The release of Visas for Al Qaeda also comes after the so-called “20th hijacker,” Zacarias Moussaoui (shown at right) has confirmed what many independent observers and researchers of 9/11 have already concluded: that the House of Saudi directly financed the attack and Al Qaeda.
As Springmann succinctly states:
The War on Terror is far more complicated than good versus evil. Al-Qaeda operatives are indeed ruthless and fanatical, but how did they come by their advanced training and international presence? Unfortunately, the answer lies in a secret US training and visa program with roots in the Cold War.
As the U.S.-trained Islamic operatives to fight Soviet forces in Afghanistan, and later allowed those same operatives to move from the Balkans to the Middle East, bumbling CIA strategists unwittingly armed and inspired the men who would become Al-Qaeda’s leadership.
Broadcast interviews of Michael Springmann include:
- Corbett Report, Michael Springmann on Visas for Terrorists, Interview by James Corbett, March 31, 2015 (on-demand radio interview). J. Michael Springmann discusses his new book, Visas for al-Qaeda: CIA Handouts that rocked the world. We discuss Springmann’s experience at the U.S. consulate in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s and the ongoing CIA program to illegally provide US visas for their terrorist operatives that he discovered there.
- RT Arabic, Interview with ‘Visas for Al Qaeda’ author Michael Springmann, Feb. 24, 2015.
- WCEV-FM (Chicago), The Consequences of Islamophobia / U.S’s Role in the Al-Qaeda’s Formation, Host: Salahuddin Khan, Feb. 23, 2015. Guests: Andrew J. Bacevich, Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History, Boston University, J. Michael Springmann, former U.S. Diplomat.
- Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) Radio One, Interview with Michael Springmann, Dispatches Staff, Jan. 16, 2002. In another interview with CBC’s Radio One, he stated that according to confirmation he received from U.S. government officials, the “CIA was recruiting terrorists to fight against the then Soviets.” Osama bin Laden, moreover, “was their asset, and was working with them.” There were “as many as a hundred” recruits, people “with no ties to any place in particular… Afghanistan was the end user of their facilities. They were coming to the U.S. for training as terrorists. The countries that had supplied them did not want them back.” Springmann testified that CIA officials had consistently violated State Department regulations to issue visas to these people.
CBC: Does this demonstrate a relationship between the CIA and Osama Bin Laden dating back as far as 1987?
SPRINGMANN: That’s right, and as you recall, they believe that this fellow Sheikh Abdurrahman who was tied to the first New York World Trade Center bombing had gotten his visa from a CIA case officer in the Sudan. And that the 15 or so people who came from Saudi Arabia to participate in the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon had gotten visas through the American consulate general in Jeddah.
CBC: So what does that suggest, that this pipeline was never rolled up, that it’s still operating?
SPRINGMANN: Exactly. I thought that it had been, because I’d raised sufficient hell that I thought that they’d done it. I had complained to the Embassy in Riyadh, I had complained to diplomatic security in Washington, I had complained to the General Accounting Office, I had complained to the State Department Inspector-General’s Office, I had complained to the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the State Department and apparently the reverberations from this were heard all over the State Department.
CBC: If what you say may be true, many of the terrorists who allegedly flew those planes into those targets, got their U.S. visas through the CIA and your U.S. consulate in Jeddah. That suggests a relationship ongoing as recently as obviously September. But what was the CIA presumably recruiting these people for as recently as September 11th?
SPRINGMANN: That I don’t know. And that’s one of the things that I tried to find out through a series of Freedom of Information Act requests starting ten years ago. At the time the State Department and the CIA stonewalled my requests. They’re still doing so.
CBC: If the CIA had a relationship with the people responsible for September 11th, are you suggesting therein that they are somehow complicit?
SPRINGMANN: Yes, either through omission or through failure to act…By the attempts to cover me up and shut me down, this convinced me more and more that this was not a pipe dream, this was not imagination…
CBC: But when you take the events of ’87, when visas were being issued to people unqualified for them, it suggests that happened again to the same people responsible for the attacks on New York and Washington, that’s a quantum leap. How do you justify that?
SPRINGMANN: For all I know, for all we know, this may have not been the intended consequence. It could’ve been a mistake. It could’ve been a misjudgement. Or for all we know, it could’ve been an effort to get the U.S. directly involved in some fashion. I mean it’s only a few thousand dead and what’s this against the greater gain for the United States in the Middle East?
U.S. Recent Announcements on ISIS/ISIL & Other Terrorists
White House Blog, President Obama: “We Will Degrade and Ultimately Destroy ISIL,” David Hudson, Sept. 10, 2014 (video 13:56 min.). In an address from the State Floor of the White House, President Obama spoke to the nation tonight about ISIL — and our comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group. The President reiterated that as Commander-in-Chief, his “highest priority is the security of the American people,” and noted that we have “consistently taken the fight to terrorists” that threaten the United States: “We took out Osama bin Laden and much of al Qaeda’s leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We’ve targeted al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, and recently eliminated the top commander of its affiliate in Somalia. We’ve done so while bringing more than 140,000 American troops home from Iraq, and drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, where our combat mission will end later this year. Thanks to our military and counterterrorism professionals, America is safer.”
