More highlights of the JFK investigation will be added soonThe initial activities of Oswald after the assassination according to the Warren report seem at best improbable if not impossible. He was initially seen a couple minutes after the assassination getting a coke. They did a test run to prove that it was physically possible to run down the stairs although it seems unlikely nor is it likely that this is the way he would have behaved if he really did just shoot JFK as the Warren report claims. He then left the book depository takes a bus heading back to the depository after going several blocks gets off after a short distance. He then gets a cab and takes this for a short distance; heads back to his rooming house puts on a coat: heads in different direction where he meet patrolman Tippit. He shoots Tippit four times with a revolver then removes the cartridges which are later found at the scene. If he was using a revolver as the Warren report claims there would have been no need to remove the cartridges instead he could have kept them in his gun without leaving evidence behind. If on the other hand the person who shot Tippit used an automatic the cartridges would have ejected automatically and the shooter would have had to have taken the time to pick up the cartridges to avoid leaving evidence. In this case the shooter may not have wanted to do this and he might have left in a hurry to avoid getting shot. Furthermore the four bullets and cartridges found were from two different manufacturers. 3 of the four bullets found were manufactured by Winchester-Western and the other one was manufactured by Remington-Peters. 2 of each cartridge were from each of the 2 manufacturers implying that at least 5 shots were probably fired and that they may have been from 2 different guns or that one person used 2 types of ammunition in the same gun as the Warren Commission claimed. There are some doubts about whether or not the witnesses actually identified Oswald although the Warren Commission believes they did. Oswald then goes to the theater where he is reported and arrested.
One of the bullets was found on a stretcher which may have been the one used to carry Kennedy. This wasn’t found while Kennedy was on the stretcher and they aren’t even sure whether or not it was the right stretcher. This is an extremely unusual way of finding a bullet which I have never heard of happening anywhere else; however the Warren Commission accepts this explanation with little or no questions. This Bullet is the one that was later described as the “Magic Bullet” that Arlen Specter claims went through both JFK and Governor Connelly.
Connelly’s coat was cleaned and pressed before it could be tested for evidence according to the Warren report. This had bullet holes in it and there was no reason to believe that it would ever be used again therefore there should have been no reason to clean it; however it was important evidence that never should have been tampered with. The warren Commission says little or nothing about the inappropriate handling of evidence.
At the trial of clay Shaw officer Billy Joe Martin testified that he saw a red substance on his motorcycle, helmet and uniform shortly after the assassination of JFK. He mentions cleaning the motorcycle before the incident clearly indicating it wasn’t there before the assassination; however there is little or no mention of testing after the assassination. The judge and the lawyers declined to allow him to say whether or not he recognized it as blood on the grounds that he wasn’t an expert qualified to recognize blood although that was the clear implications and most people realize that blood isn’t that hard to recognize under these circumstances. The fact that they don’t mention whether or not the Motorcycle was tested for evidence implies that they may not have preserved this evidence. There is some indication that not only was his motorcycle, Connolly’s jacket cleaned without preserving the evidence but the limousine may have also been cleaned without preserving evidence. This isn’t all conclusive according to the Warren Report but they don’t mention it whether and they don’t do much if anything to refute claims that the evidence was destroyed.
Officer Fritz did most of the interviewing of Oswald and there were no records or tapes kept of the interview which is a violation of procedure according to many people. This includes Chief Curry who was quoted in the warren Report as saying “we were violating every principle of interrogation…. It was just against all principles of good interrogation practice.”
At the trial of Clay Shaw Pierre Finck testified that they didn’t follow normal procedure during the autopsy due to orders from many people of higher ranks that may not have had the qualifications to direct the autopsy and it seems to indicate that they were more concerned with following orders and keeping secrets than conducting an appropriate investigation.
The Warren Commission report acknowledges that the behavior of the Secret Service the night before was inappropriate and that they drinking and may have been unprepared for work the next day.
The evidence available may not be enough to determine exactly what happened but there is enough to indicate that the government wasn’t completely honest with the public. If the government is involved in a cover up that indicates that even if they weren’t involved in the assassination themselves they may have been covering for those that were.
The following are some book quotes related to the subject.
“Things cannot be forced from the top…The international relinquishing of sovereignty would have to spring from the people-it would have to be so strong that the elected delegates would be turned out of office if they failed to do it. . . . War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today." (Douglass p 6)
Kennedy threatened “to splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.” NYT 4/25/66
“[This treaty] is particularly for our children and grandchildren and they have no lobby here in Washington.” (P51)
Kennedy to Norman Cousins “One of the ironic things about this entire situation is that Mr. Khrushchev and I are occupy approximately the same political positions inside our governments. He would like to prevent a nuclear war but is under severe pressure from his hard-line crowd, which interprets every move in that direction as appeasement. I have similar problems. Meanwhile the lack of progress in reaching agreements between our two countries gives strength to the hard-line boys in both, with the result that the hard-liners in the Soviet Union and the United States feed on one another, each using the actions of the other to justify their own positions.” P 53,345
RFK told Daniel Ellsberg in 1967 that “we would have handled it like Laos” ….. “Because we were there.” They saw what happened to the French and they knew they couldn’t win either. (p108)
“Harry Truman once said there are 14 or 15 million Americans who have the resources to have representatives in Washington to protect their interests, and that the interests of a great mass of other people, the hundred and fifty or sixty million, is the responsibility of the President of the United States. And I propose to fulfill it! (142)
Kennedy to Charles O’Donnell "If I tried to pull out completely now from Vietnam we would have another Joe McCarthy red scare on our hands, but I can do it after I'm reelected. So we had better make damn sure I am reelected." Kennedy to Charles Bartlett "We don't have a prayer of staying in Vietnam. Those people hate us. But I can't give up a piece of territory like that to the Communists and then get the people to reelect me." (p181)
After the Diem coup Kennedy told George Smathers “I’ve got to do something about those bastards.” ….”They should be stripped of their exorbitant power.” (p211)
Conversation with Norman Cousins and Nikita Khrushchev
Cousins: How did it feel to have your fingers so close to the nuclear trigger?
Khrushchev: The Chinese say I was scared. Of course I was scared. It would have been insane not to have been scared. I was frightened about what could happen to my country- or your country and all other countries that would be devastated by a nuclear war. If being frightened meant that I helped avert such insanity then I’m glad I was frightened. One of the problems in the world today is that not enough people are frightened by the danger of nuclear war.” (p341)
Johnson allegedly told the Joint Chief of Staff “Just let me get elected, then you can have your war.” (p376) It is worth noting though that some people including Noam Chomsky, critic of the CIA and military establishment claim the original source for this is questionable.
Johnson to McCone “Do they want war by attacking our ships in the middle of the Gulf of Tonkin?” McCone responded “No. the North Vietnamese are reacting to our [sic] attack on their offshore islands. They are responding out of pride and on the basis of defense considerations.” (Ellsberg p16)
Democratic Senator Ed Johnson of Colorado on the Senate floor in 1954 “I am against sending American GI’s into the mud and muck of Indochina on a bloodletting spree to perpetuate colonialism and white man’s exploitation in Asia.” (p 26-7) It is worth noting that some people have assumed that this quote came from Lyndon Johnson presumably it was misquoted and repeated at some time.
John McNaughton to Michael Forrestal “The trouble with you, Forrestal is that you think we can turn this thing off, and that we can get out of this whenever we want. But I wonder. I think it gets harder every day, each day we lose a little control, each decision we make wrong, or don’t make at all, makes the next decision a little harder because if we haven’t stopped it today, the reason for not stopping will still exist tomorrow and we’ll be in deeper.” (p55)
Lodge continued with the arresting statements ; “You’ve got a gentleman in the White House right now [LBJ] who has spent most of his life rigging election. I’ve spent most of my life rigging elections I spent nine whole months rigging a Republican Convention to choose Ike as a candidate rather than Bob Taft. If that was bad…” Nixon and I would have taken Chicago in 1960 if there had been an honest count. The republican machine there was simply lazy; they didn’t get out the vote, and they didn’t have anyone watching the polls. But I don’t blame democrats for that, I blame Republicans. There is just a limit to how naïve or hypocritical we can afford to be out here.” Lodge turned to Porter and said, “is that responsive to your question?”
Porter, looking slightly taken aback, said, “I just thought General Lansdale should stay close to General Thang on the issue of elections.”
Lodge replied, “Well I want General Lansdale to stay close to Thang on the subject of elections; and I want General Lansdale to stay close to thang on the subject of pacification which I think is a great deal more important.” Later he declared, “Get it across to the press that they shouldn’t apply higher standards here in Vietnam than they do in the US.” But in a cable responding to State’s concerns that same morning, the ambassador had put it slightly differently: “The first steps for us in Saigon and in Washington are to make it clear to the press and to congress that Vietnam should not be judged by American standards.” (p107)
Getting right to business, Lansdale said, “Mr. Vice President, we want to help general Thang make this the most honest election that’s ever been held in Vietnam.”
“Oh, sure, honest, yes, that’s right”- Nixon was seating himself in an armchair next to Lansdale- “so long as you win!” With the last words he did three things in quick succession: winked, drove his elbow hard into Lansdale’s arm, and, in a return motion, slapped his own knee. My colleagues turned to stone. (Ellsberg p 108)
Kissinger said to Ellsberg “How can you conduct diplomacy without a threat of escalation? Without that there is no basis for negotiations.” Ellsberg replied “Well, Henry, a lot of negotiation, a lot of bargaining, does go on in the world without a threat of bombing.” (p235)
When Ellsberg asked Halperin how many Vietnamese would want the war to end no matter which side won Halperin said “I suppose 80 or 90%”
Ellsberg drew the following conclusions from his review of the Pantagon papers and his own experiences:
There have been no First and Second Indochina wars, just one continuous conflict for almost a quarter of a century.
In practical terms, on one side, it has been an American war almost from its beginnings ; at first French-American, eventually wholly American. In both cases it was a struggle of Vietnamese- not all of them but enough to persist_ against American policy and American financing, proxies, technicians, firepower, and finally troops and pilots.
Since at least the late 1940’s there had probably never been a year when political violence in Vietnam would have reached or stayed at the scale of a “war” had not the US presidents, Congress, and citizens fueled it with money, weapons, and ultimately manpower; first through the French, then funneled to wholly owned client regimes, and at last directly. Indeed there would have been no war after 1954 if the United States and its Vietnamese collaborators, wholly financed by the United States, had not been determined to frustrate and overturn the process of political resolution by election negotiated at Geneva.
It was no more a “civil war” after 1955 or 1960 than it had been during the US-supported French attempt at colonial reconquest. A war in which one side was entirely equipped and paid by a foreign power- which dictated the nature of the local regime in its own interests- was not a civil war. To say that we had “interfered” in what is “really a civil war,” as most American academic writers and even liberal critics of the war do to this day, simply screened a more painful reality and was as much a myth as the earlier official one of “aggression from the North.” In terms of the UN Charter and of our own avowed ideals, it was a war of foreign aggression, American aggression. (P. 255)
If the war was unjust, as I now regarded it, that meant that every Vietnamese killed by Americans or by the proxies we had financed since 1950 had been killed by us without justification. I could think of no other word for that but murder. Mass Murder. Could it ever be precipitate to end a policy of murder? (P. 257)
“The people who own the country ought to govern it.” John Jay
Judge Lewis Powell wrote to chamber of commerce urging business “to buy the top academic reputations in the country to add credibility to corporate studies and give business a stronger voice on the campuses.” (Herman and Chomsky p23) Under secretary of Agriculture in El Salvador Jorge Alberto Villacorta public statement “I resigned because I believed that it was useless to continue in a government not only incapable of putting an end to the violence but a government which itself is generating the political violence through repression….There exists clear evidence that during the month of March, while I served as undersecretary, recently elected directors of the agricultural enterprises were killed by gunfire…. Recently, in one of the large estates taken over by the agrarian reform uniform members of the security forces accompanied by a masked person pointed out the directors of the self-management group and then these individuals were shot in front of their co-workers.” (p51-2 original source Robert Armstrong and Janet Shenk “El Salvador the Face of Revolution” 1982)
George Schultz in regards to the elections in Nicaragua which he attemted to discredit but not in regards to the elections to El Salvador or Guatemala “The important thing is that if there is to be a an electoral process, it be observed not only at the moment when the people vote, but in all the preliminary aspects that make an election meaningful.” for elections to be meaningful, “rival political groups” must be allowed “to form themselves and have access to people, to have the right of assembly, to have access to the media.” (p90-1 source Philip Taubman NYT 2/6/84)
“The United States is not obliged to apply the same standard of judgment to a country whose government is avowedly hostile to the US as for a country like El Salvador, where it is not. These people [Sandinistas] could bring about a situation in Central America which could pose a threat to US security. That allows us to change our yardstick.” (p91)
In El Salvador in 1981 Duarte acknowledges “the masses are with the guerrillas.” (p125)
John Paul Vann US official “A popular political base for the government of South Vietnam does not exist….. The existing government is oriented toward the exploitation of the rural and lower class urban populations. It is, in fact, a continuation of the French colonial system of government with upper class Vietnamese replacing the French. ... the dissatisfaction of the agrarian population ... is expressed largely through alliance with the NLF [the NLF, or National Liberation Front, (what American politicians and the press called the 'Viet Cong'). (p181)
Ambassador Lodge “It is obvious that the generals are all we’ve got.” (p181)
General Maxwell Taylor spoke about the need of “establishing some reasonably satisfactory government,” replacing it if we are not satisfied, either with civilians, or with “a military dictatorship.” (p182)
By 1967, the war had reached such a level of devastation that, in Fall’s words, “Vietnam as a cultural and historic entity is threatened with extinction, as the countryside literally dies under the blows of the largest military machine ever unleashed on an area of this size.” (42) The strategy of destroying South Vietnam was generally considered a success. Harvard professor and government adviser Samuel Huntington concluded that “In an absent-minded way the US in Vietnam may well have stumbled upon the answer to ‘wars of national liberation,’” namely, “forced-draft urbanization and mobilization” by violence so extreme as “to produce a massive migration from countryside to city,” thus “undercutting the Maoist strategy” of organizing the peasant population (over 80 percent of the population when these techniques were initiated) and undermining the Viet Cong, “a powerful force which cannot be dislodged from its constituency so long as the constituency continues to exist.” (43) (Herman and Chomsky p183) original source Time magazine 1970
McNamara Memo for LBJ “Only the U.S. presence after 1954 held the South together under far more favorable circumstances, and enabled Diem to refuse to go through with the 1954 provision calling for nationwide `free' elections in 1956.” (p187)
William Bundy, soon to become assistant secretary of state for Far Eastern affairs, later commented that “Actually no one on our side knew what the new people were thinking at all…Our requirements were really very simple- we wanted any government which would continue to fight.” The generals however did not want to continue to fight. Rather, along with the prime minister installed as a civilian cove for the military regime, they “wanted to move as rapidly as possible towards transferring the struggle for power in the South from the military to the political level,” leading to “a negotiated agreement among the Vietnamese parties themselves, without American intervention.” They saw the NLF “as preponderantly noncommunist in membership” and largely independent of Hanoi’s control, and regarded a political settlement among the South Vietnamese as feasible in essential agreement with the official NLF program. 61 Kahin Intervention p183 (Herman and Chomsky p189-90)
LBJ to lodge his mission was “knocking down the idea of neutralization wherever it rears its ugly head,” (p190)
‘The extent of US sadism is noteworthy, as in the (null) reaction to it. In 1977, when India tried to send a hundred buffalo to Vietnam to replenish the herds destroyed by US violence, the United States threatened to cancel “food-for-peace” aid, while the press featured photographs of pheasants in Cambodia pulling plows as proof of communist barbarity; the photographs in this case were probably fabrications of the Thai intelligence, but authentic ones could, no doubt, have been obtained throughout Indochina. The Carter administration even denied rice to Laos (despite a cynical pretense to the contrary), where the agricultural system was destroyed by US terror bombing. Oxfam America was not permitted to send solar pumps to Cambodia for irrigation in 1983; in 1981, the US government sought to block a shipment of school supplies and educational kits to Cambodia by the Mennonite Church’ (p247)
Lewis cites Supreme Court Justice Powell, who observed: "no individual can obtain for himself the information needed for the intelligent discharge of his political responsibilities. For most citizens the prospect of personal familiarity with newsworthy events is hopelessly unrealistic. In seeking out the news the press therefore acts as an agent of the public at large. It is the means by which people secure that free flow of information and ideas essential to the intelligent self-government. By enabling the public to assert meaningful control over the political process, the press performs a crucial function in effecting the societal purpose of the First Amendment." Therefore, as Judge Gurfein ruled in supporting the right of the New York Times to publish the Pentagon Papers after the government had failed to show any threat of a breach of security but only the possibility of embarrassment: "a cantankerous press, an obstinate press, a ubiquitous press must be suffered by those in authority in order to preserve the even greater values of freedom of expression and the right of the people to know." (p297) also includes excerpt from also includes excerpt from ruling cited in https://www.cidh.org/annualrep/84.85eng/CostaRica9178.htm
As we have stressed throughout this book, the US media do not function in the manner of the propaganda system of a totalitarian state. Rather, they permit -- indeed, encourage -- spirited debate, criticism, and dissent, as long as these remain faithfully within the system of presuppositions and principles that constitute an elite consensus, a system so powerful as to be internalised largely without awareness." (p 302) also cited in http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/secD3.html
Media analyst Lance Bennet "The public is exposed to powerful persuasive messages from above and is unable to communicate meaningfully through the media in response to these messages.... Leaders have usurped enormous amounts of political power and reduced popular control over the political system by using the media to generate support, compliance, and just plain confusion among the public." (p303)
The purpose of the government-media campaign to undermine the peace process is not obscure. It was important to ensure that Nicaragua would remain under at least a low level of terrorist attack within and military threat at the borders, so that it could not devote its pitiful resources to the awesome and probably hopeless task of reconstruction from U.S. violence, and so that internal controls would allow U.S. commentators to bemoan the lack of freedom in the country targeted for attack. The same logic lay behind the Pentagon directives to the proxy forces (explicitly authorized by the State Department, and considered reasonable by liberal doves) to attack undefended "soft targets." The reasoning was explained by a contra defector who was so important that he had to be as rigorously avoided by the independent media as the Secretary General of the OAS: Horacio Arce, chief of contra (FDN) intelligence, whose nom de guerre was Mercenario ("mercenary") -- talk about "freedom fighters" and "democrats" is for the educated classes at home. Contras were accorded ample media attention, more than the Nicaraguan government, but Arce received a different treatment.
