Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Dick Cheney

Trading Rights for Security? how_Boston_exposes_americas_dark_post_911_bargain
We surrendered our rights to a government of war criminals
“In America after 9/11, we made a deal with the devil, or with Dick Cheney, which is much the same thing.
We agreed to give up most of our enumerated rights and civil liberties (except for the sacrosanct Second Amendment, of course) in exchange for a lot of hyper-patriotic tough talk, the promise of “security” and the freedom to go on sitting on our asses and consuming whatever the hell we wanted to.
Don’t look the other way and tell me that you signed a petition or voted for John Kerry or whatever.
The fact is that whatever dignified private opinions you and I may hold, we did not do enough to stop it, and our constitutional rights are now deemed to be partial or provisional rather than absolute, do not necessarily apply to everyone, and can be revoked by the government at any time.
The supposed tradeoff for that sacrifice was that we would be protected, at least for a while, from the political violence and terrorism and low-level warfare that …is nearly an everyday occurrence in many parts of the world. (Low-level wars? What weapons should be used for that categories of warfare?)
According to the Afghan government, for example, a NATO air attack on April 6 killed 17 civilians in Kunar province, 12 of them children.
We’ve heard almost nothing about that on this side of the world, partly because the United States military has not yet admitted that it even happened.
But it’s not entirely fair to suggest that Americans think one kid killed by a bomb in Boston is worth more than 12 kids killed in Afghanistan.
It’s more that we live in a profoundly asymmetrical world, and the dead child in Boston is surprising in a way any number of dead children in Afghanistan, horrifyingly enough, are not.”
 published in Salon this April 21, 2013:

To put it mildly, this has been a bad week for democracy and a worse one for public discourse.

In the minutes and hours after the bombs went off in Boston last Monday, marathon runners, first responders and many ordinary citizens responded to a chaotic situation with great courage and generosity, not knowing whether they might be putting their own lives at risk.

Since then, though, it’s mostly been a massive and disheartening national freakout, with pundits, politicians, major news outlets and the self-appointed sleuths of the Internet – in fact, nearly everyone besides those directly affected by the attack – heaping disgrace upon themselves.

We’ve seen the most famous TV network in the news business repeatedly botch basic facts, while one of the country’s largest-circulation newspapers misreported the number of people killed, launched a wave of hysteria over a “Saudi national” who turned out to have nothing to do with the crime, and then published a cover photo suggesting that two other guys (also innocent) might be the bombers.

We’ve seen the vaunted crowd-sourcing capability of Reddit degenerate into self-reinforcing mass delusion, in which a bunch of people whose law-enforcement expertise consisted of massive doses of “CSI” convinced themselves that a missing college student was one of the bombing suspects.

(He wasn’t – and with that young man’s fate still unknown, how does his family feel today?)

We’ve watched elected officials and political commentators struggle to twist every nubbin of news or rumor toward some perceived short-term tactical advantage.

It was as if the only real importance of this horrific but modestly scaled terrorist attack lay in how it could prove the essential rightness of one’s existing worldview, and — of course! — how it would play in the 2014 midterms.

On the right, people were sure the Boston bombings were part of a massive jihadi plot – no doubt one linked to al-Qaida and Iran and Saddam Hussein and all the other landmarks in the connect-the-dots paranoid worldview of Islamophobia.

(In fact, many people are still convinced of that.)

On the left we heard a lot of theories about Patriots’ Day and Waco and Oklahoma City, along with the argument that it would be better for global peace if the bombers turned out to be white Americans rather than foreign Muslims.

(I sympathize with the underlying point David Sirota was making there, by the way, but the way it was phrased was deliberately inflammatory.)

How long did it take conservative pundits and politicians, after the bombing suspects were identified as Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, immigrant brothers of Chechen heritage born in Kyrgyzstan, to seize on that fact as a reason to walk back the supposed Republican change of heart on immigration reform? Was it even five minutes?

