Conflict   Four:   OperationSecuring    Oil
‘Im the commander, I do not need toexplain why I say things. Thats theinteresting thing about being thePresident. Maybe so...
‘A Bush aide says that they (Bush andProfessor Condoleezza Rice, then-Chevronboss for Central Asia) vacation together;that...
‘I don’t know what Afghanistan’s all about. I don’t know what we are doing there.’Dame Vera Lynn, speaking in August 2009‘...
‘Our situation has much deterioratedrecently. The Americans are drivingus out of the region. SinceSeptember 11, the United...
‘It hasn’t been left unnoticed inRussia that certain outsideinterests are trying to weakenour position in the Caspianbasin...
‘I cannot think of a time when we have had aregion emerge as suddenly to become asstrategically significant as the Caspian...
In 2003, Bush Administration UnderSecretary of State Richard Armitagephoned Azerbaijani playboy Ilham Aliyev tocongratulat...
‘Azerbaijan has a history of arresting oppositionfigures during election periods and convicting themwithout guaranteeing b...
‘It’s about not letting anythingget in your way and, in theextreme, about intimidatingothers to get out of your way.’Forme...
Another regime in thearea propped up byAmerican energyinterests is Uzbekistan,eighth largest producerof natural gas in the...
‘As the Nations energyneeds continue to expand andgrow, access to the worldsnatural gas supplies will play acritical role ...
By stranded, they mean fuel in hard to get places, like the land-locked Caspian.Russia to the north and Iran to the south,...
‘Afghanistan could be even more important to global oil supply than even Saudi Arabia. In 1997 BBCNews reported that the A...
In fact, in 1997 UNOCOL vice-presidentMarty F Miller hosted a party in honour ofvisiting Taliban leaders in his own homeaf...
‘Let me first deal with the conspiracy theory that this is somehow to do with oil. There is no waywhatever, if oil were th...
60 Minutes interviewer Steve Croft asked then-US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, ‘What do yousay to people who think th...
‘By some estimates there will be an average of two per cent annual growth in global oil demand over the yearsahead along w...
‘When you have only two per cent of the knownreserves of oil and use 25% of the world’s oil,import two thirds of what you ...
‘Propaganda consists of the planned use of any form of public ormass-produced communication designed to affect the minds a...
‘In war, truth is the first casualty.’Aeschylus, Greek tragic dramatist                (525 BC - 456 BC)           ‘I am g...
‘We found the weapons of mass destruction,                                     we found biological factories.’         US ...
‘Billed (by The Observer newspaper) as ‘a British scientist and biological   weapons expert, who has examined the trailers...
‘I will wait until the end of the week before judging – many dark actors playinggames. Thanks for your support. I apprecia...
Important questions about his death went unasked by LordHutton and the corporate British media…                           ...
There were conflicting stories of whether                             Dr Kelly was sat upright or lying on his back      a...
There were conflicting stories of whether Dr Kelly was sat upright or lying on his back     ‘sitting with his back up agai...
‘We persist in regarding ourselves as a Great Powercapable of anything and only temporarily handicapped  by economic diffi...
‘We believe the verdict given is incontradiction to medical teaching; is at       variance with documented cases of wrist-...
‘You know we dont do body counts.’US General Tommy Franks, Bagram Airbase, near Kabul,Afghanistan, March 18, 2002.Franks l...
‘..the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth.’General Franks on academic and advisor Douglas Feith.It was Deputy ...
The same multinational companies that own   oil companies also own media outlets. The       world’s sixth largest company,...
‘For Alastair Campbell and his team in the Downing  Street press office our refusal to report what they wanted us to, in t...
‘Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in everydecision he makes and should just support that, you know,and...
‘Against a backdrop of mounting evidence that the Bushadministration fabricated false pretexts for the waragainst Iraq, we...
‘As we (Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell)walked into the Oval Office, Bush wasvery friendly, said ‘Hey, congratulations,yo...
Condi was moresubdued than usual.’Entry for Thursday, July 17, 2003The Blair Years: Extracts from the AlastairCampbell Dia...
After a time overseeing Chevron’s work in Central Asia,  Condoleezza Rice’s job on the board of the US oil giant was      ...
It wasn’t just for alerting BBC Radio 4 Today listeners to    the lies in the infamous February 2003 ‘dodgy dossier’      ...
Noam Chomsky on elite media:‘There are a lot of ways in which power plays can drive you right back into line ifyou move ou...
Other famous faces were also targets. NSNBC sacked Pulitzer-prize winning PeterArnett, an old Vietnam hand. Phil Donahue’s...
‘When I pass protesters every day atDowning Street... I may not like whatthey call me, but I thank God thatthey can call m...
Home Secretary David Blunkett changed the law, andin August 2005 the Serious Organised Crime andPolice Act banned protest ...
‘I think the president made the rightdecision given what he knew. And givenwhat we all knew. And to tell you thetruth, eve...
