"In the mid-'80s, if you remember... Saudi Arabia and the United States were supporting the Mujahideen to liberate Afghanistan from the Soviets. He [Osama bin Laden] came to thank me for my efforts to bring the Americans, our friends, to help us against the atheists, he said the communists. Isn't it ironic?" - Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia, on Larry King Live1
President Reagan meets with members of the Mujahideen in the Oval Office, 1985
In 2009, a series of events occurred that ought to have raised questions in the press. First, the United States began a troop surge in Afghanistan designed to deliver the final blow to the Taliban insurgency.2 Then the United States provided a $7.5 billion aid package to Pakistan.3 Around the same time, the Carnegie Foundation published a study which revealed a majority of Pakistan aid goes to the intelligence agency ISI and the military.4 The problem with these three events is that earlier in the year, U.S. officials revealed to the New York Times that the ISI was funding the Taliban, and was responsible for providing direct assistance and helping with some of their strategic strikes.5
The press did cover these stories, but independent of one another. Not one media institution connected the dots that the United States was actively funding the harm that its armed forces were simultaneously fighting. Following the official narrative of the war, it certainly doesn't make any sense that the United States was indirectly prolonging the quagmire. Perhaps such mistakes are the inevitability of a bloated war bureaucracy, or that U.S. officials simply didn't realize the connection. Unfortunately, a collection of evidence points to a more sinister explanation: the United States and its allies have been deliberately proliferating radical Islam for decades, only to later spend trillions fighting the enemy they created.
Just days after the July 7, 2005 London terror attack, and less than a month before his untimely death, the Right Honorable Robin Cook, former UK Foreign Secretary, wrote a scathing and emotional review of the War on Terror in The Guardian.
“Bin Laden was, though, a product of a monumental miscalculation by western security agencies. Throughout the '80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Al-Qaida, literally "the database", was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians. Inexplicably, and with disastrous consequences, it never appears to have occurred to Washington that once Russia was out of the way, Bin Laden's organization would turn its attention to the west.”6
While Cook's remarks were downplayed and ridiculed by the mainstream media and the United Kingdom establishment at the time, available evidence shows his assertions to be largely correct.
* * * *
"They [the CIA] told me these people were fanatical, and the more fierce they were the more fiercely they would fight the Soviets... I warned them that we were creating a monster." - Scholar Selig Harrison7
The story begins in 1978 shortly after the Saur Revolution, which resulted in the communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan gaining control of the Afghanistan government. The CIA immediately initiated a program known as Operation Cyclone and began funding militant Islamic groups favored by the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI, to the tune of 7.5 billion.8 The money went to producing, training, and arming militant Islamic radicals who be directed towards fighting the secular communist government. At the time, the Mujahideen was composed of many different, loosely organized groups encompassing a broad spectrum of ideologies, with widely varying perspectives on religion, society and state. Seven major Afghan factions began receiving aid, three of them Islamic moderates and four of them Islamic fundamentalists as defined by the military, and in addition to native Afghans they were composed of many foreigners who traveled to fight the invasion, such as Osama bin Laden himself.9
To understand the scope of the funding, the BBC stated that the CIA provided enough arms to equip a 240,000 man army, and Saudi Arabia matched them dollar for dollar.10 The weapons given to these fighters were not just AK-47s and other simple arms. Many were high tech, such as Stinger Anti-Aircraft missiles11, provided with the intention of demoralizing Soviet commanders and soldiers.12
The majority of the funding was funneled through the ISI, which acted as an arm of CIA interests and began setting up religious schools known as Madrassas in Pakistan cities and frontier areas, churning out tens of thousands of students who would join the Mujahideen.13 (Note: Madrassas are not inherently negative institutions, however the ones who received funding from the CIA were particularly radical).
All of this began before the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. A full 6 months, according to Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's National Security Advisor, who recalled his involvement to a French news magazine in 1998:
"We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would... That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Soviets into the Afghan trap. The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border I wrote to President Carter, 'We now have the opportunity of giving the Soviet Union its Vietnam War.'"14
* * * *
Early Years of Osama Bin Laden
When Osama bin Laden arrived in Afghanistan from Saudi Arabia, he created a group called Maktab al-Khidamat, abbreviated as MAK, a precursor to Al-Qaeda. It is frequently claimed that the CIA directly funded this group, though top CIA officers say that this is not the case. It has been confirmed, at least, that the MAK did receive funding from the ISI,15 the CIA's primary conduit for conducting their covert war against Russia.
