Edward Snowden Interview with Jeremy Scahill 15/03/2017

Edward Snowden Interview with Jeremy Scahill 15/03/2017

Rumsfeld’s Plan to Provoke Terrorists

Source: CounterPunch (http://www.counterpunch.org/floyd101.html)
November 1, 2002
Title: “Into the Dark”
Author: Chris Floyd
Evaluator: Catherine Nelson Ph.D., Meri Storino Ph.D.
Student Researcher: Jennifer Scanlan

Corporate Media Coverage:
Los Angeles Times, October 27, 2002, “The Secret War”, by William Arkin

According to a classified document, “Special Operations and Joint Forces in Countering Terrorism” prepared for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld by his Defense Science Board, a new organization has been created to thwart potential terrorist attacks on the United States. This counter-terror operations group- the “Proactive Preemptive Operations Group” (P2OG) will require 100 people and at least $100 million a year. The team of covert counter-intelligence agents will be responsible for secret missions designed to target terrorist leaders. The secret missions are designed to “stimulate reactions” among terrorist groups, provoking them into committing violent acts which would then expose them to “counterattack” by U.S. forces.

This means that the United States government is planning to use secret military operations in order to provoke murderous terrorist attacks on innocent people. In a strange twist of logic, it seems the plan is to somehow combat terrorism by causing it. According to the report, other strategies include stealing money from terrorist cells or tricking them with fake communications. The Defense Department already maintains a secretive counter-terror operations group known as Delta Force that is called in when a crisis happens.

Exactly what type of actions would be required to “stimulate reactions” by terrorist groups has yet to be revealed. When asked questions regarding what measures would be taken, Pentagon sources responded with, “Their sovereignty will be at risk.”

The current P2OG program is not entirely new to the United States. One similar program was Operation Northwoods. In 1963, America’s top military brass presented a plan to President John Kennedy that called for a fake terrorist campaign – complete with bombings, hijackings, plane crashes and dead Americans – to provide “justification” for an invasion of Cuba, a Mafia/corporate fiefdom which had recently been lost to Castro. Kennedy rejected the plan, and was killed a few months later. Now Rumsfeld has resurrected Northwoods, but on a far grander scale, with resources at his disposal undreamed of by his predecessors, and no counterbalancing global rival to restrain him.

Former president Nixon wanted such a group, but congress denied it; President Reagan tried to use the National Security Council instead, but ran into trouble with the Iran-Contra affair. Now, President Bush may finally realize the dream.

UPDATE BY CHRIS FLOYD: Appropriately enough for a story about the deepest possible covert operation – penetrating terrorist cells and provoking them into action – the saga of the Pentagon’s “Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group” (P2OG) went straight back into the dark after strutting its brief hour upon the stage. There has been no new information about the group since it was first mentioned nationally in the Los Angeles Times as part of a larger story on Pentagon plans for new “secret armies.” Was it funded? Is it operational? Has it “flushed out” any terrorists lately by goading them into “action”? Are any of the post-Iraq War spate of terrorist atrocities linked to P2OG activities? We don’t know. And with Donald Rumsfeld’s openly avowed penchant for “strategic misinformation,” how will we ever know? Certainly the mainstream press has done nothing to enlighten us. Although the CounterPunch article (which appeared simultaneously in The Moscow Times) provoked a lively response in the “alternative” media (print, web and radio), there has not been a single subsequent mention of the group in the U.S. national press. In the UK, John Pilger has raised warning flags about P2OG in The New Statesman and the Daily Mirror, while The Ecologist also ran a version of the CounterPunch article. The rest is silence. At first glance, this decided lack of interest might seem a curious reaction, given the American media’s insatiable-and profitable-obsession with terrorism. But the media’s equally intense, and equally profitable, abhorrence of moral ambiguity-especially when it involves possible American complicity in mayhem and murder-makes the silence easier to understand.

For more information see:

“The Secret War,” by William Arkin, Los Angeles Times, Oct. 27, 2002, at http://www.commondreams.org/views02/1028-11.htm.
“P2OG Allows Pentagon to Fight Dirty,” David Isenberg, Asia Times, Nov. 5, 2002, at http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/DK05Ak02.html.
At excerpt from the partially classified Defense Science Board briefing that proposed the creation of P2OG at http://www.serendipity.li/more/dsbbrief.ppt.
“Friendly Fire: Operation Northwoods,”
ABCNews.com, May 1, 2001, at http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/jointchiefs_010501.html.
John Pilger, The New Statesman, Dec. 12, 2002, http://pilger.carlton.com/print/124759.


