Sourcebook on 9/11 and its Aftermath
Related Developments Before 9/11
11 Sept. 2007
Table of Contents
The Background to 9/11
… Absent a New Pearl Harbor….
What Motives Led to 9/11?
Intention to Invade Iraq There “From the Very Beginning”
The Downing Street Memos
The Loss of Trillions of Dollars from the Pentagon
Earlier Examples of Right-Wing Payoffs
Project for a New American Century
“False Flag Operations” Explained
False Flag Operations
Warnings from Foreign Governments
Harassing of NGOs
The Role of Scooter Libby
Bush Family Background
Bush: Alleged History of Drug Abuse
The Bush Family
George Bush Sr. Implicated in Cocaine and Arms Smuggling
Did George Bush Sr. Order the Assassination of Olaf Palme?
The Background to 9/11
… Absent a New Pearl Harbor….
A transformation strategy that solely pursued capabilities for projecting force from the United States, for example, and sacrificed forward basing and presence, would be at odds with larger American policy goals and would trouble American allies.
Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor. (Rebuilding America’s Defences. Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century. A Report of the Project for the New American Century. September, 2000, pp. 50-1.)
What Motives Led to 9/11?
Myth Number 2: Our political and military leaders would have had no motive for orchestrating the 9/11 attacks.
This myth was reinforced by The 9/11 Commission Report. While explaining why al-Qaeda had ample motives for carrying out the attacks, this report mentions no motives that US leaders might have had. But the alleged motive of al-Qaeda—that it hated Americans and their freedoms—is dwarfed by a motive held by many members of the Bush-Cheney administration: the dream of establishing a global Pax Americana, the first all-inclusive empire in history.
This dream had been articulated by many neoconservatives, or neocons, throughout the 1990s, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union made it seem possible. It was first officially articulated in the Defense Planning Guidance of 1992, drafted by Paul Wolfowitz on behalf of then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney—a document that has been called “a blueprint for permanent American global hegemony” and Cheney’s “Plan . . . to rule the world.”
Achieving this goal would require four things. One of these was getting control of the world’s oil, especially in Central Asia and the Middle East, and the Bush-Cheney administration came to power with plans already made to attack Afghanistan and Iraq. A second requirement was a technological transformation of the military, in which fighting from space would become central. A third requirement was an enormous increase in military spending, to pay for these new wars and for weaponizing space. A fourth need was to modify the doctrine of preemptive attack, so that America would be able to attack other countries even if they posed no imminent threat.
These four elements would, moreover, require a fifth: an event that would make the American people ready to accept these imperialistic policies. As Zbigniew Brzezinski explained in his 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard, the American people, with their democratic instincts, are reluctant to authorize the money and human sacrifices necessary for “imperial mobilization,” and this refusal “limits . . . America’s . . . capacity for military intimidation.” But this impediment could be overcome if there were “a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat” —just as the American people were willing to enter World War II only after “the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.” This same idea was suggested in 2000 in a document entitled Rebuilding America’s Defenses, which was put out by a neocon think tank called the Project for the New American Century, many members of which—including Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz—became central members of the Bush administration. This document, referring to the goal of transforming the military, said that this “process of transformation . . . is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.”
When the attacks of 9/11 occurred, they were treated like a new Pearl Harbor. Several members of the Bush administration spoke of 9/11 as providing opportunities. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said that 9/11 created “the kind of opportunities that World War II offered, to refashion the world.” It created, in particular, the opportunity to attack Afghanistan and Iraq; to increase the military budget enormously; to go forward with military transformation; and to turn the new idea of preemptive warfare into official doctrine. This doctrinal change was announced in the 2002 version of the National Security Strategy, which said that America will “act against . . . emerging threats before they are fully formed.”
So, not only did the Bush administration reap huge benefits from 9/11. These were benefits that it had desired in advance. The idea that it would have had no motives for orchestrating 9/11 is a myth. (David Ray Griffin, “Myth Number 2: Our political and military leaders would have had no motive for orchestrating the 9/11 attacks,” downloaded from http://www.911truth.dk/first/en/faq.htm, 19 Aug. 2007.)
Intention to Invade Iraq There “From the Very Beginning”
Not only did O’Neill give Suskind his time, he gave him 19,000 internal documents.
“Everything’s there: Memoranda to the President, handwritten “thank you” notes, 100-page documents. Stuff that’s sensitive,” says Suskind, adding that in some cases, it included transcripts of private, high-level National Security Council meetings. “You don’t get higher than that.”
And what happened at President Bush’s very first National Security Council meeting is one of O’Neill’s most startling revelations.
“From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go,” says O’Neill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic “A” 10 days after the inauguration – eight months before Sept. 11.
“From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime,” says Suskind. “Day one, these things were laid and sealed.”
As treasury secretary, O’Neill was a permanent member of the National Security Council. He says in the book he was surprised at the meeting that questions such as “Why Saddam?” and “Why now?” were never asked.
“It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying ‘Go find me a way to do this,’” says O’Neill. “For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap.”
And that came up at this first meeting, says O’Neill, who adds that the discussion of Iraq continued at the next National Security Council meeting two days later.
He got briefing materials under this cover sheet. “There are memos. One of them marked, secret, says, ‘Plan for post-Saddam Iraq,’” adds Suskind, who says that they discussed an occupation of Iraq in January and February of 2001.
Based on his interviews with O’Neill and several other officials at the meetings, Suskind writes that the planning envisioned peacekeeping troops, war crimes tribunals, and even divvying up Iraq’s oil wealth.
He obtained one Pentagon document, dated March 5, 2001, and entitled “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield contracts,” which includes a map of potential areas for exploration.
“It talks about contractors around the world from, you know, 30-40 countries. And which ones have what intentions,” says Suskind. “On oil in Iraq.”
During the campaign, candidate Bush had criticized the Clinton-Gore Administration for being too interventionist: “If we don’t stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we’re going to have a serious problem coming down the road. And I’m going to prevent that.”
“The thing that’s most surprising, I think, is how emphatically, from the very first, the administration had said ‘X’ during the campaign, but from the first day was often doing ‘Y,’” says Suskind. “Not just saying ‘Y,’ but actively moving toward the opposite of what they had said during the election.”
In the book [The Price of Loyalty], O’Neill says that the president did not make decisions in a methodical way: there was no free-flow of ideas or open debate. (“Bush Sought ‘Way’ To Invade Iraq?
O’Neill Tells ’60 Minutes’ Iraq Was ‘Topic A’ 8 Months Before 9-11,” CBS News/60 Minutes, downloaded from
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/09/60minutes/main592330.shtml, 16 Aug. 2007.)
The Downing Street Memos
We know now too that not only were there no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq, but, as the Downing Street Memo tells us, that Team Bush knew there were no weapons, and were deliberately falsifying intelligence to justify an attack on Iraq anyway.
When Ambassador Joe Wilson tried to tell us intelligence was being falsified to justify the march to Iraq, what happened? Scooter Libby talked to Judith Miller of the New York Times about the fact that Valerie Plame, Wilson’s wife, was a covert CIA operative. Six days later, Robert Novak reveals this fact in a column that essentially broke the law by revealing the identity of a covert source.
(“Scooter Libby’s Pardon and 9/11,” Real History Blog, 3 July 2007, downloaded from http://realhistoryarchives.blogspot.com/2007/07/scooter-libbys-pardon-and-911.html, 7 August 2007.)
Here’s a summary of the British memos:
Downing Street I:
This memorandum is the minutes of a meeting between Britain’s top national security officials and Prime Minister Blair on July 23, 2002 – eight months before the invasion of Iraq. The document, marked “Secret and strictly personal – UK eyes only,” consists of the official minutes of a briefing given by Richard Dearlove, then-director of Britain’s MI-6 (the equivalent of the CIA) who, based on a recent visit to Washington, DC, reported that the Bush administration planned to start a preemptive war against Iraq. By the summer of 2002 President Bush had decided to overthrow Iraq President Saddam Hussein by launching a war. Dearlove stated the war would be “justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction].” Dearlove continued: “But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw agreed saying: “It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided.” “But,” he continued, “the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea, and Iran.”
Downing Street II:
This memorandum dated July 21, 2002 to the Prime Ministers cabinet seeks comments on the Iraq War Planning. It discusses how to justify the Iraq War by “creating the conditions necessary to justify government military action, which might include an ultimatum for the return of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq.” It describes U.S> planning as proceeding:
“The US Government’s military planning for action against Iraq is proceeding apace. But, as yet, it lacks a political framework. In particular, little thought has been given to creating the political conditions for military action, or the aftermath and how to shape it.” It also reports that Tony Blair agreed to support the Iraq War in a discussion with President Bush in Crawford, TX in April: “When the Prime Minister discussed Iraq with President Bush at Crawford in April he said that the UK would support military action to bring about regime change . . .” The memo expressed concern about legality stating it “is necessary to create the conditions in which we could legally support military action.”
Regarding legality, the memo notes “US views of international law vary from that of the UK and the international community. Regime change per se is not a proper basis for military action under international law.” One option to create legality stated was “It is just possible that an ultimatum could be cast in terms which Saddam would reject (because he is unwilling to accept unfettered access) and which would not be regarded as unreasonable by the international community. However, failing that (or an Iraqi attack) we would be most unlikely to achieve a legal base for military action by January 2003.”
Downing Street III:
A memorandum from British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to the Prime Minister dated March 25, 2002 in preparation for the PM’s visit to Crawford, TX. Straw begins the memo with a warning: “The rewards from your visit to Crawford will be few. The risks are high, both for you and for the Government.” He notes the lack of support for a war with Iraq in the Parliament and sees the case as challenging to make because “(a) the threat from Iraq and why this has got worse recently; (b) what distinguishes the Iraqi threat from that [of] Iran and North Korea so as to justify military action; (c) the justification for any military action in terms of international law.” He also notes: “there has been no credible evidence to link Iraq with UBL and Al Qaida. Objectively, the threat from Iraq has not worsened as a result of 11 September.” He points out how Bush’s ‘axis of evil’ makes the task more difficult – “A lot of work will now need to be done to delink the three, and to show why military action against Iraq is so much more justified than against Iran and North Korea.” He concludes saying: “A legal justification is a necessary but far from sufficient precondition for military action. We have also to answer the big question – what will this action achieve?”
Downing Street IV:
This memorandum, written by Blair political director Peter Ricketts and dated March 22, 2002 raises two concerns regarding supporting the planned U.S. war with Iraq. His first concern: “First, the THREAT. The truth is that what has changed is not the pace of Saddam Hussein’s WMD programmes, but our tolerance of them post-11 September. . . the best survey of Iraq’s WMD programmes will not show much advance in recent years on the nuclear, missile or CW/BW [Chemical Warfare/Biological Warfare] fronts.” He also expresses concerns with other aspects of U.S.claims: “US scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and Al Qaida is so far frankly unconvincing,” the threat “it is qualitatively different from the threat posed by other proliferators who are closer to achieving nuclear capability (including Iran),” After looking at the goal of the war he says “It sounds like a grudge between Bush and Saddam.”
Downing Street V:
This memorandum from then British Ambassador to the U.S., Christopher Meyer, dated March 18, 2002 discusses a conversation with Paul Wolfowitz. He told Wolfowitz that a war against Iraq would be a difficult sell in Britain, and more difficult in Europe, and “went through the need to wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors and the UN SCRs [Security Council Resolutions].”
Downing Street VI:
A memorandum to Prime Minister Blair dated March 12, 2002 from British foreign policy advisor, David Manning, the purpose of which is to prepare the Prime Minister for his trip to Crawford, TX to meet with President Bush. Regarding Iraq, he reports that Bush is “grateful for your support and has registered you are getting flak.” Manning based his comments on a meeting with Condoleezza Rice. He said the President had not yet found answers to several issues among them “how to persuade the international opinion that military action against Iraq is necessary and justified.” There was recognition that if Bush could not put together a coalition that the U.S. “could go it alone.”
