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Prepare for an Internet Shutdown

We need to make preparations for alternative communication structures in the event of an Internet shutdown during the American attack on Iraq.

Prepare for an Internet Shutdown

Consider the following issues concerning Saturday's Internet attack:

It is not in the interest of Iraq to attack the Internet. The worldwide anti-war movement depends upon the Internet for communication. Shutting down the Internet would have negative consequences for Iraq.

It is not in the interest of al-Qaeda to attack the Internet. If we are to believe the claims of the US Government, the Internet is al-Qaeda's primary means of communication. Shutting down the Internet would have negative consequences for al-Qaeda.

The Resistance did not attack the Internet for the same reason that Iraq did not attack the Internet.

Who would benefit from shutting down the Internet?

The US Government would benefit if the Internet were shut down in order to disrupt the anti-war movement and in order to disrupt the communications of their (possibly phantom) enemy al-Qaeda.

Israel would benefit from shutting down the Internet because the Internet is the only means of mass communications not effectively controlled by Israeli interests.

We should take Saturday's Internet shutdown as a warning. The message is clear. The Internet will be shut down or highly disrupted upon commencement of war against Iraq. This fact has strong implications for the anti-war movement and the Resistance in general. We cannot depend exclusively upon the Internet for organization and communications. We must construct an alternative means of backup communications and we must do so immediately, for war is likely to begin within days.

The Resistance suggests that anti-war activists and rebels take the following steps:

Save to hard disk any and all web pages containing contact information you will need in the event of an Internet shutdown. Locate and collect contact information on all local anti-war and Resistance organizations.

Anti-war and Resistance organizations should be prepared to field telephone calls in the event of Internet shutdown. A good mechanism to disseminate protest, meeting, and rally information in the event of an Internet shutdown is the simple answering machine with a recorded message containing information about such events.

Anti-war and Resistance organizations should prepare telephone lists and telephone tree structures for contacting members.

Organization should be prepared to produce and disseminate leaflets informing the public of anti-war and Resistance events.

Even if this communication turns out to be a false alarm, it is better to be prepared than to be unprepared.

Shut down the internet? How? 25.Jan.2003 22:49

Shut down the internet? How?

The internet is essentially a massive Unix network run by a vast number of servers connected to one another. It transcends national boundaries. How could anybody conceivably "shut down" the internet?

Shut dow how:answer 25.Jan.2003 23:27

Alex Monroe

Yes basically a network of Unix servers around the world. However, servers for localized traffic and such what are local, this putting the vast majority of them in the US and western europe. This however does not need to be included. Take your description: network of international unix servers. Easiest way to turn off a computer network? Pull the power. I can't find my server maps, but as I recall there are prob about 10 major nodes in the US. taking those 10 offline, by whatever means, would essentially remove (north)america from the internet. Now, if you were the federal government and wanted 10 computers shut off in your own country, how hard do you think it be?

Who made the internet 25.Jan.2003 23:42

Zaphod

So the US Gov't made the Internet in the first place. If they want to shut it down, that's their right I suppose.

about the recent internet problems 25.Jan.2003 23:44

xb

first, i am not denying what rebel agent is talking about in the original post. we need to be aware of the internets vulnerabilities and brainstorm solutions. however, here is some of the reason behind recent problems. or so they tell us! but then again, i never doubt the ability of microsoft to screw things up -- the govt doesnt need to do a thing really.

from a slashdot article:

"the Microsoft worm, reported earlier, which in addition to all the other damage has apparently knocked Microsoft's Windows XP activation servers (and Bank of America ATMs) off the net."

another article


13 26.Jan.2003 02:15

Bill

there are only 13 root nameservers

consider, too, who 'owns' the wires and glass-fibers and satellites -- and cnn

What a crock! 26.Jan.2003 20:09

Wobby Geek

I'm a systems administrator. This particular exploit was published in *mid-June.* About that time, I started seeing this thing in the logs of my (non-Micro$hit) servers, as they were getting blocked by my firewall. So, I would send an email to the person that owned the server, told them that they had a compromised server on their network, how it was compromised, and since it was out trying to compromise other servers, they ought to do something about it. So, what happens? I get letters back telling me I ought to have a firewall (well, duh!). The upshot of this is what happened on Friday. This problem is *entirely* the fault of incompetent systems administrators-- at least I am assuming so, because the software required for the exploit is very expensive database software that home users won't have.

None of *my* servers had this problem. But then, I patch my systems and avoid Micro$hit products whenever possible.


More anti-Semitism on Indymedia 26.Jan.2003 20:21

Mother Mary

"Israel would benefit from shutting down the Internet because the Internet is the only means of mass communications not effectively controlled by Israeli interests."

