©2008 Institute for Social Policy and Understanding
©2008 Institute for Social Policy and Understanding
LAHORE: Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Athar Abbas on Monday said the military was acquiring the latest technology to jam the illegal radio transmissions of the Swat Taliban, a private TV channel reported. The ISPR spokesman told the channel that the Taliban’s FM radio transmitters were mobile and could not be destroyed immediately. However, Abbas said, the acquisition of the technology would help block the illegal transmissions. General Abbas said the Taliban were trying to create an atmosphere of fear in Swat and wanted to extend their presence to other parts of the country, the channel reported. He told the channel that the Taliban were trying to project themselves as a parallel government in the valley, but the military would control the situation soon. daily times monitor
TEHRAN, Jan 26: Several members of Iran’s border security forces were killed in an ambush near the Pakistani border, state radio reported on Monday.
The report cited a police commander who alleged that Pakistan had become a “backyard for rebels and drugs smugglers” and said that Iran could help if Islamabad was not able to secure its side of the boundary.
“A pick-up truck moving at Mirjaveh border point (in southeast Iran) carrying special provisions for border outposts in the past day was ambushed by a group of rebels in which a number of our colleagues were martyred,” the commander, only identified as Nekouhi, was quoted as saying.
He did not say how many Iranian border police were killed.
“The rebels entered from the Pakistan border and returned there using the same route after committing the inhuman act,” the commander added.
Iranian security forces regularly clash with heavily armed drugs smugglers and bandits in the southeast border area around Sistan-Baluchestan province next to Pakistan’s border.
Nekouhi said that Iran had notified the Pakistani authorities about the incident.
“In the event that Pakistan is not able to control this, they can invite us and we will help them inside Pakistan to encounter and eliminate rebel, hostile and smuggling groups,” he added. —Reuters
Violent protests have erupted in southwest Pakistan after militants killed the head of a small Shiite political party.
Vehicles and building were set alight as paramilitary troops were called in to help quell the violence.
Hundreds of supporters of the Hazara Democratic Party spilled onto the streets of Quetta, setting government buildings, cars and motorbikes alight.
The protesters were enraged at the killing of Shiite muslim political leader Hussain Ali Yousafzai, who was shot by gunmen on a motorbike as he got out of his car.
A banned Sunni Muslim militant group – Lashkar-e-Jhangvi – rang local media outlets claiming responsibility.
Paramilitary troops were deployed to restore calm, using tear gas and batons in a bid to stop the violence.
Protesters shouted “down with the government” and a dozen people people were wounded in the clashes.
“We are protesting today against the culprits, against the terrorists who killed head of our party,” said a protester.
About 80 percent of Pakistan’s 160 million people are Sunni Muslims. While most people from the communities live in peace, militants from both sides have for years carried out attacks on their rivals.
Meanwhile, at least five people have been killed and 20 others injured in a bomb blast in the country’s northwest.
The bomb was strapped to a bicycle and exploded near a women’s hostel and hospital.
“I was in the area when a blast happened near the hospital. When I got here we found it was a bomb attached to a bicycle and many people had been harmed,” said a police officer at the scene.
The blast happened in a region that neighbours a Waziristan tribal area – a known sanctuary for Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants.
By Stuart Littlewood
While the murderous assault on Gaza continues, I notice there’s a briefing document on the website of the Israeli Embassy in London which has a lie in every line. The West’s mainstream media repeat them, and even the most senior TV and radio interviewers don’t bother to challenge them.
(Watch video: Israel launches deadly air strikes on Gaza)
(Watch video: UN calls for Israel to open Gaza border to aid)
The document is a transcript of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s statement to the Israeli press dated 27 December 2008 – a day that will live in infamy. It is a perfect example of the falsehoods used to dupe not only us westerners but Israel’s own people. The statement shows how the regime’s view of itself is constructed on a web of dishonesty and self-delusion.
• “Israeli citizens have been under the threat of daily attack from Gaza for years.”
Palestinians have been under harsh Israeli occupation for 60 years.
• “Only this week hundreds of missiles and mortars shells were fired at Israeli civilian communities.”
Only one in 500 Qassam rockets causes a fatality. How many thousands of Israeli bombs, missiles, rockets, grenades and tank-shells have been blasted into the crowded city and towns of the Gaza Strip by Israel’s high-tech weaponry?
• “Until now we have shown restraint. But today there is no other option than a military operation.”
The only legitimate option for Israel is to end the occupation and withdraw behind its 1967 border, as required under international law and UN resolution. Israel has been killing Palestinians at the rate of 8 to 1 since 2000, and children at the rate of nearly 12 to 1 (B’Tselem figures). This is somebody’s idea of restraint?
• “We need to protect our citizens from attack through a military response against the terror infrastructure in Gaza.”
Self defence is not a right exclusive to Israel. Palestinians have an equal right to protect their citizens from the terror tactics of Israel.
• “Israel left Gaza in order to create an opportunity for peace.”
Israel never left Gaza. It still occupies Gaza’s airspace and coastal waters and controls all entrances and exits.
• “In return, the Hamas terror organization took control of Gaza and is using its citizens as cover while it deliberately targets Israeli communities and denies any chance for peace.”
Hamas was voted into power as the legitimate government of Palestine. Israel chose not to accept the people’s choice, which amounted to a denial of their human rights, and immediately set about obliterating it.
• “We have tried everything to reach calm without using force. We agreed to a truce through Egypt that was violated by Hamas, which continued to target Israel, hold Gilad Shalit and build up its arms.”
Try talking. The Israelis’ ongoing siege and economic blockade, begun shortly after Hamas was elected early in 2006, was never going to generate calm. And why is Shalit considered more important than the 9,000 Palestinians abducted and held prisoner by Israel? As soon as a Hamas government was formed Israeli troops arrested 8 Hamas ministers and 20 other parliamentarians, making the work of government impossible.
• “Israel continues to act to prevent humanitarian crisis and to minimize harm to Palestinian civilians.”
Every agency operating in Gaza has warned of the deepening humanitarian crisis and protested about the starvation and suffering, especially of children many of whom show evidence of stunted growth.
• “The responsibility for harm to civilians lies with Hamas.”
Not according to the Fourth Geneva Convention.
• “Hamas is a terrorist organization, supported by Iran, that does not represent the legitimate national interests of the Palestinian people but a radical Islamist agenda that seeks to deny peace for the peoples of this region.”
Hamas was the popular choice of Palestinians at the last election. It is entitled under international law to take up arms against an illegal occupier and invader. If it is supported by Iran, so what? Israel receives mega-support from the U.S. When it comes to terror, it is Israel’s conduct which fits the U.S. definition of terrorism so perfectly – see Bush’s Executive Order 13224, Section 3
• “While confronting Hamas, Israel continues to believe in the two State solution and remains committed to negotiations with the legitimate Palestinian Authority in the context of the peace process, launched at Annapolis.”
Israel is busy establishing irreversible facts on the ground that make a viable Palestinian state impossible. As everyone knows, the regime has reneged on the peace process and carries on building illegal settlements and the illegal Wall, and demolishing Palestinian homes.
Months ago Hamas accepted a Palestinian state based on internationally recognized (pre-1967) borders, in accordance with UN resolutions, with full sovereignty and its capital in Jerusalem, but this has been ignored. Hamas also offered a 10-year truce, also ignored. Earlier, Arafat and the PLO recognized the State of Israel in the Oslo agreement but what good did it do? Today’s U.S.-backed, Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority is not representative of the Palestinian people.
• “Israel expects the support and understanding of the international community, as it confronts terror, and advances the interest of all those who wish the forces of peace and co existence to determine the agenda of this region.”
Israel, next to the U.S., the biggest purveyor of terror in the region and only advances its own interests. It may get the support of Israel lobby stooges in other western governments but is rapidly earning the contempt of everybody else.
From a statement dated 22 December 2008:
• “Hamas, backed by Iran, has regularly stated its desire to see the complete destruction of Israel.”
Israel is itself a leading destroyer and currently engaged in trying to wipe out Hamas and the Gazans. Iran’s Ahmadinajad quoted the late Ayatollah Khomeini as saying that “this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time” – fair comment considering Jerusalem, with Bethlehem, was designated an ‘international city’ under the UN Partition Plan.
Israeli propaganda twisted the Iranian’s words to read “Israel must be wiped off the map”. Zionist sources and the manifestos of Israeli political parties have made it clear for a long time that Israel plans to wipe Palestine off the map, and every act and lie is directed towards that end.
• “Our fight is not with the people of Gaza; it is with the extremists of Hamas.”
Then why does the Israeli navy harass and fire on peaceable Gazan fishermen who are well within their own territorial waters? Why does Israel prevent Palestinian students from taking up places at foreign universities and block hospital spares, medicines, foodstuffs and foreign medics from entering Gaza?
Why has the Israeli navy just rammed a mercy vessel in international waters taking doctors and medicines to Gaza? Latest air-strikes have hit the Islamic University and the ministry of education. These are direct attacks on Gazan civil society and its infrastructure.
• “Hamas started this conflict, and it bears responsibility for any harm to civilians on either side.”
The conflict, started by Jewish terrorists, has been going on for 60 years, decades before Hamas came into being.
• “Israel’s only responsibility is to protect Israeli citizens.”
As the occupying power Israel has a duty to see that the people of the occupied territories come to no harm.
• “Just as Israel seeks to defend its civilian population, Hamas seeks to kill them.”
This reads far better the other way round: “Just as Hamas seeks to defend its civilian population, Israel seeks to kill them.”
• “Rocket attacks have continued for years and are now a daily occurrence. How long does the international community expect Israel will wait before defending itself against them?”
The rocket attacks will end when Israel ends the occupation and stops terrorizing its neighbours.
• “In the south of Israel, Israeli citizens live with air raid sirens sounding every day – sometimes every hour. Their situation is intolerable.”
Not half as intolerable as it is for the Gazans, who live in constant fear of air raids and re-invasion and are constantly under surveillance by armed drones which can fire missiles under computer control from an armchair in Israeli headquarters.
• “For years, the international community has turned a blind eye to this onslaught. Only when Israel seeks to stop the rockets do they take notice.”
For years the international community has turned a blind eye to Israel’s violations of international law and human rights, which is why the problem remains unsolved.
• “Hamas is not only the enemy of Israel – it is the enemy of every Palestinian who believes in peace.”
Israelis just can’t come to terms with the Palestinians’ democratic choice and are bent on obliterating it.
• “It is Hamas’ attacks – not Israel’s reactions – that destroy every opportunity we have for peace.”
The world has managed to work out by now that Israel doesn’t want peace until it has stolen all the land and water it needs to expand its racist state into a ‘Greater Israel’. It is well on the way to achieving this and won’t be thwarted.
• “Palestinian militants targeted by Israel are not just the enemies of the Israeli people; they are criminals under international law, and enemies of peace.”
Israel is in no position to preach international law.
• “What is collective punishment? ‘Collective punishment’ is a city – schools, hospitals, homes – civilians being bombarded every single day by rockets and mortars.”
Collective punishment is keeping a whole population bottled up under siege and blocking supplies and exports, smashing their infrastructure, wrecking their economy and starving their children. Trying to equate Sderot with what’s happening in the Gaza Strip is idiotic.
• “Today’s Middle East is divided between extremists and pragmatists. Hamas, backed by Iran, belongs to the extremists, who must be defeated for the sake of the future of the Middle East…. Israel’s primary goal is peace.”
Israel’s primary goal is the expansion of Israel by making the occupation of the West Bank permanent and bringing the Gazans to their knees.
The core issue in this struggle is the illegality of Israel’s brutal occupation. Israel goes to great lengths to avoid and suppress all mention of it and play-acts the pathetic victim. As the official statements (above) show, the strategy is to frame and define the situation in Israel’s own terms regardless of the truth.
It uses advanced propaganda skills, and the elaborate Israel lobby network, to persuade western politicians and media to accept Israel’s version of events (and even use Israel’s biased language) and not question its motives.
In political PR terms it works wonderfully well. The loony leaders of my own government happily spread the poison and don’t seem interested in halting Israeli aggression and the vaporizing, dismembering and crushing of Gaza’s population. In human PR terms it is a disaster.
I have been listening to the BBC’s senior interviewers these last few days. None has had the gumption to ask Israeli spokesmen the only question that matters – the ‘killer’ question on which hangs the key to peace: WHEN IS ISRAEL GOING TO END ITS OCCUPATION AND RETURN TO THE PALESTINIANS THEIR LANDS AND FREEDOM?
Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation.
