IRAQ: THE LEGACY OF DECEPTION AND ITS COSTS

      By Susan Lindauer, Former CIA Back Channel to Iraq at the United Nations

Most Americans are astonished to discover that right up to 9/11, the CIA was developing a “Real Politik” vision of Iraq that recognized the fast approaching collapse of U.N. Sanctions. The CIA was preparing for Peace—with a ruthless determination that the United States would capture the lion’s share of spoils from Iraqi Reconstruction contracts in any post-sanctions period.

German pilots transporting medical supplies and doctors into Baghdad International Airport at the end of the Clinton Administration had blasted the myth of invincibility surrounding sanctions. To this day, those pilots are anonymous—but they changed the equation in total. Their courage honoring the Berlin Airlifts in the Cold War was quickly copied. Across Europe and the Arab world, activists began to organize humanitarian flights into Baghdad. On the Security Council, France and Russia argued strenuously that the ban on air travel had been self imposed, and the no-fly zone could not prohibit humanitarian flights.   

By this time, UN sanctions had killed over 1.7 million Iraqis; wiped out literacy in a single generation; and created artificial starvation in the world’s second most oil-rich nation. Iraq’s world class hospitals that once rivaled London and New York had been ravaged.  Sick of the misery, the global community refused to stay silent any longer.

The CIA saw the writing on the wall. International loathing for “genocide by sanctions” had reached such a peak of outrage that there was no possibility of re-crafting the hated policy. Secretary of State Colin Powell’s vision of “smart sanctions” had come too late.

The CIA was determined to control the agenda for the advantage of the United States, however. And so quietly through my back channel, we undertook a proactive, covert dialogue over exactly what concessions Iraq would offer the United States, in exchange for lifting the sanctions. As a long-time opponent of sanctions myself, I was eager to get results.

That dialogue—even the existence of our back channel to Iraq’s Embassy at the United Nations from 1996 to 2003—was strictly covert, kept close and precious— away from Washington pundits and think tanks whose ignorance would have smashed all progress on the rocks. Our dialogue was no less vigorous for that secrecy.

This was the CIA at its best. Nobody got soft on Saddam’s government. By any measure, the CIA’s demands far exceeded the U.N. mandate to eliminate Iraq’s WMDs. If there was going to be peace, it would have to be rock solid, with zero chance that Baghdad would bite the United States in retaliation for those years of misery and death.

A Prosperous Peace for All

What emerged was a dynamic and comprehensive framework hammered out with Iraq’s Ambassador Dr. Saeed Hasan and senior diplomats in New York.

The agreement required weapons inspections “with no conditions.” But the deal accomplished much more. By February, 2001—nine months before 9/11—Baghdad authorized the FBI to send Terrorism Task Force into Iraq, with permission to conduct investigations and make arrests.  After 9/11, Iraq sweetened its contribution with promises to hand over banking and financial documents on Al Qaeda figures. There’s no question but that Iraq’s cooperation qualified as the most substantial windfall in the War on Terrorism. Notably, it targeted actual terrorists— not Islamic charities or frightened taxi drivers and plumbers with the wrong accents and ethnic coloring.

Every time Senator John McCain or Dick Cheney pounded the lectern on CNN, and demanded an interview with Al Anai, or other cooperation— Iraq complied within hours.

THE PEACE DIVIDEND

Most importantly, the CIA was determined that the U.S. would retain a strong footing inside Iraq in all major economic sectors, in any post sanctions period.

The CIA envisioned a great Peace Bonanza for U.S. corporations that would have gorged American workers and shareholders with billions of dollars in revenues. It was a vision of prosperity and wealth creation, which put the United States at the center of the banquet table. The CIA wanted jobs, more jobs and profits. The goal was to rival the economic impact of the reconstruction of Germany and Japan after World War II, driving as many of those economic benefits to U.S. coffers as possible.

Iraq was happy to oblige. Those were days when the United States commanded such power on the world stage that other nations recognized Washington would have to be gratified in order for a change of policy to move forward.

And so Baghdad agreed to Every Single Demand put forth by the CIA— without complaint that U.S. conditions far exceeded the scope of the U.N. mandate for ending the sanctions.

