The GOP has dominated American economic policy since 1980 and with the exception of a brief period in Clinton’s second term, the rich have gotten exceedingly richer and the poor, much, much poorer.
This gaping, growing inequality married to Bush’s ‘bailout’, a failed example of corporate welfare and outright theft, has proven Karl Marx to have been absolutely correct. The nation now faces another Great Depression because it had not learned the lessons of Coolidge, Hoover, Reagan and Bush.
Any US history of events leading up to the stock market crash of 1929 and the ‘great depression’ following reads like a modern US history from 1980. The causes of the ‘Great Depression’ include a vastly unequal distribution of wealth and, of course, the stock market crash and financial panic of 1929.
This speculation and the resulting stock market crashes acted as a trigger to the already unstable US economy. Due to the maldistribution of wealth, the economy of the 1920′s was one very much dependent upon confidence. The market crashes undermined this confidence.
The rich stopped spending on luxury items, and slowed investments. The middle-class and poor stopped buying things with installment credit for fear of loosing their jobs, and not being able to pay the interest. As a result industrial production fell by more than 9% between the market crashes in October and December 192948. As a result jobs were lost, and soon people starting defaulting on their interest payment.
Radios and cars bought with installment credit had to be returned. All of the sudden warehouses were piling up with inventory. The thriving industries that had been connected with the automobile and radio industries started falling apart. Without a car people did not need fuel or tires; without a radio people had less need for electricity.
On the international scene, the rich had practically stopped lending money to foreign countries. With such tremendous profits to be made in the stock market nobody wanted to make low interest loans. To protect the nation’s businesses the US imposed higher trade barriers (Hawley-Smoot Tariff of 1930). Foreigners stopped buying American products. More jobs were lost, more stores were closed, more banks went under, and more factories closed. Unemployment grew to five million in 1930, and up to thirteen million in 193249. The country spiraled quickly into catastrophe. The Great Depression had begun.
–Main Causes of the Great Depression, Main Causes of the Great Depression
The era leading up to the crash is remembered for the celebration and practice of unbridled ‘laissez faire’ or worse –what is now called ‘supply side economics’. Laissez-faire is simplistically defined as ‘economic freedom’ but in practice it amounts to freedom for the upper classes alone. Supply-side economics is not a ‘hands off’ policy at all. It is, in fact, an active, deliberate distribution of wealth upward to an increasingly tiny elite. It is a pseudo-economics touted to justify big tax breaks for the upper ten percent of the nation’s income recipients and wealth-holders. It is claimed that the wealth will ‘trickle down’ by stimulating investment. It never has and never will.
Among the causes of the great depression, the great ‘Stock Market Crash of 1929′ tops the list. Many believe erroneously that the stock market crash that occurred on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929 is one and the same with the Great Depression. In fact, it was one of the major causes that led to the Great Depression. Two months after the original crash in October, stockholders had lost more than $40 billion dollars. Even though the stock market began to regain some of its losses, by the end of 1930, it just was not enough and America truly entered what is called the Great Depression. Bank FailuresThroughout the 1930s over 9,000 banks failed. Bank deposits were uninsured and thus as banks failed people simply lost their savings. Surviving banks, unsure of the economic situation and concerned for their own survival, stopped being as willing to create new loans. This exacerbated the situation leading to less and less expenditures. Reduction in Purchasing Across the BoardWith the stock market crash and the fears of further economic woes, individuals from all classes stopped purchasing items. This then led to a reduction in the number of items produced and thus a reduction in the workforce. As people lost their jobs, they were unable to keep up with paying for items they had bought through installment plans and their items were repossessed. More and more inventory began to accumulate. The unemployment rate rose above 25% which meant, of course, even less spending to help alleviate the economic situation. American Economic Policy with EuropeAs businesses began failing, the government created the Hawley-Smoot Tariff in 1930 to help protect American companies. This charged a high tax for imports thereby leading to less trade between America and foreign countries along with some economic retaliation. Drought Conditions.While not a direct cause of the Great Depression, the drought that occurred in the Mississippi Valley in 1930 was of such proportions that many could not even pay their taxes or other debts and had to sell their farms for no profit to themselves. This was the topic of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath
The US experienced an overproduction in industry and agriculture just prior to the crash of 1929. Today, American production is ‘out-sourced’ to other nations and Americans are left with lower paying jobs or no jobs at all. I will not be surprised if the crash of ’29 pales when compared to the impending crash for that very reason. Outsourcing, most which may be traced to deals struck by Bush Sr and Richard Nixon with what was then called ‘communist’ China will certainly leave the US reduced to third world status at the end of another ‘great depression’.
The Great Depression is remembered for widespread hunger, poverty, and unemployment, the tragic result of agricultural overproduction and the inevitable decline in prices. We have seen these trends sporadically since 1980 though often papered over and ignored as an increasingly tiny elite continued to benefit from GOP ‘supply side’ tax cuts.
To the sorrow of small farmers, the Great Depression witnessed a drastic decline in prices for agricultural products. Between 1925 to 1928 there were good harvests all over the world but it didn’t seem to matter. Millions were hungry and the food lines were long –starvation amid plenty. Amid this plenty, farmers refused to harvest. But few could blame them. They could not have earned enough to have justified the expenditure to harvest. Indeed, many farmers were foreclosed upon. Others, starving from lack of work, were reduced to soup lines and emergency ‘kitchens’. It could not have come at a worse time for small farmers who had assumed great debts in order to expand production.
By 1933, unemployment had reached 26.6%. As jobs declined, workers were either fired, laid off, or forced to work for declining wages. The effects were not confined to unskilled workers who had no properties. Landowners and farmers could not earn enough to keep up payments. Foreclosures rose exponentially. A form of economic slavery ensued. Workers had no choice but to work much longer hours for much, much less. Today –their jobs are exported to China.
As the US faces the consequences of yet another right wing experiment gone horribly wrong, certain facts must not be lost amid the din. The factors that have made the US extremely vulnerable to another ‘Great Depression’, the symptoms were created by the policies of three men: Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. It was Ronald Reagan who inherited from Jimmy Carter a healthy economy and wrecked it. Though he is unfairly reviled and lied about, Jimmy Carter is number two among post World War II presidents in ‘job creation’. perhaps the single most important economic index. He also beats out every other GOP president in every other category including GDP. In summary, every Democratic president has beat every GOP president in every economic category since World War II. Ronald Reagan must be singled out. It was his tax cut of 1982 which benefited only the upper quintile, the very, very wealthy, which triggered the long, slow decline that has taken this nation to the brink of yet another Great Depression.
The ‘L-curve’ helps one imagine the degree to which wealth in the United States is inequitably distributed by policy and by design. The US population is represented ‘stretched across a football field in order of income, from poorest, on the left, to richest. Imagine a stack of $100 bills ‘representing each person’s income.’ For example: a stack one inch high represents a stack of one hundred dollars bills, i.e, $25,000. The red line on the graph represents the height of that stack compared to an American football field.
“The red line in the first picture is the beginning of the US income distribution. On the scale of the football field the line slopes gradually from zero on the left to less than 2-inches high at the 50-yard line ($39,000), to about 4-inches high at the 95-yard line ($132,000). On this scale the entire graph is less than one pixel high, up to this point. It is not until you are well past the 99-yard line that you hit the $1 million mark: a stack of $100 bills 40-inches high. There were over 144,000 people who turned in IRS returns in 1997 with adjusted gross incomes of $1 million or more.” [See: Houston Independent Media Center, Wealth Distribution in the US http://houston.indymedia.org/news/2003/07/14100.php ]
One is tempted to posit a general rule: periods of wide and increasing income and wealth inequalities always precede long and deep recessions/depressions. The other rule is that GOP tax cuts have always preceded periods of sustained and increasing transfers of wealth to the upper classes.
In America, the theft has been overt. Bush called his beneficiaries his ‘base’. Indeed, they were his sponsors.
Reagan’s tax cut of 1980 benefited only the upper quintile. When all the data is in, Bush’s tax cuts will prove to have benefited only about one percent of the nation, a fraction of those who benefited from Reagan. In both cases, only those who were already very, very, very wealthy benefited. Everyone else got poorer both in real terms and comparatively.
The effect of this on the economy is not only that wealthy will get to live in better houses, get adequate health care, ‘better neighborhoods’, better educations, or drive more reliable cars. It means that many amenities that you might have previously enjoyed on your present income will become off limits to you even if you retain your job and your current income. That’s because the very, very wealthy will have ‘bid up’ the prices on homes, educations, health care, cars, and other items.
The GOP has supported and effected outright transfers of wealth from all Americans to an increasingly tiny percentage of the US population. There is but one word for this: THEFT! [See: 'Greed is Good': The Death of an Economic Religion]
Although the US economy produces tremendous wealth, it is always accompanied in GOP regimes by tremendous poverty. The US, for example, was most egalitarian in the years immediately following WI. During GOP regimes, income inequality increased and is, in fact, measured with the GINI index. Higher Ginis indicate greater levels of income inequality. These indices have been significantly greater in every GOP regime since World War II.
Certainly –there is enough wealth to go around. Instead, wealth flows upward —not down, as the propagandists of ‘supply side’ i.e. ‘trickle down theory’ would have you believe. The problem is systemic –the result of identifiable, right wing policies.
The primary culprits are GOP tax cuts by Mssrs Ronald Reagan and Bush; the effect of those cuts have been the deliberate transfer of wealth first to the upper quintile and, most recently, to an increasingly tiny elite of about one percent of the total population [See: Dr. Daniel Weinberger, US Census Bureau Briefings; Also see: The Quarterly Journal of Economics: Income Inequality in the United States at the following. It’s a PDF and cites academic and official, original sources of data.
The financial collapse of the US is tragic enough but complicated by the fact that Bush stole your money in order to commit capital crimes –crimes for which he could be executed when found guilty as charged. There is a place in the dock for Bush.
The GOP hopes to deflect attention from its traditional marching orders. The GOP raison d’etre is simply this: pass tax cuts and other measures that enrich only the ruling elites far beyond what they might have achieved solely on merit. IF you are NOT among the top one percent of the nation, the GOP has ROBBED you under the rubric of “cutting taxes”.
Thanks to GOP policies which, in fact, concentrate wealth at the top, there are increasingly FEWER ‘small business’ people because small business can no longer compete with HUGE corporations favored by the GOP. The GOP has a vested interest in keeping the truth form the American people. The truth is: wealth does not originate with rich people. Every economist –even right wing economists like Milton Friedman –subscribe to an established principle –the labor theory of value. The labor theory of value has been the basis for almost every major economic theory since Aristotle.
The GOP believes the opposite. The GOP would have you believe that capital creates wealth. Think about it –if wealth had been created by the rich and, indeed, trickled down, the GOP would never feel ‘compelled’ to pursue its unfair tax policies which have, in fact, been the source of their wealth. If what the GOP tells you is true, the wealth would have already been wealthy. The official statistics prove beyond any reasonable doubt that GOP tax policies have enriched an increasingly small percentage of the total US population. It only makes sense to support ‘trickle down’ economics if, in fact, wealth does not trickle down. It pursues unfair tax policies because wealth does not and has never ‘trickled down’. Wealth trickles up and the government always taxes it at its source, its creation! And its ‘creation’ is the act of labor itself. Government has put an unfair ‘tax’ upon this ‘labor’ and has given that money to an elite who did nothing to create it and do no, in fact deserve it.
That’s why the lower and working classes pay more than their fair share of taxes. The government taxes labor and gives capital a free ride. This is a recipe for the impending economic collapse, a collapse that appears to be well underway and beyond anyone’s power or ability to stop. But that has not stopped the government from playing it’s well-rehearsed role as the shakedown arm of the nation’s tiny and shrinking elite.
If because of GOP transfers of unearned wealth to the increasingly tiny elite of about one percent of the population, labor is unproductive or impoverished the productivity of the nation will decline and ultimately collapse. That is, in fact, what we see happening as I write this. If the poor can no longer afford decent housing or food because elites have bid up prices on commodities. If you can no longer afford decent housing, health care or food, you have then, perhaps recently under Bush, fallen off the ladder. It’s the GOP way.
