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Terrorism Defined (examining the Iraq-US-International situation)

“It is only in folk tales, children's stories, and the journals of intellectual opinion that power is used wisely and well to destroy evil. The real world teaches very different lessons, and it takes willful and dedicated ignorance to fail to perceive them.”
- Noam Chomsky, "The World After Sept. 11" AFSC Conference, Dec. 8, 01

"We've had allies throughout our history that aren't necessarily of the same philosophy and persuasion that we are, regarding principles and values. Sometimes your realpolitik interests demand that."
- James Baker former U.S. Secretary of State,  PBS Frontline interview, October 2001

Politics based on practical objectives rather than on ideals. The word does not mean "real" in the English sense but rather connotes "things"--hence a politics of adaptation to things as they are. Realpolitik thus suggests a pragmatic, no-nonsense view and a disregard for ethical considerations. In diplomacy it is often associated with relentless, though realistic, pursuit of the national interest.

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
- attributed to George Washington, 1st US President

Transcript of Bush's Final War Warning to Saddam
W A S H I N G T O N, March 17, 2003
My fellow citizens, events in Iraq have now reached the final days of decision.

The danger is clear: Using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country or any other.

The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or invite this threat, but we will do everything to defeat it. Instead of drifting along toward tragedy, we will set a course toward safety.
"The first, Jacques Chirac, described the second, Saddam Hussein, as a personal friend, showed him around a French nuclear reactor and invited him to his home for the weekend. It was about this time that the prime minister was nicknamed Jacques Iraq."

How Saddam Built His War Machine – With Western Help
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, September 17, 1990; Page A01
Everyone, it seems, took a slice of the Iraqi arms pie. The Soviet Union, France, China and Chile sold Baghdad much of its off-the-shelf weaponry. West Germany, France, Britain, the United States, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and Brazil all sold the components, machines and tools -- much of it material with civilian as well as military application -- that are the building blocks of the modern Iraqi war machine.

Arming Iraq: How the U.S. and Britain Secretly Built Saddam's War Machine (Northeastern Series in Transnational Crime)
by Mark Phythian, Nikos Passas
“A chilling report on how Western vendors, with the covert connivance of their governments, helped oil-rich Iraq to acquire a state-of-the-art arsenal. Focusing on the role played by United Kingdom suppliers in the lucrative arms trade with Baghdad, Phythian (a faculty member at England's Wolverhampton University) first reviews why London and Washington (determined that Iraq should not lose the war it had started with Iran in 1981) allowed the despotic, expansion-minded Hussein regime to procure from domestic sources under their control not only advanced weaponry but also the means to build nuclear bombs.”

U.S. Had Key Role in Iraq's Chemical Weapons Buildup
Washington Post - December 30, 2002
High on the Bush administration's list of justifications for war against Iraq are President Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons, nuclear and biological programs, and his contacts with international terrorists. What U.S. officials rarely acknowledge is that these offenses date back to a period when Hussein was seen in Washington as a valued ally.

Among the people instrumental in tilting U.S. policy toward Baghdad during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war was Donald H. Rumsfeld, now defense secretary, whose December 1983 meeting with Hussein as a special presidential envoy paved the way for normalization of U.S.-Iraqi relations. Declassified documents show that Rumsfeld traveled to Baghdad at a time when Iraq was using chemical weapons on an "almost daily" basis in defiance of international conventions.

The story of U.S. involvement with Saddam Hussein in the years before his 1990 attack on Kuwait -- which included large-scale intelligence sharing, supply of cluster bombs through a Chilean front company, and facilitating Iraq's acquisition of chemical and biological precursors -- is a topical example of the underside of U.S. foreign policy. It is a world in which deals can be struck with dictators, human rights violations sometimes overlooked, and accommodations made with arms proliferators, all on the principle that the "enemy of my enemy is my friend."

Leaked report says German and US firms supplied arms to Saddam
Baghdad's uncensored report to UN names Western companies alleged to have developed its weapons of mass destruction
18 December 2002
Iraq's 11,000-page report to the UN Security Council lists 150 foreign companies, including some from America, Britain, Germany and France, that supported Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction programme, a German newspaper said yesterday.

British officials said the list of companies appeared to be accurate. Eighty German firms and 24 US companies are reported to have supplied Iraq with equipment and know-how for its weapons programmes from 1975 onwards and in some cases support for Baghdad's conventional arms programme had continued until last year.

Top-secret Iraq Report Reveals U.S. Corporations, Gov't Agencies and Nuclear Labs Helped Illegally Arm Iraq
Hewlett Packard, Dupont, Honeywell and other major U.S. corporations, as well as governmental agencies including the Department of Defense and thenation’s nuclear labs, all illegally helped Iraq to build its biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs.

Zumach obtained top-secret portions of Iraq’s 12,000-page weapons declaration that the US had redacted from the version made available to the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.

“We have 24 major U.S. companies listed in the report who gave very substantial support especially to the biological weapons program but also to the missile and nuclear weapons program,” Zumach said. “Pretty much everything was illegal in the case of nuclear and biological weapons. Every form of cooperation and supplies… was outlawed in the 1970s.”
Read complete list of U.S. and other foreign corporations

U.S. Supplied Germs to Iraq in '80s
Mon Sep 30, 2002
By MATT KELLEY, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - Iraq's bioweapons program that President Bush wants to eradicate got its start with help from Uncle Sam two decades ago, according to government records getting new scrutiny in light of the discussion of war against Iraq.

The disclosures put the United States in the uncomfortable position of possibly having provided the key ingredients of the weapons America is considering waging war to destroy, said Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va. Byrd entered the documents into the Congressional Record this month.

Byrd asked Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld about the germ transfers at a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. Byrd noted that Rumsfeld met Saddam in 1983, when Rumsfeld was President Reagan's Middle East envoy.

"Are we, in fact, now facing the possibility of reaping what we have sown?" Byrd asked Rumsfeld after reading parts of a Newsweek article on the transfers.

"I have never heard anything like what you've read, I have no knowledge of it whatsoever, and I doubt it," Rumsfeld said. He later said he would ask the Defense Department and other government agencies to search their records for evidence of the transfers.

