Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #471 Death Trap

Recorded August 1, 2004

Developing a line of inquiry presented in past programs, this broadcast examines the Bush administration’s policies in the war on terror. Specifically, this program highlights the possibility that the Bush forces are deliberately trying to lose the war, as a device for eliminating American democracy. It is Mr. Emory’s view that this administration is the point element for the Underground Reich’s attempts at destroying the United States from within, while Islamofascist elements attack it from without. Beginning with a column by Paul Krugman, the program examines George W. Bush as the Al Qaeda candidate. While publicly proclaiming its efforts against Al Qaeda, this administration has actually drawn funds away from the protection of domestic security targets. As attested to by a former CIA officer in charge of the hunt for bin Laden, this administration’s Iraq misadventure was the best thing that bin Laden could have desired. By invading Iraq, the US: drew essential forces away from Afghanistan (allowing bin Laden and Mullah Omar to escape and jeopardizing attempts at bringing that country under control); convinced much of the world’s Muslim community that the US was waging a war against Islam (as bin Laden has claimed); has convinced much of the Muslim world that a defensive Jihad against the US is warranted by circumstances; transformed Al Qaeda from an organization into an ideology; reduced America’s credibility with its allies. The program concludes with discussion of the Bush administration’s anti-democratic viewpoint and a comparison with the French elite’s subversion of French democracy in the run-up to World War II.

Program Highlights Include: General Tommy Franks’ prediction that a terrorist incident involving WMD’s will result in the elimination of American democracy; Bush ally Paul Weyrich’s views on the importance of eliminating existing American democratic institutions; the view of Gerald Ford’s personal secretary that we were on the wrong side in World War II.

1. Introducing the major focal point of the broadcast, the discussion begins with a column by Paul Krugman, in which he examines the Bush administration’s pursuit of Al Qaeda. As Krugman notes (and as we will examine at length later in the program), Bush’s policies in “The War on Terror” have made things immeasurably worse, not better. It is Mr. Emory’s belief that the current administration is a tool of the Underground Reich, and that the goal of its policies is the destruction and/or subjugation of the United States. This subject will be discussed at greater length later in the program. “In the original version of ‘The Manchurian Candidate,’ Senator John Iselin, whom Chinese agents are plotting to put in the White House, is a right-wing demagogue modeled on Senator Joseph McCarthy. As Roger Ebert wrote, the plan is to ‘use anticommunist hysteria as a cover for a communist takeover.’ The movie doesn’t say what Iselin would have done if the plot had succeeded. Presumably, however, he wouldn’t have openly turned traitor. Instead, he would have used his position to undermine national security, while posing as America’s staunchest defender against communist evil.”
(“The Arabian Candidate” by Paul Krugman; The New York Times; 7/20/2004.)

2. “So let’s imagine an update—not the remake with Denzel Washington, which I haven’t seen, but my own version. This time the enemies would be Islamic fanatics, who install as their puppet president a demagogue who poses as the nation’s defender against terrorist evildoers. The Arabian candidate wouldn’t openly help terrorists. Instead, he would serve their cause while pretending to be their enemy. After an attack, he would strike back at the terrorist base, a necessary action to preserve his image of toughness, but botch the follow-up, allowing the terrorist leaders to escape. Once the public’s attention shifted, he would systematically squander the military victory: committing too few soldiers, reneging on promises of economic aid. Soon, warlords would once again rule most of the country, the heroin trade would be booming, and terrorist allies would make a comeback.” (Idem.)

3. “Meanwhile, he would lead America into a war against a country that posed no imminent threat. He would insinuate, without saying anything literally false, that it was somehow responsible for the terrorist attack. This unnecessary war would alienate our allies and tie down a large part of our military. At the same time, the Arabian candidate would neglect the pursuit of those who attacked us, and do nothing about regimes that really shelter anti-American terrorists and really are building nuclear weapons. Again, he would take care to squander a military victory. The Arabian candidate and his co-conspirators would block all planning for the war’s aftermath; they would arrange for our army to allow looters to destroy much of the country’s infrastructure. Then they would disband the defeated regime’s army, turning hundreds of thousands of trained soldiers into disgruntled potential insurgents.” (Idem.)

4. “After this it would be easy to sabotage the occupied country’s reconstruction, simply by failing to spend aid funds or rein in cronyism and corruption. Power outages, overflowing sewage and unemployment would swell the ranks of our enemies. Who knows? The Arabian candidate might even be able to deprive America of the moral high ground, no mean trick when our enemies are mass murderers, by creating a climate in which U.S. guards torture, humiliate and starve prisoners, most of them innocent or guilty of only petty crimes.” (Idem.)

5. “At home, the Arabian candidate would leave the nation vulnerable, doing almost nothing to secure ports, chemical plants and other potential targets. He would stonewall investigations into why the initial terrorist attack succeeded. And by repeatedly issuing vague terror warnings obviously timed to drown out unfavorable political news, his officials would ensure public indifference if and when a real threat is announced. Last but not least, by blatantly exploiting the terrorist thret for personal political gain, he would undermine the nation’s unity in the face of its enemies, sowing suspicion about the government’s motives.” (Idem.)

6. “O.K., end of conceit. President Bush isn’t actually an Al Qaeda mole, with Dick Cheney his controller. Mr. Bush’s ‘war on terror’ has, however, played with eerie perfection into Osama bin Laden’s hands—while Mr. Bush’s supporters, impressed by his tough talk, see him as America’s champion against the evildoers. Last week, Republican officials in Kentucky applauded bumper stickers distributed at G.O.P. offices that read, ‘Kerry is bin Laden’s man/Bush is mine.’ Administration officials haven’t gone that far, but when Tom Ridge offered a specifics-free warning about a terrorist attack timed to ‘disrupt our democratic process,’ many people thought he was implying that Al Qaeda wants George Bush to lose. In reality, all infidels probably look alike to the terrorists, but if they do have a preference, nothing Mr. Bush’s record would make them unhappy at the prospect of four more years.” (Idem.)