Arce had a good deal to say when interviewed in Mexico in late 1988 after his defection. In particular, he described his illegal training in an airforce base in the southern United States, identified by name the CIA agents who provided support for the contras under an AID cover in the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, outlined how the Honduran army provided intelligence and support for contra military activities, and reported the sale of CIA-supplied Soviet-style arms to the FMLN guerrillas in El Salvador (later offered as "proof" of Cuban and Nicaraguan arms shipments). Arce then explained: "We attack a lot of schools, health centers, and those sort of things. We have tried to make it so that the Nicaraguan government cannot provide social services for the peasants, cannot develop its project...that's the idea." Evidently, the careful U.S. training was successful in getting the basic idea across.
It was never seriously in doubt that congressional liberals and media doves would support measures of economic strangulation and low-level terror guided by these principles until Nicaragua would achieve "democracy" -- that is, until political power passed to business and landowning elites linked to the United States, who are "democrats" for this reason alone, no further questions asked.15 They can also be expected to lend at least tacit support to further Washington efforts to undermine and subvert any government that fails to place the security forces under effective U.S. control or to meet proper standards of subservience to domestic and foreign business interests. (Noam Chomsky "Detering democracy" p79-80)
Eugene Debs “The master class has always brought a war, and the subject class has always fought the battle.” (Zinn p41)
Eisenhower told Henry Stinson “Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary. (p52) also cited at common dreams.org Admiral William Leary “It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.” also cited at Doug-long.com
Norman Cousins was a consultant to General MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan. Cousins writes of his conversations with MacArthur, "MacArthur's views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed." He continues, "When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor."
Norman Cousins, The Pathology of Power, pg. 65, 70-71. cited at Doug-long.com
Douglas MacArthur was allegedly in favor of using the bomb in Korea though and supposedly it was Truman who refused to do so this time.
Colin Powell when asked about Iraqi casualties at end of the first gulf war “That is not a matter I am terribly interested in.” (Zinn p90)
Antonin Scalia at the University of Chicago Divinity School “For the believing Christian death is no big deal.”
“In 1970, the US government and several multinational corporations were linked in opposition to the candidacy and later the presidency of Salvador Allende” (Zinn p.147) original source the Church Committee Report
Amartya Yen “Global capitalism is much more concerned with expanding the domain of market relations than with, say, establishing democracy, expanding elementary education, or enhancing the social opportunities of society's underdogs." (p 210) also cited in the world traveller
“We are here plunged in politics funnier than words can express. Very great issues are involved… But the amusing thing is that no one talks about real interests. By common consent they agree to let these alone. We are afraid to discuss them. Instead of this the press is engaged in a most amusing dispute whether Mr. Cleveland had an illegitimate child and did or did he not live with more than one Mistress.” Henry Adams in the 1880's indicating political tactics still used today. (Zinn "Peoples history of the United States)
The articulation of Washington’s unilateral right to resort to force in the Bush administration’s National Security Strategy broke little new ground. Writing in Foreign Affairs before the 2000 elections, Condoleezza Rice, for example, had condemned the “reflexive appeal… to notions of international laws and norms, and the belief that the support of many states-or even better, of institution like the United Nations –is essential to the legitimate exercise of power.” The US government need not conform to the “illusory ‘norms” of international behavior,” she explained, or “adhere to every international convention and agreement that someone thinks to propose.” Clients and allies apart, all states of course must rigorously obey those norms, as the United States interprets them, or else. (Chomsky “Failed States” p85-6) Foreign affairs article
In 1981, Samuel Huntington, professor of the science of government at Harvard University, explained the functions of the Soviet threat: “you may have to sell” intervention or other military action “in such a way as to create the misimpression that it is the Soviet Union you are fighting. That is what the United States has done ever since the Truman Doctrine.” On the same grounds, he warned a few years later, Mikhail Gorbachev’s “public relations can be as much a threat to American interests in Europe as were [Leonid] Brezhnev’s tanks.” (Chomsky “Failed States” p103)
As historian Charles Bergquist concludes in his review of justifications for interventions in Latin America, “to conserve…faith in liberal democracy” analysts must “distort…evidence, and transform the rational consistency in US policy (the defense of capitalist interests) into irrationality (unfounded fear of Communism).” The same has regularly been true elsewhere as well. (Chomsky “Failed States” p110)
On 9/11 in 1973, after years of subversion of Chilean democracy, support for terror, and “making the economy scream,” General Augusto Pinochet’s forces attacked the Chilean presidential palace.
Subversion of democracy by concentrations of private power, of course, familiar: mainstream commentators casually observe that “business is in complete control of the machinery of government” (Robert Reich), echoing Woodrow Wilson’s observation, days before taking office, that “the masters of the government of the United States are the combined capitalists and manufacturers of the United States”. America’s leading twentieth-century social philosopher, John Dewey, concluded that “politics is the shadow cast on society by big business” and will remain so as long as power resides in “business for private profit through private control of backing, land, industry, reinforced by command of the press, press agents and other means of publicity and propaganda.” Accordingly, reforms will not suffice. Fundamental social change is necessary to bring meaningful democracy. (Chomsky “Failed States” p205-6) cited in this discussion as well
The initial design was articulated clearly by the most influential of the framers, James Madison. He held that power should be in the hands of “the wealth of the nation… the more capable set of men. ”People without property, or the hopes of acquiring it,” he reflected at the end of his life, “cannot be expected to sympathize sufficiently with its rights, to be safe depositories over them.” The rights are not those of property, which has no rights but of property owners, who therefore should have extra rights beyond citizens generally…. . (Chomsky “Failed States” p206-7)
-in Woodrow Wilson’s words- that “most men are the servants of corporations…in a very different America from the old.” In this new America- “no longer a scene of individual enterprise,…individual opportunity, and individual achievement”-“small groups of men in control of great corporations wield a power and control over the wealth and business opportunities of the country.” As the process of corporatization gained force,…..
(Chomsky “Failed States” p208-9) The task of advertising is to undermine the free markets we are taught to admire: mythical entities in which consumers make informed rational choices. In such systems, business would simply provide information about their products: cheap, easy, simple. But it is hardly a secret that they do nothing of the sort. On the contrary, business spends hundreds of billions of dollars a year projecting imagery to delude customers. Uncontroversially, that is the goal of advertising-not providing information….Furthermore, as Veblon pointed out long ago, one of the primary tasks of business propaganda is the “fabrication of consumers,” a device that helps induce “all the classic symptoms of state based totalitarianism: atomization, political apathy and irrationality, the hollowing and banalization of purportedly democratic political processes, mounting popular frustration and so forth.”
The basic observation is as old as Adam Smith, who warned that the interests of merchants and manufacturers are “to deceive or even oppress the public,” as they have done “on many occasions.” By now they are served by major industries that have been created for this purpose. Informed consumer choice is about as realistic as the famed “entrepreneurial initiative” and “free trade.” Except for temporary advantage, the fanciful markets of doctrine and economic theory have never been welcomed- or long tolerated- by those who dominate society.
Sometimes the commitment to deceit takes extreme forms. One illustration is the US-Australia negotiations on a “free trade agreement” from 2003. These were held up by Washington’s concern that Australia follows “evidence-based” procedures and prohibits “direct-to-consumer marketing for prescription drugs,” while US “manufacturers would prefer a system in which they have the freedom to market their products and set prices according to the market’s willingness to pay.” Australia engages in unacceptable market interference, US government negotiators objected. Pharmaceutical corporations are deprived of their legitimate rights if they are required to produce evidence when they claim that their latest product is better than some cheaper alternative, or run TV ads in which some sports hero or movie actress tells the audience to “ask your doctor whether this drug is right for you (if’s right for me),” sometimes not even revealing what the drug is supposed to be for. The right of deceit must be guaranteed to the immensely powerful and pathological immortal “persons” that have been created by radical judicial activism. Australia’s Health care system is perhaps the most efficient in the world. In particular, drug prices are a fraction of those in the United States: the same drugs, produced by the same companies, earning substantial profits though not like those in the United States, where such profits are commonly justified on the dubious grounds that they are needed for research and development (R&D)…. (Chomsky “Failed States” p220-2)
The facts are sometimes acknowledged, with an interesting twist. )…. (Chomsky “Failed States” p225-6)
A month earlier, Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky presented the State Department’s annual report on human rights around the world, (Chomsky “Failed States” p231-2)
The reactionary statists who have a thin grip on political power are dedicated warriors. With consistency and passion that approach caricature, their policies serve the substantial people—in fact, an unusually narrow sector of them—and disregard or harm the underlying population and future generations. They are also seeking to use their current opportunities to institutionalize these arrangements, so that it will be no small task to reconstruct a more humane and democratic society….. (Chomsky “Failed States” p236-7)
In Ohio drawing from the same courageous defenders of academic freedom against the onslaught from the left, Senator Larry Mumper introduced legislation to “restrict what university professors could say in their classrooms.”…… ….. (Chomsky “Failed States” p239)
The financial crisis is surely no secret. The press reports that 30 percent of health care costs go for administration,….. (Chomsky “Failed States” p246-7)
Meanwhile Cuba-Venezuela relations are becoming very close, each relying on its comparative advantage……(Chomsky “Failed States” p256,8)
One commonly hears that carping critics complain about what is wrong, but do not present solutions. There is an accurate translation for that charge: "They present solutions, but I don't like them." In addition to the proposals that should be familiar about dealing with the crises that reach to the level of survival, a few simple suggestions for the United States have already been mentioned: 1) accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and the World Court; 2) sign and carry forward the Kyoto protocols; 3) let the UN take the lead in international crises; 4) rely on diplomatic and economic measures rather than military ones in confronting terror; 5) keep to the traditional interpretation of the UN Charter; 6) give up the Security Council veto and have "a decent respect for the opinion of mankind," as the Declaration of Independence advises, even if power centers disagree; 7) cut back sharply on military spending and sharply increase social spending. For people who believe in democracy, these are very conservative suggestions: they appear to be the opinions of the majority of the US population, in most cases the overwhelming majority. They are in radical opposition to public policy. To be sure, we cannot be very confident about the state of public opinion on such matters because of another feature of the democratic deficit: the topics scarcely enter into public discussion and the basic facts are little known. In a highly atomized society, the public is therefore largely deprived of the opportunity to form considered opinions. (Chomsky “Failed States” 262)
Then McNamara says, “I think he’s right….But what makes it immoral if you lose and not Immoral if you win?”
I haven’t seen the film, but I’ve been told that in it McNamara identifies his own role during the Second World War for the first time. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.65-
The Reagan administration blocked it because they didn’t want the public to know what happened in Guatemala in 1954 and Iran in 1953. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.
Every four years Americans, those who vote, are faced with what is often called the lesser of two evils as their presidential options. Dave Dellinger, who passed away in May, used to call it "the evil of two lessers." You say that there is "a fraction" of difference between George Bush and John Kerry. And this raised some eyebrows. I heard, "It sounds like Chomsky is coming out for Kerry." Could you expand on your position.
There are differences. They have different constituencies. There are different groups of people around them. On international affairs I wouldn’t expect any major policy changes. It would probably be more like back to the Clinton years, when you have sort of the same policies, but more modulated, not so brazen and aggressive, less violent. And I would expect a kind of return to that.
On domestic issues there could be a fairly significant difference–it’s not huge–but different in its outcomes. The group around Bush are real fanatics. They’re quite open. They’re not hiding it; you can’t accuse them of that. They want to destroy the whole array of progressive achievements of the past century. They’ve already more or less gotten rid of progressive income tax. They’re trying to destroy the limited medical care system. The new pharmaceutical bill is a step towards that. They’re going after Social Security. They probably will go after schools. They do not want a small government, any more than Reagan did. They want a huge government, and massively intrusive. They hate free markets. But they want it to work for the rich. The Kerry people will do something not fantastically different, but less so. They have a different constituency to appeal to, and they are much more likely to protect some limited form of benefits for the general population.
There are other differences. The popular constituency of the Bush people, a large part of it, is the extremist fundamentalist religious sector in the country, which is huge. There is nothing like it in any other industrial country. And they have to keep throwing them red meat to keep them in line. While they’re shafting them in their economic and social policies, you’ve got to make them think you’re doing something for them. And throwing red meat to that constituency is very dangerous for the world, because it means violence and aggression, but also for the country, because it means harming civil liberties in a serious way. The Kerry people don’t have that constituency. They would like to have it, but they’re never going to appeal to it much. They have to appeal somehow to working people, women, minorities, and others, and that makes a difference.
These may not look like huge differences, but they translate into quite big effects for the lives of people. Anyone who says "I don’t care if Bush gets elected" is basically telling poor and working people in the country, "I don’t care if your lives are destroyed. I don’t care whether you are going to have a little money to help your disabled mother. I just don’t care, because from my elevated point of view I don’t see much difference between them." That’s a way of saying, "Pay no attention to me, because I don’t care about you." Apart from its being wrong, it’s a recipe for disaster if you’re hoping to ever develop a popular movement and a political alternative. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.112-3
Yes. One of the first acts in the conquest of Falluja was to take over the general hospital, which was a major war crime. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.122=7
Take this morning’s New York Times, which has an article reporting the views of Gregory Mankiw, the chair of the president’s Council of Economic Advisors. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.142=3
John F. Kennedy apparently sponsored a military coup in 1963 that put Saddam Hussein’s Baathist party in power. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.162-3
Or take Haiti. Haiti is considered a “failed state,” but in 1990 Haiti had a democratic election of the kind we can only dream of. Noam Chomsky Imperial Ambitions p.200-1
But in fact, Nixon’s childhood was much more tumultuous and troublesome than he let on. Frank Nixon, his father, was a boisterous, unpleasant man who needed to dominate everyone-“a ‘punishing and often brutal’ father.” Edward Nixon, the youngest of the Nixon children described his “mother as the judge and my father as the executioner.” (Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007 p.5)
What if a revolutionary state were in pursuit of a just cause and a status quo nation were serving unjust goals? A colleague asked Kissinger. “If I had to choose between justice and disorder, on the one hand,” Kissinger replied, “and injustice and order, on the other, I would always choose the latter.” (Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007 p.46)
He (Nixon) told Haldeman that he was relying on what he called “the Madman theory.” He believed that the North Vietnamese would see him as ready to “do anything to stop the war. We’ll just slip the word to them that, ‘for God’s sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about Communism. We can’t restrain him when he is angry-and he has his hands on the nuclear button’- and Ho Chi Minh will be in Paris in two days begging for peace.” (Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007 p.106) References to the “Madman theory” were made on numerous occasions.
During the trip to Europe, after he received reports of additional Soviet construction in Cuba, he instructed Haig to take a hard line with Dobrynin. It was a mistake to give Haig, a no-nonsense general with little appreciation for diplomatic subtleties the assignment. Or it may be that Kissinger anticipated Haig’s tough talk. Haig told Dobrynin that they were violating the 1962 ban on offensive weapons in Cuba and ordered him to dismantle the base or “we will do it for you.” Dobrynin flushed angrily, and said, “In a loud voice, ‘You are threatening the Soviet Union. That is …intolerable.’”
When told of the exchange, Nixon and Kissinger were “furious…You have exceeded your authority,” Henry shouted at him over the phone. “You can’t talk to the Russians that way. You may have started a war.” Kissinger knew better, but he felt compelled to reflect Nixon’s distress at Haig’s intemperate language. He was undoubtedly pleased that Haig had said what his position of greater authority precluded him from saying. (Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007 p.229-30)
It is difficult to understand how anyone could work for someone as volatile and irrational as Nixon sometimes was. Most likely, Kissinger and others rationalized their collaboration as helping to save Nixon from himself. After all, he was a democratically elected president and they saw themselves as serving the national well-being by reigning him in. Yet what seems so striking in the record is how often the people around Nixon catered to his outbursts and flights of fancy rather than calling him back to reality by challenging some of his most unsavory and unenforceable demands. It was a way to remain at Nixon’s side but it was a disservice to sensible policy making. It also speaks volumes about the reluctance of high government officials to alienate a president and perhaps force their departure from an office they believe gives them the chance to shape history making events. (Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007 p.316)
Nixon countered, with implicit reference to the twenty-seven-year Soviet domination of eastern Europe, “Small nations object to having their fate decided by larger ones.” He then softened his remarks by declaring that “we wouldn’t want to anger Albania.” When the laughter subsided, Gromyko exclaimed sarcastically, “That is a very noble intention.” (Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007 p.395)
Nixon said, “Eliminate the politicians, except George Bush. He’d do anything for the cause.” (Robert Dallek “Nixon and Kissinger” 2007 p.434)
A second major strategic premise is the fast war doctrine. Israel realizes that its survival depends on quick and decisive victories; it cannot allow a war to drag on for any length of time. None of the five wars fought over its thirty five year history has brought permanent victory or peace. There have been only respites to prepare for the next war. One reason for this is that neither of the superpowers, the United States or the Soviet Union, is prepared to see its client states totally defeated. Whenever one state appears to be on the verge of total victory or total defeat, one or the other of the superpowers brings pressure to bear to bring the conflict to a halt. In all three major wars-1956, 1967, 1973- Israeli forces were advancing and were capable of destroying the enemy. In each instance, superpower pressure forced the Israeli advance to a halt. One aspect of the war in Lebanon reflects this situation. The basis for Israeli war plan was to achieve its objectives before the US intervened and forced a halt to the fighting. Israel understands that its wars are not purely military but are fought in the larger political context of regional interests and great-power rivalry. The conclusion the Israelis have drawn is that it must achieve its battlefield goals rapidly and decisively before the great powers can intervene.
Israeli’s third major strategic premise is that it cannot ever truly defeat its combined Arab opponents in a final military sense. Arab manpower and the financial support that each country receives from other Arab states or the great powers make semi-permanent war the only real possibility in a purely military sense. Therefore, the Israeli application of military force is always directed towards the achievement of some political settlement. In practice, the Israelis see that the enemy loses territory which can be traded for a political settlement. War must be the servant of political ends, as Clausewitz points out. In the operation in Lebanon, however, the Israelis understand that their enemies cannot be defeated military to an extent that they will no longer constitute a threat. Rather, military victories are to serve larger political goals. (Richard Gabriel “Operation Peace for Galilee” p. 14-5)
In the early days, Ansar was a jerry-built barbed-wire enclosure situated on bare, windy, open terrain. It was too small and quickly became overcrowded, with less than adequate living conditions, water supplies, and sanitary functions. After the siege of Beirut, when the Israelis could relax their military hold on the country, conditions were considerably improved. Interviews with scores of individuals who had been in the Ansar camp, as well as with Israeli prison guards, indicate that the Israelis deliberately set up the mukhtar system, creating communities of about two hundred. All contact between the communities was through the head of the community, the mukhtar; food supplies were channeled through the mukhtar as well. The mukhtar system is common in the Middle East, and the Israelis adopted it to avoid aggravating confessional hatreds; the prisoners were allowed to govern themselves, prepare their own food, and punish their own. The result, however, was that the PLO came to dominate the camp’s informal social structure and thus were able to extract tribute from non-PLO members. Brutal PLO discipline led to disturbances and riots by anti-PLO communities that demanded that the Israelis become more involved in the day to day operation of the camp to protect them from PLO retribution.
