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[OPIRG-EVENTS] Article "Osamagate" by Michel Chossudovsky
A major war supposedly "against international terrorism"
has been launched by a government which is harboring
international terrorism as part of its foreign policy
Date: Mon, 08 Oct 2001 23:03:15 -0400
From: Michel Chossudovsky <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Now the Taliban will pay a price'' vowed President George W. Bush as
American and British fighter planes unleashed missile attacks against major
cities in Afghanistan. The US Administration claims that Osama bin Laden is
behind the tragic events of the 11th of September. A major war supposedly
"against international terrorism" has been launched, yet the evidence amply
confirms that agencies of the US government have since the Cold War harbored
the "Islamic Militant Network" as part of Washington's foreign policy
agenda. In a bitter irony, the US Air Force is targeting the training camps
established in the 1980s by the CIA.
The main justification for waging this war has been totally fabricated. The
American people have been deliberately and consciously misled by their
government into supporting a major military adventure which affects our
Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa
Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) at http://globalresearch.ca,
8 October 2001
The URL of this artcile is is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO110A.html
Confronted with mounting evidence, the US Administration can no longer deny
its links to Osama. While the CIA admits that Osama bin Laden was an
"intelligence asset" during the Cold War, the relationship is said to "go
way back". Most news reports consider that these Osama-CIA links belong to
the "bygone era" of the Soviet-Afghan war. They are invariably viewed as
"irrelevant" to an understanding of present events. Lost in the barrage of
recent history, the role of the CIA in supporting and developing
international terrorist organisations during the Cold war and its aftermath
is casually ignored or downplayed by the Western media.
Yes, We did support Him, but "He Went Against Us"
A blatant example of media distortion is the so-called "blowback" thesis:
"intelligence assets" are said to "have gone against their sponsors"; "what
we've created blows back in our face."1 In a twisted logic, the US
government and the CIA are portrayed as the ill-fated victims:
"The sophisticated methods taught to the Mujahideen, and the thousands of
tons of arms supplied to them by the US - and Britain - are now tormenting
the West in the phenomenon known as `blowback', whereby a policy strategy
rebounds on its own devisers." 2
The US media, nonetheless, concedes that "the Taliban's coming to power [in
1995] is partly the outcome of the U.S. support of the Mujahideen, the
radical Islamic group, in the 1980s in the war against the Soviet Union".3
But it also readily dismisses its own factual statements and concludes in
chorus, that the CIA had been tricked by a deceitful Osama. It's like
"a son going against his father".
The "blowback" thesis is a fabrication. The evidence amply confirms that the
CIA never severed its ties to the "Islamic Militant Network". Since the end
of the Cold War, these covert intelligence links have not only been
maintained, they have in become increasingly sophisticated.
New undercover initiatives financed by the Golden Crescent drug trade were
set in motion in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Balkans. Pakistan's
military and intelligence apparatus (controlled by the CIA) essentially
"served as a catalyst for the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the
emergence of six new Muslim republics in Central Asia." 4
Replicating the Iran Contragate Pattern
Remember Ollie North and the Nicaraguan Contras under the Reagan
Administration when weapons financed by the drug trade were channeled to
"freedom fighters" in Washington's covert war against the Sandinista
government. The same pattern was used in the Balkans to arm and equip the
Mujahideen fighting in the ranks of the Bosnian Muslim army against the
Armed Forces of the Yugoslav Federation.
Throughout the 1990s, the Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) was
used by the CIA as a go-between -- to channel weapons and Mujahideen
mercenaries to the Bosnian Muslim Army in the civil war in Yugoslavia.
According to a report of the London based International Media Corporation:
"Reliable sources report that the United States is now  actively
participating in the arming and training of the Muslim forces of
Bosnia-Herzegovina in direct contravention of the United Nations accords.
US agencies have been providing weapons made in … China (PRC), North Korea
(DPRK) and Iran. The sources indicated that … Iran, with the knowledge and
agreement of the US Government, supplied the Bosnian forces with a large
number of multiple rocket launchers and a large quantity of ammunition.
These included 107mm and 122mm rockets from the PRC, and VBR-230 multiple
rocket launchers … made in Iran. … It was [also] reported that 400 members
of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (Pasdaran) arrived in Bosnia with a large
supply of arms and ammunition. It was alleged that the US Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA) had full knowledge of the operation and that the
CIA believed that some of the 400 had been detached for future terrorist
operations in Western Europe.
