The Pentagon Insider Who Spread Rumors that Sounded Anti-Semitic
Mr. Black is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning investigative reporter and author of IBM and the Holocaust. His forthcoming book, Banking on Baghdad (Wiley), which chronicles 7,000 years of Iraqi history, releases in October. He can be reached at www.edwinblack.com.Since the run-up to the war in Iraq, Internet bloggers and discussion sites have been rife with anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist rampages directed against Jewish neocons in the Pentagon. But their message lacked credibility until "Deep Throat" gave them the eyewitness testimony-direct from the Pentagon-they craved. The case of "Deep Throat" illustrates just how easy it is for anti-Israel blogging and chatting to escalate to serious media attention.
It all started in early 2002, when a series of anonymously written columns began appearing on the Soldiers for the Truth website at www.sftt.org, which is run by decorated veteran David Hackworth. The site mainly functions as an angry Pentagon watchdog. The columns, dubbed "Deep Throat Returns," and subheaded "Insider Notes from the Pentagon," were heavy with Zionist and Israel conspiracy-theory references. For example: "U.S. intentions in Iraq have been criticized for a lot of reasons... a Zionist political cult that has lassoed the E-Ring [the most senior offices of the Pentagon] and parts of Washington...using war to resolve years of piss-poor U.S. energy policies."
In October 2002, one such column castigated Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and also undersecretaries Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, both Jews, accusing them of being in the palm of Israel and the Likud. "RW&F," she wrote, "know when Mr. Sharon visits with more requests for military and economic aid, in the double digit billions, in part to support all those new settlements in the West Bank, it is a good thing."
"Deep Throat Returns" was actually written by a genuine insider, Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, at the time a frustrated staffer in the Pentagon's Near East South Asia (NESA) bureau.
Kwiatkowski explained to this writer in a recent interview that her anonymous columns excoriating her bosses at the Pentagon arose as the result of "deep frustration over what I saw." Her column activity probably amounts to the first time a sensitive security-cleared Pentagon analyst regularly published such commentary to the world at large while still on active duty and openly allowed it to be attributed to an anonymous "Pentagon insider."
In March 2003, Kwiatkowski retired from the Air Force; she is now an activist in the Libertarian party. Kwiatkowski is a simple-speaking and amiable woman, living on a farm in Virginia's Shenandoah Mountains. In the interview, she gratuitously tossed around such charged references as a "Zionist political cult in the Pentagon" with clear naiveté and without understanding their impact. She fervently denies she is anti-Semitic and calls Israel a good friend and ally of the United States.
But, Kwiatkowski adds, she objects to what she calls "Likud's grip." For Kwiatkowski, Likud and Labor are the only two parties of Israel. She readily admits she does not understand Zionist history or politics, and visualizes conspiracies that even transcend generations. For example, she asked if I knew that No. 3 Pentagon official Douglas Feith's parents were followers of Ze'ev Jabotinsky during World War II, as if that "explained" his current actions. Ironically, Kwiatkowski asserted that she didn't want any of her anti-Zionist remarks to hurt Israel or America's Jewish community. "That is not my intent at all," she assured.
While at NESA, Kwiatkowski not only wrote anonymous columns for Internet distribution, she sometimes vented to those who communicated with her office in the Pentagon. On January 15, 2003, during the run-up to the second Iraq war, she typed an email from her Pentagon computer, declaring, "I didn't mean to get upset...When serious threats to one's country are present, war is a last resort to being taken over. But of course, we are nowhere near threatened like that from Iraq or even [from] Bin Laden. Israel is most paranoid about that possibility and many in Washington share Israel's security perspective."
After retiring in Spring 2003, Kwiatkowski began writing Internet columns openly under her own name. In these, she continued verbalizing her discontent with NESA and her former superiors in the military planning establishment. Her columns also continued attacking Jewish Pentagon policy hawks, such as Perle and Feith, linking them to a grand plan to serve Israel at America's expense.
