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The fetters imposed on liberty at home have ever been forged out of the weapons provided for defense against real, pretended or imaginary dangers from abroad. -- James Madison, 23 February 1799.

A word from Rumsfeld
Surprise Trip for Donald Rumsfeld; Interview With Brigadier General James Marks; Christian in Iraq
Aired December 24, 2004 - 12:00   ET


NGUYEN: We want to go back now to that video that we're just getting in from Donald Rumsfeld's visit to Iraq, a surprise visit, he is at Camp Victory here in Baghdad in this video speaking to soldiers in the mess hall. Let's take a listen.
And to change that way of living, would strike at the very essence of our country.
And I think all of us have a sense if we imagine the kind of world we would face if the people who bombed the mess hall in Mosul, or the people who did the bombing in Spain, or the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania and attacked the Pentagon, the people who cut off peoples' heads on television to intimidate, to frighten -- indeed the word "terrorized" is just that. Its purpose is to terrorize, to alter behavior, to make people be something other than that which they want to be.
And that is exactly what we cannot allow to happen.
The American people recognize the importance of your mission: that you're here for a purpose, and that purpose is not to run the country of Iraq. That's for the Iraqi people. It's not to find an American solution for Iraq.
Indeed, it is to be here, to try to help train and equip and organize and assist the Iraqi security forces so that they, over time, will be able to take on responsibility for their country. And this country will find a solution that will be uniquely Iraqi.
If you think about what's happened in Afghanistan, three years ago it was the training ground for terrorists. It was the place that the attacks against the United States were hatched and launched. And today they've elected their first popularly elected president in the history of the country. They are moving toward parliamentary elections in April. They have established a democratic system that's respectful of all of the various diverse elements in that country.
Women are voting for the first time. They're able to go outside by themselves without being accompanied. Young children can fly a kite, can sing and dance, which they were not allowed to do under the Taliban. The soccer stadium in Kabul is being used for soccer instead of beheading people.
So the accomplishment in Afghanistan was a truly breathtaking experience. I was there for the inauguration. And President Karzai, from the bottom of his heart, thanked the American people and said that without that help they would not be a free society, they would not have been able to what they are doing, that people would not be going to school.
Here's a country that doesn't have any of the capabilities that this country does. It doesn't have the water, it doesn't have the oil, it doesn't have the population that is as well-educated as Iraq. This country has every chance in the world to make it.
And it's in an important location. It will have a big affect on this region. They've made good progress. If you think about it, they've gone from an Iraqi Governing Council to an interim government, moving toward elections at the end of next month, moving toward then the development of a constitution.
I've lived a few years -- a lot of years. And I have seen fascism rise and fall. I've seen communism rise and fall. We've seen the Berlin Wall get built and get torn down. And if you think about the message in all of that, we've seen Afghanistan go from a terrorist training ground to a democracy.
Now, what does that say? It says that the great sweep of human history is for freedom. And that is the side we're on. And that's the side you're on.
Just a few weeks ago, Falluja was controlled by assassins and today it's a free city. Something like 140,000 refugees have come to this country from other countries, Iraqis. Why do they do that? Why do they get up one morning and say to themselves, "I'm going to leave where I am that's safer to be sure, and I'm going to go back to Iraq"?
They are voting with their feet. They are convinced that life is going to be good here, that there is a chance of making it, and that people do need to pitch in and see that it happens.
I must say, as a personal message, before I come out and shake hands and have a chance to tell you how much we appreciate your service, let me just say that we know that you sacrifice. We certainly know your families do. And they certainly serve, just as you do. And they are strong.
I get a chance to see them in Bethesda and Walter Reed and other hospitals. And I meet the families of people who have been wounded, your colleagues, people who have been here and gone back and are recuperating. And I must say, the families are the most amazing thing. They are truly extraordinary.
They are proud of what their sons and daughters do. They have strength and courage. And I don't think anyone can come away from being with them without gaining inspiration for the tough tasks ahead.
Now, it's Christmas Eve. And I don't want to, in any way, paint a picture that's pretty, because it isn't pretty. This is a tough part of the world. This is a tough country. Your friends and your associates are at risk, as you are. And I wish I could stand here and say that the incidents of violence were going to calm down between now and the elections.
I wish I could stand here and say that the incidents of violence will calm down after the elections. I can't say that.
The people that we're up against have a lot to lose, a lot to lose. They also have brains. And they watch what we do, and they adjust to what we do. And they're determined.
But so are we. We are in a test of wills. There isn't a battle anyone could bring against you that you couldn't win. You're not going to be faced with battles. You're going to be faced in the shadows, in the side streets and with people who are using every conceivable time, task and way of attacking you where you're most vulnerable.
And that's what we face.
So there isn't any way that foreign troops, our troops, coalition troops or any other troops from any country can provide security in this country.
What we can do is contribute to security. What we can do is help to train the Iraqis and mentor the Iraqis, and see that the Iraqis develop the capability, the equipment, the training, the organization, the chain of command, the experience, the rib cage, the officer leadership, the non-com leadership, the experience to take over responsibility for their own security.
And that's our task. That's what we have to do. That's what is being done. And we've got wonderful people working on it, and I'm here to simply to look you in the eye and say, "Thank you, every one of you. God bless you."