‘Insurgents and terrorists retain the resourcesand capabilities to sustain and even increasecurrent levels of violence thr...
It is over 65 years since the SecondWorld War, when legislation was drawnup to protect people from the despotssalivating o...
‘Here in this extraordinarypiece of desert is where thefate of world security in theearly 21st Century is going tobe decid...
‘It’s not going to be built until there isa single Afghan government. That’sthe simple answer.’Unocol Corporation vice pre...
Promoting the wars in Iraq andAfghanistan as exercises in theenforcement of human rights is justwindow dressing.  Otherwis...
This has been anextract from Conflict.     Click here to visit               Conflict
Conflict4 securingoil-100104005640-phpapp02
Conflict4 securingoil-100104005640-phpapp02
Conflict4 securingoil-100104005640-phpapp02
Conflict4 securingoil-100104005640-phpapp02
Conflict4 securingoil-100104005640-phpapp02
Conflict4 securingoil-100104005640-phpapp02
Conflict4 securingoil-100104005640-phpapp02
Conflict4 securingoil-100104005640-phpapp02
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Conflict4 securingoil-100104005640-phpapp02

  1. 1. Conflict Four: OperationSecuring Oil
  2. 2. ‘Im the commander, I do not need toexplain why I say things. Thats theinteresting thing about being thePresident. Maybe somebody needs toexplain to me why they saysomething, but I dont feel like I oweanybody an explanation....’Draft-dodging President George ‘W’Bush, Washington Post interview,November 2002. Four months laterhis troops were in Iraq‘As we know, there are knownknowns. There are things we knowwe know. We also know there areknown unknowns. That is to say, weknow there are some things we donot know. But there are alsounknown unknowns, the ones wedon’t know we don’t know.’Then-American Defence SecretaryDonald Rumsfeld, news briefingFebruary 12, 2002‘Be who you are and say what youfeel because those who mind dontmatter and those who matter dontmind.’Dr Seuss
  3. 3. ‘A Bush aide says that they (Bush andProfessor Condoleezza Rice, then-Chevronboss for Central Asia) vacation together;that they talk on the phone nearly everyday; and that Bush trusts her completely,to manage his foreign-policy team and toprovide counsel on other matters as well -including social issues.’BNET Aug 30, 1999. BNET is an internet-based business management news andresearch site. Professor Rice was aChevron director from 1991 until thebeginning of 2001, when Bush installed heras National Security Advisor
  4. 4. ‘I don’t know what Afghanistan’s all about. I don’t know what we are doing there.’Dame Vera Lynn, speaking in August 2009‘Protecting 4X4 Access Worldwide!Owning a four wheel drive vehicle is anintegral part of your life. It allows you todiscover a whole new outdoor world thatthe average person will never see. Itprovides adventure and brings you closer tonature. Members of United Four WheelDrive Associations share your goals anddesires. We know the unparalleled beautyof watching the afternoon sun dip behind aremote mountain top, or waking up to thesound of a fast running stream.’United Four Wheel Drive Associations(http://www.ufwda.org/)
  5. 5. ‘Our situation has much deterioratedrecently. The Americans are drivingus out of the region. SinceSeptember 11, the United States hasbecome very aggressive in CentralAsia. The fact that they havestationed their troops here is notgood news, neither for the localpeople nor for us… the US troops arehere in order to control the oilreserves in Central Asia.’Zheng Chengu, China NationalPetroleum Company’s directorgeneral in Kazakhstan, interviewed byLutz Kleveman,The New Great Game, Blood and Oilin Central Asia
  6. 6. ‘It hasn’t been left unnoticed inRussia that certain outsideinterests are trying to weakenour position in the Caspianbasin… No one should beperplexed that Russia isdetermined to resist theattempts to encroach on herinterests.’Andrei Urnov, head of theCaspian working group at theRussian Ministry of ForeignAffairs‘In politics, nothing happens byaccident. If it happens, you canbet it was planned that way.’President Franklin D Roosevelt
  7. 7. ‘I cannot think of a time when we have had aregion emerge as suddenly to become asstrategically significant as the Caspian.’Bush’s Vice President Dick Cheney, in a WashingtonDC speech to oil industrialists in 1998. At thetime, he was CEO of Halliburton. One of the greatest finds of oil and gas outsidethe Middle East is in the Caspian, lying south ofRussia, west of China and north of Afghanistan.100 billion barrels of crude oil and 40 per cent ofglobal gas reserves are thought to lie in Kazakhstanand Azerbaijan alone. Since the collapse ofcommunism, multi-national companies and theirpoliticians have coveted these resources.‘This is about America’s energy security… it’s alsoabout preventing strategic inroads by those whodon’t share our values… We’ve made a substantialpolitical investment in the Caspian, and its veryimportant to us that both the pipeline map and thepolitics come out right.’Bill Richardson, secretary of energy to PresidentBill Clinton, speaking in November 1998
  8. 8. In 2003, Bush Administration UnderSecretary of State Richard Armitagephoned Azerbaijani playboy Ilham Aliyev tocongratulate him on winning electionsrigged by his dying dictator fatherPresident Heydar Alijev. Armitage praisedhis ‘strong showing’ in an election duringwhich opposition protests were crushed bysecurity forces and opposition leaders weredetained during sweeping arrests. Somebelieve such US support for oil-rich despotscauses resentment among, for example,the young Saudi Arabs behind the 9/11attacks. They might also speculate that Bush had alot in common with a rich kid playboy, afortunate son handed a presidency by theflunkies of his Cold War strongman father