On August 3, 2003, another Internet writer, Jim Lobe, interviewed Kwiatkowski. Writing in the electronic version of Asia Times, which succeeded the defunct Hong Kong-based newspaper, Lobe broadly quoted Kwiatkowski's insider testimony that a cabal of Jewish neocons -- actually Likud surrogates -- was developing America's military policy on Iran. Feith continued as a leading target. "Along with Feith," wrote Lobe, "all of the political appointees have in common a close identification with the views of the right-wing Likud Party in Israel. Feith, whose law partner is a spokesman for the settlement movement in Israel, has long been a fierce opponent of the Oslo peace process, while WINEP [Washington Institute for Near East Policy] has acted as the think tank for the most powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which generally follows a Likud line."
Jeffrey Steinberg, an editor of the Leesburg, Virginia-based publication Executive Intelligence Review, published by Lyndon Larouche, took notice of Kwiatkowski's interview in Asia Times. In September 2003, Steinberg met for three hours with Kwiatkowski at her farm, where she aired her views on Jewish Zionist neocons, NESA and its now-disbanded Office of Special Plans, responsible for much of America's Iraq war planning.
In a long "Memorandum for the Files," written on September 11, 2003, and emailed to an undisclosed list of recipients, Steinberg summarized Kwiatkowski's gossip, complaints and observation into one stream-of-consciousness document. For example, the memorandum mentioned that Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Bill Luti, who headed the Office of Special Plans, obtained his PhD "from the Fletcher School at Tufts in Boston." Steinberg added, "This is a lead to pursue, given that Fletcher School was the roost of Uri Ra'anan, who was Jonathan Pollard's teacher."
Steinberg's September 11 Memorandum went on to detail Kwiatkowski's insights about a long list of staffers at NESA and the Office of Special Plans. For example: "Luti was heard boasting that Feith 'can't wipe his ass without me.'" Kwiatkowski's list included Michael Makovsky, who was cited as a Churchill-admirer, Abram Shulsky, Michael Rubin, Joe McMillan, translator Yousef Aboul-Enein and Iran desk officer Larry Franklin, now the subject of the AIPAC spying scandal. Franklin was described as "a white guy raised in the black slums of Baltimore."
The memo also described an incident in which several Israeli generals allegedly walked into Feith's office without signing the visitor's book, furthering the implication that Israeli officials ran the Pentagon.
The memo's last sentence reads: "K also mentioned that there were 'rumors' circulating around the office in the summer of 2002 that there was an ongoing investigation into the leaks to the Israelis."
Kwiatkowski explained to me the remarks about the FBI and Israelis she made to Steinberg: "A guy who had a friend in the FBI told me they were looking at" an individual "on the Israeli desk. But no one said it was Larry Franklin or Israelis."
Among those who received Steinberg's Memorandum for the Files was Patrick Lang, a former director of Middle East intelligence for the Defense Intelligence Agency. Lang, often interviewed by national media as a respected intelligence expert, regularly broadcasts mass emails of analysis and tidbits on the Middle East. He forwarded Steinberg's document to more than 100 high-profile recipients. The list included many of the nation's most influential Mideast experts, newspaper columnists, TV reporters and network producers, plus personalities in the Arab world.
It's impossible to know whether mainstream journalists took the memo seriously or just deleted it from their inboxes. But for those who missed the far-right provenance of the memo, it's possible that the presence of a Pentagon official as source and Lang's name in the "sender" line may have added a measure of credence to ideas normally ignored.
After Lang distributed Steinberg's memo, Kwiatkowski saw it and emailed Steinberg a long list of corrections. For example: "I did not hear Luti say that Powell should resign." Rather than correct the memo, Steinberg forwarded Kwiatkowski's many corrections to Lang who, in turn, forwarded those raw comments to the same diverse list.
Being so closely identified with the Larouche organization bothered Kwiatkowski. "I'm not really clear about what Larouche stands for. I only found about Larouche after I was called a Larouchi. I just know I don't agree or understand anything he advocates. That [Steinberg] memo has been no end of heartache because the original memo was not corrected and because there were things not true, or he interpreted them in a way I did not intend."
