Saturday, June 30, 2007

Beavis and Butthead In London Jihad

By Thomas C Greene in Dublin
Published Friday 29th June 2007 17:51 GMT

Police and securocrats know that there aren't enough real terrorists in the world, which is why they have to keep manufacturing them.

This is because citizens tire of being watched by cameras, frisked and x-rayed, having their belongings searched, giving fingerprints to so-called friendly nations on entry, contemplating the myriad government databases where their details and activities are preserved, and wondering if some dour little bureaucrat is reading their email or listening to them on the phone.

Citizens tire also of reading the rolls of the war dead fraudulently sacrificed in the name of counterterrorist "victory", and of seeing hundreds of billions spent on surveillance and private security, ridiculous wars, and security-related gimmicks and gizmos, when it could be so much better spent on, oh, needs like housing, medicine and pensions, and mitigating actual mass threats to life via such non-sexy routes as traffic safety, fire safety, vaccinations, buildings and infrastructure inspection, water treatment, and food safety.

But the guys with the guns and cameras and listening devices have been on a roll since 9/11, embarrassing their clip-board-toting rivals in the race for public money, even though, collectively, they've taken or made meaner far more lives than they can ever hope to protect with their strategy of violence in the name of peace, and fascism in the name of liberty.

To keep the billions rolling in, they've got to produce a terrorist every now and then. Only real terrorists are hard to come by, so clowns and stooges with harebrained schemes end up doing bin Laden's perp walk periodically.

Today we have news from London, where a "big [explosive] device" was discovered inside a parked car near Piccadilly Circus. The device consisted of petrol, propane gas cylinders, and nails.

The car containing it had been abandoned after its driver was observed piloting it erratically, crashing it, then running off, like a true professional. Ambulance workers called to assist nearby noticed what they initially thought was smoke inside the car, but which likely was petrol vapour, and contacted police.

Bomb disposal specialists made it safe, and police officials and politicians began slyly invoking the terrorist bogeyman. Heaven forbid the public should be starved of their regular fear rations.

"As the police and security services have said on so many occasions, we face a serious and continuous threat to our country", day-old PM Gordon Brown said. "But this incident does recall the need for us to be vigilant at all times and the public to be alert at any potential incidents."

And what an incident.

"It is obvious that if the device had detonated there could have been serious injury or loss of life", Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke intoned gravely.

Ah, if it had detonated. Yes, it could have been a real horror. Only, the device could not have detonated.

Not under any circumstances. You see, the terrorist wannabe clown who built it left out a crucial element: an oxidiser. The device was pure pre-teen boy fantasy.

"We'll heat up these propane cylinders with burning petrol, and they'll go off like bombs", boys the world over have remarked with glee. They don't realise that air is a poor oxidiser, and the only "explosion" they will get is when gas pressure inside the cylinders is great enough to burst them. Then the propane will ignite, and a nice fireball will blossom. A fireball, not an explosion.

Oh, the Piccadilly fireball would have blown the car's windows out, and popped its doors open, and sent various bits like mirrors and so forth into the air at velocities possibly fatal to people nearby. It would have looked really cool, that's for sure. But an explosive event...a detonation?

Not in a million years.

Sorry lads: you failed car bombing 101; you did not attend a single lecture; you did not even open the textbook.

Some stupid people did a stupid thing. Yes, they might have injured or killed one or two passers-by, but any body count would have come in spite of them, not as a product of their efforts. You and I are more likely to have been killed accidentally by the lousy driver than intentionally by his Beavis and Butthead car bomb.
This should have been dismissed for what it is: an event on the level of some teenagers getting a tremendously foolish notion, and being drunk enough for it to appeal to them.

But we're hearing whispers of terrorism instead - much as we heard from the Americans when they foiled a "terrorist plot" to blow up fuel storage tanks at Kennedy International.

It would have been devastating, prosecutors told us. Only that "plot" had the same hole in it: air makes a lousy oxidiser. If it had been carried out, it would certainly have made a bigger fireball than the one in London would have made. But that's about it.
So why is this such big news?

Because clowns have got to be passed off as terrorists.

Because a vast industry depends on terrorists, real and imagined, to justify its existence.

We live now in the grip of the security-industrial complex, and that hungry beast demands to be fed.

We feed it money hand over fist, and in return, it feeds us fear biscuits, which we are expected to accept with gratitude.
Roll over. Sit up and beg. See the bad man? Good citizen; here's your bickie. ®

UK Role In IRA "Human Bomb Attacks"

UK Agents 'Did Have Role In IRA Bomb Atrocities'

By Henry McDonald,
Ireland Editor
Sunday September 10, 2006

The controversy over claims that Britain allowed two IRA informers to organise 'human bomb' attacks intensified this weekend.

A human rights watchdog has handed a report to the Police Service of Northern Ireland, which concludes that two British agents were central to the bombings of three army border installations in 1990.

Meanwhile the Police Ombudsman's Office in Belfast confirmed it is investigating allegations by the family of one victim that the bomb in Newry on 24 October 1990 could have been prevented.

The British Irish Rights Watch report will also put the focus back on the alleged MI6 agent 'J118'. Army intelligence officer turned whistleblower Martin Ingram has alleged 'J118' was Sinn Fein's chief negotiator Martin McGuinnesss.

...The 'human bomb' tactic involved forcing civilians to drive vehicles laden with explosives into army checkpoints and included deadly sorties near Newry and Coshquin outside Derry.

Six British soldiers and a civilian worker at an army base died in the simultaneous blasts on either side of Northern Ireland.
British Irish Rights Watch said: 'This month BIRW sent a confidential report to the Historical Enquiries Team on the three incidents that occurred on 24th October 1990... at least two security force agents were involved in these bombings, and allegations have been made that the "human bomb" strategy was the brainchild of British intelligence.

'Questions arise as to whether the RUC, Garda Síochána and the army's Force Research Unit had prior and/or subsequent intelligence about the bombings.

These questions in turn lead to concerns about whether these attacks could have been prevented and why no one has been brought to justice.'
Although British Irish Rights Watch has made no reference to the identities of the informers they allege were involved in the 'human bomb' plot, the group's intervention in the controversy is a significant development.

The group has issued several detailed reports previously outlining cases of collusion between loyalist terrorists and the security forces.

These include the Pat Finucane murder and the killing of Raymond McCord Jr by the Ulster Volunteer Force.

In both cases, British Irish Rights Watch claim many of the loyalists involved in these murders were agents for the security forces - allegations that were later substantiated.
Speaking from a secret location in Europe this weekend, Ingram (not his real name) said that while the latest report was not decisive proof over his claims about 'J1118', it raised questions about the role of informers in the 'human bomb' killings.

'This report from a very credible source brings up the question of informers working at the top tier of the IRA who were allowed to commit crimes up to murder while working for the state.

'I stand by what I have said in the past about "J118" and challenge anyone to debate it with me in a public forum.'

Ingram, a former NCO with the army's highly secretive Force Research Unit, said he was prepared to expose his own identity in public in any such debate.

No Terror Link To Failed UK Car Bomb

Terror Link Not Found, British Say

Associated Press Writer
Article Launched: 06/29/2007
09:03:32 AM PDT

WASHINGTON—British authorities found no link between a defused London car bomb and any terrorist group during the early hours of their investigation, two officials in Washington said Friday.

The officials, who were briefed on the investigation, said the inquiry in London's bustling nightclub district had yielded no suspects and no definitive description of anyone leaving the vehicle.

...The two officials in Washington, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case, discounted reports that the bomb seemed similar to those used by insurgents in Iraq.

They said it is too early in the investigation to assign any significance to those similarities.

Hamas Fighting Collaborators Not Fatah

Abbas Advisor Ssays Hamas Fighting Collaborators

Hani al-Hassan, Senior Presidential Advisor Says Gaza War Was Between Hamas and Fatah Collaborators Who Aided Israel, US.

Gunshots Fired At Al-Hassan's Home Following Statements, Abbas Dismisses Him From His Role

By Ali Waked


The Gaza events were not a war between Fatah and Hamas; but between Hamas and Fatah collaborators who served the Americans and the Israelis, said a senior Fatah advisor on Wednesday.