Downing Street VII:
A legal options memorandum – eight pages long – looks at the alternative legal justifications for war – security counsel resolutions, self-defense and humanitarian intervention – and finds all of them lacking.
What do all these leaked, confidential British memos point to? The Bush Administration had decided to go to war at least one year before doing so and many months before seeking a resolution from Congress. The invasion of Iraq was illegal under international law so they tried to create legal justification through manipulation of the United Nations in order to trap Saddam into violating U.N. resolutions. This also provided the side benefit of making it look like they were seeking a peaceful resolution while at the same time putting in place the machinery for a massive U.S./U.K invasion. The case for war was weak – the link to terrorism particularly Al Qaida was poor, Iraq was no more dangerous than other ‘axis of evil’ countries, Iraq’s weapons program for nuclear, bio and chemical weapons was no greater than prior to deciding to go to war and intelligence needed to be ‘fixed’ in order to justify the war to the public and international community. Finally, these memos indicate that the U.S. planned poorly for the post-invasion occupation of Iraq, greatly underestimating how difficult this part of the military activity would be.
The British memos are certainly producing a lot of smoke – will anyone with credibility and resources do the investigation needed to show us the fire? (Kevin Zeese, “How Much Proof Needed Before the Truth Comes Out? Now Seven Leaked British Documents Raise Iraq War Questions,” Global Research, June 14, 2005.)
Juggernaut Before The Horse
In emotionless English, [Richard Dearlove, then head of Britain’s CIA equivalent, MI-6] tells Blair and the others that President Bush has decided to remove Saddam Hussein by launching a war that is to be “justified by the conjunction of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.” Period. What about the intelligence? Dearlove adds matter-of-factly, “The intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy.”
At this point, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw confirms that Bush has decided on war, but notes that stitching together justification would be a challenge, since “the case was thin.” Straw noted that Saddam was not threatening his neighbors and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.
In the following months, “the case” would be buttressed by a well-honed U.S.-U.K. intelligence-turned-propaganda-machine. The argument would be made “solid” enough to win endorsement from Congress and Parliament by conjuring up:
- · Aluminum artillery tubes misdiagnosed as nuclear related;
- · Forgeries alleging Iraqi attempts to obtain uranium in Africa;
- · Tall tales from a drunken defector about mobile biological weapons laboratories;
- · Bogus warnings that Iraqi forces could fire WMD-tipped missiles within 45 minutes of an order to do so;
- · Dodgy dossiers fabricated in London; and
- · A U.S. National Intelligence Estimate thrown in for good measure.
All this, as Dearlove notes dryly, despite the fact that “there was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.” Another nugget from Dearlove’s briefing is his bloodless comment that one of the U.S. military options under discussion involved “a continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli”—the clear implication being that planners of the air campaign would also see to it that an appropriate casus belli was orchestrated.
The discussion at 10 Downing St. on July 23, 2002 calls to mind the first meeting of George W. Bush’s National Security Council (NSC) on Jan. 30, 2001, at which the president made it clear that toppling Saddam Hussein sat atop his to-do list, according to then-Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neil, who was there.
O’Neil was taken aback that there was no discussion of why it was necessary to “take out” Saddam. Rather, after CIA Director George Tenet showed a grainy photo of a building in Iraq that he said might be involved in producing chemical or biological agents, the discussion proceeded immediately to which Iraqi targets might be best to bomb. Again, neither O’Neil nor the other participants asked the obvious questions. Another NSC meeting two days later included planning for dividing up Iraq’s oil wealth.
As for the briefing of Blair, the minutes provide further grist for those who describe the U.K. prime minister as Bush’s “poodle.” The tone of the conversation bespeaks a foregone conclusion that Blair will wag his tail cheerfully and obey the learned commands. At one point he ventures the thought that, “If the political context were right, people would support regime change.” This, after Attorney General Peter Goldsmith has already warned that the desire for regime change “was not a legal base for military action,”—a point Goldsmith made again just 12 days before the attack on Iraq until he was persuaded by a phalanx of Bush administration lawyers to change his mind 10 days later.
The meeting concludes with a directive to “work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action.”
I cannot quite fathom why I find the account of this meeting so jarring. Surely it is what one might expect, given all else we know. Yet seeing it in bloodless black and white somehow gives it more impact. And the implications are no less jarring.
One of Dearlove’s primary interlocutors in Washington was his American counterpart, CIA director George Tenet. (And there is no closer relationship between two intelligence services than the privileged one between the CIA and MI-6.) Tenet, of course, knew at least as much as Dearlove, but nonetheless played the role of accomplice in serving up to Bush the kind of “slam-dunk intelligence” that he knew would be welcome. If there is one unpardonable sin in intelligence work, it is that kind of politicization. But Tenet decided to be a “team player” and set the tone.
Politicization: Big Time
Actually, politicization is far too mild a word for what happened. The intelligence was not simply mistaken; it was manufactured, with the president of the United States awarding foreman George Tenet the Medal of Freedom for his role in helping supervise the deceit. The British documents make clear that this was not a mere case of “leaning forward” in analyzing the intelligence, but rather mass deception—an order of magnitude more serious. No other conclusion is now possible.
Small wonder, then, to learn from CIA insiders like former case officer Lindsay Moran that Tenet’s malleable managers told their minions, “Let’s face it. The president wants us to go to war, and our job is to give him a reason to do it.”
Small wonder that, when the only U.S. analyst who met with the alcoholic Iraqi defector appropriately codenamed “Curveball” raised strong doubt about Curveball’s reliability before then-Secretary of State Colin Powell used the fabrication about “mobile biological weapons trailers” before the United Nations, the analyst got this e-mail reply from his CIA supervisor:
“Let’s keep in mind the fact that this war’s going to happen regardless of what Curveball said or didn’t say, and the powers that be probably aren’t terribly interested in whether Curveball knows what he’s talking about.”
When Tenet’s successor, Porter Goss, took over as director late last year, he immediately wrote a memo to all employees explaining the “rules of the road”—first and foremost, “We support the administration and its policies.” So much for objective intelligence insulated from policy pressure.
Tenet and Goss, creatures of the intensely politicized environment of Congress, brought with them a radically new ethos—one much more akin to that of Blair’s courtiers than to that of earlier CIA directors who had the courage to speak truth to power.
Seldom does one have documentary evidence that intelligence chiefs chose to cooperate in both fabricating and “sexing up” (as the British press puts it) intelligence to justify a prior decision for war. There is no word to describe the reaction of honest intelligence professionals to the corruption of our profession on a matter of such consequence. “Outrage” does not come close. (Ray McGovern, “Proof Bush Fixed the Facts,” TomPaine.commonsense, 4 May 2005, downloaded from http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2005/05/04/proof_bush_fixed_the_facts.php, 7 August 2007.)
Prior to 9/11, Putin of Russia warned that there was going to be a terrorist attack on the United States. The German Intelligence warned us, the Moroccan Intelligence warned us, the Jordanian Intelligence warned us, even Moula Omar, head of the Taliban warned us. The Moussad warned us the attack was coming on the United States. On the sixth of August, and this was brought up by the 9/11 Commission, on the sixth of August, why the President received a briefing, the Presidential daily briefing, which said “Osama bin Laden determined to attack in the United States and the attack talked about high-jacking America planes and yet, both the leaders of the FBI and the CIA said, “Well, we knew an attack was coming, but we were certain it was going to be overseas.” How could they have possibly given the President briefing on the sixth of August saying “Osama bin Laden determined to attack in the United States”, and they tell us the attack is coming overseas? They’re simply lying to the American People, and the tragedy is it doesn’t matter how ridiculous something is, if you say it often enough, most American’s will believe it. (Transcript to the video One Nation Under Siege, a Power Hour Production.)
The Loss of Trillions of Dollars from the Pentagon
(CBS) On Sept. 10,  Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared war. Not on foreign terrorists, “the adversary’s closer to home. It’s the Pentagon bureaucracy,” he said.
He said money wasted by the military poses a serious threat.
“In fact, it could be said it’s a matter of life and death,” he said.
Rumsfeld promised change but the next day – Sept. 11– the world changed and in the rush to fund the war on terrorism, the war on waste seems to have been forgotten.
Just last week President Bush announced, “my 2003 budget calls for more than $48 billion in new defense spending.”
More money for the Pentagon, CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales reports, while its own auditors admit the military cannot account for 25 percent of what it spends.
“According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions,” Rumsfeld admitted.
$2.3 trillion — that’s $8,000 for every man, woman and child in America. To understand how the Pentagon can lose track of trillions, consider the case of one military accountant who tried to find out what happened to a mere $300 million.
“We know it’s gone. But we don’t know what they spent it on,” said Jim Minnery, Defense Finance and Accounting Service.
Minnery, a former Marine turned whistle-blower, is risking his job by speaking out for the first time about the millions he noticed were missing from one defense agency’s balance sheets. Minnery tried to follow the money trail, even crisscrossing the country looking for records.
“The director looked at me and said ‘Why do you care about this stuff?’ It took me aback, you know? My supervisor asking me why I care about doing a good job,” said Minnery.
He was reassigned and says officials then covered up the problem by just writing it off.
“They have to cover it up,” he said. “That’s where the corruption comes in. They have to cover up the fact that they can’t do the job.”
The Pentagon’s Inspector General “partially substantiated” several of Minnery’s allegations but could not prove officials tried “to manipulate the financial statements.”
Twenty years ago, Department of Defense Analyst Franklin C. Spinney made headlines exposing what he calls the “accounting games.” He’s still there, and although he does not speak for the Pentagon, he believes the problem has gotten worse.
“Those numbers are pie in the sky. The books are cooked routinely year after year,” he said.
Another critic of Pentagon waste, Retired Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan, commanded the Navy’s 2nd Fleet the first time Donald Rumsfeld served as Defense Secretary, in 1976.
In his opinion, “With good financial oversight we could find $48 billion in loose change in that building, without having to hit the taxpayers.” (“The War On Waste. Defense Department Cannot Account For 25% Of Funds — $2.3 Trillion,” CBS Evening News, 29 Jan. 2002.)
Dov Zakheim [was] former Bush appointee as Pentagon Comptroller from May 4, 2001 to March 10, 2004. At that time he was unable to explain the disappearance of $1 trillion dollars. Actually, nearly three years earlier, Donald Rumsfeld announced on September 10, 2001 that an audit discovered $2.3 trillion was also missing from the Pentagon books. That story, as I mentioned, was buried under 9-11’s rubble. The two sums disappeared on Zakheim’s watch.
Yet on May 6, 2004, Zakheim took a lucrative position at Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the most prestigious strategy consulting firms in the world. One of its clients then was Blessed Relief, a charity said to be a front for Osama bin Laden. Booz, Allen & Hamilton then also worked closely with DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is the research arm of the Department of Defense. So the dark card was shifted to another part of the deck. (Jerry Mazza, “Following Zakheim and Pentagon trillions to Israel and 9-11,” Online Journal, 31 July 2006, downloaded from http://www.onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_1047.shtml, 6 August 2007.)
Earlier Examples of Right-Wing Payoffs
In February 2007, The Guardian (UK) reported that [the American Enterprise Institute] was offering scientists and economists $10,000 each, “to undermine a major climate change report” from the United NationsIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). AEI asked for “articles that emphasise the shortcomings” of the IPCC report, which “is widely regarded as the most comprehensive review yet of climate change science.” AEI visiting scholar Kenneth Green made the $10,000 offer “to scientists in Britain, the US and elsewhere,” in a letter describing the IPCC as “resistant to reasonable criticism and dissent.” 
