>"The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well." ---Rush Limbaugh
The View From the Top
The thing you need to keep in mind about hierarchical bureaucracies--like corporations--but especially like government bureaucracies tasked with "sensitive" missions such as gathering intelligence--bureaucracies like NSA, CIA, FBI & etc.--is that information "produced" by the people at the lower levels of them flows, essentially unimpeded, to the very few people at the "apex" of the "pyramid". What this means in practice is that MOST people involved in the process don't know what the other people at their OWN "level" in their OWN bureaucracy know--the jargon for this feature of the process is "compartmentalized"--never mind what their "superiors" might be privy to. And just forget about what might be "common knowledge" in the other bureaucracies. This ALSO means that the onus of "putting the puzzle together" (and, NOT incidentally, directing and deploying bureaucratic efforts, assets and resources accordingly) falls upon the very few persons at the top--the "fortunate few"--who actually get to see everything that is produced by the various sections, branches and stations of the various intelligence gathering bureaucracies:
EVERYTHING depends upon THEIR competence and upon their "good faith".
If THESE people, for whatever reason, are disposed (or determined) not to notice (or do anything about) something peculiar, odds are that it won't be "noticed" or, if it is "noticed", it won't be investigated or disturbed or deterred or disrupted...
The spies who pushed for war
Thursday July 17, 2003
As the CIA director, George Tenet, arrived at the Senate yesterday to give secret testimony on the Niger uranium affair, it was becoming increasingly clear in Washington that the scandal was only a small, well-documented symptom of a complete breakdown in US intelligence that helped steer America into war.
It represents the Bush administration's second catastrophic intelligence failure...
...The ideologically driven network functioned like a shadow government, much of it off the official payroll and beyond congressional oversight. But it proved powerful enough to prevail in a struggle with the State Department and the CIA by establishing a justification for war...
...The president's most trusted adviser, Mr Cheney, was at the shadow network's sharp end. He made several trips to the CIA in Langley, Virginia, to demand a more "forward-leaning" interpretation of the threat posed by Saddam. When he was not there to make his influence felt, his chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was. Such hands-on involvement in the processing of intelligence data was unprecedented for a vice-president in recent times, and it put pressure on CIA officials to come up with the appropriate results.
Another frequent visitor was Newt Gingrich, the former Republican party leader who resurfaced after September 11 as a Pentagon "consultant" and a member of its unpaid defence advisory board, with influence far beyond his official title...
...In the days after September 11, Mr Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, mounted an attempt to include Iraq in the war against terror. When the established agencies came up with nothing concrete to link Iraq and al-Qaida, the OSP was given the task of looking more carefully.
William Luti, a former navy officer and ex-aide to Mr Cheney, runs the day-to-day operations, answering to Douglas Feith, a defence undersecretary and a former Reagan official...
...The OSP was an open and largely unfiltered conduit to the White House not only for the Iraqi opposition. It also forged close ties to a parallel, ad hoc intelligence operation inside Ariel Sharon's office in Israel specifically to bypass Mossad and provide the Bush administration with more alarmist reports on Saddam's Iraq than Mossad was prepared to authorise.
"None of the Israelis who came were cleared into the Pentagon through normal channels," said one source familiar with the visits. Instead, they were waved in on Mr Feith's authority without having to fill in the usual forms.
The exchange of information continued a long-standing relationship Mr Feith and other Washington neo-conservatives had with Israel's Likud party.
In 1996, he and Richard Perle - now an influential Pentagon figure - served as advisers to the then Likud leader, Binyamin Netanyahu. In a policy paper they wrote, entitled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, the two advisers said that Saddam would have to be destroyed, and Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iran would have to be overthrown or destabilised, for Israel to be truly safe.
The Israeli influence was revealed most clearly by a story floated by unnamed senior US officials in the American press, suggesting the reason that no banned weapons had been found in Iraq was that they had been smuggled into Syria. Intelligence sources say that the story came from the office of the Israeli prime minister.
The OSP absorbed this heady brew of raw intelligence, rumour and plain disinformation and made it a "product", a prodigious stream of reports with a guaranteed readership in the White House. The primary customers were Mr Cheney, Mr Libby and their closest ideological ally on the national security council, Stephen Hadley, Condoleezza Rice's deputy..."
