America’s Covert War in Iraq
by Mike Whitney
Max Fuller has written the most disturbing and thought provoking article of the year. In his “Crying Wolf: Media Disinformation and Death Squads in Occupied Iraq”, (Global Research) Fuller painstakingly lays out the details and documentation to prove that the United States intelligence agencies are behind the vast incidents of murder and torture being carried out in Iraq today. If Fuller’s thesis is correct, then the War on Terror, that mighty engine of imperial carnage, is nothing more than a public relations scam intended to enlist public support for an unpopular conflict
The war on terror is the “seminal lie” from which all the administration’s criminal excesses are mere tributaries. America’s unprovoked aggression in Iraq, as well as the appalling assault on civil liberties, has been carried out in the name of the war on terror. In fact, it has been used as to mask everything from police-state legislation at home to massive human rights violations abroad. The war on terror is an all-consuming fraud that poses the greatest threat to personal freedom and global security the world has ever seen. If unchallenged, the dictatorial-powers of the president will continue to increase and the world to be plunged into another century of war.
Fuller’s article sweeps away the illusions created by the war on terror. With laser-like intensity he focuses attention on the most expansive clandestine Intel-operation of all time; the terrorizing of an entire nation, pushing it inexorably towards civil war. The Interior Ministry is the epicenter of Iraq’s violent malaise. It is the headquarters for the Badr and Wolf Brigades; the American-trained death squads which are responsible for the massive assassination program directed at “alleged” Sunni resistance fighters. The torture chambers, death squads, and random bombings are not caused by foreign terrorists, nor are they the work of Iranian agents striving for a theocratic regime in Baghdad. They are, in fact, the nefarious activities of American puppet-masters, who matriculated in the terror wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador. Now, under Uncle Sam’s benign gaze, they are plying their trade in Iraq; wreaking havoc and spreading suffering on an unimaginable scale.
What does this mean?
It means that the “central front in the war on terror” is a phantom; a specter; a chimera that cloaks itself in the dull braying of plutocrats who promise democracy, but only deliver greater deprivation, sorrow and fear. It means that the ideological headwaters of global terrorism is Washington and that behind the scratchy façade of Al Qaida videos and dubious accounts of suicide bombers, the insidious fist of the imperial master continues to pound away at its victims. It means that, as Martin Luther King said, “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own country.”
The media has played a pivotal role in trying to obfuscate the details of America’s involvement in the terror-war. By characterizing the hundreds of murders of Sunni men as merely the unlucky victims of tit-for-tat sectarian violence or of rogue Shiite militias, the media has concealed the bloody fingerprints of the Central Intelligence Agency and their Iraqi consorts. But, as Fuller deftly demonstrates, the more likely explanation is that the Ministry is executing a clear strategy of terror devised and directed by American managers.
The media’s disinformation campaign is designed to shift blame from American Intelligence agencies to alleged sectarian rivals. This creates the rationale for civil war, which advances American policy objectives of Balkanizing the country to control its resources.
The one reporter who diverged from these fabrications was Yasser Salihee, reporter for Knight-Ridder news. Salihee had uncovered critical information about the weaponry, vehicles and origins of the death squads, and was expected to file reports on those topics. His coverage, however, was cut short when he was assassinated in a gangland style hit at a checkpoint outside Baghdad by an American sniper. With just one precision shot to the forehead, another unembedded journalist was removed from covering Bush’s folly.
Fuller’s research exposes the Interior Ministry as the hub of the clandestine death squad activity. The assumption that the ministry is manned exclusively by theocratic Shiites is just more misleading gibberish. In fact, one of the more brutal counterinsurgency groups, the Sunni-led Special Police Commandos, is headed by a former officer in Saddam’s Baath Party. (The Commandos were founded by the son of the former Iraqi Chief of Staff Falah al-Naqib, who many believed to be a CIA asset.) The connections of Interior Ministry chieftains to their CIA managers are deep and confusing but, as Fuller notes, “the Police Commandos were formed under the experienced tutelage and oversight of veteran US counterinsurgency fighters, and from the outset conducted joint-force operations with elite and highly secretive US special-forces units.” (Reuters, National Review Online)
Fuller says: “A key figure in the development of the Special Police Commandos was James Steele, a former US Army special forces operative who cut his teeth in Vietnam before moving on to direct the US military mission in El Salvador at the height of that country’s civil war… Another US contributor was the same Steven Casteel who as the most senior US advisor within the Interior Ministry brushed off serious and well-substantiated accusations of appalling human right violations as Œrumor and innuendo’…Casteel’s background is significant because this kind of intelligence-gathering support role and the production of death lists are characteristic of US involvement in counterinsurgency programs and constitute the underlying thread in what can appear to be random, disjointed killing sprees.”