I'm constantly seeing this sort of Nazi cant spouted as fact. More of the "secret cabal of Jews running the world" language. At times the posts I read here would be just as appropriate on any number of white supremacist sites.

question for 'Mother Mary' 26.Jan.2003 21:26

?

"Israel would benefit from shutting down the Internet because the Internet is the only means of mass communications not effectively controlled by Israeli interests."

what on earth does this statement have to do with:

1. Nazism

2. anti-Semitism

?

The Israel Lobby
 http://www.webcom.com/hrin/magazine/israellobby.html
------------------------------------------------------------
AIPAC is widely regarded as the most powerful foreign-policy lobby in Washington. Its 60,000 members shower millions of dollars on hundreds of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. Newspapers like the New York Times fear the Jewish lobby organizations as well. "It's very intimidating," said a correspondent at another large daily. "The pressure from these groups is relentless."
-----------------------------------------------------------
BY MICHAEL MASSING, The Nation
-----------------------------------------------------------

June 10, 2002

On May 2 the Senate, in a vote of 94 to 2, and the House, 352 to 21, expressed unqualified support for Israel in its recent military actions against the Palestinians. The resolutions were so strong that the Bush Administration--hardly a slouch when it comes to supporting Israel--attempted to soften its language so as to have more room in getting peace talks going. But its pleas were rejected, and members of Congress from Joe Lieberman to Tom DeLay competed to heap praise on Ariel Sharon and disdain on Yasir Arafat. Reporting on the vote, the New York Times noted that one of the few dissenters, Senator Ernest Hollings of South Carolina, "suggested that many senators were after campaign contributions."

Aside from that brief reference, however, the Times made no mention of the role that money, or lobbying in general, may have played in the lopsided vote. More specifically, the Times made no mention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. It's a remarkable oversight. AIPAC is widely regarded as the most powerful foreign-policy lobby in Washington. Its 60,000 members shower millions of dollars on hundreds of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. It also maintains a network of wealthy and influential citizens around the country, whom it can regularly mobilize to support its main goal, which is making sure there is "no daylight" between the policies of Israel and of the United States.

So, when Congress votes so decisively in support of Israel, it's no accident. Yet, surveying US newspaper coverage of the Middle East in recent months, I found next to nothing about AIPAC and its influence. The one account of any substance appeared in the Washington Post, in late April. Reporting on AIPAC's annual conference, correspondent Mike Allen noted that the attendees included half the Senate, ninety members of the House and thirteen senior Administration officials, including White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, who drew a standing ovation when he declared in Hebrew, "The people of Israel live." Showing its "clout," Allen wrote, AIPAC held "a lively roll call of the hundreds of dignitaries, with individual cheers for each." Even this article, however, failed to probe beneath the surface and examine the lobbying and fundraising techniques AIPAC uses to lock up support in Congress.

================
Time to expose the Israeli propaganda network
Cyprus | By Linda S. Heard | 20-08-2002
 http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/opinion.asp?ArticleID=61071

The Israeli government knows the importance of propaganda, but rather than use the equivalent of Lord Haw-Haw or Hanoi Jane, it encourages more subtle ways of indoctrinating an unsuspecting world in its favour, attempting to turn public opinion against the Palestinians and their supporters.

Brian Whitaker of the Guardian recently exposed an innocent-appearing translation website - ostensibly a non-profit, non affiliated organisation - altruistically set-up to translate articles appearing in the Arabic and Israeli press - the Middle East Media Research Institute (Memri).

Memri's stated aim on its website is to bridge the gap between East and West. Whitaker, however, realised over time that the free Memri translations of articles in the Arab press, which arrived on his desk, invariably cast the Arab world in a bad light.

answer for "?" 26.Jan.2003 22:30

Mother Mary

One of the primary anti-Semitic myths of the 20th Century, propogated most famously by the Nazis, was that a small number of incredibly powerful Jews "owned" and/or "controlled" the media (along with the financial institutions). So, when someone now makes a blanket statement about "Israeli interests" controlling all of the media save the Internet, they are further propogating this myth.

I have to ask in return how the story about AIPAC's lobbying power (which I don't doubt in the least) answers my charge of anti-Semitism. AIPAC may be the most powerful lobbying group, but that in no way leads to the conclusion that "Israeli interests" "control" all avenues of media in the industrialized world. And when someone makes such a blanket statement using euphemisms like "Zionists" or "Israeli interests," they really mean "Jews."

you guys are in great company! 26.Jan.2003 22:55

Eephus

This one sample is straight from David Duke's book "The Awakening." In fact, the whole chapter is about "Who Really Controls the Media."

"The Jewish domination of American media is long-standing. Even as far back as the 1920s, Jews had influence far disproportionate to their percentage of the population. And even though media operations frequently change hands and the CEOs, chairmen, administrators, and top editors change, Jewish domination is stronger than ever — and the power brokers continue to increase and consolidate their power."

