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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-09-08 08:30 AM
Original message
Wash Post op-ed by Obama adviser warns of possible Al-Qaeda attack timed for elections

The Elections Are Coming. Is Al-Qaeda?

By Bruce Riedel
Sunday, August 10, 2008; Page B03

Four years ago, while working as a senior adviser in NATO's Brussels headquarters, I got an up-close look at the way al-Qaeda's best minds see Western elections. On March 11, 2004, Spain was rocked by perhaps the bloodiest terrorist attack in Europe since World War II, as bombs ripped apart commuter trains in Madrid, leaving nearly 2,000 Spaniards dead or injured -- three days before the country went to the polls.

The incumbent party was promptly hurled out of office, and in Brussels, my colleagues and I watched as the Spanish mission began receiving drastically different instructions from Madrid. Overnight, a U.S. ally that had been an enthusiastic cheerleader for President Bush's Iraq policies became one of Bush's sharpest critics in the NATO alliance. A grieving Spanish electorate roundly rejected the war in Iraq, which it concluded had hurt Spain's security, not enhanced it.

As someone who worked on terrorism issues for decades at the CIA and elsewhere, I found the most striking thing about the Madrid bombings to be the sophistication of the jihadists' grasp of electoral timing. The bombers seemed to have been encouraged by al-Qaeda's terrorist infrastructure in Iraq, which scoped out Spanish vulnerability weeks before the election, analyzed the fault line in the NATO alliance and concluded that a bloody blow could drive hawkish Spain out of the Iraq war coalition. That al-Qaeda in Iraq analysis was distributed on jihadist Web sites in December 2003, and their cohorts in Madrid took careful note.

If it happened in Spain, it can happen here. The Madrid bombings reveal the close attention al-Qaeda pays to the electoral cycles in Western democracies. Osama bin Laden, the perpetrator of one of the greatest mass murders in U.S. history, is certain to want to have his say in our elections this fall. (Full disclosure: I'm an adviser to Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign.) The record is clear: Al-Qaeda has developed a predictable pattern of behavior over the decade since it declared war on the United States that provides important insights into what we can expect in the next six months. Brace yourselves.

Continued here:

Bruce Riedel is a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and the author of the forthcoming "The Search for al-Qaeda." A career CIA officer, he served on the National Security Council staff from 1997 to 2002.

Just thought this would be an appropriate time to post a reminder to DUers of false flag terror attacks and war provoking incidents planned or engaged in by the US and its allies over the past 50 years or so.

Strategy of Tension


The strategy of tension denotes a highly secretive series of interconnected covert operations conducted jointly by the CIA and MI6 largely in Western Europe during the this period. Well-documented by several respected historians, confirmed by official inquiries, and corroborated by former intelligence officials, the strategy of tension is one of those unsavoury moments in contemporary history that we dont learn about in school, or even university.

My favourite book on the subject, and the most authoritative in my view, is Dr. Daniele Gansers NATOs Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe (2004). Published in the UK as part of the Contemporary Security Studies series of London-based academic press Routledge, Gansers study is the first major historical work to bring the strategy of tension into the mainstream of scholarship.

During the Cold War, indeed through to the late 1980s, the United States, United Kingdom, and Western European governments and secret services, participated in a sophisticated NATO-backed operation to engineer terrorist attacks inside Western Europe, to be blamed on the Soviet Union. The objective was to galvanize public opinion against leftwing policies and parties, and ultimately to mobilize popular support for purportedly anti-Soviet policies at home and abroad most of which were really designed to legitimize brutal military interventions against nationalist independence movements in the Third World.


The existence of this secret operation exploded into public controversy when in August 1990 upon the admissions in parliament by Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, the existence of Gladio was exposed as a secret sub-section of Italian military-intelligence services, responsible for domestic bombings blamed on Italian Communists. Ganser documents in intricate detail how a subversive network created by elements of western intelligence services particularly that of the US and UK - orchestrated devastating waves of terrorist attacks blamed on the Soviet Union, not only in Italy, but also in Spain, Germany, France, Turkey, Greece, i.e. throughout western Europe. Despite a number of European parliamentary inquiries; an European Union resolution on the Gladio phenomenon; NATOs close-doors admissions to European ambassadors; confirmations of the international operation from senior CIA officials; and other damning documentary evidence; NATO, the CIA and MI6 have together consistently declined to release their secret files on the matter.

