- The blogger Xymphora makes several good points about
the supposed mugging-murder of the New York Times' recently retired journalist,
David Rosenbaum, most notably the fact the crime did not resemble a normal
mugging. Thus we must consider the possibility that Rosenbaum was assassinated
for reasons that are not clear and probably never will be. Xymphora speculates
that Rosenbaum "might reveal some of the secrets behind the odd relationship
of the Times to the Bush Administration (holding stories of extreme national
importance back for a year, and engaging in discussion of what news is
'fit to print'), or behind the campaign of lies told by the Times to help
the Bush Administration trick the American people into the attack on Iraq."
- As well, it should be noted that Rosenbaum's final Times
piece, published in late December, revealed that Samuel Alito Jr., Bush's
Supreme Court nominee, had written a 1984 memorandum as a government lawyer
in the Reagan administration "arguing that top officials should not
be subject to lawsuits in any in circumstances, including when they knowingly
violated the law." Alito's memo "offered recommendations concerning
a lawsuit against a former attorney general, John N. Mitchell, over a wiretap
he had authorized in 1970 without a court's permission," Rosenbaum
- Rosenbaum's article, co-written with Adam Liptak, prompted
the neocon White House to state "that the issues raised in Mr. Alito's
1984 memorandum were not the same as those posed by President Bush's orders
to the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on international communications
without court permission." Moreover, the Alito memo set off alarm
bells in Congress and apparently endangers, at least minimally and superficially,
his assured confirmation to the Supreme Court. "Within hours of the
release of the 1984 memorandum, Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York,
a Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, wrote to Judge Alito that he intended
to question him about warrantless wiretapping during the judge's confirmation
hearings for the Supreme Court next month. And another Democratic member
of the committee, Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, said, 'The
questions surrounding the Alito nomination get more troublesome every day,'"
Liptak and Rosenbaum wrote.
- Is it possible Rosenbaum was assassinated in order to
send a strong message to the corporate media to tow the line? Of course,
the corporate media has more or less dutifully disseminated the neocon
line-from the so-called "war on terrorism" (rife with lies and
fakery) to selling the Straussian neocon invasion of Iraq (more lies and
outright fabrication)-but even so, the New York Times' primary goal is
to sell newspapers and enrich stockholders and no doubt the NSA snoop "scandal,"
splashed across headlines a year late, sold a few extra copies of the "Gray
Lady" and also restored to a certain degree the newspaper's reputation
in the wake of the fact it served (primarily through the neocon shill Judith
Miller) as a propaganda organ for the Straussian total war agenda, beginning
with the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
- As we know, the neocon Pentagon has vigorously instituted
the "Salvador Option" in Iraq-that is to say, the Pentagon has
organized and unleashed, in part, paramilitary death squads, as an integral
component of its counterinsurgency doctrine based on the model of Nazi
suppression of partisan insurgents, as Michael McClintock documents (Instruments
of Statecraft: U.S. Guerilla Warfare, Counterinsurgency, and Counterterrorism,
1940-1990; chapter 3, The Legacy of World War II). Obviously, as the NSA
snoop revelations reveal, the neocons believe "counterinsurgency"
is required in America and thus it is not a stretch to speculate that journalists
in this country are possible targets, as are their counterparts in Iraq.
For instance, consider the assassination of Steven Vincent, a writer and
blogger who made the deadly mistake of reporting the news in Basra. I wrote
- As the Los Angeles Times reported, one of Vincent's abductors
was "an Interior Ministry employee," and a witness was told it
was the "duty" of the U.S.-installed puppet government to grab
people off the street and murder them. "A few hours later, the journalist's
body was found dumped by a road outside the city, with multiple bullet
wounds to the head. He suffered bruises to his face and shoulder, had been
blindfolded and his hands were tied in front with plastic wire." Smells
like democracy to me.
- It's no secret the Interior Ministry is under the control
of the CIA, as reported by Knight Ridder on May 8, 2005. "Right after
Saddam's ouster, the U.S.-led coalition took the top intelligence agents
from each of the main opposition parties and trained them in how to turn
raw intelligence into targets that could be used in operations, said an
Iraqi intelligence expert who participated in the program," Hannah
Allam and Warren P. Strobel wrote. An Iraqi official interviewed by the
journalists admitted that
- the CIA recruited agents from SCIRI, Dawa, the two main
Kurdish factions, and two secular Arab parties: the Iraqi National Congress
led by Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraqi National Accord led by Ayad Allawi,
who later became the interim prime minister. This group, the prototype
for an Iraqi intelligence group that represented Iraq's diversity, became
CMAD: the Collection, Management and Analysis Directorate.
- When the U.S.-led occupation authority ceded power to
the semi-sovereign interim government last June, the official said, CMAD
was split, with roughly half the agents going to the new interior ministry
and the rest to work on military intelligence in the defense ministry.
