Sunday, March 16, 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney
emerged from his cave to appear on the NBC News
"Meet the Press" show, for a one-hour
interview with Tim Russert. In the course of the
hour, Cheney all-but-announced that there was
nothing that Saddam Hussein could do to avert
an unprovoked and unjustifiable American military
invasion of Iraq. Cheney repeatedly referred to
the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as the "historic
watershed" that, for the first time, justified
an American unilateral preventive war. Yet Cheney
himself, a dozen years earlier, had embraced the
idea of preventive warnot against a Saddam
Hussein who had been armed by the Reagan and Bush
Administrations with weapons of mass destruction,
but against any nation or combination of nations
that challenged American global military primacy
in the post-Soviet world. On the pivotal issue
of preventive war, Cheney was lying, willfully.
But that was just the tip of the iceberg.
extraordinary hour-long pronouncement was composed,
almost exclusively, of disinformation, which had
either already been publicly discredited, or would
soon be exposed as lies.
asserted that Saddam Hussein was actively pursuing
the acquisition of nuclear weapons, when, days
earlier, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
chief weapons inspector Mohammed El-Baradei had
testified before the UN Security Council that
the allegations were based on documents determined
to be forgeries. Indeed, in the March 31 issue
of The New Yorker magazine, investigative
reporter Seymour Hersh detailed how IAEA investigators
had determined, in just several hours of research,
that purported Niger government communiqués
confirming the sale of 500 tons of "yellow
cake" uranium precursor to Baghdad, were
shoddy forgeries, drawn up on outdated Niger government
letterheads. Hersh wrote that the forgeries were
passed to the Bush Administration, through British
MI6, and had probably originated with the British
intelligence service, with the Mossad, or with
Iraqi oppositionists affiliated with the Iraqi
National Congress (INC) of Dr. Ahmed Chalabi.
also repeated the by-then-thoroughly-discredited
charge that Saddam Hussein had "longstanding"
ties to the al-Qaeda terrorist organization, and
that it was "only a matter of time"
before Saddam Hussein provided the bin Laden gang
with weapons of mass destructionbiological,
chemical, and, ultimately, nuclear. As Cheney
well knew, an October 2002 assessment from Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director George Tenet,
delivered to the Senate Intelligence Oversight
Committee, had pointedly stated that Saddam Hussein
would only resort to WMD, or engage with al-Qaeda,
if he felt that he was backed into a corner and
facing imminent American military attack. Repeated
efforts by "war party" operatives, like
former Director of Central Intelligence and Iraqi
National Congress lobbyist R. James Woolsey, had
failed to turn up any credible evidence of Saddam-al-Qaeda
links, particularly prior to Sept. 11, 2001.
Cheney's biggest liewhich flew in the face
of all assessments from the CIA, the Defense Intelligence
Agency (DIA), the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS),
and State Department Middle East expertswas
that the military conquest of Iraq would be a
"cakewalk." Cheney told Russert, "Now,
I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq,
from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief
is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators."
challenged Cheney's rosy forecast: "If your
analysis is not correct, and we're not treated
as liberators, but conquerors, and the Iraqis
begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you
think the American people are prepared for a long,
costly, and bloody battle with significant American
which Cheney responded: "Well, I don't think
it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I
really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators.
I've talked with a lot of Iraqis in the last several
months myself, had them to the White House....
The read we get on the people of Iraq is there
is no question but that they want to get rid of
Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators
the United States when we come to do that."
Later in the interview, Cheney added, "If
you look at the opposition, they've come together,
I think, very effectively, with representatives
from Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish elements in the
the end of his performance, the Vice President
extended his "cakewalk liberation" forecast,
to further assert that American preventive military
action to overthrow Saddam Hussein would stabilize
the Middle East. He cited Dr. Bernard Lewis, the
British Arab Bureau spook and author of the "Arc
of Crisis," "Islamic card" fiasco,
as his authority: "I firmly believe, along
with, you know, men like Bernard Lewis, who's
one of the great, I think, students of that part
of the world, that strong, firm U.S. response
to terror and to threats to the United States
would go a long way, frankly, towards calming
things in that part of the world."
exactly 80 hours after Cheney's appearance on
NBC-TV, the United States launched an unprovoked
and unnecessary war on Iraq. According to Washington-based
senior Arab diplomatic sources, governments of
the Middle East were told by top Bush Administration
officials, on the eve of the attack, that the
Iraq war would be over in seven to ten days.
