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Monday, September 10, 2018

29 Ways Washington Has Made America Less Safe By Funding, Arming, Training, and Supporting Dangerous Foreign Enemies

"Oceania was at war with Eastasia:
Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia."
-George Orwell, Nineteen Eightyfour

In the years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, one of the enduring criticisms of libertarianism is that the policies voting libertarians support would make Americans less safe from foreign terrorists and hostile foreign governments.

As you will learn from the following list, the truth is that Washington's never-ending, reckless, ill-conceived, horribly mismanaged foreign military entanglements are what actually make America less safe.

Big government advocates of foreign interventionism and military adventurism believe Washington needs to aggressively and even preemptively fight America's enemies overseas to keep Americans safe at home. Libertarians point to an indisputable fact: that most of America's enemies overseas were once funded, armed, trained, and supported by Washington itself!

Presented for your consideration, are the following 29 examples:

Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Pakistan

Especially after the 9/11 attacks, Al Qaeda has been one of America's most notorious and hated enemies, but even before 9/11, Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization attempted to kill US soldiers at a hotel in Yemen in 1992; attacked the World Trade Center for the first time with a truck bomb in 1993; attempted to assassinate President Clinton in 1996; bombed US embassies in East African countries in 1998; and bombed the USS Cole, a US naval vessel in Yemen in 2000, killing 17 American soldiers.

Would you believe that the government in Washington promoted the growth of Al Qaeda over the decades, providing arms, financial support, and training to Al Qaeda and its affiliates for years before it turned on America, and even continues to do so to this very day?

This is a matter of record and fact:

1. From 1979 - 1989, the CIA poured billions of American tax dollars into Afghanistan to arm and finance the Mujahideen, one side in an Afghan civil war against the pro-Soviet People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan in Operation Cyclone, one of the longest and most expensive covert CIA operations ever.

This money was knowingly funneled by the tens and then hundreds of millions, year after year, into the hands of radical Islamic militants friendly to Pakistan.

These networks would spawn Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda, many of its affiliates, and the radical Taliban government that harbored them during and after 9/11. All armed with American weapons, finances, and military training because of the catastrophic short-sightedness and recklessness of Operation Cyclone.

2. US officials estimate that from 1985 to 1992, 12,500 Islamic jihadists were trained in bomb-making, sabotage, and urban guerrilla warfare in Afghan camps the CIA helped to set up. 

3. During this time, Washington also poured billions of American tax dollars into Pakistan for Pakistan's intelligence service, ISI, to funnel into the war torn Afghan region and provide arms, finances, and training to Afghan Mujahideen. Pakistan's government tended to favor the most extreme Islamist militants with American money.

4. One beneficiary of these CIA-funded, Pakistani handouts to radical terrorists was Jalaluddin Haqqani. He also received money directly from the CIA and was cultivated as a "unilateral CIA asset." Influential US Congressman Charlie Wilson (D-TX), who directed tens of millions of dollars to Afghanistan at this time, called Haqqani "goodness personified."

At that time, Haqqani, backed by the Washington regime, used his resources, bought with American tax dollars, to aid and defend Osama bin Laden as he built Al Qaeda. In October 2001, the month after Al Qaeda's infamous terrorist attacks on the United States, Haqqani was named the Taliban's military commander, and may have had a role in helping bin Laden to escape the country.

5. Incredibly, after a history like this, of supporting Osama bin Laden and working within the Taliban government that harbored him, Washington and the interim government it set up in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban, offered Haqqani top positions in the new Afghan government.

Remember, this was after 9/11 and after Haqqani was named military commander of the Taliban government that harbored bin Laden. Haqqani refused the offer.

By 2004, this known friend of bin Laden who Washington offered a top government position in Afghanistan was leading Taliban insurgents to fight a holy war in US-occupied Afghanistan, and according to Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist Steve Coll, was responsible for introducing suicide bombing to the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. The United States government has also accused Haqqani of planning and / or supporting the 2008 Indian embassy bombing in Kabul that killed 58 and the February 2009 Kabul raids that killed 21 people. In 2008, the US government tried to kill him in a botched drone strike. He wasn't present, but 23 other people died, including eight children.

Members of the Taliban in the White House in the 1980s

6. Another major beneficiary of Washington support during these years was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Among the most ruthless and extreme of the Afghan warlords and despite being a known drug trafficker, Hekmatyar would end up receiving the most CIA / ISI financing and armament of any Afghan terrorist in the region, taking nearly half of the CIA's covert weapons directed to Afghanistan.

