By Geoffrey Cook, TMO
New York City–May 5th–Although your columnist regards the subject of his article herein to be worn out, (he had contemplated placing it next to his Op-Ed of last week on the death of Osama when the event was au courant,) but instead your essayist has decided to concluded his material on this important incident by this report he has garnered during his recent wanderings.
The Asia Society chapter in (N.Y.C.â€˜s borough of) Manhattan, the very City of 9-11 presented Peter Bergen, the author of the popular Holy War, Inc. and the equally acclaimed The Osama bin Laden I Know with the authoritative the Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda which has only recently been released. That journalist relayed his subject honestly with great insight that night.
His discourse there concerned itself on how the death of the commander of Al-Qaeda, the infamous Osama bin-Laden, might change the strategy of global terrorism and the counter-insurgency that it generates — especially within Afghanistan and the chief worldwide counterterrorist, the United Statesâ€™ relationship with its second most dependable ally since the Second World War (after Great Britain, of course), Pakistan. There is a sense here in the West that their Pakistani allyâ€™s bilateral commitment to the United States has become problematic with bin-Ladenâ€™s discovery by U.S. intelligence living comfortably and openly within the Islamic Republic. American commandos (the U.S.â€™ Navyâ€™s Seals), then, moved in for the â€œkill.â€ (The American public has always shown a prejudice against Islamabad due to Indian propaganda while the regime(s) in Washington has (have) strongly relied upon this Islamic country to defend their mutual interests. Osamaâ€™s domicile in the Punjab Province was due to rogue elements [possibly with connections to that Government whose seat is only down the road from Osamaâ€˜s home], but it was not the South Asian nationâ€™s Administrationâ€™s policy [or knowledge] to have him there as a â€œguest!â€)
Bergenâ€™s background includes the Directorship of the National Security Studies Program at the New American Foundation. He is, also, CNNâ€™s (the Cable News Networkâ€˜s) national security analyst and a fellow at New York Universityâ€™s Center on Law & Security, too.
Peter Bergen has reported extensively on al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and counterterrorism in the past. In fact, he was of the few news commentators to have actually have interviewed bin-Laden himself.
As your author here has written on these pages in the past, and now Bergen has confirmed to this impressive and imposing assemblage that â€œAl-Qaedaâ€™s ideology had already [started] to be slashed by the blossoming Arab â€˜Spring.â€
The Arab â€œSpringâ€ has become a problem for Al-Qaeda in that it has invalidated their violent techniques to most of their â€œfellow-travelers,â€ and their â€œTrue Believersâ€ that the â€œBaseâ€™sâ€ methodology is redundant; and, therefore, its support has dwindled as Arab democracy has asserted itself!
Egypt had always been troublesome and hostile to the (violent) Jihads. Now, with the reforms, hopefully, democratic change, if it is a finely-tuned, will discourage, the necessity for violently overthrowing the State. So far, the Arab â€œSpringâ€ — in the areas of its success — has largely chased gratuitous aggression from those regions of the Middle East.
Al-Qaeda was formed at a meeting during September of 1988. A sub-national (not even that, but an organization that advocated bloodshed to those who did not believe as they — in essence, Takfrs. Their odium was strongly against the majority of Muslims whom they considered heretics while the majority of Islam considers their movement as heterodox.) â€œbin-Laden was the commander of the violent Jihadi clusterâ€. Bergen concludes that there is no one to replace him. Something that your reporter is not so sure, but Peter Bergen, who had conversed with Osama before his death, conjectures that currently â€œAfter the commanderâ€˜s demiseâ€¦[Al-Qaeda will] never [be able] to unite as a popular resistance!â€
Further, â€œbin-Laden orders and strategy [for post-his-extinction] are well-known.â€ Al-Qaeda is immigrating towards the African country of Somalia. Bergen felt, alas, his death would be â€œâ€¦a positive [change in the chance] for Israelâ€™s survivalâ€¦The longest War just got shorter!â€
United States intelligence from Quetta and Karachi expose a robust anti-Americanism a over the expanse of the Pakistani State, but â€œThe Obama Administration has handled the state of affairs well.â€ His indictment of the Bush Regime was as an appalling aberration. â€œThey refused to look at dispute as it actually was.â€ W.â€™sâ€ Bush assertion of WMDs within Iraq was based on his willful imagination. â€œThe District of Columbia became a self-correction agency [i.e., state]! Obama, now, is trying to make changes in foreign policy. Peter Bergen deems that he has Afghanistan and Libya correct since, as he believes that â€œKhadafy is the worse mass murderer in the Middle East!â€
In the Hindu Kush where the Taliban thinks more in national terms whereas Qaeda looks into an international vista, it is a rural, therefore a more effective, insurgency where the fighting season is demarked between the end of the poppy and the beginning of the marijuana harvest.
The Afghan (National) Army is a reconfiguration of the old Northern Alliance. Military service has become more economically attractive, and, thus, a more credible fighting service.
By Nicholas D. Kristof
When he was alive, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke was effectively gagged, unable to comment on what he saw as missteps of the Obama administration that he served. But as we face a crisis in Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin Laden, itâ€™s worth listening to Holbrookeâ€™s counsel â€” from beyond the grave.