7. Krugman’s viewpoint was echoed in a column about a recent book by a CIA bin Laden expert. In that book, “Anonymous” maintains that our policies in Iraq have played into the hands of al Qaeda. It is his view that we are losing the war against radical Islam. “A new book by the senior Central Intelligence officer who headed a special off

ice to track Osama bin Laden and his followers warns that the United States is losing the war against radical Islam and that the invasion of Iraq has only played into the enemy’s hands. In the book, Imperial Hubris, the author is identified only as ‘Anonymous,’ but former intelligence officials identified him as a 22-year veteran of the C.I.A. who is still serving in a senior counterterrorism post at the agency and headed the bin Laden station from 1996 to 1999.”
(“Book by C.I.A. Officer Says U.S. Is Losing Fight Against Terror” by Douglas Jehl; The New York Times; 6/23/2004.)

8. “The 309-page book, obtained by The New York Times, provides an unusual glimpse into a school of thought inside the C.I.A., and includes harsh criticism of both the Clinton and Bush administrations. ‘U.S. leaders refuse to accept the obvious,’ the officer writes. ‘We are fighting a worldwide Islamic insurgency—not criminality or terrorism—and our policy and procedures have failed to make more than a modest dent in enemy forces.’” (Idem.)

9. “The author says the threat is rooted in opposition not to American values, but to policies and actions, particularly in the Islamic world. It is rare for a C.I.A. officer to publish a book while still serving at the agency and highly unusual for the book to focus on such a politically explosive topic. Under C.I.A. rules, the book had to be cleared by the agency before it could be published. It was approved for release on condition that the author and his internal agency not be identified.” (Idem.)

10. “The book identifies ‘Anonymous’ only as ‘a senior U.S. intelligence official with nearly two decades of experience in national security issues related to Afghanistan and South Asia.’ It identifies a previous book, Through Our Enemies’ Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America, as being written by the same author. Former intelligence officials identified the officer to The Times and noted that he was an overt employee of the C.I.A., but an intelligence official asked that his full name not be published because it could make him a target of Al Qaeda. . . .” (Idem.)

11. “ . . . In the book, the author denounced the American invasion of Iraq as ‘an avaricious, premeditated unprovoked war against a foe who posed no immediate threat,’ and said it would fuel the anti-American sentiments on which Mr. bin Laden and his followers draw. ‘There is nothing that bin Laden could have hoped for more than the American invasion and occupation of Iraq,’ he writes. In warning that the United States is losing the war on terrorism, Anonymous writes: ‘In the period since 11 September, the United States has dealt lethal blows to Al Qaeda’s leadership and—if official claims are true—have captured three thousand Al Qaeda foot soldiers.’ At the same time, he ads, ‘we have waged two failed half-wars and, in doing so, left Afghanistan and Iraq seething with anti-U.S. sentiment, fertile grounds for the expansion of Al Qaeda and kindred groups.’. . . ” (Idem.)

12. “ . . . The author expresses ‘a pressing certainty that Al Qaeda will attack the continental United States again, that its next strike will be more damaging than that of 11 September 2001, and could include use of weapons of mass destruction. After the next attack,’ he adds, ‘misled Americans and their elected representatives will rightly demand that heads of intelligence-community leaders; that heads did not roll after 11 September is perhaps our most grievous post-attack error.’” (Idem.)

13. A recent article in the San Jose Mercury News corroborates what Krugman and “Anonymous” have had to say about Afghanistan—the administration’s policies there are losing the war in that country. “A violent resurgence of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan is putting U.S. soldiers and international aid workers at increasing risk, especially in the southern part of the country, the back yard and birthplace of the Taliban. U.S. military patrols are frequently coming under attack. Highway construction workers—foreigners and Afghans—have had their throats slit merely for tampering with Taliban flags placed along roadsides.”
(“Taliban, Al-Qaida Gain Strength” by Mark McDonald [Knight Ridder]; San Jose Mercury News; 7/30/2004; p. 12A.)

14. “Nearly three years after the U.S. military toppled the Taliban government in Afghanistan, it’s increasingly obvious that the military effort has failed to fully defeat the enemy, which has regrouped and now threatens efforts to create a stable government there. Election workers are being abducted, shot and beheaded. Voter-registration sites are being bombed, even when they’re located at mosques. . . .” (Idem.)

15. Much of the rest of the program is devoted to presenting a Mother Jones article detailing just how bad the situation is. Analysis of the effect of the Iraq war on the overall war effort concludes that the Iraqi adventure seriously jeopardized the US position. Past programs have presented Mr. Emory’s view that the Iraq war was an Underground Reich trap—designed to immerse the United States into a protracted, politically and economically draining war against Muslim populations of “the Earth Island.” (See discussion of this in the description for FTR#391.) Again, note what the Arabian Candidate has done: “ . . . In more than a dozen interviews, experts both within and outside the U.S. government laid out a stark analysis of how the war has hampered the campaign against Al Qaeda. Not only, they point out, did the war divert resources and attention away from Afghanistan, seriously damaging the prospects of capturing al Qaeda leaders, but it has also opened a new front for terrorists in Iraq and created a new justification for attacking Westerners around the world. Perhaps most important, it has dramatically speeded up the process by which Al Qaeda the organization has morphed into a broad-based ideological movement—a shift, in effect, from bin Laden to bin Ladenism. ‘If Osama believed in Christmas, this is what he’d want under his Christmas tree,’ one senior intelligence official told me. Another counterterrorism official suggests that Iraq might begin to resemble ‘Afghanistan 1996,’ a reference to the year that bin Laden seized on Afghanistan, a chaotic failed state, as his new base of operations. . . .”
(“Backdraft” by Peter Bergen; Mother Jones; July/August 2004; p. 41.)