During September and October , there has been a stream of "Afghan"
Mujahedin … covertly landed in Ploce, Croatia (South-West of Mostar) from
where they have traveled with false papers … before deploying with the
Bosnian Muslim forces in the Kupres, Zenica and Banja Luka areas. These
forces have recently [late 1994] experienced a significant degree of
military success. They have, according to sources in Sarajevo, been aided
by the UNPROFOR Bangladesh battalion, which took over from a French
battalion early in September .
The Mujahedin landing at Ploce are reported to have been accompanied by US
Special Forces equipped with high-tech communications equipment, … The
sources said that the mission of the US troops was to establish a command,
control, communications and intelligence network to coordinate and support
Bosnian Muslim offensives -- in concert with Mujahideen and Bosnian Croat
forces -- in Kupres, Zenica and Banja Luka. Some offensives have recently
been conducted from within the UN-established safe-havens in the Zenica and
Banja Luka regions.
The US Administration has not restricted its involvement to the clandestine
contravention of the UN arms embargo on the region … It [also] committed
three high-ranking delegations over the past two years [prior to 1994] in
failed attempts to bring the Yugoslav Government into line with US policy.
Yugoslavia is the only state in the region to have failed to acquiesce to US
"From the Horse's Mouth"
Ironically, the US Administration's undercover military-intelligence
operations in Bosnia have been fully documented by the Republican Party.
A lengthy Congressional report by the Republican Party Committee (RPC)
published in 1997, largely confirms the International Media Corporation
report quoted above. The RPC Congressional report accuses the Clinton
administration of having "helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base"
leading to the recruitment through the so-called "Militant Islamic Network,"
of thousands of Mujahideen from the Muslim world:
"Perhaps most threatening to the SFOR mission - and more importantly,
to the safety of the American personnel serving in Bosnia - is the
unwillingness of the Clinton Administration to come clean with the Congress
and with the American people about its complicity in the delivery of weapons
from Iran to the Muslim government in Sarajevo. That policy, personally
approved by Bill Clinton in April 1994 at the urging of CIA
Director-designate (and then-NSC chief) Anthony Lake and the U.S. ambassador
to Croatia Peter Galbraith, has, according to the Los Angeles Times (citing
classified intelligence community sources), "played a central role in the
dramatic increase in Iranian influence in Bosnia.
"Along with the weapons, Iranian Revolutionary Guards and VEVAK intelligence
operatives entered Bosnia in large numbers, along with thousands of
mujahedin ("holy warriors") from across the Muslim world. Also engaged in
the effort were several other Muslim countries (including Brunei, Malaysia,
Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Turkey) and a number of radical Muslim
organizations. For example, the role of one Sudan-based "humanitarian
organization," called the Third World Relief Agency, has been well
documented. The Clinton Administration's "hands-on" involvement with the
Islamic network's arms pipeline included inspections of missiles from Iran
by U.S. government officials… the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), a
Sudan-based, phoney humanitarian organization … has been a major link in the
arms pipeline to Bosnia. … TWRA is believed to be connected with such
fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the
convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Osama
Bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi émigré believed to bankroll numerous militant
groups. [Washington Post, 9/22/96] "6
Complicity of the Clinton Administration
In other words, the Republican Party Committee report confirms unequivocally
the complicity of the Clinton Administration with several Islamic
fundamentalist organisations including Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda.
The Republicans wanted at the time to undermine the Clinton Administration.
However, at a time when the entire country had its eyes riveted on the
Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Republicans no doubt chose not to trigger an
untimely "Iran-Bosniagate" affair, which might have unduly diverted public
attention away from the Lewinsky scandal. The Republicans wanted to impeach
Bill Clinton "for having lied to the American People" regarding his affair
with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On the more substantive "foreign
policy lies" regarding drug running and covert operations in the Balkans,
Democrats and Republicans agreed in unison, no doubt pressure by the
Pentagon and the CIA not to "spill the beans".
>From Bosnia to Kosovo
The "Bosnian pattern" described in the 1997 Congressional RPC report was
replicated in Kosovo. With the complicity of NATO and the US State
Department. Mujahideen mercenaries from the Middle East and Central Asia
were recruited to fight in the ranks of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)
in 1998-99, largely supporting NATO's war effort.
