1990, he was lauded by the
first President Bush for his work. “What you are doing day in and day out
under the most trying conditions is truly inspiring,” cabled Bush Sr. “Keep
fighting the good fight.”

  A great hue and cry has been raised as
to the timing of the data delivery to the policy-makers. Don Rumsfeld and
Condoleezza Rice have both claimed they knew nothing of the forged Niger
evidence, claiming the information was buried in the “bowels” of the
intelligence services. Vice President Cheney’s office has made similar
demurrals. Obviously, the administration is attempting to scapegoat the
CIA.

  Given the nature of Wilson’s claims, and given who he is,
and given the fact that he was sent to Niger at the behest of Dick Cheney, it
is absurd to believe the administration was never given the data they
specifically asked for over a year before the war began, and eleven months
before Bush’s fateful State of the Union Address.

  27-year CIA
veteran Ray McGovern, writing in a recent editorial, described a conversation
he had with a senior official who recently served at the National Security
Council. “The fact that Cheney’s office had originally asked that the
Iraq-Niger report be checked out,” said the official, “makes it inconceivable
that his office would not have been informed of the results.”

 
Wilson is not alone. Greg Thielmann served as Director of the State
Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research until his retirement in
September. Mr. Thielmann has come forward recently to join Ambassador Wilson
in denouncing the Bush administration’s justifications for war in
Iraq.

  “I believe the Bush administration did not provide an
accurate picture to the American people of the military threat posed by Iraq,”
said Thielmann on Wednesday. During his press conference, Mr. Thielmann said
that, as of the commencement of military operations in March of 2003, “Iraq
posed no imminent threat to either its neighbors or to the United States”. Mr.
Thielmann also dismissed the oft-repeated claims of a connection between Iraq
and al Qaeda. “This administration has had a faith-based intelligence
attitude,” he said.

  Thielmann could have saved his breath, and
Wilson could have saved himself a trip, if the Bush administration had
bothered to pay any attention to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The
IAEA’s chief spokesman, Mark Gwozdecky, said on September 26, 2002 that no
such evidence existed to support claims of a nascent Iraqi nuclear
program.

  White House spokesman Ari Fleischer on July 8 stood
before the press corps and said the President’s statements during the State of
the Union address had been “incorrect.”

  Let us look at the
timeline of this and consider the definition of “incorrect”:

  ·
February 2002: Ambassador Joseph Wilson is dispatched by Cheney to Niger to
investigate Iraq-uranium claims. Eight days later, he reports back that the
documentary evidence was a forgery;

  · August 26, 2002: Dick
Cheney claims Iraq is developing a nuclear program;

  · September
24, 2002: CIA Director Tenet briefs the Senate Intelligence Committee on the
reported Iraqi nuclear threat, using the Niger evidence to back his
claims;

  · September 26, 2002: The IAEA vigorously denies that
any such nuclear program exists in Iraq;

  · October 6, 2002:
George W. Bush addresses the nation and threatens the American people with
“mushroom clouds” delivered by Iraq, using the same Niger
evidence;

  · October 10, 2002: Congress votes for war in Iraq,
based on the data delivered by Tenet and by the nuclear rhetoric from Bush
four days prior;

  · January 2003: George W. Bush, in his State of
the Union Address, says, “The British government has learned that Saddam
Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium in
Africa.”

  · March-April 2003: War in Iraq kills thousands of
civilians and destabilizes the nation;

  · April-July 2003: No
evidence whatsoever of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons can be found in
Iraq. 212 American soldiers have died, and 1,044 more have been wounded, as a
guerilla war is undertaken by Iraqi insurgents;

  · July 2003:
Amid accusations from former intelligence officials, the Bush administration
denies ever having known the Niger evidence was fake.

  The Bush
administration knew full well that their evidence was worthless, and still
stood before the American people and told them it was fact. Bush sent the
Director of the CIA to the Senate under orders to use the same worthless
evidence to cajole that body into war.

  That is not being
“incorrect.” That is lying. In the context of Bush’s position as President,
and surrounded by hundreds of dead American soldiers piled alongside thousands
of dead Iraqi civilians, that is a crime.

  They
know it, too.

  A report hit the Reuters wires late Tuesday night
announcing the arrest of an Iraqi intelligence official named Ahmad Khalil
Ibrahim Samir al-Ani. An unnamed “US official” claimed al-Ani had reportedly
met with 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta in Prague just months before the
attack. The old saw about Iraq working fist in glove with al Qaeda to bring
about September 11 was back in the news.

