"Ain't Gonna Study War No More"

My Photo
Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Right-To-Life Party, Christian, Anti-War, Pro-Life, Bible Fundamentalist, Egalitarian, Libertarian Left

Friday, September 10, 2004

Military Service Records of George W. Bush and John F. Kerry

Military Service Records of President George W. Bush

Records of the President's military service in the Texas Air National Guard and other assignments during the years 1968 to 1973.

Military Records of First Lieutenant George W. Bush for National Guard Service Between 1972 and 1973:

Aug. 1, 1972 Memo ordering Bush's suspension from the Texas Air National Guard's 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron.

May 4, 1972 Memo ordering Bush to report for his annual physical examination with the Texas Air National Guard by no later than

May 14, 1972.

May 19, 1972 Memo to the file from Bush's commanding officer about a telephone call from Bush asking about how he "can get out of coming to drill," and suspecting that "he's...been talking to someone upstairs."

Aug. 18, 1973 ‘CYA’ Memo from Lt. Col. Killian suggesting that his superior officer, Col. Walter B. Staudt, was "pushing to sugar coat" Bush's officer evaluation.

Jan. 6, 1973 USAF Dental Exam Record for 1st Lt. George W. Bush (HTML) [PDF version] Released by White House on Feb. 11, 2004

Memorandum of Lt. Col. Albert C. Lloyd, Jr. (Ret.) (HTML) [PDF version] (Analysis of Military Payroll Records for George W. Bush for service from 1972 to 1973) Released by White House on Feb. 10, 2004

USAF Reserve Personnel Record Card for 1st Lt. George W. Bush (HTML) [PDF version] (Covers period from 27 May 1972 to 26 May 1973) Released by White House on Feb. 10, 2004

ARF 1st Statement of Points Earned by 1st Lt. George W. Bush (1972-1973) (HTML) [PDF version] Released by White House on Feb. 10, 2004

ARF 2nd Statement of Points Earned by 1st Lt. George W. Bush (1973) (HTML) [PDF version] Released by White House on Feb. 10, 2004

Military Payroll Records of 1st Lt. George W. Bush (1972-1973) (HTML) [PDF version] Released by White House on Feb. 10, 2004

Military Service Records of Senator John F. Kerry
Records of Senator Kerry's military service in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War.

Military Records of Lieutenant (Junior Grade) John F. Kerry for U.S. Navy Military Service During The Vietnam War, 1968 - 1969 Note: Kerry was promoted to (Full) Lieutenant on Jan. 1, 1970 prior to requesting a discharge

Purple Heart Awards (3) (PDF) For wounds received in action on Dec. 2, 1968, Feb. 20, 1969, and Mar. 17, 1969

Silver Star (PDF) For displaying "courage under fire, outstanding leadership, and exemplary professionalism" while acting as the Officer in Charge of a Tactical Command on Feb. 28, 1969.

Bronze Star (PDF) For "professionalism, great personal courage under fire, and complete dedication to duty" in rescuing, while wounded, a man overboard following a mine explosion, directing his gunners to provide supporting fire for the rescue, and towing a damaged boat to safety under enemy fire on March 13, 1969

Acceptance of Discharge Naval Reserve (PDF) July 13, 1978

Background Information (PDF) Feb. 1, 1966

Bupers Orders to Gridley (PDF) Nov. 17, 1966

Change of Duty (PDF) July 8, 1968

DD214 (PDF)

Duty Recommendations (PDF)

Emergency Data (PDF) Sept. 12, 1967

Enlistment Contract (PDF) Feb. 18, 1966

Enlistment Photo (PDF) Dec. 16, 1966

Fitness Reports (PDF) Apr. 12, 1967

Honorable Discharge from Reserve (PDF) Feb. 16, 1978

Leave Record (PDF)

National Defense Service Medal (PDF)

Naval Messages (PDF) Dec. 8, 1969

Naval OCS Report (PDF)

Nuclear Weapons Training Certificate (PDF) For training from May 8 - 11, 1967

Office Order Memos (PDF) Dec. 5, 1969

Officer Candidate Agreement (PDF) Feb. 18, 1966

Order to Officer Candidate (PDF) July 14, 1966

Pay Entry Base Date (PDF) Listed as Feb. 18, 1966

Personnel Casualty Report (PDF)

Presidential Unit Citation (PDF) "For Extraordinary Herosim" from Dec. 6, 1968 to Mar. 31, 1969

Qualifying Questionnaire (PDF) Oct. 16, 1970

Recommendations for Next (PDF) Nov. 24, 1969

Record of Discharge (PDF)

Release From Active Duty (PDF) Jan. 2, 1970

Report of Home of Record (PDF) Dec. 1966

Request for History of Service (PDF) May 24, 1986

Request for Swiftboat Duty (PDF) Feb. 10, 1968

Research Sheet F4-15 (PDF) June 21, 1967

Reserve Office Appointment (PDF) Dec. 16, 1966

Security Clearances (PDF) Dec. 16, 1966

Service Record (PDF) Prepared Jan. 25, 1985

Serviceman's Life Insurance (PDF) Dec. 8-9, 1968

Statement of Service (PDF) June 21, 1967

Thrice Wounded Reassignment (PDF) March 17, 1969

Top Secret Clearance (PDF) April 28, 1969

Training School Record (PDF) Feb. 18, 1968

Transfer to Standby Reserve (PDF) March 1, 1972

Travel Payment Order (PDF) Undated

Vietnam Service Medal (PDF) April 8, 1968
(Source: John Kerry for President, Inc.).

Neocons Blast Bush's Inaction On 'Spy' Affair

In an indication of their growing estrangement with the Bush administration, neoconservatives are slamming the White House for failing to stop what they describe as an antisemitic campaign to marginalize them being conducted by the CIA and the State Department.

This view was outlined in a memo circulating among neoconservative foreign policy analysts in Washington. Obtained by the Forward, the memo criticizes the White House for not refuting press reports on the FBI's investigation of Pentagon analyst Lawrence Franklin that suggest wrongdoing on the part of Jewish officials at the Defense Department.

"If there is any truth to any of the accusations, why doesn't the White House demand that they bring on the evidence? On the record," the memo stated. "There's an increasing antisemitic witch hunt."

A source who has seen the memo said it was written by Michael Rubin, a former member of the Pentagon's policy planning staff who dealt with Iran policy. Rubin, now a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, declined to comment for this story.

"I feel like I'm in Paris, not Washington," the author of the memo wrote. He added: "I'm disappointed at the lack of leadership that let things get where they are, and which is allowing these bureaucratics (sic) to spin out of control."

