Bush Directive for a "Catastrophic Emergency" in
Building a Justification for Waging War on
By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
"Another [9/11 type terrorist] attack could create both a
justification and an opportunity that is lacking today to
retaliate against some known targets" (Statement by
Pentagon official, leaked to the Washington Post, 23 April 2006)
06/25/07 "Global Research}-- - June 24, 2007 -- The US
media consensus is that "the United States faces its greatest
threat of a terrorist assault since the September 11 attacks"
(USA Today, 12 February 2006) The American Homeland is
threatened by " Islamic terrorists", allegedly supported by
Tehran and Damascus.
America is under
attack" by an illusive "outside enemy".
turned upside down. War becomes Peace. "Offense" becomes a
legitimate means of "self-defense". In the words of President
this kind of enemy, there is only one effective response: We
must go on the offense, stay on the offense, and take the
fight to them." (President George W. Bush, CENTCOM Coalition
Conference, May 1, 2007)
The intent is to
seek a pretext to wage a preemptive war.
attack on America" could be used to justify, in the eyes of an
increasingly credulous public opinion, on "humanitarian
grounds", the launching of a major theater war directed against
Iran and Syria.
supported by Iran, the terrorists are said to possess nuclear
capabilities. They are supposedly planning to explode
"radiological dispersion devices" (RDD) or "dirty bombs" in
densely populated urban areas in the US. Former Secretary of
State Colin Powell had already forewarned in 2003 that, "It
would be easy for terrorists to cook up radioactive ‘dirty’
bombs to explode inside the U.S. … How likely it is, I can't
say..." (10 February 2003).
absurdity that Al Qaeda might have advanced capabilities to wage
a nuclear attack on America is, nonetheless, pervasive in US
media reports. Moreover, numerous drills and exercises,
simulating a terrorist attack using nuclear devices, have been
conducted in recent years, creating the illusion that "the
threat is real":
"What we do
know is that our enemies want to inflict massive casualties
and that terrorists have the expertise to invent a wide
range of attacks, including those involving the use of
chemical, biological, radiological and even nuclear weapons.
... [E]xploding a small nuclear weapon in a major city could
do incalculable harm to hundreds of thousands of people, as
well as to businesses and the economy,...(US Congress, House
Financial Services Committee, June 21, 2007).
since 911, the Bush administration has reminded Americans of the
danger of a "Second 9/11":
near-term attacks ... will either rival or exceed the 9/11
attacks... And it's pretty clear that the nation's capital
and New York city would be on any list..." (Former DHS
Secretary Tom Ridge, December 2003)
'Is it serious?' Yes, you bet your life. People don't do
that unless it's a serious situation." (Former Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, December 2003)
Credible reporting indicates that Al Qaeda is moving forward
with its plans to carry out a large-scale attack in the
United States in an effort to disrupt our democratic
process... (Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, 8 July 2004)
enemy that struck on 9/11 is weakened and fractured yet it
is still lethal and planning to hit us again." (Vice
President Dick Cheney, 7 January 2006)
still a nation at risk. Part of our strategy, of course, is
to stay on the offense against terrorists who would do us
harm. In other words, it is important to defeat them
overseas so we never have to face them here. Nevertheless,
we recognize that we've got to be fully prepared here at the
homeland." (President George W. Bush February 8, 2006)
enemy is al Qaeda and its affiliates. Their allies choose
their victims indiscriminately. They murder the innocent to
advance a focused and clear ideology. They seek to establish
a radical Islamic caliphate, so they can impose a brutal new
order on unwilling people, much as Nazis and communists
sought to do in the last century. This enemy will accept no
compromise with the civilized world.... (President
George W. Bush, CENTCOM Coalition Conference, May 1, 2007)
fighting a war on terror because the enemy attacked us
first, and hit us hard. ... Al Qaeda's leadership has said
they have the right to "kill four million Americans,... For
nearly six years now, the United States has been able to
defeat their attempts to attack us here at home. Nobody can
guarantee that we won't be hit again. ... (Vice
President Dick Cheney,
United States Military Academy Commencement, West Point, New
York, May 26, 2007)
In the immediate
wake of the invasion of Iraq (April 2003), various national
security procedures were put in place which focused on the
eventuality of a "Second 911". These initiatives in the area of
Homeland Security outlined the precise circumstances under which
martial law could be declared in the case of a second major
terrorist attack on America.
