by Chris Floyd
April 15, 2005
Follow-up to “Into the Dark.”
More than two years ago, we wrote here of a secret Pentagon plan to foment terrorism: sending covert agents to infiltrate terrorist groups and goad them into action — i.e., committing acts of murder and destruction. The purpose was two-fold: first, to bring the terrorist groups into the open, where they could be counterattacked; and second, to justify U.S. military attacks on the countries where the terrorists were operating — attacks which, in the Pentagon’s words, would put those nations’ “sovereignty at risk.” It was a plan that countenanced — indeed, encouraged — the deliberate murder of innocent people and the imposition of U.S. military rule anywhere in the world that American leaders desired.
This plan is now being activated.
In fact, it’s being expanded, as the New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh revealed last week. Not only will U.S.-directed agents infiltrate existing terrorist groups and provoke them into action; the Pentagon itself will create its own terrorist groups and “death squads.” After establishing their terrorist “credentials” through various atrocities and crimes, these American-run groups will then be able to ally with — and ultimately undermine — existing terrorist groups.
Top-level officials in the Pentagon, the U.S. intelligence services and the Bush administration confirmed to Hersh that the plan is going forward, under the direction of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — just as we noted here in November 2002. Through a series of secret executive orders, George W. Bush has given Rumsfeld the authority to turn the entire world into “a global free-fire zone,” a top Pentagon adviser says.…Continue reading
By George Monbiot
The Guardian UK
April 5, 2005
Liberal handwringing over the World Bank simply reflects a failure to recognise the role it exists to fulfil.
It’s about as close to consensus as the left is ever likely to come. Everyone this side of Atilla the Hun and the Wall Street Journal agrees that Paul Wolfowitz’s appointment as president of the World Bank is a catastrophe. Except me.
Under Wolfowitz, my fellow progressives lament, the World Bank will work for America. If only someone else were chosen, it would work for the world’s poor. Joseph Stiglitz, the bank’s renegade former chief economist, champions Ernesto Zedillo, a former president of Mexico. A Guardian leading article suggested Colin Powell or, had he been allowed to stand, Bono. But what all this hand-wringing reveals is a profound misconception about the role and purpose of the body Wolfowitz will run.
The World Bank and the IMF were conceived by the US economist Harry Dexter White. Appointed by the US Treasury to lead the negotiations on postwar economic reconstruction, White spent most of 1943 banging the heads of the other allied nations together. They were appalled by his proposals. He insisted that his institutions would place the burden of stabilising the world economy on the countries suffering from debt and trade deficits rather than on the creditors. He insisted that “the more money you put in, the more votes you have”. He decided, before the meeting at Bretton Woods in 1944, that “the US should have enough votes to block any decision”.…Continue reading
Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg on the Bush Administration, Civil Disobedience and the Eternal Fires of Hell
by Mira Ptacin
March 29, 2005
The sound of Daniel Ellsberg’s voice could falsely identify him as a softy. It’s delicate and cottony, but the Pentagon insider-turned-peace activist has wit cut sharp as a razor and insight that hasn’t faded with age.
At 73 he is out of the limelight but still trying to shake up our nation. Ellsberg recently finished a U.S. ‘Truth-Telling’ tour, spoke in Israel and will soon be traveling to Hiroshima. And after publishing his first memoir ‘Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers’, he’s polishing off his second book about America’s fatal attraction to nuclear threats.
Ellsberg publicized the Pentagon Papers 30 years ago, helping tip public opinion against our last major attempt at imperial democracy. And on this day in 1973, the last American combat troops left Vietnam, ending the direct involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War. Now Ellsberg is talking again. Shouldn’t we be listening?
Where do you see the US relationship with Iran heading in the next 6 months?
Well, every sign is that they’re still on course on the program that some of these people laid out on The Project for the New American Century, going back to when they all worked under Dick Cheney back in ’91-92. Enforcing regime change in Iraq was at the head of the list. In general it was a remaking of the Middle East.… Continue reading
Pentagon strategic plan codifies unilateral, preemptive attacks. The doctrine marks a shift from coalitions such as NATO, analysts say.
by John Hendren
Los Angeles Times
March 19, 2005
WASHINGTON – Two years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the Pentagon has formally included in key strategic plans provisions for launching preemptive strikes against nations thought to pose a threat to the United States.
The doctrine also now stipulates that the U.S. will use “active deterrence” in concert with its allies “if we can” but could act unilaterally otherwise, Defense officials said.