As one of Americaâ€™s finest strategic thinkers and special envoy to the Af-Pak region, Holbrooke represented the administration â€” but also chafed at aspects of the White House approach. In particular, he winced at the overreliance on military force, for it reminded him of Vietnam.
â€œThere are structural similarities between Afghanistan and Vietnam,â€ he noted, in scattered reflections now in the hands of his widow, Kati Marton.
â€œHe thought that this could become Obamaâ€™s Vietnam,â€ Marton recalled. â€œSome of the conversations in the Situation Room reminded him of conversations in the Johnson White House. When he raised that, Obama didnâ€™t want to hear it.â€
Because he was fiercely loyal to his friend Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, Holbrooke bit his lip and kept quiet in public. But he died in December, and Marton and some of his friends (me included) believe itâ€™s time to lift the cone of silence and share his private views. At this time, with Pakistan relations in a crisis and Afghanistan under review, our country could use a dose of his wisdom.
Holbrooke opposed the military â€œsurgeâ€ in Afghanistan and would see the demise of Bin Laden as an opportunity to go into diplomatic overdrive. He believed strongly that the only way out of the mess in Afghanistan was a peace deal with the Taliban, and his team was secretly engaged in outreach to figures linked to the Taliban, Marton says.
â€œReconciliation â€” that was what he was working toward in Afghanistan, and building up the civilian and political side that had been swamped by the military,â€ Marton recalled. â€œThe whole policy was off-kilter, way too militarized. Richard never thought that this war could be won on the battlefield.â€
His aim, she says, was something like the Balkan peace agreement he negotiated at a military base in Dayton, Ohio. The process would be led by the United States but include all the regional players, including Pakistan and Iran.
â€œHe was dreaming of a Dayton-like setting somewhere, isolated, no media, no Washington bureaucracy,â€ Marton said. â€œHe was a long way from that, but he was dreaming of that.â€
Vali Nasr, a member of Holbrookeâ€™s team at the State Department, puts it this way: â€œHe understood from his experience that every conflict has to end at the negotiating table.â€
Nasr says that Holbrookeâ€™s aim for Afghanistan was â€œnot cut-and-run, but a viable, lasting solutionâ€ to end the civil war there. If Holbrooke were still alive, Nasr says, he would be shuttling frantically between Islamabad and Kabul, trying to take advantage of Bin Ladenâ€™s killing to lay the groundwork for a peace process.
To do that, though, we have to put diplomacy and development â€” and not 100,000 troops, costing $10 billion a month â€” at the heart of our Afghan policy. Holbrooke was bemused that he would arrive at a meeting in a taxi, while Gen. David Petraeus would arrive escorted by what seemed a battalion of aides. And Holbrooke would flinch when Petraeus would warmly refer to him as his â€œwingmanâ€ â€” meaning it as a huge compliment â€” rather than seeing military force as the adjunct to diplomacy.
As for Pakistan, Holbrooke told me and others that because of its size and nuclear weaponry, it was center stage; Afghanistan was a sideshow.
â€œA stable Afghanistan is not essential; a stable Pakistan is essential,â€ he noted, in the musings he left behind. He believed that a crucial step to reducing radicalism in Pakistan was to ease the Kashmir dispute with India, and he favored more pressure on India to achieve that.
Holbrooke was frustrated by Islamabadâ€™s duplicity. But he also realized that Pakistan sheltered the Afghan Taliban because it distrusted the United States, particularly after the United States walked away in 1989 after the Soviet pullout from Afghanistan. And renewed threats of abandonment wonâ€™t build trust.
Rather, Holbrooke poured his soul into building a relationship not only with Pakistani generals but also with the Pakistani people, and there were modest dividends. He helped improve C.I.A. access to Pakistan, which may have helped with the raid on the Bin Laden compound. And he soothed opposition to drone attacks, Nasr noted.
â€œHe was treating them as a serious player, not as if youâ€™re just having a one-night stand but as if there might actually be marriage at the end of the relationship,â€ Marton said.
Itâ€™s a vision of painstaking diplomacy toward a strategic goal â€” peace â€” and itâ€™s what we need more of. President Obama said wonderful things at the memorial service for Holbrooke. But the best tribute would be to listen to his advice.
PRECONCEPTIONS, MISCONEPTIONS AND â€œNO FEEDBACK LOOPâ€ LEADS TO AMERICAN DISASTER IN AFGHANISTAN
By Gordon Duff
I have only recently returned from the region where I toured as a journalist and lecturer. Our group included Jeff Gates, Raja Mugtaba, BG Asif Haroon Raja and BG Ali Raza and me of Veterans Today and Opinion Maker. We met with some people we will not mention and many we can. Prince Ali of Afghanistan had a delegation with us headed by Fayyaz Shah, as advisors. BG Ali Raza was primary coordinator on the ground for Pakistan during the â€œCharley Wilson Warâ€ against the Soviets. No person has spent so much time â€œwhere he isnâ€™t supposed to beâ€ as General Ali Raza. BG Asif Haroon Raja is Pakistanâ€™s best known military analyst and author and an invaluable resource.
I would thank the Director General of the ISPR, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas and Director BG Syed Azmat Ali for their detailed briefing and great courtesy.
Background on the critical border regions was supplied by the former military head, BG Amir Gulistan Janjua. His vast experience in the region was an invaluable aid to our understanding. I would also thank Ahsan Rashid and Col. Javed Mujtaba for their advice, hospitality and analytical skills.