Lang explained that he forwarded the original Larouche materials and Kwiatkowski corrections without giving it much thought, but simply as part of his daily barrage of output to reporters.
Throughout 2004, as America's intelligence and military planning debacle in Iraq unfolded, the Internet and national policy publications continued seething with charges of warmongering against the Pentagon neocons, frequently making the Zionist connection. For some in the media who follow the policy debate and had long been pummeled by unending emails and web pushes, those anti-Zionist pundits now had an inside source: Karen Kwiatkowski.
The propriety of Kwiatkowski writing anti-Zionist insider columns while on active Pentagon duty is not easily answered. When asked about the Kwiatkowski case, a Pentagon official pointedly explained that the right to free speech, official restrictions on public commentary, and the nature of Internet posting and blogging "are constantly being weighed against the need for legitimate security concerns." He added, "one way we measure that is through directives" and specified that Kwiatkowski's columns would likely have to conform DOD Directive 5230.9, "Clearance of DOD Information for Public Release."
The official carefully explained that Directive 5230.9's fourth paragraph, mandates, "Any official DOD information intended for public release that pertains to military matters, national security issues, or subjects of significant concern to the Department of Defense shall be reviewed for clearance by appropriate security review and public affairs offices prior to release." He added that a subsection mandated that any such author "not use official DOD information generally not available to the public."
The DOD official indicated that no investigation or determination of such a case would probably be undertaken unless a member of the public or DOD personnel actually complained, for example, to the DOD Inspector General's Internet hotline.
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Don Williams - 10/3/2004
Don Williams - 10/2/2004
1) First, a Washington Post article about the over Republican strategy:
"Republican Party strategists are hoping to capitalize on President Bush's strong pro-Israel policies to crack the Democratic loyalties of Jewish voters and donors who have provided vital support to the Democratic Party for decades.
Bush, who received only 19 percent of the Jewish vote in 2000, has impressed many influential Jewish groups and individuals with his handling of the war on terrorism and his stands on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Some of them say they are strongly considering shifting their support to the GOP, a move that could boost Republican success in the fall congressional elections, Bush's 2004 reelection campaign and beyond."
The emphasis on the above should be "donors". The article goes on:
"Democratic fundraisers estimate that at least half of the money donated by individuals -- but excluding labor unions and political action committees -- to the national committees comes from Jewish donors.
According to research by University of Akron political scientist John Green and several colleagues, "Jews accounted for 21 percent of donors to the Democratic presidential primaries in 2000," or at least $13 million out of $62 million raised by Gore and former senator Bill Bradley (N.J.). By contrast, they said, "Jews made up 2.5 percent of all GOP presidential primary donors and contributed $3.75 million out of $150 millions raised." Their surveys found similar patterns at the congressional level.
Jewish voters account for 4 percent of the nationwide vote, but they play larger roles in some states, including New York, Florida and California. Exit polls show that in New York, Jews comprised 14 percent of all voters in 2000, and they supported Gore over Bush, 78 percent to 19 percent. In California, 5 percent of the voters were Jewish, and Gore received 84 percent of their vote."
See also http://www.forward.com/issues/2003/03.01.17/news9.html
2) The Republicans have also had leaders of the Christian right pushing a major propaganda drive --to support this financial strategy --based on a bunch of misleading religious claptrap. See this transcript of a BBC broadcast at http://www.jerusalem.indymedia.org/news/2002/08/68110_comment.php . An excerpt:
"Joining well-established Jewish lobby groups in America is a new and powerful phenomenon - Christian Zionism.
There are an estimated 40 million Christian Conservatives in America and they may be in a position to wield unprecedented influence in support of Israel.
...A: Significantly it was by no means an exclusively Jewish crowd. Some of the most outspoken support for Israel today is coming from Christian Conservatives. From the podium, Janet Parschall, a leading voice on the Religious Right, made one thing clear -- support for Israel is now a litmus test for those who claim to be America's Moral Majority:
Parschall: "We represent millions of Christian broadcasters in this country. We stand with you NOW, and for EVER!!!"