President Cheney's lying performance on "Meet
the Press" was no mere act of personal hubris
and folly. His declaration of preventive war against
Iraqwhich neo-conservative allies, like
self-professed "universal fascist" Michael
Ledeen, more frankly celebrated as the beginning
of a perpetual Clash of Civilizations war, targeting
virtually every Arab nation-state in the Middle
Eastmarked the culmination of a campaign
of more than a dozen years, to permanently redraw
the map of the Near East and Persian Gulf, through
unending war and colonialist raw material seizure.
more than that, it signaled a long-in-the-making
policy putsch in Washington by a small group of
neo-conservativesa majority of whom were
followers of the German-born fascist philosopher
Leo Strauss (1899-1973). Their policy is to permanently
transform the United States, from a Constitutional
republic, dedicated to the pursuit of the general
welfare and a community of principle among perfectly
sovereign nation-states, into a brutish, post-modern
imitation of the Roman Empire, engaged in murderous
imperial adventures abroad, and brutal police-state
repression at home.
a Jew, who was active in the Vladimir Jabotinsky-led
Revisionist Zionist circles in Germany in the
1920s, Strauss was also a protégé
and enthusiastic promoter of the ideas of two
leading intellectual figures of the Nazi Party:
existentialist philosopher and Friedrich Nietzsche-revivalist
Martin Heidegger; and Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt,
who wrote the legal opinion justifying Adolf Hitler's
February-March 1933 post-Reichstag Fire dictatorial
putsch. Schmitt personally arranged for Strauss
to leave Germany on a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship
in 1932, to study in London and Paris, and then
took up teaching posts in the United States, first
at the New School for Social Research in New York,
and later at the University of Chicago.
Germany of the 1920s and 1930s, there were Jews
who were Nazis, but who, like Strauss and the
Frankfurt School gaggle of left-wing Nietzscheans
(Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Leo Lowenthal,
Herbert Marcuse, et al.), had no chance for party
advancement because of Hitler's anti-Semitism;
and so they chose to leave Germany, to pursue
more "universal" fascist ideas and policies
abroad, particularly in the United States and
Leo Strauss and his disciples, the ignoble liedisinformationwas
the key to achieving and holding political power.
And raw political power was the ultimate goal.
For Strauss and the Straussians, there were no
universal principles, no natural law, no virtue,
no agape, no notion of man in the living
image of God.
Kristol, a leading Washington "Straussian"
and the chief public propagandist for the war
party in the George W. Bush Administration, made
the point bluntly in an interview with Nina J.
Easton, who authored a book-length profile of
the top leaders of the right-wing insurgency of
the 1990s, Gang of Five (New York: Simon
& Schuster, 2000). Kristol told her, "One
of the main teachings [of Strauss] is that all
politics are limited and none of them is really
based on the truth. So there's a certain philosophic
disposition where you have some distance from
these political fights.... You don't take yourself
or your causes as seriously as you would if you
thought this was 100% 'truth.' Political movements
are always full of partisans fighting for their
opinion. But that's very different from 'the truth.' "
his perch as editor-in-chief of the Rupert Murdoch-bankrolled
Weekly Standard magazine, launched in 1995,
Kristol has perfected the art of political deception
and the Goebbels "Big Lie." The son
of two first-generation postwar neo-conservatives,
Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb, Kristol
was trained at Harvard from the time of his 18th
birthday by one of Leo Strauss' leading disciples,
Harvey Mansfield, Jr.
Harvard graduate school roommate and fellow Straussian
was Alan Keyes, later a Reagan State Department
official and unsuccessful candidate for the U.S.