Hani al-Hassan, the Palestinian president's senior political advisor and member of Fatah's central committee said in a TV interview that what was happening in the Gaza Strip was the defeat of to plans of American Major General Keith Dayton and his Fatah followers.

Al-Hassan's words severely discredit Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other Arab leaders' claims that the Gaza takeover was a coup against Palestinian democracy.

By making such statements the presidential advisor supports Hamas' claims that the war was between a small group of Fatah men who served Israel and the United States.

Following the interview, which put a dent in Fatah's PR efforts, Fatah gunmen fired at al-Hassan's home. No one was injured, as al-Hassan was abroad for the interview.

Senior Fatah bodies demanded al-Hassan be dismissed from all his duties, but Abbas settled for firing him only from his post as senior political advisor...

CIA Car Bombs, Sabotage & Urban Terrorism

1. Car Bombs With Wings

Courtesy Of: Asia Times Online
By Mike Davis
April 16, 2006

"The CIA officers that Yousef worked with closely impressed upon him one rule: never use the terms sabotage or assassination when speaking with visiting congressmen." -

Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001.
Gunboat diplomacy had been defeated by car bombs in Lebanon, but the Ronald Reagan administration and, above all, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director William Casey were left thirsting for revenge against Hezbollah.

"Finally in 1985", according to the Washington Post's Bob Woodward in Veil, his book on Casey's career, "he worked out with the Saudis a plan to use a car bomb to kill [Hezbollah leader] Sheikh [Muhammad Husayn] Fadlallah who they determined was one of the people behind, not only the Marine [Corps] barracks [suicide truck bomb], but was involved in the taking of American hostages in Beirut ... It was Casey on his own, saying, 'I'm going to solve the big problem by essentially getting tougher or as tough as the terrorists in using their weapon - the car bomb'."

The CIA's own operatives, however, proved incapable of carrying out the bombing, so Casey sub-contracted the operation to Lebanese agents led by a former British SAS (Special Air Service) officer and financed by Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz. In March 1984, a large car bomb was detonated about 45 meters (50 yards) from Fadlallah's house in Bir El-Abed, a crowded Shi'ite neighborhood in southern Beirut.

The sheikh wasn't harmed, but 80 innocent neighbors and passersby were killed and 200 wounded. Fadlallah immediately had a huge "Made In USA" banner hung across the shattered street, while Hezbollah returned tit for tat in September when a suicide truck driver managed to break through the supposedly impregnable perimeter defenses of the new US Embassy in eastern (Christian) Beirut, killing 23 employees and visitors.
Despite the Fadlallah fiasco, Casey remained an enthusiast for using urban terrorism to advance American goals, especially against the Soviets and their allies in Afghanistan.

A year after the Bir El-Abed massacre, Casey won Reagan's approval for NSDD-166 (national security decision directive), a secret directive that, according to Steve Coll in Ghost Wars, inaugurated a "new era of direct infusions of advanced US military technology into Afghanistan, intensified training of Islamist guerrillas in explosives and sabotage techniques and targeted attacks on Soviet military officers".

US special forces experts would now provide high-tech explosives and teach state-of-the-art sabotage techniques, including the fabrication of ANFO (ammonium nitrate-fuel oil) car bombs, to Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (or ISI) officers under the command of Brigadier Mohammed Yousaf. These officers, in turn, would tutor thousands of Afghan and foreign mujahideen, including the future cadre of al-Qaeda, in scores of training camps financed by the Saudis.

"Under ISI direction," Coll wrote, "the mujahideen received training and malleable explosives to mount car-bomb and even camel-bomb attacks in Soviet-occupied cities, usually designed to kill Soviet soldiers and commanders. Casey endorsed these despite the qualms of some CIA career officers."

Mujahideen car bombers, working with teams of snipers and assassins, not only terrorized uniformed Soviet forces in a series of devastating attacks in Afghanistan but also massacred left-wing intelligentsia in Kabul, the country's capital.

"Yousaf and the Afghan car-bombing squads he trained," wrote Coll, "regarded Kabul University professors as fair game," as well as movie theaters and cultural events.

Although some members of the US National Security Council reportedly denounced the bombings and assassinations as "outright terrorism", Casey was delighted with the results.
Meanwhile, "by the late 1980s, the ISI had effectively eliminated all the secular, leftist and royalist political parties that had first formed when Afghan refugees fled communist rule."

As a result, most of the billions of dollars that the Saudis and Washington pumped into Afghanistan ended up in the hands of radical Islamist groups sponsored by the ISI.

They were also the chief recipients of huge quantities of CIA-supplied plastic explosives as well as thousands of advanced E-cell delay detonators.

It was the greatest technology transfer of terrorist technique in history.

There was no need for angry Islamists to take car-bomb extension courses from Hezbollah when they could matriculate in a CIA-supported urban-sabotage graduate program in Pakistan's frontier provinces.
"Ten years later," Coll observed, "the vast training infrastructure that Yousaf and his colleagues built with the enormous budgets endorsed by NSDD-166 - the specialized camps, the sabotage training manuals, the electronic bomb detonators and so on - would be referred to routinely in America as 'terrorist infrastructure'."

...But Zarqawi did not originate car bomb terrorism along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers; that dark honor belongs to the CIA and its favorite son, Iyad Allawi. As the New York Times revealed in June 2004:

Iyad Allawi, now the designated prime minister of Iraq, ran an exile organization intent on deposing Saddam Hussein that sent agents into Baghdad in the early 1990s to plant bombs and sabotage government facilities under the direction of the CIA, several former intelligence officials say.

Dr Allawi's group, the Iraqi National Accord, used car bombs and other explosives devices smuggled into Baghdad from northern Iraq ... One former Central Intelligence Agency officer who was based in the region, Robert Baer, recalled that a bombing during that period "blew up a school bus; schoolchildren were killed".
According to one of the Times' informants, the bombing campaign, dead school kids and all, "was a test more than anything else, to demonstrate capability".

It allowed the CIA to portray the then-exiled Allawi and his suspect group of ex-Ba'athists as a serious opposition to Saddam and an alternative to the coterie (so favored by Washington neo-conservatives) around Ahmad Chalabi.

"No one had any problem with sabotage in Baghdad back then," a CIA veteran reflected.


2. CIA Trained Iraqi Paramilitary Group To Conduct Sabotage Operations

By Dana Priest and Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, August 3, 2005; Page A12
Courtesy Of:

Before the war in Iraq began, the CIA recruited and trained an Iraqi paramilitary group, code-named the Scorpions, to foment rebellion, conduct sabotage, and help CIA paramilitaries who entered Baghdad and other cities target buildings and individuals. The Scorpions were trained in secret CIA bases in Jordan.

Authorized by a presidential finding signed by President Bush in February or March 2002, the Scorpions were part of a policy of "regime change" in Iraq. The covert members, many of whom were exiles recruited by the Kurds, were trained in target identification, explosives and small arms at two secret bases in Jordan, according to one U.S. government official.

They were sent surreptitiously into Iraq before the war and were in cities such as Baghdad, Fallujah and Qaim to give the impression that a rebellion was underway and to conduct light sabotage, according to the two defense sources and the three former and current intelligence officials."

They painted X's [for targeting] on buildings and things like that," said one former intelligence officer.

The CIA spent millions of dollars on the Scorpions, even giving them former Soviet Hind helicopters...

After Baghdad fell, the CIA used the Scorpions to try to infiltrate the insurgency, to help out in interrogations, and, from time to time, to do "the dirty work," as one intelligence official put it.

In one case, members of the unit, wearing masks and carrying clubs and pipes, beat up an Iraqi general in the presence of CIA and military personnel according to several defense and intelligence officials.

The Scorpions have been implicated in the events that led to the death of Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush while in US captivity.

These events included the use of physical and psychological torture under the auspices of a US CIA operative identified only as "Brian".
After the initial combat phase of the war, the CIA used the paramilitary units as translators and to fetch supplies and retrieve informants in an increasingly dangerous Iraq where CIA officers largely stayed within the protected Green Zone, according to the officials.