Bush’s bailout proves Marx correct but, like everything else the GOP tries, they’ve mucked it up. It’s not even ‘good’ Marxism. Not surprisingly, it benefits only the GOP base of elites and, because of that fact, it will have absolutely no effect whatsoever except that of hastening the impending collapse. Marx said that Capitalism would collapse of its own inconsistencies, ‘internal tensions which will lead to its destruction.’ The GOP has hastened that result.
Some history may illustrate the point: the Wall Street crash of 1929 was followed by a severe world wide depression acutely felt in the US, Germany, France, and to a lesser degree –Great Britain and Sweden. Nevertheless, unemployment was high in Sweden when that nation returned a Labor government committed to a program of public investment to address the high unemployment problem. It worked. By 1935 real output in Sweden was 7 percent above its 1929 level. Unemployment was reduced and the finance minister was said to have been happy to suffer another budget deficit to stimulate the economy.
Ronald Reagan’s budget deficit did not have a happy result. His tax cut of 1982 was quickly followed by the nation’s worst recession since the Great Depression, a recession of some 18 months characterized by record levels of unemployment, home losses, the newly poor sleeping under bridges and overpasses.
Reagan’s best critics were found in his regime. Primarily, budget director David Stockman who blamed a “noisy faction of Republicans” for Reagan’s infamous tax cut. Reagan might have achieved the prosperity that Keynes had predicted had his policies not been designed to reward only the filthy rich, i.e. his base and, later, that of Bush.
One wonders why Reagan didn’t just cut out the middle man. A more equitable tax might have put more spendable income directly into the hands of consumers. Spent money circulates and drives an economy. That consumers spend money seems to be a fact lost on the likes of Reagan, Bush, and the nation’s rich and callous elites.
Surely, there were knowledgeable advisers in Reagan’s regime who knew better. The tax cut, therefore, was entirely political, a pay off to the rich for their support. Nothing has changed in the GOP. The Bush administration has made several such “payoffs” during his catastrophic and criminal regime.
When the dollar collapses, you must know that its origins are found in the Nixon and Bush trips to China and Reagan’s give away to his elite and greedy base. The policies have eaten away at our economic health like wood worms.
• Bush’s Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part I, Police States Begin With False Flag Attacks
• Bush’s Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part II, A Climate of Fear is Maintained
• Bush’s Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part III, In Fascist Dictatorships Telling the truth becomes a crime
• Bush’s Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part IV, the state forces an ‘existential’ choice
• Bush’s Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part V, Public Opinion Becomes Irrelevant
• Bush’s Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part VI, The government places itself above the law
• Bush’s Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part VII, The Government Denies ‘Due Process of Law’
• Bush’s Conspiracy to Create an American Police State Part VIII: Atrocities are justified with lies, myths or propaganda
Pennyland – Echoes of the Great Depression
By EILEEN SULLIVAN,
U.S. intelligence officials say they have no credible information about potential terrorist or criminal attacks against a weekend summit in Washington of world leaders to deal with the global financial crisis.
In fact, law enforcement officials said they were more concerned about angry protesters, such as people left jobless by the financial meltdown, than they were about terrorists.
The summit — the largest gathering of presidents and prime ministers in Washington since NATO’s 50th anniversary in 1999 — opens Friday with a dinner at the White House, followed by a day of policy discussions Saturday at the National Building Museum. It’s the first in a series of meetings intended to deal with the enormity of the economic meltdown, and the next meeting won’t be until after Bush leaves office on Jan. 20.
The high profile event — drawing many world leaders and members of the media to one place — is an appealing target for terrorists and other extremists who want to make a point.
The short notice for the summit, announced last month, combined with the high level of security, makes it a less attractive target for al-Qaida and similar groups, because they generally like to take time to plan a successful attack, according to a Nov. 12 joint assessment by the FBI, Homeland Security Department, National Counterterrorism Center and the Washington Regional Threat & Analysis Center.
“It is possible, however, that an individual adversely affected by the current economic downturn and acting impulsively” could see the summit as an opportunity to commit violent acts, the assessment said.
The nation’s jobless ranks zoomed past 10 million last month, the most in a quarter-century, as 240,000 more people lost jobs.
Tight security around the National Building Museum lessens the possibility of an attack or disruption there, but it could also give extremists motivation to take advantage of nearby infrastructure that will not have the same amount of security, the assessment said.
The event has been designated a National Special Security Event, and the Secret Service has the lead for security. The Service has coordinated with 57 other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the local Metropolitan Police Department.
The Service said it is prepared for all security risks, but has no indication that extremists or protesters currently pose any dangers.
A group called Global Justice Action has organized protests Friday at Lafayette Park and Saturday at Murrow Park. The group provided an estimate of 200 protesters in its permit applications to the National Park Service.
The ANSWER coalition, which has been a leading participant in anti-war protests, is organizing a protest Saturday outside the National Building Museum where the summit is being held. Protesters then plan to march to the Capitol to join a separate protest against California’s recent referendum outlawing gay marriage.
Authorities plan to close several streets in downtown Washington Friday and Saturday nights in the vicinity of the National Building Museum, which is just a block or two away from Verizon Center, which is hosting a hockey game on Friday night and an AC/DC concert Saturday night.
President-elect Barack Obama is steering clear of the summit but will have a couple of representatives available to meet with leaders on his behalf.
Besides the United States, the countries represented will be Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey. Those countries and the European Union make up the G-20.
Hiyam Noir, PalestineFreeVoice
|Al Bureij Refuge Camp Gaza June 19 2007
Photo Fady Adwan PalestineFreeVoice Image
November 13, 2008
On Wednesday Israel pledged to allow minimum shipments of fuel and 33 truckloads of food into Gaza.On Thursday the ritualistic behavioral Israeli government changed their mind set, the pledge to ease its blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Urgent deliveries of fuel and food was turned away again at the borders.In addition the Israelis blocked the delivery of United Nations food aid intended for 750,000 Palestinian refugees. Also twenty European consuls whom had planned to visit Gaza were denied entry at the Erez border crossing. Aid workers were also turned away by the border to Gaza, and medical patients were prevented from leaving Gaza Strip for treatment.
The chief operator of the border crossings department in Gaza,said that the agency had been informed by the Israelis on Wednesday evening, that their intention is to open the Kerem Shalom crossing to permit 33 truckloads of food to cross the border.
At noon on Thursday the Israelis had a change of mind, the urgent delivery of food aid to Gaza was turned away.John Ging, the director of UN operations in Gaza,has long warned the international community of an impending “humanitarian disaster” if the Israelis embargo of food supply and other urgent shipments continues.Ging said in a Gaza press conference. “
“We cannot describe the situation in Gaza Strip except as a terrible and terrifying one.There are 750,000 refugees who depend on what we offer them in food supplies, and the Israelis are preventing us from distributing these supplies,” – John Ging concluded: “the Israeli closure, collectively punishing civilians, is a violation of international law.“
Trucks intended to be ship supply by UNRWA, ( the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees)are loaded with milk,sesame oil,canned and frozen meat, were denied to cross the border. UNRWA announced in the beginning of the week that its food program would be forced to shut down if the shipment of food was not delivered by Friday.
In a pledge Wednesday,to the world,Palestine Free Voice urged the International community to start serious actions on all levels, to force pressure on the Israeli government to open up the borders for shipment of food and fuel.Cease the embargo to prevent the pain and suffering caused in ill will,to spread and permeate throughout Gaza Strip, and culminate in a humanitarian and environmental catastrophe.
Thanks to many Internet based news-media outlets and UN observers,whom noted the urgency in our pledge acting accordingly and swiftly, to bring an end to the suffering,aid to the starving Palestinians in Gaza Strip. However, the aid arrived in the twelfth hour, and it seems, Israelis attempts are evil ambitions to thwart international aid shipments to enter the Gaza Strip, the border crossings are now closed again.
© Copyright reserved 2003 – 2007 PalestineFreeVoice
(Photo: Illustration by Brett Ryder)
In the spring of 2007, a retired senior official in the U.S. Justice Department sat before Congress and told a story so odd and ominous, it could have sprung from the pages of a pulp political thriller. It was about a principled bureaucrat struggling to protect his country from a highly classified program with sinister implications. Rife with high drama, it included a car chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., and a tense meeting at the White House, where the president’s henchmen made the bureaucrat so nervous that he demanded a neutral witness be present.
The bureaucrat was James Comey, John Ashcroft‘s second-in-command at the Department of Justice during Bush’s first term. Comey had been a loyal political foot soldier of the Republican Party for many years. Yet in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he described how he had grown increasingly uneasy reviewing the Bush administration’s various domestic surveillance and spying programs. Much of his testimony centered on an operation so clandestine he wasn’t allowed to name it or even describe what it did. He did say, however, that he and Ashcroft had discussed the program in March 2004, trying to decide whether it was legal under federal statutes. Shortly before the certification deadline, Ashcroft fell ill with pancreatitis, making Comey acting attorney general, and Comey opted not to certify the program. When he communicated his decision to the White House, Bush’s men told him, in so many words, to take his concerns and stuff them in an undisclosed location.
The Continuity of Governance program encompasses national emergency plans that would trigger the takeover of the country by extra-constitutional forces. In short, it’s a road map for martial lawComey refused to knuckle under, and the dispute came to a head on the cold night of March 10, 2004, hours before the program’s authorization was to expire. At the time, Ashcroft was in intensive care at George Washington Hospital following emergency surgery. Apparently, at the behest of President Bush himself, the White House tried, in Comey’s words, “to take advantage of a very sick man,” sending Chief of Staff Andrew Card and then–White House counsel Alberto Gonzales on a mission to Ashcroft’s sickroom to persuade the heavily doped attorney general to override his deputy. Apprised of their mission, Comey, accompanied by a full security detail, jumped in his car, raced through the streets of the capital, lights blazing, and “literally ran” up the hospital stairs to beat them there.
Minutes later, Gonzales and Card arrived with an envelope filled with the requisite forms. Ashcroft, even in his stupor, did not fall for their heavy-handed ploy. “I’m not the attorney general,” Ashcroft told Bush’s men. “There”—he pointed weakly to Comey—”is the attorney general.” Gonzales and Card were furious, departing without even acknowledging Comey’s presence in the room. The following day, the classified domestic spying program that Comey found so disturbing went forward at the demand of the White House—”without a signature from the Department of Justice attesting as to its legality,” he testified.
What was the mysterious program that had so alarmed Comey? Political blogs buzzed for weeks with speculation. Though Comey testified that the program was subsequently readjusted to satisfy his concerns, one can’t help wondering whether the unspecified alteration would satisfy constitutional experts, or even average citizens. Faced with push-back from his bosses at the White House, did he simply relent and accept a token concession? Two months after Comey’s testimony to Congress, the New York Times reported a tantalizing detail: The program that prompted him “to threaten resignation involved computer searches through massive electronic databases.” The larger mystery remained intact, however. “It is not known precisely why searching the databases, or data mining, raised such a furious legal debate,” the article conceded.
(Photo: Getty Images)
Another clue came from a rather unexpected source: President Bush himself. Addressing the nation from the Oval Office in 2005 after the first disclosures of the NSA’s warrantless electronic surveillance became public, Bush insisted that the spying program in question was reviewed “every 45 days” as part of planning to assess threats to “the continuity of our government.”
Few Americans—professional journalists included—know anything about so-called Continuity of Government (COG) programs, so it’s no surprise that the president’s passing reference received almost no attention. COG resides in a nebulous legal realm, encompassing national emergency plans that would trigger the takeover of the country by extra-constitutional forces—and effectively suspend the republic. In short, it’s a road map for martial law.
While Comey, who left the Department of Justice in 2005, has steadfastly refused to comment further on the matter, a number of former government employees and intelligence sources with independent knowledge of domestic surveillance operations claim the program that caused the flap between Comey and the White House was related to a database of Americans who might be considered potential threats in the event of a national emergency. Sources familiar with the program say that the government’s data gathering has been overzealous and probably conducted in violation of federal law and the protection from unreasonable search and seizure guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.
According to a senior government official who served with high-level security clearances in five administrations, “There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived ‘enemies of the state’ almost instantaneously.” He and other sources tell Radar that the database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core. One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.