  • The CIA demanded and won Iraq’s agreement to allow all U.S. corporations to return to Baghdad, post-sanctions, at the same level of market share as before the first Gulf War in 1990.
  • Iraq promised first tier oil concessions to U.S. Oil Corporations in all new exploration and development leases, with priority contracts for the purchase of American oil equipment. Baghdad also promised the U.S. could join existing oil leases held by other countries on a second and third tier basis.
  • In January, 2003, Iraq offered the LUKoil Contract held by Russia to U.S. oil companies instead, in a final, tragic bid to avert War.
  • By December, 2001, Iraq agreed to give preferential contracts, post-sanctions, to U.S. Corporations in telecommunications
  •  In fact, the CIA demanded and won Iraq’s agreement to give the U.S. preferential contracts in health care, hospital equipment and pharmaceuticals.
  • Iraq agreed to buy 1 million American-manufactured automobiles every year for 10 years. This would have required imports from the U.S., not licensing of technology. That would have created thousands of high-paying Union jobs in the Rust Belt of America.

Imagine the modern day Global Economy if the CIA’s vision had prevailed. There would be no bankruptcy of the Middle Class. No housing foreclosure crisis. No government stimulus packages to bail out Banks or the U.S. automobile industry. There would be No Great Depression on All Points of the Global Horizon. This bounty would have extended to Britain and all of Europe and Asia. All countries would have joined the Feast of Reconstruction in Iraq. The prosperity flowing from this Peace Bonanza would have multiplied like loaves of bread throughout the world.

Imagine better schools. Universal health coverage. Substantial new investment in green energy, mass transit and infrastructure improvements. That’s what the Middle Class sacrificed in this Bonfire of the Vanities.

Republicans quickly recognized American voters would be irate over those costs. No longer fired with courage in the belly, and lacking the strength of conviction, Republicans shifted blame for their mediocre war policy onto the Intelligence Community—which had developed this peace framework— rather than take responsibility for their own decision making. 

All three U.S. Assets covering the Iraqi Embassy in New York got thrown in prison as “Iraqi Agents,” citing the Patriot Act. All of us faced secret charges, secret evidence and secret grand jury testimony. Myself, I spent a year locked up on Carswell Air Force Base without a trial or hearing, threatened with indefinite detention.

In a violent effort to force to me to recant, I was threatened with forcible drugging with Haldol, Ativan and Prozac. Only thanks to blowback from the blogs and internet radio was the truth that I had lived saved from a chemical lobotomy.

There’s a reason why, and it bodes very badly for America.  

THE COST OF WAR:

The tragic truth is that pulling U.S. soldiers out from Iraq will not reverse those negative consequences for the U.S. economy or taxpayers. The Middle Class is down for the count and not getting up.  Our grand children will be financing this failed War in Baghdad with hefty income taxes to pay America’s creditors in China for decades to come. There’s serious question as to whether the War in Iraq has ended the “American Century.”

The United States has hemorrhaged $4 TRILLION on the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and deficits continue to escalate in Kabul. Military spending for defense contractors has increased 81 percent since the 9/11 attack, while disability and health benefits for U.S. Veterans have stagnated.

  • Over 4,000 U.S. Soldiers died in Iraq— while another 30,000 suffered serious traumatic injuries, paralysis, amputations and head injuries.
  • An American soldier attempts suicide every 80 minutes, according to Veterans for Peace, which has demanded more community outreach to save their lives
  • Post traumatic stress cripples tens of thousands of young American soldiers who face great difficulty returning to work and family life.

For all of the glory of U.S. military budgets, we have nothing to give our young people in uniform.

And that’s not all. What of that grand vision called the War on Terrorism?

Cunning like a fox, Saddam Hussein tried to give the United States banking and financial documents that would have closed down the financial pipeline feeding terrorism. Mostly that financing derives from heroin profits, which would have resulted in substantial seizures, and killed two birds with one powerful stone.

Yet for all the rhetoric, Republican leaders so desired to attack Saddam that they left all terrorism financing in circulation. There’s no question but those monies have financed attacks on U.S. and allied partners in Pakistan, India, Iraq, Afghanistan, Indonesia, the Philippines—wherever radical Islam is engaged in violent retaliation against U.S. military operations.

And so the greatest irony is that the U.S. has financed our Enemies’ War on Terrorism against our own people. That’s just plain stupid. And dangerous.

The damage goes farther. Former CIA Director of Operations and head of the Bin Laden Unit, Michael Scheuer argues that U.S. interventions are in danger of igniting another major terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Guaranteed to outscore 9/11, the next attack will most likely involve a dirty nuclear attack on the financial district of New York City, which would push the global economy over the edge, into the abyss.

