Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider
by Al Martin
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by Al Martin
The Reign of George "Caesar" Bush:
More Fraud, More War and More Power to the State
I'm sitting here waving the American flag, secure in the knowledge that, by the end of the day, the armed forces of my country will have squandered another $150 million of the American people's money. So far the cost of the campaign in Afghanistan to the American people has been $1.5 billion. The score currently stands -- US Department of Defense: $1.5 billion vs. The Taliban: $38,000. And that is very typical of the wars we fight.
For that $38,000 worth of ammunition, they have been able to shoot down two of these ultra-modern, sophisticated surveillance drones, which cost the US taxpayers $10 million a piece. Or else they just came down because of mechanical failure.
The chief accountant of the Taliban, the head bean-counter, has said, "We like this war. Thus far, we are very satisfied with the progress of the war."
It's really bad. I was talking to some former military people, and they were telling me how laughable it is. As they point out, the principal problem is that you have assault helicopters, only a third of which work at any time (See previous story on Helicopter Spare Parts Scam, "Those Wacky Arms Dealers at Redstone Arsenal", www.almartinraw.com/column18.html).
Then they're firing Cruise missiles and Tomahawk missiles with only a 37% accuracy rate. Then we're doing what we did in Iraq, which is using old conventional iron bombs, just to clear out the inventory, by carpet-bombing Afghanistan. But, as they point out, these old iron bombs are taken directly out of inventory. Most of them are from Fort Greeley, Colorado, the old US storage facility there. They don't check any of these old munitions. They're just loaded and shipped out.
What they're telling me is what the American people aren't being told - fully 25% of these old iron bombs don't work any more. They drop them by the B-52 load and 25% of them don't explode. Although they don't explode because the fuse connections have worn out, the fuses are still live. And this is where the humor comes in.
We're carpet-bombing the Taliban forward positions to try and give the Northern Alliance a chance to attack. They said they wouldn't risk an attack, unless we carpet-bombed the Taliban positions. The problem is that not only do we bomb the Taliban defensive positions, but, at the same time, we are creating a minefield (the unexploded bombs) against the very same army that we're trying to get to attack those lines.
In other words, there are a lot of unexploded munitions on the field that still have live fuses, so if you step on them or drive over them the wrong way, they're going to explode. So, not only do we bomb the Taliban, but at the same time we establish a minefield, which prevents the Northern Alliance from attacking them. In other words, we bomb the Taliban and at the same time we protect them with this minefield.
And why is it done? Because nobody cares. They want to get rid of these old conventional munitions and they look for small wars to use them up. The total inventory of these weapon systems isn't even known anymore because they don't even bother. They've had some of them since the 1950s. Like the guy said, they could turn Afghanistan into a parking lot if they wanted, just by using these old conventional bombs to get rid of them.
The Afghani campaign is no different than the Iraqi campaign, which is no different than any other campaign that we fight. Nobody is ever told to look at how much it costs. Nobody is ever told in the military structure to try to fight a war economically. The problem is that with unlimited monies (nobody cares how much of the taxpayers' money is spent) any campaign we fight automatically costs three times as much to fight, since we're fighting with weapons systems that are only one third effective.
Then they'll have "elite American commandos" on the ground in Afghanistan, but the problem is that a lot of the guidance systems, the GPS's on a lot of the helicopters don't work. So they're dropping these special-forces guys and they don't even know where they are.
An inside military source says that several platoons of these commandos were dropped off and they don't know where they are because the GPS system on the helicopter doesn't work. Their hand-held GPS sets don't work. It's the middle of the night. They have no idea where they are. Half of their night-vision ware doesn't work. They don't know where they are. Finally they wandered into an old BP (British Petroleum) gas station in Afghanistan and got a road map and finally figured out where they were.
So imagine here are these "elite special commandos" wandering around with all these wires and special antennas coming out of their helmets - none of which work. They have all this mickey-mouse gadgetry that doesn't work. But finally they stumble into a gas station and get a road map. And that's the kind of war this is.
We're fighting a war in which one third of the weapons don't work, which means it costs three times as much to fight. We put in land troops and the communications devices don't work and the night vision doesn't work. Then they lay down infra-red sensors for targeting aperture for the aircraft because the "smart" weapons only have about a 40% hit ratio, despite what the government says they have. They put down the sensors, then regroup, and then they're pulled out. But thirty minutes later, the Taliban removes the sensors out of the ground. We still have no structure developed where they stay behind and try to protect the sensors.
You have to remember the Afghans have history on their side. As one old Afghan said, "We beat the British. We beat the Russians. And now we're ready to beat the Americans." In fact, Alexander the Great was the last guy to actually overcome the Afghans.
Then there's this joke I keep hearing about the Northern Alliance and how the Department of Defense is trying to clean them up for the media to make them look like an "effective fighting force," when they're actually "15,000 illiterate, lice-ridden, flea bags." That's how Rumsfeld actually described them, according to an inside source.