The memo comes as the FBI is investigating the possibility that Franklin passed classified information on Iran policy to officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, who in turn provided the documents to Israel. Israel and Aipac have denied any wrongdoing. Media reports suggest that several other Pentagon officials have been questioned in connection to the probe.

Some Washington insiders claim that the White House silence over the Franklin affair reflects a growing view within the administration that the neoconservatives — widely seen as leading proponents of the Iraq war — represent a mounting political burden, given the continuing chaos in Iraq.

While President Bush and his closest advisers openly shared the neoconservatives' belief that American military action was needed to remove Saddam Hussein, the two sides seem to have parted ways over Iran. Neoconservative analysts in and out of government are calling on the United States to attempt to secure regime change in Tehran. The administration has increasingly suggested that it has no plans to take such forceful steps against Iran.

The recent controversy surrounding the FBI investigations also can be traced to renewed concerns in some quarters of the intelligence and security communities that Washington's close relationship with Jerusalem — centered, in the critics' view, in the neoconservative group at the Pentagon — is hurting American national interests.

While they generally refuse to speak on the record, some former intelligence and law-enforcement officials have alleged that Israel operates an aggressive spying operation in America. Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Sharon, have vehemently denied such claims, insisting that their country does not conduct espionage operations against the United States.

Some observers point to the harsh treatment of accused spy Jonathan Pollard as evidence of the intelligence community's strong feelings on the issue. Pollard, a former Navy civilian analyst, is serving a life sentence for providing Israel with classified documents about Soviet armament. Members of the security establishment have worked aggressively to block attempts by Jewish organizations to have Pollard's sentence commuted on humanitarian grounds.

This old resentment toward Israel and its supporters in the United States has found new echo with the growing criticism of the neoconservatives for their advocacy of war in Iraq. In recent months, several critics of the neoconservatives' influence on Middle Eastern policy have openly accused Israel of pushing a hawkish agenda.

Retired general Anthony Zinni, a former chief of the U.S. Central Command and presidential Middle East envoy, told CBS in May that "the worst-kept secret in Washington" was that the neoconservatives pushed the war in Iraq for Israel's benefit. Similar criticism of Israel and Jewish groups appeared in the recent book "Imperial Hubris," by Anonymous, who was later identified as Michael Scheuer, a serving senior CIA official.

"Objectively, al Qaeda does not seem off the mark when it describes the U.S.-Israel relationship as a detriment to America," wrote Scheuer, a former head of the CIA analytical team focusing on Al Qaeda. "One can only react to this stunning reality by giving all praise to Israel's diplomats, politicians, intelligence services, U.S.-citizen spies, and the retired senior U.S. officials and wealthy Jewish-American organizations who lobby an always amenable Congress on Israel's behalf."

In recent months, signs of alienation from the neoconservatives have come as well from the Bush administration. American officials, for example, have accused longtime Pentagon favorite Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress, of warning Iranian intelligence officials that the United States had broken Iran's secret communications codes. The FBI's investigation to determine who in government had told Chalabi about the secret code-breaking operation has focused on Defense Department officials, sources said.

American officials, speaking anonimously, have given conflicting comments on whether the Franklin and Chalabi probes are linked.

The barrage of news reports on the allegations of improper conduct on the part of Aipac and Pentagon officials has fueled a suspicion among neo-conservatives that they are the victims of a smear campaign quietly endorsed by the White House. The recent memo being circulated in neoconservative circles points a finger at several State Department officials, including Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, and at members of the National Security Council, including Robert Blackwill, who took over Iraq policy recently and is said to be behind the Chalabi crackdown.

The memo, in an apparent reference to a June 2003 article in The Washington Post describing administration infighting over U.S. policy toward Tehran, asserted that media leaks from the State Department sank an effort by Pentagon officials to call for more aggressive action against Iran in a key policy document called the national security presidential directive, or NSPD.

"It was bad enough that the White House rewarded the June 15, 2003 leak by canceling consideration of the NSPD," the memo stated. "It showed the State Department that leaks could supplant real debate. But while Armitage or Blackwell (sic) might be seeking to score points inside the beltway, they are feeding conspiracies in the Middle East that will sink the president's policies in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, etc."

To back up claims of antisemitism, the memo points to reports that the FBI has hired Stephen Green, a longtime critic of American-Israeli ties, as a consultant. A former United Nations official, Green has a long record of claiming that Israel uses Jewish Americans, some of them prominent, to spy on the United States. Green has said in interviews that FBI officials interviewed him at length in the past few weeks.

"Green has... been on a one-man mission to expose deep-cover Israeli agents for decades," the memo said.

Green stresssed that the bureau had sought him out "and not the other way around" and that its officials did not ask about Franklin but about leading neoconservatives like Wolfowitz and Feith.


Douglas Feith: Portrait of a Neoconservative

Feith served as the number three civilian in the George W. Bush administration's Defense Department, under Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. Undersecretary for Policy Feith had previously served in the Reagan administration, starting off as Middle East specialist at the National Security Council (1981-82) and then transferring to the Defense Department where he spent two years as staff lawyer for Assistant Defense Secretary Richard Perle. In 1984 Feith advanced to become Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy. Feith and Perle were among the leading advocates of a policy to build closer U.S. military and diplomatic ties with Turkey and to increase the military ties between Turkey and Israel. (21)

Feith left DOD in mid-1986 to found the Feith & Zell law firm, based initially in Israel, whose clients included major military contractor Northrup Grumman. In 1989 Feith established another company, International Advisors, Inc., which provided lobbying services to foreign clients including Turkey.

Feith's private business dealings raised eyebrows in Washington. In 1999, his firm Feith & Zell formed an alliance with the Israel-based Zell, Goldberg & Co., which resulted in the creation of the Fandz International Law Group. According to Fandz's web site, the law group "has recently established a task force dealing with issues and opportunities relating to the recently ended war with Iraq.and is assisting regional construction and logistics firms to collaborate with contractors from the United States and other coalition countries in implementing infrastructure and other reconstruction projects in Iraq." Remarked Washington Post columnist Al Kamen, "Interested parties can reach [Fandz] through its Web site, at www.fandz.com. Fandz.com? Hmmm. Rings a bell. Oh, yes, that was the Web site of the Washington law firm of Feith & Zell, P.C., as in Douglas Feith [the] undersecretary of defense for policy and head of—what else?—reconstruction matters in Iraq. It would be impossible indeed to overestimate how perfect ZGC would be in 'assisting American companies in their relations with the United States government in connection with Iraqi reconstruction projects'." (9) (15)

A vocal advocate of U.S. intervention in the Middle East and for the hard-line policies of the Likud party in Israel, Feith has been involved in or overseen the activities of two controversial Pentagon operations—the Defense Policy Board, whose former head Richard Perle resigned after concerns arose about conflicts of interest between his board duties and business dealings, and the Office of Special Plans (OSP), which allegedly misrepresented intelligence on Iraq to support administration policies. Feith's office not only housed the Office of Special Plans and other special intelligence operations associated with the Near East and South Asia (NESA) office and the Office of Northern Gulf Affairs but also the office of Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone, who directed military policy on interrogations of the Guantanamo Bay detainees and then arranged for the transfer of the base's commanding officer, Maj. General Geoffrey Miller to the Abu Ghraib prison in an effort to extract more information from Iraqi prisoners.

