By Webster Griffin Tarpley

Washington DC, June 6 - Intelligence patterns monitored here now point conclusively to the grave threat of an imminent new round of ABC (atomic-bacteriological-chemical) terror attacks in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and possibly other nations. These attacks could include nuclear detonations, radiological dirty bombs, poison gas and other chemical weapons, or biological agents, to be unleashed in such urban settings as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, Vancouver BC, or London. The goal of these operations would be to produce a worldwide shock several orders of magnitude greater than the original 9-11, with a view to stopping the collapse of the Bush administration, the Wall Street-centered financial structures, and the US-UK strategic position generally. The attacks would be attributed by US/UK intelligence to controlled patsy terrorist groups who would be linked by the media to countries like Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, Egypt, or Saudi Arabia, thus setting these states up for attack. The organizers of the attacks would in reality be substantially the same secret command cell in the United States which set up the 9-11 events and its associated networks, which have been able to continue in operation because of the abject failure of all 9-11 investigations to date to identify them. These forces are now in a desperate flight forward to escape from their current increasingly grim position. Their goal is now to establish a neocon fascist dictatorship in the United States, complete with martial law, special tribunals, press and media censorship, and the full pervasive apparatus of the modern police state.

The chatter in Washington points to state-sponsored terrorism on a grand scale, with the desperados of the neocon faction calling the shots. The looming event will be an "own goal" of the Americans. Given the prominence of the Congress, it might also be called Operation Guy Fawkes, recalling the state plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament on November 5, 1605.

In short, a coup d'etat is being prepared in the United States - not a coup against the existing government, but rather for the purpose of disciplining and dragooning the entire political process for escalated foreign aggression, with the homeland secured by emergency rule. It goes without saying that those associated with such a coup are felons, war criminals, and traitors to their country.

The leading edge of the propaganda campaign designed to establish the credibility of the coming ABC (atomic, bacteriological, chemical) terror wave is the May 26 press conference of Attorney General Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller to announce the coming summer "perfect storm" of terrorism. According to advance wire service reports, "U.S. officials have obtained new intelligence deemed highly credible indicating Al-Qaeda or other terrorists are in the United States and preparing to launch a major attack this summer….(AP, 25 May 2004)

The following is a partial grid of evidence backing up this thesis. This overview cannot be exhaustive, but is sufficiently comprehensive to establish that a new pattern does indeed exist.

Official Statements

Since the beginning of April, there has been a qualitative escalation in the urgency and vehemence of the terror demagogy of the Bush administration. Bush and especially Cheney have made terror warnings their stock in trade since September 11, 2001, but early April 2004 stands out as a watershed, for reasons which are discussed below.

A dramatic turning point on the way to the current emergency came on April 21, when Bush delivered two speeches which represented a palpable escalation of the tone of his usual demagogy of terrorism and fear. In the afternoon, he assured the Newspaper Association of America, composed of newspaper editors, that Iran "will be dealt with" if they pursue a nuclear development program. Bush went on to characterize the United States as "a battlefield in the war on terror." He was at pains to build up the stature of Al-Qaeda, whose members he emphatically characterized as "smart…tough…and sophisticated." Because the terrorists are so formidable, Bush said the United States "is a hard country to defend. Our intelligence is good. It's just never perfect, is the problem. We are disrupting some cells here in America. We're chasing people down. But it is - we've got a big country."

Later, Bush spoke to the same themes at a closed-door gathering at the White House: "...On Tuesday evening, Bush told Republican congressional leaders during a meeting at the White House that it was all but certain that terrorists would attempt a major attack on the United States before the election, according to a congressional aide. The leaders were struck by Bush's definitiveness and gravity, the aide said..." (Washington Post, 4/22/04)

Does Bush realize what he is saying? Is he fully witting, or partially so? Bush's state of mind is impossible to determine, although some insights on his increasing impairment are offered below. It must be remembered that an operation like this one depends on many people doing things that make sense to them within their own limited purviews, but which are in fact dictated by the needs of the terror coup. Bush may think he is just practicing smart politics by inculcating fear in the US citizenry; this has been the administration's stock in trade for some time. The reality behind the statements is that there is an insurrectionary network of moles inside the federal government who will stop at nothing. They march to the tune of a private command center outside of the government which also deploys patsies and expert professionals. Not every official who parrots the terror line is aware of what is coming, but his speechwriter or other handlers may be. When we come to figures like Cheney, the likelihood that he is a witting participant rises substantially.

Vice President Cheney has been predicting imminent terrorist attacks on the US in many of his speeches since no later than May 20, 2002. On that day, Cheney went on Fox News Sunday to announce that "In my opinion, the prospects of a future attack against the United States are almost certain." For Cheney, the question of a new terrorist assault on the US is "not a matter of if, but when." Cheney has been a virtual Johnny One Note on this score for months.

Several weeks later, an account published under the title "White House Nightmare Scenario" in the "Washington Whispers" column of US News and World Report reflected the thinking of top Bush officials about the relation between terrorism and the coming US presidential elections. According to this article, 'White House officials say they've got a "working premise" about terrorism and the presidential election: It's going to happen. "We assume," says a top administration official, "an attack will happen leading up to the election." And, he added, "it will happen here." There are two worst-case scenarios, the official says. The first posits an attack on Washington, possibly the Capitol, which was believed to be the target of the 9/11 jet that crashed in Pennsylvania. Theory 2: smaller but more frequent attacks in Washington and other major cities leading up to the election. To prepare, the administration has been holding secret anti-terrorism drills to make sure top officials know what to do. "There was a sense," says one official involved in the drills, "of mass confusion on 9/11. Now we have a sense of order." Unclear is the political impact, though most Bushies think the nation would rally around the president. "I can tell you one thing," adds the official sternly, "we won't be like Spain," which tossed its government days after the Madrid train bombings.' (US News and World Report, 17 May 2004)

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice told Fox News on Sunday, April 19, that the government is bracing for possible terrorist attacks before November's Presidential election. Referencing March's Madrid bombings, she said the opportunity for terrorists to influence the election may "be too good to pass up for them," and that "the terrorists might have learned, we hope, the wrong lesson from Spain." Rice's comments in full: "I think we also have to take seriously that [terrorists] might try during the cycle leading up to the election to do something…. In some ways, it seems like it would be too good to pass up for them, and so we are actively looking at that possibility, actively trying to make certain that we are responding appropriately." Hinting that preparations to defend against a terror attack may not be successful, she added, "The hard thing about terrorism is that they only have to be right once, and we have to be right 100 percent of the time. And nobody can be certain there won't be another attack."

Condoleezza Rice's remarks came in the context of a lengthy US tour by Jose Maria Aznar, the defeated Spanish Prime Minister. Aznar was ousted in Spain's March 13 elections, partly because 90% of Spaniards rejected Aznar's subservience to Bush in joining the US invasion coalition in Iraq, and partly because Spanish voters were convinced that Aznar was lying about the March 11 terrorist attacks on commuter trains in the Madrid region. Aznar is counted as a neocon, and his party contains the remnants of Francisco Franco's falangist-fascist apparatus. Aznar is associated with thesis that the March 11 terrorist attacks decided the Spanish elections in favor of the PSOE (socialist) challenger, Zapatero. Aznar also claims that his own defeat was a victory for terrorism, since the newly elected Zapatero, acting in conformity with the will of the Spanish people, withdrew the Spanish troop contingent from Iraq as soon as he had taken office. The Spanish elections were viewed with hysteria by Washington elites, first because of the Spanish quitting coalition, but also because the terrorist attacks had failed to produce the expected effects. The Washington consensus had previously been that terrorism would infallibly stampede the voters of any country into voting for the incumbent, but this time it was the anti-Bush challenger who was the beneficiary. Aznar is known to have attempted to call off the Spanish vote and to continue to ruling by decree, but his efforts were blocked. Aznar's briefing would seem to have included the notion that if there is going to be pre-election terrorism, it needs to be of sufficient magnitude to provide a pretext for calling off all scheduled elections.

