K2K3 - NOW MINT-FLAVORED!!!
Beast of the Month - September 2003
Paul Wolfowitz, Neocon Iraq War Architect
"I yam an anti-Christ..."
John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of The Sex Pistols, "Anarchy in the UK"
Paul Wolfowitz, cleverly describing DARPA's planned terrorism betting pool
File this under "How to follow one incredibly terrible insane plan with an arguably even worse insane plane." In July, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) revealed a brilliant idea on how to combat terrorism: Policy Analysis Market, an online futures trading market in which anonymous speculators could bet on forecasting terrorist attacks, assassinations, coups and other political calamities. The excuse for this nifty idea, according to the Pentagon: "Research indicates that markets are extremely efficient, effective and timely aggregators of dispersed and even hidden information. Futures markets have proven themselves to be good at predicting such things as elections results; they are often better than expert opinions."
While the slogan "Bet on terrorism for fun and profit" may appeal to William Bennett, others weren't so thrilled. Senator Byron L. Dorgan of North Dakota asked, "Can you imagine if another country set up a betting parlor so that people could go in - and is sponsored by the government itself - people could go in and bet on the assassination of an American political figure?" Further, the morbidity of major bucks made off of tragedy seemed a fairly disturbing prospect. As the Pentagon's own website boasted, "Involvement in this group prediction process should prove engaging and may prove profitable." Even worse, it seemed possible (if not likely) that terrorists themselves could participate in the scheme, because the traders' identities would be unknown. In conclusion, a letter by Dorgan and Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon stated, "The American people want the federal government to use its resources enhancing our security, not gambling on it."
Due to the intense criticism, the DARPA dead pool was declared DOA by the DOD. Incredibly, this was the second time in less than a year that an unprecedented bad idea from the Pentagon almost became policy, following in the footsteps of the Total Information Awareness Orwellian wet dream. Using the eye of Horus logo, TIA would create a database of combined records to American's credit card purchases, travel itineraries, telephone calls, email, medical histories and financial information. (Apparently, the Bush Team is more concerned with what the average American rents from Blockbuster than what wealthy insiders know about potential terrorist activity.) Faced with widespread opposition to the 1984 blueprint, TIA was terminated as well.
Coincidentally, John Poindexter, the former Reagan National Security Advisor convicted of five felony counts of lying to Congress during Iran-Contra, headed both TIA and Policy Analysis Market. Due to the twin controversies under his head, Poindexter agreed to resign his post in the Pentagon, a decision encouraged with not-so-subtle pressure from Redrum Rumsfeld. (Now there's something to see: behavior so overtly pathological it even disturbs Rummy.)
Still, to focus on Poindexter would be going after the lower echelons in the DOD war machine. The real culprits would be influential cabal of Neocons, led in the Bush Team by Paul Wolfowitz, The Konformist Beast of the Month.
Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, is widely viewed as the main architect of "Operation Iraqi Freedom" in the Pentagon. Wolfie is (along with Richard Perle, the scandal-plagued Pentagon official) the leading thinker of the Neocon set, a militaristic group of primarily Jewish thinkers who follow the teachings of University of Chicago professor Leo Strauss. Haunted by the Nazi Holocaust, he concluded the Nazi rise was due to weakness and indulgence in the Weimar Republic. Among the policies favored by the Neocons: a goal that the US be the world's unchallenged superpower, chauvinistic support for Israel, and the support of American unilateral action and preemptive strikes on perceived threats. The Neocons fell out of favor during the Klinton years, but have risen to ultimate insider status within the Shrub war machine. They even have their own manifesto, the September 2000 Rebuilding America's Defenses report from the think tank Project for the New American Century, which included a creepy reference to "a new Pearl Harbor" that was needed to get their extremist agenda passed. (Thanks, Osama!) Both Wolfie and Perle were members of the PNAC.
Immediately after another Pearl Harbor, the Neocons were frothing to invade Iraq. The plan was held off for eighteen months thanks to Colin Powell, but in March 2003, the Neocons got their wish. The push for Gulf War II was fueled by hysterical warnings of Saddam's supposed deadly supply of Weapons of Mass Destruction. On January 28, 2003, Shrub declared in the State of the Union: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." The claim was central to his argument that Saddam had a stockpile of WMDs and had to be dealt with immediately. The claim has since been shown to be completely bogus.
A controversy has erupted over those fraudulent words which helped lead to war. In predictable pass-the-buck style, Dubya first tried to dump it onto CIA chief George Tenet's lap, but the idea that Tenet was responsible for what comes out of Shrub's mouth was ludicrous. (Besides which, the CIA, to its credit, did inform the Bush Team that the African uranium story was phony, only agreeing under intense pressure from the White House to approve the reference if it was attributed to the British.) The Bush Team then tried to dismiss the controversy by declaring it was "only sixteen words."
Besides the mass importance of these supposedly minute sixteen words, here are some other quotes from the SOTU, courtesy of Perri Green in Mediawhoresonline.com:
* "Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent. U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents. We have also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas." (To date, not a single UAV has been found, or drop of CBWs, or any munitions capable of delivering said weapons. Total words: 71.)
* "Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaeda." (To date, not a shed of evidence connecting Hussein with Al Qaida or any other known terrorist organizations, besides certain Palestinian groups who represent no direct threat to the US, have been revealed. Total words: 26.)
* "Our intelligence sources tell us that he (Saddam) has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production." (The IAEA as well as dozens of leading scientists declared said tubes unsuitable for nuclear weapons production - months before the war. Total words: 20.)
Total value to promotion of war from all these lies: priceless.
So where did all these words come from? According to Jason Leopold of Online Journal, it was the Office of Special Plans, headed by Wolfie and fellow Neocons Abrum Shulsky and Douglas Feith. The OSP relied as a major source of "intelligence" Iraqi defector Ahmad Chalabi, a dubious man to trust for reliable information. Of course, reliable information isn't what the OSP wanted, they just wanted whatever could promote the War Against Iraq the best. So Chalabi did what they desired, and helped "sex up" the case for war with luridly fraudulent info.
To be fair to Wolfowitz, he doesn't always lie. In a Vanity Fair article, he admitted the Iraqi WMD was a mere pretext: "For reasons that have a lot to do with the US government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on: weapons of mass destruction." More tellingly, he would explain at a Singapore security conference, on the issue why North Korea hasn't been attacked for its self-avowed WMD program while Iraq was for it's non-existent one, he had this gem as a response: "The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil."
Meanwhile, the fictitious war based upon fictitious reasons continues, taking real lives, both of American soldiers and Iraqi citizens. In the four months since Shrub pranced around the USS Lincoln on May Day like a member of the Village People to declare "Mission Accomplished!" it has been proven to be yet another falsehood in an increasingly destructively and expensive war.
In any case, we salute Paul Wolfowitz as Beast of the Month. Congratulations, and keep up the great work, Wolfie!!!
Wolfowitz committee instructed White House to use Iraq/uranium reference in State of the Union speech
Media's War Boosters Unlikely to Voice Regret
Jeet Heer, Boston Globe May 11, 2003
The spies who pushed for war
Julian Borger, The Guardian UK July 17, 2003
The Iraq War, or America Betrayed
Rebuilding America's Defenses
The Project for the New American Century
Post Office Box 24825
Los Angeles, California 90024-0825
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