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Tyranny at Nuremberg

by Paul Craig Roberts

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org (August 11 2017)

Update August 12 2017: Here is David Irving’s account of his arrest, trial, and imprisonment in Austria. His conviction was overturned by a higher court, and he was released. http://www.fpp.co.uk/books/Banged/up.pdf

The show-trial of a somewhat arbitrarily selected group of 21 surviving Nazis at Nuremberg during 1945~1946 was US Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson’s show. Jackson was the chief prosecutor. As a long-time admirer of Jackson, I always assumed that he did a good job.

My admiration for Jackson stems from his defense of the law as a shield of the people rather than a weapon in the hands of government, and from his defense of the legal principle known as mens rea, that is, that crime requires intent. I often cite Jackson for his defense of these legal principles that are the very foundation of liberty. Indeed, I cited Jackson in my recent July 31 column. His defense of the law as a check on government power plays a central role in the book that I wrote with Lawrence Stratton, The Tyranny of Good Intentions (2008).

In 1940 Jackson was US Attorney General. He addressed federal prosecutors and warned them against
 

picking the man and then putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him. It is in this realm – in which the prosecutor picks some person whom he dislikes or desires to embarrass, or selects some group of unpopular persons and then looks for an offense – that the greatest danger of abuse of prosecuting power lies. It is here that law enforcement becomes personal, and the real crime becomes that of being unpopular with the predominant or governing group, being attached to the wrong political views or being personally obnoxious to, or in the way of, the prosecutor himself.

 

Later as a Supreme Court justice, Jackson overturned a lower court conviction of a person who had no idea, or any reason to believe, that he had committed a crime.

Having just finished reading David Irving’s book Nuremberg (1996), I am devastated to learn that in his pursuit of another principle, at Nuremberg Jackson violated all of the legal principles for which I have so long admired him. To be clear, at Nuremberg Jackson was in pursuit of Nazis, but their conviction was the means to his end – the establishment of the international legal principle that the initiation of war, the commitment of military aggression, was a crime.

The problem, of course, was that at Nuremberg people were tried on the basis of ex post facto law – a law that did not exist at the time of their actions for which they were convicted.

Moreover, the sentence – death by hanging – was decided prior to the trial and prior to the selection of defendants.

Moreover, the defendants were chosen and then a case was made against them.

Exculpatory evidence was withheld. Charges on which defendants were convicted turned out to be untrue.

The trials were so loaded in favor of the prosecution that defense was pro forma.

The defendants were abused and some were tortured.

The defendants were encouraged to give false witness against one another, which for the most part the defendants refused to do, with Albert Speer being the willing one. His reward was a prison sentence rather than death.

The defendants’ wives and children were arrested and imprisoned. To Jackson’s credit, this infuriated him.

President Franklin D Roosevelt, General Eisenhower, and Winston Churchill thought that surviving Nazis should be shot without trial. Roosevelt laughed about liquidating 50,000 German military officers. Eisenhower told Lord Halifax that Nazi leaders should be shot while trying to escape, the common euphemism for murder. Russians spoke of castrating German men and breeding German women to annihilate the German race. US Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau wanted to reduce Germany to an agrarian society and send able-bodied Germans to Africa as slaves to work on “some big TVA project”.

Robert Jackson saw in these intentions not only rank criminality among the allied leadership but also a missed opportunity to create the legal principle that would criminalize war, thus removing the disaster of war from future history. Jackson’s end was admirable, but the means required bypassing Anglo-American legal principles.

Jackson got his chance, perhaps because Joseph Stalin vetoed execution without trial. First a show-trial, Stalin said, to demonstrate their guilt so that we do not make martyrs out of Nazis.

Whom to select for the list of 21 to 22 persons to be charged? Well, whom did the allies have in custody? Not all those they desired. They had Reichsmarschall Herman Goring who headed the air force. Whatever the valid charges against Goring, they were not considered to be mitigated by the fact that under Goring the German air force was mainly used against enemy formations on the battleground and not, like the US and British air forces in saturation terror bombing of civilian cities, such as Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, or by the fact that in Hitler’s final days Hitler removed Goring from all his positions, expelled him from the party, and ordered his arrest.

The Nuremberg trials are paradoxical in that the law Jackson intended to establish applied to every country, not to Germany alone. The ex post facto law under which Germans were sentenced to death and to prison also criminalized the terror bombing of German and Japanese cities by the British and US air forces. Yet, the law was only applied to the Germans in the dock. In his book, Apocalypse 1945: The Destruction of Dresden (1995), Irving quotes US General George C McDonald’s dissent from the directive to bomb civilian cities such as Dresden. General McDonald characterized the directive as the “extermination of populations and the razing of cities”, war crimes under the Nuremberg standard.

They had foreign minister Ribbentrop. They had field marshals Keitel and Jodl and the grand-admirals Raeder and Donitz. They had a German banker, who was saved from sentencing by the intervention of the Bank of England. They had a journalist. They had Rudolf Hess who had been in a British prison since 1941 when he went to Britain on a peace mission to end the war. They wanted an industrialist, but Krupp was too old and ill. He was devoid of the persona of a foreboding evil. You can read the list in Irving’s book.

Goring knew from the beginning that the trial was a hoax and that his death sentence had already been decided. He had the means (a poison capsule) throughout his imprisonment to commit suicide, thus depriving his captors of their planned humiliation of him. Instead, he held the Germans together, and they stood their ground. Possessed of a high IQ, time and again he made fools of his captors. He made such a fool of Robert Jackson during his trial that the entire court burst out in laughter. Jackson never lived down being bested in the courtroom by Goring.

And Goring wasn’t through with making his captors look foolish and incompetent. He, the field marshalls and grand admiral requested that they be given a military execution by firing squad, but the pettiness of the Tribunal wanted them hung like dogs. Goring told his captors that he would allow them to shoot him, but not hang him, and a few minutes before he was to be marched to the gallows before the assembled press and cameras he took the poison capsule, throwing the execution propaganda show into chaos. To this injury, he added insult leaving the prison commandant, US Colonel Andrus a note telling him that he had had three capsules. One he had left for the Americans to find, thus causing them to think his means of escaping them had been removed. One he had taken minutes prior to his show execution, and he described where to find the third. He had easily defeated the continuous and thorough inspections inflicted upon him from fear that he would commit suicide and escape their intended propaganda use of his execution.

There was a time in Anglo-American law when the improprieties of the Nuremberg trials would have resulted in the cases being thrown out of court and the defendants freed. Even under the ex post facto law and extra-judicial, extra-legal terms under which the defendants were tried, at least two of the condemned deserved to be cleared.

It is not clear why Admiral Donitz was sentenced to ten years in prison. The chief American judge of the Tribunal, Francis Biddle, said: “It is, in my opinion, offensive to our concept of justice to punish a man for doing exactly what one has done himself”. “The Germans”, Biddle said, “fought a much cleaner war at sea than we did”.

Jodl, who countermanded many Nazi orders, was sentenced to death. The injustice of the sentence was made clear by a German court in 1953 which cleared Jodl of all Nuremberg charges and rehabilitated him posthumously. The French justice at the Nuremberg Tribunal said at the time that Jodl’s conviction was without merit and was a miscarriage of justice.

The entire Nuremberg proceeding stinks to high heaven. Defendants were charged with aggression for the German invasion of Norway. The fact was kept out of the trial that the British were about to invade Norway themselves and that the Germans, being more efficient, learned of it and managed to invade first.

Defendants were accused of using slave labor, paradoxical in view of the Soviets own practice. Moreover, while the trials were in process the Soviets were apparently gathering up able-bodied Germans to serve as slave labor to rebuild their war-torn economy.

Defendants were accused of mass executions despite the fact that the Russians, who were part of the prosecution and judgment of the defendants, had executed 15,000 or 20,000 Polish officers and buried them in a mass grave. Indeed, the Russians insisted on blaming the Germans on trial for the Katyn Forest Massacre.

Defendants were accused of aggression against Poland, and Ribbentrop was not permitted to mention in his defense the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that divided Poland between Germany and the Soviet Union, without which Germany could not have attacked Poland. The fact that the Soviets, who were sitting at Nuremberg in judgment on the Germans, had themselves invaded Poland was kept out of the proceedings.

Moreover, without the gratuitous British “guarantee” to Poland, the Polish military dictatorship would likely have agreed to return territories stripped from Germany by the Versailles Treaty and the invasion would have been avoided.

The greatest hypocrisy was the charge of aggression against Germany when the fact of the matter is that World War Two began when the British and French declared war on Germany. Germany conquered France and drove the British from the European Continent after the British and French started the war with a declaration of war against Germany.

Irving’s book is, of course, politically incorrect. However, he lists in the introduction the voluminous files on which the book is based: Robert Jackson’s official papers and Oral History, Francis Biddle’s private papers and diaries, Colonel Andrus’ papers, Admiral Raeder’s prison diary, Rudolf Hess’ prison diary, interrogations of the prisoners, interviews with defense counsel, prosecutors, interrogators, and letters from the prisoners to their wives. All of this and more Irving has made available on microfilms for researchers. He compared magnetic tape copies of the original wire-recordings of the trial with the mimeographed and published transcripts to ensure that spoken and published words were the same.

What Irving does in his book is to report the story that the documents tell. This story differs from the patriotic propaganda written by court historians with which we are all imbued. The question arises: Is Irving pro-truth or pro-Nazi. The National Socialist government of Germany is the most demonized government in history. Any lessening of the demonization is unacceptable, so Irving is vulnerable to demonization by those determined to protect their cherished beliefs.

Zionists have branded Irving a “Holocaust denier”, and he was convicted of something like that by an Austrian court and spent fourteen months in prison before the conviction was thrown out by a higher court.

In Nuremberg, Irving removes various propaganda legends from the holocaust story and reports authoritative findings that many of the concentration camp deaths were from typhus and starvation, especially in the final days of the war when food and medicine were disappearing from Germany, but nowhere in the book does he deny, indeed he reports, that vast numbers of Jews perished. As I understand the term, a simple truthful modification of some element of the official holocaust story is sufficient to brand a person a Holocaust denier.