Feith & Israel

Feith cannot be described by just one label. He is a longtime militarist, a neoconservative, and a right-wing Zionist. According to Bob Woodward's book, Plan of Attack, Feith was described by the military commander who led the Iraq invasion, Gen. Tommie Franks, as "the f---ing stupidest guy on the face of the earth," referring to the bad intelligence fed to the military about Iraq and the extent of possible resistance to a U.S. invasion.

Feith also has a reputation as a prolific writer, having published articles on international law and on foreign and defense policy in The New York Times, Washington Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Commentary, and New Republic.

His militarism—and close ties with the military-industrial complex—were evident in his policy work in the Pentagon working with Richard Perle in the 1980s and then part of the Vulcans along with Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Cheney in the Bush II administration; his work as a corporate lobbyist in the 1990s for Northrup Grumman along other military contractors; and his prominent role in the Center for Security Policy and in the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). His political orientation is distinctly neoconservative, as evident in his affiliations with such groups as the Middle East Forum, Center for Security Policy, and Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS).

Feith served as chairman of the board of directors of the Center for Security Policy, a policy institute that promotes higher military budgets, missile defense systems, space weapons programs, and hard-line policies in the Middle East and East Asia. CSP was founded in 1988 by Frank Gaffney, a fellow neocon and, like Feith, a former DOD official in the Reagan administration. Feith helped Gaffney organize CSP's large advisory board, which includes leading neocons, arms lobbyists, and the leading congressional members linked to the military-industrial complex. Feith has also served as an adviser to the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, which aims to foster closer working relationships between the Israeli military, the U.S. military, the Pentagon, and military contractors in both countries.

Feith has supported lobbying efforts aimed at persuading the United States to drop out of treaties and arms control agreements. Wrote one journalist in The Nation, "Largely ignored or derided at the time, a 1995 [Center for Security Policy (CSP)] memo co-written by Douglas Feith holding that the United States should withdraw from the ABM [antiballistic missile] treaty has essentially become policy, as have other CSP reports opposing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the International Criminal Court." (8) (14)

Feith is a self-proclaimed Zionist—not a Labor Zionist but a right-wing Zionist close to the Likud party and the Zionist Organization of America.

In the 1990s, Feith was an outspoken critic of the Middle East policies of both the Bush and Clinton administrations which he said were based on the faulty "peace now" and "land for peace" policy frameworks. Instead, he called for a "peace through strength" agenda for Israel and the United States—invoking a phrase promoted by the neoconservatives since the mid-1970s, which became the slogan of the Center for Security Policy.

The Middle East Information Center described Feith as an "ideologue with an extreme anti-Arab bias," remarking that "during the Clinton years, Feith continued to oppose any agreement negotiated between the Israelis and Palestinians: Oslo, Hebron and Wye." Feith "defined Oslo as, "one-sided Israeli concessions, inflated Palestinian expectations, broken Palestinian solemn understandings, Palestinian violence.and American rewards for Palestinian recalcitrance."(5)

In 1991, Feith, together with Frank Gaffney (founder of the Center for Security Policy), addressed the National Leadership Conference of the State of Israel Organization. In Feith's view, it was foolish for the U.S. government and Israel to negotiate with the Palestinians over issues of land given that contrasting principles—not differences over occupied lands—fueled the Israeli-Arab conflict. He notes that, even before Israel was established, Western political leaders mistakenly thought that "the vast territories newly made available for the fulfillment of Arab ambitions for independence would make it easier to win acceptance within the region of a Jewish state in Palestine." According to Feith, no matter what they say publicly or at the negotiating table, the Palestinians have always rejected the principle of legitimacy, namely "the legitimacy of Zionist claims to a Jewish National Homeland in the Land of Israel." Criticizing the George H. W. Bush administration's attempt to broker a land for peace deal, Feith warned, "If Western statesmen openly recognized the problem as a clash of principles, they would not be able to market hope through the launching of peace initiatives." (16)

In 1997 the Zionist Organization of America honored Dalck Feith and Douglas Feith at its annual dinner. It described the Feiths as "noted Jewish philanthropists and pro-Israel activists." The father was awarded the group's special Centennial Award "for his lifetime of service to Israel and the Jewish people," while Douglas received the "prestigious Louis D. Brandeis Award." (17)

Dalck Feith was a militant in Betar, a Zionist youth movement founded by Ze'ev Jabotinsky, an admirer of Mussolini. Betar, whose members wore dark brown uniforms and spouted militaristic slogans modeled after other fascistic movements, was associated with the Revisionist Movement, which evolved in Poland to become the Herut Party, which later became the Likud Party. (18)

In 1999 Douglas Feith wrote an essay for a book entitled The Dangers of a Palestinian State, which was published by ZOA. Also in 1999 Feith spoke to a 150-member ZOA lobbying mission to Congress that called, among other things, for "U.S. action against Palestinian Arab killers of Americans" and for moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The ZOA lobbying group also criticized the Clinton administration for its "refusal to criticize illegal Palestinian Arab construction in Jerusalem and the territories, which is far more extensive than Israeli construction there." (19)

Initially, Feith strongly supported the Netanyahu government controlled by the Likud party. Immediately before Netanyahu took office, Feith in a Washington Times op-ed wrote: "His Likud party is in general about as radical as our Republican Party. Mr. Netanyahu favors diplomatic, defense, and economic policies for Israel similar in principal to the kind of policies that Reaganites favored (and favor) for the United States." In the opinion piece, Feith echoed the Likud position on peace negotiations and occupied territories. According to Feith, "Israel is unlikely over time to retain control over pieces of territory unless its people actually live there. Supporters of settlements reason: If Israelis do not settle an area in the territories, Israel will eventually be forced to relinquish it. If it relinquishes the territories generally, its security will be undermined and peace therefore will not be possible."

