The world's number one terrorist organization, the CIA has committed heinous acts of terrorism abroad, murdering critics of US foreign and domestic policies and has done it on behalf of an increasing tiny, privileged American elite. This elite is a tiny one percent which owns more than the combined wealth of the remaining 95% [See: the L-Curve]. On behalf of this tiny, privileged base, the CIA has placed itself above law and supervision. The CIA's war on the world has claimed an estimated 12 million to 20 million victims, far more than the best estimates attributed to Adolph Hitler's 'Holocaust' of World War II.
A war of plunder waged by the CIA on much of the world has been called the Third World War because many of its victims are chauvinistically, imperialistically, termed "third world". Given the magnitude of these CIA atrocities, we may, indeed, consider this panoply of terrorist acts a world war waged by privilege upon those who are less privileged, a war waged by the rich on the poor, a war of aggression by those who have against those who are without.The official history of the CIA is dull reading. But one would not expect an official document of the US government to reveal the early connections between the CIA and Yale's notorious Skull and Bones society; one would not expect the US government to reveal the nature of CIA backed coups in Chile to its role in the notorious Bay of Pigs debacle. One would not expect an official document to detail the role played by the CIA in the Iran/Contra affair. One would not expect a sanitized government version of the CIA to reveal how the CIA creates and support death squads that have resulted in a holocaust not seen since the Third Reich.
The passage of the National Security Act in July 1947 legislated the changes in the Executive branch that had been under discussion since 1945. The Act established an independent Air Force, provided for coordination by a committee of service chiefs, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), and a Secretary of Defense, and created the National Security Council (NSC). The CIG became an independent department and was renamed the Central Intelligence Agency.Under the Act, the CIA's mission was only loosely defined, since efforts to thrash out the CIA's duties in specific terms would have contributed to the tension surrounding the unification of the services. The four general tasks assigned to the Agency were to advise the NSC on matters related to national security; to make recommendations to the NSC regarding the coordination of intelligence activities of the Departments; to correlate and evaluate intelligence and provide for its appropriate dissemination and "to perform such other functions ... as the NSC will from time to time direct...."
--CIA Organizational Development, [Adapted from: United States Senate Select Committee on Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Foreign and Military Intelligence -- Book I, 94th Congress, 2nd Session, 26 April 1976, pages 102-118.]
The numbers don't lie! At the end of a detailed statistical study, the CIA will be found, like a spider in its web, at the bump on a bell curve, at the very nexus of murder, mayhem and heinous acts of terrorism that it has exported across the globe. It is an indictment that will include the deaths of US citizens in America. CIA atrocities may be categorized.
Subversions of targeted regimes
Support of other terrorist organizations
Exploitation and/or creation of terrorist organizations like 'al Qaeda'.
Drug sales, primarily cocaine and its derivative --crack.
Domestic Assassinations and acts of terrorism
The US government, especially under the GOP regimes of Ronald Reagan, Bush Sr, and now the shrub, have given up the dream of peace. The result is an Orwellian nightmare, a state of perpetual war put into effect by the CIA, the Praetorian Guard to America's privileged elite. The nightmares --domestic and foreign --are of our own making. Worse than "mutually assured destruction", this thug government within a government may very well spell the end of humankind, at least the end of those dreams that make life worth living. It was an avoidable choice forced upon us by incompetent, cowardly and corrupt right wing inspired 'leadership'.
CIA Mission: Prop Up Right Wing Extremists and Elites; Suppress Everyone Else
Since World War II, the peace achieved with this strategy has been illusory. "Peace" has become an Orwellian term for a series of crimes against humanity. The secret wars waged by the CIA hardly penetrates the American consciousness, numbed as we are by a compromised mainstream media. Largely owned by the likes of Rupert Murdoch and other extreme right wing corporations, media, at the highest levels of ownership and management, are complicit. Many conflicts escape the glare of publicity --by design or by incompetence. Some are low-intensity conflicts designed to slip under the radar. At the very heart of the CIA modus operandi is the network of proxy governments, by nature, oligarchical, naturally allied with America's privileged classes. The CIA has little trouble convincing this class that its work abroad is 'patriotic'. The CIA has naturally allied itself with ruling oligarchs abroad, most notably the Saudi Royals. It was significant that the Saudi royals were provided a 'royal' exit from the US when every other aircraft was grounded on 911. Throughout the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, wealth and income disparities are even greater than those in the US. The oil emirates, only some 0.5 percent of the population, are billionaires. Everyone else, like the poorer and middle income folk in America, share less or none of the wealth that is generated by the production of oil. In Latin America, Cesar Chavez may be a notable exception, hence the Bush administration's campaign of demonization. Chavez dares to maintain control of his nation's oil wealth.