He constantly claims not to be an anti-Semite either, instead speaking constantly about "Zionists." Guess you guys are in some pretty heady company!

Back to the point 27.Jan.2003 01:26

Willow

OK, whether or not this is an anti-semetic article, which I think was not intended, but regardless, it has a good point. We should not take the internet, or anything, for granted. We should probably do a little preparation. It would be good for us. I mean, we would have to actually talk to PEOPLE instead of hiding behind our computers. Maybe then something will start happening. We need to get off our butts, and start to organize with human beings. This isn't a virtual movement, (Although it definitely has it's place)And, geez, I feel like I'm around a bunch of little kids fighting all the time. We need to start working WITH each other and stop this internal fighting. If anything will stop this revolution, it's going to be internal dissention.

anti-semitism 27.Jan.2003 16:38

dj tubesteak

"...when someone makes such a blanket statement using euphemisms like "Zionists" or 'Israeli interests,' they really mean 'Jews.'"

Since you're apparently a psychic, would you mind telling me what the lottery numbers are going to be this week?

I'm sure this will really push your buttons, but there do seem to be things that one can generally say without being accused of harboring ethnic prejudices that become somehow off-limits to certain people's sensitivities in the specific case of discussions dealing with Israel/Palestine and issues related thereto. Why is this? Unless you actually believe that indymedia readers are part of some secret racial conspiracy, the relevance of David Duke's opinions on the situation seems strained at best. When you live in a society where public discourse depends on the dissemination of information, it is important to consider who is in control of the media through which that dissemination takes place and what those persons' prejudices and interests might be. For several reasons, the demographics of American society make persons with an interest in promoting the perceived interests of the Israeli state (who are not exclusively Jewish, hence the use of the words mentioned above instead of the word 'Jews') more likely than their opposition to be among those wielding significant influence in the propagation of mass media. Thus, it is logical that one ask how this might affect the information that media consumers receive regarding events in that part of the world. The charge that critics of the Israeli state and its influential American supporters are antisemitic is simple intellectual laziness, and a little common sense shows it to be utterly ridiculous.

[Israel's] Men from JINSA and CSP 27.Jan.2003 19:34

Jason Vest

The Men From JINSA and CSP
by JASON VEST

[from the September 2, 2002 issue]
 http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020902&c=1&s=vest

Almost thirty years ago, a prominent group of neoconservative hawks found an effective vehicle for advocating their views via the Committee on the Present Danger, a group that fervently believed the United States was a hair away from being militarily surpassed by the Soviet Union, and whose raison d'être was strident advocacy of bigger military budgets, near-fanatical opposition to any form of arms control and zealous championing of a Likudnik Israel. Considered a marginal group in its nascent days during the Carter Administration, with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 CPD went from the margins to the center of power.

Just as the right-wing defense intellectuals made CPD a cornerstone of a shadow defense establishment during the Carter Administration, so, too, did the right during the Clinton years, in part through two organizations: the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and the Center for Security Policy (CSP). And just as was the case two decades ago, dozens of their members have ascended to powerful government posts, where their advocacy in support of the same agenda continues, abetted by the out-of-government adjuncts from which they came. Industrious and persistent, they've managed to weave a number of issues--support for national missile defense, opposition to arms control treaties, championing of wasteful weapons systems, arms aid to Turkey and American unilateralism in general--into a hard line, with support for the Israeli right at its core.

On no issue is the JINSA/CSP hard line more evident than in its relentless campaign for war--not just with Iraq, but "total war," as Michael Ledeen, one of the most influential JINSAns in Washington, put it last year. For this crew, "regime change" by any means necessary in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority is an urgent imperative. Anyone who dissents--be it Colin Powell's State Department, the CIA or career military officers--is committing heresy against articles of faith that effectively hold there is no difference between US and Israeli national security interests, and that the only way to assure continued safety and prosperity for both countries is through hegemony in the Middle East--a hegemony achieved with the traditional cold war recipe of feints, force, clientism and covert action.

For example, the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board--chaired by JINSA/CSP adviser and former Reagan Administration Defense Department official Richard Perle, and stacked with advisers from both groups--recently made news by listening to a briefing that cast Saudi Arabia as an enemy to be brought to heel through a number of potential mechanisms, many of which mirror JINSA's recommendations, and which reflect the JINSA/CSP crowd's preoccupation with Egypt. (The final slide of the Defense Policy Board presentation proposed that "Grand Strategy for the Middle East" should concentrate on "Iraq as the tactical pivot, Saudi Arabia as the strategic pivot [and] Egypt as the prize.") Ledeen has been leading the charge for regime change in Iran, while old comrades like Andrew Marshall and Harold Rhode in the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment actively tinker with ways to re-engineer both the Iranian and Saudi governments. JINSA is also cheering the US military on as it tries to secure basing rights in the strategic Red Sea country of Eritrea, happily failing to mention that the once-promising secular regime of President Isaiais Afewerki continues to slide into the kind of repressive authoritarianism practiced by the "axis of evil" and its adjuncts.

