America's "War on Terrorism"

by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, 2005, paperback


Under the Bush administration, the military and intelligence apparatus has clearly taken over the reins of foreign policy in close consultation with Wall Street. With key decisions taken behind closed doors at the CIA and the Pentagon, "civilian political institutions" including the US Congress increasingly become a facade. While the illusion of a "functioning democracy" prevails in the eyes of public opinion, the US President has become a mere public relations figurehead.

Under the Bush administration, the military and intelligence apparatus has clearly taken over the reins of foreign policy in close consultation with Wall Street. With key decisions taken behind closed doors at the CIA and the Pentagon, "civilian political institutions" including the US Congress increasingly become a facade.

Under the New World Order, military planners in the State Department, the Pentagon and the CIA call the shots on foreign policy.

... The powers behind this [New World Order] system are those of the global banks and financial institutions, the military-industrial complex, the oil and energy giants, the biotech and pharmaceutical conglomerates and the powerful media and communications giants, which fabricate the news and overtly influence the course of world events by blatantly distorting the facts.

Under the Reagan administration, senior officials in the State Department had used the proceeds of illicit narcotics trade to finance the supply of weapons to the Nicaraguan Contras.

Since September 11, state resources have been redirected towards financing the military-industrial complex, while social programs have been slashed. Government budgets have been restructured and tax revenues have been channeled towards beefing up the police and the domestic security apparatus.

The hidden agenda behind [George W.] Bush's declaration of an "axis of evil" (Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya and Syria) is to ... provide various justifications for direct military interventions by the US in different parts of the world.

In the US, Canada and Great Britain, and also in most countries of the European Union, the legal fabric of society has been overhauled. Based on the repeal of the Rule of Law, the foundations of an authoritarian state apparatus have emerged with little or no organized opposition from the mainstay of civil society.

The "Anglo-American axis" in defense and foreign policy is the driving force behind the military operations in Central Asia and Middle East. This rapprochement between London and Washington is consistent with the integration of British and American business interests in the areas of banking, oil and the defense industry.

China has been encircled: The US military is present in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Straits, in the Korean Peninsula and the Sea of Japan, as well as in the heartland of Central Asia and on the Western border of China's Xinjiang-Uigur autonomous region. US military bases have been set up in Uzbekistan in Tajikistan and in Kyrgyztan.

The 1999 war in Yugoslavia contributed to reinforcing strategic, military and intelligence ties between Washington and London.

The hidden agenda behind the Anglo-American "trans-Atlantic bridge" is to eventually displace the Franco-German military conglomerates and ensure the dominance of the US military industrial complex (in alliance with Britain's major defense contractors).

Moreover, this integration in the area of defense production has been matched by increased cooperation between the CIA and Britain's MI6 in the sphere of intelligence and covert operations, not to mention the joint operations of British and US Special Forces.

The European common currency system has a direct bearing on strategic and political divisions. London's decision not to adopt the common European currency is consistent with the integration of British financial and banking interests with those of Wall Street, as well as the Anglo-American alliance in the oil industry and weapons production.

Under the New World Order, the pursuit of profit hinges upon political "manipulations' the bribing of officials and the routine exercise of covert intelligence operations on behalf of powerful corporate interests. The US-sponsored paramilitary armies in different parts of the world are trained and equipped by private mercenary outfits on contract to the Pentagon.

Ultimately, the conduct of war, rather than being controlled by the state, is subordinated to the pursuit of private economic interests.

While interfacing with Wall Street, intelligence agencies, including the CIA, have also developed undercover ties with powerful criminal syndicates involved in the drug trade. These syndicates, through the process of money laundering, have also invested heavily in legitimate business undertakings.

Under the New World Order, the demarcation between "organized capital" and "organized crime" is blurred. The restructuring of global trade and finance tends to favor the concurrent "globalization" of the criminal economy, which is intricately tied into the corporate establishment. In turn, the state apparatus is criminalized. Amply documented, senior policy-makers in the Bush administration in charge of foreign policy have links to various drug cartels.

Under the New World Order, the demarcation between "organized capital" and "organized crime" is blurred. The restructuring of global trade and finance tends to favor the concurrent "globalization" of the criminal economy, which is intricately tied into the corporate establishment.

While securing corporate control over extensive oil reserves and pipeline routes along the Eurasian corridor on behalf of the AngloAmerican oil giants, Washington's ultimate objective is to eventually destabilize and then colonize both China and Russia. This means the takeover of their national financial systems and the control over monetary policy, leading eventually to the imposition of the US dollar as the national currency.