  According to the story,
neither the CIA or the FBI could confirm this meeting had taken place. In
fact, a Newsweek report from June 9 entitled “Where are the WMDs?” shows the
FBI was completely sure such a meeting had never taken place. The snippet
below is from the Newsweek article; the ‘Cabal’ statement refers to Defense
Secretary Rumsfeld and his coterie of hawks who have been all-out for war on
Iraq since 1997:

  “The Cabal was eager to find a link between
Saddam and Al Qaeda, especially proof that Saddam played a role in the 9-11
attacks. The hard-liners at Defense seized on a report that Muhammad Atta, the
chief hijacker, met in Prague in early April 2001 with an Iraqi intelligence
official. Only one problem with that story, the FBI pointed out. Atta was
traveling at the time between Florida and Virginia Beach, Va. (The bureau had
his rental car and hotel receipts.)”

  Amid the accusations that
have exploded surrounding the revelations of Wilson, Thielmann and other
high-ranking intelligence officials, comes now again reports of the infamous
Iraq-al Qaeda connection, an administration claim meant to justify the war. As
with the Niger forgery, however, it is too easily revealed to be utterly
phony.

  It reeks of desperation. This administration is learning
a lesson that came to Presidents Nixon and Johnson with bitter tears:
Scapegoat the CIA at your mortal peril.

  There are many who
believe that blaming George W. Bush for the errors and gross behavior of his
administration is tantamount to blaming Mickey Mouse for mistakes made by
Disney. There is a great deal of truth to this. Groups like Rumsfeld’s
‘Cabal,’ and the right-wing think tanks so closely associated to the creation
of administration foreign policy, are very much more in control of matters
than Bush.

  Yet Bush knew the facts of the matter. He allowed CIA
Director Tenet to lie to Congress with his bare face hanging out in order to
get that body to vote for war. He knew the facts and lied himself, on
countless occasions, to an American people who have been loyally supporting
him, even as he beats them over the head with the image of collapsing towers
and massive death to stoke their fear and dread for his own purposes. In doing
these things, he consigned 212 American soldiers to death, along with
thousands of innocent bystanders in Iraq. Given the current circumstances,
there will be more dead to come.

  There is no “The President
wasn’t told” justification available here, no Iran/Contra loophole. He knew.
He lied. His people knew. They lied.

  Death knows no political
affiliation, and a bloody lie is a bloody lie is a bloody lie. The time has
come for Congress to fulfill their constitutional duties in this matter, to
defend the nation and the soldiers who live and die in her service. The
definition of ‘is’ has flown right out the window. This ‘is’ a crime. George
W. Bush lied to the people, and lied to Congress.  There are a lot of
people dead because of it.

  One Congresswoman, Democratic
Representative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, released a statement on July 8 that
cuts right to the heart of the matter:

  “After months of denials,
President Bush has finally admitted that he misled the American public during
his State of the Union address when he claimed that Iraq attempted to purchase
uranium in Africa. That is why we need an independent commission to determine
the veracity of the other so-called evidence used to convince the American
people that war with Iraq was unavoidable.

  “It is not enough for
the White House to issue a statement saying that President Bush should not
have used that piece of intelligence in his State of the Union address at a
time when he was trying to convince the American people that invading Iraq was
in our national security interests. Did the president know then what he says
he only knows now? If not, why not, since that information was available at
the highest level.

  “What
else did the Bush Administration lie about? What other faulty information did
Administration officials, including President Bush, tell the American people
and the world? Did the Bush Administration knowingly deceive us and
manufacture intelligence in order to build public support for the invasion of
Iraq? Did Iraq really pose an imminent threat to our nation? These questions
must be answered. The American people deserve to know the full
truth.”

 
The voice of Rep. Schakowsky must be followed by others both within and
without the majority. If nothing is done about this, American justice is a
sad, sorry, feeble joke.

  ——-

  William Rivers Pitt is the
Managing Editor of truthout.org. He is a New York Times best-selling author of
two books – “War On Iraq” available now from Context Books, and “The Greatest
Sedition is Silence,” now available from Pluto Press at www.SilenceIsSedition.com.



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Trading With the \"Enemy\": Halliburton & GE Make Millions Trading With Iran

July 19, 2003 at 3:31 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,


Here’s a brief interview from the Democracy Now! radio show, discussing how
some 35 large US companies (375 companies worldwide) are doing big business
in parts of the world that the Congress and the State Department have
declared off limits, intentionally skirting sanctions and lining their own
pockets.


“There’s a difference between the president’s public rhetoric about the
dangers that these states pose to the U.S., and the White House’s conduct in
terms of dealing with these countries that are — these American companies
who are skirting sanctions.”