CIA Station Chief in Afghanistan Milt Bearden has stated that he was well aware of Bin Laden in the Mujahideen, and welcomed his efforts in funding, though he never met with him personally.16 Bin Laden also brought in construction equipment from his fathers company Saudi Binladen Group, considered the largest construction firm in the world, to build training camps, in collaboration with the ISI and CIA.17
In 1986, Osama used his construction assets to build a CIA financed tunnel complex to serve as a training facility. It was also a major arms and medical depot for the Mujahideen in the Peshawar mountains near Pakistan which was later used by Al-Qaeda.18 15 years later, the Western Media would describe Al-Qaeda as hiding out in caves, but the truth is a little more complex: there were intricate tunnels connecting hundreds of different caves, a majority of them man-made, equipped with irrigation systems, accommodation for trucks and even tanks, hotels, mosques, arms depots, medical and radio centers, and kitchens.19 In short, it is more accurate to call them mountain fortresses.
Al-Qaeda was formed sometime between 1987-88, with the radical elements of MAK joining after the group split.
It is apparent that the CIA had no plan to deal with the tunnel complex after the conclusion of Operation Cyclone, though surely that must have been aware that the cadre of radicals they were instrumental in producing would not simply disappear or de-radicalize. Perhaps long term destabilization of the country was their plan all along.
* * * *
Evidence suggests that the Taliban is actively involved with Al-Qaeda. For example, one 1998 State Department cable claimed that: "Taliban Leader Mullah Omar lashed out at the U.S., asserting that the Taliban will continue providing a safe haven for Bin Laden."20
There is plenty of evidence that Pakistan's ISI currently actively funds the Taliban and other terrorist cells as well, while barring the U.S. military from operating in the tribal areas. A 2010 BBC article stated that the ISI was giving “funding, training and sanctuary to the Afghan Taliban on a scale much larger than previously thought,” going as far as to say that support for the Taliban was “official ISI policy.” Since 9/11, the United States has given Pakistan over $15 billion, much of which goes to the ISI and military.21
Current Vice President Joe Biden said himself in 2003 that the ISI was either turning a blind eye or cooperating with the Taliban. In addition, some members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee "contend that the intelligence service may have provided money, weapons and broadcast equipment to Taliban fighters now in Pakistan to transmit anti-Karzai, anti-American messages into Afghanistan."22 BBC has reported on a secret NATO document which notes: "Pakistan's manipulation of the Taliban senior leadership continues unabated."23
A report published by the London School of Economics gave 9 in depth interviews with Taliban insurgent commanders. They suggest that the ISI has members on the Taliban leadership council, though they expressed fear of assassination if they went into to much depth on this topic.24
It's not hard to establish that the United States has allied itself with one of the biggest funders of terrorism in the Middle East, a fact which blatantly clashes with the official narrative of Western involvement in the region. It makes much more sense when understood in the context that the goal of the United States in the Middle East is not the prevention of terrorism, but rather for political, military and economic hegemony.
* * * *
Osama Runs Wild
“I do not profess a broad expertise in international affairs, but between January 1996 and June 1999 I was in charge of running operations against Al-Qaeda from Washington. When it comes to this small slice of the large U.S. national security pie, I speak with firsthand experience (and for several score of CIA officers) when I state categorically that during this time senior White House officials repeatedly refused to act on sound intelligence that provided multiple chances to eliminate Osama bin Laden -- either by capture or by U.S. military attack. I witnessed and documented, along with dozens of other CIA officers, instances where life-risking intelligence-gathering work of the agency's men and women in the field was wasted.” - Michael Scheuer, 22 year veteran of the CIA25
A 2001 Washington Post article states that in 1996 the government of Sudan offered to keep tabs on Osama, or if that did not suffice, arrest him and hand him over to either the United States or Saudi custody.26
"The Sudanese security services, he said, would happily keep close watch on bin Laden for the United States. But if that would not suffice, the government was prepared to place him in custody and hand him over, though to whom was ambiguous. In one formulation, Erwa said Sudan would consider any legitimate proffer of criminal charges against the accused terrorist." Their negotiations concluded as such: ""We said he will go to Afghanistan, and they [U.S. officials] said, 'Let him.'"
