With an ever-increasing amount of speculation and analysis pumping through the heart of the beloved Plamegate blogosphere, there seems to be a lot of eager anticipation, hope that justice will finally be served, and there are also a lot of rumors. One of which, is that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has expanded the scope of his investigation to probe into how the White House utilized pre-war intelligence about Iraq. Actually, it’s probably not a rumor, for according to The Financial Times UK’s Oct. 17th article, “CIA Leak Probe ‘Widening to Include Use of Intelligence’”
…the Democratic National Committee, a majority of the nine members of the White House Iraq Group have been questioned by Mr Fitzgerald. The team, which included senior national security officials, was created in August 2002 to "educate the public" about the risk posed by weapons of mass destruction on Iraq.
Regardless of how far reaching Fitzgerald’s expansion goes, there is an extremely good reason for his investigation to grow in this direction. It is simple. Karen Kwiatkowski. Some might call her the missing link that could implode the Bush administration’s house of deceptive and treasonous cards.
Kwiatkowski is probably not Fitzgerald’s reason for questioning a majority of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), for chances are that like most other American’s he is unaware of who she is. But if he knew her story, he just might indict the entire neoconservative administration. Seriously.
Despite blowing her whistle in the Media Education Foundation’s (MEF) 2004 documentary film Hijacking Catastrophe, Kwiatkowski’s story has sat idle in the cellars of the corporate media, hopelessly buried in dust alongside so many other vital, yet unreported stories.
However, through the gracious assistance of MEF, Arianna Huffington’s willingness to promote Karen’s story and ask me (someone who isn’t even a journalist) to blog about it, I am happy to reach into the dank cellar of journalistic void, dust off Karen’s story and let it glisten in the rich mosaic of truth that it is.
Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski (Ret.) worked for the Pentagon, in the office of the Secretary of Defense, Near East South Asia (NESA) directorate. She began working there in May of 2002, for Bill Luti and Doug Feith and also worked in conjunction with Abe Schulsky’s, Office of Special Plans (OSP) (which Donald Rumsfeld set up in September 2003, and was renamed Northern Gulf Affairs Office (NGAO) in July of 2003). In a January 6, 2004 video interview included in MEF’s documentary film Hijacking Catastrophe (available at hijackingcatastrophe.org), Kwiatkowski spoke about her experience with witnessing firsthand how the US govt. had a secret foreign policy agenda (especially with regard to Iraq) and how they cooked the intelligence books in order to “justify” a “legal” war.
The next part of this blog entry includes a brief transcription of key parts of Karen’s interview (which by the way, was also printed in Interlink Publishing’s Hijacking Catastrophe book, a collection of interviews from 28 distinguished political thinkers).
I have included sections that provide a hive of cross-supportive reasoning into the allegation that CIA operative Valerie Plame’s top secret identity was exposed in order to punish Joe Wilson, and to, as the Reagan administration's National Security Agency director has said, to protect “The Lies That Took The Country Into 'The Greatest Strategic Disaster In US History'". Also, I have included key sections which reinforce the underlying need for Fitzgerald’s (or somebody, please somebody) to investigate how intelligence was really handled.
As hard as this may be to swallow, let the iceberg be exposed.
“..my eyes were opened to what was going on in Middle Eastern policy…There was very much a concentration of political appointees in general [in the office of Secretary of Defense, NESA] and specifically a concentration of political appointees of what I would call—and what most people would recognize as—a neoconservative political persuasion with regard to foreign policy. These were people in the Pentagon with a foreign policy agenda, and they were concentrated in this office, noticeably so.
“…this office was making policy to support what I call a propaganda campaign to convince the American people that we needed to invade Iraq. This had been going on before I joined them… In fact it’s well known now that Iraq was brought up on the afternoon of 9/11 [Richard Clarke’s story]. They were saying, “How can we, the Pentagon and Secretary of Defense, use this to go into Iraq?” But I was unaware of that until I began to see it firsthand with my own two eyes.“
“…what I saw was a very focused program of developing propaganda. That propaganda was aimed to convince people within the Pentagon and others at the State Department, people at the NSC, and the American people, that Iraq was somehow complicit in the attack of 9/11. Of course we now know it’s not true, but that was one of the messages that was being developed… Another message was that Iraq was a major weapons of mass destruction threat, not just to its neighbors, not just to the region, but to the United States of America.”
“What I saw was not the use of this intelligence as information, as analyzed recommendations or supporting fact, but the use of this intelligence to provide bits and pieces of a propaganda story.”