Washington Post, Virginia cabbie on FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list detained in Somalia, Adam Goldman and Matt Zapotosky, March 2, 2015. A Northern Virginia man who fled the United States more than two years ago and was recently placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list is in the custody of the Somali government, U.S. officials said. Liban Haji Mohamed, 29, was detained shortly after prosecutors unsealed a warrant for his arrest and the FBI added him to the wanted list in late January. It is unclear how he was taken into custody or how soon he could be brought back to the United States. The former cabdriver is charged with providing material support and resources to al-Shabab, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization allied with al-Qaeda. He is suspected of having an operational role in al-Shabab and of trying to recruit people to join the group.
News Coverage of ISIS-ISIL
Levant Report, 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency document: West will facilitate rise of Islamic State “in order to isolate the Syrian regime,” Brad Hoff, May 19, 2015. On Monday, May 18, the conservative government watchdog group Judicial Watch published a selection of formerly classified documents obtained from the U.S. Department of Defense and State Department through a federal lawsuit. While initial mainstream media reporting is focused on the White House’s handling of the Benghazi consulate attack, a much “bigger picture” admission and confirmation is contained in one of the Defense Intelligence Agency documents circulated in 2012: that an ‘Islamic State’ is desired in Eastern Syria to effect the West’s policies in the region.
The DIA report, formerly classified “SECRET//NOFORN” and dated August 12, 2012, was circulated widely among various government agencies, including CENTCOM, the CIA, FBI, DHS, NGA, State Dept., and many others. The document shows that as early as 2012, U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a U.S. strategic asset. While a number of analysts and journalists have documented long ago the role of western intelligence agencies in the formation and training of the armed opposition in Syria, this is the highest level internal U.S. intelligence confirmation of the theory that western governments fundamentally see ISIS as their own tool for regime change in Syria. The document matter-of-factly states just that scenario.
Forensic evidence, video evidence, as well as recent admissions of high-level officials involved (see former Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford’s admissions here and here), have since proven the State Department and CIA’s material support of ISIS terrorists on the Syrian battlefield going back to at least 2012 and 2013 (for a clear example of “forensic evidence”: see UK-based Conflict Armament Research’s report which traced the origins of Croatian anti-tank rockets recovered from ISIS fighters back to a Saudi/CIA joint program via identifiable serial numbers). The newly released DIA report makes the following summary points concerning “ISI” (in 2012 “Islamic State in Iraq,”) and the soon to emerge ISIS:
◾ Al-Qaeda drives the opposition in Syria
◾ The West identifies with the opposition
◾ The establishment of a nascent Islamic State became a reality only with the rise of the Syrian insurgency (there is no mention of U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq as a catalyst for Islamic State’s rise, which is the contention of innumerable politicians and pundits; see section 4.D. below)
◾ The establishment of a “Salafist Principality” in Eastern Syria is “exactly” what the external powers supporting the opposition want (identified as “the West, Gulf Countries, and Turkey”) in order to weaken the Assad government
◾ “Safe havens” are suggested in areas conquered by Islamic insurgents along the lines of the Libyan model (which translates to so-called no-fly zones as a first act of ‘humanitarian war’; see 7.B.)
◾ Iraq is identified with “Shia expansion” (8.C)
◾ A Sunni “Islamic State” could be devastating to “unifying Iraq” and could lead to “the renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena.” (see last non-redacted line in full PDF view.)
Middle East Eye, Obama’s fail on Saudi-Qatari aid to al-Qaeda affiliate, Gareth Porter, May 23, 2015. A source in the Saudi royal family has told Middle East Eye that Riyadh and Doha are funding an al-Qaeda affiliate fighting in Syria.
News media coverage of the Camp David summit between President Barack Obama and Gulf Cooperation Council members has focused largely on Obama’s success in getting the GCC States to go along with the negotiation of a nuclear agreement with Iran. But the much more consequential story of the summit is Obama’s decision not to confront Saudi Arabia and Qatar about their financing of an al-Qaeda offshoot in Syria that has made the most dramatic gains in the jihadist war against the Assad regime.
Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi in 2014 in speech at mosque, distributed by AP from screen shot
Reuters via Huffington Post, ISIS Leader Accepts Allegiance Of Nigeria’s Boko Haram, Staff report, March 12, 2015. The leader of the Islamic State militant group that controls tracts of Syria and Iraq has accepted a pledge of allegiance from Nigerian Islamists Boko Haram, his spokesman said, calling on supporters to fight in Africa. Boko Haram, which has killed thousands and kidnapped hundreds during a six-year campaign to carve out an Islamist state in northern Nigeria, pledged its allegiance last week, highlighting increased coordination between jihadi movements across north Africa and the Middle East. “Our caliph, God save him, has accepted the pledge of loyalty of our brothers of Boko Haram so we congratulate Muslims and our jihadi brothers in West Africa,” Islamic State spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani said in an audio message, referring to his group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Islamic State, an ultra-hardline offshoot of al Qaeda, has declared a caliphate in captured territory in Iraq and Syria and has gained global notoriety for killing or kidnapping members of ethnic and religious minorities and posting videos of its members killing Arab and Western hostages.
DebbieSchlussel.com, 6,000 Foreign Students “Of Heightened Concern” Missing in US: How Many From ISIS, Qaeda? Debbie Schlussel, Sept. 2, 2014. There are 58,000 foreign student visa holders who’ve violated their visas, and of those at least 6,000 foreign students are missing in the United States and have been determined by Homeland Security to be “of heightened concern.” That’s at least 6,000 potential terrorists in our midst. How many of them are from ISIS or Al-Qaeda?