  9. 9. ‘Azerbaijan has a history of arresting oppositionfigures during election periods and convicting themwithout guaranteeing basic fair trial standards. InOctober 2004, following fraudulent presidentialelections and post-election violence, sevenopposition leaders were convicted on charges oforganizing or participating in mass disturbances andresisting or committing violence against a staterepresentative. Human Rights Watch documentedtorture in the pre-trial detention of four of theseven defendants. Prosecution witnesses in thiscase also told the court that police and prosecutorshad coerced and tortured them to make statementsincriminating the opposition leaders. It is widelyconsidered that the convicted opposition leaderswere political prisoners.’Human Rights Watch, Azerbaijan:Opposition Youth Activists on Trialhttp://www.hrw.org/en/news/2006/03/30/azerbaijan-opposition-youth-activists-trial.
  10. 10. ‘It’s about not letting anythingget in your way and, in theextreme, about intimidatingothers to get out of your way.’Former Ford Motor Companystrategist Jim Bulin, talking toNew York Times investigativereporter Keith Bradsher aboutSUVs. His words could equally beused to explain post 9/11 USpolicy in Central Asia
  11. 11. Another regime in thearea propped up byAmerican energyinterests is Uzbekistan,eighth largest producerof natural gas in theworld. In Uzbekistan,according to the BritishEmbassy, thegovernment has boiledpolitical prisoners todeath
  12. 12. ‘As the Nations energyneeds continue to expand andgrow, access to the worldsnatural gas supplies will play acritical role in its futureprosperity.  DOE (Department ofEnergy) is working to ensure thatLNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) canbe safely, securely, andreliably imported into the UnitedStates… Transportation of LNG byship is one method to bring thisstranded gas to the consumer.’US Department of Energy
  13. 13. By stranded, they mean fuel in hard to get places, like the land-locked Caspian.Russia to the north and Iran to the south, neither are friendly with Washington. If aCaspian gas and oil pipeline was to be forged through Afghanistan to Pakistan’sArabian Sea ports, it would help greatly in ‘diversification’. A buzzword in Bush’s energy policy, diversification means not being reliant on justone source of oil, ie the volatile Gulf states
  14. 14. ‘Afghanistan could be even more important to global oil supply than even Saudi Arabia. In 1997 BBCNews reported that the American-Saudi oil consortium UNOCOL tried to negotiate pipeline dealsthrough Afghanistan from the Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea is a California-sized body of salt water – theworld’s largest land-locked body of water – that may sit on as much as two hundred billion barrels ofoil, which would be 16 per cent of the Earth’s potential currently estimated oil reserves. At today’sprices, that could add up to three trillion dollars in oil. As the world’s quest for new oil reserves intensifies, so will the ‘war on terror’.’Oil rig worker Paul Carr, This is Not a Drill. Carr travelled to Afghanistan with his company’s ‘PrivateMilitary Contractors’ (PMCs)
  15. 15. In fact, in 1997 UNOCOL vice-presidentMarty F Miller hosted a party in honour ofvisiting Taliban leaders in his own homeafter they had been secretly flown to theUS. But Bin Laden’s actions on September11, 2001, scuppered the cosy deals theymade. The oppressive Taliban were forcedout. Their replacement, other thugs andwarlords, were handed CIA cash to tow theline, and on February 25, 2003, Reutersreported that the pipeline deal was goingahead. Puppet-President Harmid Karzaiwas a UNOCOL pipeline consultant
  16. 16. ‘Let me first deal with the conspiracy theory that this is somehow to do with oil. There is no waywhatever, if oil were the issue, that it would not be infinitely simpler to cut a deal with Saddam,who, I am sure, would be delighted to give us access to as much oil as we wanted if he couldcarry on building weapons of mass destruction.’Tony Blair, Prime Ministers Questions, January 15, 2003
  17. 17. 60 Minutes interviewer Steve Croft asked then-US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, ‘What do yousay to people who think this (the coming invasion of Iraq) is about oil?’ Rumsfeld replied, ‘Nonsense. It just isn’t. There – there – there are certain... things like that, mythsthat are floating around. I’m glad you asked. I – it has nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to dowith oil.’December 15, 2002‘Lets look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is thateconomically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil… For reasons that have alot to do with the US government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agreeon: weapons of mass destruction.’US deputy defense secretary (2001 – 2005) Paul Wolfowitz – Rumsfeld’s deputy
  18. 18. ‘By some estimates there will be an average of two per cent annual growth in global oil demand over the yearsahead along with conservatively a three per cent natural decline in production from existing reserves. That means by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day. So where is the oil going to come from? Governments and the national oil companies are obviously controlling about ninety per cent of the assets. Oil remains fundamentally a government business. While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East with two thirds of the world‘s oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies.’ Dick Cheney, Autumn 1999 speech at the Institute of Petroleum in London, while still CEO of oil services company Halliburton.