Regime change
From building ties to Saddam to removing him from power
Monday, September 30, 2002
(CNN) -- Twenty years ago, the U.S. government was building ties to Saddam Hussein's government -- not trying to overthrow it.

In the mid-1980s, the Reagan administration sent then-private citizen Donald Rumsfeld as a special envoy to improve relations. Rumsfeld is now the U.S. secretary of defense.

Rumsfeld 'offered help to Saddam'
Tuesday December 31, 2002
The details will embarrass Mr Rumsfeld, who as defence secretary in the Bush administration is one of the leading hawks on Iraq, frequently denouncing it for its past use of such weapons.

The US provided less conventional military equipment than British or German companies but it did allow the export of biological agents, including anthrax; vital ingredients for chemical weapons; and cluster bombs sold by a CIA front organisation in Chile, the report says.

Intelligence on Iranian troop movements was provided, despite detailed knowledge of Iraq's use of nerve gas.

"U.S. Ieaders commit war crimes as a matter of institutional necessity, as their imperial role calls for keeping subordinate peoples in their proper place and assuring a "favorable climate of investment" everywhere. They do this by using their economic power, but also ... by supporting Diem, Mobutu, Pinochet, Suharto, Savimbi, Marcos, Fujimori, Salinas, and scores of similar leaders. War crimes also come easily because U.S. Ieaders consider themselves to be the vehicles of a higher morality and truth and can operate in violation of law without cost. It is also immensely helpful that their mainstream media agree that their country is above the law and will support and rationalize each and every venture and the commission of war crimes."
- Edward Herman, political economist and author

Questions That Won't Be Asked About Iraq
Congressman Ron Paul [Republican, Texas]
U.S. House of Representatives
September 10, 2002
21. Is it not true that, contrary to current claims, the no-fly zones were set up by Britain and the United States without specific approval from the United Nations?
22. If we claim membership in the international community and conform to its rules only when it pleases us, does this not serve to undermine our position, directing animosity toward us by both friend and foe?
23. How can our declared goal of bringing democracy to Iraq be believable when we prop up dictators throughout the Middle East and support military tyrants like Musharaf in Pakistan, who overthrew a democratically-elected president?
24. Are you familiar with the 1994 Senate Hearings that revealed the U.S. knowingly supplied chemical and biological materials to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war and as late as 1992 – including after the alleged Iraqi gas attack on a Kurdish village?
25. Did we not assist Saddam Hussein’s rise to power by supporting and encouraging his invasion of Iran? Is it honest to criticize Saddam now for his invasion of Iran, which at the time we actively supported?

"What We Say Goes": The Middle East in the New World Order
Noam Chomsky, April 4, 1991
“Prior to August 2, 1990, the US and its allies found Saddam Hussein an attractive partner. In 1980, they helped prevent UN reaction to Iraq's attack on Iran, which they supported throughout. At the time, Iraq was a Soviet client, but Reagan, Thatcher and Bush recognized Saddam Hussein as "our kind of guy" and induced him to switch sides. In 1982, Reagan removed Iraq from the list of states that sponsor terror, permitting it to receive enormous credits for the purchase of US exports while the US became a major market for its oil. By 1987, Iraq praised Washington for its "positive efforts" in the Gulf while expressing disappointment over Soviet refusal to join the tilt towards Iraq (Tariq Aziz). US intervention was instrumental in enabling Iraq to gain the upper hand in the war. Western corporations took an active role in building up Iraq's military strength, notably its weapons of mass destruction. Reagan and Bush regularly intervened to block congressional censure of their friend's atrocious human rights record, strenuously opposing any actions that might interfere with profits for US corporations or with Iraq's military build-up.”

“Britain was no different. When Saddam was reported to have gassed thousands of Kurds at Halabja, the White House intervened to block any serious congressional reaction and not one member of the governing Conservative Party was willing to join a left-labor condemnation in Parliament. Both governments now profess outrage over the crime, and denounce those who did protest for appeasing their former comrade, while basking in media praise for their high principle. It was, of course, understood that Saddam Hussein was one of the world's most savage tyrants. But he was "our gangster," joining a club in which he could find congenial associates. Repeating a familiar formula, Geoffrey Kemp, head of the Middle East section in the National Security Council under Reagan, observed that "We weren't really that naive. We knew that he was an SOB, but he was our SOB."

Squeezed to death
Half a million children have died in Iraq since UN sanctions were imposed - most enthusiastically by Britain and the US. Three UN officials have resigned in despair. Meanwhile, bombing of Iraq continues almost daily. John Pilger investigates
Saturday March 4, 2000

In Washington, I interviewed James Rubin, an under secretary of state who speaks for Madeleine Albright. When asked on US television if she thought that the death of half a million Iraqi children was a price worth paying, Albright replied: "This is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it." When I questioned Rubin about this, he claimed Albright's words were taken out of context. He then questioned the "methodology" of a report by the UN's World Health Organisation, which had estimated half a million deaths. Advising me against being "too idealistic", he said: "In making policy, one has to choose between two bad choices . . . and unfortunately the effect of sanctions has been more than we would have hoped." He referred me to the "real world" where "real choices have to be made". In mitigation, he said, "Our sense is that prior to sanctions, there was serious poverty and health problems in Iraq." The opposite was true, as Unicef's data on Iraq before 1990, makes clear.

The irony is that the US helped bring Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party to power in Iraq, and that the US (and Britain) in the 1980s conspired to break their own laws in order, in the words of a Congressional inquiry, to "secretly court Saddam Hussein with reckless abandon", giving him almost everything he wanted, including the means of making biological weapons. Rubin failed to see the irony in the US supplying Saddam with seed stock for anthrax and botulism, that he could use in weapons, and claimed that the Maryland company responsible was prosecuted. It was not: the company was given Commerce Department approval.

Saddam received key to city of Detroit in 1980
Wednesday, March 26, 2003:
Iraqi Embassy squires Detroit pastor, other Chaldeans on a paid trip back to homeland
By Jennifer Brooks / The Detroit News
DETROIT -- Saddam Hussein has collected many things in his 24-year reign -- palaces, enemies. And the key to the city of Detroit.

