The moment when any colonial power begins to downsize its empire or pull back from foreign aggression generally brings with it the risk of great political instability at home.
Even so consummate statesman as French President Charles de Gaulle had to put down a military coup d’état by four rogue generals in Algiers in April 1961, including the threat that paratroopers loyal to colonialist fanatics would attempt to attack Paris.
This past Friday, President Obama announced that the US departure from Afghanistan would be faster and more complete than many had supposed. Fifty years after the Kennedy assassination, we must investigate the possible reaction of the enormous vested interests of the US military, defense contractors, and private military firms to the looming prospect of having the United States engaged in no major war for the first time since 2001.
Obama has also announced his candidates for three important posts: Senator John Kerry for Secretary of State, former Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, and John Brennan for head of the CIA. Press commentary has stressed that these three may all be considered confidants, loyalists, and retainers for Obama. Eric Holder, who will remain as Attorney General, fits the same description. Obama is trying to protect himself from hostile political forces, including Watergate-style attacks and subversion by the rogue network. On November 21, 2012, Obama sent a memorandum to executive departments and agencies calling for “effective insider threat programs within departments and agencies” to prevent “actions by employees who may represent a threat to national security.” “These threats encompass potential espionage, violent acts against the government or the nation, and unauthorized disclosure of classified information….” This could mean Wikileaks, or it could mean Seven Days in May.
Obama’s Drone Gang vs. the Neocon Big Battalions
The principal distinctions between Obama’s faction and the opposing group of more extreme warmongers would seem to be along the following lines: Obama represents a faction which wishes to avoid the large-scale commitment of US conventional military forces to foreign wars. This kind of costly conventional warfare is by contrast the stock in trade of the opposing forces who sometimes choose to speak through the neocons. Instead, the group above and behind Obama proposes the use of economic warfare and economic sanctions, color revolutions, coups, subversion, special forces raids, drone attacks, assassinations, and multilateral buck-passing or leading from behind - playing an ally or an enemy against an enemy in the hopes of destroying or weakening both, as with Obama’s current use of Turkey against Syria.
Brennan presides over Terror Tuesdays at the White House, when the drone death list for the week is compiled. John Kerry ran for president in 2004 promising not to end the Iraq war, but to fight it smarter - meaning along the lines now embraced by Obama in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan policy favored by Obama has been articulated by Joe Biden and also in the CIA’s Devine Plan - special forces, drones, occasional bombing, and espionage, with very few boots on the ground.
It is important not to nourish illusions in this regard. Chuck Hagel got elected to the Senate in Nebraska because his family had bought up the voting machines. Chuck Hagel voted for every appropriation benefiting Israel which came up during his career in the Senate. He feels that excessive groveling by US lawmakers at the feet of AIPAC is counterproductive for the Israelis themselves. Chuck Hagel dislikes unilateral sanctions because he regards any kind of unilateralism, so widely practiced during the Bush-Cheney years, as a recipe for failure. By contrast, Hagel is a strong supporter of multilateral sanctions against Iran, which he regards as far more effective. Only the most extreme right-wing Likudnik - of whom there are admittedly quite a few in Washington - could ever regard Hagel as anything but a friend of Israel.
Rogue Network Operations against Obama
Obama has received some brutal messages from the pro-war and pro-Wall Street Rogue Network or Invisible Government entrenched in the main executive agencies of the US federal government. Just after Obama had agreed to send 30,000 additional soldiers into Afghanistan as part of a last-chance surge demanded by neocons and Pentagon utopian strategists, the US intelligence community deliberately allowed Mutallab the underwear bomber to make his appearance in the skies over Detroit on Christmas morning, 2009. A few days later, the Obama administration signaled through MSNBC if they regarded this incident as an attempt to embarrass and box in the president - and then failed to follow up.
When Obama was running for a second term, the CIA high command and US Africom teamed up to orchestrate the murder of four US personnel, including one ambassador, in Benghazi, Libya. Here the intent was unquestionably an early October Surprise to get Mitt Romney, the candidate favored by neocons and warmongers, elected in Obama’s place.
Over the past few months, an unusually large number of military, political, and business careers have been abruptly terminated in the Washington corridors of power. Which of them were complicit in the pro-Romney putsch we do not know in many cases. The most famous victim of this process so far has been CIA Director and four-star general David Petraeus, who was ousted from Langley because of an alleged sex affair with his biographer, military intelligence colonel Paula Broadwell. Petraeus had long been known as George W. Bush’s favorite general, and had gone on to become the potential presidential candidate favored by many hard-core neocons, who saw in the general - the focus of a considerable personality cult among reactionaries -- a vehicle for a return to power by the neocon faction.
