If the United States truly practiced the concept of "liberty and justice for all," retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Al Martin would be the one with the national radio talk show and prestige, and Ollie North would be having to hide out in a remote site, or better yet, in prison.
George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, George Bush Sr., Richard Armitage, and others sure would not be in the positions of power they are. Some people would not be sitting in prisons for what they knew about the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s. Other people would not have died under odd circumstances since then, possibly because someone was afraid theyíd talk too much, or find out too much.
And two books Iíve recently read, Martinís The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran-Contra Insider [National Liberty Press, LLC, P.O. Box 43, Pray, Montana 59065, Toll-free 1-866-317-1390, http://www.almartinraw.com, 2002] and Uri Dowbenkoís Bushwhacked: Inside Stories of True Conspiracy [Conspiracy Digest, Pray, Mont., Toll-free 1-866-317-1390, http://www.conspiracydigest.com, 2002], would be required reading in all U.S. college government courses.
But of course, as the Denzel Washington character says in Philadelphia, we donít live in a perfect world, now do we?
The books made my head spin, once I finally found some time to really read them and not just skim over them. They deserve careful readings by anyone interested in learning more about why the U.S. bullies much smaller countries like Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Nicaragua. If you want to know why the Bush administration is on the verge of invading Syria when its adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq are not even complete, buy these books. They connect the dots between North and the Bush syndicate Ė and even prominent Democrats that profited from and helped cover up Iran-Contra and Iraqgate, such as Janet Reno. They pull no punches. They give credence to your suspicions that something is frightfully wrong with the direction Bush Inc. are leading us.
Martin, one of the bravest whistle-blowers who has graced the U.S., was actually an officer in the powerful Office of Naval Intelligence and a middle player in Iran-Contra, the scheme that on the surface illegally sold American weapons to Iran, then used that money to illegally fund the right-wing Contrasí war on the leftist Nicaraguan government. But as he shows, Iran-Contra was a lot more than that; it was bank fraud, savings and loan fraud, drug running, apparent murder, falsely imprisoning people who knew too much.
Martin describes numerous meetings with none other than Jeb Bush, the man who stole Florida for his brother in the 2000 election heist. At one, Bush, who Martin calls a "real sharp cookie," tells him how to illegally "short" stock in companies to make a hefty profit that can then be sent to the Contras. Martin explains how he incorporated dummy companies with Bush that were used to funnel illegal money between the Middle East, Central America, and other regions.
"Jeb likes any kind of fraud Ė banking, security, real estate, oil and gas, gold bullion, aircraft brokerage," Martin writes. "Neil [Bush] was much more in the real estate end of the fraud. But George Jr. Ė I would classify as an insurance fraudster, in terms of his Iran-Contra profiteeringÖ.At the top of that [Iran-Contra fraud] pyramid, there are people like George Bush [Sr.] and a few others like Oliver North. George Bush is at the very pinnacle of that pyramid."
This is the same Bush Sr., who Martin quotes as saying, "The greatest reliever of stress is shredding documents."
As Martin writes, the repercussions of Iran-Contra did not stop in the 1980s. American taxpayers are still paying for all of the banks and S&Ls that failed due to the fraud. Americans are still financing the illegal and immoral adventures in the Middle East and Latin America of this "secret government," a term for the Iran-Contra U.S. government hijackers of the 1980s who exist stronger than ever under Bush Jr.