Confirmed by British military sources, the task of arming and training of
the KLA had been entrusted in 1998 to the US Defence Intelligence Agency
(DIA) and Britain's Secret Intelligence Services MI6, together with "former
and serving members of 22 SAS [Britain's 22nd Special Air Services
Regiment], as well as three British and American private security
The US DIA approached MI6 to arrange a training programme for the KLA, said
a senior British military source. `MI6 then sub-contracted the operation to
two British security companies, who in turn approached a number of former
members of the (22 SAS) regiment. Lists were then drawn up of weapons and
equipment needed by the KLA.' While these covert operations were continuing,
serving members of 22 SAS Regiment, mostly from the unit's D Squadron, were
first deployed in Kosovo before the beginning of the bombing campaign in
While British SAS Special Forces in bases in Northern Albania were training
the KLA, military instructors from Turkey and Afghanistan financed by the
"Islamic jihad" were collaborating in training the KLA in guerilla and
"Bin Laden had visited Albania himself. He was one of several
fundamentalist groups that had sent units to fight in Kosovo, ... Bin Laden
is believed to have established an operation in Albania in 1994 ... Albanian
sources say Sali Berisha, who was then president, had links with some groups
that later proved to be extreme fundamentalists".10
Congressional Testimonies on KLA-Osama Links
According to Frank Ciluffo of the Globalized Organised Crime Program, in a
testimony presented to the House of Representatives Judicial Committee:
"What was largely hidden from public view was the fact that the KLA raise
part of their funds from the sale of narcotics. Albania and Kosovo lie at
the heart of the "Balkan Route" that links the "Golden Crescent" of
Afghanistan and Pakistan to the drug markets of Europe. This route is worth
an estimated $400 billion a year and handles 80 percent of heroin destined
According to Ralf Mutschke of Interpol's Criminal Intelligence division also
in a testimony to the House Judicial Committee:
"The U.S. State Department listed the KLA as a terrorist organization,
indicating that it was financing its operations with money from the
international heroin trade and loans from Islamic countries and individuals,
among them allegedly Usama bin Laden". Another link to bin Laden is the
fact that the brother of a leader in an Egyptian Jihad organization and also
a military commander of Usama bin Laden, was leading an elite KLA unit
during the Kosovo conflict. "12
Madeleine Albright Covets the KLA
These KLA links to international terrorism and organised crime documented by
the US Congress were totally ignored by the Clinton Administration. In fact,
in the months preceding the bombing of Yugoslavia, Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright was busy building a "political legitimacy" for the KLA.
The paramilitary army had --from one day to the next-- been elevated to the
status of a bona fide "democratic" force in Kosovo. In turn, Madeleine
Albright has forced the pace of international diplomacy: the KLA had been
spearheaded into playing a central role in the failed "peace negotiations"
at Rambouiillet in early 1999.
The Senate and the House tacitly endorse State Terrorism
While the various Congressional reports confirmed that the US government had
been working hand in glove with Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda, this did not
prevent the Clinton and later the Bush Administration from arming and
equipping the KLA. The Congressional documents also confirm that members of
the Senate and the House knew the relationship of the Administration to
international terrorism. To quote the statement of Rep. John Kasich of the
House Armed Services Committee: "We connected ourselves [in 1998-99] with
the KLA, which was the staging point for bin Laden…" 13
In the wake of the tragic events of September 11, Republicans and Democrats
in unison have given their full support to the President to "wage war on
In 1999, Senator Jo Lieberman had stated authoritatively that "Fighting for
the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values." In the hours
following the October 7 missile attacks on Afghanistan, the same Jo
Lieberman called for punitive air strikes against Iraq: "We're in a war
against terrorism… We can't stop with bin Laden and the Taliban." Yet
Senator Jo Lieberman, as member of the Armed Services Committee of the
Senate had access to all the Congressional documents pertaining to
"KLA-Osama" links. In making this statement, he was fully aware that
agencies of the US government as well as NATO were supporting
The War in Macedonia
In the wake of the 1999 war in Yugoslavia, the terrorist activities of the
KLA were extended into Southern Serbia and Macedonia. Meanwhile, the KLA
--renamed the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC)-- was elevated to United Nations
status, implying the granting of "legitimate" sources of funding through
United Nations as well as through bilateral channels, including direct US
And barely two months after the official inauguration of the KPC under UN
auspices (September 1999), KPC-KLA commanders - using UN resources and
equipment - were already preparing the assaults into Macedonia, as a logical