Tue, 2009-01-27 02:16
Brig Asif Haroon Raja
Within months of assumption of power by Republican candidate George W Bush in January 2001 under dubious circumstances, the harrowing terrorist attacks took place in New York and Washington which changed the dynamics of the world. Till this day, USA has not been able to establish who financed the 9/11 attacks. CIA destroyed all the video tapes of Al-Qaeda detainees interviews recorded in Guantanamo Bay. Efforts by US Congress to carry out inquest independently have been thwarted. It seems CIA, and Pentagon are party to the crime and the two have hushed it up. If Al-Qaeda hand in 9/11 attack was fabricated by CIA at the behest of an interested group, and WMDs in Iraq were faked, converting FATA into most dangerous place on earth can be another fabrication masterminded by CIA and Mossad.
Attack emanating from FATA on US homeland is another figment of imagination and wilfully floated with sinister designs. Al-Qaeda has been demonised asserting that in its bid to sap US economy, it would continue attacking US interests all over the world particularly its soil. Seven years have lapsed and so far no attack has been carried out in USA, but the US economy has tumbled at its own.
George W. Bush during his misrule pursued unilateralist and belligerent policies which inflamed extremism. He made the New World Order conceived by his father violent prone and devoid of morals and ethics and Muslim centric. Use of unabashed military force became the hallmark of his policies Rule of law and established norms were sidelined thereby shredding America’s ideals and values. He justified his immoral actions in Afghanistan and Iraq by posing himself as omniscient sage and acting upon the commandments from God. Decimation of Afghanistan was hailed and rejoiced by jingoistic Americans. Although the Americans took out demonstrations against the intended invasion of Iraq mainly because of worldwide protests, his stubbornness to go-ahead was not objected to in real sense. The Americans were told that the people of Afghanistan and Iraq would be liberated from the cruel clutches of Taliban and Saddam and endowed with democracy and prosperity. They were also assured that terrorism would be wiped off the face of the globe and the world made safe.
His madness to hunt and kill so-called Islamic terrorists throughout the Muslim world to make American homeland safe was acclaimed by the Americans. They however never bothered to find out what pains and agonies were being suffered by the teeming millions in the occupied lands at the hands of US troops and their allies. Tens of hundreds languished in infamous Guantanamo Bay, Abu Gharib and Baghram prisons for years under most pitiable conditions without any recourse to judicial justice. No moral or political pressure was put on Bush Administration on this account by the Americans or human rights commissions. No questions were asked on the spine chilling tales of torture and abuses narrated by the released detainees. Massacre of thousands of innocent men, women and children by trigger-happy pilots was justified under the unholy term of collateral damage.
While Bush made Gen Musharraf his blue-eyed boy and honoured him by inviting him to Camp David, he marked Pakistan as the future target for pulverisation and adopted dual-faced policies. Under the garb of friendship, America in collaboration with India, Israel, UK and Afghanistan took deliberate steps under a well conceived plan to destabilise, de-Islamise and denuclearise Pakistan and to turn it into a vassal state of India. Bush Administration accused Pakistan of cross border terrorism and constantly prodded it to do more through policy of stick and carrot. Defamation of the army and ISI was part of the gory plan and so was murder of Benazir and making NRO cleared Zardari into most powerful civilian president and turning the legislature into a dummy. Bush declared FATA a war zone and indicated his intention to modify the doctrine of pre-emptive strike against a hostile country. A new clause has been added in pre-emption doctrine permitting USA to launch pre-emptive strikes against non-state fighters residing within jurisdiction of another country. This blatant bullying act is being rationalised under the plea that if a country is unable to prevent misuse of its territory by militants, it becomes incumbent upon USA to take unilateral action in self-defence.
Bush yearned for a big catch from the Pak-Afghan border belt including FATA, or a high value trophy from al-Qaeda or the Taliban to bow out with a note of triumph. For the attainment of his wish he took host of offensive actions against his so-called ally Pakistan including a ground attack in FATA and acceleration of drone attacks killing hundreds of innocent people. Desperate to cover up its failings in Afghanistan, Bush Administration gave its blessing to India to go ahead with its Mumbai drama to blame Pakistan government, ISI and Lashkar-e-Taiba for their involvement in Mumbai attacks and to pave way for surgical strikes against Pakistan from the east. Under the garb of strikes against Jihadi outfits, Pakistan’s nuclear and missile sites were to be targeted. An Indian ground offensive from Rajasthan had also been given a final shape. His mania to end his rule victoriously proved illusive.
After 8 years of inglorious rule, Bush has faded into oblivion. He will be remembered as the most ruthless, unjust and hateful president of USA. All his promises and tall talk proved illusive. He and his neo-cons have not been held accountable for deceiving the Americans and not fulfilling any of the stated objectives. With the heavy baggage of crimes he carries on his shoulders, it is distressful to see that he doesn’t suffer from any sense of guilt or remorse. In fact he and the Republicans took credit for ensuring homeland security by keeping the flames of war on terror well away and keeping the terrorists deterred from making another attempt on American soil. Disharmony between the faiths of two leading religions took place in his time and he contributed a lot to gain acrimony of the Muslim world because of his cruel and unjust policies and dual standards.
He has not been held accountable for devastating Afghanistan; for presiding over the killing of 1,297,997 Iraqis and displacing half of Iraqi population and making them refugees; for making thousands of women widows and children orphans and destroying their homes and property. He and his team has not been punished for wasting over $587,141,917,596 in futile war on terror which earned USA undying abhorrence and ignominy and resulted in killing of 4223 US soldiers and injury to 31000 in Iraq alone apart from physiological disorders suffered by the troops. Bush and Cheney have not been put on the mat for indulging in blatant falsehood and fabricating cooked up stories to justify invasion of Iraq.
The two had lied to the Congress and American public that Iraq possessed WMDs. Bush was not questioned as to why he pursued dual-faced policies by looking the other way to terrorism of Israel and India and gave a raw deal to the oppressed and thus earned a bad name for USA. He backed Israel for its slaughter of people of Gaza. In his quest for making America safe he made the world unsafe and sank America’s prestige and credibility to rock bottom and triggered anti-Americanism across the globe to new heights. His mad policies have ignited terrorism and given a fatal blow to American economy and resulted in global meltdown. Extremism that was confined to Afghanistan has spread all over the world. Americans and the world at large will have to reap the harvest of seeds of terrorism sown by Bush Administration for a long time.
In the wake of fearsome designs of our so-called friends against Pakistan, it is to be seen whether Obama will pursue policies of his predecessor or opt to go a step ahead of him, or reverse the anti-Pakistan trend and befriend it in real earnest and remove the grievances of the Muslim world as a whole.
Brig Asif Haroon Raja. is a defence and political analyst.
“Over the last two weeks I have encountered just such an apocalyptic situation, where I and the Department of Justice have been asked to be part of something that is fundamentally wrong.”
(Excerpt from Deputy Attorney General James Comey’s draft letter of resignation to President Bush, dated March 16, 2004, which Comey did not in the end send.)
“Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull” (George Orwell: 1984)
I: Main Core and PROMIS
Suppose that the United States Government, or more likely an unaccountable privatized intelligence colossus empowered by the reaction to the 9/11 attacks and fueled by the rampant cronyism of a system long ago gone rotten had a surveillance tool capable of peering into the most private aspects of American lives on a whim. Now suppose that the new growth industry of a previously unthinkable futuristic police state was already in place, fully operational and has been online and has actively been being utilized for domestic spying for years before those two airplanes slammed into the World Trade Center. The ‘terrorist’ attacks were used as the justification for every unconstitutional reigning in of civil liberties ever since that heinous September morning seven years ago when the reset button was hit on two and a quarter centuries of American history and we all stepped forth into the brave new world of perpetual war, fear, suspicion and vengeance into a parallel reality in a place that would come to be known as The Homeland. What if this surveillance industrial complex was in possession of a database that was so large and so powerful that not only could it instantly process and retrieve the most minute or intimate aspects of a citizen’s lives but was also able to utilize extremely sophisticated artificial intelligence capabilities to actually predict likely patterns of future behavior.
Such a huge database would be able to use cutting edge technology funded with taxpayer dollars and awarded to unaccountable private corporations largely through ‘business as usual’ no bid contracts to create the most invasive tool of oppression this country has ever seen. This database would rely on software that was capable of performing social network analysis based on block modeling technology to monitor all forms of electronic communications, all internet searches, all debit and credit card transactions, all travel arrangements, all library records, all bank activity and all telephone records. It would then be able to use the data to not only find links between persons who already know and interact with each other but to categorize each individual into a particular group that possess similar behavioral and purchasing habits. These groups could then be further divided into subgroups and further analyzed in order to determine under some loosely defined and largely unknown guidelines whether they could potentially represent a threat. While all of this may sound like some sort of futuristic dystopian nightmare straight out of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report and “Precrime” it is very real and it goes by the name of Main Core. For example, if you are selling a bicycle and run an advertisement in your local newspaper and you happen to receive a call from a Muhammad who is interested in your bicycle and Muhammad happens to have certain friends who have relationships with an organization that is determined by some unknown criteria to be a potential terrorist organization then the call that you received from Muhammad would then in all likelihood place you in the database and subject to an increased level of scrutiny at best and at worst in jeopardy of being picked up and held indefinitely without any sort of judical review.
This techoology is being used today absent any form of legitimate oversight, with a Constitution that has been eviscerated by the Bush-Cheney-Rove Axis of Evil, a vast gulag network of top secret prisons and ‘detention facilities’ and the decidedly anti-American new phenomenon of state sanctioned torture. Throw in an overworked, systematically dumbed-down populace that has been propagandized by the corrupt institution that is the corporate media machine with it’s clever use of fear and loathing and scientific development of advanced mind control techniques who despite the infinite wisdom of our forefathers would gladly sacrifice their liberty for the any sort of temporary safety (no matter that it is fleeting) and there exists today in ‘The Homeland’ a perfect petri dish for an authoritarian fascist society.
It is though a very sophisticated form of fascism unlike more outwardly obvious regimes that we have known in the past. Author Bertram Gross published a book back in 1980 that was entitled Friendly Fascism, Jim Garrison once said that “fascism would come to America in the name of national security”, and author Kevin Phillips in his 1983 book Post-Conservative America warned of the potential of an “apple pie authoritarianism” and a coming society in which: “the Star Spangled Benner would wave with greater frequency and over many more parades; increased surveillance would crack down on urban outbreaks and extreme political dissidents”. This very accurately describes post 9/11 America where any semblance of reason has been abandoned for cheap flag-waving pimped off as patriotism, criticism of authority has made into potential treason by the highly paid shills for neoconservative doctrine, sloganeering and demagoguery have replaced discourse, critical thinking is becoming extinct and just as George Orwell so accurately predicted Big Brother is now watching over us, protecting us and ensuring that we understand that war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength.
But I digress…
Main Core has received attention in two 2008 articles, one a piece by investigative journalist Christopher Ketcham entitled The Last Roundup (which also looks at Continuity of Government programs but more on that in a little while) and Tim Shorrock entitled Exposing Bush’s Historic Abuse of Power. Both articles tie Main Core to the now legendary PROMIS software, an extremely advanced program designed to aid federal prosecutors in case management tracking. PROMIS could pull and put together a wide range of data from disparate sources into a single record. The PROMIS software was created by INSLAW Inc., a company owned by a former NSA intelligence officer named William Hamilton. PROMIS was to have been licensed to the U.S. government in the early 1980’s before the technology boom became widespread but was then stolen by the seamy officials in Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department. The software was modified for espionage purposes to include a ‘back door’ that could be used for spying on those that it was sold to and in a detail that should be especially relevant with the economic crisis that threatens to crash the global financial system, the software could also be used to track in real time (in order to manipulate?) stock market transactions, once can certainly speculate as to how such a tool could have contributed to an economic catastrophe as we are now facing if it were used for such a thing. It is important to keep in mind the period when PROMIS was stolen in the early 1980’s and the fact that the techology boom was still years in the future which should give one an idea to just how far advanced and therefore how important that it was to those who would use it in order to promote a sinister agenda.
Mr. Shorock’s piece goes into the relationship between PROMIS and Main Core in some detail:
According to William Hamilton, a former NSA intelligence officer who left the agency in the 1970s, that description sounded a lot like Main Core, which he first heard about in detail in 1992. Hamilton, who is the president of Inslaw Inc., a computer services firm with many clients in government and the private sector, says there are strong indications that the Bush administration’s domestic surveillance operations use Main Core.