Senate in Maryland (Kristol ran Keyes' 1988 campaign
against Democrat Paul Sarbanes). His other classmates
included Francis Fukuyama, later promoter of the
Nietzschean idea of "the end of history,"
who came to Harvard following undergraduate studies
at Cornell, where he was trained by Allan Bloom,
another of the inner circle University of Chicago
students of Strauss. Bloom's life was recounted
by fellow Chicagoan Saul Bellow in the true-to-life
tribute to Bloom also highlighted another Straussian
now playing a larger-than-life role in the Bush
Administration inside putsch: Paul Wolfowitz.
was one of the first of the Strauss-Bloom disciples
to come to Washington. Through Bloom, while completing
his graduate studies at the University of Chicago,
Wolfowitz had been introduced to RAND Corporation
founder Albert Wohlstetter and to Paul Nitze,
a leading arms control expert who had served in
most of the post-World War II governments in senior
posts. By the 1970s, Wolfowitz was working his
way through the arms control bureaucracyand
establishing his ties to other Straussians and
Wohlstetter protégés who had been
planted on various Senate committee staffs. Among
Wolfowitz's collaborators during this period were
Richard Perle, Steven Bryen, and Elliott Abrams,
who served on the Senate staffs of Henry "Scoop"
Jackson (D-Wash.), Clifford Case (R-N.J.), and
Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), respectively.
Perle reports that he first was introduced to
Wolfowitz in 1969, when the two were both sent
by Wohlstetter to do a research project for Senator
the other Strauss disciples who are currently
part of the ongoing neo-con insurgency are: John
Podhoretz, editorial page editor of Murdoch's
yellow tabloid, the New York Post, former
editor of The Weekly Standard, and offspring
of first generation neo-cons Norman Podhoretz
and Midge Decter; Supreme Court Justice Clarence
Thomas; Attorney General John Ashcroft; I. Lewis
"Scooter" Libby, chief of staff and
chief national security advisor to Vice President
Cheney, who was introduced to the world of Leo
Strauss by his own Yale University professor and
mentor, Paul Wolfowitz; Pentagon disinformation
officer Abram Shulsky; Gary Schmitt, executive
director of the Kristol-led Project for the New
American Century (PNAC); David Brook, another
editor of The Weekly Standard; Werner Dannhauser,
a protégé of Strauss, who left academia
to assume the editorship of the flagship neo-con
magazine Commentary following the retirement
of Norman Podhoretz; and Robert Kagan, also of
The Weekly Standard, and the son of leading
Yale University Straussian Donald Kagan.
the Wolfowitz case makes clear, this cabal of
Strauss disciples, along with an equally small
circle of allied neo-conservative and Likudnik
fellow-travellers, has operated as an underground
network, in and around government, for the past
30 yearsawaiting the moment of opportunity
to launch their not-so-silent coup. Sept. 11,
2001 provided them with the once-in-a-lifetime
moment of opportunity, a moment for which they
were thoroughly prepared.
Lyndon LaRouche has written in his LaRouche in
2004 campaign report, Zbigniew Brzezinski and
September 11th, the events of 9@nd11 could
not have occurred without significant inside complicity
from elements of the U.S. national security establishment,
given the total breakdown of rudimentary security
procedures and the depth of inside knowledge about
those vulnerabilities. The Sept. 11 attacks could
not, LaRouche assessed, have been carried out
by al-Qaeda operatives without such complicity.
Indeed, the attacks constituted a sophisticated
act of military covert irregular warfare, far
beyond the capacities of the bin Laden apparatus.
The idea that Osama bin Laden, operating out of
caves in Afghanistan, could have pulled off the
most significant act of irregular warfare against
the United States in memory is, perhaps, the most
significant Goebbels "Big Lie" of all.
his Brzezinski and September 11th report,
LaRouche acknowledged that while the details of
precisely how the attack was orchestrated involve
covert military secrets that are often the most
difficult to unravel, the larger question of cui
bonowho benefittedfrom the attacks
is much more accessible. To deal with this question,
however, requires a review of some critical events,
dating back, at minimum, to the period of the
"Bush 41" Presidency.
May 21, 1991, at the request of then-Secretary
of Defense Cheney, a team of civilian strategists
in the Pentagon policy office delivered an oral
presentation to Cheney on the subject of the post-Soviet
strategic environment and long-range national
security implications for the United States. The
bulk of the presentation was delivered by Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz.
