ARTÍCULO DE MSNBC EN EL QUE SE VINCULA
A GEORGE BUSH CON BEN LADEN.
The CIA, Osama Bin Laden and His American Business Partners
BIN LADEN COMES HOME TO ROOST His CIA ties are only the beginning
of a woeful story
By Michael Moran
NEW YORK, Aug. 24 At the CIA, it happens often enough to have
a code name: Blowback. Simply defined, this is the
term that describes an agent, an operative or an operation
that has turned on its creators. Osama bin Laden, our new
public enemy Number 1, is the personification of blowback.
And the fact that he is viewed as a hero by millions in the
Islamic world proves again the old adage: Reap what you
BEFORE YOU CLICK on my face and call me naive, let me concede
some points. Yes,
the West needed Josef Stalin to defeat Hitler. Yes, there
were times during the Cold
War when supporting one villain (Cambodia's Lon Nol, for instance)
would have been better
than the alternative (Pol Pot). So yes, there are times when
any nation must hold its nose
and shake hands with the devil for the long-term good of the
But just as surely, there are times when the United States,
faced with such moral
dilemmas, should have resisted the temptation to act. Arming
a multi-national coalition of
Islamic extremists in Afghanistan during the 1980s well after
the destruction of the
Marine barracks in Beirut or the hijacking of TWA Flight 847
was one of those times.
BIN LADEN'S BEGINNINGS
Bin Laden is the heir to Saudi construction fortune who, at
least since the early 1990s, has used that
money to finance countless attacks on U.S. interests and those
of its Arab allies around the world.
Osama bin Laden's network ... By 1984, he was running a front
known as Maktab al-Khidamar the MAK which funneled money,
arms and fighters from the outside
world into the Afghan war. What the CIA bio conveniently fails
specify (in its unclassified form, at least) is that the MAK
was nurtured by Pakistan's
state security services, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency,
or ISI, the CIA's
primary conduit for conducting the covert war against Moscow's
By no means was Osama bin Laden the leader of Afghanistan's
mujahedeen. His money
gave him undue prominence in the Afghan struggle, but the
vast majority of those who
fought and died for Afghanistan's freedom like the Taliban
regime that now holds sway
over most of that tortured nation were Afghan nationals.
Yet the CIA, concerned about the factionalism of Afghanistan
made famous by
Rudyard Kipling, found that Arab zealots who flocked to aid
the Afghans were easier to
'read' than the rivalry-ridden natives. While the Arab volunteers
might well prove
troublesome later, the agency reasoned, they at least were
for now. So bin Laden, along with a small group of Islamic
militants from Egypt,
Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestinian refugee camps all
over the Middle East,
became the 'reliable' partners of the CIA in its war against
WHAT'S 'INTELLIGENT' ABOUT THIS? Though he has come to represent
all that went wrong with the CIA's reckless strategy there,
by the end of the Afghan war in 1989, bin Laden was still
viewed by the
agency as something of a dilettante a rich Saudi boy gone
to war and welcomed home by
the Saudi monarchy he so hated as something of a hero.
In fact, while he returned to his family's construction business,
bin Laden had
split from the relatively conventional MAK in 1988 and established
a new group, al-Qaida,
that included many of the more extreme MAK members he had
met in Afghanistan.
Most of these Afghan vets, or Afghanis, as the Arabs who fought
there became known, turned up later behind
violent Islamic movements around the world. Among them: the
GIA in Algeria, thought responsible
for the massacres of tens of thousands of civilians; Egypt's
Gamat Ismalia, which has
massacred western tourists repeatedly in recent years; Saudi
Arabia Shiite militants,
responsible for the Khobar Towers and Riyadh bombings of 1996.