Many obvious players in Iran-Contra, such as North and Bush, are still heavily involved in the current U.S. secret plans to do whatever the hell the rich and powerful forces that really run our government want to do. In a chilling precursor, Martin describes Operation Orpheus, a secret plan in the 1980s to fake a nuclear attack by Russia to cover up Iran-Contra misdeeds and install a military dictatorship in the U.S. It was a similar plan to Operation Northwoods, another phony terrorism campaign which some of the late President Kennedyís military advisors, led by then-Army Gen. Lyman L. Lemnitzer, devised to help justify an invasion of Cuba in 1962 to overthrow Fidel Castro. Among the ideas these U.S. government officials discussed were killing innocent Americans in cities and blaming Cuban "terrorists," blowing up U.S. ships and blaming Castro, blaming Cuba if the spaceship with John Glenn exploded [as some blamed Arab terrorists for the explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia this year], provoking a war by flying a plane over Cuba, and paying a Cuban official to attack U.S. forces at the Guantanamo naval base. Kennedy rejected the phony campaign and was assassinated the following year. Some said military planners enraged by JFKís rejection of Operation Northwoods could have participated in the assassination.
Now it seems as if Bush Jr. has accepted a similar plan Ė both bin Laden and Hussein were trained and financed by U.S. military and intelligence agents at one time, and both somehow escaped capture and death in the latest military operations. Were deals made with bin Laden and Hussein? Is this "war on terrorism" as phony as the previous U.S. military schemes to justify invasions and funneling more funds to the military-industrial complex and even implementing a military dictatorship with Bush Jr. as head puppet today?
There are many more ties between the 1980s scandal and the present one. For instance, U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, a Caucasian Republican from Pennsylvania, was among the beneficiaries of the Iran-Contra scandal, Martin says. Santorum is now a key supporter of Israel who is leading the charge in the Senate to invade Syria and other countries. He and Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Jewish Democrat from California, plan to introduce legislation that would set the stage for the Syrian invasion, if they havenít done so already.
Rep. Eliot Engel, a Jewish Democrat from New York, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Hispanic Republican from Florida, introduced similar legislation in the U.S. House on April 11, before the Iraqi mission to make that country another U.S. puppet state was finished. Predictably, they called Syria a "rogue nation" [idle question: When has Syria defied the UN and bombed another sovereign nation back to the Stone Age, killing and maiming thousands of innocent people in the process?]. They accused Syria of supporting terrorists, which it does, but only the kind that fights back against Israeli-sponsored terrorism against Palestinians. What one side calls terrorists the other side calls soldiers Ė see http://www.counterpunch.org/sharon.html for Israeli leader Ariel Sharonís record of war crimes. They said Syria has these dreaded "weapons of mass destruction," which UN inspectors and U.S. troops have yet to find in Iraq, another country the U.S. invaded supposedly because it had these awful weapons.
Hey, if the U.S. wants to find "weapons of mass destruction" so much, all it has to do is look in its own backyard. Or the backyard of Israel, which has more than 400 nuclear weapons, a primary reason why countries like Iraq, Syria, and Iran want more potent weapons to provide a balance in the region. But of course, the U.S. wonít look in its own backyard or the backyard of its favorite lapdog state, next to Great Britain. The U.S. secret government wants to make sure certain other countries donít keep the weapons it developed and sold to them at one time [yes, to Iraq, to Syria, to Iran, and others] to make a quick buck. Thatís not hypocritical, itís just part of what we have to do in the war on terrorism, right? Wrong. Itís part of our "leaders" latest attempts to divert our attention from their selfish plans to control the Middle East and ultimately the planet, and inadequacies in providing for our domestic needs.
Meanwhile, the propaganda war against Syria rages in the mainstream media, and public support to invade that country because "hey, we will have to do it someday" will increase. Syria will be an even easier "opponent" than Iraq was, as it spends even less on national defense than Iraq, according to the well-respected, non-partisan Center for Defense Information. Syria is near the bottom of the worldwide list, spending only $1 billion, compared to Iraqís $1.4 billion and the United Statesí $399 billion [add another $100 billion or so for the Iraqi invasion]. Israel is a respectable 14th in military spending at $10.6 billion, with the only other Middle Eastern country higher being Saudi Arabia, which is eighth at $21.3 billion.
And the secret teamers want us to believe we should fear countries with relatively small militaries like Iraq, Syria, and Iran? Are we really that stupid?