The "war on terrorism" is a lie.

... Acts of war are heralded as "humanitarian interventions" geared towards restoring "democracy"

Military occupation and the killing of civilians are presented as "peace-keeping operations'

The derogation of civil liberties - by imposing the "anti-terrorist legislation" - is portrayed as a means to providing "domestic security" and upholding civil liberties.

Meanwhile, expenditures on health and education are curtailed to finance the military-industrial complex and the police state.

We are fast moving towards a totalitarian system in which the institutions of war, police repression and economic policy interface with one another... The corporate media is an instrument of this totalitarian system.

To convey the illusion of democracy [in America], "the globalizers" must "fabricate dissent"... they must create and finance their own political opposition. In order to appear legitimate, they must actively encourage the type of "criticism" which does not challenge "their right to rule"

This libertarian "counter-discourse" - which serves to disarm a genuine mass movement against war and globalization - constitutes part of the foundations of this evolving totalitarian system. Leaders of trade union confederations and mainstream NGOs, together with selected "academics" and critics, are invited to participate in policy formulation together with bankers, corporate executives and politicians.

The ploy is to selectively handpick civil society leaders "whom we can trust" and integrate them into a "dialogue' The idea is to cut them off from their rank and file, make them feel that they are "global citizens" acting on behalf of their fellow citizens, but make them act in a way which serves the interests of the corporate establishment:

... Once the fundamental premise that the US Administration is committed to curbing international terrorism is accepted, these leftist intellectuals and civil society critics are invited to express their "reservations" regarding America's conduct of the war, the impacts on civilians or their humanitarian concerns regarding the derogation of the Rule of Law.

In this ritual, the main justification for waging the war, which is a complete falsehood, is never questioned despite documented evidence that the "war on terrorism" is a fabrication.

... While the "globalizers" are subjected to "constructive criticism", their legitimate right to rule remains unchallenged. What this "left accommodation" and "civil society mingling" does is to reinforce the [control] the military-intelligence elites and the corporate establishment, while weakening the real protest movement.

More importantly, "left accommodation" splits up the protest movement. It divides the anti-war movement from the antiglobalization movement. It prevents the development of a broader movement against the American Empire. The large trade unions and the mainstream non-governmental organizations, by failing to denounce the falsehoods behind the "war on terrorism' have contributed unwittingly to the failure of a real opposition movement being mounted against the New World Order.

Red Herring: an irrelevant topic presented in order to divert attention from the original issue.

The 9/11 terrorists did not act on their own volition. The suicide hijackers were instruments in a carefully planned intelligence operation. The evidence confirms that Al Qaeda is supported by Pakistan's ISI. Amply documented, the ISI owes its existence to the CIA.

... The money used to finance the 9/11 attacks had allegedly been "wired to WTC hijacker Mohammed Atta from Pakistan, by Ahmad Umar Sheikh, at the instance of [ISI Chief] General Mahmoud [Ahmad]'.

... General Mahmoud Ahmad, the alleged "money man" behind 9/11, was in the US when the attacks occurred.

The US intelligence apparatus has created its own terrorist organizations. And at the same time, it creates its own terrorist warnings concerning the terrorist organizations which it has itself created. In turn, it has developed a cohesive multibillion dollar counterterrorism program "to go after" these terrorist organizations.

Counterterrorism and war propaganda are intertwined. The propaganda apparatus feeds disinformation into the news chain. The terror warnings must appear to be "genuine" The objective is to present the terror groups as "enemies of America'

One of the main objectives of war propaganda is to fabricate an enemy.

The entire National Security doctrine centers on the existence of an "outside enemy", which is threatening the Homeland.

To sustain "the War on Terrorism" agenda, fabricated realities funneled on a day to day basis into the news chain, must become indelible truths which form part of a broad political and media consensus. In this regard, the corporate media is an instrument of this evolving totalitarian system.

The most powerful component of any fear and disinformation campaign rests with the CIA, which secretly subsidizes authors, journalists and media critics, through a web of private foundations and CIA-sponsored front organizations.

... Disinformation is routinely "planted" by CIA operatives in the newsroom of major dailies, magazines and TV channels. Outside public relations firms are often used to create "fake stories":

Chaim Kupferberg, "The Propaganda Preparation for 9/11", Centre for Research on Globalization, June 2002

A relatively few well-connected correspondents provide the scoops, that get the coverage in the relatively few mainstream news sources, where the parameters of debate are set and the "official reality" is consecrated for the bottom feeders in the news chain."

