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The Honorable Barack Obama President of the United States The White House Washington, DC    September 15, 2011

Dear President Obama:

The United States has invested significant resources in Iraq over the last eight years. Under your leadership and that of your predecessor, America has helped Iraq’s fledgling democracy emerge as a symbol to other peoples of the region, becoming, in the words of former Secretary of Defense Gates, “a multi-sectarian, multi-ethnic society in the Arab world that shows that democracy can work.”

We are thus gravely concerned about recent news reports suggesting that the White House is considering leaving only a residual force of 4,000 or fewer U.S. troops in Iraq after the end of this year. This number is significantly smaller than what U.S. military commanders on the ground have reportedly recommended and would limit our ability to ensure that Iraq remains stable and free from significant foreign influence in the years to come.

While the Iraqi Security Forces have become increasingly capable of defending Iraq against internal threats, they are not yet able to defend Iraq from external forces. As a result, Iraq’s troops will require after the end of this year continued U.S. assistance in combined-arms training, border protection, air and naval capabilities, logistics, and intelligence. It is also essential that we maintain a significant military presence at multiple places along Iraq’s disputed internal boundaries to allow the United States to assist Kurds and Arabs in the disputed zones with confidence-building.

In recent months, Iran has increased its attempts to expand its influence in Iraq, including through the killing of American forces and support to Iraqi political parties. Maintaining a robust American presence in-country would blunt these efforts, and help ensure Iraq remains oriented away from Iran and a long-term ally of the United States.

We therefore urge you to ensure that an adequate number of U.S. troops in Iraq remain after 2011. We were encouraged by your pragmatism in 2009 as you showed flexibility in the pace of America’s drawdown. We believe that the same pragmatism would counsel a significantly larger force than 4,000 U.S. troops in Iraq after the end of this year.

Failure to leave a significant U.S. military presence in Iraq will leave the country more vulnerable to internal and external threats, thus imperiling the hard-fought gains in security and governance made in recent years at significant cost to the United States. A successful, democratic Iraq will remain a model for other emerging Arab democracies and one day, its neighbor, Iran. However, a failing state in the heart of the Middle East would destabilize the region, empower Iran, and make vain more than eight years of efforts by the United States in Iraq.

You have fulfilled your campaign commitment to the nation to end the war in Iraq. Now, we request that you ensure that in doing so, we do not lose the peace.


Gary Bauer, Ash Jain, Danielle Pletka, Max Boot, Kenneth M. Jensen, John Podhoretz, Ellen Bork, Frederick Kagan,  Karl Rove, Paul Bremer,  Robert Kagan, Kori Schake, Norm Coleman, Kimberly Kagan, Randy Scheunemann, Seth Cropsey,  Lawrence Kaplan, Gary Schmitt, Thomas Donnelly, William Kristol, Dan Senor, Colin Dueck, Tod Lindberg Michael Singh, Eric Edelman, Herbert London, Marisa Cochrane Sullivan, Jamie Fly, Michael Makovsky, Marc ThiessenReuel, Marc Gerecht, Cliff May, Daniel Twining, Abe Greenwald, Joshua Muravchik, Peter Wehner, John Hannah, Andrew Natsios, Kenneth Weinstein, Bruce Pitcairn Jackson, Michael O'Hanlon, Paul Wolfowitz

    Sergio Vieira de Mello assassinated by U. S. military
    Lake Tharthar, WMD micro-fiche files


 PressTV Sina al-Shibabi The Iraqi cabinet has removed the longtime governor of the country's central bank after he and other senior bank officials were targeted in a probe into an alleged financial impropriety. Ali al-Moussawi, a spokesman for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, said parliament voted on Tuesday to replace Sinan al-Shabibi, who has led the bank since shortly after the US-led invasion in March 2003.  A special parliamentary committee is investigating to determine whether the officials at the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) had intentionally weakened the value of the Iraqi dinar against the US dollar.  "The cabinet decided to authorize Abdelbasset Turki, the head of the Board of the Supreme Audit, to run the central bank indefinitely," Al-Moussawi said.  He added, "The parliament today made a unanimous decision to vote for Abdelbasset, who is already handling many financial governmental decisions including the country's fiscal budget."  "Subsequently, a decision was made to remove powers from al-Shabibi as central bank governor," the prime minister's spokesperson noted.  Meanwhile, chairman of the parliamentary anti-corruption committee, Baha al-Araji, said 30 warrants had been issued, including for Shabibi and his deputy Mudher Saleh. Haider al-Abadi, a member of the investigating committee and the chairman of the parliamentary finance committee, also said authorities were trying to establish whether the actions of the CBI officials were a reckless oversight or intentional.  "There was a huge pressure on the currency, with the difference between buying and selling increasing in the local market, affecting the mass public," he said. 

WMR July 28-31, 2011 -- Civil suit planned against Bush officials over Iraq torture ...   Three individuals involved in blowing the whistle at an early stage on the systematic torture and abuse of Iraqi detainees at the outset of the U.S. occupation of Iraq plan to file suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against senior political and military officials in the Bush administration. Named in the lawsuit will be former Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and top U.S. military commanders of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The plaintiffs include retired Sgt. Frank Greg Ford, who served with the 223rd Military Intelligence Battalion in Iraq and who was unceremoniously removed from Iraq in 2003, strapped to a gurney, after he cited several cases of prisoner abuse in Iraq. Ford was one of the first U.S. military members to report prisoner abuse at detention facilities in Iraq. His reports of prisoner abuse resulted in a determination by his senior officers that he was not fit for service in Iraq and he was detained and flown out of Iraq to a U.S. military hospital in Germany after leveling charges of prisoner torture, including witnessing U.S. troops forcing lit cigarettes into the ears of teenage Iraqi boys.    ...   Ford will reportedly be joined in the lawsuit by retired Army officer Janis Karpinski, the former commander of the 800 Military Police Brigade, which had cognizance over U.S. military detention facilities in Iraq, including the now-infamous Abu Ghraib prison, the scene of repeated acts of prisoner abuse and torture. A number of Army enlisted personnel were sentenced to prison as a result of the torture scandal, however, it is alleged that the U.S. military personnel were following orders from senior officials of the Bush administration. Karpinski was reduced to the rank of colonel as a result of the Army's investigation, however, she contends, with the support of other senior U.S. military officers, that she had no access to the wing of Abu Ghraib, which was under the strict control of military intelligence and the CIA, where the prisoner abuse was taking place.    ...   Also reportedly joining the lawsuit is Stanford University professor emeritus Philip Zimbardo, a former president of the American Psychological Assocation, who has conducted pioneeting research, including the Stanford Prison Experiment, which examined the effects of torture on prisoners.    ...   The lawsuit against the Bush administration officials is expected to be filed in September.    ...   A large list of defendants and witnesses is being developed by the plaintiffs' legal team. Former President George W. Bush may also be called to testify in the trial. There is a precedent for testimony by former presidents. In 1992, former President Ronald Reagan was called to testify before Iran-contra special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh on his knowledge of the Iran-contra scandal.


WMR July 22-24, 2011 -- SPECIAL REPORT. UN representative in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, assassinated in 2003 by U.S. operatives ...   On August 19, 2003, at 5:37 pm, a van exploded at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, the headquarters for the UN Peace Mission for Iraq. The blast ripped through a wall of the building causing a side of the building to collapse. Twenty-two UN employees were killed in the blast, blamed by the U.S. occupation forces and echoed by the corporate media on a suicide bombing. An additional 100 people inside the building, including U.S. military personnel, were injured. Trapped under the rubble but alive for a number of hours before he died of his injuries was Sergio Vieira de Mello, a Brazilian diplomat who was the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Other UN staff members killed in the blast included nationals of Egypt, Britain, Italy, United States, Spain, Canada, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, and the Philippines.    ...   In an exclusive to WMR, a senior U.S. flag rank officer in Baghdad at the time of the bombing of the UN mission has revealed that the bomb blast that killed de Mello and his colleagues was not a suicide attack but the result of a remote-controlled bomb placed in the van that was parked directly next to de Mello's office inside the U.S. military-controlled access zone. U.S. rescue teams were under orders not to excavate de Mello from the rubble of the Canal Hotel until after it was determined that he was dead.    ...    The U.S. flag rank officer had met with de Mello on August 18. During the meeting, de Mello told the high-ranking U.S. Army officer that he was compiling evidence of U.S. troops in Iraq torturing Iraqi detainees. The Army officer relayed de Mello's concern up the chain-of-command. The next day, de Mello was dead, along with 21 members of his UN mission. A second bombing of the UN mission the following month resulted in the UN withdrawing its 600 member mission from Iraq. The authorization for the twin bombings of the UN mission came from the highest levels of the Bush White House, according to our source. However, in typical fashion, responsibility for the bombings came from "Al Qaeda's" chief in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi.    ...    Zarqawi was said to have been killed in a targeted precision-guided bombing of his safe house in Iraq by U.S. Air Force F-16s.    ...   De Mello also expressed concern to the U.S. officer about outside actors involved in torture in Iraq, elements later identified as Israelis. The torture by U.S. forces of Iraqi detainees was not reported by the media until April 2004.   ...   De Mello was the highest-ranking victim of a terrorist assassination since Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN mediator in Palestine, was killed by Zionist terrorists in 1948 and UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold's plane was shot down over Northern Rhodesia by Belgian mercenaries from Katanga that were linked to the CIA.    ...   In 2008, the UN General Assembly voted to designate August 19 as World Humanitarian Day in honor of those UN workers who were killed in Baghdad. In light of the revelation that the Bush White House ordered the assassination of de Mello and members of his staff, the day should be known as World Humanitarian and Awareness of U.S. Sponsored Terrorism Day.

WMR February 17, 2011 -- Details of U.S. false flag attacks in Iraq revealed    ....    WMR has been informed by a strictly anonymous source that many of the "terrorist" attacks in Iraq that have been blamed on "Al Qaeda" and its allies were, in fact, carried out by CIA-supported Sunni cells. US Special Forces teams seconded to the CIA units provided protection to the Sunni cells as they carried out their terror missions.    ...   The CIA and Special Forces teams ensured that the Sunni terrorist cells hit their pre-determined targets. In some cases, when the certain Sunni teams were thought to be unreliable, the CIA and Special Forces overseers would execute the Sunnis.    ...    In other cases, a remotely-controlled car bomb would prematurely detonate, requiring the CIA-Special Forces units to cleanup the evidence and chalk the terrorist event off as a "suicide bomb." The media would be fed press releases that "confirmed" the bombing as a suicide attack. Our source worked with two different Sunni terrorist cells in Iraq.    ...   On June 24, 2009, WMR reported: "WMR has learned from an intelligence source who served in 2007 at the Tallil Air Base in Iraq, also known as Camp Adder by the U.S. Army and Ali Air Base by the U.S. Air Force, that United States intelligence services imported Afghan mercenaries into Iraq in order to attack Iraqi civilians and military personnel, as well as coalition forces, including U.S. service personnel. The Afghans were recruited from Taliban ranks and were paid for their services in Iraq. WMR has learned that during 2007, Iraqi police stopped a truck hauling a 40-foot trailer on the Kerrada Bridge in Baghdad. When the Iraqi police officers checked the truck's trailer they were amazed to discover between 30 and 40 Afghan Taliban. They said they were brought into Iraq by the United States and were tasked with stirring up trouble in Iraq., much of it ascribed by U.S. military commanders as the work of the dubiously-named Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (Organization of Jihad's Base in the Country of the Two Rivers) or, more commonly known as 'Al Qaeda of Mesopotamia.'"     ...   The case of Raymond Davis, the so-called U.S. diplomat arrested in Lahore, Pakistan after shooting two Pakistani men, indicates that the CIA is carrying out similar false flag terrorist attacks in that country. Pakistani police recovered from Davis's car a pistol, facial make-up, ATM cards from five different banks, a Global Positioning System device, a telescope, two mobile telephones, maps, a wireless radio, a passport, photos of different possible target locations in Multan, Sargodha, and Lahore. Concerned that Davis may spill the beans to Pakistan about CIA false flag terrorist attacks in Pakistan, the Obama administration is demanding Davis's immediate release and repatriation to the United States, citing the CIA officer's diplomatic immunity. The Davis case has opened a wide rift in U.S.-Pakistani relations.    ...   On September 13, 2010, WMR reported: "WMR has learned from a deep background source that Xe Services, the company formerly known as Blackwater, has been conducting false flag terrorist attacks in Pakistan that are later blamed on the entity called 'Pakistani Taliban.' . . . it is Xe cells operating in Karachi, Peshawar, Islamabad, and other cities and towns that have, according to our source who witnessed the U.S.-led false flag terrorist operations in Pakistan. Bombings of civilians is the favored false flag event for the Xe team and are being carried out under the orders of the CIA. However, the source is now under threat from the FBI and CIA for revealing the nature of the false flag operations in Pakistan. If the source does not agree to cooperate with the CIA and FBI, with an offer of a salary, the threat of false criminal charges being brought for aiding and abetting terrorism looms over the source . . . Responsibility for the recent bomb attack of a pro-Palestine Shi'a rally in Quetta that killed 54 people was claimed by the Pakistan Taliban, but it was actually carried out by one of the Xe covert cells in the country, acting in concert with the CIA, Israeli Mossad, and Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). The ultimate goal is to destabilize Pakistan to the point where it has no choice but to allow the Western powers to secure its nuclear weapons and remove them from the country. . ."
PressTV  "A US war veteran has accused the Pentagon of launching a nuclear attack on southern Iraq in the final day of the first Persian Gulf War.   ...   Jim Brown, a mechanic in the Army's 10th Mountain Division at the time, told Italian state news channel RaiNews24 that Washington dropped a nuclear bomb in a deserted area outside the city of Basra near the Iranian border in 1991.   ...  The bombing, which took place on the last day of the war in Iraq on February 27th, caused an explosion equal to a five-kiloton blast.   ...  The allegations draw parallels with the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, which created a blast equivalent to about 13 kilotons of TNT.   ...   According to a number of US military heavyweights, the devastating attack on Japan was not necessary as the country had already been seeking a way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'.  "The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender," said William D. Leahy, a former admiral and chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff."


PressTV  "A US war veteran has accused the Pentagon of launching a nuclear attack on southern Iraq in the final day of the first Persian Gulf War.   ...   Jim Brown, a mechanic in the Army's 10th Mountain Division at the time, told Italian state news channel RaiNews24 that Washington dropped a nuclear bomb in a deserted area outside the city of Basra near the Iranian border in 1991.   ...  The bombing, which took place on the last day of the war in Iraq on February 27th, caused an explosion equal to a five-kiloton blast.   ...  The allegations draw parallels with the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, which created a blast equivalent to about 13 kilotons of TNT.   ...   According to a number of US military heavyweights, the devastating attack on Japan was not necessary as the country had already been seeking a way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'.  "The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender," said William D. Leahy, a former admiral and chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff."


WMR: Alberto Gonzales covered up torture by American contractors under DOJ investigation,  December 20, 2010 --
A top U.S. military source involved with the ostensibly-U.S. military run detention camps and prisons in post-U.S. invasion and occupation Iraq has told WMR that a number of private contractors who were responsible for ordering and committing abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad and at other detention facilities were former U.S. state and federal prison guards who were under criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice while also working in Iraq. The contractors, many of whom used aliases like "James Bond" and "007" were accused of abusing prisoners at U.S. federal and state prisons while working as guards.

However, a deal was worked out between then-White House Chief Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Commander of Combined Joint Task Force 7 General Ricardo Sanchez that resulted in all the pending criminal investigations of the former U.S. prison guards dropped in return for their "service" in Iraq. The deal to lift the pending Justice Department investigations of the former U.S. prison guards was worked out by the Prisons Department, which reported to Coalition Provisional Authority head Paul "Jerry' Bremer.

WMR's Army source revealed that when asked by military personnel about their assigned jobs at the Iraq prisons, many of the civilian interrogators replied, "If I told you, I'd have to kill you." WMR has also learned that many of the interrogation contracts with companies like CACI and Titan were arranged through the auspices of the CIA, not the Department of Defense.

Aside from some Israelis present at Abu Ghraib and other prisons, none of the contractor interrogators spoke Arabic and most were in Iraq on lucrative 90-day contracts. After the expiration of their 90-day contracts, the civilian interrogators were shipped to the Hilton Hotel in Kuwait where they re-negotiated their original contracts at double and triple their original salaries. The Hilton contract re-negotiation interlude was punctuated by drinking parties and orgies with prostitutes, according to our source.

WMR has learned of one such interrogation contractor who was being paid by CACI at the same time he was working as a Naval Security Group reservist and thus was being paid twice for doing the same job. The individual had been assigned to Saudi Arabia as a signals intelligence operator during the first Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm in the early 1990s and re-appeared as a SIGINT operator at the U.S. embassy in Muscat, Oman during Operation Iraqi Freedom. From Muscat, the SIGINT operator ended up working at Bremer's headquarters in threw Green Zone. There is a possibility that the contractor in question may have had ties to Israeli intelligence, and, thus, represented an Israeli penetration of National Security Agency (NSA) operations in Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Iraq. No criminal charges for his involvement in the abuse of prisoners at Avbu Ghraib, or possible espionage, were ever brought against the contractor.

The bottom line at Abu Ghraib and some twenty other detention facilities around Iraq was that there was no military control and very little civilian control over the activities of the civilian interrogators and detention operatives.


By Russ Baker, and copied from Guerilla News Network, fair use.

Two years before 9/11, candidate Bush was already talking privately about attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer

Houston: Two years before the September 11 attacks, presidential candidate George W. Bush was already talking privately about the political benefits of attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer, who held many conversations with then-Texas Governor Bush in preparation for a planned autobiography.

“He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999,” said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. “It was on his mind. He said to me: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.’ He said, ‘If I have a chance to invade….if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency.”

Herskowitz said that Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his father’s shadow. The moment, Herskowitz said, came in the wake of the September 11 attacks. “Suddenly, he’s at 91 percent in the polls, and he’d barely crawled out of the bunker.”

That President Bush and his advisers had Iraq on their minds long before weapons inspectors had finished their work – and long before alleged Iraqi ties with terrorists became a central rationale for war – has been raised elsewhere, including in a book based on recollections of former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill. However, Herskowitz was in a unique position to hear Bush’s unguarded and unfiltered views on Iraq, war and other matters – well before he became president.

In 1999, Herskowitz struck a deal with the campaign of George W. Bush about a ghost-written autobiography, which was ultimately titled A Charge to Keep : My Journey to the White House, and he and Bush signed a contract in which the two would split the proceeds. The publisher was William Morrow. Herskowitz was given unimpeded access to Bush, and the two met approximately 20 times so Bush could share his thoughts. Herskowitz began working on the book in May, 1999, and says that within two months he had completed and submitted some 10 chapters, with a remaining 4-6 chapters still on his computer. Herskowitz was replaced as Bush’s ghostwriter after Bush’s handlers concluded that the candidate’s views and life experiences were not being cast in a sufficiently positive light.

According to Herskowitz, who has authored more than 30 books, many of them jointly written autobiographies of famous Americans in politics, sports and media (including that of Reagan adviser Michael Deaver), Bush and his advisers were sold on the idea that it was difficult for a president to accomplish an electoral agenda without the record-high approval numbers that accompany successful if modest wars.

The revelations on Bush’s attitude toward Iraq emerged recently during two taped interviews of Herskowitz, which included a discussion of a variety of matters, including his continued closeness with the Bush family, indicated by his subsequent selection to pen an authorized biography of Bush’s grandfather, written and published last year with the assistance and blessing of the Bush family.

Herskowitz also revealed the following:

-In 2003, Bush’s father indicated to him that he disagreed with his son’s invasion of Iraq.

-Bush admitted that he failed to fulfill his Vietnam-era domestic National Guard service obligation, but claimed that he had been “excused.”

-Bush revealed that after he left his Texas National Guard unit in 1972 under murky circumstances, he never piloted a plane again. That casts doubt on the carefully-choreographed moment of Bush emerging in pilot’s garb from a jet on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in 2003 to celebrate “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq. The image, instantly telegraphed around the globe, and subsequent hazy White House statements about his capacity in the cockpit, created the impression that a heroic Bush had played a role in landing the craft.

-Bush described his own business ventures as “floundering” before campaign officials insisted on recasting them in a positive light.

Throughout the interviews for this article and in subsequent conversations, Herskowitz indicated he was conflicted over revealing information provided by a family with which he has longtime connections, and by how his candor could comport with the undefined operating principles of the as-told-to genre. Well after the interviews—in which he expressed consternation that Bush’s true views, experience and basic essence had eluded the American people —Herskowitz communicated growing concern about the consequences for himself of the publication of his remarks, and said that he had been under the impression he would not be quoted by name. However, when conversations began, it was made clear to him that the material was intended for publication and attribution. A tape recorder was present and visible at all times.

Several people who know Herskowitz well addressed his character and the veracity of his recollections. “I don’t know anybody that’s ever said a bad word about Mickey,” said Barry Silverman, a well-known Houston executive and civic figure who worked with him on another book project. An informal survey of Texas journalists turned up uniform confidence that Herskowitz’s account as contained in this article could be considered accurate.

One noted Texas journalist who spoke with Herskowitz about the book in 1999 recalls how the author mentioned to him at the time that Bush had revealed things the campaign found embarrassing and did not want in print. He requested anonymity because of the political climate in the state. “I can’t go near this,” he said.

According to Herskowitz, George W. Bush’s beliefs on Iraq were based in part on a notion dating back to the Reagan White House – ascribed in part to now-vice president Dick Cheney, Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee under Reagan. “Start a small war. Pick a country where there is justification you can jump on, go ahead and invade.”

Bush’s circle of pre-election advisers had a fixation on the political capital that British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher collected from the Falklands War. Said Herskowitz: “They were just absolutely blown away, just enthralled by the scenes of the troops coming back, of the boats, people throwing flowers at [Thatcher] and her getting these standing ovations in Parliament and making these magnificent speeches.”

Republicans, Herskowitz said, felt that Jimmy Carter’s political downfall could be attributed largely to his failure to wage a war. He noted that President Reagan and President Bush’s father himself had (besides the narrowly-focused Gulf War I) successfully waged limited wars against tiny opponents – Grenada and Panama – and gained politically. But there were successful small wars, and then there were quagmires, and apparently George H.W. Bush and his son did not see eye to eye.

“I know [Bush senior] would not admit this now, but he was opposed to it. I asked him if he had talked to W about invading Iraq. “He said, ‘No I haven’t, and I won’t, but Brent [Scowcroft] has.’ Brent would not have talked to him without the old man’s okaying it.” Scowcroft, national security adviser in the elder Bush’s administration, penned a highly publicized warning to George W. Bush about the perils of an invasion.

Herskowitz’s revelations are not the sole indicator of Bush’s pre-election thinking on Iraq. In December 1999, some six months after his talks with Herskowitz, Bush surprised veteran political chroniclers, including the Boston Globe’s David Nyhan, with his blunt pronouncements about Saddam at a six-way New Hampshire primary event that got little notice: “It was a gaffe-free evening for the rookie front-runner, till he was asked about Saddam’s weapons stash,” wrote Nyhan. ‘I’d take ‘em out,’ [Bush] grinned cavalierly, ‘take out the weapons of mass destruction…I’m surprised he’s still there,” said Bush of the despot who remains in power after losing the Gulf War to Bush Jr.’s father…It remains to be seen if that offhand declaration of war was just Texas talk, a sort of locker room braggadocio, or whether it was Bush’s first big clinker. ”

The notion that President Bush held unrealistic or naïve views about the consequences of war was further advanced recently by a Bush supporter, the evangelist Pat Robertson, who revealed that Bush had told him the Iraq invasion would yield no casualties. In addition, in recent days, high-ranking US military officials have complained that the White House did not provide them with adequate resources for the task at hand.

