More than two years ago, we wrote here of a secret Pentagon plan to foment terrorism: sending covert agents to infiltrate terrorist groups and goad them into action — i.e., committing acts of murder and destruction. The purpose was two-fold: first, to bring the terrorist groups into the open, where they could be counterattacked; and second, to justify U.S. military attacks on the countries where the terrorists were operating — attacks which, in the Pentagon’s words, would put those nations’ “sovereignty at risk.” It was a plan that countenanced — indeed, encouraged — the deliberate murder of innocent people and the imposition of U.S. military rule anywhere in the world that American leaders desired.
This plan is now being activated.
In fact, it’s being expanded, as the New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh revealed last week. Not only will U.S.-directed agents infiltrate existing terrorist groups and provoke them into action; the Pentagon itself will create its own terrorist groups and “death squads.” After establishing their terrorist “credentials” through various atrocities and crimes, these American-run groups will then be able to ally with — and ultimately undermine — existing terrorist groups.
Top-level officials in the Pentagon, the U.S. intelligence services and the Bush administration confirmed to Hersh that the plan is going forward, under the direction of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — just as we noted here in November 2002. Through a series of secret executive orders, George W. Bush has given Rumsfeld the authority to turn the entire world into “a global free-fire zone,” a top Pentagon adviser says. These secret operations will be carried out with virtually no oversight; in many cases, even the top military commanders in the affected regions will not be told about them. The American people, of course, will never know what’s being done in their name.
The covert units — including the Pentagon-funded terrorist groups and hit squads — will be operating outside all constraints of law and morality. “We’re going to be riding with the bad boys,” one insider told Hersh. Another likened it to the palmy days of the Reagan-Bush years: “Do you remember the right-wing execution squads in El Salvador? We founded them and we financed them. The objective now is to recruit locals in any area we want. And we aren’t going to tell Congress about it.” Indeed, we reported here last summer that Bush has already budgeted $500 million to fund local paramilitaries and guerrilla groups in the most volatile areas of the world, a measure guaranteed to produce needless bloodshed, destruction and suffering for innocent people already ravaged by conflict.
Incredibly, as Hersh notes, the Bushists are now openly citing a sinister role model for their campaign: Britain’s brutal repression of the Mau Mau in Kenya during the 1950s, when British forces set up concentration camps, created their own terrorist groups and killed thousands of innocent civilians in putting down an “insurgency” against their colonial rule. And in fact, Rumsfeld and other Bush officials increasingly talk of combating not just terrorism but a “global insurgency” — as if the whole world is now an American colony, filled with recalcitrant “natives” rising up against their rightful masters.
The activation of the Pentagon terrorist operation is part of Bush’s second-term expansion of the “war on terror.” Despite some obfuscating rhetoric about “diplomacy,” the Bush regime is pressing ahead with a hard-line strategy aimed at opening new military fronts in the “global free-fire zone.” Any dissenting voices within the government are being ruthlessly purged. The Pentagon’s secret forces are set for operations in at least 10 countries, and Bush insiders “repeatedly” told Hersh that “Iran is the next strategic target.”
Iran has long been a focus of the small clique of “global dominationists” — led by Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney and their acolytes — who engineered the invasion of Iraq. This group is determined to “whack Iran,” as one insider put it, and they’re not at all discouraged by the debacle in Iraq; indeed, to them it’s a rousing success. Their first objective — openly stated years ago, before Bush took office — was the overthrow of Saddam’s regime and the planting of a U.S. “military footprint” in Iraq. This has now been done. The fact that it has plunged the Iraqi people into a hell of violence, chaos, terror and extremism is of no real concern to the clique. Their lofty rhetoric about “freedom” and “liberation” is meaningless sham, shuck and jive for the rubes. By the admission of the clique’s own publications, they seek strategic control over the world’s energy resources in order to preserve and expand American geopolitical and economic hegemony in the new century. Everything else — including the security of the American people, put at increasing risk by the clique’s reckless policies — is of secondary importance.
U.S. forces are already conducting military reconnaissance inside Iran in preparation for strikes on alleged nuclear weapons facilities, Hersh reports. The Pentagon is feverishly updating war plans for a “maximum ground and air invasion of Iran,” incorporating the new staging areas now available in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, while employing an Iranian terrorist group, MEK, to launch covert ops and terrorist acts against Tehran. MEK was once given sanctuary by Saddam Hussein, who used the group as a brutal enforcer against Kurd and Shiite insurgents. Now Bush, “riding with the bad boys,” has embraced the MEK murderers as his own.
In their ignorance and arrogance, the Bushists will almost certainly strike at Iran — despite the fact that even Iranian dissidents support the effort to make their nation a nuclear power and would join the mullahs in retaliation. The result will be a conflict far surpassing the horror and magnitude of the Iraq disaster.
In our original report on the Pentagon’s terror scheme, we wrote: “Bush and his cohorts are plunging the world into an abyss, an endless night of murder and terror — wholesale, retail, state-sponsored, privatized; of fear and degradation, servility, chaos, and the perversion of all that’s best in us.” Now the night has come. Now the United States stands openly — even proudly — for terrorism, torture and the Hitlerian principle of aggressive war. America has fallen into the pit – and the hopes of the world go with it.
Chris Floyd is an American journalist who writes the weekly Global Eye political column for The Moscow Times and St. Petersburg Times. His work also appears in The Ecologist, The Nation, CounterPunch, Christian Science Monitor, Bergen Record, Columbia Journalism Review and elsewhere around the world. He is the author of the book, Empire Burlesque: The Secret History of the Bush Regime. His columns are featured each week on Bush Watch.