Hamilton’s company Inslaw is widely respected in the law enforcement community for creating a program called the Prosecutors’ Management Information System, or PROMIS. It keeps track of criminal investigations through a powerful search engine that can quickly access all stored data components of a case, from the name of the initial investigators to the telephone numbers of key suspects. PROMIS, also widely used in the insurance industry, can also sort through other databases fast, with results showing up almost instantly. “It operates just like Google,” Hamilton told me in an interview in his Washington office in May.
Since the late 1980s, Inslaw has been involved in a legal dispute over its claim that Justice Department officials in the Reagan administration appropriated the PROMIS software. Hamilton claims that Reagan officials gave PROMIS to the NSA and the CIA, which then adapted the software — and its outstanding ability to search other databases — to manage intelligence operations and track financial transactions. Over the years, Hamilton has employed prominent lawyers to pursue the case, including Elliot Richardson, the former attorney general and secretary of defense who died in 1999, and C. Boyden Gray, the former White House counsel to President George H.W. Bush. The dispute has never been settled. But based on the long-running case, Hamilton says he believes U.S. intelligence uses PROMIS as the primary software for searching the Main Core database.
Hamilton was first told about the connection between PROMIS and Main Core in the spring of 1992 by a U.S. intelligence official, and again in 1995 by a former NSA official. In July 2001, Hamilton says, he discussed his case with retired Adm. Dan Murphy, a former military advisor to Elliot Richardson who later served under President George H.W. Bush as deputy director of the CIA. Murphy, who died shortly after his meeting with Hamilton, did not specifically mention Main Core. But he informed Hamilton that the NSA’s use of PROMIS involved something “so seriously wrong that money alone cannot cure the problem,” Hamilton told me. He added, “I believe in retrospect that Murphy was alluding to Main Core.” Hamilton also provided copies of letters that Richardson and Gray sent to U.S. intelligence officials and the Justice Department on Inslaw’s behalf alleging that the NSA and the CIA had appropriated PROMIS for intelligence use.
Hamilton says James B. Comey’s congressional testimony in May 2007, in which he described a hospitalized John Ashcroft’s dramatic standoff with senior Bush officials Alberto Gonzales and Andrew Card, was another illuminating moment. “It was then that we [at Inslaw] started hearing again about the Main Core derivative of PROMIS for spying on Americans,” he told me.
Through a former senior Justice Department official with more than 25 years of government experience, Salon has learned of a high-level former national security official who reportedly has firsthand knowledge of the U.S. government’s use of Main Core. The official worked as a senior intelligence analyst for a large domestic law enforcement agency inside the Bush White House. He would not agree to an interview. But according to the former Justice Department official, the former intelligence analyst told her that while stationed at the White House after the 9/11 attacks, one day he accidentally walked into a restricted room and came across a computer system that was logged on to what he recognized to be the Main Core database. When she mentioned the specific name of the top-secret system during their conversation, she recalled, “he turned white as a sheet.”
An article in Radar magazine in May, citing three unnamed former government officials, reported that “8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect” and, in the event of a national emergency, “could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and even detention.”
The INSLAW/PROMIS story reached deep into the darkest bowels of an increasingly secretive and malevolent National Security State that had manifested itself in the Reagan administration, the arms for hostages ‘October Surprise’ deal that sank Jimmy Carter’s bid for re-election leading to the Reagan-Bush hostile takeover of America, Iran-Contra, BCCI, media manipulation (see Robert Parry’s excellent special report for Consortium News entitled Iran Contra’s ‘lost chapter’), Oliver North’s swashbuckling adventures with C.O.G., drugs for guns and subversion of Congress all were components of Reagan’s government, a government that he hypocritically railed against for its intrusiveness and yet presided over while the shadow government that would rise again with the Supreme Court installation of George W. Bush as president with many of the key operatives of Reagan and George H.W. Bush’s dark shops of oppression being given key positions in this brazenly lawless administration that has brought America to the brink of fascism. Many of these hard-liners remain in place throughout the bureaucracy in order to do whatever is necessary to preserve the power of the shadow government.
Ketcham’s The Last Roundup is particulary of interest in that he examines the now infamous 2004 visit of Bush administration officials Alberto Gonzalez and Andrew Card to the hospital room of Attorney General John Ashcroft who had been stricken with pancreaitis after acting A.G. James Comey refused to sign off on the reauthorization of what was an illegal surveillance program related to Continuity of Government. The story is fascinating in that it not only illustrated the length to which the Bush-Cheney junta would go to in order to keep their dirty little programs in place but also for the high speed chase through the streets of Washington and the race up the hospital stairs that Comey engaged in to beat Gonzalez and Card to the sedated Ashcroft to take advantage of a sick man, when John Ashcroft actually comes out looking like a heroic figure it becomes very apparent of just how grossly un-American that this flagrantly criminal administration truly is. James Comey went on to give testimony to Congress over the hospital room showdown and more details are available from blogger Glenn Greenwald in his piece entitled What illegal “things” was the government doing in 2001-2004? and in Barton Gellman’s book Angler and exerpts were published in the Washington Post which part one and part two can be read for more information on the back story behind the surveillance reauthorization. Murray Waas also has done a story on whether former Attorney General Gonzalez created a set of falsified notes to provide a cover story for what occurred while trying to bully Comey and Ashcroft into signing off on the obviously illegal surveillance program.
Excerpts from Ketcham’s story are chilling:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Despite the departure of the Bush regime, martial law is a very serious possibility with it having now been established that the executive branch can exercise dictatorial powers during a “catastrophic emergency” (as put forth in the Bush administration’s NSPD-51) which is defined as “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”. With events unfolding as they currently are it is especially troubling to note that the “economy” is one of the criteria that would trigger the declaration of martial law, the current economic crisis along with the lack of will to do what it takes to make corrections rather than bailing out and essentially giving amnesty to the Wall Street looters who are responsible for it only guarantees that the collapse when it does come will be much more devastating. An article in The Army Times that was published last fall reveals that as of October troop deployments will include ‘Homeland’ duty under the command of NORTHCOM. Assignments will allow for an increased public visibility (translation: getting Americans used to seeing troops on the streets) and will have a stated purpose as follows: “They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.” If action by the military (and the unaccountable mercenaries from privatized ‘security’ firms like Blackwater) is decided to be merited by the unitary executive and a state of martial law declared then exectly what exactly is going to happen to those “8 million” names that Ketcham writes of as “potentially suspect” who are in the Main Core database?
That Main Core and PROMIS are linked raises some extremely provocative questions in regards to intent on the subversion of the Constitution and the overthrow of the legitimate government by a shadow government using the Continuity of Government infrastructure. Ketcham also references a massive 1993 piece for Wired Magazine entitled The INSLAW Octopus that none other than the infamous rogue operative Lt. Col. Oliver North was using PROMIS for illegal surveillance purposes:
Lt. Col. Oliver North also may have been using the program. According to several intelligence community sources, PROMIS was in use at a 6,100-square-foot command center built on the sixth floor of the Justice Department. According to both a contractor who helped design the center and information disclosed during the Iran-Contra hearings, Oliver North had a similar, but smaller, White House operations room that was connected by computer link to the DOJ’s command center.
Using the computers in his command center, North tracked dissidents and potential troublemakers within the United States as part of a domestic emergency preparedness program, commissioned under Reagan’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), according to sources and published reports. Using PROMIS, sources point out, North could have drawn up lists of anyone ever arrested for a political protest, for example, or anyone who had ever refused to pay their taxes. Compared to PROMIS, Richard Nixon’s enemies list or Sen. Joe McCarthy’s blacklist look downright crude. This operation was so sensitive that when Rep. Jack Brooks asked North about it during the Iran-Contra hearings, the hearing was immediately suspended pending an executive (secret) conference. When the hearings were reconvened, the issue of North’s FEMA dealings was dropped.
North’s involvement with Continuity of Government programs including REX 84 has long been known and while Col. North no longer is active in such programs (at least not to the knowledge of anyone) a larger part of the C.O.G./shadow government infrastructure continued to breed in darkness and secrecy and on that most glorious day for American fascism, 9/11/2001 went live under the guidance of one of its most ardent and longtime architects, former Vice President Richard B. Cheney.
The secrets of Main Core, PROMIS and other variations of the monstrous tools of an out of control shadow government are the veritable crown jewels of the police state and every effort has and will continue to be vigorously employed to stifle any investigations through the official channels. Is there really any doubt that these surveillance systems aren’t being used for raw political purposes and for blackmail? How much serious opposition did the Bush-Cheney-Rove Axis of Evil meet in their systematic dismantling of the Constitution over the past eight years? How much of it will the Obama administration undo? In the ongoing exploitation of the ‘terrorist’ attacks of 9/11 that have been used to justify each and every incursion on American civil liberties and thugs like Dick Cheney and David Addington acting as the muscle for the shadow government (as is evident in the stories linked to above) the footfalls of those little cat feet grow louder and louder.
Now if PROMIS was being used by Colonel North as a part of Rex 84 back in the 1980’s when the Continuity of Government plans were being tweaked, FEMA being set up for the eventual incorporation into the Department of Homeland Security and financial transactions as well as communications already being monitored what does that say about the current state in which we all find ourselves in? Every new police state measure has been implemented largely after being conceived in secrecy under the premise of ‘national security’ and NSPD-51 has allowed for the executive branch to issue a declaration of martial law under which the roundup of dissidents for detention (or worse) will be conducted. And this has all been non-reviewable by Congress, a supposedly (at least according to the Constitution) a co-equal branch of government. When a Congressman named Peter DeFazio was last year denied access to the NSPD-51/C.O.G. plans by the Bush administration it was yet another example of what has been a disturbing pattern. The Main Core list of potential ‘enemies of the state’, the assignment of troops to NORTHCOM, the ongoing frantic efforts of the neocons to launch a war with Iran, the threat of the Cheney cabal being further exposed, the deteriorating economy and the growing public anger at government along with a loss of faith in public institutions all add up to something very dark that is about to come to fruition after decades of planning.
None of this is about terrorism at all, it never has been. It is all about the implementation of a fascist style dictatorship in America. It is imperative that it be brought to light now that there is a window of opportunity and a new administration, the police state and the illegal surveillance system must be dismantled and our intelligence system be put under honest and principled oversight.
(This is the first installment of what will be an ongoing series)
By Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
Post-Holocaust scene in Mideast after the new US administration took office is depressing, to say the least, with the Arabs still undecided about their coordinated security action against enemies of Islam and Islamic nations and, worst, fact that the Palestinians claming a vague “victory” in Israeli holocaust in the face of a strong roguish and state of Israel unleashing intermittent terror attacks on Palestinians, against all human norms. There has been a strong notion in the Islamic world that nothing would change in White House and the world art large. This means the status quo of the new presidency in Washington would continue as before.
What would amount to mean the new US President’s resolve for peaceful resolution of regional crises, Barack Obama named his two key envoys to the Middle East: Pakistan and Afghanistan. George Mitchell, who negotiated an end to Northern Ireland’s Troubles, has been charged with moving the Middle East peace process forward. Richard Holbrooke has been named envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. He brokered the 1995 deal that ended the war in the former Yugoslavia. Earlier, Obama ordered Guantanamo Bay prison camp to close within a year. Barack Obama’s first statement, however, did not significantly depart from earlier US policies. Obama made his first public statement on the Middle East as US president. He named former senator George Mitchell as a special envoy to the Middle East.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian leaders have warned the US that it needs to change attitudes over the Arab-Israeli conflict. Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and former ambassador to the US said ex-President George W Bush had left a “sickening legacy” in the Middle East. He accused the US of contributing to the killing of Gazans. Prince Turki’s abruptly resigned and left Washington after just 15 months in the job. The post of ambassador to Washington is one of the most important for Saudi foreign relations. In recent years, the US-Saudi relations have occasionally been uneasy. Saudi Arabia opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq, and has been dismayed by events across its northern border since. US-Saudi relations became strained after it was revealed that most of the hijackers involved in the 11 September attacks came from Saudi Arabia. Prince Turki’s departure left a void in US-Saudi relations at a moment when the Middle East faces crises on several fronts.
As it is known, the USA has a long cherished agenda for its military superiority in the world even before the Nazist Germany began its fascist terror voyage, devastating, to capture the whole world. Israel keeps clinging on to USA in executing its nefarious designs world wide through their secret agencies secretly. There are a few Jewish strategists who poison the American minds with anti-Islamic themes and rhetoric.
As the so-called democracies make tall claims about their Human rights records their terror forces test all routes of global terrorism. The recent installment of holocaust in Palestine unleashed by the fascist Israeli terror forces takes the world to route of anti-Islamic nations towards the goals if fully controlling the resources of Arab world and containing the global Muslims. Knowing that Palestinians and their “friends” in Arab world would claim some victory in Israel’s holocaust in Palestine, Tel-Aviv played its terror card quite effectively, began as Bush was getting ready to quit the White House and Obama, a lefty, was rising to power.
