Powell Apparent Victim of Hoax
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
Feb. 7, 2003 (EIRNS)—This statement was issued today by the Presidential candidate's political committee, LaRouche in 2004.
With the 2004 U.S. Presidential campaign now in motion, there are more than a few reasons to doubt that any of my visible rivals for that office have the combined intellectual and moral qualifications needed to deal with the combined onrush of a general economic collapse and a desperate push toward a spreading dark age of world wars from which no actual exit is foreseen.
A suddenly unleashing, already raging international scandal over certain dubious elements included in U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's UNO Security Council address, tends to discredit my Democratic Party rivals even more more than a Powell who was plainly carrying out a mission crafted by others.
For example, U.S. credibility is under assault as today's Reuters' "World News" dispatches featured breaking news which strongly suggests that Colin Powell's UNO Security Council address was, in significant part, a hoax based on cooked-up documents of Britain's Blair government.
According to Reuters, "Glen Rangwala, an Iraq specialist at Cambridge University, who analyzed the Downing Street dossier" praised by Powell, "told Reuters that 11 of its 19 pages were 'taken wholesale from academic papers'.... Sections in the dossier on Saddam's security apparatus drew heavily on an article written last year by Ibrahim al-Marashi, an American postgraduate student of Iraqi descent who works at the Monterrey Institute of International Studies in California."
Reuters described the British dossier referenced by Powell: "It claimed to draw upon 'a number of sources, including intelligence material.' But Friday, officials admitted whole swathes were lifted word for word—grammatical slips and all—from a student thesis."
Today, As In 1928-33
The challenge posed to U.S. citizens by the alleged Blair dossier, is that no one is competent for nomination as a 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate who does not meet a standard of international leadership posed by comparing today's crisis-situation with the situation in Germany and the U.S.A. over the period from 1928, when the German Mueller government collapsed, through the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Germany's Nazi Chancellor, on January 30, 1933. We must not only recognize the similarities of today's world's economic and military crisis to those of the 1928-1929 interval; today's threat is far worse than that of 1928-1933.
How must we assess a Democratic candidate who, today, would be panicked by a tainted report, such as that Powell was assigned to carry into the UNO, into pushing the U.S.A. into a war from which the U.S.A. itself might ultimately not return, a war such as the "Clash of Civilizations" war against the Arab world, and who knows besides, which the Chickenhawk consortium of Vice-President Cheney and stained Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman continue to push, so feverishly, today?
Compare the challenge to the U.S. Presidency today by the standards of the contrast between the roles of Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Paul von Hindenburg in a time so much like today's, 1931-1933.
Once again, as during 1928-1933, the world is gripped by an accelerating economic collapse of the world's failed, 1971-2003 international monetary-financial system. In such periods of economic history, a monetary-financial collapse which has already entered its terminal phase, as during 1928-33 or today, is a period in which dictatorships and world wars erupt as a result of the failures of leading governments and political parties. Such is the situation today. In such a period, the failure to find, and select an exceptional leader, such as Franklin Roosevelt, means that some foolish nation, such as Hindenburg's Germany, will probably hand its fate over to something like a new Adolf Hitler, or, perhaps, a Senator John "Bull Moose" McCain.
None of my supposed rivals among the currently visible candidates for the 2004 Presidential nomination measure up to the standard required for a period of crisis such as that ongoing now.
What They Are Saying
The following are excerpts from news slugs which appeared in the ICLC AM Daily Briefing of Saturday morning, February 8, 2003.
The following are only a sample of the updates and discussions in which I dealt yesterday. They are a sample of what a President should have reviewed, as I did yesterday. They are, therefore, also a sample of what any serious candidate for a Presidential nomination should have been reviewing yesterday. Should any among these be seriously considered for a Presidential nomination under the conditions of economic collapse and threat of more or less world-wide war, in the world today?
They are referenced here for the purpose of affording the readers a sense of the avalanche of reports on the mass of disinformation which the office of Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair contrived to jam into Secretary Powell's presentation to the UNO Security Council.
ITEM #1: First, on the report presented as the British Prime Minister's dossier:
[Source: Feb. 7 BBC]
Feb. 7—BRITISH SOURCES YET AGAIN UNDERCUT THE ANGLO-AMERICAN ANTI-IRAQ HYSTERIA, by revealing that a British dossier on Iraq, released on Feb. 4, and lavishly praised in the UN speech by Colin Powell the next day, is significantly based on material produced by a graduate student. This is causing quite a stir in Britain itself, and is being used against the Tony Blair government.
In his speech, while rambling on against Iraq, Powell declared, "I would call my colleagues' attention to the fine paper that the United Kingdom distributed yesterday, which describes, in exquisite detail, Iraqi deception activities."
The problem is, as Britain's Channel 4 reported after Powell spoke, that the dossier includes plagiarized material, and information that is 12 years out of date. Channel 4 charged that most of the data came from two academics and a graduate student, and that certain wording was changed by the British government, to make a stronger case against Iraq. BBC writes today: "The Channel 4 report said that even typographical and grammatical errors from the student's work were included in the U.K. Morning government dossier. It also noted that the student acknowledged that the information was 12 years old in his report, but the government doesn't make the same acknowledgment."