follow-up to their terrorist activities in Kosovo. According to the Skopje
daily Dnevnik, the KPC had established a "sixth operation zone" in Southern
Serbia and Macedonia:
"Sources, who insist on anonymity, claim that the headquarters of the Kosovo
protection brigades [i.e. linked to the UN sponsored KPC] have [March 2000]
already been formed in Tetovo, Gostivar and Skopje. They are being prepared
in Debar and Struga [on the border with Albania] as well, and their members
have defined codes." 16
According to the BBC, "Western special forces were still training the
guerrillas" meaning that they were assisting the KLA in opening up
"a sixth operation zone" in Southern Serbia and Macedonia. 17
"The Islamic Militant Network" and NATO join hands in Macedonia
Among the foreign mercenaries now fighting in Macedonia (October 2001) in
the ranks of self-proclaimed National Liberation Army (NLA), are Mujahideen
from the Middle East and the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet
Union. Also within the KLA's proxy force in Macedonia are senior US military
advisers from a private mercenary outfit on contract to the Pentagon as well
as "soldiers of fortune" from Britain, Holland and Germany. Some of these
Western mercenaries had previously fought with the KLA and the Bosnian
Muslim Army. 18
Extensively documented by the Macedonian press and statements of the
Macedonian authorities, the US government and the "Islamic Militant Network"
are working hand in glove in supporting and financing the self-proclaimed
National Liberation Army (NLA), involved in the terrorist attacks in
Macedonia. The NLA is a proxy of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In turn
the KLA and the UN sponsored Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) are identical
institutions with the same commanders and military personnel. KPC Commanders
on UN salaries are fighting in the NLA together with the Mujahideen.
In a bitter twist, while supported and financed by Osama bin Laden's Al
Qaeda, the KLA-NLA is also supported by NATO and the United Nations mission
to Kosovo (UNMIK). In fact, the "Islamic Militant Network" --also using
Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) as the CIA's go-between-- still
constitutes an integral part of Washington's covert military-intelligence
operations in Macedonia and Southern Serbia.
The KLA-NLA terrorists are funded from US military aid, the United Nations
peace-keeping budget as well as by several Islamic organisations including
Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda. Drug money is also being used to finance the
terrorists with the complicity of the US government. The recruitment of
Mujahideen to fight in the ranks of the NLA in Macedonia is implemented
through various Islamic groups.
US military advisers mingle with Mujahideen within the same paramilitary
force, Western mercenaries from NATO countries fight alongside Mujahideen
recruited in the Middle East and Central Asia. And the US media calls this
a "blowback" where so-called "intelligence assets" have gone against their
But this did not happen during the Cold war! It is happening right now
in Macedonia. And it is confirmed by numerous press reports, eyewitness
accounts, photographic evidence as well as official statements by the
Macedonian Prime Minister, who has accused the Western military alliance of
supporting the terrorists. Moreover, the official Macedonian New Agency
(MIA) has pointed to the complicity between Washington's envoy Ambassador
James Pardew and the NLA terrorists.19 In other words, the so-called
"intelligence assets" are still serving the interests of their US sponsors.
Pardew's background is revealing in this regard. He started his Balkans
career in 1993 as a senior intelligence officer for the Joint Chiefs of
Staff responsible for channeling US aid to the Bosnian Muslim Army. Colonel
Pardew had been put in charge of arranging the "air-drops" of supplies to
Bosnian forces. At the time, these "air drops" were tagged as "civilian
aid". It later transpired --confirmed by the RPC Congressional report-- that
the US had violated the arms embargo. And James Pardew played an important
role as part of the team of intelligence officials working closely with the
Chairman of the National Security Council Anthony Lake.
Pardew was later involved in the Dayton negotiations (1995) on behalf of the
US Defence Department. In 1999, prior to the bombing of Yugoslavia, he was
appointed "Special Representative for Military Stabilisation and Kosovo
Implementation" by President Clinton. One of his tasks was to channel
support to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which at the time was also
being supported by Osama bin Laden. Pardew was in this regard instrumental
in replicating the "Bosnian pattern" in Kosovo and subsequently in Macedonia…
Justification for Waging War
The Bush Administration has stated that it has proof that Osama bin Laden is
behind the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. In the words of British
Prime Minister Tony Blair: "I have seen absolutely powerful and
incontrovertible evidence of his [Osama] link to the events of the 11th of
September."20 What Tony Blair fails to mention is that agencies of the US
government including the CIA continue to "harbor" Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda.
