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Thread: Top War Profiteer Dough Feith Retires Wealthy

  1. #1
    ehnyah Guest

    Top War Profiteer Dough Feith Retires Wealthy

    by Evelyn Pringle

    Douglas Feith, the recently resigned undersecretary of defense, who just happened to be one of the main people who for years on end advocated for a war in Iraq, and who in large part developed the disastrous policies for the war in Iraq, planned ahead for his retirement and will not be seen in the unemployment line.

    On January 27, 2005, the Washington Post announced: "A principal architect of the Defense Department's postwar strategy in Iraq ... will leave his post this summer."

    The announcement came after years of rumors that top administration officials had decided that Feith had to go, but were dissuaded by Donald Rumsfeld who argued that his ouster would be viewed as an admission that the war in Iraq was a mistake. But the administration had definitely reduced Feith's authority over the past 2 years.

    In announcing his departure, Feith claimed he was leaving for personal reasons, citing the desire to spend more time with his children. "For the last four years, they haven't seen me a lot," he told the Post.

    He used the standard administration exit line. Sort of like the noticeably absent in light of Katrina, ex-FEMA director, Joe Albaugh, who left his job to spend time with his family. Joe was Bush’s chief of staff when he was governor of Texas and his campaign manager in 2000. Once Bush took office, Joe accepted a gig as director of FEMA.

    Like Feith, when he announced his resignation, Joe said, "Now I am going to take the opportunity to spend some time with my wife and children."

    I sure hope Doug spends more time with his kids than Joe did, because judging from hindsight, Joe should have been a psychic. He somehow knew at the beginning of March 2003, that he should quit FEMA and go into the business of securing reconstruction contracts in Iraq for wealthy clients before the first bomb was dropped. And his family could not have enjoyed much quality time at all with Joe, being he opened up New Bridge Strategies for business within a few short weeks of leaving the White House.

    At the time, Josh Marshall, who writes a column for the Washington newspaper, The Hill, said that he believed that each new piece of legislation needs a catchy title, and came up with title “The Bush Crony Full-Employment Act of 2003,” for the $87 billion allocated for rebuilding Iraq.

    According to Josh, New Bridge was actually an outgrowth of Haley Barbour’s lobbying firm, Barbour Griffith & Rogers. Josh says he reached that conclusion after he learned that both firms were located in the same office space. And also because Lanny Griffith was the CEO of New Bridge and Ed Rogers was the vice president. Sounds like a logical conclusion to me.

    When the company began, the New Bridges official web site said, "the opportunities evolving in Iraq today are of such an unprecedented nature and scope that no other existing firm has the necessary skills and experience to be effective both in Washington, D.C., and on the ground in Iraq." That phrasing was quickly changed.

    How could it get any sweeter than this? Joe quits FEMA, moves into the office space of one of the most successful and powerful GOP lobbying firms in the country and starts advertising for clients who want to win reconstruction contracts in Iraq.

    First Brother, Neil Bush, also jumped on this money train and landed a $60,000 a year consultant contract with a principal in New Bridge. According to Neil's testimony in his divorce deposition in March 2004, in return for his salary, he took phone messages for about 3 hours a week.

    However, 3 people contacted by the Financial Times of London reported seeing letters written by Neil that recommend business ventures promoted by New Bridges in the Middle East. So we had Neil being paid an annual fee to "help companies secure contracts in Iraq," the Times reported.

    I'm not too worried about Doug Feith ending up in the unemployment lines because following in Joe's footsteps, Feith and his law partner stayed very busy behind the scenes planning for Feith's retirement when it came time to leave the White House.

    The Iraqi International Law Group

    Before Feith was inducted into the Bush administration, he was the Feith half of the Feith & Zell law firm in Washington. His partner, Marc Zell, simply renamed the firm Zell, Goldberg & Co when they decided to set up shop to start cashing in on the Iraq contracting business.

    According to The Hill, Zell was helping with international marketing for a concern called the Iraqi International Law Group. Billing itself as a group of lawyers and businessmen interested in helping investors in Iraq, the venture was run by Ahmed Chalabi's nephew Salem, who doubled as a legal adviser to Iraq's governing council, of which his uncle was a member.

    How powerful was Feith in awarding contracts? Extremely. According to a June, 2004, an article in Time Magazine entitled, "The Paper Trail: Did Cheney Okay a Deal?," Feith is the person who approved the controversial no-bid contract for Halliburton in Iraq. Time Magazine quoted an email sent by Stephen Browning of the Army Corps of Engineers, that said the contract for construction of oil pipelines was approved by Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith "contingent on informing WH tomorrow. We anticipate no issues since action has been coordinated w VP's [Vice President's] office.

