Purging the CIA; neocons want to start World War IV against 'Islamofascists'

I'm not sure if I can round this up into a coherent point. It looks like the Bush administration is determined to wipe out those sections of the intelligence services that tried to discredit the lies necessary to trick the American people into the march on Iraq.

Now, there will come more incompetent political appointees like Porter Goss, partisan Republican hitmen determined to crush all opposition–not just political opposition, but all 'reality-based' opposition as well. That is, bureaucrats inside the State Department and CIA who thought that "A) this WMD evidence isn't good; B) We should have written a post-invasion plan; C) Ahmed Chalabi is a dangerous liar who can't be trusted to run Iraq," are now going to get thrashed right out of the bureaucracy.

It's a shame, and it upsets me... not least because these are the people who actually have the operational knowledge to protect us from terrorist attacks. Not that the targets of the Stalinist Election Purge are "good liberals" or "progressives." I don't think most of them are; in fact they are as likely as anyone to be adherents to the old 'Washington Consensus' neo-liberal school. Unfortunately, these guys have been the best institutional brake we've had against the imperial schemes of neoconservatives. I hope as many of them as possible survive inside the CIA, and I hope that the ones who get slashed out of the program actually manage to get their story out to the public. Michael Scheuer, you're not the only articulate one...

Some stuff about the CIA purging: Justin Raimondo says it's one hell of a victory for the neo-cons. Here's a nifty source: schema-root has lots more news about neoconservatives, updated constantly.

On a somewhat related note, Dr. Rashid Khalidi has an excellent piece in In These Times about the history of Fallujah, "Fallujah 101: A history lesson about the town we are currently destroying." Thanks for the historical context we never get!

The ideas that came out of the eastern part of Saudi Arabia in the late 18th Century, which today we call Wahhabi ideas—those of a man named Muhammad Ibn ’Abd al-Wahhab—took root in this city more than 200 years ago. In other words, it is a place where what we would call fundamentalist salafi, or Wahhabi ideas, have been well implanted for 10 generations. This town also is the place where in the spring of 1920 ... the British discerned civil unrest.

The British sent a renowned explorer and a senior colonial officer who had quelled unrest in the corners of their empire, Lt. Col. Gerald Leachman, to master this unruly corner of Iraq. Leachman was killed in an altercation with a local leader named Shaykh Dhari. His death sparked a war that ended up costing the lives of 10,000 Iraqis and more than 1,000 British and Indian troops. To restore Iraq to their control, the British used massive air power, bombing indiscriminately. That city is now called Fallujah.

Shaykh Dhari’s grandson, today a prominent Iraqi cleric, helped to broker the end of the U.S. Marine siege of Fallujah in April of this year. Fallujah thus embodies the interrelated tribal, religious and national aspects of Iraq’s history.

The Bush administration is not creating the world anew in the Middle East. It is waging a war in a place where history really matters.


The United States is perceived as stepping into the boots of Western colonial occupiers, still bitterly remembered from Morocco to Iran. The Bush administration marched into Iraq proclaiming the very best of intentions while stubbornly refusing to understand that in the eyes of most Iraqis and most others in the Middle East it is actions, not proclaimed intentions, that count. It does not matter what you say you are doing in Fallujah, where U.S. troops just launched an attack after weeks of bombing. What matters is what you are doing in Fallujah—and what people see that you are doing.


Most Middle East experts in the United States, both inside and outside the government, have drawn on their knowledge of the cultures, languages, history, politics of the Middle East—and on their experience—to conclude that most Bush administration Middle East policies, whether in Iraq or Palestine, are harmful to the interests of the United States and the peoples of this region. A few of these experts have had the temerity to say so, to the outrage of the Bush administration and its supporters, who are committed to what I would call a fact-free, faith-based approach to Middle East policymaking.

...and it is precisely those annoying voices that shall be purged, purged from the leaner meaner Bush2 government. A little more about Fallujah: a writer on the Egyptian periodical Al Ahram says Fallujah is "a crucible of discontent" that heightens friction between Sunnis and Shiites. The shocking video of the Marine blasting the wounded insurgent dominated the Arab media, surprise surprise. Pressure grows to delay voting, even though they've set the deadline for the end of January. Mosul has apparently spun out of control, as the Sunnis are essentially rebelling against the Kurds, with the U.S. supporting the Kurds. There are rumors of Kurds ethnically cleansing the area of Sunnis, something I find quite believable these days.

From a more unorthodox source, the World Socialist Web Site: Behind State Department, CIA shake-up: Bush-Cheney regime prepares a second term of all-out militarism. Yes, this comes from "The Socialists" rambling about "American imperialism," but look, even the Reds can refer to Knight Ridder news service as a source!