law, the military would take over several functions of civilian
government including justice and law enforcement.
attack on American soil of the size and nature of September 11,
would lead ---according to former CENTCOM Commander, General
Tommy Franks-- to the downfall of democracy in America. In an
interview in December 2003, which was barely mentioned in the US
media, General Franks outlined a scenario, which would result in
the suspension of the Constitution and the installation of
military rule in America:
terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event [will occur]
somewhere in the Western world - it may be in the United
States of America - that causes our population to question
our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country
in order to avoid a repeat of another mass,
casualty-producing event." (General Tommy Franks Interview,
Cigar Aficionado, December 2003)
obliquely alluding to a "Second 9/11" terrorist attack, which
could be used to galvanize US public opinion in support of a
military government and police state.
massive casualty-producing event" was presented by General
Franks as a crucial political turning point. The resulting
crisis and social turmoil resulting from the civilian
casualties, are intended to facilitate a major shift in US
political, social and institutional structures, leading to the
suspension of constitutional government.
It is important
to understand that General Franks was not giving a personal
opinion on the role of a "massive casuality producing event" in
National Security doctirne. His statement very much reflects the
dominant viewpoint both in the Pentagon and the Department of
Homeland Security both on the concept of massive casualty
producing event as well as how events might unfold in the case
of a "Catastrophic Emergency".
comes from a man who has been actively involved in military and
intelligence planning at the highest levels. In other words, the
"militarisation of our country" is an ongoing operational
assumption. It is part of the broader "Washington consensus". It
identifies the Bush administration's "roadmap" of war and
The "Global War
on Terrorism" which constitutes the cornerstone of Bush’s
National Security doctrine, provides the required justification
for repealing the Rule of Law, ultimately with a view to
"preserving civil liberties."
US Northern Command
Administration's "Catastrophic Emergency" procedures are
intimately related to military planning at the level of the
Pentagon. In this regard, the formation of US Northern Command
(NORTHCOM) in April 2002 (based at Peterson Air Force Base,
Colorado) constitutes an important landmark in the evolving
relationship between the Military and Homeland Security.
Command was created as a new command structure with the explicit
mandate to defend the Homeland against foreign terrorists.
This mandate is
defined in the Pentagon's "Joint Doctrine for Homeland Security
(JP-26)". Even in the case where the "outside enemy" is
fabricated (and this is known at the highest levels of the
military-intelligence apparatus), a military coup d'Etat
characterized by detailed command military/ security provisions,
would become operational almost immediately.
"Command Mission" encompasses a number of "non-military
functions" including "crisis management" and "domestic civil
support". Under Northcom jurisdiction, the latter imply a
process of "military support to federal, state and local
authorities in the event of a terror attack."
NORTHCOM has a
mandate to "defend the homeland" against an illusive "outside
enemy" (Al Qaeda), which is said to be threatening the security
of America. According to Frank Morales, "the scenario of a
military take-over of America is unfolding." And Northern
Command is the core military entity in this takeover and
militarization of civilian institutions.
creation of NORTHCOM in 2002, "Defense of the Homeland"
functions -including domestic counter-terrorism and national
emergency procedures-- have become increasingly integrated into
the broader process of military planning by the Pentagon .
should be understood as part of the Pentagon's preemptive war
doctrine, where a presumed or planned attack on the Homeland by
"Islamic terrorists" becomes a justification for waging an
"offensive" (defined as defensive) war in the Middle East.
11, 2001 terrorist attacks were used to wage war on Afghanistan,
using the pretext (without a shred of evidence) that the Afghan
Taliban government was a "State sponsor" of the 9/11 attacks.
In August 2005,
Vice President Dick Cheney is reported to have instructed
USSTRATCOM, based at the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, to
draw up a "Contingency Plan", "to be employed in response to
another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United
States". (Philip Giraldi,
Attack on Iran: Pre-emptive Nuclear War, The American
Conservative, 2 August 2005)
"Contingency Plan" was predicated on the preemptive war
doctrine. Implied in the "Contingency Plan" was the presumption
that Iran would be behind the attacks.
president's instructions were given to USSTRATCOM, which is in
charge of the central planning and coordination of major
overseas theater wars, rather than to NORTHCOM, whose mandate
consists in defending the North American Homeland against
terrorist attacks. .
