What’s wrong with this picture?
The New Yorker magazine’s “regular columnist” Seymour Hersh had defected to the The London Review of Books in recent times, in matters of the national security state, apparently because the New Yorker had not been publishing Hersh’s more dangerous or damning materials. There is a full two years gap, March 2013 to March 2015, the New Yorker had not published anything by Hersh at all and those two pieces are mostly more or less ‘harmless’ (to the national security state) materials of either a retrospective or philosophical bent. It had been April 2012 since Hersh’s “Our Men in Iran” had last poked a stick in the American intelligence community’s eye at the New Yorker. Fortunately (or in some cases, perhaps not so fortunately) Hersh found a new platform for his articles.
Now, if I were Seymour Hersh’s ‘national security’ professor at his local community college over the semester and a half since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 (counting semesters in geopolitical decades), now is about the time I would call Hersh into my office and let him know he is in serious danger of flunking the academic year:
One incomplete end of 1st semester assignment he stated he’d be turning in, and has not, on Dick Cheney’s “executive assassination ring”, promised in April, 2009 but still ‘under construction’ a full six years later.
Insofar as the current semester:
January 2011, Class presentation ‘speech at Doha‘ (Qatar) graded B- … Hersh quite accurately describes the Joint Special Operations Command as “Crusaders” with the mission statement equivalent to “‘we’re gonna change mosques into cathedrals'” … however his reduced grade stems from the fact it’s not just the JSOC but the larger command structure at the Pentagon per se. If this crusading element were limited more or less to JSOC (where there is indeed a severe infection) and not the larger Pentagon command structure, e.g. we would have seen the USA military’s number one uber-right evangelical/proselytizing cult, the Air Force Academy, cleaned up. Instead, what we see is a sustained pretense of dealing with the hard core evangelical elements in the USAF officer corps where a necrotic fundamentalism is the demanded, de facto norm, throughout the institution. We’ll come back to this infection.
April 2012, Our Men in Iran; paper graded C+ … excellent beginning work on the Iranian dissident group Mojahedin-e-Khalq having been trained by the Americans on behalf of the Israelis to carry out assassinations in Iran. Reduced grade for overlooking the USA had blackmailed the Mojahedin-e-Khalq into returning to the business of terror (after they’d renounced armed struggle) by holding a large portion of the rank and file membership hostage; initially at Camp Ashraf in Iraq, and subsequently at what amounts to a prison annex at the Baghdad airport. These are a few thousand MeK veteran troops have been imprisoned in Iraq, under threat of being handed over to Iran, since surrendering to the Americans, without hostilities, at the outset of the Iraq invasion. Other MeK dissidents are scattered across Europe, where they operate as an Iranian ‘human rights’ front in Berlin, as well large numbers are in Paris where the leadership enjoys a decadent luxury and the ‘friendship’ of some notable American neocons, not least Rudy Giuliani. Meanwhile, the MeK ‘de-listing’ as a terror group by the USA’s Department of State appears to coincide with MeK re-entering the terror game, under duress, on the side of American and Israeli interests, in a cynicism that is typical of western geopolitical realities.
December 2013 is Hersh’s ‘whose sarin‘ initial outline of doubts Assad’s government is the perpetrator of the ongoing chemical weapons attacks in Syria. We’ll consider this a beginning syllabus on the subject Hersh returns to in the next piece. No grade.
April 2014, with The Red Line and The Rat Line Hersh takes the ball forward on the case for sarin gas employ in Syria in what the spooks call a false flag, in this case Turkey’s MIT or external intelligence has facilitated the delivery of all the necessary components to assemble sarin to al-Nusra (al-Qaida) in Syria. His article, if somewhat incomplete with the details, does nail the real perpetrators. Considering his sources are American, and he actually managed to get into the facts, we have to give him a solid B … the reduced grade reflects either 1) USA intelligence is handicapped in the matter (not likely) or 2) Hersh or his sources are hedging, which is more likely the case. In fact, USA intelligence almost certainly knew it was Turkey behind the gas blamed on Assad by the time of Hersh writing his ‘syllabus’ four months previous to this and either they or Hersh held that card until comfortable with its release. Why the hedge? This professor smells a rat we’ll come back to. Hersh should have smelled it too.