Operation Northwoods. (Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff planned false flag terror attacks to justify an invasion of Cuba)

U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba
Book: U.S. Military Drafted Plans to Terrorize U.S. Cities to Provoke War With Cuba
By David Ruppe
N E W Y O R K, May 1, 2001

In the early 1960s, America's top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.

Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban migrs, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.

The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba's then new leader, communist Fidel Castro.

America's top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," and, "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation."

Details of the plans are described in Body of Secrets (Doubleday), a new book by investigative reporter James Bamford about the history of America's largest spy agency, the National Security Agency. However, the plans were not connected to the agency, he notes.

The plans had the written approval of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and were presented to President Kennedy's defense secretary, Robert McNamara, in March 1962. But they apparently were rejected by the civilian leadership and have gone undisclosed for nearly 40 years.

Operation Ajax (Overthrow of democratically elected Prime Minister Mussadiq of Iran and installation of the Shah as a fascist dictator)

A 'great venture': overthrowing the government of Iran
by Mark Curtis

This is a slightly abridged version of part of chapter four of Mark Curtis's book The Ambiguities of Power: British Foreign Policy since 1945 (Zed Press, 1995).


The coup decision is taken

The go-ahead for the coup was finally given by the US in late June - Britain by then already having presented a 'complete plan' to the CIA (54) - and Churchill's authorisation soon followed, the date being set for mid-August. (55) That month, the head of the CIA operation met with the Shah, the CIA director visited some members of the Shah's family in Switzerland, whilst a US army general arrived in Tehran to meet 'old friends', among them the Shah and General Zahidi. (56)

When the coup scenario finally began, huge demonstrations proceeded in the streets of Tehran, funded by CIA and MI6 money, $1 million dollars of which was in a safe in the US embassy (57) and 1.5 million which had been delivered by Britain to its agents in Iran, according to the MI6 officer responsible for delivering it. (58)

According to then CIA officer Richard Cottam, 'that mob that came into north Tehran and was decisive in the overthrow was a mercenary mob. It had no ideology. That mob was paid for by American dollars.' (59) One key aspect of the plot was to portray the demonstrating mobs as supporters of the Communist Party - Tudeh - in order to provide a suitable pretext for the coup and the assumption of control by the Shah(my emphasis /JC). Cottam observes that agents working on behalf of the British 'saw the opportunity and sent the people we had under our control into the streets to act as if they were Tudeh. They were more than just provocateurs, they were shock troops, who acted as if they were Tudeh people throwing rocks at mosques and priests'. (60) 'The purpose', Brian Lapping explains, 'was to frighten the majority of Iranians into believing that a victory for Mussadeq would be a victory for the Tudeh, the Soviet Union and irreligion'. (61)

The head of the CIA operation also sent envoys to the commanders of some provincial armies, encouraging them to move on to Tehran. (62) In the fighting in the capital, 300 people were killed before Musaddiq's supporters were defeated by the Shah's forces. AUS general later testified that 'the guns they had in their hands, the trucks they rode in, the armoured cars that they drove through the streets, and the radio communications that permitted their control, were all furnished through the military defence assistance program'. (63)

'All in all', US Iran analyst Barry Rubin comments, 'only five Americans with a half-dozen Iranian contacts had organised the entire uprising'. (64) The British input, however, had clearly been significant. One Iranian agent of the British - Shahpour Reporter, who subsequently served as adviser to the Shah - was later rewarded with a knighthood, before becoming a chief middleman for British arms sales to Iran, in particular for the manufacturers of Chieftain tanks and Rapier missiles. (65) Two years after the coup, the head of the MI6 end of the operation became Director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, one of Britain's leading 'independent' academic research institutes. (66)

Gulf of Tonkin incident (Manufactured to justify further US intervention in Viet Nam)

30-year Anniversary: Tonkin Gulf Lie Launched Vietnam War

By Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon

Thirty years ago, it all seemed very clear.