Pulling out of Iraq creates an opportunity to reduce that risk—but only if Washington learns the lessons of its past mistakes and resists the temptation to engage in new military mis-adventures.

The Weapons Trap in Iran

Indeed, as the world weighs another War against Iran, we must engage in a serious conversation as to whether any nation is worth the risk of destruction to our own?

Veterans and anti-war activists alike must force a consideration of what our economy has suffered already—since the value of human life has become so cheap. We must examine the costs of War to our economy, our taxpayers and our soldiers, with much greater clarity and honesty than Republicans in Congress applied to the War in Iraq.

Tragically, the War in Iraq has had an unexpected consequence. It has persuaded Iran of the dangers of nuclear disarmament. Baghdad would have been much less vulnerable to U.S. military adventurism, if only Saddam’s government had possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, per U.N. accusations. Baghdad’s inability to mount an effective defense created an irresistible provocation for War Hawks in Washington and London.

That lesson of the Iraq War is not lost on Teheran. On that contrary, it has proved to Iranian leaders that WMDs are vital to their future independence. Only a guarantee of “mutual assured destruction” will preserve the freedom of their country. 

Unquestionably, that is the greatest tragedy of all, with consequences to come.

One must ask: Would the CIA’s vision of peace been so terrible after all?

                                                       #####

Susan Lindauer is the author of Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq.

Comments
  1. F Gregg Meagher says:

    I would love someone like you to tie all this together with the NWO and the Bilderberg Group, which is beyond obviously, managing things on a Global Basis. They are now running the USA, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and on … and on. Historically, and leading-up to this very moment, connections between the famous Knights Templar and the CIA continue to arise and match-up with leaders in the USA and around the World; with the famous ‘Pope’, whose ring everyone runs to kiss the moment they are placed into power… getting the full vote of ’10’ as the empirical idol of pure Medieval insanity. In fact, experts here in Italy, have demonstrated the reconstruction of the Holy Roman Empire being in full force.

    Personally, I find it more than difficult, ranging on impossibility, that anyone with inside information has not arrived at the NWO and the above connections; to include the very real ‘Illuminati’; as so defined prior to ‘Post Modern Man Times’.

    People have to be blind (intentionally) to not see that aka Obama is destroying America’s Constitution and Bill of Rights. The same is happening around the Planet; and, those on top have all been connected with the Bilderberg group and the NWO. Further, blindness on the part of Joe, American or any other nationality, can not close out the darkness of War Aggression on the part of the White House and the Pentagon… with their aforementioned colleagues. Iran, Syria, and on … are on a list that is endless… and reaches up into our Universes.

    Thank you Susan for all you are doing.
    Happy New Life’s Year 2012+
    Gregg

  2. F Gregg Meagher says:

    For those monitoring: PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE TO THE INDIVIDUALS BEING ADDRESSED:
    Dear (vomit) Mr. aka Obama. my sincerest best wishes for Peace, Love, Compassion, Divine Wisdom, Intelligence, and Logic based on FACTS available and undeniable. And, in full support of your ‘anti-terrorism guidelines and requests for assistance from within the American Population (Vietnam Combat Veteran-US Marine Corps – Highly Decorated – Vietnam DMZ / TET Offensive); and further, in support of your expressed definition of ‘Terrorism’ at official US Governmental Levels, I officially request a Full Investigation into the World Trade Center Bombings; the validity of actions on the part of Bradley Manning in defense of America under his mandatory sworn oath; and formal public validation and publication of original copies of all your US Nationalization and Identification Documents. This demand, is not only being placed upon you, who has taken the position of ‘President of the United States of America’; yet, it is also being put forth to the United Nations and the World Court. Refusal, would indicate ‘something is wrong within our governmental operatives’; and I would request your immediate and just stepping down from the Office of President of the United States of America, under the Constitutional Guidelines, which in fact Govern America over your publicly appointed office and powers… over the Senate and the Congress, who, in this case, and with regards to the above mentioned events, have, in fact, undeniably failed the American People and the World at large.

    Mr. aka Obama, I and my Brothers of the United States Armed Forces, who have, since the beginning of America’s History, given life and limb, given stability at home and within family, and on for America, are not willing to accept being treated like indoctrinated war-machines and robots, when at Home, Our Nation and Families are endangered within our Governmental Offices, be they local or National in scope and the Pentagon’s questionable Knights of antiquity who have n other self-importance other than to follow empirical desires for ‘continued wars’.

