Signs Supplement: The Suicide Bombing Cycle
Strike Flash Presentation by a QFS member
you are interested by the topics on today's Signs page,
you may also be interested in The
Occult Significance of 9/11.
Note to New Readers
| SOTT Editorial
| Various Sources
US Planned Fake Terror Attacks On Citizens To Create Support For
| From BODY OF
SECRETS, James Bamford, Doubleday, 2001, p.82 and following
September 8, 2004
|..In [Joint Chief's chair] Lemnitzer's view,
the country would be far better off if the generals could take over.
[JFK assassination legend has it some general presided over the fudgy
JFK autopsy. --Mk]
For those military officers who were
sitting on the fence, the Kennedy administration's botched Bay of
Pigs invasion was the last straw. "The Bay of Pigs fiasco broke
the dike," said one report at the time. "President Kennedy
was pilloried by the super patriots as a 'no-win' chief . . . The
Far Right became a fount of proposals born of frustration and put
forward in the name of anti-Communism. . . Active-duty commanders
played host to anti-Communist seminars on their bases and attended
or addressed Right-wing meetings elsewhere."
Although no one in Congress could have known it at the time, Lemnitzer
and the Joint Chiefs had quietly slipped over the edge.
According to secret and long-hidden documents
obtained for Body of Secrets, the Joint Chiefs of Staff drew up
and approved plans for what may be the most corrupt plan ever created
by the U.S. government. In the name of antiCommunism, they proposed
launching a secret and bloody war of terrorism against their own
country in order to trick the American public into supporting an
ill-conceived war they intended to launch against Cuba.
Code named Operation Northwoods, the plan,
which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot
on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing
Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism
to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People
would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be
hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro,
thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public
and international backing, they needed to launch their war.
The idea may actually have originated with President Eisenhower
in the last days of his administration. With the Cold War hotter
than ever and the recent U-2 scandal fresh in the public's memory,
the old general wanted to go out with a win. He wanted desperately
to invade Cuba in the weeks leading up to Kennedy's inauguration;
indeed, on January 3 he told Lemnitzer and other aides in his Cabinet
Room that he would move against Castro before the inauguration if
only the Cubans gave him a really good excuse. Then, with time growing
short, Eisenhower floated an idea. If Castro
failed to provide that excuse, perhaps, he said, the United States
"could think of manufacturing something that would be generally
acceptable." What he was suggesting was a pretext a bombing,
an attack, an act of sabotage carried out secretly against the United
States by the United States. Its purpose would be to justify the
launching of a war. It was a dangerous suggestion by a desperate
Although no such war took place, the idea was not lost on General
Lemnitzer But he and his colleagues were frustrated by Kennedy's
failure to authorize their plan, and angry that Castro had not provided
an excuse to invade.
The final straw may have come during a White House meeting on February
26, 1962. Concerned that General Lansdale's various covert action
plans under Operation Mongoose were simply becoming more outrageous
and going nowhere, Robert Kennedy told him to drop all anti-Castro
efforts. Instead, Lansdale was ordered to concentrate for the next
three months strictly on gathering intelligence about Cuba. It was
a humiliating defeat for Lansdale, a man more accustomed to praise
than to scorn.
As the Kennedy brothers appeared to suddenly "go soft"
on Castro, Lemnitzer could see his opportunity to invade Cuba quickly
slipping away. The attempts to provoke the Cuban public to revolt
seemed dead and Castro, unfortunately, appeared to have no inclination
to launch any attacks against Americans or their property Lemnitzer
and the other Chiefs knew there was only
one option left that would ensure their war. They would have to
trick the American public and world opinion into hating Cuba so
much that they would not only go along, but would insist that he
and his generals launch their war against Castro. "World
opinion, and the United Nations forum," said a secret JCS document,
"should be favorably affected by developing
the international image of the Cuban government as rash and irresponsible,
and as an alarming and unpredictable threat to the peace of the
Operation Northwoods called for a war in which many patriotic Americans
and innocent Cubans would die senseless deaths, all to satisfy the
egos of twisted generals back in Washington, safe in their taxpayer
financed homes and limousines.
One idea seriously considered involved the
launch of John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth.
On February 20,1962, Glenn was to lift off from Cape Canaveral,
Florida, on his historic journey. The flight was to carry the banner
of America's virtues of truth, freedom, and democracy into orbit
high over the planet. But Lemnitzer and his Chiefs had a different
idea. They proposed to Lansdale that, should
the rocket explode and kill Glenn, "the objective is to provide
irrevocable proof that . . . the fault lies with the Communists
et al Cuba [sic.]"
This would be accomplished, Lemnitzer continued,
"by manufacturing various pieces of evidence which would prove
electronic interference on the part of the Cubans."
Thus, as NASA prepared to send the first American into space, the
Joint Chiefs of Staff were preparing to use John Glenn's possible
death as a pretext to launch a war.
Glenn lifted into history without mishap, leaving Lemnitzer and
the Chiefs to begin devising new plots which they suggested be carried
out "within the time frame of the next few months."
Among the actions recommended was "a series of well coordinated
incidents to take place in and around" the U.S. Navy base at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This included dressing "friendly"
Cubans in Cuban military uniforms and then have them "start
riots near the main gate of the base. Others would pretend to be
saboteurs inside the base. Ammunition would be blown up, fires started,
aircraft sabotaged, mortars fired at the base with damage to installations."
The suggested operations grew progressively more outrageous. Another
called for an action similar to the infamous incident in February
1898 when an explosion aboard the battleship Maine in Havana harbor
killed 266 U.S. sailors. Although the exact cause of the explosion
remained undetermined, it sparked the Spanish-American War with
Cuba. Incited by the deadly blast, more than one million men volunteered
for duty. Lemnitzer and his generals came up with a similar plan.
"We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba,"
they proposed; "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause
a helpful wave of national indignation."
There seemed no limit to their fanaticism: "We could develop
a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida
cities and even in Washington," they wrote. "The terror
campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the
We could sink a boatload of Cubans en route to Florida (real or
simulated). . . . We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees
in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances
to be widely publicized."
Bombings were proposed, false arrests, hijackings:
*"Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots,
the arrest of Cuban agents and the release of prepared documents
substantiating Cuban involvement also would be helpful in projecting
the idea of an irresponsible government."
*"Advantage can be taken of the sensitivity of the Dominican
[Republic] Air Force to intrusions within their national air space.
'Cuban' B-26 or C-46 type aircraft could make cane burning raids
at night. Soviet Bloc incendiaries could be found. This could be
coupled with 'Cuban' messages to the Communist underground in the
Dominican Republic and 'Cuban' shipments of arms which would be
found, or intercepted, on the beach. Use of MiG type aircraft by
U.S. pilots could provide additional provocation."
*"Hijacking attempts against civil air and surface craft could
appear to continue as harassing measures condoned by the Government
Among the most elaborate schemes was to "create
an incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft
has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner en route from
the United States to Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama or Venezuela. The
destination would be chosen only to cause the flight plan route
to cross Cuba. The passengers could be a group of college students
off on a holiday or any grouping of persons with a common interest
to support chartering a non-scheduled flight."
Lemnitzer and the Joint Chiefs worked out a complex deception:
An aircraft at Elgin AFB would be painted and numbered
as an exact duplicate for a civil registered aircraft belonging
to a CJA proprietary organization in the Miami area. At a designated
time the duplicate would be substituted for the actual civil aircraft
and would be loaded with the selected passengers, all boarded under
carefully prepared aliases. The actual registered aircraft would
be converted to a drone [a remotely controlled unmanned aircraft].
Take off times of the drone aircraft and the actual aircraft will
be scheduled to allow a rendezvous south of Florida.
From the rendezvous point the passenger-carrying
aircraft will descend to minimum altitude and go directly into an
auxiliary field at Elgin AFB where arrangements will have been made
to evacuate the passengers and return the aircraft to its original
status. The drone aircraft meanwhile will continue to fly
the filed flight plan. When over Cuba the drone will be transmitting
on the international distress frequency a "May Day" message
stating he is under attack by Cuban MiG aircraft. The transmission
will be interrupted by destruction of the aircraft, which will be
triggered by radio signal. This will allow ICAO [International Civil
Aviation Organization radio stations in the Western Hemisphere to
tell the U.S. what has happened to the aircraft instead of the U.S.
trying to "sell" the incident.
Finally, there was a plan to "make it appear that Communist
Cuban MiGs have destroyed a USAF aircraft over international waters
in an unprovoked attack." It was a particularly believable
operation given the decade of shoot downs that had just taken place.
In the final sentence of his letter to Secretary McNamara recommending
the operations, Lemnitzer made a grab for even more power asking
that the Joint Chiefs be placed in charge of carrying out Operation
Northwoods and the invasion. "It is recommended," he wrote,
"that this responsibility for both overt and covert military
operations be assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff."
At 2:30 on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 13, 1962, Lemnitzer
went over last-minute details of Operation Northwoods with his covert
action chief, Brigadier General William H. Craig, and signed the
document. He then went to a "special meeting" in McNamara's
office. An hour later he met with Kennedy's military representative,
General Maxwell Taylor. What happened during those meetings is unknown.
But three days later, President Kennedy told Lemnitzer that there
was virtually no possibility that the U.S. would ever use overt
military force in Cuba.
Undeterred, Lemnitzer and the Chiefs persisted, virtually to the
point of demanding that they be given authority to invade and take
over Cuba. About a month after submitting Operation Northwoods,
they met the "tank," as the JCS conference room was called,
and agreed on the wording of a tough memorandum to McNamara. "The
Joint Chiefs of Staff believe that the Cuban problem must be solved
in the near future," they wrote. "Further, they see no
prospect of early success in overthrowing the present communist
regime either as a result of internal uprising or external political,
economic or psychological pressures. Accordingly they believe that
military intervention by the United States will be required to overthrow
the present communist regime."
Because of the secrecy and illegality of
Operation Northwoods, all details remained hidden for forty years.