In Latin America, Central America, this same system is working. If the people don't like it, you organize the police into death squads, as we've done in many countries, including, conspicuously, El Salvador, and you kill enough of them that they are emasculated. They can't do anything about it. They are crippled. They are repressed, suppressed and oppressed, and you can get by with this system of milking the countries to your will and to your way.The [Sen. Frank] Church Committee of 1975 ..... Again this is not a lecture about the Secret Wars of the CIA. That's a separate lecture. I could give it again, but it takes a full hour in its own right. But you must know how the CIA weaves into this war complex — this war machinery of ours.
According to Stockwell, the Church Committee of 1975 discovered over thirteen thousand covert operations since World War II.
Late in 1974, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh revealed that the CIA was not only destabilizing foreign governments, but was also conducting illegal intelligence operations against thousands of American citizens.On January 27, 1975, an aroused Senate voted overwhelmingly to establish a special 11-member investigating body along the lines of the recently concluded Watergate Committee. Under the chairmanship of Idaho Senator Frank Church, with Texas Senator John Tower as vice-chairman, the select committee was given nine months and 150 staffers to complete its work.The so-called Church Committee ran into immediate resistance from the Ford administration, concerned about exposing American intelligence operations and suspicious of Church’s budding presidential ambitions.The committee interviewed 800 individuals, and conducted 250 executive and 21 public hearings. At the first televised hearing, staged in the Senate Caucus Room, Chairman Church dramatically displayed a CIA poison dart gun to highlight the committee’s discovery that the CIA directly violated a presidential order by maintaining stocks of shellfish toxin sufficient to kill thousands.
Stockwell maintains that many of these 'covert operations' were violent and led to wars. Examples include the propaganda campaign that led directly to the Korean and Viet Nam wars.
...we have so many of them in the public record that it's obviously very difficult to know exactly how many people died in Vietnam or in Korea or in Nicaragua or in the Congo — but still, working with conservative figures we come up with a minimum figure of SIX MILLION PEOPLE killed in the Secret Wars of the CIA through its de-stabilizations over these past forty years: One million people killed in the Korean War; Two million people killed in Vietnam; One to two million people killed in Cambodia; Eight hundred thousand people killed in Indonesia; Fifty thousand people killed in Angola.Now that began with the war that I organized as Commander of the Angola Task Force, working for a subcommittee of the National Security Council in Washington in 1975 and 1976. Fifty thousand is the number that the Sandinistas and The New York Times pretty much agreed on were killed and wounded in Nicaragua in the ONE BILLION DOLLAR Contra de-stabilization in that country that we effected in the 1980s.
Stockwell concludes that throughout what is called the 'Cold War' some twenty million people were murdered, '...the second or third bloodiest war in all of human history". Stockwell calls this the Third World War, a war waged by the CIA upon a 'third world'. Is there any question now about why the US is hated throughout the world? Any questions?
Torture and death squads we do not run in England or Canada or Belgium or Sweden or Switzerland. They are, virtually all of them, done against countries of the Third World where the governments of those countries are not strong enough to prohibit us, to prevent us from brutalizing their people. The six million people killed are people of the Third World: people of the Mitumba Mountains of the Congo, and the jungles of Southeast Asia, and the hills of Nicaragua. And now, of course, the Middle Eastern deserts, in a new wrinkle on this system.
By now, the CIA has become expert in waging wars by proxy, encouraging domestic terrorism, subverting elected governments.
CIA operations follow the same recurring script. First, American business interests abroad are threatened by a popular or democratically elected leader. The people support their leader because he intends to conduct land reform, strengthen unions, redistribute wealth, nationalize foreign-owned industry, and regulate business to protect workers, consumers and the environment. So, on behalf of American business, and often with their help, the CIA mobilizes the opposition. First it identifies right-wing groups within the country (usually the military), and offers them a deal: "We'll put you in power if you maintain a favorable business climate for us." The Agency then hires, trains and works with them to overthrow the existing government (usually a democracy).
