The Usual Suspects Part 4: Paul Wolfowitz, High Priest of Neocon
Paul Wolfowitz got his start where many of The Usual Suspects began their careers: on the staff of Henry "Scoop" Jackson. It was there that he developed a close relation with Richard Perle. Like Perle, Wolfowitz was also a disciple of the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Like Perle, Wolfowitz tutor was Albert Wohlstetter. It was Wohlstetter, a vehement opponent of arms control, who recommended Wolfowitz to Fred Ikle, the head of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), who brought him on board in 1973. Stephen Green noted that
Wolfowitz...brought to ACDA a strong attachment to Israel’s security, and a certain confusion about his obligation to U.S. national security.
Five years later, Wolfowitz was being investigated for passing classified information to Israel through an AIPAC intermediary. Once again, an investigaton into The Usual Suspects spy ring was dropped. Wolfowitz continued to work for the ACDA till the end of the Carter Administration.
Paul Wolfowitz is now head of The World Bank. His story follows.
Team B, a prelude to the Iraq debacle.
During the Ford administration, Wolfowitz mentor, Albert Wohlstetter, assailed the U.S. intelligence agencies over the annual National Intelligence Estimate because he felt they underestimated the Soviet threat. This came at a time when Rumsfeld and Cheney had just pulled off the "Halloween Massacre" which had purged the White House Cabinet and made Cheney the youngest Chief of Staff in U.S. history. Rumsfeld and Cheney pushed out CIA director William Colby and replaced him with George H.W. Bush.
The reason for this manuever was because the CIA had been uncooperative with the neocons anti-detente campaign. As Sidney Blumenthal explains:
Instead of producing intelligence reports simply showing an urgent Soviet military buildup, the CIA issued complex analyses that were filled with qualifications. Its National Intelligence Estimate on the Soviet threat contained numerous caveats, dissents and contradictory opinions. From the conservative point of view, the CIA was guilty of groupthink, unwilling to challenge its own premises and hostile to conservative ideas.
The new CIA director was prompted to authorize an alternative unit outside the CIA to challenge the agency's intelligence on Soviet intentions. Bush was more compliant in the political winds than his predecessor. Consisting of a host of conservatives, the unit was called Team B. A young aide from the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Paul Wolfowitz, was selected to represent Rumsfeld's interest and served as coauthor of Team B's report. The report was single-minded in its conclusion about the Soviet buildup and cleansed of contrary intelligence.
25 years later, history would repeat itself in the intelligence buildup to the Iraq war. Team B would become the Office of Special Plans. The results would be identical.
In 1976, Team B's report would be leaked to the press. It stated that
All the evidence points to an undeviating Soviet commitment to what is euphemistically called the 'worldwide triumph of socialism,' but in fact connotes global Soviet hegemony.
The report then went on to claim that the Soviets had developed new, terrifying Weapons of Mass Destruction, such as a nuclear submarine fleet that utilized an undetectable sonar system that didn't depend on sound.
According to Dr. Anne Cahn of the ACDA:
If you go through most of Team B's specific allegations about weapons systems, and you just examine them one by one, they were all wrong.
The same modus operandi that was put into effect in the propaganda war to get us into Iraq.
When Carter took over in 1977, Wolfowitz moved to the Pentagon.
The next year, as Counterpunch reports
In 1978, he was investigated for providing a classified document on the proposed sale of U.S. weapons to an Arab government, to an Israel Government official, through an AIPAC intermediary. An inquiry was launched and dropped, however, and Wolfowitz continued to work at ACDA until 1980.
In 1979, when Jeanne Kirkpatrick began the neocon migration from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, Wolfowitz received a phone call from Fred Ikle asking him to leave the Carter administration to join Reagan's administration. In early 1980, he resigned from the Pentagon and began teaching at the SAIS. One of his students was Scooter Libby, who would go on to become one of Wolfowitz deputies.
In 1981, Wolfowitz became Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. State Department where he was responsible for defining the nations long term foreign policy goals. With him came Scooter Libby. Not long after, Wolfowitz made Michael Ledeen a special advisor. Perle, shortly afterwards, recommended Ledeen to the Department of Defense as a consultant on terrorism.