"American Planes Hit North Vietnam After Second Attack on Our Destroyers; Move Taken to Halt New Aggression", announced a Washington Post headline on Aug. 5, 1964.

That same day, the front page of the New York Times reported: "President Johnson has ordered retaliatory action against gunboats and 'certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam' after renewed attacks against American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin."

But there was no "second attack" by North Vietnam no "renewed attacks against American destroyers." By reporting official claims as absolute truths, American journalism opened the floodgates for the bloody Vietnam War.

A pattern took hold: continuous government lies passed on by pliant mass media...leading to over 50,000 American deaths and millions of Vietnamese casualties.


The official story was that North Vietnamese torpedo boats launched an "unprovoked attack" against a U.S. destroyer on "routine patrol" in the Tonkin Gulf on Aug. 2 and that North Vietnamese PT boats followed up with a "deliberate attack" on a pair of U.S. ships two days later.

The truth was very different.

Rather than being on a routine patrol Aug. 2, the U.S. destroyer Maddox was actually engaged in aggressive intelligence-gathering maneuvers in sync with coordinated attacks on North Vietnam by the South Vietnamese navy and the Laotian air force.

"The day before, two attacks on North Vietnam...had taken place," writes scholar Daniel C. Hallin. Those assaults were "part of a campaign of increasing military pressure on the North that the United States had been pursuing since early 1964."

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glowing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-09-08 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
1. Oh, I do believe that many are looking for the October surprise..
I'm not sure if it will happen, many understand how these things work.. and many should be looking for it it stop it..
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-09-08 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. We can certainly hope it is stopped, but I am not counting on it.
Edited on Sat Aug-09-08 10:50 AM by JohnyCanuck
9/11 should have been stopped to (what with all the warnings they had) but it wasn't either.
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glowing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-09-08 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. According to PNAC they needed another Pearl Harbor. I don't think people
are in the mood for another 9/11. Our economy certainly couldn't take it; and I don't think the US would have enough resources to pick people up. In order to run a dictatorship, you must have the institutions in place to keep the populace mundane. The last thing they need is for people to be out of work and food. People get a little testy then.
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-09-08 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I sincerely hope you are right n/t
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glowing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-09-08 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Our society still hasn't lost its weapons.. or the mistrust of govt.
There are still really resourceful, rebel types out there.. America has alway been about the new frontier.. Its much easier to amuse and reward them with junk.. People are paying attention now because that nice little American Dream isn't working out. So, a Dem will come along and change the rules to tilt the scale back.. That is what happens in a two party democracy... Ying and Yang.
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warren pease Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-09-08 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. " must have the institutions in place..."
How about some of these institutions? Each of these legal or physical pieces of a totalitarian infrastructure is an important link in the chain.

Here are some of the worst pieces of totalitarian garbage they've either brazened out or sneaked through when they thought nobody was watching.

We now have the Orwellian "thought crime bill" (HR 1955/S 1959) still awaiting passage in the Senate and Bushie's big red X; executive orders allowing to steal everything you have if you express disagreement with their Middle East "policy," which they say would "undermine efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people." (So that's what it's called: economic reconstruction, political reform and humanitarian assistance. You just can't make this stuff up.)

Here's another one just like it for those who object to their policy re Lebanon and Syria (should anyone actually know what that is), a sin so apparently repugnant that our Czar feared that it would "...constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat."

Presidential directives like NSPD 51/HSPD-20 that blather on about "continuity of government" and how government agencies and private sector organizations will work together (only those named Blackwater need apply) "to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency."

Such an emergency might well be a presidential hangnail, since the catastrophes that trigger these directives include " 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 functions." Vague enough for you?