"let  it  happen  on  purpose"

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This article copied from :



Updated -- 15 September 2003

When it comes to Conspiracies, this one is all the current rage (pardon the pun). 

The basic idea is that LIHOP stands for "Let It Happen On Purpose".  In essence, we're dealing here with a theory that suggests the United States federal government -- and very importantly, high level members of the Bush Administration in particular -- were sufficiently forewarned about the 9-11-2001 attacks that these attacks could have been prevented.  Furthermore these forewarnings were intentionally ignored, and allowed to happen, in order to have an attack on the order of Pearl Harbor.  According to the theory, such an attack could be used to carry out a neo-conservative, covert agenda of invading various countries in the Middle East.  By occupying and controlling several countries in the Middle East -- Afghanistan and Iraq spring to mind -- the United States and Britain would then have access and control over the oil fields in these countries.  In effect, taking the hit on 9-11-2001 -- or more accurately, having several thousand innocent people take the hit -- would then allow a fanatical response, which would be politically acceptable to the American public.  Thus the initiation of what might best be described as Bush Wars -- a variation of a theme of Oil Wars.

An extremely credible and interesting article in this regard is by a member of the British Parliament, entitled The War on Terrorism is Bogus.  This article has the advantage of basing its argument on what has been learned over the last two years -- but almost never publicized in the mainstream Media.  In essence, it explains that the evidence is extremely convincing that the high level neo-conservatives in the US government were aware of the impending strike and took great pains to ensure that it was successfully accomplished.  The latter includes making sure every member of the government was immediately unavailable to deal with the crisis as it unfolded over a matter of hours, and to keep the US Air Force on the ground and thereby not prevent the hijacked aircraft from reaching their targets.  About the only thing that went wrong in their plan was that one airliner was taken down by its passengers before it could -- allegedly -- crash into the Capital Building.  [Note, for example, that President Bush was in Florida reading to elementary school children.]

William Rivers Pitt, editor of truthout, gives an American perspective along similar lines, in his article, "I Believe."  Both of the essays are must reads (as are most of the articles).  Pitt, however, while seeing the oil connection, does not relate as specifically to the neo-conservative agenda that states in essence that now is the time for the United States to bring the entire world under its sway.  The sheer arrogance of this agenda is matched only by the personalities who are actively supporting and embellishing the plan.  Well known members of this neo-conservative clique include President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Attorney General John Ashcroft -- the ABC's of the "axis of evil" -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Assistant Defense Secretary Wolfowitz.

An earlier article by Pitt -- which provides for an interesting, earlier perspective (June 20, 2002) -- is entitled “All Along the Watchtower”.  It's the sort of thing to really grab your attention.  But Pitt’s not alone -- by any means.  He just writes it in such a way as to make it all the more plausible.  Consider, for example, this truthout / Opinion.


Stanley Hilton, a San Francisco attorney and former aide to Senator Bob Dole, filed a $7 billion lawsuit in U.S. District Court on June 3rd.  The class-action suit names ten defendants, among whom are George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Norman Mineta.  

Hilton’s suit charges Bush and his administration with allowing the September 11th attacks to take place so as to reap political benefits from the catastrophe. Hilton alleges that Osama bin Laden is being used as a scapegoat by an administration that ignored pressing warnings of the attack and refused to round up suspected terrorists beforehand.  

Hilton alleges the ultimate motivation behind these acts was achieved when the Taliban were replaced by American military forces with a regime friendly to America and its oil interests in the region.  

Hilton’s plaintiffs in this case are the families of 14 victims of 9/11, numbering 400 people nationwide.  These are the same families that rallied in Washington recently to advocate for an independent investigation into the attacks.  The current 9/11 hearings are being conducted by Congress behind closed doors, a situation these families find unacceptable.  