"Contingency Plan" under USSTRATCOM jurisdiction, would draw on
the possibility of a "Second 9/11" attack to prepare for a
major military operation directed against Iran, while pressure
would also be exerted in the corridors of the United Nations on
Tehran, in relation to its (non-existent) nuclear weapons
diabolical in this 2005 decision by the US Vice President is
that the justification to wage war on Iran rests on Iran's
alleged involvement in a hypothetical terrorist attack on
America, which has not yet occurred.
The plan to
attack Iran is based on the principle of self defense. It
"includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both
conventional and tactical nuclear weapons." (Philip Giraldi,
Attack on Iran: Pre-emptive Nuclear War, The American
Conservative, 2 August 2005)
senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are
reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are
doing—that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear
attack—but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing
any objections. (Ibid)
In early 2006,
(former) Secretary Don Rumsfeld approved a far-reaching military
campaign plan to fight terrorism around the World, with a view
to retaliating in the case of a second major terrorist attack on
America. This Pentagon plan was, in essence, an extension of
the Second 911 "Contingency Plan" agenda announced by Dick
Cheney in 2005.
anti-terrorist plan was outlined in three secret documents, of
which excerpts were leaked to the Washington Post.
documents consist of an overall "campaign plan" plus two
"subordinate plans". The second "subordinate plan" explicitly
focuses on the possibility of "Second 9/11" and how a second
major attack on American soil might provide "an opportunity" to
extend the US led war in the Middle East into new frontiers:
out how the military can both disrupt and respond to another
major terrorist strike on the United States. It includes
lengthy annexes that offer a menu of options for the
military to retaliate quickly against specific terrorist
groups, individuals or state sponsors depending on who is
believed to be behind an attack. Another attack could
create both a justification and an opportunity that is
lacking today to retaliate against some known targets,
according to current and former defense officials familiar
with the plan. (Washington Post, 23 April 2006, emphasis
of this military document, is that a Second 911 attack "which is
lacking today" would usefully create both a "justification and
an opportunity" to wage war on "some known targets [Iran and
Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, NSPD-51/
In May 2007, a major presidential
National Security Directive is issued, (National
Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive
NSPD 51/HSPD 20),
NSPD 51 / HSPD 20 is a combined
National Security Directive emanating from the White House and
Homeland Security. It is tailor-made to fit the premises of both
the Pentagon's 2006 "Anti-terrorist Plan" as well Vice President
Cheney's 2005 "Contingency Plan".
The directive establishes
procedures for "Continuity of Government" (COG) in the case of a
"Catastrophic Emergency". The latter is defined in NSPD 51/HSPD
20 (henceforth referred to as NSPD 51), as "any incident,
regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of
mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the
U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or
Government," or "COG," is defined in NSPD 51 as "a coordinated
effort within the Federal Government's executive branch to
ensure that National Essential Functions continue to be
performed during a Catastrophic Emergency."
NSPD 51 has
barely been reported by the mainstream media. There was no
press briefing by the White House or by DHS Secretary Michael
Chertoff, which would be the normal practice, given the
significance and implications of NSPD 51. The text of NSPD /51
HSPD 20, announced by the White House is not even mentioned on
the DHS's website.
Directive NSPD /51 HSPD 20 grants unprecedented powers to
the Presidency and the Department of Homeland Security,
overriding the foundations of Constitutional government. NSPD 51
allows the sitting president to declare a “national emergency”
without Congressional approval The adoption of NSPD 51 would
lead to the de facto closing down of the Legislature and the
militarization of justice and law enforcement:
President shall lead the activities of the Federal
Government for ensuring constitutional government. In order
to advise and assist the President in that function, the
Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter
terrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National
Continuity Coordinator. The National Continuity Coordinator,
in coordination with the Assistant to the President for
National Security Affairs (APNSA), without exercising
directive authority, shall coordinate the development and
implementation of continuity policy for executive
departments and agencies. The Continuity Policy Coordination
Committee (CPCC), chaired by a Senior Director from the
Homeland Security Council staff, designated by the National
Continuity Coordinator, shall be the main day-to-day forum
for such policy coordination. (National
Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive
NSPD 51/HSPD 20, emphasis added)
NSPD 51 grants extraordinary Police
State powers to the White House and Homeland Security (DHS), in
the event of a "Catastrophic Emergency". The Assistant to the
President for Homeland Security and Counter terrorism (APHS/CT),
who is slated to play a key role in the eventuality of Martial
law, is a key White House adviser, Frances Fragos Townsend.