Other team members included: Lewis Libby, who
was Wolfowitz's deputy; Zalmay Khalilzad, a RAND
Corporation/University of Chicago protégé
of Albert Wohlstetter, who was at that time also
in Wolfowitz's Pentagon shop; and Eric Edelman,
a career Foreign Service officer also working
under Wolfowitz. Today, all four men hold top
posts in the "Bush 43" government: Wolfowitz
is Deputy Secretary of Defense; Libby is chief-of-staff
and chief national security aide to Vice President
Cheney; Edelman is Libby's deputy there; and Khalilzad
is White House liaison to the Iraqi opposition.
that 1991 briefing to Cheney, Wolfowitz proposed
that the United States adopt a policy of preventive
action to forestall any nation or combination
of nations from challenging American military
and economic "primacy" for the forseeable
future, using all means necessary. When Cheney
incorporated the Wolfowitz concept in his 1992
Defense Planning Guidance (DPG), all Hell broke
loose. Senior military officers leaked portions
of the Guidance to the New York Times;
President George H.W. Bush, his National Security
Advisor Gen. Brent Scowcroft, and his Secretary
of State James Baker III, all rejected the unilateralism
of the Cheney-Wolfowitz strategy.
the DPG was re-written, and featured only a substantially
watered-down version of the scheme. But following
President Bush's re-election defeat, in January
1993, Secretary Cheney and his team delivered
a parting shot, with the publication of Defense
Strategy for the 1990s: The Regional Defense Strategy,
which not only revived the idea of preventive
unilateral war, but also promoted the idea that
the United States must develop a new generation
of mini-nuclear weapons, appropriate for use against
Third World targets.
was no secret that both Cheney and Wolfowitz were
furious at President Bush for not allowing the
U.S.-led "coalition" forces to roll
into Baghdad and overthrow Saddam Hussein, at
the conclusion of Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
Indeed, associates of Wolfowitz report that he
has been obsessed with overthrowing Saddam Hussein
and overturning the entire Middle East chessboard
since the late 1970s. Saul Bellow's Ravelstein
reported that Wolfowitz telephoned his Straussian
mentor Allan Bloom, back in Chicago, to rant against
President Bush for his lack of Nietzschean hubris.
out of power in Washington during the eight-year
Clinton Presidency, the Straussian cabal did not
go dormant. Following the September 1993 signing
of the Oslo Accords at the White House, the Straussians
and neo-cons launched an all-out drive to kill
the "land for peace" deal. Several leading
disciples of Strauss and Bloom had already migrated
to Israel, and they would form the core of an
apparatus inside Israel dedicated to sinking the
1994, Hillel Fradkin and Yoram Hazony founded
the Shalem Center, with financing from two American
billionaires, both associated with the little-known
but powerful "Mega Group" of right-wing
ZionistsRonald Lauder and Roger Hertog.
Hertog is today part owner, with Lord Conrad Black
and Michael Steinhardt, of the New York Sun;
and is also a one-third owner, with Martin Peretz
and Steinhardt, of The New Republic, long
a bastion of Straussian political propaganda.
(New Republic editor Lawrence Kaplan, for
example, has recently teamed with The Weekly
Standard's William Kirstol to produce a book-length
promotion of the war on Iraq.)
was a student of Allan Bloom, and taught at the
University of Chicago Committee on Social Thought.
He later went on to launch the Shalem Center's
Washington office, while also serving as director
of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (he replaced
Elliott Abrams in that post, when Abrams was brought
onto the National Security Council under "Bush
43"), and as a Middle East scholar at the
American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Hazoney got
his PhD at Rutgers University under another Strauss
disciple, Wilson Cary McWilliams, then moved to
Israel, where he worked as a speech-writer for
Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu. Hazoney is an
unabashed backer of the racist Rabbi Meir Kahane,
the late founder of the terrorist Jewish Defense
League and Kach Movement.
addition to the Shalem Center and the Foundation
for a Constitutional Democracy, launched by leading
Strauss student Paul Eidelbergan advocate
of the permanent annexation of all of "Judea,"
"Samaria," and Gaza by the Israeli statea
third Israeli think-tank played a pivotal role
in advancing the Straussian/neo-con agenda during
the Clinton Presidency. The Institute for Advanced
Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS), with
offices in Jerusalem and Washington, was launched
in 1984 as an outpost of the "Chicago School"
of British System free-trade economics, promoting
the work of Adam Smith, Friedrich von Hayek, and
Milton Friedman. Twelve years later, the Institute
established a Division for Research in Strategy.
By its own description, IASPS is a center of Straussian
influence in Israel. An advertisement for the
Institute's Strategic Fellowship program in Washington,
posted on the IASPS website, warns applicants
that if they are not followers of Leo Strauss,
they need not apply.
