Bombs going off in Iraq? Well, it happens all the time – what’s there to see? Let’s all move along shall we?
On Thursday, at least 13 people were killed in a ISIS attack on a café in Baghdad for the ‘crime’ of watching a football match. The day before at least 88 people were killed in three explosions across Baghdad; scores were injured.
Yes, these events got some coverage on Western news channels, but they weren’t the main stories.
The neocon war lobby, who, remember, couldn’t stop talking about Iraq in 2002/3, and saying what a terrible threat the country’s WMDs posed to us, would of course like us to forget the country altogether now. They’ve told us lots of times we need to ‘move on’ from talking about the 2003 invasion and instead focus on more important things – like how we can topple a secular Syrian president who’s fighting the very same terrorists who are bombing Baghdad.
The next few months though are going to be very tricky for the ‘Don’t Mention the Iraq war’ clique. After years of delay, the Chilcot report into the war, is finally coming out in Britain in July.
There are legitimate fears, bearing in mind the composition of the panel, that Chilcot will seek to whitewash those who took us to war. Another Establishment cover-up certainly can’t be discounted.
But if Sir John does try and tell us that the war was all an ‘honest mistake’, he and his panel will be a laughing stock. Whatever Chilcot’s conclusions are, the important thing is that Iraq will be back in the news headlines, and this represents a great opportunity for those of us who opposed the 2003 invasion to ensure that justice is finally done.
It’s surely clear to almost everyone now that we were lied into an illegal war which not only destroyed an entire country, but which also led directly to the rise of IS and helped bring terrorism to Europe too.
We don’t need Sir John to tell us that Bush and Blair knew there were no WMDs in Iraq – as common sense and logic tells us that the deadly duo would never have invaded if they had genuinely believed the lurid claims contained in the decidedly dodgy dossiers.
Everything we were told by the neocons in the lead-up to war was false. To quote the title of a book by the antiwar British MP Peter Kilfoyle, there were Lies, Damned Lies and Iraq.
‘Saddam has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes’.
‘Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction program is active, detailed and growing’.
‘Saddam Hussein… has the wherewithal to develop smallpox’.
‘We know that Iraq and al-Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade… We’ve learned that Iraq has trained al-Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases’.
‘The threat is very real and it is a threat not just to America or the international community but to Britain.’ Has the trash been collected yet?
Yet up to now- the people who peddled this bullsh** – bullsh** which led to the deaths of up to 1m people and made the Middle East and the world a far more dangerous place – have got off scot-free.
Tony Blair did step down as British Prime Minister in 2007, but remains a free man. Almost every week, we read in the newspapers about the vast fortune he has accumulated, with much of the money coming from governments and countries which benefited from the toppling of Saddam.
Blair’s partner in crime, George W. Bush, also remains at liberty.
Politicians who voted for an illegal war and who have failed to offer us a mea culpa for doing so – have advanced – but not to the jailhouse. In 2005, as I explained here, the pro-war David Cameron was fast-tracked by the neocons to become Conservative leader – at the expense of the more popular anti-war Ken Clarke.
In the US, the pro-Iraq war Hillary Clinton is the current odds-on favorite to succeed Barack Obama in the White House.
Disgustingly, obscenely, and outrageously, some of the most vociferous opponents of the Iraq war – the people who correctly predicted the disasters that would occur if Iraq was invaded – have seen their careers go into reverse because of the stance they took.
In Britain, George Galloway, the antiwar socialist who toured the country warning us what would happen if we listened to Bush and Blair, has become an outcast. The man who was branded as a ‘traitor’ by the pro-war Blairites for his stance on Iraq, is still waiting for his expulsion from the Labour Party to be rescinded. In the US, as anti-war activist Don Debar pointed out on Crosstalk this week, people of note who had opposed the Iraq war resolution – including Cynthia McKinney and Dennis Kucinich – had been ‘driven out of Congress by one mechanism or another’.
Meanwhile, in the media, the journalists and neocon think-tankers who fed us with conspiracy theories about Saddam’s non-existent WMDs and his non-existent links with Al Qaeda, continue to push pro-war propaganda. They are regular guests on Establishment friendly current affairs programmes on both sides of the Atlantic, imparting their ‘expertise’ on Syria and other foreign policy issues. No one ever has the courage to ask them: ‘Whatever happened to those WMDs you told us that Iraq had?
At the same time, the journalists who called Iraq right – like the great John Pilger – are absent from Western television news and current affairs programs. You’ve got to tune in to channels like RT – which the hawks would dearly love to see taken off air – to see them.
I’m sure that future generations will be shocked and appalled at how the Iraq war brigade were able to get away with it for so long.
Iraq, in the words of John Pilger, was an ‘epic crime against humanity’, yet its perpetrators and enablers, are still there, thirteen years on, making money before our very eyes.
How have we allowed this to happen?
The pro-Iraq war clique have attempted to use political correctness to their advantage. As part of what Media Lens calls ‘demonising dissent’ – the fourth component of a ’Propaganda Blitz’, principled opponents of western foreign policy are smeared as ‘sexist’ ‘misogynist‘, ‘racist’ ‘conspiracy theorists’ ‘genocide deniers’ and even ‘dictator apologists’ -in the hope that no one will draw attention to the ‘morally virtuous’ attacker’s support for wars which have led to over 1m people losing their lives.
Identity politics has played into the war lobby’s hands. The neocons and Blairites are able to pose as ‘progressives’ who care deeply about the rights of women and gay people- while all the time pushing for wars which will kill women and gay people in great numbers.
To deflect attention away from their crimes, the Iraq war clique- who have clearly read their Orwell- also encourage us to focus on the alleged crimes of ‘Official Enemies’. We’re supposed to feel outraged over a non-existent ‘Russian invasion of the Ukraine’, while forgetting about the all too real invasion of Iraq and its catastrophic consequences.
Cowardly Establishment-friendly ‘leftists’, who wouldn‘t retweet or cite with approval an article published by RT because of fear they’d be excommunicated from the ‘Elite Journos Club’, happily engage with unrepentant pro-Iraq war propagandists on social media.
In doing so these western faux-progressives are effectively saying that the deaths of up to 1m Iraqis don’t matter. They’re sticking a big two fingers up at the people of the global south who have been the victims of neocon wars and destabilization campaigns.
The Nuremberg Judgement was quite clear: To launch a war of aggression, as the Iraq war clearly was, ‘is not only an international crime; it is the SUPREME INTERNATIONAL CRIME differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.’
If we have retain any proper sense of right and wrong, then it is those who carried out the ‘supreme international crime’ – and their supporters – who should be treated as pariahs, and not those who opposed the crime.
We don’t just need to campaign for Bush and Blair and their cohorts to stand trial (a website here offers a reward for those who attempt a peaceful citizen’s arrest of Blair), but also to work for a new law to bar those who supported the ‘supreme international crime’ and who have not publicly apologized for their actions, from holding public office in Britain and America.
In Germany after WW2, Denazification took place to remove Nazis from positions of power and influence. We need similar action today against the serial warmongers of the 21st century.
In Britain, the publication of Chilcot in July should provide the perfect opportunity for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who opposed the Iraq invasion, to go on the front foot against his pro-war critics in the party who have worked tirelessly to undermine his democratic mandate.
There’s still hope too that in America, Hillary the Hawk can be defeated.
Let’s talk about Iraq. Let’s talk about it incessantly. Let’s make sure that there is a reckoning, at long last, in 2016. Because if we want justice for the 1m or so people who lost their lives because of pack of lies nothing else will do.
Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at http://www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66
Government officials who pushed the Iraq War in 2002-2003 are fond of claiming that they were simply deceived by “bad intelligence,” but the process was not that simple. In reality, there was a mutually reinforcing scheme to flood the U.S. intelligence community with false data and then to pressure the analysts not to show professional skepticism.
In other words, in the capital of the most powerful nation on earth, a system had evolved that was immune to the normal rules of evidence and respect for reality. Propaganda had become the name of the game, a dangerous process that remains in force to this day.
Regarding the Iraq War case, one of the principal culprits fueling this disinformation machine was Iraqi exile Ahmed Chalabi, who died on Nov. 3 at the age of 71 from a heart attack. Chalabi, head of the U.S./neocon-backed Iraqi National Congress (INC), not only pumped intentionally false data into this process but later congratulated his organization as “heroes in error” for rationalizing the invasion of Iraq.
The INC’s principal tactic was to deluge the U.S. intelligence community – and the mainstream media – with “defectors” who provided lurid accounts of the Iraqi government hiding WMD caches and concealing its ties to Al Qaeda terrorists. Because of the welcoming climate for these lies – which were trumpeted by neoconservatives and other influential Washington operatives – there was little or no pushback.
Only after the U.S. invasion and the failure to discover the alleged WMD stockpiles did the U.S. intelligence community reconstruct how the INC’s deceptions had worked. As the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee belatedly discovered, some “defectors” had been coached by the INC, which was fabricating a casus belli against Iraq.
In 2006, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a little-noticed study on the role of phony “defectors.” The report revealed not only specific cases of coached Iraqi “defectors” lying to intelligence analysts but a stunning failure of the U.S. political/media system to challenge the lies. The intimidated U.S. intelligence process often worked like a reverse filter, letting the dross of disinformation pass through.
The Iraqi “defectors” and their stories also played into a sophisticated propaganda campaign by neocon pundits and pro-war officials who acted as intellectual shock troops to bully the few U.S. voices of skepticism. With President George W. Bush eager for war with Iraq – and Democrats in Congress fearful of being labeled “soft on terror” – the enforced “group think” led the United States to invade Iraq on March 19, 2003.
According to the Senate report, the official U.S. relationship with these Iraqi exiles dated back to 1991 after President George H.W. Bush had routed Saddam Hussein’s army from Kuwait and wanted to help Hussein’s domestic opponents.
Start of a Complicated Friendship
In May 1991, the CIA approached Ahmed Chalabi, a secular Shiite who had not lived in Iraq since 1956. Chalabi was far from a perfect opposition candidate, however. Beyond his long isolation from his homeland, Chalabi was a fugitive from bank fraud charges in Jordan. Still, in June 1992, the Iraqi exiles held an organizational meeting in Vienna, Austria, out of which came the Iraqi National Congress. Chalabi emerged as the group’s chairman and most visible spokesman.
But Chalabi soon began rubbing CIA officers the wrong way. They complained about the quality of his information, the excessive size of his security detail, his lobbying of Congress, and his resistance to working as a team player. For his part, the smooth-talking Chalabi bristled at the idea that he was a U.S. intelligence asset, preferring to see himself as an independent political leader. Nevertheless, he and his organization were not averse to accepting American money.
With U.S. financial backing, the INC waged a propaganda campaign against Hussein and arranged for “a steady stream of low-ranking walk-ins” to provide intelligence about the Iraqi military, the Senate Intelligence Committee report said.
The INC’s mix of duties – propaganda and intelligence – would create concerns within the CIA as would the issue of Chalabi’s “coziness” with the Shiite government of Iran. The CIA concluded that Chalabi was double-dealing both sides when he falsely informed Iran that the United States wanted Iran’s help in conducting anti-Hussein operations.
“Chalabi passed a fabricated message from the White House to” an Iranian intelligence officer in northern Iraq, the CIA reported. According to one CIA representative, Chalabi used National Security Council stationery for the fabricated letter, a charge that Chalabi denied.
In December 1996, Clinton administration officials decided to terminate the CIA’s relationship with the INC and Chalabi. “There was a breakdown in trust and we never wanted to have anything to do with him anymore,” CIA Director George Tenet told the Senate Intelligence Committee.
However, in 1998, with the congressional passage of the Iraq Liberation Act, the INC was again one of the exile organizations that qualified for U.S. funding. Starting in March 2000, the State Department agreed to grant an INC foundation almost $33 million for several programs, including more propaganda operations and collection of information about alleged war crimes committed by Hussein’s regime.
By March 2001, with George W. Bush in office and already focusing on Iraq, the INC was given greater leeway to pursue its projects, including an Information Collection Program. The INC’s blurred responsibilities on intelligence gathering and propaganda dissemination raised fresh concerns within the State Department. But Bush’s National Security Council intervened against State’s attempts to cut off funding.
The NSC shifted the INC operation to the control of the Defense Department, where neoconservatives wielded more influence. To little avail, CIA officials warned their counterparts at the Defense Intelligence Agency about suspicions that “the INC was penetrated by Iranian and possibly other intelligence services, and that the INC had its own agenda,” the Senate report said.
“You’ve got a real bucket full of worms with the INC and we hope you’re taking the appropriate steps,” the CIA told the DIA.
But the CIA’s warnings did little to stanch the flow of INC propaganda into America’s politics and media. Besides flooding the U.S. intelligence community with waves of propaganda, the INC funneled a steady stream of “defectors” to U.S. news outlets eager for anti-Hussein scoops.
The “defectors” also made the rounds of Congress where members saw a political advantage in citing the INC’s propaganda as a way to talk tough about the Middle East. In turn, conservative and neoconservative think tanks honed their reputations in Washington by staying at the cutting edge of the negative news about Hussein, with “human rights” groups ready to pile on, too, against the Iraqi dictator.
The INC’s information program served the institutional needs and biases of Official Washington. Saddam Hussein was a despised figure anyway, with no influential constituency that would challenge even the most outlandish accusations against him.
When Iraqi government officials were allowed onto American news programs, it was an opportunity for the interviewers to show their tough side, pounding the Iraqis with hostile questions and smirking at the Iraqi denials about WMDs and ties to Al Qaeda.
The rare journalist who tried to be evenhanded would have his or her professionalism questioned. An intelligence analyst who challenged the consensus view that Iraq possessed WMDs could expect to suffer career repercussions. So, it was a win-win for “investigative journalists,” macho pundits, members of Congress – and George W. Bush. A war fever was sweeping the United States and the INC was doing all it could to spread the infection.
Again and again, the INC’s “defectors” supplied primary or secondary intelligence on two key points, Iraq’s supposed rebuilding of its unconventional weapons and its alleged training of non-Iraqi terrorists. Sometimes, these “defectors” would even enter the cloistered world of U.S. intelligence with entrées provided by former U.S. government officials.
For instance, ex-CIA Director James Woolsey referred at least a couple of these Iraqi sources to the Defense Intelligence Agency. Woolsey, who was affiliated with the Center for Strategic and International Studies and other neocon think tanks, had been one of the Reagan administration’s favorite Democrats in the 1980s because he supported a hawkish foreign policy. After Bill Clinton won the White House, Woolsey parlayed his close ties to the neocons into an appointment as CIA director.
In early 1993, Clinton’s foreign policy adviser Samuel “Sandy” Berger explained to one well-placed Democratic official that Woolsey was given the CIA job because the Clinton team felt it owed a favor to the neoconservative New Republic, which had lent Clinton some cachet with the insider crowd of Washington.