    Browning, later said in an interview that he wrote the memo after he and retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner met with Feith. According to Browning, Feith told him that he had already informed Cheney's office. The email was dated March 5, 2003, and Halliburton was awarded the contract three days later with no bids tendered by any other companies.

    If he could pull this off for Halliburton, what he could do for the IILG goes without saying. According to its web site, the IILG was made up of lawyers and businessmen who claimed to have “dared to take the lead in bringing private sector investment and experience” to the war-torn country and offered to “be your Professional Gateway to the New Iraq.”

    The way it was set up, nephew Salem was charge of the IILG and Feith's partner, Zell, was in charge of international marketing. The IILG's website claimed that it was the only firm worth consulting. "At IILG, our task is to provide foreign enterprise with the information and tools it needs to enter the emerging Iraq and to succeed," it said.

    "Our clients number among the largest corporations and institutions on the planet" it said, "They have chosen IILG to provide them with real-time, on the ground intelligence they cannot get from inexperienced local firms or from overburdened coalition and local government officials."

    Imagine that, the top firms on the planet. "Many firms outside the country purport to counsel companies about doing business in Iraq," the web site read. "The simple fact is: you cannot adequately advise about Iraq unless you are here day in and day out, working closely with officials at the CPA, the newly constituted governing council and the few functioning civilian ministries [oil, labor and social welfare, etc]."

    The truth is, the IILG was nothing more than another one of many front companies, in a web-like profiteering network, that was specifically set up to funnel tax dollars through Iraq and back into the pockets of the Bush gang.

    And talk about blatant. When the company was set up, its website was not registered to Salem Chalabi; it was registered under the name of Marc Zell, located at the very same address as Zell, Goldberg & Co.

    According to Salem, quoted in the National Journal, Zell was IILG's "marketing consultant" and had been contacting law firms in Washington and New York to ask if they had clients interested in doing business in Iraq.

    This tied in with an announcement by Zell, Goldberg & Co, that it had set up a "task force" dealing with issues and opportunities relating to the "recently ended" war in Iraq, and to assist companies "in their relations with the United States government in connection with Iraqi reconstruction projects as prime contractors and consultants."

    Of course Zell made no mention of the firm's ties to the infamous nephew Salem or the IILG. Zell said it was working with the Federal Market Group, an organization which specialized in helping companies win government contracts, which boasted of having a 90% success rate.

    Considering all of its boasting about high level connections, IILG was also rather modest about the family ties of its founder. The website did not mention that he was the nephew of Ahmed Chalabi even once. Geez, I wonder why.

    Implementing The Iraq Profiteering Scheme

    Feith had been pushing for the ouster of Saddam for years. In 1998, he and Richard Perle sent a letter to President Bill Clinton proposing that the US team up with Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress to get rid of Saddam. Clinton refused.

    As we all know, Ahmed had strong support within the Pentagon. In fact, two of his staunchest supporters were Feith and Perle, chairman of the Defense Policy Board.

    Perle, an assistant defense secretary during the Reagan administration, was appointed by his old crony, Donald Rumsfeld, to lead the board in 2001. Its a well-known fact that the board exerts tremendous influence when it comes to war policies.

    As soon as Bush took office, Perle, Feith and Ahmed Chalabi all started working diligently together to get the war in Iraq off the ground, with Ahmed providing bogus intelligence about WMDs and bragging about a secret network within Iraq which could take over running the country after the invasion.

    "There was a close personal bond, too, between Chalabi, Wolfowitz and Perle dating back many years," according to Seymour Hersh in the May 5, 2003 the New Yorker.

    "Their relationship deepened after the Bush Administration took office, and Chalabi’s ties extended to others in the Administration, including Rumsfeld; Douglas Feith, the Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy; and I. Lewis Libby, Vice-President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff," Hersh wrote.

    "With the Pentagon’s support, Chalabi’s group worked to put defectors with compelling stories in touch with reporters in the United States and Europe," Hersh said, "The resulting articles had dramatic accounts of advances in weapons of mass destruction or told of ties to terrorist groups. In some cases, these stories were disputed in analyses by the C.I.A." he noted.

    Almost immediately after September 11th, "the I.N.C. began to publicize the stories of defectors who claimed that they had information connecting Iraq to the attacks, Hersh said.