Never mind that the young men in question came here as war refugees in childhood, one was an American citizen and the other a legal resident, and we still have no idea what role their religion and national background may or may not have played in motivating the crime.

It’s hard to imagine what possible immigration laws could have categorically excluded them, short of a magic anti-Muslim force field.

And don’t even get me started on the irrelevant but unavoidable fact that the shameless, butt-licking lackeys of the Senate’s Republican caucus (with a few Democrats along for the ride) took advantage of the post-Boston confusion to do Wayne LaPierre’s bidding and kill a modest gun-reform bill supported by nearly the entire American public.

I might have assumed, in other circumstances, that the Family Research Council’s press release suggesting that the Boston bombings were caused by abortion, “sexual liberalism” and hostility to religion was actually an Onion article.

Or that right-wing pundit Pat Dollard’s now-famous tweet (“GEORGE BUSH KEPT US SAFE FOR 8 YEARS”) came from some Brooklyn hipster’s parody account.

But nothing, it seems, is too painful or stupid or wrong for this particular week. There are many reasons why this happened: A terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon is a big news story by any measure, and this news story happened in a disordered media climate that’s changing so fast no one can keep up with it.

Our political culture is so fundamentally broken and divided that people on all sides seized on the story as a weapon and a symbol long before we had any idea who was behind the crime.

(It would be almost too perfect if the loaded question of whether the Boston bombings were foreign or domestic terrorism turns out not to have a clear answer, as now seems possible: A little bit of both, but not quite either.)

But I think the real reason why this gruesome but small-scale attack sent the whole country into such an incoherent panic lies a little deeper than that.

As a New Yorker who lived through 9/11, by the way, I’m aware that the trauma felt by people in and around Boston, whether or not they were directly affected, is real and likely to last quite a while.

What I’m talking about is the media spectacle of fear and unreason delivered via TV, news sites and social media, the nationwide hysteria that made a vicious act apparently perpetrated by two losers with backpack bombs seem like an “existential threat” (to borrow a little bogus “Homeland”-speak) to the most powerful nation in the world.

Because it was, in a way.

We are supposed to be protected, and then something like Boston comes along, a small-minded and bloody attack that appears to have been conducted by a couple of guys flying under the radar of law enforcement or national intelligence, pursuing some obscure agenda we will probably never understand.

(We have recently learned that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his family were interviewed by the FBI in 2011, apparently at the request of Russian intelligence, and agents found “no derogatory information.” Is that the right’s new Benghazi I smell?)

Not only does it conjure up all the leftover post-traumatic jitters from 9/11 – which for many of us will be there for the rest of our lives – it also makes clear that our Faustian bargain was completely bogus, and the devil never intended to hold up his end of the deal.

We surrendered our rights to a government of war criminals, who promised us certainty and security in a world that offers none.

We should have known better, and in fact we did. At the literal birth moment of American democracy, Benjamin Franklin summed it up in a single sentence: “Those who would give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

George W. Bush explains: “Why I launched the preemptive war on Iraq?”

I am reading the French version of “George W. Bush: Decisive moments”.  I consider this book an “Official documents”: A President of the USA is not entitled to lie on facts.  It is our duty to mine this document for another set of facts in order to rectify distorted images and impressions.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

“The National Security Council is meeting in the Situation Room in the White House. I see on the wide video-conference screen General Tommy Franks surrounded by principal assistants in Price Sultan airbase (Saudi Arabia).  Five other split screens show the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Marines corps, Air, and the Operations specialists.  The British counterparts are also present.

I ask every individual two questions: “Do you have all you need”, and “Do you agree with the strategy”.  They answered by the affirmative.  I said to Don Rumsfeld (Defense Secretary): “In the name of peace around the world and for the good and liberty to the Iraqi people, I order you to execute Operation Liberty in Iraq”.  (Sure, Bush Junior didn’t forget to add: “God bless our troops”, (like all leaders  who have the habit of fumigating the common people with smokescreens).