The central problem at Ansar was how to separate the PLO fighters from the larger population. By June 1983, there were 9,040 suspects being detained at Ansar; only 2,997 had been processed and released. Many religious communities in Lebanon wanted their people, whom they claimed were being brutalized by the PLO, to be released quickly. Their leaders complained to the Israelis that they had no right or purpose in holding them any longer. (Richard Gabriel “Operation Peace for Galilee” p. 115)
In the final analysis, of course, the game in Beirut was zero-sum. The PLO understood that if it was driven from Beirut and from Lebanon and lost its territorial base contiguous with Israel, it would come to an end as a military if not a political force. Arafat was under no illusion that the loss of the war and the failure to come to a political settlement would mean the demise of the PLO as an effective force in Middle East politics. Thus, if it was true that the Israelis had chosen siege warfare as a way to achieve their military and political goals, it was equally true that their decision appealed to the PLO as the ideal way to achieve its goals. In the end, both antagonists mirrored one another in their choice of strategy, although for very different reasons. (Richard Gabriel “Operation Peace for Galilee” p. 134)
The west is guided by a different vision, one outlined forthrightly by Winston Churchill (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.4)
On similar grounds, the United States never considered Stalin’s proposals for a unified and demilitarized Germany with free election in 1952. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.33)
There was also no delay in demonstrating that the contempt for democracy that has long been a leading feature of U.S. policy and intellectual culture would persist without change. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.45)
A rational person interested in what the Soviet leaders intended to do during the Cold War years would ask what they did do, particularly in the regions most fully under their control. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.71)
Recognizing these peculiarities of American political culture, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce distributed more than a million copies of it’s pamphlet “Communist Infiltration in the United States” Immediately after the war, along with another entitled “Communists Within the Government.” (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.89)
Modern gynecological surgery, for example, was developed by respected medical researchers who were free to torture helpless Irish indigent women as well as slaves in their experimental work; Mengele might have been impressed. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.115)
As Washington prepared to reverse Guatemala’s brief experiment with democracy in 1954, a State Department official warned that Guatemala “has become an increasing threat to the stability of Honduras and El Salvador. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.122)
(Noam Chomsky Third World Traveler quotes similar to World Orders Old and New )
The violence of the Israeli reaction to the Intifada received some general notice, but neither these reports, nor the occasional accounts in earlier years when atrocities passed beyond the norm, give an accurate picture of the “sheer accumulations of endless humiliations and casually committed brutalities” that (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.)
Events followed a parallel course. Israeli military operations in the territories were accelerated at once, with fifteen Palestinians killed and nine houses destroyed in September……..Among them was grocer Abdul-Rahman Yusif Aruri , “the victim of what the human rights organization, Al-Haq, described as ‘premeditated execution,’” his cousin, University of Massachusetts professor Naseer Aruri, reported. (Noam Chomsky World Orders Old and New p.258)
Inman saw more signs of trouble. Richard Allen was going to get national-security advisor, the old Brzezinki and Kissinger post…..But Allen’s paranoia startled Inman. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.49 in print or P.17 on Google )
But it was Haig that made the news that day. He stepped unhesitatingly before the State Department press corps for his first press conference as Secretary and tagged the Soviet Union with “the training, funding and equipping” of international terrorists. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.64 on Google )
McMahon had a reputation as a man of caution. Several years earlier, when the CIA put together what was known publicly on who supported and funded several dozen anti-CIA groups and publications such as the Covert Action Information Bulletin, which tried to expose CIA operations and operatives McMahon had blown up. “Stupid sons of bitches,” he had yelled at a senior-staff meeting, “spying on Americans, If anyone got hold of this… Don’t you see? The perception.” (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.103-4 )
Casey was discovering that the CIA had virtually no good intelligence penetrations of human sources among the Sandinistas. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.113-4 )
One beneficiary of the CIA assistance was a fifty-five-year-old civil engineer who had been educated in the United States, at Notre Dame University-Jose Napoleon Duarte. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.117 or p. 91 on Google)
General David C. Jones, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the senior military person and the only holdover from the Carter Administration, looked at the approval of a Nicaragua operation with some dismay. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.174-7)
“We refuse to assassinate any person,” the Libyan leader said, placing his hands under his chin and looking up in the air dreamily at one point. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.185)
A later SECRET State Department analysis from the department’s intelligence division stated: “CIA records indicate, however, that the source of one of the reports that Libya intends to attack the Sixth fleet has in the past had sustained contact with a Soviet diplomat.” The other reports of plans to attack U.S. principals were “most later discounted.” The analysis also noted “the obvious probability that reporting breeds reporting where the U.S. is perceived to have an interest.” In all, the memo suggested that all the hit-squad reports may have been misinformation feeding off itself. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.186 in print copy or p. 167 on Google copy)
Barnes was stunned. He knew the Latin American players: no one, including the CIA, would be able to control the Argentines, who were known for their ruthlessness. The agency might as well have picked Chilean strongman Augusto Pinochet. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.187 or p. 168 on Google)
But on the operations and covert-action side, Inman was growing increasingly troubled. Casey was aligning the CIA with some of the major unsavory characters in the world.
Casey had received a visit from Israeli defense Minister Ariel Sharon, a burly, trucelent former general with extreme hawkish ideas. Israel was giving covert paramilitary support to the main Christian militia in Lebanon- the rightist Phalangist party, headed by Bashir Gemayel, a baby-facedruthless warlord. At thirty –four, Gemayel had developed into one of Lebanon’s most important and charismatic leaders, forging a unique and powerful future for himself. The Israeli game plan was working, and Sharon wanted $10 million in secret CIA paramilitary support to go to Gemayel.
Inman was opposed. In 1978, Bashir’s forces had made a lightning attack on the summer-resort home of Tony Frangieh, the political heir to the rival Christian faction, slaughtering him, his wife, their two-year-old daughter, the bodyguards and even the domestic staff. In 1980, Bashir’s militia had come close to wiping out the rival Christian militia of Lebanon’s ex-president Camille Chamoun.
Bashir was a savage murderer.
But their was more- something hidden in the intelligence files.
Back in the 1970’s, after studying political science and law in Lebanon, Bashir had come to the united States to work for a Washington law firm and had been recruited by the CIA. As the youngest of the six children Peter Gemayel, he was no doubt destined to relative obscurity in the powerful family. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.203-4)
Since the 1977 public disclosure that King Hussein of Jordan had been a CIA paid agent for twenty years, the agency had been reluctant to keep heads of state on the payroll. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.218 or 201 on Google)
Casey got the point and became somewhat more approachable. The Catholic Church was opposing the Sandinistas, he said, and if there were truly free elections in Nicaragua the Sandinistas would not win.
How about the U.S.-backed Contras? McCurdy wanted to know. What kind of message were they spreading in the countryside in the battle for the hearts and minds of the locals? They were blowing up bridges. A granary and a ranch had been hit. A power plant had been attacked; the CIA had said the power plant was a military target, but it turned out that only about 10 percent of the power was for the armed forces; the rest was for civilians. That was the opposite of the REA. That was destroying, not building. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.242-3 )
The claim that the Sandinistas wouldn’t win in a fair election was from Casey, who has demonstrated a strong bias. In the 1984 elections, this received little if any attention from Casey and perhaps Woodward, the Sandinistas won easily. According to some reports cited by Noam Chomsky they were far fairer than the ones in El Salvador and Guatemala and some of the biggest problems may have been caused by the Contras with the support of the US and CIA. If the Nicaraguans weren’t unifying against the Contras they might have been able to address other issues and considered some other candidates besides Daniel Ortega, who wasn’t as bad as the US propaganda made him out to be.
In Senator Dodd’s televised response for the Democratic side, he adapted a typical Reagan tactic, one single graphic image. He chose El Salvador: “I have been to that country and I know about the morticians who travel the streets each morning to collect the bodies of those summarily dispatched the night before by the Salvadoran security forces-gangland style- the victim of bended knee, thumbs were behind the back, a bullet through the brain. We recoil at such an image for our association with criminals….” (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.251 ) (Scribd the CIA: an expose of the Agency’s History and Covert Operations )
In Zaire, formerly the Congo, (it has since resumed the name the Congo) Casey met with the leader Joseph Mobutu. CIA ties with Mobutu dated back to 1960, the year the CIA the year the CIA had planned the assassination of the Congolese nationalist leader Patrice Lumumba. An August 25, 1960 cable to the CIA station chief from then DCI Allen Dulles stated that Lumumba’s “removal must be an urgent and prime objective and that under existing conditions this should be a high priority of our covert action.” Before the CIA plot could be effected, Lumumba was murdered by another group of Mobutu supporters. Casey had an important, personal relationship with Mobutu, and now they exchanged intelligence. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.268 )
The following excerpt describes an event where a plane was shot down as William Cohen and Gary Hart were visiting Nicaragua. Evidence linking the CIA to the plane and covert activity that could potentially have caused the death of both senators was indicated.
The Nicaraguan officials produced a briefcase which had been retrieved from the plane. Cohen and Hart peered inside. There was a manuscript instructing the pilot to meet someone in Costa Rica at a certain restaurant, a bill of lading from Miami and the pilot’s Florida driver’s license, U.S. Social security card and American credit cards.
And there was more, including some code-word identifications for the operation and the contract. Both Cohen and Hart recognized them as authentic CIA paperwork. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.272-5 )
That summer the first serious public fissure appeared among Reagan’s inner circle when White House chief of staff Baker said it was Casey who had provided him with briefing papers that President Carter had used to prepare himself for the nationally televised debate in the 1980 presidential campaign. Investigations by Congress and the FBI were launched.
This excerpt goes on to tell about a possible espionage effort within the campaign of Ronald Reagan and a memo which implicates Hugel that was not disclosed but witness testimony indicates that it did exist and this investigation was cut short without completion and forgotten. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.277-80 )
The United States was vulnerable, he said. There were no standards, no rules, no laws, on spying abroad. Only one rule, “Don’t get caught. If you do don’t admit it.” (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.309 on the print copy on Google this excerpt is on page 300 )
Horton had felt uncomfortable about some of the other intelligence efforts in the year he had been the Latin American NIO. Casey wanted an assessment of the opposition to Castro inside Cuba. Horton wasn’t able to come up with much hard intelligence, because it didn’t exist. CIA sources in Cuba were meager, it was true, but Horton concluded that it was also possible that Castro didn’t have much internal opposition. That didn’t sit well with Casey and he responded suspiciously, as if his contempt for Communists was universal and of course Castro must have had opponents....
Horton felt sour. Perhaps it was unfair, but he found a metaphor that he thought apt: Casey was like the new chief executive officer of a large corporation who came in to milk the corporation for what he could get out of it before throwing it to one side. Sure, Casey saw himself as an old OSS operator and had a sentimental feeling about inteligence work, but if any cans were going to get hung around any neck for Central America, it would be Reagan’s or Casey’s. those cans would go around the CIA. The seeds for a gigantic backlash, a repeat of the church and Pike investigations, were being planted.
Horton knew that Casey had to be credited with keeping in touch with many people, but almost all shared his world view, as Mexico demonstrated. Horton had spent hours sitting in Casey’s office, before his desk, dragged in for one matter or another. Casey was to rough on people, on Horton.
He thought that Casey was not attached enough to the CIA and its need for independence. The CIA had become once again a tool for the administration bent of forcing its view on the world. The distortion and ploys were many. Some were subtle. Horton felt he could stand stubbornly at the gate only for so long. He didn’t want to be a martyr. It was personal. Somebody else could have handled Casey much more smoothly. Gates did it. For him, a few or even many compromises on paper maybe didn’t add up to much.
There was another factor in Horton’s decission to leave. It was hard for him to evaluate the significance of this, but it wasn’t that he just didn’t get along with Casey. The DCI was a bully. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.345-6 in book 340 on Google )
One person bought Casey’s argument-Reagan. Six days after this latest Beirut bombing, the President was on the campaign trail in Bowling Green Ohio. This excerpt goes on to describe a disagreement between Reagan and both Carter and his DCI Stanfield Turner (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.381 in print copy or 379 on Google )
CIA Primer Tells Nicaraguan Rebels How to Kill New York Times (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.388)
The word “neutralize” appeared under the heading “Selective Use of Violence for Propagandistic Effects.” …. “If possible professional criminals will be hired to carry out selective ‘jobs.’ “ (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.389 excerpt also cited in Google Book “Eating Fire, Tasting Blood”)
Senator Moynihan recognized the manual for what it was. At Harvard he had read a paper on Mao Tse-tung’s technique of insurgency: identify the landowner single him out and have a public trial. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.391)
Bandar knew how to have a conversation that never took place. He was funnelling millions to the contras; this was widely suspected and he just denied it routinely with a confident laugh and a long lecture about the implausibility. Their relationship was the kind that both Bandar and Casey valued- one in which men of authority could have frank, deniable talks and emerge with an agreement only they understood. Bandar and Casey agreed that a dramatic blow against the terrorists would serve the interests of both the United States and Saudi Arabia. They knew that the chief supporter and symbol of terrorism was the fundamentalist Muslim leader Sheikh Fadlallah, the leader of the Party of God, Hizbollah, in Beirut. Fadlallah had been connected to all three bombings of American facilities in Beirut. He had to go. The two were in agreement.
Later it was decided to give effective operational control to the Saudis, particularly as the CIA bureaucracy grew more and more resistant to active anti-terrorist measures. The Saudis came up with an Englishman who has served in the British Special Air-Service. The elite commando special operations forces. This man travelled extensively around the Middle East, and went in and out of Lebanon from another Arab state. He would be an ideal leader of a sophisticated operation. The CIA, of course, could have nothing to do with "elimination." The Saudis, if asked would back a CIA denial concerning involvement or knowledge. Liaison with foreign intelligence services was one CIA activity out of the reach of congressional oversight; Casey had flatly refused to the committees about this sensitive work. And in this case, the CIA as an institution did not know. Nothing was written down, there were no records. The Saudi $3 million deposited in the Geneva account was "laundered" through transfers among other bank accounts, making certain it could not be traced.
The Englishman established operational compartments to carry out separate parts of the assassination plan; none had any communication with any other except through him. several men were hired to procure a large quantity of explosives; another man was hired to find a car; money was paid to informants to make sure they knew where Fadlallah would be at a certain time; another group was hired to design an after-action deception so that the Saudis and the CIA would not be connected; the Lebanese intelligence service hired the men to carry out the operation.
On March 8, 1985, a car packed with explosives was driven into a Beirut suburb about fifty yards from Fadlallah's high-rise residence. The car exploded, killing eighty people and wounding two hundred, leaving devastation, fires and collapsed buildings. Anyone who had happened to be in the immediate neighbourhood was killed, hurt or terrorized, but Fadlallah escaped without injury. His followers strung a huge "MADE IN US" banner in front of a building that had been blown out.
When Bandar saw the news account, he got stomach cramps. Tracks have to be meticulously covered. Information was planted that the Israelis were behind the car bombing. But the Saudis needed more to prove their non-involvement. There was only one way. They provided irrefutable intelligence that led Fadlallah to some of the hired operatives. As Bandar explained it, "I take a shot at you. You suspect me and then I turn in my chauffeur and say he did it. You would think I am no longer a suspect."
Still Fadlallah was a problem, now more than ever. The Saudis approached him and asked whether, for money, he would act as their early-warning system for terrorist attacks on Saudi and American facilities. They would pay $2 million cash. Fadlallah accepted but said he wanted the payment in food, medicine and education expenses for some of his people. This would enhance his status among his followers. The Saudis agreed.
There were no more Fadlallah-supported terrorist attacks against Americans.
"It was easier to bribe him than to kill him," Bandar remarked.
Casey was astounded that such a comparatively small amount of money could solve such a giant problem. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.396-7 )
He talked about his childhood in Queens, a universe of simple, permanent affiliations. Walking to and from public schools 13 and 98, there were fistfights, he recalled. It was the late 1920’s after World War I, when boys just circled up and fought. “Win some, lose some,” he said. Did he remember any of the kids who beat him? “Of course, do you think I forget anyone?” He stared hard, his dentures full of peanuts. “Particularly anyone who beat me?” (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.403-4 )
For More than a month I had known that President Reagan had signed the finding to create three secret Lebanese units for preemptive attacks on terrorists. Lauder, Casey’s press man, had tried to dissuade the post from running the story. We had discovered that the top-secret finding had been rescinded after the Beirut car-bombing had killed eighty people. We knew only about the role of the Lebanese intelligence service at that point, and nothing about the secret role of the Saudis or their $3 million contribution to the operation. We saw no reason to withhold the story, since the operation had failed and the finding was history.
“It’s like hitting an old woman with a hammer,” Lauder said in exasperation. The story ran on May 12: “Antiterrorist Plan Rescinded After Unauthorized Bombing.”
Three days later George Lauder wrote to Casey: “It seemed clear Woodward was planning to go ahead with the story irrespective of what I told him. I strongly stated that his story was grossly irresponsible and an ‘invitation to murder.’ I said that if he were Fadlallah and had seen a great number of supporters, including woman and children, blown up and then read the Washington post story, he couldn’t help but want to take revenge against the Americans in Lebanon, … this excerpt continues on Google Books page 407 (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.405 )
Why should we not print what the Soviets already know?
It has to do with the atmospherics of intelligence operations, the official said…. P.455
“There’s no way you run that story without endangering the national security,” Casey said. He sipped a scotch and water. “I’m not threatening you, but you’ve got to know that if you publish this, I would recommend that you be prosecuted.” This of course was not the only problem for the Post. “We’ve already got five absolutely cold violations.”
He explained that he was referring to the Post and the four other publications. He added matter-of-factly that he had just come from the Justice Department, where all five cases were pending upon his recommendation. He implied the train had already left the station.
Bradlee asked if it was the 1950 law.
“yeah, yeah,” Casey said. “I don’t practice law anymore. You know what I’m talking about.”
Bradlee and Downie attempted to get some specifics. What was the problem? First it was the Soviets, then other countries, and now what?