A Rumsfeld-era reminder about what causes Terrorism
We can’t combat Terrorism by sending our military into Muslim countries. Doing that only exacerbates the problem.

(updated below – Update II – Update III)

The debate over Afghanistan — or, more accurately, the multi-pronged effort to pressure Obama into escalating — is looking increasingly familiar, i.e., like the “debate” over Iraq. The New York Times is publishing articles filled with quotes from anonymous war advocates. Permanent war-justifier Michael O’Hanlon is regularly featured in “news accounts” as he all but blames Obama for increasing combat deaths due to his failure to escalate the moment the military demanded it. The New Republic is churning out pro-war screeds. Every option is on the proverbial table except one: not fighting the war. And there’s a widening gap between (a) public opinion (which sees Afghanistan as “turning into another Vietnam” and which opposes more troops, with 49% favoring a full or partial withdrawal) and (b) the virtual unanimity of establishment punditry which, as always, is cheerleading for the war. The only difference is that, with a Democratic President, there seems to be more Democratic and progressive support for this war (though there was, of course, plenty of that for Iraq, too).

The primary rationale for remaining — and escalating — in Afghanistan is the same all-purpose justification offered for virtually everything the U.S. has done since 2001: Terrorism. Apparently, the way to solve the Terrorist threat is by sending 60,000 more American troops into a Muslim country and committing to at least five more years of war there. That, so the pro-escalation reasoning goes, will make us safer.

In 2004, Donald Rumsfeld directed the Defense Science Board Task Force to review the impact which the administration’s policies — specifically the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — were having on Terrorism and Islamic radicalism. They issued a report in September, 2004 (.pdf) and it vigorously condemned the Bush/Cheney approach as entirely counter-productive, i.e., as worsening the Terrorist threat those policies purportedly sought to reduce. It’s well worth reviewing their analysis, as it has as much resonance now as it did then (h/t sysprog).

The Task Force began by noting what are the “underlying sources of threats to America’s national security“: namely, the “negative attitudes” towards the U.S. in the Muslim world and “the conditions that create them” (click images to enlarge):


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And what most exacerbates anti-American sentiment, and therefore the threat of Terrorism? “American direct intervention in the Muslim world” — through our “one sided support in favor of Israel”; support for Islamic tyrannies in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia; and, most of all, “the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan“:



Let’s just repeat that: ”Muslims do not ‘hate our freedom,’ but rather, they hate our policies.” And nothing fuels — meaning: helps — the Islamic radicals’ case against the U.S. more than ongoing American occupation of Muslim countries:



For that reason, “a year and a half after going to war in Iraq, Arab/Muslim anger [had] intensified” and the war had thus “weakened support for the war on terrorism and undermined U.S. credibility worldwide” (see. 14-15). Similarly, as of six months into his presidency, Obama had vastly improved perceptions of the U.S. among Western Europeans but — as Der Spiegel put it — he “has actually made little progress in the regions where the US faces its biggest foreign policy problems,” particularly the Muslim world (other than Indonesia, where Obama spent part of his childhood, and Egypt, where Obama spoke).

We can’t combat Terrorism by sending our military into Muslim countries. Doing that only exacerbates the problem, since it inevitably intensifies the anti-American sentiment that enables and fuels the terrorist threat in the first place. All of that is so basic. It’s been empirically proven over and over during the last decade. It’s not Noam Chomsky or Al Jazeera pointing out these basic truths, but instead, a 2004 Task Force handpicked by Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon to review and assess the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism efforts, principally the wars they were waging in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Undoubtedly, there is some small faction of ”Islamic radicals” principally motivated by religious fervor which will likely hate the West regardless of what it does, but — as the 2004 Pentagon-commissioned Report found — their most potent weapons are American policies that inflame anti-American hatred in the Muslim world, beginning with ongoing wars waged by the U.S. military in Muslim countries. That’s so self-evident it shouldn’t require a report to document it, but since it seems to, here’s a very credible report that does exactly that.

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UPDATE: The latest rationale of the pro-war liberal think tanks — as epitomized by Peter Bergen’s New Republic piece yesterday — is that Al Qaeda and Taliban are inseparable and therefore ”we cannot defeat Al Qaeda without securing Afghanistan.” Steve Hynd has an interview with Afghan-based journalist Anand Gopal, who debunks that claim in several ways, as does Leah Farrall at the All Things Counterterroism blog. Even if Bergen’s claim were true, as Matt Yglesias points out, it merely “beg[s] the question — [Bergen] says we’re fighting the Taliban because the Taliban is working so closely with al-Qaeda, but arguably the Taliban is working closely with al-Qaeda largely because we’re fighting them.”