Indeed, there are some in military and intelligence circles who have taken to using "axis of evil" in reference to JINSA and CSP, along with venerable repositories of hawkish thinking like the American Enterprise Institute and the Hudson Institute, as well as defense contractors, conservative foundations and public relations entities underwritten by far-right American Zionists (all of which help to underwrite JINSA and CSP). It's a milieu where ideology and money seamlessly blend: "Whenever you see someone identified in print or on TV as being with the Center for Security Policy or JINSA championing a position on the grounds of ideology or principle--which they are unquestionably doing with conviction--you are, nonetheless, not informed that they're also providing a sort of cover for other ideologues who just happen to stand to profit from hewing to the Likudnik and Pax Americana lines," says a veteran intelligence officer. He notes that while the United States has begun a phaseout of civilian aid to Israel that will end by 2007, government policy is to increase military aid by half the amount of civilian aid that's cut each year--which is not only a boon to both the US and Israeli weapons industries but is also crucial to realizing the far right's vision for missile defense and the Middle East.

Founded in 1976 by neoconservatives concerned that the United States might not be able to provide Israel with adequate military supplies in the event of another Arab-Israeli war, over the past twenty-five years JINSA has gone from a loose-knit proto-group to a $1.4-million-a-year operation with a formidable array of Washington power players on its rolls. Until the beginning of the current Bush Administration, JINSA's board of advisers included such heavy hitters as Dick Cheney, John Bolton (now Under Secretary of State for Arms Control) and Douglas Feith, the third-highest-ranking executive in the Pentagon. Both Perle and former Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey, two of the loudest voices in the attack-Iraq chorus, are still on the board, as are such Reagan-era relics as Jeane Kirkpatrick, Eugene Rostow and Ledeen--Oliver North's Iran/contra liaison with the Israelis.

According to its website, JINSA exists to "educate the American public about the importance of an effective US defense capability so that our vital interests as Americans can be safeguarded" and to "inform the American defense and foreign affairs community about the important role Israel can and does play in bolstering democratic interests in the Mediterranean and the Middle East." In practice, this translates into its members producing a steady stream of op-eds and reports that have been good indicators of what the Pentagon's civilian leadership is thinking.

JINSA relishes denouncing virtually any type of contact between the US government and Syria and finding new ways to demonize the Palestinians. To give but one example (and one that kills two birds with one stone): According to JINSA, not only is Yasir Arafat in control of all violence in the occupied territories, but he orchestrates the violence solely "to protect Saddam.... Saddam is at the moment Arafat's only real financial supporter.... [Arafat] has no incentive to stop the violence against Israel and allow the West to turn its attention to his mentor and paymaster." And if there's a way to advance other aspects of the far-right agenda by intertwining them with Israeli interests, JINSA doesn't hesitate there, either. A recent report contends that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge must be tapped because "the Arab oil-producing states" are countries "with interests inimical to ours," but Israel "stand[s] with us when we need [Israel]," and a US policy of tapping oil under ANWR will "limit [the Arabs'] ability to do damage to either of us."

The bulk of JINSA's modest annual budget is spent on taking a bevy of retired US generals and admirals to Israel, where JINSA facilitates meetings between Israeli officials and the still-influential US flag officers, who, upon their return to the States, happily write op-eds and sign letters and advertisements championing the Likudnik line. (Sowing seeds for the future, JINSA also takes US service academy cadets to Israel each summer and sponsors a lecture series at the Army, Navy and Air Force academies.) In one such statement, issued soon after the outbreak of the latest intifada, twenty-six JINSAns of retired flag rank, including many from the advisory board, struck a moralizing tone, characterizing Palestinian violence as a "perversion of military ethics" and holding that "America's role as facilitator in this process should never yield to America's responsibility as a friend to Israel," as "friends don't leave friends on the battlefield."

However high-minded this might sound, the postservice associations of the letter's signatories--which are almost always left off the organization's website and communiqués--ought to require that the phrase be amended to say "friends don't leave friends on the battlefield, especially when there's business to be done and bucks to be made." Almost every retired officer who sits on JINSA's board of advisers or has participated in its Israel trips or signed a JINSA letter works or has worked with military contractors who do business with the Pentagon and Israel. While some keep a low profile as self-employed "consultants" and avoid mention of their clients, others are less shy about their associations, including with the private mercenary firm Military Professional Resources International, weapons broker and military consultancy Cypress International and SY Technology, whose main clients include the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, which oversees several ongoing joint projects with Israel.

