Empire, Power, and People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 85

World War Crazy

EPPSo, is the West going to strike Syria? What will Russia and China do? Are we headed for World War III? Is this really where humanity has come to? If this is the case, then our main cultural focus over the past few days says a great deal about our society: the world rapidly moves toward chaos, but our focus is on Miley Cyrus' twerking performance. It's about priorities, after all!

Listen to the podcast show here (Subscribers only):

[private]


[/private]

SUBSCRIBE

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by SUBSCRIBING, and by ordering our EXCLUSIVE BFP DVDs.

BFP Exclusive- Bruce Fein: A Bad Penny That Is Always Turning Up

The Many Hats of Washington’s Favorite Rat- A Lobbyist, A Presidential Campaign Advisor, A Snitch, An Attorney, A Civil-Rights Activist …You Name It!

In a recent disclosure to the Huffington Post NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said the media have been “misled” by associates of his father, attorney and lobbyist Bruce Fein and his wife Mattie Fein who have been circulating “false” claims about his situation.

It has come to my attention that news organizations seeking information regarding my current situation have, due to the difficulty in contacting me directly, been misled by individuals associated with my father into printing false claims about my situation,” read the text of the message purportedly sent by the younger Snowden. [Read more...]

BFP Exclusive: The Anonymous Weasel behind the Rumors on Ron Paul-Romney Deal

Anonymous Paul Campaign Insider Exposes the Anonymous Rumor Source

PaulRomneyRumor1For the past few weeks an intense buzz has been filling internet sites and news forums on a supposed Ron Paul-Mitt Romney deal behind closed doors. Yesterday morning the Business Insider went as far as declaring the rumor as ‘Real’ based on their high-level Ron Paul campaign-office insider. Of course, this ‘insider’ source has been kept ‘anonymous.’ And this, despite vehement denials issued by other high-level insiders, those who happen to be ‘not anonymous’, thus far more reliable and trust-worthy. Here are a few on the record and pretty much absolute denials by named advisors: [Read more...]

BFP Breaking News: Court to Order Bruce Fein Removed from Schmidt vs. Krikorian Case

Rep. Jean Schmidt to Reveal the Sources Who Have Been Paying her Legal Expenses!

schmidtYesterday the Court of Appeals in Ohio issued a decision in the ongoing legal battle between Rep. Jean Schmidt and David Krikorian. Based on the news release by Krikorian’s attorney, Christopher Finney, the Court of Appeals is releasing its decision on the interlocutory appeal that Jean Schmidt filed trying to (i) force the trial court to accept Bruce Fein as Schmidt's attorney (who is not licensed in Ohio) in the case and (ii) force her to reveal who is paying her attorneys fees as part of the common pleas court case. In that decision, they deny each of Jean Schmidt's appeals, and reject each argument she made:

This decision is a significant "win" for David Krikorian in that the decisions of Judge Kessler at the trial court have been sustained, and the appeals of Ms. Schmidt have been shown to be without merit. [Read more...]

Ron Paul’s Chief Attorney Bruce Fein & His Clients

Conflict of Interest? Compatible Interests? You Tell Me


bfeinLast month, on August 23, Bruce Fein became Ron Paul’s Chief Legal Advisor. In other words, Ron Paul became Bruce Fein’s Client. I have written in length about Bruce Fein as a crusty Beltway Foreign Agent and his involvement and guilt in the recent scandal involving Congresswoman Jean Schmidt. I’ve written extensively on this issue. Today I just want to list here some of Bruce Fein’s clients, and then ask you to consider and define the situation in terms of ‘interests.’ Here are a few well-known clients of Mr. Bruce Fein as exhibited by his lobbying firm:

A Few Foreign Nation Clients

Saudi Arabia
Pakistan
Turkey
Sudan

A Few Clients from the Banking & Fed Megas Pool

Bank of America
Morgan Stanley
Standard Charter Bank

Oil Industry

Exxon Mobile
BP
Chevron Texaco

Military Industrial Complex

Boeing
General Electric

International-Imperialistic- Parasitic Organizations

World Bank
IMF
United Nations

You see, there exists no conflict of interest among these Fein clients. When it comes to imperialistic and exploitative operations, the target puppet nations, the greedy oil and military industrial complex players, and the corrupt-criminal mega banking industry work hand-in-hand. Are you with me so far?

On the other hand, last time I checked Ron Paul challenged the Fed & the corrupt mega bankers. Last time I heard, Ron Paul unequivocally was voicing his disdain for US led international and imperialistic institutions such as the World Bank and IMF. Last time I looked, Ron Paul was on the ‘no-no list’ for the Military Industrial Complex lobby.

Now Ron Paul is Bruce Fein’s client. The above predators are also Bruce Fein’s clients. So what are we talking about here?

A Gigantic Conflict of Interest?

Compatible Interests?

If you think it is neither, which one of these clients’ interest comes first? Let me give it a bit of perspective with one example:

The Turkish clients paid Bruce Fein $500,000 in less than two years for him to represent their interests. How much is the Ron Paul campaign willing to pay Bruce Fein in order to surpass Turkey’s  client value to Fein? How much must th Paul campaign pay Bruce Fein for its interests to be put before those of Saudi Arabia, all those mega banks, MIC…?

These questions are yours to answer, and you may want to ask Bruce Fein directly. On September 12, Monday, at 12:30, Bruce Fein will be at Busboys & Poets (2021 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009).  Please let me know what answers you find.

# # # #

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by subscribing .

Countdown Day 7- Bruce Fein: It Boils Down to ‘Principle’

Final: The Facts, Bruce Fein, Ron Paul, and the Next Step

day7Today is Day 7 on the campaign to raise awareness and alert re Bruce Fein, the greatest threat to the Ron Paul Camp to date. It may be my last one depending on the public response and feedback we receive from the already active and vigilant ‘true’ Paul supporters. I am going to start with one last response to Bruce-Mattie Fein agents who have hijacked several websites to deflect attention from the facts and the real issues. If you go and read the propaganda written by the Feins’ agents you’ll see why I refer to them as ‘agents.’ Either due to certain omega fatty acid deficiencies or natural genetic misfortune, these guys slip and make clear their close associations with both Bruce and Mattie Fein. Now, allow me to provide you with a concrete rebuttal to some of this misinformation that is being spread and planted by Feins’ agents:

“So what if he is representing foreign agents, foreign governments or foreign groups. He is an attorney after all, and it is his job to represent these people?”

feinLast time I checked attorneys represented their clients in courts. Last time I checked legal cases were not brought by attorneys before the CIA. Last time I checked lawyers did not argue their clients’ cases before State Department operatives. And last time I checked legal representation did not extend to going to Congress, wining and dining representatives, and funneling money into their pockets. Did I miss something when I checked all this last time?! Because this is what Bruce Fein writes and markets about the services he provides for foreign agenda clients, and if you read you hardly, if ever, come across any mention of legal-attorney representation:

“The Lichfield Group features unrivalled government, media, and business experience. Exemplary is the Group’s high level connections with the Department of Justice, the Department of State, and the Central Intelligence Agency, on the one hand, to The New York Times, The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, and nationwide broadcast or cable networks on the other.