Indeed, to this day, those involved in the decision to give
the Afghan rebels access
to a fortune in covert funding and top-level combat weaponry
continue to defend that move
in the context of the Cold War. Sen. Orrin Hatch, a senior
Republican on the Senate
Intelligence Committee making those decisions, told my colleague
that he would make the same call again today even knowing
what bin Laden would do
subsequently. 'It was worth it,' he said. 'Those were very
matters that played an important role in the downfall of the
Soviet Union,' he said.
HINDSIGHT OR TUNNEL VISION
It should be pointed out that the evidence of bin Laden's
connection to these
activities is mostly classified, though its hard to imagine
the CIA rushing to take
credit for a Frankenstein's monster like this.
It is also worth acknowledging that it is easier now to oppose
the CIA's Afghan
adventures than it was when Hatch and company made them in
the mid-1980s. After all, in
1998 we now know that far larger elements than Afghanistan
were corroding the communist
party's grip on power in Moscow. Even Hatch can't be blamed
The CIA, ever mindful of the need to justify its 'mission,'
had conclusive evidence by the
mid-1980s of the deepening crisis of infrastructure within
the Soviet Union. The
CIA, as its deputy director William Gates acknowledged under
in 1992, had decided to keep that evidence from President
Reagan and his top advisors
and instead continued to grossly exaggerate Soviet military
capabilities in its annual 'Soviet Military Power' report
right up to 1990.
Given that context, a decision was made to provide America's
with the arms, money and most importantly the knowledge of
how to run a war of
attrition violent and well-organized enough to humble a superpower.
That decision is coming home to roost.
Michael Moran is MSNBC's International Editor
Osama bin Laden's American Business Ties
SEPTEMBER 2, 1998
Terrorism -- fact and fiction When President Clinton announced
the missile strikes against terrorist bases
in Afghanistan and a chemical weapons plant in Sudan last
week, the issues seemed pretty clear cut.
Even for those of us who suspected the timing of these attacks
had more to do
with Clinton's personal scandals than real foreign policy
objectives, we had
few doubts that bad guys had actually been targeted.
Remember what the president said? He claimed he stayed "up
till 2:30 in the
morning trying to make absolutely sure that at that chemical
plant there was no
night shift." Right out of Michael Douglas' script in
President," Clinton added, "I didn't want some person
who was a nobody to me, but
who may have a family to feed and a life to live, and probably
had no earthly idea
what else was going on there, to die needlessly...."
Now let's keep in mind that President Clinton personally chose
site, a medicine factory with a United Nations contract, from
among a larger set
of targets presented to him by military planners....
Then there's the matter of Osama. We're certainly getting
a different picture of
this terrorist than we got from the early reports by the Clinton
It turns out Osama bin Laden's family is one of the richest
of the rich -- worth
an estimated $5 billion. It's a pretty well-connected family,
too. His brother
is a director of the U.S. telecommunications giant Iridium,
is set to launch a revolutionary new global satellite communications
And guess who has launched Iridium's satellites into space?
You guessed it.
Clinton's friends in China. And who are the family's partners
Clinton's friends at the Loral Corp. and Hughes Electronics.
The family also does
millions of dollars of business with the U.S. government,
having built an Air
Force base for us in Saudi Arabia after Osama was blamed for
blowing up the
Khobar Towers in 1996.
So let's get this straight. Osama blows up our facilities,
and his family gets
the contract for rebuilding them. Do you get the feeling there
is more going on
here than meets the eye?
Then there are the questions concerning the other targets
of our cruise missile
attacks -- Osama's terrorist bases in Afghanistan. Of course,
the attacks, having, apparently, been tipped off in advance.
Was he really the target? Or were these attacks one more example
of what the
Clinton administration has become famous for -- symbolism
over substance. If the
U.S. really wanted Osama, he could have been picked up any
number of times in the
past on his frequent visits to America, when he has stayed
at the finest hotels
in New York...
There are reports even from Afghanistan that more than terrorists
Normally, we could dismiss accounts that mosques were struck
political propaganda by anti-American extremists. But, with
the track record of
the Clinton administration insofar as truth is concerned ...
just whom are we