Petraeus Helps the Kagans Penetrate the US Command in Afghanistan
On December 18, 2012, the Washington Post revealed that hard-core neocon warmongers Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute and Kimberly Kagan of the Institute for the Study of War (and not peace) had functioned as top level advisors to Petraeus in Afghanistan in 2010-2011, profoundly influencing strategy and at times worming their way into the military chain of command. The article depicted Petraeus as practically a part of the neocon faction, getting other advice from neocon Max Boot of the New York Council on Foreign Relations.
This article also shows how the Kagans had intrigued to become informal advisers to US General Stanley McChrystal in early 2010, even before Petraeus had taken over in Afghanistan. Obama later fired McChrystal when reports of scurrilous mockery and insults against the tenant of the White House and Vice President “Bite Me” Biden by McChrystal and his staff were published in Rolling Stone magazine on June 25, 2010. These were views most neocons shared. In retrospect, contempt for Obama must be considered endemic across the US military establishment.
Rupert Murdoch Wanted Petraeus in the White House
It has also been revealed that Petraeus was the presidential candidate most favored by the reactionary British Empire media baron Rupert Murdoch, whose propaganda channel Fox News is one of the loudest warmonger voices on the American scene. According to the London Daily Telegraph of December 4, 2012, Murdoch and his top US retainer Roger Ailes sent Petraeus a message in mid-2011 through Kathleen McFarland, a Fox correspondent.
Petraeus was told that the entire Murdoch media empire would be at his service for propaganda and fundraising if he chose to run for president. Interestingly, Murdoch and Ailes told Petraeus that, if he were offered the post of chairman of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, he should accept that post. But, Murdoch and Ailes recommended, if Petraeus were offered the post of CIA Director, he should turn it down. In the event, Petraeus was offered the job of CIA boss, and, contrary to this advice, he accepted it.
Obama’s 2011 Pick for Joint Chiefs Chair Stopped - by Murdoch and Petraeus?
Murdoch’s support of Petraeus to replace Bush 43 holdover Admiral Mike Mullen as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in mid-2011 throws new light on the massive intrigue surrounding that transition. Murdoch and the neocons wanted a ruthless warmonger, preferably Petraeus, to replace Mullen. According to the Washington Post of May 29, 2011, Obama’s preferred candidate was Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman James E. “Hoss” Cartwright of the Marines, a commander less fanatically devoted to escalation.
In previous months, a warmonger faction around Defense Secretary Robert Gates - a former Brzezinski protégé who had become an acolyte of the Bush CIA faction --, Mullen, and Petraeus had all been demanding a surge of 40,000 combat troops into Afghanistan. Cartwright had privately informed Obama that half as many additional troops would be sufficient. As a result, a campaign of malicious gossip and character assassination was unleashed against Cartwright inside the Pentagon. He was accused of a sexual relationship with a subordinate female officer, leading to the end of his marriage. Eternal warmonger John McCain was evidently active against Cartwright. The pusillanimous Cartwright twice declined to accept the promotion offered by Obama, and this made the more extreme warmongers stronger. In the end, Obama rejected Petraeus, whom he viewed as a dangerous rival for the White House in 2012, but had to accept Army General Martin E. Dempsey, who has apparently followed orders until now.
For and against A New Gulf of Tonkin Provocation
The threat of a new edition of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin crisis which helped start the escalation of the Vietnam War hangs heavily over Washington on the eve of the inauguration. On August 26, 2012 the Washington Post Magazine told the story of Gwyneth Todd, who had worked for Dick Cheney during the Bush 41 administration, in the Middle East Department of the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration, and who in spring 2007 found herself as a top political adviser to the United States Navy’s Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain.
Here warmonger Navy Vice Admiral Kevin J. Cosgriff, an ally of US Central command boss Admiral William J. “Fox” Fallon, another hawk, was in command. According to this account, Fallon and Cosgriff schemed to sabotage a US-Iran diplomatic meeting to be held in Baghdad, and perhaps to start a war in the process. Cosgriff wanted to send two aircraft carriers, an amphibious helicopter assault ship, and five other warships unannounced through the Straits of Hormuz in May 2007 - without informing the Pentagon, the State Department, or the National Security Council. The provocation in question may well be the one identified as “Operation Bite” by the present author in an article published on March 25, 2007. Gwyneth Todd says she helped defuse the crisis by warning a family friend at the State Department Iran desk, and the naval demonstration was ordered postponed. Cosgriff failed to derail the planned diplomatic meeting.