In mid-April, Aznar began issuing warnings of election-related terrorism. These warnings were directed most immediately to Tony Blair and George Bush. Aznar said, "I told George Bush, and Tony Blair and other political leaders to be extremely careful before elections ... and to be very vigilant." But there are also major election campaigns going on in Canada (at the federal level) and in the 25 member states of the European Union for the European Parliament. (Once Noticias, Once-TV, 4/19/04. Mexico)

During his visit to California, Aznar referred more than once about a terrorist attack taking place in the United States in June, 2004, which would lead to a Federal Emergency Management Agency takeover of the U.S. (International Herald Tribune, May 15, 16, 17, Los Angeles Times, May 15)

On May 18, El Pais reported that Aznar had visited Los Angeles, and had then gone on to Washington, where he met Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. Present at the meeting, reports El Pais, were various Democratic and Republican Congressmen. After the meeting, during an intervention at the Heritage Foundation, Rumsfeld spoke about Aznar's briefing: "In Spain, in Madrid, the terrorists changed the result of the elections, without any doubt. In a premeditated way as consequence of the aim of the terrorists, the election results were changed. I had dinner with Prime Minister Aznar, and he is convinced that this is how it happened," said Rumsfeld. In California, Aznar told the press on Monday that Islamic terrorism has as objective to influence elections in democratic countries. "If they could do it in Spain, why would they not intend to do it in another place?" he said and added, "It's important to understand that the terrorists will do everything to change the next elections in the USA. They will do everything possible to make the U.S. fail." He furthermore said in Los Angeles that he thought that the government of Zapatero sent an "inappropriate message to the terrorists by withdrawing the troops." Aznar also had a 40-minute meeting with President Bush in the White House. Present at the meeting were: Vice President Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, Colin Powell, and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. The White House press spokesman identified the meeting as "private" - "a meeting with a good friend of the President."

An important sidelight on these statements by Aznar is the revelation that the group accused of carrying out the Madrid bombings was thoroughly penetrated by the Spanish police, who had at least informants within that group, according to El Mundo of May 6, 2004. El Mundo reported that among the people arrested for the Madrid bombing were two police informants. This paper published an exclusive report given by Rafa Zhueri, who was among those arrested after the March 11 terror bombings. Zhueri revealed that he worked for years as police informant for a part of the Spanish Civil Guard (UCO -Undidad Central Operativa). The article is headlined "I informed the Civil Guard that an Asturian offered me dynamite."

More information on the extremely suspicious nature of the Madrid bombing was reported by the Swiss daily Neue Zuercher Zeitung on May 27 in an article entitled "Crime Under the Eyes of the Police." This lengthy piece expresses amazement that the alleged perpetrators of these terrorist acts were not sophisticated sleeper-cell agents, but notorious criminals well-known over many years to European intelligence agencies, including the Spanish ones. Jamal Zougham, one of the main March 11 suspects was arrested after March 11. He had also been rounded up after September 11, 2001. Although well-known to police and intelligence services of Spain and France and under continuous investigation, he was nevertheless allowed to travel to France, Germany, Britain, and Norway, where he met with others under surveillance as terrorists. Furthermore, at least two of those arrested in Madrid had been previously identified as active in drug-trafficking. In addition, the mine worker who is accused of having procured the explosives for the March 11 attacks is also a known drug dealer. There are reliable reports that he and another of those arrested have worked as police informants. The mystery is therefore why such people were able to prepare a bomb attack of such dimensions under the noses of the police, the NZZ writes. The article suggests that the real operation was carried out not by these suspects, but by others. In reality, those now under arrest most likely represent a collection of patsies. The real prime suspects in the Madrid attacks are neither ETA nor Al-Qaeda, but rather Spanish and Italian neofascists of the Stefano delle Chiaie school, whose modus operandi has always been attacks on trains, as seen in the 1974 Italicus bombing, and the 1980 Bologna railroad station explosion which killed upwards of 80 persons.

On May 20, 2004 various wires reported that in the U.S. between May 16, 17 and 19, maneuvers have been conducted by Homeland Security Apparatus, simulating terrorist attacks. On May 19, Yahoo reported a statement made by Lt. Gen. (ret) Patrick Hughes, who told AP in an interview, that while America has become better at predicting and safeguarding itself against attacks since Sept. 11, 2001, he fears that new terrorists "are being made every single day on the streets of the Middle East." Based on captured material, interviews, and other sources of information, Hughes said he believes Al-Qaeda wants to strike with something other than a conventional explosive device. It is reported that he worries about chemical and biological attacks, including a dirty bomb.

The Kean-Hamilton Commission of 9-11 has not produced any serious insights into those events, but it has served as a propaganda soapbox for figures such as the former Navy Secretary and establishment operative John Lehman. In the recent New York sessions of the commission, Lehman stressed repeatedly that the overwhelming consensus among US officials is that new terror attacks are coming soon. This view was shared by former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

The former leader of the US Central Command, Gen. Tommy Franks, told the magazine Cigar Afficionado of November 2003 that he considered it possible that the US would be under emergency rule in the coming months.

Kerry Chimes In

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry has not offered an alternative to the Bush demagogy of terror. Instead, the Skull & Bones Boston Brahmin oligarch Kerry has enthusiastically embraced the Bush-Cheney nightmare vision of the United States as a nuclear terrorist battlefield. While Kerry may believe that he is merely pandering to the demands of certain pro-Likud pressure groups, he is in fact providing precious assistance to the most sinister plot yet directed against the United States. On May 27, Kerry began a series of speeches billed as his 11-day foreign policy tour. Some samples of his remarks:

"The single greatest threat we face in the world today [is] a terrorist armed with nuclear weapons," Kerry said in Palm Beach on June 1. "Take away politics, strip away the labels: since that dark day in September, have we done everything we could to secure these dangerous weapons and bomb making materials? No! ... There was a time when the possibility of nuclear war was the most important responsibility entrusted to every American President. The phrase 'having your finger on the nuclear button' meant something very real.... The proposal I am laying out today: to ask that America launch a new mission… to prevent the world's deadliest weapons from falling into the world's most dangerous hands. If we secure all bomb-making materials, ensure that no new materials are produced for nuclear weapons, and end nuclear weapons programs in hostile states like North Korea and Iran, we can and will dramatically reduce the possibility of nuclear terrorism.... Here's what we must do: The first step is to safeguard all bomb-making material worldwide. That means making sure we know where they are, and then locking them up and securing them wherever they are. Our approach should treat all nuclear materials needed for bombs as if they were bombs."

Kerry was also ready to go Bush one better by adding Saudi Arabia to the target list for economic warfare and possible invasion, a notion long dear to Likudniks which has been gaining ground among some US pseudo-leftists lately. Kerry's prescription was for energy independence in order to obtain a free hand to settle with the Saudis: "If we are serious about energy independence, then we can finally be serious about confronting the role of Saudi Arabia in financing and providing ideological support of Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups," Kerry said in Seattle May 27. "We cannot continue this Administration's kid-glove approach to the supply and laundering of terrorist money.... I will launch a 'name and shame' campaign against those that are financing terror. And if they do not respond, they will be shut out of the U.S. financial system. The same goes for Saudi sponsorship of clerics who promote the ideology of Islamic terror. To put it simply, we will not do business as usual with Saudi Arabia." (www.johnkerry.com)

Nor does Kerry stop with Saudi Arabia, or the usual target of Iran and North Korea (see his New York Times interview of May 28). His recent foreign policy speeches, all built around the danger of nuclear terrorism, are replete with threats against India, Pakistan, China and Russia - some very formidable powers which even the Bush neocons have shied away from so far. Kerry has been blunt about US pretensions to exercise custody over Russia's nuclear deterrent: "More than a decade has passed since the Berlin Wall came down. But Russia still has nearly 20,000 nuclear weapons, and enough nuclear material to produce 50,000 more Hiroshima-sized bombs. For most of these weapons and materials, cooperative security upgrades have not been completed. . . And at the current pace, it will take 13 years to secure potential bomb material in the former Soviet Union. We cannot wait that long. I will ensure that we remove this material entirely from sites that can't be adequately secured during my first term. . . It is hard to believe that we actually secured less bomb making material in the two years after 9/11 than we had in the two years before. At my first summit with the Russian President, I will seek an agreement to sweep aside the key obstacles slowing our efforts to secure Russia's nuclear stockpiles."

The North Korean crisis, with its alleged nuclear proliferation dangers, was largely manufactured by the US as a means of dragooning South Korean and Japanese support during the preparations for the US invasion of Iraq. Here Kerry again offers a more strident version of the Bush-Cheney line: "In East Asia, North Korea poses a genuine nuclear threat, while we have begun to strip American troops to relieve the overburdened forces in Iraq," he said in Seattle May 27. "This Administration has been fixated on Iraq while the nuclear dangers from North Korea have multiplied," Kerry said in Palm Beach June 1. "We know that North Korea has sold ballistic missiles and technology in the past. And according to recent reports, North Korean uranium ended up in Libyan hands. The North Koreans have made it clear to the world - and to the terrorists - that they are open for business and will sell to the highest bidder. We should have no illusions about Kim Jong-il, so any agreement must have rigorous verification and lead to complete and irreversible elimination of North Korea's nuclear weapons program. For eighteen months, we've negotiated over the shape of the table while the North Koreans allegedly have made enough new fuel to make six to nine nuclear bombs." On June 1, Kerry also attacked China, India, Pakistan, and Iran as places which must show greater cooperation with international controls over all nuclear materials.