“When in August of 2002 the Office of Special Plans physically relocated out from where we were and moved up into different spaces under Abe Schulsky, one of the major products they provided to us as a sister office was a set of “talking points” that we action officers, political military officers, would utilize when we prepared any kind of policy paper, or any kind of information that we would be presenting to our higher ups, to visitors, to guests, or to anyone like that. These talking points were drawn from intelligence. I had seen the intelligence [that they were based upon] at least up to the secret level, and these talking points were never classified higher than secret. You could find bits and pieces of fact throughout, but they were framed, articulated and crafted to convince someone of things that weren’t true: 9/11, Al-Qaeda being related to Saddam Hussein – the very things that a year later President Bush himself denies and feigns surprise about. Well, I worked in a place where they concentrated on preparing this story line, selling it to everyone that they could possibly sell it to, and insuring that it was used.
It was mandated that we take these talking points and include them in their entirety to every paper that we gave to our higher ups to prepare them to talk to people outside the Pentagon. It was very interesting in that we, in the Pentagon, uniformed people and professional civilians, were being propagandized as well as the American people…I had never seen where that kind of propaganda was actually aimed inside of the Pentagon. And now it was. It was aimed at everyone outside of the small circle of political activists in the Pentagon.”
“I needed to know more and I studied these folks and I studied their backgrounds. I had read all I could about Richard Perle. At the time I was in the Pentagon, he was the chairman of the Defense Policy Board; he’s no longer the chairman but he’s still a strong member. I read all I could about Doug Feith, formally of Feith & Zell, whose only overseas client was the country of Israel. I looked at these things, and I said what do I know about these people and their agendas. Their agendas were wide open; they were out there. Richard Perle had published a co-written document in 1996 called “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.” It was a document that’s still out on the Internet, a document that he and others—some of whom are people that I also knew in the Pentagon and some of whom had received political appointments over at the State Department—had written as part of former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign strategy. The document helped look at what kind of long-term security strategies would be adopted and would be suitable for Benjamin Netanyahu to proclaim as he ran in this campaign in 1996. If you read it you will see that it calls for regime change in Iraq; this was 1996!
But fine, that’s for Netanyahu. What does that have to do with us? Well, it wouldn’t have anything to do with us, except all of the same people who were preparing these strategies, developing them, researching them, discussing them and trying to play them out in an academic environment—an intellectualized environment—are suddenly transplanted to the Pentagon. They were no longer in an academic and intellectualized environment, they were in an empowered environment, and the things that they were doing seemed to track back to things that they had advocated in previous times as academics.
Information about this neoconservative agenda was out there, the planning had been done long before the Bush administration had come in. And I think in one way that explains why the administration was so successful in convincing the American people, and so successful in populating the power center within the Pentagon, within the State Department, within the NSC to a lesser extent, and certainly within the Vice President’s office. There is a network that had been in place during the Clinton administration, and these same people worked on documents.“
The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) is another organization with plenty of stuff written out there. They have a website. It’s out in the open. Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and a number of neoconservative intellectuals, were involved in developing the PNAC. It was formed as a think tank and it developed a strategy for increasing and projecting American power. If you look at the signatories to the various products that the PNAC put out, the names are Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and all these guys.
So when they came in with Bush in 2000, they came in as a network of people who had worked together. That’s not necessarily unusual, in that they were the party on the outs, and of course they associated with each other during the out years. In that sense there’s nothing crazy or dangerous about this – except that the agenda that they had was an agenda to take us to war, and it relied on lies. It relied on stories that had to be woven and created and told and sold to the American people.”
“If you look at what was written by the neoconservatives prior to George Bush taking office, you see these things are all part of their plan. When they came to power again, they carried the plan out, without changing it, through subterfuge, through propaganda, and through political maneuvering. They did not do it honestly and they did it in a very expensive manner, in money and in blood, in treasure from this country, in the lives of our young men and the lives of Iraqis…”
“International law doesn’t matter to neoconservatives, in part because they haven’t served in the military and in part because they are not internationalists. They don’t recognize the idea of reciprocity.”
“In terms of security and behavior, because they haven’t served in the military, they discount the idea of having norms of war. They discount the idea of a just war. A just war becomes whatever I say it is. That’s what they prefer, having never been POWs and never likely to be POWs. The Geneva Conventions were an attempt to prevent the barbarism that had occurred in Europe with these great wars. The Great War and World War II. Your POWs are not tortured and my POWs are not tortured. Well, this administration is very ignorant of what internationalism is; they see it only as a negative, and they see it as letting the UN tell you what to do when certainly that has nothing to do with it. They don’t understand reciprocity… Because they are ignorant of these things, they discount reciprocity’s value and it’s going to be very costly to us.”