Anyways, Santorum profited from the International Signals and Controls scandal, where the Pennsylvania company shipped missiles and component parts to Iran and Iraq during the Iran-Contra days, Martin writes. At least one official from that company ended up in prison, but obviously not Santorum.
The list goes on Ė these books need indexes so you can look up certain people. Besides the Bush clan, Martin implicates Bushís Interior Secretary Gale Norton, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, and White House National Security Council aide Elliott Abrams, Reno, Bill Clinton, U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde, the adulterer who tried to drive Clinton from office for lying about an affair, former Reagan National Security Advisor Frank Carlucci, and former Republican presidential candidates Steve Forbes and Bob Dole, among others. Among those who deserve commendation are numerous reporters who tried to get bits of the story out, and Sen. John Kerry, who headed a commission that attempted to expose the truth.
Some fellow progressives might bristle at the mention of Clinton and Reno, but Iíve never been naÔve enough to think that Clinton got so far merely by making goody-goody deals. I just liked Clintonís politics on the surface better than other recent presidents, and I enjoyed the way he infuriated conservatives, who hate Clinton so much they are wasting millions of dollars to open a "Counter Clinton Library" in Little Rock later this year. Have liberals opened a "Counter Reagan Library" or "Counter Bush Library" in the cities that house their libraries? No Ė that just lends more evidence on who the real hatemongers are in this country, the Limbaughs and Norths and Liddys that Clinton loved to piss off. But I admit Iíve overlooked Clintonís excesses, though not near as much as the average Bush-can-do-no-wrong supporter overlooks his.
Martin also exposes Israeli involvement in Iran-Contra and Iraqgate, an important link in the current situation in the Middle East. Hard-line Zionists will accuse me of being anti-Jewish for daring to criticize Israel. I may be anti-Sharon administration like Iím anti-Bush administration. But as much as certain people yell at me that Iím anti-Jewish, Iím not. Just as many Bush supporters call me anti-American for opposing the anti-American-ideals Bush administration, many Israeli supporters call me anti-Jewish for opposing the far right, bulldoze-the-Palestinians-out-of-existence Sharon government.
Now, a conspiracy theorist, thatís a different matter. Look at this situation with Syria. Rather than focusing on the declining economy, runaway budget deficits, growing chasm between the haves and have-nots, and other important domestic issues, Bush administration officials, many Congressional Republicans and Democrats, and the wealthy international interests behind them are salivating over the prospect of invading and controlling Syria next. Then itís on to Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Bush Inc. are playing right into Sharonís hands, if they are not directly conspiring with Sharon, which I suspect is more likely the case. By the time the U.S.-Israeli crusaders are done, the Middle East will lie in ruins and be ruled over by a Jewish-American King accountable only to multinational oil companies.
While many Americans are giddy about our "victory" in Iraq, it was like an NFL Super Bowl champion playing a junior high school football squad. When one side spends $399 billion-plus on high-tech weapons and the other side spends $1.4 billion on scud missiles and used tanks, is anything fair about that contest? Ironically, the U.S. kept claiming the Iraqis werenít "playing fair" for faking surrenders and other tricks, but thatís like the NFL team claiming the junior high team was playing dirty for trying some trick plays [excuse the sports analogy Ė in a past life I was a sports reporter Ė itís the best one I can think of, though I know war is by no means a game].
Another note of personal disclosure here: I am a Caucasian American born in Washington, D.C., whose family originally derives from Lithuania, Ireland, England, and Austria. I married a woman who was born in Pennsylvania whose parents are from Syria. Therefore, my two young children are half Syrian American. We have many relatives in Syria. I admittedly do not want my tax dollars used to kill and maim and make homeless my relatives in Syria, as they have already been used to kill and maim and make homeless thousands of innocent Iraqis and innocent Afghans.