Our primary briefer and advisor for the region and constant correspondent is Admiral I A Sirohey, former Chairman, JCOS of Pakistan. General Aslam Beg, former Army Chief of Staff and General Hamid Gul, former DG ISI, also briefed us extensively on military affairs. These three, along with our companions, BGâ€™s Raja and Ali, are the primary experts on regional military affairs and the Taliban.
We also want to thank Tarik Jan of the ISSI for his kind assistance. I am leaving out two dozen names, some out of kindness. Many political leaders met with us who normally would never see Americans. We were treated with more than courtesy and kindness in some of the most unexpected places.
My close friends and personal advisors, Col. James Hanke, USA SF (ret) former Defense Attache to Israel and Fred Coward, former FBI counter-terrorism expert were a continual help. Their knowledge and extensive contacts in the region were vital.
The question, of course, what did we learn? Does anyone learn anything if weighed down by prejudiced, misconceptions or military and political theories based on flawed analyses or policies? Our job is simply to listen, learn and use our best judgment. Our responsibility is to be honest in our assessments. The findings in this work are entirely my own.
The root of the problems in the region are historical in nature. Unless you go back 200 years or more, something we arenâ€™t doing here, nothing will make sense. The region, Af-Pak, is a creation, primarily of Britainâ€™s, seemingly created out of a design to stimulate instability and conflict to enable â€œthe great gameâ€ Britain is famous for to be played, one side against the other. In 1893, when Afghanistan and India/Pakistan were split by Durand, dividing tribes and even families, continual war was guaranteed. In 1947, when Pakistan was created out of a group of peoples, roughly â€œIslamicâ€ but otherwise unrelated, we were guaranteed even more instability. Pakistan would be a combination of advanced culture, warlike tribes and resentful quasi-independent regions constantly at odds with their powerful neighbor, India.
The alliances that have defined the region, India and the Soviet Union, Pakistan and the United States (and China) and now, India and Israel and the United States(maybe Russia again and part of Afghanistan) and Pakistan and the United States (and China) have led to continual military buildups, including nuclear weapons and other advanced strategic technologies, all within a framework of acrimony and continual terrorism.
India, Israel, the United States, Afghanistan, China and Britain are all accused, on a daily basis, of coordinating terror attacks inside each country of the region, including Iran. Accusations of training and arming terrorist groups, numbered in the dozens, perhaps the hundreds, in each of the countries involved, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, are continually voiced. In the process, everyone denies involvement in the vast drug trade that has reemerged with the American occupation of Afghanistan and the vast network of corruption based primarily on what seems to be an American policy to stimulate waste.
Permanent war, in itself, has become the only business of the region, other than drug trafficking, with endless thousands of â€œcontractorsâ€ from around the world flocking to the region to suck down the American dollars carelessly thrown at every imaginable perceived threat or ill, often with little or no consideration for end result or attempt at accounting.
This has brought American war planners to a number of disastrous conclusions about the area, ones that defy any historical or strategic model. The gutting of the intellectual capabilities of American policy planners during the Bush administration, based on an overlay of an Evangelical Christian model, applied, not only to the Pentagon but intelligence services, State Department and many key decision making environments has left the United States unable to process and respond properly to feedback. Thus, failed policies are replaced by untested experiments and short term fixes, none based on broad or sound analysis.
All advice comes from groups tied financially to the continuation of the war and even the destabilization of Pakistan. One major unseen actor is Israel, whose powerful lobby in Washington is capable of making policy for the region. Israelâ€™s military alliance with India and extensive investment in the regions gas and oil industry is a major driver in, what has become a suicidal American effort. With Israel benefitting from billions in arms contracts with the United States and India along with becoming a defacto â€œsuper powerâ€ of the region by proxy, their â€œspecial interestâ€ and unique ability to use their control of media, their massive influence over the electoral process in the US and their long relationship with the Pentagon, continual regional conflict may be a hidden agenda.
Current American policies in the region, both military and economic, seem to prove this out. All are doomed to eventual failure, seemingly purposely so and all are the result of reliance on advice from sectors profiting from war and destabilization, not only of the region, but of the United States itself. It is a unique possibility that the series of ill conceived wars begun under the Bush administration may eventually bring about the economic collapse of the United States as had happened to the Soviet Union some years before.
America claimed they came into Afghanistan seeking the terrorists who attacked on 9/11. This is blatantly dishonest. Osama bin Laden had been a guest of the Taliban for some time but had been put under severe restrictions by that group. There is no evidence any terrorist organizations were being run by Bin Laden in Afghanistan and current intelligence has proven, despite â€œmediaâ€ coverage to the contrary, that bin Laden had no involvement in 9/11. Broad evidence exists that bin Laden died during the initial US attack in 2001. All intelligence and informed opinion leads to this conclusion causing both embarrassment and consternation when â€œpress drivenâ€ demands for a continued hunt for bin Laden come from the United States.
Less publicly, the United States has long accepted the death of bin Laden yet has spent millions of dollars and hundreds of lives in a dishonest attempt to keep a â€œbrandedâ€ big name terrorist in front of the public.
This has caused a general distrust of the United States among its military allies who, universally, believe that the phony â€œhunt for bin Ladenâ€ is proof, not of a need to resurrect a phony â€œboogiemanâ€ for public consumption but rather to create an artificial â€œiconâ€ to cover massive corruption and a history of failure.