According to this account, Todd claims to have helped US naval commanders in the Gulf leak and block an earlier Bush Cheney plan for aggression, getting it published in Time Magazine. (This may have been related to the false flag provocation involving Iran about which Brzezinski warned the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on February 1, 2007.)
Dick Cheney has confessed in his memoirs that he was indeed campaigning for an attack against Syria in the spring of 2007, but says he did not find sufficient support in the Bush White House. This was soon followed by the rogue B-52 incident of August-September 2007, when a nuclear armed intercontinental bomber carrying six cruise missiles was essentially hijacked out of the control of the US Air Force by elements of the rogue network. The Air Force underwent a partial purge, but the real facts in the case have been assiduously covered up from public view. Fallon, for his part, claimed credit in Esquire Magazine in 2008 for preventing the Bush administration from starting a war with Iran. Fallon was then forced to retire from the service.
Other military leaders, politicians, and corporate executives whose careers have been suddenly terminated or blighted under various pretexts over recent months include: Marine General John R. Allen, who had been scheduled to take over as NATO commander in Brussels; General Carter Ham, commander of US Africom; Admiral James G. Stavridis, the current NATO commander; former US Africom commander General William E. “Kip” Ward; Lieutenant General Patrick J. O’Reilly, the director of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency; Rear Admiral Chuck Gaouette, commander of the USS Stennis carrier battle group; Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair, deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division; Commander Joseph E. Darlak, commanding officer of the frigate USS Vandegrifft plus three other officers, after a drunken orgy in the Russian port of Vladivostok; and Christopher E. Kubasik, president and Chief Operating Officer of Lockheed Martin Corp., usually the largest of all defense contractors.
To this list were added in late November two officers from the US Sixth Fleet, based in Naples-Gaeta; one is Navy Captain Ted Williams, commander of the USS Mount Whitney, an amphibious command ship. Foreign Policy magazine, citing a Navy press release, noted that Williams had been the executive officer (or number two in command) on the aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower after his predecessor, Captain Robert Gamberg, was ousted on charges of an “improper relationship.” Also sacked was Commander Ray Hartman, skipper of the amphibious dock-landing ship USS Fort McHenry. How many were the crimes of Cupid, how many of Mammon, and how many of Mars?
The Fall of Tea Party Paymaster Jim Demint
On December 6, 2012, these victims of reversal of fortune were joined by the arch-reactionary Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, regarded in Washington as a political manager and disbursing agent for the right wing extremist Koch brothers. Using money from extremist donors, DeMint had tried to promote the election of tea party fanatics, but with little success.
It is common practice in Washington for a Senator or Congressman who causes problems for the System to be threatened with federal indictment as a means to force him out of politics. The indictment is almost always announced, even when it is not going to be carried out. Democratic Senator Robert Torricelli of New Jersey and Republican Congressman Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania, both of whom talked too much about 9/11, are recent examples. Is this what happened behind the scenes to convince DeMint to quit the Senate for the Heritage Foundation? Had DeMint and his super-rich backers been implicated in the Benghazi or post-Benghazi attempt to install Romney?
The Gallup Poll, one of the oldest public opinion surveys, had diverged from the vast majority of other polls by consistently reporting Romney with a significant lead over Obama in the presidential contest. Now, the US federal government wants to impose heavy fines on Gallup for allegedly overcharging the government for certain public opinion polling Gallup had contracted to do for the feds. As the recent examples of Kiev, Ukraine in 2004 and Tiflis, Georgia a few years earlier suggest, a political faction which is planning to overturn an election either by vote fraud or by mob action needs very much to have a public opinion poll asserting that the insurgent candidate was really more popular. Had Gallup been in cahoots with Karl Rove and his ORCA operation against Obama?
The sagas of Petraeus, the Kagans, Paula Broadwell, Jill Kelley, Gwyneth Todd, and others should shock US public opinion because they show the outrageous cynicism, careerism, superficiality, greed, egotism, and corruption of the social process from which US strategic policy emerges. As was once rightly said of pre-war Britain’s pro-fascist Cliveden Set, after all their junkets, trysts, receptions, conferences, networking, publishing ventures, interviews, and intrigues, the result is always the same - the coffins of rural, Appalachian, and inner city poor - who often choose military service out of desperation - arriving at Dover Air Force Base. This corruption must end.