In the midst of his relentless evocation of the looming threat of nuclear terrorism, Kerry also embraced the Bush-Cheney preventive war doctrine: "This strategy focuses not only on what we must do, but on what we must prevent," Kerry said May 27 in Seattle. "We must ensure that lawless states and terrorists will not be armed with weapons of mass destruction. This is the single gravest threat to our security. Any potential adversary should know that we will defend ourselves against the possibility of attack by unconventional arms. If such a strike does occur, as commander-in-chief, I will respond with overwhelming and devastating force. If such an attack appears imminent, as commander-in-chief, I will do whatever is necessary to stop it. And, as commander-in-chief, I will never cede our security to anyone." (www.johnkerry.com) Many Democrats have condemned the preventive war doctrine, but these remarks by Kerry "take him close to Mr. Bush's preemption doctrine," as a Washington Post editorial pointed out on May 30. Kerry claims carte blanche to attack other states in the wake of a nuclear or other terror attack on the US. In this he is if anything more explicit and emphatic than Bush.

The key proposal of Kerry's nightmarish foreign policy tour also involved nuclear terrorism. Kerry on June 1 in affluent Palm Beach announced that he will appoint a national "nuclear terror" czar if elected. "So let it be clear: finally and fundamentally, preventing nuclear terrorism is our most urgent priority to provide for America's long-term security," he said. "That is why I will appoint a National Coordinator for Nuclear Terrorism and Counterproliferation who will work with me in the White House to marshal every effort and every ally, to combat an incalculable danger. We have to do everything we can to stop a nuclear weapon from ever reaching our shore -- and that mission begins far away. We have to secure nuclear weapons and materials at the source so that searching the containers here at the Port of Palm Beach isn't our only line of defense -- it is our last line of defense." (www.johnkerry.com)

Kerry's remarks read like a pathetic plea to the terrorist controllers to consider his competing application for the post of US martial law administrator. No matter how far Kerry may go in attempting to outflank Bush on the right, he cannot change the fact that, as long as there are elections, the Democratic Party will always have to ask for some meager concessions for the blacks, women, trade unionists, teachers, environmentalists, and lawyers who are important components of its base. But these groups are all slated for elimination in the post-coup environment, and the current administration is a more attractive vehicle for carrying out this operation than the Democratic Party ever could be, no matter what the proclivities of its leaders to betray its base.

Exercises and Incidents

On May 11-12, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) ran a large-scale exercise involving more than 2,500 federal employees to determine how the federal government could continue operating in the face of a massive terrorist attack or other catastrophe. The government employees went to more than 100 secret sites, as part of a training exercise to prepare them to operate under catastrophic conditions. The exercise, called "Forward Challenge '04," was in preparation for over a year, according to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, who spoke to reporters from an undisclosed location. (Washington Post, May 14, 2004)

Ridge has been hyping the "perfect storm" of coming terror in his own way for many weeks. Speaking at an event in Las Vegas in mid-April, Ridge said the government must "ratchet up" security from now through the 2005 inauguration, not based on "specific or credible intelligence" but rather on suspicion that high-profile political, economic and athletic events are good targets. These would include the upcoming World War II memorial dedication, and the Democratic and Republican national conventions. (USA Today, 20 April 2004)

There is also an unprecedented pattern of local and regional preparations for emergency rule and continuity of government operations. For example, Florida television station Wftv.com reported May 19th under the title "Massive Mock Terror Drill Will Span Three Local Counties" that Daytona International Speedway (Florida) will be the second stage of a three-part mock terror drill across Central Florida. This is to be "one of the largest and longest mock terror drills ever conducted in Central Florida since 9/11." The wire says that "dozens of emergency agencies will take part from all across Central Florida, with more than 1,000 responders and actors who will play victims of a simulated attack." The newswire nynewsdayd.com, under the title "City stages mock explosion in subway to test emergency protocols," reported May 16th that Lower Manhattan was swamped with 1,000 police, firefighters, and land emergency personnel responding to a simulated bombing involving scores of casualties. "The terror response drill, part of a joint city-federal plan to beef up response efforts, it is reported, came just two days before the 9/11 commission was scheduled to be in New York to grill local officials about Gotham's emergency preparedness...." The drill "was the first large scale test of a new protocol aimed at clarifying the roles of firefighters and cops at disaster scenes." Yahoo furthermore reported on May 17th that one of the largest disaster drills was staged over three days in southwest Idaho, conducted by the department of Homeland Security. The State of Georgia declared a "state of emergency," because of the summit of the group of eight industrialized nations, which begins June 8.

There is also an intensive pattern of incidents pointing in the direction of a terrorist attack on rail systems, on the Madrid model. This pattern includes suspicious activity in the Northeast rail corridor between Washington and Boston. A Philadelphia television station reported the discovery of a wireless transmitter carefully hidden in the gravel along the SEPTA (Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority) rail tracks in Philadelphia. An infrared sensor, painted black and buried in the trackside ballast, was found along the SEPTA tracks, which could be used as a triggering device. It sends a signal when something crosses its infrared beam. (WPVI News, Philadelphia, May 20)

On May 1, New York City police found five empty suitcases at Penn Station, New York FBI headquarters, and other sensitive points. According to The New York Post, the police feared that these empty suitcases represented "a test by terrorist bent on a Madrid-type attack" on commuter trains. (New York Post, May 2, 2004)

There is also an uptick in the detected activities of foreign intelligence services, such as the Mossad, on US territory. According to a Florida newspaper, for the second time in two weeks Israelis in a moving van were detained near a U.S. nuclear facility, this time at the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base near St. Marys, GA., near Sea Island, host of the [June 8] G-8 Summit." (Jacksonville Times-Union, 21 May 2004)

On May 6, British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that the new head of the British intelligence service MI-6 will be John Scarlett. The choice immediately caused protests from British political opposition leaders. Scarlett was the author and stubborn defender of the now-totally-discredited and artificially sexed-up Iraqi WMD report issued by the Blair government in support of the US-UK war drive. Dr. David Kelley lost his life in the scandal that developed around the manipulations in this report, but the role of the government was whitewashed in the inquiry conducted by Lord Hutton of the Law Lords. This appointment means that MI-6 will lack the leadership of a competent and independent professional who might act to prevent the coming terrorism, and will instead be under the domination of a political hack of dubious judgment and loyalty. (Wire services, May 6)

In addition, the US government appears to have imposed an embargo on the sharing of critical anti-terror intelligence with European authorities. Whatever the intent, the net effect of this blackout is to screen certain activities in the US from scrutiny by the allies. In an article published May 6 the German economic paper Handelsblatt reported, in reference to a similar article which appeared in the Wall Street Journal, that Spanish investigators, like many of their colleagues in Europe, are finding it very difficult to obtain information from US circles which are engaged in the fight against terrorism. Mentioned is the case of Spanish Judge Balthazar Garzon who reportedly was unable to proceed with certain investigations on Al-Qaeda after Sept 11th, like the case of Al-Qaeda member Ramzi Binalshibh, who is imprisoned in an unknown location. The problem is compounded by the fact that the anti-terrorism fight in the US is being conducted by non-public military courts and military intelligence, neither of which, as the article claims, is sharing testimony and evidence with their European colleagues for further use. (Handelsblatt, May 6; Yahoo wires, May 7)

Propaganda Buildup

The possibility of portable nuclear weapons being used against US cities has been prepared by a lengthy campaign of movies and news reports. Earlier this year the Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat reported that Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda had acquired Soviet-built tactical nuclear weapons from Ukraine, and had stored them in safe places for future use. According to a February 8, 2004 Reuters account, "after the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, a former Russian National Security adviser, Gen. Alexander Lebed, said that up to 100 portable suitcase-sized bombs were unaccounted for. Moscow has denied such weapons existed." But Lebed "said each one was equivalent to 1,000 tons of TNT and could kill as many as 100,000 people." The bombs were allegedly sold to Al-Qaeda when Ukrainian scientists visited the Afghan city of Kandahar in 1998, during the time of the Taliban regime, which the US says harbored Al-Qaeda.

Another variant involves the activities Dr. Khan, the father of the Pakistani nuclear program, who is alleged to have sold nuclear weapons technology, know-how, and equipment to all comers until his activities were exposed in recent months.