"It is very strange, thinking about it now," said Pastor Jacob Yasso of Detroit's Sacred Heart Parish, who presented the key to the city, along with the compliments of then-Mayor Coleman A. Young, to the Iraqi leader in 1980. One of the mayor's staff gave Yasso the key as a courtesy to the city's Chaldean community.

Saddam gave Sacred Heart something else: a check for $200,000 that paid off the church's debt, with enough left over to build a parish center. "Today, we use the center to teach American citizenship classes," Yasso said.

In the 1980s, Iraq and the United States were allied in their mistrust of Iran.

Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia: Iran-Contra Affair
The tangled U.S. foreign-policy scandal known as the Iran-contra affair came to light in November 1986 when President Ronald REAGAN confirmed reports that the United States had secretly sold arms to Iran. He stated that the goal was to improve relations with Iran, not to obtain release of U.S. hostages held in the Middle East by terrorists (although he later acknowledged that the arrangement had in fact turned into an arms-for-hostages swap). Outcry against dealings with a hostile Iran was widespread. Later in November, Att. Gen. Edwin Meese discovered that some of the arms profits had been diverted to aid the Nicaraguan "contra" rebels--at a time when Congress had prohibited such aid.

JOHN STOCKWELL, former CIA official, 10 October 1987
To destabilize Nicaragua beginning in 1981, we began funding this force of Somoza's ex-national guardsmen, calling them the contras (the counter-revolutionaries). We created this force, it did not exist until we allocated money. We've armed them, put uniforms on their backs, boots on their feet, given them camps in Honduras to live in, medical supplies, doctors, training, leadership, direction, as we've sent them in to de-stabilize Nicaragua. Under our direction they have systematically been blowing up graineries, saw mills, bridges, government offices, schools, health centers. They ambush trucks so the produce can't get to market. They raid farms and villages. The farmer has to carry a gun while he tries to plow, if he can plow at all.

Systematically, the contras have been assassinating religious workers, teachers, health workers, elected officials, government administrators. You remember the assassination manual? that surfaced in 1984. It caused such a stir that President Reagan had to address it himself in the presidential debates with Walter Mondale. They use terror. This is a technique that they're using to traumatize the society so that it can't function.

All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror
Stephen Kinzer
Hardcover, June 2003
"Half a century ago, the United States overthrew a Middle Eastern government for the first time. The victim was Mohammad Mossadegh, the democratically elected prime minister of Iran. Although the coup seemed a success at first, today it serves as a chilling lesson about the dangers of foreign intervention." In this book, veteran New York Times correspondent Stephen Kinzer gives the first full account of this fateful operation. His account is centered around an hour-by-hour reconstruction of the events of August 1953, and concludes with an assessment of the coup's "haunting and terrible legacy."

The Los Angeles Times
Fifty years ago, the CIA overthrew Mohammad Mossadegh, the popular, democratically elected prime minister of Iran, and reinstalled the country's exiled monarch, Mohammad Reza Shah. In All the Shah's Men, Stephen Kinzer, a longtime New York Times correspondent, covers this event in an exciting narrative. He questions whether Americans are well served by interventions for regime change abroad, and he reminds us of the long history of Iranian resistance to great power interventions, as well as the unanticipated consequences of intervention. — Nikki R. Keddie

“As I told you, I worked for four administrations under three presidents. And in every one of those, our policy was that we would go to war to protect the energy reserves in the Persian Gulf. That is a major and very significant national security interest that we have.”
- James Baker, former U.S. Secretary of State, PBS Frontline interview, October 2001

“They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other. They want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries such as …”
- President Bush's address to a joint session of Congress on Thursday night, September 20, 2001

Bush planned Iraq 'regime change' before becoming President
by Neil Mackay, Sunday Herald - 15 September 2002
A secret blueprint for US global domination reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure 'regime change' even before he took power in January 2001.

The blueprint, uncovered by the Sunday Herald, for the creation of a 'global Pax Americana' was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice- president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), George W Bush's younger brother Jeb and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century, was written in September 2000 by the neo-conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says: 'The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.'

International Law Seen at Risk in U.S. Fight with Security Council
Fri Jul 5, 2002
"The real reason behind Washington's blackmail [in the Security Council] is the most troubling," according to Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), writing in the Financial Times this week. "An increasingly influential faction in the Bush administration believes that U.S. military and economic power is so dominant that the U.S. is no longer served by international law."

Project for the New American Century
William Kristol, Chairman
The Project for the New American Century is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to a few fundamental propositions: that American leadership is good both for America and for the world; that such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle; and that too few political leaders today are making the case for global leadership.

The Project for the New American Century intends, through issue briefs, research papers, advocacy journalism, conferences, and seminars, to explain what American world leadership entails. It will also strive to rally support for a vigorous and principled policy of American international involvement and to stimulate useful public debate on foreign and defense policy and America's role in the world.

"We're not deceived by their pretenses to piety. We have seen their kind before. They're the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except the will to power, they follow in the path of fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism.”
- President Bush's address to a joint session of Congress on Thursday night, September 20, 2001

Publications and Reports
"Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century," September 2000.
A Report of the Project for the New American Century.
"In the Persian Gulf region, the presence of American forces, along with British and French units, has become a semipermanent fact of life. Though the immediate mission of those forces is to enforce the no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq, they represent the long-term commitment of the United States and its major allies to a region of vital importance.

Indeed, the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein." - p. 14

"A transformation strategy that solely pursued capabilities for projecting force from the United States, for example, and sacrificed forward basing and presence, would be at odds with larger American policy goals and would trouble American allies.

Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor."  pg. 50-51

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy."
- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

U.S. plans total control in rebuilding postwar Iraq
By Karen DeYoung and Peter Slevin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Posted on Fri, Feb. 21, 2003
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration plans to take complete, unilateral control of a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, with an interim administration headed by a yet-to-be named American civilian who will direct the reconstruction of the country and the creation of a ``representative'' Iraqi government, according to an outline described by U.S. officials and other sources.

Gen. Tommy Franks, the head of the U.S. Central Command, is to maintain military control as long as U.S. troops are there. …The administration has declined to estimate how long U.S. forces would remain in Iraq. Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman told Congress last week that it might be two years before the Iraqis regained administrative control of their country. But "they're terrified of being caught in a time frame," said retired Army Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, one of a number of senior military and civilian experts who have been briefed by the Pentagon on the plan. "My own view is that it will take five years, with substantial military power, to establish and exploit the peace" in Iraq.