Herskowitz considers himself a friend of the Bush family, and has been a guest at the family vacation home in Kennebunkport. In the late 1960s, Herskowitz, a longtime Houston Chronicle sports columnist designated President Bush’s father, then-Congressman George HW Bush, to replace him as a guest columnist, and the two have remained close since then. (Herskowitz was suspended briefly in April without pay for reusing material from one of his own columns, about legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden.)

In 1999, when Herskowitz turned in his chapters for Charge to Keep, Bush’s staff expressed displeasure —often over Herskowitz’s use of language provided by Bush himself. In a chapter on the oil business, Herskowitz included Bush’s own words to describe the Texan’s unprofitable business ventures, writing: “the companies were floundering”. “I got a call from one of the campaign lawyers, he was kind of angry, and he said, ‘You’ve got some wrong information.’ I didn’t bother to say, ‘Well you know where it came from.’ [The lawyer] said, ‘We do not consider that the governor struggled or floundered in the oil business. We consider him a successful oilman who started up at least two new businesses.’ ”

In the end, campaign officials decided not to go with Herskowitz’s account, and, moreover, demanded everything back. “The lawyer called me and said, ‘Delete it. Shred it. Just do it.’ ”

“They took it and [communications director] Karen [Hughes] rewrote it,” he said. A campaign official arrived at his home at seven a.m. on a Monday morning and took his notes and computer files. However, Herskowitz, who is known for his memory of anecdotes from his long history in journalism and book publishing, says he is confident about his recollections.

According to Herskowitz, Bush was reluctant to discuss his time in the Texas Air National Guard – and inconsistent when he did so. Bush, he said, provided conflicting explanations of how he came to bypass a waiting list and obtain a coveted Guard slot as a domestic alternative to being sent to Vietnam. Herskowitz also said that Bush told him that after transferring from his Texas Guard unit two-thirds through his six-year military obligation to work on an Alabama political campaign, he did not attend any Alabama National Guard drills at all, because he was “excused.” This directly contradicts his public statements that he participated in obligatory training with the Alabama National Guard. Bush’s claim to have fulfilled his military duty has been subject to intense scrutiny; he has insisted in the past that he did show up for monthly drills in Alabama – though commanding officers say they never saw him, and no Guardsmen have come forward to accept substantial “rewards” for anyone who can claim to have seen Bush on base.

Herskowitz said he asked Bush if he ever flew a plane again after leaving the Texas Air National Guard in 1972 – which was two years prior to his contractual obligation to fly jets was due to expire. He said Bush told him he never flew any plane – military or civilian – again. That would contradict published accounts in which Bush talks about his days in 1973 working with inner-city children, when he claimed to have taken some of the children up in a plane.

In 2002, three years after he had been pulled off the George W. Bush biography, Herskowitz was asked by Bush’s father to write a book about the current president’s grandfather, Prescott Bush, after getting a message that the senior Bush wanted to see him. “Former President Bush just handed it to me. We were sitting there one day, and I was visiting him there in his office…He said, ‘I wish somebody would do a book about my dad.’ ”

“He said to me, ‘I know this has been a disappointing time for you, but it’s amazing how many times something good will come out of it.’ I passed it on to my agent, he jumped all over it. I asked [Bush senior], ‘Would you support it and would you give me access to the rest of family?’ He said yes.”

That book, Duty, Honor, Country: The Life and Legacy of Prescott Bush, was published in 2003 by Routledge. If anything, the book has been criticized for its over-reliance on the Bush family’s perspective and rosy interpretation of events. Herskowitz himself is considered the ultimate “as-told-to” author, lending credibility to his account of what George W. Bush told him. Herskowitz’s other books run the gamut of public figures, and include the memoirs of Reagan aide Deaver, former Texas Governor and Nixon Treasury Secretary John Connally, newsman Dan Rather, astronaut Walter Cunningham, and baseball greats Mickey Mantle and Nolan Ryan.

After Herskowitz was pulled from the Bush book project, the biographer learned that a scenario was being prepared to explain his departure. “I got a phone call from someone in the Bush campaign, confidentially, saying ‘Watch your back.’ ”

Reporters covering Bush say that when they inquired as to why Herskowitz was no longer on the project, Hughes intimated that Herskowitz had personal habits that interfered with his writing – a claim Herskowitz said is unfounded. Later, the campaign put out the word that Herskowitz had been removed for missing a deadline. Hughes subsequently finished the book herself – it received largely critical reviews for its self-serving qualities and lack of spontaneity or introspection.

So, said Herskowitz, the best material was left on the cutting room floor, including Bush’s true feelings.

“He told me that as a leader, you can never admit to a mistake,” Herskowitz said. “That was one of the keys to being a leader.”

Research support for this article was provided by the Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute.

Russ Baker is an award-winning independent journalist who has been published in The New York Times, The Nation, Washington Post, The Telegraph (UK), Sydney Morning-Herald, and Der Spiegel, among many others.


Bush, Planted Evidence of WMD
The scoundrel. This is just amazing. Where/when will it end? This article source:  TOM HENEGHAN REPORTS BUSH WHITE HOUSE ABOUT TO COLLAPSE WITH THE "SMOKING GUN" EVIDENCE OF PLANTING WMD'S IN IRAQ by Scott Mowry  11.22.05  Tom Heneghan appeared in a short audio briefing on for Tuesday, November 22, 2005 and made a bold prediction in light of the recent revelations of CIA agent Valerie Plame.  Heneghan has been reporting for a week now that the primary reason for the outing Plame was not in retribution against her husband Joe Wilson for disputing claims that the government of Niger had supplied Iraq with nuclear materials. But rather she was outed for the role of her CIA team in the interruption of a covert plan to smuggle weapons of mass destruction into Iraq before the war. Heneghan is now saying that this new evidence is the smoking gun about to crumble the Bush administration at any time now.  "The Bush administration needed to out Valerie Plame and destroy her credibility because her team, linked to Brewster Jennings and associates, had interdicted and completed a sting operation against this group that was trying to plant weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So that the American troops that arrived in Iraq during the period of the warfare would have WMD's waiting for them," concluded Heneghan.  The WMD's originated from the countries of Kosovo and Bosnia and were to be funneled through Turkey by rogue arms dealer and international terrorist Gary Best to Iraq.  "They were given orders to move VX nerve gas from Turkey into Iraq. This was to be hidden in Iraq and later used as evidence that Saddam Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction," said Heneghan of the original plan.  Heneghan also reported that a secret group of Mossad agents, working as Israeli military personnel based unofficially with the U.S. military in Iraq, were waiting to receive both the VX nerve gas as well as aluminum tubes in the latter part of October 2002.  "The group that was in Iraq that was to receive these WMD's from this Bosnian group was a secret Mossad/Israeli team, and were attached to group known as J2X Joint Intelligence Liaison in Baghdad," Heneghan said of his U.S. intelligence source confirmations.  Plame and her team uncovered this plot in November of 2002 and subsequently no WMD's have ever been found in the country of Iraq to justify the war.  Washington Post Editor Bob Woodward found out about Plame's discovery in June and July of 2003 from Richard Armitage and Dick Cheney. Ever since then he has attempted to discredit Plame and disrupt the grand jury investigation into her outing and continues to do so.  "Mr. Woodward, who knows this case is about to explode in his face, decides to trigger an investigation of the CIA. So what did he do two weeks ago? He leaked a story in his Washington Post about black prisons. This story has now caused a new investigation about national security leaks," said Heneghan of Woodward's role in the plot.  Current CIA Director Porter Goss has launched an investigation through the Justice Department to find the sources of leaks about these black prisons. The leak actually originated from Dick Cheney and prominent members of the Republican Party who then passed on the information to reporter Dana Priest who subsequently authored the stories that appeared in the Washington Post.  "What Porter Goss has done is create an investigation that will end up investigating himself," surmised Heneghan.  "The defense of this administration has constantly been to blame the CIA. The fact of the matter is that (former CIA Director) George Tenant has recently written a report in which he has given to Porter Goss. It is a damage assessment report on how many agents were killed because of the outing of Valerie Plame. It will deal with an attempt to plant the WMD's in Iraq and Mr. Porter Goss refuses to publish the credit report and claims that it is national security," stated Heneghan.  This report by Tenant has been subpoenaed by Fitzgerald and the Bush administration is attempting to quash it by claiming national security reasons. Heneghan revealed several weeks ago that Tenant was given a $36 million bribe to take the fall for the failure to find WMD's in Iraq among other issues, which was falsely blamed as the result of poor intelligence work by the CIA. Tenant was also recently granted transactional immunity by Fitzgerald in exchange for his testimony.  "Once this report is in the hands of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, the entire White House WILL COME DOWN LIKE A HOUSE OF CARDS," predicted Heneghan. "This Tenant report includes a reference to an attempt to plant WMD in Iraq. THAT IS THE SMOKING GUN, folks," he declared.  The WMD discovery is also linked directly to 9/11 for the money that was paid out for these covert operations from funds that originated from the Philippines.  “What connects the dots between 9/11 and the WMD's in Iraq is the money. There was direct money that was being paid through Switzerland to pay off Osama Bin Laden for his role in 9/11 for being the patsy and the fall guy for the September 11th attacks,' Heneghan said. "There is an old saying that is, follow the money."  Heneghan also revealed that the Bush administration continues to explore ways to cause a distraction of the Fitzgerald investigation by staging further acts of terrorism in the united States.  "Bush was in Mongolia discussing with certain people an attempt to trigger a new 9/11 Two. Right now the U. S. economy is on the verge of collapse despite the stock market going to 10,900. The reason this is occurring is because we are no longer reporting M3," said Heneghan of the current economic climate.  "They can print as many Euro dollars as they want offshore now unlike they could in the past and pumping them into the U.S. stock market by making these funds available to certain offshore entities and major U.S. brokerage firms including Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns . What you have now is the Federal Reserve buying stocks. This is being done as an emergency measure given the state of chaos this administration faces," warned Heneghan.  Heneghan also detailed the ripple effect these developments of the Tenant damage assessment report may have had with the Israeli government.  "One of the reasons Ariel Sharon has resigned as the head of Likud Party (The National Liberal Party) and will be setting up his own political party, is because he himself has identified through his own internal investigation this renegade Mossad team linked to Benjamin Netanyahu who was operating with Bush and Cheney without the of the Israeli government," Heneghan disclosed.

"Our Generals Don’t Even Know Who We Are"
Amar Abdul Rahman was a survivor. He was also a fiercely patriotic Iraqi and thought of himself as an honest man – two things that did not always go together. Rahman had served for over fifteen years in the Iraqi Air Force as a Chief Warrant Officer in charge of all munitions in Region 6 – a vast, mostly desert area in north-central Iraq straddling the Tigris River approximately 80 kilometers north of Baghdad. There were several military installations located within Region 6, the largest being his current duty station, al-Bakr Air Force Base, named after Iraq’s fourth president - Hassan Ahmed al-Bakr. Al-Bakr was a very popular president and he was especially beloved by the female population of Iraq. He even had his own contingent of “groupies” present whenever he would appear in public. Many public statues of Al-Bakr were built all over Iraq as a tribute to his popularity. The common people just adored him.

He was of course assassinated. It was nothing personal. That was just the Iraqi way.

As a Shiite Muslim, Rahman knew that he would never have a chance at becoming a high ranking military officer. Those positions were all reserved for the suck-up Sunni loyalists who composed nearly all of the senior officer positions in the Saddam military. Yes, a few token Shia and even the odd Kurd here and there had been given some meaningless staff officer jobs from time to time, just to appease the masses, but everyone knew that all of the important roles in the Iraqi military and civilian leadership were reserved for members of Saddam’s own religious sect - the minority Sunni population. The most inner circles of Saddam loyalists were restricted further still to include only members of his own Tikriti tribe, all of whom were directly related to Saddam. At the innermost circle of all were immediate family members that made up what was referred to as the “Circle of 40.” They alone had direct and daily access to the Iraqi dictator. Their access to Saddam was trumped only by that of his two sons – Uday and Qusay. Tribal affiliation and blood ties are absolutely everything in Iraq. They always have been and were made even more important under Saddam.

Rahman accepted that fact, just as he had accepted everything else about life in Iraq since the reign of Saddam began in the late 1970’s. In fact, at age 34, he had really never known any other way of life. It could be harsh and unforgiving to be sure, but if one did as they were told, stayed away from politics and did well in school as well as with their compulsory service in the military, one could manage to have an acceptable, if not well to do life. That was the most Rahman had ever expected and for the most part, he was happy with his lot in life.

As fate would have it however, Rahman is a distant relative of the number two man in the Iraqi government – Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri. Al-Duri is Saddam’s right hand man and second in charge to Saddam of the ruling Ba’ath Party, Deputy Commander of the Iraqi Military and the Vice Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council. This fact had enabled Rahman to bypass the compulsory one-year service in the Iraqi Army as a lowly infantry soldier in 1988 and to enlist in the more respected and better paid Iraqi Air Force as a Warrant Officer, a position usually reserved for career service members as a reward for their loyalty and for bribes paid to senior officers over the years. Rahman considered himself extremely fortunate to have such a relative, even if it was a distant relative by marriage only – a distant in-law to be more accurate. But family was family and in Iraq, that was usually enough.

After receiving his initial military training in 1988 at Taji Air Force Base just north of Baghdad, Rahman was next stationed at the large air base in the As-Sulaymaniyah province located in northeastern Iraq and very close to the Iranian border. During the 10-year Iran-Iraq war that had just ended a few months’ earlier, As-Sulaymaniyah was one of the most active military posts in the country and had been on the receiving end of several Iranian Air Force bombing sorties into Iraq. There was still considerable damage to the base when he arrived in early fall 1989 and some basic services like sewage and electricity were not fully restored. Rahman was placed under the supervision of a senior Warrant Officer who would mentor him in his new occupation. Rahman was a very good student and he soaked up all of his training just like the parched Iraqi desert after a thunderstorm. He was proud to serve in such a trusted position.

During his six year tour at As-Sulaymaniyah, he received advanced training in the identification, transportation and storage of munitions and ordinance – in lay terms, weapons - all kinds of weapons ranging from landmines and machineguns to high explosive bombs and - WMD, specifically, chemical WMD. Of course, Iraqi had no WMD, right? Well, whatever WMD that Iraq didn’t have in Region 6 was about to be placed under the direct supervision of Munitions and newly promoted Chief Warrant Officer Amar Abdul Rahman - and Rahman had become a very good munitions officer.

In 1995 Rahman was transferred to al-Baker Air Force Base and for the first time in his career, he alone now assumed the responsibility of all munitions in his region. He was ready. Al-Baker was located in one of the most rural areas of Iraq. In fact, when the base was built in 1982 by Yugoslav and German contractors, Saddam had to seize thousand of acres of prime farmland and fruit orchards from the local farmers in order to build his immense new base. That did not sit well with the farmers and local tribal leaders, many of whom were Shia. They protested to Baghdad over the illegal land grab. Saddam soon sent in some agents from the Mokabarat (Iraqi Secret Service) and after several farmers disappeared and/or turned up beheaded, the controversy came to an abrupt end and the base was completed as scheduled.

Rahman enjoyed his new assignment and he dutifully cataloged everything in his charge and followed his orders to the letter, just as he had been taught since grade school. He had two junior officers and over 20 Air Force technicians assigned directly under him to assist with the inventorying, packing, labeling and transportation of the massive amounts of weapons systems and ammunition that he was responsible for. In addition to the 25 square km base at al-Baker, Rahman was also responsible for the 5 square km base munitions annex located approximately 3 km south of the base. It was at this sub-post that Rahman actually had his office and also where he kept his records.

Shortly after arriving at al-Bakr in the summer of 1996, Rahman received an unexpected visit from the Iraqi Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, Maj. General Hamid Raja Shalah. Shalah had made a special trip from Air Force headquarters in Baghdad to speak with Rahman in person because he felt that the subject was so sensitive that he did not trust talking on the telephone and he certainly would not use the unreliable Iraqi military radio communications system. No, this was a matter to be handled in person, one to one, face to face.

Gen. Shalah met with his eager new officer in Rahman’s cramped and dusty office at the annex. Rahman was understandably nervous since this was the highest ranking officer he had ever met and he did not know what to expect. The general spoke first. “Rahman, what I am about to tell you does not leave this room.” Now Rahman was really nervous, but he managed to spit out a short, “Yes Sir.”

“As chief munitions officer for Region 6, you will be responsible for some sensitive items that very few people in this country even know about, including your base commander. I am talking about chemical weapons that have been banned by the United Nations. Weapons that our president has sworn we no longer have. Do you understand me so far?” Banned weapons? I will be responsible? I don’t need this! But a crisp “Yes Sir!” was what actually came out of his mouth. “You will be receiving a shipment of some of these items next week on two unmarked flatbed trucks accompanied by Mukhabarat personnel. Obey their instructions exactly Rahman and you will be well rewarded by me. Understand?” “Thank you sir” was the only thing Rahman could think of to say, at least to this guy anyway.

The “items” were indeed delivered the next week as the general had promised and Rahman followed the instructions he was given by the plainclothes intelligence agents accompanying the shipment. The weapons were inventoried, cataloged in his records and stored in a reinforced bunker on the main base. No one was told of their arrival or location, not even the base commander. Damn! Rahman thought. I just hope we never to go to war with the Americans again. I don’t want to have to deal with this!

He spent the next seven years playing a kind of shell game with the UNSCOM inspectors sent by the UN to monitor Iraq’s WMD program. Whenever UNSCOM sent one of its inspectors such as Scott Ritter or Hanz Blix, he would bury the WMD before they arrived, deny their existence and when they were gone, the large construction equipment, always under the watchful eye of the Mukhabarat, would dig them up and move them to another location in the region. Rahman became very good at the game and he thought he would do so until retirement.

However, on April 9, 2003 all that changed.

That was the day the Iraqi forces defending al-Bakr deserted their posts after several days of bombing and brutal assaults by the American Air Force as well as units of infantry and armored forces of the U.S. Army’s Third Infantry Division. The cavernous main hanger had a huge crater in the middle of the roof and floor, the two main runways were pockmarked with bomb craters and the base was littered with burnt out hulks of Iraqi military vehicles and giant MIG-29s as the Iraqis attempted to tow them out of harms way. They didn’t make it. Rahman himself had ordered his men to destroy all of their munitions records. As per an impassioned phone call from Shalah the day before, Rahman had burned all records of the chemical WMD on file in his office. He gladly complied as he wanted no part of any war trials after this was all over, whenever that would be. Maybe he will be killed or taken prisoner and it will never be over for him.

But eventually, it was over.

Within a week or so after the initial American troops had captured and then bypassed al-Bakr on their way north to Tikrit and Mosel, a new group of U.S. soldiers arrived in a large convoy from Kuwait. They entered the sprawling, deserted and charred base through the battered south gate and set up camp in a vacant dirt field just east of the airbase control tower. These were the troops of the 223rd Military Intelligence Battalion, California Army National Guard. Among their number were a contingent of Counterintelligence Special Agents whose primary missions, among others, were the location of Saddam Hussein and Iraqi WMD. One of those agents was named David DeBatto, in Arabic, Daoud, or as he would eventually be referred to by both Iraqis and Americans alike – Mr. David, his host in this furnace of a tent on his former base.

“It was a new day for Iraq”, he thought.


After relating his background and experience to us, Rahman told us that there was indeed WMD in this area and that he would be willing to lead us to it. Not being overly trusting of Iraqi’s at that point and certainly not of a prior Iraqi military officer, I was very skeptical of anything he told us. I asked Rahman why he was telling us all of this and he said very matter-of-factly, “Because I love my country and I want things to change.”

I looked at Weichert and asked him with my eyes what he thought. Weichert’s response was to Ask Rahman if he would lead us to the weapons right now and Rahman said, “Yes, of course.” With that, the three of us got into our Humvee and drove to a bunker located at the southeast quadrant of the base, not even one mile from where were sitting.

The bunker sat in a deserted part of the base that had several similar bunkers spread throughout a large area and connected by a single serpentine road. All of the bunkers were constructed of concrete covered by tan stucco, which blended in perfectly with the surrounding desert. They were of various sizes, but all had two, large metal doors which either slid to the side or opened outward, leading into the one large storage area inside.

As we pulled up to the Bunker that Rahman indicated contained the WMD, I noticed that the dry, desert field surrounding the area was littered with ordinance, primarily aerial bombs. Some were rusted beyond recognition and lay half- covered in sand. Others were neatly stacked in the original shipping crates and surrounded by a high earthen berm, which looked like a small crater.

The high, steel doors of the bunker were ajar. Weichert and I each pulled one of them open and the three of us entered the dark and musty storage room. Immediately upon entering, I noticed a chemical detection kit lying open on the floor, just inside the entrance. The hair on the back of my neck went up and I looked over at Weichert, who was also staring at the kit. “Holy Shit!” we both said at almost the same time. That was not what I wanted to see at that particular time. I looked closer at the detection kit and saw that it had Russian lettering - not that unusual, since Iraq had many contacts with Russian scientists, engineers and military personnel over the years. They had also purchased a large assortment of military hardware and munitions from them – to include chemicals and related equipment.

Rahman pointed to a number of long wooden crates stacked up in rows three high along the wall to the left of the entrance. There appeared to be 25-30 crates in all. Two or three had their tops removed and grey, aerial bombs, about six feet in length, sat inside. Weichert and I walked over to the crates and looked at one of the open ones. It appeared to be a conventional high explosive bomb used on any number of military aircraft, both in Iraq and in elsewhere.

Rahman motioned for us to come over to where he was standing next to another of the open crates. He pointed to the midsection of the bomb and to what appeared to be a small, thin metal door or covering bolted shut with small metal pins and possibly covering a slot or chamber. Inside, Rahman, explained, was a small parachute. He told us that after the bomb was dropped from the aircraft, the metal covering was blown open and the parachute deployed at about two hundred feet, slowing the descent of the bomb. A chemical agent, which was located in another chamber located at the rear of the bomb, was then dispersed into the air in an aerosol spray and spread over as large an area as the prevailing winds allowed.

Rahman led us around to the rear of the bomb and pointed to the tail assembly. It had a circular piece of metal connected to spokes in a conventional sort of design, but the similarity stopped there. Where ordinarily the rear end of a conventional high explosive bomb would taper into a point, this bomb had apparently had the tail section cut off about six inches from the tip resulting in a flat, circular end. Into that flat end, a small handle was inserted like one on a drawer. Rahman motioned with his hand near the handle and said that this device was twisted in order to open the compartment and then the technician pulled the drawer out and inserted a chemical agent in the slot. When finished, the drawer was reinserted into the bomb and the handle was once again secured.

The chemical WMD was now ready to be loaded onto the aircraft.

Rahman next pointed to the hand lettered numbers on the side of the crates. They were numbered from 1-29. Rahman said that he placed hand-lettered numbers on each one personally and can assure us that were 29 chemical WMD bombs under his supervision. Not 28 or 30 – but 29. He seemed to be very proud of his accuracy and neatness in numbering each crate. He went on to say how he had spent the last eight years or so playing “cat and mouse” with UNSCOM (the UN inspectors). Every time they were due to come to his region for an inspection, he would be notified by his superiors. Then he would arrange for the bombs to be transported to a different area that was not going to be inspected. Sometimes, he told us, he would simply dig a deep hole near the storage facility and bury the bombs, crates and all, until the inspectors left and then dig them up again and put them back where they were. He was familiar with Scott Ritter and Hans Blix in particular and said they never found any WMD in his region.