The Guardian reported further that AEI “has received more than $1.6m from ExxonMobil, and more than 20 of its staff have worked as consultants to the Bush administration. Lee Raymond, a former head of ExxonMobil, is the vice-chairman of AEI’s board of trustees,” added The Guardian.  (“American Enterprise Institute,” SourceWatch, http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=American_Enterprise_Institute.)
Project for a New American Century
September 2000. The Project for New American Century, a neo-conservative think tank whose members include Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush, and Paul Wolfowitz [also: Elliot Abrams, Gary Bauer, William J. Bennett, Elliot A. Cohen, Midge Decter, Paula Dobriansky, Steve Forbes, Aaron Freidberg, Francis Fukuyama, Frank Gaffney, Fred C. Ikle, Donald Kagan, Zalmay Khalizad, I. Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz, Dan Quayle, Peter W. Rodman, Stephen P. Rosen, Henry S. Rowen, Vin Weber, and George Weigel]. (Loose Change.)
AMY GOODMAN: But on that issue, when you say when Wolfowitz for example, brought forward the defense posture, explain what that was, what he was promoting.
RAY MCGOVERN: Well he was promoting the idea that has now been implemented that we are the single superpower in the world and that we should act like it. We’ve got a lot of weight to throw around, we should throw it around. We should assert ourselves in critical areas, like the Middle East and over the next few years the Project for New American Century documents very much elucidate this kind of strategic vision and strategic plan. It’s very much like Mein Kampf. It’s the ideological strategic justification for what has been happening here. It’s empire, it’s how to increase our influence and not coincidentally, it dovetails expressly with the strategic objectives of Israel in the Middle East. We mean to be the sole superpower, dominant superpower in the world and Israel is determined to remain the superpower in the Middle East. And of course if you talk about weapons of mass destruction, well, check out how many Israel has. (“The Crazies Are Back”: Bush Sr.’s CIA Briefer Discusses How Wolfowitz & Allies Falsely Led the U.S. To War,” Democracy Now! 17 September 2003, downloaded from http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=03/09/17/1543215, 7 August 2007.)
“False Flag Operations” Explained
About a quarter hour into my half hour interview with her Wednesday, Penny Dodge, chief of staff for Oregon’s Congressman Peter DeFazio, asked me what a “false flag” attack was. I explained it in a few words.
A false flag attack is one in which you attack your own people, then blame it on a group of people you want to attack. It’s a radical stratagem for instantly creating hatred, and it’s common, historically speaking, all the way from ancient to modern times. For example:
- The Roman Emperor Nero burned Rome, then blamed it on emerging Christianity.
- The German Fuhrer Hitler burned the Reichstag, then blamed it on communist Jewry.
- The American President Bush demolished the World Trade Center, then blamed it on radical Islam.
At present, “false flag” is a highly relevant term, as Ms. Dodge and her boss Rep. DeFazio have learned from their constituents back home in Oregon. Folks in the Pacific Northwest, especially around Portland, believe that they may be the victims of a false flag attack by the Bush Administration under cover of an upcoming government terror exercise, Operation Noble Resolve. (Captain Eric H. May, military correspondent, “Peter DeFazio and the Portland Nuke,” e-mail, 30 July 2007)
False Flag Operations
Throughout its existence the US government has staged incidents that the government then used in behalf of purposes that it could not otherwise have pursued. According to a number of writers, false flag operations have been routinely used by the Israeli state. During the Czarist era in Russia, the secret police would set off bombs in order to arrest those the secret police regarded as troublesome. Hitler was a dramatic orchestrator of false flag operations. False flag operations are a commonplace tool of governments.
Ask yourself: Would a government that has lied us into two wars and is working to lie us into an attack on Iran shrink from staging “terrorist” attacks in order to remove opposition to its agenda?
Only a diehard minority believes in the honesty and integrity of the Bush-Cheney administration and in the truthfulness of the corporate media.
Hitler, who never achieved majority support in a German election, used the Reichstag fire to fan hysteria and push through the Enabling Act, which made him dictator. Determined tyrants never require majority support in order to overthrow constitutional orders. (Paul Craig Roberts, “Impeach Now Or Face the End of Constitutional Democracy,” CounterPunch, July 16, 2007, downloaded from http://counterpunch.org/roberts07162007.html, 6 August
Myth Number 1: Our political and military leaders simply would not do such a thing.
This idea is widely believed. But it is undermined by much evidence. The United States, like many other countries, has often used deceit to begin wars—for example, the Mexican-American war, with its false claim that Mexico had “shed American blood on the American soil,” the Spanish-American war, with its “Remember the Maine” hoax, the war in the Philippines, with its false claim that the Filipinos fired first, and the Vietnam war, with its Tonkin Gulf hoax. The United States has also sometimes organized false flag terrorist attacks—killing innocent civilians, then blaming the attacks on an enemy country or group, often by planting evidence. We have even done this in allied countries. As Daniele Ganser has shown in his recent book NATO’s Secret Armies, NATO, guided by the CIA and the Pentagon, arranged many such attacks in Western European countries during the Cold War. These attacks were successfully blamed on Communists and other leftists to discredit them in the eyes of the voting public.
Finally, in case it be thought that US military leaders would not orchestrate such attacks against US citizens, one needs only to read the plan known as Operations Northwoods, which the Joint Chiefs of Staff worked up in 1962, shortly after Fidel Castro had overthrown the pro-American dictator Batista. This plan contained various “pretexts which would provide justification for US military intervention in Cuba.” American citizens would have been killed in some of them, such as a “Remember the Maine” incident, in which: “We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantánamo Bay and blame Cuba.” (David Ray Griffin, “Myth Number 1: Our political and military leaders simply would not do such a thing,” downloaded from http://www.911truth.dk/first/en/faq.htm, 19 Aug. 2007.)
Q: There has been talk that FDR had advance knowledge of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
David Ray Griffin: There’s a book called NATO’s Secret Armies and it shows that during the Cold War, the CUIIA and NATO (which of course means the Pentagon) were funding and backing various attacks in Italy, France and Belgium to terrorize the population and then the left-wing would be blamed—the Communists or anarchists—because right after the war the Communists were very popular because they’d been the Resistance, and we were trying to put the right-wingers back in control.
So we would arrange these attacks. There was a big expose of it in the ‘90s but you heard almost nothing about it in the US, whereas in Europe it’s quite well-known that we did all that.
Q: So you’re saying that this is not the first time we’ve been involved in actions like this?
DRG: We have done it time and time again. We wouldn’t be sitting on this property other than for a false flag operation we did to start the war with Mexico and stole half of Mexico from them, by claiming they had shed American blood on American soil. A Congressman named Abraham Lincoln said that was the sheerest deception on the part of President Polk, but he got away with it.
Q: Is the “false flag” phenomenon a common practice?
DRG: I began my latest book, The Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11, with a whole chapter on “false flag” operations, and show that imperialists have regularly done this.
The Chinese [Ed.: Japanese?] did it when they were ready to start taking over Manchuria.
The Germans did it when they wanted to attack Poland… The burning of the Reichstadt was earlier, when they wanted to get rid of civil rights. But several years later when they were ready to attack Poland, they dressed some of their own troops in Polish uniforms and had them go over the border and then come back and attack.
Then they got some German convicts, killed them and dressed them as Poles and left their bodies as proof that Poland attacked. So then the next day, Hitler could cite 21 border incidents.
And then we’ve got Operation Northwoods documented. This was what the Pentagon proposed to Kennedy, so we would have a pretext to attack Cuba. And they used that language. They said, “Operations to provide a pretext to attack Cuba.” If it had been any president other than Kennedy, we probably would have done it. (“Interview with David Ray Griffin,” Whole Life Times, downloaded from http://wholelifetimes.com/2006/09/griffin0609.html, 7 August 2007.)
Well there is an example in history of a Republic and a country filled with educated and cultured people who, in the space of a month, changed into an Empire because there was damage to a prominent building and then immediate legislation was passed, anti-terrorist legislation and that whole country shifted from a Republic to an Empire, and this was not the United States, this was Germany (32:23 Fade to Voice-over) in 1933. And it started off as the Weimar Republic but, by the end of January 1933 the Reichstag, their parliament building had burned down and Hitler and the Nazis blamed it on the communist terrorists, and it later turned out that they, themselves, had set it and then they passed through the Enabling Act, which was national gun registration, national identity cards, they set up detention centers for terrorists and dissenters, which quickly turned into the concentration camps and Germany was no longer a Republic, it became the Third Reich or Empire, the Third Empire, and so we can see that that’s happened within living memory. There are plenty of people living in the United States, today, who lived through that in Germany and they, the irony and parallels are not lost on them. (Jim Marrs, Journalist, Author of Rule by Secrecy in video One Nation Under Seige.)
The Colonel detailed historical examples of the use of false flag operations carried out by the US government, in particular Israel’s attempted sinking of the USS Liberty, which LBJ allowed to happen in an effort to blame Egypt and kickstart a war. (Paul Joseph Watson, “Former Reagan Deputy and Colonel Says 9/11 ‘Dog That Doesn’t Hunt,’” Knowledge Driven Revolution, 29 June 2006, downloaded from
In 2003, journalist Peter Hounam wrote Operation Cyanide: How the Bombing of the USS Liberty Nearly Caused World War III, which proposes a completely different theory regarding the incident. In an attempt to explain why there was no support by U.S. forces as backup, Hounam claims that Israel and U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson had secretly agreed on day four of the Six Day War that Liberty would be sunk with complete loss of life. The attack would be blamed on Egypt, allowing the U.S. in turn to attack Egypt, thus helping out Israel. However, according to Hounam’s theory, because the Liberty did not sink after two hours, the plan was quickly reversed, Israel apologized for the case of mistaken identity, and a cover-up put into place. Likewise the BBC documentary (2002) claims that the Liberty incident provoked the launch of nuclear-armed planes targeted against Cairo from a US aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. It is claimed in the theory that they were recalled only just in time, when it was clear the Liberty had not sunk with all hands, and that Israel was responsible . (“U.S.S. Liberty Incident,” Wikipedia, downloaded from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Liberty_incident, 4 August 2007.)
The Fall of 2005, a scandal erupted and stretched on in to 2006 about President Bush using the National Security Agency to monitor and to, essentially, spy upon the American citizens and, of course, on one hand you had people who said Well we have to have these powers to locate and track the terrorists and then you had people on the other side saying this is a grave invasion of privacy. If the history of the United States was one that had always used such powers correctly, and only against true enemies of this country, I would be a whole lot more supportive, but when you go back and look at history, you go back to the Red Scares of the ‘20’s when J Edgar Hoover was sending the FBI against political dissidents and against political parties. You go to the Co Intel Program of the 70’s, when Nixon and the FBI were being used against racial, race groups. The Co Intel Program was used against Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They were targeting peaceful dissent and that’s just anathema to a free society and even in the current spying scandal, we find that most of the targets were not Islamic Fascists, they were environmental groups and anti-war groups. So I think we have to be extremely careful in giving these types of spying powers to any government because, historically, it is only been proved they will use it against their political enemies. (Jim Marrs, Journalist and Author of Rule by Secrecy in the video One Nation Under Seige.)