In Iraqi War Scenario, Oil Is Key Issue
U.S. Drillers Eye Huge Petroleum Pool
By Dan Morgan and David B. Ottaway
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, September 15, 2002; Page A01
A U.S.-led ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein could open a bonanza for American oil companies long banished from Iraq, scuttling oil deals between Baghdad and Russia, France and other countries, and reshuffling world petroleum markets, according to industry officials and leaders of the Iraqi opposition.

Although senior Bush administration officials say they have not begun to focus on the issues involving oil and Iraq, American and foreign oil companies have already begun maneuvering for a stake in the country's huge proven reserves of 112 billion barrels of crude oil, the largest in the world outside Saudi Arabia.

The importance of Iraq's oil has made it potentially one of the administration's biggest bargaining chips in negotiations to win backing from the U.N. Security Council and Western allies for President Bush's call for tough international action against Hussein. All five permanent members of the Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China -- have international oil companies with major stakes in a change of leadership in Baghdad.

"It's pretty straightforward," said former CIA director R. James Woolsey, who has been one of the leading advocates of forcing Hussein from power. "France and Russia have oil companies and interests in Iraq. They should be told that if they are of assistance in moving Iraq toward decent government, we'll do the best we can to ensure that the new government and American companies work closely with them."

But he added: "
If they throw in their lot with Saddam, it will be difficult to the point of impossible to persuade the new Iraqi government to work with them."

Which Companies Will Put Iraq Back Together?
March 23, 2003, New York Times
WAR began last week. Reconstruction starts this week.

That, at least, is how it looks to government contract officers, who in the coming days plan to give American companies the first contracts to rebuild Iraq, a task that experts say could eventually cost $25 billion to $100 billion. It would be the largest postwar rebuilding since the Marshall Plan in Europe after World War II.

That comparison is being made at every opportunity by Bush administration officials, who emphasize American generosity and farsightedness. But the government's decision to invite only American corporations to bid on these contracts has added to the profound international divisions that already surround the war.

Texas oil industry set to profit from Iraq war
Texas oil and gas companies are well-positioned to benefit from the rebuilding of Iraq's multibillion-dollar oil industry, experts say
2003/03/17, Dallas Business Journal
John Gerdes, senior vice president and director of energy research at Dallas-based Southwest Securities Inc., said Texas oil and gas companies are already lining up for hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to put out Iraqi oil well fires and rebuild the country's oil industry.

Baxter said he tried to arrange a visit to Iraq about three weeks ago with a group from Dallas and, "even with my contacts, 'mum' was the word of the day" on contract bids and negotiations.

Baxter said he's read that Houston-based Halliburton, Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Fluor Corp. and San Francisco-based Bechtel Group Inc. have been asked by the U.S. government to bid on reconstruction of Iraq's oil industry.

Halliburton says KBR unit revenue profit, sales soar
Oct 29, 2003
HOUSTON, United States (AFP) - US oil industry services giant Halliburton said Thursday its Kellogg Brown and Root unit's profits rose four-fold and sales leapt 80 percent, boosted by work in Iraq.

KBR, the engineering and construction division that netted a no-bid government contract to help rebuild Iraq's shattered oil industry, also posted an 80-percent jump in sales to 2.3 billion dollars.

"This increase is largely attributable to additional activity in Engineering and Construction Group government service projects, including work in the Middle East," Halliburton said.

Overall, US government contracts for Iraqi reconstruction given to Halliburton are now worth some two billion dollars and could go higher, the army said last month.

Forceful Tactics Catch Up With U.S.
Efforts to Build Support on Iraq Stymied by Two Years of International Resentment
By Glenn Kessler, Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 16, 2003; Page A26
"There have been really aggressive battles that have got people's backs up," said a diplomat from a country that publicly supports the U.S. position on
Iraq. "The U.S. team often acts like thugs. People feel bullied, and that can affect the way you respond when someone makes a request."

Deterring Iraqi Democracy
April 4, 1991, Noam Chomsky
It is a very revealing fact that the Iraqi democratic opposition was not only ignored by Washington but also scrupulously excluded from the media, throughout the Gulf crisis. That is easily explained when we hear what they had to say.

On the eve of the air war, the German press published a statement of the "Iraqi Democratic Group," conservative in orientation ("liberal," in the European sense), reiterating its call for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein but also opposing "any foreign intervention in the Near East," criticizing US "policies of aggression" in the Third World and its intention to control Middle East oil, and rejecting UN resolutions "that had as their goal the starvation of our people." The statement called for the withdrawal of US-UK troops, withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait, self-determination for the Kuwaiti people, "a peaceful settlement of the Kuwait problem, democracy for Iraq, and autonomy for Iraq-Kurdistan."

Democracy in Iraq doubtful, State Dept. report says
Social, economic obstacles work against transformation

Greg Miller, Los Angeles Times
Friday, March 14, 2003
Washington -- A classified State Department report expresses deep skepticism that installing a new regime in Iraq will foster the spread of democracy in the Middle East, a claim President Bush has made in trying to build support for a war, according to intelligence officials familiar with the document.

"Liberal democracy would be difficult to achieve," says one passage of the report, according to an intelligence official who agreed to read portions of it to the Los Angeles Times. "Electoral democracy, were it to emerge, could well be subject to exploitation by anti-American elements."

The thrust of the document, the source said, "is that this idea that you're going to transform the Middle East and fundamentally alter its trajectory is not credible."

Even the document's title appears to dismiss the administration argument. The report is labeled "Iraq, the Middle East and Change: No Dominoes."

The report was produced by the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the in-house analytical arm.

It is dated Feb. 26, officials said, the same day Bush endorsed the domino theory in a speech to the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

"A new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the region," Bush said.

Other top administration officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, have made similar remarks in recent months.

But the argument has been pushed hardest by a group of officials and advisers who have been the leading proponents of going to war with Iraq. Prominent among them are Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, and Richard Perle, chairman of the Defense Policy Board, an influential Pentagon advisory panel.

"Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception."
Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger 1916, Ch.9

British intel report cited by Powell to U.N. plagiarized grad student
by Mike Ruppert Friday February 07, 2003 at 08:53 AM

Feb. 6, 2003, 2230 hrs, PST, (FTW) - A story is sweeping the world tonight and it says a great deal about those who are forcing the world into a war it does not want. The famed dossier presented by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to his Parliament was plagiarized from two articles and a September 2002 research paper submitted by a graduate student.

Worse, the Iraq described by the graduate student is not the Iraq of 2003 but the Iraq of 1991. So glaring was the theft of intellectual property that the official British document even cut and pasted whole verbatim segments of the research paper, including grammatical errors, and presented the findings as the result of intense work by British intelligence services.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell both praised and quoted that same British report in his presentation at the United Nations yesterday.

It is important that readers see and understand the enormity of this violation of public trust for themselves. The story was first broken by Britain's Channel 4 today and it is appearing in more papers and web sites by the hour. The following links lead directly to the Channel 4 story, to the British "intelligence" report and to the original student paper.

What was also disclosed was that certain portions of the academic report were altered by the PM Tony Blair to make them more inflammatory. In one cited instance Blair changed "aiding opposition groups" to "supporting terrorists."

The Channel 4 story is at:

The Official UK intelligence report is at:

The original student research paper is located at:

Britain Admits That Much of Its Report on Iraq Came From Magazines
LONDON, Feb. 7, 2003 New York Times
Mr. Marashi told Channel 4 News, which first reported the plagiarism charges, that his research had been drawn primarily from two huge sets of documents: "one taken from Kurdish rebels in the north of Iraq — around four million documents — as well as 300,000 documents left by Iraqi security services in Kuwait." He also said that while he had no reason to doubt the truth of anything he had written and believed the government report to be accurate, no one had asked permission or informed him about using his work.

"I am surprised, flattered as well, that this information got used in a U.K. government dossier," Mr. Marashi said in an interview with Reuters. "Had they consulted me, I could have provided them with more updated information."

…The Blair government did not deny that any of this had happened. But its spokesman insisted today that the government believed "the text as published to be accurate" and that the document had been published because "we wanted to show people not only the kind of regime we were dealing with, but also how Saddam Hussein had pursued a policy of deliberate deception."

Bernard Jenkin, the Conservative Party's shadow defense secretary, said the government had not satisfactorily addressed the concerns raised by the disclosures.

"The government's reaction utterly fails to explain, deny or excuse the allegations," Mr. Jenkin said. "The document has been cited by the prime minister and Colin Powell as the basis for a possible war. Who is responsible for such an incredible failure of judgment?"

The dossier that shamed Britain
Deception can only corrode public trust
Sunday February 9, 2003, The Observer
“The Government has grudgingly admitted a failure to acknowledge sources - while insisting that the information remains valid. This misses the point. Plagiarism is not the main issue. The central issue is that of public trust. At best, this episode demonstrates incompetence and the failure to oversee the most important claims which the Government puts into the public domain. At worst, a deliberate attempt to hoodwink and mislead the public will undermine trust in anything the Government says about the Iraqi threat at this vital time."

Dossier of evidence solid, insists Britain
The Hindu, Saturday, February 8, 2003
Officials also admitted that chunks of the document -- praised by US Secretary of State Colin Powell on Wednesday for its "exquisite detail" -- were copied word-for-word from an article by a 29-year-old Californian academic.

The sentences were lifted from an article by Ibrahim al-Marishi, an Iraqi-American, in the September edition of Middle East Review of International Affairs. He, in turn, sources his information to a 1999 book by the former weapons inspector Scott Ritter, who opposes US President Bush's Iraq policy.

Iraq has "legitimate grievances" over former inspectors
Former chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq Scott Ritter, Address to Iraq's National Assembly 9/8/2002
“I know as well as any that the inspection regime of the past for which I served was in the end corrupted by those who chose to use the unique access granted to weapons inspectors for purposes other than that set forth by the Security Council mandate. And that those inspections were used to deliberately provoke a crisis that, in turn, was used to justify the continuation of economic sanctions that continued to plague Iraq as well as acts of military aggression.”

Sludge Report #142: Richard Butler Is A CIA Asset
Thursday, 1 August 2002, 4:13 pm
Earlier this evening (it is now late night in Washington D.C.) former UNSCOM chief Richard Butler gave evidence, evidence that the U.S. Senate needs to understand the background of.

Former UNSCOM Head, Chief Iraqi United Nations Arms Inspector, and Australian Richard Butler is a CIA Asset.

Even worse he has actively assisted the U.S. to pursue unilateral, i.e. illegal non-UN sanctioned military adventures, at the same time as he has encouraged this inherently dangerous world.

It is now a matter of historical record that the CIA and Mossad completely compromised UNSCOM during the period.

But for some reason few people have been informed of this part of the Gulf War history, and even fewer seem to remember it.

In 1998-99 the story went like this.

1. Saddam Hussein says UNSCOM contains CIA and Mossad spies. Which it did.
2. UNSCOM’S Richard Butler says he is doing his job impartially.
3. Saddam Hussein kicks out UNSCOM. Nobody believes him that UNSCOM are spies.
4. UNSCOM Inspector Scott Ritter tells everybody that Richard Butler is a liar.
5. Richard Butler tells everybody that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction.
6. Saddam Hussein says he hasn’t.
7. Richard Butler says he wants to go back to inspect.
8. Saddam says no, not unless the inspectors are not CIA spies.
9. The USA sets a deadline for Iraq to let in inspectors.
10. The deadline passes and the US starts bombing Iraq to make him let Richard Butler back in.
11. (Several months later) It is revealed in an inquiry that Richard Butler’s UNSCOM was riddled with CIA and Mossad spies. I.E. Saddam was always right.

Richard Butler’s comments today are particularly important.
His objective in giving evidence to the Senate is to provide an excuse to attack Iraq.

Some Evidence on Iraq Called Fake
U.N. Nuclear Inspector Says Documents on Purchases Were Forged
By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 8, 2003; Page A01

A number of independent experts on uranium enrichment have sided with IAEA's conclusion that the tubes were at best ill suited for centrifuges. Several have said that the "anodized" features mentioned by Powell are actually a strong argument for use in rockets, not centrifuges, contrary to the administration's statement.

The Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington-based research organization that specializes in nuclear issues, reported yesterday that Powell's staff had been briefed about the implications of the anodized coatings before Powell's address to the Security Council last month.

"Despite being presented with the falseness of this claim, the administration persists in making misleading arguments about the significance of the tubes," the institute's president, David Albright, wrote in the report.

Powell's spokesman said the secretary of state had consulted numerous experts and stood by his U.N. statement.

Inspectors Call U.S. Tips 'Garbage'
Feb. 20, 2003
(CBS) While diplomatic maneuvering continues over Turkish bases and a new United Nations resolution, inside Iraq, U.N. arms inspectors are privately complaining about the quality of U.S. intelligence and accusing the United States of sending them on wild-goose chases.

U.N. sources have told CBS News that American tips have lead to one dead end after another.

bulletExample: satellite photographs purporting to show new research buildings at Iraqi nuclear sites. When the U.N. went into the new buildings they found "nothing."
bulletExample: Saddam's presidential palaces, where the inspectors went with specific coordinates supplied by the U.S. on where to look for incriminating evidence. Again, they found "nothing."
bulletExample: Interviews with scientists about the aluminum tubes the U.S. says Iraq has imported for enriching uranium, but which the Iraqis say are for making rockets. Given the size and specification of the tubes, the U.N. calls the "Iraqi alibi air tight."

The inspectors do acknowledge, however, that they would not be here at all if not for the threat of U.S. military action.

So frustrated have the inspectors become that one source has referred to the U.S. intelligence they've been getting as "garbage after garbage after garbage." In fact, Phillips says the source used another cruder word. The inspectors find themselves caught between the Iraqis, who are masters at the weapons-hiding shell game, and the United States, whose intelligence they've found to be circumstantial, outdated or just plain wrong.

Some administration officials expressing misgivings on Iraq
Knight-Ridder Tribune News
Oct. 8, 2002, 10:47AM
WASHINGTON -- While President Bush marshals congressional and international support for invading Iraq, a growing number of military officers, intelligence professionals and diplomats in his own government privately have deep misgivings about the administration's double-time march toward war.

These officials charge that administration hawks have exaggerated evidence of the threat that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein poses -- including distorting his links to the al-Qaida terrorist network -- have overstated the amount of international support for attacking Iraq and have downplayed the potential repercussions of a new war in the Middle East.

They charge that the administration squelches dissenting views and that intelligence analysts are under intense pressure to produce reports supporting the White House's argument that Saddam poses such an immediate threat to the United States that pre-emptive military action is necessary.

"Analysts at the working level in the intelligence community are feeling very strong pressure from the Pentagon to cook the intelligence books," said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A dozen other officials echoed his views in interviews.

No one who was interviewed disagreed.

Sweden Offers Free-speech Refuge To U.S. Officials
Friday, 13 December 2002, 11:08 am
STOCKHOLM - Blaine Williams hasn't stopped grinning since he arrived in Sweden two weeks ago. Several times a day he'll approach a complete stranger, offer a handshake and a smile, introduce himself as a former CIA analyst from America, and proceed to tell the bewildered Swede all the things he knows that directly contradict President George W. Bush's declarations about Saddam Hussein's intentions and capabilities.

"Free at last!" Williams exclaimed to a reporter as he sat on his front porch and waved to new neighbors. "I was stuck in a totalitarian bureaucracy for 14 months. What a relief it is to say in public who I am and what I think."

Former CIA analyst Williams is already a sensation on Swedish TV as a regular guest on the top-rated chat show, Nugen Farger ("Hard Rugby"). On a recent edition, he parsed a string of Bush's statements on Iraq, including assertions at a Republican fundraiser that Saddam Hussein hopes to deploy al Qaeda as his "forward army" against the West, and that "we need to think about Saddam Hussein using al Qaeda to do his dirty work, to not leave fingerprints behind."

"I can assure you," Williams told Swedish viewers, "that no one at CIA believes a word Bush said. What's more, no one at CIA believes that Bush believes a word Bush said."

The Bush Administration Adopts a Worse-than-Nixonian Tactic:
The Deadly Serious Crime Of Naming CIA Operatives
Friday, Aug. 15, 2003
On July 14, in his syndicated column, Chicago Sun-Times journalist Robert Novak reported that Valerie Plame Wilson - the wife of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, and mother of three-year-old twins - was a covert CIA agent. (She had been known to her friends as an "energy analyst at a private firm.")

Why was Novak able to learn this highly secret information? It turns out that he didn't have to dig for it. Rather, he has said, the "two senior Administration officials" he had cited as sources sought him out, eager to let him know. And in journalism, that phrase is a term of art reserved for a vice president, cabinet officers, and top White House officials.

After reading Novak's column, The Nation's Washington Editor, David Corn, asked, "Did senior Bush officials blow the cover of a US intelligence officer working covertly in a field of vital importance to national security--and break the law--in order to strike at a Bush administration critic and intimidate others?"

The answer is plainly yes. Now the question is, will they get away with it?

Leaking the Name of a CIA Agent Is a Crime

On July 22, Ambassador Wilson appeared on the Today show. Katie Couric asked him about his wife: "How damaging would this be to your wife's work?"

Wilson - who, not surprisingly, has refused to confirm or deny that his wife was a CIA operative - answered Katie "hypothetically." He explained, "it would be damaging not just to her career, since she's been married to me, but since they mentioned her by her maiden name, to her entire career. So it would be her entire network that she may have established, any operations, any programs or projects she was working on. It's a--it's a breach of national security. My understanding is it may, in fact, be a violation of American law."

And, indeed, it is.

The Espionage Act of 1917 and the Intelligence Identities and Protection Act of 1982 may both apply. Given the scant facts, it is difficult to know which might be more applicable. But as Senator Schumer (D.NY) said, in calling for an FBI investigation, if the reported facts are true, there has been a crime. The only question is: Whodunit?

“Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or 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 peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
- Hermann Goering, Nazi Reichsmarshall and Luftwaffe-Chief at the Nuremberg trials

"Taking the nation to war based on misleading rhetoric and hyped intelligence is a travesty and a tragedy. It is the most cynical of all cynical acts. It is dangerous to manipulate the truth. It is dangerous because once having lied, it is difficult to ever be believed again. Having misled the American people and stampeded them to war, this Administration must now attempt to sustain a policy predicated on falsehoods. The President asks for billions from those same citizens who know that they were misled about the need to go to war. We misinformed and insulted our friends and allies and now this Administration is having more than a little trouble getting help from the international community. It is perilous to mislead."
- Remarks by U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, October 17, 2003, The Emperor Has No Clothes

“But I would just say -- remind everybody that those no-fly zones were created by the United Nations to protect the Iraqi people and neighboring countries from being attacked. To attack the coalition aircraft enforcing these no-fly zones is like attacking a policeman who is patrolling a neighborhood. And they continue these acts of aggression.”
- Victoria Clarke, ASD PA, United States Department of Defense, Friday, November 08, 2002

“However, unlike the military campaign to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait, the no-fly zones were not authorised by the UN and they are not specifically sanctioned by any Security Council resolution.”
- BBC News, No-fly zones: The legal position, 19 February, 2001

Iraq Says 5 Killed, 17 Hurt in Western Attack
Fri Jul 19,2002 3:04 PM ET
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq said on Friday U.S. and British planes attacked civilian targets killing five people and wounding 17 others in the south of the country on Thursday.

British and U.S. planes patrol two "no-fly" zones set up after the 1991 Gulf War in northern and southern Iraq.

Baghdad does not recognize the zones which the United States and Britain say were imposed to protect a Kurdish enclave in the north and Shi'ite Muslims in the south from possible attacks by Iraqi government forces.

Western planes have frequently bombed targets in the "no-fly" zones since Baghdad stepped up its defiance of the restrictions in December 1998.

No-fly zones: The legal position
Monday, 19 February, 2001, 19:07 GMT, BBC
However, unlike the military campaign to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait, the no-fly zones were not authorised by the UN and they are not specifically sanctioned by any Security Council resolution.

France no longer takes part in policing the no-fly zones, and the US and the UK are now alone in the Security Council in insisting that their frequent bombing of Iraqi targets is covered by international law.

Baghdad says more than 300 civilians have died in these attacks, with the some of the most serious incidents being:

20 January: Six killed in raid in southern Iraq
6 April: 14 civilians killed and 19 wounded
28 July: Eight killed and 26 injured in northern Iraq
18 July: 14 civilians killed in raid on southern Iraq
13 May: 12 killed when planes hit residential area in the north of the country
28 February: Oil exports cut after attack damages pipeline in Mosul
25 January: About 20 dead in attacks on Basorah region

Rumsfeld rewrites UN policy on Iraq
Reprinted from Washington Post, October 2 2002
US and British warplanes enforcing "no-fly" zones over Iraq are performing "aerial" weapons inspections under a United Nations resolution, according to the United States Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.

Mr Rumsfeld's statement expands the stated mission of the air patrols, which had previously been justified as necessary to protect Iraqi Shi'ites and Kurds from air attacks by the Iraqi military.

"These are new interpretations," said Kenneth Pollack,
the director of research at Brookings Institution's Saban Centre for Middle East Policy. "The no-fly zones were established to enforce 688 - to protect the Iraqi people from the depredations of the regime. This is the first time the US Government has ever tied them to enforcement of the inspection provisions of 687."

Mr Pollack, a former CIA analyst who served on the National Security Council in the Clinton administration, said he thought Mr Rumsfeld's position would be hard for the Bush Administration to sell to the international community, particularly when Russia and the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, have said US and British enforcement of no-fly zones is not sanctioned by either resolution 687 or 688.

UN opposes US stand on Iraqi no-fly zone violation
19 Nov 2002 21:26
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 19 (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Britain, Russia and others contradicted U.S. contentions on Tuesday that any violation of the no-fly zones over Iraq breached a new U.N. Security Council resolution.

Shortly after the United Nations Security Council adopted a tough resolution on Iraqi disarmament on Nov. 8, the Bush administration said Iraq's attempt to shoot down U.S. and British aircraft over the flight exclusion zone was a violation of the measure.

None of the other 14 members of the U.N. Security Council, including Britain, believe the zones are included in the resolution, much less a possible cause for a violation.

Iraq Remains a Threat to No-fly Zone Pilots, Aircrews
By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2002 – Iraq continues to threaten coalition forces patrolling that country's northern and southern no-fly zones, top defense officials said today.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard Myers showed Pentagon reporters three video clips taken in the northern no-fly zone.

Two show Iraqi forces firing on American aircraft in late October. The third clip shows two American F-16 fighters dropping 500-pound laser-guided bombs on Iraqi air defense artillery sites Oct. 30.

Iraqi air defense measures have largely been ineffective against coalition aircraft. Myers attributed this to several different things. "In some cases it's cautiousness; in some cases it's probably luck; and in some cases it's good tactics on our part," he said.

He noted the Iraqis routinely fire surface-to-air missiles without using guidance systems, "because if they turn on the radars then we can hit the radars."

Myers also stressed that just because the Iraqis haven't shot down coalition aircraft, that doesn't mean they're not a threat to American pilots.

Annan warns Bush against impatience
Friday November 15, 2002
Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, has issued his sternest warning yet to George Bush over his plans for an attack on Iraq, urging him not to look for "a flimsy, hasty excuse to go to war" and observing that Washington "does seem to have a lower threshold" for launching military action than other major powers.

His strongly worded remarks came late on Wednesday, within hours of Iraq's acceptance of the UN resolution on inspections conveyed in a vitriolic letter from Baghdad's foreign minister, Naji Sabri.

The secretary general's remarks underline the fragility of the agreement on the council between the US - backed by Britain - and the three other permanent members, France, Russia and China, who fear that the resolution might be used by Washington to provide a trigger for a UN-authorised war.

One point of confusion is whether Iraq would be in material breach if, during inspections, it fired on the planes that America and Britain use to patrol no-fly zones in the south and north, as regularly happens.

The patrols are not mentioned in any UN resolution.

Undercover war begins as US forces enter Iraq
The Boston Globe, January 6 2003
About 100 United States special forces personnel and more than 50 CIA officers have been inside Iraq for at least four months, looking for missile-launchers, monitoring oil fields, marking minefields and helping their pilots target air-defence systems.