He even ran his hand along one of the crates and brushed off some dried clay, which was clinging to the outside. These were dug up after the last inspection before the war and placed back into the bunker with the large areas of clay still covering some of the crates. He was right – every one of the wooden boxes had varying amounts of dry, reddish clay – which is the common soil found at that location – caked to their wooden exteriors. These bombs had definitely been buried locally at some point just before being placed into that bunker – that was a fact.

Looking around the rest of the bunker interior, I could see dozens of metal chemicals containers – some apparently unopened, and some with their tops open and with dried, powdery substances on the floor all around them and inside the containers. Some containers were covered with what appeared to be dried liquids, almost like dry paint, streaming down the sides.

I can honestly say that I was having a hard time comprehending what I was seeing. Unless my senses were deceiving me, Weichert and I had actually found the mother lode of Operation Iraqi Freedom – actual Iraqi WMD. I walked over to one of the crates and saw a plastic sheath containing what appeared to be a bill of laden. I cut it open with my Leatherman and pulled the documents out.

At this point I want to say that loud and clear that I very much regret not having either shoved that document in my pocket or made a copy of it and sent it home for safe keeping. At the time I actually thought that a report would be written and normal Army and intelligence protocol would be followed, so there would be no need for me to have to prove anything. But I digress…

I opened the folded off-white paper form and noticed several interesting things right away. The bombs had been purchased in the United States in 1988 from what appeared to be a government contractor called The Carlyle Group. I am almost embarrassed now to say that I had not heard of The Carlyle Group at that time so the name meant nothing to me. The only reason I remember it at all is that I was amazed that the bill was in English and I was stunned to see that a bomb that was used by Iraq in delivering chemical WMD – the only WMD found during the entire Iraq war – was in fact supplied to Saddam Hussein by the United States. Un-blanking believable.

The date on the bill was either 1987 or 1988, I don’t recall exactly. I do recall that the bomb was manufactured in Spain and shipped through France. So much for their claims of being holier-than-thou. I checked several more bills and they were all identical. These bombs had all been shipped together. Rahman told us that similar weapons had been used all throughout the Iran-Iraq war during the 1980s as well as against the Kurds. We were staring at what could have possibly been some of the same type of WMD used in one of the most heinous attacks in recorded history - the gassing of Halabja in March of 1988 which killed an estimated 5,000 Kurdish civilians.

I instructed Weichert to both videotape and take digital still photos of the bunker and its contents. The outside area which included many more chemical containers and HAZMAT suits were documented as well. At least fifteen minutes of video and 50 still photos were taken at that location. These were then incorporated and attached to the detailed written report that I wrote and sent up the chain of command through CI channels.

I also personally reported the discovery to the battalion commander of the 223rd MI, CA ARNG, Lt. Col. Timothy Ryan. Ryan seemed excited by the news and asked to be taken to the bunker immediately. Weichert and I drove Ryan to the bunker within minutes after his request and showed him our discovery. He seemed genuinely impressed with the authenticity of our find. He commented to me, “You guys have found the real deal.”

An Iraq WMD Whistleblower
A declaration filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California alleges that a U.S. military intelligence team in Iraq in 2003 discovered nerve gas canisters supplied by companies affiliated with the Carlyle Group. Former President George H W Bush was a board member of the Carlyle Group and the nerve agents were supplied to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.

Retired California National Guard Sergeant Frank Greg Ford was a member of the team that discovered the canisters at the Balad airbase and he has stated a British team arrived to take possession of the evidence and later destroyed it. Ford has filed a law suit against the United States government for the retaliation he experienced for his team's discovery.

WMR: has previously reported on this case. Click here for .pdf file of court declaration.

Text of suit below:

1. Jeffries Goodwin, CASBN 099310 GOODWIN LAW CORPORATION 101 Parkshore Drive, Suite 100 Folsom, California 95630 Tel: (916) 932-2345 Fax: (916) 932-2346 Attorneys for Plaintiff IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA FRANK GREGORY FORD, Case No.: Plaintiff, DECLARATION OF FRANK GREGORY FORD vs. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA et. al. Defendants. I, FRANK GREGORY FORD, declare as follows: I have served in the United States Coast Guard, the United States Navy and the United States Army. In 2003 I was a credentialed as a counter intelligence non-commissioned officer assigned to Detachment 1, Company A, 223 Military Intelligence Battalion ofthe California National Guard, under the active duty command of the 205th Military Declaration -1 5 10 15 20 25 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 II 12 13 14 16 17 18 19 21 22 23 24 Goodwin Law Corp 101 Park.bore Drive Suite toO Folsom, CA 95630 (916) 93l-l345 Intelligence Brigade commanded by COL. Thomas Papas. I am also a qualified Navy Corpsman and Army Medic. In May of 2002 I was ordered to active duty and in January of 2003, after training I was ordered to Iraq as a counter-intelligence agent. In April of2003, while performing my duties, I personally observed weaponiS of mass destruction (WMD) to wit: ____--', in an Iraqi underground storage bunker, at Balad Air Force Base, with markings indicating that they were manufactured in the. United States ofAmerica. I promptly notified my higher command ofmy findings. For reasons that I do not understand, members ofthe armed forces of the United Kingdom, not the United States, were ordered to remove and destroy the weapons. In May of2003, while at Abu-Ghraib prison, I was asked to care for prisonets, which I did. I personally witnessed and treated many Iraqi prisoners that had been abused and/or tortured by United States personnel. On June 7, 2003, I reported to CPT. Artiga and LTC. Ryan, ofthe 20Sth MI Brigade, headquartered in Building IA of Abu-Ghraib prison that the torture was wrong, counterproductive and that my counterintelligence/interrogation team should be replaced. On June 17,2003 I filed formal charges for torture and abuse against my team an I demanded "Whistleblower" protection. Shortly thereafter, while in a combat zone, my M16 rifle was taken away from me. On June 21, 2003, I was flown out ofIraq, against my will, while strapped td a stretcher. When I arrived in Germany it was discovered that I did not have orders to transport me and that I was not listed as a passenger. I was accompanied in the airplane by CPT. Merle Madera to cover up my non-order status and to monitor my Declaration -2 5 10 15 20 25 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 11 12 13 14 16 17 18 19 21 22 23 24 Goodwin Law Corp 101 Parkshore Drive Suite 100 Folsom, CA 95630 (916) 932-2345 communications. She told me that "you have been kidnapped to shut you up because LTC. Ryan is terrified of what you have to say." From Germany I was sent to Texas were I was again evaluated and then to Fort Lewis, Washington were I was honorably separated from active duty. I strongly believe that I was relieved of my duties, kidnapped and sent home because I disclosed to my chain of command information that they did not want to know and that they were afraid that I would report the information to persons outside the chain of command, because they were not willing to act on the information I gave them inimy typed and registered intelligence reports OR-CUR) and FLASH-FLASH WARNO using the C.H.I.M.S. system. I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the state of California that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed this ~ffiayof February 2012 at Folsom, California.

The Bush-Obama double cross of Saddam and Assad
August 13-14, 2012 -- The Bush-Obama double cross of Saddam and Assad

WMR has learned from U.S. military intelligence sources that U.S. ground troops will be deployed to Syria in two weeks to help secure chemical weapons that were transported from Iraq to Syria in the months prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

A veteran military intelligence agent confirmed that a deal was struck between the Bush administration and Saddam Hussein that permitted Saddam Hussein's intelligence service, the Mukhabarat, as well as members of the Republican Guard and Bashar al-Assad's cousin, Assif Shokat -- the chief executive officer of Bhaha -- a Syrian import-export firm, to secretly transport its chemical weapons, including deadly VX nerve gas, to the heavily-fortified al-Safir chemical weapons storage complex southeast of Aleppo. The Bush administration promised Saddam that as long as all the chemical weapons were placed under the supervision of Bashar al-Assad's government, which was then an intelligence partner of the CIA for intelligence sharing and the rendition and torture program the Bush administration would refrain from invading Iraq.

However, the actual goal of the Bush administration was to keep the U.S.-supplied VX and its weapons casings from falling into the hands of United Nations inspectors and even U.S. military and intelligence officers after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The Bush administration then relied on the Assad government to keep the weapons and associated equipment under lock and key to hide the involvement of the Reagan and George H W Bush administrations in supplying the material to Saddam Hussein.

After the transfer of the material to Syria, Saddam realized that he had been double crossed by the Bush administration and he then made arrangement for all the microfiche files with the documents on the chemical weapons transfers from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and other western countries to be gathered up in a central repository in Baghdad and be transferred to a neutral party to disseminate to the world's media.

In late 2002, this editor received an offer through a British intermediary close to the Saddam Hussein government to collect copies of the weapons of mass destruction files in Baghdad and transport them by land to Jordan and then back to the United States to make them public. Because of the danger involved in the proposed file transfer, I did not take up the offer because of the tremendous personal risk involved. The files, which included purchase orders, canceled checks, bank statements, bills of lading, customs documents, and other files showed the involvement of Phillips Petroleum, which merged with Conoco in August 2002; a Spanish and French firm in which the Carlyle Group was heavily invested; Halliburton; and U.S. banks in facilitating the sale of VX, pre-cursor materials, and storage and mixing equipment for chemical weapons development to Iraq.

When Saddam and the Mukhabarat realized that Iraq had been double crossed by the Bush administration and they were unable to trasnfer the weapons files to the Western media, they sank the original files in Lake Tharthar, which is 75 miles north of Baghdad. The operation was code-named the "Al Alma Project." Later attempts by the U.S. military, CIA, and FBI to recover the files proved unsuccessful.

The 120,000-page weapons declaration submitted to the United Nations on December 7, 2002, did not contain the "smoking gun" documents linking the Iraqi weapons program to the United States, Britain, and France because the three countries, which received unedited copies of the declaration as permanent members of the Security Council, were not trusted by Iraq to release the files in full. The other two permanent members that received the unedited declaration, Russia and China, were concerned that their own weapons exports to Iraq would be made public. Russia was especially concerned that the files contained evidence of the Soviet Communist Party's total bankrolling of the Iraqi Communist Party in the 1980s. For Saddam, the solution was simple: he had the entire WMD files cache sunk in the lake in the hope that it might be recovered intact by a trusted party at a later date and be exposed to the world.

Iraq maintained that the United States would tamper with the weapons declaration, titled "A Currently Accurate, Full and Complete Declaration plus supporting documents." On December 14, 2002, The Economist reported on another set of Iraqi weapons documents when it stated that the Iraqis were not concerned about American document tampering because "another full set exists."

Somewhere under Iraq's Lake Tharthar exist microfiche records that implicate the Bush and Obama administrations in covering up illegal smuggling of chemical weapons Iraq and, subsequently, into Syria.

Syria, a member of the Security Council, voted for UN Security Council resolution 1441, which demanded that Iraq turn over to the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), headed by Hans Blix, all documents on Iraq's WMD program. Syria's vote for the resolution provided cover for its physical possession of the Iraqi chemical WMDs in Syria. In a March 7, 2003 report to the UN Security Council, Blix appeared to have discovered that a large number of documents were not handed over by Saddam to his UNMOVIC team. Blix wrote, "Iraq, with a highly developed administrative system, should be able to provide more documentary evidence about its proscribed weapons programmes. Only a few new such documents have come to light so far and been handed over since we began inspections." Blix's statement came only 13 days before the U.S. invasion and the entire WMD files cache had already been sunk in Lake Tharthar.

Saddam Hussein's chief procurement official and banker, Sa'ad Hassan Ali, also known as Abu Seger, confirmed the Al Alma Project to U.S. military intelligence officers after the invasion of Iraq and his detention. As WMR reported in November 2005, Abu Seger, who suffered from repeated beatings by U.S. torturers, died in captivity the day after his wife delivered his blood pressure medicine to the black marble palace where he was being held in Tikrit. U.S. interrogators were unable to get Abu Seger to provide the exact coordinates where the WMD files cache was sunk in Lake Tharthar.

Although the WMD data files have not been recovered by the United States, the physical evidence remains in the Al-Safir facility southeast of Aleppo. The U.S. troops who will be deployed into Syria in two weeks will have the job of recovering the physical evidence in what represents a second double cross, this time against Bashar al-Assad. Just as in Iraq, U.S. troops in Syria, will, once again, risk their lives to cover up the involvement of the United States in providing chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein. The planned U.S. military operation in Syria will have the primary focus of protecting the illegal activities of the Bush family, Carlyle Group, the CIA, and Dick Cheney's Halliburton in providing chemical weapons, pre-cursor chemicals, and equipment for Saddam Hussein's WMD armory.

Al Monitor Sinan al-Shabibi  
Yesterday [Oct.16], sources in the Central Bank of Iraq said that the Iranian lobby in Iraq has finally managed to persuade Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to suspend the bank’s governor, Sinan al-Shabibi, and his deputy, Mudher Mohammad Saleh, from their posts.  About this Article Summary: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has suspended the Central Bank of Iraq's governor, as well as his deputy and several others, reports Ali Latif. The Iraqi parliament's Integrity Committee said that the issue concerned procedures and instructions that led to the increase of the price of the dollar against the Iraqi dinar and the decrease of the price of the dinar. Publisher: Azzaman (Iraq)  Original Title: Iranian Lobby Topples Iraqi Central Bank Governor  Author: Ali Latif Published on: Wed, Oct 17, 2012 Translated on: Wed, Oct 17, 2012 Translated by: Sahar Ghoussoub and Naria Tanoukhi Categories :  Iraq   It must be noted that Shabibi and his deputy were able to reduce the smuggling of hundreds of millions of dollars from Iraq to Iran. According to sources in Baghdad, Shabibi, who was representing Iraq at a conference in Tokyo, has yet to return to Baghdad and is likely to head to Switzerland, where he used to reside. However, he was seen on London’s Oxford Street yesterday [Oct.16], a reliable source in London said. Sources speaking on the condition of anonymity told Azzaman that Shabibi and Mudher have launched a series of measures binding those who wish to exchange Iranian rials for US dollars to submit their applications to the bank. The applications must include an account number from an Iraqi bank, in addition to the purpose of the currency exchange, in order to ensure that that the amounts are used for commercial transactions and are not being smuggled into Iran, which suffers from a significant lack of hard currency, among other hardships, due to the impact of sanctions. The sources added that the relationship with the sanctioned regime of Bashar al-Assad has become Maliki’s first priority in terms of coordination, financial and commercial support. Moreover, it has been reported that following these measures, requests for exchanging currency have declined from $80–$100 million to $1 million per day. Sources added that under the free economy, the bank used to exchange rials for dollars without requiring any documents. However, the bank discovered that most the of those applying for currency exchanges were not traders and were submitting their applications under pseudonyms for fear of being exposed. These measures, which were taken by Shabibi and which the government is using as evidence against the governor and his deputy, have limited the smuggling of US dollars from Iraq to Iran, helped stabilize the Iraqi currency and protected Iraq’s cash reserves. Yesterday [Oct. 16], the Iraqi government named Abdel-Basit Turki, head of the Supreme Audit Board, as interim Central Bank governor to replace Shabibi. The bank has also endorsed the principles of coordination, consultation and information exchange regarding fiscal and monetary policies between the bank and the Iraqi cabinet, according to the constitution. Also, the bank has examined the methods used to deliver foreign currency to the local market and to allocate Iraqi banks greater roles. At the beginning of the year, the demand for dollars increased by 40–50%. This is when the bank announced, in February, the launch of new measures regarding its purchase of dollars. Shabibi is credited with rebuilding the bank after war. Under his management, the bank has managed to raise Iraqi currency reserves from zero to $65 billion. Shabibi used to work for the World Trade Organization in Geneva before assuming management at the bank. He is also an expert in international economics and public finance. Legal and parliamentary sources told Azzaman that suspending Shabibi is not the prerogative of the government; rather, it is the parliament’s decision, as the bank constitutes an independent body that is affiliated to it. According to the same sources, the suspension of Shabibi —as well as Turki’s appointment — both violate the constitution. Appointing a new governor for the bank also falls under the duties of the parliament, not the government. Shabibi rejected Maliki’s decision to put the bank under his jurisdiction because it is an independent body belonging to parliament. The Iraqi parliament backed Shabibi’s position, forcing Maliki to back down. The bank had limited Iran's ability to draw hundreds of millions of dollars from the Iraqi market to support its economy — which is suffering under the impact of sanctions — at the expense of the value of the Iraqi dinar. Shabibi rejected the government's desire to withdraw from Iraqi currency reserves, as it would decrease the value of the Iraqi currency. The decision by Iraq’s anti-corruption commission was issued against Shabibi while he was representing Iraq in a global conference in Tokyo. Ali al-Moussawi, a media adviser for the prime minister, said that the Council of Ministers voted in favor of appointing Turki to run the bank until further notice. He added that the judiciary decided to suspend Shabibi, current governor of the bank, from his post. Moussawi said that after the fluctuation of the exchange rate of the dinar, a parliamentary investigation committee was formed — headed by deputy speaker Qusay al-Suhail — adding that extensive investigations revealed shortcomings by the bank governor and others. He said that the committee submitted its report to the official Integrity Commission responsible for fighting corruption in government departments, which in turn decided to suspend Shabibi and others. He added that when the government decided to appoint Turki, the decision received nearly unanimous support. Spokesman for the Integrity Commission Hassan Aati said yesterday [Oct. 15] that the commission received the bank dossier from the parliamentary Integrity Committee, noting that it is currently under investigation. Bahaa al-Araji, head of the parliamentary Integrity Committee, said that arrest warrants were issued, but not travel bans. He added that 30 arrest warrants have been issued, including those against the bank governor and his deputy. An official at the Ministry of Justice said that the Supreme Judicial Council was responsible for issuing such arrest warrants. Araji said that the issue is not about money, but about procedures and instructions that led to the increase of the price of the dollar against the Iraqi dinar and the decrease of the price of the dinar. Central Bank Governor Shabibi, who has been in office since 2003, told AFP from Tokyo two days ago [Oct. 14] that “I know nothing about this issue and, God willing, there will be no arrest warrants.” In April, the exchange rate of the dollar was at its highest level against the dinar in local markets in close to four years, reaching 1,320 dinars per dollar following a stable period at 1,230 dinars per dollar. Shabibi had told AFP that the relatively unstable political situation in Iraq and the region — particularly referring to Iran and Syria and the sanctions imposed on both countries — has created greater demand for the dollar, which has recently led to a higher exchange rate. It is noteworthy that the Federal Supreme Court issued a decision on January 18, 2011 to link the bank to the cabinet, attributing the ruling to the predominantly executive nature of the bank’s work and its activities. Following the issuance of the decision, the bank governor warned of the risks of applying such a decision, saying it would lead Iraq — one of the most corrupt countries in the world — to lose the ability to protect its assets abroad. In a meeting yesterday, the Iraqi government adopted several decisions relating to the bank, including the formation of a committee headed by a representative of the bank, with members comprising representatives of the Ministries of Interior, Finance and Commerce, which would exchange information regarding the movement of currency sold by the bank. Read more:

Western mercenaries conducted assassinations and false flag terror attacks in Iraq  January 31, 2013
ve to WMR, e-mails from the British private military firm Northbridge Services Group Ltd. provide evidence that in 2005 the company shipped silencers and hand grenades into northern Iraq for the purpose of destabilizing the already tense inter-religious and ethnic turmoil in the country. The revelations about Iraq in 2005 match up with similar support for "false flag" terrorist operations being conducted by Western intelligence and mercenary firms like Britam Defense Ltd. in Libya and Syria.

On November 8, 2005, Northbridge was tasked by the U.S. military to transport in two trucks from Camp Liberty in Baghdad to Buckmaster Depot, about 120 miles north of Baghdad, a number of silencers and hand grenades. An email obtained by WMR states that 50,000 grenades were contained in 99 crates. [CAMP LIBERTY BLAHA - BUCKMASTER CRATE (99 TOTAL) HAND GRENADES  APPROXIMATELY 50,000 TOTAL]

On November 13, the convoy consisting of four Ashok Leyland flatbed trucks was to proceed with an unspecified cargo from an-Numaniyah in southern Iraq, an area with a significant anti-American Shi'a insurgency, to "Zacho Academy" in Zakho, Iraqi Kurdistan, along the Iraqi-Turkish border. Zakho has a large Assyrian Christian population and in the past had a large Jewish population. In fact, Zakho was once called the "Jerusalem of Assyria."

It is WMR's normal procedure to never identify our sources for such information. However, former Northbridge contractor in Iraq, Steve Hulme, a British national and who is identified in some of the documents obtained by WMR, has stated it is his wish to be identified as a whistleblower who has previously informed the U.S. and British governments that private security forces and U.S. military forces were involved in carrying out false flag terrorist operations and political assassinations in Iraq.

As can be seen from a terrorist activity report issued on November 7, the route to Zakho was fraught with danger from attacks from "AIF" -- "anti-Iraq forces" -- the name given by the U.S. occupation forces to anti-American Iraqi insurgents -- and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

A Security Unit Northbridge Services Group, Ltd B Departure Location Camp Liberty Blaha C Departure GRID 38S MB 3079 8533 D Departure Date 8 NOV 05 E Departure Time 0900 – 1000 F Destination Location #1 Buckmaster G Destination GRID #1 38S LD 67668 08417 H Destination Location #2 N/A I Destination GRID #2 N/A J Destination Location #3 N/A K Destination GRID#3 N/A L Return Location and GRID Baghdad Central M Return Time 8 NOV 05 Evening or 9 NOV 05 Morning N Security Convoy Commander Steve Hulme O Security Commander Phone Iraqna 07901 195 342 P Route (MSR – ASR) Unknown Q Number of Personnel in Convoy Outbound and Inbound 10 - 12 R Vehicle Count Outbound Security 2 Truck   4 Security vehicles S Vehicle Count Outbound Cargo 2 x 40 trucks T Vehicle Count Inbound Security 2 Trucks  4 Security vehicles U Vehicle Count Inbound Cargo 2 x 40 Trucks V Cargo Description Silencers and Hand Grenades
Hulme said he was told by the London Metropolitan Police that it was illegal for Northbridge to be be in possession or transport silencers outside of the borders of the United Kingdom. Hulme also brought to the attention of authorities the white phosphorous shelling of civilians by the United States of Dora in south Baghdad. White phosphorous melts the skin of its victims, leaving cadavers that are grotesque and shocking to next of kin and rescue workers.

After Hulme's complaint about their use and the fact that the U.S. Army routibnely released Iraqi insurgents and permitted them to be re-armed, the U.S. State Department and FBI accused him of stealing the silencers from the Northbridge convoy. Hulme also claims he was tortured, robbed, and was threatened to be dumped into the unsecured Baghdad Red Zone by Northbridge officials after he presented his allegations of wrongdoing. He was also threatened at gunpoint by an Australian police official stationed at the Australian embassy in Baghdad.

Hulme also became aware that members of the Qatar al-Thani royal family were actively engaged in supporting "Al Qaeda" insurgents in Iraq and that the support network for the "Al Qaeda" terrorists extended into Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. In fact, Hulme said he met one Qatari prince who not only fought with the mujaheddin in Afghanistan but was a close associate of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Osama Bin Laden associate in Afghanistan who later launched terrorist attacks in U.S.-occupied Iraq and was killed in a U.S. air strike in Iraq in 2006. Qatar, the location of the U.S. Central Command's Middle East headquarters, is currently involved in supporting Al Qaeda terrorists in Syria and Qatar and the UAE supported Al Qaeda rebels in the rebellion in Libya that overthrew Muammmar Qaddafi.