Foreign Policy Implications of NSPD 51: Role of the Vice
While NSPD 51 has the appearances of a domestic national
security decision, it is, nonetheless, an integral part of US
foreign policy. It belongs to a longstanding military national
security agenda. Were NSPD 51 to be invoked, Vice President
Dick Cheney, who constitutes the real power behind the
Executive, would essentially assume de facto dictatorial powers,
circumventing both the US Congress and the Judiciary, while
continuing to use President George W. Bush as a proxy
NSPD 51, while bypassing the Constitution, nonetheless,
envisages very precise procedures which guarantee the powers
of Vice President Dick Cheney in relation to "Continuity of
Goverment" under Martial Law:
"This directive shall be implemented in a manner that is
consistent with, and facilitates effective implementation of,
provisions of the Constitution concerning succession to the
Presidency or the exercise of its powers, and the Presidential
Succession Act of 1947 (3 U.S.C. 19), with consultation of the
Vice President and, as appropriate, others involved. Heads of
executive departments and agencies shall ensure that appropriate
support is available to the Vice President and others involved
as necessary to be prepared at all times to implement those
provisions." (NSPD 51, op cit.)
In the case of a "Catastrophic Emergency", NSPD 51 could
potentially be used to justify the implementation of
retaliatory military action against Iran in accordance with Dick
Cheney's 2005 "Contingency Plan". If the "Catastrophic
Emergency" were to be triggered by a terrorist attack, NSPD-51
could be invoked as "the
justification and ... opportunity ... to retaliate against some
known targets" as outlined by the Pentagon in its 2006
question is whether the occurrence of this "Catastrophic
Emergency " is actually being planned by the Pentagon, with a
view to justifying an attack on Iran.
The Role of the
US Military in the Case of a "Catastrophic Emergency"
NSPD 51 would
instate martial law under the authority of the White House and
the DHS. It would suspend constitutional government under the
provisions of Continuity in Government (COG).
of NSPD 51 are consistent with an existing body of legislation
and regulations pertaining to alleged terrorist attacks on the
Homeland and the declaration of martial law.
following the invasion of Iraq, Homeland Security (DHS) has
contemplated time and again the possibility of a so-called code
red alert "scenario" --using a potential or possible Al Qaeda
terrorist attack on America soil as a pretext for implementing
martial law. (For further details, see Michel Chossudovsky,
America's "War on Terrorism", Global Research, 2005)
Since 2003, the
DHS has conducted several "anti-terrorist exercises" under the
TOPOFF (top officials) program. The latter consisted in
organizing anti-terror preparedness in a military style exercise
with the participation of federal, State and local level
governments. Various attack "scenarios" by foreign terrorists
using weapons of mass destruction had been envisaged.
Code Red Alert
was initially established under the provisions of
Homeland Security Presidential Directive-3 (March 2002).
Under the existing legislation, a code red alert would trigger
conditions for the "temporary" suspension of the normal
functions of civilian government. Several functions of civilian
administration would be closed down, others could be transferred
to the jurisdiction of the military. More generally, the
procedure would disrupt government offices, businesses, schools,
public services, transportation, etc.
(former) Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge (22 Dec. 2003):
"If we go to
[code] Red ... it basically shuts down the country."
In which case, a
national emergency is declared, Northern Command deploys its
forces on air, land and sea. Several functions of civilian
government are transferred to NORTHCOM headquarters, which
already has the structures which enable it to oversee and
supervise civilian institutions.
Code red alert
would suspend civil liberties, including public gathering and/
or citizens' protests against the Administration's decision to
declare martial law.
authorities would also have the authority to exert tight
censorship over the media and would no doubt paralyze the
alternative news media on the internet.