16. Far from weakening Al Qaeda, the Iraqi adventure has strengthened it. By outraging the average Muslim man or woman in the street, the Iraqi adventure has played into Bin Laden’s hands by convincing much of the Muslim world that the US is pursuing a war against Islam. Such a war would necessarily mandate defensive Jihad on the part of the world’s Muslim population. “ . . . The damage to U.S. interests is hard to overestimate. Rohan Gunaratna, a Sri Lankan academic who is regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on Al Qaeda, points out that ‘sadness and anger about Iraq, even among moderate Muslims, is being harnessed and exploited by terrorist and extremist groups worldwide to grow in strength, size, and influence.’ Similarly, Vincent
Cannistraro, a former chief of counterterrorism at the CIA under presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, says the Iraq war ‘accelerated terrorism’ by ‘metastasizing’ Al Qaeda. Today, Al Qaeda is more than the narrowly defined group that attacked the United States on September 11, 2001; it is a growing global movement that has been energized by the war in Iraq.” (Ibid.; p. 42.)

17. Although world opinion was very sympathetic to the US after 9/11, the Iraqi misadventure has changed that: “This turn of events is a dramatic shift from the mood in the months following the 9/11 attacks. When the United States went to war against the Taliban, it was understood by many in the global community, including many Arabs and Muslims, as a just war. The war in Iraq not only drained that reservoir of goodwill; it also dragged the United States into what many see as a conflict with the Muslim world, or ummah, in general. Samer Shehata, a professor of Arab politics at Georgetown University, says the Iraq war has convinced ‘many Muslims around the world, perhaps a majority, that the war on terrorism is in fact a war against Islam.’ Jason Burke, author of the authoritative 2003 book Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror, adds that the Iraq war ‘appears to be clear evidence to many that the perception of the militants is in fact accurate and that the ummah is engaged in a war of self-defense. This has theological implications—jihad is compulsory for all Muslims if the ummah is under attack.’” (Idem.)

18. “This is not an arcane matter of Islamic jurisprudence, but a key reason why Americans are now dying in significant numbers in Iraq and an important factor behind the rise of a revitalized Al Qaeda movement. The Koran has two sets of justifications for holy war; one concerns a ‘defensive’ jihad, when a Muslim land is under attack by non-Muslims, while the other countenances offensive attacks on infidels. Generally, Muslims consider the defensive justification for jihad to be the more legitimate. It was, for instance, a defensive jihad that clerics invoked against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan during the 1980’s.” (Idem.)

19. “To the extent that Sunni Muslims—the vast majority of Muslims—have a Vatican, it is Al Azhar University in Cairo, the pre-eminent center of Muslim thought. Before the Iraq war, Al Zahar released a fatwa, a ruling on Islamic law, to the effect that if ‘crusader’ forces attacked Iraq, it was an obligation for every Muslim to fight back. The clerics of Al Azhar were not alone in this view. The prominent Lebanese Shiite scholar Sheikh Fadlullah also called on Muslims to fight American forces in Iraq. In contrast, after 9/11, Sheikh Fadlullah had issued a fatwa condemning the attacks, as did the chief cleric of Al Azhar. Throughout the Muslim world, leading clerics who condemned what happened on 9/11 have given their blessing to fighting against the occupation of Iraq—and as demonstrated by the attacks in Madrid in March, jihadists are prepared to take that fight to the invaders’ home turf.” (Idem.)

20. “Harry ‘Skip Brandon, a former senior counterterrorism official at the FBI, says the Iraq war ‘serves as a real rallying point, not only for the region, but also in Asia. We’ve seen very solid examples of them using the Iraq war for recruiting. I have seen it personally in Malaysia. The Iraq war is a public relations bonanza for Al Qaeda and a public relations disaster for us the longer it goes on.’ Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s prediction that the occupation of Iraq would create ‘a hundred bin Ladens’ is beginning to look prescient. We may soon find ourselves facing something akin to a global intifada.” (Idem.)

21. In addition to the ideological/public relations disaster stemming from the Iraqi invasion, the mission diverted essential resources away from the war against Al Qaeda, enabling much of its leadership to escape and reform. Al Qaeda as an institution has been re-constituted. “Perhaps the most emblematic failure of the war on terrorism has been the continued ability of Al Qaeda’s top leaders, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, to set the agenda for a string of terrorist attacks around the world. A bin Laden call for attacks against Western economic interests October 2002 was followed by bombings of a French oil tanker and a Bali disco catering to Western tourists. In September 2003, Zawahiri denounced Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf for supporting the U.S. campaign against Al Qaeda; Musharraf narrowly survived two assassination attempts over the months that followed. And after bin Laden called for retaliation against countries that were part of the coalition in Iraq in late 2003, terrorists attacked an Italian police barracks in Iraq, a British consulate in Turkey, and commuter trains in Madrid. According to a May report by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, Al Qaeda is now ‘fully reconstituted,’ with a ‘new and effective modus operandi,’ a presence in as many as 90 countries, and ‘over 18,000 potential terrorists still at large.’” (Ibid.; pp. 42-43.)