Northbridge, headquartered in the Dominican Republic, was founded by former British, South African, and American special forces personnel, some of whom were employed by Executive Outcomes, Ltd. The firm has been involved in a number of dodgy operations around the world, including the Sierra Leone civil war, a proposed plot to kidnap Liberian dictator Charles Taylor and deliver him to the International Criminal Court, and a plot to overthrow and assassinate the late Turkmenistan dictator Saparmurat Niyazov.

Hulme's case is similar to that of former U.S. Army intelligence operative Sgt. Greg Ford, who, after bringing to attention war crimes committed by U.S. forces against Iraqi civilians, was forcibly detained and shipped out of Iraq to Germany strapped to a gurney. Hulme was held against his will by Northbridge personnel and eventually ejected from Iraq. A qui tam suit alleging contract fraud, brought by Hulme against Northbridge, was recently dismissed by the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, where Northbridge maintains a U.S. presence.
August 6, 2005 -- WASHINGTON AND ASHQABAT -- According to the Ferghana News Agency, a British mercenary group, Northbridge Services Group, Ltd., of London, which is active in Iraq and Africa, is the subject of a document, purportedly a proposal from Northbridge to an entity called the Turkmenistan Liberation Organization (TLO), to capture or execute Turkmenistan's dictatorial President "Turkmenbashi" Saparmurat Niyazov. Coming so closely on the heels of the ouster of the U.S. from its K2 base in neighboring Uzbekistan, the timing of the leaking of the document is intriguing. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is busy looking for replacements for K2 and officially neutral Turkmenistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, is a tempting alternative. The only problem is that Niyazov refuses to allow US basing rights in his draconian state, merely overflight privileges.
What is very interesting in the Northbridge proposal is the reference to its Michigan-based headquarters and a reference to a Defense Logistics Agency contract (CAGE) code:
"Company Registered Offices and Contacts
US Defense Logistics Agency CAGE Code Number: 1XKW0
Northbridge Services Group Ltd – USA Corporate Headquarters,
51194 Romeo Plank Rd # 214, Macomb, MI 48042."
Northbridge has been at the center of controversy before. In the aftermath of an aborted coup against Equatorial Guinea's dictator Teodoro Obiang in 2004 that involved British and South African mercenaries tied to Mark Thatcher, the son of Margaret Thatcher, Northbridge came up as one of the entities involved. Reuters reported that the British and South African mercenary coup plotters' used Equatorial Guinea as a jumping off point to capture former Liberian President Charles Taylor from exile in Calabar, Nigeria and deliver him to the UN War Crimes Tribunal for Africa. The Bush administration had posted a $2 million reward for the capture of Taylor. Northbridge’s president, Bob Kovacic claimed that his representative in the United States, Pasquale Dipofi, “did know a couple of the guys on the plane [the coup plotters's plane captured in Harare, Zimbabwe] and one or two in the target country [Nigeria], but we had nothing to do with the mission.” Interestingly, Kovacic revealed the Liberian connection to the attempted Equatorial Guinea coup from Kuwait, where he was seeking security contracts in Iraq. This points to the problem with private actors playing on the international foreign policy stage. If a group of mercenary companies connected to security work in U.S.-occupied Iraq were trying to capture a deposed leader in Nigeria, without that country’s approval, or they were trying to launch a coup d’état in Equatorial Guinea, the ramifications of such freelancers acting independently or with a “wink and a nod” from government interlocutors are chilling.
Ferghana story at:,306,12097687
The Northbridge proposal cited in the report:

February 2005

OFFICE +44 (0) 20 737 10066


Proposal to provide the Turkmenistan Liberation Organisation with a Constabulary force for the arrest and (or) execution of Saparmurat Niyasov
Client: Turkmenistan Liberation Organisation (TLO)
Provider: Northbridge Services Group Ltd. (NSG)


Notice is hereby given that Northbridge Services Group Ltd. (NSG) puts forward a proposal to provide a cost effective solution to enforce the TLO potential to execute arrest and capital punishment.


On January 5, 2005, the TLO issued an indictment and warrant for the arrest and capital punishment of President of Turkmenistan for his crimes against humanity. The document was approved before February 2005. Such a step was taken on the grounds of human rights violation by S.Niyasov and his refusal to implement agreements on human rights as a state leader and a full member of the international community. The agreements ( the Genocide Convention of 1948 and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, as well as the new Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture of 1984) have not been ratified yet. Niyasov declines to break off all statements and activities on forced resettlement of people (particularly national minorities and political opponents), to terminate the practice based on the «national purity» concept, which contravenes all international norms. The present dictatorship and personal cult of Niyasov, as well as his blatant disregard for the international law and his fellow countrymen along with the absence of constabulary force in Turkmenistan, which could guarantee the proper execution of the warrant issued, forms a deep gap in the legal system of the state. The current situation has resulted in profound concern within the TLO and other organization.

Northbridge Services Group has designed a viable and cost effective option to act as constabulary body of the Turkmenistan Liberation Organisation. Through this proposal we are aiming to enforce the arrest and (or) execution of S.Niyasov. We are determined to carry on an efficient campaign under the direction and in accordance with the guidelines of the Turkmenistan Liberation Organisation. Consistency of acts shall prevent other organizations from uncoordinated activities, which are unlikely to accord with the international norms and score a success.

Northbridge Services Group

Northbridge Services Group`s corporate headquarters are located in the United States. Besides affiliate agencies in the UK, Italy, and South Africa, NSG has a partner company - EHC Group - based in France. NSG’s CAGE Code number according to US Defense Logistics Agency is 1XKW0. Owing to that NSG suits perfectly to meet the requirements of our clients throughout Europe and Africa. NSG’s expertise in international relations is quite equal to offer a wide range of responsive and adaptable services.

At NSG we pride ourselves on the caliber of our personnel, hand-picked from governmental, military and private organizations, including CIA, MI6, British Forces PARAS, US Navy and Royal Marine commandos.

Proposal Summary

Northbridge Services Group, Ltd., proposes to act as the constabulary body of the Turkmenistan Liberation Organisation. In accordance with the valid warrant of the arrest and (or) execution of President S.Niyasov, Northbridge Services Group, Ltd., suggests a multiphase operation aiming at the arrest and surrender of S.Niyasov to the International Criminal Court or his execution on the spot.

Northbridge Services Group, Ltd., is aware that the current situation is unsteady. The present proposal is based upon the knowledge of the current events.

Northbridge Services Group, Ltd., and the Client should both realize that the situation might change and the calculations have been performed proceeding from the developments at hand at hand.

We, however, think that the steps following Phase 1 present the best possible operation plan.

Extended services are also available.

Phase 1 - Consultation

Should time permit, Phase 1 shall include a meeting of an advisory team with TLO delegation.

Our initial advisory team shall travel to a third country (Afghanistan, Sweden, etc.) to discuss the following:

1. Viability of the overall operation planned

2. In-depth consultation with key level decision-makers

3. Time line for the operation

4. Development of rules for the operation in compliance with the Geneva Convention articles

5. Prior intelligence data organisation

6. Restriction and limitation

7. Definition of the mission success

8. Jurisdiction, authority and sanctions

9. Post-Niyasov government and stability should also be viewed.

Costing Phase 1

We have attempted to estimate the costing of the operation, and arrange consultation with key decision-makers. A detailed plan of the operation will complete calculation of expenses will be submitted at the end of our preliminary conference. All data pertaining to the operation are to be kept strictly confidential.

The advisory team of 4-5 high ranking consultation shall go to third country. Travel arrangements shall be made immediately upon receipt of the retaining fee.

We would like to ask the Client to cover costs for a 5-7 day consultation, including

Air fare: $15.000 - $20.000 (depending on the third country selected)

Lodging and food: $ 9,000 USD

Personnel cost: $12,000 USD

(consultation, planning, travel time and preparation)

Miscellaneous costs: $ 2,000 USD

Total costing Phase 1 $ 50,000 USD approx.

Phase 2 – Intelligence Data Organisation

NSG plans the intelligence team landing in required regions to carry on situation assessment and

obtain information data in real time. It may help us detect S.Niyasov’s location (whether he is at his residence place, in the office or at trip) to arrest (and/or execute) him. NSG’s secret agents will also be able to determine the best way to detain him without causing serious consequences to the local people. We recommend using five (5) agents in the phase

Costing Phase 2

Estimated costing and budget requirement for Phase 2 - $400,000 USD
Remaining balances will be applied to Phases 3 and 4.

Phase 3 – Arrest and (or) Execution

The phase includes necessary outfit and equipment acquisition, required certificates getting, possible last minute changes planning.

Costing Phase 3

We estimate preparatory work to proceed to Phase 4 amounts to $1 million. The funds shall be used to reimburse monthly expenses, initial outfit, maritime and air logistics.

Phase 4 - Arrest and (or) Execution

We wish that the TLO would appoint a special prosecutor and (or) executioner to work with us in the proceedings of arrest (execution). This prosecutor and (or) executioner shall observe proper

Implementation of the proceedings. As an extra service NSG can deliver an executioner at the disposal of the Client.

In the event S.Niyasov is detained prior to Phase 4 operation, NSG can then offer a 15-20 men convoy team to take the arrestee to a designated point.

The TLO is to authorize Northbridge Services Group, Ltd., to utilize a specially chartered ship as a vanguard operation base in the Caspian Sea.

Taking into account preliminary costing and the current situation we may assume that the local budget will not exceed $4 Million. This total sum shall be enough to carry out the operation on the territory of the country within 90 days.

The total amount is calculated to pay expenses of 60 men constabulary force (arresting officers, executioner, and security agents inclusive). NSG shall also utilize local people in the operation should the need arise. The people attracted shall have similar authorities to make an arrest. On receipt of extra intelligence data we may be able to speed up the operation und utilize fewer participants. Any savings shall be split between the Client and NSG.

The overall operation is expected to cost $1,000,000 per 30 day period.

Maximum budget for the operation - $4,000,000

Airborne Support

The airborne support price is dependent on the client’s ability to provide the air support. This shall be determined in Phase 1 planning. NSG shall request that the TLO provides a helicopter to deliver the indicted to the point designated by the TLO.

Maritime support price

Price for the vessel chartered: is fixed by a contractor

Price for a Zodiac boat depends on the vessel type and terms of purchase

Mark IV $11,000 – 17,000 USD
Mark V $14,000 – 21,600 USD

NSG may try to purchase secondhand boats and charter a vessel for this operation independently.

- The Client is under obligation to pay freight charges and charter a ship large enough to transport Zodiac boats o the coast and serve as a vanguard operating base.

The Client also agrees to cover all and any repatriation and medical costs should they be required.

Company Background

Company Registered Offices and Contacts
US Defense Logistics Agency CAGE Code Number: 1XKW0
Northbridge Services Group Ltd – USA Corporate Headquarters
51194 Romeo Plank Rd # 214
Macomb, MI 48042
United States of America
Tel: (001) 586 493 7989
Tel: (001) 703 997 8942
Fax: (001) 703 997 8943

Northbridge Services Group Ltd – UK
Riverside House
1 Putney Bridge Approach
United kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 73710066

Propriety Notice

This proposal contains confidential information of Northbridge Services Group, Ltd., which is furnished for the sole purpose to enable the receipt to evaluate the proposal submitted hereby.

On receipt of this document, the recipient agrees to maintain confidentiality and not to disclose the information to a third party beyond the group peculiarly responsible for its contents evaluation.

There is no confidentiality obligation on any information which has become known to the recipient prior to the receipt of the information from Northbridge Services Group, Ltd., or has becom publicly known through no fault of the recipient, or has been received without obligation of confidentiality from a third party.
April 13-14, 2009 -- Private military contractors plagued by threats, fraud, and the abetting of terrorism
Former private military contractor (PMC) sources who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have informed WMR that the United States military commands in Iraq and Afghanistan have aided and abetted in the carrying out of terrorist attacks against civilians and have suppressed critical intelligence on terrorist attacks that killed U.S. troops.
The award of a major State Department security contract to the one-time Chicago-based firm Triple Canopy, which has wrested the lucrative contract from Blackwater, now called Xe, signals not only that a number of Blackwater employees and sub-cobtractors will simply switch from Blackwater to Triple Canopy employment but that the contract fraud, waste, abuse and knowledge and abetting of acts of terrorism directed against Iraqi civilians, police, and U.S. military forces will continue to be covered up by the Obama administration.
Xe (Blackwater) is no longer permitted to operate in Iraq as a result of several cases in wich its security personnel indiscriminately murdered Iraqi civilians. Triple Canopy and Dyncorp will continue to operate in Iraq under State Department contracts. Even though its contract was cancelled, Xe (Blackwater) will continue to work for the State Department in Iraq until September of this year.
Triple Canopy's chief lobbyist firm in Washington, DC is Dickstein Shapiro, the same firm that has hired former House Speaker Dennis Hastert as its chief lobbyist for Turkey and the firm whose white collar criminal team leader is Ira Sorkin, formerly with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and the attorney for Bernard Madoff, the Ponzi scammer who is now in prison awaiting sentencing.
Matt Mann, co-chairman of the board of Triple Canopy is a retired Army Special Operations Delta Force master sergeant. His fellow co-chairman, Thomas Katis, is also a veteran of the Special Operations forces. The two started Triple Canopy in 2003. Lee Van Arsdale, a former Delta Force officer and Bechtel official, is the chief executive officer. The former chief executive officer and a current director is Ignacio "Iggy" Balderas, also a Delta Force veteran and the person who supervised the building of the first military compound at the infamous Bagram Airbase, which also served as a detention facility for U.S. detainees apprehended in Afghanistan and other countries around the world.
While Blackwater/Xe's training facility is headquartered in Moyock, North Carolina, Triple Canopy, which has its headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, chose Wallace, South Carolina as the headquarters for its training center. Triple Canopy has a subsidiary, Clayton Consultants, which, among other services, specializes in the resolution of kidnaps-for-ransom. Triple Canopy's strategic advisory board includes Catherine Yoran, a former assistant general counsel of the CIA. The firm's Chief Operating Officer, Kelvin Kai, is a Special Operations Forces veteran who also formerly worked for Kellogg, Brown and Root in the Balkans and Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold in Indonesia.
Although the reason for Iraqi pressure on the United States to expel Blackwater from Iraq came as the result of the massacre of 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisoor Square in Baghdad on September 16, 2007, Triple Canopy had also been involved in the killing of innocent Iraqis in 2004. A Triple Canopy protective security detail (PSD) was accused by U.S. military forces of the homicide of two Iraqi civilian truck drivers on the Amman-Baghdad Highway, near the Jordanian border.
052300Z JAN 2005
IR 00 8 004 0105 1500 05
DOI: (C/PR) [050105] SOURCE: (C/PR) //MAKIDJ//
After the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Triple Canopy became a top private military contractor with a force of mostly foreign nationals and a minority of Americans. Its employees in Iraq included dodgy ex-military and security forces personnel from apartheid-era South Africa, an ironic fact considering Barack Obama is the first African-American President of the United States, Augusto Pinochet's Chile, Ukrainians, Fijians, Romanians, Hondurans, Nicaraguans, Peruvians, and Iraqis.
Triple Canopy is but one of over 100 private security companies operating in Iraq.
Some of the companies have been linked by WMR's sources in the private military contractor community to terrorist operations involving Muqtada al Sadr's Mehdi Army in Iraq as well as to alleged terrorist operations involving Al Qaeda, including the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon.
WMR has learned that Qatar's Interior Minister Abdullah Bin Khalid Al-Thani, who was accused of harboring 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaik Mohammed and other top "Al Qaeda" leaders, including Ayman al Zawahiri, after their roles in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was closely involved with one of the U.K. private security companies in Iraq, Northbridge Services Group Ltd. Al-Thani was also accused of harboring Khalid Shaikh Mohammed for two weeks after the 9/11 attacks. WMR has learned that Al-Thani was shot twice in the back while with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. However, Al-Thani's Interior Ministry also had a lucrative security contract with Giuliani Security and Safety, the firm of the former Mayor of New York and 2008 GOP presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani. Giuliani reportedly provided security services to Al Thani and the Interior Ministry using ex-FBI agents running Giuliani's security branch in Doha, including the time period when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who later headed the so-called "Al Qaeda in Iraq," was reportedly receiving sanctuary in Qatar from Al-Thani. Al-Thani, according to the New York Times, provided Al Qaeda figures with Qatari passports and cash drawn from a secret bank account.
Al-Thani was involved in recruiting personnel for Northbridge in Abu Dhabi, WMR was told by a former Northbridge employee who met with the Qatari Interior Minister in 2005. Recruits were then flown from Abu Dhabi to Doha, Qatar where they were given Department of Defense identification cards and arrangements made for their travel to Iraq.
On August 6, 2005, WMR reported on Northbridge:
"According to the Ferghana News Agency, a British mercenary group, Northbridge Services Group, Ltd., of London, which is active in Iraq and Africa, is the subject of a document, purportedly a proposal from Northbridge to an entity called the Turkmenistan Liberation Organization (TLO), to capture or execute Turkmenistan's dictatorial President 'Turkmenbashi' Saparmurat Niyazov. Coming so closely on the heels of the ouster of the U.S. from its K2 base in neighboring Uzbekistan, the timing of the leaking of the document is intriguing. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is busy looking for replacements for K2 and officially neutral Turkmenistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, is a tempting alternative. The only problem is that Niyazov refuses to allow US basing rights in his draconian state, merely overflight privileges. 
What is very interesting in the Northbridge proposal is the reference to its Michigan-based headquarters and a reference to a Defense Logistics Agency contract (CAGE) code:
'Company Registered Offices and Contacts
US Defense Logistics Agency CAGE Code Number: 1XKW0
Northbridge Services Group Ltd – USA Corporate Headquarters,
51194 Romeo Plank Rd # 214, Macomb, MI 48042.'
Northbridge has been at the center of controversy before. In the aftermath of an aborted coup against Equatorial Guinea's dictator Teodoro Obiang in 2004 that involved British and South African mercenaries tied to Mark Thatcher, the son of Margaret Thatcher, Northbridge came up as one of the entities involved. Reuters reported that the British and South African mercenary coup plotters' used Equatorial Guinea as a jumping off point to capture former Liberian President Charles Taylor from exile in Calabar, Nigeria and deliver him to the UN War Crimes Tribunal for Africa. The Bush administration had posted a $2 million reward for the capture of Taylor. Northbridge’s president, Bob Kovacic claimed that his representative in the United States, Pasquale Di Pofi, 'did know a couple of the guys on the plane [the coup plotters's plane captured in Harare, Zimbabwe] and one or two in the target country [Nigeria], but we had nothing to do with the mission.' Interestingly, Kovacic revealed the Liberian connection to the attempted Equatorial Guinea coup from Kuwait, where he was seeking security contracts in Iraq. This points to the problem with private actors playing on the international foreign policy stage. If a group of mercenary companies connected to security work in U.S.-occupied Iraq were trying to capture a deposed leader in Nigeria, without that country’s approval, or they were trying to launch a coup d’état in Equatorial Guinea, the ramifications of such freelancers acting independently or with a 'wink and a nod' from government interlocutors are chilling.
WMR was informed by an ex-Northbridge source that Kovacic, a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel, maintained another office at 3070 Lake Crest Circle Suite 400, Lexington, Kentucky. His U.S. representative, Di Pofi, a former Navy SEAL, was indicted in September 2004 for trying to trick the government of Sierra Leone into paying his firm, Executive Outcomes of Mount Clemens, Michigan, $23 million for security work done in Sierra Leone. A British firm, Audax Trading Ltd., thought Di Pofi's firm was the Executive Outcomes firm that did the work for Sierra Leone, mistaking it for the South African firm of the same name, and tried to collect a payment from Sierra Leone. However, WMR has learned that the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit suppressed critical evidence in its prosecution of DiPofi and Eastpointe police officer Christopher Belan. A source who worked with DiPofi at Northbridge said that DiPofi, had, in fact, worked with South African Executive Outcomes personnel in Equatorial Guinea some years before.  In 2007, DiPofi was sentenced to 40 months in prison after being found guilty of defrauding the government of Sierra Leone. Between the time of his indictment and trial, DiPofi was working for Northbridge in Iraq, according to ex-Northbridge sources.
President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton had a chance to wipe the slate clean by curtailing private contractors' activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, they have chosen to replace one corrupt contractor, Blackwater/Xe, with another, Triple Canopy. For the brigands and mercenaries, the "system" of fraud and abuse created by the United States and nurtured by both local Iraqi and foreign contractors and their sub-contractors will continue to flourish. For Iraq, Obama's "change" will equate to millions, if not billions, of more ill-gotten dollars for unscrupulous contractors.
Forthcoming: How the knowledge of the identities of remote bombers in Iraq was ignored by U.S. military and CIA officials, resulting in the deaths of U.S. military personnel and Iraqi civilians. There was a conscious U.S. effort to keep the terrorist bombings at "surge" levels. This occurred during General David Petraeus' watch as the senior U.S. military commander in Iraq


From Iraq: A Final Report From the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction
SIGIR Learning