At the outset, Americaâ€™s approach in Afghanistan was flawed. Our dependence on the Northern Alliance, a group of warlords wishing to restore drug production, prohibited by the Taliban, to assist us led to establishing a regime in Kabul that was never accepted by the people of Afghanistan. President Karzai, not only notoriously corrupt and weak but closely allied to India, would make an unlikely leader in a war requiring continual coordination with Pakistan, a country nearly as distrustful of Karzai as his own people.
The decision by the US to support Karzai, even after a rigged election and to build an army and national police force primarily out of tribal minorities from the Northern Alliance who are hated by the majority of Afghanis has led to the need for the current increase in American presence and the stalled military operations in Helmand, the nationâ€™s primary opium producing region since 2001. Current American plans to consider restructuring the massive national police force on regional ethnic lines is encouraging but doomed to failure.
Tribal traditions in Afghanistan are based on a system called Pashtunwali. All judicial and police functions reside within a long established tribal structure, one that functioned well prior to the Soviet occupation and one which could be restored. Replacing this with a â€œnorthern occupationâ€ will only lead to continual warfare.
The economy of Afghanistan is almost entirely non-existent. Warring groups are living off American bribes, payments to allow supplies to pass unharmed to American forces or from taxes on the massive opium harvest. With the destruction of tribal cohesion under the Russian backed government and the mining of Afghanistan, the traditional yearly migrations of the large pastoral population within Afghanistan has stopped. This group, numbering as many as 15 million, are a recruiting ground for â€œgun culture.â€
Replacing normal occupations, farming, husbandry or small industries is a vast number of fighters, many simple bandits and criminals but untold thousands fighting out of a belief they are opposing a foreign occupation. Discerning the difference between the two and restoring a traditional economy to replace warlord-ism, drug production and mercenary activities is the only way of bringing about stability. The cost of these programs, some of which the USAID is working on now, is low in comparison to military action.
However, too little is being done and, for every successful program, ten â€œboondoggleâ€ programs are put in place, building useless projects with massive cost overruns and corruption.
American military planners are currently trying a variety of approaches, including working with the Afghan army, a vast mercenary group, primarlily of the northern tribes that is, on the whole, both unsupportable economically and totally helpless when used in any independent capacity. Afghanistan has a tradition of compulsory military service, a â€œpeopleâ€™s armyâ€ of lowly paid but highly motivated soldiers from every area of the nation. These troops are paid as little as $5 per month but receive food subsidies for their families and extensive training in civilian trades as part of their service.
This successful system has been destroyed by the United States and the Karzai government, replaced with a â€œpaidâ€ professional army untrusted by any group within the country. Pakistan fears that this army will fall under Indian command and threaten their borders and, perhaps, rightly so. The model used is based on Blackwater, a private military contractor, not any national army. The new national army in Afghanistan is quite likely to work for any group capable of paying them. The nation of Afghanistan itself will never have that capability.
American efforts to occupy destabilized regions thru â€œcivil affairsâ€ operations used in Vietnam with some success can only function as they did in Vietnam, as part of a permanent occupation force which will be immediately replaced by an opposing â€œoccupation forceâ€ of domestic fighters, the enemy, when Americans leave. In fact, Taliban units simply melt into the civilian population when confronted by American forces beyond their capability of defeating.
Only the foreign fighters in Afghanistan, those who came to fight and die, continue action against the US forces under unfavorable conditions. Others, trained in â€œirregular warfareâ€ from birth, simply wait out Americaâ€™s resolve, exactly as had happened in Vietnam. Pentagon planners understand this, thus making our current efforts by cynical and deceitful.
America is unaware that most of the Taliban live in Pakistan. The total number of Taliban exceeds 50 million, a number America and Pakistan can never fight successfully nor do they need to. The vast majority of those the US considers enemy combatants can be rehabilitated, but not under programs currently being initiated by the United States. The idea of paying â€œfightersâ€ or members of the â€œgun cultureâ€ to stop resisting is hardly a thoughtful strategy but it is the one the United States has chosen.
There are forces that need to be defeated and that could be defeated by an Afghan army, a traditional force based on compulsory service and fighting for a government with wide support among the tribes, a government Afghanistan currently doesnâ€™t have.
Current military operations are likely to recruit more fighters against the United States and the unpopular Karzai government and, as things are going, eventually lead to a wider conflict in Pakistan and the economic destruction of that nation, a vital US ally. We are well along that road already and are more than well aware of it despite our protestations to the opposite and the total lack of media attention to any â€œreality basedâ€ assessment.
Economic development programs being enacted in Afghanistan are primarily based on supporting a corrupt culture and maintaining â€œcoverâ€ for the massive drug trade that powerful groups among all the players, Afghanistan, Israel, the United States, India and Pakistan, are growing immensely wealthy and powerful on. A restructuring of the economies on both sides of the Durand Line separating Pashtun regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan along lines suggested by Imran Khan and Jeff Gates and groups supporting Prince Ali Seraj may be the best solution.
Simple â€œgrass rootsâ€ development built on supporting and expanding traditional industries while providing improved delivery of educational and health care services is a start. Only education of men and women can fight the cycle of extremism, broad public education delivered at village level within a social and economic environment supporting a traditional model. These plans exist, are inexpensive and have broad support among nearly all tribal leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The only thing stopping their implementation is the current much more profitable and corrupt system that is creating a new ruling oligarchy based on American money and continual chaos.