The changes codify the more assertive defense policy adopted by the Bush administration since the Sept. 11 attacks and are included in a “National Military Strategy” and “National Defense Strategy,” reports that are part of a comprehensive review of military strategy conducted every four years.
“The president has the obligation to protect the country,” said Douglas J. Feith, the Defense Department’s undersecretary for policy. “And I don’t think that there’s anything in our Constitution that says that the president should not protect the country unless he gets some non-American’s participation or approval of that.”
Pentagon managers use the strategic plan to guide such decisions as where to place bases, which bases to eliminate, what weapons to buy and where to position them. The heads of the United States’ regional commands across the globe, in turn, use the strategy to prioritize spending and form strategies for eliminating threats in their regions.
“The potentially catastrophic impact of an attack against the United States, its allies and its interests may necessitate actions in self-defense to preempt adversaries before they can attack,” the National Military Strategy states.…Continue reading
By Michael Shnayerson
Halliburton subsidiary KBR got $12 billion worth of exclusive contracts for work in Iraq. But even more shocking is how KBR spent some of the money. Former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official Bunnatine Greenhouse is blowing the whistle on the Dick Cheney-linked company’s profits of war.
This time, she was sure, they were going to get her.
Bunnatine Greenhouse had been a huge nuisance since the buildup to the war in Iraq-questioning contracts, writing caveats on them in her spidery script, wanting to know why Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR (formerly known as Kellogg, Brown and Root) should be thrown billions of dollars of government business while other companies, big and small, were shut out.
And Bunny Greenhouse wasn’t that easy to ignore: she was the highest-ranking civilian at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Specifically, she was the officer in charge of ensuring that any work contracted out by the Army Corps to private industry-from help in building bridges and dams and highways to support for wartime troops-was granted in a fair and aboveboard way. For two years, Greenhouse had asked hard questions about why the head of the Corps, to whom she reported directly, kept giving exclusive, non-compete contracts to KBR that now amounted to roughly $10.8 billion. Greenhouse was fearless, and she was blunt. In the Corps’s male hierarchy, it probably didn’t help that she was a woman-or that she was black.
On October 6, 2004, Greenhouse was summoned by… Continue reading
October 29, 2003
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. GARRETT). Under the Speaker’s announced policy of January 7, 2003, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. PALLONE) is recognized for 60 minutes.
Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, earlier this month Congress approved an $87 billion supplemental for the war and reconstruction efforts in Iraq. While I believe it is critically important that we get our military troops all the resources they need to safely complete their mission in Iraq, I do not support rubber-stamping this legislation so the Bush administration gets a free ride from Congress.
The Bush administration must account for its war strategy. The Bush administration must also answer the tough questions regarding questionable no-bid contracts, contracts that benefit Vice President DICK CHENEY’s former employer, an employer that continues to pay CHENEY hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in deferred salary, contracts that are free of any oversight from Congress.
Yet another 9/11 “Cui bono?” (who profits?) alert: This is almost ancient news by now if anyone was listening, but this is one of the clearest earliest Congressional examinations of rampant corruption in Iraq. It was a typical after hours empty chamber exercise, but the intrepid Marcy Kaptur did get Cheney’s continuing possession of 433,333 Halliburton stock options and his consequent millions in war profits into the public record at last.
Mr. Speaker, right now Halliburton holds a monopoly on Iraq. The company’s no-bid contract was first negotiated in secret and originally intended for… Continue reading
Extremely important “big picture” insights into the Bush team’s 9/11-enabled world from a fearless senator and a Holocaust victim family member.
by Harvey Wasserman
Columbus Free Press / Ohio
March 7, 2005
The U.S. Senate’s senior Constitutional scholar has correctly equated Bush with Hitler, and the usual attack dogs are howling. But they are wrong, and Americans must now face the harsh realities of an increasingly fascist and totalitarian GOP.
Octogenarian Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia made the equation in the context of Bush’s attack on Senate procedures which might slow or halt his on-going attempt to pack the courts with extreme right-wing fanatics. Byrd said Bush’s moves to destroy time-honored Senate rules parallel Hitler’s ramming fascist legislation through his gutted Reichstag. “Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality,” said Byrd. “He recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side. Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal.”
Anti-Defamation League Director Abraham Foxman has played the holocaust card for the Republicans, saying “It is hideous, outrageous and offensive for Senator Byrd to suggest that the Republican Party’s tactics could in any way resemble those of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party.
GOP Chair Ken Mehlman has labeled Byrd’s remarked “reprehensible and beyond the pale,” remarks joined by Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Santorum is best known for equating sexuality between consenting gays with bestiality between humans and dogs.