Mr. Hilton, by filing his lawsuit, has joined the ranks of an ever-increasing body of Americans who subscribe to what they call the LIHOP Theory.  LIHOP stands for Let It Happen On Purpose.  The LIHOP Theory puts forward the accusation that Bush and his people allowed the September 11th attacks to take place, despite the fact that they had been repeatedly warned of an impending strike.  

The LIHOP Theory is straightforward: In the months before 9/11, American intelligence agencies received ominous warnings from the intelligence services of nations like Israel, Russia, Egypt and Germany.  These warnings were pointed - an attack involving hijacked aircraft and prominent American landmarks was imminent, our security forces were told. Bush himself was briefed of these warnings weeks before they happened.  

Instead of responding vigorously to these warnings, the Bush administration and its security apparatus did nothing.  

LIHOP is, of course, the purest breed of conspiracy theory, involving high-ranking members of government from both parties, as well as the CIA, FBI and NSA.  Like all good conspiracy theories, LIHOP is surrounded by disturbing facts and bits of evidence that are difficult to ignore.  

The warnings from all those foreign intelligence services, after all, are quite real.  Egypt, Germany, Russia and the Israelis were vociferous in their concerns.  The German intelligence service BND told US and Israeli intelligence that Middle East terrorists were “planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack important symbols of American and Israeli culture.”  The BND’s information came through Echelon, the American-controlled network of 120 satellites that monitors all worldwide electronic communications.  

Egypt voiced similar warnings that same month regarding aircraft attacks.  Delivered just before the G-8 summit in Genoa, Egypt’s alert carried such weight that anti-aircraft batteries were placed around Columbus Airport in Italy.  

The Russians warned the US that same summer of 25 pilots who had been trained for suicide missions, and Putin himself delivered the warning “in the strongest possible terms” to the US government.  The Israeli intelligence service Mossad delivered a warning to both the FBI and the CIA detailing “a major assault on the United States” against “a large-scale target” that was “very vulnerable.”  

The Washington Post has reported that the NSA intercepted two messages on September 10, 2001, warning that something was going to happen the next day.  “Tomorrow is zero hour,” was one of the messages.  The NSA’s charter is to intercept, translate and pass on to FBI and CIA operatives important electronic signals from all across the globe.  

The Echelon satellite network which provided the German BND with their 9/11 information last June is part of that system.  According to the NSA, the September 10th data was not translated until September 12th, but it stands to reason that they were privy to the same electronic data the other foreign services were using as the basis for their warnings.  

One US intelligence source claims the data provided “no actionable intelligence,” a fair claim given the vagueness of the messages and the volume of material NSA must deal with.  Yet in combination with the strident foreign intelligence warnings, the words intercepted by our large electronic ears on September 10th add to the growing questions.  

Then, there are the threads. A FEMA official told Dan Rather that the disaster agency had been at the World Trade Center on September 10th.  Why?  

Governor Jeb Bush of Florida signed executive order #01-261 on September 7th, putting his state’s National Guard on heightened alert status, essentially placing Florida under martial law for no demonstrable reason.  Why?  

Attorney General John Ashcroft stopped flying on commercial aircraft in the weeks before 9/11, something he had commonly done since his entry into the administration.  Why?  

At the core of the LIHOP Theory lies motivation - what possible purpose could be served by the Bush administration allowing a terrorist attack to take place on American soil?  It is flatly inconceivable to most Americans that Bush and his people could demonstrate such callous disregard for American lives, and accusations that they allowed an attack to happen reek of the worst kind of poisonous partisan politics.  

LIHOP Theory, however, is not so easily dismissed. Two French intelligence analysts, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, have published an extensively-researched book entitled “Osama bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth.”  In it, they allege that the Bush administration put energy policy before national security concerns.  

According to Brisard and Dasquie, a foundering pipeline project aimed at exploiting natural gas reserves along the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan was revived by the Bush administration when it arrived in Washington in January of 2001.  The pipeline project, which sought to bring oil and natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to a warm water port, had been the brainchild of American petroleum giant Unocal for much of the 1990s.  

After the destruction of two American embassies in Africa in 1998 by Osama bin Laden, the Clinton administration forbade any American companies from doing business with the Taliban, which had been sheltering bin Laden in Afghanistan.  Unocal’s pipeline project was frozen.  

After the Bush administration came to power, Brisard and Dasquie allege that reinvigorating the pipeline project became a high-priority matter of policy.  Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca was dispatched to Pakistan to discuss the pipeline with Taliban officials in August of 2001.  Rocca, a career officer with the CIA, had been deeply involved in Agency activities within Afghanistan.  

