Annual Fundraising Appeal
Over the course of 21 years, we’ve published many unflattering stories about Henry Kissinger. We’ve recounted his involvement in the Chilean coup and the illegal bombings of Cambodia and Laos; his hidden role in the Kent State massacre and the genocide in East Timor; his noxious influence peddling in DC and craven work for dictators and repressive regimes around the world. We’ve questioned his ethics, his morals and his intelligence. We’ve called for him to be arrested and tried for war crimes. But nothing we’ve ever published pissed off HK quite like this sequence of photos taken at a conference in Brazil, which appeared in one of the early print editions of CounterPunch.
100716HenryKissingerNosePicking
The publication of those photos, and the story that went with them, 20 years ago earned CounterPunch a global audience in the pre-web days and helped make our reputation as a fearless journal willing to take the fight to the forces of darkness without flinching. Now our future is entirely in your hands. Please donate.

Day12Fixed

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
cp-store

or use
pp1

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

Leaking Top Secret Lies

White House Leaked Classified Intelligence to Make Its Case for War

by DAVID SWANSON

A new report looks into instances in which the Bush Administration leaked classified information to support its case that Iraq was a threat to the United States.

While that case was, of course, ridiculous and the information falsified, the leaking of it was illegal. And the leaks appear to have been part of a coordinated effort. Immediately following important leaks, top administration officials appeared on talk shows to discuss information that they could not have legally discussed had it not appeared in a newspaper that morning.

Congressman John Conyers has just released an extensive report titled "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Cover-ups in the Iraq War." Pages 73–81 address the Bush Administration’s claims regarding aluminum tubes allegedly acquired by Iraq for the purpose of developing nuclear weapons.

On page 78, the report notes:

"Our investigation has also found that classified intelligence information supporting the Bush Administration’s position regarding the aluminum tubes was leaked to the press. For example, on Sunday, September 8, 2002, the lead story in The New York Times, written by Judith Miller and Michael R. Gordon, quotes ‘anonymous’ Administration officials as stating that ‘Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb.’"

The headline of that article was "U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts."

Conyers’ report continues:

"The article goes on to source ‘administration officials’ for the proposition that ‘[i]n the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium’ and that ‘[t]he diameter, thickness and other technical specifications of the aluminum tubes had persuaded American intelligence experts that they were meant for Iraq’s nuclear program.’"

So, someone in the Administration was leaking classified information. Of course, it was false information, but that made it all the more damaging. But who was the leaker(s)?

According to Conyers’ report, "Subsequent media accounts have traced the story, at least in part, to Paul Wolfowitz:

"’In the summer of 2002, [Deputy Defense Secretary Paul] Wolfowitz convened a secret meeting [concerning the tubes] in his office with Francis Brooke, the I.N.C. adviser, and Khidir Hamza, a former chief of Saddam’s nuclear program, who had defected to America in 1994 . . . Wolfowitz circulated his conclusions to his administration allies. A few days later, the story of the "nuclear" tubes was leaked to The New York Times, where it landed on the front page.’

"On the CNN Documentary, Dead Wrong, an anonymous source characterized the dissemination of this biased and slanted information to Miller and Gordon as ‘official leaking': ‘I would call it official leaking because I think these were authorized conversations between the press and members of the intelligence community that further misreported the nature of the intelligence community’s disagreement on this issue.’

Of course, a front page story in the New York Times gets everyone’s attention, and–if the lies are glaring enough–can lead to a reporter resigning in disgrace. But the Bush Administration has often promoted stories into the "mainstream" media by first establishing them in the super-right-wing outlets.

"The Constitution in Crisis" continues: "Our investigation has also learned that administration officials appear to have leaked classified information to the press well before the New York Times article. A July 29, 2002, article in the Washington Times, titled ‘Iraq Seeks Steel for Nukes’ reported:

"’Procurement agents from Iraq’s covert nuclear-arms program were detected as they tried to purchase stainless-steel tubing, uniquely used in gas centrifuges and a key component in making the material for nuclear bombs, from an unknown supplier, said administration officials familiar with intelligence reports . . . U.S. intelligence agencies believe the tubing is an essential component of Iraq’s plans to enrich radioactive uranium to the point where it could be used to fashion a nuclear bomb.’"

With impeccable timing, on the eve of the first anniversary of the September 11th attacks, top Bush officials appeared on the Sunday talk shows to discuss the aluminum tube story that someone among them had just planted in the New York Times.

Knight Ridder explained how this worked: "[the leaks] appearance in the nation’s most influential paper also gave Cheney and Rice an opportunity to discuss the matter the same day on the Sunday television talk shows. They could discuss the article, but otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to talk about classified intelligence in public." ("CIA leak illustrates selective use of intelligence on Iraq [The Aluminum Tubes]," by Jonathan S. Landay, Knight Ridder Newspapers.)

And who can forget the horrifying comments that the Bush Administration made?

Condoleezza Rice: "[Iraq has obtained] high quality aluminum tubes that are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs" and "We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

– CNN Late Edition (CNN television broadcast, Sept. 8, 2002).

Vice President Dick Cheney: "I do know with absolutely certainty that he is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon"

– Meet the Press (NBC television broadcast, Sept. 8, 2002).

Donald Rumsfeld: "Imagine a September 11 with weapons of mass destruction."

– Face the Nation (CBS television broadcast, Sept. 8, 2002).

DAVID SWANSON can be reached at: david@davidswanson.org