Monday, March 31, 2008

Beast of the Month - February 2008

Beast of the Month - February 2008
Mullah Omar, Taliban Leader

"I yam an anti-Christ... "
John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of The Sex Pistols, "Anarchy in the UK"

"They're back..."
Poltergeist II tagline

Anyone searching for proof about how bad the "War on Terror" is going needs to look no further than Pakistan.

In the aftermath of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the CIA (along with the London's Scotland Yard) has agreed with the Pakistan government's controversial assertion that the deed was plotted by Baitullah Mehsud, a Taliban commander with ties to Al Qaeda. The conclusion goes hand in hand with (until now) underreported news stories of the rise in power by Taliban forces in Afghanistan. That it could be even admitted as plausible the Taliban killed Bhutto is an indictment on how the War on Terror has been waged, as one of the few things even the harshest critic of the Bush Administration could concede is the loss of power to the repressive Taliban regime deserves no tears. True, right wing hacks will no doubt try to frame the Bhutto assassination as a reminder Al Qaeda and the Taliban are still a menace to the world. Still, it more likely fits the playbook of the Democratic Party's talking points: that by invading Iraq, the Bush Team fought a war with a country with no ties to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda while dropping the ball on the real battle in Afghanistan.

Of course, there's a reason why the CIA and Scotland Yard have so quickly embraced the "Taliban and Al Qaeda did it" conspiracy theory: the alternative is even more distasteful to the American establishment. After all, the reason the Taliban theory is so controversial in Pakistan is because the public widely believes the political hit was actually orchestrated by Pervez Musharraf, to wipe out the greatest political threat to his dictatorial reign. The theory is supported by missing evidence (most notably the washing down of streets before blood evidence could be collected, and the blocking of an autopsy by police) showing a high-ranking cover-up, shoddy security protection at the time of her murder, official lies about her cause of death, vote-rigging evidence in the recent Pakistan "election" which Bhutto was to hand to US Congressmen on her day of death and an email Bhutto wrote three weeks before her murder where she warned of a plot to kill her, organized by Musharraf cronies rather than Al Qaeda. In short, had the CIA not backed the official story, the US public would now have to acknowledge a partner in the "War on Terror" is a dictatorship that ruthlessly murders its political opponents.

For once, though, the US establishment may actually be telling the truth. Or, more precisely, perhaps they are both lying and telling the truth. To explain, The Konformist provides this little guide to Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Taliban and Al Qaeda:

* WHAT IS THE TALIBAN? Okay, this one is easy background. A fundamentalist Islam nationalist movement led by Mullah Omar (The Konformist Beast of the Month) that took control of Afghanistan in 1996, it was initially embraced by much of the Afghan public for restoring law and order. Soon it became a repressive regime and international pariah, enforcing a strict Muslim religious doctrine which included the subjugation of women, mass murder of political opponents, outlawing of nearly all modern culture and the 2001 destruction of two 6th century Buddha statues that were perhaps Afghanistan's most noted cultural artifacts. Their immense financial aid from Osama bin Laden led to their downfall, as Team USA knocked them out of power after 9/11. Despite this setback, they have been on the rise in power since 2006, with multiple statements by Omar released for propaganda purposes.

* WHAT IS THE ISI? The Inter-Services Intelligence is Pakistan's largest and most powerful intelligence agency, their version of the CIA, and one of the most powerful intelligence agencies in the world.

* ARE THERE TIES BETWEEN THE TALIBAN AND THE ISI? Um, yeah. Though officially on different sides of the "Good Vs. Evil" paradigm promoted by the Bush Team in the Terror War, they still have covert contacts that benefit both parties. For example, Pakistan allows the Taliban to remain hidden in their borders, in exchange for not becoming a primary target of radical Islam. Furthermore, they both have a joint opponent in Afghanistan, and the ISI allowing the Taliban to flourish creates a force that only weakens a competitive neighbor.

* ARE THERE TIES BETWEEN THE ISI AND THE CIA? Absolutely, indeed, many activities done by the ISI can be viewed as simple proxy operations done for the CIA's bidding.