Yet another variation involves Iran, against which country the neocons, notably Ledeen, have never stopped inveighing. During the recent Hamburg, Germany trial of Abdel-Ghani Mzoudi (subsequently acquitted on charges of complicity in the 9-11 attacks), a statement was introduced into evidence by an unidentified informer of the Bundeskriminalamt who alleged that Iranian intelligence was the actual initiator of the 9-11 attacks. The statement came from an alleged Iranian defector who had supposedly fled from Iran in July 2001. According to this source, "'Department 43' of Iranian intelligence was created to plan and conduct terror attacks, and mounted joint operations with Al-Qaeda. Osama Bin Laden's son, Saad Bin Laden, had made repeated consultative visits to Iran," said a Deutsche Presse-Agentur dispatch dated 22 January 2004.

Lurid accounts of coming ABC terrorist attacks are proliferating in the US media. Whatever the subjective intentions or motivations of the authors, these accounts objectively serve as propaganda preparation for terror attacks, specifically by introducing to the US public the alien notions of emergency rule, martial law, and the state of siege, all of which are favorite themes of neocon writers going back to the Nazi Carl Schmitt.

A particularly fulsome example is the article by Michael Ignatieff which appeared on May 2, 2004 in the New York Times Magazine. Here are some excerpts:

Consider the consequences of a second major attack on the mainland United States -- the detonation of a radiological or dirty bomb, perhaps, or a low-yield nuclear device or a chemical strike in a subway. Any of these events could cause death, devastation and panic on a scale that would make 9/11 seem like a pale prelude. After such an attack, a pall of mourning, melancholy, anger and fear would hang over our public life for a generation.

An attack of this sort is already in the realm of possibility. The recipes for making ultimate weapons are on the Internet, and the materiel required is available for the right price. Democracies live by free markets, but a free market in everything -- enriched uranium, ricin, anthrax -- will mean the death of democracy. Armageddon is being privatized, and unless we shut down these markets, doomsday will be for sale. Sept. 11, for all its horror, was a conventional attack. We have the best of reasons to fear the fire next time.

A democracy can allow its leaders one fatal mistake -- and that's what 9/11 looks like to many observers -- but Americans will not forgive a second one. A succession of large-scale attacks would pull at the already-fragile tissue of trust that binds us to our leadership and destroy the trust we have in one another. Once the zones of devastation were cordoned off and the bodies buried, we might find ourselves, in short order, living in a national-security state on continuous alert, with sealed borders, constant identity checks and permanent detention camps for dissidents and aliens. Our constitutional rights might disappear from our courts, while torture might reappear in our interrogation cells. The worst of it is that government would not have to impose tyranny on a cowed populace. We would demand it for our own protection. And if the institutions of our democracy were unable to protect us from our enemies, we might go even further, taking the law into our own hands. We have a history of lynching in this country, and by the time fear and paranoia settled deep in our bones, we might repeat the worst episodes from our past, killing our former neighbors, our onetime friends. (emphasis added)

The coming of martial law to the US in the wake of a new large-scale terror attack was also the theme of Ted Koppel's Nightline broadcast of April 7, 2004. Here Koppel was joined by former terror czar Richard Clarke and the Reagan White House chief of staff Kenneth Duberstein. The broadcast was titled "The Armageddon Plan," and featured questions of continuity in government (COG) after an attack that had decimated the US Congress.

Koppel asked Duberstein: "Aren't we left for at least the foreseeable future with some sort of martial law anyway?"

Duberstein replied: "You have to suspend rights."

Koppel elaborated: "And during that period, then, and given the sense of panic that is inevitable under circumstances like this, the executive branch of government takes on extraordinary power, doesn't it?"

Clarke chimed in: "I think in any war where Washington were destroyed, inevitably, there would be a period of, for lack of a better term, something like martial law." Also taking part in this broadcast was James Mann of the Brookings Institution, author of the new book Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet, published this spring by Viking. This work contains an extensive discussion of COG operations, which also figure in John Dean's new book comparing the Bush administration to the Nixon regime. (Nightline, April 7, 2004)

No terrorist attack would be complete without the advance airing of a scenario docudrama to provide the population with a conceptual scheme to help them understand the coming events in the sense intended by the oligarchy. For the coming attack, this detail has also been attended to: on Sunday June 6-, 2004 at 8 PM EDT, FX Network (cable) broadcast Meltdown: The Threat is Real, a 2004 docudrama produced by Craig Anderson Productions and Apolloscreen. This 2 -hour scenario drama stars Bruce Greenwood and Arnold Vosloo. The plot summary: "Government agencies and civilians respond to a terrorist attack on an American nuclear reactor." Subtext: "Terrrorists didn't have to build a nuclear weapon…we built it for them." The blurb also shows dark figures with rocket-propelled grenades advancing towards two nuclear cooling towers, while other terrorists parachute in from above."

Other commentators have been cynically discussing the coming terror assault in direct relation to the November presidential elections.

A May 2 article by New York Times correspondent David Sanger entitled "Calculating the Politics of Catastrophe" summarizes the pattern of "obsessive" discussion in Washington circles about the electoral impact of another terror attack on the US. According to Sanger, both the Bush and Kerry campaigns are weighing the impact of a "nightmarish, unpredictable event" that could shift the election. Bush, he notes, has begun to talk more openly about such an event, "perhaps to brace the country for the worst, perhaps to begin the political inoculation if domestic defenses fail." Bush insiders are reportedly most concerned about the possibility that a new terror attack might boomerang against the current tenant of the White House. Their cynical calculations are compared to "a kind of macabre game theory in which security experts and political operatives-two classes of people who typically do not interact much in Washington-are calculating what the political fallout of an attack might be." Sanger quotes a senior administration official as saying, "The message the terrorists learned in Madrid is that attacks can change elections and change policy. It's a very dangerous precedent to have out there." Noting the standard US neocon line of denouncing the Spanish population for learning the "wrong lesson" from the terrorist attacks and for "appeasing" terrorism, Sanger goes on to point out that the Bush administration is busy calculating ways that a terrorist attack can "change elections" in the US in Bush's favor. Sanger writes: "Mr. Bush's political aides-speaking only on background, because no one dissects terror on the record-argue that the crazier the world gets, the more it plays to the theme of the campaign: Now more than ever, the country needs a president who has proved to be strong on terror." The main issue, the Bush backers agree, is timing: if the terror attacks come too far in advance of the elections, the initial impulse to rally around the President might dissipate, "because the shock value would be gone, and because this time American defenses are supposed to be up. So within a month or so, the thinking goes, horror could give way to analysis about whether the billions spent on security were well spent-and if Mr. Bush focused on the right threats." Thus, a terror attack in June or July might backfire on Bush. "One reason the administration is so obsessed with security for the conventions," writes Sanger, "is that those gatherings attract large concentrations of the American elite in two major cities. But they also may be sufficiently far ahead of the election to allow time for predictable finger-pointing. Terrorists, some believe, might try to undertake an attack that could be credibly portrayed as a result of the Iraq war, rather than as a 9/11 replay." Sanger does not mention the scenario that builds on the lessons of Aznar's fall: martial law, emergency rule, and no elections at all.

In a May 20, 2004 op-ed entitled "Beware of any stretch-run surprises," the Wall Street Journal's Al Hunt forecasts that the presidential contest could be determined by "unanticipated events." Chief among these is a terrorist attack. Hunt notes the hypocrisy of the Bush line on terror: "The Bush administration and outside terrorist experts repeatedly have cautioned that another attack on the homeland is likely." The White House, politically, has it both ways: taking credit for avoiding any assault since 9/11, while at the same time warning that another is likely." GOP leaders are betting that a new terror wave will play in to their hands; Hunt cites veteran Republican operative Charles Black as stating that "my instinct is there likely will be a rally around the incumbent effect" in the event of a new round of terror. From here it is not far to the conclusion that some really serious terror might also allow Bush to dispense with the election formalities altogether, and enjoy enhanced public support while doing so.

The campaign for martial law and a state of emergency as the best means of keeping Bush in office which is now in a crescendo began during the closing months of 2003, when it was clear to insiders that the Iraq adventure was headed for defeat. In his year-end column of December 31, 2003, New York Times neocon and Nixon emeritus William Safire cynically predicted that the "October surprise" for the 2004 election will come in the form of "a major terror attack in the US."

In a May 26 research note posted at the website of the New York Council on Foreign Relations, research associate Claire Miller discusses the chances for a new terror attack on the US this summer, noting that government officials rate the chances of such a hit as "high." She quotes CFR Fellow Stephen E. Flynn, author of the book America the Vulnerable commenting that Al-Qaeda is less likely to target symbolic events than critical infrastructure, such as the electrical grid or transportation hubs. Says Flynn: "If they attack things with value, it's an erosion of our power. That's their real endgame….So this summer, to that extent, is like every other summer - we need the same critical infrastructure." Juliette N. Kayyem, executive director of the Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, chimes in that she is "of the school that while hitting a high-profile event would be desirable from the perspective of terrorists, we do know how to fortify them. We're good at that …. What we need to be more concerned about is a random day, like September 11. Bruce Hoffman, acting director of the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy, says that Al-Qaeda is likely to strike unrelated locations during major events. "It's a new strategy, starting with Istanbul…something that doesn't happen [at a major event] could still have impact." Miller points to the Olympics and, ominously, the Democratic Convention as events where security is likely to be in adequate. (www.cfr.org/background/terror_summer.php?) Naturally, these self-styled terror experts never indicate the sources or bases for their pronouncements, which could be pure speculation, active pre-coup black ops disinformation, or results obtained with their personal ouija boards.