My interest in the book is Robert Jackson. He had a noble cause – to outlaw war – but in pursuit of this purpose, he established precedents for American prosecutors to make the law a weapon in their pursuit of their noble causes just as it was used against Nazis – organized crime convictions, child abuse convictions, drug convictions, terror convictions. Jackson’s pursuit of Nazis at Nuremberg undermined the strictures he put on US attorneys such that today Americans have no more protection of law than the defendants had at Nuremberg.

Copyright (c) 2016 PaulCraigRoberts.org. All rights reserved.

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/08/11/tyranny-at-nuremberg/

Categories: Uncategorized

The Devil’s Chessboard (Part Three of Three)

Dealing with Inconvenient Facts, CIA Style

by David Talbot

https://whowhatwhy.org (October 14 2015)


CIA floor seal Photo credit: CIA.GOV

No one can possibly understand the precarious state of American democracy today without scrutinizing the often secret path the country was taken on by those in power from the 1950s to the present.

Among the elemental figures in forging that path was Allen Dulles.

He was the most powerful, and, it appears – the most sinister – director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Given that outfit’s history, that’s some accomplishment.

Dulles’s job, simply put, was to hijack the US government to benefit the wealthy.

Studying how this worked is a worthwhile pursuit. That’s why we decided to excerpt a few parts of David Talbot’s new Dulles biography, The Devil’s Chessboard (2015).

In part one of our excerpts, we looked at indications that Lee Harvey Oswald was no rogue “lone nut” but in fact a man with strong connections to the American national security apparatus. We also looked at Allen Dulles’s highly suspicious behavior around the time of the assassination – a time when he was ostensibly in retirement, having been fired two years earlier by President Kennedy. And we saw how determined Dulles was in advancing the notion that Oswald had been Kennedy’s killer, and had acted alone.

In part two, we focused on the Warren Commission, the body “above suspicion” that was supposed to investigate Kennedy’s death and report its findings to the public. We see the irrepressible Allen Dulles, who should by almost any standard have been considered a possible suspect for a role in the assassination, instead appointed to the Commission. And we see how he became the leading figure in guiding the “probe”, along with a network of individuals whose loyalties were clearly to him and to the American establishment, but certainly not to the truth – or to the late President.

Below, in part three, we are treated to a detailed account of the Warren Commission’s “investigation” as the fraud that it was. Complete with leaks to influence public opinion, cooperative news organizations and journalists, cover-up artists and the odd person of conscience, this charade deserves much more attention because it shows the extent to which we are manipulated – and others forced to go along to get along. There’s one commission staffer with a conscience, but he gets a pretty clear warning to back off.

– WhoWhatWhy Introduction by Russ Baker

Third part of compressed excerpt of Chapter 20, “For the Good of the Country” from
The Devil’s Chessboard. Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of the American Secret Government (2015).

Weaving Two Separate Webs of Deceit

Despite the chronic tensions between the CIA and FBI, Hoover proved a useful partner of the spy agency during the JFK inquiry. The FBI chief knew that his organization had its own secrets to hide related to the assassination, including its contacts with Oswald.

Furthermore, taking its cues from the CIA, the bureau had dropped Oswald from its watch list just weeks before the assassination. An angry Hoover would later mete out punishment for errors such as this, quietly disciplining seventeen of his agents. But the FBI director was desperate to avoid public censure, and he fully supported the Commission’s lone-gunman story line.

Angleton, who had a good back-channel relationship with the FBI, made sure that the two agencies stayed on the same page throughout the Warren inquest, meeting regularly with Bureau contacts such as William Sullivan and Sam Papich.

Angleton and his team also provided ongoing support and advice to Dulles. On a Saturday afternoon in March 1964, Ray Rocca – Angleton’s right-hand man ever since their days together in Rome – met with Dulles at his home to mull over a particularly dicey issue with which the commission was grappling.
 

David Phillips – a man whose career was nurtured by Helms – had been spotted meeting with Oswald in Dallas. But when Helms was sworn in, he simply lied. There was no evidence of agency contact with Oswald, he testified.

 

How could the panel dispel persistent rumors that the CIA was somehow a “sponsor” of Oswald’s actions? The story had broken in the press the previous month, when Marguerite Oswald declared that her son was a secret agent for the CIA who was “set up to take the blame” for the Kennedy assassination.

Rankin had obligingly suggested that Dulles be given the job of clearing the CIA by reviewing all of the relevant agency documents that were provided to the commission. But even Dulles thought this smacked too much of an inside job. Instead, after conferring with Rocca, Dulles proposed that he simply provide a statement to the commission swearing – as Rocca put it in his report back to Dick Helms – “that as far as he could remember he had never had any knowledge of Oswald at any time prior to the date of the assassination”.

But Senator Cooper thought the allegations that Oswald was some kind of government agent were too serious to simply be dispelled by written statements. During a Warren Commission executive session in April, he proposed that the heads of the CIA and FBI be put under oath and questioned by the panel. It was a highly awkward suggestion, as Dulles pointed out.

“I might have a little problem on that – having been [CIA] director until November 1961”. There was a simple solution, however: put his successor, John McCone, on the witness stand. That was fine with Dulles, because – as he knew – McCone remained an agency outsider, despite his title, and was not privy to its deepest secrets.

When McCone appeared before the Warren Commission, he brought along Helms, his chief of clandestine operations. As McCone was well aware, Helms was the man who knew where all the bodies were buried, and he deferred to his number two man more than once during his testimony. Conveniently ignorant of the CIA’s involvement with Oswald, McCone was able to emphatically deny any agency connection to the accused assassin. “The agency never contacted him, interviewed him, talked with him, or received or solicited any reports or information from him”, McCone assured the commission.

Ask Helms? “The Man Who Kept the Secrets”?

It was trickier when Helms was asked the same questions. He knew about the extensive documentary record that Angleton’s department had amassed on Oswald. He was aware of how the agency had monitored the defector during his exploits in Dallas, New Orleans, and Mexico City.

David Phillips – a man whose career was nurtured by Helms – had been spotted meeting with Oswald in Dallas. But when Helms was sworn in, he simply lied. There was no evidence of agency contact with Oswald, he testified. Had the agency provided the commission with all the information it had on Oswald, Rankin asked him. “We have – all”, Helms replied, though he knew the files that he had handed over were thoroughly purged.

Helms was “the man who kept the secrets”, in the words of his biographer, Thomas Powers. Commission staff attorney Howard Willens politely called him “one of the most fluent and self-confident government officials I ever met”. Helms was the sort of man who could tell lies with consummate ease. It would eventually win him a felony conviction, and he wore it like a badge of courage. When one was defending the nation, Helms would lecture the senators who pestered him late in his career, one must be granted a certain latitude.

Disturbing Phone Call from a Spook

It was David Slawson, a thirty-two-year-old attorney on leave from a Denver corporate law firm, who was given the unenviable job of dealing with the CIA as part of the Warren Commission’s conspiracy research team. Rankin had told Slawson to rule out no one – “not even the CIA”.

If he did discover evidence of agency involvement, the young lawyer nervously joked, he would be found dead of a premature heart attack. But Rocca, the veteran counterintelligence agent assigned to babysit the commission, made sure nothing turned up. “I came to like and trust [Rocca]”, said the young staff attorney, who found himself dazzled by his first exposure to a spy world he had only seen in movies. “He was very intelligent and tried in every way, to be honest and helpful”. Slawson was equally gullible when evaluating Dulles, whom he dismissed as old and feeble – precisely the aging schoolmaster act that the spymaster liked to put over on people.

Years later, as the Church Committee began to reveal the darker side of the CIA, Slawson came to suspect that Rocca had not been so “honest” with him after all. In a frank interview with The New York Times in February 1975, Slawson suggested that the CIA had withheld important information from the Warren Commission, and he endorsed the growing campaign to reopen the Kennedy investigation.

Slawson was the first Warren Commission attorney to publicly question whether the panel had been misled by the CIA and FBI (he would later be joined by Rankin himself) – and the news story caused a stir in Washington.

Several days after the article ran, Slawson – who by then was teaching law at the University of Southern California – got a disturbing phone call from James Angleton. After some initial pleasantries, the spook got around to business. He wanted Slawson to know that he was friendly with the president of USC, and he wanted to make sure that Slawson was going to “remain a friend” of the CIA.

Manufacturing a Motive for Oswald

His new job on the commission gave Dulles an opportunity to connect with old friends, such as … British novelist Rebecca West. In March, Dulles wrote West, beseeching her to draw on her fertile imagination to come up with possible motives for Oswald’s crime. The commission was so baffled by the question that Warren even suggested leaving that part of the report blank.

“I wish sometime you would sit down and write me a line as to why you think Lee Oswald did the dastardly deed”, Dulles wrote the novelist in March, as if discussing the plot of a whodunit. “All I can tell you is that there is not one iota of evidence that he had any personal vindictiveness against the man Kennedy”.

Meanwhile, the following month, Mary relayed a news report about Mark Lane to Dulles, informing her old lover in high dudgeon that Lane had apparently told a conference of lawyers in Budapest “that the killers – plural – of JFK were still at large … even I am amazed that Lane has the temerity to go to Budapest and shoot off his mouth in that fashion. I regard him as insane – but nevertheless, I do hope the FBI has its eye on him”.

Dulles and McCloy, in fact, were very concerned about European public opinion regarding the Kennedy assassination, and they urged the commission to closely monitor both Lane and Thomas G Buchanan, a Paris-based American journalist who had written the first JFK conspiracy book, Who Killed Kennedy? (1964) – an advance copy of which was airmailed to Dulles from the CIA station in London, where it was published …

Earl Warren was obsessed with press coverage of the inquiry and agonized over press leaks, including a May report by Anthony Lewis in The New York Times – midway through the panel’s work – that the inquiry was set to “unequivocally reject theories that the assassination was the work of some kind of conspiracy”.

Warren was very upset by the premature news report, which suggested that the commission had rushed to judgment before hearing all the evidence. The leak was clearly intended to counter the publicity being generated by authors like Lane and Buchanan.

While the commission frantically attempted to determine the source of such leaks, the answer was sitting in their midst. The two most active leakers were Ford and Dulles. It was Ford who kept the FBI constantly informed, enabling Hoover to feed the press with bureau-friendly stories about the inquest. And Dulles used the CIA’s own network of media assets to spin Warren Commission coverage.