With American money and weapons secretly provided by the CIA, Hekmatyar was a controversial figure, accused of spending more time killing other Mujahideen than killing Soviets, and of wantonly killing civilians. In his book, "Holy War, Inc.," bin Laden expert and CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen wrote of Hekmatyar that he:

"...had the dubious distinction of never winning a significant battle during the war, training a variety of militant Islamists from around the world, killing significant numbers of mujahideen from other parties, and taking a virulently anti-Western line. In addition to hundreds of millions of dollars of American aid, Hekmatyar also received the lion's share of aid from the Saudis."

After the pro-Soviet Afghan government collapsed in 1992, warring factions destroyed the capitol of Kabul and killed thousands of people, mostly civilians. Hekmatyar was responsible for most of the damage because of his practice of deliberately targeting civilians. During this time, he is alleged to have been working closely with Osama bin Laden, according to Bergen.

In May 2002, the CIA tried to kill Hekmatyar with a drone strike that missed. The reason? This man who had received hundreds of millions of dollars in financing and armaments from Washington was encouraging attacks on US soldiers in Afghanistan, offering bounties for those who killed US soldiers, was suspected in an assassination attempt on the Washington-backed president of Afghanistan's interim government, and would release a taped message later that year calling for jihad against the United States.

By 2003, Hekmatyar was designated by the US State Department as a "global terrorist," with a State Department official saying, "He has participated in and supported terrorist acts committed by Al Qaeda and the Taliban." In a 2006 interview, Hekmatyar claimed he helped bin Laden and Al Qaeda's second-in-command to escape from US forces as they faced bombardment and were nearly captured in the caves of Tora Bora in 2001.

7. Hekmatyar's Mujahideen group, Hezbi Islami, which enjoyed the support of Washington during the Mujahideen years, killed nine people in a suicide attack in Kabul in retaliation for the YouTube film, "Innocence of Muslims," and claimed responsibility for another Kabul attack in May of 2013 that killed 16 people when a car loaded with explosives was rammed into a pair of American military vehicles.

8. Just days after the 9/11 attacks, in two separate bios of Osama bin Laden, the BBC reported that, "He received security training from the CIA itself, according to Middle Eastern analyst Hazhir Teimourian," and Forbes reported that bin Laden, "not only invested some of his personal financial resources to fund the combat brigades, he also received military and financial assistance from the intelligence services of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United States."

9. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, identified by the 9/11 Commission Report as the "principle architect of the 9/11 attacks," was radicalized and learned terrorist tactics in a Mujahideen training camp in Afghanistan during the 1980s while the region swelled with Washington funding and support for the civil war against the pro-Soviet government.

10. In May 2001, just four months before the 9/11 attacks, the State Department announced a grant of $43 million to the Taliban.

11. Nine years later, in a stunning display of Washington's malfeasance, reports began to emerge from government auditors and war analysts that as much as $1 billion in Washington money directed to Afghanistan as part of the post-war reconstruction efforts had ended up in the hands of insurgent Taliban forces.

12. Over the decades, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which has frequently been ruled by presidents installed by military coup (from the years of 1958-71, 1977-88, and 1999-2008) has played a central role in funding, training, and supporting radical Islamic terrorism in Afghanistan, and yet has enjoyed an overwhelmingly cozy and cooperative relationship with Washington, which has consistently sent the government of Pakistan hundreds of millions or even over a billion dollars a year in economic and military aid, right through to the present day as of this article's publication.

Source: Ccnter for Global Development

13. While Pakistan's role in fomenting radical Islamic terrorism before 9/11 is partially documented in the listed items above, what is shocking is that Washington ramped up Pakistani military aid to unprecedented levels post-9/11 and Pakistan has used that aid and support to continue to sponsor radical terrorist activity against the United States and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

14. This includes harboring bin Laden and offering safe haven for the Taliban. Western governments suspect and have accused the Pakistani government of harboring bin Laden who was discovered and killed by a US Navy SEAL team in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The compound was deep in Pakistan's borders and in a neighborhood near the Pakistan Military Academy. The White House has repeatedly accused the Pakistani government of being less-than-cooperative in the hunt for bin Laden, and even of knowing his whereabouts. Pakistan's government was not informed of the bin Laden raid beforehand, and even scrambled F-16 jets when it learned of the operation.