If Wolfowitz, Feith, Luti and Shulsky have been characterized by Secretary Powell as the neocon Gestapo, the scurrilous, racist television personality Shawn Hannity of Fox television news might be compared to Julius Streicher's Der Stuermer, the favorite of gutter-dwelling plebeians. Hannity recently blurted out the entire scenario when he blabbered: "If we are attacked before our election like Spain was, I am not so sure that we should go ahead with the election…we had better make plans now because it's going to happen." Hannity is close to advocating the violent overthrow of the US government.

The Washington Post used the release of the latest set of Nixon administration tapes to issue what can only be interpreted as a signal piece, indicating to the witting that the operation is indeed on. This piece bore the headline "Haig Said Nixon Joked of Nuking Hill." The content involves a telephone conversation between Nixon's then Chief of Staff, Gen. Alexander Haig, and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, in March 1974 - six months before Nixon was forced out of office. "I was told to get the football," reports Haig to Kissinger, a reference to the codes used by the president to order nuclear attacks. In response to a question from Kissinger, Haig specifies that the request is for "His nuclear black bag. He is going to drop it on the Hill." The context is Nixon's growing fear of his own looming impeachment. The message is that a nuclear bomb will detonate on the US Congress.

Canadian newspapers, by contrast, used an all-purpose AP wire story with very different emphasis. The Montreal Gazette headline, for example, stressed another incident in which Nixon was too drunk to talk to UK Prime Minister Ted Heath. Here the headline was "Mr. Nixon can't come to the phone - he's sozzled." This version contained no mention of nuking the Congress. The Toronto Star version of the AP wire had a headline about Nixon being drunk, and relegated the question of nuking the US Congress to the last paragraphs.

The White House now possesses its own "Continuity of Government" Commission, a kind of Committee of Public Safety which appears to be developing plans for the imposition of authoritarian rule. This is a board made up of Establishment worthies, starting with former presidents Carter and Ford, and including such figures as Newt Gingrich, Lloyd Cutler, Alan Simpson, Kenneth Duberstein, Jamie Gorelick (also of the Kean-Hamilton Commission), Tom Foley, Leon Panetta, and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach. This is a bi-partisan body that would seem to be engaged in forming a consensus in oligarchical elite circles in favor of the need for police state measures to preserve the system.

The following are some of the main danger points that emerge from recent press accounts. It must however be stressed that large-scale attacks could of course occur anywhere and anytime.

  • May 29: Memorial Day weekend - opening of US World War II Memorial in Washington DC
  • June 6: The 60th anniversary commemoration of the Normandy invasion, France
  • June 8-10: Group of 8 summit in Sea Island, Georgia
  • June 25-26: European Union -USA summit, County Clare, Ireland o June 28-29: NATO summit in Istanbul, Turkey
  • July 4: Freedom Tower dedication at New York City World Trade Center site
  • July 26-29: Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts
  • August 13-29: Olympic games in Athens
  • August 30-September 2: Republican National Convention in New York City

On May 28, the US State Department issued a warning to Americans visiting Turkey to be alert for terror attacks associated with the NATO summit. The chances for an attack on then Istanbul NATO meeting appear to have diminished on May 3, when Turkish authorities rolled up an alleged Ansar al Islam cell of some 16 members who were allegedly planning a suicide attack on the meeting. The 16 were detained in the province of Bursa, while 9 others were arrested in Istanbul. The 16 were regularly arraigned in a Turkish provincial court. The Turkish authorities said the group had also been planning a bank robbery and an attack on a synagogue. Naturally, those arrested must be considered primarily as patsies and not as the expert, highly trained and well-equipped professionals who might really be capable of mounting a serious attack on a closely guarded NATO summit. Nevertheless, the incarceration of patsy groups can make the actually planned terror hits impossible, since these require that the patsies be at large in order that they may serve as the scapegoats for the serious, insider-assisted operations. Because of this, if a patsy group is "rendered ineffective," as the Turks claimed to have done, this does materially lower the possibility that an incident will take place. Even so, attacks on the NATO summit, possibly featuring Kurdish pesh merga operating under false flags, cannot be excluded.

The US government might well be asked, in light of its obsessive mantra about a coming terrorist attack, why it has not been able to arrest more terrorist operatives and indict them with convincing evidence in the normal courts in the way the Turks have done.

Why, and Why Now The reasons for the genocidal crimes now being prepared are to be found in the stunning reverses suffered by the Bush regime over the last several months. These can be identified as follows:

1. During April, Iraqi resistance forces have initiated a national uprising against the invasion of their country. The failure of the vaunted US military machine before Fallujah and Najaf has ended the myth of US superpower invincibility, and set off uncontrollable processes of disintegration throughout the global system. The US is politically and militarily defeated, and the neocons are responsible.

2. During May, the war crimes and atrocities carried out by US, UK and other coalition forces in Iraq have wrecked the moral credibility of the United States and its allies, making these aggressive powers into an object of absolute execration around the world. This situation is encapsulated in the stern condemnation of Bush's policies delivered during his June 4 visit to the Vatican by Pope John Paul II.

3. As a result, the ad hoc "Coalition of the Willing" assembled by the Bush regime has begun to disintegrate, with Spain, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Kazakhstan, and by Norway either leaving Iraq or announcing their departure. The Netherlands and Bulgaria are expected to defect within 4 to 5 weeks. The John Howard regime in Australia may fall over this issue, since Howard did not have the good sense registered by Jean Chrétien of Canada, who stayed out. Previously, pro-Bush political forces had been defeated in elections in Germany, South Korea, Spain, and most recently India. Governments subservient to Bush in Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Denmark, and other countries now face a grim electoral future, with further pullouts from Iraq as the likely result. The entire alliance system created by the US at the end of World War II is now a dead letter.

4. In the case of Spain, US elites have been shocked by the failure of the March 11 terror attacks to accomplish their obvious goal of stampeding support to the right-wing, neo-falangist government of Jose Maria Aznar. Due to the intelligence and courage of the Spanish people, these attacks in effect backfired, as Aznar's blatant lying secured the election of the anti-Bush candidate, Zapatero. US elites have been profoundly concerned that the terror weapon, which they had regarded as a sure-fire means of coalescing support around an existing government, can also bring down that government. Their main conclusion seems to be that, for guaranteed success, the terrorism must be so colossal that the planned elections can simply be cancelled, as Aznar tried but failed to do.

5. The three principal leaders of world aggression, Bush, Blair, and Sharon, are now engulfed by domestic political crises threatening them with ouster over the short term, with increased danger of prosecution and the wrecking of their political machines amidst recrimination for the Iraq and other disasters. Bush and his neocon handlers in particular face a rising tide of hatred in their own armed forces, especially in the US Army, which has born the brunt of their utopian aggressive policies. Bush's handlers are also worried that their man's reputation as an anti-terror leader, his only conceivable basis for asking to be returned to office, has been deeply tarnished by Condoleezza Rice's wretched performance and attendant revelations during the April-May hearings of the Kean-Hamilton Commission on 9-11. This has gone so far that only a new large-scale terror event could restore Bush's credentials, they reason.

