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Peter Bergen: Bin Laden, CIA links hogwash

GNN.tv | August 16 2006

NEW YORK (CNN)—CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen says the notion that Osama bin Laden once worked for the CIA is “simply a folk myth” and that there’s no shred of evidence to support such theories.

CNN.com asked users to send questions to Bergen as part of an upcoming documentary, “In the Footsteps of bin Laden,” which premieres on August 23 at 9 p.m. ET. Here are his answers: ...

Q: If it’s true that bin Laden once worked for the CIA, what makes you so sure that he isn’t still?
Anne Busigin, Toronto, Canada

BERGEN: This is one of those things where you cannot put it out of its misery.

The story about bin Laden and the CIA—that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden—is simply a folk myth. There’s no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn’t have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn’t have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently.

The real story here is the CIA didn’t really have a clue about who this guy was until 1996 when they set up a unit to really start tracking him…
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REPLY TO PETER BERGEN FROM TARPLEY

Peter Bergen needs to take time out from parroting his MI-5 and MI-6 printouts and address a few facts. As I show in my book, 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA, the al Qaeda organization was most emphatically the “Arab Legion” created by the US and the British to counter the Soviets in Afghanistan in the early 1980s. The concept of this Arab Legion is found in the memoirs of former CIA Director Robert Gates. Bin Laden personally is of course an eccentric, a dreamer, and a basket case, but there is no doubt that when he went to Peshawar, Pakistan during those years he was surrounded by CIA and MI-6 handlers who steered him in the desired direction. Bin Laden has always received comprehensive support services from US-UK intelligence. His legal services came from the US State Department: when Bin Laden was in Sudan, and the government there wanted to turn him over to the US, Madeleine Albright argued that the US could not take him, since there was no criminal indictment against him. This, in a legal system which notoriously can indict a ham sandwich. No defense attorney could have served OBL better than did Madame Secretary. When Bin Laden required medical services like kidney dialysis, these were provided under CIA auspices in an American hospital in the Gulf, as Le Figaro and Radio France have reported. When Bin Laden needed to make a move from Khartoum to Afghanistan, the US Special Forces of Fort Bragg obligingly sent him a personal assistant in the form of Sergeant Ali Mohammed, a former Egyptian Army major, who organized the move. Sergeant Ali Mohammed also cased the US east African embassies and showed Bin Laden the photos he had made. Bin Laden’s travel bureau was the US consulate in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as whistleblower Michael Springman has testified: that consulate was ordered to issue US visas to all manner of criminal patsies under a standing order. As for Bin Laden’s public relations office or flaquerie: while still a serving CIA officer, Michael Scheuer, the head of the CIA’s Bin Laden station (now abolished), published the infamous book Imperial Hubris, which argues that Bin Laden was not the pathetic ignoramus, misfit and bungler many who knew him have described, but an awesome figure, the greatest political genius of the twenty-first century and the Abraham Lincoln of the Arabs! When CIA honcho Buzzy Krongard, whose name had surfaced in the 9/11 short selling caper, finally left the CIA, he recorded his gratitude that Bin Laden had never been caught – of course, as he hastened to add, lest somebody really radical might have emerged. In this sense, we may safely say that the Bin Laden Fan Club has its headquarters at the CIA in Langley, Virginia. The CIA loves Bin Laden so much that it has made sure that there are many of him: a fat one for the winter, a thin one for the summer, a calm one, an excitable one. “Osama Bin Laden” is a name properly applied, not to a biological individual, but rather to a team or stable of doubles (Doppelgänger) and patsies who represent OBL on the world stage, much as that duplicitous old sinner Winston Churchill used body doubles for deception, and voice doubles to read his speeches. Like El Cid, OBL has fought many a battle after his own demise.

The same pattern holds good for al Qaeda as a whole: it is a stable of patsies. MI-5 whistleblower David Shayler has recounted how in 1995 he noticed that his opposite number at MI-6 was in the process of paying denizens of the al Qaeda patsy milieu £100,000 to assassinate Col. Qaddafi of Libya – an operation which failed to hit its main target, although innocent bystanders were slaughtered. The goal here was to simulate an al Qaeda coup in Libya, which would have handed the US and UK a pretext for invading that country and seizing its oil wells – in effect, 9/11 before 9/11. Over the years, al Qaeda’s targets have also been the targets of the US: al Qaeda has worked with NATO’s KLA drug runners to attack Serbia, and with the Chechen butchers of the late unlamented CIA agent Basayev to attack Russia. Since al Qaeda considers all present-day governments in Moslem countries to be illegitimate, it can be used to attack and destabilize any of them: Bin Laden’s adviser and de facto controller, Zawahiri, is a British agent who took part in the 1981 MI-6 assassination of Egyptian President Sadat in October, 1981. Zawahiri lived openly for years in London, and the British government stubbornly refused to extradite this terrorist to Egypt to stand trial. Al Qaeda’s other key commandment is that true believers must kill infidels whenever they meet them. This is ideal for the US and the British, since it means that the embattled Arabs and Moslems will be eternally isolated, unable to make alliances with Europe, Russia, China, Japan, India, South Africa, Venezuela, or anybody else: those who follow al Qaeda will guarantee their own defeat.