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(Photo: Getty Images)
Of course, federal law is somewhat vague as to what might constitute a “national emergency.” Executive orders issued over the past three decades define it as a “natural disaster, military attack, [or] technological or other emergency,” while Department of Defense documents include eventualities like “riots, acts of violence, insurrections, unlawful obstructions or assemblages, [and] disorder prejudicial to public law and order.” According to one news report, even “national opposition to U.S. military invasion abroad” could be a trigger.Let’s imagine a harrowing scenario: coordinated bombings in several American cities culminating in a major blast—say, a suitcase nuke—in New York City. Thousands of civilians are dead. Commerce is paralyzed. A state of emergency is declared by the president. Continuity of Governance plans that were developed during the Cold War and aggressively revised since 9/11 go into effect. Surviving government officials are shuttled to protected underground complexes carved into the hills of Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Power shifts to a “parallel government” that consists of scores of secretly preselected officials. (As far back as the 1980s, Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of a pharmaceutical company, and Dick Cheney, then a congressman from Wyoming, were slated to step into key positions during a declared emergency.) The executive branch is the sole and absolute seat of authority, with Congress and the judiciary relegated to advisory roles at best. The country becomes, within a matter of hours, a police state.
In case of a wide-scale attack, the executive branch becomes the sole and absolute seat of authority. The country becomes, within a matter of hours, a police stateInterestingly, plans drawn up during the Reagan administration suggest this parallel government would be ruling under authority given by law to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, home of the same hapless bunch that recently proved themselves unable to distribute water to desperate hurricane victims. The agency’s incompetence in tackling natural disasters is less surprising when one considers that, since its inception in the 1970s, much of its focus has been on planning for the survival of the federal government in the wake of a decapitating nuclear strike.
Under law, during a national emergency, FEMA and its parent organization, the Department of Homeland Security, would be empowered to seize private and public property, all forms of transport, and all food supplies. The agency could dispatch military commanders to run state and local governments, and it could order the arrest of citizens without a warrant, holding them without trial for as long as the acting government deems necessary. From the comfortable perspective of peaceful times, such behavior by the government may seem far-fetched. But it was not so very long ago that FDR ordered 120,000 Japanese Americans—everyone from infants to the elderly—be held in detention camps for the duration of World War II. This is widely regarded as a shameful moment in U.S. history, a lesson learned. But a long trail of federal documents indicates that the possibility of large-scale detention has never quite been abandoned by federal authorities. Around the time of the 1968 race riots, for instance, a paper drawn up at the U.S. Army War College detailed plans for rounding up millions of “militants” and “American negroes,” who were to be held at “assembly centers or relocation camps.” In the late 1980s, the Austin American-Statesman and other publications reported the existence of 10 detention camp sites on military facilities nationwide, where hundreds of thousands of people could be held in the event of domestic political upheaval. More such facilities were commissioned in 2006, when Kellogg Brown & Root—then a subsidiary of Halliburton—was handed a $385 million contract to establish “temporary detention and processing capabilities” for the Department of Homeland Security. The contract is short on details, stating only that the facilities would be used for “an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs.” Just what those “new programs” might be is not specified.
(Photo: Getty Images)
In the days after our hypothetical terror attack, events might play out like this: With the population gripped by fear and anger, authorities undertake unprecedented actions in the name of public safety. Officials at the Department of Homeland Security begin actively scrutinizing people who—for a tremendously broad set of reasons—have been flagged in Main Core as potential domestic threats. Some of these individuals might receive a letter or a phone call, others a request to register with local authorities. Still others might hear a knock on the door and find police or armed soldiers outside. In some instances, the authorities might just ask a few questions. Other suspects might be arrested and escorted to federal holding facilities, where they could be detained without counsel until the state of emergency is no longer in effect.
It is, of course, appropriate for any government to plan for the worst. But when COG plans are shrouded in extreme secrecy, effectively unregulated by Congress or the courts, and married to an overreaching surveillance state—as seems to be the case with Main Core—even sober observers must weigh whether the protections put in place by the federal government are becoming more dangerous to America than any outside threat.Another well-informed source—a former military operative regularly briefed by members of the intelligence community—says this particular program has roots going back at least to the 1980s and was set up with help from the Defense Intelligence Agency. He has been told that the program utilizes software that makes predictive judgments of targets’ behavior and tracks their circle of associations with “social network analysis” and artificial intelligence modeling tools.
“The more data you have on a particular target, the better [the software] can predict what the target will do, where the target will go, who it will turn to for help,” he says. “Main Core is the table of contents for all the illegal information that the U.S. government has [compiled] on specific targets.” An intelligence expert who has been briefed by high-level contacts in the Department of Homeland Security confirms that a database of this sort exists, but adds that “it is less a mega-database than a way to search numerous other agency databases at the same time.”
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(Photo: Getty Images)
A host of publicly disclosed programs, sources say, now supply data to Main Core. Most notable are the NSA domestic surveillance programs, initiated in the wake of 9/11, typically referred to in press reports as “warrantless wiretapping.”In March, a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal shed further light onto the extraordinarily invasive scope of the NSA efforts: According to the Journal, the government can now electronically monitor “huge volumes of records of domestic e-mails and Internet searches, as well as bank transfers, credit card transactions, travel, and telephone records.” Authorities employ “sophisticated software programs” to sift through the data, searching for “suspicious patterns.” In effect, the program is a mass catalog of the private lives of Americans. And it’s notable that the article hints at the possibility of programs like Main Core. “The [NSA] effort also ties into data from an ad-hoc collection of so-called black programs whose existence is undisclosed,” the Journal reported, quoting unnamed officials. “Many of the programs in various agencies began years before the 9/11 attacks but have since been given greater reach.”
“We’re at the edge of a cliff,” says Bruce Fein, a top justice official in the Reagan administration. “To a national emergency planner, everybody looks like a danger to stability”The following information seems to be fair game for collection without a warrant: the e-mail addresses you send to and receive from, and the subject lines of those messages; the phone numbers you dial, the numbers that dial in to your line, and the durations of the calls; the Internet sites you visit and the keywords in your Web searches; the destinations of the airline tickets you buy; the amounts and locations of your ATM withdrawals; and the goods and services you purchase on credit cards. All of this information is archived on government supercomputers and, according to sources, also fed into the Main Core database.
Main Core also allegedly draws on four smaller databases that, in turn, cull from federal, state, and local “intelligence” reports; print and broadcast media; financial records; “commercial databases”; and unidentified “private sector entities.” Additional information comes from a database known as the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, which generates watch lists from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for use by airlines, law enforcement, and border posts. According to the Washington Post, the Terrorist Identities list has quadrupled in size between 2003 and 2007 to include about 435,000 names. The FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center border crossing list, which listed 755,000 persons as of fall 2007, grows by 200,000 names a year. A former NSA officer tells Radar that the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, using an electronic-funds transfer surveillance program, also contributes data to Main Core, as does a Pentagon program that was created in 2002 to monitor antiwar protesters and environmental activists such as Greenpeace.
(Photo: Illustration by Brett Ryder)
If previous FEMA and FBI lists are any indication, the Main Core database includes dissidents and activists of various stripes, political and tax protesters, lawyers and professors, publishers and journalists, gun owners, illegal aliens, foreign nationals, and a great many other harmless, average people.A veteran CIA intelligence analyst who maintains active high-level clearances and serves as an advisor to the Department of Defense in the field of emerging technology tells Radar that during the 2004 hospital room drama, James Comey expressed concern over how this secret database was being used “to accumulate otherwise private data on non-targeted U.S. citizens for use at a future time.” Though not specifically familiar with the name Main Core, he adds, “What was being requested of Comey for legal approval was exactly what a Main Core story would be.” A source regularly briefed by people inside the intelligence community adds: “Comey had discovered that President Bush had authorized NSA to use a highly classified and compartmentalized Continuity of Government database on Americans in computerized searches of its domestic intercepts. [Comey] had concluded that the use of that ‘Main Core’ database compromised the legality of the overall NSA domestic surveillance project.”
If Main Core does exist, says Philip Giraldi, a former CIA counterterrorism officer and an outspoken critic of the agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is its likely home. “If a master list is being compiled, it would have to be in a place where there are no legal issues”—the CIA and FBI would be restricted by oversight and accountability laws—”so I suspect it is at DHS, which as far as I know operates with no such restraints.” Giraldi notes that DHS already maintains a central list of suspected terrorists and has been freely adding people who pose no reasonable threat to domestic security. “It’s clear that DHS has the mandate for controlling and owning master lists. The process is not transparent, and the criteria for getting on the list are not clear.” Giraldi continues, “I am certain that the content of such a master list [as Main Core] would not be carefully vetted, and there would be many names on it for many reasons—quite likely including the two of us.”
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(Photo: Getty Images)
Would Main Core in fact be legal? According to constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, who served as associate deputy attorney general under Ronald Reagan, the question of legality is murky: “In the event of a national emergency, the executive branch simply assumes these powers”—the powers to collect domestic intelligence and draw up detention lists, for example—”if Congress doesn’t explicitly prohibit it. It’s really up to Congress to put these things to rest, and Congress has not done so.” Fein adds that it is virtually impossible to contest the legality of these kinds of data collection and spy programs in court “when there are no criminal prosecutions and [there is] no notice to persons on the president’s ‘enemies list.’ That means if Congress remains invertebrate, the law will be whatever the president says it is—even in secret. He will be the judge on his own powers and invariably rule in his own favor.”Compared to PROMIS, Richard Nixon’s enemies list or Senator Joe McCarthy’s blacklist look downright crudeThe veteran CIA intelligence analyst notes that Comey’s suggestion that the offending elements of the program were dropped could be misleading: “Bush [may have gone ahead and] signed it as a National Intelligence Finding anyway.”
But even if we never face a national emergency, the mere existence of the database is a matter of concern. “The capacity for future use of this information against the American people is so great as to be virtually unfathomable,” the senior government official says.
In any case, mass watch lists of domestic citizens may do nothing to make us safer from terrorism. Jeff Jonas, chief scientist at IBM, a world-renowned expert in data mining, contends that such efforts won’t prevent terrorist conspiracies. “Because there is so little historical terrorist event data,” Jonas tells Radar, “there is not enough volume to create precise predictions.”
The overzealous compilation of a domestic watch list is not unique in postwar American history. In 1950, the FBI, under the notoriously paranoid J. Edgar Hoover, began to “accumulate the names, identities, and activities” of suspect American citizens in a rapidly expanding “security index,” according to declassified documents. In a letter to the Truman White House, Hoover stated that in the event of certain emergency situations, suspect individuals would be held in detention camps overseen by “the National Military Establishment.” By 1960, a congressional investigation later revealed, the FBI list of suspicious persons included “professors, teachers, and educators; labor-union organizers and leaders; writers, lecturers, newsmen, and others in the mass-media field; lawyers, doctors, and scientists; other potentially influential persons on a local or national level; [and] individuals who could potentially furnish financial or material aid” to unnamed “subversive elements.” This same FBI “security index” was allegedly maintained and updated into the 1980s, when it was reportedly transferred to the control of none other than FEMA (though the FBI denied this at the time).
FEMA, however—then known as the Federal Preparedness Agency—already had its own domestic surveillance system in place, according to a 1975 investigation by Senator John V. Tunney of California. Tunney, the son of heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney and the inspiration for Robert Redford’s character in the film The Candidate, found that the agency maintained electronic dossiers on at least 100,000 Americans that contained information gleaned from wide-ranging computerized surveillance. The database was located in the agency’s secret underground city at Mount Weather, near the town of Bluemont, Virginia. The senator’s findings were confirmed in a 1976 investigation by the Progressive magazine, which found that the Mount Weather computers “can obtain millions of pieces [of] information on the personal lives of American citizens by tapping the data stored at any of the 96 Federal Relocation Centers”—a reference to other classified facilities. According to the Progressive, Mount Weather’s databases were run “without any set of stated rules or regulations. Its surveillance program remains secret even from the leaders of the House and the Senate.”