    For example, in a October 14, 2001, interview on PBS “Frontline," Sabah Khodada, an Iraqi Army captain, said that the 9/11 attack “was conducted by people who were trained by Saddam,” and that Iraq had a program to instruct terrorists in the art of hijacking. Another defector, who was identified as a retired lieutenant general in the Iraqi intelligence service, said that in 2000 he witnessed Arab students being given lessons in hijacking on a Boeing 707 parked at an Iraqi training camp near the town of Salman Pak, south of Baghdad.

    Feith then fed this type of INC data into a fabrication mill operating at top speed known as the Office of Special Plans and some of the information processed through the OSP was not even shared with official intelligence agencies. In many instances it was passed on to the National Security Council, Cheney, and Bush without having been vetted by anyone besides this group of nitwits.

    And they had to know that much of the information was false. A former high-level intelligence official told Hersh that American Special Forces units had been sent into Iraq in mid-March 2003, before the start of the war, to investigate sites suspected of being missile or chemical- and biological-weapon storage depots. “They came up with nothing,” the official told Hersh. “Never found a single Scud.”

    A 46 page report, based on a 15-month investigation, titled "Report of an Inquiry into the Alternative Analysis of the Issue of an Iraq-al Qaeda Relationship" was released on October 21, 2004, which said, "There is ample evidence that the Bush Administration had a predisposition to overthrow Saddam Hussein before the 9/11 attacks."

    The report accused Feith's office of compiling "selective reinterpretations of intelligence" that went beyond the views of American spy agencies in order to help make the case for an invasion of Iraq.

    The report concluded that Feith and his staff were convinced that a relationship existed between Saddam and Al Qaeda, and that the office had advanced that perspective by trying to change the intelligence community's views and "by taking its interpretation straight to policymakers."

    "That alleged relationship," the report said, "coupled with the assertion that Iraq possessed stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), was the major argument presented by the Administration for invading Iraq."

    Relying on selective reporting, irrespective of credibility and reliability, Feith’s briefing concluded the following:

  2. #2
    ehnyah Guest


    • Iraq had “more than a decade of numerous contacts” with al Qaeda;

    • there were “multiple areas of cooperation” between Iraq and al Qaeda;

    • Iraq and al Qaeda had a “shared interest and pursuit of WMD;” and

    • there was “[o]ne indication of Iraq coordination with al Qaeda specifically related to 9/11,” presumably a reference to the alleged (but doubted by the IC) Atta meeting in Prague.

    The report states that there are no known intelligence reports, other than those provided by Feith's office, that could explain where this view originated. "A pattern emerges of senior administration officials exaggerating the extent of the relationship in public statements which more closely reflect the Feith analysis" than those of the intelligence community, it said.

    As an obvious example, the report said Feith's office repeatedly asserted in the months leading up to the war that lead hijacker Mohammed Atta had met with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague in the spring before the September 11 attacks, an account that the CIA dismissed because evidence existed that Atta was elsewhere at the time.

    And in at least one case, according to the report, the Pentagon office included the purported meeting in a report sent to the White House, but omitted it from the version of the same report sent to the CIA.

    The meeting was then constantly referred to by senior administration officials, and especially Cheney, as evidence of a possible Saddam link to 9/11. In fact, Cheney said the Feith analysis was the “best source of information,” according to the report.

    However, not only had the alleged meeting never been “known,” at the time of the briefing to the White House, the Intelligence Community was skeptical in late spring 2002 that such a meeting ever took place. Yet in September of 2002, Feith called the meeting a "known contact" in a crucial misstatement about the intelligence, since it indicated a link which did not exist.

    "The professional objectivity and independence required in the assessment of the Iraq-Al Qaeda relationship, a major reason given for going to war, were compromised to support a predetermined policy -- to present the government of Saddam Hussein as a serious threat to the security of the United States" the report wrote.

    Finally, relative to the attacks, the final 911 Commission Report itself said that the “Intelligence Community has no credible information that Baghdad had foreknowledge of the 11 September attacks or any other al-Qaida strike.”

    Inventing bogus intelligence was bad enough but during the pre-war planning, the military experts were systematically excluded from participating in that process as well. In the end, Feith and the OSP had so grossly underestimated the Iraqi resistance that it caused General Tommy Franks, who led the invasion in Iraq, to call Feith “the f***ing stupidest guy on the face of the earth,” according Bob Woodward's book Plan of Attack.