“Look,” Casey said, “hold the story for a week.” (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.459 in print copy or 466 on Google )
On October 2, we ran a long story on the memos headlined “Qaddafi Target of Secret U.S. Deception Plan, elaborate Campaign Included Disinformation that Appeared as Fact in American Media.” (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.476 in print copy or 483 on Google )
Casey had been an attractive figure to me because he was useful and because he never avoided the confrontation. He might shout and challenge, even threaten but he never broke the dialogue or the relationship. (Bob Woodward “Veil: the Secret wars of the CIA p.506m in print or end of Google excerpts Woodward goes on to say that because of the eighty innocent people killed in the attempt to kill Fadlallah Casey was the one with blood on his hands not Woodward. )
Early in 1917, one of Wilson’s closest advisers, former secretary of war Elihu Root, laid down the law: “We must have no criticism now.” (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.112-7)
A congressional mission to Vietnam in 1953 underscored Washington’s apprehension in the face of the increasing likelihood of a Vietminh victory over France. (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.182)
With the Vietnam War finally winding down in 1973, federal judges began to reassert their independent role as arbiters of constitutional disputes between the executive and legislative branches of government. (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.188-9,192-4)
Finally, just three weeks before the August 15 deadline for ending all military operations in Cambodia, a federal judge issued the first injunction against the government, on July 25, 1973….. congress, he said had never authorized the bombing campaign in Cambodia, and had passed legislation on june 26, 1973, cutting off all funds to continue the bombardment. Nixon had promptly vetoed this measure, and Congress enacted the August 15 deadline after failing to override his veto by the necessary two-thirds margin in both chambers. Reading into this record an “implied grant of power” to continue the bombing, Judd reasoned, would in effect require the president to muster “a vote of only one-third plus one of either House in order to conduct a war.” (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.194)
Unlike the Vietnam War, which provoked more than a dozen lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of both congressional and presidential actions, the Gulf War produced only one significant judicial test of Bush’s decision to commit troops to combat..... The complaint in Dellums v. Bush was based on the Constitution's delegation of war powers to Congress; it did not rely on the War Powers Resolution……
Apparently Bush read the “plain language” of the Constitution very differently from Judge Greene. When he signed the congressional resolution authorizing military action against Iraq, Bush made this statement: “As I made clear to congressional leaders at the outset, my request for congressional support did not, and my signing this resolution does not, constitute any change in the long standing positions of the executive branch on either the President’s constitutional authority to use the armed Forces to defend the vital U.S. interests or the constitutionality of the War Powers resolution.” (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.208-10)
The Bush administration, however, could not admit that oil was a factor in its war planning. Indeed, Secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld bristled when he was asked by reporters in November 2002 about the issue. “It has nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil,” he said. (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.230)
Nine months after Powell’s statement, Richard Perle, a top Pentagon advisor contradicted him. Perle stated flatly in November 2001 that Iraq “has weapons of Mass destruction.” He made no bones about his desire to launch an invasion on Iraq. “The lesser risk is in pre-emption,” he adde3d, “We’ve got to stop wishing away the problem.” If Powell was confident in asserting that Iraq had no “significant” WMD capability as of February 2001, what prompted Perle and other administration officials to claim that it did? The obvious answer lies in the 9/11 attacks and the decision to depose Hussein. Claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction offered a justification for Perles advocacy of preemptive invasion to prevent the weapons from being used against Iraq’s neighbors.
Perle’s statement did not make a big media splash, but a later speech by Vice President Dick Cheney hit the headlines. “Cheney says Peril of a Nuclear Iraq Justifies Attack,” reported the New York times in a front page story on Aygust 27, 2002. Speaking to a Veterans of Foreign wars convention, Cheney took the hardest line yet of any Bush administration official. “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” the vice president said. “There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.” Cheney all but declared war on Iraq. Confronted by a “murderous dictator” whose scientists were rushing to produce nuclear weapons, the United States faced “as grave a threat as can be imagined,” he warned. “The risks of inaction are far greater than the risk of action,” he concluded. A month after Cheney’s hard-line speech, Rumsfeld testified before the House Armed Services Committee. “We do know that the Iraq regime has chemical and biological weapons,” he stated.
The administration’s claims finally reached the top in October 2002, when the president echoed Rumsfeld in telling the press that Iraq “possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons.” Raising another specter in laying the groundwork for the coming invasion, Bush asserted that Iraq “is seeking nuclear weapons.” While stumping around the country that month for republican congressional candidates, the chief executive repeated, at least fifteen times, his certainty that Iraq had WMDs.
With every House seat and one-third of the Senate seats at stake in the November elections, Bush had carefully timed his invasion campaign. On October 2, he submitted to congress a proposed resolution, authorizing him to employ military force against Iraq. The resolution included sweeping claims of the president’s constitutional power, as commander in chief, “to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as congress recognized in the joint resolution on authorization for use of Military force,” in 1991, when Congress had given Bush’s father the green light to drive the Iraqi army from Kuwait. Once again, Congress was being asked to authorize the president to begin a war, without formal declaration. Whether such an authorization met the constitutional standard had become a moot point, since Congress had long ago abdicated its war-declaring power to the executive branch.
Although congressional leaders balked at resting the new Iraq resolution on the earlier authorization, the final version provided Bush with all the leeway he claimed as commander in chief. The resolution cited as justification for its blank-check grant of power all three of the president’s repeated charges against the Iraqi regime, including the “brutal repression of its civilian population,” its “capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people,” and its role in “supporting and harboring terrorist organizations.” The house approved the resolution by a vote of 296 to 133, and the Senate followed with the even greater margin of 77 to 23. Virtually all the house dissenters were Democrats who held safe seats and thus faced little risk of electoral reprisals, while only a single Senate republican, Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island, opposed the resolution, which President Bush signed on October 16, 2002. (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.233-6)
Congressional record of the US Senate July 17-23 on Google including quotes from Tom Harkin quoting Cheney’s speech at VFW
The most authoritative report on weapons of mass destruction came from David Kay, the chief U.S. weapons inspector and head of the Iraq survey Group. “I’m personally convinced,” he said, “that there were not large stockpiles of newly produced weapons of mass destruction. We don’t find the people, the documents or the physical plants that you would expect to find if the production was going on. I think they gradually reduced stockpiles during the 1990s.”
Perhaps the most telling-chilling- admission on this key issue was made by Paul Wolfowitz, a leading architect of the pre-emptive war doctrine. “For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on,” he later said, without a trace of regret. (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.238-9)
Thus corporate CEOs take government jobs in the departments responsible for monitoring the very industries the tycoons headed; later, under another administration, perhaps, the recruits to Washington return to their former corporate lairs, where the businesses they now run benefit from the (de)regulating they recently oversaw.
In his farewell address in 1961, President Eisenhower warned the people about the growing influence of the military-industrial complex, but the alarm bells went unheeded by Congress and future presidents. Eisenhower himself named Charles E. Wilson of General Motors to head the defense department; Wilson became famous for saying “What’s good for General Motors is good for the country.” In addition, the defence secretaries who followed Wilson include Robert McNamara, who ran the Ford Motor company; James Schlesinger, a director of Seven Seas Petroleum and the investment firm of Lehman Brothers; and Donald Rumsfeld, former CEO of both worldwide Searle pharmaceutical firm and the general Instrument Corporation, a major defense contractor. The point of this listing, which could be greatly expanded to include other defense and foreign policy positions, is that the president calls upon members of the military-industrial complex, men and women with vested interests in the American Empire, to plan and carry out unilateral, interventionist policies of the Imperial Presidency.
This leads to a further point. Ever since World war II, presidents have commanded a huge defense bureaucracy, which far outstrips, in size and budget, the meager resources available to congress. In 2004, for example, the Defense Department had 636,000 civilian employees and directed a military establishment of 2.3 million troops and support staff, with a total budget of $360 billion. (By comparison, the entire gross domestic product of Russia in 2002- the most recent numbers-was just $347 billion.) the Pentagon building itself houses 23,000 employees, with another 17,000 in various CIA facilities around the world. The recently established Department of Homeland Security has 180,000 employees. Put together, more than 3 million people work in defense-related agencies, from army privates to the secretary of defense. In contrast, Congress has a total budget of $3.6 billion and a total workforce of 30,000 (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.267)
Given the unlikelihood of change in the near future, those who wish to return the war powers to congress must adopt a long-range strategy one based on the slow, incremental grassroots activism that marked the civil rights movements in its struggle against Jim Crow laws. Decades of patient, often tedious, and sometimes dangerous organizing laid the groundwork for such victories as the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of education decision in 1954 and congressional passage of the Civil Rights Act ten years later. (Peter Irons “War Powers: How the Imperial presidency hijacked the constitution” 2005 p.272-3)
Political scientists estimate that no more than 3 to 5 percent of the public takes an active role in issue politics, with the vast majority on the sidelines, some cheering for one side or the other on the playing field, but most not even showing up for the game. (Peter Irons “God On trial: dispatches from America’s religious battlefields” 2007 p.343-4)
The Truman Doctrine addressed what many regarded as Soviet adventurism in the Eastern Mediterranean and northern Gulf states, the region immediately adjoining the Saudi Arabian oil fields. (Michael Klare “Blood and Oil” 2005 p.39)
Moreover, in a move that would have significant implications for U.S. security later, the Department of defense began supplying arms and assistance to the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG), a paramilitary force under the control of the royal family, whose principle task was and is to defend the regime against internal revolt. (Michael Klare “Blood and Oil” 2005 p.41)
Because Iranian and Saudi military personnel were generally inexperienced in operating and maintaining such high-tech weapons, most of these arms transfers also entailed the deployment of thousands of American military advisers and technicians. (Michael Klare “Blood and Oil” 2005 p.43-4)
Though the containment strategy allowed Saddam Hussein to remain in power, for American officials it possessed one overarching virtue: (Michael Klare “Blood and Oil” 2005 p.44-54)
In reality, no one much doubted which path the administration would choose. After all, the president had tapped Vice president Dick Cheney to direct the work of the NEPDG and assess the competing options. (Michael Klare “Blood and Oil” 2005 p.58)
By the end of 2003, therefore, the Bush administration’s energy policy had become thoroughly integrated into the nation’s security strategy. (Michael Klare “Blood and Oil” 2005 p.73) Spencer Abraham comments before House International Relations Committee June 20 2002
The first and possibly most formidable challenge facing the United States in 2001 was to preserve the status quo in Saudi Arabia. (Michael Klare “Blood and Oil” 2005 p.84)
Bush would not have made such haste to advertise America’s enthusiastic support for the Saudi government if he and his advisers had not been so worried about its durability, a factor bearing directly on the safety of U.S. oil interests. (Michael Klare “Blood and Oil” 2005 p.86)
To do so required vigorous action on several fronts. The United States would have to vacate its combat bases in Saudi Arabia, bring the Arab- Israeli imbroglio to some sort of resolution, and persuade the Saudi leadership to rid the ruling class of corruption and crack down on terrorists and terror-linked charities. (Michael Klare “Blood and Oil” 2005 p.90)
The widespread suffering provided Saddam with a powerful propaganda tool: by portraying the country’s misery as the product of a campaign against the entire nation, rather than the regime, he was able to generate substantial popular support. (Michael Klare “Blood and Oil” 2005 p.95-9)
“When we took over,” Powell told Congress on March 8, 2001, “I discovered that we had an Iraq policy that was in disarray. And the sanctions part of that policy was not just in disarray, it was falling apart…. We discovered that we were in an airplane that was heading to a crash. (Michael Klare “Blood and Oil” 2005 p.96-7) Powell’s congressional testimony 3/8/01
Top administration officials took great pains to keep from mentioning oil as a casus belli -- an admission that would undoubtedly have undermined public support for the war. Nevertheless, a few moments of candor from Vice President Cheney provide hints as to the administration's deep anxiety about oil production in the Gulf. Cheney's August 2002 address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars was widely viewed as an unvarnished expression of administration thinking, both because he was Bush's most influential adviser and a key architect of the war and because it was the only speech on Iraq he gave. "Should all [of Hussein's WMD] ambitions be realized, the implications would be enormous for the Middle East and the United States," Cheney declared. "Armed with an arsenal of these weapons of terror and a set atop 10 percent of the world's oil reserves, Saddam Hussein could then be expected to seek domination of the entire Middle East, take control of a great portion of the world's energy supplies, directly threaten America's friends throughout the region, and subject the United States or any other nation to nuclear blackmail." Viewed from this angle, the continued survival of his regime was unthinkable. (Michael Klare “Blood and Oil” 2005 p.) cited in Tom Hull’s notebook
A new relationship between the United states and the Caspian republics began to take shape in the mid-1990’s, just a few years after the region had become unyoked from the Soviet Union. As American energy firms concluded major oil deals with the governments of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, the Department of Defense established military ties with these post-Soviet states and U.S. aid began to flow to their armed forces. From there it was only a short step to the deployment of American military advisers, the sale of American arms, and the initiation of joint training operations -- an exact repetition of the Persian Gulf scenario. (Michael Klare “Blood and Oil” 2005 p.132-3) cited by United for peace
In the worst possible case, this dynamic could lead to a direct confrontation between the forces of the United States and Russia or China. Unlikely as such a clash may seem, it could result from the escalation of a local struggle in which two powers support opposing sides-if, for example, American troops assisting government forces in Georgia were to come under fire from Russian-backed insurgents from the breakaway enclaves of Abkhazia or Adzharia. This scenario is improbable but not inconceivable, given the rising level of American and Russian involvement in the Georgian civil war. And the possibilities multiply through every country suffering ethnic and religious unrest, every territorial dispute between local powers. (Michael Klare “Blood and Oil” 2005 p.178-9)
The Caspian Sea is another potential Quagmire. Hailed by the White House officials and American oil companies as a bountiful alternative to the Persian Gulf, this region is just as volatile. Most of the post-soviet states are governed by despots and Oligarchs whose misrule invites the rebellion of all those excluded from the power and wealth that oil can bring. Ethnic and religious antagonisms sustain the ever present perils of terrorism, sabotage, and insurgency. The United States has sought to get around these dangers by allying itself with local strongmen, like Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan- alliances that can only deepen the risk of our getting pulled into future insurrections and civil wars.
The Gulf and the Caspian regions have yet another time bomb in common: the potential for conflicts among the great powers, arising from their competitive pursuit of strategic advantage. Such a conflagration is not likely to be deliberately ignited, but could erupt on its own when one power or another escalates a local conflict a little to carelessly. (Michael Klare “Blood and Oil” 2005 p.181-3 )
The first step is to detach our pursuit of energy from any commitments to foreign governments for military protection and security assistance. (Michael Klare “Blood and Oil” 2005 p.189 )
Media Ed review of Michael Klare’s “Blood and Oil” 2005
IPEG papers in Global Political Economy
American agents then looked the other way when the Contras, the military insurgents they had trained, made deals to sell cocaine in American cities in order to buy arms and supplies. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.8)
For documentary evidence including Oliver North’s notebooks, see “The Contras, Cocaine, and Covert Operations,” National Security Archive electronic Briefing Book, no. 2 (source note for cocaine quote on P.8) (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.239-40)
The Iran-Contra Affair: The Making of a Scandal The National Security Archive
In the book death by government, the historian Rudoph Rummel estimates that during the twentieth century, 170 million civilians have been victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.67-8)
While the incidence of reported rape in the United States is forty-one for every one hundred thousand people, at the military base in Okinawa it is eighty-two per one hundred thousand. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.41-2)
When it came to an issue like land mines, a civilian president, even one with better command credentials than Clinton, can no longer afford to cross his military leaders. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.70-1)
The IMF, it must be noted, is staffed primarily with holders of Ph.D.s in economics from American universities, who are both illiterate about and contemptuous of cultures that do not conform to what they call the “American way of life.” They offer only "one size (or, rather, one capitalism) fits all" remedies for ailing economic institutions. The IMF has applied these over the years to countries in Latin America, Russia, and East Asia without ever achieving a single notable success. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.80) cited on “Third World Traveler”
One reason privatization appeals to the Pentagon is that whatever these companies do becomes “proprietary information.” The Pentagon does not even have to classify it; and it becomes private property, information on the activities of such companies is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. Given the extreme legalism of the American political culture, this is sufficient to shield such companies from public scrutiny, although it would not protect them from the new international criminal court. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.85) cited by “yearning to be free” blog
In 1997, total worldwide military and arms spending was approximately one-third lower than ten years ago, at the end of the Cold War. Nonetheless, in addition to being the world leader in arms transfers, the United States continues to dominate the development of military technology. According to SIPRI, the U.S. military research and development budget was more than seven times that of second-place France. In 1997, SIPRI found that the world spent $58 billion on military R&D, of which the United States spent $37 billion. In terms of overall national military spending, the Pentagon's most recent Quadrennial Defense Review, concluded in May 1997, envisaged defense budgets in the range of $250-260 billion until the end of time-an amount vastly greater than anything that might be spent by any conceivable combination of adversaries. The defense budget for the year 2000 was $267.2 billion, plus augmentations in order to pay for the Kosovo war.
Together with NATO, Japan, South Korea, and Israel, the United States accounts for 80 percent of the world's total military spending. In 1995, the United States alone outspent Russia, China, Iraq, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Libya, and Cuba combined, by a ratio of two to one; with its allies, it outstripped all potential adversaries by a ratio of four to one. If the comparison is restricted to only those countries considered regional threats by the Pentagon-the “rogue states” of Iraq, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Libya, and Cuba-the United States outspent them twenty-two to one. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.86-8) cited by “Third World Traveler”
A staple of American thinking about foreign policy is that democracies pose no threat to other democracies. But if the countries of Latin America are now democracies, logically that should mean that they do not need to "modernize their militaries." They might instead follow the example of Costa Rica, which since 1948 has had no military, only a civilian constabulary, and which is one of the most stable, peaceful countries in the area. Its former president, Oscar Arias, who won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating an end to multiple civil wars in Central America, is a strong opponent of the renewed American arms shipments. In 1999, he observed, "Americans have shown great concern about the reported loss of classified nuclear secrets to the Chinese. But they should be just as outraged that their country gives away many other military secrets voluntarily, in the form of high-tech arms exports. By selling advanced weaponry throughout the world, wealthy military contractors not only weaken national security and squeeze taxpayers at home abut also strengthen dictators and worsen human misery abroad."
When such contradictions are exposed, the Pentagon falls back on the argument that if it does not sell the arms to Latin America, some other country will. By analogy, Colombia might say to the United States that if it does not grow and sell cocaine to Americans, some other country will. When considered together, the extensive JCET training programs in the region and the new arms sales policy are undoubtedly undermining democracy in Latin America and moving several long-standing conflicts toward war. For example, for some time JCET missions have been training the army of Ecuador while the Pentagon has sold Ecuador military Black Hawk helicopters and A-37 combat jets. Only after the training and the sales were completed did the United States discover that Ecuador was planning to use these forces not against drug dealers and "terrorists" but for a war with Peru.