They have always been there but real solutions have been opposed by those profiting off the war and the environment the war has created. Too many with too much money and power want the wars to continue for too many reasons, including long term geopolitical goals unfavorable to the United States and Pakistan. With a lack of strong leadership within the United States compounded by the disastrous policies of the Bush administration, US foreign policy will continue to be a â€œrunaway train.â€
The first step toward enacting known solutions would be getting real information to decision makers and keeping the American people properly informed. Currently, media in the United States is so heavily skewed toward misinformation and propaganda that political accountability has nearly disappeared. An systematically misinformed populace negates all concepts of democracy and representative government. There can be no accountability and no national policy as long as the mechanisms for disinformation that have taken control of Americaâ€™s news media exist.
Defacto control of Americas media by foreign nations and a cabal of corporations tied to the war economy has ended effective public participation in American policy and decision making and, in the process, ended Congressâ€™s ability to oversee policy. Grassroots movements in Afghanistan, while America remains the â€œprime moverâ€ depend on restoration of similar authority in the United States.
By Gordon Duff Â·
â€œWeâ€™ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.â€
— William Casey, CIA Director (first staff meeting, 1981)
Christmas Bombing Audio Tapes Lamest Yet–You Were Caught, Admit it and Move on with Life!
The new audio tape from â€œOsama bin Ladenâ€ taking responsibility for the idiotic and childish incident in Detroit where moronic Nigerian armed with a useless â€œbombâ€ is simply too much. Now using audio tapes because, supposedly, nobody in Al Qaeda got a flash drive video recorder for Christmas is even more of a joke. Please, with the hundreds of millions our Saudi allies have given to terrorists, a video camera the size of an Ipod might have been a nice touch. Even funnier was releasing the audio, using algorithm software probably illegally downloaded off the internet, and giving it to Al Jazeera.
Pundit Debbie Schussell, former Mark Siljander (VT staff writer) staffer, has bitterly complained about the strong ties between Fox News and Al Jazeera. Fox owner, Rupert Murdoch, is the most powerful â€œinfluencerâ€ of the ultra-rightists in Israel. Attempts by the press to present Al Jazeera of today as the â€œpro-terroristâ€ media it seemed like many years ago is an epic misrepresentation.
A further abuse, of course, is not only that we are no longer seeing the easily debunked bin Laden doubles whose video tapes were â€œmysteriouslyâ€ released by SITE Intelligence, the Rita Katz/Israeli group that seems to find them in trash bins behind delicatessens. The â€œnewâ€ audio tape itself contains statements claiming credit for 9/11 in direct contradiction to the real bin Laden videos, the only ones authenticated. If you wondered why the FBI doesnâ€™t list Osama bin Laden as a suspect in 9/11, I think you have your answer. If they think the bin Laden â€œadmissionsâ€ arenâ€™t credibile, I wonder who the FBI is investigating or if they have simply been told to mind their own business.
The terrorist incident itself is the last thing Al Qaeda would ever take responsibilty for despite the claims by SITE Intelligence that they found an unnamed and unverified internet site that confirmed this. Who in the name of all that is holy would want to take responsibility for an idiot who was led onto an American bound plane by passing around searches, customs and passport control in an airport run by an Israeli security company but who carried a â€œbombâ€ designed by a three year old.
Who would be so stupid as to try to pass off this childish tape when reliable witnesses saw the terrorist being led onto the plane in Amsterdam in a manner that required full cooperation from security personnel, passport control and the airline itself. We donâ€™t even have to go into the fact that the â€œterroristsâ€ in Yemen that supposedly claimed responsibilty were released from Guantanamo under the personal signature of Vice President Cheney in 2007 or that before the incident, the government of Yemen tied these individuals to Israeli controllers thru captured computers.
I am only thankful that the duped terrorist, or as Lee Oswald had said, â€œpatsyâ€, was the moronic son of a long time Mossad business associate in Nigeria. Mr. Mutallab, banker, but mostly head of Nigeriaâ€™s defense industry, DICON, managed almost entirely by Israelis, may have much more story to tell other than the one he told CIA Chief of Station on November 19, 2009. Do we want to follow former Homeland Security director Chertoff, not only a Jewish activist but currently representing companies selling body scanners to airports and the mysterious ability for someone on worldwide terrorist watch lists to be escorted onto a US bound airliner without passport or search?
Billions in profits were realized almost instantly after this incident. Companies tied to Chertoff, Israel and India were on the receiving end.
The only reliable information the world has on Osama bin Laden is that he was killed by American troops on December 13, 2001 and buried outside Tora Bora by his following, 30 Mujahideen. At least 6 of these witnesses were alive at last check. Since his death, every â€œleakedâ€ video or statement has been timed for convenient electoral â€œterroristâ€ scares, been childishly unprofessional and has only worked to discredit Islam.
Every effort has been made by the MSM/corporate press to cover the facts behind the Christmas â€œbombingâ€ and push the blame on everyone but the obvious culprits. That effort was deemed so successful that now a brazen attempt to resurrect long dead Osama bin Laden to take responsibilty for trying to set off a bomb with a flame igniter that could only be exploded using a blasting cap, is being made.