22. “Yet despite Al Qaeda’s undiminished global influence, the United States has pulled vital resources away from the hunt for bin Laden and Zawahiri. Soon after the fall of the Taliban, substantial numbers of Arabic speakers at the CIA and the National Security Agency were directed to focus on Iraq rather than the hunt for Al Qaeda. ‘By January 2002, serious planning began for the invasion of Iraq,’ notes Cannistraro, the former CIA counterterrorism chief, ‘and that meant drawing down Arabic language resources from CIA and electronic intelligence gathering.’ In addition, says Richard Clarke, who headed counterterrorism efforts under both presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, unmanned Predator spy planes were deployed away from Afghanistan to Iraq in March 2003, and satellites surveying the Afghan-Pakistani border were diverted to the Gulf region.” (Ibid.; p. 43.)

23. “Special Operations soldiers with critical skills—including Arabic language training—were perhaps the U.S. military’s key asset in the effort to capture Al Qaeda leaders. But according to Larry Johnson, who used to work on counterterrorism issues at the CIA and State Department and who now advises the U.S. military on terrorism, those forces were pulled out of Afghanistan in the spring of 2002 to look for Scud missiles in western Iraq. It was only following the capture of Saddam Hussein, last December, that those troops were directed back to searching for Al Qaeda, leaving the pursuit of Al Qaeda’s leaders significantly impaired for a year and a half.” (Idem.)

24. “Today, the hunt for Al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan is largely a waiting game. Last summer, when I went out with a platoon from the 82nd Airborne on a mission into the badlands along the Afghan border to look for Al Qaeda and other ‘anti-coalition’ forces, I found that the three-day mission did little more than chase shadows. Sergeant Joe Frost, a demolitions expert in his mid-30’s, summed it up by noting that U.S. troops often found themselves attacked after sundown but could rarely find their assailants: ‘They’re like shoot and run. We’ve seen one Al Qaeda person in the last six months.’ And therein lies the crux of the problem: The United States did not effectively crush Al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan during the war and its aftermath, which meant that those forces in Afghanistan during the war and its aftermath, which meant that those forces were able to slip away into the border region, where they can hide and organize attacks both inside Afghanistan and around the world.” (Idem.)

25. “Today, only 20,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Afghanistan, a country the size of Texas and nearly 50 percent larger than Iraq, where 140,000 U.S. troops haven’t been enough to create stability. Kathy Gannon, who has covered Afghanistan for the past 16 years for the Associated Press, says that
the security situation is ‘as bad as it’s ever been’—and that includes the years during and before the Taliban reign. The power of regional warlords has surged, challenging Hamid Karzai’s central government and creating space for the Taliban to quietly emerge from the shadows. Taliban leader Mullah Omar and military commander Jalaluddin Haqqani both remain at large, as does Gulbuddin Hakmatyar, a Pashtun warlord whose forces are regularly engaging U.S. soldiers. Meanwhile, Afthanistan has become the world’s largest source of opium, the raw material for heroin. The country is now one of the world’s leading narco-states, and money from the $2.3 billion drug trade is reportedly making its way into Al Qaeda’s coffers. According to Barnett Rubin, a senior fellow at New York University and an authority on the region, Afghanistan is ‘obviously in danger of reverting to a failed state.’” (Ibid.; pp. 43-44.)

26. Gauging the ideological gains Al Qaeda has reaped from the Iraq war, the program presents some very disturbing numbers: “But the administration’s focus on the war in Iraq has not only caused it to shortchange the hunt for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan—it has also undermined the war on terrorism around the world. A poll taken by the Pew Global Attitudes Project in March 2004 found that bin Laden is viewed favorably by large parts of the population in Pakistan (65 percent), Jordan (55 percent), and Morocco (45 percent), all countries that are key allies in the war on terrorism. These results echo those of a Pew survey taken shortly after the invasion of Iraq in which Indonesians, Jordanians, Turks, and Moroccans all expressed more ‘confidence’ in bin Laden than in President Bush. During the buildup to the war, the polling company Zogby International found that favorable views of the United States had declined from 34 to 10 percent in Jordan, 38 to 9 percent in Morocco, and 12 to 3 percent in Saudi Arabia. Of course, admiration for bin Laden and dislike for the United States do not necessarily translate into a desire to attack Westerners. But the war against bin Laden is in large part a war of ideas—and on that front, the war in Iraq has damaged the United States’ cause and broadened the pool of Al Qaeda recruits.” (Ibid.; p. 44.)

27. “Nowhere is this shift more visible than on the Internet—a significant fact in itself, since Internet chatter reflects the opinions of a relatively educated, elite segment of the Muslim world. To the extent that Al Qaeda—‘the base’ in Arabic—has a new base, it is, to a surprising degree, on the web. According to a U.S. government contractor who specializes in analyzing jihadist chat rooms and websites, web traffic was ‘tremendously energized’ in the period before the Iraq war. ‘When it was clear that the war was about to occur, there was more participation, more rhetoric, more anger,’ the contractor says. ‘The war in Afghanistan provoked some anger, but not as much as the Iraq war.’ And while such chatter often amounts to mere venting, online discussions can also generate a road map for terrorist acts. Veteran Middle East reporter Paul Eedle, who closely monitors Arabic language websites, points to a document posted on an Al Qaeda site in December 2003 ‘reflecting the thinking of senior Al Qaeda leaders’ that discussed how to best break up the coalition in Iraq. The document noted that countries like the United Kingdom were unlikely to withdraw from Iraq, while Spain was the weakest link in the coalition. Three months later, 191 Spaniards lost their lives in a bombing timed to coincide with Spain’s election, and Spain subsequently withdrew its troops from Iraq.” (Idem.)