Amid that more relaxed post-Cold War mood, the Clinton team viewed the CIA directorship as a kind of a patronage plum that could be handed out as a favor to campaign supporters. But new international challenges soon emerged and Woolsey proved to be an ineffective leader of the intelligence community. After two years, he was replaced.
As the 1990s wore on, the spurned Woolsey grew closer to Washington’s fast-growing neocon movement, which was openly hostile to President Clinton for his perceived softness in asserting U.S. military power, especially against Arab regimes in the Middle East.
On Jan. 26, 1998, the neocon Project for the New American Century sent a letter to Clinton urging the ouster of Saddam Hussein by force if necessary. Woolsey was one of the 18 signers. By early 2001, he also had grown close to the INC, having been hired as co-counsel to represent eight Iraqis, including INC members, who had been detained on immigration charges.
In other words, Woolsey was well-positioned to serve as a conduit for INC “defectors” trying to get their stories to U.S. officials and to the American public.
DIA officials told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Woolsey introduced them to the first in a long line of INC “defectors” who then told the DIA about Hussein’s WMD and his supposed relationship with Islamic terrorists. For his part, Woolsey said he didn’t recall making that referral.
The debriefings of “Source One” – as he was called in the Senate Intelligence Committee report – generated more than 250 intelligence reports. Two of the reports described alleged terrorist training sites in Iraq, where Afghan, Pakistani and Palestinian nationals were allegedly taught military skills at the Salman Pak base, 20 miles south of Baghdad.
“Many Iraqis believe that Saddam Hussein had made an agreement with Usama bin Ladin in order to support his terrorist movement against the U.S.,” Source One claimed, according to the Senate report.
After the 9/11 attacks, information from Source One and other INC-connected “defectors” began surfacing in U.S. press accounts, not only in the right-wing news media, but many mainstream publications and news shows.
In an Oct. 12, 2001, column entitled “What About Iraq?” Washington Post chief foreign correspondent Jim Hoagland cited “accumulating evidence of Iraq’s role in sponsoring the development on its soil of weapons and techniques for international terrorism,” including training at Salman Pak. Hoagland’s sources included Iraqi army “defector” Sabah Khalifa Khodada and another unnamed Iraqi ex-intelligence officer in Turkey. Hoagland also criticized the CIA for not taking seriously a possible Iraqi link to 9/11.
Hoagland’s column was followed by a Page One article in The New York Times, which was headlined “Defectors Cite Iraqi Training for Terrorism.” It relied on Khodada, the second source in Turkey (who was later identified as Abu Zeinab al-Qurairy, a former senior officer in Iraq’s intelligence agency, the Mukhabarat), and a lower-ranking member of Mukhabarat.
This story described 40 to 50 Islamic militants getting training at Salman Pak at any one time, including lessons on how to hijack an airplane without weapons. There were also claims about a German scientist working on biological weapons.
In a Columbia Journalism Review retrospective on press coverage of U.S. intelligence on Iraq, writer Douglas McCollam asked Times correspondent Chris Hedges about the Times article, which he had written in coordination with a PBS Frontline documentary called “Gunning for Saddam,” with correspondent Lowell Bergman.
Explaining the difficulty of checking out defector accounts when they meshed with the interests of the U.S. government, Hedges said, “We tried to vet the defectors and we didn’t get anything out of Washington that said, ‘these guys are full of shit.’”
For his part, Bergman told CJR’s McCollam, “The people involved appeared credible and we had no way of getting into Iraq ourselves.”
The journalistic competition to break anti-Hussein scoops was building, too. Based in Paris, Hedges said he would get periodic calls from Times editors asking that he check out defector stories originating from Chalabi’s operation.
“I thought he was unreliable and corrupt, but just because someone is a sleazebag doesn’t mean he might not know something or that everything he says is wrong,” Hedges said. Hedges described Chalabi as having an “endless stable” of ready sources who could fill in American reporters on any number of Iraq-related topics.
The Salman Pak story would be one of many products from the INC’s propaganda mill that would prove influential in the run-up to the Iraq War but would be knocked down later by U.S. intelligence agencies.
According to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s post-mortem, the DIA stated in June 2006 that it found “no credible reports that non-Iraqis were trained to conduct or support transnational terrorist operations at Salman Pak after 1991.”
Explaining the origins for the bogus tales, the DIA concluded that Operation Desert Storm had brought attention to the training base at Salman Pak, so “fabricators and unestablished sources who reported hearsay or third-hand information created a large volume of human intelligence reporting. This type of reporting surged after September 2001.”
Going with the Flow
However, in the prelude to the Iraq War, U.S. intelligence agencies found it hard to resist the INC’s “defectors” when that would have meant bucking the White House and going against Washington’s conventional wisdom. Rather than take those career chances, many intelligence analysts found it easier to go with the flow.
Referring to the INC’s “Source One,” a U.S. intelligence memorandum in July 2002 hailed the information as “highly credible and includes reports on a wide range of subjects including conventional weapons facilities, denial and deception; communications security; suspected terrorist training locations; illicit trade and smuggling; Saddam’s palaces; the Iraqi prison system; and Iraqi petrochemical plants.”
Only analysts in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research were skeptical because they felt Source One was making unfounded assumptions, especially about possible nuclear research sites.
After the invasion of Iraq, U.S. intelligence finally began to recognize the holes in Source One’s stories and spot examples of analysts extrapolating faulty conclusions from his limited first-hand knowledge.
“In early February 2004, in order to resolve … credibility issues with Source One, Intelligence Community elements brought Source One to Iraq,” the Senate Intelligence Committee report said. “When taken to the location Source One had described as the suspect [nuclear] facility, he was unable to identify it.
“According to one intelligence assessment, the ‘subject appeared stunned upon hearing that he was standing on the spot that he reported as the location of the facility, insisted that he had never been to that spot, and wanted to check a map’ …
“Intelligence Community officers confirmed that they were standing on the location he was identifying. … During questioning, Source One acknowledged contact with the INC’s Washington Director [name redacted], but denied that the Washington Director directed Source One to provide any false information. ”
The U.S. intelligence community had mixed reactions to other Iraqi “walk-ins” arranged by the INC. Some were caught in outright deceptions, such as “Source Two” who talked about Iraq supposedly building mobile biological weapons labs.
After catching Source Two in contradictions, the CIA issued a “fabrication notice” in May 2002, deeming him “a fabricator/provocateur” and asserting that he had “been coached by the Iraqi National Congress prior to his meeting with western intelligence services.”
However, the DIA never repudiated the specific reports that had been based on Source Two’s debriefings. So, Source Two continued to be cited in five CIA intelligence assessments and the pivotal National Intelligence Estimate in October 2002, “as corroborating other source reporting about a mobile biological weapons program,” the Senate Intelligence Committee report said.
Source Two was one of four human sources referred to by Secretary of State Colin Powell in his United Nations speech on Feb. 5, 2003. When asked how a “fabricator” could have been used for such an important speech, a CIA analyst who worked on Powell’s speech said, “we lost the thread of concern … as time progressed I don’t think we remembered.”
A CIA supervisor added, “Clearly we had it at one point, we understood, we had concerns about the source, but over time it started getting used again and there really was a loss of corporate awareness that we had a problem with the source.”
Part of the challenge facing U.S. intelligence agencies was the sheer volume of “defectors” shepherded into debriefing rooms by the INC and the appeal of their information to U.S. policymakers.
“Source Five,” for instance, claimed that Osama bin Laden had traveled to Baghdad for direct meetings with Saddam Hussein. “Source Six” claimed that the Iraqi population was “excited” about the prospects of a U.S. invasion to topple Hussein. Plus, the source said Iraqis recognized the need for post-invasion U.S. control.
By early February 2003, as the final invasion plans were underway, U.S. intelligence agencies had progressed up to “Source Eighteen,” who came to epitomize what some analysts still suspected – that the INC was coaching the sources.
As the CIA tried to set up a debriefing of Source Eighteen, another Iraqi exile passed on word to the agency that an INC representative had told Source Eighteen to “deliver the act of a lifetime.” CIA analysts weren’t sure what to make of that piece of news – since Iraqi exiles frequently badmouthed each other – but the value of the warning soon became clear.
U.S. intelligence officers debriefed Source Eighteen the next day and discovered that “Source Eighteen was supposed to have a nuclear engineering background, but was unable to discuss advanced mathematics or physics and described types of ‘nuclear’ reactors that do not exist,” according to the Senate Intelligence Committee report.
“Source Eighteen used the bathroom frequently, particularly when he appeared to be flustered by a line of questioning, suddenly remembering a new piece of information upon his return. During one such incident, Source Eighteen appeared to be reviewing notes,” the report said.
Not surprisingly, the CIA and DIA case officers concluded that Source Eighteen was a fabricator. But the sludge of INC-connected misinformation and disinformation continued to ooze through the U.S. intelligence community and to foul the American intelligence product – in part because there was little pressure from above demanding strict quality controls.
Other Iraqi exile sources – not directly connected to the INC – also supplied dubious information, including a source for a foreign intelligence agency who earned the code name “Curve Ball.” He contributed important details about Iraq’s alleged mobile facilities for producing agents for biological warfare.
Tyler Drumheller, former chief of the CIA’s European Division, said his office had issued repeated warnings about Curve Ball’s accounts. “Everyone in the chain of command knew exactly what was happening,” Drumheller said. [Los Angeles Times, April 2, 2005]
Despite those objections and the lack of direct U.S. contact with Curve Ball, he earned a rating as “credible” or “very credible,” and his information became a core element of the Bush administration’s case for invading Iraq. Drawings of Curve Ball’s imaginary bio-weapons labs were a central feature of Secretary of State Powell’s presentation to the U.N.
Even after the invasion, U.S. officials continued to promote these claims, portraying the discovery of a couple of trailers used for inflating artillery balloons as “the strongest evidence to date that Iraq was hiding a biological warfare program.” [CIA-DIA report, “Iraqi Mobile Biological Warfare Agent Production Plants,” May 16, 2003]
Finally, on May 26, 2004, a CIA assessment of Curve Ball said “investigations since the war in Iraq and debriefings of the key source indicate he lied about his access to a mobile BW production product.”
The U.S. intelligence community also learned that Curve Ball “had a close relative who had worked for the INC since 1992,” but the CIA could never resolve the question of whether the INC was involved in coaching Curve Ball. One CIA analyst said she doubted a direct INC role because the INC pattern was to “shop their good sources around town, but they weren’t known for sneaking people out of countries into some asylum system.”
In September 2006, four years after the Bush administration seriously began fanning the flames for war against Iraq, a majority of Senate Intelligence Committee members overrode the objections of the panel’s senior Republicans and issued a report on the INC’s contribution to the U.S. intelligence failures.
The report concluded that the INC fed false information to the intelligence community to convince Washington that Iraq was flouting prohibitions on WMD production. The panel also found that the falsehoods had been “widely distributed in intelligence products prior to the war” and did influence some American perceptions of the WMD threat in Iraq.
But INC disinformation was not solely to blame for the bogus intelligence that permeated the pre-war debate. In Washington, there had been a breakdown of the normal checks and balances that American democracy has traditionally relied on for challenging and eliminating the corrosive effects of false data.
By 2002, that self-correcting mechanism – a skeptical press, congressional oversight, and tough-minded analysts – had collapsed. With very few exceptions, prominent journalists refused to put their careers at risk; intelligence professionals played along with the powers that be; Democratic leaders succumbed to the political pressure to toe the President’s line; and Republicans marched in lockstep with Bush on his way to war.
Because of this systematic failure, the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded four years later that nearly every key assessment of the U.S. intelligence community as expressed in the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq’s WMD was wrong:
“Postwar findings do not support the [NIE] judgment that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program; … do not support the [NIE] assessment that Iraq’s acquisition of high-strength aluminum tubes was intended for an Iraqi nuclear program; … do not support the [NIE] assessment that Iraq was ‘vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake’ from Africa; … do not support the [NIE] assessment that ‘Iraq has biological weapons’ and that ‘all key aspects of Iraq’s offensive biological weapons program are larger and more advanced than before the Gulf war’; … do not support the [NIE] assessment that Iraq possessed, or ever developed, mobile facilities for producing biological warfare agents; … do not support the [NIE] assessments that Iraq ‘has chemical weapons’ or ‘is expanding its chemical industry to support chemical weapons production’; … do not support the [NIE] assessments that Iraq had a developmental program for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle ‘probably intended to deliver biological agents’ or that an effort to procure U.S. mapping software ‘strongly suggests that Iraq is investigating the use of these UAVs for missions targeting the United States.’”
Today, you can see a similar process as the Obama administration relies on “strategic communications” – a mix of psy-ops, propaganda and P.R. – to advance its strategic goals of “regime change” in Syria, maintenance of an anti-Russian regime in Ukraine, and escalation of hostilities with Russia.
When pivotal events occur – like the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin gas attack outside Damascus, the Feb. 20, 2014 sniper shootings in Kiev, or the July 17, 2014 shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine – the propaganda machine clicks back into gear and the incidents are used to smear U.S. “adversaries” and strengthen U.S. “friends.”
Thus, truth has become the routine casualty of “info-war.” The American people are serially deceived in the name of “national security” and manipulated toward more conflict and military spending. Over the years, this process surely put a crooked smile on the face of Ahmed Chalabi, who proved himself one of its masters.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).
Ahmed Chalabi, age 71, has died of a heart attack in Baghdad. As a close observer of his unique role in provoking the Iraq War – a foreign policy and strategic military disaster 12 years ago – I can’t help but look back on that time as an age of innocence. That may sound ironic, but I think it’s true given that many Americans now see that even elections don’t change much.
As painful as it was to watch the U.S. government plunge into the Iraq War based on false WMD warnings – raised in part by Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress – there was still a sense of hope back then that the truth could be told and the culprits could be held accountable. That seems now to have been a naïve dream.
In 2003, Chalabi was on track to become the new leader of Iraq, just as soon as Paul Wolfowitz’s projected “cakewalk” was finished. Towards this end, he was using, and being used by, the neoconservative cabal of Bush/Cheney appointees in the Pentagon, the National Security Council and the State Department.
Yet, despite the fact that the “cakewalk” turned into a blood-soaked grind – and has now spread disorder across the Middle East and into Europe – many of the same men and a few women are still advising and influencing the Obama administration’s security policies toward Eastern Europe, the Mideast, Russia and China.
Now, as then, this group of neocons and their “liberal interventionist” pals lack the good sense that God gave a chicken. They still march off without a recognizable moral compass (even as they assert their moral superiority) and still without the slightest respect for either the Constitution or the soldiers and marines they gleefully send into harms’ way.