6. Concomitantly with these events, the New York-London financial system has begun to exhibit symptoms of severe instability leading to systemic crisis. The US is now running a merchandise trade deficit of over $500 billion, and a federal budget deficit which actually approaches $750 billion. This is a bankrupt state. Greenspan's policies have solved the dot com bubble by creating a housing bubble and a bond bubble. Now interest rates on US government securities have risen sharply since early April, and the resulting rising interest rates have raised fears of an explosion of the housing bubble of the past years. This is expressed by the de facto bankruptcy of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which represent trillions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities, and whose implosion would wreck US capital markets. The Federal Reserve now says that even the biggest banks may not be too big to fail. For the average person, the net impact of this new turbulence is readily seen in the sky-high price of gasoline, building materials, and related commodities. An integral feature of the post-coup regime now being planned would be to keep these bankrupt institutions alive with the help of government bailouts. In the light of these events, the elite Belkin newsletter announces that US banks, following Warren Buffet's advice of some months ago, are bailing out of US government. According to Belkin, "it's time to prepare for a sickening plunge into December and beyond." The European Central Bank is also reportedly signaling its networks to "bail out of USA." Financial analyst Robert McHugh noted on May 30, the US Federal Reserve has inflated the US money supply (M3) by a whopping $46.8 billion in the previous week. McHugh asks: "What awful calamity do they see? Something is up. This is unprecedented, unheard-of pre-catastrophe M-3 expansion. M-3 is up an amount that we've never seen before without a crisis - $155 billion over the past 4 weeks, a $2.0 trillion annualized pace, a 22.2 percent annualized rate of growth!!! There must be a crisis of historic proportions coming, and the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States is making sure that there is enough liquidity in place to protect our nation's fragile financial system. The amazing thing is, the Fed's actions mean they know what is about to happen. They are aware of a terrible, horrific imminent event. What could it be? …Something is up, bigger than we have ever seen in the history of the United States." (http://www.safehaven.com/article-1597.htm) The Fed has of course been inflating the money supply in order to induce a fake rally in the US stock market as part of the attempt to get Bush re-elected, but the current credit expansion represents a qualitative escalation. A new terror attack might produce a panic crash of US markets, but sloshing liquidity might help to mitigate the blow. Is the Fed attempting to shockproof the financial system against the coming ABC terror coup, or is it responding to the same terminal weakness of US capital markets which is helping to generate the coup - or both? Either way, the ballooning of the US money supply is a further factor in dollar weakness, as well as helping to generate what may be incipient hyperinflation in such areas as gasoline (highest prices in US history), steel for appliances and cars (prices for hot rolled steel are up 114% over June '03), building materials, and dairy products.

7. Because of the manifest bankruptcy of the United States, the Anglo-American finance oligarchs fear the termination of the US dollar as a reserve currency. This would take the form of a dumping of the dollar as the currency in which the posted price of oil is expressed by Saudi Arabia, Iran, Indonesia, and other OPEC states. The former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohammed has issued repeated calls for such a measure, and also urged Moslem countries to sell off their US Treasury securities, for financial as well as political reasons. The far stronger and more stable euro would be the beneficiary of these moves, and it is the euro which would prove to be far more attractive to most countries in a world divided into currency blocks. A switch to the euro (first carried out by Iraq before Sept. 11) has been under active discussion in Iran, Indonesia, and OPEC generally. The European Union has been pressing Russia to accept payment for oil in euros, which, if accomplished, would place the EU out of reach of Anglo-American and Israeli blackmail threats of oil shortages. Russia and Germany in particular have been actively discussing this measure, which harks back to the post-World War I Russo-German Rapallo agreements, a nightmare for the Anglo-Americans. Unconfirmed reports indicate that not just Russia, but also Japan is diversifying its holdings out of US dollars, stocks, and Treasury securities.

8. Finally, there are signs that the absurd myth propagated by the US government and the controlled corporate media about the events of 9-11 is fraying. Although the Kean-Hamilton Commission has been on the whole a half-baked farce, it has unavoidably produced a number of facts as a by-product of its proceedings - facts which have begun to undermine public belief in the Myth. David Ray Griffin's book The New Pearl Harbor has emerged as a runaway best-seller in the wake of similar books in France and Germany, and is now among the top ten on amazon.com. Calls have multiplied for a serious independent international truth commission on 9-11 to do the work the Kean-Hamilton cover-up has refused to address. A dismantling of the 9-11 myth would lead, in all probability, to the collapse of the US Republican Party and related institutions in the context of a general party re-alignment.

Taken together, these developments would add up to the collapse of the entire US imperialist system. The protagonists of the coming terror are determined to disrupt these processes, imposing on the world a regime of unilateral US diktat and military intervention, with a domestic police state to make sure that no opposition emerges on the home front.

Neocon coup theory

Why would the neocons and their backers react to this situation by fomenting terrorism as a prelude to a coup designed to perpetuate their power? We must recall the central place occupied by emergency rule in the neocon doctrine. The neocon prophet, Leo Strauss, was a protégé of Carl Schmitt, a card-carrying Nazi and the man who designed Article 48, the martial law provision of the Weimar German constitution which allowed Hitler to take power legally. Carl Schmitt procured a Rockefeller scholarship for young Leo Strauss. Schmitt was the lawyer for the right-wing reactionary coup in Prussia in July, 1932, which served as the immediate springboard for Hitler's seizure of power half a year later. Schmitt is associated with the proposition that true sovereignty belongs only to whomever can declare a state of emergency. He also propounded the notion that an oligarchical society cannot survive without a clear enemy image - with the overtone that if there is no real enemy, a synthetic one must be manufactured. The neocon guru Schmitt stands out as a leading theoretician of modern dictatorship.

Strauss himself taught that under certain circumstances real men "may be forced into a mere negation of the universal and homogeneous state, into a negation not enlightened by any positive goal, into a nihilistic negation." He went on to elaborate that "…that nihilistic revolution may be the only action on behalf of man's humanity, the only great and noble deed that is possible once the universal and homogeneous state has become inevitable…. The successful revolt [would take us back to] the primitive horde." In European thought, nihilism was often equated to anarchist bomb-throwers; the nihilistic revolution was a synonym for fascism and Nazism. Strauss endorsed all this. His nihilistic revolution opens the door to terrorism, war, mayhem, genocide, and much more. He explicitly endorses actions that would take mankind back to the primal horde, that is to say the hunting and gathering society of the old stone age, of the cave men. We must also recall that Strauss's written doctrine is always more cautious than the oral tradition he transmitted to his direct and indirect disciples, among whom are the neocons now running the US government. (Leo Strauss, On Tyranny [1963], 208-9) The neocon doctrine is explicitly pro-terrorist.

What the Neocons Fear

The neocons are also deeply concerned about their own personal fate. During their ascent, this exceptionally ideological and close-knit faction has by its arrogance and incompetence made many enemies. During May, there have been repeated editorial calls for the firing of not just Rumsfeld, but also of Wolfowitz and the other neocons who have made such a mess of the Pentagon. The demand to oust Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz has also been raised by the veteran Republican Senators who exercise great authority within that body. According to press accounts, Senators Warner and McCain led a group of about a dozen senior GOP leaders who called on Bush to demand the sacking of Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz as a matter of urgent political expediency. Bush reportedly sat stony-faced and said nothing.

The May 20 US military/mercenary raid against the Baghdad offices of Ahmed Chalabi points to a new and grave danger for many top Bush administration and neocon figures. Chalabi was of course the darling of the neocons, who channeled upwards of $40 million in official US government funding to him. He was the source of fantastic reports of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and of the eagerness of the Iraqi masses to rise up in revolt against Saddam Hussein. It now turns out that Chalabi betrayed a vital US state secret to his patrons in Iran by telling the Iranians that the US had broken the secret code used by Iranian diplomats and agents. This revelation has alerted the Iranians to their vulnerability, and cut off a key means of US espionage against Iran and its partners. The question thus arises as to who in the US government could have given Chalabi such highly classified information, thus committing a very serious federal crime. Chalabi's closest contacts are known to have been Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and a few others. This issue is now the subject of an FBI investigation of these and other top Bushmen. The information that Chalabi and his intelligence chief Aras Karim Habib are alleged to have passed to the government of Iran "was highly classified, and known only to a few in the U.S. government,'' wrote Time's Romesh Ratnesar. "The probe will examine whether U.S. officials illegally transmitted state secrets to the INC. The investigation could ultimately reach high-ranking civilian officials at the Pentagon and the Defense Intelligence Agency who had dealings with Chalabi and his organization.'' Ratnesar cites "a senior U.S. official'' as his source. New York Times reporters David Johnston and Richard Oppel, Jr. also citing "government officials,"' called the information "so highly classified that federal investigators have intensified their inquiry to find out whether anyone in the American government gave the material to Mr. Chalabi."' They also cite "intelligence officials'' saying that the probe, by the FBI, centers on the handful of U.S. officials with regular contact with Chalabi in Washington, and an even smaller number who had access to the intelligence. "Most of them are at the Pentagon,"' they wrote; however, Chalabi himself, on "Meet the Press" on May 23, acknowledged three personal meetings with Vice President Cheney. Right-wing columnist Robert Novak, in a Washington Post op-ed on the Chalabi scandal, comments on a different angle within the Republican Party and the uniformed military: "Republican Senators, who do not yet want to be quoted by name, feel there must be some accountability for this massive blunder, as there must be for the prisoner abuse scandal. They want the President at least to consider" firing Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and perhaps others of the neo-con gang. The senior Republican Congressional leaders are backed in this, by high U.S. military brass. (Time, May 25, NY Times May 24, 2004) Leading neocons not currently serving in government, such as Michael Ledeen, Richard Perle, Kenneth Timmerman, and Laurie Mylroie, are vociferously defending Chalabi.