Example: The oil service contracts in Iraq that were awarded without bidding
to Halliburton by the Army Corps of Engineers, now topping $400 million and
with no fixed limit.


Why do we tolerate the Administration’s rhetoric about “axis of evil”
countries, when we know full well that our own companies are doing billions
of dollars of business with those same countries (especially Iran), endorsed
and facilitated by the same members of that administration? The hypocrisy
just boggles the mind.


Trading With the “Enemy”: Halliburton & GE Make Millions Trading With Iran


–C

Nothing Left To Lie About by Mark Morford

July 19, 2003 at 3:31 pm
Contributed by:

Folks,


And
now, another word from that rabid SF Leftie, Mark Morford
[edited].

 

–C

 

 —–Original
Message—–
From: SF Gate Newsletters
[mailto:morningfix@sfgate.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2003 8:28
AM
To: dailylist@sfgate.com
Subject: SF GATE MORNING FIX:
Imploding BushCo, God’s sodomy





====== SF Gate Morning
Fix ======

July 16, 2003 — Corey Feldman is 32 today
By
Mark Morfordmorningfix@sfgate.com
“Lube up,
lean into the fire, and laugh”
~~ nil desperandum ~~

== Mark’s Notes & Errata
==

Where opinion meets benign syntax abuse


Nothing Left To Lie About
With BushCo reaming the nation on just about every possible
front, is implosion imminent?
By Mark Morford



And the lies, the
flagrant GOP *censored* slappings of the American public, the maniacal jabs
straight in eye of truth with the icepick of utter BS, have just reached
some sort of critical mass, some sort of saturation point of absurdity
and pain and ridiculousness and you just have to stand up and applaud.

Really. It’s almost as if you should cheer the
invidiousness, it is so spectacular, unprecedented, the tower of lies
reaching the point where you, Jaded and Benumbed American Citizen, are
forced to either recoil and ignore and deny, succumb and scream and
laugh, or, like Bush himself, just sort of stand there, wide eyed,
dumfounded, blinking hard, looking more blank and confused than ever, as
the unified BushCo front begins to gloriously unravel.

This much we now know, as compiled by the CIA and
the U.N. and U.S. military leaders and Bush’s own teams of experts and
scientists and lackeys and pretty much anyone with any sort of common
sense or astute observation as yet unclouded and unmisled by the raging
masturbatory pro-war gropings of, say, Fox News. A brief summary:



  • Saddam was all over 9/11. Funny how U.S.
    intelligence never found a single connection. Funny how BushCo
    knowingly led the nation on to believe there was one. Funny how the only role Saddamn
    actually played in 9/11 was to watch it unfold on CNN and exclaim,
    “Holy Allah with a case of Cuban cigars, Hashim, a million dinars says
    BushCo uses that as an excuse to come swipe our oil and pump up
    Halliburton and build a Starbucks in downtown Baghdad! Prepare the
    escape pod!”
  • Iraq was al Qaeda’s *censored*. See above. Fact
    is, U.S. intelligence found no proven link between Iraq and any recent
    terrorism threats against the U.S. Fact is, bin Laden hated Saddam and
    denounced his socialist Baath party as
    “infidels.”
    . Fact is, BushCo worked
    extremely hard to manipulate the media to make you think the two were
    so close they might as well have been gay lovers. Curiously, this
    sinister obfuscation is still not clear to millions of Americans, most
    of whom tend to live in Texas and/or anywhere near major military
    manufacturing plants. Go figure.
  • Those 9/11 terrorists? Buncha snarling
    Iraqis.
    Well, no. Most were, in fact, Saudi. There were no Iraqis
    at all. Saudi Arabia remains a desperately important American ally,
    one that provides billions in U.S. investment and hence BushCo loves
    them and kisses their rings and doesn’t say a peep about the millions
    they also give to terrorist cells — like, say, those of al Qaeda —
    to protect their oil fields. Shhh.
  • Saddam has millions of drumfuls of scary
    chemicals ready at a moment’s notice to poison the entire world and
    most of EuroDisney.
    Not even close. Huge chunks of “proof” of
    Iraq’s purported chemical-weapons and nuclear-weapons programs have
    already been dismissed by U.N. inspectors and weapons experts. Saddam did,
    however, possess large quantities of bootlegged Britney Spears
    posters, which, if dropped on Israel, would have certainly caused
    pandemonium if not outright giggling and many heavy longing sighs.

