by Prof Michel Chossudovsky
June 19, 2013
Barack Obama and John Kerry:
Are They "Terror Suspects"?
A major transition in US counter-terrorism doctrine is unfolding.
Barack Obama, following in the footsteps of
George W. Bush, remains firmly committed to waging a "Global
War on Terrorism" (GWOT), his administration is now openly
supporting selected rebel units in Syria which are part of the Al Qaeda
Known and documented, Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA, which has covertly
supported the "Islamic Terror Network" since the heyday of the Soviet Afghan
While Al Qaeda is a US sponsored "intelligence asset", a "New Normal" has
been established. An Al Qaeda affiliated organization, namely Syria's
Al Nusrah, is being supported "overtly" by
the US President, rather than "covertly" by the CIA.
The support of Al Nusrah, an affiliate of al
Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), is no longer channeled in secrecy as part of a CIA-MI6
covert operation, it is now being supported - in a semi-official fashion -
as part of a US foreign policy agenda. The latter is also part of America's
diplomatic discourse, implemented in consultation with Britain, Canada,
Germany and France.
Although Al Nusrah was not mentioned explicitly,
"support to the Syrian rebels" was the main topic of debate at the June 2013
G-8 meetings in Northern Ireland.
While intelligence covert ops continue to perform an important role,
Washington's support to Al Qaeda in Syria is now "out in the open", within
the public domain. It is no longer part of a secret undertaking. It is part
of the mainstay of US foreign policy, carried out under the helm of
Secretary of State John Kerry.
"Support to the rebels" is also debated in the US Congress. It is the object
of a bill which has already been adopted by the Senate Foreign Relations
Senator Corker who co-sponsored the bill stated
"The future for Syria is uncertain, but the
U.S. has a vested interest in trying to prevent an extremist takeover,
which poses a very real risk for us and the region."
In a twisted logic, the bill purports to prevent
"an extremist takeover" by supporting an Al Qaeda terrorist formation.
The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations voted 15-3 in favor of the
proposed bill. Ironically, the pro-Israeli lobby was also actively involved
in lobbying in favor of aid to jihadist rebels.
Israel has supported Al Nusrah militarily in areas adjacent to the occupied
territories of the Golan Heights.
Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky voted against the bill, warning:
"You will be funding today the allies of al
(quoted by RT)
Al Qaeda, Osama and
Everybody knows that Al Qaeda is now directly supported by the US
The implications are far-reaching. Obama's decision not only undermines the
legitimacy of the "Global War on Terrorism" (GWOT), it also casts doubt on
the "blowback" thesis.
Moreover, it begs the embarrassing question: Why is the US president
supporting Al Nusrah, which is on the US State Department list of terrorist
refers to the so-called "blowback" thesis whereby an "intelligence asset",
(i.e. the Islamic jihad) is said to "have gone against its sponsors":
The sophisticated methods taught to the
Mujahedeen, 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.
(The Guardian, London, September 15,
"What we've created blows back in our face."
The US government and the CIA are portrayed as
the ill-fated victims. The CIA had been tricked by a deceitful Osama. It's
like "a son going against his father".
While the CIA acknowledges that the late Osama bin Laden, leader of Al
Qaeda, was an "intelligence asset" during the Cold War, the relationship is
said to "go way back".
In the wake of 9/11, news reports would
invariably dismiss these Osama-CIA links as part of the "bygone era" of the
They are invariably described as "irrelevant" to
an understanding of the post-9/11 era:
"Bin Laden recruited 4,000 volunteers from
his own country and developed close relations with the most radical
mujahideen leaders. He also worked closely with the CIA…
Since September 11,  CIA officials
have been claiming they had no direct link to bin Laden."
(Phil Gasper, International Socialist
Review, November-December 2001)
Afghan Mujahideen Commanders
meet with President Ronald
While the "blowback" thesis is an obvious fabrication, it has nonetheless
served to provide legitimacy to the "Global War on Terrorism". With "overt"
support channeled by the US government to an Al Qaeda affiliated
organization, the blowback thesis falls flat, it is no longer credible.
The evidence amply confirms that the CIA never severed its ties to the
"Islamic Militant Network".