    Mr. aka Obama, I herein, officially, and in accordance with the laws and procedures put into effect by you and your governmental colleagues and mercenaries (under the guise f private security organizations) open full-scale, national and international third party investigations into questionable acts of terrorism (Once again: as defined officially by the US Government) within the Offices of, and the Elected Ranks of, Officials of the United States Government; the same starting with your own person, due to provocations on your part of refusing to present undeniably valid and original documents validating: Your Natural Born Citizenship, your National Identification Card and Number; and onwards, when officially, and peacefully, asked by American Citizens and Representatives of the United States of America necessarily through our established systems of Justice. I take this opportunity to remind you Mr. aka Obama, that United States Governmental Operations are Fully (100%) defined and determined as being “For the People, of the People, and by the People”. Any act in the contrary, or refusal to adhere to this on the part of any appointed / voted-in official of the United States Government, under the aforementioned definitions and guidelines is, in fact. Mr. aka Obama, when leading to assumed reasons for wars and support (accomplice) of the same, which have, factual, led to aggressive destructiveness against any nation and its peoples and in particular costing the lives of those peoples, is, in fact, under the Official Definitions of those in Government, and the Government as an Institution, undeniably “Terrorism”. This stated as being fact: Determines that any ‘War on Terrorism” would, for God’s Necessity and man’s, necessarily be (And I sincerely hope in a Peaceful and Loving Manner using Wisdom, Intelligence, Compassion, and Logic of a Spiritual Nature!) directed by the US Congress and Senate… the United Nations… NATO… and the World Court at the very same offices you have occupied as an ‘individual’. Thus, under your Official definitions of “Terrorism”, I request from you, as a decorated veteran and citizen of the United States of America, in your position: Full application of all procedures supporting ‘questionable and / or assumed potential tendencies or active ones’ to be voluntarily and officially imposed upon your person, office as President of the United States of America, associates external of Governmental Agencies and Operative Structures, and supportive colleagues within the aforementioned established structures.

    Failure on your part to do so, leads to a parallel and simultaneous demand of the Members of the United State’s Congress, the United State’s Senate, the United Nations and World Court, and the United States Department of Justice to proceed immediately, and on behalf of National and International Security, under the guise of the Homestead Act: To establish beyond any doubt whatsoever that, in fact: 1st > the obvious violations with accordance to the US Government’s Official Definition of ‘Terrorism’ are not based on factual occurrence within the infrastructure of the United State’ Structures, Offices, and Operatives, from top to bottom; 2nd > that the World Trade Center (Towers) were, beyond any doubt whatsoever, destroyed and lives lost, as factually reported by the United State’s Government. The later to include any Governmental connections, affiliations, activities of any sort, with the actual reported perpetrators; and further, to establish if, in fact, Osama bin Laden and other Al Quaeda operatives were, or were not, since the Russian Occupation of Afghanistan operatives within the organization defined as the United States CIA; 3rd – that, in fact, personal documents representing the right to hold the Office of the Presidency of the United States of America be presented openly to “We the People of the United States of America” as CEO of the very same Government in, which one aka Obama is occupying; and factually, holding hostage in violations of the Constitution of the United States of America and “We the People’s Bill of Inalienable Rights”!; 4th – that the United States Government and Mr. aka Obama, as Commander in Chief, release immediately Bradley Manning, due to the FACT that the same Bradley Manning fully and honorably complied with the United State’s Armed Forces and Government inscribed Oath to defend America and it’s Peoples from tyranny, acts against United States of America’ Values and Principles under “One God as One Nation”, acts of terrorism as defined by the United States Government, and onwards. I do believe that you, Mr. aka Obama are aware of, at east aware of, the Oath taken by Members of the United State’s Armed Forces; and further, just as you and your colleagues within the US Senate and Congress, have now (31 December 2011) determined beyond any questionable doubt that “We the People” fall under now, and also prior to the signing into law, the threat, and implication, of “assumed potential futuristic tendencies towards terrorism”; must I insult your intelligence by stating that Bradley Manning performed perfectly in accordance with your directions and those of the US Senate and the US Congress: to counter and defend America against any questionable, or even assumed, threat of terrorism, or of other nature, against the United States of America. Be this threat from without US Geographical Defined Borders… or according to Governmental and Presidential (Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces – at least when politically convenient. However, during campaign time? Turn decisions of War over to the Navy???) Directives. There is no logically questionable reply to the fact: That, if those who are, in fact, the “Violators and/or Potentially (assumed based on video recorded and official US Documents) threat of terrorism” are seated within the most important to the least important seats of governing powers: Defense of the United States of America under “Oath” requires International and External (Outside of the Questionable and validly assumed Terrorist Circle of Power) i order to intelligently, wisely, peacefully, compassionately, and logically, defend (Under Oath) the United States of America and It’s People (We the People! – must come before Governmental cover-ups to war crimes committed within Our Governmental Structure > by INDIVIDUALS, who are merely humans and measurably subject to corruption, without individualizing any particular individual; yet instead, taking seriously the official and publicized declarations of high-level, and low level, corruption within the US Government. The later, on the part of US Senators and Congressman,who cannot be denied the honor of knowing their colleagues better than those who fell victim to campaign frenzy and free Texan style BBQs.