The average American would be so shocked to find out there is something called CoIntelPro, The FBI’s Covert Action Programs Against American Citizens. That’s the name of their document, the government document, not my rendition of it. In fact, it is report 94-755 called Supplementary Detailed Staff Reports on Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans. This is a hearing that occurred in 1976. Now, some notable people that sat on this hearing: Philip Hart, Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, Howard Baker, Barry Goldwater, and Richard Schweiker. Now this Senate Report tells what the FBI was doing against the American Citizens, literally. Here is their statement “CoIntelPro began in 1956, in part, because of the frustration with the Supreme Court Rulings limiting the government’s power to proceed, overtly against dissident groups. It ended in 1971 with the threat of public exposure. But, in the intervening fifteen years, the Bureau conducted, their terms, a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association. This is incredible. When you look at this, and when I was able to get a copy of this document, which is over three thousand pages long, I was shocked. I had no idea that the US Government had been involved in the control of the American people in the 1960’s and 70’s in the manner that they did. One of the purposes of CoIntelPro was to, number one, promote national security. Number two, to prevent violence, which it did not, because it had a lot of violence in the program itself. But, number three, listen to this, the Agency has the duty, the FBI, has the duty to do whatever is necessary to combat perceived threats to the existing social and political order. Notice, there’s no mention of protecting First Amendment Rights, of protecting any rights, of protecting any Constitutional Rights, Bill of Rights, nothing, other than the prevailing existing social and political order. (Joyce Riley, RN, BSN Talk Radio Host, “The Power Hour,” Co-Producer “Beyond Treason” in the video One Nation Under Seige.)
More specifically, however, Dempsey and Cole show that it was the Reagan Administration which initially proposed some of the most troubling provisions which eventually became part of the USAPA. When Reagan proposed these provisions, Congress rejected them on constitutional grounds. The first Bush Administration then made similar proposals, which were again rejected by lawmakers. Congress twice refused to enact the secret evidence provisions proposed by Bush I. (Indeed, just prior to 9/11, Congress was about to pass a law repealing the secret evidence provisions of the 1996 Antiterrorism Act.)
The troublesome provisions proposed by Reagan and the first Bush included the resurrection of guilt by association, association as grounds for exclusion or deportation, the ban on supporting lawful activities of groups labeled terrorist, the use of secret evidence, and the empowerment of the Secretary of State to designate groups as terrorist organizations, without judicial or congressional review.
Despite the Reagan and Bush proposals and one-sided hearings, there was broad-based opposition to such legislation. According to Dempsey and Cole, “several members of the House Judiciary Committee, both Democrat and Republican, questioned the need for the legislation.” Lawmakers repeatedly asked why new legislation was needed and how it would help. Administration witnesses literally refused to answer lawmakers’ questions, finally causing Representative John Conyers to exclaim, “I’ve never seen this much law created as a result of prosecutions that we agree worked very effectively!”
“The legislation languished and seemed headed for defeat,” say Dempsey and Cole. Until Oklahoma City.
The Oklahoma City bombing, for which there exists a significant body of evidence of a shadow government operation, was used as justification for the enactment of the very provisions lawmakers had previously found most constitutionally troublesome. (Jennifer Van Bergen, “The USA PATRIOT Act Was Planned Before 9/11,” truthout, 20 May 2002, http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/05.21B.jvb.usapa.9/11.htm, downloaded 26 July 2007.)
March 13, 1962. Lyman Lemnitzer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presents a proposal to Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara named Operation Northwoods. The document proposed staging terrorist attacks in and around Guantanamo Bay to provide a pretext for military intervention in Cuba.
The plans included starting rumours about Cuba using clandestine radio, landing friendly Cubans inside the base to stage attacks, starting riots at the main gate, blowing up ammunition inside the base, starting fires, sabotaging aircraft and ships near the base, bombing the base with mortar shells, sinking a ship outside the entrance, staging funerals for mock victims, staging a terror campaign in Miami, Florida and Washington, D.C. and finally destroying a drone aircraft over Cuban waters.
The passengers, federal agents in reality, would allegedly be college students on vacation. A plane at Eglin Air Force Base would be painted and numbered as a duplicate of a registered civil aircraft belonging to a CIA front in Miami. The duplicate would be substituted for the real plane and loaded with the passengers. The real plane would be converted into a drone.
The two planes would rendezvous south of Florida. The passenger-laden plane would land at Eglin Air Force Base to evacuate its passengers and return to its original status. The drone would pick up the scheduled flight plan and, over Cuban waters, transmit a Mayday signal before being blown up by remote control.
The plan is rejected by McNamara and President John F. Kennedy removes Lemnitzer as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff a month later. (Loose Change.)
Some folks find the very thought of government involvement in the attacks on September 11th as absolutely repugnant, but as they say if we forget our history, we’re destined to repeat it. So let’s go back a few years to 1961 and look at the Northwoods Document. The Northwoods Document was drawn up by the Joint Chiefs, and in it they planned on shooting down our own planes, sinking our own battleships and conducting terrorist activity so that they could blame it on the Cubans during the Cuban Missile Crisis. As an example, in the Northwoods Document they discuss about an Aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base that could be painted and numbered as an exact duplicate for a civil registered aircraft belonging to a CIA proprietary organization in the Miami area. At a designated time, the duplicate would be substituted for the actual civil aircraft and would be loaded with the selected passengers, all boarded under carefully prepared aliases. The actual registered aircraft would be converted to a drone. Now, their plan was obviously to generate hostility for the American people towards the Cubans so that they could justify military activity. And, again, the concept about military contractors comes into play cause there’s a lot of money to be made from war and from military action. We need look no further then the Carlisle Group and Halliburton and Brown and Root. What’s going on today? Is history repeating itself? Is it possible that if the Joint Chiefs demonstrated that they had a plan and were willing to substitute aircraft and shoot one down to blame it on some innocent people, is it possible they would do that in today’s world? Is it possible that the aircraft that attacked on September 11th were not the commercial airliners at all? (Dave vonKleist in video One Nation Under Seige.)
Warnings from Foreign Governments
Q: What happened to the over 20 documented warnings given our government
by 14 foreign intelligence agencies or heads of state?
A: They were mostly ignored and/or used to perpetrate a propaganda campaign intended to make it appear that 9/11 was actually executed by 19 agents of Osama bin Laden, using cell phones from their caves in Afghanistan. As such, the federal government’s “explanation” is actually the most ridiculous conspiracy theory that anyone could possibly ever fabricate to explain what actually happened on 9/11. (9/11Truth.org, Answers to 9/11 Families’ Questions, posted 20 July 2007 at http://blogs.albawaba.com/post/2011/73057, downloaded August 6, 2007.)
Harassing of NGOs
More recently, [American Enterprise Institute] has emerged as one of the leading architects of the Bush administration‘s foreign policy. AEI rents office space to the Project for the New American Century, one of the leading voices that pushed the Bush administration’s plan for “regime change” through war in Iraq. AEI reps have also aggressively denied that the war has anything to do with oil. (“American Enterprise Institute,” SourceWatch.
In June 2003, AEI and another right-wing group, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, launched a new website NGOWatch.org/NGOwatch.org to expose the funding, operations and agendas of international NGOs, and particularly their alleged efforts to constrain US freedom of action in international affairs and influence the behavior of corporations abroad.  AEI states that “The extraordinary growth of advocacy NGOs in liberal democracies has the potential to undermine the sovereignty of constitutional democracies, as well as the effectiveness of credible NGOs.” Ralph Nader responds with “What they are condemning, with vague, ironic regulatory nostrums proposed against dissenting citizen groups, is democracy itself.”  (“American Enterprise Institute,” SourceWatch. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=American_Enterprise_Institute.)
December 1, 1984. A remote-controlled Boeing 720 takes off from Edwards Air Force Base and is crash-landed by NASA for fuel research. Before its destruction, the plane flew unmanned for a total of 16 hours and 20 minutes, including 10 takeoffs and 69 approaches and 13 landings. (Loose Change, downloaded from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E3oIbO0AWE, 15 Aug. 2007.)
August 1997. The cover of FEMA’s Emergency Response to Terrorism depicts the World Trade Center in crosshairs. (Loose Change, downloaded from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E3oIbO0AWE, 15 Aug. 2007.)
February 28, 1998. A Globalhawk, Raytheon’s unmanned aircraft vehicle, completes its first unmanned flight over Edwards Air Force Base in California at an altitude of 32,000 feet, cruising altitude for a commercial jetliner. (Loose Change, downloaded from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E3oIbO0AWE, 15 Aug. 2007.)
1999. NORAD begins conducting exercises in which hijacked airliners are flown into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. (Loose Change, downloaded from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E3oIbO0AWE, 15 Aug. 2007.)
June 2000. The Department of Justice releases a terrorism manual with the World Trade Center in crosshairs. (Loose Change, downloaded from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E3oIbO0AWE, 15 Aug. 2007.)
June 2001. The Department of Defence initiates new instructions for military intervention in the case of a hijacking. It states that for all non-immediate requests for responses the Department of Defence must get permission directly from the Secretary of Defence. (Loose Change, downloaded from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E3oIbO0AWE, 15 Aug. 2007.)
The Role of Scooter Libby
Scooter Libby’s pardon begs the question of what he would have talked about had he been truly faced with prison. Whatever it was, it was important enough for Bush to grant Libby a last-second reprieve so he wouldn’t have to go to jail.
I thought back to something I had tripped upon a while ago, something that involved Libby, which happened on September 10, 2001, the day before the twin towers were struck.
On the CNN site, in a timeline available from this page [http://archives.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/01/29/inv.terror.probe/] , I found this stunning entry:
“SEPTEMBER 10, 2001 A CIA plan to strike at al Qaeda in Afghanistan, including support for the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, is given to the White House. Sen. Dianne Feinstein asks for a meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney. The California Democrat is told that Cheney’s staff would need six months to prepare for a meeting.”
When I read this, I was stunned on two levels.
First, read that again. The CIA was going to do BEFORE 9/11 exactly what it did AFTER 9/11 – strike at al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Since we hadn’t been attacked yet, 9/11 provided a nifty justification for this plan.
But second, Feinstein is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, a group that works closely with intelligence agencies and–ostensibly–provides oversight of intelligence activities. (I say ostensibly because the committee does not know of, and therefore has no option to approve or disapprove all intelligence activities). How could it be that, as the 9/11 Commission report states, when the “system was blinking red” on a possible terrorist attack on the country, and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee comes to say hey, something serious is afoot and we need to talk, the VP’s office could blow off Feinstein by saying they couldn’t review her plans for six months?
Curious, I called Senator Feinstein’s office and asked, is it normal for the VP to blow off a meeting with Senator Feinstein for six months? The four people I spoke to in her office all said and did the same thing. They said no, that’s not usual, what is this about? I said this is about the Senator’s 9/10 visit to Cheney, the day before 9/11. At this, each staffer got nervous and transferred me to the next person. None of them would even confirm that this conversation had transpired, but in the end, I found it on a press release on Feinstein’s senate site:
“I was deeply concerned as to whether our house was in order to prevent a terrorist attack. My work on the Intelligence Committee and as chair of the Technology and Terrorism Subcommittee had given me a sense of foreboding for some time. I had no specific data leading to a possible attack.
“In fact, I was so concerned that I contacted Vice President Cheney’s office that same month to urge that he restructure our counter-terrorism and homeland defense programs to ensure better accountability and prevent important intelligence information from slipping through the cracks.
“Despite repeated efforts by myself and staff, the White House did not address my request. I followed this up last September 2001 before the attacks and was told by ‘Scooter’ Libby that it might be another six months before he would be able to review the material. I told him I did not believe we had six months to wait.”
This just begs the question. Did Scooter Libby know what was going to happen? Did he know just how busy they really would be over the next six months due to the coming attack the next day? It’s hard not to see that as a possibility.
I was particularly interested that it was I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby who put Feinstein off. Libby was one of the co-signers to the seminal document, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” from the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). In contrast to JFK’s call that we seek a true peaceful co-existence with other countries, rather than a “pax Americana,” the PNAC report calls for just that – ensuring a pax Americana. This is the same report that said,
“…the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.”