The British Conservative Party's Shadow Defence Secretary Bernard Jenkin said that the Tories are deeply concerned by all this: "The government's reaction to the Channel 4 News report utterly fails to explain, deny, or excuse the allegations made in it. This document has been cited by the Prime Minister and Colin Powell, as the basis for possible war. Who is responsible for such an incredible failure of judgment?"
Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Menzies Campbell added: "This is the intelligence equivalent of being caught stealing the spoons. The dossier may not amount to much, but this is a considerable embarrassment for a government trying still to make a case for war." (mjb)
ITEM #2: What about Powell's report of links between Iraq and al-Qaeda?
[source: Wall Street Journal A6, Feb. 7, 2003]
GERMAN INTERIOR MINISTER, INTELLIGENCE AND COUNTER-TERRORISM OFFICERS, QUESTION COLIN POWELL'S EVIDENCE OF IRAQ-AL-QAEDA LINKS. German officials, including Minister of Interior Otto Schily, questioned the assertion of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on Feb. 5 to the UNSEC, that a terrorist named Abu Mussah al-Zarqawi provided a firm link between al-Qaeda and Iraq. German counter-terrorism experts, after an 18-month investigation, have compiled their own dossier of "hundreds of pages" on Zarqawi and his organization Al Tawhid—and they say none of it supports the Powell argument that Zarqawi worked cooperatively with Baghdad.
"It's possible the U.S. has sources unavailable to German intelligence, but we don't see any links between Zarqawi and Iraq," one German intelligence official said. "We assume that the secular ideology of Iraq is too distant from the religion of al-Qaeda for them to cooperate." German Minister of Interior Otto Schily said German intelligence didn't show Mr. Zarqawi operated in areas of Iraq controlled by Baghdad, nor that terrorists such as al-Qaeda had linked up with a state like Iraq.
German officials scored a break a year ago, by rounding up a dozen members of Al Tawhid. Its members said that while Zarqawi was their leader, they had planned attacks on Israel and Jewish sites in Germany. Members of the cell say Iraq never figured in the picture; they say Al Tawhid focussed on the Palestinian cause and establishing a theocracy in Jordan. They say Zarqawi was not himself a core operative of al-Qaeda. Counter-terrorism experts in Germany say that at best an indirect link exists between al-Qaeda and Iraq.
Meanwhile, in a commentary in today's New York Post, aptly titled "Godfather of Terror," universal fascist Michael Ledeen went into "spin" overdrive, claiming that Germany endorses Powell's position. Ledeen crows: "We're certainly making progress when [Germany] one of our most reluctant allies is the source of such devastating intelligence."
ITEM #3: Expert opinion by a leading retired CIA officer, Dr. Stephen Pelletiere, a professional with leading experience in the Middle East:
Feb. 7 (EIRNS)—"IT'S ALL JUST SHOW BUSINESS," SAYS FORMER CIA ANALYST, OF POWELL'S SPEECH. Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere, the CIA's senior political analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, and a professor at the U.S. Army War College from 1988 to 2000, told EIR today that he did not find Secretary of State Powell's presentation to the UN Security Council to be persuasive.
"The al-Qaeda connection is the one that's falling apart most spectacularly," Pelletiere said. He pointed to two articles in yesterday's New York Times, one an interview with the head of the al-Ansar group, who's living in exile in Norway, who said he had no awareness of any connection to al-Qaeda, and who said that he had no knowledge of Zarqawi, the so-called high-ranking al-Qaeda operative whom he's supposed to be sheltering.
"All of that raises a question," Pelletiere said, adding that, "the Kurds, who are ringing the al-Ansar enclave, and who are assumed to be fairly knowledgeable about what goes on in that part of the world, claim that the town that Powell singled out as an Aswar enclave, actually is in the possession of a rival group, the Komola."
"I know the Komola, because I worked on them when I was at the Agency in the 1980s, so that's a bona fide group," Pelletiere said.
"The Ansar is a new group, but it may be an old group with a new name. because there has always been a small group of Kurds in the north who oppose the secularist Kurds of the two warlords—Talebani and Barzani. This little group was Islamist," Pelletiere stated. "So it would appear Powell's just got his information wrong."
When he was told about the statements by German officials—that they have conducted an extensive investigation of Zarqawi, and that they have no information supporting Powell's that he works closely with Saddam Hussein, Pelletiere called that "disturbing," saying that "it makes you wonder if the Administration is just going through the motions."
"They've determined that they're going to invade Iraq, and they're aware that they need a cover from the UN," Pelletiere said, "but they're really not going out of their way, to make a very good case, if it can be shot down that easily."
"When you take that, on top of the Blair dossier, you get the impression that this is all just show business. There isn't any real intelligence investigation going on here."