A Likely Story about Robert Oswald

The New York Times was a favorite Dulles receptacle. In February, the Times had run another leaked story – also bylined by Lewis – that clearly led back to Dulles. Lewis reported that Robert Oswald, the accused assassin’s brother, had testified that he suspected Lee was a Soviet agent. As the commission hunted the source of the leak, a staff attorney suggested that the Times reporter might have overheard a dinner table conversation that he and Dulles had with Robert Oswald at a Washington restaurant – a highly unlikely scenario that nonetheless provided Dulles with the fig leaf of a cover story …

Blame the Victim

There was a smug coziness to the entire Warren investigation. It was a clubby affair. When Treasury Secretary Dillon finally appeared before the commission in early September – less than three weeks before its final report was delivered to the president – he was warmly greeted by Dulles as “Doug”. Dillon was treated to a kid-gloves examination by the commission, even though there were troubling questions left unanswered about the Secret Service’s behavior in Dallas, where Kennedy’s protection had mysteriously melted away.

Led by Willens, the commission staff had tried for months before Dillon’s appearance to obtain Secret Service records related to the assassination. Willens believed that “the Secret Service appeared to be neither alert nor careful in protecting the president”.

This was a delicate way of characterizing what was a criminally negligent performance by the service entrusted with the president’s safety. The buildings surrounding Dealey Plaza and its shadowy corners were not swept and secured by the Secret Service in advance of Kennedy’s motorcade.

There were no agents riding on the flanks of his limousine. And when sniper fire erupted, only one agent – Clint Hill – performed his duty by sprinting toward the president’s vehicle and leaping onto the rear. It was an outrageous display of professional incompetence, one that made Robert Kennedy immediately suspect that the presidential guard was involved in the plot against his brother.

But Dillon stonewalled Willens’s efforts to pry loose Secret Service records, and when the commission staff persisted, the Treasury secretary huddled with his old friend, Jack McCloy, and then appealed to President Johnson himself. “Dillon was a very shrewd guy”, Willens marveled late in his life. “I still can’t believe he involved President Johnson in this”.

Instead of being grilled by the commission about why he had withheld records and why his agency was missing in action in Dallas, Dillon was allowed to make a case for why his budget should be beefed up. If the Secret Service was given more money, staff, and authority, Senator Cooper helpfully asked, would it be possible to offer the president better protection in the future? “Yes, I think [we] could”, Dillon replied brightly.

If any blame was assigned in the death of the president during Dillon’s gentle interrogation, it was placed on the victim himself. Soon after the assassination, Dillon and others began circulating the false story that Kennedy preferred his Secret Service guards to ride behind him in motorcades, instead of on the side rails of his limousine, and that Kennedy had also requested the Dallas police motorcycle squadron to hang back – so the crowds in Dallas could enjoy an unobstructed view of the glamorous first couple. This clever piece of disinformation had the insidious effect of absolving the Secret Service and indicting Kennedy, implying that his vanity was his downfall …

Part One: https://billtotten.wordpress.com/2017/08/14/the-devils-chessboard-part-one/

Part Two: https://billtotten.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/the-devils-chessboard-part-two-of-three/

https://whowhatwhy.org/2015/10/14/new-book-on-cia-master-plotter-dulles-sneak-peek-part-3/

Categories: Uncategorized

The Devil’s Chessboard (Part Two of Three)

Prime Suspect in JFK Hit Leads Investigation

by David Talbot

https://whowhatwhy.org (October 13 2015)


Members of the Warren Commission present their report on the assassination of President John F Kennedy to President Lyndon Johnson. Cabinet Room, White House, Washington DC. Left to Right: John McCloy, J Lee Rankin (General Counsel), Senator Richard Russell, Congressman Gerald Ford, Chief Justice Earl Warren, President Lyndon B Johnson, Allen Dulles, Senator John Sherman Cooper, and Congressman Hale Boggs Photo credit: Cecil Stoughton / White House / Wikimedia

No one can possibly understand the precarious state of American democracy today without scrutinizing the often secret path the country was taken on by those in power from the 1950s to the present.

Among the elemental figures in forging that path was Allen Dulles.

He was the most powerful, and, it appears – the most sinister – director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Given that outfit’s history, that’s some accomplishment.

Dulles’s job, simply put, was to hijack the US government to benefit the wealthy.

Studying how this worked is a worthwhile pursuit. That’s why we decided to excerpt a few parts of David Talbot’s new Dulles biography, The Devil’s Chessboard (2015).

In part one of our excerpts, we looked at indications that Lee Harvey Oswald was no rogue “lone nut” but in fact a man with strong connections to the American national security apparatus. We also looked at Allen Dulles’s highly suspicious behavior around the time of the assassination – a time when he was ostensibly in retirement, having been fired two years earlier by President Kennedy. And we saw how determined Dulles was in advancing the notion that Oswald had been Kennedy’s killer, and had acted alone.

In the excerpt below, we focus on the Warren Commission, the body “above suspicion” that was supposed to investigate Kennedy’s death and report its findings to the public. We see the irrepressible Allen Dulles, who should by almost any standard have been considered a possible suspect for a role in the assassination, instead appointed to the Commission. And we see how he became the leading figure in guiding the “probe”, along with a network of individuals whose loyalties were clearly to him and to the American establishment, but certainly not to the truth – or to the late president.

– WhoWhatWhy Introduction by Russ Baker.

Second part of compressed excerpt of Chapter 20, “For the Good of the Country” fromĀ The Devil’s Chessboard. Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of the American Secret Government (2015).

“Allen Dulles had a lot to hide”

How did Allen Dulles – a man fired by President Kennedy under bitter circumstances – come to oversee the investigation into his murder?

This crucial historical question has been the subject of misguided speculation for many years. The story apparently began with Lyndon Johnson, a man not known for his devotion to the truth. It has been repeated over time by various historians, including Johnson biographer Robert Caro, who one would think would be more skeptical, considering the exhaustive detail with which he documented LBJ’s habitual deceit in his multi-volume work.

In his 1971 memoir, Johnson wrote that he appointed Dulles and John McCloy to the Warren Commission because they were “the two men Bobby Kennedy asked me to put on it”. With Bobby safely dead by 1971, LBJ clearly felt that he could get away with this one. But the idea that LBJ would huddle with the man he considered his rival and tormentor, in order to discuss the politically sensitive composition of the commission, is ludicrous.

The Warren Commission’s inquiry had the ability to shake the new Johnson presidency – and the US government itself – to their very core. In making his choices for the commission, Johnson later wrote, he sought “men who were known to be beyond pressure and above suspicion”.

What LBJ really wanted was men who could be trusted to close the case and put the public’s suspicions to rest. The Warren Commission was not established to find the truth but to “lay the dust” that had been stirred up in Dallas, as McCloy stated – “dust not only in the United States but all over the world”.

Equally preposterous is the notion that Bobby Kennedy would nominate Dulles and McCloy – two men who had fallen out with President Kennedy while serving on his national security team – to investigate his brother’s murder. Like Dulles, whose former agency Bobby immediately suspected of a role in the assassination, McCloy was a Cold War hardliner …

McCloy, who had served as chairman of Chase Manhattan before David Rockefeller moved into the bank’s leadership role, was closely aligned with Rockefeller interests. After leaving the Kennedy administration, McCloy joined a Wall Street law firm where he represented anti-Kennedy oilmen Clint Murchison and Sid Richardson, with whom he had done business since his days at Chase Manhattan.

It was the national security establishment, not Bobby Kennedy, that advised the new president to put Dulles and McCloy on the Warren Commission. And Johnson – finely tuned to the desires of the men who had put him in the Oval Office – wisely obliged them.

The Dulles camp itself made no bones about the fact that the Old Man aggressively lobbied to get appointed to the commission. Dick Helms later told historian Michael Kurtz that he “personally persuaded” Johnson to appoint Dulles. According to Kurtz, Dulles and Helms

… wanted to make sure no agency secrets came out during the investigation … And, of course, if Dulles was on the commission, that would ensure the agency would be safe. Johnson felt the same way – he didn’t want the investigation to dig up anything strange.

 

William Corson, a former Marine Corps officer and Navy intelligence agent who was close to Dulles, confirmed that the spymaster pulled strings to get on the Warren Commission. He “lobbied hard for the job”, recalled Corson, who had commanded young Allen Jr in the Korean War. After he took his place on the commission, Dulles recruited Corson to explore the Jack Ruby angle. After spending months pursuing various leads, Corson eventually concluded that he had been sent on a wild-goose chase. “It is entirely possible I was sent on an assignment which would go nowhere … Allen Dulles had a lot to hide”.

Among those urging Johnson to give Dulles the Warren Commission job were establishment allies like Secretary of State Dean Rusk, former president of the Rockefeller Foundation. These same voices were raised on behalf of McCloy. In fact, the commission was, from the very beginning, an establishment creation. It was sold to an initially reluctant LBJ by the most influential voices of the Washington power structure, including Joe Alsop – the CIA’s ever-dependable mouthpiece – and the editorial czars of The Washington Post and The New York Times.

Johnson wanted the investigation handled by officials in Texas, where he felt more in control, instead of by a “bunch of carpetbaggers”. But in a phone call to the White House on the morning of November 25, Alsop deftly maneuvered Johnson into accepting the idea of a presidential commission made up of nationally renowned figures “beyond any possible suspicion”.

When Johnson clung to his idea of a Texas investigation, the sophisticated Alsop set him straight, as if lecturing a country simpleton. “My lawyers, though, Joe, tell me that the White House – the president – must not inject himself into local killings”, LBJ said, almost pleadingly. “I agree with that”, Alsop said as he smoothly cut him off, “but in this case, it does happen to be the killing of the president”.

Dulles immediately accepted Johnson’s request to join the commission when the president phoned him on the evening of November 29. “I would like to be of any help”, Dulles told Johnson, though he did feel compelled to at least raise the propriety of appointing a former CIA director who was known to have a troubled relationship with the deceased president:

“And you’ve considered the work of my previous work and my previous job?” Dulles asked inelegantly. “I sure have”, LBJ replied, “and we want you to do it. That’s that … You always do what is best for your country. I found that out about you a long time ago.”