3. CIA Drafts Covert Plans To Topple Saddam

By Time Weiner
February 26, 1998
Courtesy Of:

The CIA has drafted plans for a major program of sabotage and subversion against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, U.S. officials say.

Four prior covert operations, involving everything from radio propaganda to paramilitary plots, have failed to dislodge the Iraqi leader, just as smart bombs, cruise missiles and stiff economic sanctions have failed.

...The plan calls for enlisting Kurdish and Shiite agents to destroy or damage key Iraqi pillars of economic and political power, like utility plants or government broadcast stations, the officials said.

At the same time, the plan calls for increasing political pressure on Iraq through propaganda programs like a "Radio Free Iraq" broadcast to Baghdad.

The plan aims to try to undermine Saddam by showing Iraqi citizens that he is not invincible, strengthening his opponents inside Iraq and trying to ignite a rebellion within his inner circle.

"This is not a propaganda operation," one senior government official said of the CIA's plan. "This is a major campaign of sabotage."

...Since the Persian Gulf war in 1991, the agency has backed Kurdish dissidents in the north of Iraq, Shiite Muslim groups in the south, Iraqi exiles in London and Iraqi military defectors based in Jordan. These operations, which have cost about $100 million, have had little or no success.

Most recently, in August 1996, Saddam sent tanks into northern Iraq to destroy a CIA base staffed by U.S. intelligence officers and Kurdish agents, arresting and executing scores of Kurds.
...But the Iraqi opposition is fragmented, "plagued by divisions," in the words of Wafiq Samoraei, a former head of Iraqi military intelligence based in London.

"It is lacking in sufficient support in Baghdad-controlled Iraq to be a significant factor in internal politics in Iraq," said Kenneth Katzman, a Iraq expert at the Congressional Research Service and a former CIA analyst of Persian Gulf politics.

The diplomatic, political and economic structures that can conceal CIA officers and agents -- a U.S. embassy, a network of political contacts, a bevy of businessmen going in and out of the country -- do not exist in Iraq. That makes it exceedingly hard for agents to penetrate the inner circle surrounding Saddam, who controls tens of thousands of soldiers and spies whose sole duty is to preserve his power.

The two major opposition groups in exile, the Iraqi National Congress, based in London, and the Iraqi National Accord, based in Amman, Jordan, have been riven by dissent.

The Kurds, the world's largest stateless ethnic group, have bases in northern Iraq but also are bitterly divided.

Shiite groups in the south of Iraq, some with ties to Saudi Arabia, some with ties to Iran, have proven politically impotent in the past.

Covert operations aimed at subverting Saddam's government date back to the Bush administration. Immediately after the gulf war, President George Bush ordered the CIA to support a coup against the Iraqi leader. The Kurds and Shiites were openly encouraged to rise up against him. The opposition was crushed.
Then the agency supported the Iraqi National Congress from 1992 to 1996. The group achieved little. In 1995, after some key Iraqi military officers defected, the agency shifted its support to the Iraqi National Accord. But in the summer of 1996, Saddam's military and intelligence services crushed the small clique of Iraqi military officers working with the group and destroyed a CIA base in northern Iraq.

The CIA & Iraq's Non-Existent WMD's

See how the CIA cooked the "intelligence" inforamtion to give dubya the smoking gun to invade Iraq.

All their information was based on ASSUMPTIONS, and LIES that were provided by Iraqi collaborators who had been out of Iraq for 10 years.

This wasn't actionable, credible nor hard intelligence...

The CIA's Bomb School

June 5, 2002

After 41 years of explosive training at a secret base in eastern North Carolina, the CIA's paramilitary wing is back on the front lines. For the base's neighbors in nearby Hertford, the echo of bombs is business as usual--and nobody's business.


The Independent Weekly
April 11, 2002

On Jim Pavitts, the Central Intelligence Agency's top covert operations official, stood up before a Duke University Law School conference on national security issues and did something he almost never does: He spoke publicly about his operations.

In the little-noticed speech, Pavitts assured the audience that the CIA is actively engaged in the fight against terrorism. To prove it, he cited the early involvement of the agency's commandos in Operation Enduring Freedom.

"Teams of my paramilitary operations officers, trained not just to observe conditions but if need be to change them, were among the first on the ground in Afghanistan," Pavitts said.

Indeed, the first U.S. casualty, Johnny "Mike" Spann, who was killed in the prison uprising at Mazar-e-Sharif on Nov. 25, was one of those officers. Spann was part of an elite and super-secretive unit, the CIA's Special Activities Division, which serves as the knifepoint of the agency's cloak and dagger contributions to national security.

With personnel drawn from other commando units like the Navy SEALs and the Army Special Forces, the unit is skilled in the dark arts of paramilitary warfare: assassination, advanced demolitions, high-tech surveillance and behind-enemy-lines combat.

...Pavitts offered few details, saying he could share "just a bit" of what the CIA has been up to lately. Among the matters he did not discuss was North Carolina's crucial but behind-the-scenes role in the CIA's paramilitary program.

Officials have maintained strict silence about that role for more than four decades. In fact, no serving CIA officer has ever uttered the words "Harvey Point" in public.

That's because the Harvey Point Defense Testing Activity, a high-security compound tucked into a quiet corner of marshland near Hertford, N.C., and officially owned by the Defense Department, has served as the spy agency's secret demolitions training base since 1961.

It's where CIA operatives like the ones who infiltrated Afghanistan--and the ones who will likely lead the way in the next battles of the war against terrorism, starting with Iraq--learn the rough stuff.

The CIA's covert warriors train as secretly as they spy and fight. So at Harvey Point, the boom! boom! is very hush-hush.

...For anyone who does want to know, getting the facts from the government can prove to be a frustrating endeavor. Because of the shroud of secrecy over Harvey Point, military and intelligence spokespeople have difficulty being candid about it, and they can't quite get the cover story straight.

The Independent started by calling the Navy, which acquired the property during World War II and later announced it was setting up an off-limits testing center there. A spokesman for the Navy's Mid-Atlantic Region Command in Norfolk, Va., which oversees operations in the area, checked with the Defense Department and then referred questions to the CIA. A CIA public affairs officer, in turn, refused to discuss the base and suggested contacting the Defense Department.

Eventually, a Pentagon spokesman, Maj. Mike Halbig, agreed to field questions about Harvey Point. "The Department of Defense took over the facility in 1961," he says. "The primary mission is to test and evaluate conventional explosives, ordnance and ballistic materials."

And what of the stories that it's a major center for CIA special warfare training? "It is a Department of Defense facility that serves the military services and it serves the special needs of other U.S. government departments," is all Halbig will say.

Base personnel cannot speak to reporters, he says, nor can visits be arranged. "The projects and materials that they test there are highly classified, and for that reason we do not allow public access," he says.

...Despite the CIA's best efforts to keep its role at Harvey Point under wraps, there is a mounting body of public information about the base's secret history.

The latest example: In his newly published memoir, See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism, former CIA officer Bob Baer describes the "two weeks of nonstop demolition training" he received in North Carolina as a young recruit in the early 1970s:

"We spent two days crimping blasting caps to make sure we understood that if you crimped them too high, they'd explode and take your hand off. After we'd mastered that, we crimped them in the dark, by feel. Then we started blowing things up: cars, buses, diesel generators, fences, bunkers. We made a school bus disappear with about 20 pounds of U.S. C-4. For comparison's sake, we tried Czech Semtex and a few other foreign plastic explosives.

"Not that you really needed anything fancy. We blew up one bus using three sacks of fertilizer and fuel oil, a mixture called ANFO (ammonium nitrate fuel oil), that did more damage than the C-4 had. The biggest piece left was a part of the chassis, which flew in an arc, hundreds of yards away. We learned to mix up a potent cocktail called methyl nitrate. If you hit a small drop of it with a hammer, it split the hammer. Honest. We were also taught some of the really esoteric stuff like E-cell times, improvising pressurized airplane bombs using a condom and aluminum foil, and smuggling a pistol on an airplane concealed in a mixture of epoxy and graphite. By the end of the training, we could have taught an advanced terrorism course."
...The agency has never disclosed its reasons for setting up an undercover bomb school at Harvey Point. But the timing and the context, along with scattered press reports, offer indications of the base's original purpose. Fidel Castro, it seems, was the impetus--and the target of the first commandos to train at Harvey Point.