World Beyond War, ISIS Derangement Syndrome, David Swanson, March 1, 2015. Here’s Time Magazine’s David von Drehle: “The greatest threat that ISIS poses — even to the poor souls living under ISIS rule — is the unintended damage that might follow from the effort to eradicate the group.” His article is followed by Max Boot arguing for U.S. ground troops and Karl Vick arguing for U.S. bombing with local ground troops. All three can’t help but be aware that terrorist kingdoms like Saudi Arabia already exist in the region with the blessing of the U.S. government (and of magazine writers who seek to please the U.S. government). None of the three have one word to say about the great many innocents already killed in the latest U.S. bombings, but all three strive to place the need to attack ISIS beyond the range of any debate.
Daily Beast, Boko Haram Swears Loyalty to ISIS. But Will ISIS Swear Back? Nancy A. Youssef Philip Obaji Jr., March 7, 2015. In an online audio message reportedly from its leader, the Nigerian terror group Boko Haram on Saturday apparently pledged formal allegiance to the Islamic State, but it’s unclear if this marks the beginning of an actual, operational alliance or if it is instead an attempt by the African group to push back against an increasingly robust regional military response. The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, has recently adopted the tactics, practices and even the dress of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed leader of the Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS or ISIL. These include producing gruesome beheading videos and a social media strategy.
Atlantic Council, The Future of the Fight against ISIL: A Discussion with General John Allen, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, March 2, 2015. The Atlantic Council hosts General John Allen, USMC (Ret.), the special Presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL to discuss what may lie ahead in the US-led fight against the Islamist group that straddles Iraqi and Syrian territory. Ever since General Allen’s appointment in September, he has sought to “help build and sustain the coalition so it can operate across multiple lines of effort in order to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.” The coalition of over sixty countries currently contributes in “various capacities…in Iraq, the region, and beyond,” to achieve the stated strategy. How will the coalition sustain the fight against the terrorist group? What role will the United States play as the coalition broadens and deepens its efforts? Can the fight be ultimately won? And if so, how does the coalition define success? To answer these and other questions, General Allen will join Atlantic Council President and CEO Fred Kempe on stage. This event will be on the record and open to press. General John Allen was appointed Sept. 16, 2014 by President Obama. Allen is a retired US Marine four-star General and former Commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and US Forces in Afghanistan from July 2011 to February 2013.
Foreign Policy In Focus via Common Dreams, Why ISIS Exists, Adil E. Shamoo, Bonnie Bricker, March 6, 2015. The Middle East is suffering the blowback from rotten U.S. policies, disastrous wars, and cultural turmoil. ISIS and its ilk are one result. ISIS — or the so-called “Islamic State” — is the latest and most horrifying iteration of the modern terror groups that have plagued the region in recent years. With 20,000 to 30,000 combatants and recruits streaming in from all over the globe, the group is unlikely to be significantly degraded by U.S. air strikes — not when political conditions in the Middle East continue to favor it. The media often depicts ISIS recruits as lost souls in search of a cause or suffering from mental illness. That may be true in some cases. But these explanations are not sufficient to explain ISIS’s resilience and recruitment capabilities. No organization, especially a terrorist one, can survive without support. Yes, ISIS has committed unspeakable atrocities. But it’s too easy to forget that the U.S. invasion of Iraq killed some half a million Iraqis by one estimate — most of them civilians — and wounded another million. Looking at the numbers, we can only imagine the thousands of Iraqi children killed by bombs who may have actually been burned alive or smashed by rubble. They died the sort of deaths that inflame Arabs and Muslims around the world. As a nation, the United States likes to tout its moral superiority. Yet the bleak contrast between what Iraqis experienced and America’s self-proclaimed exceptionalism led many Iraqis to join a group that made its own set of promises — ISIS — and the results have been terrifying. Meanwhile, America’s allies in the Middle East aren’t much better.
John McCain Controversy Over 2013 Secret Trip To Syria
P.J. Tatler, U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army Operating Openly with ISIS, Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra, Patrick Poole, Sept. 3, 2014. As the Obama administration struggles to address the threat from ISIS and plans to go to Congress in the coming weeks to up its commitment against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, multiple media reports indicate that the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) is operating openly with ISIS and other designated terrorist groups. And yet financial and military support for the FSA is the keystone to the administration’s policy in Syria. Some background is essential. It was just over a year ago that the Institute for the Study of War’s Liz O’Bagy was opining in the Wall Street Journal about her travels to Syria and purported discovery that the Syrian “rebels” really weren’t bloodthirsty jihadists, but moderates worthy of U.S. financial and military support — in particular, heavy weapons. Her claims about the Syrian rebels, particularly the FSA, were cited and praised by Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator John McCain. That view, of course, quickly came crashing down as O’Bagy came under fire for failing to disclose that she was also a paid agent of a Syrian rebel front. (She had also lied about her academic credentials.) Within two weeks of her op-ed appearing, she was fired from the Institute for the Study of War, though she was hired two weeks later by Senator McCain as a Senate staffer. Northern Storm front, allied with Al Nusra, merged with ISIL. Those people pictured with McCain and his fake Ph.D. gal pal Liz O’Bagy were either ISIL then or are now. But Glenn Kessler can always be relied upon as a loyal advocacy journalist for Langley, the neocon policy boiler shops in DC, and the Israeli PM’s office and embassy in DC. There are no moderate Syrian rebels! Get it? Got it? Good!
