Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider
by Al Martin
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by Al Martin
Clueless In Afghanistan…
You may have heard about the new US campaign in Afghanistan -- dropping propaganda canisters full of propaganda leaflets. They're supposed to be WANTED posters for Osama bin Laden, written in the local dialect. It's supposed to be a picture of him with a caption that says, "Have you seen this man?" The picture, though, is a doctored photo showing him, clean-shaven and dressed in a Western-style business suit. The Afghani peasants are having a hell of a time with these leaflets because every time they see an American soldier, they laugh, they point to the picture and they say, "Oh no, we haven't seen any clean shaven Arabs dressed in JC Penney business suits that look like this, wandering around the hinterlands of Afghanistan - but we're still looking."
The Department of Defense admitted they screwed up and gave a $1.5 million contract for the printing of these propaganda posters to "an undisclosed printing company with close ties to the Bush Family." Of course, they didn't put it out for bid. They admitted the flyers were mistakenly printed, but they wouldn't reveal the name of the firm that got the contract to print them.
The poster is absolutely hilarious. The government-media even showed a bunch of Afghanis holding up the posters and laughing at them. Imagine looking for an Arab without a beard and without a turban in a JC Penney business suit. They point at the picture and say, "We sure haven't seen anyone around here that looks like this."
The Afghani peasantry evidently didn't even understand the idea of WANTED posters. They've never seen such a thing. They just see these leaflets falling from the sky and they thought they were toilet paper. Now the leaflets are winding up in every outhouse in Afghanistan.
An Afghani chieftain was interviewed, and he said they couldn't wait for more of the leaflets to be dropped because he said, "They make great toilet paper." They just love Western aid.
In another crony capitalism story, George Bush briefly went back to Texas for the official unveiling of his gubernatorial portrait, an oil painting that will hang in the state house. It's a little oil painting of him that cost $10,000 made by some local artist who's a big fan of his and who's donated money to him. There were many artists who have a much greater reputation than this guy and they offered to paint it for nothing, instead of $10,000 of the people's money. Traditionally the paintings are put out for bid, or they will do the painting for nothing - just for the publicity. But not in Texas. A local supporter who donated money to the Bush campaign got the job, and the painting looks like it could have been done for $35 by anyone else. It looks like those oil paintings in gift shops or a "paint by numbers" deal. Maybe they made him donate the $10,000 to the Republican National Committee.
In another confirmation of a previous story posted on the Al Martin Raw website, the FBI announced the break up of a "boiler room" (telemarketing scam) operation which they called a "pyramid scheme" operating in thirteen states that had bilked approximately 46,000 Americans out of an estimated $13 million on the concept of selling partnerships to capture Osama bin Laden for the $25 million reward. The FBI said this was illegal and constituted a defacto pyramid scheme, and the people running this scam had no intentions of ever going after Osama bin Laden. They use a lot of retired military guys with Special Forces credentials to tout the scheme. But this is the story that we had warned our readers about (See www.almartinraw.com/column43.html)
Also we have another government-media confirmation of a previous Al Martin Raw story about the JDM-31 weapons conversion system used to convert "dumb" bombs into "smart" bombs and all the problems that system had. The Department of Defense finally made a public admission that the JDM systems are "substantially flawed," due to consistent failure of parts manufactured outside of the United States. (See www.almartinraw.com/column43.html)
The new American Offensive in Afghanistan is to hand out twenty-dollar bills. Evidently we have passed out so many twenty-dollar bills that the Treasury ran short of them, and they actually had to ask the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to make an expedited run of fresh twenties. How this came to light is that the leaflets they were passing out of a clean-shaven Osama bin Laden also had pictures of an American twenty-dollar bill on them. In the local dialect, it says, "Please come in to see your local American military commander. Come and be America's friend and get a twenty dollar bill."
So all these Afghani peasants are lining up to get their twenty-dollar bills. And they're all smiling and shaking hands, saying, "Yabba, dabba, doo." (http://www.almartinraw.com/column44.html) They're all ready to be America's friend to get their twenty-dollar bill. The other scam in Afghanistan is that the Afghanis are shaking down the journalists. One journalist said he paid over a thousand dollars so "they wouldn't kill him." And that's happening with our military's knowledge. We are actually encouraging some of the Afghani groups to do that in order to discourage journalists from going there.