The United States has justified its contacts with the Ecuadorian military as a means to get to know its leaders personally and to develop long-term relationships of trust. But as Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory has observed, many in the Reagan administration and the Pentagon knew practically every crucial figure in the Salvadoran death squads, most of whom were graduates of the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia. This did not stop the Salvadorans from killing seventy thousand of their fellow countrymen, not to mention raping and killing four American churchwomen in 1980, acts the American ambassador to El Salvador and the secretary of state then covered up. One Salvadoran colonel whom the U.S. ambassador suspected of ordering the murders of the three nuns and a Catholic lay worker was, in 1998, living comfortably with his wife and children in Florida. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.90-1) cited by Vicky Drake
The end of World War II had proven no more a “liberation day” for Korea than for Czechoslovakia or other nations in Eastern Europe. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.97-102)
General Park’s associate in the 1961 coup was General Kim Jong-pil, who proceeded with the help of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in order to consolidate Park’s military rule. (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.107)
Asked why the United States was willing to engage North Korea while still maintaining a strict embargo against Cuba, a “senior administration official,” speaking on condition of anonymity, said with a smile, “To my knowledge [the Cubans] do not have a nuclear weapons program.” (Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 p.120)
Chalmers Johnson “Blowback: the Costs and Consequences of American Empire” 2004 excerpts from Christianism .com
“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy feign disorder, and crush him.” Sun Tzu
In accordance with the logic of Sun Tzu, Bill Clinton was actually much more effective imperialist than George W. Bush…. (Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” 2004 p.255)
As even the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, a former director of research at the World Bank, has come to acknowledge, "It is now a commonplace that the international trade agreements about which the United States spoke so proudly only a few years ago were grossly unfair to countries in the Third World .... The problem [with globalists is]… their fundamentalist market ideology, a faith in free, unfettered markets that is supported by neither modern theory nor historical experience." It must be added that, until November 1999, when 50,000 protesters confronted the World Trade Organization in Seattle and began forcing a reluctant First World to acknowledge its exploitation and hypocrisy, statements like Stiglitz's were not "commonplace:' nor had "modern" academic economic theory come to grips with the real nature of globalism.
There is no known case in which globalization has led to prosperity in any Third World country, and none of the world's twenty-four reasonably developed capitalist nations, regardless of their ideological explanations, got where they are by following any of the prescriptions contained in globalization doctrine. What globalization has produced, in the words of de Rivero, is not NICs (newly industrialized countries) but about 130 NNEs (nonviable national economies) or, even worse, UCEs (ungovernable chaotic entities). There is occasional evidence that this result is precisely what the authors of globalization intended.
In 1841, the prominent German political economist Friedrich List who had immigrated to America wrote in his masterpiece, The National System of Political Economy, "It is a very common clever device that when anyone has attained the summit of greatness, he kicks away the ladder by which he has climbed up, in order to deprive others of the means of climbing up after him."' Much of modern Anglo-American economics and all of the theory of globalization are attempts to disguise this kicking away of the ladder.
Leaving aside the former Soviet Union, the main developed countries - Britain, the United States, Germany, France, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, and the East Asian NICs (South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore)-all got rich in more or less the same way. Regardless of how they justified their policies, in actual practice they protected their domestic markets using high tariff walls and myriad "nontariff barriers" to trade. Britain, for example, did not accept free trade until the 1840s, long after it had become the world's leading industrial power. Between 1790 and 1940, the United States was probably the most highly protected economy on earth. In the 1970s and 1980s, the only country in the world without a single Japanese car in it was South Korea, because it was nurturing its own automobile industry. All these "developing" nations begged, bought, or stole advanced technology from the countries that first pioneered it and then, through reverse engineering and targeted investment, improved on it. They used state power to support and protect efficient capitalists within their own national boundaries who had the potential to become exporters. They poured subsidies into uncompetitive industries in order to substitute domestically produced goods for imports, often at almost any price. Some of them captured overseas markets through imperial conquest and colonialism and then defended these markets from other would-be conquerors, using powerful navies and armies. Even when defeated, like Japan after World War II and the USSR and the ex-Communist countries of Eastern Europe after the Cold War, they used every device and all the artifice in their power to subvert the economic reform programs that American economists applied to try to turn them into textbook capitalist economies. 16 They understood, as the academicians did not, that a premature introduction of American economic norms was much more likely to produce mafia capitalism than development, as it did in Russia.
In short, the few successful economies on earth did exactly the opposite of what the gurus of globalization said they should have done. In places where economic managers had no choice but to follow the guidelines of globalization-"free" trade, sell-offs of public utilities, no controls over capital movements, the end of all national preferences-the results have been catastrophic. In de Rivero's own Peru, in the twenty-four years preceding the great outburst of terrorist violence by the Shining Path and Tupac Amaru guerrillas, the average yearly per capita income growth rate was 0.1 percent, while the yearly population increase was more than 2.3 percent. In all of Latin America and the Caribbean between 1960 and 1980, gross domestic product grew by 75 percent per person, but over the next twenty years-the high tide of globalization-GDP rose only 6 percent."
Starting in approximately 1981, the United States introduced, under the cover of globalization, a new strategy intended to accomplish two major goals: first, to discredit state-assisted capitalism like Japan's and prevent its spread to any countries other than the East Asian NICs, which had already industrialized by following the Japanese model; and second, to weaken the sovereignty of Third World nations so that they would become even more dependent on the largesse of the advanced capitalist nations and unable to organize themselves as a power bloc to negotiate equitably with the rich countries.
The United States's chosen instruments for putting this strategy into effect were the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Like the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the World Bank and the IMF were created after World War II to manage the international economy and prevent a recurrence of the beggar-thy-neighbor policies of the 1930s. What has to be understood is that both the fund and the bank are actually surrogates for the U.S. Treasury. They are both located at 19th and H Streets, Northwest, in Washington, DC, and their voting rules ensure that they can do nothing without the approval of the secretary of the Treasury. (Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” 2004 p.262-4) Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” also cited in the Third World Traveler
In the early 1980s, following the international loan debacle, the United States put the IMF and the World Bank in charge of the Third World debt problem and essentially instructed them to do two things: keep the debtor countries paying something so that official defaults could be avoided and squeeze as much money out of them as possible. The two semi-moribund institutions accepted their new role with alacrity, delighted to act as collection agencies for banks that had made bad loans. Thus were born the World Bank's "structural adjustment loans" and the IMF's "structural adjustment programs."
Under structural adjustment, the World Bank lends funds to a debtor nation so that the nation can continue to "service" its debts in small, pro forma ways. As a condition for the loan, however, the IMF imposes a drastic socioeconomic overhaul of the country in accordance with the neoliberal agenda. If a debtor nation does not accept these terms, all access to international capital is denied it, thereby destabilizing its economy still further and perhaps setting it up for a CIA-abetted coup d'etat. The overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973 and the installation of the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet were an early and classic example of this process, but there have been many others since. The entire Third World very quickly came under the supervision of the IMF's economic ideologues, and by the late 1990s, close to ninety countries were being "structurally adjusted" by means of shock therapy ordered up in Washington."
In a typical structural adjustment program, the IMF and World Bank require that a country "liberalize" trade-that is, give foreigners free access to its economy. The country is also forced to reduce spending on social programs such as health care and education in order to release public funds to repay debts to foreign banks and transnational corporations. Subsidies to local agriculture are eliminated, usually rendering it unprofitable, while subsidies to agrobusinesses growing export crops such as flowers and fruits are increased. The IMF insists that the country drop all controls over the movements of capital and allow foreign investors and businesses to buy state-owned enterprises, such as electric power, telephone, transportation, natural resources, and energy companies. Perhaps most important, a country receiving a World Bank loan has to agree to maintain the convertibility of its currency-that is, it cannot prohibit the exchange of its own money for that of another country's, which would temporarily halt the outflow of capital. Instead, maintaining free convertibility regardless of the exchange rate makes speculation about a currency's future value possible. What a country gets out of such a mélange of "reforms" is not economic recovery, long-term growth, or stability but a government so weakened that it usually declines into a kieptocracy, experiences periodic economic collapses precipitated by rampant speculation (Mexico, 1994-95; Thailand, South Korea, and Indonesia, 1997; Brazil and Russia, 1998; Argentina, 2000; Venezuela, 2002), and is forced to rely on US. corporations to provide virtually all consumer products, employment, and even public services .21
The United States was the architect of and main profiteer from these efforts. From 1991 to 1993, Lawrence Summers was the chief economist at the World Bank and the man who oversaw the tailoring of "austerity measures" to each country that needed a loan. He decided exactly what a country had that Washington wanted to open up. On December 12,199 1, Summers became notorious for a leaked memo to senior officials of the bank encouraging polluting industries in the rich nations to relocate to the less developed countries. He wrote, "I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage countries is impeccable and we should face up to that?” (Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” 2004 p.266-8) Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” also cited in the Third World Traveler
These corporations are thus in a position to extract monopoly profits from poor countries by dominating their agricultural sectors and dictating what they will eat, if they eat at all. (Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” 2004 p.271)
The IMF agreed to help the Argentine government meet its debt service payments and then made exactly the same mistake it had in 1997 in East Asia. As a condition for its loans, it demanded an austerity budget that involved firing large numbers of government workers, cutting pensions, reducing wages, and eliminating fringe benefits. Rioting and fierce police reaction brought the country to a standstill. (Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” 2004 p.276)
This means that although the IMF may impose an austerity budget on a country seeking an emergency loan, it permits the purchase of weapons from a foreign power, usually the United States, even as jobs and health benefits are being slashed. In 1997, when South Korea buckled under its burden of debt, the IMF suggested that it suspend buying military equipment until it had recovered, but the US government overruled this directive. (Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” 2004 p.278)
As the United States devotes ever more of its manufacturing assets to the arms trade, it becomes ever more dependent on imports for the nonmilitary products that its citizens no longer manufacture but need in order to maintain their customary lifestyles. With a record trade deficit for 2002 of $435.2 billion and a close-to-negligible savings rate, Americans may end up owing foreigners as much as $3.5 trillion in the next few years alone. As the economic analyst William Greider concludes, "Instead of facing this darkening prospect, [President George WI Bush and team regularly dismiss the worldviews of these creditor nations and lecture them condescendingly on our superior qualities. Any profligate debtor who insults his banker is unwise, to put it mildly . .. . American leadership has... become increasingly delusional-I mean that literally-and blind to the adverse balance of power accumulating against it." (Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” 2004 p.281) Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” also cited in the Third World Traveler
Although our government was an active promoter of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty of 1970, the Bush administration’s weapons proposals are open violations of that treaty’s article 6 which “requires the original five nuclear weapon states pursue effective nuclear disbarment measures.” (Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” 2004 p.290)
In the second presidential debate, on October 11, 2000 Bush joked, “If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.” (Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” 2004 p.291) It appears as if Chalmers Johnson was mistaken about the timing of this comment although not the content; he apparently said this shortly after he was appointed the presidency by the Supreme Court on 12/18/2000 during a meeting with congressional leaders. For more info see CNN transcript Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” also cited by CNN)
Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” also cited at Rense.com
Yet after September 11, 2001 President Bush unilaterally declared that the nation was “at war” more or less forever against terrorism, and a white House spokesman later noted that the president “considers any opposition to his policies to be no less than an act of Treason.” (Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” 2004 p.292)
Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” also cited at American Empire
Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” also cited in the Third World Traveler
Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” 2004 also cited at Rense.com
The Senate committee investigating these matters after Richard Nixon’s resignation from the presidency revealed that between 1953 and 1973 the Postal Service in New York City had illegally made more than twenty-eight million letters available to the CIA. (Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” 2004 p.295)
Official lying increases exponentially as imperialism and militarism take over. Our military sees propaganda as one of its major new functions….
In the autumn of 2002, Rumsfeld created a new position, deputy undersecretary for “special plans” (a euphemism for “deceptive operations”). (Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” 2004 p.298-9)
During the 1960’s, the Joint Chiefs of Staff actually delivered to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara a proposal, dubbed Operation Northwoods, that the military clandestinely shoot innocent people on American streets, sink boats carrying refugees from Cuba, and carry out terrorist attacks on Washington, Miami, and elsewhere and then pin the blame on Cuban agents. (Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” 2004 p.301) Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” also cited at logosonline
An intelligence insider interviewed by New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh said of this group, “They didn’t like the intelligence they were getting [from the CIA and the DIA], and so they brought in people to write the stuff. They were so crazed and so far out and so difficult to reason with-to the point of being bizarre. Dogmatic, as if they were on a mission from God. If it doesn’t fit their theory, they don’t want to accept it. (Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” 2004 p.305)
The economic consequences of imperialism and militarism are also transforming our value system by degrading "free enterprise:' which many Americans cherish and identify with liberty. Our military is by far the largest bureaucracy in our government. Militarism removes capital and resources from the free market and allocates them arbitrarily, in accordance with bureaucratic decisions uninfluenced by market forces but often quite responsive to insider influence and crony capitalism. For example, on March 10, 2003, the government invited five engineering companies to submit bids for postwar reconstruction work in Iraq, including the Kellogg Brown & Root subsidiary of the Halliburton Company and the Bechtel Group. Brown & Root, as we noted earlier, is Vice President Dick Cheney's old company; Bechtel has half-century-old connections with the CIA and high-ranking Republican politicians." Virtually all contracts coming from the military reflect insider trading. Robert Higgs, a senior fellow in political economy at the Independent Institute, summarizes the military-industrial complex as follows: “a vast cesspool of mismanagement, waste, and transgressions not only bordering on but often entering deeply into criminal conduct…. The great arms firms have managed to slough off much of the normal risks of doing business in a genuine market, passing on many of their excessive costs to the taxpayers while still realizing extraordinary rates of return on investment.” (Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” 2004 p.) Chalmers Johnson “Sorrows of Empire” also cited in the Third World Traveler
“This is not a sanitized version, and the censors, if we had them in the United States-thank God we don’t- would no doubt draw the line at a different, more restrictive place than I have.” Bob Woodward in introduction of “Bush at War” 2002
Powell asserted that everyone in the international coalition was willing to go after al Qaeda, but extending the war to other terrorist groups or countries could cause some of them to drop out.
The president said he didn’t want other countries dictating terms or conditions for the war on terrorism. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.81)
Wolfowitz seized the opportunity. Attacking Afghanistan would be uncertain. He worried about 100,000 American troops bogged down in mountain fighting in Afghanistan six months from then. In contrast, Iraq was a brittle, oppressive regime that might break easily. It was doable. He estimated that there was a 10 to 50 percent chance Saddam was involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks.” The U.S. would have to go after Saddam at some time if the war on terrorism was to be taken seriously. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.83) also cited in the American Conservative
He had several other ideas. “Stay away from CNN,” he suggested. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.87)
“An enemy,” Bush said, interrupting the chief of staff, reminding them it was a war way beyond al Qaeda. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.90)
At his home in the Washington suburbs the next morning, Tenet took out a pen, some paper and began writing longhand. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.93)
“Not a legal case,” countered Rumsfeld. “It’s not event-related.”…
“Is Iran in the coalition?” asked Steve Hadley.
“It’s not a single coalition,” said Rumsfeld. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.104)
But Bush insisted he would not soft-peddle America’s determination to win the war. We will defeat our enemies, we will set a tone for future presidents, he said. “Two years from now only the Brits may be with us.” (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.106)
Did they want or need a white paper? Rumsfeld asked. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.135)
Turning to the outline of the war, Rumsfeld said, “We ought to have a broad beginning and an ending. It ought to be focused on al Qaeda-it shouldn’t be focused on UBL….It’s not over if we get his head on a platter. And the failure to get his head on a platter is not failure. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.136)
“The president and the war counsel have got to obviously be decisive, but not be hasty.”
So provocation was going to be one tool. Did he explain or warn Rice or the other war cabinet members that he was testing, planning or being provocative?
“Of course not. I’m the commander-see, I don’t need to explain –I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation.” (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.145-6) Also cited in Third World Traveler
“We will be meeting like this for some time,” Bush said….
“Many believe that Saddam is involved,” he said. “That’s not an issue for now. If we catch him being involved, we’ll act. He probably was behind this in the end.” (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.167) “I think the precedent is bad of having to go out and make the case publicly,” Rumsfeld said, “because we may not have enough information to make our case next time, and it may impair our ability to preempt against the threat that may be coming at us.” (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.176-7)
Appearing before parliament on Thursday, Prime Minister Blair presented evidence that Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network was responsible for the September 11 attacks. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.196)
Bush called Nick Calio, the White House chief of congressional liaison, to the Oval Office.
…memo limiting access to information to a small number of members of congress… “I don’t care. Get it up there. This is what’s going to happen,” Bush ordered.
“Okay,” said Calio, “but I just want to tell you that you can expect-“
“I’m not defending it,” Bush said. “Do you get the picture here?”
“Get it up there to them, okay?”
“Fine,” Calio said.
“It’s tough shit,” the president said.
Bush later talked with Senator Bob Graham, the Florida Democrat who chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was the longest conversation Graham had ever had with Bush, and he heard a real stream of Texas profanity.
Calio then undertook what was basically an intense Middle East-style shuttle diplomacy between Bush and Congress trying to bring both toward the middle. Finally Bush agreed to lift the order. He had sent the message that he could cut them off if he wanted. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.198-9) On Israel, Powell referred to Sharon’s statement that Israel would not itself to become Czechoslovakia. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.203)
“The president’s recent job approval increase is unprecedented even for a time of crisis.”
…discussion about poll jump…
Rove took the polling information to Bush, and explained that if history is a guide, they had about 30 to 40 weeks before the polls returned to the norm.
…somebody else could handle. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.206)
Another reporter asked, “Are you running the risk of being characterized as attacking the Afghan people rather than military targets?” (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.210)
The president said he would be asking children to contribute $1 each to an Afghan Children’s Fund. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.217)
Rumsfeld launched into a discussion of what should be said publically about the possible use of U.S. weapons of mass destruction if the other side used them. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.218)
The meeting turned to Syria, well documented as a state supporter of Hezbollah. Syria had condemned the September 11 attacks. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.221)
Rumsfeld put forth one of his trademark aphorisms: “Do no good and no harm will come of it.” Doing good is risky. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.222)
The CIA briefers reported how important it would be to offer incentives to the Pashtuns to withdraw support from the Taliban. What would the message be? “Withdraw and get fed? If you don’t withdraw you don’t get fed.” One said. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.227)
But the atmosphere was generally one of deference to authority, especially by Franks to Rumsfeld. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.251)
Look, We’re entering a difficult phase. The press will seek to find divisions among us. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.262)
Powell worried again that it was bombing for bombing’s sake, unconnected to a military objective. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.275)
Watching from owner George Steinbrenner’s box, Karl Rove thought, it’s like being at a Nazi rally. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.277) also cited by Common Dreams
cited in the Future of Freedom Foundation
And because it would be the policy of the United States, the only superpower, the rest of the world would have to move over, would have to adjust over time. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.281)
“They may have nukes,” Cheney said, laying out the worst case scenario. They may have CW/BW. The allies in the region are a fragile proposition for us. The strategic consequences of a radical takeover in Pakistan or Saudi would be enormous. And third, the degree of patience in the United States may dissipate if we get hit again.