A: It's time to revise one of the oldest stereotypes in American politics -- the power of the Jewish lobby. Today it's not the Jewish lobby which counts. It's the pro-Israel lobby. And the difference is crucial. Two of the most formidable organizational networks in America - the Jewish Establishment and the Christian Right -- have joined forces. Together, they can penetrate deep into the body politic. ...
...To appreciate the scale and reach of America's affinity for the Jewish state, I went to Church. The Cornerstone Church. A stadium-sized arena in San Antonio Texas, where ten thousand born-again believers answer God's call every Sunday morning. Had Cecil B. DeMill been a preacher, THIS would have been his kind of church. A mass choir, a deafening band and every theatrical moment captured by six television cameras beaming the experience direct to millions of homes across America.
The stars and stripes hangs on one side of the Cornerstone's stage. On the other side -- a star of david. For the pastor here, John Hagee, loyalty to Israel is an article of faith.
"God entered into an eternal covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that the nation of Israel would belong to the Jewish people forever; and forever means two thousand and two, three thousand and two, four thousand and two --- because forever is forever. Jerusalem is the eternal capitol of the Jewish state -- not since Camp David but since King David. That's three thousand years ago. (cheering)
"Let us send a signal to the Arab states who are now threatening America with the oil factor. Let me say this loud and clear to OPEC: CHOKE!!! on your oil!! (cheering from Zionist Christians).
"We will ride the bus or bicycles -- but when push comes to shove, we're NOT for sale and we're going to stand with Israel through thick and thin until terrorists and terrorism are crushed.!!" (wild cheering)
Church attendee to A: "My name's Terry Thompson. Now that I've come to know the Lord I understand that the nation of Israel and its borders were... the parameters were set up by God, and so I'm an impassioned - if you will - a Zionist for Israel."
A: Now, do you feel strongly enough on this issue to make it something you'll be active on; where you'll actually have input into the political system?
Thompson: "Yes. Strongly enough to do that with my vote of course, but also with my dollars. We are Christian Zionists, and we'll voice that 'til our death."
A: Pastor Hagee, you're a... Christian evangelist. You wanna bring people -- to Christ, and... in the end Israel is the Jewish state. People are gonna say, "Why does the pastor care for, and have so much sympathy for, the Jewish state?"
Hagee: "Yes. We understand that the Jewish state was something that's borned in the mind of God, and we are a people who believe the scripture and the scripture says very clearly that God created Israel; that God is the protector and the defender of Israel. If God created Israel; if God defends Israel, is it not logical to say that those who fight with Israel are fighting with God?
"We are seeing, in my judgment, the birth pangs that will be called in the future, the beginning of the end. I believe, in my mind, that the Third World War has begun.
"I believe that it began on 9-11. I believe that we are going to see an escalation of the Islamic influence all over the earth. And at that point in time, God, in his sovereign grace, is going to stand up and to defend Israel and the enemies of Israel are going to be decimated."
A: Some people listening will be concerned that such is the... black-and-white, good-against-evil view... of the global confrontation that you're talking about... that it's inflammatory; it's dangerous.
Hagee: "Well, it's not dangerous. When you know the future there's no reason to consider it inflammatory. It's going to happen."
A: In your office, and in the library beyond there are so many pictures of you greeting Israeli prime ministers from the past and of course the present prime minister of Israel. Tell me, how close are your contacts? With the Israeli government?
Hagee: "Well, if I phone Israel I can get in contact with most anyone that I want to talk to."
A: Pretty much straight away?
Hagee: "Straight away".
(choir singing: "I will cling to the old rugged cross....)
A: Christian Conservative leaders across America are singing from the same pro-Israel hymn sheet, and the Israeli government appreciates their loyalty. Benjamin Netanyahu recently went down to Texas to visit the Cornerstone Church. These links matter, not only because forty-million Americans describe themselves as 'Christian Conservatives', but also because the Religious Right is HIGHLY organized with a POWERFUL influence inside the Republican party, all the way up to the White House. "
3) Finally, consider this US News Report on Tom Delay's speech made while he was visiting Israel: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2002/04/24/aipac.htm
"DeLay also suggested that Israel should not return territory despite the Bush administration's call for an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.