Whether a client is a giant corporation handcuffed by ill-conceived United States government policies or a foreign government anxious to influence the decisions of Congress, the President, agencies, the judiciary, or State governments, The Lichfield Group is armed with the skills and contacts indispensable for success.”

Just to show my generosity and kindness towards the IQ-challenged Fein agents I am going to recap: Bruce Fein is a foreign agent-lobbyist and that has nothing to do with ‘legal representation.’ He represents foreign agendas before the CIA, the State Department, the Congress, and the White House… Courts ain’t got nothing to do with this in-name-only ‘attorney.’ Where did you guys ever hear of cases being brought before the despicable Central Intelligence Agency-CIA?! What exactly are this Bruce Fein’s ties and close connections to the CIA and State Department he keeps bragging about?! [Read more...]

Countdown Day 4: Nervous Fein Publicists Hard at Work…

“Whether a client is a giant corporation handcuffed by ill-conceived United States government policies or a foreign government anxious to influence the decisions of Congress, the President, agencies, the judiciary, or State governments, The Lichfield Group is armed with the skills and contacts indispensable for success.”-Bruce Fein on his ‘recently erased’ Lobbying Firm the Lichfield Group

902PaulThe internal discussions over the recent ‘Fein’ selection continue inside the Paul camp. Loyal and vigilant Paul supporters have been doing their part. And a few Fein publicists and friends have been hard at work planting misinformation, propaganda and false accusations on the net right and left. I guess this is a positive indicator - we have Fein and his publicists nervous. When false fronts get nervous they tend to expose themselves even further. And that’s good.

Fein publicists and propaganda planters have been  mainly targeting Ron Paul related sites and forums, and attacking everyone who even dares to question Bruce Fein’s highly questionable businesses and associations. For example: they claim Fein worked for AEI in 1981, and then left. Fein’s bio contradicts this. AEI contradicts this. Even Fein’s business advertisement geared towards his foreign governments contradicts this!

Here is what AEI says about their dear Fein, ‘Mr. Fein has been an adjunct scholar at AEI,’ and says this as of today, September 2, 2011.

When you look at Bruce Fein’s biographical information listed and promoted by him at his ‘very recently erased’ company website, you see this: “Mr. Fein has been an adjunct scholar with the American Enterprise Institute.”

Another interesting development: the Feins have been trying very hard to delete-erase their various companies’ websites and past information. Nervous Bruce and Mattie Fein quickly ran and got rid of their business website for ‘the Lichfield Group’, trying very hard to erase information on their actual businesses. However, as many of you know, nowadays it is very hard to get rid of past online information, and here is what we retrieved on Fein’s relationships and ongoing work as advertised at his company website and brochures seeking additional lobbying positions:

The Lichfield Group features unrivalled government, media, and business experience. Exemplary is the Group’s high level connections with the Department of Justice, the Department of State, and the Central Intelligence Agency, on the one hand, to The New York Times, The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, and nationwide broadcast or cable networks on the other.

Whether a client is a giant corporation handcuffed by ill-conceived United States government policies or a foreign government anxious to influence the decisions of Congress, the President, agencies, the judiciary, or State governments, The Lichfield Group is armed with the skills and contacts indispensable for success.

As you can see the Fein couple is not selling good ole boring attorney appeal here. They say they are close to the CIA and State Department and Congress, and willing to influence them for foreign entities if the right dollar amount is paid.

Also, it is very interesting to see how twisting and misrepresenting facts in a not very ethical manner, apparently a ‘Fein’  trademark, shows itself in his representation of his marital status! The Fein publicists, since my article exposing the couple’s ‘Israel Lobby’ agenda,  have begun advertising the Feins as divorced, and concluding that ‘so Mattie Fein’s activities and associations do not in any way apply to Bruce; they are divorced!’ I did check my facts, and I did talk with credible sources: They did file for divorce a few years back, but with all sorts of business partnerships and strategic benefits in politics at stake they changed their mind, and nullified their filings. They are legally married. They are business partners. They have businesses together, and Fein has been his wife’s supporter in every single meaning of the word ‘support.’

I am not going to waste my time, and your time, countering every single bit of false information, accusation and propaganda that is going to be planted by Fein’s publicists. I believe those with a positive agenda who want to see this great threat to the Paul Camp gone are informed and vigilant enough to counter these recent false information planting operations on their own. As you can see, Fein is very nervously busy trying to erase his past; so are his publicists. Instead, I want to remind you that today is Day 4 of our countdown to remove Mr. Fein, the greatest ‘insiderthreat to the Paul campaign to date, and we are counting down.

# # # #

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by contributing directly and or purchasing Boiling Frogs showcased products.

Countdown Day 3: Time for the Paul Camp to Draw the Line on ‘Fein’

A Shark to Swim with Among other Sharks? Or, a Fox in the Henhouse?


fox

 We are on Day Three and still no conclusive word from the Ron Paul campaign. I have received hundreds of e-mails and comments from objective and vigilant Paul supporters who are equally alarmed and troubled by Mr. Fein’s recently granted inside position. I have also received a few e-mails from Paul supporters who are trying very hard to justify this new troublesome addition. I want to quote from two such e-mails and respond to both:

Ron Paul is out in a sea full of sharks. He needs ruthless sharks like Bruce Fein to survive the other sharks. I think it is a good move and I don’t like people like you second guessing it.’

And here is another comment:

This was a brilliant and well-calculated strategic move by Paul. In order to expand his base and movement he needs to bring on board people like Fein. Would it be bad if we gain the support of some of those neocons? Would it be bad to have ACLU liberals or Jewish communities stop attacking Paul, and join him instead because of Fein. I think this was a wise choice by Ron Paul. The mainstream media loves Bruce Fein and he knows how to play and please the media…

Please take a moment and reflect on these comments and this line of thinking. Have we heard this before? I believe we have. For many decades we have justified moves and actions like this by our candidates of choice instead of drawing the lines where they should be drawn. Because where would you draw the line? Why not try to recruit Karl Rove and bring him on board to lead Paul’s campaign press office? Why not hire Bill Kristol to bring in heavy weight neocons? Why not get a manager or two from AIPAC or JINSA to convert the pro Israel lobby Zionist voters? Why not?

Isn’t this the same ‘the end justifies the means’ mentality we’ve been fighting against? Isn’t this what we justifiably accuse the establishment of doing? Isn’t this a solid example of hypocrisy?

I remember the days when Obama supporters were assuring each other of their candidate having to have to make a few pacts with a few devils in order to win, and once he won he was going to boot them all out and make his supporters’ dreams come true. I recall how the Obama apologists were justifying Rahm Emmanuel’s appointment, and after him Gates, and after him Dennis Ross, and after him…until they began to lose count. Oh, I remember, don’t you?

What I am saying is this: One of the greatest strengths and appeal of the Ron Paul movement has been its grassroots quality, straight-forward approach, uncompromising attitude towards the compromised, and most importantly, steering clear of shady-corrupt-infested traps no matter the outer appeal or glitz.