The Jewish control of the US Government apparatus and the mass media can be clearly seen the exact wording of the resolution: In three places this short resolution endorses the survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish State with secure borders. That’s a JEWISH STATE, not a multicultural or multi-religious state but a state exclusively dedicated to Jews. The controlled media had not a word in criticism of the resolution supporting Israel as an ethnic and religious state exclusively dedicated to Jews! The resolution is the clear proof of Jewish supremacy over the U.S. government. One could not even imagine the U.S. Congress or the mass media tolerating a resolution, which called for the control immigration and secure American borders so as to preserve an overwhelmingly White and Christian America.
As per CIA-Mossad plan, Afghanistan was destroyed, its resources squandered and booty shared by the invading state terrorists form the West with help of Russia, among others in East.. A puppet regime was installed there in Kabul and the fascists want on rampages in Arab world by invading Iraq first. The further invasions are now on hold the neocons expect the Obama regime to pursue the US policy of controlling the global resources and therefore invade Iran and other “rogues”..
Resources of Afghanistan and Iraq are now under the invaders control and the people there under their terror custody. People are split by the occupying forces to make them kill each other thereby making the job the occupying forces fairly easier. USA, the most powerful country with all latest arms and remote technology frightened the world by creating Islamaphobia and hatred for Islam and Muslims. But all powerful USA having best remote equipment failed to track and make disappear any object pretended to be afraid of one Osama , the super man, rather Spiderman with his only military uniform and video tapes meant only for Al-Jazeera supposedly one of media creations of the USA to support its global terrorism designs.
In the democracy and rule of law many nasty developments have happened in the world. Democracies, like the autocracies, believe that their advancements depend on the destruction of other nations. Muslims nations have had a pathetic existence for centuries but with the oil hitting the Arab coasts, some improvement in the lives of Muslims was noticed. Over all progress in life conditions in Arab and other few Islamic nations became a matter of jealousy and animosity in non-Islamic world. US-led west along with Israel hatched plans to subvert the Islamic nations by creating proxy wars. US seeks a good portion of wealth for itself form every part of the world and hence creates tension every where and sell weapons there. Arabs also buy huge arsenals of arms form US-led west and of course from other nations. But they want to just control the energy resources for their own companies without paying any price to the Arabs. Hence they ignited troubles every where. Israel wants to keep the Palestine issue alive by killing ht innocent people there so that USA could bring the Arabs under its control. USA supports and aids the Jewish attacks in Palestine.
The global state terrorist networks have skilfully utilized the services of the media in propaganda business and Islamaphobia dramatics. The partiality of even the so-called impartial media like the BBC and VOA is not entirely unknown to the world, but the recent Israeli terror war in Palestine killing innocent people there including little children and women exposed the BBC partiality in favour of fascist Israel. More than 400 children have died, thousands are homeless and nothing short of a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in Gaza. It is shocking to know that the broadcast about Gaza reality could compromise the impartiality of the BBC’s reporting from the Palestinian territory. BBC wants to shield the Jewish fascists, just as the Indian media try to protect Hindu terrorists involved in terrorist activities in Indian town, including Mumbai.
Bulk of the media in Islamic and Arab world is being controlled and managed by non-Muslims who are also anti-Muslims when situations warrant. This situation has catered to the onward march of the anti-Islamic forces globally, making it dents in countries like Israel and India. Baring one or two, the English newspapers in Arab world are fully equipped with Western staff, ideas and their propaganda machinery. They terrorized Muslims telling them they are indeed the terrorists and have to behave well. Lest the US-led forces would kill them. Muslims are terrorized in such a manner that most of the Muslims have shaven off their pet beards out of fear of fellow Muslims and anti-Muslims. This is no exaggeration.
Osama Factor & Global Terror
Since sept11 when the western media including the TV medium began blasting the global Muslims and “Islamic fundamentalism”, a lot lost of water has flown under the under the anti-Islamic regional and national bridges, a lot more Muslim blood too. In fact the global media, essentially anti-Muslim by nature and in essence, have enjoyed a lot of bloody pleasures at the site of dead bodies of Muslims on international arena. The US-led terror wars exposed a few facts about Islamic world.
It is a known fact that many state agencies have recruited and employed Muslims and non-Muslims to be engaged in terrorism activities across the globe and blame the Muslims and Islamic fundamentalism for that. After the success of Sept 11 terrorism, it was tried out in many countries and Muslims were targeted for murder and torture. India does the same with its Parliament terrorism. Some Islamic groups are supposed to accept the claim for having “done” a particular terrorism. In Mumbai, thus, it was the turn of the Deccan Mujahideen to accept the blame, but Indians switched the blame on to Pakistan.
USA is supposedly fighting terror wars, but in fact its forces are engaged in slashing the Muslim population in the Islamic world and hence many anti-Islamic nations lent them support. Interestingly even several Islamic nations have joined the global state terror gangs for their own reasons. Ably supported by anti-Islamic media, the global terror networks by CIA-Mossad combine have indeed did the magic for the anti-Islamic nations and terror forces to attack Muslims and terrorize Muslim nations. After the Soviet withdrawal in May 1989 and fall of the puppet regime in Kabul, the Mossad agents manipulated the Mujahideen to fight with each other. This created hostility and distrust among their major groups, and the coalition government they belatedly set up in Kabul was unworkable from the start.
USA-Mossad do plan meticulously about the terror machinations across the globe and use the Al-Qaeda as their base tool to aggravate the tensions. Al-Qaeda had to be shown as having all the power and resources for committing the most terrible acts at the global level. Al-Qaeda is thus credited with “enormous capabilities” including use of chemical, biological, and tactical nuclear weapons, and of intricate computer technologies.
CIA and Mossad have established worldwide secret networks with poisonous tentacles and can deploy biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, but the Western media provide a bundle of disinformation and fabricated scenarios of past events and anticipated threats from Islamic fundamentalists. They make events and history too. In Afghanistan, within a short period the Taliban marched on to Kabul unopposed. Enemies of USSR suddenly started speak against USA. Mullah Omar, programmed for his role and surrounded by disguised Afghani Jews as his ministers and advisers, was invested with the image of an intolerant extremist Islamist, a mentor of Osama Bin Laden and a foe of the West. Simultaneously, Osama and his senior disciples, who had previously been programmed to oppose the Soviets, were now cultivated and programmed to speak and act as ‘enemies’ of the United States. The name, AlQaeda, meaning ‘the Base,’ originated. It was the title of the computer folder in which Osama Bin Laden, employed by CIA through the Saudi Intelligence in December 1979, began to keep the data of the Mujahideen, recruited and trained by CIA and Mossad for Afghan Jihad. USA and West derived “fundamentalism” out of this..
Israel’s Mossad and American CIA had already been setting up AlQaeda cells in the Muslim World and in other countries, such as, US, Canada, Britain, Germany, Spain, France, Kenya, the Philippines, to suit their schemes of engineering acts of terrorism before and after 9/11, to create the bogus threat of worldwide terrorism. It was not surprising that within a few weeks of 9/11, CIA produced a map of AlQaeda cells located in over 40 countries. CIA-Mossad agents, who can merge with the local people, control each cell. They decide the target, the timing and scope of each major operation, and they arrange for the required finances, technology, equipment, intelligence and hideouts. The cell’s militants may be local or foreign brainwashed, disposable minions, who have no idea of their controllers or of the real aims of the terror acts they are asked to undertake. Zionist stool pigeons go about recruiting emotion-charged volunteers for the cells in the name of Osama and Jihad against America and its allies/satellites.
The terror gangs, propped up by US-Israel combine that came to be known as Al-Qaeda were formed in the early 1930s by the Jewish Agency (JA) for a dreadful purpose. Established in 1929 in Jerusalem as an arm of WZO, the JA was to function as a ‘government-in- being’ for the future Zionist state. They operate under CIA cover. One of its tasks was to expel the Palestinians from Palestine and to compel the large numbers of Jews living in and around the Middle East to immigrate to Palestine to increase its Jewish population. They also targeted the British Mandatory Authority in Palestine to make it submit to various Zionist demands. Disguised as Muslims and operating with extreme secrecy, these gangs of Eastern Jews subjected selected Jewish communities in each country to frightful psychological propaganda and shocking acts of terrorism including burning their synagogues and homes and slaughtering the Jewish people to make them believe they could no longer live safely among the Muslims. These gangs were to later form the core elements of the body named as AlQaeda. They gained direct deep access into the secret agencies of all the pro-US Middle Eastern states. They had been trained to look, act and live like dedicated Muslim Mujahideen. Many Tajik, Uzbek, Afghani Jews, as well as Jews from Pakistan’s Tribal Areas were added to their ranks. When Mossad/CIA inducted Osama into the Afghan Jihad, the Arabian Jews as anti-Communism specialists had already established a firm footing in the Saudi intelligence service. As the game’s players in the field were all Afghani Jews.
The “terror mastermind”, Osama is silent these days, and only the USA and Israel and their allies know the reason for that. Rise of terrorism as the most important global theme for academic debates in fact enhanced the terrorism planks to survive as the dominant political instrument in the world and polls were fought on this issue. The Pentagon-CIA-Mossad combine aided by their predominantly anti-Islamic media, in fact is controlling the world almost in every sphere of activities. These media magnets promote not only terrorism but also fuel the crises by making the Palestinians fight with Israel and kill themselves eventually. Osama gives his secret taps only to Al-Jazeera, one of the US creations.
Global media, broadly speaking, are promoting state terrorism unleashed by their respective favorite nations, but they also are committed to defame Islam and help the anti-Islamic fascist regimes to kill and torture Muslims. The US-led West and its Eastern associates successfully created a firmly rooted anti-Islamic media to spread rumours and anti-Islamic propagandas. It is a known fact that Taliban and Al-Qaeda were created by the CIA-SIS combine to punish the communists, dismantle communist regime in Afghanistan and push the Soviets out of Afghanistan. Every terror operation by Mossad-CIA but cleverly ascribed to AlQaeda, in its real consequences and effects has been a severe blow to Islam, the Muslim Countries and the Muslims living all over the world.
When all of a sudden a few miscreants appeared in a Mosque in Srinagar and spoke about independence on behalf of the so-called Al-Qaeda and Taliban I wrote to expose the designs of anti-Kashmiris, anti-Muslim tactics to mislead the Kashmiris and get them killed by Indian terror forces supported with Israeli weapons. Soon they disappeared not to appear again in Kashmir. Al-Qaeda could be a powerful CIA-cum-Zionist Weapon against Islam. Most of the Muslims rightly perceive the so-called West’s War on Terrorism as a War against Islam. Already the so-called fundamentalists, Osama and AlQaeda are the greatest threat to the Muslims, not to the Western people. Has it not been proved already by the ugly events of the past four years since 9/11?
Fascism & Media hypes
Maybe Osama is already a spent force for the USA and it might have already discarded him, but thanks to Osama’s timely terror assistance to USA, one of the outcomes of the Sept11 is to bring all secret services agencies of the world powers under CIA-Pentagon. The way the entire world kept their mouth shut and military arsenals closed down disallowing any arms movement to Palestine during the Israeli terror war in Palestine reveals the crude fact that USA-Israel control the world, its economy, military, intelligence and other arsenals.
It is horrid to think that we are covered by terrorists of all sorts and their local agents every where and anything could happened any where. Osama seems to have offered enough substance for the media to target Islam and Muslims. When there seems to be some logic when the state run media, including the newspapers trumpet about the achievements of the regime including state terrorism feats, the same practice by the non-state media is ridiculous as they fail to uphold the genius of being the fourth estate and declining to guard the genuine interest so people when hidden agendas are being pursued by the state against legitimate some sections of population (Muslims).
Although the concerned regimes have not yet admitted openly role in the terrorism activities to discredit Islam and torture Muslims, they now are aware of the crude fact that pseudo democracy facade has fallen off their faces exposing their real fascist terrorist faces. However, their media are still waging an intense life and death battle to hide the state terrorists and continue to implicate the Muslims and their organizations, real and fake, their own and those launched by the Pentagon-CIS-Mossad-RAW etc
The genocides and torture scene of Muslims at global level by the anti-Islamic forces and nations is not the fallout of terrorism as the global media try to argue with some filthy evidences manufactured by the USA, but the result of a deep rooted and planned conspiracy against Islam and Muslims. US-Israel led anti-Islamic forces began executing their long cherished agenda of Islamic holocaust in Arab (Islamic) world and torture them every where by branding them as “terrorists”, suspected and potential. Indians and Russians joined the band gradually to serve their own Muslim problems in their neighborhoods, like Kashmir and Chechnya etc.