Lemnitzer may have thought that all copies of the relevant
documents had been destroyed; he was not one to leave compromising
material lying around. Following the Bay of Pigs debacle, for example,
he ordered Brigadier General David W Gray, Craig's predecessor as
chief of the Cuba project within the JCS, to destroy all his notes
concerning Joint Chiefs actions and discussions during that period.
Gray's meticulous notes were the only detailed official records
of what happened within the JCS during that time. According to Gray,
Lemnitzer feared a congressional investigation and therefore wanted
any incriminating evidence destroyed.
With the evidence destroyed, Lemnitzer felt
free to lie to Congress. When asked, during secret hearings before
a Senate committee, if he knew of any Pentagon plans for a direct
invasion of Cuba he said he did not. Yet detailed JCS invasion
plans had been drawn up even before Kennedy was inaugurated. And
additional plans had been developed since. The consummate planner
and man of details also became evasive, suddenly encountering great
difficulty in recalling key aspects of the operation, as if he had
been out of the country during the period. It was a sorry spectacle.
Senator Gore called for Lemnitzer to be fired. "We need a shake
up of the Joint Chiefs of Staff" he said. "We direly need
a new chairman, as well as new members." No one had any idea
of Operation Northwoods.
Because so many documents were destroyed, it is difficult to determine
how many senior officials were aware of Operation Northwoods. As
has been described, the document was signed and fully approved by
Lemnitzer and the rest of the Joint Chiefs and addressed to the
Secretary of Defense for his signature. Whether it went beyond McNamara
to the president and the attorney general is not known.
Even after Lemnitzer lost his job, the Joint Chiefs kept planning
"pretext" operations at least into 1963. Among their proposals
was a deliberately create a war between Cuba and any of a number
of American neighbors. This would give the United States military
an excuse to come in on the side of Cuba's adversary and get rid
of "A contrived 'Cuban' attack on an OAS [Organization of Americas]
member could be set up," said one proposal, "and the attacked
state could be urged to 'take measures of self-defense and request
ice from the U.S. and OAS; the U.S. could almost certainly obtain
necessary two-thirds support among OAS members for collective action
Among the nations they suggested that the
United States secretly were Jamaica and Trinidad-Tobago. Both were
members of the Commonwealth; thus, by secretly attacking them and
then blaming Cuba, the United States could lure England into the
war Castro. The report noted, "Any of the contrived
situations de above are inherently, extremely risky in our democratic
system in which security can be maintained, after the fact, with
very great difficulty. If the decision should be made to set up
a contrived situation it be one in which participation by U.S. personnel
is limited only to the most highly trusted covert personnel. This
suggests the infeasibility of the use of military units for any
aspect of the contrived situation."
The report even suggested secretly paying someone in the Castro
government to attack the United States: "The only area remaining
for ration then would be to bribe one of Castro's subordinate commanders
to initiate an attack on [the U.S. naval base at] Guantanamo."
The act suggested--bribing a foreign nation
to launch a violent attack American military installation--was treason.
In May 1963, Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul H. Nitze sent
a message to the White House proposing "a possible scenario
whereby an attack on a United States reconnaissance aircraft could
be exploited toward the end of effecting the removal of the Castro
regime." In the event Cuba attacked a U-2, the
plan proposed sending in additional American pilots, this time on
dangerous, unnecessary low-level reconnaissance missions with the
expectation that they would also be shot down, thus provoking a
war "[T]he U.S. could undertake various measures designed
to stimulate the Cubans to provoke a new incident," said the
plan. Nitze, however, did not volunteer to be one of the pilots.
One idea involved sending fighters across the island on "harassing
reconnaissance" and "show-off" missions "flaunting
our freedom of action, hoping to stir the Cuban military to action."
"Thus," said the plan, "depending above all on whether
the Cubans were or could be made to be trigger-happy, the development
of the initial downing of a reconnaissance plane could lead at best
to the elimination of Castro, perhaps to the removal of Soviet troops
and the installation of ground inspection in Cuba, or at the least
to our demonstration of firmness on reconnaissance." About
a month later, a low-level flight was made across Cuba, but unfortunately
for the Pentagon, instead of bullets it produced only a protest.
Lemnitzer was a dangerous-perhaps even unbalanced-right-wing extremist
in an extraordinarily sensitive position during a critical period.
But Operation Northwoods also had the support of every single member
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and even senior Pentagon official
Paul Nitze argued in favor of provoking a phony war with Cuba. The
fact that the most senior members of all the services and the Pentagon
could be so out of touch with reality and the meaning of democracy
would be hidden for four decades.
In retrospect, the documents offer new insight into the thinking
of the military's star-studded leadership. Although they never succeeded
in launching America into a phony war with Cuba, they may have done
so with Vietnam. More than 50,000 Americans and more than 2 million
Vietnamese were eventually killed in that war.
It has long been suspected that the 1964
Gulf of Tonkin incident-the spark that led to America's long war
in Vietnam-was largely staged or provoked by U.S. officials in order
to build up congressional and public support for American involvement.
Over the years, serious questions have been raised about the alleged
attack by North Vietnamese patrol boats on two American destroyers
in the Gulf But defenders of the Pentagon have always denied such
charges, arguing that senior officials would never engage in such
Now, however, in light of the Operation
Northwoods documents, it at deceiving the public and trumping up
wars for Americans to fight and die in was standard, approved policy
at the highest levels of the Pentagon. In fact, the Gulf
of Tonkin seems right out of the Operation Northwoods playbook:
"We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba
. . . casualty lists in U.S. newspapers cause
a helpful wave of indignation." One need only replace
"Guantanamo Bay" with "Tonkin Gulf," and "Cuba"
with "North Vietnam" and the Gulf of Tonkin incident may
or may not have been stage-managed, but the
senior Pentagon leadership at the time was clearly capable of such
The following timeline describes just a few
of the hundreds of atrocities and crimes committed by the CIA. [...]
Radio Free Europe — The CIA creates its first major propaganda
outlet, Radio Free Europe. Over the next several decades, its broadcasts
are so blatantly false that for a time it is considered illegal
to publish transcripts of them in the U.S.
Operation MOCKINGBIRD — The CIA begins recruiting American
news organizations and journalists to become spies and disseminators
of propaganda. The effort is headed by Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles,
Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham is publisher of The Washington
Post, which becomes a major CIA player. Eventually, the CIA’s
media assets will include ABC, NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, Associated
Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard,
Copley News Service and more. By the CIA’s own admission,
at least 25 organizations and 400 journalists will become CIA assets.
Iran – CIA overthrows the democratically
elected Mohammed Mossadegh in a military coup, after
he threatened to nationalize British oil. The CIA replaces him with
a dictator, the Shah of Iran, whose secret police, SAVAK, is as
brutal as the Gestapo.
Operation MK-ULTRA — Inspired by North Korea’s brainwashing
program, the CIA begins experiments on mind control. The most notorious
part of this project involves giving LSD and other drugs to American
subjects without their knowledge or against their will, causing
several to commit suicide. However, the operation involves far more
than this. Funded in part by the Rockefeller and Ford foundations,
research includes propaganda, brainwashing, public relations, advertising,
hypnosis, and other forms of suggestion.
Guatemala — CIA overthrows the democratically
elected Jacob Arbenz in a military coup. Arbenz has threatened
to nationalize the Rockefeller-owned United Fruit Company, in which
CIA Director Allen Dulles also owns stock. Arbenz is replaced with
a series of right-wing dictators whose bloodthirsty policies will
kill over 100,000 Guatemalans in the next 40 years.
North Vietnam — CIA officer Edward Lansdale spends four years
trying to overthrow the communist government of North Vietnam, using
all the usual dirty tricks. The CIA also attempts to legitimize
a tyrannical puppet regime in South Vietnam, headed by Ngo Dinh
Diem. These efforts fail to win the hearts and minds of the South
Vietnamese because the Diem government is opposed to true democracy,
land reform and poverty reduction measures. The CIA’s continuing
failure results in escalating American intervention, culminating
in the Vietnam War.
Hungary — Radio Free Europe incites Hungary to revolt by
broadcasting Khruschev’s Secret Speech, in which he denounced
Stalin. It also hints that American aid will help the Hungarians
fight. This aid fails to materialize as Hungarians launch a doomed
armed revolt, which only invites a major Soviet invasion. The conflict
kills 7,000 Soviets and 30,000 Hungarians.
Laos — The CIA carries out approximately
one coup per year trying to nullify Laos’ democratic elections.
Haiti — The U.S. military helps "Papa
Doc" Duvalier become dictator of Haiti. He creates his
own private police force, the "Tonton Macoutes," who terrorize
the population with machetes. They will kill over 100,000 during
the Duvalier family reign. The U.S. does not protest their dismal
human rights record.
The Bay of Pigs — The CIA sends 1,500 Cuban exiles to invade
Dominican Republic — The CIA assassinates Rafael Trujillo,
a murderous dictator Washington has supported since 1930. Trujillo’s
business interests have grown so large (about 60 percent of the
economy) that they have begun competing with American business interests.
Ecuador — The CIA-backed military
forces the democratically elected President Jose Velasco to resign.
Vice President Carlos Arosemana replaces him; the CIA fills the
now vacant vice presidency with its own man.
Congo (Zaire) — The CIA assassinates
the democratically elected Patrice Lumumba. However, public
support for Lumumba’s politics runs so high that the CIA cannot
clearly install his opponents in power. Four years of political
Dominican Republic — The CIA overthrows
the democratically elected Juan Bosch in a military coup.
The CIA installs a repressive, right-wing junta.
Ecuador — A CIA-backed military coup
overthrows President Arosemana, whose independent (not socialist)
policies have become unacceptable to Washington. A military
junta assumes command, cancels the 1964 elections, and begins abusing
Brazil — A CIA-backed military coup
overthrows the democratically elected government of Joao Goulart.
The junta that replaces it will, in the next two decades, become
one of the most bloodthirsty in history.[...]
Indonesia — The CIA overthrows the
democratically elected Sukarno with a military coup. [...]