The story begins in 1959, when Castro led a revolutionary government to power in Cuba. At first, White House officials hoped to topple him quickly. In March of 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the CIA to create a force of anti-Castro, Cuban exile fighters, and John F. Kennedy, who succeeded Eisenhower in 1961, authorized the operation to go forward.

In mid-April of that year, the CIA staged its most ambitious and disastrous paramilitary operation: the Bay of Pigs invasion. It took Castro's military and militia just three days to rout the agency's force of 1,300 Cuban exiles. The debacle was viewed as an abject failure by the CIA's paramilitary wing.

Harvey Point had played a supporting role in the disaster, press reports would later reveal. The CIA quietly amassed weapons for the operation at the base, which was secretly on its way to becoming a full-blown training facility.

In June of 1961, two months after the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Navy announced it was officially opening a new facility at the old Seamaster base. A spokesman said that all four branches of the military would conduct "testing and evaluation of various classified materials and equipment" at the site. He added that training "now being done at Camp Perry, Va., will be transferred to Harvey Point."

At the time, Camp Perry, which is located next to Williamsburg, was officially a military base.

But since then, reporters and CIA veterans have written about the camp's true role: It is the agency's training compound for new spy officers.

Code-named ISOLATION, the 12,000-acre Camp Perry is referred to in the intelligence community as "the Farm," and to this day it serves as the CIA's main spy school.

But in 1961, the agency moved its most dangerous and sensitive training--in demolitions and unconventional weaponry--to Harvey Point.
Following the Bay of Pigs, Harvey Point is one place where the CIA hoped to continue efforts to undermine Castro.

JFK wanted the job done right, and he appointed his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, to oversee the new operations, which mainly consisted of hit-and-run sabotage raids.

"Bobby wanted boom and bang all over the island," Sam Halpern, a high-ranking officer on the CIA's Cuba desk, told a historian years later.

The "boom and bang" the Kennedy brothers pressed for would be taught at Harvey Point. The base was code-named ISOLATION TROPIC, but most of the operatives who trained there came to call it "the Point."
Over the years, it has carved out a unique space in paramilitary history as a clandestine landmark, of sorts.

Veterans who have passed through it share an intimate knowledge of how covert action plays a central role in U.S. foreign policy.

Over the years, U.S. and foreign commandos who trained at "the Point" have fought in shadowy conflicts around the globe, from Cuba to the Congo, from Nicaragua to Vietnam, and lately, in Afghanistan.

For its first decade or so of operations, the base managed to maintain the covert character the CIA was looking for. But slowly, parts of the real story began to filter out. (See "The Truth About Harvey Point," p. 22.)

A major, but still only partial, disclosure appeared in the April 1967 edition of Ramparts, a once popular and now defunct leftist magazine. The issue carried a testimonial from a CIA officer who had recently resigned after passing through the agency's demolitions course.

The former officer, who kept his name out of print, did not specify the location of his training.

But now it's clear that the place he wrote about, the place where he ultimately soured on the CIA, was Harvey Point:

"The stated purpose of the paramilitary school was to train and equip us to become instructors for village peasants who wanted to defend themselves against guerrillas. I could believe in that.

"Some of the training was conventional: But then we moved to the CIA's demolition training headquarters. It was here that Cubans had been, and still were, being trained in conventional and underwater demolitions. And it was here that we received training in tactics which hardly conform to the Geneva Convention.

"The array of outlawed weaponry with which we were familiarized included bullets that explode on impact, silencer-equipped machine guns, home-made explosives and self-made napalm for stickier and hotter Molotov cocktails. We were taught demolition techniques, practicing on late-model cars, railroad trucks, and gas storage tanks. And we were shown a quick method for saturating a confined area with flour or fertilizer, causing an explosion like in a dustbin or granary.

"And then there was a diabolical invention that might be called a mini-cannon. It was constructed of a concave piece of steel fitted into the top of a #10 can filled with a plastic explosive. When the device was detonated, the tremendous heat of friction of the steel turning inside out made the steel piece a white-hot projectile.

There were a number of uses for the mini-cannon, one of which was demonstrated to us using an old Army school bus. It was fastened to the gasoline tank in such a fashion that the incendiary projectile would rupture the tank and fling flaming gasoline the length of the bus interior, incinerating anyone inside. It was my lot to show the rest of the class how easily it could be done.

I stood there watching the flames consume the bus. It was, I guess, the moment of truth.

What did a busload of burning people have to do with freedom?

What right did I have, in the name of democracy and the CIA, to decide that random victims should die?

The intellectual game was over. I had to leave."

Of course most officers stayed in the spy agency, and the operations that benefited from such training were many and varied.

In 1978, Outside magazine published a detailed account of a madcap mission involving Harvey Point.

According to the magazine, in 1964, the CIA brought a small group of amateur mountain climbers to the base for demolitions training. The climbers later infiltrated an isolated mountain range in India in an attempt to place listening devices for monitoring Chinese nuclear tests. The mission failed, but at Harvey Point, the climbers did learn how to blow a hole in a glacier where the devices were supposed to be placed.

Those who trained at Harvey Point certainly learned how to do some damage, and some continued to use their deadly skills after they quit working for the CIA.

The Cuban exiles were perhaps the most prodigious bomb experts to pass through the facility.

Not only did they set off a sizable wave of terrorism against Cuba, some of them went freelance after their CIA ties were cut, and helped make Miami the car-bomb capital of the world during the 1970s.

In addition, Cuban exile operatives, some of whom had received CIA training, staged two audacious acts of terrorism in 1976:

They bombed a Cuban airliner, killing 73 people, and participated in the assassination of Chilean exile leader Orlando Letelier and his assistant, Ronni Moffitt, who were killed by a car bomb as they drove up Embassy Row in Washington, D.C.
In the 1980s, Harvey Point played a role in some of the CIA's most controversial covert operations.

In 1983, a team of agency operatives mined Nicaraguan harbors--while floating the cover story that Nicaraguan contra guerrillas had placed the mines.

The attack prompted quick rebukes from Congress, which moved to halt funding of such sabotage operations.

According to a 1999 article in Jane's Intelligence Weekly, which detailed the CIA's modern paramilitary capabilities, the team that mined the harbors trained at Harvey Point.

About the same time,

The agency used the base to train three Lebanese operatives for a most-sensitive mission:

They would lead a special, CIA-sponsored squad for rescuing U.S. hostages and combating Islamic extremists. The operation is detailed in two books, Bob Woodward's Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA, 1981-1987, and Amir Taheri's Nest of Spies: America's Journey to Disaster in Iran.

In March 1985, the squad staged a disastrous assassination attempt against a prominent holy warrior in Beirut.

They missed their target, but managed to kill an estimated 80 civilians when their car bomb crashed into the wrong building.

As a result, the CIA cut its ties to the group.
Even then, the CIA continued to instruct foreign operatives, along with its own personnel, in North Carolina.

In 1998, The New York Times reported that Harvey Point's most recent guests included members of the security detail for Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority.
Today, Harvey Point may be playing its most important role ever.

The CIA's Special Activities Division--its paramilitary force--did indeed lead the way in Afghanistan, according to a recent report in the Boston Globe.

The article, citing officials in the White House and CIA, revealed that an agency force of 50 paramilitary officers infiltrated Afghanistan on Sept. 27, 2001. Another 100 followed soon thereafter.

Inside Taliban territory, the operatives, working in small teams, spread out and laid the groundwork for the coming combat. They passed cash to Northern Alliance leaders and earned their allegiance. They acquired safe houses and conducted surveillance for the Army's Special Forces, which would be soon arriving by the hundreds to do the bulk of the fighting. Later, the CIA's commandos identified targets for the agency's pilot-less Predator drones, which fired down laser-targeted missiles on al-Qaeda leaders.

Such operations were the opening salvo in the war against terrorism, and a sign that the CIA is in the midst of its biggest expansion of paramilitary operations since the Reagan era, according to press reports and intelligence experts.