    Feith and the Defense Policy Board

    The DPB is a group of 30 people, who for the most part were chosen by Rumsfeld and Feith, that advises officials on whether to go to war or not. Many of its members are literally making a fortune off a war which they had been promoting for years. At least 9 members have ties to companies that won more than $76 billion in defense contracts during 2001 and 2002.

    Feith excluded many top Middle East experts from the State Department from playing any meaningful role in the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Feith's office and the CPA were tasked with awarding reconstruction contracts in Iraq.

    So this was another sweet setup. Feith was deciding who would get contracts, at the same time that his middleman law partner, Zell, was hustling up business deals in Iraq for rich clients. Of course, for members of the Bush war profiteering club, this was merely business as usual.

    Among the firms that have profited the most, are those with consultants serving on the DPB, many of which were hand-picked by Feith.

    Some of the construction and defense companies with direct ties to DPB members include Boeing, Bechtel, TRW, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Booz Allen Hamilton, along with smaller players like Symantec Corp, Technology Strategies, Alliance Corp, and Polycom Inc.

    How much money was up for grabs when it came to doling out defense contracts? For starters, during the major combat phase of the war, the US military launched over 800 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Iraqi forces, according to figures released by the US Navy.

    At a price of about $569,000 each, replacing those missiles no doubt generated a lofty amount for Raytheon Systems, the Pentagon contractor for Tomahawks. Close to a 100 more missiles were fired during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

    Occupation forces later launched over 19,000 guided munitions in Iraq, most of which came from the US, according to a report on Operation Iraqi Freedom published by the US Central Command Air Forces on 30 April 2003.

    There was a $10.3 billion proposal for the development of a missile defense program in Bush’s 2005 defense spending budget, of which Lockheed Martin would be heavily involved in, according to a report from the World Policy Institute.

    Northrop Grumman, the country's third largest defense contractor, secured contracts to build new weapons systems such as the unmanned predator drones. The firm is the prime contractor for the Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Bush proposed $12 billion for UAV development for the years between 2004 - 2009. Northrop earned a company record of $11.1 billion in defense contracts in 2003.

    And Bush is funneling our tax dollars to known crooks. Northrop‘s Vinnell subsidiary was awarded a $48 million contract to train the new Iraqi Army, even though Northrop was forced to pay $191.7 million in penalties over the previous 4 years.

    In less than a year after he took office, Bush got rid of regulations implemented by President Clinton that barred contracts for companies convicted or penalized for crimes during the previous 3 years. Clinton strengthened the rules before leaving office, and said that repeated violations would make a company ineligible for new contracts. Bush suspended the regulations within his first 3 months in office. By December 2001, he had revoked them entirely.

    Who Else Is Raking In War Profits?

    Lets look at a couple members of the Defense Policy Board. Former CIA Director, James Woolsey, is a prime example of how the revolving door never stops spinning for this gang of war profiteers. After he left the CIA, Woolsey remained a senior advisor on intelligence and national security issues, and specifically the war in Iraq. When the war began, he worked for two private companies that did business in Iraq, and was a partner in a company that invested in firms that provide security and anti-terrorism services.

    At the time, Woolsey was a vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton. In that role, less than 2 months after the war began, he was a featured speaker at a May 2003 conference titled "Companies on the Ground: The Challenge for Business in Rebuilding Iraq," at which 80 corporate executives paid $1,100 to attend. He spoke about the many potential business opportunities in Iraq and about Bush's decision to steer reconstruction contracts to US firms.

    With Woolsey in a Vice President position, Booz Allen became a subcontractor for a $75-million telecommunications contract in Iraq. Of course in true Dick Cheney style, Woolsey denies any involvement in that work. But then, it really does not matter whether he was directly involved or not because as VP of the company he would get a cut of the profits resulting from any contracts the firm enters into.

    Soon after 9/11, Woolsey wrote an op/ed piece in the Wall Street Journal saying a foreign state had aided Al Qaeda in preparing the attacks and named Iraq as the leading culprit. In October 2001, Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz sent Woolsey to the UK to hunt for evidence to link Saddam to the attacks.

    Before the war, Woolsey was up to his neck in war planning. In addition to sitting on the DPB and giving direct advice to Rumsfeld, he was a founding member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI), an organization set up by the WH in 2002 to help garner public support for going to war in Iraq.

    They actually put together a promotion team to rally support for the war funded with our tax dollars no less. Tell me this scheme wasn't well planned and directed.

    Before the war, another DPB member, Margaret Bartel, managed the funds channeled to Amhed Chalabi's exile group, the INC, including funds for its bogus prewar intelligence program on WMDs. Once it began, Bartel went on to head a consulting firm which helped investors find Iraqi partners.