(Photo: Getty Images)
Ten years later, a new round of government martial law plans came to light. A report in the Miami Herald contended that Reagan loyalist and Iran-Contra conspirator Colonel Oliver North had spearheaded the development of a “secret contingency plan,”—code-named REX 84—which called “for suspension of the Constitution, turning control of the United States over to FEMA, [and the] appointment of military commanders to run state and local governments.” The North plan also reportedly called for the detention of upwards of 400,000 illegal aliens and an undisclosed number of American citizens in at least 10 military facilities maintained as potential holding camps.North’s program was so sensitive in nature that when Texas congressman Jack Brooks attempted to question North about it during the 1987 Iran-Contra hearings, he was rebuffed even by his fellow legislators. “I read in Miami papers and several others that there had been a plan by that same agency [FEMA] that would suspend the American Constitution,” Brooks said. “I was deeply concerned about that and wondered if that was the area in which he [North] had worked.” Senator Daniel Inouye, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Iran, immediately cut off his colleague, saying, “That question touches upon a highly sensitive and classified area, so may I request that you not touch upon that, sir.” Though Brooks pushed for an answer, the line of questioning was not allowed to proceed.
Wired magazine turned up additional damaging information, revealing in 1993 that North, operating from a secure White House site, allegedly employed a software database program called PROMIS (ostensibly as part of the REX 84 plan). PROMIS, which has a strange and controversial history, was designed to track individuals—prisoners, for example—by pulling together information from disparate databases into a single record. According to Wired, “Using the computers in his command center, North tracked dissidents and potential troublemakers within the United States. Compared to PROMIS, Richard Nixon‘s enemies list or Senator Joe McCarthy‘s blacklist look downright crude.” Sources have suggested to Radar that government databases tracking Americans today, including Main Core, could still have PROMIS-based legacy code from the days when North was running his programs.
In the wake of 9/11, domestic surveillance programs of all sorts expanded dramatically. As one well-placed source in the intelligence community puts it, “The gloves seemed to come off.” What is not yet clear is what sort of still-undisclosed programs may have been authorized by the Bush White House. Marty Lederman, a high-level official at the Department of Justice under Clinton, writing on a law blog last year, wondered, “How extreme were the programs they implemented [after 9/11]? How egregious was the lawbreaking?” Congress has tried, and mostly failed, to find out.
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In July 2007 and again last August, Representative Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon and a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, sought access to the “classified annexes” of the Bush administration’s Continuity of Government program. DeFazio’s interest was prompted by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20 (also known as NSPD-51), issued in May 2007, which reserves for the executive branch the sole authority to decide what constitutes a national emergency and to determine when the emergency is over. DeFazio found this unnerving.
But he and other leaders of the Homeland Security Committee, including Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, were denied a review of the Continuity of Government classified annexes. To this day, their calls for disclosure have been ignored by the White House. In a press release issued last August, DeFazio went public with his concerns that the NSPD-51 Continuity of Government plans are “extra-constitutional or unconstitutional.” Around the same time, he told the Oregonian: “Maybe the people who think there’s a conspiracy out there are right.”
None of the leading presidential candidates have been asked the question, “As president, will you continue aggressive domestic surveillance programs in the vein of the Bush administration?”Congress itself has recently widened the path for both extra-constitutional detentions by the White House and the domestic use of military force during a national emergency. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 effectively suspended habeas corpus and freed up the executive branch to designate any American citizen an “enemy combatant” forfeiting all privileges accorded under the Bill of Rights. The John Warner National Defense Authorization Act, also passed in 2006, included a last-minute rider titled “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies,” which allowed the deployment of U.S. military units not just to put down domestic insurrections—as permitted under posse comitatus and the Insurrection Act of 1807—but also to deal with a wide range of calamities, including “natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack, or incident.”
More troubling, in 2002, Congress authorized funding for the U.S. Northern Command, or NORTHCOM, which, according to Washington Post military intelligence expert William Arkin, “allows for emergency military operations in the United States without civilian supervision or control.”
“We are at the edge of a cliff and we’re about to fall off,” says constitutional lawyer and former Reagan administration official Bruce Fein. “To a national emergency planner, everybody looks like a danger to stability. There’s no doubt that Congress would have the authority to denounce all this—for example, to refuse to appropriate money for the preparation of a list of U.S. citizens to be detained in the event of martial law. But Congress is the invertebrate branch. They say, ‘We have to be cautious.’ The same old crap you associate with cowards. None of this will change under a Democratic administration, unless you have exceptional statesmanship and the courage to stand up and say, ‘You know, democracies accept certain risks that tyrannies do not.’”
(Photo: Getty Images)
As of this writing, DeFazio, Thompson, and the other 433 members of the House are debating the so-called Protect America Act, after a similar bill passed in the Senate. Despite its name, the act offers no protection for U.S. citizens; instead, it would immunize from litigation U.S. telecom giants for colluding with the government in the surveillance of Americans to feed the hungry maw of databases like Main Core. The Protect America Act would legalize programs that appear to be unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, the mystery of James Comey’s testimony has disappeared in the morass of election year coverage. None of the leading presidential candidates have been asked the questions that are so profoundly pertinent to the future of the country: As president, will you continue aggressive domestic surveillance programs in the vein of the Bush administration? Will you release the COG blueprints that Representatives DeFazio and Thompson were not allowed to read? What does it suggest about the state of the nation that the U.S. is now ranked by worldwide civil liberties groups as an “endemic surveillance society,” alongside repressive regimes such as China and Russia? How can a democracy thrive with a massive apparatus of spying technology deployed against every act of political expression, private or public? (Radar put these questions to spokespeople for the McCain, Obama, and Clinton campaigns, but at press time had yet to receive any responses.)
These days, it’s rare to hear a voice like that of Senator Frank Church, who in the 1970s led the explosive investigations into U.S. domestic intelligence crimes that prompted the very reforms now being eroded. “The technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny,” Church pointed out in 1975. “And there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know.”
UPDATE: Since this article went to press, several documents have emerged to suggest the story has longer legs than we thought. Most troubling among these is an October 2001 Justice Department memo that detailed the extra-constitutional powers the U.S. military might invoke during domestic operations following a terrorist attack. In the memo, John Yoo, then deputy assistant attorney general, “concluded that the Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations.” (Yoo, as most readers know, is author of the infamous Torture Memo that, in bizarro fashion, rejiggers the definition of “legal” torture to allow pretty much anything short of murder.) In the October 2001 memo, Yoo refers to a classified DOJ document titled “Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the United States.” According to the Associated Press, “Exactly what domestic military action was covered by the October memo is unclear. But federal documents indicate that the memo relates to the National Security Agency’s Terrorist Surveillance Program.” Attorney General John Mukasey last month refused to clarify before Congress whether the Yoo memo was still in force.
Meanwhile, congressional sources tell Radar that Congressman Peter DeFazio has apparently abandoned his effort to get to the bottom of the White House COG classified annexes. Penny Dodge, DeFazio’s chief of staff, says otherwise. “We will be sending a letter requesting a classified briefing soon,” she told Radar this week.
This article is from the May/June issue of Radar Magazine.
March 4, 2008
Note To The Reader: This paper addresses the possibility of a coup d’état by national emergency before the end of Bush’s last year in office, citing recent institutional actions that can be reasonably interpreted as being consistent with and preparatory to such an undertaking. These actions, all occurring since Bush’s reelection, include among others:
Claiming by executive order emergency powers unauthorized by Congress;
Conducting nation-wide mass arrest exercises in 2005, 2006 and 2007;
Obtaining from Congress removal of legal impediments to the indefinite detention of US citizens without trial;
Obtaining from Congress the authority to use federal troops for domestic police duties, by nullifying the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878;
Obtaining from Congress the authority to use national guard units, without the consent of state’s governor, in that or any other state;
Establishing programs to assist in the implementation of martial law using business community, academics, and clergy;
Authorizing by executive order seizing assets of anyone “undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq”; and,
Contracting for the construction of high capacity detention centers throughout the country.
While these and other actions cited here have alternative explanation and those participating in them may be entirely unaware of the darker ends to which their work may be put, nevertheless each is troubling and collectively they demand serious assessment as a potential threat to both our constitutional republic and its democratic governance, especially in light of the Bush administration’s record of unlawful behavior. The reader is therefore asked to give this careful consideration because the eternal vigilance necessary to protect our liberty is better served by reasonable suspicion than by enduring trust or inattention.
While a responsible president might deal with a real emergency using necessary measures within limited areas for an appropriate duration, the concern here is with the abuse of national emergency powers, by which a real or contrived emergency is used as pretext to exercise over-broad powers on a national scale for a duration that adversely affects constitutional governance, including national elections and due process.
National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51) on May 9, 2007
Can you think of anyone better than George W. Bush with whom to entrust the dictatorial powers hinted at in NSPD-51? Or perhaps you are unwilling to trust anyone with such powers, even Bush. That is not a option in NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE 51 (NSPD-51), signed by Bush and released without comment by the White House on May 9, 2007. To quote from NSPD-51: “This policy establishes ‘National Essential Functions,’ prescribes continuity requirements for all executive departments and agencies, and provides guidance for State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector organizations in order to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency.” What one would expect, but for some of its very few details.
Bush: I am The Coordinator
Under NSPD-51, during a national emergency only limited ‘National Essential Functions’ of government will continue, which may or may not include Congress and the courts. NSPD-51 assures us: “Enduring Constitutional Government means a cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government, coordinated by the President, as a matter of comity with respect to the legislative and judicial branches…” This “matter of comity,” which usually refers to the informal and voluntary recognition of jurisdiction among courts, is troublesomely ambiguous in this context. Is Bush claiming that he, rather than the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court, determines which functions the three branches of the federal government shall perform as well as the checks and balances among them? Does the president decide for himself, as he “coordinates”, which laws and court orders to faithfully execute? If the emergency event does not critically disrupt federal government operations, does Bush’s NSPD-51 envision still limiting government operations to ‘National Essential Functions’? Is this executive order lawful since it overrides the National Emergencies Act, creating a new position of National Continuity Coordinator without congressional authorization?
The Plan: Now You See It; Now You Don’t
NSPD-51 claims that it “provides guidance” to state and local governments, when in fact it does the opposite because it revoked the then existing Presidential Decision Directive 67 of October 21, 1998 (“Enduring Constitutional Government and Continuity of Government Operations”), including “all Annexes thereto.” And replaced them with NSPD-51, along with: “Annex A and the classified Continuity Annexes, attached hereto.” But then the rabbit disappears as NSPD-51 soldiers on: “This directive and the information contained herein shall be protected from unauthorized disclosure, provided that, except for Annex A, the Annexes attached to this directive are classified and shall be accorded appropriate handling, consistent with applicable Executive Orders.” In other words, all the details are secret and even the non secret “Annex A” remains undisclosed by the White House.
Having revoked without explanation the nation’s then existing emergency plan for continued national governance on May 9, 2007, Bush’s NSPD-51 calls for: “The Plan shall be submitted to the President for approval not later than 90 days after the date of this directive.” One assumes, during this lapse in emergency plans, no emergency was expected, or at least presented less risk than leaving that old Clinton plan in place. Since the national media, except one story each in the Washington Post and Boston Globe, have ignored NSPD-51, Bush has not bothered to explain any of this.
Especially if such explanations might raise questions about what was so unacceptable in the existing plan that it needed to be revoked before finishing work on the new plan. Does this serve to rush the review of one of the most complex and sensitive plans in government in an attempt to slip something by the rest of us? Or, more ominously, does it remove some impediment to contemplated action? Whatever the motive, abruptly revoking the existing plan, while mandating a new plan within 90 days, indicates the same unfortunate mix of high optimism and low competence that characterizes much of the Bush administration’s planning record. Clearly Bush is confident he can do far better than Clinton, whose administration, including all executive departments, labored for years on that old plan. Both NSPD-51 and Presidential Decision Directive 67 contain secret material, so much of the old plan may even be in the new plan, who knows?
Congress in the Dark, As Usual
Among those who do not know are members of the House Committee on Homeland Security. The Bush administration has repeatedly denied the committee access to NSPD-51, about which Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio (D) complained in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives. What we do know is those 90 days passed without a new plan approval being announced. Perhaps no plan gives the president exactly the maximum power and minimum accountability desired, with the Clinton plan revoked and Bush’s plan whatever he says it is; or, perhaps the plan’s approval was secret as well. Apparently, the “matter of comity” among the three branches of government, referred to in NSPD-51, does not include allowing NSPD-51 to be read by members of Congress, which the Congress, in a continuing pattern of timid inaction, has not challenged.