The Clinton administration claimed that they lacked criminal charges to pin on Bin Laden, though this explanation is a farce, as within a year ago previous they had named him as a co-conspirator in the World Trade Center bombing, among other terrorist activities.27 Just a year later, the Clinton administration would commit the egregious war crime of the bombing of the Sudanese Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory, which provided 50% of the medicine for Sudan.28 The destruction of the factory was estimated to be responsible for the deaths of “several tens of thousands” of people according to the German ambassador to Sudan, on a much flimsier pretext.29 Interestingly, the pretext of the Al-Shifa bombing is that the factory had ties to Bin Laden, in the very country that had proposed to extradite him, by the very people who declined to accept his arrest.
A 2002 article in The Guardian reveals that the first INTERPOL arrest warrant for Bin Laden came from Libya's Muammar Gaddafi in 1998.30 It also uncovered that the MI6 paid large sums of money to an Al-Qaeda cell in Libya in a failed attempt to assassinate Gaddafi. Perhaps this is why U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies apparently buried the fact that Libya had issued the warrant for Bin Laden's arrest and downplayed the threat he posed. 5 months after the arrest warrant was issued, Al-Qaeda killed over 200 people in bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.31 These actions are consistent with the trend of working with Al-Qaeda when they shared the same goals, and fighting them when war in the region was a strategic geopolitical move.
* * * *
US Trained Terrorists
It has been widely reported, thanks to revelations by ABC reporter John Cooley, that some Islamic fundamentalists were trained in the United States in the 1980's, by way of Camp Peary, the CIA spy base in Virginia, being flown in from places such as Jordan, Egypt and even Africa.32 It raises the question of how many such camps existed beyond the United States. Regardless, there have been some astonishing revelations of terrorists trained within the US borders.
One specifically alarming case is that of Egyptian Ali Muhammed. He was a part of the fundamentalist military unit that assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981. In 1984, he was hired by the CIA, though they claim that the relationship was short-lived.33 He would soon join the military and become a member of the Green Berets, and serve as a drill sergeant at Fort Bragg while providing clandestine training to jihadists such as Mahmud Abaouhalima, convicted perpetrator of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.34
He would take a short leave from his military duties and travel to Afghanistan in 1988 to assist the Mujahideen, returning just months later.35 Such an act is completely unheard of, entirely unprecedented and raises all sorts of red flags. Who was allowing Muhammed to circumvent the law and what type of special privileges and protections was he receiving?
In the early 1990's he would return to Afghanistan and began training jihadists with the skills he had learned at Fort Bragg. According to former FBI special agent Jack Cloonan, in an interview with PBS, his first training session included Osama bin Laden, as well as Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of Al-Qaeda.36
In the early 1990's he would return to Afghanistan and began training jihadists with the skills he had learned at Fort Bragg. According to former FBI special agent Jack Cloonan, in an interview with PBS, his first training session included Osama bin Laden, as well as Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of Al-Qaeda.36
Former Directors of Counter-terrorism at the National Security Council have alleged that Muhammed took maps and training materials from Fort Bragg and used them to write the Al-Qaeda terrorist training manual.37
Muhammed's superior at Fort Bragg, Lt. Col. Robert Anderson, has stated:
“I think you or I would have a better chance of winning the Powerball lottery, than an Egyptian major in the unit that assassinated Sadat would have getting a visa, getting to California, getting into the Army and getting assigned to a Special Forces unit. That just doesn’t happen.”38
Elsewhere he stated: "It was unthinkable that an ordinary American GI would go unpunished after fighting in a foreign war," and that he assumed that Muhammed was sponsored by the CIA.39
In the year 2000, Muhammed plead guilty to involvement in the 1998 embassy bombings that killed 224 people including 12 Americans.40 He admitted during the trial that he was a part of a broader plot to attack any Western target in the Middle East, as well as admitting that he helped transfer Osama bin Laden from Pakistan to Sudan.