  • Saddam scored uranium from Niger to make
    nukes.
    This is so cutely wrong it’s painful. The document stating
    this was forged and bogus and BushCo knew it and referenced
    it anyway in the State of the Union address to help justify the war,
    and now he’s all flustered and denying everything and the CIA director
    is bumbling in as the fall guy, and oh my freaking God do they ever
    think you are stupid.
  • The war on Iraq will be as easy as lancing a
    boil on Dick Cheney’s forehead.
    Yes! Instant and painless and easy
    it will be, and it will cause minimal casualties and we’d be all done
    in a week and America would be back home and happily watching “The
    Bachelorette” and the world would love us and see how glorious and
    righteous we are and everyone will convert to Christianity and join
    Promise Keepers and the 700 Club and never have sex and we will ban
    all icky gay people to Canada. Whee!

    Never you mind that thousands of soldiers are to
    be stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq “indefinitely,” for years to come. Or that more than half of the U.S. Army’s entire combat
    force is bogged down in Iraq right now. Or that U.S. soldiers are
    still dying in Iraq every day, more than 80 so far (33 in hostile
    fire), with more to come, endless guerrilla warfare possibly requiring even more
    U.S. troops, months after BushCo declared the war essentially over.
    Whoops. Gosh. Sorry.


  • The Jessica Lynch “rescue” was all-American
    heroism at its finest.
    So cute. The “rescue” was actually
    all-American Pentagon PR bulls** at its finest, a rather embarrassingly staged
    hoax
    so full of overblown stunts and dumb
    machismo and awkward twists that not even Fox News would touch the
    story after a while, and they’ll run anything. No wonder the Pentagon
    has refused to release the unedited video footage of the “resue.”

  • Iraq’s oil money will go straight to
    “liberated” Iraqi people.
    Seriously now. Did anyone really ever
    believe this, even in their most drunken and heavily Xanaxed state?
    The money, of course, is going straight into U.S. and U.K. coffers as
    “payment” for the Gulf War, with only a fraction going for
    “rebuilding.” But the bottom line is, we control the oil. We control Iraq’s billions. We do not care who knows it.
    Special note from Donny “Beady Eyes” Rumsfeld to all you people who
    somehow genuinely believed we bombed Iraq for the betterment of the
    Iraqi people: Tthhppbbbhhhppbb.
  • Oh my God look just look at all those scary
    WMDs
    . There are no WMDs. There are no WMDs. There are no WMDs. And
    there never were. Two little words from BushCo, straight to you:
    Ha-ha, suckers.

The list goes on. This list is nearly endless. The
list is growing and expanding and now threatens to split and explode and
spread like some sort of giant viscous blob and invade small towns and
kill plants and induce women to slap their hands to their faces and
scream while it slowly steamrolls innocent children as they innocently
stand there in the street playing innocent Frisbee, innocently.

And there are others. There are flagrant lies and
cover-ups and misprisions not even related to the war, more about
increasingly nauseating domestic issues, major budget crises and
unabashed pro-corporate decisions and anti-gay anti-women anti-sex fun
for the whole terrified white Christian family.

There is, for example, the recent hacking to death
of the EPA’s major greenhouse-gas/air-quality study. There was the
(failed) attempt to kill the Bureau of Labor Statistics
report that tracked factory closings in the U.S.
There is the secret $135 mil in budget moneys set aside to
cram invidious sexless Christian “abstinence only until marriage”
programs down the throats of jaded American teens and desperate
budget-reamed schools.

There was, as Slate so effortlessly delineates, the regular and
rather sneering deep-sixing of serious economic data and fiscal
forecasting — much of it generated by Bush’s own teams — because it
didn’t match the GOP’s makeshift rosy scenarios.

There is massive unemployment. There is the largest
budget deficit in history, now a staggering $455 billion,
over $50 billion more than the administration predicted just five months
ago. There are state and local governments broke to the point of having
to cut back essential services like police and fire departments,
hospitals, public schools, road maintenance and sewers. There is Lynne
Cheney. ‘Nuff said.

There appears to be no end. There appears to be a
limitless supply of lies and half-truths and misinformations BushCo can
invent on the spot, and is now a good time to recall how Clinton was
savaged and vilified and attacked and nearly impeached because he lied
about having big dumb sex with a rather unappealing intern.

And yet here is BushCo, openly and shamelessly lying
about leading this nation into a vile and petroleum-drunk war,
massacring tens of thousands, killing hundreds of U.S. soldiers (and
counting), gutting the budget, favoring the rich with useless tax cuts,
hiding and prevaricating and dodging and treated the First, Fourth,
Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution the way a crusty
abusive Catholic priest treats an altar boy.

This is where you have to laugh. This is where you
applaud. Stand up and cheer, for it has been a masterful performance, a
rather unprecedented series of major cover-ups and well-orchestrated PR
maneuvers and outright fabrications unmatched in recent history. Hell,
the epic scale of BushCo’s strocities make Clinton’s little oral-sex
fixation seem like a jaywalking violation.