That quote gave rise to the notion that perhaps 9/11 was made or allowed to happen by the government as an excuse to get us back into a war. We know now that the administration tried hard to make that war one in Iraq, despite the fact that no evidence from 9/11 linked Iraq to the attack in any way. …
I believe that Libby’s blowing off of Feinstein on the 10th should be investigated. Why did he tell her it would be six months before they could review her proposal when such a timeframe was utterly out of keeping re a request from a high profile Senator to the Vice President? I can’t help but wonder if the pardon is intended, in part, to keep Libby silent on that point.
(“Scooter Libby’s Pardon and 9/11,” Real History Blog, 3 July 2007, downloaded from http://realhistoryarchives.blogspot.com/2007/07/scooter-libbys-pardon-and-911.html, 7 August 2007.)
In 1992, while he was working under Cheney, Libby teamed up with Wolfowitz, with the assistance of Zalmay Khalilzad, to write the Pentagon’s new DPG. The draft version of the guidance, ordered by Cheney, laid out a military strategy for global military dominance and preventive war. A version of it was leaked to the press, and the DPG was toned down after the New York Times published a story about the document’s recommendations for a post-Cold War defense posture. The draft DPG called for massive increases in defense spending, the assertion of lone superpower status, the prevention of the emergence of any regional competitors, the use of preventive—or preemptive—force, and the idea of forsaking multilateralism if it didn’t suit U.S. interests. It called for intervening in disputes throughout the globe, even when the disputes were not directly related to U.S. interests, arguing that the United States should “retain the preeminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends, or which could seriously disrupt international relations.” The United States must also “show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests.”
After 9/11, many of the ideas outlined in the draft DPG resonated with the Bush administration. When the administration released the unclassified version of President George W. Bush’s National Security Strategy, observers remarked on the many similarities between the draft guidance and the new so-called Bush Doctrine, particularly their mutual call for a preemptive defense posture.
The guidance also seems to have served as a template for the founding statement of principles of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which was signed by a who’s who list of foreign policy hardliners and neoconservatives who joined the George W. Bush administration, including Cheney, Libby, Wolfowitz, Khalilzad, Donald Rumsfeld, Elliott Abrams, and Peter Rodman. Libby, along with other PNAC principals, was part of the team that also produced the PNAC report, Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces, and Resources for a New Century, which prefigured the Bush administration’s defense policy and budget. (“I. Lewis Libby,” Right Web, http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/1271, downloaded 27 July 2007.)
Bush Family Background
Bush: Alleged History of Drug Abuse
In her new book, “The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty,” author Kitty Kelley claims that President Bush snorted cocaine at Camp David and that Laura Bush tried marijuana in her younger years, the Mirror reported Sept. 6.
According to Kelley, Bush first tried cocaine in college in the mid-1960s. She also quoted the president’s former sister-in-law, Sharon Bush, who said, “Bush did coke at Camp David when his father was president, and not just once, either.”
The book also cites acquaintances from the National Guard who claimed that Bush “liked to sneak out back for a joint or into the bathroom for a line of cocaine.”
During the 1999 election season, Bush said he hadn’t used illegal drugs in the past 25 years. But Kelley said that the Bush family was able to cover up the president’s past drug use because of their wealth and influence.
The Bush administration dismissed the allegations. “This book appears to be filled with the same trash discredited years ago,” the White House said in a statement. (“Book Claims Bush Used Cocaine,” Drug Addiction News, 8 August 2007, downloaded from http://www.drug-addiction.com/news/bush-used-cocaine.htm, 8 August 2007.)
Sharon Bush, the former sister-in-law of President Bush, has denied alleging in Kitty Kelley’s new book on the Bush family that the president had used cocaine, the Washington Post reported Sept. 9.
In Kelley’s book, “The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty,” Sharon Bush is quoted as saying that the president used cocaine at Camp David.
“I categorically deny that I ever told Kitty Kelley that George W. Bush used cocaine at Camp David or that I ever saw him use cocaine at Camp David,” said Sharon Bush, who is divorced from the president’s brother Neil. “When Kitty Kelley raised drug use at Camp David, I responded by saying something along the lines of, ‘Who would say such a thing?’ Although there have been tensions between me and various members of the Bush family, I cannot allow this falsehood to go unchallenged.”
Kelley’s editor said the author has provided “confirmation” for the information. Doubleday, Kelley’s publisher, also stands behind the author’s account.
“Doubleday stands fully behind the accuracy of Ms. Kelley’s reporting and believes that everything she attributes to Sharon Bush in her book is an accurate account of their discussions,” said Suzanne Herz, associate publisher. “Ms. Kelley met with Sharon Bush over the course of a four-hour lunch on April 1, 2003, at the Chelsea Bistro in Manhattan.”
The following day, Kelley talked with Sharon Bush in a 90-minute phone conversation in the presence of Peter Gethers, her Doubleday editor. Gethers confirmed the accuracy of Bush’s comments.
“Kelley has notes to corroborate both these conversations,” Herz said, and Bush “understood that anything she said could be used for publication.”
(“Sharon Bush Denies Detailing Past Drug Use by President,” Drug Addiction News, 8 August 2007, downloaded from http://www.drug-addiction.com/news/bush-used-cocaine.htm, 8 August 2007.)
As governor of Texas, he took a hard line on drugs. He supported increased penalties for possession and signed legislation mandating jail time for people caught with less than a single gram of cocaine.
Yet, as the claims of Sharon Bush, his sister-in-law, show, he could have been subject to jail time himself had he been caught “doing coke” with his brother Marvin at Camp David during his father’s presidency.
In the midst of an unfriendly divorce from Neil, another of the Bush brothers, Sharon told me last year: “He and Marvin did coke at Camp David when their father was president and not just once, either.”
As governor, George W had been very careful not to lie about doing illegal drugs himself, because he knew there were too many people who could testify to the truth. “When I was young and irresponsible,” he would say, “I was young and irresponsible.”
So what was his drugs record? When they were young, both he and Laura used to go down to the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands where they attended and enjoyed heavy pot-smoking parties. Smoking pot was hardly a sin but it did not mesh with the strait-laced image the Bushes were now presenting to the voters.
Then there were the allegations about cocaine. When W was at Yale in the mid-1960s, it was the most popular drug on campus. One contemporary, who insists on remaining anonymous, admitted years later to selling cocaine to W at the university.
Another man who was at Yale’s graduate school recalled “doing coke” with George, but he would not allow his recollections to be used on the record. This was not simply through fear of retribution. He said he did not feel right about “blowing George’s cover because I was doing the same thing”. A confirmed Democrat, he also said that although he could not stand George’s Republican politics, he liked him as a person.
Alcohol, the more familiar thread in W’s life story, started at Andover, the exclusive school W attended.
Andover stressed athletics as part of its regimen. Unable to live up to his father’s legacy as one of Andover’s most outstanding athletes, George W played his own kind of sports and won a reputation as a prankster.
“He loved stickball, which is baseball played with a broomstick and a tennis ball and funny hats,” recalled his contemporary, J Milburn “Kim” Jessup. “George made himself the high commissioner of stickball, which was a joke job.”
Alcohol was absolutely forbidden on or off campus, but the high commissioner of stickball figured out a way to beat the system. He designed an official stickball membership card that seemed to carry the imprimatur of Andover. He distributed the cards as fake IDs.
“People took the cards and started slipping off campus to go to Boston so they could get drunk,” said Jessup.
When W moved on to Yale at 18, with the Vietnam war at its height, he felt alienated on the liberal campus because of his father’s conservative politics and his own Texan childhood.
“George was definitely not on the popular side of the war issue, but he stood his ground,” said Robert Dieter, his Yale roommate. “Saying someone was conservative back then almost had a moral sting. I remember him coming back to the room and telling me that someone had been in his face about his father’s position. There was a certain arrogance that the left conveyed back then. It was hurtful.”
As a result, George spent most of his time carousing at the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity house or “the drinking jock house”, as it was known. Some classmates remember him as a “hard-drinking good-time guy” and “a jock sniffer” who “loved to raise hell”.
Ken White, a DKE contemporary, told me: “My wife remembers him roaring drunk one night at a DKE party without a date doing the Alligator; that was some sort of dance back then when you fell to the floor on all fours and started rolling around.”
In the spring of 1972, after graduating from Yale and while serving part-time in the Texas Air National Guard, George W embarked on what he would later describe as his “nomadic years”. Seeing him adrift, his father got him a job with the Republican campaign in a Senate race in Alabama.
Those who worked with George at that time remember him as an affable social drinker who acted much younger than his 26 years. They recall that he liked to drink beer and Jim Beam whiskey at the Cloverdale Grill in Birmingham, Alabama. They also say he liked to sneak out the back for a joint of marijuana or into the bathroom for a line of cocaine.
According to their recollections, he tended to show up for work “around noon”, prop his cowboy boots on a desk and start bragging about how much he had drunk the night before.
Spending Christmas in Washington with his parents, W went out drinking with 16-year-old Marvin. Driving home, he smashed into several dustbins. He swaggered into the house with the bravado of someone who had drunk too much, and there was his father, sober and unsmiling.
“You want to go mano a mano right here?” George junior challenged. …
The couple [Georeg and Laura Bush] kept their distance from the Bush family for several years in the 1980s, staying in Midland and even skipping the big surprise party that George Sr — by then vice-president of the United States — threw for his wife on their 41st wedding anniversary. “It’s a long way,” Barbara said, “and too expensive.” But family members confirmed that she had stopped speaking to her son, whose drunken outbursts had become a source of unending embarrassment to his wife and parents. The last eruption at a family gathering had been a tactless crack to the wife of one of his parents’ friends at her 50th birthday party: “So, what’s sex like after 50, anyway?”
He was 40 by the time he gave up tobacco, alcohol and drugs in 1986 and became a born-again Christian. In his memoir, A Charge to Keep, W credited his family’s good friend, the Reverend Billy Graham, with planting “a mustard seed in my soul”. He did not mention that he actually came to Jesus in a coffee house conversion with a much more flamboyant evangelist, Arthur Blessitt, who was known among born-agains as the man who had wheeled a 96lb cross of Jesus into 60 countries on six continents, winning a place in the Guinness Book of Records. (Kitty Kelley, “How Team Bush Took an Airbush to the Chosen One’s Misdeeds,” Sunday Times, 12 Sept. 2004, downloaded from http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/article481282.ece, 7 August 2007.)
First he refused to confirm or deny it. Later he would say only that “when I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible.” Next he said that the issue wasn’t relevant. Then he said that he wouldn’t address “rumors.” Then he said that he could pass a standard security check dating back seven years. Finally, he said that he could’ve passed the security check in his father’s White House — fifteen years. Though he had to think before specifying whether he could’ve passed it then or now. Now, no matter what he says, the issue seems destined to dog him until the day he comes clean.
Texas Governor and Republican presidential frontrunner George W. Bush, Jr. has a cocaine problem.
Under normal circumstances, an individual’s past drug use, especially if that use occurred in the distant past, should not be relevant to their qualifications for present employment. But in the race for the United States Presidency, it is relevant on two counts. In fact, in Governor Bush’s case, it is relevant on three.
As governor of Texas, George W. Bush, Jr. supported and signed legislation increasing penalties for drug possession in that state. In one instance, Governor Bush signed legislation mandating jail time for people caught with less than a single gram of cocaine. As a candidate, Bush’s handling of the cocaine question offers clues as to how he deals with embarrassing mistakes — admit them and move on, or obfuscate and side-step. As President, Governor Bush would preside over a national drug policy that is increasingly punitive, the driving force behind the nation’s ascendancy to the title of world’s most prolific incarcerator.