Feith wrote that the Likud party's policies were guided by the "peace-through-strength principle." Feith took the opportunity of the op-ed to explain that both Israel and the United States would benefit from a strong commitment to missile defense. According to Feith, Israel would directly benefit from the installation of a sea-based, wide-area missile defense system, which would supplement Israel's own national missile defense system that the U.S. helped develop. Noting the symbiosis of U.S. and Israeli interests, Feith wrote that Netanyahu knew that "if he encourages Israel's friends in Congress to support such programs, he will create much good will with the broad-based forces in the United States, led by the top Republicans in Congress, that deem missile defense the gravest U.S. military deficiency." Feith didn't see fit to mention that, along with Israel, the main beneficiary of such a global missile defense system would be military contractors such as the ones he represented in his law firm, including Northrup Grumman. (20)

Feith is also well known for his participation—along with neoconservative big wigs Richard Perle and David Wurmser—in a 1996 study organized by the Israel-based Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, which urged scrapping the then-ongoing peace process. The study, titled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," advised Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu "to work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll back" regional threats, help overthrow Hussein, and strike "Syrian military targets in Lebanon" and possibly in Syria proper.

Three of the six authors of the report—Perle (who was IASPS team leader), Wurmser, and Feith—helped set the Middle East strategy, including strong support for Sharon's hard-line policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in the Bush II administration. Perle chaired the DOD's Defense Policy Board, Feith became undersecretary of defense for policy, and Wurmser became Vice President Cheney's top Middle East adviser after leaving the State Department where he worked under Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton.

Other members of the IASPS study group on "A New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000" included James Colbert of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, Meyrav Wurmser of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), and Jonathan Torop of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a neoconservative think tank founded by a director of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). At the time the report was published, David Wurmser was an associate of IASPS.

As guiding principles for a new framework of Israeli-U.S. policy in the Middle East, the report advocated that the new Likud government do the following:

Change the nature of its relations with the Palestinians, including upholding the right of hot pursuit for self defense into all Palestinian areas and nurturing alternatives to Arafat's exclusive grip on Palestinian society.
Forge a new basis for relations with the United States—stressing self-reliance, maturity, strategic cooperation on areas of mutual concern, and furthering values inherent to the West.
Israel has the opportunity to make a clean break; it can forge a peace process and strategy based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism, the starting point of which must be economic reform. (13)
By 1997 Feith and other right-wing Zionists in the United States were expressing their disappointment that the Netanyahu government had not "dismantled the Oslo process," as Feith wrote in Commentary, the neoconservative magazine of the American Jewish Committee. Feith then proceeded to outline a radical break with what he characterized as the "peace now" framework of negotiations. Instead, Feith recommended that Netanyahu fulfill his "peace through strength" campaign promise. "Repudiating Oslo would compel Israel, first and foremost, to undo the grossest of the errors inherent in the accords: the arming of scores of thousands of PA 'policemen'." Feith asserted that the "PA's security force has succeeded primarily in aggravating Israel's terrorism problem." What is more, Feith argued for Israel "to deflate expectations of imminent peace" and to "preach sobriety and defense." (21) It was not until a new Likud government was formed under Ariel Sharon and when Feith and other Zionists such as Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, and Michael Rubin, together with militarists such as Rumsfeld and Cheney, took over control of Middle East policy during the Bush II administration that Israel, supported by the United States, made a "clean break" from the Oslo framework.

Typical of other neoconservatives, Feith in public statements has not made reference to his own Zionist convictions. Rather in congressional testimony and in op-eds in major media, Feith has instead argued that U.S. policy in the Middle East should be guided by concerns about human rights and democracy. Israel, according to Feith, should never enter into good-faith negotiations with Arab countries or the PA because they are not democratic. Moreover, human rights violations in Syria, Iran, and Iraq justify aggressive U.S. and Israeli policies aimed at ousting undemocratic and repressive regimes. Israeli occupations are justified in the name of ensuring the national security of democratic Israel. (22)

Intelligence Operations and Scandals

Feith is no stranger to intelligence scandals. In 1982 he left the National Security Council under the shadow of an FBI investigation of administration officials suspected of passing intelligence information to Israel. During the Bush II administration, investigative reports by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker focused public attention on the Office of Special Plans that came under Feith's supervision. (23)

In the days after the September 11 terrorist attacks, Feith and Wolfowitz started cooking intelligence to meet the needs of the radically new foreign and military policy that included regime change in Iraq as its top priority.

One might have thought that the priority for a special intelligence would have been to determine the whereabouts of the terrorist network that had just attacked the homeland. But Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of Defense Feith, working closely with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Richard Cheney, had other intelligence priorities. This loosely organized team soon became the Office of Special Plans directed by Abram Shulksy, formerly of RAND and the National Strategy Information Center (NSIC). The objective of this closet intelligence team, according to Rumsfeld, was to "search for information on Iraq's hostile intentions or links to terrorists." OSP's mission was to create intelligence that the Pentagon and vice president could use to press their case for an Iraq invasion with the president and Congress.

About the same time the Pentagon took the first steps toward launching a counterintelligence operation called the Office of Strategic Intelligence to support the emerging security doctrine of preventive war. But this shadowy office, whose very purpose was to create propaganda and to counter information coming out of Iraq, was quickly disbanded. Congressional members expressed their concern that a counterintelligence office would not limit itself to discrediting the intelligence of U.S. adversaries. Such a secret counterintelligence office, critics warned, either intentionally or inadvertently might spread disinformation to the U.S. public and policy community as part of the build-up to the planned invasion.

Feith oversaw these efforts to provide the type of "strategic intelligence" needed to drive this policy agenda. As the Pentagon's top policy official in Middle East affairs, Feith had oversight authority of the DOD's Near East and South Asia bureau (NESA). That office came under the direct supervision of William Luti, a retired Navy officer who is a Newt Gingrich protégé and who has long advocated a U.S. military invasion of Iraq.

The OSP worked closely with Ahmed Chalabi and others from the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an expatriate group promoted by the neoconservatives to replace the Hussein regime once U.S. troops were in Baghdad. Chalabi assured the Pentagon that a U.S. invasion would be supported by widespread Iraqi resistance, leading to claims by top administration officials and neocon pundits that the invasion would be a "cakewalk." The OSP also relied on intelligence flows about Iraq from a rump unit established in the offices of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon—who like Chalabi was a proponent of a U.S. military invasion and had close relations with neocons like Wolfowitz and Feith. (24)

Feith became embroiled in a new intelligence scandal in late August 2004 when it was reported that the FBI had for the past two years been investigating intelligence leaks to Israel from the Pentagon. The Pentagon official named in the media reports is Lawrence Franklin, who was brought into the Office of Special Plans from the Defense Intelligence Agency. Franklin, who had served in the military attache's office in the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv in the late 1990s as a colonel in the Air Force Reserve, is suspected of passing classified information about Iran to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee and Israel. Fellow neocon and Franklin's friend Michael Ledeen called the allegations against Franklin "nonsensical." (25) The FBI is also investigating whether Franklin and other DOD officials passed classified information to Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress. According to one neocon interviewed by the Washington Post, "This is part of a civil war with the administration, a basic dislike between the old CIA and the neoconservatives." (26)

Tom Barry

'Alone' indicts neocons, Bush

Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke are experienced, conservative foreign policy experts. Halper served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Reagan administration, and Clarke had extensive service in the British diplomatic corps.