Then come the federal invasions of privacy regarding medical and financial records; monitoring US citizens' electronic communications; re-targeting spy satellites for domestic surveillance; the TSA cavity search specialists (for attractive young women only; the rest are presumed to pose no threat to the state); InfraGard, the new national system of vigilantes with the FBI's permission to "shoot to kill;" no-fly and terrorist watch lists; Halliburton/KBR's detention camps; RFIDs in all new passports and new national ID cards that may still be issued this year; new TSA "behavior detection officers" to spot those who don't "look quite right;" all this wonderful new stuff coming this year and next from the DHS; private armies featuring mercenaries from companies like Blackwater and DynCorp springing up like mushrooms after a light rain... All that and the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, extraordinary rendition (whatever the hell that means) and torture, too. (Note: the torture link is graphic and disgusting, as it should be.)

No need to revisit FISA; we all know how our brave opposition party stood up for us against further interception of our private communications and slapped the Bushies down hard, repeatedly blistering the airwaves with devastating attacks on this pack of vile fascists and What? Oh They didn't? Hmmmmm. Must be time for a strongly worded letter then.

Also, see the blockquote in this post, which is a small part of H.R. 1585, the fiscal year 2008 National Defense Authorization Act. Note the orders to prepare to use regular troops -- as opposed to the Guard or Reserves -- to respond to "natural disasters and terrorist events." In other words, martial law.

You look at the destructive power the executive branch has acquired for itself since 2001 and it's hard not to come to the conclusion that all these pieces are there to lock this country down like a bank vault. They just haven't flipped the switch yet.

And maybe they never will. Maybe the implied threat is enough, although the Cheneys of the world don't strike me as the type to do stuff like this just for fun.

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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-09-08 08:46 AM
Response to Original message
2. if they know enough to know it's coming
Edited on Sat Aug-09-08 08:49 AM by barbtries
they should know enough to stop it. i am sick of the fear mongering. i refuse to live in fear. let's face it, it's a hella lot more likely that any one of us will get killed in a car crash, even NOW, post 9-11. do we quake in our boots every time we get in the car? no, because people can't LIVE that way.

fuck it. i'm gonna live my life and try to work toward the good. fuck the fear card. i didn't read the post so please pardon me if i'm talking out my ass, but the headline alone caused me to go, oh keerist. i don't want to see this from the democrats! not from anyone, but i expect it from the fascist party (used to call them republicans). now i don't have a party. there is no party. there is just bullshit.

rant off. go ahead and ream me if i'm talking out my ass.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-09-08 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
7. If Al Qaeda attacks right before the selection....

the biggest concern would be what the media would do with it. The nation might be rallied around the President once again, in which case, the most aggressive presidential candidate, following in the footsteps of Bush, would be their preferred choice. The military-industrial-oil complex would have no problems obtaining all the funding they ever dreamed of having, and all would be well with the ruling class.
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reprehensor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-09-08 08:08 PM
Response to Original message
9. History lessons.
Shit definitely happens.
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-10-08 06:58 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. Yup, history shows us
shit and false flag attacks (even by "democratically elected" governments) do definitely happen.
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bonito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-09-08 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
10. The CIA has been neutered
Edited on Sat Aug-09-08 08:19 PM by bonito

Special investigation
The spies who pushed for war
Julian Borger reports on the shadow rightwing intelligence network set up in Washington to second-guess the CIA and deliver a justification for toppling Saddam Hussein by force
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-10-08 06:34 AM
Response to Original message
11. If anything happens to disrupt the elections, it WON'T be Al Queda.
It will be Dick Cheney.

Then the real shooting will start.

Vote free or Diebold.
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-10-08 06:38 AM
Response to Original message
12. Zbig warned of it last fall, too.
Zbignew wrote about his concerns that this administration would use a false flag operation between then and the general election.
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-10-08 07:35 AM
Response to Original message
14. Mr Riedel served on the NSC from '97 to 2002. Did he attempt to heed the multiple warnings
prior to 9/11 or was he another embedded neocon who remained silent to the warnings?
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