Washington Post, Four Pinocchios for Rand Paul’s claim that McCain met with the Islamic State, Glenn Kessler, Sept. 18, 2014. Just because it’s on the Internet, it doesn’t mean it’s true. Yet here’s a U.S. senator, repeating a rumor about one of his GOP colleagues, as if it were an actual fact. Paul cited it as part of his argument that U.S. funding of attacks against the terrorist group Islamic State, also known as ISIS, will be problematic because it “really shows you the quandary of determining who are the moderates and who aren’t.” The Fact Checker takes no position on whether it is necessary to fund the Syrian rebels. But for the benefit of Paul, and others who may have heard this rumor, here’s what didn’t happen. On May 27, 2013, McCain slipped across the Turkish border to spend a few hours in Syria with members of the Free Syrian Army. Mouaz Moustafa, executive director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force, who helped arrange the visit and was with McCain, said many soldiers were members or commanders of the Northern Storm brigade, which serves under the army’s Supreme Military Council. One man was Gen. Salim Idriss, who at the time was chief of staff of the Supreme Military Council. “These guys, the Northern Storm brigade, are bitter enemies of ISIS,” Moustafa said, in part because they were so effective.
Arizona Republic, McCain rips claim he posed for photo with ISIS fighters, Dan Nowicki, Aug. 23, 2014. U.S. Sen. John McCain is one of the most vocal proponents of attacking the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, and has increased the urgency since last week’s beheading murder of kidnapped journalist James Foley. But McCain, R-Ariz., has come under fire from the left-leaning organization VoteVets.org for allegedly posing for a photo in 2013 with “ISIS fighters,” a charge the group has been unable to back up and that McCain calls a fabrication. The photo was taken during a surprise May 2013 trip McCain took to Syria to meet with rebel leaders in the civil war against President Bashar Assad’s regime. Then and now, McCain is a passionate advocate for helping the moderate Free Syrian Army, which has been battling both Assad’s forces and the extremists. In June, President Barack Obama’s administration proposed a $500 million plan to arm and train the moderate Syrian opposition. McCain’s photo with the Syrian rebels misidentified as ISIS fighters has caught fire on social-media platforms such as Twitter. It was distributed in a VoteVets fundraising e-mail dated Tuesday, the same day that ISIS released a grisly video documenting Foley’s murder. “While he was there (in Syria), he paused for some photos — including some with ISIS militants,” VoteVets chairman Jon Soltz, an Iraq War veteran, wrote in the e-mail that featured the photo. “Today, just over a year later, he wants to fight ISIS in Iraq — ostensibly against the weapons he wants to provide them in Syria.” McCain’s camp pushed back hard, characterizing the VoteVets charge as a lie. And ISIS recently singled out McCain as “the enemy” and a “crusader” in a propaganda magazine. “It is shameful that the liberal group VoteVets would completely fabricate this obviously false smear, but it just shows how far some of President Obama’s defenders will go to attack anyone who criticizes his failed foreign policy,” McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said. One of the men with McCain is Gen. Salim Idris, who at the time chief of staff of the Free Syrian Army’s Supreme Military Council. He was removed from the post in February. Another is Mouaz Moustafa, executive director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force, a Washington, D.C.-based group that encourages U.S. intervention on behalf of the moderate opposition and organized McCain’s visit. A third man who had been disputed in the past has since been identified “as one of the brigade commanders for the Free Syrian Army,” McCain said. He was with the Northern Storm Brigade, a force affiliated with the Free Syrian Army that has battled ISIS, McCain’s office clarified. “It’s foolishness,” but the false charge “just bangs around the Internet,” McCain said. Asked by The Republic for documentation or a source for its claim that the McCain photo included ISIS militants, VoteVets could not provide any evidence, but did pass along an Aug. 18 Washington Post column by Souad Mekhennet that makes the point that some “factions” of the Free Syrian Army have joined ISIS. The column didn’t relate to anyone in the McCain photo. “For years, Senator McCain couldn’t stop talking about the need to arm Syrian rebels, like the Free Syrian Army, which splintered with many ending up under ISIS,” Soltz told The Republic in an e-mailed statement. “When we say he took photos with ISIS fighters, we mean that he took photos with representatives of forces that he supported, many of which later became ISIS. It’s frightening to think what ISIS would be today, if John McCain had his way, and if we had sent even more weaponry their way.”
Other McCain Foreign Affairs Controversies/Scandals
Global Research, “Al Qaeda R Us”: John McCain’s “Moderate Rebels” in Syria are ISIS, Patrick Henningsen, Jan. 24, 2015. Poor John McCain and Lindsey Graham, Washington’s original first couple. They only want to arm the ‘moderate opposition’ in Syria. Three years on, how come their master plan isn’t working, while ISIS has grown so strong? This brings us to the issue of who ISIS really is, and how did ISIS build up to the level they are at today. So, what happened to all of McCain’s “moderate opposition”? You know, the ones which President Obama, John Kerry, David Cameron and the rest of the ‘liberate Syria’ gang insist need our help with more weapons and cash? New Eastern Outlook geopolitical analysis and writer Tony Cartalucci explains. This means there’s no “moderate rebels” to speak of, so therefore ISIS is McCain’s Army. Washington’s nation-builders are banking on the fact that Americans are not smart enough, or too brain-dead to work this one out:
It was reported recently that some 3,000 so-called “moderate rebels” of the “Free Syrian Army” had defected to the “Islamic State” (ISIS). While not the first time so-called “moderates” have crossed over openly to Al Qaeda or ISIS, it is one of the largest crossovers that has occurred. With them, these 3,000 fighters will bring weapons, cash, equipment, and training provided to them by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United States, the UK, and perhaps most ironic of all in the wake of the recent terror attack in Paris, France. Indeed, ISIS and Al Qaeda’s ranks continue to swell amid this insidious network of “terror laundering” that is only set to grow.