    In closing, and with all due respect, Mr. aka Obama, I desire to state clearly, sincerely, and honestly, to all those seated within the People’s Government that I am addressing the above issues with Spiritual Love and Peace, Wisdom and Intelligence. Logic and Compassion from beyond that, which any ‘mere man’ of any traditional and humanistic religion can conceive. In Vietnam as within any ‘war experience’, Life teaches that enemies are not on battlefields or among the populations unfairly accused and sculptured by politically, religiously, or industrial-commercially orientated self-interests and propaganda. Instead, the ‘true enemy’ (And I use this term due to Governmental Necessity to maintain the same as a ploy against its own people’s interests!) is within the CEO s of the very same political, religious, and economic empirical offices, who so easily send Grandmas and Grandpas, Husbands and Wives, Moms and Dada, Brothers and Sisters, Friends and Potential Friends, off to war’s cemeteries, disabilities, destruction of homes, schools, hospitals and entire communities of local or national dimensions. And why? For their small 1% of self-interests and persona ambitions. That is the true ‘Why’!

    However, I personally will not be their pawn, nor will I seek violence as a means of let’s say, giving “We the People” (Be “We” in the United States of America, on Earth, or within the Physical Universes) their ‘Inalienable Rights to live Life’ within an atmosphere, which is universally balanced in all aspects of well being and Oneness. There is no need for violence to bring down the empires, which have been historically, and methodically, evolved within ‘humanity’. In the end, the so-called builder’s illuminations have fallen to weakness within their ill fated illusions over the generations of greed, eugenic and demented passions, and so on.

    Life is Beautiful! It is a Reality of Being also. In Life’s Peace and Wisdom, I officially, and sincerely, suggest that those who sincerely care about America’s True Foundations and Values… it’s Children of All Ages… It’s Constitution and Inalienable Rights… Its Place within International Oneness “… for all!”, move forward with my requests.

    This New Life’s Year 2012, has become historically famous for many reasons. I would personally suggest that ‘One’ look towards the credible Prophecies as a forecast for the future; and further, the Original and untainted Scriptures, which mankind holds so dearly as a Spiritual Guide-book. Reality, beyond man’s concoctions… is True Reality.

    Happy New Year Mr. aka Obama.
    Sincerely hope that we can meet before the World on some honest and uncontrollable international broadcasting network to discuss Life’s Truths and Values over Washington’s.

    Best regards, and please comply quickly with my above requests.
    In Peace and Love, with Life’s Desire for Truth and Life’s Inalienable Rights for Humanity to live within the Oneness of Being for the well being if ‘Each Other’ without oppression, recession, depression, materialistic control management, fairytale religious foundations created for fear, and so humanly greedy on🙂

    Gregg
    F Gregg Meagher
    A human created by men; Beyond this minuscule, a Being being born by Life Itself.
    Email: f.gregg.meagher@gmail.com ; and I am certain that you know where I am if you should desire any other personal information concerning me or my whereabouts.

  3. JenniferM says:

    Just a comment:

    Susan,

    I know you had a great-deal invested in the idea of this peace-plan. But by now, do you not surmise that it was always smoke-and-mirrors? That’s my suspicion.

    And I don’t understand why you talk-up the CIA as you do. After what they did to you, and left you to suffer (and nearly die) as they did. I can appreciate that you valued the work you did with Iraq. It’s just that in my understanding, the kind of economic and business-arrangement-framework that you were hammering-out didn’t seem to be traditional United States behavior. There are a lot of people in that inside culture, beyond the PNAC group (which was a apex of aggression) running US foreign policy who are simply damned aggressive, and they have a lot of leverage.

    I appreciate your objectives. I simply don’t understand the positive-talk. I would be more negative if I were you.
    J

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