Is now the time? Is this is where we start to notice
how it is all coming unraveled, Bush’s snide web of lies just too
flagrant and too insulting for too long, CIA directors and intelligence
experts and military leaders and scientists and the like all coming
forward now to refute any number of false BushCo claims, the chinks in
the armor now becoming cracks and fissures and flubs and stumbles and
ultimate raging implosions?

Is this why impeachment proceedings have yet to
begin in earnest against BushCo? Because we’re just too stunned, too
frozen in disbelief at the mounting mountains of evidence that we have
been duped and misled and lied to on a scale we can’t really begin to
assimilate? Could very well be.

Because the tower of lies, oh how it teeters, how it
quivers, how it feels oh so ready to fall.





== Story Pick O’ The Morning ==
Plucked
semi-fresh from the wires for your edification


Weapons Of Mass Google Cuteness
It’s the story behind that snarky little “I’m Feeling Lucky”
prank wending its way all over the Web that way, way too many of your
friends have been sending to you and insisting you try because it’s just
so funny.
(Associated Press)

The hunt for weapons of mass destruction isn’t going
so well in Iraq. It’s not going so well on Google, either.

Type “weapons of mass destruction” into the Internet
search engine and hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button. What you’ll get is
an authentic-looking error message created as a lark by a British
pharmacist now enjoying his 15 minutes of Internet fame.

“These Weapons of Mass Destruction cannot be
displayed,” it reads. “The country might be experiencing technical
difficulties, or you may need to adjust your weapons inspectors
mandate.”

No hacking was involved — or necessary.

Anthony Cox, 34, of Birmingham, England, created the
site in February to get a few chuckles from friends. Those friends —
and friends of their friends — started linking to his page from their
sites and Web diaries.

The number of links to a particular site is a major
factor that Google considers when indexing pages to be returned via its
search engine. The “lucky” button takes users to the top-ranked page for
a particular search.

Cox, previously best known on the Web for his day
job of studying drug safety, says he had no idea the page would reach
the top of the list for WMD searches.

“It was really just a private joke among a few
individuals and then I sent it off to a newsgroup,” he said. “It just
spread like wildfire throughout February. … And then it started to die
down during the war. During that time it had accumulated links from
other Web sites, which pushed it up the Google page ranking system.

“Then it just went through the stratosphere in terms
of hits,” he said. “It became even more funny that Google couldn’t find
any WMD.”

Cox’s site isn’t the only popular page to take a
tongue-in-cheek approach to serious queries. Type in “French military
victories” and hit the “lucky” button. A page designed to look like it’s
from Google asks, “Did you mean: French military defeats.”

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google declined to
comment on specifics, but a spokesman confirmed that those sites are at
the top of the list because they scored the highest under the company’s
automated system.

For users who hit the regular search button, Google
returns 1.4 million pages on the search “weapons of mass destruction.”
Though Cox’s joke is on top, the remainder are mostly serious.

Cox says the number of hits reached a crescendo
during the week of July 4 and has not showed any sign of slowing down.
He’s received hundreds of e-mail messages, including from weapons
inspectors who found it amusing.

A number of e-mails criticized Cox, who said he was
not against the war.

“It’s been widely seen as anti-war, but that’s not
what my intention was,” he said.

Cox does not spare “Old Europe” either.

“If you are an Old European Country trying to
protect your interests, make sure your options are left wide open as
long as possible,” it reads. “Click the Tools menu, and then click on
League of Nations. On the Advanced tab, scroll to the Head in the Sand
section and check settings for your exports to Iraq.”

Cox says he hasn’t experienced any major
repercussions from the joke.

“I don’t have the White House or Donald Rumsfeld
breathing down my neck yet,” he said. “There hasn’t been a SEAL
extraction team to get me yet.”


     

All contents, except the swearing
and the random blasphemy, ™ (c) 2003 SF
Gate

Nothing recedes like success.
— Walter Winchell

BBC \"mole\" on WMD turns up dead

July 18, 2003 at 9:11 am
Contributed by:

Folks,


Dr. Kelly, the purported BBC “mole” on the British WMD scandal, has
apparently turned up dead. Quote:


Gilligan said his source “knew, better than anyone,” that evidence of a
weapons of mass destruction programme in Iraq “didn’t amount to the
‘imminent threat’ touted by ministers”.


Kelly: Blair promises public inquiry


I guess Tenet must be thinking he got off light now!