Since 9/11, the Bush administration has been propping up Musharraf's military regime with $3.6 billion in economic aid from the US and a US-sponsored consortium, not to mention $900 million in military aid and the postponement of overdue debt repayments totaling $13.5 billion. But now the administration is debating whether Musharraf has become too dependent on Islamic extremist political parties in Pakistan to further US interests, and whether he should be pressured to permit the return of two exiled former prime ministers, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, who have formed an electoral alliance to challenge him in presidential elections scheduled for next year.
When the United States aligns with dictatorships and totalitarian regimes, it compromises the basic democratic principles of its foundation -- namely, life, liberty and justice for all. Dictatorships such as Musharraf's suppress individual rights and freedoms and empower the most extreme elements of society. Oppressed citizens, unable to represent themselves through other means, often turn to extremism and religious fundamentalism.
Quoted above was a paragraph from A Timeline of CIA Atrocities by Steve Kangas, whose death under questionable circumstances raises still more questions given his encyclopedic knowledge of the CIA and the antipathy he inspired from Richard Mellon Scaife --the spider at the center of a malicious, right wing web, perhaps the "great right wing conspiracy" referred to by Hilary Clinton at the height of the GOP blow job jihad and scandal.
In 1984 Kangas moved to Germany where he was involved in electronic eavesdropping on Soviet military units in Eastern Europe, analyzing the transcripts and reporting back to NATO. It was at this time he began to question his conservative political beliefs.Kangas left military intelligence in 1986 and became a student at the University of California in Santa Cruz. This experience moved him further to the left: "There, kindly professors pointed out to me the illogic of defending life by taking it, destroying the planet for a buck and shutting down schools to build more prisons. I am now thoroughly brainwashed to believe that kindness and human decency are positive traits to be emulated and encouraged."Kangas ran the Liberalism Resurgent website. This included several articles on the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency. One of his online essays, The Origins of the Overclass, attempted to show "why the richest 1 percent have exploded ahead since 1975, with the help of the New Right, Corporate America and, surprisingly, the CIA." In the essay he argues that Richard Mellon Scaife ran "Forum World Features, a foreign news service used as a front to disseminate CIA propaganda around the world." Scaife was very unhappy with the attack made on him and employed private detective, Rex Armistead, to carry out an investigation into Kangas. It is believed that Kangas was working on a book about CIA covert activities when on 8th February, 1999, he was found dead in the bathroom of the offices of Richard Mellon Scaife, the owner of the Pittsburgh Tribune. He had been shot in the head. Officially he had committed suicide but some people believe he was murdered. In an article in Salon Magazine, (19th March, 1999) Andrew Leonard asked: "Why did the police report say the gun wound was to the left of his head, while the autopsy reported a wound on the roof of his mouth? Why had the hard drive on his computer been erased shortly after his death? Why had Scaife assigned his No. 1 private detective, Rex Armistead, to look into Kangas' past?"
Violence against America, called 'blowback', is an inevitable reaction to CIA atrocities and interference. Concurrently, the US leads the world in the production of military hardware --tanks, missiles, nuclear weaponry, weapons of mass destruction. More recently, since the regime of Ronald Reagan specifically, the US has begun to trail the world in many other key industrial classification. Under GOP 'stewardship', the US is rapidly becoming a third world nation on steroids. As long as this is the case, no one living in the US, no citizen of the US abroad, is truly free. We are all reduced to mere units in a bigger, evil machine. Bush and his servile ilk serve Moloch willingly and visibly at Bohemian Grove. Slavery, however, is forced upon the rest of us, a process assisted ably by a corporate media.
Secrets of the CIA, Parts 1 - 7
The most extreme example of this, of course, is Fox News, best described as political porn. If the Fox outfit did not deflect attention from more insidious designs, it would be laughable, even indulged for the low-class, beer drinking' entertainment that it might bring to certain demographics. In practice, however, it cannot be distinguished from a state run organization reduced to merely dramatizing with idiocy and sound effects the official narratives of the day, the officially sanctioned and sanitized news.