Remarks by President Bush in Trenton, New Jersey, Welcome Army National Guard Aviation Support Facility, Trenton, New Jersey, 23 September 2002.

[The United States is] under attack because we love freedom . ... And as long as we love freedom and love liberty and value every human life, they're going to try to hurt us.

Once the core assumptions of a disinformation campaign have been embedded in the news chain, both the printed press and network TV establish their own self-sustaining routine of fabricating the news.

Preparations for compulsory smallpox vaccination were initiated in 2003 in response to a presumed threat of a biological weapons attack on US soil. The vaccination program - which had been the object of intense media propaganda - contributed to creating an atmosphere of insecurity

... The hidden agenda was clear. How best to discredit the antiwar movement and maintain the legitimacy of the State? Create conditions which instill fear and hatred, present the rulers as "guardians of the peace" committed to weeding out terrorism and preserving democracy.

Observer-Dispatch, Utica, New York, December 9, 2004

Attorney General [Alberto] Gonzales "commissioned" the infamous Justice Department memo of 2002 that asserted President Bush's right to order torture, even redefining the meaning of torture not to include any pain short of organ failure, death or permanent psychological damage. This prompted other legal decisions approving such interrogation practices as "stress positions" and intimidation with dogs, leading then to the abyss of abuses at Abu Ghraib.

In December 2004, the Justice Department ordered the drafting of a new "legal opinion" on "permissible US military interrogation techniques" to replace that of August 2002.

... "Legal opinions" drafted on the behest of war criminals are being used to "legalize" torture and redefine justice.

War criminals legitimately occupy positions of authority, which enable them to redefine the contours of the judicial system and the process of law enforcement.

It provides them with a mandate to decide "who are the criminals' when in fact they are the criminals.

In other words, what we are dealing with is the criminalization of the State and its various institutions including the criminalization of justice.

The truth is twisted and turned upside down. State propaganda builds a consensus within the Executive, the US Congress and the Military. This consensus is then ratified by the judicial, through a process of outright legal manipulation.

Media disinformation instills within the consciousness of Americans that somehow the use of torture, the existence of concentration camps, extrajudicial assassinations of "rogue enemies" all of which are happening-are, "under certain circumstances" "acceptable" and perfectly "legal" because the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) says "it's legit".

The existence of an illusive outside enemy who is threatening the Homeland is the cornerstone of the propaganda campaign. The latter consists in galvanizing US citizens not only in favor of "the war on terrorism' but in support of a social order which upholds the legitimate use of torture, directed against "terrorists", as a justifiable means to preserving human rights, democracy; freedom, etc.

"The war on the terrorism" is said to be in the public interest. Moreover, anybody who questions its practices-which now includes torture, political assassination and concentration camps - is liable to be arrested under the antiterrorist legislation.

The Inquisition, which started in the 12th century and lasted for more than four hundred years was a consensus imposed by the ruling feudal social order. Its purpose was to maintain and sustain those in authority.

The Inquisition had a network of religious courts, which eventually evolved into a system of political and social control.

The underlying principles governing the courts were straightforward, apart from the rhetoric, similar to today's procedures:

Those who refused to recant and give up their heresy, were burned alive. Moreover, no lawyers were allowed, because it was considered heresy to defend a heretic:

The Inquisition, which started in the 12th century and lasted for more than four hundred years was a consensus imposed by the ruling feudal social order. Its purpose was to maintain and sustain those in authority. The Inquisition had a network of religious courts, which eventually evolved into a system of political and social control.

Heresy cannot be destroyed unless heretics are destroyed and ... their defenders and [supporters] are destroyed, and this is effected in two ways: they are converted to the true catholic faith, or burned [alive].

Under an inquisitorial system, the public does not question the wisdom of the rulers. Citizens are compelled into accepting the political consensus. They must endorse the acts of f torture ordered by those who rule in their name.

Political assassinations [by the United States] are no longer conducted as covert operations. The intent to assassinate is announced, debated in the US Congress, presented as a safeguard of democracy. In turn, the alleged terrorists are sent to concentration camps and this information is public.

Increasingly, the military-intelligence establishment (rather than the State Department, the White House and the US Congress) is calling the shots on US foreign policy.

The AngloAmerican oil giants, Wall Street, the powerful media giants and the Washington think tanks are operating discretely behind the scenes, setting the next stage in this ongoing militarization of civilian institutions.