Dominican Republic — A popular rebellion breaks out, promising
to reinstall Juan Bosch as the country’s elected leader. The
revolution is crushed when U.S. Marines land to uphold the military
regime by force. The CIA directs everything behind the scenes.
Greece — With the CIA’s backing, the king removes George
Papandreous as prime minister. Papandreous has failed to vigorously
support U.S. interests in Greece.
Congo (Zaire) — A CIA-backed military
coup installs Mobutu Sese Seko as dictator. The hated and
repressive Mobutu exploits his desperately poor country for billions.
The Ramparts Affair — The radical magazine Ramparts begins
a series of unprecedented anti-CIA articles. Among their scoops:
the CIA has paid the University of Michigan $25 million dollars
to hire "professors" to train South Vietnamese students
in covert police methods. MIT and other universities have received
similar payments. Ramparts also reveals that the National Students’
Association is a CIA front. Students are sometimes recruited through
blackmail and bribery, including draft deferments.
Greece — A CIA-backed military coup
overthrows the government two days before the elections.
The favorite to win was George Papandreous, the liberal candidate.
During the next six years, the "reign of the colonels"
— backed by the CIA — will usher in the widespread use
of torture and murder against political opponents. When a Greek
ambassador objects to President Johnson about U.S. plans for Cypress,
Johnson tells him: "Fuck your parliament and your constitution."
Operation PHEONIX — The CIA helps South Vietnamese agents
identify and then murder alleged Viet Cong leaders operating in
South Vietnamese villages. According to a 1971 congressional report,
this operation killed about 20,000 "Viet Cong."
CHAOS—The CIA has been illegally
spying on American citizens since 1959, but with Operation CHAOS,
President Johnson dramatically boosts the effort. CIA agents
go undercover as student radicals to spy on and disrupt campus organizations
protesting the Vietnam War. They are searching for Russian instigators,
which they never find. CHAOS will eventually spy on 7,000 individuals
and 1,000 organizations.
Bolivia — A CIA-organized military operation captures legendary
guerilla Che Guevara. The CIA wants to keep him alive for interrogation,
but the Bolivian government executes him to prevent worldwide calls
Uruguay — The notorious CIA torturer
Dan Mitrione arrives in Uruguay, a country torn with political
Cambodia — The CIA overthrows Prince
Sahounek, who is highly popular among Cambodians for keeping them
out of the Vietnam War. [...]
Bolivia — After half a decade of CIA-inspired political turmoil,
a CIA-backed military coup overthrows the
leftist President Juan Torres. In the next two years, dictator
Hugo Banzer will have over 2,000 political opponents arrested without
trial, then tortured, raped and executed. [...]
Cambodia — Congress votes to cut off CIA funds for its secret
war in Cambodia.
Wagergate Break-in — President Nixon sends in a team of burglars
to wiretap Democratic offices at Watergate. The team members have
extensive CIA histories, including James McCord, E. Howard Hunt
and five of the Cuban burglars. They work for the Committee to Reelect
the President (CREEP), which does dirty work like disrupting Democratic
campaigns and laundering Nixon’s illegal campaign contributions.
CREEP’s activities are funded and organized by another CIA
front, the Mullen Company.
Chile — The CIA overthrows and assassinates
Salvador Allende, Latin America’s first democratically elected
socialist leader. The problems begin when Allende nationalizes
American-owned firms in Chile. ITT offers the CIA $1 million for
a coup (reportedly refused). The CIA replaces Allende with General
Augusto Pinochet, who will torture and murder thousands of his own
countrymen in a crackdown on labor leaders and the political left.
Australia — The CIA helps topple the
democratically elected, left-leaning government of Prime
Minister Edward Whitlam.[...]
Angola — Eager to demonstrate American military resolve after
its defeat in Vietnam, Henry Kissinger launches a CIA-backed war
in Angola. Contrary to Kissinger’s assertions, Angola is a
country of little strategic importance and not seriously threatened
by communism. The CIA backs the brutal leader
of UNITAS, Jonas Savimbi. [...]
"The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence" — Victor
Marchetti and John Marks publish this whistle-blowing history of
CIA crimes and abuses. Marchetti has spent 14 years in the CIA,
eventually becoming an executive assistant to the Deputy Director
of Intelligence. Marks has spent five years as an intelligence official
in the State Department.
"Inside the Company" — Philip Agee publishes a
diary of his life inside the CIA. Agee has worked in covert operations
in Latin America during the 60s, and details the crimes in which
he took part. [...]
The Rockefeller Commission — In an attempt to reduce the
damage done by the Church Committee, President Ford creates the
"Rockefeller Commission" to whitewash CIA history and
propose toothless reforms. The commission’s namesake, Vice
President Nelson Rockefeller, is himself a major CIA figure. Five
of the commission’s eight members are also members of the
Council on Foreign Relations, a CIA-dominated organization.
Iran — The CIA fails to predict the fall of the Shah of Iran,
a longtime CIA puppet, and the rise of Muslim fundamentalists who
are furious at the CIA’s backing of SAVAK, the Shah’s
bloodthirsty secret police. In revenge, the Muslims take 52 Americans
hostage in the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
Afghanistan — The Soviets invade Afghanistan.
The CIA immediately begins supplying arms to any faction willing
to fight the occupying Soviets. Such indiscriminate arming means
that when the Soviets leave Afghanistan, civil war will erupt.
Also, fanatical Muslim extremists now possess state-of-the-art weaponry.
One of these is Sheik Abdel Rahman, who will become involved in
the World Trade Center bombing in New York.
El Salvador — An idealistic group of young military officers,
repulsed by the massacre of the poor, overthrows the right-wing
government. However, the U.S. compels the inexperienced officers
to include many of the old guard in key positions in their new government.
Soon, things are back to "normal" — the military
government is repressing and killing poor civilian protesters. Many
of the young military and civilian reformers, finding themselves
powerless, resign in disgust.
Nicaragua — Anastasios Samoza II, the CIA-backed dictator,
falls. The Marxist Sandinistas take over government, and they are
initially popular because of their commitment to land and anti-poverty
reform. Samoza had a murderous and hated personal army called the
National Guard. Remnants of the Guard will become the Contras, who
fight a CIA-backed guerilla war against the Sandinista government
throughout the 1980s.
El Salvador — The Archbishop of San
Salvador, Oscar Romero, pleads with President Carter "Christian
to Christian" to stop aiding the military government slaughtering
his people. Carter refuses.[...]
Iran/Contra Begins — The CIA begins
selling arms to Iran at high prices, using the profits to arm the
Contras fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.
Honduras — The CIA gives Honduran
military officers the Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual
– 1983, which teaches how to torture people. [...]
The Boland Amendment — The last of a series of Boland Amendments
is passed. These amendments have reduced CIA aid to the Contras;
the last one cuts it off completely. However, CIA Director William
Casey is already prepared to "hand off" the operation
to Colonel Oliver North, who illegally continues supplying the Contras
through the CIA’s informal, secret, and self-financing network.
This includes "humanitarian aid" donated by Adolph Coors
and William Simon, and military aid funded by Iranian arms sales.
[...] Iran/Contra Scandal — Although the details have long
been known, the Iran/Contra scandal finally captures the media’s
attention in 1986. Congress holds hearings, and several key figures
(like Oliver North) lie under oath to protect the intelligence community.
CIA Director William Casey dies of brain cancer before Congress
can question him. All reforms enacted by Congress after the scandal
are purely cosmetic.
Haiti — [...] The CIA then rigs the upcoming elections in
favor of another right-wing military strongman. However, violence
keeps the country in political turmoil for another four years. The
CIA tries to strengthen the military by creating the National Intelligence
Service (SIN), which suppresses popular revolt through torture and
Panama — The U.S. invades Panama to overthrow a dictator
of its own making, General Manuel Noriega. Noriega has been on the
CIA’s payroll since 1966, and has been transporting drugs
with the CIA’s knowledge since 1972. By the late 80s, Noriega’s
growing independence and intransigence have angered Washington…
so out he goes.
Haiti — Competing against 10 comparatively wealthy candidates,
leftist priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide captures 68 percent of the
vote. After only eight months in power, however, the CIA-backed
military deposes him. More military dictators brutalize the
country, as thousands of Haitian refugees escape the turmoil in
barely seaworthy boats. As popular opinion calls for Aristide’s
return, the CIA begins a disinformation campaign painting the courageous
priest as mentally unstable.
The Gulf War — The U.S. liberates Kuwait from Iraq. But Iraq’s
dictator, Saddam Hussein, is another creature
of the CIA. With U.S. encouragement, Hussein invaded Iran in 1980.
During this costly eight-year war, the CIA built up Hussein’s
forces with sophisticated arms, intelligence, training and financial
backing. This cemented Hussein’s power at home, allowing
him to crush the many internal rebellions that erupted from time
to time, sometimes with poison gas. It also gave him all the military
might he needed to conduct further adventurism — in Kuwait,
The Fall of the Soviet Union —[...] Curiously, the intelligence
community’s budget is not significantly reduced after the
demise of communism. [...]
Economic Espionage — In the years following the end of the
Cold War, the CIA is increasingly used for economic espionage. This
involves stealing the technological secrets of competing foreign
companies and giving them to American ones. Given the CIA’s
clear preference for dirty tricks over mere information gathering,
the possibility of serious criminal behavior is very great indeed.
Haiti — The chaos in Haiti grows so bad that President Clinton
has no choice but to remove the Haitian military dictator, Raoul
Cedras, on threat of U.S. invasion. The U.S. occupiers do not arrest
Haiti’s military leaders for crimes against humanity, but
instead ensure their safety and rich retirements. Aristide is returned
to power only after being forced to accept an agenda favorable to
the country’s ruling class.
In a speech before the CIA celebrating its 50th anniversary, President
Clinton said: "By necessity, the American people will never
know the full story of your courage."
Clinton’s is a common defense of the CIA: namely, the American
people should stop criticizing the CIA because they don’t
know what it really does. This, of course, is the heart of the problem
in the first place. An agency that is above criticism is also above
moral behavior and reform. Its secrecy and lack of accountability
allows its corruption to grow unchecked.