In 1992, Republicans asked whether Democratic candidate Bill Clinton could summon the moral authority to send young people to war, given the fact that he had successfully avoided military service during his youth. Today, Governor Bush must be asked whether he can summon the moral authority to send young people to prison, given the fact that he had avoided the DEA in his youth.
It is becoming increasingly clear that George Junior most likely did toot a line or two back in his halcyon days. The relevant question, then, is whether or not he believes that five or ten years in prison would have been the appropriate societal response to that use. And if not, why he believes that such treatment is appropriate for the children of fathers who were not Ambassadors to China, Directors of the CIA, Vice Presidents or Commanders-in-Chief.
The truth is that George Junior was never in much danger of being treated like less fortunate Americans who get sucked into our runaway criminal justice system. As the rich son of a powerful man, it is unlikely that he would have been pulled over, searched, or busted in a street sweep. Rich people don’t buy their coke on the street, in quarter gram increments. And if by some strange confluence of events he had been caught and arrested — rather than sent on his way with a wave of his ID — he would have certainly had an expensive attorney, and a spot waiting for him at the Betty Ford Clinic. The judge would likely have wished him well in his recovery. It would’ve taken an act of God or else an act of monumental stupidity on his own part for George Junior to have ever seen the inside of an American prison for drug possession.
But now he’s running for president. And the questions keep coming. And his answers keep changing. And try as he might to create a statute of limitations for questions about his personal life, there is no such statute for hypocrisy.
Sending people to prison, increasing their sentences by the stroke of his pen for the very behavior that he now claims is irrelevant in his own history, does not speak well for the honor or the conscience of the man. George W. Bush Jr. has a cocaine problem. But he’s got a big lead in the polls, and more than thirty million dollars in the bank. He’ll suffer an awful long time before he hits bottom. Right now, pathetic as it is to watch, his evasive machinations in the face of confrontation can only mean one thing. He’s still in denial. (Adam J. Smith, “Governor Bush’s Cocaine Problem,” The Progress Report, Summer 2000, downloaded from http://www.progress.org/archive/drc12.htm, 7 Aug. 2007.)
The Bush Family
George Bush’s grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.
The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.
His business dealings, which continued until his company’s assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.
The evidence has also prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator’s action should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
The debate over Prescott Bush’s behaviour has been bubbling under the surface for some time. There has been a steady internet chatter about the “Bush/Nazi” connection, much of it inaccurate and unfair. But the new documents, many of which were only declassified last year, show that even after America had entered the war and when there was already significant information about the Nazis’ plans and policies, he worked for and profited from companies closely involved with the very German businesses that financed Hitler’s rise to power. It has also been suggested that the money he made from these dealings helped to establish the Bush family fortune and set up its political dynasty.
Remarkably, little of Bush’s dealings with Germany has received public scrutiny, partly because of the secret status of the documentation involving him. But now the multibillion dollar legal action for damages by two Holocaust survivors against the Bush family, and the imminent publication of three books on the subject are threatening to make Prescott Bush’s business history an uncomfortable issue for his grandson, George W, as he seeks re-election.
While there is no suggestion that Prescott Bush was sympathetic to the Nazi cause, the documents reveal that the firm he worked for, Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), acted as a US base for the German industrialist, Fritz Thyssen, who helped finance Hitler in the 1930s before falling out with him at the end of the decade. The Guardian has seen evidence that shows Bush was the director of the New York-based Union Banking Corporation (UBC) that represented Thyssen’s US interests and he continued to work for the bank after America entered the war.
Bush was also on the board of at least one of the companies that formed part of a multinational network of front companies to allow Thyssen to move assets around the world.
Thyssen owned the largest steel and coal company in Germany and grew rich from Hitler’s efforts to re-arm between the two world wars. One of the pillars in Thyssen’s international corporate web, UBC, worked exclusively for, and was owned by, a Thyssen-controlled bank in the Netherlands. More tantalising are Bush’s links to the Consolidated Silesian Steel Company (CSSC), based in mineral rich Silesia on the German-Polish border. During the war, the company made use of Nazi slave labour from the concentration camps, including Auschwitz. The ownership of CSSC changed hands several times in the 1930s, but documents from the US National Archive declassified last year link Bush to CSSC, although it is not clear if he and UBC were still involved in the company when Thyssen’s American assets were seized in 1942.
Three sets of archives spell out Prescott Bush’s involvement. All three are readily available, thanks to the efficient US archive system and a helpful and dedicated staff at both the Library of Congress in Washington and the National Archives at the University of Maryland.
The first set of files, the Harriman papers in the Library of Congress, show that Prescott Bush was a director and shareholder of a number of companies involved with Thyssen.
The second set of papers, which are in the National Archives, are contained in vesting order number 248 which records the seizure of the company assets. What these files show is that on October 20 1942 the alien property custodian seized the assets of the UBC, of which Prescott Bush was a director. Having gone through the books of the bank, further seizures were made against two affiliates, the Holland-American Trading Corporation and the Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation. By November, the Silesian-American Company, another of Prescott Bush’s ventures, had also been seized.
The third set of documents, also at the National Archives, are contained in the files on IG Farben, who was prosecuted for war crimes.
A report issued by the Office of Alien Property Custodian in 1942 stated of the companies that “since 1939, these (steel and mining) properties have been in possession of and have been operated by the German government and have undoubtedly been of considerable assistance to that country’s war effort”.
Prescott Bush, a 6ft 4in charmer with a rich singing voice, was the founder of the Bush political dynasty and was once considered a potential presidential candidate himself. Like his son, George, and grandson, George W, he went to Yale where he was, again like his descendants, a member of the secretive and influential Skull and Bones student society. He was an artillery captain in the first world war and married Dorothy Walker, the daughter of George Herbert Walker, in 1921.
In 1924, his father-in-law, a well-known St Louis investment banker, helped set him up in business in New York with Averill Harriman, the wealthy son of railroad magnate E H Harriman in New York, who had gone into banking.
One of the first jobs Walker gave Bush was to manage UBC. Bush was a founding member of the bank and the incorporation documents, which list him as one of seven directors, show he owned one share in UBC worth $125.
The bank was set up by Harriman and Bush’s father-in-law to provide a US bank for the Thyssens, Germany’s most powerful industrial family.
August Thyssen, the founder of the dynasty had been a major contributor to Germany’s first world war effort and in the 1920s, he and his sons Fritz and Heinrich established a network of overseas banks and companies so their assets and money could be whisked offshore if threatened again.
By the time Fritz Thyssen inherited the business empire in 1926, Germany’s economic recovery was faltering. After hearing Adolf Hitler speak, Thyssen became mesmerised by the young firebrand. He joined the Nazi party in December 1931 and admits backing Hitler in his autobiography, I Paid Hitler, when the National Socialists were still a radical fringe party. He stepped in several times to bail out the struggling party: in 1928 Thyssen had bought the Barlow Palace on Briennerstrasse, in Munich, which Hitler converted into the Brown House, the headquarters of the Nazi party. The money came from another Thyssen overseas institution, the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvarrt in Rotterdam.
By the late 1930s, Brown Brothers Harriman, which claimed to be the world’s largest private investment bank, and UBC had bought and shipped millions of dollars of gold, fuel, steel, coal and US treasury bonds to Germany, both feeding and financing Hitler’s build-up to war.
Between 1931 and 1933 UBC bought more than $8m worth of gold, of which $3m was shipped abroad. According to documents seen by the Guardian, after UBC was set up it transferred $2m to BBH accounts and between 1924 and 1940 the assets of UBC hovered around $3m, dropping to $1m only on a few occasions.
In 1941, Thyssen fled Germany after falling out with Hitler but he was captured in France and detained for the remainder of the war.
There was nothing illegal in doing business with the Thyssens throughout the 1930s and many of America’s best-known business names invested heavily in the German economic recovery. However, everything changed after Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Even then it could be argued that BBH was within its rights continuing business relations with the Thyssens until the end of 1941 as the US was still technically neutral until the attack on Pearl Harbor. The trouble started on July 30 1942 when the New York Herald-Tribune ran an article entitled “Hitler’s Angel Has $3m in US Bank”. UBC’s huge gold purchases had raised suspicions that the bank was in fact a “secret nest egg” hidden in New York for Thyssen and other Nazi bigwigs. The Alien Property Commission (APC) launched an investigation.
There is no dispute over the fact that the US government seized a string of assets controlled by BBH – including UBC and SAC – in the autumn of 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy act. What is in dispute is if Harriman, Walker and Bush did more than own these companies on paper.
Erwin May, a treasury attache and officer for the department of investigation in the APC, was assigned to look into UBC’s business. The first fact to emerge was that Roland Harriman, Prescott Bush and the other directors didn’t actually own their shares in UBC but merely held them on behalf of Bank voor Handel. Strangely, no one seemed to know who owned the Rotterdam-based bank, including UBC’s president.
May wrote in his report of August 16 1941: “Union Banking Corporation, incorporated August 4 1924, is wholly owned by the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart N.V of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. My investigation has produced no evidence as to the ownership of the Dutch bank. Mr Cornelis [sic] Lievense, president of UBC, claims no knowledge as to the ownership of the Bank voor Handel but believes it possible that Baron Heinrich Thyssen, brother of Fritz Thyssen, may own a substantial interest.”
May cleared the bank of holding a golden nest egg for the Nazi leaders but went on to describe a network of companies spreading out from UBC across Europe, America and Canada, and how money from voor Handel travelled to these companies through UBC.
By September May had traced the origins of the non-American board members and found that Dutchman HJ Kouwenhoven – who met with Harriman in 1924 to set up UBC – had several other jobs: in addition to being the managing director of voor Handel he was also the director of the August Thyssen bank in Berlin and a director of Fritz Thyssen’s Union Steel Works, the holding company that controlled Thyssen’s steel and coal mine empire in Germany.
Within a few weeks, Homer Jones, the chief of the APC investigation and research division sent a memo to the executive committee of APC recommending the US government vest UBC and its assets. Jones named the directors of the bank in the memo, including Prescott Bush’s name, and wrote: “Said stock is held by the above named individuals, however, solely as nominees for the Bank voor Handel, Rotterdam, Holland, which is owned by one or more of the Thyssen family, nationals of Germany and Hungary. The 4,000 shares hereinbefore set out are therefore beneficially owned and help for the interests of enemy nationals, and are vestible by the APC,” according to the memo from the National Archives seen by the Guardian.
Jones recommended that the assets be liquidated for the benefit of the government, but instead UBC was maintained intact and eventually returned to the American shareholders after the war. Some claim that Bush sold his share in UBC after the war for $1.5m – a huge amount of money at the time – but there is no documentary evidence to support this claim. No further action was ever taken nor was the investigation continued, despite the fact UBC was caught red-handed operating a American shell company for the Thyssen family eight months after America had entered the war and that this was the bank that had partly financed Hitler’s rise to power.
The most tantalising part of the story remains shrouded in mystery: the connection, if any, between Prescott Bush, Thyssen, Consolidated Silesian Steel Company (CSSC) and Auschwitz.
Thyssen’s partner in United Steel Works, which had coal mines and steel plants across the region, was Friedrich Flick, another steel magnate who also owned part of IG Farben, the powerful German chemical company.
Flick’s plants in Poland made heavy use of slave labour from the concentration camps in Poland. According to a New York Times article published in March 18 1934 Flick owned two-thirds of CSSC while “American interests” held the rest.