Bruce Fein, the foreign lobbyist for several nations and foreign groups, the AEI nest’s neocon tenant, the reported compromiser of legal ethics …does not belong in the Ron Paul Camp. It’s time for the Paul Camp to draw the line on ‘Fein,’ and keep it there. Don’t let those lines get blurry and eventually disappear altogether. This is ‘Day Three’ in our countdown to remove Mr. Fein, the greatest ‘insiderthreat to the Paul campaign to date, and we are counting down.

# # # #

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by contributing directly and or purchasing Boiling Frogs showcased products.

Countdown Day 2: Ron Paul Camp Must Remove this New ‘Fein’ Occupant

This is where Ron Paul stands admirably on Israel and its war propaganda against Iran: Cut Foreign Aid, Unshackle Israel and Leave Iran Alone!

This where John Bolton supported Fein(s) stand on Israel and war propaganda against Iran:

aeiIn 2010, Fein’s wife, Mattie Fein, began expressing the couple’s views on Israel and Israel’s interests openly. Some attribute that to Mattie Fein’s desperate need and her fierce competition with Harman over Israel lobby dollars. Here is Mattie’s response to the test question by the Zionist community:

7. Would you support Israel taking military action to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons? Under what circumstances?

The United States should support whatever Israel believes is justified by national security worries over Iran.

Bruce Fein has many homes, including the Neocon Nest AEI. The Ron Paul Camp does not need Mr. Fein as an occupant. It certainly doesn’t.

This is ‘Day Two’ in our countdown to remove this occupant, Mr. Fein, a Ron Paul Camp new occupant and the greatest ‘insiderthreat to his campaign to date, and we are counting down.

# # # #

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by contributing directly and or purchasing Boiling Frogs showcased products.

The Greatest Plot Against the Ron Paul Camp To Date

Who ‘Really’ Is this Bruce Fein?  


"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague." - Marcus Tullius Cicero

fein Last week, right after publishing my article on Congresswoman Schmidt and Bruce Fein’s brilliant foreign lobby money rechanneling-laundering scheme, and to my shock, I found out about this:

The Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign announced today that constitutional and international law expert Bruce Fein will join the campaign as senior advisor on legal matters.

“Bruce Fein’s participation adds to our campaign’s already intellectual heft, enabling us to more broadly engage the conversation about constitutionality, civil liberties and the dangers to national security of an increasingly interventionist foreign policy,” said Ron Paul 2012 Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton.

While some at Rep. Paul’s Camp were busy celebrating and cheering the announcement as a brilliant strategic move, I was frantically gathering cases and research notes, corresponding with current and former colleagues from the intelligence community who had come to support Rep. Paul, and communicating with a few friends with Rep. Paul’s Campaign who were equally troubled by this development.

I understand the ‘cheering’ side of Paul’s camp as they have been excited and impressed by the in- writing-and-words-only side of Bruce Fein. Not so different than those who were fired up and sold on the in-words-only rhetoric and promises staged by President Obama. The Constitutional Scholar Fein and the Constitutional Expert Obama. A Great Penman Fein and the Great Orator Obama…and of course the contradicting realities and the contradicting facts.

However, in this case, there are already too many established facts and too much history on Mr. Fein, and way too many rational and realistic people among Paul supporters to ring the alarm bells and counter this great threat before it’s too late. I will go as far as calling the penetration of the Ron Paul camp by Bruce Fein ‘the greatest threat to Paul’s camp to date,’ and will make a solid case for this characterization based on glaring and alarming facts; facts and concerns shared by several loyal Paul advisors today.

Who is the real Bruce Fein? Why there are so many different versions of Fein - one contradicting the other? How do his real actions and intimate associations stand in stark contrast to Ron Paul? What is the most likely plot in planting Mr. Fein within Paul’s campaign?

Foreign Lobby & Influence Peddling

Ron Paul has been consistent and exemplary in his strongly held principles on the Foreign lobby and influence peddling; a rarity in the US Congress. He has displayed intense disdain for foreign lobbying and foreign influence. He even considers congressional ‘junkets’ as another means to be compromised: stressing that he would not travel abroad on agenda-driven foreigners’ dime: “I just think it's unnecessary for congressmen to travel overseas, and the people in our district were on my side," he said in an interview. "You don't need to go to Bosnia to understand we have no business there."

With Bruce Fein you have exactly the opposite stand. He has been a crusty foreign lobbyist making millions of dollars peddling his foreign bosses’ interests and influence in Congress and government agencies. For Fein it has never mattered who the foreign client or what their agenda. He does not care whether his foreign clients are criminals or terrorists or dictators. As long as they pay him handsomely he’ll sell their agenda and interest no matter what they may be. The words ‘principle’ or ‘taking a stand’ have never entered this foreign lobbyist’s dictionary or comprehension:

One minute, on behalf of one set of his foreign designated ‘terrorist’ bosses, Bruce Fein is busy selling the need for a genocide declaration by the US Congress against one nation:

“For the past year I have written about Bruce Fein in many articles that have been widely published and circulated. He is reportedly paid $100,000 per month to tell lies in Washington about the Government of Sri Lanka… Who are the American individuals backing this group? Where are they getting their money to pay Bruce Fein? Does former US Ambassador Blake have something to do with them…

trkcoalThe next minute, on behalf of another well-known foreign mob boss, Bruce Fein is busy peddling influence and selling Congress his foreign bosses’ anti-genocide agenda:

“In 2007, Ayasli transferred $30 million in stock to fund a new endeavor, the nonprofit Turkish Coalition of America. The organization is headquartered in a Washington suite that has also been listed as the address for the Turkish Coalition USA PAC, the lobbying firm of Lydia Borland (who has represented the Turkish government), and the law firm of Bruce Fein and Associates (Fein comprises half of the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund)…”

“materials put out by the Turkish Coalition of America and authored by a lawyer, Bruce Fein, who now represents Schmidt in the complaint, say that Congresswoman Schmidt has on numerous occasions voiced her opposition to such resolutions and maintains that the historical question is not appropriate for Congress to legislate. The congresswoman, based on her independent research, does not believe the tragic events constitute genocide…”

Bruce Fein sees no problem with representing foreign groups like this:

Fein hit the jackpot in 1991 when he signed on to represent Mozambique's notorious guerrilla army, RENAMO, which was seeking to overthrow its country's leftist government. When Fein came on board, RENAMO's reputation has hit bottom…

Even the Reagan and Bush administrations kept their distance from RENAMO, despite their anti-Communist rhetoric…

Fein, however, eagerly signed up to flack for Dhlakama's terror army. Like most foreign lobbyists, he bilked his client for huge sums of money while performing virtually no work.