Ledeens immediate supervisor was the Principle Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs, Noel Koch. Koch noticed early on that Ledeen had a habit of stopping by Koch's outer office to read classified materials. Koch soon learned from the CIA that Ledeen was carried in Agency files as an agent of influence of a foreign government: Israel. Afterwards, Ledeen
approached Koch for help in obtaining two highly classified CIA reports which he said were held by the FBI. He gave Koch a hand written piece of paper which contained identifying "alpha numeric designators". These identifiers were as highly classified as the reports themselves, which raised in Koch's mind the question of who had provided them to Ledeen if he did not have the clearances to obtain them himself. Koch ordered his executive assistant that Ledeen was to have no further access to classified materials in the office. Shortly afterwards Ledeen ceased coming to work.
It wouldn't be long after that the Jonathon Pollard spy scandal broke.
According to EIR:
In 1985, when it was clear that Jonathan Jay Pollard, an American convicted that year of spying for Israel, could not have been working alone in stealing such high-level U.S. secrets for Israel to sell to the Soviet Union, top-level intelligence officials told EIR that an entire "X Committee" of high-level U.S. officials, was being investigated. Wolfowitz and Perle were on the list of "X Committee" suspects, and Israeli spying against the United States was so thick that investigators told EIR they had found "not moles, but entire molehills.
Meanwhile, Libby and Wolfowitz were off to Manila where he met with the Dictator Marcos to press for, as Wolfowitz put it
Military reform, economic reform, getting rid of crony capitalism, relying on the church, political reform: It was very institutionally oriented.
During this time he fought Congress, which wanted to end military aide to the Marcos regime.
Later, when massive street protests caused Marcos to flee the Philipinnes on a U.S. air force plane and Reagan was forced to recognize the Aquino government, Wolfowitz claimed that this only showed that democracy
needs the prodding of the U.S.
Again, a meme we heard repeated in the invasion of Iraq.
Another meme we hear repeated in Iraq can be seen in Wolfowitz handling of his next post, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia. As ABC News reported:
He never intervened to push human rights or stand up to corruption. Tens of thousands of people in East Timor, a country Suharto's troops occupied in 1975, died during the 1980s in a series of army anti-insurgency offensives.
Ah yes, the "insurgency". When you occupy another country and they try to kick you out, they're an insurgent.
ABC News goes on to say that the Director of the International Forum on Indonesian Development claimed Wolfowitz went to East Timor and saw what was happening and kept quiet. ABC News then claims that
during his 32-year reign, Suharto, his family and his military and business cronies transformed Indonesia into one of the most graft-ridden countries in the world, plundering an estimated $30 billion
Graft, corruption, it's the "free market" neocon way. What else would the High Priest of Neocon do? Wolfowitz still praises Suharto to this day.
When Bush the Elder became president, Wolfowitz became Undersecretary for Defense and reported directly to Dick Cheney. His new job was to figure out a new military strategy for the U.S. after the fall of the Soviet Union.
The Defense Planning Guide
Scooter Libby and Paul Wolfowitz would write the
Defense Planning Guide to
set the nation’s direction for the next century.
Wolfowitz was clear what the U.S. policy should be:
The number one objective of U.S. post-Cold War political and military strategy should be preventing the emergence of a rival superpower.If necessary, the United States must be prepared to take unilateral action.
The foundations for the PNAC and the Bush Doctrine were being laid.
In 1992, when he was serving as undersecretary of defence for policy, Pentagon officials looking into the unauthorised export of classified technology to China, found that Wolfowitz's office was promoting Israel's export of advanced air-to-air missiles to Beijing in violation of a written agreement with Washington on arms re-sales.
When Clinton took over, Wolfowitz moved on to academia, becoming the Dean at SAIS.
In 1997, he became a charter member of PNAC. There he continued to advocate preemptive military intervention against Iraq. It was Wolfowitz who drafted the letter to Clinton stating
We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War.
He attacks the weapons inspectors, claiming
it is difficult if not impossible to monitor Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons production
He derides the U.N. and insists that America must unilaterally remove Saddam Hussein for the safety of Israel and our moderate Arab allies. Of course, much as in the Team B report, we would find out that his exaggerated and paranoid warnings were simply not true.
That same year he would urge Clinton to arm Ahmed Chalabi's INC to overthrow Saddams regime from within.