InfoWars, McCain Backed Libyan Terrorist Abdulhakim Belhaj, Paul J. Watson, 2011 (video: 3:52 min.). “All because our governments supported these inhuman scumbags from the beginning.”
The Unz Review, American Pravda: When Tokyo Rose Ran for President, Ron Unz (software developer and former publisher of The American Conservative Magazine), March 9, 2015. What Was John McCain’s True Wartime Record in Vietnam? During much of the second half of the twentieth century the name “Tokyo Rose” ranked very high in our popular consciousness, probably second only to “Benedict Arnold” as a byword for American treachery during wartime. The political rise of Sen. John McCain (shown in photo) leads me to suspect that in the 1970s some cruel enemy had spiked our national water supply with LSD.
Although in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, I turned sharply against McCain due to his support for an extremely bellicose foreign policy, I never had any reason to question his background or his integrity, and my strong opposition to his 2008 presidential run was entirely on policy grounds: I feared his notoriously hot temper might easily get us into additional disastrous wars. Everything suddenly changed in June 2008 when I read a long article by an unfamiliar writer on the leftist CounterPunch website. Shocking claims were made that McCain may never have been tortured and that he instead spent his wartime captivity collaborating with his captors and broadcasting Communist propaganda, a possibility that seemed almost incomprehensible to me given all the thousands of contrary articles that I had absorbed over the decades from the mainstream media. [See CounterPunch, “From Glory Boy to PW Songbird: McNasty,” Douglas Valentine, June 13, 2008.] The realization that many of our political leaders may be harboring such terrible personal secrets, secrets that our media outlets regularly conceal, raises an important policy implication independent of the particular secrets themselves. In recent years I have increasingly begun to suspect that some or even many of our national leaders may occasionally make their seemingly inexplicable policy decisions under the looming threat of personal blackmail, and that this may have also been true in the past.
InfoWars via Global Research, CIA Asset Joins Islamic State in Libya – Abdelhakim Belhadj Worked with U.S. and NATO to Overthrow Gaddafi, Kurt Nimmo, March 5, 2015. Abdelhakim Belhadj has reportedly joined forces with the Islamic State, according to the journalist Sara Carter. Belhadj is a former al-Qaeda operative who was a key player in the overthrow of Moammar Gaddafi. He worked directly with the U.S. and NATO. If Belhadj has gone over to Islamic State, it will represent a major boost to Islamic State’s efforts to co-opt and bring in Libya’s existing jihadist forces under their banner, which now reportedly includes as many as 3,000 fighters. Belhadj’s forces play a significant role in the Islamist “Libyan Dawn” coalition (which includes the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda’s Ansar al-Sharia), which currently holds Tripoli, and which claims to be the rightful government in opposition to the U.N. recognized government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni.
Washington Times, Gaffney: The real reason behind Benghazigate, Frank J. Gaffney Jr. (President of the Center for Security Policy, a columnist for the Washington Times, and host of Secure Freedom Radio on WRC-AM), Oct. 22, 2012. Was Obama gun-walking arms to jihadists? President Obama’s once seemingly unstoppable march toward re-election hit what he might call “bumps in the road” in Benghazi, Libya, late on Sept. 11, 2012. It might be more accurate to describe the effect of the well-planned and executed, military-style attack on a diplomatic facility there as the political equivalent of a devastating improvised explosive device on the myth of the unassailability of the Obama record as commander in chief. Thanks to intrepid investigative reporting — notably by Bret Baier and Catherine Herridge at Fox News, Aaron Klein at WND.com and Clare Lopez at RadicalIslam.org — and information developed by congressional investigators, the mystery is beginning to unravel with regard to what happened that night and the reason for the subsequent, clumsy official cover-up now known as Benghazigate. The evidence suggests that the Obama administration has not simply been engaging, legitimating, enriching and emboldening Islamists who have taken over or are ascendant in much of the Middle East. Starting in March 2011, when American diplomat J. Christopher Stevens was designated the liaison to the “opposition” in Libya, the Obama administration has been arming them, including jihadists like Abdelhakim Belhadj, leader of the al Qaeda franchise known as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
Not surprisingly, one of the most important priorities for someone in that position would be to try to find and secure the immense amount of armaments that had been cached by the dictator around the country and systematically looted during and after the revolution. One of the places in Libya most awash with such weapons in the most dangerous of hands is Benghazi. It now appears that Stevens was there — on a particularly risky day, with no security to speak of and despite now copiously documented concerns about his own safety and that of his subordinates — for another priority mission: sending arms recovered from the former regime’s stocks to the “opposition” in Syria. As in Libya, the insurgents are known to include al Qaeda and other Shariah-supremacist groups, including none other than Abdelhakim Belhadj.
Fox News has chronicled how the Al Entisar, a Libyan-flagged vessel carrying 400 tons of cargo, docked on Sept. 6 in the Turkish port of Iskenderun. It reportedly supplied both humanitarian assistance and arms — including deadly SA-7 man-portable surface-to-air missiles — apparently destined for Islamists, again including al Qaeda elements, in Syria. What cries out for further investigation — and debate in the remaining days of this presidential election — is whether this shipment was part of a larger covert Obama effort to transfer weapons to our enemies that could make the Iran-Contra scandal, to say nothing of Operation Fast and Furious, pale by comparison.