In turn, code
red alert would trigger the "civilian" Homeland Emergency
response system, including the DHS' Ready.Gov instructions, the
Citizen Corps, not to mention the
Neighborhood Watch Program which have a mandate to "identify and
report suspicious activity in neighborhoods" across America.
Militarization of Civilian Institutions
NSPD 51 is, in
principle, a civilian directive emanating from the Presidency
and the DHS.
What would be
the involvement of the Military in a martial law situation,
following the activation of NSPD 51?
In theory, the
Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 adopted in the wake of the US civil
war, prevents the military from intervening in civilian police
and judicial functions. This law has been central to the
functioning of constitutional government.
Posse Comitatus Act is still on the books, in practice the
legislation is no longer effective in preventing the
militarization of civilian institutions. (See
Morales, Global Research, September 2003)
inherited from the Clinton administration, not to mention the
post 9/11 Patriot Acts I and II, "blurs the line between
military and civilian roles", it allows the military to
intervene in judicial and law enforcement activities even in the
absence of an emergency situation.
legislation was passed which allowed the military to intervene
in the case of a national emergency (e.g.. a terrorist attack).
In 1999, Clinton's Defense Authorization Act (DAA) extended
those powers (under the 1996 legislation) by creating an
"exception" to the Posse Comitatus Act, which would allow the
military to be involved in civilian affairs "regardless of
whether there is an emergency". (See
Under this 1999
provision, "the mere threat of an act of terrorism would
justify calling in military units. That represents a loophole
large enough to drive a battalion of army tanks through." (Ibid)
In other words,
the Clinton era legislation had already laid the legal and
ideological foundations of the "global war on terrorism".
While NSPD 51 is
a significant and timely landmark, it is broadly consistent with
the pre-existing legislation, with one important exception. NSPD
51 confirms that "Continuity in Government" (COG), while
suspending the Constitution, would be carried out under the
control of the Presidency.
is important, in view of mounting opposition within the Armed
Forces to the possible use of a "false flag" terrorist attack as
a justification for the launching of a broader Middle East war,
in which nuclear weapons could be used against Iran.
NSPD 51 largely
confirms the "legitimacy" of preexisting procedures and
legislation, while also stipulating a central and critical role
for the presidency in the case of a "Catastrophic Emergency". In
fact, NSPD 51 thwarts the possibility of discretionary actions
taken unilaterally by the Military in the case of a national
emergency. Broadly speaking, NSPD 51 reinforces the control
exerted by the White House, its civilian apparatus as well as
its corporate lobby groups.
While COG would
result in the militarization of civilian institutions, this
process would be under the control of civilian policy-makers,
acting on behalf of their corporate sponsors. This civilian
policy apparatus, made up of senior NeoCon advisers, with links
to the Washington think tanks, Wall Street and the oil
giants, is slated to play a key role in the case of martial
militarization of justice and law enforcement would proceed, the
Military would, nonetheless, remain subordinate to a "civilian
War Games and
the Militarization of National Emergency Preparedness
dimension of the militarization of civilian institutions
pertains to interagency collaboration between the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Pentagon in the
conduct of military style "catastrophic emergency response"
"interagency collaboration" was endorsed in 2006 by the US
Congress. FEMA (under the jurisdiction of the Department
Homeland Security) was given exceptional powers. A significant
budget was also provided to finance an ongoing partnership
between FEMA and the US Military.
was responsible for establishing links with civilian agencies
involved in emergency preparedness (operating under the Defense
Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA)).
unfolded is an integrated military/civilian outlook on emergency
preparedness. A number of civilian agencies now actively
participate in the conduct of Pentagon war games. In 2006,
FEMA's "catastrophic disaster response" exercise was integrated
into the conduct of US Northern Command's "Operation Vigilant
joint exercise activity, FEMA and USNORTHCOM exercised
catastrophic disaster response during Vigilant Shield 07, an
exercise focusing on a nuclear weapons accident and a
terrorist event. (David Paulison, Administrator of the
Federal Emergency Management, Agency (FEMA), statement to
the Committee on House Transportation and Infrastructure
Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and
Emergency Management, US Congress, 19 May 2007)
07 was a far-reaching "New Cold War" type war games exercise,
directed against directed against (Irmingham) Iran and its Cold
war era enemies: Ruebek (Russia), Churya (China), and Nemazee
(North Korea). (for further details, see Michel Chossudovsky,
Theater Iran Near Term, Global Research, February 21, 2007)
2007, FEMA together with a number of civilian agencies including
the FBI, local and State and private organizations participated
in the Pentagon's Ardent Sentry-Northern Edge 07 war games
(AS-NE 07), under the helm of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. U.S.