1996, following the assassination of Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin, the newly established IASPS Division
of Research in Strategy commissioned a series
of studies on how to undo the Oslo Accords, to
be presented to incoming Israeli Prime Minister
key study in the series, "A Clean Break:
A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," was
prepared by a team of American neo-cons led by
Richard Perle. Other members of the study group
were: James Colbert of the Jewish Institute for
National Security Affairs (JINSA); Charles Fairbanks
of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced
International Studies (SAIS), a Strauss disciple
and an intimate of Paul Wolfowitz since the 1960s;
Douglas Feith, now Undersecretary of Defense for
Policy; Robert Loewenberg, President of IASPS;
Jonathan Torop of the Washington Institute for
Near East Studies (WINEP), the think-tank spawned
by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
(AIPAC), the official Israeli lobby in America;
David Wurmser, then the director of the Middle
East project at AEI, and now the special assistant
to State Department chief arms control negotiator
John Boltonhimself, former Vice Chairman
of AEI; and Meyrav Wurmser, formerly with the
Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP)
of Sharonist Israeli military intelligence officer
Col. Yigal Carmon, and now the director of Middle
East programs at the Hudson Institute.
six-page "Clean Break" document was
hand-delivered by Perle to Netanyahu on July 8,
1996two days before Netanyahu addressed
a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Most of
Netanyahu's speech consisted of pre-selected excerpts
from "Clean Break." The paper called
for a total rejection of Oslo and "land for
peace"; a brutal crackdown and reoccupation
of the Palestinian Authority territories by the
Israeli Defense Forcesto be justified on
the basis of the "right to hot pursuit"
of terrorists, leading to Israel's eventual permanent
annexation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip;
and a war against Iraq, to overthrow not only
the Saddam Hussein regime in Baghdad, but the
Ba'ath regime in Damascus.
can shape its strategic environment," Perle
and company wrote, "in cooperation with Turkey
and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even
rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing
Saddam Hussein from power in Iraqan important
Israeli strategic objective in its own rightas
a means of foiling Syria's regional ambitions."
and company penned "Clean Break" knowing
full well that in 1990-91, the Bush Administration
had launched Operation Desert Storm in response
to Israeli threats to launch their own war of
extermination against Saddam Hussein. Israel's
move would have triggered a perpetual Middle East
religious war, precisely along the lines of the
Clash of Civilizations first spelled out by Dr.
Bernard Lewis in a 1990 Atlantic Monthly
article, three years before the appearance of
Samuel Huntington's more well-known Clash of Civilizations
diatribe in Foreign Affairs. The Bush Administration
caved in to the Israeli threats and pre-empted
Israeli strikes on Iraq, by conducting the "Coalition"
war and imposing the post-war sanctions, no-fly
zones, etc. Now, through Perle, Feith, Wurmser,
et al. the Straussians were upping the ante.
early 1997, William Kristol and Robert Kagan,
two of the leading neo-con "Straussian intellectuals"
in Washington, joined forces with collaborators
at the AEI to shove the "Clean Break"
policy down the throat of the Clinton Administration.
Using office space on the fifth floor of the AEI
headquarters, Kristol and company launched a new
tax-exempt front group, the Project for the New
American Century (PNAC), specifically to promote
the buildup of American military force to unilaterally
police the globestarting with the overthrow
of Saddam Hussein.
June 3, 1997, PNAC released a Statement of Principle,
which was signed by Elliott Abrams, Gary Bauer,
William Bennett, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Dick
Cheney, Midge Decter, Francis Fukuyama, Lewis
Libby, Norman Podhoretz, Peter Rodman, Donald
Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and others.
Statement of Principle was based on an article
co-authored by William Kristol and Robert Kagan,
published in the July/August 1996 issue of Foreign
Affairs, the journal of the New York Council
on Foreign Relationssimultaneous with the
Perle-Feith-Wurmser release of "Clean Break."
