portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts global

government | imperialism & war | media criticism

OPERATION DECEPTION, a.k.a.>>>Operation Mass Appeal

read how the majority of American's--if we believe the polls--were duped into going along
with the Bush regime's war on Iraq, and how Tony Bliar dragged along the British people
as well, while certain Isreali Zoinist right-wingers Drum Majored the march, and Pentagon
provided the Brass Band...all while the mainstream media gave this motley band free PR
and unlimited free air-time to make their "case" to the American sheepeople!
repostings 4 u

a.k.a. 'Operation Mass Appeal'

MID-EAST REALITIES - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 29 December 2003: We will learn more and more in time about how the whole world has been so miserably manipulated by a combination of CIA, MI6, Mossad, and the Pentagon. This dare we call it 'unholy alliance' did a historical Watergate-type deception on the world as the Nixon Administration did the original Watergate on American politics. Nixon was forced to pay with resignation and disgrace. What fate awaits Bush, Cheney, Blair, Powell, Rumsfeld and Sharon, et. al? They did the deceptive selling. But it is all of us who should be shamed about how we allowed ourselves to do the buying of such repeated distortions and lies...false and disingenuous history which will now significantly help determine all of our futures.
Revealed: How MI6 Sold the Iraq War
By Nicholas Rufford

12/28/03: (The Times - London): THE Secret Intelligence Service has run an operation to gain public support for sanctions and the use of military force in Iraq. The government yesterday confirmed that MI6 had organised Operation Mass Appeal, a campaign to plant stories in the media about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

The revelation will create embarrassing questions for Tony Blair in the run-up to the publication of the report by Lord Hutton into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly, the government weapons expert.

A senior official admitted that MI6 had been at the heart of a campaign launched in the late 1990s to spread information about Saddam's development of nerve agents and other weapons, but denied that it had planted misinformation. "There were things about Saddam's regime and his weapons that the public needed to know," said the official.

The admission followed claims by Scott Ritter, who led 14 inspection missions in Iraq, that MI6 had recruited him in 1997 to help with the propaganda effort. He described meetings where the senior officer and at least two other MI6 staff had discussed ways to manipulate intelligence material.

"The aim was to convince the public that Iraq was a far greater threat than it actually was," Ritter said last week.

He said there was evidence that MI6 continued to use similar propaganda tactics up to the invasion of Iraq earlier this year. "Stories ran in the media about secret underground facilities in Iraq and ongoing programmes (to produce weapons of mass destruction)," said Ritter. "They were sourced to western intelligence and all of them were garbage."

Kelly, himself a former United Nations weapons inspector and colleague of Ritter, might also have been used by MI6 to pass information to the media. "Kelly was a known and government-approved conduit with the media," said Ritter.

Hutton's report is expected to deliver a verdict next month on whether intelligence was misused in order to promote the case for going to war. Hutton heard evidence that Kelly was authorised by the Foreign Office to speak to journalists on Iraq. Kelly was in close touch with the "Rockingham cell", a group of weapons experts that received MI6 intelligence.

Blair justified his backing for sanctions and for the invasion of Iraq on the grounds that intelligence reports showed Saddam was working to acquire chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. The use of MI6 as a "back channel" for promoting the government's policies on Iraq was never discovered during the Hutton inquiry and is likely to cause considerable disquiet among MPs.

A key figure in Operation Mass Appeal was Sir Derek Plumbly, then director of the Middle East department at the Foreign Office and now Britain's ambassador to Egypt. Plumbly worked closely with MI6 to help to promote Britain's Middle East policy.

The campaign was judged to be having a successful effect on public opinion. MI6 passed on intelligence that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction and rebuilding its arsenal.

Poland, India and South Africa were initially chosen as targets for the campaign because they were non-aligned UN countries not supporting the British and US position on sanctions. At the time, in 1997, Poland was also a member of the UN security council.

Ritter was a willing accomplice to the alleged propaganda effort when first approached by MI6's station chief in New York. He obtained approval to co-operate from Richard Butler, then executive chairman of the UN Special Commission on Iraq Disarmament.

Ritter met MI6 to discuss Operation Mass Appeal at a lunch in London in June 1998 at which two men and a woman from MI6 were present. The Sunday Times is prevented by the Official Secrets Act from publishing their names.

Ritter had previously met the MI6 officer at Vauxhall Cross, the service's London headquarters. He asked Ritter for information on Iraq that could be planted in newspapers in India, Poland and South Africa from where it would "feed back" to Britain and America.