The behemoths of military contracting are also well represented in JINSA's ranks. For example, JINSA advisory board members Adm. Leon Edney, Adm. David Jeremiah and Lieut. Gen. Charles May, all retired, have served Northrop Grumman or its subsidiaries as either consultants or board members. Northrop Grumman has built ships for the Israeli Navy and sold F-16 avionics and E-2C Hawkeye planes to the Israeli Air Force (as well as the Longbow radar system to the Israeli army for use in its attack helicopters). It also works with Tamam, a subsidiary of Israeli Aircraft Industries, to produce an unmanned aerial vehicle. Lockheed Martin has sold more than $2 billion worth of F-16s to Israel since 1999, as well as flight simulators, multiple-launch rocket systems and Seahawk heavyweight torpedoes. At one time or another, General May, retired Lieut. Gen. Paul Cerjan and retired Adm. Carlisle Trost have labored in LockMart's vineyards. Trost has also sat on the board of General Dynamics, whose Gulfstream subsidiary has a $206 million contract to supply planes to Israel to be used for "special electronics missions."

By far the most profitably diversified of the JINSAns is retired Adm. David Jeremiah. President and partner of Technology Strategies & Alliances Corporation (described as a "strategic advisory firm and investment banking firm engaged primarily in the aerospace, defense, telecommunications and electronics industries"), Jeremiah also sits on the boards of Northrop Grumman's Litton subsidiary and of defense giant Alliant Techsystems, which--in partnership with Israel's TAAS--does a brisk business in rubber bullets. And he has a seat on the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, chaired by Perle.

About the only major defense contractor without a presence on JINSA's advisory board is Boeing, which has had a relationship with Israeli Aircraft Industries for thirty years. (Boeing also sells F-15s to Israel and, in partnership with Lockheed Martin, Apache attack helicopters, a ubiquitous weapon in the occupied territories.) But take a look at JINSA's kindred spirit in things pro-Likud and pro-Star Wars, the Center for Security Policy, and there on its national security advisory council are Stanley Ebner, a former Boeing executive; Andrew Ellis, vice president for government relations; and Carl Smith, a former staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee who, as a lawyer in private practice, has counted Boeing among his clients. "JINSA and CSP," says a veteran Pentagon analyst, "may as well be one and the same."

Not a hard sell: There's always been considerable overlap beween the JINSA and CSP rosters--JINSA advisers Jeane Kirkpatrick, Richard Perle and Phyllis Kaminsky also serve on CSP's advisory council; current JINSA advisory board chairman David Steinmann sits on CSP's board of directors; and before returning to the Pentagon Douglas Feith served as the board's chair. At this writing, twenty-two CSP advisers--including additional Reagan-era remnants like Elliott Abrams, Ken deGraffenreid, Paula Dobriansky, Sven Kraemer, Robert Joseph, Robert Andrews and J.D. Crouch--have reoccupied key positions in the national security establishment, as have other true believers of more recent vintage.

While CSP boasts an impressive advisory list of hawkish luminaries, its star is Frank Gaffney, its founder, president and CEO. A protégé of Perle going back to their days as staffers for the late Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson (a k a the Senator from Boeing, and the Senate's most zealous champion of Israel in his day), Gaffney later joined Perle at the Pentagon, only to be shown the door by Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci in 1987, not long after Perle left. Gaffney then reconstituted the latest incarnation of the Committee on the Present Danger. Beyond compiling an A-list of influential conservative hawks, Gaffney has been prolific over the past fifteen years, churning out a constant stream of reports (as well as regular columns for the Washington Times) making the case that the gravest threats to US national security are China, Iraq, still-undeveloped ballistic missiles launched by rogue states, and the passage of or adherence to virtually any form of arms control treaty.

Gaffney and CSP's prescriptions for national security have been fairly simple: Gut all arms control treaties, push ahead with weapons systems virtually everyone agrees should be killed (such as the V-22 Osprey), give no quarter to the Palestinians and, most important, go full steam ahead on just about every national missile defense program. (CSP was heavily represented on the late-1990s Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, which was instrumental in keeping the program alive during the Clinton years.)

Looking at the center's affiliates, it's not hard to see why: Not only are makers of the Osprey (Boeing) well represented on the CSP's board of advisers but so too is Lockheed Martin (by vice president for space and strategic missiles Charles Kupperman and director of defense systems Douglas Graham). Former TRW executive Amoretta Hoeber is also a CSP adviser, as is former Congressman and Raytheon lobbyist Robert Livingston. Ball Aerospace & Technologies--a major manufacturer of NASA and Pentagon satellites--is represented by former Navy Secretary John Lehman, while missile-defense computer systems maker Hewlett-Packard is represented by George Keyworth, who is on its board of directors. And the Congressional Missile Defense Caucus and Osprey (or "tilt rotor") caucus are represented by Representative Curt Weldon and Senator Jon Kyl.