Kristol and Kagan called for a "Neo-Reaganite
Foreign Policy." This was a willfully dishonest
choice of terms, given that President Reagan's
most noteworthy foreign and national security
policy achievement had been his collaboration
with Lyndon LaRouche in launching the Strategic
Defense Initiative (SDI), which Reagan envisioned
as a joint, cooperative effort with the Soviet
Union, to bring about the end of the era of "mutually
assured destruction." When Soviet General
Secretary Yuri Andropov rejected Reagan's generous
offer of scientific and technological cooperation
to build a global defense against nuclear weapons,
the collapse of the Soviet empire was guaranteed,
as LaRouche forecast in 1984, and again in a now-famous
October 1988 speech in West Berlin, in which he
anticipated the fall of the Berlin Wall a year
and Kagan defined their "neo-Reaganite foreign
policy" as "benevolent global hegemony,"
based on a massive buildup of American military
might. The authors were reviving the 1991 Wolfowitz
doctrine of unilateral preventive war, explicitly
stating, "The appropriate goal of American
foreign policy is to preserve that hegemony as
far into the future as possible."
and Kagan specifically called for the overthrow
of more than 200 years of American anti-colonialist
tradition, singling out John Quincy Adams as their
particular nemesis: "Conservatives these
days," they wrote, "succumb easily to
the charming old metaphor of the United States
as a 'city on a hill.' They hark back ... to the
admonition of John Quincy Adams that America ought
not go 'abroad in search of monsters to destroy.'
But why not? The alternative is to leave monsters
on the loose, ravaging and pillaging to their
hearts' content, as Americans stand by and watch.
What may have been wise counsel in 1823, when
America was a small, isolated power in a world
of European giants, is no longer so, when America
is the giant. Because America has the capacity
to contain or destroy many of the world's monsters,
most of which can be found without much searching,
and because the responsibility for the peace and
security of the international order rests so heavily
on America's shoulders, a policy of sitting atop
a hill and leading by example becomes in practice
a policy of cowardice and dishonor."
Jan. 26, 1998, PNAC issued an Open Letter to President
Clinton, calling for immediate "regime change"
in Iraq, based on the bogus claim that Saddam
was about to launch weapons of mass destruction
against the United States and America's allies.
Among the signators on the Open Letter were the
following individuals, all of whom are now in
the "Bush 43" Administration: Abrams,
Richard Armitage, John Bolton, Fukuyama, Khalilzad,
Perle, Peter Rodman, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and
Robert Zoellick. Other signators included Kristol,
Kagan, and James Woolsey, who briefly served as
President Clinton's Director of Central Intelligence,
and who was, at the time the PNAC letter was issued,
already the attorney representing the Iraqi National
September 2000, on the eve of the Presidential
elections, pitting George W. Bush against Al Gore,
PNAC issued a lengthy study, "Rebuilding
America's DefensesStrategy, Force and Resources
for a New Century," which revived at great
length the Cheney-Wolfowitz 1991-93 preventive
war strategy. Among the "usual suspects"
who contributed to the "Rebuilding"
study was Wolfowitz protégé Lewis
Libby. He had just completed a stint as the general
counsel to the Cox Commission, which was promoting
a strategic showdown in North Asia with China
and North Korea; he would soon be Vice President
Cheney's chief of staff. While out of government,
Libby had also been the personal attorney of Marc
Rich, the Russian "Mafiya" godfather
who had been convicted in absentia in Federal
court for tax evasion and "trading with the
enemy"Iran's Ayatollah Khomeiniduring
the American hostage crisis of 1979-80. Libby
was the behind-the-scenes Svengali responsible
for the disastrous Clinton Presidential pardon
of Rich, working directly with "former"
Mossad operatives Zvi Rafiah and Avner Azulay.
the proliferation of Straussians and neo-cons
inside the George W. Bush national security team,
the Iraq war lobby made very little headway until
the event that Vice President Cheney termed "the
Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and the
World Trade Center triggered an instant response
from the neo-cons in and around the Bush Administration.