In "America Alone," they document the neo-conservative capture of American (and British) foreign policy, under the guise of a war on terror, to reorder Mideast politics and initiate a new doctrine of pre-emptive war.

Halper and Clarke are insiders who know the players and the sources. Their thoughtful, insightful work spans ideological and partisan differences, a rare phenomenon in these times.

The authors understand the history of American foreign policy. Detente, bipartisanship and respect for the views of allies are at the center of that history; they are not, as the neocons would have it, notions of weakness best replaced by a militant American world view and unilateralism.

Halper and Clarke blend realism and idealism. For them, victory in the Cold War resulted from a firm U.S. adherence to the doctrine of containment and a moral authority rooted in fostering the idea of a free, open society. Now, the authors contend, President George W. Bush and a band of ideological zealots have put that moral authority at risk."America Alone" levels a broad indictment against the Bush administration, which in the name of the war on terror has launched the Iraq war, mounted an assault on personal liberties at home, engaged in a purposeful deceit of the media and the public and, above all, has inflicted terrible damage on U.S. moral authority. The chief culprits for the authors are the neocons, who are depicted as conspirators who hijacked American foreign policy.

This is not exactly news, but the argument never has been put together so persuasively, so conclusively and so effectively.

Today neocons are the key Bush players, including Vice President Dick Cheney; his chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby; Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld; and Rumsfeld assistant Paul Wolfowitz. They are seconded by National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and influential academic intellectuals and writers who preach warnings and celebrate their alleged triumphs.

The neocons have masked themselves as the true keepers of the Reagan flame, but Halper and Clarke will have none of that. The neocons, they bluntly charge, have "falsified history" and have inflicted a "historical mugging" on Reagan.

The neocons' mobilization for the Iraq war lies at the heart of this book. Saddam Hussein's tyranny apparently gave them no pause during his 10-year war with Iran. But George H.W. Bush's Persian Gulf War in 1991 left them embittered when Bush prudently decided that occupying Baghdad would only complicate the American role and endanger the grand alliance he had constructed.

The neocons were convinced that toppling Saddam would enable the United States to make Mideast politics more responsive to American wishes - and, not incidentally, also to help the Israelis. The idea had its origins in the late 1990s, when Richard Perle and Douglas Feith offered a bizarre plan to Israel's Likud Party calling for American-Israeli cooperation to overthrow Iraqi and Syrian regimes with American assistance. Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud's leader, wisely rejected this grandiose vision.

The neocons persuaded Bush that regime change was essential in Iraq, although in his few pre-presidential foreign policy utterances he had specifically rejected such a course. After Sept. 11, the neocons advanced "evidence" that Iraq played a crucial role in al-Qaida's worldwide terrorism plans. Halper and Clarke demonstrate that the neocons knew that the fundamentalist-dominated al-Qaida had no connection to the secular Saddam.

They knew that Saddam was no threat to American interests or values. The Persian Gulf War taught him not to threaten his neighbors - exactly as Richard Clarke argued, to no avail. The administration had very little evidence - precious little, as we have learned - that Iraq had nuclear, biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction.

Halper and Clarke denounce the Bush administration for effectively co-opting "important allies and entire government agencies in a pattern of deceit." The administration, they believe, created "a synthetic neurosis," which it buttressed by exploiting the Sept. 11 attacks. The price has been enormous, they say, with "substantial damage" to both core American political institutions and to American "institutional legitimacy."

With an election campaign looming, President Bush now concedes that "I believe in the international institutions and alliances that America helped to form and helps to lead."

Alas, the president and his advisers have rediscovered American history and policy only as our financial and military resources have dwindled, our moral authority has evaporated, our allies have become alienated and, worst of all, our adversaries are newly energized.

Regime change in Iraq, as this book tells us, has substituted one order of chaos for another, but this time at the cost of substantial American blood and treasure. The war in Iraq was imposed amid a climate of fear and patriotic fervor, with manufactured deceptions about our purposes and the enemy's.

Saddam Hussein was a brutal, ruthless tyrant, but he was no Adolf Hitler, and no realistic threat to the United States and the rest of the world, whatever George W. Bush and his neoconservative warriors tell us.

Stanley I. Kutler is the author of "The Wars of Watergate" and editor of "The Encyclopedia of the United States in the Twentieth Century."

Stanley I. Kutler

No Accountability on Abu Ghraib

No Accountability on Abu Ghraib

After months of Senate hearings and eight Pentagon investigations, it is obvious that the administration does not intend to hold any high-ranking official accountable for the nightmare at Abu Ghraib. It was pretty clear yesterday that Senator John Warner's well-intentioned hearings of the Armed Services Committee are not going to do it either.

James Schlesinger, who was picked by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to head a civilian investigation of Abu Ghraib and seems determined to repay the favor, gave unhelpful testimony that included an incredible statement that there was no policy "that encourages abuse." He told that to the same senators who had heard earlier from a panel of generals that the Central Intelligence Agency was still refusing to account for its practice of hiding dozens of prisoners from the Red Cross. Mr. Rumsfeld personally approved that violation of the Geneva Conventions and other international treaties on at least one occasion.

At the hearing, Mr. Warner asked Mr. Schlesinger and Harold Brown, another former secretary of defense, to be specific about their report's talk of "institutional and personal responsibility at higher levels." Neither man had any intention of doing that.

Senator John McCain, who was a prisoner of war in the Vietnam era, asked Mr. Schlesinger with evident exasperation: "Isn't there some accountability? Isn't there some responsibility?" Mr. Schlesinger managed to come up with the colonel who read the first Red Cross report on the abuse of prisoners in late 2003 and decided that it was not credible. As for high-ranking officers and civilians, he intoned, "careers will be negatively affected."

Senator Edward Kennedy tried again. He read a list of naval officers fired for minor infractions committed by those under their command and asked why the same high standards of responsibility should not apply to, say, Mr. Rumsfeld. Mr. Schlesinger, who had earlier offered the bizarre theory that "what constitutes 'humane treatment' lies in the eye of the beholder," replied that "it's more complicated" when it came to holding a high-ranking politician accountable. He said a man like Mr. Rumsfeld must be judged on his "full performance."