Throughout the first four years of the Bush administration, Powell and the State Department have been viewed with suspicion or outright hostility by right-wing neo-conservative elements entrenched in the civilian leadership of the Pentagon and in Vice President Cheney’s office. Neither Powell nor his chief deputy, Richard Armitage, opposed the Bush administration’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but they were regarded as too closely aligned to the traditional foreign policy methods of American imperialism favored by career State Department and CIA officials, based on utilizing alliance structures like NATO and international institutions like the UN.


The purge of top officials in the CIA is an even more glaring case of suppressing any potential source of internal criticism or restraint on Bush administration foreign policy. On November 12, deputy CIA director John McLaughlin resigned, to be followed three days later by the deputy director for operations, Stephen Kappes, and his top deputy, Michael Slusick. This brings to nine the number of top-ranking CIA officials to depart since former director George Tenet was replaced by Porter Goss, a Republican congressman and head of the House Intelligence Committee. Only two of Tenet’s top aides still remain.


Sections of the CIA officialdom were effectively aligned with the Democratic campaign, providing a series of leaks to the press demonstrating that the White House had lied about prewar planning for postwar Iraq and debunking various Bush lies about the “war on terror.” The agency even authorized one top CIA official, Michael Scheuer, former head of the bin Laden unit, to publish a book—under the pseudonym “anonymous”—denouncing the White House for failing to take the threat of bin Laden seriously before the 9/11 attacks. Scheuer also quit the agency, on November 11.

Goss has brought with him into the CIA four top aides from the House Intelligence Committee, all far-right Republican Party activists determined to remove any political opponents from the agency’s leadership.

The right-wing press, spearheaded by the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, has demanded such a purge of both the CIA and the State Department. At the time the pre-election leaks, the Journal published an editorial denouncing the CIA for “declaring war” on the Bush White House. The newspaper greeted Powell’s resignation with an editorial demanding that Bush stamp out similar opposition in the diplomatic corps.

In both the State Department and the CIA, it should go without saying, the opposition to Bush is within the framework of the defense of imperialist interests. Both agencies are staffed by battle-hardened defenders of American imperialism who have participated in countless crimes against working people on every continent. Their opposition to Bush arises largely from the debacle produced in Iraq by a policy that deliberately ignored the complex politics of the country and the Middle East as a whole, in favor of a crude doctrine that the United States could have its way by force alone.

The result of the bureaucratic infighting is that the Bush White House is moving to concentrate power in fewer and fewer hands, riding roughshod over the established institutions of American imperialism. As the Knight-Ridder news service observed: "by agreeing to Powell’s departure and approving an apparent purge by new CIA chief Porter Goss, Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney appear to be eliminating the few independent centers of power in the US national security apparatus and cementing the system under their personal control."

More about Powell: a UPI analysis sums it up pretty well:

For as it turned out, Powell's moderate, cautious internationalist approach to U.S. foreign policy, impeccably in line as it was with the broad policy strategies of Republican Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush would have fitted well with Clinton's own approach and preferences. But it proved totally out of touch with the Republican president he actually served.


At first, it did not seem to be that way. In the first eight months of the first Bush administration Powell, as had been widely expected, fought many bruising policy battles with the confident and energetic neo-conservatives who had Vice President Dick Cheney's ear and that of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. But he won a few battles too.


In those days, Powell appeared to be Bush's "go to" guy. It was he the president turned to in order to defuse tensions with China after a U.S. EP-3 electronic surveillance aircraft made a forced landing on Hainan Island after colliding with a Chinese fighter buzzing it in international air space. And in early September 2001, he appeared to have won a major policy victory by convincing the president to approve a major U.S. diplomatic initiative to establish a fully independent Palestinian state.


As Bob Woodward wrote in "Bush at War", the secretary of state often did not even meet face to face with the president he served for weeks at a time. In a Washington where personal access to the Chief Executive is the gold standard of clout and influence that probably hurt his standing more than anything.


Powell's writ did not even run within key areas of his own State Department. Under Secretary of State John Bolton, now widely tipped to be the next deputy secretary of state repeatedly made end-runs around him especially on Middle East policy issues with the aid of his neo-con allies in the Pentagon.


But Powell would not resign and the president would not fire him. He was determined to complete a full term of office as the first black secretary of state in U.S. history. And he was convinced his moderating presence was still essential at the top table to try and keep things on an even keel.

So what is going into the neo-con agenda in the second term? Veteran snooper Jim Lobe at Asia Times Online writes about leading neo-con Frank Gaffney's newest plans as laid out in a National Review article (via interesting site 'The Experiment'). Gaffney is one of the more batshit, institutional neo-cons who's always rambling about "Islamofascists" and World War IV. He didn't let us down this time.

The list, which begins with the destruction of Fallujah in Iraq and ends with the development of "appropriate strategies" for dealing with threats posed by China, Russia and "the emergence of a number of aggressively anti-American regimes in Latin America", also calls for "regime change" in Iran and North Korea.