Saturday, September 15, 2001, Camp David in Maryland, (4 days after the Twin Tower attack).

“We are discussing the three options for invading Afghanistan.  Colin Powell, Secretary of State) did a good job with Pakistan General and president Musharraf. (He had threatened Musharraf “You are with us or against us”).  Dick Cheney is worried that the land military intervention might destabilize fragile Pakistan and the fall of its nuclear arsenal in the hands of the Islamic extremists.

Suddenly, Paul Wolfowitz (secretary of Rumsfeld, and the guy with large holes in his socks) butts in and suggest to first attack Iraq or conduction joint military maneuvers against the Iraq and Afghanistan. (Six months before the 9/11/2001 disaster,  Rumsfeld and the Pentagon had worked out a plan of invading Iraq. Bush Junior mentioned that two months after 9/11, 2001 he asked Rumsfeld to prepare a battle plan against Iraq.  General Tommy Franks was to mobilize 400,000 soldiers and to rely mostly on special operational forces to eliminate strategic targets against centers of mass destruction.  The strategy changed fundamentally as the decision approached)

Rumsfeld agreed with Wolfowitz saying: “By taking care of Iraq right now, we will be sending a strong message to terrorists”

Colin Powell replied: “Attacking Iraq before Afghanistan will be viewed as a dishonest maneuver.  We will lose the support of the UN, Moslem States, and even NATO (European military support).  So far, there is no links between 9/11 attack and Iraq.”  George Tenet (CIA chief) agreed with Powell: “Our priority target should be Al Qaida right now.” (Read note 2)

Dick Cheney agreed to postpone attacking Iraq for fear of losing the dynamic process.  I postponed my decision for the next day.

Former President Clinton had declared in 1998: “As long as Saddam Husein is in power, he is a serious risk to the well-being of his people, peace in the region, and the security of the world community.” (Saddam had to go long time ago, 20 years earlier, when he invaded Iran in 1980 at the instigation of the US and the obscurantist extremist absolute monarchy in Saudi Arabia, and then after invading Kuwait, and exterminating Iraqi Kurds using chemical weapons…)

Bush Junior wrote: “Colin Powell spent four days and nights at the CIA gathering evidence of Iraq nuclear arsenal before speaking to the UN.”  Powell said a few years after the invasion of Iraq: “I was misled by the CIA”  Who is lying? Is Powell not capable of sorting out the good and suspicious pieces of intelligence? Even Bush admitted that he was mislead on that subject after years of fruitless search in Iraq for any misery evidence of atomic arsenals. The US failed to even find any shred of chemical or biological weapons.  Every rusty container was dug up, but nothing materialized.  Bush said that he felt frustrated and his credibility vastly tarnished.  Fact is, Saddam had disposed of all Iraq mass weapon of destruction after the embargo imposed on him after the failed invasion on Kuwait.  The UN kept constant inspection for years.  If the US decided to invade Iraq, it was because they were 100% sure of the non-availability of weapons of mass destruction. Period. (Read note 3)

Bush Junior based his decision for launching a preemptive war on Iraq because his intelligence services and the European services, and a major Arab State services have confirmed potentials that Saddam possesses mass destruction weapons such as chemical, bacteriological, and nuclear power.  Bush Junior mentioned the declarations of Hans Blix for the existence of nuclear arsenal (the same guy who several times declared to the UN and in open letters that Iraq does not possess any nuclear weapons)

England PM Tony Blair asked for a second UN resolution on Iraq before declaring war.  This time around, the US failed to gather the required votes.  Even Mexico and Chili refused to vote for the war, in addition to the veto of China, France and Germany.  The US went to war solo, without UN agreement, and then started to whine of “Old Europe” failing to come to the rescue of liberty…

Note 1:  Apology of G.W. Bush: “The information and pieces of intelligence I had, the principles that I followed, and the decisions that I took…In a few decades, I hope to be appreciated as a President who kept his promises to protecting his country…A president who took advantage of the influence of America in order to disseminating liberty…Whatever is the verdict of History, I wish I am no longer among the living.” G.W. Bush.