Furthermore, Clinton’s statement is simply untrue. The history
of the agency is growing painfully clear, especially with the declassification
of historical CIA documents. We may not know the details of specific
operations, but we do know, quite well, the general behavior of
the CIA. These facts began emerging nearly two decades ago at an
ever-quickening pace. Today we have a remarkably accurate and consistent
picture, repeated in country after country, and verified from countless
The CIA’s response to this growing knowledge and criticism
follows a typical historical pattern. (Indeed, there are remarkable
parallels to the Medieval Church’s fight against the Scientific
Revolution.) The first journalists and writers to reveal the CIA’s
criminal behavior were harassed and censored if they were American
writers, and tortured and murdered if they were foreigners. (See
Philip Agee’s On the Run for an example of early harassment.)
However, over the last two decades the tide of evidence has become
overwhelming, and the CIA has found that it does not have enough
fingers to plug every hole in the dike. This is especially true
in the age of the Internet, where information flows freely among
millions of people. Since censorship is impossible, the Agency must
now defend itself with apologetics. Clinton’s "Americans
will never know" defense is a prime example.
Another common apologetic is that "the world is filled with
unsavory characters, and we must deal with them if we are to protect
American interests at all." There are two things wrong with
this. First, it ignores the fact that the CIA has regularly spurned
alliances with defenders of democracy, free speech and human rights,
preferring the company of military dictators and tyrants. The CIA
had moral options available to them, but did not take them.
Second, this argument begs several questions. The first is: "Which
American interests?" The CIA has courted right wing dictators
because they allow wealthy Americans to exploit the country’s
cheap labor and resources. But poor and middle-class Americans pay
the price whenever they fight the wars that stem from CIA actions,
from Vietnam to the Gulf War to Panama. The second begged question
is: "Why should American interests come at the expense of other
peoples’ human rights?"
"The major function of secrecy in Washington is to keep the
U.S. people ... from knowing what the nation's leaders are doing."
Made in the USA
According to Ahmed Rashid, a correspondent for the Far Eastern
Economic Review, in 1986 CIA chief William Casey committed CIA support
to a long-standing ISI proposal to recruit from around the world
to join the Afghan jihad. At least 100,000 Islamic militants flocked
to Pakistan between 1982 and 1992 (some 60,000 attended fundamentalist
schools in Pakistan without necessarily taking part in the fighting).
John Cooley, a former journalist with the US ABC television network
and author of Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International
Terrorism, has revealed that Muslims recruited
in the US for the mujaheddin were sent to Camp Peary, the CIA's
spy training camp in Virginia, where young Afghans, Arabs from Egypt
and Jordan, and even some African-American “black Muslims”
were taught “sabotage skills”.
The November 1, 1998, British Independent reported that one of
those charged with the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and
Tanzania, Ali Mohammed, had trained “bin Laden's operatives”
These “operatives” were recruited
at the al Kifah Refugee Centre in Brooklyn, New York, given paramilitary
training in the New York area and then sent to Afghanistan with
US assistance to join Hekmatyar's forces. Mohammed was a member
of the US army's elite Green Berets.
The program, reported the Independent, was part of a Washington-approved
plan called “Operation Cyclone”.
In Pakistan, recruits, money and equipment were distributed to
the mujaheddin factions by an organisation known as Maktab al Khidamar
(Office of Services — MAK).
MAK was a front for Pakistan's CIA, the Inter-Service Intelligence
Directorate. The ISI was the first recipient of the vast bulk of
CIA and Saudi Arabian covert assistance for the Afghan contras.
Bin Laden was one of three people who ran MAK. In 1989, he took
overall charge of MAK.
Among those trained by Mohammed were El Sayyid Nosair, who was
jailed in 1995 for killing Israeli rightist Rabbi Meir Kahane and
plotting with others to bomb New York landmarks, including the World
Trade Center in 1993.
The Independent also suggested that Shiekh Omar Abdel-Rahman, an
Egyptian religious leader also jailed for the 1993 bombing of the
World Trade Center, was also part of Operation Cyclone. He entered
the US in 1990 with the CIA's approval. A confidential CIA report
concluded that the agency was “partly culpable” for
the 1993 World Trade Center blast, the Independent reported.
Osama bin Laden, one of 20 sons of a billionaire construction magnate,
arrived in Afghanistan to join the jihad in 1980. An austere religious
fanatic and business tycoon, bin Laden specialised in recruiting,
financing and training the estimated 35,000 non-Afghan mercenaries
who joined the mujaheddin.
The bin Laden family is a prominent pillar of the Saudi Arabian
ruling class, with close personal, financial and political ties
to that country's pro-US royal family.
Bin Laden senior was appointed Saudi Arabia's minister of public
works as a favour by King Faisal. The new minister awarded his own
construction companies lucrative contracts to rebuild Islam's holiest
mosques in Mecca and Medina. In the process, the bin Laden family
company in 1966 became the world's largest private construction
Osama bin Laden's father died in 1968. Until 1994, he had access
to the dividends from this ill-gotten business empire.
(Bin Laden junior's oft-quoted personal fortune of US$200-300 million
has been arrived at by the US State Department by dividing today's
value of the bin Laden family net worth — estimated to be
US$5 billion — by the number of bin Laden senior's sons. A
fact rarely mentioned is that in 1994 the bin Laden family disowned
Osama and took control of his share.)
Osama's military and business adventures in Afghanistan
had the blessing of the bin Laden dynasty and the reactionary Saudi
Arabian regime. His close working relationship with MAK also meant
that the CIA was fully aware of his activities.
Milt Bearden, the CIA's station chief in Pakistan from 1986 to
1989, admitted to the January 24, 2000, New Yorker that while he
never personally met bin Laden, “Did I know that he was out
there? Yes, I did ... [Guys like] bin Laden were bringing $20-$25
million a month from other Saudis and Gulf Arabs to underwrite the
war. And that is a lot of money. It's an extra $200-$300 million
a year. And this is what bin Laden did.”
In 1986, bin Laden brought heavy construction equipment from Saudi
Arabia to Afghanistan. Using his extensive knowledge of construction
techniques (he has a degree in civil engineering), he built “training
camps”, some dug deep into the sides of mountains, and built
roads to reach them.
These camps, now dubbed “terrorist
universities” by Washington, were built in collaboration with
the ISI and the CIA. The Afghan contra fighters, including
the tens of thousands of mercenaries recruited and paid for by bin
Laden, were armed by the CIA. Pakistan, the US and Britain provided
Tom Carew, a former British SAS soldier who secretly fought for
the mujaheddin told the August 13, 2000, British Observer, “The
Americans were keen to teach the Afghans the techniques of urban
terrorism — car bombing and so on — so that they
could strike at the Russians in major towns ... Many of them are
now using their knowledge and expertise to wage war on everything
Al Qaeda (the Base), bin Laden's organisation, was established
in 1987-88 to run the camps and other business enterprises. It is
a tightly-run capitalist holding company — albeit one that
integrates the operations of a mercenary force and related logistical
services with “legitimate” business operations.
Bin Laden has simply continued to do the job he was asked to do
in Afghanistan during the 1980s — fund, feed and train mercenaries.
All that has changed is his primary customer. Then it was the ISI
and, behind the scenes, the CIA. Today, his services are utilised
primarily by the reactionary Taliban regime.
Bin Laden only became a “terrorist” in US eyes when
he fell out with the Saudi royal family over its decision to allow
more than 540,000 US troops to be stationed on Saudi soil following
Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
When thousands of US troops remained in Saudi Arabia after the
end of the Gulf War, bin Laden's anger turned to outright opposition.
He declared that Saudi Arabia and other regimes — such as
Egypt — in the Middle East were puppets of the US, just as
the PDPA government of Afghanistan had been a puppet of the Soviet
He called for the overthrow of these client regimes and declared
it the duty of all Muslims to drive the US out of the Gulf states.
In 1994, he was stripped of his Saudi citizenship and forced to
leave the country. His assets there were frozen.
After a period in Sudan, he returned to Afghanistan in May 1996.
He refurbished the camps he had helped build during the Afghan war
and offered the facilities and services — and thousands of
his mercenaries — to the Taliban, which took power that September.
Today, bin Laden's private army of non-Afghan religious fanatics
is a key prop of the Taliban regime.
Prior to the devastating September 11 attack on the twin towers
of World Trade Center, US ruling-class figures remained unrepentant
about the consequences of their dirty deals with the likes of bin
Laden, Hekmatyar and the Taliban. Since the awful attack, they have
been downright hypocritical.
In an August 28, 1998, report posted on MSNBC, Michael Moran quotes
Senator Orrin Hatch, who was a senior member of the Senate Intelligence
Committee which approved US dealings with the mujaheddin, as saying
he would make “the same call again”, even knowing what
bin Laden would become.
“It was worth it. Those were very important, pivotal matters
that played an important role in the downfall of the Soviet Union.”
Hatch today is one of the most gung-ho voices demanding military
Another face that has appeared repeatedly on television screens
since the attack has been Vincent Cannistrano, described as a former
CIA chief of “counter-terrorism operations”.
Cannistrano is certainly an expert on terrorists
like bin Laden, because he directed their “work”. He
was in charge of the CIA-backed Nicaraguan contras during the early
1980s. In 1984, he became the supervisor of covert aid to the Afghan
mujaheddin for the US National Security Council.
The United States government
has been provided with concrete evidence that the Israeli Mossad
and other Israeli intelligence services have been involved in a
13-month effort to "recruit" an Israeli-run, phony "al-Qaeda
cell" among Palestinians, so that Israel could achieve a frontline
position in the U.S. war against terrorism and get a green light
for a worldwide "revenge without borders" policy. The
question: Does the United States have the moral fiber to investigate?
Evidence of the Israeli dirty tricks burst onto the public scene
on Dec. 6, when Col. Rashid Abu Shbak, head of the Palestinian Preventive
Security Services in the Gaza Strip, held a press conference revealing
the details of the alleged plot, as his agency had put the pieces
together. The revelations undermine the "big lie" that
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has used to justify new brutal attacks
on Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and other occupied areas.