The list's author, Frank Gaffney, the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy (CSP), also warns that Bush should resist any pressure arising from the (then) anticipated demise of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to resume peace talks that could result in Israel giving up "defensible boundaries".


Yet its importance as a roadmap of where neo-conservatives - who, with the critical help of Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, dominated Bush's foreign policy after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and the Pentagon - want US policy to go was underlined by Gaffney's listing of the names of his friends in the administration who he said "helped the president imprint moral values on American security policy in a way and to an extent not seen since Ronald Reagan's first term".

In addition to Cheney and Rumsfeld, he cited the most clearly identified - and controversial - neo-conservatives serving in the administration: Cheney's chief of staff, I Lewis "Scooter" Libby; his top Middle East advisers, John Hannah and David Wurmser; weapons-proliferation specialist Robert Joseph; and top Mideast aide Elliott Abrams, on the National Security Council.

Also on the roster are: Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz; Under Secretary for Policy Douglas Feith; Feith's top Mideast aide William Luti, in the Pentagon; Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton; and for global issues, Paula Dobriansky at the State Department.

Virtually all of the same individuals have been cited by critics of the Iraq war, including Democratic lawmakers and retired senior foreign-service and military officials, as responsible for hijacking the policy and intelligence process that led to the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003.


As Perle's longtime protege and associate, Gaffney sits at the center of a network of interlocking think-tanks, foundations, lobby groups, arms manufacturers and individuals that constitute the coalition of neo-conservatives, aggressive nationalists such as Cheney and Rumsfeld and Christian Right activists responsible for the unilateralist trajectory of US foreign policy since September 11.

Included among CSP's board of advisers over the years have been Rumsfeld, Perle, Feith, Christian moralist William Bennett, Abrams, Joseph, former United Nations ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, former navy under secretary John Lehman and former Central Intelligence Agency director James Woolsey.

Woolsey also co-chairs the new Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), another prominent neo-con-led lobby group that argues Washington is now engaged in "World War IV" against "Islamo-fascism".

Also serving on its advisory council are executives from some of the country's largest military contractors, which - along with wealthy individuals sympathetic to Israel's governing Likud Party, such as prominent New York investor Lawrence Kadish and California casino king Irving Moskowitz, and right-wing bodies, such as the Bradley, Sarah Scaife and Olin Foundations - finance CSP's work.

Gaffney, a ubiquitous "talking head" on TV in the run-up to the war in Iraq, sits on the boards of CPD's parent organizations, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and Americans for Victory Over Terrorism. He was a charter associate, with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfowitz and Abrams, of the Project for the New American Century, another prominent neo-conservative-led group that offered up a similar checklist of what Bush should do in the "war on terrorism" just nine days after the September 11 attacks.


"The reality is that the same moral principles that underpinned the Bush appeal on 'values' issues like gay marriage, stem-cell research and the right to life were central to his vision of US war aims and foreign policy," according to Gaffney. "Indeed, the president laid claim squarely to the ultimate moral value - freedom - as the cornerstone of his strategy for defeating our Islamofascist enemies and their state sponsors, for whom that concept is utterly [sic] anathema."

To be true to that commitment, policy in the second administration must be directed toward seven priorities, according to Gaffney, beginning with the "reduction in detail of Fallujah and other safe havens utilized by freedom's enemies in Iraq"; followed by "regime change - one way or another - in Iran and North Korea, the only hope for preventing these remaining 'axis of evil' states from fully realizing their terrorist and nuclear ambitions".

Third, the administration must provide "the substantially increased resources needed to re-equip a transforming military and rebuild human-intelligence capabilities (minus, if at all possible, the sorts of intelligence 'reforms' contemplated pre-election that would make matters worse on this and other scores) while we fight World War IV, followed by enhancing protection of our homeland, including deploying effective missile defenses at sea and in space, as well as ashore".

Fifth, Washington must keep "faith with Israel, whose destruction remains a priority for the same people who want to destroy us (and ... for our shared 'moral values') especially in the face of Yasser Arafat's demise and the inevitable, post-election pressure to 'solve' the Middle East problem by forcing the Israelis to abandon defensible boundaries".

Sixth, the administration must deal with France and Germany and the dynamic that made them "so problematic in the first term: namely, their willingness to make common cause with our enemies for profit and their desire to employ a united Europe and its new constitution - as well as other international institutions and mechanisms - to thwart the expansion and application of American power where deemed necessary by Washington".

Finally, writes Gaffney, Bush must adapt "appropriate strategies for contending with China's increasingly fascistic trade and military policies, [Russian President] Vladimir Putin's accelerating authoritarianism at home and aggressiveness toward the former Soviet republics, the worldwide spread of Islamofascism, and the emergence of a number of aggressively anti-American regimes in Latin America", which he does not identify.

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