After World War II, these psywar techniques continued. C.D. Jackson, a major figure in US psywar efforts before and after the war, was simultaneously a top executive at Time-Life. Psywar was also used with success during the 1950s by Edward Lansdale, first in the Philippines and then in South Vietnam. In Guatemala, the Dulles brothers worked with their friends at United Fruit, in particular the "father of public relations," Edward Bernays, who for years had been lobbying the press on behalf of United. When CIA puppets finally took over in 1954, only applause was heard from the media, commencing forty years of CIA-approved horrors in that unlucky country. Bernays' achievement apparently impressed Allen Dulles, who immediately began using US public relations experts and front groups to promote the image of Ngo Dinh Diem as South Vietnam's savior.The combined forces of unaccountable covert operations and corporate public relations, each able to tap massive resources, are sufficient to make the concept of "democracy" obsolete. Fortunately for the rest of us, unchallenged power can lose perspective. With research and analysis -- the capacity to see and understand the world around them -- entrenched power must constantly anticipate and contain potential threats. But even as power seems more secure, this capacity can be blinded by hubris and isolation.
So it naturally follows that the robber barons and their fourth estate business partners should indeed benefit from the puppet they all worked so vigorously to enthrone.
Corporate Interests merged with State Interests
The corporate interests of America are now almost entirely at one with the political interests of America. The people are either relegated to the outskirts as unimportant bystanders or are caught in the cross-fire as casualties of a hostile corporate takeover by American and even foreign corporations. We "the people" do not matter in a country where corporate profits are tied to state policy, which then uses those same corporations to tell us what is real and what is fabricated, what is true and what is false.
The CIA is symptomatic of a militarized society, in which the CIA and the military play important roles in a circular self-justification. Much is made of the fact that the military provides opportunities for high school dropouts, the disadvantaged who might not otherwise get an education or a job. What is to be said of a society for which the export of death and destruction becomes essential to its economic well-being? As Gore Vidal argued persuavesively in his "The Decline and Fall of the American Empire", the military/industrial complex is a drag on the economy. The Pentagon budget, he argues, is an economic black hole. He sites, as an example, the construction of a 'tank'! Once built, the economic life of the tank is finished. The tank becomes a liability, an expense to be maintained. It produces nothing, adds nothing! The Pentagon soaks up monies that might have been budgeted for truly productive programs like education, training and infrastructure. What is to be said about a society that finds it necessary to send young people off to die in immoral wars in order to get them employed and off the streets?
Eisenhower saw Big Brother's approach but could not have known how it might have been avoided. The revolution, decades in the making, is like a slow boil. We did not even know when we were "done", but cooked we are! We are like one of many puzzles that originated in the mind of the ancient Megarian logician, Eubulides of Miletus.
The puzzle is called "sorites", from the Greek for "heap." The question is whether or not a single grain of sand is a "heap"? The answer is obviously "no". But, if we add grains one at a time, the question arises: at what point have we made a "heap"? At what point have we made of the Military/Industrial complex a Frankenstein monster, Moloch, a Big Brother? At what point have we sacrificed our souls to ol' Scratch? At what point did MIC become the Owl god?
How the CIA Became 'Praetorian Guard' to America's Fascist Right Wing
While Americans in general opposed involvement in foreign wars, American industrialists were not inclined to turn down a quick buck.
On December 20, 1922 the New York Times reported that automobile manufacturer Henry Ford was financing Adolph Hitler's nationalist and anti-Semitic movements in Munich. Simultaneously, the Berlin newspaper Berliner Tageblatt appealed to the American Ambassador in Berlin to investigate and halt Henry Ford's intervention into German domestic affairs. It was reported that Hitler's foreign backers had furnished a "spacious headquarters" with a "host of highly paid lieutenants and officials." Henry Ford's portrait was prominently displayed on the walls of Hitler's personal office:
Opposition to US involvement in World War II is most often linked to Charles Lindbergh.
However, most AFC supporters were neither liberal, nor Socialist. Many simply wanted to stay out of the war. Since many also came from the Midwest, an area never as sensitive to European problems as the east coast, isolationist arguments [were] soon buttressed by more traditional prejudices against eastern industrial and banking interests. (Almost two-thirds of the Committee’s 850,000 registered supporters would eventually come from the Midwest, mostly from a radius of three hundred miles around Chicago.) Many AFC supporters were certain industry and the banks wanted war for their own profit. Many other supporters were Republicans who flocked to the AFC for partisan political reasons. Still others were covertly pro-German. Some were German-Americans whose sentimental attachments had not been diminished by the crimes of the Nazi regime. Others, whether of German origin or not, were attracted to Hitler’s racism and anti-Semitism.