Historically, US covert support to terrorists
was a safely guarded secret, unknown to the broader public. Moreover, the
CIA would never channel its support directly. It would proceed through its
intelligence counterparts in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Since the end of the Cold War, these covert intelligence links have not only
been maintained, they have become increasingly sophisticated.
The broad political and media consensus in the wake of the 9/11 attacks was
built around the blowback: Al Qaeda had attacked America.
The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) against Al Qaeda and its
affiliates had been launched. Yet the evidence amply confirms that US
intelligence continues to harbor several terrorist organizations which are
on the US State Department's list.
Paradoxically, covert support to the terrorists by Western intelligence
agencies (including the CIA, MI6, Germany's BND) is an essential instrument
of the "Global War on Terrorism".
Namely the war on terror to protect the Homeland
is waged by using US-NATO sponsored terrorists and mercenaries as
foot-soldiers of the Western military alliance.
The support provided covertly to "jihadist" terrorist organizations in a
large number of countries, e.g.,
...has been used by the US-NATO alliance to
destabilize sovereign states.
Obama and Al Nusrah -
The "State Sponsors of Terrorism"
Al Qaeda was identified as the mastermind of the 911 attacks on the World
Trade Center Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11 was immediately identified as a "state
sponsor of terrorism" leading to the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan by
US and NATO forces on October 7, 2001.
In turn, a gamut of counterterrorism legislation
and executive orders were put in place in the immediate wake of the 9/11
Executive Order 13224, signed by President
George W. Bush on September 23, 2001,
"authorizes the seizure of assets of
organizations or individuals designated by the Secretary of the Treasury
to assist, sponsor, or provide material or financial support or who are
otherwise associated with terrorists."
(Sept. 23, 2001)
The US Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act 2001,
signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001.
The legislation was in response to the September
11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, which
allegedly had been perpetrated by Al Qaeda.
According to the 2001 Patriot Act, those "who pay for the bomb", namely
those who fund affiliates of Al Qaeda, are terrorists.
In the words of George W. Bush on September 11,
"We will make no distinction between the
terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them."
The Act pertains to the harboring and financing
of terrorist organizations.
Al Qaeda and its affiliates are defined in the
PATRIOT Act as a terror network. Persons and organizations which support or
abet Al Qaeda are considered as terrorists.
The forbidden question:
Does the substance of Executive order 13224
and the PATRIOT legislation quoted above apply to a US president, a
Secretary of State, a Member of the US Congress?
The Department of Justice,
"has prosecuted individuals and
organizations for providing material support to the terrorist
organization, while the Department of Treasury has frozen the assets of
dozens of terrorist financiers and networks."
Council on Foreign Relations)
Similar measures, including the freezing of
assets or organizations supportive of terrorism, were adopted in the
"Since 2007, Britain's Ministry of Finance
has frozen the assets of hundreds of
individuals and organizations connected to al-Qaeda via its Asset
National governments which provide support to Al
Qaeda are categorized as "State-sponsors of terrorism".
The designation is determined by the US State Department. In fact, the
Secretary of State, namely John Kerry has the authority,
"to determine that the government of such
country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international
Department List - see also the
Barack Obama and John
Kerry - Are They "Terror Suspects"?
Now let us examine in more detail the Al Nusrah Front, which constitutes the
main rebel fighting force in Syria.
Al Nusrah is affiliated to Al Qaeda. The leader
of Al Nusra, Abu Mohammad al-Golani, has pledged his allegiance to
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who replaced Osama bin Laden after
According to the State Department Bureau of Counter-terrorism, Jabhat al
Nusrah, the main rebel force in Syria is a terrorist organization, an
affiliate of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).
The State Department has issued a,
"prohibition against knowingly providing, or
attempting or conspiring to provide, material support or resources to,
or engaging in transactions with, al-Nusrah Front, and the freezing of
all property and interests in property of the organization that are in
the United States, or come within the United States or the control of
It is understood that US State Department
Counter-terrorism policy also applies to "state sponsors of terrorism".
Al Nusrah is financed by Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Israel in close
consultation with NATO and the Pentagon. The Obama administration has openly
confirmed its support for the Syrian rebels with most of this aid channeled
to Al Nusrah.
