Blair's Butler and the OSP
By Ahmed Amr
Let us first shower British journalists with faint praise. On most matters, they tower over their American colleagues like a mammoth dwarfs a baby elephant. It's just too bad that both sets of scribblers seem to have the memory of newborn lizards.
As I watched Butler do his little snow job, I couldn't help but admire his talent. What a brilliant performance! Ship that man to Los Angeles to run circles around the likes of Johnny Cochran. If the gloves actually fit, Butler would still acquit. In the press conference that followed his report on British 'intelligence failures', he was a one-man stampede stomping on every question fielded by the Fleet Street wizards.
Lord Butler basically sold the premise that Blair was taken in by reasonable intelligence that turned out to be wrong. The Prime Minister didn't lie - he was just clueless about the truth.
MI6 was also found to be innocent of charges that they had doctored and sexed up intelligence. The universally admired English spooks had apparently reached the same erroneous conclusions as other foreign intelligence agencies. As it turns out, those damn foreigners across the pond were recycling the same batch of fibs that MI6 had gullibly imbibed from Iraqi exiles.
There was just one big hole in Butler's doughnut. Blair could not possibly have been ignorant of the Office of Special Plans (OSP) and their well-orchestrated campaign to subvert intelligence on the fabled WMDs. Why didn't the British press follow the OSP thread? Where are all those sassy British pundits when the world actually needs them? Maybe they're still hanging out at the BBC trying to figure out if Israelis occupy Palestinian land or vice versa.
Jim Lobe knows all about the OSP. As far back as August of 2003 he wrote that "An ad hoc office under US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith appears to have acted as the key base for an informal network of mostly neo-conservative political appointees that circumvented normal inter-agency channels to lead the push for war against Iraq. Retired intelligence officials from the State Department, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have long charged that the two offices exaggerated and manipulated intelligence about Iraq before passing it along to the White House."
If Butler had wanted to know more about the OSP, he could have easily contacted Jim Lobe or retired Lieutenant-Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski or followed this link:
To believe Butler's tale of 'intelligence failures', one has to digest the unlikely notion that Tony and MI6 agents had no idea about the neo-conservatives who cooked up intelligence and stove piped it to the White House. Naturally enough, the American account of how the CIA made the same exact mistakes also avoids any mention of the OSP. If one reads these reports carefully enough, they might notice that certain parts specifically criticize the CIA, while others refer to the more generic 'intelligence community', a convenient dodge to prevent a separate probe of the rogue OSP intelligence operation that Wolfowitz and Feith set up in the Pentagon.
If Tony Blair is not himself a neo-conservative, how likely is it that he didn't know about these Likudnik operatives, their agenda and their role in deliberately corrupting intelligence to market the Iraq war. The Prime Minister now wants to wear the coat of arms of Tony the Liberator. But before he struts around as a noble knight intent on saving Iraq from the vile Saddam Hussein, he should at least come clean on a few questions.
Did the Prime Minister know that Douglas Feith and Wolfie the Liberator were ardent Zionists who have the same level of interest in liberating Iraq as they have in promoting Palestinian freedom? Was Blair unaware of this cabal's long-term association with the Netenyahu wing of the Likud party or their role in sabotaging the Oslo Peace process?
If Tony was daft enough to be taken in by the neocon intelligence racket that led to war, why did he fail to make a fuss when the same Likudnik social engineers were chosen by Bush to misrule post-war Iraq? Did he think the Iraqis wouldn't notice that Sharon's boys had landed in Baghdad?
Was MI6 really taken in by the OSP fib factory? Is it possible that Blair didn't know that graduates of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) staffed the OSP? Were British spooks unaware that the AEI, a front for the Israeli Lobby, had successfully hijacked the Pentagon and the State Department? Did MI6 agents have a few spare quid to buy pre-war morning papers or is the British intelligence budget that tight? How likely is it that MI6 didn't have the resumes of Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Lewis Libby and Elliot Abrams?
Who really believes that Tony Blair, the enforcer of genocidal sanctions, is suddenly the caring sort of chap who gives a rat's ass about the welfare of Iraqis or Arabs? Has he ever leaned on the Toxic Texan to confront Ariel 'Qibya' Sharon, the serial arsonist and career war criminal?
The only real question still up in the air concerns Blair's motivation to go on with this charade? Perhaps he does it to cover up the lie he told yesterday or pave the way for the lie he will tell tomorrow? I think Tony is just a compulsive gambler and a man playing for very high stakes. What we have here is a middle class Englishman who wants to make the big time in Hollywood and New York. A few book deals with certain publishers will do wonders for his retirement years. In such ventures, his neo-con connections will certainly be of some help. Blair will do what Clinton did - leave office in humble circumstances and make a fortune on the American lecture circuit. You can bet the house that Chirac won't be invited to tag along. Who doubts that Lord Blair, the newly minted British Millionaire, will need the services of a Butler to manage his estate?
Killing Arabs and ripping them off, with the assistance of the Likudniks and the Shaky Sheiks of Araby, is an old British ritual. Behold the Palestinian inheritance from the imperial estate of Winston Churchill and Lord Balfour. But Tony Blair will still distinguish himself as the first British Prime Minister to slaughter Arabs for the sake of stuffing a few extra quid in his pocket. May he choke on every last penny-farthing.
Ahmed Amr is the editor of NileMedia.com. This article can be published at will.
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