May 2015, Hersh pens The Killing of Osama bin Ladin, a piece detailing too many lies, turnabouts and misleads to count within the American ‘security apparatus’ on the supposed death of a man already dead a full 13 years by the time of the Hersh narrative. Second semester mid-term exam F for EPIC FAIL. Central Intelligence had last met with their long time asset bin Ladin in July of 2001 at the American Hospital in Dubai where he was being treated for renal failure and a diagnosis of two years to live, maximum. Imagine, just three months later, a frail ‘two years to live’ bin-Ladin puts his portable dialysis machine on mules, together with a portable electric grid or generator, diesel or petrol, and goes to live in a cave in the Hindu Kush. Spare parts for all the machines and backup generator included. On top of having escaped Kandahar with the USA invasion of October, this ‘mule train’ (or whatever substituted for travel over terrain that denied motorized vehicle use, I doubt they were using Uzbek ‘coolies’ to haul generators, dialysis machine and fuel) traveled to Tora Bora which immediate vicinity was subsequently bombed to shards by B-52 heavy bombers raining down ordinance to a point “the landscape has been changed” or enough carpet bombing to level a small city. Now, having to escape THAT, bin-Ladin’s ‘mule train’ consisted of (imagine the tune ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’)
12 Uzbek-Qaida muleskinners
11 mules with shoes a-sparkin
10 Jerrycans a-clanging
9 B-40 rockets a-swingin
7 cases of 7.62 x 39 mm
6 cell phones with no signal
4 ISI agents
3 Pashtun guides
and a dialysis machine with spare parts.
Supposedly having left Tora Bora unnoticed, bin-Ladin was never heard from again by SIGNIT (signals intelligence, Tora Bora radio intercepts were his last.) The man was dead. He never made it to Pakistan. However he was still useful as a boogeyman because no one could produce his body and the CIA morons on location presumed bin-Ladin escaped (no doubt with his mule train) rather than admit they didn’t (and don’t to this day) know what actually happened. Bonered up CIA cowboy Gary Berntsen (hiya Gary, how tricks since I buggered your ass at San Feliu de Guixols, 2010? FYI what I did to you is called a ‘dry cob’ job) and CIA moron Cofer Black decided to pin their onerous (odious, actually) failure on the military, and Alfreda Bikowsky, who actually sent the FBI to search for Black al-Qaida cells in Montana (what a story that is), was subsequently put in charge of looking for a dead man.
The most likely consequent scenario is, nearly nine years later it was becoming increasingly clear to the Pakistani ISI that in fact bin-Ladin never survived December-January 2001-2002 and the legend has to be finished off. With an axe to grind with the CIA (the botched Khan nuclear black market sting), they set up a ‘dangle’ (a former ISI officer walks in to bag the $25 million reward) for the CIA which rushes to take the bait. What to do when the raid on the Abbottabad kills several harmless people and at best nets a bin-Ladin look-alike? No photo release and bury him at sea without any ships crew witnessed this and all military records seem to be ‘lost?’ Then SEAL Team Six in the hands of some of the best combat aviator coordinators in the world has a totally unprofessional- incompetent demise and we are assured by the DoD this was not the unit involved in the bin-Ladin ‘body snatch’ (we’re supposed to take the DoD’s word for it.) The Abbottabad bin-Ladin relatives are subsequently held incommunicado (no press interviews) by the Pakistanis and simply vanish, supposedly sent off to live happily ever after in some nirvana-like life courtesy of the House of Saud. Sure, that ought to work. Especially when considering the absolute morons running the CIA throughout this period would be perfect to set up for an inter-intelligence-agency sting. Shit happens.