“Therefore, Cheney said, addressing Franks and Rumsfeld, “We may need to think about giving you more resources, a different timeline, more forces and a higher tempo of operations.” (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.291 )
“It is clearly an estimate,” Rumsfeld replied, “I did not suggest one, two, or three months; I said months rather than years. That means it could be as long as 23.” (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.296 )
He had yet another piece of bad news. “The Iranians may have switched sides and gone to side with the Taliban.” (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.298 )
In one case, $50,000 was offered to a commander to defect. Let me think about it, the commander said. So the Special Forces A-team directed a J-DAM precision bomb right outside the commander’s headquarters. The next day they called the commander back. How about $40,000? He accepted. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.299)
Musharraf said his deep fear was that the United States would in the end abandon Pakistan, and that other interests would crowd out the war on terrorism.
Bush fixed his gaze. "Tell the Pakistani people that the President of the United States looked you in the eye and told you we wouldn't do that."
Musharraf brought up an article in the New Yorker by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, alleging that the Pentagon, with the help of an Israeli special operation unit, had contingency plans to seize Pakistan’s nuclear weapons should the country become unstable.
"Seymour Hersh is a liar," Bush replies. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.303 )
In the end, Tenet believed they would find state sponsorship of the September 11 attacks….He believed that eventually they might find Iranian tracks in September 11. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.317)
We wanted to deal with specific moments, and Balz asked him [Rumsfeld] about the day after the attacks when Rumsfeld had raised the question, 'Is there a need to address Iraq as well as Bin Laden?
“What the hell did they do!" Rumsfeld exploded. "Give you every goddamn classif--... take that off the..."
I urged him not to worry.
"I didn't say that," Rumsfeld declared and then tried to pretend someone else had shouted. He pointed to Larry DiRita, his civilian special assistant. “Larry, stop yelling over my shoulder, will you please?"
I said that perhaps we could put an 18 1/2 second gap in our tape.
"Now you're talking," Rumsfeld said.
The 19-page transcript that the Defense Department later released of the interview deleted his explosion and the “hell” and goddamn." (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.319 ) also cited at activist times
One of Powell’s greatest difficulties was that he was more or less supposed to pretend in public that the sharp differences in the war cabinet didn’t exist. The president would not tolerate public discord. Powell was also held in check by his own code- a soldier obeys.
Bush might order, Go get the guns! Get my horses! -- all the Texas, Alamo macho that made Powell uncomfortable. But he believed and hoped that the president knew better, that he would see the go-it-alone approach did not stand further analysis. Hopefully, the success in the first phase of the war in Afghanistan had provided the template for that understanding.
The ghosts in the machine in Powell's view were Rumsfeld and Cheney. Too often they went for the guns and the horses. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.322 also cited in Washington Post article 11/17/2002)
In the spring of 2002, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict became so violent that it threatened to overwhelm the war on terrorism….
…Bush said he wanted to send Powell to the Middle East to see if he could calm things down…. Powell was reluctant. He said he didn't have much to offer, too little leverage with either side….
We are in trouble, the president told Powell. "You're going to have to spend some political capital. You have plenty. I need you to do it."
"Yes, sir," Powell said….
Do you understand what you’re saying to the Israelis? Powell asked him You’re going to have to look Sharon in the eye and say get out.
He said he understood.
On April 4, Bush delivered a Rose garden speech calling on the Palestinians to end the terror…..
Rice called Armitage at the State Department to ask him to tell Powell to scale back his statement, make less of a commitment about future negotiations. There were real concerns that Powell was going too far.
In Washington, Armitage was almost chained to his desk so he could talk to Powell between his meetings. It was midnight, 7 a.m. in Jerusalem, when Armitage explained Rice's concerns.
Powell went nuts. Everybody wanted to grade papers! he said. No one wanted to step up, face reality! They wanted to be pro-Israel and leave him holding the Palestinian bag by himself. They had sent him out on a nearly impossible mission.
"I'm holding back the [expletive] gates here," Armitage reported. "They're eating cheese on you" -- an old military expression for gnawing on someone and enjoying it. People in the Defense Department and the vice president's office were trying to do him in, Armitage said. He had heard from reliable media contacts that a barrage was being unloaded on Powell. He was leaning too much to Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader. The White House was going to trim Powell's sails; he was going to fail. Armitage said he couldn't verify who was leaking this, but he had names of senior people in Defense and in Cheney's office.
"That's unbelievable," Powell said. "I just heard the same thing." He had had cocktails with some reporters traveling with him, and they reported that their sources in Cheney's office were declaring he had gone too far, was off the reservation, and about to be reined in.
"People are really putting your [expletive] in the street," Armitage said.
Rice reached Powell and said all the others thought it was best he say nothing more, and announce that he was going back to Washington to consult with the president.
Powell, who had been engaged in a grueling diplomatic shuttle, erupted. Was he just supposed to say, thank you very much for your hospitality, good-bye!
Rice said she was worried that he was committing the president and the administration more deeply than they all wanted.
Guess what? Powell countered. They were already in. They couldn't launch an initiative with a high-profile presidential speech like the one Bush had given in the Rose Garden on April 4, and not expect to propose some plan or follow-up. But he agreed to trim back on his statement.
(Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.323-6) also cited in the Washington Post
In early August, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell made the diplomatic rounds in Indonesia and the Philippines and, as always, kept in touch with what was happening at home. Iraq was continuing to bubble. Brent Scowcroft, the mild-mannered national security adviser to Bush’s father during the first Gulf War, had declared on a Sunday morning talk show on August 4 that an attack on Iraq could turn the Middle East into a “cauldron and thus destroy the war on terrorism.”
Blunt talk, but Powell basically agreed. He had not made clear his own analysis and conclusions to the president and realized he needed to do so. On the long flight back, from nearly halfway around the world, he jotted down some notes. Virtually all the Iraq discussions in the National Security Council had been about war plans -- how to attack, when, with what force levels, military strike scenario this and military strike scenario that. It was clear to him now that the context was being lost, the attitude and views of the rest of the world that Powell knew and lived with. His notes filled three or four pages.
During the Persian Gulf War, when he had been chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Powell had played the role of reluctant warrior, arguing to the first President Bush, perhaps too mildly, that containing Iraq might work, that war might not be necessary. But as the principal military adviser, he hadn't pressed his arguments that forcefully because they were less military than political. Now as secretary of state, his account was politics -- the politics of the world. He decided he had to come down very hard, state his convictions and conclusions so there would be no doubt as to where he stood. The president had been hearing plenty from Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, a kind of A-team inside the war cabinet. Powell wanted to present the B-team, the alternative view that he believed had not been aired. He owed the president more than PowerPoint briefings. (Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 p.331-2 also cited in Washington Post article 11/17/2002)
Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 and book excerpts from other books from On the Issues
(Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 Christopher Hitchens book review )
Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 Book review some out of context )
Bob Woodward “Bush at War” 2002 Book review )
He was reviewing all 68 of the department’s secret war and other contingency plans worldwide and had been for months. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.2)
In 1972, then-strongman but not yet leader Saddam Hussein signed a Friendship Treaty with the Soviet Union.
(more on support of the Iraqi Kurds then abandoning them when they made a deal with the Shah) (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.69-70)
Powell knew deeply, intimately, that war is fought by kids, even teenagers who would die because of decisions made in Washington….. Only he had been in combat (of those involved in the decision making)…..
Such a back-channel contact outside the chain of command was risky for both of them, especially Franks, who would have to protect himself and might have to let Rumsfeld know there had been a conversation. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.78-80)
Asked how he thought the Iranians might respond to being called part of an “evil” axis, Bush said, “I doubt the students and the reformers and liberators inside Iran were displeased with that. I made a calculation that they would be pleased. Up hear the president speaks so clearly about the nature of the regime and the harshness and the repression they have to live under. Now I’m confident the leaders didn’t like it.
…he said “I say that freedom is not America’s gift to the world. Freedom is God’s gift to everybody in the world. I believe that….” (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.88)
Vice President Cheney told General Franks that he was planning a trip to the Middle East in March and asked what countries he should visit. Who might be ripe for solicitation, pressure to assist in a war against Iraq? (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.111)
When do kids start in school here in Bahrain? Mrs. Cheney inquired.
This isn’t Bahrain, the wife replied. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.112)
“The stated mission is regime change,” the president said. “but all this talk from the level four people… [they] are talking about things they know nothing about. Our intent is serious. There are no war plans on my desk….” Bush July 31 2002 (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.137)
Other unanswered questions included: What if Syria attacks Israel? What if Iraq just sort of implodes and someone kills Saddam? What would the U.S. do?
It was pretty much agreed that the U.S. would still have to enter Iraq with the military because they would not know who the new Iraqi leader might be. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.147)
The UN itself ought to be made an issue since it had failed for more than a decade, unable and unwilling to enforce its own resolutions that directed Saddam to destroy his weapons of mass destruction and to permit weapons inspections inside Iraq. The U.N. had to be challenged. “Go tell them it’s not about us. It’s about you. You are not important.” The U.N. was running the risk of becoming irrelevant and a mockery, he (Cheney) said. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.157) Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” also cited at On the Issues
At the NSC meeting, Cheney said to the president, “Well I’m going to make that speech.”
“Don’t get me in trouble,” Bush half-joked.
Trouble is what Cheney had in mind.
“Cheney said Peril of a Nuclear Iraq Justifies Attack,” read the headlines in the New York Times on the morning of August 27. Powell was dumbfounded. The vice president had delivered a hard-line address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Nashville and basically called weapons inspections futile. "A return of inspectors would provide no assurance whatsoever of his compliance with U.N. resolutions," Cheney had said of Hussein. "On the contrary, there is a great danger that it would provide false comfort that Saddam was somehow 'back in the box.' " (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.164) Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 also cited in the Washington Post
Christine M. Ciccone “….I found myself struggling to keep from laughing out loud at times, especially when Sec. Rumsfeld became a caricature of himself with the ‘we know what we know, we know there are things we do not know, and we know we know there are things we know we don’t know we don’t know.’ “ (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.171)
Bush and Blair took questions from reporters. They said they were committed to ending Saddam’s threat once and for all. How or when went unanswered. Bush asserted unequivocally, “Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction.” (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.178) Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” also cited in the Daily Howler
“The definition of a first tier-terrorist was somebody who was either involved in the events of September 11th or harbored and provided sanctuary to those involved. And there’s not evidence that Iraq fell into either one of these two categories….” Bob Graham (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.192-3)
Bush scoffed….“At some point, we will conclude that enough is enough and take him out. He’s a liar and he’s no intention of disarming.” (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.240)
That evening, December 18, my wife, Elsa Walsh, and I attended a huge White House Christmas Party for the media hosted by the president and his wife. The Bushes stood for hours in a receiving line as a photographer snapped pictures with the first couple. When we reached the front of the line, the president remarked that my book was selling well.
“Top of the charts,” he said, and asked, “Are you going to do another book?” He then stretched out his arms and indicated with his body language that there might be a story there, that it should be done.
“Maybe it will be called ‘More Bush at War,’” I said.
“Let’s hope not,” Laura Bush said, almost mournfully. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.243-4) Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 also cite in the Daily Howler
For example, Rumsfeld advocated what he called the “toolbox approach” to problems, noting that if the only tool you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.281)
Later Powell got word that Rumsfeld had kicked Warrick and O’Sullivan out of the Pentagon, ordering them to leave by sundown.
“What the hell is going on?” Powell said in a phone call to Rumsfeld.
Rumsfeld said that as they got into post-war planning, the work had to be done by those who were truly committed to this and supporters of the change and not those who have written or said things that were not supportive. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.283-4)
Libby used the intercept of the two suspected terrorists laughing about killing a donkey with ricin that McLaughlin had discarded as unreliable. He said that Mohammed Atta, the leader of the Sept. 11 attacks, was believed to have met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence officer and cited intelligence of as many as four meetings. The others knew the CIA had evidence of two meetings perhaps, and that there was no certainty about what Atta had been doing in Prague or whether he had met with the Iraqi official. Libby talked for about an hour.
Armitage was appalled at what he considered overreaching and hyperbole. Libby was drawing only the worst conclusions from fragments and silky threads.
On the other hand, Wolfowitz, who had been convinced years ago of Iraq's complicity in anti-American terrorism, thought Libby presented a strong case. He subscribed to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's notion that lack of evidence did not mean something did not exist….
The most important response came from Karen Hughes. As a communications exercise, she said, it didn't work. The sweeping conclusions at the head of each section were too much. The president, she said, wanted it to be like the old television series "Dragnet": "Just the facts." Let people draw their own conclusions….
So who then should present the public case? Rice and Hadley pondered that. The case would have to be made to the United Nations, so the chief diplomat, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, was the logical choice. Hadley believed there were additional reasons to choose Powell. First, to have maximum credibility, it would be best to go counter to type and everyone knew that Powell was soft on Iraq, that he was the one who didn't want to go. Second, Powell was conscious of his credibility, and his reputation. He would examine the intelligence carefully. Third, when Powell was prepared, he was very persuasive.
"I want you to do it," Bush told the secretary of state. "You have the credibility to do it." Powell was flattered to be asked to do what no one else could. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.289-90)
Colin, the vice president said, look carefully at the terrorism case that Scooter prepared. Give it a good look.
Sure, Dick, Powell said. He generally used the vice president's first name when they were alone. Cheney was not ordering him or trying to direct him. It was just a request to take a serious look.
Powell looked at it. Four Mohammed Atta meetings in Prague. That was worse than ridiculous. He pitched it.
Powell thought that Cheney had the fever. The vice president and Wolfowitz kept looking for the connection between Hussein and Sept. 11. It was a separate little government that was out there -- Wolfowitz, Libby, Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith and Feith's "Gestapo office," as Powell privately called it. He saw in Cheney a sad transformation. The cool operator from the first Gulf War just would not let go. Cheney now had an unhealthy fixation. Nearly every conversation or reference came back to al Qaeda and trying to nail the connection with Iraq. He would often have an obscure piece of intelligence. Powell thought that Cheney took intelligence and converted uncertainty and ambiguity into fact. It was about the worst charge that Powell could make about the vice president. But there it was. Cheney would take an intercept and say it shows something was happening. No, no, no, Powell or another would say, it shows that somebody talked to somebody else who said something might be happening. A conversation would suggest something might be happening, and Cheney would convert that into a "We know." Well, Powell concluded, we didn't know. No one knew. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.292) Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” also cited in War without end
Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said, “We have to date found no evidence that Iraq has revived its nuclear weapons program since its elimination of the program in the 1990’s,” (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.293)
Bush then spoke 16 words that would become notorious: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.294-5)
Then he gave the Prime Minister his pep talk. “This is going to change. You watch, public opinion will change. We lead our publics. We cannot follow our publics.” (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.296)
“We really don’t know,” Rumsfeld said, once again expressing skepticism about intelligence. “People may be lying to us,” he said. “Their seriousness with us will depend on their judgements about how serious we are.” Implying that the intelligence people were stringing some sources or agents along, he said, “At some point things change and the diddler can turn into the diddlee.” The implication was that the deceiving or diddling of others might reap a harvest of lies in return, but it was a rumsfeldism that left several shaking their heads. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.330)
The president was very worried. He called Blair for one of their regular conversations. They explored the possibilities, which other countries on the U.N. Security Council they could get to support them with a second resolution.
“If they don’t vote with us,” Bush said, “what I want to say you is that my last choice is to have your government go down. We don't want that to happen under any circumstances. I really mean that." If it would help, Bush said, he would let Blair drop out of the coalition and they would find some other way for Britain to participate.
If it would help, Bush said, he would let Blair drop out of the coalition and they would find some other way for Britain and its 41,000 military personnel in the region around Iraq to participate. “I said I’m with you. I mean it,” Blair replied. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.338) Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” also cited in the Washington Post Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” also cited in the Washington Post
At the Pentagon press briefing the next day, March 11, Rumsfeld indicated that the British might not participate if there was war. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.341)
Bush said that Chirac was a “bully,” especially to the East European nations. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.346)
If there were a delay, he said, “Public opinion won’t get better and it will get worse in some countries like America.” (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.357)
“I was the guy that said they [the U.N.] ought to vote. And one country voted — at least showed their cards, I believe. It's an old Texas expression, show your cards, when you're playing poker. France showed their cards. … They said they were going to veto anything that held Saddam to account. So cards have been played, and we’ll just have to take an assessment after tomorrow to determine what that card meant.” Bush said he wanted to talk about the U.N.’s importance. “In the post-Saddam Iraq, the U.N. will definitely need to have a role. And that way it can begin to get its legs, legs of responsibility back.” (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.360)
(Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.)
“The Iraqi generals are war criminals,” he told them and added a new and significant twist. “If Saddam leaves we’ll go in anyway. That way we can avoid ethnic cleansing. We’ll go in in a peaceful way, and there’ll be a list of country after country after country all who are solidly with us in this coalition.” Going in was important to get the WMD and to deal with the Baath Party leadership. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.369)
Bush later recalled that moment. “It was emotional for me. I prayed as I walked around in a circle. I prayed that our troops be safe, be protected by the Almighty, that there be minimal loss of life.” He prayed for all who were to go into harm’s way and for the country. “Going into this period, I was praying for strength to do the Lord’s will….I’m surely not going to justify war based upon God. Understand that. Nevertheless, in my case I pray that I be as good a messenger of His will as possible. And then, of course, I pray for personal strength and for forgiveness.” (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.379) Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” also cited in the Washington Post
Bush was worrying about the woman and children. This could be a kind of baby milk factory, he said, recalling an incident from the 1991 Gulf War when the Iraqis had claimed a suspected biological weapons plant that was bombed was really for the production of milk…. Could Iraq use this as a public relations exercise?.... (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.487)
At one point Franks said, “There are 30,000 Iraqi casualties estimated.”
Rumsfeld had been trying to make sure they didn’t provide numbers. He later recalled “I remember leaping in and suggesting that that person probably realy doesn’t know that number and that my impression would be that it would not be helpful that people walked out of the room with that number in their heads.”
"In other words, we had just been mowing them down as we're coming in,” the president commented later in an interview...I mentioned that some generals estimated that 60,000 Iraqi military were killed, but no one knew because they didn't find the bodies…. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.407)
Rice expressed her concern to Powell. "You can blame Rich if you want," Powell replied, but "Rich had the guts to talk to you directly about this, so I don’t think he is the source."… Powell thought Rice was more interested in finding someone to blame for the public airing of the problem than in fixing it….
Powell believed it was the hardest of all tasks to go back to fundamentals and question your own judgment, and there was no sign it was going to happen. So he soldiered on once again against the current. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.415-6)
“The good news for us is that Dean is not the nominee,” Rove now argued to an associate in his second floor West Wing office. Dean's unconditional opposition to the Iraq war could have been potent in a face-off with Bush. "One of Dean's strengths, though, was he could say, I'm not part of that crowd down there." But Kerry was very much a part of the Washington crowd, and he had voted in favor of the resolution for war. Rove got out his two-inch-thick, loose-leaf binder titled "Bring It On." It consisted of research into Kerry's 19-year record in the Senate. Most relevant were pages 9 to 20 of the section on Iraq. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.431) Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” also cited in the Washington Post
Both the president and she were “mad,” she told the secretary of state. Powell had “given the democrats a remarkable tool.”…..