CSP was instrumental in developing the arguments against the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Largely ignored or derided at the time, a 1995 CSP memo co-written by Douglas Feith holding that the United States should withdraw from the ABM treaty has essentially become policy, as have other CSP reports opposing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the International Criminal Court. But perhaps the most insightful window on the JINSA/CSP policy worldview comes in the form of a paper Perle and Feith collaborated on in 1996 with six others under the auspices of the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies. Essentially an advice letter to ascendant Israeli politician Benjamin Netanyahu, "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" makes for insightful reading as a kind of US-Israeli neoconservative manifesto.

The paper's first prescription was for an Israeli rightward economic shift, with tax cuts and a selloff of public lands and enterprises--moves that would also engender support from a "broad bipartisan spectrum of key pro-Israeli Congressional leaders." But beyond economics, the paper essentially reads like a blueprint for a mini-cold war in the Middle East, advocating the use of proxy armies for regime changes, destabilization and containment. Indeed, it even goes so far as to articulate a way to advance right-wing Zionism by melding it with missile-defense advocacy. "Mr. Netanyahu can highlight his desire to cooperate more closely with the United States on anti-missile defense in order to remove the threat of blackmail which even a weak and distant army can pose to either state," it reads. "Not only would such cooperation on missile defense counter a tangible physical threat to Israel's survival, but it would broaden Israel's base of support among many in the United States Congress who may know little about Israel, but care very much about missile defense"--something that has the added benefit of being "helpful in the effort to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem."

Recent months in Washington have shown just how influential the notions propagated by JINSA and CSP are--and how disturbingly zealous their advocates are. In early March Feith vainly attempted to get the CIA to keep former intelligence officers Milt Bearden and Frank Anderson from accepting an invitation to an Afghanistan-related meeting with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld at the Pentagon--not because of what the two might say about Afghanistan, according to sources familiar with the incident, but likely out of fear that Anderson, a veteran Arabist and former chief of the CIA's Near East division, would proffer his views on Iraq (opposed to invading) and Israel-Palestine (a fan of neither Arafat nor Sharon). In late June, after United Press International reported on a US Muslim civil liberties group's lambasting of Gaffney for his attacks on the American Muslim Council, Gaffney, according to a fellow traveler, "went berserk," launching a stream of invective about the UPI scribe who reported the item.

It's incidents like this, say knowledgeable observers and participants, that highlight an interesting dynamic among right-wing hawks at the moment. Though the general agenda put forth by JINSA and CSP continues to be reflected in councils of war, even some of the hawks (including Rumsfeld deputy Paul Wolfowitz) are growing increasingly leery of Israel's settlements policy and Gaffney's relentless support for it. Indeed, his personal stock in Bush Administration circles is low. "Gaffney has worn out his welcome by being an overbearing gadfly rather than a serious contributor to policy," says a senior Pentagon political official. Since earlier this year, White House political adviser Karl Rove has been casting about for someone to start a new, more mainstream defense group that would counter the influence of CSP. According to those who have communicated with Rove on the matter, his quiet efforts are in response to complaints from many conservative activists who feel let down by Gaffney, or feel he's too hard on President Bush. "A lot of us have taken [Gaffney] at face value over the years," one influential conservative says. "Yet we now know he's pushed for some of the most flawed missile defense and conventional systems. He considered Cuba a 'classic asymmetric threat' but not Al Qaeda. And since 9/11, he's been less concerned with the threat to America than to Israel."

Gaffney's operation has always been a small one, about $1 million annually--funded largely by a series of grants from the conservative Olin, Bradley and various Scaife foundations, as well as some defense contractor money--but he's recently been able to underwrite a TV and print ad campaign holding that the Palestinians should be Enemy Number One in the War on Terror, still obsessed with the destruction of Israel. It's here that one sees the influence not of defense contractor money but of far-right Zionist dollars, including some from Irving Moskowitz, the California bingo magnate. A donor to both CSP and JINSA (as well as a JINSA director), Moskowitz not only sends millions of dollars a year to far-right Israeli settler groups like Ateret Cohanim but he has also funded the construction of settlements, having bought land for development in key Arab areas around Jerusalem. Moskowitz ponied up the money that enabled the 1996 reopening of a tunnel under the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, which resulted in seventy deaths due to rioting.