The Warren Commission was named after Supreme Court chief justice Earl Warren, the distinguished jurist President Johnson strong-armed into chairing the JFK inquest. But as attorney Mark Lane – one of the first critics of the lone-gunman theory – later observed, it should have been called the “Dulles Commission”, considering the spymaster’s dominant role in the investigation. In fact, Dulles was Johnson’s first choice to chair the commission, but LBJ decided that he needed Warren at the helm to deflect liberal criticism of the official inquiry …

Dulles tried to establish the framework for the inquiry early on by handing the other commission members copies of a book titled The Assassins by Robert J Donovan, a Washington journalist. Donovan’s history of presidential assassins argued that these dramatic acts of violence were the work of solitary fanatics, not “organized attempts to shift political power from one group to another”. It was quickly pointed out to Dulles that John Wilkes Booth, who shot Lincoln as part of a broader Confederate plot to decapitate the federal government, rather famously contradicted Donovan’s theory. But, undeterred, Dulles continued to push the commission to keep a tight frame on Oswald.

Dulles offered that he would like to get these aspects of the inquiry “into the hands of the CIA as soon as possible to explain the Russian parts”. Senator Russell, long used to dealing with the intelligence community, reacted skeptically. “I think you’ve got more faith in them than I have. I think they’ll doctor anything they hand to us.”

 

Dulles was a whirlwind of activity, especially outside the hearing room, where he deftly maneuvered to keep the investigation on what he considered the proper track … There was no detail too small for Dulles to bring to the chief counsel’s attention. “A great deal of the description of the motorcade and the shooting will be unclear unless we have a street map and, if possible, a photo taken from the sixth-floor window”, Dulles wrote Rankin in a July 1964 memo. “Is this possible?” Dulles was particularly eager to explore any leads suggesting Oswald might be a Soviet spy – a soon discredited idea that Angleton would nonetheless keep promoting for the rest of his life.

Peculiar Behavior of Security Agencies

Despite Dulles’s efforts to keep the commission away from any hints of a domestic conspiracy, from time to time uncomfortable questions along these lines cropped up. During an executive session convened by the panel on December 16 1963, Warren raised an especially sensitive matter – the mysterious failure of the country’s security agencies to keep a close watch on someone with Oswald’s background. [Note from WhoWhatWhy editor: For an eerie parallel in Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the purported mastermind of the Boston Marathon bombing, see https://whowhatwhy.org/2014/04/14/uss-boston-bombing-report-hints-even-darker-reality/.%5D

How, for instance, did a defector simply stroll into the US immigration office in New Orleans – as he did the previous summer – and obtain a passport to return to Russia? “That seems strange to me”, Warren remarked.

Actually, passports were rather easy to obtain, Dulles observed. When the discussion turned to the puzzling ease with which Oswald got permission to return to the United States with his Russian wife, Dulles offered that he would like to get these aspects of the inquiry “into the hands of the CIA as soon as possible to explain the Russian parts”.

Senator Russell, long used to dealing with the intelligence community, reacted skeptically. “I think you’ve got more faith in them than I have. I think they’ll doctor anything they hand to us.”

Russell was edging painfully close to the fundamental problem at the core of the Warren panel’s impossible mission. How could the board run a credible inquest when it had limited investigative capability of its own and was largely dependent on the FBI and the other security agencies for its evidence – agencies that were clearly implicated in the failure to protect the president?

The Warren Commission was, in fact, so thoroughly infiltrated and guided by the security services that there was no possibility of the panel pursuing an independent course. Dulles was at the center of this subversion. During the commission’s ten-month-long investigation, he acted as a double agent, huddling regularly with his former CIA associates to discuss the panel’s internal operations.

Part One: https://billtotten.wordpress.com/2017/08/14/the-devils-chessboard-part-one/

Part Three: https://whowhatwhy.org/2015/10/14/new-book-on-cia-master-plotter-dulles-sneak-peek-part-3/

https://whowhatwhy.org/2015/10/13/new-book-on-cia-master-plotter-dulles-sneak-peek-part-2/

Categories: Uncategorized

The Devil’s Chessboard (Part One)

Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of the American Secret Government

by David Talbot

https://whowhatwhy.org (July 26 2017)


President Harry S Truman at his desk aboard USS Augusta, September 14, 1945. Photo credit: National Museum of the US Navy / Flickr

Exactly seventy years ago today, President Harry S Truman signed the National Security Act, creating the Department of Defense, the National Security Council, the Joint Chiefs of Staff – and the Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”).

Sixteen years later – just one month after the Kennedy assassination – Truman published a bombshell inThe Washington Post:

 

I have never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak-and-dagger operations … It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of Government … so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue.

 

When it comes to behind-the-scenes intrigue, no one could out-sinister Allen Dulles, director of the CIA from 1953 to 1961. Dulles’s job, simply put, was to hijack the US government – for the benefit of the wealthy.

What he did, and how he did it, has never been more relevant, given the state of the nation in 2017. That’s why we are excerpting some revelatory chapters from David Talbot’s recent Dulles biography, The Devil’s Chessboard (2015).

The focus here is on Dulles’s deeply troubling behavior around the time that John F Kennedy was assassinated.

Although Kennedy had fired him in 1961, Dulles basically kept, de facto, running the CIA anyway. And, even more ominously, after Kennedy was killed in Dallas on Friday, November 22 1963, Dulles moved into The Farm, a secret CIA facility in Virginia, where he remained for the weekend – during which time the “suspect”, Lee Harvey Oswald, was shot to death in a Dallas police station, and a vast machinery was set in motion to create the “lone gunman” myth that has dominated our history books to the present.

By no coincidence, that same machinery worked to bury evidence that Oswald himself had deep connections to US intelligence.

Throughout all this, one thing is clear: Dulles was no rogue operative. He was serving the interests of America’s corporate and war-making elites. And he went all out.

The “former” CIA director was so determined to control the JFK death-story spin, as Talbot chronicles below, that he even tried to strong-arm former President Truman when the plain-spoken Missourian dropped hints that an out-of-control CIA might have been involved in Kennedy’s murder.

– WhoWhatWhy Introduction by Russ Baker.

First part of a compressed excerpt of Chapter 20, For the Good of the Country” from
The Devil’s Chessboard. Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of the American Secret Government
(2015).


Bas-relief of Allen Dulles. Main lobby of Original Headquarters Building. Photo credit: Central Intelligence Agency / Flickr

For the Good of the Country

Over the final months of JFK’s presidency, a clear consensus took shape within America’s deep state: Kennedy was a national security threat. For the good of the country, he must be removed. And Dulles was the only man with the stature, connections, and decisive will to make something of this enormity happen.

He had already assembled a killing machine to operate overseas. Now he prepared to bring it home to Dallas. All that his establishment colleagues had to do was to look the other way – as they always did when Dulles took executive action.

In the case of Doug Dillon – who oversaw Kennedy’s Secret Service apparatus – it simply meant making sure that he was out of town … If he was later asked to account for himself, Dillon would have a ready explanation. The tragic events in Dallas had not occurred on his watch; he was airborne over the Pacific at the time.

There is no evidence that reigning corporate figures like David Rockefeller were part of the plot against President Kennedy or had foreknowledge of the crime. But there is ample evidence of the overwhelming hostility to Kennedy in these corporate circles – a surging antagonism that certainly emboldened Dulles and other national security enemies of the president. And if the assassination of President Kennedy was indeed an “establishment crime”, as University of Pittsburgh sociology professor Donald Gibson has suggested, there is even more reason to see the official investigation as an establishment cover-up.

Dallas DA: Oswald Seemed “Programmed”
.
Oswald was still alive, and that was a problem. He was supposed to be killed as he left the Texas School Book Depository. That’s what G Robert Blakey, the former Kennedy Justice Department attorney who served as chief counsel for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, later concluded about the man authorities rushed to designate the lone assassin. But Oswald escaped, and after being taken alive by Dallas police in a movie theater, he became a major conundrum for those trying to pin the crime on him.
 

It was almost as if he had been rehearsed or programmed to meet the situation he found himself in.

 

To begin with, Oswald did not act like most assassins. Those who decapitated heads of state generally crowed about their history-making deeds (Sic semper tyrannis!). In contrast, Oswald repeatedly denied his guilt while in custody, emphatically telling reporters as he was hustled from one room to the next in the Dallas police station, “I don’t know what this is all about … I’m just a patsy!”

And the accused assassin seemed strangely cool and collected, according to the police detectives who questioned him. “He was real calm”, recalled one detective. “He was extra calm. He wasn’t a bit excited or nervous or anything.” In fact, Dallas police chief Jesse Curry and district attorney William Alexander thought Oswald was so composed that he seemed trained to handle a stressful interrogation. “I was amazed that a person so young would have had the self-control he had”, Alexander later told Irish investigative journalist Anthony Summers. “It was almost as if he had been rehearsed or programmed to meet the situation he found himself in”.

Oswald further signaled that he was part of an intelligence operation by trying to make an intriguing phone call shortly before midnight East Coast time on Saturday, November 23. The police switchboard operator, who was being closely monitored by two unidentified officials, told Oswald there was no answer, though she actually did not put through the call. It was not until years later that independent researchers traced the phone number that Oswald tried to call to a former US Army intelligence officer in Raleigh, North Carolina.

CIA veteran Victor Marchetti, who analyzed the Raleigh call in his book, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence (1974), surmised that Oswald was likely following his training guidelines and reaching out to his intelligence handler. “[He] was probably calling his cutout. He was calling somebody who could put him in touch with his case officer.”

The Raleigh call probably sealed Oswald’s fate, according to Marchetti. By refusing to play the role of the “patsy” and instead of following his intelligence protocol, Oswald made clear that he was trouble.

What would be the CIA procedure at this point, Marchetti was asked by North Carolina historian Grover Proctor, who has closely studied this episode near the end of Oswald’s life? “I’d kill him”, Marchetti replied. “Was this his death warrant?” Proctor continued. “You betcha”, Marchetti said. “This time, [Oswald] went over the dam, whether he knew it or not … He was over the dam. At this point, it was executive action”.