In February, the Associated Press reported the basic details of the Bush administration's funding request for the CIA during the next fiscal year. The agency's overall budget will increase from roughly $3.5 billion to almost $5 billion.

A good portion of that spending will be focused on bulking up the CIA's commando force, says John Pike, director of, a defense and intelligence policy research group in Washington, D.C.

"Most of it will have to be going toward counterterrorism, toward the kinds of things they do at Harvey Point more than the kinds of things they do at Camp Perry," where traditional espionage is taught. The CIA, he says, is "hiring a lot of muscle."

The Bush administration's plans to continue a global war against terrorism could portend still more CIA paramilitary operations, Pike says.

The next target is Iraq, and if some Bush advisors get their way, the agency will lead the way in an attempt to overthrow Saddam Hussein. One faction within the administration is reported to be arguing that "the Afghanistan scenario"--carefully crafted covert operations, along with airstrikes and coordinated attacks by opposition groups--could do the job, sparing the United States from a major military commitment.

Another faction argues that Hussein is too entrenched to be toppled as easily as was the Taliban. Pike agrees. "I don't think the CIA can get rid of Saddam Hussein," he says.

"The joke going around is that this is the 'Bay of Goats' plan--it's probably just enough to get a lot of people killed and not enough to remove Hussein."
© 2002, Durham Independent

The Israel You Don't See On The News

Courtesy Of: TvNewsLIES

For to take the time to expose media deception when it comes to the American corporate media’s coverage of Israel and all things related would be silly at this point in history. It would be like using a flashlight to point out the sun. The media bias is so obvious that it would be laughable if it were not so unjust.

What Americans do not realize however, is the extent of media deception and information control that is official Israeli policy.

Yes, by policy and with the total agreement and cooperation of all the Israeli TV news media, Israeli military censors have the final say on every single Israeli military operation that is covered by their media.

Every single news item that is viewed by Israeli citizens on their own media in their own so called democracy is government censored.
We hear accusations of bias in media outlets like Al Jazeera in the Arab world and on outlets like FOX News here in America, but we never hear about the cooperative deception campaign between the Israeli media and their government.

The world can not blame the Israeli citizens for their harsh opinions of Palestinians or any other Arabs because they are fed a controlled one sided and deceptive stream of propaganda masquerading as news.

The most important freedom one can have in a democracy is a truly free press for without a free press the citizens can never really be sure about the legitimacy of their democracy.

America does not have a national journalism industry.

I challenge anyone who claims different to a public discussion about this.

And Israel clearly does not have a free press and they are quite open about this.
So I ask all of the blind supporters of Israel this question: If Israeli news media clearly and openly take part in complete government censorship, how can you possibly trust them and how can you logically dismiss news and information that contradicts their claims?

Think about it.

Jesse Richard - Editor,

YouTube Video:

Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land DVD,

U.S. Media & the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:

Click here for more info and to get your copy!

The West Screws Over The Kosovars

"Give Us More Time," NATO Asks Kosovo

By matt Robinson
Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:50pm ET


PRISTINA, Serbia (Reuters) - NATO on Friday asked Kosovo Albanians to give Western powers more time to steer their independence from Serbia through the United Nations, but admitted the project was in trouble.

..."Please show restraint and patience. Give the process some more time," he said, following a meeting with Kosovo Albanian prime minister Agim Ceku.
But referring to the diplomatic deadlock created by Russia's rejection of independence in support of its ally Serbia, de Hoop Scheffer warned that "unnecessary delay is not advisable".

"There should be flexibility in the Security Council," he later told a news conference at Kosovo's military airport. "That's another call on our Russian partners and friends to show flexibility and make a Security Council resolution possible."

Ceku said he was "worried about the loss of credibility in the international process because of continued delay".

NATO powers with troops in Kosovo are increasingly concerned at the prospect of a unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo's 90 percent Albanian majority if Russia continues to block Western plans for its secession.

Complaining of a "crisis of trust", Kosovo leaders have threatened to go it alone, a move diplomats say would split the 27-member European Union and undermine its plan to take over supervision of Kosovo from the United Nations.

Western powers had promised 'supervised independence' for Kosovo by mid-year, having twice delayed in 2006 to limit the expected fallout in Serbia. But Russia has threatened to veto a draft U.N. resolution, testing the resolve of the West and raising fears of unrest.

The latest draft U.N. resolution offers another 120 days of talks between Serbia and Kosovo Albanians, on top of 13 months of direct dialogue that ended in stalemate in March.
Kosovo Albanian...are due to stage protests in the capital, Pristina, on Saturday, calling for a referendum on independence and the withdrawal of the U.N. mission that has run the impoverished territory since 1999.

Serbia opposes independence for Kosovo, cherished by many Serbs as their spiritual heartland. It insists on maintaining its existing borders but has no proposals for incorporating two million unwilling ethnic Albanians into Serbian society.

Serbia lost control of the province as a result of NATO air strikes which ended the 1998-99 war against Albanian separatist guerrillas, in which 800,000 Albanians were expelled. Independent estimates put the civilian death toll from the war at between 7,500 and 12,000, mostly Albanians.

Bill Clinton, who was U.S. president at the time of the NATO bombardment, said on Friday that Kosovo independence was inevitable despite Russia's opposition.

"The question is, is there another deal? I really see no alternative but to accept the Ahtisaari plan, so sooner or later this is going to happen," Clinton said in the Ukrainian resort of Yalta, where he was addressing a conference.
Martti Ahtisaari, former president of Finland, is the U.N.'s mediator in talks on Kosovo.

(Additional reporting by Sabina Zawadzki in Yalta)

© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved

US Firms Linked To Colombian Death Squads

Former Soldier Tells Congress That Several Companies Provided Money To Paramilitary Groups Accused Of Killing Civilians.

Courtesy Of: The Los Angeles Times
By Josh Meyer and Chris Kraul
Times Staff Writers
June 29, 2007

WASHINGTON — A former paramilitary soldier told a congressional panel Thursday that several U.S. companies provided financial support to illegal militias accused of killing Colombian civilians.

Edwin Guzman, a former Colombian army sergeant who later became a paramilitary member, testified that his military units were responsible for guarding the property of the Birmingham, Ala.-based Drummond coal company, which has extensive operations in Colombia.

Guzman said that the Colombian military also worked closely with right-wing paramilitary units housed on Drummond premises in a joint effort to protect the company and its coal shipments from leftist guerrillas.
Drummond provided company vehicles, gasoline and other supplies to the paramilitary group United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, Guzman said.

It has been illegal for U.S. companies to provide financial assistance to the AUC since September 2001, when the U.S. government designated it as a terrorist organization.
But Guzman told members of three House Foreign Affairs Committee panels that protection agreements between the outlawed groups and corporations were commonplace.
"Drummond is not the only company paying for the services of the paramilitaries. There are many other companies that are paying," Guzman said through an interpreter.

"I hope the members of the Congress investigate these things further because every time we raise these things in Colombia, they try to erase our testimony any way they can."
Allegations Denied

Drummond has denied the allegations and told lawmakers Thursday that it could not comment on Guzman's allegations due to a pending civil court case that alleges the company was behind the slayings of three union leaders in 2001.

The chairmen of two of the subcommittees, Reps. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.) and William D. Delahunt (D-Mass.), said the four-hour hearing was only the first step in what they hope to be an aggressive investigation of whether U.S. corporations were underwriting violence in Colombia by paying protection money to paramilitary groups.

Both lawmakers cited the case of Chiquita Brands International Inc., which recently acknowledged paying nearly $2 million to the AUC and the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, to protect the company's banana-growing operations and employees in Colombia.

Chiquita agreed to pay $25 million in fines to settle a Justice Department investigation, admitting to doing business with U.S.-designated terrorist organizations. The FARC also is listed as a terrorist group.

The Democratic leadership in Congress, citing such concerns, has begun reexamining Plan Colombia, the billiondollar anti-drug and anti-terrorism program that has been in place since 2000.
Two of the union leaders, Victor Orcasita and Valmore Locarno were pulled off a company bus and killed.