Feb. 7 (EIRNS)—WHAT DO THE "NERVE GAS" INTERCEPTS SIGNIFY? When asked about the intercepts of alleged conversations cited by Secretary of State Powell, former CIA analyst Stephen Pelletiere said in an interview with EIR, that the statement cited by Powell—"Don't mention 'nerve gas'" in any of your dispatches"—could have just been a routine dissemination of advice from the Iraqi government, based on knowledge of how the U.S. gathers "sigint" (signals intelligence). "We routinely take thousands of hours and hours of conversations, and then the computer trolls through and picks out certain phrases," Pelletiere explained. "So if they don't want their conversations taped, they would make sense to advise their subordinates to stop using certain key words, because that's going to trigger the sigint."
"The guy isn't actually saying that 'We've got this stuff.' He's just saying: 'Don't use that phrase.'"
Feb. 7 (EIRNS)—INTELLIGENCE ANALYSTS UPSET OVER "POLITICIZATION" OF INTELLIGENCE. Citing his experience in the CIA in the 1980s under then-director William Casey, former CIA analyst Stephen Pelletiere told EIR that he is afraid that this kind of "politicization" is resurfacing. "And of course the Agency was badly shaken by that, back in the '80s, and there was a reaction away from it, and I understand that there are a number of Agency analysts who are speaking out, and are very unhappy with what they see." "I've seen a lot of this at Langley, and I've seen a lot of this in Britain," Pelletiere noted. "British Intelligence leaked the material on Blair, in which they showed that they didn't have any proof of links with al-Qaeda, and then Jack Straw came out and said, 'Blair doesn't give a damn.'" "Obviously, there's a lot of dissent in the intelligence community."
ITEM #4: From another relevant U.S. intelligence specialist:
[Source: cfr.orgm, Feb. 5]
SENIOR CFR OFFICIAL SAYS VOICE INTERCEPTS CAN BE FAKED. Michael Peters, a career military officer, who is now the Executive Vice President of the New York Council on Foreign Relations, was interviewed about Secretary of State Powell's UN Security Council presentation, by cfr.org editor Bernard Gwertzman.
One of the questions asked to Peters, was: "You can always fake voice intercepts?" Peters answered: "Right. Any kind of intelligence, but especially signals intelligence. Messages are so truncated and cryptic that there are a lot of blanks to fill in."
Peters also said that the Administration used Powell, because he is a much more effective messenger than Bush. He added that he does not think that a war can start before March, or even April, because of the time needed to get equipment to Turkey.
ITEM #5: Now look at what some would-be Presidential nominees have been saying on the issue of launching a war against the Arab world. Do those would-be Democratic Presidential candidates meet the standard of persons we should trust with the fateful decision of war or peace?:
[source: various wire and newpaper accounts, and individuals' web sites, Feb. 5-7, 2003]
DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES AND LEADERS QUOTED ON IRAQ, AND REACTING TO POWELL'S UN SPEECH:
- Sen. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (Conn.), in a statement released after Powell's speech:
"Patience is a virtue, but too much patience with dangerous lawlessness is a vice. In my view, the case against Saddam is clear, and it is compelling. The time for containment has passed. The time for patience with Saddam's deceit in the face of Saddam's danger is over."
- Sen. JOHN EDWARDS (N.C.) said on Wednesday, that Secretary of State Colin L. Powell made a powerful case before the United Nations that Saddam Hussein violated a Security Council resolution on Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction.
"I have long argued that Saddam Hussein is a grave threat and that he must be disarmed. Iraq's behavior during the past few months has done nothing to change my mind," Senator Edwards said.
"Secretary of State Powell made a powerful case. This is a real challenge for the Security Council to act. Saddam Hussein is on notice," he added.
- Rep. RICHARD GEPHARDT (Mo.) said, "I believe Secretary Powell made a compelling case that Iraq is concealing its weapons of mass destruction and is in material breach of UN Security Council Resolution 1441." Gephardt said that he hoped the presentation "will strengthen our alliance with other nations about the course of action ahead. I encourage the Administration to work with our allies during the upcoming weeks on how best to resolve this matter in the interest of our mutual security."
- Sen. BOB GRAHAM (Fla.), who may campaign for President once he recovers from recent heart bypass surgery, said, "In my opinion, this linkage of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and groups like al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, with a substantial number of trained terrorist operatives placed inside the United States, represents the greatest danger to our people. I continue to urge the President, in the relatively few days left before the start of war with Iraq, to use every measure to protect Americans by dismantling these international terrorist organizations here and abroad."
- Sen. JOHN F. KERRY (Mass.) said Powell had laid out a "compelling case." Kerry said he would back using military force to disarm Iraq, but urged the Administration to continue seeking support from the world community.
- Former Gov. HOWARD DEAN (Vt.) said in an interview, "While it is clear that Saddam Hussein is a dreadful person, that is not reason to disarm him unilaterally. I don't think the evidence rises to the level of an imminent threat to the United States and therefore that military action is justified."
Dean said he had not been moved by Powell's arguments—although he made clear that he was not opposed to action to remove Saddam Hussein if [Iraq] was not in compliance with the United Nations, as opposed to action by the United States alone. He said, "I'm not convinced: I don't think the case has been made for unilateral action."
- The REV. AL SHARPTON of New York did not return reporters' calls seeking comment. He has been consistently opposed to a military strike on Iraq.