Mr. Fine, who now fakes and preaches non-interventionism and anti-influence peddling only to echo Ron Paul, in real life has been practicing the exact opposite:

renamo“Now, Fein has returned to lobbying and is working for a client that has the dubious distinction of making RENAMO look good: The Sudan. That country's government is barred from receiving U.S. foreign aid because of its support for terrorism and because of its revolting human rights record. Amnesty International reports that the Sudanese government not only assassinates and tortures its "enemies," but that paramilitary forces have kidnapped scores of children, who are believed to be held in domestic slavery by their abductors or taken to camps in remote rural areas, where they are trained for military service”

Here is another on-the-spot description of Real Bruce Fein as a crusty “Beltway Prostitute”:

“Well, well, well. Wasn’t Bruce Fein just recently condemning the Government of Sri Lanka for trying to put an end to the LTTE? But this time he’s defending a sovereign government for protecting itself – rather than slandering it using falsehoods. Now you see what I mean when I earlier referred to Mr. Fein as a “Beltway prostitute.” He will accept money from anyone who can pay the price – regardless of where that money came from, or who his legal and public relations services might unjustly hurt. What an embarrassment to the US legal profession.”

You see, for Mr. Fein pimping the Congress on behalf of foreign clients is about dollars. Nothing more; nothing less. Whether it is advocating additional foreign aid for one country while our nation is being bankrupted, or dragging our Congress to get involved with domestic meddling and the affairs of another foreign country, Bruce Fein has never been about the United States’ interests; just the opposite. Give Fein the dollars and he’ll sign up to lobby for any one: terrorists, corrupt foreign governments, mobsters, assassins …

Long pocketed as a ‘lobbyist’ by Pakistan, Sudan, Turkey, Tamil, and others, Bruce Fein is the exact antithesis to Ron Paul’s principled position on issues related to foreign lobby, corruption and influence peddling in government.

Overt Neocon Ties & Covert Israel Pedigree

Ron Paul has been in staunch opposition and a counter to Neocon agendas and field players. Whether on the Israel lobby and agenda driving the hawkish currents in our nation today, or the corporate war machine interests guiding our foreign policy practices, Paul has consistently stood firm and unrelenting.

kristolMr. Fein’s public pedigree makes it fairly easy to spot his overt ties and links. For example: he has been an adjunct scholar with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). By now I think the majority of Americans know about AEI’s claim to fame:

"AEI is the most prominent think tank associated with American neoconservatism, in both the domestic and international policy arenas.[10] Irving Kristol, widely considered a father of neoconservatism, is a senior fellow at AEI, and many prominent neoconservatives—including Jeane Kirkpatrick, Ben Wattenberg, and Joshua Muravchik—spent the bulk of their careers at AEI."

A well-known couple of facts about AEI:

1- In order to be accepted by AEI, to become one of their scholars, proven neoconservative inklings and ties are the never-waivered prerequisites.

2- AEI seeks candidates who put Loyalty and Allegiance to Israel above all.

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt state in their controversial bestseller, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, that the tone of the right-leaning component of the Israel lobby results from the influence of the leaders of the two top lobby groups: AIPAC, and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. They go on to list, as right-leaning think tanks associated with the lobby, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the American Enterprise Institute.

Acceptance to the tightly knitted and guarded AEI Neocon community also extends to family members and religious affiliations. Bruce Fein has passed both litmus tests in becoming a highly-regarded member of AEI. His wife, Mattie Fein, has been a vocal hawk, neocon propaganda distributor, and a very familiar face within the Beltway neocon community: [Read more...]

Obama Administration’s Neocon Easter

Resurrecting the Neocons: Marc Grossman in … Richard Perle & Douglas Feith in Queue

Grossman215Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has chosen a new special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan: a long-time controversial neocon, a man who has been famous for parading as a foreign agent in the lobby circuit, the scandalous former diplomat Marc Grossman. The not-so-gradual resurrection of the old neocon cabal under the Obama administration, led by Hillary Clinton, should not come as a surprise. According to Washington insiders, Richardl Perle and Douglas Feith have been consulted more than a few times in their ‘unofficial’ capacity, but are not far down in the queue to receive ‘official’ acknowledgement. This shouldn’t come as a surprise; at least to those who’ve been following the steady momentum building at the Obama White House towards a soon-to-come Neocon Easter.

Hillary Clinton appointed Dennis Ross as Special Advisor for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia; a man well-known as a hard-core neocon,  Paul Wolfowitz’ protégé, cofounder of the AIPAC sponsored Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and one of the loudest advocates for the Israel lobby. A man who is known to consider himself more Israeli than American; a Jewish American who is known to have spent ‘a lot of time’ in Israel to find his real identity-nationality.

KaganWe had Frederick Kagan, a neocon of choice for Mr. Obama, who was hired to manage General Petraeus on Afghanistan. A man whose father was born into a Jewish family in Lithuania; a man cherished by his bosses at the American Enterprise Institute; a man who authored the book, While America Sleeps, arguing in favor of a large increase in military spending and warned of future threats, including the imaginary WMD program in Iraq. We are talking about the man who was one of the main signatories of Project for the New American Century manifesto - the Neocon Bible. The man who was one of the Bush-Cheney administration’s favorite masterminds when it came to perpetual wars. [Read more...]

Matt Bryza: From Evasive to Perjurer?

Obama’s Nominee for Azerbaijan Ambassadorship Misleads Congress on the Issues of Conflict of Interest & Questionable Ties

BBIn response to questions at the hearing that he was too close to Azerbaijani Government officials with highly questionable ties, Matt Bryza remained evasive and provided half-answer responses while denying any special ties or conflicts of interest due to his controversial and scandalous Neocon wife, Zeyno Baran. After the hearing Bryza submitted even more evasive and incomplete answers to a series of questions submitted separately by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Particularly on one significant issue related to his questionable ties and conflict of interest related to his wife’s intimate relationship and position, Bryza may have actually perjured himself.

During his confirmation hearings Bryza tried very hard to assure Congress that there were no reasons whatsoever to worry about conflict of interest(s) based on his marriage to Zeyno Baran, and that she had given up all positions and involvements related to Azerbaijan. At the hearing, he said that his marriage would present no conflict of interest, and that a thorough State Department vetting of his finances found nothing untoward. He said Baran would not influence his positions as ambassador, and that any common positions they held were the result of kindred spirits.

In all this, Bryza conveniently forgot to report or even mention his wife’s official position as a member of the editorial board of an Azerbaijani government institution, the journal Azerbaijan Focus: Journal of International Affairs. And guess what, according to its website, Azerbaijan Focus “is a publication of the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.”

Now, how could Bryza forget this mammoth conflict of interest, and do so despite being put under the direct spotlight with even more direct questions on this specific topic regarding his controversial bride?! Guess who happen to be Zeyno Baran’s colleagues at this position?

Ms. Baran serves on the editorial board along with several Azerbaijani government officials including Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Chairman of the Editorial Board Ramiz Mehdiyev, Head of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Hafiz Pashayev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

In July I wrote a rather long article on Bryza’s background, the issues surrounding his Neocon wife, and their scandalous and lavish wedding in Turkey. Considering Zeyno Baran’s position at this journal owned and operated by the Azerbaijani government, no wonder the two investigative Azerbaijani journalists who uncovered and reported Bryza Wedding’s Azerbaijani guests and financiers were beaten up, arrested, and jailed for their exposé!!!! The reporters brought the needed attention to Bryza’s certain special guests, who happened to be political figureheads from Azerbaijan, and the special gifts and financial contributions by them to Bryza’s bride and her nearly quarter million dollar wedding expenses.