At least with Chalabi, in the early 2000s, the U.S. government had a dapper and hopeful spokesperson for what Iraq was supposed to become. Some saw Chalabi as smooth while others viewed him as oily – a conman with his own checkered past – but he was purported to be the kind of modern Iraqi who could make Iraq a better place.
Chalabi’s optimism, his delusions of grandeur, and his faith in the conspiracy of empire led him to the hubris of the neocons, those vainglorious sorcerers wielding the bureaucratic power of the Pentagon and the White House. Together, they were a perfect match. Chalabi’s fantasies for Iraq were the natural product of his fundamental criminality, but his delusions also were vital to the neocons as they spun their spell to entrance the American public.
Still, Chalabi could be understood as a character in a Edith Wharton novel, trapped in his own era, not overly complex, but certainly earnest. The same cannot be said for the American neoconservatives who used him. Even in his guile there was a sense of guilelessness. After the U.S. invasion of Iraq failed to turn up the promised WMD or confirm Saddam Hussein’s alleged links to Al Qaeda, Chalabi defended the falsehoods, calling himself “a hero in error.”
There was a time when I saw Chalabi as a big part of our foreign policy conundrum, but the past decade has shown us where the real evil lies. Today, I see Chalabi more as a victim of his bad assumptions about the neoconservatives, who privately celebrate the cost, chaos, destruction and decimation of whole countries and cultures, in the name of their twisted vision.
In 2003, the canaries in this dark coal mine were warning about the lies told by President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and political appointees throughout Washington to justify an American satrapy in Iraq. While some of us could see a future far grimmer, far more dangerous, and far more destructive than the neocon promises of American soldiers being welcomed by children throwing flowers and candy – many Americans could not. Chalabi was a useful part of why that was.
The warnings from government whistleblowers, knowledgeable observers around the world, and independent-minded journalists and historians were hushed, silenced and buried until Iraq was burning and a quarter of that country’s population had been made refugees by an unwinnable war and a hated occupation.
It took years for the fraud committed by the neoconservatives, their allies in mainstream media, and the Bush administration to sink in, though many Americans still appear confused as to how they should assess what happened. The bottom line is that what occurred was a crime against the American people, the Constitution, international law, the Iraqis and their neighbors. Yet, there has been a stunning lack of accountability for the culprits who perpetrated this crime.
A dozen years after the war began, Chalabi’s promised golden age for Iraq and the Middle East has turned to dross. Today, it is common knowledge that the “word” of the United States is rarely good. Today, the world understands the ambitions of the United States as reptilian rather than republican, driven by a kind of rabid hostility and covetousness that in 2003 most did not easily perceive.
Today, to seek a partnership with the Pentagon or State Department as you try to shape your own small country’s history means you are more gambler than statesman, more fool that patriot.
The actions of the United States in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Georgia, Ukraine, Egypt, Libya and Syria – alliances of greed and dependency that Washington has maintained throughout this era – reveal an ugly truth. U.S. foreign policy is not about democracy and self-determination, it is not about hope. Rather, it is about crony capitalism, old-style imperialism, theft and tyranny, all wrapped up in a maelstrom of bureaucratic infighting and budget padding.
No one is trusted in the conduct of America’s never-ending “wars.” Today, when a Russian airliner crashes, the U.S. is as likely to be blamed as a terrorist group, and the terrorist groups themselves are differentiated by their degree of U.S. support and their use of U.S. weaponry – with some Sunni jihadists in Syria now firing U.S.-supplied TOW missiles and being hailed by U.S. politicians as “our guys.”
We’ve come a long way since 9/11 when President Bush said aiding or harboring a terrorist made one as guilty as the terrorist.
Since 2003, many Americans have discovered that their political leadership is addicted to arrogant mayhem. What worked to create public support for foreign wars in 2003 is now laughed at, or ignored, by a cynical citizenry. We have learned to distrust our government, on issues both foreign and domestic.
Chalabi, though his passing has been little noticed and less mourned, reminds us of how U.S. foreign policy with its military adventurism was formed and still is formed. The world that made him a celebrity now faces the cold reality of the widening chaos that is the result of the past dozen years.
We may not see another charlatan like Chalabi soon. One surely can hope that Americans would quickly spot a new Chalabi today and discount the optimistic messaging that he or she is selling. In a troubling way, that is a good thing. These days, the U.S. President no longer even attempts to sell new wars, invasions, occupations and assassinations to the war-exhausted public. He just conducts them in the shadows.
Chalabi’s passing reminds us that we live in a post-heroic world, where the U.S. war machine rumbles along on borrowed money – without a coherent strategy, vision, success or accountability and also without a soul and without heroes. That sad fact is certainly worth a moment of quiet reflection.
Karen Kwiatkowski is a retired USAF Lt Col, who publicized what she saw in the Pentagon at her final assignment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. She farms with her family in western Virginia, and writes occasionally for LewRockwell.com, and other outlets.
The truth about the September 11, 2001 terror attacks would not only destabilize the American political system but it would also take down the US as a global empire, an American scholar says.
Dr. Kevin Barrett, a founding member of the Scientific Panel for the Investigation of 9/11, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Tuesday, while commenting on the ongoing feud between Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Jeb Bush over the 9/11 attacks.
On Friday, Trump blamed former US President George W. Bush for the September 11, 2001 attacks. On Sunday, Trump said that if he had been president in 2001, his immigration policy would have kept al-Qaeda terrorists from attacking the US.
In response, Bush said his brother, George W. Bush, is not responsible for the 9/11 attacks. “Look, my brother responded to a crisis, and he did it as you would hope a president would do.”
“He united the country,” Bush told CNN. “He organized our country, and he kept us safe. And there’s no denying that. The great majority of Americans believe that.”
Bush deserves blame for 9/11
Dr. Barrett said everyone in the United States believes that George W. Bush deserves blame for the September 11, 2001 attacks.
“Ever since 9/11, many Americans, between one-third in some polls who say that the US government under Bush perpetrated the 9/11 attacks or intentionally let them happen in order to trigger war in the Middle East, and up to 90 percent of Americans in other polls, who say that they don’t really believe or fully believe the official story of 9/11, this issue has been a smoldering barrel of political dynamite, “he said. “And now it’s smoldering a little bit harder, and it might just go off.”
“According to Jeb Bush, the brother of George Bush, Jeb being the apparent favorite candidate to win the Republican nomination for president, at least until Trump emerged, Jeb is now on the defensive, arguing that his brother George W. Bush was not responsible and there’s no blame for the 9/11 attacks,” he added.
“Of course, this is an issue that Jeb cannot possibly win on, because no matter how you analyze the 9/11 attacks, whether you’ve done the full investigation using alternative sources, such as the magisterial work of Dr. David Ray Griffin, to learn that in fact the 9/11 attacks were not a surprise attack by a foreign enemy, they were in fact an inside job, a spectacular public relations stunt designed to create a neoconservative policy coup d’etat and launch a series of wars that would primarily benefit Israel,” he said.
“But whether you’ve done the search and figure that out or not, you have to admit that Bush was clearly responsible for 9/11 even if he was not actively complicit in this coup d’etat,” Dr. Barrett noted.
“And even if you refuse to admit that it was a coup d’etat, it’s obvious that Bush should be blamed for what happened,” he stated.
The September, 11, 2001 attacks, also known as the 9/11 attacks, were a series of strikes in the US which killed nearly 3,000 people and caused about $10 billion worth of property and infrastructure damage.
US officials assert that the attacks were carried out by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists but many experts have raised questions about the official account.
They believe that rogue elements within the US government, such as former Vice President Dick Cheney, orchestrated or at least encouraged the 9/11 attacks in order to accelerate the US war machine and advance the Zionist agenda.
Bush receives CIA briefing
“In August of 2001, George W. Bush received the president’s daily briefing from the CIA, and it was headlined, ‘Bin Laden determined to attack in the United States’. Bush whipped his neck around and angrily screamed, ‘Well, you’ve covered your ass now,’” Dr. Barrett said.
“Of course, the ungenerous interpretation of this is that Bush knew full well that plans were proceeding apace for the big public relations event in September, and he did not appreciate the CIA briefer covering his posterior while passing the buck up to the president,” he added.
“The other interpretation would be that Bush is just such a complete fool and idiot that his outburst had no real meaning, and he should be blamed for 9/11 not as a complicit perpetrator, or someone who intentionally knew it was coming and let it happen, but rather someone whose incompetence was so overwhelming that somehow he caused the entire military defense system of the United States to have an unprecedented collapse,” he continued.
The American scholar went on to say that “the bottom line here is that it’s obvious to everyone in the United States that George W. Bush deserves blame for 9/11.”
“The only question is whether because he was insanely incompetent and somehow magically projected his grotesque incompetence on the rest of the government and then saw everyone who was incompetent get promoted or was it something much, much worse. But the reality is it was much, much worse,” he emphasized.
“And if this political dynamite bomb goes off, it’s not just going to take out the Bush family, which has been the most corrupt organized crime family in America running the drug dealings at the CIA, among other things, but it’s going to take down the whole political system as we know it today, and possibly going to take down the US as a global empire,” he observed.
“That’s one reason everybody in the US here is afraid to open up this can of worms, but that actually would be a very good thing; nothing better could possibly happen to the planet than for this can of worms to get opened, and for the US empire to be taken down, and for something more in line with the ideals of America’s founding fathers to rise up out of the ashes,” Dr. Barrett concluded.
A damning White House memo has revealed details of the so-called “deal in blood” forged by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W. Bush over the Iraq war.
The document, titled “Secret… Memorandum for the President”, was sent by then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell to President Bush on March 28, 2002, a week before Bush’s summit with Blair at his Crawford ranch in Texas, Britain’s Daily Mail reported on Sunday.
The sensational memo revealed that Blair had agreed to support the war a year before the invasion even started, while publicly the British prime minister was working to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
The document also disclosed that Blair agreed to act as a spin doctor for Bush and convince a skeptical public that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction, which actually did not exist.
In response, Bush would flatter Blair and give the impression that London was not Washington’s poodle but an equal partner in the “special relationship.”
Powell told Bush that Blair “will be with us” on the Iraq war, and assured the president that “”the UK will follow our lead in the Middle East.”
Another sensational memo revealed how Bush used “spies” in the British Labour Party to help him to influence public opinion in the United Kingdom in favor of the Iraq war.
Both documents were obtained and published by The Mail on Sunday. They are part of a number of classified emails stored on the private server of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton which courts have forced her to reveal.
Blair has always denied the claim that he and Bush signed a deal “in blood” at Crawford to launch a war against Iraq that began on March 20, 2003, that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.
The Powell memo, however, showed how Blair and Bush secretly prepared the Iraq war plot behind closed doors at Crawford.
Powell told Bush: “He will present to you the strategic, tactical and public affairs lines that he believes will strengthen global support for our common cause.”
The top US diplomatic official added that the UK premier has the presentational skills to “make a credible public case on current Iraqi threats to international peace.”
Powell wrote that Blair will “stick with us on the big issues” but he needs to show the British public that “Britain and America are truly equity partners in the special relationship.”
In March 2003, the US and Britain invaded Iraq in blatant violation of international law and under the pretext of finding WMDs. But no such weapons were ever discovered in Iraq.
More than one million Iraqis were killed as the result of the US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of the country, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.
The US war in Iraq cost American taxpayers $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, according to a study called Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.
During his term, former President George W. Bush sent US troops to Iraq under what later turned out to be false pretenses. Since then, over 50,000 US soldiers have been wounded, with many struggling to acclimate to life back home. And while the former president has pledged his support to these veterans, he apparently won’t do it for free.
Two weeks ago, at a Chamber of Commerce event, former President Bush touted his support for veterans, saying “I’ve decided to dedicate the rest of my life to helping out vets, to helping those with whom I was honored to serve.”
A noble pledge, perhaps, but it also comes with a fee.
According to ABC News, the former president has charged $100,000 for a speech at a gala fundraiser hosted by the Texas-based Helping a Hero charity for veterans who have lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan – the very same countries Bush sent troops to. At an additional cost of $20,000, the former president was also provided with a private jet to fly him to the event.
Members of Helping a Hero also told ABC News that former First Lady Laura Bush also charged a fee of $50,000 for a speech at a gala event the year before for the same organization.
The charity’s chairman was quick to come to the former president’s defense, saying in a statement that Bush’s appearance helped raise “significant funds” for the organization, and that he further reduced his fees from $250,000 to $100,000 for their benefit.
However, according to Politico, the former president’s typical speaking fee is between $100,000 and $175,000, which means Bush may not have been as gracious with his speaking fee as indicated by the charity’s chairman.
Further, ABC reported that both Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter have never taken money to speak at a veteran’s group in the past. Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense under Bush’s administration, also did not charge a fee for speaking at the same Helping a Hero fundraiser.
The revelation has sparked public outrage, with the former president under fire from both public officials and military veterans. Many drew attention to the irony of a president capitalizing on the soldiers injured in the very wars he created. […]
Some even demanded that Bush return the money, with others noting that the former president and his wife have earned much more from their speeches than those who have gone to fight the wars.
Paid speeches by former presidents have been the subject of intense controversy for years, as they have become a major source of income for their post-presidential years. By 2013, Bill Clinton brought home over $106 million on the lecture circuit, and according to CNN, makes $500,000 per speech.
Toward the end of his presidency, Bush reportedly told author Robert Draper that he intended to “replenish the ol’ coffers” after leaving office and make a “ridiculous” amount of money with his speeches. And apparently, even supporting soldiers he had sent to war won’t come in the way of that money making.
The disclosure that convicted al-Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui has identified leading members of the Saudi government as financers of the terrorist network potentially reshapes how Americans will perceive events in the Middle East and creates a risk for Israel’s Likud government which has forged an unlikely alliance with some of these same Saudis.
According to a story in the New York Times on Wednesday, Moussaoui said in a prison deposition that he was directed in 1998 or 1999 by Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan to create a digital database of the group’s donors and that the list included Prince Turki al-Faisal, then Saudi intelligence chief; Prince Bandar bin Sultan, longtime Saudi ambassador to the United States; Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, a prominent billionaire investor; and many leading clerics.
Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then Saudi ambassador to the United States, meeting with President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas. (White House photo)
“Sheikh Osama wanted to keep a record who give money,” Moussaoui said in imperfect English — “who is to be listened to or who contributed to the jihad.”
Although Moussaoui’s credibility came under immediate attack from the Saudi kingdom, his assertions mesh with accounts from members of the U.S. Congress who have seen a secret portion of the 9/11 report that addresses alleged Saudi support for al-Qaeda.
Further complicating the predicament for Saudi Arabia is that, more recently, Saudi and other Persian Gulf oil sheikdoms have been identified as backers of Sunni militants fighting in Syria to overthrow the largely secular regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The major rebel force benefiting from this support is al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.
In other words, the Saudis appear to have continued a covert relationship with al-Qaeda-connected jihadists to the present day.