Although the US-Israel and combine are yet to admit their role in Sept1 terrorism in USA, by now it is becoming clear to the world. Some of the western editors tell me as Israel gets more lands form Palestine, they would be less afraid of Arabs and more relaxed which in turn let them give away some lands for the Palestinians to establish their own state. That mean first of all let the Jews settle down in Palestine and decide what to be given to the Palestinians , but Tel Aviv would continue to control Palestine as India is doing in Kashmir. These sorts of arguments are common in West
Creation of Osama bin Laden as a “terrorist” with an anti-Islamic mandate was one of finest imaginative activities of the US-led West. Rise of Osama-bin Laden as “global terror” was only the beginning of western inspired terrorism and USA sought to project him and his own associates as “threats to America” to pursue the hidden agenda of the USA-Israeli strategists operating across the world infiltrating into every organization, including Islamic. Osama relocated himself in Afghanistan, as per CIA-Mossad ideas, because it was precisely fast emerging Islamic Afghanistan that was the target of the anti-Islamic nations. Saudi led Arab nations supported the USA and other masters of petrodollars to wind up the Taliban regime in Kabul and replace it with royal regime that would just follow the usual Islam followed the world wide, wealth creations, the corruption, nepotism, pro-Americanism, etc.
It seems the Palestinians indirectly oppose any punitive measures against the Jewish killers of Muslims in Palestine with their mischievous victory claims in genocides of children. By not demanding for punitive measures beginning with disarming of Israel but arranging quick money for reconstruction of Gaza, the Arab stats have indirectly financed the holocaust of Muslims confirming the wide speculations about their secret understating with Israel like Egypt is openly doing. Thus it looks like a joint terrorism efforts on permanent basis in Palestine with USA, UK-led Quartet, PLO led by Abbas of pro-US-Israel Fatah, Egypt and Arab nations while the entire Islamic world is watching the genocide shows along with UN and UNSC bigwigs.
USA and Israel are keen to make the world spend more resources on military equipment that they sell. Militarization of the world and heavy spending on military equipment remain the chief goals of Israel-US combine. USA and other advanced countries sell more weapons to the weak nations on terrorism pretext. If any country refuses to budge and help the US pursue its own interests, terrorism is tried out there too. (Indonesia)
Even while the Arabs are trying to compromise with the US-Israeli arrogance, the Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says Israel will protect from prosecution any of its soldiers accused of war crimes in Gaza. Many colonial terror nations like India are seeking protection under the commonly existing torture regimes around the world and they think nothing will happen to their terror forces and their leaders. This is what Olmert stressed recently.
Bulk of the media in Arab world is being managed by non-Muslims and Arabs are happy about because they need not do any thing about journalism, as they are busy in making petrodollars. This has crated an alarming situation in Arab world. Arabs think they are terrorists and culprits and that the anti-Islamic nations are the best ones in the world.
Now the world, largely seen as anti-Islamic, is not at all bothered about disarming a fascist Israel to deny it anymore chances of invasions and holocaust, rather the world leaders and media are blaming Hamas to stop any move to punish the aggressors and killers. Had any Islamic country invaded Israel, USA would have long ago passed UNSC resolution to attack the “rogue” state concerned, but now Israel and its supporters are not rogues. But the matter has to be settled in favor of world peace and Israel has to be punished for the war crimes and holocaust us9ng dangerous weapons.
With the Soviet system collapsing under its own weight and the Islamic nations weakening gradually for their own wickedness, the only super power of the world, USA emerges as the sole custodian of democratic and secular values and all like mined nations have to seek membership in its club. By using the terror environments in regions, USA wants to advance its economic goals. As a result, the US-led capitalist world is steering up to rope in as many third world nations as it is possible to advance their national economic and security interests by re-equipping the instruments of capitalism and imperialism world wide.
First, Israel should be asked to vacate the stolen Lands of the Palestinians immediately; enough funds should be raised by the UN and UNSC � and by any other sources- for Palestine Reconstruction and establishment; the leaders of Israel, including the military and strategists should be tried in special tribunals for their anti-human crimes and disregarding international law and UN and UNSC. A memorial should be raised at the entrance of Gaza dedicated to the children killed by the fascist Jews in Palestine.
US president Obama has a larger role to play now in resolving the Palestine issue first by making all efforts to disarm Israel and arrange, through the UN and ICJ in The Hague bind the Israeli terrorists to legal procedures to punish them in special tribunals for their crimes (war crimes and other wise) against humanity in its neighborhoods.
Side by side, Obama and UNSC have to put India also on notice for its cirmes committed aganst Kashmiri Muslims in Jammu Kashmir since 1947.
The author is Delhi based Research Scholar in International Studies and can be reached at email@example.com
With 180 girls’ schools torched since 2008 in Pakistan’s Swat Valley and some 900 indefinitely closed, the future for education for some 125,000 young women is under dire threat by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The latest bombings took place Monday in the district capital, Mingora, “once considered the safest place in Swat,” according to The Guardian. Five girls’ schools were leveled by TTP militants who last week decreed a permanent ban on education for girls.
In recent weeks, residents who have crossed the TTP have been strung-up from trees, beaten, or had their shops destroyed while markets have been ruled “no go” areas for women.
First mobilized during the 1980s by the CIA and Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI) as “plausibly deniable” assets to wage “holy war” against Afghanistan’s socialist government, organized crime and drug-linked jihadi groups now threaten Pakistan itself. Call it “blowback” on steroids.
As the Obama administration prepares to the double the size of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, attacks in Pakistan by the American-led NATO coalition will only accelerate the splintering of the nuclear-armed South Asian nation and fuel new attacks by international terrorist outfits such as “former” allies, the Afghan-Arab database of disposable intelligence assets known as al-Qaeda.
Amply warned by South Asian and Middle Eastern experts in the 1970s who predicted a slow-moving but inevitable catastrophe for the region, short-term Cold War “gains” against the Soviet adversary trumped long-term strategic planning which, if America were a sane country, would have worked to strengthen, rather than undermine, progressive regional forces.
Despite the inescapable conclusion that the CIA’s Islamist Frankenstein monster is running amok, one can only surmise that America’s corporatist masters continue to view religiously-inspired neofascists as a reliable auxiliary force to advance geopolitical goals against their capitalist rivals.
As I documented in “Unconventional Warfare in the 21st Century: U.S. Surrogates, Terrorists and Narcotraffickers,” (Antifascist Calling, December 19, 2008) despite the catastrophes wrought by American global gamesmanship, for United States Special Operations Command (USSOC) and the CIA, this disastrous paradigm is still fully operational.
Indeed a September 2008 USSOC planning document, first disclosed by Wikileaks, avers that unconventional warfare “must be conducted by, with, or through surrogates; and such surrogates must be irregular forces.” For the people of Pakistan, the “irregular forces” ranged against them are driving the country headlong over the edge of a precipice. Unfortunately however, this is not by accident.
As Swiss investigative journalist Richard Labévière wrote, describing Pakistan’s descent into chaos, “The Pakistani morass and its profound strategic implications for all of Central Asia have become one of the most alarming and chaotic scenes on the planet. As one of the most strategic areas of the next millennium slips into a criminal state, Uncle Sam looks on with cynicism (if not benevolence).”
Citing the confluence of interests amongst American corporate grifters and far-right Islamist terror networks, Labévière pointedly cites a top U.S. intelligence officials’ approval of the reactionary forces set in motion by America’s anti-Soviet Afghan gambit as a signpost for future destabilization campaigns:
“The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army,” explains a former CIA analyst. “The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter Chinese influence in Central Asia.” In a certain sense, the Cold War is still going on. For years Graham Fuller, former Deputy Director of the National Council on Intelligence at the CIA, has been talking up the “modernizing virtues” of the Islamists, insisting on their anti-Statist concept of the economy. Listening to him, you would almost take the Taleban and their Wahhabi allies for liberals. “Islam, in theory at least, is firmly anchored in the traditions of free trade and private enterprise,” wrote Fuller. “The prophet was a trader, as was his first wife. Islam does not glorify the State’s role in the economy.” (Richard Labévière, Dollars for Terror: The United States and Islam, New York: Algora Publishing, 2000, p. 6)
But inevitably, facts on the ground put paid the mad schemes of imperialist architects such as Graham Fuller and his acolytes. Fast forward a decade and it becomes all-too-painfully clear it is the Afghan and Pakistani people who are paying the price in blood for America’s bankrupt policies. Having armed, financed and provided an ample array of targets for “free trade liberals” such as the Taliban and al-Qaeda–subsisting on the illicit profits of the international narcotics trade and other dubious ventures–Yankee hubris, as historian Chalmers Johnson reminds us, has called forth the goddess of divine retribution, Nemesis, on all our heads.
Medievalism in Swat Valley: Pakistan, and America’s, Future?
While moves to impose sharia law on the Pakistani people through violence is the alleged intent of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and their al-Qaeda “brothers,” more mundane, though far-more worldly concerns motivate the jihadists: state power and the loot such a position would afford enterprising charlatans.
What better means than control–through fear–of a terrorized population forced to look the other way as a gang of “holy warriors” steal their resources and process heroin on an industrial scale while turning a quick profit in the bargain!
Investigative journalist Amir Mir, writing in the Lahore-based newspaper The News International reports that
Around 10,000 TTP militants have been pitted against 15,000 Army troops since Oct 22, 2007, when the [Swat Valley military] operation was officially launched. Leading the charge against the Pakistan Army is Maulana Fazlullah, also known as Mullah Radio for the illegal FM radio channel he operates. Through his FM broadcasts, still operational despite being banned by the NWFP [North West Frontier Province] government, the firebrand keeps inspiring his followers to implement Shariah, fight the Army and establish his authority in the area.
Military authorities have repeatedly alleged that Fazlullah, who has thousands of armed supporters ready to challenge the security forces on his command, has close links with the Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives. The cleric has already become a household name in Swat, as his Shaheen Commando Force is destroying and occupying government buildings, blowing up police stations, bridges, basic health units and hotels and burning girls’ schools. (”Amid Rising TTP Gains, Army Adopts New Strategy,” The News International, January 21, 2009)
Since the military launched an offensive against the clericalist thugs, indiscriminate Army attacks against the civilian population have wrecked havoc. In addition to burning down nearly 200 girls’ schools, the TTP have torched 80 video shops, 22 barber shops and have destroyed some 20 bridges in the mountainous region. Mir reports the TTP have carried out some 165 bomb attacks against security forces, including 17 suicide bombings and increasingly sophisticated remote-controlled IED attacks.
So serious has the situation grown in the Swat Valley, that 800 provincial police, half the stated total according to The News International, have either deserted or left the area under pretext of going on “extended leave.” Other observers contend that the TTP and the Army are collaborating together.
Local politicians who have fled the valley claim that “elements of the military and the militants appear to be acting together.” Bushra Gohara, the Vice-President of the Awami National Party told The Independent on Sunday, “Even if they are not, there needs to be a complete review of the military’s strategy.”
“The suspicion of collusion, said a local government official in the largest town, Mingora,” according to the IoS, “is based on the proximity of army and Taliban checkposts, each ‘a mile away from the other’.”
Reports indicate that Fazlullah’s militia now effectively controls the Swat Valley. “Under these circumstances,” Mir writes, “the state writ has shrunk from Swat’s 5,337 square kilometres to the limits of its regional Mingora headquarters, which is a city of just 36 square kilometres.”
In Mingora itself, once a prosperous urban hub that thrived on the tourist trade, the nature of the crisis can be gauged by the number of bodies that appear each morning after a night of terror. According to Mir, shopkeepers are now finding “four or five dead bodies hung over the poles or trees.”
Unsurprisingly, it is the civilian population who have suffered the worst depredations of the TTP and the Pakistani Army. Hemmed-in on all sides, a military spokesperson conceded that a third of the population has fled the area since the Army launched its offensive.
Creating a dual-power situation as the state’s hold in the area shrinks, some “70 Taliban courts are now ruling on hundreds of cases of ‘immoral activity’ every week,” The Sunday Times reported.
Fueled by the repressive Saudi-inspired Wahhabi doctrine that fired the Afghan mujahedin during America’s anti-Soviet Cold War “jihad,” the TTP have embarked on a rule-by-fear strategy that seeks to impose “Sharia law” on an unwilling–and unarmed–population, as part of its long-term strategy to seize state power.