He pointedly changed the phrase "West Bank" in the text of his speech to "Judea and Samaria," terms used by those who claim these biblical Jewish territories should remain part of the modern Jewish state. "I've toured Judea and Samaria," he said, "and stood on the Golan Heights (captured from Syria in 1967). I didn't see occupied territory. I saw Israel."
DeLay's address to the conference and the warm reception he received underlined an alliance between some Israel supporters and conservative U.S. Christians that began in the 1980s and has become much stronger under the Bush administration "
4) 1000+ US soldiers have died and 20,000 have been wounded --not to defend the US but to help Republicans win the election.
Stephen Davis - 10/2/2004
I know it's pointless to engage you--but I can't resist. What are the names of the Republicans who are "suddenly learning Yiddish"?
Don Williams - 10/1/2004
1) Edwin Black's suggestion that when Pentagon insider Kwiatkowski criticized Pentagon neocons, she was also criticizing Jews in general-- or even American Jews seems to be a form of anti-semitism. Of saying implicitly that all Jews --except the self-hating ones of course --support the neocons. Which is wrong of course. Some Jews and even Israelis are among Likud's strongest critics.
I suspect Edwin Black knows that --which is why he had to weasel-word his charge "sounded Anti-Semitic".
2) Our soldiers are among our most virtuous citizens --but when they sign up to risk their lives defending this country , they sign up to defend this country. Not to seize oil reservoirs in the Caspian Sea and Iraq for Dick Cheney's buddies in Houston. Nor do they sign up to give their lives so that Bush can win elections in order that America's richest 2% of the population can get more tax breaks while the looted Trust Funds for Social Security, Medicare, and Military Retirement go bankrupt.
3) It never seems to occur to reporters like Black to wonder why some Republicans are suddenly learning Yiddish. Or Tom Delay's sudden interest in the Old Testament.
The untold story of the Bush Administration is how Bush and Karl Rove have made a strong effort to seduce the Democratic Party's major financiers away. Not Jews per se --
There are roughly 6 million Jews in the US and most of them are middle class. Neither their numbers nor their wealth would interest Rove. But there are some very wealthy billionaires who are strong supporters of Israel. People like Haim Saban and S Daniel Abraham, for example. They are the reason Bush invaded Iraq.
4) Saddam Hussein was no threat to the US but he was seen as a threat by Sharon and Likud. Especially when he grew increasingly grumpy over the joint Israel -Turkey project to divert water from the headwaters of the Euphrates to Israel , at the expense of Iraq. That is why Bush was looking for an excuse --from day 1 of his administration according to Richard Clarke-- to take out Hussein.
5) If you go here : http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/index.asp , you can look up the political donations made by individuals. If you enter "Saban,Haim" for the 2002
cycle, you will see donations of $11.7+ MILLION made to the Democrats. If you look at Saban's donation for this 2004 election cycle, however, you see donations of only
$84,000. In case Democrats don't get the message, several thousand of those dollars were given to George Bush. This is why , whenever Kerry tries to criticize Bush on Iraq , Kerry is reduced to making incoherent strangling noises. The " invisible hand" I believe Adam Smith called it.
6) Here is the State Department press release issued in Pakistan announcing the creation of Saban's Middle East Policy Center at Brookings Institute: "wwwh02051402.html">wwwh02051402.html">http://usembassy.state.gov/posts/pk1/wwwh02051402.html" -- headed up by the former US Ambassador to Israel.
Here is the LA Times Oped by the Directors of Saban's propaganda organization strongly advocating a US war on Iraq:
7) Another name to enter is "Abraham, S Daniel" -- the Slimfast billionaire. Opensecrets.org indicates that Abraham gave $1 million to the Democrats in
the 2002 cycle , $1.3 million in the 2000 cycle, but only $76,500 in this 2004 cycle.