I do not buy the Bush-Cheney Inc. line that peopleís lives in these countries will be improved Ė ask the families of those killed if the U.S. military action improved their lives. Obviously, those who are dead would speak otherwise, if they could. Ask the families of the more than 100 American and British soldiers who died if this invasion was really worth it in a few years, when another dictator takes control of Iraq. Did I miss it, or have all the ruling clans in Afghanistan held free elections and decided not to kill each other? What about Kuwait, another American colony still run by an unelected, dictatorial prime minister 12 years after we "freed" that country? Donít tell me Kuwait elects a national assembly Ė that body has even less power than the U.S. Congress against the dictators in the White House.
Beyond that, I understand the government in Syria is a dictatorship. But I also understand that I live under a more subtle dictatorship, one that can install a leader in power who was not elected by the majority of voters and control other leaders through corporations and money. I can write and scream and march and protest all I want, and Bush-Cheney Inc. are not going to listen to my request to stop these immoral, idiotic invasions. Millions of people can protest, Michael Moore can use the Oscars stage to protest, and Bush barely can get his cocaine-and-alcohol-destroyed brain working long enough to ask Karl Rove, "What does Ďfictitiousí mean?" Because I refuse to give a penny to any politician, much less hundreds of thousands of dollars that is the going rate for bribery these days, I have about as little influence on my government as the average Iraqi had on Hussein or the average Syrian has on its dictatorship.
The challenge is to find ways to live under our forms of dictatorships without destroying each other. The challenge is to find ways to survive when we have only surface control of our government, whose leaders ultimately do whatever the rich, powerful people who fund their campaigns want them to do, which is gain more land and wealth for them.
You say you donít think Israel has much influence over U.S. Middle Eastern policy? Look at who is running the Iraqi "interim" government. You have Jay Garner, a retired general hand-picked by Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz for "viceroy designate" of Iraq Ė meaning he is the Big Cheese in Iraq right now. Garner was most recently head of the Pentagon's Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, whose motto is "Bomb the Hell out of Those Damn Foreigners, Then Send a Few Crumbs of Bread to Give Those Who Survive for the Media Cameras and Give Fat Reconstruction Contracts to Friends in the Defense Industry." Garner has strong links to both the international arms industry and a Jewish lobby group, according to syndicated columnist Molly Ivins. He has visited Israel as the guest of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and signed a statement in October 2000 blaming the Palestinians for the violence in the region after the collapse of peace talks Ė which Bush stopped when he took over in early 2001.
Garner has also commended the Israeli army for its "remarkable restraint." This is the same army that showed such "remarkable restraint" in killing thousands of Palestinians, bulldozing thousands of homes, and even killing a few American and European peace activists like Rachel Corrie [see http://www.rachelcorrie.com/] who try to stop the violence. The Israeli military has destroyed more than 7,000 Palestinian homes since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1967, leaving 30,000 people homeless. Most home demolitions target civilians who have not been charged with any crime. The Caterpillar bulldozers that destroyed many homes and Rachel are partly financed by U.S. tax dollars - Israel is the world's largest beneficiary of American military and economic aid. It receives more than $5 billion a year from the U.S., and 75 percent of those funds are spent on arms and equipment from U.S. corporations.
So, Israel can use tanks and bulldozers and automatic weapons to kill Palestinians, and itís OK. But when a few Palestinians fight back through suicide bomber missions Ė which I donít condone but understand Ė theyíre branded as dirty terrorists. At least three times as many Palestinians have died as Israelis in the last two years. Who are the terrorists here?
And now we claim Syria is harboring terrorists and even Iraqis who fled Baghdad. So are we going to bomb Idaho and Montana and other U.S. states because they give refuge to KKK members and anti-government U.S. terrorists like Tim McVeigh who bombed Oklahoma in 1995? How about Ireland, which has terrorized the British since the 1920s? Oh, they're white terrorists, so we don't mess with them. I forgot.
