the moments before he set off on what was to be his
final stroll across the hills and copses near his home,
British government weapons expert Dr. David
Kelly sent a number of emails to friends saying he was
being haunted by "many
dark actors playing games."
was found dead, several hours later, an
British government is in a crisis,
and the waves of panic are reverberating
over on this side of the Atlantic, as the spiders' web spun
by government spinmeisters comes unraveled. The rationale
for war on Iraq turns out to have been woven from lies.
ongoing controversy over the now infamous "16
words" is just the beginning of a scandal that is fast
morphing into a much wider cause celebre. Niger-gate
is turning into Fibber-gate.
told, by the Americans as well as the British government,
that Saddam could launch a chemical or biological attack within
45 minutes of giving the order. That turns out to have been
a figment of someone's imagination – but whose?
President of the United States got up there and told the American
people that a fleet of UAVs
(unmanned aerial vehicles) possessed by the Iraqis was capable of launching
an attack on the continental U.S. and leveling
American cities – so where is this sinister armada?
And where the heck did Bush get such an outlandishly tall
Kelly was supposedly the
key source for a BBC report that the Blair government
up" the Iraqi WMD dossier
in order to drag an unwilling nation into war. In Blair's
England, where the right of free speech is
ever more precarious, the government launched an all-out
assault on the supposedly independent media organization
which does, after all, rely on government revenues – and Dr.
Kelly's name had been deliberately
leaked as the BBC's "mole" within the Ministry of Defense.
He was dragged before a committee of Parliament, mercilessly
grilled, kept holed up
in a MoD "safe house," and ultimately found
dead a few miles from his home.
Kelly committed suicide, as far as we know,
but it is fair to ask: was he felled, in an important sense,
by the "dark
actors" he complained
about in his final hours?
before Kelly's death, Julian Borger, writing in the Guardian,
to light the existence of a network of some very dark
actors a faction of the British and American intelligence
agencies that almost certainly was about to be exposed as
the source of the disinformation put out by the Bush-Blair
coalition of deceit.
the period leading up to the invasion, as millions marched
in the streets hoping to stop the rush to war, Newt Gingrich, the disgraced
former Speaker of the House, made at least three trips to
CIA headquarters, in Langley, Virginia, to browbeat analysts
into projecting a more threatening picture of Iraq's military
capabilities. But why, one has to ask, would anyone bother
listening to a political has-been and well-known bore? Surely
the CIA brass had better things to do.
Gingrich gained access to the CIA headquarters and was listened
to," reports Borger, "because he was seen as a personal emissary
of the Pentagon and, in particular, of the OSP."
key link in an international chain of professional prevaricators,
the OSP, or Office
of Special Plans, was authorized by Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld, and presided over by a cabal of neoconservative
ideologues who "functioned like a shadow government," according
to Borger. Bypassing both the CIA and the Defense Intelligence
Agency, they "cherry-picked" tidbits of raw intelligence,
acting more like lawyers arguing a case than analysts probing
for facts, and piped their propaganda directly to the President
via Dick Cheney.
story is nothing new: Seymour Hersh gave
us a good look inside this network, and several writers
have elaborated on
a similar theme, but Borger provides
some telling (and disturbing) new details:
OSP itself had less than 10 full-time staff, so to help deal
with the load, the office hired scores of temporary 'consultants.'
They included lawyers, congressional staffers, and policy
wonks from the numerous rightwing thinktanks in Washington.
Few had experience in intelligence. 'Most of the people they
had in that office were off the books, on personal services
contracts. At one time, there were over 100 of them,' said
an intelligence source. The contracts allow a department to
hire individuals, without specifying a job description."
was, in effect, a welfare program for warmongers. In the great
debate leading up to the war, one side was subsidized and
succored by our tax dollars, the other was vilified, threatened,
and harassed by paid shills and agents of the U.S. government.
Over 100 of the pro-war
screamers, and crusading "patriots" who
make careers out of finding an "Islamofascist" under every
bed were on the take.
were they? How much did they get? And how many of them are
still sucking at the federal teat? The journalists among them
surely need a little exposure, in this, the age of Jayson Blair.
And what about all those think-tankers who managed to get
on the Iraq war gravy train – how many of them were from such
bastions of scholarly integrity as the American Enterprise Institute,
for Security Policy, the Jewish
Institute for National Strategic Affairs, and the Foundation
for the Defense of Democracies?