  19. 19. ‘When you have only two per cent of the knownreserves of oil and use 25% of the world’s oil,import two thirds of what you use –that has to affect your foreign policy.’Republican Congressman Roscoe Bartlett,interviewed on A Crude Awakening‘A source who worked at the NSC (National SecurityCouncil) at the time doubted that there were linksbetween Cheneys Energy Task Force and theoverthrow of Saddam. But Mark Medish, who servedas senior director for Russian, Ukrainian, andEurasian affairs at the NSC during the ClintonAdministration, told me that he regards (Cheney’senergy policy) document as potentially huge. Hesaid, People think Cheneys Energy Task Force hasbeen secretive about domestic issues, referring tothe fact that the Vice-President has been unwillingto reveal information about private task-forcemeetings that took place in 2001, when informationwas being gathered to help develop President Bushsenergy policy. But if this little group was discussinggeostrategic plans for oil, it puts the issue of war inthe context of the captains of the oil industry sittingdown with Cheney and laying grand, global plans…’Geraldine Sealey on Salon.com
  20. 20. ‘Propaganda consists of the planned use of any form of public ormass-produced communication designed to affect the minds andemotions of a given group for a specific purpose, whether military,economic, or political.’Paul Linebarger, Psychological Warfare
  21. 21. ‘In war, truth is the first casualty.’Aeschylus, Greek tragic dramatist (525 BC - 456 BC) ‘I am going to tell you a number of things, but if you really want to be a good journalist you only have to remember two words: governments lie.’ I.F. Stone (1907-1989) Radical American investigative journalist
  22. 22. ‘We found the weapons of mass destruction, we found biological factories.’ US President George W. Bush on TVP (Poland), May 29, 2003 ‘Iraqi Mobile Biological Warfare Agent Production Plants: Overview Coalition forces have uncovered the strongest evidence to date that Iraq was hiding a biological warfare program. Kurdish forces in late April 2003 took into custody a specialized tractor-trailer near Mosul and subsequently turned it over to USmilitary control. The US military discovered a second mobile facilityequipped to produce BW agent in early May at the al-Kindi Research, Testing, Development, and Engineering facility in Mosul. Although this second trailer appears to have been looted, the remaining equipment, including the fermentor, is in a configuration similar to the first plant. US forces in late April also discovered a mobile laboratory truck in Baghdad. The truck is a toxicology laboratory from the 1980s that could be used to support BW or legitimate research. The design, equipment, and layout of the trailer found in late April is strikingly similar to descriptions provided by a source who was a chemical engineer that managed one of the mobile plants.’ Central Intelligence Agency report (https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports- 1/iraqi_mobile_plants/index.html#01)
  23. 23. ‘Billed (by The Observer newspaper) as ‘a British scientist and biological weapons expert, who has examined the trailers in Iraq’, he (Dr Kelly) was quoted as saying: ‘They are not mobile germ warfare laboratories. You could not use them for making biological weapons. They do not even look like them. They are exactly what the Iraqis said they were – facilities for the production of hydrogen gas to fill balloons.’ It was confirmed at the Hutton inquiry that this quote came from Dr Kelly… Dr Kelly must have known that by making the contacts he did, he was challenging the authority and integrity of both Bush and Blair, on the issue of the day most central to their agenda. Given the dishonest manipulation of intelligencefor political purposes, many will agree that he was right to act in this way. To do so was, however, brave, if not foolhardy. The presentation of the truth was leading Dr Kelly down risky avenues.’ Norman Baker MP, The Strange Death of David Kelly ‘Paramedic Vanessa Hunt told the Observer newspaper on Sunday: ‘I just think it is incredibly unlikely that he died from the wrist wound we saw’… Fellow paramedic Dave Bartlett said: ‘Everyone was surprised at the outcome (of the Hutton Inquiry). ‘I would have thought there would have been more blood over the body if someone had bled to death.’’ BBC News/UK, December 12, 2004