But wait, there is more! In addition to serving on a board of an Azerbaijani government institution, there is this not so insignificant question on funding of Mrs. Bryza’s employer, the Center for Eurasian Policy at the Hudson Institute. Mr. Bryza has stated, many times, on the record, that his bride has been on leave without pay from the Hudson Institute since June 1, 2009. However, there are numerous instances where Ms.Baran has been listed as an active employee of the Hudson Institute since that date, including as recently as August 2010.

HudsonAs for funding of Mrs. Bryza’s employer? Well, no one seems to know, and those who really want to know have been blocked from finding out. The infamous Hudson Institute is pretty well-known for its tight-lipped policies on the sources of its funding. To this date, despite inquiries, they have not responded to questions regarding funding from Azerbaijani businesses or foundations or corporations with an interest in Azerbaijan. However we know this much:

-In 2007, the Hudson Institution's Center for Eurasian Policy, hosted a conference, titled "The Azerbaijan- Turkey- US Relationship and its Importance for Eurasia.”

-According to their own published "Event Summary and Conclusions," this event was financed by a foreign entity, the "Azerbaijan-Turkey Business Association," with direct financial interests in Turkey and Azerbaijan.

-The majority of speakers at this conference, held at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, were officials from the Azerbaijani and Turkish governments.

Now how is that our Mr. Bryza fails to report and account for these crucial facts? Further, shouldn’t his official responses to the specific questions asked on these issues be considered perjury? Because being evasive and wishy-washy go only so far in explaining the absence of these facts. At some point, someone in Congress will hopefully look into the real meaning and implications of Bryza’s foolish attempts to dodge questions meant to determine his suitability for this job. Evasive? Or just plain perjury?

# # # #

Update: Here is a recent analysis of possible outcomes on the Bryza vs. Azerbaijan Ambassadorship by Harut Sassounian, who had earlier written this piece on major issues surrounding Bryza’s Senate confirmation.

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by contributing directly and or purchasing Boiling Frogs showcased products.

Obama Appoints a Not-Too-Long-Ago-Hatched Neocon Larva

Matthew Bryza: Azerbaijan Ambassadorship & a Tangled Web of Conflicts

OBPresident Obama appears to have run out of Non-Neocon candidates to appoint for crucial positions. After one year with no ambassador to fill the position in Azerbaijan, the President reached out to and appointed a young neocon with a tangled web of conflicts. I am talking about a neocon and his wife, a duo who for the last decade and a half have been attached to figures such as Michael Rubin, Barry Rubin, Daniel Pipes, Richard Perle, Robert Novak…We have here a fairly young to-be-ambassador neocon, whose lavish wedding in Turkey could not have been possible without the generosity of those involved in the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline projects, and corrupt figureheads in Azerbaijan politics…This is about a shady neocon figure with a shadier role in the almost-forgotten Georgia-Russia incident a couple of years ago…We are talking about neocon Matt Bryza and his more-of-a-neocon think-tank damsel Zeyno Baran; President Obama’s choice for  the ambassadorship in Azerbaijan.

Last Thursday Mr. Bryza was on the defensive when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. While the general MSM coverage placed its main focus on Bryza’s questionable actions, actually lack of actions, on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflicts and incidents involving the desecration of ancient Armenian gravesites in the town of Julfa in the Azerbaijani exclave of Naxcivan, very little coverage was given to his even greater baggage and background.  Here is one of those cursory coverages I’m talking about:

Bryza also pledged to not let his personal life affect his work. His wife, Zeyno Baran, is of Turkish origin, which some Armenian critics say leads to an anti-Armenian bias. Baran, who was present at the hearing, has also been cited as a source of potential conflict of interest for Bryza in terms of energy politics. She works for the Hudson Institute, a Washington-based think-tank which receives funding from ExxonMobile and other energy companies. Azerbaijan is a key "southern corridor" country for planned increases in gas shipment from the Caspian region to Europe.

Bryza’s neocon damsel’s past and present, and her various business and close associations are only the tip of a gigantic iceberg. But rest assured, our media and Congress will not go ‘there’, of course, without being forced to do so, that is.

So who is this quietly conceived hatched Neocon Larva, Matt Bryza?

As before I am going to start with the common pedigree chosen by our shallow MSM journalist friends and the like; the type that doesn’t raise many (if any) flags, at first glance:

Matthew J. Bryza is a diplomat who became Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in June 2005. Two months ago President Obama appointed him as the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan. Here is a canned description of his job as a ‘diplomat’:

In this capacity, he is responsible for policy oversight and management of U.S. relations with countries in the Caucasus and Southern Europe. He also leads U.S. efforts to advance peaceful settlements of the separatist conflicts of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia, and works with the Special Negotiator for Eurasian Conflicts to advance a settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Additionally, Bryza coordinates U.S. energy policy in the regions surrounding the Black and Caspian Seas. He also works with European countries on issues of tolerance, social integration, and Islam.

In April 2001, Bryza joined the National Security Council as Director for Europe and Eurasia, with responsibility for coordinating U.S. policy on Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Caspian energy.

Bryza served as the deputy to the Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State on Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy from July 1998 to March 2001. In this capacity, Bryza coordinated the U.S. Government’s inter-agency effort to develop a network of oil and gas pipelines in the Caspian region.During 1997-1998, Bryza was special advisor to Ambassador Richard Morningstar, coordinating U.S. Government assistance programs on economic reform in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Bryza served at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow during 1995-1997, first as special assistant to Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, then as a political officer covering the Russian Duma, the Communist Party, and the Republic of Dagestan in the North Caucasus.

He worked on European and Russian affairs at the State Department during 1991-1995.Bryza served in Poland in 1989-1991 at the U.S. Consulate in Poznań and the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, where he covered the Solidarity movement, reform of Poland’s security services, and regional politics.

At first glance the above description is about a good ole boring tie-wearing State Department bureaucrat who was docile and boring enough to last through four administrations: Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr., and now, Obama; that and the fact that the guy has been climbing the ladder steadily and rather quickly. Taking a closer look, if we have enough interest and if we are paying attention, our man’s operational file stands out a bit:

Caucasus, Central Asia, Eurasia, Caspian Sea, Turkey, Russia, Dagestan, Georgia…

Look just a little bit closer and you’ll notice even more important key works associated with key operations falling within the real interest of the key people:

Caspian Basin, Caspian Energy, Energy Diplomacy, Islam, Oil & Gas Pipelines…

You and I know that ‘they’ don’t put just any good ole boring bureaucrat in positions dealing with the above key regions and dealing with the above key operations and issues. Right? Right. So back to the real question: who is this Matt Bryza? How did he get his start? Whose protégé was he to make it this far this fast? Who are his buddies? The answers to some of these questions take time and real effort to discover, since you won’t find them by browsing through MSM news archives or biographical synapses posted here and there…

Let’s start with the key person leading to Bryza’s acceptance and entry as a larva into the nest of the major neocon players, and his speedy ascent thereafter:

Richard Morningstar & His Closeted Neocon Status

MStrFrom Morningstar’s commonly cited pedigree sheet we know that he and Bryza collected degrees from Stanford University, which later led to their mentor-protégé relationship. In 1997 Bryza  became special advisor to Ambassador Richard Morningstar, coordinating U.S. Government assistance programs on economic reform in the Caucasus and Central Asia during 1997-1998. Digging a little bit more:

In 1998 Bryza was Morningstar's chief lieutenant in managing U.S. Caspian Sea energy interests as Deputy to the Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State on Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy, where he remained until March of 2001, and he worked on developing what are now U.S. and Western plans to circumvent Russia and Iran and achieve dominance over the delivery of energy supplies to Europe.