Oswald was not just alive on the afternoon of November 22 1963; he was likely innocent. This was another major problem for the organizers of the assassination. Even close legal observers of the case who continue to believe in Oswald’s guilt – such as Bob Blakey who, after serving on the House Assassinations Committee, became a law professor at Notre Dame University – acknowledge that a “credible” case could have been made for Oswald’s innocence based on the evidence. (The 1979 congressional report found that Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy involving Oswald and other unknown parties.) Other legal experts, like San Francisco attorney and Kennedy researcher Bill Simpich, have gone further, arguing that the case against Oswald was riddled with such glaring inconsistencies that it would have quickly unraveled in court.

Fortunately for the conspirators, the deeply flawed case against Lee Harvey Oswald never made it to court … Oswald’s shocking murder – broadcast live into America’s homes – solved one dilemma for Dulles, as he monitored the Dallas events that weekend from the Farm, his secure CIA facility in Virginia. But it soon became apparent that Oswald’s murder created another problem – a wave of public suspicion that swept over the nation and beyond … To many people who watched the horrifying spectacle on TV, the shooting smacked of a gangland hit aimed at silencing Oswald before he could talk.

In fact, this is precisely what Attorney General Robert Kennedy concluded after his investigators began digging into Ruby’s background. Bobby, who had made his political reputation as a Senate investigator of organized crime, pored over Ruby’s phone records from the days leading up to the Dallas violence.

“The list [of names] was almost a duplicate of the people I called before the Rackets Committee”, RFK later remarked. The attorney general’s suspicions about the death of his brother immediately fell not just on the Mafia, but on the CIA – the agency that, as Bobby knew, had been using the mob to do some of its dirtiest work …

Truman: CIA “Sinister and Mysterious”

Meanwhile, down in Independence, Missouri, another retired president, Harry Truman, was fuming about the CIA. On December 22 1963, while the country was still reeling from the gunfire in Dallas, Truman published a highly provocative op-ed article in The Washington Post, charging that the CIA had grown alarmingly out of control since he established it.

His original purpose, wrote Truman, was to create an agency that simply coordinated the various streams of sensitive information flowing into the White House. “I have never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations”, he continued. But “for some time, I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of Government.” The CIA had grown “so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue”.

But the increasingly powerful agency did not just menace foreign governments, Truman warned – it now threatened democracy at home. “There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position [as a] free and open society”, he concluded ominously, “and I feel that we need to correct it”.

The timing of Truman’s opinion piece was striking. Appearing in the capital’s leading newspaper exactly one month after the assassination, the article caused shock waves in political circles. There was a disturbing undertone to the straight-talking midwesterner’s warning about the CIA. Was Truman implying that there was “sinister and mysterious intrigue” behind Kennedy’s death? Could that have been what he meant when he suggested that the agency represented a growing danger to our own democracy?

Dulles Lies to Discredit Truman

Allen Dulles knew the danger of words, the wrong kind of words. As CIA director, he had spent an untold fortune each year on countering the Soviet propaganda machine and controlling the world’s conversation, including the political and media dialogue in his own country. Within minutes of the Kennedy assassination, the CIA tried to steer news reporting and commentary about Dallas, planting stories that suggested – falsely – that Oswald was a Soviet agent or that Castro was behind JFK’s murder.
 

Still, Dulles would not accept defeat. Unable to alter reality, he simply altered the record, like any good spy.

 

In actuality, both Khrushchev – who broke down weeping in the Kremlin when he heard the news – and Castro were deeply distressed by Kennedy’s death. Both men had been greatly encouraged by Kennedy’s peace initiatives in the final year of his presidency, and they feared that his assassination meant that military hard-liners would take control in Washington …

But despite the CIA’s strenuous efforts, press coverage of the Kennedy assassination began spinning out of its control. Dulles knew that immediate steps must be taken to contain the conversation … If Harry Truman – the man who created the CIA – was worried that it had become a Frankenstein, it might be only a matter of time before prominent European figures, and even some stray voices in America, began to question whether the agency was behind JFK’s murder.

It was Dulles himself who jumped in to put out the Truman fire. Soon after the Post published Truman’s diatribe, Dulles began a campaign to get the retired president to disavow his opinion piece. The spymaster began by enlisting the help of Washington power attorney Clark Clifford, the former Truman counselor who chaired President Johnson’s intelligence advisory board. The CIA “was really Harry S Truman’s baby or at least his adopted child”, Dulles pointed out in a letter to Clifford. Perhaps the attorney could talk some sense into the tough old bird and get him to retract his harsh criticisms of the agency.

Dulles also appealed directly to Truman in a strongly worded letter, telling the former president that he was “deeply disturbed” by his article. In the eight-page letter that he mailed on January 7 1964, Dulles tried to implicate Truman himself. Calling Truman the “father of our modern intelligence system”, Dulles reminded him that it was “you, through National Security Council action, [who] approved the organization in CIA of a new office to carry out covert operations”. So, Dulles continued, Truman’s ill-advised rant in the Post amounted to “a repudiation of a policy” that the former president himself “had the great courage and wisdom to initiate”.

To an extent, Dulles had a point. As the spymaster pointed out, the Truman Doctrine had indeed authorized an aggressive strategy aimed at thwarting Communist advances in Western Europe, including CIA intervention in the 1948 Italian elections. But Truman was correct in charging that, under Eisenhower, Dulles had led the CIA much deeper into skulduggery than he ever envisioned.

Unmoved by Dulles’s letter, Truman stood by his article. Realizing the threat that Truman posed, Dulles continued his crusade to discredit the Post essay well into the following year. Confident of his powers of persuasion, the spymaster made a personal trek to Independence, Missouri, in April, arranging to meet face-to-face with Truman at his presidential library. After exchanging a few minutes of small talk about the old days, Dulles mounted his assault on Truman, employing his usual mix of sweet talk and arm-twisting. But Truman – even on the brink of turning eighty – was no pushover, and Dulles’s efforts proved fruitless.

Still, Dulles would not accept defeat. Unable to alter reality, he simply altered the record, like any good spy. On April 21 1964, upon returning to Washington, Dulles wrote a letter about his half-hour meeting with Truman to CIA general counsel Lawrence Houston. During their conversation at the Truman Library, Dulles claimed in his letter, the elderly ex-president seemed “quite astounded” by his own attack on the CIA when the spymaster showed him a copy of the Post article. As he looked it over, Truman reacted as if he were reading it for the first time, according to Dulles. “He said that [the article] was all wrong. He then said that he felt it had made a very unfortunate impression.”

The Truman portrayed in Dulles’s letter seemed to be suffering from senility and either could not remember what he had written or had been taken advantage of by an aide, who perhaps wrote the piece under the former president’s name. In fact, CIA officials later did try to blame a Truman assistant for writing the provocative opinion piece. Truman “obviously was highly disturbed at The Washington Post article”, concluded Dulles in his letter, “… and several times said he would see what he could do about it”.

The Dulles letter to Houston – which was clearly intended for the CIA files, to be retrieved whenever expedient – was an outrageous piece of disinformation. Truman, who would live for eight more years, was still of sound mind in April 1964. And he could not have been shocked by the contents of his own article, since he had been expressing the same views about the CIA – even more strongly – to friends and journalists for some time.

After the Bay of Pigs, Truman had confided in writer Merle Miller that he regretted ever establishing the CIA. “I think it was a mistake”, he said. “And if I’d known what was going to happen, I never would have done it … [Eisenhower] never paid any attention to it, and it got out of hand … It’s become a government all of its own and all secret … That’s a very dangerous thing in a democratic society”. Likewise, after The Washington Post essay ran, Truman’s original CIA director, Admiral Sidney Souers – who shared his former boss’s limited concept of the agency – congratulated him for writing the piece. “I am happy as I can be that my article on the Central Intelligence Agency rang a bell with you because you know why the organization was set up”, Truman wrote back to Souers.

In a letter that Truman wrote to Look magazine managing editor William Arthur in June 1964 – two months after his meeting with Dulles – the ex-president again articulated his concerns about the direction taken by the CIA after he left the White House. “The CIA was set up by me for the sole purpose of getting all the available information to the President”, wrote Truman. “It was not intended to operate as an international agency engaged in strange activities”.

Dulles’s relentless effort to manipulate Truman – and failing that, the Truman record – is yet one more example of the spymaster’s “strange activities”. But Dulles’s greatest success at reconstructing reality was still to come. With the Warren Report, Dulles would literally rewrite history. The inquest into the death of John F Kennedy was another astounding sleight of hand on Dulles’s part. The man who should have been in the witness chair wound up instead in control of the inquiry.

_____

Part Two: https://whowhatwhy.org/2015/10/13/new-book-on-cia-master-plotter-dulles-sneak-peek-part-2/

Part Three: https://whowhatwhy.org/2015/10/14/new-book-on-cia-master-plotter-dulles-sneak-peek-part-3

https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/07/26/devils-chessboard-allen-dulles-cia-rise-american-secret-government/

Categories: Uncategorized

Only Morons Believe …

… What the US Government Says about North Korea

by Daniel McAdams

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity (August 10 2017)

Zero Hedge (August 10 2017)

Usually foreign analysts of the American political scene are either sycophantic or just annoying, but no one would dare say that about Aussie observer Caitlin Johnstone, whose punk rock style of cutting to the chase is as refreshing as it can be shocking (I am not a fan of the strong language, but I get it).

Since President Trump’s “fire and fury” explosion yesterday Americans have to an unsettling degree once again rallied around the (false) flag of war propaganda. Today Ms Johnstone provided a much-needed slap in the face to the mind-numbed masses once again clamoring for US bombs on a country they could not find on a map {1} if their lives depended on it.

As even many soi-disant libertarians reverted back to playing war commander on their keyboards – “I’m all for a non-interventionist foreign policy, but THIS GUY’S GONNA KILL US!!!” – Johnstone reminded anyone with half a brain of one eternal truth: Governments and their house servants (the mainstream media, neocons, deep state, et cetera) are murderous liars and the only way they dare flush a few hundred billion dollars – and oceans of blood – down the toilet of war is to first lie their brains out to the people they are confident will swallow the poison pills and call them candy.

Of course, the United States government and its minions are lying about North Korea, Johnstone reminds us. They ALWAYS lie!

She writes:

The United States power establishment has an extensive history of using lies, false flags and propaganda to manipulate its hundreds of millions of citizens into supporting needless military interventionism.

