ITWASSOOTED: The Libby Affair and the Internal War

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Libby Affair and the Internal War


The national debate, which the indictment of Irving Lewis Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice has aroused in the mass media, has failed to address the most basic questions concerning the deep structural context, which influenced his felonious behavior. The most superficial explanation was that Libby, by exposing Valerie Plame (a CIA employee), acted out of revenge to punish her husband Wilson for exposing the lies put forth by Bush about Iraq's "importation" of uranium from Niger. Other journalists claim that Libby acted to cover up the fabrications to go to war. The assertion however raises a deeper question -- who were the fabricators of war propaganda, who was Libby protecting? And not only the "fabricators of war", but the strategic planners, speech-makers and architects of war who acted hand in hand with the propagandists and the journalists who disseminated the propaganda? What is the link between all these high- level functionaries, propagandists and journalists?

Equally important given the positions of power which this cabal occupied, and the influence they exercised in the mass media as well as in designing strategic policy, what forces were engaged in bringing criminal charges against a key operative of the cabal?

Libby's rise to power was part and parcel of the ascendancy of the neo-conservatives to the summits of US policymaking. Libby was a student, protégé, and collaborator with Paul Wolfowitz for over 25 years. Libby along with Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams, Douglas Feith, Kagan, Cohen, Rubin, Pollack, Chertoff, Fleisher, Kristol, Marc Grossman, Shumsky and a host of other political operators were long term believers and aggressive proponents of a virulently militaristic tendency of Zionism linked with the rightwing Likud Party of Israel. Early in the 1980's, Wolfowitz and Feith were charged with passing confidential documents to Israel, the latter temporarily losing his security clearance.

The ideologues begin their "Long March" through the institutions of the state. In some cases, advisers to rightwing pro-Israel congressmen, others in the lower levels of the Pentagon and State Department, in other cases as academics or leaders of conservative think tanks in Washington during the Reagan and Bush senior regimes. With the election of Bush in 2001, they moved into major strategic positions in the government, and as the principal ideologues and propagandists for a sequence of wars against Arab adversaries of the Israeli State. Leading neocons, like Libby, drew up a war strategy for the Likud government in 1996, and then recycled the document for the US war against Iraq before and immediately after 9/11/01. Along with their rise to the most influential positions of power in the Bush administration, the neocons attracted new recruits, like New York Times reporter Judith Miller.

What is striking about the operations of the 'cabal' is the very open and direct way in which they operated: former Director of the National Security Agency (under Reagan) Lt. General William Odom, retired Marine General Anthony Zinni, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson (former chief of staff of Powell), retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, National Security Adviser to President George Bush (the First) Brent Scowcroft, and numerous disenchanted officials, including veterans of the intelligence agencies, high level observers, and former diplomats openly criticized the neocon takeover of US policy and the close relationship between them and Israeli officals.
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