But Byrd is one of the few in either house of Congress to… Continue reading
This long heads-up analysis of our apparently imminent war on Iran by CIA veteran (and 9/11 Truth Statement co-signer) Ray McGovern is vital reading for three reasons. One, it outlines the endgame of the Bush team’s global petro-dominance plan, a plan that arguably first became public when planes started striking the WTC towers in New York. Second, it speaks clearly and courageously about Israel’s provocative nuclear arsenal and the overwhelming power Israeli rightists like Sharon now wield over US policy. And finally, it instructively portrays the hell-bent Orwellian mindset of the reigning neocon crew, who were collectively called “the crazies” in the Reagan/Bush era and whom Colin Powell was still calling “the f**king crazies” a year after 9/11 hit. It is not a pretty picture, but understanding the methodic deception that empowers their madness also moves us closer to 9/11 truth.
Attacking Iran: I Know It Sounds Crazy, But…
By Ray McGovern
“‘This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous.’
“‘This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous.’
“‘And having said that, all options are on the table.’
“Even the White House stenographers felt obliged to note the result: ‘(Laughter).'”
(The Washington Post’s Dan Froomkin on George Bush’s February 22 press conference)
For a host of good reasons — the huge and draining commitment of U.S. forces to Iraq and Iran’s ability to stir the Iraqi pot to boiling, for starters — the notion that the Bush administration would mount a “preemptive” air attack on Iran seems insane. And still more insane if the objective includes overthrowing Iran’s government again, as in 1953 — this time under the rubric of “regime change.”
But Bush administration policy toward the Middle East is being run by men — yes, only men — who were routinely referred to in high circles in Washington during the 1980s as “the crazies.” I can attest to that personally, but one need not take my word for it.
According to James Naughtie, author of The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency, former Secretary of State Colin Powell added an old soldier’s adjective to the “crazies” sobriquet in referring to the same officials. Powell, who was military aide to Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger in the early eighties, was overheard calling them “the f—ing crazies” during a phone call with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw before the war in Iraq. At the time, Powell was reportedly deeply concerned over their determination to attack — with or without UN approval. Small wonder that they got rid of Powell after the election, as soon as they had no more use for him.
If further proof of insanity were needed, one could simply look at the unnecessary carnage in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003. That unprovoked attack was, in my view, the most fateful foreign policy blunder in our nation’s history…so far.
It Can Get Worse
“The crazies” are not finished. And we do well not to let their ultimate folly obscure their current ambition, and the further trouble that ambition is bound to bring in the four years ahead. In an immediate sense, with U.S. military power unrivaled, they can be seen as “crazy like a fox,” with a value system in which “might makes right.” Operating out of that value system, and now sporting the more respectable misnomer/moniker “neoconservative,” they are convinced that they know exactly what they are doing. They have a clear ideology and a geopolitical strategy, which leap from papers they put out at the Project for the New American Century over recent years. Continue reading
By Neela Banerjee
The New York Times
Sunday 23 January 2005
A growing military truth movement picks up (and lets off) steam. Wait until they find out how deep the lies go. – Editor
Sean Huze enlisted in the Marine Corps right after the Sept. 11 attacks and was, in his own words, “red, white and blue all the way” when he deployed to Iraq 16 months later. Unquestioning in his support of the invasion, he grew irritated when his father, a former National Guardsman, expressed doubts about the war.
Today, all that has changed. Haunted by the civilian casualties he witnessed, Corporal Huze has become one of a small but increasing number of Iraq veterans who have formed or joined groups to oppose the war or to criticize the way it is being fought.
The two most visible organizations – Operation Truth, of which Corporal Huze is a member, and Iraq Veterans Against the War – were founded only last summer but are growing in membership and sophistication. The Internet has helped them spread their word and galvanize like-minded people in ways unimaginable to activist veterans of previous generations, who are also lending help.
“There’s strength in numbers,” Corporal Huze said. “By ourselves, we’re lone voices, a whisper in a swarm of propaganda out there. Combined, we can become a roar and have an impact on the issues that we care about.”
Those who turn to the groups are generally united in their disillusionment, though their responses to the… Continue reading
By Don Monkerud
February 07, 2005
From the American Conservative magazine to the Smirking Chimp website, views on 9/11 consequences are starting to converge. Here is a short sharp meditation from the latter source to remind us once more that we are here. – Editor
As the world mourns the anniversary of the Holocaust, we continue to wonder how one of the most advanced countries in the world could commit such an atrocity. We forget that the slaughter didn’t occur overnight but took years to set up. Little by little individuals assuaged their consciences and found it advantageous to go along with authority, committing a number of small acts, ultimately culminating in genocide.