The marching orders apparently come from very high up. The US military is telling the "Northern Alliance" (which switches allegiance every single day depending on who's passing out the twenty dollar bills) that it's absolutely open hunting season on journalists - except you just can't kill them. You can do anything short of killing them. So if you want to waylay them, extort them or take their equipment, you can do it. It's actual Department of Defense policy - to keep journalists out of the country. It's surprising that the media isn't making more of this DoD prohibition.
Rumsfeld made a public address about it - how they're not going to give out the names of casualties without White House approval and they don't like the way the media has handled it because it makes American forces sound buffoonish and that none of their equipment works. This is absolutely unprecedented for the Department of Defense not to release the list of casualties.
Then there was the crash of the KC-130 refueling tanker. The crash was initially blamed on "malfunction" or "linked to mechanical failure." They don't come right out and say "faulty spare parts." And the non-combat death toll of US armed forces continues to mount, more fallout from the rampant corruption and fraud that exists within the defense industry and its cozy relationship with the Department of Defense. " (See defective spare parts story www.almartinraw.com/column42.html)
Then there's the continuing story of the crash of the three Dragonfly surveillance drones, at the cost of another million dollars to the American taxpayer.
Although the Deportment of Defense would not reveal the nature of the third crash, Al Martin Raw has it on good authority that the Dragonfly flew into a cloud of falling twenty-dollar bills.
Cue up the laugh track. Not only are we dropping American taxpayers' money from the sky, but the surveillance drone built with another $350,000 of the taxpayers' money proceeds to crash when it collided head-on with a falling cloud of US taxpayers money.
The twenty-dollar bills actually come in packets, which say, "Be America's Friend" in Arabic, and it shows Uncle Sam in a top hat with a fistful of American twenties and all these smiling Arabs around him. He's patting them on the head and stuffing them full of twenties.
Then there's the concept of our so-called Afghani allies who seemingly switch sides by the day. The first actual combat casualty was a guy by the name of Chadwick. The Department of Defense hadn't previously reported how he was killed. It turns out that he was supposedly killed returning from a meeting with Afghan "friendlies." He was coordinating the meeting. On the way back to his encampment, he was ambushed by supposed "hostiles" and killed. The Department of Defense now suspects that the Afghans who ambushed him were in fact from the same so-called "friendly" faction he had just met with. They had simply been paid one more twenty-dollar bill by somebody else -- than what we had paid them.
Fox News even admitted that the White House had pressured them not to run this story. They talked about the problem that we are having identifying the friend one day and the foe the next day. They interviewed an unnamed sergeant who talked about how demoralizing this is to US forces in Afghanistan. They're not trained for it. He said that they were trained in very simple straightforward "friend or foe" recognition by appearance, by uniform and by weapon. This guy said that the people they're shipping over are young people who are totally unprepared for this environment. The culture difference is so large and the guys we're sending over are not used to being in an area of the world where "life is the cheapest of all commodities."
It's the culture shock of it. They're not being prepared for this. He pointed out that he and some other US soldiers had met with an Afghani tribal leader and they were saying that we wanted this tribal leader killed. The Afghani chieftain said, "I'll do it for $40," and the guy behind him said, "Oh, I'll do it for $30." And he said, it became a bidding war. He said it was absolutely surreal to him that such people actually existed.
This is a culture that is completely foreign to them and where, as he put it, life or death literally turns on the next twenty-dollar bill. Who has the most twenty-dollar bills?