So, what to do when ‘the prez’ has announced to the world that bin-Ladin has been killed before the DNA samples tested negative? Tell him? Probably not. Classify everything ‘lost’ (that’s what the Department of Defense did) and likely put a counterfeit DNA result into whatever report was necessary over at CIA and then bury it in classification at the highest level (with the ‘original samples ‘lost’ or destroyed, no doubt.) The numerous lies and conflicting stories Seymour Hersh turns up in his ‘The Killing of Osama bin Ladin’ make more sense when looked at in the circumstance of an agency (the CIA) which had been ‘snookered’ and no one knew what story to tell because no one wanted to take on the responsibility of getting all the complicit idiots (liars) on the same page in a situation of no competence. The circumstance precluded creating a consistent mythology. But this is not the case with Hersh’s next avowed set of facts:
December 2015 (the January 2016 issue of the London Review of Books) Hersh’s Military to Military sets out a case for the Pentagon flirting with treason (Hersh does not call it that) with undermining Commander-in-Chief Obama’s objectives in Syria. Hersh’s ‘rendition’ of the facts, in short, is the Pentagon has indirectly propped up Assad with intelligence sharing through the Russian military, so as to prevent the collapse of Syria into the chaos that typifies today’s Libya, only worse. The White House didn’t know this, or if they did, they didn’t know what to do about it except to nominate a hard core right wing Catholic and perfect Russophobe-cold-war-dick named Joe Dunford to take over as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and get the loose-cannon generals back under the control of moroness policy advisers like Sam Power and her reptilian reflex approach of ‘if we can fuck it, it will be fucked.’ Hersh’s narrative presents the following, coherent seeming mythology:
- Our Generals under recently retired Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Dempsey, come across as sensible, sane and motivated to the common good in this endeavor.
- The White House, by contrast, comes across as senseless, trapped in their incompetence, even insane, or a perfect world peace threatening ‘cluster-fuck’ in the mean vernacular.
Hersh closes his piece with entertaining a mystery; why is it insisted on by the Obama White House we will follow the path of least resistance to absolute world chaos? Or in Hersh’s own words:
The Joint Chiefs and the DIA were constantly telling Washington’s leadership of the jihadist threat in Syria … [t]he message was never listened to. Why not?
The tongue-in-cheek answer would be everyone at the White House is infected with David Icke’s lizard DNA. But not so fast, because I have the real intelligence on the Pentagon and our generals aren’t some crew of goody-two-shoes boy scouts. These guys are real reptiles (a metaphor, let’s not be too friendly with the theology of David Icke) with the ethical motivations of a monitor lizard. This brings us back (as promised) to Hersh’s feeble understanding of the religious right in our military’s officer corps at the very top. General Dempsey, the focus of sanity in Hersh’s presentation, has been little more than an alter boy to the Opus Dei Hersh accuses of hijacking the JSOC [Joint Special Operations Command] in his Doha speech, a dyed in the wool, conservative Catholic through and through. Let’s have a look at where the recently retired [former] chairman Dempsy has landed:
American Grand Strategy (AGS) is an interdisciplinary initiative across Duke University that creates and shares new knowledge in the grand strategy field. The program’s mission is to prepare the next generation of strategists by studying past generations and interacting with current strategic leaders. We are building a research community of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates who are committed to deepening their understanding of America’s role in the world – past, present and future.