  24. 24. ‘I will wait until the end of the week before judging – many dark actors playinggames. Thanks for your support. I appreciate your friendship at this time.’ Dr Kelly’s cryptic email thanking journalist Judith Miller of the New York Times,four hours before he left home for the last time on July 17, 2003. Important questions about his death went unasked by LordHutton and the corporate British media… 4 search area was on the Thames and spoke to someExtract from The Hutton Inquiry peopleHearing Transcripts, 5 there who were just moored on a boat on theTuesday September 2, 2003 Thames.(called just after 10.38am). Lord Hutton 6 Q. What did you say to them?quizzes dog-handler Louise Holmes: 7 A. Well, Brock had found them because he obviously6 Q. Who was on this search? is just7 A. Me, the dog and Paul. 8 trained to pick up on human scent, so he went off8 Q. No-one else had joined you? and9 A. No. 9 indicated on them and so I had a game with him as10 Q. And where did you initially go, after you got out of the 10 a reward. They just said: what are you doing? We11 car? Can you remember? said12 A. We walked up the track that runs north, I am told, on my 11 we were assisting the police in the search for a13 map of Common Lane up towards the River Thames. missing14 Q. Can you describe, generally, how the search went 12 male person and if they saw anything to contact15 initially? Where did you go? the16 A. We were given the track to search north up to the 13 police.17 River Thames as our boundary and the area of wood to the 14 Q. Did they say they already had seen anything?18 left of the track. So we did the bottom half of the 15 A. They said they had seen the helicopter up the previous19 track, the south boundary of the woods before we were 16 night but they had not seen anybody or anything other20 forced to turn back because of a bashed wire fence. So 17 than that.21 we then searched through the bottom half of the woods 18 Q. Did you eventually manage to get into the wooded area?22 which the fence ran all the way through. We then came 19 A. Yes.23 back out on to the track, continued up the track to24 the -- to where our boundary was, came back down the25 track and did the north perimeter of the wood, and then101 went into the wood from the north.2 Q. Did you at any point go along the River Thames?3 A. We went up to where we -- where our boundary of our
  25. 25. Important questions about his death went unasked by LordHutton and the corporate British media… 14 Q. Did they say they already had seen anything? 15 A. They said they had seen the helicopter up the previous 16 night but they had not seen anybody or anything other 17 than that. 18 Q. Did you eventually manage to get into the wooded area? 19 A. Yes. Questions like: after being given Dr Kelly’s scent at the police station where the searchers were briefed, the search dog made a bee-line for a group of people who had been in the area since the previous night. Who were they, and why had they been on the river on that particular night?
  26. 26. There were conflicting stories of whether Dr Kelly was sat upright or lying on his back and whether he had taken a coat with him that warm July day. Dr Kelly’s head and shoulders were ‘just slumped back against the tree,’ according to Louise Holmes, who found his body in Harrowdown Hill Woods, Oxfordshire. Her fellow searcher, Paul Chapman, concurred in his evidence to the Hutton inquiry, saying Kelly’s body was ‘sitting with his back up against a tree.’ . They alerted a nearby three-man group of police officers, two Thames Valley detective constables and another who has never been publicly identified. Detective Constable Graham Coe was then left alone with the body for between twenty-five and thirty minutes whilst uniformedback-up was called in by his colleagues. Several hours before, at 5am in Kingston Bagpuize, Dr Kelly’s wife had been made to leave her home and wait in the garden by the police, who were undertaking a second, more detailed search of their home. Later, Dr Kelly’s body was: ‘laying on its back by a large tree.’ DC Coe, evidence to Hutton Inquiry, September 2, 2003 ‘I recall that his head was quite close to branches and so forth, but not actually over the tree.’ Pathologist Dr Nicholas Hunt, evidence to Hutton Inquiry, September 16, 2003 When first seen, He was about 20 meters away ‘…lying flat down with his feet towards us..’ (the first paramedics on the scene, Dave Bartlett and Vanessa Hunt).’
  27. 27. There were conflicting stories of whether Dr Kelly was sat upright or lying on his back ‘sitting with his back up against a tree.’‘…lying flat down with his feet towards us.