Part of the AS
NE 07 war games were directed against Russia. They were held in
the vicinity of the Bearing Straits on the immediate borders
with Russia's Fareast, These associated exercises in Alaska
entitled Alaska Shield also included the participation of
Canadian forces. (For further details,
see NorthCom.mil Fact Sheet)
In the months
prior as well as following the release of NSPD-51 by the White
House on 9 May 2007, emergency exercises have been held, with
the support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in
several US cities. How to respond in the case of a "Catastrophic
Event". Brainstorming sessions involving officials from local,
state and federal agencies have met to examine what to do in the
case of "Catastrophic Event" or terrorist attack.
On June 2nd,
the US was "dominated by screaming headlines and sensationalist
broadcast coverage of an alleged plot in New York to blow up
John F. Kennedy International Airport" (See
Bill van Auken, June 7, 2007). In the meantime, the US
public has become increasingly skeptical of repeated fake terror
every reason to believe that the succession of “terror”
cases, each one weaker than the last and virtually all of
them driven by “informants” who seem to play more the role
of agents provocateur, are aimed at achieving precisely this
effect. They serve as a means of intimidating public opinion
with fear, justifying attacks on democratic rights and
diverting attention from the ongoing debacle in Iraq.
faced by the government is that the public is growing
increasingly skeptical about these cases, with a sizeable
portion of the population having concluded that they are
trumped up for political purposes. (Ibid)
Appointments; The Firing of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
military appointments were made in recent months. Of
significance, Admiral. William J. Fallon, was appointed
Commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) in March by Defense
Secretary Robert M. Gates.
another major military appointment was implemented, which has a
direct bearing on war preparations in relation to Iran. Admiral
Timothy J. Keating Commander of US NORTHCOM was appointed on
March 26, to head US Pacific Command, which includes both the
5th and the 7th fleets. The 7th Fleet Pacific Command is the
largest U.S. combatant command. Keating, who takes over from
Admiral Fallon is also an unbending supporter of the "war on
terrorism". Pacific Command would be playing a key role in the
context of a military operation directed against Iran.(http://www.pacom.mil/about/pacom.shtml)
Admiral Keating was also involved in the 2003 attack on Iraq as
commander of US Naval Forces Central Command and the Fifth
is fully compliant with the Bush administration's war plans in
relation to Iran. He replaces Gen. John P. Abizaid, who was
pushed into retirement, following apparent disagreements with
Rumsfeld's successor, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. While
Abizaid recognized both the failures and the weaknesses of the
US military in Iraq, Admiral Fallon is closely aligned with Vice
President Dick Cheney. He is also firmly committed to the
"Global War on Terrorism" (GWOT). CENTCOM would coordinate an
attack on Iran from the Middle East war theater.
appointment of an Admiral is indicative of a shift in emphasis
of CENTCOM's functions in the war theater. The "near term"
emphasis is Iran rather than Iraq, requiring the coordination of
naval and air force operations in the Persian Gulf.
of NSPD 51 in May 2007 was followed barely a few weeks later by
the announcement of the "non-renewal of the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) General Peter Pace, who in recent
months, has indicated his disagreement with the Administration
stated (February 2007) that he saw no firm evidence of Tehran
supplying weapons to Shiite militias inside Iraq, which was
being heralded by the Bush administration as a justification for
waging war on Iran:
that's why he's the outgoing chairman. Maybe that's why
they're not renewing him. Because ...He has seen no evidence
that Iran is fomenting unrest in Iraq that's causing
Americans lives... " (Fox News' Alan Colmes, ox News,
June, 13, 2007),
Pace ends his term as Chairman of the JCS in September 2007.