Is this an attempt to make Al Qaeda look stupid?
â€œMy name is Osama bin Laden. I had a moron carry a defective bomb onto a plane full of Islamic families returning to Detroit, the most Muslim city in the west, as part of a terror campaign. I chose a flight that connected from the Middle East so I could kill as many of the innocent faithful as possible. Please excuse this and the dozen or other mistakes made but being dead has left me less sharp than I once was. No, I do not work for the Mossad, they simply tape and distribute my interviews. This is part of an agreement with my talent agent who is Jewish. All talent agents are Jewish, ask anyone in Hollywood. What do you expect, miracles? 10% of nothing is nothing.
For my faithful followers, I expect to be a regular on Californication next season on Showtime. Iâ€™ll be the guy with the beard who seems dead.â€
The second possibility, one designed for the â€œspiritualâ€ crowd is this:
â€œI am Osama, the ghost of Tora Bora. Please give more money to Israel, vote to extend the Patriot Act and buy new airport scanners from the companies listed on my weekly newsletter distributed by SITE Intelligence. Watch for more insane threats coming in the future and have a nice weekend. Remember to stop eating pork.â€
Any group that could make 5 airliners outwit NORAD, the most advanced air defense system in the world, any group that could train terrorist pilots inside the United States itself with nobody catching on, and it gets worse. Sources tell us that FBI Special Agent Stephen Butler may have â€œaccidentallyâ€ been cashing checks for and paying rent for two of the 9/11 hijackers. Can people who can get this kind of thing done put a moron on an aircraft at an airport secured by an Israeli company, â€œextremely closelyâ€ related to the same company that managed security at all of the airports used on 9/11?
When Michigan attorney Kurt Haskell and his wife witnessed the famous, â€œhe has no passport, he is a Sudanese refugee, we do this all the timeâ€, incident in Amsterdam, only a phony bin Laden tape could make America forget, or so â€œtheyâ€ hope. Imagine our terrorist being taken to meet the security head for the â€œairlineâ€ with his â€œIndian lookingâ€ handler, bomb strapped to his underwear. Think of this exploding moron and his handler and who they would have had to know to get past, not only airline security and the Israeli company guarding the airport but Dutch passport control as well.
Anyone with the power to load the â€œcrotch bomberâ€ on a plane with no passport could have put a nuclear weapon in luggage easier. Nukes are seldom on watch lists or have parents running to the CIA reporting them as â€œterrorists.â€ Next time we are being lied to, please, have more respect. Not everyone is a dumb as a Fox News, CNN, the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times.
It is one thing claiming that poor, long dead Osama bin Laden runs terrorists in Yemen. It is quite something else proving that he manages an airport in Europe or runs the Dutch government. When US Senators canâ€™t get thru airport security without being detained, bin Ladenâ€™s ability to get diplomatic VIP treatment for known terrorists makes him more than a threat, it makes him a magician.
We are thankful that nobody was seriously injured and that we can all laugh about this, maybe not all of us. The people of Nigeria donâ€™t think it is funny. Millions of Muslims arenâ€™t seeing the joke either. Air travelers are having their bad moments also. Some, however, have benefitted in a major way, politically, financially and militarily. None of those people, however, are ever openly accused of terrorism.
About: Gordon Duff: Gordon Duff is a Marine Vietnam veteran, grunt and 100% disabled vet. He has been a UN Diplomat, defense contractor and is a widely published expert on military and defense issues. He is active in the financial industry and is a specialist on global trade. Gordon Duff acts as political and economic advisor to a number of governments in Africa and the Middle East.
Millions of Messages Sent, but Only Handful Mention Al Qaeda Leader
By Margie Burns
â€œMissingâ€ White House emails retrieved from Bush administration records indicate that top Bush Justice Department officials had little interest in the pursuit of Osama bin Laden or Mullah Mohammed Omar, head of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), prolonged correspondence has pursued â€œmissingâ€ emails between the Bush White House and Bushâ€™s attorney general, deputy attorney general, associate attorney general, Office of Public Affairs, Office of Legal Counsel and Office of the Inspector General, in the Justice Department.
After a lengthy search, President Obamaâ€™s Office of Information Policy, which handles FOIA requests, found emails pertaining to Osama bin Laden or to Mullah Omar only in Attorney General and Office of Public Affairs records from the Bush administration. Alberto Gonzales, previously Bushâ€™s White House counsel and then Attorney General, did not use email.
White House emails from the Bush years, often reported as missing, numbered in the millions. Thousands of emails were sent between the Bush White House and top Justice Department officials, through both government email accounts and private accounts including the Republican National Committee.
FOIA inquiries have produced two emails, totaling four pages, between the White House and Justice under the former administration relating to Mullah Mohammed Omar.
The FOIA requests produced 26 emails, totaling 119 pages, relating to Osama bin Laden.
The first internal reference to Mullah Omar, according to email records, occurred Dec. 7, 2001. White House staffer Edward Ingle forwarded a series of talking points titled â€œMeet Mullah Omarâ€ from Deputy National Security Adviser James R. Wilkinson to a distribution list of several dozen government personnel in Cabinet offices and the Pentagon including Paul Wolfowitz. Omar has continued to evade capture and is believed to be living in neighboring Pakistan. There is no reference in the emails to Omar dating from the period when he was evading US forces. The next, and only other, mention of Omarâ€™s name was an incidental reference in a Sept. 23, 2004, New York Times article on Afghanistan forwarded the same day by White House staffers.