28. “Another shift in Internet traffic came this spring, when visits to websites with information about Iraq—such as Al Jazeera’s home page—skyrocketed during the standoff in Fallujah and the prison abuse scandal. ‘Iraq has become transformed beyond a cause that energized the jihadists,’ Eedle says. ‘It has caused outrage at every middle-class dinner table in the Middle East.’” (Idem.)

29. “Saddam Hussein’s Iraq—despite the administration’s arguments to the contrary—was hardly a haven for Al Qaeda. But now, Iraq has become what some experts call a ‘supermagnet’ for jihadists. ‘We’ve created the World Series of terrorism,’ a senior government counterterrorism official told me.” (Idem.)

30. The story highlights a comparison between present-day Iraq and Peshawar (Pakistan) during the muhahideen war against the Soviet Union: “Judith Yaphe, who was the CIA’s senior analyst on Iraq during the first Gulf War, says Iraq is ‘open to terrorism in a way that it was not before. The lack of central authority makes it more amenable to terrorists,’ Iraq is convenient for Arab militants, who can blend into its society in a way they did not in Bosnia, Chechnya, or Afghanistan. Dr. Saad al-Fagih, a leading Saudi dissident, says that hundreds of Saudis have gone to fight in Iraq; one source of his, he says, compares Iraq to ‘Peshawar during the 1980’s,’ a reference to the Pakistani city that attracted Muslims from around the world seeking to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.” (Idem.)

31. “Given that large numbers of U.S. forces are likely to be in Iraq for years, it is clear that the country will remain an important theater of operations for Al Qaeda and its affiliates. The irony of this development hardly needs to be stated. A key reason the Bush administration was able to sell the Iraq war to the American people was the widely held belief that Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s regime had entered into an unholy alliance and were jointly responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon—something 2 out of 3 Americans believed, according to a Pew poll released in October 2002. To date, the largest criminal investigation in history has turned up no evidence of Iraq’s involvement in 9/11; nor have the occupation of Iraq and the efforts of the entire U.S. intelligence apparatus uncovered any such link. Yet Al Qaeda-like groups, both homegrown and foreign, have now become well established in Iraq. ‘Prior to 2003 and our invasion, Iraq rarely figured on the international terrorism charts,’ notes Larry Johnson, the military adviser. ‘Now Iraq had had the third-largest number of terrorist fatalities after Israel and India.’. . .” (Idem.)

32. “ . . . Over the past year, more than 100 people have died in attacks against Western and Jewish targets in Turkey and Morocco; car bombs in Saudi Arabia have killed scores more; a suicide attacker in August 2003 bombed a Marriott hotel in Indonesia, killing 12, and the train bombs in Madrid left 191 people dead. And these numbers do not take into account the thousands of people who have been killed in the past year in insurgencies in places such as Kashmir, Chechnya, Uzbekistan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia—all conflicts in which the broader Al Qaeda movement plays a significant role.” (Ibid.; p. 45.)

33. Documenting Al Qaeda’s metamorphosis from an organization into an ideology, the program notes the significance of this development for the future: “Which brings us to an important question: What is Al Qaeda? The network is perhaps best understood as a set of concentric rings, growing more ill defined as they spread outward. At the core is Al Qaeda the organization, which bin Laden and a dozen or so close associates formed in 1989, and which eventually expanded to 200 to 300 core members who have sworn an oath of allegiance to bin Laden, their emir, or prince. It was Al Qaeda the organization that attacked the United States on September 11, 2001.” (Idem.)

34. “The second concentric ring consists of perhaps several thousand men who have trained in Al Qaeda’s Afghan camps in bomb making, assassination, and the manufacture of poisons. Beyond that ring are as many as 120,000 who received some kind of basic military training in Afghanistan over the past decade. An

undetermined number of those fighters are now sharpening their skills as insurgents from Kashmir to Algeria.” (Idem.)

35. An ideologized Al Qaeda will be much deadlier and more difficult to combat than the organization has been so far. “The Madrid attacks in March are emblematic of what is emerging as the fourth and perhaps most ambiguous—and potentially most dangerous—ring in the Al Qaeda galaxy. The attacks were carried out by a group of Moroccans with few links to Al Qaeda the organization. Some of the conspirators did try to establish direct contact with the inner core of Al Qaeda, but that effort seems to have been unsuccessful, and they carried out the attacks under their own steam. These attacks may well represent the future of ‘Al Qaeda’ operations, most of which will be executed by local jihadists who have little or no direct connection to bin Laden’s group. This is a worrisome development, because it suggests that Al Qaeda has successfully transformed itself from an organization into a mass movement with a nearly unlimited pool of potential operatives. [Emphasis added.] . . .” (Idem.)

36. “ . . . What we have done in Iraq is what bin Laden could not have hoped for in his wildest dreams: We invaded an oil-rich Muslim nation in the heart of the Middle East, the very type of imperial adventure that bin Laden has long predicted was the United States’ long-term goal in the region. We deposed the secular socialist Saddam, whom bin Laden has long despised, ignited Sunni and Shia fundamentalist fervor in Iraq, and have now provoked a ‘defensive’ jihad that has galvanized jihad-minded Muslims around the world. It’s hard to imagine a set of policies better designed to sabotage the war on terrorism.” (Idem.)