From the Gulf of Tonkin incident {3} to the false Nayirah testimony {4} to the amazing network of lies {5} spun about Saddam Hussein to the “humanitarian” intervention in Libya {6} to the unconscionable Bana Alabed psy-op {7} in Syria, there is no depth to which the US war machine will not stoop in deceiving the public about the need to unload the military-industrial complex’s expensive inventory onto some third world country overseas, no limit to the evils that America’s unelected power establishment will commit in order to secure geopolitical dominance, and no end to the mass media propaganda machine’s willingness to report war propaganda as objective fact.

It is quite literally impossible to be too paranoid about these people. If you had an acquaintance who was a known compulsive liar with an extensive history of duping people into fighting one another for his own sociopathic amusement, how would you react if he handed you a gun and told you that your neighbor is getting ready to attack you? {2}

 

This might prove shocking even to some “libertarians” caught up in the frenzy of manufactured threats. But the US government lies. They lie day and night. All the time about everything.

Johnstone concludes:

There is one government in the mix here that has proven itself completely sociopathic and untrustworthy in such matters, and it ain’t the DPRK. Stay skeptical, stay watchful, and stay woke.

 

“Oh no”, people squeal! “THIS time they’re telling the truth!”

Good luck with that. Blood’s on your hands, not ours.

Links:

{1} http://ronpaulinstitute.org/umbraco/bit.ly/2vOHMtQ

{2} https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/only-morons-believe-what-the-us-government-says-about-north-korea-3d5a5157cea2

{3} https://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/05/robert-s-mcnamara-and-the-real-tonkin-gulf-deception/

{4} https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nayirah_%28testimony%29

{5} http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/12/leadup-iraq-war-timeline/

{6} http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/03/22/libya-and-the-myth-of-humanitarian-intervention/

{7} https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/the-bana-alabed-psy-op-proves-the-west-is-saturated-in-war-propaganda-74c66df02990

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/august/09/only-morons-believe-what-the-us-government-says-about-north-korea/

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-10/ron-paul-institute-only-morons-believe-what-us-government-says-about-north-korea

Categories: Uncategorized

The End of the “Wars on the Cheap” …

… for the United States

by The Saker

http://www.unz.com (August 04 2017)


shutterstock_596417738

With the Neocon coup against Trump now completed (at least in its main objective, that is the neutralization of Trump, the subsidiary objective, impeaching Trump and removing him from office remains something for the future) the world has to deal, yet again, with a very dangerous situation: the AngloZionist Empire is on a rapid decline, but the Neocons are back in power and they will do anything and everything in their power to stop and reverse this trend. It is also painfully obvious from their rhetoric, as well as from their past actions, that the only “solution” the Neocons see is to trigger some kind of war. So the pressing question now becomes this: “where will the Empire strike next?”. Will it be the DPRK or Syria? Iran or Venezuela? In the Ukraine, maybe? Or do the Neocons seek war with Russia or China?

Now, of course, if we assume that the Neocons are completely crazy, then everything is possible, from a US invasion of Lesotho to a simultaneous thermonuclear attack on Russia and China. I am in no way dismissing the insanity (and depravity) of the Neocons, but I also see no point in analyzing that which is clearly irrational, if only because all modern theories of deterrence always imply a “rational actor” and not a crazy lunatic on a suicidal amok run. For our purposes, therefore, we will assume that there is a semblance of rational thinking left in Washington DC and that even if the Neocons decide to launch some clearly crazy operation, somebody in the top levels of power will find the courage prevent this, just like Admiral Fallon did it with his “not on my watch!” {1} which possibly prevented a US attack on Iran in 2007). So, assuming a modicum of rationality is still involved, where would the Empire strike next?

The Ideal Scenario

We all by now know exactly what the Empire likes to do: find some weak country, subvert it, accuse it of human right violations, slap economic sanctions, trigger riots and militarily intervene in “defense” of “democracy”, “freedom” and “self-determination” (or some other combo of equally pious and meaningless concepts). But that is only the “political recipe”. What I want to look into is what I call “the American way of war”, that is the way US commanders like to fight.

During the Cold War, most of the US force planning, procurement, doctrine, and training was focused on fighting a large conventional war against the Soviet Union and it was clearly understood that this conventional war could escalate into a nuclear war. Setting aside the nuclear aspect for a while (it is not relevant to our discussion), I would characterize the conventional dimension of such a war as “heavy”: centered on large formations (divisions, brigades), involving a lot of armor and artillery, this kind of warfare would involve immense logistical efforts on both sides and that, in turn, would involve deep-strikes on second echelon forces, supply dumps, strategic axes of communications (roads, railways, bridges, et cetera) and a defense in depth in key sectors. The battlefield would be huge, hundreds of kilometers away on both sides of the Forward Edge of Battle Area (“FEBA” or “front line”). On all levels, tactical, operational and strategic, defenses would be prepared in two, possibly three, echelons. To give you an idea of the distances involved, the Soviet 2nd strategic echelon in Europe was deployed as far back as the Ukraine! (this is why, by the way, the Ukraine inherited huge ammunition dumps from the Soviet Union, and why there never was a shortage of weapons on any side for the conduct of the Ukrainian civil war).

With the collapse of the Soviet Union’s Empire, this entire threat disappeared, if not overnight, then almost overnight. Of course, the Gulf War provided the US armed forces and Nato one last, but big, “goodbye party” (against an enemy which had absolutely no chance to prevail), but soon thereafter it became pretty clear to US strategists that the “heavy war” was over and that armored brigades might not be the most useful war-fighting tool in the US arsenal.

This is when US strategists, mostly from Special Operation Forces, developed what I like to call “war on the cheap”. It works something like this: first, get the CIA to fund, arm, and train some local insurgents (if needed, bring some from abroad); next embed US Special Forces with these local insurgents and provide them with forward air controllers (“FACs”), frontline soldiers specially trained to direct close support fixed and rotary wing aircraft to strike at enemy forces in direct contact with US and “friendlies”; finally, deploy enough aircraft in and around the combat zone (on aircraft carriers, in neighboring countries, or even on seized local airstrips) to support combat operations day and night. The key notion is simple: provide the friendly insurgents with an overwhelming advantage in firepower. You have all seen this on YouTube: US and “coalition” forces advance until they get into a firefight and, unless they rapidly prevail, they call in an airstrike which results into a huge BOOM followed by cheering Americans and friendlies and the total disappearance of the attackers. Repeat that enough times, and you get an easy, cheap, and rapid victory over a completely outgunned enemy. This basic approach can be enhanced by various “supplements” such as providing the insurgents with better gear (anti-tank weapons, night vision, communications, et cetera) and bringing in some US or allied forces, including mercenaries, to take care of the really tough targets.

While many in the US armed forces were deeply skeptical of this new approach, the dominance of the Special Forces types and the success, at least temporarily, of this “war on the cheap” in Afghanistan made it immensely popular with US politicians and propagandists. Best of all, this type of warfare resulted in very few casualties for the Americans and even provided them with a high degree of “plausible deniability” should something go wrong. Of course, the various three letter spooks loved it too.

What so many failed to realize in the early euphoria about US invincibility was that this “war on the cheap” made three very risky assumptions:

First and foremost, it relied on a deeply demoralized enemy who felt that, like in the series “Star Trek”, resistance to the Borg (aka the USA) was futile because even if the actual US forces deployed were limited in size and capabilities, the Americans would, no doubt, bring in more and more forces if needed, until the opposition was crushed.

Second, this type of warfare assumes that the US can get air superiority over the entire battlefield. Americans do not like to provide close air support when they can be shot down by enemy aircraft or missiles.

Third, this type of warfare requires the presence of local insurgents who can be used as “boots on the ground” to actually occupy and control territory. We will now see that all three of these assumptions are not necessarily true or, to put it even better, that the AngloZionists have run out of countries in which these assumptions still apply. Let’s take them one by one.

Hezbollah, Lebanon 2006

Okay, this war did not officially involve the USA, true, but it did involve Israel, which is more or less the same, at least for our purposes. While it is true that superior Hezbollah tactics and preparation of the battlefield did play an important role, and while it is undeniable that Russian anti-tank weapons gave Hezbollah the capability to attack and destroy even the most advanced Israeli tanks, the single most important development of this war was that for the first time in the Middle-East a rather small and comparatively weak Arab force showed no fear whatsoever when confronted with the putatively “invincible Tshahal”. The British reporter Robert Fisk was the first person to detect this immense change and its tremendous implications:

You heard Sharon before he suffered his massive stroke, he used this phrase in the Knesset, you know, “The Palestinians must feel pain”. This was during one of the intifadas. The idea that if you continue to beat and beat and beat the Arabs, they will submit, that eventually they’ll go on their knees and give you what you want. And this is totally, utterly self-delusional, because it doesn’t apply anymore. It used to apply thirty years ago, when I first arrived in the Middle East. If the Israelis crossed the Lebanese border, the Palestinians jumped in their cars and drove to Beirut and went to the cinema. Now when the Israelis cross the Lebanese border, the Hezbollah jump in their cars in Beirut and race to the south to join battle with them. But the key thing now is that Arabs are not afraid any more. Their leaders are afraid, the Mubaraks of this world, the president of Egypt, King Abdullah II of Jordan. They’re afraid. They shake and tremble in their golden mosques, because they were supported by us. But the people are no longer afraid. (emphasis added) {2}

 

This is absolutely huge and what the “Divine Victory” of the Party of God first achieved in 2006 is now repeated in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, and elsewhere. The fear of the “sole superpower” is finally gone, replaced by a burning desire to settle an infinite list of scores with the AngloZionists and their occupation forces.

Hezbollah also proved another very important thing: the winning strategy when faced with a superior enemy is not to try to protect yourself against his attacks, but to deny him a lucrative target. Put simply: “a camo tent is better than a bunker” or, if you prefer “if they can spot you, they can kill you”. The more academic way to put it would be this: “don’t contest your enemy’s superiority – make it irrelevant”.

Looking back it is quite obvious that one of the most formidable weapons in the AngloZionist arsenal was not the nuclear bomb or the aircraft carrier, but a propaganda machine which for decades successfully convinced millions of people around the globe that the US was invincible: the US had the best weapons, the best-trained soldiers, the most advanced tactics, et cetera. Turns out this is total nonsense – the US military in the real world was nothing like its propaganda-world counterpart: when is the last time the US actually won a war against an adversary capable of meaningful resistance? The Pacific in World War Two?