Book: U.S. Military Drafted Plans to Terrorize U.S. Cities to Provoke War With Cuba
By David Ruppe
N E W Y O R K, May 1 — In the early 1960s, America's top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.
Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities...
July 9, 2003
9/11 Attack Investigators Complain About Hindrances. Bush team is dragging its feet on access to papers and is cowing witnesses, they say.
By Greg Miller, Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Leaders of a federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks complained Tuesday that the Bush administration has been too slow to provide access to key documents and is intimidating witnesses by insisting that CIA and FBI "minders" attend sensitive interviews...
July 19, 2003, 12:12AM
U.S. tallied up assets well before war
Documents list Cheney group's activities
By DAVID IVANOVICH
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON -- The energy task force led by Vice President D*ck Cheney was examining maps of Iraq's oil assets in March 2001, two years before the United States led an invasion to oust Saddam Hussein, newly released documents show...
A TIMELINE OF OIL AND VIOLENCE: AFGHANISTAN
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Thursday 27 February 2003
...Who is PNAC? Its members include:
* Vice President Dick Cheney, one of the PNAC founders, who served as Secretary of Defense for Bush Sr.;
* I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's top national security assistant;
* Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, also a founding member, along with four of his chief aides including;
* Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, arguably the ideological father of the group;
* Eliot Abrams, prominent member of Bush's National Security Council, who was pardoned by Bush Sr. in the Iran/Contra scandal;
* John Bolton, who serves as Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security in the Bush administration;
* Richard Perle, former Reagan administration official and present chairman of the powerful Defense Policy Board;
* Randy Scheunemann, President of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, who was Trent Lott's national security aide and who served as an advisor to Rumsfeld on Iraq in 2001;
* Bruce Jackson, Chairman of PNAC, a position he took after serving for years as vice president of weapons manufacturer Lockheed-Martin, and who also headed the Republican Party Platform subcommittee for National Security and Foreign Policy during the 2000 campaign. His section of the 2000 GOP Platform explicitly called for the removal of Saddam Hussein;
* William Kristol, noted conservative writer for the Weekly Standard, a magazine owned along with the Fox News Network by conservative media mogul Ruppert Murdoch.
The Project for the New American Century seeks to establish what they call 'Pax Americana' across the globe. Essentially, their goal is to transform America, the sole remaining superpower, into a planetary empire by force of arms...
...Weapons of mass destruction are a smokescreen. Paeans to the idea of Iraqi liberation and democratization are cynical in their inception. At the end of the day, this is not even about oil. The drive behind this war is ideological in nature, a crusade to 'reform' the religion of Islam as it exists in both government and society within the Middle East. Once this is accomplished, the road to empire will be open, ten lanes wide and steppin' out over the line.
At the end of the day, however, ideology is only good for bull sessions in the board room and the bar. Something has to grease the skids, to make the whole thing worthwhile to those involved, and entice those outside the loop to get into the game.
Thus, the payout.
It is well known by now that Dick Cheney, before becoming Vice President, served as chairman and chief executive of the Dallas-based petroleum corporation Halliburton. During his tenure, according to oil industry executives and United Nations records, Halliburton did a brisk $73 million in business with Saddam Hussein's Iraq. While working face-to-face with Hussein, Cheney and Halliburton were also moving into position to capitalize upon Hussein's removal from power. In October of 1995, the same month Cheney was made CEO of Halliburton, that company announced a deal that would put it first in line should war break out in Iraq. Their job: To take control of burning oil wells, put out the fires, and prepare them for service.
Another corporation that stands to do well by a war in Iraq is Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton. Ostensibly, Brown & Root is in the construction business, and thus has won a share of the $900 million government contract for the rebuilding of post-war Iraqi bridges, roads and other basic infrastructure. This is but the tip of the financial iceberg, as the oil wells will also have to be repaired after parent-company Halliburton puts out the fires.