    Bartel established Global Positioning and told the LA Times that the firm's primary purpose was to "introduce clients to the Iraqi market, help them find potential Iraqi partners, set up meetings with government officials … and provide on-the-ground support for their business interests." So here was another sweet set up.

    As for the chairman of the DPB, Richard Perle was a "special government employee," subject to federal ethics rules, including the rule that bars the chairman from using his public office for private gain.

    Perle decided to resign as chairman after a little ethical problem came under scrutiny in March 2003. It was discovered that at the same time that he was advising the Pentagon on war policies, Perle had been retained by the telecommunications company Global Crossing to help overcome opposition by the Department of Defense and the FBI to the firms proposed sale to a Chinese company.

    The agencies objected to the sale citing national security and law enforcement problems, because it would put Global's fiber-optic network, used by the US government, under Chinese ownership.

    According to a legal notice that Global was preparing to file in bankruptcy court at the time, Perle was set to make $725,000, including $600,000 if the government approved the sale of the firm to the joint venture of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, and Singapore Technologies Telemedia Pte, a company controlled by the Singapore government.

    Perle was quick to pipe up to reporters and make the distinction that he was not involved in the lobbying of Defense Department officials, that his job was merely to advise Global on the process of gaining approval. That sure put my mind at ease.

    In the end, I don't think its likely that Feith will end up in the welfare lines. Due to careful post-White House planning, I think its safe to say that Feith and his band of cronies will enjoy financial benefits for life, just so long as their never-ending war policies are carried on by their successor.

    Evelyn Pringle

    (Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for Independent Media TV and an investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government)

  3. #3
    PhilosophyGenius Guest
    Now these are the guys that Pat Robertson should be calling for the assasination for.

  4. #4
    911=inside job Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by PhilosophyGenius
    Now these are the guys that Pat Robertson should be calling for the assasination for.
    where are you at in the bay area???

  5. #5
    ehnyah Guest

    dual-national traitor, should be investigated for treason

    Portrait of a neo-con

    As the United States and the world look back over the events of the past three years, events triggered by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it is worth taking a close look at the under secretary of defense for policy, one of the architects of the "war on terror" and the invasion of Iraq.

    Douglas Feith is the No 3 civilian in the George W Bush administration's Department of Defense (DoD), under Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. Under Secretary for Policy Feith had previously served in the administration of the late president Ronald Reagan, starting off as Middle East specialist at the National Security Council (1981-82) and then transferring to the DoD, where he spent two years as staff lawyer for assistant defense secretary Richard Perle. In 1984 Feith advanced to become deputy assistant secretary of defense for negotiations policy. Feith and Perle were among the leading advocates of a policy to build closer US military and diplomatic ties with Turkey and to increase military ties between Turkey and Israel.

    Feith left the DoD in mid-1986 to found the Feith & Zell law firm, based initially in Israel, whose clients included major military contractor Northrup Grumman. In 1989, Feith established another company, International Advisors Inc, which provided lobbying services to foreign clients, including Turkey.

    Feith's private business dealings raised eyebrows in Washington. In 1999, his firm Feith & Zell formed an alliance with the Israel-based Zell, Goldberg & Co, which resulted in the creation of the Fandz International Law Group. According to Fandz' website, the law group "has recently established a task force dealing with issues and opportunities relating to the recently ended war with Iraq and is assisting regional construction and logistics firms to collaborate with contractors from the United States and other coalition countries in implementing infrastructure and other reconstruction projects in Iraq." Remarked Washington Post columnist Al Kamen, "Interested parties can reach [Fandz] through its website, at Hmmm. Rings a bell. Oh, yes, that was the website of the Washington law firm of Feith & Zell, PC, as in Douglas Feith [the] under secretary of defense for policy and head of - what else? - reconstruction matters in Iraq. It would be impossible indeed to overestimate how perfect ZGC would be in 'assisting American companies in their relations with the United States government in connection with Iraqi reconstruction projects'."
    A vocal advocate of US intervention in the Middle East and for the hardline policies of the Likud Party in Israel, Feith has been involved in or overseen the activities of two controversial Pentagon operations - the Defense Policy Board, whose former head Richard Perle resigned after concerns arose about conflicts of interest between his board duties and business dealings, and the Office of Special Plans (OSP), which allegedly misrepresented intelligence on Iraq to support administration policies. Feith's office not only housed the Office of Special Plans and other special intelligence operations associated with the Near East and South Asia (NESA) office and the Office of Northern Gulf Affairs but also the office of Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone, who directed military policy on interrogations of the Guantanamo Bay detainees and then arranged for the transfer of the base's commanding officer, Major-General Geoffrey Miller, to the Abu Ghraib prison in an effort to extract more information from Iraqi prisoners.