In 1999 NATO formed the Georgia-Ukraine-Uzbekistan-Azerbaijan-Moldava alliance (GUUAM), to control the Caspian oil and gas resources. On the Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce? Wolfowitz, Perle, Cheney, Armitage...a regular Who's Who of The Usual Suspects.
Wolfowitz would go on to join The Vulcans, a group led by Condi Rice in Bush Juniors campaign team. When Bush usurped the presidency, Wolfowitz became U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, reporting to Donald Rumsfeld.
the plans argue for open-ended war without constraint either of time or geography and potentially engulfing the entire Middle East and central Asia.
The plans put before the President during the past few days involve expanding the war beyond Afghanistan to include similar incursions by special ops forces - followed by air strikes by the bombers they would guide - into Iraq, Syria and the Beqaa Valley area of Lebanon, where the Syrian-backed Hizbollah (Party of God) fighters that harass Israel are based.
If action in Lebanon led to an Israeli reinvasion of the southern part of the country, it would be supported by the US.
Colin Polwell's argument - backed by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice - is that such a campaign would be disastrous.
And once again, as in Team B, Wolfowitz and The Usual Suspects ignore the advice of the military and intelligence agencies and exaggerate the threat in order to pursue their own agenda. Only afterwards would Wolfowitz admit that there were no ties between Iraq and Al Queda:
I’m not sure even now that I would say Iraq had something to do with it.
And once again, as in Team B, Wolfowitz and The Usual Suspects use Weapons of Mass Destruction as their number one argument to acheive their agenda. As Wolfowitz himself later admitted:
for bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.
And once again, as in Team B, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld decided that the intelligence community was deemed hostile to conservative ideas and once again, as in Team B, an alternative unit was formed outside the CIA to challenge the agency's intelligence. The Office of Special Plans.
It was from the Office of Special Plans that Larry Franklin operated. Franklin is now serving a 12 year sentence for passing classified information to Israeli agents operating out of AIPAC.
According to Tom Paine's report,
Franklin was introduced to Rosen-Weissman when the two AIPACers "called a Department of Defense employee (DOD employee A) at the Pentagon and asked for the name of someone in OSD ISA [Office of the Secretary of Defense, International Security Affairs] with an expertise on Iran" and got Franklin's name. Who was "DOD employee A"? Was it Douglas Feith, the undersecretary for policy? Harold Rhode, the ghost-like neocon official who helped Feith assemble the secretive Office of Special Plans, where Franklin worked? The indictment doesn't say. But this reporter observed Franklin, Rhode and Michael Rubin, a former AEI official who served in the Pentagon during this period and then returned to AEI, sitting together side by side, often in the front row, at American Enterprise Institute meetings during 2002-2003. Later in the indictment, we learn that Franklin, Rosen and Weissman hobnobbed with "DOD employee B," too.
Fourth, Rosen and Weissman told Franklin that they would try to get him a job at the White House, on the National Security Council staff. Who did they talk to at the White House, if they followed through? What happened?
Keep in mind that it was Larry Franklin who accomanied Harold Rhode and Michael Ledeen to Rome in 2001 to meet with Manucher Ghorbanifar to open channels with Iran and get information about Iraq. A trip that coincided with the appearance of the now infamous Niger Yellowcake forgeries.
Franklin studied at SAIS under Paul Wolfowitz and it was Wolfowitz who brought him into the administration. Franklin worked in the OSP under William Luti who bragged to Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski that he reported directly to Scooter Libby.
But passing classified information to Israel was not the Office of Special Plans main function. It was formed, as Team B had been before, to come up with evidence to support the neocons agenda. Niger Yellowcake, weapons of mass destruction, bioweapons labs, the list of things went on and on.
And once again, as in Team B, if you go through the OSP's specific allegations, one by one, you find that they are all wrong.
What was the price for such complete incompetence? In 2005, Wolfowitz became the President of the World Bank.
By 2007, he'd quit his job at the World Bank because of eithics violations. As if anyone with a clue would have thought he had any. If he hadn't quit, they were going to make him the first president in the World Banks history to be fired. What did he do? He was handing money hand over fist to his girlfriend, who, btw, dumped him a week after he lost the job. Loser.