More ominously is Brown & Root's stock in trade: the building of permanent American military bases. There are twelve permanent U.S. bases in Kosovo today, all built and maintained by Brown & Root for a multi-billion dollar profit. If anyone should wonder why the administration has not offered an exit strategy to the Iraq war plans, the presence of Brown & Root should answer them succinctly. We do not plan on exiting. In all likelihood, Brown & Root is in Iraq to build permanent bases there, from which attacks upon other Middle Eastern nations can be staged and managed.
Again, this casts Bush's speech on Wednesday in a new light.
Being at the center of the action is nothing new for Halliburton and Brown & Root. The two companies have worked closely with governments in Algeria, Angola, Bosnia, Burma, Croatia, Haiti, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Somalia during the worst chapters in those nation's histories. Many environmental and human rights groups claim that Cheney, Halliburton and Brown & Root were, in fact, centrally involved in these fiascos. More recently, Brown & Root was contracted by the Defense Department to build cells for detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The bill for that one project came to $300 million.
Cheney became involved with PNAC officially in 1997, while still profiting from deals between Halliburton and Hussein. One year later, Cheney and PNAC began actively and publicly agitating for war on Iraq. They have not stopped to this very day.
Another company with a vested interest in both war on Iraq and massively increased defense spending is the Carlyle Group. Carlyle, a private global investment firm with more than $12.5 billion in capital under management, was formed in 1987. Its interests are spread across 164 companies, including telecommunications firms and defense contractors. It is staffed at the highest levels by former members of the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations. Former President George H. W. Bush is himself employed by Carlyle as a senior advisor, as is long-time Bush family advisor and former Secretary of State James Baker III.
One company acquired by Carlyle is United Defense, a weapons manufacturer based in Arlington, VA. United Defense provides the Defense Department with combat vehicle systems, fire support, combat support vehicle systems, weapons delivery systems, amphibious assault vehicles, combat support services and naval armaments. Specifically, United Defense manufactures the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the M113 armored personnel carrier, the M88A2 Recovery Vehicle, the Grizzly, the M9 ACE, the Composite Armored Vehicle, the M6 Linebacker, the M7 BFIST, the Armored Gun System, the M4 Command and Control Vehicle, the Battle Command Vehicle, the Paladin, the Crusader, and Electric Gun/Pulse Power weapons technology.
In other words, everything a growing Defense Department, a war in Iraq, and a burgeoning American military empire needs.
Ironically, one group that won't profit from Carlyle's involvement in American military buildup is the family of Osama bin Laden. The bin Laden family fortune was amassed by Mohammed bin Laden, father of Osama, who built a multi-billion dollar construction empire through contracts with the Saudi government. The Saudi BinLaden Group, as this company is called, was heavily invested in Carlyle for years. Specifically, they were invested in Carlyle's Partners II Fund, which includes in that portfolio United Defense and other weapons manufacturers.
This relationship was described in a September 27, 2001 article in the Wall Street Journal entitled 'Bin Laden Family Could Profit From Jump in Defense Spending Due to Ties to US Bank.' The 'bank' in question was the Carlyle Group. A follow-up article published by the Journal on September 28 entitled ' Bin Laden Family Has Intricate Ties With Washington - Saudi Clan Has Had Access To Influential Republicans ' further describes the relationship. In October of 2001, Saudi BinLaden and Carlyle severed their relationship by mutual agreement. The timing is auspicious.
There are a number of depths to be plumbed in all of this. The Bush administration has claimed all along that this war with Iraq is about Saddam Hussein's connections to terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, though through it all they have roundly failed to establish any basis for either accusation. On Wednesday, Bush went further to claim that the war is about liberating the Iraqi people and bringing democracy to the Middle East. This ignores cultural realities on the ground in Iraq and throughout the region that, salted with decades of deep mistrust for American motives, make such a democracy movement brought at the point of the sword utterly impossible to achieve.
This movement, cloaked in democracy, is in fact a PNAC-inspired push for an American global empire. It behooves Americans to understand that there is a great difference between being the citizen of a constitutional democracy and being a citizen of an empire. The establishment of an empire requires some significant sacrifices....
Lest We Forget
By Laurie Manis
Apr 9, 2003
In Memory of Wladyslaw Szpilman
Nazism was a form of government that restricted personal freedom but permitted private ownership of property. It called for aggressive nationalism, militarism and expansion of Germany's spheres of control through military conquest.