Learning From Iraq: A Final Report From the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction culminates SIGIR’s nine-year mission overseeing Iraq’s reconstruction. It serves as a follow-up to our previous comprehensive review of the rebuilding effort, Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience. This study provides much more than a recapitulation of what the reconstruction program accomplished and what my office found in the interstices. While examining both of these issues and many more, Learning From Iraq importantly captures the effects of the rebuilding program as derived from 44 interviews with the recipients (the Iraqi leadership), the executors (U.S. senior leaders), and the providers (congressional members). These interviews piece together an instructive picture of what was the largest stabilization and reconstruction operation ever undertaken by the United States (until recently overtaken by Afghanistan). The body of this report reveals countless details about the use of more than $60 billion in taxpayer dollars to support programs and projects in Iraq. It articulates numerous lessons derived from SIGIR’s 220 audits and 170 inspections, and it lists the varying consequences meted out from the 82 convictions achieved through our investigations. It urges and substantiates necessary reforms that could improve stabilization and reconstruction operations, and it highlights the financial benefits accomplished by SIGIR’s work: more than $1.61 billion from audits and over $191 million from investigations. My office carried out an unprecedented mission under extraordinarily adverse circumstances. Hundreds of auditors, inspectors, and investigators served with SIGIR during that span, traveling across Iraq to answer a deceptively facile question: what happened to the billions of dollars expended to rebuild that country? Our work became increasingly more difficult as the security situation deteriorated, the effect of which forced our mission to become quite literally oversight under fire. The collapse of order in Iraq caused an unacceptably high human toll: at least 719 people lost their lives while working on reconstruction-related activities. SIGIR suffered from this toll, with one auditor killed by indirect fire in 2008 and five others wounded the year before. In late 2003, the burgeoning rebuilding program required more oversight: that was the Congress’ s view. Thanks to the vigilant efforts LEARNING FROM IRAQ: A FINAL REPORT FROM THE SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION x of Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, and many others, the Congress created and undergirded an unprecedented inspector general office—the Coalition Provisional Authority Inspector General (later SIGIR)—with the power and resources sufficient to provide independent, cross-jurisdictional oversight. The CPA-IG came into being through a November 2003 congressional act that also provided over $18.4 billion in taxpayer dollars for Iraq’s reconstruction. Total appropriations for the rebuilding of Iraq eventually would crest $60 billion. In late January 2004, the Secretaries of Defense and State appointed me to lead the mission of auditing and investigating the CPA’s programs and projects. During my initial visit to Baghdad in early February 2004, I quickly became aware of the immense task before me. Walking the halls of the Republican Palace, a sprawling structure on the Tigris River constructed by Saddam Hussein and now housing the CPA, I overheard someone say: “We can’t do that anymore. There’s a new inspector general here.” That offhand remark augured an oversight mission imbued with challenges of a scope well beyond what anyone then could have imagined. I made several more trips to Iraq that year—the total would eventually tally to 34—deploying teams of auditors and investigators and engaging with leadership to address the fraud, waste, and abuse that we were uncovering. Pursuant to a presidential decision, the CPA closed its doors in late June 2004, with the Department of State assuming formal control of the rebuilding program. Although sovereignty passed back to the Iraqis, the U.S.-led reconstruction effort was just ramping up. The delays inherent in contracting out a sum as large as $18.4 billion meant that the CPA actually spent very little of it. In mid-2004, the new U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte, assessed the troubled situation. He determined that about $3 billion should be reprogrammed to address the rapidly declining security situation. Thus began a stark shift away from the CPA’s large civic infrastructure strategy to a course aimed at improving the country’s military and police forces. This sea change in spending stemmed from the well-founded belief that Iraq’s rule-of-law system required immediate and substantial aid. Creating the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq bolstered the new approach, bringing Lieutenant General David Petraeus back to Iraq to lead it. Over the next eight years, MNSTC-I and its successors would oversee expenditures in excess of $24 billion to train, equip, and employ Iraq’s security forces. The earlier-than-expected end of the CPA triggered a statutory provision requiring my office to close by December 2004. Though barely having stood up, I now started to stand down. By October, my staff had dropped to 15, when the Congress acted again, passing a bill transforming the CPA-IG into SIGIR and expanding our mission to reach more of the rebuilding money. We reversed course and moved into an accelerated expansion mode. In January 2005, SIGIR released a major audit exposing the vulnerabilities inherent in managing a multibillion-dollar rebuilding program in an unstable environment. The audit documented the poor controls over billions disbursed from the Development Fund for Iraq, which left that Iraqi money subject to fraud, waste, and abuse. Future SIGIR investigations revealed fraud in the use of the DFI, and people went to prison for it, but our subsequent audits showed that waste was the paramount problem. Ultimately, we estimate that the Iraq program wasted at least $8 billion. In mid-2005, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad arrived to replace Ambassador Negroponte, who left to serve as the first Director of National Intelligence. Ambassador Khalilzad embraced SIGIR’s oversight work, partnering with us in a way that would generally continue for the remainder of our mission. He agreed with our view that the cost-plus design-build contracts then in place were inappropriate for the mission and too wasteful. Ambassador Khalilzad asked the Department of Defense, which controlled those contracts, to terminate them and implement fixed-cost vehicles in their place. The challenges encountered in pushing this policy exposed interagency weaknesses within the Iraq program’s ad hoc structure. Pursuant to a May 2004 presidential order, Defense managed the contracts, while State managed rebuilding policy. Given that the operators within these respective “stove-pipes” answered to different masters with different agendas, program and project discontinuities and disconnects became de rigueur. Seeking to remedy these palpable weaknesses, Ambassador Khalilzad created the Provincial Reconstruction Team program, similar to one he developed in Afghanistan, where he previously served as PREFACE xi Ambassador. Though desultory at inception, the PRT program picked up speed in 2006 and, along with the Commander’s Emergency Response Program, eventually became a significant innovative effort. SIGIR’s audits of the PRTs and the CERP exposed unsurprising weaknesses, but they also spotted effective progress achieved by both programs. We found that PRT success depended chiefly on the performance of the PRT leader, while CERP success required limited project scopes and continuity of oversight. Worsening security problems ultimately swamped Ambassador Khalilzad’s plans. Oil and electricity outputs sagged, while al-Qaeda in Iraq expanded, fomenting Sunni-Shia conflicts. By the spring of 2007, when Ambassador Ryan Crocker arrived as the new Chief of Mission, Iraq was in the throes of a virtual civil war. Foreign fighters flooded the country, and improvised explosive devices wreaked daily death and havoc. As Ambassador Crocker put it, we very nearly lost Iraq. General Petraeus returned again to Iraq in early 2007 as Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, to implement a new strategy called the “surge.” This comprehensive, multilayered approach entailed, among other things, a deeper engagement with restive Sunnis through reconciliation initiatives and the “Sons of Iraq” program, a stronger emphasis on CERP-funded local rebuilding projects that better met Iraqi needs, and the deployment of over 25,000 more troops into the country. While attacks and deaths initially spiked, the strategy succeeded in significantly suppressing violence. Importantly, both General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, like Ambassador Khalilzad before them, believed in the value of SIGIR’s oversight and teamed with us to target areas that most crucially needed it. SIGIR’s in-country presence rose to more than 40 auditors and inspectors and more than 10 investigators. They worked out of the Republican Palace, which was subject to weekly, if not daily, rocket attacks. By the fall of 2007, efforts to secure the Iraqi people, pursue extremists, and foster reconciliation had combined to improve conditions substantially. Expanding the “Awakening” movement to all of Anbar province, and then to wherever Sunni insurgents or Shia militia existed, catalyzed reconciliation efforts across the country. The Sons of Iraq program expended about $370 million in CERP funds to employ about 100,000 Sunni insurgents and some Shia militia, effectively removing them from the battlespace. A revised Iraqioriented reconstruction program, reflected in the Joint Contracting Command-Iraq’s “Iraqi First” policy, fed economic potential into local towns and villages. CERP spending on reconstruction markedly increased, supporting a renewed “clear, hold, and build” program. The Embassy extended the reach of the PRT effort, implementing an “embedded PRT” initiative, which doubled the program’s capacity. All of these infusions, expansions, and innovations strategically coalesced to roll back the deadly tide that had submerged Iraq. Throughout this period, SIGIR produced an average of six audits and at least six inspections per quarter. My Assistant Inspector General for Inspections implemented innovative practices to good effect. Each of his teams included auditors and engineers, with every report examining a project’s financial and structural aspects. This produced propitious results, including the discovery by SIGIR engineers of project defects, the correction of which yielded savings of taxpayer dollars. Our audit teams addressed issues crucial to the maturing program such as how to transfer projects to Iraqi control and how Iraq should sustain them thereafter. In 2008, SIGIR’s investigative branch boosted production. Thanks to the leadership of a new and highly experienced Assistant Inspector General for Investigations, our case inventory burgeoned, with indictments and convictions increasing. These positive results came about through several new programs, including coordinated efforts to trace funds through special means and the building of better partnerships with domestic and international law-enforcement agencies. In 2009, we partnered with the Department of Justice to implement an unprecedented program dubbed the SIGIR Prosecutorial Initiative, or SIGPRO. It involved hiring our own prosecutors and placing them within DoJ’s fraud section where they aggressively pursued SIGIR cases. SIGPRO proved great success, yielding a rapid rise in prosecutions and many more convictions. SIGIR’s Investigations Directorate more than doubled its financial results, indictments, and convictions in just over two years. Transition was the theme of 2010 and 2011. U.S. and Iraqi authorities focused on implementing the Security Agreement and the Security Framework Agreement. The former laid out a timeline for U.S. troop withdrawal, while the latter established a process for continuing bilateral cooperation on Iraq’s reconstruction and LEARNING FROM IRAQ: A FINAL REPORT FROM THE SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION xii SIGIR most succeeded when it helped the relief and reconstruction mission improve. Our audits, inspections, and lessons-learned reports did that by identifying program challenges and offering recommendations for positive change. SIGIR’s reporting points to a crucial bottom line: the United States must reform its approach to planning, executing, and overseeing stabilization and reconstruction operations. Respectfully submitted, Stuart W. Bowen, Jr. Inspector General SIGIR’s Average Quarterly Statistics, 2004–2013 Published Reports 12.2 Indictments and Convictions 5.2 Congressional Testimonies 1.0 Agency Costs $6.8 Million Financial Benefits $50.1 Million recovery needs. The overarching challenge at this juncture involved transmogrifying a support system largely sustained by Defense to one handled exclusively by State. SIGIR played a role in this process through audits of the Police Development Program, which revealed weaknesses in planning and coordination. From a taxpayer perspective, these reviews had good effect. State downsized the program to levels the Iraqis wanted, saving hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Taken together, the following seven chapters of Learning From Iraq provide the most comprehensive picture of the reconstruction program yet produced. Chapter 1 synopsizes the prodigious work SIGIR’s auditors, investigators, and inspectors accomplished over the past nine years, providing best practices each directorate developed. The second chapter presents key primary source material on the effects of the rebuilding program drawn from interviews with Iraqis, U.S. senior leaders, and congressional members. They paint a telling tableau of a program fraught with challenge. Chapters 3 and 4 describe the many ad hoc entities that managed the Iraq rebuilding program, denoting who did the actual work and detailing the varying funding streams that supported thousands of programs and projects. Chapter 5, the report’s lengthiest, thoroughly lays out where the $60 billion in U.S. funds for Iraq went, with extensive explications of how the money was used to rebuild the country’s infrastructure, security system, governance capacity, and economy, punctuated by project vignettes that provide brief but piquant looks into the program’s wide scope. The penultimate chapter frames a short history of attempted reforms that sought to respond to management problems encountered during the Iraq program. Learning From Iraq concludes with seven final lessons that SIGIR’s collective work points to and supports. These seven lessons and our substantial body of work stand as our legacy. We saved money through audits, improved construction through inspections, and punished criminals through investigations. As pleased as I am with the SIGIR teams that achieved these important results, I view our lessons-learned reports, of which this is the last, as equally important.


A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran
To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young

The Last Letter 
I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.
I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.
You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.
I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion. I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.
To read Chris Hedges’ recent interview with Tomas Young, click here.
I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.
I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.
My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.


RT  'US manipulated public opinion before Iraq war'
 Published time: March 22, 2013 11:51 Iraqi soldiers inspect the wreckage of an old Iraqi tank destroyed during the 2003 US-led invasion in the southern city of Basra.(AFP Photo / Essam Al-Sudani) Share on Tumblr
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The US used every possibility to prove that Iraq was reluctant to cooperate in the war against terror, while it wasn’t, argues Salim Khalaf al-Jumayli, a former Iraqi intelligence officer, who made the revelation to RT.
Ten years after Iraq was occupied by the US, RT Arabic channel Rusiya Al-Yaum talked with a man who played a key role in getting intelligence to the Iraqi government right before the invasion. Their guest was General Salim Khalaf al-Jumayli, an Iraqi intelligence officer, former chief of the American desk of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.
RT: Mr. Salim, as an officer you destroyed all documents after the war was over. You burned them in a safe house near Baghdad. But I am sure there is still a lot of information that you committed to memory. Let’s start with the pretext that the US used to justify the invasion. They claimed that Iraq had ties with Al-Qaeda. Is it true or was it just a pretext?
Salim Khalaf al-Jumayli: Of course, America did everything to prepare public opinion inside the US and internationally for the war against Iraq. There were two major parts to this work: the US tried to convince everyone that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that it had close ties with Al-Qaeda and terrorists in general. In the 1980s, we did have certain relations with some organizations. But in the 1990s, we received orders to stop all contact with any organization that had terrorist connections. Talking about ties with Al-Qaeda, George Bush said that President Saddam Hussein had sent his envoys to meet with Osama bin Laden, but he never mentioned what the result of that meeting was. In 1992, after the war with Kuwait, Iraq was trying to restore relations with Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia. At that moment, Saudi Arabia was very anti-Iraq, and the President ordered to put all our efforts into changing that situation. We had to gather intelligence that could help us reach that goal. So we put more personnel in the Gulf countries department, and focused on Saudi Arabia. I was responsible for Syria at the time. We had connections with the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, Adnan Uqla’s group.  They had connections with Osama Bin Laden who was in Sudan at the time. That group offered to establish contacts with Bin Laden in order to work against Saudi Arabia. We got permission to establish that contact through the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, namely through a brother of Adnan Uqla, who was in an Arab country bordering with Iraq. We invited him to Baghdad, and I met with him at the Mansour Milia Hotel. I told him to get our message to Osama bin Laden. We all were against the American presence in Saudi Arabia. We had the same enemy, therefore we could work together undermining the Saudi regime and pressuring it to remove Americans from the Arabian Peninsula. This person went to Sudan with our message, there he met with Osama bin Laden. Then we got a reply from bin Laden – he said the Ba’ath regime in Iraq was apostate, and that it was because of the Iraqi regime that the Americans came to the Middle East, therefore he couldn’t have any contacts with this regime. There were other attempts to establish a connection, through Hassan al-Turabi for example. But Osama bin Laden’s position never changed. All of this happened before 1995, when he moved to Afghanistan and began to work against the Russian presence.
RT: Against the Najibullah regime…
SHJ: Americans also contacted bin Laden, they were the ones who transferred him to Afghanistan to fight against the Russians.
RT: If bin Laden refused to work with Saddam Hussein, does it then mean that it was the US who cooperated with al-Qaeda and not Iraq?
SHJ: I would not define it as cooperation though as it was later revealed they did have contacts. They coordinated their actions and supported al-Qaeda’s fight against the Russians in the Soviet Union. When Bush said that Saddam Hussein sent an envoy to bin Laden, he didn’t talk of the results of that mission. So formally his statement was true but in terms of the meaning he was wrong.
RT: So that’s about Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Now let’s talk a little bit about the weapons of mass destruction. Did Iraq really have these weapons as America claimed when it invaded the country?
SHJ: One more thing about Al-Qaeda. Before the war against Iraq, the US media talked a lot about Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who allegedly was in Iraq and had connections with the Iraqi regime. I didn’t have any information about that. And since al-Zarqawi was from Jordan, I asked my colleague at the Jordan desk about that. He said that they had received reports from Jordan’s intelligence about Musab al-Zarqawi being sick and getting treatment at a hospital in Baghdad. He even told me that this hospital was in Bataween. We searched the area, but didn’t find Musab al-Zarqawi. So we had no connections with Musab al-Zarqawi or Al-Qaeda. There was an attempt to establish a connection with the Taliban through one of the ministers, who was in Pakistan. Iraqi intelligence proposed this, but Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz said that it was an unstable regime and it wouldn’t benefit Iraq to have relations with it. 
US soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 22nd Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division, ride on a military vehicle as they leave their base on a mission in Tikrit, 180 Kilometers (110 miles) north of Iraqi capital Baghdad.(AFP Photo / Jewel Samad)
RT: What about weapons of mass destruction? Did Iraq actually have WMD that could threaten the entire world or the region?
SHJ:  They fabricated a certain problem, analyzed it and drew their conclusions based on that. The data they received from various sources wasn’t true. This was their attempt of swaying public opinion. In terms of the intelligence operation, Iraq was a closed country, and they obviously had no sources within the country that would’ve told them the truth. So they relied on other sources that fed them lies such as, for instance, photos of trucks, portable labs which according to their allegations were used for producing chemical weapons. They were actually used for checking food products supplied for the government. But they took photos of those labs and presented them as units for producing WMD.
RT: Mr. Salim, could you tell us as a counter-intelligence agent whether Iraq actually benefited from this powerful secrecy wall around it? Perhaps, had there been more transparency, and had the opponents known more about it and drew their conclusions based on that, there would not be such a perception of Iraq as an unknown power, like a dreadful black box?
SHJ: Certainly, a counter-intelligence agent’s work implies providing certain data to the opponents but you’re the one who should have it under control. From my experience, I am absolutely convinced, had the Americans had an Iraqi source that was telling them truth they wouldn’t have done what they did, in spite of having problems between the CIA and the National Security Advisor [Condoleezza Rice], who wanted to impose her opinion by making certain changes in the CIA reports. If only the CIA had a trustworthy and truthful information source within Iraq. So I’d like to stress again that in the counter-intelligence operation you should let the opponent have its sources inside your country, who you keep under control. You should ensure there’s a certain information leak to the extent you want to have it. Even if this source gets certain information, as it happened in our case, it’s better to let them learn it as the real situation meets our statements. We’ve always insisted that we didn’t have WMD.
Indeed, the Inspection Commissions lost their trust after particular documents were discovered at a fowl farm in a small area called Salman. They were the only ones we had but they didn’t believe it. Before the war, in our secret communication we confirmed that: they convinced the world in the need of entering Iraq in order to resolve two major issues, WMD and ties with Al-Qaeda. But what would they tell the world if they invaded Iraq and didn’t find WMD or ties with Al-Qaeda? You may have noticed that the entire talk was held in a different key. After a while, they changed the entire plan and said they were pursuing democratic goals in Iraq. And once chaos began in Iraq they called it ‘constructive’. Chaos seized the entire Arabic region. In their strategy they believed that America would rule this whole area once they overthrew Saddam Hussein; but it actually worked out the opposite way when chaos seized the entire area.
RT: As I understand, you had contacts or cooperation with the US political bodies or Intelligence?
SHJ:  No, we had contacts in the US Administration via American intermediaries of Lebanese origin. We exchanged letters. So we had no contacts with the US political bodies or intelligence services. We wanted to have a meeting with the CIA or anyone in the US administration to explain the situation to them explicitly but we never succeeded.
RT: Were you prepared for cooperation with the international community, for instance, with Europe or the US in then counter-terrorism area?
SHJ:  We were, and we sent a number of letters on that matter. In 1993, a truck full of explosives drove into the World Trade Center. That attack was developed and executed by an Iraqi American who came from Samarra, Iraq. This man fled back to Iraq following the attack. The US intelligence followed him and reported that he arrived at Iraq so we started looking for him. It took us six months before we found him working at a car workshop. The Iraqi intelligence detained him and put him to jail. We delivered a letter saying that we had crucial information on the executor of the WTC attack, and Iraqi American, and that we were willing to cooperate in order to pass this information over to them. Their reply was that we should pass this information to them in writing, and refused to meet with us. At the same time, they promised a $25mln reward to anyone who’d inform them of that individual or his whereabouts. They realized we had him, and that we informed them about it.
Following the 9/11 attack, they tried to act as intermediaries between us and the US intelligence via the Egyptian intelligence in order to arrange for this man’s extradition. The Egyptians and the relevant US forces had a number of meetings. We were willing to extradite him. He was an American and we had no right to keep him. But we wanted to have guarantees that the extradition would take place within the official framework. The US intelligence wanted to fly over for him on a special aircraft, however, our President didn’t approve it. He said it would be unacceptable to come over and pick up that man, as we had our own aircraft and we could send him over in an Iraqi aircraft. The Americans didn’t’ agree to that. Just imagine how persistent they were in this matter. They didn’t want Iraq to prove that it was against terrorism and that it was willing to cooperate in this matter. Following that the intelligence authorities persuaded our President to fly this man over by an Egyptian aircraft. When handing such a man over both sides were supposed to sign statements of transfer and acceptance, in presence of an intermediary. We drew up those statements which were very explicit, and the Americans refused to sign the acceptance statement.
RT: And the only reason they did that was to claim that Iraq was reluctant to cooperate in the war with terror?
SHJ:  That’s right.
RT: So what happened to that person?
SHJ:  He stayed behind bars until the day the intervention started, and the prisoners were set free. He walked off and to date, no one knows where he is. The only reason why the Americans declined the deal was that they wanted to avoid confirming officially that they had got the guy. And we needed some guarantees! We kept this guy detained after his arrest in 1992, but we held those talks with the US in 2002. We had held him under arrest for ten years.
RT: Do you remember his name?
SHJ:  We gave him an alias and used it all the way. We called him Aboud – at least, that was his name in our database. Even in his personal file he is registered as “Aboud”. But I think I remember his original name: it was Saied, I believe. Saied from Samarra. 
RT: Was he one of the Islamic fundamentalists? I’m talking of Al-Qaeda, for instance…
SHJ:  He had nothing to do with Al-Qaeda. He had perpetrated that attack as an act of revenge for the First Gulf War. He had two accomplices: one from Egypt, the other from Pakistan.
Three Iraqi detainees await inside a Humvee military vehicle during a raid in the area by US troops, on outskirts of Tikrit, 180 kms (110 miles) north of Iraq's capital Baghdad.(AFP Photo / Mauricio Lima)
RT: You’ve mentioned a “security belt” in Iraq. In this regard I recall my conversation with the late head of the Soviet intelligence Leonid Shebarshin, who died a year ago. When talking about capturing Kuwait, he told me that US intelligence had failed to penetrate into Iraq and gain information from the inside of the country. They tried recruiting officers of the Soviet intelligence service who were dealing with Iraq. Soviet counter-intelligence revealed their intentions and disrupted the plan. What lessons did Soviet counter-intelligence teach the Iraqi security services?
SHJ:  Our counter-intelligence is based on principles borrowed from Russia. The beginning of our work dates back to 1975 – the days of the late Barzan al-Tikriti, an early golden age of intelligence apparatus, which started growing stronger at the time. During the period of Fadhil al-Barak as the head of Iraqi intelligence, from 1984 to 1989, the development of the apparatus was making great strides: the procedure of information processing was formed, the structure of state security and procedure of contacting secret services and sources were shaped. Overall, all our procedures have been adopted from Russia, and all our counter-intelligence “pundits” have been educated in Russia.
They were our first highly qualified specialists. Then we organized training within the state security apparatus, supplementing the process of education with the experience of Germany and Greece. The Russian method of approaching your goal is multi-step, thus the process is long and successive. In the late 90’s we decided to change this strategy of work and began to reduce the number of stages in the recruiting process. The reason for this was that we had to work under huge pressure, which required great commitment and efforts from us. Moreover, the aggression towards Iraq was really serious. We were short of time and couldn’t afford to spend a whole year recruiting a person, so we had to make our decision within one month. Still we stayed subtle and tried not to come out too soon, just in case the person was not inclined to cooperate with us.
RT: You’ve recruited a number of people. It is said that you’ve even penetrated into the US Department of Defense!
SHJ:  Our penetrating into the US Department of Defense was something that even Russia failed to implement. We have recruited a high-ranking officer from the National Security Agency of the United States Department of Defense. We managed to leak a great deal of information, and I studied this information twice. However, not all of this information was genuine – a part of it was supposed to mislead us. This officer even unveiled the general scenario of the war with Iraq, the US military strength in Turkey, information about troops and counter-intelligence in countries neighboring Iraq such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab states. He was the one who confirmed there would be no attacking from Turkey. Guided by this information we relocated the Adnan division from the Mosul region closer to Baghdad, thus fortifying positions of the troops around the city. The US counter-intelligence suspected we had a source in the Department of Defense and was deliberately exposing tons of all sorts of information. But we knew which of the information was true.
RT: So the information was selected, right?
SHJ:  Yes, misleading information was easy to identify, and so was the true. We knew everything.
RT: So you had reasons to be certain that an invasion was imminent. Did you share these findings with the leadership of Iraq, particularly President Saddam Hussein?
SHJ:  Our job was to gather information on American presence in the region, and locate CIA presence in Iraq, identifying their strategy and plans, the targets they might be looking for in Iraq, and their proxies in our country. Most CIA lairs in Iraq were located in the north. We had information that the Americans would invade as soon as they amassed 75,000 troops in the Gulf. On February 24, which was about a month ahead of the invasion, we sent a report to the command staff, informing them that the American forces stationed in the Gulf had swollen to 73,000 in strength, coming close to the benchmark for launching an invasion. At the same time, the Americans were feinting leaks to make us believe the invasion would start somewhere in April or May. But we were certain that it would kick off any day now.
RT: Does that mean that the leaders of Iraq actually had a chance of avoiding the war? Or was the war predetermined, and the United States was going to invade Iraq regardless of whether it did or didn’t have weapons of mass destruction and links to Al Qaeda?
SHJ:  We were positive that there would be war. The American media propaganda machine had been blatantly manipulating public opinion internationally and inside the United States. It was already too late for them to call off the war effort. And for us, it was difficult to sway public opinion after 9/11. There was a missed opportunity here: prior to the 9/11 attacks, it was still possible for us to come to terms with Washington by making some serious concessions. But after 9/11, with the US administration, and especially the Department of Defense, becoming dominated by hardliners, we found it increasingly difficult to deal with the Americans. We had the American Jewish lobby to thank for that, as they were investing serious efforts in toppling “the Iraqi regime.” For your information, all five of the senior policy advisers in the US Department of Defense at the time were Jewish. All those people who masterminded this war were Jewish. They all subsequently went below the radar, and today, it’s impossible to trace them.
An Iraqi Kurdish boy holds up a green flag behind US soldiers during a demonstration in Kirkuk, 255 kilometres (155 miles) north of Baghdad.(AFP Photo / Abdelhak Senna)
RT: What about the high-profile decision makers – the group of neo-conservative decision makers who are responsible for starting this war?
SHJ:  I have already mentioned those who were officially in charge of the war: Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, and on top of them all, Dick Cheney and President Bush. But the policy advisers I’m referring to were a group within the DoD, who effectively assumed the role of intelligence, national security community, the State Department, and so on. Throughout history, decision making powers are normally shared rather than concentrated in a single office. In the United States, the national security agenda is usually shaped collectively by the CIA, the National Security Council, presidential advisors, foreign policy think tanks, mass media, etc. And the Pentagon certainly has a say, too. But during the period in question, strategic decision were made exclusively by a single institution: the Department of Defense. The Department of State objected to their war plan, and so did the CIA.
The CIA told the Pentagon, “Toppling the Iraqi regime is the easy part, but what are your scenarios for Iraq once you remove Saddam Hussein?” The DoD replied, “Just let us overthrow him, and then everything will stabilize.”
That’s the kind of mind frame that dominated the American war effort. There was no sustainable, long-term strategy, and that’s why it all ended in chaos. Of course, any sensible individual who would care to take a good look at the situation in Iraq back then would have realized that “the regime” was actually a secular government that opposed religious extremism. Up until 2003, there wasn’t a single Iraqi citizen who would be a member of Al Qaeda. There was one report – just one report that we received – fingering an individual named Ali al-Jaburi as an operative with Al Qaeda’s financial arm. We did a search and came up with thousands of Iraqis by that name, but we never found the al-Jaburi we were looking for.
Now look what happened to Iraq after 2003. We had warned the Americans that if the regime would fall, Iraq would devolve into a jihadist stronghold, and Iran would expand its area of influence across the Gulf region. It was us who had checked terrorist activity and contained Iran’s quest for regional domination. I am sure that all of our messages and information did reach US decision makers, up to the very top.
RT: Did the Iraqi leadership believe that America would stop short of starting the war because of its pragmatic policy and little interest in wreaking havoc and endangering its allies in the Persian Gulf?