Ideologically, Bush and Lindbergh have much in common. It is no stretch to imagine this faction welcoming a Hitler victory in Europe, perhaps plotting a Nazi coup d'etat in the US had that happened.
Lindbergh wanted Hitler to destroy the Soviet Union, and was willing to accept Nazi domination of Europe as the price. His protests to the contrary are not convincing. Long before most Committee members, he had come to believe the existence of the Soviet Union had made Hitler’s dictatorship necessary. The German invasion of Russia in June 1941 made the need to keep America out of the war greater than ever. As a result, the efforts of America Firsters to keep America neutral became more frenetic as German successes in Russia mounted, and Roosevelt’s efforts to enter the war increased.
Lindbergh opposed US entry into WWII for the same reasons the Bush family continued to do business with Hitler and the Nazis' after war had begun. The Bush family were Hitler's trading partners.
The debate over Prescott Bush's behavior 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.
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 now 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. --
By now it is common knowledge, verified in the public record, that in October of 1942, Prescott Bush was accused of "Running Nazi front groups in the United States". He was charged under the Trading With the Enemy Act as the US government shut down the operations at New York's Union Banking Corporation.
Bush's actions might have been considered high treason. They are interesting by virtue of the myriad connections about what is commonly referred to as the "Bush Crime FAmily" --Avril Harriman, the Rockefellers, Allen Dulles, James Baker III, Gulf Oil, Pennzoil, and Osama bin Laden. The connections are labyrinthine, involving a host of corporate connections, high ranking Nazis, the CIA and Allen Dulles.
Certainly, opposition to the US entry into World War II was not essentially "leftist". It was, rather, the right wing that overtly supported Hitler's adventures in Europe. There is a stunning photograph of American Nazis giving the Nazi salute as they filed past the coffins of German Nazis killed in the crash of the airship Hindenburg at Lakehurst, New Jersey. In 1936, William Dodd, the US Ambassador to Germany, wrote a letter to President Roosevelt in which he stated:
"A clique of US industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. I have had plenty of opportunity in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American ruling families are to the Nazi regime.... A prominent executive of one of the largest corporations, told me point blank that he would be ready to take definite action to bring fascism into America if President Roosevelt continued his progressive policies.
Certain American industrialists had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy. They extended aid to help Fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping to keep it there. [ed. treason!]Propagandists for fascist groups try to dismiss the fascist scare. We should be aware of the symptoms. When industrialists ignore laws designed for social and economic progress they will seek recourse to a fascist state when the institutions of our government compel them to comply with the provisions."
Prescott Bush's role in helping finance Hitler's Nazi War Machine is a fact, a matter of record. Clearly, then, the elder Bush was a part of a criminal, treasonous enterprise that sought to overthrow the elected government of the US and impose upon it a fascist dictatorship.
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 I.G. 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.
In 1980, Stockwell said that "if the Soviet Union were to disappear off the face of the map, the United States would quickly seek out new enemies to justify its own military-industrial complex."
Some recent history may be in order. Before their resurgence amid delicious vindication, the Dixie Chicks were vilified by the same crowd that attacked dissenters for daring to compare Bush with Hitler. In Europe, by contrast, the similarities were clear and irrefutable, quite beyond the power of Fox to spin or lie about.
...one woman who is a translator and teacher of German-language literature – a woman who lived in Germany for ten years and has immersed herself in the German culture for twenty years said that among the people in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, and among Holocaust survivors in the United States, she hears the parallels between Bush and Hitler and the similarities between the United States now and Germany in the 1930’s all the time. "She writes:"
"It's almost like this knowledge is a given--a basic assumption shared by everyone I know who is intimately familiar with the Nazi era (that is, 90% of my professional colleagues, clients, collaborators, etc.). It is like the unspoken known. Unspoken, and unspeakable"
The most recent right wing variation about WWII peaceniks had its origins in Bush's run up to war against Iraq. It goes like this: the allies had already done all the hard work because US "Peaceniks" did not want to go to war. However, it was not "leftist peaceniks" who wanted to keep the US out of the war; it was the fascist right. The CIA and Iran/Contra
CIA and Iran/Contra
The Speech that may have motivated the murder of Sen. Paul Wellstone
In the middle of tough re-election campaign, Sen. Paul Wellstone announces his opposition to Bush's Iraq war resolution. His speech to the US Senate, entitled "Regarding Military Action Against Iraq" was presented on October 3, 2002. By October,
Mr. President, as we turn later today to address our policy on Iraq, I want to take a few minutes to outline my views. The situation remains fluid, and Administration officials are engaged in negotiations at the United Nations over what approach we ought to take, with our allies, to disarm the brutal and dictatorial Iraqi regime.