On CNN, the Department of Defense is making a special show to clean up the Northern Alliance, to make them look like they're united. The Northern Alliance leader says, "We're going to attack the Taliban."
The Department of Defense gave them all clean uniforms from US inventories and brand new boots and taught them how to march in a straight line for the cameras. Then they said, "This is our new effective fighting ally."
What they didn't say, of course, is that they offered to give the Northern Alliance some old M-60 Mark III American tanks, which would be the equivalent of the Taliban's T-72 Russian tanks. They didn't want them. The general said, "No, we don't want any American weapons. We want Russian weapons. At least they work"
The Russians are making a big propaganda deal out of this. They say, "Oh, we're helping the Northern Alliance. We're doing our share in the alliance against terrorism because we're providing them with a bunch of tanks." What the Russians aren't saying is that they're not giving them away for nothing. The United States is quietly compensating the Russians for them.
The Taliban, after all, aren't dummies. Many of them are well-educated. They know all they have to do is stay entrenched. They don't have to fight. All they have to do is defend themselves and have some of their forces left intact. Every day this alliance is continuing to fray at the edges. The Saudis are ready to back out. Even the British are wavering under pressure from their public.
Everyday we are hearing more and more reports of US weapons systems that don't work and revelations that helicopters are crashing due to faulty spare parts (See previous story: www.almartinraw.com/column20.html) Then we see the amount of money this war is costing the American taxpayers for no gain. We don't know where the al Qaeda organization is within the Taliban. We have an intensive bombing campaign of so-called al Qaeda caves - then discover that the al Qaeda hasn't been there in six months.
The problem is that the United States isn't used to fighting this type of war. Then there is the logistical problems - a very remote region where there are no solid lines of supplies, where communications are poor, and where road systems are almost non-existent. Everything that has to do with logistics is difficult. And we are coming into the winter season where the weather will get worse. Then you combine that with the fact that we have absolutely no intelligence about these people.
The Pakistanis reassured us that they know so much they even know the location of every one of the Taliban's pea-shooters. The Pakistanis gave all this lovely intelligence to the Department of Defense. They were just licking their chops, so they went and bombed all these sites -only to find out that this "intelligence" was about a year old.
The Taliban had long since moved the weapons. The Pakis just failed to tell them that this "intelligence" was old.
The US had no human intelligence resources on the ground. The Department of the Defense didn't even have accurate maps of the country.
But they're getting good support from CNN, which is their chief propaganda outlet. For anybody with a brain, you watch CNN and it's all so much nonsense - how the White House and the Department of Defense are trying to manipulate this thing.
This Afghanistan is a new Vietnam for us. The United States armed forces, despite what they claim, are woefully ill-prepared to fight the type of wars we'll be called on to fight in the future, that is, organized bands or political factions that might be well-armed, but still small and highly mobile. They will always have the advantage of their own territory. We will be fighting in very tough conditions. These are the battles to come.
The only way we can prevail in these conflicts (it has nothing to do with military preparations) is that there's no accountability in terms of the amount of money that is spent. The attitude of the Department of Defense is still the same. If $1.5 billion doesn't defeat them, we'll spend $15 billion. If that doesn't get them, we'll spend $150 billion. Eventually we can spend so much money that sooner or later, the preponderance of it will achieve the goal.
By the way, the Department of Defense is re-instituting its Children Film Propaganda Department, which was previously done away with in 1962. They evidently have the full cooperation of the Department of Education.
In the 1950s, when this Department was at its peak, every week, the teacher would bring in an eight-millimeter film reel from the Department of the Defense. It would show a guy who looked just like Mr. Rogers - with a cardigan sweater - and his voice was always the tone of warm fudge. He would say, "Now boys and girls, what do you do if you see an atom bomb going off?" And all of us nippers would say, "You duck - and cover."
And then the guy would pause, as if waiting for the response, and he'd say, "That's right, boys and girls. You duck - and cover."
Then the next sequence would show the typical red brick All-American Schoolhouse that hadn't existed for a hundred years. Anyway it would show this archetypical elementary schoolhouse with atom bombs going off all around it. Then since the children all ducked and covered, they would show the end of the school day with all of the plump rosy-cheeked nippers piling out of the school bus with smiles on their faces - while all around them there's nothing but a smoldering pile of rubble.
Of course, the schoolhouse and your own house was all right - while all around you there was just a smoldering pile of radioactive rubble.
And now the propaganda returns. The films used to come with instruction sheets from the Department of Defense - with a shoebox full of the "Better Dead Than Red" lapel pins. They must have made millions of them.
Remember they'd say, "Good Boys and Girls Get the 'Better Dead Than Red' Pins."
They will be re-instituting these kinds of propaganda films to be shown to elementary schoolchildren. They will be called "Good Citizen" films. They will teach that "Good Children Obey" and "Good Children Do Not Question Authority."