“Any incident, regardless of location …”
An almost entirely secret directive, NSPD-51 can be invoked when the president decides “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions” occurred. Bush alone will decide when he must assume this burden, though perhaps only upon prayerful contemplation during the time saved not having to consult Congress. In addition, because of a change to the Insurrection Act of 1807, enacted as part of the 439-page 2007 Defense Authorization Bill signed into law in October 2006, Bush need no longer obtain a governor’s consent to take control of a state’s national guard units. This same bill overturns the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which limited the use of US military forces within the United States for law enforcement, concern about which ignored by corporate media. In addition, Bush issued an executive order on July 17, 2007 authorizing the government to seize the assets of anyone “undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq” under provisions of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Could this include critics of the Iraq war, whom Bush has repeatedly accused of undermining the war effort?
Indicative of Bush’s state of mind with regard to suspending a constitution and declaring emergency rule is his comment three weeks after Musharraf suspended the constitution, arrested thousands of political opponents, and fired of the Supreme Court in Pakistan: Bush, “. . . He’s also advanced democracy in Pakistan. . . . He hasn’t crossed the line. As a matter of fact, I don’t think that he will cross any lines.”
Whatever and Whenever The Decider Decides
When might Bush declare a national emergency under NSPD-51? My own guess would be Spring 2008, after Bush is “forced” to attack Iran, perhaps with nuclear weapons, and Iran then fails to cooperate, attacking US ships in the Gulf and Mediterranean instead of accepting our offers of assistance. Or this might come after a UN Security Council resolution authorizing boarding Iranian ships for inspection, thereby creating an opportunity for a casus belli the Bush administration has been transparently pressing to create. Even if Iran denied Bush his basic objective by refusing to be goaded into reacting beyond its own borders, the resulting global economic chaos and spontaneous popular reactions beyond Iran to such attacks could compel Bush to invoke NSPD-51, quite apart from whatever our new enemy might undertake.
On the other hand, under NSPD-51 any provocation of Bush could lead to him creating a pretext for declaring a national emergency. For example, Ralph Nader quotes Massachusetts Rep. John W. Olver (D), who has a PhD from MIT, when presented with the votes of 13 Town Meetings [real Town Meetings, not the media events staged for candidate performances] in Olver’s congressional district calling for impeachment of Cheney and Bush, Olver responded that he opposed any impeachment move against Bush because “the current autocratic executive [Bush] would attack Iran from the air, declare a national emergency, institute martial law, and call off the 2008 elections were the Democrats to initiate impeachment.” Or, perhaps we have a national emergency for as yet unknown reasons, maybe in the late summer when likely replacement administrations are judged by Bush/Cheney to be unacceptable; and then, as the national emergency begins to unravel, we attack Iran. The essential assessment is that we have reached a point where the possibilities are vast and unpredictable precisely because its all up to Bush; he is The Decider.
Beyond Our National Experience
This section briefly speculates about the consequences of the abuse of national emergency powers to appreciate better how recent events may be leading to it and why ending it, once invoked, would be unlikely.
Should Bush declare a national emergency and begin exercising the many powers available to him in law, as well as the ever expanding “inherent” powers he claims by fiat, our nation could swiftly cross into a world increasingly difficult to predict, largely beyond our national experience, except perhaps for our revolution and civil war, subject to ad hoc, unchecked decision making, with genuine rule of law no longer an available guide. It would likely become increasingly difficult, in the absence of reliable information, to understand and deal with the originating crisis, however real or contrived. And to distinguish it from the difficulties arising from the declaration of a national emergency itself.
However, this sort of thing has occurred in many countries, with much the same result likely here: a self-sustaining crisis, in which the chief rationales for continuing the national emergency are the effects of the national emergency themselves, compounded by errors in governance and crimes by those who seized power, sustained by supporters profiting from it and their fear for what would happen to them should they end it.
In the short term, one can imagine Congress, demonstrating its usual wisdom and courage, expressing concern about the evidently substantial, though secret, number of American citizens “detained”, surprise at the scope of firearm and asset seizures, discomfort with the pace of executions under the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and outrage at being locked out of its capital offices due to a classified biological threat of undetermined duration, thus preventing Congress from voting to set benchmarks for Iran and to demand our readmission to NATO.
On the other hand, Congress would likely find some comfort in the “delay” of the 2008 elections, given Bush’s decision to allow all incumbents, including those temporarily detained, to remain in office, which many in Congress would praise for its “bipartisan comity”, and urge us all to await the president’s determination when it is safe for Congress and the Supreme Court to actually meet again. Just as many in corporate American would appreciate the need to “defer” collecting capital gains and corporate taxes and to “ease” enforcing regulations in the interests of helping the economy in a time of national crisis.
In addition to inaction by the intimidated and support from the misled, this tyranny, as all tyrannies, will no doubt have its servile enablers, among them: careerists who see opportunity in national tragedy; pathological authoritarians who welcome roles in a police state; and, common criminals who know a Kleptocracy when they see one. Besides, how could anyone resist the perfectly Orwellian logic of declaring a dictatorship to insure “Constitutional Continuity” for the “homeland,” while setting aside the actual Constitution of the United States? Perhaps not The Federalist Society, with emergency appointments to newly vacant judgeships dancing in its members’ heads, some may well continue to praise the glories of a “unitary executive”, concocting judicial theories that explain how its all utterly necessary, perfectly logical, and manifestly constitutional, despite the fact that control of executive power is at very core of the history, architecture, and wording of our Constitution.
The longer term prospect, if such a coup were to succeed at all, would likely include national decline and insurrection, with an even more unpredictable array of international consequences, starting with a widening war and global economic boycott.
Building Those Detention Centers, For One and All
Whatever unknowable future an inappropriate declaration of national emergency might bring, clearly those contemplating such a declaration realize many are going to be profoundly unhappy with such a turn of events. And that may be why Kellogg Brown & Root, a Halliburton subsidiary, is already building detention centers around the nation to “support the rapid development of new programs” that could accommodate those incompatible with Constitutional Continuity, the dead-enders who actually protest or resist, plus the usual suspects who might think to object.
OPERATION FALCON: Practice Makes Perfect
But how would all those potential incompatibles, certainly tens of thousands and likely far more, find their way to an appropriate detention center? After all, the Bush administration has managed to prosecute only a handful of businesses for hiring illegal aliens who number in the millions. Its clearly a matter of priorities. So, despite such distractions as hurricane Katrina, the Justice Department has been conducting mass arrest exercises code named Operation Falcon, (Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally), whereby thousands of law enforcement officers from federal, state, county and local agencies arrested some 10,000 individuals within seven days, working from lists provided by the U.S. Marshall’s Service, all coordinated to commence across the country simultaneously. Since practice makes perfect, four mass arrest exercises have been conduced: Two national (Falcon I April 4-10, 2005 arresting 10,340; Falcon II April 17-23, 2006 arresting 9,037); and one “eastern half of the country” (Falcon III October 22-28, 2006 arresting 10,733).
The latest, Falcon IV (renamed Falcon 2007), continues narrowing the focus with regional exercises, such as Operation FALCON-Baltimore (February 2007, arresting 195)and Operation FALCON-Indianapolis (May 2007, arresting 283) as well as 27 other regional exercises (from July 8, 2007 to September 16, 2007), arresting a total 6,406 “fugitives”, including “235 for not registering as sex offenders” and “300 documented gang members” making for excellent press. In fact, the main focus of Falcon 2007 was gang members and sex offenders, neither of whom were prepared to match the federal public relations effort, which includes raw video footage (more raw footage) passed to corporate media that shows police raids with positive commentary, no questions asked and no critics heard. What has not changed is the operational profile: federally prepared arrest lists, distributed to local, state, and federal police agencies, who arrest as many as possible within a week’s time, usually starting before dawn on Sunday morning.
What can not be found among these data and reports is mention of any legitimate law enforcement purpose uniquely served by these coordinated, mass arrests, where little or no connection exists among the targets. According to the then Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, “Operation FALCON is an excellent example of President Bush’s direction and the Justice Department’s dedication to deal both with the terrorist threat and traditional violent crime,” but failing to mention that none of the over 30,000 arrests was for a terror-related crime. While some arrested were serious criminals, most were of the non-responding warrantee, technical parole violator, and support payment delinquent sort, soon released. The important element here appears to be getting operational experience and, perhaps most critically, habituating state and local police agencies to conducting mass arrests from lists provided by the federal government. In the eastern regional Falcon III alone, 103 state agencies, 430 county sheriff’s offices/departments and 482 police departments did just that according to the U.S. Marshals Service web site. At the current pace, perhaps Falcon 2007 was the last drill and then the real thing: Operation Falcon V (or Falcon 2008). Throughout history mass arrests are solely an instrument of political repression, just as they would be here.
Operation Falcon V: This is Not a Drill
So its likely, when Bush addresses his fellow citizens after declaring the national emergency, many of his critics will be listening most attentively to detention camp loud speakers. As for how detainees will be treated, one can assume every effort will be made to maintain our current standards for indefinite detention without trial and torture assisted interrogation, where little slip-ups under the press of numbers and emergency conditions are likely to be of little consequence.
Mass Detention Logistics
An article by former congressman Dan Hamburg reports: “According to author Naomi Wolf, the National Counterterrorism Center holds the names of roughly 775,000 “terror suspects” with the number increasing by 20,000 per month.” Given a national mass detention arrest rate of about 50,000 per week, it would still take federal and local authorities roughly 15 weeks to arrest them all. This estimate ignores two mutually offsetting factors: first, the law of diminishing returns resulting from the likely increasing difficulty in locating those to be arrested; second, the total arrests need only be a fraction of the potential arrestees to accomplish the primary objective quickly: wide-spread fear, thereby intimidating the general population.
Martial Law Preparations and Resistance
In addition to mass arrest and detention preparations, the administration has taken steps to prepare for the implementation of martial law. For example, the FBI program InfraGuard, claiming to be “a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the private sector” with “more than 23,000 representatives of private industry” has been reported to be discussing with elements of the business community their role “when” martial law is declared. Another program is “urban warfare training” that used US Army and Marine troops to conduct martial law like practice deployments in American communities. And a widely reported program to use clergy to secure the cooperation of the population in areas under martial law.
These preparations address a highly unpredictable factor: Possible general resistance to mass detention and martial law, which could range from subtle passive inefficiencies, through institutional impediments such as political and legal objections, to manifest active interference. The sequence, frequency, and intensity of such resistance might well follow historic patterns, but could deviate into the unprecedented, given the potentially significant destabilizing effects of martial law, greatly complicating both mass detention logistics in particular and martial law operations in general. This would likely depend on whether the American people can be convinced to worry about some other threat more than the threat from the government itself. An effort burdened by the fact that for each arrest of apparently law abiding citizens or disruptions of daily life by martial law, it is likely that an equal or greater number would join the aggrieved, producing more opponents than it eliminates.
This arises from the nature of mass detentions because they are based principally on “status offenses“, arising from government declarations about an individual’s status, such as “enemy combatant” or “potential terrorist” or “threat to national security” or “danger to public order”, rather than from specific criminal acts. This contradicts the generally held American view that thoughts or beliefs, and expressions thereof, particularly criticisms of the government and its policies, should not be the basis for deprivations of life, liberty, and property. And large scale detentions of citizens for such status offenses would likely be perceived as a grave, unconstitutional threat to the fundamental liberty of the people, no matter what law Congress may have passed to allow it or inherent powers a president claims permit it. It is possible, given significant general opposition, that municipalities or states might themselves undertake direct resistance to such detentions to protect their citizens, especially if those so detained were held without trial, perceived to be at risk from mistreatment and torture, or subject to the judgments of military tribunals including execution. Clearly, large scale or institutional resistance, whatever its immediate outcome, would be further destabilizing.