If — as the conventional wisdom has it (correctly) — Osama bin Laden was eager for us to invade Iraq and get caught up in an endless occupation there, wouldn’t Al Qaeda and other Islamic radicals benefit for the same reasons from our doing the same thing in Afghanistan?

UPDATE II: There’s also this:

The U.S. is an empire in decline, according to Niall Ferguson, Harvard professor and author of The Ascent of Money.

“People have predicted the end of America in the past and been wrong,” Ferguson concedes. “But let’s face it: If you’re trying to borrow $9 trillion to save your financial system…and already half your public debt held by foreigners, it’s not really the conduct of rising empires, is it?”

Given its massive deficits and overseas military adventures, America today is similar to the Spanish Empire in the 17th century and Britain’s in the 20th, he says. “Excessive debt is usually a predictor of subsequent trouble.”

There’s substantial dispute over Ferguson’s general economic analysis but does anyone really dispute this? From today’s New York Times article on Robert Gates’ trip to Japan:

Japan’s future contributions to the Afghanistan mission were to be on the agenda, but Mr. Gates said he would be making no specific request for either money or troops. Since the invasion of Afghanistan following the terrorist attacks in the United States of Sept. 11, 2001, Japan has pledged $2 billion for civilian reconstruction and security training, one of the largest contributors. About $1.8 billion has been distributed.

By comparison, however, the United States has budgeted $68 billion for its military and civilian effort in Afghanistan in the current fiscal year.


That number would obviously be much higher if we escalate. One would think this factor would play a larger role in discussing whether we want to occupy and wage war in various countries for the next decade or so, but it seems that we believe if we just blissfully ignore that, it will cease to exist. Nero fiddles along.

UPDATE III: Just as was true for the first two installments of David Rohde’s account of being held hostage by the Taliban for seven months (which I wrote about here and here), his third installment, now available, bolsters all of these conclusions:

Some nights, commanders and their fighters visited the houses where we were being held. Conversations were dominated by their unwavering belief that the United States was waging a war against Islam.

It was a universe filled with contradictions. My captors assailed the West for killing civilians, but they celebrated suicide attacks orchestrated by the Taliban that killed scores of Muslim bystanders. They bitterly denounced missionaries, but they pressed me to convert to their faith. They complained about innocent Muslims being imprisoned by the United States, even as they continued to hold us captive. . . .

One morning, [Aby Tayyeb, chief of the captors] wept at news that a NATO airstrike had killed women and children in southern Afghanistan. A guard explained to me that Abu Tayyeb reviled the United States because of the civilian deaths. . . .

My captors saw me — and seemingly all Westerners — as morally corrupt and fixated on pursuing the pleasures of this world. Americans invaded Afghanistan to enrich themselves, they argued, not to help Afghans.

As is to be expected, Rohde’s account contains widely divergent depictions of his captors — some are violence-obsessed religious fanatics while others “showed glimpses of humanity” to him. As is clear by now, the Tablian are not monolithic. But in all of Rohde’s accounts, there is one common strand: fury towards the U.S. for invading and occupying their country, killing civilians, imprisoning people with no charges, and generally attempting to control the Muslim world. There’s simply no way to continue doing that while decreasing the threat of Terrorism. The only thing that can result is the opposite.

Ken O’Keefe Response to Dangerous Slander & Libel

This is a direct response to Jeanice (Jew Nice) Barcelo’s outrageous and dangerous lies about my girlfriend of 17 months, Sophia. Her accusations constitute hypocrisy of the highest order based on manic and depraved conclusions that have resulted in a real and present danger to an innocent target in Sophia and an increased danger to myself.

To support Sophia directly visit her Soundcloud page at https://soundcloud.com/dugong

I am asking all good people of God to support Sophia and myself and let this video serve as proof positive that Jeanice Barcelo and others are guilty of criminal slander and libel. It is not Sophia, but Jeanice Barcelo and others she is aligned with that have committed criminally provable slander/libel and the only reason this is not being prosecuted is that I do not have the money for such expensive litigation that even when successful offers ZERO prospect of recuperating any of the expenses, much less being financially compensated for the time, effort and destructive energy directed at either of us.

Make no mistake all of these attacks are being conducted so as to derail the World Citizen mission… and they will not be successful.


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