Sharon claimed on Dec. 4 that Israeli intelligence had "hard
evidence" of al-Qaeda operations in the Gaza Strip. Now, the
top Palestinian leadership has shown the United States and other
nations how Israeli intelligence entities were creating that al-Qaeda
American leader Lyndon LaRouche, a Democratic Presidential pre-candidate
in 2004, commented that these revelations, if confirmed, could be
"of strategic importance" in stopping the American, British,
and Israeli warhawks pushing for a Middle East war, beginning with
an invasion of Iraq. A war would justify the Sharon government's
plan to annihilate the very idea of a Palestinian state. LaRouche
warned that if institutions of the American Presidency and the international
community successfully block an American pre-emptive war on Iraq,
the biggest danger would be that a "mega-terror" attack,
blamed on Palestinians, or an "Iraqi-linked" al-Qaeda,
would be staged by Israel's ruling Jabotinskyite fanatics, to put
the war back on the agenda.
News about the Mossad-run attempt to create
an al-Qaeda cell came when well-informed intelligence sources based
in Washington had already told EIR that there are many doubts about
the Mossad's hasty declaration that "al-Qaeda" had been
responsible for the Nov. 28 attack on a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya,
where three Israelis were killed, and the failed rocket attack on
an Israeli chartered jet that was departing from Mombasa airport.
There was no identification of the bombers within the first five
days of the incident, the sources pointed out, yet Sharon's government
ministers went on an immediate propaganda rampage announcing worldwide
revenge. Authorities in Kenya also denied the al-Qaeda link.
But the usefulness of blaming al-Qaeda, for the Israeli right, was
palpable, when Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the Kenya
attacks "a golden opportunity" to prove to the United
States that Bush's war on terrorism, and Israel's war with the Palestinians
is the same thing. Netanyahu's faction has violently rejected the
Palestinian Authority's revelations, and so far, the American and
European press have followed suit, despite the dramatic nature of
these charges, and the documents that the Palestinians have provided
to the international press.
Chronology of the Revelations
On Dec. 7, the British news service, Reuters, the Israeli daily
Ha'aretz, and Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV network, all reported that
the Palestinian Authority had accused the Mossad of creating a phony
al-Qaeda cell in the Gaza Strip. Ha'aretz reported, "the head
of Palestinian Preventive Security" in the Gaza Strip, Col.
Rashid Abu Shbak, said on Dec. 6, "that his forces had identified
a number of Palestinian collaborators who had been ordered by Israeli
security agencies to 'work in the Gaza Strip under the name of al-Qaeda.'
He said the investigation was ongoing and evidence would be presented
soon." Al-Jazeera TV added that the Palestinian authorities
had arrested a group of Palestinian "collaborators with Israeli
occupation" in Gaza, involved in the operation.
Reuters' reporter Diala Saadeh, under the headline, "Palestinians:
Israel Faked Gaza al-Qaeda Presence," quoted a number of Palestinian
Authority (P.A.) senior officials, including President Yasser Arafat,
who told reporters at his West Bank Ramallah headquarters, that
Sharon's claims of al-Qaeda operations in Palestinian territories
"is a big, big, big lie to cover [Sharon's] attacks and his
crimes against our people everywhere." P.A. Information Minister
Yasser Abed Rabbo detailed the case: "There are certain elements
who were instructed by the Mossad to form a cell under the name
of al-Qaeda in the Gaza Strip in order to justify the assault and
the military campaigns of the Israeli occupation army against Gaza."
Palestinian officials promised to provide detailed evidence, and
did so on Dec. 8, in a press conference addressed by Colonel Shbak,
and by Palestinian Minister for Planning and International Cooperation
Nabil Shaath. Shbak told the international representatives that,
"Over the past nine months, we've been investigating eight
cases in which Israeli intelligence posing as al-Qaeda operatives
recruited Palestinians in the Gaza Strip." Colonel Shbak said
that 3 men were under arrest, and 11 had been released. He explained
that those released had voluntarily provided information going back
to May 2002, about the contacts that had been made asking them to
operate as an "al-Qaeda" group. The alleged al-Qaeda recruiters
were traced to Israeli intelligence, said Colonel Shbak. He detailed
incidents, some of which were described in official documents, of
cell phone calls and e-mails, where Palestinians were asked to "join
al-Qaeda." Shbak said, "We investigated the origin of
those calls, which used [wireless phone] roaming, and messages,
and found out they all came from Israel," reported the publication,
IslamOnline. He said that the potential "recruits," had
been given money and weapons, "although most of these weapons
did not even work." He also noted that the money for these
targetted Palestinians "was transferred from bank accounts
in Jerusalem or Israel."
Minister Shaath announced at the press conference
that the P.A. had "handed ambassadors and consuls of the Arab
and foreign countries, documents revealing the involvement of the
Israeli intelligence in recruiting citizens from Gaza Strip in a
fake organization carrying the name of Qaeda." He said the
ploy was intended "to create a new excuse to escalate the aggression
on Gaza Strip."
The international community was jolted again on Dec. 10, when Colonel
Shbak held another press conference and the Preventive Security
Agency presented the Mossad's potential recruiter himself to the
international media. According to reports in the Arabic press in
Dubai, London and Ramallah, the man appeared in disguise (for security
reasons,) and was identified only as "Ibrahim," but explained
in great detail that he was one of the "key recruiters"
for the potential cell. He said the story started in October 2001,
when, after he sent his photo and mobile phone number to a "contact
page" in a Jerusalem magazine, he was contacted by a person
calling himself "Youssef," and nicknamed "Abu Othman."
After building up a personal relationship with "Ibrahim,"
and telling him how much he resembled his own son, who had been
killed, Youssef sent him $2,000, and began encouraging the Gaza
man—who appeared to be in his early 20s—to become a
more observant and practicing Muslim.
In May 2002, five months after the initial contact, said Ibrahim,
Youssef "told me frankly, 'you are a good candidate to work
for us in the company of Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda group.'
" This Youssef also claimed to have already created an al-Qaeda
cell inside Israel. Ibrahim said that he then approached the Palestinian
security services and told them about the transactions with Youssef,
and that the security services asked him to continue the communications,
which they would monitor. He said that the specific instructions
were that Ibrahim was to announce through a communiqué—directly
from Gaza—that al-Qaeda claimed credit for a bombing attack,
or attacks, that Youssef indicated his network was about to carry
out in Israel. Ibrahim stressed that the man
also said that he (the Mossad officer) "had the capability
to carry out major bombing operations inside Israel, but that the
al-Qaeda group in Gaza should claim responsibility for the attack
and no other group." In an interview with the London-based
Arabic daily Al-Hayat, after the press conference, Ibrahim stated,
that "the man told him that mega military operations will be
conducted inside Israel, and that these operations would be announced
through Ibrahim." This would mean that as soon as he gets the
signal after a major terrorist act against Israeli civilian targets,
Ibrahim and his group would send a communiqué to the press
or a videotape, similar to the ones sent by bin Laden to Al-Jazeera,
claiming responsibility for the attack.
Ibrahim was also asked to gather specific information for Youssef
about a number of persons in Gaza, some of them known to be members
of Hamas. When asked why he wanted this information, Youssef said,
"I want them to join al-Qaeda." At that point, Palestinian
security services cut off the "Ibrahim-Youssef" contact,
because it was becoming too dangerous.
At the same press conference, Colonel Shbak said direct money payments
"transferred from Israel," had been received by five out
of the eight Palestinians who have been giving information to the
Preventive Security Agency about this operation. Shbak also explained
that his agency traced and obtained a number of telephone numbers,
registrations, and bank receipts for money transferred to some of
Now, said Shbak, the United States and a number of international
intelligence and security organs had been supplied with documents
and evidence refuting the Israeli allegations about Palestinian
connections to al-Qaeda. "These documents prove without any
doubt that the ones who are behind this alleged al-Qaeda group are
the various Israeli intelligence organizations," Shbak added.
He told Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah daily that the "Americans have
not responded yet to the documents ... as provided by the Palestinian
Preventive Security agency."
The 9/11 Cover Story
The question is whether the U.S. government and other governments
will take up the evidence given to them. It is well established
that several top Cabinet officials in the current Sharon caretaker
government, including Sharon himself, have a long, jaded history
of staging precisely these kinds of "countergang" operations,
using Israeli covert operatives and Arabs tortured and brainwashed
in Israeli jails and recruited as false-flag terrorists. Sharon,
Mossad chief Moshe Dagan, and Gen. Effie Eitam are proponents of
such dirty-war tactics. As EIR reported in several extensive articles
on the Hamas organization, that terrorist capability was actually
created by Ariel Sharon and the Israeli right wing, for the purpose
of supplanting Yasser Arafat and the organizations of the Palestine
Liberation Organization (see EIR, Dec. 6).
Even more to the point, the Osama bin Laden
authorship of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has been a cover story
from the first moments the media began reporting it as fact. Interviewed
on the morning of Sept. 11 as the attacks were unfolding, LaRouche
made clear that the breadth and sophistication of these attacks
showed that it was "an inside job," involving U.S. military
and intelligence operatives capable of defeating or neutralizing
all existing and backup security systems. Bin Laden was named
as the culprit, explains LaRouche, because his name provided entry
into the policy of a Clash of Civilizations against Islam, which
right-wing neo-conservatives in the Bush Administration have as
their goal. LaRouche has also pointedly asked when Osama bin Laden
stopped being an American agent—a reality that the "Islamic
card" networks of Zbigniew Brzezinski and the Iran-Contra financiers
of the Afghansi mujahideen, want to bury. It must also be asked,
when did al-Qaeda stop working for British intelligence? EIR has
documented that British foreign intelligence, MI6, worked closely
with so-called Islamist terrorist groups safe-housed in Britain,
to destabilize Arab and Muslim nations, in the geopolitical service
of Her Majesty's government, and an Anglo-American imperial faction.