Secret US government files leaked by WikiLeaks show that Washington knew the entire time it was funding Pakistan to the tune of over a billion dollars a year, that Pakistan's government was helping Osama bin Laden to evade US forces:

"American diplomats were told that one of the key reasons why they had failed to find bin Laden was that Pakistan’s security services tipped him off whenever US troops approached.

Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISID) also allegedly smuggled al-Qaeda terrorists through airport security to help them avoid capture and sent a unit into Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taliban."

15. After Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces, Pakistan's government arrested Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find bin Laden, charged him with treason, and sentenced him to 33 years in prison. And the Washington regime continues to send billions of dollars to Pakistan, with a 2012 bill to cut aid to Pakistan, Libya, and Egypt failing in the US Senate by a vote of 81 - 10.

16. Another WikiLeaks disclosure of US documents in 2010 showed that the US military knew that Pakistan's ISI-- again, funded with your tax dollars by Washington-- was coordinating attacks on US and NATO soldiers in Afghanistan with Taliban insurgents, and had been doing so for six years since 2004. Pakistan's government had been ordering suicide attacks in Afghanistan, and filling vehicles with explosives in Pakistan before driving them across the border into Afghanistan.

17. Another example of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in the region is the Haqqani Network, founded by Jalaludden Haqqani mentioned above, which was nurtured by the CIA and ISI during the Mujahideen period, but remained a client of the Washington-supported Pakistani government even in the post-9/11 period, with Admiral Mike Mullen, the most senior US military official calling the Haqqani group "a veritable arm of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency," in the aftermath of a 2011 Haqqani terrorist attack on the US embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul.

18. After Washington warned Pakistan to take action against the Haqqani Network or risk unilateral US action against the insurgent terrorist group, Pakistan threatened that it would retaliate against the United States for US action against the group. And the Washington regime continues to send billions of dollars to Pakistan.

In summary: Remember, the Washington regime has given billions and billions of dollars in financing, military training, and military armament, over decades and decades, before and after 9/11, to Pakistan and to these radical Islamist groups, which Pakistan also supports and harbors with the massive amount of American tax money that Washington doles out.

Truly, truly, as a matter of undisputed public knowledge, America's own government offers material aid and comfort to dangerous terrorists on a level unmatched by any other group or organization in the world. Want to be hard on terrorism? Demand that Washington STOP TAKING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS out of the pockets of HARD-WORKING AMERICANS to put in the hands of a KNOWN and PROLIFIC state sponsor of TERRORISM!!

Al Qaeda and Africa

19. In Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, whose military dictatorship was designated by the US government as a state sponsor of terrorism until 2006, managed to secure US friendship and even military aid during the Bush Administration by simply promising he would no longer sponsor terrorism and keeping that promise over a six month period. He additionally renounced his weapons of mass destruction and offered to cooperate with Washington in the fight against Al Qaeda.

Readers can decide for themselves whether this makes any more sense than allowing a convicted murderer to roam free simply because he promised he would no longer murder and kept that promise over a six month period-- and not only allowing the murderer to roam free, but actually recruiting him to work for the police to help them fight crime.

This is how Washington supported a government that had been a US enemy and sponsor of terrorism for years, and would soon be considered a US enemy for the second time...

20. In a stark example of Washington's schizo foreign policy, President Obama, who has since called the now deposed and executed Gaddafi a threat to his own people, asked Congress to increase US aid for Gaddafi's military to $1.7 million just one month(!) before attacking Gaddafi's military with coordinated air strikes to aid Libya's rebels.

"According to State Department figures, the money was earmarked to train Libyan military officers, improve its air force, secure its borders and to counter terrorism."

To go from giving someone millions of dollars to waging war on them in just one month is whiplash-inducing on an epic level. Who could possibly be this insanely disorganized? Only Washington.

21. As if its support for Muammar Gaddafi's repressive, terror-sponsoring regime wasn't bad enough, Washington's move to help Libyan rebels depose Gaddafi involved supporting even worse terrorists than Gaddafi himself. The rebellion was a hotbed of Islamic extremism and radical jihadists with ties to Al Qaeda, and included the same terrorists who attacked US and NATO forces in Iraq.

Admiral James Stavridis, NATO supreme commander for Europe, said of Libya's rebel force: "We have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential al Qaeda, Hezbollah."