At the root of the Valerie Plame affair is the role of her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, in refuting the baseless claim that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium yellowcake from Niger. This story was buttresses by documents which turned out to be forged. A prime suspect in this regard is Ledeen, and the accusation is made more plausible because the faked documents first surfaced in Rome, where Ledeen possesses extensive contacts. A federal grand jury is probing this matter. Ledeen, like so many Bush officials, is an alumnus of the 1980s George H. W. Bush-Poindexter-Abrams-Oliver North Iran-contra gun-running and drug-running scandal, and appears to have mobilized these networks as part of the post 9-11 assault on Iraq. In December 2001, Ledeen moved to revive the Iran connection, setting up a meeting between two Pentagon civilian neo-cons and Manucher Ghorbanifar, an Iranian arms dealer whom the CIA called a criminal and liar. Three days of meetings in Rome involved Harold Rhode, Larry Franklin, Ghorbanifar, and two unnamed officials of the Iranian regime. After the conquest of Iraq, Rhode was sent to Baghdad as the contact point between the Office of Special Plans and Chalabi. Ghorbanifar, in a Dec. 22, 2003 interview with Newsweek's Mark Hosenball, reported that he maintained contact with Rhode and Franklin "five or six times a week" through June 2003, when he had a second meeting with Rhode in Paris. This back channel to the Iranians is now also under intense scrutiny.

Richard Perle is the target of a huge civil suit growing out of his involvement in the fraudulent conveyances and embezzlement carried out by the neocon press baron and moneybags Lord Conrad Black, who appears to have taken money from Hollinger to help fund neocon think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute. Perle has worked closely with the purloining Lord in recent years, and might also face criminal charges in this case.

There is also the special prosecutor investigating the leaking to Robert Novak of the fact that Valerie Plame, the wife of Bush critic Ambassador Joseph Wilson (who exposed the fraud of the Bush 2002 State of the Union charges that Iraq had sought uranium yellowcake in Niger) was working for the CIA. Prime suspects are Bush's political strategist Karl Rove, and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. Revealing the identity of a CIA agent is a serious felony under federal law.

It is allegedly in regard to the Valerie Plame leak investigation that George Bush has been consulting with his own private attorney, Jim Sharp. Sharp had represented Gen. Richard Secord, yet another Iran-contra figure, who was accused of taking part in the illegal arms shipments of the mid-1980s. Cheney already has a private lawyer, Terrence O'Donnell of the Washington DC law firm Williams & Connelly. According to Capitol Hill Blue of June 3, sources familiar with the Federal investigation say that Bush knew about the Plame leak, and that he took no action to stop the release of Plame's name. This would make accessory to a serious federal crime.

Retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern has warned that the allegedly "credible intelligence" cited by Ashcroft in his warning that Al-Qaeda is preparing to "hit the United States" is most likely yet another fabrication. "'Intelligence' is being conjured up once again to serve the political purposes of the Bush administration," McGovern writes. According to McGovern, the events of recent weeks "strongly suggest that the President, Ashcroft, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, et al. have a deeply personal incentive to make four more years for Bush a sure thing." McGovern notes that according to a memo issued by White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales on January 25, administration officials might be prosecuted for "war crimes" because of the treatment of prisoners in Afghanistan. Gonzales stressed that "grave breaches" of the Geneva Conventions are war crimes under U.S. law, and added: "It is difficult to predict the motives of prosecutors and independent counsels who may in the future decide to pursue unwarranted charges" based on the War Crimes Act passed by Congress in 1996. Gonzales urged Bush to declare that the Geneva Convention regarding prisoners of war does not apply to Taliban or Al-Qaeda detainees, and that such a determination "would provide a solid defense to any future prosecution." And all that, McGovern notes, was before the Abu Ghraib revelations. McGovern continues:

"For the Bush administration, the nightmare is losing the November election -- a prospect believed to be unlikely until just recently. For many of us citizens, the nightmare is the President and his associates resorting to extra-legal measures to ensure that there is no regime change in Washington for four more years. Logic and human nature would suggest that possible liability to prosecution under the War Crimes Act are among the more weighty factors they take into account. Bush administration leaders may even look on the prospect of a terrorist event in the US in the coming months as a possible opportunity as well as a risk." McGovern admits but then dismisses the possibility that the Bush networks "would be perverse enough to allow [a terror attack] to happen, or -- still less -- to orchestrate one. …But there is ample reason to believe that they would take full political advantage of a terrorist attack -- or even just the threat of one. Ashcroft's remarks last week might be regarded as the opening salvo in a campaign to condition the country for this…. Yes, this could mean" a constitutional crisis without parallel in the history of our country….But was there not a good warm-up in the fall of 2002? Did we not then experience a constitutional crisis when Congress was duped into ceding to the President its constitutional power to declare war? And it was all accomplished by spreading the myth that Saddam Hussein was close to exploding a mushroom cloud over us -- a myth based on a known forgery alleging that Iraq was acquiring uranium from Africa. Could an elevated threat level be used as a means of "justifying martial law and postponement of the election? No doubt such suggestions will seem too alarmist to those trusting that there is a moral line, somewhere, that the President and his senior advisers would not cross. I regret very much to say that their behavior over the past three years leaves me doubtful that there is such a line….If my doubts are justified, the sooner we all come to grips with this parlous situation the better." (Ray McGovern syndicated column, June 1; Common Dreams, June 2)

In an interview with Amy Goodman's Democracy Now radio program, McGovern commented on the significance of Bush's retaining an attorney. Among the things on Bush's mind, McGovern repeated, is that he might be facing a war crimes prosecution if voted out of office. Another issue for Bush, according to McGovern, is that "four more years becomes even more important to me and Ashcroft and Rumsfeld," because of the war crimes indictments hanging over their heads. McGovern: "I say this, because I am more frightened now than at any time over the last three and a half years, that this administration will resort to extra-legal methods, to do something to ensure that there are four more years for George Bush." (Democracy Now, June 4, emphasis added)

On June 3, CIA Director George Tenet announced his resignation, and was quickly joined by the CIA Deputy Director of Operations, James L. Pavitt, the spymaster of clandestine services. Tenet was evidently forced out by Bush and Cheney, but was willing to portray his own dismissal as a resignation for family reasons, mainly his desire to spend more time with his adolescent son. Tenet, as a Clinton holdover, was not a doctrinaire Straussian or Skull & Bones member, and thus was not and could never be a member of the Bush/neocon core group. For many weeks, neocons like Richard Perle, Frank Gaffney, James Woolsey, Newt Gingrich and others had been attempting to scapegoat Tenet for the US disasters in Iraq and elsewhere. Tenet did of course preside over 9-11 and the Iraq invasion, which established a prima facie case of his incompetence (or complicity). His departure allows Bush to claim that there is some accountability in the current administration. More germane to the issue of the coming terrorism, Tenet was so discredited as to have become a controversial symbol of the failure of the Bush administration to defend the US. In a speech the previous week, even Tenet's friend Al Gore had demanded his resignation. With Tenet still in office, a coming terror event might have given rise to a wave of accusation and resentment against a CIA Director who by that time would have failed in warding off not only 9-11, but also whatever atrocity is now being prepared. Instead of the hysterical Pavlovian reflex of rallying around the President, there might have been a movement to lynch the CIA Director - a reflex also deeply rooted in the American character. This was too much to risk. Tenet was a gross liability, and had to be jettisoned before further state-sponsored terrorism could be attempted. From Tenet's own point of view, the time had clearly come to cash in by accepting prestigious and lucrative posts on various corporate boards. Presiding over yet another disaster would have tarnished Tenet down to the level of damaged goods, a bungler and misfit not qualified to sit on any serious corporate boards. Tenet may also have been personally too tired to face the buffeting of a new attack, not so much as a matter of patriotic principle, but out of a desire not to be bothered - somewhat like Paul Volcker leaving the Federal Reserve a few months before the Crash of 1987. These departures are an altogether ominous symbol, and make the terror threat greater, not less. In the immediate aftermath of the Tenet ouster, the neocon gang appeared to have registered a momentary power gain, probably enhancing the chances of a terror coup. Douglas Jehl of The New York Times reported on June 5 that the simultaneous departure of Tenet and Pavitt has shifted the balance of power within the US intelligence community in favor of the Pentagon neocon s. Jehl writes that "Without Mr. Tenet in place, the power balance in a rivalry between the CIA and the Defense Department may tilt more toward Stephen Cambone." Jehl attributes this view to "Congressional officials." (NYT, 5 June 2004)

Is Bush Bonkers?