* * * *
United States and Al-Qaeda Have The Same Agenda
In 2011, NATO, led by Barack Obama and the United States, initiated military action against Libya by enforcing a No Fly Zone and carried out numerous air strikes, including one against Libyan state TV which killed 3 journalists.41 Downplayed in Western media was the fact that the 'rebels' consisted of various factions of radical Islamists, many who had been fighting Gaddafi for decades and had their roots in the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, whose goal is to implement an Islamic state.42 CNN has reported on widespread abuses against civilians from these groups after Gaddafi was ousted from power, including the use of landmines and other deadly equipment.43 Many of the rebels have admitted links to Al-Qaeda44, whom had declared support for the rebels in Libya.45
The Washington Post has reported that a former Al-Qaeda member has estimated there to be 1000 'freelance jihadists' that have traveled to Libya to support the rebels, many affiliated with Al-Qaeda, and also that Libya has one of the highest domestic Al-Qaeda populations in the Middle East, quoting a 2007 West Point study on the subject.46
In 1999, the United States decided to support the Kosovo Liberation Army, allies of Al-Qaeda. Bill Clinton framed the intervention in humanitarian terms despite the fact that staggering atrocities were being committed on both sides.47 French News Agency AFP reported that members of the KLA had been trained by Bin Laden48, and the Washington Times reported that the KLA bankrolled their operations with funds from the heroin trade in Afghanistan and had accepted money from Bin Laden himself.49
The Mujahideen, many specifically members of Al-Qaeda, were also instrumental in Bosnia during the NATO intervention in 1993. Their presence is still a factor of instability today.50 It is of significance that all of these associations occurred after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, when Al-Qaeda first became widespread in the American lexicon.
Barack Obama has been arming rebels in Syria, beginning secretly with CIA arms airlifts in 201251, citing many of the same reasons for intervention that Clinton did in 1999, despite domestic and foreign ally opposition.52 53 Once again, many of the rebels have been associated with Al-Qaeda and labeled terrorist organizations by the US.54
* * * *
The Source of Radicalism
Earlier I mentioned CIA funded madrassas being a source of Islamic radicalism in the 1980's. They have been an important factor in the radicalization of Islam ever since. As of 2008, there are ~750 madrassas in Pakistan that teach jihad and radicalism, about 10% of all madrassas in the country (and I want to emphasize that this section is referring to specific radical iterations of Madrassas, not simply applying a blanket generalization to the religious style of education).55 U.S. diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks revealed that the funding for these radical schools now comes from Saudi Arabia, the United States' biggest ally in the region.56 The radical madrassa network exploits impoverished areas by recruiting children for what essentially amounts to indoctrination camps. In exchange, families receive upwards of $6,500 per son for their 'sacrifice to Islam', and during schooling, contact with families is forbidden. After graduation, many are funneled into terrorist training camps in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the cables stated.
PBS Frontline did a story on a 16 year old who was recruited to a Pakistan Wahhabi Islam madrassa from an impoverished area in East Africa.57 A few years later, he was instrumental in a terror plot, blowing up the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. The PBS website hosts a letter he wrote to his brother, in which he says he spent two years on a military base learning warfare, including the usage of Israeli arms.58
Is the CIA still involved? The House of Saud has given at least $1.474 billion dollars to the Bush family59, and the United States sold Saudi Arabia $60 billion worth of arms in 2010, the biggest arms sale in American history.60 Before he was president, George H.W. Bush was the Director of the CIA. As recently as June 25th, 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Saudi Arabia is 'one of our closest partners'.61 At the very least we can establish complicity.
Regardless, the United States' relationship with Saudi Arabia ought to raise a lot of important questions. On November 4th, 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry hailed Saudi Arabia as a very important ally to the United States.62 How can we reconcile this stance with the 2010 cable leaks revealing that former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said that donors in the kingdom “constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide,” and that “it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority”?63 It is clear that the United States views their geopolitical relationship with Saudi Arabia to be much more important than combating terrorism, despite U.S. Involvement in the Middle East being saturated with rhetoric about the War on Terror. The same statement can be applied to the relationship with Pakistan, who is instrumental in the operations of the Taliban.
* * * *
The assassination of high-profile Pakistan tribal leader Qari Zainuddin was widely reported in the Western media.64 Only days before his assassination he had renounced his support of the Taliban, claiming that their actions were un-Islamic. What the Western media neglected to report but was widely reported in Pakistan and other countries was Zainuddin had previously claimed that Baitullah Mehsud, the man who ended up ordering his assassination, was an American agent.65
The claim that American agents operate in the Taliban sounds far-fetched but there have been some eye-opening reports that confirm the possibility. For example, a 2004 article in the UK publication Times Online reported that a high ranking Al-Qaeda member had been revealed to be a double agent working for MI5.
“Abu Qatada boasted to MI5 that he could prevent terrorist attacks and offered to expose dangerous extremists, while all along he was setting up a haven for his terror organisation in Britain."66
Abu Qatada has been imprisoned multiple times in Britain but has not been charged with any crimes. During his career he has issued fatwahs justifying the killing of converts from Islam, advocated the killing of Jews, praised attacks on America, and convicted of charges of terrorism in Jordan, all while working in association with MI5.67
A 2002 article published by French news organization AFP states that Palestine security forces had arrested a group of Palestinians who had confessed to collaborating with Israel and posing as operatives of Al-Qaeda.68
“He [Palestinian Authority Official] said the alleged collaborators sought to "discredit the Palestinian people, justify every Israeli crime and provide reasons to carry out a new (military) aggression in the Gaza Strip."
The arrest came just two days after Ariel Sharon claimed that Al-Qaeda militants were operating in Gaza and Lebanon, likely in an attempt to justify future military action. BBC has also reported on this story.69
* * * *
“The Official Story”
The official story is that Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda found new enemies in the U.S. after the Cold War when the United States began occupying military bases in Saudi Arabia. It sounds plausible, but does not stand up to deeper scrutiny.
In 1993, Scott Armstrong, at the time the top investigative reporter for the Washington Post, gave some tremendously revealing interviews with PBS Frontline. In an episode titled "The Arming of Saudi Arabia", he stated that the United States and Saudi Arabia had jointly conspired to covertly build $200 billion worth of military installations between the years 1979 and 1992.70 Steve Coll, eminent Bin Laden biographer, states that the Binladen group received a multitude of these contracts, with the knowing intent to support and house US military personal during wars that may threaten Saudi territory.71
This occurred during the same time that Osama bin Laden was actively using Binladen Group assets to build extensive infrastructure in Afghanistan. Surely he was aware of the construction of the military bases and who intended to occupy them, yet he did not have a problem then with the prospect then.
* * * *
During the peak of World War II, military and defense spending reached a rate of over 40% of the United States Gross Domestic Product.72 Even after a massive demobilization, the military-industrial complex had grown to a behemoth, averaging over 7% of GDP throughout the Cold War. According to the Cato Institute, the United States spent a total of $6 trillion on military and intelligence in just 4 decades during the Cold War, a staggering sum.
After the Soviet Union was defeated, the Military Industrial Complex experienced a steady decline, accounting for just 3.7% of GDP in the year 2000. This changed on 9/11, when the MIC found that they could turn their old friends into new enemies to fight, and their percentage of GDP has more than doubled in the last decade.73
Congress has officially authorized more than 1.3 trillion dollars to fight the war on terror, and a Brown University study says this is just the tip of the iceberg: Even if the War on Terror were to begin de-escalating now, it would end up costing a total of 3.9 trillion between domestic spending, veterans costs, and interest.74 The money comes from the taxpayers of the United States, whether directly or indirectly, and goes to the pockets of defense contractors and banks.
* * * *
In 2003, Donald Rumsfeld wrote a memo to the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he stated that “We need to stop populating Guantanamo Bay with low-level enemy combatants.”75 The memo was uncovered in 2011. Over 750 prisoners have gone through Guantanamo, most being released without charges.76 Of the ~160 prisoners in Guantanamo Bay today, half have been cleared for release but are still being detained.77 Former CIA Director Leon Panetta said in 2010 that there were less than 100 Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.78
* * * *
After trillions of dollars spent, hundreds of thousands of deaths, repeated domestic rights infringements, we are left with only a handful of proven Al-Qaeda members, with a majority of prisoners simply being held without charges. The organization purported to be a sprawling monster after the September 11th attacks has been revealed to be a shell of an operation, financed by wealthy US allies. The result is endless war: Politicians, military and media shine the light just right to make the shadow of the mouse look huge and monstrous to justify endless profits. The media is not even connecting the most basic of dots to reveal the tremendous deception.