AGS hosts The Ambassador Dave and Kay Phillips Family International Lecture series: endowed for the purpose of bringing prominent figures in international security, foreign policy, and diplomacy to Duke University in order to engage with students, faculty, and the larger Duke community about issues of international importance. Contemporary leaders who have attended include, Mitt Romney, Stephen Hadley, Ray Odierno, Karl Eikenberry, David Petraeus, Karl Rove, Howard Dean, Condoleezza Rice, Martin Dempsey, Robert Gates, and Fareed Zakaria
If ever there were a snake-pit of ruinous geopolitical policy-makers and pundits (liars for Jesus) on the right wing of American politics, that’s it. This is Seymour Hersh’s protagonist Dempsey in his real colors. Of the no less than four generals and one Secretary of Defense listed; Odierno, Eikenberry, Petraeus, Dempsey and Gates respectively, all were in position to influence and reduce the radical Christian right’s pervasive influence in the USA’s armed forces. None of them did. Eikenberry and Odierno firmly sat on their hands. Dempsey protected them. Petraeus endorsed them. Gates promoted them and what’s more is, was key in setting the Obama administration down the wrong road at its inception when working with Petraeus to more closely integrate the JSOC to the CIA (not to mention instigating the failed Afghanistan ‘surge.’) Of the non-military personalities, Condoleezza Rice is a rabid right wing evangelical. Her deputy, Hadley, had his fingerprints all over the Bush Jr crimes sprees including the frame-up of Saddam for possession of uranium (Plame affair.) Rove devised the strategy which handed the USA, lock, stock & barrel, to the American religious right. Dean is complicit in providing cover for the Mojahedin-e-Khalq terror de-listing even as that group was blackmailed into reentering the game versus Iran but now on the side of Israel with USA supported assassination training, that very training being the subject of Hersh’s ‘Our Men in Iran.’ Zakaria comes up a CIA media whore for geopolitics in nearly every direction one looks, not least his FORD Foundation funding for past projects. Every one of those listed at the Duke program is a snake dripping venom on the right wing of politics, including stealth neocon Dean, who worked together with Rudy Giuliani and Tom Ridge, when ‘rehabilitating’ Mojahedin-e-Khalq for Bibi Netanyahu’s outsourced assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. Now, looking at Dempsey in that cesspool when compared with the sanity assigned by Hersh in his ‘Military to Military’, Hersh’s portrayal of Dempsey can’t hold up.
Then, we have another problem. Why would Hersh’s sympathetic sources rat out the supposedly sane generals trying to keep the insanity from spiraling out of control in Syria? That doesn’t smell right. Not only does it not smell right, it violates his sources intelligence training. All military sources would have the necessary intelligence training to operate at the level Hersh is reporting the leaks from and the discipline not to compromise themselves and associates. Are Hersh’s essential facts on intelligence sharing with Assad through the Russians properly lined up? Probably. So, what’s up? Why the leaks to Hersh?
Behind the Mythology
I’ve seen some of the confidential statements to Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation by the few of our secular General Officers pointing to the rampant treason against our constitution by Christian dominion personalities they dare not speak about or challenge openly. If our secular Generals and Admirals don’t dare speak out, what should that say to a reasonable person? Who controls the tactical nuclear weapons that are held independently of the President’s ‘football’ controlling a strategic nuclear launch? Personalities like NATO Supreme Commander (US Air Force General) Phillip Breedlove who is clearly itching for a war with Russia. It would appear he just got an (Obama appointed) ally in Joe Dunford who has replaced Hersh’s faux hero (snake in the grass) General Dempsey as JCS chairman.
Whoever ratted out the Russian connection to Hersh has an agenda and that agenda is not preserving the sanity (probably accurately) portrayed by Hersh. What we are more likely looking at is, the struggle between the Christian dominion and secular officers, the elephant in the living room no one dares bring up. The radical right wing had got wind of what is up and pulled a bait and switch on the reading public by a duped Seymour Hersh who was used as the ‘cut out’ to 1) collapse the secular officers intelligence sharing scheme 2) take credit in the public eye for sanity by those very same insane officers and most importantly 3) undercut Hillary on whose watch the badly fucked up Syria policy was set in motion. What an irony, because Hillary would so deserve this and double rich in irony as it was then CIA director & rabid right wing evangelical David Petraeus did the dirty work initiating the hit job on the Assad regime.
Don’t worry about this all not making much common sense, if Obama’s ‘national security’ squeeze Susan Rice never saw a ‘humanitarian intervention’ she didn’t like, the religious right generals at the Pentagon will take every one of them gratefully; all the while ‘praising Jesus’ on the road to Armageddon and pointing the finger of blame at people who’re just plain stupid and have been played to precisely the generals agenda of seeing the return of Jesus via apocalyptic events in the middle east per their theology and ‘Bible Prophecy’ … while Obama’s ‘girls’ … Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power and Susan Rice get the full credit for taking us all to hell in a hand-basket when in fact they only deserve the one half of it. Meanwhile you can take in your Pentagon Bible study HERE
Now, on the overdue paper from last semester, if Hersh’s study of Cheney tracks down the Kosovo criminal ring that harvested Cheney’s replacement heart for his transplant, I’ll pass Hersh for the academic year with a solid C grade 😉
Related: Bin Laden & the Fourth Estate