Abraham has long been involved in influencing US Policy toward Israel -- see, e.g., http://www.mojones.com/news/special_reports/mojo_400/1_abraham.html
By the way, S Daniel seems to have rethought that 3/18/2003 donation to Howard Dean. In September 2003,
the Jewish publication Forward, among others, reported a spat between Howard Dean and Joe Lieberman due to Dean saying that the US needed to take a more even-handed approach toward the Israeli-Palestian issue.
8) In early 2004, Dean's campaign was torpedoed by a barrage of negative TV ads in the Iowa primary, financed by a new, secretive organization called "Americans for Jobs". See
But that organization didn't talk about jobs --it talked about Howard Dean being too weak to deal with Bin Ladin.
Not until after the Iowa primary was over did Americans for Jobs have to report it's funding to the FEC -- and it turned out that the largest chunk of it's funds ($200,000) was from --ta da --S Daniel Abraham. See
9) And who, of course, can forget Richard Perle going on to the TV networks and leading the charge against Iraq. I recall Tim Russert asking Perle prior to the war on Iraq why members of the Congressional intelligence committees -- Nancy Pelosi, Bob Graham, Diane Feinstein -- had indicated that they had seen no information showing an imminent threat from Hussein. I recall Richard Perle say that those members of Congress did not have all the information. But I haven't seen Perle in the past several months. Maybe he can come back onto Meet the Press and tell us where those weapons of mass destruction are.
10) The most hilarious thing about Perle interviews is that most news reports speak of Perle as being an
intellectual from the American Enterprise Institute. It seems to me, however, that the rather rotund Perle has feasted on sinecures provided by Canadian news magnate, Conrad Black. According to this site, Perle has been Chairman and CEO of Black's Hollinger Digital, and Director of The Jerusalem Post, one of the newspapers owned by Black (http://www.benadorassociates.com/perle.php ).
11)A few years ago, Lord Gilmour described Black and Perle's editorship of the Jerusalem Post:
" A decade ago, Black, to the great detriment of Israel, bought The Jerusalem Post and turned what had been a fine liberal Zionist paper into what a distinguished member of the British Jewish community called 'one of the most rabid Jewish publications in the English
12) While not Jewish, Conrad Black has been a strong supporter of Sharon and the Likud. In 2001, he used his power as owner to publicly criticize one of his columists, Taki, because Taki had noted Israel's control of US politics. See
13) Recently, however, both Richard Perle's and Conrad Black's business dealings have ..er.. come under review.
A December 5, 2003 Washington Post article noted how Richard Perle had lobbied for a billion dollar tanker lease deal
for Boeing without disclosing that Boeing had invested $20 million into Perle's Trireme venture. The article also notes
that Perle resigned several months ago as Chairman of the Defense Policy Board due to a perceived conflict associated with his lobbying on behalf of Loral and Global Crossing.
See http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A37059-2003Dec4?language=printer .
14) Meanwhile, Conrad Black recently resigned as chief executive of Hollinger Internation. Mr Conrad allegedly resigned
under pressure due to $millions of unauthorized payments taken by him -- see
The SEC is reportedly investigating -- see http://media.guardian.co.uk/city/story/0,7497,1088660,00.html
and http://media.guardian.co.uk/city/story/0,7497,1090397,00.html .
According to the Washington Post story above,
Perle is on the Hollinger Board.
15) It is not clear why Conrad Black is such a strong supporter of Sharon. Possibly it is the deep moral convictions of a man of strong integrity. However, this
recent news report indicates that new directors of Hollinger International suspect that Perle let Conrad Black loot that company of $400 million. See http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/31/business/media/31CND-CONR.html?ex=1096776000&en=beb625e6f63574b6&ei=5070&ei=5018&en=371d0d4d741e469b&ex=1094616000&adxnnl=1&partner=BRITANNICA&adxnnlx=1096654033-J‡7S2/TtqRP2GrlLBgyg
16) You can wrap these Washington games in the American flag, but they still have a stench to them, in my opinion.