Ritter opposed the Iraq war but this is the first time that he has named members of British intelligence as being involved in a propaganda campaign. He said he had decided to "name names" because he was frustrated at "an official cover-up" and the "misuse of intelligence".

"What MI6 was determined to do by the selective use of intelligence was to give the impression that Saddam still had WMDs or was making them and thereby legitimise sanctions and military action against Iraq," he said.

Recent reports suggest America has all but abandoned hopes of finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that David Kay, head of the Iraq Survey Group, has resigned earlier than expected, frustrated that his resources have been diverted to tracking down insurgents.
would you believe?.... 31.Dec.2003 07:11

Americans "conned" into backing war, ex-general says...

repostings 4 u

-Caveat Lector-  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0312310244dec31,1,3170943.story?coll=chi-news-hed&csuser=redfish365

Americans `conned' into backing war, ex-general asserts
Former Central Command chief Anthony Zinni denounces `ideologues' in Bush administration

By Thomas E. Ricks
The Washington Post
Published December 31, 2003

Anthony Zinni's opposition to U.S. policy on Iraq began on the monsoon-ridden afternoon of Nov. 3, 1970. He was lying on a Vietnamese mountainside west of Da Nang, three rounds from an AK-47 assault rifle in his side and back. He could feel his lifeblood seeping into the ground as he slipped in and out of consciousness.

He had plenty of time to think in the following months while recuperating in a military hospital in Hawaii. Among other things, he promised himself that, "If I'm ever in a position to say what I think is right, I will. . . . I don't care what happens to my career."

Zinni believes that time has arrived.

Over the past year, the retired Marine Corps general has become one of the most prominent opponents of Bush administration policy on Iraq, which he fears is drifting toward disaster.

"Iraq is in serious danger of coming apart because of lack of planning, underestimating the task and buying into a flawed strategy," he said. "The longer we stubbornly resist admitting the mistakes and not altering our approach, the harder it will be to pull this chestnut out of the fire."

Three years ago, Zinni completed a tour as chief of Central Command, the U.S. military headquarters for the Middle East, during which he oversaw enforcement of the two "no-fly" zones in Iraq and conducted four days of punishing air strikes against that country in 1998. He also served briefly as a special envoy to the Middle East, mainly as a favor to his old friend and comrade, Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Zinni long has worried that there are worse outcomes possible in Iraq than having Saddam Hussein in power--such as eliminating him in such a way that Iraq would become a new haven for terrorism in the Middle East.

"I think a weakened, fragmented, chaotic Iraq, which could happen if this isn't done carefully, is more dangerous in the long run than a contained Saddam is now," he told reporters in 1998. "I don't think these questions have been thought through or answered."

It was a warning for which Iraq hawks such as Paul Wolfowitz, then an academic and now the No. 2 official at the Pentagon, attacked him in print at the time. Now, five years later, Zinni fears it is an outcome toward which U.S.-occupied Iraq may be drifting. He does not think the capture of Hussein is likely to make much difference.

"We've failed thus far to capitalize" on opportunities in Iraq, he said, "I don't have confidence we will do it now. I believe the only way it will work now is for the Iraqis themselves to somehow take charge and turn things around. Our policy, strategy, tactics, etc., are still screwed up."

Zinni's passage from obedient general to outspoken opponent began in earnest in the unlikeliest of locations, the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was there in Nashville in August 2002 to receive the group's Dwight D. Eisenhower Distinguished Service Award, recognition for his 35 years in the Marine Corps.

Vice President Dick Cheney also was there, delivering a speech on foreign policy. Sitting on the stage behind the vice president, Zinni grew increasingly puzzled. He had endorsed Bush and Cheney two years earlier, just after he retired from his last military post as chief of the Central Command.

He was alarmed that day to hear Cheney make the argument for attacking Iraq on grounds that Zinni found questionable at best: "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction," Cheney said. "There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us."

Cheney's claim baffling

Cheney's certitude bewildered Zinni. As Central Command chief, Zinni had been immersed in U.S. intelligence about Iraq. He was all too familiar with the intelligence analysts' doubts about Iraq's programs to acquire weapons of mass destruction, or WMD. "In my time at CENTCOM, I watched the intelligence, and never--not once--did it say, `He has WMD.'"

Though retired for nearly two years, Zinni says, he remained current on the intelligence through his consulting with the CIA and the military.

"I did consulting work for the agency, right up to the beginning of the war. I never saw anything. I'd say to analysts, `Where's the threat?'" Their response, he recalls, was silence.

As he walked off the stage in Nashville, Zinni concluded that the Bush administration was determined to go to war. A moment later, he had another, equally chilling thought: "These guys don't understand what they are getting into."