As recently as November, this coverup of British/U.S. covert support
for terrorism continued, with the case of David Shayler, a former
MI5 agent who was sentenced to six months in jail for disclosing
"government secret information." Shayler told London Guardian
reporter Martin Bright that MI6 hired one of Osama bin Laden's closest
collaborators—Anas al-Liby, who remains on the U.S. government's
Most Wanted List, with a reward of $25 million for his capture—to
assassinate Libya's Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi in 1996. Bright, who
could not publish the article in the Guardian, but did so in the
Pakistani daily, The Dawn, on Oct. 30, received a gag order from
the British Attorney General, threatening him with prison, if he
publishes any more information from Shayler.
With this background in mind, the public revelations about the
Mossad attempts to set up al-Qaeda cells, could have strategic consequences
for the discredited Sharon government—and even more broadly
for the Clash of Civilizations zealots covering up the truth about
Sept. 11. The Palestinian revelations could become the "straw
that broke the camel's back," in this dirty war.
| Various Sources
| Bush Lies
| Flashbacks from Signs of the Times
| "Bush Lied, My Son Died"
| SOTT Editorial
"There is a chance for the President of the United States
to use this disaster to carry out what his father....a phrase his
father used .. I think only once.. and hasn't been used since..
and that is a New World Order" - Gary Hart Co-Chair of the
CFR, Former Senator of Colorado at the CFR meeting on CSpan after
"The process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary
change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and
catalyzing event -- like a new Pearl Harbor" - Project
for a New American Century
But in the meantime, it is imperative that no Eurasian
challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also
challenging America. The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated
Eurasian geostrategy is therefore the purpose of this book...The
attitude of the American public toward the external projection of
American power has been much more ambivalent. The public supported
America's engagement in World War II largely because of the shock
effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor." - 'The Grand
Chessboard American Primacy And It's Geostrategic Imperatives'
- Zbigniew Brzezinski, Basic Books, 1997.
"On the evening of December 6, 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt,
the president of the United States, received a message intercepted
by the U.S. Navy. Sent from Tokyo to the Japanese embassy in Washington.
It was imperative that the president see the message right away
because it revealed that the Japanese, under the heavy pressure
of Western economic sanctions, were terminating relations with the
United States. Roosevelt read the thirteen-part transmission, looked
up and announced, "This means war."
He then did a very strange thing for a president in his situation.
"We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame
casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful
wave of national indignation. We could develop a Communist Cuban
terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even
in Washington...create an exact duplicate for a civil registered
At a designated time the duplicate would be
selected passengers, all boarded under carefully prepared
aliases. The actual registered aircraft would be converted to a
drone [a remotely controlled unmanned aircraft]
of (that) aircraft will be triggered by radio signal." -
Admiral Lyman Lemnitzer head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Operation Northwoods, 1962
"The attack will be spectacular and designed to inflict mass
casualties against U.S. facilities or interests. Attack preparations
have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning."
- CIA Intelligence Report for President Bush, July, 2001
(60 Days Prior to 9/11)
"Americans will become increasingly vulnerable to hostile
attack on our homeland, and our military superiority will not entirely
protect us. Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly
in large numbers.' This was the first conclusion of our Commission
after almost one year of investigation of what we called the 'New
World Coming', which we described in our first public report. That
conclusion was delivered on September 15, 1999, almost exactly two
years to the day before our prediction came true." - Gary
Hart, co-chair, U.S. Commission on National Security/21st CenturyUnited
States Senate, testimony before the Committee on Government Affairs
United States Capitol Washington, D. C. September 21,2001
attack known by 1998
Sydney Morning Herald
September 20 2002
The United States intelligence community was told in 1998 that
Arab terrorists were planning to fly a bomb-laden aircraft into
the World Trade Centre, but the FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration
did not take the threat seriously, a congressional investigation
into the September 11 attacks has found. [...]
"For 60 decisive minutes, the military and intelligence agencies
let the fighter planes stay on the ground, 48 hours later, however,
the FBI presented a list of suicide attackers. Within ten days,
it emerged that seven of them were still alive. And why did the
FBI chief take no position regarding contradictions? Where the list
came from, why it was false? If I were the chief investigator (state
attorney) in such a case, I would regularly go to the public, and
give information on which leads are valid and which not. But a government
which goes to war, must first establish who the attacker, the enemy,
is. It has a duty to provide evidence. According to its own admission,
it has not been able to present any evidence that would hold up
in court." - Andreas Von Buelow, former German Defense Minister,
interview in the German daily 'Tagesspiegel,' on Jan. 13, 2002
"Whoever wants to understand the CIA's methods, has to deal
with its main tasks, [covert operations]: below the level of war,
and outside international law, foreign states are to be influenced,
by organizing insurrections, terrorist attacks, usually combined
with drugs and weapons trade, and money laundering. This is essentially
very simple: One arms violent people with weapons. Since, however,
it must not under any circumstances come out, that there is an intelligence
agency behind it, all traces are erased, with tremendous deployment
of resources. I have the impression that this kind of intelligence
agency spends 90% of its time this way: creating false leads. So
that, if anyone suspects the collaboration of the agencies, he is
accused of the sickness of conspiracy madness. The
truth often comes out only years later. CIA chief Allen Dulles once
said: In case of doubt, I would even lie to the Congress!"
- Andreas Von Buelow, former German Defense Minister
- Bush Knew - An American Requiem
"[H]aving just been told the country was under attack the
commander in chief appeared uninterested in further details. He
never asked if there had been any additional threats, where the
attacks were coming from, how to best protect the country from further
attacks, or what the current status of NORAD or the Federal Emergency
Management Agency. Nor did he call for an immediate return to Washington.
Instead, in the middle of a modern-day Pearl Harbor, he simply
turned back to the matter at hand; the day's photo op. Precious
minutes were ticking by, and many more lives were at risk. 'Really
good readers, whew!' he told the class as the electronic flashes
once again began to blink and the video cameras rolled. 'These must
be sixth graders." - From James Bamford's "Body of
No Arabs on Flight 77
By Thomas R. Olmsted, M.D
A list of names on a piece of paper is not evidence, but an autopsy
by a pathologist, is. I undertook by FOIA request, to obtain that
autopsy list and you are invited to view it below. Guess what? Still
no Arabs on the list. It is my opinion that the monsters who planned
this crime made a mistake by not including Arabic names on the original
list to make the ruse seem more believable.[...]
On September 27th, the FBI published photos of the "hijackers"
of Flight 77:
No Arabs wound up on the morgue slab; however, three ADDITIONAL
people not listed by American Airline sneaked in. I have seen no
explanation for these extras.
"We were the first ones in the second tower after the plane
struck. I was taking firefighters up in the elevator to the 24th
floor to get in position to evacuate workers. On the last trip up
a bomb went off. We think there was bombs set in the building. I
had just asked another firefighter to stay with me, which was a
good thing because we were trapped inside the elevator and he had
the tools to get out." - Louie Cacchioli, 51, is a firefighter
assigned to Engine 47 in Harlem
Force Officer Delivers Blistering Excoriation Of Bush
Says Bush is Responsible for September 11th Attacks
A US Air Force officer in California recently accused President
Bush of deliberately allowing the September 11 terror attacks to
take place. The officer has been relieved of his command and faces
further discipline. The controversy surrounding Lt. Col. Steve Butler's
letter to the editor, in which he affirmed that Bush did nothing
to warn the American people because he "needed this war on
terrorism," received scant coverage in the media.
Universally ignored by the press, however, was that the officer
was not merely expressing a personal opinion. He was in a position
to have direct knowledge of contacts between the US military and
some of the hijackers in the period before the terrorist attacks
that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon.
"The most important thing is for us
to find Osama bin Laden. It is our Number one priority and we will
not rest until we find him!" - GW Bush, September
"I don't know where bin Laden is. I
have no idea and I really don't care. It's not that important. It's
not our priority." - GW Bush, March 13, 2002
of civilians die in US attack on Afghanistan
corruption and poverty everywhere in 'liberated' Afghanistan.
opium production leaps with overthrow of Taleban
to 10,000 civilians die in Iraq Invasion
Rises In Baghdad- Saddam's Gone, Heroin Is Back
Movies Proliferate in Post-Saddam Iraq
women 'forced to veil' - significant increase in rape
The Bush Administration's Top 40 Lies About War and Terrorism
By STEVE PERRY
July 30, 2003
Editors' note: In the interest of relative
brevity we've stinted on citing and quoting sources in some of the
items below. You can find links to news stories that elaborate on
each of these items at Perry's online Bush Wars column.
1) The administration was not bent on war with
Iraq from 9/11 onward.
Throughout the year leading up to war, the White House publicly
maintained that the U.S. took weapons inspections seriously, that
diplomacy would get its chance, that Saddam had the opportunity
to prevent a U.S. invasion. The most pungent and concise evidence
to the contrary comes from the president's own mouth. According
to Time's March 31 road-to-war story, Bush popped in on national
security adviser Condi Rice one day in March 2002, interrupting
a meeting on UN sanctions against Iraq. Getting a whiff of the subject
matter, W peremptorily waved his hand and told her, "Fuck Saddam.
We're taking him out." Clare Short, Tony Blair's former secretary
for international development, recently lent further credence to
the anecdote. She told the London Guardian that Bush and Blair made
a secret pact a few months afterward, in the summer of 2002, to
invade Iraq in either February or March of this year.
Last fall CBS News obtained meeting notes taken by a Rumsfeld aide
at 2:40 on the afternoon of September 11, 2001. The notes indicate
that Rumsfeld wanted the "best info fast. Judge whether good
enough hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] at same time. Not only UBL [Usama
bin Laden].... Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not."
Rumsfeld's deputy Paul Wolfowitz, the Bushmen's leading intellectual
light, has long been rabid on the subject of Iraq. He reportedly
told Vanity Fair writer Sam Tanenhaus off the record that he believes
Saddam was connected not only to bin Laden and 9/11, but the 1995
Oklahoma City bombing.
The Bush administration's foreign policy plan was not based on
September 11, or terrorism; those events only brought to the forefront
a radical plan for U.S. control of the post-Cold War world that
had been taking shape since the closing days of the first Bush presidency.
