Executive Intelligence Review
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This article appears in the June 6, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Neo-Conservative Cabal
Under Mounting Attack

by Jeffrey Steinberg

The "regime change" in Washington, demanded by Lyndon LaRouche in the immediate aftermath of the Iraq war, moved considerably forward in the final days of May, with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the "chicken-hawk" cabal inside his office coming under mounting attack—from the Establishment media, from the Congress, and from within traditionalist military and intelligence circles. As LaRouche emphasized in his recent speeches in Bangalore, India, the target of the countercoup in Washington is not President Bush, but, rather, the gang of "universal fascist" disciples of Leo Strauss, Alexandre Kojeve, and Carl Schmitt; right-wing Ariel Sharon-loving Jabotinskyites and Christian Zionists; and other sordid neo-conservatives, who have progressively seized the reins of power inside his Administration since Sept. 11, 2001.

With the LaRouche in 2004 campaign's devastating exposé, "Children of Satan," among the hottest topics of behind-the-scenes discussion inside official Washington and all across America, there is growing evidence that some leading American political circles are waking up to the fact that they are literally facing a fascist insurgency, which threatens the very existence of the United States as it has been known for the past 214 years.

And the wake-up is coming not a moment too soon. Not content to have turned the once-modern multi-ethnic state of Iraq into a rubble field, these neo-cons are moving at break-neck speed to sell President Bush on the next war against the "axis of evil"—targeting Iran. In a speech to the New York Council on Foreign Relations on May 27, Rumsfeld openly promomted the idea that he would like to "displace" the regime in Tehran. This, after he had made a number of public statements, accusing the Iranian government of harboring al-Qaeda leaders and spreading weapons of mass destruction—the same disinformation that was peddled to win Bush's approval for the Iraq war.

While Secretary of State Colin Powell, the most outspoken Administration opponent of the chicken-hawks, was assuring reporters, hours after the Rumsfeld speech, that there has been no change in U.S. policy toward Iran, and that contacts with Iranian representatives in Geneva had not been cut off (as was mis-reported in the Washington Post), ABC News was reporting that "the Pentagon is advocating a massive covert action program to overthrow Iran's ruling ayatollahs as the only way to stop the country's nuclear weapons ambitions." ABC reported that the Pentagon scheme, which has not yet been adopted by the Bush Administration, would include covert funding of the Iraq-based Iranian Mujahideen e Khalq (MEK), a group now on the U.S. State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. ABC singled out a leading Pentagon chicken-hawk, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, as a booster of the MEK, reporting that Feith "argued that the MEK has not targeted Americans since the 1970s ... and was only put on the terrorist list by the Clinton Administration as a gesture to improve relations with Iran."

PFIAB Probe Demanded

Before the Rumsfeld-Paul Wolfowitz-Feith gang at the Pentagon, and their boosters in the Office of Vice President Dick Cheney, launch yet another war, based on pure deception and lies, there is a growing clamor for a full probe into the "cooked" intelligence that was the basis for the last war—against Iraq.

Appropriately, on Memorial Day, May 26, the New York Times published a lead editorial, "Reviewing the Intelligence on Iraq," calling on President Bush to "ask the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a group of outside experts headed by Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Adviser, to assess the record on Iraq, and the Congressional intelligence committees should conduct their own reviews."

The Times editorial began, "With doubts mounting about the accuracy of prewar American intelligence reports about Iraqi unconventional weapons, we are glad to see that the Central Intelligence Agency has begun a review of the spy assessments. The failure so far to find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the prime justification for an immediate invasion, or definitive links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, has raised serious questions about the quality of American intelligence and even dark hints that the data may have been manipulated to support a pre-emptive war."

Indeed, in his CFR speech, Rumsfeld set off a renewed firestorm over the fake intelligence issue, admitting that the United States might never find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; that Saddam Hussein may have destroyed them prior to the invasion. While Administration chicken-hawks, led by the trained Straussian liar Paul Wolfowitz, have never had a problem juggling the pretexts for the war to fit the evidence of the moment, British Prime Minister Tony Blair found himself facing a chorus of angry Members of Parliament, led by his former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, who demanded that Blair appear before the Commons to account for the fact that he had based British support for the Iraq war exclusively on "air-tight" proof that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that he could unleash "within 45 minutes."