Powell did not particularly enjoy being dressed down by someone 17 years younger who held the job he had held 15 years earlier….. (Bob Woodward “Plan of Attack” 2004 p.436-7)
The United Nations was created in a mood of popular outrage after the horrors of World War II. Its central purpose was to serve as instrument for maintaining peace in order “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.”15 Leading jurists consider the U.N. Charter as the highest embodiment of international law—codifying and superceding existing laws and customs. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.24) Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” for complete article from original source see Center for Economic and Social Rights
As a matter of historical record, the Security Council did consider military intervention in Rwanda but was blocked repeatedly by its permanent members, including the U.S., the U.K., and France. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.29 for complete text see previous source from Center for Economic and Social Rights)
Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” entire article from original source BBC
Q: so you don’t think there was a legal authority for the war? A: I have stated clearly that it was not in conformity with the Security council- with the UN Charter. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.33) Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” entire article from original source BBC
Iraq: Civilians Under Fire
Amnesty International (AI) is deeply concerned about the mounting toll of civilian casualties in Iraq and the reported use of cluster bombs by U.S. forces in heavily populated areas.
The scenes at al-Hilla hospital on 1 April showed that something terrible had happened. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.39) Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” Entire article from original source Amnesty International
U.S. Violations of Occupation Law in Iraq Although Russian, German and French companies built much of Iraq’s infrastructure; the U.S. refuses to import spare parts from these countries, instead contracting with American companies to rebuild entire facilities. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.63)
One official was quoted as saying, “We don’t kick the [expletive] out of them. We send them to other countries so they can kick the [expletive] out of them.” An official who had supervised the capture and transfer of accused terrorists said "If you don't violate someone's human rights some of the time, you probably aren't doing your job?...I don’t think we want to be promoting a view of zero tolerance on this.” (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.84-97) also quoted in “Blackwater” by Jeremy Skahill Partial Original source is the Washington post
Also quoted in declare peace.org (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.84-97 complete article from original source Human Rights Watch)
(Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.127 )
(Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.128-30 )
Former Assistant attorney General Jay S. Bybee, as the head of the Office of Legal Counsel-an office once known as the conscience of the U>S Department of Justice-issued a formal legal opinion in 2002 interpreting the Convention Against Torture and a related law enacted by Congress prohibiting torture. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.128 )
The Gonzales Indictment (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.133-5)
Mark Danner (Author): When you have these military reports that are commissioned by the government, they can only look down the chains of command. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.1)
The great struggles of the twentieth century between liberty and totalitarianism ended with a decisive victory for the forces of freedom- and a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.143-7)
Congressional research Service report on the use of Preventive Military Force International Socialist Review on the Shock doctrine AKA the Bush Doctrine The Coming Wars by Seymour Hersh
George W. Bush’s reëlection was not his only victory last fall. The President and his national-security advisers have consolidated control over the military and intelligence communities’ strategic analyses and covert operations to a degree unmatched since the rise of the post-Second World War national-security state. Bush has an aggressive and ambitious agenda for using that control—against the mullahs in Iran and against targets in the ongoing war on terrorism—during his second term. The C.I.A. will continue to be downgraded, and the agency will increasingly serve, as one government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon put it, as “facilitators” of policy emanating from President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. This process is well under way. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.148-52)
You might think that the debacle in Iraq would be enough for the Pentagon, that it would not be in the mood to seek out new routes to unnecessary wars for the United States to fight. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.153-4)
Terminating the Bush Juggernaut (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.251)
Morality, international law, the U.S. constitution, and common sense provide many compelling reasons to take affirmative measures to bring the Bush administration’s war crimes to a halt. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.248)
The scope and depth of the American antiwar movement, which had marched and lobbied and blocked traffic throughout the country in 2003, was most strikingly revealed, I think, by its enormous effort in 2004 to elect a candidate who supported the war. Had Howard Dean been the nominee, instead of the tedious and finger-to-the-wind “centrist” John Kerry, (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.275)
New Hampshire peace Action New Hampshire peace Action http://www.nhpeaceaction.org/
We have talked to many veterans from various wars who have told us that there I a quota they have to fulfill every month, and that it really doesn’t matter if they lie because in the contract the new recruit signs there is a clause that protects the U.S. military from being held accountable for any remark made by the recruiter. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.297-8)
At the Nuremberg tribunals that followed World War II, America insisted that the surviving leaders of Nazi Germany and imperial Japan be neither shot when captured nor set free, but rather prosecuted as war criminals in a court of law that gave those accused a full opportunity to present a defense. (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.301)
“If I were doing the Security Council today, I’d have one permanent member because that’s the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world…[and that member would be] the United States.” (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.310) also cited on Source Watch
Just what is a war Criminal? www.insightmag.com/news/1999/08/02/SpecialReport/ (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.)
“It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so- because over the long term… those who think that international law realy means anything are those who want to constrict the united States.” Original source (http://www.insightmag.com/news/1999/08/02/SpecialReport/Just-What.Is.A.War.Criminal-215455.shtml) (Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” 2005 p.)
also cited at Insights
Jeremy Brecher, Jill cutler and Brendan Smith “In the Name of Democracy” American Empire Project
In retrospect, Clarke said, he believes that the President and his men did not respond for three reasons: “One, they did not want to get involved in Afghanistan like Russia did. Two, they were saving forces for the war in Iraq. And, three, Rumsfeld wanted to have a laboratory to prove his theory about the ability of small numbers of ground troops, coupled with airpower, to win decisive battles.” The result Clarke told me, was that “the U.S. has succeeded in stabilizing only two or three cities. The President of Afghanistan is just the mayor of Kabul.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.147) (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in the New Yorker
Most alarmingly, according to a U.N. survey, nearly 70 percent of farmers intended to increase their poppy crops in 2004, most of them by more than half…. Many of the areas that the UN report identified as likely to see increased production are in regions where the United States has a major military presence. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.155)
Chalabi, who was born into a wealthy Shiite banking family, hadn’t lived in Iraq for decades. He emigrated to England with his parents in 1958, when he was thirteen years old, and earned a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Chicago. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.164)
It was believed that the government of President Mohammad Khatami, the United States’ newfound partner in the war against the Taliban, would permit I.N.C. forces and their military equipment to croos the Iranian border into southern Iraq. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.171)
The Iraqi hawks and their opponents were preoccupied with disputes over Chalabi’s potential usefulness….
Within six months of September 11th, Alawi and a number of former Iraqi officers….Allawi’s…”..strongest virtue was that he was a thug.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.179-80)
Arabs are like most people,” Perle told me. “They like winners, and will go with the winners all the time. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.182”) Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 also cited in New Yorker article
A senior Israeli official told me “….Our lack of retaliation was seen in the West as very smart, but in the Arab world it had serious negative effect on Israel’s deterrence posture. If someone thinks they can hit Israel and not get hit ten times as strongly back, it is a serious issue. It won’t happen again….” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.185)
The coming war meant money-lots of it-would be spent, and made. Some of the most ardent advocates of the war against Iraq were also the most eager to profit from it. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.189)
There was no question that Perle believed that removing Saddam from power was the right thing to do. At the same time, he set up a company that stood to profit from a war. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.200)
"The I.A.E.A. has concluded, with the concurrence of outside experts, that these documents . . . are in fact not authentic," ElBaradei said. One senior I.A.E.A. official went further. He told me, “These documents are so bad that I cannot imagine that they came from a serious intelligence agency. It depresses me, given the low quality of the documents, that it was not stopped. At the level it reached, I would have expected more checking.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.205) Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cite by Leading to war Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited by Rense.com Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in the New Yorker
He went on, “I think Mr. ElBaradei, frankly is wrong. And I think if you look at the track record of the International Atomic Energy Agency on this kind of issue, especially where Iraq is concerned, they have consistently underestimated or missed what it was Saddam was doing. I don’t have any reason to believe they’re any more valid this time than they’ve been in the past.” Three days later, the war in Iraq began. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.207) (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in wolf Blitzer interview) (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” for original transcript of “Meet the Press”)
The intelligence community was in full retreat, and the Office of Special Plans circumvented the vetting process…. “The Vice President came into a meeting furious that we hadn’t given the money to Chalibi,” the former official recalled. Cheney said, “Here we are, denying him money, when they”-the Iraqi National Congress-“areproviding us with unique intelligence on Iraqi WMDs.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.215)
Holmes added, “The whole story is complicated by Strauss’s-actually Plato’s-that philosophers need to tell noble lies not only to the people at large but also to powerful politicians.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.220-1)
In late summer, the White House sharply escalated the nuclear rhetoric. There were at least two immediate targets: the midterm congressional elections and the pending vote on a congressional resolution authorizing the President to take any action he deemed necessary in Iraq, to protect America s national security.
On August 7th, Vice-President Cheney, speaking in California, said of Saddam Hussein, “What we know now, from various sources, is that he . . . continues to pursue a nuclear weapon.” On August 26th, Cheney suggested that Saddam had a nuclear capability that could directly threaten “anyone he chooses, in his own region or beyond.” He added that the Iraqis were continuing to pursue the nuclear program they began so many years ago. On September 8th, he told a television interviewer, “We do know, with absolute certainty, that he is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon.” The President himself, in his weekly radio address on September 14th, stated, “Saddam Hussein has the scientists and infrastructure for a nuclear-weapons program, and has illicitly sought to purchase the equipment needed to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon.” There was no confirmed intelligence for the President s assertion.
The government of the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, President Bush s closest ally, was also brought in. As Blair later told a British government inquiry, he and Bush had talked by telephone that summer about the need “to disclose what we knew or as much as we could of what we knew.” Blair loyally took the lead: on September 24th, the British government issued a dossier dramatizing the W.M.D. threat posed by Iraq. In a foreword, Blair proclaimed that “the assessed intelligence has established beyond doubt that Saddam . . . continues in his efforts to develop nuclear weapons. The dossier noted that intelligence based, again, largely on the SISMI report showed that Iraq had sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” A subsequent parliamentary inquiry determined that the published statement had been significantly toned down after the C.I.A. warned its British counterpart not to include the claim in the dossier, and in the final version Niger was not named, nor was SISMI.
The White House, meanwhile, had been escalating its rhetoric. In a television interview on September 8th, Condoleezza Rice, the national-security adviser, addressing questions about the strength of the Administration s case against Iraq, said, We don t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud a formulation that was taken up by hawks in the Administration. And, in a speech on October 7th, President Bush said, “Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.230) Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in truth out
Several senior war planners complained to me in interviews that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his inner circle of civilian advisers, who had been chiefly responsible for persuading President Bush to lead the country into war, had insisted on micromanaging the war’s operational details. Rumsfeld’s team took over crucial aspects of the day-to-day logistical planning—traditionally, an area in which the uniformed military excels—and Rumsfeld repeatedly overruled the senior Pentagon planners on the Joint Staff, the operating arm of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “He thought he knew better,” one senior planner said. “He was the decision-maker at every turn.”
On at least six occasions, the planner told me, when Rumsfeld and his deputies were presented with operational plans—the Iraqi assault was designated Plan 1003—he insisted that the number of ground troops be sharply reduced. Rumsfeld’s faith in precision bombing and his insistence on streamlined military operations has had profound consequences for the ability of the armed forces to fight effectively overseas. “They’ve got no resources,” a former high-level intelligence official said. “He was so focused on proving his point—that the Iraqis were going to fall apart.”
The critical moment, one planner said, came last fall, during the buildup for the war, when Rumsfeld decided that he would no longer be guided by the Pentagon’s most sophisticated war-planning document, the TPFDL—time-phased forces-deployment list—which is known to planning officers as the tip-fiddle (tip-fid, for short). A TPFDL is a voluminous document describing the inventory of forces that are to be sent into battle, the sequence of their deployment, and the deployment of logistical support. “It’s the complete applecart, with many pieces,” Roger J. Spiller, the George C. Marshall Professor of military history at the U.S. Command and General Staff College, said. “Everybody trains and plans on it. It’s constantly in motion and always adjusted at the last minute. It’s an embedded piece of the bureaucratic and operational culture.” A retired Air Force strategic planner remarked, “This is what we do best—go from A to B—and the tip-fiddle is where you start. It’s how you put together a plan for moving into the theatre.” Another former planner said, “Once you turn on the tip-fid, everything moves in an orderly fashion.” A former intelligence officer added, “When you kill the tip-fiddle, you kill centralized military planning. The military is not like a corporation that can be streamlined. It is the most inefficient machine known to man. It’s the redundancy that saves lives.”
The TPFDL for the war in Iraq ran to forty or more computer-generated spreadsheets, dealing with everything from weapons to toilet paper. When it was initially presented to Rumsfeld last year for his approval, it called for the involvement of a wide range of forces from the different armed services, including four or more Army divisions. Rumsfeld rejected the package, because it was “too big,” the Pentagon planner said. He insisted that a smaller, faster-moving attack force, combined with overwhelming air power, would suffice. Rumsfeld further stunned the Joint Staff by insisting that he would control the timing and flow of Army and Marine troops to the combat zone. Such decisions are known in the military as R.F.F.s—requests for forces. He, and not the generals, would decide which unit would go when and where.
The TPFDL called for the shipment in advance, by sea, of hundreds of tanks and other heavy vehicles—enough for three or four divisions. Rumsfeld ignored this advice. Instead, he relied on the heavy equipment that was already in Kuwait—enough for just one full combat division. The 3rd Infantry Division, from Fort Stewart, Georgia, the only mechanized Army division that was active inside Iraq last week, thus arrived in the Gulf without its own equipment. “Those guys are driving around in tanks that were pre-positioned. Their tanks are sitting in Fort Stewart,” the planner said. “To get more forces there we have to float them. We can’t fly our forces in, because there’s nothing for them to drive. Over the past six months, you could have floated everything in ninety days—enough for four or more divisions.” The planner added, “This is the mess Rumsfeld put himself in, because he didn’t want a heavy footprint on the ground.”
Plan 1003 was repeatedly updated and presented to Rumsfeld, and each time, according to the planner, Rumsfeld said, “‘You’ve got too much ground force—go back and do it again.’” In the planner’s view, Rumsfeld had two goals: to demonstrate the efficacy of precision bombing and to “do the war on the cheap.” Rumsfeld and his two main deputies for war planning, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, “were so enamored of ‘shock and awe’ that victory seemed assured,” the planner said. “They believed that the weather would always be clear, that the enemy would expose itself, and so precision bombings would always work.”
Rumsfeld’s personal contempt for many of the senior generals and admirals who were promoted to top jobs during the Clinton Administration is widely known. He was especially critical of the Army, with its insistence on maintaining costly mechanized divisions. In his off-the-cuff memoranda, or “snowflakes,” as they’re called in the Pentagon, he chafed about generals having “the slows”—a reference to Lincoln’s characterization of General George McClellan. “In those conditions—an atmosphere of derision and challenge—the senior officers do not offer their best advice,” a high-ranking general who served for more than a year under Rumsfeld said. One witness to a meeting recalled Rumsfeld confronting General Eric Shinseki, the Army Chief of Staff, in front of many junior officers. “He was looking at the Chief and waving his hand,” the witness said, “saying, ‘Are you getting this yet? Are you getting this yet?’ ”
Gradually, Rumsfeld succeeded in replacing those officers in senior Joint Staff positions who challenged his view. “All the Joint Staff people now are handpicked, and churn out products to make the Secretary of Defense happy,” the planner said. “They don’t make military ju7dgements they just respond to the snowflakes.”
In the months leading up to the war, a split developed inside the military, with the planners and their immediate superiors warning that the war plan was dangerously thin on troops and matériel, and the top generals—including General Tommy Franks, the head of the U.S. Central Command, and Air Force General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—supporting Rumsfeld. After Turkey’s parliament astonished the war planners in early March by denying the United States permission to land the 4th Infantry Division in Turkey, Franks initially argued that the war ought to be delayed until the troops could be brought in by another route, a former intelligence official said. “Rummy overruled him.”
Many of the present and former officials I spoke to were critical of Franks for his perceived failure to stand up to his civilian superiors. A former senator told me that Franks was widely seen as a commander who “will do what he’s told.” A former intelligence official asked, “Why didn’t he go to the President?” A Pentagon official recalled that one senior general used to prepare his deputies for meetings with Rumsfeld by saying, “When you go in to talk to him, you’ve got to be prepared to lay your stars on the table and walk out. Otherwise, he’ll walk over you.”
In early February, according to a senior Pentagon official, Rumsfeld appeared at the Army Commanders’ Conference, a biannual business and social gathering of all the four-star generals. Rumsfeld was invited to join the generals for dinner and make a speech. All went well, the official told me, until Rumsfeld, during a question-and-answer session, was asked about his personal involvement in the deployment of combat units, in some cases with only five or six days’ notice. To the astonishment and anger of the generals, Rumsfeld denied responsibility. “He said, ‘I wasn’t involved,’” the official said. “‘It was the Joint Staff.’”
“We thought it would be fence-mending, but it was a disaster,” the official said of the dinner. “Everybody knew he was looking at these deployment orders. And for him to blame it on the Joint Staff—” The official hesitated a moment, and then said, “It’s all about Rummy and the truth.”
According to a dozen or so military men I spoke to, Rumsfeld simply failed to anticipate the consequences of protracted warfare. He put Army and Marine units in the field with few reserves and an insufficient number of tanks and other armored vehicles. (The military men say that the vehicles that they do have have been pushed too far and are malfunctioning.) Supply lines—inevitably, they say—have become overextended and vulnerable to attack, creating shortages of fuel, water, and ammunition. Pentagon officers spoke contemptuously of the Administration’s optimistic press briefings. “It’s a stalemate now,” the former intelligence official told me. “It’s going to remain one only if we can maintain our supply lines. The carriers are going to run out of jdams”—the satellite-guided bombs that have been striking targets in Baghdad and elsewhere with extraordinary accuracy. Much of the supply of Tomahawk guided missiles has been expended. “The Marines are worried as hell,” the former intelligence official went on. “They’re all committed, with no reserves, and they’ve never run the lavs”—light armored vehicles—“as long and as hard” as they have in Iraq. There are serious maintenance problems as well. “The only hope is that they can hold out until reinforcements come.”
The 4th Infantry Division—the Army’s most modern mechanized division—whose equipment spent weeks waiting in the Mediterranean before being diverted to the overtaxed American port in Kuwait, is not expected to be operational until the end of April. The 1st Cavalry Division, in Texas, is ready to ship out, the planner said, but by sea it will take twenty-three days to reach Kuwait. “All we have now is front-line positions,” the former intelligence official told me. “Everything else is missing.”