Former CIA officer Bruce Riedel took things a step further: "There is no question that al Qaeda's Libyan franchise, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, is a part of the opposition. It has always been Qaddafi's biggest enemy and its stronghold is Benghazi. What is unclear is how much of the opposition is al Qaeda/Libyan Islamic Fighting Group - 2 percent or 80 percent."

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the leader of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and commander of the Libyan rebels, spent five years at a training camp in Afghanistan, admitted to waging war against US and NATO forces in Afghanistan before being captured in Pakistan in 2002, and said in an interview with an Italian newspaper that some of the rebels on "the front lines" of the fight against Gaddafi included men he had personally recruited to fight against the US in Iraq.

22. In addition to supporting radical terrorists, Islamic extremists, and Al Qaeda affiliates in their uprising against Gaddafi, the Washington regime unwittingly created a stronghold for Al Qaeda, which has swarmed the destabilized country to use it as a base of operations.

23. After providing military support for a rebellion that included Al Qaeda fighters and other extremist elements, and despite the hotbed of Al Qaeda activity in Libya after the new government took power, including an attack on US diplomats in Benghazi, killing four Americans-- Washington continues to send millions of dollars to Libya. (Also bear in mind Washington's acknowledged malfeasance in distributing money to Afghanistan, which has ended up in the hands of Taliban insurgents as noted in an item above.)

24. Additionally, Washington-approved weapons transfers from Qatar to Libya have ended up in the hands of jihadi militants with ties to Al Qaeda in the West African nation of Mali, fueling the growing crisis in the country's north, where radical Islamists took control in January 2012 with the goal of implementing sharia law.

25. The Washington regime has also sent over a billion dollars a year to Egypt, where in the hands of the secular military government of Hosni Mubarak, it was used to suppress militant Islamists, putting America in the cross hairs of foreign resentment from these groups, including Al Qaeda affiliates who had received support and training from the CIA during the Mujahideen period.

26. Washington continued aid to the new Egyptian government under Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi, supporting a regime which has the fervent support of radical Islamists, including Al Qaeda affiliates, and has adopted many troubling policies of radical Islamicization. With its embarrassing history of supporting terrorists and other violent groups, Washington's rush to send money abroad is insanely irresponsible. (And now that Egypt has undergone a military coup with the removal of Morsi-- is certainly illegal.)

27. Though the Egyptian military removed President Morsi in a 2013 coup, the US State Department bent over backwards to claim that it was in fact not a coup so that the Obama Administration could continue sending over a billion dollars a year in mostly military aid to the unstable country which has had three regimes in two years.

Over a billion dollars in mostly military aid to an extremely unstable country when there's no telling who will be holding onto and making use of that kind of aid when the dust finally settles? This kind of recklessness is how Washington makes America and the world less safe.

28. The Washington regime intervened in Somalia in 1977 during the rule of military dictator Siad Barre to aid the Somalian dictator in his invasion of Ethiopia, because its Marxist government received support from the Soviets. Washington sent Barre $100 million a year until 1989 in military and economic aid.

As a result, when the US military offered support of UN relief efforts to Somalia in 1992 and '93 because of the civil war that ousted Barre and left the country shattered, US soldiers faced enemies with Washington-supplied weaponry in the Battle of Mogadishu, which claimed the lives of 18 Americans and wounded 73.

29. More recently, Washington has armed cash-strapped Ugandan and Burundian troops to fight Somalia’s al-Shabab terrorist group of Al Qaeda-allied Somali insurgents. The approximately 9,000 troops doing the fighting are given regular consignments of guns, rockets, and ammunition, with a 2007 - 2009 price tag of around $200 million, which has likely doubled since then.

The problem is this Washington-supplied weaponry is ending up in the hands of the Al-Qaeda-allied Somali insurgents! The kicker: It’s the cash-strapped Ugandans who are selling the weapons to the insurgents.

A long-form research article like this takes a lot of time to write, time that I could spend with my wife and son, or on income earning opportunities with my freelance writing business, but all of this information is out there and so few are putting it together in a meaningful way to make a deep impact on the conversation. In fact there's an entire army of journalists paid by major media corporations to hype corrupt narratives and drown out the truth in an ocean of irrelevant trivialities they call "news." Please consider supporting me on Patreon so I can continue this work. My goal is to devote all my working time to this endeavor. Thank you!

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