    Feith and Israel
    Feith cannot be described by just one label. He is a longtime militarist, a neo-conservative, and a right-wing Zionist. According to Bob Woodward's book Plan of Attack, Feith was described by the military commander who led the Iraq invasion, General Tommie Franks, as "the f---ing stupidest guy on the face of the Earth", referring to the bad intelligence fed to the military about Iraq and the extent of possible resistance to a US invasion.

    Feith also has a reputation as a prolific writer, having published articles on international law and on foreign and defense policy in the New York Times, the Washington Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, and The New Republic.

    His militarism - and close ties with the military-industrial complex - were evident in his policy work in the Pentagon working with Perle in the 1980s and then part of the Vulcans along with Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Vice President Richard Cheney in the Bush II administration; his work as a corporate lobbyist in the 1990s for Northrup Grumman along other military contractors; and his prominent role in the Center for Security Policy and in the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). His political orientation is distinctly neo-conservative, as evident in his affiliations with such groups as the Middle East Forum, Center for Security Policy, and Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS).

    Feith served as chairman of the board of directors of the Center for Security Policy, a policy institute that promotes higher military budgets, missile defense systems, space weapons programs, and hardline policies in the Middle East and East Asia. CSP was founded in 1988 by Frank Gaffney, a fellow neo-con and, like Feith, a former DoD official in the Reagan administration. Feith helped Gaffney organize CSP's large advisory board, which includes leading neo-cons, arms lobbyists, and the leading congressional members linked to the military-industrial complex. Feith has also served as an adviser to the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, which aims to foster closer working relationships between the Israeli military, the US military, the Pentagon, and military contractors in both countries.

    Feith has supported lobbying efforts aimed at persuading the US to drop out of treaties and arms control agreements. Wrote one journalist in The Nation, "Largely ignored or derided at the time, a 1995 [Center for Security Policy -CSP] memo co-written by Douglas Feith holding that the United States should withdraw from the ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] Treaty has essentially become policy, as have other CSP reports opposing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the International Criminal Court."

    Feith is a self-proclaimed Zionist - not a Labor Zionist but a right-wing Zionist close to the Likud Party and the Zionist Organization of America.

    In the 1990s, Feith was an outspoken critic of the Middle East policies of both the Bush and Bill Clinton administrations that he said were based on the faulty "peace now" and "land for peace" policy frameworks. Instead, he called for a "peace through strength" agenda for Israel and the US - invoking a phrase promoted by the neo-conservatives since the mid-1970s, which became the slogan of the Center for Security Policy.

    The Middle East Information Center described Feith as an "ideologue with an extreme anti-Arab bias", remarking that "during the Clinton years, Feith continued to oppose any agreement negotiated between the Israelis and Palestinians: Oslo, Hebron and Wye". Feith "defined Oslo as 'one-sided Israeli concessions, inflated Palestinian expectations, broken Palestinian solemn understandings, Palestinian violence ... and American rewards for Palestinian recalcitrance'."

    In 1991, Feith, together with Gaffney, addressed the National Leadership Conference of the State of Israel Organization. In Feith's view, it was foolish for the US government and Israel to negotiate with the Palestinians over issues of land given that contrasting principles - not differences over occupied lands - fueled the Israeli-Arab conflict. He noted that, even before Israel was established, Western political leaders mistakenly thought that "the vast territories newly made available for the fulfillment of Arab ambitions for independence would make it easier to win acceptance within the region of a Jewish state in Palestine". According to Feith, no matter what they say publicly or at the negotiating table, the Palestinians have always rejected the principle of legitimacy, namely "the legitimacy of Zionist claims to a Jewish National Homeland in the Land of Israel". Criticizing the George H W Bush administration's attempt to broker a land for peace deal, Feith warned, "If Western statesmen openly recognized the problem as a clash of principles, they would not be able to market hope through the launching of peace initiatives."

    In 1997 the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) honored Dalck Feith and Douglas Feith at its annual dinner. It described the Feiths as "noted Jewish philanthropists and pro-Israel activists". The father was awarded the group's special Centennial Award "for his lifetime of service to Israel and the Jewish people", while Douglas received the "prestigious Louis D Brandeis Award".