Interestingly, last year, one year before Obama appointed Bryza as an Ambassador to Azerbaijan, on April 20, 2009, Morningstar was appointed to the role of supporting U.S. energy goals in the Eurasian region. Morningstar was special advisor to the Clinton administration on Caspian energy; time to reunite the old mentor and his protégé for the next attempt on the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline.

Morningstar’s status as one of the power player neocons has been long closeted.. During the 90s he was working with and serving one of the main agendas of Neocon players such as Elliott Abrams, Dick Cheney, Frank Gaffney, Paul Wolfowitz …People tend to pay attention only to the top 25 signatories and contributors of Project for the New American Century-PNAC. Yes, that infamous list also includes the Neocons shining star for Central Asia & the Caucasus, Mr. Richard L. Morningstar.

Conn Halinan’s counterpunch article in 2004 aptly highlights an important fact when it comes to the Haliburtons, Perles and Wumsers and their Project for the New American Century (PNAC) as it relates to Central Asia:

The recent move of oil companies and the U.S. military into Central Asia is a case in point. It was President Bill Clinton, not George W. Bush, who crafted that strategy. It was not the Republicans who brought Halliburton and Cheney into the Caspian region, but Clinton advisor Richard Morningstar, now a John Kerry point man.

Halinan is right on target: Clinton appointee Morningstar paved the way for Dick Cheney’s Halliburton’s positioning in Central Asia, and did darn many other good deeds for the main signatories of the Neocon Wet Dream in that region.

Morningstar is also known as one of those who take their allegiances to Israel above anything else. You may remember the questions surrounding Douglas Feith’s and Rahm Emanuel’s Israel citizenship status. I haven’t seen anyone questioning Mr. Morningstar’s status in Israel; at least not on the record, but Morningstar and his family are known as staunch supporters of Israel with close ties over there. Morningstar’s mother’s, the late Jane Morningstar, obituary in the Boston Globe provides only a little initial glimpse; others with far deeper knowledge of Morningstar’s real Israel connections would currently rather whisper…Time may raise the volume on these closeted facts, or may not.

The latest articles regarding Matt Bryza’s connection to the Neocons are limited to his connection through his wife, Zeyno Baran. Either intentional censorship or ignorance glosses over his close neocon ties which started long before his marriage, going back to his early years under his mentor Morningstar, and accelerating steadily, assisting his speedy career ascent.  Just check out his event calendar to see how his name pairs up with tneocon brand names when it comes to functions, speeches, think-tank gatherings…

Matt Bryza & His Neocon Damsel

BarIn 2007 Matt Bryza married Zeyno Baran, a Turkish-American neocon who’s been working for the Hudson Institute and before that for the Nixon Center. Here are a few of her titles and areas of expertise highly valued and marketed by her current neocon mentors and bosses such as Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Conrad Black, Abram Shulsky...: Director of the Center for Eurasian Policy, Director of International Security and Energy Programs, Director of the Caucasus Project.

Baran and her colleagues and mentors are closely associated with the Turkish Ultra-Nationalist (Ulusalcis) movement and figures, including the military figures involved in the Ergenekon scandal:

 

 

 

 

 

The think tanks actively engaging the Turkish Ulusalcıs are AEI, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Hudson Institute. The institutional relations between the American neo-cons and the Turkish Ulusalcıs are run by the office of Dick Cheney, Richard Perle of AEI and Zeyno Baran of the Hudson Institute on the American side and, on the other side, by Mustafa Süzer, former owner of Kentbank and a close associate of Perle, and İlhan Selçuk, "big brother" of Cumhuriyet. Süzer's meetings with Dick Cheney were disclosed in the Turkish press and never denied by either side. Selçuk is also reported to have spoken with Cheney's advisors and established a back-channel with the US vice president's office through Elçin Poyrazlar, the Washington representative for Cumhuriyet. Writing in the Yeni Şafak daily, Taha Kıvanç claimed that this back-channel had already been established before the American occupation of Iraq and that Selçuk had promised the Americans Turkey's support in return for American neo-con support for the Turkish Ulusalcıs to come to power in Ankara.

It was also claimed that State Department diplomat Matthew Bryza, long-time boyfriend and, more recently, husband of Zeyno Baran, was the person who wrote the declaration read by Fried that gave the Turkish military the "green light" by saying that the Americans were not on any side of the discussion. The extent to which Bryza was influenced by his wife is not known, but the similarities in their rhetoric against the AK Party are striking. Baran, who was already a controversial figure due to her involvement in the infamous Hudson Institute meeting, her article in Newsweek that predicted a military coup in 2007 and her involvement with the colored revolutions in Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and Ukraine…

Despite her deranged mother,  who has been calling Turkish reporters, harassing and asking them to write about her daughter’s IQ level (her claim on that went from ‘over 100’ to ‘120,’ and during the Bryza-Baran wedding to ‘158’ IQ points!!), the overly ambitious Zeyno Baran’s idiotic move to preempt Ergenekon by publicly ‘predicting’ the attempted coup backfired, and cast doubt on this Nuevo Neocon’s intelligence and tactfulness. What she wanted: to grab attention and score points among her neocon mentors and colleagues. What happened: she exposed the mutually dependent relationship between her bosses and the ultra-nationalist rogue Turkish generals, and brought into the light the active role played by US neocons in the coup plot in Turkey. This major booboo alone was enough to take 15 points off her average IQ. Later in this article we’ll go over another major Baran booboo on the financial sources of her lavish wedding, leaving her very few remaining IQ points…

The Lavish Wedding, the Wedding Financiers, and the Mafia

BBIn 2007, after several years of a personal and close work relationship, Matt Bryza and Zeyno Baran were married in Turkey. The ultra lavish wedding and its highly interesting list of 400 plus guests made the front-page of many Turkish newspapers and magazines, but that publicity was nothing compared to the subsequent media coverage, and of course, the cost to two brave Azerbaijani journalists who exposed the ‘real financiers’ of Bryza-Baran’s lavish wedding and it’s true implications. Let’s start with the ‘highly costly’ wedding, the ‘special guests,’ the exposed financiers, and those who tried to expose them. Here is a snapshot of the costly wedding:

The location:  In one of the most expensive club houses in Istanbul. To rent the space Bryza-Baran were given a ‘special’ discount by a ‘very special’ Turkish mafia connected friend (the infamous owner of the Galatasaray Soccer Team); Instead of $80K the rent was reduced to around $35K.

