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Wednesday, 10.10.2012, 08:40pm (GMT+1)
Afghanistan…Scribes, Spies and Profiteers…Questions for Consideration
By: Bruce G. Richardson
Collateral Damage: or Assassination?
Ahmad Shah Massoud’s historiographer, Mansour has accused Abdul Rasul Sayyaf of complicity in the assassination of the late Shah Massoud, according to John Lee Andersen, author of The Lion’s Grave. An allegation made all the more credible when it was revealed recently that Sayyaf was responsible for providing security clearances and therefore access to Massoud for the alleged assassins.
Among the author’s deliberations, contentions, citations and conjecture, Andersen discloses as to how the administrations’ of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had drawn up plans to invade Afghanistan from forward bases in Uzbekistan prior to 9/11, a fact now corroborated from numerous and unimpeachable investigative journalist’s sources. Regarding Massoud, a question to consider he writes is…”could an American covert action have unintentionally precipitated Massoud’s assassination”? During the waning days of the Clinton administration (1999), Robert Patterson, A U.S. Navy intelligence officer and author of Dereliction of Duty, 2003, was dispatched to the Panjsher Valley with a considerable sum (ten-million dollars) of money, the purpose of which was to employ the services of Ahmad Shah Massoud in the assassination of Osama bin Laden. Now, it is unknown if Sayyaf had become aware of the plot. But it is however quite possible that had he known, he himself would unhesitatingly consider the undertaking of a coup to eliminate Massoud. It is no secret that Osama bin Laden and Abdul Rasul Sayyaf were at once extremely close, two men who shared religious and political orientations. While Massoud was postulated by the media and certain of government and academia personalities as the archetypical, invincible anti-Soviet guerrilla commander as immortalized in Ernest Hemingway’s masterful narrative: For Whom the Bell Tolls …in fact, he had been recruited by Soviet intelligence early in the war and served the 40th Army occupational forces as a proxy-militia. (See: The Hand of Moscow, Leonid Shebarshin, Director, First Department (Foreign Intelligence) KGB, Progress Press, Moscow, 1992, pp. 177-214, Translated by Professor Ian Helfant, Department of Slavic Languages and Literature, Harvard University and American Raj, Liberation of Domination, Resolving the Conflict between the West and the Muslim World, Eric S. Margolis, 1996, p.196)
Recent polls (Rasmussen, 9/17/11) have concluded that a majority of American citizens do not believe that they are being told the truth about America’s wars by their government and or by the media. Many, for example, have concluded that the official U.S. account of events surrounding 9/11 are indeed disinformation, and that the real motivation for the attack against Afghanistan by the U.S. was not terrorism related… but to facilitate a pro-U.S. regime change and thereby gain a favorable negotiating posture for the U.S. firm (UNOCAL) in securing the lucrative contract for the proposed (TAP), Trans-Afghan-Pipeline. At that time, much to the chagrin of Washington, Taliban were viewed as favoring Bridas of Argentina for the (TAP) multi-billion dollar contract. ((See: Was America Attacked by Afghanistan on September 11, 2001? By Professor Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, October 0 4, 2012)
At the heart of the controversy are statements exposing an incestuous, politically-expedient government/media relationship by accredited- journalists. Recently, with an eye to shaping the narrative, it was revealed that the CIA had inserted 400 agents trained as journalists in a number of high-profile media organizations in the U.S. with assistance from management. (See: Center for Truth in Journalism)
CNN’s ace reporter, Christiane Amanpour has often said that her bosses at the network “were intimidated from reporting candidly on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan due to pressure from both the Bush and Obama administration hawks and from the Fox News Network”. Fox News has long been seen as a devout, biased, right-wing and hawkish organization and staunch supporter of America’s wars of choice. Fox News is however not unique. Additional controversy surrounds the credibility of featured New York Times journalist, Judith Miller’s inscrutable war coverage. An analyst from the Center for Truth in Journalism had this to say regarding the veracity of Miller’s reporting: “She (Miller) is the drop of choice for a politically-motivated leaker, and her commentary is not news but flak, a practiced- obscurantism , provided for and in support of administration hawks…an all too familiar role for her the last several years.” This is the second instance in recent time that a New York Times reporter has been discredited for biased and manufactured coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
War on Terror: or War for Profit?
Peter Ustinov once said that “terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.” These profound, unassailable words were buttressed by a former U.S. general, NATO Supreme Commander and past President of Columbia University and of the United States respectively, President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He warned exhaustively of the erosive effect of what he termed “The Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex.” In what is postulated as democracy in action, corporate lobbyists provide hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars in campaign contributions to various Members of Congress. In return, Members favor legislation that supports military/defense appropriations, colonial-adventurism or “wars of choice” and the arms industry with lucrative, high-profit contracts.
As a case in point, a Seattle-based Boeing has been awarded a 3.5 billion dollar contract for building tankers for the Air Force. In addition, they have won a contract for 1.1 billion for satellites.
The great recession and its aftermath have taken a heavy toll on private corporations nationwide. Increasingly, these companies are turning to the most consistent employer in the U.S….the federal government.
In 2010, the number of contracts awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense increased by nearly 20% from 2009. The number of corporations in Rock River Valley winning defense work has grown from 25-75% and the dollar value has more than tripled.
Dayton, Ohio area defense contractors have been awarded 100 million in defense contracts despite allegations of gouging, bribing, overcharging and or other malfeasance resulting in breach of contract. XE Services LLC, a private company founded by Eric Prince is currently the largest security provider to the U.S. Department of State. This notorious security organization, often viewed as an extension or ancillary to the covert “off-the-books” operations of the CIA, has been alleged to have created 30 shell companies or subsidiaries in part to obtain millions of dollars in U.S. government contracts, notwithstanding their controversial reputation, and to subvert government investigations leading to sanctions and or non-participatory proscription against awarding government contracts to firms shown to be in violation of U.S. statutes. Another serial violator, Blackwater, riddled with allegations of illegal operations to include assassination, contract irregularities and bid-rigging… is alleged to have been complicit in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, former Pakistan Prime Minister. The charge was brought on (9/2009) by the former Pakistan Chief of Army Staff, General Mirza Asalm Beg. The General claimed that permission for Blackwater to engage in covert operations in several cities in Pakistan was at the time granted by President Musharaf under intense hectoring by the CIA.
It would appear that the only recession-proof corporations during the current economic downturn are those doing business in the defense industry. Lockheed-Martin, in yet another example, one of the world’s largest defense contractors posted a 74% increase while topping the list of U.S. federal contractors at 1.5 trillion/annually.
Halliburton, a subsidiary of KBR, the world’s largest military contractor has made at least 8-billion in war-torn Afghanistan doing everything from washing American’s laundry to setting up vital oil supplies. Now, a critically well-placed army employer says contracts are unfairly awarded to Halliburton whose chief-executive officer was former Vice President Dick Cheney whose salary as Halliburton’s CEO topped 30 million annually based on his considerable political acumen and as a consummate though irreverent political insider. Time and again, there was little or no competition for the huge contracts the administrations awarded and repeatedly, it seems, were frustrated from correcting the contracting process that senior army people were stepping in to override, honest attempts to make KBR (Halliburton) and other politically-connected corporations accountable failed.
With a Congress beholden to campaign donations from lobbyists, it is difficult to imagine a system that awards contracts based on merit. But the overriding question is what is it that drives the imperialist, totalitarian tendencies of the Government of the United States? Is it the eradication of terrorism… or wars of choice motivated primarily for profit?
Bruce G. Richardson