The 26 emails that mention Osama bin Laden in correspondence between the Bush White House and Justice Department break down as follows:
There were seven email references to Osama bin Laden in 2001. Five occurred in press releases from White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer forwarded by Ingle â€” one Executive Order, two transcripts of press briefings and two sets of talking points â€” dating from Sept. 24 to Dec. 17, 2001. Kenneth B. Mehlman, then in the Executive Office Building and later chairman of the Republican National Committee, sent around a copy of Bushâ€™s address to the Joint Session of Congress Sept. 21, 2001, in which Bush briefly mentioned â€œa person named Osama bin Laden.â€ The other mention of bin Laden in 2001 comes in an Oct. 15 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article about John Ashcroft and terrorism, forwarded by David Israelite.
One email reference to bin Laden occurred in 2002, also forwarded by David Israelite. Under the heading â€œDo you remember?,â€ Israelite distributed to colleagues, including Barbara Comstock, a description of a purported 1987 video clip saying that Oliver North warned Congress about Osama bin Laden in the Iran-Contra hearings but was shut off by then-Sen. Al Gore. This claim had already been debunked by North himself (see www.snopes.com). Comstock went on to chair Scooter Libbyâ€™s defense fund in 2007 and in 2008 ran for Congress from Virginia.
There were three email references to bin Laden in 2003 â€” a press briefing, a forwarded newspaper article, and a December statement from Director of Public Affairs Mark Corallo criticizing a Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse study.
Fifteen emails mentioned bin Laden in 2004. Some were in response to criticism of the White House after disclosure of the famous Aug. 6, 2001, Presidential Daily Briefing, â€œBin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.â€ All email references are forwarded press briefings and other press releases, forwarded newspaper articles, or talking points related to bin Laden.
The Department of Justice represents the US government in enforcing the law in the public interest. According to the official definition of responsibilities printed under a photograph of then Attorney General Ashcroft, â€œThrough its thousands of lawyers, investigators, and agents, the Department plays the key role in protection against criminals and subversion … It represents the government in legal matters generally, rendering legal advice and opinions, upon request, to the President and to the heads of the executive departments. The Attorney General supervises and directs these activities, as well as those of the U.S. attorneys and U.S. marshals in the various judicial districts around the country.â€
Either top Justice Department personnel under the previous administration were not a set of bloodhounds, or documents have been suppressed. The email archives contain no indication that inside circles in the Bush White House and DOJ were paying attention to capturing Osama bin Laden or Mullah Omar. Mentions of bin Laden and Omar come strictly in the context of public relations.
There are no records of emails to or from Alberto Gonzales, presumably because he did not have an email account.
Email records searched under FOIA include those of previous Attorney General Ashcroft; Michael Chertoff, previously assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division and later secretary of Homeland Security; former Deputy Attorney General James Comey; former Deputy Attorney Paul McNulty; Philip J. Perry, acting associate attorney general and son-in-law of Vice President Dick Cheney; former Associate Attorney General Jay B. Stephens; and David Ayres, Ashcroftâ€™s chief of staff.
After leaving Justice, Ayres co-founded The Ashcroft Group. His corporate biography describes Ayres thus:
â€œAfter the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Mr. Ayres managed the Departmentâ€™s crisis operations and restructuring of the FBI to focus on preventing terrorist attacks. As the Attorney Generalâ€™s principal counter-terrorism advisor, Mr. Ayres oversaw numerous counter-terrorism operations, program reorganizations and policy reforms to prevent additional terrorist attacks.â€
Many persons in the Department of Justice and the executive offices of the White House had responsibilities in the â€œwar on terror,â€ at least according to public pronouncements. Given all the public emphasis on â€œinformation sharingâ€ and cooperation among law enforcement and security entities, and the speechifying against a purported â€œwallâ€ between domestic and foreign information gathering, one would think there would have been extensive correspondence about bin Laden and Omar among others.
Again, either there was such extensive correspondence, and it is being suppressed; or there was no such interest in bin Laden at the highest levels of government, meaning that indeed the previous administration viewed bin Laden chiefly as a public relations tool.
What did they know about bin Laden that they did not share with the public? Were they confident, for undisclosed reasons, that he posed no threat? Why are there no expressions of concern about his whereabouts?
With this plate handed to him, it is a wonder that Obamaâ€™s hair has not turned white already.
Margie Burns is a Texas native who now writes from Washington, D.C. Email email@example.com. See her blog at www.margieburns.com.
By Edward F. Haas
Itâ€™s been eight years since the United States invaded Afghanistan. After all these years many Americans have lost sight of the alleged purpose of our invasion – to hunt for Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.
What has also been lost is any government inquiry whatsoever into the accuracy of the â€œsmoking gunâ€ evidence that the Bush Administration presented as the final justification for invading Afghanistan – the peculiar â€œOsama bin Laden confession video.â€
Released on December 13, 2001, the videotape of bin Laden and associates taking pleasure in the 9/11 attack was seen around the world – over and over again. I remember the 24 hour news channels playing the same scenes practically non-stop while the talking heads told their audiences that this was absolute proof that the United States invasion of Afghanistan a few months earlier on October 7, 2001 was the right action.