Recently Attorney General John Ashcroft spoke about the vast expansion of law enforcement powers in the disingenuously named "USA Patriot" bill. The potential for abuse from this legislation is astonishing.
There has been a vast loosening of standards that law enforcement now can detain a US citizen as a material witness. This is what's called "non volition material witness" status. Normally the only way that a law enforcement agency (whether it's county, state or federal) can hold someone as a material witness is, if A/ that person makes statements indicating that he has seen a crime perpetrated by a third party or has knowledge of a crime perpetrated by a third party, or B/ if the state proves (and they actually have to prove it in court through a court hearing by actually convincing a judge) that a potential material witness does have information that would place that person in jeopardy.
That way the State has the right to hold a citizen against his will. But now there is no judicial review necessary. The State no longer has to prove that a person knows anything, or has seen a crime being committed, or even knows that a crime has been committed. The police only have to suspect. They don't have to present any proof for judicial review.
If you combine this with the fact that habeas corpus has been scrapped, this means that if a citizen is walking down the street minding his own business, he could be handcuffed and detained at any time by any law enforcement agent (county, state or federal) because all the jurisdictional boundaries have been dropped under the guise of State Security. You could be detained indefinitely - only by the allegation of a law enforcement official that said citizen has either witnessed the commission of a crime or has knowledge of a crime by a third party.
Just think how that power can be abused. When you add into that mix the vast increase in prosecutorial national security seal, which is also contained in this bill, a material witness can be held indefinitely and request a hearing, but the government doesn't have to tell the detainee (or the court) for what reason said citizen is being detained. They only have to duly declare it a matter of State Security and there's nothing the courts can do about it.
The American people have allowed it to happen. Public opinion polls have said that 80% of the American people are prepared to give up their civil liberties - whatever it takes in the fight against terrorism because it's the patriotic thing to do. Why? Because George Bush said so.
Then Ashcroft spoke about the new limitation on citizens invoking their Fifth Amendment privilege. Under this bill, the citizen's right to invoke his privilege against self-incrimination is substantially narrowed. If the government alleges that the alleged commission of this crime should prove injurious to the State Security, then the citizen cannot invoke Fifth Amendment privilege to remain mute. He can be compelled by "whatever means necessary," (Ashcroft's own words) to divulge what he may know.
Furthermore, under the new national security seal, the government doesn't even have to tell the suspect, or his counsel, or the court, what he's being charged with.
Even Ashcroft admitted that this new so-called "Patriot Act" has watered down (and effectively gutted) the Fourth Amendment privilege against unwarranted search and seizure. This refers to the vastly expanded power the government now has in seizing your assets. For the first time, the government has the power to seize a citizen's assets even before the citizen has been charged with a crime. That is unprecedented.
Thus the citizen has no judicial recourse to go into court to try to get his assets back - because he hasn't been charged with a crime yet. Then when he's actually charged with a crime, if that crime has anything to do with State Security (and State Security is whatever the State says it is), then the State doesn't have to tell the suspect what it is he's being charged with. And the court cannot order the release or force the government to give the assets back. This is astounding.
And the Mainstream Media has said nothing.
In order to remain Pro-Government and Patriotic, the Media have told the people nothing. Therefore a news vacuum was left open, which the White House was able to exploit because the Media wasn't doing its job of informing the people. The expansion of State power is incredible.
There has also been a weakening of the persona non grata statutes. The government now has the power to expel even an American citizen, who was born here. Now they can do it without any judicial review.
If law enforcement feels that a person is acting in the capacity contrary to the State Security, he or she can be deported, stripped of citizenship without judicial review.
Now they've begun mixing the word "terrorist" with the word "detainee," "suspect" and "citizen." It's not all "terrorist " anymore. That's done on purpose. They want to do it gradually, so the people don't understand, all of a sudden, or overnight how much of their rights they've given up.
As long as it's a gradual process couched as "Patriotism" and "State Security," a year from now, everyone's going to be happy - with their new National Identity Cards.
Meanwhile the administration has quietly given the go-ahead to the Oracle Corporation to compile a database of American citizens.
As publicly reported before, Oracle has offered to do this for free - as a "public service" -- as long as they're given exclusive marketing rights for what will be the most valuable database in America.
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AL MARTIN is America's foremost whistleblower on government fraud and corruption. A retired US Navy Lt. Commander and former officer in the Office of Naval Intelligence, he has testified before Congress (the Kerry Committee and the Alexander Committee) regarding Iran-Contra. Al Martin is the author of "The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider" (2001, National Liberty Press, $19.95; Toll FREE order line: 1-866-317-1390) He lives at an undisclosed location, since the criminals named in his book have been returned to national power and prominence. His column "Behind the Scenes in the Beltway" is published regularly on Al Martin Raw: Criminal Govt Conspiracy (http://www.almartinraw.com)
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