The Israeli Exposure
And, like the Saudis, the Israelis have sided with the Sunni militants in Syria because the Israelis share the Saudi view that Iran and the so-called “Shiite crescent” – reaching from Tehran and Baghdad to Damascus and Beirut – is the greatest threat to their interests in the Middle East.
That shared concern has pushed Israel and Saudi Arabia into a de facto alliance, though the collaboration between Jerusalem and Riyadh has been mostly kept out of the public eye. Still, it has occasionally peeked out from under the covers as the two governments deploy their complementary assets – Saudi oil and money and Israeli political and media clout – in areas where they have mutual interests.
In recent years, these historic enemies have cooperated in their joint disdain for the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt (which was overthrown in 2013), in seeking the ouster of the Assad regime in Syria, and in pressing for a more hostile U.S. posture toward Iran.
Israel and Saudi Arabia also have collaborated in efforts to put the squeeze on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who is deemed a key supporter of both Iran and Syria. The Saudis have used their power over oil production to drive down prices and hurt Russia’s economy, while U.S. neoconservatives – who share Israel’s geopolitical world view – were at the forefront of the coup that ousted Ukraine’s pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.
The behind-the-scenes Israeli-Saudi alliance has put the two governments – uncomfortably at times – on the side of Sunni jihadists battling Shiite influence in Syria, Lebanon and even Iraq. On Jan. 18, 2015, for instance, Israel attacked Lebanese-Iranian advisers assisting Assad’s government in Syria, killing several members of Hezbollah and an Iranian general. These military advisors were engaged in operations against al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.
Meanwhile, Israel has refrained from attacking Nusra Front militants who have seized Syrian territory near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. One source familiar with U.S. intelligence information on Syria told me that Israel has a “non-aggression pact” with these Nusra forces.
An Odd Alliance
Israel’s odd-couple alliances with Sunni interests have evolved over the past several years, as Israel and Saudi Arabia emerged as strange bedfellows in the geopolitical struggle against Shiite-ruled Iran and its allies in Iraq, Syria and southern Lebanon. In Syria, for instance, senior Israelis have made clear they would prefer Sunni extremists to prevail in the civil war rather than Assad, who is an Alawite, a branch of Shiite Islam.
In September 2013, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post that Israel favored the Sunni extremists over Assad.
“The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc,” Oren told the Jerusalem Post in an interview. “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.
And, in June 2014, speaking as a former ambassador at an Aspen Institute conference, Oren expanded on his position, saying Israel would even prefer a victory by the brutal Islamic State over continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria. “From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said.
Skepticism and Doubt
In August 2013, when I first reported on the growing relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia in an article entitled “The Saudi-Israeli Superpower,” the story was met with much skepticism. But, increasingly, this secret alliance has gone public.
On Oct. 1, 2013, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu hinted at it in his United Nations General Assembly speech, which was largely devoted to excoriating Iran over its nuclear program and threatening a unilateral Israeli military strike.
Amid the bellicosity, Netanyahu dropped in a largely missed clue about the evolving power relationships in the Middle East, saying: “The dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran and the emergence of other threats in our region have led many of our Arab neighbors to recognize, finally recognize, that Israel is not their enemy. And this affords us the opportunity to overcome the historic animosities and build new relationships, new friendships, new hopes.”
The next day, Israel’s Channel 2 TV news reported that senior Israeli security officials had met with a high-level Gulf state counterpart in Jerusalem, believed to be Prince Bandar, the former Saudi ambassador to the United States who was then head of Saudi intelligence.
The reality of this unlikely alliance has now even reached the mainstream U.S. media. For instance, Time magazine correspondent Joe Klein described the new coziness in an article in the Jan. 19, 2015 issue.
He wrote: “On May 26, 2014, an unprecedented public conversation took place in Brussels. Two former high-ranking spymasters of Israel and Saudi Arabia – Amos Yadlin and Prince Turki al-Faisal – sat together for more than an hour, talking regional politics in a conversation moderated by the Washington Post’s David Ignatius.
“They disagreed on some things, like the exact nature of an Israel-Palestine peace settlement, and agreed on others: the severity of the Iranian nuclear threat, the need to support the new military government in Egypt, the demand for concerted international action in Syria. The most striking statement came from Prince Turki. He said the Arabs had ‘crossed the Rubicon’ and ‘don’t want to fight Israel anymore.’”
Though Klein detected only the bright side of this détente, there was a dark side as well, as referenced in Moussaoui’s deposition, which identified Prince Turki as one of al-Qaeda’s backers. Perhaps even more unsettling was his listing of Prince Bandar, who had long presented himself as a U.S. friend, so close to the Bush Family that he was nicknamed “Bandar Bush.”
Moussaoui claimed that he discussed a plan to shoot down Air Force One with a Stinger missile with a staff member at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, at a time when Bandar was the ambassador to the United States.
According to the New York Times article by Scott Shane, Moussaoui said he was assigned to “find a location where it may be suitable to launch a Stinger attack and then, after, be able to escape,” but that he was arrested on Aug. 16, 2001, before he could carry out the reconnaissance mission.
The thought of anyone in the Saudi embassy, then under the control of “Bandar Bush,” scheming with al-Qaeda to shoot down George W. Bush’s Air Force One is shocking, if true. The notion would have been considered unthinkable even after the 9/11 attacks, which involved 15 Saudis among the 19 hijackers.
After those terror attacks which killed nearly 3,000 Americans, Bandar went to the White House and persuaded Bush to arrange for the rapid extraction of bin Laden’s family members and other Saudis in the United States. Bush agreed to help get those Saudi nationals out on the first flights allowed back into the air.
Bandar’s intervention undercut the FBI’s chance to learn more about the ties between Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 perpetrators by giving FBI agents only time for cursory interviews with the departing Saudis.
Bandar himself was close to the bin Laden family and acknowledged having met Osama bin Laden in the context of bin Laden thanking Bandar for his help financing the jihad project in Afghanistan during the 1980s. “I was not impressed, to be honest with you,” Bandar told CNN’s Larry King about bin Laden. “I thought he was simple and very quiet guy.”
The Saudi government claimed to have broken ties with bin Laden in the early 1990s when he began targeting the United States because President George H.W. Bush had stationed U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, but – if Moussaoui is telling the truth – al-Qaeda would have still counted Bandar among its supporters in the late 1990s.
Bandar and Putin
Bandar’s possible links to Sunni terrorism also emerged in 2013 during a confrontation between Bandar and Putin over what Putin viewed as Bandar’s crude threat to unleash Chechen terrorists against the Sochi Winter Olympics if Putin did not reduce his support for the Syrian government.
According to a leaked diplomatic account of a July 31, 2013 meeting in Moscow, Bandar informed Putin that Saudi Arabia had strong influence over Chechen extremists who had carried out numerous terrorist attacks against Russian targets and who had since deployed to join the fight against the Assad regime in Syria.
As Bandar called for a Russian shift toward the Saudi position on Syria, he reportedly offered guarantees of protection from Chechen terror attacks on the Olympics. “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year,” Bandar reportedly said. “The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us.”
Putin responded, “We know that you have supported the Chechen terrorist groups for a decade. And that support, which you have frankly talked about just now, is completely incompatible with the common objectives of fighting global terrorism.”
Bandar’s Mafia-like threat toward the Sochi games – a version of “nice Olympics you got here, it’d be a shame if something terrible happened to it” – failed to intimidate Putin, who continued to support Assad.
Less than a month later, an incident in Syria almost forced President Barack Obama’s hand in launching U.S. air strikes against Assad’s military, which would have possibly opened the path for the Nusra Front or the Islamic State to capture Damascus and take control of Syria. On Aug. 21, 2013, a mysterious sarin attack outside Damascus killed hundreds and, in the U.S. media, the incident was immediately blamed on the Assad regime.
American neocons and their allied “liberal interventionists” demanded that Obama launch retaliatory air strikes even though some U.S. intelligence analysts doubted that Assad’s forces were responsible and suspected that the attack was carried out by extremist rebels trying to pull the U.S. military into the civil war on their side.
Yet, pushed by the neocons and liberal war hawks, Obama nearly ordered a bombing campaign designed to “degrade” the Syrian military but called it off at the last minute. He then accepted Putin’s help in reaching a diplomatic solution in which Assad agreed to surrender his entire chemical weapons arsenal, while still denying any role in the sarin attack.
Later, the Assad-did-it case crumbled amid new evidence that Sunni extremists, supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, were the more likely perpetrators of the attack, a scenario that became increasingly persuasive as Americans learned more about the cruelty and ruthlessness of many Sunni jihadists fighting in Syria. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Mistaken Guns of Last August.”]
Putin’s cooperation with Obama to head off a U.S. military strike in Syria made the Russian president more of a target for the American neocons who thought they finally had reached the cusp of their long-desired “regime change” in Syria only to be blocked by Putin. By late September 2013, a leading neocon, National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, announced the goal of challenging Putin and recognizing his sore point in Ukraine.
Taking to the Washington Post’s op-ed page on Sept. 26, 2013, Gershman called Ukraine “the biggest prize” and an important step toward ultimately ousting Putin. Gershman wrote, “Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. … Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Neocons’ Ukraine-Syria-Iran Gambit.“]
However, in early 2014, Putin was obsessed with Bandar’s implicit threat of terrorism striking the Sochi Olympics, thus distracting him from the “regime change” – being pushed by NED and neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland – next door in Ukraine.
On Feb. 22, 2014, putschists, spearheaded by well-organized neo-Nazi militias, drove elected President Viktor Yanukovych and his government from power. Putin was caught off-guard and, in the resulting political chaos, agreed to requests from Crimean officials and voters to accept Crimea back into Russia, thus exploding his cooperative relationship with Obama.
With Putin the new pariah in Official Washington, the neocon hand also was strengthened in the Middle East where renewed pressure could be put on the “Shiite crescent” in Syria and Iran. However, in summer 2014, the Islamic State, which had splintered off from al-Qaeda and its Nusra Front, went on a rampage, invading Iraq where captured soldiers were beheaded. The Islamic State then engaged in gruesome videotaped decapitations of Western hostages inside Syria.
The Islamic State’s brutality and the threat it posed to the U.S.-backed, Shiite-dominated government of Iraq changed the political calculus. Obama felt compelled to launch airstrikes against Islamic State targets in both Iraq and Syria. American neocons tried to convince Obama to expand the Syrian strikes to hit Assad’s forces, too, but Obama realized such a plan would only benefit the Islamic State and al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.
In effect, the neocons were showing their hand – much as Israeli Ambassador Oren had done – favoring the Sunni extremists allied with al-Qaeda over Assad’s secular regime because it was allied with Iran. Now, with Moussaoui’s deposition identifying senior Saudi officials as patrons of al-Qaeda, another veil seems to have dropped.
Complicating matters further, Moussaoui also claimed that he passed letters between Osama bin Laden and then Crown Prince Salman, who recently became king upon the death of his brother King Abdullah.
But Moussaoui’s disclosure perhaps cast the most unflattering light on Bandar, the erstwhile confidant of the Bush Family who — if Moussaoui is right — may have been playing a sinister double game.
Also facing potentially embarrassing questions is Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, especially if he goes through with his planned speech before a joint session of Congress next month, attacking Obama for being soft on Iran.
And, America’s neocons might have some explaining to do about why they have carried water not just for the Israelis but for Israel’s de facto allies in Saudi Arabia.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).
Some studies estimate that close to 1.5 million Iraqis have lost their lives as a result of the brutal American invasion and occupation of their country in 2003. Millions more Iraqis have become refugees and orphans with no future prospects for prosperity or stability. Most of the critical infrastructure of the country was bombed into rubble and dust. American depleted uranium weapons have caused cancer rates in some Iraqi cities to skyrocket, permanently destroying the genes of future generations of Iraqis who are being born with horrific birth defects and diseases.
The culprits responsible for this genocidal campaign to subdue and enslave the Iraqi people are not the CEOs of American oil companies as some disingenuous commentators on the Left have claimed. President George W. Bush’s foreign policy in the Middle East was not his own nor that of the oil lobby, but was the brainchild of the neoconservative conspirators behind the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and other Zionist-oriented think tanks that dominated the Washington Beltway.
Three of Bush’s principal foreign policy advisors who are widely recognized as the prime movers behind the war in Iraq were neocon ideologues Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and Paul Wolfowitz, all of whom have well-documented histories of Israeli partisanship. Perle and Wolfowitz, for instance, were both investigated by the FBI in the 1980s for passing classified defence documents to Israel. Perle was once an employee of the Israeli weapons firm Soltam. Writers for the New York Times described Wolfowitz as one of Israel’s “staunchest allies” in the Bush administration and revealed that Wolfowitz “is friendly with Israel’s generals and diplomats” and that he is “something of a hero to the heavily Jewish neoconservative movement.” Feith once ran a law firm in Israel and received an award from the Zionist Organization of America for his “services to Israel and the Jewish people.” The New Yorker revealed that Feith even has a portrait of Zionism’s founder Theodore Herzl hanging on the wall of his home library. It was Feith and his neocon Zionist colleague Abram Shulsky who oversaw the secretive “Office of Special Plans” in the Pentagon where all of the lies about Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” were conceived and disseminated.
These Israeli militarists, masquerading as American thinkers, left behind a paper trail that unveiled their true objectives. In 1996, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser — all future Bush administration officials — authored a strategy paper for Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israeli Likud regime entitled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.” In the paper, these Zionist hawks advocated an aggressive Israeli foreign policy, calling for the removal of all of Israel’s possible military competitors in the region through force. They spoke of “weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria” and of removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, calling it an “important Israeli strategic objective.” Also on their hit list was Iran, whose influence in the region they hoped to neutralize as well. By eliminating Israel’s external enemies the Zionist neocons were in turn endeavoring to subdue Israel’s internal foes, the indigenous Arab Palestinians who continue to resist Israeli occupation and apartheid.
Meyrav Wurmser, the wife of neocon David Wurmser, confessed that most of the leading neocons are pro-Israel Jews. Gal Beckerman, a writer for the Jewish Forward newspaper, admitted that the ideology of neoconservatism itself was the brainchild of chauvinistic Jewish intellectuals such as Leo Strauss, Irving Kristol and Albert Wohlstetter. “If there is an intellectual movement in America to whose invention Jews can lay sole claim, neoconservatism is it,” Beckerman wrote. Prominent Israeli journalist Ari Shavit said the Iraq war was engineered by a cabal of 25 mostly Jewish neoconservative intellectuals. Famed American-Jewish journalist Carl Bernstein expressed the same view on MSNBC. The Iraq war was launched on a phony pretext by Bush, Cheney and “the Jewish neocons who wanted to remake the world,” Bernstein opined, much to the chagrin of the pro-Zionist host.