The political calculus informing the decision to declare a national emergency would include the assumption that a state of crisis would itself provide substantial support, however temporary, among the populace for the nation’s leadership, as it always does. However, the endemic level of distrust toward the current government, and Bush in particular, is such that resistance to starting a war with Iran or to staging a coup d’état by national emergency would likely spread once begun and be difficult to contain. This, however, is more relevant is assessing the likelihood of either a wide refusal of orders or a general insurrection rather than in predicting Bush’s appreciation of the situation before he acts.
No Need to Worry, Its Only Temporary
What is certain, should a coup d’état by national emergency take place, is it will be denied even as it unfolds, and this is likely to be followed by assurances it will be temporary, lasting “not one day more than it needs to”, followed by complaints about disappointing levels of cooperation (never mentioning any acts of resistance) being responsible for prolonging the state of emergency, threats of severe punishment and asset seizure for those related to or harboring fugitives wanted by the authorities, and finally appeals to turn in others if you want your own relatives released from detention or your property/assets returned.
To sustain a permanent state of national emergency, Bush will likely take every opportunity to claim it is temporary. One can imagine him insisting he did it to protect the nation and to restore order, even as he attacks the nation’s most vital institutions, arrests law abiding citizens, and causes increasing chaos. And an even more disciplined corporate media will ignore these blatant deviations from reality, except to repeat administration claims again and again.
Corporate Media: Dallas Uber Alles
What is likely to be important in most corporate media, continuing its de facto censorship and warmongering, is demonstrating our determination to carry on, starting with the most common advice to all good citizens: “keep shopping.” While its likely every effort will be made to retain the trappings of the old republic, perhaps our national anthem with its “the land of the free, and the home of the brave” might be a bit much for a budding police state trying to keep its population fearful, so one can imagine an exciting national contest conducted by corporate media, as a public service, to select the proper anthem for our new world order. Perhaps “God Bless American”, or, more radically, something stirring along the lines of “Deutschland Uber Alles”, except with a touch of Texas twang as in “Dallas Uber Alles”, in an arrangement using fewer trombones plus a weeping steel guitar. However, since this is such an important decision, our new anthem, with its companion homeland prayer and logo, should be selected by ‘We the People of the United States’ from among three finalists chosen by our First Lady, in our first-ever national referendum, proving yet again our commitment to democracy and putting all those new voting machines to use in November ’08 after all.
Or, Resist Now
Instead, you might send this, and/or like materials, to others including your congressional delegation as well as the press, to share your concerns and to warn about the potential danger Bush’s NSPD-51 presents, and to demand steps be taken to prevent an overbroad declaration of national emergency. Because prevention of national emergency declaration is far more likely and less costly than trying to undo one once declared, especially one under nation-wide martial law. Since the courts are hopelessly slow given the immediate danger, Congress must be made to do its duty. And we must do our duty and demand Congress end its reluctance to stand up to Bush’s repeated, escalating, bullying contempt: if its unnecessary, it should be easy; if its not easy, it is all the more necessary.
Many argue both parties are so corrupted by corporate money and self-service that Congress is worse than useless, passing the very laws that created this danger and failing in its oversight duties to standup to Bush on any matter of principle. Whatever Congress did, it did not elect and reelect Bush: we did, or at least let it be close enough to be gamed. Luckily one need not be a saint to come to the aide of our country in times of crisis, so even Congress can raise itself to resist tyranny, with your help and encouragement. And Bush and Cheney need to be confronted immediately, with the objective of using existing congressional power and establishing additional safeguards, formal and informal, to prevent a coup d’état by national emergency. Better to prevent what later some may claim was never going to happen, than to suffer betrayed good faith, with the appalling costs of undergoing and undoing this grave folly, which Bush appears to be edging toward, as relentlessly as he undertook the invasion of Iraq from the first days of his administration.
This government has nothing to fear, except your courage to join in spirit those who stood upon Concord Bridge and fired a shot heard around the world, this time within the law to protect the law itself. Now is our time to act.
I would suggest the following for consideration as demands to be made of our Congress by calling our representatives regularly until Congress acts to control Bush:
Hold impeachment hearings on Cheney; write to John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to urge hearings be held on House Resolution 333 introduced by Rep. Kucinich in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on November 6, 2007; and, to House Speaker Pelosi to demand she end her “impeachment is off the table” dictum, a de facto suspension of the impeachment clause of the US Constitution;
Include in relevant appropriation bills wording such that no funds can be spent for a declared national emergency, except upon a vote of Congress to invoke, if congress is in session, and to continue such emergency only upon a continuing resolution by Congress every 30-days;
Congress should hold in contempt the head of any department or agency of the executive branch, including the White House, for failing to respond to subpoena; and withhold some or all funds and appointments from those departments, when such subpoena is found to be enforceable by the courts;
Establish an office of special prosecutor, to be appointed by and answerable to a federal district court, with independent funding directly from Congress, to investigate high crimes committed by any member of the executive branch while exercising their official duties, including issuing or obeying illegal orders resulting in torture, murder or kidnap or violating a treaty to which the US is a signatory, where such violation prescribes capital punishment or imprisonment of up to 10 or more years;
Amend the US Constitution to limit president’s pardon authority, so no pardon may be issued by a president for: himself, vice-president, or any person working for the executive branch, except members of the armed forces, for crimes committed during the president’s term in office; or, for any person under indictment, at trial, or appealing conviction for the offense to be pardoned; or, for any person under subpoena, impeachment or on trial by the Congress. Presidential pardons should be acts of merciful forgiveness and belated restoration, not obstructions of justice, license for ongoing criminality, nor payment for services or favors rendered.
In addition to contacting Congress, each of us can act lawfully, as individuals and together with others, to halt this drift toward tyranny:
Inform yourself, such as learning about the Ten Steps to Shutting Down a Democratic Society.
Writing to editors, calling radio and TV stations to demand serious coverage of this issue;
Talking to your family, friends and co-workers;
Joining in public protests in support of democracy in America;
Making defense of democratic governance a campaign issue by demanding other candidates for public office speak up;
Since the so-called two party system is a one party system pretending to be two, register as an independent and evaluate candidates without regard to party affiliation;
Write-in “None of the Above” when no listed candidate for an office is worthy of support; and,
Support Shirley Golub who is running against Nancy Pelosi in the Democratic Primary on June 3, 2008
The author welcomes suggested updates, links, or other comments, which can be sent to comments. Please note that this is a nonpartisan effort, so we are open to link suggestions about sites of interest across the political spectrum wishing to preserve our democracy and secure the blessings of liberty. If you want to speak to the author, kindly send your request with contact information to contact author. If you wish to send anything by mail, please address it to:
Concord Bridge Coalition
PO Box 1497
East Dennis, MA 02641-1497
In the media:
The Expanding Police State (Excellent conference, with three talks)
The Shock Doctrine by Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein
New UN Sanctions Make US-Iran War More Likely by William H. White
“Rule by fear or rule by law?” San Francisco Chronicle February 4, 2008 by Lewis Seiler and Dan Hamburg
Inside the Martial Law Act of 2006 by James Bovard
“The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein
President Bush thinks of another way to end democracy by “Hume’s Ghost”
Operation Falcon and the Looming Police State by Mike Whitney
Bush Moves Toward Martial Law by Frank Morales
Turning The Police State Apparatus Against Dissenters by Steve Watson
The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot by Naomi Wolf
[→Unconfirmed Report: Part of the mass detention logistical solution may be government contracts "with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees", reported by former congressman Dan Hamburg; however, we have been unable to find either budgetary or physical evidence to support this allegation. We ask that any such evidence in the public domain be brought to our attention at: data]
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Operation FALCON is a nationwide fugitive apprehension operation coordinated by the United States Marshals Service (USMS). The resources of federal, state, city and county law enforcement agencies are combined to locate and apprehend criminals wanted for crimes of violence.
Operation FALCON represents a continuing series of historically successful national fugitive apprehension missions, which have resulted in the collective capture of more than 36,500 dangerous fugitive felons.
The original FALCON I proved the efficacy of the cooperative law enforcement model, which seeks to multiply the positive impact of law enforcement at all jurisdictional levels. The emphasis centered on gang related crimes, homicides, crimes involving use of a weapon, crimes against children and the elderly, crimes involving sexual assaults, organized crime and drug related fugitives, and other crimes of violence.
FALCON II reaffirmed and built upon the success of the initial FALCON effort, achieving a comparable level of total arrests, while covering only one-half the geographic area of the first nationwide operation. Moreover, FALCON II focused on combating a particular category of fugitive offender. The results of this innovation speak for themselves, as FALCON II investigators successfully removed more than 1,100 dangerous sex offenders from America’s streets.
FALCON III continued to advance these important efforts, and focused heavily on the danger posed by fugitive felons who fail to register as sex offenders, as well as those with gang affiliations. FALCON III covered the eastern half of the United States, with 48 federal districts in 24 states participating. FALCON III resulted in the apprehension of 10,733 fugitive felons, ensuring the continuing safety of America’s communities.
FALCON 2007 continued to promote these important efforts, but took on a more focused, long-term approach by targeting twenty-seven cities and regions experiencing elevated levels of criminal activity. Working in conjunction with the Department of Justice, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and other agencies, the U.S. Marshals Service identified and targeted the communities most in need of assistance. The Marshals then reached out to their many partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement to coordinate a sustainable push designed to safely apprehend the maximum number of violent predators. Deputy U.S. marshals teamed with agents, investigators, detectives, officers, and deputies to form a powerful unit that located and arrested 6,406 fugitive felons, ensuring a greater level of safety on the streets of America.
FALCON 2008 returned to its roots as a nationwide fugitive apprehension initiative with a slight alteration to the original FALCON concept. Instead of a single, intensive week of operations across the nation, participating U.S. Marshal District Offices and Regional Task Forces chose a week in June 2008 to coordinate the best operational schedule, allowing optimal participation by local, county, state and federal law enforcement partners.
The U. S. Marshals, assisted by federal, state and local law enforcement, arrested 19,380 fugitives and cleared 25,087 warrants as part of Operation FALCON 2008. Collectively, the fugitives arrested during the operation have a history of nearly 94,000 prior arrests.
By: Ace Hoffman
by Michel Chossudovsky
One of the main objectives of war propaganda is to «fabricate an enemy» . As anti-war sentiment grows and the political legitimacy the Bush Administration falters, doubts regarding the existence of this “outside enemy” must be dispelled.
As the date of the planned invasion of Iraq approaches, the Bush Administration and its indefectible British ally have multiplied the “warnings” of future Al Qaeda terrorist attacks. The enemy has to appear genuine: thousands of news stories and editorials linking Al Qaeda to the Baghdad government are planted in the news chain. Colin Powell underscored this relationship in his presentation to the Davos World Economic Forum in January. Iraq is casually presented in official statements and in the media as “a haven for and supplier of the terror network”:
“Evidence that is still tightly held is accumulating within the administration that it is not a matter of chance that terror groups in the al Qaeda universe have made their weapons of choice the poisons, gases and chemical devices that are signature arms of the Iraqi regime.”1
In this context, propaganda purports to drown the truth, and kill the evidence on how Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda was fabricated and transformed into “Enemy Number One”.
Meanwhile, “anti-terrorist operations” directed against Muslims, including arbitrary mass arrests have been stepped up. In the US, emergency measures are contemplated in the case of war. The corporate media is busy preparing public opinion. A «national emergency» is said to be justified because «America is under attack»:
« the U.S. and Western interests in the Western world have to be prepared for retaliatory attacks from sleeper cells the second we launch an attack in Iraq.» 2
Defence of the Homeland
Emergency procedures are already in place. The Secretary of Homeland Defence -whose mandate is to «safeguard the nation from terrorist attacks»– has already been granted the authority « to take control of a national emergency», implying the establishment of de facto military rule. In turn, the Northern Command would be put in charge of military operations in the US «war on terrorism » theatre.
