The Mix  
comments_image Comments

Could they be that dumb? (number 7,324 in the series)

Training the next al Qaeda
 
 
Share
 

I've got a great idea, a real humdinger. Let's arm and train some really radical Islamic militants well versed in the art of terror, and then we can turn them loose on our enemies!

You know, 'cause these things never come back to bite us on the ass.*

Oops, it's looks like the crazies in the Whitehouse and Pentagon beat me to it :

The Pentagon is bypassing official US intelligence channels and turning to a dangerous and unruly cast of characters in order to create strife in Iran in preparation for any possible attack, former and current intelligence officials say.

One of the operational assets being used by the Defense Department is a right-wing terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), which is being "run" in two southern regional areas of Iran. […]

One former counterintelligence official, who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the information, describes the Pentagon as pushing MEK shortly after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The drive to use the insurgent group was said to have been advanced by the Pentagon under the influence of the Vice President's office and opposed by the State Department, National Security Council and then-National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice.

Here's the best part. There's no need to worry about this, because Rummy and Dick Cheney have a plan (and we know how good they are at planning):

According to still another intelligence source, the policy infighting ended last year when Donald Rumsfeld, under pressure from Vice President Cheney, came up with a plan to "convert" the MEK by having them simply quit their organization.

"These guys are nuts," this intelligence source said. "[Undersecretary of Intelligence Stephen] Cambone and those guys made MEK members swear an oath to Democracy and resign from the MEK and then our guys incorporated them into their unit and trained them."

An oath to democracy. Hilarious. Or it would be if it weren't so frightening.

I'm a bit late on this story, and Jan cited a spook saying it was no big deal; it isn't a major operation, just a few "pinpricks." But for me, it's illustrative of a larger point: we never seem to learn from our mistakes. Instead, we bury them in American exceptionalism.

Is it just me, or do you get the feeling the strategic class won't be satisfied until they've set the whole world on fire?

*Most readers are no doubt aware of the assistance we lent the Mujahadeen -- some of whom would become the core of al Qaeda -- in Afghanistan when they were fighting the Russkies, but that article I linked to is about Bosnia. It's worth a read.

Joshua Holland is a staff writer at Alternet and a regular contributor to The Gadflyer .