The evidence is a repeated policy of the destabilization of Central Asia and the development of Islamic radicals that spans decades. The result is a new global enemy without borders or diplomatic representation that can be fought indefinitely. Unless significant changes are made, we are looking at a future with an endless war on 'terrorism' where more terrorists are created daily by the very policies that are meant to be fighting them, and a foreign policy dictated by the whims of war profiteering.
And what kind of influence are we having in the Middle East? The rhetoric of 'bringing Democracy to the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan' would be laughable were it not such a grandiose and destructive lie. The impact of American intervention in these two countries has been disastrous.
“The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” one American official said, “was the United States.” - New York Times79
The New York Times article describes how the CIA routinely funneled millions of dollars without oversight in unmarked bags to the offices of President Hamid Karzai, while simultaneously denouncing the Iranian policy of doing the exact same thing. U.S. officials are quoted as saying that instead of buying the loyalty of the Afghan President, the payments instead proliferated into a vast web of corruption while Karzai became increasingly defiant of U.S. interests.
In Iraq, the country has devolved into near anarchy with monthly death tolls from terrorism sometimes reaching the 1000's. In 2004, the New York Times reported that there was a massive assassination campaign targeting intellectuals and professionals, with between 500 and 1,000 urban professionals killed in just a 9 month span.80 From drive by shootings to stealth murders in the victims home, officials in Iraq agree that there is a massive campaign to silence the capable and educated.
“'They are going after our brains,' said Lt. Col. Jabbar Abu Natiha, head of the organized crime unit of the Baghdad police. 'It is a big operation. Maybe even a movement.' These white-collar killings, American and Iraqi officials say, are separate from -- and in some ways more insidious than -- the settling of scores with former Baath Party officials, or the singling-out of police officers and others thought to be collaborating with the occupation. Hundreds of them have been attacked as well in an effort to sow insecurity and chaos. But by silencing urban professionals, said Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, a spokesman for the occupation forces, the guerrillas are waging war on Iraq's fledgling institutions and progress itself. The dead include doctors, lawyers and judges.”
In other words, Iraq is being left without the very people who could have been future leaders of democracy, and whom could have established a functioning society. Shortly afterwords, a corporate friendly government was established.
Furthermore, it is not empty rhetoric to say that the Iraq invasion was based on lies. In 2012, the Iraqi defector responsible for the 'evidence' of chemical weapon production in Iraq which was presented to the United Nations by Colin Powell, who portrayed it is “facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence”, confessed to BBC that his claims were entirely fabricated.81 Clearly there is an agenda that does not mesh with the rhetoric!
Will the War on Terror ever end? Who truly has the incentive to scale back the operation? Not clandestine agencies or the military, who are seeing their budgets increase year by year. Certainly not any of the major influences in politics, banks and corporations, who are seeing massive profits from government contracts and resource exploitation. And most certainly not any politician in Washington, who virtually rely on the lobbying of these organizations to keep their jobs.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald put it succinctly:
“But what one can say for certain is that there is zero reason for US officials to want an end to the war on terror, and numerous and significant reasons why they would want it to continue. It's always been the case that the power of political officials is at its greatest, its most unrestrained, in a state of war. Cicero, two thousand years ago, warned that "In times of war, the law falls silent" (Inter arma enim silent leges). John Jay, in Federalist No. 4, warned that as a result of that truth, "nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting anything by it . . . for the purposes and objects merely personal, such as thirst for military glory, revenge for personal affronts, ambition, or private compacts to aggrandize or support their particular families or partisans." If you were a US leader, or an official of the National Security State, or a beneficiary of the private military and surveillance industries, why would you possibly want the war on terror to end? That would be the worst thing that could happen. It's that war that generates limitless power, impenetrable secrecy, an unquestioning citizenry, and massive profit.” - Glenn Greenwald, writing for The Guardian82
Greenwald also notes the hopelessness of combating terrorism with further violence.
“Indeed, virtually every person accused of plotting to target the US with terrorist attacks in last several years has expressly cited increasing US violence, aggression and militarism in the Muslim world as the cause. There's no question that this "war" will continue indefinitely. There is no question that US actions are the cause of that, the gasoline that fuels the fire.But the notion that the US government is even entertaining putting an end to any of this is a pipe dream, and the belief that they even want to is fantasy. They're preparing for more endless war; their actions are fueling that war; and they continue to reap untold benefits from its continuation. Only outside compulsion, from citizens, can make an end to all of this possible.”