A major war supposedly "against international terrorism" has been launched
by a government which is harboring international terrorism as part of its
foreign policy agenda. In other words, the main justification for waging war
has been totally fabricated. The American people have been deliberately and
consciously misled by their government into supporting a major military
adventure which affects our collective future.
This decision to mislead the American people was taken barely a few hours
after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre. Without supporting
evidence, Osama had already been tagged as the "prime suspect." Two days
later on Thursday the 13th of September --while the FBI investigations had
barely commenced-- President Bush pledged to "lead the world to victory".
The Administration confirmed its intention to embark on "a sustained
military campaign rather than a single dramatic action" directed against
Osama bin Laden. 21 In addition to Afghanistan, a number of countries in the
Middle East were mentioned as possible targets including Iraq, Iran, Libya
and the Sudan. And several prominent US political figures and media pundits
have demanded that the air strikes be extended to other countries "which
harbour international terrorism." According to intelligence sources, Osama
bin Laden's al Qaeda has operations in some 50 to 60 countries providing
ample pretext to intervene in several "rogue states" in the Middle East and
Moreover, the entire US Legislature --with only one honest and courageous
dissenting voice in the House of Representatives-- has tacitly endorsed the
Administration's decision to go war. Members of the House and the Senate
have access through the various committees to official confidential reports
and intelligence documents which prove beyond doubt that agencies of the US
government have ties to international terrorism. They cannot say "we did not
know". In fact, most of this evidence is in the public domain.
Under the historical resolution of the US Congress adopted by both the House
and the Senate on the 14th of September:
"The president is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force
against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned,
authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept.
11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any
future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such
nations, organizations or persons."
Whereas there is no evidence that agencies of the US government "aided the
terrorist attacks" on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, there is
ample and detailed evidence that agencies of the US government as well as
NATO have since the end of the Cold War continued to "harbor such
Patriotism cannot be based on a falsehood, particularly when this falsehoods
constitutes the pretext for waging war.
Ironically, the text of the Congressional resolution also constitutes a
"blowback" against the US sponsors of international terrorism. The
resolution does not exclude the conduct of an "Osamagate" inquiry, as well
as appropriate actions against agencies and/or individuals of the US
government, who may have collaborated with Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda.
And the evidence indelibly points directly to the Bush Administration.
1 United Press International (UPI), 15 September 2001.
2. The Guardian, London, 15 September 2001.
3. UPI, op cit,
4. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Who is Osama bin Laden,
Centre for Research on Globalisation, 12 September 2001,
5. International Media Corporation Defense and Strategy Policy, US Commits
Forces, Weapons to Bosnia, London, 31 October 1994.
6. Congressional Press Release, Republican Party Committee (RPC), US
Congress, Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into
Militant Islamic Base, 16 January 1997, available on the website of the
Centre of Research on Globalisation (CRG) at
http://globalresearch.ca/articles/DCH109A.html. The original document is on
the website of the US Senate Republican Party Committee (Senator Larry
Craig), at http://www.senate.gov/~rpc/releases/1997/iran.htm)
7. The Scotsman, Glasgow, 29 August 1999.
9. Truth in Media, Kosovo in Crisis, Phoenix, Arizona, 2 April 1999
10. Sunday Times, London, 29 November 1998.
11. US Congress, Testimony of Frank J. Cilluffo , Deputy Director, Global
Organized Crime, Program director to the House Judiciary Committee, 13
12. US Congress, Testimony of Ralf Mutschke of Interpol's Criminal
Intelligence Division, to the House Judicial Committee, 13 December 2000.
13 US Congress, Transcripts of the House Armed Services Committee, 5 October
14. Quoted in the Boston Herald, 19 March 2001.
15. Quoted in Knight Ridder News, 8 October 2001.
16. Macedonian Information Centre Newsletter, Skopje, 21 March 2000,
published by BBC Summary of World Broadcast, 24 March 2000.
17. BBC, 29 January 2001, at
18. Scotland on Sunday, Glasgow, 15 June 2001 at
http://www.scotlandonsunday.com/text_only.cfm?id=SS01025960, see also UPI, 9
July 2001. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Washington behind
Terrorist Assaults in Macedonia, Centre for Research on Globalisation,
August 2001, at http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO108B.html.)
19. Macedonian Information Agency (MIA), 26 September 2001, available at
the Centre for Research on Globalisation at
20. Quoted in The DailyTelegraph, London, 1 October 2001.
21. Statement by official following the speech by President George Bush on
14 September 2001 quoted in the International Herald Tribune, Paris, 14
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