SHJ:  I think our leadership believed that the US administration could foresee the implications of toppling the Iraq regime, that they knew this could tear the country apart under the influence of sectarian extremists, and enable Iran’s influence to reach the Gulf. That the American administration would do something as stupid as letting the Iraq regime fall and allowing Al-Qaeda and Iran to spread their influence across the region was totally inconceivable. Our authorities thought that the war wouldn’t last long and that afterwards the US would put forward certain conditions and we would say yes. But no one had expected Americans not only to crush the regime but the whole country as well in such a brutal manner. They even went as far as damaging their own country! They lost people and money. It’s those wars that sparked the economic crisis they are going through now. No one had thought that Americans would act so irrationally.
RT: What happened to your sources in the US?
SHJ:  We had three types of sources. Two of them can be characterized as military sources. One at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, another in the Gulf, one more in the Pentagon. Those were the military sources. Besides, we had our informants in the Congress and the National Security Council. Another category is the so-called “hostile diaspora” or the Iraqi opposition activists abroad who worked to knock down the ruling regime in Iraq. These include people who live in the US and who cooperate with our special department. This department is responsible for our connections in the White House, the State Department, the Pentagon, and the UN. In order to be able to accuse somebody of being our informant in the States, there must be proof that they cooperated with the Iraqi intelligence and were paid for that. The Prosecutor General’s Office should have enough grounds to press charges – in other words, a case should be started either in the FBI or here in Iraq. But we have destroyed all our files on the US, and Americans have failed to submit sufficient proof to take any of those people to court. As for our sources on the American side – they are gone and that’s all we know about them.
RT: You may refuse to answer this question, but I will still try and ask it. A few days after the attack, you were arrested by American soldiers. Did they try to make you speak or find out about your sources in the US?
SHJ:  On April 9, Baghdad fell. On April 12, I set on fire all the archives we kept on the US, Western Europe and Asian countries.
RT: How long did it take you to burn them?
SHJ:  A total of four days after I took the decision and ordered to burn these files – there were tons of documents. But I made sure they were all destroyed. On April 22, I was arrested. Those guys wanted to make me speak. (In his book, the CIA director wrote that they had successfully located an important informant in the intelligence. The pilots were told to get ready for an air strike. We insisted that we needed him alive. That was important for us….) They broke into my house at five in the evening.
RT: Did you consider attempting an escape?
SHJ:  No. I was sure I would get caught no matter where I go. I was responsible for the archive on the US, I had all the information. I wasn’t worried, because the archive had been burned. And words are just words. Then they started investigating me. About 37 investigation teams were assigned to my case. The FBI wanted to know about our sources in the US. The CIA tried to find out the identities of double agents who worked for both Iraq and the US and whether or not we controlled “Sureyya”. I was investigated for 9 months. And a special team from the Pentagon assigned to the Ministry of Defence case also opened a criminal case against me and investigated me for a week, for 8 hours daily. Just in connection with that case.
RT: With no results?
SHJ:  No. They asked me about our source in the Pentagon.
RT: Did you try not to reveal your sources?
SHJ:  As much as I could, but I couldn’t deny everything. They had some information of their own as for our contacts and sources among the population. The important thing is that none of them talked.
RT: Let’s talk about a sensitive subject – did you really try to bribe Mr El Baradei?
SHJ:  I work for intelligence, and 90% of intelligence work is illegal! It’s true for all intelligence services around the world. If you always observe the law, you won’t be able to work for intelligence. We encouraged El Baradei to tell the truth, in which case the Americans would have tried to get rid of him. If they had tried to do that, we were ready to take his side and support him. All he had to do is tell the truth, and there would have been no need to worry about his position or financial security. He started to waver at the meeting that took place on January, 19th, but he didn’t voice support for the use of force against Iraq. We didn’t have a way to contact him directly, only through intermediaries. There were two of them, both Egyptians. One has recently passed away, and the other is in good health. The money was to be delivered to the Egyptian ambassador in Vienna or Geneva, I can’t recall which. My Schengen visa was ready.  The person who was in charge of transporting the money is still alive, by the way. I was carrying a letter that I was to deliver to Mr El Baradei. We weren’t going to ask him to sign for the delivery or anything of the sort, of course. I couldn’t say that this money was for him. The deal was to take place in a park on the territory of the Egyptian Embassy, without a word spoken in the process. Eventually this plan was discarded. We wanted to deliver the money before January, 19th, since that was when the decisive meeting was to take place. After that there was no point in going through with the plan.
US soldiers of the 82nd Airborne division take position during a search for a weapons cache in Fallujah, 50 kms (30 miles) west of Baghdad.(AFP Photo / Patrick Baz)
RT: So you’re not even sure whether Mr El Baradei knew about this deal?
SHJ: No, I don’t know that for sure.
RT: And where did all the experienced, skilled staff of the intelligence service go? It’s like it disappeared after the occupation.
SHJ:  After the occupation 600 experienced officers made up the core of a new intelligence service. Neither the head of the intelligence service nor the top officials came back to work there, except maybe one or two. The people who returned were heads of the departments and such. And so the new intelligence service was created. Then the government turned against these people, fired them and made their names public. Their families were banished from the Sunni regions they lived in because they returned to work in the intelligence service. Most of them left Iraq and moved to Dubai, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and other countries.
RT: And my last question. Were there any cases of treason within senior military command?
SHJ:  As far as I know, there were no such cases. I am absolutely sure of it. The military command remained united. But last-minute changes to our battle plans led to the destruction of three Republican Guard divisions that were moving to cut into the rolling American columns as they stretched along the western bank of the Euphrates. Of course, we had no support from the air.
They were able to tap into our communications, so they focused on that. They managed to recruit a communications expert from special services who knew how the communications system of the President’s backup residencies worked.
RT: Was he an Iraqi?
SHJ:  Yes, he was an Iraqi. When the Dora neighborhood in Baghdad got hit this person vanished without a trace.
So, the country was occupied. After that the resistance started. I sincerely hope that Iraq will see stability once again.


RT 'US-trained death squads' organized torture sites across Iraq

Get short URL Published time: April 08, 2013 23:25 AFP Photo / Ahmad Al-Rubaye Share on Tumblr
Human rightsMilitaryUSAWar,WikiLeaks
After one year in Iraq the US government secretly enlisted retired Special Forces operatives to train Shia militia in the art of torture and other war crimes that fueled the Iraqi civil war, according to a new report.
Just over year into the Iraq War a desperate US government secretly organized and funded small militia groups to set up torture camps across the Middle Eastern country under the direction of a retired US Special Forces commander, according to a new report. 

James Steele, who came out of retirement in 2003 after guiding US-backed commandos in El Salvador in the 1980s, was deployed to Iraq as an “energy consultant” not long after the invasion began. A member of General David Petraeus’ inner circle, Steele quietly trained a Iraqi paramilitary force numbering in the thousands. With the help of Col. James Coffman, another Special Forces operative, he freely dispatched Shia militias to torture Saddam Hussein’s Sunni soldiers in order to learn the details of the insurgency. 

The subject is the focus of a new documentary by The Guardian in collaboration with BBC Arabic entitled “James Steele: America’s Mystery Man in Iraq,” which is viewable online. The Pentagon has denied participation in any war crimes but, upon being questioned, said the military would “investigate” the matter. Steele has rebuffed interview requests from his home in Texas. 

“This is one of the great untold stories of the Iraq War, how just over a year after the invasion, the United States funded a sectarian police commando force that set up a network of torture centers to fight the [Sunni] insurgency,” the film begins. 

“This is also the story of James Steele, the veteran of America’s dirty war in El Salvador. He was in charge of the US advisers who trained notorious Salvadorian paramilitary units to fight left-wing guerrillas. In the course of that civil war, 75,000 people died, and over a million people became refugees.” 

Steele’s role in the Middle East has been blamed with fueling the Iraqi civil war between Sunnis and Shias, the peak of which saw 3,000 people killed every month. At the behest of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Steele and Coffman committed various human rights violations but were never implicated by subordinates, in part because they never tortured prisoners themselves. 

“They worked hand in hand,” Gen. Muntadher al-Samari, who worked with Steele and Coffman for over a year, told The Guardian in March. “I never saw them apart in the 40 or 50 times I saw them inside the detention centers. They knew everything that was going on there…the torture, the most horrible kinds of torture.” 

The new report is the first time Gen. Petraeus has been mentioned in connection with US-sanctioned torture sites in Iraq. Both Steele and Coffman worked directly under Petraeus during the counter-insurgency in the initial years of the Iraq conflict. 

The Guardian/BBC Arabic report describes how, during that time, each torture site was under the bureaucratic command of its own interrogation committee. 

“Each one was made up of an intelligence officer and eight interrogators,” Samari said. “This committee will use all means of torture to make the detainees confess, like using electricity or hanging him upside down, pulling out their nails, and beating them on sensitive parts.” 

The hour-long documentary about Steele is the result of a 15-month investigation by the British media giants sparked by the release of the same classified military documents leaked by Private Bradley Manning. Manning, 25, could be sentenced to 20 years in prison if convicted of exposing the torture routines. 

Maggie O’Kane, a multimedia editor and director of investigations at The Guardian, told Democracy Now why the report on Steele needed to be released. 

“When the WikiLeaks documents came out in December of 2011…there was a reference to Frago 242, which was a US military order instructing US soldiers to ignore Iraqi-on-Iraqi torture,” she said. “This incidence, this Frago 242, came up over 1,000 times in the documents as we looked at it and we wondered why this order was issued and what was the story behind it…The Wikileaks documents, because they were the actual documents and what the State Department was sending back to Washington about what was going on, that this was a real treasure trove that we should explore.”


The 25 Jewish Neocons Who Got Us Into the Iraq War
May 28, 2019
A List of prominent Jewish Neocons and their role in getting the U.S. into Iraq and Homeland Security

Everything shown below has been taken word for word from the respective website cited (primarily Wikipedia).

Richard Perle

“American political advisor and lobbyist who worked for the Reagan administration as an assistant Secretary of Defense and worked on the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee from 1987 to 2004. He was Chairman of the Board from 2001 to 2003 under the Bush Administration.”

“He is a member of several conservative think-tanks, such as Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the Hudson Institute, and (as a resident fellow) the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. He is also a Patron of the Henry Jackson Society. “

“Perle has written extensively on a number of issues; his cited research interests including defense, national security, and the Middle East. Perle had long been an advocate of regime change in Iraq. He also linked Saddam to Osama Bin Laden just a few days after 9/11”

“Perle chaired a study group that included Douglas Feith and David Wurmser that produced a strategy paper for the incoming Likud Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm””

“In a New York Times article Perle was criticized for recommending that the Army purchase an armaments system from an Israeli company that a year earlier had paid him $50,000 in consulting fees.”

“In 1996, Perle participated in a study group that produced a report for the incoming Likud-led government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel that urged the country to break off then-ongoing peace initiatives and suggested strategies for reshaping the Middle East. Among the group’s arguments was the idea that “removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq [was] an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right.”

Paul Wolfowitz

 “As U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense during the Presidency of George W. Bush, he was “a major architect of President Bush’s Iraq policy and, within the Administration, its most passionate and compelling advocate” (Boyer 1)”

Douglas Feith

 “Douglas Feith is a former Pentagon official closely associated with the neoconservative political faction who has been investigated for allegedly distorting prewar intelligence on Iraq. Feith served as the deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, the number three position at the Pentagon, from July 2001 to August 2005.”

“Feith has been questioned by the FBI in relation to the passing by one of his employees of confidential Pentagon documents to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which in turn passed them to the Israeli Embassy. The Senate Intelligence Committee is also investigating Feith.”

“There seems little doubt that he operated in the Pentagon in such a way as to produce false and misleading ‘intelligence,’ that he created an entirely false impression of Iraqi weapons capabilities and ties to al-Qaida, and that he is among the chief facilitators of the U.S. war in Iraq. Feith is clearly resigning ahead of the possible breaking of major scandals concerning his tenure at the Department of Defense, which is among the more disgraceful cases of the misleading of the American people in American history.”

“Although Feith was not formally charged in connection to his work at the Pentagon, his work has been repeatedly investigated, and official reports have linked him to efforts to push faulty evidence to justify the war. One investigation, by the Department of Defense’s inspector general (IG), was set up to assess whether the Office of Special Plans (OSP), a specialized outfit set up by Feith within the Pentagon to scrutinize intelligence on Iraq, deliberately skewed information about the regime of Saddam Hussein (New York Times, May 25, 2006).”

“Feith also served on the board of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a think tank that promotes a military and strategic alliance between the United Statesand Israel. [8]”

“Feith favors US support for Israel and has promoted US-Israeli cooperation. He also favors stronger US-Turkish cooperation, and increased military ties between Turkey and Israel. Both Feith and his father have been honored by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), a conservative organization that often makes common cause on foreign policy issues with conservative Christian organizations.”

“His father, Dalck, was a member of the Betar, a Revisionist Zionist youth organization”

“The Betar Movement (???”?, also spelled Beitar) is a Revisionist Zionist youth movement founded in 1923 in Riga, Latvia, by Ze’ev Jabotinsky. Betar members played important roles in the fight against the British during the Mandate, and in the creation of Israel. It has been traditionally linked to the original Herut and then Likud Israeli political parties.”

Michael Ledeen

 “Ledeen was a founding member of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and he served on the JINSA Board of Advisors. In 2003, the Washington Post alleged that he was consulted by Karl Rove, George W. Bush’s closest advisor, as his main international affairs adviser.”

“Michael Ledeen had been accused of being involved in the forgery which claimed that Saddam Hussein had bought yellowcake in Niger.”

“Writing in The Nation, a left-wing magazine, Jack Huberman, who describes Ledeen as “the most influential and unabashed warmonger of our time”, attributes these quotes to Ledeen:[19]

* “the level of casualties (in Iraq) is secondary”

* “we are a warlike people (Americans)…we love war”

* “Change – above all violent change – is the essence of human history”

* “the only way to achieve peace is through total war”

* “The purpose of total war is to permanently force your will onto another people”

* “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business”

Scooter Libby

 “an American former corporate lawyer, policy advisor, and novelist who served as Assistant to the President of the United States, George W. Bush, Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney, and Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs from 2001 to 2005.”

“Libby was active in the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee of the Pentagon when it was chaired by Richard Perle during the early years of the George W. Bush administration (2001-2003).[44]”

“British Secretary of State for Justice Jack Straw said of Libby: “It’s a toss-up whether [he] is working for the Israelis or the Americans on any given day.”

Charles Krauthammer

 “Neoconservative columnist and commentator. Krauthammer appears regularly as a guest commentator on Fox News. His print work appears in the Washington Post, Time magazine and The Weekly Standard.”

“Krauthammer asserted that Saddam Hussein’s possession of weapons of mass destruction was certain”

“Krauthammer guaranteed that the weapons would eventually be discovered”

“Krauthammer has been a defender of the Likud party in Israel”

Stephen Bryen

 “Bryen is also closely connected to various high-profile neoconservatives like Richard Perle, under whom Bryen served when Perle was President Ronald Reagan’s assistant secretary of defense, and has supported the work of a number of hardline pro-Israel groups like the Center for Security Policy (CSP) and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).”

“In the mid-1970s, Bryen and a group of other mainly neoconservative figures, including Michael Ledeen, helped establish JINSA as an important Washington-based think tank specializing in fostering close ties between the U.S. and Israeli militaries”

“Bryen had a role in choosing not only what U.S. weaponry Israel would be allowed to purchase with those funds, but also what sensitive U.S. military technology would be made available to Israel for use in its own burgeoning arms industry.”

“Some observers have accused Bryen of using his insider connections in Washington to the benefit of Israel.”

“In a January 2002 article for National Review Online, Bryen pushed the erroneous thesis that Iraq had maintained a well-developed biological weapons program since the first Gulf War in 1991, making it the “leading threat” to “global survival.””

“Even prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Bryen was part of a core group of foreign policy hardliners and neoconservatives who pushed for overthrowing Saddam Hussein”

David Frum

“David J. Frum (born 1960) is a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush”

“Frum is widely cited as having authored the phrase “axis of evil,” “

“Frum’s latest book, An End to Evil, was co-written with Richard Perle. It provided a defense of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and advocated regime change in Iran and Syria”

“Frum writes a weekly column for Canada’s National Post newspaper and is a commentator for American Public Radio’s “Marketplace.” His writings appear frequently in the New York Times, Italy’s Il Foglio, and the Daily Telegraph. He also writes a blog, David Frum’s Diary at the National Review Online Web site.”

Robert Kagan

 “American neoconservative scholar and political commentator.”

“Kagan worked at the State Department Bureau of Inter-American Affairs (1985-1988) and was a speechwriter for Secretary of State George P. Shultz (1984-1985). Prior to that, he was foreign policy advisor to New York Representative and future Republican vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp”

“Kagan, who has written for The New Republic, Policy Review, the Washington Post (monthly), and the Weekly Standard, now lives in Brussels, Belgium, with his family.”

“He is a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC)”

David Wurmser

 “David Wurmser is a Swiss-American dual citizen and the Middle East Adviser to US Vice President Dick Cheney. Wurmser, a neoconservative, previously served as special assistant to John R. Bolton at the State Department and was a former research fellow on the Middle East at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).”

“In 2000, Wurmser helped draft a document entitled “Ending Syria’s Occupation of Lebanon: the US Role?”, which called for a confrontation with the regime in Damascus. The document said that Syria was developing “weapons of mass destruction”.[2]”

“After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith appointed Wurmser and veteran defense analyst Michael Maloof as a secret two-man Pentagon intelligence unit. One of their products, days after the attacks, was a memo that suggested “hitting targets outside the Middle East in the initial offensive” or a “non-Al Qaeda target like Iraq.” “

“On September 4, 2004, the Washington Post reported that FBI counterintelligence investigators had questioned Wurmser, along with Feith, Harold Rhode, and Paul Wolfowitzabout the passing of classified information to Ahmad Chalabi and/or the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. [4]”

Wurmser’s wife, Dr. Meyrav Wurmser, co-founded the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).”

Dov Zakheim

“During the 2000 U.S. Presidential election campaign, Zakheim served as a foreign policy advisor to George W. Bush “

“appointed to be Undersecretary of Defense and Comptroller from 2001 to 2004 under the George W. Bush administration, and served in this capacity until April 2004. During his term as Comptroller, he was tasked to help track down the Pentagon’s 2.6 trillion dollars ($2,600,000,000,000) worth of unaccounted transactions”

“As an Orthodox Jew, he gained notoriety for his involvement in ending the Israeli fighter program, the IAI Lavi. He argued that Israeli and U.S. interests would be best served by having Israel purchase F-16 fighters, rather than investing in an entirely new aircraft.”

“He is currently a Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton.”

”Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., referred to as Booz Allen is one of the oldest strategy consulting firms in the world.[1]”

“the firm generated annual total sales of over $4 billion in FY2007.[8]”

“In 2006 at the request of the Article 29 Working Group, an advisory group to the European Commission (EC), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Privacy International(PI) investigated the U.S. government’s SWIFT surveillance program and Booz Allen’s role therein. The ACLU and PI filed a memo at the end of their investigation which called into question the ethics and legality of a government contractor (in this case Booz Allen) acting as auditors of a government program, when that contractor is heavily involved with those same agencies on other contracts. The basic statement was that a conflict of interest may exist. Beyond that, the implication was also made that Booz Allen may be complicit in a program (electronic surveillance of SWIFT) that may be deemed illegal by the EC.”

“A June 28, 2007 Washington Post article [13] related how a U.S. Department of Homeland Security contract with Booz Allen increased from $2 million to more than $70 million through two no-bid contracts, one occurring after the DHS’s legal office had advised DHS not to continue the contract until after a review.”

Henry Kissenger

“In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed Kissinger to chair a committee to investigate the events of the September 11 attacks. “

“In 2006, it was reported in the book State of Denial by Bob Woodward that Kissinger was meeting regularly with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to offer advice on the War in Iraq.[38] Kissinger confirmed in recorded interviews with Woodward”

Norman Podhoretz

 “He asserts that the War on Terror is a war against Islamofascism, and constitutes World War IV (World War III having been the Cold War), and advocates the bombing of Iran to pre-empt their acquisition of nuclear weapons.”

“Project for the New American Century, PNAC, original signer”

“”Podhoretz is the father of John Podhoretz, a columnist for the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post, who also acts as a ubiquitous booster of the hawks”

John Podhoretz

 “Podhoretz has been one of the most steadfast supporters of U.S. president George W. Bush, and even wrote a book extolling Bush as “the first great leader of the 21st century”.”