37. Reviewing information from FTR#404, the program highlights disturbing indications of Saddam Hussein’s possible recruitment of Al Qaeda as a “backup unit” in the event of an American invasion. Is this part of the Underground Reich’s conspiracy against the United States? Have we walked into a trap? “It appears, however, that this version is only the publicly admissible one, the one that can pass political muster. According to the same sources, there was another scenario more in keeping with the calculating mentality of Saddam Hussein and his secret services. In 1998, after declining all offers that had to them through official diplomatic channels, those services are reported to have established a secret operational ‘connection’ with bin Laden in Manila and in Kashmir. It was indeed difficult for Iraq to ignore an Arab like Osama bin Laden who ‘so effectively humiliated the Americans.’ Colonel Khairallah al Takiriti, brother of the head of Mukkhabarat, the intelligence services, is reported to have been named case officer for the connection. The arrest of two Morroccan associates of bin Laden in Rabat on November 11, 1998, made it possible to establish to establish the link with certainty. According to Western sources, the Iraqi services have sought to secure the assistance of bin Laden’s networks, in case Iraq were again to be attacked by the United States, in order to carry out attacks against American targets in Arab countries.”
(In the Name of Osama Bin Laden; by Roland Jacquard; Copyright 2002 [SC]; Duke University Press; ISBN 0-8223-2991-3; pp. 112-113.)

38. “According to Arab sources, in anticipation of a foreseeable reversal of alliances in Kabul, bin Laden had been in discreet contact since September 2000 with associates of Oudai Hussein, another of Saddam’s sons; the ground for agreement was the anti-Israeli and anti-American battle. Bin Laden and the Iraqis are said to have exchanged information about chemical and biological weapons, despite the opposition of some of the Baghdad leadership, including Tarik Aziz.” (Ibid.; p. 113.)

39. Restating a point made in FTR#’s 372, 412, 441, the program recounts the behavior of the French power elite in the run-up to World War II. In order to eliminate democracy in France, the power elite conspired with the nation’s German enemies in order to insure France’s military defeat in World War II. Such a defeat was seen as essential to eliminating democratic government. It is Mr. Emory’s view that the Bush administration and those associated with it are behaving in an analogous fashion. The damage done to American democracy by a future terrorist attack involving WMD’s may well have the effect of doing to the US what a German victory in WWII did for France. “The activity of the Fifth Column will not be considered by historians a special phenomenon of French public life, but as an integral part of Fascism. The Fifth Column has appeared wherever Fascism has tried to gain a foothold. It was at work in Spain, Austria, and Czechoslovakia before it turned up in France, and there are Fifth Columns in the United States, India, and Latin America. By the Fifth Column I do not mean only spies and licensed traitors. The Fifth Column includes all who, by accepting fascist doctrines or methods, become the conscious or unconscious accomplices of a foreign power. Treason and complicity have their degrees and nuances. The General Staff of the Fifth column consists principally of ambitious men who try to seize power by destroying or paralyzing the democratic system. The body of the Fifth Column is composed of people who think they are saving their country from the ‘communist menace’ or from ‘British imperialism,’ and who do not even know in whose favor their actions are operating. Through hate of the Poplar Front, good Frenchmen, or men who considered themselves such, served Hitler gratuitously by doing work to which they would never have consented, had they had been offered payment. Why? Because they detested the Republic and democracy more than they loved France. They accepted the idea of the defeat as a necessary evil which permitted them to rid France of the democratic system and to keep in power, in the neighboring countries, the Fascist dictators whom they considered solely capable of maintaining order in Europe. They afterwards became unconscious collaborators of these dictators. They thought they were doing their duty in letting Hitler free France from the ‘Judeo-Masonic’ influence, and Europe from the Communist peril. These people who had never read Marx, considered the ‘Marxist danger’ more immediate than the Hitlerian. They preferred the risks of an entente with a victorious Hitler to the risks of a democratic victory that would cause the collapse of the Fascist dictators in Europe. Considering Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy, and Franco in Spain as knights of an anti-Bolshevist crusade, they became precursors and later partisans of ‘collaboration with Hitler’s New Order.’”
(Triumph of Treason; by Pierre Cot; Copyright 1944 [HC]; Ziff-Davis; pp. 62-63.)

40. “Enough evidence has been published already to prove that France was stabbed in the back by those who saw in Hitler the new St. George who would slay the Communist dragon. When Pierre Lazareff, former editor-in-chief of Paris Soir (the French newspaper with the widest circulation), reports royalists as saying: ‘We need the defeat to wipe out the Republic;’ when Elie Bois, former editor of the Petit Parisien (the most influential political newspaper), reports great industrialists ad admitting to him, during the winter of 1939-1940, that a plot had been organized to replace the democratic regime by a ‘government of authority’ and that this plot presupposed a Nazi victory; when Anatole de Monzie writes, in a book passed by the censor of the Vichy government, that marshal Petain said in Fe

bruary, 1940: ‘They will appeal to me in the third week in May’; when Genevieve Tabouis tells of the work accomplished in the Parisian salons by the Fifth Column’s ‘brigade mondaine’; when Henri de Kerillis, former officer and nationalist deputy, exposes the inroads of the Fifth Column in the conservative and military circles which he knew; when Henry Torres reveals to us what was going on in the offices of the official propaganda . . . we have every reason to accept their affirmations, which tally so perfectly with the events.” (Ibid.; p. 63.)

41. Should Al Qaeda succeed in its goal of attacking the US with WMD’s it is altogether possible that such an event will end American democracy. Former General Tommy Franks noted this in an interview that he gave in late 2003. “Gen. Tommy Franks says that if the United States is hit with a weapon of mass destruction that inflicts large casualties, the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government. Franks, who successfully led the U.S. military operation to liberate Iraq, expressed his worries in an extensive interview he gave to the men’s lifestyle magazine Cigar Afficionado. In the magazine’s December edition, the former commander of the military’s Central Command warned that if terrorists succeeded in using a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) against the U.S. or one of our allies, it would likely have catastrophic consequences for our cherished republican form of government.”
(“Gen. Franks Doubts Constitution Will Survive WMD Attack” by John O. Edwards; NewsMax.com; 12/21/2003; p. 1.)