Last week, plans for an assault on Baghdad had stalled, and the six Republican Guard divisions expected to provide the main Iraqi defense had yet to have a significant engagement with American or British soldiers. The shortages forced Central Command to “run around looking for supplies,” the former intelligence official said. The immediate goal, he added, was for the Army and Marine forces “to hold tight and hope that the Republican Guard divisions get chewed up” by bombing. The planner agreed, saying, “The only way out now is back, and to hope for some kind of a miracle—that the Republican Guards commit themselves,” and thus become vulnerable to American air strikes.
“Hope,” a retired four-star general subsequently told me, “is not a course of action.” Last Thursday, the Army’s senior ground commander, Lieutenant General William S. Wallace, said to reporters, “The enemy we’re fighting is different from the one we war-gamed against.” (One senior Administration official commented to me, speaking of the Iraqis, “They’re not scared. Ain’t it something? They’re not scared.”) At a press conference the next day, Rumsfeld and Myers were asked about Wallace’s comments, and defended the war plan—Myers called it “brilliant” and “on track.” They pointed out that the war was only a little more than a week old.
Scott Ritter, the former marine and United Nations weapons inspector, who has warned for months that the American “shock and awe” strategy would not work, noted that much of the bombing has had little effect or has been counterproductive. For example, the bombing of Saddam’s palaces has freed up a brigade of special guards who had been assigned to protect them, and who have now been sent home to await further deployment. “Every one of their homes—and they are scattered throughout Baghdad—is stacked with ammunition and supplies,” Ritter told me.
“This is tragic,” one senior planner said bitterly. “American lives are being lost.” The former intelligence official told me, “They all said, ‘We can do it with air power.’ They believed their own propaganda.” The high-ranking former general described Rumsfeld’s approach to the Joint Staff war planning as “McNamara-like intimidation by intervention of a small cell”—a reference to Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara and his aides, who were known for their challenges to the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Vietnam War. The former high-ranking general compared the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Stepford wives. “They’ve abrogated their responsibility.”
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of last week was the failure of the Shiite factions in southern Iraq to support the American and British invasion. Various branches of the Al Dawa faction, which operate underground, have been carrying out acts of terrorism against the Iraqi regime since the nineteen-eighties. But Al Dawa has also been hostile to American interests. Some in American intelligence have implicated the group in the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, which cost the lives of two hundred and forty-one marines. Nevertheless, in the months before the war the Bush Administration courted Al Dawa by including it among the opposition groups that would control postwar Iraq. “Dawa is one group that could kill Saddam,” a former American intelligence official told me. “They hate Saddam because he suppressed the Shiites. They exist to kill Saddam.” He said that their apparent decision to stand with the Iraqi regime now was a “disaster” for us. “They’re like hard-core Vietcong.”
There were reports last week that Iraqi exiles, including fervent Shiites, were crossing into Iraq by car and bus from Jordan and Syria to get into the fight on the side of the Iraqi government. Robert Baer, a former C.I.A. Middle East operative, told me in a telephone call from Jordan, “Everybody wants to fight. The whole nation of Iraq is fighting to defend Iraq. Not Saddam. They’ve been given the high sign, and we are courting disaster. If we take fifty or sixty casualties a day and they die by the thousands, they’re still winning. It’s a jihad, and it’s a good thing to die. This is no longer a secular war.” There were press reports of mujahedeen arriving from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Algeria for “martyrdom operations.”
There had been an expectation before the war that Iran, Iraq’s old enemy, would side with the United States in this fight. One Iraqi opposition group, the Iraqi National Congress, led by Ahmed Chalabi, has been in regular contact with the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or sciri, an umbrella organization for Shiite groups who oppose Saddam. The organization is based in Iran and has close ties to Iranian intelligence. The Chalabi group set up an office last year in Tehran, with the approval of Chalabi’s supporters in the Pentagon, who include Rumsfeld, his deputies Wolfowitz and Feith, and Richard Perle, the former chairman of the Defense Policy Board. Chalabi has repeatedly predicted that the Tehran government would provide support, including men and arms, if an American invasion of Iraq took place…..In a press conference on Friday, Rumsfeld warned Iranian militants against interfering with American forces and accused Syria of sending military equipment to the Iraqis. A Middle East businessman who has long-standing ties in Jordan and Syria—and whose information I have always found reliable—told me that the religious government in Tehran “is now backing Iraq in the war. There isn’t any Arab fighting group on the ground in Iraq who is with the United States,” he said. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.249-57)
Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited by the Truthseeker.co
Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” extended excerpts cited in the mail archive
Speaking to journalists in September 2002 about the uses of preemptive military actions in Iraq and elsewhere, Rumsfeld said, “We all would like perfection; we’d like all the dots connected for us with a ribbon wrapped around it.” Americans, he added, “want evidence beyond reasonable doubt. You want to be able to be certain that you know before anyone’s punished.” But, he continued, “This isn’t punishment. We’ve got the wrong model in our minds if we’re thinking about punishment. We’re not. This isn’t retaliation or retribution.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.267)
An American who has advised the civilian authority in Baghdad similarly said, “The only way we can win is to go unconventional. We’re going to have to play their game. Guerrilla versus Gurrilla. Terrorism verses terrorism. We’ve got to scare the Iraqi’s into submission.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.274)
Told of such comments, the pentagon advisor, who is an expert on unconventional war, expressed dismay. “There are people saying all sorts of things about manhunts,” he said. “… we don’t fight terror with terror….”
Boykin praised President Bush as a “man who prays in the Oval Office,” and declared that Bush was “not elected” President but “appointed by God.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.276-7)
Pakistan has had the bomb since 1987, when its nuclear laboratories successfully fabricated a warhead. Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who developed Pakistan’s uranium enrichment program, is revered today by his countrymen as the father of the nuclear bomb. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.291)
The skeptics among intelligence and military officials I spoke to challenged that view. The C.I.A., they noted, provided effective information on the warheads in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s when it worked closely with the Pakistan military in Afghanistan. community (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.293)
The document's most politically sensitive information, however, was about Pakistan. Since 1997, the C.I.A. said, Pakistan had been sharing sophisticated technology, warhead-design information, and weapons-testing data with the Pyongyang regime. Pakistan, one of the Bush Administration's important allies in the war against terrorism, was helping North Korea build the bomb.
In 1985, North Korea signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which led to the opening of most of its nuclear sites to international inspection. By the early nineteen-nineties, it became evident to American intelligence agencies and international inspectors that the North Koreans were reprocessing more spent fuel than they had declared, and might have separated enough plutonium, a reactor by-product, to fabricate one or two nuclear weapons. The resulting diplomatic crisis was resolved when North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Il, entered into an agreement with the Clinton Administration to stop the nuclear-weapons program in return for economic aid and the construction of two light-water nuclear reactors that, under safeguards, would generate electricity.
Within three years, however, North Korea had begun using a second method to acquire fissile material. This time, instead of using spent fuel, scientists were trying to produce weapons-grade uranium from natural uranium--with Pakistani technology. One American intelligence official, referring to the C.I.A. report, told me, "It points a clear finger at the Pakistanis. The technical stuff is crystal clear--not hedged and not ambivalent."….
North Korea is economically isolated; one of its main sources of export income is arms sales, and its most sought-after products are missiles. And one of its customers has been Pakistan, which has a nuclear arsenal of its own but needs the missiles to more effectively deliver the warheads to the interior of its rival, India. In 1997, according to the C.I.A. report, Pakistan began paying for missile systems from North Korea in part by sharing its nuclear-weapons secrets. According to the report, Pakistan sent prototypes of high-speed centrifuge machines to North Korea. And sometime in 2001 North Korean scientists began to enrich uranium in significant quantities. Pakistan also provided data on how to build and test a uranium-triggered nuclear weapon, the C.I.A. report said.
A former senior Pakistani official told me that his government's contacts with North Korea increased dramatically in 1997; the Pakistani economy had foundered, and there was "no more money" to pay for North Korean missile support, so the Pakistani government began paying for missiles by providing "some of the know-how and the specifics." Pakistan helped North Korea conduct a series of "cold tests," simulated nuclear explosions, using natural uranium, which are necessary to determine whether a nuclear device will detonate properly. Pakistan also gave the North Korean intelligence service advice on "how to fly under the radar," as the former official put it---that is, how to hide nuclear research from American satellites and U.S. and South Korean intelligence agents.
It had taken Pakistan a decade of experimentation, and a substantial financial investment, before it was able to produce reliable centrifuges; with Pakistan's help, the North Koreans had "chopped many years off" the development process, the intelligence official noted. It is not known how many centrifuges are now being operated in North Korea or where the facilities are. (They are assumed to be in underground caves.) The Pakistani centrifuges, the official said, are slim cylinders, roughly six feet in height, that could be shipped "by the hundreds" in cargo planes. But, he added, "all Pakistan would have to do is give the North Koreans the blueprints. They are very sophisticated in their engineering." And with a few thousand centrifuges, he said, "North Korea could have enough fissile material to manufacture two or three warheads a year, with something left over to sell." (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.303-6) Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in access my library Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in official essay
President Bush's contempt for the North Korean government is well known, and makes the White House's failure to publicize the C.I.A. report or act on it all the more puzzling. In his State of the Union address in January of last year, Bush cited North Korea, along with Iraq and Iran, as part of the "axis of evil." Bob Woodward, in "Bush at War," his book about the Administration's response to September 11th, recalls an interview at the President's Texas ranch in August: " 'I loathe Kim Jong Il!' Bush shouted, waving his finger in the air. 'I've got a visceral reaction to this guy, because he is starving his people.' " Woodward wrote that the President had become so emotional while speaking about Kim Jong Il that "I thought he might jump up."
The Bush Administration was put on notice about North Korea even before it received the C.I.A. report. In January of last year, John Bolton, the Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control, declared that North Korea had a covert nuclear-weapons program and was in violation of the nonproliferation treaty. In February, the President was urged by three members of Congress to withhold support for the two reactors promised to North Korea, on the ground that the Pyongyang government was said to be operating a secret processing site "for the enrichment of uranium." In May, Bolton again accused North Korea of failing to coöperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the group responsible for monitoring treaty compliance. Nevertheless, on July 5th the President's national-security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, who presumably had received the C.I.A. report weeks earlier, made it clear in a letter to the congressmen that the Bush Administration would continue providing North Korea with shipments of heavy fuel oil and nuclear technology for the two promised energy-generating reactors.
The Administration's fitful North Korea policy, with its mixture of anger and seeming complacency, is in many ways a consequence of its unrelenting focus on Iraq. Late last year, the White House released a national-security-strategy paper authorizing the military "to detect and destroy an adversary's WMD assets"---weapons of mass destruction---"before these weapons are used." The document argued that the armed forces "must have the capability to defend against WMD-armed adversaries . . . because deterrence may not succeed." Logically, the new strategy should have applied first to North Korea, whose nuclear-weapons program remains far more advanced than Iraq's. The Administration's goal, however, was to mobilize public opinion for an invasion of Iraq. One American intelligence official told me, "The Bush doctrine says MAD"---mutual assured destruction---"will not work for these rogue nations, and therefore we have to preëmpt if negotiations don't work. And the Bush people knew that the North Koreans had already reinvigorated their programs and were more dangerous than Iraq. But they didn't tell anyone. They have bankrupted their own policy---thus far---by not doing what their doctrine calls for."
Iraq's military capacity has been vitiated by its defeat in the Gulf War and years of inspections, but North Korea is one of the most militarized nations in the world, with more than forty per cent of its population under arms. Its artillery is especially fearsome: more than ten thousand guns, along with twenty-five hundred rocket launchers capable of launching five hundred thousand shells an hour, are positioned within range of Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The Pentagon has estimated that all-out war would result in more than a million military and civilian casualties, including as many as a hundred thousand Americans killed. A Clinton Administration official recalled attending a congressional briefing in the mid-nineties at which Army General Gary Luck, the commander of U.S. forces in Korea, laconically said, "Senator, I could win this one for you---but not right away."
In early October, James A. Kelly, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, flew to Pyongyang with a large entourage for a showdown over the uranium-enrichment program. The agenda was, inevitably, shaped by officials' awareness of the President's strong personal views. "There was a huge fight over whether to give the North Koreans an ultimatum or to negotiate," one American expert on Korea told me. "Which is the same fight they're having now." Kelly was authorized to tell the Koreans that the U.S. had learned about the illicit uranium program, but his careful instructions left him no room to negotiate. His scripted message was blunt: North Korea must stop the program before any negotiations could take place. "This is a sad tale of bureaucracy," another American expert said. "The script Kelly had was written in the N.S.C."---the National Security Council---"by hard-liners. I don't think the President wanted a crisis at this time." The C.I.A. report had predicted that North Korea, if confronted with the evidence, would not risk an open break with the 1994 agreement and would do nothing to violate the nonproliferation treaty. "It was dead wrong," an intelligence officer told me. "I hope there are other people in the agency who understand the North Koreans better than the people who wrote this."
"The Koreans were stunned," a Japanese diplomat who spoke to some of the participants told me. "They didn't know that the U.S. knew what it knew." After an all-night caucus in Pyongyang, Kang Suk Ju, the First Vice Foreign Minister of North Korea, seemed to confirm the charge when he responded by insisting upon his nation's right to develop nuclear weapons. What he didn't talk about was whether it actually had any. Kang Suk Ju also accused the United States, the Japanese diplomat said, of "threatening North Korea's survival." Kang then produced a list of the United States' alleged failures to meet its own obligations under the 1994 agreement, and offered to shut down the enrichment program in return for an American promise not to attack and a commitment to normalize relations. Kelly, constrained by his instructions, could only re-state his brief: the North Koreans must act first. The impasse was on.
But, as with the June C.I.A. report, the Administration kept quiet about the Pyongyang admission. It did not inform the public until October 16th, five days after Congress voted to authorize military force against Iraq. Even then, according to Administration sources quoted in the Washington Post, the Administration went public only after learning that the North Korean admission---with obvious implications for the debate on Iraq---was being leaked to the press. On the CBS program "Face the Nation" on October 20th, Condoleezza Rice denied that news of the Kelly meeting had been deliberately withheld until after the vote. President Bush, she said, simply hadn't been presented with options until October 15th. "What was surprising to us was not that there was a program," Rice said. "What was surprising to us was that the North Koreans admitted there was a program."
"Did we want them to deny it?" a former American intelligence expert on North Korea asked me afterward. He said, "I could never understand what was going on with the North Korea policy." Referring to relations between the intelligence service and the Bush Administration, he said, "We couldn't get people's attention, and, even if we could, they never had a sensible approach. The Administration was deeply, viciously ideological." It was contemptuous not only of the Pyongyang government but of earlier efforts by the Clinton White House to address the problem of nuclear proliferation---a problem that could only get worse if Washington ignored it. The former intelligence official told me, "When it came time to confront North Korea, we had no plan, no contact---nothing to negotiate with. You have to be in constant diplomatic contact, so you can engage and be in the strongest position to solve the problem. But we let it all fall apart."
The result was that in October, as in June, the Administration had no option except to deny that there was a crisis. When the first published reports of the Kelly meeting appeared, a White House spokesman said that the President found it to be "troubling, sobering news." Rice repeatedly emphasized that North Korea and Iraq were separate cases. "Saddam Hussein is in a category by himself," Rice said on ABC's "Nightline." One arms-control official told me, "The White House didn't want to deal with a second crisis."
In the following months, the American policy alternated between tough talk in public---vows that the Administration wouldn't be "blackmailed," or even meet with North Korean leaders---and private efforts, through third parties, to open an indirect line of communication with Pyongyang. North Korea, meanwhile, expelled international inspectors, renounced the nonproliferation treaty, and threatened to once again begin reprocessing spent nuclear fuel---all the while insisting on direct talks with the Bush Administration. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.306-10) Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in official essay
A large-scale American military presence in Pakistan could create an uproar in the country and weaken Musharraf’s already tenuous hold on power. The operation represents a tremendous gamble for him personally (he narrowly survived two assassination attempts in December) and, by extension, for the Bush Administration—if he fell, his successor might be far less friendly to the United States. One of Musharraf’s most vocal critics inside Pakistan is retired Army Lieutenant General Hamid Gul, a fundamentalist Muslim who directed the I.S.I. from 1987 to 1989, at the height of the Afghan war with the Soviets. If American troops start operating from Pakistan, there will be “a rupture in the relationship,” Gul told me. “Americans think others are slaves to them.” Referring to the furor over A. Q. Khan, he added, “We may be in a jam, but we are a very honorable nation. We will not allow the American troops to come here. This will be the breaking point.” If Musharraf has made an agreement about letting American troops operate in Pakistan, Gul said, “he’s lying to you.” (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.314) Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in the New Yorker
In interviews and public statements, Assad had tried to draw a distinction between international terrorists and those he called part of the “resistance” in Israel and the occupied territories, including young Palestinian suicide bombers. It is a distinction that few in the Bush Administration would endorse. Syria’s enmity toward Israel has been unrelenting, as has its criticism of the United States for its support of Israel. In a typical comment, made in late March to Al Safir, a Lebanese newspaper, Assad declared, “No one among us trusts Israel; not the Syrians, not any other Arabs. . . . We must be very careful. Treachery and threats have always been Israeli characteristics. Through its existence, Israel always poses a threat.”
Assad and his advisers—many of whom are his father’s cronies—had hoped that their coöperation in the hunt for Al Qaeda would allow them to improve and redefine their relations with the United States. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.338) Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in the New Yorker
In late 2001, the Islamic Republic of Iran, depicted by the State Department as one of the world’s most active sponsors of state terrorism, appeared to becoming one of America’s newest-and most surprising-allies in the war against Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. And one of America’s oldest allies (Israel) didn’t like it…..
Iran began its pursuit oc nuclear weapons in the mid-1970’s when Shah Mohammud reza Pahlevi was flush with oil money, ambition and American support…. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.342-3)
In a series of interviews in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, officials told me that by the end of last year Israel had concluded that the Bush Administration would not be able to bring stability or democracy to Iraq, and that Israel needed other options. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s government decided, I was told, to minimize the damage that the war was causing to Israel’s strategic position by expanding its long-standing relationship with Iraq’s Kurds and establishing a significant presence on the ground in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan. Several officials depicted Sharon’s decision, which involves a heavy financial commitment, as a potentially reckless move that could create even more chaos and violence as the insurgency in Iraq continues to grow.
Israeli intelligence and military operations were, by mid-2004, quietly at work in Kurdistan, providing training for Kurdish commando units, and most important in Israel’s view, running covert operations inside Kurdish areas of Iran and Syria. (Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” 2004 p.353)
Seymour Hersh “Chain of Command” also cited in about Atheism
“Failed States” by Noam Chomsky
Report of the Select Committee of Assassinations of the US House of representatives
Clay Shaw Trial transcripts
additional information available at History Maters.com
Copy of JFK’s “Peace Speech” at American University
Other speeches by JFK
James Douglass Ground Zero Center for nonviolent Action website
Daniel Ellsberg’s website