The engine driving the Zionist-led neoconservative war machine is “holocaust” mythology. “For those of us who are involved in foreign and defense policy today of my generation,” explained Richard Perle in a BBC interview, “the defining moment of our history was certainly the holocaust.” Douglas Feith often invokes the holocaust to justify his militarism. In a New Yorker profile, Feith asked, “What’s the answer to the Holocaust?” He answered his own question by suggesting that it is not surprising that this alleged event has caused so many Jews to become militant neocons dedicated to aggressive, unyielding warfare against all those who pose a “threat” to Jews and their interests. In a New York Times profile, Paul Wolfowitz spoke of the holocaust as having a profound impact on his worldview. Another neocon ringleader, Michael Ledeen, revealed his obsession with the subject in an article he authored entitled “The New Holocaust.” Political analyst Kevin Barrett observed that the Israelis and their Jewish neocon patrons in Washington “are fanatical extremists who feel that they are being persecuted everywhere they go and that they have to be extremely harsh, unyielding and aggressive, as well as deceptive and violent with the world” in order to ensure their survival. Somehow it doesn’t dawn on them that maybe it is their unscrupulous behaviour that is the cause of hostility towards them in the first place. Obviously introspection is not exactly a Zionist virtue.
The Zionists’ militarist mindset is evidently motivated by the ethnocentric myths of Jewish victimhood. World-conquering Neocon-Zionist belligerence is driven in large part by the religious adherence to the official propaganda of the victors of World War II. Elite Jews played an important role in bringing about the Second World War as the final phase of their plan to establish the state of Israel. The First World War accomplished several things for the Zionists: it freed up Palestine from Ottoman control (the Ottomans previously rejected Zionist offers to purchase Palestine), it fractured the big empires of Europe who could then be manipulated into future conflicts, and lastly it delivered Russia to the Bolsheviks, a majority of whom were Jewish chauvinists hell-bent on the subjugation of that Christian Empire. With Russia now in the hands of Jewish communist extremists and Palestine falling under British dominion, the Zionist plan for Israel was well on its way.
“It has been repeatedly acknowledged by British Statesmen,” wrote Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann in a 1941 letter to British leader Winston Churchill, “that it was the Jews who, in the last [world] war, effectively helped to tip the scales in America in favour of Great Britain. They are keen to do it – and may do it – again.” Wiezmann went on to ask for British assistance in the formation of a “Jewish fighting force” that would be used to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its Arab population. Wiezmann promised Churchill that if the British would help create a Jewish militia to conquer Palestine, he would do his utmost to mobilize American Jewry to exert their influence to draw America into the Second World War on Britain’s side, as they did in the first great war.
Benjamin Freedman, a former top-level Zionist, exposed the machinations of his brethren relating to the First and Second World Wars and the Zionist conquest of Palestine. In a 1961 speech at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., Freedman explained that the United States was “suckered into the [first world] war merely so that the Zionists of the world could obtain Palestine.” Freedman described how Zionist Jews made a secretive deal with the British leadership during World War I promising to bring America into the war in exchange for Palestine. The result of this agreement was the “Balfour Declaration” of 1917, a British government decree that promised to make Palestine into a national homeland for the Jews. Freedman stressed the absurdity that Britain “should offer [Palestine] as coin of the realm to pay the Zionists for bringing the United States into the war.” The Zionists, said Freedman, “have complete control of our government. … The Zionists and their co-religionists rule this United States as though they were the absolute monarchs of this country.”
In a December 1919 speech in Jerusalem, Chaim Wiezmann boasted about securing the Balfour Declaration from the British government through “persistent propaganda, through unceasing demonstration of the life force of our people.” “We told the responsible authorities: We will establish ourselves in Palestine whether you like it or not,” Weizmann said. “You can hasten our arrival or you can equally retard it. It is however better for you to help us so as to avoid our constructive powers being turned into a destructive power which will overthrow the world.” Threatening the world into approving the creation of Israel was part and parcel of the Zionist project from its inception.
In 1903 an early Zionist leader named Max Nordau conspicuously predicted the outbreak of the First World War, which lends credence to the suggestion that a hidden force of Jewish Zionists, Freemasons and bankers are responsible for instigating the conflict for their own purposes. “Let me tell you the following words as if I were showing you the rungs of a ladder leading upward and upward: Herzl, the Zionist Congress, the English Uganda proposition, the future world war, the peace conference – where with the help of England a free and Jewish Palestine will be created,” Nordau told his compatriots at the sixth Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, 11 years before the outbreak of the First World War and 14 years before the British issued the “Balfour Declaration.”
Such predictive powers unveil a plan that was consciously followed and executed during and after World War I. The “peace conference” Nordau envisioned was the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, which resulted in the Treaty of Versailles, a farce that unjustly punished Germany for a war it did not start, thus laying the groundwork for the inevitable outbreak of the Second World War. An international peacekeeping body was established shortly after World War I known as the League of Nations. The League put its stamp of approval on the British seizure of Palestine after the war, an imperial land-grab that had no real legitimacy outside of the self-serving declarations of the political elites, bankers and oligarchs who chaired the League.
The League essentially functioned as a tool of the financial elite and served the geopolitical aspirations of the Zionists. “The League of Nations is a Jewish idea, and Jerusalem some day will become the capital of the world’s peace,” proclaimed Jewish leader Nahum Sokolow at a Zionist conference in Carlsbad, California, in 1922. “The League has recognized our rights to our ancient home,” he said. “We Jews throughout the world will make the League’s struggle our own and will not rest until there is ultimate victory.”
Even with Palestine now in the palm of their hands, the Zionists still had a problem: convincing Europe’s Jews to leave their lives of luxury and embrace Palestine as their new home. Such a task proved difficult, with only a minority of European Jews strongly identifying with Zionism at this time. This reality sheds a different light on the rise of Adolf Hitler and National Socialism in Germany, which proved very convenient from the Zionists’ perspective. While publicly professing scorn and hatred of Nazism, Zionist Jews secretly initiated a deal with Hitler’s government – the “Transfer Agreement” – which saw the transfer of tens of thousands of German Jews and their assets to Palestine. Lasting from 1933 through 1941, the Nazi-Zionist pact proved crucial to the future establishment of the Zionist state. The large amounts of capital and agricultural equipment that was shipped into Palestine by way of this agreement substantially contributed to the creation of Israel. “Through this pact, Hitler’s Third Reich did more than any other government during the 1930s to support Jewish development in Palestine,” opined historian Mark Weber in his article titled “Zionism and the Third Reich.” “[D]uring the 1930s no nation did more to substantively further Jewish-Zionist goals than Hitler’s Germany,” says Weber.
Still, the Transfer Agreement alone did not produce the amount of Jewish emigration necessary to form an exclusivist Jewish ethno-state in Palestine, as the Zionists intended all along. There simply were not enough Jews in Palestine that would be required to replace the expelled Arabs and keep them at bay. Not only that, but there was still not enough global support or sympathy for the creation of a state for Jews. Since the dawn of Zionism in the late 1800s, Jewish-Zionist ideologues had been ravenously promoting the story of “six million” persecuted and oppressed Jews. “We Jews need a homeland of our own because we are persecuted wherever we go” was the traditional Zionist argumentation. But the First World War did not produce the circumstances needed to foist this propaganda on the world. Jews were not singled out for persecution or mistreatment by any belligerent in that war, which is why the Zionists, following the dictates of their founder Theodore Herzl, deliberately aided and abetted Hitler’s forces to corral their fellow Jews into ghettos and concentration camps during the Second World War.
Herzl, in his diaries, advocated making use of “anti-Semitism” to spur Jewish emigration to Palestine. “It would be an excellent idea to call in respectable, accredited anti-Semites as liquidators of [Jewish] property,” he wrote. “The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies. … I have already told you that we want to let respectable anti-Semites participate in our project, respecting their independence which is valuable to us—as a sort of people’s control authority.” Did Hitler not carry out Herzl’s exact mandate? It must be pointed out that Hitler’s “final solution of the Jewish question” was the same procedure outlined by Zionists decades earlier: sequestering all Jews into a single state, isolated from other nations. “The final solution of the Jewish question lies therefore in the establishment of the Jewish State,” said the 1897 manifesto of a German-Zionist group. In an 1899 letter, Theodore Herzl asked the Russian Czar if he would hear out his “Zionist plan for the final solution of the Jewish Question.” In 1936, the Jewish nationalist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky laid out what the Zionist plan would ultimately entail: “It is not our task to establish in Palestine a home for selected people, not even a state for a small portion of our people. The aim of our efforts is to organize a systematic massive Jewish evacuation from all the countries in which they live.”
“The transfer of millions of Jews to their homeland [Palestine] will save the European Jewry from extermination,” declared Jabotinsky in 1940, adding, “Evacuation of the Jewish masses is the only cure for the Jewish catastrophe.” The “extermination” Jabotinsky spoke of was not happening, but that didn’t stop Zionist propagandists from disseminating reckless atrocity stories of systematic genocide in order to win the world over to the Zionist cause. Legends of human soap, skin lampshades, shrunken heads, electric shock chambers, gas chambers and other absurdities were trumpeted from the rooftops by Zionists and their controlled press.
Jewish leaders made numerous public pronouncements designed to provoke Hitler, hoping he would unleash his fury upon Europe’s Jews, and with the help of Organized Zionism spur them to make their way to Palestine. For instance, Organized Jewry made a declaration of war against Germany in March 1933, before Hitler took any serious measures restricting the rights of German Jews. “Judea Declares War on Germany: Jews of All the World Unite in Action,” read the headline of the March 24, 1933, edition of Britain’s Daily Express. The corresponding article declared a Jewish “holy war against Germany.” “The Israeli people around the world,” the article continued, “declare economic and financial war against Germany. Fourteen million Jews stand together as one man, to declare war against Germany.” A year later Jabotinsky made a similarly bellicose pronouncement, stating:
“For months now the struggle against Germany is waged by each Jewish community, at each conference, in all our syndicates, and by each Jew all over the world. There is reason to believe that our part in this struggle has general value. We will trigger a spiritual and material war of all the world against Germany’s ambitions to become once again a great nation, to recover lost territories and colonies. But our Jewish interests demand the complete destruction of Germany.”
As the war drew near, Chaim Weizmann did everything in his power to invite definite reprisals against Jews from Hitler’s regime. In a 1939 letter to British leader Neville Chamberlain, Weizmann declared that “the Jews stand by Great Britain and will fight on the side of the democracies.” Weizmann and his Zionist colleagues made many public statements to that effect, which Hitler referenced in a July 1942 speech. In 1941, an American Jew named Theodore Kaufman made an even more brazen effort to deliberately provoke hostility towards Jews. He authored and published a book advocating the genocide of the whole German people by way of a forced sterilization program. Kaufman’s text, titled Germany Must Perish!, outlined “a comprehensive plan for the extinction of the German nation and the total eradication from the earth, of all her people.” A map illustrating the possible territorial break-up of Germany and the “apportionment of her lands” was also found in the book. “Germany must perish forever from this earth!” Kaufman declared, calling for “a final solution” of German extinction. Hitler’s propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels was well aware of Kaufman’s hateful screed, and widely distributed it in Germany to bolster his case of a Jewish conspiracy against his country.
Zionist leaders and activists gave Hitler more than enough ammunition to justify interning Jews in camps as a security threat to Germany. The American and Canadian governments imprisoned Japanese, German and Italian citizens in camps during the war with a far weaker rationale. Japanese, German and Italian citizens of the US and Canada had not declared a “holy war” against their adopted countries, but were interned nonetheless. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that these Zionist provocations were a cleverly calculated ruse intended to create an atmosphere in Europe conducive to the Zionist transfer plan. Without the uprooting process initiated by the National Socialists and their Zionist assistants, it is unlikely that any large amount of European Jews would have voluntarily left Europe for an uncertain future in Palestine.
Some Jewish casualties in a devastating war that took tens of millions of lives was inevitable and very much desired by the Zionist leaders seeking a pretext to invade and conquer Palestine for Jewish colonization. “There are 6,000,000 living, bleeding, suffering arguments in favor of Zionism,” declared Rabbi Stephen S. Wise at a meeting of Zionists in New York in 1900. In 1906, a German-Jewish philanthropist named Dr. Paul Nathan publicized the notion that the Russian government had initiated a policy of exterminating its Jews as a “solution” to the “Jewish question” and that six million were in grave danger. Max Nordau, the Zionist leader who predicted World War I, invoked the story of six million persecuted Jews in 1899, 1911 and 1920. At a Zionist conference in 1911, Nordau warned that it was only a matter of time before six million Jews would be “annihilated” by European governments.
This familiar narrative was repeatedly advanced a few dozen times before, during and after World War I. A most interesting example is from October 1919 when the American Hebrew publication carried an alarmist story headlined “The Crucifixion of Jews Must Stop” which alleged that “six million Jewish men and women” were on the brink of a “holocaust of human life.” A New York Times report from the same year headlined “Ukrainian Jews Aim To Stop Pogroms” alleged that six million Jews in the Ukraine and Poland were being targeted in pogroms and massacres. Another report from 1921 titled “Begs America Save 6,000,000 In Russia,” also from the New York Times, said, “Russia’s 6,000,000 Jews are facing extermination by massacre.”
As the Second World War approached, Zionists amplified their atrocity propaganda. In 1936, Chaim Weizmann told a British Commission that “six million Jews” in Europe had “neither hope nor future save in the land of Israel.” In 1940, World Jewish Congress chairman Nahum Goldmann proclaimed that if the German National Socialists achieved victory in the war “6,000,000 Jews in Europe are doomed to destruction.” Amazingly, Zionist newspapers betrayed the pre-meditated and fraudulent nature of the six million myth by proclaiming precisely six million Jewish victims six months before the end of the war. Soviet-Jewish war propagandist Ilya Ehrenburg told his readers that “the world now knows that Germany has killed six million Jews” in March of 1945, two months before the end of hostilities and long before any accurate statistical data of war casualties would become available. “At that time, no demographic figures could have been available to [Ehrenburg],” writes Germar Rudolf in the preface of The First Holocaust. “Just a year later,” Rudolf continues, “British Historian David Irving emphasized that as early as June 1945, in other words immediately after the end of hostilities in Europe, some Zionist leaders claimed to be able to provide the precise number of Jewish victims – six million, of course – even though the chaos reigning in Europe at that time rendered any demographic studies impossible.”