  28. 28. ‘We persist in regarding ourselves as a Great Powercapable of anything and only temporarily handicapped by economic difficulties. We are not a Great Power and never will be again.’Sir Henry Tizard, chief scientific adviser to the Ministry of Defence, writing in 1949. His comments upset the cabinet. Half a century later, another scientific adviser to the MOD, Dr David Kelly, upset unelected spin-doctor Alastair Campbell. ‘Dr Kelly took his own life by cutting his left wrist... There was no involvement by a third person in Dr Kelly’s death.’ Lord Hutton’s press statement. Lord Hutton’s background is law
  29. 29. ‘We believe the verdict given is incontradiction to medical teaching; is at variance with documented cases of wrist-slash suicides; and does not align itself with the evidence presented at the inquiry. We call for the reopening of the inquest by the coroner, where a jury may be called and evidence taken on oath. (note - the Hutton Inquiry didn’t have the power to do this. NJ).     Andrew Rouse, public health consultant     Searle Sennett, specialist in anaesthesiology     David Halpin, specialist in trauma    Stephen Frost, specialist in radiology     Dr Peter Fletcher, specialist in pathology     Martin Birnstingl, specialist in vascular surgery The ‘Kelly Group’s’ background is medicine
  30. 30. ‘You know we dont do body counts.’US General Tommy Franks, Bagram Airbase, near Kabul,Afghanistan, March 18, 2002.Franks led the charge into both Afghanistan and Iraq .‘As the chief upholder of the US Constitution, (Bush) was… perfectly prepared to overlookthe restrictions of the law, if the wider interests of the government and the countryseemed to demand it. And so Cheney and Rumsfeld, with the help of like-minded officials, created a prisonsystem which was outside the control of the US government, and developed a method ofdetaining suspects around the world and transferring them to secret holding places wherethey could be questioned. They introduced a system which, if necessary, would permitthese and other prisoners to be tortured, even though the word was never used. Methodslike half-drowning and near asphyxiation had been favourites of the Gestapo and the KGB.Abu Ghraib was a torture centre under the US as under Saddam. All of this was made possible by a new legal structure, the PATRIOT Act, which, togetherwith other legislation, had the effect of neutralizing the traditional controls the Americansystem had traditionally maintained. Newspapers and television stations investigatingthese methods would often find that companies which supported the Republicans wouldthreaten to withdraw their advertising.’BBC television news editor John Simpson, Not Quite World’s End
  31. 31. ‘..the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth.’General Franks on academic and advisor Douglas Feith.It was Deputy Defense Secretary Feith’s idea to attack Iraq.‘‘If it was so good for the people of Iraq that this invasion should have taken place,why are there more Iraqi children living below starvation level now than there wereunder Saddam Hussein?’ Feith panicked. ‘Stop the recording, please,’ he said, waving at the camera… ‘I didn’t know you were going to ask me that kind of question. I don’t dealnowadays with what’s happening on the ground in Iraq. I’m not briefed about this.’ …And when things broke down, and they started dying in large numbers, it didn’treally seem quite adequate for the person who thought it all up to say he didn’tknow what was going on there and hadn’t been fully briefed. As though it had allbeen just an experiment. As though he could rub it off the blackboard now, andstart an entirely new experiment from scratch.’John Simpson, Not Quite World’ s End
  32. 32. The same multinational companies that own oil companies also own media outlets. The world’s sixth largest company, General Electric, also owns the NBC Television network. But it isn’t just proprietorialinterests that go to work on the media front. Here in the UK we watched the public humiliation of the BBC…
  33. 33. ‘For Alastair Campbell and his team in the Downing Street press office our refusal to report what they wanted us to, in the way they wanted us to, made us a target even before the war itself began… Alastair Campbell, while a brilliant operator, has a classic obsessive personality and he had decided that the BBC was the enemy. From then on, if not before, I suspect he was looking for revenge.’ Greg Dyke, the BBC’s director general until January 2004, Inside Story …and the groveling response of the man left with the top job (and salary) after the smoke had cleared: ‘On behalf of the BBC I have no reservation in apologising unreservedly for our errors and to the individuals whose reputations were affected by them.’ BBC Vice-Chairman Lord Ryder, appointed acting chairman following the resignation of chairmanGavyn Davies. In January 2009, the now-cowed and anxious BBC refused to broadcast an aid appeal on behalf of the Palestinians, who were suffering an onslaught by the Israelis, because they didn’t want to be seen as ‘impartial’. The message had sunk home
  34. 34. ‘Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in everydecision he makes and should just support that, you know,and be faithful in what happens.’Pop-princess Britney Spears explains her position on The War onTerrorism to CNN’s political news correspondent Tucker Carlson(After grilling Condaleeza Rice, NBC news anchorKatie Couric is contacted by NBC president Bob Right.Right has passed a message from a viewer upwards,because Couric had been ‘too confrontational.’):‘Couric was troubled. There was, she felt, a subtle, insidiouspressure to toe the party line, and you bucked that at your peril….When she ran into Jack Welch, the General Electric chairman, hewould sometimes say that they had never seen eye to eyepolitically. The whole attitude was pretty disturbing. If youweren’t rah rah rah for the Bush administration and the war, youwere considered unpatriotic, even treasonous.’Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz, Reality Show