Food for Thought:
- How close of a relationship did the CIA maintain with Osama bin Laden after Operation Cyclone?
- Why does the United States consider Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the two largest funders of terrorism, our biggest allies in the region?
- How closely does the CIA work with the intelligence agencies of these countries?
- How many agents does the United States have operating in Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and how many atrocities are they responsible for?
- Why have Al-Qaeda and the United States fought on the same side of multiple wars?
- Why have so few Al-Qaeda been apprehended after over a decade of fighting the War on Terror and millions of dollars spent?
- Who has a monetary stake in the proliferation of terrorism, and how much influence do they hold in official U.S. Policy?
Note: This information is also a part of my free eBook, 'Lifting the Veil: An Investigative History of the United States Pathocracy'. If you enjoy this post, please download the book by clicking this link.
1CNN, “America's New War: Responding to Terrorism,” October 1, 2001
2Wall Street Journal, “Obama Bets Big on Troop Surge”, December 2, 2009. In 2009, Barack Obama ordered a surge of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan to fight the War on Terror.
3Newsweek, “About Those Billions”, October 20, 2009. The $7.5 Billion in aid to Pakistan tripled previous agreements, and locked in the economic alliance for another 5 years.
4Carnegie Foundation,“Who Benefits from aid to Pakistan?”
5New York Times, “Afghan Strikes By Taliban Get Pakistan Help, U.S. Aides Say,” March 25, 2009
6The Guardian, “The Struggle Against Terrorism Cannot Be Won By Military Means,” July 8, 2005. A great article written by Robert Cook, whose life was tragically cut short within a year of its publication from a heart attack worth reading in its entirety.
7Selig's full comments available here.
8Figure taken from Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency, in a briefing to the Pakistan parliament.
10BBC, “Pakistans Shadowy Secret Service,” October 9, 2006
11Slate, “Stingers, Stingers, Who's Got The Stingers?” October 3, 2001
12Washington Post, “Osama bin Laden Created By The US,” 1992
13BBC, “Pakistans Shadowy Secret Service,” October 9, 2006
14Bilveer Singh, “The Talibanization of Southeast Asia,” Excerpt available here.
15Information taken from GlobalSecurity.org, a respected institution in the intelligence community.
17New York Times, “The Most Wanted Face of Terrorism”, May 2, 2011.
18The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “How a Holy War Against the Soviets Turned Against the US,” September 23, 2001. Written by respected investigative journalist and Middle-East insider Ahmed Rashid
19Mir Bahmanyar, “Afghanistan Cave Complexes 1979-2004: Mountain strongholds of the Mujahideen.”
20Diplomatic cable available here.
21BBC, “Pakistani agents 'funding and training Afghan Taliban',” June 13, 2010
22New York Times, “Threats and Responses: Afghanistan,” February 13, 2002
23BBC, “Pakistan Helping Afghan Taliban – NATO,” February 1, 2012
24London School of Economics report available here.
25Los Angeles Times, “Why I Resigned From the CIA,” December 5, 2004
26Washington Post, “U.S. Was Foiled Multiple Times in Efforts To Capture Bin Laden or Have Him Killed”, October 3, 2001
27PBS Frontline, "Timeline- Al Qaeda's Global Context.”
28The Nation, “Reply to Hitchens,” October 1, 2001
29Wikipedia Article on the Al-Shifa Pharmaceutical Company
30The Guardian, “MI6 'Halted Bid to Arrest Bin Laden'”, November 10, 2001
31Al-Jazeera, “US embassy attacks anniversary marked,” August 7, 2013
32The Guardian, “Blowback Chronicles”, September 15, 2001
33New York Times, “The Plot Against America,” August 6, 2006
34Wikipedia Article on Mahmud Abouhalima
35San Francisco Gate, “Al Qaeda terrorist worked with FBI / Ex-Silicon Valley resident plotted embassy attacks,” November 4, 2001
36PBS Frontline Interview with Jack Cloonan, available here.
37Daniel Benjamin and Steve Simon, “Age of Sacred Terror,” no excerpt available.
38Article written by 5 time Emmy Award recipient Peter Lance, hosted at BoilingFrogsPost.com, available here.