    Dalck Feith was a militant in Betar, a Zionist youth movement founded by Ze'ev Jabotinsky, an admirer of Italian fascist Benito Mussolini. Betar, whose members wore dark-brown uniforms and spouted militaristic slogans modeled after other fascistic movements, was associated with the Revisionist Movement, which evolved in Poland to become the Herut Party, which later became the Likud Party.

    In 1999 Douglas Feith wrote an essay for a book titled The Dangers of a Palestinian State, which was published by ZOA. Also in 1999, Feith spoke to a 150-member ZOA lobbying mission to Congress that called, among other things, for "US action against Palestinian Arab killers of Americans" and for moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The ZOA lobbying group also criticized the Clinton administration for its "refusal to criticize illegal Palestinian Arab construction in Jerusalem and the territories, which is far more extensive than Israeli construction there".

    Initially, Feith strongly supported the Benjamin Netanyahu government controlled by the Likud Party. Immediately before Netanyahu took office, Feith in a Washington Times op-ed wrote: "His Likud Party is in general about as radical as our Republican Party. Mr Netanyahu favors diplomatic, defense, and economic policies for Israel similar in principal to the kind of policies that Reaganites favored (and favor) for the United States." In the opinion piece, Feith echoed the Likud position on peace negotiations and occupied territories. According to Feith, "Israel is unlikely over time to retain control over pieces of territory unless its people actually live there. Supporters of settlements reason: If Israelis do not settle an area in the territories, Israel will eventually be forced to relinquish it. If it relinquishes the territories generally, its security will be undermined and peace therefore will not be possible."

    Feith wrote that the Likud Party's policies were guided by the "peace-through-strength principle". Feith took the opportunity of the op-ed to explain that both Israel and the US would benefit from a strong commitment to missile defense. According to Feith, Israel would directly benefit from the installation of a sea-based, wide-area missile defense system, which would supplement Israel's own national missile defense system that the US helped develop. Noting the symbiosis of US and Israeli interests, Feith wrote that Netanyahu knew that "if he encourages Israel's friends in Congress to support such programs, he will create much goodwill with the broad-based forces in the United States, led by the top Republicans in Congress, that deem missile defense the gravest US military deficiency". Feith didn't see fit to mention that, along with Israel, the main beneficiary of such a global missile defense system would be military contractors such as the ones he represented in his law firm, including Northrup Grumman.

    Feith is also well known for his participation - along with neo-conservative bigwigs Richard Perle and David Wurmser - in a 1996 study organized by the Israel-based Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, which urged scrapping the then-ongoing peace process. The study, titled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm", advised prime minister-elect Netanyahu "to work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll back" regional threats, help overthrow Saddam Hussein, and strike "Syrian military targets in Lebanon" and possibly in Syria proper.

    Three of the six authors of the report - Perle (who was IASPS team leader), Wurmser and Feith - helped set the Middle East strategy, including strong support for current Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's hardline policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in the Bush II administration. Perle chaired the DoD's Defense Policy Board, Feith became under secretary of defense for policy, and Wurmser became Vice President Cheney's top Middle East adviser after leaving the State Department, where he had worked under Under Secretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton.

    Other members of the IASPS study group on "A New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000" included James Colbert of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, Meyrav Wurmser of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), and Jonathan Torop of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a neo-conservative think-tank founded by a director of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). At the time the report was published, Wurmser was an associate of IASPS.


  6. #6
    ehnyah Guest
    As guiding principles for a new framework of Israeli-US policy in the Middle East, the report advocated that the new Likud government do the following:

    Change the nature of its relations with the Palestinians, including upholding the right of hot pursuit for self-defense into all Palestinian areas and nurturing alternatives to Yasser Arafat's exclusive grip on Palestinian society.
    Forge a new basis for relations with the US - stressing self-reliance, maturity, strategic cooperation on areas of mutual concern, and furthering values inherent to the West.
    Israel has the opportunity to make a clean break; it can forge a peace process and strategy based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism, the starting point of which must be economic reform.