We agree, enthusiastically. And with due respect to Mr. Warner - who has bravely continued his hearings and seems willing to keep going for months more - the answers are in.

Mr. Rumsfeld gave President Bush the legal advice that led to the president's famous memo declaring that the United States could, at his discretion, suspend the Geneva Conventions in the "global war on terror," and that prisoners with the newly minted designation of "unlawful combatants" were not entitled to the conventions' protections. Mr. Rumsfeld authorized the use of brutal interrogation techniques at the prison in Guantánamo Bay, some of which he later rescinded. His war plans left the Army without enough forces to face the uprising that followed Mr. Bush's ludicrously premature "mission accomplished" photo-op. Those policies - which commanders were afraid to challenge - left 97 untrained military police guarding some 7,000 Iraqis at Abu Ghraib who were not considered prisoners of war.

Mr. Rumsfeld's staff sent the chief Guantánamo Bay jailer to Iraq. There, he gave Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who was under immense pressure from Washington to get intelligence on the Iraqi insurgency, a rundown on how the military forced information out of prisoners at Guantánamo. General Sanchez used that briefing, and the logic of the president's memo on unlawful combatants, to authorize the use of dogs and other illegal interrogation methods. He later tried to rescind the order, but every investigation has shown that the notion that the rules had changed was already widespread in Iraq, as well as at American military prisons in Afghanistan.

Most broadly, Mr. Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General John Ashcroft, has led the administration's efforts to justify the use of brutal interrogation techniques in the name of fighting terrorism.

Late in the day of hearings, Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, offered a wry observation on how Mr. Rumsfeld's future had become wrapped up in Mr. Bush's campaign. "I guess we'll get the real answer to that after the election," he said.

Perhaps so, but that will be a year after the Red Cross first told the Army that prisoners were being brutalized at military detention centers all over Iraq, especially at Abu Ghraib. The American public, and the rest of the world, should not have to wait that long.

NY Times

The Criminalization of the State

America?s leaders in Washington and Wall Street firmly believe in the righteousness of war and authoritarian forms of government as a means to "safeguarding democratic values".

According to Homeland Security "the near-term attacks will either rival or exceed the 9/11 attacks".

An actual "terrorist attack" on American soil would lead to the suspension of civilian government and the establishment of martial law. In the words of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge: "If we go to Red [code alert]... it basically shuts down the country,"

"You ask, 'Is it serious?' Yes, you bet your life. People don't do that unless it's a serious situation." (Donald Rumsfeld)

The "Criminalization of the State", is when war criminals legitimately occupy positions of authority, which enable them to decide "who are the criminals", when in fact they are the criminals.

A terrorist attack on American soil of the size and nature of September 11, would lead ---according to former CENTCOM Commander, General Tommy Franks-- to the downfall of democracy in America. In an interview last December, which was barely mentioned in the US media, General Franks outlined with cynical accuracy a scenario, which would result in the suspension of the Constitution and the installation of military rule in America:

"a terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event [will occur] 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."1

Franks was alluding to a so-called "Pearl Harbor type event" which would be used to galvanise US public opinion in support of a military government and police state. The "terrorist massive casualty-producing event" is presented by General Franks as a crucial political turning point. The resulting crisis and social turmoil is intended to facilitate a major shift in US political, social and institutional structures.

It is important to understand that General Franks was not giving a personal opinion on this issue. His statement very much reflects the dominant viewpoint both in the Pentagon and the Homeland Security department as to how events might unfold in the case of a national emergency.

The statement comes from a man who has been actively involved in military and intelligence planning at the highest levels. In other words, the "militarisation of our country" is an ongoing operational assumption. It is part of the broader "Washington consensus". It identifies the Bush administration's "roadmap" of war and Homeland defense.

The "war on terrorism" which constitutes the cornerstone of Bush?s national security doctrine, provides the required justification for repealing the Rule of Law, ultimately with a view to "preserving civil liberties". In the words of David Rockefeller:

"We are on the verge of global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order."2
A similar statement, which no doubt reflects a consensus within the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), was made by former National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book, The Grand Chessboard:

"As America becomes an increasingly multicultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstances of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat."
Similarly, the NeoCons' Project for the New American Century (PNAC), published in September 2000, barely a few months before George W. Bush?s accession to the White House, called for:

"some catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor."3
What is terrifying in these assertions is that they emanate from the architects of US foreign policy. In other words, America?s leaders in Washington and Wall Street firmly believe in the righteousness of war and authoritarian forms of government as a means to "safeguarding democratic values".

The repeal of democracy is portrayed as a means to providing "domestic security" and upholding civil liberties. Truth is falsehood and falsehood is truth. Realities are turned upside down. Acts of war are heralded as "humanitarian interventions" geared towards upholding democracy. Military occupation and the killing of civilians are presented as "peace-keeping operations."

This dominant viewpoint is also shared by the mainstream media, which constitutes the cornerstone of the propaganda and disinformation campaign. Any attempt by antiwar critics to reveal the lies underlying these statements is defined as a "criminal act".

In other words, the "Criminalization of the State", is when war criminals, supported by Wall Street, the "big five" defense contractors and the Texas oil giants, legitimately occupy positions of authority, which enable them to decide "who are the criminals", when in fact they are the criminals.

From Orange to Red Code Alert

The "terrorist massive casualty producing event" has become an integral part of the Bush administration?s propaganda campaign. The Administration has put the country on "high risk" Orange Code terror alert five times since September 11, 2001. Without exception, Osama bin Laden?s Al Qaeda has been identified as "a threat to the Homeland". The official announcement invariably points to "significant intelligence reports" or "credible sources" of a terrorist attack "from the international terrorist group al-Qaeda".

Since 9/11, Americans have accepted these terrorist warnings at face value. Al Qaeda is viewed as an enemy of America. The terror alerts have become part of a routine: people have become accustomed in their daily lives to the Orange Code terror alerts. Moreover, they have also accepted the distinct possibility of a changeover from Orange to Red Code Alert (as stated time and again by Homeland Security) in the foreseeable future, which would result from an actual terrorist occurrence.

Needless to say, the disinformation campaign, which is fed on a daily basis into the news chain, supports this process of shaping US public opinion. The hidden agenda ultimately consists in creating an environment of fear and intimidation, which mobilizes public support for an actual national emergency situation, leading to the declaration of martial law.

The Terror Alerts were based on Fabricated Intelligence

The evidence suggests that the Orange Code "high risk" alerts on February 7, 2003, and December, 21, 2003 were based on fabricated intelligence.