I wonder is it GWB principle to lie to the world community that Iraq had a nuclear arsenal?

Note 2: How George Tenet proved to Bush junior that Al Qaida is behind the attack, an hour after the catastrophe? Tenent said: “We intercepted phone calls on the borders between Afghanistan and Pakistan of people congratulating one another for the success of the attack on the Twin Tower”.  Bush Junior is not a lawyer, still, isn’t that a very stupid affirmation based on such evidence?

Note 3:  The 5 States with veto power in the UN (USA, Russia, China, France, and England) are entitled to own nuclear arsenals.  Fact is, any other State that managed to acquire atomic capabilities was feasible with the agreement and support of one of these veto power States.  France offered an atomic facility to Israel in 1955, six years after Israel admittance in the UN, and even as Israel behaved as a rogue State in displacing savagely Palestinians from their homes and committing genocide activities in Palestinian towns and villages. Pakistan acquired the nuclear facilities with the support of the USA and France…

“Blackwater and Companies are back…” (September 8, 2009)

 

            Blackwater is back to Iraq in 2009 under a different company name.  Many US security companies have been in Afghanistan since 2002 guarding the most valued personality in the world Hamid Kardai.  Hamid is President “elect” of Afghanistan for many terms and control one square miles in the Capital Kabul. “I have no fucking idea who we are fighting.” A member of Task Force 11 in Afghanistan declared.  Last night a German politician admitted that there are no way to discriminate among civilian and Taliban fighters. “I want to kill every fucking Afghan I can” said certain contractor named Jack. A bar owner in Kabul retorted: “The only thing that Jack should be allowed to kill is his bar tab” 

            In a matter of months after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, private security firms increased haphazardly; many quickly secured multi-billion contracts such as HART, Triple Canopy, DynCorp, Blackwater, ArmorGroup, Control Risks Group (CRG), Erinys, and Aegis. “I can launch a thousand armed and trained men” had said Eric Prince, owner of Blackwater. The pentagon was officially contracting with 60 such “private security” firms but the unofficial subcontractors doubled the number of firms; for example, Zapata Engineering which handled gathering, transportation, and demolition of ordnance had its own security services; not to mention Halliburton and the like.

            At the end of the “Cold War”, the US military force was downsized by 30%; (In my opinion it was not just an economic necessity as it was a political shift of image control; Clinton didn’t want to be cornered by the military for alternatives that can be resolved diplomatically).  Thus, the military enhanced its policy of privately outsourcing logistical supports.  In December 1985, the first Army’s Logistic Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) was introduced; it permitted for civil corporations to supply sanitation, shelter, maintenance, transport, food services, and construction.      

            The author of “Licensed to kill” Robert Pelton met a covert team of “contractors” at the Afghanistan/Pakistan border in the fall of 2003.  Robert embarked on an odyssey in locations where the CIA and the US State Department needed the services of private war contractors (read mercenaries and security service operators). “At the end, we all knew there might be a conflict of interest” said a private contractor.  (Foreign leaders are dependent on the US government when its interests collude to withdraw hired private security if displeased.  The US State Department could withhold further contracts if private providers of security do not obey the US Administration orders.)

 

A young security guard wrote on the internet (an e-mail from a Mamba Team House):

 

“T’was the night before Christmas in Baghdad, Iraq

All the Mamba Crewmen were tucked in their rack

The defenses were set in impeccable form

And I had just settled down to surf Internet porn

When out in the street I heard such a clatter

It wasn’t a mortar so what was the matter?

In full kit I ran out and what should appear

It was Rudolf, he was wounded, and he was one fucked up reindeer.