The operations, which are said to have included some Australian, Jordanian and British commandos, are seen as part of the opening phase of a war, intelligence officials and military analysts say.

This is despite the Bush Administration agreeing to the schedule of United Nations weapons inspections.

The action by US and British special forces in Iraq breaches international law because it is not sanctioned by the UN.

But it also reflects the new warfare, which targets terrorists and hidden weapons and relies heavily on commando operations and pre-emptive strikes.

“Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes visible on TV and covert operations secret even in success.”
- President Bush's address to a joint session of Congress on Thursday night, September 20, 2001

The DOD definition of terrorism is "the calculated use of violence or the threat of violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological."

Bush Gives CIA More Power to Oust Iraq's Saddam
Sun Jun 16, 1:53 PM ET, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top U.S. congressional leaders on Sunday applauded a move by President Bush to let the CIA conduct covert operations to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and urged further action if such efforts fail.

"It is an appropriate action to take. I hope it succeeds in its quest," Gephardt said on ABC's "This Week" program. He has previously endorsed the use of force to oust Saddam.

"It's a wise and prudent thing to do," added House Republican leader Richard Armey of Texas.

"If the covert action doesn't work, we better be prepared to move forward with another action, an overt action," the Delaware Democrat told CBS' "Face the Nation" program. "And it seems to me that we can't afford to miss."

JOHN STOCKWELL, 10 October 1987
"I did 13 years in the CIA altogether. ..We're talking about 10 to 20 thousand covert actions [the CIA has performed since 1961]. What I found was that lots and lots of people have been killed in these things.... Some of them are very, very bloody.”

“When the U.S. doesn't like a government], they send the CIA in, with its resources and activists, hiring people, hiring agents, to tear apart the social and economic fabric of the country, as a technique for putting pressure on the government, hoping that they can make the government come to the U.S.'s terms, or the government will collapse altogether and they can engineer a coup d'etat, and have the thing wind up with their own choice of people in power.

"The United States is not nearly so concerned that its acts be kept secret from its intended victims as it is that the American people not know of them."
Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark

Backyard terrorism
The US has been training terrorists at a camp in Georgia for years - and it's still at it
George Monbiot, Tuesday October 30, 2001, The Guardian
"If any government sponsors the outlaws and killers of innocents," George Bush announced on the day he began bombing Afghanistan, "they have become outlaws and murderers themselves. And they will take that lonely path at their own peril." I'm glad he said "any government", as there's one which, though it has yet to be identified as a sponsor of terrorism, requires his urgent attention.

For the past 55 years it has been running a terrorist training camp, whose victims massively outnumber the people killed by the attack on New York, the embassy bombings and the other atrocities laid, rightly or wrongly, at al-Qaida's door. The camp is called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or Whisc. It is based in Fort Benning, Georgia, and it is funded by Mr Bush's government.

Until January this year, Whisc was called the "School of the Americas", or SOA. Since 1946, SOA has trained more than 60,000 Latin American soldiers and policemen. Among its graduates are many of the continent's most notorious torturers, mass murderers, dictators and state terrorists. As hundreds of pages of documentation compiled by the pressure group SOA Watch show, Latin America has been ripped apart by its alumni.

In 1993, the United Nations truth commission on El Salvador named the army officers who had committed the worst atrocities of the civil war. Two-thirds of them had been trained at the School of the Americas. Among them were Roberto D'Aubuisson, the leader of El Salvador's death squads; the men who killed Archbishop Oscar Romero; and 19 of the 26 soldiers who murdered the Jesuit priests in 1989. In Chile, the school's graduates ran both Augusto Pinochet's secret police and his three principal concentration camps. One of them helped to murder Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffit in Washington DC in 1976.

The FBI defines terrorism as "violent acts... intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a government, or affect the conduct of a government", which is a precise description of the activities of SOA's graduates. But how can we be sure that their alma mater has had any part in this? Well, in 1996, the US government was forced to release seven of the school's training manuals. Among other top tips for terrorists, they recommended blackmail, torture, execution and the arrest of witnesses' relatives.

JOHN STOCKWELL, 10 October 1987
"I did 13 years in the CIA altogether. …I don't mean to abuse you with verbal violence, but you have to understand what your government and its agents are doing. They go into villages, they haul out families. With the children forced to watch they castrate the father, they peel the skin off his face, they put a grenade in his mouth and pull the pin. With the children forced to watch they gang-rape the mother, and slash her breasts off. And sometimes for variety, they make the parents watch while they do these things to the children.

This is nobody's propaganda. There have been over 100,000 American witnesses for peace who have gone down there and they have filmed and photographed and witnessed these atrocities immediately after they've happened, and documented 13,000 people killed this way, mostly women and children. These are the activities done by these contras. The contras are the people president Reagan calls `freedom fighters'. He says they're the moral equivalent of our founding fathers. And the whole world gasps at this confession of his family traditions.”

Terrorism Works – Terrorism is not the Weapon of the Weak
"That is the culture in which we live and it reveals several facts. One is the fact that terrorism works. It doesn’t fail. It works. Violence usually works. That’s world history. Secondly, it’s a very serious analytic error to say, as is commonly done, that terrorism is the weapon of the weak. Like other means of violence, it’s primarily a weapon of the strong, overwhelmingly, in fact. It is held to be a weapon of the weak because the strong also control the doctrinal systems and their terror doesn’t count as terror. Now that’s close to universal. I can’t think of a historical exception, even the worst mass murderers view the world that way….”


When a country obtains great power,
it becomes like the sea:
all streams run downward into it.
The more powerful it grows,
the greater the need for humility.
Humility means trusting the Tao,
thus never needing to be defensive.

A great nation is like a great man:
When he makes a mistake, he realizes it.
Having realized it, he admits it.
Having admitted it, he corrects it.
He considers those who point out his faults
as his most benevolent teachers.
He thinks of his enemy
as the shadow that he himself casts.

If a nation is centered in the Tao,
if it nourishes its own people
and doesn't meddle in the affairs of others,
it will be a light to all nations in the world.
- Lao-tzu , Tao-te ching “The Book of the Way and Its Power”
A New English Version by Stephen Mitchell

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