What he said is that this is a huge problem in Afghanistan with US and European forces, which are equally unprepared. The Department of Defense is desperately covering up this fact because they have so much vested political capital in our great Northern Alliance. They claim that we have been able to build a coalition with these supposedly "friendly" Afghans. And the guy said it's all an illusion. He said that an alliance built on Monday doesn't exist on Tuesday. And he points to the example where these fighters from one faction are supposedly aligned to the United States on a Monday will align themselves to another faction opposed to the United States on a Tuesday - because they have been paid an extra twenty-dollars to do so. When they don't get any more twenty-dollar bills on Wednesday, they come back to the US faction. This is absolutely incomprehensible to the average US soldier-this endless switching of alliances over twenty-dollar bills. This is a real problem, and the morale of US forces is seriously being affected by this.
All the US troops are coming out of Fort Campbell Kentucky, the urban terrorist or domestic control training center. They're being told that A, B and C are your friendlies, and D, E and F are your hostiles, but when we get there, we see that A, B, C and D, E and F constantly switch sides - almost on a daily basis. And no one is keeping us abreast because there is nobody, not even the company commander, who can tell us who's a friend and who's a foe -- because nobody knows - until an incident happens.
The guy pointed out this analogy that it's like the Chetnik Partisans in Croatia during the Second World War. When the Germans were there, they'd wear their hats with the Croatian Imperial eagle for the government that was aligned with Germany. But every time the Yugoslav partisans came in, they'd turn their hats around and on the back of their hats (they just folded backwards), they had a red star. And that's what they would be for the day -- as long as the partisans were there. And that's the analogy he's making with the Afghans.
There are so few people in the US forces, he continued, that know these dialects and that know what these people are saying. We learn when we get there that we need to unlearn all we've been taught about friend or foe recognition. When we are in the company of the so-called Northern Allies, or any others that our superiors tell us are our allies, whether we're going to be shot in the back or not. Because of that, it substantially cripples any cooperation that US forces can have with their so-called allies. This situation combined with the helicopter crashes and the aircraft crashes and our guys stepping over the land mines we had given to the Afghan Mujahideen in the 1980s and dropping bombs on ourselves… He says it's endless, and what it does is it paralyzes our armed forces. It's completely disorienting. We don't know where we are at any given time because our global positioning units don't work. Or like he said, the GPU's tell us where we are, but we don't have any reliable map to compare it to. We're sent out on patrol to these villages and we have no idea where we are at any given time - whether we're surrounded by friends or foes.
You could tell he was completely demoralized. He said, "What the hell are we even doing here? We're given equipment that doesn't work half the time. We don't know where we are half the time. We don't know which of the so-called civilian population supports us or is hostile to us at any given moment. Our commanders aren't telling us because they don't know.
It does remind you of Vietnam -- this concept of "what are we doing here?"
And Washington is prepared to lie to the American people as much as necessary saying, "we are winning the war on terrorism."
From a military standpoint, it is all a joke, but it is being done to augment the policy of "the war against terrorism" and the larger agenda that it entails which has absolutely nothing to do with the grunt soldier on the ground in a place where he doesn't know what's going on and he doesn't know who's going to shoot at him next.
The implication is that the average American soldier is paying the price for the Bush Administration policy of a "war against terrorism" and the larger agenda thereunto - to pump up defense spending, to squash congressional investigations of defense fraud, to produce endless quantities of more weapons that don't work, and more ensuing contributions to the Republican Party.
From a military standpoint, the whole thing should be named "Operation Façade."
After the latest air crash, George Bush said, "The cause is noble and just" - and it's just much nonsense. Like this guy said we're in a country where there is no central government. There is no government for all practical purposes. There is no law. There is no civil administration. There are no public institutions. As Americans we keep looking around and thinking where is that touchstone that we touch and feel that here's the real thing -- this is the authority, or this is the reality at any given time. But there is no such conventional touchstone. They're in a completely lawless society, which is governed only by money. There is no other governance other than money.
The other illusion is that people give loyalty to certain tribal chieftains. The tribal chieftain's only ability to maintain loyalty is his ability to pay them. There's no loyalty based on ethnicity or based on religion. It's an absolute free-for-all.
The only current standard of loyalty in Afghanistan is "Andrew Jackson" (as in the currency denomination).
If you've noticed, they've also been playing up the transportation of the al Qaida prisoners to Guantanamo. And it struck me as funny, the way the guys looked with their heads bobbing around, muttering to themselves, pumped full of Thorazine, saying "What in the hell's going on and where the hell are we?"