Both ministries' intelligence departments are led by Kurds, the most consistently
U.S.-friendly group in Iraq, and report to the Iraqi prime minister.
- But an elite corps of CMAD operatives was recruited into
the third and most important Iraqi intelligence agency, the secret police
force known by its Arabic name: the Mukhabarat. The Mukhabarat's money
comes straight from the CIA.
- As Wayne Madsen, a researcher and former communications
security analyst with the NSA in the 1980s, noted in 2002, the CIA was
at that time busy assassinating political enemies around the world at the
behest of the Straussian neocons. According to Madsen, the CIA enjoys a
"new unbridled authority to assassinate political nuisances to U.S.
interests around the world. In Bush's 'New World Order' 'if you're not
with us, you're against us,' [and] social activists and progressive political
leaders everywhere are now within the crosshairs of the CIA and its local
notorious surrogates and warlords. America's traditional concepts of human
rights have been relegated to the dustbin of history in post-constitutional
corporate statist America."
- It would be dangerously naive to believe the CIA does
not operate in America (as its charter supposedly mandates). In October,
2002, the Associated Press reported that the "CIA is increasing its
presence at FBI field offices by assigning intelligence officers to domestic
anti-terrorism teams," an excessively worrisome development considering
the snoop and murder agency's track record over the last fifty or so years.
Under Operation CHAOS and Project MERRIMAC, the CIA, according to former
CIA undercover operative Verne Lyon, "infiltrated agents into domestic
groups of all types and activities. It used its contacts with local police
departments and their intelligence units to pick up its 'police skills'
and began in earnest to pull off burglaries, illegal entries, use of explosives,
criminal frame-ups, shared interrogations, and disinformation."
- As the history of COINTELRPO reveals, the government
not only disrupted and subverted the civil liberties of Americans, but
killed more than a few of them as well. "Among the most remarkable
of the COINTELPRO revelations are those relating to the FBI's attempts
to incite gang warfare and murderous attacks on Black Panther leaders,"
writes Paul Wolf (COINTELPRO: The Untold American Story). According to
Wolf's research and "thousands of pages of documentary evidence,"
the FBI "utilize[d] private right-wing operatives and terrorists"
who conducted "fire-bombings, burglaries, and shootings" against
official enemies. In the case of the "American Indian Movement in
Pine Ridge, South Dakota, the FBI conducted a full-fledged counterinsurgency
war, complete with death squads, disappearances and assassinations, recalling
Guatemala in more recent years." It is not encouraging the grand daddy
of political assassination, the CIA, is now soundly ensconced in FBI offices
and local police departments as well.
- In 1975, the lid hiding the activities of the CIA was
briefly lifted, revealing all manner of impropriety. Gerald Ford's Commission
on CIA Activities Within the United States (also known as the Rockefeller
Commission) "looked into all aspects of CIA operations within the
United States. Its report, submitted to the President in June 1975, lists
the following significant areas of investigation: mail intercepts; Intelligence
Community coordination; 'Operation CHAOS' (collecting information on dissidents);
protection of the Agency against threats of violence; other investigations
by the Office of Security; involvement of the CIA in improper activities
for the White House (including Watergate); domestic activities of the Directorate
of Operations; domestic activities of the Directorate of Science and Technology;
CIA relationships with other federal, state, and local agencies; indices
and files on American citizens; and allegations concerning the assassination
of President Kennedy. The Commission also looked into the legal authority
of the CIA and its internal and external controls." (See U.S. President's
Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States: Files, [1947-1974]
1975, located at the Gerald R. Ford Library).
- Of course, David Rosenbaum was not a Black Panther nor
particularly radical and worked for a newspaper that was staunchly pro-Bush
and gung ho in its effort to sell the illegal and immoral invasion and
occupation of Iraq to a mostly somnolent American public. Even so, since
the advent of COINTELPRO, the political climate in America, under the fascist
Straussian neocons, has shifted radically to the reactionary end of the
spectrum, parroting in many ways the behavior of previous fascist and authoritarian
- As Operation CHAOS reveals, the CIA has never honored
its domestic hands-off charter and it is not a stretch to conclude that
it has for some time operated unfettered in America, using the same murderous
tactics it has used and continues to use elsewhere in the world at the
behest of various presidents and their handlers. In such a highly charged
reactionary climate, it is a distinct possibility the neocons have unleashed
death squads against American journalists, especially journalists who worked
for a corporate media mouthpiece that has recently irked and possibly embarrassed
the neocons by running the NSA snoop story, although it can be argued as
well that the neocons in fact "leaked" the story as a psychological
warfare tactic designed to chill both whistleblowers and investigative
journalists who fear the roving eye of Big Brother, Straussian-Machiavellian