    By 1997, Feith and other right-wing Zionists in the US were expressing their disappointment that the Netanyahu government had not "dismantled the Oslo process", as Feith wrote in Commentary, the neo-conservative magazine of the American Jewish Committee. Feith then proceeded to outline a radical break with what he characterized as the "peace now" framework of negotiations. Instead, Feith recommended that Netanyahu fulfill his "peace through strength" campaign promise. "Repudiating Oslo would compel Israel, first and foremost, to undo the grossest of the errors inherent in the accords: the arming of scores of thousands of PA [Palestinian Authority] 'policemen'." Feith asserted that the "PA's security force has succeeded primarily in aggravating Israel's terrorism problem". What is more, Feith argued for Israel "to deflate expectations of imminent peace" and to "preach sobriety and defense". It was not until a new Likud government was formed under Sharon and when Feith and other Zionists such as Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams and Michael Rubin, together with militarists such as Rumsfeld and Cheney, took over control of Middle East policy during the Bush II administration that Israel, supported by the US, made a "clean break" from the Oslo framework.

    Typical of other neo-conservatives, Feith in public statements has not made reference to his own Zionist convictions. Rather in congressional testimony and in op-eds in major media, Feith has instead argued that US policy in the Middle East should be guided by concerns about human rights and democracy. Israel, according to Feith, should never enter into good-faith negotiations with Arab countries or the PA because they are not democratic. Moreover, human-rights violations in Syria, Iran and Iraq justify aggressive US and Israeli policies aimed at ousting undemocratic and repressive regimes. Israeli occupations are justified in the name of ensuring the national security of democratic Israel.

    Intelligence operations and scandals
    Feith is no stranger to intelligence scandals. In 1982 he left the National Security Council under the shadow of a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) probe of Reagan administration officials suspected of passing intelligence information to Israel. During the Bush II administration, investigative reports by Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker focused public attention on the Office of Special Plans that came under Feith's supervision.

    In the days after the September 11 terrorist attacks, Feith and Wolfowitz started cooking intelligence to meet the needs of the radically new foreign and military policy that included regime change in Iraq as its top priority.

    One might have thought that the priority for a special intelligence would have been to determine the whereabouts of the terrorist network that had just attacked the homeland. But Wolfowitz and Feith, working closely with Rumsfeld and Cheney, had other intelligence priorities. This loosely organized team soon became the Office of Special Plans directed by Abram Shulksy, formerly of RAND and the National Strategy Information Center (NSIC). The objective of this closet intelligence team, according to Rumsfeld, was to "search for information on Iraq's hostile intentions or links to terrorists". OSP's mission was to create intelligence that the Pentagon and vice president could use to press their case for an Iraq invasion with the president and Congress.

    About the same time, the Pentagon took the first steps toward launching a counterintelligence operation called the Office of Strategic Intelligence to support the emerging security doctrine of preventive war. But this shadowy office, whose very purpose was to create propaganda and to counter information coming out of Iraq, was quickly disbanded. Congressional members expressed their concern that a counterintelligence office would not limit itself to discrediting the intelligence of US adversaries. Such a secret counterintelligence office, critics warned, either intentionally or inadvertently might spread disinformation to the US public and policy community as part of the buildup to the planned invasion.

    Feith oversaw these efforts to provide the type of "strategic intelligence" needed to drive this policy agenda. As the Pentagon's top policy official in Middle East affairs, Feith had oversight authority of the DoD's Near East and South Asia bureau (NESA). That office came under the direct supervision of William Luti, a retired navy officer who is a Newt Gingrich protege and who has long advocated a US military invasion of Iraq.

    The OSP worked closely with Ahmad Chalabi and others from the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an expatriate group promoted by the neo-conservatives to replace the Saddam regime once US troops were in Baghdad. Chalabi assured the Pentagon that a US invasion would be supported by widespread Iraqi resistance, leading to claims by top administration officials and neo-con pundits that the invasion would be a "cakewalk". The OSP also relied on intelligence flows about Iraq from a rump unit established in the offices of Sharon - who like Chalabi was a proponent of a US military invasion and had close relations with neo-cons such as Wolfowitz and Feith.
    Feith became embroiled in a new intelligence scandal in late August when it was reported that the FBI had for the past two years been investigating intelligence leaks to Israel from the Pentagon. The Pentagon official named in the media reports is Lawrence Franklin, who was brought into the Office of Special Plans from the Defense Intelligence Agency. Franklin, who had served in the military attache's office in the US Embassy in Tel Aviv in the late 1990s as a colonel in the Air Force Reserve, is suspected of passing classified information about Iran to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee and Israel. Fellow neo-con and Franklin's friend Michael Ledeen called the allegations against Franklin "nonsensical". The FBI is also investigating whether Franklin and other DoD officials passed classified information to Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress. According to one neo-con interviewed by the Washington Post, "This is part of a civil war with the administration, a basic dislike between the old CIA and the neo-conservatives."

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