The US National Archive documents show that BBH’s involvement with CSSC was more than simply holding the shares in the mid-1930s. Bush’s friend and fellow “bonesman” Knight Woolley, another partner at BBH, wrote to Averill Harriman in January 1933 warning of problems with CSSC after the Poles started their drive to nationalise the plant. “The Consolidated Silesian Steel Company situation has become increasingly complicated, and I have accordingly brought in Sullivan and Cromwell, in order to be sure that our interests are protected,” wrote Knight. “After studying the situation Foster Dulles is insisting that their man in Berlin get into the picture and obtain the information which the directors here should have. You will recall that Foster is a director and he is particularly anxious to be certain that there is no liability attaching to the American directors.”
But the ownership of the CSSC between 1939 when the Germans invaded Poland and 1942 when the US government vested UBC and SAC is not clear.
“SAC held coal mines and definitely owned CSSC between 1934 and 1935, but when SAC was vested there was no trace of CSSC. All concrete evidence of its ownership disappears after 1935 and there are only a few traces in 1938 and 1939,” says Eva Schweitzer, the journalist and author whose book, America and the Holocaust, is published next month.
Silesia was quickly made part of the German Reich after the invasion, but while Polish factories were seized by the Nazis, those belonging to the still neutral Americans (and some other nationals) were treated more carefully as Hitler was still hoping to persuade the US to at least sit out the war as a neutral country. Schweitzer says American interests were dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The Nazis bought some out, but not others.
The two Holocaust survivors suing the US government and the Bush family for a total of $40bn in compensation claim both materially benefited from Auschwitz slave labour during the second world war.
Kurt Julius Goldstein, 87, and Peter Gingold, 85, began a class action in America in 2001, but the case was thrown out by Judge Rosemary Collier on the grounds that the government cannot be held liable under the principle of “state sovereignty”.
Jan Lissmann, one of the lawyers for the survivors, said: “President Bush withdrew President Bill Clinton’s signature from the treaty [that founded the court] not only to protect Americans, but also to protect himself and his family.”
Lissmann argues that genocide-related cases are covered by international law, which does hold governments accountable for their actions. He claims the ruling was invalid as no hearing took place.
In their claims, Mr Goldstein and Mr Gingold, honorary chairman of the League of Anti-fascists, suggest the Americans were aware of what was happening at Auschwitz and should have bombed the camp.
The lawyers also filed a motion in The Hague asking for an opinion on whether state sovereignty is a valid reason for refusing to hear their case. A ruling is expected within a month.
The petition to The Hague states: “From April 1944 on, the American Air Force could have destroyed the camp with air raids, as well as the railway bridges and railway lines from Hungary to Auschwitz. The murder of about 400,000 Hungarian Holocaust victims could have been prevented.”
The case is built around a January 22 1944 executive order signed by President Franklin Roosevelt calling on the government to take all measures to rescue the European Jews. The lawyers claim the order was ignored because of pressure brought by a group of big American companies, including BBH, where Prescott Bush was a director.
Lissmann said: “If we have a positive ruling from the court it will cause [president] Bush huge problems and make him personally liable to pay compensation.”
The US government and the Bush family deny all the claims against them.
In addition to Eva Schweitzer’s book, two other books are about to be published that raise the subject of Prescott Bush’s business history. The author of the second book, to be published next year, John Loftus, is a former US attorney who prosecuted Nazi war criminals in the 70s. Now living in St Petersburg, Florida and earning his living as a security commentator for Fox News and ABC radio, Loftus is working on a novel which uses some of the material he has uncovered on Bush. Loftus stressed that what Prescott Bush was involved in was just what many other American and British businessmen were doing at the time.
“You can’t blame Bush for what his grandfather did any more than you can blame Jack Kennedy for what his father did – bought Nazi stocks – but what is important is the cover-up, how it could have gone on so successfully for half a century, and does that have implications for us today?” he said.
“This was the mechanism by which Hitler was funded to come to power, this was the mechanism by which the Third Reich’s defence industry was re-armed, this was the mechanism by which Nazi profits were repatriated back to the American owners, this was the mechanism by which investigations into the financial laundering of the Third Reich were blunted,” said Loftus, who is vice-chairman of the Holocaust Museum in St Petersburg.
“The Union Banking Corporation was a holding company for the Nazis, for Fritz Thyssen,” said Loftus. “At various times, the Bush family has tried to spin it, saying they were owned by a Dutch bank and it wasn’t until the Nazis took over Holland that they realised that now the Nazis controlled the apparent company and that is why the Bush supporters claim when the war was over they got their money back. Both the American treasury investigations and the intelligence investigations in Europe completely bely that, it’s absolute horseshit. They always knew who the ultimate beneficiaries were.”
“There is no one left alive who could be prosecuted but they did get away with it,” said Loftus. “As a former federal prosecutor, I would make a case for Prescott Bush, his father-in-law (George Walker) and Averill Harriman [to be prosecuted] for giving aid and comfort to the enemy. They remained on the boards of these companies knowing that they were of financial benefit to the nation of Germany.”
Loftus said Prescott Bush must have been aware of what was happening in Germany at the time. “My take on him was that he was a not terribly successful in-law who did what Herbert Walker told him to. Walker and Harriman were the two evil geniuses, they didn’t care about the Nazis any more than they cared about their investments with the Bolsheviks.”
What is also at issue is how much money Bush made from his involvement. His supporters suggest that he had one token share. Loftus disputes this, citing sources in “the banking and intelligence communities” and suggesting that the Bush family, through George Herbert Walker and Prescott, got $1.5m out of the involvement. There is, however, no paper trail to this sum.
The third person going into print on the subject is John Buchanan, 54, a Miami-based magazine journalist who started examining the files while working on a screenplay. Last year, Buchanan published his findings in the venerable but small-circulation New Hampshire Gazette under the headline “Documents in National Archives Prove George Bush’s Grandfather Traded With the Nazis – Even After Pearl Harbor”. He expands on this in his book to be published next month – Fixing America: Breaking the Stranglehold of Corporate Rule, Big Media and the Religious Right.
In the article, Buchanan, who has worked mainly in the trade and music press with a spell as a muckraking reporter in Miami, claimed that “the essential facts have appeared on the internet and in relatively obscure books but were dismissed by the media and Bush family as undocumented diatribes”.
Buchanan suffers from hypermania, a form of manic depression, and when he found himself rebuffed in his initial efforts to interest the media, he responded with a series of threats against the journalists and media outlets that had spurned him. The threats, contained in e-mails, suggested that he would expose the journalists as “traitors to the truth”.
Unsurprisingly, he soon had difficulty getting his calls returned. Most seriously, he faced aggravated stalking charges in Miami, in connection with a man with whom he had fallen out over the best way to publicise his findings. The charges were dropped last month.
Buchanan said he regretted his behaviour had damaged his credibility but his main aim was to secure publicity for the story. Both Loftus and Schweitzer say Buchanan has come up with previously undisclosed documentation.
The Bush family have largely responded with no comment to any reference to Prescott Bush. Brown Brothers Harriman also declined to comment.
The Bush family recently approved a flattering biography of Prescott Bush entitled Duty, Honour, Country by Mickey Herskowitz. The publishers, Rutledge Hill Press, promised the book would “deal honestly with Prescott Bush’s alleged business relationships with Nazi industrialists and other accusations”.
In fact, the allegations are dealt with in less than two pages. The book refers to the Herald-Tribune story by saying that “a person of less established ethics would have panicked … Bush and his partners at Brown Brothers Harriman informed the government regulators that the account, opened in the late 1930s, was ‘an unpaid courtesy for a client’ … Prescott Bush acted quickly and openly on behalf of the firm, served well by a reputation that had never been compromised. He made available all records and all documents. Viewed six decades later in the era of serial corporate scandals and shattered careers, he received what can be viewed as the ultimate clean bill.”
The Prescott Bush story has been condemned by both conservatives and some liberals as having nothing to do with the current president. It has also been suggested that Prescott Bush had little to do with Averill Harriman and that the two men opposed each other politically.
However, documents from the Harriman papers include a flattering wartime profile of Harriman in the New York Journal American and next to it in the files is a letter to the financial editor of that paper from Prescott Bush congratulating the paper for running the profile. He added that Harriman’s “performance and his whole attitude has been a source of inspiration and pride to his partners and his friends”.
The Anti-Defamation League in the US is supportive of Prescott Bush and the Bush family. In a statement last year they said that “rumours about the alleged Nazi ‘ties’ of the late Prescott Bush … have circulated widely through the internet in recent years. These charges are untenable and politically motivated … Prescott Bush was neither a Nazi nor a Nazi sympathiser.”
However, one of the country’s oldest Jewish publications, the Jewish Advocate, has aired the controversy in detail.
More than 60 years after Prescott Bush came briefly under scrutiny at the time of a faraway war, his grandson is facing a different kind of scrutiny but one underpinned by the same perception that, for some people, war can be a profitable business (Ben Aris and Duncan Campbell, “How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power,” Guardian, 25 September 2004.)
George Bush Sr. Implicated in Cocaine and Arms Smuggling
June 25, 1984:
The National Security Planning Group, including Reagan, Bush and other top officials, met secretly in the White House situation room at 2:00 P.M. They discussed whether to risk seeking “ third- country aid ” to the Contras, to get around the congressional ban enacted Dec. 21, 1982. George Bush spoke in favor, according to minutes of the meeting. Bush said, “ How can anyone object to the U.S. encouraging third parties to provide help to the anti- Sandinistas under the [intelligence] finding. The only problem that might come up is if the United States were to promise to give these third parties something in return so that some people might interpret this as some kind of an exchange ” [emphasis added]. Warning that this would be illegal, Secretary of State Shultz said: “ I would like to get money for the contras also, but another lawyer [then-Treasury Secretary] Jim Baker said if we go out and try to get money from third countries, it is an impeachable offense. ” CIA Director Casey reminded Shultz that “ Jim Baker changed his mind [and now supported the circumvention]…. ” NSC adviser Robert McFarlane cautioned, “ I propose that there be no authority for anyone to seek third party support for the anti-Sandinistas until we have the information we need, and I certainly hope none of this discussion will be made public in any way. ” President Ronald Reagan then closed the meeting with a warning against anyone leaking the fact they were considering how to circumvent the law: “ If such a story gets out, we’ll all be hanging by our thumbs in front of the White House until we find out who did it. ” In March of the following year, Bush personally arranged the transfer of funds to the Contras by the Honduran government, assuring them they would receive compensating U.S. aid. The minutes of this meeting, originally marked “ secret, ” were released five years later, at Oliver North’s trial in the spring of 1989. …
George Bush’s office officially organized contacts through the State Department for Felix Rodriguez to operate in Central America from a base in El Salvador, in a false “ private ” capacity. …
Rodriguez, by George Bush’s story the private, volunteer helper of the Contras, flew from Panama to El Salvador on General Gorman’s personal C-12 airplane.
February 15, 1985 (Friday):
After Rodriguez had arrived in El Salvador and had begun setting up the central resupply depot for the Contras–at Ilopango Airbase– Ambassador Thomas Pickering sent an “ Eyes Only ” cable to the State Department on his conversation with Rodriguez. Pickering’s cable bore the postscript, “ Please brief Don Gregg in the V.P.’s office for me. ”
December 31, 1985 (Tuesday):
Iranian arms dealer Cyrus Hashemi told Paris-based CIA agent Bernard Veillot that Vice President Bush was backing arms sales to Iran, and that official U.S. approval for private sales to Iran, amounting to $2 billion, was “ going to be signed by Mr. Bush and [U.S. Marine Corps commandant] Gen. [Paul X.] Kelley on Friday. ”
Loudly and publicly exposed in the midst of Iran arms deals, Veillot was indicted by the U.S. Then the charges were quietly dropped, and Veillot went underground. A few months later Hashemi died suddenly of “leukemia.”