According to documents Brisard and Dasquie claim to hold, the main subject of their discussion was oil.  A Pakistani foreign minister was also present at the meeting, and witnessed the exchange.  

How does this pipeline relate to September 11th?  According to Brisard and Dasquie, the main obstacle to the completion of the pipeline was the fact that it had to pass through Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.  The project would receive no international support unless the Afghan government somehow became legitimized.  

In bargaining for the pipeline, the Bush administration demanded that the Taliban reinstate deposed King Mohammad Zahir Shah as ruler of Afghanistan, and demanded that the Taliban hand over Osama bin Laden for arrest.  In return, the Taliban would reap untold billions in profit from the pipeline.  According to Brisard and Dasquie, part of the Bush administration’s bargaining tactics involved threats of war if these conditions for the legitimization of Afghanistan were not met.  

The BBC of London reported on September 18th, 2001 of the existence of war plans on Bush’s desk aimed at Afghanistan.  Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, stated that the war plans were slated for October of 2001.  Conditions set by the Bush administration to avoid war involved the Taliban’s handing over of bin Laden and the acceptance of King Zahir Shah.   Naik went so far as to doubt that America would hold off on war even if these conditions were met.  

The result, according to the French analysts, was total disaster.  The Bush administration fundamentally misunderstood the Taliban regime’s commitment to bring back the King and hand bin Laden over to the West would have been tantamount to suicide for the Taliban.  Instead of acquiescing to the hard-sell tactics of the Bush administration, the Taliban unleashed their pet attack dog, Osama, upon America.  They were going to lose everything, and chose to attack first in the hope that all-out war would break out in Central Asia and rally other Muslim nations to their cause.  

Motive suddenly becomes far more clear.  The Bush administration very much wanted the Unocal pipeline to go through, and put intense pressure on the Taliban to see it happen.  As this was happening, American intelligence services were flooded with warnings of an impending attack upon American targets by bin Laden and Al Qaida.  

The decision was made -- let the attack come, and in the ensuing outrage American forces can carve out the guts of the Taliban government like a ripe gourd, replacing them with a “legitimate” regime more receptive to the pipeline plan.  

Did the Bush administration have an inkling of the massive death and destruction that would come on September 11th?  Those who espouse the LIHOP Theory disagree on this point.  Some believe that FEMAs presence at Ground Zero on the day before the attack, coupled with specific language within the international intelligence warnings pertaining to aircraft and high-profile targets, are prima facie evidence of specific prior knowledge.  

Others believe that the Bush administration only knew vaguely that an attack would come, but not where or when.  They did not foresee the level of destruction, and were caught flat-footed when those planes appeared along the New York skyline.  

In the end, the LIHOP Theory can encompass either view.  Whether they had specific knowledge beforehand, or merely decided to let some attack happen somewhere, the final results were the same.  The Taliban were routed and replaced by an interim government headed by a man named Harmid Karzai.  

Karzai was recently elected President of Afghanistan in his own right, legitimizing the Afghanistan government.  Soon after this, Karzai announced the impending construction of a pipeline that would exploit Turkmenistan’s natural gas reserves.  He named Unocal as the lead company for the project.  Before becoming President, Karzai was an advisor to Unocal.  

For LIHOP Theorists, the evidence is clear.  The Bush administration got the pipeline it wanted.  Along the way, they used the horrors of 9/11 to place themselves above reproach.  In the patriotic fervor that resulted from the attacks, both the press and the Democratic opposition were bracketed by the administration-espoused idea that any questions or criticism were tantamount to treason.  

The passage of the PATRIOT Anti-Terror Act has given the US government sweeping abilities to snuff dissent by defining it as terrorism, thanks to the loosely defined wording of the bill.  Bush enjoyed stratospheric approval ratings that persist to this day [but have since lessened considerably], and American citizens were given new enemies to hate.  The Defense Department, and the weapons contractors who cater to them, received billions from the federal budget to do with as they pleased in order to address the objects of that hate.   Even the most hardened political observer must admit the dismal truth: September 11th was the greatest thing ever to happen to the Bush administration.  [emphasis added]  

Attorney Stanley Hilton has brought LIHOP Theory into the federal court system with his class-action suit, and with the families of 9/11 victims he represents.  It will be interesting to see what transpires when these two facts collide in an American courtroom.  

Given the current climate, it does not seem likely that much will come of it...  After all, these conspiracy theorists are just a bunch of nuts.  Right?  


William Rivers Pitt is a teacher from Boston, MA. His new book, The Greatest Sedition is Silence, will be published soon by Pluto Press.  


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