U.S. troops took Baghdad, an article in the Financial Times
reported on a rollicking party
in the nation's capital:
as a 'black coffee briefing on the war on Iraq,' yesterday's
breakfast for the influential hawks of the American Enterprise
Institute was more of a victory celebration. With a few words
of caution that the war to oust Saddam Hussein was not
yet over the panel of speakers, part of the Bush administration's
ideological vanguard, set out their bold vision of the postwar
agenda: radical reform of the UN, regime change in Iran and
Syria, and 'containment' of France and Germany."
that is, by neocon standards. The talk was of a measured triumphalism,
and a sneering disdain for the defeated peace movement:
"The war was going well, said Richard
Perle, chairman of the Pentagon's Defence Advisory
were more anti-war demonstrators in San Francisco than Iraqis
willing to defend their leader. The
'coalition of the willing' was growing."
Perle, along with his fellow warmongers Michael Ledeen, and Bill Kristol, pontificated to
an audience of like-minded Washington war wonks, how many
in that room were not on the government payroll? It
was, no doubt, a gathering of welfare queens and kings, and
they had plenty to celebrate. Not only on account of their
ideological victory albeit a
short-lived one but also because they had personally
profited handsomely. Perle has already been demoted for improper
profiteering off his position with the Pentagon's Defense
Advisory Board, and had to resign his chairmanship.
How many of his fellow celebrants have similarly dubious relationships
is a matter that needs to be thoroughly investigated.
the "poverty pimps"
of the 1960s and 70s, who were riding high on the liberal
illusion that the welfare state could uplift the poor, if
only we lavished enough dollars on social service bureaucracies
and waged a "war on poverty"? Today, in the post-9/11 era,
we have the propaganda pimps of the "war on terrorism," who
in this age of perpetual war are guaranteed permanent and
media and at least two congressional investigations are now
busy uncovering the trail of lies that misled us into war.
If the scope of the investigation is not limited, and they
follow the fibs and outright forgeries
back to their original source, investigators are likely to
discover that the
neoconservative network inside the Washington Beltway acted
like a conveyor belt feeding fantastic tales of Iraqi WMD
directly to the Oval Office. The question then becomes how
far the White House will have to distance itself from the
resulting embarrassing revelations.
unsavory concoction fed to the President and his top advisors
was disguised as "intelligence" to make it
easier to swallow and the President is still refusing to
take personal responsibility for the fateful 16 words,
or much of anything else. In order to maintain that stance,
the White House is going to have to fob off the responsibility
elsewhere, and there is some indication that this is already
beginning to occur, with the President reprimanding
National Security advisor Condolezza Rice and even outgoing
presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer. Let's hope that
the result of the political tornado now sweeping Washington
plot of "The Wizard of Oz," and the house falls directly
on the Wicked Witch of the OSP.
"dark actors" in this tale of disinformation and competing
spy agencies are shadowy, elusive creatures who wield enormous
power with no compunctions about the consequences. Some are
Americans, some British: others are Israelis, as Borger reports:
"The OSP was an open and largely unfiltered conduit to
the White House not only for the Iraqi opposition. It also
forged close ties to a parallel, ad hoc intelligence operation
inside Ariel Sharon's office in Israel specifically to bypass
Mossad and provide the Bush administration with more alarmist
reports on Saddam's Iraq than Mossad was prepared to authorize.
'None of the Israelis who came were cleared into the Pentagon
through normal channels,' said one source familiar with the
visits. Instead, they were waved in on Mr. [Douglas]
Feith's authority without having to fill in the
all the normal procedures and regular government agencies,
agents of a foreign power – Israel – were admitted into the
inner sanctum of the Pentagon, where they proceeded to clog
the arteries of U.S. intelligence operations with misinformation.
War Party, as we see, was hired on as a "consultant" to the
U.S. government in the crucial period leading up to the invasion
of Iraq. But what other government gave them succor and assistance?
We have said all along in this space that the one country
that stood to benefit from the war was not the U.S., but Israel.
The war in Iraq, as Professor Paul W. Schroeder pointed out
in The American Conservative,
represent something to my knowledge unique in history. It
is common for great powers to try to fight wars by proxy,
getting smaller powers to fight for their interests. This
would be the first instance I know where a great power (in
fact, a superpower) would do the fighting as the proxy of
a small client state."
this is a case of the tail wagging the dog, but the explanation
for this strange phenomenon is now coming out in the investigation
into Liar-gate. If we look at the Iraq war as an intelligence
operation directed by the one nation that stood to benefit,
the answer to the question of how did we get into this mess
becomes a little clearer.
wonder the neocons were celebrating at that AEI shindig, lifting
their coffee cups in a collective toast to a job well-done
and gloating over their victory. No matter what the consequences
of the Iraq war for the U.S., Israel's interests were well-served.
Let Uncle Sam shell out $3.9
billion per month and let the President take the heat
for misleading the nation with bogus information about the
imminence of the Iraqi "threat" – the cabal's
mission has been accomplished.
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