Also financing Gaffney's efforts is New York investment banker Lawrence Kadish. A valued and valuable patron of both the Republican National Committee and George W. Bush, Kadish helps underwrite CSP as well as Americans for Victory Over Terrorism, an offshoot of conservative activist William Bennett's Empower America, on which he and Gaffney serve as "senior advisers" in the service of identifying "external" and "internal" post-9/11 threats to America. (The "internal" threats, as articulated by AVOT, include former President Jimmy Carter, Harper's editor Lewis Lapham and Representative Maxine Waters.) Another of Gaffney's backers is Poju Zabludowicz, heir to a formidable diversified international empire that includes arms manufacturer Soltam--which once employed Perle--and benefactor of the recently established Britain Israel Communication and Research Centre, a London-based group that appears to equate reportage or commentary uncomplimentary to Zionism with anti-Semitism.

While a small but growing number of conservatives are voicing concerns about various aspects of foreign and defense policy--ranging from fear of overreach to lack of Congressional debate--the hawks seem to be ruling the roost. Beginning in October, hard-line American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Rubin (to Rubin, outgoing UN human rights chief Mary Robinson is an abettor of terrorism) arrives at the Pentagon to take over the Defense Department's Iran-Iraq account, adding another voice to the Pentagon section of Ledeen's "total war" chorus. Colin Powell's State Department continues to take a beating from outside and inside--including Bolton and his special assistant David Wurmser. (An AEI scholar and far-right Zionist who's married to Meyrav Wurmser of the Middle East Media Research Institute--recently the subject of a critical investigation by London Guardian Middle East editor Brian Whitaker--Wurmser played a key role in crafting the "Arafat must go" policy that many career specialists see as a problematic sop to Ariel Sharon.)

As for Rumsfeld, based on comments made at a Pentagon "town hall" meeting on August 6, there seems to be little doubt as to whose comments are resonating most with him--and not just on missile defense and overseas adventures: After fielding a question about Israeli-Palestinian issues, he repeatedly referred to the "so-called occupied territories" and casually characterized the Israeli policy of building Jewish-only enclaves on Palestinian land as "mak[ing] some settlement in various parts of the so-called occupied area," with which Israel can do whatever it wants, as it has "won" all its wars with various Arab entities--essentially an echo of JINSA's stated position that "there is no Israeli occupation." Ominously, Rumsfeld's riff gave a ranking Administration official something of a chill: "I realized at that point," he said, "that on settlements--where there are cleavages on the right--Wolfowitz may be to the left of Rumsfeld."


Wealthy US donors unknowingly fund Sharon 27.Jan.2003 22:43

R. Jeffrey Smith

Wealthy donors sent large checks in recent years to several little-known American charities that said they were financing Israeli academic studies and cultural exchanges. But more than a million dollars was instead funneled secretly into a political campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, sparking an embarrassing probe by the Israeli attorney general on the eve of Tuesday's Israeli parliamentary election.
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U.S. Scrutiny of Overseas Charitable Donations Lax
Israeli Probe of Money Funneled Into Political Campaign Highlights Problem
 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47143-2003Jan26.html

By R. Jeffrey Smith
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 27, 2003; Page A02

Wealthy donors sent large checks in recent years to several little-known American charities that said they were financing Israeli academic studies and cultural exchanges. But more than a million dollars was instead funneled secretly into a political campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, sparking an embarrassing probe by the Israeli attorney general on the eve of Tuesday's Israeli parliamentary election.

The Israeli state comptroller's office has accused Sharon's son Omri and a colleague of accepting foreign contributions that Israeli law deems illegal, while Sharon has denied knowledge of such a scheme. But the affair has shed new light on lax U.S. government scrutiny of the transfer of money overseas by charitable, "tax-exempt" U.S. organizations.

Federal interest in such foreign grants has increased since the Treasury Department's discovery -- after Sept. 11, 2001 -- that U.S.-based Muslim-oriented charities gave money to foreign entities linked to al Qaeda and other terrorist-related groups in Arab regions of the Middle East. The Bush administration banned donations to three such charities, even though they also funded legitimate humanitarian aid.

That same degree of scrutiny has not been applied to other U.S. nonprofit groups that have funded foreign politicians or political extremists, officials and independent experts say. Money from the U.S. charities -- the American and Israeli Research and Friendship Foundation Inc. and the College for National Studies Inc. -- was used to help fund Sharon's political activities in 1999 and 2000, according to preliminary findings of the Israeli probe. But there are no indications that the donations attracted attention from the Internal Revenue Service or other U.S. authorities.

U.S. officials say regulations clearly prohibit contributions by tax-exempt charities to domestic political candidates or to political activities that favor one candidate over another. Rules governing contributions to foreign political activities are not as clear-cut, said Marcus Owens, a Washington lawyer who directed the IRS's office of tax-exempt organizations from 1990 to 2000. But he said the most reasonable assumption is nonetheless that the same proscription applies.