Just four days after the attacks, Paul Wolfowitz
attended a Sept. 15 National Security Council
session with President Bush at Camp David, where
he delivered a pitch for an immediate U.S. invasion
of Iraq. For reasons that still remain in dispute,
the President, the Vice President, and even Defense
Secretary Rumsfeld rejected the Wolfowitz proposal
as "premature." However, several days
later, in a Presidential national security order
authorizing the attack on Afghanistan, President
Bush did authorize the CIA and the military to
begin developing contingency plans for dealing
Intelligence Agency' Is Born
week after Wolfowitz's "premature" war
pitch, Richard Perle convened a session of the
Defense Policy Board addressed by British Arab
Bureau veteran spook Dr. Bernard Lewis, and INC
founder Dr. Ahmed Chalabi, a bank swindler and
protégé of Albert Wohlstetter at
the University of Chicago, who was the Zionist
Lobby and the Israeli right wing's hand-picked
successor to Saddam Hussein. At the CIA and the
State Department, Chalabi was considered virtually
persona non grata, and his INC umbrella
was viewed as a collection of martini-slurping
professional exiles, with virtually no assets
on the ground inside Iraq. Perle and Bernard Lewis
had been introduced to Chalabi in the early 1980s,
and the former banker, who faces a 20-year prison
sentence in Jordan for bank fraud and currency
manipulation, has been a pet project of JINSA
and AEI ever since.
a candid moment shortly before Sept. 11, 2001,
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld had confided to associates
that he was thinking about resigning his Cabinet
post and returning to Chicago. His explanation
was revealing: "The Likud has taken over
the building," he told friends, referring
to the Wolfowitz-Perle cabal that had run circles
around him in the early months of the "Bush
43" Administration. Sources familiar with
Rumsfeld describe the Secretary as a "control
freak" and micro-manager, who had presumed
that his participation in a Clinton-era commission
on missile proliferation had sufficiently offset
his quarter-century absence from Washington, and
that he would be able to maintain a tight grip
on the vast Pentagon bureaucracy, including the
uniformed military command, centered at the Joint
Chiefs of Staff.
the personal efforts of former Secretary of State
and "Chicago School" ideologue George
Shultz, Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz had
been inserted in the inner circle of George W.
Bush campaign policy tutors, the so-called "Vulcans,"
which enabled him to bring Perle and the whole
neo-con crowd to Austin, Texas for personal mis-education
sessions with the President-to-be. Wolfowitz parlayed
that personal relationship with the new President,
and staffed Rumsfeld's office with a veritable
army of like-minded Strauss disciples and Likudniks.
June 1988, EIR had revealed that then-Secretary
of Defense Caspar Weinberger's general counsel
office had compiled a list of suspected members
of the "X Committee," the network of
Israeli spies and agents-of-influence who had
penetrated the Reagan-Bush Administration's national
security establishment, and were believed to have
directed the espionage efforts of Jonathan Jay
Pollard. Among the dozen leading "X Committee"
suspects being probed by the general counsel team
were: Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Wohlstetter, Fred
Iklé, Stephen Bryen, Michael Ledeen, Frank
Gaffney, John Lehman, and Henry Rowen.
Wolfowitz, the "Bush 43" Pentagon once
again became a hub of "X Committee"
influence and penetration.
the intelligence coming out of the CIA, the DIA,
and the State Department firmly rejected any evidence
of linkage between Saddam Hussein and the attacks
of 9@nd11. The overwhelming evidence also suggested
that Iraq posed no immediate or near-term threat
to the United States or any of its neighbors.
Early in the Bush Administration, Secretary of
State Colin Powell had proposed a revision of
sanctions, called "smart sanctions,"
recognizing that international support for the
continuing isolation of Iraq was wearing thin.
seize upon the dramatic shift that occurred on
Sept. 11, 2001, Wolfowitz and Deputy Secretary
of Defense for Policy Doug Feith, one of the most
rabid of the Jabotinskyites in the Pentagon civilian
bureaucracy, launched a secret intelligence unit.
Its mission was to provide Secretary of Defense
Rumsfeldwho had abandoned his pre-9@nd11
plans to retire, and was now fully in synch with
the Wolfowitz cabalwith a constant flow
of "intelligence" to counter the CIA/DIA
resistance to the "Get Saddam" agenda
of the "Clean Break" crowd. One of the
principal sources of this unvetted "intelligence"
was to be Chalabi's discredited INC.
and Feith chose Abram Shulsky to head the secret
cell, which was buried in the maze of civilian
Pentagon bureaucracy under the Assistant Secretary
for Policy. A Strauss disciple, Shulsky had been
a professional staffer for Sen. Daniel Patrick
Moynihan (D-N.Y.), along with Elliott Abrams and
Gary Schmittnow the President of Bill Kristol's
and Robert Kagan's tax-front, PNAC. Shulsky had
served on the staff of the Senate Intelligence
Oversight Committee. He had been an underling
of neo-con wunderkind and Iran-Contra operative
Roy Godson at the Consortium for the Study of
Intelligence, a project of the New York City-based
National Strategy Information Center. And Shulsky
had co-authored, with Zalmay Khalilzad and others,
a 1999 RAND Corporation study, "The United
States and a Rising China," which promoted
the idea that China, more than any other nation,
posed a direct challenge to American global and
regional military primacy, and would have to be
Makes This 'Intelligence'?