Gustavo Soler, who replaced Locarno as union president, was killed in a similar fashion seven months later.
Guzman testified Thursday that Colombian army training:
"tells us that we have to attack the leftists in any way we can, and that unions are guerrilla groups and we have to attack them by legal and illegal means."
But he stopped short of telling the lawmakers that the military conspired with paramilitary groups to kill the union workers, or other civilians. And he said he had "no evidence on how Drummond gave money to the paramilitaries."

Union Seen As A Threat
In his prepared remarks, Guzman went further, however, saying that an AUC commander, whom he identified as "Cebolla," told him that paramilitaries were responsible for the slayings of Locarno and Orcasita.

He said paramilitaries and the Colombian army shared the opinion that the Drummond miners union "represented a subversive organization and consequently a legitimate military target."
"I must confess that we in the military viewed the murders of Valmore Locarno and Victor Orcasitos in early 2001 as military victories," Guzman said.

"I do not have that opinion today, but I did back then as a consequence of my military training."
Guzman also said in the statement that the AUC killed many civilians on and around the Drummond property, and that he was ordered while in the military to help cover up any links between their deaths and the coal company.
Engel said the allegations against Drummond, if true, "would be an extremely serious violation of our laws…. It appears that we have only scratched the surface of U.S. corporate malfeasance in Colombia."

Maria McFarland, a Colombia specialist for the New York-based Human Rights Watch, testified Thursday that 2,515 Colombian trade unionists have been killed since 1986, nearly two-thirds of them by paramilitary groups.

In March, Colombian Atty. Gen. Mario Iguaran said in an interview that his office was investigating claims by a government witness now in jail that Drummond paid paramilitaries to kill the three union leaders.
The witness is believed to be Rafael Garcia, a former official of the Department of Administrative Security, Colombia's equivalent of the FBI, who previously accused former department director Jorge Noguera of providing paramilitaries with information on union leaders who later were killed.
In an interview with The Times last year, Drummond's Colombia chief, Augusto Jimenez, denied the charges.

Copyright 2007 Los Angeles Times

Friday, June 29, 2007

Military Knew Children Were Present But, Risk Worth It

Attack That Killed Kids Likely Missed Target

Officials: Military Knew Children Were Present But Considered Risk Worth It

By Robert Windrem
Senior Investigative producer
NBC News
Updated: 11:52 a.m. PT June 27, 2007

NEW YORK - The U.S. special operations forces attack June 17 that resulted in the death of seven Afghan children likely missed its primary target, U.S. officials tell NBC News.

Abu Laith al Libi — one of al-Qaida's top commanders — was the primary target of the attack against a compound in the Paktika province of eastern Afghanistan. According to several officials, and contrary to previous statements, the U.S. military knew there were children at the compound but considered Abu Laith of such high value it was worth the risk of potential collateral damage.
Those same officials now tell NBC News that although six sets of remains besides those of the seven children were recovered, it's not clear whether Abu Laith is among those killed.

...Military officials say special operations forces relied on a relatively new weapons system to carry out the attack — High Mobility Artillery Rockets, or HIMARS.

The rockets are fired high into the atmosphere from launchers on the ground. Then, on the way down, they are guided to the target by either GPS or lasers.

The officials say as many of five of these HIMARS were used in the attack on the compound.

It was the same weapons system used recently in the killing of Mullah Dadullah, the Taliban’s military commander.

The rockets are now used as a complement to the Predator drones that have killed more than a dozen al-Qaida leaders since Sept 11, 2001.
Initial reports had U.S. jets targeting a compound that also contained a mosque and a madrassa, or Islamic school.

A coalition statement following the attack said "nefarious activity was occurring at the site" without describing either the activity or the level of al-Qaida present. Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a coalition spokesman, accused al-Qaida of using "the protective status of a mosque, as well as innocent civilians, to shield themselves."

Early reports indicated seven children at the madrassa and "several militants" were killed, and two militants detained, the statement said.

..."If we knew that there were children inside the building, there was no way that that airstrike would have occurred," said Sgt. 1st Class Dean Welch, another coalition spokesman.

But Tuesday, other U.S. officials confirmed that U.S. forces were indeed aware of the children's presence. Military officials told NBC News the al-Qaida leader was considered such a high-value target it was worth the risk that some children might become casualties of the attack.
...Col. Jack Jacobs, a Medal of Honor winner and NBC News analyst, said that decisions to go ahead with an attack when civilians are believed present are among the most agonizing military commanders have to make.

"As a military officer, it is difficult to talk about the calculation involved, weighing the independent variables, whether it’s saving your country or achieving your objectives, while acknowledging that it requires the taking of innocent lives.

“It’s what still haunts the military from World War II, when 70,000 or 100,000 civilians were killed because people thought it would end the war sooner.”

Click For Related Content:

U.S.-led airstrike kills 7 Afghan children
Botched Afghan raids elicit rancor against U.S.

How To Fight Insurgents? Lessons From The French

The US Military – and President Bush – Is Studying The Algerian War For Independence.

By Jill Carroll
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
From The June 29, 2007 Edition

Algiers, Algeria - The Pentagon held a screening in 2003 of "The Battle of Algiers," a movie about French troops winning control of the Algerian capital. President Bush says that he recently read Alistair Horne's authoritative history on the war, "A Savage War of Peace." And last fall, Christopher Harmon, who teaches a course on the Algerian war at the Marine Corps University (MCU) in Washington, lectured marines in Iraq about the Algerian model.

Here in Algeria, some of those who participated in that war find little use in the comparison. But the US military – and the American public – continues to study the 1954-62 Algerian war of independence for lessons on how to fight the insurgency in Iraq.

"There are very, very few examples of modern insurgency, and for urban [insurgencies] it's basically this [war]," says Thomas X. Hammes, a US insurgency expert and author of a book on guerrilla warfare, "The Sling and the Stone."

While France ultimately withdrew from Algeria, "the French did much of the counterinsurgency very skillfully," says Mr. Harmon, who is the Kim T. Adamson Chair of Insurgency and Terrorism at MCU. "The American military has been intrigued by the case study for a long time ... it's a very good parallel."

As in Iraq, a foreign, largely non-Arab military occupied an Arab country. The French forces also faced a protracted insurgency that used "extreme and systematic use of terrorism" and was aided by neighboring countries, says Harmon.

In response to those conditions, the French built a complex system of barriers that effectively shut Algeria's borders. In the Battle of Algiers, the French mapped out city residents and their social networks. This understanding of the society helped in the successful operation to win control of the capital and shut down bomb-making rings there. They also identified local leaders and then held them accountable if someone in their area attacked the French. Small groups of French soldiers were also stationed among the general population, getting to know the communities they were trying to control. This last tactic is now being employed in Baghdad.

France Deployed 500,000 Soldiers

Many steps taken in Algeria offer valuable lessons for Iraq, say Harmon and Hammes, but not all are applicable. The Algerian and Iraqi insurgencies are different as are the French and American military forces and their strategic goals. The French went in with an overwhelming force determined to permanently control Algeria. Some 500,000 French soldiers occupied a country of 9 million Algerians and were aided by skilled Algerian soldiers called harkis. In Iraq there are roughly 150,000 troops in a country of about 26 million where efforts to train strong, nationalist-minded Iraqi security forces have had spotty results.

Sealing off the borders is a lesson "the US has totally been unable to use ... this is one of the problems of going in with the small force [former US Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld chose. This is something the French didn't make a mistake on," says Harmon.

But Mohamed Debbah doubts that the Algerian experience can prescribe many answers for Iraq. He quit high school in 1956 to join the Algerian nationalist insurgents, the mujahideen. He says that the Iraqi insurgents aren't unified; Shiites and Sunnis are fighting each other, as well as the American-led coalition forces.

"There are no similarities because there is not one [group in the] struggle against the Americans [in Iraq]. It's such a mess ... we succeeded because we didn't have these religious differences," says Mr. Debbah sitting in the offices of the Ministry of Mujahideen, which provides pensions to veterans of the war and historical resources about the Algerian war.

He notes that there were groups of Algerians who disagreed over whether to fight the French or to negotiate. "But in the end, we got united because we knew it was the only way to fight France."