This retired Marine commander is hardly a late-life convert to pacifism.

"I'm not saying there aren't parts of the world that don't need their ass kicked," he said, sitting in a hotel lobby in Pentagon City. "Afghanistan was the right thing to do," he added, referring to the U.S. invasion there in 2001 to oust the Taliban regime and its allies in Al Qaeda.

But he didn't see any need to invade Iraq. He didn't think Hussein was much of a worry anymore. "He was contained," he said. "He had a deteriorated military. He wasn't a threat to the region."

Zinni's concern deepened at a Senate hearing in February, six weeks before the war began. As he awaited his turn to testify, he listened to Pentagon and State Department officials talk vaguely about the "uncertainties" of a postwar Iraq. He began to think they were doing the wrong thing the wrong way. "I was listening to the panel and I realized, `These guys don't have a clue.'"

That wasn't a casual judgment. Zinni had started thinking about how the United States might handle Iraq if Hussein's government collapsed after Operation Desert Fox, the four days of air strikes he oversaw in December 1998 in which he targeted presidential palaces, Baath Party headquarters, intelligence facilities, military command posts and barracks, and factories that might build missiles that could deliver weapons of mass destruction.

In the wake of those attacks on about 100 major targets, intelligence reports came in that Hussein's government had been shaken by the short campaign.

"After the strike, we heard from countries with diplomatic missions in there [Baghdad] that the regime was paralyzed and that there was a kind of defiance in the streets."

So early in 1999, Zinni ordered that plans be devised for the possibility of the U.S. military having to occupy Iraq. Under the code name Desert Crossing, the resulting document called for a nationwide civilian occupation authority, with offices in each of Iraq's 18 provinces. That plan contrasts sharply, he notes, with the reality of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the U.S. occupation power, which for months this year had almost no presence outside Baghdad--an absence that some Army generals say has increased their burden in Iraq.

Listening to the administration officials testify that day, Zinni began to suspect that his careful plans had been disregarded. Concerned, he later called a general at Central Command's headquarters and asked, "Are you guys looking at Desert Crossing?" The answer, he recalls, was, "What's that?"

The more he listened to Wolfowitz and other administration officials talk about Iraq, the more Zinni became convinced that interventionist, "neoconservative" ideologues were plunging the nation into a war in a part of the world they didn't understand.

Replay of Vietnam

And the more he dwelled on that, the more he began to believe that U.S. soldiers would wind up paying for the mistakes of Washington policymakers. And that took him back to that bloody day in the sodden Que Son Mountains in Vietnam.

Decades later, Vietnam remains a painful subject for him. He has visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington only once; seeing the names of fallen comrades was too much.

And now he feels his nation--and a new generation of his soldiers--have been led down a similar path.

"Obviously there are differences" between Vietnam and Iraq, he said. "Every situation is unique." But in his bones, he feels a familiar chill.

He sees both conflicts as beginning with deception by the U.S. government, drawing a parallel between how the Johnson administration handled the beginning of the Vietnam War and how the Bush administration touted the threat presented by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

"I think the American people were conned into this," he said.

another take on Buchco's Iraqi War deception 31.Dec.2003 07:38

as if, we needed yet more details...

repostings 4 u

-Caveat Lector-  http://www.sptimes.ru/archive/times/932/opinion/o_11325.htm

Chris Floyd's Global Eye
By Chris Floyd
Head Master

OK, we admit it: we were wrong. The big news that shook the world this month has finally convinced your humble correspondent to wolf down a huge plate of crow tartare and confess the error of his ways. Like the worst kind of partisan hack, the Eye completely swallowed the liberal media line on this all-important issue, and our blind zealotry led us to launch a series of savage - but unjustified - attacks on American leaders trying their best to defend the country against a remorseless, treacherous enemy who hates everything the nation stands for: its laws, its liberties, its most noble traditions.

Thanks to the revelations that emerged after the historic capture of Saddam Hussein, we now have the clearest picture yet of the brazen perfidy and moral depravity of the unelected tyrant directly responsible for the deaths of an untold number of innocent Iraqis and hundreds of American soldiers. Much of this sordid history has long been known - although tragically ignored or excused by the tyrant's apologists - but its true extent has now been laid bare so starkly that no rational person could deny it.

We refer of course to the disclosure that the Bush Regime knowingly gave false testimony to Congress in secret sessions last fall in order to manipulate legislators into supporting George W. Bush's war of aggression against Iraq. These oathbreakers told senators that not only did Saddam possess armed and ready weapons of mass destruction, but that he also had the physical means to launch them directly against the United States at any time.