* SO, DOES THAT MEAN THERE ARE TIES BETWEEN THE TALIBAN AND CIA? Good question. Obviously, officially there is no link between the two after 9/11. Still, it has to be acknowledged the Taliban is pretty much a CIA creation thanks to the war between Afghanistan and the USSR. Further, there were massive negotiations between the Taliban and US oil companies (which the CIA is often just foot soldiers for) as late as the summer of 2001 over a proposed deal to allow access to untapped crude in the Caspian Sea, worth an estimated $3 trillion in 2001 oil prices. (When the talks broke down, the Taliban were warned to "accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.") Of course, now the CIA and Taliban are officially enemies, but intelligence contacts are treasured, and at the very least some back channel contacts likely still exist.

* HOW ABOUT THE TIES BETWEEN THE ISI, THE CIA AND AL QAEDA? This one has a surprisingly murky answer. First, the most shocking link: Mohammed Atta, the alleged lead hijacker and ringleader of the 9/11 plot, was wired $100,000 from Lt. General Mahmoud Ahmad, then head of the ISI. Was Atta a covert ISI agent? It sure looks that way. This evidence ties the ISI more closely to 9/11 than either the Taliban or much maligned Saudi Arabia. (For example, in Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore made much of the Saudis being the not-so-secret bogeyman, yet Pakistan's suspicious role was completely ignored.) It's hard to dismiss the idea that whatever Atta was doing was at the behest of Pakistan. It's also hard to ignore that since much of what the ISI does is at the CIA's request, this gives some strength to theories that 9/11 was an inside job. As for the ties between the CIA and Al Qaeda, like the Taliban, the entire beginnings of Al Qaeda are tied to the CIA's war against the USSR in Afghanistan. Having said all this, why are the links between the ISI, CIA and Al Qaeda so murky? The answer lies in an even more ignored question...

* DOES "AL QAEDA" EVEN EXIST? This is a question few dare ask, and the answer can be persuasively argued to be no. First, even The Konformist admits, "Al Qaeda" is an easy (and cool-sounding) shorthand for a collection of radical Islamic terrorist groups who are waging war against Team America. In this sense, Al Qaeda certainly is real. But is it a unified network of anti-American jihadists who answer to their evil mastermind Osama bin Laden? Sorry, but this version of things is bogus. In the BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares, evidence is laid out that "Al Qaeda" (Arabic for "The Base" and a term never used publicly by Osama before the 9/11 attacks) was concocted in 2001 by the US DOJ to nail bin Laden as a head of a crime network. Thus, any radical Islam terror actions could be ultimately linked to Osama under the "Al Qaeda" banner. Unfortunately, this has allowed many smaller groups with competing agendas to be lumped together under a monolithic banner, all to hype up a giant leviathan for propaganda purposes. And even then, the supposed size of "Al Qaeda" is highly exaggerated, inflated by (for example) including those who fought against the USSR in the eighties but are not at war with anyone and certainly aren't allies of bin Laden. And speaking of bin Laden, here's another question that is being ignored...

* IS OSAMA EVEN ALIVE? If he is, The Konformist hasn't found any good evidence to support the claim. The latest supposed video of him from September 2007 looks clearly like an imposter, and this isn't the first bogus Osama passed off as the real deal in the mainstream press. It's unlikely this would be done if the real Osama was still around. Meanwhile, in his speeches, Osama has morphed from a "death to America" Islamo-fascist to a Chomsky-quoting critic of American foreign policy (who no doubt wears Birkenstocks, drives a Prius and has Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth on his Netflix queue.) The end result of Osama's conversion is even Nation-reading establishment lefties can be smeared for parroting the propaganda of "bin Laden" when criticizing the Iraqi Quagmire.

So let's put this all together. Even if, as the Pakistan government, CIA and Scotland Yard all insist, the Bhutto assassination was a Taliban operation, does that let Musharraf and the ISI off the hook? Or could the Taliban have been doing a contract hit on behalf of the Pakistan state? (In fact, in 2005, alleged Bhutto assassination mastermind Mehsud was offered over $300K by Pakistan to sign a peace deal he would later agree to, so a business relationship already did exist.)