As in Afghanistan under the Taliban however, it is women who face the harshest sanctions by the jihadi thugs. The refusal to wear a veil or dancing in public are “offenses” punishable by death. The Sunday Times averred,
The emergence of a parallel Taliban legal system has a sinister objective. “This is our first step towards the implementation of sharia in Swat,” said Muslim Khan, a Taliban spokesman. In the next phase, Khan said, the courts would begin to carry out harsher punishments, such as execution or chopping off hands.
Villagers said the Taliban were already killing people who defied their orders. “They didn’t even spare barbers and women coming out of markets without wearing their veils,” said a Mingora resident.
There have been 51 Taliban executions since the start of the year, he added. The victims include politicians, security men, dancers, prostitutes and shopkeepers selling alcohol. (Daud Khattak, “Taliban’s deadly ‘justice’ cows Pakistan,” The Sunday Times, January 18, 2009)
Ominously, Fazlullah’s state within a state is not staffed primarily by madrassa-educated cannon-fodder, but draw on a surplus of former Army and intelligence officers to fill the ranks, raising suspicions that the TTP enjoys powerful backing from ruling elites.
According to Mir, the Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Mohammadi (TNSM) and TTP are composed of two Shuras, or councils. One is the Ulema Shura that advises the group on “religious polices,” while the Executive Shura, “is the highest policy-making organ of the TNSM, which has a large number of ex-servicemen, including retired commissioned officers, as its members.”
Since 9/11, under intense pressure by their American “allies” in the “war on terror,” the Army and ISI have been partially purged by military and political elites who rule the roost. However, disaffected ISI cadre who never endorsed former President-General Pervez Musharraf’s half-hearted–some would say, deceitful–”break” with the Army’s own creation, the Taliban, continue to sponsor retrograde jihadist outfits.
Still allied with the Taliban, al-Qaeda and home-grown terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM), elements burrowed deep within the state, including prominent former generals closely associated with former dictator, General Zia ul-Haq and the CIA, are actively conspiring to destabilize the civilian government.
Indeed, last November’s terrorist assault on Mumbai, a joint venture amongst disaffected elements of the security/intelligence apparatus, LET and organized crime-linked assets such as Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company, was a shot across the bow of President Asif Ali Zadari’s administration meant to further polarize the country and sow doubt amongst ruling class elites as to the efficacy of civilian rule.
Staggering from crisis to crisis, under heavy pressure from imperialism to “show results” for the billions of dollars in “aid” showered on the military by Washington, time is running out as the jihadi Frankenstein flexes its muscles.
From the Lal Masjid Siege to the Bhutto Assassination
Fazlullah’s rise, and the TTP’s assault on the people of the Swat Valley, can be directly linked to the fall-out from the July 2007 Red Mosque siege.
When the Red Mosque (Lal Masjid) controversy exploded, the state was forced, though some would say dragged kicking and screaming, to act against brothers Abdul Aziz and Abdul Rashid Ghazi, the al-Qaeda-linked leaders of the Mosque.
It wasn’t always that way. Since its founding in 1965 in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, the Red Mosque enjoyed patronage from influential members of the government, primes ministers, army chiefs and presidents, according to BBC News.
During the anti-Soviet Afghan jihad, the Red Mosque played a prominent role in the recruitment and training of fighters and was supported handsomely by the ISI when the Taliban was launched in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s. During the 2001 invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, many Red Mosque fighters were captured or killed by U.S. forces and Northern Alliance militia fighters.
In other words, high state officials, including intelligence chieftains such as Hamid Gul and Mahmoud Ahmad were staunch backers of the Ghazi brothers, hard-line advocates of dictator General Zia ul-Haq’s program to “Islamize” Pakistani society come hell or high water. In this bankrupt project to destroy what little remained of Pakistani democracy and civil society, Zia and his retinue of Islamist generals were generously supported by the United States.
Former ISI General Hamid Gul told Asia Times, “It is a pity that our army was preparing youths to seize Lal Qala [the Red Fort of Delhi] and they ended up seizing the Lal Masjid.” According to a recent report in The News International, Gul is now wanted by the U.S. “charged … with providing financial assistance to Kabul-based criminal groups and involvement in spotting, assessing, recruiting and training young men from seminaries,” as well as accusations that the ex-general has been “assisting the Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters in developing high-tech weapons.”
Gun battles erupted in 2007 after gangs of burqa-clad seminary students occupied a children’s library, kidnapped a group of Chinese women accused of being “prostitutes,” and after repeated forays into surrounding commercial districts trashed CD shops accused of selling “pornography.” But when the “students” demanded strict enforcement of sharia law, the state’s hand was forced.
When police failed to stamp-out the mini-rebellion in the nation’s capital, the Army was brought in. By the time the smoke cleared, Abdul Ghazi had been killed and his brother Abdul Aziz was arrested after attempting to flee the scene dressed in a woman’s burqa, sparking outrage amongst the fundamentalists and former high-ranking intelligence officials. Conflicting reports claim that anywhere between 200 and 1,000 people lost their lives during the siege. In the aftermath, according to multiple press reports, a huge arms’ cache was recovered, including stocks of AK-47 rifles and grenade launchers.
After the raid, Fazlullah joined forces with TTP and Pakistani al-Qaeda “emir” Baitullah Mehsud, “in a bid to provide an umbrella to all insurgent movements operating in several tribal agencies and settled areas of the NWFP,” according to journalist Amir Mir.
Scant months after the Lal Masjid affair and in the midst of tumultuous nation-wide demonstrations by tens of thousands of democracy activists, including lawyers and left-wing labor militants demanding the restoration of Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudry, sacked by the Musharraf regime after ordering the government to account for Pakistan’s “disappeared,” Benazir Bhutto was murdered in Rawalpindi.
In the aftermath of Bhutto’s December 27, 2007 assassination, state officials alleged that Mehsud claimed responsibility for her murder, a claim he denied. The “targeted killing” of Pakistan’s most popular political figure followed on the heels of the October 2007 Karachi bombing that killed 150 of Bhutto’s supporters when she returned home from exile.
The official story has undergone several contradictory metamorphoses. Shortly after Bhutto’s murder it was alleged that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ), another banned terror group linked to al-Qaeda, were the reputed authors. The story then changed and al-Qaeda commander Mustafa Abu al-Yazid claimed responsibility, telling Asia Times, “We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat the mujahideen.” Many analysts believe these serial fabrications by the government were meant to muddy the waters and conceal the true architects of the attacks.
In a letter to Musharraf before her murder, published by the Karachi-based newspaper Dawn, Bhutto named four persons involved in an alleged plot to kill her: Intelligence Bureau (IB) Chief Ijaz Shah, former chief minister of Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, former chief minister of Sindh Arbab Ghulam Rahim, and the former ISI chief, Hamid Gul. All are prominent pro-Islamist figures within the intelligence and security establishment who favored a continuation of Pakistan’s policy of fielding terrorist proxy armies.
While first claiming that Bhutto was killed when she struck her head on the latch of her SUV sunroof fracturing her skull as the result of a suicide bomb blast, video footage surfaced showing a gunman firing several shots at the popular politician prior to the bomb’s detonation. This would increase the likelihood that the suicide bomber’s actual target was the gunman and therefore, part of a clean-up operation meant to conceal the identities of those who ghostwrote the Bhutto assassination script.
However, conflicting claims of responsibility, the hasty manner in which the security services removed all traces of forensic evidence from the crime scene and threats by police and intelligence officials against physicians who examined Bhutto’s body, fueled speculation that Islamist elements within ISI and the Army–or the state itself–either manipulated the militants or carried out the terrorist outrages in a move to bolster Musharraf’s waning grip on power.
Though allegedly on the outs with the clericalists, Musharraf was a staunch supporter of the Army’s policy of fielding “irregular forces” comprised of far-right thugs such as Lashkar or the virulently anti-Shia communalist group Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP) to carry out “plausibly deniable” strikes against India or internal left-wing political opponents.
Originally founded in 1985 at the behest of dictator General Zia ul-Haq to liquidate secular and leftist forces opposed to his moves to “Islamize” Pakistani society with the blessings of the CIA, the SSP was “banned” in 2002 but quickly regrouped under the banner of Millat-e-Islamia. Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 was an SSP member as was his uncle, the al-Qaeda operative and alleged architect of the 9/11 attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Echoes of the Lal Masjid affair continue to reverberate. On September 21, 2008 a massive truck bomb was detonated outside the Marriot Hotel in downtown Islamabad, killing 60 and wounding some 260 people, virtually obliterating the five-star hotel. Some 700 Pakistanis had gathered to break the daily Ramadan fast. If the bomber had managed to drive the truck into the lobby, the toll would have been far higher.
The conclusion drawn was bleak: if the Marriot could be hit in one of the most secure and upscale neighborhoods in the heart of Pakistan’s capital, then no one was safe. It was feared that the bombers’ intent was to destabilize and possibly spark an Army coup against the first civilian government in nine years.
With little to hope for from the Army and ISI, President Asif Ali Zadari has expanded the civilian-led Special Investigations Group (SIG), a distinct antiterrorist branch of the Federal Investigations Agency (FIA), The Guardian reported earlier this month. The SIG had languished under Musharraf. According to investigative journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott Clark,
On December 14, the British PM flew to Islamabad to announce a £6m “pact against terror”, saying he wanted to “remove the chain” that led from the mountains of Pakistan to the streets of Britain. A significant part of the funding was intended for the SIG currently a tight-knit cell of 37 full-time specialists that was to be expanded into a 300-strong force with an investigation division, an armed wing, an intelligence department and a research section. In return, Britain asked for access to the SIG’s raw data and captured extremists who might illuminate British plots. (”On the Trail of Pakistan’s Taliban,” The Guardian, 10 January 2009)
The need for security would indeed be high. On March 11, 2008, the anniversary of the Madrid transport attacks, a suicide bomber struck the SIG’s provincial office in Lahore, killing 25 people, including 13 officers. Tariq Pervez, the SIG’s head told The Guardian that since the end of 2007, “suicide strikes from this region had killed 597 security force personnel and 1,523 civilians, including Benazir Bhutto on December 27.”
Despite attempts to recruit–or co-opt–poverty-stricken, often unwilling young members of TNSM/TTP head-honcho Baitullah Mehsud’s extended clan in Waziristan for use as cannon-fodder, Pervez told The Guardian its a hard sell given Mehsud’s brutal methods of dealing with those who oppose him.
Indeed, according to Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid, when 600 tribal elders spoke out against the TNSM/TTP in 2005, Mehsud had each of them sent a needle, black thread and 1,000 rupees with which to buy some cloth to stitch their own funeral shrouds: all of them were subsequently murdered.
The situation has deteriorated to such a degree for U.S./NATO “coalition” forces that America’s main supply route into Afghanistan from western Pakistan’s tribal belt, that the military “has obtained permission to move troop supplies through Russia and Central Asia, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in the Middle East, said on Tuesday,” according to The New York Times.
In December, hundreds of NATO supply trucks were torched in Peshawar by Taliban, TTP and al-Qaeda fighters and Pakistani truck drivers are now refusing to drive along the supply route.
Frankenstein Turns on its Master: “Round Up the Usual Suspects!”
The alliance forged in the wake of the Lal Masjid siege and the Bhutto assassination amongst forces loyal to Maulana Fazlullah and Baitullah Mehsud’s TTP, Mullah Mohammed Omar’s Afghan Taliban and Osama bin Laden’s Afghan-Arab database, al-Qaeda, are chickens that have come home to roost for U.S. imperialism. But it is the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan who are paying the price.
Despite the grave threats to the people of Central, South Asia and the Middle East posed by a resurgence of far-right fundamentalism sponsored by the United States, Washington still continues to view Islamist terror and organized crime-linked networks such as al-Qaeda and their related complex of jihadi groups as “off-the-shelf,” plausibly deniable intelligence assets.
Notwithstanding the severe global capitalist economic meltdown, geopolitical expansion into regions of strategic and economic interest to the United States is a top priority of the Obama administration. A central pillar of the American policy despite “regime change” in Washington, is the destabilization of Iran. As Seymour Hersh reported, the U.S. via their ISI and Saudi “allies” are arming and financing Pakistani-based jihadi groups such as Jundullah to target Iran.
The Administration may have been willing to rely on dissident organizations in Iran even when there was reason to believe that the groups had operated against American interests in the past. The use of Baluchi elements, for example, is problematic, Robert Baer, a former C.I.A. clandestine officer who worked for nearly two decades in South Asia and the Middle East, told me. “The Baluchis are Sunni fundamentalists who hate the regime in Tehran, but you can also describe them as Al Qaeda,” Baer told me. “These are guys who cut off the heads of nonbelievers–in this case, it’s Shiite Iranians. The irony is that we’re once again working with Sunni fundamentalists, just as we did in Afghanistan in the nineteen-eighties.” Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted for his role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is considered one of the leading planners of the September 11th attacks, are Baluchi Sunni fundamentalists.