42. “Discussing the hypothetical dangers posed to the U.S. in the wake of Sept. 11, Franks said that ‘the worst thing that could happen’ is if terrorists acquire and then use a biological, chemical or nuclear weapon that inflicts heavy casualties. If that happens, Franks said, ‘ . . . the Western world, the free world, loses what it cherishes most, and that is freedom and liberty we’ve seen for a couple of hundred years in this grand experiment that we call democracy.’” (Idem.)

43. “Franks then offered ‘in a practical sense’ what he thinks would happen in the aftermath of such an attack. ‘It means the potential of a weapon of mass destruction and a terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event somewhere in the Western world—it may be in the United States of America—that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event. Which in fact, then begins to unravel the fabric of our Constitution. Two steps, very, very important.’” (Idem.)

44. Influential conservative Paul Weyrich and his political allies have noted their contempt for existing American political institutions. The possibility that Weyrich (along with Karl Rove and Grover Norquist—architects of the Islamist/GOP alliance) would welcome an event such as that forecast by General Franks is not one to be too readily dismissed. “On January 28, 2002, The American Prospect, Inc. published ‘Fair-Weather Friend; Going Down as it Came Up; School Sprays; They’re Back!’ a brief excerpt reads: ‘Two years ago, ur-conservative Paul Weyrich stunned the religious right by calling for a retreat from temporal concerns. ‘Conservatives have learned to succeed in politics,’ he wrote in an open letter that’s still available on the Web site www.freecongress.org. ‘But that did not result in the adoption of our agenda. The reason, I think, is that politics itself has failed. And politics has failed because of the collapse of the culture.’ The right no longer had a ‘moral majority,’ he wrote. The solution? ‘To look at ways to separate ourselves from the institutions that have been captured by the ideology of Political Correctness, or by other enemies of our traditional culture.’ In essence, he said, the religious right should espouse cultural and political separatism—by setting up its own schools, television networks, and even courts of law. The rest of the country breathed a sigh of relief. No more silly Disney boycotts by southern Baptists. No more flaky school-board members, pushing creationism. No more Paul Weyrich!” (Ibid.; pp. 1-2.)

45. Weyrich’s ally Heubeck has noted the importance for reactionaries of destroying US political institutions: “ ‘The whew, alas, was premature. It turns out that what Weyrich and his folks really had in mind was less separatism than guerilla warfare—a ‘New Traditionalist’ movement that, according to its manifesto, written by Weyrich protégé Eric Heubeck and bearing the grandiose title ‘The Integration of Theory and Practice: A program for the New Traditionalist Movement,’ would seek ‘to advance a true traditionalist counter-culture based on virtue, excellence, and self-discipline.’ The New Traditionalists—who sound a lot like the Old Traditionalists—will ‘reject the materialism, hedonism, consumerism, egoism, and the cult of self-actualization which permeate modern life.’ Heubeck elaborates: ‘We will not try to reform existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them. [Emphasis added.] We will endeavor to knock our opponents off-balance and unsettle them at every opportunity. . .’” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

46. “ . . . The Bush administration is apparently quite cozy with Weyrich. This quote from a Time magazine article is apropos, Time magazine wrote this: ‘Each Wednesday, Rove dispatches a top administration official to attend the regular conservative-coalition lunches held at Paul Weyrich’s Free Congress Foundation. When activists call his office with a problem, Rove doesn’t pass them off to an aide. He often responds himself. When Weyrich heard a few weeks that Bush’s budget slashed funding for a favorite project called the Police Corps, which gives scholarships and training to police cadets, he complained to the White House. To Weyrich’s surprise, Rove called back, ‘We’ve taken care of it,’ Rove said. ‘the problem is solved.’” (Idem.)

47. The program concludes with a look at the pro-fascist views of Mildred Leonard, Gerald Ford’s personal secretary when the latter was House Minority Leader. Attitudes such as those identified by Pierre Cot in France in the 1930’s and 1940’s are not alien to the United States. “In January 1968, Haden Kirkpatrick, publisher of racing’s bible, Thoroughbred Record, and his wife gave a small dinner party at the Pavillon Restaurant in New York. During dinner, we all started discussing the state of national and international affairs. Haden turned to me and said: ‘The trouble is and always has been Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He got us in the Second World War on the wrong side.’ I was speechless.”
(The Washington Pay-Off; by Robert N. Winter-Berger; Copyright 1972 by Robert N. Winter-Berger; Lyle Stuart, Inc. [HC]; ISBN 73-185421; p. 297.)

48. “Several days later, back in Washington, I recounted this story to Mildred Leonard, for many years Jerry Ford’s private secretary. [This refers to former House Minority Leader, Vice-President and President Gerald Ford.] Before I could add my personal reaction to Haden’s remark, Mildred looked up at me and said: ‘You know, he’s right, Mr. Winter-Berger.’ I was even more amazed, hearing this in the Capitol of the United States from the secretary of the House Minority Leader.” (Idem.)


2 comments for “FTR #471 Death Trap”

  1. Gonna be a cakewalk:

    Iraq war costs U.S. more than $2 trillion: study

    By Daniel Trotta

    NEW YORK | Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:46am EDT

    (Reuters) – The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said.

    The war has killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have contributed to the deaths of as many as four times that number, according to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

    When security forces, insurgents, journalists and humanitarian workers were included, the war’s death toll rose to an estimated 176,000 to 189,000, the study said.