In an effort to whitewash their own egregious war crimes, the Allied Powers went along with the Zionists’ pre-meditated fictional account of six million dead Jews. At the post-war Nuremberg trials, an Allied-run kangaroo court staffed to the brim by Zionist Jews and their Allied lackeys, the truth was buried underneath a tidal wave of falsehoods. The Zionist motives for the war itself were purposefully obscured and a cartoonish propaganda narrative of “Nazi evil” was foisted upon the world to advance the victors’ post-war aims for Europe and accelerate the Zionists’ ambitions for a Jewish ethno-state in Palestine. American Senator Thomas Dodd, who was a chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials in 1945, revealed in a letter to his wife that the staff at Nuremberg was about 75 per cent Jewish. “Now my point is that the Jews should stay away from this trial — for their own sake,” Dodd wrote in the letter, adding, “For … the charge ‘a war for the Jews’ is still being made and in the post-war years it will be made again and again. The too large percentage of Jewish men and women here [at Nuremberg] will be cited as proof of this charge.”
When the Soviet Union and its communist satellites in Eastern Europe collapsed in 1991, so did the myth of the six million. The Soviet lie of four million deaths at Auschwitz – a monstrous exaggeration accepted as ‘fact’ for decades — was officially reduced to around one million, but revisionist historians doubt even that figure. Revisionist scholarship has determined that somewhere between 100-150 thousand people perished in Auschwitz mainly as a result of disease and starvation, which was not a deliberate act on the part of the Germans but rather the outcome of Allied carpet-bombing of Germany’s infrastructure. For years Zionist propagandists claimed several million Jews had been killed by the Germans at the Mauthausen and Majdanek concentration camps, but recent official revisions place the Jewish death totals there at 74,000 combined. Despite the vast lowering of the death figures at many major camps, Zionists and those they have convinced through incessant propaganda still repeat the erroneous six million number as fact.
Jewish scholar Norman Finkelstein outlined Zionist deceptions vis-à-vis the orthodox holocaust narrative in his book The Holocaust Industry. Finkelstein observes that a dogma has been fashioned around the “holocaust” by the Jewish-Zionist establishment as a means of thought control. Shielding Israel from criticism and rebuke, Finkelstein argues, is a primary motivation behind the ceaseless promotion of holocaust mythology, in addition to Zionist shakedowns for reparations money from Germany. This profitable industry is bolstered by the Hollywood entertainment establishment which is “totally run by Jews” according to the Jewish Los Angeles Times columnist Joel Stein. Not only does the holocaust dogma provide Zionist Jews with psychological cover to commit heinous crimes against the Palestinians and mask them under a façade of victimhood, but it also acts as a perpetual pretext for wars that serve Israel’s interests, such as the war in Iraq.
Gilad Sharon, the son of Israeli war criminal politician Ariel Sharon, vividly unveiled the bloodthirsty and bellicose nature of Zionism in a 2012 op-ed for the Jerusalem Post. Calling openly for the genocidal carpet-bombing of Gaza, Sharon declared: “We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.” Sharon’s remarks are not the ravings of a fringe lunatic — they are completely consistent with the teachings of the pioneers of Zionist ideology, like Dr. David Wolffsohn, the late World Zionist Organization chairman, who told a meeting of Zionists in 1907 that Jews must put aside their differences and unite to “conquer the world.” Vladimir Jabotinsky, the father of the Revisionist strain of Zionism, said candidly, “We want a Jewish Empire.” Zionism is a “death-crazed narcissistic cult,” said Rich Siegel, a former Zionist who saw the light. The inhuman precepts of the Jewish supremacist mentality that is so prevalent in Israel today can only result in more violence and bloodshed, more misery and suffering for the Palestinians and Arabs in general.
While the West bears much shame and responsibility for aiding and abetting the Zionist project and all of its murderous and destructive consequences, bringing history into accordance with the facts is one way to uplift the Palestinians whose struggle for freedom and justice goes on.
 Stephen Green, “Serving Two Flags: Neo-Cons, Israel and the Bush Administration,” Counterpunch, Feb. 28-Mar. 02, 2004. http://www.counterpunch.org/2004/02/28/neo-cons-israel-and-the-bush-administration/
 Bill Keller, “The Sunshine Warrior (Paul Wolfowitz),” The New York Times Magazine, Sept. 22, 2002. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/754534/posts
 Eric Schmitt, “The Busy Life of Being a Lightning Rod for Bush,” New York Times, April 22, 2002. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/22/world/the-busy-life-of-being-a-lightning-rod-for-bush.html
 Zionist Organization of America News Release, Oct. 13, 1997. http://web.archive.org/web/20010329165718/http:/www.zoa.org/pressrel/19971013a.htm
 Jeffrey Goldberg, “A LITTLE LEARNING: What Douglas Feith knew, and when he knew it,” The New Yorker, May 9, 2005. http://web.archive.org/web/20060319111108/http:/www.newyorker.com/printables/fact/050509fa_fact
 Julian Borger, “The spies who pushed for war,” The Guardian, July 17, 2003. http://web.archive.org/web/20100329074314/http:/www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/jul/17/iraq.usa
 Stephen J. Sniegoski, “The war on Iraq: Conceived in Israel,” 2003. http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/conc_toc.htm
 BBC video documentary “The War Party”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jilA-ZeBUI4
 Gal Beckerman, “The Neoconservative Persuasion Examining the Jewish roots of an intellectual movement,” The Forward, Jan. 6, 2006. https://web.archive.org/web/20120304145938/http:/galbeckerman.com/crit9/
 Ari Shavit, “White man’s burden,” Haaretz, April 3, 2003. http://web.archive.org/web/20110119065714/http:/www.haaretz.com/news/features/white-man-s-burden-1.14110
 “Journalist Carl Bernstein Tells Joe Scarborough: ‘Jewish Neocons’ Responsible in Part for Iraq War,” The Blaze, April 26, 2013. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/04/26/journalist-carl-bernstein-tells-joe-scarborough-jewish-neocons-responsible-in-part-for-iraq-war/
See note 10.
 See note 6.
 See note 4.
 Michael Ledeen, “The New Holocaust,” PJ Media, Dec. 22, 2010. http://pjmedia.com/michaelledeen/2010/12/22/the-new-holocaust/
 “‘Mossad major player in Kennedy killing’,” Press TV, Nov. 25, 2013. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/11/25/336583/mossad-major-player-in-kennedy-killing/
 Transcript of Sept. 10, 1941, letter from Chaim Weizmann to Winston Churchill: http://www.fpp.co.uk/History/Churchill/Weizmann_Zionists/WSC_100941.html
 Transcript of Benjamin Freedman’s 1961 speech at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C.: http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/israel/freedman.htm
 Judische Rundschau (Jewish Review), Jan. 16, 1920. http://winstonsmithministryoftruth.blogspot.com/2013/03/international-jewry-is-power-after-all.html
 Zionism and Palestine Before the Mandate: A Phase of Western Imperialism; an Essay with a Selection of Readings by Richard P. Stevens, Institute for Palestine Studies, 1972, p. 132. http://winstonsmithministryoftruth.blogspot.com/2011/04/in-1903-zionists-knew-thered-be-world.html
 “Says Jews Will Back League,” New York Times, Aug. 28, 1922. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F40D13FF3B5D1A7A93CAAB1783D85F468285F9
 Mark Weber, “Zionism and the Third Reich,” The Journal of Historical Review, July-August 1993 (Vol. 13, No. 4), pages 29-37. http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v13/v13n4p29_Weber.html
 The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, edited by Raphael Patai, translated by Harry Zohn (1960) New York; Herzl Press, pp. 83, 84, 143. http://winstonsmithministryoftruth.blogspot.com/2011/12/another-amazing-zionist-prediction.html?zx=7cb290fb199a3d45
 “The Zionist Plan for the Final Solution of the Jewish Question,” Winston Smith Ministry of Truth, Feb. 4, 2011. http://winstonsmithministryoftruth.blogspot.com/2011/02/final-solution-of-jewish-question.html
 Ben Hecht, Peridy, p. 254. A facsimile of this page is here: http://winstonsmithministryoftruth.blogspot.com/2011/04/zionist-aim-to-drive-jews-from-europe.html
 The Daily Express (London), March 24, 1933, pp. 1-2. A facsimile of the front page of the paper and full text of the relevant article is here: http://www.biblestudysite.com/judeawar.htm
 Jacques Benoist-Mechin, Histoire de l’Armée Allemande, Vol. IV, p. 303. http://guardian.150m.com/jews/jews-declare-war.htm
 “Jews To Fight for Democracies: Dr. Weizmann’s Letter to Mr. Chamberlain,” The Times (London), Sept. 6, 1939. A facsimile of the article is available here: http://oi44.tinypic.com/ege6v6.jpg
 David Irving, Hitler and Holocaust Denial: Electronic Edition, by Richard J. Evans. http://www.hdot.org/en/trial/defense/evans/540d/view/print.html
 Kaufman, Theodore N. Germany Must Perish! Newark, NJ: Argyle, 1941. https://archive.org/details/GermanyMustPerish
 “ZIONISTS’ MASS MEETING,” New York Times, June 11, 1900. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9E01E7D61F3CE433A25752C1A9609C946197D6CF
 “Dr. Paul Nathan’s View of Russian Massacre,” New York Times, March 25, 1906. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9A00E7DE113EE733A25756C2A9659C946797D6CF
 “Max Nordau’s ‘six million Jews’ in 1899, 1911, & 1920,” Winston Smith Ministry of Truth, Dec. 21, 2013. http://winstonsmithministryoftruth.blogspot.com/2013/12/max-nordaus-six-million-jews-in-1899.html?zx=549ada2e31178ae1
 Ben Hecht, Perfidy, p. 254. http://winstonsmithministryoftruth.blogspot.ca/2011/03/1911-zionist-warns-6000000-jews-to-be.html?zx=f8a947be628aa77b
 Heddesheimer, Don. The First Holocaust: Jewish Fund Raising Campaigns with Holocaust Claims during and after World War One. Chicago, IL: Theses & Dissertations, 2003. http://vho.org/GB/Books/tfh/
 Martin H. Glynn, “The Crucifixion of Jews Must Stop,” The American Hebrew, Oct. 31, 1919. A facsimile of the article is reproduced here: http://jrbooksonline.com/HTML-docs/The%20Crucifixion%20of%20Jews%20Must%20Stop.htm
 “Ukrainian Jews Aim To Stop Pogroms,” New York Times, Sept. 8, 1919. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F40A11FF3E5E157A93CAA91782D85F4D8185F9
 “Begs America Save 6,000,000 In Russia,” New York Times, July 20, 1921. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F60A12FA3C551A738DDDA90A94DF405B818EF1D3
 Weizmann’s statement was quoted in the Israeli Government Year Book (1953) and The Jewish Western Bulletin (Dec. 11, 1936). Facsimiles of both clippings are reproduced here: http://winstonsmithministryoftruth.blogspot.com/2011/02/6000000-figure-of-jews-from-1936.html
 “Doom of European Jews is Seen if Hitler Wins,” The Palm Beach Post, June 25, 1940. Other articles mentioning Goldmann’s prediction can be found here: http://winstonsmithministryoftruth.blogspot.com/2013/12/nahum-goldmann-soothsaying-six.html
 The Pittsburgh Press, Nov. 28, 1944, p.5 / The Palestine Post, Nov. 28, 1944. Facsimiles of these articles can be found here: http://winstonsmithministryoftruth.blogspot.com/2011/05/nov-1944-six-million-jews-listed.html
 “Wolves they were—wolves they remain,” Soviet News Weekly (London), March 15, 1945. A facsimile of this and other articles where Ehrenburg invokes the six million number prior to the end of the war can be found here: http://winstonsmithministryoftruth.blogspot.com/2012/11/ehrenburg-6000000-jews-collection.html
 Heddesheimer 2003, preface.
 Historian David Irving produced excerpts of Thomas Dodd’s letter on his website: http://www.fpp.co.uk/History/Nuremberg/Thomas_Dodd_ltr.html
 Mark Weber, “New ‘Official’ Changes in the Auschwitz Story,” Institute of Historical Review. http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v21/v21n3p24_weber.html
 The revised official death totals of Jews at Mauthausen and Majdanek are 14,000 and 60,000 respectively. See http://winstonsmithministryoftruth.blogspot.ccom/2013/10/17-million-jews-killed-at-majdanek-says.html And here: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005196
 Finkelstein, Norman G. The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering. London: VERSO, 2000.
 Joel Stein, “Who runs Hollywood? C’mon,” Los Angeles Times, Dec. 19, 2008. https://web.archive.org/web/20130316201104/http:/articles.latimes.com/2008/dec/19/opinion/oe-stein19
 Gilad Sharon, “A decisive conclusion is necessary,” The Jerusalem Post, Nov. 18, 2012. https://web.archive.org/web/20130318130846/http:/www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/A-decisive-conclusion-is-necessary
 “Says Jews Must Conquer. Dr. Wolffsohn Delivers Closing Speech at Zionist Congress.” New York Times, Aug. 22, 1907. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=FB0D16FD3C5A15738DDDAB0A94D0405B878CF1D3
 Brenner, Lenni. Zionism in the Age of the Dictators. London: Croom Helm, 1983, ch. 10. http://www.vho.org/aaargh/engl/zad/zad10.html
 “Words from an Honest, Intelligent & Compassionate Jew – Rich Siegel,” Ken O’Keefe Blog, Nov. 18, 2012. http://kenokeefe.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/words-from-an-honest-intelligent-compassionate-jew-rich-siegel/
Copyright 2014 Brandon Martinez
Those who claim that the United States went to war for oil seem to assume that since Iraq has huge reserves of oil, gaining control of that resource must have been the reason that the United States invaded the country. As the most prominent intellectual exponent of that view, Noam Chomsky, has put it:
Of course it was Iraq’s energy resources. It’s not even a question. Iraq’s one of the major oil producers in the world. It has the second largest reserves and it’s right in the heart of the Gulf’s oil-producing region, which U.S. intelligence predicts is going to be two thirds of world resources in coming years. 
Operating from that assumption, the proponents of the war-for-oil thesis have endeavored to produce evidence that proves it, at least in their eyes.
I have offered counter-evidence in my book, The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel, and elsewhere to show that the existing arguments in support of the oil-war thesis just do not provide anything close to compelling proof. 
The fact that Iraq has a large amount of oil does not mean that the oil companies would necessarily push for war; instead, they could seek to exploit that oil in peaceful ways.
Indeed, the companies were pushing for an end to sanctions against Iraq. A Business Week article in May 2001, for example, reported that the easing of sanctions on “rogue” states “pits powerful interests such as the pro-Israeli lobby and the U.S. oil industry against each other. And it is sure to preoccupy the Bush Administration and Congress.” 
In short, an easing of sanctions supported by the oil companies, which would enable them to have access to Iraq’s oil, would serve to strengthen Saddam and make it more difficult to overthrow his regime, which was the goal of the neocons, a leading element of the Israel lobby.
Moreover, the oil companies were quite fearful of the impact of war on oil production. According to oil analyst Anthony Sampson in December 2002, “Oil companies have had little influence on U.S. policy-making. Most big American companies, including oil companies, do not see a war as good for business, as falling share prices indicate.” 