One of the most active and violent anti-regime groups in Iran today is the Jundallah, also known as the Iranian People’s Resistance Movement, which describes itself as a resistance force fighting for the rights of Sunnis in Iran. “This is a vicious Salafi organization whose followers attended the same madrassas as the Taliban and Pakistani extremists,” [Vali] Nasr told me. “They are suspected of having links to Al Qaeda and they are also thought to be tied to the drug culture.” The Jundallah took responsibility for the bombing of a busload of Revolutionary Guard soldiers in February, 2007. At least eleven Guard members were killed. According to Baer and to press reports, the Jundallah is among the groups in Iran that are benefitting from U.S. support. (”Preparing the Battlefield,” The New Yorker, July 7, 2008)
While North American and European Muslim communities remain a target of repressive “counterterrorist” policies that demonize Muslims and Arabs as dangerous “others,” internal “enemies” and “usual suspects” to be preyed upon by police and intelligence agencies, real, not fictional, terrorist networks continue to operate, indeed thrive, with impunity. Here, as elsewhere, short-term tactical advantage over capitalist rivals trump democratic processes and economic well-being based on social justice.
As security analyst and historian, Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed documented in a Briefing Paper prepared for the British Parliament in the wake of al-Qaeda’s 2005 London transport attacks,
The government appears unable to fully extract itself from these strategic interests, continuing to tolerate Islamist extremist networks in the UK, including successor organizations to al-Muhajiroun, and showing an inexplicable unwillingness to investigate them; displaying ongoing reluctance to arrest and prosecute leading extremists despite abundant evidence of their incitement to terrorism, murder, violence and racial hatred (with serious action delayed until public pressure is brought to bear); and refusing to investigate key al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist suspects based or formerly based in the UK connected to 7/7 and other terrorist attacks. In this dire situation, proposing the extension of state power through yet further anti-terror legislation, as the Brown government is now doing, can never hope to contribute to real security. For in this context, such legislation not only fails to rectify the multiple failures of domestic and international security policy behind the paralysis of the British national security system; it simply lends unprecedented powers of social control to a paralysed system operating according to a defunct and dangerous intelligence paradigm. (Inside the Crevice: Islamist terror networks and the 7/7 intelligence failure, London: Institute for Policy Research and Development, August 2007)
Much the same can be said for the United States and its myopic “counterterrorist” policies that rely on the demonization of entire communities, driftnet surveillance of the population, the infiltration of provocateurs into antiwar, socialist and left-wing organizations with no demonstrable ties to international terrorism, and the induced climate of suspicion and fear that breed social paralysis in the face of grave, contemporaneous ruling class threats to democracy.
As a tsunami of Predator drones rain remote-controlled death on the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and as the Obama administration prepares a major military escalation in Central- and South Asia, girls’ schools continue to burn in the Swat Valley with matchbooks labeled “Made in the USA.”
On December 13, the whistleblowing website Wikileaks did investigative- and citizen journalists a great service by publishing the Army Special Operations Forces FM 3-05.130, titled Unconventional Warfare.
Published in September 2008, the 248-page document though unclassified, is restricted “to U.S. Government agencies and their contractors only to protect technical or operational information from automatic dissemination under the International Exchange Program or by other means.” The Department of the Army urges recipients to “destroy by any method that will prevent disclosure of contents or reconstruction of the document.” Wikileaks has guaranteed that the disappearance of this critical primary source into the bowels of the Pentagon will not occur.
Special Warfare’s Nazi Provenance
Since the end of World War II, the United States has acted through proxies either to defeat leftist insurgencies or to subvert “hostile” governments, e.g. those states viewed by Washington and the multinational corporations they serve as ideological competitors.
Historically, U.S. unconventional warfare (UW) doctrine was derived from Nazi experiences in countering “partisan warfare” across Europe during World War II. As analyst and scholar Michael McClintock detailed in his essential study on the topic,
American special warfare doctrine would draw considerably on Wehrmacht and SS methods of terrorizing civilian populations and, perhaps more importantly, of co-opting local factions to combat partisan resistance. The Department of the Army’s A Study of Special and Subversive Operations (November 1947) was an early assessment of the lessons learned from World War II in the context of Cold War imperatives. (Instruments of Statecraft: U.S. Guerrilla Warfare, Counterinsurgency, Counterterrorism, 1940-1990, New York: Pantheon Books, 1992, p. 59)
But the United States did more than translate captured Wehrmacht and SS documents: they recruited many Waffen SS veterans, often with an assist from high Vatican officials. Tens of thousands of war criminals were spirited out of Europe along “ratlines” into U.S. hands for clandestine war against the new enemy: the Soviet Union and the international left.
Pathological killers such as SS veteran Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyons, was instrumental when the CIA and the Argentine death-squad generals launched their 1980 “cocaine coup” in Bolivia. Barbie, along with operatives linked to the CIA, Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church and preexisting Nazi networks, “reorganized” Bolivia’s intelligence services to reflect the Southern Cone’s “changing realities.” (For background, see Robert Parry’s excellent series, Dark Side of Rev. Moon, The Consortium for Independent Journalism)
Even when the “competition” was peaceful and confined to the political-economic spheres, once the U.S. intervened, violence, civil war and chaos followed. This scenario was played out in Chile during the 1970s, Afghanistan, Angola, Mozambique, Nicaragua and El Salvador throughout the 1980s, in Yugoslavia and the Balkans generally during the 1990s, today in Bolivia and Venezuela and on a planetary scale under the rubric of the “global war on terrorism” (GWOT). The lesson for those who buck the global hegemon? U.S. political subversion and state terror will wreck havoc and halt independent development in its tracks.
And when the global Godfather’s military forces directly intervene? Although the U.S. was defeated in Southeast Asia, target countries such as Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were destroyed by the United States in the process. Devastated economically and socially, decades later these nations have yet to fully recover from the depredations wrought by their American “liberators.” However, the U.S. military did learn certain unique skills, not least of which was the application of selective violence against the communist National Liberation Front’s civilian infrastructure.
The Phoenix Program, meticulously analyzed in researcher Douglas Valentine’s definitive account, was launched in 1967 by the CIA and U.S. Special Forces as a means to win “hearts and minds.” But from its inception, Phoenix operators worked in tandem with drug-linked South Vietnamese and Laotian “allies” and morphed into an assassination and torture program that killed thousands. Long after the U.S. withdrew from Southeast Asia, lessons learned through Phoenix and related programs such as Condor and Gladio, were “refined” during the 1970s-1980s in Afghanistan, Italy, Turkey and Central America, and now constitute the bedrock on which the Pentagon’s unconventional warfare doctrine operates today.
Throughout the Cold War, U.S. power in proxy states was exercised through repressive police, intelligence agencies and by far-right civilian allies (referred to as “foreign internal defense,” FID). Such forces, trained and funded by the U.S., combined a neofascist political outlook with organized criminal activities generally, though certainly not limited to, the international narcotics trade.
NATO’s infamous “stay-behind” Operation Gladio networks in Italy and Turkey for example, worked directly with international narcotics syndicates and pro-fascist political parties such as the Italian Avanguardia Nazionale (National Vanguard) founded by the terrorist drug trafficker Stefano delle Chiaie and the Turkish Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi (National Action Party, MHP) and the drug-linked terror gang, the Grey Wolves, founded by Alparslan Türkeş, a German sympathizer during World War II.
With links to those nations’ intelligence services, the CIA and the Pentagon, these organizations waged a relentless war against the left through terrorist bombings, murders and assassinations in a bid to destabilize their governments and spark a full-fledged military takeover. Along with the CIA, the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) have been instrumental in organizing and waging unconventional warfare with the express purpose of maintaining the economic-political status quo in target countries.
As long-time readers of Antifascist Calling are aware, among the more critical issues explored here are those relating to the intersection of corporate and military power and how those interactions play out on the contemporary political plane to subvert democracy and movements for social justice.
Indeed, reference is frequently made to what I have identified, following Peter Dale Scott and other analysts, as the corporatist deep state: that is, the objective interface amongst political elites, multinational corporations, the military, intelligence agencies and organized crime. Unlike Scott however, I contend these linkages do not “transcend” the left-right continuum, but rather are part and parcel of Washington’s decades-long war against the left, social justice movements generally and in particular, democratic socialist movements from below.
As we will see in my analysis of FM 3-05.130, USSOCOM make these links explicit, arguing that “UW must be conducted by, with, or through surrogates; and such surrogates must be irregular forces.”
As I averred, proxy forces, often aligned with far-right groups and organized crime-linked assets (for the most part interchangeable players) are the preferred “irregular forces” employed by Washington. USSOCOM states that this definition “is consistent with the historical reasons that the United States has conducted UW” and goes on to cite its “support of both an insurgency, such as the Contras in 1980s Nicaragua, and resistance movements to defeat an occupying power, such as the Mujahideen in 1980s Afghanistan.” It doesn’t get any more explicit than this!
The authors of FM 3-05.130, far from being militarist troglodytes are knowledgeable and erudite, presenting a broad and ideologically coherent narrative that is both informative and historically intriguing in its transparency and methodological purpose. In other words, unlike their political masters, they don’t pull any punches.
Right up front they inform the reader that UW establishes a “litmus test” which is warfare conducted “by, with or through surrogates” and that their preferred assets are irregular forces:
Irregulars, or irregular forces, are individuals or groups of individuals who are not members of a regular armed force, police, or other internal security force. They are usually nonstate-sponsored and unconstrained by sovereign nation legalities and boundaries. These forces may include, but are not limited to, specific paramilitary forces, contractors, individuals, businesses, foreign political organizations, resistance or insurgent organizations, expatriates, transnational terrorism adversaries, disillusioned transnational terrorism members, black marketers, and other social or political “undesirables.” (Unconventional Warfare, p. 1-3)
While “conventional warfare” is viewed as a conflict between states, Irregular Warfare (IW) and UW according to FM 3-05.130 is “about people not platforms.” Irregular and unconventional warfare “does not depend on military prowess alone.”
It also relies on the understanding of such social dynamics as tribal politics, social networks, religious influences, and cultural mores. Although IW is a violent struggle, not all participating irregulars or irregular forces are necessarily armed. People, more so than weaponry, platforms, and advanced technology, will be the key to success in IW. Successful IW relies on building relationships and partnerships at the local level. It takes patient, persistent, and culturally savvy people within the joint force to execute IW. (Unconventional Warfare, p. 1-5)
Indeed, FM 3-05.130 explicitly states that its “strategic purpose [is] to gain or maintain control or influence over the population and to support that population through political, psychological, and economic methods.” While both IW and UW seek to influence “relevant populations,” UW in contrast to IW, “is always conducted by, with, or through irregular forces.” In other words, local surrogates drawn from relevant far-right and/or organized crime-linked assets are the means of eliciting “influence” over “relevant populations.”
In Bosnia and Kosovo during the 1990s, “irregular forces” deployed during U.S./NATO destabilization operations in the former Yugoslavia included elements of the Afghan-Arab database of disposable intelligence assets, e.g. al-Qaeda, which have been linked to the CIA, Britain’s MI6, Germany’s Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) and Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI), as well as long-established drug, arms and human trafficking networks aligned with the Albanian and Turkish Mafias. Indeed, “irregular forces” such as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) demonstrated all of these relationships in spades.
According to FM 3-05.130, the constituent elements of contemporary IW theory include: Insurgency; COIN (counterinsurgency); UW;); CT (counterterrorism); FID (foreign internal defense); Stability, security, transition, and reconstruction (SSTR) operations; Strategic communication (SC); PSYOP; Civil-military operations (CMO); Information operations (IO); Intelligence and counterintelligence (CI) activities; Transnational criminal activities, including narco-trafficking, illicit arms dealing, and illegal financial transactions that support or sustain IW; and Law enforcement activities focused on countering irregular adversaries. (Unconventional Warfare, p. 1-5)
Its but a short step as far as it goes, from citing the elements of UW to deploying the most dubious players as strategic assets in planetary-wide U.S. destabilization operations.
The Media’s Role
Explicitly stated is the media’s role in advancing the goals of United States national power. As recent exposés in The New York Times and elsewhere have documented, “message force multipliers” such as retired Pentagon officials and former high-ranking officers, often linked to corporate defense firms that rely heavily on Pentagon largesse, have leveraged their expertise and conducted illegal domestic psychological operations (PSYOPS) and information warfare, with the complicity and full knowledge of the giant media firms.