    The report, the work of about 30 academics and experts, was published in advance of the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

    It was also an update of a 2011 report the Watson Institute produced ahead of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks that assessed the cost in dollars and lives from the resulting wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

    The 2011 study said the combined cost of the wars was at least $3.7 trillion, based on actual expenditures from the U.S. Treasury and future commitments, such as the medical and disability claims of U.S. war veterans.

    That estimate climbed to nearly $4 trillion in the update.

    The estimated death toll from the three wars, previously at 224,000 to 258,000, increased to a range of 272,000 to 329,000 two years later.

    Excluded were indirect deaths caused by the mass exodus of doctors and a devastated infrastructure, for example, while the costs left out trillions of dollars in interest the United States could pay over the next 40 years.

    The interest on expenses for the Iraq war could amount to about $4 trillion during that period, the report said.

    The report also examined the burden on U.S. veterans and their families, showing a deep social cost as well as an increase in spending on veterans. The 2011 study found U.S. medical and disability claims for veterans after a decade of war totaled $33 billion. Two years later, that number had risen to $134.7 billion.


    The report concluded the United States gained little from the war while Iraq was traumatized by it. The war reinvigorated radical Islamist militants in the region, set back women’s rights, and weakened an already precarious healthcare system, the report said. Meanwhile, the $212 billion reconstruction effort was largely a failure with most of that money spent on security or lost to waste and fraud, it said.

    Former President George W. Bush’s administration cited its belief that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s government held weapons of mass destruction to justify the decision to go to war. U.S. and allied forces later found that such stockpiles did not exist.

    Supporters of the war argued that intelligence available at the time concluded Iraq held the banned weapons and noted that even some countries that opposed the invasion agreed with the assessment.

    “Action needed to be taken,” said Steven Bucci, the military assistant to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in the run-up to the war and today a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington-based think-tank.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 14, 2013, 8:21 am
  2. The march of progress! Scientists have figured out how to inject pigs with a non-replicating virus that temporarily causes normal heart cells to express a gene that turns them into the special cells needed for a steady heart beat. In other words, that virus causes the heart to temporarily grow its own pacemaker cells:

    Scientific American
    Heart Cells Transformed into “Biological Pacemaker”
    Injecting the TBX18 gene into heart muscle could transform normal heart cells into special ones that can initiate a heartbeat

    Jul 17, 2014 |By Rachael Rettner and LiveScience

    Electronic pacemakers can be lifesaving for people with abnormal or slow heart rhythms, but not everyone who needs a pacemaker is able to have an electronic device implanted in their heart.

    Now, in experiments in pigs, researchers have come up with a new method for making a “biological pacemaker” that might one day serve as an alternative to electronic ones, the researchers said.

    Making this pacemaker involves injecting a gene into heart muscle cells, which transforms these normal heart cells into special cells that can initiate a heartbeat.

    This method could be useful for certain patients, such as those who develop infections from electronic pacemakers and need to have the devices temporarily removed, or fetuses with life-threatening heart disorders who cannot have an electronic pacemaker implanted, the researchers said.

    “Babies still in the womb cannot have a pacemaker,” study researcher Dr. Eugenio Cingolani, director of the Cardiogenetics-Familial Arrhythmia Clinic at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, said in a statement. “It is possible that one day, we might be able to save lives by replacing [electronic] hardware with an injection of genes.”

    The researchers previously showed that this method worked in rodents, but pig hearts are similar to human hearts in their size and the way that they work, so there’s reason to think the new findings could translate to humans. Still, more research is needed before the method could be tested in people to better understand the treatment’s safety and effectiveness, the researchers said. The method relies on a virus to insert the gene into the heart cells, and although this virus cannot replicate itself or integrate into the genome, the pig experiments showed that a small amount of virus did end up in other organs in the animals besides the heart, according to the study published today (July 16) in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

    New biological pacemaker

    In healthy people, a small region of the heart, called the sinoatrial node, fires the electrical impulses that determine heart rate. If this region is not working properly, people can develop heart rhythm problems, and have symptoms such as fatigue, fainting or even cardiac arrest. Such patients may have electronic pacemakers put in to monitor the heart rhythm, which sends electrical pulses to keep the heart beating normally.

    In the study, the researchers used pigs with a condition called complete heart block, in which the heart beats very slowly. The researchers injected a gene called TBX18 into a small area of the heart muscle. This gene converted this area of heart muscle cells into sinoatrial node cells.

    “In essence, we create a new sinoatrial node in a part of the heart that ordinarily spreads the impulse, but does not originate it,” study researcher Dr. Eduardo Marbán, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, said in news conference about the findings. “The newly created node then takes over as a functional pacemaker, bypassing the need for implanted electronics and hardware.”

    Within a few days, the pigs that received the TBX18 gene had faster heartbeats than pigs that did not receive the gene. In addition, the hearts of pigs with the biological pacemaker were able to speed up during exercise, and slow down during rest much better than the hearts of pigs without the biological pacemaker. The pigs with the TBX18 gene were also more physically active than the pigs without the gene, according to the study.

    The treatment was designed to be temporary, and the researchers tested it for only two weeks. Toward the end of the study, the treatment was slightly less effective, likely because, over time, the pigs’ bodies started to reject cells with the injected virus. The researchers are now testing how long the treatment lasts.

    How neat! Of course, since it’s just temporary, there’s more work to be done before it become a permanent fix although the technology, but we’re one step closer to the kind of technology that can heal a damaged heart by getting the heart to heal itself. If only healing damaged souls could be this easy.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 17, 2014, 2:53 pm

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