The corporate media, liberal and conservative, failed to question the Department of Defense Press Release 630-01 that accompanied the video release. No so-called professional journalist found the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the video unusual. The corporate types just accepted at face value that the videotape was discovered by U.S. forces in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The names of the troops that discovered the video, the name of the unit, the circumstances as to how the video was actually discovered, and what prompted the troops to look at the video in the first place was never asked by the White House Press Corps or any other corporate media type. How U.S. troops discovered the video and what prompted the troops to explore the content of the video remains a mystery.
That is if you believe Press Release 630-01was factual.
Many Americans, as well as other people around the world, believe the video was a U.S.government fabrication. Others believe it to be the result of a sting operation taped in the last week of September 2001. This would mean that Osama bin Laden did not know he was being videotaped, and that the U.S. and foreign intelligence operatives had bin Laden in their sights prior to the U.S. invasion. A strong argument can be made that if bin Laden had been captured or killed before the U.S. invasion, support for the war would have been greatly diminished, particularly outside the United States.
A few years ago when I was writing the Muckraker Report, I used Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in an attempt to discover some facts surrounding the discovery of the video.
In a September 2006 letter from the Department of Defense, I was told that any information / documentation related to the discovery of the video would be found with United States Central Command (CENTCOM).
On February 26, 2007 CENTCOM received my FOIA request. In the request I wrote:
Please provide documents related to the discovery of the December 13, 2001 released Osama bin Laden video. Documents include action reports, logbook entries, e-mails, and transcripts, etc., which the U.S. forces that reportedly found the video would have recorded upon â€œdiscoveringâ€ the video. I am trying to identify the – who, what, when, where, and why of how this video dubbed the â€œconfession videoâ€ by the corporate media, was actually discovered.
To my amazement, nearly three years later, I finally received a response from CENTCOM. What didnâ€™t surprise me is that CENTCOM found â€œno recordsâ€ related to the discovery of the video. CENTCOM wrote:
â€œPursuant to procedures established in 5 U.S.C. 552, Freedom of Information Act and DOD 5400.7-R, Department of Defense FOIA Program, our search included all existing records in USCENTCOM. Despite our extensive search for documents pertaining to your request, we were unable to locate responsive documents.â€
I am of the belief that there is credible evidence that the video in question was the result of a sting operation. I also believe that it was taped before the U.S. invasion. The lack of any documentation supporting the governmentâ€™s claim that the video was discovered by U.S.troops in Jalalabad adds fuel to this belief. Had bin Laden been captured or killed rather than taped in September 2001, the current debate as to whether the United States should send more troops into Afghanistan could have possibly been avoided.
That is why it is impossible for me to support the war in Afghanistan at this time. Until the facts come out about the video and its discovery I will always believe the cause was fabricated – just like the war in Iraq.
Ed Haas is a freelance writer residing in Charleston, SC. He is the former editor of the Muckraker Report. Ed was the recipient of the 2008 Project Censored Award. This award recognized the Top 25 censored news stories of 2006-2007.
By Dr. Aslam Abdullah, TMO Editor in chief
In Iraq and in Afghanistan, US, UK, and other western countries troops have allegedly used torture techniques in interrogations. But why do they use torture? Because they are concerned about the security and safety of the world? Because they are such morally upright people that they want to to eliminate the evil from the earth?
Or are there other reasons?
The fact is none of these troops belonged to Iraq and Afghanistan. They were not required there and they were not invited there. They are invading the two countries primarily to control their resources and their people. They invaded the countries because the power elite in the US and European countries wanted to control the resources and people. Iraqis never fired a bullet at the US or European forces before the invasion and the Afghans never targeted a European and American soldier or civilian before the invasion. Osama bin Laden was sent to Afghanistan by the US and European intelligence agencies to serve the political interests of western capitalist leaders by engineering popular war against the former Soviet Union.
Osama bin Laden played into the hands of his masters without realizing that his actions were contrary to the divine teachings. He was just a small tool in the hands of those who had hatched a well orchestrated strategy to ensure that the interests of the defense industry are secured. He used religious terminology without realizing what those terms meant. Much of his scripts were prepared by his masters. Much of what he says is for European and American audience.
If the European and Americans were exclusively devoted to capturing Osama bin Laden and his advisers, one would have given accepted their claim. But their forces are involved in torturing people whom they dub as their enemies. The simple explanation to the ongoing torture techniques can be found in the perception of most US and European soldiers of Islam and Muslims that is constantly propagated by many fanatic right wing Christians.
Many chaplains in the US army are allegedly openly anti-Islamic. They reportedly promote hatred against Muslims. Their teachings impact young soldiers who have hardly completed High school and who understanding of comparative religions is nominal. Many of them have been told that Islam and Muslims are antithetical to their religion, and or various other absurd slanders against Islamic faith.
In fact, for almost 1400 years Islam has been attacked by non-Muslims including pagans, Christians, and Jews.
Unfortunately, the history of anti-Islamic propaganda in Europe and America is very evident. And it is against this background that torture takes place. If these countries were really concerned about creating peace in the world and fighting the violence, they could have started helping people on their own streetsâ€”by preventing domestic violence, gun violence, and other kinds of violence.
In fact, the torture and their justifications for it are nothing but a screen to hide their anti-Muslim sentiment.