The bottom line is Bush-Cheney Inc., with help from many Republicans and Democrats in Congress, are running a racist policy to exterminate Arabs and hand over control of the Middle East to wealthy, powerful oil and real estate cronies. More and more, Iím beginning to think the secret government conspirators are closer to the truth than most of us head-scratchers know. Maybe there is a group of wealthy business-types who call most of the shots on our planet from some secretive island off the coast of South Carolina or in the Pacific.
Maybe there doesnít appear to be much the average person can do to stop the secret teamers from running roughshod over people. Maybe itís easier not to think too much about it, to go on with our lives gliding along the surface, unaware of why the latest tragedy occurs.
Still, Iíve never been one to just glide on the surface. I want to dig deeper, I want to know more. When I was five, my older sister died at the age of nine of a still-undiagnosed disease that took her quickly, within a couple of days. I donít remember crying. I only remember sitting around a room full of sobbing family members, bewildered at the scene. I couldnít cry like my younger sister who cried just because everyone else was. I had to know why I should cry, what had really caused such a scene. I had to know why my older sister died.
Iíve continued my search for that truth and many others. My sister died in Florida Ė another reason why I dislike that state - and I suspect environmental causes, perhaps pesticide poison from some fruit she might have picked from a tree and eaten. The medical staff of that Tampa hospital in 1965 and the county medical examiner were not exactly the most skilled Ė they didnít even perform a complete autopsy, or at least they wonít release such records. The cause of my sisterís death remains another mystery.
That experience has shaped my life, sent me head-long into searches that many people donít dare take, such as psychic medium sessions, poring over obscure books and documents in more obscure libraries and government offices for days, back-alley rendezvous in tough neighborhoods, and 5,000-mile walks through the heart of the global military-industrial complex. I donít believe at face value anything anyone tells me Ė not even a family member. I listen politely, for the most part, but I have to make my own investigation, to search beyond the obvious surface clues for the underlying story.
As a freshman reporter for my college newspaper way back in 1978, I didnít turn away an eyewitness to the JFK assassination who wanted to share some insight that others wouldnít digest. I not only listened to the man, I wrote story after story, read book after book, interviewed person after person, walked down dangerous alley after dangerous alley, fought off critic after critic, ignored threat after threat, in a search that continues to this day.
That search leads me to believe that the Warren Commissionís conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing JFK was erroneous, and that commission was covering up misdeeds by powerful people, agencies, and institutions. Former and current government agents and military officials, members of the Mafia, anti-Castro Cubans, wealthy far-right oil barons and industrialists, and members of the current secret government were most likely involved. When someone challenges me on this conclusion, I say to them, read the books I have, talk to the people I have, and then weíll talk. When someone calls me a "conspiracy nut," I say to them, all I want is the truth, and I donít believe we have been told the truth about this.
And let me say something about conspiracies Ė conspiracies have existed as long as human beings have. The Bible and other books are full of such tales of conniving rulers and wannabe rulers plotting against people to consolidate their power. To ignore conspiracies just because youíre afraid of being labeled a "conspiracy nut" is to ignore a vital trend and component of our society that can lead you farther along on your path to the truth. To ignore conspiracies is to compromise your search for the truth.
The bottom line is our government, our corporations, our media, our institutions, lied to us then, and have lied to us many times before and since. The most powerful government officials and corporate leaders have engaged in conspiracy after conspiracy since Day One. And weíve let them with our silence, our inertia, our unwillingness to confront them, our unwillingness to expose their misdeeds to the light of day and bring them to justice.
Exposing the lies has become a passion to me, a reason to live. When a newspaper I work for refuses to publish something I write, I find another way to get it out. With the Internet Ė thank God Al Gore invented that, huh? - it is easier these days than it was back when I had to publish my own newsletters, pamphlets, and books. Itís easier to take a too-controversial-for-mainstream-journalism article to the Web than quit your job in protest and take a story on the powerful local defense establishment trying to shut down the nuclear freeze movement to the competition newspaper, which I did in 1984.