“Podhoretz is emphatic in his defense of Israel”

“However, Podhoretz was critical of the tactics used by Israel’s leadership in the recent Lebanon conflict, and argued that the Olmert government should have been more forceful in its efforts to weaken Hezbollah as a political and military force.”

“Podhoretz has a regular column at the New York Post, has been a political commentator on Fox News, and regularly appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources. He has also worked at Time, the Washington Times, Insight, and U.S. News & World Report. Podhoretz is a contributor to The Corner, a group blog run by National Review.”

Elliot Abrams

 “American lawyer who has served in foreign policy positions for two Republican U.S. Presidents, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.”

“During Bush’s first term in office, he was appointed the post of Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director on the National Security Council for Near East and North African Affairs. At the start of Bush’s second term, Abrams was promoted to be his Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy, responsible for advancing Bush’s strategy of advancing democracy abroad. Although Abrams is considered a leading neoconservative”

“He was one of the signatories of the 26 January 1998 PNAC letter sent to President Bill Clinton which called for regime-change in Iraq.[17]”

Frederick Kagan

“Frederick Kagan and his father Donald Kagan, who is a professor at Yale and a fellow at the Hudson Institute, together authored While America Sleeps: Self-Delusion, Military Weakness, and the Threat to Peace Today (2000). The book argued in favor of massive military spending and warned of future threats, including from a potential revival of Iraq’s WMD program.[1] Frederick along with his brother Robert Kagan, who is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, and their father Donald are all signatories to the neoconservative Project for the New American Century manifesto titled Rebuilding America’s Defenses (2000)”

“Kagan was said to have won-over the ear of President George W. Bush,[3] strongly influencing his subsequent “surge” plan for changing the course of the Iraq War”

Donald Kagan

“became one of the original signers to the 1997 Statement of Principles by the neoconservative “think tank,” Project for the New American Century”

Alan Dershowtiz

He is “”an American political figure and criminal law professor at Harvard Law School”

“Dershowitz comments regularly on issues related to Judaism, Israel, civil liberties, the war on terror, and the First Amendment, and appears frequently in the mainstream media as a guest commentator.””

“Dershowitz published an essay in the San Francisco Chronicle entitled “Want to Torture? Get a Warrant,” in which he advocates the issuance of warrants permitting the torture of terrorism suspects if there were an “absolute need to obtain immediate information in order to save lives”

“James Bamford, in his column for The Washington Post of September 8, 2002, reviews Dershowitz’s “idea of torture” and describes “[o]ne form of torture recommended by Dershowitz—‘the sterilized needle being shoved under the fingernails’” as “chillingly Nazi-like.””

“In his book Beyond Chutzpah, Norman Finkelstein” [who is Jewish] “comments: “It is hard to make out any difference between the policy Dershowitz advocates and the Nazi destruction of Lidice, for which he expresses abhorrence-except that Jews, not Germans, would be implementing it.”[33]”

“His parents, Harry and Claire, were both devout Orthodox Jews”

Daniel Pipes

“American historian and counter-terrorism analyst who specializes in the Middle East.”

“regular columnist for the New York Sun and The Jerusalem Post. He contributes regularly to David Horowitz’s online publication FrontPage Magazine, and he has had his work published by many newspapers across North America, including the Washington Post, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal.[citation needed] He is frequently invited to discuss the Middle East on American network television, as well as by universities and think tanks, has appeared on the BBC and Al Jazeera”

“Pipes and the organization were accused of attacking academic freedom in 2002 by publishing a list of academics critical of Israel and U.S. foreign policy”

“Pipes has served in various capacities at the Departments of State and Defense, while his father served on the National Security Council, and he has testified to the United States Congress”

“Pipes is an outspoken Zionist.”

“In 1987, Pipes encouraged the United States to provide Saddam Hussein with upgraded weapons and intelligence,[30] ostensibly to counterbalance Iran’s successes in the Iran-Iraq War”

“Pipes was a strong backer of the Iraq War, saying that Saddam Hussein posed an “imminent threat” to the United States.[2] In a New York Post article published April 8, 2003, Pipes expressed his opposition to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s concerned prediction that “[the] war [in Iraq] will have horrible consequences…Terrorism will be aggravated…Terrorist organizations will be united…Everything will be insecure.” Though this concern was echoed by various other politicians and academics cited by Pipes in his article,[18] Pipes argued that “the precise opposite is more likely to happen: The war in Iraq will lead to a reduction in terrorism.””

Eliot Cohen

 “Cohen is the Director of the Strategic Studies department at SAIS and has specialized in strategic studies, the Middle East, Persian Gulf, Iraq, arms control, and NATO. He is a member of the Project for the New American Century and was called “the most influential neoconservative in academe” by energy economist Ahmad Faruqui.[1] He is currently serving as Counselor to the U.S. State Department.”

“Cohen was one of the first neoconservatives to publicly advocate war against Iran and Iraq”

Quote by Cohen: “We know that he [Saddam Hussain] supports terror. There’s very solid evidence that the Iraqis were behind an attempt to assassinate President Bush’s father. And we—by the way, we do know that there is a connection with the 9/11 terrorists.”

“As a member of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee Cohen had also been engaged in meetings involving US President George Bush. During these meetings Cohen provided advice on strategy in the Iraq conflict”

“On 2 March 2007 it was reported by the Washington Post that Cohen was to be appointed as Condoleezza Rice’s “counselor” at the United States Department of State.”

“Regarding the “academic paper titled The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. The paper criticizes the Israel lobby for influencing U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East away from U.S. interests and towards Israel’s interests. Eliot Cohen, who is Jewish, wrote in a prominent op-ed piece in The Washington Post that the academic working paper bears all the traditional hallmarks of anti-Semitism”

Bill Kristol

“He is the son of Irving Kristol, one of the founders of the neoconservative movement”

“Kristol was a strong advocate of the Iraq war”

“Most recently he has been a vocal supporter of the Israeli attack on Lebanon, stating that the war is “our war too,” referring to the United States. He continues to back the Iraq war, and favors a war with Iran”

“Kristol caused controversy by praising President George W. Bush’s second inaugural address without disclosing his role as a consultant to the writing of the speech.”

Irving Kristol

“considered the founder of American neoconservatism”

“Kristol is the founder of the politics and culture journal The Public Interest and the foreign affairs journal The National Interest.”

Max Boot

“He has been a prominent advocate for neoconservative foreign policy, once describing his own position as support for the use of “American might to promote American ideals” throughout the world.[1]”

“He is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard, a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times and a regular contributor to other publications including the Financial Times and The New York Times. “

“He is also a consultant to the U.S. military and a regular lecturer at U.S. military institutions such as the Army War College and the Command and General Staff College. He has previously worked for The Wall Street Journal and The Christian Science Monitor”

James Schlesinger

“James Rodney Schlesinger (born February 15, 1929) was United States Secretary of Defense from 1973 to 1975 under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He became America’s first Secretary of Energy under Jimmy Carter.”

“Schlesinger was born in New York City to Rae, a Russian Jewish immigrant, and Julius Schlesinger, an Austrian Jew.”

“On February 2, 1973 he became Director of Central Intelligence, after Richard Helms”

“Thereafter he resumed his writing and speaking career and was employed as a senior adviser to Lehman Brothers, Kuhn Loeb Inc., of New York City. On June 11, 2002 he was appointed by U.S. President George W. Bush to the Homeland Security Advisory Council. He also serves as a consultant to the United States Department of Defense, and is a member of the Defense Policy Board. On January 5, 2006, he participated in a meeting at the White House of former Secretaries of Defense and State to discuss United Statesforeign policy with Bush administration officials. On January 31, 2006 he was appointed by the Secretary of State to be a member of the Arms Control and Nonproliferation Advisory Board. On May 2, 2006, he was named to be a co-chairman of a Defense Science Board study on DOD Energy Strategy.”

Marc Grossman

“Marc Grossman was the United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs

 from 2001 to 2005.”

“Before assuming these duties, Grossman served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs.”

“He was Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources, from June 2000 to February 2001, and Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, from August 1997 to May 2000. From November 1994 to June 1997, he served as U.S. Ambassador to Turkey. Prior to this, from January 1993 to September 1994, he was Special Assistant to the Secretary of State and Executive Secretary of the Department of State.

Before assuming these duties, Grossman served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs. He was Executive Assistant to Deputy Secretary of State John C. Whitehead from September 1986 to January 1989.“

“he retired from the State Department as the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Ambassador Grossman served as the Department’s third-ranking official, supporting U.S.diplomacy worldwide. Following the September 11th attacks, he helped marshal international diplomatic support for the Global war on Terrorism and for the military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

”Religion: Jewish”

Joshua Bolten

“Joshua Brewster Bolten (born August 16 1954) is the current White House Chief of Staff serving U.S. President George W. Bush. Bolten replaced Andrew Card on April 14, 2006.”

“Bolten’s father, Seymour, worked for the CIA”

“Formerly the Director of Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Bolten was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to that position in 2003. Bolten was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy at the White House from 2001 to 2003. He previously served as policy director for the 2000 George W. Bush Presidential campaign from 1999 to 2000 and as Executive Director for Legal and Government Affairs at Goldman Sachs in London from 1994 to 1999.”


The Unfolding of Yinon’s “Zionist Plan for the Middle East”

The Unfolding of Yinon’s “Zionist Plan for the Middle East”
The crisis in Iraq and the centrality of Israel’s national interest

Writing in the ultra-establishment Washington Post, mainstream liberal David Ignatius observes:

Let’s look at the reality on the ground in the Middle East: Iraq and Syria are effectively partitioned along sectarian lines; Lebanon and Yemen are close to fracturing; Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia survive intact but as increasingly authoritarian states.In the current, chaotic moment, we see two post-imperial systems collapsing at once: The state boundaries drawn by the Versailles Treaty in 1919 to replace the Ottoman Empire can’t hold the fractious peoples together. And a U.S.-led system that kept the region in a rough balance has been shattered by America’s failed intervention in Iraq.”[1]

The Post publishes views that respectable people are allowed, or even expected, to hold, so it is quite significant that Ignatius’s assessment has now emerged on center stage. Of course, it was not given any attention during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, when it could have served to prevent the chaos that has ensued, though various Middle East experts did mention it, as is discussed in my book, The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel.

As I brought out in that book, but as the more respectable antiwar crowd as well as the mainstream ignore, a fundamental purpose of the war on Iraq was to ignite the destabilization and fragmentation of Israel’s enemies throughout the Middle East, which has consequently taken place in tandem with a region-wide Sunni-Shiite war. Moreover, I pointed out that this idea was best articulated, though it did not originate, in a lengthy article in Hebrew by Likudnik Oded Yinon in 1982, which Israel Shahak, the perspicacious Israeli dissident,[2]

 translated in a booklet titled The Zionist Plan for the Middle East.[3] As Shahak’s title clearly indicates, the fragmentation of Israel’s enemies was a goal of the Israeli Right (to some extent the goal transcended the political Right), and was not just some quirk of Yinon’s. Intertwined with that strategy was an effort to keep Israel’s larger enemies fighting among themselves. As Victor Ostrovsky put it in his insider book on the Mossad, Israel actively worked to keep the war between Iran and Iraq in the 1980s “hot,” writing that “if they were busy fighting each other, they couldn’t fight us.”[4]

The neocons have not openly stated that this Likudnik aim is their goal, though some have alluded to something like it, but they have been open in their support for Israeli policy, maintaining as they do that Israel has the same interests as the United States. For example, on April 3, 2002, the Project for the New American Century sent a letter to President George W. Bush signed by such neocon stalwarts as William Kristol, Ken Adelman, Richard Perle, Midge Decter, Robert Kagan, Joshua Muravchik, Daniel Pipes, Norman Podhoretz, and R. James Woolsey; it urged the president to attack Iraq and included the following references to Israel:

Furthermore, Mr. President, we urge you to accelerate plans for removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq…. It is now common knowledge that Saddam, along with Iran, is a funder and supporter of terrorism against Israel…. If we do not move against Saddam Hussein and his regime, the damage our Israeli friends and we have suffered until now may someday appear but a prelude to much greater horrors.[5]

The letter continued with the assertion: “Israel’s fight against terrorism is our fight. Israel’s victory is an important part of our victory. For reasons both moral and strategic, we need to stand with Israel in its fight against terrorism.”[6]

It is hard to believe that the neocons, who were closely tied to the thinking of the Israeli Right, have not been aware of the Likudnik goal of strategic destabilization. Moreover, a man who has been characterized as their leading academic guru, Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis, has written on the fragility of the dictatorial regimes of the Middle East. Lewis echoed Yinon’s analysis of those countries’ fragility in an article in the September 1992 issue of Foreign Affairs titled “Rethinking the Middle East.” He wrote of a development he referred to as “Lebanonization”:

[A] possibility, which could even be precipitated by [Islamic] fundamentalism, is what has of late been fashionable to call “Lebanonization.” Most of the states of the Middle East — Egypt is an obvious exception — are of recent and artificial construction and are vulnerable to such a process. If the central power is sufficiently weakened, there is no real civil society to hold the polity together, no real sense of common identity or overriding allegiance to the nation state. The state then disintegrates — as happened in Lebanon — into a chaos of squabbling, feuding, fighting sects, tribes, regions, and parties.[7]

Since Lewis, who is credited with coining the phrase “clash of civilizations,” has been a major advocate of a belligerent stance for the West against the Islamic states, it appears that he realized that such fragmentation would be the result of his belligerent policy. Lewis was a major proponent of the U.S. attack on Iraq and was an advisor to Dick Cheney, who for years has maintained close connections with the neocon nexus.[8]

Neocon David Wurmser, who was one of the authors of the notorious study “A Clean Break” (1996), written for an Israeli think tank, produced a much longer follow-up document for the same outfit, titled “Coping with Crumbling States: A Western and Israeli Balance of Power Strategy for the Levant,” where he emphasized the fragile nature of the Middle Eastern Baathist dictatorships in Iraq and Syria, which, if the dictatorships faltered, could easily fragment into separate ethno-sectarian segments, a development that would enhance the security of Israel and the West.[9]

Daniel Pipes, founder and director of the Middle East Forum, a neocon organization focusing on the Middle East and the danger posed to the United States by Islamic radicalism, also openly presents this line of thinking. In regard to the Syrian civil war in 2013 he wrote:

Evil forces pose less danger to us when they make war on each other. This (1) keeps them focused locally and (2) prevents either one from emerging victorious (and thereby posing a yet-greater danger). Western powers should guide enemies to stalemate by helping whichever side is losing, so as to prolong the conflict.[10]

As I discuss in my book, American Middle East experts were aware of the chance that the Saddam regime’s removal might lead to the ethno-sectarian splintering of Iraq. It was hardly unknown in the United States. President George H.W. Bush and his secretary of state, James Baker, did not invade and occupy the heartland of Iraq in the Gulf War of 1991 because of that very fear. The neocons, it should be emphasized, were demanding such an operation at the time and would later chastise the Bush administration for its failure to carry it out. Similarly, in my book I refer to a number of U.S. government studies coming out just before the 2003 invasion that forecast the likelihood that ethnic-sectarian fragmentation and violence would result.[11]

In regard to the ISIS invasion of Iraq today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, still viewing Iran as Israel’s greatest external threat, has maintained that the United States should act to weaken both ISIS and Iran, saying, “When your enemies are fighting each other, don’t strengthen either one of them. Weaken both.”[12] Although ISIS, in its rhetoric, is threatening not simply the Middle East but also the United States with terrorist attacks, Netanyahu insists that the focus of U.S. policy should be on Iran. Holding that Iran’s achieving nuclear-weapons capability is the greater danger to the region, he warned against Washington’s cooperating with Iran to defeat ISIS, which he fears might lead to a broader rapprochement between the two countries that would include a softening of the U.S. anti-nuclear policy toward Iran.

ISIS has actually improved Israel’s security by winning control of both sides of the Iraq-Syria border and thus inhibiting Iran’s ability to supply its Hezbollah ally in Lebanon as well as Hamas in Palestine. Hezbollah has provided Iran a significant means of harming Israel militarily; thus, the new situation has severely weakened Iran’s ability to retaliate against, or even deter, any possible Israeli attack. Consequently, Iran would find it necessary to be more wary about taking any steps that Israel would deem hostile, including expanding its nuclear program. That being the case, it is certainly in Israel’s interest that this Sunni region remain out of the hands of any Iraqi government, local or national, that is not hostile to Iran.

Neocons are advocating strategies for Washington in line with Netanyahu’s position that a fundamental objective is to keep Iran out of the picture and instead have the United States serve as the major adversary of ISIS. For instance, Frederick Kagan and William Kristol wrote in the blog for the neocon Weekly Standard on June 16 that it is essential to

act boldly and decisively to help stop the advance of the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — without empowering Iran. This would mean pursuing a strategy in Iraq (and in Syria) that works to empower moderate Sunni and Shi’a without taking sectarian sides. This would mean aiming at the expulsion of foreign fighters, both al Qaeda terrorists and Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah regular and special forces, from Iraq.This would require a willingness to send American forces back to Iraq. It would mean not merely conducting U.S. air strikes, but also accompanying those strikes with special operators, and perhaps regular U.S. military units, on the ground. This is the only chance we have to persuade Iraq’s Sunni Arabs that they have an alternative to joining up with al Qaeda or being at the mercy of government-backed and Iranian-backed death squads, and that we have not thrown in with the Iranians. It is also the only way to regain influence with the Iraqi government and to stabilize the Iraqi Security Forces on terms that would allow us to demand the demobilization of Shi’a militias and to move to limit Iranian influence and to create bargaining chips with Iran to insist on the withdrawal of their forces if and when the situation stabilizes.[13]

In a Commentary article, “Getting Fooled by Iran in Iraq,” Max Boot maintains that “[a]bsent a much more active American role to oppose Iranian designs, the mullahs will be able to live out their dreams of regional hegemony at relatively small cost.” And even if the Sunnis could prevent Iranian regional domination, that would not benefit the United States, either. “While some may take satisfaction from Sunni and Shiite extremists clashing,” Boot opines, “the problem is that they could both win — i.e., both sides could gain control of significant territory which will then become terrorist states.”[14]

“Put bluntly,” Boot continues, “the U.S. interest is in creating democratic, stable, and pro-Western regimes; the Iranian interest is in creating fundamentalist, terrorist-supporting, Shiite-extremist regimes. There is no overlap of interest except when we make the mistake of backing Iranian-aligned leaders such as [Iraqi Prime Minister] Nouri al-Maliki.”

Elliot Abrams expresses a similar view:

The Obama administration has sought a grand rapprochement with Iran, once upon a time called “engagement,” since January 2009. Apparently it still does. But the current path leads only to enhancing Iran’s regional power, and to alienating and endangering our own allies in the region. Iran is an enemy of the United States and of our allies in the Middle East, as its own leaders repeat regularly in speeches. To work with Iran to enlarge its influence in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq will further undermine American influence — and not only in the Middle East. Around the world nations dependent on our willingness to recognize and resist Russian and Chinese efforts at hegemony will also be chilled to see such a policy develop.[15]

In a Commentary piece this summer, 84-year-old Norman Podhoretz, a neocon godfather, returned to the fray to offer his pessimistic version of the current dominant neocon view of the situation in Iraq. “Obama,” he writes, “evidently now thinks that a de facto alliance with Iran — Iran! — is the way to close those doors, but such an alliance would only guarantee that they would open even wider than they are now. It would also solidify Iran’s influence over Iraq while giving a green light to an Iranian nuclear bomb.

“Alas, none of the other proposals for getting us out of this fix seems fully persuasive. Which means that it may be too late to prevent Iraq from joining Syria as part of a new Iranian empire.”

We should recall that before the 2003 invasion, the neocons did not ignore the likely need for the United States to maintain long-term political control of Iraq. The neocons generally argued that it was necessary for the United States to “educate” the Iraqis in the principles of democracy during a long period of American occupation. For instance, in September 2002, Podhoretz acknowledged that the people of the Middle East might, if given a free democratic choice, pick anti-American, anti-Israeli leaders and policies. But he proclaimed that “there is a policy that can head it off,” provided “that we then have the stomach to impose a new political culture on the defeated parties. This is what we did directly and unapologetically in Germany and Japan after winning World War II.”[16]

Boot, writing in the Weekly Standard in October 2001, argued “The Case for Empire.” “Afghanistan and other troubled lands today,” he intoned, “cry out for the sort of enlightened foreign administration once provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodhpurs and pith helmets.”[17]

Nevertheless, any goal of controlling and “educating” the Iraqi people took a back seat during the run-up to the invasion as the neocons put their emphasis on mobilizing governmental and overall public support for a war that would destroy Saddam’s regime — their primary goal. To mobilize public and congressional support for that endeavor, it was necessary to sugarcoat its likely violent ramifications by claiming that few American troops would be needed and that they would be welcomed with open arms by the Iraqi populace.

After the fall of Baghdad in April 2003, neocons and Bush administration officials held that the continued Iraq resistance to the American occupation represented only the activities of a few extremists — diehard Baathists and al Qaeda terrorists from outside Iraq — adamantly denying that the insurgency was drawing significant support from the Iraqi people. In June 2003, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld dismissed the Iraqi resistance as a few “pockets of dead-enders.”[18] Also in June 2003, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz denied that those fighting American troops in Iraq were “insurgents.” “An insurgency implies something that rose up afterwards,” Wolfowitz staunchly asserted. “This is the same enemy that butchered Iraqis for 35 years, that fought us up until the fall of Baghdad and continues to fight afterwards.”[19]

Norman Podhoretz would reflect this state of denial in an article of September 1, 2004, writing:

Most supporters of the invasion — myself included — had predicted that we would be greeted there with flowers and cheers; yet our troops encountered car bombs and hatred. Nevertheless, and contrary to the impression created by the media, survey after survey demonstrated the vast majority of Iraqis did welcome us, and were happy to be liberated from the murderous tyranny under which they had lived for long under Saddam Hussein. The hatred and the car bombs came from the same breed of jihadists who had attacked us on 9/11, and who, unlike the skeptics in our own country, were afraid that we were actually succeeding in democratizing Iraq.[20]

However, as it became apparent that the U.S. invasion had spawned large-scale internecine violence in Iraq, the neocons began to assert that the U.S. military forces were not being sufficiently tough in suppressing the rebellion. “Crush the Insurgents in Iraq,” bellowed an article in the May 23, 2004, issue of the Washington Post, co-authored by prominent New York politician-banker Lewis Lehrman and William Kristol. “The immediate task,” they proclaimed, “is … the destruction of the armies and militias of the insurgency — not taking and holding territory, not winning the hearts and minds of Iraqis, not conciliating opponents and critics, not gaining the approval of other nations.”[21]

Journalist Jim Lobe pointed out in May 2004 that the failure of the American military to be sufficiently ruthless “infuriates the neocons who, despite their constant rhetoric about democracy and the importance of the ‘war of ideas,’ have always considered military force to be the only language their enemies can ever really understand.” Lobe observed: “Precisely how Fallujah or other towns and cities are to be ‘conquered’ without piling up horrendous civilian casualties that alienate people far beyond Iraq’s borders is unclear.”[22] Of course, inflaming all the Muslim peoples of the Middle East would serve to put the United States in the same enemy category as Israel and advance the neoconservatives’ goal of a U.S. war against all of Israel’s enemies.