The PATRIOT Act,
"prohibits knowingly harboring persons who
have committed or are about to commit a variety of terrorist offenses".
Moreover, an entire gamut of executive orders as
well as the 2001 Patriot legislation prohibit "the harboring of terrorists".
According to the US Justice Department:
The Patriot Act imposed tough new penalties
on those who commit and support terrorist operations, both at home and
abroad." The terror threat emanates both from "the terrorist who pays
for a bomb as by the one who pushes the button".
According to the Patriot legislation, those "who
pay for the bomb", namely funding affiliates of Al Qaeda, constitutes a
In other words, the Obama administration and its allies are harboring a
terror organization which is on the US State department list.
In this regard, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry
could be held responsible for,
"knowingly providing, or attempting or
conspiring to provide, material support or resources to, or engaging in
transactions with, al-Nusrah Front".
"The [PATRIOT] Act created a new offense
that prohibits knowingly harboring persons who have committed or are
about to commit a variety of terrorist offenses".
the Obama administration is openly
supporting a terrorist entity, in violation of its own counter-terrorism
According to CNN, quoting intelligence sources, Al Nusrah is,
best-equipped arm of the terror group" in Syria, with an estimated 10,000
Where do they get their money and weapons?
does not provide any details as to Why Al Nusrah is the best equipped, in
relation to the various so-called moderate rebels factions, which from a
military standpoint are broadly inoperative.
How many of these Al Nusrah forces remain operative following the
government's counteroffensive remains to be established.
Ironically, this latest CNN report (June 18, 2013) suggests that the rebels
rather than the government have chemical weapons in their possession:
"They [Al Nusrah] are making desperate
attempts to get chemical weapons," the analyst told CNN, noting that in
the past few weeks, security services in Iraq and Turkey arrested [Al
Nusrah] operatives who were "trying to get their hands on sarin."
In relation to the later, Turkish Police
confirmed that the arrested Al Nusrah operative was in possession of sarin
CNN contradicts its own reports.
The same CNN article which intimated that
the rebels were "attempting to get" chemical weapons, makes the case for
"arming the rebels":
The Obama administration announced last week
that it will start arming rebels because Syria crossed a "red line" by
using chemical weapons - including sarin gas - against the opposition.
The development is likely to be at the center of the Group of Eight
summit in Northern Ireland on Monday, setting a riveting backdrop to the
meeting after Syria's longtime ally Russia said the move supports,
"those who kill their enemies and eat their organs."
…Obama has not detailed the increased military support, but Washington
officials told CNN that the plan includes providing small arms,
ammunition and possibly anti-tank weapons to the rebels.
Implications of Obama's Support of Al Nusrah
The blowback thesis is now defunct.
The US has never ceased to support Al Qaeda.
These terrorist organizations were created by US intelligence and supported
The blowback thesis is refuted not only by
Obama's "overt support" of Al Nusrah but also with regard to the Libyan
Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an Al Qaeda affiliate, which was directly
supported by NATO from the outset of the insurgency and Libya bombing
campaign in 2011.
The "Global War on Terrorism" (GWOT) has become an increasingly fragile
concept. Waging a "War on Terrorism" with the active participation of an Al
Qaeda affiliated organization constitutes an obvious fallacy, a big lie, a
The propaganda and media disinformation campaign behind the "Global War on
Terrorism" has also entered a dead alley.
Going after the terrorists by supporting
Will the American public support a
government which funnels billions of tax dollars to a terrorist
organization as a means to "combating terrorism"?
The Pentagon's post-911 military doctrine is
predicated on the "Global War on Terrorism". It is a consensus within US
military. It is used in the recruitment, training and indoctrination of US
Will American servicemen and women accept to swallow the big lie and fight
in what visibly constitutes a fake "war on terrorism".
The Criminalization of the US
President Obama's "overt" support to Syria's Al Qaeda rebels "opens up a can
How are we to categorize an American President who says he is committed to
fighting Al Qaeda, while at the same time supporting Al Qaeda? The entire
Homeland Security doctrine tumbles like a deck of cards.
The US government is in blatant violation of its own counter-terrorism