Unlike the Iraqi insurgency, that unity helped Algerian insurgent leaders develop a strong campaign to undermine political support for the French occupation. They established formal diplomatic ties with other African countries and in Asia and pushed for the United Nations to help end the war and grant Algeria independence. There were also attacks in France proper by Algerian insurgents that killed some 5,000 people, Harmon notes, "to frighten France and make them stop the war."

Torture Undermines War At Home

But it was the French themselves that dealt the biggest blow to support for their campaign in Algeria, say counterinsurgency experts. The French military's systematic use of torture and extrajudicial killings contributed to France losing the political war at home and in Algeria. "The French defeated the guerrillas militarily but they couldn't deal with the political impetus of revolution. That dramatic imbalance between military success and political failure is interesting to the American mind," says Harmon.

In France in the early 1960s, debate over the war grew so intense that the country was described as being on the brink of civil war. Political opposition to the war was key in President Charles de Gaulle's decision to order the military to withdraw in 1962. That decision helped create a major split in civil-military relations.

The US hasn't faced the same unrest at home over Iraq, but the Algerian war is also a cautionary tale about the importance of political support to winning the overall war. But both Harmon and Hammes agree it's not an exact parallel. The Algerian model "has some lessons, but I'm not sure the right lessons are being taken from it," says Hammes. He says the example is often looked at too narrowly. "Each insurgency rests in the culture, the history, and the situation of that country. Like all military history, you don't look" for specific answers but patterns of thought and ideas, he says.

Still, the American public is apparently interested in those ideas. "A Savage War of Peace," a 624-page tome, was out of print until last fall when the New York Review Books Classics began publishing it. For a historical narrative, it's selling well: 20,000 copies shipped so far and three print runs, according to Edwin Frank, editorial director of the classics series.

Related Stories:
Algerians' awkward embrace of France 06/06/2007
Lessons of past in stopping terrorism 10/31/2001
Wisdom from a past war 12/28/2000

Cutting US Troop Presence In Europe

US Army Plan Would Cut Soldiers In Europe By Half

Some 35,000 Troops Would Remain, If Defense Secretary Gates Approves The Recommendation.

By Gordon Lubold
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
From The June 28, 2007 Edition

Washington - Under a broad plan to reconfigure US military forces in Europe, as few as three Army combat brigades, or about 35,000 soldiers, would remain there – a major downsizing from the roughly 62,000 US soldiers stationed there as recently as 2005.

That, at least, will be the recommendation of an internal study conducted for the head of US European Command and NATO forces in Europe, Gen. Bantz John Craddock, who had asked for a "troop-to-task" assessment of forces in the European theater.

The assessment is expected to recommend that a fourth brigade based in the United States be deployed to Europe on a "rotational" basis, for exercises and other operations.

The reduction in the Army's presence in Europe is part of a broader reduction in forces that include Navy, Air Force, and Marine personnel.

The assessment has not even been made public yet, but critics already are charging that the recommended plan would leave the US shorthanded overseas. They want to see at least four combat brigades, or around 44,000 soldiers, left in Europe.

Minimizing US troop levels in Europe sends the wrong message to other countries in Europe, and leaves those forces that remain there undermanned to do the jobs they're required to do, says one critic, who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the negotiations.

In part, it's a question of dispersing US forces around the world where they can engage with other countries, not keeping them isolated inside the US, the official says. "The world we live in is a world of coalitions."

There are other concerns about bringing US forces back to the US. As the Army and Marine Corps grow by thousands of personnel over the next several years, there may not be the room to bring existing forces back from Europe.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates will review the study presented by General Craddock in coming weeks, but it is unclear when a decision might be made as to how many forces are brought home from Europe. US European Command officials declined to comment on the Craddock plan.

The study's findings appear to be a compromise between a plan first unveiled in 2005 under then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who favored lighter, smaller forces, and critics of Rumsfeld's plan, who believe the US can't abandon its decades-old presence in Europe.

The focus of the troop realignment is on the number of soldiers who would remain in Europe, as the Army is the service which has the lead in Europe's ground mission. The Army has roughly half the US military personnel stationed in Europe.

The original plan to draw down forces from Europe included decreasing the Army's presence from 2005 levels of 62,000 to about 28,000.

Under Craddock's three-brigade plan, the 35,000 troops left in Europe would handle the missions required there, including deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The fourth brigade could be called from the US to handle exercises and other engagements in places like Romania and Bulgaria, part of what Mr. Rumsfeld dubbed the "new Europe."

The US should maintain a strong presence in Europe, says Tomas Klvana, a special envoy for the Czech Republic on missile defense, who supports the US efforts to build radar systems on his country's soil.

"In general, I think the US should stay involved in Europe," says Dr. Klvana, although he was not commenting on the specific recommendations Craddock is making.

"I think the transatlantic alliance is an important glue that helps to protect our common values that are important, especially if we face some future threats from the unstable regions, especially the Middle East and possibly North Africa."

U.S. Approves Contacts With Muslim Brotherhood

U.S. Approves Contacts With Muslim Brotherhood: 'Region Is Going Islam'

Thursday, June 28, 2007

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration has been quietly engaging the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Officials said the State Department has approved a policy that would enable U.S. diplomats to meet and coordinate with Brotherhood leaders in Egypt, Iraq, Syria and other Arab states. They said the program would first be restricted to elected officials from the Brotherhood and eventually be extended to their political chiefs.
"The region is going Islam," an official said. "We see this in nearly every country in the Middle East. We either understand it and engage with it or find ourselves completely out of the picture."
The Brotherhood has been regarded as the inspiration for Muslim movements throughout the Arab world. The organization, founded in Egypt, spread through Saudi financing and has served as the inspiration for Al Qaida.

Many Arab countries have banned the Brotherhood. But in Egypt, a party composed of Brotherhood members has won 20 percent of the seats in the National Assembly and plays a major role in domestic policy.

In 2007, officials said, the State Department was quietly fostering ties with the Brotherhood.

U.S. embassy staffers in Cairo have attended sessions led by parliamentarians from the Brotherhood and invited the Islamists to official receptions.
"We respect the laws of this country," U.S. ambassador to Egypt Francis Ricciardone said. "But, at the same time, we're ready to establish relations and hold meetings with all the legal political elements in the country.
Officials said a U.S. approach toward the Brotherhood was vital in wake of the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in late June. They said the policy could encourage what officials have identified as a pro-Western wing of the Palestinian Islamic movement.

The administration policy has been supported by the Democratic-controlled Congress.

On April 7, House leaders, including Democratic whip Rep. Steny Hoyer, attended a reception by the U.S. embassy in Cairo that included Brotherhood deputies. The reception took place at the ambassador's residence.

The State Department has been discussing the new policy with the U.S. intelligence community.

On June 20, the department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research convened a meeting with members of the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency to expand dialogue with the Brotherhood.

The proposal was based on a study by Robert Leiken, a researcher at the Nixon Center.

The study, commissioned by the National Intelligence Council, urged the
United States to open a formal channel to the Islamic movement.

Such a channel would include formal meetings with Brotherhood leaders throughout the Arab and Islamic world and invite members to study or work in the United States.

Officials said the law enforcement community, particularly the FBI, opposes the proposal, concerned that this would facilitate Al Qaida plots to attack the United States.

At the State Department forum, Leiken was opposed by Hillel Fradin, an Islamic expert from the Hudson Institute. Fradkin was said to have argued that engaging the rigidly ideological Brotherhood would dash any hope for reform within political Islam.

"You make them partners," Zeyno Baran, Fradkin's colleague at Hudson, told the New York Sun. "They might Islamize the Muslims, but it's okay because they can think or do what they want as long as they are not violent. That is the misunderstanding and mistake."

Saving England Wasn't Worth It

By Scott Horton
June 29, 2007

Editor's note: Assistant Editor Scott Horton wrote the following essay for the Oxford Forum, whose editors asked him to contribute a piece on the Anglo-American role in international conflict. Unfortunately, the Forum's editors rewrote the essay without Horton's permission, distorting its thesis beyond all recognition. It appears here in its full, original version.