Our debate here is critical because the administration seeks our authorization now for military action including possibly unprecedented, pre-emptive, go-it-alone military action in Iraq, even as it seeks to garner support from our allies on a tough new UN disarmament resolution.
Let me be clear: Saddam Hussein is a brutal, ruthless dictator who has repressed his own people, attacked his neighbors, and remains an international outlaw. The world would be a much better place if he were gone and the regime in Iraq were changed. That's why the US should unite the world against Saddam, and not allow him to unite forces against us.
A go-it-alone approach, allowing for a ground invasion of Iraq without the support of other countries, could give Saddam exactly that chance. A pre-emptive go-it-alone strategy towards Iraq is wrong. I oppose it.
I support ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction through unfettered UN inspections, which should begin as soon as possible. Only a broad coalition of nations, united to disarm Saddam, while preserving our war on terror, is likely to succeed. Our primary focus now must be on Iraq's verifiable disarmament of weapons of mass destruction. This will help maintain international support, and could even eventually result in Saddam's loss of power.
Of course, I would welcome this, as would most of our allies. The president has helped to direct intense new multilateral pressure on Saddam Hussein to allow UN and International Atomic Energy Agency weapons inspectors back in to Iraq to conduct their assessment of Iraq's chemical, biological and nuclear programs. Saddam clearly has felt that heat, and it suggests what might be accomplished through collective action. I am not naive about this process, and much work lies ahead. But we cannot dismiss out-of-hand Saddam's late and reluctant commitment to comply with UN disarmament arrangements, or the agreement struck Tuesday to begin to implement it. We should use the gathering international resolve to collectively confront his regime by building on these efforts through a new UN disarmament resolution.
This debate must include all Americans, because our decisions finally must have the informed consent of the American people, who will be asked to bear the costs, in blood and treasure, of our decisions. When the lives of the sons and daughters of average Americans could be risked and lost, their voices must be heard by Congress before we make decisions about military action.
Right now, despite a desire to support our president, I believe many Americans still have profound questions about the wisdom of relying too heavily on a pre-emptive, go-it-alone military approach.
Acting now on our own might be a sign of our power. Acting sensibly and in a measured way in concert with our allies, with bipartisan Congressional support, would be a sign of our strength.
It would also be a sign of the wisdom of our founders, who lodged in the President the power to command US armed forces, and in Congress the power to make war, ensuring a balance of powers between co-equal branches of government. Our Constitution lodges the power to weigh the causes for war and the ability to declare war in Congress precisely to ensure that the American people and those who represent them will be consulted before military action is taken.
The Senate has a grave duty to insist on a full debate that examines for all Americans the full range of options before us, and weighs those options, together with their risks and costs. Such a debate should be energized by the real spirit of September 11: a debate which places a priority not on unanimity, but on the unity of a people determined to forcefully confront and defeat terrorism and to defend our values.
I have supported internationally sanctioned coalition military action in Bosnia, in Kosovo and Serbia, and in Afghanistan. Even so, in recent weeks, I and others including major Republican policymakers like former Bush National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, former Bush Secretary of State James Baker, my colleague on the Foreign Relations Committee Senator Hagel, Bush Mideast Envoy General Anthony Zinni and other leading US military leaders have raised serious questions about the approach the Administration is taking on Iraq.
There have been questions raised about the nature and urgency of Iraq's threat, our response to that threat, and against whom, exactly that threat is directed. What is the best course of action that the US could take to address the threat? What are the economic, political, and national security consequences of possible US or US-British invasion of Iraq? There have been questions raised about the consequences of our actions abroad, including its effects on the continuing war on terrorism, our ongoing efforts to stabilize and rebuild Afghanistan, and efforts to calm the intensifying Middle East crisis, especially the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And there have been questions raised about the consequences of our actions here at home.