In the wake of the Tenet resignation, indications began to surface that the mental disintegration of "dry drunk" Bush had gone farther than usually surmised. Doug Thompson of Capitol Hill Blue wrote: "President George W. Bush's increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides privately express growing concern over their leader's state of mind. In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as "enemies of the state…" The President's abrupt dismissal of CIA Directory George Tenet Wednesday night is, aides say, an example of how he works. "Tenet wanted to quit last year but the President got his back up and wouldn't hear of it," says an aide. "That would have been the opportune time to make a change, not in the middle of an election campaign but when the director challenged the President during the meeting Wednesday, the President cut him off by saying 'That's it, George. I cannot abide disloyalty. I want your resignation and I want it now.'" Tenet was allowed to resign "voluntarily" and Bush informed his shocked staff of the decision Thursday morning. One aide says the President actually described the decision as "God's will." (Capitol Hill Blue, 4 June 2004) Perhaps the tenant of the White House needs to get his thyroid checked.

Countervailing Tendencies?

The situation of the party of terrorism inside the United States is uncertain. The political leaders who would be the beneficiaries of new terror attacks would be figures like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Ashcroft, Ridge, and the neocon Gestapo (as Colin Powell calls it) in general. The main agencies for their dictatorship would be FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), Ridge's Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the FBI. The US military, especially the US Army, has now become profoundly disillusioned with the Bush-Cheney preventive war policy. They also resent being scapegoated for the Abu Graib atrocities, which were ordered by CIA, DIA, and Cheney's mercenary contractors. Some generals now realize that a successful terror coup, which would have the result of cementing the current gang in power for the foreseeable future - without benefit of checks and balances - would guarantee that US forces would be fed into meatgrinders far worse than Iraq. In addition to Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Cuba, a post-coup USD regime could not avoid collision with China and/or Russia. It remains to be seen whether this awareness will be enough to motivate the US military to do something to stop the coup which is now imminent. Similar considerations apply to the State Department, which has virtually no place in the post-coup world eagerly planned by the neocons.

Sidney Blumenthal, a former advisor to the Clinton Administration, now with Salon.com, wrote a piece in the Guardian on how the U.S. officer corps has turned against Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The piece, is headlined "America's Military Coup." Retired General William Odom, who was the head of the National Security Agency, the main US electronic spying center, and who is now at the Hudson Institute, is quoted saying: "It was never in our interest to go into Iraq. It is a diversion from the war on terrorism; the rationale for the Iraq war (finding WMD) is phony; the US army is overstretched and being driven into the ground; and the prospect of building a democracy is zero. In Iraqi politics legitimacy is going to be tied to expelling us. Wisdom in military affairs dictates withdrawal in this situation. We can't afford to fail -- that's mindless. The issue is how we stop failing more. I am arguing a strategic decision." Another military figure told Blumenthal that Rumsfeld was "detested" and that "if there's a sentiment in the army it is: support our troops, impeach Rumsfeld." Blumenthal then references an essay by Lt.Col. Charles Dunlap which had received a prize in 1992 from then General Colin Powell. The title of the piece was "The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012," which was a cautionary tale of how the U.S. military launched a coup because of the failures of the government. (Guardian, May 13, 2004) Former CENTCOM commanders Zinni and Hoar have also published attacks on the Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz policies. One account suggested that, given the degree of military hatred against the administration, any other country would have already witnessed a military coup.

The US Congress ought to be particularly concerned, since one of the most plausible coup scenarios features the destruction of the US Capitol and its adjacent office buildings, exterminating large numbers of Senators, Congressmen, and staff. Incredibly, the Congress is conniving in its own liquidation through the bill ordering instant elections to replace deceased Congressmen which has been passed by the House and is now making its way into law. The gullible lawmakers would seem to be signing their own death warrant, since if there is anything that would facilitate the erection of a police state, it is the lack of an intact and functioning legislative branch - a fact illustrated all too well by the Nazi burning of the German Reichstag shortly after Hitler's seizure of power. But will the Congress act?

The Congress must urgently convene hearings for the purpose of thoroughly cross-examining those executive branch spokesmen who are talking so much about coming terrorist attacks, and who are so eagerly contemplating the liquidation of the legislative branch. The Congress must ask how it is that the administration from Bush and Cheney on down knows the things it claims to know, and what is it doing about them? The Intelligence Committees of both bodies need to undertake an urgent survey of CIA, FBI, DIA, NSA, MI, and other informants infiltrating terror groups. Are these informants acting to stop new terror acts, or are they using their positions to foment and promote false-flag operations by patsy groups to furnish scapegoats for future attacks against the US and its allies? The Congress must act, for the scent of a new Reichstag fire is in the air. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Ashcroft, Mueller, Franks and the intelligence agency chiefs must be the first to be cross-examined, along with all the other avid predictors of terrorism.

The skeptical and critical response to the Ashcroft-Mueller performance of May 26 may also indicate that certain sectors of the US oligarchical establishment are less than thrilled by the prospect of dictatorial rule. The essence of the US system is after all oligarchy, not tyranny, and some of the most despicable factions may have their own reasons for not wanting to go down this perilous path, especially if they feel they are more likely to profit under the existing, pre-coup, arrangements. Early in the week after the Ashcroft-Mueller duo, the National Public Radio Diana Rehm Show invited John Parachini of the RAND Corporation,. Larry Johnson, formerly a State Department anti-terror operative, and Skip Brandon, formerly of the FBI. All three agreed that the Ashcroft-Mueller press conference had been "unprofessional," "childish," and motivated by petty turf concerns. They pointed to the absence of Homeland Security Secretary Ridge from the press conference, indicating a deeper divergence. They also pointed to press reports detailed the complaints of several chiefs of police in larger US cities, who said that Ashcroft and Mueller had not maintained effective liaison with them.

Major media also questioned the quality of the alleged "credible intelligence" dished up by Ashcroft and Ridge. "There's no real new intelligence, and a lot of this has been out there already," an anonymous administration official told the New York Times May 27. The names of six of the seven suspects named by Ashcroft and Mueller had been publicly circulated by authorities months ago, and anonymous officials who added that they had no reason to believe any of the seven were in the United States. Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the Committee had received no word of any new information of the type Ashcroft described. The arrest of the notorious pro-terror ideologue and activist Al Masri of Finsbury mosque in London, a known quantity for many years, appeared to represent a rounding up of the usual suspects.

Ashcroft claimed that just after the Madrid bombing, an Al-Qaeda spokesman had announced that "90 percent of the arrangements for an attack in the United States were complete." But Newsweek counterterrorism writer watchers Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball point out that the only known basis for Ashcroft's claim was a note sent to a London Arabic newspaper immediately after the Madrid bombing, which said that a major attack against the United States was "90 percent ready." The authenticity of this report was questioned at the time by some U.S. officials. (Newsweek web exclusive 26 May 2004)

France, Germany, and Russia are the countries with the best recent track record in opposing the illegal aggressions of the US government. They need to ponder the devastating challenge to their vital national interests that would be represented by the events now leading toward a coup d'etat in the United States. They must mobilize their forces, including their intelligence agencies, to expose, disrupt, and frustrate the preparations now being made. The same imperative applies to the other Europeans, China, India, the Arab and Islamic states, and the Latin Americans. None could hope to avoid costly confrontation with a post-coup US bandit regime. Enlightened self-interest ought to dictate that they take all possible measures to prevent the terror actions which are the only means the US neocons have of consolidating their power. The task for persons of good will is to knock over the neocons' terrorist apple cart. Not just the larger states, but the smaller countries in Europe and elsewhere could make a precious, world-historical contribution. The American people, and people everywhere, will thank you.

What to Do?

But supporters of civilization around the world cannot wait for the actions of their government. There are concrete and highly effective measures they can and must take at once to defend the survival of humanity. They should:

1. Make this analysis into the basis for a parliamentary question in your nation's parliament.

2. Bring this analysis to alternative media outlets, or to major media wherever possible. In the US, bombard talk radio hosts with the demand that they speak out against this new state-sponsored terrorism.

3. Inform trade union leaders and other organizations of civil society. They should announce that their response to a state-sponsored terror coup in the US would be an open-ended general strike, accompanied by aggressive agitation in defense of the US Constitution, which the coup forces are seeking to overthrow with violence.

4. Bring this analysis to the attention of lawyers, jurists, university students, civil liberties groups, humanitarians, and other persons of good will. Ask them to join in warning public opinion about what is being prepared.

(An earlier version of this analysis was datelined Toronto, May 30, 2004)

Webster Griffin Tarpley is a historian and journalist based in Washington DC. He is the author of the best-selling critical study George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography (1992), on the internet at www.tarpley.net.

 

 

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