It is important for the official agencies of government, including the armed forces, to recognize the fundamental role of the media as a conduit of information. The USG uses SC to provide top-down guidance for using the informational instrument of national power through coordinated information, themes, messages, and products synchronized with the other instruments of national power. The armed forces support SC themes and messages through IO, public affairs (PA), and defense support to public diplomacy (DSPD). The armed forces must assure media access consistent with classification requirements, operations security, legal restrictions, and individual privacy. The armed forces must also provide timely and accurate information to the public. Success in military operations depends on acquiring and integrating essential information and denying it to the adversary. The armed forces are responsible for conducting IO, protecting what should not be disclosed, and aggressively attacking adversary information systems. IO may involve complex legal and policy issues that require approval, review, and coordination at the national level. (Unconventional Warfare, p. 2-2)
Indeed, as the authors aver, since UW consists of operations conducted “by, with or through irregular forces,” engagement with the “human terrain” is “fundamentally a conflict of ideas”! In a nutshell, the “human terrain” explicitly includes the American public who are also the targets of Pentagon propagandistic “information operations.” This is stated explicitly:
By contrast, USG-controlled specific instruments of informational power, while narrower in scope, can achieve specific and measurable results useful to prosecuting UW. ARSOF [Army Special Operations Forces] can work with DOS [Department of State] counterparts to identify and engage select TAs [target audiences] that are able to influence behavior within a UWOA [unconventional warfare operating area]. Such TAs may be inside the UWOA itself or outside but able to influence the UWOA. The USG can then subject these TAs, directly or indirectly, to a DOS public diplomacy (PD) campaign coordinated to support the UW effort. Similarly, since UW may be a long-duration or politically sensitive effort, ARSOF and its DOS partner, the Bureau of Public Affairs, can craft a PA campaign intended to keep the U.S. domestic audience informed of the truth in a manner supportive of USG goals and the effective prosecution of UW. (Unconventional Warfare, p. 2-3)
For the authors of FM 3-05.130, “properly integrated manipulation of economic power can and should be a component of UW.” Never mind that such “manipulation” can and did result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of human beings in Iraq prior to the 2003 U.S. invasion and occupation as well as in a score of other nations that have defied the U.S.
The cases of Chile and Nicaragua are instructive in this regard, where the disgraced president, Richard Nixon, vowed to “make the economy scream,” prior to the 1973 coup, or the crippling sanctions and economic embargo imposed on Nicaragua’s Sandinista government. Various sanctions regimes unambiguously “can build and sustain international coalitions waging or supporting U.S. UW campaigns.” A similar methodology is being applied today against Iran as “punishment” for its legal development of civilian nuclear power.
Like all other instruments of U.S. national power, the use and effects of economic “weapons” are interrelated and they must be coordinated carefully. Once again, ARSOF must work carefully with the DOS and intelligence community (IC) to determine which elements of the human terrain in the UWOA are most susceptible to economic engagement and what second- and third-order effects are likely from such engagement. The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) placement abroad and its mission to engage human groups provide one channel for leveraging economic incentives. The DOC’s can similarly leverage its routine influence with U.S. corporations active abroad. Moreover, the IO effects of economic promises kept (or ignored) can prove critical to the legitimacy of U.S. UW efforts. UW practitioners must plan for these effects. (Unconventional Warfare, p. 2-7)
Indeed, ARSOF plans for waging UW take an integrated approach and assert that they “can and should exploit the active and analytical capabilities existing in the financial instruments of U.S. power.” The application of financial warfare however, including the “persuasive influence” of state and nonstate “actors” regarding the availability and terms “of loans, grants, or other financial assistance” is predicated on towing the U.S. line. The authors aver that “such application of financial power must be part of a circumspect, integrated, and consistent UW plan.” In other words, threats, bribery and economic subversion generally can work wonders in getting the attention of recalcitrant states not “on board” with the U.S.
Narcotrafficking Networks and the “Global War on Terror”
For decades, investigative journalists, researchers and analysts have noted the symbiotic relationship amongst international narcotrafficking syndicates, neofascist political groups, U.S. intelligence agencies and U.S. Special Forces in the war against leftist adversaries.
Dozens of books and hundreds of articles by journalists and writers such as Alfred W. McCoy, Peter Dale Scott, Henrik Krüger, Robert Parry, Gary Webb, Jonathan Marshall, Douglas Valentine, Daniel Hopsicker, Bill Conroy as well as exposés by former DEA investigators such as Michael Levine and Celerino Castillo III, have documented the long and bloody history of U.S. complicity in the global drugs trade.
While the United States has pumped billions of dollars into so-called drug eradication programs in target countries such as Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Afghanistan and Mexico through ill-conceived projects such as Plan Colombia and the Mérida Initiative, also know as Plan Mexico, recent reports, most notably by The Narco News Bulletin, have documented the close interrelationships amongst narcotraffickers, rightist extremists, political elites and U.S. intelligence agencies.
Indeed, investigative journalist Bill Conroy recently documented how a U.S. trained and equipped special operations group within the Mexican army (the Zetas) “is now assisting the Mexican military in its narco-trafficking operations along the border.”
None of this however, phases the authors of Unconventional Warfare. And why should it. As they themselves describe the doctrine, unconventional warfare is “conducted by, with, or through surrogates; and such surrogates must be irregular forces,” the next logical step in the equation is the utilization of transnational criminal networks to advance U.S. national power. The section, “Law Enforcement Instrument of United States National Power and Unconventional Warfare,” states this explicitly: no tinfoil hat needed here!
Actors engaged in supporting elements in the UWOA may rely on criminal activities, such as smuggling, narcotics, or human trafficking. Political and military adversaries in the UWOA will exhibit the same sensitivity to official exposure and engagement because criminal entities routinely seek to avoid law enforcement. Sometimes, political and military adversaries are simultaneously criminal adversaries, which ARSOF UW planners must consider a threat. At other times, the methods and networks of real or perceived criminal entities can be useful as supporting elements of a U.S.-sponsored UW effort. In either case, ARSOF understand the importance of coordinating military intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) for specific UW campaigns with the routine intelligence activities conducted by U.S. law enforcement agencies. (Unconventional Warfare, p. 2-7)
During subversive operations by U.S. ARSOF soldiers in target areas, indigenous networks, many of whom are linked to far-right and narcotrafficking groups (Nicaragua, Bosnia, Kosovo), including “former” allies such as al-Qaeda, are referred to as “The Underground” and “The Auxiliary” in FM 3-05.130. Details however, are few and far between and the authors state unambiguously:
There is more SF participation in developing and advising underground [and auxiliary] elements than is widely understood or acknowledged. Most such participation is classified and inappropriate for inclusion in this manual. (Unconventional Warfare, p. 5-5)
Preparing the ground for U.S. attacks and/or subversive operations by proxy forces aligned with American goals are a key component of UW theory. Whether a population is “on-board” with U.S. geostrategic goals or the tactical modalities employed in such campaigns is irrelevant to the new cold warriors of the GWOT. When “persuasion” fails the muscle moves in to get the attention on the “natives.”
Organization of the larger indigenous population from which the irregular forces are drawn–the mass base–must likewise be conducted primarily by the irregular organization itself under indirect guidance of SF. The primary value of the mass base to UW operations is less a matter of formal organization than of marshaling population groups to act in specific ways that support the overall UW campaign. The mass base, or general population and society at large, is recognized as an operational rather than a structural effort for ARSOF in UW. Elements of the mass base are divided into three distinct groups in relation to the cause or movement–pro, anti/con, and those who are uncommitted, undecided, or ambivalent. ARSOF, the underground, and the auxiliary then conduct irregular activities to influence or leverage these groups. These groups may be witting or unwitting of the UW nature of the operations or activities in which they are utilized. (Unconventional Warfare, p. 5-5)
In Colombia for example, U.S. “counterdrug” assistance to the corrupt Uribe government flowed directly to the narcotrafficking far-right death squad, the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, or AUC. Though designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department, the Uribe government’s military high command, directly advised by the Pentagon, funneled weapons and intelligence that was used by the narcofascists to murder union organizers, often after payment by U.S. multinational corporations such as Chiquita Brands International, of anyone the group identified as a “guerrilla.”
In ARSOF parlance, AUC “influence”–dragging unsuspecting citizens off a bus and beheading them in front of their children, for example–is what is meant when corporate- or drug-linked death squads “conduct irregular activities” to “leverage these groups.” But the international community has another term to describe these activities: state terrorism.
In 2004, as part of broad U.S. efforts to unseat Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan authorities arrested some 100 AUC fighters who were planning to attack specially-selected targets in Caracas. According to published reports, several high-ranking American and Colombian military officers were implicated in the operation.
The parapolitical scandal which continues to rock Bogotá, revealed high-level involvement by Colombia’s political and military elite with the narcofascist AUC. But the scandal also revealed the involvement of the U.S. 7th Special Forces Group and the 1st Psychological Operations Battalion in directly training and advising Colombian military units responsible for the worst human rights abuses.
Numerous reports have emerged that detail these linkages, including the 2007 disclosure by the National Security Archive that Colombian Army commander General Mario Montoya “engaged in a joint operation with a Medellín-based paramilitary group. ‘Operation Orion’ was part of a larger military offensive in the city during 2002-03 to attack urban guerrilla networks. The sweep resulted in at least 14 deaths and dozens of disappearances. The classified intelligence report confirmed ‘information provided by a proven source,’ according to comments from the U.S. defense attaché included in the document.”
This is but the tip of the proverbial iceberg, however.
In Afghanistan, the world’s number one producer and processor of opium and its finished “product” heroin, bound for European and U.S. markets, drug trafficking according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) in their 2008 World Drug Report, is “out of control.” According to UNDOC, drug money is used as “a lubricant for corruption, and a source of terrorist financing: in turn, corrupt officials and terrorists make drug production and trafficking easier.”
Indeed, since the 2001 U.S. invasion and occupation, opium production has skyrocketed some 1,000% and accounts for a large percentage of the country’s gross domestic product. Tellingly, some of the staunchest U.S. allies in the area are directly tied to international narcotics organizations. According to UNDOC, the global increase in opium production “was almost entirely due to the 17% expansion of cultivation in Afghanistan, which is now 193,000 ha [hectares]” reaching 8,700 metric tons in 2007, accounting for a staggering 92% of global opium production!
Despite these horrendous statistics, the authors of FM 3-05.130 can asset that “the methods and networks of real or perceived criminal entities can be useful”! Indeed they can, as a seemingly limitless source of black funds earmarked for U.S. planetary subversion in the interest of expanding American corporate power.
According to a June 2008 report by The Times, after last year’s bumper crop sent the price of opium spiraling downwards, the Taliban and U.S.-connected drug lords linked to Hamid Karzai’s government, are stockpiling vast quantities of opium in order to induce a rise in world prices. And Time Magazine reported in October that the value of hoarded opium may be as much as $3.2 billion.
Celebrated by the Pentagon and the U.S. media as a “splendid victory,” the 2001 invasion and occupation of Afghanistan quickly spiraled out of control and the country now faces a resurgent Taliban, a new base of operations for al-Qaeda in the tribal areas of Pakistan and evidence of Pakistani ISI involvement in aiding the fundamentalist insurgents and the global drugs trade. But for American unconventional warriors, a full accounting of war crimes that ARSOF supervised and their Northern Alliance “allies” carried out have yet to be answered.
As Peter Dale Scott noted in 2002,
It’s a bitter irony: The largely successful U.S. campaign against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan is resulting in an increase of funds for terrorists around the globe.
It is true, as President Bush has insisted, that global terrorism is financed by the flow of illicit drugs. Yet by installing and rewarding a coalition of drug-financed warlords in Kabul, the United States has itself helped restore the flow of Afghan heroin to terrorist groups, from the Balkans and Chechnya to Tajikistan, Pakistan and Kashmir. (“Poppy Paradox: U.S. War in Afghanistan Boosts Terror Funds,” Dissident Voice, August 3, 2002)
Indeed, among the staunchest U.S. allies in the region, characters such as Hazrat Ali and Gul Agha, “have been ‘bought off’ with millions in deals brokered by U.S. and British intelligence.” But while America was happy to endorse a drug-linked status quo that relied on its so-called “warlord strategy” to “stabilize” Afghanistan, part of the blowback from these dubious alliances included allowing bin Laden to escape into Pakistan in 2001 after the “battle” of Tora Bora.
But for Pentagon proponents of unconventional warfare, the “price is always right” when it comes to strategic and tactical alliances with narcotraffickers and international terrorists. After all, since “UW must be conducted by, with, or through surrogates; and such surrogates must be irregular forces,” everything is permitted.