–C

The spies who pushed for war

July 18, 2003 at 8:41 am
Contributed by:

Folks,

 

As the
fabric of justification for the Iraq war begins to unravel, and the Bush
administration offers up various fall guys in a desperate bid for plausible
deniability (did they really think that Tenet would just roll over and play dead
for them, after the way they treated him in the run-up to war?), some very
interesting things are coming to light.

But none more interesting than this. Have you ever heard of the Office of
Special Plans (OSP), a “shadow agency of Pentagon analysts staffed mainly by
ideological amateurs to compete with the CIA and its military counterpart, the
Defence Intelligence Agency?” Well, until I read this article, I hadn’t either.
But now everything makes much more sense. Not only that, now I know what Newt
has been up to. I remember thinking about a year ago, where is he? With
Republicans in control of the Congress, a compliant media, open season on
everybody we don’t like and a blank check to go fight them, this is his game!
Where’s the new Contract On America? Well, here it is. Only now it’s the core of
the neo-con agenda.


 

For
those of you who still believe that we have a “liberal media” in this country,
ask yourselves: with all the journalism and questioning surrounding the
administrations claims about WMD, why have you never heard of the Office
of  Special Plans until now, and why are you learning of it from a UK
paper? Especially since the OSP is clearly the behind all this? Then compare
that interesting media observation with this: on Fox news last night, in a
matter of four minutes, I heard an interviewee use no less than ten
disparaging terms to describe the search for the truth about the WMD claims,
ranging from “overblown” to “ridiculous” to “excitement over the equivalent of
getting a parking ticket.” No doubt this guy was sure that the famous Oval
Office blow job was tantamount to treason.

 

I am
very grateful to The Guardian for doing the difficult journalism about America
that no US paper seems to have the guts to do.

The spies who pushed for war

Julian
Borger reports on the shadow rightwing intelligence network set up in Washington
to second-guess the CIA and deliver a justification for toppling Saddam Hussein
by force
Julian Borger
Wednesday July 16 2003
The Guardian


As the CIA director, George Tenet, arrived at the Senate
yesterday to give secret testimony on the Niger uranium affair, it was becoming
increasingly clear in Washington that the scandal was only a small,
well-documented symptom of a complete breakdown in US intelligence that helped
steer America into war.

It represents the Bush administration’s second
catastrophic intelligence failure. But the CIA and FBI’s inability to prevent
the September 11 attacks was largely due to internal institutional weaknesses.
This time the implications are far more damaging for the White House, which
stands accused of politicising and contaminating its own source of
intelligence. 

According to former Bush officials, all defence and
intelligence sources, senior members of the administration created a shadow
agency of Pentagon analysts staffed mainly by ideological amateurs to compete
with the CIA and its military counterpart, the Defence Intelligence
Agency. 

The agency, known as the Office of Special Plans (OSP) was
set up by the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, to second-guess CIA
information and operated under the patronage of hardline conservatives in the
top rungs of the administration, the Pentagon and at the White House, including
Vice-President Dick Cheney. 

The ideologically driven network
functioned like a shadow government, much of it off the official payroll and
beyond congressional oversight. But it proved powerful enough to prevail in a
struggle with the state department and the CIA by establishing a justification
for war. 

Mr Tenet has officially taken responsibility for the
president’s unsubstantiated claim in January that Saddam Hussein’s regime had
been trying to buy uranium in Africa, but he also made it clear his agency was
under pressure to justify a war that the administration had already decided
on. 

How much Mr Tenet reveals of where that pressure was coming
from could have lasting political fallout for Mr Bush and his re-election
prospects, which only a few weeks ago seemed impregnable. As more Americans die
in Iraq and the reasons for the war are stripped bare, his victory in 2004 no
longer looks like a foregone conclusion. 

The president’s most
trusted adviser, Mr Cheney, was at the shadow network’s sharp end. He made
several trips to the CIA in Langley, Virginia, to demand a more
“forward-leaning” interpretation of the threat posed by Saddam. When he was not
there to make his influence felt, his chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby was.
Such hands-on involvement in the processing of intelligence data was
unprecedented for a vice-president in recent times, and it put pressure on CIA
officials to come up with the appropriate results. 

Another frequent
visitor was Newt Gingrich, the former Republican party leader who resurfaced
after September 11 as a Pentagon “consultant” and a member of its unpaid defence
advisory board, with influence far beyond his official title. 

An
intelligence official confirmed Mr Gingrich made “a couple of visits” but said:
“There’s nothing at all unusual about people both in and out of government
coming here to engage in a dialogue and to exchange views on a range of
subjects.” 

In that guise he visited Langley three times in the
run-up to war, and according to accounts, the political veteran sought to
browbeat analysts into toughening up their assessments of Saddam’s
menace. 