Back then a small claque of planners, led by Wolfowitz, generated
a draft document known as Defense Planning Guidance, which envisioned
a U.S. that took advantage of its lone-superpower status to consolidate
American control of the world both militarily and economically,
to the point where no other nation could ever reasonably hope to
challenge the U.S. Toward that end it envisioned what we now call
"preemptive" wars waged to reset the geopolitical table.
After a copy of DPG was leaked to the New York Times, subsequent
drafts were rendered a little less frank, but the basic idea never
changed. In 1997 Wolfowitz and his true believers--Richard Perle,
William Kristol, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld--formed an organization
called Project for the New American Century to carry their cause
forward. And though they all flocked around the Bush administration
from the start, W never really embraced their plan until the events
of September 11 left him casting around for a foreign policy plan.
2) The invasion of Iraq was based on a reasonable
belief that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction that posed
a threat to the U.S., a belief supported by available intelligence
Paul Wolfowitz admitted to Vanity Fair that weapons of mass destruction
were not really the main reason for invading Iraq: "The decision
to highlight weapons of mass destruction as the main justification
for going to war in Iraq was taken for bureaucratic reasons....
[T]here were many other important factors as well." Right.
But they did not come under the heading of self-defense.
We now know how the Bushmen gathered their prewar intelligence:
They set out to patch together their case for invading Iraq and
ignored everything that contradicted it. In the end, this required
that Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, et al. set aside the findings of analysts
from the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (the Pentagon's
own spy bureau) and stake their claim largely on the basis of isolated,
anecdotal testimony from handpicked Iraqi defectors. (See #5, Ahmed
Chalabi.) But the administration did not just listen to the defectors;
it promoted their claims in the press as a means of enlisting public
opinion. The only reason so many Americans thought there was a connection
between Saddam and al Qaeda in the first place was that the Bushmen
trotted out Iraqi defectors making these sorts of claims to every
major media outlet that would listen.
Here is the verdict of Gregory Thielman, the recently retired head
of the State Department's intelligence office: "I believe the
Bush administration did not provide an accurate picture to the American
people of the military threat posed by Iraq. This administration
has had a faith-based intelligence attitude--we know the answers,
give us the intelligence to support those answers." Elsewhere
he has been quoted as saying, "The principal reasons that Americans
did not understand the nature of the Iraqi threat in my view was
the failure of senior administration officials to speak honestly
about what the intelligence showed."
3) Saddam tried to buy uranium in Niger.
Lies and distortions tend to beget more lies and distortions, and
here is W's most notorious case in point: Once the administration
decided to issue a damage-controlling (they hoped) mea culpa in
the matter of African uranium, they were obliged to couch it in
another, more perilous lie: that the administration, and quite likely
Bush himself, thought the uranium claim was true when he made it.
But former acting ambassador to Iraq Joseph Wilson wrote an op-ed
in the New York Times on July 6 that exploded the claim. Wilson,
who traveled to Niger in 2002 to investigate the uranium claims
at the behest of the CIA and Dick Cheney's office and found them
to be groundless, describes what followed this way: "Although
I did not file a written report, there should be at least four documents
in U.S. government archives confirming my mission. The documents
should include the ambassador's report of my debriefing in Niamey,
a separate report written by the embassy staff, a CIA report summing
up my trip, and a specific answer from the agency to the office
of the vice president (this may have been delivered orally). While
I have not seen any of these reports, I have spent enough time in
government to know that this is standard operating procedure."
4) The aluminum tubes were proof of a nuclear
The very next sentence of Bush's State of the Union address was
just as egregious a lie as the uranium claim, though a bit cagier
in its formulation. "Our intelligence sources tell us that
[Saddam] has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes
suitable for nuclear weapons production." This is altogether
false in its implication (that this is the likeliest use for these
materials) and may be untrue in its literal sense as well. As the
London Independent summed it up recently, "The U.S. persistently
alleged that Baghdad tried to buy high-strength aluminum tubes whose
only use could be in gas centrifuges, needed to enrich uranium for
nuclear weapons. Equally persistently, the International Atomic
Energy Agency said the tubes were being used for artillery rockets.
The head of the IAEA, Mohamed El Baradei, told the UN Security Council
in January that the tubes were not even suitable for centrifuges."
5) Iraq's WMDs were sent to Syria for hiding.
Or Iran, or.... "They shipped them out!" was a rallying
cry for the administration in the first few nervous weeks of finding
no WMDs, but not a bit of supporting evidence has emerged.
6) The CIA was primarily responsible for any
prewar intelligence errors or distortions regarding Iraq.
Don't be misled by the news that CIA director George Tenet has
taken the fall for Bush's falsehoods in the State of the Uranium
address. As the journalist Robert Dreyfuss wrote shortly before
the war, "Even as it prepares for war against Iraq, the Pentagon
is already engaged on a second front: its war against the Central
Intelligence Agency. The Pentagon is bringing relentless pressure
to bear on the agency to produce intelligence reports more supportive
of war with Iraq. ... Morale inside the U.S. national-security apparatus
is said to be low, with career staffers feeling intimidated and
pressured to justify the push for war."
In short, Tenet fell on his sword when he vetted Bush's State of
the Union yarns. And now he has had to get up and fall on it again.
7) An International Atomic Energy Agency report
indicated that Iraq could be as little as six months from making
Alas: The claim had to be retracted when the IAEA pointed out that
no such report existed.
8) Saddam was involved with bin Laden and al
Qaeda in the plotting of 9/11.
One of the most audacious and well-traveled of the Bushmen's fibs,
this one hangs by two of the slenderest evidentiary threads imaginable:
first, anecdotal testimony by isolated, handpicked Iraqi defectors
that there was an al Qaeda training camp in Iraq, a claim CIA analysts
did not corroborate and that postwar U.S. military inspectors conceded
did not exist; and second, old intelligence accounts of a 1991 meeting
in Baghdad between a bin Laden emissary and officers from Saddam's
intelligence service, which did not lead to any subsequent contact
that U.S. or UK spies have ever managed to turn up. According to
former State Department intelligence chief Gregory Thielman, the
consensus of U.S. intelligence agencies well in advance of the war
was that "there was no significant pattern of cooperation between
Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist operation."
9) The U.S. wants democracy in Iraq and the Middle
Democracy is the last thing the U.S. can afford in Iraq, as anyone
who has paid attention to the state of Arab popular sentiment already
realizes. Representative government in Iraq would mean the rapid
expulsion of U.S. interests. Rather, the U.S. wants westernized,
secular leadership regimes that will stay in pocket and work to
neutralize the politically ambitious anti-Western religious sects
popping up everywhere. If a little brutality and graft are required
to do the job, it has never troubled the U.S. in the past. Ironically,
these standards describe someone more or less like Saddam Hussein.
Judging from the state of civil affairs in Iraq now, the Bush administration
will no doubt be looking for a strongman again, if and when they
are finally compelled to install anyone at all.
10) Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress
are a homegrown Iraqi political force, not a U.S.-sponsored front.
Chalabi is a more important bit player in the Iraq war than most
people realize, and not because he was the U.S.'s failed choice
to lead a post-Saddam government. It was Chalabi and his INC that
funneled compliant defectors to the Bush administration, where they
attested to everything the Bushmen wanted to believe about Saddam
and Iraq (meaning, mainly, al Qaeda connections and WMD programs).
The administration proceeded to take their dubious word over that
of the combined intelligence of the CIA and DIA, which indicated
that Saddam was not in the business of sponsoring foreign terrorism
and posed no imminent threat to anyone.
Naturally Chalabi is despised nowadays round the halls of Langley,
but it wasn't always so. The CIA built the Iraqi National Congress
and installed Chalabi at the helm back in the days following Gulf
War I, when the thought was to topple Saddam by whipping up and
sponsoring an internal opposition. It didn't work; from the start
Iraqis have disliked and distrusted Chalabi. Moreover, his erratic
and duplicitous ways have alienated practically everyone in the
U.S. foreign policy establishment as well--except for Rumsfeld's
Department of Defense, and therefore the White House.
to read about the other 30 Bush lies on this list, with further
[...] The coup that brought the Ba'ath Party
to power in 1963 was celebrated by the United States.
The CIA had a hand in it. They had funded the Ba'ath Party - of
which Saddam Hussein was a young member - when it was in opposition.
US diplomat James Akins served in the Baghdad Embassy at the time.
"I knew all the Ba'ath Party leaders and I liked them,"
he told me.
"The CIA were definitely involved in that
coup. We saw the rise of the Ba'athists as a way of replacing a
pro-Soviet government with a pro-American one and you don't get
that chance very often.
"Sure, some people were rounded up and shot but these were
mostly communists so that didn't bother us".
This happy co-existence lasted right through the 1980s.
When the Ayatollah Khomeini seized power in Iran
in 1979, America set about turning Saddam Hussein into Our Man in
the Gulf Region.
Washington gave Baghdad intelligence support.
President Reagan sent a special presidential envoy to Baghdad to
talk to Saddam in person.
The envoy's name was Donald Rumsfeld.
Everyone knew that Saddam was using chemical weapons against Iranian
When 5,000 Kurds were gassed at Halabja in 1988, Kurdish leaders
turned to America for help. Mahmoud Osman was one of them.
Halabja, when Saddam used weapons of mass destruction: "I
couldn't get any of my friends in the State Department to return
my calls," he said. [...]
Erie, PA - George Bush's smoke-and-mirrors bus tour breezed
into Erie for about an hour Saturday, just long enough to chase
the Bill of Rights out of town.
Since Bush doesn't like to see those who disagree
with his policies, he has ordered the Secret Service to create "Free
Speech Zones." A Free Speech Zone is a pen, enclosure, or blocked
off street far from King George's presence. Here his opponents may
express their First Amendment rights where they will not be seen
or heard and where they will have no effect. In this case, a Free
Speech Zone is a moronic oxymoron.