This stunning deceit was revealed by U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, who told Florida Today that administration officials gave a classified briefing to at least 75 senators before the October 2002 vote on Bush's demand for a blank check to invade Iraq. The Bushist Party perjurers told the Senate that Saddam had an arsenal of deadly chemical and biological weapons - including anthrax - which could be fired from his fleet of highly advanced unmanned drone airplanes. These drones could devastate the eastern seaboard of the United States, the Bush liars swore: millions of lives were at imminent risk.

Faced with these scarifying "facts," the Senate finally gave Bush his blank check to make war on Iraq at his whim. We were among the many who denounced this vote as timorous kowtowing to an illegitimate, bullying blowhard. Our epithets flew like knives: "jellyfish," "rubberstamps," "spineless toadies." We even quoted the Emperor Tiberius' judgment on the obsequieous Senate that flattered his every desire: "Men fit to be slaves."

But now we know the truth. There were no weapons of mass destruction, cocked and ready to fire. There were not even any active programs to produce them. This was the conclusion of the regime's own CIA-paid weapons hunter, David Kay (who coincidentally - or maybe not so coincidentally - announced his retirement from the job last week). The fleet of seaboard-ravaging intercontinental super-drones turned out to be a handful of tiny unmanned reconnaissance planes, with a wing-span of just 24 feet and no capacity for even carrying - much less delivering - weapons of any kind.

But of course Bush's bearers of false witness already knew that. They knew it before they briefed the Senate. Air Force intelligence experts - whom one might expect to know a little something about aircraft - repeatedly told the White House that their attack-drone angle was nonsense. Even amid the boiling war fever that fueled the Regime's concoction of its "National Intelligence Estimate" on Iraq - a fetid stew of stale news, cooked data and pure hokum - the Air Force held firm, officially dissenting from the NIE conclusions, the Associated Press reports. But this didn't stop the deceivers from peddling their prevarications to Congress - or keep the "moderate" Colin Powell from telling the same lies to the whole world at the United Nations.

Thus our apologies for the imprecations we heaped upon those senatorial heads. Surely it's too much to expect the second-rate backslappers and bribetakers who make up the majority of any political party to stand firm against such an onslaught of radical deceit. And even for the most astute and honorable legislator, it would be hard to believe - harder still to accept - that the leader of your country would lie so completely, so shamelessly, especially to advance a cause so criminal and murderous in nature: a war of aggression, based on false evidence, leading to the unnecessary deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocent people.

But he did lie. Bush is steeped so far in lies and blood that his very grasp of reality has been effaced. This was evident in the rare TV interview he gave. Asked why he had claimed Saddam's possession of WMD was a "hard fact" when the intelligence showed nothing of the sort, when it was obvious now that Saddam had, at most, only the possible intent to acquire them again someday, Bush replied, with bone-chilling moral incoherence: "So what's the difference?"

No difference between a physical threat and a disembodied potential? Apparently not: both are equal justifications for killing innocent people. Like other wielders of illegitimate power - Stalin, Saddam, Osama - Bush's lies have turned into deadly hallucinations. He's entered an alternative world, where reason vanishes, facts melt and nothing remains but his own disordered sense of rectitude, the unchallengeable righteousness of his vagrant whims and base desires.

Life, death, truth, lies - what's the difference? None, to Bush's corroded mind. And we're all living in his head now.

Father of Aluminum Tubes 31.Dec.2003 19:00


Remember the "big cannon" that Saddam was building, according to the braying and egging on by Margaret Thatcher back in the middle/late '80s--sort of a cobbled effort to "get something started" in the Persian Gulf, also in about the same time of the "re-flagging" of Kuwait tankers? At that time, the "evidence" was the importation of suspicious artillery-sized tubes from Canada into Iraq. I think there some import items from Germany also implicated (--even then they were not "with us"). Thatcher and subordinates were very aggressive to get the scenario across that Saddam was planning on raining shells down on his neighbors and/or Israel from hundreds of miles away with a gun of tremendous length!

Is this the British role in the special relationship", in their junior "poodle" role with U$ "big dog" establishment regimes in forwarding the New World Order: to dish out "intelligence"?

Odd, BTW, that in this whole latest episode (bu$h the lesser version) with Iraq, no recollections appear to have been made, in the media, web, etc. about this WDM precursor--"the giant cannon." Or did I miss it?

Where does it say anything about the 31.Dec.2003 21:15


Israelis engineering this in the original article? The editing above the article includes them. Does the Times article include them and I missed it?