39San Francisco Chronicle, “Al Qaeda terrorist worked with FBI / Ex-Silicon Valley resident plotted embassy attacks,” November 4, 2001
40BBC, “Ex US Soldier Admits to Embassy Bombings,” October 20, 2000
41The Guardian, “NATO Bombs Libya TV Transmitters,” July 30, 2011.
42International Business Times, “Does the Transitional Council Really Represent Libyan Democracy and Opposition to Gaddafi?”, July 20, 2001.
43CNN, “Rights group: Libyan rebels looted and beat civilians,” July 15, 2011
44The Telegraph, “Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links,” March 25, 2011
45The Telegraph, “Libya: The West and Al-Qaeda on the Same Side,” March 18, 2011
46Washington Times, “'Freelance Jihadists' Join Libyan Rebels,” March 29, 2011
47Wikipedia Article on the various war crimes committed during the Kosovo War
48AFP, “Members of Kosovo Liberation Trained by Bin Laden,” May 4, 1999.
49Washington Times, “KLA Finances War with Heroin Sales,” May 3, 1999
50Radio Free Europe, “Bosnia-Herzegovina: New Book Investigates Presence Of Al-Qaeda,” June 1, 2007
51New York Times, “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A.,” March 24, 2013
52Fox News, “Lawmakers try to stall arming of Syrian opposition, as CIA presses ahead,” June 27, 2013
53Fox News, “Merkel tells Parliament that risks of arming Syrian rebels 'incalculable',” June 27, 2013
54USA Today, “Syrian rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda”, June 14, 2013
55(PDF Warning) Naval Postgraduate Thesis, by Paul Bell, titled “Pakistan's Madrassas: Weapons of Mass Instruction?” Available here.
56Full Wikileaks Cables available here.
57PBS Frontline recap available here.
58PBS, letter available here.
59Salon, “Did the Saudi's Buy a President?” March 12, 2004
60Wikipedia Article on Saudi-US Relations
61John Kerry transcripts from the US Department of State website, available here.
62The Guardian, “Kerry hails disgruntled Saudi Arabia as 'the senior player' in Middle East,” November 4, 2013
63The Independent, “Saudi Arabia is 'Biggest Funder' of Terrorists,” December 6, 2010
64BBC, “Tribal Leader Killed in Afganistan,” June 23, 2009
65PakTribune, “Why Does Zainuddin Want To Kill Baitullah?”
66Times Online, “Al Qaeda Cleric Exposed as an MI5 Double Agent,” March 25, 2004. Article is behind a pay wall, link is to a re-hosting at Whale.to
67BBC, “Abu Qattadah Timeline,” May 10, 2013
68AFP, “Palestinians Arrest al-Qaeda 'poseurs',” December 8, 2002
69BBC, “Israel 'Faked' Al Qaeda Presence,” December 8, 2002
70PBS Frontline transcript of the episode available here.
71Steven Coll', “The Bin Ladens,” No excerpt available.
72Math and Charts available here at USGovernmentSpending.com
74Brown.edu “Cost of War Project”, available here.
75Washington Post, “Rumsfeld complained of 'low level' GTMO prisoners, memo reveals,” March 3, 2011
76Wikipedia Article “List of Guantanamo Detainees”
77RussiaToday, “‘Political football’: Gitmo detainees ‘abandoned’ by US government,” May 16, 2013
78ABC (Australia) “Fewer than 100 Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: CIA chief,” June 28, 2010
79New York Times, “With Bags of Cash, C.I.A. Seeks Influence in Afghanistan,” April 28, 2013. One particularly salient quote from the article is worth sharing: “No one mentions the agency’s money at cabinet meetings. It is handled by a small clique at the National Security Council, including its administrative chief, Mohammed Zia Salehi, Afghan officials said. Mr. Salehi, though, is better known for being arrested in 2010 in connection with a sprawling, American-led investigation that tied together Afghan cash smuggling, Taliban finances and the opium trade. Mr. Karzai had him released within hours, and the C.I.A. then helped persuade the Obama administration to back off its anticorruption push, American officials said.”
80New York Times, “THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ: KILLINGS; Assassinations Tear Into Iraq's Educated Class,” February 7, 2004.
81The Independent, “Man whose WMD lies led to 100,000 deaths confesses all,” April 1, 2012
82The Guardian, “The 'war on terror' - by design - can never end,” January 4, 2013