I must admit that the Bush campaign team is getting smarter when
it comes to dodging protest demonstrations. In Erie, Bush wasn't
scheduled to arrive until 3:30 p.m. His bus showed up an hour ahead
What makes this significant is that the local Kerry campaign had
organized a counter rally in the city square, 20 blocks north of
the stadium. That rally, which attracted about 300 Kerry supporters
and Bush haters of all stripes, got started at about 1:30. The plan
was for those attending the rally to walk the 20 blocks up State
Street after the speeches had ended to give Bush the welcome he
deserved. As it turned out, Bush was already in the stadium by the
time the demonstrators arrived at the "Free Speech Zone."
Being a block away from the stadium, we couldn't hear a word Bush
said, which, when you think of it, isn't that great a loss. The
local newspaper said it was exactly the same speech he'd given several
hours before in a small Ohio town.
All we could hear was the roar of the adoring crowd over and over
and over as if they hadn't heard it all before over and over and
over. They didn't care. They acted like Jesus reincarnated was speaking
from the mountain top. From what I've read, Bush himself thinks
he has a direct line to Jesus. I somehow doubt that Jesus would
pick up the phone.
The swelling cheers, jeers, and applause did remind
me of another well known historical figure who knew how to whip
up a crowd into a mindless frenzy. It's not likely that the guy
I'm thinking of could favorably be compared to Jesus.
As I said, these Bushies know what they're doing. They don't miss
a trick. The Bush campaign committee managed
to fill the 18,000 seat stadium to beyond its capacity by busing
supporters in from anywhere their tentacles could reach.
For example, while Kerry is habitually notoriously late for campaign
appearances, as was Bill Clinton, the Bushies make it a point to
be right on time. This time they made it a point to get to the stadium
well before those nasty, unpatriotic protesters could get within
range. Pretty clever, I must admit.
The Republican-orchestrated rally at Veterans Stadium set a dubious
standard for Orwellian double-speak. Erie County GOP Chairman John
Mizner had announced that Bush's campaign appearance was open to
the public but those attending needed to get tickets from Republican
campaign headquarters in order to gain admission.
However, the good folks at Republican headquarters reserved the
right to deny tickets to those they considered unacceptable--unacceptable
being anyone who did not indicate undying fealty to the Republican
Party or who might be considered a troublemaker, a troublemaker
being one who might, perhaps, disagree with Bush's policies. So
much for the Bush rally being open to the public.
Since anyone entering Veterans Stadium had to have a ticket, Erie
Police Chief Charles Bowers ruled that the police had an obligation
to keep protesters at least a block away from the stadium because
Bush's campaign appearance was, to use his words, "a private
event by invitation only." Did someone forget to tell the police
chief that Veterans Stadium is owned by the taxpayers of the city
and that the public has a right to attend an event billed as "open
to the public"? Or, at the very least, all citizens should
enjoy the same access to public sidewalks--the sidewalk across the
street from the stadium would do--as those attending the private
party. Why did the Secret Service or Chief Bowers deem it necessary
to cordon off the streets--from anyone who did not have a magic
ticket--with a phalanx of armed police officers backed up by a contingent
of police mounted on horses?
Actually, every street within two blocks of the stadium was shut
down. Residents living inside the security zone were ordered to
remain indoors. Otherwise, they would be considered potential terrorists.
Ah, the joys of living in the land of the free.
For some inexplicable reason, the "invitation only" rule
remained in effect long after the Bush bus headed to the airport.
As the GOP faithful streamed out of the stadium and walked up West
26th Street or down State Street, demonstrators were still denied
access to the public streets and sidewalks. Thus
we had the spectacle of smug Republicans jauntily walking along
the sidewalks while protesters were forbidden to use the very same
Why? The "invitation only" event "open to the public"
was over; Bush was long gone. Shouldn't the barriers have gone down
after Elvis left the building?
The upshot of it all is that Bush's private party
that drew Republicans from near and far, many of them bused in from
points unknown, cost the taxpayers of the City of Erie more than
$100,000 in overtime pay to law enforcement officers and in providing
other security measures. In other words, Bush's visit was a financial
nightmare for the city.
Shouldn't the Bush Campaign get a bill for services rendered?
Then there were all those people who discovered they were temporarily
living in a cordoned-off ghetto. And, of course, the entire spectacle
made a mockery of the United States Constitution, which, as I recall,
the president swore to uphold and defend.
But why quibble about such minor inconveniences? The President
came to town! The President came to town! Hurray!
Regis T. Sabol is a contributing editor to Intervention Magazine.
He is also editor of A New Deal: an online magazine of political,
social, and cultural thought. You can email him at Regis@interventionmag.com
Saying the Patriot Act has helped prevent
further terrorist attacks on America, Attorney General John Ashcroft
yesterday called for even tougher law-enforcement tools.
In Tampa, Fla., Ashcroft reissued a warning that terrorists intend
to attack the U.S. and that the upcoming Fourth of July holiday
and political conventions should be considered prime targets.
"We are a nation at war," Ashcroft said. "There
are times when 9-11 may seem like a distant memory, but it is not.
Al-Qaida wants to hit us and hit us hard."
Ashcroft said the nation is entering a "season of symbolic
events" that might become terrorist targets. While
not wanting the public to be fearful and not enjoy the upcoming
holiday, he urged people to be vigilant.
His warnings, similar to ones issued in late May, followed a visit
in Tampa to an anti-terrorism group meeting at the Port of Tampa,
considered by many law-enforcement officials to be one of Florida's
prime targets for a possible attack.
The attorney general's visit to the Tampa Anti-Terrorism Advisory
Council, a group of local and federal law-enforcement officials,
was part pep talk and part lobbying effort for additional anti-terror
He said the changes made by the Patriot Act in the years since
the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks gave government agencies the ability
to share information, but investigators still need additional powers.
Civil-liberties groups have criticized the Patriot Act, saying
it weakens judicial review and other checks to law enforcement's
surveillance and investigative powers.
Ashcroft argued that law enforcement needs more
powers, not fewer.
Among those he called for are the power for investigators
to subpoena business records in terrorism investigations on their
own rather than through a grand jury and a federal death penalty
for some terrorism attacks in which people are killed.
Ashcroft is also asking Congress to allow judges
to impose the death penalty for those convicted of terrorist activities
that do not now have death penalty specifications.
(AP) - A top Homeland Security official has apologized to Sen. Edward
M. Kennedy who was stopped at airports because a name similar to
his appeared on the government's no-fly list of terror suspects.
"If they have that kind of difficulty with a member of Congress,
how in the world are average Americans, who are getting caught up
in this thing, how are they going to be treated fairly and not have
their rights abused?" Kennedy asked Homeland Security undersecretary
Average Americans are not going to be treated fairly -
isn't that the whole point?
The Massachusetts Democrat said he'd been misidentified on the
watch list when he tried to board airliners between Washington and
Boston. Kennedy said he was stopped five times as he tried to board
US Airways shuttles because a name similar to his appeared on a
list or his name popped up for additional screening.
Hutchinson, who apologized for "any inconvenience" to
the senator, testified Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee
on the need for the federal government to take over the watch lists,
which are currently administered by the airlines.
Another prominent Democratic member of Congress, Rep. John Lewis
of Georgia, said Friday the same thing has happened to him for months.
Lewis said he can't get an electronic ticket, must show extra identification
and has his luggage combed through by hand.
"I said, 'I'm the most nonviolent person to get on this plane
and the most peaceful person to get on this plane,'" said Lewis,
a pioneer of the civil rights movement.
Lewis said one airline representative in Atlanta told him, "Once
you're on the list, there's no way to get off it." Lewis said
he filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security and
even considered a lawsuit.
This week, Lewis got a call from another John Lewis - a faculty
member at the University of Houston - who told him he also was on
a no-fly list.
"It's weird," he said. "But I like
being classed with Ted Kennedy and the congressman. It makes me
feel more important."
Kennedy said he was stopped at airports in Washington, D.C., and
Boston three times in March. Airline agents told him he would not
be sold a ticket because his name was on a list.
When he asked the agent why, he was told, "We
can't tell you."
Each time, a supervisor recognized Kennedy and got him on the flight.
But after the third incident, Kennedy's staff called the Transportation
Security Administration and asked to clear up the confusion.
The TSA said a name similar to Kennedy's was on the watch list,
and that he was later flagged to go through additional screening.
TSA also said that the airlines didn't handle the matter properly.
But twice after contacting TSA, Kennedy was stopped again at the
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed lawsuits in San Francisco
and Seattle over this issue, demanding that the government explain
how wrongly flagged travelers can get off the lists.
Hutchinson said that people who experience problems can call the
TSA ombudsman to clear things up.
After paying a fee and submitting to an extensive
background check, airline passengers may be entitled to special
As the number of airline passengers starts to soar with the temperature,
the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is finally taking
a significant step toward speeding the security process for at least
some flyers. Aviation sources tell Time that this week the TSA will
announce the launch of a three-month trial of its Registered Traveler
program, which will start at five airports, beginning in Minneapolis—St.
Paul and then in other cities, including Los Angeles and Houston.
A sort of fast track for frequent flyers, the program aims to let
approved passengers use less crowded lanes to the security checkpoints
and possibly avoid such routine security measures as removing their
shoes and coats. To gain that privilege, passengers must submit
to an extensive background check, including searches of commercial
and government databases. After being approved and paying a small
annual fee (yet to be determined), they would be issued a card—containing
a biometric identifier (a fingerprint, for example) and personal
data—that shows they're entitled to the special security treatment.
The initiative comes not a moment too soon. Almost 200 million
people are expected to fly this summer, a 12% increase from last
year, yet the cash-strapped TSA has had to lay off thousands of
screeners. Up to 15% of passengers are still being singled out for
extra screening because of outdated parameters like buying a one-way
ticket or paying in cash. The TSA has fumbled efforts to improve
the screening procedures and carry out a new color-coded system
that verifies the identity and assesses the risk of every passenger.
Critics of the pilot program doubt it will make the security process
much easier for prescreened travelers. But airport officials are
supportive. "We love the idea," says Tim Anderson, an
executive director of the Minneapolis—St. Paul International
Airport. "It helps move us away from treating everyone the
same and searching for the needle in the haystack."
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