Does it go even further? Is it possible the Bhutto assassination may have US Government fingerprints over it? At the very least, right-wing commentator Bob Novak believes the US let her be killed to prop up Musharraf. Beyond that claim, let's look at the main thing the US establishment would have against her: she was pursuing peace agreements with both Islamic fundamentalists and the state of Israel. While her plans could have led to less violence and a future Nobel Peace Prize, lessened tensions in the area would dismantle the excuse for US presence, potentially leaving American oil companies shut out of the Caspian Sweepstakes. Meanwhile, in a November 2007 interview with David Frost, Bhutto stated bin Laden had already been murdered by an "Al Qaeda" rival Omar Sheikh. Although this was later dismissed as a verbal mistake (supposedly, she meant Daniel Pearl had been murdered, not bin Laden) after her death, it's interesting to note she never corrected herself, nor did her seasoned interviewer Frost ask for a clarification.

At this point, though, all this is history, albeit recent and important history. The bigger question is what will happen to the Taliban. The Konformist guess is they're not going anywhere, and will only get more powerful as time goes on. Whatever the Taliban's faults, many Afghanis felt safer from crime when they were in power, thus explaining any mass popularity they continue to have. Last September, Afghan prez Hamid Karzai recognized this reality and offered to negotiate with Taliban leaders, including Mullah Omar. While the Taliban remains an officially sanctioned bogeyman, it seems plausible that so-called "moderate" Taliban leaders (i.e. those willing to give US oil companies sweetheart deals) could be embraced and rejoin the Afghan establishment. If that happens, you heard it hear first.

In any case, we salute Mullah Omar as Beast of the Month. Congratulations, and keep up the great work, Omar!!!


Baker, Aryn and Robinson, Simon. "Missing Evidence from Bhutto's Murder." Time 31 December 2007 <,8599,1699138,00.html>.

"Benazir Bhutto Said Osama bin Laden Was Dead." Prison Planet 28 December 2007 <>.

"Bhutto Broke Her Agreement with the CIA, She Wanted to Talk with the Islamists." Roads to Iraq 29 December 2007 <>.

"Bhutto Wanted Ties with Israel, Sought Mossad Protection." Israel Today 28 December 2007 <>.

"Bhutto Was to Give U.S. Lawmakers Vote-rigging Report." CNN 1 January 2008 <>.

Bright, Arthur. "CIA Blames Al Qaeda, Taliban for Bhutto Assassination." Christian Science Monitor 19 January 2008

Brisard, Jean-Charles and Dasquie, Guillaume. Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden. New York: Nation Books, 2002.

Chin, Larry. "Anglo-American Ambitions Behind the Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Destabilization of Pakistan." Online Journal 31 December 2007 <>.

Chossudovsky, Michel. America's "War on Terrorism". Quebec, Global Research, 2005.

Chossudovsky, Michel. "Cover-up or Complicity of the Bush Administration?" Global Research 2 November 2001 <>.

"How Did Pakistan's Bhutto Die?" CNN 28 December 2007 <>.

Juliano, Nick. "Police Abandoned Security Posts Before Bhutto Assassination." Raw Story 28 December 2007 <>.

"Karzai Talks Peace After Bus Bomb." CNN 29 September 2007 <>.

"Lawyer: Police Prevented Bhutto Autopsy." CNN 1 January 2008 <>.

Meacher, Michael. "The Pakistan Connection." The Guardian 22 July 2004 <>.

Novak, Robert. "Sacrificing Bhutto to Prop Up Musharraf?" Chicago Sun Times 31 December 2007 <,CST-EDT-NOVAK31.article>.

"Osama bin Laden: The Newest Fake." What Really Happened <>.

Page, Jeremy. "Who Killed Benazir Bhutto? The Main Suspects." Global Research 27 December 2007 <>.

"Pakistan Pays Tribe al-Qaeda Debt." BBC News 9 February 2005 <>.

Qayum, Khalid and Ahmed, Khaleeq. "Bhutto Attack Probably a Taliban Plot, Ministry Says." Bloomberg 28 December 2007 <>.

Rashid, Ahmed. Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.

Rashid, Ahmed. Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000.

Robinson, Simon. "Bhutto Conspiracy Theories Fill the Air." Time 28 December 2007 <,8599,1698828,00.html>.

Sherwell, Philip. "Bhutto 'Blocked from Hiring US Bodyguards'." Telegraph 31 December 2007 <;jsessionid=IG1ZSIRJ0UOFPQFIQMGSFFOAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2007/12/30/wbhutto230.xml>.

Walters, Simon. "Bhutto Email Named Killers Weeks Before Assassination." Daily Mail 30 December 2007 <>.

Watson, Steve. "New Bin Laden Video: 100% Forgery." 10 September 2007 <>.


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