IRS spokesman Frank Keith declined to comment on how the rule is interpreted. But he said the agency is concerned about the misuse of charitable money and recently requested public comment on "how to get better reporting on overseas grants." He also said the IRS plans a study this year "of how charities are making overseas grants and how they exercise due diligence in assuring that the grants are not used for inappropriate" purposes.

But the government has done little besides exhort charities to abide by voluntary guidelines for record-keeping and scrutiny of how their grants will eventually be used.

Currently, U.S. charities are obligated only to make bare-bones disclosures about their annual income and disbursements, their boards of directors, and their overall aims. They also are required to certify that they did not attempt "to influence public opinion on a legislative matter or referendum" and did not engage in transactions with political organizations. But these requirements are not routinely policed by the IRS or state charity agencies.

Reports filed with the government by two of the charities that contributed money used by Sharon in politics contain scant information about their operations and offer no evidence that either charity disbursed money in pursuit of its stated aims. Owens, who reviewed the reports at the request of The Washington Post, said that he generally found them "opaque," but that some expenditures were obviously questionable.

"It is certainly a curious set of entries," he said. "There are strong indications it would be worth an audit" by the IRS. But Arthur Taylor, the director of the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance, said after reviewing the tax returns that they did not contain enough information to render a judgment about potential misspending.

"You could hunt through many [charity tax forms] and find these scanty disclosures," he said. "And no one is checking them."

One of the charities, the New York City-based American and Israeli Research and Friendship Foundation Inc., was founded in 1998 with the stated goal of "creating and promoting a better understanding" by Israelis and Americans of "each other's culture and history." It promised to provide scholarships or student aid, work with organizations "not created for propaganda purposes" on problems in both countries and "promote and cultivate social intercourse."

According to its reports to the IRS, the charity received $1.49 million in contributions in its first three years of operation, including checks totaling $300,000 from one contributor and $200,000 from another. All these contributions are considered tax-deductible in the United States; although the names of the contributors are not made public, they must be disclosed to the IRS.

But the reports say the charity's only disbursement in 1999 was a grant of $815,000 to a Tel Aviv firm called Annex Research Ltd., which Israeli state comptroller Eliezer Goldberg said was established by Sharon's attorney and run by his son. Goldberg told reporters that the money was in turn used to advance Sharon's "position and improve his image" as he campaigned for Likud Party chairman in September 1999.

Goldberg said the contributions were illegal under an Israeli law barring foreign contributions.

The reports also list total expenditures of more than $100,000 for travel, and additional grants of $60,150 to Jay Warsaw, $190,000 to Kalman Gayer and $74,695 to Arthur J. Finkelstein and Associates. Warsaw was a public relations consultant to Sharon in 2000, Gayer is a political pollster and Finkelstein is a long-time political consultant to Sharon's Likud Party.

The charity's IRS documents list two directors, Manhattan trial lawyer Eugene Scheiman, and Arnold Forster, who helped represent Sharon in his 1983 lawsuit against Time magazine for libel and also raised money to defray Sharon's legal expenses. Forster said in a telephone interview that he no longer recalls why the charity was established and does not "have the vaguest idea" how it spent its money other than on something related to "problems of anti-Semitism."

Reached by telephone, Scheiman laughed when told of Forster's remarks. But he said, "I really have no comment on what the foundation does," or who received its donations.

Another charity listed in the Israeli state comptroller's report was the California-based College for National Studies Inc., established in 1994 with the stated goal of passing contributions solely to Ben Eliezer College in Israel, an organization that offers lectures and seminars on "Jewish-related matters." Between 1997 and 1999, it received $1 million from one donor and raised $350,000 from others.

According to IRS documents, the charity spent $285,950 on legal fees in 1999. Its sole disbursement in 1998 was an $80,000 grant to First International Resources, a New Jersey-based consulting firm. In this period, the firm produced a private poll to assist Sharon's political efforts. In 1999, it spent $300,000 on Israeli polling by two firms, 121 Direct Communications and Momentum Laphaket Ltd., and in 2000, it gave $275,000 to Annex, the firm allegedly controlled by Sharon's son.

One of its directors during this period was Gideon Gadot, a former Likud Party appointee to head the Israeli national lottery; the other was Beverly Hills lawyer Herbert N. Wolfe, who said Friday that "any monies we sent [to Israel] were based on information that they were for charitable purposes. Charities here take surveys; charities here do research." He said he could not explain who received the legal fees.

In November, the state of California suspended the charity's corporate status because it did not file a timely list of its officers. But no California or federal agency is charged with enforcing such a suspension and it does not affect its tax-exempt status or its continued solicitation of contributions, state officials said.

After the Israel state comptroller issued his report, Sharon repaid $1.5 million of the U.S. contributions after accepting a $1.5 million loan from a South African businessman. The loan has sparked a new investigation by Israel's attorney general.

Staff researcher Madonna Lebling contributed to this report.