Needless, to say, the CIA does not move major assets like Steele and Casteel into a prickly situation like Iraq to shuffle papers by a water-cooler. These are the main gears in the machinery of the Iraqi death squads; the movable parts in Washington’s apparatus of state terror. There is nothing either “random” or “disjointed” in the butchery produced by their labors.
Fuller adds: “The Police Commando headquarters has become the hub of a nationwide command, control, communications, computer and intelligence operations centre, courtesy of the US (Defend America).”
The administration has provided a “state of the art” communications network to “coordinate mass murder”.
“DeBaathification” is a sham. Many of the top-ranking officials in the Ministry are Sunnis, including “deputy Minister for Intelligence Affairs (also leader of the Interior Ministry’s spy service) currently held by General Hussain Kamel”.
So, too, the notion of rogue Iranian-supported militias carrying out random attacks on “alleged” Sunnis suspects is equally deceptive.
Nearly everything that appears in the corporate media has been intentionally misleading as part of the broader information war, to keep the American people from grasping the truth about the chief perpetrator of terrorism in Iraq today; the US intelligence agencies. As the Los Angeles Times notes, “The entire intelligence establishment is a creation of the Anglo-American secret services, which began building at least as early as the beginning of the occupation.”
You’ve been fooled; I’ve been fooled; and everything the Pentagon has said has been a lie. The fetid entrails of this terror-beast reside in Washington, not Baghdad or Tehran.
The recent revelations (carefully excluded from the American press) of two British commandos dressed in traditional Arab garb caught in Basra with a trunk-load full of explosives (William Bowles) has even cast doubt on the involvement of the intelligence agencies in the rash of terror bombings plaguing the country. Certainly, the ensuing anger generated from these attacks is more compatible with the administration’s goals of sectarian division than they are with the nebulous theories about the apocryphal al-Zarqawi.
“What is possible is that both sides of the apparent sectarian violence are run as part of a huge CIA-lead intelligence operation designed to split Iraq at the seams. I tentatively suggest that the intelligence apparatus at the Interior Ministry is contriving attacks on Sunnis and that British and US Special Forces in conjunction with the intelligence apparatus at the Iraqi Defense Ministry are fabricating insurgent bombings of Shias. Overseeing the entire operation is the Œcream’ of CMAD under the direction of top-level US intelligence asset Mowaffak Rubaie, a man already experienced at participating in bombing campaigns, undoubtedly working hand in glove with the CIA and the National Security Council in the US.”
“a huge CIA-lead intelligence operation designed to split Iraq at the seams”.
Given Fuller’s thesis, it’s likely that most of the alleged “suicide” bombings are nothing more than stationary vehicles set off by remote-control and reported as suicide attacks by the compliant media to perpetuate the racial stereotypes of crazed Muslim fanatics.
Fuller’s article is a difficult read with hefty documentation that tends to have a mind-numbing effect. Never the less, the ponderous emphasis on facts and actual news reports serve his greater purpose of proving a very tenuous and thorny theory, that the US is overseeing a humongous clandestine operation that has fractured the country and destabilized the region. As Fuller says, “(The) presence of Anglo-American forces in Iraq does not merely exacerbate the present violence; in Iraq we are the violence.”
The fictitious War on Terror
The war on terror is the underlying myth that animates the American war-machine and breathes life into the coercive apparatus of state terror. Fuller’s article uncovers a fissure in the block-wall of government secrecy and gives us a good look at the worm-infested core of imperial rule. Global terrorism flows from Washington like a toxic river that has breached its banks and threatens to flood everything in its path.