Defense Secretary Gates has already announced that Admiral
Michael Mullen, U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, has been
nominated to replace General Peter Pace as Chairman of the Joint
chiefs of Staff.
discourse is in marked contrast to that of General Peter Pace.
Mullen, who was in charge of coordinating naval war games off
the Iranian coastline, has expressed an unbending commitment to
"waging" and "winning asymmetric wars", while also "protecting
the United States":
ensure we have the Battle Force, the people, and the combat
readiness we need to win our nation's wars...
Our Navy is
fighting the Global War on Terror while at the same time
providing a Strategic Reserve worldwide for the President
and our Unified and Combatant Commanders.... Simply reacting
to change is no longer an acceptable course of action if our
Navy is to successfully wage asymmetric warfare and
simultaneously deter regional and transnational threats
(Statement, Senate Armed Services Committee, 7 May 2007)
stance is in line with that of the Bush Administration's key
Neo-conservative ideologues. With regard to Iran, echoing almost
verbatim the stance of the White House, Admiral Mullen considers
that it is "unacceptable that Iran is providing U.S. enemies in
Iraq and Afghanistan with capabilities that are hurting and
killing U.S. troops." (Inside the Pentagon, June 21, 2007). But
on the issue of Iran, the Democrats are on board. There is a
bipartisan consensus, expressed by Senator Jo Lieberman:
"I want to
make clear I'm not talking about a massive ground invasion
of Iran,... [but a] strike over the border into Iran, where
we have good evidence that they have a base at which they
are training these people coming back into Iraq to kill our
soldiers" (AP, June 11, 2007)
Weapons in the Middle East War Theater
The use of
conventional and nuclear weapons are now part of the same
integrated command structure.
administration has confirmed that it contemplates the possible
use tactical bunker buster nuclear bombs to "take out" Iran's
non-existent nuclear weapons' facilities. An operational plan
to wage aerial attacks on Iran has been in "a state of
readiness" since June 2005. Essential military hardware to wage
this operation has been deployed. (For further details see
Nuclear War against Iran, Jan 2006 ).
Dick Cheney' "Contingency Plan" "includes a large-scale air
assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear
weapons." (Philip Giraldi,
Attack on Iran: Pre-emptive Nuclear War , The American
Conservative, 2 August 2005). USSTRATCOM would have the
responsibility for overseeing and coordinating this military
deployment as well as launching the military operation. (For
details, Michel Chossudovsky,
Nuclear War against Iran, Jan 2006 ).
administration has the full support of its NATO allies and
US made B61
tactical nuclear weapons have also been deployed in five
European non-nuclear states, members of NATO, including
Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Turkey. The B61
tactical nuclear warheads under the jurisdiction of these five
non-nuclear states, plus Britain are pointed at Iran.
which possesses a bona fide nuclear energy program, is the
object of potential military retaliation, these five European
non-nuclear countries (not to mention Israel), are not
considered by the "international community" as a threat to
global security, in a clear expression of double standards.
Pace is known to be opposed to the use of nuclear weapons
regime’s plan to attack Iran with nuclear weapons puts
General Pace’s departure in a different light. How can
President Bush succeed with an order to attack with nuclear
weapons when America’s highest ranking military officer says
that such an order is “illegal and immoral” and that
everyone in the military has an “absolute responsibility” to
disobey it?" (Paul
Craig Roberts, Global Research, June 2007)
It would be
difficult to wage war on Iran without the firm endorsement of
the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. According to Paul
Craig Roberts, "[General] Pace had to go so that malleable
toadies [Admiral Mullen] can be installed in his place [as
Chairman of the JCS]"
departure removes a known obstacle to a nuclear attack on
Iran, thus advancing that possible course of action. A plan
to attack Iran with nuclear weapons might also explain the
otherwise inexplicable “National Security and Homeland
Security Presidential Directive” (NSPD-51 and HSPD-20) that
Bush issued on May 9. ...
The use of
nuclear weapons arouses the ultimate fear. A US nuclear
attack would send Russian and Chinese ICBMs into high alert.
False flag operations could be staged in the US. The
propagandistic US media would hype such developments to the
hilt, portraying danger everywhere. Fear of the [Bush]
regime’s new detention centers would silence most voices of
protest as the regime declares its “national emergency.”