  35. 35. ‘Against a backdrop of mounting evidence that the Bushadministration fabricated false pretexts for the waragainst Iraq, we can begin to wonder why, in a country(the US) that considers itself highly literate and a modeldemocracy, over 60 percent of college students supportBush’s Iraq policies, which are based on lies and deceits.One way to understand this paradox is to point to thegeneral failure of the educational system with respect tothe teaching of political literacy. On closer analysis,however, what we would characterize as the failure ofthe US educational system actually represents itssuccessful reproduction of a doctrinal framework that issustained by the interplay of powerful institutions such asmedia, academic centres, and corporations, amongothers. Within this framework, the raising of criticalquestions, particularly critical questions about theframework itself, is taboo.’ Donaldo Macedo, introduction to the 2004 edition ofLetters from Lexington, Reflections on Propaganda, Noam Chomsky
  36. 36. ‘As we (Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell)walked into the Oval Office, Bush wasvery friendly, said ‘Hey, congratulations,you took on the bastards, and you didgreat.’ He said he had seen some of mytestimony, and that Dan had kept himinformed. ‘You did great. You showed that if youare in the right, if you believe in it, andyou give no quarter, you can prevail.’ Hekept coming back to it in the meeting,almost embarrassingly so. Cheney was asimpassive as ever, Powell was chirpy butlooking tired, while Condi was more subdued than usual.’Entry for Thursday, July 17, 2003The Blair Years: Extracts from the AlastairCampbell Diaries
  37. 37. Condi was moresubdued than usual.’Entry for Thursday, July 17, 2003The Blair Years: Extracts from the AlastairCampbell Diaries The day Dr Kelly died. The day before his body was found
  38. 38. After a time overseeing Chevron’s work in Central Asia, Condoleezza Rice’s job on the board of the US oil giant was to chair the company’s public policy committee, which oversaw areas of ‘potential political concern’ for the company. In other words, damage limitation. Who better than a smart public affairs oil exec to stand at the side of the gaffe-prone President Bush, guiding him through potential foreign policy pitfalls? Black and a woman to boot, the extremely intelligent MissRice ticked all the ‘inclusion’ boxes. To do her job properly, to pre-empt potential criticism, Miss Rice would have been fully briefed on potential problems. And here before her were the two British men who’s actions more than anyone else’s had legitimated the reasons for going to war. Blair the gung-ho leader and his sidekick Campbell who’d manipulated the intelligence dossiers,lending false legitimacy to the war. A third British man, one who’d decided to lift the veil on their lies, lay dead. The question is – did she know? According to Campbell himself, although he doesn’t seem to have recognised any link, Miss Rice seemed especially subdued meeting the British that day
  39. 39. It wasn’t just for alerting BBC Radio 4 Today listeners to the lies in the infamous February 2003 ‘dodgy dossier’ that marked journalist Andrew Gilligan and the BBC chiefs for the wrath of Campbell, unelected boss of all the government’s information services. Gilligan (who had spent the war in Iraq) embarrassed the governmentand the Ministry of Defence when he broke these stories: ‘It was Gilligan who had shown up the tacticalineffectiveness of the bombing in Kosovo and the lack ofany link between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda. He had also revealed that British troops had not been properly equipped on a number of occasions; and of course Campbell had hated Gilligan’s reports from Baghdad during the war.’ Greg Dyke, Inside Story ‘I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.’ America’s elder statesman of finance Alan Greenspan writing in his memoirs, The Age of Turbulence, Adventures in a New World
  40. 40. Noam Chomsky on elite media:‘There are a lot of ways in which power plays can drive you right back into line ifyou move out. If you try to break the mold, you’re not going to last long. That framework workspretty well, and it is understandable that it is just a reflection of obvious powerstructures.’Noam Chomsky, talk at the Z Media Institute, June 1997In the US, multiple Grammy Award-winners The Dixie Chicks stepped out of line ata live concert when lead singer Natalie Maines announced, ‘Just so you know, wereashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.’ Like the BBC, the Texas-formed Dixie Chicks were forced to apologise. But it didno good and the response was swift. They were banned by Cumulus Media Inc(owner of 344 US radio stations) and Cox Communications (third largest US cable TVprovider). ‘An ad for Shut Up and Sing, a documentary about the furor over Mainesscomment, was turned down by NBC on October 27, 2006, citing a policy barring adsdealing with ‘public controversy.’ … ‘‘Its a sad commentary about the level of fearin our society that a movie about a group of courageous entertainers who wereblacklisted for exercising their right of free speech is now itself being blacklistedby corporate America,’ the films distributor Harvey Weinstein said in a statement.’(Google search: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8145486016514085072)