Number of Guests: around 450; many power-players from the Caspian energy field, including political figureheads from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Georgia, and of course the USA.

Wedding Security: 250 policemen were hired and put in place for protection; several K-9 police dogs were brought in for search purposes. In addition to all this Bryza-Baran hired 20 additional private bodyguards.

The Groom’s Best Men & Witnesses: One of the three best men and witnesses for Matt Bryza was none other than Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.

The Designer Gown & Suit: The couple purchased their gown & tuxedo from the famous designer Vakko; the total cost for this is said to be over $10K

The famous quote of the wedding: This couplehood was formed by the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline Project- - - Turkish Energy Minister, Hilmi Guler.

This is just a snapshot of the ultra lavish wedding, which nearly 300 state and private security personnel were hired to serve. The estimated cost for Mr. Bryza’s lavish story-book wedding in Turkey ranges from $150,000 to $250,000. Customarily this amount would have been paid by the bride’s parents. However, neither Mrs. Baran-Bryza’s mother, father, or step-father could or would dish out this amount. Of course, a bill in this amount paid by Matt Bryza would have raised way too many eyebrows here in the US. So what happened? Who did finance this wedding extravaganza?

Be careful. Be very careful. Because when two journalists tried to answer these same questions they ended up being attacked, beaten up, stabbed,  arrested, tortured…and one of them  had to escape the country. That’s right. In Turkey, between Bryza-Baran’s rouge powerful general friends and of even more powerful mafia babas, they made sure no journalist dared venture into these questions. Here in the United States no real bodily force or threat was necessary, since the State Department’s stenographers in the MSM censored the entire episode. However, in Azerbaijan two brave journalists dared, and this is what happened to them:

Did a high-level Azeri official pay for Matthew Bryza’s 2007 wedding to Turkish author Zayna Baran? A swift crackdown on two journalists who reported at the time that the wedding ceremony for President Obama’s current nominee for the US ambassadorship to Baku was funded by Azerbaijan’s Economic Development minister suggests some misconduct.

In 2007, the editor of opposition newspaper Azatliq, Genimet Zahid and correspondent Adil Khalil were sued over an article entitled “Azerbaijanis Paid for Matthew Bryza’s Wedding.” The article alleges that Azeri Economic Development minister Haydar Babayev paid for a significant portion of Bryza’s wedding, which took place in Istanbul the same year. At the time, Bryza was the US co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group, the body tasked with mediating a peace deal for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

During the appellate process, both of which were ruled in favor of the minister, Khalil was severely beaten and stabbed. Reportedly he fled to France. Meanwhile, Zahid was sentenced to four years in jail on a separate charge of “hooliganism.”Zahid’s lawyers last fall appealed to the International Court of Human Rights, arguing that charges against their client was a violation of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects freedom of expression. The appeal to the court also charges that the journalists were not granted a fair trial.

The swift action by Minister Babayev signals that the Azadliq article had merit. The editor’s unwillingness to retract, coupled with the swift court rulings and the subsequent attacks on the journalists, suggest that there was more to Bryza’s Istanbul nuptials than a mere wedding ceremony.

Think about it for a second. The exposé written by the Azerbaijani journalist duo was most damaging to whom? In a country ruled by despots, father Aliyev and now Aliyev the son, riddled by corruption and atrocities, this piece of information does nothing in terms of touching, even coming close to touching, those in power; has no effect - one scandal among thousands. But how about Bryza-Baran? A neocon operator ready to be appointed as Ambassador to Azerbaijan; not wanting anything to interfere with his confirmation. A mini neocon woman working under a powerful group of Neocons whose eyes have been set on the region; getting ready to make their pipeline dreams come true-fruits of which will be collected by their upper echelon bosses.  How did it go? Did Bryza call his wedding financiers, his best man, his government official guests of honor in Azerbaijan, and ask them to shut these journalists up before the ‘facts’ reach here and get distributed? Or was it Bryza’s mentors and colleagues making the request?

Don’t wait for any new developments to reach here from Azerbaijan: With one of the journalists sitting in jail, the other one hiding in fear somewhere in France (where Turkish ultra-nationalist operators have quite a reach), and of course, the rest of the journalist community getting the message loud and clear, thus not willing to touch upon the scandal…well, it won’t happen. How about here in the US? Not a single reporter is going to follow up on this massive scandal and it’s far reaching implications. When it comes to State Department operatives: ‘can’t touch this.’

Matt Bryza: Highly Criticized Role in Russia-Georgia Conflict

Let me first provide a little bit of background on Bryza’s role in the region, especially in Georgia and Azerbaijan:

During his four-year stint as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs he has focused on the South Caucasus, and during that period Georgia's war budget has ballooned from $30 million a year when U.S.-educated Mikheil Saakashvili took power after the nation's "Rose Revolution" in 2004 to $1 billion last year, a more than thirty fold increase. In the same year, 2008, Azerbaijan's military spending had grown from $163 million the preceding year to $1,850,000,000, more than a 1000% increase. Much of the money expended for both unprecedented build-ups came from revenues derived from oil sales and transit fees connected with the BTC pipeline Bryza was instrumental in setting up. [Read more...]

Armitage Part II: History in Washington

Mizgin's Desk Reports

Mizginslogo2Our first look at the life of Richard Armitage, the new American Turkish Council chairman, focused on his adventures in Southeast Asia. Today we'll look at his history in Washington.

Back in Washington in 1980, Armitage served as a foreign policy advisor to President-elect Ronald Reagan, and was soon appointed by Reagan to the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia and Pacific Affairs. Armitage held that position from 1981 until 1983, when he was promoted to the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy. Wikipedia has a list of the duties associated with Armitage's position as Assistant Secretary of Defense. He held this position until 1989.

ArmitageScrowcroftDuring this time, Armitage became involved with US arms shipments from Israel to Iran that eventually became known as the Iran-Contra Affair. In a report by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh, it was determined that US weapons were, in fact, delivered to the Islamic Republic of Iran by Israel on behalf of the US. Neoconservative Michael Ledeen and Iranian businessman Manucher Ghorbanifar facilitated links between the US, Israel, and Iran and they would be mentioned years later when a subsequent US administration sought to manufacture evidence of yellowcake sales to Iraq.