The Smallpox Vaccination Program
In the context of these emergency measures, preparations for compulsory smallpox vaccination are already under way in response to a presumed threat of a biological weapons attack on US soil. The vaccination program –which has been the object of intense media propaganda– would be launched with the sole purpose of creating an atmosphere of panic among the population:
«A few infected individuals with a stack of plane tickets–or bus tickets, for that matter–could spread smallpox infection across the country, touching off a plague of large proportions …. It is not inconceivable that a North Korea or an Iraq could retain smallpox in a hidden lab and pass the deadly agent on to terrorists.»3
The hidden agenda is crystal clear. How best to discredit the anti-war movement and maintain the legitimacy of the State? Create conditions, which instill fear and hatred, present the rulers as “guardians of the peace”, committed to weeding out terrorism and preserving democracy. In the words of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, echoing almost verbatim the US propaganda dispatches:
“’I believe it is inevitable that they will try in some form or other,… ‘I think we can see evidence from the recent arrests that the terrorist network is here as it is around the rest of Europe, around the rest of the world… The most frightening thing about these people is the possible coming together of fanaticism and the technology capable of delivering mass destruction.’”4
The mass arrests of individuals of Middle Eastern origin since September 11 2001 on trumped up charges is not motivated by security considerations. Their main function is to provide “credibility” to the fear and propaganda campaign. Each arrest, amply publicised by the corporate media, repeated day after day “gives a face” to this invisible enemy. It also serves to drown the fact that Al Qaeda is a creature of the CIA. “Enemy Number One” is not an enemy but an instrument.)
In other words, the Propaganda campaign performs two important functions.
First it must ensure that the enemy is considered a real threat.
Second, it must distort the truth, –i.e. it must conceal “the relationship” between this “fabricated enemy” and its creators within the military-intelligence apparatus.
In other words, the nature and history of Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda and the Islamic brigades since the Soviet-Afghan war must be suppressed because if it trickles down to the broader public, the legitimacy of the so-called “war on terrorism” collapses like a deck of cards. And in the process, the legitimacy of the main political and military actors is threatened.
The “9/11 Foreknowledge” Scandal
On 16 May 2002, the New York tabloids revealed that “President Bush had been warned of possible high jacking before the terror attacks” and had failed to act.5
The disinformation campaign was visibly stalling in the face of mounting evidence of CIA-Osama links. For the first time since 9/11, the mainstream press had hinted to the possibility of a cover-up at the highest echelons of the US State apparatus.
FBI Agent Coleen Rowley, who blew the whistle on the FBI, played a key role in unleashing the crisis. Her controversial Memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller pointed to the existence of “deliberate roadblocks” on the investigation of the September 11 attacks:
“Minutes after the 9/11 attacks the SSA [David Frasca, Director of the Radical Fundamentalist unit in the FBI] said ‘this was probably all just a coincidence’ and we were to do nothing until we got their permission, because we might screw up something else going on elsewhere in the country” 6
In response to an impending political crisis, the fear and disinformation campaign went into overdrive. The news chain was all of a sudden inundated with reports and warnings of “future terrorist attacks”. A carefully worded statement (visibly intended to instill fear) by Vice President Dick Cheney contributed to setting the stage:
“I think that the prospects of a future attack on the U.S. are almost a certainty… It could happen tomorrow, it could happen next week, it could happen next year, but they will keep trying. And we have to be prepared.”7
What Cheney is really telling us is that our “intelligence asset”, which we created, is going to strike again. Now, if this “CIA creature” were planning new terrorist attacks, you would expect that the CIA would be first to know about it. In all likelihood, the CIA also controls the so-called ‘warnings’ emanating from CIA sources on “future terrorist attacks” in the US and around the World.
Propaganda’s Consistent Pattern
Upon careful examination of news reports on actual, “possible” or “future” terrorist attacks, the propaganda campaign exhibits a consistent pattern. Similar concepts appear simultaneously in hundreds of media reports:
- they refer to “reliable sources“, a growing body of evidence –e.g. government or intelligence or FBI.
- They invariably indicate that the terrorist groups involved have “ties to bin Laden” or Al Qaeda, or are “sympathetic to bin Laden”,
- The reports often points to the possibility of terrorist attacks, “sooner or later” or “in the next two months“.
- The reports often raise the issue of so-called “soft targets”, pointing to the likelihood of civilian casualties.
- They indicate that future terrorist attacks could take place in a number of allied countries (including Britain, France, Germany) in which public opinion is strongly opposed to the US-led war on terrorism.
- They confirm the need by the US and its allies to initiate “pre-emptive” actions directed against these various terrorist organizations and/or the foreign governments which harbour the terrorists.
- They often point to the likelihood that these terrorist groups possess WMD including biological and chemical weapons (as well as nuclear weapons). The links to Iraq and “rogue states” (discussed in Part I) is also mentioned.
- The warnings also include warnings regarding “attacks on US soil”, attacks against civilians in Western cities.
- They point to efforts undertaken by the police authorities to apprehend the alleged terrorists.
- The arrested individuals are in virtually all cases Muslims and/or of Middle Eastern origin.
- The reports are also used to justify the Homeland Security legislation as well as the “ethnic profiling” and mass arrests of presumed terrorists.
This pattern of disinformation in the Western media applies the usual catch phrases and buzz words. (See press excerpts below. The relevant catch phrases are indicated in italics):
“Published reports, along with new information obtained from U.S. intelligence and military sources, point to a growing body of evidence that terrorists associated with and/or sympathetic to Osama bin Laden are planning a significant attack on U.S. soil.
Also targeted are allied countries that have joined the worldwide hunt for the radical Muslim cells hell-bent on unleashing new waves of terrorist strikes. … The U.S. government’s activation of antiterrorist forces comes as the FBI issued a warning Nov. 14 that a “spectacular” new terrorist attack may be forthcoming – sooner rather than later. …
Elsewhere, the Australian government issued an unprecedented warning to its citizens that al-Qaeda terrorists there might launch attacks within the next two months. 8
Although CIA Director George Tenet said in recent congressional testimony that “an attempt to conduct another attack on U.S. soil is certain,” a trio of former senior CIA officials doubted the chance of any “spectacular” terror attacks on U.S. soil.9
“Germans have been skittish since the terrorist attacks in the United States, fearing that their country is a ripe target for terrorism. Several of the hijackers in the Sept. 11 attacks plotted their moves in Hamburg.10
“On Dec. 18, a senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, briefed journalists about the ‘high probability’ of a terrorist attack happening ‘sooner or later.’ … he named hotels and shopping centres as potential ‘soft targets’… The official also specifically mentioned: a possible chemical attack in the London subway, the unleashing of smallpox, the poisoning of the water supply and strikes against “postcard targets” such as Big Ben and Canary Warf.
The “sooner or later” alert followed a Home Office warning at the end of November that said Islamic radicals might use dirty bombs or poison gas to inflict huge casualties on British cities. This also made big headlines but the warning was quickly retracted in fear that it would cause public panic. 11
The message yesterday was that these terrorists, however obscure, are trying – and, sooner or later, may break through London’s defences. It is a city where tens of thousands of souls,… Experts have repeatedly said that the UK, with its bullish support for the US and its war on terror, is a genuine and realistic target for terror groups, including the al- Qaeda network led by 11 September mastermind Osama bin Laden.12
Quoting Margaret Thatcher: “Only America has the reach and means to deal with Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein or the other wicked psychopaths who will sooner or later step into their shoes.”13
According to a recent US State Department alert: “Increased security at official US facilities has led terrorists to seek softer targets such as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, hotels, schools, outdoor recreation events, resorts, beaches and planes.”14
Actual Terrorist Attacks
To be “effective” the fear and disinformation campaign cannot solely rely on unsubstantiated “warnings” of future attacks, it also requires “real” terrorist occurrences or “incidents”, which provide credibility to the Administration’s war plans. Propaganda endorses the need to implement “emergency measures” as well as implement retaliatory military actions.
The triggering of “war pretext incidents” is part of the Pentagon’s assumptions. In fact it is an integral part of US military history.15 In fact in 1962, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had envisaged a secret plan entitled “Operation Northwoods, to deliberately trigger civilian casualties to justify the invasion of Cuba:
“We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba,” “We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington” “casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.” (See the declassified Top Secret 1962 document titled “Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba”16 (See Operation Northwoods at http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/NOR111A.html ).
There is no evidence that the Pentagon or the CIA played a direct role in recent terrorist attacks. The latter were undertaken by organisations (or cells of these organisations), which operate quite independently, with a certain degree of autonomy. This independence is in the very nature of a covert intelligence operation. The «intelligence asset» is not in direct contact with its covert sponsors. It is not necessarily cognizant of the role it plays on behalf of its intelligence sponsors.
The fundamental question is who is behind them? Through what sources are they being financed? What is the underlying network of ties?
A recent (2002) classified outbrief drafted to guide the Pentagon «calls for the creation of a so-called « Proactive, Pre-emptive Operations Group » (P2OG), to launch secret operations aimed at “stimulating reactions” among terrorists and states possessing weapons of mass destruction — that is, for instance, prodding terrorist cells into action and exposing themselves to “quick-response” attacks by U.S. forces.» 17
The P2OG initiative is nothing new. It essentially extends an existing apparatus of covert operations. Amply documented, the CIA has supported terrorist groups since the Cold War era. This « prodding of terrorist cells » under covert intelligence operations often requires the infiltration and training of the radical groups linked to Al Qaeda.
Covert support by the US military and intelligence apparatus has been channelled to various Islamic terrorist organisations through a complex network of intermediaries and intelligence proxies. Moreover, numerous official statements, intelligence reports confirm recent links (in the post Cold War era) between US military-intelligence units and Al Qaeda operatives, as occurred in Bosnia (mid 1990s), Kosovo (1998-99) and Macedonia (2001).18 The Republican Party Committee of the US Congress in a 1997 report points to open collaboration between the US military and Al Qaeda operatives in the civil war in Bosnia.19 (See US Congress, 16 January 1997, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/DCH109A.html )
Ties to Al Qaeda and Pakistan’s Military Intelligence (ISI)
It is indeed revealing that in virtually all post 9/11 terrorist occurrences, the terrorist organization is said to have “ties to Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda”. This in itself is a crucial piece of information. Of course, the fact that Al Qaeda is a creature of the CIA is neither mentioned in the press reports nor is considered relevant.
The ties of these terrorist organizations (particularly those in Asia) to Pakistan’s military intelligence (ISI) is acknowledged in a few cases by official sources and press dispatches. Confirmed by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), some of these groups are said to have links to Pakistan’s ISI, without identifying the nature of these links. Needless to say, this information is crucial in identifying the sponsors of these terrorist attacks. In other words, the ISI is said to support these terrorist organizations, while at same time maintaining close ties to the CIA.
The Bali Bomb Attack (October 2002)
The Bali attack in the Kuta seaside resort resulted in close to 200 deaths, mainly Australian tourists. The bomb attack was allegedly perpetrated by Jemaah Islamiah, a group, which operates in several countries in South East Asia. Press reports and official statements point to close ties between Jemaah Islamiah (JI) and Al Qaeda. The JI’s “operational leader” is Riduan Isamuddin, alias Hambali, a veteran of the Soviet-Afghan war, who was trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to a report by UPI:
“The [Soviet-Afghan] war provided opportunities for key figures of these groups, who went to Afghanistan, to experience firsthand the glory of jihad. Many of the radicals detained in Singapore and Malaysia derived their ideological inspiration from the activities of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and Pakistan” 20
What the report fails to mention is that the training of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and Pakistan was a CIA sponsored initiative launched under President Jimmy Carter in 1979, using Pakistan’s ISI as a go-between.
JI’s links to Indonesia’s Military Intelligence
There are indications, that in addition to its alleged links to Al Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiah also has links to Indonesia’s military intelligence, which in turn has links to the CIA and Australian intelligence.
The links between JI and Indonesia’s Intelligence Agency (BIN) are acknowledged by the International Crisis Group (ICG):
“This link [of JI to the BIN] needs to be explored more fully: it does not necessarily mean that military intelligence was working with JI, but it does raise a question about the extent to which it knew or could have found out more about JI than it has acknowledged.” 21 (International Crisis Group, http://www.crisisweb.org/projects/showreport.cfm?reportid=845 , 2003)
The ICG, however, fails to mention that Indonesia’s intelligence apparatus has for more than 30 years been controlled by the CIA.