Most Americans can't believe that their government maintains an overseas empire of as many as 1,000 military bases. U.S. interventions are always portrayed to us as defensive in nature, and for one simple reason: Americans don't want empire. Our country was founded in revolution from the clutches of empire, and our culture celebrates those who oppose it, from George Washington to Luke Skywalker.

We don't want empire, but we have one. Since the end of the second World War, the people of the United States and of the world have had to deal with the terrible consequences of our country's involvement. It turns out it's nearly impossible to turn a limited constitutional republic into a globe-spanning, war-making leviathan and then go back again.

The Battle of Britain was won. The Germans had no ability to mount a successful land invasion of England – or even an unsuccessful one. If they had, certainly the English would have stashed the queen away somewhere and fought an insurgency as ruthlessly as the French, Russians, and Serbs, among others. The British empire may have been lost without U.S. help, but in the end, it was anyway.

However, the USSR was preserved by American intervention. The U.S.-UK invasion of Europe simply popped the lid off the jar wherein the two most despicable regimes in the world were stuck fighting each other. Had America not helped, the Soviets would likely have met defeat, with the vastly overextended Nazi empire on course for the same fate soon after.

Instead, Stalin enslaved half of Europe, helped Communists seize power in China, killed millions more, and ultimately provided the pretext for America's dominion over the Old World's empires for the next half-century.

(The Holocaust was never a reason for American intervention. Indeed, Roosevelt delayed doing anything about the death camps for as long as he could.)

The consequences of American intervention for the Eastern Europeans were summed up by former President Herbert Hoover in terms that also foreshadowed the coming propaganda model for the new enemy:
"In June 1941, when Britain was safe from German invasion due to Hitler's diversion to attack Stalin, I urged that the gargantuan jest of all history would be our giving aid to the Soviet government. I urged that we should allow those two dictators to exhaust each other. I stated that the result of our assistance would be to spread Communism over the whole world. … The consequences have proved that I was right."
For a short time after World War II, as after every previous war, the U.S. began to demilitarize, but the inheritance of so many foreign empires demanded a permanent state of military readiness and deployment – and an excuse.

The only way to gain consent to secure this world empire would be to "scare the hell out of the American people" – that is, lie – as Republican Sen. Arthur Vandenberg advised President Harry Truman. Suddenly, the Soviet Union, despite having just lost 20 million people fighting the Germans and with blind devotion to a system that had been proved not to work a generation before, was going to take over "the whole world" if we didn't stop it. Millions of Americans trusted this new crusade to be "containment," not world empire.

The "Cold War," however, was merely a ruse, as former CIA adviser, ardent Cold Warrior, and self-described "spear carrier for empire" Chalmers Johnson now realizes and admits. Today's neoconservative doctrine of "benevolent global hegemony" is merely the newest stage in an empire made permanent long ago. The role the national government took in the society and economy could not be more than partially scaled back after World War II; there was just too much money in it.

Companies who prospered during the war wanted their newfound access to the U.S. Treasury preserved. America has since employed Pearl Harbor-style attacks against populations in dozens of countries as a matter of course, often, it seems, just so it can keep buying more bombs.
And all along the American people have internalized these policies, believing even that they had come up with them. As Randolph Bourne wrote back in 1918:
"War is the health of the state. … [In wartime,] the State thus becomes an instrument by which the power of the whole herd is wielded for the benefit of a class. The rulers soon learn to capitalize the reverence which the State produces in the majority, and turn it into a general resistance toward a lessening of their privileges."
The American people are a captive market of 300 million for many of the world's wealthiest corporations – particularly when it comes to raiding the Pentagon vault, what military strategist William S. Lind calls "the largest honey pot in the world."

Lobbyists representing the munitions industries have multi-million dollar budgets to spend on niceties for congressmen, military officials, and anyone else crucial for access to hundreds of billions of dollars. For those in the right position, it's the best investment in the world.

Former USAID attorney and international law professor Richard Cummings, in his explosive article for Playboy magazine in March, "Lockheed Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," documented the decisive role played by the military industries in setting the policy of the United States. Indeed, as Cummings shows, many of the biggest players in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq were closely connected to Lockheed, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman. Neoconservative ringleader Richard Perle's firm Trireme Partners famously cashed in on the Terror War for over $20 million.
In 2002, Lockheed executives actually set up an "advisory board" to come up with excuses for invading Iraq. (They mostly settled on crimes committed by Saddam back when he was working for the U.S., since there were no weapons of mass destruction.)
But American Cold War policy created the best enemy the War Party could have ever hoped for in the modern Sunni jihadist movement.

As Professor John Mueller points out in his book Overblown, after the defeat in Vietnam, "containment" lost favor, and the U.S. even turned to encouraging the Russians. Near the end of the 1970s the United States began a massive covert operation to lure the Soviet Union into invading Afghanistan in order to give them their own "Vietnam War." So ceasing to contain the USSR broke their economy, while the training and weapons given to the mujahedeen by the U.S. provided the experience needed for some to coalesce into what is now known as al-Qaeda – whose enemy is no longer Russia.

President Carter's National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski admitted as much with a shrug to the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur in 1998:
"What is most important to the history of the world – the Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?"
The Cold War did end, and it was the perfect opportunity for President George H.W. Bush to show the world what it means to abdicate power for the sake of liberty by abolishing NATO, but he didn't. In fact, when informed of the USSR's imminent collapse, Brent Scowcroft and James Baker attempted to intervene and find a way to save the evil empire – to no avail.

Anyone who believed they would get their "peace dividend" by that point was a fool. The American empire was here to stay.

The first chance George Bush Sr. had, he invaded Panama, killing thousands. Soon thereafter, with a determined Prime Minister Thatcher as a backbone, he sent the U.S. Army to the Middle East to stay for good.

Osama bin Laden issued his "Declaration of War Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places" in 1996. And even though the Clinton administration backed the Muslim Kosovo Liberation Army during the bombing of Serbia in 1999 and paid the Taliban millions of dollars, bin Laden remained hostile.

In his book Dying to Win, Robert A. Pape shows that suicide terrorism has only one cause: foreign occupation. So the invasion of Iraq has certainly compounded a serious problem. In 2005, the Royal Institute of International Affairs wrote:
"There is no doubt that the situation over Iraq has imposed particular difficulties for the UK, and for the wider coalition against terrorism. It gave a boost to the al-Qaeda network's propaganda, recruitment, and fundraising, caused a major split in the coalition, provided an ideal targeting and training area for al-Qaeda-linked terrorists. … Riding pillion with a powerful ally has proved costly in terms of British and U.S. military lives, Iraqi lives, military expenditure, and the damage caused to the counter-terrorism campaign."
That's the kind of thing that keeps BAE Systems on the American dole for the long haul – a perfect setup for all war parties involved. Osama seems a farsighted hero to radicalized millions, and those who lurk around the U.S. government till have an enemy vague enough to last, according to Vice President Cheney, "decades."

The Terror War has already spread to Africa, and a new military command, AFRICOM, has been set up there. The recent U.S.-backed Ethiopian invasion of Somalia– in the name of catching three al-Qaeda "commanders" – is only the beginning, as bin Laden predicted in an audio tape in the summer of 2006. Many liberals who oppose the invasion and occupation of Iraq are pushing hard for an invasion of Sudan – next on bin Laden's wish list.

In his newest book, Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic, Chalmers Johnson explains that following World War II the English were left with a choice between becoming the subjects of their own empire or abandoning it, and they chose the latter.

So while the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia suffer, the Bill of Rights burns, the U.S. government condones and uses torture, local police become more dependent on the national government, the president's lawyers argue for a "unitary executive" with "plenary powers," the national debt tops $9 trillion, and important provisions of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1876 and the Insurrection Act of 1807 are scrapped, very serious questions emerge:

Are these the last days of the American republic? Can we never turn back? Must we implode like the USSR or be carpet-bombed like the British?

Peace preserves liberty. America's founders knew this. They advised the likes of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, and indeed the American people, to stay out of political entanglements with the Old World and to be friends with everyone, allies with none.

America would be much better served if we gave up "global hegemony" and fought only in defense of our own liberty – our true legacy as a country born in revolution and secession from empire.