Of first and greatest concern, obviously, are the questions raised about the possible loss of life that could result from our actions. The United States could send tens of thousands of US troops to fight in Iraq, and in so doing we could risk countless lives, of US soldiers and innocent Iraqis. There are other questions, about the impact of an attack in relation to our economy. The United States could face soaring oil prices and could spend billions both on a war and on a years-long effort to stabilize Iraq after an invasion. The resolution we will be debating today would explicitly authorize a go-it-alone approach.
I believe an international approach is essential. In my view, our policy should have four key elements. First and foremost, the United States must work with our allies to deal with Iraq. We should not go it alone or virtually alone with a pre-emptive ground invasion. Most critically, acting alone could jeopardize our top national security priority, the continuing war on terror. The intense cooperation of other nations in matters related to intelligence-sharing, security, political and economic cooperation, law enforcement and financial surveillance, and other areas has been crucial to this fight, and enables us to wage it effectively with our allies. Over the past year, this cooperation has been our most successful weapon against terror networks. That -- not attacking Iraq should be the main focus of our efforts in the war on terror.
We have succeeded in destroying some Al Qaeda forces, but many of its operatives have scattered, their will to kill Americans still strong. The United States has relied heavily on alliances with nearly 100 countries in a coalition against terror for critical intelligence to protect Americans from possible future attacks. Acting with the support of allies, including hopefully Arab and Muslim allies, would limit possible damage to that coalition and our anti-terrorism efforts. But as General Wes Clark, former Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe has recently noted, a premature go-it-alone invasion of Iraq "would super-charge recruiting for Al Qaeda."
Second, our efforts should have the goal of disarming Saddam Hussein of all of his weapons of mass destruction. Iraq agreed to destroy its weapons of mass destruction at the end of the Persian Gulf War and to verification by the UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that this had been done. According to the UN and IAEA, and undisputed by the administration, inspections during the 1990's neutralized a substantial portion of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and getting inspectors back in to finish the job is critical. The prompt resumption of inspections and disarmament, under an expedited timetable and with unfettered access in Iraq, is imperative.
Third, weapons inspections should be enforceable. If efforts by UN weapons inspectors are tried and fail, a range of potential UN-sanctioned means, including proportionate military force, should be considered. I have no doubt that Congress would act swiftly to authorize force in such circumstances. This does not mean giving the UN a veto over US actions. No one wants to do that. It simply means, as Chairman Levin has observed, that Saddam is a world problem and should be addressed in the world arena.
Finally, our approach toward Iraq must be consistent with international law and the framework of collective security developed over the last 50 years or more. It should be sanctioned by the Security Council under the UN Charter, to which we are a party and by which we are legally bound. Only a broad coalition of nations, united to disarm Saddam, while preserving our war on terror, can succeed. Our response will be far more effective if Saddam sees the whole world arrayed against him.
We should act forcefully, resolutely, sensibly with our allies, and not alone, to disarm Saddam. Authorizing the pre-emptive, go-it-alone use of force now, right in the midst of continuing efforts to enlist the world community to back a tough new disarmament resolution on Iraq, could be a costly mistake for our country.
The CIA has enabled a right wing dictatorship in America, and, in doing so, has inspired generations of 'terrorist' antagonists who might never have found cause until given it them by the CIA's ham-fisted approach to empire. The CIA has been called a new 'Praetorian Guard', as apt a description as any I have found. Certainly, the CIA is to Big Brother what the 'Praetorian Guard was to the Emperors of Rome. The CIA does not merely exercise absolute power via the apparatus of the police state, it marshals the resources of the monolithic state to rob the individual of person hood. Big Brother literally changes what it means to be "human".
In Goethe's version of Faust, Mephistopheles tries to grab Faust's soul when he dies but is frustrated by a divine intervention. Can the people of the US afford to wait passively for divine intervention? No! We must deny the state its power to define us. Challenged by aristocrats who demanded to know just who he thought he was, Voltaire said "I have no name but the name that I have made for myself!"
Big Brother's lies have made of us our own worst nightmares, but only if we buy into the scheme. It follows, therefore, that Big Brother is finished when we make Voltaire's existentialist choice, when we take responsibility for what we have become, when we dare to define ourselves. The seeds of revolution are born when each individual chooses to be free! Additional resources
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