He said Santa’s sleigh had been hit by a Strela (a missile)

The old man burned in and was captured by al Qaeda…”

 

            In 1992, Dick Cheney, then secretary of defense to George Bush Senior, contracted Brown and Root (later acquired by the Texas-based Halliburton) to offer a dozen fictional scenarios that could require the deployment of 20,000 troops in 5 base camps for 6 months.  During the Clinton Administration, Cheney headed Halliburton from 1995 to 2000.  In 2001, Cheney secured to Halliburton an extended term of 10 years.

            Even with the over billing schemes of the private contractors, the military saved money but the main objective was political cost savings when things went wrong: the companies could be blamed, contracts annulled, and their employees lost their jobs without due prosecution.

            Bush Junior invaded Iraq with about 250,000 troops because, except Britain, no country would contribute forces. The total manpower on the field was much higher because of the private suppliers.  The US refused to increase its forces to at least 400,000 in order to maintain law and order; thus, the administration relied on private security services.  Without the necessary forces on the field Iraq drifted into total chaos.  “Yes, I’d give the Devil the benefit of laws, for my own safety’s sake” Thomas Moore had once said.

 

            The chaos sparked impunity for the violent criminal groups that didn’t exist during the reign of Saddam.  Colonel T.E. Lawrence warned 80 years ago about the region “A tissue of small jealous principalities incapable of cohesion, and yet always ready to combine against an outside force.”

            (Among the multitudes of private providers were dozens of Israeli companies, coordinating their activities with their Mossad intelligence service, looting Iraq, its historical monuments and artifacts, and assassinating the scientists and Iraqi intellectuals).

            While 50% of the Iraqi was unemployed the private suppliers hired foreigners from the Philippine, Turkey, Pakistan…because they could not trust the Iraqis.  The Iraqi population stayed quiet for 6 months hoping for the reconstruction of the country to take off but it never materialized.

            The US allocated $20 billions for the reconstruction, mainly from the Iraqi oil production (Bush Junior signed Executive Order to confiscate Iraqi property in the US and funds in American banks and the UN allowed 95% of the income from petroleum export sales to be diverted to the Development Fund for Iraq “to promote the welfare of the Iraqi people through the effective administration of the territory”).  In 2005, Congress increased the Fund to 55 billions to the year 2007, an influx that benefited the private US sector but not the Iraqi.

            “We should expect bad irrational behavior, disloyalty, rampant individual greed, back-stabbing, and bum-fucking activities.  It may be that getting us out comes down to a large splodge of wonga” said Simon Mann from prison.

            As of 2008, more than 600 private security contractors have so far died and were not accounted for in the total number of casualties. Blackwater is back to Iraq in 2009 under a different company name. “We are not merely imperfect creatures that need improvement: we are rebels that need lay down their arms” By C.S. Lewis in (The problem of pain)

 

 

Note 1: A major part of this article was extracted from the book of Robert Pelton “License to kill”.

 

Note 2: Mullah Omar, the leader of Taliban, was not targeted and he roamed freely in the Pashtun provinces in Pakistan where they enjoyed self-autonomy from the central Pakistani government.  Ussama Ben Laden was no longer seriously apprehended and lived also in the Pashtun provinces.

 

Note 3: It is my contention that the Saudi theocratic oligarchy valued Ben Laden as their best proselytizer of the Wahhabi sect in Pakistan and had made a very generous deal with the US Administration to sparing this Saudi asset!  If you recall that it is these extremist terrorist Wahhabi groups that finally managed to assassinate Benazir Bhutto PM because she wanted to clip the wings of the Wahhabi entrenchment in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  No wonder that the Saudi monarchy has started to negotiate with Taliban for power sharing in Afghanistan.  It is the same Wahhabi of Al Qaeda that tried to destabilize Lebanon by fighting the army in the Palestinian camp of Nahr Al Bared in the city of Tripoli.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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