The truth shall set you free, someone said, but Iím sure not yet free. I guess I have yet to really uncover as much of that truth as I think I can. Even then, I remain skeptical that Iíll ever really be free, except for perhaps in my own mind.
Iím most free when I read books like Martinís and Dowbenkoís. Bushwhacked is a great complement to The Conspirators, as it further exposes the crimes of the powerful, usually-unseen-to-the-general-public forces that prop up the Bush regime and prior regimes. The book is an indictment of our system in which most people worship the wealthy and mindlessly justify their excesses, and would rather watch Survivor on television than do something about helping us all really survive on this planet. For those who want to do something, it provides much ammunition and insight we need to execute our plan of action.
I tell people again and again you cannot look at Bush on the surface. He appears to be a nice, affable doofus to many. But he is conniving and politically astute, more so than his father. He is more willing to engage in dirty campaigning than the former CIA director was. He is more willing to win at any cost, as we saw in the 2000 election. He is more willing to bomb civilians in some faraway land if he can gain politically from those deaths, as we saw in Afghanistan and Iraq and probably will in Syria and other countries.
But to really know what Bush is about you must know something about the people around him and those who fund him. You must know something about the murky origins of DynCorp, which Dowbenko explains began as an Air Force contractor in 1954 and has gained a reputation as a front company for the CIA, performing dirty tricks throughout the world. This Virginia-based "security" firm was one of Bushís biggest campaign donors in 2000 and has been awarded all kinds of lucrative government contracts, from protecting Afghan officials to providing "security" in Iraq.
"Even more sinister is the fact that DynCorp manages email and information systems for many federal investigation agencies like FBI, DOJ, and SEC," writes Dowbenko, one of the alternative mediaís foremost writers who founded Conspiracy Digest, Al Martin Raw, and Steamshovel Press. "What does that mean? Whenever criminal behavior is detected, DynCorp controls the information, giving it defacto power to subvert the process of law and cover up corporate-government criminal activities."
Dowbenko includes a more-than-interesting chapter about Bush skeletons like a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency video allegedly showing Jeb and Dubya with a large amount of cocaine. There are more stories on how investment banker Catherine Austin Fitts was ambushed by corporate-government criminals, the last known interview with the late best-selling author Malachi Martin on the "end of religion," and bizarre mind control programming.
So is whatís in these books, and in this essay, really true? Itís hard to say whatís really true. Ultimately, we all have to figure it out on our own. But I do believe in the law of karma, that what goes round comes round. No empire, not the Romans, not the British, not the U.S., lasts forever. Someday, our kids and their kids will pay for our sins. I just hope they understand that not everyone merely went along with the crowd, just as not every German went along with the Nazis in the 1930s.
So if you believe the Bush administration is controlled by a secret government, what can you really do about it? For one thing, expose it to the light of day. Spread the word, via whatever means you have. Let them know there are a lot of people on our planet who are fed up with their selfish, violent actions.
Whatís the alternative? To do nothing? To live in fear? Better to light a candle than curse the darkness. Better to march a mile than sit around wringing your hands.
Better to read a book like The Conspirators or Bushwhacked that goes deeper than mere headlines than watch more CNN coverage that only skims the surface.
Jackson Thoreau is co-author of We Will Not Get Over It: Restoring a Legitimate White House. The updated, 120,000-word electronic book can be downloaded on his Internet site at http://www.geocities.com/jacksonthor/ebook.html. Citizens for Legitimate Government has the earlier version at http://www.legitgov.org/we_will_not_get_over_it.html. Thoreau can be emailed at email@example.com.
~Did You Miss These?~
Just a Reminder - Tuesday, Nov. 04, 2003
Ravyne Is Moving - Friday, Oct. 17, 2003
The Mission - Sunday, Oct. 12, 2003
Siege Heil - Thursday, Oct. 09, 2003
Litany Of Lies - Wednesday, Oct. 08, 2003
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