Fareed Mohamedi of PFC Energy, a consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., that advised petroleum firms, stated that “[t]he big oil companies were not enthusiastic about the Iraqi war,” maintaining that “[c]orporations like Exxon-Mobile and Chevron-Texaco want stability, and this is not what Bush is providing in Iraq and the Gulf region.” 
Despite the lack of solid evidence, and the existence of contrary evidence, the war-for-oil argument just will not die, for various political, psychological, social, and economic reasons.
It fits the prevalent belief in the rapacious nature of capitalist companies, and it is also a safe view to hold — it is doubtful that anyone ever lost a job or a friend for blaming the oil interests, unless one were actually employed by an oil company. In contrast, the explanation involving the neoconservatives and Israel represents a dangerous taboo.
Given the strong attraction of the oil argument, therefore, it is appropriate to examine a prominent piece of purported evidence used by its adherents. Thus, this article will look at the role of the National Energy Policy Development Group, which President George W. Bush created in his second week in office. The group had as its purpose the creation of a national energy policy for the United States. Chaired by Vice President Dick Cheney — who in the war-for-oil scenario is assumed to be an archetypal oil man — it would be dubbed the Cheney Energy Task Force.
As Cheney’s biographer Barton Gellman points out, the task force became, in many respects, a “creature of Cheney’s worldview.”  De-emphasizing conservation and environmental protection, Cheney believed that the United States needed a “near-term boost in domestic energy production,” which had suffered from over-regulation.  In short, Cheney’s view on energy production coincided with that of the producers of fossil fuels. And in developing the energy policy, he would consult closely with leading figures in the fossil-fuels industry while giving short shrift to the opinions of environmentalists, with whom he rarely met.
Perhaps because of the biased nature of the sources of his information, but also in line with his expansive view of the executive branch’s prerogatives, Cheney kept the meetings secret, and only as a result of legal efforts was any information about them revealed to the public; and even then it was far from everything. It was that secrecy that the war-for-oil theorists fell upon in order to substantiate their claim that the oil interest played the leading role in bringing about the U.S. attack on Iraq.
To the adherents of the thesis, it seemed apparent that the secrecy meant that something very ominous had been discussed in those meetings that could not be made known to the public, and the most ominous development in the early Bush administration was assumed to be the planning for the attack on Iraq.
Now, there is plenty of evidence that such planning was underway, and in fact had already been made, by the neoconservatives, with whom Cheney was certainly in league and whom he had actually brought into the Bush administration. However, there is no evidence that an attack on Iraq garnered substantial support from the oil industry. Far from pushing for war, industry representatives publicly supported the elimination of sanctions on Iraq (and elsewhere) so that they could have access to oil.
Moreover, they were concerned about any form of instability in the Middle East, fearing that war would disrupt the extraction and transportation of oil. Thus, ex-President George H.W. Bush and his cronies, who according to the oil-war scenario are associated with the war on Iraq, were at least cool to the war.
Brent Scowcroft, for one, was actively opposed. Scowcroft had been the elder Bush’s national security advisor and during the run-up to the 2003 war sat on the board of Pennzoil-Quaker State. 
As an aside, let me deal with the implication that the oil companies were advocating war only in secret meetings with high Bush administration officials, with their pro-war views unknown to the media.
That invisible approach is highly unlikely. Any contention that the oil interests primarily work behind the scenes is belied by the fact that they have been quite visible indeed in their public advocacy on many issues: fracking regulations; the termination of restrictions on the export of American-produced crude oil; the Keystone XL pipeline; regulations on refineries; and opposition to limitations on the use of fossil fuels because of “climate change” (anthropogenic global warming). And as mentioned, the oil companies were visible in their public opposition to the existing oil sanctions in 2001. The oil companies have been not only quite vocal in those matters but also far from successful in getting their way.
The war-for-oil theorists’ suggestion that the oil interests could be more successful taking an invisible approach instead of a public one does not seem plausible. The neocons had developed and publicized their Middle East war agenda before 2001; once George W. Bush took office, they openly promoted an attack on Iraq, both in the media and from their key positions in the administration. All of that being so, it is reasonable to believe that it was their efforts that accounted for the U.S. attack. There is no need to posit any undocumented, invisible support from the oil lobby; by the standards of proof in argumentation, the neocon explanation fits the simplicity principle of Occam’s razor. In an example of reverse logic, proponents of the oil thesis deny, ignore, or at least downplay the role of the neocons in bringing about the war on Iraq.
Despite counter-evidence, proponents of the war-for-oil thesis claim to find solid evidence for the coming invasion in the documents produced by the Cheney Energy Task Force. Some war-for-oil proponents, for example, have cited the maps of Iraqi oil fields used by the task force as evidence of plans for how those fields would be divvied up among U.S. companies. As the result of a court order, Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, obtained a batch of task force-related U.S. Commerce Department papers that included a detailed map of oil fields, terminals, and pipelines, as well as a list titled “Foreign Suitors of Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.” But the papers obtained also included a detailed map of oil fields and pipelines in Saudi Arabia and in the United Arab Emirates, as well as a list of oil and gas development projects in those two countries. The U.S. secretary of commerce said there were also maps of other key oil-producing regions of the world, including Russia, North America, the Middle East, and the Caspian Sea region. It seems quite reasonable that a task force on energy would seek clear knowledge about the key global locations of oil production. 
Strategic-Energy-Policy-Challenges-for-the-21st-CenturyIraq is barely mentioned in the final report from the Cheney task force, but it is given more, though still quite limited, attention in a report, “Strategic Energy Policy: Challenges for the 21st Century,” by an Independent Task Force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and the James A.Baker III Institute of Public Policy.
According to the Baker Institute, that task force was “comprised [of] 52 prominent Americans from government, industry, and academia … [and] offered 110 recommendations to the Cheney task force and U.S. Congress regarding steps to build a comprehensive energy policy and national consensus.”
The chairman of the task force was Edward L. Morse, an energy economist and at the time an advisor at Hess Energy Trading Co. During the Carter administration he served as deputy assistant secretary of state for international energy policy, from 1979 to 1981.
Adherents of the oil-war argument have connected the Baker report to the Cheney task force and have interpreted its few references to Iraq as indications of the forthcoming American invasion. 
The Baker group urged four “immediate steps”; one such step, labeled “Deter and Manage International Supply Shortfalls,” was in five parts; the Iraq issue was merely one of those five parts. The “immediate steps” were “to be considered in the very short term to assure that appropriate mechanisms are in place to deal with potential supply disruptions and to buffer the economy from adverse impacts of price volatility.” 
The recommendation pertaining to Iraq read: “Review policies toward Iraq with the aim to lowering anti-Americanism in the Middle East and elsewhere, and set the groundwork to eventually ease Iraqi oil-field investment restrictions.” The report acknowledged that “Iraq remains a destabilizing influence to U.S. allies in the Middle East, as well as to regional and global order, and to the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East. Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export program to manipulate oil markets.” 
The report stated that “[t]he United States should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq, including military, energy, economic, and political/diplomatic assessments.”  The emphasis, however, was not on military action against Iraq but on a sanctions policy toward Iraq that was better-coordinated with other countries, the existing sanctions being perceived as harming the Iraqi people without effectively weakening Saddam’s power and ability to acquire weaponry.
“The United States,” the report thus maintained, “should then develop an integrated strategy with key allies in Europe and Asia and with key countries in the Middle East to restate the goals with respect to Iraqi policy and to restore a cohesive coalition of key allies…. Actions and policies to promote these goals should endeavor to enhance the well-being of the Iraqi people. Sanctions that are not effective should be phased out and replaced with highly focused and enforced sanctions that target the regime’s ability to maintain and acquire weapons of mass destruction. A new plan of action should be developed to use diplomatic and other means to support U.N. Security Council efforts to build a strong arms-control regime to stem the flow of arms and controlled substances into Iraq.” 
The Baker report continued: “Once an arms-control program is in place, the United States could consider reducing restrictions on oil investments inside Iraq. Like it or not, Iraqi reserves represent a major asset that can quickly add capacity to world oil markets and inject a more competitive tenor to oil trade.” 
The report acknowledged that if a diminution of the sanctions led to an increase in Saddam’s oil revenues, he “could be a greater security threat to U.S. allies in the region if weapons of mass destruction (WMD) sanctions, weapons regimes, and the coalition against him are not strengthened.” Nonetheless, it supported making a change since the continuation of the “oil sanctions is becoming increasingly difficult to implement” and “Saddam Hussein has many means of gaining revenues, and the sanctions regime helps perpetuate his lock on the country’s economy.”  A one-sided reading of that passage alone might seem to include war as one alternative to the existing sanctions, but, in fact, the report explicitly prescribed narrowing the scope of sanctions.
The Baker Institute report’s fundamental concern that “energy disruptions could have a potentially enormous impact on the U.S. and world economy, and … affect U.S. national security and foreign policy in dramatic ways”  would suggest that the United States not engage in military adventures that could destabilize the region. The U.S. invasion of Iraq certainly did cause such destabilization and explains why the oil interests and the traditional American foreign-policy establishment in general were cool or opposed to the attack on Iraq. 
Now, once it had become clear that the United States would attack Iraq, and certainly after it actually had invaded, one may assume that the oil companies would want to take advantage of the situation and jockey for a favored position in postwar Iraq. But that does not somehow prove by itself that the oil interests pushed the country into war. And as it happened, the U.S. government did little to guarantee a favorable position for American oil companies after the war. As I pointed out in The Transparent Cabal, the U.S. government never made plans (much less implemented such plans) to dominate Iraq, to the extent of being able to control Iraq’s oil for its own benefit and that of its oil companies at the expense of the Iraq government and people. To exercise any permanent control of Iraq’s oil reserves, Washington would have had to turn the country into a virtual colony (which would have been very difficult, if not impossible).  It was inevitable that an Iraqi government with any type of autonomy would sell oil leases to the highest bidder.
Under the oil argument, the violence and political resistance that sprang up in Iraq during the occupation thwarted the U.S. plan to control oil. The likelihood of such internal violence, however, was fully recognized in a number of pre-invasion government studies.  About the only ostensibly knowledgeable group that claimed otherwise was the neocons, and if their expressed view here is accepted as a candid account, it seems necessary to accept also their public pronouncements about establishing democracy and ridding Iraq of WMDs as reasons for the war.
When Iraq began to sell oil leases to foreign companies in 2009, only a very few went to American companies while a disproportionate number went to America’s major rivals, China and Russia. That could hardly be a goal of American foreign policy. One reason given for those countries’ success has been that their companies were government-owned or government-supported, and thus could better afford to incur risk and accept low profits than their American counterparts, which were strictly private.  Of course, if the U.S. government really fought a multi-trillion-dollar war for the purpose of gaining control of Iraqi oil for its companies, one would expect it to subsidize any oil leases in Iraq by American companies, the cost of which would pale beside the overall war costs.
In sum, there does not seem to be any real evidence that Washington went to war against Iraq to enhance the profits of the oil industry, or control oil for the United States, nor is there any logical reason to think that would be the case. Nevertheless, as I indicated at the beginning, there are strong political, psychological, social, and economic motivations for maintaining that belief, especially as opposed to the non-P.C. and rather dangerous alternative view to which I adhere — focusing on the role of the pro-Israel neocons. In most cases, those concerns are far more important in determining the prevalence of any view in modern America than logic and evidence, even for that very small minority of the population with high intellectual ability who are actually knowledgeable about the issues.
In fact, such people are often far more affected by concerns involving employment and social status than average Americans, and are thus less open-minded and less willing to alter their views in light of the facts. Whatever their actual personal views, the oil argument provides a safe position for those who want to oppose America’s war policies in the Middle East without endangering themselves by expressing a view that could bring on lethal accusations of anti-Semitism.
However, a false view of reality will not serve to effectively solve problems. If we focus on a false culprit, the neocons and the overall Israel lobby are apt to flourish, and American military adventures are apt to continue in the Middle East.
1. Noam Chomsky, interview with Dubai’s Business Channel, “‘Of course, it was all about Iraq’s resources,’” December 2, 2003.
2. Stephen J. Sniegoski, The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel (Norfolk, Va.: Enigma Editions, 2008), pp. 333-50; Sniegoski, “War on Iraq: Not oil but Israel,” The Last Ditch, October 22, 2004.
3. “Rogue States: Why Washington May Ease Sanctions,” Business Week, May 6, 2001. Quoted in Transparent Cabal, p. 336; quoted in “War on Iraq: Not oil but Israel.”
4. Anthony Sampson, “Oilmen don’t want another Suez,” The Observer, December 21, 2002. Sampson is author of The Seven Sisters(New York: Bantam Books, 1976), which deals with oil companies and the Middle East; quoted in Transparent Cabal, p. 336; quoted in “War on Iraq: Not oil but Israel.”
5. Quoted in Roger Burbach, “The Bush Ideologues vs. Big Oil in Iraq,” CounterPunch, October 3-5, 2003.
6. Barton Gellman, Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency (New York: Penguin Press, 2008), p. 90.
7. Ibid., p. 91.
8. Transparent Cabal; “War on Iraq: Not oil but Israel,” The Last Ditch, October 22, 2004; “Brent Scowcroft,” Sourcewatch.
9. “Cheney Energy Task Force Documents Detail Iraqi Oil Industry,” Fox News, July 18, 2003; “Cheney Energy Task Force Documents Feature Map of Iraqi Oil Fields,” Judicial Watch, July 17, 2003.
10. James A. Baker III Institute of Public Policy, Energy Forum Policy Research.
11. Ritt Goldstein, “‘Oil War’ Questions Surround Cheney Energy Group”; Michael T. Klare, “The Bush/Cheney Energy Strategy: Implications for U.S. Foreign and Military Policy,” a paper prepared for the second annual meeting of the Association for Study of Peak Oil, Paris, France, May 26-27, 2003; Carol Brightman, Total Insecurity: The Myth of American Omnipotence, London: Verso, 2004, p. 190; Jason Leopold, “Eager to Tap Iraq’s Vast Oil Reserves, Industry Execs Suggested Invasion,” The Public Record, July 1, 2009.
12. “Strategic Energy Policy,” p. 42.
13. Ibid., p. 46.
14. Ibid., p. 46.
15. Ibid., p. 46-47.
16. Ibid., p. 47.
17. Ibid., p. 47.
18. Ibid., p. 2.
19. The traditional foreign-policy establishment’s opposition to the neocon position is brought out throughout The Transparent Cabal, but especially see: pp. 59, 270-73, 291-297, 343-350; Sniegoski, “War on Iraq: Not oil but Israel.”