Orange Code Alert had been ordered on 7 February 2003, one day after Colin Powell's flopped presentation on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction to the UN Security Council. Powell's intelligence dossier had been politely dismissed. The rebuttal came from UN Inspector Hans Blix, who showed that the intelligence used as a pretext to wage war on Iraq had been blatantly fabricated.

Colin Powell addressed the UN Security Council on the 6th. On the 7th, the Bush administration declared an ?Orange Code? Terror Alert. This "save face operation" contributed to appeasing an impending scandal, while also upholding the Pentagon's planned invasion of Iraq.

Media attention was immediately shifted from Colin Powell's blunders at the UN Security Council to an (alleged) impending terrorist attack on America. Anti-aircraft missiles were immediately deployed around Washington. The media became inundated with stories on Iraqi support to an impending Al Qaeda attack on America.

The objective was to present Iraq as the aggressor. According to the New York Post, (11 February 2003):

"The nation is now on Orange Alert because intelligence intercepts and simple logic both suggest that our Islamic enemies know the best way to strike at us is through terrorism on U.S. soil."

Another story allegedly emanating from the CIA on so-called ?radioactive dirty bombs had been planted in the news chain.4 Secretary Powell warned that "it would be easy for terrorists to cook up radioactive ?dirty? bombs to explode inside the U.S. ? ?How likely it is, I can't say... But I think it is wise for us to at least let the American people know of this possibility.?" 5 Meanwhile, network TV had warned that "American hotels, shopping malls or apartment buildings could be al Qaeda's targets as soon as next week?"

The hidden agenda in the weeks leading up to the invasion of Iraq was to link Baghdad to Al Qaeda, muster unbending support for President Bush and weaken the anti-war protest movement. Following the announcement, tens of thousands of Americans rushed to purchase duct tape, plastic sheets and gas-masks.

It later transpired that the terrorist alert was fabricated by the CIA, in all likelihood in consultation with the upper echelons of the State Department. 6

The FBI, for the first time had pointed its finger at the CIA.

"This piece of that puzzle turns out to be fabricated and therefore the reason for a lot of the alarm, particularly in Washington this week, has been dissipated after they found out that this information was not true," said Vince Cannistraro, former CIA counter-terrorism chief and ABCNEWS consultant.


According to officials, the FBI and the CIA are pointing fingers at each other. An FBI spokesperson told ABCNEWS today he was "not familiar with the scenario," but did not think it was accurate. "7

While tacitly acknowledging that the alert was a fake, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge decided to maintain the ?Orange Code? alert:

"Despite the fabricated report, there are no plans to change the threat level. Officials said other intelligence has been validated and that the high level of precautions is fully warranted." 8

A few days later, in another failed propaganda initiative, a mysterious Osama bin Laden audio tape was presented by Sec. Colin Powell to the US Congress as ?evidence? that the Islamic terrorists "are making common cause with a brutal dictator". 9 Curiously, the audio tape was in Colin Powell's possession prior to its broadcast by the Al Jazeera TV Network.10

Tom Ridge?s Christmas Terror Alert

On December 21st, 2003 four days before Christmas, the Homeland Security Department, again raised the national threat level from "elevated" to "high risk" of terrorist attack. 11

In his pre-Christmas Press Conference, Homeland Security department Secretary Tom Ridge confirmed in much the same way as on February 7, 2003, that: "the U.S. intelligence community has received a substantial increase in the volume of threat-related intelligence reports". According to Tom Ridge, these "credible [intelligence] sources" raise "the possibility of attacks against the homeland, around the holiday season..."12

While the circumstances and timing were different, Secretary Tom Ridge's December 21 statement had all the appearances of a "copy and paste" (D?j? Vu) version of his February 7 announcement, which according to the FBI was a hoax, based on fabricated intelligence..

What is disturbing in the December 21 statement is the fact that an "actual" or "attempted" Al Qaeda terrorist attack seems already to be in the official pipeline. Al Qaeda is once again identified as "the Outside Enemy", without of course mentioning that Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA and an "intelligence asset" controlled by the US.13

Needless to say the atmosphere of fear and confusion created across America, contributed to breaking the spirit of Christmas. According to the media reports, the high-level terror alert is to "hang over the holidays and usher in the New Year".

"Terrorists still threaten our country and we remain engaged in a dangerous - to be sure - difficult war and it will not be over soon," warned Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. "They can attack at any time and at any place."

With America on high terror alert for the Christmas holiday season, intelligence officials fear al-Qaeda is eager to stage a spectacular attack - possibly hijacking a foreign airliner or cargo jet and crashing it into a high-profile target inside the United States." 14

The official Christmas announcement by the Homeland Security Department dispelled any lingering doubts regarding the threat level:

"the risk [during the Christmas period] is perhaps greater now than at any point since September 11, 2001;"

It also warned Americans, in no uncertain terms, but without supporting evidence, that there are:

"indications that [the] near-term attacks ... will either rival or exceed the [9/11] attacks".

"And it's pretty clear that the nation's capital and New York city would be on any list..."

Following Secretary Ridge's announcement, anti-aircraft missile batteries were set up in Washington:

. "And the Pentagon said today, more combat air patrols will now be flying over select cities and facilities, with some airbases placed on higher alert." Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: "You ask, 'Is it serious?' Yes, you bet your life. People don't do that unless it's a serious situation." 15

According to an official statement: "intelligence indicates that Al Qaeda-trained pilots may be working for overseas airlines and ready to carry out suicide attacks." 16

More specifically, Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists were, according to Homland Security, planning to hijack an Air France plane and "crash it on US soil in a suicide terror strike similar to those carried out on September 11, 2001."

Air France Christmas flights out of Paris were grounded. F-16 fighters were patrolling the skies.

Yet it turned out that the stand down orders on Air France's Christmas flights from Paris to Los Angeles, which were used to justify the Code Orange Alert during the Christmas holiday, were based on fabricated information.

According to the official version of events, Washington had identified six members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban on the Air France passenger list:

"U.S. counter-terrorism officials said their investigation was focusing on the "informed belief" that about six men on Air France Flight 68, which arrives in Los Angeles daily at 4:05 p.m., may have been planning to hijack the jet and crash it near Los Angeles, or along the way.

That belief, according to one senior U.S. counter-terrorism official, was based on reliable and corroborated information from several sources. Some of the men had the same names as identified members of Al Qaida and the Taliban, a senior U.S. official said. One of the men is a trained pilot with a commercial license, according to a senior U.S. official.

U.S. law-enforcement officials said the flights were canceled in response to the same intelligence that prompted? Homeland Security? to ratchet up the nation's terror-alert level to orange?