Anyone with a smattering of awareness today questions the path down which our leaders are taking us. Consider the direction. As America pursues an aggressive military policy-Bush’s preemptive strike-invading Iraq and Afghanistan, threatening to bomb Iran and North Korea, and imposing our economic form of corporate democracy around the world, Americans are becoming more nationalistic and more willing to support acts we considered totally unacceptable in the past.
Today our government invades our privacy and mounts the most comprehensive collection of personal data and tracking system of citizens in history. Thousands of cameras observe us. New cars have chips that allow us to be tracked. The military engages in domestic spying and Congress is days away from appointing an Attorney General who justifies torture-newly defined as anything short of death.
Our bombs have killed up to… Continue reading
by Scott McConnell
February 14, 2005
The Iraq war has brought out a “hunger for dictatorship” in the Right that could signal the end of American democracy. — Editor of American Conservative
Students of history inevitably think in terms of periods: the New Deal, McCarthyism, “the Sixties” (1964-1973), the NEP, the purge trial–all have their dates. Weimar, whose cultural excesses made effective propaganda for the Nazis, now seems like the antechamber to Nazism, though surely no Weimar figures perceived their time that way as they were living it. We may pretend to know what lies ahead, feigning certainty to score polemical points, but we never do.
Nonetheless, there are foreshadowings well worth noting. The last weeks of 2004 saw several explicit warnings from the antiwar Right about the coming of an American fascism. Paul Craig Roberts in these pages wrote of the “brownshirting” of American conservatism–a word that might not have surprised had it come from Michael Moore or Michael Lerner. But from a Hoover Institution senior fellow, former assistant secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, and one-time Wall Street Journal editor, it was striking.
Several weeks later, Justin Raimondo, editor of the popular Antiwar.com website, wrote a column headlined, “Today’s Conservatives are Fascists.” Pointing to the justification of torture by conservative legal theorists, widespread support for a militaristic foreign policy, and a retrospective backing of Japanese internment during World War II, Raimondo raised the prospect of “fascism with… Continue reading
by Ron Paul
Link to original
Last week’s announcement that the terrorist threat warning level has been raised in parts of New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. has led to dramatic and unprecedented restrictions on the movements of citizens. Americans wishing to visit the U.S. Capitol must, for example, pass through several checkpoints and submit to police inspection of their cars and persons.
Many Americans support the new security measures because they claim to feel safer when the government issues terror alerts and fills the streets with militarized police forces. As one tourist interviewed this week said, “It makes me feel comfortable to know that everything is being checked.” It is ironic that tourists coming to Washington to celebrate the freedoms embodied in the Declaration of Independence are so eager to give up those freedoms with no questions asked.
Freedom is not defined by safety. Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference. Government cannot create a world without risks, nor would we really wish to live in such a fictional place. Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal, because it would require total state control over its citizens’ lives. This doesn’t stop governments, including our own, from seeking more control over and intrusion into our lives. As one Member of Congress stated to the press last week, “people who don’t want to be searched don’t need to come on Capitol grounds.” What an insult! The Capitol belongs… Continue reading
The goal of our efforts here for the next three months should be to expose the truth of 9/11 before the election – or before whatever event is arranged to upstage the election.
And what is “the truth”?
The truth is that from the first, the 9/11 events were exploited without compunction to the benefit of the military-industrial-intelligence complex and the Bush cabal. 9/11 was used to justify long-planned invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan that may have otherwise been politically infeasible – to push through a long-standing domestic wish-list of repressive measures like the USA PATRIOT Act – and to shift trillions in budgeting priorities from butter to guns. The administration declared a perpetual “War on Terrorism” that “will not end in our lifetimes” (Cheney), which has been waged largely against peoples and countries universally acknowledged to have had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, as with the unprovoked invasion of Iraq. As a response to anti-American terrorism, this strategy seems intentionally designed to make the problem much worse in the long run. Before 9/11, the hardliners of Project for a New American Century admitted they needed an enemy. Now they are making sure that there will always be one.
Based on the open-source evidence available to date, the truth of 9/11 is that the attacks could not have happened in the way they did without help on the inside of the U.S. government or within the vast hidden government apparatus. A real investigation (by whatever body) would have… Continue reading