Hard Rain Journal 7-5-06: Al Qaeda Endorsed Bush-Cheney in 2004, But US Mainstream News Media Chose to Ignore It
By Richard Power
In March 2004, the daily Arab-language newspaper al Hayat received a statement from the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, an Al Qaeda inspired group, which claimed responsibility for the Madrid subway bombings.
The statement revealed "conventional wisdom" (among the terrorists) about US politics:
"The statement said it supported President Bush in his reelection campaign, and would prefer him to win in November rather than the Democratic candidate John Kerry, as it was not possible to find a leader 'more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom.' In comments addressed to Bush, the group said: 'Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilization. Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected.'"
I wrote about it at the time. Of course, the US mainstream news media did not cover this aspect of the story, and only referenced other parts of the statement. It did not become a campaign issue.
Well, at least not in the way that it should have...
Robert Parry, reporting on Ron Suskind's The One Percent Doctrine, provides insight:
On Oct. 29, 2004, just four days before the U.S. presidential election, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin-Laden released a videotape denouncing George W. Bush. Some Bush supporters quickly spun the diatribe as “Osama’s endorsement of John Kerry.” But behind the walls of the CIA, analysts had concluded the opposite: that bin-Laden was trying to help Bush gain a second term.
This stunning CIA disclosure is tucked away in a brief passage near the end of Ron Suskind’s The One Percent Doctrine, which draws heavily from CIA insiders. Suskind wrote that the CIA analysts based their troubling assessment on classified information, but the analysts still puzzled over exactly why bin-Laden wanted Bush to stay in office.
“At the five o’clock meeting, [deputy CIA director] John McLaughlin opened the issue with the consensus view: ‘Bin-Laden certainly did a nice favor today for the President.’”
McLaughlin’s comment drew nods from CIA officers at the table. Jami Miscik, CIA deputy associate director for intelligence, suggested that the al-Qaeda founder may have come to Bush’s aid because bin-Laden felt threatened by the rise in Iraq of Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi; bin-Laden might have thought his leadership would be diminished if Bush lost the White House and their “eye-to-eye struggle” ended.
But the CIA analysts also felt that bin-Laden might have recognized how Bush’s policies – including the Guantanamo prison camp, the Abu Ghraib scandal and the endless bloodshed in Iraq – were serving al-Qaeda’s strategic goals for recruiting a new generation of jihadists.
“Certainly,” the CIA’s Miscik said, “he would want Bush to keep doing what he’s doing for a few more years,” according to Suskind’s account of the meeting.
As their internal assessment sank in, the CIA analysts drifted into silence, troubled by the implications of their own conclusions. “An ocean of hard truths before them – such as what did it say about U.S. policies that bin-Laden would want Bush reelected – remained untouched,” Suskind wrote.
Robert Parry, CIA: Osama Helped Bush in '04, Consortium News, 7-4-06
Now add two more stories from over the weekend to the mix:
Al-Qaeda leaders sold out Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to the United States in exchange for a promise to let up in the search for Osama bin Laden, the slain leader's wife claimed in an interview with an Italian newspaper.
The woman, identified by La Repubblica as al-Zarqawi's first wife, said al-Qaeda's top leadership reached a deal with U.S. intelligence because al-Zarqawi had become too powerful. She added Sunni tribes and Jordanian secret services mediated the deal. "My husband has been sold to the Americans," the woman - "Um Mohammed" - said in an interview published Sunday. "He had become too powerful, too troublesome." "I think a secret pact was struck whose immediate goal was his death," she told the newspaper. "In return, the American troops promised to ease, at least momentarily, their hunt for bin Laden."
Al-Zarqawi wife: Al-Qaeda leaders ”sold” him to Americans, Al Bawaba, 7-3-06
The Central Intelligence Agency has closed a unit that for a decade had the mission of hunting Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants, intelligence officials confirmed Monday.
The unit, known as Alec Station, was disbanded late last year and its analysts reassigned within the C.I.A. Counterterrorist Center, the officials said.
The decision is a milestone for the agency, which formed the unit before Osama bin Laden became a household name and bolstered its ranks after the Sept. 11 attacks, when President Bush pledged to bring Mr. bin Laden to justice "dead or alive."
The realignment reflects a view that Al Qaeda is no longer as hierarchical as it once was, intelligence officials said, and a growing concern about Qaeda-inspired groups that have begun carrying out attacks independent of Mr. bin Laden and his top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri....
The decision to close the unit was first reported Monday by National Public Radio.
Michael Scheuer, a former senior C.I.A. official who was the first head of the unit, said the move reflected a view within the agency that Mr. bin Laden was no longer the threat he once was.
Mr. Scheuer said that view was mistaken.
"This will clearly denigrate our operations against Al Qaeda," he said. "These days at the agency, bin Laden and Al Qaeda appear to be treated merely as first among equals."
MARK MAZZETTI, C.I.A. Closes Unit Focused on Capture of bin Laden, New York Times, 7-4-06
Still think that Bush-Cheney and the Republican leadership in the US House and Senate are tough on terrorism? Still think that the US mainstream news media serves the public good?
GS(3) Thunderbolt 6-11-06: When The Decider Decides to Do Nothing: What You May Not Know About Zarqawi and Won’t Hear on Network and Cable News
Words of Power #23: A Reality Check, What A Real World War on Terrorism Would Look Like, and a US Mid-Term Election Strategy
Words of Power #15: Bring Me the Head of Osama, Nero Fiddles while the Planet Burns, Religion as the Crystal Meth of the People, & The Democrats' Plans
Richard Power is the founder of GS(3) Intelligence and http://www.wordsofpower.net. His work focuses on the inter-related issues of security, sustainability and spirit, and how to overcome the challenges of terrorism, cyber crime, global warming, health emergencies, natural disasters, etc. You can reach him via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to www.wordsofpower.net
geopolitics, terrorism, Iraq, Bush, Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, 911, Zarqawi, Michael Scheuer