According to a sworn statement of pilot Michael Tolliver, Felix Rodriguez had met him in July 1985. Now Rodriguez instructed Tolliver to go to Miami International Airport. Tolliver picked up a DC-6 aircraft and a crew, and flew the plane to a Contra base in Honduras. There Tolliver watched the unloading of 14 tons of military supplies, and the loading of 12 and 2/3 tons of marijuana. Following his instructions from Rodriguez, Tolliver flew the dope to Homestead Air Force Base in Florida. The next day Rodriguez paid Tolliver $75,000.
Tolliver says that another of the flights he performed for Rodriguez carried cocaine on the return trip to the U.S.A. He made a series of arms deliveries from Miami into the air base at Agucate, Honduras. He was paid in cash by Rodriguez and his old Miami CIA colleague, Rafael “ Chi Chi ” Quintero. In another circuit of flights, Tolliver and his crew flew between Miami and El Salvador’s Ilopango air base. Tolliver said that Rodriguez and Quintero “ instructed me where to go and who to see. ” While making these flights, he “ could go by any route available without any interference from any agency. We didn’t need a stamp of approval from Customs or anybody…. ‘ With reference to the covert arms shipments out of Miami, George Bush’s son Jeb said: “ Sure, there’s a pretty good chance that arms were shipped, but does that break any law? I’m not sure it’s illegal. The Neutrality Act is a completely untested notion, established in the 1800s. ”
May 16, 1986:
George Bush met with President Reagan, and with cabinet members and other officials in the full National Security Planning Group. They discussed the urgent need to raise more money for the Contras to continue the anti-Sandinista war.
The participants decided to seek support for the Contras from nations (“ third countries ”) which were not directly involved in the Central American conflict. As a result of this initiative, George Bush’s former business partners, the Sultan of Brunei, donated $10 million to the Contras. But after being deposited in secret Swiss bank accounts, the money was “ lost. ”
May 20, 1986:
George Bush met with Felix Rodriguez and El Salvador Air Force commander Gen. Juan Rafael Bustillo at a large reception in Miami on Cuban independence day.
The Scandal Breaks – On George Bush
October 5, 1986:
A C-123k cargo aircraft left El Salvador’s Ilopango air base at 9:30 A.M., carrying “ 10,000 pounds of small arms and ammunition, consisting mainly of AK rifles and AK ammunition, hand grenades, jungle boots. ” It was scheduled to make air drops to Contra soldiers in Nicaragua. The flight had been organized by elements of the CIA, the Defense Department, and the National Security Council, coordinated by the Office of Vice President George Bush. At that time, such arms resupply was prohibited under U.S. law–prohibited by legislation which had been written to prevent precisely that type of flight. The aircraft headed south along the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, turned east over Costa Rica, then headed up north into Nicaraguan air space. As it descended toward the point at which it was to drop the cargo, the plane was hit in the right engine and wing by a ground-to-air missile. The wing burst into flames and broke up. Cargo handler Eugene Hasenfus jumped out the left cargo door and opened his parachute. The other three crew members died in the crash. Meanwhile, Felix Rodriguez made a single telephone call–to the office of Vice President George Bush. He told Bush aide Samuel Watson that the C-123k aircraft was missing and was possibly down.
October 6, 1986:
Eugene Hasenfus, armed only with a pistol, took refuge in a small hut on a jungle hilltop inside Nicaragua. He was soon surrounded by Sandinista soldiers and gave himself up.
Felix Rodriguez called George Bush’s aide Sam Watson again. Watson now notified the White House Situation Room and the National Security Council staff about the missing aircraft.
Oliver North was immediately dispatched to El Salvador to prevent publicity over the event, and to arrange death benefits for the crew.
After the shoot-down, several elaborate attempts were made by government agencies to provide false explanations for the origin of the aircraft.
A later press account, appearing on May 15, 1989, after Bush was safely installed as President, exposed one such attempted coverup:
Official: Contras Lied to Protect VP Bush
By Alfonso Chardy, Knight-Ridder Newspapers
WASHINGTON– Nicaraguan rebels falsely assumed responsibility for an arms-laden plane downed over Nicaragua in 1986 in an effort to shield then-Vice President George Bush from the controversy that soon blossomed into the Iran-Contra scandal, a senior Contra official said in early May 1989. According to the Contra official, who requested anonymity but has direct knowledge of the events, a Contra spokesman, Bosco Matamoros [official FDN representative in Washington, D.C.], was ordered by [FDN Political Director] Adolfo Calero to claim ownership of the downed aircraft, even though the plane belonged to Oliver North’s secret Contra supply network…. Calero called (Matamoros) and said, “ Take responsibility for the Hasenfus plane because we need to take the heat off the vice president, ” the Contra source said…. The senior Contra official said that shortly after Calero talked to Matamoros, Matamoros called a reporter for the New York Times and “ leaked ” the bogus claim of responsibility. The Times ran a story about the claim on its front page.
October 9, 1986:
At a news conference in Nicaragua, captured U.S. crew member Eugene Hasenfus exposed Felix Rodriguez, alias “ Max Gomez, ” as the head of an international supply system for the Contras. The explosive, public phase of the Iran-Contra scandal had begun.
October 11, 1986:
The Washington Post ran two headlines side-by-side: “ Captured American Flyer to be Tried in Nicaragua ” and “ Bush is Linked to Head of Contra Aid Network. ” The Post reported:
Gomez has said that he met with Bush twice and has been operating in Nicaragua with the Vice President’s knowledge and approval, the sources said….
Asked about these matters, a spokesman for Bush, Marlin Fitzwater, said: “ Neither the vice president nor anyone on his staff is directing or coordinating an operation in Central America. ” …
The San Francisco Examiner, which earlier this week linked [Bush adviser Donald] Gregg to Gomez, reported that Gomez maintains daily contact with Bush’s office….
[M]embers of Congress said yesterday they wanted to investigate the administration’s conduct further. And … several said that their focus had shifted from the CIA to the White House….
[T]he Sunday crash will be among events covered by a [Senate] Foreign Relations Committee probe into allegations that the contras may have been involved in drug-running and abuse of U.S. aid funds, [Senator Richard G.] Lugar said….
The Customs Service said yesterday it is investigating whether the downed plane may have carried guns out of Miami, which would violate federal restrictions on arms exports and other laws, including the Neutrality Act, which bars U.S. citizens from working to overthrow governments not at war with the United States….
Hasenfus told reporters in Nicaragua the plane had flown out of Miami.
George Bush’s career was now on the line. News media throughout the world broke the story of the Hasenfus capture, and of the crewman’s fingering of Bush and his underlings Rodriguez and Posada Carriles. Bush was now besieged by inquiries from around the world, as to how and why he was directing the gun-running into Latin America. Speaking in Charleston, South Carolina, George Bush described Max Gomez/Rodriguez as “ a patriot. ” The Vice President denied that he himself was directing the illegal operations to supply the Contras: “ To say I’m running the operation … it’s absolutely untrue. ” Bush said of Rodriguez: “ I know what he was doing in El Salvador, and I strongly support it, as does the president of El Salvador, Mr. Napoleon Duarte, and as does the chief of the armed forces in El Salvador, because this man, an expert in counterinsurgency, was down there helping them put down a communist- led revolution [i.e. in El Salvador, not Nicaragua]. ” (Webster G. Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin, George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, downloaded from http://www.tarpley.net/bush18.htm, 5 August 2007.)
Did George Bush Sr. Order the Assassination of Olaf Palme?
In Iceland, Bush gave a speech so generic that it was not clear if he had lost track of what country he was in. In Stockholm, he clashed heatedly with Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme over the US “contra” covert action programs in Central America. A few years later Palme was to be assassinated, and many attribute his death to his very detailed knowledge of the European dimension of Iran-contra. (Webster G. Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin, George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, downloaded from http://www.tarpley.net/bush18.htm, 5 August 2007.)
1985 Nov 17, Olaf Palme stopped an illegal shipment of 80 HAWK missiles through Sweden from Israel to Teheran, as he mediated an end of the Iran-Iraq war for the UN. (http://www.skog.de/writers/e040831.htm) (“Timeline 1985, downloaded from http://timelines.ws/20thcent/1985.HTML, 5 August 2007.)
1986 Feb 28, Olaf Palme, Swedish Prime Minister (1969-76, 82-86), was shot to death in central Stockholm. (“Timeline 1986, downloaded from http://timelines.ws/20thcent/1986.HTML, 5 August 2007.)
Palme became, alongside Raoul Wallenberg and Dag Hammarskjöld, the most internationally-known Swedish politician of the 20th century, on account of his 125-month tenure as Prime Minister, fierce opposition to American foreign policy and his assassination. (Wikipedia, downloaded from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olof_Palme, 5 August 2007.)
On February 28, 1986, Olof Palme, Swedish Prime Minister, leader of the Social Democratic Party was gunned down on a Stockholm street home from a cinema with his wife, Lisbet. A man in an overcoat approached from behind, drew a Smith & Wesson revolver and shot the premier in his back. While there are theories about who could have been behind the murder, the identity of the culprit remains a mystery. …
Could it have been George Bush who assassinated Olof Palme? — … There is an ongoing discussion in Sweden about the role of George Bush and the “parallel government” that Bush led during the time of the assassination of Olof Palme in 1986. This discussion deals mainly with the Bush led secret arms and drugs business that is [better] known as the Iran/Contra-affair, and the use of mercenaries in this business. (“Unsolved Cases: Olof Palme,” downloaded from http://www.karisable.com/palme.htm, 5 August 2007.)
[Dick Brenneke, allegedly a career CIA officer] alleged that, throughout the 1970’s the CIA had made large sums of money available to the subversive Masonic Lodge, P2¦ Furthermore Mr. Brenneke claimed that, not only does the CIA continue to secretly finance a revived P2, but that it was involved in the 1986 killing of the Swedish Prime Minister, Mr. Olaf Palme. According to Mr. Brenneke, P2, under the guidance of its Grandmaster, Mr. Licio Gelli, used some of the finance made available by the CIA to set up agencies in West Germany, Austria and Switzerland. These agencies in turn were used by P2 to set up the assassination of Mr. Palme, on the orders of the CIA. Finally, and perhaps most sensationally, Mr. Brenneke alleged that President Bush, then director of the CIA, not only knew about these CIA activities in Italy (during the late 1970s and early 1980s) but was in fact one of the masterminds between them. (Political Friendster, downloaded from http://www.politicalfriendster.com/rateConnection.php?id1=4901&id2=3214, 5 August 2007.)
P2 is the common name for the Italian Freemasonic lodge Propaganda Due (Italian: Propaganda Two). P2 came to public light with Michele Sindona’s inculpation and the Banco Ambrosiano scandal, in which the Vatican Bank had many shares. P2 has been involved in Gladio’s strategy of tension – Gladio was the name of the secret “stay-behind” NATO paramilitary organizations. Between 1965 and 1981, it tried to condition the Italian political process through the penetration of persons of confidence to the inside of the magistracy, the Parliament, the army and the press. Beside Italy, P2 was also active in Uruguay, Brazil and especially in Argentina’s “Dirty War”. (Martin Frost, downloaded from http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/p2notes.html, 6 August 2007.)
Also interviewed, agent Ibrahim Razin claimed that three days before Swedish prime minister’s Olaf Palme’s assassination, in 1986, Philip Guarino, a member of the Republican circle around George H.W. Bush, received a telegram signed by Licio Gelli and sent by one of his men, Ortolani, from “one of the southernmost regions of Brazil”. The telegram said: “Tell our friend that the Swedish palm will be felled.” As yet, Olaf Palme’s murder has not been solved. (Martin Frost Website, downloaded from http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/p2notes.html#Iran-Contra_and_assassination_of_Swedish, 6 August 2007.)