23 November 2006

Do the Guardian leader writers read their own newspaper?

Today's Guardian leader is called Death in Beirut and talks about cui bono - who benefits? - in relation to the assassination of Pierre Gemayel.

It says "most see two likely suspects behind the assassination of the industry minister, Pierre Gemayel. Neighbouring Syria is still a powerful player in the Land of the Cedars despite having been forced to withdraw its troops and intelligence agents last year after being blamed for the murder of Rafik Hariri, the former prime minister...The other prime suspect in this latest case is Hizbullah"

Don't they even read their own bloody newspaper?

In a special report in today's Guardian "Who benefits? Rival theories over the murder of Gemayel", Clancy Chassay writes:

"There are two competing theories in Beirut for who killed Pierre Gemayel."

"The US-backed government and its supporters accuse Syria and, in some cases, its ally Hizbullah." Note that the US is one of its supporters.

"The other main theory accuses the US or its allies in Lebanon of killing Mr Gemayel to stop the opposition, led by Hizbullah, from bringing down the government and curtailing American influence. It also suggests an attempt to isolate Syria once again, just as the west wants to re-engage Damascus over possible help in Iraq. "The killing of Gemayel gave the embattled government a bit of breathing space and reinvigorated the pro-government forces' withering anti-Syrian cause, which has been primarily fuelled by the assassination of its leaders," said Amal Saad Ghorayeb of Beirut's Carnegie Middle East Centre."

This is completely ignored by the leader writer. Why?

I mean how blinkered can you get?

It couldn't possibly be the US or Israel, could it? I mean they have absolutely nothing to gain have they? Neither of them have a history of international terrorism, using targeted murders, or are experts in the art of carbombing, are they? Neither of them have special forces and intelligence that indulge in false flag operations, do they?

Michael McClintock, Director of Research at Human Rights First has written a book called "Instruments of Statecraft: U.S. Guerilla Warfare, Counterinsurgency, and Counterterrorism, 1940-1990", which was published in 1992 by Pantheon Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

It is now available free online here.

In the preface he writes:

"Since World War II, assassination, sabotage, kidnaping, torture, the overthrow of foreign governments, and other terroristic activities have been intrinsic to US national defense policy. These have been justified time and again as necessary to combat communist insurgency and, more recently, terrorism-as the only effective response to the barbarism ascribed to, or projected onto, US enemies- be they Sandinistas or the PLO." (We could also add later examples like Saddam Hussein, Iran, etc.).

"So it is that America has maintained forces -including the OSS, the CIA, the Green Berets, and the Delta Force-that have specialized in dirty warfare with impunity, in Nicaragua, Lebanon, Laos, Vietnam, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Africa, Cuba, Central America, and Greece, among other places."

In 2002 we first heard about the Proactive and Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG) from an article in the LA Times by its military affairs analyst William Arkin "The Secret War".

"In what may well be the largest expansion of covert action by the armed forces since the Vietnam era, the Bush administration has turned to what the Pentagon calls the "black world" to press the war on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

The Defense Department is building up an elite secret army with resources stretching across the full spectrum of covert capabilities. New organizations are being created. The missions of existing units are being revised. Spy planes and ships are being assigned new missions in anti-terror and monitoring the "axis of evil."

"The development of the Pentagon's covert counter-terror capability has its roots in the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The Army created a highly compartmentalized organization that could collect clandestine intelligence independent of the rest of the U.S. intelligence community and follow through with covert military action.

Known as the Intelligence Support Activity, or ISA, when it was established in 1981, this unit fought in drug wars and counter-terror operations from the Middle East to South America. It built a reputation for daring, flexibility and a degree of lawlessness."

"Today, the ISA operates under the code name Gray Fox"

"Rumsfeld's influential Defense Science Board 2002 Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism says in its classified "outbrief" -- a briefing drafted to guide other Pentagon agencies -- that the global war on terrorism "requires new strategies, postures and organization."

The board recommends creation of a super-Intelligence Support Activity, an organization it dubs the Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group, (P2OG), to bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence, and cover and deception.

Among other things, this body would launch secret operations aimed at "stimulating reactions" among terrorists

According to Seymour Hersh, Gray Fox was recently (2005) given a new code name and was formally assigned from the Army to the Special Operations Command (socom) in Tampa in July 2002. The aim being to take away Congressional oversight according to an anonymous Republican member of Congress with a substantial role in national security oversight quoted in the Washington Post in January 2005 "It sounds like there's an angle here of, 'Let's get around having any oversight by having the military do something that normally the [CIA] does, and not tell anybody.' That immediately raises all kinds of red flags for me. Why aren't they telling us?".

There is enough information in the public domain to conclude that Gray Fox is now P2OG.

Asia Times reported: "Defense Science Board (DSB) conducted a 2002 "Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism". Excerpts from that study, dated August 16, were leaked and obtained by the Federation of American Scientists, which posted them on their website. The report was produced by a 10-member panel of military experts that included Vice Admiral William O Studeman, former director of the National Security Agency.

Although the study is filled with lots of the usual buzzwords and phrases that Pentagon planners love, such as "robust connectivity, agile ground forces, adaptive joint command and control and discriminant use of force", one thing that does stand out is its call for preemption/proaction/interdiction/disruption/quick-response capabilities

The other thing that stands out in the DSB Power Point presentaton which is available online, is the reference on p.26 to

"Highly specialized people with unique technical and intelligence skills such as information operations, PSYOP, network attack, covert activities, SIGINT, HUMINT, SOF, influence warfare/deception operations "

Project Censored is right when it says: "Exactly what type of actions would be required to "stimulate reactions" by terrorist groups has yet to be revealed."

Chris Floyd has suggested "agents provocateurs, perhaps, who infiltrate groups then plan and direct the attacks themselves?--they can then take measures against the "states/sub-state actors accountable" for "harboring" the Rumsfeld-roused gangs. What kind of measures exactly? Well, the classified Pentagon program puts it this way: "Their sovereignty will be at risk.""

Some of us have no doubts.

No comments: