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You Gotta Love This Administration for The Chutzpah

by Joe Trento


Newsweek Magazine was not about to win any profiles in courage awards for standing up to the Bush Family. They caved in faster then a two dollar suitcase when they became the whipping boy for Islamic riots and death that occurred due to a false story they published. The story claimed our interrogators in Gitmo tried to shake the truth out of detainees by flushing Koran pages. It has been clear for about three years that our debriefing prisoner teams did not make the Harvard debate club by the fact that they never got any worthwhile intelligence.


But when the fake story broke it sounded familiar to me. I looked back through some old files. I found the notes and realized the Koran down the toilet story originated not in Gitmo, but in Langley, Virginia. The story started not with an interrogator but with some disinformation joker in the late 1970’s. The same time we were in business with the Mullahs against the Soviets. It was one of scores of little fictions we were putting out to turn the tide against the Soviet invaders. An old spook friend of mine told me the story over lunch at the Hay Adams Hotel in 1979. He laughed at how dumb the idea was. 


Talk about blowback.


It seems the disinformation guys working with the Afghan rebels from the CIA had painted that scenario about the Soviets. They spread it when they first got suckered into Afghanistan during Jimmy Carter’s reign. We had hoped to stir up radical Islamists against the Godless heathens sent in by Moscow. It, of course, didn’t work. But the pro al Qaeda Mullahs had good memories and apparently decided to float the lie amongst their own and it took root – against us. And they say there is no common ground between the Bush White House and anti-western Mullahs.


All the Newsweek Kabuki the White House was so outraged over proved was that it didn’t take much to get the news media’s mind off of the outbreak of civil war in Iraq and overshadow Bush’s post purple fingertip election flush.


For those who bought the President’s line that democracy was spreading in the Middle East, the unfortunate regional reality is displaying itself in the blood of our troops and that of the Iraqi people. Additionally, the scent of Democracy in Lebanon and Egypt has turned into the more familiar stench of business as usual. In Egypt President Hosni Mubarek has promised the world free Presidential elections. The only hitch is his puppets in parliament determine who gets to run. It seems no inconvenient candidates – like Islamists – will be permitted in the race. Mubarek’s election policies are the equivalent of President Bush’s policies on stem cell research: window dressing.


In Lebanon, the Bush Administration did a great job of scaring the Syrian intelligence service out. Not only have the intelligence people not departed, but Syrian intelligence told the CIA that they can no longer assist in providing rendition/torture escapades. The White House has to work so hard to find a friendly torture chamber.


I have maintained that as long as the volunteer military is the source of the kids we are sacrificing to the President’s ill-conceived Iraqi vision, there would not be vocal opposition to this war. If kids from middle class and upper middle class families were drafted to fight and die then we would not be sitting numbly in front of the evening news as some news reader manages to make the increasing death toll blend in with Jay Leno testifying in the Michael Jackson trial.


Now even the most devoted supporters of President Bush are beginning to realize that his inappropriate response to attacks from Saudi Arabia in Iraq may make less and less sense.


What we are now facing in Iraq is a civil war. To make our response more unacceptable is the fact that our intelligence officers did issue dire warnings of what could happen without a brute like Saddam to sit on the Shia and Sunni forces. The White house was also warned that the shock troops of Islam would come in from Iran and Saudi Arabia and make our men and woman targets – and now they have.

Our people have been attacked twice now by sons of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The first time was in the airplane attacks of 2001 at home. Now it is through a Royal Family approved underground railway of Saudi extremists willing to wear vestments of death to make their spiritual point against our deployed sons and daughters.


The United States has not held Saudi Arabia’s feet to the fire. The President’s polite hand holding at the ranch of the Crown Prince was a symbol that everyone understood in the Middle East. Those pictures demonstrated that Bush had respect for the Saudi Royal Family. This is the same family that has been funding terrorists for years, paid for the Pakistani nuclear weapons program and allows its lunatic exports to kill our children.


President Bush and Vice-President Cheney, as Doctor Phil says, “When are you going to get a clue?” How many Americans have to die before you act?


Copyright © 2003-2005 Public Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.


Joe Trento has spent more than 35 years as an investigative journalist, working with both print and broadcast outlets and writing extensively on national security issues. Before joining the National Security News Service in 1991, Trento worked for CNN's  Special Assignment Unit, the Wilmington News Journal, and prominent journalist Jack Anderson. Trento has received six Pulitzer nominations and is the author of five books, the most recent of which is The Secret History of the CIA


Posted  August 01, 2005

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