 

 

SIDEBAR: I chose the example of Hezbollah in 2006 not to illustrate the collapse of the “scared into surrender” paradigm, but to illustrate the “don’t contest your enemy’s superiority – make it irrelevant”. The better, and earlier, example would be Kosovo in 1998~1999 when a huge operation involved the entire Nato air forces which lasted for 78 days (the Israeli aggression against Lebanon lasted only 33 days) resulted in exactly nothing: a few destroyed armored personnel carriers (“APCs”), a few old aircraft destroyed on the ground, and a Serbian Army Corps which was unscathed, but which Milosevic ordered to withdraw for personal, political reasons. The Serbs were the first ones to prove this “target denial” strategy as viable even against an adversary with advanced intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities.

 

 

Russians Task Force, Syria 2015

I have always insisted that the Russian operation in Syria was not a case of “the Russians are coming” or “the war is over”. The reality is that the Russians sent is a very small force and that this force did not so much defeat Daesh as it changed the fundamental character of the political context of the war: simply put – by going in the Russians not only made it much harder politically for the Americans to intervene, they also denied them the ability to use their favorite “war on the cheap” against the Syrians.

When the Russians first deployed their task force to Syria they did not bring with them anywhere near the kind of capabilities which would deny the Americans the use of the Syrian air space. Even after the shooting down of the Russian SU-24 by the Turks, the Russians only deployed enough air-defenses and air superiority fighters to protect themselves from a similar attack by the Turks. Even today, as I write these words, if the USAF or USN decided to take control of the Syrian airspace they could undoubtedly do it simply because in purely numerical terms the Russians still do not have enough air defenses or, even less so, combat aircraft, to deny the Syrian airspace to the Americans. Oh sure, such a US attack would come at a very real costs for the Americans, both militarily and politically, but anybody who really believes that the tiny Russian air contingent of 33 combat aircraft (of which only nineteen can actually contest the Syrian airspace: four SU-30, six SU-34, nine Su-27) and an unknown number of S-300/S-400/S-1 Pantsir batteries can actually defeat the combined air power of CENTCOM and Nato is delusional to the extreme or simply does not understand modern warfare.

The problem for the Americans is formed by a matrix of risks which, of course, includes Russian military capabilities, but also includes the political risks of establishing a no-fly zone over Syria. Not only would such a move be another major escalation in the already totally illegal US intervention in this war, but it would require a sustained effort to suppress the Syrian (and, potentially, Russian) air defenses and that is something the White House is not willing to do right now, especially when it remains completely unclear what such a risky operation would achieve. As a result, the American did strike here and there, just like the Israelis, but in reality, their efforts are pretty much useless.

Even worse is the fact that the Russians are now turning the tables on the Americans and providing the Syrian forces with FACs and close air support, especially in key areas. The Russians have also deployed artillery controllers and heavy artillery systems, including multiple-rocket launchers and heavy flamethrowers, which are all giving the firepower advantage to the government forces. Paradoxically, it is the Russians who are now fighting a “war on the cheap” while denying this options to the Americans and their allies.

Good terrorists, aka “FSA”, Syria 2017

The main weakness of the Free Syrian Army (“FSA”) is that it does not really exist, at least not on the ground. Oh sure, there are plenty of FSA Syrian exiles in Turkey and elsewhere, there are also plenty of Daesh/al-Qaeda types who try hard to look like an FSA to the likes of John McCain, and there are a few scattered armed groups here and there in Syria who would like to be “the FSA”. But in reality, this was always an abstraction, a purely political concept. This virtual FSA could provide many useful things to the Americans, a narrative for the propaganda machine, a pious pretext to send in the CIA, a small fig leaf to conceal the fact that Uncle Sam was in bed with al-Qaeda and Daesh, and a political ideal to try to unify the world against Assad and the Syrian government. But what the FSA could never provide, was “boots on the ground”. Everybody else had them: Daesh and al-Qaeda for sure, but also the Syrians, the Iranians and Hezbollah and, of course, the Turks and the Kurds. But since the Takfiris were officially the enemy of the USA, the US was limited in the scope and nature of the support given to these Wahabi crazies. The Syrians, the Iranians, and Hezbollah were demonized and so it was impossible to work with them. That left the Turks, who had terrible relations with the USA, especially after the US-backed coup against Erdogan, and the Kurds who were not too eager to fight and die deep inside Iraq and whose every move was observed with a great deal of hostility by Ankara. As the war progressed the terrible reality finally hit the Americans: they had no “boots on the ground” to embed their Special Ops with or to support.

The best illustration of this reality is the latest American debacle in the al-Tanf region near the Jordanian border. The Americans, backed by the Jordanians, quietly invaded this mostly empty part of the Syrian desert with the hope of cutting off the lines of communications between the Syrians and the Iraqis. Instead, what happened was that the Syrians cut the Americans off and reached the border first, thereby making the American presence simply useless {1}, {2}. It appears that the Americans have now given up, at least temporarily, on al-Tanf, and that US forces will be withdrawn and redeployed elsewhere in Syria.

So Who is Next – Venezuela?

A quick look back in history shows us that the Americans have always had problems with their local “allies” (that is, puppets). Some were pretty good (South Koreans), others much less so (Contras), but all in all each US use of local forces comes with an inherent risk: the locals often have their own, sometimes very different, agenda and they soon come to realize that if they depend on the Americans, the Americans also depend on them. Add to this the well-known fact that Americans are not exactly known for their, shall we say, “multi-cultural sensitivity and expertise” (just see how few of them even know the local language!) and you will see why US intelligence usually becomes aware of this problem by the time it is way too late to fix it (no amount of fancy technology can be substituted for solid, expert human intelligence). The reality is that Americans are typically clueless about the environment they operate in. The US debacle in Syria (or in Libya or the Ukraine, for that matter) is an excellent illustration of this.

Now that we have identified some of the doctrinal and operational weaknesses of the US “war on the cheap” approach, let’s apply them to a list of potential target countries:

Assumption Demoralized enemy Air superiority Boots on the ground
North Korea ? Yes No
Syria No No No
Iran No Yes No
Venezuela ? Yes Yes?
Russia No No No
The Ukraine No No Yes
China No No No

Notes: “demoralized enemy” and “air superiority” are my best guesstimate, I might be wrong; “boots on the ground” refers to a indigenous and combat capable force already inside the country (as opposed to a foreign intervention) capable of seizing and holding ground, and not just some small insurgent group or a political opposition.

If my estimates are correct, then the only candidate for a US intervention would be Venezuela. However, what is missing here is the time factor: a US intervention, to be successful, would require a realistic exit strategy (the US is already overextended and the very last thing the Empire needs would be getting bogged down in another useless and unwinnable war a la Afghanistan. Also, while I gave the Venezuelan opposition a tentative “yes” for its ability to play the “boots on the ground” role (especially if backed by Colombia), I am not at all sure that the pro-American forces in Venezuela have anywhere near the capabilities of the regular armed forces (which, I believe, would oppose a US invasion) or the various Leftist guerrilla groups who tolerated the Chavez-Maduro rule but who have kept their weapons “just in case”. Furthermore, there is the issue of terrain. While Caracas might be easy to seize in an optimistic scenario, the rest of the country would be difficult and dangerous to try to operate in. Finally, there is the issue of staying power: while Americans like quick victories, Latin American guerrillas have already proven many times over that they can fight for decades. For all these reasons, while I do think that the US is capable of intervening in Venezuela and messing it up beyond all recognition, I don’t see the US as capable of imposing a new regime in power and imposing their control over the country.

Conclusion – Afghanistan 2001~2017

Afghanistan is often called the “graveyard of Empires”. I am not so sure that Afghanistan will ever become the graveyard of the AngloZionist Empire, but I do think that Afghanistan will become the graveyard of the “war on the cheap” doctrine, which is paradoxical since Afghanistan was also the place where this doctrine was first applied with what initially appeared to be a tremendous success. We all remember the US Special Forces, often on horseback, directing B-52 air strikes against rapidly retreating Afghan government forces. Sixteen years later, the Afghan war has dramatically changed and US forces are constantly fighting a war in which ninety percent of the casualties come from IEDs, where all the efforts at some kind of political settlement have miserably failed and where both victory and withdrawal appear as completely impossible. The fact that now the US propaganda machines have accused Russia of “arming the Taliban” {5} is a powerful illustration of how desperate the AngloZionists are. Eventually, of course, the Americans will have to leave, totally defeated, but for the time being all they are willing to admit is that they are “not winning” {6}(no kidding!).

The US dilemma is simple: the Cold War is long over, and so is the Post Cold War, and a complete reform of the US armed forces is clear long overdue and yet also politically impossible. Right now the US armed forces are the bizarre result of the Cold War, the “war on the cheap” years and of failed military interventions. In theory, the US should begin by deciding on a new national security strategy, then develop a military strategy in support of this national security strategy, followed by the development of a military doctrine which itself would then produce a force modernization plan which would affect all aspects of military reform from training to force planning to deployment. It took the Russians over a decade to do this, including a lot of false starts and mistakes, and it will take the Americans at least as long, or even more. Right now even the decision to embark on such a far reaching reform seems to be years away. For the time being, garden variety propaganda (“we’re number one, second to none!!”) and deep denial seem to be the order of the day. Just as in Russia, it will probably take a truly catastrophic embarrassment (like the first Russian war in Chechnya) to force the US military establishment to look reality in the eye and to actually act on it. But until that happens, the ability of US forces to impose their domination on those countries which refuse to surrender to various threats and sanctions will continue to degrade.

So is Venezuela next? I hope not. In fact, I think not. But if it is, it will be one hell of a mess with much destroyed and precious little achieved. The AngloZionists have been punching above their real weight for decades now and the world is beginning to realize this. Prevailing against Iran or the DPRK is clearly beyond the actual US military capabilities. As for attacking Russia or China – that would be suicidal. Which leaves the Ukraine. I suppose the US might send some weapons to the junta in Kiev and organize some training camps in the western Ukraine. But that’s about it. None of that will make any real difference anyway (except aggravating the Russians even more, of course).