  41. 41. Other famous faces were also targets. NSNBC sacked Pulitzer-prize winning PeterArnett, an old Vietnam hand. Phil Donahue’s show was cancelled. But let’s followthe money…‘The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy...would be $20 abarrel for oil. Thats bigger than any tax cut in any country.’The world’s most powerful media proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, prior to Gulf War 2‘It is extraordinary that, after having had cross-media laws in this country since1963, we have ended up in exactly the position those laws were intended toprevent. The legislation was aimed at stopping anyone getting too much powerover the politicians. Yet in Rupert Murdoch that is precisely what we now have.Controlling 35 per cent of the national daily circulation of newspapers in thiscountry, and 41 per cent of the Sunday market, makes him very powerful indeed.By chairing and effectively controlling BSkyB he also runs Britian’s most financiallysuccessful broadcasting operation, which, if unchecked, could in the years tocome dominate broadcasting in the way Murdoch’s News International dominatesthe print media… Of course the editors of Murdoch’s newspapers all pretend theydon’t jump to his tune, but no one doubts that on the really big issues he calls theshots. Murdoch was an avid supporter of the war against Iraq and all his 175newspapers around the world supported the policy.. All 175 newspapers justhappened, by chance, to follow the Murdoch line.’Greg Dyke, Inside Story
  42. 42. ‘When I pass protesters every day atDowning Street... I may not like whatthey call me, but I thank God thatthey can call me what they want tocall me. Thats freedom.’Tony Blair, George Bush SeniorPresidential Library, Texas. April 7,2002A freedom that is under siege by thegovernment. In June 2001 Brian Haw(right) started a protest againstsanctions placed on Iraq, maintaininghis Parliament Square vigil since then,leaving only to attend court afterbeing repeatedly arrested
  43. 43. Home Secretary David Blunkett changed the law, andin August 2005 the Serious Organised Crime andPolice Act banned protest outside Parliament withoutpermission. Because Haw’s protest started beforethe Act was passed, he is now the only personallowed to hold an unlicensed demonstration in thesquare. The Home Secretary now has the power to banprotest anywhere in Britain. Civil liberties that have been fought for are beingsteadily eroded in the UK; New Labour created 3,000new criminal offences in ten years.‘Laws are like spiders webs: if some poor weakcreature comes up against them, it is caught; but abigger one can break through and get away.’Athenian statesman Solon, 6th Century BC(Next:) Band members from the Royal Marines soundthe Last Post at the National Memorial Arboretum onRemembrance Day, 2008, before minor Royalty. TwoRoyal Marines died in the Garmsir District of southernHelmand, Afghanistan, the next day
  44. 44. ‘I think the president made the rightdecision given what he knew. And givenwhat we all knew. And to tell you thetruth, even given what weve learnedsince.’Douglas Feith, interviewed by Steve Kroft,veteran 60 Minutes correspondent‘Years from now, people will look back onthe formation of a unity government inIraq as a decisive moment in the story ofliberty, a moment when freedom gained afirm foothold in the Middle East and theforces of terror began their long retreat.’President George W Bush, May 22, 2006,speaking in Chicago
  45. 45. ‘Insurgents and terrorists retain the resourcesand capabilities to sustain and even increasecurrent levels of violence through the nextyear.’Secret intelligence assessment circulated twodays later to the White House by theintelligence division of the Joint Chiefs ofStaff‘The appeal and motivation for continuedviolent action will begin to wane in early2007.’Pentagon report to Congress two days laterThere was a vast difference between whatthe White House and Pentagon knew aboutthe situation in Iraq and what they weresaying publicly.Famed Watergate scandal reporter BobWoodward of the Washington Post, whosecontacts exposed the double-standards
  46. 46. It is over 65 years since the SecondWorld War, when legislation was drawnup to protect people from the despotssalivating over power. And in those 65 years, our leadershave constantly let down not just thosewho live in these lands of terror andhunger. By not acting decisively –unless vital resources are threatened -they have betrayed our soldiers timeand again. And always in the service ofRealpolitick. Costing over £1 billion,Camp Bastion, the British base in theHelmand Province of Afghanistan, isthe biggest ever constructed by theBritish Army
  47. 47. ‘Here in this extraordinarypiece of desert is where thefate of world security in theearly 21st Century is going tobe decided.’Prime Minister Tony Blair,speaking to service personnelassembled at Camp Bastion,November 21, 2006 And it sits astride theKandahar-Herat Highway,otherwise known as RouteOne. Which is the Afghansection of Unocol’s proposedoil and gas pipeline
  48. 48. ‘It’s not going to be built until there isa single Afghan government. That’sthe simple answer.’Unocol Corporation vice president ofinternational relations John Maresca,testimony to the US House ofRepresentatives, February 12, 1998. On paper, President Khazai nowleads that government. But to theAfghans, the man known scathingly asthe Mayor of Kabul has little poweroutside the city limits. Corruption isendemic. The oilmen’s ‘single Afghangovernment’ appears to be out ofphase with the majority of observers,who at the cost of so many lives wereexpecting freedom and democracy
  49. 49. Promoting the wars in Iraq andAfghanistan as exercises in theenforcement of human rights is justwindow dressing. Otherwise, why weren’t the troopssent in earlier? When Saddam and theTaliban were murdering thousands? Abrief study of the forces involved inAfghanistan is revealing. They allimport oil. Next: British infantry training for adawn beach assault in the Middle East,just prior to the second Gulf War. Theright hand assault team prepare toleave the main body and board a RigidRaider. Time to objective on Cyprus trainingarea: about ten minutes. Time to Iraq:within a year
  50. 50. This has been anextract from Conflict. Click here to visit Conflict

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