20. Transparent Cabal, pp. 340-42; “War on Iraq: Not oil but Israel,” The Last Ditch, October 22, 2004.
21. Transparent Cabal, pp. 336-38.
22. Mohammed Abbas, “No boon for U.S. firms in Iraq oil deal auction,” Reuters, August 12, 2009.
Dr. Stephen J. Sniegoski, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in American history,with a focus on American foreign policy, at the University of Maryland. His focus on the neoconservative involvement in American foreign policy antedates September 11, 2001. His first major work on the subject, “The War on Iraq: Conceived in Israel” was published February 10, 2003, more than a month before the American attack. He is the author of “The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel”.
[NATO’s goal is] to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.
— Hastings Ismay, first NATO Secretary-General
Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.
— James Madison (1751-1836), fourth American President
The hazards associated with American foreign policy since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 should appear obvious to all, because it is precisely this policy that has caused the crisis in Ukraine with all its negative consequences for the coming months and years.
President Barack Obama was candid in admitting it on March 3, 2014: “we are indicating to the Russians [that] if in fact they continue on the current trajectory they’re on, then we are examining a whole series of steps — economic, diplomatic— that will isolate Russia.”
Well, it is precisely this desire to expand NATO and to isolate Russia by incorporating all the countries bordering Russia into NATO; i.e., a strategy of geopolitical and military encirclement of Russia, which has provoked that country when it felt threatened in its national security.
This is easy to understand.
For example, what would the United States do if a hypothetical Russian Empire were to incorporate Mexico or Canada into a military alliance? To ask the question is to answer it. Why is it so difficult to understand that the best way to start a war is to threaten a country’s vital interests?
The truth is that NATO should have been disbanded after the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1991, and especially after the Warsaw Pact was itself dismantled. Europe should have then moved to build an expanded Europe of nations, large, democratic and peaceful, within a framework of economic and political cooperation and peace. But no! The United States wanted to take advantage of the situation and demanded that everything fell into the military-financial U.S. empire.
That is the source of many problems.
In my book The New American Empire, originally published in 2003, just before the onset of the Iraq war, I pointed out the dangers of the American global imperial ambition and explained the reasons. The Middle East was the first to suffer under this global policy of interventionism. And now, Europe as a whole, most unfortunately, may have to pay the price for this unbridled American hubris, under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, although that policy goes back to George H. Bush and Bill Clinton.
This is why President Obama and his neocon advisers do not think beyond their nose, as was the case for the not-too-bright George W. Bush, when they adopted such a global imperialist ideology.
In 2008, it just happened that I wrote an article in which I advanced the idea that Europe had a vital interest in disbanding that relic of another age: NATO. Indeed, we must blame European leaders not to have understood that the fundamental interest of Europe was not to blend into the American Empire but rather to build an independent and united Europe. Because that reality has not been well understood, Europe is now running the risk of falling prey to a new Cold War with divisive and ruinous conflicts, while the United States will try to pull the chestnuts out of the fire, with the U.K. as its convenient ally from within Europe.
It may be not too late for European leaders to rectify the situation. This would, however, require wisdom and the courage to tell the American neo-cons who have designed American foreign policy for a quarter of a century that they are not masters of the world and that the European Union has no intention to pursue an aggressive policy of military encirclement of Russia. Point to the line.
Rather, on the contrary, Russia should be invited to join an expanded Europe of nations, large, democratic and peaceful within a framework of economic cooperation and peace.
What is needed of them is vision, insight, and a spirit of independence, which currently seems to be lacking badly in many current European governments.
Carelessness and the current European abdication in letting Washington decide European foreign policy may serve the interests of the American empire, but this could lead Europe to disaster.
The author can be reach at: email@example.com
New York – The Supreme Court announced yesterday that it would not hear Center for Constitutional Rights v. Obama, a lawsuit challenging the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance of people within the United States. The suit sought an injunction ordering the government to destroy any records of surveillance that it still retains from the illegal NSA program. The Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement in response to the Court’s decision:
The Supreme Court’s refusal to review this case guarantees that the federal courts will never address a fundamental question: Was the warrantless surveillance program the NSA carried out on President Bush’s orders legal? The Court’s decision also guarantees that the Obama administration, which has for the last five years refused to take any position on that question, will now never have to answer either.
Despite mounting evidence of government spying on attorneys’ privileged communications, the Court yesterday declined to review the lower court’s determination that CCR attorneys’ fears of surveillance under President Bush’s NSA program, which involved no review by judges or Congress and flew directly in the face of express criminal prohibitions, were too “speculative” to allow CCR to challenge the program in court.
The Court’s decision comes as increasing evidence suggests the government has been surveilling attorney-client communications for some time. The New York Times recently reported that in 2013 the NSA surveilled law firm Mayer Brown while it represented the government of Indonesia in trade talks with the United States. In 2008, The Times reported Justice Department officials had confirmed that attorney-client communications in terrorism cases were sometimes subject to surveillance. And a document accidentally released to an Islamic charity in 2004 indicated that the D.C.-based attorneys for the charity had been subject to surveillance while speaking to their clients.
A memo released by whistleblower Edward Snowden indicated that the government only excludes attorney-client communications from collection when the client is under actual indictment in the United States. Communications of attorneys not directly with a client (for example, with expert witnesses or investigators abroad), or with a client not formally charged in the United States (including, for example, the Center for Constitutional Rights’ many Guantanamo detainee clients, none of whom are charged in federal courts) might now be subject to surveillance under broad orders issued under the current FISA statute.
In late September 2001, a couple of weeks after 9/11, the United States was struck with what the Bush regime dubbed a “second wave” of terrorism. Letters laced with deadly anthrax spores arrived in the mailboxes of prominent media figures and two American senators. Five people were killed and 17 others were infected.
A concerted effort was made by the Bush regime and the mainstream US media to present the anthrax attacks as the work of the same people who perpetrated 9/11. They were, in a sense, correct, but the people behind 9/11 and the subsequent anthrax fiasco were not members of al-Qaeda or adherents of the Islamic faith.
A very clear and discernible pattern of propaganda was foisted upon the American public following 9/11. Zionists from Israel and the US took a leading role in assigning responsibility for the biggest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbour. Unsurprisingly, the Zionists immediately pointed fingers at all of their Middle Eastern rivals and adversaries, from resistance groups like Hamas and Hezbollah to countries such as Iraq, Iran and Syria.
Israel’s enemies were being portrayed as America’s enemies too. Together, said the Zionists, Israel and America can defeat “the forces of darkness.” Israel’s crude campaign of innuendo and Orwellian projection manifested within a few hours of the 9/11 attacks. Israeli politicians Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres all made public statements calling on the US and other Western powers to initiate a global “war on terrorism,” a term coined by Likudniks in the 1980s.
Israel’s army intelligence service Aman and the former Mossad chief Rafi Eitan trumpeted brazen disinformation shortly following 9/11, alleging Iraqi involvement in the attacks. In August of 2001 the Mossad delivered a propagandistic “warning” to the CIA alleging al-Qaeda and Iraq were working together and were plotting terror attacks on major US landmarks. The neoconservatives, who are for all intents and purposes emissaries of the Israeli regime in the US, went straight to work in the op-ed pages of the Washington Post, the New York Times and other Zionist-controlled media outlets, attempting to portray Arabs and Muslims generally as the sponsors of 9/11 and the source of all terrorism in the world.
The same pattern of Zionist deception is apparent with the anthrax attacks. Israel’s partisans immediately mobilized a propaganda initiative to link Iraq and al-Qaeda to the anthrax mailings.
On various occasions [former US] president George W. Bush and vice president Dick Cheney told reporters that al-Qaeda was likely involved in the lethal mailings. The docile mainstream media unquestioningly repeated this unfounded assertion. A stunning piece of disinformation appeared in an Oct. 27, 2001, report in the London Times, alleging that an Iraqi official met with 9/11 patsy Mohamed Atta in the Czech Republic in April 2001. The report went on to suggest that during the rendezvous the Iraqi official gave Atta a flask of anthrax. The origin of this dubious claim was noted in the article: Israeli security sources. The chief of Czech foreign intelligence, Frantisek Bublan, later revealed that this supposed meeting never took place and was nothing more than a propaganda invention of interested parties. “Promoting a so-called ‘Prague connection’ between Atta and [the Iraqi official] al-Ani might have been a ploy by U.S. policymakers seeking justifications for a new military action against…Saddam Hussein,” Bublan told the Prague Post.
When the Iraq/al-Qaeda propaganda narrative fell apart, the FBI targeted two… within the US bio-weapons establishment: scientists Steven Hatfill and Bruce Ivins. The FBI began harassing Hatfill and publicly called him a “person of interest” in the anthrax investigation.
Hatfill vehemently denied the charges and was eventually exonerated. He later sued the FBI and other US government agencies, winning a settlement of more than $5 million in damages. Like Hatfill, Ivins was an unlikely suspect for the anthrax attacks as well.
There was no evidence tying Ivins to the anthrax letters and he had no conceivable motive. The FBI launched an intense campaign of innuendo against Ivins in an effort to convict him in the court of public opinion. Ivins allegedly committed suicide while in a Maryland hospital just before he was set to be indicted and stand trial. How convenient.
Ivins worked at a US bio-weapons facility called USAMRIID in Fort Detrick, Maryland. This is where the FBI claims the anthrax used in the attacks originated. Since there is no evidence that Ivins was involved in the anthrax mailings, there is likewise no reason to believe the FBI’s claim that the anthrax spores used in the letters originated from that facility.
Another curious event took place during the anthrax affair that garnered little attention from the mainstream press for obvious reasons. An Arab-American scientist who worked at the same Fort Detrick facility as Ivins was the victim of an attempted frame-up. Shortly before the first known victim of the anthrax attacks was confirmed, an anonymous letter was mailed to the FBI that attempted to implicate Dr. Ayaad Assaad as a “potential biological terrorist.” The author of the letter claimed to have worked with Assaad previously and alleged that Assaad had a vendetta against the US government, urging the FBI to stop him. The letter prompted the FBI to investigate Assaad. The FBI questioned him in early October 2001 and quickly cleared him of any involvement with the anthrax attacks.
Strangely, the FBI seemed uninterested in finding out who sent the anonymous letter implicating Assaad, even though the contents and timing of the letter were amazingly conspicuous, coming just prior to a real bio-terrorist attack. Assaad suspected the letter-writer was involved in the anthrax mailings and opined that his Arab background made him the “perfect scapegoat.”
One possible source of the frame-up letter was a man named Dr. Philip Zack, a microbiologist and Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army. Zack worked at USAMRIID alongside Assaad in the early 1990s. Zack and other employees at the lab formed a clique called the “camel club” to bully Arab co-workers, particularly Assaad. One day in April 1991 Assaad found a poem in his mailbox written by Zack and other members of the “camel club” which mocked his Arabic heritage. Zack and several of his fellow anti-Arab racists voluntarily left the facility when Assaad informed his superiors of the harassment campaign.
In 1992, anthrax spores, Ebola virus and other deadly pathogens went missing from the Fort Detrick facility. An internal investigation discovered that someone was entering the lab late at night to conduct unauthorized research involving anthrax. The inquiry also revealed that Dr. Philip Zack made an unauthorized visit to the lab on Jan. 23, 1992, at a time when he was no longer working at the facility. Despite Zack’s suspicious past behaviour and harassment of Assaad, the FBI made no effort to pursue him as a suspect in the 2001 anthrax investigation.
A very revealing aspect of the whole affair was the fact that the anthrax-tainted letters were made to look like a Muslim who was angry at Israel and the United States authored them. “Death to Israel, Death to America, Allah is Great,” the letters read. Whoever was actually behind the anthrax mailings was evidently attempting to lead authorities to believe a Muslim or group of Muslims was responsible.
So where did the anthrax used in the 2001 attacks come from? Researcher Robert Pate posited a plausible theory in an essay entitled, “The Anthrax Mystery: Solved” In the paper, Pate suggests Israel is the most likely culprit. According to Pate’s research, Israel had the means, motive and opportunity to secure anthrax spores and deliver them to her targets without being detected. Pate demonstrates that Israel has had a sophisticated chemical and biological weapons program since its inception in 1948. Israel has produced biological agents including anthrax at the Israel Institute of Biological Research (IIBR) in Ness Ziona, located a few miles southeast of Tel Aviv.
“With the help of Jewish scientists from the former Soviet Union,” Pate opines, “Israel’s bio-weapons research has probably surpassed that of all other nations. The Soviet Union’s bio-weapons program had 32,000 scientists and staff working in 40 different research and production facilities. Two thousand of these scientists worked exclusively on the Soviet anthrax program. A significant number of these scientists may have immigrated to Israel and become employed in her bio-weapons programs.”
Pate cites a research paper by Dr. Avner Cohen titled “Israel and Chemical/Biological Weapons: History, Deterrence, and Arms Control” which outlines Israel’s biological and chemical weapons capabilities. Anthrax is certainly in Israel’s biological arsenal. In the paper, Cohen also describes how Zionist militants poisoned Palestinian water supplies with deadly pathogens during the 1948 ‘Nakba,’ wherein Zionist gangs completely destroyed and depopulated more than 500 Arab villages in order to birth… [Israel entity] . Historical examples of Zionist biological warfare noted by Pate, in addition to Israel’s penchant for false flag terrorism against its “allies” such as the Lavon Affair and USS Liberty attack, lead him to believe that Israel was willing and able to commit a biological attack in the US – a classic false flag operation to frame her enemies for political gain.
“A motive for the anthrax attacks would be to blame Arab terrorists or a ‘rogue nation’ for this atrocity and to help launch the United States into war against Israel’s enemies,” writes Pate. “[Israel’s motive] in launching the anthrax attacks would be to bring America into war against Iraq and to remove that country as a potential threat to…[Israel].” As noted earlier, Israeli intelligence contrived a false story to implicate Muslims where they claimed to have observed a meeting between an Iraqi official and alleged al-Qaeda ringleader Mohamed Atta in the Czech Republic in which an exchange of anthrax is said to have occurred. If Israel had nothing to do with the anthrax attacks, then why did they propagate lies with the intent to implicate Iraq and al-Qaeda? American authorities admit that no Muslim or Arab was involved in the anthrax mailings, so who else but Israel and corrupted Americans in the Bush administration could have been behind this obvious false flag?
It can be said without doubt that some members of the Bush administration had foreknowledge of the anthrax attacks. Press reports revealed that White House officials including Bush and Cheney went on a steady regimen of the drug known as Cipro, a powerful antibiotic effective against anthrax infection, weeks before the anthrax-trained letters were first discovered.
The theory that Israel and its accomplices in the Bush administration launched a biological false flag operation as a “second phase” of the overarching 9/11 deception is well within the realm of possibilities regarding 2001’s anthrax attacks in the US. It is certainly far more plausible than the FBI’s flimsy and still-unproven case against Bruce Ivins who conveniently died before any evidence could be aired in the courts.
But it would be foolish to place any hope on President Obama — a committed servant of the Israeli-American empire — to launch a new, independent investigation into any of these troubling matters.