Mr Gingrich gained access to the CIA headquarters and was
listened to because he was seen as a personal emissary of the Pentagon, and in
particular, of the OSP. 

In the days after September 11, Mr Rumsfeld
and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, mounted an attempt to include Iraq in the war
against terror. When the established agencies came up with nothing concrete to
link Iraq and al-Qaida, the OSP was given the task of looking more
carefully. 

William Luti, a former navy officer and ex-aide to Mr
Cheney, runs the day-to-day operations, answering to Douglas Feith, a defence
undersecretary and a former Reagan official and Washington lobbyist for Israel
and Turkey. 

The OSP had access to a huge amount of raw
intelligence. It came in part from “report officers” in the CIA’s directorate of
operations whose job is to sift through reports from agents around the world,
filtering out the unsubstantiated and the incredible. Under pressure from the
hawks such as Mr Cheney and Mr Gingrich, those officers became reluctant to
discard anything, no matter how far-fetched. The OSP also sucked in countless
tips from the Iraqi National Congress and other opposition groups, which were
viewed with far more scepticism by the CIA and the state
department. 

There was a mountain of documentation to look through
and not much time. The administration wanted to use the momentum gained in
Afghanistan to deal with Iraq once and for all. The OSP itself had less than 10
full-time staff, so to help deal with the load, the office hired scores of
temporary “consultants”. They including like-minded lawyers, congressional
staffers, and policy wonks from the numerous rightwing thinktanks in the US
capital. Few had experience in intelligence. 

“Most of the people
they had in that office were off the books, on personal services contracts. At
one time, there were over 100 of them,” said an intelligence source. The
contracts allow a department to hire individuals, without specifying a job
description. 

As John Pike, a defence analyst at the thinktank
GlobalSecurity.org, put it, the contracts “are basically a way they could pack
the room with their little friends”. 

“They surveyed data and picked
out what they liked,” said Gregory Thielmann, a senior official in the state
department’s intelligence bureau until his retirement in September. “The whole
thing was bizarre. The secretary of defence had this huge defence intelligence
agency, and he went around it.” 

In fact, the OSP’s activities were
a complete mystery to the DIA and the Pentagon. 

“The iceberg
analogy is a good one,” said a senior officer who left the Pentagon during the
planning of the Iraq war. “No one from the military staff heard, saw or
discussed anything with them.” 

The civilian agencies had the same
impression of the OSP sleuths. “They were a pretty shadowy presence,” Mr
Thielmann said. “Normally when you compile an intelligence document, all the
agencies get together to discuss it. The OSP was never present at any of the
meetings I attended.” 

Democratic congressman David Obey, who is
investigating the OSP, said: “That office was charged with collecting, vetting
and disseminating intelligence completely outside of the normal intelligence
apparatus. 

“In fact, it appears that information collected by this
office was in some instances not even shared with established intelligence
agencies and in numerous instances was passed on to the national security
council and the president without having been vetted with anyone other than
political appointees.” 

The OSP was an open and largely unfiltered
conduit to the White House not only for the Iraqi opposition. It also forged
close ties to a parallel, ad hoc intelligence operation inside Ariel Sharon’s
office in Israel specifically to bypass Mossad and provide the Bush
administration with more alarmist reports on Saddam’s Iraq than Mossad – a
highly professional body – was prepared to authorise. 

“None of the
Israelis who came were cleared into the Pentagon through normal channels,” said
one source familiar with the visits. Instead, they were waved in on Mr Feith’s
authority without having to fill in the usual forms.  

The
exchange of information continued a long-standing relationship Mr Feith and
other Washington neo-conservatives had with Israel’s Likud
party. 

In 1996, he and Richard Perle – now an influential Pentagon
figure – served as advisers to the then Likud leader, Binyamin Netanyahu. In a
policy paper they wrote, entitled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the
Realm, the two advisers said that Saddam would have to be destroyed, and Syria,
Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iran would have to be overthrown or destabilised, for
Israel to be truly safe. 

The Israeli influence was revealed most
clearly by a story floated by unnamed senior US officials in the American press,
suggesting the reason that no banned weapons had been found in Iraq was that
they had been smuggled into Syria. Intelligence sources say that the story came
from the office of the Israeli prime minister. 

The OSP absorbed
this heady brew of raw intelligence, rumour and plain disinformation and made it
a “product”, a prodigious stream of reports with a guaranteed readership in the
White House. The primary customers were Mr Cheney, Mr Libby and their closest
ideological ally on the national security council, Stephen Hadley, Condoleezza
Rice’s deputy. 