Investigative journalist Aaron Klein has reported that the “consulate in Benghazi” actually was no such thing. He observes that although administration officials have done nothing to correct that oft-repeated characterization of the facility where the murderous attack on Stevens and his colleagues was launched, they call it a “mission.” What Mr. Klein describes as a “shabby, nondescript building” that lacked any “major public security presence” was, according to an unnamed Middle Eastern security official, “routinely used by Stevens and others to coordinate with the Turkish, Saudi and Qatari governments on supporting the insurgencies in the Middle East, most prominently the rebels opposing Assad’s regime in Syria.” We know that Stevens‘ last official act was to hold such a meeting with an unidentified “Turkish diplomat.” Presumably, the conversation involved additional arms shipments to al Qaeda and its allies in Syria. It also may have involved getting more jihadi fighters there. After all, Mr. Klein reported last month that, according to sources in Egyptian security, our ambassador was playing a “central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.”
It gets worse. What we do know is that the New York Times — one of the most slavishly pro-Obama publications in the country — reported in an Oct. 14 article, “Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster.” In short, it seems President Obama has been engaged in gun-walking on a massive scale. The effect has been to equip America’s enemies to wage jihad not only against regimes it once claimed were our friends, but inevitably against us and our allies as well. That would explain his administration’s desperate and now failing bid to mislead the voters through the serial deflections of Benghazigate.
In the photo, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) presents an award to senior Al Qaeda leader Abdulhakim Belhaj after NATO delivered the nation of Libya to him and his terrorist organization in 2011. Belhaj is now reportedly
operating under the banner of ISIS. Present also in the award ceremony but cropped from the photo were Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
Independent, Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face the death penalty, Chris Green, March 1, 2015. Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger whose punishment of 1,000 lashes has prompted international condemnation, may now face the death penalty. Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, told the Independent in a series of messages that judges in Saudi Arabia’s criminal court want him to undergo a re-trial for apostasy. If found guilty, he would face a death sentence. She said the “dangerous information” had come from “official sources” inside the conservative kingdom, where Badawi has already been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes – administered at a rate of 50 per week – for criticizng the country’s clerics through his liberal blog.
Russia/Murder of Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov
WMR (Wayne Madsen Report), Assassination of Nemtsov a classic CIA tactic, Wayne Madsen, March 2, 2015 (subscription required). The recent gangland-style assassination of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov (shown at right), in the very shadow of the Kremlin, is a classic Central Intelligence Agency frame up operation designed to further pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin.
New York Times, Suspect in Russian Politician’s Killing Blows Himself Up, Report Says, Neil MacFarquhar, March 8, 2015. A suspect in the murder of the opposition politician Boris Y. Nemtsov blew himself up as the police closed in on him overnight, Russian news reports said on Sunday, while new disclosures indicated that one of the men already detained in the killing had served as a police officer in the fight against Islamic insurgents. Five suspects were due to be arraigned at Basmanny District Court in Moscow, Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia’s Investigative Committee, said in a statement. The two prime suspects, whose names have been officially confirmed, are Zaur Dadayev and Anzar Kubashev, whose arrest was announced on Saturday. The arrests and the police activity were centered in the Northern Caucasus, long a trouble spot for Russia. Mr. Nemtsov was killed while walking across a bridge over the Moscow River with his girlfriend, who was not injured. He was shot in the back four times by a gunman who then escaped in a car driven by an accomplice. All the men detained so far were Chechens, the reports said. In Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, which borders Ingushetia, one suspect blew himself up with a grenade after tossing another one at law enforcement officials outside his apartment who were demanding that he surrender.
Washington Post, Russians rally for slain Putin critic, Michael Birnbaum, March 1, 2015. Boris Nemtsov (shown in a file photo via Creative Commons) was fatally shot late Friday on a bridge in the heart of Moscow. Russians turned out by the tens of thousands Sunday to mourn an opposition leader who was murdered only a few steps from the Kremlin, amid fears that his death was just the beginning of a new wave of violence. Defiant crowds waving Russia’s tricolor flag and carrying signs reading “Propaganda Kills” filed through Moscow’s heart on a grim, drizzly afternoon, making a pilgrimage to the spot where Boris Nemtsov was gunned down under the Kremlin’s watchful towers. The killing was the highest-profile political assassination in Russia during the 15-year rule of President Vladimir Putin.
OpEd News, Putin Predicted Washington Would Employ Assassination Tactic Against Russia, Paul Craig Roberts (shown in file photo), March 1, 2015. In Nemtsov murder: Putin warned about exactly this type of “false flag” two years ago, Putin explained two years ago the Russian government’s concern that an overseas entity would use a false flag assassination within Russia in order to create an “involuntary martyr” that the Western media would use to demonize Russia. According to another report, Good news out of Russia – even the “non-system” opposition refuses to blame the Kremlin, the Washington-financed Russian opposition has not, as Washington hoped it would, joined the Western anti-Putin media campaign. Possibly the Washington-financed Russian NGOs have wised up from observing events in Ukraine. In place of “more democracy,” they got a Washington stooge government squandering Ukraine’s last cent on a losing war. The most likely explanation of Boris Nemtsov’s murder is that the CIA decided, as Nemtsov was completely marginalized as an opposition politician with 5% as against Putin’s 85%, that Nemtsov was worth more dead than alive. But the ploy, if that is what it is, has not worked inside Russia. Stephen Lendman has done a good job tracking the US media’s unquestioning adherence to Washington’s propaganda line.