The era of “wars on the cheap” is over and the world is becoming a very different place than it used to be. The USA will have to adapt to this reality, at least if it wants to retain some level of credibility, but right now it does not appear that anybody in Washington DC – except Ron Paul – is willing to admit this. As a result, the era of major US military interventions might well be coming to an end, even if there will always be some Grenada or Panama size country to triumphantly beat up if needed. This new reality, of course, immediately raises the issue of what/how the US Dollar will be backed by in the future (until now, it was only really “backed” by US military power), but that is a very different topic.

Links:

{1} https://thinkprogress.org/centcom-commander-fallon-attack-on-iran-will-not-happen-on-my-watch-921d57aeb703

{2} https://www.democracynow.org/2006/8/1/robert_fisk_reports_from_lebanon_on

{3} http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47362.htm

{4} https://youtu.be/wYbO4xGPX8M

{5} http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/25/asia/taliban-weapons-afghanistan/index.html

{6} http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-afghanistan-idUSKBN1941Y1

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/the-end-of-the-wars-on-the-cheap-for-the-united-states/

Categories: Uncategorized

If America Was Trying to Start a World War

This is How it Would Happen

by Darius Shahtahmasebi (August 08 2017)

Zero Hedge (August 09 2017)

Last Wednesday, US President Donald Trump signed new sanctions into law against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The legislation was supported so overwhelmingly {1} in Congress that President Trump’s ability to veto the legislation was rendered completely ineffective.

Even anti-interventionist {2} Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard voted in favor {3} of the bill, once again proving that Republicans and Democrats always find common ground when it comes to beating the drums of war against sovereign nations who have taken very little unwarranted hostile action – if any – towards the United States.

But these are just sanctions, not acts of war, right? There’s nothing wrong with economically bullying other countries into submission over non-compliance with the current global order, right?

Not quite.

Sanctions are always a prelude to war.

Though few are aware, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 was arguably in response {4} to America’s attempt to cripple Japan’s booming economy through embargos and asset freezes, ending Japan’s commercial relationship with the United States and provoking the desperation that led to their attack.

In August 1990, the US began a sanctions regime {5} against Saddam Hussein in Iraq. In 1991, the United States invaded Iraq and completely decimated its armed forces {6}, also directly targeting its civilian infrastructure {7}. Following this devastation, the US extended and expanded these economic sanctions on Iraq as further punishment. The UN estimated these sanctions {8} led to the deaths of 1.7 million Iraqi civilians, including between 500,000 and 600,000 children.

When Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was questioned on these statistics {9}, she intimated that the price was “worth it”.

These sanctions only came to an end {10} after the US invaded again in 2003 (and the complete international sanctions regime was only lifted in December 2010 {5}).

Libya also faced American-imposed sanctions {11} beginning in the 1990s, as well, and we all know how that story ended {12}.

In May of 2004, the US imposed economic sanctions on Syria, supposedly {13} over Syria’s support for terrorism and its “failure to stop militants entering Iraq” – a country the US destabilized in the first place. In reality, these sanctions were a response to Syria and Iran’s growing relationship {14} as the two countries had reportedly agreed to a mutual defense treaty that same year {15}.

Syria has been the target of a regime change operation since as far back as 2006 {16}, and the US has been openly bombing its territory under both Barack Obama and Donald Trump; the US has already bombed the Syrian government multiple times {17} over the past year. If it had not been for the Russian intervention, the US most likely would have ousted the Syrian government {18} by force before Trump even took office.

Iran has been battling with sanctions {19} for some time now, with the anti-Iranian sanctions regime serving as a smokescreen for regime change {20} in the same manner that Libya, Syria, and Iraq were targeted previously.

In the case of Iran, the underlying motives are quite clear: the renewed set of sanctions is designed to undermine the 2015 nuclear agreement {21}, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”). Even though the Trump administration is aware {22} that Iran is in full compliance with the JCPOA, Trump has made it an official policy of his own to deliberately erode the deal {23}.

Why would he do that?

As explained in the book {24} Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran (2009), authored by an ex CIA analyst who promoted the 2003 invasion of Iraq {25}:

For those who favor regime change or a military attack on Iran (either by the United States or Israel), there is a strong argument to be made for trying this option first. Inciting regime change in Iran would be greatly assisted by convincing the Iranian people that their government is so ideologically blinkered that it refuses to do what is best for the people and instead clings to a policy that could only bring ruin on the country. The ideal scenario in this case would be that the United States and the international community present a package of positive inducements so enticing that the Iranian citizenry would support the deal, only to have the regime reject it. In a similar vein, any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context – both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer – one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. [emphasis added]

 

This paradigm brilliantly explains why hawkish members {26} of Trump’s team are completely opposed to Trump unilaterally derailing the JCPOA: These officials don’t want the blame to rest on the US, as it will ignite new tensions {27} within the international community and directly affect the US dollar {28}.

That being said, if the US government continues to undermine Iran with sanctions that target the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (“IRGC”) {29} – a very powerful entity within Iran – the US may end up forcing Iran to walk away from the deal {30}, anyway. In that scenario, the US will have the outcome that they long have desired.

North Korea has been on the receiving end {31} of a US-led sanctions regime for years, as well, and the American military is now flying bombers {32} over its airspace, provoking the country to respond in kind.

The only question now becomes: who will Trump set America on a warpath {33} with first: Iran or North Korea?

Trump is reportedly setting {34} the stage for a confrontation with Iran as early as October, having found a new strategy to demonize Iran should the sanctions regime fail to bring about the war he desires before he is due to certify Iran’s compliance for the following ninety-day period. This strategy involves Trump tasking his team with setting up spot-inspections at Iranian facilities in the hopes of finding ways that Iran is not complying with the JCPOA.

In the meantime, America continues its unilateral policy of bullying non-compliant states, further isolating itself {35} from its traditional post-World War Two allies. For example, Germany does view {36} sanctions that target Russia unfavorably, as these sanctions hurt Germany’s own economic interests.

Not to mention that American-led sanctions push these defiant countries into the open arms of one another. Iran and Russia just signed {37} a $2.5 billion deal last Monday, going about business as usual and giving Donald Trump the political middle finger in the process.

If the US continues to use its global stranglehold over the financial markets as a tool to weaken other countries, these countries will also have no choice but to ditch the dollar {38} and to seek alternative currencies {39} through which to complete transactions. Not surprisingly, Russia has just responded on Monday by announcing {40} it will seek to end its reliance on the US dollar.

Make no mistake: the US is at the crossroads of its dying status as a global superpower. In order to stay afloat, it has only one real option – to continue down the warpath it has set itself on and confront those countries that seek to rise up in the post-American led international order.

The newly signed sanctions regime is just the beginning, and there will be a difficult road ahead. Cooler heads may ultimately prevail, given the way these sanctions are already being seen to backfire.

It will be almost impossible to sell these wars to the American public and the international community at this stage considering the evidence shows the US is acting rashly and out of order with the rest of the world. However, if the US can provoke Iran {32} or North Korea into doing something regrettable first, the US may finally reward itself with the justification to go to war which it so desperately needs.

And when that happens, all bets will be off the table {41}.

Links:

{1} https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3364/all-actions?r=1

{2} https://gabbard.house.gov/news/press-releases/congresswoman-tulsi-gabbard-returns-syria-renewed-calls-end-regime-change-war

{3} http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2017/roll413.xml

{4} http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1930

{5} http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-12004115

{6} http://web.archive.org/web/20080317110507/http:/www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/gulf.war/facts/gulfwar/

{7} https://www.hrw.org/reports/1991/gulfwar/CHAP2.htm

{8} https://www.amazon.com/Behind-War-Terror-Strategy-Struggle/dp/0865715068

{9} https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0WDCYcUJ4o

{10} https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/168/36082.html

{11} https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/195-libya/42383.html

{12} http://theantimedia.org/liberated-libya-trading-slaves/

{13} http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-14703995

{14} https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/feb/17/usa.syria

{15} https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/syria-iran-and-mideast-conflict

{16} http://www.truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/33180-wikileaks-reveals-how-the-us-aggressively-pursued-regime-change-in-syria-igniting-a-bloodbath

{17} http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-air-strike-bombing-assad-forces-trump-attack-us-white-house-latest-news-updates-a7743641.html

{18} https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4phB-_pXDM

{19} http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/25/AR2007102502606.html

{20} http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-marshall/iran-sanctions-a-smokescr_b_6788784.html

{21} http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/03/middleeast/iran-sanctions-nuclear-deal/index.html

{22} http://theantimedia.org/anti-nuclear-deal-trump-rewards-iran/

{23} http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/07/21/trump-assigns-white-house-team-to-target-iran-nuclear-deal-sidelining-state-department/

{24} https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/06_iran_strategy.pdf

{25} http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-yglesias2aug02,0,2911324.story

{26} https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/us/politics/trump-iran-nuclear-deal-recertify.html?_r=0

{27} http://nationalinterest.org/feature/trump-determined-blow-the-iran-deal-21694

{28} http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-kerry-idUSKCN0QG1V020150812

{29} https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-us-revolutionary-guards-idUSKBN1A21D2

{30} http://nationalinterest.org/feature/exclusive-irans-foreign-minister-warns-donald-trump-tehran-21565

{31} http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-15278612

{32} https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-idUSKBN1AF02K

{33} http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/july/31/north-korea-or-iran-where-will-president-trump-attack-first/

{34} http://www.alternet.org/right-wing/vijay-prashad-trump-setting-dangerous-confrontation-iran

{35} http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/26/europe/russia-us-sanctions/index.html

{36} http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-why-us-sanctions-on-russia-threaten-germanys-interests-2017-8

{37} https://www.forbes.com/sites/wadeshepard/2017/08/01/russia-and-iran-partner-up-as-the-us-turns-its-back/#2e68c23e5f63

{38} https://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/aug/14/brics-development-bank-imf-world-bank-dollar

{39} http://www.bbc.com/news/business-17988142

{40} http://theantimedia.org/russia-us-sanctions-dumping-dollar/

{41} http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/russia-warns-israel-u-s-striking-iran-would-be-literally-disastrous-1.463175

http://theantimedia.org/america-trying-world-war-happen/

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-09/if-america-was-trying-start-world-war-how-it-would-happen

Categories: Uncategorized