In the wake of the October 2002 Bali bombing, a contradictory report emanating from Indonesia’s top brass, pointed to the involvement of both the head of Indonesian intelligence General A. M. Hendropriyono as well as the CIA:
“The agency and its director, Gen. A. M. Hendropriyono, are well regarded by the United States and other governments. But there are still senior intelligence officers here who believe that the C.I.A. was behind the bombing.”22
In response to these statements, the Bush Administration demanded that President Megawati Sukarnoputri, publicly refute the involvement of the U.S in the attacks. No official retraction was issued. Not only did President. Megawati remained silent on this matter, she also accused the US of being:
“a superpower that forced the rest of the world to go along with it… We see how ambition to conquer other nations has led to a situation where there is no more peace unless the whole world is complying with the will of the one with the power and strength.” 23
Meanwhile, the Bush Administration, had used the Bali attacks to prop up its fear campaign:
“President Bush said Monday that he assumes al-Qaeda was responsible for the deadly bombing in Indonesia and that he is worried about fresh attacks on the United States.” 24
The news [regarding the Bali attack] came as US intelligence officials warned that more attacks like the Indonesian bombing can be expected in the next few months, in Europe, the Far East or the US.”25
The links of JI to the Indonesian intelligence agency were never raised in the official Indonesian government investigation –which was guided behind the scenes by Australian intelligence and the CIA.
Moreover, shortly after the bombing, Australian Prime Minister John Howard “admitted that Australian authorities were warned about possible attacks in Bali but chose not to issue a warning.”26 Also In the wake of the bombings, the Australian government chose to work with Indonesia’s Special Forces the Kopassus, in the so-called “war on terrorism”.
Australia: “Useful Wave of Indignation”
Reminiscent of Operation Northwoods, the Bali attack served to trigger “a useful wave of indignation.”27 They contributed to swaying Australian public opinion in favour of the US invasion of Iraq, while weakening the anti-war protest movement. In the wake of the Bali attack, the Australian government “officially” joined the US-led “war on terrorism.” It has not only used the Bali bombings as a pretext to fully integrate the US-UK military axis, it has also adopted drastic police measures including “ethnic profiling” directed against its own citizens:
Prime Minister John Howard made the extraordinary declaration recently that he is prepared to make pre-emptive military strikes against terrorists in neighbouring Asian countries planning to attack Australia. Australian intelligence agencies also are very worried about the likelihood of an al-Qaeda attack using nuclear weapons.28
The Attacks on the Indian Parliament (December 2001)
The December 2001 terrorist attacks on the Indian Parliament –which contributed to pushing India and Pakistan to the brink of war– were allegedly conducted by two Pakistan-based rebel groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba (“Army of the Pure”) and Jaish-e-Muhammad (“Army of Mohammed”). The press reports acknowledged the ties of both groups to Al Qaeda, without however mentioning that they were directly supported by Pakistan=s ISI. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) confirms in this regard that:
“through its Interservices Intelligence agency (ISI), Pakistan has provided funding, arms, training facilities, and aid in crossing borders to Lashkar and Jaish…Many were given ideological training in the same madrasas, or Muslim seminaries, that taught the Taliban and foreign fighters in Afghanistan. They received military training at camps in Afghanistan or in villages in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Extremist groups [supported by the ISI] have recently opened several new madrasas in Azad Kashmir.”29 (Council on Foreign Relations at http://www.terrorismanswers.com/groups/harakat2.html , Washington 2002)
What the CFR fails to mention is the crucial relationship between the ISI and the CIA and the fact that the ISI continues to support Lashkar, Jaish and the militant Jammu and Kashmir Hizbul Mujahideen (JKHM), while also collaborating with the CIA. Ironically, confirmed by the writings of Zbigniew Brzezinski (who happens to be a member of the CFR), the training of these “foreign fighters” was an initiative of US foreign policy, launched during the Carter Administration in 1979 at the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war. Coinciding with the 1989 Geneva Peace Agreement and the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the ISI was instrumental in the creation of the militant Jammu and Kashmir Hizbul Mujahideen (JKHM).30 The timely attack on the Indian Parliament, followed by the ethnic riots in Gujarat in early 2002, were the culmination of a process initiated in the 1980s, financed by drug money and abetted by Pakistan’s military intelligence.
Dismantling the Propaganda Campaign, Building an Anti-War Consensus
We are at the juncture of the most serious crisis in modern history, requiring an unprecedented degree of solidarity, courage and commitment. America’s war, which includes the “first strike” use of nuclear weapons, threatens the future of humanity.
Much of the justification for waging this war without borders rests on the legitimacy of the Bush administration’s anti-terrorist programme. The latter forms part of the propaganda campaign, which in turn is used to sway the US population into an unconditional acceptance of the war agenda.
In the US, and around the world, the anti-war movement has gained in impetus. While millions of people have joined hands in opposing the war, the Bush Administration’s fear and disinformation campaign, relayed by the corporate media, has served to uphold the shaky legitimacy of the Bush administration.
At this critical crossroads, the anti-war/pro-democracy movement must necessarily move to a higher plane, which addresses the main functions of the Administration’s propaganda machine. The main purpose of propaganda is to sustain the legitimacy of the rulers and ensure that the rulers remain in power.
Undermining the Bush Administration’s « Right to Rule»
In other words, the mobilization of antiwar sentiment in itself will not reverse the tide of war.
What is needed is to consistently challenge the legitimacy of the main political and military actors, reveal the true face of the American Empire and the underlying criminalisation of foreign policy. Ultimately what is required is to question and eventually undermine the Bush Administration’s «right to rule».
Revealing the lies behind the Bush Administration is the basis for destroying the legitimacy of the main political and military actors.
Even if a majority of the population is against the war, this in itself will not prevent the war from occurring. The propaganda campaign’s objective is to sustain the lies which support the legitimacy of the main political and military actors, including Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Tenet, Armitage, Rice, et al. As long as the Bush Cabinet is considered a «legitimate government» in the eyes of the people and World public opinion, it will carry out the Iraqi invasion plan, whether it has public support or not.
In other words, this legitimacy must be challenged. Similarly in Britain, where a majority of the population is against the US-led war, actions must be launched which ultimately result in the downfall of the Blair Cabinet and the withdrawal of Britain from the US-led military coalition.
A necessary condition for bringing down the rulers is to weaken and eventually dismantle their propaganda campaign. How best to achieve this objective? By fully uncovering the lies behind the « war on terrorism» and revealing the complicity of the Bush administration in the events of 9/11.
This is a big hoax, it’s the biggest lie in US history. The war pretext does not stick and the rulers should be removed.
Moreover, it is important to show that « Enemy Number One » is fabricated. The terrorist attacks are indeed real, but who is behind them? The covert operations in support of terrorist organisations, including the history of Al Qaeda’s links to the CIA since the Soviet Afghan war, must be fully revealed because they relate directly to the wave of terrorist attacks which have occurred since September 11, all of which are said to have links to Al Qaeda.
To reverse the tide, the spreading of information at all levels, which counteracts the propaganda campaign is required.
The truth undermines and overshadows the lie.
And the truth is that the Bush administration is in fact supporting international terrorism as a pretext to wage war on Iraq.
Once this truth becomes fully understood, the legitimacy of the rulers will collapse like a deck of cards. This is what has to be achieved. But we can only achieve it, by effectively counteracting the official propaganda campaign.
The momentum and success of the large anti-war rallies in the US, the European Union and around the world, should lay the foundations of a permanent network composed of tens of thousands of local level anti-war committees in neighbourhoods, work places, parishes, schools, universities, etc. It is ultimately through this network that the legitimacy of those who “rule in our name will be challenged.
To shunt the Bush Administration’s war plans and disable its propaganda machine, we must, in the months ahead reach out to our fellow citizens across the land, in the US, Canada and around the world, to the millions of ordinary people who have been misled on the causes and consequences of this war, not to mention the implications of the Bush Administration’s Homeland Security legislation, which essentially sets in place the building blocks of a police state.
This initiative requires the spreading of information in an extensive grassroots network, with a view to weakening and ultimately disabling the Bush Administration’s propaganda machine.
When the lies – including those concerning September 11 – are fully revealed and understood by everybody, the legitimacy of the Bush Administration will be broken – Big Brother will have no leg to stand on, that is, no more wars to feed on. While this will not necessarily result in a fundamental and significant “regime change” in the US, a new “anti-war consensus” will have emerged, which will eventually pave the way for a broader struggle against the New World Order and the American Empire’s quest for global domination.
1. Washington Post, 25 January 2003.
3 Chicago Sun, 31 December 2002.
4 Reuters, 21 February 2003
5. See Ian Woods, Conspiracy of Silence, McKinney Vindicated, Global Outlook, No. 2, 2002.
6. Coleen Rowley, Memo To FBI Director Robert Mueller, quoted in Global Outlook, No. 3, 2003, p. 28.
7. The Boston Globe, 5 June 2002.
8. Insight on the News, 3 February 2003.
9. UPI, 19 December 2002.
10. New York Times, 6 January 2003.
11. Toronto Star, 5 January 2003.
12. The Scotsman, 8 January 2003.
13. UPI, 10 December 2002.
14. AFP, 3 January 2003.
15. See Richard Sanders, War Pretext Incidents, How to Start a War, Global Outlook, published in two parts, Issues 2 and 3, 2002-2003.
16.Operation Northwoods, declassified top secret document sent by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara on March 13, 1962, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/NOR111A.html .
17. William Arkin, The Secret War, The Los Angeles Times, 27 October 2002.
18. See Michel Chossudovsky, War and Globalisation, The Truth behind September 11, Global Outlook, 2003, Chapter 3, http://globalresearch.ca/globaloutlook/truth911.html
19. See Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base, Congressional Press Release, US Congress, 16 January 1997, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/DCH109A.html
20. UPI, 6 January 2002.
21. International Crisis Group, Indonesia Backgrounder: How The Jemaah Islamiyah Terrorist Network Operates, http://www.crisisweb.org/projects/showreport.cfm?reportid=845 , 2003
22, Raymond Bonner and Jane Perlez, More Attacks on Westerners Are Expected in Indonesia, New York Times, 25 November 2002
23. Quoted in Raymond Bonner and Jane Perlez, op cit.
24. USA Today, 15 October 2002.
25. Business AM, 15 October 2002.
26. Christchurch Press, 22 November 2002), (Similar warnings were made by the CIA).
27. Operation Northwoods, op cit.
28. Insight on the News, 3 February 2003.
29. Council on Foreign Relations at:
http://www.terrorismanswers.com/groups/harakat2.html , Washington 2002.
30. See K. Subrahmanyam, Pakistan is Pursuing Asian Goals, India Abroad, 3 November 1995.
Supporting evidence that successive US administrations have supported Al Qaeda is summarized below (references are provided to a selected bibliography):
- The “Islamic Brigades” are a creation of US foreign policy. In the post-Cold War era, the CIA continues to support and use Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda in its covert operations. In standard CIA jargon, Al Qaeda is categorized as an “intelligence asset”.
- The U.S. Congress has documented in detail, the links of Al Qaeda to agencies of the U.S. government during the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as in Kosovo and Macedonia.
- The evidence confirms that Al Qaeda is supported by Pakistan’s military intelligence, the Inter-services Intelligence (ISI). Amply documented, the ISI, allegedly played an undercover role in financing the 9/11 attacks. The ISI has a close working relationship with the CIA.
- Pakistan’s ISI has consistently supported various Islamic terrorist organizations, while also collaborating with the CIA.
- These various terrorist groups supported by Pakistan’s ISI operate with some degree of autonomy in relation to their covert sponsors, but ultimately they act in the way which serves US interests.
- The CIA keeps track of its “intelligence assets”. Amply documented, Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts are known. Al Qaeda is infiltrated by the CIA. In other words, there were no “intelligence failures”! The 9-11 terrorists did not act on their own volition. The suicide hijackers were instruments in a carefully planned intelligence operation.
For further details consult: Centre for Research on Globalization, 9/11 Reader, which constitutes and extensive bibliography at http://globalresearch.ca//by-topic/sept11/
See also Michel Chossudovsky, War and Globalisation, The Truth behind September 11, Global Outlook, 2002
Centre for Research on Globalization, Foreknowledge of 9/11 A Compilation of CRG articles and documents in support of a 9-11 Investigation, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CRG204A.html