International Observer, Slain Russian’s Complicated Romantic Life May Be Key to the Case, Boris Nemtsov’s tangled love life is revealed as model Anna Duritskaya helps police piece puzzle together, Mikhail Klikushin March 1, 2015. Ukrainian model Anna Duritskaya, 23 (shown in a file photo), had a four-year romance with slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, 55, and was with him when he was assassinated.
Saker, Good news out of Russia – even the “non-system” opposition refuses to blame the Kremlin, Feb. 28, 2015. All the leaders of this opposition have so far made very moderate and reasonable statement and all those which I have heard have apparently dismissed the notion that the Kremlin was behind the murder. Many have even said that this murder was a “provocation” (which in this context means “false flag”!) to destabilize Russia and create a crisis.
Saker, Nemtsov murder: Putin warned about exactly this type of “false flag” two years ago, The Saker, Feb. 28, 2015. Already in February 2012 (two years ago!) Putin was warning Russians about exactly the kind of false flag which we just saw happening with the murder of Nemtsov.
Signs of the Times, Insignificant ‘Putin critic’ gunned down by someone who hates Putin, Joe Quinn, Feb. 28, 2015. Boris Nemtsov was shot in the back last night as he walked with his Ukrainian girlfriend near the Kremlin in Moscow. Nemtsov ran unsuccessfully for office in 1989 before eventually being elected to Russia’s parliament in 1990. As deputy minister for economic reform under Yeltsin, he failed to actually deliver economic reform amid the August 1998 economic crisis and it cost him his job. In 1999, he founded the Union of Right Forces (SPS), along with fellow liberals Anatoly Chubais and Yegor Gaidar. The SPS was directly sponsored by the US government (via USAID) in 2002, after which it became openly critical of Russia’s new President Putin (surprise!). This fact alone establishes Nemtsov and SPS as agents of Western efforts to destabilize Russia and therefore not representative of any significant section of the Russian people. Indeed, in the 2003 election, the SPS failed to reach even the 5% threshold needed to enter parliament. Realizing real politics wasn’t for him, Nemtsov decided to try his hand at legalized money laundering banking, joining Neftyanoi Bank which, with Nemtsov as director, was investigated and shut down in 2005 for money laundering and fraud. In 2004, he joined the Ukrainian government of Mister-US-backed-Orange-Revolution Victor Yushenko, as an ‘economic adviser’. He was kicked out of the job in 2006 because of complaints from cabinet members that he was criticizing their decisions. Nemtsov formed the political opposition movement Solidarnost (Solidarity) in December 2008. Solidarnost attempted to unite the disparate and, frankly, pathetic opposition groups in Russia. Without US-government funding to Solidarnost this time via NED etc. (USAID was finally kicked out of Russia in 2012), it’s unlikely that it would still be operating. Nemtsov became a prominent face of the ‘opposition’ from 2011 to early 2012 when he and his ‘uncivil society’ friends attended a super-covert meeting at the US embassy in Moscow shortly after Michael McFaul had been appointed US ambassador. Unfortunately for the erstwhile ‘oppositionists,’ several TV crews were waiting for them and asked them the obvious question: “Why are you visiting the new US ambassador?” In 2011, the real US government Brookings Institution published a report that called on the US Senate to confirm McFaul as ambassador, and extolled McFaul’s merits in ‘democracy promotion’ (i.e. plotting coups) and meeting with ‘civil society’ representatives in Russia (i.e. paying coup plotters).
Washington Post, Syrian fighter group that got U.S. missiles dissolves after major defeat, Liz Sly, March 1, 2015. The first Syrian rebel group to be given U.S. weapons collapsed Sunday after losing control of its headquarters to Syria’s main al-Qaeda affiliate, further complicating American-led efforts to counter the rise of extremism in Syria. The rout of Harakat Hazm, whose name means Steadfastness Movement, culminated months of clashes with the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra in which the moderate group first was pushed from its main headquarters in the northern Syrian province of Idlib and then was ousted Sunday from its new base in the province of Aleppo. After losing this latest battle, Hazm said in a statement circulated on social media that the movement had been dissolved “in an effort to halt the bloodshed” and that surviving members would be absorbed into a new rebel coalition called the Shamiyah Front. Nusra fighters boasted on Twitter that they had seized control of U.S.-made TOW anti-tank missiles and other American aid provided to Hazm when they overran the rebels’ headquarters in the town of Atarib in the province of Aleppo. The claims could not be verified, and American supplies of weaponry to moderate rebels in northern Syria had in any case been scaled back in recent months since the battles with Nusra began. The collapse comes as the Pentagon embarks on a new effort to train moderate rebels to fight the Islamic State, a different extremist group that is at odds with Jabhat al-Nusra and has severed ties with al-Qaeda. Hazm, which once claimed to have 5,000 fighters, had received U.S. weapons under a separate covert program launched last year by the CIA that was intended to bolster moderate rebels and put pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to compromise with the opposition.