In the light of all this, Mr. Peter Bergen is a charlatan and a laughingstock who should stop pontificating over the airwaves, and go back to his masters at the British Secret Intelligence Service.

Webster G. Tarpley
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9/11 in Historical Perspective: Flawed Assumptions
Deep Politics: Drugs, Oil, Covert Operations and Terrorism, A briefing for Congressional staff

by Dr. Peter Dale Scott

July 29, 2005
pdscott – 2005-07-22

The American people have been seriously misled about the origins of the al Qaeda movement blamed for the 9/11 attacks, just as they have been seriously misled about the reasons for America’s invasion of Iraq.

The truth is that for at least two decades the United States has engaged in energetic covert programs to secure U.S. control over the Persian Gulf, and also to open up Central Asia for development by U.S. oil companies. Americans were eager to gain access to the petroleum reserves of the Caspian Basin, which at that time were still estimated to be “the largest known reserves of unexploited fuel in the planet.”

To this end, time after time, U.S. covert operations in the region have used so-called “Arab Afghan” warriors as assets, the jihadis whom we loosely link with the name and leadership of al Qaeda. In country after country these “Arab Afghans” have been involved in trafficking Afghan heroin.

America’s sponsorship of drug-trafficking Muslim warriors, including those now in Al Qaeda, dates back to the Afghan War of 1979-89, sponsored in part by the CIA’s links to the drug-laundering Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). It was part of CIA Director Casey’s strategy for launching covert operations over and above those approved and financed by a Democratic-controlled Congress…

Continued
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Who Is Osama Bin Laden?

by Michel Chossudovsky

September 12, 2001
GlobalResearch.ca – 2005-06-18

...With the active encouragement of the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI [Inter Services Intelligence], who wanted to turn the Afghan jihad into a global war waged by all Muslim states against the Soviet Union, some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 40 Islamic countries joined Afghanistan’s fight between 1982 and 1992. Tens of thousands more came to study in Pakistani madrasahs. Eventually more than 100,000 foreign Muslim radicals were directly influenced by the Afghan jihad.

The Islamic “jihad” was supported by the United States and Saudi Arabia with a significant part of the funding generated from the Golden Crescent drug trade:

In March 1985, President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 166,...[which] authorize[d] stepped-up covert military aid to the mujahideen, and it made clear that the secret Afghan war had a new goal: to defeat Soviet troops in Afghanistan through covert action and encourage a Soviet withdrawal. The new covert U.S. assistance began with a dramatic increase in arms supplies—a steady rise to 65,000 tons annually by 1987, ... as well as a “ceaseless stream” of CIA and Pentagon specialists who traveled to the secret headquarters of Pakistan’s ISI on the main road near Rawalpindi, Pakistan. There the CIA specialists met with Pakistani intelligence officers to help plan operations for the Afghan rebels.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) using Pakistan’s military Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) played a key role in training the Mujahideen. In turn, the CIA sponsored guerrilla training was integrated with the teachings of Islam:

Predominant themes were that Islam was a complete socio-political ideology, that holy Islam was being violated by the atheistic Soviet troops, and that the Islamic people of Afghanistan should reassert their independence by overthrowing the leftist Afghan regime propped up by Moscow…

Continued
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Subverting Terrorism

by Nafeez Ahmed, 2006

...the conventional wisdom dictates that after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union beginning in 1989, there was no longer any need for an alliance with the mujahideen. As such, Western military-intelligence services broke away from their former proxies and severed their relationship with Osama bin Laden.

This is simply false. The CIA had never envisaged that the operational scope of bin Laden’s international al-Qaeda network would be restricted to Afghanistan alone. On the contrary, as one CIA analyst told Swiss television journalist Richard Labeviere – chief editor at Radio France International and author of Dollars for Terror:

“The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvellously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.”
Al-Qaeda operations were seen as integral to a new doctrine of covert destabilization, to be implemented in new theatres of operation strategically close to Russian and Chinese influence, namely, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia…

Continued
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“Bin Laden was, though, a product of a monumental miscalculation by western security agencies. Throughout the 80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Al-Qaida, literally “the database”, was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians.” – Robin Cook, July 8, 2005.
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Before you tune in to the “In the Footsteps of bin Laden”, I highly recommend this British Documentary:

The Power of Nightmares

More on opium, Afghanistan and the CIA here.

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