The Pentagon's 'Big Lie' Kitchen

Several U.S. diplomatic and intelligence sources confirmed to EIR that the center of the cooked intelligence storm is the Office of Special Plans (OSP), the small Pentagon intelligence shop under the chain of command of Doug Feith. It was created in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, ostensibly to conduct alternative assessments of the voluminous U.S. intelligence product on global terrorism, with a special focus on proof of Iraq's complicity in the attacks—a role disputed by all the primary intelligence agencies and the State Department. In reality, the OSP served as a pipeline for Israeli and Iraqi National Congress (INC)-manufactured disinformation, fed through Rumsfeld directly into President Bush and the National Security Council.

The OSP intelligence shop is headed by Abram Shulsky, another Leo Strauss student, trained in the fine art of intelligence deception by Roy Godson, head of the Consortium to Study Intelligence and the National Strategy Information Center. Godson barely escaped prison in the 1980s Iran-Contra fiasco, when he served as a money launderer for the Nicaraguan Contras, passing funds from Pittsburgh-based neo-con money-bags Richard Mellon-Scaife into Ollie North's offshore bank accounts.

Godson, according to one former CIA senior official, was the author of the OSP scheme—back in 1991, in the immediate aftermath of Operation Desert Storm. Based on this report, it is now clear that the creation of a "ministry of propaganda" in the Defense Department was one more piece of the post-Soviet drive by the Cheney Pentagon team to foster an imperial policy of preventive war, in which America would use mini-nuclear weapons against Third World targets, based on "WMD" scare stories cooked in the Pentagon black propaganda kitchen.

Godson is now on contract with the OSP. Other key figures in the Pentagon deception scheme, according to a number of sources, include: Harold Rhode, the chief Middle East "expert" at Dr. Andrew Marshall's Office of Net Assessments, and a close ally of Defense Policy Board member and neo-con top dogs Richard Perle and self-professed "universal fascist" Michael Ledeen; William Luti, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Near East and South Asian Affairs, and titular head of the OSP; Kenneth de Graffenried, another Godson ally from the Iran-Contra criminal enterprise, now occupying a post under Feith at the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD); and Ladan Archin, an Iraqi-American Wolfowitz protégé from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, who came to the OSP from the International Financial Corp. of the World Bank, and reportedly serves as a liaison to Ahmed Chalabi and the INC.

Mounting Pattern of Exposés

As pressure mounts for government probes of what LaRouche labelled the "chicken-hawk intelligence agency," media and Congressional attacks have also escalated. On May 25, the New York Times's Maureen Dowd penned a scathing attack on the disinformation cabal at the OSD. Dowd quoted Rep. Jane Harmon (D-Calif.), ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Panel, who called the Bush Administration's disinformation campaign on Iraq's WMD and al-Qaeda links "conceivably the greatest intelligence hoax of all times." Harmon repeated those charges in an interview on ABC's Nightline on May 27, She was joined by former CIA counterterrorism division chief Vincent Cannistraro, who denounced the OSP by name: "What the Office of Special Plans started out with was a judgment. It was a judgment informed by an ideological point of view. Then they went out to look for facts that would fit that preconceived judgment."

The June 12 edition of the New York Review of Books also featured a lengthy assault on the neo-cons by Elizabeth Drew. Drew zeroed in on the role of Rumsfeld's Defense Policy Board, chaired, until recently, by Perle, as another neo-con redoubt, promoting war against a half-dozen other Arab states. On May 28, the Baltimore Sun editorialized, "Puffed up by the military triumph in Iraq—and blithely unconcerned about the violence and chaos that are taking root there in its wake—administration hawks now seem to recognize no limits to the brazen and unilateral use of American might."

With this momentum, clearly the next step is for some civilian Pentagon heads to roll. As Lyndon LaRouche observed, it scarcely matters who goes first. The floodgates must be opened.