Drug trafficking constitutes the third biggest global commodity in cash terms after oil and the arms trade. Supported by powerful interests, heroin is a multibillion-dollar business, which requires a steady and secure commodity flow. One of the hidden objectives of the war [in Afghanistan] was effectively to restore the CIA sponsored drug trade to its historical levels and exert direct control over the drug routes.

One of the hidden objectives of the war [in Afghanistan] was effectively to restore the CIA sponsored drug trade to its historical levels and exert direct control over the drug routes.

The global narcotics market is estimated by the UN to be of the order of $400-500 billion a year.

What distinguishes narcotics from legal commodity trade is that narcotics constitute a major source of wealth formation not only for organized crime but also for the US intelligence apparatus, which also represents a powerful actor in the spheres of finance and banking.

Intelligence agencies and powerful business syndicates, which are allied with organized crime, are competing for the strategic control over the heroin routes. The multi-billion dollar revenues of narcotics are deposited in the Western banking system. Most of the large international banks, together with their affiliates in the offshore banking havens, launder large amounts of narco-dollars.

This trade can only prosper if the main actors involved in narcotics have "political friends in high places". Legal and illegal undertakings are increasingly intertwined; the dividing line between "business people" and criminals is blurred.

Behind the trade in narcotics, there are powerful business and financial interests.

The productive system underlying the Golden Crescent heroin market is protected by a US-sponsored regime in Kabul. US foreign policy serves these interests. Geopolitical and military control over the multibillion dollar drug routes constitutes a (hidden) strategic objective, comparable, in some regards, to the militarization of oil pipeline routes out of Central Asia.

The UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) estimates that in 2003, opium production in
Afghanistan generated "an income of one billion US dollars for farmers and US $1.3 billion for traffickers, equivalent to over half of its national income.

The narcotics trade is characterized by a hierarchy of prices, from the farming price in Afghanistan, upwards to the final retail price on the streets of London, Paris and New York. The street price is 80-100 times the price paid to the farmer.

Slightly more than a billion dollars gross revenue to farmers in Afghanistan (2004) would generate global narcotics earnings of the order of 90 billion dollars.

... These global proceeds accrue to business syndicates, intelligence agencies, organized crime, financial institutions, wholesalers, retailers, etc., involved directly or indirectly in the drug trade. In turn, the proceeds are deposited in Western banks, which constitute an essential mechanism in the laundering of dirty money.

Money laundering, according to IMF estimates for the 1990s, was between 590 billion and 1.5 trillion dollars a year, representing 2-5 percent of global GDP.

The proceeds of the drug trade are deposited in the banking system. Drug money is laundered in the numerous offshore banking havens in Switzerland, Luxembourg, the British Channel Islands, the Cayman Islands and some 50 other locations around the globe. It is here that criminal syndicates involved in the drug trade and the representatives of the world's largest commercial banks interact. Dirty money is deposited in these offshore havens, which are controlled by major Western banks and financial institutions. The latter, therefore, have a vested interest in maintaining and sustaining the drug trade.

... Once the money has been laundered, it can be recycled into bona fide investments not only in real estate, hotels, etc, but also in other areas such as the services economy and manufacturing. Dirty and covert money is also funneled into various financial instruments including speculative stock exchange transactions (derivatives), primary commodities, stocks and government bonds.

The proceeds of the [Afghan heroin] trade are the source of wealth formation outside Afghanistan, largely reaped by powerful financial and business/criminal interests within Western countries. This process of wealth accumulation resulting from the drug trade is sustained and supported by the US "War on Terrorism". Decisionmaking in the US State Department, the CIA and the Pentagon is instrumental in supporting this highly profitable multibillion dollar trade, third in commodity value after oil and the arms trade.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, the CIA had been running a pre-planned simulation to explore the emergency response issues that would be created if a plane were to strike a building. The simulation was held at the CIA Chantilly Virginia Reconnaissance Office.

... The news concerning the 9/11 Chantilly aircraft crashing simulation was hushed up. It was not made public at the time. It was revealed almost a year later, in the form of an innocuous announcement of a Homeland Security Conference.

[Regarding the events of 9/11] we know from carefully documented research that:
* There were stand-down orders on 9/11. The US Air force did not intervene.
* There was a cover-up of the WTC and Pentagon investigations. The WTC rubble was removed before it could be examined. The plane debris at the Pentagon are unaccounted for.
*There were reports of significant financial gains made as a result of 9/11, from insider trading in the days prior to 9/11.
* Mystery surrounds WTC Building 7, which collapsed or was "pulled" down in the afternoon of September 11, 2001.

In theory, the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 adopted in the wake of the US civil war, prevents the military from intervening in civilian police and judicial functions. This law has been central to the functioning of constitutional government.