In turn, they leaked some of the claims to the
press, and used others as a stick with which to beat the CIA and the state
department analysts, demanding they investigate the OSP leads. 

The
big question looming over Congress as Mr Tenet walked into his closed-door
session yesterday was whether this shadow intelligence operation would survive
national scrutiny and who would pay the price for allowing it to help steer the
country into war. 

A former senior CIA official insisted yesterday
that Mr Feith, at least, was “finished” – but that may be wishful thinking by
rival organisation. 

As he prepares for re-election, Mr Bush may opt
to tough it out, rather than acknowledge the severity of the problem by firing
loyalists. But in that case, it will inevitably be harder to re-establish
confidence in the intelligence on which the White House is basing its decisions,
and the world’s sole superpower risks stumbling onwards half-blind, unable to
distinguish real threats from phantoms.   

Copyright
Guardian Newspapers Limited

Ari Fleisher\’s Last Day

July 16, 2003 at 9:04 am
Contributed by:

Folks,

After a lengthy pause, I’m ready to send you load of new material. And what
better way to kick things off than a last look at one of the most skillful
liars in Washington, Air Fleisher, doing what he does best. Scott McClellan
has some big shoes to fill.

–C

—–Original Message—–
Ari & I
White House Press Briefing with Ari Fleischer
Monday, July 14, 2003 – 12:00 PM
by Russell Mokhiber

Note from Russell Mokhiber: Today was Ari Fleischer’s
last White House press briefing. He’s leaving the
White House to start a consulting firm that will
advise corporate executives on how to handle the news
media. Starting tomorrow, the new White House Press
Secretary will be Scott McClellan. I’m hoping to
continue to this feature under the headline: “Scottie
and Me.”

Mokhiber: Ari, in the 2002 election campaign, the
Republican Party took in $7.2 million from convicted
criminals. Is the President okay with his party
taking millions of dollars from convicted criminals?
Ari

Ari Fleischer: I have no idea what you are referring
to –

Mokhiber: I’m referring to, let me tell you –

Ari Fleischer: Obviously, if money is received – both
parties from people who are later found out to be
people who shouldn’t be giving money – then it gets
returned.

Mokhiber: These are actually major corporations
convicted of crimes. ADM gave $1.7 million, Pfizer
$1.1 million, Chevron $875,000. Is the President
okay with those companies giving direct contributions
to the Republican Party after being convicted of
crimes?

Ari Fleischer: Russell, as you know, the Presidential
campaign takes no money from corporations.

Mokhiber: I’m talking about the party.

Ari Fleischer: Well, you’ll have to address your
questions to the party.

Mokhiber: Well, as the titular head of the party, is
he okay with the party taking money from convicted
criminals?

Ari Fleischer: I don’t know what information you have
where you can that this corporation is a criminal.

Mokhiber: Convicted – they pled guilty to crimes.

Ari Fleischer: Were the crimes of such a nature that
they are no longer in existence?

Mokhiber: ADM pled guilty to one of the most massive
antitrust crimes and paid a $100 million fine.

Ari Fleischer: I think you need to address any
questions about specific companies with the specifics
in mind, and if that company is still doing
business and is still in operation, that means it is
still in operation with the law, and every case in
individual, and the party decides about whether
the money needs to be returned or not. But I don’t
have specifics.

Mokhiber: One follow-up.

Ari Fleischer: Go ahead, Russell.

Mokhiber: One follow up. It’s actually a broad
philosophical question. Is the President okay with
taking money from convicted criminals?

Ari Fleischer: I informed you that the President does
not take money from corporations.

Mokhiber: No, I’m talking about – as titular head of
the party, is he okay with the party taking money from
convicted criminals. For example, in Enron –

Ari Fleischer: I just have to differ with your notion
that because a company has been fined –

Mokhiber: No, they pled guilty to crimes. They pled
guilty to crimes.

Ari Fleischer: Even so – I don’t know what specifics
you are referring to – that that company is a
convicted criminal.

Mokhiber: If you plead guilty to a crime, you are a
criminal.

Ari Fleischer: Does that mean that they need to go out
of business?

Mokhiber: I’m asking – should the Republican Party
take money from convicted criminals?

Ari Fleischer: You need to address your question to
the Republican Party.

Mokhiber: But he’s the titular head of the party.

Ari Fleischer: And the titular head of the party
refers you to the party.

###

-Thanks to Russell Mokhiber

White House reporter Russell Mokhiber is the editor of
the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter –
www.corporatecrimereporter.com. He co-authors the
weekly Focus on the Corporation column with Robert
Weissman which Common Dreams publishes. He can be
reached at: russell@nationalpress.com


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