Even RAND Repudiates
by Our Special Correspondent
On Aug. 5, a front-page article in the Washington Post reported a recent secret meeting of the Defense Policy Board, the advisory body to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, which is run by suspected Israeli agent Richard Perle. According to Post reporter Thomas Ricks, the meeting not only featured violent attacks against America's top military commanders (see EIR, Aug. 9), who almost unanimously oppose a U.S. military invasion of Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein. It also featured a background briefing by a RAND Corp. so-called "senior analyst" named Laurent Murawiec, which called on the Bush Administration to launch an all-out war on the House of Saud. The dossier provided below explains who this anti-Saudi briefer really is.
Within 24 hours, the Murawiec briefing, which described Saudi Arabia under the current regime as "the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent" of the United States in the Middle East, had been denounced by Secretary of State Colin Powell, by State Department spokesmen, by the White House, and ultimately by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (who initially was more incensed about the "leak" of the Defense Policy Board meeting, than about the insanity of the subject matter) as having nothing to do with U.S. policy.
Murawiec, the man that most wire services are referring to as the "RAND Corp. senior analyst," is a notorious "Mr. Ex"—sporting a curriculum vitae that has so many references to his "former" positions that one must recall Edgar Allan Poe's hilarious story of the Civil War's "Man Who Was All Used Up." In brief, except for his academic credentials, Murawiec's resumé is a list of "used to be's." He "used to be" with GeoPol Services, S.A., a money-laundering-linked firm in Switzerland; and is an "ex" adviser to the French Defense Ministry; and "formerly" wrote for Middle East Quarterly; and "used to be" with the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.
A couple of "ex" affiliations Murawiec omits are his family history as "ex" Trotskyists, and that he is an "ex" affiliate of Executive Intelligence Review, until he developed hysterics in 1986 about EIR's exposé of the crimes of Israeli general, war criminal, and now Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. What Murawiec is not, is an established "senior analyst," with any credentials worth mentioning. For example, the RAND Corp. website reveals 17 references to his name—16 of which refer to a single book on a conference in France, which he edited with another RAND analyst. The tiny book—more a pamphlet—sells for $9.00 on Amazon.com. What he is, is a propagandist for war criminal Ariel Sharon. And the RAND Corporation could soon be part of the "formerly" list.
'Not Our Dreck'
On Aug. 7, EIR obtained a copy of a RAND Corp. e-mail that completely distances itself from Murawiec and his 24-slide Power Point presentation attacking Saudi Arabia. Within hours of the White House denunciation of Murawiec's assault on the Saudis, one David Egner, director of Rand External Communications, had sent out a an e-mail that was quoted in the Washington Post, Newsday, and many other publications.
The e-mail says:
Subject: RAND statement From David Egner, director,
RAND External Communications.
The briefing prepared by Laurent Murawiec was not a RAND research product. It represents one personal contribution to an ongoing policy debate on which there is a wide range of views within RAND and elsewhere. The opinions and conclusions expressed are those of the author and should not be interpreted as representing those of RAND or any of the agencies or others sponsoring its research. Neither Laurent Murawiec nor RAND received payment for the briefing.''
Others—especially U.S. government agencies (which also fund the RAND Corp.) were even quicker to put wide distance between the administration and Murawiec.
According to the Washington Post's military correspondent, Thomas Ricks, who broke the story of the Defense Policy Board's July 10 meeting, "State Department spokesman Philip T. Reeker said that Powell, in his conversation with Prince Saud Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, reassured the Saudi government that the Rand analyst's briefing does not 'reflect the views of the President of the United States or of the U.S. government.' "U.S.-Saudi relations are 'excellent,' " Reeker continued. "We share a broad array of interests, including a common vision of peace, stability and prosperity in the region," he said. That assertion contrasts somewhat with comments made privately by administration officials, that the Saudi response to terrorism since Sept. 11 has been mixed at best and notably less vigorous than that of some other countries. Ricks added, "In his own statement, Saud said, 'It is unfortunate that there are people in some quarters who are trying to cast doubt and undermine the solid and historic ties between our two countries. I am confident they will not succeed.' "
A Serious Blunder
Murawiec's briefing on Saudi Arabia was no isolated event. After all, ever since Sept. 11, 2001, Richard Perle and other members of the "Wolfowitz cabal," who have been plotting against the White House, and President Bush, have been demanding an aggressive attack on Saudi Arabia. Perle's network of think-tanks, especially the Hudson Institute, founded by neo-Malthusian Max Singer, even demands—as did Murawiec—that the U.S. military occupy the oil fields of Saudi Arabia. While not an isolated attack on Islam, the Murawiec briefing has a unique feature. It is being used—by the same circles targetting Saudi Arabia and the other Middle Eastern countries that reject the U.S. drive for an Iraq war, to attempt to smear Lyndon LaRouche. LaRouche, a candidate for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination in 2004, is leading an international mobilization to stop that Clash of Civilizations war drive.
The first sign of this smear campaign—attempting to link LaRouche to the Richard Perle and Murawiec obscenities against the Arab world—emerged on the afternoon of Aug. 7, when the Microsoft-owned Slate magazine posted an article called, "The PowerPoint That Rocked the Pentagon—The LaRouchie Defector Who's Advising the Defense Establishment on Saudi Arabia." Following the posting of the Slate article, LaRouche commented:
In the aftermath the Washington Post's strange report of Richard Perle-sponsored Pentagon event, featuring one Laurent Murawiec, from about a month earlier, the ripened nuts of the season have begun to fall from the trees. The first observed instance of what will probably be a hail of fallen fruit of obscure ancestry, was a certain Jack Shafer, who posted a childish piece datelined slate.msn.com August 7, 2002, at 4:49 P.M. The notable feature of Shafer's concoction is that he has the same profile as Murawiec, minus what are Murawiec's actual French academic credentials. Shafer appears to be owned by the same folk who own Murawiec, but is, doubtless, much more poorly paid for his maliciously reckless disregard for truth. Perhaps that is Shafer's gripe.
As the following dossier shows, the Perle gang is scraping the bottom of the cesspool for "analysts" if they depend on "Mr. Ex" Murawiec to motivate their war plans. But there is clearly more to the story.