identified with the Shulsky "chickenhawks
intelligence agency" included:
Rhode, the Middle East specialist in Dr. Andrew
Marshall's Pentagon Office of Net Assessments
(ONA). Marshall was a founder, with Albert Wohlstetter,
of the RAND Corporation at the close of World
War II. He was installed at the Pentagon in 1975
by then-Secretary of Defense James Rodney Schlesinger,
who created the ONA specifically to house Marshall
and his team of RAND systems analysis and game
theory utopians. At the very outset of the "Bush
43" Administration, Marshall had grabbed
the ear of Rumsfeld, provoking a near revolt of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who considered Marshall
to be the driver behind the dangerously incompetent
"revolution in military affairs."
Ledeen, in his recent book-length rant, The
War Against the Terror Masters (New York:
St. Martins Press, 2002), described Rhode as his
"guru on the Middle East for nearly 20 years."
In 1991, Rhode was in the Pentagon Office of International
Security Policy, covering Turkey, at a time that
Perle and Feith were running an international
consulting operation, selling Israeli military
hardware to the Turkish Army. Wolfowitz has described
Rhode as his "Islamic affairs advisor"
at ONA; and according to one account, Rhodes,
in a meeting during the early months of the Bush
Administration, had staged a noisy in-your-face
confrontation with a top Saudi official, vowing
that the historical U.S.-Saudi partnership was
a thing of the past. The incident reportedly cost
Rhode a more seniorand visiblepost
inside the Wolfowitz-Feith Pentagon bureaucracy.
according to several sources, has travelled, on
several occasions, to London, with Richard Perle,
Chairman, until recently, of the Defense Policy
Board, to gather "intelligence" from
INC officials, which has been funneled through
Shulsky's shop to Rumsfeldwithout first
being evaluated and cross-checked by CIA or Defense
Intelligence Agency professionals.
Luti, formerly an advisor to Vice President
Cheney, more recently named as the Deputy Under
Secretary of Defense for Special Plans and Near
East and South Asian Affairs, has been described
by a recent visitor to his office as a man crazed
with the mission to eliminate Saddam Hussein.
"He reminded me of a serial killer, right
out of a Hollywood horror flick," according
to the source, who described Luti's Pentagon office
as covered from floor to ceiling with desecrated
photographs and news clippings of Saddam Hussein
and his inner core. A retired Navy Captain and
pilot who served during Operation Desert Storm,
Luti was described, in a March 11, 2002 New
Yorker story by Seymour Hersh, as "so
obsessed with an immediate overthrow of Saddam
Hussein that he hasn't thought through the consequences."
Despite these psychological profiles, Luti has
been one of the Pentagon civilian point-men, working
with the Iraqi "opposition" on both
intelligence and operations. According to accounts
in the New York Times, Luti was dispatched
to London in November and December 2002, to meet
with Chalabi and other Iraqi exiles.
Dec. 17, Luti and Maj. Gen. David Barno met secretely
with 11 Iraqi opposition figures in London, and
selected the initial group of Iraqis to be trained
in Hungary to participate in any military operation,
as the indigenist "window dressing"
on what would, in reality, be an all-American
or Anglo-American military invasion.
a Washington speech on Oct. 16, 2002, Luti had
promoted, aggressively, the need for the United
States to adopt a new, imperial interventionist
policy, which he dubbed "anticipatory self-defense."
Marc Gerecht, a retired CIA officer, has been
identified as one of the secret liaisons between
the Shulsky "chickenhawk intelligence agency"
at DOD and the Iraqi oppositionists in London
and elsewhere in Europe. Based most of the time
in Brussels, along with Robert Kagan, Gerecht
is a senior fellow at AEI, and is the Director
of the Middle East Initiative at PNAC, working
directly under Kristol, Kagan, and Shulsky's close
associate Gary Schmitt.
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