The Nazis glorified Germany and its people, claiming that other nationalities were inferior. It promised to build a harmonious, orderly and prosperous society for the Germans.
Instead it brought terrorism, war and mass murder.
The Nazi agenda was largely based on the premises of Adolph Hitler's book Mein Kampf. In his book, Hitler stated his beliefs and ideas for Germany's future, which included plans to overthrow regimes of countries he perceived to be dangerous to Germany's security or had natural resources needed to fulfill its destiny as the most powerful nation on earth.
Nazism did not gain wide support in Germany until the worldwide business slump of 1929. Discontented Germans then turned to Nazism in increasing numbers because it promised economic help, political power and national glory.
The Nazis' organization, discipline and financial backing from wealthy industrialists, who feared Communism, soon made them a force with which to contend. Many upper-class Germans feared loss of power and property would be a result of the newly formed democratic government, which they suspected might levy taxes in order to redistribute wealth.
The farmers, middle and laboring classes were attracted to the promise of social reform, which they believed was badly needed after the excesses and moral lassitude of the Roaring Twenties.
Powerless people responded to their ideas of national superiority and strength. The military supported Hitler's ideas of discipline, order and increased funding through rearmament.
Hitler began to assemble some of the people who would help him rise to power. They included:
Joseph Goebbels, the chief Nazi propagandist who wrote: "We do not want a second catastrophe along the lines of (hidden date XXXX). We depend not on the grace of our enemy, rather on military might."
"He knows that we are waging this war for a better peace, that we are fighting for the happiness of people who have so often been oppressed by their governments."
"No power in the world will make us deny our duty, or forget even for a moment our historical task of maintaining the freedom of our people."
Hermann Goering, Hitler's second in command, who said: "Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
Heinrich Himmler, the leader of the SS who asserted: "Unconditional and highest freedom of will comes from obedience, from service to our world view, obedience which is prepared to render each and every sacrifice to pride, to external honor and to all which is dear to us personally, obedience which never falters but unconditionally follows every order which comes from the Fuhrer or legally from superiors...."
And Ernst Rohm, the chief of the SA who believed: "The people want wholesome dread. They want to fear something. They want someone to frighten them and make them shudderingly submissive."
In the July, 1932 election for the Reichstag (parliament) the Nazis received nearly 38% of the vote, making it the largest political party in Germany but not the majority party. Leaders of the other parties offered Hitler Cabinet posts in exchange for Nazi support but he refused to accept any arrangement that did not make him chancellor (prime minister) of Germany
The majority of the people did not want Hitler to become chancellor and had serious misgivings about him. But in June of 1933, President von Hindenburg was persuaded by his friends to name Hitler chancellor. Hitler, in turn, promised to act lawfully. He promised to restore the German economy; assure education and work for all; and lead Germany to greatness.
On February 27, a fire began that destroyed the Reichstag building. Many historians believe that it was planned by the Nazis. Although a full investigation was never conducted, the Nazis quickly blamed the Communists. A pro-Communist Dutch anarchist was found at the site and admitted that he had set it.
President von Hindenburg then signed an emergency decree that gave the government unprecedented power. The Nazis moved to control all police authority in Germany, including the right to arrest and hold people without formal charging on suspicion of treason, which served to erode German civil rights.
Hitler promised to rid Germany of Communists and other "enemies", such as the Jews, on whom he blamed Germany's troubles. "By defending myself against the Jews, I am doing the Lord's work", he wrote.
On March 23, 1933, the Nazi-dominated Reichstag passed a law "for the removal of distress from the people and the state". The law, known as the Enabling Act, in effect suspended basic civil and human rights in Germany. Hitler then began to destroy the Constitution through outwardly legal means.
By mid-July 1933, the Gestapo (secret state police) was hunting down enemies and opponents of the government. People were jailed or shot on suspicion alone.
The Nazis used the press, radio and films to flood Germany with propaganda praising the 'New Order', Hitler's term for his reordering of German society and for his plans to reorder the rest of Europe.
German citizens were kept in a constant state of fear that their country might be attacked by its enemies. Complete faith in the judgment of the Nazi leaders was the measuring stick of devotion to one's country and national pride was the noblest of virtues...