With that information, U.S. authorities contacted French intelligence ... They prevailed upon Air France to cancel [their flights], because the original intelligence information warned of more than one flight being commandeered." 17

Other media confirmed that "the reports gathered by American agencies were 'very, very precise'" Meanwhile Fox News pointed to the possibility that Al Qaeda was "trying to plant disinformation, among other things to cost us money, to throw people into panic and perhaps to probe our defenses to see how we respond?"18

"Mistaken Identity"

Needless to say these fabricated media reports served to create a tense atmosphere during the Christmas holiday. Los Angeles International airport was on "maximum deployment" with counter-terrorism and FBI officials working around the clock.

Yet following the French investigation, it turned out that the terror alert was a hoax. The information was not "very very precise" as claimed by US intelligence.

The six Al Qaeda men turned out to be a five year old boy, an elderly Chinese lady who used to run a restaurant in Paris, a Welsh insurance salesman and three French nationals.19

On January 2nd, the French government confirmed that the intelligence communicated by Washington was erroneous: There "was not a trace of Al Qaeda among the passengers."

Yet, these "inconsistencies" regarding US intelligence had already been uncovered on the 23d of December by France's antiterrorist services, which had politely refuted the so-called "credible sources" emanating out of the US intelligence apparatus.

France's counter-terrorism experts were extremely "sceptical" of their US counterparts:

We [French police investigators] showed [on 23 December] that their arguments simply did not make sense, but despite this the flights were cancelled... The main suspect [a Tunisian hijacker] turned out to be a child? We really had the feeling of unfriendly treatment [by US officials] (ils nous appliquent un traitement d'infamie). The information was not transmitted through normal channels. It wasn't the FBI or the CIA which contacted us, everything went through diplomatic channels..." 20

The decision to cancel the six Air France flights was taken after 2 days of intense negotiations between French and American officials. They were cancelled on the orders of the French Prime minister following consultations with Sec. Colin Powell. This decision was taken following the completion of the French investigation. Despite the fact that the information had been refuted, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge insisted on maintaining the stand-down order. If Air France had not complied, it would have been prevented from using US air space, namely banned from flying to the US.

It was only on January 2nd, once the holiday season was over that the US authorities admitted that they were in error, claiming that it was a unavoidable case of "mistaken identity." While tacitly acknowledging their error, Homeland Security insisted that "the cancellations were based on solid information."

Emergency Planning

Needless to say, had the flights not been cancelled, the Administration's justification for Orange Code Alert would no longer hold. In other words, Homeland Security needed to sustain the lie over the entire Christmas holiday. It also required an active Orange Alert to launch emergency planning procedures at the highest levels of the Bush Administration.

The day following Secretary Ridge's Christmas announcement (December 21st), President Bush was briefed by his "top anti-terror advisors" in closed door sessions at the White House. Later in the day, the Homeland Security Council (HSC) met, also at the White House. The executive body of the HSC, the so-called Principals Committee (HSC/PC), headed by Secretary Tom Ridge. includes Donald Rumsfeld, CIA Director George Tenet, Attorney General John Ashcroft , FBI Director Robert Mueller and Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary, Emergency Preparedness and Response, who overseas the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 21

In the wake of the HSC meeting held on 22 December, Secretary Ridge confirmed that:

"we reviewed the specific plans and the specific action we have taken and will continue to take" 22

According to the official statement, which must be taken seriously, an "actual terrorist attack" in the near future on American soil would lead to a Red Code Alert. The latter in turn, would create conditions for the (temporary) suspension of the normal functions of civilian government, as foreseen by General Tommy Franks. This scenario was envisaged by Secretary Tom Ridge in a CBS News Interview on December 22, 2003:

"If we simply go to red ... it basically shuts down the country," meaning that civilian government bodies would be closed down and taken over by an Emergency Administration. 23

Preparing for Martial Law

In preparation for a Red code Alert, the Homeland Security department had conducted in May 2003 a major "anti-terrorist exercise" entitled TOPOFF 2. The latter is described as "the largest and most comprehensive terrorism response and homeland security exercise ever conducted in the United States."

In a Strangelovian logic, this "national response capability" translated into a military style exercise by federal, State and local level governments, including Canadian participants, establishes various "scenarios" under a Red Code Alert. In essence, it was conducted on the same assumption as military exercises in anticipation of an actual theater war, in this case, to be waged by foreign terrorists, examining various WMD attack scenarios and the institutional response of State and local governments:

"It assessed how responders, leaders, and other authorities would react to the simulated release of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in two U. S. cities, Seattle, WA and Chicago, IL. The exercise scenario depicted a fictitious, foreign terrorist organization that detonated a simulated radiological dispersal device (RDD or dirty bomb) in Seattle and released the pneumonic plague in several Chicago metropolitan area locations. There was also significant pre-exercise intelligence play, a cyber-attack, and credible terrorism threats against other locations." 24

The terror exercise including the WMD scenarios is based on a big lie.

Let us be very clear on what is happening in America. We are no longer strictly dealing with a fear and disinformation campaign. Actual "terrorist massive casualty producing events" constitute the basic premise and driving force behind the Homeland Emergency response system, including its Ready.Gov instructions to citizens, its "anti-terrorist" legal framework under the Second Patriot Act, etc.

What we are dealing with is not only a criminal act, but a carefully engineered act of treason emanating from the highest levels of the US State apparatus. In short, what we are dealing with is "the Roadmap to a Police State" in America, to be implemented in the wake of an national emergency, either under a military form of government or under a police state, which maintains all the appearances of a functioning two party "Democracy".

Michel Chossudovsky

1. Tommy Franks Interview, Cigar Aficionado, December 2003

2. David Rockefeller, Statement to the United Nations Business Council, 1994

See http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/NAC304A.html
ABC News, 13 February 2003.
ABC News, 9 February. 2003.
ABC News, 13 February 2003, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CRG302A.html .
US official quoted in The Toronto Star, 12 February. 2003.
See Department of Homeland Security at http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/index.jsp
For complete statement of Secretary Tom Ridge, 21 December 2003, http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/
See Selected References at http://globalresearch.ca/articles/11SEPT309A.html
Boston Globe, 24 December 2003
ABC News, 23 December 2003
quoted by ABC News, 23 December 2003.
Seattle Post Intelligence, 25 December 2003.
Fox News, 28 December 2003.
Le Monde, Paris and RTBF TV, Bruxelles, 2 January 2004
quoted in Le Monde, 3 January 2003.
White House Briefing, 22 December 2003.
AFP, 23 December 2003.
The scenario is presented in detail at the Homeland department's Ready.Gov website at http://www.ready.gov/
For full text see, Department of Homeland Security, Summary Conclusions From National Exercise, Office of the Press Secretary, December 19, 2003, http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/display?content=2693