LTC Oliver North modified the original plan of arms sales to Iran in order to divert money to the Nicaraguan Contras and it is through North that Armitage became entangled in the affair. According to the History Commons, with links to reports by the Independent Counsel on Iran-Contra Affairs:

"National Security Council (NSC) officer Oliver North has become far more outspoken among government officials about his illegal funding of the Nicaraguan Contras (see May 16, 1986). During a meeting of his Restricted Interagency Group (RIG—see Late 1985 and After), CIA official Alan Fiers, a member of the group, is discomfited at North’s straightforward listing of the many activities that he is causing to be conducted on behalf of the Contras, everything from supplying aircraft to paying salaries. Fiers is even less sanguine about North’s frank revelations about using illegally solicited private funding for the Contras (see May 16, 1986). North goes down the list, asking if each activity should be continued or terminated, and, according to Fiers, making it very clear that he can cause his Contra support program (which he now calls PRODEM, or “Project Democracy”) to respond as he directs. North also begins arranging, through Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams, for $2 million in stopgap funding for the project. North will confirm the $2 million in an e-mail to NSC Director John Poindexter. North will conduct similar meetings in August and September 1986, at least one of which will include Assistant Defense Secretary Richard Armitage (see July 22, 1987) and other Defense Department officials (see November 13, 1990). It is not until Fiers testifies in 1991 about North’s behaviors that verification of North’s discussion of such specifics about Contra activities and funding will be made public (see July 17, 1991)."

In September, 1986, North brought up for discussion in an RIG meeting in Armitage's office the fact that the Panamanian dictator, Manuel Noriega, would be willing to conduct sabotage inside Nicaragua for money. The discussion focuses on the possibility of paying Noriega from private funds. The offer is ultimately rejected. [Read more...]

In the Name of a General, his Son, a Spook & the Godmother of Neocons

Afghan Carpetbaggers Hit Pots of Gold in Washington

Once Upon a Time a General…

GeneralWardakOnce upon a time there was an Afghani general named Abdul Rahim Wardak. He had studied in both US and Egyptian military schools before joining the army in Afghanistan. In the 1980s, a few years after he joined the army, he decided to defect and joined the Mujahideen movement. We don’t know exactly who in the United States gave him the order to defect, because no one is willing to go on record. However, we know very well that due to their fight against the Communist Soviet Union, the Mujahideen were significantly financed, armed, and trained by the CIA, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, along with several other not as significant nations. We also know that back then, when we were supporting, financing, training and cheering for the Mujahideen as ‘freedom fighters,’ those labeled today as terrorist evil-doer radicals, Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban, were viewed and treated as our allies and entourage. 

Now, back to our General. He joined the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan arm of the Mujahideen and fought against the Soviets. Interestingly, during those years, the mid to late 80s,  our general Wardak was brought to the United States and coached to testify before the US Congress; not once but several times. He was even flown to the US once to receive medical treatment for a wound he received from a scud missile. I am sure you are savvy enough to know that this was considered ‘highly special’ treatment for a Mujahideen fighter in Afghanistan. Our general was truly loved when it came to our CIA and certain high-level people within the Reagan Administration.

So how good of a military officer was Mr. Wardak? Not a good one - and this assessment seems to be pretty much unanimous. In fact, this is how he’s been known in that part of the world: “… in the 1980’s, he had garnered a reputation as one of the least accomplished commanders of the American-backed Mujahideen resistance to Soviet occupation forces.” If you enter the circles within the Washington DC Afghani diaspora, and if you get close enough to hear the hushed comments, you’d be able to make out words like ‘corrupt,’ ‘ties to drug-running warlords,’ or ‘Afghan mafia.’ But for some ‘mysterious’ reasons our Central Intelligence Agency and hard-core Neocons within our foreign policy arena had deemed this general ultra special and important…

*And the story continues…

Once Upon a Time a Godmother of Neocons…

JeaneKirkpatrickOnce Upon a time there was a woman named Jeane Kirkpatrick, who didn’t really look like a woman but it never mattered, in fact it may have helped her. Jeane was a Democrat, and then, later, she became a Republican. She was on President Reagan’s National Security Council, on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and of course the Defense Policy Review Board. She became the US Ambassador to the United Nations; appointed by President Reagan. Ms. Kirkpatrick was a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). She was a hard-core anti-communist, and she was a hawk. But most importantly, she was the woman whom people considered and labeled the Godmother of Neocons.

Ms. Kirkpatrick died in 2006, and here is a widely witnessed account of those who shed the most tears:

Until the end, she was a cherished mentor to the neo-conservatives. John Bolton - Bush's outgoing ambassador to the UN and of all her successors there the one who most closely resembled her - publicly wept as he paid tribute to her last week. Perhaps the tears were at the rubble of his President's Iraq policy, but also for a remarkable woman.

Before her death, her final ‘known’ government mission was to help pave the way for our preemptive attack on Iraq in 2002:

…in a final mission, kept secret until her death, to meet Arab envoys in Geneva in 2003 to win them over to the impending invasion of Iraq. Her instructions were to argue that pre-emptive war was justified. But Kirkpatrick knew it wouldn't work. Instead she made the case that Saddam Hussein had flouted the UN too long and too often.

Jeane Kirkpatrick, true to her Grand Neocon title, was a strong believer of ‘the end justifies the means.’ She vehemently disagreed with Secretary of State George Schultz on the Iran-Contra affair, in which she supported skimming money off arms sales to fund the Contras. Everything was kosher to her, whether drugs or illegal arms sales, as long as these means served what she considered to be the goal; an imperial US.

Ms. Kirkpatrick similarly, in fact more vehemently, supported our operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 80s where we backed and trained the Mujahideen against the Soviets.  Just like what we sanctioned in Nicaragua, in Afghanistan all deals, no matter how insane or unsavory, were means’ to justify the end. This was one of her mottos most cherished by the hawks and the neocons:

Traditional authoritarian governments are less repressive than revolutionary autocracies.

What went unsaid in that quote, but meant and practiced was: Radical Islam, the Taliban, their Madrasas, their terrorizing of women, their heroin business…are perfectly all right, as long as they are on our side, in our camp, on our payroll, instead of on the other side.

Following her ‘direct’ government career, she returned to academia at Georgetown University where for some reason many well-known Neocons, such as James Woolsey and Douglas Feith, chose to flock. And very characteristically our Jeane Patrick continued her contribution to the practice of Neocon-ism…

*And the story continues…

Once Upon a Time a spook…

MiltonBeardenOnce upon a time there was man named Milton Bearden, commonly referred to as Milt. He spent his early years in the state of Washington where his father worked on the Manhattan Project. After a few years with the US Air Force he joined the CIA in 1964.

Milt was CIA’s chosen man for their operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In fact, from 1986 to 1989, when our country was supporting the Mujahideen, he was one of their main men on the ground, working with this coalition of the Taliban, the Saudis and their main man Bin Laden, and the Pakistani ISI. The Director of the CIA, William Casey, was the one who appointed Milt Bearden for this task. Here is Milt’s own words describing his importance in a not very unusual ex-CIA conceited manner:

"For Casey Afghanistan seemed to be possibly one of the keys and so he tapped me one day to go. he said 'I want you to go to Afghanistan, I want you to go next month and I will give you what ever you need to Win." To win, yeah he said: "I want you to go out there and win" As opposed to 'let's go there and bleed these guys and make it be a Vietnam', I want you to go and win and whatever you need you can have. He gave me the Stinger Missiles and a billion Dollars!"

He must have done extremely well since he was promoted to CIA Station Chief in Pakistan. In fact he must have done exceedingly well since he was later appointed the chief of the Soviet/East European Division during the collapse of the Soviet Union, and received three glowing medals from the CIA for services rendered. [Read more...]