9/11 and the
threat of a second major attack on America are ostensibly part
of the building block of the US National Security doctrine.
While, the threat of an impending 9/11 type attack by "Islamic
terrorists" is a fabrication, extensive media propaganda,
supported by covert intelligence operations, has ensured that
the "Global War on Terrorism" or GWOT is widely accepted both
by the supporters and opponents of the Bush administration.
Visibly based on
an outright lie, GWOT has nonetheless gained in legitimacy among
America's European partners and allies, which have adopted their
own ("copy and paste") anti-terrorist emergency procedures.
mountains of evidence, the 9/11 attacks continue to be upheld by
the US and its NATO allies as a bona fide act of war by a
foreign power. Since 911, the GWOT is supported by the
governments of more than 90 countries. (President George W.
Bush, CENTCOM Coalition Conference, May 1, 2007)
Global War on Terrorism is also endorsed by several prominent
and authoritative "progressive" intellectuals, who condemn US
foreign policy and the Middle East war, while upholding the
legitimacy of America's campaign against "Islamic terrorism."
segment of the US antiwar movement has a similar stance. While
calling for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, it denies the
existence of a national resistance movement to the US led
occupation: "We are against the US led war in Iraq, but we
support the war on terrorism." Not surprisingly, Bush's
"Catastrophic Emergency" Directive (NSPD 51) does not seem to
have raised much concern within the US Antiwar movement.
numerous lead stories and Op Eds outlining the nature of the
"Global War on Terrorism" have been fed profusely into the news
chain. A worldwide Al Qaeda legend has emerged.
nauseam on a daily basis, the GWOT has also become part of a
shaky bipartisan political consensus. Despite the blatant
contradictions and the political lies, in particular in relation
to 9/11 and the possibility of a second terrorist attack, the
GWOT is nonetheless accepted by an increasingly skeptical US
diabolical "catastrophic emergency" scenario, which ultimately
hinges on the powers of media disinformation and deceit, is a
profit driven war.
multibillion dollar "defense" budget, which according to
independent estimates has reached the trillion dollar mark, is
barely acknowledged, nor is the privatization of war itself.
The US military
industrial complex which produces the numerous "humanitarian
weapons" including the mini-nukes and bunker buster bombs used
to go after the terrorists, would be the direct beneficiary of a
war on Iran, together Wall Street and the Anglo-American oil
giants, which vie to appropriate and privatize the region's
extensive oil and gas reserves.
This war is not
led by the military but by the civilian corporate interests
which lie behind the Bush administration. The military takes
orders from civilians acting on behalf of those dominant
The Wall Street
financial establishment, the military-industrial complex, led by
Lockheed Martin, the big five weapons and aerospace defense
contractors, the Texas oil giants and energy conglomerates, the
construction and engineering and public utility companies not to
mention the biotechnology conglomerates, are indelibly behind
this militarization of America.
In turn, the
Worldwide demonization of Islam is part of this profit driven
war. Three quarters of the World's oil reserves lie in Muslim
lands. (World Oil 2004, see also Michel Chossudovsky,
The Demonization of Muslims and the Battle for Oil, Global
Research, January 2007 ).
the enemies of America, portrayed as fanatic Islamic
terrorists, is part of the Battle for Oil. If the oil were in
countries occupied predominantly by Buddhists or Hindus, one
would expect that Bush's entire National Security agenda,
including the recent "Catastrophic Emergency" Directive NSP 51
would be directed against Buddhists and Hindus.
How to reverse
The threat of a
Second Al Qaeda "Attack on America" is being used profusely by
the Bush administration to galvanize public opinion in support
of a global military agenda.
documented, the "Islamic terror network" is a creation of the US
intelligence apparatus. The "war on terrorism" is bogus. The 911
narrative as conveyed by the 911 Commission report is
administration is involved in acts of cover-up and complicity at
the highest levels of government.
lies behind 911 would serve to undermine the legitimacy of the
"global war on terrorism" which constitutes the main
justification for waging war in the Middle East.
Without 911, the
war criminals in high office do not have a leg to stand on.
Their entire National Security construct collapses like a deck
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