Thirteen hours earlier they came into the Kandahar prison camp, they grabbed these guys strip them out of their robes. Put them in green POW jumpsuits but leave their turbans ion their heads. They're blindfolded and marched into the back of a cargo plane, which is refueled twice in flight because they didn't want to land anywhere. They're strapped into these high security leather restraining chairs that they use din federal prisons, pumped full of Thorazine (they called it "high concentration sedative") blindfolded and their heads are bobbing around. They're apparently required to feed them so they stick into their mouths something called "hydrogenated compressed high protein food bar" whatever that is. It looked exactly like a pressed square of a piece of camel shit. So they're sticking this thing in the guys' mouths and they're trying to spit it out. Then they put the hood over their heads so they can't spit it out. Then they take them through this swampy area covered by planks because they couldn't wheel them any other way. These are high security restraining chairs and their heads are bobbing around and they're probably thinking what kind of hell is this? It reminded me of those dolls you buy in Hawaii and put on the dashboards and their heads are bobbing around. Just a bunch of bobbing heads.
My reaction was that I felt sorry for these guys. They're showing everybody the power of the State. It's a power play. They're making an awful big deal out of something that shouldn't be that big of a big deal. See what happens if you resist. You get pumped full of Thorazine, put in a green jumpsuit and strapped into a chair and a hydrogenated food bar stuck in your mouth. They played this all day and made such a big deal out of it. And I think it's going to backfire on them. I think it will engender sympathy for these poor people.
The media spent so much time on this, and I found it funny. Secondly, I felt bad for these poor guys. They'll probably show it to all the Afghans. If you don't shape up, you'll end up like these guys - in the Ninth Circle of Hell. Or its equivalent -- Clueless in Guantanamo.
In other news, the GAO Report estimated next year's federal budget deficit of $353 billion. President Bush's comment was to shrug his shoulders and say, "Well, that s the price of security."
The American people should ask him, "How does a proposed $16 billion increase in the Department of Agriculture spending increase the nations security?"
Particularly when its money that the Department of Agriculture said it doesn't even want, can't use, and will most likely be wasted.
Bush's statement is a blatant lie. It's a $53 billion increase for defense appropriations of high technology weapons, the very same missile and fixed wing and rotary aircraft weapons systems of which the GAO states that only 38% of them which work at any one time.
How is the nation's security increased by buying weapon systems of which only 38% work at any time? These are weapons systems, which have inflicted more casualties on our own forces than they ever have inflicted on any enemy.
When you add it all up, the budgetary breakdowns, over half of the proposed spending increases, which make up the deficit, have absolutely nothing to do with the "security" of the nation. They are simply politically popular. And even the GAO warns that at least half of every dollar of next years' budget deficit will be a dollar that has been completely wasted.
The Bush Administration is still trying to sucker the American people. They had big American flags when he made the comment. It's just hard to believe that the people can't see through this.
Then after this announcement, the Bush Administration said it wants to cut the appropriation money for the General Accounting Office and General Services Administration. They want to cut their "public information" budget so they can't put out so much information detailing breakdowns of government spending.
Maybe they can get Arthur Andersen to do the audits instead - and then shred the documents afterward for the same price. Just like they did with Enron.
Even the government-media is talking about "allegations of massive document shredding" at Enron's corporate headquarters. Kenneth Lay, the CEO of Enron, attended the Republican National Committee School of Document Shredding. We understand that he graduated with Oliver North Summa Cum Laude.
But why do you think that George Bush Sr. takes Prozac™?
Because the truth is depressing.
After all even that paragon of truth telling, the Wall Street Journal, reports that since September 11, 2001, there have been 1.9 million new prescriptions for Prozac™.
America has become a nation of drinking Jack and taking Prozac. God help us, we are following in the steps of our former leader.
The next thing we'll be doing is shredding documents and going through the ensuing "Shredder Withdrawal Syndrome" (SWS). It's a clinically recognized disease in the Beltway, and it's coming soon to your very own neighborhood…
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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