While the Posse Comitatus Act is still on the books, in practice the legislation is no longer effective in preventing the militarization of civilian institutions.

Both the legislation inherited from the Clinton administration and the post 9/11 PATRIOT Acts I and II have blurred] the line between military and civilian roles. They allow the military to intervene in judicial and law enforcement activities even in the absence of an emergency situation.

The Center for Law and Military Operations, based in Charlottesville, Virginia has published a "useful" Handbook entitled "Domestic Operational Law for Judge Advocates," which prepares for new "law enforcement" missions for the Military.

The Center for Law and Military Operations has published a Handbook entitled "Domestic Operational Law for Judge Advocates". According to Frank Morales, the Handbook:

... attempts to solidify, from a legal standpoint, Pentagon penetration of America and it's 'operations other than war,' essentially providing the US corporate elite with lawful justification for its class war against the American people, specifically those that resist the "new world law and order" agenda.

On the 7th of July 2005 at 8.50 am, three bombs exploded simultaneously on underground trains in central London. The fourth explosion occurred approximately one hour later on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square, close to King's Cross. Tragically, 56 people were killed and more than seven hundred people were injured. The alleged suicide bombers were reported to have died in the blast.

The explosions coincided with the opening sessions of the Group of Eight (G-8) meetings at Gleneagles, Scotland, hosted by Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Without supporting evidence, the attacks were presented as an assault on the "civilized world" by "Islamic terrorists".

... Within hours of the 7/7 London bomb attacks, and prior to the conduct of a police investigation, the
British authorities had already identified "Enemy Number One" as the mastermind behind the 7/7 attacks.

... The 7/7 attacks served to distract public attention from the broader issue of the war, which had resulted in more than 100,000 civilian deaths in Iraq since the outset of the occupation.

The London 7/7 attacks provided a new legitimacy to those who had ordered the illegal invasion of Iraq. They contributed to significantly weakening the antiwar and civil rights movements, while triggering an atmosphere of fear and racial hatred across Britain and the European Union.

A fictional "scenario" of multiple bomb attacks on London's underground took place at exactly the same time as the bomb attack on July 7, 2005.

Peter Power, Managing Director of Visor Consultants, a private firm on contract to the London Metropolitan Police, described in a BBC interview how he had organized and conducted the anti-terror drill, on behalf of an unnamed business client.

The fictional scenario was based on simultaneous bombs going off at exactly the same time at the underground stations where the real attacks were occurring:

POWER: At half past nine this morning [July 7, 2005] we were actually running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing up right now.

HOST: To get this quite straight, you were running an exercise to see how you would cope with this and it happened while you were running the exercise?

POWER: Precisely, and it was about half past nine this morning, we planned this for a company and for obvious reasons I don't want to reveal their name but they're listening and they'll know it. And we had a room full of crisis managers for the first time they'd met and so within five minutes we made a pretty rapid decision that this is the real one and so we went through the correct drills of activating crisis management procedures to jump from slow time to quick time thinking and so on.

Peter Power is a former senior Scotland Yard official specializing in counterterrorism.

The Israeli embassy had been advised in advance by Scotland Yard of an impending bomb attack [London, July 7, 2005]:

Just before the blasts, Scotland Yard called the security officer at the Israeli Embassy to say they had received warnings of possible attacks, the official said.

Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was warned by his embassy not to attend an economic conference organized by the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in collaboration with the Israeli embassy and Deutsche Bank.

Netanyahu was staying at the Aidridge Hotel in Mayfair. The conference venue was a few miles away at the Great Eastern Hotel close to the Liverpool subway station; where one of the bomb blasts occurred.

On October 17, 2000, eleven months before 9/11, Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, of The Blackstone Group, L.P, purchased the participating mortgage secured by World Trade Center, Building 7.

On April 26, 2001 the Port Authority leased the WTC for 99 years to Silverstein Properties and Westfield America Inc.

... This transfer from the New York and New Jersey Port Authority was tantamount to the privatization of the WTC Complex. The official press release described it as "the richest real estate prize in New York City history".

Explicitly included in the agreement was that Silverstein and Westfield "were given the right to rebuild the structures if they were destroyed".

In this transaction, Silverstein signed a rental contract for the WTC over 99 years... Silverstein put in 14 million dollars of his own money. The annual payment on the lease was of the order of 115 million dollars.

In the wake of the WTC attacks, Silverstein sued for some $7.1 billion in insurance money, double the amount of the value of the 99 year lease.

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