Conjoined with the neocons’ advocacy of a tougher policy toward the Iraqi insurgents was their allegation that the insurgency was being instigated and supported by outside forces, especially Iran, which was Israel’s major enemy. In the immediate aftermath of the U.S. invasion, Israeli officials were pushing for a U.S. attack on Iran. Israeli officials clearly saw the U.S. attack on Iraq as the first step in a broader effort that would change the Middle East in the interests of Israel. In April 2003, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Daniel Ayalon, called for a “regime change” in both Syria and Iran, at a conference of the Anti-Defamation League. He argued that, while the American invasion of Iraq and overthrow of Saddam helped create great opportunities for Israel, it was “not enough.” “It has to follow through,” Ayalon told his audience. “We still have great threats of that magnitude coming from Syria, coming from Iran…. The important thing is to show [international] political unity, and this is the key element to pressure the Iranians into a regime change, and the same case is with the Syrians.”[23]

The question seemed to be whether to go after Iran directly or hit at it through its ally Syria, which was closer to Israel and served as a conduit for Iranian weapons going to Israel’s enemies, Hezbollah and Hamas. In December 2004, a lead editorial in the Weekly Standard by William Kristol emphasized that the United States had an urgent and dire “Syria problem.”

“Of course we also have — the world also has — an Iran problem, and a Saudi problem, and lots of other problems,” Kristol explained. “The Iran and Saudi problems may ultimately be more serious than the Syria problem. But the Syria problem is urgent: It is Bashar Assad’s regime that seems to be doing more than any other, right now, to help Baathists and terrorists kill Americans in the central front of the war on terror.” It was thus essential for the United States “to get serious about dealing with Syria as part of winning in Iraq, and in the broader Middle East.”[24]

But while Syria was a danger because of its connection to Iran and proximity to Israel, Iran was seen as the major danger. In May 2005, Richard Perle was the major attraction of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference in Washington, with his call for an attack on Iran. The danger of Iran also was featured in an AIPAC multimedia show, “Iran’s Path to the Bomb.” The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank vividly described the Disneyesque multimedia show:

The exhibit, worthy of a theme park, begins with a narrator condemning the International Atomic Energy Agency for being “unwilling to conclude that Iran is developing nuclear weapons” (it had similar reservations about Iraq) and the Security Council because it “has yet to take up the issue.” In a succession of rooms, visitors see flashing lights and hear rumbling sounds as Dr. Seuss-like contraptions make yellowcake uranium, reprocess plutonium, and pop out nuclear warheads like so many gallons of hummus for an AIPAC conference.[25]

New neoconservative writings in 2005 also pushed for stronger measures against Iran. In Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran, Kenneth Timmerman, a member of the advisory board of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and executive director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, claimed that Iran had collaborated with al Qaeda in plotting the September 11 terror attacks, and was currently harboring Osama bin Laden.[26] Timmerman also was one of the authors of the study “Launch Regional Initiatives,” published by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) at the end of November 2005. In the section on Iran, the publication portrayed the Islamic regime as America’s irreconcilable enemy, with which détente was impossible. It suggested a number of militant measures for Washington to take in order to bring about regime change: “The United States must wage total political war against the Islamofascists in Tehran, both inside Iran and from the outside. This war should be designed to keep the Iranian regime off balance (including, where necessary, through the use of covert means), with the ultimate goal of undermining its control.”[27]

Most of the proposed American efforts to undermine the existing Iranian regime did not involve a direct American military attack, but the latter was not ruled out to stop Iran’s nuclear program: “The stakes are sufficiently high that we must also be prepared to use military force — alone if necessary, with others if practicable — to disrupt Iran’s known and suspected nuclear operations.”[28]

One way to weaken Iran would be to fragment it into various groups — in line with Yinon’s plan for the Middle East. That seems to have been the underlying theme of the October 26, 2005, AEI conference titled “The Unknown Iran: Another Case for Federalism?,” moderated by AEI resident scholar Michael A. Ledeen. The announcement for the conference stated that “few realize that Persians likely constitute a minority of the Iranian population. The majority is composed of Azerbaijanis, Kurds, Baluchis, Turkmen, and the Arabs of Khuzistan / al-ahwaz. In the event the current regime falls, these groups will undoubtedly play an important role in their country’s future.” Those speaking at the conference included ethnic separatists.[29]

As time went by and violence against the American occupation of Iraq continued, the American people were becoming opposed to the military endeavor, and in early 2006 Congress established a special, independent, bipartisan commission, the Iraq Study Group, which would not only provide a solution for Iraq but also deal with the broader Middle East. Since it was headed by James Baker (a close confidant of the elder Bush) and other establishment luminaries, neocons realized, and various leaks confirmed, that the group would propose to extract U.S. forces from Iraq (though in a gradual fashion). That would militate against American efforts to induce regime change in additional Middle Eastern countries, especially Iran. Moreover, it was revealed that the Iraq Study Group sought to establish U.S. engagement with Iran in order to bring about stability to Iraq and the entire Middle East by diplomatic means — stability being the foreign-policy establishment’s fundamental goal.

To prevent the group’s ideas from reaching fruition, a counter-proposal was developed at AEI — its principal authors being Frederick Kagan and General Jack Keane, former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army — that called for a drastic increase in American forces. It became commonly known as the “surge.” Although the surge was opposed by most members of Congress, military leaders, the foreign-policy establishment, and a majority of the American people, President Bush nonetheless adopted it in early 2007.

After a rocky start, the surge strategy by the end of 2007 would bring about a significant reduction in the violent resistance in Iraq. It proved to be a significant political victory for President Bush and the neocons, and even today it is touted as having been a great success. However, the original rationale for the surge was to reduce the intense ethno-sectarian fissiparous divisions in Iraq, thus unifying the country under the national government. Clearly, that did not take place.

In fact, the surge militated against national unity because a fundamental U.S. tactic was to strengthen local Sunni tribal leaders to fight the al Qaeda insurgents, which included providing them training and arms. The tribal leaders effectively fought al Qaeda but, in the process, they set up their own little fiefdoms independent of central-government control. Marc Lynch, a Middle East specialist at George Washington University, noted in the fall of 2007 that the approach was leading to a “warlord state” in Iraq with “power devolved to local militias, gangs, tribes and power-brokers, with a purely nominal central state.”[30]

It is just those organized and armed Sunni groups that have now joined with ISIS in the effort to overthrow the pro-Shiite Maliki government of Iraq, which had tried to bring them under its control. In fact, it now seems apparent that the ease with which ISIS swept through predominantly Sunni northwest Iraq was largely due to the fact that the Iraqi army there was primarily composed of Sunnis, who were unwilling to fight on behalf of a pro-Shiite regime, and that the local inhabitants saw ISIS as a force that would liberate them from any existing or attempted domination by the Shiite-run central government in Baghdad.

Despite President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry’s call for an inclusive, non-sectarian national government, it is not apparent that such a thing could be established without antagonizing one or the other of the major ethno-sectarian groups. Washington’s sending in enough troops to suppress the Sunni insurrection and compel the central government to accept significant representation and input from the Sunnis — in short, creating a government that did not represent majoritarian rule — would be unacceptable to many Shiites. Efforts to establish some type of balanced government representing both the interests of Shiites and Sunnis (even leaving aside existing Kurdish autonomy) would be apt to lead to insurrections by the factions and would likely require the forceful imposition of a U.S.-controlled puppet government. That would seem to be in line with much of the neocons’ thinking, but it would not be acceptable to the American people, and it also would probably be unacceptable to the American foreign-policy establishment, considering the difficulty involved in achieving such a Herculean task and the regional hostility, with its concomitant negative effects on American regional interests, that it would inflame.

From the American standpoint, the simplest and least expensive way, in both blood and treasure, to establish stability is to allow for Iranian and Syrian intervention on behalf of either the Maliki government or another government that reflected the will of the Shiite majority. As pointed out earlier in this essay, that is one result that the Israeli government and the neocons seek to prevent, perceiving, as they do, Iran as Israel’s major enemy. Furthermore, that approach would not be guaranteed to succeed since it would probably lead to greater support for the Sunni insurgents from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates.

So far, the Saudis and the Gulf sheikhdoms have provided intermittent support for radical Islamist groups such as ISIS, which they perceive as a very effective weapon against their Shiite and other non-Sunni foes (e.g. Assad’s regime in Syria) in the region, but which they also fear because of the latter’s threat to their own regimes, which the radical Islamists consider to be pro-Western, corrupt, and insufficiently Islamic. Thus, the Saudis and the Gulf states try to make sure that radical Islamist groups such as ISIS do not become too powerful. That restraint would likely be much lessened if the Syrian and Iranian involvement intensified. Chances are that such a development would lead to a stalemate in Iraq, with the ISIS-led coalition of Sunni forces retaining control of the Sunni heartland in northern and western Iraq while the Shiite-dominated central government remained in control of the predominantly Shiite areas in the eastern and southern parts of the country, including Baghdad.

That would likely be an unstable situation with undefined borders where continuous military skirmishing would be the norm, which would also involve the Kurds in some areas. Moreover, it is quite likely that internecine fighting would take place within those areas themselves, as different groups contended for power among themselves.

The result of almost all the aforementioned scenarios — consisting of continued Sunni-Shiite regional warfare, along with Iraq’s fragmentation — is certainly in line with Yinon’s view of Israel’s security. And the neocons who have been pushing for greater American intervention can always maintain that any chaos and violence in the region is due to the fact that their advice to retain large numbers of American troops in Iraq and “educate” (control) the Iraqi leaders was not followed.

A number of commentators have compared the situation in Iraq to the well-known English nursery rhyme for children, “Humpty Dumpty.” Mr. Dumpty is portrayed as a squat, egg-like being who falls, breaking into pieces, and cannot be reassembled. However, for a more precise analogy, the “Humpty Dumpty” rhyme requires a revision, to read something like the following:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty was pushed and made to fall,
And all the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty back together again.
(And those who pushed him — ow! —
seem to prefer him as he is right now.)


[1] David Ignatius, “Piecing together the shattering Middle East,” Washington Post, June 17, 2014.

[2] Bint Jbeil, in its Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, provided the following description of Israel Shahak’s writing:

Shahak gained a wide international audience through his regular “Translations from the Hebrew Press,” which gave the non-Hebrew-speaking world a unique glimpse into the extreme and racist rhetoric about Arabs, Palestinians, and Jewish supremacy that characterizes much of “mainstream” discourse in Israel. The translations also clarified Israeli strategic thinking and policy goals in a manner that directly contradicted official “hasbara” (propaganda), which presented Israel as a besieged state struggling only for peace and survival. Shahak’s writings continuously exposed and denounced Israel as an expansionist, chauvinist, and racist state bent on the domination of the surrounding Arab peoples, especially the Palestinians.

[3] The Zionist Plan for the Middle East (PDF), translated and edited by Israel Shahak, Belmont, Mass.: Association of Arab-American University Graduates, Inc., 1982.

[4] Victor Ostrovsky and Claire Hoy, By Way of Deception: The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Agent, New York: St. Martin’s Press, p. 124.

[5] William Kristol, et al., Project for a New American Century, Letter to President George W. Bush, April 3, 2002, appearing in the Washington Times, April 4, 2002.

[6] William Kristol, et al., Project for a New American Century, Letter to President George W. Bush, April 3, 2002, appearing in the Washington Times, April 4, 2002.

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[7] Bernard Lewis, “Rethinking the Middle East,” Foreign Affairs, Fall 1992.

[8] Michael Hirsh, “Bernard Lewis Revisited,” Washington Monthly, November 2004.

[9] David Wurmser, “Coping with Crumbling States: a Western and Israeli Balance of Power Strategy for the Levant,” Washington, D.C.: Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS), 1996.

[10] Daniel Pipes, “The Case for Supporting Assad,” National Review, April 12, 2013. Reflecting the same line of thinking is Daniel Pipes, “Civil War in Iraq?,” New York Sun, February 28, 2006.

[11] Stephen J. Sniegoski, The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel, Norfolk, Va.: Enigma, 2008, pp. 73-75, 337-38.

[12] Marcy Kreiter, “Netanyahu Warns U.S. against Working with Iran to Halt ISIS Advance in Iraq,” International Business Times, June 22, 2014; and Michael Wilner, “Netanyahu suggests pinning ISIS against Iran,” Jerusalem Post, June 24, 2014.

[13] Frederick W. Kagan and William Kristol, “What to Do in Iraq,” The Weekly Standard blog, June 16, 2014.

[14] Max Boot, “Getting Fooled by Iran in Iraq,” Commentary, June 15, 2014.

[15] Elliot Abrams, “Our New Ally Iran?,” “Pressure Points,” Council of Foreign Relations, June 16, 2014.

[16] Norman Podhoretz, “In Praise of the Bush Doctrine,” Commentary, September 2002, p. 28.

[17] Max Boot, “The Case for American Empire,” The Weekly Standard, October 15, 2001.

[18] “Secretary Rumsfeld Media Availability with Jay Garner,” Department of Defense, News Transcript, June 18, 2003, accessed November 20, 2007.

[19] “Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz on MSNBC Hardball,” June 23, 2004; accessed November 20, 2007, quoted in Sniegoski, Transparent Cabal, p. 232.

[20] Norman Podhoretz, “World War IV: How It Started, What It Means, and Why We Have to Win,” Commentary, September 1, 2004; quoted in Sniegoski, Transparent Cabal, p. 232.

[21] William Kristol and Lewis E. Lehrman, “Crush the Insurgents in Iraq,” Washington Post, May 23, 2004, p. B-7.

[22] Jim Lobe, “Neocons Go Macho on Iraq,”, May 25, 2004.

[23] Jonathan Wright, “Israeli Ambassador to U.S. Calls for ‘Regime Change’ in Iran, Syria,” Reuters, April 28, 2003, posted at

[24] William Kristol, “Getting Serious About Syria,” Weekly Standard, December 20, 2004.

[25] Dana Milbank, “AIPAC’s Big, Bigger, Biggest Moment,” Washington Post, May 24, 2005, p. A-13.

[26] “Books add to rightwing campaign to demonise Iran,” Financial Times, July 8, 2005.

[27] Michael Rubin, et al., Launch Regional Initiatives, American Enterprise Institute, posted November 30, 2005.

[28] Ibid.

[29] American Enterprise Institute, “The Unknown Iran,” October 26, 2005; and “Iran Minorities Participate in AEI Debate,” Ahwaz News Agency, October 27, 2005.

[30] Jim Lobe, “Fears grow of post-‘surge’ woes,” Asia Times, November 22, 2007.


Neocons and the Israel Lobby Are Promoting War With Iran, as They Once Did With Iraq
By Allan C. Brownfeld
Surrounding Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Charles Schumer (D-NY), standing at podium, are (clockwise from top left) neocons Paul Wolfowitz (photo Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images), John Bolton (photo Darren McCollester/Getty Images), William Kristol (photo Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) and Sen. John Mc- Cain (R-AZ) (photo Win McNamee/Getty Images). (PHOTO BY ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES)

TOGETHER WITH OTHER ELEMENTS OF THE ISRAEL LOBBY, neoconservatives—the same people who successfully pushed the nation to war with Iraq, a country which never attacked us and never possessed “weapons of mass destruction”—are now promoting a war with Iran, a country more than three times the size of Iraq.

The war in Iraq, it should be noted, left a regional power vacuum that helped promote the growth of ISIS, helped increase the chaos in Syria and increased the regional importance of Iran.

Writing in The New York Times, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton had this advice: “To stop Iran’s bomb, bomb Iran...Force is the only option.” Posing the question “Is our only option war?” in The Washington Post, longtime neoconservative Joshua Muravchik with the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies answered “Yes.” William Kristol, whose Weekly Standard is a voice for neoconservatives, not only echoes these views, but has even suggested that Dick Cheney would be a worthy Republican presidential candidate in 2016!

Evidently, these men and their fellow travelers have learned nothing from the Iraq war, which they successfully promoted. For Americans to follow their advice again would be folly.

Neoconservatives have been obsessed with Iran for years. Norman Podhoretz, for many years editor of Commentary, wrote an essay in 2009 depicting Iran’s president as a revolutionary “like Hitler...whose objective is to overturn the going international system and replace it...with a new world order dominated by Iran...The plain and brutal truth is that if Iran is to be prevented from developing a nuclear arsenal, there is no alternative to the actual use of military force.”

The panic about Iran seems in retrospect to have been mostly emotional hyperbole—as it is today. In 2006, Princeton scholar Bernard Lewis, an adviser to President George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney, predicted in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that Iran’s then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was going to end the world. The date, he explained, “is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the Prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to the farthest mosque, usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back. This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary the world.”

Many have pointed to the close ties of many neoconservatives with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Israel’s right wing. Prominent neocons Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, James Colbert and David and Meyrav Wurmser wrote a memo to Netanyahu in 1997 entitled “A Clean Break,” which recommended the reordering of the entire Middle East to the benefit of Israel.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) was an unknown before he prepared a letter signed by 47 Republicans to leaders in Iran warning against a nuclear agreement. He echoed all the points made by Netanyahu and by American neoconservative spokesmen. The Emergency Committee for Israel, led by Kristol, spent $960,000 to support Cotton in his Senate race in Arkansas. In that same race, a firm run by Paul Singer, a hedge fund billionaire from New York and a leading donor to pro-Israel causes, contributed $250,000 to Arkansas Horizon, an independent expenditure group. Seth Klarman, a Boston-based pro-Israel billionaire, contributed $100,000 through his investment firm.

The political action committee run by Bolton spent at least $825,000 to support Cotton. That PAC is in part financed by other major pro-Israel donors, including “bingo king” Irving and Cherna Moskowitz of Miami, who fund?illegal Jewish-only settlements in East Jerusalem.

Although Senator Cotton claims to have personally composed the letter to Iran’s leaders, this seems less than likely. After all, it is highly unusual for a freshman senator to take a bold step like the Iran letter and then persuade dozens of colleagues to endorse it. Kristol admits having had a conversation with Cotton about the letter. There continues to be much speculation about who really composed it.

“It may be obvious, but it is worth emphasizing how deranged all of this is,” wrote political commentator Daniel Larison in The American Conservative. “It is already quite strange when anyone in this country has such a strong ideological attachment to another state, but to demand that all of a party’s candidates must share that attachment and share it to the same degree is madness. If the relationship with that other country were extremely useful to the U.S. it would still be absurd, but it might be a little easier to understand. When the relationship does virtually nothing for the U.S. and imposes significant costs on the U.S., as is the case with Israel, requiring all candidates to give reflexive support to the other state is bizarre and indefensible.”

While no Democrats signed Cotton’s letter, that doesn’t mean they are supporting their president. As Josh Nathan-Kazis noted in the April 8 Forward, “The path to a bill that would effectively scuttle President Obama’s deal with Iran on its nuclear development program runs through two Jewish senators: Ben Cardin of Maryland and Chuck Schumer of New York.”

Both men are Democrats who, before a compromise was reached with the White House, had indicated they might vote to override a threatened presidential veto of a bill sponsored by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) which, according to the Forward, would require that “any agreement with Iran be put on hold for two months after signing as Congress reviews its details. Congress could then pass a resolution against the deal, which would bar the president from lifting sanctions that Congress had previously imposed on Iran.”

Because overriding a veto requires 67 votes, and there are only 54 Republican senators, a veto by President Obama would stand unless at least 13 Democrats joined their Republican counterparts. Both Cardin and Schumer are in positions of influence—Cardin as the new ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Schumer as Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) anointed successor as minority leader—and presumably could lobby Senate Democrats to vote with the Republican opposition.

In Israel itself, there are many who oppose any march to war with Iran. Efraim Halevy, former head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, said, “Even if the Iranians did obtain a nuclear weapon, they are deterrable, because for mullahs, survival and perpetuation of the regime is a holy obligation. We must be much more sophisticated and nuanced in our policies toward Iran.”

In fact, attacking Iran would have an effect opposite of what the neoconservatives and Netanyahu claim to seek. As Prof. Stephen Crowley, chairman of peace and conflict studies at Oberlin College, explains, “Since nuclear weapons provide the ultimate deterrent, nothing could better persuade Iranian hard-liners to abandon negotiations and to develop such weapons full speed than calls to bomb Iran. Mr. Bolton speculates that bombing could set back Iran’s nuclear program ‘by three to five years.’ What then, Mr. Bolton? Where does it end?”

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has a history of interfering in American political life. In 2002, he stated before a congressional hearing that Saddam Hussain was “pursuing with abandon, with every ounce of effort, weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons...Saddam is hell bent on achieving atomic bombs as fast as he can.”

Netanyahu went on to charge that Saddam had sprinkled Iraq with “nuclear centrifuges the size of washing machines” and that nothing short of an U.S. invasion or regime change would stop Saddam from passing out nuclear weapons to terrorist groups. According to Netanyahu, an invasion of Iraq would be a great success. “If you take out Saddam, Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you it will have enormous positive reverberations around the region,” he concluded. Of course, as everyone now knows, it didn’t quite work out that way.

Netanyahu’s predictions about Iran also have been less than accurate—but always alarmist. In 1995, he wrote that Iran would have a nuclear weapon in “three to five years,” and in 1996, speaking before a joint session of Congress, he warned that the deadline for Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon was “getting extremely close.” In 2012, Netanyahu spoke at the U.N., warning that Iran was mere months away from producing a nuclear weapon.

Now, with the U.S. engaged in sensitive negotiations with Iran concerning its nuclear program, Netanyahu again has interfered in domestic American politics, criticizing the president and secretary of state as naive and about to enter into a dangerous agreement. No other foreign leader—much less the recipient of the largest amount of U.S. taxpayer dollars in our history—has ever acted in this way.

Mossad’s formal assessment of Iran’s nuclear capacity and intentions clearly contradict the scenario outlined by Netanyahu at the U.N. According to the Mossad report, Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons,” declared The Guardian. “The report highlights the gulf between the public claims and rhetoric of top Israeli politicians and the assessments of Israel’s military and intelligence establishment.”

As Prof. Juan Cole of the University of Michigan notes, “Iran does not have a nuclear bomb and is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty...In contrast, Israel refused to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and has several hundred nuclear warheads, which it constructed stealthily, including through acts of espionage and smuggling in the U.S. and against the wishes of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson...Iran has not launched an aggressive war since 1775, when Karim Khan Zand sent an army against Omar Pasha in neighboring Iraq...Modern Iran has not occupied the territory of its neighbors.”

In Israel itself, many commentators argue that Netanyahu’s focus on Iran is simply a means to avoid dealing with the question of the continued occupation of the West Bank. In its March 3 edition, the daily newspaper Haaretz editorialized: “Netanyahu and other Israeli candidates are ignoring the real existential threat to Israel...the unending occupation of the territories. Israel’s insistence on ruling over millions of Palestinians in the West Bank who lack civil rights, expanding the settlements and keeping residents of the Gaza Strip under siege is the danger threatening the future.”

The idea that either Netanyahu’s campaign against an agreement with Iran, or the machinations of the far-right Israel lobby and its associated neoconservatives, in any way represents American Jewish opinion—a view its advocates promote—is clearly untrue. Polls show that the majority of American Jews support efforts to achieve an agreement with Iran. The widely read Jewish newspaper The Forward has endorsed moving forward with an agreement, and groups such as J Street and Jewish Voice for Peace are seeing their memberships booming. Rabbi Brant Rosen, one of the founders of Jewish Voice for Peace, laments, “The State of Israel is now the living embodiment of Judaism as empire. It demonstrates all too tragically, the consequences of this quasi-Faustian bargain we have made with political nationalism.”

A decade ago the U.S. permitted neoconservatives and the Israel lobby to take us to war with Iraq on false premises and with disastrous results. To permit them to lead us down this path once again, this time with Iran, would be ruinous.

Allan C. Brownfeld is a syndicated columnist and associate editor of the Lincoln Review, a journal published by the Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, and editor of Issues, the quarterly journal of the American Council for Judaism.

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