Zero Hedge, The Stage Is Set For The Syrian Invasion, Tyler Durden, Feb. 26, 2015. One week ago, when reporting on the latest bizarre plan presented by the Pentagon, namely providing Syrian rebels (but only the moderate ones, not the jihadists like al Nusra, or, well, ISIS) with B-1B Bomber air support in their attacks on ISIS, when we wrote that this “means in the coming weeks and months look forward to a surge in false flag “attacks” blamed on the Assad regime, aiming to give Obama validation to expand the “War against ISIS” to include Syria’s regime as well.” We didn’t have long to wait: in an entirely unsourced Time article written today by Aryn Baker, the Middle East Bureau Chief, the stage for the second attempt at invading Assad regime is finally set. The article, titled “Why Bashar Assad Won’t Fight ISIS” is essentially an essay that, as the title suggests “proves” that the Syrian leader is, in fact, quite close with ISIS and derives strategic benefits from his relationship, which is why he won’t attack them, and thus by implication is just as bad as ISIS and worthy of America’s wrath. Actually, the “Americans” see ISIS as the perfect false flag placeholder to build up yet another case about invading Damascus, after the humiliation of the bumbled attempt to use a doctored YouTube clip showing paid actors following what the CIA guaranteed was an Assad “chemical weapon” attack as a pretext to launch an invasion on Syria in the first attempt to topple Assad. It took an escalation that involved numerous Russian ships side by side with US cruisers in the Mediterranean before John Kerry realized that building Qatar’s natural gas pipeline to Europe is not worth rising World War III over, and promptly backed off. This time, ISIS is the bait.
BBC, Syria conflict: BBC exclusive interview with President Bashar al-Assad, Feb. 10, 2015. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has defended his government’s actions in the region since the uprising against his rule, which erupted in 2011. In an exclusive interview with the BBC’s Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen, Mr Assad denied that his forces had dropped barrel bombs indiscriminately on rebel-held areas, killing thousands of civilians, and dismissed as propaganda a statement by the UN that his government often blocks access to besieged areas for relief organisations. The Syrian leader also denied that there was a direct dialogue with the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State but confirmed that “general messages” were sometimes passed via third parties.
AFP via Yahoo! News, Rebel deminers comb Ukraine battleground town, Stéphane Jourdain, March 1, 2015. A week since pro-Russian rebels forced Ukrainian soldiers from the key transport hub of Debaltseve, the sound of explosions still reverberates around the eastern town. This, however, is not the boom of artillery fire and combat — it is teams of Cossack deminers [sappers] from the separatist side blowing up mines and unexploded ordnance littering this war-scarred railway junction.
Justice Integrity Project, ‘Presidential Puppetry’ Discussion Examined Civic Mysteries, Propaganda, Andrew Kreig, March 2, 2015. The NoVa (Northern Virginia) Writers Group hosted me Feb. 28 for a lively public discussion of Presidential Puppetry at the Lorton Library near Washington, DC. The hour-long discussion addressed the mysteries unraveled by the research, their relevance to top news stories today — and how authors in the audience can beat the odds to bring their own books to public attention.
Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues
Washington Post, Petraeus admits giving documents to mistress, Adam Goldman and Sari Horwitz, March 3, 2015. The former CIA director will plead guilty to a misdemeanor and will likely not face prison time. The deal, if approved by a judge, will spare Petraeus a prison sentence and allow him to avoid a trial that probably would have revealed details of his relationship with his former mistress and biographer, who had been provided the highly sensitive documents. As part of the agreement, Petraeus admitted improperly retaining a number of bound notebooks that contained classified information and giving them to the biographer, Paula Broadwell, according to documents filed Tuesday in federal court in Charlotte, N.C.
For more on the Petraeus story, see also Intercept, Dianne Feinstein, Strong Advocate Of Leak Prosecutions, Demands Immunity For David Petraeus by Glenn Greenwald; Attorney General Eric Holder to Decide Whether to Charge David Petraeus with Violating Espionage Act by Kevin Gosztola; and Prosecutors Said To Recommend Charges Against Former Gen. David Petraeus by Michael S. Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo.
FireDogLake, More on Hillary Clinton’s Use of Personal Email Account at State Department, Peter Van Buren, March 3, 2015. The 2016 presidential race just got a lot more interesting with the revelation that as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton conducted all official business using a personal email account on her own web domain. Here’s what happened, and why it matters. A lot. Hillary Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, violating federal regulations that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record and thus subject to Freedom of Information Act and Congressional requests. The most basic reason this all matters is because it is the law. As Secretary of State, Clinton was required to maintain her emails as official records. She did not. It also matters because Clinton’s email actions were deliberate, and included an effort to hide what she was doing.
WWL (New Orleans) via LewRockwell.com, Video Exonerates Man Set Up By Louisiana Cops And Prosecutors, Chuck Ross, March 3, 2015. If not for cell phone video, 47-year-old disabled veteran Douglas Dendinger could be going to prison — because of an apparent coordinated effort by Washington Parish, La. cops and prosecutors who falsely accused him of battery and witness intimidation. As New Orleans’ WWL reports, Dendinger’s two-year nightmare began on Aug. 20, 2012, when he was paid $50 to serve a court summons on behalf of his nephew against Bogalusa police officer Chad Cassard in a police brutality lawsuit. Dendinger handed Cassard a white envelope containing the documents and says he went on his way. But 20 minutes later, police showed up to Dendinger’s house and arrested him. He was put in jail on charges of simple battery, obstruction of justice and intimidating a witness. Two of those charges are felonies, and a prior cocaine conviction on Dendinger’s record threatened to land him in jail for a long time as a repeat offender. But Dendinger was confident that a mistake had been made and that he would be released without cause since two prosecutors and several police officers had seen him hand over the summons peacefully. But that’s not what happened.